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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332623

ABSTRACT

Recombination is a crucial process in the evolution of many organisms. Although the evolutionary reasons behind its occurrence in RNA viruses are debated, this phenomenon has been associated with major epidemiological events such as virus host range expansion, antigenic shift or variation in virulence 1,2, and this process occurs frequently in positive strand RNA viruses such as coronaviruses. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been associated with the repeated emergence of variants of concern presenting increased transmissibility, severity or immune escape 3. The recent extensive circulation of Delta worldwide and its subsequent replacement by viruses of the Omicron lineage 4 (BA.1 then BA.2), have created conditions for genetic exchanges between viruses with both genetic diversity and phenotypic specificities 5-7. Here we report the identification and in vitro and in vivo characterization of a Delta-Omicron recombinant in Europe. This recombinant exhibits immune escape properties similar to Omicron, while its behavior in mice expressing the human ACE2 receptor is more similar to Delta. This recombinant provides a unique and natural opportunity to better understand the genotype to phenotype links in SARS-CoV-2.

2.
Nat Med ; 2022 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758268

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Omicron BA.1 sublineage has been supplanted in many countries by the BA.2 sublineage. BA.2 differs from BA.1 by about 21 mutations in its spike. In this study, we first compared the sensitivity of BA.1 and BA.2 to neutralization by nine therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). In contrast to BA.1, BA.2 was sensitive to cilgavimab, partly inhibited by imdevimab and resistant to adintrevimab and sotrovimab. We then analyzed sera from 29 immunocompromised individuals up to 1 month after administration of Ronapreve (casirivimab and imdevimab) and/or Evusheld (cilgavimab and tixagevimab) antibody cocktails. All treated individuals displayed elevated antibody levels in their sera, which efficiently neutralized the Delta variant. Sera from Ronapreve recipients did not neutralize BA.1 and weakly inhibited BA.2. Neutralization of BA.1 and BA.2 was detected in 19 and 29 out of 29 Evusheld recipients, respectively. As compared to the Delta variant, neutralizing titers were more markedly decreased against BA.1 (344-fold) than BA.2 (nine-fold). We further report four breakthrough Omicron infections among the 29 individuals, indicating that antibody treatment did not fully prevent infection. Collectively, BA.1 and BA.2 exhibit noticeable differences in their sensitivity to therapeutic mAbs. Anti-Omicron neutralizing activity of Ronapreve and, to a lesser extent, that of Evusheld is reduced in patients' sera.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330085

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant has been supplanted in many countries by the BA.2 sub-lineage. BA.2 differs from BA.1 by about 21 mutations in its spike. Human anti-spike monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are used for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. However, the capacity of therapeutic mAbs to neutralize BA.1 and BA.2 remains poorly characterized. Here, we first compared the sensitivity of BA.1 and BA.2 to neutralization by 9 therapeutic mAbs. In contrast to BA.1, BA.2 was sensitive to Cilgavimab, partly inhibited by Imdevimab and resistant to Adintrevimab and Sotrovimab. Two combinations of mAbs, Ronapreve (Casirivimab + Imdevimab) and Evusheld (Cilgavimab + Tixagevimab), are indicated as a pre-exposure prophylaxis in immunocompromised persons at risk of severe disease. We analyzed sera from 29 such individuals, up to one month after administration of Ronapreve and/or Evusheld. After treatment, all individuals displayed elevated antibody levels in their sera and neutralized Delta with high titers. Ronapreve recipients did not neutralize BA.1 and weakly impaired BA.2. With Evusheld, neutralization of BA.1 and BA.2 was detected in 19 and 29 out of 29 patients, respectively. As compared to Delta, titers were more severely decreased against BA.1 (344-fold) than BA.2 (9-fold). We further report 4 breakthrough Omicron infections among the 29 participants. Therefore, BA.1 and BA.2 exhibit noticeable differences in their sensitivity to therapeutic mAbs. Anti-Omicron activity of Ronapreve, and to a lesser extent that of Evusheld, is reduced in patients’ sera, a phenomenon associated with decreased clinical efficacy.

4.
EBioMedicine ; 77: 103934, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739673

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 lineages are continuously evolving. As of December 2021, the AY.4.2 Delta sub-lineage represented 20 % of sequenced strains in the UK and had been detected in dozens of countries. It has since then been supplanted by Omicron. The AY.4.2 spike displays three additional mutations (T95I, Y145H and A222V) in the N-terminal domain when compared to the original Delta variant (B.1.617.2) and remains poorly characterized. METHODS: We compared the Delta and the AY.4.2 spikes, by assessing their binding to antibodies and ACE2 and their fusogenicity. We studied the sensitivity of an authentic AY.4.2 viral isolate to neutralizing antibodies. FINDINGS: The AY.4.2 spike exhibited similar binding to all the antibodies and sera tested, and similar fusogenicity and binding to ACE2 than the ancestral Delta spike. The AY.4.2 virus was slightly less sensitive than Delta to neutralization by a panel of monoclonal antibodies; noticeably, the anti-RBD Imdevimab showed incomplete neutralization. Sensitivity of AY.4.2 to sera from vaccinated individuals was reduced by 1.3 to 3-fold, when compared to Delta. INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that mutations in the NTD remotely impair the efficacy of anti-RBD antibodies. The spread of AY.4.2 was not due to major changes in spike fusogenicity or ACE2 binding, but more likely to a partially reduced neutralization sensitivity. FUNDING: The work was funded by Institut Pasteur, Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, Urgence COVID-19 Fundraising Campaign of Institut Pasteur, ANRS, the Vaccine Research Institute, Labex IBEID, ANR/FRM Flash Covid PROTEO-SARS-CoV-2 and IDISCOVR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6563, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510593

ABSTRACT

Knowledge of the origin and reservoir of the coronavirus responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is still fragmentary. To date, the closest relatives to SARS-CoV-2 have been detected in Rhinolophus bats sampled in the Yunnan province, China. Here we describe the identification of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses in two Rhinolophus shameli bats sampled in Cambodia in 2010. Metagenomic sequencing identifies nearly identical viruses sharing 92.6% nucleotide identity with SARS-CoV-2. Most genomic regions are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, with the exception of a region of the spike, which is not compatible with human ACE2-mediated entry. The discovery of these viruses in a bat species not found in China indicates that SARS-CoV-2 related viruses have a much wider geographic distribution than previously reported, and suggests that Southeast Asia represents a key area to consider for future surveillance for coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Chiroptera/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cambodia/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6277, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493102

ABSTRACT

Several COVID-19 vaccines have now been deployed to tackle the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, most of them based on messenger RNA or adenovirus vectors.The duration of protection afforded by these vaccines is unknown, as well as their capacity to protect from emerging new variants. To provide sufficient coverage for the world population, additional strategies need to be tested. The live pediatric measles vaccine (MV) is an attractive approach, given its extensive safety and efficacy history, along with its established large-scale manufacturing capacity. We develop an MV-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine expressing the prefusion-stabilized, membrane-anchored full-length S antigen, which proves to be efficient at eliciting strong Th1-dominant T-cell responses and high neutralizing antibody titers. In both mouse and golden Syrian hamster models, these responses protect the animals from intranasal infectious challenge. Additionally, the elicited antibodies efficiently neutralize in vitro the three currently circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Genetic Vectors , Immunity , Adenoviridae , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cricetinae , Cytokines , Female , Immunization , Immunization, Secondary , Male , Measles Vaccine/immunology , Mesocricetus , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
J Biol Chem ; 298(1): 101290, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472024

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the importance of obtaining reliable methods for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2. A highly specific and sensitive diagnostic test able to differentiate the SARS-CoV-2 virus from common human coronaviruses is therefore needed. Coronavirus nucleoprotein (N) localizes to the cytoplasm and the nucleolus and is required for viral RNA synthesis. N is the most abundant coronavirus protein, so it is of utmost importance to develop specific antibodies for its detection. In this study, we developed a sandwich immunoassay to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 N protein. We immunized one alpaca with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 N and constructed a large single variable domain on heavy chain (VHH) antibody library. After phage display selection, seven VHHs recognizing the full N protein were identified by ELISA. These VHHs did not recognize the nucleoproteins of the four common human coronaviruses. Hydrogen Deuterium eXchange-Mass Spectrometry (HDX-MS) analysis also showed that these VHHs mainly targeted conformational epitopes in either the C-terminal or the N-terminal domains. All VHHs were able to recognize SARS-CoV-2 in infected cells or on infected hamster tissues. Moreover, the VHHs could detect the SARS variants B.1.17/alpha, B.1.351/beta, and P1/gamma. We propose that this sandwich immunoassay could be applied to specifically detect the SARS-CoV-2 N in human nasal swabs.


Subject(s)
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Animals , Cricetinae , Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology
8.
Nature ; 596(7871): 276-280, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301174

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 lineage was identified in October 2020 in India1-5. Since then, it has become dominant in some regions of India and in the UK, and has spread to many other countries6. The lineage includes three main subtypes (B1.617.1, B.1.617.2 and B.1.617.3), which contain diverse mutations in the N-terminal domain (NTD) and the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that may increase the immune evasion potential of these variants. B.1.617.2-also termed the Delta variant-is believed to spread faster than other variants. Here we isolated an infectious strain of the Delta variant from an individual with COVID-19 who had returned to France from India. We examined the sensitivity of this strain to monoclonal antibodies and to antibodies present in sera from individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 (hereafter referred to as convalescent individuals) or who had received a COVID-19 vaccine, and then compared this strain with other strains of SARS-CoV-2. The Delta variant was resistant to neutralization by some anti-NTD and anti-RBD monoclonal antibodies, including bamlanivimab, and these antibodies showed impaired binding to the spike protein. Sera collected from convalescent individuals up to 12 months after the onset of symptoms were fourfold less potent against the Delta variant relative to the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7). Sera from individuals who had received one dose of the Pfizer or the AstraZeneca vaccine had a barely discernible inhibitory effect on the Delta variant. Administration of two doses of the vaccine generated a neutralizing response in 95% of individuals, with titres three- to fivefold lower against the Delta variant than against the Alpha variant. Thus, the spread of the Delta variant is associated with an escape from antibodies that target non-RBD and RBD epitopes of the spike protein.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Convalescence , Immune Evasion/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , France , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Nat Med ; 27(5): 917-924, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152868

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants were first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, respectively, and have since spread to many countries. These variants harboring diverse mutations in the gene encoding the spike protein raise important concerns about their immune evasion potential. Here, we isolated infectious B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 strains from acutely infected individuals. We examined sensitivity of the two variants to SARS-CoV-2 antibodies present in sera and nasal swabs from individuals infected with previously circulating strains or who were recently vaccinated, in comparison with a D614G reference virus. We utilized a new rapid neutralization assay, based on reporter cells that become positive for GFP after overnight infection. Sera from 58 convalescent individuals collected up to 9 months after symptoms, similarly neutralized B.1.1.7 and D614G. In contrast, after 9 months, convalescent sera had a mean sixfold reduction in neutralizing titers, and 40% of the samples lacked any activity against B.1.351. Sera from 19 individuals vaccinated twice with Pfizer Cominarty, longitudinally tested up to 6 weeks after vaccination, were similarly potent against B.1.1.7 but less efficacious against B.1.351, when compared to D614G. Neutralizing titers increased after the second vaccine dose, but remained 14-fold lower against B.1.351. In contrast, sera from convalescent or vaccinated individuals similarly bound the three spike proteins in a flow cytometry-based serological assay. Neutralizing antibodies were rarely detected in nasal swabs from vaccinees. Thus, faster-spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants acquired a partial resistance to neutralizing antibodies generated by natural infection or vaccination, which was most frequently detected in individuals with low antibody levels. Our results indicate that B1.351, but not B.1.1.7, may increase the risk of infection in immunized individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Convalescence , Cross Reactions , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Sensitivity and Specificity , Vaccination
10.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(6): 1423-1432, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1026808

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses first garnered widespread attention in 2002 when the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) emerged from bats in China and rapidly spread in human populations. Since then, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) emerged and still actively infects humans. The recent SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and the resulting disease (coronavirus disease 2019, COVID19) have rapidly and catastrophically spread and highlighted significant limitations to our ability to control and treat infection. Thus, a basic understanding of entry and replication mechanisms of coronaviruses is necessary to rationally evaluate potential antivirals. Here, we show that polyamines, small metabolites synthesized in human cells, facilitate coronavirus replication and the depletion of polyamines with FDA-approved molecules significantly reduces coronavirus replication. We find that diverse coronaviruses, including endemic and epidemic coronaviruses, exhibit reduced attachment and entry into polyamine-depleted cells. We further demonstrate that several molecules targeting the polyamine biosynthetic pathway are antiviral in vitro. In sum, our data suggest that polyamines are critical to coronavirus replication and represent a highly promising drug target in the current and any future coronavirus outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , Polyamines , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Int J Antimicrob Agents ; 57(3): 106274, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002612

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Urgent action is needed to fight the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by reducing the number of infected cases, contagiousness and severity. Chlorpromazine (CPZ), an antipsychotic from the phenothiazine group, is known to inhibit clathrin-mediated endocytosis and has antiviral activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-1 (SARS-CoV-1) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. The aim of this in-vitro study was to test CPZ against SARS-CoV-2 in monkey and human cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Monkey VeroE6 cells and human alveolar basal epithelial A549-ACE2 cells were infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the presence of various concentrations of CPZ. Supernatants were harvested at day 2 and analysed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Cell viability was assessed in non-infected cells. RESULTS: CPZ was found to have antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in monkey VeroE6 cells, with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 8.2 µM, half maximal cytotoxic concentration (CC50) of 13.5 µM, and selectivity index (SI) of 1.65. In human A549-ACE2 cells, CPZ was also found to have anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, with IC50 of 11.3 µM, CC50 of 23.1 µM and SI of 2.04. DISCUSSION: Although the measured SI values are low, the IC50 values measured in vitro may translate to CPZ dosages used in routine clinical practice because of the high biodistribution of CPZ in lungs and saliva. Also, the distribution of CPZ in brain could be of interest for treating or preventing neurological and psychiatric forms of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: These preclinical findings support clinical investigation of the repurposing of CPZ, a drug with mild side effects, in the treatment of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chlorpromazine/pharmacology , Drug Repositioning , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chlorpromazine/pharmacokinetics , Humans , Tissue Distribution , Vero Cells
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