Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 35122

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, The Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Interests: mechanisms of new pandemic virus; viral pathogen emergences; innovative diagnostics; novel interventions

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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Interests: pathogenic microbes; mechanisms of infection; colonization in host
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Animal Science, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Interests: B cell memory; generation, regulation, and self-maintaining of B cell memory
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Both human and non-human animal species are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and multiple spillovers from humans to non-human animal hosts have been documented, including amongst companion animals, farmed animals, and captive and free-living animal wildlife. The recent findings of widespread SARS-CoV-2 infection in free-living white-tailed deer highlight an urgent need to address the many open questions relating to the role of various animal hosts in the natural ecology and evolution, pathogenesis, transmission dynamics, and host responses of SARS-CoV-2 in non-human animal hosts.

For this Special Issue, we encourage colleagues to submit original manuscripts, case reports, and targeted reviews relating to the ecology and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in non-human animal hosts. Epidemiological and laboratory studies regarding reverse zoonoses, transmission dynamics at the animal–human interface, the SARS-CoV-2 surveillance of animal populations, and the identification of animal reservoirs are strongly encouraged. Manuscripts describing comparative and mechanistic studies relating to the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, host innate and adaptive immune response, and virus adaptation in humans and animals are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Suresh V. Kuchipudi
Prof. Dr. Vivek Kapur
Prof. Dr. Joshy Jacob
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • animal-human interface
  • animal reservoirs
  • one health
  • pathogenicity and pathogenesis
  • spillover and spillback
  • surveillance
  • virus evolution and adaptation
  • zoonoses and reverse zoonoses

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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8 pages, 227 KiB  
Communication
Pet Animals Were Infected with SARS-CoV-2 from Their Owners Who Developed COVID-19: Case Series Study
by Yudai Kuroda, Kei Watanabe, Tsukasa Yamamoto, Hiroki Suzuki, Eun-sil Park, Keita Ishijima, Kango Tatemoto, Milagros Virhuez-Mendoza, Yusuke Inoue, Michiko Harada, Ayano Nishino, Tsuyoshi Sekizuka, Makoto Kuroda, Tsuguto Fujimoto, Genki Ishihara, Ryo Horie, Kosuke Kawamoto and Ken Maeda
Viruses 2023, 15(10), 2028; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15102028 - 29 Sep 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1467
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among pets owned by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients has been reported around the world. However, how often the animals are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by their owners is still unclear. We have collected swab samples [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among pets owned by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients has been reported around the world. However, how often the animals are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by their owners is still unclear. We have collected swab samples from COVID-19 patients’ pets and performed real-time RT-PCR to detect the viral genome. In total, 8 of 53 dogs (15.1%) and 5 of 34 cats (14.7%) tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 N gene. The result of a virus neutralization (VN) test also showed VN antibodies in four cats and six dogs. Our results indicate that the virus often passed from infected owners to their pets, which then excreted the virus despite having no or mild clinical signs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
16 pages, 2844 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Serological Investigation of White-Tailed Deer in Northeastern Ohio
by Patricia A. Boley, Patricia M. Dennis, Julia N. Faraone, Jiayu Xu, Mingde Liu, Xiaoyu Niu, Stormy Gibson, Vanessa Hale, Qiuhong Wang, Shan-Lu Liu, Linda J. Saif and Scott P. Kenney
Viruses 2023, 15(7), 1603; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15071603 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1628
Abstract
Coronaviruses are known to cross species barriers, and spill over among animals, from animals to humans, and vice versa. SARS-CoV-2 emerged in humans in late 2019. It is now known to infect numerous animal species, including companion animals and captive wildlife species. Experimental [...] Read more.
Coronaviruses are known to cross species barriers, and spill over among animals, from animals to humans, and vice versa. SARS-CoV-2 emerged in humans in late 2019. It is now known to infect numerous animal species, including companion animals and captive wildlife species. Experimental infections in other animals have established that many species are susceptible to infection, with new ones still being identified. We have developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detecting antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) and spike (S) proteins, that is both sensitive and specific. It can detect S antibodies in sera at dilutions greater than 1:10,000, and does not cross-react with antibodies to the other coronaviruses tested. We used the S antibody ELISA to test serum samples collected from 472 deer from ten sites in northeastern Ohio between November 2020 and March 2021, when the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was first peaking in humans in Ohio, USA. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were found in serum samples from every site, with an overall positivity rate of 17.2%; we further compared the viral neutralizing antibody titers to our ELISA results. These findings demonstrate the need to establish surveillance programs to monitor deer and other susceptible wildlife species globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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12 pages, 1069 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Prevalence and Variant Surveillance among Cats in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
by Santhamani Ramasamy, Abhinay Gontu, Sabarinath Neerukonda, Diana Ruggiero, Becky Morrow, Sheweta Gupta, Saranya Amirthalingam, John M. Hardham, Joshua T. Lizer, Michele Yon, Ruth H. Nissly, Padmaja Jakka, Shubhada K. Chothe, Lindsey C. LaBella, Deepanker Tewari, Meera Surendran Nair and Suresh V. Kuchipudi
Viruses 2023, 15(7), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15071493 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1880
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects many mammals, and SARS-CoV-2 circulation in nonhuman animals may increase the risk of novel variant emergence. Cats are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and there were cases of virus transmission between cats and humans. The objective [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects many mammals, and SARS-CoV-2 circulation in nonhuman animals may increase the risk of novel variant emergence. Cats are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and there were cases of virus transmission between cats and humans. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 variant infection of cats in an urban setting. We investigated the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 variant infections in domestic and community cats in the city of Pittsburgh (n = 272). While no cats tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA, 35 cats (12.86%) tested SARS-CoV-2-antibody-positive. Further, we compared a cat-specific experimental lateral flow assay (eLFA) and species-agnostic surrogate virus neutralization assay (sVNT) for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection in cats (n = 71). The eLFA demonstrated 100% specificity compared to sVNT. The eLFA also showed 100% sensitivity for sera with >90% inhibition and 63.63% sensitivity for sera with 40–89% inhibition in sVNT. Using a variant-specific pseudovirus neutralization assay (pVNT) and antigen cartography, we found the presence of antibodies to pre-Omicron and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants. Hence, this approach proves valuable in identifying cat exposure to different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Our results highlight the continued exposure of cats to SARS-CoV-2 and warrant coordinated surveillance efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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16 pages, 6851 KiB  
Article
Little Brown Bats (Myotis lucifugus) Support the Binding of SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Are Likely Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 Infection
by Shubhada K. Chothe, Padmaja Jakka, Veda Sheersh Boorla, Santhamani Ramasamy, Abhinay Gontu, Ruth H. Nissly, Justin Brown, Gregory Turner, Brent J. Sewall, DeeAnn M. Reeder, Kenneth A. Field, Julie B. Engiles, Saranya Amirthalingam, Abirami Ravichandran, Lindsey LaBella, Meera Surendran Nair, Costas D. Maranas and Suresh V. Kuchipudi
Viruses 2023, 15(5), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15051103 - 30 Apr 2023
Viewed by 3213
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), believed to have originated from a bat species, can infect a wide range of non-human hosts. Bats are known to harbor hundreds of coronaviruses capable of spillover into human populations. Recent studies have shown a significant variation [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), believed to have originated from a bat species, can infect a wide range of non-human hosts. Bats are known to harbor hundreds of coronaviruses capable of spillover into human populations. Recent studies have shown a significant variation in the susceptibility among bat species to SARS-CoV-2 infection. We show that little brown bats (LBB) express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor and the transmembrane serine protease 2, which are accessible to and support SARS-CoV-2 binding. All-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations revealed that LBB ACE2 formed strong electrostatic interactions with the RBD similar to human and cat ACE2 proteins. In summary, LBBs, a widely distributed North American bat species, could be at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and potentially serve as a natural reservoir. Finally, our framework, combining in vitro and in silico methods, is a useful tool to assess the SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility of bats and other animal species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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21 pages, 2907 KiB  
Article
The Isolation and In Vitro Differentiation of Primary Fetal Baboon Tracheal Epithelial Cells for the Study of SARS-CoV-2 Host-Virus Interactions
by Bharathiraja Subramaniyan, Sunam Gurung, Manish Bodas, Andrew R. Moore, Jason L. Larabee, Darlene Reuter, Constantin Georgescu, Jonathan D. Wren, Dean A. Myers, James F. Papin and Matthew S. Walters
Viruses 2023, 15(4), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15040862 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1601
Abstract
The mucociliary airway epithelium lines the human airways and is the primary site of host-environmental interactions in the lung. Following virus infection, airway epithelial cells initiate an innate immune response to suppress virus replication. Therefore, defining the virus-host interactions of the mucociliary airway [...] Read more.
The mucociliary airway epithelium lines the human airways and is the primary site of host-environmental interactions in the lung. Following virus infection, airway epithelial cells initiate an innate immune response to suppress virus replication. Therefore, defining the virus-host interactions of the mucociliary airway epithelium is critical for understanding the mechanisms that regulate virus infection, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Non-human primates (NHP) are closely related to humans and provide a model to study human disease. However, ethical considerations and high costs can restrict the use of in vivo NHP models. Therefore, there is a need to develop in vitro NHP models of human respiratory virus infection that would allow for rapidly characterizing virus tropism and the suitability of specific NHP species to model human infection. Using the olive baboon (Papio anubis), we have developed methodologies for the isolation, in vitro expansion, cryopreservation, and mucociliary differentiation of primary fetal baboon tracheal epithelial cells (FBTECs). Furthermore, we demonstrate that in vitro differentiated FBTECs are permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection and produce a potent host innate-immune response. In summary, we have developed an in vitro NHP model that provides a platform for the study of SARS-CoV-2 infection and other human respiratory viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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11 pages, 240 KiB  
Article
Decreased Clinical Severity of Pediatric Acute COVID-19 and MIS-C and Increase of Incidental Cases during the Omicron Wave in Comparison to the Delta Wave
by Patrick O. Kenney, Arthur J. Chang, Lorna Krabill and Mark D. Hicar
Viruses 2023, 15(1), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15010180 - 7 Jan 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4156
Abstract
This study describes differences in clinical presentation in hospitalized children with acute COVID-19 and MIS-C between the Delta and Omicron (BA.1.1) waves in a tertiary children’s hospital. This retrospective cohort study with case adjudication of hospitalized children with SARS-CoV-2-positive testing or MIS-C diagnosis [...] Read more.
This study describes differences in clinical presentation in hospitalized children with acute COVID-19 and MIS-C between the Delta and Omicron (BA.1.1) waves in a tertiary children’s hospital. This retrospective cohort study with case adjudication of hospitalized children with SARS-CoV-2-positive testing or MIS-C diagnosis occurred during the Delta and Omicron waves, from August 2021 until February 2022. There were no differences noted by race, but both waves disproportionally affected black children (24% and 25%). Assigned by a three-person expert panel, incidental diagnoses were higher in the Omicron wave (34% versus 19%). Hospitalization rates of non-incidental cases were higher during Omicron (3.8 versus 5.9 per 1000 PCR-positive community cases). Respiratory-related admissions were prominent during Delta, while Omicron clinical presentations varied, including a high number of cases of croup and seizures. Length of stay and ICU use during Omicron was significantly less than Delta for MIS-C and acute cases. Estimation of vaccination efficacy for preventing hospital admissions was 85.1–91.7% in the early Omicron period. Our estimates suggest that a protective role for vaccination continues into the Omicron wave. The high rate of incidental cases during the Omicron wave should be considered when reviewing more cursory summative data sets. This study emphasizes the need for continued clinical suspicion of COVID-19 even when lower respiratory symptoms are not dominant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
20 pages, 1331 KiB  
Article
One Health Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 in People and Animals on Multiple Mink Farms in Utah
by Caitlin M. Cossaboom, Natalie M. Wendling, Nathaniel M. Lewis, Hannah Rettler, Robert R. Harvey, Brian R. Amman, Jonathan S. Towner, Jessica R. Spengler, Robert Erickson, Cindy Burnett, Erin L. Young, Kelly Oakeson, Ann Carpenter, Markus H. Kainulainen, Payel Chatterjee, Mike Flint, Anna Uehara, Yan Li, Jing Zhang, Anna Kelleher, Brian Lynch, Adam C. Retchless, Suxiang Tong, Ausaf Ahmad, Paige Bunkley, Claire Godino, Owen Herzegh, Jan Drobeniuc, Jane Rooney, Dean Taylor and Casey Barton Behraveshadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Viruses 2023, 15(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15010096 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3733
Abstract
From July–November 2020, mink (Neogale vison) on 12 Utah farms experienced an increase in mortality rates due to confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We conducted epidemiologic investigations on six farms to identify the source of virus introduction, track cross-species transmission, and assess viral [...] Read more.
From July–November 2020, mink (Neogale vison) on 12 Utah farms experienced an increase in mortality rates due to confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We conducted epidemiologic investigations on six farms to identify the source of virus introduction, track cross-species transmission, and assess viral evolution. Interviews were conducted and specimens were collected from persons living or working on participating farms and from multiple animal species. Swabs and sera were tested by SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and serological assays, respectively. Whole genome sequencing was attempted for specimens with cycle threshold values <30. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected by rRT-PCR or serology in ≥1 person, farmed mink, dog, and/or feral cat on each farm. Sequence analysis showed high similarity between mink and human sequences on corresponding farms. On farms sampled at multiple time points, mink tested rRT-PCR positive up to 16 weeks post-onset of increased mortality. Workers likely introduced SARS-CoV-2 to mink, and mink transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to other animal species; mink-to-human transmission was not identified. Our findings provide critical evidence to support interventions to prevent and manage SARS-CoV-2 in people and animals on mink farms and emphasizes the importance of a One Health approach to address emerging zoonoses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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10 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
Timely Resolution of SARS-CoV-2-Related Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Children
by Daniel D. Reiff and Randy Q. Cron
Viruses 2023, 15(1), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15010094 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1318
Abstract
Background: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a severe, postinfectious manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the pediatric population. The disease is manifested by hyperinflammation and can result in cardiac dysfunction, coronary changes, and end-organ damage. Adequate timely treatment can [...] Read more.
Background: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a severe, postinfectious manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the pediatric population. The disease is manifested by hyperinflammation and can result in cardiac dysfunction, coronary changes, and end-organ damage. Adequate timely treatment can prevent poor outcomes in the short term, but long-term data is lacking. Methods: A large single center MIS-C cohort was followed longitudinally after treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) ± glucocorticoids to determine the natural history of the disease and to describe improvement in laboratory markers and cardiac outcomes. Patient were stratified by disease severity and compared. Results: 137 patients were identified with demographics similar to previously described cohorts. Regardless of disease severity, when adequately treated, initial lab abnormalities rapidly improved by the 6–8 month follow-up period, with some resolved in as little as 1–2 weeks. Similarly, cardiac abnormalities improved quickly after treatment; all abnormalities resolved in this cohort by 1–2 months post-hospitalization. Conclusions: Although MIS-C is a serious sequela of COVID-19, when identified quickly and treated aggressively, laboratory abnormalities, coronary dilatation, and systolic dysfunction rapidly improve with minimal long-term morbidity or mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
8 pages, 900 KiB  
Article
Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 Mutational Signatures from 1.5+ Million Raw Sequencing Samples
by Andrea Aroldi, Fabrizio Angaroni, Deborah D’Aliberti, Silvia Spinelli, Ilaria Crespiatico, Valentina Crippa, Rocco Piazza, Alex Graudenzi and Daniele Ramazzotti
Viruses 2023, 15(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15010007 - 20 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
We present a large-scale analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) substitutions, considering 1,585,456 high-quality raw sequencing samples, aimed at investigating the existence and quantifying the effect of mutational processes causing mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes when interacting with the human host. [...] Read more.
We present a large-scale analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) substitutions, considering 1,585,456 high-quality raw sequencing samples, aimed at investigating the existence and quantifying the effect of mutational processes causing mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes when interacting with the human host. As a result, we confirmed the presence of three well-differentiated mutational processes likely ruled by reactive oxygen species (ROS), apolipoprotein B editing complex (APOBEC), and adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR). We then evaluated the activity of these mutational processes in different continental groups, showing that some samples from Africa present a significantly higher number of substitutions, most likely due to higher APOBEC activity. We finally analyzed the activity of mutational processes across different SARS-CoV-2 variants, and we found a significantly lower number of mutations attributable to APOBEC activity in samples assigned to the Omicron variant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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14 pages, 1418 KiB  
Article
GPS Tracking of Free-Roaming Cats (Felis catus) on SARS-CoV-2-Infected Mink Farms in Utah
by Brian R. Amman, Caitlin M. Cossaboom, Natalie M. Wendling, R. Reid Harvey, Hannah Rettler, Dean Taylor, Markus H. Kainulainen, Ausaf Ahmad, Paige Bunkley, Claire Godino, Suxiang Tong, Yan Li, Anna Uehara, Anna Kelleher, Jing Zhang, Brian Lynch, Casey Barton Behravesh and Jonathan S. Towner
Viruses 2022, 14(10), 2131; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14102131 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3432
Abstract
Zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected humans to other animals has been documented around the world, most notably in mink farming operations in Europe and the United States. Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 on Utah mink farms began in late July 2020 and resulted in [...] Read more.
Zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected humans to other animals has been documented around the world, most notably in mink farming operations in Europe and the United States. Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 on Utah mink farms began in late July 2020 and resulted in high mink mortality. An investigation of these outbreaks revealed active and past SARS-CoV-2 infections in free-roaming and in feral cats living on or near several mink farms. Cats were captured using live traps, were sampled, fitted with GPS collars, and released on the farms. GPS tracking of these cats show they made frequent visits to mink sheds, moved freely around the affected farms, and visited surrounding residential properties and neighborhoods on multiple occasions, making them potential low risk vectors of additional SARS-CoV-2 spread in local communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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20 pages, 1040 KiB  
Article
Manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Mink Related to Host-, Virus- and Farm-Associated Factors, The Netherlands 2020
by Wendy J. Wolters, Myrna M. T. de Rooij, Robert Jan Molenaar, Jan de Rond, J. C. M. Vernooij, Paola A. Meijer, Bas B. Oude Munnink, Reina S. Sikkema, Arco N. van der Spek, Marcel A. H. Spierenburg, Renate W. Hakze-van der Honing, Wim H. M. van der Poel, Marion P. G. Koopmans, J. Arjan Stegeman, Lidwien A. M. Smit, Marieke Augustijn-Schretlen and Francisca C. Velkers
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081754 - 11 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2619
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks on 69 Dutch mink farms in 2020 were studied to identify risk factors for virus introduction and transmission and to improve surveillance and containment measures. Clinical signs, laboratory test results, and epidemiological aspects were investigated, such as the date and reason [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks on 69 Dutch mink farms in 2020 were studied to identify risk factors for virus introduction and transmission and to improve surveillance and containment measures. Clinical signs, laboratory test results, and epidemiological aspects were investigated, such as the date and reason of suspicion, housing, farm size and distances, human contact structure, biosecurity measures, and presence of wildlife, pets, pests, and manure management. On seven farms, extensive random sampling was performed, and age, coat color, sex, and clinical signs were recorded. Mild to severe respiratory signs and general diseases such as apathy, reduced feed intake, and increased mortality were detected on 62/69 farms. Throat swabs were more likely to result in virus detection than rectal swabs. Clinical signs differed between virus clusters and were more severe for dark-colored mink, males, and animals infected later during the year. Geographical clustering was found for one virus cluster. Shared personnel could explain some cases, but other transmission routes explaining farm-to-farm spread were not elucidated. An early warning surveillance system, strict biosecurity measures, and a (temporary) ban on mink farming and vaccinating animals and humans can contribute to reducing the risks of the virus spreading and acquisition of potential mutations relevant to human and animal health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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Review

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22 pages, 18737 KiB  
Review
Structural Plasticity and Immune Evasion of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Variants
by Dibya Ghimire, Yang Han and Maolin Lu
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061255 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2730
Abstract
The global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has significantly affected every human life and overloaded the health care system worldwide. Limited therapeutic options combined with the consecutive waves of the infection and emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 [...] Read more.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has significantly affected every human life and overloaded the health care system worldwide. Limited therapeutic options combined with the consecutive waves of the infection and emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially variants of concern (VOCs), have prolonged the COVID-19 pandemic and challenged its control. The Spike (S) protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 is the primary target exposed to the host and essential for virus entry into cells. The parental (Wuhan-Hu-1 or USA/WA1 strain) S protein is the virus-specific component of currently implemented vaccines. However, S is most prone to mutations, potentially shifting the dynamics of virus-host interactions by affecting S conformational/structural profiles. Scientists have rapidly resolved atomic structures of S VOCs and elucidated molecular details of these mutations, which can inform the design of S-directed novel therapeutics and broadly protective vaccines. Here, we discuss recent findings on S-associated virus transmissibility and immune evasion of SARS-CoV-2 VOCs and experimental approaches used to profile these properties. We summarize the structural studies that document the structural flexibility/plasticity of S VOCs and the potential roles of accumulated mutations on S structures and functions. We focus on the molecular interpretation of structures of the S variants and its insights into the molecular mechanism underlying antibody evasion and host cell-receptor binding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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Other

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9 pages, 1380 KiB  
Brief Report
Differential Pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern in Human ACE2-Expressing Mice
by Janhavi Prasad Natekar, Heather Pathak, Shannon Stone, Pratima Kumari, Shaligram Sharma, Tabassum Tasnim Auroni, Komal Arora, Hussin Alwan Rothan and Mukesh Kumar
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061139 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4101
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the current pandemic, resulting in millions of deaths worldwide. Increasingly contagious variants of concern (VoC) have fueled recurring global infection waves. A major question is the relative severity of the disease caused by previous [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the current pandemic, resulting in millions of deaths worldwide. Increasingly contagious variants of concern (VoC) have fueled recurring global infection waves. A major question is the relative severity of the disease caused by previous and currently circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we evaluated the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 variants in human ACE-2-expressing (K18-hACE2) mice. Eight-week-old K18-hACE2 mice were inoculated intranasally with a representative virus from the original B.1 lineage or from the emerging B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), B.1.617.2 (delta), or B.1.1.529 (omicron) lineages. We also infected a group of mice with the mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 (MA10). Our results demonstrate that B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and B.1.617.2 viruses are significantly more lethal than the B.1 strain in K18-hACE2 mice. Infection with the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.1.617.2 variants resulted in significantly higher virus titers in the lungs and brain of mice compared with the B.1 virus. Interestingly, mice infected with the B.1.1.529 variant exhibited less severe clinical signs and a high survival rate. We found that B.1.1.529 replication was significantly lower in the lungs and brain of infected mice in comparison with other VoC. The transcription levels of cytokines and chemokines in the lungs of B.1- and B.1.1.529-infected mice were significantly less when compared with those challenged with other VoC. Together, our data provide insights into the pathogenesis of previous and circulating SARS-CoV-2 VoC in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Hosts of SARS-CoV-2)
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