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JournalISSN: 0028-0836

Visual education 

Nature Portfolio
About: Visual education is an academic journal published by Nature Portfolio. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Medicine & Biology. It has an ISSN identifier of 0028-0836. Over the lifetime, 6637 publications have been published receiving 65132 citations.

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Omicron variant is exceptional for carrying over 30 mutations in the spike glycoprotein, which are predicted to influence antibody neutralization and spike function as discussed by the authors , highlighting the rapid spread in regions with high levels of population immunity.
Abstract: The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in southern Africa has been characterized by three distinct waves. The first was associated with a mix of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, while the second and third waves were driven by the Beta (B.1.351) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants, respectively1-3. In November 2021, genomic surveillance teams in South Africa and Botswana detected a new SARS-CoV-2 variant associated with a rapid resurgence of infections in Gauteng province, South Africa. Within three days of the first genome being uploaded, it was designated a variant of concern (Omicron, B.1.1.529) by the World Health Organization and, within three weeks, had been identified in 87 countries. The Omicron variant is exceptional for carrying over 30 mutations in the spike glycoprotein, which are predicted to influence antibody neutralization and spike function4. Here we describe the genomic profile and early transmission dynamics of Omicron, highlighting the rapid spread in regions with high levels of population immunity.

948 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper , the authors show that BA.4/BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than BA.2.1, BA.12.1 and BA.1.
Abstract: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than the BA.2 lineage1. The receptor binding and immune-evasion capability of these recently emerged variants require immediate investigation. Here, coupled with structural comparisons of the spike proteins, we show that BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4 and BA.5 are hereafter referred collectively to as BA.4/BA.5) exhibit similar binding affinities to BA.2 for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Of note, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display increased evasion of neutralizing antibodies compared with BA.2 against plasma from triple-vaccinated individuals or from individuals who developed a BA.1 infection after vaccination. To delineate the underlying antibody-evasion mechanism, we determined the escape mutation profiles2, epitope distribution3 and Omicron-neutralization efficiency of 1,640 neutralizing antibodies directed against the receptor-binding domain of the viral spike protein, including 614 antibodies isolated from people who had recovered from BA.1 infection. BA.1 infection after vaccination predominantly recalls humoral immune memory directed against ancestral (hereafter referred to as wild-type (WT)) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The resulting elicited antibodies could neutralize both WT SARS-CoV-2 and BA.1 and are enriched on epitopes on spike that do not bind ACE2. However, most of these cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies are evaded by spike mutants L452Q, L452R and F486V. BA.1 infection can also induce new clones of BA.1-specific antibodies that potently neutralize BA.1. Nevertheless, these neutralizing antibodies are largely evaded by BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 owing to D405N and F486V mutations, and react weakly to pre-Omicron variants, exhibiting narrow neutralization breadths. The therapeutic neutralizing antibodies bebtelovimab4 and cilgavimab5 can effectively neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5, whereas the S371F, D405N and R408S mutations undermine most broadly sarbecovirus-neutralizing antibodies. Together, our results indicate that Omicron may evolve mutations to evade the humoral immunity elicited by BA.1 infection, suggesting that BA.1-derived vaccine boosters may not achieve broad-spectrum protection against new Omicron variants.

740 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper , the authors investigated brain changes in 785 participants of UK Biobank (aged 51-81 years) who were imaged twice using magnetic resonance imaging, including 401 cases who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 between their two scans-with 141 days on average separating their diagnosis and the second scan-as well as 384 controls.
Abstract: There is strong evidence of brain-related abnormalities in COVID-191-13. However, it remains unknown whether the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection can be detected in milder cases, and whether this can reveal possible mechanisms contributing to brain pathology. Here we investigated brain changes in 785 participants of UK Biobank (aged 51-81 years) who were imaged twice using magnetic resonance imaging, including 401 cases who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 between their two scans-with 141 days on average separating their diagnosis and the second scan-as well as 384 controls. The availability of pre-infection imaging data reduces the likelihood of pre-existing risk factors being misinterpreted as disease effects. We identified significant longitudinal effects when comparing the two groups, including (1) a greater reduction in grey matter thickness and tissue contrast in the orbitofrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus; (2) greater changes in markers of tissue damage in regions that are functionally connected to the primary olfactory cortex; and (3) a greater reduction in global brain size in the SARS-CoV-2 cases. The participants who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 also showed on average a greater cognitive decline between the two time points. Importantly, these imaging and cognitive longitudinal effects were still observed after excluding the 15 patients who had been hospitalised. These mainly limbic brain imaging results may be the in vivo hallmarks of a degenerative spread of the disease through olfactory pathways, of neuroinflammatory events, or of the loss of sensory input due to anosmia. Whether this deleterious effect can be partially reversed, or whether these effects will persist in the long term, remains to be investigated with additional follow-up.

660 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article , the authors show that BA.4/BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than BA.2.1, BA.12.1 and BA.1.
Abstract: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than the BA.2 lineage1. The receptor binding and immune-evasion capability of these recently emerged variants require immediate investigation. Here, coupled with structural comparisons of the spike proteins, we show that BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4 and BA.5 are hereafter referred collectively to as BA.4/BA.5) exhibit similar binding affinities to BA.2 for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Of note, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display increased evasion of neutralizing antibodies compared with BA.2 against plasma from triple-vaccinated individuals or from individuals who developed a BA.1 infection after vaccination. To delineate the underlying antibody-evasion mechanism, we determined the escape mutation profiles2, epitope distribution3 and Omicron-neutralization efficiency of 1,640 neutralizing antibodies directed against the receptor-binding domain of the viral spike protein, including 614 antibodies isolated from people who had recovered from BA.1 infection. BA.1 infection after vaccination predominantly recalls humoral immune memory directed against ancestral (hereafter referred to as wild-type (WT)) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The resulting elicited antibodies could neutralize both WT SARS-CoV-2 and BA.1 and are enriched on epitopes on spike that do not bind ACE2. However, most of these cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies are evaded by spike mutants L452Q, L452R and F486V. BA.1 infection can also induce new clones of BA.1-specific antibodies that potently neutralize BA.1. Nevertheless, these neutralizing antibodies are largely evaded by BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 owing to D405N and F486V mutations, and react weakly to pre-Omicron variants, exhibiting narrow neutralization breadths. The therapeutic neutralizing antibodies bebtelovimab4 and cilgavimab5 can effectively neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5, whereas the S371F, D405N and R408S mutations undermine most broadly sarbecovirus-neutralizing antibodies. Together, our results indicate that Omicron may evolve mutations to evade the humoral immunity elicited by BA.1 infection, suggesting that BA.1-derived vaccine boosters may not achieve broad-spectrum protection against new Omicron variants.

621 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The identification of the Omicron (B.1.1) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Botswana in November 20211 immediately caused concern owing to the number of alterations in the spike glycoprotein that could lead to antibody evasion as discussed by the authors .
Abstract: The identification of the Omicron (B.1.1.529.1 or BA.1) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Botswana in November 20211 immediately caused concern owing to the number of alterations in the spike glycoprotein that could lead to antibody evasion. We2 and others3-6 recently reported results confirming such a concern. Continuing surveillance of the evolution of Omicron has since revealed the rise in prevalence of two sublineages, BA.1 with an R346K alteration (BA.1+R346K, also known as BA.1.1) and B.1.1.529.2 (BA.2), with the latter containing 8 unique spike alterations and lacking 13 spike alterations found in BA.1. Here we extended our studies to include antigenic characterization of these new sublineages. Polyclonal sera from patients infected by wild-type SARS-CoV-2 or recipients of current mRNA vaccines showed a substantial loss in neutralizing activity against both BA.1+R346K and BA.2, with drops comparable to that already reported for BA.1 (refs. 2,3,5,6). These findings indicate that these three sublineages of Omicron are antigenically equidistant from the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and thus similarly threaten the efficacies of current vaccines. BA.2 also exhibited marked resistance to 17 of 19 neutralizing monoclonal antibodies tested, including S309 (sotrovimab)7, which had retained appreciable activity against BA.1 and BA.1+R346K (refs. 2-4,6). This finding shows that no authorized monoclonal antibody therapy could adequately cover all sublineages of the Omicron variant, except for the recently authorized LY-CoV1404 (bebtelovimab).

614 citations

Performance
Metrics
No. of papers from the Journal in previous years
YearPapers
20232,370
20224,551
19781
19771
19764
19752