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1.
BMC Microbiol ; 22(1): 42, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690974

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Quantitative point-of-care testing assay for detecting antibodies is critical to COVID-19 control. In this study, we established an up-conversion phosphor technology-based point-of-care testing (UPT-POCT), a lateral flow assay, for rapid COVID-19 diagnosis, as well as prediction of seral neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity and protective effects. METHODS: UPT-POCT was developed targeting total antibodies against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Using ELISA as a contrast method, we evaluated the quantitation accuracy with NAb and serum samples. Cutoff for serum samples was determined through 70 healthy and 140 COVID-19 patients. We evaluated the cross-reactions with antibodies against other viruses. Then, we performed multi-center clinical trials of UPT-POCT, including 782 patients with 387 clinically confirmed COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, RBD-specific antibody levels were detected using UPT-POCT and microneutralization assay for samples from both patients and vaccinees. Specifically, the antibodies of recovered patients with recurrent positive (RP) reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test results were discussed. RESULTS: The ratios of signal intensities between the test and control bands on the lateral flow strip, namely, T/C ratios, was defined as the results of UPT-POCT. T/C ratios had excellent correlations with concentrations of NAb, as well as OD values of ELISA for serum samples. The sensitivity and specificity of UPT-POCT were 89.15% and 99.75% for 782 cases in seven hospitals in China, respectively. We evaluated RBD-specific antibodies for 528 seral samples from 213 recovered and 99 RP COVID-19 patients, along with 35 seral samples from inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccinees, and we discovered that the total RBD-specific antibody level indicated by T/C ratios of UPT-POCT was significantly related to the NAb titers in both COVID-19 patients (r = 0.9404, n = 527; ρ = 0.6836, n = 528) and the vaccinees (r = 0.9063, ρ = 0.7642, n = 35), and it was highly relevant to the protection rate against RP (r = 0.9886, n = 312). CONCLUSION: This study reveals that the UPT-POCT for quantitative detection of total RBD-specific antibody could be employed as a surrogate method for rapid COVID-19 diagnosis and prediction of protective effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , China , Cross Reactions , Humans , Immunoassay , Limit of Detection , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307605

ABSTRACT

Background: To analyze the efficacy and safety of SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine in people living with HIV (PLWH).Methods: A total of 143 PLWH were included in the study. All patients were confirmed with HIV-1 infection. We also enrolled 50 healthy individuals vaccinated with two doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine as controls. A commercially available magnetic chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay kit was used to detected serum IgG and IgM against SARS-CoV-2.Findings: Serum levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG were significantly higher in the control group than in the PLWH group (P=0.001). Overall, 76% of individuals in the control group achieved IgG seroconversion after vaccination compared with 58% in the PLWH group (P=0.024). The time after vaccination in IgG seronegative PLWH was significantly longer compared with PLWH with IgG seropositive (43.38 ± 34.96 vs 30.27 ± 20.12 days, P=0.005). In PLWH with IgG seropositivity, CD4+ T cell counts before antiretroviral therapy (ART) (P=0.015) and at IgG detection (P<0.001) were higher. Multivariable analysis indicated CD4+ T cells at IgG detection (OR=1.004, P=0.006) and time after vaccination (OR=0.977, P=0.014) were independently associated with humoral response in PLWH after vaccination. Neutralizing antibody (NeuAb) titers in PLWH against wild type SARS-CoV-2 were similar compared with the Control group (P=0.160). The proportion of seropositive NeuAb against wild type SARS-CoV-2 were also similar (95% in Control group vs 97% in PLWH group, P=0.665). Similar results were obtained when NeuAb were detected against the delta variants with similar titers (P=0.355) and with similar proportion of humoral response (P=0.588). All side effects observed in our study were mild and self-limiting. There was no significant difference in occurrence of side effects in the control and PLWH groups. Interpretation: The inactivated COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe with good immunogenicity in PLWH.Funding: This study was supported by Clinical Research Startup Program of Southern Medical University by High-level University Construction Funding of Guangdong Provincial Department of Education (No. LC2016PY003).Declaration of Interest: None of the authors have competing interests to disclose.Ethical Approval: The study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee of Nanfang Hospital (NFEC-2021-178).

3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 460, 2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651070

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has spread rapidly worldwide. To provide data on its virological profile, we here report the first local transmission of Delta in mainland China. All 167 infections could be traced back to the first index case. Daily sequential PCR testing of quarantined individuals indicated that the viral loads of Delta infections, when they first become PCR-positive, were on average ~1000 times greater compared to lineage A/B infections during the first epidemic wave in China in early 2020, suggesting potentially faster viral replication and greater infectiousness of Delta during early infection. The estimated transmission bottleneck size of the Delta variant was generally narrow, with 1-3 virions in 29 donor-recipient transmission pairs. However, the transmission of minor iSNVs resulted in at least 3 of the 34 substitutions that were identified in the outbreak, highlighting the contribution of intra-host variants to population-level viral diversity during rapid spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/methods , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , RNA-Seq/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Time Factors , Vero Cells , Viral Load/genetics , Viral Load/physiology , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/physiology , Virus Shedding/genetics , Virus Shedding/physiology
6.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295289

ABSTRACT

Summary We report the first local transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in mainland China. All 167 infections could be traced back to the first index case. Daily sequential PCR testing of the quarantined subjects indicated that the viral loads of Delta infections, when they first become PCR+, were on average ∼1000 times greater compared to A/B lineage infections during initial epidemic wave in China in early 2020, suggesting potentially faster viral replication and greater infectiousness of Delta during early infection. We performed high-quality sequencing on samples from 126 individuals. Reliable epidemiological data meant that, for 111 transmission events, the donor and recipient cases were known. The estimated transmission bottleneck size was 1-3 virions with most minor intra-host single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) failing to transmit to the recipients. However, transmission heterogeneity of SARS-CoV-2 was also observed. The transmission of minor iSNVs resulted in at least 4 of the 30 substitutions identified in the outbreak, highlighting the contribution of intra-host variants to population level viral diversity during rapid spread. Disease control activities, such as the frequency of population testing, quarantine during pre-symptomatic infection, and level of virus genomic surveillance should be adjusted in order to account for the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant worldwide.

7.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0101721, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522923

ABSTRACT

A big challenge for the control of COVID-19 pandemic is the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which may be more transmissible and/or more virulent and could escape immunity obtained through infection or vaccination. A simple and rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 variants is an unmet need and is of great public health importance. In this study, we designed and analytically validated a CRISPR-Cas12a system for direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 VOCs. We further evaluated the combination of ordinary reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and CRISPR-Cas12a to improve the detection sensitivity and developed a universal system by introducing a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) near the target mutation sites through PCR primer design to detect mutations without PAM. Our results indicated that the CRISPR-Cas12a assay could readily detect the signature spike protein mutations (K417N/T, L452R/Q, T478K, E484K/Q, N501Y, and D614G) to distinguish alpha, beta, gamma, delta, kappa, lambda, and epsilon variants of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the open reading frame 8 (ORF8) mutations (T/C substitution at nt28144 and the corresponding change of amino acid L/S) could differentiate L and S lineages of SARS-CoV-2. The low limit of detection could reach 10 copies/reaction. Our assay successfully distinguished 4 SARS-CoV-2 strains of wild type and alpha (B.1.1.7), beta (B.1.351), and delta (B.1.617.2) variants. By testing 32 SARS-CoV-2-positive clinical samples infected with the wild type (n = 5) and alpha (n = 11), beta (n = 8), and delta variants (n = 8), the concordance between our assay and sequencing was 100%. The CRISPR-based approach is rapid and robust and can be adapted for screening the emerging mutations and immediately implemented in laboratories already performing nucleic acid amplification tests or in resource-limited settings. IMPORTANCE We described CRISPR-Cas12-based multiplex allele-specific assay for rapid SARS-CoV-2 variant genotyping. The new system has the potential to be quickly developed, continuously updated, and easily implemented for screening of SARS-CoV-2 variants in resource-limited settings. This approach can be adapted for emerging mutations and implemented in laboratories already conducting SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification tests using existing resources and extracted nucleic acid.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/virology , CRISPR-Cas Systems , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Alleles , COVID-19/diagnosis , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Humans , Mass Screening , Mutation , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Public Health , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Intervirology ; 65(1): 29-36, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299259

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to analyze the relationship between serum antibody and neutralizing antibody titers in convalescent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with different disease severities, and the seropositive reaction rates of 9 reported B-cell epitopes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: Serum IgG and total antibody titers of 165 convalescent COVID-19 patients were determined by chemiluminescence, the serum neutralization antibody titers were determined by microneutralization assay, and the S/CO values of 9 peptides were detected by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Correlations between the aforementioned indexes were statistically analyzed, and differences in patients with different diseases severities were evaluated. RESULTS: IgG, total antibody, and neutralizing antibody titers increased with disease severity. The positive rate of the receptor-binding region (RBD) was 100%, and the average positive rate for all the 9 peptides was above 50% in 165 patients. IDf showed the highest rate of positivity (86.06%), with a rate of 95% for the (IDf + IDa) pattern. Moreover, S/CO values of RBD and mix (IDh) were significantly correlated with IgG, total antibody titers, and neutralizing antibody titers (p < 0.001), whereas the S/CO values for other 8 peptides showed no obvious correlation. CONCLUSION: In this study, a large sample was used to confirm that the peptide IDf had a high positive reaction rate for all patients (86.06%) and also had the highest detection rate in asymptomatic patients (86.67%). Only long peptide and mixed peptide showed correlation with neutralizing antibody titers, suggesting that the ability of SARS-CoV-2 antibody to neutralize virus infectivity may require the interaction of multiple sites.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
BMC Microbiol ; 21(1): 194, 2021 06 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282237

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Serological test is helpful in confirming and tracking infectious diseases in large population with the advantage of fast and convenience. Using the specific epitope peptides identified from the whole antigen as the detection antigen is sensitive and relatively economical. The development of epitope peptide-based detection kits for COVID-19 patients requires comprehensive information about epitope peptides. But the data on B cell epitope of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is still limited. More importantly, there is a lack of serological data on the peptides in the population. In this study, we aimed to identify the B cell epitope peptides of spike protein and detect the reactivity in serum samples, for further providing data support for their subsequent serological applications. RESULTS: Two B cell linear epitopes, P104 and P82, located in non-RBD region of SARS-CoV-2 S protein were identified by indirect ELISA screening of an overlapping peptide library of the S protein with COVID-19 patients' convalescent serum. And the peptides were verified by testing with 165 serum samples. P104 has not been reported previously; P82 is contained in peptide S21P2 reported before. The positive reaction rates of epitope peptides S14P5 and S21P2, the two non-RBD region epitopes identified by Poh et al., and P82 and P104 were 77.0%, 73.9%, 61.2% and 30.3%, respectively, for 165 convalescent sera, including 30 asymptomatic patients. Although P104 had the lowest positive rate for total patients (30.3%), it exhibited slight advantage for detection of asymptomatic infections (36.7%). Combination of epitopes significantly improved the positive reaction rate. Among all combination patterns, (S14P5 + S21P2 + P104) pattern exhibited the highest positive reaction rate for all patients (92.7%), as well as for asymptomatic infections (86.7%), confirming the feasibility of P104 as supplementary antigen for serological detection. In addition, we analyzed the correlation between epitopes with neutralizing antibody, but only S14P5 had a medium positive correlation with neutralizing antibody titre (rs = 0.510, P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Our research proved that epitopes on non-RBD region are of value in serological detection especially when combination more than one epitope, thus providing serological reaction information about the four epitopes, which has valuable references for their usage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
12.
Curr Med Sci ; 41(2): 228-235, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193157

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with unknown origin spread rapidly to 222 countries, areas or territories. To investigate the genomic evolution and variation in the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic in Guangdong, 60 specimens of SARS-CoV-2 were used to perform whole genome sequencing, and genomics, amino acid variation and Spike protein structure modeling analyses. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the early variation in the SARS-CoV-2 genome was still intra-species, with no evolution to other coronaviruses. There were one to seven nucleotide variations (SNVs) in each genome and all SNVs were distributed in various fragments of the genome. The Spike protein bound with human receptor, an amino acid salt bridge and a potential furin cleavage site were found in the SARS-CoV-2 using molecular modeling. Our study clarified the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 genomic evolution, variation and Spike protein structure in the early phase of local cases in Guangdong, which provided reference for generating prevention and control strategies and tracing the source of new outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , China/epidemiology , Furin/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
14.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2368-2378, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-910382

ABSTRACT

Managing recovered COVID-19 patients with recurrent-positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA test results is challenging. We performed a population-based observational study to characterize the viral RNA level and serum antibody responses in recurrent-positive patients and evaluate their viral transmission risk. Of 479 recovered COVID-19 patients, 93 (19%) recurrent-positive patients were identified, characterized by younger age, with a median discharge-to-recurrent-positive length of 8 days. After readmission, recurrent-positive patients exhibited mild (28%) or absent (72%) symptoms, with no disease progression. The viral RNA level in recurrent-positive patients ranged from 1.8 to 5.7 log10 copies/mL (median: 3.2), which was significantly lower than the corresponding values at disease onset. There are generally no significant differences in antibody levels between recurrent-positive and non-recurrent-positive patients, or in recurrent-positive patients over time (before, during, or after recurrent-positive detection). Virus isolation of nine representative specimens returned negative results. Whole genome sequencing of six specimens yielded only genomic fragments. 96 close contacts and 1,200 candidate contacts of 23 recurrent-positive patients showed no clinical symptoms; their viral RNA (1,296/1,296) and antibody (20/20) tests were negative. After full recovery (no longer/never recurrent-positive), 60% (98/162) patients had neutralizing antibody titers of ≥1:32. Our findings suggested that an intermittent, non-stable excretion of low-level viral RNA may result in recurrent-positive occurrence, rather than re-infection. Recurrent-positive patients pose a low transmission risk, a relatively relaxed management of recovered COVID-19 patients is recommended.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/analysis , Adult , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2 , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
15.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1487-e1488, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-846801

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sewage transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has never been demonstrated. During a COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou, China in April 2020, we investigated the mode of transmission. METHODS: We collected clinical and environmental samples from quarantined residents and their environment for RT-PCR testing and genome sequencing. A case was a resident with a positive RT-PCR test regardless of symptoms. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all residents of cases' buildings to identify risk factors. RESULTS: We found 8 cases (onset: 5-21 April). During incubation period, cases 1 and 2 frequented market T where a COVID-19 outbreak was ongoing; cases 3-8 never visited market T, lived in separate buildings and never interacted with cases 1 and 2. Working as a janitor or wastepicker (RR = 13; 95% CIexact, 2.3-180), not changing to clean shoes (RR = 7.4; 95% CIexact, 1.8-34) and handling dirty shoes by hand (RR = 6.3; 95% CIexact, 1.4-30) after returning home were significant risk factors. RT-PCR detected SARS-CoV-2 in 19% of 63 samples from sewage puddles or pipes, and 24% of 50 environmental samples from cases' apartments. Viruses from the squat toilet and shoe-bottom dirt inside the apartment of cases 1 and 2 were homologous with those from cases 3-8 and the sewage. Sewage from the apartment of cases 1 and 2 leaked out of a cracked pipe onto streets. Rainfall after the onset of cases 1 and 2 flooded the streets. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 might spread by sewage, highlighting the importance of sewage management during outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sewage , China/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
16.
17.
J Virol ; 94(17)2020 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740271

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus first identified in December 2019. Notable features that make SARS-CoV-2 distinct from most other previously identified betacoronaviruses include a receptor binding domain and a unique insertion of 12 nucleotides or 4 amino acids (PRRA) at the S1/S2 boundary. In this study, we identified two deletion variants of SARS-CoV-2 that either directly affect the polybasic cleavage site itself (NSPRRAR) or a flanking sequence (QTQTN). These deletions were verified by multiple sequencing methods. In vitro results showed that the deletion of NSPRRAR likely does not affect virus replication in Vero and Vero-E6 cells; however, the deletion of QTQTN may restrict late-phase viral replication. The deletion of QTQTN was detected in 3 of 68 clinical samples and 12 of 24 in vitro-isolated viruses, while the deletion of NSPRRAR was identified in 3 in vitro-isolated viruses. Our data indicate that (i) there may be distinct selection pressures on SARS-CoV-2 replication or infection in vitro and in vivo; (ii) an efficient mechanism for deleting this region from the viral genome may exist, given that the deletion variant is commonly detected after two rounds of cell passage; and (iii) the PRRA insertion, which is unique to SARS-CoV-2, is not fixed during virus replication in vitro These findings provide information to aid further investigation of SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and a better understanding of the NSPRRAR deletion variant observed here.IMPORTANCE The spike protein determines the infectivity and host range of coronaviruses. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has two unique features in its spike protein, the receptor binding domain and an insertion of 12 nucleotides at the S1/S2 boundary resulting in a furin-like cleavage site. Here, we identified two deletion variants of SARS-CoV-2 that either directly affect the furin-like cleavage site itself (NSPRRAR) or a flanking sequence (QTQTN), and we investigated these deletions in cell isolates and clinical samples. The absence of the polybasic cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 did not affect virus replication in Vero or Vero-E6 cells. Our data indicate the PRRAR sequence and the flanking QTQTN sequence are not fixed in vitro; thus, there appears to be distinct selection pressures on SARS-CoV-2 sequences in vitro and in vivo Further investigation of the mechanism of generating these deletion variants and their infectivity in different animal models would improve our understanding of the origin and evolution of this virus.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Base Sequence , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Furin/metabolism , Genome, Viral , Host Specificity , Kinetics , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
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