Quantifying the immunological distinctiveness of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants in the context of prior regional herd exposure.
ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the persistent emergence of immune-evasive SARS-CoV-2 variants under the selection pressure of natural and vaccination-acquired immunity. However, it is currently challenging to quantify how immunologically distinct a new variant is compared to all the prior variants to which a population has been exposed. Here, we define "Distinctiveness" of SARS-CoV-2 sequences based on a proteome-wide comparison with all prior sequences from the same geographical region. We observe a correlation between Distinctiveness relative to contemporary sequences and future change in prevalence of a newly circulating lineage (Pearson r = 0.75), suggesting that the Distinctiveness of emergent SARS-CoV-2 lineages is associated with their epidemiological fitness. We further show that the average Distinctiveness of sequences belonging to a lineage, relative to the Distinctiveness of other sequences that occur at the same place and time (n = 944 location/time data points), is predictive of future increases in prevalence (Area Under the Curve, AUC = 0.88 [95% confidence interval 0.86 to 0.90]). By assessing the Delta variant in India versus Brazil, we show that the same lineage can have different Distinctiveness-contributing positions in different geographical regions depending on the other variants that previously circulated in those regions. Finally, we find that positions that constitute epitopes contribute disproportionately (20-fold higher than the average position) to Distinctiveness. Overall, this study suggests that real-time assessment of new SARS-CoV-2 variants in the context of prior regional herd exposure via Distinctiveness can augment genomic surveillance efforts.
Project description:Normal aging is associated with declines in sensorimotor function. Previous studies have linked age-related behavioral declines to decreases in neural differentiation (i.e., dedifferentiation), including decreases in the distinctiveness of neural activation patterns and in the segregation of large-scale neural networks at rest. However, no studies to date have explored the relationship between these two neural measures and whether they explain the same aspects of behavior. To investigate these issues, we collected a battery of sensorimotor behavioral measures in older and younger adults and estimated (a) the distinctiveness of neural representations in sensorimotor cortex and (b) sensorimotor network segregation in the same participants. Consistent with prior findings, sensorimotor representations were less distinct and sensorimotor resting state networks were less segregated in older compared to younger adults. We also found that participants with the most distinct sensorimotor representations exhibited the most segregated sensorimotor networks. However, only sensorimotor network segregation was associated with individual differences in sensorimotor performance, particularly in older adults. These novel findings link network segregation to neural distinctiveness, but also suggest that network segregation may play a larger role in maintaining sensorimotor performance with age.
Project description:During the first year of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Mexico, more than two million people were infected. In this study, we analyzed full genome sequences from 27 February 2020 to 28 February 2021 to characterize the geographical and temporal distribution of SARS-CoV-2 lineages and identify the most common circulating lineages during this period. We defined six different geographical regions with particular dynamics of lineage circulation. The Northeast and Northwest regions were the ones that exhibited the highest lineage diversity, while the Central south and South/Southeast regions presented less diversity with predominance of a certain lineage. Additionally, by late February 2021, lineage B.1.1.519 represented more than 89% of all circulating lineages in the country.
Project description:The currently ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has accounted for millions of infections and deaths across the globe. Genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 are being published daily in public databases and the availability of these genome data sets has allowed unprecedented access to the mutational patterns of SARS-CoV-2 evolution. We made use of the same genomic information for conducting phylogenetic analysis and identifying lineage-specific mutations. The catalogued lineage-defining mutations were analyzed for their stabilizing or destabilizing impact on viral proteins. We recorded persistence of D614G, S477N, A222V, and V1176F variants and a global expansion of the PANGOLIN variant B.1. In addition, a retention of Q57H (B.1.X), R203K/G204R (B.1.1.X), T85I (B.1.2-B.1.3), G15S+T428I (C.X), and I120F (D.X) variations was observed. Overall, we recorded a striking balance between stabilizing and destabilizing mutations, therefore leading to well-maintained protein structures. With selection pressures in the form of newly developed vaccines and therapeutics to mount in the coming months, the task of mapping viral mutations and recording their impact on key viral proteins should be crucial to preemptively catch any escape mechanism for which SARS-CoV-2 may evolve. <b>IMPORTANCE</b> Since its initial isolation in Wuhan, China, large numbers of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences have been shared in publicly accessible repositories, thus enabling scientists to do detailed evolutionary analysis. We investigated the evolutionarily associated mutational diversity overlaid on the major phylogenetic lineages circulating globally, using 513 representative genomes. We detailed the phylogenetic persistence of key variants facilitating global expansion of the PANGOLIN variant B.1, including the recent, fast-expanding, B.1.1.7 lineage. The stabilizing or destabilizing impact of the catalogued lineage-defining mutations on viral proteins indicates their possible involvement in balancing the protein function and structure. A clear understanding of this mutational profile is of high clinical significance to catch any vaccine escape mechanism, as the same proteins make crucial components of vaccines that have recently been approved or are in development. In this vein, our study provides an imperative framework and baseline data upon which further analysis could be built as newer variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to appear.
Project description:In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 spread across the United States (U.S.) in three phases distinguished by peaks in the numbers of infections and shifting geographical distribution. We investigated the viral genetic diversity in each phase using sequences publicly available prior to December 15 <sup>th</sup> , 2020, when vaccination was initiated in the U.S. In Phase 1 (winter/spring), sequences were already dominated by the D614G Spike mutation and by Phase 3 (fall), genetic diversity of the viral population had tripled and at least 54 new amino acid changes had emerged at frequencies above 5%, several of which were within known antibody epitopes. These findings highlight the need to track the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants in the U.S. to ensure continued efficacy of vaccines and antiviral treatments.<h4>One sentence summary</h4>SARS-CoV-2 genetic diversity in the U.S. increased 3-fold in 2020 and 54 emergent nonsynonymous mutations were detected.
Project description:We aimed to investigate novel emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineages in Japan that harbor variants in the spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD). The total nucleic acid contents of samples from 159 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were subjected to whole genome sequencing. The SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences from these patients were examined for variants in spike protein RBD. In January 2021, three family members (one aged in their 40s and two aged under 10 years old) were found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 harboring W152L/E484K/G769V mutations. These three patients were living in Japan and had no history of traveling abroad. After identifying these cases, we developed a TaqMan assay to screen for the above hallmark mutations and identified an additional 14 patients with the same mutations. The associated virus strain was classified into the GR clade (Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data [GISAID]), 20B clade (Nextstrain), and R.1 lineage (Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak [PANGO] Lineages). As of April 22, 2021, R.1 lineage SARS-CoV-2 has been identified in 2,388 SARS-CoV-2 entries in the GISAID database, many of which were from Japan (38.2%; 913/2,388) and the United States (47.1%; 1,125/2,388). Compared with that in the United States, the percentage of SARS-CoV-2 isolates belonging to the R.1 lineage in Japan increased more rapidly over the period from October 24, 2020 to April 18, 2021. R.1 lineage SARS-CoV-2 has potential escape mutations in the spike protein RBD (E484K) and N-terminal domain (W152L); therefore, it will be necessary to continue to monitor the R.1 lineage as it spreads around the world.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> Prior to this report, variants of concern for SARS-CoV-2 were only detected from imported cases in Hong Kong. <h4>Objective</h4> Multiple cases of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.351 have been identified in local community. We reported the phylogenetic relationship of these cases. <h4>Study design</h4> SARS-CoV-2 cases were screened for the key non-synonymous substitutions in spike protein by different assays. Preliminary positive cases were further tested by whole genome sequencing. <h4>Results</h4> From Dec 2020 to May 2021, 55 SARS-CoV-2 cases belonged to lineage B.1.351. Among them, eight genomes were clustered together, all of them were local cases with epidemiological link. <h4>Conclusions</h4> To track variants of SARS-CoV-2 and to allow early implementation of control measures, SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance must be consistently performed.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused a global pandemic of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19). Genome surveillance is a key method to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Genetic diversity and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed based on 260,673 whole-genome sequences, which were sampled from 62 countries between 24 December 2019 and 12 January 2021. We found that amino acid (AA) substitutions were observed in all SARS-CoV-2 proteins, and the top six proteins with the highest substitution rates were ORF10, nucleocapsid, ORF3a, spike glycoprotein, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and ORF8. Among 25,629 amino acid substitutions at 8484 polymorphic sites across the coding region of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, the D614G (93.88%) variant in spike and the P323L (93.74%) variant in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase were the dominant variants on six continents. As of January 2021, the genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 could be divided into at least 12 different clades. Distributions of SARS-CoV-2 clades were featured with temporal and geographical dynamics on six continents. Overall, this large-scale analysis provides a detailed mapping of SARS-CoV-2 variants in different geographic areas at different time points, highlighting the importance of evaluating highly prevalent variants in the development of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drugs and vaccines.
Project description:Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants are emerging worldwide. Here, we report the complete genome sequences of 13 severe acute SARS-CoV-2 strains belonging to lineage B.1.525 (variant η).
Project description:To assess SARS-CoV-2 variants spread, we analysed 36,590 variant-specific reverse-transcription-PCR tests performed on samples from 12 April-7 May 2021 in France. In this period, contrarily to January-March 2021, variants of concern (VOC) β (B.1.351 lineage) and/or γ (P.1 lineage) had a significant transmission advantage over VOC α (B.1.1.7 lineage) in Île-de-France (15.8%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 15.5-16.2) and Hauts-de-France (17.3%; 95% CI: 15.9-18.7) regions. This is consistent with VOC β's immune evasion abilities and high proportions of prior-SARS-CoV-2-infected persons in these regions.
Project description:Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first detected in Egypt in February 2020. Data about the prevalence rates of the SARS-CoV-2 lineages are relatively scarce. To understand the genetic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 in Egypt during several waves of the pandemic, we analyzed sequences of 1256 Egyptian SARS-CoV-2 full genomes from March 2020 to May 2021. From one wave to the next, dominant strains have been observed to be replaced by other dominant strains. We detected an emerging lineage of SARS-CoV-2 in Egypt that shares mutations with the variant of concern (VOC). The neutralizing capacity of sera collected from cases infected with C.36.3 against dominant strains detected in Egypt showed a higher cross reactivity of sera with C.36.3 compared to other strains. Using in silico tools, mutations in the spike of SARS-CoV-2 induced a difference in binding affinity to the viral receptor. The C.36 lineage is the most dominant SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Egypt, and the heterotrophic antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants is asymmetric. These results highlight the value of genetic and antigenic analyses of circulating strains in regions where published sequences are limited.