Journal of virology. 2021-09-27; 95.20: e0101021.

Kinetic Multi-omic Analysis of Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Model of Severe COVID-19

Cantwell AM, Singh H, Platt M, Yu Y, Lin YH, Ikeno Y, Hubbard G, Xiang Y, Gonzalez-Juarbe N, Dube PH

PMID: 34319784


The host response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is poorly understood due to a lack of an animal model that recapitulates severe human disease. Here, we report a Syrian hamster model that develops progressive lethal pulmonary disease that closely mimics severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We evaluated host responses using a multi-omic, multiorgan approach to define proteome, phosphoproteome, and transcriptome changes. These data revealed both type I and type II interferon-stimulated gene and protein expression along with a progressive increase in chemokines, monocytes, and neutrophil-associated molecules throughout the course of infection that peaked in the later time points correlating with a rapidly developing diffuse alveolar destruction and pneumonia that persisted in the absence of active viral infection. Extrapulmonary proteome and phosphoproteome remodeling was detected in the heart and kidneys following viral infection. Together, our results provide a kinetic overview of multiorgan host responses to severe SARS-CoV-2 infection . The current pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has created an urgent need to understand the pathogenesis of this infection. These efforts have been impaired by the lack of animal models that recapitulate severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we report a hamster model that develops severe COVID-19-like disease following infection with human isolates of SARS-CoV-2. To better understand pathogenesis, we evaluated changes in gene transcription and protein expression over the course of infection to provide an integrated multiorgan kinetic analysis of the host response to infection. These data reveal a dynamic innate immune response to infection and corresponding immune pathologies consistent with severe human disease. Altogether, this model will be useful for understanding the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and for testing interventions.