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1.
Viruses ; 14(5):934, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1820413

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised individuals are at risk of prolonged SARS-CoV-2 infection due to weaker immunity, co-morbidities, and lowered vaccine effectiveness, which may evolve highly mutated variants of SARS-CoV-2. Nonetheless, limited data are available on the immune responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection, reinfections, and vaccinations with emerging variants in immunocompromised patients. We analyzed clinical samples that were opportunistically collected from eight immunocompromised individuals for mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes, neutralizing antibody (NAb) titers against different SARS-CoV-2 variants, and the identification of immunoreactive epitopes using a high-throughput coronavirus peptide array. The viral genome analysis revealed two SARS-CoV-2 variants (20A from a deceased patient and an Alpha variant from a recovered patient) with an eight amino-acid (aa) deletion within the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the surface glycoprotein. A higher NAb titer was present against the prototypic USA/WA1/2020 strain in vaccinated immunocompromised patients. NAb titer was absent against the Omicron variant and the cultured virus of the 20A variant with eight aa deletions in non-vaccinated patients. Our data suggest that fatal SARS-CoV-2 infections may occur in immunocompromised individuals even with high titers of NAb post-vaccination. Moreover, persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection may lead to the emergence of newer variants with additional mutations favoring the survival and fitness of the pathogen that include deletions in NAb binding sites in the SARS-CoV-2 surface glycoprotein.

3.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(12): 3185-3188, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496967

ABSTRACT

In June 2021, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cases surged in Liberia. SARS-CoV-2 sequences from patients hospitalized during March-July 2021 revealed the Delta variant was in Liberia in early March and was dominant in June, irrespective of geography. Mutations and deletions suggest multiple SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant introductions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Liberia/epidemiology , Sequence Analysis
5.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 225, 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387490

ABSTRACT

Serodiagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is impeded by immunological cross-reactivity among the human coronaviruses (HCoVs): SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, OC43, 229E, HKU1, and NL63. Here we report the identification of humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 peptides that may enable discrimination between exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and other HCoVs. We used a high-density peptide microarray and plasma samples collected at two time points from 50 subjects with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by qPCR, samples collected in 2004-2005 from 11 subjects with IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-1, 11 subjects with IgG antibodies to other seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoV), and 10 healthy human subjects. Through statistical modeling with linear regression and multidimensional scaling we identified specific peptides that were reassembled to identify 29 linear SARS-CoV-2 epitopes that were immunoreactive with plasma from individuals who had asymptomatic, mild or severe SARS-CoV-2 infections. Larger studies will be required to determine whether these peptides may be useful in serodiagnostics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Peptide Mapping , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , COVID-19/blood , Chiroptera , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Peptides/chemistry , Proteome/metabolism
7.
Trends Mol Med ; 27(9): 895-906, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366638

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can cause chronic and acute disease. Postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) include injury to the lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain that may produce a variety of symptoms. PASC also includes a post-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) syndrome ('long COVID') with features that can follow other acute infectious diseases and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Here we summarize what is known about the pathogenesis of ME/CFS and of 'acute' COVID-19, and we speculate that the pathogenesis of post-COVID-19 syndrome in some people may be similar to that of ME/CFS. We propose molecular mechanisms that might explain the fatigue and related symptoms in both illnesses, and we suggest a research agenda for both ME/CFS and post-COVID-19 syndrome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic/etiology , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Energy Metabolism , Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic/physiopathology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Humans , Nervous System/physiopathology
10.
Trials ; 21(1): 499, 2020 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-768581

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of human anti-SARS-CoV-2 convalescent plasma in hospitalized adults with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. TRIAL DESIGN: This is a prospective, single-center, phase 2, randomized, controlled trial that is blinded to participants and clinical outcome assessor. PARTICIPANTS: Eligible participants include adults (≥ 18 years) with evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection by PCR test of nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab within 14 days of randomization, evidence of infiltrates on chest radiography, peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≤ 94% on room air, and/or need for supplemental oxygen, non-invasive mechanical ventilation, or invasive mechanical ventilation, who are willing and able to provide written informed consent prior to performing study procedures or who have a legally authorized representative available to do so. Exclusion criteria include participation in another clinical trial of anti-viral agent(s)* for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), receipt of any anti-viral agent(s)* with possible activity against SARS-CoV-2 <24 hours prior to plasma infusion, mechanical ventilation (including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation [ECMO]) for ≥ 5 days, severe multi-organ failure, history of allergic reactions to transfused blood products per NHSN/CDC criteria, known IgA deficiency, and pregnancy. Included participants will be hospitalized at the time of randomization and plasma infusion. *Use of remdesivir as treatment for COVID-19 is permitted. The study will be undertaken at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, USA. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: The investigational treatment is anti-SARS-CoV-2 human convalescent plasma. To procure the investigational treatment, volunteers who recovered from COVID-19 will undergo testing to confirm the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody to the spike trimer at a 1:400 dilution. Donors will also be screened for transfusion-transmitted infections (e.g. HIV, HBV, HCV, WNV, HTLV-I/II, T. cruzi, ZIKV). If donors have experienced COVID-19 symptoms within 28 days, they will be screened with a nasopharyngeal swab to confirm they are SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative. Plasma will be collected using standard apheresis technology by the New York Blood Center. Study participants will be randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive one unit (200 - 250 mL) of anti-SARS-CoV-2 plasma versus one unit (200 - 250 mL) of the earliest available control plasma. The control plasma cannot be tested for presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody prior to the transfusion, but will be tested for anti- SARS-CoV-2 antibody after the transfusion to allow for a retrospective per-protocol analysis. MAIN OUTCOMES: The primary endpoint is time to clinical improvement. This is defined as time from randomization to either discharge from the hospital or improvement by one point on the following seven-point ordinal scale, whichever occurs first. 1. Not hospitalized with resumption of normal activities 2. Not hospitalized, but unable to resume normal activities 3. Hospitalized, not requiring supplemental oxygen 4. Hospitalized, requiring supplemental oxygen 5. Hospitalized, requiring high-flow oxygen therapy or non-invasive mechanical ventilation 6. Hospitalized, requiring ECMO, invasive mechanical ventilation, or both 7. Death This scale, designed to assess clinical status over time, was based on that recommended by the World Health Organization for use in determining efficacy end-points in clinical trials in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. A recent clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of lopinavir- ritonavir for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 used a similar ordinal scale, as have recent clinical trials of novel therapeutics for severe influenza, including a post-hoc analysis of a trial evaluating immune plasma. The primary safety endpoints are cumulative incidence of grade 3 and 4 adverse events and cumulative incidence of serious adverse events during the study period. RANDOMIZATION: Study participants will be randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive anti-SARS-CoV-2 plasma versus control plasma using a web-based randomization platform. Treatment assignments will be generated using randomly permuted blocks of different sizes to minimize imbalance while also minimizing predictability. BLINDING (MASKING): The study participants and the clinicians who will evaluate post-treatment outcomes will be blinded to group assignment. The blood bank and the clinical research team will not be blinded to group assignment. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): We plan to enroll 129 participants, with 86 in the anti-SARS-CoV-2 arm, and 43 in the control arm. Among the participants, we expect ~70% or n = 72 will achieve clinical improvement. This will yield an 80% power for a one-sided Wald test at 0.15 level of significance under the proportional hazards model with a hazard ratio of 1.5. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol AAAS9924, Version 17APR2020, 4/17/2020 Start of recruitment: April 20, 2020 Recruitment is ongoing. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04359810 Date of trial registration: April 24, 2020 Retrospectively registered FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest of expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic , Humans , Immunization, Passive/adverse effects , Immunization, Passive/methods , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
J Virol ; 94(5)2020 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2167

ABSTRACT

Traditionally, the emergence of coronaviruses (CoVs) has been attributed to a gain in receptor binding in a new host. Our previous work with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like viruses argued that bats already harbor CoVs with the ability to infect humans without adaptation. These results suggested that additional barriers limit the emergence of zoonotic CoV. In this work, we describe overcoming host restriction of two Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-like bat CoVs using exogenous protease treatment. We found that the spike protein of PDF2180-CoV, a MERS-like virus found in a Ugandan bat, could mediate infection of Vero and human cells in the presence of exogenous trypsin. We subsequently show that the bat virus spike can mediate the infection of human gut cells but is unable to infect human lung cells. Using receptor-blocking antibodies, we show that infection with the PDF2180 spike does not require MERS-CoV receptor DPP4 and antibodies developed against the MERS spike receptor-binding domain and S2 portion are ineffective in neutralizing the PDF2180 chimera. Finally, we found that the addition of exogenous trypsin also rescues HKU5-CoV, a second bat group 2c CoV. Together, these results indicate that proteolytic cleavage of the spike, not receptor binding, is the primary infection barrier for these two group 2c CoVs. Coupled with receptor binding, proteolytic activation offers a new parameter to evaluate the emergence potential of bat CoVs and offers a means to recover previously unrecoverable zoonotic CoV strains.IMPORTANCE Overall, our studies demonstrate that proteolytic cleavage is the primary barrier to infection for a subset of zoonotic coronaviruses. Moving forward, the results argue that both receptor binding and proteolytic cleavage of the spike are critical factors that must be considered for evaluating the emergence potential and risk posed by zoonotic coronaviruses. In addition, the findings also offer a novel means to recover previously uncultivable zoonotic coronavirus strains and argue that other tissues, including the digestive tract, could be a site for future coronavirus emergence events in humans.


Subject(s)
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Chiroptera , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Trypsin , Vero Cells , Zoonoses/metabolism , Zoonoses/virology
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