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PLoS Pathog ; 18(7): e1010618, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923717


The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019, rapidly reached pandemic status, and has maintained global ubiquity through the emergence of variants of concern. Efforts to develop animal models have mostly fallen short of recapitulating severe disease, diminishing their utility for research focusing on severe disease pathogenesis and life-saving medical countermeasures. We tested whether route of experimental infection substantially changes COVID-19 disease characteristics in two species of nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta; rhesus macaques; RM, Chlorocebus atheiops; African green monkeys; AGM). Species-specific cohorts were experimentally infected with SARS-CoV-2 by either direct mucosal (intratracheal + intranasal) instillation or small particle aerosol in route-discrete subcohorts. Both species demonstrated analogous viral loads in all compartments by either exposure route although the magnitude and duration of viral loading was marginally greater in AGMs than RMs. Clinical onset was nearly immediate (+1dpi) in the mucosal exposure cohort whereas clinical signs and cytokine responses in aerosol exposure animals began +7dpi. Pathologies conserved in both species and both exposure modalities include pulmonary myeloid cell influx, development of pleuritis, and extended lack of regenerative capacity in the pulmonary compartment. Demonstration of conserved pulmonary pathology regardless of species and exposure route expands our understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 infection may lead to ARDS and/or functional lung damage and demonstrates the near clinical response of the nonhuman primate model for anti-fibrotic therapeutic evaluation studies.

COVID-19 , Aerosols , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776363


The inhalation of ambient SARS-CoV-2-containing bioaerosols leads to infection and pandemic airborne transmission in susceptible populations. Filter-based respirators effectively reduce exposure but complicate normal respiration through breathing zone pressure differentials; therefore, they are impractical for long-term use. OBJECTIVES: We tested the comparative effectiveness of a prototyped miniaturized electrostatic precipitator (mEP) on a filter-based respirator (N95) via the removal of viral bioaerosols from a simulated, inspired air stream. Methods: Each respirator was tested within a 16 L environmental chamber housed within a Class III biological safety cabinet within biosafety level 3 containment. SARS-CoV-2-containing bioaerosols were generated in the chamber, drawn by a vacuum through each respirator, and physical particle removal and viral genomic RNA were measured distal to the breathing zone of each device. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The mEP respirator removed particles (96.5 ± 0.4%), approximating efficiencies of the N95 (96.9 ± 0.6%). The mEP respirator similarly decreased SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA (99.792%) when compared to N95 removal (99.942%), as a function of particle removal from the airstream distal to the breathing zone of each respirator. CONCLUSIONS: The mEP respirator approximated the performance of a filter-based N95 respirator for particle removal and viral RNA as a constituent of the SARS-CoV-2 bioaerosols generated for this evaluation. In practice, the mEP respirator could provide equivalent protection from ambient infectious bioaerosols as the N95 respirator without undue pressure drop to the wearer, thereby facilitating its long-term use in an unobstructed breathing configuration.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , RNA, Viral , Static Electricity , Ventilators, Mechanical
Viruses ; 14(1)2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580395


In recent months, several SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged that enhance transmissibility and escape host humoral immunity. Hence, the tracking of viral evolutionary trajectories is clearly of great importance. Little is known about SARS-CoV-2 evolution in nonhuman primate models used to test vaccines and therapies and to model human disease. Viral RNA was sequenced from rectal swabs from Chlorocebus aethiops (African green monkeys) after experimental respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two distinct patterns of viral evolution were identified that were shared between all collected samples. First, mutations in the furin cleavage site that were initially present in the virus as a consequence of VeroE6 cell culture adaptation were not detected in viral RNA recovered in rectal swabs, confirming the necessity of this motif for viral infection in vivo. Three amino acid changes were also identified; ORF 1a S2103F, and spike D215G and H655Y, which were detected in rectal swabs from all sampled animals. These findings are demonstrative of intra-host SARS-CoV-2 evolution and may identify a host-adapted variant of SARS-CoV-2 that would be useful in future primate models involving SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Evolution, Molecular , Mutation , Polyproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Rectum/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics