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1.
Allergy ; 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909311

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (Comirnaty, BioNTech/Pfizer) and the vaccine candidate CVnCoV (Curevac) each encode a stabilized spike protein of SARS-CoV2 as antigen but differ with respect to the nature of the mRNA (modified versus unmodified nucleotides) and the mRNA amount (30 µg versus 12 µg RNA). This study characterizes antisera elicited by these two vaccines in comparison to convalescent sera. METHODS: Sera from BNT162b2 vaccinated healthcare workers, and sera from participants of a phase I trial vaccinated with 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 µg CVnCoV and convalescent sera from hospitalized patients were analyzed by ELISA, neutralization tests, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and peptide arrays. RESULTS: BNT162b2-elicited sera and convalescent sera have a higher titer of spike-RBD-specific antibodies and neutralizing antibodies as compared to the CVnCoV-elicited sera. For all analyzed sera a reduction in binding and neutralizing antibodies was found for the lineage B.1.351 variant of concern. SPR analyses revealed that the CVnCoV-elicited sera have a lower fraction of slow-dissociating antibodies. Accordingly, the CVnCoV sera almost fail to compete with the spike-ACE2 interaction. The significance of common VOC mutations K417N, E484K, or N501Y focused on linear epitopes was analyzed using a peptide array approach. The peptide arrays showed a strong difference between convalescent sera and vaccine-elicited sera. Specifically, the linear epitope at position N501 was affected by the mutation and elucidates the escape of viral variants to antibodies against this linear epitope. CONCLUSION: These data reveal differences in titer, neutralizing capacity, and affinity of the antibodies between BNT162b2- and CVnCoV-elicited sera, which could contribute to the apparent differences in vaccine efficacy.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908772

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Comprehensive pathogen genomic surveillance represents a powerful tool to complement and advance precision vaccinology. The emergence of the Alpha variant in December 2020 and the resulting efforts to track the spread of this and other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern led to an expansion of genomic sequencing activities in Germany. METHODS: At Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German National Institute of Public Health, we established the "Integrated Molecular Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2" (IMS-SC2) network to perform SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance at the national scale, SARS-CoV-2 positive samples from laboratories distributed across Germany regularly undergo whole-genome sequencing at RKI. RESULTS: We report analyses of 3,623 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected between December 2020 and December 2021, of which 3,282 were randomly sampled. All variants of concern were identified in the sequenced sample set, at ratios equivalent to those in the 100-fold larger German GISAID sequence dataset from the same time period. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed variant assignments. Multiple mutations of concern emerged during the observation period. To model vaccine effectiveness in vitro, we employed authentic-virus neutralization assays, confirming that both the Beta and Zeta variants are capable of immune evasion. The IMS-SC2 sequence dataset facilitated an estimate of the SARS-CoV-2 incidence based on genetic evolution rates. Together with modelled vaccine efficacies, Delta-specific incidence estimation indicated that the German vaccination campaign contributed substantially to a deceleration of the nascent German Delta wave. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 molecular and genomic surveillance may inform public health policies including vaccination strategies and enable a proactive approach to controlling COVID-19 spread as the virus evolves.

3.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(5): 854-857, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822050

ABSTRACT

Based on our national outpatient sentinel surveillance, we have developed a novel approach to determine respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) epidemic seasons in Germany by using RSV positivity rate and its lower limit of 95% confidence interval. This method was evaluated retrospectively on nine RSV seasons, and it is also well-suited to describe off-season circulation of RSV in near real time as observed for seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prospective application is of crucial importance to enable timely actions for health service delivery and prevention.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , COVID-19 , Confidence Intervals , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics , Retrospective Studies , Seasons
4.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1293-1307, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788441

ABSTRACT

N-chlorotaurine (NCT) a long-lived oxidant generated by leukocytes, can be synthesized chemically and applied topically as an anti-infective to different body sites, including the lung via inhalation. Here, we demonstrate the activity of NCT against viruses causing acute respiratory tract infections, namely severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), influenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Virucidal activity of NCT was tested in plaque assays, confirmed by RT-qPCR assays. Attack on virus proteins was investigated by mass spectrometry. NCT revealed broad virucidal activity against all viruses tested at 37°C and pH 7. A significant reduction in infectious particles of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from early 2020 by 1 log10 was detected after 15 min of incubation in 1% NCT. Proteinaceous material simulating body fluids enhanced this activity by transchlorination mechanisms (1 -2 log10 reduction within 1-10 min). Tested SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (Alpha) und B.1.351 (Beta) showed a similar susceptibility. Influenza virus infectious particles were reduced by 3 log10 (H3N2) to 5 log10 (H1N1pdm), RSV by 4 log10 within a few min. Mass spectrometry of NCT-treated SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and 3C-like protease, influenza virus haemagglutinin and neuraminidase, and RSV fusion glycoprotein disclosed multiple sites of chlorination and oxidation as the molecular mechanism of action. Application of 1.0% NCT as a prophylactic and therapeutic strategy against acute viral respiratory tract infections deserves comprehensive clinical investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Taurine/analogs & derivatives
5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328853

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants of concern remain a major threat for global health. Here we introduce a novel infection model based upon polarized human Alveolar Epithelial Lentivirus immortalized (hAELVi) cells grown at the air-liquid interface to estimate replication and epidemic potential of respiratory viruses in the human lower respiratory tract. hAELVI cultures are highly permissive for different human coronaviruses and seasonal influenza A virus and upregulate various mediators following virus infection. Our analysis revealed a significantly reduced capacity of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant to propagate in this human model compared to earlier D614G and Delta variants, which extends early risk assessments from epidemiological and animal studies suggesting a reduced pathogenicity of Omicron.

6.
O'Toole, Áine, Hill, Verity, Pybus, Oliver, Watts, Alexander, Bogoch, Issac, Khan, Kamran, Messina, Jane, Tegally, Houriiyah, Lessells, Richard, Giandhari, Jennifer, Pillay, Sureshnee, Tumedi, Kefentse Arnold, Nyepetsi, Gape, Kebabonye, Malebogo, Matsheka, Maitshwarelo, Mine, Madisa, Tokajian, Sima, Hassan, Hamad, Salloum, Tamara, Merhi, Georgi, Koweyes, Jad, Geoghegan, Jemma, de Ligt, Joep, Ren, Xiaoyun, Storey, Matthew, Freed, Nikki, Pattabiraman, Chitra, Prasad, Pramada, Desai, Anita, Vasanthapuram, Ravi, Schulz, Thomas, Steinbrück, Lars, Stadler, Tanja, Parisi, Antonio, Bianco, Angelica, García de Viedma, Darío, Buenestado-Serrano, Sergio, Borges, Vítor, Isidro, Joana, Duarte, Sílvia, Gomes, João Paulo, Zuckerman, Neta, Mandelboim, Michal, Mor, Orna, Seemann, Torsten, Arnott, Alicia, Draper, Jenny, Gall, Mailie, Rawlinson, William, Deveson, Ira, Schlebusch, Sanmarié, McMahon, Jamie, Leong, Lex, Lim, Chuan Kok, Chironna, Maria, Loconsole, Daniela, Bal, Antonin, Josset, Laurence, Holmes, Edward, St. George, Kirsten, Lasek-Nesselquist, Erica, Sikkema, Reina, Oude Munnink, Bas, Koopmans, Marion, Brytting, Mia, Sudha rani, V.; Pavani, S.; Smura, Teemu, Heim, Albert, Kurkela, Satu, Umair, Massab, Salman, Muhammad, Bartolini, Barbara, Rueca, Martina, Drosten, Christian, Wolff, Thorsten, Silander, Olin, Eggink, Dirk, Reusken, Chantal, Vennema, Harry, Park, Aekyung, Carrington, Christine, Sahadeo, Nikita, Carr, Michael, Gonzalez, Gabo, de Oliveira, Tulio, Faria, Nuno, Rambaut, Andrew, Kraemer, Moritz, The, Covid-Genomics U. K. consortium, Network for Genomic Surveillance in South, Africa, Brazil, U. K. Cadde Genomic Network, Swiss Viollier Sequencing, Consortium, Diego, Search Alliance San, National Virus Reference, Laboratory, Seq, Covid Spain, Danish Covid-19 Genome, Consortium, Communicable Diseases Genomic, Network, Dutch National, Sars-CoV-surveillance program, Division of Emerging Infectious, Diseases.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318194

ABSTRACT

Late in 2020, two genetically-distinct clusters of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) with mutations of biological concern were reported, one in the United Kingdom and one in South Africa. Using a combination of data from routine surveillance, genomic sequencing and international travel we track the international dispersal of lineages B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 (variant 501Y-V2). We account for potential biases in genomic surveillance efforts by including passenger volumes from location of where the lineage was first reported, London and South Africa respectively. Using the software tool grinch (global report investigating novel coronavirus haplotypes), we track the international spread of lineages of concern with automated daily reports, Further, we have built a custom tracking website (cov-lineages.org/global_report.html) which hosts this daily report and will continue to include novel SARS-CoV-2 lineages of concern as they are detected.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314788

ABSTRACT

N-chlorotaurine (NCT) is a long-lived oxidant generated in activated cells of the innate immune system, namely neutrophilic and eosinophilic granulocytes and monocytes. NCT acts as an antiseptic agent that can be synthesized chemically and applied topically on different infected body sites. Even treatment of the lower respiratory tract via inhalation, which has been in development in the last years, was well tolerated in a recent phase I clinical trial. In this study, we demonstrate the activity of NCT against viruses causing acute respiratory tract infections, in fact severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), influenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus. NCT revealed broad virucidal activity against all viruses tested. In the presence of organic proteinaceous material simulating body fluids, this activity was enhanced by transchlorination mechanisms so that significant inactivation of viruses could be achieved within 1 – 10 minutes. Inhalation of 1.0% NCT as a prophylactic and therapeutic strategy against acute viral respiratory tract infections deserves comprehensive clinical investigation.

8.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312513

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 utilizes the ACE2 transmembrane peptidase as essential cellular entry receptor. Several studies have suggested abundant ACE2 expression in the human lung, inferring strong permissiveness to SARS-CoV-2 infection with resultant alveolar damage and lung injury. Against this expectation, we provide evidence that ACE2 expression must be considered scarce, thereby limiting SARS-CoV-2 propagation in the human alveolus. Instead, spectral imaging of ex vivo infected human lungs and COVID-19 autopsy samples depicted that alveolar macrophages were frequently positive for SARS-CoV-2, indicating viral phagocytosis. Single-cell transcriptomics of SARS-CoV-2 infected human lung tissue further revealed strong inflammatory and anti-viral activation responses in macrophages and monocytes, comparable to those induced by MERS-CoV, but with virus-specific gene expression profiles. Collectively, our findings indicate that severe lung injury in COVID-19 likely results from an overwhelming immune activation rather than direct viral damage of the alveolar compartment.Funding: ACH, LES, SH were supported by Berlin University Alliance GC2 Global Health (Corona Virus Pre-Exploration Project). ACH, SH, TW and CD were supported by BMBF (RAPID) and ACH, SH by BMBF (alvBarriereCOVID-19). KH, LB, SL, SH, CD, TW, ACH were funded by BMBF (NFN-COVID 19, Organo-Strat). KH, NS, LES, MW, SH, ADG, CD, TW and ACH were supported by DFG (SFB-TR 84). ACH was supported by BIH, Charite 3R, and Charité-Zeiss MultiDim. KH was supported by BMBF (Camo-COVID-19). MW, NS and SH was supported by BMBF (PROVID). MW and NS was supported by BIH and BMBF (SYMPATH, CAPSyS, NAPKON). BO and DB were funded through the BIH Clinical Single Cell Bioinformatics Pipeline. LB was supported by the BMBF (CoIMMUNE), the DFG (KFO 342) and the IZKF of the Medical Faculty of the WWU. Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.Ethical Approval: The study was approved by the ethics committee at the Charité clinic (projects EA2/079/13) and Ärztekammer Westfalen-Lippe and of the Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität (AZ: 2016-265-f-S). Written informed consent was obtained from all patients.

9.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320953

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) can cause severe pneumonia in humans. The virus is enzootic in dromedary camels across the Middle East and Africa. It is acquired through animal contact and undergoes limited onward transmission particularly in hospitals. Because of this initial potential for human-to-human transmission, we monitor the virus for phenotypic changes related to its pandemic potential. Potential phenotypic changes have been suspected since the year 2015, when a novel recombinant clade (MERS-CoV lineage 5) caused large nosocomial outbreaks in Saudi Arabia and South Korea that effectively swept other, hitherto co-circulating viral lineages. To this day, lineage 5 remains the only circulating MERS-CoV lineage on the Arabian Peninsula. In spite of available sequence data, no studies of viral phenotype have been carried out to date. Here we performed a comprehensive in-vitro and ex-vivo comparison of live virus isolates taken in Saudi Arabia immediately before and after the shift toward lineage 5. We characterized seven isolates representing the recombination-parental lineage 3, eight isolates representing parental lineage 4, as well as eight isolates representing lineage 5. Replication of lineage 5 viruses is significantly increased over isolates from parental lineages in cell culture and ex-vivo lung models. Transcriptional profiling by real-time RT-PCR shows that several key immune genes (IFNb1, CCL5, IFNL1) are significantly less induced in lung cells infected with lineage 5 MERS-CoV compared to parental strains. In IFN receptor knock out cells, as well as under chemical inhibition of IFN signalling, the differences in replication level between lineage 5 and parental lineages are reduced, suggesting that phenotypic differences may be determined by IFN antagonism. Concordantly, lineage 5 shows increased resilience against interferon (IFN) pre-treatment of Calu-3 cells and maintains a 10-fold higher replication level under low and high concentrations of IFN. Reduced immune activation combined with enhanced virus replication and IFN resilience may explain the dominance of lineage 5 on the Arabian Peninsula. This phenotypic difference is highly relevant with regard to pandemic potential, and has remained undiscovered in spite of viral sequence surveillance.

10.
J Proteome Res ; 21(2): 459-469, 2022 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605127

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infections are characterized by remarkable differences, including infectivity and case fatality rate. The underlying mechanisms are not well understood, illustrating major knowledge gaps of coronavirus biology. In this study, protein expression of the SARS-CoV- and SARS-CoV-2-infected human lung epithelial cell line Calu-3 was analyzed using data-independent acquisition-mass spectrometry. This resulted in a comprehensive map of infection-related proteome-wide expression changes in human cells covering the quantification of 7478 proteins across four time points. Most notably, the activation of interferon type-I response was observed, which is surprisingly absent in several proteome studies. The data reveal that SARS-CoV-2 triggers interferon-stimulated gene expression much stronger than SARS-CoV, which reflects the already described differences in interferon sensitivity. Potentially, this may be caused by the enhanced abundance of the viral M protein of SARS-CoV in comparison to SARS-CoV-2, which is a known inhibitor of type I interferon expression. This study expands the knowledge on the host response to SARS-CoV-2 infections on a global scale using an infection model, which seems to be well suited to analyze the innate immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Epithelial Cells , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Lung , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Infect Dis ; 224(12): 2020-2024, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575544

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The upper respiratory tract (URT) is the primary entry site for severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other respiratory viruses, but its involvement in viral amplification and pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. METHODS: In this study, we investigated primary nasal epithelial cultures, as well as vital explanted tissues, to scrutinize the tropism of wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and the recently emerged B.1.1.7 variant. RESULTS: Our analyses revealed a widespread replication competence of SARS-CoV-2 in polarized nasal epithelium as well as in the examined URT and salivary gland tissues, which was also shared by the B.1.1.7 virus. CONCLUSIONS: In our analyses, we highlighted the active role of these anatomic sites in coronavirus disease 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Respiratory System/virology , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections , SARS-CoV-2 , Trachea
12.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 11: 100262, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499011
13.
J Infect Dis ; 224(12): 2020-2024, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470155

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The upper respiratory tract (URT) is the primary entry site for severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other respiratory viruses, but its involvement in viral amplification and pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. METHODS: In this study, we investigated primary nasal epithelial cultures, as well as vital explanted tissues, to scrutinize the tropism of wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and the recently emerged B.1.1.7 variant. RESULTS: Our analyses revealed a widespread replication competence of SARS-CoV-2 in polarized nasal epithelium as well as in the examined URT and salivary gland tissues, which was also shared by the B.1.1.7 virus. CONCLUSIONS: In our analyses, we highlighted the active role of these anatomic sites in coronavirus disease 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Respiratory System/virology , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections , SARS-CoV-2 , Trachea
14.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335229

ABSTRACT

Here, we report on the increasing frequency of the SARS-CoV-2 lineage A.27 in Germany during the first months of 2021. Genomic surveillance identified 710 A.27 genomes in Germany as of 2 May 2021, with a vast majority identified in laboratories from a single German state (Baden-Wuerttemberg, n = 572; 80.5%). Baden-Wuerttemberg is located near the border with France, from where most A.27 sequences were entered into public databases until May 2021. The first appearance of this lineage based on sequencing in a laboratory in Baden-Wuerttemberg can be dated to early January '21. From then on, the relative abundance of A.27 increased until the end of February but has since declined-meanwhile, the abundance of B.1.1.7 increased in the region. The A.27 lineage shows a mutational pattern typical of VOIs/VOCs, including an accumulation of amino acid substitutions in the Spike glycoprotein. Among those, L18F, L452R and N501Y are located in the epitope regions of the N-terminal- (NTD) or receptor binding domain (RBD) and have been suggested to result in immune escape and higher transmissibility. In addition, A.27 does not show the D614G mutation typical for all VOIs/VOCs from the B lineage. Overall, A.27 should continue to be monitored nationally and internationally, even though the observed trend in Germany was initially displaced by B.1.1.7 (Alpha), while now B.1.617.2 (Delta) is on the rise.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Amino Acid Substitution , COVID-19/epidemiology , France/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
15.
Microorganisms ; 9(7)2021 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323308

ABSTRACT

Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) are important causes of respiratory illness, especially in young children. However, surveillance for HPIV is rarely performed continuously, and national-level epidemiologic and genetic data are scarce. Within the German sentinel system, to monitor acute respiratory infections (ARI), 4463 respiratory specimens collected from outpatients < 5 years of age between October 2015 and September 2019 were retrospectively screened for HPIV 1-4 using real-time PCR. HPIV was identified in 459 (10%) samples. HPIV-3 was the most common HPIV-type, with 234 detections, followed by HPIV-1 (113), HPIV-4 (61), and HPIV-2 (49). HPIV-3 was more frequently associated with age < 2 years, and HPIV-4 was more frequently associated with pneumonia compared to other HPIV types. HPIV circulation displayed distinct seasonal patterns, which appeared to vary by type. Phylogenetic characterization clustered HPIV-1 in Clades 2 and 3. Reclassification was performed for HPIV-2, provisionally assigning two distinct HPIV-2 groups and six clades, with German HPIV-2s clustering in Clade 2.4. HPIV-3 clustered in C1, C3, C5, and, interestingly, in A. HPIV-4 clustered in Clades 2.1 and 2.2. The results of this study may serve to inform future approaches to diagnose and prevent HPIV infections, which contribute substantially to ARI in young children in Germany.

16.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 6: 100112, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260816

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the initial COVID-19 response, Germany's Federal Government implemented several nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that were instrumental in suppressing early exponential spread of SARS-CoV-2. NPI effect on the transmission of other respiratory viruses has not been examined at the national level thus far. METHODS: Upper respiratory tract specimens from 3580 patients with acute respiratory infection (ARI), collected within the nationwide German ARI Sentinel, underwent RT-PCR diagnostics for multiple respiratory viruses. The observation period (weeks 1-38 of 2020) included the time before, during and after a far-reaching contact ban. Detection rates for different viruses were compared to 2017-2019 sentinel data (15350 samples; week 1-38, 11823 samples). FINDINGS: The March 2020 contact ban, which was followed by a mask mandate, was associated with an unprecedented and sustained decline of multiple respiratory viruses. Among these, rhinovirus was the single agent that resurged to levels equalling those of previous years. Rhinovirus rebound was first observed in children, after schools and daycares had reopened. By contrast, other nonenveloped viruses (i.e. gastroenteritis viruses reported at the national level) suppressed after the shutdown did not rebound. INTERPRETATION: Contact restrictions with a subsequent mask mandate in spring may substantially reduce respiratory virus circulation. This reduction appears sustained for most viruses, indicating that the activity of influenza and other respiratory viruses during the subsequent winter season might be low,whereas rhinovirus resurgence, potentially driven by transmission in educational institutions in a setting of waning population immunity, might signal predominance of rhinovirus-related ARIs. FUNDING: Robert Koch-Institute and German Ministry of Health.

17.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(4): 395-402, 2021 Apr.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196564

ABSTRACT

As part of the national influenza pandemic preparedness, surveillance systems have been established in Germany in addition to the mandatory notifications according to the Protection Against Infection Act. The aim of these systems is the description, analysis, and evaluation of the epidemiology of acute respiratory infections (ARIs), the identification of the circulating viruses, and the trend. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the systems have been expanded to enable monitoring of infections with SARS-CoV­2.Three systems are presented: GrippeWeb, the primary care sentinel Arbeitsgemeinschaft Influenza with its electronic reporting module SEEDARE, and the ICD-10-based hospital sentinel ICOSARI. With these systems, ARIs can be monitored at the population, outpatient, and inpatient levels. In combination with the monitoring of mortality, these systems provide important information on the frequency of different stages of disease severity in the population. In order to expand the systems to SARS-CoV­2, only a few adjustments were needed.As the case definitions for ARIs were preserved, historical baselines of the systems can still be used for comparison. All systems are structured in such a way that stable and established reference values are available for calculating weekly proportions and rates.This is an important addition to the mandatory reporting system of infectious diseases in Germany, which depends on the particular testing strategy, the number of tests performed, and on specific case definitions, which are adapted as required.The surveillance systems have proven to be feasible and efficient in the COVID-19 pandemic, even when compared internationally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
18.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(3)2021 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125060

ABSTRACT

During the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, robust detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a key element for clinical management and to interrupt transmission chains. We organized an external quality assessment (EQA) of molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 for European expert laboratories. An EQA panel composed of 12 samples, containing either SARS-CoV-2 at different concentrations to evaluate sensitivity or other respiratory viruses to evaluate specificity of SARS-CoV-2 testing, was distributed to 68 laboratories in 35 countries. Specificity samples included seasonal human coronaviruses hCoV-229E, hCoV-NL63, and hCoV-OC43, as well as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), SARS-CoV, and human influenza viruses A and B. Sensitivity results differed among laboratories, particularly for low-concentration SARS-CoV-2 samples. Results indicated that performance was mostly independent of the selection of specific extraction or PCR methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus 229E, Human , Coronavirus NL63, Human , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Humans , Influenzavirus A , Influenzavirus B , Laboratories , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
19.
Sci Adv ; 7(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066783

ABSTRACT

Here, we report the topology-matched design of heteromultivalent nanostructures as potent and broad-spectrum virus entry inhibitors based on the host cell membrane. Initially, we investigate the virus binding dynamics to validate the better binding performance of the heteromultivalent moieties as compared to homomultivalent ones. The heteromultivalent binding moieties are transferred to nanostructures with a bowl-like shape matching the viral spherical surface. Unlike the conventional homomultivalent inhibitors, the heteromultivalent ones exhibit a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 32.4 ± 13.7 µg/ml due to the synergistic multivalent effects and the topology-matched shape. At a dose without causing cellular toxicity, >99.99% reduction of virus propagation has been achieved. Since multiple binding sites have also been identified on the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), we envision that the use of heteromultivalent nanostructures may also be applied to develop a potent inhibitor to prevent coronavirus infection.


Subject(s)
Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Influenza, Human/virology , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Neuraminidase/chemistry , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Dogs , Erythrocyte Membrane/virology , Humans , Influenza A virus/physiology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virion , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
20.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(3)2021 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-966598

ABSTRACT

During the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, robust detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a key element for clinical management and to interrupt transmission chains. We organized an external quality assessment (EQA) of molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 for European expert laboratories. An EQA panel composed of 12 samples, containing either SARS-CoV-2 at different concentrations to evaluate sensitivity or other respiratory viruses to evaluate specificity of SARS-CoV-2 testing, was distributed to 68 laboratories in 35 countries. Specificity samples included seasonal human coronaviruses hCoV-229E, hCoV-NL63, and hCoV-OC43, as well as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), SARS-CoV, and human influenza viruses A and B. Sensitivity results differed among laboratories, particularly for low-concentration SARS-CoV-2 samples. Results indicated that performance was mostly independent of the selection of specific extraction or PCR methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus 229E, Human , Coronavirus NL63, Human , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Humans , Influenzavirus A , Influenzavirus B , Laboratories , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
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