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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337714

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants are characterized by differences in transmissibility and response to therapeutics. Therefore, discriminating among them is vital for surveillance, infection prevention, and patient care. While whole viral genome sequencing (WGS) is the "gold standard" for variant identification, molecular variant panels have become increasingly available. Most, however, are based on limited targets and have not undergone comprehensive evaluation. We assessed the diagnostic performance of the highly multiplexed Agena MassARRAY® SARS-CoV-2 Variant Panel v3 to identify variants in a diverse set of 391 SARS-CoV-2 clinical RNA specimens collected across our health systems in New York City, USA as well as in Bogota, Colombia (September 2, 2020 - March 2, 2022). We demonstrate almost perfect levels of interrater agreement between this assay and WGS for 9 of 11 variant calls (κ ≥ 0.856) and 25 of 30 targets (κ ≥ 0.820) tested on the panel. The assay had a high diagnostic sensitivity (≥93.67%) for contemporary variants (e.g., Iota, Alpha, Delta, Omicron [BA.1 sublineage]) and a high diagnostic specificity for all 11 variants (≥96.15%) and all 30 targets (≥94.34%) tested. Moreover, we highlight distinct target patterns that can be utilized to identify variants not yet defined on the panel including the Omicron BA.2 and other sublineages. These findings exemplify the power of highly multiplexed diagnostic panels to accurately call variants and the potential for target result signatures to elucidate new ones.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337661

ABSTRACT

A bstract Persistent SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported in immune-compromised individuals and people undergoing immune-modulatory treatments. It has been speculated that the emergence of antigenically diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants such as the Omicron variant may be the result of intra-host viral evolution driven by suboptimal immune responses, which must be followed by forward transmission. However, while intrahost evolution has been documented, to our knowledge no direct evidence of subsequent forward transmission is available to date. Here we describe the emergence of an Omicron BA.1 sub-lineage with 8 additional amino acid substitutions within the spike (E96D, L167T, R346T, L455W, K458M, A484V, H681R, A688V) in an immune-compromised host along with evidence of 5 forward transmission cases. Our findings show that the Omicron BA.1 lineage can further diverge from its exceptionally mutated genome during prolonged SARS-CoV-2 infection;highlighting an urgent need to employ therapeutic strategies to limit duration of infection and spread in vulnerable patients.

3.
J Mol Diagn ; 2022 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819546

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to circulate, multiple variants of concern have emerged. New variants pose challenges for diagnostic platforms because sequence diversity can alter primer/probe-binding sites (PBSs), causing false-negative results. The Agena MassARRAY SARS-CoV-2 Panel (Agena Bioscience) uses RT-PCR and mass spectrometry to detect five multiplex targets across N and ORF1ab genes. Herein, we use a data set of 256 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens collected between April 11, 2021, and August 28, 2021, to evaluate target performance with paired sequencing data. During this time frame, two targets in the N gene (N2 and N3) were subject to the greatest sequence diversity. In specimens with N3 dropout, 69% harbored the Alpha-specific A28095U polymorphism that introduces a 3'-mismatch to the N3 forward PBS and increases risk of target dropout relative to specimens with 28095A (relative risk, 20.02; 95% CI, 11.36 to 35.72; P < 0.0001). Furthermore, among specimens with N2 dropout, 90% harbored the Delta-specific G28916U polymorphism that creates a 3'-mismatch to the N2 probe PBS and increases target dropout risk (relative risk, 11.92; 95% CI, 8.17 to 14.06; P < 0.0001). These findings highlight the robust capability of Agena MassARRAY SARS-CoV-2 Panel target results to reveal circulating virus diversity, and they underscore the power of multitarget design to capture variants of concern.

4.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(3): 373-387.e7, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767977

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 lineages have diverged into highly prevalent variants termed "variants of concern" (VOCs). Here, we characterized emerging SARS-CoV-2 spike polymorphisms in vitro and in vivo to understand their impact on transmissibility and virus pathogenicity and fitness. We demonstrate that the substitution S:655Y, represented in the gamma and omicron VOCs, enhances viral replication and spike protein cleavage. The S:655Y substitution was transmitted more efficiently than its ancestor S:655H in the hamster infection model and was able to outcompete S:655H in the hamster model and in a human primary airway system. Finally, we analyzed a set of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants to investigate how different sets of mutations may impact spike processing. All VOCs tested exhibited increased spike cleavage and fusogenic capacity. Taken together, our study demonstrates that the spike mutations present in VOCs that become epidemiologically prevalent in humans are linked to an increase in spike processing and virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
J Med Virol ; 94(7): 2911-2914, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756616

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still challenging public health systems worldwide, particularly with the emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations that increase their transmissibility and immune escape. This is the case of the variant of concern Omicron that rapidly spread globally. Here, using epidemiological and genomic data we compared the situations in South Africa as the epicenter of emergence, United Kingdom, and with particular interest New York City. This rapid global dispersal from the place of first report reemphasizes the high transmissibility of Omicron, which needed only two weeks to become dominant in the United Kingdom and New York City. Our analyses suggest that as SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve, global authorities must prioritize equity in vaccine access and continued genomic surveillance. Future studies are still needed to fully unveil the biological properties of Omicron, but what is certain is that vaccination, large-scale testing, and infection prevention efforts are the greatest arsenal against the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1606-1616, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718406

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked the rapid development of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostics. However, emerging variants pose the risk for target dropout and false-negative results secondary to primer/probe binding site (PBS) mismatches. The Agena MassARRAY® SARS-CoV-2 Panel combines reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass-spectrometry to probe for five targets across N and ORF1ab genes, which provides a robust platform to accommodate PBS mismatches in divergent viruses. Herein, we utilize a deidentified data set of 1262 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens from Mount Sinai Health System (New York City) from December 2020 to April 2021 to evaluate target results and corresponding sequencing data. Overall, the level of PBS mismatches was greater in specimens with target dropout. Of specimens with N3 target dropout, 57% harbored an A28095T substitution that is highly specific for the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant of concern. These data highlight the benefit of redundancy in target design and the potential for target performance to illuminate the dynamics of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Polyproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327223

ABSTRACT

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, multiple variants with differing amounts of escape from pre-existing immunity have emerged, causing concerns about continued protection. Here, we use antigenic cartography to quantify and visualize the antigenic relationships among 16 SARS-CoV-2 variants titrated against serum samples taken post-vaccination and post-infection with seven different variants. We find major antigenic differences caused by substitutions at positions 417, 452, 484, and possibly 501. B.1.1.529 (Omicron) showed the highest escape from all sera tested. Visualization of serological responses as antibody landscapes shows how reactivity clusters in different regions of antigenic space. We find changes in immunodominance of different spike regions depending on the variant an individual was exposed to, with implications for variant risk assessment and vaccine strain selection.

8.
Nature ; 603(7902): 687-692, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641974

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant1,2, has raised concerns of escape from protection by vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. A key test for potential countermeasures against B.1.1.529 is their activity in preclinical rodent models of respiratory tract disease. Here, using the collaborative network of the SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution (SAVE) programme of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), we evaluated the ability of several B.1.1.529 isolates to cause infection and disease in immunocompetent and human ACE2 (hACE2)-expressing mice and hamsters. Despite modelling data indicating that B.1.1.529 spike can bind more avidly to mouse ACE2 (refs. 3,4), we observed less infection by B.1.1.529 in 129, C57BL/6, BALB/c and K18-hACE2 transgenic mice than by previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, with limited weight loss and lower viral burden in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. In wild-type and hACE2 transgenic hamsters, lung infection, clinical disease and pathology with B.1.1.529 were also milder than with historical isolates or other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Overall, experiments from the SAVE/NIAID network with several B.1.1.529 isolates demonstrate attenuated lung disease in rodents, which parallels preliminary human clinical data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Cricetinae , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Viral Load
9.
Nature ; 602(7898): 682-688, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616995

ABSTRACT

The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was initially identified in November 2021 in South Africa and Botswana, as well as in a sample from a traveller from South Africa in Hong Kong1,2. Since then, Omicron has been detected globally. This variant appears to be at least as infectious as Delta (B.1.617.2), has already caused superspreader events3, and has outcompeted Delta within weeks in several countries and metropolitan areas. Omicron hosts an unprecedented number of mutations in its spike gene and early reports have provided evidence for extensive immune escape and reduced vaccine effectiveness2,4-6. Here we investigated the virus-neutralizing and spike protein-binding activity of sera from convalescent, double mRNA-vaccinated, mRNA-boosted, convalescent double-vaccinated and convalescent boosted individuals against wild-type, Beta (B.1.351) and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 isolates and spike proteins. Neutralizing activity of sera from convalescent and double-vaccinated participants was undetectable or very low against Omicron compared with the wild-type virus, whereas neutralizing activity of sera from individuals who had been exposed to spike three or four times through infection and vaccination was maintained, although at significantly reduced levels. Binding to the receptor-binding and N-terminal domains of the Omicron spike protein was reduced compared with binding to the wild type in convalescent unvaccinated individuals, but was mostly retained in vaccinated individuals.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Convalescence , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immune Sera/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , /immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
10.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1606-1616, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589045

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked the rapid development of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostics. However, emerging variants pose the risk for target dropout and false-negative results secondary to primer/probe binding site (PBS) mismatches. The Agena MassARRAY® SARS-CoV-2 Panel combines reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass-spectrometry to probe for five targets across N and ORF1ab genes, which provides a robust platform to accommodate PBS mismatches in divergent viruses. Herein, we utilize a deidentified data set of 1262 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens from Mount Sinai Health System (New York City) from December 2020 to April 2021 to evaluate target results and corresponding sequencing data. Overall, the level of PBS mismatches was greater in specimens with target dropout. Of specimens with N3 target dropout, 57% harbored an A28095T substitution that is highly specific for the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant of concern. These data highlight the benefit of redundancy in target design and the potential for target performance to illuminate the dynamics of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Polyproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296713

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to circulate, multiple variants of concern (VOC) have emerged. New variants pose challenges for diagnostic platforms since sequence diversity can alter primer/probe binding sites (PBS), causing false-negative results. The Agena MassARRAY ® SARS-CoV-2 Panel utilizes reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and mass-spectrometry to detect five multiplex targets across N and ORF1ab genes. Herein, we utilize a dataset of 256 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens collected between April 11, 2021-August 28, 2021 to evaluate target performance with paired sequencing data. During this timeframe, two targets in the N gene (N2, N3) were subject to the greatest sequence diversity. In specimens with N3 dropout, 69% harbored the Alpha-specific A28095U polymorphism that introduces a 3’-mismatch to the N3 forward PBS and increases risk of target dropout relative to specimens with 28095A (relative risk (RR): 20.02;p<0.0001;95% Confidence Interval (CI): 11.36-35.72). Furthermore, among specimens with N2 dropout, 90% harbored the Delta-specific G28916U polymorphism that creates a 3’-mismatch to the N2 probe PBS and increases target dropout risk (RR: 11.92;p<0.0001;95% CI: 8.17-14.06). These findings highlight the robust capability of Agena MassARRAY ® SARS-CoV-2 Panel target results to reveal circulating virus diversity and underscore the power of multi-target design to capture VOC.

12.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294083

ABSTRACT

Summary In this study we profiled vaccine-induced polyclonal antibodies as well as plasmablast derived mAbs from individuals who received SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine. Polyclonal antibody responses in vaccinees were robust and comparable to or exceeded those seen after natural infection. However, the ratio of binding to neutralizing antibodies after vaccination was greater than that after natural infection and, at the monoclonal level, we found that the majority of vaccine-induced antibodies did not have neutralizing activity. We also found a co-dominance of mAbs targeting the NTD and RBD of SARS-CoV-2 spike and an original antigenic-sin like backboost to seasonal human coronaviruses OC43 and HKU1. Neutralizing activity of NTD mAbs but not RBD mAbs against a clinical viral isolate carrying E484K as well as extensive changes in the NTD was abolished, suggesting that a proportion of vaccine induced RBD binding antibodies may provide substantial protection against viral variants carrying single E484K RBD mutations.

13.
Pathogens ; 10(12)2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554894

ABSTRACT

We used epidemiologic and viral genetic information to identify a case of likely reinfection in an otherwise healthy, young Marine recruit enrolled in the prospective, longitudinal COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines (CHARM) study, and we paired these findings with serological studies. This participant had a positive RT-PCR to SARS-CoV-2 upon routine sampling on study day 7, although he was asymptomatic at that time. He cleared the infection within seven days. On study day 46, he had developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and tested positive by RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 again. Viral whole genome sequencing was conducted from nares swabs at multiple time points. The day 7 sample was determined to be lineage B.1.340, whereas both the day 46 and day 49 samples were B.1.1. The first positive result for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM serology was collected on day 49 and for IgG on day 91. This case appears most consistent with a reinfection event. Our investigation into this case is unique in that we compared sequence data from more than just paired specimens, and we also assayed for immune response after both the initial infection and the later reinfection. These data demonstrate that individuals who have experienced an infection with SARS-CoV-2 may fail to generate effective or long-lasting immunity, similar to endemic human beta coronaviruses.

14.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293022

ABSTRACT

Background: An immune correlate of protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection is urgently needed. Methods. We used an ongoing household cohort with an embedded transmission study that closely monitors participants regardless of symptom status. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were used to measure infections and seropositivity. Sequencing was performed to determine circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2. We investigated the protection associated with seropositivity resulting from prior infection, the anti-spike antibody titers needed for protection, and we compared the severity of first and second infections. Results. In March 2021, 62.3% of the cohort was seropositive. After March 2021, gamma and delta variants predominated. Seropositivity was associated with 69.2% protection from any infection (95% CI: 60.7%-75.9%), with higher protection against moderate or severe infection (79.4%, 95% CI: 64.9%-87.9%). Anti-spike titers of 327 and 2,551 were associated with 50% and 80% protection from any infection;titers of 284 and 656 were sufficient for protection against moderate or severe disease. Second infections were less severe than first infections (Relative Risk (RR) of moderated or severe disease: 0.6, 95% CI: 0.38-0.98;RR of subclinical disease:1.9, 95% CI: 1.33-2.73). Conclusions. Prior infection-induced immunity is protective against infection when predominantly gamma and delta SARS-CoV-2 circulated. The protective antibody titers presented may be useful for vaccine policy and control measures. While second infections were somewhat less severe, they were not as mild as ideal. A strategy involving vaccination will be needed to ease the burden of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

15.
EBioMedicine ; 73: 103626, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1471943

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Highly efficacious vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been developed. However, the emergence of viral variants that are more infectious than the earlier SARS-CoV-2 strains is concerning. Several of these viral variants have the potential to partially escape neutralizing antibody responses, warranting continued immune-monitoring. METHODS: We used a panel of 30 post-mRNA vaccination sera to determine neutralization and RBD and spike binding activity against a number of emerging viral variants. The virus neutralization was determined using authentic SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolates in an assay format that mimics physiological conditions. FINDINGS: We tested seven currently circulating viral variants of concern/interest, including the three Iota sublineages, Alpha (E484K), Beta, Delta and Lambda in neutralization assays. We found only small decreases in neutralization against Iota and Delta. The reduction was stronger against a sub-variant of Lambda, followed by Beta and Alpha (E484K). Lambda is currently circulating in parts of Latin America and was detected in Germany, the US and Israel. Of note, reduction in a receptor binding domain and spike binding assay that also included Gamma, Kappa and A.23.1 was negligible. INTERPRETATION: Taken together, these findings suggest that mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may remain effective against these viral variants of concern/interest and that spike binding antibody tests likely retain specificity in the face of evolving SARS-CoV-2 diversity. FUNDING: This work is part of the PARIS/SPARTA studies funded by the NIAID Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVIC) contract 75N93019C00051. In addition, this work was also partially funded by the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS, contract # HHSN272201400008C), the JPB Foundation, the Open Philanthropy Project (research grant 2020-215611 (5384), by anonymous donors and by the Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet) in part with Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. 75N91019D00024, Task Order No. 75N91020F00003.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Antigen-Antibody Reactions , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Phylogeny , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
18.
Int J Infect Dis ; 110: 410-416, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330878

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 from Venezuelan migrants living in Colombia. METHODS: This study sequenced SARS-CoV-2 from 30 clinical specimens collected from Venezuelan migrants. Genomes were compared with the Wuhan reference genome to identify polymorphisms, reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and perform comparative genomic analyses. Geographic, sociodemographic and clinical data were also studied across genotypes. RESULTS: This study demonstrated the presence of six distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating among Venezuelan migrants, as well as a close relationship between SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences obtained from individuals living in the Venezuelan-Colombian border regions of La Guajira (Colombia) and Zulia (Venezuela). Three clusters (C-1, C-2 and C-3) were well supported by phylogenomic inference, supporting the hypothesis of three potential transmission routes across the Colombian-Venezuelan border. These genomes included point mutations previously associated with increased infectivity. A mutation (L18F) in the N-terminal domain of the spike protein that has been associated with compromised binding of neutralizing antibodies was found in 2 of 30 (6.6%) genomes. A statistically significant association was identified with symptomatology for cluster C2. CONCLUSION: The close phylogenetic relationships between SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Venezuelan migrants and from people living at the Venezuela-Colombian border support the importance of human movements for the spread of COVID-19 and for emerging virus variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Colombia/epidemiology , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13308, 2021 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281741

ABSTRACT

Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in COVID-19 patients but the nature of the gut immune response to SARS-CoV-2 remains poorly characterized, partly due to the difficulty of obtaining biopsy specimens from infected individuals. In lieu of tissue samples, we measured cytokines, inflammatory markers, viral RNA, microbiome composition, and antibody responses in stool samples from a cohort of 44 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in stool of 41% of patients and more frequently in patients with diarrhea. Patients who survived had lower fecal viral RNA than those who died. Strains isolated from stool and nasopharynx of an individual were the same. Compared to uninfected controls, COVID-19 patients had higher fecal levels of IL-8 and lower levels of fecal IL-10. Stool IL-23 was higher in patients with more severe COVID-19 disease, and we found evidence of intestinal virus-specific IgA responses associated with more severe disease. We provide evidence for an ongoing humeral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in the gastrointestinal tract, but little evidence of overt inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Feces , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Aged , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Cytokines/metabolism , Feces/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3463, 2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261999

ABSTRACT

Numerous reports document the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but there is limited information on its introduction before the identification of a local case. This may lead to incorrect assumptions when modeling viral origins and transmission. Here, we utilize a sample pooling strategy to screen for previously undetected SARS-CoV-2 in de-identified, respiratory pathogen-negative nasopharyngeal specimens from 3,040 patients across the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. The patients had been previously evaluated for respiratory symptoms or influenza-like illness during the first 10 weeks of 2020. We identify SARS-CoV-2 RNA from specimens collected as early as 25 January 2020, and complete SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from multiple pools of samples collected between late February and early March, documenting an increase prior to the later surge. Our results provide evidence of sporadic SARS-CoV-2 infections a full month before both the first officially documented case and emergence of New York as a COVID-19 epicenter in March 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , New York/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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