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1.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 666, 2022 Jul 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921725

ABSTRACT

B.1.1.7 lineage SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible, leads to greater clinical severity, and results in modest reductions in antibody neutralization. Subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) is produced by discontinuous transcription of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Applying our tool (periscope) to ARTIC Network Oxford Nanopore Technologies genomic sequencing data from 4400 SARS-CoV-2 positive clinical samples, we show that normalised sgRNA is significantly increased in B.1.1.7 (alpha) infections (n = 879). This increase is seen over the previous dominant lineage in the UK, B.1.177 (n = 943), which is independent of genomic reads, E cycle threshold and days since symptom onset at sampling. A noncanonical sgRNA which could represent ORF9b is found in 98.4% of B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 infections compared with only 13.8% of other lineages, with a 16-fold increase in median sgRNA abundance. We demonstrate that ORF9b protein levels are increased 6-fold in B.1.1.7 compared to a B lineage virus in vitro. We hypothesise that increased ORF9b in B.1.1.7 is a direct consequence of a triple nucleotide mutation in nucleocapsid (28280:GAT > CAT, D3L) creating a transcription regulatory-like sequence complementary to a region 3' of the genomic leader. These findings provide a unique insight into the biology of B.1.1.7 and support monitoring of sgRNA profiles to evaluate emerging potential variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327612

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Viral sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been used for outbreak investigation, but there is limited evidence supporting routine use for infection prevention and control (IPC) within hospital settings. Methods We conducted a prospective non-randomised trial of sequencing at 14 acute UK hospital trusts. Sites each had a 4-week baseline data-collection period, followed by intervention periods comprising 8 weeks of 'rapid' (<48h) and 4 weeks of 'longer-turnaround' (5-10 day) sequencing using a sequence reporting tool (SRT). Data were collected on all hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs;detected ≥48h from admission). The impact of the sequencing intervention on IPC knowledge and actions, and on incidence of probable/definite hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) was evaluated. Results A total of 2170 HOCI cases were recorded from October 2020-April 2021, with sequence reports returned for 650/1320 (49.2%) during intervention phases. We did not detect a statistically significant change in weekly incidence of HAIs in longer-turnaround (IRR 1.60, 95%CI 0.85-3.01;P=0.14) or rapid (0.85, 0.48-1.50;P=0.54) intervention phases compared to baseline phase. However, IPC practice was changed in 7.8% and 7.4% of all HOCI cases in rapid and longer-turnaround phases, respectively, and 17.2% and 11.6% of cases where the report was returned. In a per-protocol sensitivity analysis there was an impact on IPC actions in 20.7% of HOCI cases when the SRT report was returned within 5 days. Conclusion While we did not demonstrate a direct impact of sequencing on the incidence of nosocomial transmission, our results suggest that sequencing can inform IPC response to HOCIs, particularly when returned within 5 days.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322658

ABSTRACT

Background: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. Little is known about the impact their increased infectivity has on transmission within hospitals.Methods: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences.Findings: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages.Interpretation: Notwithstanding evidence from community studies that the Alpha variant is more transmissible, we find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.Funding Information: COG-UK HOCI funded by COG-UK consortium. The COG-UK consortium is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Genome Research Limited, operating as the Wellcome Sanger Institute.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for the HOCI study was provided by REC 20/EE/0118.

5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 671, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671559

ABSTRACT

Hospital outbreaks of COVID19 result in considerable mortality and disruption to healthcare services and yet little is known about transmission within this setting. We characterise within hospital transmission by combining viral genomic and epidemiological data using Bayesian modelling amongst 2181 patients and healthcare workers from a large UK NHS Trust. Transmission events were compared between Wave 1 (1st March to 25th J'uly 2020) and Wave 2 (30th November 2020 to 24th January 2021). We show that staff-to-staff transmissions reduced from 31.6% to 12.9% of all infections. Patient-to-patient transmissions increased from 27.1% to 52.1%. 40%-50% of hospital-onset patient cases resulted in onward transmission compared to 4% of community-acquired cases. Control measures introduced during the pandemic likely reduced transmissions between healthcare workers but were insufficient to prevent increasing numbers of patient-to-patient transmissions. As hospital-acquired cases drive most onward transmission, earlier identification of nosocomial cases will be required to break hospital transmission chains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Genome, Viral , Molecular Epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Bayes Theorem , Cohort Studies , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , United Kingdom/epidemiology
6.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295696

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 viruses are more transmissible, may lead to greater clinical severity, and result in modest reductions in antibody neutralization. subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) is produced by discontinuous transcription of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and is a crucial step in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle. Applying our tool (periscope) to ARTIC Network Oxford Nanopore genomic sequencing data from 4400 SARS-CoV-2 positive clinical samples, we show that normalised sgRNA expression profiles are significantly increased in B.1.1.7 infections (n=879). This increase is seen over the previous dominant circulating lineage in the UK, B.1.177 (n=943), which is independent of genomic reads, E gene cycle threshold and days since symptom onset at sampling. A noncanonical sgRNA which could represent ORF9b is found in 98.4% of B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 infections compared with only 13.8% of other lineages, with a 16-fold increase in median expression. We hypothesise that this is a direct consequence of a triple nucleotide mutation in nucleocapsid (28280:GAT>CAT, D3L) creating a transcription regulatory-like sequence complementary to a region 3’ of the genomic leader. These findings provide a unique insight into the biology of B.1.1.7 and support monitoring of sgRNA profiles in sequence data to evaluate emerging potential variants of concern. One Sentence Summary The recently emerged and more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 shows greater subgenomic RNA expression in clinical infections and enhanced expression of a noncanonical subgenomic RNA near ORF9b.

7.
J Med Virol ; 94(1): 161-172, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544335

ABSTRACT

Detailed information on intrahost viral evolution in SARS-CoV-2 with and without treatment is limited. Sequential viral loads and deep sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 from the upper respiratory tract of nine hospitalized children, three of whom were treated with remdesivir, revealed that remdesivir treatment suppressed viral load in one patient but not in a second infected with an identical strain without any evidence of drug resistance found. Reduced levels of subgenomic RNA during treatment of the second patient, suggest an additional effect of remdesivir on viral replication. Haplotype reconstruction uncovered persistent SARS-CoV-2 variant genotypes in four patients. These likely arose from within-host evolution, although superinfection cannot be excluded in one case. Although our dataset is small, observed sample-to-sample heterogeneity in variant frequencies across four of nine patients suggests the presence of discrete viral populations in the lung with incomplete population sampling in diagnostic swabs. Such compartmentalization could compromise the penetration of remdesivir into the lung, limiting the drugs in vivo efficacy, as has been observed in other lung infections.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adolescent , Alanine/therapeutic use , Child , Child, Preschool , Drug Resistance, Viral , Female , Haplotypes , Humans , Infant , Lung/virology , Male , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
iScience ; 24(11): 103353, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509904

ABSTRACT

We identify amino acid variants within dominant SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes by interrogating global sequence data. Several variants within nucleocapsid and ORF3a epitopes have arisen independently in multiple lineages and result in loss of recognition by epitope-specific T cells assessed by IFN-γ and cytotoxic killing assays. Complete loss of T cell responsiveness was seen due to Q213K in the A∗01:01-restricted CD8+ ORF3a epitope FTSDYYQLY207-215; due to P13L, P13S, and P13T in the B∗27:05-restricted CD8+ nucleocapsid epitope QRNAPRITF9-17; and due to T362I and P365S in the A∗03:01/A∗11:01-restricted CD8+ nucleocapsid epitope KTFPPTEPK361-369. CD8+ T cell lines unable to recognize variant epitopes have diverse T cell receptor repertoires. These data demonstrate the potential for T cell evasion and highlight the need for ongoing surveillance for variants capable of escaping T cell as well as humoral immunity.

9.
J Nucl Med ; 62(11): 1631-1637, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496930

ABSTRACT

In this study, we developed angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-specific, peptide-derived 68Ga-labeled radiotracers, motivated by the hypotheses that ACE2 is an important determinant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) susceptibility and that modulation of ACE2 in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) drives severe organ injury. Methods: A series of NOTA-conjugated peptides derived from the known ACE2 inhibitor DX600 were synthesized, with variable linker identity. Since DX600 bears 2 cystine residues, both linear and cyclic peptides were studied. An ACE2 inhibition assay was used to identify lead compounds, which were labeled with 68Ga to generate peptide radiotracers (68Ga-NOTA-PEP). The aminocaproate-derived radiotracer 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 was subsequently studied in a humanized ACE2 (hACE2) transgenic model. Results: Cyclic DX-600-derived peptides had markedly lower half-maximal inhibitory concentrations than their linear counterparts. The 3 cyclic peptides with triglycine, aminocaproate, and polyethylene glycol linkers had calculated half-maximal inhibitory concentrations similar to or lower than the parent DX600 molecule. Peptides were readily labeled with 68Ga, and the biodistribution of 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 was determined in an hACE2 transgenic murine cohort. Pharmacologic concentrations of coadministered NOTA-PEP (blocking) showed a significant reduction of 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 signals in the heart, liver, lungs, and small intestine. Ex vivo hACE2 activity in these organs was confirmed as a correlate to in vivo results. Conclusion: NOTA-conjugated cyclic peptides derived from the known ACE2 inhibitor DX600 retain their activity when N-conjugated for 68Ga chelation. In vivo studies in a transgenic hACE2 murine model using the lead tracer, 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4, showed specific binding in the heart, liver, lungs and intestine-organs known to be affected in SARS-CoV-2 infection. These results suggest that 68Ga-NOTA-PEP4 could be used to detect organ-specific suppression of ACE2 in SARS-CoV-2-infected murine models and COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Gallium Radioisotopes/chemistry , Peptides, Cyclic , Animals , Male , Mice , Positron-Emission Tomography , Tissue Distribution
10.
Can J Stat ; 49(4): 1018-1038, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487455

ABSTRACT

Asymptomatic and pauci-symptomatic presentations of COVID-19 along with restrictive testing protocols result in undetected COVID-19 cases. Estimating undetected cases is crucial to understanding the true severity of the outbreak. We introduce a new hierarchical disease dynamics model based on the N-mixtures hidden population framework. The new models make use of three sets of disease count data per region: reported cases, recoveries and deaths. Treating the first two as under-counted through binomial thinning, we model the true population state at each time point by partitioning the diseased population into the active, recovered and died categories. Both domestic spread and imported cases are considered. These models are applied to estimate the level of under-reporting of COVID-19 in the Northern Health Authority region of British Columbia, Canada, during 30 weeks of the provincial recovery plan. Parameter covariates are easily implemented and used to improve model estimates. We compare two distinct methods of model-fitting for this case study: (1) maximum likelihood estimation, and (2) Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo. The two methods agreed exactly in their estimates of under-reporting rate. When accounting for changes in weekly testing volumes, we found under-reporting rates varying from 60.2% to 84.2%.


Le recours à des protocoles de tests restrictifs et l'existence de formes asymptomatiques et paucisymptomatiques de la COVID­19 contribuent à la non détection de cas COVID­19. Pour comprendre la véritable gravité de l'épidémie, il est primordial d'estimer correctement le nombre de cas non détectés. A cette fin, les auteurs de ce travail proposent un nouveau modèle hiérarchique des dynamiques de la maladie basé sur l'approche de N­mélanges de population cachée. Ces modèles utilisent trois types de données régionales, à savoir, les nombres de cas déclarés, guéris et décédés. En faisant appel à l'amincissement binomial (binomial thinning) et en traitant les nombres de cas déclarés et guéris comme étant sous­évalués, les auteurs proposent une modélisation de l'état réel de l'épidémie basée sur une partition de la population malade en trois catégories : cas actifs, cas guéris et cas décédés. Cette partition tient compte des cas de propagation intérieure et des cas importés. Les auteurs ont utilisé les données recueillies durant les trente semaines du plan de rétablissement provincial de la région de l'Autorité sanitaire du Nord de la Colombie­Britannique, Canada pour illustrer leur approche et estimer le niveau de sous­déclaration COVID­19 associé. Des covariables peuvent être facilement incorporées au modèle proposé et améliorer la qualité des estimations. Deux méthodes d'ajustement sont retenues: (1) l'estimation par maximum de vraisemblance, et (2) la méthode de Monte Carlo par chaînes de Markov. Les estimations du taux de sous­déclaration obtenues par ces deux méthodes concordent exactement et varient entre 60,2% et 84,2% après ajustement des variations des volumes de tests hebdomadaires.

11.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 722838, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450821

ABSTRACT

Background: In order to understand the molecular epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Sri Lanka, since March 2020, we carried out genomic sequencing overlaid on available epidemiological data until April 2021. Methods: Whole genome sequencing was carried out on diagnostic sputum or nasopharyngeal swabs from 373 patients with COVID-19. Molecular clock phylogenetic analysis was undertaken to further explore dominant lineages. Results: The B.1.411 lineage was most prevalent, which was established in Sri Lanka and caused outbreaks throughout the country until March 2021. The estimated time of the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of this lineage was June 1, 2020 (with 95% lower and upper bounds March 30 to July 27) suggesting cryptic transmission may have occurred, prior to a large epidemic starting in October 2020. Returning travellers were identified with infections caused by lineage B.1.258, as well as the more transmissible B.1.1.7 lineage, which has replaced B.1.411 to fuel the ongoing large outbreak in the country. Conclusions: The large outbreak that started in early October, is due to spread of a single virus lineage, B.1.411 until the end of March 2021, when B.1.1.7 emerged and became the dominant lineage.

12.
J Infect ; 83(6): 693-700, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. We sought to determine whether this also resulted in increased transmission within hospitals. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences. RESULTS: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages. CONCLUSIONS: We find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
13.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 has been associated with an increased rate of transmission and disease severity among subjects testing positive in the community. Its impact on hospitalised patients is less well documented. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and clinical data of patients admitted with SARS-CoV-2 and hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs), sampled 16 November 2020 to 10 January 2021, from eight hospitals participating in the COG-UK-HOCI study. Associations between the variant and the outcomes of all-cause mortality and intensive therapy unit (ITU) admission were evaluated using mixed effects Cox models adjusted by age, sex, comorbidities, care home residence, pregnancy and ethnicity. FINDINGS: Sequences were obtained from 2341 inpatients (HOCI cases=786) and analysis of clinical outcomes was carried out in 2147 inpatients with all data available. The HR for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.28, p=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75 to 1.37, p=0.96). Analysis of sex-specific effects of B.1.1.7 identified increased risk of mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.78, p=0.096) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.90, p=0.011) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.10, p=0.177; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.04, p=0.086). INTERPRETATION: In common with smaller studies of patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2, we did not find an overall increase in mortality or ITU admission associated with B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages. However, women with B.1.1.7 may be at an increased risk of admission to intensive care and at modestly increased risk of mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , United Kingdom , Young Adult
14.
Pathog Immun ; 6(2): 27-49, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399715

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Genetic variations across the SARS-CoV-2 genome may influence transmissibility of the virus and the host's anti-viral immune response, in turn affecting the frequency of variants over time. In this study, we examined the adjacent amino acid polymorphisms in the nucleocapsid (R203K/G204R) of SARS-CoV-2 that arose on the background of the spike D614G change and describe how strains harboring these changes became dominant circulating strains globally. METHODS: Deep-sequencing data of SARS-CoV-2 from public databases and from clinical samples were analyzed to identify and map genetic variants and sub-genomic RNA transcripts across the genome. Results: Sequence analysis suggests that the 3 adjacent nucleotide changes that result in the K203/R204 variant have arisen by homologous recombination from the core sequence of the leader transcription-regulating sequence (TRS) rather than by stepwise mutation. The resulting sequence changes generate a novel sub-genomic RNA transcript for the C-terminal dimerization domain of nucleocapsid. Deep-sequencing data from 981 clinical samples confirmed the presence of the novel TRS-CS-dimerization domain RNA in individuals with the K203/R204 variant. Quantification of sub-genomic RNA indicates that viruses with the K203/R204 variant may also have increased expression of sub-genomic RNA from other open reading frames. CONCLUSIONS: The finding that homologous recombination from the TRS may have occurred since the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, resulting in both coding changes and novel sub-genomic RNA transcripts, suggests this as a mechanism for diversification and adaptation within its new host.

15.
Int J Ment Health Addict ; : 1-22, 2021 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340480

ABSTRACT

We explored (1) self-reported changes in alcohol use during the pandemic in the UK and (2) the extent to which self-reported inhibitory control and/or stress were associated with any change in drinking behaviour. We used a UK-based cross-sectional online survey administered to four nationally representative birth cohorts (N = 13,453). A significant minority of 30- (29.08%) and 50-year-olds (26.67%) reported drinking more, and between 32.23 and 45.02% of respondents reported feeling more stressed depending on the cohort. Stress was associated with hazardous drinking among 30-year-olds (OR = 3.77, 95% CI 1.15 to 12.28). Impatience was associated with both increased alcohol use (1.14, 95% CI 1.06, 1.24) and hazardous drinking (1.20, 95% CI 1.05, 1.38) among 19-year-olds. Risk-taking was associated with hazardous drinking for 30-year-olds (OR = 1.18, 95% CI 1.05, 1.32). These data highlight concerns for those at risk of alcohol misuse and alcohol-related harm during COVID-19 lockdowns. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11469-021-00599-8.

16.
Elife ; 102021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287004

ABSTRACT

Background: Rapid identification and investigation of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) is important for suppression of SARS-CoV-2, but the infection source for hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs) cannot always be readily identified based only on epidemiological data. Viral sequencing data provides additional information regarding potential transmission clusters, but the low mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 can make interpretation using standard phylogenetic methods difficult. Methods: We developed a novel statistical method and sequence reporting tool (SRT) that combines epidemiological and sequence data in order to provide a rapid assessment of the probability of HCAI among HOCI cases (defined as first positive test >48 hr following admission) and to identify infections that could plausibly constitute outbreak events. The method is designed for prospective use, but was validated using retrospective datasets from hospitals in Glasgow and Sheffield collected February-May 2020. Results: We analysed data from 326 HOCIs. Among HOCIs with time from admission ≥8 days, the SRT algorithm identified close sequence matches from the same ward for 160/244 (65.6%) and in the remainder 68/84 (81.0%) had at least one similar sequence elsewhere in the hospital, resulting in high estimated probabilities of within-ward and within-hospital transmission. For HOCIs with time from admission 3-7 days, the SRT probability of healthcare acquisition was >0.5 in 33/82 (40.2%). Conclusions: The methodology developed can provide rapid feedback on HOCIs that could be useful for infection prevention and control teams, and warrants further prospective evaluation. The integration of epidemiological and sequence data is important given the low mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 and its variable incubation period. Funding: COG-UK HOCI funded by COG-UK consortium, supported by funding from UK Research and Innovation, National Institute of Health Research and Wellcome Sanger Institute.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Population Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Genome, Viral , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Probability , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Whole Genome Sequencing
17.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(6)2021 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158099

ABSTRACT

LamPORE is a novel diagnostic platform for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA combining loop-mediated isothermal amplification with nanopore sequencing, which could potentially be used to analyze thousands of samples per day on a single instrument. We evaluated the performance of LamPORE against reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) using RNA extracted from spiked respiratory samples and stored nose and throat swabs collected at two UK hospitals. The limit of detection of LamPORE was 10 genome copies/µl of extracted RNA, which is above the limit achievable by RT-PCR, but was not associated with a significant reduction of sensitivity in clinical samples. Positive clinical specimens came mostly from patients with acute symptomatic infection, and among them, LamPORE had a diagnostic sensitivity of 99.1% (226/228; 95% confidence interval [CI], 96.9% to 99.9%). Among negative clinical specimens, including 153 with other respiratory pathogens detected, LamPORE had a diagnostic specificity of 99.6% (278/279; 98.0% to 100.0%). Overall, 1.4% (7/514; 0.5% to 2.9%) of samples produced an indeterminate result on first testing, and repeat LamPORE testing on the same RNA extract had a reproducibility of 96.8% (478/494; 94.8% to 98.1%). LamPORE has a similar performance as RT-PCR for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in symptomatic patients and offers a promising approach to high-throughput testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanopore Sequencing , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
18.
Genome Res ; 31(4): 645-658, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135943

ABSTRACT

We have developed periscope, a tool for the detection and quantification of subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) in SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequence data. The translation of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome for most open reading frames (ORFs) occurs via RNA intermediates termed "subgenomic RNAs." sgRNAs are produced through discontinuous transcription, which relies on homology between transcription regulatory sequences (TRS-B) upstream of the ORF start codons and that of the TRS-L, which is located in the 5' UTR. TRS-L is immediately preceded by a leader sequence. This leader sequence is therefore found at the 5' end of all sgRNA. We applied periscope to 1155 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Sheffield, United Kingdom, and validated our findings using orthogonal data sets and in vitro cell systems. By using a simple local alignment to detect reads that contain the leader sequence, we were able to identify and quantify reads arising from canonical and noncanonical sgRNA. We were able to detect all canonical sgRNAs at the expected abundances, with the exception of ORF10. A number of recurrent noncanonical sgRNAs are detected. We show that the results are reproducible using technical replicates and determine the optimum number of reads for sgRNA analysis. In VeroE6 ACE2+/- cell lines, periscope can detect the changes in the kinetics of sgRNA in orthogonal sequencing data sets. Finally, variants found in genomic RNA are transmitted to sgRNAs with high fidelity in most cases. This tool can be applied to all sequenced COVID-19 samples worldwide to provide comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2 sgRNA.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Animals , Base Sequence , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Limit of Detection , Vero Cells
19.
Cell ; 182(4): 812-827.e19, 2020 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-628613

ABSTRACT

A SARS-CoV-2 variant carrying the Spike protein amino acid change D614G has become the most prevalent form in the global pandemic. Dynamic tracking of variant frequencies revealed a recurrent pattern of G614 increase at multiple geographic levels: national, regional, and municipal. The shift occurred even in local epidemics where the original D614 form was well established prior to introduction of the G614 variant. The consistency of this pattern was highly statistically significant, suggesting that the G614 variant may have a fitness advantage. We found that the G614 variant grows to a higher titer as pseudotyped virions. In infected individuals, G614 is associated with lower RT-PCR cycle thresholds, suggestive of higher upper respiratory tract viral loads, but not with increased disease severity. These findings illuminate changes important for a mechanistic understanding of the virus and support continuing surveillance of Spike mutations to aid with development of immunological interventions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genetic Fitness , Genetic Variation , Geographic Information Systems , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load
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