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1.
Jpn J Infect Dis ; 75(2): 121-126, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756480

ABSTRACT

Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) are distributed globally and they cause a range of respiratory symptoms. Since HCoV infection usually causes mild upper respiratory tract disease and currently has no specific therapy, there are limited reports on its features, especially in adults. We aimed to evaluate the features of HCoV infections in clinical settings. Adult patients with respiratory symptoms from October 2014 to September 2019 at Nagasaki Genbaku Isahaya Hospital were enrolled. Multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction as performed for 15 viruses, including HCoVs, and eight bacterial species on the patients' respiratory specimens. A total of 121 cases were recruited with HKU1, OC43, 229E, and NL63 strains in 80, 21, 12, and 11 cases, respectively. The percentage of HCoV-infected patients peaked in winter (47.5%). Symptoms of fever (69.4%), cough (47.9%), and comorbidities of asthma/cough variant asthma (34.7%) were frequently observed. Lymphocytopenia and increased C-reactive protein levels were observed in laboratory tests. Co-infection with other viruses was identified in 38.8% of the cases. In the repeat-positive cases, 42% were repeat positive within 100 days. HCoV-infected patients showed winter seasonality with a high frequency of comorbidity with asthma and co-infections. Re-infection within an early period was suspected, but further consideration is required.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 229E, Human , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Coronavirus , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adult , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Humans
2.
J Virol ; 96(7): e0151621, 2022 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1744134

ABSTRACT

ADP-ribosylation is a highly dynamic posttranslational modification frequently studied in stress response pathways with recent attention given to its role in response to viral infection. Notably, the alphaviruses encode catalytically active macrodomains capable of ADP-ribosylhydrolase (ARH) activities, implying a role in remodeling the cellular ADP-ribosylome. This report decouples mono- and poly-ARH contributions to macrodomain function using a newly engineered Sindbis virus (SINV) mutant with attenuated poly-ARH activity. Our findings indicate that viral poly-ARH activity is uniquely required for high titer replication in mammalian systems. Despite translating incoming genomic RNA as efficiently as WT virus, mutant viruses have a reduced capacity to establish productive infection, offering a more complete understanding of the kinetics and role of the alphavirus macrodomain with important implications for broader ADP-ribosyltransferase biology. IMPORTANCE Viral macrodomains have drawn attention in recent years due to their high degree of conservation in several virus families (e.g., coronaviruses and alphaviruses) and their potential druggability. These domains erase mono- or poly-ADP-ribose, posttranslational modifications written by host poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) proteins, from undetermined host or viral proteins to enhance replication. Prior work determined that efficient alphavirus replication requires catalytically active macrodomains; however, which form of the modification requires removal and from which protein(s) had not been determined. Here, we present evidence for the specific requirement of poly-ARH activity to ensure efficient productive infection and virus replication.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus , Poly Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose , Adenosine Diphosphate Ribose/metabolism , Animals , Coronavirus/genetics , Mammals/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/genetics
3.
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
4.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264855, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736511

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019 the world has been facing the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Identification of infected patients and discrimination from other respiratory infections have so far been accomplished by using highly specific real-time PCRs. Here we present a rapid multiplex approach (RespiCoV), combining highly multiplexed PCRs and MinION sequencing suitable for the simultaneous screening for 41 viral and five bacterial agents related to respiratory tract infections, including the human coronaviruses NL63, HKU1, OC43, 229E, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. RespiCoV was applied to 150 patient samples with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection and compared with specific real-time PCR. Additionally, several respiratory tract pathogens were identified in samples tested positive or negative for SARS-CoV-2. Finally, RespiCoV was experimentally compared to the commercial RespiFinder 2SMART multiplex screening assay (PathoFinder, The Netherlands).


Subject(s)
Bacteria/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , RNA Viruses/genetics , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , DNA, Bacterial/chemistry , DNA, Bacterial/metabolism , Herpesvirus 1, Human/genetics , Herpesvirus 1, Human/isolation & purification , Humans , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Nanopores , Orthomyxoviridae/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae/isolation & purification , RNA Viruses/isolation & purification , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
5.
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
6.
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
7.
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
8.
Genome Biol Evol ; 14(2)2022 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684680

ABSTRACT

The lack of an identifiable intermediate host species for the proximal animal ancestor of SARS-CoV-2, and the large geographical distance between Wuhan and where the closest evolutionary related coronaviruses circulating in horseshoe bats (members of the Sarbecovirus subgenus) have been identified, is fueling speculation on the natural origins of SARS-CoV-2. We performed a comprehensive phylogenetic study on SARS-CoV-2 and all the related bat and pangolin sarbecoviruses sampled so far. Determining the likely recombination events reveals a highly reticulate evolutionary history within this group of coronaviruses. Distribution of the inferred recombination events is nonrandom with evidence that Spike, the main target for humoral immunity, is beside a recombination hotspot likely driving antigenic shift events in the ancestry of bat sarbecoviruses. Coupled with the geographic ranges of their hosts and the sampling locations, across southern China, and into Southeast Asia, we confirm that horseshoe bats, Rhinolophus, are the likely reservoir species for the SARS-CoV-2 progenitor. By tracing the recombinant sequence patterns, we conclude that there has been relatively recent geographic movement and cocirculation of these viruses' ancestors, extending across their bat host ranges in China and Southeast Asia over the last 100 years. We confirm that a direct proximal ancestor to SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been sampled, since the closest known relatives collected in Yunnan shared a common ancestor with SARS-CoV-2 approximately 40 years ago. Our analysis highlights the need for dramatically more wildlife sampling to: 1) pinpoint the exact origins of SARS-CoV-2's animal progenitor, 2) the intermediate species that facilitated transmission from bats to humans (if there is one), and 3) survey the extent of the diversity in the related sarbecoviruses' phylogeny that present high risk for future spillovers.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/genetics , Pangolins/virology , Phylogeny , Recombination, Genetic , Animals , Humans , Phylogeography
9.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 461, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1629128

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Coronaviruses (CoVs) are natural commensals of bats. Two subgenera, namely Sarbecoviruses and Merbecoviruses have a high zoonotic potential and have been associated with three separate spillover events in the past 2 decades, making surveillance of bat-CoVs crucial for the prevention of the next epidemic. The study was aimed to elucidate the presence of coronavirus in fresh bat guano sampled from Wind Cave Nature Reserve (WCNR) in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Samples collected were placed into viral transport medium, transported on ice within the collection day, and preserved at - 80 °C. Nucleic acid was extracted using the column method and screened using consensus PCR primers targeting the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene. Amplicons were sequenced bidirectionally using the Sanger method. Phylogenetic tree with maximum-likelihood bootstrap and Bayesian posterior probability were constructed. RESULTS: CoV-RNA was detected in ten specimens (47.6%, n = 21). Six alphacoronavirus and four betacoronaviruses were identified. The bat-CoVs can be phylogenetically grouped into four novel clades which are closely related to Decacovirus-1 and Decacovirus-2, Sarbecovirus, and an unclassified CoV. CoVs lineages unique to the Island of Borneo were discovered in Sarawak, Malaysia, with one of them closely related to Sarbecovirus. All of them are distant from currently known human coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera , Coronavirus , Animals , Bayes Theorem , Borneo , Coronavirus/genetics , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Phylogeny
10.
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
11.
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
12.
Mol Biol Evol ; 39(1)2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635982

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) have very large RNA viral genomes with a distinct genomic architecture of core and accessory open reading frames (ORFs). It is of utmost importance to understand their patterns and limits of homologous and nonhomologous recombination, because such events may affect the emergence of novel CoV strains, alter their host range, infection rate, tissue tropism pathogenicity, and their ability to escape vaccination programs. Intratypic recombination among closely related CoVs of the same subgenus has often been reported; however, the patterns and limits of genomic exchange between more distantly related CoV lineages (intertypic recombination) need further investigation. Here, we report computational/evolutionary analyses that clearly demonstrate a substantial ability for CoVs of different subgenera to recombine. Furthermore, we show that CoVs can obtain-through nonhomologous recombination-accessory ORFs from core ORFs, exchange accessory ORFs with different CoV genera, with other viruses (i.e., toroviruses, influenza C/D, reoviruses, rotaviruses, astroviruses) and even with hosts. Intriguingly, most of these radical events result from double crossovers surrounding the Spike ORF, thus highlighting both the instability and mobile nature of this genomic region. Although many such events have often occurred during the evolution of various CoVs, the genomic architecture of the relatively young SARS-CoV/SARS-CoV-2 lineage so far appears to be stable.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral , Recombination, Genetic , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Open Reading Frames , Phylogeny
13.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 200: 487-497, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634879

ABSTRACT

Virus-like particles (VLPs) are nano-scale particles that are morphologically similar to a live virus but which lack a genetic component. Since the pandemic spread of COVID-19, much focus has been placed on coronavirus (CoV)-related VLPs. CoVs contain four structural proteins, though the minimum requirement for VLP formation differs among virus species. CoV VLPs are commonly produced in mammalian and insect cell systems, sometimes in the form of chimeric VLPs that enable surface display of CoV epitopes. VLPs are an ideal model for virological research and have been applied as vaccines and diagnostic reagents to aid in clinical disease control. This review summarizes and updates the research progress on the characteristics of VLPs from different known CoVs, mainly focusing on assembly, in vitro expression systems for VLP generation, VLP chimerism, protein-based nanoparticles and their applications in basic research and clinical settings, which may aid in development of novel VLP vaccines against emerging coronavirus diseases such as SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/biosynthesis , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/genetics , Animals , Chimerism , Epitopes , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/therapeutic use , Viral Proteins , Virus Assembly
14.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(12): e1009675, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1619980

ABSTRACT

Identifying the epitope of an antibody is a key step in understanding its function and its potential as a therapeutic. Sequence-based clonal clustering can identify antibodies with similar epitope complementarity, however, antibodies from markedly different lineages but with similar structures can engage the same epitope. We describe a novel computational method for epitope profiling based on structural modelling and clustering. Using the method, we demonstrate that sequence dissimilar but functionally similar antibodies can be found across the Coronavirus Antibody Database, with high accuracy (92% of antibodies in multiple-occupancy structural clusters bind to consistent domains). Our approach functionally links antibodies with distinct genetic lineages, species origins, and coronavirus specificities. This indicates greater convergence exists in the immune responses to coronaviruses than is suggested by sequence-based approaches. Our results show that applying structural analytics to large class-specific antibody databases will enable high confidence structure-function relationships to be drawn, yielding new opportunities to identify functional convergence hitherto missed by sequence-only analysis.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibody Specificity , Antigen-Antibody Complex/chemistry , Antigen-Antibody Complex/genetics , Antigen-Antibody Reactions/genetics , Antigen-Antibody Reactions/immunology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus/chemistry , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/immunology , Databases, Chemical , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Humans , Mice , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology
15.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(2): 635-650, 2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621653

ABSTRACT

Coronaviral methyltransferases (MTases), nsp10/16 and nsp14, catalyze the last two steps of viral RNA-cap creation that takes place in cytoplasm. This cap is essential for the stability of viral RNA and, most importantly, for the evasion of innate immune system. Non-capped RNA is recognized by innate immunity which leads to its degradation and the activation of antiviral immunity. As a result, both coronaviral MTases are in the center of scientific scrutiny. Recently, X-ray and cryo-EM structures of both enzymes were solved even in complex with other parts of the viral replication complex. High-throughput screening as well as structure-guided inhibitor design have led to the discovery of their potent inhibitors. Here, we critically summarize the tremendous advancement of the coronaviral MTase field since the beginning of COVID pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/enzymology , Methyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Amino Acids/chemistry , Binding Sites , Coronavirus/genetics , Drug Discovery , Humans , Methylation , Models, Molecular , Molecular Conformation , Molecular Structure , Protein Binding , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship
16.
Ecohealth ; 18(4): 421-428, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1590480

ABSTRACT

We investigated the prevalence of coronaviruses in 44 bats from four families in northeastern Eswatini using high-throughput sequencing of fecal samples. We found evidence of coronaviruses in 18% of the bats. We recovered full or near-full-length genomes from two bat species: Chaerephon pumilus and Afronycteris nana, as well as additional coronavirus genome fragments from C. pumilus, Epomophorus wahlbergi, Mops condylurus, and Scotophilus dinganii. All bats from which we detected coronaviruses were captured leaving buildings or near human settlements, demonstrating the importance of continued surveillance of coronaviruses in bats to better understand the prevalence, diversity, and potential risks for spillover.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Metagenomics , Animals , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Eswatini , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny
17.
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
18.
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
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24442, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1577650

ABSTRACT

Therapeutic interventions targeting viral infections remain a significant challenge for both the medical and scientific communities. While specific antiviral agents have shown success as therapeutics, viral resistance inevitably develops, making many of these approaches ineffective. This inescapable obstacle warrants alternative approaches, such as the targeting of host cellular factors. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the major respiratory pathogen of infants and children worldwide, causes respiratory tract infection ranging from mild upper respiratory tract symptoms to severe life-threatening lower respiratory tract disease. Despite the fact that the molecular biology of the virus, which was originally discovered in 1956, is well described, there is no vaccine or effective antiviral treatment against RSV infection. Here, we demonstrate that targeting host factors, specifically, mTOR signaling, reduces RSV protein production and generation of infectious progeny virus. Further, we show that this approach can be generalizable as inhibition of mTOR kinases reduces coronavirus gene expression, mRNA transcription and protein production. Overall, defining virus replication-dependent host functions may be an effective means to combat viral infections, particularly in the absence of antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus/metabolism , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/metabolism , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , A549 Cells , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/drug effects , Humans , Protein Biosynthesis/drug effects , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , Rapamycin-Insensitive Companion of mTOR Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , Rapamycin-Insensitive Companion of mTOR Protein/genetics , Rapamycin-Insensitive Companion of mTOR Protein/metabolism , Regulatory-Associated Protein of mTOR/antagonists & inhibitors , Regulatory-Associated Protein of mTOR/genetics , Regulatory-Associated Protein of mTOR/metabolism , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/pathology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/drug effects , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/isolation & purification , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
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