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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 767726, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639598

ABSTRACT

Infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing the rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has generated a public health crisis worldwide. The molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus-host interactions are still unclear. In this study, we identified four unique microRNA-like small RNAs encoded by SARS-CoV-2. SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-1-3p and SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-2-5p play an important role in evasion of type I interferon response through targeting several genes in type I interferon signaling pathway. Particularly worth mentioning is that highly expressed SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-2-5p inhibits some key genes in the host innate immune response, such as IRF7, IRF9, STAT2, OAS1, and OAS2. SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-2-5p has also been found to mediate allelic differential expression of COVID-19-susceptible gene OAS1. In conclusion, these results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 uses its miRNAs to evade the type I interferon response and links the functional viral sequence to the susceptible genetic background of the host.


Subject(s)
Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Immune Evasion/genetics , Interferon Type I/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , 2',5'-Oligoadenylate Synthetase/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferon Regulatory Factor-7/genetics , Interferon-Stimulated Gene Factor 3, gamma Subunit/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , STAT2 Transcription Factor/genetics
2.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(24): 8019-8022, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605687

ABSTRACT

Recently a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 was reported from South Africa. World Health Organization (WHO) named this mutant as a variant of concern - Omicron (B.1.1.529) on 26th November 2021. This variant exhibited more than thirty amino acid mutations in the spike protein. This mutation rate is exceeding the other variants by approximately 5-11 times in the receptor-binding motif of the spike protein. Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant might have enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion. This new variant can reinfect individuals previously infected with other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Scientists expressed their concern about the efficacy of already existing COVID-19 vaccines against Omicron (B.1.1.529) infections. Some of the crucial mutations that are detected in the receptor-binding domain of the Omicron variant have been shared by previously evolved SARS-CoV-2 variants. Based on the Omicron mutation profile in the receptor-binding domain and motif, it might have collectively enhanced or intermediary infectivity relative to its previous variants. Due to extensive mutations in the spike protein, the Omicron variant might evade the immunity in the vaccinated individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Reinfection/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mutation , Reinfection/immunology , Reinfection/transmission , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vaccine Potency
4.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 208-211, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598042

ABSTRACT

We performed an annotation of 35 mutations in the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. Our analysis of the mutations indicates that Omicron has gained prominent immune evasion and potential for enhanced transmissibility. Previous modeling study has revealed that continued evolution in both immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility by SARS-CoV-2 would compromise vaccines as tools for the pandemic control. To combat the future variants of SARS-CoV-2, the world needs novel antiviral drugs that are effective at curb viral spreading without introducing additional selective pressure towards resistant variants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Design/methods , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 751778, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581343

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 variants have emerged and spread worldwide. The Delta (B.1.617.2) variant was first reported in India in October 2020 and was classified as a "variant of concern (VOC)" by the WHO on 11 May, 2021. Compared to the wild-type strain, several studies have shown that the Delta variant is more transmissible and has higher viral loads in infected samples. COVID-19 patients infected with the Delta variant have a higher risk of hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and mortality. The Delta variant is becoming the dominant strain in many countries around the world. This review summarizes and analyses the biological characteristics of key amino acid mutations, the epidemic characteristics, and the immune escape of the Delta variant. We hope to provide scientific reference for the monitoring and prevention measures of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant and the development strategy of a second-generation vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mutation/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Epidemics , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mass Vaccination
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580844

ABSTRACT

The perennial emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and its new variants causing upper respiratory complexities since December 2019 has aggravated the pandemic situation around the world. SARS-CoV-2 encodes several proteins among which ORF8 is a novel factor that is unique to SARS-CoV-2 only and is reported to help the virus in disease severity and immune evasion. ORF8-IRF3 complex induces endoplasmic reticulum stress, thus helps in the evasion of immune response. Consequently, targeting the ORF8-IRF3 complex is considered as a prime target for the discovery of novel drugs against SARS-CoV-2. In this regard, computational methods are of great interest to fast track the identification and development of novel drugs. Virtual screening of South African Natural Compounds Database (SANCDB), followed by docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation analysis, were performed to determine novel natural compounds. Computational molecular search and rescoring of the SANCDB database followed by induced-fit docking (IFD) protocol identified Quercetin 3-O-(6″-galloyl)-beta-D-galactopyranoside (SANC00850), Tribuloside (SANC01050), and Rutin (SANC00867) are the best scoring compounds. Structural-dynamic properties assessment revealed that these three compounds have stable dynamics, compactness, and a higher number of hydrogen bonds. For validation, we used MM/GBSA, in silico bioactivity estimation and dissociation constant (KD) approaches, which revealed that these compounds are the more potent inhibitors of the ORF8-IRF3 complex and would rescue the host immune system potentially. These compounds need further in vitro and in vivo validations to be used as therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 to rescue the host immune system during COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Biological Products , COVID-19 , Antigen-Antibody Complex , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immune System , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3 , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580420

ABSTRACT

Rapid molecular surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein variants leading to immune escape and/or increased infectivity is of utmost importance. Among global bottlenecks for variant monitoring in diagnostic settings are sequencing and bioinformatics capacities. In this study, we aimed to establish a rapid and user-friendly protocol for high-throughput S-gene sequencing and subsequent automated identification of variants. We designed two new primer pairs to amplify only the immunodominant part of the S-gene for nanopore sequencing. Furthermore, we developed an automated "S-Protein-Typer" tool that analyzes and reports S-protein mutations on the amino acid level including a variant of concern indicator. Validation of our primer panel using SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory specimens covering a broad Ct range showed successful amplification for 29/30 samples. Restriction to the region of interest freed sequencing capacity by a factor of 12-13, compared with whole-genome sequencing. Using either the MinION or Flongle flow cell, our sequencing strategy reduced the time required to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants accordingly. The S-Protein-Typer tool identified all mutations correctly when challenged with our sequenced samples and 50 deposited sequences covering all VOCs (December 2021). Our proposed S-protein variant screening offers a simple, more rapid, and low-cost entry into NGS-based SARS-CoV-2 analysis, compared with current whole-genome approaches.


Subject(s)
High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Nanopore Sequencing/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genotype , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
10.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(6): e2231, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574317

ABSTRACT

The Spike protein is the target of both antibody-based therapeutics (convalescent plasma, polyclonal serum, monoclonal antibodies) and vaccines. Mutations in Spike could affect efficacy of those treatments. Hence, monitoring of mutations is necessary to forecast and readapt the inventory of therapeutics. Different phylogenetic nomenclatures have been used for the currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 clades. The Spike protein has different hotspots of mutation and deletion, the most dangerous for immune escape being the ones within the receptor binding domain (RBD), such as K417N/T, N439K, L452R, Y453F, S477N, E484K, and N501Y. Convergent evolution has led to different combinations of mutations among different clades. In this review we focus on the main variants of concern, that is, the so-called UK (B.1.1.7), South African (B.1.351) and Brazilian (P.1) strains.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Gene Expression , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunization, Passive/methods , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , South Africa/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom/epidemiology
11.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(6): e2236, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573896

ABSTRACT

Modifications in HLA-I expression are found in many viral diseases. They represent one of the immune evasion strategies most widely used by viruses to block antigen presentation and NK cell response, and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception. These alterations result from a combination of virus-specific factors, genetically encoded mechanisms, and the status of host defences and range from loss or upregulation of HLA-I molecules to selective increases of HLA-I alleles. In this review, I will first analyse characteristic features of altered HLA-I expression found in SARS-CoV-2. I will then discuss the potential factors underlying these defects, focussing on HLA-E and class-I-related (like) molecules and their receptors, the most documented HLA-I alterations. I will also draw attention to potential differences between cells transfected to express viral proteins and those presented as part of authentic infection. Consideration of these factors and others affecting HLA-I expression may provide us with improved possibilities for research into cellular immunity against viral variants.


Subject(s)
Antigenic Variation , COVID-19/immunology , Clonal Anergy , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Alleles , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Gene Expression , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/immunology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/virology
13.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(12): e1009664, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571973

ABSTRACT

The evolution of circulating viruses is shaped by their need to evade antibody response, which mainly targets the viral spike. Because of the high density of spikes on the viral surface, not all antigenic sites are targeted equally by antibodies. We offer here a geometry-based approach to predict and rank the probability of surface residues of SARS spike (S protein) and influenza H1N1 spike (hemagglutinin) to acquire antibody-escaping mutations utilizing in-silico models of viral structure. We used coarse-grained MD simulations to estimate the on-rate (targeting) of an antibody model to surface residues of the spike protein. Analyzing publicly available sequences, we found that spike surface sequence diversity of the pre-pandemic seasonal influenza H1N1 and the sarbecovirus subgenus highly correlates with our model prediction of antibody targeting. In particular, we identified an antibody-targeting gradient, which matches a mutability gradient along the main axis of the spike. This identifies the role of viral surface geometry in shaping the evolution of circulating viruses. For the 2009 H1N1 and SARS-CoV-2 pandemics, a mutability gradient along the main axis of the spike was not observed. Our model further allowed us to identify key residues of the SARS-CoV-2 spike at which antibody escape mutations have now occurred. Therefore, it can inform of the likely functional role of observed mutations and predict at which residues antibody-escaping mutation might arise.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/chemistry , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/genetics , Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/virology , Models, Immunological , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry
14.
Science ; 373(6556)2021 Aug 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559379

ABSTRACT

The emergence of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) that are resistant to therapeutic antibodies highlights the need for continuing discovery of broadly reactive antibodies. We identified four receptor binding domain-targeting antibodies from three early-outbreak convalescent donors with potent neutralizing activity against 23 variants, including the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.429, B.1.526, and B.1.617 VOCs. Two antibodies are ultrapotent, with subnanomolar neutralization titers [half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) 0.3 to 11.1 nanograms per milliliter; IC80 1.5 to 34.5 nanograms per milliliter). We define the structural and functional determinants of binding for all four VOC-targeting antibodies and show that combinations of two antibodies decrease the in vitro generation of escape mutants, suggesting their potential in mitigating resistance development.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antibody Affinity , Antigen-Antibody Reactions , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/immunology , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/metabolism , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains , Receptors, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
15.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 164, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542128

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The receptor-binding domain (RBD) variants of SARS-CoV-2 could impair antibody-mediated neutralization of the virus by host immunity; thus, prospective surveillance of antibody escape mutants and understanding the evolution of RBD are urgently needed. METHODS: Using the single B cell cloning technology, we isolated and characterized 93 RBD-specific antibodies from the memory B cells of four COVID-19 convalescent individuals in the early stage of the pandemic. Then, global RBD alanine scanning with a panel of 19 selected neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), including several broadly reactive NAbs, was performed. Furthermore, we assessed the impact of single natural mutation or co-mutations of concern at key positions of RBD on the neutralization escape and ACE2 binding function by recombinant proteins and pseudoviruses. RESULTS: Thirty-three amino acid positions within four independent antigenic sites (1 to 4) of RBD were identified as valuable indicators of antigenic changes in the RBD. The comprehensive escape mutation map not only confirms the widely circulating strains carrying important immune escape RBD mutations such as K417N, E484K, and L452R, but also facilitates the discovery of new immune escape-enabling mutations such as F486L, N450K, F490S, and R346S. Of note, these escape mutations could not affect the ACE2 binding affinity of RBD, among which L452R even enhanced binding. Furthermore, we showed that RBD co-mutations K417N, E484K, and N501Y present in B.1.351 appear more resistant to NAbs and human convalescent plasma from the early stage of the pandemic, possibly due to an additive effect. Conversely, double mutations E484Q and L452R present in B.1.617.1 variant show partial antibody evasion with no evidence for an additive effect. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides a global view of the determinants for neutralizing antibody recognition, antigenic conservation, and RBD conformation. The in-depth escape maps may have value for prospective surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 immune escape variants. Special attention should be paid to the accumulation of co-mutations at distinct major antigenic sites. Finally, the new broadly reactive NAbs described here represent new potential opportunities for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Adult , Aged , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
16.
J Clin Invest ; 131(18)2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533156

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines is high, but breakthrough infections still occur. We compared the SARS-CoV-2 genomes of 76 breakthrough cases after full vaccination with BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech), mRNA-1273 (Moderna), or JNJ-78436735 (Janssen) to unvaccinated controls (February-April 2021) in metropolitan New York, including their phylogenetic relationship, distribution of variants, and full spike mutation profiles. The median age of patients in the study was 48 years; 7 required hospitalization and 1 died. Most breakthrough infections (57/76) occurred with B.1.1.7 (Alpha) or B.1.526 (Iota). Among the 7 hospitalized cases, 4 were infected with B.1.1.7, including 1 death. Both unmatched and matched statistical analyses considering age, sex, vaccine type, and study month as covariates supported the null hypothesis of equal variant distributions between vaccinated and unvaccinated in χ2 and McNemar tests (P > 0.1), highlighting a high vaccine efficacy against B.1.1.7 and B.1.526. There was no clear association among breakthroughs between type of vaccine received and variant. In the vaccinated group, spike mutations in the N-terminal domain and receptor-binding domain that have been associated with immune evasion were overrepresented. The evolving dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 variants requires broad genomic analyses of breakthrough infections to provide real-life information on immune escape mediated by circulating variants and their spike mutations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Evolution, Molecular , Immune Evasion/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
17.
Front Immunol ; 12: 744242, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528819

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), places a heavy burden on global public health. Four SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, B.1.617.2, and P.1, and two variants of interest including C.37 and B.1.621 have been reported to have potential immune escape, and one or more mutations endow them with worrisome epidemiologic, immunologic, or pathogenic characteristics. This review introduces the latest research progress on SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest and concern, key mutation sites, and their effects on virus infectivity, mortality, and immune escape. Moreover, we compared the effects of various clinical SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and convalescent sera on epidemic variants, and evaluated the neutralizing capability of several antibodies on epidemic variants. In the end, SARS-CoV-2 evolution strategies in different transmission stages, the impact of different vaccination strategies on SARS-CoV-2 immune escape, antibody therapy strategies and COVID-19 epidemic control prospects are discussed. This review will provide a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the secret of SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest/concern and immune escape.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
18.
Front Immunol ; 12: 742167, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528818

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic remains an on-going global health and economic threat that has amassed millions of deaths. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of this disease and is constantly under evolutionary pressures that drive the modification of its genome which may represent a threat to the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines available. This article highlights the pressures that facilitate the rise of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and the key mutations of the viral spike protein - L452R, E484K, N501Y and D614G- that promote immune escape mechanism and warrant a cautionary point for clinical and public health responses in terms of re-infection, vaccine breakthrough infection and therapeutic values.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immune Evasion/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Mutation
20.
Cell ; 184(26): 6229-6242.e18, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520753

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern exhibit varying degrees of transmissibility and, in some cases, escape from acquired immunity. Much effort has been devoted to measuring these phenotypes, but understanding their impact on the course of the pandemic-especially that of immune escape-has remained a challenge. Here, we use a mathematical model to simulate the dynamics of wild-type and variant strains of SARS-CoV-2 in the context of vaccine rollout and nonpharmaceutical interventions. We show that variants with enhanced transmissibility frequently increase epidemic severity, whereas those with partial immune escape either fail to spread widely or primarily cause reinfections and breakthrough infections. However, when these phenotypes are combined, a variant can continue spreading even as immunity builds up in the population, limiting the impact of vaccination and exacerbating the epidemic. These findings help explain the trajectories of past and present SARS-CoV-2 variants and may inform variant assessment and response in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Computer Simulation , Humans , Immunity , Models, Biological , Reinfection , Vaccination
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