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Thursday, November 11, 2021

High-throughput, single-copy sequencing reveals SARS-CoV-2 spike variants coincident with mounting humoral immunity during acute COVID-19

Tracking evolution of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within infected individuals will help elucidate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis and inform use of antiviral interventions. In this study, we developed an approach for sequencing the region encoding the SARS-CoV-2 virion surface proteins from large numbers of individual virus RNA genomes per sample. We applied this approach to the WA-1 reference clinical isolate of SARS-CoV-2 passaged in vitro and to upper respiratory samples from 7 study participants with COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 genomes from cell culture were diverse, including 18 haplotypes with non-synonymous mutations clustered in the spike NH2-terminal domain…

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Complete Mapping of Mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Receptor-Binding Domain that Escape Antibody Recognition

Antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) are being developed as therapeutics and are a major contributor to neutralizing antibody responses elicited by infection. Here, we describe a deep mutational scanning method to map how all amino-acid mutations in the RBD affect antibody binding and apply this method to 10 human monoclonal antibodies. The escape mutations cluster on several surfaces of the RBD that broadly correspond to structurally defined antibody epitopes. However, even antibodies targeting the same surface often have distinct escape mutations. The complete escape maps predict which mutations are selected during viral growth in the presence of…

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Introductions and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the New York City area

New York City (NYC) has emerged as one of the epicenters of the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. To identify the early transmission events underlying the rapid spread of the virus in the NYC metropolitan area, we sequenced the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients seeking care at the Mount Sinai Health System. Phylogenetic analysis of 84 distinct SARS-CoV-2 genomes indicates multiple, independent, but isolated introductions mainly from Europe and other parts of the United States. Moreover, we found evidence for community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as suggested by clusters of related viruses found…

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Deep Mutational Scanning of SARS-CoV-2 Receptor Binding Domain Reveals Constraints on Folding and ACE2 Binding

The receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein mediates viral attachment to ACE2 receptor and is a major determinant of host range and a dominant target of neutralizing antibodies. Here, we experimentally measure how all amino acid mutations to the RBD affect expression of folded protein and its affinity for ACE2. Most mutations are deleterious for RBD expression and ACE2 binding, and we identify constrained regions on the RBD’s surface that may be desirable targets for vaccines and antibody-based therapeutics. But a substantial number of mutations are well tolerated or even enhance ACE2 binding, including at ACE2 interface…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Spike gene deletion quasispecies in serum of patient with acute MERS-CoV infection.

The spike glycoprotein of the Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) facilitates receptor binding and cell entry. During investigation of a multi-facility outbreak of MERS-CoV in Taif, Saudi Arabia, we identified a mixed population of wild-type and variant sequences with a large 530 nucleotide deletion in the spike gene from the serum of one patient. The out of frame deletion predicted loss of most of the S2 subunit of the spike protein leaving the S1 subunit with an intact receptor binding domain. This finding documents human infection with a novel genetic variant of MERS-CoV present as a quasispecies. J. Med. Virol.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Surveillance of bat coronaviruses in Kenya identifies relatives of human coronaviruses NL63 and 229E and their recombination history.

Bats harbor a large diversity of coronaviruses (CoVs), several of which are related to zoonotic pathogens that cause severe disease in humans. Our screening of bat samples collected in Kenya from 2007 to 2010 not only detected RNA from several novel CoVs but, more significantly, identified sequences that were closely related to human CoVs NL63 and 229E, suggesting that these two human viruses originate from bats. We also demonstrated that human CoV NL63 is a recombinant between NL63-like viruses circulating in Triaenops bats and 229E-like viruses circulating in Hipposideros bats, with the breakpoint located near 5′ and 3′ ends of…

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PacBio Grants Equity Incentive Award to New Employee

Friday, December 3, 2021

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