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3.
Cell Rep ; 40(7): 111220, 2022 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966425

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike N-terminal domain (NTD) remains poorly characterized despite enrichment of mutations in this region across variants of concern (VOCs). Here, we examine the contribution of the NTD to infection and cell-cell fusion by constructing chimeric spikes bearing B.1.617 lineage (Delta and Kappa variants) NTDs and generating spike pseudotyped lentivirus. We find that the Delta NTD on a Kappa or wild-type (WT) background increases S1/S2 cleavage efficiency and virus entry, specifically in lung cells and airway organoids, through use of TMPRSS2. Delta exhibits increased cell-cell fusogenicity that could be conferred to WT and Kappa spikes by Delta NTD transfer. However, chimeras of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 spikes with a Delta NTD do not show more efficient TMPRSS2 use or fusogenicity. We conclude that the NTD allosterically modulates S1/S2 cleavage and spike-mediated functions in a spike context-dependent manner, and allosteric interactions may be lost when combining regions from more distantly related VOCs.

4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 10492, 2022 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900659

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough infections with SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant have been reported in doubly-vaccinated recipients and as re-infections. Studies of viral spread within hospital settings have highlighted the potential for transmission between doubly-vaccinated patients and health care workers and have highlighted the benefits of high-grade respiratory protection for health care workers. However the extent to which vaccination is preventative of viral spread in health care settings is less well studied. Here, we analysed data from 118 vaccinated health care workers (HCW) across two hospitals in India, constructing two probable transmission networks involving six HCWs in Hospital A and eight HCWs in Hospital B from epidemiological and virus genome sequence data, using a suite of computational approaches. A maximum likelihood reconstruction of transmission involving known cases of infection suggests a high probability that doubly vaccinated HCWs transmitted SARS-CoV-2 between each other and highlights potential cases of virus transmission between individuals who had received two doses of vaccine. Our findings show firstly that vaccination may reduce rates of transmission, supporting the need for ongoing infection control measures even in highly vaccinated populations, and secondly we have described a novel approach to identifying transmissions that is scalable and rapid, without the need for an infection control infrastructure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
5.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263328, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883630

ABSTRACT

Patients on dialysis are at risk of severe course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Understanding the neutralizing activity and coverage of SARS-CoV-2 variants of vaccine-elicited antibodies is required to guide prophylactic and therapeutic COVID-19 interventions in this frail population. By analyzing plasma samples from 130 hemodialysis and 13 peritoneal dialysis patients after two doses of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccines, we found that 35% of the patients had low-level or undetectable IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S). Neutralizing antibodies against the vaccine-matched SARS-CoV-2 and Delta variant were low or undetectable in 49% and 77% of patients, respectively, and were further reduced against other emerging variants. The fraction of non-responding patients was higher in SARS-CoV-2-naïve hemodialysis patients immunized with BNT162b2 (66%) than those immunized with mRNA-1273 (23%). The reduced neutralizing activity correlated with low antibody avidity. Patients followed up to 7 months after vaccination showed a rapid decay of the antibody response with an average 21- and 10-fold reduction of neutralizing antibodies to vaccine-matched SARS-CoV-2 and Delta variant, which increased the fraction of non-responders to 84% and 90%, respectively. These data indicate that dialysis patients should be prioritized for additional vaccination boosts. Nevertheless, their antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 must be continuously monitored to adopt the best prophylactic and therapeutic strategy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Neutralization Tests , Renal Dialysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibody Affinity , CHO Cells , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cricetulus , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Follow-Up Studies , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Risk Factors , /immunology
7.
Mol Biol Evol ; 39(4)2022 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758789

ABSTRACT

Among the 30 nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions in the Omicron S-gene are 13 that have only rarely been seen in other SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These mutations cluster within three functionally important regions of the S-gene at sites that will likely impact (1) interactions between subunits of the Spike trimer and the predisposition of subunits to shift from down to up configurations, (2) interactions of Spike with ACE2 receptors, and (3) the priming of Spike for membrane fusion. We show here that, based on both the rarity of these 13 mutations in intrapatient sequencing reads and patterns of selection at the codon sites where the mutations occur in SARS-CoV-2 and related sarbecoviruses, prior to the emergence of Omicron the mutations would have been predicted to decrease the fitness of any virus within which they occurred. We further propose that the mutations in each of the three clusters therefore cooperatively interact to both mitigate their individual fitness costs, and, in combination with other mutations, adaptively alter the function of Spike. Given the evident epidemic growth advantages of Omicron overall previously known SARS-CoV-2 lineages, it is crucial to determine both how such complex and highly adaptive mutation constellations were assembled within the Omicron S-gene, and why, despite unprecedented global genomic surveillance efforts, the early stages of this assembly process went completely undetected.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Cell Rep ; 38(7): 110393, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719435

ABSTRACT

B cells are important in immunity to both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and vaccination, but B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire development in these contexts has not been compared. We analyze serial samples from 171 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals and 63 vaccine recipients and find the global BCR repertoire differs between them. Following infection, immunoglobulin (Ig)G1/3 and IgA1 BCRs increase, somatic hypermutation (SHM) decreases, and, in severe disease, IgM and IgA clones are expanded. In contrast, after vaccination, the proportion of IgD/M BCRs increase, SHM is unchanged, and expansion of IgG clones is prominent. VH1-24, which targets the N-terminal domain (NTD) and contributes to neutralization, is expanded post infection except in the most severe disease. Infection generates a broad distribution of SARS-CoV-2-specific clones predicted to target the spike protein, while a more focused response after vaccination mainly targets the spike's receptor-binding domain. Thus, the nature of SARS-CoV-2 exposure differentially affects BCR repertoire development, potentially informing vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , Vaccination , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Clonal Evolution , Humans , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/genetics , Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains/immunology , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/genetics , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/genetics , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/immunology , Kinetics , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Somatic Hypermutation, Immunoglobulin/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
10.
iScience ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1695175

ABSTRACT

Clotting Factor V (FV) is primarily synthesised in the liver and when cleaved by thrombin forms pro-coagulant Factor Va (FVa). Using whole blood RNAseq and scRNAseq of peripheral blood mononuclear cells we find that FV mRNA is expressed in leukocytes, and identify neutrophils, monocytes and T regulatory cells as sources of increased FV in hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Proteomic analysis confirms increased FV in circulating neutrophils in severe COVID-19, and immunofluorescence microscopy identifies FV in lung-infiltrating leukocytes in COVID-19 lung disease. Increased leukocyte FV expression in severe disease correlates with T cell lymphopenia. Both plasma-derived and a cleavage resistant recombinant FV, but not thrombin cleaved FVa, suppress T cell proliferation in vitro. Anticoagulants that reduce FV conversion to FVa, including heparin, may have the unintended consequence of suppressing the adaptive immune system. Graphical

11.
iScience ; 25(3): 103971, 2022 Mar 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699877

ABSTRACT

Clotting Factor V (FV) is primarily synthesized in the liver and when cleaved by thrombin forms pro-coagulant Factor Va (FVa). Using whole blood RNAseq and scRNAseq of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we find that FV mRNA is expressed in leukocytes, and identify neutrophils, monocytes, and T regulatory cells as sources of increased FV in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Proteomic analysis confirms increased FV in circulating neutrophils in severe COVID-19, and immunofluorescence microscopy identifies FV in lung-infiltrating leukocytes in COVID-19 lung disease. Increased leukocyte FV expression in severe disease correlates with T-cell lymphopenia. Both plasma-derived and a cleavage resistant recombinant FV, but not thrombin cleaved FVa, suppress T-cell proliferation in vitro. Anticoagulants that reduce FV conversion to FVa, including heparin, may have the unintended consequence of suppressing the adaptive immune system.

12.
Cell reports ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1661209

ABSTRACT

Kotagiri et al. find that SARS-CoV-2 infection versus vaccination induces distinct changes in the B cell receptor repertoire, including prominent clonal expansion in IgA and IgM after infection, but IgG after vaccination. A broad anti-spike response to infection contrasts with a narrower RBD-focused one after vaccination, potentially informing vaccination strategies.

13.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1511(1): 59-86, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625044

ABSTRACT

The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines was the result of decades of research to establish flexible vaccine platforms and understand pathogens with pandemic potential, as well as several novel changes to the vaccine discovery and development processes that partnered industry and governments. And while vaccines offer the potential to drastically improve global health, low-and-middle-income countries around the world often experience reduced access to vaccines and reduced vaccine efficacy. Addressing these issues will require novel vaccine approaches and platforms, deeper insight how vaccines mediate protection, and innovative trial designs and models. On June 28-30, 2021, experts in vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and deployment met virtually for the Keystone eSymposium "Innovative Vaccine Approaches" to discuss advances in vaccine research and development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Vaccines/therapeutic use
14.
Science ; 374(6570): 995-999, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526449

ABSTRACT

Delhi, the national capital of India, experienced multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks in 2020 and reached population seropositivity of >50% by 2021. During April 2021, the city became overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and fatalities, as a new variant, B.1.617.2 (Delta), replaced B.1.1.7 (Alpha). A Bayesian model explains the growth advantage of Delta through a combination of increased transmissibility and reduced sensitivity to immune responses generated against earlier variants (median estimates: 1.5-fold greater transmissibility and 20% reduction in sensitivity). Seropositivity of an employee and family cohort increased from 42% to 87.5% between March and July 2021, with 27% reinfections, as judged by increased antibody concentration after a previous decline. The likely high transmissibility and partial evasion of immunity by the Delta variant contributed to an overwhelming surge in Delhi.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Humans , Immune Evasion , India/epidemiology , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , Reinfection , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
15.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 56, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450988

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission occurs via airborne droplets and surface contamination. Titanium dioxide (TiO 2) coating of surfaces is a promising infection control measure, though to date has not been tested against SARS-CoV-2. Methods: Virus stability was evaluated on TiO 2- and TiO 2-Ag (Ti:Ag atomic ratio 1:0.04)-coated 45 x 45 mm ceramic tiles. After coating the tiles were stored for 2-4 months before use. We tested the stability of both SARS-CoV-2 Spike pseudotyped virions based on a lentiviral system, as well as fully infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus. For the former, tile surfaces were inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped HIV-1 luciferase virus. At intervals virus was recovered from surfaces and target cells infected. For live virus,  after illuminating tiles for 0-300 min virus was recovered from surfaces followed by infection of Vero E6 cells. % of infected cells was determined by flow cytometry detecting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein 24 h post-infection. Results: After 1 h illumination the pseudotyped viral titre was decreased by four orders of magnitude. There was no significant difference between the TiO 2 and TiO 2-Ag coatings. Light alone had no significant effect on viral viability. For live SARS-CoV-2, virus was already significantly inactivated on the TiO 2 surfaces after 20 min illumination. After 5 h no detectable active virus remained. Significantly, SARS-CoV-2 on the untreated surface was still fully infectious at 5 h post-addition of virus. Overall, tiles coated with TiO 2 120 days previously were able to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 under ambient indoor lighting with 87% reduction in titres at 1h and complete loss by 5h exposure. Conclusions: In the context of emerging viral variants with increased transmissibility, TiO 2 coatings could be an important tool in containing SARS-CoV-2, particularly in health care facilities where nosocomial infection rates are high.

16.
Nat Rev Genet ; 22(12): 757-773, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428829

ABSTRACT

The past several months have witnessed the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with novel spike protein mutations that are influencing the epidemiological and clinical aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These variants can increase rates of virus transmission and/or increase the risk of reinfection and reduce the protection afforded by neutralizing monoclonal antibodies and vaccination. These variants can therefore enable SARS-CoV-2 to continue its spread in the face of rising population immunity while maintaining or increasing its replication fitness. The identification of four rapidly expanding virus lineages since December 2020, designated variants of concern, has ushered in a new stage of the pandemic. The four variants of concern, the Alpha variant (originally identified in the UK), the Beta variant (originally identified in South Africa), the Gamma variant (originally identified in Brazil) and the Delta variant (originally identified in India), share several mutations with one another as well as with an increasing number of other recently identified SARS-CoV-2 variants. Collectively, these SARS-CoV-2 variants complicate the COVID-19 research agenda and necessitate additional avenues of laboratory, epidemiological and clinical research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Biological Evolution , COVID-19/epidemiology , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 989-994, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429251

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 variant emerged in the Indian state of Maharashtra in late 2020. There have been fears that 2 key mutations seen in the receptor-binding domain, L452R and E484Q, would have additive effects on evasion of neutralizing antibodies. We report that spike bearing L452R and E484Q confers modestly reduced sensitivity to BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies following either first or second dose. The effect is similar in magnitude to the loss of sensitivity conferred by L452R or E484Q alone. These data demonstrate reduced sensitivity to vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies by L452R and E484Q but lack of synergistic loss of sensitivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immune Evasion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , India , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
18.
Cell ; 184(20): 5189-5200.e7, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401295

ABSTRACT

The independent emergence late in 2020 of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 lineages of SARS-CoV-2 prompted renewed concerns about the evolutionary capacity of this virus to overcome public health interventions and rising population immunity. Here, by examining patterns of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations that have accumulated in SARS-CoV-2 genomes since the pandemic began, we find that the emergence of these three "501Y lineages" coincided with a major global shift in the selective forces acting on various SARS-CoV-2 genes. Following their emergence, the adaptive evolution of 501Y lineage viruses has involved repeated selectively favored convergent mutations at 35 genome sites, mutations we refer to as the 501Y meta-signature. The ongoing convergence of viruses in many other lineages on this meta-signature suggests that it includes multiple mutation combinations capable of promoting the persistence of diverse SARS-CoV-2 lineages in the face of mounting host immune recognition.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Mutation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Codon/genetics , Genes, Viral , Genetic Drift , Host Adaptation/genetics , Humans , Immune Evasion , Phylogeny , Public Health
19.
Nature ; 592(7853): 277-282, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387425

ABSTRACT

The spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for virus infection through the engagement of the human ACE2 protein1 and is a major antibody target. Here we show that chronic infection with SARS-CoV-2 leads to viral evolution and reduced sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies in an immunosuppressed individual treated with convalescent plasma, by generating whole-genome ultra-deep sequences for 23 time points that span 101 days and using in vitro techniques to characterize the mutations revealed by sequencing. There was little change in the overall structure of the viral population after two courses of remdesivir during the first 57 days. However, after convalescent plasma therapy, we observed large, dynamic shifts in the viral population, with the emergence of a dominant viral strain that contained a substitution (D796H) in the S2 subunit and a deletion (ΔH69/ΔV70) in the S1 N-terminal domain of the spike protein. As passively transferred serum antibodies diminished, viruses with the escape genotype were reduced in frequency, before returning during a final, unsuccessful course of convalescent plasma treatment. In vitro, the spike double mutant bearing both ΔH69/ΔV70 and D796H conferred modestly decreased sensitivity to convalescent plasma, while maintaining infectivity levels that were similar to the wild-type virus.The spike substitution mutant D796H appeared to be the main contributor to the decreased susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies, but this mutation resulted in an infectivity defect. The spike deletion mutant ΔH69/ΔV70 had a twofold higher level of infectivity than wild-type SARS-CoV-2, possibly compensating for the reduced infectivity of the D796H mutation. These data reveal strong selection on SARS-CoV-2 during convalescent plasma therapy, which is associated with the emergence of viral variants that show evidence of reduced susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies in immunosuppressed individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Mutagenesis/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Chronic Disease , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Immune Evasion/drug effects , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immune Tolerance/drug effects , Immune Tolerance/immunology , Immunization, Passive , Immunosuppression Therapy , Male , Mutant Proteins/chemistry , Mutant Proteins/genetics , Mutant Proteins/immunology , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Shedding
20.
Nat Rev Immunol ; 21(6): 405, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387412
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