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1.
J Biomol Tech ; 32(3): 137-147, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626499

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) control in the United States remains hampered, in part, by testing limitations. We evaluated a simple, outdoor, mobile, colorimetric reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay workflow where self-collected saliva is tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. From July 16, 2020, to November 19, 2020, surveillance samples (n = 4704) were collected from volunteers and tested for SARS-CoV-2 at 5 sites. Twenty-one samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-LAMP; 12 were confirmed positive by subsequent quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) testing, whereas 8 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and 1 could not be confirmed because the donor did not consent to further molecular testing. We estimated the false-negative rate of the RT-LAMP assay only from July 16, 2020, to September 17, 2020 by pooling residual heat-inactivated saliva that was unambiguously negative by RT-LAMP into groups of 6 or fewer and testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by qRT-PCR. We observed a 98.8% concordance between the RT-LAMP and qRT-PCR assays, with only 5 of 421 RT-LAMP-negative pools (2493 total samples) testing positive in the more-sensitive qRT-PCR assay. Overall, we demonstrate a rapid testing method that can be implemented outside the traditional laboratory setting by individuals with basic molecular biology skills and that can effectively identify asymptomatic individuals who would not typically meet the criteria for symptom-based testing modalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554793

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, vaccine, and therapeutic studies rely on the use of animals challenged with highly pathogenic virus stocks produced in cell cultures. Ideally, these virus stocks should be genetically and functionally similar to the original clinical isolate, retaining wild-type properties to be reliably used in animal model studies. It is well-established that SARS-CoV-2 isolates serially passaged on Vero cell lines accumulate mutations and deletions in the furin cleavage site; however, these can be eliminated when passaged on Calu-3 lung epithelial cell lines, as presented in this study. As numerous stocks of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern are being grown in cell cultures with the intent for use in animal models, it is essential that propagation methods generate virus stocks that are pathogenic in vivo. Here, we found that the propagation of a B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 stock on Calu-3 cells eliminated viruses that previously accumulated mutations in the furin cleavage site. Notably, there were alternative variants that accumulated at the same nucleotide positions in virus populations grown on Calu-3 cells at multiple independent facilities. When a Calu-3-derived B.1.351 virus stock was used to infect hamsters, the virus remained pathogenic and the Calu-3-specific variants persisted in the population. These results suggest that Calu-3-derived virus stocks are pathogenic but care should still be taken to evaluate virus stocks for newly arising mutations during propagation.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Serial Passage/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Furin/metabolism , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
3.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(618): eabj2641, 2021 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546435

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that result in increased transmissibility and partial evasion of neutralizing antibodies have recently emerged. Whether natural immunity induced by the original SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 strain protects against rechallenge with these SARS-CoV-2 variants remains a critical unresolved question. In this study, we show that natural immunity induced by the WA1/2020 strain leads to partial but incomplete protection against the SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta) in rhesus macaques. We challenged rhesus macaques with B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 and showed that infection with these variants resulted in high viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tract. We then infected rhesus macaques with the WA1/2020 strain and rechallenged them on day 35 with the WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, or B.1.351 variants. Natural immunity to WA1/2020 led to robust protection against rechallenge with WA1/2020 but only partial protection against rechallenge with B.1.351. An intermediate degree of protection was observed in rhesus macaques against rechallenge with B.1.1.7. These data demonstrate partial but incomplete protective efficacy of natural immunity induced by WA1/2020 against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Our findings have important implications for both vaccination and public health strategies in the context of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Reinfection
4.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0139721, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532983

ABSTRACT

Human clinical studies investigating use of convalescent plasma (CP) for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have produced conflicting results. Outcomes in these studies may vary at least partly due to different timing of CP administration relative to symptom onset. The mechanisms of action of CP include neutralizing antibodies but may extend beyond virus neutralization to include normalization of blood clotting and dampening of inflammation. Unresolved questions include the minimum therapeutic titer in the CP units or CP recipient as well as the optimal timing of administration. Here, we show that treatment of macaques with CP within 24 h of infection does not reduce viral shedding in nasal or lung secretions compared to controls and does not detectably improve any clinical endpoint. We also demonstrate that CP administration does not impact viral sequence diversity in vivo, although the selection of a viral sequence variant in both macaques receiving normal human plasma was suggestive of immune pressure. Our results suggest that CP, administered to medium titers, has limited efficacy, even when given very early after infection. Our findings also contribute information important for the continued development of the nonhuman primate model of COVID-19. These results should inform interpretation of clinical studies of CP in addition to providing insights useful for developing other passive immunotherapies and vaccine strategies. IMPORTANCE Antiviral treatment options for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remain very limited. One treatment that was explored beginning early in the pandemic (and that is likely to be tested early in future pandemics) is plasma collected from people who have recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), known as convalescent plasma (CP). We tested if CP reduces viral shedding or disease in a nonhuman primate model. Our results demonstrate that administration of CP 1 day after SARS-CoV-2 infection had no significant impact on viral loads, clinical disease, or sequence diversity, although treatment with normal human plasma resulted in selection of a specific viral variant. Our results demonstrate that passive immunization with CP, even during early infection, provided no significant benefit in a nonhuman primate model of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Immunization, Passive/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunity , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load , Virus Replication
5.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750514

ABSTRACT

Evidence-based public health approaches that minimize the introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters are urgently needed in the United States and other countries struggling with expanding epidemics. Here we analyze 247 full-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences from two nearby communities in Wisconsin, USA, and find surprisingly distinct patterns of viral spread. Dane County had the 12th known introduction of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, but this did not lead to descendant community spread. Instead, the Dane County outbreak was seeded by multiple later introductions, followed by limited community spread. In contrast, relatively few introductions in Milwaukee County led to extensive community spread. We present evidence for reduced viral spread in both counties, and limited viral transmission between counties, following the statewide Safer-at-Home public health order, which went into effect 25 March 2020. Our results suggest that early containment efforts suppressed the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within Wisconsin.

6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276013

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a key role in viral infectivity. It is also the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response, specifically, the production of neutralizing antibodies. Recently, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 possessing multiple mutations in the S protein, designated P.1, emerged in Brazil. Here, we characterized a P.1 variant isolated in Japan by using Syrian hamsters, a well-established small animal model for the study of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19). In hamsters, the variant showed replicative abilities and pathogenicity similar to those of early and contemporary strains (i.e., SARS-CoV-2 bearing aspartic acid [D] or glycine [G] at position 614 of the S protein). Sera and/or plasma from convalescent patients and BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccinees showed comparable neutralization titers across the P.1 variant, S-614D, and S-614G strains. In contrast, the S-614D and S-614G strains were less well recognized than the P.1 variant by serum from a P.1-infected patient. Prior infection with S-614D or S-614G strains efficiently prevented the replication of the P.1 variant in the lower respiratory tract of hamsters upon reinfection. In addition, passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies to hamsters infected with the P.1 variant or the S-614G strain led to reduced virus replication in the lower respiratory tract. However, the effect was less pronounced against the P.1 variant than the S-614G strain. These findings suggest that the P.1 variant may be somewhat antigenically different from the early and contemporary strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , X-Ray Microtomography
7.
Science ; 371(6528): 460-461, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054605
8.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5558, 2020 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-910229

ABSTRACT

Evidence-based public health approaches that minimize the introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters are urgently needed in the United States and other countries struggling with expanding epidemics. Here we analyze 247 full-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences from two nearby communities in Wisconsin, USA, and find surprisingly distinct patterns of viral spread. Dane County had the 12th known introduction of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, but this did not lead to descendant community spread. Instead, the Dane County outbreak was seeded by multiple later introductions, followed by limited community spread. In contrast, relatively few introductions in Milwaukee County led to extensive community spread. We present evidence for reduced viral spread in both counties following the statewide "Safer at Home" order, which went into effect 25 March 2020. Our results suggest patterns of SARS-CoV-2 transmission may vary substantially even in nearby communities. Understanding these local patterns will enable better targeting of public health interventions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Genome, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Geography , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Molecular Epidemiology/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Psychological Distance , Respiratory Protective Devices , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Wisconsin/epidemiology
9.
medRxiv ; 2020 Jul 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-664797

ABSTRACT

Evidence-based public health approaches that minimize the introduction and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters are urgently needed in the United States and other countries struggling with expanding epidemics. Here we analyze 247 full-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences from two nearby communities in Wisconsin, USA, and find surprisingly distinct patterns of viral spread. Dane County had the 12th known introduction of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, but this did not lead to descendant community spread. Instead, the Dane County outbreak was seeded by multiple later introductions, followed by limited community spread. In contrast, relatively few introductions in Milwaukee County led to extensive community spread. We present evidence for reduced viral spread in both counties, and limited viral transmission between counties, following the statewide Safer-at-Home public health order, which went into effect 25 March 2020. Our results suggest that early containment efforts suppressed the spread of SARS-CoV-2 within Wisconsin.

10.
Virology ; 547: 35-46, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343623

ABSTRACT

Spondweni virus (SPONV) is the most closely related known flavivirus to Zika virus (ZIKV). Its pathogenic potential and vector specificity have not been well defined. SPONV has been found predominantly in Africa, but was recently detected in a pool of Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes in Haiti. Here we show that SPONV can cause significant fetal harm, including demise, comparable to ZIKV, in a mouse model of vertical transmission. Following maternal inoculation, we detected infectious SPONV in placentas and fetuses, along with significant fetal and placental histopathology, together suggesting vertical transmission. To test vector competence, we exposed Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes to SPONV-infected bloodmeals. Aedes aegypti could efficiently transmit SPONV, whereas Culex quinquefasciatus could not. Our results suggest that SPONV has the same features that made ZIKV a public health risk.


Subject(s)
Aedes/virology , Flavivirus Infections/virology , Flavivirus/physiology , Mosquito Vectors/virology , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Aedes/physiology , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Flavivirus/genetics , Flavivirus Infections/genetics , Flavivirus Infections/metabolism , Flavivirus Infections/mortality , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mosquito Vectors/physiology , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/deficiency
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