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1.
Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy ; 7(1):392, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2185768

ABSTRACT

Horseshoe bats host numerous SARS-related coronaviruses without overt disease signs. Bat intestinal organoids, a unique model of bat intestinal epithelium, allow direct comparison with human intestinal organoids. We sought to unravel the cellular mechanism(s) underlying bat tolerance of coronaviruses by comparing the innate immunity in bat and human organoids. We optimized the culture medium, which enabled a consecutive passage of bat intestinal organoids for over one year. Basal expression levels of IFNs and IFN-stimulated genes were higher in bat organoids than in their human counterparts. Notably, bat organoids mounted a more rapid, robust and prolonged antiviral defense than human organoids upon Poly(I:C) stimulation. TLR3 and RLR might be the conserved pathways mediating antiviral response in bat and human intestinal organoids. The susceptibility of bat organoids to a bat coronavirus CoV-HKU4, but resistance to EV-71, an enterovirus of exclusive human origin, indicated that bat organoids adequately recapitulated the authentic susceptibility of bats to certain viruses. Importantly, TLR3/RLR inhibition in bat organoids significantly boosted viral growth in the early phase after SARS-CoV-2 or CoV-HKU4 infection. Collectively, the higher basal expression of antiviral genes, especially more rapid and robust induction of innate immune response, empowered bat cells to curtail virus propagation in the early phase of infection.

4.
J Hosp Infect ; 123: 52-60, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757533

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are rampant in hospitals and residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs). AIM: To analyse the prevalence of MRSA colonization among residents and staff, and degree of environmental contamination and air dispersal of MRSA in RCHEs. METHODS: Epidemiological and genetic analysis by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in 12 RCHEs in Hong Kong. FINDINGS: During the COVID-19 pandemic (from September to October 2021), 48.7% (380/781) of RCHE residents were found to harbour MRSA at any body site, and 8.5% (8/213) of staff were nasal MRSA carriers. Among 239 environmental samples, MRSA was found in 39.0% (16/41) of randomly selected resident rooms and 31.3% (62/198) of common areas. The common areas accessible by residents had significantly higher MRSA contamination rates than those that were not accessible by residents (37.2%, 46/121 vs. 22.1%, 17/177, P=0.028). Of 124 air samples, nine (7.3%) were MRSA-positive from four RCHEs. Air dispersal of MRSA was significantly associated with operating indoor fans in RCHEs (100%, 4/4 vs. 0%, 0/8, P=0.002). WGS of MRSA isolates collected from residents, staff and environmental and air samples showed that ST 1047 (CC1) lineage 1 constituted 43.1% (66/153) of all MRSA isolates. A distinctive predominant genetic lineage of MRSA in each RCHE was observed, suggestive of intra-RCHE transmission rather than clonal acquisition from the catchment hospital. CONCLUSION: MRSA control in RCHEs is no less important than in hospitals. Air dispersal of MRSA may be an important mechanism of dissemination in RCHEs with operating indoor fans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Staphylococcal Infections , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Humans , Methicillin , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus/genetics , Pandemics , Staphylococcal Infections/epidemiology
7.
J Hosp Infect ; 116: 78-86, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404776

ABSTRACT

AIM: To describe the nosocomial transmission of Air, multidrug-resistant, Acinetobacter baumannii, nosocomial, COVID-19 Acinetobacter baumannii (MRAB) in an open-cubicle neurology ward with low ceiling height, where MRAB isolates collected from air, commonly shared items, non-reachable high-level surfaces and patients were analysed epidemiologically and genetically by whole-genome sequencing. This is the first study to understand the genetic relatedness of air, environmental and clinical isolates of MRAB in the outbreak setting. FINDINGS: Of 11 highly care-dependent patients with 363 MRAB colonization days during COVID-19 pandemic, 10 (90.9%) and nine (81.8%) had cutaneous and gastrointestinal colonization, respectively. Of 160 environmental and air samples, 31 (19.4%) were MRAB-positive. The proportion of MRAB-contaminated commonly shared items was significantly lower in cohort than in non-cohort patient care (0/10, 0% vs 12/18, 66.7%; P<0.001). Air dispersal of MRAB was consistently detected during but not before diaper change in the cohort cubicle by 25-min air sampling (4/4,100% vs 0/4, 0%; P=0.029). The settle plate method revealed MRAB in two samples during diaper change. The proportion of MRAB-contaminated exhaust air grills was significantly higher when the cohort cubicle was occupied by six MRAB patients than when fewer than six patients were cared for in the cubicle (5/9, 55.6% vs 0/18, 0%; P=0.002). The proportion of MRAB-contaminated non-reachable high-level surfaces was also significantly higher when there were three or more MRAB patients in the cohort cubicle (8/31, 25.8% vs 0/24, 0%; P=0.016). Whole-genome sequencing revealed clonality of air, environment, and patients' isolates, suggestive of air dispersal of MRAB. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the view that patient cohorting in enclosed cubicles with partitions and a closed door is preferred if single rooms are not available.


Subject(s)
Acinetobacter Infections , Acinetobacter baumannii , COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Acinetobacter Infections/drug therapy , Acinetobacter Infections/epidemiology , Acinetobacter baumannii/genetics , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Cross Infection/drug therapy , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Hong Kong Med J ; 27(5): 326-327, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359443
9.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):4, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250905

ABSTRACT

Rapid target enrichment sequencing documented the first case of reinfection by SARS-CoV-2. The reinfecting virus has 24 nucleotides (12 amino acids) difference with one stop codon leading to a deletion of 58 amino acid at orf8. Moreover the reinfecting virus is located on a different branch from the first infecting strain on the phylogenetic tree. Retrieval and testing of his initial serum showed that the neutralizing antibody titre of 40 has dropped within 5 months to below 10 at the time of reinfection. Within 3 days after reinfection, his serum antibody level started to rise, and it reached 3200 within 8 days. Besides differentiating reinfection from persistent infection, rapid genome sequencing has been used to demonstrate person-to-person transmission in a family cluster of COVID-19. This technology is also useful for the investigation of hospital outbreak, which led to the refinement of admission SARS-CoV-2 screening strategy. In terms of public health policy, phylogenomics has demonstrated the importance of border control to prevent virus entry and the necessity of stringent social distancing measures to prevent virus dissemination in the community. The close monitoring for virus mutants has led to the discovery of highly transmissible mutants such as the Spike D614G and N501Y and other Spike mutants that may have varying degrees of resistance to remdesivir, therapeutic antibodies, and vaccines.

11.
Viruses ; 11(5):07, 2019.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1017186

ABSTRACT

While bats are increasingly recognized as a source of coronavirus epidemics, the diversity and emergence potential of bat coronaviruses remains to be fully understood. Among 1779 bat samples collected in China, diverse coronaviruses were detected in 32 samples from five different bat species by RT-PCR. Two novel alphacoronaviruses, Rhinolophus sinicus bat coronavirus HKU32 (Rs-BatCoV HKU32) and Tylonycteris robustula bat coronavirus HKU33 (Tr-BatCoV HKU33), were discovered from Chinese horseshoe bats in Hong Kong and greater bamboo bats in Guizhou Province, respectively. Genome analyses showed that Rs-BatCoV HKU32 is closely related to BatCoV HKU10 and related viruses from diverse bat families, whereas Tr-BatCoV HKU33 is closely related to BtNv-AlphaCoV and similar viruses exclusively from bats of Vespertilionidae family. The close relatedness of Rs-BatCoV HKU32 to BatCoV HKU10 which was also detected in Pomona roundleaf bats from the same country park suggests that these viruses may have the tendency of infecting genetically distant bat populations of close geographical proximity with subsequent genetic divergence. Moreover, the presence of SARSr-CoV ORF7a-like protein in Rs-BatCoV HKU32 suggests a common evolutionary origin of this accessory protein with SARS-CoV, also from Chinese horseshoe bats, an apparent reservoir for coronavirus epidemics. The emergence potential of Rs-BatCoV HKU32 should be explored.

12.
Journal of Thoracic Disease ; (2072-1439 (Print))2020.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-854260

ABSTRACT

In 2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) caused one of the most devastating epidemics known to the developed world. There were two important lessons from this epidemic. Firstly, coronaviruses, in addition to influenza viruses, can cause severe and rapidly spreading human infections. Secondly, bats can serve as the origin and natural animal reservoir of deadly human viruses. Since then, researchers around the world, especially those in Asia where SARS-CoV was first identified, have turned their focus to find novel coronaviruses infecting humans, bats, and other animals. Two human coronaviruses, HCoV-HKU1 and HCoV-NL63, were identified shortly after the SARS-CoV epidemic as common causes of human respiratory tract infections. In 2012, a novel human coronavirus, now called Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has emerged in the Middle East to cause fatal human infections in three continents. MERS-CoV human infection is similar to SARS-CoV in having a high fatality rate and the ability to spread from person to person which resulted in secondary cases among close contacts including healthcare workers without travel history to the Middle East. Both viruses also have close relationships with bat coronaviruses. New cases of MERS-CoV infection in humans continue to occur with the origins of the virus still unknown in many cases. A multifaceted approach is necessary to control this evolving MERS-CoV outbreak. Source identification requires detailed epidemiological studies of the infected patients and enhanced surveillance of MERS-CoV or similar coronaviruses in humans and animals. Early diagnosis of infected patients and appropriate infection control measures will limit the spread in hospitals, while social distancing strategies may be necessary to control the outbreak in communities if it remained uncontrolled as in the SARS epidemic. FAU - To, Kelvin K. W.

13.
Clin Chem Lab Med ; 58(12): 2001-2008, 2020 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835981

ABSTRACT

Serological testing for the detection of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is emerging as an important component of the clinical management of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as well as the epidemiological assessment of SARS-CoV-2 exposure worldwide. In addition to molecular testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection, clinical laboratories have also needed to increase testing capacity to include serological evaluation of patients with suspected or known COVID-19. While regulatory approved serological immunoassays are now widely available from diagnostic manufacturers globally, there is significant debate regarding the clinical utility of these tests, as well as their clinical and analytical performance requirements prior to application. This document by the International Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) Taskforce on COVID-19 provides interim guidance on: (A) clinical indications and target populations, (B) assay selection, (C) assay evaluation, and (D) test interpretation and limitations for serological testing of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 infection. These evidence-based recommendations will provide practical guidance to clinical laboratories in the selection, verification, and implementation of serological assays and are of the utmost importance as we expand our pandemic response from initial case tracing and containment to mitigation strategies to minimize resurgence and further morbidity and mortality.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , International Agencies , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Serologic Tests/methods , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Hosp Infect ; 106(2): 226-231, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635357

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In late 2019, a novel human coronavirus - severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) - emerged in Wuhan, China. This virus has caused a global pandemic involving more than 200 countries. SARS-CoV-2 is highly adapted to humans and readily transmits from person-to-person. AIM: To investigate the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 under various environmental and pH conditions. The efficacies of various laboratory virus inactivation methods and home disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2 were investigated. METHODS: The residual virus in dried form or in solution was titrated on to Vero E6 cells on days 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 after incubation at different temperatures. Viral viability was determined after treatment with various disinfectants and pH solutions at room temperature (20-25oC). FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 was able to retain viability for 3-5 days in dried form or 7 days in solution at room temperature. SARS-CoV-2 could be detected under a wide range of pH conditions from pH 4 to pH 11 for several days, and for 1-2 days in stool at room temperature but lost 5 logs of infectivity. A variety of commonly used disinfectants and laboratory inactivation procedures were found to reduce viral viability effectively. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces, and raises the possibility of faecal-oral transmission. Commonly used fixatives, nucleic acid extraction methods and heat inactivation were found to reduce viral infectivity significantly, which could ensure hospital and laboratory safety during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/growth & development , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Microbial Viability , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Virulence , Virus Inactivation , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology
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