Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 12 de 12
Filter
Add filters

Document Type
Year range
1.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.14.21267606

ABSTRACT

The Delta variant of concern of SARS-CoV-2 has spread globally causing large outbreaks and resurgences of COVID-19 cases. The emergence of Delta in the UK occurred on the background of a heterogeneous landscape of immunity and relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions. Here we analyse 52,992 Delta genomes from England in combination with 93,649 global genomes to reconstruct the emergence of Delta, and quantify its introduction to and regional dissemination across England, in the context of changing travel and social restrictions. Through analysis of human movement, contact tracing, and virus genomic data, we find that the focus of geographic expansion of Delta shifted from India to a more global pattern in early May 2021. In England, Delta lineages were introduced >1,000 times and spread nationally as non-pharmaceutical interventions were relaxed. We find that hotel quarantine for travellers from India reduced onward transmission from importations; however the transmission chains that later dominated the Delta wave in England had been already seeded before restrictions were introduced. In England, increasing inter- regional travel drove Delta's nationwide dissemination, with some cities receiving >2,000 observable lineage introductions from other regions. Subsequently, increased levels of local population mixing, not the number of importations, was associated with faster relative growth of Delta. Among US states, we find that regions that previously experienced large waves also had faster Delta growth rates, and a model including interactions between immunity and human behaviour could accurately predict the rise of Delta there. Delta's invasion dynamics depended on fine scale spatial heterogeneity in immunity and contact patterns and our findings will inform optimal spatial interventions to reduce transmission of current and future VOCs such as Omicron.

2.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.12.14.21267615

ABSTRACT

Abstract Background A rapid increase in cases due to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant in highly vaccinated populations has raised concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines. Methods We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against symptomatic disease caused by the Omicron and Delta variants in England. VE was calculated after primary immunisation with two BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 doses, and at 2+ weeks following a BNT162b2 booster. Results Between 27 November and 06 December 2021, 581 and 56,439 eligible Omicron and Delta cases respectively were identified. There were 130,867 eligible test-negative controls. There was no effect against Omicron from 15 weeks after two ChAdOx1 doses, while VE after two BNT162b2 doses was 88.0% (95%CI: 65.9 to 95.8%) 2-9 weeks after dose 2, dropping to between 34 and 37% from 15 weeks post dose 2.From two weeks after a BNT162b2 booster, VE increased to 71.4% (95%CI: 41.8 to 86.0%) for ChAdOx1 primary course recipients and 75.5% (95%CI: 56.1 to 86.3%) for BNT162b2 primary course recipients. For cases with Delta, VE was 41.8% (95%CI: 39.4-44.1%) at 25+ weeks after two ChAdOx1 doses, increasing to 93.8% (95%CI: 93.2-94.3%) after a BNT162b2 booster. With a BNT162b2 primary course, VE was 63.5% (95%CI: 61.4 to 65.5%) 25+ weeks after dose 2, increasing to 92.6% (95%CI: 92.0-93.1%) two weeks after the booster. Conclusions Primary immunisation with two BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 doses provided no or limited protection against symptomatic disease with the Omicron variant. Boosting with BNT162b2 following either primary course significantly increased protection.

3.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.10.14.21264847

ABSTRACT

Public SARS-CoV-2 genomes from the Delta lineage show complex and confusing patterns of mutations at Spike codon 142, and at another nearby position, Spike codon 95. It has been hypothesised that these represent recurrent mutations with interesting evolutionary dynamics, and that these mutations may affect viral load. Here we show that these patterns, and the relationship with viral load, are artifacts of sequencing difficulties in this region of the Delta genome caused be a deletion in the binding site for the 72_RIGHT primer of the ARTIC V3 schema. Spike G142D should be considered a lineage-defining mutation of Delta.

4.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.22.21257633

ABSTRACT

Despite regional successes in controlling the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, global cases have reached an all time high in April 2021 in part due to the evolution of more transmissible variants. Here we use the dense genomic surveillance generated by the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium to reconstruct the dynamics of 62 different lineages in each of 315 English local authorities between September 2020 and April 2021. This analysis reveals a series of sub-epidemics that peaked in the early autumn of 2020, followed by a singular jump in transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 lineage. B.1.1.7 grew when other lineages declined during the second national lockdown and regionally tiered restrictions between November and December 2020. A third more stringent national lockdown eventually suppressed B.1.1.7 and eliminated nearly all other lineages in early 2021. However, a series of variants (mostly containing the spike E484K mutation) defied these trends and persisted at moderately increasing proportions. Accounting for sustained introductions, however, indicates that their transmissibility is unlikely to exceed that of B.1.1.7. Finally, B.1.617.2 was repeatedly introduced to England and grew rapidly in April 2021, constituting approximately 40% of sampled COVID-19 genomes on May 15.

5.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.30.20249034

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, now designated Variant of Concern 202012/01 (VOC) by Public Health England, originated in the UK in late Summer to early Autumn 2020. We examine epidemiological evidence for this VOC having a transmission advantage from several perspectives. First, whole genome sequence data collected from community-based diagnostic testing provides an indication of changing prevalence of different genetic variants through time. Phylodynamic modelling additionally indicates that genetic diversity of this lineage has changed in a manner consistent with exponential growth. Second, we find that changes in VOC frequency inferred from genetic data correspond closely to changes inferred by S-gene target failures (SGTF) in community-based diagnostic PCR testing. Third, we examine growth trends in SGTF and non-SGTF case numbers at local area level across England, and show that the VOC has higher transmissibility than non-VOC lineages, even if the VOC has a different latent period or generation time. Available SGTF data indicate a shift in the age composition of reported cases, with a larger share of under 20 year olds among reported VOC than non-VOC cases. Fourth, we assess the association of VOC frequency with independent estimates of the overall SARS-CoV-2 reproduction number through time. Finally, we fit a semi-mechanistic model directly to local VOC and non-VOC case incidence to estimate the reproduction numbers over time for each. There is a consensus among all analyses that the VOC has a substantial transmission advantage, with the estimated difference in reproduction numbers between VOC and non-VOC ranging between 0.4 and 0.7, and the ratio of reproduction numbers varying between 1.4 and 1.8. We note that these estimates of transmission advantage apply to a period where high levels of social distancing were in place in England; extrapolation to other transmission contexts therefore requires caution.

6.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.23.424111

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019, and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic, has led to substantial mortality, together with mass global disruption. There is an urgent need for novel antiviral drugs for therapeutic or prophylactic application. Cathepsin L is a key host cysteine protease utilized by coronaviruses for cell entry and is recognized as a promising drug target. The marine natural product, gallinamide A and several synthetic analogues, were identified as potent inhibitors of cathepsin L activity with IC50 values in the picomolar range. Lead molecules possessed selectivity over cathepsin B and other related human cathepsin proteases and did not exhibit inhibitory activity against viral proteases Mpro and PLpro. We demonstrate that gallinamide A and two lead analogues potently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro, with EC50 values in the nanomolar range, thus further highlighting the potential of cathepsin L as a COVID-19 antiviral drug target.

7.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.23.424229

ABSTRACT

Monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and reconstructing transmission chains has become a major public health focus for many governments around the world. The modest mutation rate and rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 prevents the reconstruction of transmission chains from consensus genome sequences, but within-host genetic diversity could theoretically help identify close contacts. Here we describe the patterns of within-host diversity in 1,181 SARS-CoV-2 samples sequenced to high depth in duplicate. 95% of samples show within-host mutations at detectable allele frequencies. Analyses of the mutational spectra revealed strong strand asymmetries suggestive of damage or RNA editing of the plus strand, rather than replication errors, dominating the accumulation of mutations during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Within and between host diversity show strong purifying selection, particularly against nonsense mutations. Recurrent within-host mutations, many of which coincide with known phylogenetic homoplasies, display a spectrum and patterns of purifying selection more suggestive of mutational hotspots than recombination or convergent evolution. While allele frequencies suggest that most samples result from infection by a single lineage, we identify multiple putative examples of co-infection. Integrating these results into an epidemiological inference framework, we find that while sharing of within-host variants between samples could help the reconstruction of transmission chains, mutational hotspots and rare cases of superinfection can confound these analyses.

9.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.23.424199

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemics, an unprecedented research effort has been conducted to analyze the antibody responses in patients, and many trials based on passive immunotherapy -notably monoclonal antibodies - are ongoing. Twenty-one antibodies have entered clinical trials, 6 having reached phase 2/3, phase 3 or having received emergency authorization. These represent only the tip of the iceberg, since many more antibodies have been discovered and represent opportunities either for diagnosis purposes or as drug candidates. The main problem facing laboratories willing to develop such antibodies is the huge task of analyzing them and choosing the best candidate for exhaustive experimental validation. In this work we show how artificial intelligence-based methods can help in analyzing large sets of antibodies in order to determine in a few hours the best candidates in few hours. The MAbCluster method, which only requires knowledge of the amino acid sequences of the antibodies, allows to group the antibodies having the same epitope, considering only their amino acid sequences and their 3D structures (actual or predicted), and to infer some of their functional properties. We then use MAbTope to predict the epitopes for all antibodies for which they are not already known. This allows an exhaustive comparison of the available epitopes, but also gives a synthetic view of the possible combinations. Finally, we show how these results can be used to predict which antibodies might be affected by the different mutations arising in the circulating strains of the virus, such as the N501Y mutation that has started to spread in Great-Britain.

10.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.23.424254

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has inspired renewed interest in understanding the fundamental pathology of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) following infection because fatal COVID-19 cases are commonly linked to respiratory failure due to ARDS. The pathologic alteration known as diffuse alveolar damage in endothelial and epithelial cells is a critical feature of acute lung injury in ARDS. However, the pathogenesis of ARDS following SRAS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown. In the present study, we examined apoptosis in post-mortem lung sections from COVID-19 patients and lung tissues from a non-human primate model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, in a cell-type manner, including type 1 and 2 alveolar cells and vascular endothelial cells (ECs), macrophages, and T cells. Multiple-target immunofluorescence (IF) assays and western blotting suggest both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways are activated during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we observed that SARS-CoV-2 fails to induce apoptosis in human bronchial epithelial cells (i.e., BEAS2B cells) and primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), which are refractory to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, infection of co-cultured Vero cells and HUVECs or Vero cells and BEAS2B cells with SARS-CoV-2 induced apoptosis in both Vero cells and HUVECs/BEAS2B cells, but did not alter the permissiveness of HUVECs or BEAS2B cells to the virus. Post-exposure treatment of the co-culture of Vero cells and HUVECs with an EPAC1-specific activator ameliorated apoptosis in HUVECs. These findings may help to delineate a novel insight into the pathogenesis of ARDS following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

11.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.24.422670

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the aetiological agent of COVID-19 disease and has been spreading worldwide since December 2019. The virus has been shown to infect different animal species under experimental conditions. Also, minks have been found to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection in fur farms in Europe and the USA. Here we investigated 91 individual minks from a farm located in Northern Poland. Using RT-PCR, antigen detection and NGS, we confirmed 15 animals positive for SARS-CoV-2. The result was verified by sequencing of full viral genomes, confirming SARS-CoV-2 infection in Polish mink. Country-scale monitoring conducted by veterinary inspection so far has not detected the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on other mink farms. Taking into consideration that Poland has a high level of positive diagnostic tests among its population, there is a high risk that more Polish mink farms become a source for SARS-CoV-2. Findings reported here and from other fur producing countries urge the assessment of SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in animals bred in Polish fur farms.

12.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.12.23.424189

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged as a new human pathogen in late 2019 and has infected an estimated 10% of the global population in less than a year. There is a clear need for effective antiviral drugs to complement current preventive measures including vaccines. In this study, we demonstrate that berberine and obatoclax, two broad-spectrum antiviral compounds, are effective against multiple isolates of SARS-CoV-2. Berberine, a plant-derived alkaloid, inhibited SARS-CoV-2 at low micromolar concentrations and obatoclax, originally developed as an anti-apoptotic protein antagonist, was effective at sub-micromolar concentrations. Time-of-addition studies indicated that berberine acts on the late stage of the viral life cycle. In agreement, berberine mildly affected viral RNA synthesis, but strongly reduced infectious viral titers, leading to an increase in the particle-to-pfu ratio. In contrast, obatoclax acted at the early stage of the infection, in line with its activity to neutralize the acidic environment in endosomes. We assessed infection of primary human nasal epithelial cells cultured on an air-liquid interface and found that SARS-CoV-2 infection induced and repressed expression of a specific set of cytokines and chemokines. Moreover, both obatoclax and berberine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in these primary target cells. We propose berberine and obatoclax as potential antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 that could be considered for further efficacy testing.

SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL