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Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4854, 2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354099


Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) presents with fever, inflammation and pathology of multiple organs in individuals under 21 years of age in the weeks following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Although an autoimmune pathogenesis has been proposed, the genes, pathways and cell types causal to this new disease remain unknown. Here we perform RNA sequencing of blood from patients with MIS-C and controls to find disease-associated genes clustered in a co-expression module annotated to CD56dimCD57+ natural killer (NK) cells and exhausted CD8+ T cells. A similar transcriptome signature is replicated in an independent cohort of Kawasaki disease (KD), the related condition after which MIS-C was initially named. Probing a probabilistic causal network previously constructed from over 1,000 blood transcriptomes both validates the structure of this module and reveals nine key regulators, including TBX21, a central coordinator of exhausted CD8+ T cell differentiation. Together, this unbiased, transcriptome-wide survey implicates downregulation of NK cells and cytotoxic T cell exhaustion in the pathogenesis of MIS-C.

CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Transcriptome/immunology , Adolescent , CD56 Antigen/metabolism , CD57 Antigens/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , Child , Child, Preschool , Down-Regulation , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Male , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/genetics , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/genetics , Young Adult
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3463, 2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261999


Numerous reports document the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but there is limited information on its introduction before the identification of a local case. This may lead to incorrect assumptions when modeling viral origins and transmission. Here, we utilize a sample pooling strategy to screen for previously undetected SARS-CoV-2 in de-identified, respiratory pathogen-negative nasopharyngeal specimens from 3,040 patients across the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. The patients had been previously evaluated for respiratory symptoms or influenza-like illness during the first 10 weeks of 2020. We identify SARS-CoV-2 RNA from specimens collected as early as 25 January 2020, and complete SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from multiple pools of samples collected between late February and early March, documenting an increase prior to the later surge. Our results provide evidence of sporadic SARS-CoV-2 infections a full month before both the first officially documented case and emergence of New York as a COVID-19 epicenter in March 2020.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , New York/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
N Engl J Med ; 383(25): 2407-2416, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-919364


BACKGROUND: The efficacy of public health measures to control the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has not been well studied in young adults. METHODS: We investigated SARS-CoV-2 infections among U.S. Marine Corps recruits who underwent a 2-week quarantine at home followed by a second supervised 2-week quarantine at a closed college campus that involved mask wearing, social distancing, and daily temperature and symptom monitoring. Study volunteers were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by means of quantitative polymerase-chain-reaction (qPCR) assay of nares swab specimens obtained between the time of arrival and the second day of supervised quarantine and on days 7 and 14. Recruits who did not volunteer for the study underwent qPCR testing only on day 14, at the end of the quarantine period. We performed phylogenetic analysis of viral genomes obtained from infected study volunteers to identify clusters and to assess the epidemiologic features of infections. RESULTS: A total of 1848 recruits volunteered to participate in the study; within 2 days after arrival on campus, 16 (0.9%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 15 of whom were asymptomatic. An additional 35 participants (1.9%) tested positive on day 7 or on day 14. Five of the 51 participants (9.8%) who tested positive at any time had symptoms in the week before a positive qPCR test. Of the recruits who declined to participate in the study, 26 (1.7%) of the 1554 recruits with available qPCR results tested positive on day 14. No SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified through clinical qPCR testing performed as a result of daily symptom monitoring. Analysis of 36 SARS-CoV-2 genomes obtained from 32 participants revealed six transmission clusters among 18 participants. Epidemiologic analysis supported multiple local transmission events, including transmission between roommates and among recruits within the same platoon. CONCLUSIONS: Among Marine Corps recruits, approximately 2% who had previously had negative results for SARS-CoV-2 at the beginning of supervised quarantine, and less than 2% of recruits with unknown previous status, tested positive by day 14. Most recruits who tested positive were asymptomatic, and no infections were detected through daily symptom monitoring. Transmission clusters occurred within platoons. (Funded by the Defense Health Agency and others.).

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Military Personnel , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Male , Phylogeny , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , South Carolina/epidemiology , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult