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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266969


Like other congregate living settings, military basic training has been subject to outbreaks of COVID-19. We sought to identify improved strategies for preventing outbreaks in this setting using an agent-based model of a hypothetical cohort of trainees on a U.S. Army post. Our analysis revealed unique aspects of basic training that require customized approaches to outbreak prevention, which draws attention to the possibility that customized approaches may be necessary in other settings, too. In particular, we showed that introductions by trainers and support staff may be a major vulnerability, given that those individuals remain at risk of community exposure throughout the training period. We also found that increased testing of trainees upon arrival could actually increase the risk of outbreaks, given the potential for false-positive test results to lead to susceptible individuals becoming infected in group isolation and seeding outbreaks in training units upon release. Until an effective transmission-blocking vaccine is adopted at high coverage by individuals involved with basic training, need will persist for non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent outbreaks in military basic training. Ongoing uncertainties about virus variants and breakthrough infections necessitate continued vigilance in this setting, even as vaccination coverage increases. Significance StatementCOVID-19 has presented enormous disruptions to society. Militaries are not immune to these disruptions, with outbreaks in those settings posing threats to national security. We present a simulation model of COVID-19 outbreaks in a U.S. Army basic training setting to inform improved approaches to prevention there. Counterintuitively, we found that outbreak risk is driven more by virus introductions from trainers than the large number of trainees, and that outbreak risk is highly sensitive to false-positive results during entry testing. These findings suggest practical ways to improve prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks in basic training and, as a result, maintain the flow of new soldiers into the military. This work highlights the need for bespoke modeling to inform prevention in diverse institutional settings.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-449905


The recent COVID-19 pandemic is a treatment challenge in the acute infection stage but the recognition of chronic COVID-19 symptoms termed post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) may affect up to 30% of all infected individuals. The underlying mechanism and source of this distinct immunologic condition three months or more after initial infection remains elusive. Here, we investigated the presence of SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein in 46 individuals. We analyzed T-cell, B-cell, and monocytic subsets in both severe COVID-19 patients and in patients with post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). The levels of both intermediate (CD14+, CD16+) and non-classical monocyte (CD14Lo, CD16+) were significantly elevated in PASC patients up to 15 months post-acute infection compared to healthy controls (P=0.002 and P=0.01, respectively). A statistically significant number of non-classical monocytes contained SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein in both severe (P=0.004) and PASC patients (P=0.02) out to 15 months post-infection. Non-classical monocytes were sorted from PASC patients using flow cytometric sorting and the SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein was confirmed by mass spectrometry. Cells from 4 out of 11 severe COVID-19 patients and 1 out of 26 PASC patients contained ddPCR+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells, however, only fragmented SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in PASC patients. No full length sequences were identified, and no sequences that could account for the observed S1 protein were identified in any patient. Non-classical monocytes are capable of causing inflammation throughout the body in response to fractalkine/CX3CL1 and RANTES/CCR5.

J Clin Apher ; 36(4): 533-546, 2021 Aug.
Article Dans Anglais | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1107655


BACKGROUND: During the pandemic in the spring of 2020 with no vaccine or treatment for SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease, COVID-19, convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 (CCP) patients offered a potential therapy. In March 2020, the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized CCP under emergency Investigational New Drug (eIND) exemption and an IRB-approved Expanded Access Program (EAP) to treat severe COVID-19. Hospital demand grew rapidly in the Southeastern U.S., resulting in backlogs of CCP orders. We describe a large U.S. blood center's (BC) rapid implementation of a CCP program in response to community needs. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: From April 2 to May 17, 2020, CCP was collected by whole blood or apheresis. Initial manual approaches to donor intake, collection, and distribution were rapidly replaced with automated processes. All CCP donors and products underwent FDA-required screening and testing. RESULTS: A total of 619 CCP donors (299 females, 320 males) presented for CCP donation (161 [25.7%] whole blood, 466 [74.3%] plasmapheresis) resulting in 1219 CCP units. Production of CCP increased as processes were automated and streamlined, from a mean of 11 donors collected/day for the first month to a mean of 25 donors collected/day in the subsequent 2 weeks. Backlogged orders were cleared, and inventory began to accumulate 4 weeks after project initiation. CONCLUSION: The BC was able to implement an effective de novo CCP collection program within 6 weeks in response to a community need in a global pandemic. Documentation of the experience may inform preparedness for future pandemics.

/thérapie , SARS-CoV-2 , Adulte , Prélèvement d'échantillon sanguin , Communication , Femelle , Humains , Immunisation passive/méthodes , Mâle , Adulte d'âge moyen , Assurance de la qualité des soins de santé
Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-064774


The magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency for a safe and effective vaccine. Here we analyzed SARS-CoV-2 sequence diversity across 5,700 sequences sampled since December 2019. The Spike protein, which is the target immunogen of most vaccine candidates, showed 93 sites with shared polymorphisms; only one of these mutations was found in more than 1% of currently circulating sequences. The minimal diversity found among SARS-CoV-2 sequences can be explained by drift and bottleneck events as the virus spread away from its original epicenter in Wuhan, China. Importantly, there is little evidence that the virus has adapted to its human host since December 2019. Our findings suggest that a single vaccine should be efficacious against current global strains. One Sentence SummaryThe limited diversification of SARS-CoV-2 reflects drift and bottleneck events rather than adaptation to humans as the virus spread.

Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-992883


SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus that has caused a pandemic of severe respiratory disease--COVID-19-- within several months of its initial identification. Comparable to the first SARS-CoV, this novel coronaviruss surface Spike (S) glycoprotein mediates cell entry via the human ACE-2 receptor, and, thus, is the principal target for the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics. Molecular information on the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein remains limited. Here we report the crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 S receptor-binding-domain (RBD) at a the highest resolution to date, of 1.95 [A]. We identified a set of SARS-reactive monoclonal antibodies with cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 RBD and other betacoronavirus S glycoproteins. One of these antibodies, CR3022, was previously shown to synergize with antibodies that target the ACE-2 binding site on the SARS-CoV RBD and reduce viral escape capacity. We determined the structure of CR3022, in complex with the SARS-CoV-2 RBD, and defined a broadly reactive epitope that is highly conserved across betacoronaviruses. This epitope is inaccessible in the "closed" prefusion S structure, but is accessible in "open" conformations. This first-ever resolution of a human antibody in complex with SARS-CoV-2 and the broad reactivity of this set of antibodies to a conserved betacoronavirus epitope will allow antigenic assessment of vaccine candidates, and provide a framework for accelerated vaccine, immunotherapeutic and diagnostic strategies against SARS-CoV-2 and related betacoronaviruses. HIGHLIGHTSHigh resolution structure of the SARS-CoV-2 Receptor-Binding-Domain (RBD). Recognition of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD by SARS-CoV antibodies. Structure of the SARS-COV-2 RBD in complex with antibody CR3022. Identification of a cryptic site of vulnerability on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike.

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