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1.
J Virol ; 94(13)2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583223

ABSTRACT

Fusion with, and subsequent entry into, the host cell is one of the critical steps in the life cycle of enveloped viruses. For Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the spike (S) protein is the main determinant of viral entry. Proteolytic cleavage of the S protein exposes its fusion peptide (FP), which initiates the process of membrane fusion. Previous studies on the related severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) FP have shown that calcium ions (Ca2+) play an important role in fusogenic activity via a Ca2+ binding pocket with conserved glutamic acid (E) and aspartic acid (D) residues. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV FPs share a high sequence homology, and here, we investigated whether Ca2+ is required for MERS-CoV fusion by screening a mutant array in which E and D residues in the MERS-CoV FP were substituted with neutrally charged alanines (A). Upon verifying mutant cell surface expression and proteolytic cleavage, we tested their ability to mediate pseudoparticle (PP) infection of host cells in modulating Ca2+ environments. Our results demonstrate that intracellular Ca2+ enhances MERS-CoV wild-type (WT) PP infection by approximately 2-fold and that E891 is a crucial residue for Ca2+ interaction. Subsequent electron spin resonance (ESR) experiments revealed that this enhancement could be attributed to Ca2+ increasing MERS-CoV FP fusion-relevant membrane ordering. Intriguingly, isothermal calorimetry showed an approximate 1:1 MERS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, as opposed to an 1:2 SARS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, suggesting significant differences in FP Ca2+ interactions of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV FP despite their high sequence similarity.IMPORTANCE Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a major emerging infectious disease with zoonotic potential and has reservoirs in dromedary camels and bats. Since its first outbreak in 2012, the virus has repeatedly transmitted from camels to humans, with 2,468 confirmed cases causing 851 deaths. To date, there are no efficacious drugs and vaccines against MERS-CoV, increasing its potential to cause a public health emergency. In order to develop novel drugs and vaccines, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms that enable the virus to infect host cells. Our data have found that calcium is an important regulator of viral fusion by interacting with negatively charged residues in the MERS-CoV FP region. This information can guide therapeutic solutions to block this calcium interaction and also repurpose already approved drugs for this use for a fast response to MERS-CoV outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Calcium/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Ions/metabolism , Membrane Fusion , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Virus Internalization , Amino Acid Sequence , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Proteolysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells , Virulence , Virus Assembly
2.
JAMA ; 323(19): 1915-1923, 2020 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441893

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a pandemic, and it is unknown whether a combination of public health interventions can improve control of the outbreak. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association of public health interventions with the epidemiological features of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan by 5 periods according to key events and interventions. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In this cohort study, individual-level data on 32 583 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported between December 8, 2019, and March 8, 2020, were extracted from the municipal Notifiable Disease Report System, including patients' age, sex, residential location, occupation, and severity classification. EXPOSURES: Nonpharmaceutical public health interventions including cordons sanitaire, traffic restriction, social distancing, home confinement, centralized quarantine, and universal symptom survey. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Rates of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections (defined as the number of cases per day per million people), across age, sex, and geographic locations were calculated across 5 periods: December 8 to January 9 (no intervention), January 10 to 22 (massive human movement due to the Chinese New Year holiday), January 23 to February 1 (cordons sanitaire, traffic restriction and home quarantine), February 2 to 16 (centralized quarantine and treatment), and February 17 to March 8 (universal symptom survey). The effective reproduction number of SARS-CoV-2 (an indicator of secondary transmission) was also calculated over the periods. RESULTS: Among 32 583 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, the median patient age was 56.7 years (range, 0-103; interquartile range, 43.4-66.8) and 16 817 (51.6%) were women. The daily confirmed case rate peaked in the third period and declined afterward across geographic regions and sex and age groups, except for children and adolescents, whose rate of confirmed cases continued to increase. The daily confirmed case rate over the whole period in local health care workers (130.5 per million people [95% CI, 123.9-137.2]) was higher than that in the general population (41.5 per million people [95% CI, 41.0-41.9]). The proportion of severe and critical cases decreased from 53.1% to 10.3% over the 5 periods. The severity risk increased with age: compared with those aged 20 to 39 years (proportion of severe and critical cases, 12.1%), elderly people (≥80 years) had a higher risk of having severe or critical disease (proportion, 41.3%; risk ratio, 3.61 [95% CI, 3.31-3.95]) while younger people (<20 years) had a lower risk (proportion, 4.1%; risk ratio, 0.47 [95% CI, 0.31-0.70]). The effective reproduction number fluctuated above 3.0 before January 26, decreased to below 1.0 after February 6, and decreased further to less than 0.3 after March 1. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: A series of multifaceted public health interventions was temporally associated with improved control of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. These findings may inform public health policy in other countries and regions.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Child , China/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
3.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(4): 1767-1773, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944801

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019 and has since caused a global pandemic. Experimental studies and sporadic reports have confirmed susceptibility of dogs and cats to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the importance of pet animals in the epidemiology of this infection is unclear. This study reports on a first large-scale serosurvey of SARS-CoV-2 infections in dogs and cats in Europe. From 26 February 2020, just one day after the first confirmed human case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Croatia, to 15 June 2020, dog and cat serum samples were collected from animals admitted to three veterinary facilities in Croatia. Additionally, on 25 May 2020, a total of 122 serum samples from employees of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb were collected. Total of 656 dogs and 131 cat serum samples were tested using an in-house microneutralisation test (MNT). Human serum samples, as well as 172 randomly selected, dog sera were tested using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). ELISA-positive human sera were subsequently tested using MNT. Neutralising antibodies were confirmed in 0.76% cats and 0.31% dogs. ELISA reactivity was recorded in 7.56% tested dog sera. On the other hand, 5.19% of administrative, basic and pre-clinical sciences department personnel and 5.13% of animal health service providers and laboratory personnel tested ELISA positive. Neutralising antibodies were not confirmed in any of the human samples. In conclusion, seropositivity among pet animals in Croatia is low, especially when compared to results from China. A small number of seropositive animals with a low titre of neutralising antibodies suggest infections are rare and are following infections in the human population. Additionally, contact with animals does not seem to be an occupational risk for veterinary practitioners.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cat Diseases , Dog Diseases , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/veterinary , Cat Diseases/epidemiology , Cats , Croatia/epidemiology , Dog Diseases/epidemiology , Dogs , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
Infect Genet Evol ; 84: 104389, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-459162

ABSTRACT

The newly identified SARS-CoV-2 has now been reported from around 185 countries with more than a million confirmed human cases including more than 120,000 deaths. The genomes of SARS-COV-2 strains isolated from different parts of the world are now available and the unique features of constituent genes and proteins need to be explored to understand the biology of the virus. Spike glycoprotein is one of the major targets to be explored because of its role during the entry of coronaviruses into host cells. We analyzed 320 whole-genome sequences and 320 spike protein sequences of SARS-CoV-2 using multiple sequence alignment. In this study, 483 unique variations have been identified among the genomes of SARS-CoV-2 including 25 nonsynonymous mutations and one deletion in the spike (S) protein. Among the 26 variations detected in S, 12 variations were located at the N-terminal domain (NTD) and 6 variations at the receptor-binding domain (RBD) which might alter the interaction of S protein with the host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Besides, 22 amino acid insertions were identified in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in comparison with that of SARS-CoV. Phylogenetic analyses of spike protein revealed that Bat coronavirus have a close evolutionary relationship with circulating SARS-CoV-2. The genetic variation analysis data presented in this study can help a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Based on results reported herein, potential inhibitors against S protein can be designed by considering these variations and their impact on protein structure.


Subject(s)
Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , SARS Virus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Alphacoronavirus/classification , Alphacoronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Base Sequence , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , Chiroptera/virology , Gene Expression , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS Virus/classification , SARS Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structural Homology, Protein , Virus Attachment
5.
Nature ; 586(7831): 776-778, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-261140

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first detected in Wuhan in December 2019 and caused coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)1,2. In 2003, the closely related SARS-CoV had been detected in domestic cats and a dog3. However, little is known about the susceptibility of domestic pet mammals to SARS-CoV-2. Here, using PCR with reverse transcription, serology, sequencing the viral genome and virus isolation, we show that 2 out of 15 dogs from households with confirmed human cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong were found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in five nasal swabs collected over a 13-day period from a 17-year-old neutered male Pomeranian. A 2.5-year-old male German shepherd was positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA on two occasions and virus was isolated from nasal and oral swabs. Antibody responses were detected in both dogs using plaque-reduction-neutralization assays. Viral genetic sequences of viruses from the two dogs were identical to the virus detected in the respective human cases. The dogs remained asymptomatic during quarantine. The evidence suggests that these are instances of human-to-animal transmission of SARS-CoV-2. It is unclear whether infected dogs can transmit the virus to other animals or back to humans.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Dog Diseases/transmission , Dog Diseases/virology , Pandemics/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dogs , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
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