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2.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(Suppl 1):S251-S252, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601844

ABSTRACT

Background Post COVID Syndrome (PCS) is significant morbidity following COVID-19. This study aims to identify biomarkers that predict PCS in a Gulf Coast cohort known for poor health outcomes. Methods Since March 2020 the study Collection of Serum and Secretions for SARS CoV-2 Countermeasure Development (aka ClinSeqSer) has been enrolling subjects with confirmed acute COVID-19, with initial visit at 1 month and follow up every three months from symptom onset. At follow-up, subjects complete symptom questionnaire, physical examination, nasopharyngeal swab/saliva collection, blood draw. Subjects with >= one symptom new since COVID are PCS, remainder are Non-PCS experienced at initial one month visit and six months or longer. Univariate and bivariate analysis was carried out to study significant associations of currently available dataset (N=60). Figure 1. Post-COVID Symptoms Included if “new since covid”. For 60 subjects consented post-covid with completed questionnaire, results were analyzed. Most common symptoms reported were fatigue/tiredness or exhaustion (52%), muscle aches (38%), difficulty concentrating (33%) and headache (32%) as the most common symptoms during one month prior to their initial follow-up visit. The persistent symptoms experienced for six months or longer were fatigue/tiredness or exhaustion (25%), forgetfulness (22%), muscle aches (18%), and sleep difficulties (18%). Results Cohort is 36 (60%) female, 24 (40%) male, age group of 49 (82%) 18-64 years, 11 (18%) 65+ years, 33 (55%) African American, 27 (45%) Caucasian. Median follow-up time after symptom onset: 290 days. Study cohort reported fatigue (52%), myalgias (38%), difficulty concentrating (33%), headache (32%) as most common symptoms during first month from initial symptom onset. Persistent symptoms ( >=6 months) are fatigue (25%), forgetfulness (22%), myalgias (18%), sleep difficulties (18%). Bivariate analysis shows that gender (female, P=0.04), past stroke/transient ischemic attack (P=0.04), deep venous thrombosis (P=0.02), abnormal kidney function (P=0.01) associate with PCS. Convalescent antibodies (ReSARS N IgG, S-RBD IgG) were measured and percentage inhibition of ACE2 spike interaction was recorded. Plasma inflammatory protein levels were measured using multiplex ELISA and Proximity Extension Assay technology during follow-up visit. Increased antibody ReSARS N IgG (2.91, 0.74-10.93;P=0.02) response and higher convalescent IL-10 (P=0.04) was associated with PCS. Percent inhibition of ACE2: spike interaction was not associated (P=0.79) with PCS. Nasal swab/saliva SARS-COV-2 sequencing has not identified a specific SARS-CoV-2 virus mutation predictive of PCS. Table 1. Demographic and Clinical Characteristics The bivariate analysis results showed that the gender (female, P=0.0354), history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (P=0.0382), chest pain from narrow heart vessels (P=0.0479), deep venous thrombosis (P=0.0241) and abnormal kidney function (P=0.0142) were associated with Post-COVID syndrome. Table 2. Antibodies and ACE2 spike inhibition. The convalescent antibodies, ReSARS N IgG and S-RBD IgG were measured in U/mL and percentage inhibition of ACE2 spike interaction was recorded during follow-up visit for PCS vs Non-PCS subjects. The increased antibody ReSARS N IgG (2.91, 0.74-10.93;P=0.0159) response was associated with Post-COVID syndrome. Percent inhibition of ACE2: spike interaction was not associated (P=0.7932) with PCS. Table 3. Plasma inflammatory protein levels. Plasma inflammatory protein levels were measured using multiplex ELISA (MSD) and Proximity Extension Assay technology (Olink) recorded during follow-up visit for PCS vs Non-PCS subjects, revealing IL-10 (P=0.0379) was associated with development of PCS. Conclusion This study identifies initial clinical and biomarker predictors of PCS in a cohort that is 55% African American. Figure 2. Antibody ReSARS N IgG ReSARS N IgG measured in post-covid patients is significantly associated with post-COVID syndrome(P=0.01 9). X axis: number of months from symptom onset to blood draw. Y axis: N IgG U/mL. Figure 3. Spike amino acid mutations Spike amino acid mutations detected in SARS-CoV-2 from acute-phase respiratory isolates. Nasal swab/saliva samples were collected from subjects with acute COVID-19 at time of enrollment into ClinSeqSer, stored at -80°C followed by RNA isolation and SARS-CoV-2 qRT-PCR. Samples with Ct value of ≤30 were then sequenced using NextSeq (Illumina). All sequences are deposited on GISAID and under BioProject (ID PRJNA681020). X axis: subject ID, with ID number increasing chronologically. Y axis: amino acid position of each mutation moving from N- to C-terminus. Disclosures Robert Garry, PhD, Zalgen Labs (Shareholder)

4.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551629

ABSTRACT

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have experienced lower COVID-19 caseloads and fewer deaths than countries in other regions worldwide. Under-reporting of cases and a younger population could partly account for these differences, but pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses is another potential factor. Blood samples from Sierra Leonean Lassa fever and Ebola survivors and their contacts collected before the first reported COVID-19 cases were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the presence of antibodies binding to proteins of coronaviruses that infect humans. Results were compared to COVID-19 subjects and healthy blood donors from the United States. Prior to the pandemic, Sierra Leoneans had more frequent exposures than Americans to coronaviruses with epitopes that cross-react with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The percentage of Sierra Leoneans with antibodies reacting to seasonal coronaviruses was also higher than for American blood donors. Serological responses to coronaviruses by Sierra Leoneans did not differ by age or sex. Approximately a quarter of Sierra Leonian pre-pandemic blood samples had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, while about a third neutralized MERS-CoV pseudovirus. Prior exposures to coronaviruses that induce cross-protective immunity may contribute to reduced COVID-19 cases and deaths in Sierra Leone.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Distribution , Alphacoronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Protection , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sierra Leone , United States
5.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524180

ABSTRACT

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have experienced lower COVID-19 caseloads and fewer deaths than countries in other regions worldwide. Under-reporting of cases and a younger population could partly account for these differences, but pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses is another potential factor. Blood samples from Sierra Leonean Lassa fever and Ebola survivors and their contacts collected before the first reported COVID-19 cases were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the presence of antibodies binding to proteins of coronaviruses that infect humans. Results were compared to COVID-19 subjects and healthy blood donors from the United States. Prior to the pandemic, Sierra Leoneans had more frequent exposures than Americans to coronaviruses with epitopes that cross-react with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The percentage of Sierra Leoneans with antibodies reacting to seasonal coronaviruses was also higher than for American blood donors. Serological responses to coronaviruses by Sierra Leoneans did not differ by age or sex. Approximately a quarter of Sierra Leonian pre-pandemic blood samples had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, while about a third neutralized MERS-CoV pseudovirus. Prior exposures to coronaviruses that induce cross-protective immunity may contribute to reduced COVID-19 cases and deaths in Sierra Leone.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Distribution , Alphacoronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Protection , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sierra Leone , United States
7.
J Mol Diagn ; 23(9): 1078-1084, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386076

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is highly contagious and has caused significant medical/socioeconomic impacts. Other than vaccination, effective public health measures, including contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine, is critical for deterring viral transmission, preventing infection progression and resuming normal activities. Viral transmission is affected by many factors, but the viral load and vitality could be among the most important ones. Although in vitro studies have indicated that the amount of virus isolated from infected individuals affects the successful rate of virus isolation, whether the viral load carried at the individual level would determine the transmissibility was unknown. We examined whether the cycle threshold (Ct) value, a measurement of viral load by RT-PCR assay, could differentiate the spreaders from the non-spreaders in a population of college students. Our results indicate that while at the population level the Ct value is lower, suggesting a higher viral load, in the symptomatic spreaders than that in the asymptomatic non-spreaders, there is a significant overlap in the Ct values between the two groups. Thus, Ct value, or the viral load, at the individual level could not predict the transmissibility. Instead, a sensitive method to detect the presence of virus is needed to identify asymptomatic individuals who may carry a low viral load but can still be infectious.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Universities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/virology , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Louisiana/epidemiology , Male , Nasopharynx/virology , Public Health , Quarantine , Retrospective Studies , Students/statistics & numerical data , Viral Load , Young Adult
8.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376992

ABSTRACT

While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa virus/physiology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/methods , Humans , Lassa Fever/genetics , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/virology , Lassa virus/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/immunology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology
9.
Cell ; 184(19): 4848-4856, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363914

ABSTRACT

Since the first reports of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, there has been intense interest in understanding how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in the human population. Recent debate has coalesced around two competing ideas: a "laboratory escape" scenario and zoonotic emergence. Here, we critically review the current scientific evidence that may help clarify the origin of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Biological Evolution , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Laboratories , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Zoonoses/virology
10.
J Mol Diagn ; 23(9): 1078-1084, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349527

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is highly contagious and has caused significant medical/socioeconomic impacts. Other than vaccination, effective public health measures, including contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine, is critical for deterring viral transmission, preventing infection progression and resuming normal activities. Viral transmission is affected by many factors, but the viral load and vitality could be among the most important ones. Although in vitro studies have indicated that the amount of virus isolated from infected individuals affects the successful rate of virus isolation, whether the viral load carried at the individual level would determine the transmissibility was unknown. We examined whether the cycle threshold (Ct) value, a measurement of viral load by RT-PCR assay, could differentiate the spreaders from the non-spreaders in a population of college students. Our results indicate that while at the population level the Ct value is lower, suggesting a higher viral load, in the symptomatic spreaders than that in the asymptomatic non-spreaders, there is a significant overlap in the Ct values between the two groups. Thus, Ct value, or the viral load, at the individual level could not predict the transmissibility. Instead, a sensitive method to detect the presence of virus is needed to identify asymptomatic individuals who may carry a low viral load but can still be infectious.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Universities/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/virology , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Louisiana/epidemiology , Male , Nasopharynx/virology , Public Health , Quarantine , Retrospective Studies , Students/statistics & numerical data , Viral Load , Young Adult
11.
Cell ; 184(19): 4939-4952.e15, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330684

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States (U.S.) went largely undetected due to inadequate testing. New Orleans experienced one of the earliest and fastest accelerating outbreaks, coinciding with Mardi Gras. To gain insight into the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S. and how large-scale events accelerate transmission, we sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in Louisiana. We show that SARS-CoV-2 in Louisiana had limited diversity compared to other U.S. states and that one introduction of SARS-CoV-2 led to almost all of the early transmission in Louisiana. By analyzing mobility and genomic data, we show that SARS-CoV-2 was already present in New Orleans before Mardi Gras, and the festival dramatically accelerated transmission. Our study provides an understanding of how superspreading during large-scale events played a key role during the early outbreak in the U.S. and can greatly accelerate epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/transmission , Databases as Topic , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Louisiana/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Texas , Travel , United States/epidemiology
12.
J Virol ; 94(23)2020 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-774840

ABSTRACT

Numerous peptides inhibit the entry of enveloped viruses into cells. Some of these peptides have been shown to inhibit multiple unrelated viruses. We have suggested that such broad-spectrum antiviral peptides share a property called interfacial activity; they are somewhat hydrophobic and amphipathic, with a propensity to interact with the interfacial zones of lipid bilayer membranes. In this study, we further tested the hypothesis that such interfacial activity is a correlate of broad-spectrum antiviral activity. In this study, several families of peptides, selected for the ability to partition into and disrupt membrane integrity but with no known antiviral activity, were tested for the ability to inhibit multiple diverse enveloped viruses. These include Lassa pseudovirus, influenza virus, dengue virus type 2, herpes simplex virus 1, and nonenveloped human adenovirus 5. Various families of interfacially active peptides caused potent inhibition of all enveloped viruses tested at low and submicromolar concentrations, well below the range in which they are toxic to mammalian cells. These membrane-active peptides block uptake and fusion with the host cell by rapidly and directly interacting with virions, destabilizing the viral envelope, and driving virus aggregation and/or intervirion envelope fusion. We speculate that the molecular characteristics shared by these peptides can be exploited to enable the design, optimization, or molecular evolution of novel broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics.IMPORTANCE New classes of antiviral drugs are needed to treat the ever-changing viral disease landscape. Current antiviral drugs treat only a small number of viral diseases, leaving many patients with established or emerging infections to be treated solely with supportive care. Recent antiviral peptide research has produced numerous membrane-interacting peptides that inhibit diverse enveloped viruses in vitro and in vivo Peptide therapeutics are becoming more common, with over 60 FDA-approved peptides for clinical use. Included in this class of therapeutics is enfuvirtide, a 36-residue peptide drug that inhibits HIV entry/fusion. Due to their broad-spectrum mechanism of action and enormous potential sequence diversity, peptides that inhibit virus entry could potentially fulfill the need for new antiviral therapeutics; however, a better understanding of their mechanism is needed for the optimization or evolution of sequence design to combat the wide landscape of viral disease.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Viruses/drug effects , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dogs , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Orthomyxoviridae , Vero Cells , Viral Envelope , Virus Diseases/drug therapy
13.
Nature ; 596(7873): 495-504, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301175

ABSTRACT

There is a realistic expectation that the global effort in vaccination will bring the pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) under control. Nonetheless, uncertainties remain about the type of long-term association that the virus will establish with the human population and, in particular, whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will become an endemic disease. Although the trajectory is difficult to predict, the conditions, concepts and variables that influence this transition can be anticipated. Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 as an endemic virus, perhaps with seasonal epidemic peaks, may be fuelled by pockets of susceptible individuals and waning immunity after infection or vaccination, changes in the virus through antigenic drift that diminish protection and re-entries from zoonotic reservoirs. Here we review relevant observations from previous epidemics and discuss the potential evolution of SARS-CoV-2 as it adapts during persistent transmission in the presence of a level of population immunity. Lack of effective surveillance or adequate response could enable the emergence of new epidemic or pandemic patterns from an endemic infection of SARS-CoV-2. There are key pieces of data that are urgently needed in order to make good decisions; we outline these and propose a way forward.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization Programs , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Time Factors
14.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289015

ABSTRACT

A 59-year-old male with follicular lymphoma treated by anti-CD20-mediated B-cell depletion and ablative chemotherapy was hospitalized with a COVID-19 infection. Although the patient did not develop specific humoral immunity, he had a mild clinical course overall. The failure of all therapeutic options allowed infection to persist nearly 300 days with active accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations. As a rescue therapy, an infusion of REGEN-COV (10933 and 10987) anti-spike monoclonal antibodies was performed 270 days from initial diagnosis. Due to partial clearance after the first dose (2.4 g), a consolidation dose (8 g) was infused six weeks later. Complete virus clearance could then be observed over the following month, after he was vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech anti-COVID-19 vaccination. The successful management of this patient required prolonged enhanced quarantine, monitoring of virus mutations, pioneering clinical decisions based upon close consultation, and the coordination of multidisciplinary experts in virology, immunology, pharmacology, input from REGN, the FDA, the IRB, the health care team, the patient, and the patient's family. Current decisions to take revolve around patient's follicular lymphoma management, and monitoring for virus clearance persistence beyond disappearance of REGEN-COV monoclonal antibodies after anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Overall, specific guidelines for similar cases should be established.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Lymphocyte Depletion , Lymphoma, Follicular/drug therapy , Lymphoma, Follicular/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology
15.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(9)2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610769

ABSTRACT

We aerosolized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and determined that its dynamic aerosol efficiency surpassed those of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Although we performed experiment only once across several laboratories, our findings suggest retained infectivity and virion integrity for up to 16 hours in respirable-sized aerosols.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Suspensions/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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