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1.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.12.22.521201

ABSTRACT

The landscape of SARS-CoV-2 variants dramatically diversified with the simultaneous appearance of multiple sub-variants originating from BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-lineages. They harbor a specific set of mutations in the spike that can make them more evasive to therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. In this study, we compared the neutralizing potential of monoclonal antibodies against the Omicron BA.2.75.2, BQ.1, BQ.1.1 and XBB variants, with a pre-Omicron Delta variant as a reference. Sotrovimab retains some activity against BA.2.75.2, BQ.1 and XBB as it did against BA.2/BA.5, but is less active against BQ.1.1. Within the Evusheld/AZD7442 cocktail, Cilgavimab lost all activity against all subvariants studied, resulting in loss of Evusheld activity. Finally, Bebtelovimab, while still active against BA.2.75, also lost all neutralizing activity against BQ.1, BQ.1.1 and XBB variants.

2.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.11.17.516888

ABSTRACT

Convergent evolution of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 lineages has led to the emergence of several new subvariants, including BA.2.75.2, BA.4.6. and BQ.1.1. The subvariants BA.2.75.2 and BQ.1.1 are expected to become predominant in many countries in November 2022. They carry an additional and often redundant set of mutations in the spike, likely responsible for increased transmissibility and immune evasion. Here, we established a viral amplification procedure to easily isolate Omicron strains. We examined their sensitivity to 6 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and to 72 sera from Pfizer BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals, with or without BA.1/BA.2 or BA.5 breakthrough infection. Ronapreve (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) and Evusheld (Cilgavimab and Tixagevimab) lost any antiviral efficacy against BA.2.75.2 and BQ.1.1, whereas Xevudy (Sotrovimab) remained weakly active. BQ.1.1 was also resistant to Bebtelovimab. Neutralizing titers in triply vaccinated individuals were low to undetectable against BQ.1.1 and BA.2.75.2, 4 months after boosting. A BA.1/BA.2 breakthrough infection increased these titers, which remained about 18-fold lower against BA.2.75.2 and BQ.1.1, than against BA.1. Reciprocally, a BA.5 breakthrough infection increased more efficiently neutralization against BA.5 and BQ.1.1 than against BA.2.75.2. Thus, the evolution trajectory of novel Omicron subvariants facilitated their spread in immunized populations and raises concerns about the efficacy of most currently available mAbs.

3.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.10.13.512053

ABSTRACT

We report the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant from a COVID-19 symptomatic individual to two domestic rats, one of which developed severe symptoms. Omicron carries several mutations which permit rodent infection. This report demonstrates that pet, and likely wild, rodents could therefore contribute to SARS-CoV-2 spread and evolution.

4.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.08.31.505985

ABSTRACT

Anosmia was identified as a hallmark of COVID-19 early in the pandemic, however, with the emergence of variants of concern, the clinical profile induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection has changed, with anosmia being less frequent. Several studies have focused on the neuropathogenesis of the original SARS-CoV-2, but little is known about the neuropathological potential of the variants. Here, we assessed the clinical, olfactory and inflammatory conditions of golden hamsters infected with the original SARS-CoV-2, its ORF7-deleted mutant, and three variants: Gamma, Delta and Omicron/BA.1. We show that infected animals developed a variant-dependent clinical disease, and that the ORF7 of SARS-CoV-2 contribute to causing olfactory disturbances. Conversely, all SARS-CoV-2 variants were found to be neuroinvasive, regardless of the clinical presentation they induce. With newly-generated nanoluciferase-expressing SARS-CoV-2, we validated the olfactory pathway as a main entry point towards the brain, confirming that neuroinvasion and anosmia are independent phenomena upon SARS-CoV-2 infection.

5.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.08.12.22278699

ABSTRACT

The emergence of novel Omicron lineages, such as BA.5, may impact the therapeutic efficacy of anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Here, we evaluated the neutralization and ADCC activity of 6 therapeutic mAbs against Delta, BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 isolates. The Omicron sub-variants escaped most of the antibodies but remained sensitive to Bebtelovimab and Cilgavimab. Consistent with their shared spike sequence, BA.4 and BA.5 displayed identical neutralization profiles. Sotrovimab was the most efficient at eliciting ADCC. We also analyzed 121 sera from 40 immunocompromised individuals up to 6 months after infusion of 1200 mg of Ronapreve (Imdevimab + Casirivimab), and 300 or 600 mg of Evusheld (Cilgavimab + Tixagevimab). Sera from Ronapreve-treated individuals did not neutralize Omicron subvariants. Evusheld-treated individuals neutralized BA.2 and BA.5, but titers were reduced by 41- and 130-fold, respectively, compared to Delta. A longitudinal evaluation of sera from Evusheld-treated patients revealed a slow decay of mAb levels and neutralization. The decline was more rapid against BA.5. Our data shed light on the antiviral activities of therapeutic mAbs and the duration of effectiveness of Evusheld pre-exposure prophylaxis.

6.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.07.22.22277885

ABSTRACT

Since early 2022, Omicron BA.1 has been eclipsed by BA.2, which was in turn outcompeted by BA.5, that displays enhanced antibody escape properties. Here, we evaluated the duration of the neutralizing antibody (Nab) response, up to 16 months after Pfizer BNT162b2 vaccination, in individuals with or without BA.1/BA.2 breakthrough infection. We measured neutralization of the ancestral D614G lineage, Delta and Omicron BA.1, BA.2, BA.5 variants in 291 sera and 35 nasal swabs from 27 individuals. Upon vaccination, serum Nab titers were reduced by 10, 15 and 25 fold for BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5, respectively, compared with D614G. The duration of neutralization was markedly shortened, from an estimated period of 11.5 months post-boost with D614G to 5.5 months with BA.5. After breakthrough, we observed a sharp increase of Nabs against Omicron subvariants, followed by a plateau and a slow decline after 4 or 5 months. In nasal swabs, infection, but not vaccination, triggered a strong IgA response and a detectable Omicron neutralizing activity. Thus, BA.5 spread is partly due to abbreviated vaccine efficacy, particularly in individuals who were not infected with previous Omicron variants.

7.
Houriiyah Tegally; James E. San; Matthew Cotten; Bryan Tegomoh; Gerald Mboowa; Darren P. Martin; Cheryl Baxter; Monika Moir; Arnold Lambisia; Amadou Diallo; Daniel G. Amoako; Moussa M. Diagne; Abay Sisay; Abdel-Rahman N. Zekri; Abdelhamid Barakat; Abdou Salam Gueye; Abdoul K. Sangare; Abdoul-Salam Ouedraogo; Abdourahmane SOW; Abdualmoniem O. Musa; Abdul K. Sesay; Adamou LAGARE; Adedotun-Sulaiman Kemi; Aden Elmi Abar; Adeniji A. Johnson; Adeola Fowotade; Adewumi M. Olubusuyi; Adeyemi O. Oluwapelumi; Adrienne A. Amuri; Agnes Juru; Ahmad Mabrouk Ramadan; Ahmed Kandeil; Ahmed Mostafa; Ahmed Rebai; Ahmed Sayed; Akano Kazeem; Aladje Balde; Alan Christoffels; Alexander J. Trotter; Allan Campbell; Alpha Kabinet KEITA; Amadou Kone; Amal Bouzid; Amal Souissi; Ambrose Agweyu; Ana V. Gutierrez; Andrew J. Page; Anges Yadouleton; Anika Vinze; Anise N. Happi; Anissa Chouikha; Arash Iranzadeh; Arisha Maharaj; Armel Landry Batchi-Bouyou; Arshad Ismail; Augustina Sylverken; Augustine Goba; Ayoade Femi; Ayotunde Elijah Sijuwola; Azeddine Ibrahimi; Baba Marycelin; Babatunde Lawal Salako; Bamidele S. Oderinde; Bankole Bolajoko; Beatrice Dhaala; Belinda L. Herring; Benjamin Tsofa; Bernard Mvula; Berthe-Marie Njanpop-Lafourcade; Blessing T. Marondera; Bouh Abdi KHAIREH; Bourema Kouriba; Bright Adu; Brigitte Pool; Bronwyn McInnis; Cara Brook; Carolyn Williamson; Catherine Anscombe; Catherine B. Pratt; Cathrine Scheepers; Chantal G. Akoua-Koffi; Charles N. Agoti; Cheikh Loucoubar; Chika Kingsley Onwuamah; Chikwe Ihekweazu; Christian Noel MALAKA; Christophe Peyrefitte; Chukwuma Ewean Omoruyi; Clotaire Donatien Rafai; Collins M. Morang'a; D. James Nokes; Daniel Bugembe Lule; Daniel J. Bridges; Daniel Mukadi-Bamuleka; Danny Park; David Baker; Deelan Doolabh; Deogratius Ssemwanga; Derek Tshiabuila; Diarra Bassirou; Dominic S.Y. Amuzu; Dominique Goedhals; Donald S. Grant; Donwilliams O. Omuoyo; Dorcas Maruapula; Dorcas Waruguru Wanjohi; Ebenezer Foster-Nyarko; Eddy K. Lusamaki; Edgar Simulundu; Edidah M. Ong'era; Edith N. Ngabana; Edward O. Abworo; Edward Otieno; Edwin Shumba; Edwine Barasa; EL BARA AHMED; Elmostafa EL FAHIME; Emmanuel Lokilo; Enatha Mukantwari; Erameh Cyril; Eromon Philomena; Essia Belarbi; Etienne Simon-Loriere; Etile A. Anoh; Fabian Leendertz; Fahn M. Taweh; Fares Wasfi; Fatma Abdelmoula; Faustinos T. Takawira; Fawzi Derrar; Fehintola V Ajogbasile; Florette Treurnicht; Folarin Onikepe; Francine Ntoumi; Francisca M. Muyembe; FRANCISCO NGIAMBUDULU; Frank Edgard ZONGO Ragomzingba; Fred Athanasius DRATIBI; Fred-Akintunwa Iyanu; Gabriel K. Mbunsu; Gaetan Thilliez; Gemma L. Kay; George O. Akpede; George E Uwem; Gert van Zyl; Gordon A. Awandare; Grit Schubert; Gugu P. Maphalala; Hafaliana C. Ranaivoson; Hajar Lemriss; Hannah E Omunakwe; Harris Onywera; Haruka Abe; HELA KARRAY; Hellen Nansumba; Henda Triki; Herve Alberic ADJE KADJO; Hesham Elgahzaly; Hlanai Gumbo; HOTA mathieu; Hugo Kavunga-Membo; Ibtihel Smeti; Idowu B. Olawoye; Ifedayo Adetifa; Ikponmwosa Odia; Ilhem Boutiba-Ben Boubaker; Isaac Ssewanyana; Isatta Wurie; Iyaloo S Konstantinus; Jacqueline Wemboo Afiwa Halatoko; James Ayei; Janaki Sonoo; Jean Bernard LEKANA-DOUKI; Jean-Claude C. Makangara; Jean-Jacques M. Tamfum; Jean-Michel Heraud; Jeffrey G. Shaffer; Jennifer Giandhari; Jennifer Musyoki; Jessica N. Uwanibe; Jinal N. Bhiman; Jiro Yasuda; Joana Morais; Joana Q. Mends; Jocelyn Kiconco; John Demby Sandi; John Huddleston; John Kofi Odoom; John M. Morobe; John O. Gyapong; John T. Kayiwa; Johnson C. Okolie; Joicymara Santos Xavier; Jones Gyamfi; Joseph Humphrey Kofi Bonney; Joseph Nyandwi; Josie Everatt; Jouali Farah; Joweria Nakaseegu; Joyce M. Ngoi; Joyce Namulondo; Judith U. Oguzie; Julia C. Andeko; Julius J. Lutwama; Justin O'Grady; Katherine J Siddle; Kathleen Victoir; Kayode T. Adeyemi; Kefentse A. Tumedi; Kevin Sanders Carvalho; Khadija Said Mohammed; Kunda G. Musonda; Kwabena O. Duedu; Lahcen Belyamani; Lamia Fki-Berrajah; Lavanya Singh; Leon Biscornet; Leonardo de Oliveira Martins; Lucious Chabuka; Luicer Olubayo; Lul Lojok Deng; Lynette Isabella Ochola-Oyier; Madisa Mine; Magalutcheemee Ramuth; Maha Mastouri; Mahmoud ElHefnawi; Maimouna Mbanne; Maitshwarelo I. Matsheka; Malebogo Kebabonye; Mamadou Diop; Mambu Momoh; Maria da Luz Lima Mendonca; Marietjie Venter; Marietou F Paye; Martin Faye; Martin M. Nyaga; Mathabo Mareka; Matoke-Muhia Damaris; Maureen W. Mburu; Maximillian Mpina; Claujens Chastel MFOUTOU MAPANGUY; Michael Owusu; Michael R. Wiley; Mirabeau Youtchou Tatfeng; Mitoha Ondo'o Ayekaba; Mohamed Abouelhoda; Mohamed Amine Beloufa; Mohamed G Seadawy; Mohamed K. Khalifa; Mohammed Koussai DELLAGI; Mooko Marethabile Matobo; Mouhamed Kane; Mouna Ouadghiri; Mounerou Salou; Mphaphi B. Mbulawa; Mudashiru Femi Saibu; Mulenga Mwenda; My V.T. Phan; Nabil Abid; Nadia Touil; Nadine Rujeni; Nalia Ismael; Ndeye Marieme Top; Ndongo Dia; Nedio Mabunda; Nei-yuan Hsiao; Nelson Borico Silochi; Ngonda Saasa; Nicholas Bbosa; Nickson Murunga; Nicksy Gumede; Nicole Wolter; Nikita Sitharam; Nnaemeka Ndodo; Nnennaya A. Ajayi; Noel Tordo; Nokuzola Mbhele; Norosoa H Razanajatovo; Nosamiefan Iguosadolo; Nwando Mba; Ojide C. Kingsley; Okogbenin Sylvanus; Okokhere Peter; Oladiji Femi; Olumade Testimony; Olusola Akinola Ogunsanya; Oluwatosin Fakayode; Onwe E. Ogah; Ousmane Faye; Pamela Smith-Lawrence; Pascale Ondoa; Patrice Combe; Patricia Nabisubi; Patrick Semanda; Paul E. Oluniyi; Paulo Arnaldo; Peter Kojo Quashie; Philip Bejon; Philippe Dussart; Phillip A. Bester; Placide K. Mbala; Pontiano Kaleebu; Priscilla Abechi; Rabeh El-Shesheny; Rageema Joseph; Ramy Karam Aziz; Rene Ghislain Essomba; Reuben Ayivor-Djanie; Richard Njouom; Richard O. Phillips; Richmond Gorman; Robert A. Kingsley; Rosemary Audu; Rosina A.A. Carr; Saad El Kabbaj; Saba Gargouri; Saber Masmoudi; Safietou Sankhe; Sahra Isse Mohamed; Salma MHALLA; Salome Hosch; Samar Kamal Kassim; Samar Metha; Sameh Trabelsi; Sanaa Lemriss; Sara Hassan Agwa; Sarah Wambui Mwangi; Seydou Doumbia; Sheila Makiala-Mandanda; Sherihane Aryeetey; Shymaa S. Ahmed; SIDI MOHAMED AHMED; Siham Elhamoumi; Sikhulile Moyo; Silvia Lutucuta; Simani Gaseitsiwe; Simbirie Jalloh; Soafy Andriamandimby; Sobajo Oguntope; Solene Grayo; Sonia Lekana-Douki; Sophie Prosolek; Soumeya Ouangraoua; Stephanie van Wyk; Stephen F. Schaffner; Stephen Kanyerezi; Steve AHUKA-MUNDEKE; Steven Rudder; Sureshnee Pillay; Susan Nabadda; Sylvie Behillil; Sylvie L. Budiaki; Sylvie van der Werf; Tapfumanei Mashe; Tarik Aanniz; Thabo Mohale; Thanh Le-Viet; Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan; Tobias Schindler; Tongai Maponga; Trevor Bedford; Ugochukwu J. Anyaneji; Ugwu Chinedu; Upasana Ramphal; Vincent Enouf; Vishvanath Nene; Vivianne Gorova; Wael H. Roshdy; Wasim Abdul Karim; William K. Ampofo; Wolfgang Preiser; Wonderful T. Choga; Yahaya ALI ALI AHMED; Yajna Ramphal; Yaw Bediako; Yeshnee Naidoo; Yvan Butera; Zaydah R. de Laurent; Ahmed E.O. Ouma; Anne von Gottberg; George Githinji; Matshidiso Moeti; Oyewale Tomori; Pardis C. Sabeti; Amadou A. Sall; Samuel O. Oyola; Yenew K. Tebeje; Sofonias K. Tessema; Tulio de Oliveira; Christian Happi; Richard Lessells; John Nkengasong; Eduan Wilkinson.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.04.17.22273906

ABSTRACT

Investment in Africa over the past year with regards to SARS-CoV-2 genotyping has led to a massive increase in the number of sequences, exceeding 100,000 genomes generated to track the pandemic on the continent. Our results show an increase in the number of African countries able to sequence within their own borders, coupled with a decrease in sequencing turnaround time. Findings from this genomic surveillance underscores the heterogeneous nature of the pandemic but we observe repeated dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 variants within the continent. Sustained investment for genomic surveillance in Africa is needed as the virus continues to evolve, particularly in the low vaccination landscape. These investments are very crucial for preparedness and response for future pathogen outbreaks.

8.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.04.01.486719

ABSTRACT

Memory B-cell and antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein contribute to long-term immune protection against severe COVID-19, which can also be prevented by antibody-based interventions. Here, wide SARS-CoV-2 immunoprofiling in COVID-19 convalescents combining serological, cellular and monoclonal antibody explorations, revealed humoral immunity coordination. Detailed characterization of a hundred SARS-CoV-2 spike memory B-cell monoclonal antibodies uncovered diversity in their repertoire and antiviral functions. The latter were influenced by the targeted spike region with strong Fc-dependent effectors to the S2 subunit and potent neutralizers to the receptor binding domain. Amongst those, Cv2.1169 and Cv2.3194 antibodies cross-neutralized SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern including Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. Cv2.1169, isolated from a mucosa-derived IgA memory B cell, demonstrated potency boost as IgA dimers and therapeutic efficacy as IgG antibodies in animal models. Structural data provided mechanistic clues to Cv2.1169 potency and breadth. Thus, potent broadly neutralizing IgA antibodies elicited in mucosal tissues can stem SARS-CoV-2 infection, and Cv2.1169 and Cv2.3194 are prime candidates for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

9.
researchsquare; 2022.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-1502293.v1

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.

10.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.03.09.22272066

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant has been supplanted in many countries by the BA.2 sub-lineage. BA.2 differs from BA.1 by about 21 mutations in its spike. Human anti-spike monoclonalantibodies(mAbs)areusedforpreventionortreatmentofCOVID-19. However, the capacity of therapeutic mAbs to neutralize BA.1 and BA.2 remains poorly characterized. Here, we first compared the sensitivity of BA.1 and BA.2 to neutralization by 9 therapeutic mAbs. In contrast to BA.1, BA.2 was sensitive to Cilgavimab, partly inhibited by Imdevimab and resistant to Adintrevimab and Sotrovimab. Two combinations of mAbs, Ronapreve (Casirivimab + Imdevimab) and Evusheld (Cilgavimab + Tixagevimab), are indicated as a pre-exposure prophylaxis in immunocompromised persons at risk of severe disease. We analyzed sera from 29 such individuals, up to one month after administration of Ronapreve and/or Evusheld. After treatment, all individuals displayed elevated antibody levels in their sera and neutralized Delta with high titers. Ronapreve recipients did not neutralize BA.1 and weakly impaired BA.2. With Evusheld, neutralization of BA.1 and BA.2 was detected in 19 and 29 out of 29 patients, respectively. As compared to Delta, titers were more severely decreased against BA.1 (344-fold) than BA.2 (9-fold). We further report 4 breakthrough Omicron infections among the 29 participants. Therefore, BA.1 and BA.2 exhibit noticeable differences in their sensitivity to therapeutic mAbs. Anti-Omicron activity of Ronapreve, and to a lesser extent that of Evusheld, is reduced in patients sera, a phenomenon associated with decreased clinical efficacy.

11.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.01.07.475248

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 lineages are continuously evolving. As of December 2021, the AY.4.2 Delta sub-lineage represented 20 % of sequenced strains in UK and has been detected in dozens of countries. It has since then been supplanted by the Omicron variant. AY.4.2 displays three additional mutations (T95I, Y145H and A222V) in the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike when compared to the original Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and remains poorly characterized. Here, we analyzed the fusogenicity of the AY.4.2 spike and the sensitivity of an authentic AY.4.2 isolate to neutralizing antibodies. The AY.4.2 spike exhibited similar fusogenicity and binding to ACE2 than Delta. The sensitivity of infectious AY.4.2 to a panel of monoclonal neutralizing antibodies was similar to Delta, except for the anti-RBD Imdevimab, which showed incomplete neutralization. Sensitivity of AY.4.2 to sera from individuals having received two or three doses of Pfizer or two doses of AstraZeneca vaccines was reduced by 1.7 to 2.1 fold, when compared to Delta. Our results suggest that mutations in the NTD remotely impair the efficacy of anti-RBD antibodies. The temporary spread of AY.4.2 was not associated with major changes in spike function but rather to a partially reduced neutralization sensitivity.

12.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.21.473528

ABSTRACT

Memory B cells (MBCs) represent a second layer of immune protection against SARS-CoV-2. Whether MBCs elicited by mRNA vaccines can recognize the Omicron variant is of major concern. We used bio-layer interferometry to assess the affinity against the receptor-binding-domain (RBD) of Omicron spike of 313 naturally expressed monoclonal IgG that were previously tested for affinity and neutralization against VOC prior to Omicron. We report here that Omicron evades recognition from a larger fraction of these antibodies than any of the previous VOCs. Additionally, whereas 30% of these antibodies retained high affinity against Omicron-RBD, our analysis suggest that Omicron specifically evades antibodies displaying potent neutralizing activity against the D614G and Beta variant viruses. Further studies are warranted to understand the consequences of a lower memory B cell potency on the overall protection associated with current vaccines.

13.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-995033.v1

ABSTRACT

In spring 2021, an increasing number of infections was observed caused by the hitherto rarely described SARS-CoV-2 variant A.27 in south-west Germany. From December 2020 to June 2021 this lineage has been detected in 31 countries. Phylogeographic analyses of A.27 sequences obtained from national and international databases reveal a global spread of this lineage through multiple introductions from its inferred origin in Western Africa. Variant A.27 is characterized by a mutational pattern in the spike gene that includes the L18F, L452R and N501Y spike amino acid substitutions found in various variants of concern but lacks the globally dominant D614G. Neutralization assays demonstrated an escape of A.27 from convalescent and vaccine-elicited antibody-mediated immunity. Moreover, the therapeutic monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab and partially the REGN-COV2 cocktail failed to block infection by A.27. Our data emphasize the need for continued global monitoring of novel lineages because of the independent evolution of new escape mutations.

14.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.07.10.451880

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has infected almost 200 million humans and caused over 4 million deaths worldwide. Evaluating countermeasures and improving our understanding of COVID-19 pathophysiology require access to animal models that replicate the hallmarks of human disease. Mouse infection with SARS-CoV-2 is limited by poor affinity between the virus spike protein and its cellular receptor ACE2. We have developed by serial passages the MACo3 virus strain which efficiently replicates in the lungs of standard mouse strains and induces age-dependent lung lesions. Compared to other mouse-adapted strains and severe mouse models, infection with MACo3 results in mild to moderate disease and will be useful to investigate the role of host genetics and other factors modulating COVID-19 severity.

15.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.26.445838

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 lineage emerged in October 2020 in India. It has since then become dominant in some indian regions and further spread to many countries. The lineage includes three main subtypes (B1.617.1, B.1617.2 and B.1.617.3), which harbour diverse Spike mutations in the N-terminal domain (NTD) and the receptor binding domain (RBD) which may increase their immune evasion potential. B.1.617.2 is believed to spread faster than the other versions. Here, we isolated infectious B.1.617.2 from a traveller returning from India. We examined its sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and to antibodies present in sera from COVID-19 convalescent individuals or vaccine recipients, in comparison to other viral lineages. B.1.617.2 was resistant to neutralization by some anti-NTD and anti-RBD mAbs, including Bamlanivimab, which were impaired in binding to the B.1.617.2 Spike. Sera from convalescent patients collected up to 12 months post symptoms and from Pfizer Comirnaty vaccine recipients were 3 to 6 fold less potent against B.1.617.2, relative to B.1.1.7. Sera from individuals having received one dose of AstraZeneca Vaxzevria barely inhibited B.1.617.2. Thus, B.1.617.2 spread is associated with an escape to antibodies targeting non-RBD and RBD Spike epitopes.

16.
Eduan Wilkinson; Marta Giovanetti; Houriiyah Tegally; James E San; Richard Lessels; Diego Cuadros; Darren P Martin; Abdel-Rahman N Zekri; Abdoul Sangare; Abdoul Salam Ouedraogo; Abdul K Sesay; Adnene Hammami; Adrienne A Amuri; Ahmad Sayed; Ahmed Rebai; Aida Elargoubi; Alpha K Keita; Amadou A Sall; Amadou Kone; Amal Souissi; Ana V Gutierrez; Andrew Page; Arnold Lambisia; Arash Iranzadeh; Augustina Sylverken; Azeddine Ibrahimi; Bourema Kouriba; Bronwyn Kleinhans; Beatrice Dhaala; Cara Brook; Carolyn Williamson; Catherine B Pratt; Chantal G Akoua-Koffi; Charles Agoti; Collins M Moranga; James D Nokes; Daniel J Bridges; Daniel L Bugembe; Deelan Doolabh; Deogratius Ssemwanga; Derek Tshabuila; Diarra Bassirou; Dominic S.Y. Amuzu; Dominique Goedhals; Dorcas Maruapula; Edith N Ngabana; Eddy Lusamaki; Edidah Moraa; Elmostafa El Fahime; Emerald Jacob; Emmanuel Lokilo; Enatha Mukantwari; Essia Belarbi; Etienne Simon-Loriere; Etile A Anoh; Fabian Leendertz; Faida Ajili; Fares Wasfi; Faustinos T Takawira; Fawzi Derrar; Feriel Bouzid; Francisca M Muyembe; Frank Tanser; Gabriel Mbunsu; Gaetan Thilliez; Gert van Zyl; Grit Schubert; George Githinji; Gordon A Awandare; Haruka Abe; Hela H Karray; Hellen Nansumba; Hesham A Elgahzaly; Hlanai Gumbo; Ibtihel Smeti; Ikhlass B Ayed; Imed Gaaloul; Ilhem B.B. Boubaker; Inbal Gazy; Isaac Ssewanyana; Jean B Lekana-Douk; Jean-Claude C Makangara; Jean-Jacques M Tamfum; Jean M Heraud; Jeffrey G Shaffer; Jennifer Giandhari; Jingjing Li; Jiro Yasuda; Joana Q Mends; Jocelyn Kiconco; Jonathan A Edwards; John Morobe; John N Nkengasong; John Gyapong; John T Kayiwa; Jones Gyamfi; Jouali Farah; Joyce M Ngoi; Joyce Namulondo; Julia C Andeko; Julius J Lutwama; Justin O Grady; Kefenstse A Tumedi; Khadija Said; Kim Hae-Young; Kwabena O Duedu; Lahcen Belyamani; Lavanya Singh; Leonardo de O. Martins; Madisa Mine; Mahmoud el Hefnawi; Mahjoub Aouni; Maha Mastouri; Maitshwarelo I Matsheka; Malebogo Kebabonye; Manel Turki; Martin Nyaga; Matoke Damaris; Matthew Cotten; Maureen W Mburu; Maximillian Mpina; Michael R Wiley; Mohamed A Ali; Mohamed K Khalifa; Mohamed G Seadawy; Mouna Ouadghiri; Mulenga Mwenda; Mushal Allam; My V.T. Phan; Nabil Abid; Nadia Touil; Najla Kharrat; Nalia Ismael; Nedio Mabunda; Nei-yuan Hsiao; Nelson Silochi; Ngonda Saasa; Nicola Mulder; Patrice Combe; Patrick Semanda; Paul E Oluniyi; Paulo Arnaldo; Peter K Quashie; Reuben Ayivor-Djanie; Philip A Bester; Philippe Dussart; Placide K Mbala; Pontiano Kaleebu; Richard Njouom; Richmond Gorman; Robert A Kingsley; Rosina A.A. Carr; Saba Gargouri; Saber Masmoudi; Samar Kassim; Sameh Trabelsi; Sami Kammoun; Sanaa Lemriss; Sara H Agwa; Sebastien Calvignac-Spencer; Seydou Doumbia; Sheila M Madinda; Sherihane Aryeetey; Shymaa S Ahmed; Sikhulile Moyo; Simani Gaseitsiwe; Edgar Simulundu; Sonia Lekana-Douki; Soumeya Ouangraoua; Steve A Mundeke; Sumir Panji; Sureshnee Pillay; Susan Engelbrecht; Susan Nabadda; Sylvie Behillil; Sylvie van der Werf; Tarik Aanniz; Tapfumanei Mashe; Thabo Mohale; Thanh Le-Viet; Tobias Schindler; Upasana Ramphal; Magalutcheemee Ramuth; Vagner Fonseca; Vincent Enouf; Wael H Roshdy; William Ampofo; Wolfgang Preiser; Wonderful T Choga; Yaw Bediako; Yenew K. Tebeje; Yeshnee Naidoo; Zaydah de Laurent; Sofonias K Tessema; Tulio de Oliveira.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.12.21257080

ABSTRACT

The progression of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Africa has so far been heterogeneous and the full impact is not yet well understood. Here, we describe the genomic epidemiology using a dataset of 8746 genomes from 33 African countries and two overseas territories. We show that the epidemics in most countries were initiated by importations, predominantly from Europe, which diminished following the early introduction of international travel restrictions. As the pandemic progressed, ongoing transmission in many countries and increasing mobility led to the emergence and spread within the continent of many variants of concern and interest, such as B.1.351, B.1.525, A.23.1 and C.1.1. Although distorted by low sampling numbers and blind-spots, the findings highlight that Africa must not be left behind in the global pandemic response, otherwise it could become a breeding ground for new variants.

17.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.05.21256690

ABSTRACT

Background: In early January 2021, an outbreak of nosocomial cases of COVID 19 emerged in Western France, with RT PCR tests repeatedly negative on nasopharyngeal samples but positive on lower respiratory tract samples. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) revealed a new variant, currently defining a novel SARS CoV 2 lineage: B.1.616. In March, WHO classified this variant as "under investigation" (VUI). We analyzed the characteristics and outcomes of COVID 19 cases related to this new variant. Methods: Clinical, virological, and radiological data were retrospectively collected from medical charts in the two hospitals involved. We enrolled patients with at least one of the following: i) positive SARS CoV 2 RT PCR on a respiratory sample; ii) seroconversion with anti SARS CoV 2 IgG/IgM; iii) suggestive symptoms and typical features of COVID 19 on chest CT scan. Cases were categorized as either: i) B.1.616; ii) variant of concern (VOC); iii) unknown. Findings: From January 1st to March 24th, 2021, 114 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria: B.1.616 (n=34), VOC (n=32), and unknown (n=48). B.1.616 related cases were older than VOC related cases (81 years [73-88], vs 73 years [67-82], P<0.05) and their first RT PCR tests were less often positive (5/34, 15% vs 31/32, 97%, P<0.05). The B.1.616 variant was independently associated with severe disease (multivariable Cox model HR 4.2 [1.3 , 13.5], P=0.018), and increased lethality (logrank test P=0.01): 28day mortality 15/34 (44%) with B.1.616, vs. 5/32 (16%) for VOC, P=0.036. Interpretation: We report a nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 cases related to a new variant, B.1.616, poorly detected by RT PCR on nasopharyngeal samples, with high lethality.

18.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.03.18.436013

ABSTRACT

Receptor recognition is a major determinant of viral host range, as well as infectivity and pathogenesis. Emergences have been associated with serendipitous events of adaptation upon encounters with a novel host, and the high mutation rate of RNA viruses has been proposed to explain their frequent host shifts. SARS-CoV-2 extensive circulation in humans has been associated with the emergence of variants, including variants of concern (VOCs) with diverse mutations in the spike and increased transmissibility or immune escape. Here we show that unlike the initial virus, VOCs are able to infect common laboratory mice, replicating to high titers in the lungs. This host range expansion is explained in part by the acquisition of changes at key positions of the receptor binding domain that enable binding to the mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) cellular receptor, although differences between viral lineages suggest that other factors are involved in the capacity of SARS-CoV-2 VOCs to infect mice. This abrogation of the species barrier raises the possibility of wild rodent secondary reservoirs and provides new experimental models to study disease pathophysiology and countermeasures.

19.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.02.17.431630

ABSTRACT

In light of the expanding SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, developing efficient vaccines that can provide sufficient coverage for the world population is a global health priority. The measles virus (MV)-vectored vaccine is an attractive candidate given the measles vaccine's extensive safety history, well-established manufacturing process, and induction of strong, long-lasting immunity. We developed an MV-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine using either the full-length spike (S) or S2 subunit as the antigen. While the S2 antigen failed to induce neutralizing antibodies, the prefusion-stabilized, full-length S (MV-ATU2-SF-2P-dER) construct proved to be an attractive vaccine candidate, eliciting strong Th1-dominant T-cell and neutralizing antibody responses against the S antigen while minimizing reactivity to the vector itself. Neutralizing antibody titers remained high three months after homologous prime-boost immunization, and infectious virus was undetectable in all animals after challenge with a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 virus.

20.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.02.12.430472

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants emerged respectively in United Kingdom and South Africa and spread in many countries. Here, we isolated infectious B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 strains and examined their sensitivity to anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies present in sera and nasal swabs, in comparison with a D614G reference virus. We established a novel rapid neutralization assay, based on reporter cells that become GFP+ after overnight infection. B.1.1.7 was neutralized by 79/83 sera from convalescent patients collected up to 9 months post symptoms, almost similar to D614G. There was a mean 6-fold reduction in titers and even loss of activity against B.1.351 in 40% of convalescent sera after 9 months. Early sera from 19 vaccinated individuals were almost as potent against B.1.1.7 but less efficacious against B.1.351, when compared to D614G. Nasal swabs from vaccine recipients were not neutralizing, except in individuals who were diagnosed COVID-19+ before vaccination. Thus, faster-spreading variants acquired a partial resistance to humoral immunity generated by natural infection or vaccination, mostly visible in individuals with low antibody levels.

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