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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264949, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742012

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Catalonia (Spain), the present study analyses respiratory samples collected by the primary care network using Acute Respiratory Infections Sentinel Surveillance System (PIDIRAC) during the 2019-2020 season to complement the pandemic surveillance system in place to detect SARS-CoV-2. The aim of the study is to describe whether SARS-CoV-2 was circulating before the first confirmed case was detected in Catalonia, on February 25th, 2020. METHODS: The study sample was made up of all samples collected by the PIDIRAC primary care network as part of the Influenza and Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) surveillance system activities. The study on respiratory virus included coronavirus using multiple RT-PCR assays. All positive samples for human coronavirus were subsequently typed for HKU1, OC43, NL63, 229E. Every respiratory sample was frozen at-80°C and retrospectively studied for SARS-CoV-2 detection. A descriptive study was performed, analysing significant differences among variables related to SARS-CoV- 2 cases comparing with rest of coronaviruses cases through a bivariate study with Chi-squared test and statistical significance at 95%. RESULTS: Between October 2019 and April 2020, 878 respiratory samples from patients with acute respiratory infection or influenza syndrome obtained by PIDIRAC were analysed. 51.9% tested positive for influenza virus, 48.1% for other respiratory viruses. SARS-CoV-2 was present in 6 samples. The first positive SARS-CoV-2 case had symptom onset on 2 March 2020. These 6 cases were 3 men and 3 women, aged between 25 and 50 years old. 67% had risk factors, none had previous travel history nor presented viral coinfection. All of them recovered favourably. CONCLUSION: Sentinel Surveillance PIDIRAC enhances global epidemiological surveillance by allowing confirmation of viral circulation and describes the epidemiology of generalized community respiratory viruses' transmission in Catalonia. The system can provide an alert signal when identification of a virus is not achieved in order to take adequate preparedness measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus/classification , Orthomyxoviridae/classification , RNA, Viral/genetics , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Orthomyxoviridae/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae/isolation & purification , Primary Health Care , Retrospective Studies , Sentinel Surveillance , Spain/epidemiology , Young Adult
2.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264640, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731599

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 is the third coronavirus in addition to SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV that causes severe respiratory syndrome in humans. All of them likely crossed the interspecific barrier between animals and humans and are of zoonotic origin, respectively. The origin and evolution of viruses and their phylogenetic relationships are of great importance for study of their pathogenicity and development of antiviral drugs and vaccines. The main objective of the presented study was to compare two methods for identifying relationships between coronavirus genomes: phylogenetic one based on the whole genome alignment followed by molecular phylogenetic tree inference and alignment-free clustering of triplet frequencies, respectively, using 69 coronavirus genomes selected from two public databases. Both approaches resulted in well-resolved robust classifications. In general, the clusters identified by the first approach were in good agreement with the classes identified by the second using K-means and the elastic map method, but not always, which still needs to be explained. Both approaches demonstrated also a significant divergence of genomes on a taxonomic level, but there was less correspondence between genomes regarding the types of diseases they caused, which may be due to the individual characteristics of the host. This research showed that alignment-free methods are efficient in combination with alignment-based methods. They have a significant advantage in computational complexity and provide valuable additional alternative information on the genomes relationships.


Subject(s)
Comparative Genomic Hybridization/methods , Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral , Chromosome Mapping , Cluster Analysis , Coronavirus/classification , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Alignment
3.
Viruses ; 12(5)2020 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726009

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which first occurred in Wuhan (China) in December of 2019, causes a severe acute respiratory illness with a high mortality rate, and has spread around the world. To gain an understanding of the evolution of the newly emerging SARS-CoV-2, we herein analyzed the codon usage pattern of SARS-CoV-2. For this purpose, we compared the codon usage of SARS-CoV-2 with that of other viruses belonging to the subfamily of Orthocoronavirinae. We found that SARS-CoV-2 has a high AU content that strongly influences its codon usage, which appears to be better adapted to the human host. We also studied the evolutionary pressures that influence the codon usage of five conserved coronavirus genes encoding the viral replicase, spike, envelope, membrane and nucleocapsid proteins. We found different patterns of both mutational bias and natural selection that affect the codon usage of these genes. Moreover, we show here that the two integral membrane proteins (matrix and envelope) tend to evolve slowly by accumulating nucleotide mutations on their corresponding genes. Conversely, genes encoding nucleocapsid (N), viral replicase and spike proteins (S), although they are regarded as are important targets for the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs, tend to evolve faster in comparison to the two genes mentioned above. Overall, our results suggest that the higher divergence observed for the latter three genes could represent a significant barrier in the development of antiviral therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Codon , Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral , Base Composition , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Biological Evolution , Coronavirus/classification , Genes, Viral , Host Specificity , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0278021, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700612

ABSTRACT

Understanding the immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is critical to overcome the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Efforts are being made to understand the potential cross-protective immunity of memory T cells, induced by prior encounters with seasonal coronaviruses, in providing protection against severe COVID-19. In this study we assessed T-cell responses directed against highly conserved regions of SARS-CoV-2. Epitope mapping revealed 16 CD8+ T-cell epitopes across the nucleocapsid (N), spike (S), and open reading frame (ORF)3a proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and five CD8+ T-cell epitopes encoded within the highly conserved regions of the ORF1ab polyprotein of SARS-CoV-2. Comparative sequence analysis showed high conservation of SARS-CoV-2 ORF1ab T-cell epitopes in seasonal coronaviruses. Paradoxically, the immune responses directed against the conserved ORF1ab epitopes were infrequent and subdominant in both convalescent and unexposed participants. This subdominant immune response was consistent with a low abundance of ORF1ab encoded proteins in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. Overall, these observations suggest that while cross-reactive CD8+ T cells likely exist in unexposed individuals, they are not common and therefore are unlikely to play a significant role in providing broad preexisting immunity in the community. IMPORTANCE T cells play a critical role in protection against SARS-CoV-2. Despite being highly topical, the protective role of preexisting memory CD8+ T cells, induced by prior exposure to circulating common coronavirus strains, remains less clear. In this study, we established a robust approach to specifically assess T cell responses to highly conserved regions within SARS-CoV-2. Consistent with recent observations we demonstrate that recognition of these highly conserved regions is associated with an increased likelihood of milder disease. However, extending these observations we observed that recognition of these conserved regions is rare in both exposed and unexposed volunteers, which we believe is associated with the low abundance of these proteins in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. These observations have important implications for the likely role preexisting immunity plays in controlling severe disease, further emphasizing the importance of vaccination to generate the immunodominant T cells required for immune protection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Conserved Sequence , Coronavirus/chemistry , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Reactions , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649476

ABSTRACT

Recurrent outbreaks of novel zoonotic coronavirus (CoV) diseases in recent years have highlighted the importance of developing therapeutics with broad-spectrum activity against CoVs. Because all CoVs use -1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting (-1 PRF) to control expression of key viral proteins, the frameshift signal in viral mRNA that stimulates -1 PRF provides a promising potential target for such therapeutics. To test the viability of this strategy, we explored whether small-molecule inhibitors of -1 PRF in SARS-CoV-2 also inhibited -1 PRF in a range of bat CoVs-the most likely source of future zoonoses. Six inhibitors identified in new and previous screens against SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated against the frameshift signals from a panel of representative bat CoVs as well as MERS-CoV. Some drugs had strong activity against subsets of these CoV-derived frameshift signals, while having limited to no effect on -1 PRF caused by frameshift signals from other viruses used as negative controls. Notably, the serine protease inhibitor nafamostat suppressed -1 PRF significantly for multiple CoV-derived frameshift signals. These results suggest it is possible to find small-molecule ligands that inhibit -1 PRF specifically in a broad spectrum of CoVs, establishing frameshift signals as a viable target for developing pan-coronaviral therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/genetics , Frameshift Mutation , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
6.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0165521, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673364

ABSTRACT

Although lessons have been learned from previous severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks, the rapid evolution of the viruses means that future outbreaks of a much larger scale are possible, as shown by the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Therefore, it is necessary to better understand the evolution of coronaviruses as well as viruses in general. This study reports a comparative analysis of the amino acid usage within several key viral families and genera that are prone to triggering outbreaks, including coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2], SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, human coronavirus-HKU1 [HCoV-HKU1], HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E), influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2), flavivirus (dengue virus serotypes 1 to 4 and Zika) and ebolavirus (Zaire, Sudan, and Bundibugyo ebolavirus). Our analysis reveals that the distribution of amino acid usage in the viral genome is constrained to follow a linear order, and the distribution remains closely related to the viral species within the family or genus. This constraint can be adapted to predict viral mutations and future variants of concern. By studying previous SARS and MERS outbreaks, we have adapted this naturally occurring pattern to determine that although pangolin plays a role in the outbreak of COVID-19, it may not be the sole agent as an intermediate animal. In addition to this study, our findings contribute to the understanding of viral mutations for subsequent development of vaccines and toward developing a model to determine the source of the outbreak. IMPORTANCE This study reports a comparative analysis of amino acid usage within several key viral genera that are prone to triggering outbreaks. Interestingly, there is evidence that the amino acid usage within the viral genomes is not random but in a linear order.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus/genetics , Ebolavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Flavivirus/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/genetics , Codon , Coronavirus/classification , Genome, Viral , Humans , Linear Models , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Diseases/virology
7.
J Virol ; 96(1): e0125321, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639525

ABSTRACT

Over the past 20 years, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), and SARS-CoV-2 emerged, causing severe human respiratory diseases throughout the globe. Developing broad-spectrum drugs would be invaluable in responding to new, emerging coronaviruses and to address unmet urgent clinical needs. Main protease (Mpro; also known as 3CLpro) has a major role in the coronavirus life cycle and is one of the most important targets for anti-coronavirus agents. We show that a natural product, noncovalent inhibitor, shikonin, is a pan-main protease inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, human coronavirus (HCoV)-HKU1, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E with micromolar half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values. Structures of the main protease of different coronavirus genus, SARS-CoV from the betacoronavirus genus and HCoV-NL63 from the alphacoronavirus genus, were determined by X-ray crystallography and revealed that the inhibitor interacts with key active site residues in a unique mode. The structure of the main protease inhibitor complex presents an opportunity to discover a novel series of broad-spectrum inhibitors. These data provide substantial evidence that shikonin and its derivatives may be effective against most coronaviruses as well as emerging coronaviruses of the future. Given the importance of the main protease for coronavirus therapeutic indication, insights from these studies should accelerate the development and design of safer and more effective antiviral agents. IMPORTANCE The current pandemic has created an urgent need for broad-spectrum inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. The main protease is relatively conservative compared to the spike protein and, thus, is one of the most promising targets in developing anti-coronavirus agents. We solved the crystal structures of the main protease of SARS-CoV and HCoV-NL63 that bound to shikonin. The structures provide important insights, have broad implications for understanding the structural basis underlying enzyme activity, and can facilitate rational design of broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus ligands as new therapeutic agents.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/enzymology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Molecular Docking Simulation , Naphthoquinones/chemistry , Protein Binding
8.
mBio ; 12(6): e0334721, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599212

ABSTRACT

The world was unprepared for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and remains ill-equipped for future pandemics. While unprecedented strides have been made developing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, there remains a need for highly effective and widely available regimens for ambulatory use for novel coronaviruses and other viral pathogens. We posit that a priority is to develop pan-family drug cocktails to enhance potency, limit toxicity, and avoid drug resistance. We urge cocktail development for all viruses with pandemic potential both in the short term (<1 to 2 years) and longer term with pairs of drugs in advanced clinical testing or repurposed agents approved for other indications. While significant efforts were launched against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), in vitro and in the clinic, many studies employed solo drugs and had disappointing results. Here, we review drug combination studies against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses and introduce a model-driven approach to assess drug pairs with the highest likelihood of clinical efficacy. Where component agents lack sufficient potency, we advocate for synergistic combinations to achieve therapeutic levels. We also discuss issues that stymied therapeutic progress against COVID-19, including testing of agents with low likelihood of efficacy late in clinical disease and lack of focus on developing virologic surrogate endpoints. There is a need to expedite efficient clinical trials testing drug combinations that could be taken at home by recently infected individuals and exposed contacts as early as possible during the next pandemic, whether caused by a coronavirus or another viral pathogen. The approach herein represents a proactive plan for global viral pandemic preparedness.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Drug Combinations , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Mice , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
9.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580424

ABSTRACT

Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a gammacoronavirus, is an economically important virus to the poultry industry, as well as a significant welfare issue for chickens. As for all positive strand RNA viruses, IBV infection causes rearrangements of the host cell intracellular membranes to form replication organelles. Replication organelle formation is a highly conserved and vital step in the viral life cycle. Here, we investigate the localization of viral RNA synthesis and the link with replication organelles in host cells. We have shown that sites of viral RNA synthesis and virus-related dsRNA are associated with one another and, significantly, that they are located within a membrane-bound compartment within the cell. We have also shown that some viral RNA produced early in infection remains within these membranes throughout infection, while a proportion is trafficked to the cytoplasm. Importantly, we demonstrate conservation across all four coronavirus genera, including SARS-CoV-2. Understanding more about the replication of these viruses is imperative in order to effectively find ways to control them.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus/metabolism , Intracellular Membranes/metabolism , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , Animals , Cell Line , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/growth & development , Cytoplasm/metabolism , Humans , Infectious bronchitis virus/growth & development , Infectious bronchitis virus/metabolism , RNA, Double-Stranded/metabolism , Viral Replication Compartments/metabolism
10.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580401

ABSTRACT

Medicinal chemistry optimization of a previously described stilbene inhibitor of HIV-1, 5350150 (2-(2-(5-nitro-2-thienyl)vinyl)quinoline), led to the identification of the thiazole-5-carboxamide derivative (GPS491), which retained potent anti-HIV-1 activity with reduced toxicity. In this report, we demonstrate that the block of HIV-1 replication by GPS491 is accompanied by a drastic inhibition of viral gene expression (IC50 ~ 0.25 µM), and alterations in the production of unspliced, singly spliced, and multiply spliced HIV-1 RNAs. GPS491 also inhibited the replication of adenovirus and multiple coronaviruses. Low µM doses of GPS491 reduced adenovirus infectious yield ~1000 fold, altered virus early gene expression/viral E1A RNA processing, blocked viral DNA amplification, and inhibited late (hexon) gene expression. Loss of replication of multiple coronaviruses (229E, OC43, SARS-CoV2) upon GPS491 addition was associated with the inhibition of viral structural protein expression and the formation of virus particles. Consistent with the observed changes in viral RNA processing, GPS491 treatment induced selective alterations in the accumulation/phosphorylation/function of splicing regulatory SR proteins. Our study establishes that a compound that impacts the activity of cellular factors involved in RNA processing can prevent the replication of several viruses with minimal effect on cell viability.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , HIV-1/drug effects , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional/drug effects , Thiazoles/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Adenoviridae/physiology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Line , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/physiology , Gene Expression/drug effects , HIV-1/physiology , Humans , RNA Splicing Factors/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Thiazoles/chemistry
11.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580398

ABSTRACT

We report the discovery of several highly potent small molecules with low-nM potency against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV; lowest half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50: 13 nM), SARS-CoV-2 (IC50: 23 nM), and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV; IC50: 76 nM) in pseudovirus-based assays with excellent selectivity index (SI) values (>5000), demonstrating potential pan-coronavirus inhibitory activities. Some compounds showed 100% inhibition against the cytopathic effects (CPE; IC100) of an authentic SARS-CoV-2 (US_WA-1/2020) variant at 1.25 µM. The most active inhibitors also potently inhibited variants of concern (VOCs), including the UK (B.1.1.7) and South African (B.1.351) variants and the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) originally identified in India in pseudovirus-based assay. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis with one potent inhibitor confirmed that it binds to the prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike protein trimer. These small-molecule inhibitors prevented virus-mediated cell-cell fusion. The absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) data for one of the most active inhibitors, NBCoV1, demonstrated drug-like properties. An in vivo pharmacokinetics (PK) study of NBCoV1 in rats demonstrated an excellent half-life (t1/2) of 11.3 h, a mean resident time (MRT) of 14.2 h, and oral bioavailability. We expect these lead inhibitors to facilitate the further development of preclinical and clinical candidates.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Biological Availability , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/drug effects , HIV Fusion Inhibitors/chemistry , HIV Fusion Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , HIV Fusion Inhibitors/pharmacology , Humans , Protein Binding , Rats , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacokinetics , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors
12.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580397

ABSTRACT

Mammal-associated coronaviruses have a long evolutionary history across global bat populations, which makes them prone to be the most likely ancestral origins of coronavirus-associated epidemics and pandemics globally. Limited coronavirus research has occurred at the junction of Europe and Asia, thereby investigations in Georgia are critical to complete the coronavirus diversity map in the region. We conducted a cross-sectional coronavirus survey in bat populations at eight locations of Georgia, from July to October of 2014. We tested 188 anal swab samples, remains of previous pathogen discovery studies, for the presence of coronaviruses using end-point pan-coronavirus RT-PCR assays. Samples positive for a 440 bp amplicon were Sanger sequenced to infer coronavirus subgenus or species through phylogenetic reconstructions. Overall, we found a 24.5% positive rate, with 10.1% for Alphacoronavirus and 14.4% for Betacoronavirus. Albeit R. euryale, R. ferrumequinum, M. blythii and M. emarginatus were found infected with both CoV genera, we could not rule out CoV co-infection due to limitation of the sequencing method used and sample availability. Based on phylogenetic inferences and genetic distances at nucleotide and amino acid levels, we found one putative new subgenus and three new species of Alphacoronavirus, and two new species of Betacoronavirus.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Base Sequence , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Genetic Variation , Geography , Georgia (Republic) , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
13.
Viruses ; 14(1)2022 01 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580394

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) constitute a large and diverse subfamily of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. They are found in many mammals and birds and have great importance for the health of humans and farm animals. The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, as well as many previous epidemics in humans that were of zoonotic origin, highlights the importance of studying the evolution of the entire CoV subfamily in order to understand how novel strains emerge and which molecular processes affect their adaptation, transmissibility, host/tissue tropism, and patho non-homologous genicity. In this review, we focus on studies over the last two years that reveal the impact of point mutations, insertions/deletions, and intratypic/intertypic homologous and non-homologous recombination events on the evolution of CoVs. We discuss whether the next generations of CoV vaccines should be directed against other CoV proteins in addition to or instead of spike. Based on the observed patterns of molecular evolution for the entire subfamily, we discuss five scenarios for the future evolutionary path of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, within this evolutionary context, we discuss the recently emerged Omicron (B.1.1.529) VoC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/immunology , Drug Design , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Recombination, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Viral Vaccines/immunology
14.
J Vet Sci ; 22(6): e70, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485292

ABSTRACT

Bats are an important reservoir of several zoonotic diseases. However, the circulation of bat coronaviruses (BatCoV) in live animal markets in Indonesia has not been reported. Genetic characterization of BatCoV was performed by sequencing partial RdRp genes. Real-time polymerase chain reaction based on nucleocapsid protein (N) gene and Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay against the N protein were conducted to detect the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral RNA and antibody, respectively. We identified the presence of BatCoV on Cynopterus brachyotis, Macroglossus minimus, and Rousettus amplexicaudatus. The results showed that the BatCoV included in this study are from an unclassified coronavirus group. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antibodies were not detected in the sampled bats.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Animals , Coronavirus/genetics , DNA, Viral/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/veterinary , Indonesia , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , Species Specificity
15.
Virus Res ; 306: 198566, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475120

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was first reported in Wuhan, China, and rapidly spread throughout the world. This newly emerging pathogen is highly transmittable and can cause fatal disease. More than 35 million cases have been confirmed, with a fatality rate of about 2.9% to October 9, 2020. However, the original and intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV-2 remain unknown. Here, 3160 poultry samples collected from 14 provinces of China between September and December 2019 were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection. All the samples were SARS-CoV-2 negative, but 593 avian coronaviruses were detected, including 485 avian infectious bronchitis viruses, 72 duck coronaviruses, and 36 pigeon coronaviruses, with positivity rates of 15.35%, 2.28%, and 1.14%, respectively. Our surveillance demonstrates the diversity of avian coronaviruses in China, with higher prevalence rates in some regions. Furthermore, the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a known avian-origin coronavirus can be preliminarily ruled out. More surveillance of and research into avian coronaviruses are required to better understand the diversity, distribution, cross-species transmission, and clinical significance of these viruses.


Subject(s)
Bird Diseases/virology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Genetic Variation , Animals , Bird Diseases/epidemiology , Chickens/virology , China/epidemiology , Columbidae/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Ducks/virology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Geese/virology , Phylogeny , Poultry Diseases/epidemiology , Poultry Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427002

ABSTRACT

If viral strains are sufficiently similar in their immunodominant epitopes, then populations of cross-reactive T cells may be boosted by exposure to one strain and provide protection against infection by another at a later date. This type of pre-existing immunity may be important in the adaptive immune response to influenza and to coronaviruses. Patterns of recognition of epitopes by T cell clonotypes (a set of cells sharing the same T cell receptor) are represented as edges on a bipartite network. We describe different methods of constructing bipartite networks that exhibit cross-reactivity, and the dynamics of the T cell repertoire in conditions of homeostasis, infection and re-infection. Cross-reactivity may arise simply by chance, or because immunodominant epitopes of different strains are structurally similar. We introduce a circular space of epitopes, so that T cell cross-reactivity is a quantitative measure of the overlap between clonotypes that recognize similar (that is, close in epitope space) epitopes.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Influenza A virus/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza, Human/immunology , Mice , Models, Theoretical , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
18.
J Vet Sci ; 22(5): e72, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403958

ABSTRACT

It has been speculated that bats serve as reservoirs of a huge variety of emerging coronaviruses (CoVs) that have been responsible for severe havoc in human health systems as well as negatively affecting human economic and social systems. A prime example is the currently active severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV2, which presumably originated from bats, demonstrating that the risk of a new outbreak of bat coronavirus is always latent. Therefore, an in-depth investigation to better comprehend bat CoVs has become an important issue within the international community, a group that aims to attenuate the consequences of future outbreaks. In this review, we present a concise introduction to CoVs found in bats and discuss their distribution in Southeast Asia. We also discuss the unique adaptation features in bats that confer the ability to be a potential coronavirus reservoir. In addition, we review the bat coronavirus-linked diseases that have emerged in the last two decades. Finally, we propose key factors helpful in the prediction of a novel coronavirus outbreak and present the most recent methods used to forecast an evolving outbreak.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/classification , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Asia, Southeastern , Global Health
19.
Euro Surveill ; 25(13)2020 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389098

ABSTRACT

Whole genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 obtained from two patients, a Chinese tourist visiting Rome and an Italian, were compared with sequences from Europe and elsewhere. In a phylogenetic tree, the Italian patient's sequence clustered with sequences from Germany while the tourist's sequence clustered with other European sequences. Some additional European sequences in the tree segregated outside the two clusters containing the patients' sequences. This suggests multiple SARS-CoV-2 introductions in Europe or virus evolution during circulation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/diagnosis , Travel , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , China , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Germany , Humans , Italy , Molecular Epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Point Mutation , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology
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