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Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296307


In the search for treatment schemes of COVID-19, we start by examining the general weakness of coronaviruses and then identify approved drugs attacking that weakness. The approach, if successful, should identify drugs with a specific mechanism that is at least as effective as the best drugs proposed and are ready for clinical trials. All coronaviruses translate their non-structural proteins (∼16) in concatenation, resulting in a very large super-protein. Homo-harringtonine (HHT), which has been approved for the treatment of leukemia, blocks protein elongation very effectively. Hence, HHT can repress the replication of many coronaviruses at the nano-molar concentration. In two mouse models, HHT clears SARS-CoV-2 in 3 days, especially by nasal dripping of 40 ug per day. We also use dogs to confirm the safety of HHT delivered by nebulization. The nebulization scheme could be ready for large-scale applications at the onset of the next epidemics. For the current COVID-19, a clinical trial has been approved by the Ditan hospital of Beijing but could not be implemented for want of patients. The protocol is available to qualified medical facilities.

Natl Sci Rev ; 8(3): nwaa291, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977391


Minks are raised in many countries and have transmitted severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to humans. However, the biologic properties of SARS-CoV-2 in minks are largely unknown. Here, we investigated and found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts, and transmits efficiently in minks via respiratory droplets; pulmonary lesions caused by SARS-CoV-2 in minks are similar to those seen in humans with COVID-19. We further found that a spike protein-based subunit vaccine largely prevented SARS-CoV-2 replication and lung damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in minks. Our study indicates that minks are a useful animal model for evaluating the efficacy of drugs or vaccines against COVID-19 and that vaccination is a potential strategy to prevent minks from transmitting SARS-CoV-2.

Science ; 368(6494): 1016-1020, 2020 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-45712


Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the infectious disease COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), which was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Despite extensive efforts to control the disease, COVID-19 has now spread to more than 100 countries and caused a global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated in bats; however, the intermediate animal sources of the virus are unknown. In this study, we investigated the susceptibility of ferrets and animals in close contact with humans to SARS-CoV-2. We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in dogs, pigs, chickens, and ducks, but ferrets and cats are permissive to infection. Additionally, cats are susceptible to airborne transmission. Our study provides insights into the animal models for SARS-CoV-2 and animal management for COVID-19 control.

Animals, Domestic , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Susceptibility , Ferrets , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Cats , Chickens , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dogs , Ducks , Feces/virology , Female , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Species Specificity , Sus scrofa , Virus Attachment , Virus Replication