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PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266412, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793503


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, was identified in late 2019 and caused >5 million deaths by February 2022. To date, targeted antiviral interventions against COVID-19 are limited. The spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic to fatal disease. However, the reasons for varying outcomes to SARS-CoV-2 infection are yet to be elucidated. Here we show that an endogenously activated interferon lambda (IFNλ1) pathway leads to resistance against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using a well-differentiated primary nasal epithelial cell (WD-PNEC) culture model derived from multiple adult donors, we discovered that susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, but not respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, varied. One of four donors was resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection. High baseline IFNλ1 expression levels and associated interferon stimulated genes correlated with resistance to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Inhibition of the JAK/STAT pathway in WD-PNECs with high endogenous IFNλ1 secretion resulted in higher SARS-CoV-2 titres. Conversely, prophylactic IFNλ treatment of WD-PNECs susceptible to infection resulted in reduced viral titres. An endogenously activated IFNλ response, possibly due to genetic differences, may be one explanation for the differences in susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans. Importantly, our work supports the continued exploration of IFNλ as a potential pharmaceutical against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Interferons/pharmacology , Janus Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT Transcription Factors/metabolism , Signal Transduction
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674824


SARS-CoV-2 can efficiently infect both children and adults, albeit with morbidity and mortality positively associated with increasing host age and presence of co-morbidities. SARS-CoV-2 continues to adapt to the human population, resulting in several variants of concern (VOC) with novel properties, such as Alpha and Delta. However, factors driving SARS-CoV-2 fitness and evolution in paediatric cohorts remain poorly explored. Here, we provide evidence that both viral and host factors co-operate to shape SARS-CoV-2 genotypic and phenotypic change in primary airway cell cultures derived from children. Through viral whole-genome sequencing, we explored changes in genetic diversity over time of two pre-VOC clinical isolates of SARS-CoV-2 during passage in paediatric well-differentiated primary nasal epithelial cell (WD-PNEC) cultures and in parallel, in unmodified Vero-derived cell lines. We identified a consistent, rich genetic diversity arising in vitro, variants of which could rapidly rise to near fixation within two passages. Within isolates, SARS-CoV-2 evolution was dependent on host cells, with paediatric WD-PNECs showing a reduced diversity compared to Vero (E6) cells. However, mutations were not shared between strains. Furthermore, comparison of both Vero-grown isolates on WD-PNECs disclosed marked growth attenuation mapping to the loss of the polybasic cleavage site (PBCS) in Spike, while the strain with mutations in Nsp12 (T293I), Spike (P812R) and a truncation of Orf7a remained viable in WD-PNECs. Altogether, our work demonstrates that pre-VOC SARS-CoV-2 efficiently infects paediatric respiratory epithelial cells, and its evolution is restrained compared to Vero (E6) cells, similar to the case of adult cells. We highlight the significant genetic plasticity of SARS-CoV-2 while uncovering an influential role for collaboration between viral and host cell factors in shaping viral evolution and ultimately fitness in human respiratory epithelium.

Evolution, Molecular , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Child , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genotype , Humans , Mutation , Nose/cytology , Nose/virology , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Vero Cells , Whole Genome Sequencing
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0109121, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591660


Chemical methods of virus inactivation are used routinely to prevent viral transmission in both a personal hygiene capacity but also in at-risk environments like hospitals. Several virucidal products exist, including hand soaps, gels, and surface disinfectants. Resin acids, which can be derived from tall oil, produced from trees, have been shown to exhibit antibacterial activity. However, whether these products or their derivatives have virucidal activity is unknown. Here, we assessed the capacity of rosin soap to inactivate a panel of pathogenic mammalian viruses in vitro. We show that rosin soap can inactivate human enveloped viruses: influenza A virus (IAV), respiratory syncytial virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). For IAV, rosin soap could provide a 100,000-fold reduction in infectivity. However, rosin soap failed to affect the nonenveloped encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). The inhibitory effect of rosin soap against IAV infectivity was dependent on its concentration but not on the incubation time or temperature. In all, we demonstrate a novel chemical inactivation method against enveloped viruses, which could be of use for preventing virus infections in certain settings. IMPORTANCE Viruses remain a significant cause of human disease and death, most notably illustrated through the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Control of virus infection continues to pose a significant global health challenge to the human population. Viruses can spread through multiple routes, including via environmental and surface contamination, where viruses can remain infectious for days. Methods for inactivating viruses on such surfaces may help mitigate infection. Here, we present evidence identifying a novel virucidal product, rosin soap, which is produced from tall oil from coniferous trees. Rosin soap was able to rapidly and potently inactivate influenza virus and other enveloped viruses.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Resins, Plant/pharmacology , Soaps/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/analysis , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Influenza A virus/growth & development , Plant Oils/analysis , Plant Oils/pharmacology , Resins, Plant/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Soaps/analysis , Virus Inactivation/drug effects
PLoS Pathog ; 17(4): e1009547, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207647