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1.
PLoS Med ; 19(5): e1003953, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865330

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Heterologous boost vaccination has been proposed as an option to elicit stronger and broader, or longer-lasting immunity. We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of heterologous immunization with a recombinant adenovirus type-5-vectored Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine (Convidecia, hereafter referred to as CV) and a protein-subunit-based COVID-19 vaccine (ZF2001, hereafter referred to as ZF). METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, in which healthy adults aged 18 years or older, who have received 1 dose of Convidecia, with no history of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, were recruited in Jiangsu, China. Sixty participants were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive either 1 dose of ZF2001 or placebo control (trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV)) administered at 28 days after priming, and received the third injection with ZF2001 at 5 months, referred to as CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D28-M5) and CV/ZF (D0-M5) regimen, respectively. Sixty participants were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive either 1 dose of ZF2001 or TIV administered at 56 days after priming, and received the third injection with ZF2001 at 6 months, referred to as CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D56-M6) and CV/ZF (D0-M6) regimen, respectively. Participants and investigators were masked to the vaccine received but not to the boosting interval. Primary endpoints were the geometric mean titer (GMT) of neutralizing antibodies against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and 7-day solicited adverse reactions. The primary analysis was done in the intention-to-treat population. Between April 7, 2021 and May 6, 2021, 120 eligible participants were randomly assigned to receive ZF2001/ZF2001 (n = 40) or TIV/ZF2001 (n = 20) 28 days and 5 months post priming, and receive ZF2001/ZF2001 (n = 40) or TIV/ZF2001 (n = 20) 56 days and 6 months post priming. Of them, 7 participants did not receive the third injection with ZF2001. A total of 26 participants (21.7%) reported solicited adverse reactions within 7 days post boost vaccinations, and all the reported adverse reactions were mild, with 13 (32.5%) in CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D28-M5) regimen, 7 (35.0%) in CV/ZF (D0- M5) regimen, 4 (10.0%) in CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D56-M6) regimen, and 2 (10.0%) in CV/ZF (D0-M6) regimen, respectively. At 14 days post first boost, GMTs of neutralizing antibodies in recipients receiving ZF2001 at 28 days and 56 days post priming were 18.7 (95% CI 13.7 to 25.5) and 25.9 (17.0 to 39.3), respectively, with geometric mean ratios of 2.0 (1.2 to 3.5) and 3.4 (1.8 to 6.4) compared to TIV. GMTs at 14 days after second boost of neutralizing antibodies increased to 107.2 (73.7 to 155.8) in CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D28-M5) regimen and 141.2 (83.4 to 238.8) in CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D56-M6) regimen. Two-dose schedules of CV/ZF (D0-M5) and CV/ZF (D0-M6) induced antibody levels comparable with that elicited by 3-dose schedules, with GMTs of 90.5 (45.6, 179.8) and 94.1 (44.0, 200.9), respectively. Study limitations include the absence of vaccine effectiveness in a real-world setting and current lack of immune persistence data. CONCLUSIONS: Heterologous boosting with ZF2001 following primary vaccination with Convidecia is more immunogenic than a single dose of Convidecia and is not associated with safety concerns. These results support flexibility in cooperating viral vectored and recombinant protein vaccines. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Study on Heterologous Prime-boost of Recombinant COVID-19 Vaccine (Ad5 Vector) and RBD-based Protein Subunit Vaccine; ClinicalTrial.gov NCT04833101.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Adenoviridae/genetics , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/adverse effects
2.
Lancet Respir Med ; 2022 May 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852285

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Due to waning immunity and protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2, a third dose of a homologous or heterologous COVID-19 vaccine has been proposed by health agencies for individuals who were previously primed with two doses of an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine. METHODS: We did a randomised, open-label, controlled trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of heterologous boost immunisation with an orally administered aerosolised adenovirus type-5 vector-based COVID-19 vaccine (Ad5-nCoV) in Chinese adults (≥18 years old) who had previously received two doses of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-Sinovac CoronaVac. Eligible participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive a heterologous booster vaccination with a low dose (1·0 × 1011 viral particles per mL; 0·1 mL; low dose group), or a high dose (1·0 × 1011 viral particles per mL; 0·2 mL; high dose group) aerosolised Ad5-nCoV, or a homologous intramuscular vaccination with CoronaVac (0·5 mL). Only laboratory staff were masked to group assignment. The primary endpoint for safety was the incidence of adverse reactions within 14 days after the booster dose. The primary endpoint for immunogenicity was the geometric mean titres (GMTs) of serum neutralising antibodies (NAbs) against live SARS-CoV-2 virus 14 days after the booster dose. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT05043259. FINDINGS: Between Sept 14 and 16, 2021, 420 participants were enrolled: 140 (33%) participants per group. Adverse reactions were reported by 26 (19%) participants in the low dose group and 33 (24%) in the high dose group within 14 days after the booster vaccination, significantly less than the 54 (39%) participants in the CoronaVac group (p<0·0001). The low dose group had a serum NAb GMT of 744·4 (95% CI 520·1-1065·6) and the high dose group had a GMT of 714·1 (479·4-1063·7) 14 days after booster dose, significantly higher than the GMT in the CoronaVac group (78·5 [60·5-101·7]; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: We found that a heterologous booster vaccine with an orally administered aerosolised Ad5-nCoV is safe and highly immunogenic in adults who have previously received two doses of CoronaVac as the primary series vaccination. FUNDING: National Natural Science Foundation of China and Jiangsu Provincial Key Research and Development Program.

3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2028, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805608

ABSTRACT

Dysfunctional immune responses contribute critically to the progression of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), with macrophages as one of the main cell types involved. It is urgent to understand the interactions among permissive cells, macrophages, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thereby offering important insights into effective therapeutic strategies. Here, we establish a lung and macrophage co-culture system derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), modeling the host-pathogen interaction in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We find that both classically polarized macrophages (M1) and alternatively polarized macrophages (M2) have inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, M1 and non-activated (M0) macrophages, but not M2 macrophages, significantly up-regulate inflammatory factors upon viral infection. Moreover, M1 macrophages suppress the growth and enhance apoptosis of lung cells. Inhibition of viral entry using an ACE2 blocking antibody substantially enhances the activity of M2 macrophages. Our studies indicate differential immune response patterns in distinct macrophage phenotypes, which could lead to a range of COVID-19 disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pluripotent Stem Cells , Humans , Lung , Macrophages , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 8(3)2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765756

ABSTRACT

Most yeasts causing infections in humans are part of commensal microflora and etiological agents of different infections when hosts become susceptible, usually due to becoming immunocompromised. The colonization of potentially pathogenic microbes in the oral cavity is increased by poor oral hygiene. This follow-up survey was conducted approximately two months after providing information on proper oral care at 10 nursing homes in Taiwan. Among the 117 of 165 residents colonized by yeasts, 67 were colonized by more than one yeast species. A total of 231 isolates comprising eight fungal genera and 25 species were identified. Candida albicans (44.6%) was the dominant species, followed by Candida glabrata (17.7%), Candida parapsilosis (8.7%), Candida tropicalis (7.8%), and Candida pararugosa (7.3%). Residents having a yeast colony-forming unit >10 (OR, 8.897; 95% CI 2.972-26.634; p < 0.001) or using a wheelchair (OR, 4.682; 95% CI 1.599-13.705; p = 0.005) were more likely to be colonized by multiple species. By comparing before and after oral-care education, dry mouth (OR, 3.199; 95% CI 1.448-7.068; p = 0.011) and having heart disease (OR, 2.681; 95% CI 1.068-6.732; p = 0.036) emerged as two independent risk factors for increased density of colonizing yeast.

5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329517

ABSTRACT

Background: Heterologous boost vaccination has been proposed as an option to elicit stronger and broader, or longer-lasting immunity. We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of heterologous immunization with a recombinant adenovirus type-5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine (Convidecia) and a protein-subunit-based COVID-19 vaccine (ZF2001). Methods and Findings We did a randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial in healthy adults previously received one dose of Convidecia. Participants were randomly assigned (2:1) to receive either ZF2001 (vaccine group) or a trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) (placebo group) at either 28-day or 56-day intervals. For both regimens, all participants received the 2nd injection with ZF2001 at 4 months after a dose of ZF2001 or TIV, with three-dose schedules of Convidecia/Convidecia/ZF2001 at day 0, day 28 and month 5 (referred to as CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D28-M5)) and CV/ZF/ZF (D0-D56-M6), and two-dose schedules of CV/ZF (D0-M5) and CV/ZF (D0-M6). The primary outcome was the geometric mean titer (GMT) of the neutralizing antibodies against live SARS-CoV-2 virus 14 days after each boost vaccination. The safety outcome was 7-day reactogenicity, measured as solicited local or systemic adverse reactions after each vaccination. Between April 7, 2021, and May 6, 2021, 120 participants were enrolled, among whom 60 were randomly assigned to receive ZF2001 (n=40) or TIV (n=20) at a 28-day interval, and 60 were randomly assigned to receive ZF2001 (n=40) or TIV (n=20) at a 56-day interval. 113 (94.2%) participants received the 2nd injection with ZF2001 4 months after a dose of ZF2001 or TIV. A total of 26 participants (21.7%) reported solicited adverse events within 7 days post boost vaccinations, and all the reported adverse reactions were mild . Among participants receiving ZF001 as second dose, the GMTs of neutralizing antibodies increased to 58.4 IU/ml (42.8-79.8) in 0-28 regimen, and to 80.8 IU/ml (53.1-122.9) in 0-56 regimen at 14 days post first boost dose. The GMTs of neutralizing antibodies increased to 334.9 IU/ml (95% CI 230.4, 486.9) in C/Z/Z (D0-D28-M5) regimen, and 441.2 IU/ml (260.8, 746.4) in C/Z/Z (D0-D56-M6) regimen at 14 days after the third dose. Two-dose schedules of CV/ZF (D0-M5) and CV/ZF (D0-M6) induced comparable antibody level comparable with that elicited by three-dose schedules, with the GMTs of 282.9 IU/ml (142.5, 561.8) and 293.9 IU/ml (137.6, 627.9), respectively. Study limitations include the absence of vaccine effectiveness in real-world, and current lack of immune persistence data and the neutralizing antibodies to Omicron. Conclusions Heterologous boosting with ZF001 following primary vaccination of Convidecia is safe and more immunogenic than a single dose of Convidecia. These results support flexibility in cooperating viral vectored vaccines and recombinant protein vaccine. Trial Registration ClinicalTrial.gov NCT04833101

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308242

ABSTRACT

Background: Physical distancing and facemask use are worldwide recognized as effective non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since January 2020, Taiwan has introduced both NPIs but their effectiveness on non-COVID-19 respiratory viruses (NCRVs) remain underexplored. Methods This retrospective observational study examined electronic records at a tertiary hospital in northern Taiwan from pre-COVID (January–December 2019) to post-COVID period (January–May 2020). Patients with respiratory syndromes were tested for both enveloped (e.g. influenza virus and seasonal coronavirus) and non-enveloped RVs (e.g. enterovirus and rhinovirus) using multiplex reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction assays. Monthly positivity rates of NCRVs among adult and pediatric patients were analyzed with comparison between pre- and post-COVID periods. Results A total of 9693 patients underwent 12127 multiplex RT-PCR tests. The average positivity rate of NCRVs reduced by 11.2% (25.6% to 14.4%) after nationwide PHIs. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the most commonly identified enveloped and non-enveloped viruses were influenza virus and enterovirus/rhinovirus, respectively. Observed reduction in NCRV incidence was predominantly contributed by enveloped NCRVs including influenza viruses. We did not observe epidemiological impacts of NPIs on non-enveloped viruses but an increasing trend in enterovirus/rhinovirus test positivity rate among pediatric patients. Our data were validated using Taiwan’s national notification database. Conclusions Our frontline investigation suggests that the current NPIs in Taiwan might not effectively control the transmission of non-enveloped respiratory viruses, despite their protective effects against influenza and seasonal coronavirus. Hydrogen peroxide or chloride-based disinfectants should be integrated into national preventative strategies against respiratory viral infections in the post-COVID-19 era.

7.
Food Environ Virol ; 14(1): 101-104, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653805

ABSTRACT

To prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in cold-chain transportation in China, we developed specific cryogenic disinfectants. Carrier tests were performed against SARS-CoV-2 at - 20 °C for the four cryogenic disinfectants developed and qRT-PCR was used to test the virus RNA. Peracetic acid, chlorine disinfectants (two different concentrations), and quaternary ammonium disinfectant with their antifreeze can all inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in 5 min at - 20 °C. However, after 2-3 h of exposure, only chlorine disinfectant could destroy SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The viruses treated with peracetic acid and quaternary disinfectants showed positive Ct values even after 3 h detected with qRT-PCR. The conclusion was that the cold-chain disinfectants we tested could inactivate SARS-CoV-2 quickly and effectively, but only chlorine disinfectants could destroy nucleic acids in 3 h. Our study also illustrated that using qRT-PCR detection of viral nucleic acids to assess disinfection was inappropriate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disinfectants , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disinfectants/pharmacology , Disinfection , Humans , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Temperature
8.
Nat Med ; 28(2): 401-409, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655605

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and the waning of vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies suggests that additional coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine doses may be needed for individuals who initially received CoronaVac. We evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of the recombinant adenovirus type 5 (AD5)-vectored COVID-19 vaccine Convidecia as a heterologous booster versus those of CoronaVac as homologous booster in adults previously vaccinated with CoronaVac in an ongoing, randomized, observer-blinded, parallel-controlled phase 4 trial ( NCT04892459 ). Adults who had received two doses of CoronaVac in the past 3-6 months were vaccinated with Convidecia (n = 96) or CoronaVac (n = 102). Adults who had received one dose of CoronaVac in the past 1-3 months were also vaccinated with Convidecia (n = 51) or CoronaVac (n = 50). The co-primary endpoints were the occurrence of adverse reactions within 28 d after vaccination and geometric mean titers (GMTs) of neutralizing antibodies against live wild-type SARS-CoV-2 virus at 14 d after booster vaccination. Adverse reactions after vaccination were significantly more frequent in Convidecia recipients but were generally mild to moderate in all treatment groups. Heterologous boosting with Convidecia elicited significantly increased GMTs of neutralizing antibody against SARS-CoV-2 than homologous boosting with CoronaVac in participants who had previously received one or two doses of CoronaVac. These data suggest that heterologous boosting with Convidecia following initial vaccination with CoronaVac is safe and more immunogenic than homologous boosting.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adenoviridae/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , China , Female , Humans , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Injection Site Reaction/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Young Adult
10.
COVID ; 1(1):263-275, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1367797

ABSTRACT

Large-scale efforts have been persistently undertaken for medical prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 disasters worldwide. A variety of novel viral spike protein-targeted vaccines have been extensively distributed for global inoculation based on accelerated approval. With concerns of emerging spike protein mutations, we revisited the early but inconclusive clinical interest in the repurposed combination of azithromycin (AZT) and zinc supplements with safety advantages. The aim of this study is to provide in vitro proof of concept for IκBα associated rapid and synergistic suppression of angiotensin-converting enzymes 2 (ACE2) following combination treatments with AZT plus zinc sulfate in two human airway cells with ACE2 expression, Calu-3 and H322M, representative cells of the human upper and lower airway origin respectively. Clinical timing of AZT combined with zinc is indicated based on suppression of the key cellular entry molecule, ACE2, of SARS-CoV-2.

11.
Peptides ; 145: 170638, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364399

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a global concern and necessitates efficient drug antagonists. Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) is the main receptor of SARS-CoV-2 spike 1 (S1), which mediates viral invasion into host cells. Herein, we designed and prepared short peptide inhibitors containing 4-6 critical residues of ACE2 that contribute to the interaction with SARS-CoV-2 S1. Among the candidates, a peptide termed GK-7 (GKGDFRI), which was designed by extracting residues ranging from Gly353 to Ile359 in the ligand-binding domain of ACE2, exhibited the highest binding affinity (25.1 nM) with the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor-binding domain (RBD). GK-7 bound to the RBD and decreased SARS-CoV-2 S1 attachment to A549 human alveolar epithelial cells. Owing to spike blockade, GK-7 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudovirion infection in a dose-dependent manner, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 2.96 µg/mL. Inspiringly, pulmonary delivery of GK-7 by intranasal administration did not result in toxicity in mice. This study revealed an easy-to-produce peptide inhibitor for SARS-CoV-2 spike blockade, thus providing a promising candidate for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Peptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
Natl Sci Rev ; 8(8): nwab053, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358471

ABSTRACT

Mutations and transient conformational movements of the receptor binding domain (RBD) that make neutralizing epitopes momentarily unavailable present immune escape routes for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To mitigate viral escape, we developed a cocktail of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) targeting epitopes located on different domains of spike (S) protein. Screening of a library of monoclonal antibodies generated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of COVID-19 convalescent patients yielded potent NAbs, targeting the N-terminal domain (NTD) and RBD domain of S, effective at nM concentrations. Remarkably, a combination of RBD-targeting NAbs and NTD-binding NAbs, FC05, enhanced the neutralization potency in cell-based assays and an animal model. Results of competitive surface plasmon resonance assays and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of antigen-binding fragments bound to S unveil determinants of immunogenicity. Combinations of immunogens, identified in the NTD and RBD of S, when immunized in rabbits and macaques, elicited potent protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2. More importantly, two immunizations of this combination of NTD and RBD immunogens provided complete protection in macaques against a SARS-CoV-2 challenge, without observable antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. These results provide a proof of concept for neutralization-based immunogen design targeting SARS-CoV-2 NTD and RBD.

13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(15)2021 07 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346476

ABSTRACT

Deep vein thrombosis causes several acute and chronic vessel complications and puts patients at risk of subsequent sepsis development. This unique study aimed to estimate the risk of sepsis development in DVT patients compared with non-DVT patients. This population-based cohort study used records of a longitudinal health insurance database containing two million patients defined in Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). Our study included patients aged over 20 years with a new diagnosis of DVT with at least two outpatient department visits or an admission between 2001 and 2014. Patients with a diagnosis of sepsis before the index date were excluded. Propensity score matching (PSM) was used to homogenize the baseline characteristics between the two groups. To define the independent risk of the DVT group, a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate the hazard ratios. After PSM, the DVT group (n = 5753) exhibited a higher risk of sepsis (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.59-1.90) compared with non-DVT group (n = 5753). Patients with an increased risk of sepsis were associated with being elderly aged, male, having diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, malignancy, and use of antibiotics. In conclusion, this population-based cohort study demonstrated an increased risk of sepsis in DVT patients compared with non-DVT patients. Thus, early prevention and adequate treatment of DVT is necessary in clinical practice.


Subject(s)
Pulmonary Embolism , Sepsis , Venous Thrombosis , Aged , Cohort Studies , Humans , Incidence , Male , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Sepsis/epidemiology , Venous Thrombosis/epidemiology
14.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1215-1224, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343625

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) urgently calls for more sensitive molecular diagnosis to improve sensitivity of current viral nuclear acid detection. We have developed an anchor primer (AP)-based assay to improve viral RNA stability by bioinformatics identification of RNase-binding site of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA and implementing AP dually targeting the N gene of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and RNase 1, 3, 6. The arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) improvement of viral RNA integrity was supported by (a) the AP increased resistance of the targeted gene (N gene) of SARS-CoV-2 RNA to RNase treatment; (b) the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA by AP-PCR with lower cycle threshold values (-2.7 cycles) compared to two commercially available assays; (c) improvement of the viral RNA stability of the ORF gene upon targeting of the N gene and RNase. Furthermore, the improved sensitivity by AP-PCR was demonstrated by detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 70-80% of sputum, nasal, pharyngeal swabs and feces and 36% (4/11) of urine of the confirmed cases (n = 252), 7% convalescent cases (n = 54) and none of 300 negative cases. Lastly, AP-PCR analysis of 306 confirmed and convalescent cases revealed prolonged presence of viral loading for >20 days after the first positive diagnosis. Thus, the AP dually targeting SARS-CoV-2 RNA and RNase improves molecular detection by preserving SARS-CoV-2 RNA integrity and reveals the prolonged viral loading associated with older age and male gender in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Ribonucleases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Aged , Binding Sites , Female , Humans , Male , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load
15.
World J Clin Cases ; 9(19): 5266-5269, 2021 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314996

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the initial recognition of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan, this infectious disease has spread to most areas of the world. The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is yet unclear. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation occurring in COVID-19 patients has not yet been reported. CASE SUMMARY: A 45-year-old hepatitis B man with long-term use of adefovir dipivoxil and entecavir for antiviral therapy had HBV reactivation after being treated with methylprednisolone for COVID-19 for 6 d. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 or treatment associated immunosuppression may trigger HBV reactivation.

16.
Life Sci ; 280: 119752, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281493

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system and also a major receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Here, we reveal a role for NF-κB in human lung cell expression of ACE2, and we further explore the potential utility of repurposing NF-κB inhibitors to downregulate ACE2. MAIN METHODS: Expression of ACE2 was assessed by Western blotting and RT-qPCR in multiple human lung cell lines with or without NF-κB inhibitor treatment. Surface ACE2 expression and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were measured with flow cytometry. p50 was knocked down with siRNA. Cytotoxicity was monitored by PARP cleavage and MTS assay. KEY FINDINGS: Pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), an NF-κB inhibitor, suppressed endogenous ACE2 mRNA and protein expression in H322M and Calu-3 cells. The ROS level in H322M cells was increased after PDTC treatment, and pretreatment with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) reversed PDTC-induced ACE2 suppression. Meanwhile, treatment with hydrogen peroxide augmented ACE2 suppression in H322M cells with p50 knockdown. Two repurposed NF-κB inhibitors, the anthelmintic drug triclabendazole and the antiprotozoal drug emetine, also reduced ACE2 mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, zinc supplementation augmented the suppressive effects of triclabendazole and emetine on ACE2 expression in H322M and Calu-3 cells. SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that ACE2 expression is modulated by ROS and NF-κB signaling in human lung cells, and the combination of zinc with triclabendazole or emetine shows promise for clinical treatment of ACE2-related disease.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiparasitic Agents/pharmacology , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Emetine/pharmacology , NF-kappa B/antagonists & inhibitors , Triclabendazole/pharmacology , Zinc/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , Thiocarbamates/pharmacology
17.
Virol J ; 18(1): 89, 2021 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209064

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) emerging has put global public health institutes on high alert. Little is known about the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of human coronaviruses infections in relation to infections with other respiratory viruses. METHODS: From February 2017 to December 2019, 3660 respiratory samples submitted to Zhejiang Children Hospital with acute respiratory symptoms were tested for four human coronaviruses RNA by a novel two-tube multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays. Samples were also screened for the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription-PCR analysis. RESULTS: Coronavirus RNAs were detected in 144 (3.93%) specimens: HCoV-HKU1 in 38 specimens, HCoV-NL63 in 62 specimens, HCoV-OC43 in 38 specimens and HCoV-229E in 8 specimens. Genomes for SARS-CoV-2 were absent in all specimens by RT-PCR analysis during the study period. The majority of HCoV infections occurred during fall months. No significant differences in gender, sample type, year were seen across species. 37.5 to 52.6% of coronaviruses detected were in specimens testing positive for other respiratory viruses. Phylogenic analysis identified that Zhejiang coronaviruses belong to multiple lineages of the coronaviruses circulating in other countries and areas. CONCLUSION: Common HCoVs may have annual peaks of circulation in fall months in the Zhejiang province, China. Genetic relatedness to the coronaviruses in other regions suggests further surveillance on human coronaviruses in clinical samples are clearly needed to understand their patterns of activity and role in the emergence of novel coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adolescent , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/physiopathology , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 229E, Human/genetics , Coronavirus 229E, Human/isolation & purification , Coronavirus NL63, Human/genetics , Coronavirus NL63, Human/isolation & purification , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/isolation & purification , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Phylogeny , Respiratory Tract Infections/complications , Respiratory Tract Infections/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
18.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(6): 1545-1554, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182792

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection begins with the association of its spike 1 (S1) protein with host angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). Targeting the interaction between S1 and ACE2 is a practical strategy against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Herein, we show encouraging results indicating that human cathelicidin LL37 can simultaneously block viral S1 and cloak ACE2. LL37 binds to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of S1 with high affinity (11.2 nM) and decreases subsequent recruitment of ACE2. Owing to the RBD blockade, LL37 inhibits SARS-CoV-2 S pseudovirion infection, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration of 4.74 µg/mL. Interestingly, LL37 also binds to ACE2 with an affinity of 25.5 nM and cloaks the ligand-binding domain (LBD), thereby decreasing S1 adherence and protecting cells against pseudovirion infection in vitro. Intranasal administration of LL37 to C57 mice infected with adenovirus expressing human ACE2 either before or after pseudovirion invasion decreased lung infection. The study identified a versatile antimicrobial peptide in humans as an inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 attachment using dual mechanisms, thus providing a potential candidate for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevention and treatment.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 15(4): 478-487, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171118

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Physical distancing and facemask use are worldwide recognized as effective non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Since January 2020, Taiwan has introduced both NPIs but their effectiveness on non-COVID-19 respiratory viruses (NCRVs) remain underexplored. METHODS: This retrospective observational study examined electronic records at a tertiary hospital in northern Taiwan from pre-COVID (January-December 2019) to post-COVID period (January-May 2020). Patients with respiratory syndromes were tested for both enveloped (eg, influenza virus and seasonal coronavirus) and non-enveloped RVs (eg, enterovirus and rhinovirus) using multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays. Monthly positivity rates of NCRVs among adult and pediatric patients were analyzed with comparison between pre- and post-COVID periods. RESULTS: A total of 9693 patients underwent 12 127 multiplex RT-PCR tests. The average positivity rate of NCRVs reduced by 11.2% (25.6% to 14.4%) after nationwide PHIs. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the most commonly identified enveloped and non-enveloped viruses were influenza virus and enterovirus/rhinovirus, respectively. Observed reduction in NCRV incidence was predominantly contributed by enveloped NCRVs including influenza viruses. We did not observe epidemiological impacts of NPIs on non-enveloped viruses but an increasing trend in enterovirus/rhinovirus test positivity rate among pediatric patients. Our data were validated using Taiwan's national notification database. CONCLUSIONS: Our frontline investigation suggests that the current NPIs in Taiwan might not effectively control the transmission of non-enveloped respiratory viruses, despite their protective effects against influenza and seasonal coronavirus. Health authorities may consider using hydrogen peroxide or chloride-based disinfectants as additional preventative strategies against non-enveloped respiratory viruses in the post-COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Virus Diseases/prevention & control , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Humans , Masks , Middle Aged , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Physical Distancing , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Species Specificity , Taiwan/epidemiology , Tertiary Care Centers , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Virus Diseases/diagnosis , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Viruses/classification , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/isolation & purification
20.
ACS Nano ; 15(4): 6340-6351, 2021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1139707

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic worldwide necessitates the development of therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2. ACE2 is the main receptor of SARS-CoV-2 S1 and mediates viral entry into host cells. Herein, membrane nanoparticles (NPs) prepared from ACE2-rich cells were discovered to have potent capacity to block SARS-CoV-2 infection. The membranes of human embryonic kidney-239T cells highly expressing ACE2 were applied to prepare NPs using an extrusion method. The nanomaterials, termed ACE2-NPs, contained 265.1 ng mg-1 ACE2 on the surface and acted as baits to trap S1 in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in reduced recruitment of the viral ligand to HK-2 human renal tubular epithelial cells. Aside from affecting receptor recongnition, S1 translocated to the cytoplasm and induced apoptosis by reducing optic atrophy 1 expression and increasing cytochrome c release, which was also inhibited by ACE2-NPs. Further investigations revealed that ACE2-NPs efficiently suppressed SARS-CoV-2 S pseudovirions entry into host cells and blocked viral infection in vitro and in vivo. This study characterizes easy-to-produce memrbane nanoantagonists of SARS-CoV-2 that enrich the existing antiviral arsenal and provide possibilities for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
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