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2.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 955930, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2123424

ABSTRACT

Background: Recent studies on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reveal that Omicron variant BA.1 and sub-lineages have revived the concern over resistance to antiviral drugs and vaccine-induced immunity. The present study aims to analyze the clinical profile and genome characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 variant in eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP), North India. Methods: Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) was conducted for 146 SARS-CoV-2 samples obtained from individuals who tested coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive between the period of 1 January 2022 and 24 February 2022, from three districts of eastern UP. The details regarding clinical and hospitalized status were captured through telephonic interviews after obtaining verbal informed consent. A maximum-likelihood phylogenetic tree was created for evolutionary analysis using MEGA7. Results: The mean age of study participants was 33.9 ± 13.1 years, with 73.5% accounting for male patients. Of the 98 cases contacted by telephone, 30 (30.6%) had a travel history (domestic/international), 16 (16.3%) reported having been infected with COVID-19 in past, 79 (80.6%) had symptoms, and seven had at least one comorbidity. Most of the sequences belonged to the Omicron variant, with BA.1 (6.2%), BA.1.1 (2.7%), BA.1.1.1 (0.7%), BA.1.1.7 (5.5%), BA.1.17.2 (0.7%), BA.1.18 (0.7%), BA.2 (30.8%), BA.2.10 (50.7%), BA.2.12 (0.7%), and B.1.617.2 (1.3%) lineages. BA.1 and BA.1.1 strains possess signature spike mutations S:A67V, S:T95I, S:R346K, S:S371L, S:G446S, S:G496S, S:T547K, S:N856K, and S:L981F, and BA.2 contains S:V213G, S:T376A, and S:D405N. Notably, ins214EPE (S1- N-Terminal domain) mutation was found in a significant number of Omicron BA.1 and sub-lineages. The overall Omicron BA.2 lineage was observed in 79.5% of women and 83.2% of men. Conclusion: The current study showed a predominance of the Omicron BA.2 variant outcompeting the BA.1 over a period in eastern UP. Most of the cases had a breakthrough infection following the recommended two doses of vaccine with four in five cases being symptomatic. There is a need to further explore the immune evasion properties of the Omicron variant.

3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(11)2022 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116010

ABSTRACT

The unique mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant are associated with increased transmissibility, immune escape, increased binding affinity to ACE-2, and increased viral load. Omicron exhibited a shift in tropism infecting the upper respiratory tract compared to other variants of concern which have tropism for the lower respiratory tract. The tropism of omicron variants in cell lines of different hosts and tissue origins still remains unclear. Considering this, we assessed the susceptibility of different cell lines to the SARS-CoV-2 omicron BA.1.1 variant and permissiveness among different cell lines for omicron replication. Susceptibility and permissiveness of a total of eleven cell lines, including six animal cell lines and five human cell lines for omicron BA.1.1 infection, were evaluated by infecting individual cell lines with omicron BA.1.1 isolate at a 0.1 multiplicity of infection. Virus replication was assessed by observation of cytopathic effects followed by viral load determination by real-time PCR assay and virus infectivity determination by TCID50 assay. The characteristic cytopathic effect, increased viral load, and productive omicron replication was detected in Vero CCL-81, Vero E6, Vero/hSLAM, MA-104, and Calu-3 cells. Although LLC MK-2 cells showed an increased TCID50 titer at the second infection, the viral load did not show much difference in both infections. Caco-2 cells did not show evident CPE, but they supported omicron replication at a low level. A549, RD, MRC-5, and BHK-21 cells supported omicron BA.1.1 replication without the CPE. This is the first study on the comparison of susceptibility of different cell lines to Omicron variant BA.1.1, which might be useful for future studies on emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

4.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; : 2127289, 2022 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051158

ABSTRACT

We have investigated six COVID-19 recovered cases with two doses of Covishield vaccination followed by reinfection. The primary SARS-CoV-2 infection found to occur with B.1 and reinfection with Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants. The genomic characterization and duration between two infections confirms these cases as SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. The immune response determined at different time intervals demonstrated boost post two dose vaccination, decline in pre-reinfection sera post 7 months and rise post reinfection. In conclusion, it was observed that these cases got SARS-CoV-2 reinfection with declined hybrid immunity acquired from primary infection and two dose covishield vaccination. This findings suggests the need to protect the community through booster dose of vaccination and prevent further infections following personal hygiene and non-pharmaceutical interventions.

7.
EBioMedicine ; 79: 103997, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977198

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is rampantly spreading across the globe. We assessed the pathogenicity and immune response generated by BA.1.1 sub-lineage of SARS-CoV-2 [Omicron (R346K) variant] in 5 to 6-week old Syrian hamsters and compared the observations with that of Delta variant infection. METHODS: Virus shedding, organ viral load, lung disease and immune response generated in hamsters were sequentially assessed. FINDINGS: The disease characteristics of the Omicron (R346K) variant were found to be similar to that of the Delta variant infection in hamsters like viral replication in the respiratory tract and interstitial pneumonia. The Omicron (R346K) infected hamsters demonstrated lesser body weight reduction and viral RNA load in the throat swab and nasal wash samples in comparison to the Delta variant infection. The viral load in the lungs and nasal turbinate samples and the lung disease severity of the Omicron (R346K) infected hamsters were found comparable with that of the Delta variant infected hamsters. Neutralizing antibody response against Omicron (R346K) variant was detected from day 5 and the cross-neutralization titre of the sera against other variants showed severe reduction ie., 7 fold reduction against Alpha and no titers against B.1, Beta and Delta. INTERPRETATION: This preliminary data shows that Omicron (R346K) variant infection can produce moderate to severe lung disease similar to that of the Delta variant and the neutralizing antibodies produced in response to Omicron (R346K) variant infection shows poor neutralizing ability against other co-circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants like Delta which necessitates caution as it may lead to increased cases of reinfection. FUNDING: This study was supported by Indian Council of Medical Research as an intramural grant (COVID-19) to ICMR-National Institute of Virology, Pune.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Cricetinae , Humans , India , Mesocricetus , Virulence
9.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect ; 2022 Jul 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914641

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During October 2020, Delta variant was detected for the first time in India and rampantly spread across the globe. It also led to second wave of pandemic in India which affected millions of people. However, there is limited information pertaining to the SARS-CoV-2 strain infecting the children in India. METHODS: Here, we assessed the SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in the pediatric population of India during the second wave of the pandemic. Clinical and demographic details linked with the nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs (NPS/OPS) collected from SARS-CoV-2 cases (n = 583) aged 0-18 year and tested positive by real-time RT-PCR were retrieved from March to June 2021. RESULTS: Symptoms were reported among 37.2% of patients and 14.8% reported to be hospitalized. The E gene CT value had significant statistical difference at the point of sample collection when compared to that observed in the sequencing laboratory. Out of these 512 sequences 372 were VOCs, 51 were VOIs. Most common lineages observed were Delta, followed by Kappa, Alpha and B.1.36, seen in 65.82%, 9.96%, 6.83% and 4.68%, respectively in the study population. CONCLUSION: Overall, it was observed that Delta strain was the leading cause of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Indian children during the second wave of the pandemic. We emphasize on the need of continuous genomic surveillance in SARS-CoV-2 infection even amongst children.

10.
Front Microbiol ; 13: 888195, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911066

ABSTRACT

Background: During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks of Zika were reported from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra, India in 2021. The Dengue and Chikungunya negative samples were retrospectively screened to determine the presence of the Zika virus from different geographical regions of India. Methods: During May to October 2021, the clinical samples of 1475 patients, across 13 states and a union territory of India were screened and re-tested for Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika by CDC Trioplex Real time RT-PCR. The Zika rRTPCR positive samples were further screened with anti-Zika IgM and Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test. Next generation sequencing was used for further molecular characterization. Results: The positivity was observed for Zika (67), Dengue (121), and Chikungunya (10) amongst screened cases. The co-infections of Dengue/Chikungunya, Dengue/Zika, and Dengue/Chikungunya/Zika were also observed. All Zika cases were symptomatic with fever (84%) and rash (78%) as major presenting symptoms. Of them, four patients had respiratory distress, one presented with seizures, and one with suspected microcephaly at birth. The Asian Lineage of Zika and all four serotypes of Dengue were found in circulation. Conclusion: Our study indicates the spread of the Zika virus to several states of India and an urgent need to strengthen its surveillance.

14.
Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis ; 85: 101800, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757204

ABSTRACT

Nipah virus (NiV) is one of the priority pathogens with pandemic potential. Though the spread is far slower than SARS-CoV-2, case fatality is the biggest concern. Fruit bats belonging to genus Pteropus are identified to be the main reservoir of the virus causing sporadic cases and outbreaks in Malaysia, Bangladesh and India. The sudden emergence of Nipah in Kerala, India during 2018-2019 has been astonishing with respect to its introduction in the unaffected areas. With this, active Nipah virus surveillance was conducted among bat populations in Southern part of India viz., Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Puducherry and Odisha during January-November 2019. Throat swabs/rectal swabs (n = 573) collected from Pteropus medius and Rousettus leschenaultii bat species and sera of Pteropus medius bats (n = 255) were screened to detect the presence of Nipah viral RNA and anti-Nipah IgG antibodies respectively. Of 255 P. medius bats sera samples, 51 bats (20%) captured from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry demonstrated presence of anti-Nipah IgG antibodies. However, the presence of virus couldn't be detected in any of the bat specimens. The recent emergence of Nipah virus in Kerala in September 2021 warrants further surveillance of Nipah virus among bat populations from the affected and remaining states of India.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Nipah Virus , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Immunoglobulin G , India/epidemiology , Nipah Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1737033

ABSTRACT

Due to the failure of virus isolation of the Omicron variant in Vero CCL-81 from the clinical specimens of COVID-19 cases, an initial in vivo and subsequent in vitro approach was utilized for the isolation of the virus. A total of 74 oropharyngeal/nasopharyngeal specimens were collected from SARS-CoV-2 positive international travellers and a contact case at Delhi and Mumbai, India. All the specimens were sequenced using next-generation sequencing and simultaneously inoculated onto Vero CCL-81 cells for virus isolation. Subsequently, two omicron positive specimens were inoculated into Syrian hamsters for two passages. The initial passage of the positive hamster specimens was inoculated onto Vero CCL-81 cells. The clinical specimens, hamster specimens, and Vero CCL-81 passages were sequenced to assess the mutational changes in different host species. The replication of the Omicron variant in hamsters was confirmed with the presence of a high viral load in nasal turbinate and lung specimens of both passages. The successful isolation of the virus from hamster specimens with Vero CCL-81 was observed with cytopathic effect in infected cells and high viral load in the cell suspension. The genome analysis revealed the presence of L212C mutation, Tyrosine 69 deletion, and C25000T nucleotide change in spike gene of hamster passage sequences and an absence of V17I mutation in E gene in hamster passage sequences, unlike human clinical specimen and Vero CCL-81 passages. No change was observed in the furin cleavage site in any of the specimen sequences, suggesting intact pathogenicity of the virus isolate. Our data demonstrated successful isolation of the Omicron variant with the in vivo method first followed by in vitro method. The virus isolate could be used in the future to explore different aspects of the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Genomics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
18.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 781287, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649347

ABSTRACT

Uttar Pradesh is the densely populated state of India and is the sixth highest COVID-19 affected state with 22,904 deaths recorded on November 12, 2021. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is being used as a potential approach to investigate genomic evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. In this study, a total of 87 SARS-CoV-2 genomes-49 genomes from the first wave (March 2020 to February 2021) and 38 genomes from the second wave (March 2021 to July 2021) from Eastern Uttar Pradesh (E-UP) were sequenced and analyzed to understand its evolutionary pattern and variants against publicaly available sequences. The complete genome analysis of SARS-CoV-2 during the first wave in E-UP largely reported transmission of G, GR, and GH clades with specific mutations. In contrast, variants of concerns (VOCs) such as Delta (71.0%) followed by Delta AY.1 (21.05%) and Kappa (7.9%) lineages belong to G clade with prominent signature amino acids were introduced in the second wave. Signature substitution at positions S:L452R, S:P681R, and S:D614G were commonly detected in the Delta, Delta AY.1, and Kappa variants whereas S:T19R and S:T478K were confined to Delta and Delta AY.1 variants only. Vaccine breakthrough infections showed unique mutational changes at position S:D574Y in the case of the Delta variant, whereas position S:T95 was conserved among Kappa variants compared to the Wuhan isolate. During the transition from the first to second waves, a shift in the predominant clade from GH to G clade was observed. The identified spike protein mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome could be used as the potential target for vaccine and drug development to combat the effects of the COVID-19 disease.

19.
J Infect Public Health ; 15(2): 182-186, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587222

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants in places where the virus is uncontained poses a global threat from the perspective of public health and vaccine efficacy. Travel has been important factor for the easy spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants worldwide. India has also observed the importation of SARS-CoV-2 variants through international travelers. METHODS: In this study, we have collected the oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab specimens from 58 individuals with travel history from United Arab Emirates (UAE), East, West and South Africa, Qatar, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia arrived in India during February-March 2021. The clinical specimens were initially screened for SARS-CoV-2 using Real time RT-PCR. All the specimens were inoculated on to Vero CCL-81 cells for virus isolation. The viral isolates were further sequenced using Next-Generation Sequencing. RESULTS: All 58 cases were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 using Real time RT-PCR. Four specimens showed progressive infectivity with fusion of the infected cells with neighboring cells leading to large mass of cells. Replication competent virus was confirmed from culture supernatant of the passage 2 using Real time RT-PCR. Two plaque purified SARS-CoV-2 isolates demonstrated high viral RNA load of 3.8-7.5 × 1011 and 1.1-1.6 × 1011 at passage 4 and 5 respectively. Nucleotide variations along with amino acid changes were also observed among these two isolates at passage 2-5. All four cases were male with no symptoms and co-morbidity. The sequence analysis has shown two different clusters, first cluster with nucleotide deletions in the ORF1ab and the spike, while second cluster with deletions in spike region. The viral isolates demonstrated 99.88-99.96% nucleotide identity with the representative sequences of Beta variant (B.1.351). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest easier transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants with human mobility through international travel. The isolated Beta variant would be useful to determine the protective efficacy of the currently available and upcoming COVID-19 vaccines in India.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Male , United Arab Emirates
20.
Indian J Med Microbiol ; 40(1): 166-168, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545055

ABSTRACT

A healthcare worker presented with fever, cough, headache and tested positive by SARS-CoV-2 real time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). He got admitted to hospital and recovered after 14 days. After 2 months, as a screening protocol considering the high risk setup he got tested and again found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 by qRT-PCR. Our patient had detectable levels of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies during the reinfection but found negative for Neutralizing antibodies (NAb). Our findings suggest that the person after the initial infection might not develop the desired protective immunity to prevent the reinfection as demonstrated by absence of NAb.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Male , Reinfection/diagnosis
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