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1.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294511

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, a novel Betacoronavirus , was first reported circulating in human populations in December 2019 and has since become a global pandemic. Recent history involving SARS-like coronavirus outbreaks (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) have demonstrated the significant role of intermediate and reservoir hosts in viral maintenance and transmission cycles. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 natural infection and experimental infections of a wide variety of animal species has been demonstrated, and in silico and in vitro studies have indicated that deer are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. White-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) are amongst the most abundant, densely populated, and geographically widespread wild ruminant species in the United States. Human interaction with white-tailed deer has resulted in the occurrence of disease in human populations in the past. Recently, white-tailed deer fawns were shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we investigated the susceptibility and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in adult white-tailed deer. In addition, we examined the competition of two SARS-CoV-2 isolates, representatives of the ancestral lineage A (SARS-CoV-2/human/USA/WA1/2020) and the alpha variant of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (SARS-CoV-2/human/USA/CA_CDC_5574/2020), through co-infection of white-tailed deer. Next-generation sequencing was used to determine the presence and transmission of each strain in the co-infected and contact sentinel animals. Our results demonstrate that adult white-tailed deer are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can transmit the virus through direct contact as well as vertically from doe to fetus. Additionally, we determined that the alpha VOC B.1.1.7 isolate of SARS-CoV-2 outcompetes the ancestral lineage A isolate in white-tailed deer, as demonstrated by the genome of the virus shed from nasal and oral cavities from principal infected and contact animals, and from virus present in tissues of principal infected deer, fetuses and contact animals.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292924

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for a global pandemic that has had significant impacts on human health and economies worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible and the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. A wide range of animal species have also been shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection by experimental and/or natural infections. Domestic and large cats, mink, ferrets, hamsters, deer mice, white-tailed deer, and non-human primates have been shown to be highly susceptible, whereas other species such as mice, dogs, pigs, and cattle appear to be refractory to infection or have very limited susceptibility. Sheep (Ovis aries) are a commonly farmed domestic ruminant that have not previously been thoroughly investigated for their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, we performed in vitro and in vivo studies which consisted of infection of ruminant-derived cell cultures and experimental challenge of sheep to investigate their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. Our results showed that sheep-derived cell cultures support SARS-CoV-2 replication. Furthermore, experimental challenge of sheep demonstrated limited infection with viral RNA shed in nasal and oral swabs primarily at 1-day post challenge (DPC), and also detected in the respiratory tract and lymphoid tissues at 4 and 8 DPC. Sero-reactivity was also observed in some of the principal infected sheep but not the contact sentinels, indicating that transmission to co-mingled naive sheep was not highly efficient;hovewer, viral RNA was detected in some of the respiratory tract tissues of sentinel animals at 21 DPC. Furthermore, we used challenge inoculum consisting of a mixture of two SARS-CoV-2 isolates, representatives of the ancestral lineage A and the B.1.1.7-like alpha variant of concern (VOC), to study competition of the two virus strains. Our results indicate that sheep show low susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that the alpha VOC outcompeted the ancestral lineage A strain.

3.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266786

ABSTRACT

Serological surveillance studies of infectious diseases provide population-level estimates of infection and antibody prevalence, generating crucial insight into population-level immunity, risk factors leading to infection, and effectiveness of public health measures. These studies traditionally rely on detection of pathogen-specific antibodies in samples derived from venipuncture, an expensive and logistically challenging aspect of serological surveillance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, guidelines implemented to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection made collection of venous blood logistically difficult at a time when SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance was urgently needed. Dried blood spots (DBS) have generated interest as an alternative to venous blood for SARS-CoV-2 serological applications due to their stability, low cost, and ease of collection; DBS samples can be self-generated via fingerprick by community members and mailed at ambient temperatures. Here, we detail the development of four DBS-based SARS-CoV-2 serological methods and demonstrate their implementation in a large serological survey of community members from 12 cities in the East Bay region of the San Francisco metropolitan area using at- home DBS collection. We find that DBS perform similarly to plasma/serum in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and commercial SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. In addition, we show that DBS samples can reliably detect antibody responses months post-infection and track antibody kinetics after vaccination. Implementation of DBS enabled collection of valuable serological data from our study population to investigate changes in seroprevalence over an eight-month period. Our work makes a strong argument for the implementation of DBS in serological studies, not just for SARS-CoV-2, but any situation where phlebotomy is inaccessible.

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