SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics in lungs of African green monkeys
Brandi N. Williamson,
Gail L. Sturdevant,
Brian J. Smith,
Vincent J. Munster,
Sonja M Best,
Emmie de Wit
Posted 20 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.20.258087
Posted 20 Aug 2020
Detailed knowledge about the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection is important for unraveling the viral and host factors that contribute to COVID-19 pathogenesis. Old-World nonhuman primates recapitulate mild-moderate COVID-19 cases, thereby serving as important pathogenesis models. We compared African green monkeys inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 or inactivated virus to study the dynamics of virus replication throughout the respiratory tract. RNA sequencing of single cells from the lungs and mediastinal lymph nodes allowed a high-resolution analysis of virus replication and host responses over time. Viral replication was mainly localized to the lower respiratory tract, with evidence of replication in the pneumocytes. Macrophages were found to play a role in initiating a pro-inflammatory state in the lungs, while also interacting with infected pneumocytes. Our dataset provides a detailed view of changes in host and virus replication dynamics over the course of mild COVID-19 and serves as a valuable resource to identify therapeutic targets. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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