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2.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 61, 2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758178

ABSTRACT

Variants are globally emerging very quickly following pandemic prototypic SARS-CoV-2. To evaluate the cross-protection of prototypic SARS-CoV-2 vaccine against its variants, we vaccinated rhesus monkeys with three doses of prototypic SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine, followed by challenging with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs). These vaccinated animals produced neutralizing antibodies against Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants, although there were certain declinations of geometric mean titer (GMT) as compared with prototypic SARS-CoV-2. Of note, in vivo this prototypic vaccine not only reduced the viral loads in nasal, throat and anal swabs, pulmonary tissues, but also improved the pathological changes in the lung infected by variants of Alpha, Beta, and Delta. In summary, the prototypic SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine in this study protected against VOCs to certain extension, which is of great significance for prevention and control of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Protection , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Anal Canal/virology , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Nasal Cavity/virology , Pharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Viral Load/drug effects
3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 828053, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731780

ABSTRACT

Recent increases in SARS-CoV-2 infections have led to questions about duration and quality of vaccine-induced immune protection. While numerous studies have been published on immune responses triggered by vaccination, these often focus on studying the impact of one or two immunisation schemes within subpopulations such as immunocompromised individuals or healthcare workers. To provide information on the duration and quality of vaccine-induced immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, we analyzed antibody titres against various SARS-CoV-2 antigens and ACE2 binding inhibition against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and variants of concern in samples from a large German population-based seroprevalence study (MuSPAD) who had received all currently available immunisation schemes. We found that homologous mRNA-based or heterologous prime-boost vaccination produced significantly higher antibody responses than vector-based homologous vaccination. Ad26.CoV2S.2 performance was particularly concerning with reduced titres and 91.7% of samples classified as non-responsive for ACE2 binding inhibition, suggesting that recipients require a booster mRNA vaccination. While mRNA vaccination induced a higher ratio of RBD- and S1-targeting antibodies, vector-based vaccines resulted in an increased proportion of S2-targeting antibodies. Given the role of RBD- and S1-specific antibodies in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2, their relative over-representation after mRNA vaccination may explain why these vaccines have increased efficacy compared to vector-based formulations. Previously infected individuals had a robust immune response once vaccinated, regardless of which vaccine they received, which could aid future dose allocation should shortages arise for certain manufacturers. Overall, both titres and ACE2 binding inhibition peaked approximately 28 days post-second vaccination and then decreased.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods
6.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(9): 11068-11077, 2022 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713108

ABSTRACT

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it is evident that viral spread is mediated through several different transmission pathways. Reduction of these transmission pathways is urgently needed to control the spread of viruses between infected and susceptible individuals. Herein, we report the use of pathogen-repellent plastic wraps (RepelWrap) with engineered surface structures at multiple length scales (nanoscale to microscale) as a means of reducing the indirect contact transmission of viruses through fomites. To quantify viral repellency, we developed a touch-based viral quantification assay to mimic the interaction of a contaminated human touch with a surface through the modification of traditional viral quantification methods (viral plaque and TCID50 assays). These studies demonstrate that RepelWrap reduced contamination with an enveloped DNA virus as well as the human coronavirus 229E (HuCoV-229E) by more than 4 log 10 (>99.99%) compared to a standard commercially available polyethylene plastic wrap. In addition, RepelWrap maintained its repellent properties after repeated 300 touches and did not show an accumulation in viral titer after multiple contacts with contaminated surfaces, while increases were seen on other commonly used surfaces. These findings show the potential use of repellent surfaces in reducing viral contamination on surfaces, which could, in turn, reduce the surface-based spread and transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus 229E, Human/growth & development , Equipment Contamination/prevention & control , Infection Control/instrumentation , Plastics/chemistry , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Infection Control/methods , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Surface Properties
8.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 57, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702971

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly transmissible disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that poses a major threat to global public health. Although COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system, causing severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome in severe cases, it can also result in multiple extrapulmonary complications. The pathogenesis of extrapulmonary damage in patients with COVID-19 is probably multifactorial, involving both the direct effects of SARS-CoV-2 and the indirect mechanisms associated with the host inflammatory response. Recognition of features and pathogenesis of extrapulmonary complications has clinical implications for identifying disease progression and designing therapeutic strategies. This review provides an overview of the extrapulmonary complications of COVID-19 from immunological and pathophysiologic perspectives and focuses on the pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets for the management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/complications , COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/complications , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/complications , Lymphopenia/complications , Myocarditis/complications , Pulmonary Embolism/complications , Acute Kidney Injury/drug therapy , Acute Kidney Injury/immunology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/drug therapy , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/immunology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/virology , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Lymphopenia/drug therapy , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/virology , Myocarditis/drug therapy , Myocarditis/immunology , Myocarditis/virology , Pulmonary Embolism/drug therapy , Pulmonary Embolism/immunology , Pulmonary Embolism/virology , Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Bioengineered ; 13(3): 5480-5508, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1697594

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2) virus has become the greatest global public health crisis in recent years,and the COVID-19 epidemic is still continuing. However, due to the lack of effectivetherapeutic drugs, the treatment of corona viruses is facing huge challenges. In thiscontext, countries with a tradition of using herbal medicine such as China have beenwidely using herbal medicine for prevention and nonspecific treatment of corona virusesand achieved good responses. In this review, we will introduce the application of herbalmedicine in the treatment of corona virus patients in China and other countries, andreview the progress of related molecular mechanisms and antiviral activity ingredients ofherbal medicine, in order to provide a reference for herbal medicine in the treatment ofcorona viruses. We found that herbal medicines are used in the prevention and fightagainst COVID-19 in countries on all continents. In China, herbal medicine has beenreported to relieve some of the clinical symptoms of mild patients and shorten the length of hospital stay. However, as most herbal medicines for the clinical treatment of COVID-19still lack rigorous clinical trials, the clinical and economic value of herbal medicines in theprevention and treatment of COVID-19 has not been fully evaluated. Future work basedon large-scale randomized, double-blind clinical trials to evaluate herbal medicines andtheir active ingredients in the treatment of new COVID-19 will be very meaningful.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , China , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/isolation & purification , Herbal Medicine/methods , Humans , Medicine, Chinese Traditional/methods , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
11.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687060

ABSTRACT

Mathematical modelling of infection processes in cells is of fundamental interest. It helps to understand the SARS-CoV-2 dynamics in detail and can be useful to define the vulnerability steps targeted by antiviral treatments. We previously developed a deterministic mathematical model of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle in a single cell. Despite answering many questions, it certainly cannot accurately account for the stochastic nature of an infection process caused by natural fluctuation in reaction kinetics and the small abundance of participating components in a single cell. In the present work, this deterministic model is transformed into a stochastic one based on a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. This model is employed to compute statistical characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle including the probability for a non-degenerate infection process. Varying parameters of the model enables us to unveil the inhibitory effects of IFN and the effects of the ACE2 binding affinity. The simulation results show that the type I IFN response has a very strong effect on inhibition of the total viral progeny whereas the effect of a 10-fold variation of the binding rate to ACE2 turns out to be negligible for the probability of infection and viral production.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Interferon Type I/immunology , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Computer Simulation , Humans , Kinetics , Life Cycle Stages , Markov Chains , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Stochastic Processes
13.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 44, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683982

ABSTRACT

The wide transmission and host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 have led to the rapid accumulation of mutations, posing significant challenges to the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. Although several neutralizing antibodies were authorized for emergency clinical use, convalescent patients derived natural antibodies are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 Spike mutation. Here, we describe the screen of a panel of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) targeted nanobodies (Nbs) from a synthetic library and the design of a biparatopic Nb, named Nb1-Nb2, with tight affinity and super-wide neutralization breadth against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Deep-mutational scanning experiments identify the potential binding epitopes of the Nbs on the RBD and demonstrate that biparatopic Nb1-Nb2 has a strong escape-resistant feature against more than 60 tested RBD amino acid substitutions. Using pseudovirion-based and trans-complementation SARS-CoV-2 tools, we determine that the Nb1-Nb2 broadly neutralizes multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants at sub-nanomolar levels, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Delta (B.1.617.2), Lambda (C.37), Kappa (B.1.617.1), and Mu (B.1.621). Furthermore, a heavy-chain antibody is constructed by fusing the human IgG1 Fc to Nb1-Nb2 (designated as Nb1-Nb2-Fc) to improve its neutralization potency, yield, stability, and potential half-life extension. For the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) that harbors unprecedented multiple RBD mutations, Nb1-Nb2-Fc keeps a firm affinity (KD < 1.0 × 10-12 M) and strong neutralizing activity (IC50 = 1.46 nM for authentic Omicron virus). Together, we developed a tetravalent biparatopic human heavy-chain antibody with ultrapotent and broad-spectrum SARS-CoV-2 neutralization activity which highlights the potential clinical applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/pharmacology , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/genetics , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/biosynthesis , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
15.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol ; 36: 20587384211073232, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673874

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, serology assays are needed to identify past and ongoing infections. In this context, we evaluated the diagnostic performance of 6 immunoassays on samples from hospitalized patients for moderate to critical COVID-19. METHODS: 701 serum samples obtained from 443 COVID-19 patients (G1: 356 positive RT-PCR patients and G2: 87 negative RT-PCR cases) and 108 pre-pandemic sera from blood donors were tested with 6 commercial immunoassays: (1) Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2, Roche (Nucleocapsid, N), (2) Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S, Roche (Spike, S), (3) Vidas SARS-COV-2 IgM/IgG, BioMérieux (S), (4) SARS-CoV-2 IgG, Abbott (N), (5) Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG, Beckman Coulter (Receptor Binding Domain), and (6) Standard F COVID-19 IgM/IgG Combo FIA, SD Biosensor (N). RESULTS: Global sensitivities of the evaluated assays were as follows: (1) Roche anti-N = 74.5% [69.6-79.3], (2) Roche anti-S = 92.7% [84.7-100], (3) Vidas IgM = 74.9% [68.6-81.2], (4) Vidas IgG = 73.9% [67.6-80.1], (5) Abbott = 78.6% [63.4-93.8], (6) Beckman Coulter = 74.5% [62-86.9], (7) SD Biosensor IgM = 73.1% [61-85.1], and (8) SD Biosensor IgG = 76.9% [65.4-88.4]. Sensitivities increased gradually from week 1 to week 3 as follow: (1) Roche anti-N: 63.3%, 81% and 82.1%; (2) Vidas IgM: 68.2%, 83.2% and 85.9%; and (3) Vidas IgG: 66.7%, 79.1% and 86.6%. All immunoassays showed a specificity of 100%. Seropositivity was significantly associated with a higher frequency of critical COVID-19 (50.8% vs. 38.2%), p = 0.018, OR [95% CI] = 1.668 [1.09-2.553]. Inversely, death occurred more frequently in seronegative patients (28.7% vs. 13.6%), p=3.02 E-4, OR [95% CI] = 0.392 [0.233-0.658]. CONCLUSION: Evaluated serology assays exhibited good sensitivities and excellent specificities. Sensitivities increased gradually after symptoms onset. Even if seropositivity is more frequent in patients with critical COVID-19, it may predict a recovery outcome.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inpatients , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
16.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674824

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 can efficiently infect both children and adults, albeit with morbidity and mortality positively associated with increasing host age and presence of co-morbidities. SARS-CoV-2 continues to adapt to the human population, resulting in several variants of concern (VOC) with novel properties, such as Alpha and Delta. However, factors driving SARS-CoV-2 fitness and evolution in paediatric cohorts remain poorly explored. Here, we provide evidence that both viral and host factors co-operate to shape SARS-CoV-2 genotypic and phenotypic change in primary airway cell cultures derived from children. Through viral whole-genome sequencing, we explored changes in genetic diversity over time of two pre-VOC clinical isolates of SARS-CoV-2 during passage in paediatric well-differentiated primary nasal epithelial cell (WD-PNEC) cultures and in parallel, in unmodified Vero-derived cell lines. We identified a consistent, rich genetic diversity arising in vitro, variants of which could rapidly rise to near fixation within two passages. Within isolates, SARS-CoV-2 evolution was dependent on host cells, with paediatric WD-PNECs showing a reduced diversity compared to Vero (E6) cells. However, mutations were not shared between strains. Furthermore, comparison of both Vero-grown isolates on WD-PNECs disclosed marked growth attenuation mapping to the loss of the polybasic cleavage site (PBCS) in Spike, while the strain with mutations in Nsp12 (T293I), Spike (P812R) and a truncation of Orf7a remained viable in WD-PNECs. Altogether, our work demonstrates that pre-VOC SARS-CoV-2 efficiently infects paediatric respiratory epithelial cells, and its evolution is restrained compared to Vero (E6) cells, similar to the case of adult cells. We highlight the significant genetic plasticity of SARS-CoV-2 while uncovering an influential role for collaboration between viral and host cell factors in shaping viral evolution and ultimately fitness in human respiratory epithelium.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Child , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genotype , Humans , Mutation , Nose/cytology , Nose/virology , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Vero Cells , Whole Genome Sequencing
17.
Mini Rev Med Chem ; 22(2): 273-311, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1666892

ABSTRACT

Due to the high mortality rate of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, there is an immediate need to discover drugs that can help before a vaccine becomes available. Given that the process of producing new drugs is so long, the strategy of repurposing existing drugs is one of the promising options for the urgent treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. Although FDA has approved Remdesivir for the use in hospitalized adults and pediatric patients suffering from COVID-19, no fully effective and reliable drug has been yet identified worldwide to treat COVID-19 specifically. Thus, scientists are still trying to find antivirals specific to COVID-19. This work reviews the chemical structure, metabolic pathway, and mechanism of action of the existing drugs with potential therapeutic applications for COVID-19. Furthermore, we summarized the molecular docking stimulation of the medications related to key protein targets. These already established drugs could be further developed, and after their testing through clinical trials, they could be used as suitable therapeutic options for patients suffering from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
18.
Cell Chem Biol ; 29(2): 215-225.e5, 2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664751

ABSTRACT

Coagulation cofactors profoundly regulate hemostasis and are appealing targets for anticoagulants. However, targeting such proteins has been challenging because they lack an active site. To address this, we isolate an RNA aptamer termed T18.3 that binds to both factor V (FV) and FVa with nanomolar affinity and demonstrates clinically relevant anticoagulant activity in both plasma and whole blood. The aptamer also shows synergy with low molecular weight heparin and delivers potent anticoagulation in plasma collected from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Moreover, the aptamer's anticoagulant activity can be rapidly and efficiently reversed using protamine sulfate, which potentially allows fine-tuning of aptamer's activity post-administration. We further show that the aptamer achieves its anticoagulant activity by abrogating FV/FVa interactions with phospholipid membranes. Our success in generating an anticoagulant aptamer targeting FV/Va demonstrates the feasibility of using cofactor-binding aptamers as therapeutic protein inhibitors and reveals an unconventional working mechanism of an aptamer by interrupting protein-membrane interactions.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Aptamers, Nucleotide/pharmacology , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , Factor V/antagonists & inhibitors , Factor Va/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Anticoagulants/chemistry , Anticoagulants/metabolism , Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Aptamers, Nucleotide/metabolism , Base Pairing , Binding Sites , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Membrane/chemistry , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Factor V/chemistry , Factor V/genetics , Factor V/metabolism , Factor Va/chemistry , Factor Va/genetics , Factor Va/metabolism , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/chemistry , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/metabolism , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , Immune Sera/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protamines , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SELEX Aptamer Technique , Substrate Specificity
19.
Nature ; 603(7902): 715-720, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661972

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern with progressively increased transmissibility between humans is a threat to global public health. The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 also evades immunity from natural infection or vaccines1, but it is unclear whether its exceptional transmissibility is due to immune evasion or intrinsic virological properties. Here we compared the replication competence and cellular tropism of the wild-type virus and the D614G, Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Delta (B.1.617.2) and Omicron (B.1.1.529) variants in ex vivo explant cultures of human bronchi and lungs. We also evaluated the dependence on TMPRSS2 and cathepsins for infection. We show that Omicron replicates faster than all other SARS-CoV-2 variants studied in the bronchi but less efficiently in the lung parenchyma. All variants of concern have similar cellular tropism compared to the wild type. Omicron is more dependent on cathepsins than the other variants of concern tested, suggesting that the Omicron variant enters cells through a different route compared with the other variants. The lower replication competence of Omicron in the human lungs may explain the reduced severity of Omicron that is now being reported in epidemiological studies, although determinants of severity are multifactorial. These findings provide important biological correlates to previous epidemiological observations.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/virology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cathepsins/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endocytosis , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Tissue Culture Techniques , Vero Cells
20.
Nature ; 603(7902): 700-705, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661969

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent global health concern1. In this study, our statistical modelling suggests that Omicron has spread more rapidly than the Delta variant in several countries including South Africa. Cell culture experiments showed Omicron to be less fusogenic than Delta and than an ancestral strain of SARS-CoV-2. Although the spike (S) protein of Delta is efficiently cleaved into two subunits, which facilitates cell-cell fusion2,3, the Omicron S protein was less efficiently cleaved compared to the S proteins of Delta and ancestral SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, in a hamster model, Omicron showed decreased lung infectivity and was less pathogenic compared to Delta and ancestral SARS-CoV-2. Our multiscale investigations reveal the virological characteristics of Omicron, including rapid growth in the human population, lower fusogenicity and attenuated pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Internalization , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , South Africa/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virulence , Virus Replication
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