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1.
Public Health Pract (Oxf) ; 2: 100217, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829400

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Human behavioural factors are an important consideration in the response to COVID-19 outbreaks. Prior to the emergence of highly infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2 and implementation of vaccination programmes, we conducted a study to explore the role of behavioural factors influencing transmission at an essential services workplace during an outbreak of COVID-19. STUDY DESIGN: Observational cohort study. METHODS: In response to a COVID-19 outbreak in November 2020 at an office-based call centre workplace providing an essential service in Thames Valley, we designed and conducted an anonymous staff questionnaire to explore potential behavioural factors of staff behaviour that influence transmission. RESULTS: A total of 45 staff (27%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 over a six-week period between 26 October and 14 December 2020. The online questionnaire was cascaded to 168 staff members; the response rate was 41%. Self-reported use of hand sanitiser, face masks and cleaning of equipment in line with workplace guidance was 86%, 66% and 63% respectively. On the same behaviours, respondents reported that 33%, 31% and 14% of their colleagues followed the recommendations. Almost two thirds of respondents (63%) reported that they were unable to maintain social distancing at the workplace, primarily due to operational constraints. CONCLUSIONS: Prevention and control of COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces providing an essential service is challenging. Operational requirements, often compounded by reduced staff availability, impede implementation of more robust control measures. Ongoing assessment of human behavioural factors in the control of COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces in the post-vaccine era is essential.

2.
J Clin Microbiol ; : e0228321, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759279

ABSTRACT

Tools to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and track the ongoing evolution of the virus are necessary to support public health efforts and the design and evaluation of novel COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. Although next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been adopted as the gold standard method for discriminating SARS-CoV-2 lineages, alternative methods may be required when processing samples with low viral loads or low RNA quality. To this aim, an allele-specific probe PCR (ASP-PCR) targeting lineage-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was developed and used to screen 1,082 samples from two clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil. Probit regression models were developed to compare ASP-PCR performance against 1,771 NGS results for the same cohorts. Individual SNPs were shown to readily identify specific variants of concern. ASP-PCR was shown to discriminate SARS-CoV-2 lineages with a higher likelihood than NGS over a wide range of viral loads. The comparative advantage for ASP-PCR over NGS was most pronounced in samples with cycle threshold (CT) values between 26 and 30 and in samples that showed evidence of degradation. Results for samples screened by ASP-PCR and NGS showed 99% concordant results. ASP-PCR is well suited to augment but not replace NGS. The method can differentiate SARS-CoV-2 lineages with high accuracy and would be best deployed to screen samples with lower viral loads or that may suffer from degradation. Future work should investigate further destabilization from primer-target base mismatch through altered oligonucleotide chemistry or chemical additives.

3.
J Infect Dis ; 225(6): 971-976, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740893

ABSTRACT

We compared neutralizing antibody titers of convalescent samples collected before and after the emergence of novel strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), against the wild-type virus and Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants. Plasma samples collected in 2020 before emergence of variants showed reduced titers against the Alpha variants, and both sets of samples demonstrated significantly reduced titers against Beta. Comparison of microneutralization titers with those obtained with pseudotype and hemagglutination tests showed a good correlation between their titers and effects of strain variation, supporting the use of these simpler assays for assessing the potency of convalescent plasma against currently circulating and emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Humans , Immunization, Passive , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327570

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant possesses numerous spike (S) mutations that enhance transmissibility and evasion of neutralizing antibodies, making it a serious threat to existing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies. Accurately distinguishing emerging S variants and revealing their post-translational glycosylation changes can provide new insights for rational design and development of vaccines and therapeutics. Here we report the first comprehensive elucidation of the molecular variations and O-glycoform changes of the Omicron, Delta (B.1.617.2), and wild-type (WA1/2020) S receptor-binding domains (S-RBDs) using high-resolution top-down mass spectrometry (MS). A novel O-glycosite (Thr376) unique to the Omicron variant is identified. Moreover, we have directly quantified the Core 1 and Core 2 O-glycan structures and characterized the O-glycoform structural heterogeneity of the three variants. Our findings provide high resolution detail of Omicron O-glycoform and utilization, providing new insights into how this variant escapes immunological protection and informing strategies for developing Omicron-directed vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320099

ABSTRACT

We present a modification of the logistic model of epidemics that takes into account the possibility that an epidemic can develop from multiple physically-distinct hot spots with a range of starting times. This produces an improved understanding of the time evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic taking place in the United States in the spring of 2020.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-305590

ABSTRACT

Background: Laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) uses PCR to detect viral RNA (vRNA) in respiratory samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other sample types, but there is limited understanding of the clinical or laboratory significance of its detection in blood. Methods: We undertook a systematic literature review to assimilate the evidence for the frequency of vRNA in blood, and to identify associated clinical characteristics. We performed RT-PCR in serum samples from a UK clinical cohort of acute and convalescent COVID-19 cases (n=212), together with convalescent plasma samples collected by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) (n=462 additional samples). To determine whether PCR-positive blood samples could pose an infection risk, we attempted virus isolation from a subset of RNA-positive samples. Results: We identified 28 relevant studies, reporting SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 0-76% of blood samples;pooled estimate 10% (95%CI 5-18%). Among serum samples from our clinical cohort, 27/212 (12.7%) had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected by RT-PCR. RNA detection occurred in samples up to day 20 post symptom onset, and was associated with more severe disease (multivariable odds ratio 7.5). Across all samples collected ≥28 days post symptom onset, 0/494 (0%, 95%CI 0-0.7%) had vRNA detected. Among our PCR-positive samples, cycle threshold (ct) values were high (range 33.5-44.8), suggesting low vRNA copy numbers. PCR-positive sera inoculated into cell culture did not produce any cytopathic effect or yield an increase in detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA. There was a relationship between RT-PCR negativity and the presence of total SARS-CoV-2 antibody (p=0.02). Conclusions: vRNA was detectable at low viral loads in a minority of serum samples collected in acute infection, but was not associated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 (within the limitations of the assays used). This work helps to inform biosafety precautions for handling blood products from patients with current or previous COVID-19.

7.
Transfus Med ; 31(6): 393-394, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1590739
9.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295804

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background Treatment of COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma containing neutralising antibody to SARS-CoV-2 is under investigation as a means of reducing viral loads, ameliorating disease outcomes, and reducing mortality. However, its efficacy might be reduced in those infected with the emerging B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant. Here, we report the diverse virological characteristics of UK patients enrolled in the Immunoglobulin Domain of the REMAP-CAP randomised controlled trial. Methods SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA was detected and quantified by real-time PCR in nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from study subjects within 48 hours of admission to intensive care unit. Antibody status was determined by spike-protein ELISA. B.1.1.7 strain was differentiated from other SARS-CoV-2 strains by two novel typing methods detecting the B.1.1.7-associated D1118H mutation with allele-specific probes and by restriction site polymorphism (SfcI). Findings Of 1260 subjects, 90% were PCR-positive with viral loads in nasopharyngeal swabs ranging from 72 international units [IUs]/ml to 1.7×10 11 IU/ml. Median viral loads were 45-fold higher in those who were seronegative for IgG antibodies (n=314;28%) compared to seropositives (n=804;72%), reflecting in part the latter group’s possible later disease stage on enrolment. Frequencies of B.1.1.7 infection increased from early November (<1%) to December 2020 (>60%). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 seronegative individuals infected with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher viral loads than seropositives (medians of 1.2×10 6 and 3.4 ×10 4 IU/ml respectively;p=2×10 −9 ). However, viral load distributions were elevated in both seropositive and seronegative subjects infected with B.1.1.7 (13.4×10 6 and 7.6×10 6 IU/ml;p=0.18). Interpretation High viral loads in seropositive B.1.1.7-infected subjects are consistent with increased replication capacity and/or less effective clearance by innate or adaptive immune response of B.1.1.7 strain than wild-type. As viral genotype was associated with diverse virological and immunological phenotypes, metrics of viral load, antibody status and infecting strain should be used to define subgroups for analysis of treatment efficacy.

10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294661

ABSTRACT

Evaluation of susceptibility to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) requires rapid screening tests for neutralising antibodies which provide protection. We developed a receptor-binding domain specific hemagglutination test (HAT) which correlated with neutralising antibodies (R=0.74-0.82) in two independent cohorts from 798 convalescents. Home-dwelling older individuals (80-99 years, n=89) had significantly lower antibodies after one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine than younger adult vaccinees (n=310) and naturally infected individuals (n=307). The second vaccine dose boosted and broadened the antibody repertoire to VOC in naïve but not previously infected, older and younger adults. >75% of older adults responded after two vaccinations to alpha and delta, but only 59-62% to beta and gamma, compared to 96-97% of younger vaccinees and 68-76% of infected individuals. Overall, the HAT provides a surrogate marker for neutralising antibodies, could be used as a simple inexpensive, rapid test, rapidly adaptable to emerging VOC for large-scale evaluation of potentially diminishing vaccine effectiveness.

11.
J Infect Dis ; 225(6): 971-976, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506513

ABSTRACT

We compared neutralizing antibody titers of convalescent samples collected before and after the emergence of novel strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), against the wild-type virus and Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants. Plasma samples collected in 2020 before emergence of variants showed reduced titers against the Alpha variants, and both sets of samples demonstrated significantly reduced titers against Beta. Comparison of microneutralization titers with those obtained with pseudotype and hemagglutination tests showed a good correlation between their titers and effects of strain variation, supporting the use of these simpler assays for assessing the potency of convalescent plasma against currently circulating and emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Humans , Immunization, Passive , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
Public health in practice (Oxford, England) ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1505409

ABSTRACT

Objectives Human behavioural factors are an important consideration in the response to COVID-19 outbreaks. Prior to the emergence of highly infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2 and implementation of vaccination programme, we conducted a questionnaire study to explore the role of behavioural factors influencing transmission at an essential services workplace during an outbreak of COVID-19. Study Design Observational cohort study. Methods In response to a COVID-19 outbreak in November 2020 at an office-based call centre workplace providing an essential service in Thames Valley, we designed and conducted an anonymous staff questionnaire to explore potential behavioural factors of staff behaviour that influence transmission. Results A total of 45 staff (27%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 over a six-week period between 26 October and 14 December 2020. The online questionnaire was cascaded to 168 staff members;the response rate was 41%. Self-reported use of hand sanitiser, face masks and cleaning of equipment in line with workplace guidance was 86%, 66% and 63% respectively. On the same behaviours, respondents reported that 33%, 31% and 14% of their colleagues followed the recommendations. Almost two thirds of respondents (63%) reported that they were unable to maintain social distancing at the workplace, primarily due to operational constraints. Conclusions Prevention and control of COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces providing an essential service is challenging. Operational requirements, often compounded by reduced staff availability, impede implementation of more robust control measures. Ongoing assessment of human behavioural factors in the control of COVID-19 outbreaks at workplaces in the post-vaccine era is essential.

13.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 9: CD013825, 2021 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1490675

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are laboratory-produced molecules derived from the B cells of an infected host. They are being investigated as a potential therapy for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness and safety of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs for treating patients with COVID-19, compared to an active comparator, placebo, or no intervention. To maintain the currency of the evidence, we will use a living systematic review approach. A secondary objective is to track newly developed SARS-CoV-2-targeting mAbs from first tests in humans onwards.  SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, and three other databases on 17 June 2021. We also checked references, searched citations, and contacted study authors to identify additional studies. Between submission and publication, we conducted a shortened randomised controlled trial (RCT)-only search on 30 July 2021. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included studies that evaluated SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs, alone or combined, compared to an active comparator, placebo, or no intervention, to treat people with COVID-19. We excluded studies on prophylactic use of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently assessed search results, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane risk of bias tool (RoB2). Prioritised outcomes were all-cause mortality by days 30 and 60, clinical progression, quality of life, admission to hospital, adverse events (AEs), and serious adverse events (SAEs). We rated the certainty of evidence using GRADE. MAIN RESULTS: We identified six RCTs that provided results from 17,495 participants with planned completion dates between July 2021 and December 2031. Target sample sizes varied from 1020 to 10,000 participants. Average age was 42 to 53 years across four studies of non-hospitalised participants, and 61 years in two studies of hospitalised participants. Non-hospitalised individuals with COVID-19 Four studies evaluated single agents bamlanivimab (N = 465), sotrovimab (N = 868), regdanvimab (N = 307), and combinations of bamlanivimab/etesevimab (N = 1035), and casirivimab/imdevimab (N = 799). We did not identify data for mortality at 60 days or quality of life. Our certainty of the evidence is low for all outcomes due to too few events (very serious imprecision).  Bamlanivimab compared to placebo No deaths occurred in the study by day 29. There were nine people admitted to hospital by day 29 out of 156 in the placebo group compared with one out of 101 in the group treated with 0.7 g bamlanivimab (risk ratio (RR) 0.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02 to 1.33), 2 from 107 in the group treated with 2.8 g (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.47) and 2 from 101 in the group treated with 7.0 g (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.08 to 1.56). Treatment with 0.7 g, 2.8 g and 7.0 g bamlanivimab may have similar rates of AEs as placebo (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.50; RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.59 to 1.38; RR 0.81, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.27). The effect on SAEs is uncertain. Clinical progression/improvement of symptoms or development of severe symptoms were not reported. Bamlanivimab/etesevimab compared to placebo There were 10 deaths in the placebo group and none in bamlanivimab/etesevimab group by day 30 (RR 0.05, 95% CI 0.00 to 0.81). Bamlanivimab/etesevimab may decrease hospital admission by day 29 (RR 0.30, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.59), may result in a slight increase in any grade AEs (RR 1.15, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.59) and may increase SAEs (RR 1.40, 95% CI 0.45 to 4.37). Clinical progression/improvement of symptoms or development of severe symptoms were not reported. Casirivimab/imdevimab compared to placebo Casirivimab/imdevimab may reduce hospital admissions or death (2.4 g: RR 0.43, 95% CI 0.08 to 2.19; 8.0 g: RR 0.21, 95% CI 0.02 to 1.79). We are uncertain of the effect on grades 3-4 AEs (2.4 g: RR 0.76, 95% CI 0.17 to 3.37; 8.0 g: RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.09 to 2.73) and SAEs (2.4 g: RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.19 to 2.37; 8.0 g: RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.07 to 1.65). Mortality by day 30 and clinical progression/improvement of symptoms or development of severe symptoms were not reported. Sotrovimab compared to placebo We are uncertain whether sotrovimab has an effect on mortality (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.01 to 8.18) and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) requirement or death (RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.01 to 2.76). Treatment with sotrovimab may reduce the number of participants with oxygen requirement (RR 0.11, 95 % CI 0.02 to 0.45), hospital admission or death by day 30 (RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.48), grades 3-4 AEs (RR 0.26, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.60), SAEs (RR 0.27, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.63) and may have little or no effect on any grade AEs (RR 0.87, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.16).  Regdanvimab compared to placebo Treatment with either dose (40 or 80 mg/kg) compared with placebo may decrease hospital admissions or death (RR 0.45, 95% CI 0.14 to 1.42; RR 0.56, 95% CI 0.19 to 1.60, 206 participants), but may increase grades 3-4 AEs (RR 2.62, 95% CI 0.52 to 13.12; RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.37 to 10.70). 80 mg/kg may reduce any grade AEs (RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.22) but 40 mg/kg may have little to no effect (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.43). There were too few events to allow meaningful judgment for the outcomes mortality by 30 days, IMV requirement, and SAEs.  Hospitalised individuals with COVID-19 Two studies evaluating bamlanivimab as a single agent (N = 314) and casirivimab/imdevimab as a combination therapy (N = 9785) were included.   Bamlanivimab compared to placebo  We are uncertain whether bamlanivimab has an effect on mortality by day 30 (RR 1.39, 95% CI 0.40 to 4.83) and SAEs by day 28 (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.27 to 3.14). Bamlanivimab may have little to no effect on time to hospital discharge (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.20) and mortality by day 90 (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.49 to 2.43). The effect of bamlanivimab on the development of severe symptoms at day 5 (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.85) is uncertain. Bamlanivimab may increase grades 3-4 AEs at day 28 (RR 1.27, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.98). We assessed the evidence as low certainty for all outcomes due to serious imprecision, and very low certainty for severe symptoms because of additional concerns about indirectness. Casirivimab/imdevimab with usual care compared to usual care alone Treatment with casirivimab/imdevimab compared to usual care probably has little or no effect on mortality by day 30 (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.02), IMV requirement or death (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.90 to 1.04), nor alive at hospital discharge by day 30 (RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.04). We assessed the evidence as moderate certainty due to study limitations (lack of blinding). AEs and SAEs were not reported.  AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The evidence for each comparison is based on single studies. None of these measured quality of life. Our certainty in the evidence for all non-hospitalised individuals is low, and for hospitalised individuals is very low to moderate. We consider the current evidence insufficient to draw meaningful conclusions regarding treatment with SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs. Further studies and long-term data from the existing studies are needed to confirm or refute these initial findings, and to understand how the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants may impact the effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs. Publication of the 36 ongoing studies may resolve uncertainties about the effectiveness and safety of SARS-CoV-2-neutralising mAbs for the treatment of COVID-19 and possible subgroup differences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Cause of Death , Humans , Middle Aged , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
14.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(9)2021 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390655

ABSTRACT

The identification of thrombospondin-1 as an angiogenesis inhibitor in 1990 prompted interest in its role in cancer biology and potential as a therapeutic target. Decreased thrombospondin-1 mRNA and protein expression are associated with progression in several cancers, while expression by nonmalignant cells in the tumor microenvironment and circulating levels in cancer patients can be elevated. THBS1 is not a tumor suppressor gene, but the regulation of its expression in malignant cells by oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes mediates some of their effects on carcinogenesis, tumor progression, and metastasis. In addition to regulating angiogenesis and perfusion of the tumor vasculature, thrombospondin-1 limits antitumor immunity by CD47-dependent regulation of innate and adaptive immune cells. Conversely, thrombospondin-1 is a component of particles released by immune cells that mediate tumor cell killing. Thrombospondin-1 differentially regulates the sensitivity of malignant and nonmalignant cells to genotoxic stress caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The diverse activities of thrombospondin-1 to regulate autophagy, senescence, stem cell maintenance, extracellular vesicle function, and metabolic responses to ischemic and genotoxic stress are mediated by several cell surface receptors and by regulating the functions of several secreted proteins. This review highlights progress in understanding thrombospondin-1 functions in cancer and the challenges that remain in harnessing its therapeutic potential.


Subject(s)
Neoplasms , Thrombospondin 1/physiology , Tumor Microenvironment/physiology , Animals , Cell Adhesion , Cell Movement , Humans , Integrins/metabolism , Mice , Neoplasms/blood supply , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/pathology , Neovascularization, Pathologic/metabolism , Neovascularization, Physiologic/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Thrombospondin 1/genetics , Thrombospondin 1/metabolism
15.
Nature ; 592(7853): 277-282, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387425

ABSTRACT

The spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is critical for virus infection through the engagement of the human ACE2 protein1 and is a major antibody target. Here we show that chronic infection with SARS-CoV-2 leads to viral evolution and reduced sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies in an immunosuppressed individual treated with convalescent plasma, by generating whole-genome ultra-deep sequences for 23 time points that span 101 days and using in vitro techniques to characterize the mutations revealed by sequencing. There was little change in the overall structure of the viral population after two courses of remdesivir during the first 57 days. However, after convalescent plasma therapy, we observed large, dynamic shifts in the viral population, with the emergence of a dominant viral strain that contained a substitution (D796H) in the S2 subunit and a deletion (ΔH69/ΔV70) in the S1 N-terminal domain of the spike protein. As passively transferred serum antibodies diminished, viruses with the escape genotype were reduced in frequency, before returning during a final, unsuccessful course of convalescent plasma treatment. In vitro, the spike double mutant bearing both ΔH69/ΔV70 and D796H conferred modestly decreased sensitivity to convalescent plasma, while maintaining infectivity levels that were similar to the wild-type virus.The spike substitution mutant D796H appeared to be the main contributor to the decreased susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies, but this mutation resulted in an infectivity defect. The spike deletion mutant ΔH69/ΔV70 had a twofold higher level of infectivity than wild-type SARS-CoV-2, possibly compensating for the reduced infectivity of the D796H mutation. These data reveal strong selection on SARS-CoV-2 during convalescent plasma therapy, which is associated with the emergence of viral variants that show evidence of reduced susceptibility to neutralizing antibodies in immunosuppressed individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Mutagenesis/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Aged , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Chronic Disease , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Immune Evasion/drug effects , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immune Tolerance/drug effects , Immune Tolerance/immunology , Immunization, Passive , Male , Mutant Proteins/chemistry , Mutant Proteins/genetics , Mutant Proteins/immunology , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Shedding
16.
J Infect Dis ; 224(4): 595-605, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma containing neutralizing antibody to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is under investigation for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment. We report diverse virological characteristics of UK intensive care patients enrolled in the Immunoglobulin Domain of the REMAP-CAP randomized controlled trial that potentially influence treatment outcomes. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs collected pretreatment was quantified by PCR. Antibody status was determined by spike-protein ELISA. B.1.1.7 was differentiated from other SARS-CoV-2 strains using allele-specific probes or restriction site polymorphism (SfcI) targeting D1118H. RESULTS: Of 1274 subjects, 90% were PCR positive with viral loads 118-1.7 × 1011IU/mL. Median viral loads were 40-fold higher in those IgG seronegative (n = 354; 28%) compared to seropositives (n = 939; 72%). Frequencies of B.1.1.7 increased from <1% in November 2020 to 82% of subjects in January 2021. Seronegative individuals with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher viral loads than seropositives (medians 5.8 × 106 and 2.0 × 105 IU/mL, respectively; P = 2 × 10-15). CONCLUSIONS: High viral loads in seropositive B.1.1.7-infected subjects and resistance to seroconversion indicate less effective clearance by innate and adaptive immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 strain, viral loads, and antibody status define subgroups for analysis of treatment efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom
17.
Transfusion ; 61(10): 2837-2843, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360538

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma (CP) therapy for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) provides virus-neutralizing antibodies that may ameliorate the outcome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. The effectiveness of CP likely depends on its antiviral neutralizing potency and is determined using in vitro neutralizing antibody assays. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We evaluated abilities of three immunoassays for anti-spike antibodies (EUROimmun, Ortho, Roche), a pseudotype-based neutralization assay, and two assays that quantify ACE2 binding of spike protein (GenScript and hemagglutination test [HAT]-based assay) to predict neutralizing antibody titers in 113 CP donations. Assay outputs were analyzed through linear regression and calculation of sensitivities and specificities by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis. RESULTS: Median values of plasma samples containing neutralizing antibodies produced conversion factors for assay unitage of ×6.5 (pseudotype), ×19 (GenScript), ×3.4 (HAT assay), ×0.08 (EUROimmun), ×1.64 (Roche), and ×0.10 (Ortho). All selected assays were sufficient in identifying the high titer donations based on ROC analysis; area over curve ranged from 91.7% for HAT and GenScript assay to 95.6% for pseudotype assay. However, their ability to predict the actual neutralizing antibody levels varied substantially as shown by linear regression correlation values (from 0.27 for Ortho to 0.61 for pseudotype assay). DISCUSSION: Overall, the study data demonstrate that all selected assays were effective in identifying donations with high neutralizing antibody levels and are potentially suitable as surrogate assays for donation selection for CP therapy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Immunoassay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests
19.
J Am Chem Soc ; 143(31): 12014-12024, 2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333882

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) utilizes an extensively glycosylated surface spike (S) protein to mediate host cell entry, and the S protein glycosylation plays key roles in altering the viral binding/function and infectivity. However, the molecular structures and glycan heterogeneity of the new O-glycans found on the S protein regional-binding domain (S-RBD) remain cryptic because of the challenges in intact glycoform analysis by conventional bottom-up glycoproteomic approaches. Here, we report the complete structural elucidation of intact O-glycan proteoforms through a hybrid native and denaturing top-down mass spectrometry (MS) approach employing both trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) quadrupole time-of-flight and ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR)-MS. Native top-down TIMS-MS/MS separates the protein conformers of the S-RBD to reveal their gas-phase structural heterogeneity, and top-down FTICR-MS/MS provides in-depth glycoform analysis for unambiguous identification of the glycan structures and their glycosites. A total of eight O-glycoforms and their relative molecular abundance are structurally elucidated for the first time. These findings demonstrate that this hybrid top-down MS approach can provide a high-resolution proteoform-resolved mapping of diverse O-glycoforms of the S glycoprotein, which lays a strong molecular foundation to uncover the functional roles of their O-glycans. This proteoform-resolved approach can be applied to reveal the structural O-glycoform heterogeneity of emergent SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD variants as well as other O-glycoproteins in general.


Subject(s)
Polysaccharides/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Carbohydrate Sequence , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Protein Domains , Tandem Mass Spectrometry/methods
20.
J Med Educ Curric Dev ; 8: 23821205211020760, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311243

ABSTRACT

Virtual meeting platforms, such as Zoom, have become essential to medical education during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. However, many medical educators do not have experience planning or leading these sessions. Despite the prevalence of Zoom learning, there has been little published on best practices. In this article we describe best practices for using Zoom for remote learning, acknowledging technical considerations, and recommending workflows for designing and implementing virtual sessions. Furthermore, we discuss the important role of cognitive learning theory and how to incorporate these key pedagogical insights into a successful virtual session. While eventually in-person classrooms will open, virtual teaching will remain a component of medical education. If we utilize these inventive tools creatively and functionally, then virtual learning can augment and elevate the practice of medical education.

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