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1.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786092

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to disrupt essential health services in 90 percent of countries today. The spike (S) protein found on the surface of the causative agent, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has been the prime target for current vaccine research since antibodies directed against the S protein were found to neutralize the virus. However, as new variants emerge, mutations within the spike protein have given rise to potential immune evasion of the response generated by the current generation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. In this study, a modified, HexaPro S protein subunit vaccine, delivered using a needle-free high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP), was investigated for its immunogenicity and virus-neutralizing abilities. Mice given two doses of the vaccine candidate generated potent antibody responses capable of neutralizing the parental SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as the variants of concern, Alpha and Delta. These results demonstrate that this alternative vaccination strategy has the potential to mitigate the effect of emerging viral variants.

2.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(7): e1009723, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295527

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 uses the human ACE2 (hACE2) receptor for cell attachment and entry, with mouse ACE2 (mACE2) unable to support infection. Herein we describe an ACE2-lentivirus system and illustrate its utility for in vitro and in vivo SARS-CoV-2 infection models. Transduction of non-permissive cell lines with hACE2 imparted replication competence, and transduction with mACE2 containing N30D, N31K, F83Y and H353K substitutions, to match hACE2, rescued SARS-CoV-2 replication. Intrapulmonary hACE2-lentivirus transduction of C57BL/6J mice permitted significant virus replication in lung epithelium. RNA-Seq and histological analyses illustrated that this model involved an acute inflammatory disease followed by resolution and tissue repair, with a transcriptomic profile similar to that seen in COVID-19 patients. hACE2-lentivirus transduction of IFNAR-/- and IL-28RA-/- mouse lungs was used to illustrate that loss of type I or III interferon responses have no significant effect on virus replication. However, their importance in driving inflammatory responses was illustrated by RNA-Seq analyses. We also demonstrate the utility of the hACE2-lentivirus transduction system for vaccine evaluation in C57BL/6J mice. The ACE2-lentivirus system thus has broad application in SARS-CoV-2 research, providing a tool for both mutagenesis studies and mouse model development.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Gene Expression Profiling , Lentivirus , SARS-CoV-2 , Transduction, Genetic , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Knockout , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells
3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3431, 2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262001

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We demonstrate that despite the large size of the viral RNA genome (~30 kb), infectious full-length cDNA is readily assembled in vitro by a circular polymerase extension reaction (CPER) methodology without the need for technically demanding intermediate steps. Overlapping cDNA fragments are generated from viral RNA and assembled together with a linker fragment containing CMV promoter into a circular full-length viral cDNA in a single reaction. Transfection of the circular cDNA into mammalian cells results in the recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus that exhibits properties comparable to the parental virus in vitro and in vivo. CPER is also used to generate insect-specific Casuarina virus with ~20 kb genome and the human pathogens Ross River virus (Alphavirus) and Norovirus (Calicivirus), with the latter from a clinical sample. Additionally, reporter and mutant viruses are generated and employed to study virus replication and virus-receptor interactions.


Subject(s)
Reverse Genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Base Sequence , Chlorocebus aethiops , Culicidae/virology , Furin/metabolism , Genome, Viral , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mutation/genetics , NIH 3T3 Cells , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RAW 264.7 Cells , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication
4.
Viruses ; 12(10)2020 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-906007

ABSTRACT

The Mesoniviridae are a newly assigned family of viruses in the order Nidovirales. Unlike other nidoviruses, which include the Coronaviridae, mesoniviruses are restricted to mosquito hosts and do not infect vertebrate cells. To date there is little information on the morphological and antigenic characteristics of this new group of viruses and a dearth of mesonivirus-specific research tools. In this study we determined the genetic relationships of recent Australian isolates of Alphamesonivirus 4 (Casuarina virus-CASV) and Alphamesonivirus 1 (Nam Dinh virus-NDiV), obtained from multiple mosquito species. Australian isolates of NDiV showed high-level similarity to the prototype NDiV isolate from Vietnam (99% nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) identity). Isolates of CASV from Central Queensland were genetically very similar to the prototype virus from Darwin (95-96% nt and 91-92% aa identity). Electron microscopy studies demonstrated that virion diameter (≈80 nm) and spike length (≈10 nm) were similar for both viruses. Monoclonal antibodies specific to CASV and NDiV revealed a close antigenic relationship between the two viruses with 13/34 mAbs recognising both viruses. We also detected NDiV RNA on honey-soaked nucleic acid preservation cards fed on by wild mosquitoes supporting a possible mechanism of horizontal transmission between insects in nature.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Culicidae/virology , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Nidovirales/genetics , Nidovirales/immunology , Animals , Australia , Nidovirales/classification , Phylogeny , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Vietnam , Virion
5.
Viruses ; 12(10):1159, 2020.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-847587

ABSTRACT

The Mesoniviridae are a newly assigned family of viruses in the order Nidovirales. Unlike other nidoviruses, which include the Coronaviridae, mesoniviruses are restricted to mosquito hosts and do not infect vertebrate cells. To date there is little information on the morphological and antigenic characteristics of this new group of viruses and a dearth of mesonivirus-specific research tools. In this study we determined the genetic relationships of recent Australian isolates of Alphamesonivirus 4 (Casuarina virus—CASV) and Alphamesonivirus 1 (Nam Dinh virus—NDiV), obtained from multiple mosquito species. Australian isolates of NDiV showed high-level similarity to the prototype NDiV isolate from Vietnam (99% nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) identity). Isolates of CASV from Central Queensland were genetically very similar to the prototype virus from Darwin (95–96% nt and 91–92% aa identity). Electron microscopy studies demonstrated that virion diameter (≈80 nm) and spike length (≈10 nm) were similar for both viruses. Monoclonal antibodies specific to CASV and NDiV revealed a close antigenic relationship between the two viruses with 13/34 mAbs recognising both viruses. We also detected NDiV RNA on honey-soaked nucleic acid preservation cards fed on by wild mosquitoes supporting a possible mechanism of horizontal transmission between insects in nature.

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