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1.
EBioMedicine ; 79: 103997, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778096

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is rampantly spreading across the globe. We assessed the pathogenicity and immune response generated by BA.1.1 sub-lineage of SARS-CoV-2 [Omicron (R346K) variant] in 5 to 6-week old Syrian hamsters and compared the observations with that of Delta variant infection. METHODS: Virus shedding, organ viral load, lung disease and immune response generated in hamsters were sequentially assessed. FINDINGS: The disease characteristics of the Omicron (R346K) variant were found to be similar to that of the Delta variant infection in hamsters like viral replication in the respiratory tract and interstitial pneumonia. The Omicron (R346K) infected hamsters demonstrated lesser body weight reduction and viral RNA load in the throat swab and nasal wash samples in comparison to the Delta variant infection. The viral load in the lungs and nasal turbinate samples and the lung disease severity of the Omicron (R346K) infected hamsters were found comparable with that of the Delta variant infected hamsters. Neutralizing antibody response against Omicron (R346K) variant was detected from day 5 and the cross-neutralization titre of the sera against other variants showed severe reduction ie., 7 fold reduction against Alpha and no titers against B.1, Beta and Delta. INTERPRETATION: This preliminary data shows that Omicron (R346K) variant infection can produce moderate to severe lung disease similar to that of the Delta variant and the neutralizing antibodies produced in response to Omicron (R346K) variant infection shows poor neutralizing ability against other co-circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants like Delta which necessitates caution as it may lead to increased cases of reinfection. FUNDING: This study was supported by Indian Council of Medical Research as an intramural grant (COVID-19) to ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Cricetinae , Humans , India , Mesocricetus , Virulence
2.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 835168, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775700

ABSTRACT

The main route of the transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are through respiratory pathways and close contact of human-to-human. While information about other modes of transmission is comparatively less, some published literature supporting the likelihood of a fecal-oral mode of transmission has been accumulating. The diagnosis of SARS-COV-2 infected cases is based on the real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). The fecal excretion of SARS-COV-2 has been reported frequently, however, the role of fecal viral load with the severity of disease is not yet clear. Our study focused on the investigation of SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the fecal samples of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A total of 280 RT-PCR-positive patients were enrolled, among them 15.4% had gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. It was shown that 62% of the patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in fecal specimens. This positivity was not related to the presence of GI symptoms and the severity of disease. The next generation sequencing [NGS] of SARS-CoV-2 from fecal samples of patients was performed to analyze mutational variations. Findings from this study not only emphasized the potential presence of SARS-CoV-2 in feces, but also its continuing mutational changes and its possible role in fecal-oral transmission.

3.
Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis ; 85: 101800, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757204

ABSTRACT

Nipah virus (NiV) is one of the priority pathogens with pandemic potential. Though the spread is far slower than SARS-CoV-2, case fatality is the biggest concern. Fruit bats belonging to genus Pteropus are identified to be the main reservoir of the virus causing sporadic cases and outbreaks in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India. The sudden emergence of Nipah in Kerala, India during 2018-2019 has been astonishing with respect to its introduction in the unaffected areas. With this, active Nipah virus surveillance was conducted among bat populations in Southern part of India viz., Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Puducherry and Odisha during January-November 2019. Throat swabs/rectal swabs (n = 573) collected from Pteropus medius and Rousettus leschenaultii bat species and sera of Pteropus medius bats (n = 255) were screened to detect the presence of Nipah viral RNA and anti-Nipah IgG antibodies respectively. Of 255 P. medius bats sera samples, 51 bats (20%) captured from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry demonstrated presence of anti-Nipah IgG antibodies. However, the presence of virus couldn't be detected in any of the bat specimens. The recent emergence of Nipah virus in Kerala in September 2021 warrants further surveillance of Nipah virus among bat populations from the affected and remaining states of India.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Nipah Virus , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Immunoglobulin G , India/epidemiology , Nipah Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742725

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Delta variant has evolved to become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 lineage with multiple sub-lineages and there are also reports of re-infections caused by this variant. We studied the disease characteristics induced by the Delta AY.1 variant and compared it with the Delta and B.1 variants in Syrian hamsters. We also assessed the potential of re-infection by these variants in Coronavirus disease 2019 recovered hamsters 3 months after initial infection. The variants produced disease characterized by high viral load in the respiratory tract and interstitial pneumonia. The Delta AY.1 variant produced mild disease in the hamster model and did not show any evidence of neutralization resistance due to the presence of the K417N mutation, as speculated. Re-infection with a high virus dose of the Delta and B.1 variants 3 months after B.1 variant infection resulted in reduced virus shedding, disease severity and increased neutralizing antibody levels in the re-infected hamsters. The reduction in viral load and lung disease after re-infection with the Delta AY.1 variant was not marked. Upper respiratory tract viral RNA loads remained similar after re-infection in all the groups. The present findings show that prior infection could not produce sterilizing immunity but that it can broaden the neutralizing response and reduce disease severity in case of reinfection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Reinfection , Animals , Cricetinae , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Trachea
5.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1737033

ABSTRACT

Due to the failure of virus isolation of the Omicron variant in Vero CCL-81 from the clinical specimens of COVID-19 cases, an initial in vivo and subsequent in vitro approach was utilized for the isolation of the virus. A total of 74 oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal specimens were collected from SARS-CoV-2 positive international travellers and a contact case at Delhi and Mumbai, India. All the specimens were sequenced using next-generation sequencing and simultaneously inoculated onto Vero CCL-81 cells for virus isolation. Subsequently, two omicron positive specimens were inoculated into Syrian hamsters for two passages. The initial passage of the positive hamster specimens was inoculated onto Vero CCL-81 cells. The clinical specimens, hamster specimens, and Vero CCL-81 passages were sequenced to assess the mutational changes in different host species. The replication of the Omicron variant in hamsters was confirmed with the presence of a high viral load in nasal turbinate and lung specimens of both passages. The successful isolation of the virus from hamster specimens with Vero CCL-81 was observed with cytopathic effect in infected cells and high viral load in the cell suspension. The genome analysis revealed the presence of L212C mutation, Tyrosine 69 deletion, and C25000T nucleotide change in spike gene of hamster passage sequences and an absence of V17I mutation in E gene in hamster passage sequences, unlike human clinical specimen and Vero CCL-81 passages. No change was observed in the furin cleavage site in any of the specimen sequences, suggesting intact pathogenicity of the virus isolate. Our data demonstrated successful isolation of the Omicron variant with the in vivo method first followed by in vitro method. The virus isolate could be used in the future to explore different aspects of the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Genomics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
6.
Front Public Health ; 10: 818545, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731870

ABSTRACT

We report here a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kozhikode district of Kerala state, India, which had caused fatal encephalitis in a 12-year-old boy and the outbreak response, which led to the successful containment of the disease and the related investigations. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, ELISA-based antibody detection, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) were performed to confirm the NiV infection. Contacts of the index case were traced and isolated based on risk categorization. Bats from the areas near the epicenter of the outbreak were sampled for throat swabs, rectal swabs, and blood samples for NiV screening by real-time RT-PCR and anti-NiV bat immunoglobulin G (IgG) ELISA. A plaque reduction neutralization test was performed for the detection of neutralizing antibodies. Nipah viral RNA could be detected from blood, bronchial wash, endotracheal (ET) secretion, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and anti-NiV immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies from the serum sample of the index case. Rapid establishment of an onsite NiV diagnostic facility and contact tracing helped in quick containment of the outbreak. NiV sequences retrieved from the clinical specimen of the index case formed a sub-cluster with the earlier reported Nipah I genotype sequences from India with more than 95% similarity. Anti-NiV IgG positivity could be detected in 21% of Pteropus medius (P. medius) and 37.73% of Rousettus leschenaultia (R. leschenaultia). Neutralizing antibodies against NiV could be detected in P. medius. Stringent surveillance and awareness campaigns need to be implemented in the area to reduce human-bat interactions and minimize spillover events, which can lead to sporadic outbreaks of NiV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nipah Virus , Child , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Male , Nipah Virus/genetics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324369

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis that has severely affected mankind and posed a great challenge to the public health system of affected countries. The availability of a safe and effective vaccine is the need of the hour to overcome this crisis. Here, we have developed and assessed the protective efficacy and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BBV152) in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulata). Twenty macaques were divided into four groups of five animals each. One group was administered a placebo while three groups were immunized with three different vaccine candidates at 0 and 14 days. All the macaques were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 fourteen days after the second dose. The protective response was observed with increasing SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and neutralizing antibody titers from 3rd-week post-immunization. Viral clearance was observed from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, nasal swab, throat swab, and lung tissues at 7 days post-infection in the vaccinated groups. No evidence of pneumonia was observed by histopathological examination in vaccinated groups, unlike the placebo group which showed features of interstitial pneumonia and localization of viral antigen in the alveolar epithelium and macrophages by immunohistochemistry. Data from this study substantiate the immunogenicity of the vaccine candidates and BBV152 is being evaluated in Phase I clinical trials in India (NCT04471519).

8.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317246

ABSTRACT

The availability of a safe and effective vaccine would be the eventual measure to deal with SARS-CoV-2 threat. Here, we have developed and assessed the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BBV152) in hamsters. Three dose vaccination regime with three formulations of BBV152 induced significant titres of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies. The formulation with imidazoquinoline adsorbed on alum adjuvant remarkably generated a quick and robust immune response. Th 1 biased immune response was demonstrated by the detection of IgG2 antibodies. Post-SARS-CoV-2 infection, vaccinated hamsters did not show any histopathological changes in the lungs. The protection of the hamsters was evident by the rapid clearance of the virus from lower respiratory tract, reduced virus load in upper respiratory tract, absence of lung pathology and robust humoral immune response. These findings confirm the immunogenic potential of BBV152 and further protection of hamsters challenged with SARS-CoV-2.

9.
J Infect Public Health ; 15(2): 164-171, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587224

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Considering the potential threat from emerging Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and the rising COVID-19 cases, SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance is ongoing in India. We report herewith the isolation of the P.2 variant (B.1.1.28.2) from international travelers and further its pathogenicity evaluation and comparison with D614G variant (B.1) in hamster model. METHODS: Virus isolation was performed in Vero CCL81 cells and genomic characterization by next generation sequencing. The pathogenicity and host immune response of the isolate was assessed in Syrian hamster model and compared with B.1 variant. RESULTS: B.1.1.28.2 variant was isolated from nasal/throat swabs of international travelers returned to India from United Kingdom and Brazil. The B.1.1.28.2 variant induced body weight loss, viral replication in the respiratory tract and caused severe lung pathology in infected Syrian hamster model in comparison, with B.1 variant infected hamsters. The sera from B.1.1.28.2 infected hamsters efficiently neutralized the D614G variant virus whereas 6-fold reduction in the neutralization was seen in case of D614G variant infected hamsters' sera with the B.1.1.28.2 variant. CONCLUSIONS: B.1.1.28.2 lineage variant could be successfully isolated and characterization could be performed. Pathogenicity of the isolate was demonstrated in Syrian hamster model and the findings of neutralization reduction is of great concern and point towards the need for screening the vaccines for efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung , Virulence
10.
J Infect Public Health ; 15(2): 182-186, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587222

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants in places where the virus is uncontained poses a global threat from the perspective of public health and vaccine efficacy. Travel has been important factor for the easy spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants worldwide. India has also observed the importation of SARS-CoV-2 variants through international travelers. METHODS: In this study, we have collected the oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab specimens from 58 individuals with travel history from United Arab Emirates (UAE), East, West and South Africa, Qatar, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia arrived in India during February-March 2021. The clinical specimens were initially screened for SARS-CoV-2 using Real time RT-PCR. All the specimens were inoculated on to Vero CCL-81 cells for virus isolation. The viral isolates were further sequenced using Next-Generation Sequencing. RESULTS: All 58 cases were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 using Real time RT-PCR. Four specimens showed progressive infectivity with fusion of the infected cells with neighboring cells leading to large mass of cells. Replication competent virus was confirmed from culture supernatant of the passage 2 using Real time RT-PCR. Two plaque purified SARS-CoV-2 isolates demonstrated high viral RNA load of 3.8-7.5 × 1011 and 1.1-1.6 × 1011 at passage 4 and 5 respectively. Nucleotide variations along with amino acid changes were also observed among these two isolates at passage 2-5. All four cases were male with no symptoms and co-morbidity. The sequence analysis has shown two different clusters, first cluster with nucleotide deletions in the ORF1ab and the spike, while second cluster with deletions in spike region. The viral isolates demonstrated 99.88-99.96% nucleotide identity with the representative sequences of Beta variant (B.1.351). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest easier transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants with human mobility through international travel. The isolated Beta variant would be useful to determine the protective efficacy of the currently available and upcoming COVID-19 vaccines in India.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Male , United Arab Emirates
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297087

ABSTRACT

Background We report here a Nipah virus (NiV) outbreak in Kozhikode district of Kerala state, India which had caused fatal encephalitis in an adolescent male and the outbreak response which led to the successful containment of the disease and the related investigations. Methods Quantitative real-time RT-PCR, ELISA based antibody detection and whole genome sequencing were performed to confirm the Nipah virus infection. Contacts of the index case were traced and isolated based on risk categorization. Bats from the areas near the epicenter of the outbreak were sampled for throat swabs, rectal swabs and blood samples for Nipah virus screening by real time RT-PCR and anti-Nipah virus bat IgG ELISA. Plaque reduction neutralization test was performed for the detection of neutralizing antibodies. Results Nipah viral RNA and anti-NiV IgG antibodies were detected in the serum of the index case. Rapid establishment of an onsite NiV diagnostic facility and contact tracing helped in quick containment of the outbreak. NiV sequences retrieved from the clinical specimen of the index case formed a sub-cluster with the earlier reported Nipah I genotype sequences from India with more than 95% similarity. Anti-NiV IgG positivity could be detected in 21% of Pteropus medius and 37.73% of Rousettus leschenaultia . Neutralizing antibodies against NiV could be detected in P . medius . Conclusions Stringent surveillance and awareness campaigns needs to be implemented in the area to reduce human-bat interactions and minimize spill over events which can lead to sporadic outbreaks of NiV.

12.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555015

ABSTRACT

We have developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktail (ZRC-3308) comprising of ZRC3308-A7 and ZRC3308-B10 in the ratio 1:1 for COVID-19 treatment. The mAbs were designed to have reduced immune effector functions and increased circulation half-life. mAbs showed good binding affinities to non-competing epitopes on RBD of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and were found neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.617.2, and B.1.617.2 AY.1 in vitro. The mAb cocktail demonstrated effective prophylactic and therapeutic activity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters. The antibody cocktail appears to be a promising candidate for prophylactic use and for therapy in early COVID-19 cases that have not progressed to severe disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibody Affinity , Binding Sites , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Epitopes , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mesocricetus , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
13.
Pathogens ; 10(12)2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554938

ABSTRACT

The emergence of new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) has been a global concern. The B.1.1.7 variant of SARS CoV-2 is reported to cause higher transmission. The study investigates the replication cycle and transcriptional pattern of the B.1.1.7 to hypothesis the possible role of different genes in viral replication. It was observed that the B.1.1.7 variant required a longer maturation time. The transcriptional response demonstrated higher expression of ORF6 and ORF8 compared to nucleocapsid transcript till the eclipse period which might influence higher viral replication. The number of infectious viruses titer is higher in the B.1.1.7, despite a lesser copy number than B.1, indicating higher transmissibility. The experimental evidence published linked ORF6 and ORF8 to play important role in replication and we also observed their higher expression. This leads us to hypothesis the possible role of ORF6 and ORF8 in B.1.1.7 higher replication which causes higher transmission.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293382

ABSTRACT

Delta variant has evolved to become dominant SARS-CoV-2 lineage worldwide and there are reports of secondary infections with varying severity in vaccinated and unvaccinated naturally recovered COVID-19 patients. As the protective immunity following the infection wanes within few months, studies of re-infection after prolonged duration is needed. Hence we assessed the potential of re-infection by Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1 in COVID-19 recovered hamsters after 3 months of infection. Re-infection with Delta and B.1 variants in hamsters showed reduced viral shedding, lung pathology and lung viral load, whereas the upper respiratory tract viral load remained similar to that of first infection. The reduction in viral load and lung pathology after re-infection with Delta AY.1 variant was not marked. Further we assessed the disease characteristics of Delta AY.1 to understand whether it has any replication advantage over Delta variant and B.1 variant, an early isolate in Syrian hamsters. Body weight changes, viral load in respiratory organs, lung pathology, cytokine response and neutralizing antibody response were assessed. Delta AY.1 variant produced milder disease in comparison to Delta variant and the neutralizing response was similar against Delta, B.1 and B.1.351 variant in contrast to Delta or B.1 infected hamsters which showed a significant reduction in neutralization titres against B.1.351. Elevation of IL-6 levels was observed post infection in hamsters after primary infection. The prior infection could not produce sterilizing immunity but the protective effect was evident following re-infection. This indicates the importance of the transmission prevention efforts even after achieving herd immunity.

15.
Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis ; 21(11): 900-909, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532426

ABSTRACT

Background: A wide range of insect-specific viruses (ISVs) have been reported worldwide. There are no studies from India that have reported ISVs. The current study describes the identification of Phasi Charoen-like virus (PCLV) from Aedes aegypti mosquito-pools from six districts of Karnataka state, India. Materials and Methods: During the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) outbreak in the Bangalore Urban district in 2019, using conventional PCR, it was found that both human and mosquito samples were positive for CHIKV. For retrieve the complete genome sequence, mosquito samples were subjected to next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis and PCLV was also found. During 2019, as part of a vector-borne disease surveillance, we received 50 mosquito pool samples from 6 districts of the state, all of them were subjected to NGS to identify PCLV. Results: The A. aegypti mosquito-pools samples were subjected to the NGS platform that led to identification of an ISV, PCLV. PCLV was identified in 26 A. aegypti mosquito-pools collected from 6 districts. We also found mixed infection of PCLV with the Dengue virus (DENV; genotypes 1 and 3) and CHIKV from five pools. The nucleotide identity for the L gene of Indian PCLV sequences ranged between 97.1% and 98.3% in comparison with the Thailand sequences. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of PCLV dual infection with DENV and CHIKV in India. The present study confirms the presence of PCLV in A. aegypti mosquitoes from Karnataka state. The study adds India in the global geographical distribution of PCLV.


Subject(s)
Aedes , Chikungunya virus , RNA Viruses , Animals , Chikungunya virus/genetics , India/epidemiology , Mosquito Vectors
16.
Indian J Med Res ; 153(5&6): 703-704, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497486
17.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390794

ABSTRACT

B.1.617 is becoming a dominant Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineage worldwide with many sublineages, of which B.1.617.2 is designated as a variant of concern. The pathogenicity of B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.617.3 lineage of SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated and compared with that of B.1, an early virus isolate with D614G mutation in a Syrian hamster model. Viral load, antibody response, and lung disease were studied. There was no significant difference in the virus shedding pattern among these variants. High levels of SARS-CoV-2 sub genomic RNA were detected in the respiratory tract of hamsters infected with the Delta variant for 14 days, which warrants further transmission studies. The Delta variant induced lung disease of moderate severity in about 40% of infected animals, which supports the attributed disease severity of the variant. Cross neutralizing antibodies were detected in animals infected with B.1, Delta, and B.1.617.3 variant, but neutralizing capacity was significantly lower with B.1.351 (Beta variant).


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Host Microbial Interactions , Mesocricetus , Virus Shedding
20.
Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis ; 21(8): 638-641, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291190

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Many SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) have been reported recently that were linked to increased transmission. In our earlier study using VOC 202012/01 (U.K. variant) and D614G variant in the hamster model, we observed higher viral RNA shedding through nasal wash in the case of U.K. variant with lower pathogenicity in lung. In this study, we have studied transmission of these two variants by direct contact, aerosol, and fomite routes in Syrian hamsters and compared the viral load and body weight changes in hamsters exposed by both variants to understand the transmission efficiency. Methods: Nasal, throat, and rectal swabs were collected sequentially to assess viral load till 14 days. Results: Transmission could be established by direct, aerosol, and fomite contact in Syrian hamsters. Body weight loss or viral load in the contact animals exposed did not show any statistical significance. Conclusion: The study demonstrated comparable transmission of both U.K. and D614G variants of SARS-CoV-2 in Syrian hamsters in the given conditions. Provided these data, it seems that all the routes of exposure are effective leading to higher transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Aerosols , Animals , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Fomites/virology , HIV Antibodies/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Lung , Male , Mesocricetus , Nasal Cavity/virology , Pharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Rectum/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , United Kingdom , Viral Load , Weight Loss
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