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1.
Cell Rep ; 38(6): 110344, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639571

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has a broad mammalian species tropism infecting humans, cats, dogs, and farmed mink. Since the start of the 2019 pandemic, several reverse zoonotic outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred in mink, one of which reinfected humans and caused a cluster of infections in Denmark. Here we investigate the molecular basis of mink and ferret adaptation and demonstrate the spike mutations Y453F, F486L, and N501T all specifically adapt SARS-CoV-2 to use mustelid ACE2. Furthermore, we risk assess these mutations and conclude mink-adapted viruses are unlikely to pose an increased threat to humans, as Y453F attenuates the virus replication in human cells and all three mink adaptations have minimal antigenic impact. Finally, we show that certain SARS-CoV-2 variants emerging from circulation in humans may naturally have a greater propensity to infect mustelid hosts and therefore these species should continue to be surveyed for reverse zoonotic infections.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Biological/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Zoonoses/genetics , Animals , COVID-19 , Ferrets/immunology , Genetic Fitness/genetics , Humans , Mink/immunology , Mutation , Pandemics , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(11): e1010068, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518369

ABSTRACT

Mink, on a farm with about 15,000 animals, became infected with SARS-CoV-2. Over 75% of tested animals were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in throat swabs and 100% of tested animals were seropositive. The virus responsible had a deletion of nucleotides encoding residues H69 and V70 within the spike protein gene as well as the A22920T mutation, resulting in the Y453F substitution within this protein, seen previously in mink. The infected mink recovered and after free-testing of 300 mink (a level giving 93% confidence of detecting a 1% prevalence), the animals remained seropositive. During further follow-up studies, after a period of more than 2 months without any virus detection, over 75% of tested animals again scored positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Whole genome sequencing showed that the viruses circulating during this re-infection were most closely related to those identified in the first outbreak on this farm but additional sequence changes had occurred. Animals had much higher levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples after the second round of infection than at free-testing or during recovery from initial infection, consistent with a boosted immune response. Thus, it was concluded that following recovery from an initial infection, seropositive mink were readily re-infected by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19/virology , Mink/immunology , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Farms , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Mutation , Pharynx/virology , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral , Reinfection/virology , Whole Genome Sequencing
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(9)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472420

ABSTRACT

Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) is known to cause the most significant disease in the mink industry. It is globally widespread and manifested as a deadly plasmacytosis and hyperglobulinemia. So far, measures to control the viral spread have been limited to manual serological testing for AMDV-positive mink. Further, due to the persistent nature of this virus, attempts to eradicate Aleutian disease (AD) have largely failed. Therefore, effective strategies to control the viral spread are of crucial importance for wildlife protection. One potentially key tool in the fight against this disease is by the immunization of mink against AMDV. Throughout many years, several researchers have tried to develop AMDV vaccines and demonstrated varying degrees of protection in mink by those vaccines. Despite these attempts, there are currently no vaccines available against AMDV, allowing the continuation of the spread of Aleutian disease. Herein, we summarize previous AMDV immunization attempts in mink as well as other preventative measures with the purpose to shed light on future studies designing such a potentially crucial preventative tool against Aleutian disease.


Subject(s)
Aleutian Mink Disease Virus/immunology , Aleutian Mink Disease/prevention & control , Mink , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Aleutian Mink Disease/immunology , Animals , Drug Design , Mink/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
5.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367921

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in humans from a yet unidentified animal reservoir and the capacity of the virus to naturally infect pets, farmed animals and potentially wild animals has highlighted the need for serological surveillance tools. In this study, the luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS), employing the spike (S) and nucleocapsid proteins (N) of SARS-CoV-2, was used to examine the suitability of the assay for antibody detection in different animal species. Sera from SARS-CoV-2 naturally-infected mink (n = 77), SARS-CoV-2 experimentally-infected ferrets, fruit bats and hamsters and a rabbit vaccinated with a purified spike protein were examined for antibodies using the SARS-CoV-2 N and/or S proteins. From comparison with the known neutralization status of the serum samples, statistical analyses including calculation of the Spearman rank-order-correlation coefficient and Cohen's kappa agreement were used to interpret the antibody results and diagnostic performance. The LIPS immunoassay robustly detected the presence of viral antibodies in naturally infected SARS-CoV-2 mink, experimentally infected ferrets, fruit bats and hamsters as well as in an immunized rabbit. For the SARS-CoV-2-LIPS-S assay, there was a good level of discrimination between the positive and negative samples for each of the five species tested with 100% agreement with the virus neutralization results. In contrast, the SARS-CoV-2-LIPS-N assay did not consistently differentiate between SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative sera. This study demonstrates the suitability of the SARS-CoV-2-LIPS-S assay for the sero-surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a range of animal species.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/veterinary , Mink/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Chiroptera/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Ferrets/immunology , Immunoprecipitation , Mesocricetus/immunology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Rabbits/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
6.
Cell Rep ; 35(3): 109017, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163486

ABSTRACT

Transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from humans to farmed mink has been observed in Europe and the US. In the infected animals, viral variants arose that harbored mutations in the spike (S) protein, the target of neutralizing antibodies, and these variants were transmitted back to humans. This raised concerns that mink might become a constant source of human infection with SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with an increased threat to human health and resulted in mass culling of mink. Here, we report that mutations frequently found in the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 from mink are mostly compatible with efficient entry into human cells and its inhibition by soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). In contrast, mutation Y453F reduces neutralization by an antibody with emergency use authorization for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) therapy and sera/plasma from COVID-19 patients. These results suggest that antibody responses induced upon infection or certain antibodies used for treatment might offer insufficient protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants from mink.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Mink , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Humans , Mink/immunology , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
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