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1.
Cell Reports Medicine ; : 100583, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1735052

ABSTRACT

Summary The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant rose to dominance in mid-2021, likely propelled by an estimated 40-80% increased transmissibility over Alpha. To investigate if this ostensible difference in transmissibility is uniform across populations, we partner with public health programs from all six states in New England, USA. We compare logistic growth rates during each variant’s respective emergence period, finding that Delta emerged 1.37-2.63 times faster than Alpha (range across states). We compute variant-specific effective reproductive numbers, estimating that Delta is 63-167% more transmissible than Alpha (range across states). Finally, we estimate that Delta infections generate on average 6.2 (95% CI 3.1-10.9) times more viral RNA copies/mL than Alpha infections during their respective emergence. Overall, our evidence suggests that Delta’s enhanced transmissibility can be attributed to its innate ability to increase infectiousness, but its epidemiological dynamics may vary depending on underlying population attributes and sequencing data availability.

2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1857, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671608

ABSTRACT

Amid COVID-19, many institutions deployed vast resources to test their members regularly for safe reopening. This self-focused approach, however, not only overlooks surrounding communities but also remains blind to community transmission that could breach the institution. To test the relative merits of a more altruistic strategy, we built an epidemiological model that assesses the differential impact on case counts when institutions instead allocate a proportion of their tests to members' close contacts in the larger community. We found that testing outside the institution benefits the institution in all plausible circumstances, with the optimal proportion of tests to use externally landing at 45% under baseline model parameters. Our results were robust to local prevalence, secondary attack rate, testing capacity, and contact reporting level, yielding a range of optimal community testing proportions from 18 to 58%. The model performed best under the assumption that community contacts are known to the institution; however, it still demonstrated a significant benefit even without complete knowledge of the contact network.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Prevalence , Public Health
3.
Nat Med ; 2022 Feb 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671607

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has demonstrated a clear need for high-throughput, multiplexed and sensitive assays for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other respiratory viruses and their emerging variants. Here, we present a cost-effective virus and variant detection platform, called microfluidic Combinatorial Arrayed Reactions for Multiplexed Evaluation of Nucleic acids (mCARMEN), which combines CRISPR-based diagnostics and microfluidics with a streamlined workflow for clinical use. We developed the mCARMEN respiratory virus panel to test for up to 21 viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, other coronaviruses and both influenza strains, and demonstrated its diagnostic-grade performance on 525 patient specimens in an academic setting and 166 specimens in a clinical setting. We further developed an mCARMEN panel to enable the identification of 6 SARS-CoV-2 variant lineages, including Delta and Omicron, and evaluated it on 2,088 patient specimens with near-perfect concordance to sequencing-based variant classification. Lastly, we implemented a combined Cas13 and Cas12 approach that enables quantitative measurement of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A viral copies in samples. The mCARMEN platform enables high-throughput surveillance of multiple viruses and variants simultaneously, enabling rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

4.
R Soc Open Sci ; 9(1): 210948, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666238

ABSTRACT

College campuses are vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks, and there is an urgent need to develop better strategies to mitigate their size and duration, particularly as educational institutions around the world adapt to in-person instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Towards addressing this need, we applied a stochastic compartmental model to quantify the impact of university-level responses to contain a mumps outbreak at Harvard University in 2016. We used our model to determine which containment interventions were most effective and study alternative scenarios without and with earlier interventions. This model allows for stochastic variation in small populations, missing or unobserved case data and changes in disease transmission rates post-intervention. The results suggest that control measures implemented by the University's Health Services, including rapid isolation of suspected cases, were very effective at containing the outbreak. Without those measures, the outbreak could have been four times larger. More generally, we conclude that universities should apply (i) diagnostic protocols that address false negatives from molecular tests and (ii) strict quarantine policies to contain the spread of easily transmissible infectious diseases such as mumps among their students. This modelling approach could be applied to data from other outbreaks in college campuses and similar small population settings.

5.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(1): 108-119, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574813

ABSTRACT

The global spread and continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has driven an unprecedented surge in viral genomic surveillance. Amplicon-based sequencing methods provide a sensitive, low-cost and rapid approach but suffer a high potential for contamination, which can undermine laboratory processes and results. This challenge will increase with the expanding global production of sequences across a variety of laboratories for epidemiological and clinical interpretation, as well as for genomic surveillance of emerging diseases in future outbreaks. We present SDSI + AmpSeq, an approach that uses 96 synthetic DNA spike-ins (SDSIs) to track samples and detect inter-sample contamination throughout the sequencing workflow. We apply SDSIs to the ARTIC Consortium's amplicon design, demonstrate their utility and efficiency in a real-time investigation of a suspected hospital cluster of SARS-CoV-2 cases and validate them across 6,676 diagnostic samples at multiple laboratories. We establish that SDSI + AmpSeq provides increased confidence in genomic data by detecting and correcting for relatively common, yet previously unobserved modes of error, including spillover and sample swaps, without impacting genome recovery.


Subject(s)
DNA Primers/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/chemical synthesis , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Quality Control , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Sequence Analysis/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing , Workflow
6.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551629

ABSTRACT

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have experienced lower COVID-19 caseloads and fewer deaths than countries in other regions worldwide. Under-reporting of cases and a younger population could partly account for these differences, but pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses is another potential factor. Blood samples from Sierra Leonean Lassa fever and Ebola survivors and their contacts collected before the first reported COVID-19 cases were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the presence of antibodies binding to proteins of coronaviruses that infect humans. Results were compared to COVID-19 subjects and healthy blood donors from the United States. Prior to the pandemic, Sierra Leoneans had more frequent exposures than Americans to coronaviruses with epitopes that cross-react with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The percentage of Sierra Leoneans with antibodies reacting to seasonal coronaviruses was also higher than for American blood donors. Serological responses to coronaviruses by Sierra Leoneans did not differ by age or sex. Approximately a quarter of Sierra Leonian pre-pandemic blood samples had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, while about a third neutralized MERS-CoV pseudovirus. Prior exposures to coronaviruses that induce cross-protective immunity may contribute to reduced COVID-19 cases and deaths in Sierra Leone.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Distribution , Alphacoronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Protection , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sierra Leone , United States
7.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524180

ABSTRACT

Many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have experienced lower COVID-19 caseloads and fewer deaths than countries in other regions worldwide. Under-reporting of cases and a younger population could partly account for these differences, but pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses is another potential factor. Blood samples from Sierra Leonean Lassa fever and Ebola survivors and their contacts collected before the first reported COVID-19 cases were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the presence of antibodies binding to proteins of coronaviruses that infect humans. Results were compared to COVID-19 subjects and healthy blood donors from the United States. Prior to the pandemic, Sierra Leoneans had more frequent exposures than Americans to coronaviruses with epitopes that cross-react with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The percentage of Sierra Leoneans with antibodies reacting to seasonal coronaviruses was also higher than for American blood donors. Serological responses to coronaviruses by Sierra Leoneans did not differ by age or sex. Approximately a quarter of Sierra Leonian pre-pandemic blood samples had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, while about a third neutralized MERS-CoV pseudovirus. Prior exposures to coronaviruses that induce cross-protective immunity may contribute to reduced COVID-19 cases and deaths in Sierra Leone.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Age Distribution , Alphacoronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Blood Donors , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross Protection , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , Female , Humans , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sierra Leone , United States
8.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502534

ABSTRACT

Obesity is a key correlate of severe SARS-CoV-2 outcomes while the role of obesity on risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptom phenotype, and immune response remain poorly defined. We examined data from a prospective SARS-CoV-2 cohort study to address these questions. Serostatus, body mass index, demographics, comorbidities, and prior COVID-19 compatible symptoms were assessed at baseline and serostatus and symptoms monthly thereafter. SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays included an IgG ELISA targeting the spike RBD, multiarray Luminex targeting 20 viral antigens, pseudovirus neutralization, and T cell ELISPOT assays. Our results from a large prospective SARS-CoV-2 cohort study indicate symptom phenotype is strongly influenced by obesity among younger but not older age groups; we did not identify evidence to suggest obese individuals are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection; and remarkably homogenous immune activity across BMI categories suggests immune protection across these groups may be similar.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Obesity/complications , Obesity/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
9.
Mol Biol Evol ; 39(1)2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475820

ABSTRACT

Although some variation introgressed from Neanderthals has undergone selective sweeps, little is known about its functional significance. We used a Massively Parallel Reporter Assay (MPRA) to assay 5,353 high-frequency introgressed variants for their ability to modulate the gene expression within 170 bp of endogenous sequence. We identified 2,548 variants in active putative cis-regulatory elements (CREs) and 292 expression-modulating variants (emVars). These emVars are predicted to alter the binding motifs of important immune transcription factors, are enriched for associations with neutrophil and white blood cell count, and are associated with the expression of genes that function in innate immune pathways including inflammatory response and antiviral defense. We combined the MPRA data with other data sets to identify strong candidates to be driver variants of positive selection including an emVar that may contribute to protection against severe COVID-19 response. We endogenously deleted two CREs containing expression-modulation variants linked to immune function, rs11624425 and rs80317430, identifying their primary genic targets as ELMSAN1, and PAN2 and STAT2, respectively, three genes differentially expressed during influenza infection. Overall, we present the first database of experimentally identified expression-modulating Neanderthal-introgressed alleles contributing to potential immune response in modern humans.


Subject(s)
Genetic Variation , Genome, Human , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Neanderthals , Animals , Gene Expression , Humans , Inflammation , Neanderthals/genetics
10.
J Neurol Sci ; 430: 120023, 2021 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446884

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Little is known about CSF profiles in patients with acute COVID-19 infection and neurological symptoms. Here, CSF was tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and compared to controls and patients with known neurotropic pathogens. METHODS: CSF from twenty-seven consecutive patients with COVID-19 and neurological symptoms was assayed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) and unbiased metagenomic sequencing. Assays for blood brain barrier (BBB) breakdown (CSF:serum albumin ratio (Q-Alb)), and proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, IL-16, monocyte chemoattractant protein -1 (MCP-1) and monocyte inhibitory protein - 1ß (MIP-1ß)) were performed in 23 patients and compared to CSF from patients with HIV-1 (16 virally suppressed, 5 unsuppressed), West Nile virus (WNV) (n = 4) and 16 healthy controls (HC). RESULTS: Median CSF cell count for COVID-19 patients was 1 white blood cell/µL; two patients were infected with a second pathogen (Neisseria, Cryptococcus neoformans). No CSF samples had detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA by either detection method. In patients with COVID-19 only, CSF IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, and MIP-1ß levels were higher than HC and suppressed HIV (corrected-p < 0.05). MCP-1 and MIP-1ß levels were higher, while IL-6, IL-8, IL-15 were similar in COVID-19 compared to WNV patients. Q-Alb correlated with all proinflammatory markers, with IL-6, IL-8, and MIP-1ß (r ≥ 0.6, p < 0.01) demonstrating the strongest associations. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in CSF is consistent with pre-existing literature. Evidence of intrathecal proinflammatory markers in a subset of COVID-19 patients with BBB breakdown despite minimal CSF pleocytosis is atypical for neurotropic pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammation/virology , RNA, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Blood-Brain Barrier , COVID-19/physiopathology , Case-Control Studies , Chemokines , Cytokines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Cell ; 184(20): 5247-5260.e19, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415259

ABSTRACT

3' untranslated region (3'UTR) variants are strongly associated with human traits and diseases, yet few have been causally identified. We developed the massively parallel reporter assay for 3'UTRs (MPRAu) to sensitively assay 12,173 3'UTR variants. We applied MPRAu to six human cell lines, focusing on genetic variants associated with genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and human evolutionary adaptation. MPRAu expands our understanding of 3'UTR function, suggesting that simple sequences predominately explain 3'UTR regulatory activity. We adapt MPRAu to uncover diverse molecular mechanisms at base pair resolution, including an adenylate-uridylate (AU)-rich element of LEPR linked to potential metabolic evolutionary adaptations in East Asians. We nominate hundreds of 3'UTR causal variants with genetically fine-mapped phenotype associations. Using endogenous allelic replacements, we characterize one variant that disrupts a miRNA site regulating the viral defense gene TRIM14 and one that alters PILRB abundance, nominating a causal variant underlying transcriptional changes in age-related macular degeneration.


Subject(s)
3' Untranslated Regions/genetics , Biological Evolution , Disease/genetics , Genome-Wide Association Study , Algorithms , Alleles , Gene Expression Regulation , Genes, Reporter , Genetic Variation , Humans , Phenotype , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , Polyribosomes/metabolism , Quantitative Trait Loci/genetics , RNA/genetics
12.
Cell ; 184(15): 3962-3980.e17, 2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252549

ABSTRACT

T cell-mediated immunity plays an important role in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection, but the repertoire of naturally processed and presented viral epitopes on class I human leukocyte antigen (HLA-I) remains uncharacterized. Here, we report the first HLA-I immunopeptidome of SARS-CoV-2 in two cell lines at different times post infection using mass spectrometry. We found HLA-I peptides derived not only from canonical open reading frames (ORFs) but also from internal out-of-frame ORFs in spike and nucleocapsid not captured by current vaccines. Some peptides from out-of-frame ORFs elicited T cell responses in a humanized mouse model and individuals with COVID-19 that exceeded responses to canonical peptides, including some of the strongest epitopes reported to date. Whole-proteome analysis of infected cells revealed that early expressed viral proteins contribute more to HLA-I presentation and immunogenicity. These biological insights, as well as the discovery of out-of-frame ORF epitopes, will facilitate selection of peptides for immune monitoring and vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Peptides/immunology , Proteome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , A549 Cells , Alleles , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antigen Presentation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Kinetics , Male , Mice , Peptides/chemistry , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
13.
J Clin Pathol ; 74(8): 496-503, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247388

ABSTRACT

Developing and deploying new diagnostic tests are difficult, but the need to do so in response to a rapidly emerging pandemic such as COVID-19 is crucially important. During a pandemic, laboratories play a key role in helping healthcare providers and public health authorities detect active infection, a task most commonly achieved using nucleic acid-based assays. While the landscape of diagnostics is rapidly evolving, PCR remains the gold-standard of nucleic acid-based diagnostic assays, in part due to its reliability, flexibility and wide deployment. To address a critical local shortage of testing capacity persisting during the COVID-19 outbreak, our hospital set up a molecular-based laboratory developed test (LDT) to accurately and safely diagnose SARS-CoV-2. We describe here the process of developing an emergency-use LDT, in the hope that our experience will be useful to other laboratories in future outbreaks and will help to lower barriers to establishing fast and accurate diagnostic testing in crisis conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergency Service, Hospital , Laboratories, Hospital , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , Reproducibility of Results
14.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(5): 689-703, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207013

ABSTRACT

Despite numerous viral outbreaks in the last decade, including a devastating global pandemic, diagnostic and therapeutic technologies remain severely lacking. CRISPR-Cas systems have the potential to address these critical needs in the response against infectious disease. Initially discovered as the bacterial adaptive immune system, these systems provide a unique opportunity to create programmable, sequence-specific technologies for detection of viral nucleic acids and inhibition of viral replication. This review summarizes how CRISPR-Cas systems-in particular the recently discovered DNA-targeting Cas12 and RNA-targeting Cas13, both possessing a unique trans-cleavage activity-are being harnessed for viral diagnostics and therapies. We further highlight the numerous technologies whose development has accelerated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , CRISPR-Cas Systems , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Mutation , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1018, 2021 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085426

ABSTRACT

Antibodies serve as biomarkers of infection, but if sustained can confer long-term immunity. Yet, for most clinically approved vaccines, binding antibody titers only serve as a surrogate of protection. Instead, the ability of vaccine induced antibodies to neutralize or mediate Fc-effector functions is mechanistically linked to protection. While evidence has begun to point to persisting antibody responses among SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, cases of re-infection have begun to emerge, calling the protective nature of humoral immunity against this highly infectious pathogen into question. Using a community-based surveillance study, we aimed to define the relationship between titers and functional antibody activity to SARS-CoV-2 over time. Here we report significant heterogeneity, but limited decay, across antibody titers amongst 120 identified seroconverters, most of whom had asymptomatic infection. Notably, neutralization, Fc-function, and SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses were only observed in subjects that elicited RBD-specific antibody titers above a threshold. The findings point to a switch-like relationship between observed antibody titer and function, where a distinct threshold of activity-defined by the level of antibodies-is required to elicit vigorous humoral and cellular response. This response activity level may be essential for durable protection, potentially explaining why re-infections occur with SARS-CoV-2 and other common coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Young Adult
18.
J Neurol Sci ; 421: 117308, 2021 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033825

ABSTRACT

We evaluated the incidence, distribution, and histopathologic correlates of microvascular brain lesions in patients with severe COVID-19. Sixteen consecutive patients admitted to the intensive care unit with severe COVID-19 undergoing brain MRI for evaluation of coma or neurologic deficits were retrospectively identified. Eleven patients had punctate susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) lesions in the subcortical and deep white matter, eight patients had >10 SWI lesions, and four patients had lesions involving the corpus callosum. The distribution of SWI lesions was similar to that seen in patients with hypoxic respiratory failure, sepsis, and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Brain autopsy in one patient revealed that SWI lesions corresponded to widespread microvascular injury, characterized by perivascular and parenchymal petechial hemorrhages and microscopic ischemic lesions. Collectively, these radiologic and histopathologic findings add to growing evidence that patients with severe COVID-19 are at risk for multifocal microvascular hemorrhagic and ischemic lesions in the subcortical and deep white matter.


Subject(s)
Brain Injuries/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods , Microvessels/diagnostic imaging , Severity of Illness Index , Brain/blood supply , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Brain Injuries/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Intensive Care Units/trends , Male , Microvessels/injuries , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
19.
Nature ; 582(7811): 277-282, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-980299

ABSTRACT

The great majority of globally circulating pathogens go undetected, undermining patient care and hindering outbreak preparedness and response. To enable routine surveillance and comprehensive diagnostic applications, there is a need for detection technologies that can scale to test many samples1-3 while simultaneously testing for many pathogens4-6. Here, we develop Combinatorial Arrayed Reactions for Multiplexed Evaluation of Nucleic acids (CARMEN), a platform for scalable, multiplexed pathogen detection. In the CARMEN platform, nanolitre droplets containing CRISPR-based nucleic acid detection reagents7 self-organize in a microwell array8 to pair with droplets of amplified samples, testing each sample against each CRISPR RNA (crRNA) in replicate. The combination of CARMEN and Cas13 detection (CARMEN-Cas13) enables robust testing of more than 4,500 crRNA-target pairs on a single array. Using CARMEN-Cas13, we developed a multiplexed assay that simultaneously differentiates all 169 human-associated viruses with at least 10 published genome sequences and rapidly incorporated an additional crRNA to detect the causative agent of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. CARMEN-Cas13 further enables comprehensive subtyping of influenza A strains and multiplexed identification of dozens of HIV drug-resistance mutations. The intrinsic multiplexing and throughput capabilities of CARMEN make it practical to scale, as miniaturization decreases reagent cost per test by more than 300-fold. Scalable, highly multiplexed CRISPR-based nucleic acid detection shifts diagnostic and surveillance efforts from targeted testing of high-priority samples to comprehensive testing of large sample sets, greatly benefiting patients and public health9-11.


Subject(s)
CRISPR-Associated Proteins/metabolism , CRISPR-Cas Systems/genetics , Microfluidic Analytical Techniques/methods , Virus Diseases/diagnosis , Virus Diseases/virology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , HIV/classification , HIV/genetics , HIV/isolation & purification , Humans , Influenza A virus/classification , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza A virus/isolation & purification , Microfluidic Analytical Techniques/instrumentation , RNA, Guide/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5921, 2020 11 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939436

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that new diagnostic technologies are essential for controlling disease transmission. Here, we develop SHINE (Streamlined Highlighting of Infections to Navigate Epidemics), a sensitive and specific diagnostic tool that can detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA from unextracted samples. We identify the optimal conditions to allow RPA-based amplification and Cas13-based detection to occur in a single step, simplifying assay preparation and reducing run-time. We improve HUDSON to rapidly inactivate viruses in nasopharyngeal swabs and saliva in 10 min. SHINE's results can be visualized with an in-tube fluorescent readout - reducing contamination risk as amplification reaction tubes remain sealed - and interpreted by a companion smartphone application. We validate SHINE on 50 nasopharyngeal patient samples, demonstrating 90% sensitivity and 100% specificity compared to RT-qPCR with a sample-to-answer time of 50 min. SHINE has the potential to be used outside of hospitals and clinical laboratories, greatly enhancing diagnostic capabilities.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , CRISPR-Associated Proteins/metabolism , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Biological Assay , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Fluorescence , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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