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1.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834924

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is having devastating effects on a global scale. Since common household disinfectants are often used to minimise the risk of infection in the home and work environment, we investigated the ability of some of these products to inactivate the virus. We tested generic brands of vinegar, bleach, and dishwashing detergent, as well as laboratory-grade acetic acid, sodium hypochlorite, and ethanol. Assays were conducted at room temperature (18-20 °C, 40% relative humidity), and two time points were used to reflect a quick wipe (30 s) and a brief soak (5 min). Vinegar, and its active ingredient, acetic acid, were completely ineffective at virus inactivation even when exposed to the virus at 90% v/v (a final concentration equivalent to 3.6% v/v acetic acid). In contrast, ethanol was capable of inactivating the virus at dilutions as low as 40% v/v. Dishwashing detergent effectively rendered SARS-CoV-2 inactive when diluted 100-fold (1% v/v). Bleach was found to be fully effective against SARS-CoV-2 at 0.21 g/L sodium hypochlorite after a 30 s exposure (1/200 dilution of commercial product). Given reports of infectious virus recovered from the surface of frozen packaging, we tested the persistence of infectiousness after multiple freeze-thaw cycles and found no change in infectious SARS-CoV-2 titre after seven freeze-thaw cycles. These results should help inform readers of how to effectively disinfect surfaces and objects that have potentially been contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 using common household chemicals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disinfectants , Acetic Acid/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Detergents/pharmacology , Disinfectants/pharmacology , Ethanol/pharmacology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sodium Hypochlorite/pharmacology
2.
Viruses ; 14(4):715, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1762064

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is having devastating effects on a global scale. Since common household disinfectants are often used to minimise the risk of infection in the home and work environment, we investigated the ability of some of these products to inactivate the virus. We tested generic brands of vinegar, bleach, and dishwashing detergent, as well as laboratory-grade acetic acid, sodium hypochlorite, and ethanol. Assays were conducted at room temperature (18–20 °C, 40% relative humidity), and two time points were used to reflect a quick wipe (30 s) and a brief soak (5 min). Vinegar, and its active ingredient, acetic acid, were completely ineffective at virus inactivation even when exposed to the virus at 90% v/v (a final concentration equivalent to 3.6% v/v acetic acid). In contrast, ethanol was capable of inactivating the virus at dilutions as low as 40% v/v. Dishwashing detergent effectively rendered SARS-CoV-2 inactive when diluted 100-fold (1% v/v). Bleach was found to be fully effective against SARS-CoV-2 at 0.21 g/L sodium hypochlorite after a 30 s exposure (1/200 dilution of commercial product). Given reports of infectious virus recovered from the surface of frozen packaging, we tested the persistence of infectiousness after multiple freeze-thaw cycles and found no change in infectious SARS-CoV-2 titre after seven freeze-thaw cycles. These results should help inform readers of how to effectively disinfect surfaces and objects that have potentially been contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 using common household chemicals.

3.
J Biol Chem ; 297(6): 101362, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751075

ABSTRACT

The Nsp9 replicase is a conserved coronaviral protein that acts as an essential accessory component of the multi-subunit viral replication/transcription complex. Nsp9 is the predominant substrate for the essential nucleotidylation activity of Nsp12. Compounds specifically interfering with this viral activity would facilitate its study. Using a native mass-spectrometry-based approach to screen a natural product library for Nsp9 binders, we identified an ent-kaurane natural product, oridonin, capable of binding to purified SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 with micromolar affinities. By determining the crystal structure of the Nsp9-oridonin complex, we showed that oridonin binds through a conserved site near Nsp9's C-terminal GxxxG-helix. In enzymatic assays, oridonin's binding to Nsp9 reduces its potential to act as substrate for Nsp12's Nidovirus RdRp-Associated Nucleotidyl transferase (NiRAN) domain. We also showed using in vitro cellular assays oridonin, while cytotoxic at higher doses has broad antiviral activity, reducing viral titer following infection with either SARS-CoV-2 or, to a lesser extent, MERS-CoV. Accordingly, these preliminary findings suggest that the oridonin molecular scaffold may have the potential to be developed into an antiviral compound to inhibit the function of Nsp9 during coronaviral replication.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Diterpenes, Kaurane/pharmacology , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diterpenes, Kaurane/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316730

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The sudden arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic placed significant stresses on supply chains including viral transport medium (VTM). The VTM that was urgently required needed to support viral replication, as well as other routine diagnostic approaches. We describe the preparation and validation testing of VTM for rapidly expanding diagnostic testing, where the capacity of the VTM to preserve viral integrity, for culture, isolation and full sequence analysis, was maintained.MethodsVTM was prepared using different methods of sterilization then ‘spiked’ with virus. The VTM was investigated using viral culture in Vero cells, and for nucleic acid detection by quantitative PCR (qPCR).ResultsThe best results were obtained by filter and autoclave-based sterilization. The VTM proved robust for culture-based analyses provided the inoculated VTM was stored at 4 o C, and tested within 48 hours. The filtered VTM also supported PCR-based diagnosis for at least 5 days when the mock inoculated VTM was held at room temperature (RT).DiscussionThe manual handling of VTM production, including filling and sterilization, was optimized. SARS-CoV-2 was spiked into VTM to assess different sterilization methods and measure the effects of storage time and temperature upon VTM performance. While most diagnostic protocols will not require replication competent virus, the use of high quality VTM will allow for the next phase of laboratory analysis in the COVID-19 pandemic, including drug and antibody susceptibility analysis of re-isolated SARS--CoV-2, and for the testing of vaccine escape mutants.

6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(2)2022 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625839

ABSTRACT

The global urgency to uncover medical countermeasures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has revealed an unmet need for robust tissue culture models that faithfully recapitulate key features of human tissues and disease. Infection of the nose is considered the dominant initial site for SARS-CoV-2 infection and models that replicate this entry portal offer the greatest potential for examining and demonstrating the effectiveness of countermeasures designed to prevent or manage this highly communicable disease. Here, we test an air-liquid-interface (ALI) differentiated human nasal epithelium (HNE) culture system as a model of authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Progenitor cells (basal cells) were isolated from nasal turbinate brushings, expanded under conditionally reprogrammed cell (CRC) culture conditions and differentiated at ALI. Differentiated cells were inoculated with different SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolates. Infectious virus release into apical washes was determined by TCID50, while infected cells were visualized by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. We demonstrate robust, reproducible SARS-CoV-2 infection of ALI-HNE established from different donors. Viral entry and release occurred from the apical surface, and infection was primarily observed in ciliated cells. In contrast to the ancestral clinical isolate, the Delta variant caused considerable cell damage. Successful establishment of ALI-HNE is donor dependent. ALI-HNE recapitulate key features of human SARS-CoV-2 infection of the nose and can serve as a pre-clinical model without the need for invasive collection of human respiratory tissue samples.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Tissue Culture Techniques/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Differentiation , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization
8.
J Biol Chem ; 297(6): 101362, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545135

ABSTRACT

The Nsp9 replicase is a conserved coronaviral protein that acts as an essential accessory component of the multi-subunit viral replication/transcription complex. Nsp9 is the predominant substrate for the essential nucleotidylation activity of Nsp12. Compounds specifically interfering with this viral activity would facilitate its study. Using a native mass-spectrometry-based approach to screen a natural product library for Nsp9 binders, we identified an ent-kaurane natural product, oridonin, capable of binding to purified SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 with micromolar affinities. By determining the crystal structure of the Nsp9-oridonin complex, we showed that oridonin binds through a conserved site near Nsp9's C-terminal GxxxG-helix. In enzymatic assays, oridonin's binding to Nsp9 reduces its potential to act as substrate for Nsp12's Nidovirus RdRp-Associated Nucleotidyl transferase (NiRAN) domain. We also showed using in vitro cellular assays oridonin, while cytotoxic at higher doses has broad antiviral activity, reducing viral titer following infection with either SARS-CoV-2 or, to a lesser extent, MERS-CoV. Accordingly, these preliminary findings suggest that the oridonin molecular scaffold may have the potential to be developed into an antiviral compound to inhibit the function of Nsp9 during coronaviral replication.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Diterpenes, Kaurane/pharmacology , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diterpenes, Kaurane/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
9.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(3): 325-329, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487575

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on global health and the world's economies. Proliferation of virulent and deadly SARS-CoV-2 variants require effective transmission mitigation strategies. Under reasonable environmental conditions, culturable and infectious SARS-CoV-2 can survive on contaminated fomites from hours to months. In the present study we evaluated a surface-anchored polymeric quaternary ammonium antimicrobial to help reduce fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from contaminated surfaces. METHODS: Two studies were performed on antimicrobial pre-treated metal disks in March 2020 by two independent Biosafety Level III (BSL-3) equipped laboratories in April 2020. These facilities were in Belgium (the Rega Medical Research Institute) and Australia (the Peter Doherty Institute) and independently applied quantitative carrier-based methodologies using the authentic SARS-CoV-2 isolates (hCoV-19/Australia/VIC01/2020, hCoV-19/Belgium/GHB-03021/2020). RESULTS: Residual dry tests were independently conducted at both facilities and demonstrated sustained virion destruction (108.23 TCID50/carrier GHB-03021 isolate, and 103.66 TCID50/carrier VIC01 isolate) 1 hour (drying) + 10 minutes after inoculation. Reductions are further supported by degradation of RNA on antimicrobial-treated surfaces using qRT-PCR. CONCLUSIONS: Using a polymeric quaternary ammonium antimicrobial (EPA/PMRA registered) the results independently support a sustained antiviral effect via SARS-CoV-2 virion destruction and viral RNA degradation. This indicates that silane-anchored quaternary ammonium compound (SiQAC-18) treated surfaces could play an important role in mitigating the communicability and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Ammonium Compounds , COVID-19 , Fomites , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(8): e1009800, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435629

ABSTRACT

Type I Interferons (IFN-Is) are a family of cytokines which play a major role in inhibiting viral infection. Resultantly, many viruses have evolved mechanisms in which to evade the IFN-I response. Here we tested the impact of expression of 27 different SARS-CoV-2 genes in relation to their effect on IFN production and activity using three independent experimental methods. We identified six gene products; NSP6, ORF6, ORF7b, NSP1, NSP5 and NSP15, which strongly (>10-fold) blocked MAVS-induced (but not TRIF-induced) IFNß production. Expression of the first three of these SARS-CoV-2 genes specifically blocked MAVS-induced IFNß-promoter activity, whereas all six genes induced a collapse in IFNß mRNA levels, corresponding with suppressed IFNß protein secretion. Five of these six genes furthermore suppressed MAVS-induced activation of IFNλs, however with no effect on IFNα or IFNγ production. In sharp contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infected cells remained extremely sensitive to anti-viral activity exerted by added IFN-Is. None of the SARS-CoV-2 genes were able to block IFN-I signaling, as demonstrated by robust activation of Interferon Stimulated Genes (ISGs) by added interferon. This, despite the reduced levels of STAT1 and phospho-STAT1, was likely caused by broad translation inhibition mediated by NSP1. Finally, we found that a truncated ORF7b variant that has arisen from a mutant SARS-CoV-2 strain harboring a 382-nucleotide deletion associating with mild disease (Δ382 strain identified in Singapore & Taiwan in 2020) lost its ability to suppress type I and type III IFN production. In summary, our findings support a multi-gene process in which SARS-CoV-2 blocks IFN-production, with ORF7b as a major player, presumably facilitating evasion of host detection during early infection. However, SARS-CoV-2 fails to suppress IFN-I signaling thus providing an opportunity to exploit IFN-Is as potential therapeutic antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Interferon-beta/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/metabolism , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Interferon-beta/genetics , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
12.
ACS Nano ; 15(9): 14915-14927, 2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368905

ABSTRACT

The rise in coronavirus variants has resulted in surges of the disease across the globe. The mutations in the spike protein on the surface of the virion membrane not only allow for greater transmission but also raise concerns about vaccine effectiveness. Preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, its variants, and other viruses from person to person via airborne or surface transmission requires effective inactivation of the virus. Here, we report a water-borne spray-on coating for the complete inactivation of viral particles and degradation of their RNA. Our nanoworms efficiently bind and, through subsequent large nanoscale conformational changes, rupture the viral membrane and subsequently bind and degrade its RNA. Our coating completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (VIC01) and an evolved SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (B.1.1.7 (alpha)), influenza A, and a surrogate capsid pseudovirus expressing the influenza A virus attachment glycoprotein, hemagglutinin. The polygalactose functionality on the nanoworms targets the conserved S2 subunit on the SARS-CoV-2 virion surface spike glycoprotein for stronger binding, and the additional attachment of guanidine groups catalyze the degradation of its RNA genome. Coating surgical masks with our nanoworms resulted in complete inactivation of VIC01 and B.1.1.7, providing a powerful control measure for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Inactivation was further observed for the influenza A and an AAV-HA capsid pseudovirus, providing broad viral inactivation when using the nanoworm system. The technology described here represents an environmentally friendly coating with a proposed nanomechanical mechanism for inactivation of both enveloped and capsid viruses. The functional nanoworms can be easily modified to target viruses in future pandemics, and is compatible with large scale manufacturing processes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , Water
13.
Angewandte Chemie ; 133(31):17239-17244, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1315247

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has resulted in an unprecedented need for diagnostic testing that is critical in controlling the spread of COVID‐19. We propose a portable infrared spectrometer with purpose‐built transflection accessory for rapid point‐of‐care detection of COVID‐19 markers in saliva. Initially, purified virion particles were characterized with Raman spectroscopy, synchrotron infrared (IR) and AFM‐IR. A data set comprising 171 transflection infrared spectra from 29 subjects testing positive for SARS‐CoV‐2 by RT‐qPCR and 28 testing negative, was modeled using Monte Carlo Double Cross Validation with 50 randomized test and model sets. The testing sensitivity was 93 % (27/29) with a specificity of 82 % (23/28) that included positive samples on the limit of detection for RT‐qPCR. Herein, we demonstrate a proof‐of‐concept high throughput infrared COVID‐19 test that is rapid, inexpensive, portable and utilizes sample self‐collection thus minimizing the risk to healthcare workers and ideally suited to mass screening.

14.
mSphere ; : e0031321, 2021 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270879

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and enforced significant restrictions within our societies, including the attendance of public and professional athletes in gyms. Liquid chalk is a commonly used accessory in gyms and is comprised of magnesium carbonate and alcohol that quickly evaporates on the hands to leave a layer of dry chalk. We investigated whether liquid chalk is an antiseptic against highly pathogenic human viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus, and noroviruses. Chalk was applied before or after virus, inoculum and recovery of infectious virus was determined to mimic the use in the gym. We observed that addition of chalk before or after virus contact led to a significant reduction in recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus but had little impact on norovirus. These observations suggest that the use and application of liquid chalk can be an effective and suitable antiseptic for major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games. IMPORTANCE To restrict the potential transmission and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, the use of liquid chalk has been a requirement in an active gym setting. However, its effectiveness has not been scientifically proven. Here, we show that the application of liquid chalk before or after virus inoculum significantly impacts recovery of infectious SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses but not noroviruses. Thus, our study has shown that the implementation and application of liquid chalk in communal social gym settings is effective in reducing the infectivity of respiratory viruses, and this supports the use of liquid chalk in major sporting events to restrict the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.

15.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(31): 17102-17107, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245354

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in an unprecedented need for diagnostic testing that is critical in controlling the spread of COVID-19. We propose a portable infrared spectrometer with purpose-built transflection accessory for rapid point-of-care detection of COVID-19 markers in saliva. Initially, purified virion particles were characterized with Raman spectroscopy, synchrotron infrared (IR) and AFM-IR. A data set comprising 171 transflection infrared spectra from 29 subjects testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR and 28 testing negative, was modeled using Monte Carlo Double Cross Validation with 50 randomized test and model sets. The testing sensitivity was 93 % (27/29) with a specificity of 82 % (23/28) that included positive samples on the limit of detection for RT-qPCR. Herein, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept high throughput infrared COVID-19 test that is rapid, inexpensive, portable and utilizes sample self-collection thus minimizing the risk to healthcare workers and ideally suited to mass screening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Saliva/chemistry , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Discriminant Analysis , Humans , Least-Squares Analysis , Monte Carlo Method , Point-of-Care Testing , Proof of Concept Study , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling , Spectrophotometry, Infrared , Vero Cells
16.
chemRxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | ChemRxiv | ID: ppcovidwho-8730

ABSTRACT

A commercially available and EPA/PMRA registered quaternary ammonium antimicrobial formulation was applied to stainless steel carrier disks and sent to two virology research institutes to independently determine whether samples treated with SiQAC-C18 antimicrobial material could deactivate deposited SARS-CoV-2 virions on contaminated surfaces. The results independently support a sustained antiviral effect imparted from these treated surfaces by both SARS-CoV-2 virion destruction and degradation of viral RNA. These preliminary results indicate the SiQAC-18 treated surfaces could play an important role in mitigating the communicability and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

17.
Virol J ; 18(1): 53, 2021 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127714

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The sudden arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic placed significant stresses on supply chains including viral transport medium (VTM). The VTM that was urgently required needed to support viral replication, as well as other routine diagnostic approaches. We describe the preparation and validation testing of VTM for rapidly expanding diagnostic testing, where the capacity of the VTM to preserve viral integrity, for culture, isolation and full sequence analysis, was maintained. METHODS: VTM was prepared using different methods of sterilization then 'spiked' with virus. The VTM was investigated using viral culture in Vero cells, and for nucleic acid detection by quantitative PCR. RESULTS: The best results were obtained by filter and autoclave-based sterilization. The VTM proved robust for culture-based analyses provided the inoculated VTM was stored at 4 °C, and tested within 48 h. The filtered VTM also supported PCR-based diagnosis for at least 5 days when the mock inoculated VTM was held at room temperature. DISCUSSION: The manual handling of VTM production, including filling and sterilization, was optimized. SARS-CoV-2 was spiked into VTM to assess different sterilization methods and measure the effects of storage time and temperature upon VTM performance. While most diagnostic protocols will not require replication competent virus, the use of high quality VTM will allow for the next phase of laboratory analysis in the COVID-19 pandemic, including drug and antibody susceptibility analysis of re-isolated SARS-CoV-2, and for the testing of vaccine escape mutants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Specimen Handling/methods , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Culture Media/chemistry , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , Vero Cells
18.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 9: 100115, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117260

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Australia, COVID-19 diagnosis relies on RT-PCR testing which is relatively costly and time-consuming. To date, few studies have assessed the performance and implementation of rapid antigen-based SARS-CoV-2 testing in a setting with a low prevalence of COVID-19 infections, such as Australia. METHODS: This study recruited participants presenting for COVID-19 testing at three Melbourne metropolitan hospitals during a period of low COVID-19 prevalence. The Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Ag point-of-care test was performed alongside RT-PCR. In addition, participants with COVID-19 notified to the Victorian Government were invited to provide additional swabs to aid validation. Implementation challenges were also documented. FINDINGS: The specificity of the Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Ag test was 99.96% (95% CI 99.73 - 100%). Sensitivity amongst participants with RT-PCR-confirmed infection was dependent upon the duration of symptoms reported, ranging from 77.3% (duration 1 to 33 days) to 100% in those within seven days of symptom onset. A range of implementation challenges were identified which may inform future COVID-19 testing strategies in a low prevalence setting. INTERPRETATION: Given the high specificity, antigen-based tests may be most useful in rapidly triaging public health and hospital resources while expediting confirmatory RT-PCR testing. Considering the limitations in test sensitivity and the potential for rapid transmission in susceptible populations, particularly in hospital settings, careful consideration is required for implementation of antigen testing in a low prevalence setting. FUNDING: This work was funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The funder was not involved in data analysis or manuscript preparation.

19.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(1): e1242, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064341

ABSTRACT

Older individuals exhibit a diminished ability to respond to and clear respiratory pathogens and, as such, experience a higher rate of lung infections with a higher mortality rate. It is unclear why respiratory pathogens impact older people disproportionately. Using human lung tissue from donors aged 22-68 years, we assessed how the immune cell landscape in lungs changes throughout life and investigated how these immune cells respond following in vitro exposure to influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2, two clinically relevant respiratory viruses. While the frequency of most immune cell subsets profiled in the human lung remained stable with age, memory CD8+ T cells declined, with the tissue-resident memory (Trm) CD8+ T-cell subset being most susceptible to age-associated attrition. Infection of lung tissue with influenza virus resulted in an age-associated attenuation in the antiviral immune response, with aged donors producing less type I interferon (IFN), GM-CSF and IFNγ, the latter correlated with a reduction of IFNγ-producing memory CD8+ T cells. In contrast, irrespective of donor age, exposure of human lung cells to SARS-CoV-2, a pathogen for which all donors were immunologically naïve, did not trigger activation of local immune cells and did not result in the induction of an early IFN response. Our findings show that the attrition of tissue-bound pathogen-specific Trm in the lung that occurs with advanced age, or their absence in immunologically naïve individuals, results in a diminished early antiviral immune response which creates a window of opportunity for respiratory pathogens to gain a greater foothold.

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