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1.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266367

RESUMO

BackgroundEarly in the pandemic, transmission risk from asymptomatic infection was unclear making it imperative to monitor infection in workplace settings. Further, data on SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence within university populations has been limited. MethodsWe performed a longitudinal study of University research employees on campus July-December 2020. We conducted questionnaires on COVID-19 risk factors, RT-PCR testing, and SARS-CoV-2 serology using an in-house spike RBD assay, laboratory-based Spike NTD assay, and standard nucleocapsid platform assay. We estimated prevalence and cumulative incidence of seroconversion with 95% confidence intervals using the inverse of the Kaplan-Meier estimator. Results910 individuals were included in this analysis. At baseline, 6.2% (95% CI 4.29-8.19) were seropositive using the spike RBD assay; four (0.4%) were seropositive using the nucleocapsid assay, and 44 (4.8%) using the Spike NTD assay. Cumulative incidence was 3.61% (95% CI: 2.04-5.16). Six asymptomatic individuals had positive RT-PCR results. ConclusionsPrevalence and incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections was low; however differences in target antigens of serological tests provided different estimates. Future research on appropriate methods of serological testing in unvaccinated and vaccinated populations is needed. Frequent RT-PCR testing of asymptomatic individuals is required to detect acute infections, and repeated serosurveys are beneficial for monitoring subclinical infection.

2.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 2021 Aug 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34370700

RESUMO

The American Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic has highlighted the need to gain a better understanding of this emerging virus. The goal of this study was to describe the clinical symptoms, laboratory findings, and risk factors for symptomatic ZIKV infection in an area with ongoing transmission of other arboviral infections. We recruited patients at least 2 years of age seeking care at public health centers in León, Nicaragua, between January 2016 and August 2017, for fever, maculopapular rash, and/or nonsuppurative conjunctivitis with a duration of less than 1 week. A laboratory diagnosis of ZIKV was established using a combination of molecular and serological tests. Clinical and laboratory findings and potential risk factors were compared between participants with and without acute ZIKV infection. Fifty-eight (26%) of the 225 participants included in the analysis were found to have acute ZIKV infection. Pregnancy and reports of previous arboviral infection were associated with a higher risk of ZIKV infection. Rash, conjunctivitis, sore throat, and lower absolute neutrophil counts were associated with acute ZIKV infection. The clinical characteristics and risk factors identified were consistent with those identified by previous studies; however, we found sore throat to be a feature of ZIKV infection. We also found that neutrophil counts were lower in ZIKV-infected subjects. These clinical symptoms and laboratory data may help clinicians suspect ZIKV infection during future outbreaks.

3.
J Chem Inf Model ; 61(9): 4224-4235, 2021 09 27.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34387990

RESUMO

With the rapidly evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, there is an urgent need for the discovery of further treatments for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Drug repurposing is one of the most rapid strategies for addressing this need, and numerous compounds have already been selected for in vitro testing by several groups. These have led to a growing database of molecules with in vitro activity against the virus. Machine learning models can assist drug discovery through prediction of the best compounds based on previously published data. Herein, we have implemented several machine learning methods to develop predictive models from recent SARS-CoV-2 in vitro inhibition data and used them to prioritize additional FDA-approved compounds for in vitro testing selected from our in-house compound library. From the compounds predicted with a Bayesian machine learning model, lumefantrine, an antimalarial was selected for testing and showed limited antiviral activity in cell-based assays while demonstrating binding (Kd 259 nM) to the spike protein using microscale thermophoresis. Several other compounds which we prioritized have since been tested by others and were also found to be active in vitro. This combined machine learning and in vitro testing approach can be expanded to virtually screen available molecules with predicted activity against SARS-CoV-2 reference WIV04 strain and circulating variants of concern. In the process of this work, we have created multiple iterations of machine learning models that can be used as a prioritization tool for SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drug discovery programs. The very latest model for SARS-CoV-2 with over 500 compounds is now freely available at www.assaycentral.org.


Assuntos
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Teorema de Bayes , Humanos , Aprendizado de Máquina , Simulação de Acoplamento Molecular
4.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21258011

RESUMO

BackgroundWhile SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus isolation in outpatients with COVID-19 has been associated with viral RNA levels and symptom duration, little is known about the host, disease and viral determinants of infectious virus detection. MethodsCOVID-19 adult outpatients were enrolled within 7 days of symptom onset. Clinical symptoms were recorded via patient diary. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected to quantitate SARS-CoV-2 RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and for infectious virus isolation in Vero E6-cells. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were measured in serum using a validated ELISA assay. ResultsAmong 204 participants with mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID19, the median nasopharyngeal viral RNA was 6.5 (IQR 4.7-7.6 log10 copies/mL), and 26% had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (IgA, IgM, IgG, and/or total Ig) at baseline. Infectious virus was recovered in 7% of participants with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies compared to 58% of participants without antibodies (probability ratio (PR)=0.12, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.36; p=0.00016). Infectious virus isolation was also associated with higher levels of viral RNA (mean RNA difference +2.6 log10, 95% CI: 2.2, 3.0; p<0.0001) and fewer days since symptom onset (PR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.71, 0.88 per day; p<0.0001). ConclusionsThe presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies is strongly associated with clearance of infectious virus isolation. Seropositivity and viral RNA levels are likely more reliable markers of infectious virus clearance than subjective measure of COVID-19 symptom duration. Virus-targeted treatment and prevention strategies should be administered as early as possible and ideally before seroconversion. ClinicalTrials.gov IdentifierNCT04405570 Key Points (Summary)Among COVID-19 outpatients within 7 days of symptom onset, the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies was strongly associated with clearance of infectious virus. Seropositivity appears to be more reliable marker of infectious virus clearance than subjective measure of COVID-19 symptoms.

5.
Preprint em Inglês | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-449100

RESUMO

With the advance of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the outlook for overcoming the global COVID-19 pandemic has improved. However, understanding of immunity and protection offered by the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines against circulating variants of concern (VOC) is rapidly evolving. We investigated the mRNA vaccine-induced antibody responses against the referent WIV04 (Wuhan) strain, circulating variants, and human endemic coronaviruses in 168 naive and previously infected people at three-time points. Samples were collected prior to vaccination, after the first and after the second doses of one of the two available mRNA-based vaccines. After full vaccination, both naive and previously infected participants developed comparable robust SARS-CoV-2 specific spike IgG levels, modest IgM and IgA binding antibodies, and varying degrees of HCoV cross-reactive antibodies. However, the strength and frequency of neutralizing antibodies produced in naive people were significantly lower than in the previously infected group. We also found that 1/3rd of previously infected people had undetectable neutralizing antibodies after the first vaccine dose; 40% of this group developed neutralizing antibodies after the second dose. In all subjects neutralizing antibodies produced against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants were weaker than those produced against the reference and B.1.1.7 strains. Our findings provide support for future booster vaccinations modified to be active against the circulating variants.

6.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21256122

RESUMO

New information is emerging about SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology and immunity, but little of this information comes from low- and middle-income countries or from patients receiving care in the outpatient setting. The current study investigated the SARS-CoV-2 infection status and antibody responses in 157 patients seeking care for a respiratory disease suggestive of COVID-19 in private healthcare clinics during the first wave (June-October 2020) of infections in Nicaragua. We examined nasal swabs for the presence of viral RNA via RT-PCR and longitudinally collected sera for the changes in SARS-CoV-2 Spike antibody levels over six months. Among patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, we evaluated if clinical symptoms were associated with age, hematological parameters and co-morbidities. The combination of PCR and paired serology identified 60 (38%) of the 157 outpatients as acute COVID-19. While both PCR and serology identified the majority (n = 38, 64%) of the acute infections, a notable number of outpatients were identified by RT-qPCR (n = 13, 22%) or by serology (n = 9, 14%) only. During the longitudinal study, we identified 6 new infections by serology among the 97 non-COVID-19 subjects. In conclusion, this study report that more than one third of the outpatients seeking care for acute respiratory disease during the first epidemic wave of SARS-CoV-2 in Nicaragua had an acute mild COVID-19 infection that correlate with prolonged humoral response. This immune response to the RBD antigen, more likely IgG dependent, significantly increased between the acute to convalescent and decay in the late convalescent but still remained seropositive.

7.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21254320

RESUMO

BackgroundRobust community-level SARS-CoV-2 prevalence estimates have been difficult to obtain in the American South and outside of major metropolitan areas. Furthermore, though some previous studies have investigated the association of demographic factors such as race with SARS-CoV-2 exposure risk, fewer have correlated exposure risk to surrogates for socioeconomic status such as health insurance coverage. MethodsWe used a highly specific serological assay utilizing the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein to identify SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in remnant blood samples collected by the University of North Carolina Health system. We estimated the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in this cohort with Bayesian regression, as well as the association of critical demographic factors with higher prevalence odds. FindingsBetween April 21st and October 3rd of 2020, a total of 9,624 unique samples were collected from clinical sites in central NC and we observed a seroprevalence increase from 2{middle dot}9 (1{middle dot}7, 4{middle dot}3) to 9{middle dot}1 (7{middle dot}2, 11{middle dot}1) over the study period. Individuals who identified as Latinx were associated with the highest odds ratio of SARS-CoV-2 exposure at 7{middle dot}77 overall (5{middle dot}20, 12{middle dot}10). Increased odds were also observed among Black individuals and individuals without public or private health insurance. InterpretationOur data suggests that for this care-accessing cohort, SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was significantly higher than cumulative total cases reported for the study geographical area six months into the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina. The increased odds of seropositivity by ethnoracial grouping as well as health insurance highlights the urgent and ongoing need to address underlying health and social disparities in these populations. RESEARCH IN CONTEXTO_ST_ABSEvidence before this studyC_ST_ABSWe searched PubMed for studies published through March 21st, 2021. We used search terms that included "COVID-19", "SARS-CoV-2", "prevalence" and "seroprevalence". Our search resulted in 399 papers, from which we identified 58 relevant studies describing SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence at sites around the United States from March 1 to December 9, 2020, 12 of which utilized remnant clinical samples and three of which overlapped with our study area. Most notably, one study of 4,422 asymptomatic inpatients and outpatients in central NC from April 28-June 19, 2020 found an estimated seroprevalence of 0{middle dot}7 -0{middle dot}8%, and another study of 177,919 inpatients and outpatients (3,817 from NC) from July 27-September 24, 2020 found an estimated seroprevalence of 2{middle dot}5 -6{middle dot}8%. Added value of this studyThis is the largest SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence cohort published to date in NC. Importantly, we used a Bayesian framework to account for uncertainty in antibody assay sensitivity and specificity and investigated seropositivity by important demographic variables that have not yet been studied in this context in NC. This study corroborates other reports that specific demographic factors including race, ethnicity and the lack of public or private insurance are associated with elevated risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, in a subset of serum samples, we identify other SARS-CoV-2 antibodies elicited by these individuals, including functionally neutralizing antibodies. Implications of all the available evidenceIt is difficult to say the exact seroprevalence in the central North Carolina area, but a greater proportion of the population accessing healthcare has been infected by SARS-CoV-2 than is reflected by infection cases confirmed by molecular testing. Furthermore, local governments need to prioritize addressing the many forms of systemic racism and socioeconomic disadvantage that drive SARS-CoV-2 exposure risk, such as residential and occupational risk, and an urgent need to provide access to SARS-CoV-2 testing and vaccination to these groups.

8.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21253173

RESUMO

BackgroundFew prospective studies of SARS-CoV-2 transmission within households have been reported from the United States, where COVID-19 cases are the highest in the world and the pandemic has had disproportionate impact on communities of color. Methods and FindingsThis is a prospective observational study. Between April-October 2020, the UNC CO-HOST study enrolled 102 COVID-positive persons and 213 of their household members across the Piedmont region of North Carolina, including 45% who identified as Hispanic/Latinx or non-white. Households were enrolled a median of 6 days from onset of symptoms in the index case. Secondary cases within the household were detected either by PCR of a nasopharyngeal (NP) swab on study day 1 and weekly nasal swabs (days 7, 14, 21) thereafter, or based on seroconversion by day 28. After excluding household contacts exposed at the same time as the index case, the secondary attack rate (SAR) among susceptible household contacts was 60% (106/176, 95% CI 53%-67%). The majority of secondary cases were already infected at study enrollment (73/106), while 33 were observed during study follow-up. Despite the potential for continuous exposure and sequential transmission over time, 93% (84/90, 95% CI 86%-97%) of PCR-positive secondary cases were detected within 14 days of symptom onset in the index case, while 83% were detected within 10 days. Index cases with high NP viral load (>10^6 viral copies/ul) at enrollment were more likely to transmit virus to household contacts during the study (OR 4.9, 95% CI 1.3-18 p=0.02). Furthermore, NP viral load was correlated within families (ICC=0.44, 95% CI 0.26-0.60), meaning persons in the same household were more likely to have similar viral loads, suggesting an inoculum effect. High household living density was associated with a higher risk of secondary household transmission (OR 5.8, 95% CI 1.3-55) for households with >3 persons occupying <6 rooms (SAR=91%, 95% CI 71-98%). Index cases who self-identified as Hispanic/Latinx or non-white were more likely to experience a high living density and transmit virus to a household member, translating into an SAR in minority households of 70%, versus 52% in white households (p=0.05). ConclusionsSARS-CoV-2 transmits early and often among household members. Risk for spread and subsequent disease is elevated in high-inoculum households with limited living space. Very high infection rates due to household crowding likely contribute to the increased incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and morbidity observed among racial and ethnic minorities in the US. Quarantine for 14 days from symptom onset of the first case in the household is appropriate to prevent onward transmission from the household. Ultimately, primary prevention through equitable distribution of effective vaccines is of paramount importance. AUTHORS SUMMARYO_ST_ABSWhy was this study done?C_ST_ABSO_LIUnderstanding the secondary attack rate and the timing of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within households is important to determine the role of household transmission in the larger pandemic and to guide public health policies about quarantine. C_LIO_LIProspective studies looking at the determinants of household transmission are sparse, particularly studies including substantial racial and ethnic minorities in the United States and studies with adequate follow-up to detect sequential transmission events. C_LIO_LIIdentifying individuals at high risk of transmitting and acquiring SARS-CoV-2 will inform strategies for reducing transmission in the household, or reducing disease in those exposed. C_LI What did the researchers do and find?O_LIBetween April-November 2020, the UNC CO-HOST study enrolled 102 households across the Piedmont region of North Carolina, including 45% with an index case who identified as racial or ethnic minorities. C_LIO_LIOverall secondary attack rate was 60% with two-thirds of cases already infected at study enrollment. C_LIO_LIDespite the potential for sequential transmission in the household, the majority of secondary cases were detected within 10 days of symptom onset of the index case. C_LIO_LIViral loads were correlated within families, suggesting an inoculum effect. C_LIO_LIHigh viral load in the index case was associated with a greater likelihood of household transmission. C_LIO_LISpouses/partners of the COVID-positive index case and household members with obesity were at higher risk of becoming infected. C_LIO_LIHigh household living density contributed to an increased risk of household transmission. C_LIO_LIRacial/ethnic minorities had an increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 in their households in comparison to members of the majority (white) racial group. C_LI What do these findings mean?O_LIHousehold transmission often occurs quickly after a household member is infected. C_LIO_LIHigh viral load increases the risk of transmission. C_LIO_LIHigh viral load cases cluster within households - suggesting high viral inoculum in the index case may put the whole household at risk for more severe disease. C_LIO_LIIncreased household density may promote transmission within racial and ethnic minority households. C_LIO_LIEarly at-home point-of-care testing, and ultimately vaccination, is necessary to effectively decrease household transmission. C_LI

9.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21252447

RESUMO

In a Nicaraguan population-based cohort, SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 34%, with higher prevalence in children compared to adults. Having a seropositive household member was associated with a two-fold probability of individual seropositivity, suggesting a role for household transmission. Co-morbidities and preventive behaviors were not associated with SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence.

10.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21250493

RESUMO

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has now caused over 2 million deaths worldwide and continues to expand. Currently, much is unknown about functionally neutralizing human antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2. Using convalescent sera collected from 101 COVID-19 recovered individuals 21-212 days after symptom onset with forty-eight additional longitudinal samples, we measured functionality and durability of serum antibodies. We also evaluated associations between individual demographic and clinical parameters with functional neutralizing antibody responses to COVID-19. We found robust antibody durability out to six months, as well as significant positive associations with the magnitude of the neutralizing antibody response and male sex. We also show that SARS-CoV-2 convalescent neutralizing antibodies are higher in individuals with cardio-metabolic comorbidities. SignificanceIn this study we found that neutralizing antibody responses in COVID-19 convalescent individuals vary in magnitude but are durable and correlate well with RBD Ig binding antibody levels compared to other SARS-CoV-2 antigen responses. In our cohort, higher neutralizing antibody titers are independently and significantly associated with male sex compared to female sex. We also show for the first time, that higher convalescent antibody titers in male donors are associated with increased age and symptom grade. Furthermore, cardio-metabolic co-morbidities are associated with higher antibody titers independently of sex. Here, we present an in-depth evaluation of serologic, demographic, and clinical correlates of functional antibody responses and durability to SARS-CoV-2.

11.
Preprint em Inglês | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-407361

RESUMO

SARS-CoV-2 is a newly identified virus that has resulted in over 1.3 M deaths globally and over 59 M cases globally to date. Small molecule inhibitors that reverse disease severity have proven difficult to discover. One of the key approaches that has been widely applied in an effort to speed up the translation of drugs is drug repurposing. A few drugs have shown in vitro activity against Ebola virus and demonstrated activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo. Most notably the RNA polymerase targeting remdesivir demonstrated activity in vitro and efficacy in the early stage of the disease in humans. Testing other small molecule drugs that are active against Ebola virus would seem a reasonable strategy to evaluate their potential for SARS-CoV-2. We have previously repurposed pyronaridine, tilorone and quinacrine (from malaria, influenza, and antiprotozoal uses, respectively) as inhibitors of Ebola and Marburg virus in vitro in HeLa cells and of mouse adapted Ebola virus in mouse in vivo. We have now tested these three drugs in various cell lines (VeroE6, Vero76, Caco-2, Calu-3, A549-ACE2, HUH-7 and monocytes) infected with SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viruses (including MHV and HCoV 229E). The compilation of these results indicated considerable variability in antiviral activity observed across cell lines. We found that tilorone and pyronaridine inhibited the virus replication in A549-ACE2 cells with IC50 values of 180 nM and IC50 198 nM, respectively. We have also tested them in a pseudovirus assay and used microscale thermophoresis to test the binding of these molecules to the spike protein. They bind to spike RBD protein with Kd values of 339 nM and 647 nM, respectively. Human Cmax for pyronaridine and quinacrine is greater than the IC50 hence justifying in vivo evaluation. We also provide novel insights into their mechanism which is likely lysosomotropic.

12.
Preprint em Inglês | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20093377

RESUMO

A new Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus variant (SARS-CoV-2) that first emerged in late 2019 is responsible for a pandemic of severe respiratory illness. People infected with this highly contagious virus present with clinically inapparent, mild or severe disease. Currently, the presence of the virus in individual patients and at the population level is being monitored by testing symptomatic cases by PCR for the presence of viral RNA. There is an urgent need for SARS-CoV-2 serologic tests to identify all infected individuals, irrespective of clinical symptoms, to conduct surveillance and implement strategies to contain spread. As the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike (S) protein is poorly conserved between SARS-CoVs and other pathogenic human coronaviruses, the RBD represents a promising antigen for detecting CoV specific antibodies in people. Here we use a large panel of human sera (70 SARS-CoV-2 patients and 71 control subjects) and hyperimmune sera from animals exposed to zoonotic CoVs to evaluate the performance of the RBD as an antigen for accurate detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. By day 9 after the onset of symptoms, the recombinant SARS-CoV-2 RBD antigen was highly sensitive (98%) and specific (100%) to antibodies induced by SARS-CoVs. We observed a robust correlation between levels of RBD binding antibodies and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in patients. Our results, which reveal the early kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses, strongly support the use of RBD-based antibody assays for population-level surveillance and as a correlate of neutralizing antibody levels in people who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infections.

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