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1.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.02.23.432474

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 may cause acute respiratory disease, but the infection can also initiate neurological symptoms. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes brain inflammation in the macaque model. An increased metabolic activity in the pituitary gland of two macaques was observed by longitudinal positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT). Post-mortem analysis demonstrated infiltration of T-cells and activated microglia in the brain, and viral RNA was detected in brain tissues from one animal. We observed Lewy bodies in brains of all rhesus macaques. These data emphasize the virus’ capability to induce neuropathology in this nonhuman primate model for SARS-CoV-2 infection. As in humans, Lewy body formation is an indication for the development of Parkinson’s disease, this data represents a warning for potential long-term neurological effects after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Teaser SARS-CoV-2 causes brain inflammation and Lewy bodies, a hallmark for Parkinson, after an asymptomatic infection in macaques.


Subject(s)
Parkinson Disease , Encephalitis , Lewy Body Disease , COVID-19
2.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.05.369413

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus that sparked the current COVID-19 pandemic. To stop the shattering effect of COVID-19, effective and safe vaccines, and antiviral therapies are urgently needed. To facilitate the preclinical evaluation of intervention approaches, relevant animal models need to be developed and validated. Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) are widely used in biomedical research and serve as models for SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, differences in study design make it difficult to compare and understand potential species-related differences. Here, we directly compared the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the two genetically closely-related macaque species. After inoculation with a low passage SARS-CoV-2 isolate, clinical, virological, and immunological characteristics were monitored. Both species showed slightly elevated body temperatures in the first days after exposure while a decrease in physical activity was only observed in the rhesus macaques and not in cynomolgus macaques. The virus was quantified in tracheal, nasal, and anal swabs, and in blood samples by qRT-PCR, and showed high similarity between the two species. Immunoglobulins were detected by various enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and showed seroconversion in all animals by day 10 post-infection. The cytokine responses were highly comparable between species and computed tomography (CT) imaging revealed pulmonary lesions in all animals. Consequently, we concluded that both rhesus and cynomolgus macaques represent valid models for evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral candidates in a preclinical setting.


Subject(s)
Lung Diseases , COVID-19
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