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1.
J Immunol ; 209(8): 1499-1512, 2022 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2055634

ABSTRACT

Phagocytic responses by effector cells to opsonized viruses have been recognized to play a key role in antiviral immunity. Limited data on coronavirus disease 2019 suggest that the role of Ab-dependent and -independent phagocytosis may contribute to the observed immunological and inflammatory responses; however, their development, duration, and role remain to be fully elucidated. In this study of 62 acute and convalescent patients, we found that patients with acute coronavirus disease 2019 can mount a phagocytic response to autologous plasma-opsonized Spike protein-coated microbeads as early as 10 d after symptom onset, while heat inactivation of this plasma caused 77-95% abrogation of the phagocytic response and preblocking of Fc receptors showed variable 18-60% inhibition. In convalescent patients, phagocytic response significantly correlated with anti-Spike IgG titers and older patients, while patients with severe disease had significantly higher phagocytosis and neutralization functions compared with patients with asymptomatic, mild, or moderate disease. A longitudinal subset of the convalescent patients over 12 mo showed an increase in plasma Ab affinity toward Spike Ag and preservation of phagocytic and neutralization functions, despite a decline in the anti-Spike IgG titers by >90%. Our data suggest that early phagocytosis is primarily driven by heat-liable components of the plasma, such as activated complements, while anti-Spike IgG titers account for the majority of observed phagocytosis at convalescence. Longitudinally, a significant increase in the affinity of the anti-Spike Abs was observed that correlated with the maintenance of both the phagocytic and neutralization functions, suggesting an improvement in the quality of the Abs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Receptors, Fc , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
2.
EBioMedicine ; 84: 104270, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031243

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Genetically distinct viral variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been recorded since January 2020. The introduction of global vaccine programs has contributed to lower COVID-19 hospitalisation and mortality rates, particularly in developed countries. In late 2021, Omicron BA.1 emerged, with substantially altered genetic differences and clinical effects from other variants of concern. Shortly after dominating global spread in early 2022, BA.1 was supplanted by the genetically distinct Omicron lineage BA.2. A sub-lineage of BA.2, designated BA.5, presently has an outgrowth advantage over BA.2 and other BA.2 sub-lineages. Here we study the neutralisation of Omicron BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5 and pre-Omicron variants using a range of vaccine and convalescent sera and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies using a live virus neutralisation assay. Using primary nasopharyngeal swabs, we also tested the relative fitness of BA.5 compared to pre-Omicron and Omicron viral lineages in their ability to use the ACE2-TMPRSS2 pathway. METHODS: Using low passage clinical isolates of Clade A.2.2, Beta, Delta, BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5, we determined humoral neutralisation in vitro in vaccinated and convalescent cohorts, using concentrated human IgG pooled from thousands of plasma donors, and licensed monoclonal antibody therapies. We then determined infectivity to particle ratios in primary nasopharyngeal samples and expanded low passage isolates in a genetically engineered ACE2/TMPRSS2 cell line in the presence and absence of the TMPRSS2 inhibitor Nafamostat. FINDINGS: Peak responses to 3 doses of BNT162b2 vaccine were associated with a 9-fold reduction in neutralisation for Omicron lineages BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5. Concentrated pooled human IgG from convalescent and vaccinated donors and BNT162b2 vaccination with BA.1 breakthrough infections were associated with greater breadth of neutralisation, although the potency was still reduced 7-fold across all Omicron lineages. Testing of clinical grade antibodies revealed a 14.3-fold reduction using Evusheld and 16.8-fold reduction using Sotrovimab for the BA.5. Whilst the infectivity of BA.1 and BA.2 was attenuated in ACE2/TMPRSS2 entry, BA.5 was observed to be equivalent to that of an early 2020 circulating clade and had greater sensitivity to the TMPRSS2 inhibitor Nafamostat. INTERPRETATION: Observations support all Omicron variants to significantly escape neutralising antibodies across a range of vaccination and/or convalescent responses. Potency of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies is also reduced and differs across Omicron lineages. The key difference of BA.5 from other Omicron sub-variants is the reversion in tropism back to using the well-known ACE2-TMPRSS2 pathway, utilised efficiently by pre-Omicron lineages. Monitoring if these changes influence transmission and/or disease severity will be key for ongoing tracking and management of Omicron waves globally. FUNDING: This work was primarily supported by Australian Medical Foundation research grants MRF2005760 (ST, GM & WDR), MRF2001684 (ADK and ST) and Medical Research Future Fund Antiviral Development Call grant (WDR), Medical Research Future Fund COVID-19 grant (MRFF2001684, ADK & SGT) and the New South Wales Health COVID-19 Research Grants Round 2 (SGT).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antiviral Agents , Australia , BNT162 Vaccine , Benzamidines , COVID-19/therapy , Guanidines , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G , Immunotherapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tropism
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 13392, 2022 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972655

ABSTRACT

Diagnosis of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has primarily been achieved using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for acute infection, and serology for prior infection. Assay with RT-PCR provides data on presence or absence of viral RNA, with no information on virus replication competence, infectivity, or virus characterisation. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is typically not used in clinical virology, despite its potential to provide supplemental data about the presence of viral proteins and thus the potential for replication-competent, transmissible virus. Using the SARS-CoV-2 as a model virus, we developed a fast 'bottom-up' proteomics workflow for discovery of target virus peptides using 'serum-free' culture conditions, providing high coverage of viral proteins without the need for protein or peptide fractionation techniques. This workflow was then applied to Coronaviruses OC43 and 229E, Influenza A/H1N1 and H3N2, Influenza B, and Respiratory Syncytial Viruses A and B. Finally, we created an LC-MS/MS method for targeted detection of the eight-virus panel in clinical specimens, successfully detecting peptides from the SARS-CoV-2 ORF9B and nucleoprotein in RT-PCR positive samples. The method provides specific detection of respiratory viruses from clinical samples containing moderate viral loads and is an important further step to the use of LC-MS/MS in diagnosis of viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chromatography, Liquid , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tandem Mass Spectrometry , Viral Proteins
4.
Rev Med Virol ; 32(5): e2381, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1935728

ABSTRACT

The first dominant SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant BA.1 harbours 35 mutations in its Spike protein from the original SARS-CoV-2 variant that emerged late 2019. Soon after its discovery, BA.1 rapidly emerged to become the dominant variant worldwide and has since evolved into several variants. Omicron is of major public health concern owing to its high infectivity and antibody evasion. This review article examines the theories that have been proposed on the evolution of Omicron including zoonotic spillage, infection in immunocompromised individuals and cryptic spread in the community without being diagnosed. Added to the complexity of Omicron's evolution are the multiple reports of recombination events occurring between co-circulating variants of Omicron with Delta and other variants such as XE. Current literature suggests that the combination of the novel mutations in Omicron has resulted in the variant having higher infectivity than the original Wuhan-Hu-1 and Delta variant. However, severity is believed to be less owing to the reduced syncytia formation and lower multiplication in the human lung tissue. Perhaps most challenging is that several studies indicate that the efficacy of the available vaccines have been reduced against Omicron variant (8-127 times reduction) as compared to the Wuhan-Hu-1 variant. The administration of booster vaccine, however, compensates with the reduction and improves the efficacy by 12-35 fold. Concerningly though, the broadly neutralising monoclonal antibodies, including those approved by FDA for therapeutic use against previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, are mostly ineffective against Omicron with the exception of Sotrovimab and recent reports suggest that the Omicron BA.2 is also resistant to Sotrovimab. Currently two new Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 are emerging and are reported to be more transmissible and resistant to immunity generated by previous variants including Omicron BA.1 and most monoclonal antibodies. As new variants of SARS-CoV-2 will likely continue to emerge it is important that the evolution, and biological consequences of new mutations, in existing variants be well understood.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Rev Med Virol ; 32(5): e2375, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1913892

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory infection is the third most frequent cause of mortality worldwide, causing over 4.25 million deaths annually. Although most diagnosed acute respiratory infections are thought to be of viral origin, the aetiology often remains unclear. The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionised the field of virus discovery and identification, particularly in the detection of unknown respiratory viruses. We systematically reviewed the application of NGS technologies for detecting respiratory viruses from clinical samples and outline potential barriers to the routine clinical introduction of NGS. The five databases searched for studies published in English from 01 January 2010 to 01 February 2021, which led to the inclusion of 52 studies. A total of 14 different models of NGS platforms were summarised from included studies. Among these models, second-generation sequencing platforms (e.g., Illumina sequencers) were used in the majority of studies (41/52, 79%). Moreover, NGS platforms have proven successful in detecting a variety of respiratory viruses, including influenza A/B viruses (9/52, 17%), SARS-CoV-2 (21/52, 40%), parainfluenza virus (3/52, 6%), respiratory syncytial virus (1/52, 2%), human metapneumovirus (2/52, 4%), or a viral panel including other respiratory viruses (16/52, 31%). The review of NGS technologies used in previous studies indicates the advantages of NGS technologies in novel virus detection, virus typing, mutation identification, and infection cluster assessment. Although there remain some technical and ethical challenges associated with NGS use in clinical laboratories, NGS is a promising future tool to improve understanding of respiratory viruses and provide a more accurate diagnosis with simultaneous virus characterisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A virus , Respiratory Tract Infections , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Influenza B virus , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Pathology ; 54(5): 615-622, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907625

ABSTRACT

Extensive studies and analyses into the molecular features of severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have enhanced the surveillance and investigation of its clusters and transmission worldwide. The whole genome sequencing (WGS) approach is crucial in identifying the source of infection and transmission routes by monitoring the emergence of variants over time and through communities. Varying SARS-CoV-2 genomics capacity and capability levels have been established in public health laboratories across different Australian states and territories. Therefore, laboratories performing SARS-CoV-2 WGS for public health purposes are recommended to participate in an external proficiency testing program (PTP). This study describes the development of a SARS-CoV-2 WGS PTP. The PTP assessed the performance of laboratories while providing valuable insight into the current state of SARS-CoV-2 genomics in public health across Australia. Part 1 of the PTP contained eight simulated SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative specimens to assess laboratories' wet and dry laboratory capacity. Part 2 involved the analysis of a genomic dataset that consisted of a multi-FASTA file of 70 consensus genomes of SARS-CoV-2. Participating laboratories were required to (1) submit raw data for independent bioinformatics analysis, (2) analyse the data with their processes, and (3) answer relevant questions about the data. The performance of the laboratories was commendable, despite some variation in the reported results due to the different sequencing and bioinformatics approaches used by laboratories. The overall outcome is positive and demonstrates the critical role of the PTP in supporting the implementation and validation of SARS-CoV-2 WGS processes. The data derived from this PTP will contribute to the development of SARS-CoV-2 bioinformatic quality control (QC) and performance benchmarking for accreditation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Australia , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Laboratory Proficiency Testing , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods
8.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(6): 896-908, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873507

ABSTRACT

Genetically distinct variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have emerged since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over this period, we developed a rapid platform (R-20) for viral isolation and characterization using primary remnant diagnostic swabs. This, combined with quarantine testing and genomics surveillance, enabled the rapid isolation and characterization of all major SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in Australia in 2021. Our platform facilitated viral variant isolation, rapid resolution of variant fitness using nasopharyngeal swabs and ranking of evasion of neutralizing antibodies. In late 2021, variant of concern Omicron (B1.1.529) emerged. Using our platform, we detected and characterized SARS-CoV-2 VOC Omicron. We show that Omicron effectively evades neutralization antibodies and has a different entry route that is TMPRSS2-independent. Our low-cost platform is available to all and can detect all variants of SARS-CoV-2 studied so far, with the main limitation being that our platform still requires appropriate biocontainment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Australia , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
10.
Pathology ; 54(4): 472-478, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796234

ABSTRACT

Diagnostic testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has undergone significant changes over the duration of the pandemic. In early 2020, SARS-CoV-2 specific nucleic acid testing (NAT) protocols were predominantly in-house assays developed based on protocols published in peer reviewed journals. As the pandemic has progressed, there has been an increase in the choice of testing platforms. A proficiency testing program for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by NAT was provided to assist laboratories in assessing and improving test capabilities in the early stages of the pandemic. This was vital in quality assuring initial in-house assays, later commercially produced assays, and informing the public health response. The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Programs (RCPAQAP) offered three rounds of proficiency testing for SARS-CoV-2 to Australian and New Zealand public and private laboratories in March, May, and November 2020. Each round included a panel of five specimens, consisting of positive (low, medium or high viral loads), inconclusive (technical specimen of selected SARS-CoV-2 specific genes) and negative specimens. Results were received for round 1 from 16, round 2 from 97 and round 3 from 101 participating laboratories. Improvement in the accuracy over time was shown, with the concordance of results in round 1 being 75.0%, in round 2 above 95.0% for all samples except one, and for round 3 above 95.0%. Overall, participants demonstrated high capabilities in detecting SARS-CoV-2, even in samples of low viral load, indicating excellent testing accuracy and therefore providing confidence in Australian and New Zealand public and private laboratories test results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Australia , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Laboratories , Public Health , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
O'Toole, Áine, Hill, Verity, Pybus, Oliver, Watts, Alexander, Bogoch, Issac, Khan, Kamran, Messina, Jane, Tegally, Houriiyah, Lessells, Richard, Giandhari, Jennifer, Pillay, Sureshnee, Tumedi, Kefentse Arnold, Nyepetsi, Gape, Kebabonye, Malebogo, Matsheka, Maitshwarelo, Mine, Madisa, Tokajian, Sima, Hassan, Hamad, Salloum, Tamara, Merhi, Georgi, Koweyes, Jad, Geoghegan, Jemma, de Ligt, Joep, Ren, Xiaoyun, Storey, Matthew, Freed, Nikki, Pattabiraman, Chitra, Prasad, Pramada, Desai, Anita, Vasanthapuram, Ravi, Schulz, Thomas, Steinbrück, Lars, Stadler, Tanja, Parisi, Antonio, Bianco, Angelica, García de Viedma, Darío, Buenestado-Serrano, Sergio, Borges, Vítor, Isidro, Joana, Duarte, Sílvia, Gomes, João Paulo, Zuckerman, Neta, Mandelboim, Michal, Mor, Orna, Seemann, Torsten, Arnott, Alicia, Draper, Jenny, Gall, Mailie, Rawlinson, William, Deveson, Ira, Schlebusch, Sanmarié, McMahon, Jamie, Leong, Lex, Lim, Chuan Kok, Chironna, Maria, Loconsole, Daniela, Bal, Antonin, Josset, Laurence, Holmes, Edward, St. George, Kirsten, Lasek-Nesselquist, Erica, Sikkema, Reina, Oude Munnink, Bas, Koopmans, Marion, Brytting, Mia, Sudha rani, V.; Pavani, S.; Smura, Teemu, Heim, Albert, Kurkela, Satu, Umair, Massab, Salman, Muhammad, Bartolini, Barbara, Rueca, Martina, Drosten, Christian, Wolff, Thorsten, Silander, Olin, Eggink, Dirk, Reusken, Chantal, Vennema, Harry, Park, Aekyung, Carrington, Christine, Sahadeo, Nikita, Carr, Michael, Gonzalez, Gabo, de Oliveira, Tulio, Faria, Nuno, Rambaut, Andrew, Kraemer, Moritz, The, Covid-Genomics U. K. consortium, Network for Genomic Surveillance in South, Africa, Brazil, U. K. Cadde Genomic Network, Swiss Viollier Sequencing, Consortium, Diego, Search Alliance San, National Virus Reference, Laboratory, Seq, Covid Spain, Danish Covid-19 Genome, Consortium, Communicable Diseases Genomic, Network, Dutch National, Sars-CoV-surveillance program, Division of Emerging Infectious, Diseases.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318194

ABSTRACT

Late in 2020, two genetically-distinct clusters of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with mutations of biological concern were reported, one in the United Kingdom and one in South Africa. Using a combination of data from routine surveillance, genomic sequencing and international travel we track the international dispersal of lineages B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 (variant 501Y-V2). We account for potential biases in genomic surveillance efforts by including passenger volumes from location of where the lineage was first reported, London and South Africa respectively. Using the software tool grinch (global report investigating novel coronavirus haplotypes), we track the international spread of lineages of concern with automated daily reports, Further, we have built a custom tracking website (cov-lineages.org/global_report.html) which hosts this daily report and will continue to include novel SARS-CoV-2 lineages of concern as they are detected.

13.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314206

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence supports the high prevalence of co-infections among Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients, and their potential to worsen the clinical outcome of COVID-19. However, there are few data on Southern Hemisphere populations, and most studies to date have investigated a narrow spectrum of viruses using targeted qRT-PCR. Here we assessed respiratory viral co-infections among SARS-CoV-2 patients in Australia, through respiratory virome characterization. Nasopharyngeal swabs of 92 SARS-CoV-2-positive cases were sequenced using pan-viral hybrid-capture and the Twist Respiratory Virus Panel. In total, 8% of cases were co-infected, with rhinovirus (6%) or influenzavirus (2%). Twist capture also achieved near-complete sequencing (>90% coverage, >10-fold depth) of the SARS-CoV-2 genome in 95% of specimens with Ct<30. Our results highlight the importance of assessing all pathogens in symptomatic patients, and the dual-functionality of Twist hybrid-capture, for SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequencing without amplicon generation and the simultaneous identification of viral co-infections with ease.

14.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307461

ABSTRACT

Considerable concerns relating to the duration of protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 have been raised, with evidence of antibody titres declining rapidly after infection and reports of reinfection. Here we monitored antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) for up to six months after infection. While antibody titres were maintained, half of the cohort’s neutralising responses had returned to background. However, encouragingly in a selected subset of 13 participants, 12 had detectable RBD-specific memory B cells and these generally increased out to 6 months. Furthermore, we were able to generate monoclonal antibodies with SARS-CoV-2 neutralising capacity from these memory B cells. Overall our study suggests that the loss of neutralising antibodies in plasma may be countered by the maintenance of neutralising capacity in the memory B cell repertoire.

15.
Cell Rep ; 38(6): 110345, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654153

ABSTRACT

Understanding the long-term maintenance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunity is critical for predicting protection against reinfection. In an age- and gender-matched cohort of 24 participants, the association of disease severity and early immune responses on the maintenance of humoral immunity 12 months post-infection is examined. All severely affected participants maintain a stable subset of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific memory B cells (MBCs) and good neutralizing antibody breadth against the majority of the variants of concern, including the Delta variant. Modeling these immune responses against vaccine efficacy data indicate a 45%-76% protection against symptomatic infection (variant dependent). Overall, these findings indicate durable humoral responses in most participants after infection, reasonable protection against reinfection, and implicate baseline antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses as a predictor of maintenance of antibody neutralization breadth and RBD-specific MBC levels at 12 months post-infection.


Subject(s)
Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Australia , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunity/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Male , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625191

ABSTRACT

Whole-genome sequencing of viral isolates is critical for informing transmission patterns and for the ongoing evolution of pathogens, especially during a pandemic. However, when genomes have low variability in the early stages of a pandemic, the impact of technical and/or sequencing errors increases. We quantitatively assessed inter-laboratory differences in consensus genome assemblies of 72 matched SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens sequenced at different laboratories in Sydney, Australia. Raw sequence data were assembled using two different bioinformatics pipelines in parallel, and resulting consensus genomes were compared to detect laboratory-specific differences. Matched genome sequences were predominantly concordant, with a median pairwise identity of 99.997%. Identified differences were predominantly driven by ambiguous site content. Ignoring these produced differences in only 2.3% (5/216) of pairwise comparisons, each differing by a single nucleotide. Matched samples were assigned the same Pango lineage in 98.2% (212/216) of pairwise comparisons, and were mostly assigned to the same phylogenetic clade. However, epidemiological inference based only on single nucleotide variant distances may lead to significant differences in the number of defined clusters if variant allele frequency thresholds for consensus genome generation differ between laboratories. These results underscore the need for a unified, best-practices approach to bioinformatics between laboratories working on a common outbreak problem.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology/standards , Consensus , Genome, Viral , Laboratories/standards , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Australia , Computational Biology/methods , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Whole Genome Sequencing
18.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296508

ABSTRACT

From late 2020 the world observed the rapid emergence of many distinct SARS-CoV-2 variants. At the same time, pandemic responses resulted in significant global vaccine rollouts that have now significantly lowered Covid-19 hospitalisation and mortality rates in the developed world. Unfortunately, in late 2021, the variant Omicron (B.1.1.529) emerged and it eclipsed the other variants of concern (VOC) in its number of Spike polymorphisms, and its ability to compete with and displacement of the dominant VOC Delta. Herein we accessed the impact of Omicron to humoral neutralisation in vaccinated, convalescent cohorts, in concentrated human IgG from thousands of plasma donors and also alongside many clinically used monoclonal antibodies. Overall, we observed a 17 to 22 fold drop in neutralisation titres across all donors that reached a titre to Omicron. Concentrated pooled human IgG from convalescent and vaccinated donors had greater breadth but was still reduced by 16-fold. In all therapeutic antibodies tested, significant neutralization was only observed for Sotrovimab, with other monoclonals unable to neutralize B.1.1.529.

19.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296253

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies provides important research and diagnostic information relating to COVID-19 immune response and surveillance. A major challenge when addressing protection post-infection or vaccination is the difficulty of specimen collection from infants and children. Dried blood spots (DBS) collected by finger prick or heel prick are a minimally invasive sample collection alternative previously used to detect antibodies to other viruses. In this study we evaluated DBS for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies on three commercially available enzyme (EIA) and chemiluminescent (CLIA) immunoassays by analysing paired DBS and serum samples collected from 54 subjects. We demonstrate that testing of DBS samples was highly sensitive and specific, and quantitative results strongly correlated with those of paired serum. These results suggest that DBS derived blood is a viable alternative to plasma or serum for use in EIAs and CLIAs, and has particular utility as a minimally invasive collection tool for COVID-19 serological testing of infants and children.

20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(23)2021 Nov 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542584

ABSTRACT

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a major pathogenic herpesvirus that is prevalent worldwide and it is associated with a variety of clinical symptoms. Current antiviral therapy options do not fully satisfy the medical needs; thus, improved drug classes and drug-targeting strategies are required. In particular, host-directed antivirals, including pharmaceutical kinase inhibitors, might help improve the drug qualities. Here, we focused on utilizing PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras (PROTACs), i.e., hetero-bifunctional molecules containing two elements, namely a target-binding molecule and a proteolysis-inducing element. Specifically, a PROTAC that was based on a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, i.e., CDK9-directed PROTAC THAL-SNS032, was analyzed and proved to possess strong anti-HCMV AD169-GFP activity, with values of EC50 of 0.030 µM and CC50 of 0.175 µM (SI of 5.8). Comparing the effect of THAL-SNS032 with its non-PROTAC counterpart SNS032, data indicated a 3.7-fold stronger anti-HCMV efficacy. This antiviral activity, as illustrated for further clinically relevant strains of human and murine CMVs, coincided with the mid-nanomolar concentration range necessary for a drug-induced degradation of the primary (CDK9) and secondary targets (CDK1, CDK2, CDK7). In addition, further antiviral activities were demonstrated, such as the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication, whereas other investigated human viruses (i.e., varicella zoster virus, adenovirus type 2, and Zika virus) were found insensitive. Combined, the antiviral quality of this approach is seen in its (i) mechanistic uniqueness; (ii) future options of combinatorial drug treatment; (iii) potential broad-spectrum activity; and (iv) applicability in clinically relevant antiviral models. These novel data are discussed in light of the current achievements of anti-HCMV drug development.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cytomegalovirus/drug effects , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/pharmacology , Adenoviridae/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 9 , Drug Delivery Systems , Herpesvirus 3, Human/drug effects , Humans , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/chemistry , Mice , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Zika Virus/drug effects
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