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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784326

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is dominated by variant viruses; the resulting impact on disease severity remains unclear. Using a retrospective cohort study, we assessed the hospitalization risk following infection with seven SARS-CoV-2 variants. METHODS: Our study includes individuals with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR in the Washington Disease Reporting System with available viral genome data, from December 1, 2020 to January 14, 2022. The analysis was restricted to cases with specimens collected through sentinel surveillance. Using a Cox proportional hazards model with mixed effects, we estimated hazard ratios (HR) for hospitalization risk following infection with a variant, adjusting for age, sex, calendar week, and vaccination. FINDINGS: 58,848 cases were sequenced through sentinel surveillance, of which 1705 (2.9%) were hospitalized due to COVID-19. Higher hospitalization risk was found for infections with Gamma (HR 3.20, 95%CI 2.40-4.26), Beta (HR 2.85, 95%CI 1.56-5.23), Delta (HR 2.28 95%CI 1.56-3.34) or Alpha (HR 1.64, 95%CI 1.29-2.07) compared to infections with ancestral lineages; Omicron (HR 0.92, 95%CI 0.56-1.52) showed no significant difference in risk. Following Alpha, Gamma, or Delta infection, unvaccinated patients show higher hospitalization risk, while vaccinated patients show no significant difference in risk, both compared to unvaccinated, ancestral lineage cases. Hospitalization risk following Omicron infection is lower with vaccination. CONCLUSION: Infection with Alpha, Gamma, or Delta results in a higher hospitalization risk, with vaccination attenuating that risk. Our findings support hospital preparedness, vaccination, and genomic surveillance.

2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5856, 2022 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784021

ABSTRACT

Rapid dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data to public repositories has enabled widespread study of viral genomes, but studies of longitudinal specimens from infected persons are relatively limited. Analysis of longitudinal specimens enables understanding of how host immune pressures drive viral evolution in vivo. Here we performed sequencing of 49 longitudinal SARS-CoV-2-positive samples from 20 patients in Washington State collected between March and September of 2020. Viral loads declined over time with an average increase in RT-QPCR cycle threshold of 0.87 per day. We found that there was negligible change in SARS-CoV-2 consensus sequences over time, but identified a number of nonsynonymous variants at low frequencies across the genome. We observed enrichment for a relatively small number of these variants, all of which are now seen in consensus genomes across the globe at low prevalence. In one patient, we saw rapid emergence of various low-level deletion variants at the N-terminal domain of the spike glycoprotein, some of which have previously been shown to be associated with reduced neutralization potency from sera. In a subset of samples that were sequenced using metagenomic methods, differential gene expression analysis showed a downregulation of cytoskeletal genes that was consistent with a loss of ciliated epithelium during infection and recovery. We also identified co-occurrence of bacterial species in samples from multiple hospitalized individuals. These results demonstrate that the intrahost genetic composition of SARS-CoV-2 is dynamic during the course of COVID-19, and highlight the need for continued surveillance and deep sequencing of minor variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Metagenome , Metagenomics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1547, 2022 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751715

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 remdesivir resistance mutations have been generated in vitro but have not been reported in patients receiving treatment with the antiviral agent. We present a case of an immunocompromised patient with acquired B-cell deficiency who developed an indolent, protracted course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Remdesivir therapy alleviated symptoms and produced a transient virologic response, but her course was complicated by recrudescence of high-grade viral shedding. Whole genome sequencing identified a mutation, E802D, in the nsp12 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, which was not present in pre-treatment specimens. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the mutation conferred a ~6-fold increase in remdesivir IC50 but resulted in a fitness cost in the absence of remdesivir. Sustained clinical and virologic response was achieved after treatment with casirivimab-imdevimab. Although the fitness cost observed in vitro may limit the risk posed by E802D, this case illustrates the importance of monitoring for remdesivir resistance and the potential benefit of combinatorial therapies in immunocompromised patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Female , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330076

ABSTRACT

Between November 2021 and February 2022, SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variants co-circulated in the United States, allowing for co-infections and possible recombination events. We sequenced 29,719 positive samples during this period and analyzed the presence and fraction of reads supporting mutations specific to either the Delta or Omicron variant. Our sequencing protocol uses hybridization capture and is thus less subject to artifacts observed in amplicon-based approaches that may lead to spurious signals for recombinants. We identified 20 co-infections, one of which displayed evidence of a low recombinant viral population. We also identified two independent cases of infection by a Delta-Omicron recombinant virus, where 100% of the viral RNA came from one clonal recombinant. In both cases, the 5’-end of the viral genome was from the Delta genome, and the 3’-end from Omicron, though the breakpoints were different. Delta-Omicron recombinant viruses were rare, and there is currently no evidence that the two Delta-Omicron recombinant viruses identified are more transmissible between hosts compared to the circulating Omicron lineages.

7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(6): 1089-1092, 2022 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703666

ABSTRACT

Across 20 vaccine breakthrough cases detected at our institution, all 20 (100%) infections were due to variants of concern (VOCs) and had a median Ct of 20.2 (IQR, 17.1-23.3). When compared with 5174 contemporaneous samples sequenced in our laboratory, VOCs were significantly enriched among breakthrough infections (P < .05).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Base Sequence , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Washington/epidemiology
8.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327565

ABSTRACT

The long-term evolution of viruses is ultimately due to viral mutants that arise within infected individuals and transmit to other individuals. Here we use deep sequencing to investigate the transmission of viral genetic variation among individuals during a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak that infected the vast majority of crew members on a fishing boat. We deep-sequenced nasal swabs to characterize the within-host viral population of infected crew members, using experimental duplicates and strict computational filters to ensure accurate variant calling. We find that within-host viral diversity is low in infected crew members. The mutations that did fix in some crew members during the outbreak are not observed at detectable frequencies in any of the sampled crew members in which they are not fixed, suggesting viral evolution involves occasional fixation of low-frequency mutations during transmission rather than persistent maintenance of within-host viral diversity. Overall, our results show that strong transmission bottlenecks dominate viral evolution even during a superspreading event with a very high attack rate.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325238

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is spreading worldwide with continuously evolving variants, some of which occur in the Spike protein and appear to increase the viral transmissibility. However, variants that cause severe COVID-19 or lead to other breakthroughs have not been well characterized. To discover such viral variants, we assembled a cohort of 683 COVID-19 patients;388 inpatients (“cases”) and 295 outpatients (“controls”) from April to August 2020 using electronically captured COVID test request forms and sequenced their viral genomes. To improve the analytic power, we accessed 7,137 viral sequences in Washington State to filter out viral single nucleotide variants (SNVs) that did not have significant expansions over the collection period. Applying this filter led to the identification of 53 SNVs that were statistically significant, of which 13 SNVs each had 3 or more variant copies in the discovery cohort. Correlating these selected SNVs with case/control status, eight SNVs were found to significantly associate with inpatient status (q-values<0.01). Using temporal synchrony, we identified a four SNV-haplotype (t19839-g28881-g28882-g28883) which was significantly associated with case/control status (Fisher’s exact p=2.84*10-11) that appeared in April 2020, peaked in June, and persisted into January 2021. This association was replicated (OR=5.46, p-value=4.71*10-12) in an independent cohort of 964 COVID-19 patients (June 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021). The haplotype included a synonymous change N73N in endoRNase, and three non-synonymous changes coding residues R203K, R203S and G204R in the nucleocapsid protein. This discovery points to the potential functional role of the nucleocapsid protein in triggering “cytokine storms” and severe COVID-19 that led to hospitalization. The study further emphasizes a need for tracking and analyzing viral sequences in correlations with clinical status.

10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(2): 271-277, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662113

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused one of the worst pandemics in recent history. Few reports have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 was spreading in the United States as early as the end of January. In this study, we aimed to determine if SARS-CoV-2 had been circulating in the Los Angeles (LA) area at a time when access to diagnostic testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was severely limited. METHODS: We used a pooling strategy to look for SARS-CoV-2 in remnant respiratory samples submitted for regular respiratory pathogen testing from symptomatic patients from November 2019 to early March 2020. We then performed sequencing on the positive samples. RESULTS: We detected SARS-CoV-2 in 7 specimens from 6 patients, dating back to mid-January. The earliest positive patient, with a sample collected on January 13, 2020 had no relevant travel history but did have a sibling with similar symptoms. Sequencing of these SARS-CoV-2 genomes revealed that the virus was introduced into the LA area from both domestic and international sources as early as January. CONCLUSIONS: We present strong evidence of community spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the LA area well before widespread diagnostic testing was being performed in early 2020. These genomic data demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 was being introduced into Los Angeles County from both international and domestic sources in January 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
11.
Scientific reports ; 12(1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1652406

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is spreading worldwide with continuously evolving variants, some of which occur in the Spike protein and appear to increase viral transmissibility. However, variants that cause severe COVID-19 or lead to other breakthroughs have not been well characterized. To discover such viral variants, we assembled a cohort of 683 COVID-19 patients;388 inpatients (“cases”) and 295 outpatients (“controls”) from April to August 2020 using electronically captured COVID test request forms and sequenced their viral genomes. To improve the analytical power, we accessed 7137 viral sequences in Washington State to filter out viral single nucleotide variants (SNVs) that did not have significant expansions over the collection period. Applying this filter led to the identification of 53 SNVs that were statistically significant, of which 13 SNVs each had 3 or more variant copies in the discovery cohort. Correlating these selected SNVs with case/control status, eight SNVs were found to significantly associate with inpatient status (q-values < 0.01). Using temporal synchrony, we identified a four SNV-haplotype (t19839-g28881-g28882-g28883) that was significantly associated with case/control status (Fisher’s exact p = 2.84 × 10–11). This haplotype appeared in April 2020, peaked in June, and persisted into January 2021. The association was replicated (OR = 5.46, p-value = 4.71 × 10−12) in an independent cohort of 964 COVID-19 patients (June 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021). The haplotype included a synonymous change N73N in endoRNase, and three non-synonymous changes coding residues R203K, R203S and G204R in the nucleocapsid protein. This discovery points to the potential functional role of the nucleocapsid protein in triggering “cytokine storms” and severe COVID-19 that led to hospitalization. The study further emphasizes a need for tracking and analyzing viral sequences in correlations with clinical status.

12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(5)2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642084

ABSTRACT

Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants pose a challenge to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies indicate that clinical samples collected from individuals infected with the Delta variant may contain higher levels of RNA than previous variants, but the relationship between levels of viral RNA and infectious virus for individual variants is unknown. We measured infectious viral titer (using a microfocus-forming assay) and total and subgenomic viral RNA levels (using RT-PCR) in a set of 162 clinical samples containing SARS-CoV-2 Alpha, Delta, and Epsilon variants that were collected in identical swab kits from outpatient test sites and processed soon after collection. We observed a high degree of variation in the relationship between viral titers and RNA levels. Despite this, the overall infectivity differed among the three variants. Both Delta and Epsilon had significantly higher infectivity than Alpha, as measured by the number of infectious units per quantity of viral E gene RNA (5.9- and 3.0-fold increase; P < 0.0001, P = 0.014, respectively) or subgenomic E RNA (14.3- and 6.9-fold increase; P < 0.0001, P = 0.004, respectively). In addition to higher viral RNA levels reported for the Delta variant, the infectivity (amount of replication competent virus per viral genome copy) may be increased compared to Alpha. Measuring the relationship between live virus and viral RNA is an important step in assessing the infectivity of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. An increase in the infectivity for Delta may further explain increased spread, suggesting a need for increased measures to prevent viral transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Hepatocytes/metabolism , Hepatocytes/virology , Humans , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Load , Virulence
13.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2142796, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1615909

ABSTRACT

Importance: The SARS-CoV-2 viral trajectory has not been well characterized in incident infections. These data are needed to inform natural history, prevention practices, and therapeutic development. Objective: To characterize early SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA load (hereafter referred to as viral load) in individuals with incident infections in association with COVID-19 symptom onset and severity. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective cohort study was a secondary data analysis of a remotely conducted study that enrolled 829 asymptomatic community-based participants recently exposed (<96 hours) to persons with SARS-CoV-2 from 41 US states from March 31 to August 21, 2020. Two cohorts were studied: (1) participants who were SARS-CoV-2 negative at baseline and tested positive during study follow-up, and (2) participants who had 2 or more positive swabs during follow-up, regardless of the initial (baseline) swab result. Participants collected daily midturbinate swab samples for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection and maintained symptom diaries for 14 days. Exposure: Laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Main Outcomes and Measures: The observed SARS-CoV-2 viral load among incident infections was summarized, and piecewise linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate the characteristics of viral trajectories in association with COVID-19 symptom onset and severity. Results: A total of 97 participants (55 women [57%]; median age, 37 years [IQR, 27-52 years]) developed incident infections during follow-up. Forty-two participants (43%) had viral shedding for 1 day (median peak viral load cycle threshold [Ct] value, 38.5 [95% CI, 38.3-39.0]), 18 (19%) for 2 to 6 days (median Ct value, 36.7 [95% CI, 30.2-38.1]), and 31 (32%) for 7 days or more (median Ct value, 18.3 [95% CI, 17.4-22.0]). The cycle threshold value has an inverse association with viral load. Six participants (6%) had 1 to 6 days of viral shedding with censored duration. The peak mean (SD) viral load was observed on day 3 of shedding (Ct value, 33.8 [95% CI, 31.9-35.6]). Based on the statistical models fitted to 129 participants (60 men [47%]; median age, 38 years [IQR, 25-54 years]) with 2 or more SARS-CoV-2-positive swab samples, persons reporting moderate or severe symptoms tended to have a higher peak mean viral load than those who were asymptomatic (Ct value, 23.3 [95% CI, 22.6-24.0] vs 30.7 [95% CI, 29.8-31.4]). Mild symptoms generally started within 1 day of peak viral load, and moderate or severe symptoms 2 days after peak viral load. All 535 sequenced samples detected the G614 variant (Wuhan strain). Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study suggests that having incident SARS-CoV-2 G614 infection was associated with a rapid viral load peak followed by slower decay. COVID-19 symptom onset generally coincided with peak viral load, which correlated positively with symptom severity. This longitudinal evaluation of the SARS-CoV-2 G614 with frequent molecular testing serves as a reference for comparing emergent viral lineages to inform clinical trial designs and public health strategies to contain the spread of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load , Virus Shedding , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Incidence , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Prospective Studies , Serologic Tests
14.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(2): e15290, 2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551925

ABSTRACT

With the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 now in its second year, there remains an urgent need for diagnostic testing that can identify infected individuals, particularly those who harbor infectious virus. Various RT-PCR strategies have been proposed to identify specific viral RNA species that may predict the presence of infectious virus, including detection of transcriptional intermediates (e.g., subgenomic RNA [sgRNA]) and replicative intermediates (e.g., negative-strand RNA species). Using a novel primer/probe set for detection of subgenomic (sg)E transcripts, we successfully identified 100% of specimens containing culturable SARS-CoV-2 from a set of 126 clinical samples (total sgE CT values ranging from 12.3 to 37.5). This assay showed superior performance compared to a previously published sgRNA assay and to a negative-strand RNA assay, both of which failed to detect target RNA in a subset of samples from which we isolated live virus. In addition, total levels of viral RNA (genome, negative-strand, and sgE) detected with the WHO/Charité primer-probe set correlated closely with levels of infectious virus. Specifically, infectious virus was not detected in samples with a CT above 31.0. Clinical samples with higher levels of viral RNA also displayed cytopathic effect (CPE) more quickly than those with lower levels of viral RNA. Finally, we found that the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 samples is significantly dependent on the cell type used for viral isolation, as Vero E6 cells expressing TMRPSS2 extended the analytical sensitivity of isolation by more than 3 CT compared to parental Vero E6 cells and resulted in faster isolation. Our work shows that using a total viral RNA Ct cutoff of > 31 or specifically testing for sgRNA can serve as an effective rule-out test for the presence of culturable virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA, Viral/genetics
15.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(9): e0098921, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501532

ABSTRACT

With the availability of widespread SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, high-throughput quantitative anti-spike protein serological testing will likely become increasingly important. Here, we investigated the performance characteristics of the recently FDA-authorized semiquantitative anti-spike protein AdviseDx SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay compared to the FDA-authorized anti-nucleocapsid protein Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG, Roche Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2-S, EuroImmun anti-SARS-CoV-2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and GenScript surrogate virus neutralization assays and examined the humoral response associated with vaccination, natural protection, and vaccine breakthrough infection. The AdviseDx assay had a clinical sensitivity at 14 days after symptom onset or 10 days after PCR detection of 95.6% (65/68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 87.8 to 98.8%), with two discrepant individuals seroconverting shortly thereafter. The AdviseDx assay demonstrated 100% positive percent agreement with the four other assays examined using the same symptom onset or PCR detection cutoffs. Using a recently available WHO international standard for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, we provide assay unit conversion factors to international units for each of the assays examined. We performed a longitudinal survey of healthy vaccinated individuals, finding that median AdviseDx immunoglobulin levels peaked 7 weeks after first vaccine dose at approximately 4,000 IU/ml. Intriguingly, among the five assays examined, there was no significant difference in antigen binding level or neutralizing activity between two seropositive patients protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a previously described fishing vessel outbreak and five health care workers who experienced vaccine breakthrough of SARS-CoV-2 infection, all with variants of concern. These findings suggest that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection cannot currently be predicted exclusively using in vitro antibody assays against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike. Further work is required to establish protective correlates for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-291868

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is spreading worldwide with continuously evolving variants, some of which occur in the Spike protein and appear to increase the viral transmissibility. However, variants that cause severe COVID-19 or lead to other breakthroughs have not been well characterized. To discover such viral variants, we assembled a cohort of 683 COVID-19 patients;388 inpatients (“cases”) and 295 outpatients (“controls”) from April to August 2020 using electronically captured COVID test request forms and sequenced their viral genomes. To improve the analytic power, we accessed 7,137 viral sequences in Washington State to filter out viral single nucleotide variants (SNVs) that did not have significant expansions over the collection period. Applying this filter led to the identification of 53 SNVs that were statistically significant, of which 13 SNVs each had 3 or more variant copies in the discovery cohort. Correlating these selected SNVs with case/control status, eight SNVs were found to significantly associate with inpatient status (q-values<0.01). Using temporal synchrony, we identified a four SNV-haplotype (t19839-g28881-g28882-g28883) which was significantly associated with case/control status (Fisher’s exact p=2.84*10 −11 ) that appeared in April 2020, peaked in June, and persisted into January 2021. This association was replicated (OR=5.46, p-value=4.71*10 −12 ) in an independent cohort of 964 COVID-19 patients (June 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021). The haplotype included a synonymous change N73N in endoRNase, and three non-synonymous changes coding residues R203K, R203S and G204R in the nucleocapsid protein. This discovery points to the potential functional role of the nucleocapsid protein in triggering “cytokine storms” and severe COVID-19 that led to hospitalization. The study further emphasizes a need for tracking and analyzing viral sequences in correlations with clinical status.

17.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444127

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, emerged in late 2019 and has since spread throughout the world, infecting over 200 million people. The fast spread of SARS-CoV-2 showcased the need for rapid and sensitive testing methodologies to help track the disease. Over the past 18 months, numerous SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged. Many of these variants are suggested to be more transmissible as well as less responsive to neutralization by vaccine-induced antibodies. Viral whole-genome sequencing is the current standard for tracking these variants. However, whole-genome sequencing is costly and the technology and expertise are limited to larger reference laboratories. Here, we present the feasibility of a fast, inexpensive methodology using snapback primer-based high-resolution melting to test for >20 high-consequence SARS-CoV-2 spike mutations. This assay can distinguish between multiple variant lineages and be completed in roughly 2 h for less than $10 per sample.

18.
J Med Virol ; 93(10): 5931-5941, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432428

ABSTRACT

Real-time epidemiological tracking of variants of concern (VOCs) can help limit the spread of more contagious forms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), such as those containing the N501Y mutation. Typically, genetic sequencing is required to be able to track VOCs in real-time. However, sequencing can take time and may not be accessible in all laboratories. Genotyping by RT-ddPCR offers an alternative to rapidly detect VOCs through discrimination of specific alleles such as N501Y, which is associated with increased transmissibility and virulence. Here we describe the first cases of the B.1.1.7 lineage of SARS-CoV-2 detected in Washington State by using a combination of reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), RT-ddPCR, and next-generation sequencing. We initially screened 1035 samples positive for SARS-CoV-2 by our CDC-based laboratory-developed assay using ThermoFisher's multiplex RT-PCR COVID-19 assay over four weeks from late December 2020 to early January 2021. S gene target failures (SGTF) were subsequently assayed by RT-ddPCR to confirm four mutations within the S gene associated with the B.1.1.7 lineage: a deletion at amino acid (AA) 69-70 (ACATGT), deletion at AA 145, (TTA), N501Y mutation (TAT), and S982A mutation (GCA). All four targets were detected in two specimens; follow-up sequencing revealed a total of 9 mutations in the S gene and phylogenetic clustering within the B.1.1.7 lineage. Next, we continued screening samples for SGTF detecting 23 additional B.1.1.7 variants by RT-ddPCR and confirmed by sequencing. As VOCs become increasingly prevalent, molecular diagnostic tools like RT-ddPCR can be utilized to quickly, accurately, and sensitively distinguish more contagious lineages of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Alleles , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genotype , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Time Factors , Washington/epidemiology
19.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(9): e0098921, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365134

ABSTRACT

With the availability of widespread SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, high-throughput quantitative anti-spike protein serological testing will likely become increasingly important. Here, we investigated the performance characteristics of the recently FDA-authorized semiquantitative anti-spike protein AdviseDx SARS-CoV-2 IgG II assay compared to the FDA-authorized anti-nucleocapsid protein Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG, Roche Elecsys anti-SARS-CoV-2-S, EuroImmun anti-SARS-CoV-2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and GenScript surrogate virus neutralization assays and examined the humoral response associated with vaccination, natural protection, and vaccine breakthrough infection. The AdviseDx assay had a clinical sensitivity at 14 days after symptom onset or 10 days after PCR detection of 95.6% (65/68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 87.8 to 98.8%), with two discrepant individuals seroconverting shortly thereafter. The AdviseDx assay demonstrated 100% positive percent agreement with the four other assays examined using the same symptom onset or PCR detection cutoffs. Using a recently available WHO international standard for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, we provide assay unit conversion factors to international units for each of the assays examined. We performed a longitudinal survey of healthy vaccinated individuals, finding that median AdviseDx immunoglobulin levels peaked 7 weeks after first vaccine dose at approximately 4,000 IU/ml. Intriguingly, among the five assays examined, there was no significant difference in antigen binding level or neutralizing activity between two seropositive patients protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a previously described fishing vessel outbreak and five health care workers who experienced vaccine breakthrough of SARS-CoV-2 infection, all with variants of concern. These findings suggest that protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection cannot currently be predicted exclusively using in vitro antibody assays against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike. Further work is required to establish protective correlates for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
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