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1.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 19(24):17074, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2166578

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 RNA is frequently identified in patient rooms and it was speculated that the viral load quantified by PCR might correlate with infectivity of surfaces. To evaluate Ct values for the prediction of infectivity, we investigated contaminated surfaces and Ct-value changes after disinfection. Viral RNA was detected on 37 of 143 investigated surfaces of an ICU. However, virus isolation failed for surfaces with a high viral RNA load. Also, SARS-CoV-2 could not be cultivated from surfaces artificially contaminated with patient specimens. In order to evaluate the significance of Ct values more precisely, we used surrogate enveloped bacteriophage phi6. A strong reduction in phi6 was achieved by three different disinfection methods. Despite a strong reduction in viability almost no change in the Ct values was observed for UV-C and alcoholic surface disinfectant. Disinfection using ozone resulted in a lack of phi6 recovery as well as a detectable shift in Ct values indicating strong degradation of the viral RNA. The observed lack of significant effects on the detectable viral RNA after effective disinfection suggest that quantitative PCR is not suitable for predicting the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 on inanimate surfaces. Ct values should therefore not be considered as markers for infectivity in this context.

2.
Ann Intern Med ; 173(4): 268-277, 2020 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110835

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The new coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused more than 210 000 deaths worldwide. However, little is known about the causes of death and the virus's pathologic features. OBJECTIVE: To validate and compare clinical findings with data from medical autopsy, virtual autopsy, and virologic tests. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Autopsies performed at a single academic medical center, as mandated by the German federal state of Hamburg for patients dying with a polymerase chain reaction-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. PATIENTS: The first 12 consecutive COVID-19-positive deaths. MEASUREMENTS: Complete autopsy, including postmortem computed tomography and histopathologic and virologic analysis, was performed. Clinical data and medical course were evaluated. RESULTS: Median patient age was 73 years (range, 52 to 87 years), 75% of patients were male, and death occurred in the hospital (n = 10) or outpatient sector (n = 2). Coronary heart disease and asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the most common comorbid conditions (50% and 25%, respectively). Autopsy revealed deep venous thrombosis in 7 of 12 patients (58%) in whom venous thromboembolism was not suspected before death; pulmonary embolism was the direct cause of death in 4 patients. Postmortem computed tomography revealed reticular infiltration of the lungs with severe bilateral, dense consolidation, whereas histomorphologically diffuse alveolar damage was seen in 8 patients. In all patients, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in the lung at high concentrations; viremia in 6 of 10 and 5 of 12 patients demonstrated high viral RNA titers in the liver, kidney, or heart. LIMITATION: Limited sample size. CONCLUSION: The high incidence of thromboembolic events suggests an important role of COVID-19-induced coagulopathy. Further studies are needed to investigate the molecular mechanism and overall clinical incidence of COVID-19-related death, as well as possible therapeutic interventions to reduce it. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.


Subject(s)
Autopsy/methods , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pulmonary Embolism/mortality , Venous Thromboembolism/mortality , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
3.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(9): 1765-1769, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1974607

ABSTRACT

Beginning in May 2022, a rising number of monkeypox cases were reported in non-monkeypox-endemic countries in the Northern Hemisphere. We adapted 2 published quantitative PCRs for use as a dual-target monkeypox virus test on widely used automated high-throughput PCR systems. We determined analytic performance by serial dilutions of monkeypox virus reference material, which we quantified by digital PCR. We found the lower limit of detection for the combined assays was 4.795 (95% CI 3.6-8.6) copies/mL. We compared clinical performance against a commercial manual orthopoxvirus research use only PCR kit by using clinical remnant swab samples. Our assay showed 100% positive (n = 11) and 100% negative (n = 56) agreement. Timely and scalable PCR tests are crucial for limiting further spread of monkeypox. The assay we provide streamlines high-throughput molecular testing for monkeypox virus on existing broadly established platforms used for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Monkeypox , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Monkeypox/diagnosis , Monkeypox/epidemiology , Monkeypox virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
J Reprod Immunol ; 153: 103685, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966885

ABSTRACT

Breast milk is a pivotal source to provide passive immunity in newborns over the first few months of life. Very little is known about the antibody transfer levels over the period of breastfeeding. We conducted a prospective study in which we evaluated concentrations of anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike IgA and RBD IgG/M/A antibodies in maternal serum and breast milk over a duration of up to 6 months after delivery. We compared antibody levels in women with confirmed COVID-19 infection during pregnancy (n = 16) to women with prenatal SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (n = 5). Among the recovered women, n = 7 (44%) had been vaccinated during the lactation period as well. We observed intraindividual moderate positive correlations between antibody levels in maternal serum and breast milk (r = 0.73, p-value<0.0001), whereupon the median levels were generally higher in serum. Anti-RBD IgA/M/G transfer into breast milk was significantly higher in women recovered from COVID-19 and vaccinated during lactation (35.15 AU/ml; IQR 21.96-66.89 AU/ml) compared to the nonvaccinated recovered group (1.26 AU/ml; IQR 0.49-3.81 AU/ml), as well as in the vaccinated only group (4.52 AU/ml; IQR 3.19-6.23 AU/ml). Notably, the antibody level in breast milk post SARS-CoV-2 infection sharply increased following a single dose of vaccine. Breast milk antibodies in all groups showed neutralization capacities against an early pandemic SARS-CoV-2 isolate (HH-1) and moreover, also against the Omicron variant, although with lower antibody titer. Our findings highlight the importance of booster vaccinations especially after SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy in order to optimize protection in mother and newborn.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral , Breast Feeding , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , Infant, Newborn , Lactation , Milk, Human , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
5.
EBioMedicine ; 83: 104193, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966506

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Autopsy studies have provided valuable insights into the pathophysiology of COVID-19. Controversies remain about whether the clinical presentation is due to direct organ damage by SARS-CoV-2 or secondary effects, such as overshooting immune response. SARS-CoV-2 detection in tissues by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) or electron microscopy (EM) can help answer these questions, but a comprehensive evaluation of these applications is missing. METHODS: We assessed publications using IHC and EM for SARS-CoV-2 detection in autopsy tissues. We systematically evaluated commercially available antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 proteins in cultured cell lines and COVID-19 autopsy tissues. In a multicentre study, we evaluated specificity, reproducibility, and inter-observer variability of SARS-CoV-2 IHC. We correlated RT-qPCR viral tissue loads with semiquantitative IHC scoring. We used qualitative and quantitative EM analyses to refine criteria for ultrastructural identification of SARS-CoV-2. FINDINGS: Publications show high variability in detection and interpretation of SARS-CoV-2 abundance in autopsy tissues by IHC or EM. We show that IHC using antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid yields the highest sensitivity and specificity. We found a positive correlation between presence of viral proteins by IHC and RT-qPCR-determined SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA load (N= 35; r=-0.83, p-value <0.0001). For EM, we refined criteria for virus identification and provide recommendations for optimized sampling and analysis. 135 of 144 publications misinterpret cellular structures as virus using EM or show only insufficient data. We provide publicly accessible digitized EM sections as a reference and for training purposes. INTERPRETATION: Since detection of SARS-CoV-2 in human autopsy tissues by IHC and EM is difficult and frequently incorrect, we propose criteria for a re-evaluation of available data and guidance for further investigations of direct organ effects by SARS-CoV-2. FUNDING: German Federal Ministry of Health, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Berlin University Alliance, German Research Foundation, German Center for Infectious Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Autopsy , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins
6.
Frontiers in neurology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1918797

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome-corona virus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of human coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since its identification in late 2019 SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly around the world creating a global pandemic. Although considered mainly a respiratory disease, COVID-19 also encompasses a variety of neuropsychiatric symptoms. How infection with SARS-CoV-2 leads to brain damage has remained largely elusive so far. In particular, it has remained unclear, whether signs of immune cell and / or innate immune and reactive astrogliosis are due to direct effects of the virus or may be an expression of a non-specific reaction of the brain to a severe life-threatening disease with a considerable proportion of patients requiring intensive care and invasive ventilation activation. Therefore, we designed a case-control-study of ten patients who died of COVID-19 and ten age-matched non-COVID-19-controls to quantitatively assess microglial and astroglial response. To minimize possible effects of severe systemic inflammation and / or invasive therapeutic measures we included only patients without any clinical or pathomorphological indication of sepsis and who had not been subjected to invasive intensive care treatment. Our results show a significantly higher degree of microglia activation in younger COVID-19 patients, while the difference was less and not significant for older COVID-19 patients. The difference in the degree of reactive gliosis increased with age but was not influenced by COVID-19. These preliminary data warrants further investigation of larger patient cohorts using additional immunohistochemical markers for different microglial phenotypes.

7.
J Med Virol ; 94(10): 5038-5043, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1888757

ABSTRACT

We aimed to provide in vitro data on the neutralization capacity of different monoclonal antibody (mAb) preparations against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) delta and omicron variant, respectively, and describe the in vivo RNA kinetics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients treated with the respective mAbs. Virus neutralization assays were performed to assess the neutralizing effect of the mAb formulations casirivimab/imdevimab and sotrovimab on the SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron variant. Additionally, respiratory tract SARS-CoV-2 RNA kinetics are provided for 25 COVID-19 patients infected with either delta variant (n = 18) or omicron variant (n = 7) treated with the respective mAb formulations during their hospital stay. In the virus neutralization assay, sotrovimab exhibits neutralizing capacity at therapeutically achievable concentrations against the SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron variant. In contrast, casivirimab/imdevimab had neutralizing capacity against the delta variant but failed neutralization against the omicron variant except for a very high concentration above the currently recommended therapeutic dosage. In patients with delta variant infections treated with casivirimab/imdevimab, we observed a rapid decrease of respiratory viral RNA at day 3 after mAb therapy. In contrast, no such prompt decline was observed in patients with delta variant or omicron variant infections receiving sotrovimab.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Neutralization Tests , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Treatment Outcome , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820280

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In this study, the in-vivo effect of an antiseptic mouth rinse with Octenisept plus phenoxyethanol (OCT + PE) on the oral SARS-CoV-2 load was investigated. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In eight COVID-19 patients, saliva samples were obtained before mouth rinsing and at five time points post rinsing with OCT + PE (n = 47 saliva samples in total). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected and quantified by RT-qPCR and virus isolation in cell culture was performed to assess for infectivity. RESULTS: Immediately after mouth rinsing (1 min), a significant reduction of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads in saliva was achieved (p = 0.03) with 7/8 participants having SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels undetectable by RT-qPCR. At later time points, RNA levels returned to baseline levels in all study participants. Infectivity of saliva samples was demonstrated by successful virus isolation from saliva samples collected at later time points. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights that saliva samples from COVID-19 patients are infectious and demonstrates that mouth rinsing with OCT + PE temporarily leads to a significant reduction of the SARS-CoV-2 load in saliva. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Mouth rinsing with OCT + PE could provide a simple, rapid, and efficient method for SARS-CoV-2 infection prevention, particularly in the field of dental and respiratory medicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Drug Combinations , Ethylene Glycols , Humans , Imines , Mouthwashes/therapeutic use , Pyridines , RNA, Viral/genetics , Saliva
9.
Virchows Arch ; 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1787815

ABSTRACT

The use of autopsies in medicine has been declining. The COVID-19 pandemic has documented and rejuvenated the importance of autopsies as a tool of modern medicine. In this review, we discuss the various autopsy techniques, the applicability of modern analytical methods to understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19, the major pathological organ findings, limitations or current studies, and open questions. This article summarizes published literature and the consented experience of the nationwide network of clinical, neuro-, and forensic pathologists from 27 German autopsy centers with more than 1200 COVID-19 autopsies. The autopsy tissues revealed that SARS-CoV-2 can be found in virtually all human organs and tissues, and the majority of cells. Autopsies have revealed the organ and tissue tropism of SARS-CoV-2, and the morphological features of COVID-19. This is characterized by diffuse alveolar damage, combined with angiocentric disease, which in turn is characterized by endothelial dysfunction, vascular inflammation, (micro-) thrombosis, vasoconstriction, and intussusceptive angiogenesis. These findings explained the increased pulmonary resistance in COVID-19 and supported the recommendations for antithrombotic treatment in COVID-19. In contrast, in extra-respiratory organs, pathological changes are often nonspecific and unclear to which extent these changes are due to direct infection vs. indirect/secondary mechanisms of organ injury, or a combination thereof. Ongoing research using autopsies aims at answering questions on disease mechanisms, e.g., focusing on variants of concern, and future challenges, such as post-COVID conditions. Autopsies are an invaluable tool in medicine and national and international interdisciplinary collaborative autopsy-based research initiatives are essential.

10.
Nat Metab ; 4(3): 310-319, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764213

ABSTRACT

Extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19 have gained attention due to their links to clinical outcomes and their potential long-term sequelae1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) displays tropism towards several organs, including the heart and kidney. Whether it also directly affects the liver has been debated2,3. Here we provide clinical, histopathological, molecular and bioinformatic evidence for the hepatic tropism of SARS-CoV-2. We find that liver injury, indicated by a high frequency of abnormal liver function tests, is a common clinical feature of COVID-19 in two independent cohorts of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Using autopsy samples obtained from a third patient cohort, we provide multiple levels of evidence for SARS-CoV-2 liver tropism, including viral RNA detection in 69% of autopsy liver specimens, and successful isolation of infectious SARS-CoV-2 from liver tissue postmortem. Furthermore, we identify transcription-, proteomic- and transcription factor-based activity profiles in hepatic autopsy samples, revealing similarities to the signatures associated with multiple other viral infections of the human liver. Together, we provide a comprehensive multimodal analysis of SARS-CoV-2 liver tropism, which increases our understanding of the molecular consequences of severe COVID-19 and could be useful for the identification of organ-specific pharmacological targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Liver , Proteomics , Tropism
11.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742730

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 lineage and its sublineages (Omicron variant) pose a new challenge to healthcare systems worldwide due to its ability to efficiently spread in immunized populations and its resistance to currently available monoclonal antibody therapies. RT-PCR-based variant tests can be used to screen large sample-sets rapidly and accurately for relevant variants of concern (VOC). The aim of this study was to establish and validate a multiplex assay on the cobas 6800/8800 systems to allow discrimination between the two currently circulating VOCs, Omicron and Delta, in clinical samples. METHODS: Primers and probes were evaluated for multiplex compatibility. Analytic performance was assessed using cell culture supernatant of an Omicron variant isolate and a clinical Delta variant sample, normalized to WHO-Standard. Clinical performance of the multiplex assay was benchmarked against NGS results. RESULTS: In silico testing of all oligos showed no interactions with a high risk of primer-dimer formation or amplification of human DNA/RNA. Over 99.9% of all currently available Omicron variant sequences are a perfect match for at least one of the three Omicron targets included in the multiplex. Analytic sensitivity was determined as 19.0 IU/mL (CI95%: 12.9-132.2 IU/mL) for the A67V + del-HV69-70 target, 193.9 IU/mL (CI95%: 144.7-334.7 IU/mL) for the E484A target, 35.5 IU/mL (CI95%: 23.3-158.0 IU/mL) for the N679K + P681H target and 105.0 IU/mL (CI95%: 80.7-129.3 IU/mL) for the P681R target. All sequence variances were correctly detected in the clinical sample set (225/225 Targets). CONCLUSION: RT-PCR-based variant screening compared to whole genome sequencing is both rapid and reliable in detecting relevant sequence variations in SARS-CoV-2 positive samples to exclude or verify relevant VOCs. This allows short-term decision-making, e.g., for patient treatment or public health measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/genetics , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
Stem Cell Reports ; 17(2): 307-320, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712991

ABSTRACT

Neurological complications are common in COVID-19. Although SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in patients' brain tissues, its entry routes and resulting consequences are not well understood. Here, we show a pronounced upregulation of interferon signaling pathways of the neurovascular unit in fatal COVID-19. By investigating the susceptibility of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived brain capillary endothelial-like cells (BCECs) to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we found that BCECs were infected and recapitulated transcriptional changes detected in vivo. While BCECs were not compromised in their paracellular tightness, we found SARS-CoV-2 in the basolateral compartment in transwell assays after apical infection, suggesting active replication and transcellular transport of virus across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vitro. Moreover, entry of SARS-CoV-2 into BCECs could be reduced by anti-spike-, anti-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-, and anti-neuropilin-1 (NRP1)-specific antibodies or the transmembrane protease serine subtype 2 (TMPRSS2) inhibitor nafamostat. Together, our data provide strong support for SARS-CoV-2 brain entry across the BBB resulting in increased interferon signaling.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/virology , Central Nervous System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization , Antibodies/pharmacology , Benzamidines/pharmacology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Guanidines/pharmacology , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Models, Biological , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Internalization/drug effects
13.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(11): ofab509, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526187

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA loads in patient specimens may act as a clinical outcome predictor in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We evaluated the predictive value of viral RNA loads and courses in the blood compared with the upper and lower respiratory tract loads of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Daily specimen collection and viral RNA quantification by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction were performed in all consecutive 170 COVID-19 patients between March 2020 and February 2021 during the entire intensive care unit (ICU) stay (4145 samples analyzed). Patients were grouped according to their 90-day outcome as survivors (n=100) or nonsurvivors (n=70). RESULTS: In nonsurvivors, blood SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads were significantly higher at the time of admission to the ICU (P=.0009). Failure of blood RNA clearance was observed in 33/50 (66%) of the nonsurvivors compared with 12/64 (19%) survivors (P<.0001). As determined by multivariate analysis, taking sociodemographic and clinical parameters into account, blood SARS-CoV-2 RNA load represents a valid and independent predictor of outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients (odds ratio [OR; log10], 0.23; 95% CI, 0.12-0.42; P<.0001), with a significantly higher effect for survival compared with respiratory tract SARS-CoV-2 RNA loads (OR [log10], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.66-0.85; P<.0001). Blood RNA loads exceeding 2.51×103 SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies/mL were found to indicate a 50% probability of death. Consistently, 29/33 (88%) nonsurvivors with failure of virus clearance exceeded this cutoff value constantly. CONCLUSIONS: Blood SARS-CoV-2 load is an important independent outcome predictor and should be further evaluated for treatment allocation and patient monitoring.

14.
Nat Neurosci ; 24(11): 1522-1533, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500484

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can damage cerebral small vessels and cause neurological symptoms. Here we describe structural changes in cerebral small vessels of patients with COVID-19 and elucidate potential mechanisms underlying the vascular pathology. In brains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected individuals and animal models, we found an increased number of empty basement membrane tubes, so-called string vessels representing remnants of lost capillaries. We obtained evidence that brain endothelial cells are infected and that the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) cleaves NEMO, the essential modulator of nuclear factor-κB. By ablating NEMO, Mpro induces the death of human brain endothelial cells and the occurrence of string vessels in mice. Deletion of receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK) 3, a mediator of regulated cell death, blocks the vessel rarefaction and disruption of the blood-brain barrier due to NEMO ablation. Importantly, a pharmacological inhibitor of RIPK signaling prevented the Mpro-induced microvascular pathology. Our data suggest RIPK as a potential therapeutic target to treat the neuropathology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Microvessels/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mice, Transgenic , Microvessels/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
15.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(1): 244-247, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496968

ABSTRACT

We investigated the infectivity of 128 severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2-associated deaths and evaluated predictive values of standard diagnostic procedures. Maintained infectivity (20%) did not correlate with viral RNA loads but correlated well with anti-S antibody levels. Sensitivity >90% for antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests supports their usefulness for assessment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Autopsy , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load
16.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444133

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The recent emergence of distinct and highly successful SARS-CoV-2 lineages has substantial implications for individual patients and public health measures. While next-generation-sequencing is routinely performed for surveillance purposes, RT-qPCR can be used to rapidly rule-in or rule-out relevant variants, e.g., in outbreak scenarios. The objective of this study was to create an adaptable and comprehensive toolset for multiplexed Spike-gene SNP detection, which was applied to screen for SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 lineage variants. METHODS: We created a broad set of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-assays including del-Y144/145, E484K, E484Q, P681H, P681R, L452R, and V1176F based on a highly specific multi-LNA (locked nucleic acid)-probe design to maximize mismatch discrimination. As proof-of-concept, a multiplex-test was compiled and validated (SCOV2-617VOC-UCT) including SNP-detection for L452R, P681R, E484K, and E484Q to provide rapid screening capabilities for the novel B.1.617 lineages. RESULTS: For the multiplex-test (SCOV2-617VOC-UCT), the analytic lower limit of detection was determined as 182 IU/mL for L452R, 144 IU/mL for P681R, and 79 IU/mL for E484Q. A total of 233 clinical samples were tested with the assay, including various on-target and off-target sequences. All SNPs (179/179 positive) were correctly identified as determined by SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing. CONCLUSION: The recurrence of SNP locations and flexibility of methodology presented in this study allows for rapid adaptation to current and future variants. Furthermore, the ability to multiplex various SNP-assays into screening panels improves speed and efficiency for variant testing. We show 100% concordance with whole genome sequencing for a B.1.617.2 screening assay on the cobas6800 high-throughput system.

17.
J Infect ; 83(5): 589-593, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401632

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The large number of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections necessitates general screening of employees. We evaluate the performance of a SARS-CoV-2 screening program in asymptomatic healthcare-workers (HCW), utilizing self-sampled gargling-solution and sample pooling for RT-qPCR. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study to collect real-life data on the performance of a screening-workflow based on automated-pooling and high-throughput qPCR testing over a 3-month-period at the University Hospital Hamburg. RESULTS: Matrix validation reveals that lower limit of detection for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in gargling-solution was 180 copies/mL (5-sample-pool). A total of 55,122 self-collected gargle samples (= 7513 HCWs) was analyzed. The median time to result was 8.5 hours (IQR 7.2-10.8). Of 11,192 pools analyzed, 11,041 (98.7%) were negative, 69 (0.6%) were positive and 82 (0.7%) were invalid. Individual testing of pool participants revealed 57 SARS-CoV-2 previously unrecognized infections. All 57 HCWs were either pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic (prevalence 0.76%,CI95%0.58-0.98%). Accuracy based on HCWs with gargle-solution and NP-swab available within 3-day-interval (N = 521) was 99.5% (CI95%98.3-99.9%), sensitivity 88.9% (CI95%65.3-98.6%) while specificity 99.8% (CI95%98.9-99.9). CONCLUSION: This workflow was highly effective in identifying SARS-CoV-2 positive HCWs, thereby lowering the potential of inter-HCW and HCW-patient transmissions. Automated-sample-pooling helped to conserve qPCR reagents and represents a promising alternative strategy to antigen testing in mass-screening programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , RNA, Viral , Retrospective Studies , Workflow
20.
Children (Basel) ; 8(7)2021 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288816

ABSTRACT

Critical Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) developed in a 7-year-old girl with a history of dystrophy, microcephaly, and central hypothyroidism. Starting with gastrointestinal symptoms, the patient developed severe myocarditis followed by progressive multiple organ failure complicated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bloodstream infection. Intensive care treatment consisting of invasive ventilation, drainage of pleural effusion, and high catecholamine therapy could not prevent the progression of heart failure, leading to the implantation of venoarterial extracorporeal life support (VA-ECLS) and additional left ventricle support catheter (Impella® pump). Continuous venovenous hemofiltration (CVVH) and extracorporeal hemadsorption therapy (CytoSorb®) were initiated. Whole exome sequencing revealed a mutation of unknown significance in DExH-BOX helicase 30 (DHX30), a gene encoding a RNA helicase. COVID-19 specific antiviral and immunomodulatory treatment did not lead to viral clearance or control of hyperinflammation resulting in the patient's death on extracorporeal life support-(ECLS)-day 20. This fatal case illustrates the potential severity of pediatric COVID-19 and suggests further evaluation of antiviral treatment strategies and vaccination programs for children.

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