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1.
J Clin Virol ; 138: 104817, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279625

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Diagnostic assays for severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) that are easy to perform and produce fast results are essential for timely decision making regarding the isolation of contagious individuals. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the CE-approved eazyplex® SARS-CoV-2, a ready-to-use real time RT-LAMP assay for identification of the SARS-CoV-2 N and ORF8 genes from swabs in less than 30 min without RNA extraction. STUDY DESIGN: Oropharyngeal and nasal swabs from 100 positive and 50 negative patients were inoculated into 0.9 % saline and tested by NeuMoDx™ RT-PCR. An aliquot was diluted fivefold in Copan sputum liquefying (SL) solution and directly analyzed by eazyplex® SARS-CoV-2. In addition, 130 patient swabs were prospectively tested with both methods in parallel. Analytical sensitivity of the assay was determined using virus stock dilutions. RESULTS: Positive percent agreement (PPA) between the eazyplex® SARS-CoV-2 and RT-PCR was 74 % for samples with Ct values < 35. When using a Ct cut-off ≤ 28 the PPA increased to 97.4 %. In the prospective part of the study overall PPA of the eazyplex® kit was 66.7 % but increased to 100 % when only Ct values ≤ 28 were considered. There were no false positive results. The median time to positivity was 12.5 min for the N gene and 16.75 min for ORF8. Analytical sensitivity was 3.75 TCID50/mL. 105 virus copies/mL were reproducibly detected. CONCLUSION: The eazyplex® SARS-CoV-2 is a rapid assay that accurately identifies samples with high viral loads. It may be useful for near-patient testing outside of a molecular diagnostic laboratory.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Point-of-Care Testing
2.
Viral Immunol ; 34(8): 567-572, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266103

ABSTRACT

Interleukin-10 (IL-10) gene polymorphisms have been associated with severity and outcomes in patients with respiratory and nonrespiratory viral infections. The aim of this study was to assess whether rs1800871 and rs1800872 polymorphisms of IL-10 gene are associated with the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 in a Mexican population. Study subjects were 193 COVID-19 patients. The genotyping was carried out with real-time PCR and serum IL-10 levels were measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Logistic regression analysis was used for analysis association with clinical outcomes. There was no evidence of an association between alleles, genotypes, or haplotypes frequencies between patient groups according to severity and outcomes. The rs1800871 and rs1800872 polymorphisms might not be genetic risk factors for severity and mortality for COVID-19 in Mexican mestizos patients from northwest Mexico.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Interleukin-10/genetics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Adult , Aged , Alleles , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Genotype , Haplotypes , Humans , Interleukin-10/metabolism , Male , Mexico , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Ann Clin Biochem ; 58(5): 496-504, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255782

ABSTRACT

STUDY OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality. The diagnosis of acute infection relies on reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based viral detection. The objective of this study was to evaluate the optimal serological testing strategy for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies which provides an important indicator of prior infection and potential short-term immunity. METHODS: The sensitivity and specificity of four different ELISA assays (Euroimmun IgG, Euroimmun NCP-IgG, Fortress and DIAsource) and one CLIA assay (Roche ELECSYS) were evaluated in 423 samples; 137 patients with confirmed RT-PCR COVID-19 infection (true positives), and 100 pre-pandemic samples collected prior to October 2019 (true negatives). A further 186 samples were collected from health-care staff and analysed by all five assays. RESULTS: The Fortress ELISA assay demonstrated the highest sensitivity and specificity followed by the Roche ECLIA assay. The highest overall sensitivity came from the assays that measured total antibody (IgM-IgG combined) and the three assays that performed the best (Fortress, Roche, Euroimmun IgG) all have different antigens as their target proteins which suggests that antigen target does not affect assay performance. In mildly symptomatic participants with either a negative RT-PCR or no RT-PCR performed, 16.76% had detectable antibodies suggesting previous infection. CONCLUSIONS: We recommend a combined testing strategy utilizing assays with different antigenic targets using the fully automated Roche ECLIA assay and confirming discordant samples with the Fortress Total Antibody ELISA assay. This study provides an important indicator of prior infection in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Electrochemical Techniques/methods , Electrochemical Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Ireland/epidemiology , Luminescent Measurements/methods , Luminescent Measurements/statistics & numerical data , Male , Pregnancy , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 494, 2021 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244910

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global pandemic. The understanding of the transmission and the duration of viral shedding in SARS-CoV-2 infection is still limited. OBJECTIVES: To assess the timeframe and potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from hospitalized COVID-19 patients in relation to antibody response. METHOD: We performed a cross-sectional study of 36 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Karolinska University Hospital. Patients with more than 8 days of symptom duration were sampled from airways, for PCR analysis of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and in vitro culture of replicating virus. Serum SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralizing antibodies titers were assessed by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and microneutralization assay. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in airway samples in 23 patients (symptom duration median 15 days, range 9-53 days), whereas 13 patients were SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative (symptom duration median 21 days, range 10-37 days). Replicating virus was detected in samples from 4 patients at 9-16 days. All but two patients had detectable levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG in serum, and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies were detected in 33 out of 36 patients. Total SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG titers and neutralizing antibody titers were positively correlated. High levels of both total IgG and neutralizing antibody titers were observed in patients sampled later after symptom onset and in patients where replicating virus could not be detected. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the presence of SARS-Cov-2 specific antibodies in serum may indicate a lower risk of shedding infectious SARS-CoV-2 by hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Sputum/virology
5.
Pathology ; 53(5): 645-651, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233564

ABSTRACT

During New Zealand's first outbreak in early 2020 the Southern Region had the highest per capita SARS-CoV-2 infection rate. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was initially limited by a narrow case definition and limited laboratory capacity, and cases may have been missed. Our objectives were to evaluate the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG nucleocapsid assay, alongside spike-based assays, and to determine the frequency of antibodies among PCR-confirmed and probable cases, and higher risk individuals in the Southern Region of New Zealand. Pre-pandemic sera (n=300) were used to establish assay specificity and sera from PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patients (n=78) to establish sensitivity. For prevalence analysis, all samples (n=1214) were tested on the Abbott assay, and all PCR-confirmed cases (n=78), probable cases (n=9), and higher risk individuals with 'grey-zone' (n=14) or positive results (n=11) were tested on four additional SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. The median time from infection onset to serum collection for PCR-confirmed cases was 14 weeks (range 11-17 weeks). The Abbott assay demonstrated a specificity of 99.7% (95% CI 98.2-99.99%) and a sensitivity of 76.9% (95% CI 66.0-85.7%). Spike-based assays demonstrated superior sensitivity ranging 89.7-94.9%. Nine previously undiagnosed sero-positive individuals were identified, and all had epidemiological risk factors. Spike-based assays demonstrated higher sensitivity than the Abbott IgG assay, likely due to temporal differences in antibody persistence. No unexpected SARS-CoV-2 infections were found in the Southern Region of New Zealand, supporting the elimination status of the country at the time this study was conducted.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , New Zealand , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
6.
J Immunol ; 206(11): 2527-2535, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227097

ABSTRACT

The T cell response is an important detection index in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine development. The present study was undertaken to determine the T cell epitopes in the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 that dominate the T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. PBMCs from rhesus macaques vaccinated with a DNA vaccine encoding the full-length S protein were isolated, and an ELISPOT assay was used to identify the recognized T cell epitopes among a total of 158 18-mer and 10-aa-overlapping peptides spanning the full-length S protein. Six multipeptide-based epitopes located in the S1 region, with four of the six located in the receptor-binding domain, were defined as the most frequently recognized epitopes in macaques. The conservation of the epitopes across species was also verified, and peptide mixtures for T cell response detection were established. Six newly defined T cell epitopes were found in the current study, which may provide a novel potential target for T cell response detection and the diagnosis and vaccine design of SARS-CoV-2 based on multipeptide subunit-based epitopes.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Macaca mulatta
7.
Oncol Lett ; 21(6): 458, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225869

ABSTRACT

Cryoablation is an emerging type of treatment for cancer. The sensitization of tumors using cryosensitizing agents prior to treatment enhances ablation efficiency and may improve clinical outcomes. Water efflux, which is regulated by aquaporin channels, contributes to cancer cell damage achieved through cryoablation. An increase in aquaporin (AQP) 3 is cryoprotective, whereas its inhibition augments cryodamage. The present study aimed to investigate aquaporin (AQP1, AQP3 and AQP5) gene expression and cellular localization in response to cryoinjury. Cultured breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) were exposed to freezing to induce cryoinjury. RNA and protein extracts were then analyzed using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR and western blotting, respectively. Localization of aquaporins was studied using immunocytochemistry. Additionally, cells were transfected with small interfering RNA to silence aquaporin gene expression and cell viability was assessed using the Sulforhodamine B assay. Cryoinjury did not influence gene expression of AQPs, except for a 4-fold increase of AQP1 expression in MDA-MD-231 cells. There were no clear differences in AQP protein expression for either cell lines upon exposure to frozen and non-frozen temperatures, with the exception of fainter AQP5 bands for non-frozen MCF-7 cells. The exposure of cancer cells to freezing temperatures altered the localization of AQP1 and AQP3 proteins in both MCF-7 and MDA-MD-231 cells. The silencing of AQP1, AQP3 and AQP5 exacerbated MDA-MD-231 cell damage associated with freezing compared with control siRNA. This was also observed with AQP3 and AQP5 silencing in MCF-7 cells. Inhibition of aquaporins may potentially enhance cryoinjury. This cryosensitizing process may be used as an adjunct to breast cancer cryotherapy, especially in the border area targeted by cryoablation where freezing temperatures are not cold enough to induce cellular damage.

8.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224250

ABSTRACT

In late 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic emerged to severely impact the global population, creating an unprecedented need for effective treatments. This study aims to investigate the potential of Scutellaria barbata D. Don (SB) as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection through the inhibition of the proteases playing important functions in the infection by SARS-CoV-2. FRET assay was applied to investigate the inhibitory effects of SB on the two proteases involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection, Mpro and TMPRSS2. Additionally, to measure the potential effectiveness of SB treatment on infection inhibition, cellular models based on the Calu3 and VeroE6 cells and their TMPRSS2- expressing derivatives were assessed by viral pseudoparticles (Vpp) infection assays. The experimental approaches were conjugated with LC/MS analyses of the aqueous extracts of SB to identify the major constituent compounds, followed by a literature review to determine the potential active components of the inhibitory effects on protease activities. Our results showed that SB extracts inhibited the enzyme activities of Mpro and TMPRSS2. Furthermore, SB extracts effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Vpp infection through a TMPRSS2-dependent mechanism. The aqueous extract analysis identified six major constituent compounds present in SB. Some of them have been known associated with inhibitory activities of TMPRSS2 or Mpro. Thus, SB may effectively prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication through inhibiting Mpro and TMPRSS2 protease activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Humans , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Peptide Hydrolases , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Plant Extracts/metabolism , Proteolysis , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Scutellaria , Serine Endopeptidases/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
J Med Virol ; 93(5): 3069-3076, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196539

ABSTRACT

The implementation of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) may enhance the efficiency of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing, as RDTs are widely accessible and easy to use. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of a diagnosis strategy based on a combination of antigen and immunoglobulin M (IgM) or immunoglobulin G (IgG) serological RDTs. Plasma and nasopharyngeal samples were collected between 14 March and 11 April 2020 at hospital admission from 45 patients with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) confirmed COVID-19 and 20 negative controls. SARS-CoV-2 antigen (Ag) was assessed in nasopharyngeal swabs using the Coris Respi-Strip. For IgM/IgG detection, SureScreen Diagnostics and Szybio Biotech RDTs were used in addition to laboratory assays (Abbott Alinity i SARS-CoV-2 IgG and Theradiag COVID-19 IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Using the Ag RDT, 13 out of 45 (29.0%) specimens tested positive, the sensitivity was 87.0% for cycle threshold (Ct ) values ≤25% and 0% for Ct values greater than 25. IgG detection was associated with high Ct values and the amount of time after the onset of symptoms. The profile of isolated IgM on RDTs was more frequently observed during the first and second week after the onset of symptoms. The combination of Ag and IgM/IgG RDTs enabled the detection of up to 84.0% of COVID-19 confirmed cases at hospital admission. Antigen and antibody-based RDTs showed suboptimal performances when used alone. However when used in combination, they are able to identify most COVID-19 patients admitted in an emergency department.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Serologic Tests/methods
10.
Pract Lab Med ; 25: e00222, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193450

ABSTRACT

Serological testing is a tool to predict protection against later infection. This potential heavily relies on antibody levels showing acceptable agreement with gold standard virus neutralization tests. The aim of our study was to investigate diagnostic value of the available serological tests in terms of predicting virus neutralizing activity of serum samples drawn 5-7 weeks after onset of symptoms from 101 donors with a history of COVID-19. Immune responses against Receptor Binding Domain (RBD), Spike1 and 2 proteins and Nucleocapsid antigens were measured by various ELISA tests. Neutralizing antibody activity in serum samples was assessed by a cell-based virus neutralization test. Spearman correlation coefficients between serological and neutralization results ranged from 0.41 to 0.91 indicating moderate to strong correlation between ELISA test results and virus neutralization. The sensitivity and specificity of ELISA tests in the prediction of neutralization were 35-100% and 35-90% respectively. No clear cut off levels can be established that would reliably indicate neutralization activity. For some tests, however, a value below which the sample is not expected to neutralize can be established. Our data suggests that several of the ELISA kits tested may be suitable for epidemiological surveys 1-2 months after the infection, estimating whether a person may have recently exposed to the virus. Sensitivities considerably superseding specificity at the cut-off values proposed by the manufacturers suggest greater potential in the identification of insufficient antibody responses than in confirming protection. Nevertheless, the former might be important in assessing response to vaccination and characterizing therapeutic plasma preparations.

11.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(7): 1029-1034, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163569

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response characterization represents a crucial issue for defining the role of immune protection against COVID-19. The aim of the study was to assess the SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response in a cohort of COVID-19 convalescent patients and in a group of unexposed subjects. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response was quantified from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 87 COVID-19 convalescent subjects (range 7-239 days after symptom onset) and 33 unexposed donors by ex vivo ELISpot assay. Follow-up of SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response was performed in ten subjects up to 12 months after symptom onset. The role of SARS-CoV-2 specific CD4 and CD8 T cells was characterized in a group of COVID-19 convalescent subjects. Moreover, neutralizing antibodies were determined in serum samples. RESULTS: In 14/33 (42.4%) unexposed donors and 85/87 (97.7%) COVID-19 convalescent subjects a positive result for at least one SARS-CoV-2 antigen was observed. A positive response was observed up to 12 months after COVID-19 infection (median 246 days after symptom onset; range 118-362 days). Of note, SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response seems to be mainly mediated by CD4 T cells. A weak positive correlation was observed between Spike-specific T-cell response and neutralizing antibody titre (p 0.0028; r2 = 0.2891) and positive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response was observed in 8/9 (88.9%) COVID-19 convalescent subjects with undetectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. DISCUSSION: Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response in uninfected patients may be due to previous infections with other common coronaviruses. Our data suggest that long-term SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response might accompany a waning humoral response.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Cohort Studies , Convalescence , Cross Reactions , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
12.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(10): 1306-1311, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150213

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In light of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, protecting vulnerable groups has become a high priority. Persons at risk of severe disease, for example, those receiving immunosuppressive therapies for chronic inflammatory cdiseases (CIDs), are prioritised for vaccination. However, data concerning generation of protective antibody titres in immunosuppressed patients are scarce. Additionally, mRNA vaccines represent a new vaccine technology leading to increased insecurity especially in patients with CID. OBJECTIVE: Here we present for the first time, data on the efficacy and safety of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in a cohort of immunosuppressed patients as compared with healthy controls. METHODS: 42 healthy controls and 26 patients with CID were included in this study (mean age 37.5 vs 50.5 years). Immunisations were performed according to national guidelines with mRNA vaccines. Antibody titres were assessed by ELISA before initial vaccination and 7 days after secondary vaccination. Disease activity and side effects were assessed prior to and 7 days after both vaccinations. RESULTS: Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies as well as neutralising activity could be detected in all study participants. IgG titres were significantly lower in patients as compared with controls (2053 binding antibody units (BAU)/mL ±1218 vs 2685±1102). Side effects were comparable in both groups. No severe adverse effects were observed, and no patients experienced a disease flare. CONCLUSION: We show that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines lead to development of antibodies in immunosuppressed patients without considerable side effects or induction of disease flares. Despite the small size of this cohort, we were able to demonstrate the efficiency and safety of mRNA vaccines in our cohort.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Inflammation/drug therapy , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Inflammation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
13.
J Virol Methods ; 292: 114122, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120398

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Reliable methods for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies (NAbs) are essential for the evaluation of vaccine candidates and for the selection of convalescent plasma donors. Virus neutralisation tests (NTs) are the gold standard for the detection and quantification of NAbs, but they are complex and require BSL3 facilities. In contrast, surrogate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (sELISA) offer the possibility of high-throughput testing under standard laboratory safety conditions. In this study, we investigated two commercial sELISA kits (GenScript, AdipoGen) designed for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 NAbs. METHODS: 276 plasma samples were screened using commercial IgG-ELISA and NAbs titres were determined by micro-neutralisation test (micro-NT). In addition, all samples were tested in both sELISA. Sensitivity and specificity for both sELISA were determined in comparison to the micro-NT results. RESULTS: 57 % of the samples were SARS-CoV-2 NAb positive in micro-NT, while 43 % tested negative. Comparison with micro-NT results showed a sensitivity of 98.2 % and a specificity of 69.5 % for the GenScript ELISA. The AdipoGen ELISA had a sensitivity of 83.5 % and a specificity of 97.8 %. False negative results were obtained mainly on samples with low NAbs titres. CONCLUSION: Both sELISA were able to qualitatively detect NAbs in plasma samples. Sensitivity and specificity differed between sELISA with GenScript superior in sensitivity and AdipoGen superior in specificity. Both sELISA were unable to quantify NAbs, thus neither of them can completely replace conventional NTs. However, in a two-step diagnostic algorithm, AdipoGen could potentially replace NT as a subsequent confirmatory test due to its high specificity but only in settings where no exact NAbs quantification is needed.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Neutralization Tests
14.
Biotechnol Bioeng ; 118(6): 2202-2219, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1098874

ABSTRACT

Serological assays are valuable tools to study SARS-CoV-2 spread and, importantly, to identify individuals that were already infected and would be potentially immune to a virus reinfection. SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and its receptor binding domain (RBD) are the antigens with higher potential to develop SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. Moreover, structural studies of these antigens are key to understand the molecular basis for Spike interaction with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor, hopefully enabling the development of COVID-19 therapeutics. Thus, it is urgent that significant amounts of this protein became available at the highest quality. In this study, we produced Spike and RBD in two human derived cell hosts: HEK293-E6 and Expi293F™. We evaluated the impact of different and scalable bioprocessing approaches on Spike and RBD production yields and, more importantly, on these antigens' quality attributes. Using negative and positive sera collected from human donors, we show an excellent performance of the produced antigens, assessed in serologic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests, as denoted by the high specificity and sensitivity of the test. We show robust Spike productions with final yields of approx. 2 mg/L of culture that were maintained independently of the production scale or cell culture strategy. To the best of our knowledge, the final yield of 90 mg/L of culture obtained for RBD production, was the highest reported to date. An in-depth characterization of SARS-CoV-2 Spike and RBD proteins was performed, namely the antigen's oligomeric state, glycosylation profiles, and thermal stability during storage. The correlation of these quality attributes with ELISA performance show equivalent reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 positive serum, for all Spike and RBD produced, and for all storage conditions tested. Overall, we provide straightforward protocols to produce high-quality SARS-CoV-2 Spike and RBD antigens, that can be easily adapted to both academic and industrial settings; and integrate, for the first time, studies on the impact of bioprocess with an in-depth characterization of these proteins, correlating antigen's glycosylation and biophysical attributes to performance of COVID-19 serologic tests.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/biosynthesis , Glycosylation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/biosynthesis , Cold Temperature , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Freezing , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Conformation , Protein Stability , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests/standards , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/standards
15.
mSphere ; 6(1)2021 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063057

ABSTRACT

Reported coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case counts likely underestimate the true prevalence because mild or asymptomatic cases often go untested. Here, we use a sero-survey to estimate the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the St. Louis, MO, metropolitan area in a symptom-independent manner. Five hundred three adult and 555 pediatric serum/plasma samples were collected from patients presenting to Barnes-Jewish Hospital or St. Louis Children's Hospital between 14 April 2020 and 12 May 2020. We developed protocols for in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) using spike and nucleoprotein and used the assays to estimate a seroprevalence rate based on our samples. Overall IgG seropositivity was estimated to be 1.71% (95% credible interval [CI], 0.04% to 3.38%) in pediatric samples and 3.11% (95% CI, 0.92% to 5.32%) in adult samples. Seropositivity was significantly lower in children under 5 years of age than in adults, but rates between adults and children aged 5 or older were similar. Of the 176 samples tested from children under 4 years of age, none were positive.IMPORTANCE This study determined the percentages of both children and adult samples from the greater St. Louis metropolitan area who had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in late April to early May 2020. Approximately 1.7 to 3.1% of the tested individuals had antibodies, indicating that they had previously been infected by SARS-CoV-2. These results demonstrate that the extent of infection was about 10 times greater than the number of confirmed cases at that time. Furthermore, it demonstrated that by 5 years of age, children were infected to an extent similar to that of adults.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Missouri/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
16.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059645

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(2): e1245, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1055899

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To predict the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), information regarding the immunological memory for disease-specific antigens is necessary. The possibility of reinfection, as well as the efficacy of vaccines for COVID-19 that are currently under development, will largely depend on the quality and longevity of immunological memory in patients. To elucidate the process of humoral immunity development, we analysed the generation of plasmablasts and virus receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific memory B (Bmem) cells in patients during the acute phase of COVID-19. METHODS: The frequencies of RBD-binding plasmablasts and RBD-specific antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) in the peripheral blood samples collected from patients with COVID-19 were measured using flow cytometry and the ELISpot assay. RESULTS: The acute phase of COVID-19 was characterised by the transient appearance of total as well as RBD-binding plasmablasts. ELISpot analysis indicated that most patients exhibited a spontaneous secretion of RBD-specific ASCs in the circulation with good correlation between the IgG and IgM subsets. IL-21/CD40L stimulation of purified B cells induced the activation and proliferation of Bmem cells, which led to the generation of plasmablast phenotypic cells as well as RBD-specific ASCs. No correlation was observed between the frequency of Bmem cell-derived and spontaneous ASCs, suggesting that the two types of ASCs were weakly associated with each other. CONCLUSION: Our findings reveal that SARS-CoV-2-specific Bmem cells are generated during the acute phase of COVID-19. These findings can serve as a basis for further studies on the longevity of SARS-CoV-2-specific B-cell memory.

18.
Trials ; 22(1): 42, 2021 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021412

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: As of December, 1st, 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2, resulted in more than 1 472 917 deaths worldwide and death toll is still increasing exponentially. Many COVID-19 infected people are asymptomatic or experience moderate symptoms and recover without medical intervention. However, older people and those with comorbid hypertension, diabetes, obesity, or heart disease are at higher risk of mortality. Because current therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients are limited specifically for this elderly population at risk, Biophytis is developing BIO101 (20-hydroxyecdysone, a Mas receptor activator) as a new treatment option for managing patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection at the severe stage. The angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) serves as a receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Interaction between ACE2 and SARS-CoV2 spike protein seems to alter the function of ACE2, a key player in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The clinical picture of COVID-19 includes acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cardiomyopathy, multiorgan dysfunction and shock, all of which might result from an imbalance of the RAS. We propose that RAS balance could be restored in COVID-19 patients through MasR activation downstream of ACE2 activity, with 20-hydroxyecdysone (BIO101) a non-peptidic Mas receptor (MasR) activator. Indeed, MasR activation by 20-hydroxyecdysone harbours anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic, and anti-fibrotic properties. BIO101, a 97% pharmaceutical grade 20-hydroxyecdysone could then offer a new therapeutic option by improving the respiratory function and ultimately promoting survival in COVID-19 patients that develop severe forms of this devastating disease. Therefore, the objective of this COVA study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of BIO101, whose active principle is 20-hydroxyecdysone, in COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia. TRIAL DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centre, group sequential and adaptive which will be conducted in 2 parts. Part 1: Ascertain the safety and tolerability of BIO101 and obtain preliminary indication of the activity of BIO101, in preventing respiratory deterioration in the target population Part 2: Re-assessment of the sample size needed for the confirmatory part 2 and confirmation of the effect of BIO101 observed in part 1 in the target population. The study is designed as group sequential to allow an efficient run-through, from obtaining an early indication of activity to a final confirmation. And adaptive - to allow accumulation of early data and adapt sample size in part 2 in order to inform the final design of the confirmatory part of the trial. PARTICIPANTS: Inclusion criteria 1. Age: 45 and above 2. A confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 infection, within the last 14 days, prior to randomization, as determined by PCR or other approved commercial or public health assay, in a specimen as specified by the test used. 3. Hospitalized, in observation or planned to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection symptoms with anticipated hospitalization duration ≥3 days 4. With evidence of pneumonia based on all of the following: a. Clinical findings on a physical examination b. Respiratory symptoms developed within the past 7 days 5. With evidence of respiratory decompensation that started not more than 4 days before start of study medication and present at screening, meeting one of the following criteria, as assessed by healthcare staff: a. Tachypnea: ≥25 breaths per minute b. Arterial oxygen saturation ≤92% c. A special note should be made if there is suspicion of COVID-19-related myocarditis or pericarditis, as the presence of these is a stratification criterion 6. Without a significant deterioration in liver function tests: a. ALT and AST ≤ 5x upper limit of normal (ULN) b. Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) ≤ 5x ULN c. Total bilirubin ≤ 5×ULN 7. Willing to participate and able to sign an informed consent form (ICF). Or, when relevant, a legally authorized representative (LAR) might sign the ICF on behalf of the study participant 8. Female participants should be: at least 5 years post-menopausal (i.e., persistent amenorrhea 5 years in the absence of an alternative medical cause) or surgically sterile; OR a. Have a negative urine pregnancy test at screening b. Be willing to use a contraceptive method as outlined in inclusion criterion 9 from screening to 30 days after last dose. 9. Male participants who are sexually active with a female partner must agree to the use of an effective method of birth control throughout the study and until 3 months after the last administration of the investigational product. (Note: medically acceptable methods of contraception that may be used by the participant and/or partner include combined oral contraceptive, contraceptive vaginal ring, contraceptive injection, intrauterine device, etonogestrel implant, each supplemented with a condom, as well as sterilization and vasectomy). 10. Female participants who are lactating must agree not to breastfeed during the study and up to 14 days after the intervention. 11. Male participants must agree not to donate sperm for the purpose of reproduction throughout the study and until 3 months after the last administration of the investigational product. 12. For France only: Being affiliated with a European Social Security. Exclusion criteria 1. Not needing or not willing to remain in a healthcare facility during the study 2. Moribund condition (death likely in days) or not expected to survive for >7 days - due to other and non-COVID-19 related conditions 3. Participant on invasive mechanical ventilation via an endotracheal tube, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or high-flow Oxygen (delivery of oxygen at a flow of ≥16 L/min.). 4. Participant is not able to take medications by mouth (as capsules or as a powder, mixed in water). 5. Disallowed concomitant medication: Consumption of any herbal products containing 20-hydroxyecdysone and derived from Leuzea carthamoides; Cyanotis vaga or Cyanotis arachnoidea is not allowed (e.g. performance enhancing agents). 6. Any known hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients, or excipients of the study medication, BIO101. 7. Renal disease requiring dialysis, or known renal insufficiency (eGFR≤30 mL/min/1.73 m2, based on Cockcroft & Gault formula). 8. In France only: a. Non-affiliation to compulsory French social security scheme (beneficiary or right-holder). b. Being under tutelage or legal guardianship. Participants will be recruited from approximately 30 clinical centres in Belgium, France, the UK, USA and Brazil. Maximum patients' participation in the study will last 28 days. Follow-up of participants discharged from hospital will be performed through post-intervention phone calls at 14 (± 2) and 60 (± 4) days. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Two treatment arms will be tested in this study: interventional arm 350 mg b.i.d. of BIO101 (AP 20-hydroxyecdysone) and placebo comparator arm 350 mg b.i.d of placebo. Administration of daily dose is the same throughout the whole treatment period. Participants will receive the study medication while hospitalized for up to 28 days or until a clinical endpoint is reached (i.e., 'negative' or 'positive' event). Participants who are officially discharged from hospital care will no longer receive study medication. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary study endpoint: The proportion of participants with 'negative' events up to 28 days. 'Negative' events are defined as respiratory deterioration and all-cause mortality. For the purpose of this study, respiratory deterioration will be defined as any of the following: Requiring mechanical ventilation (including cases that will not be intubated due to resource restrictions and triage). Requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Requiring high-flow oxygen defined as delivery of oxygen at a flow of ≥16 L/min. Only if the primary endpoint is significant at the primary final analysis the following Key secondary endpoints will be tested in that order: Proportion of participants with events of respiratory failure at Day 28 Proportion of participants with 'positive' events at Day 28. Proportion of participants with events of all-cause mortality at Day 28 A 'positive' event is defined as the official discharge from hospital care by the department due to improvement in participant condition. Secondary and exploratory endpoints: In addition, a variety of functional measures and biomarkers (including the SpO2 / FiO2 ratio, viral load and markers related to inflammation, muscles, tissue and the RAS / MAS pathways) will also be collected. RANDOMIZATION: Randomization is performed using an IBM clinical development IWRS system during the baseline visit. Block-permuted randomization will be used to assign eligible participants in a 1:1 ratio. In part 1, randomization will be stratified by RAS pathway modulator use (yes/no) and co-morbidities (none vs. 1 and above). In Part 2, randomization will be stratified by centre, gender, RAS pathway modulator use (yes/no), co-morbidities (none vs. 1 and above), receiving Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP/BiPAP) at study entry (Yes/No) and suspicion of COVID-19 related myocarditis or pericarditis (present or not). BLINDING (MASKING): Participants, caregivers, and the study team assessing the outcomes are blinded to group assignment. All therapeutic units (TU), BIO101 b.i.d. or placebo b.i.d., cannot be distinguished in compliance with the double-blind process. An independent data-monitoring committee (DMC) will conduct 2 interim analyses. A first one based on the data from part 1 and a second from the data from parts 1 and 2. The first will inform about BIO101 safety, to allow the start of recruitment into part 2 followed by an analysis of the efficacydata, to obtain an indication of activity. The second interim analysis will inform about the sample size that will be required for part 2, in order to achieve adequate statistical power. Numbers to be randomised (sample size) Number of participants randomized: up to 465, in total Part 1: 50 (to obtain the proof of concept in COVID-19 patients). Part 2: 310, potentially increased by 50% (up to 465, based on interim analysis 2) (to confirm the effects of BIO101 observed in part 1). TRIAL STATUS: The current protocol Version is V 10.0, dated on 24.09.2020. The recruitment that started on September 1st 2020 is ongoing and is anticipated to finish for the whole study by March2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered before trial start in trial registries: EudraCT , No. 2020-001498-63, registered May 18, 2020; and Clinicaltrials.gov, identifier NCT04472728 , registered July 15, 2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Ecdysterone/therapeutic use , Respiratory Insufficiency/drug therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Disease Progression , Double-Blind Method , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization , Humans , Hypoxia/physiopathology , Middle Aged , Mortality , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Insufficiency/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tachypnea/physiopathology , Treatment Outcome
19.
J Clin Microbiol ; 58(8)2020 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999209

ABSTRACT

Several point-of-care (POC) molecular tests have received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The test performance characteristics of the Accula (Mesa Biotech) SARS-CoV-2 POC test need to be evaluated to inform its optimal use. The aim of this study was to assess the test performance of the Accula SARS-CoV-2 test. The performance of the Accula test was assessed by comparing results of 100 nasopharyngeal swab samples previously characterized by the Stanford Health Care EUA laboratory-developed test (SHC-LDT), targeting the envelope (E) gene. Assay concordance was assessed by overall percent agreement, positive percent agreement (PPA), negative percent agreement (NPA), and Cohen's kappa coefficient. Overall percent agreement between the assays was 84.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 75.3 to 90.6%), PPA was 68.0% (95% CI, 53.3 to 80.5%), and the kappa coefficient was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.54 to 0.82). Sixteen specimens detected by the SHC-LDT were not detected by the Accula test and showed low viral load burden, with a median cycle threshold value of 37.7. NPA was 100% (95% CI, 94.2 to 100%). Compared to the SHC-LDT, the Accula SARS-CoV-2 test showed excellent negative agreement. However, positive agreement was low for samples with low viral load. The false-negative rate of the Accula POC test calls for a more thorough evaluation of POC test performance characteristics in clinical settings and for confirmatory testing in individuals with moderate to high pretest probability of SARS-CoV-2 who test negative on Accula.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/virology , False Negative Reactions , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
20.
Trop Med Health ; 48(1): 102, 2020 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The world is now challenging the pandemic of COVID-19 infection. This is the third and most extensive pandemic. Previous studies showed the plausibility of vitamin D prophylaxis and therapy for COVID-19, particularly in settings where hypovitaminosis D is frequent. Recent study from Indonesian showed that the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 23.0%. The examination of vitamin D status is not a routine in the Indonesian clinical setting. METHODS: This study is a case series from confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bethesda Hospital Yogyakarta Indonesia. The data of clinical symptoms, signs and laboratory examinations were obtained from the electronic medical records. The vitamin D status was measured by Enzyme-Linked Fluorescent Assay (ELFA) method. We searched PubMed and Google Scholar for studies that included terms for Vitamin D and COVID-19. RESULTS: The data were obtained from 10 participants consisting of 50% male and 50% female. The mean age was 49.6 years. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in this study was 90% (vitamin D levels < 20 ng/mL) and 10% of insufficiency (vitamin D levels < 30 ng/mL). Patients in this study had various symptoms such as fatigue (60%), fever (50%), dry cough (40%), non-specific headache (10%), and diarrhea (10%); have no symptoms (20%); and also had the various chronic diseases as comorbidity such as hypertension (40%), diabetes (10%), COPD (10%), and post stroke (10%). CONCLUSIONS: All of the COVID-19 patients in this study had hypovitaminosis D. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in this case series is 90% and only 1 patient (10%) had vitamin D insufficiency. There are many health benefits of vitamin D and very few adverse effects. Randomized controlled trials need to determine and evaluate this recommendation in preventing or treating COVID-19. Clinicians should continue to treat people with vitamin D deficiency especially in managing COVID-19 patients.

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