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      No SARS‐CoV‐2 carriage observed in children attending daycare centers during the intial weeks of the epidemic in Belgium


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          To gain knowledge about the role of young children attending daycare in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) epidemic, a random sample of children ( n = 84) aged between 6 and 30 months attending daycare in Belgium was studied shortly after the start of the epidemic (February 29th) and before the lockdown (March 18th) by performing in‐house SARS‐CoV‐2 real‐time polymerase chain reaction. No asymptomatic carriage of SARS‐CoV‐2 was detected, whereas common cold symptoms were common (51.2%). Our study shows that in Belgium, there was no sign of early introduction into daycare centers at the moment children being not yet isolated at home, although the virus was clearly circulating. It is clear that more evidence is needed to understand the actual role of young children in the transmission of SARS‐CoV‐2 and their infection risk when attending daycare.

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          A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin

          Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 18 years ago, a large number of SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats 1–4 . Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans 5–7 . Here we report the identification and characterization of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, which started on 12 December 2019, had caused 2,794 laboratory-confirmed infections including 80 deaths by 26 January 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at an early stage of the outbreak. The sequences are almost identical and share 79.6% sequence identity to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, we show that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus. Pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins domains show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. In addition, 2019-nCoV virus isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient could be neutralized by sera from several patients. Notably, we confirmed that 2019-nCoV uses the same cell entry receptor—angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2)—as SARS-CoV.
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            SARS-CoV-2 Cell Entry Depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and Is Blocked by a Clinically Proven Protease Inhibitor

            Summary The recent emergence of the novel, pathogenic SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in China and its rapid national and international spread pose a global health emergency. Cell entry of coronaviruses depends on binding of the viral spike (S) proteins to cellular receptors and on S protein priming by host cell proteases. Unravelling which cellular factors are used by SARS-CoV-2 for entry might provide insights into viral transmission and reveal therapeutic targets. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 uses the SARS-CoV receptor ACE2 for entry and the serine protease TMPRSS2 for S protein priming. A TMPRSS2 inhibitor approved for clinical use blocked entry and might constitute a treatment option. Finally, we show that the sera from convalescent SARS patients cross-neutralized SARS-2-S-driven entry. Our results reveal important commonalities between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection and identify a potential target for antiviral intervention.
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              Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR

              Background The ongoing outbreak of the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) poses a challenge for public health laboratories as virus isolates are unavailable while there is growing evidence that the outbreak is more widespread than initially thought, and international spread through travellers does already occur. Aim We aimed to develop and deploy robust diagnostic methodology for use in public health laboratory settings without having virus material available. Methods Here we present a validated diagnostic workflow for 2019-nCoV, its design relying on close genetic relatedness of 2019-nCoV with SARS coronavirus, making use of synthetic nucleic acid technology. Results The workflow reliably detects 2019-nCoV, and further discriminates 2019-nCoV from SARS-CoV. Through coordination between academic and public laboratories, we confirmed assay exclusivity based on 297 original clinical specimens containing a full spectrum of human respiratory viruses. Control material is made available through European Virus Archive – Global (EVAg), a European Union infrastructure project. Conclusion The present study demonstrates the enormous response capacity achieved through coordination of academic and public laboratories in national and European research networks.

                Author and article information

                J Med Virol
                J Med Virol
                Journal of Medical Virology
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                17 December 2020
                : 10.1002/jmv.26689
                [ 1 ] KU Leuven Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation Laboratory of Clinical Bacteriology and Mycology, Campus Gasthuisberg Leuven Belgium
                [ 2 ] Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken Wilrijk Belgium
                [ 3 ] Department of Laboratory Medicine and National Reference Centre for Respiratory Pathogens University Hospitals Leuven Leuven Belgium
                [ 4 ] Laboratory for Medical Microbiology, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken Wilrijk Belgium
                Author notes
                [*] [* ] Correspondence Esra Ekinci, Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium.

                Email: Esra.Ekinci@ 123456uantwerpen.be

                Author information
                © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC

                This article is being made freely available through PubMed Central as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.

                : 15 May 2020
                : 10 July 2020
                : 16 November 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Pages: 4, Words: 2579
                Funded by: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek , open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100003130;
                Award ID: 1150017N
                Award ID: 1523518N
                Funded by: KU Leuven , open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100004040;
                Short Communication
                Short Communications
                Custom metadata
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.9.6 mode:remove_FC converted:22.12.2020

                Microbiology & Virology
                Microbiology & Virology
                carriage, children, covid‐19, daycare, sars‐cov‐2


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