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1.
Curr Microbiol ; 79(2): 48, 2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603303

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to characterize the whole genome of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) isolated from an oropharyngeal swab specimen of a Pashtun Pakistani patient using next-generation sequencing. Upon comparing the SARS-CoV2 genome to the reference genome, a total of 10 genetic variants were identified. Among the 10 genetic variants, 1 missense mutation (c.1139A > G, p.Lys292Glu) in the Open Reading Frame 1ab (ORF1ab) positioned at 112 in the non-structural protein 2 (NSP2) was found to be unique. Phylogenetic analysis (n = 84) revealed that the current SARS-CoV2 genome was closely clustered with 8 Pakistani strains belonging to Punjab, Federal Capital, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). In addition, the current SARS-CoV2 genome was very similar to the genome of SARS-CoV2 reported from Guam, Taiwan, India, the USA, and France. Overall, this study reports a slight mismatch in the SARS-CoV2 genome, indicating the presence of a single unique missense mutation. However, phylogenetic analysis revealed that the current SARS-CoV2 genome was closely clustered with 8 other Pakistani strains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Genome, Viral , Genomics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Pakistan , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Ecohealth ; 18(4): 421-428, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1590480

ABSTRACT

We investigated the prevalence of coronaviruses in 44 bats from four families in northeastern Eswatini using high-throughput sequencing of fecal samples. We found evidence of coronaviruses in 18% of the bats. We recovered full or near-full-length genomes from two bat species: Chaerephon pumilus and Afronycteris nana, as well as additional coronavirus genome fragments from C. pumilus, Epomophorus wahlbergi, Mops condylurus, and Scotophilus dinganii. All bats from which we detected coronaviruses were captured leaving buildings or near human settlements, demonstrating the importance of continued surveillance of coronaviruses in bats to better understand the prevalence, diversity, and potential risks for spillover.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Animals , Coronavirus/genetics , Eswatini , Genetic Variation , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phylogeny
3.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(5152): 1782-1784, 2021 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594423

ABSTRACT

The B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and on November 14 in South Africa;* the first confirmed case of Omicron in the United States was identified in California on December 1, 2021 (1). On November 29, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services was notified of six probable cases† of COVID-19 in one household, including one case in a man aged 48 years (the index patient) who had recently returned from Nigeria. Given the patient's travel history, Omicron infection was suspected. Specimens from all six persons in the household tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing on December 1, and the following day genomic sequencing by the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory identified an identical Omicron genotype from each specimen (Figure). Phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine if this cluster represented an independent introduction of Omicron into the United States, and a detailed epidemiologic investigation was conducted. This activity was reviewed by CDC and was conducted consistent with applicable federal law and CDC policy.§.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nebraska/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Travel-Related Illness
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7325, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585854

ABSTRACT

Single-domain Variable New Antigen Receptors (VNARs) from the immune system of sharks are the smallest naturally occurring binding domains found in nature. Possessing flexible paratopes that can recognize protein motifs inaccessible to classical antibodies, VNARs have yet to be exploited for the development of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics. Here, we detail the identification of a series of VNARs from a VNAR phage display library screened against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). The ability of the VNARs to neutralize pseudotype and authentic live SARS-CoV-2 virus rivalled or exceeded that of full-length immunoglobulins and other single-domain antibodies. Crystallographic analysis of two VNARs found that they recognized separate epitopes on the RBD and had distinctly different mechanisms of virus neutralization unique to VNARs. Structural and biochemical data suggest that VNARs would be effective therapeutic agents against emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutants, including the Delta variant, and coronaviruses across multiple phylogenetic lineages. This study highlights the utility of VNARs as effective therapeutics against coronaviruses and may serve as a critical milestone for nearing a paradigm shift of the greater biologic landscape.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Receptors, Antigen/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen/immunology , Sharks/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Epitopes , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24145, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585802

ABSTRACT

Recent studies suggest that coronaviruses circulate widely in Southeast Asian bat species and that the progenitors of the SARS-Cov-2 virus could have originated in rhinolophid bats in the region. Our objective was to assess the diversity and circulation patterns of coronavirus in several bat species in Southeast Asia. We undertook monthly live-capture sessions and sampling in Cambodia over 17 months to cover all phases of the annual reproduction cycle of bats and test specifically the association between their age and CoV infection status. We additionally examined current information on the reproductive phenology of Rhinolophus and other bat species presently known to occur in mainland southeast China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Results from our longitudinal monitoring (573 bats belonging to 8 species) showed an overall proportion of positive PCR tests for CoV of 4.2% (24/573) in cave-dwelling bats from Kampot and 4.75% (22/463) in flying-foxes from Kandal. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the PCR amplicon sequences of CoVs (n = 46) obtained clustered in Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus. Interestingly, Hipposideros larvatus sensu lato harbored viruses from both genera. Our results suggest an association between positive detections of coronaviruses and juvenile and immature bats in Cambodia (OR = 3.24 [1.46-7.76], p = 0.005). Since the limited data presently available from literature review indicates that reproduction is largely synchronized among rhinolophid and hipposiderid bats in our study region, particularly in its more seasonal portions (above 16° N), this may lead to seasonal patterns in CoV circulation. Overall, our study suggests that surveillance of CoV in insectivorous bat species in Southeast Asia, including SARS-CoV-related coronaviruses in rhinolophid bats, could be targeted from June to October for species exhibiting high proportions of juveniles and immatures during these months. It also highlights the need to develop long-term longitudinal surveys of bats and improve our understanding of their ecology in the region, for both biodiversity conservation and public health reasons.


Subject(s)
Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Chiroptera/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Alphacoronavirus/classification , Animals , Asia, Southeastern/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/classification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cambodia/epidemiology , Chiroptera/classification , Chiroptera/virology , Epidemics/prevention & control , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral/genetics , Geography , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Species Specificity
6.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 466, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582018

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: SARS-CoV-2, severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, is an RNA virus that emerged from China sweeping the globe in the form of a pandemic that became an international public health concern. This pilot study aimed to describe the genetic variation and molecular epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Palestine in fall 2020. RESULTS: To achieve these aims, whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, phylogenetic analysis, haplotype networking and genetic diversity analysis were performed. These analyses revealed a unique spike mutation H245N that has never been reported before. The phylogenetic analysis depicted that three clusters existed in Palestinian SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, in which cluster-I comprised the majority of clusters by 90%. Congruently, the haplotype network analysis depicted the same three clusters with a total of 39 haplotypes. The genetic diversity analysis showed that Cluster-I is highly diverse as confirmed by statistically significant mutation rate indices, Tajima's D and Fu-Li's-F tests (- 2.11 and 2.74, respectively), highest number of mutations (Eta = 120), highest number of haplotypes (h = 17), and highest average number of nucleotide differences between any two sequences (S = 118). The study confirmed the high genetic diversity among the Palestinian of SARS-CoV-2 which possessed high number of mutations including one which was reported for the first time.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Arabs , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Middle East , Mutation , Phylogeny , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing
7.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260635, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581779

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) showed susceptibility to diverse animal species. We conducted this study to understand the spatial epidemiology, genetic diversity, and statistically significant genetic similarity along with per-gene recombination events of SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses (SC2r-CoVs) in animals globally. We collected a number of different animal species infected with SARS-CoV-2 and its related viruses. Then, we retrieved genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 and SC2r-CoVs from GISAID and NCBI GenBank for genomic and mutational analysis. Although the evolutionary origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive, the diverse SC2r-CoV have been detected in multiple Rhinolophus bat species and in Malayan pangolin. To date, human-to-animal spillover events have been reported in cat, dog, tiger, lion, gorilla, leopard, ferret, puma, cougar, otter, and mink in 25 countries. Phylogeny and genetic recombination events of SC2r-CoVs showed higher similarity to the bat coronavirus RaTG13 and BANAL-103 for most of the genes and to some Malayan pangolin coronavirus (CoV) strains for the N protein from bats and pangolin showed close resemblance to SARS-CoV-2. The clustering of animal and human strains from the same geographical area has proved human-to-animal transmission of the virus. The Alpha, Delta and Mu-variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in dog, gorilla, lion, tiger, otter, and cat in the USA, India, Czech Republic, Belgium, and France with momentous genetic similarity with human SARS-CoV-2 sequences. The mink variant mutation (spike_Y453F) was detected in both humans and domestic cats. Moreover, the dog was affected mostly by clade O (66.7%), whereas cat and American mink were affected by clade GR (31.6 and 49.7%, respectively). The α-variant was detected as 2.6% in cat, 4.8% in dog, 14.3% in tiger, 66.7% in gorilla, and 77.3% in lion. The highest mutations observed in mink where the substitution of D614G in spike (95.2%) and P323L in NSP12 (95.2%) protein. In dog, cat, gorilla, lion, and tiger, Y505H and Y453F were the common mutations followed by Y145del, Y144del, and V70I in S protein. We recommend vaccine provision for pet and zoo animals to reduce the chance of transmission in animals. Besides, continuous epidemiological and genomic surveillance of coronaviruses in animal host is crucial to find out the immediate ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and to prevent future CoVs threats to humans.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 , Genetic Variation , Phylogeny
8.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261422, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581744

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the importance of infection tracking. The role of asymptomatic, undiagnosed individuals in driving infections within this pandemic has become increasingly evident. Modern phylogenetic tools that take into account asymptomatic or undiagnosed individuals can help guide public health responses. We finetuned established phylogenetic pipelines using published SARS-CoV-2 genomic data to examine reasonable estimate transmission networks with the inference of unsampled infection sources. The system utilised Bayesian phylogenetics and TransPhylo to capture the evolutionary and infection dynamics of SARS-CoV-2. Our analyses gave insight into the transmissions within a population including unsampled sources of infection and the results aligned with epidemiological observations. We were able to observe the effects of preventive measures in Canada's "Atlantic bubble" and in populations such as New York State. The tools also inferred the cross-species disease transmission of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from humans to lions and tigers in New York City's Bronx Zoo. These phylogenetic tools offer a powerful approach in response to both the COVID-19 and other emerging infectious disease outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Bayes Theorem , Phylogeny
9.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261497, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581739

ABSTRACT

Since the emergence of yellow fever in the Americas and the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic, biologists and clinicians have been drawn to human infecting viruses to understand their mechanisms of infection better and develop effective therapeutics against them. However, the complex molecular and cellular processes that these viruses use to infect and multiply in human cells have been a source of great concern for the scientific community since the discovery of the first human infecting virus. Viral disease outbreaks, such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus, have claimed millions of lives and caused significant economic damage worldwide. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of host-virus interaction and the molecular machinery involved in the pathogenesis of some common human viruses. We also performed a phylogenetic analysis of viral proteins involved in host-virus interaction to understand the changes in the sequence organization of these proteins during evolution for various strains of viruses to gain insights into the viral origin's evolutionary perspectives.


Subject(s)
Host-Pathogen Interactions , Phylogeny , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Diseases/virology , HIV Envelope Protein gp160/genetics , Humans
10.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 461, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1577156

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Coronaviruses (CoVs) are natural commensals of bats. Two subgenera, namely Sarbecoviruses and Merbecoviruses have a high zoonotic potential and have been associated with three separate spillover events in the past 2 decades, making surveillance of bat-CoVs crucial for the prevention of the next epidemic. The study was aimed to elucidate the presence of coronavirus in fresh bat guano sampled from Wind Cave Nature Reserve (WCNR) in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. Samples collected were placed into viral transport medium, transported on ice within the collection day, and preserved at - 80 °C. Nucleic acid was extracted using the column method and screened using consensus PCR primers targeting the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene. Amplicons were sequenced bidirectionally using the Sanger method. Phylogenetic tree with maximum-likelihood bootstrap and Bayesian posterior probability were constructed. RESULTS: CoV-RNA was detected in ten specimens (47.6%, n = 21). Six alphacoronavirus and four betacoronaviruses were identified. The bat-CoVs can be phylogenetically grouped into four novel clades which are closely related to Decacovirus-1 and Decacovirus-2, Sarbecovirus, and an unclassified CoV. CoVs lineages unique to the Island of Borneo were discovered in Sarawak, Malaysia, with one of them closely related to Sarbecovirus. All of them are distant from currently known human coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera , Coronavirus , Animals , Bayes Theorem , Borneo , Coronavirus/genetics , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Phylogeny
11.
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
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24042, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574556

ABSTRACT

The microbiota of the nasopharyngeal tract (NT) play a role in host immunity against respiratory infectious diseases. However, scant information is available on interactions of SARS-CoV-2 with the nasopharyngeal microbiome. This study characterizes the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on human nasopharyngeal microbiomes and their relevant metabolic functions. Twenty-two (n = 22) nasopharyngeal swab samples (including COVID-19 patients = 8, recovered humans = 7, and healthy people = 7) were collected, and underwent to RNAseq-based metagenomic investigation. Our RNAseq data mapped to 2281 bacterial species (including 1477, 919 and 676 in healthy, COVID-19 and recovered metagenomes, respectively) indicating a distinct microbiome dysbiosis. The COVID-19 and recovered samples included 67% and 77% opportunistic bacterial species, respectively compared to healthy controls. Notably, 79% commensal bacterial species found in healthy controls were not detected in COVID-19 and recovered people. Similar dysbiosis was also found in viral and archaeal fraction of the nasopharyngeal microbiomes. We also detected several altered metabolic pathways and functional genes in the progression and pathophysiology of COVID-19. The nasopharyngeal microbiome dysbiosis and their genomic features determined by our RNAseq analyses shed light on early interactions of SARS-CoV-2 with the nasopharyngeal resident microbiota that might be helpful for developing microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics for this novel pandemic disease.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/classification , COVID-19/microbiology , Nasopharynx/microbiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Adult , Aged , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacteria/pathogenicity , Case-Control Studies , Female , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , Symbiosis , Young Adult
13.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261229, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571989

ABSTRACT

In-depth study of the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome has uncovered many mutations, which have replaced the lineage that characterized the first wave of infections all around the world. In December 2020, the outbreak of variant of concern (VOC) 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7) in the United Kingdom defined a turning point during the pandemic, immediately posing a worldwide threat on the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Here, we reported the evolution of B.1.1.7 lineage-related infections, analyzing samples collected from January 1st 2021, until April 15th 2021, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a northeastern region of Italy. A cohort of 1508 nasopharyngeal swabs was analyzed by High Resolution Melting (HRM) and 479 randomly selected samples underwent Next Generation Sequencing analysis (NGS), uncovering a steady and continuous accumulation of B.1.1.7 lineage-related specimens, joined by sporadic cases of other known lineages (i.e. harboring the Spike glycoprotein p.E484K mutation). All the SARS-CoV-2 genome has been analyzed in order to highlight all the rare mutations that may eventually result in a new variant of interest. This work suggests that a thorough monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 genome by NGS is essential to contain any new variant that could jeopardize all the efforts that have been made so far to resolve the emergence of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
14.
J Fish Dis ; 45(1): 41-49, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1570815

ABSTRACT

A severe disease occurred in farmed Eriocheir sinensis characterized by milky liquid accumulation in the pectoral cavity, in the province of Liaoning, China, during October 2018-April 2019. Diseased crabs moved sluggishly, exhibited appetite loss and readily lost legs. Under the microscopic analysis, it was observed that the milky liquid contained a large number of yeastlike microorganisms (0.8-1.2 µm × 1.5-1.9 µm), which were also present in the muscle, hepatopancreas and gills. A dominant strain was isolated from the milky liquid and other tissues of diseased crabs. It grew on nutrient agar and formed 1- to 3-mm white opaque colonies, each with a protuberance in the centre. Besides, the results of TEM and SEM also demonstrate a typical multilateral budding model of the yeast clearly. We identified the strain, which we named 2EJM001, as Metschnikowia bicuspidata based on 18S rDNA, ITS and 26S rDNA sequence analyses and on its morphological, physiological and biochemical characteristics. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 26S rDNA of 2EJM001 was clustered with M. bicuspidata (LNES0119) as reported by Bao et al. In addition, unlike Bao et al., two challenge experiments (injection and immersion) were used in this study. The results of challenge experiments show that 2EJM001 was pathogenic to E. sinensis and caused signs similar to those found in the naturally infected crabs. At the same time, the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC80 and MIC90 ) were determined. This study further confirms that M. bicuspidata 2EJM001 was the pathogen responsible for 'milky disease' in E. sinensis from Liaoning Province.


Subject(s)
Brachyura , Fish Diseases , Animals , Antifungal Agents , Metschnikowia , Phylogeny
15.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 15(11): 1578-1583, 2021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572714

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Globally South-East Asia reported 40% of SARS-CoV-2 infected cases in the fourth week of April 2021. It continued to show an increase with India accounting for 50% of cases worldwide and 30% of global deaths. Genomic surveillance should continue at a rapid pace because of the continuously evolving nature of the virus. The time period of sample collection from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data database was concurrent with the surge in new cases seen in the Indian subcontinent. METHODOLOGY: 7,415 sequences were downloaded from Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data between January and April 2021; out of which 4,411 were high coverage genome sequences and were considered for analysis. Phylogenetic analysis were carried out using Nextstrain. RESULTS: 21A or B.1.617 or delta was the most prevalent lineage in India accounting for 67.7% of the genomes. Next important clades were 20A, 20B and 20I accounting for 23.6%, 11.8% and 12.1% respectively collected between January 2021 and April 2021. The remaining sequences were assigned to clade 20H, 20J, 20D, 20C, 20G,20E,19A and 19B.The spike mutation frequencies of L452R, E484Q and P681R in Indian state of Maharashtra were 62.4%, 66.5% and 61.5% respectively. Two unique N-terminal domain deletion of spike protein were found at position 67 and 68. CONCLUSIONS: The phylogenomics of the delta variant or 21A emerged in neighboring Asian countries of Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Japan. We analyzed the SARS-CoV-2 genomes from India for mutation characterization of the spike glycoprotein and the nucleocapsid protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Asia, Southeastern/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Factual , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572669

ABSTRACT

Genotype screening was implemented in Italy and showed a significant prevalence of new SARS-CoV-2 mutants carrying Q675H mutation, near the furin cleavage site of spike protein. Currently, this mutation, which is expressed on different SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating worldwide, has not been thoughtfully investigated. Therefore, we performed phylogenetic and biocomputational analysis to better understand SARS-CoV-2 Q675H mutants' evolutionary relationships with other circulating lineages and Q675H function in its molecular context. Our studies reveal that Q675H spike mutation is the result of parallel evolution because it arose independently in separate evolutionary clades. In silico data show that the Q675H mutation gives rise to a hydrogen-bonds network in the spike polar region. This results in an optimized directionality of arginine residues involved in interaction of spike with the furin binding pocket, thus improving proteolytic exposure of the viral protein. Furin was predicted to have a greater affinity for Q675H than Q675 substrate conformations. As a consequence, Q675H mutation could confer a fitness advantage to SARS-CoV-2 by promoting a more efficient viral entry. Interestingly, here we have shown that Q675H spike mutation is documented in all the VOCs. This finding highlights that VOCs are still evolving to enhance viral fitness and to adapt to the human host. At the same time, it may suggest Q675H spike mutation involvement in SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Subject(s)
Furin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , Genetic Fitness , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
17.
BMC Genomics ; 22(1): 782, 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561730

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Faced with the ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease, the 'National Reference Centre for Whole Genome Sequencing of microbial pathogens: database and bioinformatic analysis' (GENPAT) formally established at the 'Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise' (IZSAM) in Teramo (Italy) is in charge of the SARS-CoV-2 surveillance at the genomic scale. In a context of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance requiring correct and fast assessment of epidemiological clusters from substantial amount of samples, the present study proposes an analytical workflow for identifying accurately the PANGO lineages of SARS-CoV-2 samples and building of discriminant minimum spanning trees (MST) bypassing the usual time consuming phylogenomic inferences based on multiple sequence alignment (MSA) and substitution model. RESULTS: GENPAT constituted two collections of SARS-CoV-2 samples. The first collection consisted of SARS-CoV-2 positive swabs collected by IZSAM from the Abruzzo region (Italy), then sequenced by next generation sequencing (NGS) and analyzed in GENPAT (n = 1592), while the second collection included samples from several Italian provinces and retrieved from the reference Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) (n = 17,201). The main results of the present work showed that (i) GENPAT and GISAID detected the same PANGO lineages, (ii) the PANGO lineages B.1.177 (i.e. historical in Italy) and B.1.1.7 (i.e. 'UK variant') are major concerns today in several Italian provinces, and the new MST-based method (iii) clusters most of the PANGO lineages together, (iv) with a higher dicriminatory power than PANGO lineages, (v) and faster that the usual phylogenomic methods based on MSA and substitution model. CONCLUSIONS: The genome sequencing efforts of Italian provinces, combined with a structured national system of NGS data management, provided support for surveillance SARS-CoV-2 in Italy. We propose to build phylogenomic trees of SARS-CoV-2 variants through an accurate, discriminant and fast MST-based method avoiding the typical time consuming steps related to MSA and substitution model-based phylogenomic inference.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Italy , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
18.
J Autoimmun ; 126: 102779, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561067

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been emerging in the form of different variants since its first emergence in early December 2019. A new Variant of Concern (VOC) named the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) was reported recently. This variant has a large number of mutations in the S protein. To date, there exists a limited information on the Omicron variant. Here we present the analyses of mutation distribution, the evolutionary relationship of Omicron with previous variants, and probable structural impact of mutations on antibody binding. Our analyses show the presence of 46 high prevalence mutations specific to Omicron. Twenty-three of these are localized within the spike (S) protein and the rest localized to the other 3 structural proteins of the virus, the envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N). Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Omicron is closely related to the Gamma (P.1) variant. The structural analyses showed that several mutations are localized to the region of the S protein that is the major target of antibodies, suggesting that the mutations in the Omicron variant may affect the binding affinities of antibodies to the S protein.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Structure, Tertiary , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
J Infect Public Health ; 15(1): 42-50, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549933

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since its inception in late 2019, SARS-CoV-2 has been evolving continuously by procuring mutations, leading to emergence of numerous variants, causing second wave of pandemic in many countries including India in 2021. To control this pandemic continuous mutational surveillance and genomic epidemiology of circulating strains is very important to unveil the emergence of the novel variants and also monitor the evolution of existing variants. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 sequences were retrieved from GISAID database. Sequence alignment was performed with MAFT version 7. Phylogenetic tree was constructed by using MEGA (version X) and UShER. RESULTS: In this study, we reported the emergence of a novel variant of SARS-CoV-2, named B.1.1.526, in India. This novel variant encompasses 129 SARS-CoV-2 strains which are characterized by the presence of 11 coexisting mutations including D614G, P681H, and V1230L in S glycoprotein. Out of these 129 sequences, 27 sequences also harbored E484K mutation in S glycoprotein. Phylogenetic analysis revealed strains of this novel variant emerged from the GR clade and formed a new cluster. Geographical distribution showed, out of 129 sequences, 126 were found in seven different states of India. Rest 3 sequences were observed in USA. Temporal analysis revealed this novel variant was first collected from Kolkata district of West Bengal, India. CONCLUSIONS: The D614G, P618H and E484K mutations have previously been reported to favor increased transmissibility, enhanced infectivity, and immune invasion, respectively. The transmembrane domain (TM) of S2 subunit anchors S glycoprotein to the virus envelope. The V1230L mutation, present within the TM domain of S glycoprotein, might strengthen the interaction of S glycoprotein with the viral envelope and increase S glycoprotein deposition to the virion, resulting in more infectious virion. Therefore, the new variant having D614G, P618H, V1230L, and E484K may have higher infectivity, transmissibility, and immune invasion characteristics, and thus need to be monitored closely.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
20.
Euro Surveill ; 26(43)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547185

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, viral genomes are available at unprecedented speed, but spatio-temporal bias in genome sequence sampling precludes phylogeographical inference without additional contextual data.AimWe applied genomic epidemiology to trace SARS-CoV-2 spread on an international, national and local level, to illustrate how transmission chains can be resolved to the level of a single event and single person using integrated sequence data and spatio-temporal metadata.MethodsWe investigated 289 COVID-19 cases at a university hospital in Munich, Germany, between 29 February and 27 May 2020. Using the ARTIC protocol, we obtained near full-length viral genomes from 174 SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory samples. Phylogenetic analyses using the Auspice software were employed in combination with anamnestic reporting of travel history, interpersonal interactions and perceived high-risk exposures among patients and healthcare workers to characterise cluster outbreaks and establish likely scenarios and timelines of transmission.ResultsWe identified multiple independent introductions in the Munich Metropolitan Region during the first weeks of the first pandemic wave, mainly by travellers returning from popular skiing areas in the Alps. In these early weeks, the rate of presumable hospital-acquired infections among patients and in particular healthcare workers was high (9.6% and 54%, respectively) and we illustrated how transmission chains can be dissected at high resolution combining virus sequences and spatio-temporal networks of human interactions.ConclusionsEarly spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe was catalysed by superspreading events and regional hotspots during the winter holiday season. Genomic epidemiology can be employed to trace viral spread and inform effective containment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
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