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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317173

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and has spread throughout India, displacing the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant and other pre-existing lineages. Mathematical modelling indicates that the growth advantage is most likely explained by a combination of increased transmissibility and immune evasion. Indeed in vitro, the delta variant is less sensitive to neutralising antibodies in sera from recovered individuals, with higher replication efficiency as compared to the Alpha variant. In an analysis of vaccine breakthrough in over 100 healthcare workers across three centres in India, the Delta variant not only dominates vaccine-breakthrough infections with higher respiratory viral loads compared to non-delta infections (Ct value of 16.5 versus 19), but also generates greater transmission between HCW as compared to B.1.1.7 or B.1.617.1 (p=0.02). In vitro, the Delta variant shows 8 fold approximately reduced sensitivity to vaccine-elicited antibodies compared to wild type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralising titres against the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant were significantly lower in participants vaccinated with ChadOx-1 as compared to BNT162b2 (GMT 3372 versus 654, p<0001). These combined epidemiological and in vitro data indicate that the dominance of the Delta variant in India has been most likely driven by a combination of evasion of neutralising antibodies in previously infected individuals and increased virus infectivity. Whilst severe disease in fully vaccinated HCW was rare, breakthrough transmission clusters in hospitals associated with the Delta variant are concerning and indicate that infection control measures need continue in the post-vaccination era.

2.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(3): 1551-1561, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636373

ABSTRACT

During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, large-scale genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been useful in tracking its spread and in identifying variants of concern (VOC). Viral and host factors could contribute to variability within a host that can be captured in next-generation sequencing reads as intra-host single nucleotide variations (iSNVs). Analysing 1347 samples collected till June 2020, we recorded 16 410 iSNV sites throughout the SARS-CoV-2 genome. We found ∼42% of the iSNV sites to be reported as SNVs by 30 September 2020 in consensus sequences submitted to GISAID, which increased to ∼80% by 30th June 2021. Following this, analysis of another set of 1774 samples sequenced in India between November 2020 and May 2021 revealed that majority of the Delta (B.1.617.2) and Kappa (B.1.617.1) lineage-defining variations appeared as iSNVs before getting fixed in the population. Besides, mutations in RdRp as well as RNA-editing by APOBEC and ADAR deaminases seem to contribute to the differential prevalence of iSNVs in hosts. We also observe hyper-variability at functionally critical residues in Spike protein that could alter the antigenicity and may contribute to immune escape. Thus, tracking and functional annotation of iSNVs in ongoing genome surveillance programs could be important for early identification of potential variants of concern and actionable interventions.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , APOBEC-1 Deaminase/genetics , Adenosine Deaminase/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Databases, Genetic , Immune Evasion/genetics , India/epidemiology , Phylogeny , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
3.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295504

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha). In vitro , B.1.617.2 is 6-fold less sensitive to serum neutralising antibodies from recovered individuals, and 8-fold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies as compared to wild type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralising titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx-1 versus BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies against the receptor binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD), in particular to the clinically approved bamlavinimab and imdevimab monoclonal antibodies. B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems as compared to B.1.1.7, associated with B.1.617.2 spike being in a predominantly cleaved state compared to B.1.1.7. Additionally we observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike mediated entry as compared to B.1.617.1, potentially explaining B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of over 130 SARS-CoV-2 infected healthcare workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed substantially reduced ChAdOx-1 vaccine efficacy against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295131

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough infections with SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant have been reported in vaccine recipients and in individuals infected with previous variants. However the potential for fully vaccinated individuals (two doses) to transmit SARS-CoV-2 is unclear. We here analyse data from health care workers in two hospitals in India, constructing probable transmission networks from epidemiological and virus genome sequence data using a suite of computational approaches. Among known cases we identify a high probability that doubly vaccinated individuals transmitted SARS-CoV-2, and potential cases of virus transmission between individuals who had received two doses of vaccine. Our findings highlight the need for ongoing infection control measures even in highly vaccinated populations.

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292992

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough infections with SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant have been reported in vaccine recipients and in individuals infected with previous variants, however the potential for doubly vaccinated individuals to transmit the virus is unclear. We here analyse data from health care workers in two hospitals in India, constructing probable transmission networks from epidemiological and virus genome sequence data. Among known cases we identify a high probability that doubly vaccinated individuals transmitted SARS-CoV-2, and potential cases of virus transmission between individuals who had received two doses of vaccine. Our findings highlight the need for ongoing infection control measures even in highly vaccinated populations.

6.
Science ; 374(6570): 995-999, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526449

ABSTRACT

Delhi, the national capital of India, experienced multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks in 2020 and reached population seropositivity of >50% by 2021. During April 2021, the city became overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases and fatalities, as a new variant, B.1.617.2 (Delta), replaced B.1.1.7 (Alpha). A Bayesian model explains the growth advantage of Delta through a combination of increased transmissibility and reduced sensitivity to immune responses generated against earlier variants (median estimates: 1.5-fold greater transmissibility and 20% reduction in sensitivity). Seropositivity of an employee and family cohort increased from 42% to 87.5% between March and July 2021, with 27% reinfections, as judged by increased antibody concentration after a previous decline. The likely high transmissibility and partial evasion of immunity by the Delta variant contributed to an overwhelming surge in Delhi.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Humans , Immune Evasion , India/epidemiology , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , Reinfection , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
7.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 989-994, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429251

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 variant emerged in the Indian state of Maharashtra in late 2020. There have been fears that 2 key mutations seen in the receptor-binding domain, L452R and E484Q, would have additive effects on evasion of neutralizing antibodies. We report that spike bearing L452R and E484Q confers modestly reduced sensitivity to BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine-elicited antibodies following either first or second dose. The effect is similar in magnitude to the loss of sensitivity conferred by L452R or E484Q alone. These data demonstrate reduced sensitivity to vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies by L452R and E484Q but lack of synergistic loss of sensitivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immune Evasion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , India , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
8.
Nature ; 599(7883): 114-119, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392870

ABSTRACT

The B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha)1. In vitro, B.1.617.2 is sixfold less sensitive to serum neutralizing antibodies from recovered individuals, and eightfold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies, compared with wild-type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralizing titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx1 vaccinees than in BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies to the receptor-binding domain and the amino-terminal domain. B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency than B.1.1.7 in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems, associated with B.1.617.2 spike being in a predominantly cleaved state compared with B.1.1.7 spike. The B.1.617.2 spike protein was able to mediate highly efficient syncytium formation that was less sensitive to inhibition by neutralizing antibody, compared with that of wild-type spike. We also observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike-mediated entry than B.1.617.1, potentially explaining the B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of more than 130 SARS-CoV-2-infected health care workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed reduced ChAdOx1 vaccine effectiveness against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2, with the caveat of possible residual confounding. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune-evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era.


Subject(s)
Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , India , Kinetics , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccination
9.
Microorganisms ; 9(7)2021 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323312

ABSTRACT

As the global severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic expands, genomic epidemiology and whole genome sequencing are being used to investigate its transmission and evolution. Against the backdrop of the global emergence of "variants of concern" (VOCs) during December 2020 and an upsurge in a state in the western part of India since January 2021, whole genome sequencing and analysis of spike protein mutations using sequence and structural approaches were undertaken to identify possible new variants and gauge the fitness of the current circulating strains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that newly identified lineages B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 were predominantly circulating. The signature mutations possessed by these strains were L452R, T478K, E484Q, D614G and P681R in the spike protein, including within the receptor-binding domain (RBD). Of these, the mutations at residue positions 452, 484 and 681 have been reported in other globally circulating lineages. The structural analysis of RBD mutations L452R, T478K and E484Q revealed that these may possibly result in increased ACE2 binding while P681R in the furin cleavage site could increase the rate of S1-S2 cleavage, resulting in better transmissibility. The two RBD mutations, L452R and E484Q, indicated decreased binding to select monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and may affect their neutralization potential. Further in vitro/in vivo studies would help confirm the phenotypic changes of the mutant strains. Overall, the study revealed that the newly emerged variants were responsible for the second wave of COVID-19 in Maharashtra. Lineage B.1.617.2 has been designated as a VOC delta and B.1.617.1 as a variant of interest kappa, and they are being widely reported in the rest of the country as well as globally. Continuous monitoring of these and emerging variants in India is essential.

12.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 184, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808195

ABSTRACT

Background: India first detected SARS-CoV-2, causal agent of COVID-19 in late January 2020, imported from Wuhan, China. From March 2020 onwards, the importation of cases from countries in the rest of the world followed by seeding of local transmission triggered further outbreaks in India. Methods: We used ARTIC protocol-based tiling amplicon sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 (n=104) from different states of India using a combination of MinION and MinIT sequencing from Oxford Nanopore Technology to understand how introduction and local transmission occurred. Results: The analyses revealed multiple introductions of SARS-CoV-2 genomes, including the A2a cluster from Europe and the USA, A3 cluster from Middle East and A4 cluster (haplotype redefined) from Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia) and Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan). The local transmission and persistence of genomes A4, A2a and A3 was also observed in the studied locations. The most prevalent genomes with patterns of variance (confined in a cluster) remain unclassified, and are here proposed as A4-clade based on its divergence within the A cluster. Conclusions: The viral haplotypes may link their persistence to geo-climatic conditions and host response. Multipronged strategies including molecular surveillance based on real-time viral genomic data is of paramount importance for a timely management of the pandemic.

13.
J Proteins Proteom ; 11(3): 159-165, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-747107

ABSTRACT

In the last few months, there has been a global catastrophic outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 affecting millions of people worldwide. Early diagnosis and isolation are key to contain the rapid spread of the virus. Towards this goal, we report a simple, sensitive and rapid method to detect the virus using a targeted mass spectrometric approach, which can directly detect the presence of virus from naso-oropharyngeal swabs. Using a multiple reaction monitoring we can detect the presence of two peptides specific to SARS-CoV-2 in a 2.3 min gradient run with 100% specificity and 90.5% sensitivity when compared to RT-PCR. Importantly, we further show that these peptides could be detected even in the patients who have recovered from the symptoms and have tested negative for the virus by RT-PCR highlighting the sensitivity of the technique. This method has the translational potential of in terms of the rapid diagnostics of symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 and can augment current methods available for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.

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