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mSphere ; 6(4): e0024421, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329039


Recent studies have shown that persistent SARS-CoV-2 infections in immunocompromised patients can trigger the accumulation of an unusual high number of mutations with potential relevance at both biological and epidemiological levels. Here, we report a case of an immunocompromised patient (non-Hodgkin lymphoma patient under immunosuppressive therapy) with a persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection (marked by intermittent positivity) over at least 6 months. Viral genome sequencing was performed at days 1, 164, and 171 to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 evolution. Among the 15 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (11 leading to amino acid alterations) and 3 deletions accumulated during this long-term infection, four amino acid changes (V3G, S50L, N87S, and A222V) and two deletions (18-30del and 141-144del) occurred in the virus Spike protein. Although no convalescent plasma therapy was administered, some of the detected mutations have been independently reported in other chronically infected individuals, which supports a scenario of convergent adaptive evolution. This study shows that it is of the utmost relevance to monitor the SARS-CoV-2 evolution in immunocompromised individuals, not only to identify novel potentially adaptive mutations, but also to mitigate the risk of introducing "hyper-evolved" variants in the community. IMPORTANCE Tracking the within-patient evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is key to understanding how this pandemic virus shapes its genome toward immune evasion and survival. In the present study, by monitoring a long-term COVID-19 immunocompromised patient, we observed the concurrent emergence of mutations potentially associated with immune evasion and/or enhanced transmission, mostly targeting the SARS-CoV-2 key host-interacting protein and antigen. These findings show that the frequent oscillation in the immune status in immunocompromised individuals can trigger an accelerated virus evolution, thus consolidating this study model as an accelerated pathway to better understand SARS-CoV-2 adaptive traits and anticipate the emergence of variants of concern.

COVID-19/immunology , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acids/genetics , Amino Acids/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genome, Viral/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immunization, Passive/methods , Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin/virology , Middle Aged , Mutation/genetics , Mutation/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology
J Paediatr Child Health ; 57(7): 1078-1081, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091030


AIM: The diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) depends on accurate and rapid testing. Choosing an appropriate sample may impact diagnosis. Naso-oropharyngeal swabs (NOS) are most frequently used, despite several limitations. Since studies suggest nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) as a superior alternative in children, we hypothesised collecting both nasopharyngeal swab and aspirate would improve our diagnostic accuracy. METHODS: Observational, longitudinal, prospective study from 7 March to 7 May in a tertiary paediatric hospital in Lisbon. The objective was to compare the rate of detection of SARS-CoV-2 between NOS and NPA samples collected simultaneously. RESULTS: A total of 438 samples collected from 85 patients with confirmed COVID-19. There were 47.7% overall positive specimens - 32% (70/219) positive NOS and 63.5% (139/219) positive NPA. The tests were 67.6% concordant (k = 0.45). 50.3% had positive NPA with negative NOS, while 1.3% had positive NOS with negative NPA. NPA proved to be more sensitive (98.6% with 95% confidence interval 91.2-99.9% vs. 49.6% with 95% confidence interval 41.1-58.2%, P < 0.001). Additionally, the difference between NPA and NOS positive samples was statistically significant across all population groups (age, health condition, clinical presentation, contact with COVID-19 patients or need for hospitalisation), meaning NPA is more sensitive overall. CONCLUSIONS: Nasopharyngeal aspirates had greater sensitivity than naso-oropharyngeal swabs in detecting SARS-CoV-2. Our results suggest paediatric patients would benefit from collecting nasopharyngeal aspirates in hospital settings, whenever feasible, to improve diagnosis of COVID-19.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Humans , Nasopharynx , Prospective Studies , Specimen Handling
BMC Pulm Med ; 20(1): 39, 2020 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326171


BACKGROUND: Respiratory virome is an integral part of the human microbiome and its characterization may contribute to a better understanding of the changes that arise in the disease and, consequently, influence the approach and treatment of patients with acute lower respiratory infections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of respiratory viruses in the lower airways of individuals undergoing invasive mechanical ventilation, with and without acute lower respiratory infection (respectively WRI and WORI groups). METHODS: We studied 44 mini-bronchoalveolar lavage samples (collected with a double catheter, Combicath® kit) from patients with mean age in the seventh decade, 20 from WORI group and 24 from WRI group, who were hospitalized for acute respiratory failure in Intensive Care Units of two hospitals in the Lisbon area. Real-time PCR was applied to verify analyse the presence of 15 common respiratory viruses (adenovirus, human bocavirus, influenza virus A and B, repiratory syncytial virus, human parainfluenza virus types 1, 2, 3 and 4, human enterovirus, human rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus, human coronavirus group 1 (229E, NL63) and 2 (OC43, HKU1). RESULTS: Respiratory viruses were detected in six of the 20 patients in the WORI group: influenza AH3 (n = 2), parainfluenza virus 1/3 (n = 2), human rhinovirus (n = 2), respiratory syncytial virus (n = 1) and human metapneumovirus (n = 1). In the WRI group, respiratory viruses were detected in 12 of the 24 patients: influenza AH3 (n = 3), human rhinovirus (n = 3), respiratory syncytial virus (n = 3), human metapneumovirus (n = 3), human bocavirus (n = 2) and human enterovirus (n = 1). Simultaneous detection of two viruses was recorded in two samples in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest the presence of common respiratory viruses in the lower respiratory tract without causing symptomatic infection, even in carefully collected lower samples. This may have important implications on the interpretation of the results on the diagnostic setting.

Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/complications , Virus Diseases/complications , Virus Diseases/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/therapy , Virus Diseases/virology , Young Adult