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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331670

ABSTRACT

Objective To determine how the severity of successively dominant SARS-CoV-2 variants has changed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design Prospective cohort analysis. Setting Community- and hospital- sequenced COVID-19 cases in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GG&C) Health Board (1.2 million people). Participants All sequenced non-nosocomial adult COVID-19 cases in NHS GG&C identified to be infected with the relevant SARS-CoV-2 lineage during the following analysis periods. B.1.177/Alpha analysis: 1st November 2020 - 30th January 2021 (n = 1640). Alpha/Delta analysis: 1st April - 30th June 2021 (n = 5552). AY.4.2 Delta/non-AY.4.2 Delta analysis: 1st July – 31st October 2021 (n = 9613). Non-AY.4.2 Delta/Omicron analysis: 1st – 31st December 2021 (n = 3858). Main outcome measures Admission to hospital, admission to ICU, or death within 28 days of first positive COVID-19 test Results In the B.1.177/Alpha analysis, 300 of 807 (37.2%) B.1.177 cases were recorded as hospitalised or having a more severe outcome, compared to 232 of 833 (27.9%) Alpha cases. After adjusting for the following covariates: age, sex, time of positive test, comorbidities and partial postcode, the cumulative odds ratio was 1.51 (95% central credible interval 1.08-2.11) for Alpha versus B.1.177. In the Alpha/Delta analysis, 113 of 2104 (5.4%) Alpha cases were recorded as hospitalised or having a more severe outcome, compared to 230 of 3448 (6.7%) Delta cases. After adjusting for the above covariates plus number of vaccine doses and reinfection, the cumulative odds ratio was 2.09 (95% central credible interval 1.42-3.08) for Delta versus Alpha. In the non-AY.4.2 Delta/AY.4.2 Delta analysis, 845 of 8644 (9.8%) non-AY.4.2 Delta cases were recorded as hospitalised or having a more severe outcome, compared to 101 of 969 (10.4%) AY.4.2 Delta cases. After adjusting for the previously stated covariates, the cumulative odds ratio was 0.99 (95% central credible interval 0.76-1.27) for AY.4.2 Delta versus non-AY.4.2 Delta. In the non-AY.4.2 Delta/Omicron analysis, 30 of 1164 (2.6%) non-AY.4.2 Delta cases were recorded as hospitalised or having a more severe outcome, compared to 26 of 2694 (1.0%) Omicron cases. After adjusting for the previously listed covariates, the median cumulative odds ratio was 0.49 (95% central credible interval 0.22-1.06) for Omicron versus non-AY.4.2 Delta. Conclusions The direction of change in disease severity between successively emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern was inconsistent. This heterogeneity in virulence between variants, coupled with independent evolutionary emergence, demonstrates that severity associated with future SARS-CoV-2 variants is inherently unpredictable.

2.
PLoS Biol ; 19(12): e3001065, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594053

ABSTRACT

The pandemic spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), represents an ongoing international health crisis. A key symptom of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the onset of fever, with a hyperthermic temperature range of 38 to 41°C. Fever is an evolutionarily conserved host response to microbial infection that can influence the outcome of viral pathogenicity and regulation of host innate and adaptive immune responses. However, it remains to be determined what effect elevated temperature has on SARS-CoV-2 replication. Utilizing a three-dimensional (3D) air-liquid interface (ALI) model that closely mimics the natural tissue physiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the respiratory airway, we identify tissue temperature to play an important role in the regulation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Respiratory tissue incubated at 40°C remained permissive to SARS-CoV-2 entry but refractory to viral transcription, leading to significantly reduced levels of viral RNA replication and apical shedding of infectious virus. We identify tissue temperature to play an important role in the differential regulation of epithelial host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection that impact upon multiple pathways, including intracellular immune regulation, without disruption to general transcription or epithelium integrity. We present the first evidence that febrile temperatures associated with COVID-19 inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in respiratory epithelia. Our data identify an important role for tissue temperature in the epithelial restriction of SARS-CoV-2 independently of canonical interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral immune defenses.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/immunology , Hot Temperature , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Adolescent , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , RNA-Seq/methods , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tissue Culture Techniques , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/physiology
3.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 40-49, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585824

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but a biological basis for this outcome is unclear. Here we compare antibody and cellular immunity in children (aged 3-11 years) and adults. Antibody responses against spike protein were high in children and seroconversion boosted responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Neutralization of viral variants was comparable between children and adults. Spike-specific T cell responses were more than twice as high in children and were also detected in many seronegative children, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive responses to seasonal coronaviruses. Importantly, children retained antibody and cellular responses 6 months after infection, whereas relative waning occurred in adults. Spike-specific responses were also broadly stable beyond 12 months. Therefore, children generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with focused specificity for the spike protein. These findings provide insight into the relative clinical protection that occurs in most children and might help to guide the design of pediatric vaccination regimens.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Protection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans
4.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295699

ABSTRACT

Background The B.1.1.7 (Alpha) SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern was associated with increased transmission relative to other variants present at the time of its emergence and several studies have shown an association between the B.1.1.7 lineage infection and increased 28-day mortality. However, to date none have addressed the impact of infection on severity of illness or the need for oxygen or ventilation. Methods In this prospective clinical cohort sub-study of the COG-UK consortium, 1475 samples from hospitalised and community cases collected between the 1 st November 2020 and 30 th January 2021 were collected. These samples were sequenced in local laboratories and analysed for the presence of B.1.1.7-defining mutations. We prospectively matched sequence data to clinical outcomes as the lineage became dominant in Scotland and modelled the association between B.1.1.7 infection and severe disease using a 4-point scale of maximum severity by 28 days: 1. no support, 2. oxygen, 3. ventilation and 4. death. Additionally, we calculated an estimate of the growth rate of B.1.1.7-associated infections following introduction into Scotland using phylogenetic data. Results B.1.1.7 was responsible for a third wave of SARS-CoV-2 in Scotland, and rapidly replaced the previously dominant second wave lineage B.1.177) due to a significantly higher transmission rate (∼5 fold). Of 1475 patients, 364 were infected with B.1.1.7, 1030 with B.1.177 and 81 with other lineages. Our cumulative generalised linear mixed model analyses found evidence (cumulative odds ratio: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.93) of a positive association between increased clinical severity and lineage (B.1.1.7 versus non-B.1.1.7). Viral load was higher in B.1.1.7 samples than in non-B.1.1.7 samples as measured by cycle threshold (Ct) value (mean Ct change: -2.46, 95% CI: -4.22, -0.70). Conclusions The B.1.1.7 lineage was associated with more severe clinical disease in Scottish patients than co-circulating lineages. Funding COG-UK is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Genome Research Limited, operating as the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Funding was also provided by UKRI through the JUNIPER consortium (grant number MR/V038613/1). Sequencing and bioinformatics support was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) core award (MC UU 1201412).

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295697

ABSTRACT

Background: Immune suppression is a clinical feature of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and patients show increased vulnerability to SARS-CoV-2 infection and suboptimal antibody responses.<br><br>Method: We studied antibody responses in 500 patients following dual COVID-19 vaccination to assess the magnitude, correlates of response, stability and functional activity of the spike-specific antibody response with 2 different vaccine platforms.<br><br>Results: Spike-specific seroconversion post-vaccine was seen in 67% of patients compared to 100% of age-matched controls. Amongst responders, titres were 3.7 times lower than the control group. Antibody responses showed a 33% fall over the next 4 months. The use of an mRNA (n=204) or adenovirus-based (n=296) vaccine platform did not impact on antibody response. Male gender, BTKi therapy, prophylactic antibiotics use and low serum IgA/IgM were predictive of failure to respond. Antibody responses after CD20-targeted immunotherapy recovered 12 months-post treatment. Post-vaccine sera from CLL patients with Spike-specific antibody response showed markedly reduced neutralisation of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant compared to healthy controls. Patients with previous natural SARS-CoV-2 infection showed equivalent antibody levels and function as healthy donors after vaccination.<br><br>Interpretation: These findings demonstrate impaired antibody responses following dual COVID-19 vaccination in patients with CLL and further define patient risk groups. Furthermore, humoral protection against the globally-dominant delta variant is markedly impaired in CLL patients and indicates the need for further optimisation of immune protection in this patient cohort.<br><br>Funding Information: This work was partially supported by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC) funded by DHSC/UKRI and the National Core Studies Immunity programme.<br><br>Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: Informed consent was obtained by remote consultation and work performed under the CIA UPH IRAS approval (REC 20W\0240) from North-West and Preston ethics committee and conducted according to the Declaration of Helsinki.<br>

6.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294620

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but the biological basis for this is unclear. We studied the profile of antibody and cellular immunity in children aged 3-11 years in comparison with adults. Antibody responses against spike and receptor binding domain (RBD) were high in children and seroconversion boosted antibody responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Seroneutralisation assays against alpha, beta and delta SARS-CoV-2 variants demonstrated comparable neutralising activity between children and adults. T cell responses against spike were >2-fold higher in children compared to adults and displayed a T H 1 cytokine profile. SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific T cells were also detected in many seronegative children, revealing pre-existing responses that were cross-reactive with seasonal Alpha and Beta-coronaviruses. Importantly, all children retained high antibody titres and cellular responses at 6 months after infection whilst relative antibody waning was seen in adults. Spike-specific responses in children also remained broadly stable beyond 12 months. Children thus distinctly generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection with focussed specificity against spike protein. These observations demonstrate novel features of SARS-CoV-2-specific immune responses in children and may provide insight into their relative clinical protection. Furthermore, this information will help to guide the introduction of vaccination regimens in the paediatric population.

7.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010022, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546978

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are proving to be highly effective in controlling hospitalisation and deaths associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection but the emergence of viral variants with novel antigenic profiles threatens to diminish their efficacy. Assessment of the ability of sera from vaccine recipients to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 variants will inform the success of strategies for minimising COVID19 cases and the design of effective antigenic formulations. Here, we examine the sensitivity of variants of concern (VOCs) representative of the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 (first associated with infections in India) and B.1.351 (first associated with infection in South Africa) lineages of SARS-CoV-2 to neutralisation by sera from individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 (Oxford/AstraZeneca) vaccines. Across all vaccinated individuals, the spike glycoproteins from B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 conferred reductions in neutralisation of 4.31 and 5.11-fold respectively. The reduction seen with the B.1.617.2 lineage approached that conferred by the glycoprotein from B.1.351 (South African) variant (6.29-fold reduction) that is known to be associated with reduced vaccine efficacy. Neutralising antibody titres elicited by vaccination with two doses of BNT162b2 were significantly higher than those elicited by vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. Fold decreases in the magnitude of neutralisation titre following two doses of BNT162b2, conferred reductions in titre of 7.77, 11.30 and 9.56-fold respectively to B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.351 pseudoviruses, the reduction in neutralisation of the delta variant B.1.617.2 surpassing that of B.1.351. Fold changes in those vaccinated with two doses of ChAdOx1 were 0.69, 4.01 and 1.48 respectively. The accumulation of mutations in these VOCs, and others, demonstrate the quantifiable risk of antigenic drift and subsequent reduction in vaccine efficacy. Accordingly, booster vaccines based on updated variants are likely to be required over time to prevent productive infection. This study also suggests that two dose regimes of vaccine are required for maximal BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1-induced immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Immunization, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /immunology , /immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , HEK293 Cells , Humans
8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292906

ABSTRACT

We present a comprehensive analysis of antibody and cellular responses in children aged 12-16 years who received COVID-19 vaccination with ChAdOx1 (n=6) or mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2, n=9) using a 12-week extended-interval schedule. mRNA vaccination of seropositive children induces high antibody levels, with one dose, but a second dose is required in infection-naïve children. Following a second ChAdOx1 dose, antibody titres were higher than natural infection, but lower than mRNA vaccination. Vaccination induced live virus neutralising antibodies against Alpha, Beta and Delta variants, however, a second dose is required in infection-naïve children. We found higher T-cell responses following mRNA vaccination than ChAdOx1. Phenotyping of responses showed predominantly early effector-memory CD4 T cell populations, with a type-1 cytotoxic cytokine signature, with IL-10. These data demonstrate mRNA vaccination induces a co-ordinated superior antibody and robust cellular responses in children. Seronegative children require a prime-boost regime for optimal protection.

9.
Front Bioeng Biotechnol ; 9: 690905, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435979

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of COVID-19 and disruption of normal supply chains has resulted in severe shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly devices with few suppliers such as powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). A scarcity of information describing design and performance criteria for PAPRs represents a substantial barrier to mitigating shortages. We sought to apply open-source product development (OSPD) to PAPRs to enable alternative sources of supply and further innovation. We describe the design, prototyping, validation, and user testing of locally manufactured, modular, PAPR components, including filter cartridges and blower units, developed by the Greater Boston Pandemic Fabrication Team (PanFab). Two designs, one with a fully custom-made filter and blower unit housing, and the other with commercially available variants (the "Custom" and "Commercial" designs, respectively) were developed; the components in the Custom design are interchangeable with those in Commercial design, although the form factor differs. The engineering performance of the prototypes was measured and safety validated using National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-equivalent tests on apparatus available under pandemic conditions at university laboratories. Feedback was obtained from four individuals; two clinicians working in ambulatory clinical care and two research technical staff for whom PAPR use is standard occupational PPE; these individuals were asked to compare PanFab prototypes to commercial PAPRs from the perspective of usability and suggest areas for improvement. Respondents rated the PanFab Custom PAPR a 4 to 5 on a 5 Likert-scale 1) as compared to current PPE options, 2) for the sense of security with use in a clinical setting, and 3) for comfort compared to standard, commercially available PAPRs. The three other versions of the designs (with a Commercial blower unit, filter, or both) performed favorably, with survey responses consisting of scores ranging from 3 to 5. Engineering testing and clinical feedback demonstrate that the PanFab designs represent favorable alternatives to traditional PAPRs in terms of user comfort, mobility, and sense of security. A nonrestrictive license promotes innovation in respiratory protection for current and future medical emergencies.

12.
Nature ; 596(7872): 417-422, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287811

ABSTRACT

Although two-dose mRNA vaccination provides excellent protection against SARS-CoV-2, there is little information about vaccine efficacy against variants of concern (VOC) in individuals above eighty years of age1. Here we analysed immune responses following vaccination with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine2 in elderly participants and younger healthcare workers. Serum neutralization and levels of binding IgG or IgA after the first vaccine dose were lower in older individuals, with a marked drop in participants over eighty years old. Sera from participants above eighty showed lower neutralization potency against the B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta) and P.1. (Gamma) VOC than against the wild-type virus and were more likely to lack any neutralization against VOC following the first dose. However, following the second dose, neutralization against VOC was detectable regardless of age. The frequency of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific memory B cells was higher in elderly responders (whose serum showed neutralization activity) than in non-responders after the first dose. Elderly participants showed a clear reduction in somatic hypermutation of class-switched cells. The production of interferon-γ and interleukin-2 by SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific T cells was lower in older participants, and both cytokines were secreted primarily by CD4 T cells. We conclude that the elderly are a high-risk population and that specific measures to boost vaccine responses in this population are warranted, particularly where variants of concern are circulating.


Subject(s)
Aging/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin Class Switching , Immunoglobulin G/genetics , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
14.
Genome Res ; 31(4): 645-658, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135943

ABSTRACT

We have developed periscope, a tool for the detection and quantification of subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) in SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequence data. The translation of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome for most open reading frames (ORFs) occurs via RNA intermediates termed "subgenomic RNAs." sgRNAs are produced through discontinuous transcription, which relies on homology between transcription regulatory sequences (TRS-B) upstream of the ORF start codons and that of the TRS-L, which is located in the 5' UTR. TRS-L is immediately preceded by a leader sequence. This leader sequence is therefore found at the 5' end of all sgRNA. We applied periscope to 1155 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Sheffield, United Kingdom, and validated our findings using orthogonal data sets and in vitro cell systems. By using a simple local alignment to detect reads that contain the leader sequence, we were able to identify and quantify reads arising from canonical and noncanonical sgRNA. We were able to detect all canonical sgRNAs at the expected abundances, with the exception of ORF10. A number of recurrent noncanonical sgRNAs are detected. We show that the results are reproducible using technical replicates and determine the optimum number of reads for sgRNA analysis. In VeroE6 ACE2+/- cell lines, periscope can detect the changes in the kinetics of sgRNA in orthogonal sequencing data sets. Finally, variants found in genomic RNA are transmitted to sgRNAs with high fidelity in most cases. This tool can be applied to all sequenced COVID-19 samples worldwide to provide comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2 sgRNA.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Animals , Base Sequence , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Limit of Detection , Vero Cells
15.
PLoS Biol ; 19(2): e3001091, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102372

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the underlying cause of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to a worldwide pandemic causing substantial morbidity, mortality, and economic devastation. In response, many laboratories have redirected attention to SARS-CoV-2, meaning there is an urgent need for tools that can be used in laboratories unaccustomed to working with coronaviruses. Here we report a range of tools for SARS-CoV-2 research. First, we describe a facile single plasmid SARS-CoV-2 reverse genetics system that is simple to genetically manipulate and can be used to rescue infectious virus through transient transfection (without in vitro transcription or additional expression plasmids). The rescue system is accompanied by our panel of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (against nearly every viral protein), SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolates, and SARS-CoV-2 permissive cell lines, which are all openly available to the scientific community. Using these tools, we demonstrate here that the controversial ORF10 protein is expressed in infected cells. Furthermore, we show that the promising repurposed antiviral activity of apilimod is dependent on TMPRSS2 expression. Altogether, our SARS-CoV-2 toolkit, which can be directly accessed via our website at https://mrcppu-covid.bio/, constitutes a resource with considerable potential to advance COVID-19 vaccine design, drug testing, and discovery science.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Reverse Genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Codon , Humans , Hydrazones/pharmacology , Mice , Morpholines/pharmacology , Open Reading Frames , Plasmids/genetics , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/metabolism
17.
Cell ; 184(5): 1171-1187.e20, 2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051523

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 can mutate and evade immunity, with consequences for efficacy of emerging vaccines and antibody therapeutics. Here, we demonstrate that the immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) receptor binding motif (RBM) is a highly variable region of S and provide epidemiological, clinical, and molecular characterization of a prevalent, sentinel RBM mutation, N439K. We demonstrate N439K S protein has enhanced binding affinity to the hACE2 receptor, and N439K viruses have similar in vitro replication fitness and cause infections with similar clinical outcomes as compared to wild type. We show the N439K mutation confers resistance against several neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, including one authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and reduces the activity of some polyclonal sera from persons recovered from infection. Immune evasion mutations that maintain virulence and fitness such as N439K can emerge within SARS-CoV-2 S, highlighting the need for ongoing molecular surveillance to guide development and usage of vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Genetic Fitness , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virulence
19.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(1): 112-122, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989837

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first diagnosed in Scotland on 1 March 2020. During the first month of the outbreak, 2,641 cases of COVID-19 led to 1,832 hospital admissions, 207 intensive care admissions and 126 deaths. We aimed to identify the source and number of introductions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into Scotland using a combined phylogenetic and epidemiological approach. Sequencing of 1,314 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from available patient samples enabled us to estimate that SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to Scotland on at least 283 occasions during February and March 2020. Epidemiological analysis confirmed that early introductions of SARS-CoV-2 originated from mainland Europe (the majority from Italy and Spain). We identified subsequent early outbreaks in the community, within healthcare facilities and at an international conference. Community transmission occurred after 2 March, 3 weeks before control measures were introduced. Earlier travel restrictions or quarantine measures, both locally and internationally, would have reduced the number of COVID-19 cases in Scotland. The risk of multiple reintroduction events in future waves of infection remains high in the absence of population immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spain/epidemiology , Travel/statistics & numerical data
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