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1.
Nature Communications ; 13(1):2442-2442, 2022.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1821586

ABSTRACT

Interferon restricts SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture, but only a handful of Interferon Stimulated Genes with antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 have been identified. Here, we describe a functional CRISPR/Cas9 screen aiming at identifying SARS-CoV-2 restriction factors. We identify DAXX, a scaffold protein residing in PML nuclear bodies known to limit the replication of DNA viruses and retroviruses, as a potent inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV replication in human cells. Basal expression of DAXX is sufficient to limit the replication of SARS-CoV-2, and DAXX over-expression further restricts infection. DAXX restricts an early, post-entry step of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle. DAXX-mediated restriction of SARS-CoV-2 is independent of the SUMOylation pathway but dependent on its D/E domain, also necessary for its protein-folding activity. SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers the re-localization of DAXX to cytoplasmic sites and promotes its degradation. Mechanistically, this process is mediated by the viral papain-like protease (PLpro) and the proteasome. Together, these results demonstrate that DAXX restricts SARS-CoV-2, which in turn has evolved a mechanism to counteract its action.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332623

ABSTRACT

Recombination is a crucial process in the evolution of many organisms. Although the evolutionary reasons behind its occurrence in RNA viruses are debated, this phenomenon has been associated with major epidemiological events such as virus host range expansion, antigenic shift or variation in virulence 1,2, and this process occurs frequently in positive strand RNA viruses such as coronaviruses. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been associated with the repeated emergence of variants of concern presenting increased transmissibility, severity or immune escape 3. The recent extensive circulation of Delta worldwide and its subsequent replacement by viruses of the Omicron lineage 4 (BA.1 then BA.2), have created conditions for genetic exchanges between viruses with both genetic diversity and phenotypic specificities 5-7. Here we report the identification and in vitro and in vivo characterization of a Delta-Omicron recombinant in Europe. This recombinant exhibits immune escape properties similar to Omicron, while its behavior in mice expressing the human ACE2 receptor is more similar to Delta. This recombinant provides a unique and natural opportunity to better understand the genotype to phenotype links in SARS-CoV-2.

3.
Nature ; 604(7905): 330-336, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692583

ABSTRACT

The animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 is unknown despite reports of SARS-CoV-2-related viruses in Asian Rhinolophus bats1-4, including the closest virus from R. affinis, RaTG13 (refs. 5,6), and pangolins7-9. SARS-CoV-2 has a mosaic genome, to which different progenitors contribute. The spike sequence determines the binding affinity and accessibility of its receptor-binding domain to the cellular angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and is responsible for host range10-12. SARS-CoV-2 progenitor bat viruses genetically close to SARS-CoV-2 and able to enter human cells through a human ACE2 (hACE2) pathway have not yet been identified, although they would be key in understanding the origin of the epidemic. Here we show that such viruses circulate in cave bats living in the limestone karstic terrain in northern Laos, in the Indochinese peninsula. We found that the receptor-binding domains of these viruses differ from that of SARS-CoV-2 by only one or two residues at the interface with ACE2, bind more efficiently to the hACE2 protein than that of the SARS-CoV-2 strain isolated in Wuhan from early human cases, and mediate hACE2-dependent entry and replication in human cells, which is inhibited by antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2. None of these bat viruses contains a furin cleavage site in the spike protein. Our findings therefore indicate that bat-borne SARS-CoV-2-like viruses that are potentially infectious for humans circulate in Rhinolophus spp. in the Indochinese peninsula.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322622

ABSTRACT

The animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 is unknown despite reports of various SARS-CoV-2-related viruses in Asian Rhinolophus bats, including the closest virus from R. affinis, RaTG13. Several studies have suggested the involvement of pangolin coronaviruses in SARS-CoV-2 emergence. SARS-CoV-2 presents a mosaic genome, to which different progenitors contribute. The spike sequence determines the binding affinity and accessibility of its receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the cellular angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and is responsible for host range. SARS-CoV-2 progenitor bat viruses genetically close to SARS-CoV-2 and able to enter human cells through a human ACE2 pathway have not yet been identified, though they would be key in understanding the origin of the epidemics. Here we show that such viruses indeed circulate in cave bats living in the limestone karstic terrain in North Laos, within the Indochinese peninsula. We found that the RBDs of these viruses differ from that of SARS-CoV-2 by only one or two residues, bind as efficiently to the hACE2 protein as the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan strain isolated in early human cases, and mediate hACE2-dependent entry into human cells, which is inhibited by antibodies neutralizing SARS-CoV-2. None of these bat viruses harbors a furin cleavage site in the spike. Our findings therefore indicate that bat-borne SARS-CoV-2-like viruses potentially infectious for humans circulate in Rhinolophus spp. in the Indochinese peninsula.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311331

ABSTRACT

Non-human primates infected with SARS-CoV-2 exhibit mild clinical signs. Here we used a mathematical model to characterize in detail the viral dynamics in 31 cynomolgus macaques infected with 10 6 pfu of SARS-CoV-2 for which nasopharyngeal and tracheal viral load were frequently assessed. We identified that infected cells had a large daily viral production (>10 4 virus) and a within-host reproductive basic number of 6 and 4 in nasopharyngeal and tracheal compartment, respectively. After peak viral load, infected cells were rapidly cleared with a half-life of 9 hours, with no significant association between cytokine elevation and clearance. Translating our model to the context of human-to-human infection, human mild infection may be characterized by a peak occurring 4 days after infection, a viral shedding of ~11 days and a generation time of 4 days. These results improve the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and better understand the infection to SARS-CoV-2 in humans.

6.
EMBO Rep ; 23(2): e54341, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575628

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection results in impaired interferon response in patients with severe COVID-19. However, how SARS-CoV-2 interferes with host immune responses is incompletely understood. Here, we sequence small RNAs from SARS-CoV-2-infected human cells and identify a microRNA (miRNA) derived from a recently evolved region of the viral genome. We show that the virus-derived miRNA produces two miRNA isoforms in infected cells by the enzyme Dicer, which are loaded into Argonaute proteins. Moreover, the predominant miRNA isoform targets the 3'UTR of interferon-stimulated genes and represses their expression in a miRNA-like fashion. Finally, the two viral miRNA isoforms were detected in nasopharyngeal swabs from COVID-19 patients. We propose that SARS-CoV-2 can potentially employ a virus-derived miRNA to hijack the host miRNA machinery, which could help to evade the interferon-mediated immune response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , MicroRNAs , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , 3' Untranslated Regions , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunity , MicroRNAs/genetics
7.
J Biol Chem ; 298(1): 101290, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472024

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the importance of obtaining reliable methods for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2. A highly specific and sensitive diagnostic test able to differentiate the SARS-CoV-2 virus from common human coronaviruses is therefore needed. Coronavirus nucleoprotein (N) localizes to the cytoplasm and the nucleolus and is required for viral RNA synthesis. N is the most abundant coronavirus protein, so it is of utmost importance to develop specific antibodies for its detection. In this study, we developed a sandwich immunoassay to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 N protein. We immunized one alpaca with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 N and constructed a large single variable domain on heavy chain (VHH) antibody library. After phage display selection, seven VHHs recognizing the full N protein were identified by ELISA. These VHHs did not recognize the nucleoproteins of the four common human coronaviruses. Hydrogen Deuterium eXchange-Mass Spectrometry (HDX-MS) analysis also showed that these VHHs mainly targeted conformational epitopes in either the C-terminal or the N-terminal domains. All VHHs were able to recognize SARS-CoV-2 in infected cells or on infected hamster tissues. Moreover, the VHHs could detect the SARS variants B.1.17/alpha, B.1.351/beta, and P1/gamma. We propose that this sandwich immunoassay could be applied to specifically detect the SARS-CoV-2 N in human nasal swabs.


Subject(s)
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Animals , Cricetinae , Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology
8.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(596)2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214961

ABSTRACT

Whereas recent investigations have revealed viral, inflammatory, and vascular factors involved in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lung pathogenesis, the pathophysiology of neurological disorders in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains poorly understood. Olfactory and taste dysfunction are common in COVID-19, especially in mildly symptomatic patients. Here, we conducted a virologic, molecular, and cellular study of the olfactory neuroepithelium of seven patients with COVID-19 presenting with acute loss of smell. We report evidence that the olfactory neuroepithelium is a major site of SARS-CoV2 infection with multiple cell types, including olfactory sensory neurons, support cells, and immune cells, becoming infected. SARS-CoV-2 replication in the olfactory neuroepithelium was associated with local inflammation. Furthermore, we showed that SARS-CoV-2 induced acute anosmia and ageusia in golden Syrian hamsters, lasting as long as the virus remained in the olfactory epithelium and the olfactory bulb. Last, olfactory mucosa sampling from patients showing long-term persistence of COVID-19-associated anosmia revealed the presence of virus transcripts and of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells, together with protracted inflammation. SARS-CoV-2 persistence and associated inflammation in the olfactory neuroepithelium may account for prolonged or relapsing symptoms of COVID-19, such as loss of smell, which should be considered for optimal medical management of this disease.


Subject(s)
Anosmia/virology , Brain/virology , COVID-19 , Olfactory Mucosa/pathology , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Inflammation , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
9.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(3): e1008785, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1181165

ABSTRACT

Non-human primates infected with SARS-CoV-2 exhibit mild clinical signs. Here we used a mathematical model to characterize in detail the viral dynamics in 31 cynomolgus macaques for which nasopharyngeal and tracheal viral load were frequently assessed. We identified that infected cells had a large burst size (>104 virus) and a within-host reproductive basic number of approximately 6 and 4 in nasopharyngeal and tracheal compartment, respectively. After peak viral load, infected cells were rapidly lost with a half-life of 9 hours, with no significant association between cytokine elevation and clearance, leading to a median time to viral clearance of 10 days, consistent with observations in mild human infections. Given these parameter estimates, we predict that a prophylactic treatment blocking 90% of viral production or viral infection could prevent viral growth. In conclusion, our results provide estimates of SARS-CoV-2 viral kinetic parameters in an experimental model of mild infection and they provide means to assess the efficacy of future antiviral treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Macaca fascicularis/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines/blood , Disease Models, Animal , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Trachea/virology , Viral Load , Virus Replication/drug effects
10.
Euro Surveill ; 26(13)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167263

ABSTRACT

BackgroundChildren have a low rate of COVID-19 and secondary severe multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS) but present a high prevalence of symptomatic seasonal coronavirus infections.AimWe tested if prior infections by seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV) NL63, HKU1, 229E or OC43 as assessed by serology, provide cross-protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection.MethodsWe set a cross-sectional observational multicentric study in pauci- or asymptomatic children hospitalised in Paris during the first wave for reasons other than COVID (hospitalised children (HOS), n = 739) plus children presenting with MIS (n = 36). SARS-CoV-2 antibodies directed against the nucleoprotein (N) and S1 and S2 domains of the spike (S) proteins were monitored by an in-house luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay. We randomly selected 69 SARS-CoV-2-seropositive patients (including 15 with MIS) and 115 matched SARS-CoV-2-seronegative patients (controls (CTL)). We measured antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV as evidence for prior corresponding infections and assessed if SARS-CoV-2 prevalence of infection and levels of antibody responses were shaped by prior seasonal coronavirus infections.ResultsPrevalence of HCoV infections were similar in HOS, MIS and CTL groups. Antibody levels against HCoV were not significantly different in the three groups and were not related to the level of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the HOS and MIS groups. SARS-CoV-2 antibody profiles were different between HOS and MIS children.ConclusionPrior infection by seasonal coronaviruses, as assessed by serology, does not interfere with SARS-CoV-2 infection and related MIS in children.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome , Adolescent , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Paris , Seasons , Serologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
11.
Nat Med ; 27(5): 917-924, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152868

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants were first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, respectively, and have since spread to many countries. These variants harboring diverse mutations in the gene encoding the spike protein raise important concerns about their immune evasion potential. Here, we isolated infectious B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 strains from acutely infected individuals. We examined sensitivity of the two variants to SARS-CoV-2 antibodies present in sera and nasal swabs from individuals infected with previously circulating strains or who were recently vaccinated, in comparison with a D614G reference virus. We utilized a new rapid neutralization assay, based on reporter cells that become positive for GFP after overnight infection. Sera from 58 convalescent individuals collected up to 9 months after symptoms, similarly neutralized B.1.1.7 and D614G. In contrast, after 9 months, convalescent sera had a mean sixfold reduction in neutralizing titers, and 40% of the samples lacked any activity against B.1.351. Sera from 19 individuals vaccinated twice with Pfizer Cominarty, longitudinally tested up to 6 weeks after vaccination, were similarly potent against B.1.1.7 but less efficacious against B.1.351, when compared to D614G. Neutralizing titers increased after the second vaccine dose, but remained 14-fold lower against B.1.351. In contrast, sera from convalescent or vaccinated individuals similarly bound the three spike proteins in a flow cytometry-based serological assay. Neutralizing antibodies were rarely detected in nasal swabs from vaccinees. Thus, faster-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants acquired a partial resistance to neutralizing antibodies generated by natural infection or vaccination, which was most frequently detected in individuals with low antibody levels. Our results indicate that B1.351, but not B.1.1.7, may increase the risk of infection in immunized individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Convalescence , Cross Reactions , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Sensitivity and Specificity , Vaccination
12.
Sci Transl Med ; 12(559)2020 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724557

ABSTRACT

It is of paramount importance to evaluate the prevalence of both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their differing antibody response profiles. Here, we performed a pilot study of four serological assays to assess the amounts of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples obtained from 491 healthy individuals before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, 51 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, 209 suspected cases of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, and 200 healthy blood donors. We used two ELISA assays that recognized the full-length nucleoprotein (N) or trimeric spike (S) protein ectodomain of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we developed the S-Flow assay that recognized the S protein expressed at the cell surface using flow cytometry, and the luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay that recognized diverse SARS-CoV-2 antigens including the S1 domain and the carboxyl-terminal domain of N by immunoprecipitation. We obtained similar results with the four serological assays. Differences in sensitivity were attributed to the technique and the antigen used. High anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers were associated with neutralization activity, which was assessed using infectious SARS-CoV-2 or lentiviral-S pseudotype virus. In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, seroconversion and virus neutralization occurred between 5 and 14 days after symptom onset, confirming previous studies. Seropositivity was detected in 32% of mildly symptomatic individuals within 15 days of symptom onset and in 3% of healthy blood donors. The four antibody assays that we used enabled a broad evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and antibody profiling in different subpopulations within one region.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Flow Cytometry/methods , France/epidemiology , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Immunoprecipitation/methods , Luciferases , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
13.
Euro Surveill ; 25(26)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639489

ABSTRACT

Following SARS-CoV-2 emergence in China, a specific surveillance was implemented in France. Phylogenetic analysis of sequences retrieved through this surveillance suggests that detected initial introductions, involving non-clade G viruses, did not seed local transmission. Nevertheless, identification of clade G variants subsequently circulating in the country, with the earliest from a patient who neither travelled to risk areas nor had contact with travellers, suggests that SARS-CoV-2 might have been present before the first recorded local cases.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus/genetics , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Sentinel Surveillance , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , France/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Analysis , Viral Proteins/genetics
14.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(6): 697-706, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-17918

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On Dec 31, 2019, China reported a cluster of cases of pneumonia in people at Wuhan, Hubei Province. The responsible pathogen is a novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We report the relevant features of the first cases in Europe of confirmed infection, named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with the first patient diagnosed with the disease on Jan 24, 2020. METHODS: In this case series, we followed five patients admitted to Bichat-Claude Bernard University Hospital (Paris, France) and Pellegrin University Hospital (Bordeaux, France) and diagnosed with COVID-19 by semi-quantitative RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs. We assessed patterns of clinical disease and viral load from different samples (nasopharyngeal and blood, urine, and stool samples), which were obtained once daily for 3 days from hospital admission, and once every 2 or 3 days until patient discharge. All samples were refrigerated and shipped to laboratories in the National Reference Center for Respiratory Viruses (The Institut Pasteur, Paris, and Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France), where RNA extraction, real-time RT-PCR, and virus isolation and titration procedures were done. FINDINGS: The patients were three men (aged 31 years, 48 years, and 80 years) and two women (aged 30 years and 46 years), all of Chinese origin, who had travelled to France from China around mid-January, 2020. Three different clinical evolutions are described: (1) two paucisymptomatic women diagnosed within a day of exhibiting symptoms, with high nasopharyngeal titres of SARS-CoV-2 within the first 24 h of the illness onset (5·2 and 7·4 log10 copies per 1000 cells, respectively) and viral RNA detection in stools; (2) a two-step disease progression in two young men, with a secondary worsening around 10 days after disease onset despite a decreasing viral load in nasopharyngeal samples; and (3) an 80-year-old man with a rapid evolution towards multiple organ failure and a persistent high viral load in lower and upper respiratory tract with systemic virus dissemination and virus detection in plasma. The 80-year-old patient died on day 14 of illness (Feb 14, 2020); all other patients had recovered and been discharged by Feb 19, 2020. INTERPRETATION: We illustrated three different clinical and biological types of evolution in five patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 with detailed and comprehensive viral sampling strategy. We believe that these findings will contribute to a better understanding of the natural history of the disease and will contribute to advances in the implementation of more efficient infection control strategies. FUNDING: REACTing (Research & Action Emerging Infectious Diseases).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood/virology , COVID-19 , China , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Feces/virology , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel , Urine/virology , Viral Load
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