Notable Recent Publications
These are some recent publications which give a flavour of the research from the Barclay lab. For a complete list of publications, please see below.
Species difference in ANP32A underlies influenza A virus polymerase host restriction. Nature (2016).
Jason S. Long, Efstathios S. Giotis, Olivier Moncorgé, Rebecca Frise, Bhakti Mistry, Joe James, Mireille Morisson, Munir Iqbal, Alain Vignal, Michael A. Skinner & Wendy S. Barclay
This paper identified a key factor that explained why the polymerases from avian influenza viruses are restricted in humans. For more, please see the associated New and Views.
Internal genes of a highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus determine high viral replication in myeloid cells and severe outcome of infection in mice. Plos Path. (2018).
Hui Li*, Konrad C. Bradley*, Jason S. Long, Rebecca Frise, Jonathan W. Ashcroft, Lorian C. Hartgroves, Holly Shelton, Spyridon Makris, Cecilia Johansson, Bin Cao & Wendy S. Barclay
Why do avian influenza viruses like H5N1 cause such severe disease in humans? This paper demonstrated that H5N1 viruses replicate better than human viruses in myeloid cells from mice leading to a cytokine storm and more severe disease.
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Journal articleStaller E, Barclay WS, 2021,
Journal articleBraga L, Ali H, Secco I, et al., 2021,
Journal articleRiley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2021,
Surveillance of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has mainly relied on case reporting, which is biased by health service performance, test availability, and test-seeking behaviors. We report a community-wide national representative surveillance program in England based on self-administered swab results from ~594,000 individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of symptoms, between May and the beginning of September 2020. The epidemic declined between May and July 2020 but then increased gradually from mid-August, accelerating into early September 2020 at the start of the second wave. When compared with cases detected through routine surveillance, we report here a longer period of decline and a younger age distribution. Representative community sampling for SARS-CoV-2 can substantially improve situational awareness and feed into the public health response even at low prevalence.
Journal articlePinto AL, Rai RK, Brown JC, et al., 2021,
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Ultrastructural studies of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells are crucial to better understand the mechanisms of viral entry and budding within host cells. Many studies are limited by the lack of access to appropriate cellular models. As the airway epithelium is the primary site of infection it is essential to study SARS-CoV-2 infection of these cells. Here, we examined human airway epithelium, grown as highly differentiated air-liquid interface cultures and infected with three different isolates of SARS-CoV-2 including the B.1.1.7 variant (Variant of Concern 202012/01) by transmission electron microscopy and tomography. For all isolates, the virus infected ciliated but not goblet epithelial cells. Two key SARS-CoV-2 entry molecules, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, were found to be localised to the plasma membrane including microvilli but excluded from cilia. Consistent with these observations, extracellular virions were frequently seen associated with microvilli and the apical plasma membrane but rarely with ciliary membranes. Profiles indicative of viral fusion at the apical plasma membrane demonstrate that the plasma membrane is one site of entry where direct fusion releasing the nucleoprotein-encapsidated genome occurs. Intact intracellular virions were found within ciliated cells in compartments with a single membrane bearing S glycoprotein. Profiles strongly suggesting viral budding from the membrane was observed in these compartments and this may explain how virions gain their S glycoprotein containing envelope.</jats:p>
Journal articlePrendecki M, Clarke C, Brown J, et al., 2021,
Journal articleGeorge MM, McIntyre CJ, Zhou J, et al., 2021,
Journal articleRodriguez-Manzano J, Malpartida-Cardenas K, Moser N, et al., 2021,
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health emergency characterized by the high rate of transmission and ongoing increase of cases globally. Rapid point-of-care (PoC) diagnostics to detect the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2, are urgently needed to identify and isolate patients, contain its spread and guide clinical management. In this work, we report the development of a rapid PoC diagnostic test (<20 min) based on reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) and semiconductor technology for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 from extracted RNA samples. The developed LAMP assay was tested on a real-time benchtop instrument (RT-qLAMP) showing a lower limit of detection of 10 RNA copies per reaction. It was validated against extracted RNA from 183 clinical samples including 127 positive samples (screened by the CDC RT-qPCR assay). Results showed 91% sensitivity and 100% specificity when compared to RT-qPCR and average positive detection times of 15.45 ± 4.43 min. For validating the incorporation of the RT-LAMP assay onto our PoC platform (RT-eLAMP), a subset of samples was tested (n = 52), showing average detection times of 12.68 ± 2.56 min for positive samples (n = 34), demonstrating a comparable performance to a benchtop commercial instrument. Paired with a smartphone for results visualization and geolocalization, this portable diagnostic platform with secure cloud connectivity will enable real-time case identification and epidemiological surveillance.
Journal articleBrown JC, Goldhill DH, Zhou J, et al., 2021,
Increased transmission of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 (VOC 2020212/01) is not accounted for by a replicative advantage in primary airway cells or antibody escape
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Lineage B.1.1.7 (Variant of Concern 202012/01) is a new SARS-CoV-2 variant which was first sequenced in the UK in September 2020 before becoming the majority strain in the UK and spreading worldwide. The rapid spread of the B.1.1.7 variant results from increased transmissibility but the virological characteristics which underpin this advantage over other circulating strains remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that there is no difference in viral replication between B.1.1.7 and other contemporaneous SARS-CoV-2 strains in primary human airway epithelial (HAE) cells. However, B.1.1.7 replication is disadvantaged in Vero cells potentially due to increased furin-mediated cleavage of its spike protein as a result of a P681H mutation directly adjacent to the S1/S2 cleavage site. In addition, we show that B.1.1.7 does not escape neutralisation by convalescent or post-vaccination sera. Thus, increased transmission of B.1.1.7 is not caused by increased replication, as measured on HAE cells, or escape from serological immunity.</jats:p>
Journal articleWard H, Atchison C, Whitaker M, et al., 2021,
England has experienced a large outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, disproportionately affecting people from disadvantaged and ethnic minority communities. It is unclear how much of this excess is due to differences in exposure associated with structural inequalities. Here we report from the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) national study of over 100,000 people. After adjusting for test characteristics and re-weighting to the population, overall antibody prevalence is 6.0% (95% CI: 5.8-6.1). An estimated 3.4 million people had developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 by mid-July 2020. Prevalence is two- to three-fold higher among health and care workers compared with non-essential workers, and in people of Black or South Asian than white ethnicity, while age- and sex-specific infection fatality ratios are similar across ethnicities. Our results indicate that higher hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19 in minority ethnic groups may reflect higher rates of infection rather than differential experience of disease or care.
Journal articlePeacock TP, Penrice-Randal R, Hiscox JA, et al., 2021,
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