Piet Maes

Piet Maes
KU Leuven | ku leuven · Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Ph.D. Medical Sciences

About

290
Publications
60,739
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
8,722
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2001 - present
KU Leuven
Position
  • Rega Institute, KU Leuven

Publications

Publications (290)
Article
The national vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 started in January 2021 in Belgium. In the present study, we aimed to use national hospitalisation surveillance data to investigate the recent evolution of vaccine impact on the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation. We analysed aggregated data from 27,608 COVID-19 patients hospitalised between Octobe...
Article
Full-text available
From early 2020, a high demand for SARS-CoV-2 tests was driven by several testing indications, including asymptomatic cases, resulting in the massive roll-out of PCR assays to combat the pandemic. Considering the dynamic of viral shedding during the course of infection, the demand to report cycle threshold (Ct) values rapidly emerged. As Ct values...
Article
To mitigate the massive COVID-19 burden caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), several vaccination campaigns were initiated. We performed a single-center observational trial to monitor the mid- (3 months) and long-term (10 months) adaptive immune response and to document breakthrough infections (BTI) in healthcare w...
Preprint
The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (3CLpro) has an indispensable role in the viral life cycle and is a therapeutic target for the treatment of COVID-19. The potential of 3CLpro-inhibitors to select for drug-resistant variants needs to be established. Therefore SARS-CoV-2 was passaged in vitro in the presence of increasing concentrations of ALG-097161, a...
Article
Full-text available
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 sublineage has been supplanted in many countries by the BA.2 sublineage. BA.2 differs from BA.1 by about 21 mutations in its spike. Here, we first compared the sensitivity of BA.1 and BA.2 to neutralization by 9 therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). In contrast to BA.1, BA.2 was sensitive to Cilgavimab, partly inhibi...
Article
Objectives To better understand the conditions which have led to one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in Belgian nursing homes in 2020. Setting A nursing home in Flanders, Belgium, which experienced a massive outbreak of COVID-19 after a cultural event. An external volunteer who dressed as a legendary figure visited consecutively the 4 living uni...
Article
Full-text available
Background IgG anti-spike (S) antibodies arise after SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as vaccination. Levels of IgG anti-S are linked to neutralizing antibody titers and protection against (re)infection. Methods We measured IgG anti-S and surrogate neutralizing antibody kinetics against Wild Type (WT) and 4 Variants of Concern (VOC) in health care wor...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the great success of the administered vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus can still spread, as evidenced by the current circulation of the highly contagious Omicron variant. This emphasizes the additional need to develop effective antiviral countermeasures. In the context of early preclinical studies for antiviral assessment, robust cell...
Article
On November 24th, 2021, a new SARS-CoV-2 variant assigned to the lineage B.1.1.529 (Omicron) was first reported to WHO from South Africa. Despite the co-circulation of several SARS-CoV-2 variants, co-infection by different variants is not commonly identified. Here, we report two cases of SARS-CoV-2 co-identifications with the Omicron and Delta vari...
Article
Full-text available
Basic and antiviral research on SARS-CoV-2 rely on cellular assays of virus replication in vitro. In addition, accurate detection of virus-infected cells and released virus particles is needed to study virus replication and to profile new candidate antiviral drugs. Here, by flow cytometry, we detect SARS-CoV-2 infection at single cell level and dis...
Preprint
The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, characterized by a significant antigenic diversity compared to the previous Delta variant, had led to a decrease in antibody efficacy in both convalescent and vaccinees sera resulting in high number of reinfections and breakthrough cases worldwide. However, to date, reinfections are defined by the EC...
Article
Full-text available
Despite recent advancements in the development of vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies for Ebola virus disease, treatment options remain limited. Moreover, management and containment of Ebola virus outbreaks is often hindered by the remote nature of the locations in which the outbreaks originate. Small-molecule compounds offer the advantage o...
Article
Full-text available
Some filoviruses can be transmitted to humans by zoonotic spillover events from their natural host and filovirus outbreaks have occured with increasing frequency in the last years. The filovirus Lloviu virus (LLOV), was identified in 2002 in Schreiber’s bats ( Miniopterus schreibersii ) in Spain and was subsequently detected in bats in Hungary. Her...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Microbes colonizing the infant gut during the first year(s) of life play an important role in immune system development. We show that after birth the (nearly) sterile gut is rapidly colonized by bacteria and their viruses (phages), which often show a strong cooccurrence. Most viruses infecting the infant do not cause clinical signs and...
Preprint
COVID-19 vaccination has resulted in excellent protection against fatal disease, including in the elderly. However, risk factors for post-vaccination fatal COVID-19 are largely unknown. We comprehensively studied three large nursing home outbreaks (20-35% fatal cases) by combining SARS-CoV-2 aerosol monitoring, whole-genome phylogenetic analysis, a...
Preprint
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant has been supplanted in many countries by the BA.2 sub-lineage. BA.2 differs from BA.1 by about 21 mutations in its spike. Human anti-spike monoclonalantibodies(mAbs)areusedforpreventionortreatmentofCOVID-19. However, the capacity of therapeutic mAbs to neutralize BA.1 and BA.2 remains poorly characterized. Here,...
Article
Full-text available
Late 2020, SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant emerged in United Kingdom and gradually replaced G614 strains initially involved in the global spread of the pandemic. In this study, we use a Syrian hamster model to compare a clinical strain of Alpha variant with an ancestral G614 strain. The Alpha variant succeed to infect animals and to induce a pathology tha...
Preprint
The subfamily Orthoparamyxovirinae is a group of single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses that contains many human, animal and zoonotic pathogens. While there are currently only 34 recognized member species in this subfamily, recent research has revealed that much of its diversity remains to be characterized. Using a newly developed nested PCR-b...
Article
Full-text available
SARS-CoV-2 has kept the world in suspense for almost 2 years now. The virus spread rapidly worldwide and several variants of concern have emerged: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and recently Omicron. A rapid method to detect key mutations is needed because these variants may jeopardize the effectiveness of immune protection following vaccination or past...
Article
Full-text available
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant was first identified in November 2021 in Botswana and South Africa1–3. It has since then spread to many countries and is expected to rapidly become dominant worldwide. The lineage is characterized by the presence of about 32 mutations in the spike, located mostly in the N-terminal domain (NTD) and the receptor binding...
Preprint
Despite the great success of the administered vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus can still spread, as evidenced by the current circulation of the highly contagious Omicron variant. This emphasizes the additional need to develop effective antiviral countermeasures. In the context of early preclinical studies for antiviral assessment, robust cell...
Article
Full-text available
We report the complete genome sequence of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant (lineage B.1.1.529) from a Belgian patient with a history of recent travel to Egypt. At the time of writing, this genome constituted the first confirmed case of an infection with the Omicron variant in Europe.
Preprint
Despite the efficacy of current vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the spread of the virus is still not under control, as evidenced by the ongoing circulation of the highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. Basic and antiviral research on SARS-CoV-2 relies on cellular assays of virus replication in vitro . In addition, accurate detection of virus-in...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the in vitro antiviral activity of remdesivir and its parent nucleoside GS-441524, molnupiravir and its parent nucleoside EIDD-1931 and the viral protease inhibitor nirmatrelvir against the ancestral SARS-CoV2 strain and the five variants of concern including Omicron. VeroE6-GFP cells were pre-treated overnight with serial dilutions of...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs) has exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic. End of November 2021, a new SARS-CoV-2 variant namely the omicron (B.1.1.529) emerged. Since this omicron variant is heavily mutated in the spike protein, WHO classified this variant as the 5th variant of concern (VoC). We previously demonstrated that the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To prevent the massive COVID-19 burden, several vaccination campaigns were initiated. We performed a single center observational trial to evaluate adaptive immunity in naive healthcare workers upon BNT162b2 vaccination. Methods: S...
Article
Full-text available
Background Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) types 1 and 2 play a central role in the etiology of the most common neoplasm in horses, the equine sarcoid. The unknown mechanism behind the unique variety in clinical presentation on the one hand and the host dependent clinical outcome of BPV-1 infection on the other hand indicate the involvement of addition...
Preprint
Full-text available
The in vitro effect of GS-441524, remdesivir, EIDD-1931, molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir against the various SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, including Omicron, was determined. VeroE6-GFP cells were pre-treated overnight with serial dilutions of the compounds before infection. The number of fluorescent pixels of GFP signal, determined by high-content imaging on day...
Preprint
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs) has exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic. End of November 2021, a new SARS-CoV-2 variant namely the omicron (B.1.1.529) emerged. Since this omicron variant is heavily mutated in the spike protein, WHO classified this variant as the 5th variant of concern (VoC). We previously demonstrated that the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives: To better understand the conditions which have led to one of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks in Belgian nursing homes in 2020. Setting: A nursing home in Flanders, Belgium, which experienced a massive outbreak of COVID-19 after a cultural event. An external volunteer who dressed as a legendary figure visited consecutively the 4 living un...
Preprint
Full-text available
The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant was first identified in November 2021 in Botswana and South Africa. It has in the meantime spread to many countries and is expected to rapidly become dominant worldwide. The lineage is characterized by the presence of about 32 mutations in the Spike, located mostly in the N-terminal domain (NTD) and the receptor bindi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite recent advancements in the development of vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies for Ebola virus disease, treatment options remain limited. Moreover, management and containment of Ebola virus outbreaks is often hindered by the remote nature of the locations in which the outbreaks originate. Small-molecule compounds offer the advantage o...
Article
Full-text available
Background Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been used for hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 patients because of their antiviral and anti-inflammatory function. However, little research has been published on the impact of the immunomodulatory effect of (hydroxy)chloroquine on humoral immunity. Case presentation We report a case of sympto...
Article
Full-text available
European perch (Perca fluviatilis) are increasingly farmed as a human food source. Viral infections of European perch remain largely unexplored, thereby putting farm populations at incalculable risk for devastating fish epizootics and presenting a potential hazard to consumers. To address these concerns, we applied metatranscriptomics to identify d...
Article
Full-text available
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is not always confined to the respiratory system, as it impacts people on a broad clinical spectrum from asymptomatic to severe systemic manifestations resulting in death. Further, accumulation of intra-host single nucleotide variants during prolonged SARS-CoV-2 infection may le...
Preprint
Full-text available
Current licensed COVID-19 vaccines are based on antigen sequences of initial SARS-CoV-2 isolates that emerged in 2019. By mid 2021 these historical virus strains have been completely replaced by new cosmopolitan SARS-CoV-2 lineages. The ongoing pandemic has been further driven by emerging variants of concern (VOC) Alpha, Beta, Gamma and, lately pre...
Article
Broadly neutralizing antibodies are an important treatment for individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Antibody-based therapeutics are also essential for pandemic preparedness against future Sarbecovirus outbreaks. Camelid-derived single domain antibodies (VHHs) ex...
Article
Full-text available
At the end of 2020, several new variants of SARS-CoV-2—designated variants of concern—were detected and quickly suspected to be associated with a higher transmissibility and possible escape of vaccine-induced immunity. In Belgium, this discovery has motivated the initiation of a more ambitious genomic surveillance program, which is drastically incr...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have witnessed the discovery of several new viruses belonging to the family Arteriviridae, expanding the known diversity and host range of this group of complex RNA viruses. Although the pathological relevance of these new viruses is not always clear, several well-studied members of the family Arteriviridae are known to be important an...
Article
Full-text available
Background Several randomised clinical trials have studied convalescent plasma (CP) for COVID-19 using different protocols, with different SARS-CoV-2 neutralising-antibody-titres, at different time-points and severities of illness. Methods In the prospective multicentre DAWN-plasma trial, adult patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were randomised t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Filoviruses are prime examples of emerging human pathogens that are transmitted to humans by zoonotic spillover events. Since their initial discovery, filovirus outbreaks have occured with increasing frequency and intensity. There is an urgent need to better understand their enzootic ecology and pathogenic potential, given recent zoonotic virus spi...
Article
Full-text available
More than a year after the first identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the causative agent of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in China, the emergence and spread of genomic variants of this virus through travel raise concerns regarding the introduction of lineages in previously unaffected regions,...
Article
Full-text available
Recent metagenomics studies have revealed several tick species to host a variety of previously undiscovered RNA viruses. Ixodes ricinus, which is known to be a vector for many viral, bacterial and protozoan pathogens, is the most prevalent tick species in Europe. For this study, we decided to investigate the virosphere of Belgian I. ricinus ticks....
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs) has exacerbated the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently available monoclonal antibodies and vaccines appear to have reduced efficacy against some of these VoCs. Antivirals targeting conserved proteins of SARS-CoV-2 are unlikely to be affected by mutations arising in VoCs, and should therefore be effec...
Preprint
Full-text available
SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 was first detected in Belgium on 3rd February 2020, albeit the first epidemiological wave started in March and ended in June 2020. One year after the first epidemiological wave hit the country data analyses reveled the temporal and variant distribution of SARS-CoV-2 and its implication with Belgian epidem...
Article
Full-text available
Background Within one year after its emergence, more than 108 million people acquired SARS-CoV-2 and almost 2·4 million succumbed to COVID-19. New SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC) are emerging all over the world, with the threat of being more readily transmitted, being more virulent, or escaping naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity....
Article
Full-text available
We report here the complete genome sequence of ruloma virus, a novel paramyxovirus detected in a Machangu's brush-furred rat from Tanzania. Ruloma virus has the longest orthoparamyxovirus genome reported to date and forms a sister clade to all currently known members of the genus Jeilongvirus.
Article
Full-text available
The high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 is related to abundant replication in the upper airways, which is not observed for the other highly pathogenic coronaviruses SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. We here reveal features of the coronavirus spike (S) protein, which optimize the virus towards the human respiratory tract. First, the S proteins exhibit an intri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Late 2020, SARS-CoV-2 20I/501Y.V1 variant from lineage B.1.1.7 emerged in United Kingdom and gradually replaced the D614G strains initially involved in the global spread of the pandemic. In this study, we used a Syrian hamster model to compare a clinical strain of 20I/501Y.V1 variant with an ancestral D614G strain. The 20I/501Y.V1 variant succeeded...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent metagenomics studies have revealed several tick species to host a variety of previously undiscovered RNA viruses. Ixodes ricinus, which is known to be a vector for many viral, bacterial and protozoan pathogens, is the most prevalent tick species in Europe. For this study, we decided to investigate the virosphere of Belgian I. ricinus ticks....
Article
Full-text available
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global economic and health crisis. To identify host factors essential for coronavirus infection, we performed genome-wide functional genetic screens with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and human coronavirus 229E. These screens uncovered virus-specific as well as shared host fa...
Preprint
Full-text available
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has gripped the world for over a year 1,2 . SARS-CoV-2 impacts people on a broad clinical spectrum from asymptomatic to severe respiratory and systemic manifestations resulting in death ³ . In addition, intra-host SARS-CoV-2 gen...
Preprint
Full-text available
We have identified camelid single-domain antibodies (VHHs) that cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-1 and -2, such as VHH72, which binds to a unique highly conserved epitope in the viral receptor-binding domain (RBD) that is difficult to access for human antibodies. Here, we establish a protein engineering path for how a stable, long-acting drug candidate ca...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether chloroquine can prevent hantavirus infection and disease in vitro and in vivo, using the Hantaan virus newborn C57BL/6 mice model and the Syrian hamster model for Andes virus. In vitro antiviral experiments were performed using Vero E6 cells, and Old World and New World hantavirus species. Hantavirus RNA was detected using q...
Preprint
Within one year after its emergence, more than 108 million people contracted SARS-CoV-2 and almost 2.4 million succumbed to COVID-19. New SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC) are emerging all over the world, with the threat of being more readily transmitted, being more virulent, or escaping naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity. At least...
Article
Full-text available
Marburg virus (MARV) is the only known pathogenic filovirus not belonging to the genus Ebolavirus. Minigenomes have proven a useful tool to study MARV, but all existing MARV minigenomes are dependent on the addition of an exogenous T7 RNA polymerase to drive minigenome expression. However, exogenous expression of a T7 polymerase is not always feasi...