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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852993

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 can infect human and other mammals, including hamsters. Syrian (Mesocricetus auratus) and dwarf (Phodopus sp.) hamsters are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection in the laboratory setting. However, pet shop-related COVID-19 outbreaks have not been reported. METHODS: We conducted an investigation of a pet shop-related COVID-19 outbreak due to Delta variant AY.127 involving at least three patients in Hong Kong. We tested samples collected from the patients, environment, and hamsters linked to this outbreak and performed whole genome sequencing analysis of the RT-PCR-positive samples. RESULTS: The patients included a pet shop keeper (Patient 1), a female customer of the pet shop (Patient 2), and the husband of Patient 2 (Patient 3). Investigation showed that 17.2% (5/29) and 25.5% (13/51) environmental specimens collected from the pet shop and its related warehouse, respectively, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. Among euthanized hamsters randomly collected from the storehouse, 3% (3/100) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR and seropositive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody by ELISA. Whole genome analysis showed that although all genomes from the outbreak belonged to the Delta variant AY.127, there were at least 3 nucleotide differences among the genomes from different patients and the hamster cages. Genomic analysis suggests that multiple strains have emerged within the hamster population, and these different strains have likely transmitted to human either via direct contact or via the environment. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated probable hamster-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2. As pet trading is common around the world, this can represent a route of international spread of this pandemic virus.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852987

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, designated as a Variant of Concern(VOC) by the World Health Organization, carries numerous spike mutations which have are known to evade neutralizing antibodies elicited by COVID-19 vaccines. A deeper understanding of the susceptibility of Omicron variant to vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies is urgently needed for risk assessment. METHODS: Omicron variant strains HKU691 and HKU344-R346K were isolated from patients using TMPRSS2-overexpressing VeroE6 cells. Whole genome sequence was determined using nanopore sequencing. Neutralization susceptibility of ancestral lineage A virus and the Omicron, Delta and Beta variants to sera from 25 BNT162b2 and 25 Coronavac vaccine recipients was determined using a live virus microneutralization assay. RESULTS: The Omicron variant strain HKU344-R346K has an additional spike R346K mutation, which is present in 8.5% of strains deposited in GISAID database. Only 20% and 24% of BNT162b2 recipients had detectable neutralizing antibody against the Omicron variant HKU691 and HKU344-R346K, respectively, while none of the Coronavac recipients had detectable neutralizing antibody titer against either Omicron isolate. For BNT162b2 recipients, the geometric mean neutralization antibody titers(GMT) of the Omicron variant isolates(5.43 and 6.42) were 35.7-39.9-fold lower than that of the ancestral virus(229.4), and the GMT of both Omicron variant isolates were significantly lower than those of the Beta and Delta variants. There was no significant difference in the GMT between HKU691 and HKU344-R346K. CONCLUSIONS: Omicron variant escapes neutralizing antibodies elicited by BNT162b2 or Coronavac. The additional R346K mutation did not affect the neutralization susceptibility. Our data suggest that the Omicron variant may be associated with lower COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness.

3.
EBioMedicine ; 79: 103986, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778094

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination and is associated with a greater risk of reinfection among recovered COVID-19 patients. We assessed the serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity against Omicron variant (Omicron NAb) among recovered COVID-19 patients with or without vaccination. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study with 135 recovered COVID-19 patients, we determined the serum NAb titers against ancestral virus or variants using a live virus NAb assay. We used the receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal cutoff for a commercially-available surrogate NAb assay. FINDINGS: Among recovered COVID-19 patients, the serum live virus geometric mean Omicron NAb titer was statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 recipients compared to non-vaccinated individuals (85.4 vs 5.6,P < 0.0001). The Omicron seropositive rates in live virus NAb test (NAb titer ≥10) were statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 (90.6% [29/32];P < 0.0001) or CoronaVac (36.7% [11/30]; P = 0.0115) recipients when compared with non-vaccinated individuals (12.3% [9/73]). Subgroup analysis of CoronaVac recipients showed that the Omicron seropositive rates were higher among individuals with two doses than those with one dose (85.7% vs 21.7%; P = 0.0045). For the surrogate NAb assay, a cutoff of 109.1 AU/ml, which is 7.3-fold higher than the manufacturer's recommended cutoff, could achieve a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 89.8%, respectively, in detecting Omicron NAb. INTERPRETATION: Among individuals with prior COVID-19, one dose of BNT162b2 or two doses of CoronaVac could induce detectable serum Omicron NAb. Our result would be particularly important for guiding vaccine policies in countries with COVID-19 vaccine shortage. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, Richard and Carol Yu, Michael Tong (see acknowledgments for full list).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Blocking , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
SSRN;
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-326165

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination and is associated with a greater risk of reinfection among recovered COVID-19 patients. We assessed the serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity against Omicron variant (Omicron NAb) among recovered COVID-19 patients with or without vaccination. Methods: In this prospective cohort study with 135 recovered COVID-19 patients, we determined the serum NAb titers against ancestral virus or variants using a live virus NAb assay. We used the receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal cutoff for a commercially-available surrogate NAb assay. Findings: Among recovered COVID-19 patients, the serum live virus geometric mean Omicron NAb titer was statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 recipients compared to non-vaccinated individuals (85.4 vs 5.6, P<0.0001). The Omicron seropositive rates in live virus NAb test (NAb titer ≥10) were statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 (93.5% [29/32];P<0.0001) or CoronaVac (36.7% [11/30];P=0.0115) recipients when compared with non-vaccinated individuals (12.3% [9/73]). Subgroup analysis of CoronaVac recipients showed that the Omicron seropositive rates were higher among individuals with two doses than those with one dose (85.7% vs 21.7%;P=0.0045). For the surrogate NAb assay, a cutoff of 109.1 AU/ml, which is 7.3-fold higher than the manufacturer’s recommended cutoff, could achieve a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 89.8%, respectively, in detecting Omicron NAb. Interpretation: Among individuals with prior COVID-19, one dose of BNT162b2 and two doses of CoronaVac could induce detectable serum Omicron NAb. Our result would be particularly important for guiding vaccine policies in countries with COVID-19 vaccine shortage. Funding Information: This work was supported by Health and Medical Research Fund, the Food and Health Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Ref no.: COVID190124 and COVID1903010 [Project 1]), and donations of Richard Yu and Carol Yu, Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Michael Seak-Kan Tong, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, Lee Wan Keung Charity Foundation Limited, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Respiratory Viral Research Foundation Limited, Hui Ming, Hui Hoy and Chow Sin Lan Charity Fund Limited, Chan Yin Chuen Memorial Charitable Foundation, Marina Man-Wai Lee, the Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association South China Microbiology Research Fund, the Jessie & George Ho Charitable Foundation, Kai Chong Tong, Tse Kam Ming Laurence, Foo Oi Foundation Limited, Betty Hing-Chu Lee, and Ping Cham So. Declaration of Interests: KYY and KKWT report collaboration with SinoVac and Sinopharm. Other authors declare no conflict of interest.

5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 799896, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662583

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection results in rapid T lymphocytopenia and functional impairment of T cells. The underlying mechanism, however, remains incompletely understood. In this study, we focused on characterizing the phenotype and kinetics of T-cell subsets with mitochondrial dysfunction (MD) by multicolor flow cytometry and investigating the association between MD and T-cell functionality. While 73.9% of study subjects displayed clinical lymphocytopenia upon hospital admission, a significant reduction of CD4 or CD8 T-cell frequency was found in all asymptomatic, symptomatic, and convalescent cases. CD4 and CD8 T cells with increased MD were found in both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients within the first week of symptom onset. Lower proportion of memory CD8 T cell with MD was found in severe patients than in mild ones at the stage of disease progression. Critically, the frequency of T cells with MD in symptomatic patients was preferentially associated with CD4 T-cell loss and CD8 T-cell hyperactivation, respectively. Patients bearing effector memory CD4 and CD8 T cells with the phenotype of high MD exhibited poorer T-cell responses upon either phorbol 12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA)/ionomycin or SARS-CoV-2 peptide stimulation than those with low MD. Our findings demonstrated an MD-associated mechanism underlying SARS-CoV-2-induced T lymphocytopenia and functional impairment during the acute phase of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Lymphopenia/complications , Lymphopenia/etiology , Mitochondrial Diseases/etiology , Adult , Aged , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Ionomycin/therapeutic use , Lymphopenia/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondria/immunology , Mitochondrial Diseases/immunology , Phosphorylcholine/analogs & derivatives , Phosphorylcholine/therapeutic use , Polymethacrylic Acids/therapeutic use
7.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 2(1): 100062, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616571

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Little is known whether differences exist in virus shedding, immune and inflammatory response related to SARS-CoV-2 in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH). We assessed viral RNA and cytokine profiles of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection in Hong Kong. Methods: PLWH hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Hong Kong were included, compared with age-matched and disease severity-matched SARS-CoV-2 infected controls (ratio of 1:5) from February 1st 2020 to July 31st 2020. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by public health laboratory and virus concentration was quantified by an in-house real-time reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. A panel of cytokines and chemokines were performed. Results: HIV patients had a similar respiratory shedding profile compared to controls. Duration of faecal shedding of patient A, B, C and D were at least 9, 10, 33, and 11 days, respectively. HIV patients had lower plasma levels of IL-10 and NT-pro-BNP. All 4 PLWH cases showed seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 with anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies detected in serum collected between day 18 and 30 after symptom onset. Conclusions: PLWH behaves similarly with HIV-negative controls in respiratory viral load, but with decrease in IL-10 and NT-proBNP. PLWH may have a lower risk of immunostimulatory effect due to lower IL-10.

8.
EBioMedicine ; 71: 103544, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363987

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages with spike receptor binding domain (RBD) N501Y mutation have spread globally. We evaluated the impact of N501Y on neutralizing activity of COVID-19 convalescent sera and on anti-RBD IgG assays. METHODS: The susceptibility to neutralization by COVID-19 patients' convalescent sera from Hong Kong were compared between two SARS-CoV-2 isolates (B117-1/B117-2) from the α variant with N501Y and 4 non-N501Y isolates. The effect of N501Y on antibody binding was assessed. The performance of commercially-available IgG assays was determined for patients infected with N501Y variants. FINDINGS: The microneutralization antibody (MN) titers of convalescent sera from 9 recovered COVID-19 patients against B117-1 (geometric mean titer[GMT],80; 95% CI, 47-136) were similar to those against the non-N501Y viruses. However, MN titer of these serum against B117-2 (GMT, 20; 95% CI, 11-36) was statistically significantly reduced when compared with non-N501Y viruses (P < 0.01; one-way ANOVA). The difference between B117-1 and B117-2 was confirmed by testing 60 additional convalescent sera. B117-1 and B117-2 differ by only 3 amino acids (nsp2-S512Y, nsp13-K460R, spike-A1056V). Enzyme immunoassay using 272 convalescent sera showed reduced binding of anti-RBD IgG to N501Y or N501Y-E484K-K417N when compared with that of wild-type RBD (mean difference: 0.1116 and 0.5613, respectively; one-way ANOVA). Of 7 anti-N-IgG positive sera from patients infected with N501Y variants (collected 9-14 days post symptom onset), 6 (85.7%) tested negative for a commercially-available anti-S1-IgG assay. FUNDING: Richard and Carol Yu, Michael Tong, and the Government Consultancy Service (see acknowledgments for full list). INTERPRETATION: We highlighted the importance of using a panel of viruses within the same lineage to determine the impact of virus variants on neutralization. Furthermore, clinicians should be aware of the potential reduced sensitivity of anti-RBD IgG assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/ultrastructure , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation/genetics , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(1): 137-142, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291923

ABSTRACT

After 2 months of relative quiescence, a large coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak occurred in Hong Kong in July 2020 after gradual relaxation of social distancing policy. Unique severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) phylogenetic clusters have been identified among locally acquired cases, with most genomes belonging to cluster HK1, which is phylogenetically related to SARS-CoV-2 reported overseas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks , Hong Kong , Humans , Phylogeny
11.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(9): 2296-2305, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258058

ABSTRACT

The increasing numbers of infected cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses serious threats to public health and the global economy. Most SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies target the receptor binding domain (RBD) and some the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the spike protein, which is the major antigen of SARS-CoV-2. While the antibody response to RBD has been extensively characterized, the antigenicity and immunogenicity of the NTD protein are less well studied. Using 227 plasma samples from COVID-19 patients, we showed that SARS-CoV-2 NTD-specific antibodies could be induced during infection. As compared to the results of SARS-CoV-2 RBD, the serological response of SARS-CoV-2 NTD is less cross-reactive with SARS-CoV, a pandemic strain that was identified in 2003. Furthermore, neutralizing antibodies are rarely elicited in a mice model when NTD is used as an immunogen. We subsequently demonstrate that NTD has an altered antigenicity when expressed alone. Overall, our results suggest that while NTD offers a supplementary strategy for serology testing, it may not be suitable as an immunogen for vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Binding/immunology , Sf9 Cells , Vero Cells
12.
Cell Rep ; 35(8): 109173, 2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227991

ABSTRACT

Individuals with the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) show varying severity of the disease, ranging from asymptomatic to requiring intensive care. Although monoclonal antibodies specific to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been identified, we still lack an understanding of the overall landscape of B cell receptor (BCR) repertoires in individuals with COVID-19. We use high-throughput sequencing of bulk and plasma B cells collected at multiple time points during infection to characterize signatures of the B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 in 19 individuals. Using principled statistical approaches, we associate differential features of BCRs with different disease severity. We identify 38 significantly expanded clonal lineages shared among individuals as candidates for responses specific to SARS-CoV-2. Using single-cell sequencing, we verify the reactivity of BCRs shared among individuals to SARS-CoV-2 epitopes. Moreover, we identify the natural emergence of a BCR with cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 in some individuals. Our results provide insights important for development of rational therapies and vaccines against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , Epitopes , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Severity of Illness Index , Sf9 Cells , Single-Cell Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
13.
Am J Nephrol ; 52(2): 161-172, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150270

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Renal involvement in COVID-19 is less well characterized in settings with vigilant public health surveillance, including mass screening and early hospitalization. We assessed kidney complications among COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong, including the association with risk factors, length of hospitalization, critical presentation, and mortality. METHODS: Linked electronic records of all patients with confirmed COVID-19 from 5 major designated hospitals were extracted. Duplicated records due to interhospital transferal were removed. Primary outcome was the incidence of in-hospital acute kidney injury (AKI). Secondary outcomes were AKI-associated mortality, incident renal replacement therapy (RRT), intensive care admission, prolonged hospitalization and disease course (defined as >90th percentile of hospitalization duration [35 days] and duration from symptom onset to discharge [43 days], respectively), and change of estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Patients were further stratified into being symptomatic or asymptomatic. RESULTS: Patients were characterized by young age (median: 38.4, IQR: 28.4-55.8 years) and short time (median: 5, IQR: 2-9 days) from symptom onset to admission. Among the 591 patients, 22 (3.72%) developed AKI and 4 (0.68%) required RRT. The median time from symptom onset to in-hospital AKI was 15 days. AKI increased the odds of prolonged hospitalization and disease course by 2.0- and 3.5-folds, respectively. Estimated GFR 24 weeks post-discharge reduced by 7.51 and 1.06 mL/min/1.73 m2 versus baseline (upon admission) in the AKI and non-AKI groups, respectively. The incidence of AKI was comparable between asymptomatic (4.8%, n = 3/62) and symptomatic (3.7%, n = 19/519) patients. CONCLUSION: The overall rate of AKI among COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong is low, which could be attributable to a vigilant screening program and early hospitalization. Among patients who developed in-hospital AKI, the duration of hospitalization is prolonged and kidney function impairment can persist for up to 6 months post-discharge. Mass surveillance for COVID-19 is warranted in identifying asymptomatic subjects for earlier AKI management.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Renal Replacement Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Acute Kidney Injury/diagnosis , Acute Kidney Injury/immunology , Acute Kidney Injury/therapy , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Early Diagnosis , Female , Glomerular Filtration Rate/immunology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Incidence , Length of Stay , Male , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
14.
Lancet Microbe ; 1(1): e14-e23, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087358

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported from China in January, 2020. SARS-CoV-2 is efficiently transmitted from person to person and, in 2 months, has caused more than 82 000 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 2800 deaths in 46 countries. The total number of cases and deaths has surpassed that of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Although both COVID-19 and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) manifest as pneumonia, COVID-19 is associated with apparently more efficient transmission, fewer cases of diarrhoea, increased mental confusion, and a lower crude fatality rate. However, the underlying virus-host interactive characteristics conferring these observations on transmissibility and clinical manifestations of COVID-19 remain unknown. METHODS: We systematically investigated the cellular susceptibility, species tropism, replication kinetics, and cell damage of SARS-CoV-2 and compared findings with those for SARS-CoV. We compared SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV replication in different cell lines with one-way ANOVA. For the area under the curve comparison between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV replication in Calu3 (pulmonary) and Caco2 (intestinal) cells, we used Student's t test. We analysed cell damage induced by SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV with one-way ANOVA. FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 infected and replicated to comparable levels in human Caco2 cells and Calu3 cells over a period of 120 h (p=0·52). By contrast, SARS-CoV infected and replicated more efficiently in Caco2 cells than in Calu3 cells under the same multiplicity of infection (p=0·0098). SARS-CoV-2, but not SARS-CoV, replicated modestly in U251 (neuronal) cells (p=0·036). For animal species cell tropism, both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 replicated in non-human primate, cat, rabbit, and pig cells. SARS-CoV, but not SARS-CoV-2, infected and replicated in Rhinolophus sinicus bat kidney cells. SARS-CoV-2 consistently induced significantly delayed and milder levels of cell damage than did SARS-CoV in non-human primate cells (VeroE6, p=0·016; FRhK4, p=0·0004). INTERPRETATION: As far as we know, our study presents the first quantitative data for tropism, replication kinetics, and cell damage of SARS-CoV-2. These data provide novel insights into the lower incidence of diarrhoea, decreased disease severity, and reduced mortality in patients with COVID-19, with respect to the pathogenesis and high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 compared with SARS-CoV. FUNDING: May Tam Mak Mei Yin, The Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Richard Yu and Carol Yu, Michael Seak-Kan Tong, Respiratory Viral Research Foundation, Hui Ming, Hui Hoy and Chow Sin Lan Charity Fund, Chan Yin Chuen Memorial Charitable Foundation, Marina Man-Wai Lee, The Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association South China Microbiology Research Fund, The Jessie & George Ho Charitable Foundation, Perfect Shape Medical, The Consultancy Service for Enhancing Laboratory Surveillance of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Research Capability on Antimicrobial Resistance for the Department of Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, The Theme-Based Research Scheme of the Research Grants Council, Sanming Project of Medicine in Shenzhen, and The High Level-Hospital Program, Health Commission of Guangdong Province, China.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS Virus , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Diarrhea , Humans , Kinetics , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2 , Swine , Tropism
16.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(9): 1350.e1-1350.e5, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-938847

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: SARS-CoV-2 has evolved rapidly into several genetic clusters. However, data on mutations during the course of infection are scarce. This study aims to determine viral genome diversity in serial samples of COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Targeted deep sequencing of the spike gene was performed on serial respiratory specimens from COVID-19 patients using nanopore and Illumina sequencing. Sanger sequencing was then performed to confirm the single nucleotide polymorphisms. RESULTS: A total of 28 serial respiratory specimens from 12 patients were successfully sequenced using nanopore and Illumina sequencing. A 75-year-old patient with severe disease had a mutation, G22017T, identified in the second specimen. The frequency of G22017T increased from ≤5% (nanopore: 3.8%; Illumina: 5%) from the first respiratory tract specimen (sputum) to ≥60% (nanopore: 67.7%; Illumina: 60.4%) in the second specimen (saliva; collected 2 days after the first specimen). The difference in G22017T frequency was also confirmed by Sanger sequencing. G22017T corresponds to W152L amino acid mutation in the spike protein which was only found in <0.03% of the sequences deposited into a public database. Spike amino acid residue 152 is located within the N-terminal domain, which mediates the binding of a neutralizing antibody. DISCUSSION: A spike protein amino acid mutation W152L located within a neutralizing epitope has appeared naturally in a patient. Our study demonstrated that monitoring of serial specimens is important in identifying hotspots of mutations, especially those occurring at neutralizing epitopes which may affect the therapeutic efficacy of monoclonal antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes/genetics , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Female , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Nanopore Sequencing , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/virology , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
ArXiv ; 2020 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-887871

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 patients show varying severity of the disease ranging from asymptomatic to requiring intensive care. Although a number of monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 have been identified, we still lack an understanding of the overall landscape of B-cell receptor (BCR) repertoires in COVID-19 patients. Here, we used high-throughput sequencing of BCR repertoires collected over multiple time points during an infection to characterize statistical and dynamical signatures of the B-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 in 19 patients with different disease severities. Based on principled statistical approaches, we determined differential sequence features of BCRs associated with different disease severity. We identified 34 significantly expanded rare clonal lineages shared among patients as candidates for a specific response to SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, we identified natural emergence of a BCR with cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in a number of patients. Overall, our results provide important insights for development of rational therapies and vaccines against COVID-19.

19.
JAMA ; 324(11): 1048-1057, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-762932

ABSTRACT

Importance: Remdesivir demonstrated clinical benefit in a placebo-controlled trial in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but its effect in patients with moderate disease is unknown. Objective: To determine the efficacy of 5 or 10 days of remdesivir treatment compared with standard care on clinical status on day 11 after initiation of treatment. Design, Setting, and Participants: Randomized, open-label trial of hospitalized patients with confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and moderate COVID-19 pneumonia (pulmonary infiltrates and room-air oxygen saturation >94%) enrolled from March 15 through April 18, 2020, at 105 hospitals in the United States, Europe, and Asia. The date of final follow-up was May 20, 2020. Interventions: Patients were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to receive a 10-day course of remdesivir (n = 197), a 5-day course of remdesivir (n = 199), or standard care (n = 200). Remdesivir was dosed intravenously at 200 mg on day 1 followed by 100 mg/d. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was clinical status on day 11 on a 7-point ordinal scale ranging from death (category 1) to discharged (category 7). Differences between remdesivir treatment groups and standard care were calculated using proportional odds models and expressed as odds ratios. An odds ratio greater than 1 indicates difference in clinical status distribution toward category 7 for the remdesivir group vs the standard care group. Results: Among 596 patients who were randomized, 584 began the study and received remdesivir or continued standard care (median age, 57 [interquartile range, 46-66] years; 227 [39%] women; 56% had cardiovascular disease, 42% hypertension, and 40% diabetes), and 533 (91%) completed the trial. Median length of treatment was 5 days for patients in the 5-day remdesivir group and 6 days for patients in the 10-day remdesivir group. On day 11, patients in the 5-day remdesivir group had statistically significantly higher odds of a better clinical status distribution than those receiving standard care (odds ratio, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.09-2.48; P = .02). The clinical status distribution on day 11 between the 10-day remdesivir and standard care groups was not significantly different (P = .18 by Wilcoxon rank sum test). By day 28, 9 patients had died: 2 (1%) in the 5-day remdesivir group, 3 (2%) in the 10-day remdesivir group, and 4 (2%) in the standard care group. Nausea (10% vs 3%), hypokalemia (6% vs 2%), and headache (5% vs 3%) were more frequent among remdesivir-treated patients compared with standard care. Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with moderate COVID-19, those randomized to a 10-day course of remdesivir did not have a statistically significant difference in clinical status compared with standard care at 11 days after initiation of treatment. Patients randomized to a 5-day course of remdesivir had a statistically significant difference in clinical status compared with standard care, but the difference was of uncertain clinical importance. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04292730.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/administration & dosage , Adenosine Monophosphate/adverse effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Administration, Intravenous , Aged , Alanine/administration & dosage , Alanine/adverse effects , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Drug Administration Schedule , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , Patient Acuity , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(16)2020 Aug 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-714483

ABSTRACT

Sensitive molecular assays are critical for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosis. Here, we designed and evaluated two single-tube nested (STN) real-time RT-PCR assays, targeting SARS-CoV-2 RdRp/Hel and N genes. Both STN assays had a low limit of detection and did not cross react with other human coronaviruses and respiratory viruses. Using 213 initial respiratory specimens from suspected COVID-19 patients, the sensitivity of both the STN COVID-19-RdRp/Hel and the STN COVID-19-N assays was 100% (99/99), while that of the comparator non-nested N assay was 95% (94/99). Among 108 follow-up specimens from confirmed COVID-19 patients who tested negative by the non-nested COVID-19-RdRp/Hel assay, 28 (25.9%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by the STN COVID-19-RdRp/Hel or the STN COVID-19-N assay. To evaluate the performance of our novel STN assays in pooled specimens, we created four sample pools, with each pool consisting of one low positive specimen and 49 negative specimens. While the non-nested COVID-19-RdRp/Hel assay was positive in only one of four sample pools (25%), both of the STN assays were positive in two of four samples pools (50%). In conclusion, the STN assays are highly sensitive and specific for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Their boosted sensitivity offers advantages in non-traditional COVID-19 testing algorithms such as saliva screening and pooled sample screening during massive screening.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/standards , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
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