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1.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282631

ABSTRACT

Several of the human-pathogenic arenaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever and have to be handled under biosafety level 4 conditions, including Lassa virus. Rapid and safe inactivation of specimens containing these viruses is fundamental to enable downstream processing for diagnostics or research under lower biosafety conditions. We established a protocol to test the efficacy of inactivation methods using the low-pathogenic Morogoro arenavirus as surrogate for the related highly pathogenic viruses. As the validation of chemical inactivation methods in cell culture systems is difficult due to cell toxicity of commonly used chemicals, we employed filter devices to remove the chemical and concentrate the virus after inactivation and before inoculation into cell culture. Viral replication in the cells was monitored over 4 weeks by using indirect immunofluorescence and immunofocus assay. The performance of the protocol was verified using published inactivation methods including chemicals and heat. Ten additional methods to inactivate virus in infected cells or cell culture supernatant were validated and shown to reduce virus titers to undetectable levels. In summary, we provide a robust protocol for the validation of chemical and physical inactivation of arenaviruses in cell culture, which can be readily adapted to different inactivation methods and specimen matrices.


Subject(s)
Arenavirus/physiology , Disinfection/methods , Virus Inactivation , Animals , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disinfection/standards , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , Specimen Handling/methods , Vero Cells
2.
Trop Med Int Health ; 26(6): 621-631, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119265

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Specific serological tests are mandatory for reliable SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and seroprevalence studies. Here, we assess the specificities of four commercially available SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISAs in serum/plasma panels originating from Africa, South America, and Europe. METHODS: 882 serum/plasma samples collected from symptom-free donors before the COVID-19 pandemic in three African countries (Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria), Colombia, and Germany were analysed with three nucleocapsid-based ELISAs (Euroimmun Anti-SARS-CoV-2-NCP IgG, EDI™ Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 IgG, Mikrogen recomWell SARS-CoV-2 IgG), one spike/S1-based ELISA (Euroimmun Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG), and in-house common cold CoV ELISAs. RESULTS: High specificity was confirmed for all SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISAs for Madagascan (93.4-99.4%), Colombian (97.8-100.0%), and German (95.9-100.0%) samples. In contrast, specificity was much lower for the Ghanaian and Nigerian serum panels (Ghana: NCP-based assays 77.7-89.7%, spike/S1-based assay 94.3%; Nigeria: NCP-based assays 39.3-82.7%, spike/S1-based assay 90.7%). 15 of 600 African sera were concordantly classified as positive in both the NCP-based and the spike/S1-based Euroimmun ELISA, but did not inhibit spike/ACE2 binding in a surrogate virus neutralisation test. IgG antibodies elicited by previous infections with common cold CoVs were found in all sample panels, including those from Madagascar, Colombia, and Germany and thus do not inevitably hamper assay specificity. Nevertheless, high levels of IgG antibodies interacting with OC43 NCP were found in all 15 SARS-CoV-2 NCP/spike/S1 ELISA positive sera. CONCLUSIONS: Depending on the chosen antigen and assay protocol, SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA specificity may be significantly reduced in certain populations probably due to interference of immune responses to endemic pathogens like other viruses or parasites.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Colombia , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Germany , Ghana , Humans , Madagascar , Male , Middle Aged , Nigeria , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
3.
J Clin Virol ; 137: 104782, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116968

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostics is facing material shortages and long turnaround times due to exponential increase of testing demand. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the analytic performance and handling of four rapid Antigen Point of Care Tests (AgPOCTs) I-IV (Distributors: (I) Roche, (II) Abbott, (III) MEDsan and (IV) Siemens). METHODS: 100 RT-PCR negative and 84 RT-PCR positive oropharyngeal swabs were prospectively collected and used to determine performance and accuracy of these AgPOCTs. Handling was evaluated by 10 healthcare workers/users through a questionnaire. RESULTS: The median duration from symptom onset to sampling was 6 days (IQR 2-12 days). The overall respective sensitivity were 49.4 % (CI95 %: 38.9-59.9), 44.6 % (CI95 %: 34.3-55.3), 45.8 % (CI95 %: 35.5-56.5) and 54.9 % (CI95 %: 43.4-65.9) for tests I, II, III and IV, respectively. In the high viral load subgroup (containing >106 copies of SARS-CoV-2 /swab, n = 26), AgPOCTs reached sensitivities of 92.3 % or more (range 92.3 %-100 %). Specificity was 100 % for tests I, II (CI95 %: 96.3-100 for both tests) and IV (CI95 %: 96.3-100) and 97 % (CI95 %: 91.5-98.9) for test III. Regarding handling, test I obtained the overall highest scores, while test II was considered to have the most convenient components. Of note, users considered all assays, with the exception of test I, to pose a significant risk for contamination by drips or spills. DISCUSSION: Besides some differences in sensitivity and handling, all four AgPOCTs showed acceptable performance in high viral load samples. However, due to the significantly lower sensitivity compared to RT-qPCR, a careful consideration of pro and cons of AgPOCT has to be taken into account before clinical implementation.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods , Specimen Handling/methods , Viral Load
4.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(1): 130.e5-130.e8, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-996792

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Investigation whether in depth characterization of virus variant patterns can be used for epidemiological analysis of the first severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection clusters in Hamburg, Germany. METHODS: Metagenomic RNA-sequencing and amplicon-sequencing and subsequent variant calling in 25 respiratory samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients involved in the earliest infection clusters in Hamburg. RESULTS: Amplikon sequencing and cluster analyses of these SARS-CoV-2 sequences allowed the identification of the first infection cluster and five non-related infection clusters occurring at the beginning of the viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 in the Hamburg metropolitan region. Viral genomics together with epidemiological analyses revealed that the index patient acquired the infection in northern Italy and transmitted it to two out of 134 contacts. Single nucleotide polymorphisms clearly distinguished the virus variants of the index and other clusters and allowed us to track in which sequences worldwide these mutations were first described. Minor variant analyses identified the transmission of intra-host variants in the index cluster and household clusters. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 variant tracing allows the identification of infection clusters and the follow up of infection chains occurring in the population. Furthermore, the follow up of minor viral variants in infection clusters can provide further resolution on transmission events indistinguishable at a consensus sequence level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Germany/epidemiology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Multigene Family , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Travel
5.
J Clin Virol ; 132: 104650, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-813677

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic presents a unique challenge to diagnostic laboratories. There are preliminary studies correlating qRT-PCR results from different materials to clinical outcomes, yet, comparability is limited due to the plethora of different assays used for diagnostics. In this study we evaluate clinical performance and linear range for the SARS-CoV-2 IVD (cobas6800/8800 system, a fully automated sample-to-result platform) in different clinically relevant matrix materials outside official specifications. METHODS: Assay performance was assessed in human plasma, BAL/BL and transport medium following chemical inactivation. For analytical evaluation, respective matrix materials were spiked with SARS-CoV-2 RNA in ten-fold dilution series. The efficacy of chemical inactivation by guanidine hydrochloride solution was confirmed in cell culture infectivity experiments. For correlation, a total of 289 predetermined clinical samples including respiratory swabs, plasma and lower respiratory tract specimens were subjected to the SARS-CoV-2 IVD test and results were compared. RESULTS: The SARS-CoV-2 IVD showed excellent linearity over four to six log steps depending on matrix material. Chemical inactivation resulted in a reduction in plaque forming units of at least 3.5 log steps, while having no significant impact on assay performance. Inter-run consistency from three different testing sites demonstrated excellent comparability of RT-PCR results (maximum deviation was 1.53 CT). Clinical evaluation for respiratory swabs showed very good agreement with the comparator assay (Positive agreement 95.7 %, negative agreement 98.9 %). CONCLUSION: The SARS-CoV-2 IVD test for the cobas6800/8800 systems offers excellent linear range and inter-run consistency for quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in different matrices outside official specifications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/standards , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Cell Line , Humans , Linear Models , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reproducibility of Results
6.
Microbiol Resour Announc ; 9(23)2020 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-538004

ABSTRACT

Here, we describe the complete genome sequence of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strain isolated from an oropharyngeal swab sample from a female patient with COVID-19 who was infected in Hamburg, northern Germany.

7.
Antiviral Res ; 175: 104706, 2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2162

ABSTRACT

Rocaglates, a class of natural compounds isolated from plants of the genus Aglaia, are potent inhibitors of translation initiation. They are proposed to form stacking interactions with polypurine sequences in the 5'-untranslated region (UTR) of selected mRNAs, thereby clamping the RNA substrate onto eIF4A and causing inhibition of the translation initiation complex. Since virus replication relies on the host translation machinery, it is not surprising that the rocaglate Silvestrol has broad-spectrum antiviral activity. Unfortunately, synthesis of Silvestrol is sophisticated and time-consuming, thus hampering the prospects for further antiviral drug development. Here, we present the less complex structured synthetic rocaglate CR-31-B (-) as a novel compound with potent broad-spectrum antiviral activity in primary cells and in an ex vivo bronchial epithelial cell system. CR-31-B (-) inhibited the replication of corona-, Zika-, Lassa-, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever viruses and, to a lesser extent, hepatitis E virus (HEV) at non-cytotoxic low nanomolar concentrations. Since HEV has a polypurine-free 5'-UTR that folds into a stable hairpin structure, we hypothesized that RNA clamping by Silvestrol and its derivatives may also occur in a polypurine-independent but structure-dependent manner. Interestingly, the HEV 5'-UTR conferred sensitivity towards Silvestrol but not to CR-31-B (-). However, if an exposed polypurine stretch was introduced into the HEV 5'-UTR, CR-31-B (-) became an active inhibitor comparable to Silvestrol. Moreover, thermodynamic destabilization of the HEV 5'-UTR led to reduced translational inhibition by Silvestrol, suggesting differences between rocaglates in their mode of action, most probably by engaging Silvestrol's additional dioxane moiety.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzofurans/pharmacology , Triterpenes/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Viruses/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Benzofurans/chemical synthesis , Bronchi/cytology , Cell Culture Techniques , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells/virology , Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4A/antagonists & inhibitors , Hepatocytes/virology , Humans , Mice , Viruses/classification
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