Emerging Microbes & Infections
Latest articles in this journal
Published: 29 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2187245
Over 3 billion doses of inactivated vaccines for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been administered globally. However, our understanding of the immune cell functional transcription and T cell receptor (TCR)/B cell receptor (BCR) repertoire dynamics following inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccination remains poorly understood. Here, we performed single-cell RNA and TCR/BCR sequencing on peripheral blood mononuclear cells at four time points after immunization with the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BBIBP-CorV. Our analysis revealed an enrichment of monocytes, central memory CD4+ T cells, type 2 helper T cells and memory B cells following vaccination. Single-cell TCR-seq and RNA-seq comminating analysis identified a clonal expansion of CD4+ T cells (but not CD8+ T cells) following a booster vaccination that corresponded to a decrease in the TCR diversity of central memory CD4+ T cells and type 2 helper T cells. Importantly, these TCR repertoire changes and CD4+ T cell differentiation were correlated with the biased VJ gene usage of BCR and the antibody-producing function of B cells post-vaccination. Finally, we compared the functional transcription and repertoire dynamics in immune cells elicited by vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 infection to explore the immune responses under different stimuli. Our data provide novel molecular and cellular evidence for the CD4+ T cell-dependent antibody response induced by inactivated vaccine BBIBP-CorV. This information is urgently needed to develop new prevention and control strategies for SARS-CoV-2 infection. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04871932). Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04871932..
Published: 29 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2192301
The fitness of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is thought to be an important determinant of a strain’s ability to be transmitted and cause outbreaks. Studies in the laboratory have demonstrated that MDR-TB strains have reduced fitness but the relative transmissibility of MDR-TB versus drug-susceptible (DS) TB strains in human populations remains unresolved. We used data on genomic clustering from our previous molecular epidemiological study in Songjiang (2011-2020) and Wusheng (2009-2020), China, to compare the relative transmissibility of MDR-TB versus DS-TB. Genomic clusters were defined with a threshold distance of 12-single-nucleotide-polymorphisms and the risk for MDR-TB clustering was analyzed by logistic regression. In total, 2212 culture-positive pulmonary TB patients were enrolled in Songjiang and 1289 in Wusheng. The clustering rates of MDR-TB and DS-TB strains were 19.4% (20/103) and 26.3% (509/1936), respectively in Songjiang, and 43.9% (29/66) and 26.0% (293/1128) in Wusheng. The risk of MDR-TB clustering was 2.34 (95% CI 1.38-3.94) times higher than DS-TB clustering in Wusheng and 0.64 (95% CI 0.38-1.06) times lower in Songjiang. Neither lineage 2, compensatory mutations nor rpoB S450L were significantly associated with MDR-TB transmission, and katG S315T increased MDR-TB transmission only in Wusheng (OR 5.28, 95% CI 1.42-19.21). MDR-TB was not more transmissible than DS-TB in either Songjiang or Wusheng. It appears that the different transmissibility of MDR-TB in Songjiang and Wusheng is likely due to differences in the quality of the local TB control programs. These results suggest that the most effective way to control MDR-TB is by improving local TB control programs.
Published: 27 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections, Volume 12; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2191738
The sudden change of public health policy in containing COVID-19 in China around December 7, 2022 and the subsequent immediate large scale outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus ...
Published: 23 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2195020
SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19, continues to threaten global public health. COVID-19 is a multi-organ disease, causing not only respiratory distress, but also extrapulmonary manifestations, including gastrointestinal symptoms with SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding in stool long after respiratory clearance. Despite global vaccination and existing antiviral treatments, variants of concern are still emerging and circulating. Of note, new Omicron BA.5 sublineages both increasingly evade neutralizing antibodies and demonstrate an increased preference for entry via the endocytic entry route. Alternative to direct-acting antivirals, host-directed therapies interfere with host mechanisms hijacked by viruses, and enhance cell-mediated resistance with a reduced likelihood of drug resistance development. Here, we demonstrate that the autophagy-blocking therapeutic berbamine dihydrochloride robustly prevents SARS-CoV-2 acquisition by human intestinal epithelial cells via an autophagy-mediated BNIP3 mechanism. Strikingly, berbamine dihydrochloride exhibited pan-antiviral activity against Omicron subvariants BA.2 and BA.5 at nanomolar potency, providing a proof of concept for the potential for targeting autophagy machinery to thwart infection of current circulating SARS-CoV-2 subvariants. Furthermore, we show that autophagy-blocking therapies limited virus-induced damage to intestinal barrier function, affirming the therapeutic relevance of autophagy manipulation to avert the intestinal permeability associated with acute COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 syndrome. Our findings underscore that SARS-CoV-2 exploits host autophagy machinery for intestinal dissemination and indicate that repurposed autophagy-based antivirals represent a pertinent therapeutic option to boost protection and ameliorate disease pathogenesis against current and future SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
Published: 22 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2195019
The persistent pandemic of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) currently poses a major infectious threat to public health around the world. COVID-19 is an infectious disease characterized by strong induction of inflammatory cytokines, progressive lung inflammation, and potential multiple organ dysfunction. SARS-CoV-2 infection is closely related to the innate immune system and adaptive immune system. Dendritic cells (DCs), as a "bridge" connecting innate immunity and adaptive immunity, play many important roles in viral diseases. In this review, we will pay special attention to the possible mechanism of dendritic cells in human viral transmission and clinical progression of diseases, as well as the reduction and dysfunction of DCs in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, so as to understand the mechanism and immunological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Published: 22 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2192815
The re-emerging mpox (formerly monkeypox) virus (MPXV), a member of Orthopoxvirus genus together with variola virus (VARV) and vaccinia virus (VACV), has led to public health emergency of international concern since July, 2022. Inspired by the unprecedent success of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mRNA vaccines, the development of a safe and effective mRNA vaccine against MPXV is of high priority. Based on our established lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated mRNA vaccine platform, we rationally constructed and prepared a panel of multicomponent MPXV vaccine candidates encoding different combinations of viral antigens including M1R, E8L, A29L, A35R and B6R. In vitro and in vivo characterization demonstrated that two immunizations of all mRNA vaccine candidates elicit a robust antibody response as well as antigen specific Th1-biased cellular response in mice. Importantly, the penta- and tetra-component vaccine candidates AR-MPXV5 and AR-MPXV4a showed superior capability of inducing neutralizing antibodies as well as of protecting from VACV challenge in mice. Our study provides critical insights to understand the protection mechanism of MPXV infection and direct evidence supporting further clinical development of these multicomponent mRNA vaccine candidates.
Published: 20 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2192816
Emerging zoonoses of wildlife origin caused by previously unknown agents are one of the most important challenges for human health. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau represents a unique ecological niche with diverse wildlife that harbors several human pathogens and numerous previously uncharacterized pathogens. In this study, we identified and characterized a novel arenavirus (namely, plateau pika virus, PPV) from plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau by virome analysis. Isolated PPV strains could replicate in several mammalian cells. We further investigated PPV pathogenesis using animal models. PPV administered via an intraventricular route caused trembling and sudden death in IFNαβR-/- mice, and pathological inflammatory lesions in brain tissue were observed. According to a retrospective serological survey in the geographical region where PPV was isolated, PPV-specific IgG antibodies were detected in 8 (2.4%) of 335 outpatients with available sera. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that this virus was clearly separated from previously reported New and Old World mammarenaviruses. Under the co-speciation framework, the estimated divergence time of PPV was 77-88 million years ago (MYA), earlier than that of OW and NW mammarenaviruses (26-34 MYA).
Published: 17 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2192822
The current study was designed to comparatively analyze the reactions of different mouse strains in response to acellular pertussis(aP) vaccine, with attempt to further provide a reference for aP vaccine evaluation. NIH mice, ICR mice, and BALB/c mice adopted from different pharmacopoeias and studies were utilized to measure the immune protection and immunogenicity of the same batch of aP vaccine according to the MICA from some Asian pharmacopoeias and the pertussis serological potency test (PTST) method from European Pharmacopoeia. Based on our results, the aP vaccine detected by NIH mice had the best potency. So the NIH mice were more suitable for detecting the immune protection of aP vaccine by the Modified intracerebral challenge assay (MICA)method. Given that the levels of PT-IgG and FHA-IgG antibodies in ICR mice were the highest, and the levels of Th1 and Th2 cells were significantly increased (P < 0.01), it was more suitable for the detection of immunogenicity of aP vaccine by PSPT method. Spleen lymphocytes were stimulated by PT and FHA. And the levels of IL-4 in ICR mice and NIH mice were significantly increased, so were the levels of IL-17, IL-23, IL-27, and TNF-α in BALB/c mice. NIH mice have stronger adaptive immunity and the weakest inflammatory response, and ICR mice have enhanced adaptive immunity and inflammatory responses, both of which can be thereby used for evaluation by different pharmacopoeia methods. NIH was more suitable for the MICA method of Chinese Pharmacopoeia, and ICR for the PSPT method of European Pharmacopoeia.
Published: 17 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections pp 1-111; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2192830
Monkeypox (MPOX) is a zoonotic disease endemic to regions of Central/Western Africa. The geographic endemicity of MPV has expanded, broadening the human-monkeypox virus interface and its potential for spillover. Since May 2022, a large multi-country MPV outbreak with no proven links to endemic countries has originated in Europe and has rapidly expanded around the globe, setting off genomic surveillance efforts. Here, we conducted a genomic analysis of 23 MPV-infected patients from New York City during the early outbreak, assessing the phylogenetic relationship of these strains against publicly available MPV genomes. Additionally, we compared the genomic sequences of clinical isolates versus culture-passaged samples from a subset of samples. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that MPV genomes included in this study cluster within the B.1 lineage (Clade IIb), with some of the samples displaying further differentiation into five different sub-lineages of B.1. Mutational analysis revealed 55 non-synonymous polymorphisms throughout the genome, with some of these mutations located in critical regions required for viral multiplication, structural and assembly functions, as well as the target region for antiviral treatment. In addition, we identified a large majority of polymorphisms associated with GA>AA and TC>TT nucleotide replacements, suggesting the action of human APOBEC3 enzyme. A comparison between clinical isolates and cell culture-passaged samples failed to reveal any difference. Our results provide a first glance at the mutational landscape of early MPV-2022 (B.1) circulating strains in NYC.
Published: 16 March 2023
Emerging Microbes & Infections; https://doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2023.2192819
Little is known about alternation and difference in gut microbiota between patients with mild and severe hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). We investigated the differences in gut and oropharynx microbiotas between mild and severe HFMD in young children and changes in bacterial profiles as the disease progresses from acute to convalescent phase. Forty-two patients with confirmed HFMD were studied, among which thirty-two had severe HFMD and ten had mild HFMD. First rectal swabs were collected from all patients at an average of 2 days (acute phase) after the onset of symptoms, and second rectal swabs were collected from 8 severe patients at day 9 (convalescent phase) after the onset. Oropharyngeal swabs were obtained from 10 patients in the acute phase and 6 in the convalescent phase. 16S rRNA sequencing was performed for all 70 samples. Compared with mild HFMD, severe HFMD exhibited significantly decreased diversity and richness of gut microbiota. Gut microbiota bacterial profiles observed in the acute and convalescent phases resembled each other, but differed from those in mild cases. Additionally, 50% of patients with severe HFMD in the acute phase harbored a dominant pathobiontic bacterial genus. However, none of patients with mild HFMD had such bacteria. Similar bacterial compositions in oropharynx microbiota were detected between mild and severe cases. Our findings indicate that severe HFMD exhibits significantly impaired diversity of gut microbiota and frequent gut and oropharyngeal inflammation-inducing bacteria. However, the results should be interpreted with caution as the number of the subjects was limited.