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PLoS Pathog ; 18(7): e1010618, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923717


The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019, rapidly reached pandemic status, and has maintained global ubiquity through the emergence of variants of concern. Efforts to develop animal models have mostly fallen short of recapitulating severe disease, diminishing their utility for research focusing on severe disease pathogenesis and life-saving medical countermeasures. We tested whether route of experimental infection substantially changes COVID-19 disease characteristics in two species of nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta; rhesus macaques; RM, Chlorocebus atheiops; African green monkeys; AGM). Species-specific cohorts were experimentally infected with SARS-CoV-2 by either direct mucosal (intratracheal + intranasal) instillation or small particle aerosol in route-discrete subcohorts. Both species demonstrated analogous viral loads in all compartments by either exposure route although the magnitude and duration of viral loading was marginally greater in AGMs than RMs. Clinical onset was nearly immediate (+1dpi) in the mucosal exposure cohort whereas clinical signs and cytokine responses in aerosol exposure animals began +7dpi. Pathologies conserved in both species and both exposure modalities include pulmonary myeloid cell influx, development of pleuritis, and extended lack of regenerative capacity in the pulmonary compartment. Demonstration of conserved pulmonary pathology regardless of species and exposure route expands our understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 infection may lead to ARDS and/or functional lung damage and demonstrates the near clinical response of the nonhuman primate model for anti-fibrotic therapeutic evaluation studies.

COVID-19 , Aerosols , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776363


The inhalation of ambient SARS-CoV-2-containing bioaerosols leads to infection and pandemic airborne transmission in susceptible populations. Filter-based respirators effectively reduce exposure but complicate normal respiration through breathing zone pressure differentials; therefore, they are impractical for long-term use. OBJECTIVES: We tested the comparative effectiveness of a prototyped miniaturized electrostatic precipitator (mEP) on a filter-based respirator (N95) via the removal of viral bioaerosols from a simulated, inspired air stream. Methods: Each respirator was tested within a 16 L environmental chamber housed within a Class III biological safety cabinet within biosafety level 3 containment. SARS-CoV-2-containing bioaerosols were generated in the chamber, drawn by a vacuum through each respirator, and physical particle removal and viral genomic RNA were measured distal to the breathing zone of each device. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The mEP respirator removed particles (96.5 ± 0.4%), approximating efficiencies of the N95 (96.9 ± 0.6%). The mEP respirator similarly decreased SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA (99.792%) when compared to N95 removal (99.942%), as a function of particle removal from the airstream distal to the breathing zone of each respirator. CONCLUSIONS: The mEP respirator approximated the performance of a filter-based N95 respirator for particle removal and viral RNA as a constituent of the SARS-CoV-2 bioaerosols generated for this evaluation. In practice, the mEP respirator could provide equivalent protection from ambient infectious bioaerosols as the N95 respirator without undue pressure drop to the wearer, thereby facilitating its long-term use in an unobstructed breathing configuration.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , RNA, Viral , Static Electricity , Ventilators, Mechanical
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(8)2021 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075324


COVID-19 transmits by droplets generated from surfaces of airway mucus during processes of respiration within hosts infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. We studied respiratory droplet generation and exhalation in human and nonhuman primate subjects with and without COVID-19 infection to explore whether SARS-CoV-2 infection, and other changes in physiological state, translate into observable evolution of numbers and sizes of exhaled respiratory droplets in healthy and diseased subjects. In our observational cohort study of the exhaled breath particles of 194 healthy human subjects, and in our experimental infection study of eight nonhuman primates infected, by aerosol, with SARS-CoV-2, we found that exhaled aerosol particles vary between subjects by three orders of magnitude, with exhaled respiratory droplet number increasing with degree of COVID-19 infection and elevated BMI-years. We observed that 18% of human subjects (35) accounted for 80% of the exhaled bioaerosol of the group (194), reflecting a superspreader distribution of bioaerosol analogous to a classical 20:80 superspreader of infection distribution. These findings suggest that quantitative assessment and control of exhaled aerosol may be critical to slowing the airborne spread of COVID-19 in the absence of an effective and widely disseminated vaccine.

COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/transmission , Exhalation/physiology , Obesity/physiopathology , Aerosols , Age Factors , Animals , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Humans , Mucus/chemistry , Mucus/virology , Obesity/epidemiology , Obesity/virology , Particle Size , Primates , Respiratory System/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load