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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2988, 2022 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1868005

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, can infect a wide range of mammals. Since its spread in humans, secondary host jumps of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to multiple domestic and wild populations of mammals have been documented. Understanding the extent of adaptation to these animal hosts is critical for assessing the threat that the spillback of animal-adapted SARS-CoV-2 into humans poses. We compare the genomic landscapes of SARS-CoV-2 isolated from animal species to that in humans, profiling the mutational biases indicative of potentially different selective pressures in animals. We focus on viral genomes isolated from mink (Neovison vison) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) for which multiple independent outbreaks driven by onward animal-to-animal transmission have been reported. We identify five candidate mutations for animal-specific adaptation in mink (NSP9_G37E, Spike_F486L, Spike_N501T, Spike_Y453F, ORF3a_L219V), and one in deer (NSP3a_L1035F), though they appear to confer a minimal advantage for human-to-human transmission. No considerable changes to the mutation rate or evolutionary trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted from circulation in mink and deer thus far. Our findings suggest that minimal adaptation was required for onward transmission in mink and deer following human-to-animal spillover, highlighting the 'generalist' nature of SARS-CoV-2 as a mammalian pathogen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Deer , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Host Adaptation , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(11): e1010053, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506691

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 patients transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to minks in the Netherlands in April 2020. Subsequently, the mink-associated virus (miSARS-CoV-2) spilled back over into humans. Genetic sequences of the miSARS-CoV-2 identified a new genetic variant known as "Cluster 5" that contained mutations in the spike protein. However, the functional properties of these "Cluster 5" mutations have not been well established. In this study, we found that the Y453F mutation located in the RBD domain of miSARS-CoV-2 is an adaptive mutation that enhances binding to mink ACE2 and other orthologs of Mustela species without compromising, and even enhancing, its ability to utilize human ACE2 as a receptor for entry. Structural analysis suggested that despite the similarity in the overall binding mode of SARS-CoV-2 RBD to human and mink ACE2, Y34 of mink ACE2 was better suited to interact with a Phe rather than a Tyr at position 453 of the viral RBD due to less steric clash and tighter hydrophobic-driven interaction. Additionally, the Y453F spike exhibited resistance to convalescent serum, posing a risk for vaccine development. Thus, our study suggests that since the initial transmission from humans, SARS-CoV-2 evolved to adapt to the mink host, leading to widespread circulation among minks while still retaining its ability to efficiently utilize human ACE2 for entry, thus allowing for transmission of the miSARS-CoV-2 back into humans. These findings underscore the importance of active surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 evolution in Mustela species and other susceptible hosts in order to prevent future outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , Host Adaptation , Mink/immunology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Mink/virology , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Netherlands/epidemiology , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Young Adult
4.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488763

ABSTRACT

In the last two decades, several coronavirus (CoV) interspecies jumping events have occurred between bats and other animals/humans, leading to major epidemics/pandemics and high fatalities. The SARS epidemic in 2002/2003 had a ~10% fatality. The discovery of SARS-related CoVs in horseshoe bats and civets and genomic studies have confirmed bat-to-civet-to-human transmission. The MERS epidemic that emerged in 2012 had a ~35% mortality, with dromedaries as the reservoir. Although CoVs with the same genome organization (e.g., Tylonycteris BatCoV HKU4 and Pipistrellus BatCoV HKU5) were also detected in bats, there is still a phylogenetic gap between these bat CoVs and MERS-CoV. In 2016, 10 years after the discovery of Rhinolophus BatCoV HKU2 in Chinese horseshoe bats, fatal swine disease outbreaks caused by this virus were reported in southern China. In late 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia emerged in Wuhan, China, and rapidly spread globally, leading to >4,000,000 fatalities so far. Although the genome of SARS-CoV-2 is highly similar to that of SARS-CoV, patient zero and the original source of the pandemic are still unknown. To protect humans from future public health threats, measures should be taken to monitor and reduce the chance of interspecies jumping events, either occurring naturally or through recombineering experiments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus/physiology , Host Adaptation , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Alphacoronavirus/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Host Specificity , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/transmission , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/veterinary
5.
Cell ; 184(20): 5189-5200.e7, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401295

ABSTRACT

The independent emergence late in 2020 of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 lineages of SARS-CoV-2 prompted renewed concerns about the evolutionary capacity of this virus to overcome public health interventions and rising population immunity. Here, by examining patterns of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations that have accumulated in SARS-CoV-2 genomes since the pandemic began, we find that the emergence of these three "501Y lineages" coincided with a major global shift in the selective forces acting on various SARS-CoV-2 genes. Following their emergence, the adaptive evolution of 501Y lineage viruses has involved repeated selectively favored convergent mutations at 35 genome sites, mutations we refer to as the 501Y meta-signature. The ongoing convergence of viruses in many other lineages on this meta-signature suggests that it includes multiple mutation combinations capable of promoting the persistence of diverse SARS-CoV-2 lineages in the face of mounting host immune recognition.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Mutation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Codon/genetics , Genes, Viral , Genetic Drift , Host Adaptation/genetics , Humans , Immune Evasion , Phylogeny , Public Health
8.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(7): e1009381, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291654

ABSTRACT

Clearance of viral infections, such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV), must be fine-tuned to eliminate the pathogen without causing immunopathology. As such, an aggressive initial innate immune response favors the host in contrast to a detrimental prolonged inflammation. The complement pathway bridges innate and adaptive immune system and contributes to the response by directly clearing pathogens or infected cells, as well as recruiting proinflammatory immune cells and regulating inflammation. However, the impact of modulating complement activation in viral infections is still unclear. In this work, we targeted the complement decay-accelerating factor (DAF/CD55), a surface protein that protects cells from non-specific complement attack, and analyzed its role in IAV infections. We found that DAF modulates IAV infection in vivo, via an interplay with the antigenic viral proteins hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), in a strain specific manner. Our results reveal that, contrary to what could be expected, DAF potentiates complement activation, increasing the recruitment of neutrophils, monocytes and T cells. We also show that viral NA acts on the heavily sialylated DAF and propose that the NA-dependent DAF removal of sialic acids exacerbates complement activation, leading to lung immunopathology. Remarkably, this mechanism has no impact on viral loads, but rather on the host resilience to infection, and may have direct implications in zoonotic influenza transmissions.


Subject(s)
CD55 Antigens/physiology , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/isolation & purification , Lung/immunology , Viremia/immunology , Animals , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , CD55 Antigens/chemistry , CD55 Antigens/deficiency , Chemotaxis, Leukocyte , Complement Activation , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/physiology , Host Adaptation , Host Specificity , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/enzymology , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/pathogenicity , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/physiology , Interferon-gamma/analysis , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , N-Acetylneuraminic Acid , Neuraminidase/physiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/pathology , Viral Load , Viral Proteins/physiology , Virulence , Virus Replication , Weight Loss
9.
Science ; 373(6555)2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282050

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants with multiple spike mutations enable increased transmission and antibody resistance. We combined cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), binding, and computational analyses to study variant spikes, including one that was involved in transmission between minks and humans, and others that originated and spread in human populations. All variants showed increased angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding and increased propensity for receptor binding domain (RBD)-up states. While adaptation to mink resulted in spike destabilization, the B.1.1.7 (UK) spike balanced stabilizing and destabilizing mutations. A local destabilizing effect of the RBD E484K mutation was implicated in resistance of the B.1.1.28/P.1 (Brazil) and B.1.351 (South Africa) variants to neutralizing antibodies. Our studies revealed allosteric effects of mutations and mechanistic differences that drive either interspecies transmission or escape from antibody neutralization.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19/virology , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Host Adaptation , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mink/virology , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Protein Subunits/chemistry , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(18)2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189343

ABSTRACT

Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are mustelids of special relevance to laboratory studies of respiratory viruses and have been shown to be susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and onward transmission. Here, we report the results of a natural experiment where 29 ferrets in one home had prolonged, direct contact and constant environmental exposure to two humans with symptomatic disease, one of whom was confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. We observed no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from humans to ferrets based on viral and antibody assays. To better understand this discrepancy in experimental and natural infection in ferrets, we compared SARS-CoV-2 sequences from natural and experimental mustelid infections and identified two surface glycoprotein Spike (S) mutations associated with mustelids. While we found evidence that angiotensin-converting enzyme II provides a weak host barrier, one mutation only seen in ferrets is located in the novel S1/S2 cleavage site and is computationally predicted to decrease furin cleavage efficiency. These data support the idea that host factors interacting with the novel S1/S2 cleavage site may be a barrier in ferret SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and that domestic ferrets are at low risk of natural infection from currently circulating SARS-CoV-2. We propose two mechanistically grounded hypotheses for mustelid host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2, with possible effects that require additional investigation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Ferrets/virology , Host Adaptation , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , Disease Susceptibility , Humans
11.
Dev Growth Differ ; 63(3): 219-227, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088005

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a pandemic as of early 2020. Upon infection, SARS-CoV-2 attaches to its receptor, that is, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), on the surface of host cells and is then internalized into host cells via enzymatic machineries. This subsequently stimulates immune response factors. Since the host immune response and severity of COVID-19 vary among individuals, genetic risk factors for severe COVID-19 cases have been investigated. Our research group recently conducted a survey of genetic variants among SARS-CoV-2-interacting molecules across populations, noting near absence of difference in allele frequency spectrum between populations in these genes. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified genetic risk factors for severe COVID-19 cases in a segment of chromosome 3 that involves six genes encoding three immune-regulatory chemokine receptors and another three molecules. The risk haplotype seemed to be inherited from Neanderthals, suggesting genetic adaptation against pathogens in modern human evolution. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 uses highly conserved molecules as its virion interaction, whereas its immune response appears to be genetically biased in individuals to some extent. We herein review the molecular process of SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as our further survey of genetic variants of its related immune effectors. We also discuss aspects of modern human evolution.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19 , Evolution, Molecular , Genetic Variation , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Conserved Sequence , Genome-Wide Association Study , Host Adaptation/genetics , Host Adaptation/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sequence Analysis, RNA
12.
Front Immunol ; 11: 26, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-822478

ABSTRACT

In recent years, viruses similar to those that cause serious disease in humans and other mammals have been detected in apparently healthy bats. These include filoviruses, paramyxoviruses, and coronaviruses that cause severe diseases such as Ebola virus disease, Marburg haemorrhagic fever and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in humans. The evolution of flight in bats seem to have selected for a unique set of antiviral immune responses that control virus propagation, while limiting self-damaging inflammatory responses. Here, we summarize our current understanding of antiviral immune responses in bats and discuss their ability to co-exist with emerging viruses that cause serious disease in other mammals. We highlight how this knowledge may help us to predict viral spillovers into new hosts and discuss future directions for the field.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/immunology , Chiroptera/virology , DNA Viruses/immunology , Host Adaptation/immunology , Immune System/virology , RNA Viruses/immunology , Adaptive Immunity , Animals , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Immunity, Innate , Interferons/metabolism , Viral Zoonoses/immunology , Viral Zoonoses/transmission
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