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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335194

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread and dominance of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 over its Delta variant has posed severe global challenges. While extensive research on the role of the Receptor Binding Domain on viral infectivity and vaccine sensitivity has been documented, the role of the spike 681 PRRAR/SV 687 polybasic motif is less clear. Here we monitored infectivity and vaccine sensitivity of Omicron SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus against sera samples that were drawn four months post administration of the third dose of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Our findings show that relative to Wuhan-Hu and Delta SARS-CoV-2, Omicron displayed enhanced infectivity and a sharp decline in its sensitivity to vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, while the spike proteins form Wuhan-Hu (P681), Omicron (H681) and BA.2 (H681) pseudoviruses modestly promoted cell fusion and syncytia formation, Delta spike (P681R) displayed enhanced fusogenic activity and syncytia formation capability. Live-viruses plaque formation assays confirmed these findings and demonstrated that relatively to the Wuhan-Hu and Omicron SARS-CoV-2, Delta formed more plaques that were smaller in size. Introducing a single P681R point mutation within the Wuhan-Hu spike, or H681R within Omicron spike, restored fusion potential to similar levels observed for Delta spike. Conversely, a R681P point mutation within Delta spike efficiency abolished fusion potential. We conclude that over time, the efficiency of the third dose of the Pfizer vaccine against SARS CoV-2 is waned, and cannot neutralize Omicron. We further verify that the P681 position of the viral spike dictates fusogenicity and syncytia formation.

2.
The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1819498

ABSTRACT

We investigated changes in receptor-binding domain IgG and neutralizing antibodies against the omicron and delta variants, vs. the wild-type virus, in response to a fourth BNT162b2 dose in 90 heart transplant (HT) recipients. The fourth dose induced anti-RBD IgG antibodies and a higher neutralization efficiency against the wild-type virus and the variants;however, neutralization efficiency against the omicron variant was lower than that against the delta variant (the latter demonstrating efficacy similar to that against the wild-type virus). Notably, while IgG anti-RBD antibodies were detectable in >80% of the HT recipients, only about half demonstrated neutralization efficiency against the omicron variant. A SARS-CoV-2-specific-T-cell response following the fourth dose was evident in the majority of transplant recipients. Boosting vulnerable groups improves antibody responses (including neutralizing responses) and cellular immunity, but the incomplete immunological response, particularly for omicron, suggests continued preventive measures and optimization of vaccination strategies that elicit strong, and long-lasting immune responses, in this high-risk population, should remain a priority.

3.
Isr Med Assoc J ; 24(4): 215-218, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1787084

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Guidelines for pandemic preparedness emphasize the role of sentinel and syndromic surveillance in monitoring pandemic spread. OBJECTIVES: To examine advantages and obstacles of utilizing a sentinel influenza surveillance system to monitor community severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activity based on Israel's experience from mid-March to mid-May 2020. METHODS: Several modifications were applied to the influenza surveillance system. The clinical component relied mainly on pneumonia and upper respiratory infection (URI) consultations with primary care physicians as well as visits to emergency departments (ED) due to pneumonia. The virological data were based on nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from symptomatic patients who visited outpatient clinics. RESULTS: By week 12 of the pandemic, the crude and age-specific primary physician consultation rates due to URI and pneumonia declined below the expected level, reaching nadir that lasted from week 15 until week 20. Similarly, ED visits due to pneumonia were significantly lower than expected from weeks 14 and 15 to week 20. The virological surveillance started on week 13 with 6/253 of the swabs (2.3%) positive for SARS-CoV-2. There was a peak of 13/225 positive swabs on week 145.8%. During weeks 17-20, none of the swabs (47-97 per week) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. This trend was similar to national data. CONCLUSIONS: The virological component of the surveillance system showed the SARS-CoV-2 community spread, but had low sensitivity when virus activity was low. The clinical component, however, had no yield. Sentinel surveillance can assist in monitoring future novel pandemics and should be augmented in revised preparedness plans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Pneumonia , Respiratory Tract Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Israel/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sentinel Surveillance
4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332038

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has been characterized by decreased clinical severity, raising the question of whether early variant-specific interactions within the mucosal surfaces of the respiratory tract could mediate its attenuated pathogenicity. Here, we employed ex vivo infection of native human nasal and lung tissues to investigate the local-mucosal susceptibility and innate immune response to Omicron, compared to Delta and earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC). We show that the replication of Omicron in lung tissues is highly restricted compared to other VOC, whereas it remains relatively unchanged in nasal tissues. Mechanistically, Omicron induced a much stronger antiviral interferon response in infected tissues compared to Delta and earlier VOC - a difference which was most striking in the lung tissues, where the innate immune response to all other SARS-CoV-2 VOC was blunted. Our data provide new insights to the reduced lung involvement and clinical severity of Omicron.

6.
Microbiol Spectr ; : e0217621, 2022 Mar 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741582

ABSTRACT

In this report, we describe the development of a reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assay, termed Alpha-Delta assay, which can detect all severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SC-2) variants and distinguish between the Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants. The Alpha- and Delta-specific reactions in the assay target mutations that are strongly linked to the target variant. The Alpha reaction targets the D3L substitution in the N gene, and the Delta reaction targets the spike gene 156 to 158 mutations. Additionally, we describe a second Delta-specific assay that we use as a confirmatory test for the Alpha-Delta assay that targets the 119 to 120 deletion in the Orf8 gene. Both reactions have similar sensitivities of 15 to 25 copies per reaction, similar to the sensitivity of commercial SC-2 detection tests. The Alpha-Delta assay and the Orf8119del assay were successfully used to classify clinical samples that were subsequently analyzed by whole-genome sequencing. Lastly, the capability of the Alpha-Delta assay and Orf8119del assay to identify correctly the presence of Delta RNA in wastewater samples was demonstrated. This study provides a rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective tool for detecting and classifying two worldwide dominant SC-2 variants. It also highlights the importance of a timely diagnostic response to the emergence of new SC-2 variants with significant consequences on global health. IMPORTANCE The new assays described herein enable rapid, straightforward, and cost-effective detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SC-2) with immediate classification of the examined sample as Alpha, Delta, non-Alpha, or non-Delta variant. This is highly important for two main reasons: (i) it provides the scientific and medical community with a novel diagnostic tool to rapidly detect and classify any SC-2 sample of interest as Alpha, Delta, or none and can be applied to both clinical and environmental samples, and (ii) it demonstrates how to respond to the emergence of new variants of concern by developing a variant-specific assay. Such assays should improve our preparedness and adjust the diagnostic capacity to serve clinical, epidemiological, and research needs.

7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329758

ABSTRACT

In this report, we describe the development and initial validation of novel SARS-COV-2 Omicron-specific reactions that enable the identification of Omicron (BA.1) and BA.2 variants. Mutations that are either shared by both BA.1 and BA.2, or are exclusive for BA.1 or for BA.2 were identified by bioinformatic analysis, and corresponding probe-based quantitative PCR reactions were developed to identify them. We show that multiplex combinations of these reactions provide a single-reaction identification of the sample as BA.1, BA.2, or as non-Omicron SARS-COV-2. All four reactions described herein have a sensitivity of less than ten copies per reaction, and are amendable for multiplexing. The results of this study suggest that the new assays may be useful for testing both clinical and environmental samples to differentiate between these two variants.

8.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735546

ABSTRACT

Approximately 1-8% of individuals do not develop antibodies following SARS-CoV-2 infection (sero-negatives). One BNT162b2 dose resulted in potent humoral response in 14 sero-negatives and 15 sero-positives, significantly higher than the response of 15 naïve-individuals, to two doses suggesting that COVID-19 provoked a memory response in individuals without detectable antibodies.

9.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 785-792, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722483

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite high vaccine coverage, an increase in breakthrough coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections, prompted administration of a third BNT162b2 dose to people aged >60 years in Israel since July 2021. Here, we report real-world immunogenicity following third dose. METHODS: Overall, 208 healthcare workers aged >60 years were included. Paired pre- and post-second and/or third dose immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralizing antibody titers were compared. A subpopulation of low responders to the second dose was also tested for T-cell activation. For 25 paired serum samples, we tested neutralization of wild-type vs neutralization of Delta and Lambda variants, pre- and post-third dose. Active surveillance of vaccine adverse events was conducted through surveys. RESULTS: A pronounced immune response was observed following the third dose, including a 33-fold and 51-fold increase in IgG and neutralizing antibody, respectively. The neutralizing antibody levels post-third dose were 9.34 times higher than post-second dose (geometric mean titer, 2598 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 2085-3237] vs 207 [95% CI, 126-339]). Nine previously low responders had a significant antibody increase post-third dose, and 7 of 9 showed increase in T-cell activation. Additionally, sera obtained post-third dose highly and comparably neutralized the wild-type and Delta and Lambda variants. Of 1056 responders to the adverse-event survey, none had serious events. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate a rapid and broad immune response to the third BNT162b2 dose in individuals >60 years of age.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , /adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(9): 2242-2254, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702796

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes significan t morbidity, mainly from pulmonary involvement, extrapulmonary symptoms are also major componen ts of the disease. Kidney disease, usually presenting as AKI, is particularly severe among patients with COVID-19. It is unknown, however, whether such injury results from direct kidney infection with COVID-19's causative virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or from indirect mechanisms. METHODS: Using ex vivo cell models, we sought to analyze SARS-CoV-2 interactions with kidney tubular cells and assess direct tubular injury. These models comprised primary human kidney epithelial cells (derived from nephrectomies) and grown as either proliferating monolayers or quiescent three-dimensional kidney spheroids. RESULTS: We demonstrated that viral entry molecules and high baseline levels of type 1 IFN-related molecules were present in monolayers and kidney spheroids. Although both models support viral infection and replication, they did not exhibit a cytopathic effect and cell death, outcomes that were strongly present in SARS-CoV-2-infected controls (African green monkey kidney clone E6 [Vero E6] cultures). A comparison of monolayer and spheroid cultures demonstrated higher infectivity and replication of SARS-CoV-2 in actively proliferating monolayers, although the spheroid cultures exhibited high er levels of ACE2. Monolayers exhibited elevation of some tubular injury molecules-including molecules related to fibrosis (COL1A1 and STAT6) and dedifferentiation (SNAI2)-and a loss of cell identity, evident by reduction in megalin (LRP2). The three-dimensional spheroids were less prone to such injury. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 can infect kidney cells without a cytopathic effect. AKI-induced cellular proliferation may potentially intensify infectivity and tubular damage by SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that early intervention in AKI is warranted to help minimize kidney infection.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spheroids, Cellular/virology , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Kidney/immunology , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Mice, SCID , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spheroids, Cellular/pathology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
11.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699506

ABSTRACT

The emergence of rapidly spreading variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses a major challenge to the ability of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies to provide immunity. These variants contain mutations of specific amino acids that might impede vaccine efficacy. BriLife® (rVSV-ΔG-spike) is a newly developed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate currently in phase II clinical trials. It is based on a replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) platform. The rVSV-ΔG-spike contains several spontaneously acquired spike mutations that correspond to SARS-CoV-2 variants' mutations. We show that human sera from BriLife® vaccinees preserve comparable neutralization titers towards alpha, gamma, and delta variants and show less than a three-fold reduction in the neutralization capacity of beta and omicron compared to the original virus. Taken together, we show that human sera from BriLife® vaccinees overall maintain a neutralizing antibody response against all tested variants. We suggest that BriLife®-acquired mutations may prove advantageous against future SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.

13.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND Following the emergence of the Omicron variant of concern, we investigated immunogenicity, efficacy and safety of BNT162b2 or mRNA1273 fourth dose in an open-label, clinical intervention trial. METHODS Primary end-points were safety and immunogenicity and secondary end-points were vaccine efficacy in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 symptomatic disease. The two intervention arms were compared to a matched control group. Eligible participants were healthcare-workers (HCW) vaccinated with three BNT162b2 doses, and whose IgG antibody levels were ≤700 BAU (40-percentile). IgG and neutralizing titers, direct neutralization of live VOCs, and T-cell activation were assessed. All participants were actively screened for SARS-CoV-2 infections on a weekly basis. RESULTS Of 1050 eligible HCW, 154 and 120 were enrolled to receive BNT162b2 and mRNA1273, respectively, and compared to 426 age-matched controls. Recipients of both vaccine types had a ∼9-10-fold increase in IgG and neutralizing titers within 2 weeks of vaccination and an 8-fold increase in live Omicron VOC neutralization, restoring titers to those measured after the third vaccine dose. Breakthrough infections were common, mostly very mild, yet, with high viral loads. Vaccine efficacy against infection was 30% (95%CI:-9% to 55%) and 11% (95%CI:-43% to +43%) for BNT162b2 and mRNA1273, respectively. Local and systemic adverse reactions were reported in 80% and 40%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS The fourth COVID-19 mRNA dose restores antibody titers to peak post-third dose titers. Low efficacy in preventing mild or asymptomatic Omicron infections and the infectious potential of breakthrough cases raise the urgency of next generation vaccine development. Trial registration number clicaltrials.gov NCT05231005 , NCT05230953

14.
O'Toole, Áine, Hill, Verity, Pybus, Oliver, Watts, Alexander, Bogoch, Issac, Khan, Kamran, Messina, Jane, Tegally, Houriiyah, Lessells, Richard, Giandhari, Jennifer, Pillay, Sureshnee, Tumedi, Kefentse Arnold, Nyepetsi, Gape, Kebabonye, Malebogo, Matsheka, Maitshwarelo, Mine, Madisa, Tokajian, Sima, Hassan, Hamad, Salloum, Tamara, Merhi, Georgi, Koweyes, Jad, Geoghegan, Jemma, de Ligt, Joep, Ren, Xiaoyun, Storey, Matthew, Freed, Nikki, Pattabiraman, Chitra, Prasad, Pramada, Desai, Anita, Vasanthapuram, Ravi, Schulz, Thomas, Steinbrück, Lars, Stadler, Tanja, Parisi, Antonio, Bianco, Angelica, García de Viedma, Darío, Buenestado-Serrano, Sergio, Borges, Vítor, Isidro, Joana, Duarte, Sílvia, Gomes, João Paulo, Zuckerman, Neta, Mandelboim, Michal, Mor, Orna, Seemann, Torsten, Arnott, Alicia, Draper, Jenny, Gall, Mailie, Rawlinson, William, Deveson, Ira, Schlebusch, Sanmarié, McMahon, Jamie, Leong, Lex, Lim, Chuan Kok, Chironna, Maria, Loconsole, Daniela, Bal, Antonin, Josset, Laurence, Holmes, Edward, St. George, Kirsten, Lasek-Nesselquist, Erica, Sikkema, Reina, Oude Munnink, Bas, Koopmans, Marion, Brytting, Mia, Sudha rani, V.; Pavani, S.; Smura, Teemu, Heim, Albert, Kurkela, Satu, Umair, Massab, Salman, Muhammad, Bartolini, Barbara, Rueca, Martina, Drosten, Christian, Wolff, Thorsten, Silander, Olin, Eggink, Dirk, Reusken, Chantal, Vennema, Harry, Park, Aekyung, Carrington, Christine, Sahadeo, Nikita, Carr, Michael, Gonzalez, Gabo, de Oliveira, Tulio, Faria, Nuno, Rambaut, Andrew, Kraemer, Moritz, The, Covid-Genomics U. K. consortium, Network for Genomic Surveillance in South, Africa, Brazil, U. K. Cadde Genomic Network, Swiss Viollier Sequencing, Consortium, Diego, Search Alliance San, National Virus Reference, Laboratory, Seq, Covid Spain, Danish Covid-19 Genome, Consortium, Communicable Diseases Genomic, Network, Dutch National, Sars-CoV-surveillance program, Division of Emerging Infectious, Diseases.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318194

ABSTRACT

Late in 2020, two genetically-distinct clusters of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with mutations of biological concern were reported, one in the United Kingdom and one in South Africa. Using a combination of data from routine surveillance, genomic sequencing and international travel we track the international dispersal of lineages B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 (variant 501Y-V2). We account for potential biases in genomic surveillance efforts by including passenger volumes from location of where the lineage was first reported, London and South Africa respectively. Using the software tool grinch (global report investigating novel coronavirus haplotypes), we track the international spread of lineages of concern with automated daily reports, Further, we have built a custom tracking website (cov-lineages.org/global_report.html) which hosts this daily report and will continue to include novel SARS-CoV-2 lineages of concern as they are detected.

15.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316345

ABSTRACT

While vaccination efforts against SARS-CoV-2 around the world are ongoing, new highly infectious virus variants continue to evolve. The protection provided by the available vaccines against some of the new variants is weaker. Additional preventive measures will therefore be needed to protect the population until effective vaccinations are widely available. TaffiX ® is an anti-viral nasal powder spray comprised of low-pH hypromellose, which forms a protective mechanical barrier that prevents viruses from engaging with nasal cells. The current study aimed to test the protective effect of Taffix against Alpha (B.1.1.7;hCoV-19/Israel/CVL-46879-ngs/2020), Beta, (B.1.351;hCoV-19/Israel/CVL-2557-ngs/2020) and Delta (B.1.617.2;hCoV-19/Israel/VVL-12806/2021), three highly infectious and pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 strains. A nylon filter was treated with Taffix® gel, after which SARS-CoV-2 Alpha, Beta or Delta was seeded. After a 10-min incubation, the downstream side of each filter was washed, and the rinse was collected and placed over Vero-E6 cells. After 5 days of incubation, viral RNA was extracted and subjected to SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR analysis. Taffix ® fully blocked passage of all three tested SARS-CoV-2 variants, as demonstrated by a 100% reduction of recoverable viral RNA from Vero-E6 cells treated with filter rinse. These results support its use as an effective barrier against new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in conjunction with other protective measures.

16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314533

ABSTRACT

We assessed the annual occurrence and diversity of respiratory pathogens in SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients admitted due to acute respiratory illness (ARI). A multiplex-PCR panel targeting 23 microorganisms detected other respiratory pathogens in only 8/476 (2%) COVID-19 versus 87/463 (19%) non-COVID-19 ARI patients. Diversity and rates of pathogens vastly differed from previous years yet showed seasonal variance.

18.
Vaccine ; 40(6): 880-885, 2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1615720

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several countries have recently transitioned from the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) to the quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (QIV) in order to outweigh influenza B vaccine-mismatch. However, few studies thus far evaluated its benefits versus the TIV in a systematic manner. Our objective was to compare the QIV VE with lineage-mismatched TIV VE. METHODS: We estimated the 2015-2016, 2017-2018, 2019-2020 end-of season influenza B VE against laboratory-confirmed influenza-like illness (ILI) among community patients, using the test-negative design. VE was estimated for pre-determined age groups and for moving age intervals of 15 years. RESULTS: Since 2011-2012 season, alternate seasons in Israel were dominated by influenza B circulation. Compared with the lineage-mismatched TIV used during the 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 seasons, the 2019-2020 QIV showed the highest all-ages VE, with VE estimates of 56.9 (95% CI 30.1 to 73.4), 16.5 (95% CI -22.5 to 43.1) and -25.8 (95% CI -85.3 to 14.6) for the 2019-2020, 2017-2018 and 2015-2016 seasons, respectively. The 2019-2020 VE point estimated were the highest for the 0.5-4, 5-17 and 18-44 years age groups and for more 15-year age intervals as compared to the other seasons. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the rapid transition from the TIV to the QIV.


Subject(s)
Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Adolescent , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Influenza B virus , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Seasons , Vaccines, Inactivated
19.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674871

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 surface spike protein mediates the viral entry into the host cell and represents the primary immunological target of COVID-19 vaccines as well as post-exposure immunotherapy. Establishment of the highly immunogenic B-cell epitope profile of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in general, and that of the spike protein in particular, may contribute to the development of sensitive diagnostic tools and identification of vaccine` candidate targets. In the current study, the anti-viral antibody response in transgenic K18-hACE-2 mice was examined by implementing an immunodominant epitope mapping approach of the SARS-CoV-2 spike. Serum samples for probing an epitope array covering the entire spike protein were collected from mice following infection with the original SARS-CoV-2 strain as well as the B.1.1.7 Alpha and B.1.351 Beta genetic variants of concern. The analysis resulted in distinction of six linear epitopes common to the humoral response against all virus variants inspected at a frequency of more than 20% of the serum samples. Finally, the universality of the response was probed by cross-protective in vitro experiments using plaque-reducing neutralization tests. The data presented here has important implications for prediction of the efficacy of immune countermeasures against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

20.
Int J Infect Dis ; 116: 226-229, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620727

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to describe the distribution of respiratory pathogens and the occurrence of co-pathogens during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We used a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) panel targeting 23 microorganisms to analyze the oro-pharyngeal samples of patients admitted to our hospital with acute respiratory infection (ARI) between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021. We matched 40 to 50 patients who were SARS-CoV-2 positive and SARS-CoV-2 negative per month for age and sex. RESULTS: A total of 939 patients with multiplex PCR test results were included in the study. Respiratory pathogens where detected in only 8/476 (1.6%) patients with COVID-19 versus 87/463 (18.7%) patients with non-COVID-19 ARI patients. Diversity and rates of pathogens vastly differed from previous years but showed seasonal variance. CONCLUSION: Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection presenting with ARI during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated paucity of respiratory co-pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Pandemics , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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