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1.
J Virol ; : e0003822, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788914

ABSTRACT

Due to the limitation of human studies with respect to individual difference or the accessibility of fresh tissue samples, how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection results in pathological complications in lung, the main site of infection, is still incompletely understood. Therefore, physiologically relevant animal models under realistic SARS-CoV-2 infection conditions would be helpful to our understanding of dysregulated inflammation response in lung in the context of targeted therapeutics. Here, we characterized the single-cell landscape in lung and spleen upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in an acute severe disease mouse model that replicates human symptoms, including severe lung pathology and lymphopenia. We showed a reduction of lymphocyte populations and an increase of neutrophils in lung and then demonstrated the key role of neutrophil-mediated lung immunopathology in both mice and humans. Under severe conditions, neutrophils recruited by a chemokine-driven positive feedback produced elevated "fatal signature" proinflammatory genes and pathways related to neutrophil activation or releasing of granular content. In addition, we identified a new Cd177high cluster that is undergoing respiratory burst and Stfahigh cluster cells that may dampen antigen presentation upon infection. We also revealed the devastating effect of overactivated neutrophil by showing the highly enriched neutrophil extracellular traps in lung and a dampened B-cell function in either lung or spleen that may be attributed to arginine consumption by neutrophil. The current study helped our understanding of SARS-CoV-2-induced pneumonia and warranted the concept of neutrophil-targeting therapeutics in COVID-19 treatment. IMPORTANCE We demonstrated the single-cell landscape in lung and spleen upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in an acute severe disease mouse model that replicated human symptoms, including severe lung pathology and lymphopenia. Our comprehensive study revealed the key role of neutrophil-mediated lung immunopathology in SARS-CoV-2-induced severe pneumonia, which not only helped our understanding of COVID-19 but also warranted the concept of neutrophil targeting therapeutics in COVID-19 treatment.

2.
J Virol ; : e0016922, 2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765080

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) and SARS-CoV-2 are highly pathogenic to humans and have caused pandemics in 2003 and 2019, respectively. Genetically diverse SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been detected or isolated from bats, and some of these viruses have been demonstrated to utilize human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor and to have the potential to spill over to humans. A pan-sarbecovirus vaccine that provides protection against SARSr-CoV infection is urgently needed. In this study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine against recombinant SARSr-CoVs carrying two different spike proteins (named rWIV1 and rRsSHC014S, respectively). Although serum neutralizing assays showed limited cross-reactivity between the three viruses, the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provided full protection against SARS-CoV-2 and rWIV1 and partial protection against rRsSHC014S infection in human ACE2 transgenic mice. Passive transfer of SARS-CoV-2-vaccinated mouse sera provided low protection for rWIV1 but not for rRsSHC014S infection in human ACE2 mice. A specific cellular immune response induced by WIV1 membrane protein peptides was detected in the vaccinated animals, which may explain the cross-protection of the inactivated vaccine. This study shows the possibility of developing a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine against SARSr-CoVs for future preparedness. IMPORTANCE The genetic diversity of SARSr-CoVs in wildlife and their potential risk of cross-species infection highlight the necessity of developing wide-spectrum vaccines against infection of various SARSr-CoVs. In this study, we tested the protective efficacy of the SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine (IAV) against two SARSr-CoVs with different spike proteins in human ACE2 transgenic mice. We demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 IAV provides full protection against rWIV1 and partial protection against rRsSHC014S. The T-cell response stimulated by the M protein may account for the cross protection against heterogeneous SARSr-CoVs. Our findings suggest the feasibility of the development of pan-sarbecovirus vaccines, which can be a strategy of preparedness for future outbreaks caused by novel SARSr-CoVs from wildlife.

3.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 83, 2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740428

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 induced marked lymphopenia in severe patients with COVID-19. However, whether lymphocytes are targets of viral infection is yet to be determined, although SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen has been identified in T cells from patients. Here, we confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen could be detected in patient peripheral blood cells (PBCs) or postmortem lung T cells, and the infectious virus could also be detected from viral antigen-positive PBCs. We next prove that SARS-CoV-2 infects T lymphocytes, preferably activated CD4 + T cells in vitro. Upon infection, viral RNA, subgenomic RNA, viral protein or viral particle can be detected in the T cells. Furthermore, we show that the infection is spike-ACE2/TMPRSS2-independent through using ACE2 knockdown or receptor blocking experiments. Next, we demonstrate that viral antigen-positive T cells from patient undergone pronounced apoptosis. In vitro infection of T cells induced cell death that is likely in mitochondria ROS-HIF-1a-dependent pathways. Finally, we demonstrated that LFA-1, the protein exclusively expresses in multiple leukocytes, is more likely the entry molecule that mediated SARS-CoV-2 infection in T cells, compared to a list of other known receptors. Collectively, this work confirmed a SARS-CoV-2 infection of T cells, in a spike-ACE2-independent manner, which shed novel insights into the underlying mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-induced lymphopenia in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Vero Cells
4.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 902-913, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730557

ABSTRACT

The immune memory of over 400 million COVID-19 convalescents is not completely understood. In this integrated study, we recorded the post-acute sequelae symptoms and tested the immune memories, including circulating antibodies, memory B cell, and memory CD4 or CD8 T cell responses of a cohort of 65 COVID-19 patients over 1-year after infection. Our data show that 48% of them still have one or more sequelae symptoms and all of them maintain at least one of the immune components. The chances of having sequelae symptoms or having better immune memory are associated with peak disease severity. We did four-time points sampling per subject to precisely understand the kinetics of durability of SARS-CoV-2 circulating antibodies. We found that the RBD IgG levels likely reach a stable plateau at around 6 months, albeit it is waning at the first 6 months after infection. At 1-year after infection, more than 90% of the convalescents generated memory CD4 or CD8 T memory responses, preferably against the SARS-CoV-2 M peptide pool. The convalescents also have polyfunctional and central memory T cells that could provide rapid and efficient response to SARS-CoV-2 re-infection. Based on this information, we assessed the immune protection against the Omicron variant and concluded that convalescents should still induce effective T cell immunity against the Omicron. By studying the circulating antibodies and memory B or T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 in an integrated manner, our study provides insight into the understanding of protective immunity against diseases caused by secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Nat Rev Microbiol ; 20(5): 315, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705646
8.
Virol Sin ; 2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648554

ABSTRACT

The nationwide COVID-19 epidemic ended in 2020, a few months after its outbreak in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. Most COVID-19 cases occurred in Hubei Province, with a few local outbreaks in other provinces of China. A few studies have reported the early SARS-CoV-2 epidemics in several large cities or provinces of China. However, information regarding the early epidemics in small and medium-sized cities, where there are still traditionally large families and community culture is more strongly maintained and thus, transmission profiles may differ, is limited. In this study, we characterized 60 newly sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Anyang as a representative of small and medium-sized Chinese cities, compared them with more than 400 reference genomes from the early outbreak, and studied the SARS-CoV-2 transmission profiles. Genomic epidemiology revealed multiple SARS-CoV-2 introductions in Anyang and a large-scale expansion of the epidemic because of the large family size. Moreover, our study revealed two transmission patterns in a single outbreak, which were attributed to different social activities. We observed the complete dynamic process of single-nucleotide polymorphism development during community transmission and found that intrahost variant analysis was an effective approach to studying cluster infections. In summary, our study provided new SARS-CoV-2 transmission profiles representative of small and medium-sized Chinese cities as well as information on the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 strains during the early COVID-19 epidemic in China.

9.
Zool Res ; 42(6): 834-844, 2021 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515719

ABSTRACT

Understanding the zoonotic origin and evolution history of SARS-CoV-2 will provide critical insights for alerting and preventing future outbreaks. A significant gap remains for the possible role of pangolins as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses (SC2r-CoVs). Here, we screened SC2r-CoVs in 172 samples from 163 pangolin individuals of four species, and detected positive signals in muscles of four Manis javanica and, for the first time, one M. pentadactyla. Phylogeographic analysis of pangolin mitochondrial DNA traced their origins from Southeast Asia. Using in-solution hybridization capture sequencing, we assembled a partial pangolin SC2r-CoV (pangolin-CoV) genome sequence of 22 895 bp (MP20) from the M. pentadactyla sample. Phylogenetic analyses revealed MP20 was very closely related to pangolin-CoVs that were identified in M. javanica seized by Guangxi Customs. A genetic contribution of bat coronavirus to pangolin-CoVs via recombination was indicated. Our analysis revealed that the genetic diversity of pangolin-CoVs is substantially higher than previously anticipated. Given the potential infectivity of pangolin-CoVs, the high genetic diversity of pangolin-CoVs alerts the ecological risk of zoonotic evolution and transmission of pathogenic SC2r-CoVs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Evolution, Molecular , Pangolins/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics
10.
mBio ; 12(5): e0234221, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494971

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence and spread of zoonotic viruses highlights that animal-sourced viruses are the biggest threat to global public health. Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) is an HKU2-related bat coronavirus that was spilled over from Rhinolophus bats to swine, causing large-scale outbreaks of severe diarrhea disease in piglets in China. Unlike other porcine coronaviruses, SADS-CoV possesses broad species tissue tropism, including primary human cells, implying a significant risk of cross-species spillover. To explore host dependency factors for SADS-CoV as therapeutic targets, we employed genome-wide CRISPR knockout library screening in HeLa cells. Consistent with two independent screens, we identified the zinc finger DHHC-type palmitoyltransferase 17 (ZDHHC17 or ZD17) as an important host factor for SADS-CoV infection. Through truncation mutagenesis, we demonstrated that the DHHC domain of ZD17 that is involved in palmitoylation is important for SADS-CoV infection. Mechanistic studies revealed that ZD17 is required for SADS-CoV genomic RNA replication. Treatment of infected cells with the palmitoylation inhibitor 2-bromopalmitate (2-BP) significantly suppressed SADS-CoV infection. Our findings provide insight on SADS-CoV-host interactions and a potential therapeutic application. IMPORTANCE The recent emergence of deadly zoonotic viral diseases, including Ebola virus and SARS-CoV-2, emphasizes the importance of pandemic preparedness for the animal-sourced viruses with potential risk of animal-to-human spillover. Over the last 2 decades, three significant coronaviruses of bat origin, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, have caused millions of deaths with significant economy and public health impacts. Lack of effective therapeutics against these coronaviruses was one of the contributing factors to such losses. Although SADS-CoV, another coronavirus of bat origin, was only known to cause fatal diarrhea disease in piglets, the ability to infect cells derived from multiple species, including human, highlights the potential risk of animal-to-human spillover. As part of our effort in pandemic preparedness, we explore SADS-CoV host dependency factors as targets for host-directed therapeutic development and found zinc finger DHHC-type palmitoyltransferase 17 is a promising drug target against SADS-CoV replication. We also demonstrated that a palmitoylation inhibitor, 2-bromopalmitate (2-BP), can be used as an inhibitor for SADS-CoV treatment.


Subject(s)
Acyltransferases/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Alphacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism , Acyltransferases/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Alphacoronavirus/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , HeLa Cells , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics , Palmitates/pharmacology , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Swine
11.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441884

ABSTRACT

Bats have been identified as natural reservoirs of a variety of coronaviruses. They harbor at least 19 of the 33 defined species of alpha- and betacoronaviruses. Previously, the bat coronavirus HKU10 was found in two bat species of different suborders, Rousettus leschenaultia and Hipposideros pomona, in south China. However, its geographic distribution and evolution history are not fully investigated. Here, we screened this viral species by a nested reverse transcriptase PCR in our archived samples collected over 10 years from 25 provinces of China and one province of Laos. From 8004 bat fecal samples, 26 were found to be positive for bat coronavirus HKU10 (BtCoV HKU10). New habitats of BtCoV HKU10 were found in the Yunnan, Guangxi, and Hainan Provinces of China, and Louang Namtha Province in Laos. In addition to H. pomona, BtCoV HKU10 variants were found circulating in Aselliscus stoliczkanus and Hipposideros larvatus. We sequenced full-length genomes of 17 newly discovered BtCoV HKU10 strains and compared them with previously published sequences. Our results revealed a much higher genetic diversity of BtCoV HKU10, particularly in spike genes and accessory genes. Besides the two previously reported lineages, we found six novel lineages in their new habitats, three of which were located in Yunnan province. The genotypes of these viruses are closely related to sampling locations based on polyproteins, and correlated to bat species based on spike genes. Combining phylogenetic analysis, selective pressure, and molecular-clock calculation, we demonstrated that Yunnan bats harbor a gene pool of BtCoV HKU10, with H. pomona as a natural reservoir. The cell tropism test using spike-pseudotyped lentivirus system showed that BtCoV HKU10 could enter cells from human and bat, suggesting a potential interspecies spillover. Continuous studies on these bat coronaviruses will expand our understanding of the evolution and genetic diversity of coronaviruses, and provide a prewarning of potential zoonotic diseases from bats.


Subject(s)
Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Chiroptera/virology , Alphacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Animals , Base Sequence/genetics , Biological Evolution , China , Chiroptera/genetics , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genotype , Phylogeny , Sequence Analysis, DNA/methods , Viral Proteins/genetics
12.
Cell Death Differ ; 29(2): 420-438, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406388

ABSTRACT

Inflammatory responses rapidly detect pathogen invasion and mount a regulated reaction. However, dysregulated anti-pathogen immune responses can provoke life-threatening inflammatory pathologies collectively known as cytokine release syndrome (CRS), exemplified by key clinical phenotypes unearthed during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The underlying pathophysiology of CRS remains elusive. We found that FLIP, a protein that controls caspase-8 death pathways, was highly expressed in myeloid cells of COVID-19 lungs. FLIP controlled CRS by fueling a STAT3-dependent inflammatory program. Indeed, constitutive expression of a viral FLIP homolog in myeloid cells triggered a STAT3-linked, progressive, and fatal inflammatory syndrome in mice, characterized by elevated cytokine output, lymphopenia, lung injury, and multiple organ dysfunctions that mimicked human CRS. As STAT3-targeting approaches relieved inflammation, immune disorders, and organ failures in these mice, targeted intervention towards this pathway could suppress the lethal CRS inflammatory state.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Caspase 8/metabolism , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , STAT3 Transcription Factor/genetics , Signal Transduction
13.
mSphere ; 5(1)2020 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1383493

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) of bat origin have caused two pandemics in this century. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV both originated from bats, and it is highly likely that bat coronaviruses will cause future outbreaks. Active surveillance is both urgent and essential to predict and mitigate the emergence of these viruses in humans. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is currently the preferred methodology for virus discovery to ensure unbiased sequencing of bat CoVs, considering their high genetic diversity. However, unbiased NGS is an expensive methodology and is prone to missing low-abundance CoV sequences due to the high background level of nonviral sequences present in surveillance field samples. Here, we employ a capture-based NGS approach using baits targeting most of the CoV species. Using this technology, we effectively reduced sequencing costs by increasing the sensitivity of detection. We discovered nine full genomes of bat CoVs in this study and revealed great genetic diversity for eight of them.IMPORTANCE Active surveillance is both urgent and essential to predict and mitigate the emergence of bat-origin CoV in humans and livestock. However, great genetic diversity increases the chance of homologous recombination among CoVs. Performing targeted PCR, a common practice for many surveillance studies, would not reflect this diversity. NGS, on the other hand, is an expensive methodology and is prone to missing low-abundance CoV sequences. Here, we employ a capture-based NGS approach using baits targeting all CoVs. Our work demonstrates that targeted, cost-effective, large-scale, genome-level surveillance of bat CoVs is now highly feasible.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Animals , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral
15.
Infectious Diseases & Immunity ; 1(1):3-4, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1388047
19.
Front Public Health ; 9: 694705, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365586

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has been characterized by unprecedented rates of spatio-temporal spread. Here, we summarize the main events in the pandemic's timeline and evaluate what has been learnt by the public health community. We also discuss the implications for future public health policy and, specifically, the practice of epidemic control. We critically analyze this ongoing pandemic's timeline and contrast it with the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. We identify specific areas (e.g., pathogen identification and initial reporting) wherein the international community learnt valuable lessons from the SARS outbreak. However, we also identify the key areas where international public health policy failed leading to the exponential spread of the pandemic. We outline a clear agenda for improved pandemic control in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
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