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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321467

ABSTRACT

Mice are not susceptible to wildtype SARS-CoV-2 infection. Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and P.3 contain mutations in spike, which have been suggested to associate with an increased recognition of mouse ACE2, raising the postulation that they may have evolved to expand species tropism to rodents. Here, we investigated the capacity of B.1.1.7 and other emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants in infecting mouse (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus) under in vitro and in vivo settings. Our results show that B.1.1.7 and P.3, but not B.1 or wildtype SARS-CoV-2, can utilize mouse and rat ACE2 for virus entry in vitro. High infectious virus titers, abundant viral antigen expression, and pathological changes are detected in the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice and rats. Together, these results reveal that the current predominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.7, has gained the capability to expand species tropism to rodents.

2.
EBioMedicine ; 73: 103643, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482542

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Wildtype mice are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and P.3, contain mutations in spike that has been suggested to associate with an increased recognition of mouse ACE2, raising the postulation that these SARS-CoV-2 variants may have evolved to expand species tropism to wildtype mouse and potentially other murines. Our study evaluated this possibility with substantial public health importance. METHODS: We investigated the capacity of wildtype (WT) SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2 variants in infecting mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus) under in vitro and in vivo settings. Susceptibility to infection was evaluated with RT-qPCR, plaque assays, immunohistological stainings, and neutralization assays. FINDINGS: Our results reveal that B.1.1.7 and other N501Y-carrying variants but not WT SARS-CoV-2 can infect wildtype mice. High viral genome copies and high infectious virus particle titres are recovered from the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice for 4-to-7 days post infection. In agreement with these observations, robust expression of viral nucleocapsid protein and histopathological changes are detected from the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice but not that of the WT SARS-CoV-2-inoculated mice. Similarly, B.1.1.7 readily infects wildtype rats with production of infectious virus particles. INTERPRETATION: Our study provides direct evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.7, as well as other N501Y-carrying variants including B.1.351 and P.3, has gained the capability to expand species tropism to murines and public health measures including stringent murine control should be implemented to facilitate the control of the ongoing pandemic. FUNDING: A full list of funding bodies that contributed to this study can be found in the Acknowledgements section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Tropism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Turbinates/pathology , Turbinates/virology , Virus Internalization
3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): e719-e734, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338687

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mass vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is ongoing amidst widespread transmission during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Disease phenotypes of SARS-CoV-2 exposure occurring around the time of vaccine administration have not been described. METHODS: Two-dose (14 days apart) vaccination regimen with formalin-inactivated whole virion SARS-CoV-2 in golden Syrian hamster model was established. To investigate the disease phenotypes of a 1-dose regimen given 3 days prior (D-3), 1 (D1) or 2 (D2) days after, or on the day (D0) of virus challenge, we monitored the serial clinical severity, tissue histopathology, virus burden, and antibody response of the vaccinated hamsters. RESULTS: The 1-dose vaccinated hamsters had significantly lower clinical disease severity score, body weight loss, lung histology score, nucleocapsid protein expression in lung, infectious virus titers in the lung and nasal turbinate, inflammatory changes in intestines, and a higher serum neutralizing antibody or IgG titer against the spike receptor-binding domain or nucleocapsid protein when compared to unvaccinated controls. These improvements were particularly noticeable in D-3, but also in D0, D1, and even D2 vaccinated hamsters to varying degrees. No increased eosinophilic infiltration was found in the nasal turbinate, lung, and intestine after virus challenge. Significantly higher serum titer of fluorescent foci microneutralization inhibition antibody was detected in D1 and D2 vaccinated hamsters at day 4 post-challenge compared to controls despite undetectable neutralizing antibody titer. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination just before or soon after exposure to SARS-CoV-2 does not worsen disease phenotypes and may even ameliorate infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus , Vaccines, Inactivated
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