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2.
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
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3589, 2022 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900488

ABSTRACT

The strikingly high transmissibility and antibody evasion of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants have posed great challenges to the efficacy of current vaccines and antibody immunotherapy. Here, we screen 34 BNT162b2-vaccinees and isolate a public broadly neutralizing antibody ZCB11 derived from the IGHV1-58 family. ZCB11 targets viral receptor-binding domain specifically and neutralizes all SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, especially with great potency against authentic Omicron and Delta variants. Pseudovirus-based mapping of 57 naturally occurred spike mutations or deletions reveals that S371L results in 11-fold neutralization resistance, but it is rescued by compensating mutations in Omicron variants. Cryo-EM analysis demonstrates that ZCB11 heavy chain predominantly interacts with Omicron spike trimer with receptor-binding domain in up conformation blocking ACE2 binding. In addition, prophylactic or therapeutic ZCB11 administration protects lung infection against Omicron viral challenge in golden Syrian hamsters. These results suggest that vaccine-induced ZCB11 is a promising broadly neutralizing antibody for biomedical interventions against pandemic SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
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.

5.
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
6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314977

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted largely by respiratory droplets or airborne aerosols. Despite being frequently found in the immediate environment and faeces of patients, evidence supporting oral acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 is unavailable. Utilizing Syrian hamster model, we demonstrated that the severity of pneumonia induced by intranasal inhalation of SARS-CoV-2 increased with virus inoculum. SARS-CoV-2 retained its infectivity in vitro in simulated human fed-gastric and fasted-intestinal fluid after two hours. Oral inoculation with the highest intranasal inoculum (10 5 PFU) caused only mild pneumonia in 67% (4/6) of the animals with no clinical symptoms. The lung histopathology and viral load were significantly lower than those infected by the lowest intranasal inoculum (100 PFU). However, 83% oral infection (10/12 hamsters) had similar level of detectable viral shedding from oral swabs and faeces as intranasally infected hamsters. Our findings indicated oral acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 can establish asymptomatic respiratory infection with less efficiency.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324400

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a receptor for cell entry of SARS-CoV-2, and recombinant soluble ACE2 protein inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection as a decoy. ACE2 is a carboxypeptidase that degrades angiotensin II (Ang II) to angiotensin 1-7 (Ang 1-7) and thereby improves the pathologies of cardiovascular disease or acute lung injury. To address whether the carboxypeptidase activity of ACE2 is protective in COVID-19, we investigated the effects of B38-CAP, an ACE2-like enzyme, on SARS-CoV-2-induced lung injury. Expression of endogenous ACE2 protein was significantly downregulated in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters or SARS-CoV-2 challenged human ACE2 transgenic mice, leading to elevation of Ang II levels. In vivo administration of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Spike also downregulated ACE2 expression, elevated Ang II levels and considerably worsened the symptoms of acute lung injury in hamsters exposed to acid aspiration. Despite its ACE2-like catalytic core, B38-CAP neither bound to Spike nor neutralized cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. However, treatment with B38-CAP improved the pathologies of Spike-augmented acid-induced lung injury. In SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters, B38-CAP significantly improved lung edema and pathologies of lung injury and downregulated IL-6 levels without affecting viral RNA loads. Moreover, in human ACE2 transgenic mice, B38-CAP also attenuated SARS-CoV-2-induced lung edema and pathologies and improved lung functions. These results provide the first experimental in vivo evidence that increasing ACE2-like enzymatic activity is a potential therapeutic strategy to alleviate lung pathologies in COVID-19.

8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6791, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532053

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a receptor for cell entry of SARS-CoV-2, and recombinant soluble ACE2 protein inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection as a decoy. ACE2 is a carboxypeptidase that degrades angiotensin II, thereby improving the pathologies of cardiovascular disease or acute lung injury. Here we show that B38-CAP, an ACE2-like enzyme, is protective against SARS-CoV-2-induced lung injury. Endogenous ACE2 expression is downregulated in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters, leading to elevation of angiotensin II levels. Recombinant Spike also downregulates ACE2 expression and worsens the symptoms of acid-induced lung injury. B38-CAP does not neutralize cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. However, B38-CAP treatment improves the pathologies of Spike-augmented acid-induced lung injury. In SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters or human ACE2 transgenic mice, B38-CAP significantly improves lung edema and pathologies of lung injury. These results provide the first in vivo evidence that increasing ACE2-like enzymatic activity is a potential therapeutic strategy to alleviate lung pathologies in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lung Injury/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Acute Lung Injury , Angiotensin II , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Carboxypeptidases , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Pulmonary Edema/pathology , Pulmonary Edema/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/drug effects , Vero Cells
9.
EBioMedicine ; 73: 103643, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482542

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Wildtype mice are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and P.3, contain mutations in spike that has been suggested to associate with an increased recognition of mouse ACE2, raising the postulation that these SARS-CoV-2 variants may have evolved to expand species tropism to wildtype mouse and potentially other murines. Our study evaluated this possibility with substantial public health importance. METHODS: We investigated the capacity of wildtype (WT) SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2 variants in infecting mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus) under in vitro and in vivo settings. Susceptibility to infection was evaluated with RT-qPCR, plaque assays, immunohistological stainings, and neutralization assays. FINDINGS: Our results reveal that B.1.1.7 and other N501Y-carrying variants but not WT SARS-CoV-2 can infect wildtype mice. High viral genome copies and high infectious virus particle titres are recovered from the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice for 4-to-7 days post infection. In agreement with these observations, robust expression of viral nucleocapsid protein and histopathological changes are detected from the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice but not that of the WT SARS-CoV-2-inoculated mice. Similarly, B.1.1.7 readily infects wildtype rats with production of infectious virus particles. INTERPRETATION: Our study provides direct evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.7, as well as other N501Y-carrying variants including B.1.351 and P.3, has gained the capability to expand species tropism to murines and public health measures including stringent murine control should be implemented to facilitate the control of the ongoing pandemic. FUNDING: A full list of funding bodies that contributed to this study can be found in the Acknowledgements section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Tropism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Turbinates/pathology , Turbinates/virology , Virus Internalization
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effect of low environmental temperature on viral shedding and disease severity of COVID-19 is uncertain. METHODS: We investigated the virological, clinical, pathological, and immunological changes in hamsters housed at room (21 oC), low (12-15 oC), and high (30-33 oC) temperature after challenge by 10 5 plaque-forming units of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: The nasal turbinate, trachea, and lung viral load and live virus titre were significantly higher (~0.5-log10 gene copies/ß-actin, p<0.05) in the low temperature group at 7 days post-infection (dpi). The low temperature group also demonstrated significantly higher level of TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1ß, and CCL3, and lower level of the antiviral IFN-α in lung tissues at 4dpi than the other two groups. Their lungs were grossly and diffusely haemorrhagic, with more severe and diffuse alveolar and peribronchiolar inflammatory infiltration, bronchial epithelial cell death, and significantly higher mean total lung histology scores. By 7dpi, the low temperature group still showed persistent and severe alveolar inflammation and haemorrhage, and little alveolar cell proliferative changes of recovery. The viral loads in the oral swabs of the low temperature group were significantly higher from 10-17dpi by about 0.5-1.0-log10 gene copies/ß-actin. The mean neutralizing antibody titre of the low temperature group was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of the room temperature group at 7dpi and 30dpi. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided in-vivo evidence that low environmental temperature exacerbated the degree of virus shedding, disease severity, and tissue proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines expression, and suppressed the neutralizing antibody response of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters. Keeping warm in winter may reduce the severity of COVID-19.

11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(2): e503-e512, 2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315661

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is primarily an acute respiratory tract infection. Distinctively, a substantial proportion of COVID-19 patients develop olfactory dysfunction. Especially in young patients, loss of smell can be the first or only symptom. The roles of inflammatory obstruction of the olfactory clefts, inflammatory cytokines affecting olfactory neuronal function, destruction of olfactory neurons or their supporting cells, and direct invasion of olfactory bulbs in causing olfactory dysfunction are uncertain. METHODS: We investigated the location for the pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from the olfactory epithelium (OE) to the olfactory bulb in golden Syrian hamsters. RESULTS: After intranasal inoculation with SARS-CoV-2, inflammatory cell infiltration and proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine responses were detected in the nasal turbinate tissues. The responses peaked between 2 and 4 days postinfection, with the highest viral load detected at day 2 postinfection. In addition to the pseudo-columnar ciliated respiratory epithelial cells, SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens were also detected in the mature olfactory sensory neurons labeled by olfactory marker protein, in the less mature olfactory neurons labeled by neuron-specific class III ß-tubulin at the more basal position, and in the sustentacular cells, resulting in apoptosis and severe destruction of the OE. During the entire course of infection, SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens were not detected in the olfactory bulb. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to acute inflammation at the OE, infection of mature and immature olfactory neurons and the supporting sustentacular cells by SARS-CoV-2 may contribute to the unique olfactory dysfunction related to COVID-19, which is not reported with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfactory Receptor Neurons , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus , Olfactory Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(12): e978-e992, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Clinical outcomes of the interaction between the co-circulating pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal influenza viruses are unknown. METHODS: We established a golden Syrian hamster model coinfected by SARS-CoV-2 and mouse-adapted A(H1N1)pdm09 simultaneously or sequentially. The weight loss, clinical scores, histopathological changes, viral load and titer, and serum neutralizing antibody titer were compared with hamsters challenged by either virus. RESULTS: Coinfected hamsters had more weight loss, more severe lung inflammatory damage, and tissue cytokine/chemokine expression. Lung viral load, infectious virus titers, and virus antigen expression suggested that hamsters were generally more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 than to A(H1N1)pdm09. Sequential coinfection with A(H1N1)pdm09 one day prior to SARS-CoV-2 exposure resulted in a lower lung SARS-CoV-2 titer and viral load than with SARS-CoV-2 monoinfection, but a higher lung A(H1N1)pdm09 viral load. Coinfection also increased intestinal inflammation with more SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein expression in enterocytes. Simultaneous coinfection was associated with delay in resolution of lung damage, lower serum SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody, and longer SARS-CoV-2 shedding in oral swabs compared to that of SARS-CoV-2 monoinfection. CONCLUSIONS: Simultaneous or sequential coinfection by SARS-CoV-2 and A(H1N1)pdm09 caused more severe disease than monoinfection by either virus in hamsters. Prior A(H1N1)pdm09 infection lowered SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary viral loads but enhanced lung damage. Whole-population influenza vaccination for prevention of coinfection, and multiplex molecular diagnostics for both viruses to achieve early initiation of antiviral treatment for improvement of clinical outcome should be considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human , Animals , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mesocricetus , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 874-884, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199439

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is unlikely to abate until sufficient herd immunity is built up by either natural infection or vaccination. We previously identified ten linear immunodominant sites on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein of which four are located within the RBD. Therefore, we designed two linkerimmunodominant site (LIS) vaccine candidates which are composed of four immunodominant sites within the RBD (RBD-ID) or all the 10 immunodominant sites within the whole spike (S-ID). They were administered by subcutaneous injection and were tested for immunogenicity and in vivo protective efficacy in a hamster model for COVID-19. We showed that the S-ID vaccine induced significantly better neutralizing antibody response than RBD-ID and alum control. As expected, hamsters vaccinated by S-ID had significantly less body weight loss, lung viral load, and histopathological changes of pneumonia. The S-ID has the potential to be an effective vaccine for protection against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Cricetinae , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Vaccination
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(16): 2139-2149, 2020 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153181

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is believed to be mostly transmitted by medium- to large-sized respiratory droplets, although airborne transmission may be possible in healthcare settings involving aerosol-generating procedures. Exposure to respiratory droplets can theoretically be reduced by surgical mask usage. However, there is a lack of experimental evidence supporting surgical mask usage for prevention of COVID-19. METHODS: We used a well-established golden Syrian hamster SARS-CoV-2 model. We placed SARS-CoV-2-challenged index hamsters and naive hamsters into closed system units each comprising 2 different cages separated by a polyvinyl chloride air porous partition with unidirectional airflow within the isolator. The effect of a surgical mask partition placed between the cages was investigated. Besides clinical scoring, hamster specimens were tested for viral load, histopathology, and viral nucleocapsid antigen expression. RESULTS: Noncontact transmission was found in 66.7% (10/15) of exposed naive hamsters. Surgical mask partition for challenged index or naive hamsters significantly reduced transmission to 25% (6/24, P = .018). Surgical mask partition for challenged index hamsters significantly reduced transmission to only 16.7% (2/12, P = .019) of exposed naive hamsters. Unlike the severe manifestations of challenged hamsters, infected naive hamsters had lower clinical scores, milder histopathological changes, and lower viral nucleocapsid antigen expression in respiratory tract tissues. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 could be transmitted by respiratory droplets or airborne droplet nuclei which could be reduced by surgical mask partition in the hamster model. This is the first in vivo experimental evidence to support the possible benefit of surgical mask in prevention of COVID-19 transmission, especially when masks were worn by infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Masks , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Cricetinae , Female , Male , Pandemics , Viral Load
15.
Nature ; 593(7859): 418-423, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137788

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is the third outbreak this century of a zoonotic disease caused by a coronavirus, following the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20031 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 20122. Treatment options for coronaviruses are limited. Here we show that clofazimine-an anti-leprosy drug with a favourable safety profile3-possesses inhibitory activity against several coronaviruses, and can antagonize the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV in a range of in vitro systems. We found that this molecule, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, inhibits cell fusion mediated by the viral spike glycoprotein, as well as activity of the viral helicase. Prophylactic or therapeutic administration of clofazimine in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis led to reduced viral loads in the lung and viral shedding in faeces, and also alleviated the inflammation associated with viral infection. Combinations of clofazimine and remdesivir exhibited antiviral synergy in vitro and in vivo, and restricted viral shedding from the upper respiratory tract. Clofazimine, which is orally bioavailable and comparatively cheap to manufacture, is an attractive clinical candidate for the treatment of outpatients and-when combined with remdesivir-in therapy for hospitalized patients with COVID-19, particularly in contexts in which costs are an important factor or specialized medical facilities are limited. Our data provide evidence that clofazimine may have a role in the control of the current pandemic of COVID-19 and-possibly more importantly-in dealing with coronavirus diseases that may emerge in the future.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Clofazimine/pharmacology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacokinetics , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biological Availability , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Clofazimine/pharmacokinetics , Clofazimine/therapeutic use , Coronavirus/growth & development , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Cricetinae , DNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Synergism , Female , Humans , Life Cycle Stages/drug effects , Male , Mesocricetus , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
16.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1517, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125914

ABSTRACT

Up to date, effective antivirals have not been widely available for treating COVID-19. In this study, we identify a dual-functional cross-linking peptide 8P9R which can inhibit the two entry pathways (endocytic pathway and TMPRSS2-mediated surface pathway) of SARS-CoV-2 in cells. The endosomal acidification inhibitors (8P9R and chloroquine) can synergistically enhance the activity of arbidol, a spike-ACE2 fusion inhibitor, against SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV in cells. In vivo studies indicate that 8P9R or the combination of repurposed drugs (umifenovir also known as arbidol, chloroquine and camostat which is a TMPRSS2 inhibitor), simultaneously interfering with the two entry pathways of coronaviruses, can significantly suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication in hamsters and SARS-CoV in mice. Here, we use drug combination (arbidol, chloroquine, and camostat) and a dual-functional 8P9R to demonstrate that blocking the two entry pathways of coronavirus can be a promising and achievable approach for inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 replication in vivo. Cocktail therapy of these drug combinations should be considered in treatment trials for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning , Peptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Drug Discovery , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Indoles/pharmacology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells
17.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(4): 551-563.e5, 2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101147

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is characterized by a burst in the upper respiratory portal for high transmissibility. To determine human neutralizing antibodies (HuNAbs) for entry protection, we tested three potent HuNAbs (IC50 range, 0.0007-0.35 µg/mL) against live SARS-CoV-2 infection in the golden Syrian hamster model. These HuNAbs inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection by competing with human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 for binding to the viral receptor binding domain (RBD). Prophylactic intraperitoneal or intranasal injection of individual HuNAb or DNA vaccination significantly reduces infection in the lungs but not in the nasal turbinates of hamsters intranasally challenged with SARS-CoV-2. Although postchallenge HuNAb therapy suppresses viral loads and lung damage, robust infection is observed in nasal turbinates treated within 1-3 days. Our findings demonstrate that systemic HuNAb suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication and injury in lungs; however, robust viral infection in nasal turbinate may outcompete the antibody with significant implications to subprotection, reinfection, and vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Turbinates/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mesocricetus , Viral Load
18.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 291-304, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062822

ABSTRACT

Effective treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are urgently needed. Dexamethasone has been shown to confer survival benefits to certain groups of hospitalized patients, but whether glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone and methylprednisolone should be used together with antivirals to prevent a boost of SARS-CoV-2 replication remains to be determined. Here, we show the beneficial effect of methylprednisolone alone and in combination with remdesivir in the hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Treatment with methylprednisolone boosted RNA replication of SARS-CoV-2 but suppressed viral induction of proinflammatory cytokines in human monocyte-derived macrophages. Although methylprednisolone monotherapy alleviated body weight loss as well as nasal and pulmonary inflammation, viral loads increased and antibody response against the receptor-binding domain of spike protein attenuated. In contrast, a combination of methylprednisolone with remdesivir not only prevented body weight loss and inflammation, but also dampened viral protein expression and viral loads. In addition, the suppressive effect of methylprednisolone on antibody response was alleviated in the presence of remdesivir. Thus, combinational anti-inflammatory and antiviral therapy might be an effective, safer and more versatile treatment option for COVID-19. These data support testing of the efficacy of a combination of methylprednisolone and remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 in randomized controlled clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Methylprednisolone/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Humans , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Methylprednisolone/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Respiratory System/pathology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
20.
Cell Rep Med ; 1(7): 100121, 2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-779773

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted largely by respiratory droplets or airborne aerosols. Despite being frequently found in the immediate environment and feces of patients, evidence supporting the oral acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 is unavailable. Using the Syrian hamster model, we demonstrate that the severity of pneumonia induced by the intranasal inhalation of SARS-CoV-2 increases with virus inoculum. SARS-CoV-2 retains its infectivity in vitro in simulated human-fed-gastric and fasted-intestinal fluid after 2 h. Oral inoculation with the highest intranasal inoculum (105 PFUs) causes mild pneumonia in 67% (4/6) of the animals, with no weight loss. The lung histopathology score and viral load are significantly lower than those infected by the lowest intranasal inoculum (100 PFUs). However, 83% of the oral infections (10/12 hamsters) have a level of detectable viral shedding from oral swabs and feces similar to that of intranasally infected hamsters. Our findings indicate that the oral acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 can establish subclinical respiratory infection with less efficiency.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Shedding , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Cytokines/metabolism , Gastrointestinal Tract/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract/pathology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Humans , Inflammation , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load
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