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1.
Nature ; 603(7902): 687-692, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641974

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant1,2, has raised concerns of escape from protection by vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. A key test for potential countermeasures against B.1.1.529 is their activity in preclinical rodent models of respiratory tract disease. Here, using the collaborative network of the SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution (SAVE) programme of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), we evaluated the ability of several B.1.1.529 isolates to cause infection and disease in immunocompetent and human ACE2 (hACE2)-expressing mice and hamsters. Despite modelling data indicating that B.1.1.529 spike can bind more avidly to mouse ACE2 (refs. 3,4), we observed less infection by B.1.1.529 in 129, C57BL/6, BALB/c and K18-hACE2 transgenic mice than by previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, with limited weight loss and lower viral burden in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. In wild-type and hACE2 transgenic hamsters, lung infection, clinical disease and pathology with B.1.1.529 were also milder than with historical isolates or other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Overall, experiments from the SAVE/NIAID network with several B.1.1.529 isolates demonstrate attenuated lung disease in rodents, which parallels preliminary human clinical data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Viral Load
2.
Nature ; 602(7896): 300-306, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532072

ABSTRACT

During the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a variety of mutations have accumulated in the viral genome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and, at the time of writing, four variants of concern are considered to be potentially hazardous to human society1. The recently emerged B.1.617.2/Delta variant of concern is closely associated with the COVID-19 surge that occurred in India in the spring of 2021 (ref. 2). However, the virological properties of B.1.617.2/Delta remain unclear. Here we show that the B.1.617.2/Delta variant is highly fusogenic and notably more pathogenic than prototypic SARS-CoV-2 in infected hamsters. The P681R mutation in the spike protein, which is highly conserved in this lineage, facilitates cleavage of the spike protein and enhances viral fusogenicity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the P681R-bearing virus exhibits higher pathogenicity compared with its parental virus. Our data suggest that the P681R mutation is a hallmark of the virological phenotype of the B.1.617.2/Delta variant and is associated with enhanced pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cricetinae , Giant Cells/metabolism , Giant Cells/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Virulence/genetics , Virus Replication
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276013

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a key role in viral infectivity. It is also the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response, specifically, the production of neutralizing antibodies. Recently, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 possessing multiple mutations in the S protein, designated P.1, emerged in Brazil. Here, we characterized a P.1 variant isolated in Japan by using Syrian hamsters, a well-established small animal model for the study of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19). In hamsters, the variant showed replicative abilities and pathogenicity similar to those of early and contemporary strains (i.e., SARS-CoV-2 bearing aspartic acid [D] or glycine [G] at position 614 of the S protein). Sera and/or plasma from convalescent patients and BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccinees showed comparable neutralization titers across the P.1 variant, S-614D, and S-614G strains. In contrast, the S-614D and S-614G strains were less well recognized than the P.1 variant by serum from a P.1-infected patient. Prior infection with S-614D or S-614G strains efficiently prevented the replication of the P.1 variant in the lower respiratory tract of hamsters upon reinfection. In addition, passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies to hamsters infected with the P.1 variant or the S-614G strain led to reduced virus replication in the lower respiratory tract. However, the effect was less pronounced against the P.1 variant than the S-614G strain. These findings suggest that the P.1 variant may be somewhat antigenically different from the early and contemporary strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , X-Ray Microtomography
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(28): 16587-16595, 2020 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611003

ABSTRACT

At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) was detected in Wuhan, China, that spread rapidly around the world, with severe consequences for human health and the global economy. Here, we assessed the replicative ability and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates in Syrian hamsters. SARS-CoV-2 isolates replicated efficiently in the lungs of hamsters, causing severe pathological lung lesions following intranasal infection. In addition, microcomputed tomographic imaging revealed severe lung injury that shared characteristics with SARS-CoV-2-infected human lung, including severe, bilateral, peripherally distributed, multilobular ground glass opacity, and regions of lung consolidation. SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters mounted neutralizing antibody responses and were protected against subsequent rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passive transfer of convalescent serum to naïve hamsters efficiently suppressed the replication of the virus in the lungs even when the serum was administrated 2 d postinfection of the serum-treated hamsters. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that this Syrian hamster model will be useful for understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and testing vaccines and antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Ribonucleoproteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication
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