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1.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 29, 2022 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655546

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted on mink farms between minks and humans in many countries. However, the systemic pathological features of SARS-CoV-2-infected minks are mostly unknown. Here, we demonstrated that minks were largely permissive to SARS-CoV-2, characterized by severe and diffuse alveolar damage, and lasted at least 14 days post inoculation (dpi). We first reported that infected minks displayed multiple organ-system lesions accompanied by an increased inflammatory response and widespread viral distribution in the cardiovascular, hepatobiliary, urinary, endocrine, digestive, and immune systems. The viral protein partially co-localized with activated Mac-2+ macrophages throughout the body. Moreover, we first found that the alterations in lipids and metabolites were correlated with the histological lesions in infected minks, especially at 6 dpi, and were similar to that of patients with severe and fatal COVID-19. Particularly, altered metabolic pathways, abnormal digestion, and absorption of vitamins, lipids, cholesterol, steroids, amino acids, and proteins, consistent with hepatic dysfunction, highlight metabolic and immune dysregulation. Enriched kynurenine in infected minks contributed to significant activation of the kynurenine pathway and was related to macrophage activation. Melatonin, which has significant anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects, was significantly downregulated at 6 dpi and displayed potential as a targeted medicine. Our data first illustrate systematic analyses of infected minks to recapitulate those observations in severe and fetal COVID-19 patients, delineating a useful animal model to mimic SARS-CoV-2-induced systematic and severe pathophysiological features and provide a reliable tool for the development of effective and targeted treatment strategies, vaccine research, and potential biomarkers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , Metabolome , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Amino Acids/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macrophages, Alveolar/pathology , Macrophages, Alveolar/virology , Melatonin/metabolism , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/genetics , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sterols/metabolism , Virulence , Virus Replication/genetics
2.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(11): e1009952, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593026

ABSTRACT

The breadth of animal hosts that are susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and may serve as reservoirs for continued viral transmission are not known entirely. In August 2020, an outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 occurred on five mink farms in Utah and was associated with high mink mortality (35-55% of adult mink) and rapid viral transmission between animals. The premise and clinical disease information, pathology, molecular characterization, and tissue distribution of virus within infected mink during the early phase of the outbreak are provided. Infection spread rapidly between independently housed animals and farms, and caused severe respiratory disease and death. Disease indicators were most notably sudden death, anorexia, and increased respiratory effort. Gross pathology examination revealed severe pulmonary congestion and edema. Microscopically there was pulmonary edema with moderate vasculitis, perivasculitis, and fibrinous interstitial pneumonia. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of tissues collected at necropsy demonstrated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in multiple organs including nasal turbinates, lung, tracheobronchial lymph node, epithelial surfaces, and others. Localization of viral RNA by in situ hybridization revealed a more localized infection, particularly of the upper respiratory tract. Whole genome sequencing from multiple mink was consistent with published SARS-CoV-2 genomes with few polymorphisms. The Utah mink SARS-CoV-2 strains fell into Clade GH, which is unique among mink and other animal strains sequenced to date. While sharing the N501T mutation which is common in mink, the Utah strains did not share other spike RBD mutations Y453F and F486L found in nearly all mink from the United States. Mink in the outbreak reported herein had high levels of SARS-CoV-2 in the upper respiratory tract associated with symptomatic respiratory disease and death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Mink/virology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Outbreaks/veterinary , Farms , Female , Lung/pathology , Male , RNA, Viral/blood , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Utah/epidemiology
3.
Nature ; 600(7889): 408-418, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560796

ABSTRACT

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were documented in Wuhan, China in 2019, the world has witnessed a devastating global pandemic, with more than 238 million cases, nearly 5 million fatalities and the daily number of people infected increasing rapidly. Here we describe the currently available data on the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19, outline the early viral spread in Wuhan and its transmission patterns in China and across the rest of the world, and highlight how genomic surveillance, together with other data such as those on human mobility, has helped to trace the spread and genetic variation of the virus and has also comprised a key element for the control of the pandemic. We pay particular attention to characterizing and describing the international spread of the major variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2 that were first identified in late 2020 and demonstrate that virus evolution has entered a new phase. More broadly, we highlight our currently limited understanding of coronavirus diversity in nature, the rapid spread of the virus and its variants in such an increasingly connected world, the reduced protection of vaccines, and the urgent need for coordinated global surveillance using genomic techniques. In summary, we provide important information for the prevention and control of both the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and any new diseases that will inevitably emerge in the human population in future generations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Internationality , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Humans , Mink/virology , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6802, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532052

ABSTRACT

In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2020), SARS-CoV-2 was detected in farmed minks and genomic sequencing was performed on mink farms and farm personnel. Here, we describe the outbreak and use sequence data with Bayesian phylodynamic methods to explore SARS-CoV-2 transmission in minks and humans on farms. High number of farm infections (68/126) in minks and farm workers (>50% of farms) were detected, with limited community spread. Three of five initial introductions of SARS-CoV-2 led to subsequent spread between mink farms until November 2020. Viruses belonging to the largest cluster acquired an amino acid substitution in the receptor binding domain of the Spike protein (position 486), evolved faster and spread longer and more widely. Movement of people and distance between farms were statistically significant predictors of virus dispersal between farms. Our study provides novel insights into SARS-CoV-2 transmission between mink farms and highlights the importance of combining genetic information with epidemiological information when investigating outbreaks at the animal-human interface.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Farms , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animal Diseases/epidemiology , Animal Diseases/transmission , Animal Diseases/virology , Animals , Bayes Theorem , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, Protein , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/classification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
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
6.
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
7.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463837

ABSTRACT

In summer 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detected on mink farms in Utah. An interagency One Health response was initiated to assess the extent of the outbreak and included sampling animals from on or near affected mink farms and testing them for SARS-CoV-2 and non-SARS coronaviruses. Among the 365 animals sampled, including domestic cats, mink, rodents, raccoons, and skunks, 261 (72%) of the animals harbored at least one coronavirus. Among the samples that could be further characterized, 127 alphacoronaviruses and 88 betacoronaviruses (including 74 detections of SARS-CoV-2 in mink) were identified. Moreover, at least 10% (n = 27) of the coronavirus-positive animals were found to be co-infected with more than one coronavirus. Our findings indicate an unexpectedly high prevalence of coronavirus among the domestic and wild free-roaming animals tested on mink farms. These results raise the possibility that mink farms could be potential hot spots for future trans-species viral spillover and the emergence of new pandemic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Alphacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Alphacoronavirus/classification , Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Animals , Animals, Domestic/virology , Animals, Wild/virology , Cats , Disease Hotspot , Female , Male , Mephitidae/virology , Mice , Mink/virology , Raccoons/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Utah/epidemiology
8.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009883, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398940

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection outbreaks in minks have serious implications associated with animal health and welfare, and public health. In two naturally infected mink farms (A and B) located in Greece, we investigated the outbreaks and assessed parameters associated with virus transmission, immunity, pathology, and environmental contamination. Symptoms ranged from anorexia and mild depression to respiratory signs of varying intensity. Although the farms were at different breeding stages, mortality was similarly high (8.4% and 10.0%). The viral strains belonged to lineages B.1.1.218 and B.1.1.305, possessing the mink-specific S-Y453F substitution. Lung histopathology identified necrosis of smooth muscle and connective tissue elements of vascular walls, and vasculitis as the main early key events of the acute SARS-CoV-2-induced broncho-interstitial pneumonia. Molecular investigation in two dead minks indicated a consistently higher (0.3-1.3 log10 RNA copies/g) viral load in organs of the male mink compared to the female. In farm A, the infected farmers were responsible for the significant initial infection of 229 out of 1,000 handled minks, suggesting a very efficient human-to-mink transmission. Subsequent infections across the sheds wherein animals were being housed occurred due to airborne transmission. Based on a R0 of 2.90 and a growth rate equal to 0.293, the generation time was estimated to be 3.6 days, indicative of the massive SARS-CoV-2 dispersal among minks. After the end of the outbreaks, a similar percentage of animals were immune in the two farms (93.0% and 93.3%), preventing further virus transmission whereas, viral RNA was detected in samples collected from shed surfaces and air. Consequently, strict biosecurity is imperative during the occurrence of clinical signs. Environmental viral load monitoring, in conjunction with NGS should be adopted in mink farm surveillance. The minimum proportion of minks that need to be immunized to avoid outbreaks in farms was calculated at 65.5%, which is important for future vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Mink/virology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks/veterinary , Environmental Microbiology , Farms , Female , Greece/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Mink/genetics , Occupational Exposure , Viral Zoonoses/transmission , Viral Zoonoses/virology
9.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0247626, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388902

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection in minks has become a serious problem, as the virus may mutate and reinfect humans; some countries have decided to cull minks. Here, the virus sequencing data in minks were analysed and compared to those of human-virus. Although the mink-virus maintained the characteristics of human-virus, some variants rapidly mutated, adapting to minks. Some mink-derived variants infected humans, which accounted for 40% of the total SARS-CoV-2 cases in the Netherlands. These variants appear to be less lethal and infective compared to those in humans. Variants that have mutated further among minks were not found in humans. Such mink-viruses might be suitable for vaccination for humans, such as in the case of the smallpox virus, which is less infective and toxic to humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Mink/virology , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Netherlands/epidemiology , Principal Component Analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Analysis, RNA
10.
Occup Environ Med ; 78(12): 893-899, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388534

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Unprecedented SARS-CoV-2 infections in farmed minks raised immediate concerns regarding transmission to humans and initiated intensive environmental investigations to assess occupational and environmental exposure. METHODS: Air sampling was performed at infected Dutch mink farms, at farm premises and at nearby residential sites. A range of other environmental samples were collected from minks' housing units, including bedding materials. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was analysed in all samples by quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Inside the farms, considerable levels of SARS-CoV-2 RNA were found in airborne dust, especially in personal inhalable dust samples (approximately 1000-10 000 copies/m3). Most of the settling dust samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (82%, 75 of 92). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in outdoor air samples, except for those collected near the entrance of the most recently infected farm. Many samples of minks' housing units and surfaces contained SARS-CoV-2 RNA. CONCLUSIONS: Infected mink farms can be highly contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 RNA. This warns of occupational exposure, which was substantiated by considerable SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in personal air samples. Dispersion of SARS-CoV-2 to outdoor air was found to be limited and SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in air samples collected beyond farm premises, implying a negligible risk of environmental exposure to nearby communities. Our occupational and environmental risk assessment is in line with whole genome sequencing analyses showing mink-to-human transmission among farm workers, but no indications of direct zoonotic transmission events to nearby communities.


Subject(s)
Dust/analysis , Environmental Exposure , Farms , Mink/virology , Occupational Exposure , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17422, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380912

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has raised concerns in the identification of the hosts of the virus since the early stages of the outbreak. To address this problem, we proposed a deep learning method, DeepHoF, based on extracting viral genomic features automatically, to predict the host likelihood scores on five host types, including plant, germ, invertebrate, non-human vertebrate and human, for novel viruses. DeepHoF made up for the lack of an accurate tool, reaching a satisfactory AUC of 0.975 in the five-classification, and could make a reliable prediction for the novel viruses without close neighbors in phylogeny. Additionally, to fill the gap in the efficient inference of host species for SARS-CoV-2 using existing tools, we conducted a deep analysis on the host likelihood profile calculated by DeepHoF. Using the isolates sequenced in the earliest stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, we inferred that minks, bats, dogs and cats were potential hosts of SARS-CoV-2, while minks might be one of the most noteworthy hosts. Several genes of SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated their significance in determining the host range. Furthermore, a large-scale genome analysis, based on DeepHoF's computation for the later pandemic in 2020, disclosed the uniformity of host range among SARS-CoV-2 samples and the strong association of SARS-CoV-2 between humans and minks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Cats/virology , Chiroptera/virology , Dogs/virology , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Algorithms , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , Deep Learning , Host Specificity , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, RNA
12.
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
13.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273517

ABSTRACT

Pets play a crucial role in the development of human feelings, social life, and care. However, in the era of the prevailing global pandemic of COVID-19 disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), many questions addressing the routes of the virus spread and transmission to humans are dramatically emerging. Although cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been found in pets including dogs, cats, and ferrets, to date there is no strong evidence for pet-to-human transmission or sustained pet-to-pet transmission of SARS-CoV-2. However, an increasing number of studies reporting detection of SARS-CoV-2 in farmed minks raises suspicion of potential viral transmission from these animals to humans. Furthermore, due to the high susceptibility of cats, ferrets, minks and hamsters to COVID-19 infection under natural and/or experimental conditions, these animals have been extensively explored as animal models to study the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and transmission. In this review, we present the latest reports focusing on SARS-CoV-2 detection, isolation, and characterization in pets. Moreover, based on the current literature, we document studies aiming to broaden the knowledge about pathogenicity and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, and the development of viral therapeutics, drugs and vaccines. Lastly, considering the high rate of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and replication, we also suggest routes of protection against the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Pets/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cats/virology , Dogs/virology , Farms , Ferrets/virology , Humans , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
15.
J Vet Diagn Invest ; 33(5): 939-942, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264089

ABSTRACT

Large numbers of mink have been infected with SARS-CoV2 containing the spike protein Y453F mutation in Europe, causing zoonosis concerns. To evaluate the genetic characteristics of the U.S. and Canadian mink-derived SARS-CoV2 sequences, we analyzed all animal-derived (977) and all Canadian (19,529) and U.S. (173,277) SARS-CoV2 sequences deposited in GISAID from December 2019 to March 12, 2021, and identified 2 dominant novel variants, the N501T-G142D variant and N501T-G142D-F486L variant, in the U.S. mink-derived SARS-CoV2 sequences. These variants were not found in mink from Canada or other countries. The Y453F mutation was not identified in the mink-derived sequences in the United States and Canada. The N501T mutation occurred 2 mo earlier in humans than in mink in the United States, and the novel N501T-G142D and N501T-G142D-F486L variants were found in humans prior to mink. Our results suggest that the novel SARS-CoV2 variants may have evolved during human infection and were then transmitted to mink populations in the United States.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Canada/epidemiology , Mink/virology , Mutation , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , United States/epidemiology
16.
Infect Genet Evol ; 93: 104897, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1220965

ABSTRACT

A mutation analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected around the world sorted by sequence, date, geographic location, and species has revealed a large number of variants from the initial reference sequence in Wuhan. This analysis also reveals that humans infected with SARS-CoV-2 have infected mink populations in the Netherlands, Denmark, United States, and Canada. In these animals, a small set of mutations in the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD), often occurring in specific combinations, has transferred back into humans. The viral genomic mutations in minks observed in the Netherlands and Denmark show the potential for new mutations on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD to be introduced into humans by zoonotic transfer. Our data suggests that close attention to viral transfer from humans to farm animals and pets will be required to prevent build-up of a viral reservoir for potential future zoonotic transfer.


Subject(s)
Mink/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19/virology , Canada , Denmark , Humans , Netherlands , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , United States
18.
Int J Infect Dis ; 106: 228-236, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207034

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Marseille, France, following a first severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak in March-May 2020, a second epidemic phase occurred from June, involving 10 new variants. The Marseille-4 variant caused an epidemic that started in August and is still ongoing. METHODS: The 1038 SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences obtained in our laboratory by next-generation sequencing with Illumina technology were analysed using Nextclade and nextstrain/ncov pipelines and IQ-TREE. A Marseille-4-specific qPCR assay was implemented. Demographic and clinical features were compared between patients with the Marseille-4 variant and those with earlier strains. RESULTS: Marseille-4 harbours 13 hallmark mutations. One leads to an S477N substitution in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein targeted by current vaccines. Using a specific qPCR, it was observed that Marseille-4 caused 12-100% of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Marseille from September 2020, being involved in 2106 diagnoses. This variant was more frequently associated with hypoxemia than were clade 20A strains before May 2020. It caused a re-infection in 11 patients diagnosed with different SARS-CoV-2 strains before June 2020, suggesting either short-term protective immunity or a lack of cross-immunity. CONCLUSIONS: Marseille-4 should be considered as a major SARS-CoV-2 variant. Its sudden appearance points towards an animal reservoir, possibly mink. The protective role of past exposure and current vaccines against this variant should be evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Epidemics , France/epidemiology , Humans , Mink/virology , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , Reinfection/virology
19.
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
20.
Gene ; 784: 145596, 2021 Jun 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1144613

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01 (VOC-202012/01) is rapidly spreading worldwide owing to its substantial transmission advantage. The variant has changes in critical sites of the spike protein with potential biological significance. Moreover, VOC-202012/01 has a mutation that inactivates the ORF8 protein, whose absence can change the clinical features of the infection. Why VOC-202012/01 is more transmissible remains unclear, but spike mutations and ORF8 inactivation stand out by their known phenotypic effects. Here I show that variants combining relevant spike mutations and the absence of ORF8 occurred in SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses circulating in other host species. A truncated ORF8 (Q23stop) occurred in a SARS-CoV-2-related virus from a pangolin seized in China in 2017, also with several mutations in critical spike sites. Strikingly, I found that variants without ORF8 (E19stop) and with the N501T spike mutation circulated in farmed mink and humans from Denmark. Although with differences to VOC-202012/01, the identification of these variants highlights the danger of having reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses where more transmissible variants may occur and spill over to humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Mink/virology , Pangolins/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , China , Codon, Nonsense , Denmark , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Host Specificity , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Proteins/metabolism
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