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      Preexisting vs. de novo antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in individuals without or with virus infection: impact on antibody therapy, vaccine research and serological testing

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          Abstract

          The causative agent of the ongoing pandemic in the world is SARS-CoV-2. The research on SARS-CoV-2 has progressed with lightning speed on various fronts, including clinical research and treatment, virology, epidemiology, drug development, and vaccine research. Recent studies reported that sera from healthy individuals, who were confirmed negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR method, tested positive for antibodies against spike and nucleocapsid proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Further, such antibodies also exhibited neutralizing activity against the virus. These observations have prompted us to prepare a commentary on this topic. While the preexisting antibodies are likely to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection, they may also complicate serological testing results. Another unknown is the influence of preexisting antibodies on immune responses in individuals receiving vaccines against  SARS-CoV-2. The commentary identifies the potential limitations with the serological tests based on spike and nucleocapsid proteins as these tests may overestimate the seroprevalence due to cross-reactive antibodies. The inclusion of tests specific to SARS-CoV-2 (such as RBD of spike protein) could overcome these limitations.

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          Most cited references 74

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          A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019

          Summary In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause was linked to a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China. A previously unknown betacoronavirus was discovered through the use of unbiased sequencing in samples from patients with pneumonia. Human airway epithelial cells were used to isolate a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, which formed a clade within the subgenus sarbecovirus, Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. Different from both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans. Enhanced surveillance and further investigation are ongoing. (Funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China.)
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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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              Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding

              Summary Background In late December, 2019, patients presenting with viral pneumonia due to an unidentified microbial agent were reported in Wuhan, China. A novel coronavirus was subsequently identified as the causative pathogen, provisionally named 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As of Jan 26, 2020, more than 2000 cases of 2019-nCoV infection have been confirmed, most of which involved people living in or visiting Wuhan, and human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Methods We did next-generation sequencing of samples from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and cultured isolates from nine inpatients, eight of whom had visited the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan. Complete and partial 2019-nCoV genome sequences were obtained from these individuals. Viral contigs were connected using Sanger sequencing to obtain the full-length genomes, with the terminal regions determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends. Phylogenetic analysis of these 2019-nCoV genomes and those of other coronaviruses was used to determine the evolutionary history of the virus and help infer its likely origin. Homology modelling was done to explore the likely receptor-binding properties of the virus. Findings The ten genome sequences of 2019-nCoV obtained from the nine patients were extremely similar, exhibiting more than 99·98% sequence identity. Notably, 2019-nCoV was closely related (with 88% identity) to two bat-derived severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronaviruses, bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, collected in 2018 in Zhoushan, eastern China, but were more distant from SARS-CoV (about 79%) and MERS-CoV (about 50%). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 2019-nCoV fell within the subgenus Sarbecovirus of the genus Betacoronavirus, with a relatively long branch length to its closest relatives bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, and was genetically distinct from SARS-CoV. Notably, homology modelling revealed that 2019-nCoV had a similar receptor-binding domain structure to that of SARS-CoV, despite amino acid variation at some key residues. Interpretation 2019-nCoV is sufficiently divergent from SARS-CoV to be considered a new human-infecting betacoronavirus. Although our phylogenetic analysis suggests that bats might be the original host of this virus, an animal sold at the seafood market in Wuhan might represent an intermediate host facilitating the emergence of the virus in humans. Importantly, structural analysis suggests that 2019-nCoV might be able to bind to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor in humans. The future evolution, adaptation, and spread of this virus warrant urgent investigation. Funding National Key Research and Development Program of China, National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shandong First Medical University.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                kmuthumani@genels.us
                Journal
                Transl Med Commun
                Transl Med Commun
                Translational Medicine Communications
                BioMed Central (London )
                2396-832X
                1 July 2021
                1 July 2021
                2021
                : 6
                : 1
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GeneOne Life Science, Inc, Seoul, 07335 South Korea
                [2 ]GRID grid.25879.31, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8972, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, ; Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
                [3 ]GRID grid.416113.0, ISNI 0000 0000 9759 4781, Department of Medicine, , Morristown Medical Center, ; Morristown, NJ 07960 USA
                [4 ]IDC Diagnostics, Rockville, MD 20852 USA
                [5 ]NanoBio Diagnostics, West Chester, PA 19382 USA
                Article
                93
                10.1186/s41231-021-00093-2
                8248284
                34230895
                239a2b43-e7a0-41a2-9c97-fd959fc9e79b
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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