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1.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(8): 1161-1179, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921616

ABSTRACT

Vaccines based on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 are a cornerstone of the public health response to COVID-19. The emergence of hypermutated, increasingly transmissible variants of concern (VOCs) threaten this strategy. Omicron (B.1.1.529), the fifth VOC to be described, harbours multiple amino acid mutations in spike, half of which lie within the receptor-binding domain. Here we demonstrate substantial evasion of neutralization by Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants in vitro using sera from individuals vaccinated with ChAdOx1, BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273. These data were mirrored by a substantial reduction in real-world vaccine effectiveness that was partially restored by booster vaccination. The Omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2 did not induce cell syncytia in vitro and favoured a TMPRSS2-independent endosomal entry pathway, these phenotypes mapping to distinct regions of the spike protein. Impaired cell fusion was determined by the receptor-binding domain, while endosomal entry mapped to the S2 domain. Such marked changes in antigenicity and replicative biology may underlie the rapid global spread and altered pathogenicity of the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization
2.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010174, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1624813

ABSTRACT

The mechanisms and consequences of genome evolution on viral fitness following host shifts are poorly understood. In addition, viral fitness -the ability of an organism to reproduce and survive- is multifactorial and thus difficult to quantify. Influenza A viruses (IAVs) circulate broadly among wild birds and have jumped into and become endemic in multiple mammalian hosts, including humans, pigs, dogs, seals, and horses. H3N8 equine influenza virus (EIV) is an endemic virus of horses that originated in birds and has been circulating uninterruptedly in equine populations since the early 1960s. Here, we used EIV to quantify changes in infection phenotype associated to viral fitness due to genome-wide changes acquired during long-term adaptation. We performed experimental infections of two mammalian cell lines and equine tracheal explants using the earliest H3N8 EIV isolated (A/equine/Uruguay/63 [EIV/63]), and A/equine/Ohio/2003 (EIV/2003), a monophyletic descendant of EIV/63 isolated 40 years after the emergence of H3N8 EIV. We show that EIV/2003 exhibits increased resistance to interferon, enhanced viral replication, and a more efficient cell-to-cell spread in cells and tissues. Transcriptomics analyses revealed virus-specific responses to each virus, mainly affecting host immunity and inflammation. Image analyses of infected equine respiratory explants showed that despite replicating at higher levels and spreading over larger areas of the respiratory epithelium, EIV/2003 induced milder lesions compared to EIV/63, suggesting that adaptation led to reduced tissue pathogenicity. Our results reveal previously unknown links between virus genotype and the host response to infection, providing new insights on the relationship between virus evolution and fitness.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Physiological/physiology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Influenza A Virus, H3N8 Subtype/physiology , Influenza A Virus, H3N8 Subtype/pathogenicity , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Animals , Genetic Fitness/physiology , Horses
3.
PLoS Biol ; 19(12): e3001065, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594053

ABSTRACT

The pandemic spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), represents an ongoing international health crisis. A key symptom of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the onset of fever, with a hyperthermic temperature range of 38 to 41°C. Fever is an evolutionarily conserved host response to microbial infection that can influence the outcome of viral pathogenicity and regulation of host innate and adaptive immune responses. However, it remains to be determined what effect elevated temperature has on SARS-CoV-2 replication. Utilizing a three-dimensional (3D) air-liquid interface (ALI) model that closely mimics the natural tissue physiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the respiratory airway, we identify tissue temperature to play an important role in the regulation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Respiratory tissue incubated at 40°C remained permissive to SARS-CoV-2 entry but refractory to viral transcription, leading to significantly reduced levels of viral RNA replication and apical shedding of infectious virus. We identify tissue temperature to play an important role in the differential regulation of epithelial host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection that impact upon multiple pathways, including intracellular immune regulation, without disruption to general transcription or epithelium integrity. We present the first evidence that febrile temperatures associated with COVID-19 inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in respiratory epithelia. Our data identify an important role for tissue temperature in the epithelial restriction of SARS-CoV-2 independently of canonical interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral immune defenses.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/immunology , Hot Temperature , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Adolescent , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , RNA-Seq/methods , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tissue Culture Techniques , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/physiology
4.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010022, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546978

ABSTRACT

Vaccines are proving to be highly effective in controlling hospitalisation and deaths associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection but the emergence of viral variants with novel antigenic profiles threatens to diminish their efficacy. Assessment of the ability of sera from vaccine recipients to neutralise SARS-CoV-2 variants will inform the success of strategies for minimising COVID19 cases and the design of effective antigenic formulations. Here, we examine the sensitivity of variants of concern (VOCs) representative of the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 (first associated with infections in India) and B.1.351 (first associated with infection in South Africa) lineages of SARS-CoV-2 to neutralisation by sera from individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 (Oxford/AstraZeneca) vaccines. Across all vaccinated individuals, the spike glycoproteins from B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 conferred reductions in neutralisation of 4.31 and 5.11-fold respectively. The reduction seen with the B.1.617.2 lineage approached that conferred by the glycoprotein from B.1.351 (South African) variant (6.29-fold reduction) that is known to be associated with reduced vaccine efficacy. Neutralising antibody titres elicited by vaccination with two doses of BNT162b2 were significantly higher than those elicited by vaccination with two doses of ChAdOx1. Fold decreases in the magnitude of neutralisation titre following two doses of BNT162b2, conferred reductions in titre of 7.77, 11.30 and 9.56-fold respectively to B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.351 pseudoviruses, the reduction in neutralisation of the delta variant B.1.617.2 surpassing that of B.1.351. Fold changes in those vaccinated with two doses of ChAdOx1 were 0.69, 4.01 and 1.48 respectively. The accumulation of mutations in these VOCs, and others, demonstrate the quantifiable risk of antigenic drift and subsequent reduction in vaccine efficacy. Accordingly, booster vaccines based on updated variants are likely to be required over time to prevent productive infection. This study also suggests that two dose regimes of vaccine are required for maximal BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1-induced immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Immunization, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /immunology , /immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , HEK293 Cells , Humans
5.
J Infect Dis ; 224(1): 31-38, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294729

ABSTRACT

Virus-virus interactions influence the epidemiology of respiratory infections. However, the impact of viruses causing upper respiratory infections on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication and transmission is currently unknown. Human rhinoviruses cause the common cold and are the most prevalent respiratory viruses of humans. Interactions between rhinoviruses and cocirculating respiratory viruses have been shown to shape virus epidemiology at the individual host and population level. Here, we examined the replication kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 in the human respiratory epithelium in the presence or absence of rhinovirus. We show that human rhinovirus triggers an interferon response that blocks SARS-CoV-2 replication. Mathematical simulations show that this virus-virus interaction is likely to have a population-wide effect as an increasing prevalence of rhinovirus will reduce the number of new coronavirus disease 2019 cases.


Subject(s)
Antibiosis , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection , Picornaviridae Infections/virology , Rhinovirus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
6.
Vet Rec ; 188(8): e247, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198417

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to find evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK cats. DESIGN: Tissue samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antigen using immunofluorescence and for viral RNA by in situ hybridisation. A set of 387 oropharyngeal swabs that had been submitted for routine respiratory pathogen testing was tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Lung tissue collected post-mortem from cat 1 tested positive for both SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen and RNA. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in an oropharyngeal swab collected from cat 2 that presented with rhinitis and conjunctivitis. High throughput sequencing of the viral genome revealed five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) compared to the nearest UK human SARS-CoV-2 sequence, and this human virus contained eight SNPs compared to the original Wuhan-Hu-1 reference sequence. An analysis of the viral genome of cat 2 together with nine other feline-derived SARS-CoV-2 sequences from around the world revealed no shared cat-specific mutations. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that human-to-cat transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, with the infected cats developing mild or severe respiratory disease. Given the ability of the new coronavirus to infect different species, it will be important to monitor for human-to-cat, cat-to-cat and cat-to-human transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/virology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Zoonoses , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cats , Female , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
7.
J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 971-980, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155782

ABSTRACT

Identifying drivers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) exposure and quantifying population immunity is crucial to prepare for future epidemics. We performed a serial cross-sectional serosurvey throughout the first pandemic wave among patients from the largest health board in Scotland. Screening of 7480 patient serum samples showed a weekly seroprevalence ranging from 0.10% to 8.23% in primary and 0.21% to 17.44% in secondary care, respectively. Neutralization assays showed that highly neutralizing antibodies developed in about half of individuals who tested positive with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, mainly among secondary care patients. We estimated the individual probability of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and quantified associated risk factors. We show that secondary care patients, male patients, and 45-64-year-olds exhibit a higher probability of being seropositive. The identification of risk factors and the differences in virus neutralization activity between patient populations provided insights into the patterns of virus exposure during the first pandemic wave and shed light on what to expect in future waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Demography , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunity , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Scotland/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
8.
J Infect Dis ; 224(1): 31-38, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146657

ABSTRACT

Virus-virus interactions influence the epidemiology of respiratory infections. However, the impact of viruses causing upper respiratory infections on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication and transmission is currently unknown. Human rhinoviruses cause the common cold and are the most prevalent respiratory viruses of humans. Interactions between rhinoviruses and cocirculating respiratory viruses have been shown to shape virus epidemiology at the individual host and population level. Here, we examined the replication kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 in the human respiratory epithelium in the presence or absence of rhinovirus. We show that human rhinovirus triggers an interferon response that blocks SARS-CoV-2 replication. Mathematical simulations show that this virus-virus interaction is likely to have a population-wide effect as an increasing prevalence of rhinovirus will reduce the number of new coronavirus disease 2019 cases.


Subject(s)
Antibiosis , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection , Picornaviridae Infections/virology , Rhinovirus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
9.
J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 971-980, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-998363

ABSTRACT

Identifying drivers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) exposure and quantifying population immunity is crucial to prepare for future epidemics. We performed a serial cross-sectional serosurvey throughout the first pandemic wave among patients from the largest health board in Scotland. Screening of 7480 patient serum samples showed a weekly seroprevalence ranging from 0.10% to 8.23% in primary and 0.21% to 17.44% in secondary care, respectively. Neutralization assays showed that highly neutralizing antibodies developed in about half of individuals who tested positive with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, mainly among secondary care patients. We estimated the individual probability of SARS-CoV-2 exposure and quantified associated risk factors. We show that secondary care patients, male patients, and 45-64-year-olds exhibit a higher probability of being seropositive. The identification of risk factors and the differences in virus neutralization activity between patient populations provided insights into the patterns of virus exposure during the first pandemic wave and shed light on what to expect in future waves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Demography , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunity , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Scotland/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
10.
J Infect Dis ; 222(4): 696-698, 2020 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-857632
11.
J Infect Dis ; 222(1): 17-25, 2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599715

ABSTRACT

Public health preparedness for coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) is challenging in the absence of setting-specific epidemiological data. Here we describe the epidemiology of seasonal CoVs (sCoVs) and other cocirculating viruses in the West of Scotland, United Kingdom. We analyzed routine diagnostic data for >70 000 episodes of respiratory illness tested molecularly for multiple respiratory viruses between 2005 and 2017. Statistical associations with patient age and sex differed between CoV-229E, CoV-OC43, and CoV-NL63. Furthermore, the timing and magnitude of sCoV outbreaks did not occur concurrently, and coinfections were not reported. With respect to other cocirculating respiratory viruses, we found evidence of positive, rather than negative, interactions with sCoVs. These findings highlight the importance of considering cocirculating viruses in the differential diagnosis of COVID-19. Further work is needed to establish the occurrence/degree of cross-protective immunity conferred across sCoVs and with COVID-19, as well as the role of viral coinfection in COVID-19 disease severity.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus 229E, Human/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus NL63, Human/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Seasons , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coinfection , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , Young Adult
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