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1.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2452: 75-98, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1844261

ABSTRACT

The pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the acute respiratory disease COVID-19, which has become a global concern due to its rapid spread and high mortality rate. Detection and quantification of the (+) ssRNA virus, which has a genome size of 29,903 nucleotides, is commonly performed via reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) targeting conserved sequences. Here, we describe a one-step RT-qPCR protocol for the quantitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA targeting M and RdRP genes, respectively, as well as active virus replication detecting subgenomic RNAs (sgRNA 4 and 8) that are formed by discontinuous transcription of the viral genome. Concomitantly, an input control targeting the human RNaseP gene (RPP30) was used in multiplex PCR to monitor the input of human nucleic acids. In vitro-transcribed RNA harboring the amplicon regions for M and RdRP regions served to set up a standard curve for absolute quantification.In conclusion, the method described here allows for the detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA isoforms for research by both using a probe-based or SYBR Green-based approach, but is also suitable for diagnostic purposes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335701

ABSTRACT

Combining optimized spike (S) protein-encoding mRNA vaccines to target multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants could improve COVID-19 control. We compared monovalent and bivalent mRNA vaccines encoding B.1.351 (Beta) and/or B.1.617.2 (Delta) SARS-CoV-2 S-protein, primarily in a transgenic mouse model and a Wistar rat model. The low-dose bivalent mRNA vaccine contained half the mRNA of each respective monovalent vaccine, but induced comparable neutralizing antibody titres, enrichment of lung-resident memory CD8 + T cells, specific CD4 + and CD8 + responses, and fully protected transgenic mice from SARS-CoV-2 lethality. The bivalent mRNA vaccine significantly reduced viral replication in both Beta- and Delta-challenged mice. Sera from bivalent mRNA vaccine immunized Wistar rats also contained neutralizing antibodies against the B.1.1.529 (Omicron BA.1) variant. These data suggest that low-dose and fit-for-purpose multivalent mRNA vaccines encoding distinct S-proteins is a feasible approach for increasing the potency of vaccines against emerging and co-circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335222

ABSTRACT

Variant of concern (VOC) Omicron-BA1 has achieved global predominance in early 2022. Therefore, surveillance and comprehensive characterization of Omicron-BA.1 in advanced primary cell culture systems and multiple animal models is urgently needed. Here, we characterized Omicron-BA.1 and recombinant Omicron-BA.1 spike gene mutants in comparison with VOC Delta in well-differentiated primary human nasal and bronchial epithelial cells in vitro, followed by in vivo fitness characterization in naïve hamsters, ferrets and hACE2-expressing mice, and in immunized hACE2-mice. We demonstrate a spike-mediated enhancement of early replication of Omicron-BA.1 in nasal epithelial cultures, but limited replication in bronchial epithelial cultures. In Syrian hamsters, Delta showed dominance over Omicron-BA.1 and in ferrets, Omicron-BA.1 infection was abortive. In mice expressing the authentic hACE2-receptor, Delta and a Delta spike clone also showed dominance over Omicron-BA.1 and an Omicron-BA.1 spike clone, respectively. Interestingly, in naïve K18-hACE2 mice, we observed Delta spike-mediated increased replication and pathogenicity and Omicron-BA.1 spike-mediated reduced replication and pathogenicity, suggesting that the spike gene is a major determinant of both Delta and Omicron-BA.1 replication and pathogenicity. Finally, the Omicron-BA.1 spike clone was less well controlled by mRNA-vaccination in K18-hACE2-mice and became more competitive compared to the progenitor and Delta spike clones, suggesting that spike gene-mediated immune evasion is another important factor that led to Omicron-BA.1 dominance.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331436

ABSTRACT

The recent surge of infections with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants of prompted countries, such as Israel and Germany, to call for an accelerated booster vaccination program for health care workers and vulnerable groups in order to limit disease and transmission. However, detailed studies analyzing the correlates of protection over time after second booster vaccination are still lacking. Here, we examined the production of Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) -specific antibodies as well as neutralizing antibodies from subjects before, two, and seven weeks after the second booster vaccination against the D614G harboring B.1 variant as well as the variants of concern (VOC) Alpha, Beta, Delta in addition to Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. The second booster vaccination resulted in an increase in anti-RBD IgG antibodies and neutralizing antibodies against B.1 in all individuals tested, then remained nearly constant over the observed period. In addition, a 2nd booster resulted in an increase in neutralizing antibodies against VOCs Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2. However, compared to B.1 the neutralizing capacity of both Omicron subvariants remained low. Neutralization of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 was limited even after the 2nd booster vaccination indicating that an antibody-mediated protection against infection with this VOC is unlikely, as evidenced by the fact that three of the quadruple vaccinated individuals became infected with BA.1 during the course of the study. Moreover, T cell activation measured by interferon gamma release was detected in all subjects after the 2nd booster vaccination. This may offer protection suggesting protection against severe disease. T-cell activation was independent of the age of the subjects, but correlated with the amount of Spike-specific antibodies. Interestingly, in subjects with Omicron BA.1 breakthrough infection, a significant increase in neutralizing antibodies to all tested VOCs studied was observed after the 2nd booster vaccination. Taken together, our data suggest inferior protection from breakthrough infection with the Omicron subvariant BA.1 when compared to other VOCs after four vaccine doses.

6.
Int J Infect Dis ; 118: 126-131, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712688

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: International travel poses the risk of importing SARS-CoV-2 infections and introducing new viral variants into the country of destination. Established measures include mandatory quarantine with the opportunity to abbreviate it with a negative rapid antigen test (RAT). METHODS: A total of 1,488 returnees were tested for SARS-CoV-2 with both PCR and RAT no earlier than 5 days after arrival. We assessed the sensitivity and specificity of the RAT. Positive samples were evaluated for infectivity in vitro in a cell culture outgrowth assay. We tracked if participants who tested negative were reported positive within 2 weeks of the initial test. RESULTS: Potential infectiousness was determined based on symptom onset analysis, resulting in a sensitivity of the antigen test of 89% in terms of infectivity. The specificity was 100%. All positive outgrowth assays were preceded by a positive RAT, indicating that all participants with proven in vitro infectivity were correctly identified. None of the negative participants tested positive during the follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: RAT no earlier than the 5th day after arrival was a reliable method for detecting infectious travellers and can be recommended as an appropriate method for managing SARS-CoV-2 travel restrictions. Compliance to the regulations and a high standard of test quality must be ensured.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Quarantine , Sensitivity and Specificity , Travel
7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321402

ABSTRACT

Main protease and papain-like protease (PLpro) are essential coronaviral enzymes required for polypeptide processing during viral maturation. PLpro additionally cleaves proteinous post-translational modifications from host proteins to evade anti-viral immune responses. Here, we provide biochemical, structural and functional characterizations of PLpro from SARS-CoV-2 (PLproCoV2) and reveal differences to that of SARS (PLproSARS) in controlling interferon (IFN) and NF-kB pathways. PLproCoV2 and PLproSARS share 83% sequence identity, yet they differ in their host substrate preferences: PLproCoV2 predominantly cleaves the ubiquitin-like protein ISG15 off from host proteins, while PLproSARS preferentially targets ubiquitin chains. The crystal structure of PLproCoV2 in complex with ISG15 explains the affinity and higher specificity through distinctive binding to ISG15’s unique amino-terminal ubiquitin-like domain, and enabled the identification of GRL-0617 as a non-covalent candidate inhibitor for PLproCoV2. In human cells, PLproCoV2 cleaves ISG15 from interferon responsive factor 3 (IRF3), blocks its nuclear translocation, and reduces type I interferon responses, whereas PLproSARS preferentially mediates deubiquitination of critical components of the NF-kB pathway. Pharmacological inhibition of PLproCoV2 blocks the virus-induced cytopathogenic effect upon infection with SARS-CoV-2, fosters the anti- viral interferon pathway and reduces viral release from infected cells. We propose that therapeutic targeting of PLproCoV2 can suppress SARS-CoV-2 infection and promote anti-viral immunity.

8.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307081

ABSTRACT

A novel coronavirus was recently discovered and termed SARS-CoV-2. Human infection can cause coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), for which, at this point, over 80,000 cases resulting in over 2,500 deaths have been reported in over 40 countries. SARS-CoV-2 shows some similarities to other coronaviruses. However, treatment options and a cellular understanding of SARS-CoV-2 infection are lacking. Here we identify the host cell pathways modulated by SARS-CoV-19 infection and reveal that drugs targeting pathways prevent viral replication in human cells. We established a human cell culture model for infection with SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolate. Employing this system, we determined the SARS-CoV-2 infection profile by translatome and proteome proteomics at different times after infection.These analyses revealed that SARS-CoV-2 reshapes central cellular pathways, such as translation, splicing, carbon metabolism and nucleic acid metabolism. Small molecule inhibitors targeting these pathways were tested in cellular infection assays and prevented viral replication. Our results reveal the cellular infection profile of SARS-CoV-2 and led to the identification of drugs inhibiting viral replication. We anticipate our results to guide efforts to develop therapy options for COVID-19.Authors Denisa Bojkova, Kevin Klann, and Benjamin Koch contributed equally to this workData associated with the preprint has been made available on the authors' website.

10.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(2): 195-199, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616988

ABSTRACT

Here we compared SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody and T-cell responses between older adults (>80 years old, n = 51) and a younger control group (20-53 years old, n = 46) after receiving two doses of BNT162b2. We found that responses in older adults were generally lower, and we identified 10% low-/non-responders. After receiving a third vaccination with BNT162b2, 4 out of 5 low-/non-responders showed antibody and T-cell responses similar to those of responders after two vaccinations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Secondary/methods , Immunization, Secondary/statistics & numerical data , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Young Adult
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297075

ABSTRACT

Due to numerous mutations in the spike protein, the SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern Omicron (B.1.1.529) raises serious concerns since it may significantly limit the antibody-mediated neutralization and increase the risk of reinfections. While a rapid increase in the number of cases is being reported worldwide, until now there has been uncertainty about the efficacy of vaccinations and monoclonal antibodies. Our in vitro findings using authentic SARS-CoV-2 variants indicate that in contrast to the currently circulating Delta variant, the neutralization efficacy of vaccine-elicited sera against Omicron was severely reduced highlighting T-cell mediated immunity as essential barrier to prevent severe COVID-19. Since SARS-CoV-2 Omicron was resistant to casirivimab and imdevimab genotyping of SARS-CoV-2 may be needed before initiating mAb treatment. Variant-specific vaccines and mAb agents may be required to treat Omicron and other emerging variants of concern.

12.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296314

ABSTRACT

The capacity of convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera and monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants is currently of high relevance to assess the protection against infections. We performed a cell culture-based neutralization assay focusing on authentic SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.617.1 (Kappa), B.1.617.2 (Delta), B.1.427/B.1.429 (Epsilon), all harboring the spike substitution L452R. We found that authentic SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring L452R had reduced susceptibility to convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera and mAbs. Compared to B.1, Kappa and Delta showed a reduced neutralization by convalescent sera by a factor of 8.00 and 5.33, respectively, which constitutes a 2-fold greater reduction when compared to Epsilon. BNT2b2 and mRNA1273 vaccine-elicited sera were less effective against Kappa, Delta, and Epsilon compared to B.1. No difference was observed between Kappa and Delta towards vaccine-elicited sera, whereas convalescent sera were 1.5-fold less effective against Delta, respectively. Both B.1.617 variants Kappa (+E484Q) and Delta (+T478K) were less susceptible to either casirivimab or imdevimab. In conclusion, in contrast to the parallel circulating Kappa variant, the neutralization efficiency of convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera against Delta was moderately reduced. Delta was resistant to imdevimab, which however, might be circumvented by a combination therapy with casirivimab together.

13.
J Infect Dis ; 224(7): 1109-1114, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470152

ABSTRACT

Whether monoclonal antibodies are able to neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern has been investigated using pseudoviruses. In this study we show that bamlanivimab, casirivimab, and imdevimab efficiently neutralize authentic SARS-CoV-2, including variant B.1.1.7 (alpha), but variants B.1.351 (beta) and P.2 (zeta) were resistant against bamlanivimab and partially resistant to casirivimab. Whether antibodies are able to neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variantshas been investigated using pseudoviruses. We show that authentic SARS-CoV-2 carrying E484K were resistant against bamlanivimab and less susceptible to casirivimab, convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Substitution , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Mutation, Missense , Neutralization Tests
14.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374534

ABSTRACT

The capacity of convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera and monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 variants is currently of high relevance to assess the protection against infections. We performed a cell culture-based neutralization assay focusing on authentic SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.617.1 (Kappa), B.1.617.2 (Delta), B.1.427/B.1.429 (Epsilon), all harboring the spike substitution L452R. We found that authentic SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring L452R had reduced susceptibility to convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera and mAbs. Compared to B.1, Kappa and Delta showed a reduced neutralization by convalescent sera by a factor of 8.00 and 5.33, respectively, which constitutes a 2-fold greater reduction when compared to Epsilon. BNT2b2 and mRNA1273 vaccine-elicited sera were less effective against Kappa, Delta, and Epsilon compared to B.1. No difference was observed between Kappa and Delta towards vaccine-elicited sera, whereas convalescent sera were 1.51-fold less effective against Delta, respectively. Both B.1.617 variants Kappa (+E484Q) and Delta (+T478K) were less susceptible to either casirivimab or imdevimab. In conclusion, in contrast to the parallel circulating Kappa variant, the neutralization efficiency of convalescent and vaccine-elicited sera against Delta was moderately reduced. Delta was resistant to imdevimab, which, however, might be circumvented by combination therapy with casirivimab together.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Alleles , Amino Acid Substitution , Cell Line , Genotype , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Neutralization Tests
15.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 701198, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359202

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the acute respiratory disease COVID-19, which has become a global concern due to its rapid spread. The common methods to monitor and quantitate SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in cell culture are so far time-consuming and labor-intensive. Using the Sleeping Beauty transposase system, we generated a robust and versatile cellular infection model that allows SARS-CoV-2 infection experiments compatible for high-throughput and live cell imaging. The model is based on lung derived A549 cells, which show a profound interferon response and convenient cell culture characteristics. ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were introduced for constitutive expression (A549-AT). Subclones with varying levels of ACE2/TMPRSS2 were screened for optimal SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility. Furthermore, extensive evaluation demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 infected A549-AT cells were distinguishable from mock-infected cells and already showed approximately 12 h post infection a clear signal to noise ratio in terms of cell roughness, fluorescence and a profound visible cytopathic effect. Moreover, due to the high transfection efficiency and proliferation capacity, Sleeping Beauty transposase-based overexpression cell lines with a second inducible fluorescence reporter cassette (eGFP) can be generated in a very short time, enabling the investigation of host and restriction factors in a doxycycline-inducible manner. Thus, the novel model cell line allows rapid and sensitive monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the screening for host factors essential for viral replication.

16.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335231

ABSTRACT

Despite the recent availability of vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is an urgent need for specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. Monoclonal neutralizing antibodies are an important drug class in the global fight against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic due to their ability to convey immediate protection and their potential to be used as both prophylactic and therapeutic drugs. Clinically used neutralizing antibodies against respiratory viruses are currently injected intravenously, which can lead to suboptimal pulmonary bioavailability and thus to a lower effectiveness. Here we describe DZIF-10c, a fully human monoclonal neutralizing antibody that binds the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. DZIF-10c displays an exceptionally high neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2, retains full activity against the variant of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 and still neutralizes the VOC B.1.351, although with reduced potency. Importantly, not only systemic but also intranasal application of DZIF-10c abolished the presence of infectious particles in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2 infected mice and mitigated lung pathology when administered prophylactically. Along with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, these results highlight DZIF-10c as a novel human SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody with high in vitro and in vivo antiviral potency. The successful intranasal application of DZIF-10c paves the way for clinical trials investigating topical delivery of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
Med Microbiol Immunol ; 210(4): 235-244, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1292088

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the acute respiratory disease COVID-19, which has become a global concern due to its rapid spread. Laboratory work with SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting was rated to biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) biocontainment level. However, certain research applications in particular in molecular biology require incomplete denaturation of the proteins, which might cause safety issues handling contaminated samples. In this study, we evaluated lysis buffers that are commonly used in molecular biological laboratories for their ability to inactivate SARS-CoV-2. In addition, viral stability in cell culture media at 4 °C and on display glass and plastic surfaces used in laboratory environment was analyzed. Furthermore, we evaluated chemical and non-chemical inactivation methods including heat inactivation, UV-C light, addition of ethanol, acetone-methanol, and PFA, which might be used as a subsequent inactivation step in the case of insufficient inactivation. We infected susceptible Caco-2 and Vero cells with pre-treated SARS-CoV-2 and determined the tissue culture infection dose 50 (TCID50) using crystal violet staining and microscopy. In addition, lysates of infected cells and virus containing supernatant were subjected to RT-qPCR analysis. We have found that guanidine thiocyanate and most of the tested detergent containing lysis buffers were effective in inactivation of SARS-CoV-2, however, the M-PER lysis buffer containing a proprietary detergent failed to inactivate the virus. In conclusion, careful evaluation of the used inactivation methods is required especially for non-denaturing buffers. Additional inactivation steps might be necessary before removal of lysed viral samples from BSL-3.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Guanidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thiocyanates/pharmacology , Virus Inactivation , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Containment of Biohazards , Humans , RNA, Viral , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Specimen Handling/methods , Time Factors , Vero Cells
18.
Microorganisms ; 9(4)2021 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167666

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: International travel is a major driver of the introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2. AIM: To investigate SARS-CoV-2 genetic diversity in the region of a major transport hub in Germany, we characterized the viral sequence diversity of the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in Frankfurt am Main, the city with the largest airport in Germany, from the end of October to the end of December 2020. METHODS: In total, we recovered 136 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from nasopharyngeal swab samples. We isolated 104 isolates that were grown in cell culture and RNA from the recovered viruses and subjected them to full-genome sequence analysis. In addition, 32 nasopharyngeal swab samples were directly sequenced. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: We found 28 different lineages of SARS-CoV-2 circulating during the study period, including the variant of concern B.1.1.7 (Δ69/70, N501Y). Six of the lineages had not previously been observed in Germany. We detected the spike protein (S) deletion Δ69/Δ70 in 15% of all sequences, a four base pair (bp) deletion (in 2.9% of sequences) and a single bp deletion (in 0.7% of sequences) in ORF3a, leading to ORF3a truncations. In four sequences (2.9%), an amino acid deletion at position 210 in S was identified. In a single sample (0.7%), both a 9 bp deletion in ORF1ab and a 7 bp deletion in ORF7a were identified. One sequence in lineage B.1.1.70 had an N501Y substitution while lacking the Δ69/70 in S. The high diversity of sequences observed over two months in Frankfurt am Main highlights the persisting need for continuous SARS-CoV-2 surveillance using full-genome sequencing, particularly in cities with international airport connections.

19.
J Clin Med ; 10(2)2021 Jan 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1076627

ABSTRACT

Due to globally rising numbers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, resources for real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR)-based testing have been exhausted. In order to meet the demands of testing and reduce transmission, SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) are being considered. These tests are fast, inexpensive, and simple to use, but whether they detect potentially infectious cases has not been well studied. We evaluated three lateral flow assays (RIDA®QUICK SARS-CoV-2 Antigen (R-Biopharm), SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test (Roche)), and NADAL® COVID-19 Ag Test (Nal von Minden GmbH, Regensburg, Germany) and one microfluidic immunofluorescence assay (SARS-CoV-2 Ag Test (LumiraDx GmbH, Cologne, Germany)) using 100 clinical samples. Diagnostic rRT-PCR and cell culture testing as a marker for infectivity were performed in parallel. The overall Ag-RDT sensitivity for rRT-PCR-positive samples ranged from 24.3% to 50%. However, for samples with a viral load of more than 6 log10 RNA copies/mL (22/100), typically seen in infectious individuals, Ag-RDT positivity was between 81.8% and 100%. Only 51.6% (33/64) of the rRT-PCR-positive samples were infectious in cell culture. In contrast, three Ag-RDTs demonstrated a more significant correlation with cell culture infectivity (61.8-82.4%). Our findings suggest that large-scale SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDT-based testing can be considered for detecting potentially infective individuals and reducing the virus spread.

20.
Bioinformatics ; 2021 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072346

ABSTRACT

MOTIVATION: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus currently causing a pandemic. Here, we performed a combined in-silico and cell culture comparison of SARS-CoV-2 and the closely related SARS-CoV. RESULTS: Many amino acid positions are differentially conserved between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, which reflects the discrepancies in virus behaviour, i.e. more effective human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and higher mortality associated with SARS-CoV. Variations in the S protein (mediates virus entry) were associated with differences in its interaction with ACE2 (cellular S receptor) and sensitivity to TMPRSS2 (enables virus entry via S cleavage) inhibition. Anti-ACE2 antibodies more strongly inhibited SARS-CoV than SARS-CoV-2 infection, probably due to a stronger SARS-CoV-2 S-ACE2 affinity relative to SARS-CoV S. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV displayed differences in cell tropism. Cellular ACE2 and TMPRSS2 levels did not indicate susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. In conclusion, we identified genomic variation between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV that may reflect the differences in their clinical and biological behaviour. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

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