Karen A. Krogfelt
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Researcher at Department of Molecular and Medicinal Biology, Institute for Science and Environment, Roskilde University
Due to urgency and demand, numerous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoassays are rapidly being developed and placed on the market with limited validation on clinical samples. Thorough validation of serological tests are required to facilitate their use in the accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, confirmation of molecular results, contact tracing, and epidemiological studies. This study evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of nine commercially available serological tests. These included three enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and six point-of-care (POC) lateral flow tests. The assays were validated using serum samples from: i) SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive patients with a documented first day of disease; ii) archived sera obtained from healthy individuals before the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in China; iii) sera from patients with acute viral respiratory tract infections caused by other coronaviruses or non-coronaviruses; and iv) sera from patients positive for dengue virus, cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus. The results showed 100% specificity for the Wantai SARS-CoV-2 Total Antibody ELISA, 93% for the Euroimmun IgA ELISA, and 96% for the Euroimmun IgG ELISA with sensitivities of 90%, 90%, and 65%, respectively. The overall performance of the POC tests according to manufacturer were in the rank order of AutoBio Diagnostics > Dynamiker Biotechnology = CTK Biotech > Artron Laboratories > Acro Biotech [≥] Hangzhou Alltest Biotech. Overall, these findings will facilitate selection of serological assays for the detection SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies towards diagnosis as well as sero-epidemiological and vaccine development studies.
Early life microbiota has been linked to the development of chronic inflammatory diseases. It has been hypothesized that maternal vaginal microbiota is an important initial seeding source and therefore can have lifelong effects on disease risk. To understand maternal vaginal microbiota's role in seeding the child's microbiota and the extent of delivery mode-dependent transmission, we studied 700 mother-child dyads from the COPSAC2010 cohort. The maternal vaginal microbiota was evaluated in the third trimester and compared with the children's fecal and airway microbiota. The vaginal samples displayed known stable community state types and only 1:6 changed over time. Only one OTU were significantly transferred to children's fecal compartment, but an inflated number had positive transfer odds. A few taxonomic families showed early transfer enrichment to vaginally-born children, indicating vertical transfer, while half of the observed transfer effects were delivery mode independent enrichment with attenuating strength over time, indicating a common reservoir.
Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) is a major cause of urinary and bloodstream infections and its association with extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) significantly complicates treatment. Most notorious is its rapidly expanding H30-Rx clade (named for containing allele 30 of the type-1 fimbrial adhesin gene fimH and extensive antimicrobial resistance), which appears to have emerged in the United States due in part due to the acquisition of the ESBL-encoding blaCTX-M-15 gene and resistance to fluoroquinolones. However, non-H30 ST131 lineages with acquired CTX-M-type resistance genes also are emerging. Based on whole-genome analyses, we describe here the presence of an (fimH) H27 E. coli ST131 lineage that currently is causing an outbreak of community-acquired bacteremia and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in Denmark. This lineage has acquired both a virulence plasmid (pAA) that defines the enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) diarrheagenic pathotype and multiple genes associated with extraintestinal E. coli (ExPEC) that combined has made this particular ST131 lineage highly successful at colonizing its human host and cause recurrent UTI. Moreover, using a historic World Health Organization E. coli collection and publically available genome sequences, we identify a global H27 EAEC ST131 lineage dating back as far as 1998. Most H27 EAEC ST131 isolates harbor pAA or pAA-like plasmids, which analysis strongly imply was caused by a single ancestral acquisition. These findings illustrate the profound plasticity of this important pathogenic E. coli H27 lineage in general, and the genetic acquisitions of EAEC-specific virulence traits that likely confer an enhanced ability to cause intestinal colonization.