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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335346

ABSTRACT

Genomic surveillance represents an important strategy for understanding evolutionary mechanisms, transmission profile, and infectivity of different SARS-CoV-2 variants. We assessed the epidemiological profile of 366 individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 from 29 municipalities in Rondônia between December 2021 to March 2022. Samples were collected, RNA was ex-tracted and screened using RT-qPCR for Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron VOCs and viral quantification was performed. Sequences were analyzed for phylogeny, mutations and lineages. Of the samples analyzed, 93.71% were positive for the Omicron variant and 6.28% were positive for the Delta variant. The symptoms observed were cough, sore throat, and fever, with a mean duration of 5 days;no hospitalizations or deaths were reported. We noted that among the positive individuals, 51% had been immunized with two doses, 22% received three doses, 13% received one dose, and 13% were not immunized. Just 242 samples were amenable to analysis for alignment and phylogenetic characterization;corresponding to variants BA.1 and BA.1.1;a total of 120 mutations were identified, 36% of which were found in the S gene. In conclusion, there was a high frequency of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, but no record of clinical severity, demonstrating the positive effect of vaccination.

2.
iScience ; 25(4): 104156, 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757444

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 epidemic in Brazil experienced two major lineage replacements until mid-2021. The first was driven by lineage P.2, in late 2020, and the second by lineage Gamma, in early 2021. To understand how these SARS-CoV-2 lineages spread in Brazil, we analyzed 11,724 genomes collected throughout the country between September 2020 and April 2021. Our findings indicate that lineage P.2 probably emerged in July 2020 in the Rio de Janeiro state and Gamma in November 2020 in the Amazonas state. Both states were the main hubs of viral disseminations to other Brazilian locations. We estimate that Gamma was 1.56-3.06 times more transmissible than P.2 in Rio de Janeiro and that the median effective reproductive number (Re) of Gamma varied according to the geographic context (Re = 1.59-3.55). In summary, our findings support that lineage Gamma was more transmissible and spread faster than P.2 in Brazil.

3.
Microb Genom ; 8(3)2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1746155

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected almost 200 million people worldwide by July 2021 and the pandemic has been characterized by infection waves of viral lineages showing distinct fitness profiles. The simultaneous infection of a single individual by two distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages may impact COVID-19 disease progression and provides a window of opportunity for viral recombination and the emergence of new lineages with differential phenotype. Several hundred SARS-CoV-2 lineages are currently well phylogenetically defined, but two main factors have precluded major coinfection/codetection and recombination analysis thus far: (i) the low diversity of SARS-CoV-2 lineages during the first year of the pandemic, which limited the identification of lineage defining mutations necessary to distinguish coinfecting/recombining viral lineages; and the (ii) limited availability of raw sequencing data where abundance and distribution of intrasample/intrahost variability can be accessed. Here, we assembled a large sequencing dataset from Brazilian samples covering a period of 18 May 2020 to 30 April 2021 and probed it for unexpected patterns of high intrasample/intrahost variability. This approach enabled us to detect nine cases of SARS-CoV-2 coinfection with well characterized lineage-defining mutations, representing 0.61 % of all samples investigated. In addition, we matched these SARS-CoV-2 coinfections with spatio-temporal epidemiological data confirming its plausibility with the cocirculating lineages at the timeframe investigated. Our data suggests that coinfection with distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages is a rare phenomenon, although it is certainly a lower bound estimate considering the difficulty to detect coinfections with very similar SARS-CoV-2 lineages and the low number of samples sequenced from the total number of infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Superinfection/virology , Brazil , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
4.
Virus Evol ; 7(2): veab091, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713740

ABSTRACT

One of the most remarkable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC) features is the significant number of mutations they acquired. However, the specific factors that drove the emergence of such variants since the second half of 2020 are not fully resolved. In this study, we describe a new SARS-CoV-2 P.1 sub-lineage circulating in Brazil, denoted here as Gamma-like-II, that as well as the previously described lineage Gamma-like-I shares several lineage-defining mutations with the VOC Gamma. Reconstructions of ancestor sequences support that most lineage-defining mutations of the Spike (S) protein, including those at the receptor-binding domain (RBD), accumulated at the first P.1 ancestor. In contrast, mutations outside the S protein were mostly fixed at subsequent steps. Our evolutionary analyses estimate that P.1-ancestral strains carrying RBD mutations of concern probably circulated cryptically in the Amazonas for several months before the emergence of the VOC Gamma. Unlike the VOC Gamma, the other P.1 sub-lineages displayed a much more restricted dissemination and accounted for a low fraction (<2 per cent) of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Brazil in 2021. The stepwise diversification of lineage P.1 through multiple inter-host transmissions is consistent with the hypothesis that partial immunity acquired from natural SARS-CoV-2 infections in heavily affected regions might have been a major driving force behind the natural selection of some VOCs. The lag time between the emergence of the P.1 ancestor and the expansion of the VOC Gamma and the divergent epidemic trajectories of P.1 sub-lineages support a complex interplay between the emergence of mutations of concern and viral spread in Brazil.

5.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0236621, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703078

ABSTRACT

The Amazonas was one of the most heavily affected Brazilian states by the COVID-19 epidemic. Despite a large number of infected people, particularly during the second wave associated with the spread of the Variant of Concern (VOC) Gamma (lineage P.1), SARS-CoV-2 continues to circulate in the Amazonas. To understand how SARS-CoV-2 persisted in a human population with a high immunity barrier, we generated 1,188 SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequences from individuals diagnosed in the Amazonas state from 1st January to 6th July 2021, of which 38 were vaccine breakthrough infections. Our study reveals a sharp increase in the relative prevalence of Gamma plus (P.1+) variants, designated Pango Lineages P.1.3 to P.1.6, harboring two types of additional Spike changes: deletions in the N-terminal (NTD) domain (particularly Δ144 or Δ141-144) associated with resistance to anti-NTD neutralizing antibodies or mutations at the S1/S2 junction (N679K or P681H) that probably enhance the binding affinity to the furin cleavage site, as suggested by our molecular dynamics simulations. As lineages P.1.4 (S:N679K) and P.1.6 (S:P681H) expanded (Re > 1) from March to July 2021, the lineage P.1 declined (Re < 1) and the median Ct value of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases in Amazonas significantly decreases. Still, we did not find an increased incidence of P.1+ variants among breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated patients (71%) in comparison to unvaccinated individuals (93%). This evidence supports that the ongoing endemic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the Amazonas is driven by the spread of new local Gamma/P.1 sublineages that are more transmissible, although not more efficient to evade vaccine-elicited immunity than the parental VOC. Finally, as SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread in human populations with a declining density of susceptible hosts, the risk of selecting more infectious variants or antibody evasion mutations is expected to increase. IMPORTANCE The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is an expected phenomenon that will continue to happen due to the high number of cases worldwide. The present study analyzed how a Variant of Concern (VOC) could still circulate in a population hardly affected by two COVID-19 waves and with vaccination in progress. Our results showed that the answer behind that was a new generation of Gamma-like viruses, which emerged locally carrying mutations that made it more transmissible and more capable of spreading, partially evading prior immunity triggered by natural infections or vaccines. With thousands of new cases daily, the current pandemics scenario suggests that SARS-CoV-2 will continue to evolve and efforts to reduce the number of infected subjects, including global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, are mandatory. Thus, until the end of pandemics, the SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance will be an essential tool to better understand the drivers of the viral evolutionary process.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/enzymology , Furin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Motifs , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Furin/genetics , Genomics , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327211

ABSTRACT

Background: Point-of-care and decentralized testing for SARS-CoV-2 is critical to inform public health responses. Performance evaluations in priority use cases such as contact tracing can highlight trade-offs in test selection and testing strategies. Methods. A prospective diagnostic accuracy study was conducted among close contacts of COVID-19 cases in Brazil. Two anterior nares swabs (ANS), a nasopharyngeal swab (NPS), and saliva were collected at all visits. Vaccination history and symptoms were assessed. Household contacts were followed longitudinally. Three rapid antigen tests and one molecular method were evaluated for usability and performance against reference RT-PCR on NPS. Results. Fifty index cases and 214 contacts (64 household) were enrolled. Sixty-five contacts were RT-PCR positive during at least one visit. Vaccination did not influence viral load. Gamma variants were most prevalent;Delta emerged increasingly during implementation. Overall sensitivity of evaluated tests ranged from 33% to 76%. Performance was higher among symptomatic cases and cases with Ct<34 and lower among oligo/asymptomatic cases. Assuming a 24-hour time-to-result for RT-PCR, the cumulative sensitivity of an ANS rapid antigen test was >70% and almost 90% after four days. Conclusions. The near immediate time-to-result for antigen tests significantly offsets lower analytical sensitivity in settings where RT-PCR results are delayed or unavailable.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321946

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly around the world, with Brazil currently considered an epicenter of the pandemic. The northern region of the country has the highest incidence and mortality rates. This study aimed to investigate information about the evolutionary history of epidemic spread and genetic aspects of strains isolated on the Western Amazon, in the State of Rondônia, Brazil. It was possible to detect a total of 22 mutations. Some of these alterations may possibly be related to effects on transmissibility, the fidelity of RNA replication, the ability of cancer patients to respond to infection, beyond a mutation that emerged after the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 in Rondônia. At least two events of introduction were detected, corresponding to the B.1 and B.1.1 European lineages. An introduction was observed possibly through Argentina, where strains originated that circulated in the Minas Gerais and Ceará Brazilian states, prior to Rondônia (B.1.), as well as through the Minas Gerais state and the Federal District, which gave rise to strains that spread to Rondônia, from the capital to more rural parts of the state (B.1.1.). The findings show the need to monitor the genetic epidemiology of COVID-19, in order to surveil the virus’s evolution, dispersion and diversity.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311463

ABSTRACT

One of the most remarkable features of the SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (VOC) is the unusually large number of mutations they carry. However, the specific factors that drove the emergence of such variants since the second half of 2020 are not fully resolved. In this study, we described a new SARS-CoV-2 lineage provisionally designated as P.1-like-II that, as well as the previously described lineage P.1-like-I, shares several lineage-defining mutations with the VOC P.1 circulating in Brazil. Reconstructions of P.1 ancestor sequences demonstrate that the entire constellation of mutations that define the VOC P.1 did not accumulate within a single long-term infected individual, but was acquired by sequential addition during interhost transmissions. Our evolutionary analyses further estimate that P.1-ancestors strains carrying half of the P.1-lineage-defining mutations, including those at the receptor-binding domain of the Spike protein, circulated cryptically in the Amazonas state since August 2020. This evolutionary pattern is consistent with the hypothesis that partial human population immunity acquired from natural SARS-CoV-2 infections during the first half of 2020 might have been the major driving force behind natural selection that allowed VOCs' emergence and worldwide spread. These findings also support a long lag-time between the emergence of variants with key mutations of concern and expansion of the VOC P.1 in Brazil.

9.
Virus evolution ; 7(2), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1624105

ABSTRACT

One of the most remarkable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC) features is the significant number of mutations they acquired. However, the specific factors that drove the emergence of such variants since the second half of 2020 are not fully resolved. In this study, we describe a new SARS-CoV-2 P.1 sub-lineage circulating in Brazil, denoted here as Gamma-like-II, that as well as the previously described lineage Gamma-like-I shares several lineage-defining mutations with the VOC Gamma. Reconstructions of ancestor sequences support that most lineage-defining mutations of the Spike (S) protein, including those at the receptor-binding domain (RBD), accumulated at the first P.1 ancestor. In contrast, mutations outside the S protein were mostly fixed at subsequent steps. Our evolutionary analyses estimate that P.1-ancestral strains carrying RBD mutations of concern probably circulated cryptically in the Amazonas for several months before the emergence of the VOC Gamma. Unlike the VOC Gamma, the other P.1 sub-lineages displayed a much more restricted dissemination and accounted for a low fraction (<2 per cent) of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Brazil in 2021. The stepwise diversification of lineage P.1 through multiple inter-host transmissions is consistent with the hypothesis that partial immunity acquired from natural SARS-CoV-2 infections in heavily affected regions might have been a major driving force behind the natural selection of some VOCs. The lag time between the emergence of the P.1 ancestor and the expansion of the VOC Gamma and the divergent epidemic trajectories of P.1 sub-lineages support a complex interplay between the emergence of mutations of concern and viral spread in Brazil.

10.
Cell ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601904

ABSTRACT

On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses. A comprehensive analysis of sera from vaccinees, convalescent patients infected previously by multiple variants and potent monoclonal antibodies from early in the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a substantial overall reduction the ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which a third vaccine dose seems to ameliorate. Structural analyses of the Omicron RBD suggest a selective pressure enabling the virus bind ACE2 with increased affinity that is offset by other changes in the receptor binding motif that facilitates immune escape.

11.
SSRN; 2021.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-296495

ABSTRACT

E-Letter concerning: 1. L. F. Buss et al., Three-quarters attack rate of SARS-CoV-2 in the Brazilian Amazon during a largely unmitigated epidemic. Science 371, 288-292 (2021). 2. N. R. Faria et al., Genomics and epidemiology of the P.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil. Science, 372, 815-821 (2021). [appearing 21 May 2021 ]

12.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294938

ABSTRACT

Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant, Gamma, emerged in the city of Manaus in late 2020 during a large resurgence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and has spread throughout Brazil. The effectiveness of vaccines in settings with widespread Gamma variant transmission has not been reported. Methods We performed a matched test-negative case-control study to estimate the effectiveness of an inactivated vaccine, CoronaVac, in healthcare workers (HCWs) in Manaus, where the Gamma variant accounted for 86% of genotyped SARS-CoV-2 samples at the peak of its epidemic. We performed an early analysis of effectiveness following administration of at least one vaccine dose and an analysis of effectiveness of the two-dose schedule. The primary outcome was symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Findings For the early at-least-one-dose and two-dose analyses the study population was, respectively, 53,176 and 53,153 HCWs residing in Manaus and aged 18 years or older, with complete information on age, residence, and vaccination status. Among 53,153 HCWs eligible for the two-dose analysis, 47,170 (89%) received at least one dose of CoronaVac and 2,656 individuals (5%) underwent RT-PCR testing from 19 January, 2021 to 13 April, 2021. Of 3,195 RT-PCR tests, 885 (28%) were positive. 393 and 418 case- control pairs were selected for the early and two-dose analyses, respectively, matched on calendar time, age, and neighbourhood. Among those who had received both vaccine doses before the RT-PCR sample collection date, the average time from second dose to sample collection date was 14 days (IQR 7-24). In the early analysis, vaccination with at least one dose was associated with a 0.50-fold reduction (adjusted vaccine effectiveness (VE), 49.6%, 95% CI 11.3 to 71.4) in the odds of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period 14 days or more after receiving the first dose. However, we estimated low effectiveness (adjusted VE 36.8%, 95% CI -54.9 to 74.2) of the two-dose schedule against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period 14 days or more after receiving the second dose. A finding that vaccinated individuals were much more likely to be infected than unvaccinated individuals in the period 0-13 days after first dose (aOR 2.11, 95% CI 1.36-3.27) suggests that unmeasured confounding led to downward bias in the vaccine effectiveness estimate. Interpretation Evidence from this test-negative study of the effectiveness of CoronaVac was mixed, and likely affected by bias in this setting. Administration of at least one vaccine dose showed effectiveness against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in the setting of epidemic Gamma variant transmission. However, the low estimated effectiveness of the two-dose schedule underscores the need to maintain non-pharmaceutical interventions while vaccination campaigns with CoronaVac are being implemented. Funding Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz);Municipal Health Secretary of Manaus Research in Context Evidence before this study We searched PubMed for articles published from inception of the pandemic until April 3, 2021, with no language restrictions, using the search terms “P.1” AND “vaccine” AND “SARS-CoV-2”. Additionally, we searched for “CoronaVac” AND “SARS-CoV-2”. Early studies have found plasma from convalescent COVID-19 patients and sera from vaccinated individuals have reduced neutralisation of the SARS-CoV-2 variant, Gamma or P.1, compared with strains isolated earlier in the pandemic. Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA, Oxford-AstraZeneca ChAdOx1, and CoronaVac are the only vaccines for which such data has been published to date. No studies reported effectiveness of any vaccine on reducing the risk of infection or disease among individuals exposed to P.1 or in settings of high P.1 transmission. Added value of this study This study finds that vaccination with CoronaVac was 49.4% (95% CI 13.2 to 71.9) effective at preventing COVID-19 in a setting with likely high prevalence of he Gamma Variant of Concern. However, an analysis of effectiveness by dose was underpowered and failed to find significant effectiveness of the two-dose schedule of CoronaVac (estimated VE 37.1%, 95% CI -53.3 to 74.2). Implications of all the available evidence These findings are suggestive for the effectiveness of CoronaVac in healthcare workers in the setting of widespread P.1 transmission but must be strengthened by observational studies in other settings and populations. Based on this evidence, there is a need to implement sustained non-pharmaceutical interventions even as vaccination campaigns continue.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293389

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) Gamma during late 2020 and early 2021 in Brazilian settings with high seroprevalence raised some concern about the potential role of reinfections in driving the epidemic. Very few cases of reinfection associated with the VOC Gamma, however, have been reported. Here we describe 25 cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection confirmed by real-time RT-PCR twice within months apart in Brazil. SARS-CoV-2 genomic analysis confirmed that individuals were primo-infected between March and December 2020 with distinct viral lineages, including B.1.1, B.1.1.28, B.1.1.33, B.1.195 and P.2, and then reinfected with the VOC Gamma between 3 to 12 months after primo-infection. The overall mean cycle threshold (Ct) value of the first (25.7) and second (24.5) episodes were roughly similar for the whole group and 14 individuals displayed mean Ct values < 25.0 at reinfection. Sera of 14 patients tested by plaque reduction neutralization test after reinfection displayed detectable neutralizing antibodies against Gamma and other SARS-CoV-2 variants (B.1.33, B.1.1.28 and Delta). All individuals have milder or no symptoms after reinfection and none required hospitalization. The present study demonstrates that the VOC Gamma was associated with reinfections during the second Brazilian epidemic wave in 2021 and raised concern about the potential infectiousness of reinfected subjects. Although individuals here analyzed failed to mount a long-term sterilizing immunity, they developed a high anti-Gamma neutralizing antibody response after reinfection that may provide some protection against severe disease.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292835

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) Delta was first detected in India in October 2020. The first imported cases of the Delta variant in Brazil were identified in April 2021 in the Southern region, followed by more cases in different country regions during the following months. By early September 2021, Delta was already the dominant variant in the Southeastern (87%), Southern (73%), and Northeastern (52%) Brazilian regions. This work aimed to understand the spatiotemporal dissemination dynamics of Delta in Brazil. To this end, we employed a combination of Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian methods to reconstruct the evolutionary relationship of 2,264 of VOC Delta complete genomes (482 from this study) recovered across 21 out of 27 Brazilian federal units. Our phylogeographic analyses identified three major transmission clusters of Delta in Brazil. The clade BR-I (n = 1,560) arose in Rio de Janeiro in late April 2021 and was the major cluster behind the dissemination of the VOC Delta in the Southeastern, Northeastern, Northern, and Central-Western regions. The clade BR-II (n = 207) arose in the Parana state in late April 2021 and aggregated the largest fraction of sampled genomes from the Southern region. Lastly, the clade BR-III emerged in the Sao Paulo state in early June 2021 and remained mostly restricted to this state. In the rapid turnover of viral variants characteristic of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, Brazilian regions seem to occupy different stages of an increasing prevalence of the VOC Delta in their epidemic profiles. This process demands continuous genomic and epidemiological surveillance toward identifying and mitigating new introductions, limiting their dissemination, and preventing the establishment of more significant outbreaks in a population already heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

15.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood) ; 246(21): 2332-2337, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1507096

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease COVID-19 has been the cause of millions of deaths worldwide. Among the SARS-CoV-2 proteins, the non-structural protein 1 (NSP1) has great importance during the virus infection process and is present in both alpha and beta-CoVs. Therefore, monitoring of NSP1 polymorphisms is crucial in order to understand their role during infection and virus-induced pathogenicity. Herein, we analyzed how mutations detected in the circulating SARS-CoV-2 in the population of the city of Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil could modify the tertiary structure of the NSP1 protein. Three mutations were detected in the SARS-CoV-2 NSP1 gene: deletion of the amino acids KSF from positions 141 to 143 (delKSF), SARS-CoV-2, lineage B.1.195; and two substitutions, R29H and R43C, SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.28 and B.1.1.33, respectively. The delKSF was found in 47 samples, whereas R29H and R43C were found in two samples, one for each mutation. The NSP1 structures carrying the mutations R43C and R29H on the N-terminal portion (e.g. residues 10 to 127) showed minor backbone divergence compared to the Wuhan model. However, the NSP1 C-terminal region (residues 145 to 180) was severely affected in the delKSF and R29H mutants. The intermediate variable region (residues 144 to 148) leads to changes in the C-terminal region, particularly in the delKSF structure. New investigations must be carried out to analyze how these changes affect NSP1 activity during the infection. Our results reinforce the need for continuous genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 to better understand virus evolution and assess the potential impact of the viral mutations on the approved vaccines and future therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution/genetics , Brazil/epidemiology , Humans , Polymorphism, Genetic/genetics , Sequence Deletion/genetics
16.
Lancet Reg Health Am ; 1: 100025, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356347

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant, Gamma, emerged in the city of Manaus in late 2020 during a large resurgence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and has spread throughout Brazil. The effectiveness of vaccines in settings with widespread Gamma variant transmission has not been reported. METHODS: We performed a matched test-negative case-control study to estimate the effectiveness of an inactivated vaccine, CoronaVac, in healthcare workers (HCWs) in Manaus, where the Gamma variant accounted for 86% of genotyped SARS-CoV-2 samples at the peak of its epidemic. We performed an early analysis of effectiveness following administration of at least one vaccine dose and an analysis of effectiveness of the two-dose schedule. The primary outcome was symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. FINDINGS: For the early at-least-one-dose and two-dose analyses the study population was, respectively, 53,176 and 53,153 HCWs residing in Manaus and aged 18 years or older, with complete information on age, residence, and vaccination status. Among 53,153 HCWs eligible for the two-dose analysis, 47,170 (89%) received at least one dose of CoronaVac and 2,656 individuals (5%) underwent RT-PCR testing from 19 January, 2021 to 13 April, 2021. Of 3,195 RT-PCR tests, 885 (28%) were positive. 393 and 418 case-control pairs were selected for the early and two-dose analyses, respectively, matched on calendar time, age, and neighbourhood. Among those who had received both vaccine doses before the RT-PCR sample collection date, the average time from second dose to sample collection date was 14 days (IQR 7-24). In the early analysis, vaccination with at least one dose was associated with a 0.50-fold reduction (adjusted vaccine effectiveness (VE), 49.6%, 95% CI 11.3 to 71.4) in the odds of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period 14 days or more after receiving the first dose. However, we estimated low effectiveness (adjusted VE 36.8%, 95% CI -54.9 to 74.2) of the two-dose schedule against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period 14 days or more after receiving the second dose. A finding that vaccinated individuals were much more likely to be infected than unvaccinated individuals in the period 0-13 days after first dose (aOR 2.11, 95% CI 1.36-3.27) suggests that unmeasured confounding led to downward bias in the vaccine effectiveness estimate. INTERPRETATION: Evidence from this test-negative study of the effectiveness of CoronaVac was mixed, and likely affected by bias in this setting. Administration of at least one vaccine dose showed effectiveness against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in the setting of epidemic Gamma variant transmission. However, the low estimated effectiveness of the two-dose schedule underscores the need to maintain non-pharmaceutical interventions while vaccination campaigns with CoronaVac are being implemented. FUNDING: Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz); Municipal Health Secretary of Manaus; Fundação de Vigilância em Saúde do Amazonas.

17.
Cell ; 184(11): 2939-2954.e9, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343152

ABSTRACT

Terminating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic relies upon pan-global vaccination. Current vaccines elicit neutralizing antibody responses to the virus spike derived from early isolates. However, new strains have emerged with multiple mutations, including P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa, and B.1.1.7 from the UK (12, 10, and 9 changes in the spike, respectively). All have mutations in the ACE2 binding site, with P.1 and B.1.351 having a virtually identical triplet (E484K, K417N/T, and N501Y), which we show confer similar increased affinity for ACE2. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine-induced antibody responses than B.1.351, suggesting that changes outside the receptor-binding domain (RBD) impact neutralization. Monoclonal antibody (mAb) 222 neutralizes all three variants despite interacting with two of the ACE2-binding site mutations. We explain this through structural analysis and use the 222 light chain to largely restore neutralization potency to a major class of public antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization, Passive , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines/immunology
19.
Nat Med ; 27(7): 1230-1238, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243306

ABSTRACT

The northern state of Amazonas is among the regions in Brazil most heavily affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and has experienced two exponentially growing waves, in early and late 2020. Through a genomic epidemiology study based on 250 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes from different Amazonas municipalities sampled between March 2020 and January 2021, we reveal that the first exponential growth phase was driven mostly by the dissemination of lineage B.1.195, which was gradually replaced by lineage B.1.1.28 between May and June 2020. The second wave coincides with the emergence of the variant of concern (VOC) P.1, which evolved from a local B.1.1.28 clade in late November 2020 and replaced the parental lineage in <2 months. Our findings support the conclusion that successive lineage replacements in Amazonas were driven by a complex combination of variable levels of social distancing measures and the emergence of a more transmissible VOC P.1 virus. These data provide insights to understanding the mechanisms underlying the COVID-19 epidemic waves and the risk of dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 VOC P.1 in Brazil and, potentially, worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , Spatio-Temporal Analysis
20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(9): e373-e381, 2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216632

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Steroid use for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is based on the possible role of these drugs in mitigating the inflammatory response, mainly in the lungs, triggered by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of methylprednisolone (MP) among hospitalized patients with suspected COVID-19. METHODS: A parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, Phase IIb clinical trial was performed with hospitalized patients aged ≥18 years with clinical, epidemiological, and/or radiological suspected COVID-19 at a tertiary care facility in Manaus, Brazil. Patients were randomly allocated (1:1 ratio) to receive either intravenous MP (0.5 mg/kg) or placebo (saline solution) twice daily for 5 days. A modified intention-to-treat (mITT) analysis was conducted. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. RESULTS: From 18 April to 16 June 2020, 647 patients were screened, 416 were randomized, and 393 were analyzed as mITT, with 194 individuals assigned to MP and 199 to placebo. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in 81.3%. The mortality rates at Day 28 were not different between groups. A subgroup analysis showed that patients over 60 years old in the MP group had a lower mortality rate at Day 28. Patients in the MP arm tended to need more insulin therapy, and no difference was seen in virus clearance in respiratory secretion until Day 7. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that a short course of MP in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 did not reduce mortality in the overall population. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT04343729.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Brazil , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Methylprednisolone/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
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