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1.
Nature ; 2022 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972633

ABSTRACT

Highly pathogenic coronaviruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)1,2, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)3, and SARS-CoV-14 vary in their transmissibility and pathogenicity. However, infection by all three viruses results in substantial apoptosis in cell culture5-7 and in patient tissues8-10, suggesting a potential link between apoptosis and pathogenesis of coronaviruses. Here we show that a cysteine-aspartic protease of the apoptosis cascade, caspase-6, serves as an important host factor for efficient coronavirus replication. We demonstrate that caspase-6 cleaves coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) proteins, generating N fragments that serve as interferon (IFN) antagonists, thus facilitating virus replication. Inhibition of caspase-6 substantially attenuates lung pathology and body weight loss of SARS-CoV-2-infected golden Syrian hamsters and improves the survival of mouse-adapted MERS-CoV (MERS-CoVMA)-infected human DPP4 knock-in (hDPP4 KI) mice. Overall, our study reveals how coronaviruses exploit a component of the host apoptosis cascade to facilitate virus replication.

2.
Cell Discov ; 8(1): 57, 2022 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1967594

ABSTRACT

The airways and alveoli of the human respiratory tract are lined by two distinct types of epithelium, which are the primary targets of respiratory viruses. We previously established long-term expanding human lung epithelial organoids from lung tissues and developed a 'proximal' differentiation protocol to generate mucociliary airway organoids. However, a respiratory organoid system with bipotential of the airway and alveolar differentiation remains elusive. Here we defined a 'distal' differentiation approach to generate alveolar organoids from the same source for the derivation of airway organoids. The alveolar organoids consisting of type I and type II alveolar epithelial cells (AT1 and AT2, respectively) functionally simulate the alveolar epithelium. AT2 cells maintained in lung organoids serve as progenitor cells from which alveolar organoids derive. Moreover, alveolar organoids sustain a productive SARS-CoV-2 infection, albeit a lower replicative fitness was observed compared to that in airway organoids. We further optimized 2-dimensional (2D) airway organoids. Upon differentiation under a slightly acidic pH, the 2D airway organoids exhibit enhanced viral replication, representing an optimal in vitro correlate of respiratory epithelium for modeling the high infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. Notably, the higher infectivity and replicative fitness of the Omicron variant than an ancestral strain were accurately recapitulated in these optimized airway organoids. In conclusion, we have established a bipotential organoid culture system able to reproducibly expand the entire human respiratory epithelium in vitro for modeling respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

3.
Int J Biol Sci ; 18(12): 4744-4755, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1954694

ABSTRACT

Viruses exploit the host lipid metabolism machinery to achieve efficient replication. We herein characterize the lipids profile reprogramming in vitro and in vivo using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based untargeted lipidomics. The lipidome of SARS-CoV-2-infected Caco-2 cells was markedly different from that of mock-infected samples, with most of the changes involving downregulation of ceramides. In COVID-19 patients' plasma samples, a total of 54 lipids belonging to 12 lipid classes that were significantly perturbed compared to non-infected control subjects' plasma samples were identified. Among these 12 lipid classes, ether-linked phosphatidylcholines, ether-linked phosphatidylethanolamines, phosphatidylcholines, and ceramides were the four most perturbed. Pathway analysis revealed that the glycerophospholipid, sphingolipid, and ether lipid metabolisms pathway were the most significantly perturbed host pathways. Phosphatidic acid phosphatases (PAP) were involved in all three pathways and PAP-1 deficiency significantly suppressed SARS-CoV-2 replication. siRNA knockdown of LPIN2 and LPIN3 resulted in significant reduction of SARS-CoV-2 load. In summary, these findings characterized the host lipidomic changes upon SARS-CoV-2 infection and identified PAP-1 as a potential target for intervention for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Caco-2 Cells , Ceramides , Ethers , Glycerophospholipids , Humans , Lipid Metabolism , Phosphatidate Phosphatase/genetics , Phosphatidate Phosphatase/metabolism , Phosphatidylcholines/metabolism , Phosphatidylethanolamines/metabolism
4.
Int J Biol Sci ; 18(12): 4714-4730, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1954691

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the biggest public health challenge the world has witnessed in the past decades. SARS-CoV-2 undergoes constant mutations and new variants of concerns (VOCs) with altered transmissibility, virulence, and/or susceptibility to vaccines and therapeutics continue to emerge. Detailed analysis of host factors involved in virus replication may help to identify novel treatment targets. In this study, we dissected the metabolome derived from COVID-19 patients to identify key host factors that are required for efficient SARS-CoV-2 replication. Through a series of metabolomic analyses, in vitro, and in vivo investigations, we identified ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) as a novel host factor required for efficient replication of SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and variants, including Omicron. ACLY should be further explored as a novel intervention target for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , ATP Citrate (pro-S)-Lyase , Humans , Pandemics , Virus Replication/genetics
6.
Cell Discov ; 8(1): 62, 2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908152

ABSTRACT

The emergence of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants has led to the waves of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Effective antivirals against variants are required. Here we demonstrate that a human-derived peptide 4H30 has broad antiviral activity against the ancestral virus and four Variants of Concern (VOCs) in vitro. Mechanistically, 4H30 can inhibit three distinct steps of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle. Specifically, 4H30 blocks viral entry by clustering SARS-CoV-2 virions; prevents membrane fusion by inhibiting endosomal acidification; and inhibits the release of virions by cross-linking SARS-CoV-2 with cellular glycosaminoglycans. In vivo studies show that 4H30 significantly reduces the lung viral titers in hamsters, with a more potent reduction for the Omicron variant than the Delta variant. This is likely because the entry of the Omicron variant mainly relies on the endocytic pathway which is targeted by 4H30. Moreover, 4H30 reduces syncytia formation in infected hamster lungs. These findings provide a proof of concept that a single antiviral can inhibit viral entry, fusion, and release.

7.
Science ; 377(6604): 428-433, 2022 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901908

ABSTRACT

The in vivo pathogenicity, transmissibility, and fitness of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant are not well understood. We compared these virological attributes of this new variant of concern (VOC) with those of the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant in a Syrian hamster model of COVID-19. Omicron-infected hamsters lost significantly less body weight and exhibited reduced clinical scores, respiratory tract viral burdens, cytokine and chemokine dysregulation, and lung damage than Delta-infected hamsters. Both variants were highly transmissible through contact transmission. In noncontact transmission studies Omicron demonstrated similar or higher transmissibility than Delta. Delta outcompeted Omicron without selection pressure, but this scenario changed once immune selection pressure with neutralizing antibodies-active against Delta but poorly active against Omicron-was introduced. Next-generation vaccines and antivirals effective against this new VOC are therefore urgently needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Models, Animal , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virulence
8.
JCI Insight ; 7(11)2022 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892019

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has been confirmed in over 450 million confirmed cases since 2019. Although several vaccines have been certified by the WHO and people are being vaccinated on a global scale, it has been reported that multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants can escape neutralization by antibodies, resulting in vaccine breakthrough infections. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is known to induce heterologous protection based on trained immune responses. Here, we investigated whether BCG-induced trained immunity protected against SARS-CoV-2 in the K18-hACE2 mouse model. Our data demonstrate that i.v. BCG (BCG-i.v.) vaccination induces robust trained innate immune responses and provides protection against WT SARS-CoV-2, as well as the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants. Further studies suggest that myeloid cell differentiation and activation of the glycolysis pathway are associated with BCG-induced training immunity in K18-hACE2 mice. Overall, our study provides the experimental evidence that establishes a causal relationship between BCG-i.v. vaccination and protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , BCG Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Melphalan , Mice , gamma-Globulins
9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886373

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of SARS-CoV-2 in the pathogenesis of testicular damage is uncertain. METHODS: We investigated the virological, pathological, and immunological changes in testes of hamsters challenged by SARS-CoV-2 wild-type and its variants by intranasal or direct testicular inoculation using influenza virus A(H1N1)pdm09 as control. RESULTS: Besides self-limiting respiratory tract infection, intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge caused acute decrease in sperm count, and serum testosterone and inhibin B at 4 to 7 days post-infection (dpi), and subsequently reduced testicular size and weight, and serum sex hormone level at 42 to 120 dpi. Acute histopathological damage with varying degree of testicular inflammation, haemorrhage, and necrosis, degeneration of seminiferous tubules and disruption of orderly spermatogenesis were seen with increasing virus inoculum. Degeneration and necrosis of Sertoli and Leydig cells were found. Though viral loads and SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapid (N) protein expression were markedly lower in testicular than lung tissues, direct intra-testicular injection showed N expressing interstitial cells and epididymal epithelial cells. Control intranasal or intra-testicular challenge by A(H1N1)pdm09 showed no testicular infection or damage. From 7 to 120 dpi, degeneration and apoptosis of seminiferous tubules, immune complex deposition and depletion of spermatogenic cell and spermatozoa persisted. Intranasal challenge with Omicron and Delta variants could also induce similar testicular changes. These testicular damages can be prevented by vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 can cause acute testicular damage with subsequent chronic asymmetric testicular atrophy and associated hormonal changes despite a self-limiting pneumonia in hamsters. Awareness of possible hypogonadism and subfertility is important in managing convalescent COVID-19 males.

10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852993

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 can infect human and other mammals, including hamsters. Syrian (Mesocricetus auratus) and dwarf (Phodopus sp.) hamsters are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection in the laboratory setting. However, pet shop-related COVID-19 outbreaks have not been reported. METHODS: We conducted an investigation of a pet shop-related COVID-19 outbreak due to Delta variant AY.127 involving at least three patients in Hong Kong. We tested samples collected from the patients, environment, and hamsters linked to this outbreak and performed whole genome sequencing analysis of the RT-PCR-positive samples. RESULTS: The patients included a pet shop keeper (Patient 1), a female customer of the pet shop (Patient 2), and the husband of Patient 2 (Patient 3). Investigation showed that 17.2% (5/29) and 25.5% (13/51) environmental specimens collected from the pet shop and its related warehouse, respectively, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. Among euthanized hamsters randomly collected from the storehouse, 3% (3/100) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR and seropositive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody by ELISA. Whole genome analysis showed that although all genomes from the outbreak belonged to the Delta variant AY.127, there were at least 3 nucleotide differences among the genomes from different patients and the hamster cages. Genomic analysis suggests that multiple strains have emerged within the hamster population, and these different strains have likely transmitted to human either via direct contact or via the environment. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated probable hamster-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2. As pet trading is common around the world, this can represent a route of international spread of this pandemic virus.

11.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336861

ABSTRACT

Summary The ongoing outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2 infections in Hong Kong, the world model city of universal masking, has resulted in a major public health crisis. In this study, we investigate public servants who had been vaccinated with two dose (82.7%) or three dose (14%) of either CoronaVac (CorV) or BNT162b2 (BNT). During the BA.2 outbreak, 29.3% vaccinees were infected. Three-dose vaccination provided protection with lower incidence rates of breakthrough infections (2×BNT 49.2% vs 3×BNT 16.6%, p <0.0001;2×CorV 48.6% vs 3×CoV 20.6%, p =0.003). The third heterologous vaccination showed the lowest incidence (2×CorV+1×BNT 6.3%). Although BA.2 conferred the highest neutralization resistance compared with variants of concern tested, the third dose vaccination-activated spike-specific memory B and Omicron cross-reactive T cell responses contributed to reduced frequencies of breakthrough infection and disease severity. Our results have implications to timely boost vaccination and immune responses likely required for vaccine-mediated protection against Omicron BA.2 pandemic.

12.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336250

ABSTRACT

Background: The ongoing outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2 infections in Hong Kong, the world model city of universal masking, has resulted in a major public health crisis. Although the third heterologous BNT162b2 vaccination after 2-dose CoronaVac generated higher neutralizing antibody responses than the third homologous CoronaVac booster, vaccine efficacy and corelates of immune protection against the major circulating Omicron BA.2 remains to be investigated. Methods: : We investigated the vaccine efficacy against the Omicron BA.2 breakthrough infection among 481 public servants who had been received with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines including two-dose BNT162b2 (2×BNT, n=169), three-dose BNT162b2 (2×BNT, n=175), two-dose CoronaVac (2×CorV, n=37), three-dose CoronaVac (3×CorV, n=68) and third-dose BNT162b2 following 2×CorV (2×CorV+1BNT, n=32). Humoral and cellular immune responses after three-dose vaccination were characterized and correlated with clinical characteristics of BA.2 infection. Results: : During the BA.2 outbreak, 29.3% vaccinees were infected. Three-dose vaccination provided protection with lower incidence rates of breakthrough infections (2×BNT 49.2% vs 3×BNT 16.6%, p<0.0001;2×CorV 48.6% vs 3×CoV 20.6%, p=0.003). The third heterologous vaccination showed the lowest incidence (2×CorV+1×BNT 6.3%). Although BA.2 conferred the highest neutralization resistance compared with variants of concern tested, the third dose vaccination-activated spike-specific memory B and Omicron cross-reactive T cell responses contributed to reduced frequencies of breakthrough infection and disease severity. Conclusions: : Our results have implications to timely boost vaccination and immune responses likely required for vaccine-mediated protection against Omicron BA.2 pandemic.

13.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2539, 2022 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830055

ABSTRACT

Extrapulmonary complications of different organ systems have been increasingly recognized in patients with severe or chronic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, limited information on the skeletal complications of COVID-19 is known, even though inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract have been known to perturb bone metabolism and cause pathological bone loss. In this study, we characterize the effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on bone metabolism in an established golden Syrian hamster model for COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 causes significant multifocal loss of bone trabeculae in the long bones and lumbar vertebrae of all infected hamsters. Moreover, we show that the bone loss is associated with SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine dysregulation, as the circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines not only upregulate osteoclastic differentiation in bone tissues, but also trigger an amplified pro-inflammatory cascade in the skeletal tissues to augment their pro-osteoclastogenesis effect. Our findings suggest that pathological bone loss may be a neglected complication which warrants more extensive investigations during the long-term follow-up of COVID-19 patients. The benefits of potential prophylactic and therapeutic interventions against pathological bone loss should be further evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Chemical science ; 13(11):3216-3226, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1782305

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 highlights the urgent need to develop sensitive methods for diagnosis and prognosis. To achieve this, multidimensional detection of SARS-CoV-2 related parameters including virus loads, immune response, and inflammation factors is crucial. Herein, by using metal-tagged antibodies as reporting probes, we developed a multiplex metal-detection based assay (MMDA) method as a general multiplex assay strategy for biofluids. This strategy provides extremely high multiplexing capability (theoretically over 100) compared with other reported biofluid assay methods. As a proof-of-concept, MMDA was used for serologic profiling of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The MMDA exhibits significantly higher sensitivity and specificity than ELISA for the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. By integrating the high dimensional data exploration/visualization tool (tSNE) and machine learning algorithms with in-depth analysis of multiplex data, we classified COVID-19 patients into different subgroups based on their distinct antibody landscape. We unbiasedly identified anti-SARS-CoV-2-nucleocapsid IgG and IgA as the most potently induced types of antibodies for COVID-19 diagnosis, and anti-SARS-CoV-2-spike IgA as a biomarker for disease severity stratification. MMDA represents a more accurate method for the diagnosis and disease severity stratification of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for biomarker discovery of other diseases. A MMDA platform is developed by using metal-tagged antibodies as reporting probes combined with machine learning algorithms, as a general strategy for highly multiplexed biofluid assay.

15.
EBioMedicine ; 79: 103986, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778094

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination and is associated with a greater risk of reinfection among recovered COVID-19 patients. We assessed the serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity against Omicron variant (Omicron NAb) among recovered COVID-19 patients with or without vaccination. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study with 135 recovered COVID-19 patients, we determined the serum NAb titers against ancestral virus or variants using a live virus NAb assay. We used the receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal cutoff for a commercially-available surrogate NAb assay. FINDINGS: Among recovered COVID-19 patients, the serum live virus geometric mean Omicron NAb titer was statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 recipients compared to non-vaccinated individuals (85.4 vs 5.6,P < 0.0001). The Omicron seropositive rates in live virus NAb test (NAb titer ≥10) were statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 (90.6% [29/32];P < 0.0001) or CoronaVac (36.7% [11/30]; P = 0.0115) recipients when compared with non-vaccinated individuals (12.3% [9/73]). Subgroup analysis of CoronaVac recipients showed that the Omicron seropositive rates were higher among individuals with two doses than those with one dose (85.7% vs 21.7%; P = 0.0045). For the surrogate NAb assay, a cutoff of 109.1 AU/ml, which is 7.3-fold higher than the manufacturer's recommended cutoff, could achieve a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 89.8%, respectively, in detecting Omicron NAb. INTERPRETATION: Among individuals with prior COVID-19, one dose of BNT162b2 or two doses of CoronaVac could induce detectable serum Omicron NAb. Our result would be particularly important for guiding vaccine policies in countries with COVID-19 vaccine shortage. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, Richard and Carol Yu, Michael Tong (see acknowledgments for full list).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Blocking , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Protein Cell ; 13(12): 940-953, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777863

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and repeated outbreaks of coronavirus epidemics in the past two decades emphasize the need for next-generation pan-coronaviral therapeutics. Drugging the multi-functional papain-like protease (PLpro) domain of the viral nsp3 holds promise. However, none of the known coronavirus PLpro inhibitors has been shown to be in vivo active. Herein, we screened a structurally diverse library of 50,080 compounds for potential coronavirus PLpro inhibitors and identified a noncovalent lead inhibitor F0213 that has broad-spectrum anti-coronaviral activity, including against the Sarbecoviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2), Merbecovirus (MERS-CoV), as well as the Alphacoronavirus (hCoV-229E and hCoV-OC43). Importantly, F0213 confers protection in both SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters and MERS-CoV-infected human DPP4-knockin mice. F0213 possesses a dual therapeutic functionality that suppresses coronavirus replication via blocking viral polyprotein cleavage, as well as promoting antiviral immunity by antagonizing the PLpro deubiquitinase activity. Despite the significant difference of substrate recognition, mode of inhibition studies suggest that F0213 is a competitive inhibitor against SARS2-PLpro via binding with the 157K amino acid residue, whereas an allosteric inhibitor of MERS-PLpro interacting with its 271E position. Our proof-of-concept findings demonstrated that PLpro is a valid target for the development of broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus agents. The orally administered F0213 may serve as a promising lead compound for combating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and future coronavirus outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
17.
Chem Sci ; 13(11): 3216-3226, 2022 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764224

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 highlights the urgent need to develop sensitive methods for diagnosis and prognosis. To achieve this, multidimensional detection of SARS-CoV-2 related parameters including virus loads, immune response, and inflammation factors is crucial. Herein, by using metal-tagged antibodies as reporting probes, we developed a multiplex metal-detection based assay (MMDA) method as a general multiplex assay strategy for biofluids. This strategy provides extremely high multiplexing capability (theoretically over 100) compared with other reported biofluid assay methods. As a proof-of-concept, MMDA was used for serologic profiling of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The MMDA exhibits significantly higher sensitivity and specificity than ELISA for the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. By integrating the high dimensional data exploration/visualization tool (tSNE) and machine learning algorithms with in-depth analysis of multiplex data, we classified COVID-19 patients into different subgroups based on their distinct antibody landscape. We unbiasedly identified anti-SARS-CoV-2-nucleocapsid IgG and IgA as the most potently induced types of antibodies for COVID-19 diagnosis, and anti-SARS-CoV-2-spike IgA as a biomarker for disease severity stratification. MMDA represents a more accurate method for the diagnosis and disease severity stratification of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for biomarker discovery of other diseases.

18.
Viruses ; 12(6)2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726021

ABSTRACT

The ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) signals an urgent need for an expansion in treatment options. In this study, we investigated the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities of 22 antiviral agents with known broad-spectrum antiviral activities against coronaviruses and/or other viruses. They were first evaluated in our primary screening in VeroE6 cells and then the most potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 antiviral agents were further evaluated using viral antigen expression, viral load reduction, and plaque reduction assays. In addition to remdesivir, lopinavir, and chloroquine, our primary screening additionally identified types I and II recombinant interferons, 25-hydroxycholesterol, and AM580 as the most potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents among the 22 antiviral agents. Betaferon (interferon-ß1b) exhibited the most potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in viral antigen expression, viral load reduction, and plaque reduction assays among the recombinant interferons. The lipogenesis modulators 25-hydroxycholesterol and AM580 exhibited EC50 at low micromolar levels and selectivity indices of >10.0. Combinational use of these host-based antiviral agents with virus-based antivirals to target different processes of the SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle should be evaluated in animal models and/or clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Animals , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Lipogenesis/drug effects , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Viral Plaque Assay , Virus Replication/drug effects
19.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707925

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages with mutations at the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) have reduced susceptibility to antibody neutralization, and have been classified as Variants of Concern (VOCs) or Variants of Interest (VOIs). Here, we systematically compared the neutralization susceptibility and RBD binding of different VOCs/VOIs, including B.1.617.1 (kappa variant) and P.3 (theta variant) which were first detected in India and the Philippines, respectively. METHODS: The neutralization susceptibility of the VOCs/VOIs (B.1.351, B.1.617.1 and P.3) and a non-VOC/VOI without RBD mutations (B.1.36.27) to convalescent sera from COVID-19 patients or BNT162b2 vaccinees was determined using a live virus microneutralization (MN) assay. Serum IgG binding to wild type and mutant RBDs were determined using an enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: The geometric mean neutralization titers (GMT) of B.1.351, P.3, and B.1.617.1 were significantly lower than that of B.1.36.27 for COVID-19 patients infected with non-VOCs/VOIs (3.4-5.7-fold lower) or individuals who have received 2 doses of BNT162b2 vaccine (4.4-7.3-fold lower). The GMT of B.1.351 or P.3 were lower than that of B.1.671.1. For the 4 patients infected with B.1.351 or B.1.617.1, the MN titer was highest for their respective lineage. RBD with E484K or E484Q mutation, either alone or in combination with other mutations, showed greatest reduction in serum IgG binding. CONCLUSION: P.3 and B.1.617.1 escape serum neutralization induced by natural infection or vaccine. Infection with one variant do not confer cross protection for heterologous lineages. Immunogenicity testing for second generation COVID-19 vaccines should include multiple variant and "non-variant" strains.

20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704370

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Post-vaccination myopericarditis is reported after immunization with COVID-19 mRNA-vaccines. The effect of accidental intravenous injection of this vaccine on the heart is unknown. METHODS: We compared the clinical manifestations, histopathological changes, tissue mRNA expression and serum levels of cytokine/chemokine in Balb/c mice at different time points after intravenous(IV) or intramuscular(IM) vaccine injection with normal saline(NS) control. RESULTS: Though significant weight loss and higher serum cytokine/chemokine levels were found in IM group at 1 to 2 days post-injection(dpi), only IV group developed histopathological changes of myopericarditis as evidenced by cardiomyocyte degeneration, apoptosis and necrosis with adjacent inflammatory cell infiltration and calcific deposits on visceral pericardium, while evidence of coronary artery or other cardiac pathologies was absent. SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen expression by immunostaining was occasionally found in infiltrating immune cells of the heart or injection site, in cardiomyocytes and intracardiac vascular endothelial cells, but not skeletal myocytes. The histological changes of myopericarditis after the first IV-priming dose persisted for 2 weeks and were markedly aggravated by a second IM- or IV-booster dose. Cardiac tissue mRNA expression of IL-1ß, IFN-ß, IL-6 and TNF-α increased significantly from 1dpi to 2dpi in IV but not IM group, compatible with presence of myopericarditis in IV group. Ballooning degeneration of hepatocytes was consistently found in IV group. All other organs appeared normal. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided in-vivo evidence that inadvertent intravenous injection of COVID-19 mRNA-vaccines may induce myopericarditis. Brief withdrawal of syringe plunger to exclude blood aspiration may be one possible way to reduce such risk.

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