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1.
Microbiol Spectr ; : e0056121, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546468

ABSTRACT

Vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 have been introduced. To investigate the relationship between vaccine-induced humoral immunity and patient age, we measured antibody levels and neutralization in vaccinated sera. Sera from 13 to 17 days after the second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine were collected from health care workers at the University of Toyama (n = 740). Antibody levels were measured by the anti-receptor binding domain antibody test (anti-RBD test), and neutralization against wild-type (WT), α- and ß-variant pseudotyped viruses were assayed using a high-throughput chemiluminescent reduction neutralizing test (htCRNT; positivity cutoff, 50% neutralization at serum dilution 1:100). Basic clinical characteristics were obtained from questionnaires. Antibodies were confirmed in all participants in both the anti-RBD test (median, 2,112 U/ml; interquartile range [IQR], 1,275 to 3,390 U/ml) and the htCRNT against WT (median % inhibition, >99.9; IQR, >99.9 to >99.9). For randomly selected sera (n = 61), 100.0% had positive htCRNT values against the α- and ß-derived variants. Among those who answered the questionnaire (n = 237), the values of the anti-RBD test were negatively correlated with age in females (P < 0.01). An age-dependent decline in neutralization was observed against the variants but not against the wild-type virus (wild type, P = 0.09; α, P < 0.01; ß, P < 0.01). The neutralizing activity induced by BNT162b2 was obtained not only against the wild-type virus, but also against the variants; however, there was an age-dependent decrease in the latter. Age-related heterogeneity of vaccine-acquired immunity is a concern in preventive strategies in the era dominated by variants. IMPORTANCE Since mRNA vaccines utilize wild-type SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as an antigen, there are potential concerns about acquiring immunity to variants of this virus. The neutralizing activity in BNT162b2-vaccinated individuals was higher against the wild-type virus than against its variants; this effect was more apparent in older age groups. This finding suggests that one of the weaknesses of the mRNA vaccine is the high risk of variant infection in the elderly population. Because the elderly are at a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the age-dependent decline of neutralization against viral variants should be considered while planning vaccination programs that include boosters.

2.
Microbiol Spectr ; : e0056021, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546467

ABSTRACT

Serological tests are beneficial for recognizing the immune response against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). To identify protective immunity, optimization of the chemiluminescent reduction neutralizing test (CRNT) is critical. Whether commercial antibody tests have comparable accuracy is unknown. Serum samples were obtained from COVID-19 patients (n = 74), SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative (n = 179), and suspected healthy individuals (n = 229) before SARS-CoV-2 variants had been detected locally. The convalescent phase was defined as the period after day 10 from disease onset or the episode of close contact. The CRNT using pseudotyped viruses displaying the wild-type (WT) spike protein and a commercial anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibody test were assayed. Serology for the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants was also assayed. Both tests concurred for symptomatic COVID-19 patients in the convalescent phase. They clearly differentiated between patients and suspected healthy individuals (sensitivity: 95.8% and 100%, respectively; specificity: 99.1% and 100%, respectively). Anti-RBD antibody test results correlated with neutralizing titers (r = 0.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.22-0.38). Compared with the WT, lower CRNT values were observed for the variants. Of the samples with ≥100 U/mL by the anti-RBD antibody test, 77.8% and 88.9% showed ≥50% neutralization against the B.1.1.7 and the B.1.351 variants, respectively. Exceeding 100 U/mL in the anti-RBD antibody test was associated with neutralization of variants (P < 0.01). The CRNT and commercial anti-RBD antibody test effectively classified convalescent COVID-19 patients. Strong positive results with the anti-RBD antibody test can reflect neutralizing activity against emerging variants. IMPORTANCE This study provides a diagnostic evidence of test validity, which can lead to vaccine efficacy and proof of recovery after COVID-19. It is not easy to know neutralization against SARS-CoV-2 in the clinical laboratory because of technical and biohazard issues. The correlation of the quantitative anti-receptor-binding domain antibody test, which is widely available, with neutralizing test indicates that we can know indirectly the state of acquisition of functional immunity against wild and variant-type viruses in the clinical laboratory.

3.
J Infect Chemother ; 2021 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510011

ABSTRACT

Genetic testing using reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) is the mainstay of diagnosis of COVID-19. However, it has not been fully investigated whether infectious viruses are contained in SARS-CoV-2 genome-positive specimens examined using the rRT-PCR test. In this study, we examined the correlation between the threshold Cycle (Ct) value obtained from the rRT-PCR test and virus isolation in cultured cells, using 533 consecutive clinical specimens of COVID-19 patients. The virus was isolated from specimens with a Ct value of less than 30 cycles, and the lower the Ct value, the more efficient the isolation rate. A cytopathic effect due to herpes simplex virus type 1 contamination was observed in one sample with a Ct value of 35 cycles. In a comparison of VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells and VeroE6 cells used for virus isolation, VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells isolated the virus 1.7 times more efficiently than VeroE6 cells. There was no significant difference between the two cells in the mean Ct value of the detectable sample. In conclusion, Lower Ct values in the PCR test were associated with higher virus isolation rates, and VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells were able to isolate viruses more efficiently than VeroE6 cells.

4.
J Med Virol ; 94(1): 147-153, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363704

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to determine the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in serum and its association with the clinical severity of COVID-19. This retrospective cohort study performed at Toyama University Hospital included consecutive patients with confirmed COVID-19. The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia and the strength of its association with clinical severity variables were examined. Fifty-six patients were included in this study. RNAemia was detected in 19.6% (11/56) patients on admission, and subsequently in 1.0% (1/25), 50.0% (6/12), and 100.0% (4/4) moderate, severe, and critically ill patients, respectively. Patients with RNAemia required more frequent oxygen supplementation (90.0% vs. 13.3%), ICU admission (81.8% vs. 6.7%), and invasive mechanical ventilation (27.3% vs. 0.0%). Among patients with RNAemia, the median viral loads of nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs that were collected around the same time as the serum sample were significantly higher in critically ill (5.4 log10 copies/µl; interquartile range [IQR]: 4.2-6.3) than in moderate-severe cases (2.6 log10 copies/µl; [IQR: 1.1-4.5]; p = 0.030) and were significantly higher in nonsurvivors (6.2 log10 copies/µl [IQR: 6.0-6.5]) than in survivors (3.9 log10 copies/µl [IQR: 1.6-4.6]; p = 0.045). This study demonstrated a relatively high proportion of SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia and an association between RNAemia and clinical severity. Moreover, among the patients with RNAemia, the viral loads of NP swabs were correlated with disease severity and mortality, suggesting the potential utility of combining serum testing with NP tests as a prognostic indicator for COVID-19, with higher quality than each separate test.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Viremia , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Child , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16535, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360210

ABSTRACT

Adaptive immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) dynamics remain largely unknown. The neutralizing antibody (NAb) levels in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are helpful for understanding the pathology. Using SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus, serum sample neutralization values in symptomatic COVID-19 patients were measured using the chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT). At least two sequential serum samples collected during hospitalization were analyzed to assess NAbs neutralizing activity dynamics at different time points. Of the 11 patients, four (36.4%), six (54.5%), and one (9.1%) had moderate, severe, and critical disease, respectively. Fifty percent neutralization (N50%-CRNT) was observed upon admission in 90.9% (10/11); all patients acquired neutralizing activity 2-12 days after onset. In patients with moderate disease, neutralization was observed at earliest within two days after symptom onset. In patients with severe-to-critical disease, neutralization activity increased, plateauing 9-16 days after onset. Neutralization activity on admission was significantly higher in patients with moderate disease than in patients with severe-to-critical disease (relative % of infectivity, 6.4% vs. 41.1%; P = .011). Neutralization activity on admission inversely correlated with disease severity. The rapid NAb response may play a crucial role in preventing the progression of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
6.
J Infect Chemother ; 27(7): 1122-1125, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1185070

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to assess the nasopharyngeal viral load at discharge or time of discontinued isolation in coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients admitted to our hospital and discharged under the current symptom-based criteria in Japan. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and hospitalized at Toyama University Hospital were included in the analysis. Nasopharyngeal viral load was measured when symptom-based criteria for discharge or end of isolation in the accommodations were met, and examined the relationship between viral load and days after onset or age. From the perspective of virus isolation limit, the amount of infectious viral load was defined at 50 copies/µL by nasopharyngeal sample. Thirty-three patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were included in the analysis, after excluding critical and fatal cases. Mean nasopharyngeal viral load at discharge or end of isolation was 1.90 log-copies/µL, and 64% of patients were discharged with over 50 copies/µL. No correlation was apparent between age and viral load at discharge, and viral load remained relatively high at discharge or end of isolation in all age groups. Although attempts at infectious virus isolation are necessary, infection control precautions even after discharge or discontinued isolation in accommodations may be needed, as the date of onset mostly depended on self-reporting by patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Patient Discharge , Humans , Japan , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
7.
J Infect Chemother ; 27(7): 1119-1121, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157496

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) is the standard method for the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This PCR test can be positive even in patients who have recovered from the disease, and the duration for achieving viral clearance has not been clarified yet. METHODS: This study was conducted between April 3, 2020, and June 17, 2020, at the Toyama University Hospital and the Toyama Rehabilitation Home. We collected the data of patients with COVID-19, analyzing the duration until twice-consecutive negative qRT-PCR test. RESULTS: A total of 42 patients were enrolled. The median duration of the twice-consecutive negative qRT-PCR test was 29.0 d (interquartile range: 25.75-35.25). The longest duration of viral shedding was 73 d. The duration of viral clearance was significantly longer in the older (>65 years) group than in the younger group (34.5 d vs. 25.0 d, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that viral clearance tends to be sustained in the older adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Humans , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , Virus Shedding
8.
Int J Infect Dis ; 106: 33-35, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1144720

ABSTRACT

As of October 2020, there is still no specific drug to treat COVID-19 as it rages worldwide. Favipiravir, indicated for the treatment of new and re-emerging influenza infections, has been suggested to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, although this is not yet fully validated. We administered favipiravir to a 64-year-old female patient with COVID-19. Her symptoms resolved quickly after the start of treatment, with reduction of SARS-CoV-2 viral load, but she developed a fever again on day 12. Since the fever was relieved by discontinuation of favipiravir, and based on positive results with a drug-induced lymphocyte stimulation test, we diagnosed her with favipiravir-induced drug fever. A decrease in the serum concentration of favipiravir was observed along with resolution of the fever. The present case suggests that drug fever should be considered in the differential diagnosis of relapsing fever episodes in COVID-19 patients receiving favipiravir.


Subject(s)
Amides/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Fever/chemically induced , Lymphocyte Activation/drug effects , Pyrazines/adverse effects , Amides/pharmacology , Amides/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pyrazines/pharmacology , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Viral Load/drug effects
9.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059645

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
10.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024369

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
11.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0243597, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967413

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between viral load and secondary transmission in novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: Epidemiological and clinical data were obtained from immunocompetent laboratory-confirmed patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to and/or from whom viral loads were measured at Toyama University Hospital. Using a case-control approach, index patients who transmitted the disease to at least one other patient were analysed as "cases" (index patients) compared with patients who were not the cause of secondary transmission (non-index patients, analysed as "controls"). The viral load time courses were assessed between the index and non-index symptomatic patients using non-linear regression employing a standard one-phase decay model. RESULTS: In total, 28 patients were included in the analysis. Median viral load at the initial sample collection was significantly higher in symptomatic than in asymptomatic patients and in adults than in children. Among symptomatic patients (n = 18), non-linear regression models showed that the estimated viral load at onset was higher in the index than in the non-index patients (median [95% confidence interval]: 6.6 [5.2-8.2] vs. 3.1 [1.5-4.8] log copies/µL, respectively). In adult (symptomatic and asymptomatic) patients (n = 21), median viral load at the initial sample collection was significantly higher in the index than in the non-index patients (p = 0.015, 3.3 vs. 1.8 log copies/µL, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: High nasopharyngeal viral loads around onset may contribute to secondary transmission of COVID-19. Viral load may help provide a better understanding of why transmission is observed in some instances, but not in others, especially among household contacts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Models, Biological , Nasopharynx , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Load , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/transmission , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/metabolism , Nasopharynx/virology
12.
J Infect Chemother ; 26(12): 1324-1327, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-723195

ABSTRACT

Most patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have just only mild symptoms, but about 5% are very severe. Although extracorporeal membranous oxygenation (ECMO) is sometimes used in critically patients with COVID-19, ECMO is only an adjunct, not the main treatment. If the patient's condition deteriorates and it is determined to be irreversible, it is necessary to decide to stop ECMO. A 54-year-old man was admitted on day 6 of onset with a chief complaint of high fever and cough. Computed tomography (CT) showed a ground glass opacity in both lungs, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) diagnosed COVID-19. He was admitted to the hospital and started to receive oxygen and favipiravir. After that, his respiratory condition deteriorated, and he was intubated and ventilated on day 9 of onset, and ECMO was introduced on day 12. Two days after the introduction of ECMO, C-reactive protein (CRP) increased, chest X-p showed no improvement in pneumonia, and PaO2/FiO2 decreased again. As D-dimer rose and found a blood clot in the ECMO circuit, we had to decide whether to replace the circuit and continue with ECMO or stop ECMO. At this time, the viral load by RT-PCR was drastically reduced to about 1/1750. We decided to continue ECMO therapy and replaced the circuit. The patient's respiratory status subsequently improved and ECMO was stopped on day 21 of onset. In conclusion, viral load measurement by RT-PCR may be one of the indicators for promoting the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Viral Load/methods , Amides/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Decision Making , Hospitalization , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Treatment Outcome
13.
Interdiscip Neurosurg ; 22: 100820, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-640220

ABSTRACT

We report a 72-year-old woman who required urgent endonasal trans-sphenoidal surgery (eTSS) because of progressive visual field disturbance due to pituitary adenoma, in whom we conducted reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) for COVID-19 and chest CT before eTSS. We took care of her by following the rule for suspected infection patient, and safely completed her treatment without medical staff infection. Under COVID-19 pandemic state, essentially careful management including RT-PCR test and chest CT should be taken for the high infection risk surgeries to avoid the outbreak through the hospital. And the cost of RT-PCR test for the patients should be covered by the government budget.

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