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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 827605, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742217

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a public health emergency of international concern, and an effective vaccine is urgently needed to control the pandemic. Envelope (E) and membrane (M) proteins are highly conserved structural proteins among SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV and have been proposed as potential targets for the development of cross-protective vaccines. Here, synthetic DNA vaccines encoding SARS-CoV-2 E/M proteins (called p-SARS-CoV-2-E/M) were developed, and mice were immunised with three doses via intramuscular injection and electroporation. Significant cellular immune responses were elicited, whereas no robust humoral immunity was detected. In addition, novel H-2d-restricted T-cell epitopes were identified. Notably, although no drop in lung tissue virus titre was detected in DNA-vaccinated mice post-challenge with SARS-CoV-2, immunisation with either p-SARS-CoV-2-E or p-SARS-CoV-2-M provided minor protection and co-immunisation with p-SARS-CoV-2-E+M increased protection. Therefore, E/M proteins should be considered as vaccine candidates as they may be valuable in the optimisation of vaccination strategies against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus M Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Female , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Vaccines, DNA
2.
Viruses ; 12(6)2020 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726024

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) worldwide has highlighted the importance of reliable and rapid diagnostic testing to prevent and control virus circulation. Dozens of monoplex in-house RT-qPCR assays are already available; however, the development of dual-target assays is suited to avoid false-negative results caused by polymorphisms or point mutations, that can compromise the accuracy of diagnostic and screening tests. In this study, two mono-target assays recommended by WHO (E-Sarbeco (enveloppe gene, Charite University, Berlin, Germany) and RdRp-IP4 (RdRp, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France)) were selected and combined in a unique robust test; the resulting duo SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR assay was compared to the two parental monoplex tests. The duo SARS-CoV-2 assay performed equally, or better, in terms of sensitivity, specificity, linearity and signal intensity. We demonstrated that combining two single systems into a dual-target assay (with or without an MS2-based internal control) did not impair performances, providing a potent tool adapted for routine molecular diagnosis in clinical microbiology laboratories.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , World Health Organization
3.
Protein J ; 39(3): 198-216, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718840

ABSTRACT

The devastating effects of the recent global pandemic (termed COVID-19 for "coronavirus disease 2019") caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS CoV-2) are paramount with new cases and deaths growing at an exponential rate. In order to provide a better understanding of SARS CoV-2, this article will review the proteins found in the SARS CoV-2 that caused this global pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Drug Discovery/methods , Genome, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Polyproteins , Protein Interaction Maps/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Viroporin Proteins
4.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 414(5): 1773-1785, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653430

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been performed worldwide since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the quality assessment of testing laboratories and the performance evaluation of molecular diagnosis products, reference materials (RMs) are required. In this work, we report the production of a lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM containing approximately 12 kilobases of its genome including common diagnostics targets such as RdRp, N, E, and S genes. The RM was measured with multiple assays using two different digital PCR platforms. To measure the homogeneity and stability of the lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM, reverse transcription droplet digital PCR (RT-ddPCR) was used with in-house duplex assays. The copy number concentration of each target gene in the extracted RNA solution was then converted to that of the RM solution. Their copy number values are measured to be from 1.5 × 105 to 2.0 × 105 copies/mL. The RM has a between-bottle homogeneity of 4.80-8.23% and is stable at 4 °C for 1 week and at -70 °C for 6 months. The lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM closely mimics real samples that undergo identical pre-analytical processes for SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing. By offering accurate reference values for the absolute copy number of viral target genes, the developed RM can be used to improve the reliability of SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Gene Dosage , Gene Expression , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Lentivirus/genetics , Lentivirus/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA, Viral/standards , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/supply & distribution , Reference Standards , Reproducibility of Results , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Genome Packaging
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(5)2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642084

ABSTRACT

Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants pose a challenge to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies indicate that clinical samples collected from individuals infected with the Delta variant may contain higher levels of RNA than previous variants, but the relationship between levels of viral RNA and infectious virus for individual variants is unknown. We measured infectious viral titer (using a microfocus-forming assay) and total and subgenomic viral RNA levels (using RT-PCR) in a set of 162 clinical samples containing SARS-CoV-2 Alpha, Delta, and Epsilon variants that were collected in identical swab kits from outpatient test sites and processed soon after collection. We observed a high degree of variation in the relationship between viral titers and RNA levels. Despite this, the overall infectivity differed among the three variants. Both Delta and Epsilon had significantly higher infectivity than Alpha, as measured by the number of infectious units per quantity of viral E gene RNA (5.9- and 3.0-fold increase; P < 0.0001, P = 0.014, respectively) or subgenomic E RNA (14.3- and 6.9-fold increase; P < 0.0001, P = 0.004, respectively). In addition to higher viral RNA levels reported for the Delta variant, the infectivity (amount of replication competent virus per viral genome copy) may be increased compared to Alpha. Measuring the relationship between live virus and viral RNA is an important step in assessing the infectivity of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. An increase in the infectivity for Delta may further explain increased spread, suggesting a need for increased measures to prevent viral transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Hepatocytes/metabolism , Hepatocytes/virology , Humans , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Load , Virulence
7.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(2): 100520, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633496

ABSTRACT

Effective vaccines are essential for the control of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Currently developed vaccines inducing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S)-antigen-specific neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) are effective, but the appearance of NAb-resistant S variant viruses is of great concern. A vaccine inducing S-independent or NAb-independent SARS-CoV-2 control may contribute to containment of these variants. Here, we investigate the efficacy of an intranasal vaccine expressing viral non-S antigens against intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge in cynomolgus macaques. Seven vaccinated macaques exhibit significantly reduced viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs on day 2 post-challenge compared with nine unvaccinated controls. The viral control in the absence of SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs is significantly correlated with vaccine-induced, viral-antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Our results indicate that CD8+ T cell induction by intranasal vaccination can result in NAb-independent control of SARS-CoV-2 infection, highlighting a potential of vaccine-induced CD8+ T cell responses to contribute to COVID-19 containment.


Subject(s)
Administration, Intranasal/methods , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus M Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Macaca fascicularis , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells , Viral Load
8.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 147, 2021 Dec 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a public health emergency of international concern. Quantitative testing of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) virus is demanded in evaluating the efficacy of antiviral drugs and vaccines and RT-PCR can be widely deployed in the clinical assay of viral loads. Here, we developed a quantitative RT-PCR method for SARS-CoV-2 virus detection in this study. METHODS: RT-PCR kits targeting E (envelope) gene, N (nucleocapsid) gene and RdRP (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) gene of SARS-CoV-2 from Roche Diagnostics were evaluated and E gene kit was employed for quantitative detection of COVID-19 virus using Cobas Z480. Viral load was calculated according to the standard curve established by series dilution of an E-gene RNA standard provided by Tib-Molbiol (a division of Roche Diagnostics). Assay performance was evaluated. RESULTS: The performance of the assay is acceptable with limit of detection (LOD) below 10E1 copies/µL and lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) as 10E2 copies/µL. CONCLUSION: A quantitative detection of the COVID-19 virus based on RT-PCR was established.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Humans , Limit of Detection , Phosphoproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load/methods
9.
Infect Genet Evol ; 97: 105195, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586990

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the RNA virus responsible for COVID-19, the prognosis of which has been found to be slightly worse in men. The present study aimed to analyze the expression of different mRNAs and their regulatory molecules (miRNAs and lncRNAs) to consider the potential existence of sex-specific expression patterns and COVID-19 susceptibility using bioinformatics analysis. The binding sites of all human mature miRNA sequences on the SARS-CoV-2 genome nucleotide sequence were predicted by the miRanda tool. Sequencing data was excavated using the Galaxy web server from GSE157103, and the output of feature counts was analyzed using DEseq2 packages to obtain differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and DEG annotation analyses were performed using the ToppGene and Metascape tools. Using the RNA Interactome Database, we predicted interactions between differentially expressed lncRNAs and differentially expressed mRNAs. Finally, their networks were constructed with top miRNAs. We identified 11 miRNAs with three to five binding sites on the SARS-COVID-2 genome reference. MiR-29c-3p, miR-21-3p, and miR-6838-5p occupied four binding sites, and miR-29a-3p had five binding sites on the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Moreover, miR-29a-3p, and miR-29c-3p were the top miRNAs targeting DEGs. The expression levels of miRNAs (125, 181b, 130a, 29a, b, c, 212, 181a, 133a) changed in males with COVID-19, in whom they regulated ACE2 expression and affected the immune response by affecting phagosomes, complement activation, and cell-matrix adhesion. Our results indicated that XIST lncRNA was up-regulated, and TTTY14, TTTY10, and ZFY-AS1 lncRN as were down-regulated in both ICU and non-ICU men with COVID-19. Dysregulation of noncoding-RNAs has critical effects on the pathophysiology of men with COVID-19, which is why they may be used as biomarkers and therapeutic agents. Overall, our results indicated that the miR-29 family target regulation patterns and might become promising biomarkers for severity and survival outcome in men with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus M Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus M Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Databases, Genetic , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Male , MicroRNAs/classification , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , RNA, Long Noncoding/classification , RNA, Long Noncoding/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors , Signal Transduction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(51): 12249-12255, 2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586057

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses pose major threats to global health, yet computational efforts to understand them have largely overlooked the process of budding, a key part of the coronavirus life cycle. When expressed together, coronavirus M and E proteins are sufficient to facilitate budding into the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC). To help elucidate budding, we ran atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using the Feig laboratory's refined structural models of the SARS-CoV-2 M protein dimer and E protein pentamer. Our MD simulations consisted of M protein dimers and E protein pentamers in patches of membrane. By examining where these proteins induced membrane curvature in silico, we obtained insights around how the budding process may occur. Multiple M protein dimers acted together to induce global membrane curvature through protein-lipid interactions while E protein pentamers kept the membrane planar. These results could eventually help guide development of antiviral therapeutics that inhibit coronavirus budding.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Endoplasmic Reticulum/metabolism , Golgi Apparatus/metabolism , Humans , Protein Multimerization , Protein Transport , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24432, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585772

ABSTRACT

Despite the initial success of some drugs and vaccines targeting COVID-19, understanding the mechanism underlying SARS-CoV-2 disease pathogenesis remains crucial for the development of further approaches to treatment. Some patients with severe Covid-19 experience a cytokine storm and display evidence of inflammasome activation leading to increased levels of IL-1ß and IL-18; however, other reports have suggested reduced inflammatory responses to Sars-Cov-2. In this study we have examined the effects of the Sars-Cov-2 envelope (E) protein, a virulence factor in coronaviruses, on inflammasome activation and pulmonary inflammation. In cultured macrophages the E protein suppressed inflammasome priming and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Similarly, in mice transfected with E protein and treated with poly(I:C) to simulate the effects of viral RNA, the E protein, in an NLRP3-dependent fashion, reduced expression of pro-IL-1ß, levels of IL-1ß and IL-18 in broncho-alveolar lavage fluid, and macrophage infiltration in the lung. To simulate the effects of more advanced infection, macrophages were treated with both LPS and poly(I:C). In this setting the E protein increased NLRP3 inflammasome activation in both murine and human macrophages. Thus, the Sars-Cov-2 E protein may initially suppress the host NLRP3 inflammasome response to viral RNA while potentially increasing NLRP3 inflammasome responses in the later stages of infection. Targeting the Sars-Cov-2 E protein especially in the early stages of infection may represent a novel approach to Covid-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Inflammasomes/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress , Humans , Inflammasomes/drug effects , Interleukin-1beta/genetics , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Janus Kinases/genetics , Janus Kinases/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , Macrophages/cytology , Macrophages/drug effects , Macrophages/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/deficiency , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , Poly I-C/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
12.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2410: 265-272, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575755

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, an RNA coronavirus has impacted the health and economy of all the countries. The virus has wide host adaptability and causes severe diseases in humans and animals. The major structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 include spike (S), envelop (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N). The current vaccines are based on the S protein. The emergence of variants of SARS-CoV-2 has renewed interest in the use of additional structural proteins for the development of diagnostics and vaccines. Knowledge of B cell epitopes and MHC-I binding regions of the structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 is essential in the development of effective diagnostics and therapies. This chapter provides information on the epitopes of the structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology , Animals , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
13.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(1): 138-149, 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574636

ABSTRACT

Highly sensitive, reliable assays with strong multiplexing capability for detecting nucleic acid targets are significantly important for diagnosing various diseases, particularly severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The nanomaterial-based assay platforms suffer from several critical issues such as non-specific binding and highly false-positive results. In this paper, to overcome such limitations, we reported sensitive and remarkably reproducible magnetic microparticles (MMPs) and a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based assay using stable silver nanoparticle clusters for detecting viral nucleic acids. The MMP-SERS-based assay exhibited a sensitivity of 1.0 fM, which is superior to the MMP-fluorescence-based assay. In addition, in the presence of anisotropic Ag nanostructures (nanostars and triangular nanoplates), the assay exhibited greatly enhanced sensitivity (10 aM) and excellent signal reproducibility. This assay platform intrinsically eliminated the non-specific binding that occurs in the target detection step, and the controlled formation of stable silver nanoparticle clusters in solution enabled the remarkable reproducibility of the results. These findings indicate that this assay can be employed for future practical bioanalytical applications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Magnetite Nanoparticles/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Humans , Limit of Detection , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Silver/chemistry , Spectrum Analysis, Raman
14.
J Gen Virol ; 102(11)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532634

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally; recognition of immune responses to this virus will be crucial for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) control, prevention and treatment. We comprehensively analysed IgG and IgA antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N), spike protein domain 1 (S1) and envelope protein (E) in: SARS-CoV-2-infected patient, healthy, historical and pre-epidemic samples, including patients' medical, epidemiological and diagnostic data, virus-neutralizing capability and kinetics. N-specific IgG and IgA are the most reliable diagnostic targets for infection. Serum IgG levels correlate to IgA levels. Half a year after infection, anti-N and anti-S1 IgG decreased, but sera preserved virus-inhibitory potency; thus, testing for IgG may underestimate the protective potential of antibodies. Historical and pre-epidemic sera did not inhibit SARS-CoV-2, thus its circulation before the pandemic and a protective role from antibodies pre-induced by other coronaviruses cannot be confirmed by this study.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
15.
J Infect Dis ; 224(8): 1287-1293, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505875

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous studies demonstrated that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA can be detected for weeks after infection. The significance of this finding is unclear and, in most patients, does not represent active infection. Detection of subgenomic RNA has been proposed to represent productive infection and may be a useful marker for monitoring infectivity. METHODS: We used quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) to quantify total and subgenomic nucleocapsid (sgN) and envelope (sgE) transcripts in 185 SARS-CoV-2-positive nasopharyngeal swab samples collected on hospital admission and to relate to symptom duration. RESULTS: We find that all transcripts decline at the same rate; however, sgE becomes undetectable before other transcripts. The median duration of symptoms to a negative test is 14 days for sgE and 25 days for sgN. There is a linear decline in subgenomic compared to total RNA, suggesting that subgenomic transcript copy number is dependent on copy number of total transcripts. The mean difference between total and sgN is 16-fold and the mean difference between total and sgE is 137-fold. This relationship is constant over duration of symptoms, allowing prediction of subgenomic copy number from total copy number. CONCLUSIONS: Subgenomic RNA may be no more useful in determining infectivity than a copy number threshold determined for total RNA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Aged , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/pathology , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/statistics & numerical data , Reference Values , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
16.
Science ; 374(6575): 1626-1632, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501519

ABSTRACT

Efforts to determine why new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants demonstrate improved fitness have been limited to analyzing mutations in the spike (S) protein with the use of S-pseudotyped particles. In this study, we show that SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles (SC2-VLPs) can package and deliver exogenous transcripts, enabling analysis of mutations within all structural proteins and at multiple steps in the viral life cycle. In SC2-VLPs, four nucleocapsid (N) mutations found universally in more-transmissible variants independently increased messenger RNA delivery and expression ~10-fold, and in a reverse genetics model, the serine-202→arginine (S202R) and arginine-203→methionine (R203M) mutations each produced >50 times as much virus. SC2-VLPs provide a platform for rapid testing of viral variants outside of a biosafety level 3 setting and demonstrate N mutations and particle assembly to be mechanisms that could explain the increased spread of variants, including B.1.617.2 (Delta, which contains the R203M mutation).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Cell Line , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Plasmids , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Genome Packaging , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization
17.
J Infect Dis ; 224(8): 1305-1315, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493821

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A notable feature of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is that children are less susceptible to severe disease. Children are known to experience more infections with endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs) compared to adults. Little is known whether HCoV infections lead to cross-reactive anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies. METHODS: We investigated the presence of cross-reactive anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies to spike 1 (S1), S1-receptor-binding domain (S1-RBD), and nucleocapsid protein (NP) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and neutralizing activity by a SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus neutralization assay, in prepandemic sera collected from children (n = 50) and adults (n = 45), and compared with serum samples from convalescent COVID-19 patients (n = 16). RESULTS: A significant proportion of children (up to 40%) had detectable cross-reactive antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 S1, S1-RBD, and NP antigens, and the anti-S1 and anti-S1-RBD antibody levels correlated with anti-HCoV-HKU1 and anti-HCoV-OC43 S1 antibody titers in prepandemic samples (P < .001). There were marked increases of anti-HCoV-HKU1 and - OC43 S1 (but not anti-NL63 and -229E S1-RBD) antibody titers in serum samples from convalescent COVID-19 patients (P < .001), indicating an activation of cross-reactive immunological memory to ß-coronavirus spike. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated cross-reactive anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in prepandemic serum samples from children and young adults. Promoting this cross-reactive immunity and memory response derived from common HCoV may be an effective strategy against SARS-COV-2 and future novel coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Convalescence , Coronavirus 229E, Human/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Reactions , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
18.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20383, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469988

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 continues to infect an ever-expanding number of people, resulting in an increase in the number of deaths globally. With the emergence of new variants, there is a corresponding decrease in the currently available vaccine efficacy, highlighting the need for greater insights into the viral epitope profile for both vaccine design and assessment. In this study, three immunodominant linear B cell epitopes in the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) were identified by immunoinformatics prediction, and confirmed by ELISA with sera from Macaca fascicularis vaccinated with a SARS-CoV-2 RBD subunit vaccine. Further immunoinformatics analyses of these three epitopes gave rise to a method of linear B cell epitope prediction and selection. B cell epitopes in the spike (S), membrane (M), and envelope (E) proteins were subsequently predicted and confirmed using convalescent sera from COVID-19 infected patients. Immunodominant epitopes were identified in three regions of the S2 domain, one region at the S1/S2 cleavage site and one region at the C-terminus of the M protein. Epitope mapping revealed that most of the amino acid changes found in variants of concern are located within B cell epitopes in the NTD, RBD, and S1/S2 cleavage site. This work provides insights into B cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 as well as immunoinformatics methods for B cell epitope prediction, which will improve and enhance SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development against emergent variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Macaca , Models, Molecular , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18955, 2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437688

ABSTRACT

The world is facing an exceptional pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. To allow the diagnosis of COVID-19 infections, several assays based on the real-time PCR technique have been proposed. The requests for diagnosis are such that it was immediately clear that the choice of the most suitable method for each microbiology laboratory had to be based, on the one hand, on the availability of materials, and on the other hand, on the personnel and training priorities for this activity. Unfortunately, due to high demand, the shortage of commercial diagnostic kits has also become a major problem. To overcome these critical issues, we have developed a new qualitative RT-PCR probe. Our system detects three genes-RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), envelope (E) and nucleocapsid (N)-and uses the ß-actin gene as an endogenous internal control. The results from our assay are in complete agreement with the results obtained using a commercially available kit, except for two samples that did not pass the endogenous internal control. The coincidence rate was 0.96. The LoD of our assay was 140 cp/reaction for N and 14 cp/reaction for RdRp and E. Our kit was designed to be open, either for the nucleic acid extraction step or for the RT-PCR assay, and to be carried out on several instruments. Therefore, it is free from the industrial production logics of closed systems, and conversely, it is hypothetically available for distribution in large quantities to any microbiological laboratory. The kit is currently distributed worldwide (called MOLgen-COVID-19; Adaltis). A new version of the kit for detecting the S gene is also available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Humans , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Qualitative Research , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Front Immunol ; 12: 724060, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430701

ABSTRACT

Thirty-five peptides selected from functionally-relevant SARS-CoV-2 spike (S), membrane (M), and envelope (E) proteins were suitably modified for immunising MHC class II (MHCII) DNA-genotyped Aotus monkeys and matched with HLA-DRß1* molecules for use in humans. This was aimed at producing the first minimal subunit-based, chemically-synthesised, immunogenic molecules (COLSARSPROT) covering several HLA alleles. They were predicted to cover 48.25% of the world's population for 6 weeks (short-term) and 33.65% for 15 weeks (long-lasting) as they induced very high immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) and ELISA titres against S, M and E parental native peptides, SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies and host cell infection. The same immunological methods that led to identifying new peptides for inclusion in the COLSARSPROT mixture were used for antigenicity studies. Peptides were analysed with serum samples from patients suffering mild or severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, thereby increasing chemically-synthesised peptides' potential coverage for the world populations up to 62.9%. These peptides' 3D structural analysis (by 1H-NMR acquired at 600 to 900 MHz) suggested structural-functional immunological association. This first multi-protein, multi-epitope, minimal subunit-based, chemically-synthesised, highly immunogenic peptide mixture highlights such chemical synthesis methodology's potential for rapidly obtaining very pure, highly reproducible, stable, cheap, easily-modifiable peptides for inducing immune protection against COVID-19, covering a substantial percentage of the human population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus M Proteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Aotidae , COVID-19/prevention & control , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Humans , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
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