Most downloaded biology preprints, all time
in category microbiology
16,142 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.
300,190 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Peng Zhou, Xing-Lou Yang, Xian-Guang Wang, Ben Hu, Lei Zhang, Wei Zhang, Hao-Rui Si, Yan Zhu, Bei Li, Chao-Lin Huang, Hui-Dong Chen, Jing Chen, Yun Luo, Hua Guo, Ren-Di Jiang, Mei-Qin Liu, Ying Chen, Xu-Rui Shen, Xi Wang, Xiao-Shuang Zheng, Kai Zhao, Quan-Jiao Chen, Fei Deng, Lin-Lin Liu, Bing Yan, Fa-Xian Zhan, Yan-Yi Wang, Gengfu Xiao, Zheng-Li Shi
Since the SARS outbreak 18 years ago, a large number of severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoV) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats. Previous studies indicated that some of those bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans, in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, started from December 12th, 2019, has caused 198 laboratory confirmed infections with three fatal cases by January 20th, 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at the early stage of the outbreak. They are almost identical to each other and share 79.5% sequence identify to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, it was found that nCoV-2019 is 96% identical at the whole genome level to a bat coronavirus. The pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. The nCoV-2019 virus was then isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient, which can be neutralized by sera from several patients. Importantly, we have confirmed that this novel CoV uses the same cell entry receptor, ACE2, as SARS-CoV.
276,584 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Yafei Liu, Noriko Arase, Jun-ishi Kishikawa, Mika Hirose, Songling Li, Asa Tada, Sumiko Matsuoka, Akemi Arakawa, Kanako Akamatsu, Chikako Ono, Hui Jin, Kazuki Kishida, Wataru Nakai, Masako Kohyama, Atsushi Nakagawa, Yoshiaki Yamagishi, Hironori Nakagami, Atsushi Kumanogoh, Yoshiharu Matsuura, Daron M Standley, Takayuki Kato, Masato Okada, Manabu Fujimoto, Hisashi Arase
mRNA-based vaccines provide effective protection against most common SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, identifying likely breakthrough variants is critical for future vaccine development. Here, we found that the Delta variant completely escaped from anti-N-terminal domain (NTD) neutralizing antibodies, while increasing responsiveness to anti-NTD infectivity-enhancing antibodies. Although Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2-immune sera neutralized the Delta variant, when four common mutations were introduced into the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Delta variant (Delta 4+), some BNT162b2-immune sera lost neutralizing activity and enhanced the infectivity. Unique mutations in the Delta NTD were involved in the enhanced infectivity by the BNT162b2-immune sera. Sera of mice immunized by Delta spike, but not wild-type spike, consistently neutralized the Delta 4+ variant without enhancing infectivity. Given the fact that a Delta variant with three similar RBD mutations has already emerged according to the GISAID database, it is necessary to develop vaccines that protect against such complete breakthrough variants.
130,506 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Da-Yuan Chen, Devin Kenney, Chue-Vin Chin, Alexander H. Tavares, Nazimuddin Khan, Hasahn L. Conway, GuanQun Liu, Manish C Choudhary, Hans P. Gertje, Aoife K OConnell, Darrell N. Kotton, Alexandra Herrmann, Armin Ensser, John H Connor, Markus Bosmann, Jonathan Z Li, Michaela U. Gack, Susan C Baker, Robert N. Kirchdoerfer, Yachana Kataria, Nicholas A. Crossland, Florian Douam, Mohsan Saeed
The recently identified, globally predominant SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (BA.1) is highly transmissible, even in fully vaccinated individuals, and causes attenuated disease compared with other major viral variants recognized to date. The Omicron spike (S) protein, with an unusually large number of mutations, is considered the major driver of these phenotypes. We generated chimeric recombinant SARS-CoV-2 encoding the S gene of Omicron in the backbone of an ancestral SARS-CoV-2 isolate and compared this virus with the naturally circulating Omicron variant. The Omicron S-bearing virus robustly escapes vaccine-induced humoral immunity, mainly due to mutations in the receptor binding motif (RBM), yet unlike naturally occurring Omicron, efficiently replicates in cell lines and primary-like distal lung cells. In K18-hACE2 mice, while Omicron causes mild, non-fatal infection, the Omicron S-carrying virus inflicts severe disease with a mortality rate of 80%. This indicates that while the vaccine escape of Omicron is defined by mutations in S, major determinants of viral pathogenicity reside outside of S.
127,899 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Alexander E. Gorbalenya, Susan Baker, Ralph S Baric, Raoul J. de Groot, Christian Drosten, Anastasia A. Gulyaeva, Bart L. Haagmans, Chris Lauber, Andrey M Leontovich, Benjamin W Neuman, Dmitry Penzar, Stanley Perlman, Leo L.M. Poon, Dmitry Samborskiy, Igor A. Sidorov, Isabel Sola, John Ziebuhr
The present outbreak of lower respiratory tract infections, including respiratory distress syndrome, is the third spillover, in only two decades, of an animal coronavirus to humans resulting in a major epidemic. Here, the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the official classification of viruses and taxa naming (taxonomy) of the Coronaviridae family, assessed the novelty of the human pathogen tentatively named 2019-nCoV. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG formally recognizes this virus as a sister to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus and designates it as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To facilitate communication, the CSG further proposes to use the following naming convention for individual isolates: SARS-CoV-2/Isolate/Host/Date/Location. The spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans remains to be determined. The independent zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for studying the entire (virus) species to complement research focused on individual pathogenic viruses of immediate significance. This research will improve our understanding of virus-host interactions in an ever-changing environment and enhance our preparedness for future outbreaks.
115,863 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Neeltje A van Doremalen, Teresa Lambe, Alexandra Spencer, Sandra Belij-Rammerstorfer, Jyothi N. Purushotham, Julia R. Port, Victoria Avanzato, Trenton Bushmaker, Amy Flaxman, Marta Ulaszewska, Friederike Feldmann, Elizabeth R Allen, Hannah Sharpe, Jonathan Schulz, Myndi Holbrook, Atsushi Okumura, Kimberly Meade-White, Lizzette Pérez-Pérez, Cameron Bissett, Ciaran Gilbride, Brandi N. Williamson, Rebecca Rosenke, Dan Long, Alka Ishwarbhai, Reshma Kailath, Louisa Rose, Susan Morris, Claire Powers, Jamie Lovaglio, Patrick W. Hanley, Dana Scott, Greg Saturday, Emmie de Wit, Sarah C. Gilbert, Vincent Munster
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in December 20191,2 and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic3. Vaccines are an essential countermeasure urgently needed to control the pandemic4. Here, we show that the adenovirus-vectored vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, encoding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, is immunogenic in mice, eliciting a robust humoral and cell-mediated response. This response was not Th2 dominated, as demonstrated by IgG subclass and cytokine expression profiling. A single vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 induced a humoral and cellular immune response in rhesus macaques. We observed a significantly reduced viral load in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and respiratory tract tissue of vaccinated animals challenged with SARS-CoV-2 compared with control animals, and no pneumonia was observed in vaccinated rhesus macaques. Importantly, no evidence of immune-enhanced disease following viral challenge in vaccinated animals was observed. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is currently under investigation in a phase I clinical trial. Safety, immunogenicity and efficacy against symptomatic PCR-positive COVID-19 disease will now be assessed in randomised controlled human clinical trials. ### Competing Interest Statement SCG is a board member of Vaccitech and named as an inventor on a patent covering use of ChAdOx1-vectored vaccines and a patent application covering a SARS-CoV-2 (nCoV-19) vaccine. Teresa Lambe is named as an inventor on a patent application covering a SARS-CoV-2 (nCoV-19) vaccine. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.
111,971 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Daichi Yamasoba, Izumi Kimura, Hesham Nasser, Yuhei Morioka, Naganori Nao, Jumpei Ito, Keiya Uriu, Masumi Tsuda, Jiri Zahradnik, Kotaro Shirakawa, Rigel Suzuki, Mai Kishimoto, Yusuke Kosugi, Kouji Kobiyama, Teppei Hara, Mako Toyoda, Yuri L Tanaka, Erika P Butlertanaka, Ryo Shimizu, Hayato Ito, Lei Wang, Yoshitaka Oda, Yasuko Orba, Michihito Sasaki, Kayoko Nagata, Kumiko Yoshimatsu, Hiroyuki Asakura, Mami Nagashima, Kenji Sadamasu, Kazuhisa Yoshimura, Jin Kuramochi, Motoaki Seki, Ryoji Fujiki, Atsushi Kaneda, Tadanaga Shimada, Taka-aki Nakada, Seiichiro Sakao, Takuji Suzuki, Takamasa Ueno, Akifumi Takaori-Kondo, Ken J Ishii, Gideon Schreiber, The Genotype to Phenotype Japan (G2P-Japan) Consortium, Hirofumi Sawa, Akatsuki Saito, Takashi Irie, Shinya Tanaka, Keita Matsuno, Takasuke Fukuhara, Terumasa Ikeda, Kei Sato
Soon after the emergence and global spread of a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron lineage, BA.1, another Omicron lineage, BA.2, has initiated outcompeting BA.1. Statistical analysis shows that the effective reproduction number of BA.2 is 1.4-fold higher than that of BA.1. Neutralisation experiments show that the vaccine-induced humoral immunity fails to function against BA.2 like BA.1, and notably, the antigenicity of BA.2 is different from BA.1. Cell culture experiments show that BA.2 is more replicative in human nasal epithelial cells and more fusogenic than BA.1. Furthermore, infection experiments using hamsters show that BA.2 is more pathogenic than BA.1. Our multiscale investigations suggest that the risk of BA.2 for global health is potentially higher than that of BA.1.
110,701 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Jianzhong Shi, Zhiyuan Wen, Gongxun Zhong, Huanliang Yang, Chong Wang, Renqiang Liu, Xijun He, Lei Shuai, Ziruo Sun, Yubo Zhao, Libin Liang, Pengfei Cui, Jinliang Wang, Xianfeng Zhang, Yuntao Guan, Hualan Chen, Zhigao Bu
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the infectious disease COVID-19, which was first reported in Wuhan, China in December, 2019. Despite the tremendous efforts to control the disease, COVID-19 has now spread to over 100 countries and caused a global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated in bats; however, the intermediate animal sources of the virus are completely unknown. Here, we investigated the susceptibility of ferrets and animals in close contact with humans to SARS-CoV-2. We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but efficiently in ferrets and cats. We found that the virus transmits in cats via respiratory droplets. Our study provides important insights into the animal reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 and animal management for COVID-19 control.
107,195 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
The emergence of the novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China has caused a worldwide epidemic of respiratory disease (COVID-19). Vaccines and targeted therapeutics for treatment of this disease are currently lacking. Here we report a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 (and SARS-CoV). This cross-neutralizing antibody targets a communal epitope on these viruses and offers potential for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
90,543 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Lihong Liu, Sho Iketani, Yicheng Guo, Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Maple Wang, Liyuan Liu, Yang Luo, Hin Chu, Yiming Huang, Manoj S. Nair, Jian Yu, Kenn Ka-Heng Chik, Terrence Tsz-Tai Yuen, Chaemin Yoon, Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Honglin Chen, Michael T. Yin, Magdalena E Sobieszczyk, Yaoxing Huang, Harris H. Wang, Zizhang Sheng, Kwok-Yung Yuen, David D Ho
The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2 was only recently detected in southern Africa, but its subsequent spread has been extensive, both regionally and globally1. It is expected to become dominant in the coming weeks2, probably due to enhanced transmissibility. A striking feature of this variant is the large number of spike mutations3 that pose a threat to the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapies4. This concern is amplified by the findings from our study. We found B.1.1.529 to be markedly resistant to neutralization by serum not only from convalescent patients, but also from individuals vaccinated with one of the four widely used COVID-19 vaccines. Even serum from persons vaccinated and boosted with mRNA-based vaccines exhibited substantially diminished neutralizing activity against B.1.1.529. By evaluating a panel of monoclonal antibodies to all known epitope clusters on the spike protein, we noted that the activity of 18 of the 19 antibodies tested were either abolished or impaired, including ones currently authorized or approved for use in patients. In addition, we also identified four new spike mutations (S371L, N440K, G446S, and Q493R) that confer greater antibody resistance to B.1.1.529. The Omicron variant presents a serious threat to many existing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, compelling the development of new interventions that anticipate the evolutionary trajectory of SARS-CoV-2.
90,479 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Qiang Gao, Linlin Bao, Haiyan Mao, Lin Wang, Kangwei Xu, Minnan Yang, Yajing Li, Ling Zhu, Nan Wang, Zhe Lv, Hong Gao, Xiaoqin Ge, Biao Kan, Yaling Hu, Jiangning Liu, Fang Cai, Deyu Jiang, Yanhui Yin, Chengfeng Qin, Jing Li, Xuejie Gong, Xiuyu Lou, Wen Shi, Dongdong Wu, Hengming Zhang, Lang Zhu, Wei Deng, Yurong Li, Jinxing Lu, Changgui Li, Xiangxi Wang, Weidong Yin, Yanjun Zhang, Chuan Qin
The COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has brought about an unprecedented crisis, taking a heavy toll on human health, lives as well as the global economy. There are no SARS-CoV-2-specific treatments or vaccines available due to the novelty of this virus. Hence, rapid development of effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed. Here we developed a pilot-scale production of a purified inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus vaccine candidate (PiCoVacc), which induced SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies in mice, rats and non-human primates. These antibodies potently neutralized 10 representative SARS-CoV-2 strains, indicative of a possible broader neutralizing ability against SARS-CoV-2 strains circulating worldwide. Immunization with two different doses (3 μg or 6 μg per dose) provided partial or complete protection in macaques against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, respectively, without any antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. Systematic evaluation of PiCoVacc via monitoring clinical signs, hematological and biochemical index, and histophathological analysis in macaques suggests that it is safe. These data support the rapid clinical development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for humans. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
82,411 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Linlin Bao, Wei Deng, Hong Gao, Chong Xiao, Jiayi Liu, Jing Xue, Qi Lv, Jiangning Liu, Pin Yu, Yanfeng Xu, Feifei Qi, Yajin Qu, Fengdi Li, Zhiguang Xiang, Haisheng Yu, Shuran Gong, Mingya Liu, Guanpeng Wang, Shunyi Wang, Zhiqi Song, Ying Liu, Wenjie Zhao, Yunlin Han, Linna Zhao, Xing Liu, Qiang Wei, Chuan Qin
A global pandemic of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is ongoing spread. It remains unclear whether the convalescing patients have a risk of reinfection. Rhesus macaques were rechallenged with SARS-CoV-2 during an early recovery phase from initial infection characterized by weight loss, interstitial pneumonia and systemic viral dissemination mainly in respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The monkeys rechallenged with the identical SARS-CoV-2 strain have failed to produce detectable viral dissemination, clinical manifestations and histopathological changes. A notably enhanced neutralizing antibody response might contribute the protection of rhesus macaques from the reinfection by SARS-CoV-2. Our results indicated that primary SARS-CoV-2 infection protects from subsequent reinfection. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
62,978 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
In a previous study, we reported that certain anti-spike antibodies of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV viruses can have a pathogenic effect through binding to sick lung epithelium cells and misleading immune responses to attack self-cells. We termed this new pathogenic mechanism Antibody Dependent Auto-Attack (ADAA). This study explores a drug candidate for prevention and treatment of such ADAA-based diseases. The drug candidate is a formulation comprising N-acetylneuraminic acid methyl ester (NANA-Me), an analog of N-acetylneuraminic acid. NANA-Me acts through a unique mechanism of action (MOA) which is repairment of the missing sialic acid on sick lung epithelium cells. This MOA can block the antibody binding to sick cells, which are vulnerable to pathogenic antibodies. Our in vivo data showed that the formulation significantly reduced the sickness and deaths caused by pathogenic anti-spike antibodies. Therefore, the formulation has the potential to prevent and treat the serious conditions caused by pathogenic antibodies during a COVID-19 infection. In addition, the formulation has potential to prevent and treat the adverse reactions of COVID-19 vaccines because the vaccines can induce similar antibodies, including pathogenic antibodies. The formulation will be helpful in increasing the safety of the vaccines without reducing the vaccine efficacy. Compared to existing antiviral drugs, the formulation has a unique MOA of targeting receptors, broad spectrum of indications, excellent safety profile, resistance to mutations, and can be easily produced.
62,799 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Rapidly spreading variants of SARS-CoV-2 that have arisen in the United Kingdom and South Africa share the spike N501Y substitution, which is of particular concern because it is located in the viral receptor binding site for cell entry and increases binding to the receptor (angiotensin converting enzyme 2). We generated isogenic N501 and Y501 SARS-CoV-2. Sera of 20 participants in a previously reported trial of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 had equivalent neutralizing titers to the N501 and Y501 viruses.
59,937 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
The evolution of SARS-CoV-2 could impair recognition of the virus by human antibody-mediated immunity. To facilitate prospective surveillance for such evolution, we map how convalescent serum antibodies are impacted by all mutations to the spikes receptor-binding domain (RBD), the main target of serum neutralizing activity. Binding by polyclonal serum antibodies is affected by mutations in three main epitopes in the RBD, but there is substantial variation in the impact of mutations both among individuals and within the same individual over time. Despite this inter- and intra-person heterogeneity, the mutations that most reduce antibody binding usually occur at just a few sites in the RBDs receptor binding motif. The most important site is E484, where neutralization by some sera is reduced >10-fold by several mutations, including one in emerging viral lineages in South Africa and Brazil. Going forward, these serum escape maps can inform surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 evolution.
55,574 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
The recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed formidable challenges for clinical laboratories seeking reliable laboratory diagnostic confirmation. The swift advance of the crisis in the United States has led to Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) facilitating the availability of molecular diagnostic assays without the more rigorous examination to which tests are normally subjected prior to FDA approval. Our laboratory currently uses two real time RT-PCR platforms, the Roche Cobas SARS-CoV2 and the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2. Both platforms demonstrate comparable performance; however, the run times for each assay are 3.5 hours and 45 minutes, respectively. In search for a platform with shorter turnaround time, we sought to evaluate the recently released Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 assay which is capable of producing positive results in as little as 5 minutes. We present here the results of comparisons between Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 using nasopharyngeal swabs transported in viral transport media and comparisons between Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 and Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 using nasopharyngeal swabs transported in viral transport media for Cepheid and dry nasal swabs for Abbott ID NOW. Regardless of method of collection and sample type, Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 had negative results in a third of the samples that tested positive by Cepheid Xpert Xpress when using nasopharyngeal swabs in viral transport media and 45% when using dry nasal swabs. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
53,650 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
The ability of widely-available mouthwashes to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in vitro was tested using a protocol capable of detecting a 5-log10 reduction in infectivity, under conditions mimicking the naso/oropharynx. During a 30 second exposure, two rinses containing cetylpyridinium chloride and a third with ethanol/ethyl lauroyl arginate eliminated live virus to EN14476 standards (>4-log10 reduction), while others with ethanol/essential oils and povidone-iodine (PVP-I) eliminated virus by 2-3-log10. Chlorhexidine or ethanol alone had little or no ability to inactivate virus in this assay. Studies are warranted to determine whether these formulations can inactivate virus in the human oropharynx in vivo, and whether this might impact transmission.
52,551 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Izumi Kimura, Yusuke Kosugi, Jiaqi Wu, Daichi Yamasoba, Erika P Butlertanaka, Yuri L Tanaka, Yafei Liu, Hiroyuki Yamazaki, Yasuhiro Kazuma, Ryosuke Nomura, Yoshihito Horisawa, Kenzo Tokunaga, Akifumi Takaori-Kondo, Hisashi Arase, The Genotype to Phenotype Japan (G2P-Japan) Consortium, Akatsuki Saito, So Nakagawa, Kei Sato
SARS-CoV-2 Lambda, a new variant of interest, is now spreading in some South American countries; however, its virological features and evolutionary trait remain unknown. Here we reveal that the spike protein of the Lambda variant is more infectious and it is attributed to the T76I and L452Q mutations. The RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation, a unique 7-amino-acid deletion mutation in the N-terminal domain of the Lambda spike protein, is responsible for evasion from neutralizing antibodies. Since the Lambda variant has dominantly spread according to the increasing frequency of the isolates harboring the RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation, our data suggest that the insertion of the RSYLTPGD246-253N mutation is closely associated with the massive infection spread of the Lambda variant in South America.
49,313 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Yvonne CF Su, Danielle E. Anderson, Barnaby E Young, Lijun Bai, Martin Linster, Shirin Kalimuddin, Jenny GH Low, Zhuang Yan, Jayanthi Jayakumar, Louisa Sun, Gabriel Z Yan, Ian H Mendenhall, Yee-Sin Leo, David Chien Lye, Lin-Fa Wang, Gavin J.D. Smith
To date, the SARS-CoV-2 genome has been considered genetically more stable than SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV. Here we report a 382-nt deletion covering almost the entire open reading frame 8 (ORF8) of SARS-CoV-2 obtained from eight hospitalized patients in Singapore. The deletion also removes the ORF8 transcription-regulatory sequence (TRS), which in turn enhances the downstream transcription of the N gene. We also found that viruses with the deletion have been circulating for at least four weeks. During the SARS-CoV outbreak in 2003, a number of genetic variants were observed in the human population, and similar variation has since been observed across SARS-related CoVs in humans and bats. Overwhelmingly these viruses had mutations or deletions in ORF8, that have been associated with reduced replicative fitness of the virus. This is also consistent with the observation that towards the end of the outbreak sequences obtained from human SARS cases possessed an ORF8 deletion that may be associated with host adaptation. We therefore hypothesise that the major deletion revealed in this study may lead to an attenuated phenotype of SARS-CoV-2.
47,556 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
On 11th March 2020, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). To date, there are rapidly spreading new "variants of concern" of SARS-CoV-2, the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), the South African (B.1.351) or Brasilian (P.1) variant. All of them contain multiple mutations in the ACE2 receptor recognition site of the spike protein, compared to the original Wuhan sequence, which is of great concern, because of their potential for immune escape. Here we report on the efficacy of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) to block protein-protein interaction of spike S1 to the human ACE2 cell surface receptor. This could be shown for the original spike D614, but also for its mutant forms (D614G, N501Y, and mix of K417N, E484K, N501Y) in human HEK293-hACE2 kidney and A549-hACE2-TMPRSS2 lung cells. High molecular weight compounds in the water-based extract account for this effect. Infection of lung cells using SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus particles was efficiently prevented by the extract and so was virus-triggered pro-inflammatory interleukin 6 secretion. Modern herbal monographs consider the usage of this medicinal plant as safe. Thus, the in vitro results reported here should encourage further research on the clinical relevance and applicability of the extract as prevention strategy for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
44,390 downloads bioRxiv microbiology
Xuping Xie, Yang Liu, Jianying Liu, Xianwen Zhang, Jing Zou, Camila R. Fontes-Garfias, Hongjie Xia, Kena A. Swanson, Mark Cutler, David Cooper, Vineet D Menachery, Scott Weaver, Philip Dormitzer, Pei-Yong Shi
We engineered three SARS-CoV-2 viruses containing key spike mutations from the newly emerged United Kingdom (UK) and South African (SA) variants: N501Y from UK and SA; 69/70-deletion+N501Y+D614G from UK; and E484K+N501Y+D614G from SA. Neutralization geometric mean titers (GMTs) of twenty BTN162b2 vaccine-elicited human sera against the three mutant viruses were 0.81- to 1.46-fold of the GMTs against parental virus, indicating small effects of these mutations on neutralization by sera elicited by two BNT162b2 doses.
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