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1.
Biologicals ; 2020 Aug 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733947

ABSTRACT

With the pandemic emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the exposure of cell substrates used for manufacturing of medicines has become a possibility. Cell lines used in biomanufacturing were thus evaluated for their SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility, and the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in culture supernatants by routine adventitious virus testing of fermenter harvest tested.

3.
Virulence ; 11(1): 964-967, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690823

ABSTRACT

Currently, testing for coronavirus is performed with time and personnel consuming PCR assays. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and capacity of a fully automated, random access high-throughput real-time PCR-based diagnostic platform for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The NeuMoDx N96 system displayed an equal or better detection rate for SARS-CoV-2 compared with the LightCycler 480II system and showed a specificity of 100%. The median PCR run time for all 28 PCR runs was 91 (IQR 84-97) minutes. The capacity of the NeuMoDx N96 could easily surpass the capacity of most currently used molecular test systems and significantly reduce the turn-around time.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Betacoronavirus/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/instrumentation , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/standards , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/instrumentation , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
4.
Nature ; 2020 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-684778

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the rapidly unfolding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic1,2. Clinical manifestations of COVID-19 vary, ranging from asymptomatic infection to respiratory failure. The mechanisms determining such variable outcomes remain unresolved. Here, we investigated SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S)-reactive CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood of patients with COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed healthy donors (HD). We detected SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive CD4+ T cells in 83% of patients with COVID-19 but also in 35% of HD. S-reactive CD4+ T cells in HD reacted primarily to C-terminal S epitopes, which show a higher homology to spike glycoproteins of human endemic coronaviruses, compared to N-terminal epitopes. S-reactive T cell lines generated from SARS-CoV-2-naive HD responded similarly to C-terminal S of human endemic coronaviruses 229E and OC43 and SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating the presence of S-cross-reactive T cells, probably generated during past encounters with endemic coronaviruses. The role of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cells for clinical outcomes remains to be determined in larger cohorts. However, the presence of S-cross-reactive T cells in a sizable fraction of the general population may affect the dynamics of the current pandemic, and has important implications for the design and analysis of upcoming COVID-19 vaccine trials.

6.
Euro Surveill ; 25(27)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-652787

ABSTRACT

Laboratory preparedness with quality-assured diagnostic assays is essential for controlling the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. We conducted an external quality assessment study with inactivated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) samples to support clinical laboratories with a proficiency testing option for molecular assays. To analyse SARS-CoV-2 testing performance, we used an online questionnaire developed for the European Union project RECOVER to assess molecular testing capacities in clinical diagnostic laboratories.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus , Clinical Laboratory Services , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Europe , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Sensitivity and Specificity , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(7):1478-1488, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-655091

ABSTRACT

A new coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has recently emerged to cause a human pandemic Although molecular diagnostic tests were rapidly developed, serologic assays are still lacking, yet urgently needed Validated serologic assays are needed for contact tracing, identifying the viral reservoir, and epidemiologic studies We developed serologic assays for detection of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing, spike protein-specific, and nucleocapsid-specific antibodies Using serum samples from patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, other coronaviruses, or other respiratory pathogenic infections, we validated and tested various antigens in different in-house and commercial ELISAs We demonstrated that most PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2-infected persons seroconverted by 2 weeks after disease onset We found that commercial S1 IgG or IgA ELISAs were of lower specificity, and sensitivity varied between the 2 assays;the IgA ELISA showed higher sensitivity Overall, the validated assays described can be instrumental for detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies for diagnostic, seroepidemiologic, and vaccine evaluation studies

8.
Infection ; 48(4): 619-626, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597401

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide causing a global health emergency. Pa-COVID-19 aims to provide comprehensive data on clinical course, pathophysiology, immunology and outcome of COVID-19, to identify prognostic biomarkers, clinical scores, and therapeutic targets for improved clinical management and preventive interventions. METHODS: Pa-COVID-19 is a prospective observational cohort study of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection treated at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. We collect data on epidemiology, demography, medical history, symptoms, clinical course, and pathogen testing and treatment. Systematic, serial blood sampling will allow deep molecular and immunological phenotyping, transcriptomic profiling, and comprehensive biobanking. Longitudinal data and sample collection during hospitalization will be supplemented by long-term follow-up. RESULTS: Outcome measures include the WHO clinical ordinal scale on day 15 and clinical, functional, and health-related quality-of-life assessments at discharge and during follow-up. We developed a scalable dataset to (i) suit national standards of care, (ii) facilitate comprehensive data collection in medical care facilities with varying resources, and (iii) allow for rapid implementation of interventional trials based on the standardized study design and data collection. We propose this scalable protocol as blueprint for harmonized data collection and deep phenotyping in COVID-19 in Germany. CONCLUSION: We established a basic platform for harmonized, scalable data collection, pathophysiological analysis, and deep phenotyping of COVID-19, which enables rapid generation of evidence for improved medical care and identification of candidate therapeutic and preventive strategies. The electronic database accredited for interventional trials allows fast trial implementation for candidate therapeutic agents. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered at the German registry for clinical studies (DRKS00021688).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Registries , Berlin/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Biological Specimen Banks , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Phenotype , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , World Health Organization
10.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(8): 920-928, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276988

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In December, 2019, the newly identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, China, causing COVID-19, a respiratory disease presenting with fever, cough, and often pneumonia. WHO has set the strategic objective to interrupt spread of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. An outbreak in Bavaria, Germany, starting at the end of January, 2020, provided the opportunity to study transmission events, incubation period, and secondary attack rates. METHODS: A case was defined as a person with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by RT-PCR. Case interviews were done to describe timing of onset and nature of symptoms and to identify and classify contacts as high risk (had cumulative face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for ≥15 min, direct contact with secretions or body fluids of a patient with confirmed COVID-19, or, in the case of health-care workers, had worked within 2 m of a patient with confirmed COVID-19 without personal protective equipment) or low risk (all other contacts). High-risk contacts were ordered to stay at home in quarantine for 14 days and were actively followed up and monitored for symptoms, and low-risk contacts were tested upon self-reporting of symptoms. We defined fever and cough as specific symptoms, and defined a prodromal phase as the presence of non-specific symptoms for at least 1 day before the onset of specific symptoms. Whole genome sequencing was used to confirm epidemiological links and clarify transmission events where contact histories were ambiguous; integration with epidemiological data enabled precise reconstruction of exposure events and incubation periods. Secondary attack rates were calculated as the number of cases divided by the number of contacts, using Fisher's exact test for the 95% CIs. FINDINGS: Patient 0 was a Chinese resident who visited Germany for professional reasons. 16 subsequent cases, often with mild and non-specific symptoms, emerged in four transmission generations. Signature mutations in the viral genome occurred upon foundation of generation 2, as well as in one case pertaining to generation 4. The median incubation period was 4·0 days (IQR 2·3-4·3) and the median serial interval was 4·0 days (3·0-5·0). Transmission events were likely to have occurred presymptomatically for one case (possibly five more), at the day of symptom onset for four cases (possibly five more), and the remainder after the day of symptom onset or unknown. One or two cases resulted from contact with a case during the prodromal phase. Secondary attack rates were 75·0% (95% CI 19·0-99·0; three of four people) among members of a household cluster in common isolation, 10·0% (1·2-32·0; two of 20) among household contacts only together until isolation of the patient, and 5·1% (2·6-8·9; 11 of 217) among non-household, high-risk contacts. INTERPRETATION: Although patients in our study presented with predominately mild, non-specific symptoms, infectiousness before or on the day of symptom onset was substantial. Additionally, the incubation period was often very short and false-negative tests occurred. These results suggest that although the outbreak was controlled, successful long-term and global containment of COVID-19 could be difficult to achieve. FUNDING: All authors are employed and all expenses covered by governmental, federal state, or other publicly funded institutions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Communicable Diseases, Imported/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Travel-Related Illness , Adolescent , Adult , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Child , Child, Preschool , China , Communicable Diseases, Imported/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/pathology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Middle Aged , Mutation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Risk Assessment , Travel , Young Adult
11.
Transfusion ; 60(6): 1119-1122, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-176102

ABSTRACT

Oral swabs, sputum, and blood samples from 18 asymptomatic and symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were examined using RT-PCR testing in order to assess the risk of transfusion-related transmission. In asymptomatic patients as well as patients with flu-like symptoms and fever, no SARS-CoV-2 RNA could be detected in the blood or serum despite a clearly positive result in all throat swabs. As patients with symptoms of infectious disease will not be admitted to blood donation, the risk for transfusion transmission of SARS-CoV-2 seems to be negligible.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Donors , Blood Safety , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Donor Selection , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Transfusion Reaction/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Transfusion Reaction/virology , Young Adult
12.
Nature ; 582(7813): 561-565, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-164589

ABSTRACT

Reverse genetics has been an indispensable tool to gain insights into viral pathogenesis and vaccine development. The genomes of large RNA viruses, such as those from coronaviruses, are cumbersome to clone and manipulate in Escherichia coli owing to the size and occasional instability of the genome1-3. Therefore, an alternative rapid and robust reverse-genetics platform for RNA viruses would benefit the research community. Here we show the full functionality of a yeast-based synthetic genomics platform to genetically reconstruct diverse RNA viruses, including members of the Coronaviridae, Flaviviridae and Pneumoviridae families. Viral subgenomic fragments were generated using viral isolates, cloned viral DNA, clinical samples or synthetic DNA, and these fragments were then reassembled in one step in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using transformation-associated recombination cloning to maintain the genome as a yeast artificial chromosome. T7 RNA polymerase was then used to generate infectious RNA to rescue viable virus. Using this platform, we were able to engineer and generate chemically synthesized clones of the virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)4, which has caused the recent pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in only a week after receipt of the synthetic DNA fragments. The technical advance that we describe here facilitates rapid responses to emerging viruses as it enables the real-time generation and functional characterization of evolving RNA virus variants during an outbreak.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Cloning, Molecular/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genomics/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Reverse Genetics/methods , Synthetic Biology/methods , Animals , China/epidemiology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chromosomes, Artificial, Yeast/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/genetics , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Zika Virus/genetics
13.
Nature ; 581(7809): 465-469, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-23868

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infection of the respiratory tract that emerged in late 20191,2. Initial outbreaks in China involved 13.8% of cases with severe courses, and 6.1% of cases with critical courses3. This severe presentation may result from the virus using a virus receptor that is expressed predominantly in the lung2,4; the same receptor tropism is thought to have determined the pathogenicity-but also aided in the control-of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20035. However, there are reports of cases of COVID-19 in which the patient shows mild upper respiratory tract symptoms, which suggests the potential for pre- or oligosymptomatic transmission6-8. There is an urgent need for information on virus replication, immunity and infectivity in specific sites of the body. Here we report a detailed virological analysis of nine cases of COVID-19 that provides proof of active virus replication in tissues of the upper respiratory tract. Pharyngeal virus shedding was very high during the first week of symptoms, with a peak at 7.11 × 108 RNA copies per throat swab on day 4. Infectious virus was readily isolated from samples derived from the throat or lung, but not from stool samples-in spite of high concentrations of virus RNA. Blood and urine samples never yielded virus. Active replication in the throat was confirmed by the presence of viral replicative RNA intermediates in the throat samples. We consistently detected sequence-distinct virus populations in throat and lung samples from one patient, proving independent replication. The shedding of viral RNA from sputum outlasted the end of symptoms. Seroconversion occurred after 7 days in 50% of patients (and by day 14 in all patients), but was not followed by a rapid decline in viral load. COVID-19 can present as a mild illness of the upper respiratory tract. The confirmation of active virus replication in the upper respiratory tract has implications for the containment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Hospitalization , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Seroconversion , Virus Replication , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Base Sequence , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Blood/virology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Feces/chemistry , Feces/virology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/analysis , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Pharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis , Sputum/virology , Urine/virology , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Shedding
15.
Euro Surveill ; 25(3)2020 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-233

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The ongoing outbreak of the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) poses a challenge for public health laboratories as virus isolates are unavailable while there is growing evidence that the outbreak is more widespread than initially thought, and international spread through travellers does already occur. AIM: We aimed to develop and deploy robust diagnostic methodology for use in public health laboratory settings without having virus material available. METHODS: Here we present a validated diagnostic workflow for 2019-nCoV, its design relying on close genetic relatedness of 2019-nCoV with SARS coronavirus, making use of synthetic nucleic acid technology. RESULTS: The workflow reliably detects 2019-nCoV, and further discriminates 2019-nCoV from SARS-CoV. Through coordination between academic and public laboratories, we confirmed assay exclusivity based on 297 original clinical specimens containing a full spectrum of human respiratory viruses. Control material is made available through European Virus Archive - Global (EVAg), a European Union infrastructure project. CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates the enormous response capacity achieved through coordination of academic and public laboratories in national and European research networks.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
16.
Euro Surveill ; 25(6)2020 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-664

ABSTRACT

Timely detection of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection cases is crucial to interrupt the spread of this virus. We assessed the required expertise and capacity for molecular detection of 2019-nCoV in specialised laboratories in 30 European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries. Thirty-eight laboratories in 24 EU/EEA countries had diagnostic tests available by 29 January 2020. A coverage of all EU/EEA countries was expected by mid-February. Availability of primers/probes, positive controls and personnel were main implementation barriers.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Laboratories/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , European Union , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reference Standards , Sensitivity and Specificity , Sentinel Surveillance , Sequence Analysis
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