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Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.02.27.21252099

Persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection and increasing viral variants in children and young adults with impaired humoral immunity

02 Mar 2021-medRxiv (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press)-
Abstract: Summary Background There is increasing concern that persistent infection of SARS-CoV-2 within immunocompromised hosts could serve as a reservoir for mutation accumulation and subsequent emergence of novel strains with the potential to evade immune responses. Methods We describe three patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who were persistently positive for SARS-CoV-2 by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Viral viability from longitudinally-collected specimens was assessed. Whole-genome sequencing and serological studies were performed to measure viral evolution and evidence of immune escape. Findings We found compelling evidence of ongoing replication and infectivity for up to 162 days from initial positive by subgenomic RNA, single-stranded RNA, and viral culture analysis. Our results reveal a broad spectrum of infectivity, host immune responses, and accumulation of mutations, some with the potential for immune escape. Interpretation Our results highlight the need to reassess infection control precautions in the management and care of immunocompromised patients. Routine surveillance of mutations and evaluation of their potential impact on viral transmission and immune escape should be considered. Funding The work was partially funded by The Saban Research Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles intramural support for COVID-19 Directed Research (X.G. and J.D.B.), the Johns Hopkins Center of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance HHSN272201400007C (A.P.), NIH/NIAID R01AI127877 (S.D.B.), NIH/NIAID R01AI130398 (S.D.B.), NIH 1U54CA260517 (S.D.B.), an endowment to S.D.B. from the Crown Family Foundation, an Early Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship Stipend to O.F.W. from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and a Coulter COVID-19 Rapid Response Award to S.D.B. L.G. is a SHARE Research Fellow in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.

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Topics: Influenza research (52%), Viral evolution (52%)
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19 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1099/JGV.0.001584
Abstract: SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated in the human population from a zoonotic spillover event. Infection in humans results in a variety of outcomes ranging from asymptomatic cases to the disease COVID-19, which can have significant morbidity and mortality, with over two million confirmed deaths worldwide as of January 2021. Over a year into the pandemic, sequencing analysis has shown that variants of SARS-CoV-2 are being selected as the virus continues to circulate widely within the human population. The predominant drivers of genetic variation within SARS-CoV-2 are single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) caused by polymerase error, potential host factor driven RNA modification, and insertion/deletions (indels) resulting from the discontinuous nature of viral RNA synthesis. While many mutations represent neutral 'genetic drift' or have quickly died out, a subset may be affecting viral traits such as transmissibility, pathogenicity, host range, and antigenicity of the virus. In this review, we summarise the current extent of genetic change in SARS-CoV-2, particularly recently emerging variants of concern, and consider the phenotypic consequences of this viral evolution that may impact the future trajectory of the pandemic.

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Topics: Viral evolution (57%), Population (54%), Genetic drift (51%)

45 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.03.19.21253946
20 Mar 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: Mutations at both the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and the amino (N)-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein can alter its antigenicity and promote immune escape. We identified that SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in Brazil with mutations of concern in the RBD independently acquired convergent deletions and insertions in the NTD of the S protein, which altered the NTD antigenic-supersite and other predicted epitopes at this region. These findings support that the ongoing widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil is generating new viral lineages that might be more resistant to neutralization than parental variants of concern.

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12 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/TRF.16525
25 May 2021-Transfusion
Abstract: In the absence of effective countermeasures, human convalescent plasma has been widely used to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the causative agent of novel coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), including among patients with innate or acquired immunosuppression. However, the association between COVID-19-associated mortality in patients with immunosuppression and therapeutic use of convalescent plasma is unknown. We review 75 reports, including one large matched-control registry study of 143 COVID-19 patients with hematological malignancies, and 51 case reports and 23 case series representing 238 COVID-19 patients with immunosuppression. We review clinical features and treatment protocols of COVID-19 patients with immunosuppression after treatment with human convalescent plasma. We also discuss the time course and clinical features of recovery. The available data from case reports and case series provide evidence suggesting a mortality benefit and rapid clinical improvement in patients with several forms of immunosuppression following COVID-19 convalescent plasma transfusion. The utility of convalescent plasma or other forms of antibody therapy in immune-deficient and immune-suppressed patients with COVID-19 warrants further investigation.

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Topics: Immunosuppression (54%)

7 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.03.22.436468
22 Mar 2021-bioRxiv
Abstract: The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased transmission, pathogenesis and immune resistance has jeopardised the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Determining the fundamental biology of viral variants and understanding their evolutionary trajectories will guide current mitigation measures, future genetic surveillance and vaccination strategies. Here we examine virus entry by the B.1.1.7 lineage, commonly referred to as the UK/Kent variant. Pseudovirus infection of model cell lines demonstrate that B.1.1.7 entry is enhanced relative to the Wuhan-Hu-1 reference strain, particularly under low expression of receptor ACE2. Moreover, the entry characteristics of B.1.1.7 were distinct from that of its predecessor strain containing the D614G mutation. These data suggest evolutionary tuning of spike protein function. Additionally, we found that amino acid deletions within the N-terminal domain (NTD) of spike were important for efficient entry by B.1.1.7. The NTD is a hotspot of diversity across sarbecoviruses, therefore, we further investigated this region by examining the entry of closely related CoVs. Surprisingly, Pangolin CoV spike entry was 50-100 fold enhanced relative to SARS-CoV-2; suggesting there may be evolutionary pathways by which SARS-CoV-2 may further optimise entry. Swapping the NTD between Pangolin CoV and SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates that changes in this region alone have the capacity to enhance virus entry. Thus, the NTD plays a hitherto unrecognised role in modulating spike activity, warranting further investigation and surveillance of NTD mutations.

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Topics: Viral entry (53%)

7 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/VE/VEAB069
14 Aug 2021-Virus Evolution
Abstract: Mutations at both the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and the amino (N)-terminal domain (NTD) of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Spike (S) glycoprotein can alter its antigenicity and promote immune escape. We identified that SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in Brazil with mutations of concern in the RBD independently acquired convergent deletions and insertions in the NTD of the S protein, which altered the NTD antigenic-supersite and other predicted epitopes at this region. Importantly, we detected the community transmission of different P.1 lineages bearing NTD indels ∆69-70 (which can impact several SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic protocols), ∆144 and ins214ANRN, and a new VOI N.10 derived from the B.1.1.33 lineage carrying three NTD deletions (∆141-144, ∆211, and ∆256-258). These findings support that the ongoing widespread transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil generates new viral lineages that might be more resistant to antibody neutralization than parental variants of concern.

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6 Citations


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27 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41586-020-2196-X
Roman Wölfel1, Victor M. Corman2, Wolfgang Guggemos, M Seilmaier  +15 moreInstitutions (4)
01 Apr 2020-Nature
Abstract: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute infection of the respiratory tract that emerged in late 20191,2. Initial outbreaks in China involved 13.8% of cases with severe courses, and 6.1% of cases with critical courses3. This severe presentation may result from the virus using a virus receptor that is expressed predominantly in the lung2,4; the same receptor tropism is thought to have determined the pathogenicity—but also aided in the control—of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20035. However, there are reports of cases of COVID-19 in which the patient shows mild upper respiratory tract symptoms, which suggests the potential for pre- or oligosymptomatic transmission6–8. There is an urgent need for information on virus replication, immunity and infectivity in specific sites of the body. Here we report a detailed virological analysis of nine cases of COVID-19 that provides proof of active virus replication in tissues of the upper respiratory tract. Pharyngeal virus shedding was very high during the first week of symptoms, with a peak at 7.11 × 108 RNA copies per throat swab on day 4. Infectious virus was readily isolated from samples derived from the throat or lung, but not from stool samples—in spite of high concentrations of virus RNA. Blood and urine samples never yielded virus. Active replication in the throat was confirmed by the presence of viral replicative RNA intermediates in the throat samples. We consistently detected sequence-distinct virus populations in throat and lung samples from one patient, proving independent replication. The shedding of viral RNA from sputum outlasted the end of symptoms. Seroconversion occurred after 7 days in 50% of patients (and by day 14 in all patients), but was not followed by a rapid decline in viral load. COVID-19 can present as a mild illness of the upper respiratory tract. The confirmation of active virus replication in the upper respiratory tract has implications for the containment of COVID-19. Detailed virological analysis of nine cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) provides proof of active replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in tissues of the upper respiratory tract.

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Topics: Virus receptor (62%), Coronavirus (60%), Viral shedding (59%) ... read more

4,325 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1001/JAMA.2020.8259
09 Jun 2020-JAMA
Abstract: The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to affect much of the world. Knowledge of diagnostic tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still evolving, and a clear understanding of the nature of the tests and interpretation of their findings is important. This Viewpoint describes how to interpret 2 types of diagnostic tests commonly in use for SARS-CoV-2 infections—reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and IgM and IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)—and how the results may vary over time (Figure).

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936 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/CLINCHEM/HVAA029
Daniel K.W. Chu1, Yang Pan2, Yang Pan3, Samuel M.S. Cheng1  +10 moreInstitutions (3)
01 Apr 2020-Clinical Chemistry
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A novel coronavirus of zoonotic origin (2019-nCoV) has recently been identified in patients with acute respiratory disease. This virus is genetically similar to SARS coronavirus and bat SARS-like coronaviruses. The outbreak was initially detected in Wuhan, a major city of China, but has subsequently been detected in other provinces of China. Travel-associated cases have also been reported in a few other countries. Outbreaks in health care workers indicate human-to-human transmission. Molecular tests for rapid detection of this virus are urgently needed for early identification of infected patients. METHODS: We developed two 1-step quantitative real-time reverse-transcription PCR assays to detect two different regions (ORF1b and N) of the viral genome. The primer and probe sets were designed to react with this novel coronavirus and its closely related viruses, such as SARS coronavirus. These assays were evaluated using a panel of positive and negative controls. In addition, respiratory specimens from two 2019-nCoV-infected patients were tested. RESULTS: Using RNA extracted from cells infected by SARS coronavirus as a positive control, these assays were shown to have a dynamic range of at least seven orders of magnitude (2x10-4-2000 TCID50/reaction). Using DNA plasmids as positive standards, the detection limits of these assays were found to be below 10 copies per reaction. All negative control samples were negative in the assays. Samples from two 2019-nCoV-infected patients were positive in the tests. CONCLUSIONS: The established assays can achieve a rapid detection of 2019n-CoV in human samples, thereby allowing early identification of patients.

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Topics: Coronavirus (67%), Betacoronavirus (54%)

838 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.7554/ELIFE.61312
Yiska Weisblum1, Fabian Schmidt1, Fengwen Zhang1, Justin DaSilva1  +23 moreInstitutions (4)
28 Oct 2020-eLife
Abstract: Neutralizing antibodies elicited by prior infection or vaccination are likely to be key for future protection of individuals and populations against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passively administered antibodies are among the most promising therapeutic and prophylactic anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. However, the degree to which SARS-CoV-2 will adapt to evade neutralizing antibodies is unclear. Using a recombinant chimeric VSV/SARS-CoV-2 reporter virus, we show that functional SARS-CoV-2 S protein variants with mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain that confer resistance to monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma can be readily selected. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 S variants that resist commonly elicited neutralizing antibodies are now present at low frequencies in circulating SARS-CoV-2 populations. Finally, the emergence of antibody-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants that might limit the therapeutic usefulness of monoclonal antibodies can be mitigated by the use of antibody combinations that target distinct neutralizing epitopes.

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Topics: Monoclonal antibody (57%)

671 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CHOM.2020.11.007
Abstract: Antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) are being developed as therapeutics and are a major contributor to neutralizing antibody responses elicited by infection. Here, we describe a deep mutational scanning method to map how all amino-acid mutations in the RBD affect antibody binding and apply this method to 10 human monoclonal antibodies. The escape mutations cluster on several surfaces of the RBD that broadly correspond to structurally defined antibody epitopes. However, even antibodies targeting the same surface often have distinct escape mutations. The complete escape maps predict which mutations are selected during viral growth in the presence of single antibodies. They further enable the design of escape-resistant antibody cocktails-including cocktails of antibodies that compete for binding to the same RBD surface but have different escape mutations. Therefore, complete escape-mutation maps enable rational design of antibody therapeutics and assessment of the antigenic consequences of viral evolution.

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Topics: Neutralizing antibody (54%), Monoclonal antibody (52%), Epitope (52%)

438 Citations


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