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1.
Virulence ; 13(1): 1031-1048, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900978

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant loss of human lives and a worldwide decline in quality of life. Treatment of COVID-19 patients is challenging, and specific treatments to reduce COVID-19 aggravation and mortality are still necessary. Here, we describe the discovery of a novel class of epiandrosterone steroidal compounds with cationic amphiphilic properties that present antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in the low micromolar range. Compounds were identified in screening campaigns using a cytopathic effect-based assay in Vero CCL81 cells, followed by hit compound validation and characterization. Compounds LNB167 and LNB169 were selected due to their ability to reduce the levels of infectious viral progeny and viral RNA levels in Vero CCL81, HEK293, and HuH7.5 cell lines. Mechanistic studies in Vero CCL81 cells indicated that LNB167 and LNB169 inhibited the initial phase of viral replication through mechanisms involving modulation of membrane lipids and cholesterol in host cells. Selection of viral variants resistant to steroidal compound treatment revealed single mutations on transmembrane, lipid membrane-interacting Spike and Envelope proteins. Finally, in vivo testing using the hACE2 transgenic mouse model indicated that SARS-CoV-2 infection could not be ameliorated by LNB167 treatment. We conclude that anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities of steroidal compounds LNB167 and LNB169 are likely host-targeted, consistent with the properties of cationic amphiphilic compounds that modulate host cell lipid biology. Although effective in vitro, protective effects were cell-type specific and did not translate to protection in vivo, indicating that subversion of lipid membrane physiology is an important, yet complex mechanism involved in SARS-CoV-2 replication and pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lipids , Mice , Pandemics , Quality of Life , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 635701, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399135

ABSTRACT

Serological testing is a powerful tool in epidemiological studies for understanding viral circulation and assessing the effectiveness of virus control measures, as is the case of SARS-CoV-2, the pathogenic agent of COVID-19. Immunoassays can quantitatively reveal the concentration of antiviral antibodies. The assessment of antiviral antibody titers may provide information on virus exposure, and changes in IgG levels are also indicative of a reduction in viral circulation. In this work, we describe a serological study for the evaluation of antiviral IgG and IgM antibodies and their correlation with antiviral activity. The serological assay for IgG detection used two SARS-CoV-2 proteins as antigens, the nucleocapsid N protein and the 3CL protease. Cross-reactivity tests in animals have shown high selectivity for detection of antiviral antibodies, using both the N and 3CL antigens. Using samples of human serum from individuals previously diagnosed by PCR for COVID-19, we observed high sensitivity of the ELISA assay. Serological results with human samples also suggest that the combination of higher titers of antiviral IgG antibodies to different antigen targets may be associated with greater neutralization activity, which can be enhanced in the presence of antiviral IgM antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunologic Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Cross Reactions , Dengue Virus/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Sensitivity and Specificity , Zika Virus/immunology
3.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(10): e527-e535, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mutations accrued by SARS-CoV-2 lineage P.1-first detected in Brazil in early January, 2021-include amino acid changes in the receptor-binding domain of the viral spike protein that also are reported in other variants of concern, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. We aimed to investigate whether isolates of wild-type P.1 lineage SARS-CoV-2 can escape from neutralising antibodies generated by a polyclonal immune response. METHODS: We did an immunological study to assess the neutralising effects of antibodies on lineage P.1 and lineage B isolates of SARS-CoV-2, using plasma samples from patients previously infected with or vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Two specimens (P.1/28 and P.1/30) containing SARS-CoV-2 lineage P.1 (as confirmed by viral genome sequencing) were obtained from nasopharyngeal and bronchoalveolar lavage samples collected from patients in Manaus, Brazil, and compared against an isolate of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B (SARS.CoV2/SP02.2020) recovered from a patient in Brazil in February, 2020. Isolates were incubated with plasma samples from 21 blood donors who had previously had COVID-19 and from a total of 53 recipients of the chemically inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine CoronaVac: 18 individuals after receipt of a single dose and an additional 20 individuals (38 in total) after receipt of two doses (collected 17-38 days after the most recent dose); and 15 individuals who received two doses during the phase 3 trial of the vaccine (collected 134-230 days after the second dose). Antibody neutralisation of P.1/28, P.1/30, and B isolates by plasma samples were compared in terms of median virus neutralisation titre (VNT50, defined as the reciprocal value of the sample dilution that showed 50% protection against cytopathic effects). FINDINGS: In terms of VNT50, plasma from individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 had an 8·6 times lower neutralising capacity against the P.1 isolates (median VNT50 30 [IQR <20-45] for P.1/28 and 30 [<20-40] for P.1/30) than against the lineage B isolate (260 [160-400]), with a binominal model showing significant reductions in lineage P.1 isolates compared with the lineage B isolate (p≤0·0001). Efficient neutralisation of P.1 isolates was not seen with plasma samples collected from individuals vaccinated with a first dose of CoronaVac 20-23 days earlier (VNT50s below the limit of detection [<20] for most plasma samples), a second dose 17-38 days earlier (median VNT50 24 [IQR <20-25] for P.1/28 and 28 [<20-25] for P.1/30), or a second dose 134-260 days earlier (all VNT50s below limit of detection). Median VNT50s against the lineage B isolate were 20 (IQR 20-30) after a first dose of CoronaVac 20-23 days earlier, 75 (<20-263) after a second dose 17-38 days earlier, and 20 (<20-30) after a second dose 134-260 days earlier. In plasma collected 17-38 days after a second dose of CoronaVac, neutralising capacity against both P.1 isolates was significantly decreased (p=0·0051 for P.1/28 and p=0·0336 for P.1/30) compared with that against the lineage B isolate. All data were corroborated by results obtained through plaque reduction neutralisation tests. INTERPRETATION: SARS-CoV-2 lineage P.1 might escape neutralisation by antibodies generated in response to polyclonal stimulation against previously circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2. Continuous genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 combined with antibody neutralisation assays could help to guide national immunisation programmes. FUNDING: São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and Funding Authority for Studies, Medical Research Council, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, National Institutes of Health. TRANSLATION: For the Portuguese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United States , Vaccination
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