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1.
Cell Rep ; : 110688, 2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763614

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant with a surprising number of spike mutations raises concerns about reduced sensitivity of this virus to antibody neutralization and subsequent vaccine breakthrough infections. Here, we infect Moderna mRNA-vaccinated or previously infected hamsters with the Omicron BA.1 variant. While the Moderna mRNA vaccine reduces viral loads in the respiratory tissues upon challenge with an early S-614G isolate, the vaccine efficacy is not as pronounced after infection with the Omicron variant. Previous infection with the early SARS-CoV-2 isolate prevents replication after rechallenge with either virus in the lungs of previously infected hamsters, but the Omicron variant replicates efficiently in nasal turbinate tissue. These results experimentally demonstrate in an animal model that the antigenic changes in the Omicron variant are responsible for vaccine breakthrough and re-infection.

2.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732253

ABSTRACT

Assays using ELISA measurements on serially diluted serum samples have been heavily used to measure serum reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 antigens and are widely used in virology and elsewhere in biology. We test a method using Bayesian hierarchical modelling to reduce the workload of these assays and measure reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV antigens to human serum samples collected before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflection titers for SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein (S1S2), spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD), and nucleoprotein (N) inferred from 3 spread-out dilutions correlated with those inferred from 8 consecutive dilutions with an R2 value of 0.97 or higher. We confirm existing findings showing a small proportion of pre-pandemic human serum samples contain cross-reactive antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 S1S2 and N, and that SARS-CoV-2 infection increases serum reactivity to the beta-HCoVs OC43 and HKU1 S1S2. In serial dilution assays, large savings in resources and/or increases in throughput can be achieved by reducing the number of dilutions measured and using Bayesian hierarchical modelling to infer inflection or endpoint titers. We have released software for conducting these types of analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Pandemics , Seasons , Workload
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308391

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc as worldwide SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, and death rates climb unabated. Effective vaccines remain the most promising approach to counter SARS-CoV-2. Yet, while promising results are emerging from COVID-19 vaccine trials, the need for multiple doses and the challenges associated with the widespread distribution and administration of vaccines remain concerns. Here, we engineered the coat protein of the MS2 bacteriophage 1,2 and generated nanoparticles displaying multiple copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. The use of these nanoparticles as vaccines generated high neutralizing antibody titers and protected Syrian hamsters 3 from a challenge with SARS-CoV-2 after a single immunization with no infectious virus detected in the lungs. This nanoparticle-based vaccine platform thus provides protection after a single immunization and may be broadly applicable for protecting against SARS-CoV-2 and future pathogens with pandemic potential.

4.
mBio ; : e0304421, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662302

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide since December 2019, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although vaccines for this virus have been developed rapidly, repurposing drugs approved to treat other diseases remains an invaluable treatment strategy. Here, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of drugs on SARS-CoV-2 replication in a hamster infection model and in in vitro assays. Favipiravir significantly suppressed virus replication in hamster lungs. Remdesivir inhibited virus replication in vitro, but was not effective in the hamster model. However, GS-441524, a metabolite of remdesivir, effectively suppressed virus replication in hamsters. Co-administration of favipiravir and GS-441524 more efficiently reduced virus load in hamster lungs than did single administration of either drug for both the prophylactic and therapeutic regimens; prophylactic co-administration also efficiently inhibited lung inflammation in the infected animals. Furthermore, pretreatment of hamsters with favipiravir and GS-441524 effectively protected them from virus transmission via respiratory droplets upon exposure to infected hamsters. Repurposing and co-administration of antiviral drugs may help combat COVID-19. IMPORTANCE During a pandemic, repurposing drugs that are approved for other diseases is a quick and realistic treatment option. In this study, we found that co-administration of favipiravir and the remdesivir metabolite GS-441524 more effectively blocked SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lungs of Syrian hamsters than either favipiravir or GS-441524 alone as part of a prophylactic or therapeutic regimen. Prophylactic co-administration also reduced the severity of lung inflammation. Moreover, co-administration of these drugs to naive hamsters efficiently protected them from airborne transmission of the virus from infected animals. Since both drugs are nucleotide analogs that interfere with the RNA-dependent RNA polymerases of many RNA viruses, these findings may also help encourage co-administration of antivirals to combat future pandemics.

6.
Vet Pathol ; : 3009858211066840, 2021 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582699

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019, which ranges from fatal disease in some to mild or subclinical in most affected individuals. Many recovered human patients report persistent respiratory signs; however, lung disease in post-acute infection is poorly understood. Our objective was to describe histologic lung lesions and viral loads following experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection in 11 cats. Microscopic evaluation at 3, 6, 10, or 28 days postinoculation (DPI) identified mild to moderate patchy interstitial pneumonia, bronchiolar epithelial damage, and occlusive histiocytic bronchiolitis. Based on immunohistochemistry, alveolar septal thickening was due to CD204-positive macrophages, fewer B and T lymphocytes, type II pneumocytes, and capillary proliferation with a relative dearth of fibrosis. In blood vessel endothelium, there was reactive hypertrophy or vacuolar degeneration and increased MHC II expression at all time points. Unexpectedly, one cat from the 28 DPI group had severe subacute regionally extensive lymphohistiocytic pneumonia with multifocal consolidation, vasculitis, and alveolar fibrin. Reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction identified SARS-CoV-2 RNA within the lung at 3 and 6 DPI, and viral RNA was below the limit of detection at 10 and 28 DPI, suggesting that pulmonary lesions persist beyond detection of viral RNA. These findings clarify our comparative understanding of disease induced by SARS-CoV-2 and suggest that cats can serve as an informative model to study post-acute pulmonary sequelae.

7.
J Infect Dis ; 225(2): 282-286, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556876

ABSTRACT

In hamsters, SARS-CoV-2 infection at the same time as or before H3N2 influenza virus infection resulted in significantly reduced influenza virus titers in the lungs and nasal turbinates. This interference may be correlated with SARS-CoV-2-induced expression of MX1.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Myxovirus Resistance Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication , Animals , Coinfection , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus
8.
EClinicalMedicine ; 32: 100734, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To develop an effective vaccine against a novel viral pathogen, it is important to understand the longitudinal antibody responses against its first infection. Here we performed a longitudinal study of antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic patients. METHODS: Sequential blood samples were collected from 39 individuals at various timepoints between 0 and 154 days after onset. IgG or IgM titers to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S protein, the ectodomain of the S protein, and the N protein were determined by using an ELISA. Neutralizing antibody titers were measured by using a plaque reduction assay. FINDINGS: The IgG titers to the RBD of the S protein, the ectodomain of the S protein, and the N protein peaked at about 20 days after onset, gradually decreased thereafter, and were maintained for several months after onset. Extrapolation modeling analysis suggested that the IgG antibodies were maintained for this amount of time because the rate of reduction slowed after 30 days post-onset. IgM titers to the RBD decreased rapidly and disappeared in some individuals after 90 days post-onset. All patients, except one, possessed neutralizing antibodies against authentic SARS-CoV-2, which they retained at 90 days after onset. The highest antibody titers in patients with severe infections were higher than those in patients with mild or moderate infections, but the decrease in antibody titer in the severe infection cohort was more remarkable than that in the mild or moderate infection cohort. INTERPRETATION: Although the number of patients is limited, our results show that the antibody response against the first SARS-CoV-2 infection in symptomatic patients is typical of that observed in an acute viral infection. FUNDING: The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

9.
Bioeng Transl Med ; 6(3): e10253, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1372699

ABSTRACT

The persistence of the global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has brought to the forefront the need for safe and effective vaccination strategies. In particular, the emergence of several variants with greater infectivity and resistance to current vaccines has motivated the development of a vaccine that elicits a broadly neutralizing immune response against all variants. In this study, we used a nanoparticle-based vaccine platform for the multivalent display of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. Multiple copies of RBD were conjugated to the SpyCatcher-mi3 protein nanoparticle to produce a highly immunogenic nanoparticle-based vaccine. RBD-SpyCatcher-mi3 vaccines elicited broadly cross-reactive antibodies that recognized the spike proteins of not just an early isolate of SARS-CoV-2, but also three SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern as well as SARS-CoV-1. Moreover, immunization elicited high neutralizing antibody titers against an early isolate of SARS-CoV-2 as well as four variants of concern, including the delta variant. These results reveal the potential of RBD-SpyCatcher-mi3 as a broadly protective vaccination strategy.

10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276013

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a key role in viral infectivity. It is also the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response, specifically, the production of neutralizing antibodies. Recently, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 possessing multiple mutations in the S protein, designated P.1, emerged in Brazil. Here, we characterized a P.1 variant isolated in Japan by using Syrian hamsters, a well-established small animal model for the study of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19). In hamsters, the variant showed replicative abilities and pathogenicity similar to those of early and contemporary strains (i.e., SARS-CoV-2 bearing aspartic acid [D] or glycine [G] at position 614 of the S protein). Sera and/or plasma from convalescent patients and BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccinees showed comparable neutralization titers across the P.1 variant, S-614D, and S-614G strains. In contrast, the S-614D and S-614G strains were less well recognized than the P.1 variant by serum from a P.1-infected patient. Prior infection with S-614D or S-614G strains efficiently prevented the replication of the P.1 variant in the lower respiratory tract of hamsters upon reinfection. In addition, passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies to hamsters infected with the P.1 variant or the S-614G strain led to reduced virus replication in the lower respiratory tract. However, the effect was less pronounced against the P.1 variant than the S-614G strain. These findings suggest that the P.1 variant may be somewhat antigenically different from the early and contemporary strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , X-Ray Microtomography
11.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 597, 2021 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236095

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc as worldwide SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, and death rates climb unabated. Effective vaccines remain the most promising approach to counter SARS-CoV-2. Yet, while promising results are emerging from COVID-19 vaccine trials, the need for multiple doses and the challenges associated with the widespread distribution and administration of vaccines remain concerns. Here, we engineered the coat protein of the MS2 bacteriophage and generated nanoparticles displaying multiple copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. The use of these nanoparticles as vaccines generated high neutralizing antibody titers and protected Syrian hamsters from a challenge with SARS-CoV-2 after a single immunization with no infectious virus detected in the lungs. This nanoparticle-based vaccine platform thus provides protection after a single immunization and may be broadly applicable for protecting against SARS-CoV-2 and future pathogens with pandemic potential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Drug Delivery Systems , Female , Humans , Immunization/methods , Levivirus/genetics , Levivirus/immunology , Mesocricetus , Microscopy, Electron, Transmission , Models, Animal , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , Nanoparticles/ultrastructure , Nanotechnology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Engineering , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Combined/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Combined/genetics , Vaccines, Combined/immunology , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/genetics , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/immunology
12.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(2): e1009373, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105836

ABSTRACT

The evolutionary mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 viruses adapt to mammalian hosts and, potentially, undergo antigenic evolution depend on the ways genetic variation is generated and selected within and between individual hosts. Using domestic cats as a model, we show that SARS-CoV-2 consensus sequences remain largely unchanged over time within hosts, while dynamic sub-consensus diversity reveals processes of genetic drift and weak purifying selection. We further identify a notable variant at amino acid position 655 in Spike (H655Y), which was previously shown to confer escape from human monoclonal antibodies. This variant arises rapidly and persists at intermediate frequencies in index cats. It also becomes fixed following transmission in two of three pairs. These dynamics suggest this site may be under positive selection in this system and illustrate how a variant can quickly arise and become fixed in parallel across multiple transmission pairs. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in cats involved a narrow bottleneck, with new infections founded by fewer than ten viruses. In RNA virus evolution, stochastic processes like narrow transmission bottlenecks and genetic drift typically act to constrain the overall pace of adaptive evolution. Our data suggest that here, positive selection in index cats followed by a narrow transmission bottleneck may have instead accelerated the fixation of S H655Y, a potentially beneficial SARS-CoV-2 variant. Overall, our study suggests species- and context-specific adaptations are likely to continue to emerge. This underscores the importance of continued genomic surveillance for new SARS-CoV-2 variants as well as heightened scrutiny for signatures of SARS-CoV-2 positive selection in humans and mammalian model systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adaptation, Biological , Animals , Biological Evolution , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cats , Evolution, Molecular , Genetic Variation , Humans , Phylogeny , Selection, Genetic
13.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(2): 660-663, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1048933

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 readily transmits between domestic cats. We found that domestic cats that recover from an initial infection might be protected from reinfection. However, we found long-term persistence of inflammation and other lung lesions after infection, despite a lack of clinical symptoms and limited viral replication in the lungs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/immunology , Cat Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cats , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Virus Replication/immunology
14.
Science ; 370(6523): 1464-1468, 2020 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922513

ABSTRACT

The spike aspartic acid-614 to glycine (D614G) substitution is prevalent in global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strains, but its effects on viral pathogenesis and transmissibility remain unclear. We engineered a SARS-CoV-2 variant containing this substitution. The variant exhibits more efficient infection, replication, and competitive fitness in primary human airway epithelial cells but maintains similar morphology and in vitro neutralization properties, compared with the ancestral wild-type virus. Infection of human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) transgenic mice and Syrian hamsters with both viruses resulted in similar viral titers in respiratory tissues and pulmonary disease. However, the D614G variant transmits significantly faster and displayed increased competitive fitness than the wild-type virus in hamsters. These data show that the D614G substitution enhances SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, competitive fitness, and transmission in primary human cells and animal models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Asparagine/genetics , Cricetinae , Genetic Fitness/genetics , Glycine/genetics , Humans , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Virulence/genetics , Virus Replication/genetics
15.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835242

ABSTRACT

The D614G substitution in the S protein is most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 strain circulating globally, but its effects in viral pathogenesis and transmission remain unclear. We engineered SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring the D614G substitution with or without nanoluciferase. The D614G variant replicates more efficiency in primary human proximal airway epithelial cells and is more fit than wildtype (WT) virus in competition studies. With similar morphology to the WT virion, the D614G virus is also more sensitive to SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. Infection of human ACE2 transgenic mice and Syrian hamsters with the WT or D614G viruses produced similar titers in respiratory tissue and pulmonary disease. However, the D614G variant exhibited significantly faster droplet transmission between hamsters than the WT virus, early after infection. Our study demonstrated the SARS-CoV2 D614G substitution enhances infectivity, replication fitness, and early transmission.

16.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(28): 16587-16595, 2020 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611003

ABSTRACT

At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) was detected in Wuhan, China, that spread rapidly around the world, with severe consequences for human health and the global economy. Here, we assessed the replicative ability and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates in Syrian hamsters. SARS-CoV-2 isolates replicated efficiently in the lungs of hamsters, causing severe pathological lung lesions following intranasal infection. In addition, microcomputed tomographic imaging revealed severe lung injury that shared characteristics with SARS-CoV-2-infected human lung, including severe, bilateral, peripherally distributed, multilobular ground glass opacity, and regions of lung consolidation. SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters mounted neutralizing antibody responses and were protected against subsequent rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passive transfer of convalescent serum to naïve hamsters efficiently suppressed the replication of the virus in the lungs even when the serum was administrated 2 d postinfection of the serum-treated hamsters. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that this Syrian hamster model will be useful for understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and testing vaccines and antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Ribonucleoproteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication
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