Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 56
Filter
Add filters

Document Type
Year range
1.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6778-6781, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544295

ABSTRACT

A high-throughput, fully automated antigen detection test for SARS-CoV-2 is a viable alternative to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) for mass screening during outbreaks. In this study, we compared RT-qPCR for viral load and the VITROS® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test with reference to the results of the LUMIPULSE® SARS-CoV-2 Ag Test. Of 128 nasopharyngeal swab specimens taken from patients suspected of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, 49 were positive and 79 were negative according to RT-qPCR. Consistent dose-dependent detection with VITROS® assay was successfully achieved when using nasopharyngeal swab specimens with Ct values of 32.0 or lesser, whereas the CLEIA-based LUMIPULSE® assay was able to detect lower viral loads compared with the VITROS® assay. Our results show that the performance of the VITROS® assay was satisfactory for the diagnosis of contagious COVID-19 patients in the clinical setting. Highlights The performance of the VITROS® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test was sufficient for the diagnosis of contagious COVID-19. This test showed high sensitivity and specificity in the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in samples with a Ct value of 32 or less.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoenzyme Techniques/methods , Immunologic Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Nasopharynx/immunology , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load/genetics , Viral Load/immunology
2.
Expert Opin Ther Pat ; 31(12): 1177-1188, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526144

ABSTRACT

Introduction: NGOs and governments of some countries have demanded suspension of patents protection of COVID-19 vaccines and the underlying technology to enhance worldwide access. At the same time, companies actually developing and producing COVID-19 vaccines have to navigate the patent landscape and have to deal with 3rd party patents.Areas covered: This article discusses these different aspects regarding patent protection of COVID-19 vaccines. Patent searches have been carried out in Espacenet and the ORBIT database. Different search strings were used by the author, based on his own background knowledge.Expert opinion: SARS-CoV 2 was for the first time fully described on 10 January 2020, so it is so far not possible to determine if, and by whom, patent applications were filed for respective vaccines. On that background, allegations that patents would be responsible for insufficient access to the vaccine in particular in developing countries are baseless. Even the key players are facing contraints caused by third-party patents, and legal disputes are already ongoing. Anyway, the bigger obstacle for worldwide equitable vaccine distribution seems to reside in know how transfer and production capacities, as ramping up production requires considerable efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Patents as Topic , Humans , RNA, Viral/immunology
3.
Curr Protein Pept Sci ; 22(4): 273-289, 2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515505

ABSTRACT

Innate immunity is the first line of defence elicited by the host immune system to fight against invading pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. From this elementary immune response, the more complex antigen-specific adaptive responses are recruited to provide a long-lasting memory against the pathogens. Innate immunity gets activated when the host cell utilizes a diverse set of receptors known as pattern recognition receptors (PRR) to recognize the viruses that have penetrated the host and responds with cellular processes like complement system, phagocytosis, cytokine release and inflammation and destruction of NK cells. Viral RNA or DNA or viral intermediate products are recognized by receptors like toll-like receptors(TLRs), nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) and retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs) thereby, inducing type I interferon response (IFN) and other proinflammatory cytokines in infected cells or other immune cells. But certain viruses can evade the host innate immune response to replicate efficiently, triggering the spread of the viral infection. The present review describes the similarity in the mechanism chosen by viruses from different families -HIV, SARSCoV- 2 and Nipah viruses to evade the innate immune response and how efficiently they establish the infection in the host. The review also addresses the stages of developments of various vaccines against these viral diseases and the challenges encountered by the researchers during vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , HIV Infections/virology , Henipavirus Infections/virology , RNA, Viral/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Viruses , Animals , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunity, Innate , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/immunology
4.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258819, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511819

ABSTRACT

Inexpensive, simple, rapid diagnostics are necessary for efficient detection, treatment, and mitigation of COVID-19. Assays for SARS-CoV2 using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) offer good sensitivity and excellent specificity, but are expensive, slowed by transport to centralized testing laboratories, and often unavailable. Antigen-based assays are inexpensive and can be rapidly mass-produced and deployed at point-of-care, with lateral flow assays (LFAs) being the most common format. While various manufacturers have produced commercially available SARS-Cov2 antigen LFAs, access to validated tests remains difficult or cost prohibitive in low-and middle-income countries. Herein, we present a visually read open-access LFA (OA-LFA) using commercially-available antibodies and materials for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. The LFA yielded a Limit of Detection (LOD) of 4 TCID50/swab of gamma irradiated SARS-CoV-2 virus, meeting the acceptable analytical sensitivity outlined by in World Health Organization target product profile. The open-source architecture presented in this manuscript provides a template for manufacturers around the globe to rapidly design a SARS-CoV2 antigen test.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(43)2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481965

ABSTRACT

Self-amplifying RNA replicons are promising platforms for vaccine generation. Their defects in one or more essential functions for viral replication, particle assembly, or dissemination make them highly safe as vaccines. We previously showed that the deletion of the envelope (E) gene from the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) produces a replication-competent propagation-defective RNA replicon (MERS-CoV-ΔE). Evaluation of this replicon in mice expressing human dipeptidyl peptidase 4, the virus receptor, showed that the single deletion of the E gene generated an attenuated mutant. The combined deletion of the E gene with accessory open reading frames (ORFs) 3, 4a, 4b, and 5 resulted in a highly attenuated propagation-defective RNA replicon (MERS-CoV-Δ[3,4a,4b,5,E]). This RNA replicon induced sterilizing immunity in mice after challenge with a lethal dose of a virulent MERS-CoV, as no histopathological damage or infectious virus was detected in the lungs of challenged mice. The four mutants lacking the E gene were genetically stable, did not recombine with the E gene provided in trans during their passage in cell culture, and showed a propagation-defective phenotype in vivo. In addition, immunization with MERS-CoV-Δ[3,4a,4b,5,E] induced significant levels of neutralizing antibodies, indicating that MERS-CoV RNA replicons are highly safe and promising vaccine candidates.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , RNA, Viral/administration & dosage , Replicon , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Defective Viruses/genetics , Defective Viruses/immunology , Female , Gene Deletion , Genes, env , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , Vaccines, DNA , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/genetics , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/immunology , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Virulence/genetics , Virulence/immunology
6.
Acc Chem Res ; 54(21): 4012-4023, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483069

ABSTRACT

In vitro-transcribed RNAs are emerging as new biologics for therapeutic innovation, as exemplified by their application recently in SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. RNAs prepared by in vitro transcription (IVT) allow transient expression of proteins of interest, conferring safety over DNA- or virus-mediated gene delivery systems. However, in vitro-transcribed RNAs should be used with caution because of their immunogenicity, which is in part triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) byproducts during IVT. Cellular innate immune response to dsRNA byproducts can lead to undesirable consequences, including suppression of protein synthesis and cell death, which in turn can detrimentally impact the efficacy of mRNA therapy. Thus, it is critical to understand the nature of IVT byproducts and the mechanisms by which they trigger innate immune responses.Our lab has been investigating the mechanisms by which the innate immune system discriminates between "self" and "nonself" RNA, with the focus on the cytoplasmic dsRNA receptors retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated 5 (MDA5). We have biochemically and structurally characterized critical events involving RNA discrimination and signal transduction by RIG-I or MDA5. We have used in vitro-transcribed RNAs as tools to investigate RNA specificity of RIG-I and MDA5, which required optimization of the IVT reaction and purification processes to eliminate the effect of IVT byproducts. In this Account, we summarize our current understanding of RIG-I and MDA5 and IVT reactions and propose future directions for improving IVT as a method to generate both research tools and therapeutics. Other critical proteins in cellular innate immune response to dsRNAs are also discussed. We arrange the contents in the following order: (i) innate immunity sensors for nonself RNA, including the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) in the cytosol and the toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the endosome, as well as cytoplasmic dsRNA-responding proteins, including protein kinase R (PKR) and 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetases (OASes), illustrating the feature of protein-RNA binding and its consequences; (ii) the immunogenicity of IVT byproducts, specifically the generation of dsRNA molecules during IVT; and (iii) methods to reduce IVT RNA immunogenicity, including optimizations of RNA polymerases, reagents, and experimental conditions during IVT and subsequent purification.


Subject(s)
RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
7.
Virus Res ; 305: 198579, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433887

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV2 mediated Covid-19 pandemic has impacted humankind at an unprecedented scale. While substantial research efforts have focused towards understanding the mechanisms of viral infection and developing vaccines/ therapeutics, factors affecting the susceptibility to SARS-CoV2 infection and manifestation of Covid-19 remain less explored. Given that the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system is known to vary among ethnic populations, it is likely to affect the recognition of the virus, and in turn, the susceptibility to Covid-19. To understand this, we used bioinformatic tools to probe all SARS-CoV2 peptides which could elicit T-cell response in humans. We also tried to answer the intriguing question of whether these potential epitopes were equally immunogenic across ethnicities, by studying the distribution of HLA alleles among different populations and their share of cognate epitopes. Results indicate that the immune recognition potential of SARS-CoV2 epitopes tend to vary between different ethnic groups. While the South Asians are likely to recognize higher number of CD8-specific epitopes, Europeans are likely to identify higher number of CD4-specific epitopes. We also hypothesize and provide clues that the newer mutations in SARS-CoV2 are unlikely to alter the T-cell mediated immunogenic responses among the studied ethnic populations. The work presented herein is expected to bolster our understanding of the pandemic, by providing insights into differential immunological response of ethnic populations to the virus as well as by gaging the possible effects of mutations in SARS-CoV2 on efficacy of potential epitope-based vaccines through evaluating ∼40,000 viral genomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Genome, Viral , HLA Antigens/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Africa/epidemiology , Alleles , Amino Acid Sequence , Asia/epidemiology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Computational Biology/methods , Disease Susceptibility , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/classification , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/classification , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , Europe/epidemiology , HLA Antigens/classification , HLA Antigens/genetics , Humans , Middle East/epidemiology , Oceania/epidemiology , Principal Component Analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
8.
Virus Res ; 305: 198555, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412516

ABSTRACT

Inactivated viral preparations are important resources in vaccine and antisera industry. Of the many vaccines that are being developed against COVID-19, inactivated whole-virus vaccines are also considered effective. ß-propiolactone (BPL) is a widely used chemical inactivator of several viruses. Here, we analyze various concentrations of BPL to effectively inactivate SARS-CoV-2 and their effects on the biochemical properties of the virion particles. BPL at 1:2000 (v/v) concentrations effectively inactivated SARS-CoV-2. However, higher BPL concentrations resulted in the loss of both protein content as well as the antigenic integrity of the structural proteins. Higher concentrations also caused substantial aggregation of the virion particles possibly resulting in insufficient inactivation, and a loss in antigenic potential. We also identify that the viral RNA content in the culture supernatants can be a direct indicator of their antigenic content. Our findings may have important implications in the vaccine and antisera industry during COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , Propiolactone/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virion/drug effects , Virus Inactivation/drug effects , Animals , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Flocculation/drug effects , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated , Vero Cells , Virion/chemistry , Virion/immunology
9.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(18): 10604-10617, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406489

ABSTRACT

RNA hydrolysis presents problems in manufacturing, long-term storage, world-wide delivery and in vivo stability of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines and therapeutics. A largely unexplored strategy to reduce mRNA hydrolysis is to redesign RNAs to form double-stranded regions, which are protected from in-line cleavage and enzymatic degradation, while coding for the same proteins. The amount of stabilization that this strategy can deliver and the most effective algorithmic approach to achieve stabilization remain poorly understood. Here, we present simple calculations for estimating RNA stability against hydrolysis, and a model that links the average unpaired probability of an mRNA, or AUP, to its overall hydrolysis rate. To characterize the stabilization achievable through structure design, we compare AUP optimization by conventional mRNA design methods to results from more computationally sophisticated algorithms and crowdsourcing through the OpenVaccine challenge on the Eterna platform. We find that rational design on Eterna and the more sophisticated algorithms lead to constructs with low AUP, which we term 'superfolder' mRNAs. These designs exhibit a wide diversity of sequence and structure features that may be desirable for translation, biophysical size, and immunogenicity. Furthermore, their folding is robust to temperature, computer modeling method, choice of flanking untranslated regions, and changes in target protein sequence, as illustrated by rapid redesign of superfolder mRNAs for B.1.351, P.1 and B.1.1.7 variants of the prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Increases in in vitro mRNA half-life by at least two-fold appear immediately achievable.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , RNA, Double-Stranded/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Base Pairing , Base Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Hydrolysis , RNA Stability , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , RNA, Double-Stranded/immunology , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/immunology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Thermodynamics
11.
J Infect Dis ; 224(4): 595-605, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma containing neutralizing antibody to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is under investigation for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment. We report diverse virological characteristics of UK intensive care patients enrolled in the Immunoglobulin Domain of the REMAP-CAP randomized controlled trial that potentially influence treatment outcomes. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs collected pretreatment was quantified by PCR. Antibody status was determined by spike-protein ELISA. B.1.1.7 was differentiated from other SARS-CoV-2 strains using allele-specific probes or restriction site polymorphism (SfcI) targeting D1118H. RESULTS: Of 1274 subjects, 90% were PCR positive with viral loads 118-1.7 × 1011IU/mL. Median viral loads were 40-fold higher in those IgG seronegative (n = 354; 28%) compared to seropositives (n = 939; 72%). Frequencies of B.1.1.7 increased from <1% in November 2020 to 82% of subjects in January 2021. Seronegative individuals with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher viral loads than seropositives (medians 5.8 × 106 and 2.0 × 105 IU/mL, respectively; P = 2 × 10-15). CONCLUSIONS: High viral loads in seropositive B.1.1.7-infected subjects and resistance to seroconversion indicate less effective clearance by innate and adaptive immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 strain, viral loads, and antibody status define subgroups for analysis of treatment efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom
12.
Nat Immunol ; 22(10): 1306-1315, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366822

ABSTRACT

B.1.351 is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant most resistant to antibody neutralization. We demonstrate how the dose and number of immunizations influence protection. Nonhuman primates received two doses of 30 or 100 µg of Moderna's mRNA-1273 vaccine, a single immunization of 30 µg, or no vaccine. Two doses of 100 µg of mRNA-1273 induced 50% inhibitory reciprocal serum dilution neutralizing antibody titers against live SARS-CoV-2 p.Asp614Gly and B.1.351 of 3,300 and 240, respectively. Higher neutralizing responses against B.1.617.2 were also observed after two doses compared to a single dose. After challenge with B.1.351, there was ~4- to 5-log10 reduction of viral subgenomic RNA and low to undetectable replication in bronchoalveolar lavages in the two-dose vaccine groups, with a 1-log10 reduction in nasal swabs in the 100-µg group. These data establish that a two-dose regimen of mRNA-1273 will be critical for providing upper and lower airway protection against major variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Primates/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Male , Mesocricetus , Primates/virology , RNA, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vero Cells , Viral Load/methods
14.
Front Immunol ; 12: 700926, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305649

ABSTRACT

RIG-I-like receptors (RLR), RIG-I and MDA5, are cytoplasmic viral RNA sensors that recognize viral double-stranded RNAs and trigger signals to induce antiviral responses, including type I interferon production. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. However, the RLR role in innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 has not been fully elucidated. Here, we studied the roles of RLR in cytokine expression responding to SARS-CoV-2 and found that not only MDA5 but also RIG-I are involved in innate immune responses in some types of human cells. Transfection of total RNAs extracted from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells into epithelial cells induced IFN-ß, IP-10, and Ccl5 mRNA expression. The cytokine expression was reduced by knockout of either RIG-I or MDA5, suggesting that both proteins are required for appropriate innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Two viral genomic RNA regions strongly induced type I IFN expression, and a 200-base fragment of viral RNA preferentially induced type I IFN in a RIG-I-dependent manner. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infectious particles hardly induced cytokine expression, suggesting viral escape from the host response. Viral 9b protein inhibited RIG-I and MAVS interaction, and viral 7a protein destabilized the TBK1 protein, leading to attenuated IRF-3 phosphorylation required for type I IFN expression. Our data elucidated the mechanism underlying RLR-mediated response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and viral escape from the host innate immune response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/metabolism , Receptors, Retinoic Acid/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Gene Knockdown Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Phosphorylation , RNA, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Retinoic Acid/genetics , Signal Transduction , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
15.
mSphere ; 6(4): e0054221, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299220

ABSTRACT

Public health practices and high vaccination rates currently represent the primary interventions for managing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We initiated a clinical study based on frequent, longitudinal workplace disease surveillance to control severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission among employees and their household members. We hypothesized that the study would reduce the economic burden and loss of productivity of both individuals and small businesses resulting from standard isolation methods, while providing new insights into virus-host dynamics. Study participants (27 employees and 27 household members) consented to provide frequent nasal or oral swab samples that were analyzed by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Two study participants were found to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 during the study. One subject, a household member, was SARS-CoV-2 RNA positive for at least 71 days and had quantifiable serum virus-specific antibody concentrations for over 1 year. One unrelated employee became positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA over the course of the study but remained asymptomatic, with low associated viral RNA copy numbers, no detectable serum IgM and IgG concentrations, and IgA concentrations that decayed rapidly (half-life: 1.3 days). A COVID-19 infection model was used to predict that without surveillance intervention, up to 7 employees (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3 to 10) would have become infected, with at most 1 of them requiring hospitalization. Our scalable and transferable surveillance plan met its primary objectives and represents a powerful example of an innovative public health initiative dovetailed with scientific discovery. IMPORTANCE The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the associated COVID-19 has precipitated a global pandemic heavily challenging our social behavior, economy, and health care infrastructure. In the absence of widespread, worldwide access to safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics, public health measures represent a key intervention for curbing the devastating impacts from the pandemic. We are conducting an ongoing clinical study based on frequent, longitudinal workplace disease surveillance to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission among employees and their household members. Our study was successful in surveying the viral and immune response dynamics in two participants with unusual infections: one remained positive for SARS-CoV-2 for 71 days, while the other was asymptomatic, with low associated viral RNA copy numbers. A COVID-19 infection model was used to predict that without surveillance intervention, up to 7 employees would have become infected, with at most 1 of them requiring hospitalization, underscoring the importance of our program.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Child , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , RNA, Viral/immunology , Workplace , Young Adult
16.
J Med Virol ; 93(12): 6778-6781, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281221

ABSTRACT

A high-throughput, fully automated antigen detection test for SARS-CoV-2 is a viable alternative to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) for mass screening during outbreaks. In this study, we compared RT-qPCR for viral load and the VITROS® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test with reference to the results of the LUMIPULSE® SARS-CoV-2 Ag Test. Of 128 nasopharyngeal swab specimens taken from patients suspected of being infected with SARS-CoV-2, 49 were positive and 79 were negative according to RT-qPCR. Consistent dose-dependent detection with VITROS® assay was successfully achieved when using nasopharyngeal swab specimens with Ct values of 32.0 or lesser, whereas the CLEIA-based LUMIPULSE® assay was able to detect lower viral loads compared with the VITROS® assay. Our results show that the performance of the VITROS® assay was satisfactory for the diagnosis of contagious COVID-19 patients in the clinical setting. Highlights The performance of the VITROS® SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test was sufficient for the diagnosis of contagious COVID-19. This test showed high sensitivity and specificity in the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in samples with a Ct value of 32 or less.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoenzyme Techniques/methods , Immunologic Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Nasopharynx/immunology , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load/genetics , Viral Load/immunology
17.
EMBO J ; 40(15): e107826, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261483

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes broad-spectrum immunopathological disease, exacerbated by inflammatory co-morbidities. A better understanding of mechanisms underpinning virus-associated inflammation is required to develop effective therapeutics. Here, we discover that SARS-CoV-2 replicates rapidly in lung epithelial cells despite triggering a robust innate immune response through the activation of cytoplasmic RNA sensors RIG-I and MDA5. The inflammatory mediators produced during epithelial cell infection can stimulate primary human macrophages to enhance cytokine production and drive cellular activation. Critically, this can be limited by abrogating RNA sensing or by inhibiting downstream signalling pathways. SARS-CoV-2 further exacerbates the local inflammatory environment when macrophages or epithelial cells are primed with exogenous inflammatory stimuli. We propose that RNA sensing of SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium is a key driver of inflammation, the extent of which is influenced by the inflammatory state of the local environment, and that specific inhibition of innate immune pathways may beneficially mitigate inflammation-associated COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , RNA, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , Janus Kinases/immunology , Lung/cytology , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Macrophage Activation , NF-kappa B/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , STAT Transcription Factors/immunology , Virus Replication
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 10696, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238020

ABSTRACT

A new pandemic caused by the betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 originated in China in late 2019. Although often asymptomatic, a relevant percentage of affected people can develop severe pneumonia. Initial evidence suggests that dysregulation of the immune response could contribute to the pathogenesis, as previously demonstrated for SARS-CoV. The presence of genome composition features involved in delaying viral recognition is herein investigated for human coronaviruses (HCoVs), with a special emphasis on SARS-CoV-2. A broad collection of HCoVs polyprotein, envelope, matrix, nucleocapsid and spike coding sequences was downloaded and several statistics representative of genome composition and codon bias were investigated. A model able to evaluate and test the presence of a significant under- or over-representation of dinucleotide pairs while accounting for the underlying codon bias and protein sequence was also implemented. The study revealed the significant under-representation of CpG dinucleotide pair in all HcoV, but especially in SARS-CoV and even more in SARS-CoV-2. The presence of forces acting to minimize CpG content was confirmed by relative synonymous codon usage pattern. Codons containing the CpG pair were severely under-represented, primarily in the polyprotein and spike coding sequences of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a significant under-representation of the TpA pair was observed in the N and S region of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Increasing experimental evidence has proven that CpG and TpA are targeted by innate antiviral host defences, contributing both to RNA degradation and RIG-1 mediated interferon production. The low content of these dinucleotides could contribute to a delayed interferon production, dysregulated immune response, higher viral replication and poor outcome. Significantly, the RIG-1 signalling pathway was proven to be defective in elderlies, suggesting a likely interaction between limited viral recognition and lower responsiveness in interferon production that could justify the higher disease severity and mortality in older patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , CpG Islands/immunology , Genome, Viral/immunology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , RNA Stability/immunology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 2893, 2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232068

ABSTRACT

Several vaccines have demonstrated efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 mediated disease, yet there is limited data on the immune response induced by heterologous vaccination regimens using alternate vaccine modalities. Here, we present a detailed description of the immune response, in mice, following vaccination with a self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) vaccine and an adenoviral vectored vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrate that antibody responses are higher in two-dose heterologous vaccination regimens than single-dose regimens. Neutralising titres after heterologous prime-boost were at least comparable or higher than the titres measured after homologous prime boost vaccination with viral vectors. Importantly, the cellular immune response after a heterologous regimen is dominated by cytotoxic T cells and Th1+ CD4 T cells, which is superior to the response induced in homologous vaccination regimens in mice. These results underpin the need for clinical trials to investigate the immunogenicity of heterologous regimens with alternate vaccine technologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL
...