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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22269379


In the present study, serum samples of 20 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from Brazil who were infected by the earlier SARS-CoV-2 lineages B.1.1.28 and B.1.1.33, and by the variant of concern (VOC) Gamma (P.1) were tested by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT90) with wild isolates of a panel of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, including B.1, Zeta, N.10, and the VOCs Gamma, Alpha, and Delta that emerged in different timeframes of the pandemic. The main objectives of the present study were to evaluate if serum of COVID-19 patients infected by earlier lineages of SARS-CoV-2 were capable to neutralize recently emerged VOCs, and if PRNT90 is a reliable serologic method to distinguish infections caused by different SARS-CoV-2 lineages. Overall, sera collected from the day of admittance to the hospital to 21 days after diagnostic of patients infected by the two earlier lineages B.1.1.28 and B.1.1.33 presented neutralizing capacity for all challenged VOCs, including Gamma and Delta, that were the most prevalent VOCs in Brazil. Among all variants tested, Delta and N.10 presented the lowest mean of neutralizing antibody titers, and B.1.1.7, presented the highest titers. Four patients infected with Gamma, that emerged in December 2020, presented neutralizing antibodies for B.1, B.1.1.33 and B.1.1.28, its ancestor lineage. All of them had neutralizing antibodies under the level of detection for the VOC Delta. Interestingly, patients infected by B.1.1.28 presented very similar mean of neutralizing antibody titers for both B.1.1.33 and B.1.1.28. Findings presented here indicate that most patients infected in early stages of COVID-19 pandemic presented neutralizing antibodies up to 21 days after diagnostic capable to neutralize wild types of all recently emerged VOCs in Brazil, and that the PRNT90 it is not a reliable serologic method to distinguish natural infections caused by different SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-475172


Free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginanus) across the United States are increasingly recognized as involved in SARS-CoV-2 transmission cycles. Through a cross-sectional study of 80 deer at three captive cervid facilities in central and southern Texas, we provide evidence of 34 of 36 (94.4%) white-tailed deer at a single captive cervid facility seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 by neutralization assay (PRNT90), with endpoint titers as high as 1280. In contrast, all tested white-tailed deer and axis deer (Axis axis) at two other captive cervid facilities were seronegative, and SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in respiratory swabs from deer at any of the three facilities. These data support transmission among captive deer that cannot be explained by human contact for each infected animal, as only a subset of the seropositive does had direct human contact. The facility seroprevalence was more than double of that reported from wild deer, suggesting that the confined environment may facilitate transmission. Further exploration of captive cervids and other managed animals for their role in the epizootiology of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for understanding impacts on animal health and the potential for spillback transmission to humans or other animal taxa. ImportanceAs SARS-CoV-2 vaccine coverge of the human population increases and variants of concern continue to emerge, identification of the epidemiologic importance of animal virus reservoirs is critical. We found that nearly all (94.4%) of the captive white-tailed deer at a cervid facility in central Texas had neutralizing antibodies for SARS-CoV-2. This seroprevalence is over double than that which has been reported from free-ranging deer from other regions of the US. Horizontal transmission among deer may be facilitated in confinement. Tracking new infections among wild and confined deer is critical for understanding the importance of animal reservoirs for both veterinary and human health.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-471045


On the 24th November 2021 the sequence of a new SARS CoV-2 viral isolate spreading rapidly in Southern Africa was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266109


The rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern (VOC) Gamma during late 2020 and early 2021 in Brazilian settings with high seroprevalence raised some concern about the potential role of reinfections in driving the epidemic. Very few cases of reinfection associated with the VOC Gamma, however, have been reported. Here we describe 25 cases of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection confirmed by real-time RT-PCR twice within months apart in Brazil. SARS-CoV-2 genomic analysis confirmed that individuals were primo-infected between March and December 2020 with distinct viral lineages, including B.1.1, B.1.1.28, B.1.1.33, B.1.195 and P.2, and then reinfected with the VOC Gamma between 3 to 12 months after primo-infection. The overall mean cycle threshold (Ct) value of the first (25.7) and second (24.5) episodes were roughly similar for the whole group and 14 individuals displayed mean Ct values < 25.0 at reinfection. Sera of 14 patients tested by plaque reduction neutralization test after reinfection displayed detectable neutralizing antibodies against Gamma and other SARS-CoV-2 variants (B.1.33, B.1.1.28 and Delta). All individuals have milder or no symptoms after reinfection and none required hospitalization. The present study demonstrates that the VOC Gamma was associated with reinfections during the second Brazilian epidemic wave in 2021 and raised concern about the potential infectiousness of reinfected subjects. Although individuals here analyzed failed to mount a long-term sterilizing immunity, they developed a high anti-Gamma neutralizing antibody response after reinfection that may provide some protection against severe disease.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-435194


Terminating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic relies upon pan-global vaccination. Current vaccines elicit neutralizing antibody responses to the virus spike derived from early isolates. However, new strains have emerged with multiple mutations: P.1 from Brazil, B.1.351 from South Africa and B.1.1.7 from the UK (12, 10 and 9 changes in the spike respectively). All have mutations in the ACE2 binding site with P.1 and B.1.351 having a virtually identical triplet: E484K, K417N/T and N501Y, which we show confer similar increased affinity for ACE2. We show that, surprisingly, P.1 is significantly less resistant to naturally acquired or vaccine induced antibody responses than B.1.351 suggesting that changes outside the RBD impact neutralisation. Monoclonal antibody 222 neutralises all three variants despite interacting with two of the ACE2 binding site mutations, we explain this through structural analysis and use the 222 light chain to largely restore neutralization potency to a major class of public antibodies.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-416339


The natural infections and epidemiological roles of household pets in SARS-CoV-2 transmission are not understood. We conducted a longitudinal study of dogs and cats living with at least one SARS-CoV-2 infected human in Texas and found 47.1% of 17 cats and 15.3% of 59 dogs from 25.6% of 39 households were positive for SARS-CoV-2 via RT-PCR and genome sequencing or neutralizing antibodies. Virus was isolated from one cat. The majority (82.4%) of infected pets were asymptomatic. Re-sampling of one infected cat showed persistence of viral RNA at least 32 d-post human diagnosis (25 d-post initial test). Across 15 antibody-positive animals, titers increased (33.3%), decreased (33.3%) or were stable (33.3%) over time. A One Health approach is informative for prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

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