Project description:Viral whole-genome sequencing (WGS) provides critical insight into the transmission and evolution of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Long-read sequencing devices from Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) promise significant improvements in turnaround time, portability and cost, compared to established short-read sequencing platforms for viral WGS (e.g., Illumina). However, adoption of ONT sequencing for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance has been limited due to common concerns around sequencing accuracy. To address this, here we perform viral WGS with ONT and Illumina platforms on 157 matched SARS-CoV-2-positive patient specimens and synthetic RNA controls, enabling rigorous evaluation of analytical performance. We report that, despite the elevated error rates observed in ONT sequencing reads, highly accurate consensus-level sequence determination was achieved, with single nucleotide variants (SNVs) detected at >99% sensitivity and >99% precision above a minimum ~60-fold coverage depth, thereby ensuring suitability for SARS-CoV-2 genome analysis. ONT sequencing also identified a surprising diversity of structural variation within SARS-CoV-2 specimens that were supported by evidence from short-read sequencing on matched samples. However, ONT sequencing failed to accurately detect short indels and variants at low read-count frequencies. This systematic evaluation of analytical performance for SARS-CoV-2 WGS will facilitate widespread adoption of ONT sequencing within local, national and international COVID-19 public health initiatives.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Care homes are experiencing large outbreaks of COVID-19 associated with high case-fatality rates. We conducted detailed investigations in six London care homes reporting suspected COVID-19 outbreaks during April 2020.<h4>Methods</h4>Residents and staff had nasal swabs for SARS CoV-2 testing using RT-PCR and were followed-up for 14 days. They were categorized as symptomatic, post-symptomatic or pre-symptomatic if they had symptoms at the time of testing, in the two weeks before or two weeks after testing, respectively, or asymptomatic throughout. Virus isolation and whole genome sequencing (WGS) was also performed.<h4>Findings</h4>Across the six care homes, 105/264 (39.8%) residents were SARS CoV-2 positive, including 28 (26.7%) symptomatic, 10 (9.5%) post-symptomatic, 21 (20.0%) pre-symptomatic and 46 (43.8%) who remained asymptomatic. Case-fatality at 14-day follow-up was highest among symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 positive residents (10/28, 35.7%) compared to asymptomatic (2/46, 4.3%), post-symptomatic (2/10, 20.0%) or pre-symptomatic (3/21,14.3%) residents. Among staff, 53/254 (20.9%) were SARS-CoV-2 positive and 26/53 (49.1%) remained asymptomatic. RT-PCR cycle-thresholds and live-virus recovery were similar between symptomatic/asymptomatic residents/staff. Higher RT-PCR cycle threshold values (lower virus load) samples were associated with exponentially decreasing ability to recover infectious virus (<i>P</i><0.001). WGS identified multiple (up to 9) separate introductions of different SARS-CoV-2 strains into individual care homes.<h4>Interpretation</h4>A high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 positivity was found in care homes residents and staff, half of whom were asymptomatic and potential reservoirs for on-going transmission. A third of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 residents died within 14 days. Symptom-based screening alone is not sufficient for outbreak control.<h4>Funding</h4>None.
Project description:A recombinant SARS-CoV lacking the envelope (E) protein is attenuated in vivo. Here we report that E protein PDZ-binding motif (PBM), a domain involved in protein-protein interactions, is a major virulence determinant in vivo. Elimination of SARS-CoV E protein PBM by using reverse genetics led to attenuated viruses (SARS-CoV-mutPBM) and to a reduction in the deleterious exacerbate immune response triggered during infection with the parental virus (SARS-CoV-wt). Cellular protein syntenin bound E protein PBM during SARS-CoV infection. Syntenin activates p38 MAPK leading to overexpression of inflammatory cytokines, and we have shown that active p38 MAPK was reduced in lungs of mice infected with SARS-CoVs lacking E protein PBM (SARS-CoV-mutPBM) as compared with the parental virus (SARS-CoV-wt), leading to a decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines and to viral attenuation. Therefore, E protein PBM is a virulence factor that activates pathogenic immune response most likely by using syntenin as a mediator of p38 MAPK induced inflammation. Three biological replicates were independently hybridized (one channel per slide) for each sample type (SARS-CoV-wt, SARS-CoV-mutPBM, Mock). Slides were Sure Print G3 Agilent 8x60K Mouse (G4852A-028005)
Project description:For the assessment of host response dynamics to SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infections in human airway epithelial cells at ambient temperature corresponding to the upper or lower respiratory tract. We performed a temporal transcriptome analysis on human airway epithelial cell (hAEC) cultures infected with SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, as well as uninfected hAEC cultures, incubated either at 33°C or 37°C. hAEC cultures were harvested at 24, 48 72, 96 hpi and processed for Bulk RNA Barcoding and sequencing (BRB-seq), which allows a rapid and sensitive genome-wide transcriptomic analysis in a highly multiplexed manner. Transcriptome data was obtained from a total of 7 biological donors for pairwise comparisons of SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 virus-infected to unexposed hAEC cultures at respective time points and temperatures.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In the initial few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, two distinct strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) were identified (L and S strain) based on a tightly linked SNP between two widely separated nucleotides at location 8782 (ORF1ab T8517C) and position 28,144 (ORF8: C251T, codon S84L).<h4>Materials and methods</h4>A Type Specific Primer based one step RT-PCR (TSP-PCR) test to distinguish the L and S type strains of SARS-CoV-2 without the need for viral genome sequencing, was developed. The study also analyzed 18,221 whole genome sequences (WGS) available up to April 2020 to know the prevalence of L and S type of strains. Phylogenetic and recombination analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome with nearest animal and human coronaviruses were analyzed using MEGA X and SimPlot version 3.5.1 software respectively.<h4>Results</h4>The rapid TSP-PCR distinguished the L and S type strains of SARS-CoV-2 by amplifying a specific 326 bp and 256 bp fragment of the L and S type strain respectively. The test was used to analyzed 120 random SARS-CoV-2 positive samples from Assam, India among which 118 were found to be of L-type strains only. On analysis of 18,221 WGS, it was found that L type was the predominant strain with an overall prevalence ?90%. However, pockets of high prevalence of S-type strains (>35%) were still in circulation in Washington region in April 2020. The study did not detect any significant recombination events between closely related coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2.<h4>Conclusion</h4>TSP-based PCR for identification of circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2, will add in rapid identification of strains of COVID-19 pandemic to understand the spread of the virus, its transmissibility and adaptation into human population. Though, the S-type strains have decreased drastically across the globe since April 2020, the role of TSP-PCR in geographical niches where such strains are still prevalent may help in rapidly distinguishing the strains and study its evolution.
Project description:In this study, we tested the efficacy of five commercial probes panels at detecting SARS-CoV-2 genome including panels from Illumina, Twist Bioscience and Arbor Bioscience. To do so, we used 19 patient nasal swab samples broken down into 5 series of 4 samples of equivalent SARS-CoV-2 viral load (cycle threshold (CT): low CT means a high viral load – CT26, CT29, CT32, CT35 and CT36+).
Project description:To further investigate the underlying mechanisms of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pathogenesis and evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of potential drugs and vaccines it is necessary to use an animal model that is highly representative of the human condition in terms of respiratory anatomy, physiology and clinical sequelae. The ferret, Mustela putorius furo, supports SARS-CoV replication and displays many of the symptoms and pathological features seen in SARS-CoV-infected humans. We have recently established a SARS-CoV infection-challenge ferret platform for use in evaluating potential therapeutics to treat SARS. The main objective of the current study was to extend our previous results and identify early host immune responses upon infection and determine immune correlates of protection upon challenge with SARS-CoV in ferrets. Keywords: time course This study is a simple time course (58 day) examination of host responses in 35 SARS-CoV (TOR2) infected ferrets with the addition of a challenge inoculation of SARS CoV (TOR2) at day 29 post infection. Three mock-infected ferrets are included as negative controls. Due to the unavailability of ferret microarrays, Affymetrix Canine 2.0 oligonucleotide arrays were chosen following sequence analysis of our ferret cDNA library (~5000 clones) and demonstration of high levels of homology (>80%) between dog and ferret.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Recently, SARS-CoV-2 virus with the D614G mutation has become a public concern due to rapid dissemination of this variant across many countries. Our study aims were (1) to report full-length genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 collected from four COVID-19 patients in the Special Region of Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces, Indonesia; (2) to compare the clade distribution of full-length genome sequences from Indonesia (<i>n</i> = 60) from March to September 2020 and (3) to perform phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 complete genomes from different countries, including Indonesia.<h4>Methods</h4>Whole genome sequencing (WGS) was performed using next-generation sequencing (NGS) applied in the Illumina MiSeq instrument. Full-length virus genomes were annotated using the reference genome of hCoV-19/Wuhan/Hu-1/2019 (NC_045512.2) and then visualized in UGENE v. 1.30. For phylogenetic analysis, a dataset of 88 available SARS-CoV-2 complete genomes from different countries, including Indonesia, was retrieved from GISAID.<h4>Results</h4>All patients were hospitalized with various severities of COVID-19. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that one and three virus samples belong to clade L and GH. These three clade GH virus samples (EPI_ISL_525492, EPI_ISL_516800 and EPI_ISL_516829) were not only located in a cluster with SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Asia but also those from Europe, whereas the clade L virus sample (EPI_ISL_516806) was located amongst SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Asia. Using full-length sequences available in the GISAID EpiCoV Database, 39 of 60 SARS-CoV-2 (65%) from Indonesia harbor the D614G mutation.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These findings indicate that SARS-CoV-2 with the D614G mutation appears to become the major circulating virus in Indonesia, concurrent with the COVID-19 situation worldwide.
Project description:The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic was characterized by increased pathogenicity in the elderly due to an early exacerbated innate host response. SARS-CoV is a zoonotic pathogen that entered the human population through an intermediate host like the palm civet. To prevent future introductions of zoonotic SARS-CoV strains and subsequent transmission into the human population, heterologous disease models are needed to test the efficacy of vaccines and therapeutics against both late human and zoonotic isolates. Here we show that both human and zoonotic SARS-CoV strains can infect cynomolgus macaques and resulted in radiological as well as histopathological changes similar to those seen in mild human cases. Viral replication was higher in animals infected with a late human phase isolate compared to a zoonotic isolate. Host responses to the three SARS-CoV strains were similar and only apparent early during infection with the majority of genes associated with interferon signalling pathways.This study characterizes critical disease models in the evaluation and licensure of therapeutic strategies against SARS-CoV for human use 4 strains, time course, lungs