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1.
J Gen Virol ; 103(4)2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774462

ABSTRACT

Following the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in PR China in late 2019 a number of variants have emerged, with two of these - alpha and delta - subsequently growing to global prevalence. One characteristic of these variants are changes within the spike protein, in particular the receptor-binding domain (RBD). From a public health perspective, these changes have important implications for increased transmissibility and immune escape; however, their presence could also modify the intrinsic host range of the virus. Using viral pseudotyping, we examined whether the variants of concern (VOCs) alpha, beta, gamma and delta have differing host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor usage patterns, focusing on a range of relevant mammalian ACE2 proteins. All four VOCs were able to overcome a previous restriction for mouse ACE2, with demonstrable differences also seen for individual VOCs with rat, ferret or civet ACE2 receptors, changes that we subsequently attributed to N501Y and E484K substitutions within the spike RBD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Ferrets , Host Specificity , Humans , Mice , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Rats , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
PLoS Genet ; 18(2): e1010030, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753176

ABSTRACT

Viruses are highly evolvable, but what traits endow this property? The high mutation rates of viruses certainly play a role, but factors that act above the genetic code, like protein thermostability, are also expected to contribute. We studied how the thermostability of a model virus, bacteriophage λ, affects its ability to evolve to use a new receptor, a key evolutionary transition that can cause host-range evolution. Using directed evolution and synthetic biology techniques we generated a library of host-recognition protein variants with altered stabilities and then tested their capacity to evolve to use a new receptor. Variants fell within three stability classes: stable, unstable, and catastrophically unstable. The most evolvable were the two unstable variants, whereas seven of eight stable variants were significantly less evolvable, and the two catastrophically unstable variants could not grow. The slowly evolving stable variants were delayed because they required an additional destabilizing mutation. These results are particularly noteworthy because they contradict a widely supported contention that thermostabilizing mutations enhance evolvability of proteins by increasing mutational robustness. Our work suggests that the relationship between thermostability and evolvability is more complex than previously thought, provides evidence for a new molecular model of host-range expansion evolution, and identifies instability as a potential predictor of viral host-range evolution.


Subject(s)
Viral Proteins , Viruses , Host Specificity , Mutation , Phenotype , Viral Proteins/genetics
4.
5.
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
6.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707746

ABSTRACT

The emergence of multiple variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the importance of possible animal-to-human (zoonotic) and human-to-animal (zooanthroponotic) transmission and potential spread within animal species. A range of animal species have been verified for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility, either in vitro or in vivo. However, the molecular bases of such a broad host spectrum for the SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive. Here, we structurally and genetically analysed the interaction between the spike protein, with a particular focus on receptor binding domains (RBDs), of SARS-CoV-2 and its receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for all conceivably susceptible groups of animals to gauge the structural bases of the SARS-CoV-2 host spectrum. We describe our findings in the context of existing animal infection-based models to provide a foundation on the possible virus persistence in animals and their implications in the future eradication of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Host Specificity , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Phylogeny , Receptors, Virus , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Zoonoses/epidemiology
7.
Cell Rep ; 38(7): 110387, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654154

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) display enhanced transmissibility and resistance to antibody neutralization. Comparing the early 2020 isolate EU-1 to the VOCs Alpha, Beta, and Gamma in mice transgenic for human ACE2 reveals that VOCs induce a broadened scope of symptoms, expand systemic infection to the gastrointestinal tract, elicit the depletion of natural killer cells, and trigger variant-specific cytokine production patterns. Gamma infections result in accelerated disease progression associated with increased immune activation and inflammation. All four SARS-CoV-2 variants induce pDC depletion in the lungs, paralleled by reduced interferon responses. Remarkably, VOCs also use the murine ACE2 receptor for infection to replicate in the lungs of wild-type animals, which induce cellular and innate immune responses that apparently curtail the spread of overt disease. VOCs thus display distinct intrinsic pathogenic properties with broadened tissue and host range. The enhanced pathogenicity of VOCs and their potential for reverse zoonotic transmission pose challenges to clinical and pandemic management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Host Specificity , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Innate , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Mice , Species Specificity , Viral Load , Viral Tropism , Virulence , Virus Replication
8.
J Genet Genomics ; 48(12): 1111-1121, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587279

ABSTRACT

The rapid accumulation of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant that enabled its outbreak raises questions as to whether its proximal origin occurred in humans or another mammalian host. Here, we identified 45 point mutations that Omicron acquired since divergence from the B.1.1 lineage. We found that the Omicron spike protein sequence was subjected to stronger positive selection than that of any reported SARS-CoV-2 variants known to evolve persistently in human hosts, suggesting a possibility of host-jumping. The molecular spectrum of mutations (i.e., the relative frequency of the 12 types of base substitutions) acquired by the progenitor of Omicron was significantly different from the spectrum for viruses that evolved in human patients but resembled the spectra associated with virus evolution in a mouse cellular environment. Furthermore, mutations in the Omicron spike protein significantly overlapped with SARS-CoV-2 mutations known to promote adaptation to mouse hosts, particularly through enhanced spike protein binding affinity for the mouse cell entry receptor. Collectively, our results suggest that the progenitor of Omicron jumped from humans to mice, rapidly accumulated mutations conducive to infecting that host, then jumped back into humans, indicating an inter-species evolutionary trajectory for the Omicron outbreak.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Host Specificity/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mutation/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580408

ABSTRACT

The emergence of new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern pose a major threat to public health, due to possible enhanced virulence, transmissibility and immune escape. These variants may also adapt to new hosts, in part through mutations in the spike protein. In this study, we evaluated the infectivity and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in wild-type C57BL/6 mice. Six-week-old mice were inoculated intranasally with a representative virus from the original B.1 lineage, or the emerging B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 lineages. We also infected a group of mice with a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 (MA10). Viral load and mRNA levels of multiple cytokines and chemokines were analyzed in the lung tissues on day 3 after infection. Our data show that unlike the B.1 virus, the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 viruses are capable of infecting C57BL/6 mice and replicating at high concentrations in the lungs. The B.1.351 virus replicated to higher titers in the lungs compared with the B.1.1.7 and MA10 viruses. The levels of cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1ß) and chemokine (CCL2) were upregulated in response to the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 infection in the lungs. In addition, robust expression of viral nucleocapsid protein and histopathological changes were detected in the lungs of B.1.351-infected mice. Overall, these data indicate a greater potential for infectivity and adaptation to new hosts by emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Host Specificity , Inflammation , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Viral Load , Virus Replication
10.
Comput Biol Chem ; 96: 107613, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549716

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing global health emergency that has caused tremendous stress and loss of life worldwide. The viral spike glycoprotein is a critical molecule mediating transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by interacting with human ACE2. However, through the course of the pandemics, there has not been a thorough analysis of the spike protein mutations, and on how these mutants influence the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Besides, cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection among pets and wild animals have been reported, so the susceptibility of these animals requires great attention to investigate, as they may also link to the renewed question of a possible intermediate host for SARS-CoV-2 before it was transmitted to humans. With over 226,000 SARS-CoV-2 sequences obtained, we found 1573 missense mutations in the spike gene, and 226 of them were within the receptor-binding domain (RBD) region that directly interacts with human ACE2. Modeling the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 spike mutants and ACE2 molecules showed that most of the 74 missense mutations in the RBD region of the interaction interface had little impact on spike binding to ACE2, whereas several within the spike RBD increased the binding affinity toward human ACE2 thus making the virus likely more contagious. On the other hand, modeling the interactions between animal ACE2 molecules and SARS-CoV-2 spike revealed that many pets and wild animals' ACE2 had a variable binding ability. Particularly, ACE2 of bamboo rat had stronger binding to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, whereas that of mole, vole, Mus pahari, palm civet, and pangolin had a weaker binding compared to human ACE2. Our results provide structural insights into the impact on interactions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike mutants to human ACE2, and shed light on SARS-CoV-2 transmission in pets and wild animals, and possible clues to the intermediate host(s) for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19/virology , Mutation, Missense , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Animals, Wild/genetics , Animals, Wild/virology , COVID-19/transmission , Computational Biology , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Specificity/genetics , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics/veterinary , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pets/genetics , Pets/virology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Risk Factors
11.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(11): e1009560, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523396

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, is of zoonotic origin. Evolutionary analyses assessing whether coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 infected ancestral species of modern-day animal hosts could be useful in identifying additional reservoirs of potentially dangerous coronaviruses. We reasoned that if a clade of species has been repeatedly exposed to a virus, then their proteins relevant for viral entry may exhibit adaptations that affect host susceptibility or response. We perform comparative analyses across the mammalian phylogeny of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2, in order to uncover evidence for selection acting at its binding interface with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. We uncover that in rodents there is evidence for adaptive amino acid substitutions at positions comprising the ACE2-spike interaction interface, whereas the variation within ACE2 proteins in primates and some other mammalian clades is not consistent with evolutionary adaptations. We also analyze aminopeptidase N (APN), the receptor for the human coronavirus 229E, a virus that causes the common cold, and find evidence for adaptation in primates. Altogether, our results suggest that the rodent and primate lineages may have had ancient exposures to viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-229E, respectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adaptation, Physiological/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , CD13 Antigens/genetics , CD13 Antigens/physiology , Common Cold/genetics , Common Cold/virology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/genetics , Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , Evolution, Molecular , Genomics , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/physiology , Host Specificity/genetics , Host Specificity/physiology , Humans , Mammals/genetics , Mammals/virology , Phylogeny , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Selection, Genetic , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Virus Internalization
12.
Proc Biol Sci ; 288(1963): 20211651, 2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522468

ABSTRACT

Back and forth transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) between humans and animals will establish wild reservoirs of virus that endanger long-term efforts to control COVID-19 in people and to protect vulnerable animal populations. Better targeting surveillance and laboratory experiments to validate zoonotic potential requires predicting high-risk host species. A major bottleneck to this effort is the few species with available sequences for angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor, a key receptor required for viral cell entry. We overcome this bottleneck by combining species' ecological and biological traits with three-dimensional modelling of host-virus protein-protein interactions using machine learning. This approach enables predictions about the zoonotic capacity of SARS-CoV-2 for greater than 5000 mammals-an order of magnitude more species than previously possible. Our predictions are strongly corroborated by in vivo studies. The predicted zoonotic capacity and proximity to humans suggest enhanced transmission risk from several common mammals, and priority areas of geographic overlap between these species and global COVID-19 hotspots. With molecular data available for only a small fraction of potential animal hosts, linking data across biological scales offers a conceptual advance that may expand our predictive modelling capacity for zoonotic viruses with similarly unknown host ranges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Host Specificity , Humans , Mammals , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
13.
Front Immunol ; 12: 769543, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520098

ABSTRACT

Many pathogens encode proteases that serve to antagonize the host immune system. In particular, viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome [(+)ssRNA], including picornaviruses, flaviviruses, and coronaviruses, encode proteases that are not only required for processing viral polyproteins into functional units but also manipulate crucial host cellular processes through their proteolytic activity. Because these proteases must cleave numerous polyprotein sites as well as diverse host targets, evolution of these viral proteases is expected to be highly constrained. However, despite this strong evolutionary constraint, mounting evidence suggests that viral proteases such as picornavirus 3C, flavivirus NS3, and coronavirus 3CL, are engaged in molecular 'arms races' with their targeted host factors, resulting in host- and virus-specific determinants of protease cleavage. In cases where protease-mediated cleavage results in host immune inactivation, recurrent host gene evolution can result in avoidance of cleavage by viral proteases. In other cases, such as recently described examples in NLRP1 and CARD8, hosts have evolved 'tripwire' sequences that mimic protease cleavage sites and activate an immune response upon cleavage. In both cases, host evolution may be responsible for driving viral protease evolution, helping explain why viral proteases and polyprotein sites are divergent among related viruses despite such strong evolutionary constraint. Importantly, these evolutionary conflicts result in diverse protease-host interactions even within closely related host and viral species, thereby contributing to host range, zoonotic potential, and pathogenicity of viral infection. Such examples highlight the importance of examining viral protease-host interactions through an evolutionary lens.


Subject(s)
Immune System/immunology , Viral Proteases/immunology , Animals , Evolution, Molecular , Host Specificity/genetics , Host Specificity/immunology , Humans , Viral Proteases/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
14.
PLoS Biol ; 19(4): e3001135, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1508487

ABSTRACT

Identifying the animal reservoirs from which zoonotic viruses will likely emerge is central to understanding the determinants of disease emergence. Accordingly, there has been an increase in studies attempting zoonotic "risk assessment." Herein, we demonstrate that the virological data on which these analyses are conducted are incomplete, biased, and rapidly changing with ongoing virus discovery. Together, these shortcomings suggest that attempts to assess zoonotic risk using available virological data are likely to be inaccurate and largely only identify those host taxa that have been studied most extensively. We suggest that virus surveillance at the human-animal interface may be more productive.


Subject(s)
Environmental Monitoring , Virus Diseases , Zoonoses/etiology , Zoonoses/prevention & control , Animals , Biodiversity , Disease Reservoirs/classification , Disease Reservoirs/statistics & numerical data , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Environmental Monitoring/standards , Host Specificity/genetics , Humans , Metagenomics/methods , Metagenomics/organization & administration , Metagenomics/standards , Phylogeny , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Selection Bias , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Virus Diseases/etiology , Virus Diseases/prevention & control , Virus Diseases/transmission , Viruses/classification , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/isolation & purification , Viruses/pathogenicity , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/virology
15.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 2199-2201, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505680

ABSTRACT

We report pilot studies to evaluate the susceptibility of common domestic livestock (cattle, sheep, goat, alpaca, rabbit, and horse) to intranasal infection with SARS-CoV-2. None of the infected animals shed infectious virus via nasal, oral, or faecal routes, although viral RNA was detected in several animals. Further, neutralizing antibody titres were low or non-existent one month following infection. These results suggest that domestic livestock are unlikely to contribute to SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Host Specificity , Livestock/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Camelids, New World/virology , Cattle/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Goats/virology , Horses/virology , Host Specificity/immunology , Humans , Nasal Cavity/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Rabbits/virology , Rectum/virology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sheep/virology , Species Specificity , Vero Cells , Virus Shedding , Viscera/virology
16.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 2173-2182, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493581

ABSTRACT

The continuing emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants calls for regular assessment to identify differences in viral replication, shedding and associated disease. In this study, we compared African green monkeys infected intranasally with either the UK B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant or its contemporary D614G progenitor. Both variants caused mild respiratory disease with no significant differences in clinical presentation. Significantly higher levels of viral RNA and infectious virus were found in upper and lower respiratory tract samples and tissues from B.1.1.7 infected animals. Interestingly, D614G infected animals showed significantly higher levels of viral RNA and infectious virus in rectal swabs and gastrointestinal tissues. Our results indicate that B.1.1.7 infection in African green monkeys is associated with increased respiratory replication and shedding but no disease enhancement similar to human B.1.1.7 cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops/virology , Respiratory System/virology , Virus Replication , Virus Shedding , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Host Specificity , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Random Allocation , Rectum/virology , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vero Cells , Viral Load
17.
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
18.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463828

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the etiological agent responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to spread with devastating effects on global health and socioeconomics. The susceptibility of domestic and wild animal species to infection is a critical facet of SARS-CoV-2 ecology, since reverse zoonotic spillover events resulting in SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in animal populations could result in the establishment of new virus reservoirs. Adaptive mutations in the virus to new animal species could also complicate ongoing mitigation strategies to combat SARS-CoV-2. In addition, animal species susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection are essential as standardized preclinical models for the development and efficacy testing of vaccines and therapeutics. In this review, we summarize the current findings regarding the susceptibility of different domestic and wild animal species to experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection and provide detailed descriptions of the clinical disease and transmissibility in these animals. In addition, we outline the documented natural infections in animals that have occurred at the human-animal interface. A comprehensive understanding of animal susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to inform public health, veterinary, and agricultural systems, and to guide environmental policies.


Subject(s)
Animals, Domestic/virology , Animals, Wild/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Host Specificity/genetics , Host Specificity/physiology , Zoonoses
19.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1445747

ABSTRACT

Pandemics are a consequence of a series of processes that span scales from viral biology at 10-9 m to global transmission at 106 m. The pathogen passes from one host species to another through a sequence of events that starts with an infected reservoir host and entails interspecific contact, innate immune responses, receptor protein structure within the potential host, and the global spread of the novel pathogen through the naive host population. Each event presents a potential barrier to the onward passage of the virus and should be characterized with an integrated transdisciplinary approach. Epidemic control is based on the prevention of exposure, infection, and disease. However, the ultimate pandemic prevention is prevention of the spillover event itself. Here, we focus on the potential for preventing the spillover of henipaviruses, a group of viruses derived from bats that frequently cross species barriers, incur high human mortality, and are transmitted among humans via stuttering chains. We outline the transdisciplinary approach needed to prevent the spillover process and, therefore, future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Global Health , Henipavirus Infections/prevention & control , Henipavirus/pathogenicity , Pandemics/prevention & control , Virus Diseases/prevention & control , Zoonoses/virology , Animals , Henipavirus Infections/epidemiology , Henipavirus Infections/immunology , Henipavirus Infections/transmission , Host Specificity , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Nipah Virus/pathogenicity , Virus Diseases/immunology , Virus Diseases/transmission , Zoonoses/prevention & control , Zoonoses/transmission
20.
PLoS Biol ; 19(9): e3001390, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440977

ABSTRACT

Determining which animal viruses may be capable of infecting humans is currently intractable at the time of their discovery, precluding prioritization of high-risk viruses for early investigation and outbreak preparedness. Given the increasing use of genomics in virus discovery and the otherwise sparse knowledge of the biology of newly discovered viruses, we developed machine learning models that identify candidate zoonoses solely using signatures of host range encoded in viral genomes. Within a dataset of 861 viral species with known zoonotic status, our approach outperformed models based on the phylogenetic relatedness of viruses to known human-infecting viruses (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUC] = 0.773), distinguishing high-risk viruses within families that contain a minority of human-infecting species and identifying putatively undetected or so far unrealized zoonoses. Analyses of the underpinnings of model predictions suggested the existence of generalizable features of viral genomes that are independent of virus taxonomic relationships and that may preadapt viruses to infect humans. Our model reduced a second set of 645 animal-associated viruses that were excluded from training to 272 high and 41 very high-risk candidate zoonoses and showed significantly elevated predicted zoonotic risk in viruses from nonhuman primates, but not other mammalian or avian host groups. A second application showed that our models could have identified Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as a relatively high-risk coronavirus strain and that this prediction required no prior knowledge of zoonotic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses. Genome-based zoonotic risk assessment provides a rapid, low-cost approach to enable evidence-driven virus surveillance and increases the feasibility of downstream biological and ecological characterization of viruses.


Subject(s)
Forecasting/methods , Host Specificity/genetics , Zoonoses/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Machine Learning , Models, Theoretical , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viruses/classification , Viruses/genetics , Zoonoses/classification , Zoonoses/virology
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