Publications by authors named "Krista Queen"

29 Publications

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One Health Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Seropositivity among Pets in Households with Confirmed Human COVID-19 Cases-Utah and Wisconsin, 2020.

Viruses 2021 09 12;13(9). Epub 2021 Sep 12.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.

Approximately 67% of U.S. households have pets. Limited data are available on SARS-CoV-2 in pets. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 infection in pets during a COVID-19 household transmission investigation. Pets from households with ≥1 person with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were eligible for inclusion from April-May 2020. We enrolled 37 dogs and 19 cats from 34 households. All oropharyngeal, nasal, and rectal swabs tested negative by rRT-PCR; one dog's fur swabs (2%) tested positive by rRT-PCR at the first sampling. Among 47 pets with serological results, eight (17%) pets (four dogs, four cats) from 6/30 (20%) households had detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. In households with a seropositive pet, the proportion of people with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 was greater (median 79%; range: 40-100%) compared to households with no seropositive pet (median 37%; range: 13-100%) ( = 0.01). Thirty-three pets with serologic results had frequent daily contact (≥1 h) with the index patient before the person's COVID-19 diagnosis. Of these 33 pets, 14 (42%) had decreased contact with the index patient after diagnosis and none were seropositive; of the 19 (58%) pets with continued contact, four (21%) were seropositive. Seropositive pets likely acquired infection after contact with people with COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should restrict contact with pets and other animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13091813DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8472995PMC
September 2021

Genomic Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Variants Circulating in the United States, December 2020-May 2021.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021 Jun 11;70(23):846-850. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly mutating, leading to new variants (1). Variants have the potential to affect transmission, disease severity, diagnostics, therapeutics, and natural and vaccine-induced immunity. In November 2020, CDC established national surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 variants using genomic sequencing. As of May 6, 2021, sequences from 177,044 SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens collected during December 20, 2020-May 6, 2021, from 55 U.S. jurisdictions had been generated by or reported to CDC. These included 3,275 sequences for the 2-week period ending January 2, 2021, compared with 25,000 sequences for the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021 (0.1% and 3.1% of reported positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, respectively). Because sequences might be generated by multiple laboratories and sequence availability varies both geographically and over time, CDC developed statistical weighting and variance estimation methods to generate population-based estimates of the proportions of identified variants among SARS-CoV-2 infections circulating nationwide and in each of the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) geographic regions.* During the 2-week period ending April 24, 2021, the B.1.1.7 and P.1 variants represented an estimated 66.0% and 5.0% of U.S. SARS-CoV-2 infections, respectively, demonstrating the rise to predominance of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern (VOC) and emergence of the P.1 VOC in the United States. Using SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance methods to analyze surveillance data produces timely population-based estimates of the proportions of variants circulating nationally and regionally. Surveillance findings demonstrate the potential for new variants to emerge and become predominant, and the importance of robust genomic surveillance. Along with efforts to characterize the clinical and public health impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants, surveillance can help guide interventions to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7023a3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8191868PMC
June 2021

Isolation and characterization of novel reassortant mammalian orthoreovirus from pigs in the United States.

Emerg Microbes Infect 2021 Dec;10(1):1137-1147

Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA.

Mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV) infects multiple mammalian species including humans. A United States Midwest swine farm with approximately one thousand 3-month-old pigs experienced an event, in which more than 300 pigs showed neurological signs, like "down and peddling", with approximately 40% mortality. A novel MRV was isolated from the diseased pigs. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolate was a reassortant virus containing viral gene segments from three MRV serotypes that infect human, bovine and swine. The M2 and S1 segment of the isolate showed 94% and 92% nucleotide similarity to the M2 of the MRV2 D5/Jones and the S1 of the MRV1 C/bovine/Indiana/MRV00304/2014, respectively; the remaining eight segments displayed 93%-95% nucleotide similarity to those of the MRV3 FS-03/Porcine/USA/2014. Pig studies showed that both MRV-infected and native contact pigs displayed fever, diarrhoea and nasal discharge. MRV RNA was detected in different intestinal locations of both infected and contact pigs, indicating that the MRV isolate is pathogenic and transmissible in pigs. Seroconversion was also observed in experimentally infected pigs. A prevalence study on more than 180 swine serum samples collected from two states without disease revealed 40%-52% positive to MRV. All results warrant the necessity to monitor MRV epidemiology and reassortment as the MRV could be an important pathogen for the swine industry and a novel MRV might emerge to threaten animal and public health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2021.1933608DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205024PMC
December 2021

Epidemiologic Characteristics Associated With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Antigen-Based Test Results, Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) Cycle Threshold Values, Subgenomic RNA, and Viral Culture Results From University Testing.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 09;73(6):e1348-e1355

COVID-19 Response Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and antigen tests are important diagnostics for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Sensitivity of antigen tests has been shown to be lower than that of rRT-PCR; however, data to evaluate epidemiologic characteristics that affect test performance are limited.

Methods: Paired mid-turbinate nasal swabs were collected from university students and staff and tested for SARS-CoV-2 using both Quidel Sofia SARS Antigen Fluorescent Immunoassay (FIA) and rRT-PCR assay. Specimens positive by either rRT-PCR or antigen FIA were placed in viral culture and tested for subgenomic RNA (sgRNA). Logistic regression models were used to evaluate characteristics associated with antigen results, rRT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values, sgRNA, and viral culture.

Results: Antigen FIA sensitivity was 78.9% and 43.8% among symptomatic and asymptomatic participants, respectively. Among rRT-PCR positive participants, negative antigen results were more likely among asymptomatic participants (odds ratio [OR] 4.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3-15.4) and less likely among participants reporting nasal congestion (OR 0.1, 95% CI: .03-.8). rRT-PCR-positive specimens with higher Ct values (OR 0.5, 95% CI: .4-.8) were less likely, and specimens positive for sgRNA (OR 10.2, 95% CI: 1.6-65.0) more likely, to yield positive virus isolation. Antigen testing was >90% positive in specimens with Ct values < 29. Positive predictive value of antigen test for positive viral culture (57.7%) was similar to that of rRT-PCR (59.3%).

Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 antigen test advantages include low cost, wide availability and rapid turnaround time, making them important screening tests. The performance of antigen tests may vary with patient characteristics, so performance characteristics should be accounted for when designing testing strategies and interpreting results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab303DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8083323PMC
September 2021

Clinical and Laboratory Findings in Patients with Potential SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection, May-July 2020.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 Feb 18. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Health Systems Worker Safety Task Force, COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.

Background: We investigated patients with potential SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in the United States during May-July 2020.

Methods: We conducted case finding for patients with potential SARS-CoV-2 reinfection through the Emerging Infections Network. Cases reported were screened for laboratory and clinical findings of potential reinfection followed by requests for medical records and laboratory specimens. Available medical records were abstracted to characterize patient demographics, comorbidities, clinical course, and laboratory test results. Submitted specimens underwent further testing, including RT-PCR, viral culture, whole genome sequencing, subgenomic RNA PCR, and testing for anti-SARS-CoV-2 total antibody.

Results: Among 73 potential reinfection patients with available records, 30 patients had recurrent COVID-19 symptoms explained by alternative diagnoses with concurrent SARS-CoV-2 positive RT-PCR, 24 patients remained asymptomatic after recovery but had recurrent or persistent RT-PCR, and 19 patients had recurrent COVID-19 symptoms with concurrent SARS-CoV-2 positive RT-PCR but no alternative diagnoses. These 19 patients had symptom recurrence a median of 57 days after initial symptom onset (interquartile range: 47 - 76). Six of these patients had paired specimens available for further testing, but none had laboratory findings confirming reinfections. Testing of an additional three patients with recurrent symptoms and alternative diagnoses also did not confirm reinfection.

Conclusions: We did not confirm SARS-CoV-2 reinfection within 90 days of the initial infection based on the clinical and laboratory characteristics of cases in this investigation. Our findings support current CDC guidance around quarantine and testing for patients who have recovered from COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciab148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7929000PMC
February 2021

Surface-aerosol stability and pathogenicity of diverse MERS-CoV strains from 2012 - 2018.

bioRxiv 2021 Feb 12. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a coronavirus that infects both humans and dromedary camels and is responsible for an ongoing outbreak of severe respiratory illness in humans in the Middle East. While some mutations found in camel-derived MERS-CoV strains have been characterized, the majority of natural variation found across MERS-CoV isolates remains unstudied. Here we report on the environmental stability, replication kinetics and pathogenicity of several diverse isolates of MERS-CoV as well as SARS-CoV-2 to serve as a basis of comparison with other stability studies. While most of the MERS-CoV isolates exhibited similar stability and pathogenicity in our experiments, the camel derived isolate, C/KSA/13, exhibited reduced surface stability while another camel isolate, C/BF/15, had reduced pathogenicity in a small animal model. These results suggest that while betacoronaviruses may have similar environmental stability profiles, individual variation can influence this phenotype, underscoring the importance of continual, global viral surveillance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.11.429193DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885919PMC
February 2021

Rapid Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in Detention Facility, Louisiana, USA, May-June, 2020.

Emerg Infect Dis 2021 Feb 4;27(2):421-429. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

To assess transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a detention facility experiencing a coronavirus disease outbreak and evaluate testing strategies, we conducted a prospective cohort investigation in a facility in Louisiana, USA. We conducted SARS-CoV-2 testing for detained persons in 6 quarantined dormitories at various time points. Of 143 persons, 53 were positive at the initial test, and an additional 58 persons were positive at later time points (cumulative incidence 78%). In 1 dormitory, all 45 detained persons initially were negative; 18 days later, 40 (89%) were positive. Among persons who were SARS-CoV-2 positive, 47% (52/111) were asymptomatic at the time of specimen collection; 14 had replication-competent virus isolated. Serial SARS-CoV-2 testing might help interrupt transmission through medical isolation and quarantine. Testing in correctional and detention facilities will be most effective when initiated early in an outbreak, inclusive of all exposed persons, and paired with infection prevention and control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2702.204158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7853536PMC
February 2021

Performance of an Antigen-Based Test for Asymptomatic and Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Testing at Two University Campuses - Wisconsin, September-October 2020.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021 Jan 1;69(5152):1642-1647. Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Antigen-based tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are inexpensive and can return results within 15 minutes (1). Antigen tests have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for use in asymptomatic and symptomatic persons within the first 5-12 days after symptom onset (2). These tests have been used at U.S. colleges and universities and other congregate settings (e.g., nursing homes and correctional and detention facilities), where serial testing of asymptomatic persons might facilitate early case identification (3-5). However, test performance data from symptomatic and asymptomatic persons are limited. This investigation evaluated performance of the Sofia SARS Antigen Fluorescent Immunoassay (FIA) (Quidel Corporation) compared with real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 detection among asymptomatic and symptomatic persons at two universities in Wisconsin. During September 28-October 9, a total of 1,098 paired nasal swabs were tested using the Sofia SARS Antigen FIA and real-time RT-PCR. Virus culture was attempted on all antigen-positive or real-time RT-PCR-positive specimens. Among 871 (79%) paired swabs from asymptomatic participants, the antigen test sensitivity was 41.2%, specificity was 98.4%, and in this population the estimated positive predictive value (PPV) was 33.3%, and negative predictive value (NPV) was 98.8%. Antigen test performance was improved among 227 (21%) paired swabs from participants who reported one or more symptoms at specimen collection (sensitivity = 80.0%; specificity = 98.9%; PPV = 94.1%; NPV = 95.9%). Virus was isolated from 34 (46.6%) of 73 antigen-positive or real-time RT-PCR-positive nasal swab specimens, including two of 18 that were antigen-negative and real-time RT-PCR-positive (false-negatives). The advantages of antigen tests such as low cost and rapid turnaround might allow for rapid identification of infectious persons. However, these advantages need to be balanced against lower sensitivity and lower PPV, especially among asymptomatic persons. Confirmatory testing with an FDA-authorized nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as RT-PCR, should be considered after negative antigen test results in symptomatic persons, and after positive antigen test results in asymptomatic persons (1).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm695152a3DOI Listing
January 2021

From People to : Natural SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Tigers and Lions at the Bronx Zoo.

mBio 2020 10 13;11(5). Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, Animal Health Diagnostic Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Despite numerous barriers to transmission, zoonoses are the major cause of emerging infectious diseases in humans. Among these, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and ebolaviruses have killed thousands; the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has killed millions. Zoonoses and human-to-animal cross-species transmission are driven by human actions and have important management, conservation, and public health implications. The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which presumably originated from an animal reservoir, has killed more than half a million people around the world and cases continue to rise. In March 2020, New York City was a global epicenter for SARS-CoV-2 infections. During this time, four tigers and three lions at the Bronx Zoo, NY, developed mild, abnormal respiratory signs. We detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in respiratory secretions and/or feces from all seven animals, live virus in three, and colocalized viral RNA with cellular damage in one. We produced nine whole SARS-CoV-2 genomes from the animals and keepers and identified different SARS-CoV-2 genotypes in the tigers and lions. Epidemiologic and genomic data indicated human-to-tiger transmission. These were the first confirmed cases of natural SARS-CoV-2 animal infections in the United States and the first in nondomestic species in the world. We highlight disease transmission at a nontraditional interface and provide information that contributes to understanding SARS-CoV-2 transmission across species. The human-animal-environment interface of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an important aspect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that requires robust One Health-based investigations. Despite this, few reports describe natural infections in animals or directly link them to human infections using genomic data. In the present study, we describe the first cases of natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in tigers and lions in the United States and provide epidemiological and genetic evidence for human-to-animal transmission of the virus. Our data show that tigers and lions were infected with different genotypes of SARS-CoV-2, indicating two independent transmission events to the animals. Importantly, infected animals shed infectious virus in respiratory secretions and feces. A better understanding of the susceptibility of animal species to SARS-CoV-2 may help to elucidate transmission mechanisms and identify potential reservoirs and sources of infection that are important in both animal and human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02220-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7554670PMC
October 2020

Cryptic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington state.

Science 2020 10 10;370(6516):571-575. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.

After its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late November or early December 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus rapidly spread globally. Genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 allows the reconstruction of its transmission history, although this is contingent on sampling. We analyzed 453 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected between 20 February and 15 March 2020 from infected patients in Washington state in the United States. We find that most SARS-CoV-2 infections sampled during this time derive from a single introduction in late January or early February 2020, which subsequently spread locally before active community surveillance was implemented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abc0523DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7810035PMC
October 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Americans Aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship.

Clin Infect Dis 2021 05;72(10):e448-e457

All authors are part of the COVID-19 Cruise Ship Task Force, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Background: The Diamond Princess cruise ship was the site of a large outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Of 437 Americans and their travel companions on the ship, 114 (26%) tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Methods: We interviewed 229 American passengers and crew after disembarkation following a ship-based quarantine to identify risk factors for infection and characterize transmission onboard the ship.

Results: The attack rate for passengers in single-person cabins or without infected cabinmates was 18% (58/329), compared with 63% (27/43) for those sharing a cabin with an asymptomatic infected cabinmate, and 81% (25/31) for those with a symptomatic infected cabinmate. Whole genome sequences from specimens from passengers who shared cabins clustered together. Of 66 SARS-CoV-2-positive American travelers with complete symptom information, 14 (21%) were asymptomatic while on the ship. Among SARS-CoV-2-positive Americans, 10 (9%) required intensive care, of whom 7 were ≥70 years.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight the high risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission on cruise ships. High rates of SARS-CoV-2 positivity in cabinmates of individuals with asymptomatic infections suggest that triage by symptom status in shared quarters is insufficient to halt transmission. A high rate of intensive care unit admission among older individuals complicates the prospect of future cruise travel during the pandemic, given typical cruise passenger demographics. The magnitude and severe outcomes of this outbreak were major factors contributing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's decision to halt cruise ship travel in US waters in March 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa1180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7454359PMC
May 2021

Detection and Genetic Characterization of Community-Based SARS-CoV-2 Infections - New York City, March 2020.

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020 Jul 17;69(28):918-922. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

To limit introduction of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the United States restricted travel from China on February 2, 2020, and from Europe on March 13. To determine whether local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 could be detected, the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) conducted deidentified sentinel surveillance at six NYC hospital emergency departments (EDs) during March 1-20. On March 8, while testing availability for SARS-CoV-2 was still limited, DOHMH announced sustained community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (1). At this time, twenty-six NYC residents had confirmed COVID-19, and ED visits for influenza-like illness* increased, despite decreased influenza virus circulation. The following week, on March 15, when only seven of the 56 (13%) patients with known exposure histories had exposure outside of NYC, the level of community SARS-CoV-2 transmission status was elevated from sustained community transmission to widespread community transmission (2). Through sentinel surveillance during March 1-20, DOHMH collected 544 specimens from patients with influenza-like symptoms (ILS) who had negative test results for influenza and, in some instances, other respiratory pathogens. All 544 specimens were tested for SARS-CoV-2 at CDC; 36 (6.6%) tested positive. Using genetic sequencing, CDC determined that the sequences of most SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens resembled those circulating in Europe, suggesting probable introductions of SARS-CoV-2 from Europe, from other U.S. locations, and local introductions from within New York. These findings demonstrate that partnering with health care facilities and developing the systems needed for rapid implementation of sentinel surveillance, coupled with capacity for genetic sequencing before an outbreak, can help inform timely containment and mitigation strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6928a5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7366849PMC
July 2020

Rapid, Sensitive, Full-Genome Sequencing of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2.

Emerg Infect Dis 2020 Oct 1;26(10):2401-2405. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

We describe validated protocols for generating high-quality, full-length severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 genomes from primary samples. One protocol uses multiplex reverse transcription PCR, followed by MinION or MiSeq sequencing; the other uses singleplex, nested reverse transcription PCR and Sanger sequencing. These protocols enable sensitive virus sequencing in different laboratory environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2610.201800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7510745PMC
October 2020

Cryptic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington State.

medRxiv 2020 Apr 6. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

University of Washington, Seattle, WA USA.

Following its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late November or early December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has rapidly spread throughout the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic. Genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 strains allows for the reconstruction of transmission history connecting these infections. Here, we analyze 346 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from samples collected between 20 February and 15 March 2020 from infected patients in Washington State, USA. We found that the large majority of SARS-CoV-2 infections sampled during this time frame appeared to have derived from a single introduction event into the state in late January or early February 2020 and subsequent local spread, strongly suggesting cryptic spread of COVID-19 during the months of January and February 2020, before active community surveillance was implemented. We estimate a common ancestor of this outbreak clade as occurring between 18 January and 9 February 2020. From genomic data, we estimate an exponential doubling between 2.4 and 5.1 days. These results highlight the need for large-scale community surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 introductions and spread and the power of pathogen genomics to inform epidemiological understanding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.02.20051417DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7276023PMC
April 2020

Isolation and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 from the first US COVID-19 patient.

bioRxiv 2020 Mar 7. Epub 2020 Mar 7.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute for Human Infection and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston TX, USA.

The etiologic agent of the outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan China was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in January, 2020. The first US patient was diagnosed by the State of Washington and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on January 20, 2020. We isolated virus from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens, and characterized the viral sequence, replication properties, and cell culture tropism. We found that the virus replicates to high titer in Vero-CCL81 cells and Vero E6 cells in the absence of trypsin. We also deposited the virus into two virus repositories, making it broadly available to the public health and research communities. We hope that open access to this important reagent will expedite development of medical countermeasures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.02.972935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7239045PMC
March 2020

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 from Patient with Coronavirus Disease, United States.

Emerg Infect Dis 2020 06 17;26(6):1266-1273. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

The etiologic agent of an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China, was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in January 2020. A patient in the United States was given a diagnosis of infection with this virus by the state of Washington and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on January 20, 2020. We isolated virus from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens from this patient and characterized the viral sequence, replication properties, and cell culture tropism. We found that the virus replicates to high titer in Vero-CCL81 cells and Vero E6 cells in the absence of trypsin. We also deposited the virus into 2 virus repositories, making it broadly available to the public health and research communities. We hope that open access to this reagent will expedite development of medical countermeasures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2606.200516DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7258473PMC
June 2020

Isolation and growth characterization of novel full length and deletion mutant human MERS-CoV strains from clinical specimens collected during 2015.

J Gen Virol 2019 11;100(11):1523-1529

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases, Gastroenteritis and Respiratory Viruses Laboratory Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA.

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012 caused by the human coronavirus (CoV), MERS-CoV. Using full-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, scientists have identified three clades and multiple lineages of MERS-CoV in humans and the zoonotic host, dromedary camels. In this study, we have characterized eight MERS-CoV isolates collected from patients in Saudi Arabia in 2015. We have performed full-genome sequencing on the viral isolates, and compared them to the corresponding clinical specimens. All isolates were clade B, lineages 4 and 5. Three of the isolates carry deletions located on three independent regions of the genome in the 5'UTR, ORF1a and ORF3. All novel MERS-CoV strains replicated efficiently in Vero and Huh7 cells. Viruses with deletions in the 5'UTR and ORF1a exhibited impaired viral release in Vero cells. These data emphasize the plasticity of the MERS-CoV genome during human infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.001334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7079693PMC
November 2019

Picornavirus etiology of acute infections among hospitalized infants.

J Clin Virol 2019 07 25;116:39-43. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States.

Background: Enteroviruses (EV) and parechoviruses (PeV) are ubiquitous viruses that cause a range of illness, including acute illness in children aged <1 year.

Objectives: We describe EV and PeV infections among children from 2 US study sites aged <1 year and hospitalized with acute infections. For EV- and PeV-negative case-patients, we explored other viral etiologies.

Methods: Participants were aged <1 year, hospitalized during 2016, and had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collected for routine diagnostic testing. Demographic and clinical data were abstracted from medical charts, and residual specimens were sent to CDC for confirmatory testing and typing.

Results: Of 472 eligible case-patients, CSF specimen was available for 319 (67.6%). Among those, 13 (4.1%) were positive for EV and 11 (3.4%) for PeV. Most case-patients (86.8%, n = 277) were aged <2 months, as were all EV- or PeV-positive case-patients. None of the positive case-patients had underlying conditions, and the chief complaint for 91.7% (n = 22) was fever. Twelve positive case-patients were admitted to intensive care (ICU) and had brief hospital stays (median 2 days). Sequencing revealed a variety of EV types and the predominance of PeV-A3 among the PeV-positive case-patients.

Conclusions: A range of EV and PeV types were associated with acute febrile illnesses leading to hospitalization in children aged <2 months. Approximately half of EV and PeV case-patients were admitted to ICU, but length of hospital stay was brief and illnesses were generally self-limiting. Clinicians should consider EV and PeV infections in infants presenting with febrile illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2019.04.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7172211PMC
July 2019

Scope and extent of healthcare-associated Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus transmission during two contemporaneous outbreaks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2017.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2019 01;40(1):79-88

2Division of Viral Diseases,National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,Atlanta,Georgia,United States.

Objective: To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.

Design: Outbreak investigation.

Setting: Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.

Methods: Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.

Results: In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.

Conclusions: We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/ice.2018.290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108661PMC
January 2019

Infectious MERS-CoV Isolated From a Mildly Ill Patient, Saudi Arabia.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2018 Jun 15;5(6):ofy111. Epub 2018 May 15.

Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is associated with a wide range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic or mildly ill to severe respiratory illness including death. We describe isolation of infectious MERS-CoV from the upper respiratory tract of a mildly ill 27-year-old female in Saudi Arabia 15 days after illness onset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofy111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6016420PMC
June 2018

Comprehensive viral enrichment enables sensitive respiratory virus genomic identification and analysis by next generation sequencing.

Genome Res 2018 06 27;28(6):869-877. Epub 2018 Apr 27.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCIRD, DVD, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, USA.

Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have revolutionized the genomics field and are becoming more commonplace for identification of human infectious diseases. However, due to the low abundance of viral nucleic acids (NAs) in relation to host, viral identification using direct NGS technologies often lacks sufficient sensitivity. Here, we describe an approach based on two complementary enrichment strategies that significantly improves the sensitivity of NGS-based virus identification. To start, we developed two sets of DNA probes to enrich virus NAs associated with respiratory diseases. The first set of probes spans the genomes, allowing for identification of known viruses and full genome sequencing, while the second set targets regions conserved among viral families or genera, providing the ability to detect both known and potentially novel members of those virus groups. Efficiency of enrichment was assessed by NGS testing reference virus and clinical samples with known infection. We show significant improvement in viral identification using enriched NGS compared to unenriched NGS. Without enrichment, we observed an average of 0.3% targeted viral reads per sample. However, after enrichment, 50%-99% of the reads per sample were the targeted viral reads for both the reference isolates and clinical specimens using both probe sets. Importantly, dramatic improvements on genome coverage were also observed following virus-specific probe enrichment. The methods described here provide improved sensitivity for virus identification by NGS, allowing for a more comprehensive analysis of disease etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.226316.117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5991510PMC
June 2018

Diversity of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses in 109 dromedary camels based on full-genome sequencing, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Emerg Microbes Infect 2017 Nov 8;6(11):e101. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified on the Arabian Peninsula in 2012 and is still causing cases and outbreaks in the Middle East. When MERS-CoV was first identified, the closest related virus was in bats; however, it has since been recognized that dromedary camels serve as a virus reservoir and potential source for human infections. A total of 376 camels were screened for MERS-Cov at a live animal market in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE. In all, 109 MERS-CoV-positive camels were detected in week 1, and a subset of positive camels were sampled again weeks 3 through 6. A total of 126 full and 3 nearly full genomes were obtained from 139 samples. Spike gene sequences were obtained from 5 of the 10 remaining samples. The camel MERS-CoV genomes from this study represent 3 known and 2 potentially new lineages within clade B. Within lineages, diversity of camel and human MERS-CoV sequences are intermixed. We identified sequences from market camels nearly identical to the previously reported 2015 German case who visited the market during his incubation period. We described 10 recombination events in the camel samples. The most frequent recombination breakpoint was the junctions between ORF1b and S. Evidence suggests MERS-CoV infection in humans results from continued introductions of distinct MERS-CoV lineages from camels. This hypothesis is supported by the camel MERS-CoV genomes sequenced in this study. Our study expands the known repertoire of camel MERS-CoVs circulating on the Arabian Peninsula.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/emi.2017.89DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5717090PMC
November 2017

Identification of diverse viruses in upper respiratory samples in dromedary camels from United Arab Emirates.

PLoS One 2017 13;12(9):e0184718. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Camels are known carriers for many viral pathogens, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It is likely that there are additional, as yet unidentified viruses in camels with the potential to cause disease in humans. In this study, we performed metagenomic sequencing analysis on nasopharyngeal swab samples from 108 MERS-CoV-positive dromedary camels from a live animal market in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. We obtained a total of 846.72 million high-quality reads from these nasopharyngeal swab samples, of which 2.88 million (0.34%) were related to viral sequences while 512.63 million (60.5%) and 50.87 million (6%) matched bacterial and eukaryotic sequences, respectively. Among the viral reads, sequences related to mammalian viruses from 13 genera in 10 viral families were identified, including Coronaviridae, Nairoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Parvoviridae, Polyomaviridae, Papillomaviridae, Astroviridae, Picornaviridae, Poxviridae, and Genomoviridae. Some viral sequences belong to known camel or human viruses and others are from potentially novel camel viruses with only limited sequence similarity to virus sequences in GenBank. A total of five potentially novel virus species or strains were identified. Co-infection of at least two recently identified camel coronaviruses was detected in 92.6% of the camels in the study. This study provides a comprehensive survey of viruses in the virome of upper respiratory samples in camels that have extensive contact with the human population.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0184718PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5597213PMC
October 2017

Viral Pathogen Detection by Metagenomics and Pan-Viral Group Polymerase Chain Reaction in Children With Pneumonia Lacking Identifiable Etiology.

J Infect Dis 2017 05;215(9):1407-1415

Department of Pediatrics, and.

Background: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a leading cause of pediatric hospitalization. Pathogen identification fails in approximately 20% of children but is critical for optimal treatment and prevention of hospital-acquired infections. We used two broad-spectrum detection strategies to identify pathogens in test-negative children with CAP and asymptomatic controls.

Methods: Nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal (NP/OP) swabs from 70 children <5 years with CAP of unknown etiology and 90 asymptomatic controls were tested by next-generation sequencing (RNA-seq) and pan viral group (PVG) PCR for 19 viral families. Association of viruses with CAP was assessed by adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals controlling for season and age group.

Results: RNA-seq/PVG PCR detected previously missed, putative pathogens in 34% of patients. Putative viral pathogens included human parainfluenza virus 4 (aOR 9.3, P = .12), human bocavirus (aOR 9.1, P < .01), Coxsackieviruses (aOR 5.1, P = .09), rhinovirus A (aOR 3.5, P = .34), and rhinovirus C (aOR 2.9, P = .57). RNA-seq was more sensitive for RNA viruses whereas PVG PCR detected more DNA viruses.

Conclusions: RNA-seq and PVG PCR identified additional viruses, some known to be pathogenic, in NP/OP specimens from one-third of children hospitalized with CAP without a previously identified etiology. Both broad-range methods could be useful tools in future epidemiologic and diagnostic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5565793PMC
May 2017

Association of acute toxic encephalopathy with litchi consumption in an outbreak in Muzaffarpur, India, 2014: a case-control study.

Lancet Glob Health 2017 04 31;5(4):e458-e466. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

National Center for Environmental Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Outbreaks of unexplained illness frequently remain under-investigated. In India, outbreaks of an acute neurological illness with high mortality among children occur annually in Muzaffarpur, the country's largest litchi cultivation region. In 2014, we aimed to investigate the cause and risk factors for this illness.

Methods: In this hospital-based surveillance and nested age-matched case-control study, we did laboratory investigations to assess potential infectious and non-infectious causes of this acute neurological illness. Cases were children aged 15 years or younger who were admitted to two hospitals in Muzaffarpur with new-onset seizures or altered sensorium. Age-matched controls were residents of Muzaffarpur who were admitted to the same two hospitals for a non-neurologic illness within seven days of the date of admission of the case. Clinical specimens (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and urine) and environmental specimens (litchis) were tested for evidence of infectious pathogens, pesticides, toxic metals, and other non-infectious causes, including presence of hypoglycin A or methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), naturally-occurring fruit-based toxins that cause hypoglycaemia and metabolic derangement. Matched and unmatched (controlling for age) bivariate analyses were done and risk factors for illness were expressed as matched odds ratios and odds ratios (unmatched analyses).

Findings: Between May 26, and July 17, 2014, 390 patients meeting the case definition were admitted to the two referral hospitals in Muzaffarpur, of whom 122 (31%) died. On admission, 204 (62%) of 327 had blood glucose concentration of 70 mg/dL or less. 104 cases were compared with 104 age-matched hospital controls. Litchi consumption (matched odds ratio [mOR] 9·6 [95% CI 3·6 - 24]) and absence of an evening meal (2·2 [1·2-4·3]) in the 24 h preceding illness onset were associated with illness. The absence of an evening meal significantly modified the effect of eating litchis on illness (odds ratio [OR] 7·8 [95% CI 3·3-18·8], without evening meal; OR 3·6 [1·1-11·1] with an evening meal). Tests for infectious agents and pesticides were negative. Metabolites of hypoglycin A, MCPG, or both were detected in 48 [66%] of 73 urine specimens from case-patients and none from 15 controls; 72 (90%) of 80 case-patient specimens had abnormal plasma acylcarnitine profiles, consistent with severe disruption of fatty acid metabolism. In 36 litchi arils tested from Muzaffarpur, hypoglycin A concentrations ranged from 12·4 μg/g to 152·0 μg/g and MCPG ranged from 44·9 μg/g to 220·0 μg/g.

Interpretation: Our investigation suggests an outbreak of acute encephalopathy in Muzaffarpur associated with both hypoglycin A and MCPG toxicity. To prevent illness and reduce mortality in the region, we recommended minimising litchi consumption, ensuring receipt of an evening meal and implementing rapid glucose correction for suspected illness. A comprehensive investigative approach in Muzaffarpur led to timely public health recommendations, underscoring the importance of using systematic methods in other unexplained illness outbreaks.

Funding: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30035-9DOI Listing
April 2017

Surveillance of Bat Coronaviruses in Kenya Identifies Relatives of Human Coronaviruses NL63 and 229E and Their Recombination History.

J Virol 2017 03 14;91(5). Epub 2017 Feb 14.

Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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 bats and 229E-like viruses circulating in bats, with the breakpoint located near 5' and 3' ends of the spike (S) protein gene. In addition, two further interspecies recombination events involving the S gene were identified, suggesting that this region may represent a recombination "hot spot" in CoV genomes. Finally, using a combination of phylogenetic and distance-based approaches, we showed that the genetic diversity of bat CoVs is primarily structured by host species and subsequently by geographic distances. Understanding the driving forces of cross-species virus transmission is central to understanding the nature of disease emergence. Previous studies have demonstrated that bats are the ultimate reservoir hosts for a number of coronaviruses (CoVs), including ancestors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and human CoV 229E (HCoV-229E). However, the evolutionary pathways of bat CoVs remain elusive. We provide evidence for natural recombination between distantly related African bat coronaviruses associated with and sp. bats that resulted in a NL63-like virus, an ancestor of the human pathogen HCoV-NL63. These results suggest that interspecies recombination may play an important role in CoV evolution and the emergence of novel CoVs with zoonotic potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01953-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5309958PMC
March 2017

Taxonomer: an interactive metagenomics analysis portal for universal pathogen detection and host mRNA expression profiling.

Genome Biol 2016 05 26;17(1):111. Epub 2016 May 26.

Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Background: High-throughput sequencing enables unbiased profiling of microbial communities, universal pathogen detection, and host response to infectious diseases. However, computation times and algorithmic inaccuracies have hindered adoption.

Results: We present Taxonomer, an ultrafast, web-tool for comprehensive metagenomics data analysis and interactive results visualization. Taxonomer is unique in providing integrated nucleotide and protein-based classification and simultaneous host messenger RNA (mRNA) transcript profiling. Using real-world case-studies, we show that Taxonomer detects previously unrecognized infections and reveals antiviral host mRNA expression profiles. To facilitate data-sharing across geographic distances in outbreak settings, Taxonomer is publicly available through a web-based user interface.

Conclusions: Taxonomer enables rapid, accurate, and interactive analyses of metagenomics data on personal computers and mobile devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-016-0969-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880956PMC
May 2016

Genome-wide DNA methylation as an epigenetic consequence of Epstein-Barr virus infection of immortalized keratinocytes.

J Virol 2014 Oct 23;88(19):11442-58. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

Unlabelled: The oral cavity is a persistent reservoir for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) with lifelong infection of resident epithelial and B cells. Infection of these cell types results in distinct EBV gene expression patterns regulated by epigenetic modifications involving DNA methylation and chromatin structure. Regulation of EBV gene expression relies on viral manipulation of the host epigenetic machinery that may result in long-lasting host epigenetic reprogramming. To identify epigenetic events following EBV infection, a transient infection model was established to map epigenetic changes in telomerase-immortalized oral keratinocytes. EBV-infected oral keratinocytes exhibited a predominantly latent viral gene expression program with some lytic or abortive replication. Calcium and methylcellulose-induced differentiation was delayed in EBV-positive clones and in clones that lost EBV compared to uninfected controls, indicating a functional consequence of EBV epigenetic modifications. Analysis of global cellular DNA methylation identified over 13,000 differentially methylated CpG residues in cells exposed to EBV compared to uninfected controls, with CpG island hypermethylation observed at several cellular genes. Although the vast majority of the DNA methylation changes were silent, 65 cellular genes that acquired CpG methylation showed altered transcript levels. Genes with increased transcript levels frequently acquired DNA methylation within the gene body while those with decreased transcript levels acquired DNA methylation near the transcription start site. Treatment with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, decitabine, restored expression of some hypermethylated genes in EBV-infected and EBV-negative transiently infected clones. Overall, these observations suggested that EBV infection of keratinocytes leaves a lasting epigenetic imprint that can enhance the tumorigenic phenotype of infected cells.

Importance: Here, we show that EBV infection of oral keratinocytes led to CpG island hypermethylation as an epigenetic scar of prior EBV infection that was retained after loss of the virus. Such EBV-induced epigenetic modification recapitulated the hypermethylated CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) observed in EBV-associated carcinomas. These epigenetic alterations not only impacted gene expression but also resulted in delayed calcium and methylcellulose-induced keratinocyte differentiation. Importantly, these epigenetic changes occurred in cells that were not as genetically unstable as carcinoma cells, indicating that EBV infection induced an epigenetic mutator phenotype. The impact of this work is that we have provided a mechanistic framework for how a tumor virus using the epigenetic machinery can act in a "hit-and-run" fashion, with retention of epigenetic alterations after loss of the virus. Unlike genetic alterations, these virally induced epigenetic changes can be reversed pharmacologically, providing therapeutic interventions to EBV-associated malignancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00972-14DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4178815PMC
October 2014

Epstein-Barr virus-induced epigenetic alterations following transient infection.

Int J Cancer 2013 May 2;132(9):2076-86. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a known tumor virus associated with an increasing array of malignancies; however, the association of the virus with certain malignancies is often erratic. To determine EBV's contributions to tumorigenesis in a setting of incomplete association, a transient model of infection was established where a clonal CCL185 carcinoma cell line infected with recombinant EBV was allowed to lose viral genomes by withdrawal of selection pressure. Global gene expression comparing EBV-negative, transiently infected clones to uninfected controls identified expression changes in more than 1,000 genes. Among downregulated genes, several genes known to be deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylated in cancer were identified including E-cadherin and PYCARD. A cadherin switch, increased motility and enhanced cellular invasiveness present in EBV-positive cells were retained after viral loss, indicating an epigenetic effect. Repression of PYCARD expression was a result of increased promoter CpG methylation, whereas loss of E-cadherin expression after transient EBV infection did not correlate with increased DNA methylation of the E-cadherin promoter. Rather, repression of E-cadherin was consistent with the formation of a repressive chromatin state. Decreased histone 3 or 4 acetylation at the promoter and 5' end of the E-cadherin gene was observed in an EBV-negative, transiently infected clone relative to the uninfected controls. These results suggest that EBV can stably alter gene expression in a heritable fashion in formerly infected cells, whereas its own contribution to the oncogenic process is masked.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.27893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3578144PMC
May 2013
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