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1.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(11): 2198-2205, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054906

ABSTRACT

Japan has reported a relatively small number of COVID-19 cases. Because not all infected persons receive diagnostic tests for COVID-19, the reported number must be lower than the actual number of infections. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence by analyzing >60,000 samples collected in Japan (Tokyo Metropolitan Area and Hokkaido Prefecture) during February 2020-March 2022. The results showed that ≈3.8% of the population had become seropositive by January 2021. The seroprevalence increased with the administration of vaccinations; however, among the elderly, seroprevalence was not as high as the vaccination rate. Among children, who were not eligible for vaccination, infection was spread during the epidemic waves caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variants. Nevertheless, seroprevalence for unvaccinated children <5 years of age was as low as 10% as of March 2022. Our study underscores the low incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Japan and the effects of vaccination on immunity at the population level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Japan/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Antibodies, Viral , Vaccination
2.
mSphere ; 7(4): e0008622, 2022 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1986334

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads by airborne transmission; therefore, the development and functional evaluation of air-cleaning technologies are essential for infection control. Air filtration using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters may be effective; however, no quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of these filters in the removal of infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from the air has been reported. To evaluate the removal effect of HEPA filtration on airborne SARS-CoV-2, here, we disseminated infectious SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in a test chamber in a biosafety level 3 facility and filtered the air with a HEPA-filtered air cleaner in the chamber. The air cleaner with the HEPA filter continuously removed the infectious SARS-CoV-2 from the air in a running-time-dependent manner, and the virus capture ratios were 85.38%, 96.03%, and >99.97% at 1, 2, and 7.1 ventilation volumes, respectively. The air-cleaning performance of a HEPA filter coated with an antiviral agent consisting mainly of a monovalent copper compound was also evaluated, and the capture ratio was found to be comparable to that of the conventional HEPA filter. This study provides insights into the proper use and performance of HEPA-filtered air cleaners to prevent the spread of COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Air filtration simulation experiments quantitatively showed that an air cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter can continuously remove SARS-CoV-2 from the air. The capture ratios for SARS-CoV-2 in the air when the air cleaner was equipped with an antiviral-agent-coated HEPA filter were comparable to those with the conventional HEPA filter, and there was little effect on SARS-CoV-2 in the air that passed through the antiviral-reagent-coated HEPA filter.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Air Conditioning , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/prevention & control , Filtration , Humans
3.
Nature ; 607(7917): 119-127, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915276

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529 lineage) variants possessing numerous mutations has raised concerns of decreased effectiveness of current vaccines, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs for COVID-19 against these variants1,2. The original Omicron lineage, BA.1, prevailed in many countries, but more recently, BA.2 has become dominant in at least 68 countries3. Here we evaluated the replicative ability and pathogenicity of authentic infectious BA.2 isolates in immunocompetent and human ACE2-expressing mice and hamsters. In contrast to recent data with chimeric, recombinant SARS-CoV-2 strains expressing the spike proteins of BA.1 and BA.2 on an ancestral WK-521 backbone4, we observed similar infectivity and pathogenicity in mice and hamsters for BA.2 and BA.1, and less pathogenicity compared with early SARS-CoV-2 strains. We also observed a marked and significant reduction in the neutralizing activity of plasma from individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 and vaccine recipients against BA.2 compared to ancestral and Delta variant strains. In addition, we found that some therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (REGN10987 plus REGN10933, COV2-2196 plus COV2-2130, and S309) and antiviral drugs (molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir and S-217622) can restrict viral infection in the respiratory organs of BA.2-infected hamsters. These findings suggest that the replication and pathogenicity of BA.2 is similar to that of BA.1 in rodents and that several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antiviral compounds are effective against Omicron BA.2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Drug Combinations , Hydroxylamines , Indazoles , Lactams , Leucine , Mice , Nitriles , Proline , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Triazines , Triazoles
4.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(8): 1252-1258, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890192

ABSTRACT

The spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response. Here we assessed the efficacy of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) sublineage BA.1 variants in Syrian hamsters. Of the FDA-approved therapeutic mAbs tested (that is, REGN10987/REGN10933, COV2-2196/COV2-2130 and S309), only COV2-2196/COV2-2130 efficiently inhibited BA.1 replication in the lungs of hamsters, and this effect was diminished against a BA.1.1 variant possessing the S-R346K substitution. In addition, treatment of BA.1-infected hamsters with molnupiravir (a SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor) or S-217622 (a SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitor) strongly reduced virus replication in the lungs. These findings suggest that the use of therapeutic mAbs in Omicron-infected patients should be carefully considered due to mutations that affect efficacy, and demonstrate that the antiviral compounds molnupiravir and S-217622 are effective against Omicron BA.1 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus , RNA, Viral
5.
Nature ; 603(7902): 687-692, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641974

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant1,2, has raised concerns of escape from protection by vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. A key test for potential countermeasures against B.1.1.529 is their activity in preclinical rodent models of respiratory tract disease. Here, using the collaborative network of the SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution (SAVE) programme of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), we evaluated the ability of several B.1.1.529 isolates to cause infection and disease in immunocompetent and human ACE2 (hACE2)-expressing mice and hamsters. Despite modelling data indicating that B.1.1.529 spike can bind more avidly to mouse ACE2 (refs. 3,4), we observed less infection by B.1.1.529 in 129, C57BL/6, BALB/c and K18-hACE2 transgenic mice than by previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, with limited weight loss and lower viral burden in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. In wild-type and hACE2 transgenic hamsters, lung infection, clinical disease and pathology with B.1.1.529 were also milder than with historical isolates or other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Overall, experiments from the SAVE/NIAID network with several B.1.1.529 isolates demonstrate attenuated lung disease in rodents, which parallels preliminary human clinical data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Viral Load
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276013

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a key role in viral infectivity. It is also the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response, specifically, the production of neutralizing antibodies. Recently, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 possessing multiple mutations in the S protein, designated P.1, emerged in Brazil. Here, we characterized a P.1 variant isolated in Japan by using Syrian hamsters, a well-established small animal model for the study of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19). In hamsters, the variant showed replicative abilities and pathogenicity similar to those of early and contemporary strains (i.e., SARS-CoV-2 bearing aspartic acid [D] or glycine [G] at position 614 of the S protein). Sera and/or plasma from convalescent patients and BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccinees showed comparable neutralization titers across the P.1 variant, S-614D, and S-614G strains. In contrast, the S-614D and S-614G strains were less well recognized than the P.1 variant by serum from a P.1-infected patient. Prior infection with S-614D or S-614G strains efficiently prevented the replication of the P.1 variant in the lower respiratory tract of hamsters upon reinfection. In addition, passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies to hamsters infected with the P.1 variant or the S-614G strain led to reduced virus replication in the lower respiratory tract. However, the effect was less pronounced against the P.1 variant than the S-614G strain. These findings suggest that the P.1 variant may be somewhat antigenically different from the early and contemporary strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , X-Ray Microtomography
7.
Viruses ; 12(12)2020 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970091

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR)-based tests are widely used to diagnose coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As a result that these tests cannot be done in local clinics where RT-qPCR testing capability is lacking, rapid antigen tests (RATs) for COVID-19 based on lateral flow immunoassays are used for rapid diagnosis. However, their sensitivity compared with each other and with RT-qPCR and infectious virus isolation has not been examined. Here, we compared the sensitivity among four RATs by using severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) isolates and several types of COVID-19 patient specimens and compared their sensitivity with that of RT-qPCR and infectious virus isolation. Although the RATs read the samples containing large amounts of virus as positive, even the most sensitive RAT read the samples containing small amounts of virus as negative. Moreover, all RATs tested failed to detect viral antigens in several specimens from which the virus was isolated. The current RATs will likely miss some COVID-19 patients who are shedding infectious SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , False Negative Reactions , Humans , Immunoassay , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
8.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(28): 16587-16595, 2020 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611003

ABSTRACT

At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) was detected in Wuhan, China, that spread rapidly around the world, with severe consequences for human health and the global economy. Here, we assessed the replicative ability and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates in Syrian hamsters. SARS-CoV-2 isolates replicated efficiently in the lungs of hamsters, causing severe pathological lung lesions following intranasal infection. In addition, microcomputed tomographic imaging revealed severe lung injury that shared characteristics with SARS-CoV-2-infected human lung, including severe, bilateral, peripherally distributed, multilobular ground glass opacity, and regions of lung consolidation. SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters mounted neutralizing antibody responses and were protected against subsequent rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passive transfer of convalescent serum to naïve hamsters efficiently suppressed the replication of the virus in the lungs even when the serum was administrated 2 d postinfection of the serum-treated hamsters. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that this Syrian hamster model will be useful for understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and testing vaccines and antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Ribonucleoproteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication , COVID-19 Serotherapy
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