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1.
Curr Cardiol Rep ; 24(6): 631-644, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1877492

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The advent of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) has paved the way for new in vitro models of human cardiomyopathy. Herein, we will review existing models of disease as well as strengths and limitations of the system. RECENT FINDINGS: Preclinical studies have now demonstrated that iPSCs generated from patients with both acquired or heritable genetic diseases retain properties of the disease in vitro and can be used as a model to study novel therapeutics. iPSCs can be differentiated in vitro into the cardiomyocyte lineage into cells resembling adult ventricular myocytes that retain properties of cardiovascular disease from their respective donor. iPSC pluripotency allows for them to be frozen, stored, and continually used to generate iPSC-derived myocytes for future experiments without need for invasive procedures or repeat myocyte isolations to obtain animal or human cardiac tissues. While not without their limitations, iPSC models offer new ways for studying patient-specific cardiomyopathies. iPSCs offer a high-throughput avenue for drug development, modeling of disease pathophysiology in vitro, and enabling experimental repair strategies without need for invasive procedures to obtain cardiac tissues.


Subject(s)
Cardiomyopathies , Cardiovascular Diseases , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Animals , Cardiomyopathies/genetics , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Cell Differentiation , Humans , Myocytes, Cardiac
2.
Circulation ; 145(15): 1123-1139, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840691

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute myocarditis (AM) is thought to be a rare cardiovascular complication of COVID-19, although minimal data are available beyond case reports. We aim to report the prevalence, baseline characteristics, in-hospital management, and outcomes for patients with COVID-19-associated AM on the basis of a retrospective cohort from 23 hospitals in the United States and Europe. METHODS: A total of 112 patients with suspected AM from 56 963 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 were evaluated between February 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021. Inclusion criteria were hospitalization for COVID-19 and a diagnosis of AM on the basis of endomyocardial biopsy or increased troponin level plus typical signs of AM on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. We identified 97 patients with possible AM, and among them, 54 patients with definite/probable AM supported by endomyocardial biopsy in 17 (31.5%) patients or magnetic resonance imaging in 50 (92.6%). We analyzed patient characteristics, treatments, and outcomes among all COVID-19-associated AM. RESULTS: AM prevalence among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was 2.4 per 1000 hospitalizations considering definite/probable and 4.1 per 1000 considering also possible AM. The median age of definite/probable cases was 38 years, and 38.9% were female. On admission, chest pain and dyspnea were the most frequent symptoms (55.5% and 53.7%, respectively). Thirty-one cases (57.4%) occurred in the absence of COVID-19-associated pneumonia. Twenty-one (38.9%) had a fulminant presentation requiring inotropic support or temporary mechanical circulatory support. The composite of in-hospital mortality or temporary mechanical circulatory support occurred in 20.4%. At 120 days, estimated mortality was 6.6%, 15.1% in patients with associated pneumonia versus 0% in patients without pneumonia (P=0.044). During hospitalization, left ventricular ejection fraction, assessed by echocardiography, improved from a median of 40% on admission to 55% at discharge (n=47; P<0.0001) similarly in patients with or without pneumonia. Corticosteroids were frequently administered (55.5%). CONCLUSIONS: AM occurrence is estimated between 2.4 and 4.1 out of 1000 patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The majority of AM occurs in the absence of pneumonia and is often complicated by hemodynamic instability. AM is a rare complication in patients hospitalized for COVID-19, with an outcome that differs on the basis of the presence of concomitant pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Myocarditis , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Myocarditis/diagnosis , Myocarditis/epidemiology , Myocarditis/therapy , Prevalence , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke Volume , Ventricular Function, Left
4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316601

ABSTRACT

Background: Increased inflammation is a hallmark of COVID-19, with pulmonary and systemic inflammation identified in multiple cohorts of patients. Definitive cellular and molecular pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils, the most numerous leukocytes in blood circulation, can contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Neutrophilia, elevated neutrophil:lymphocyte ratios, and elevated neutrophil-associated cytokines are present in COVID-19, but changes in neutrophil functions have not been characterized. Here we analyzed the functional state of circulating neutrophils in COVID-19.Methods: Blood was obtained from critically ill COVID-19 patients over two weeks and healthy controls across multiple timepoints. Plasma cytokine profiles were assessed by bead array. Neutrophils were isolated and tested ex vivo for oxidative burst, neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) and phagocytosis. Lung tissue was obtained immediately post-mortem from COVID-19 patients for immunostaining.Results: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines IL-8 and IL-6 were identified in COVID-19 plasma both at the first measurement and across their hospitalization (p < 0.0001). Elevations in cytokines IP-10, GM-CSF, IL-1b, IL-10 and TNF were also present at the first measurement and across hospital stays. Functionally, circulating neutrophils from COVID-19 patients had exaggerated oxidative burst (p < 0.0001), NETosis (p < 0.0001) and phagocytosis (p < 0.0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis was found to be correlated with both leukocytosis and neutrophilia in COVID-19 patients. Neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma. While elevations in IL-8 and ANC correlated to COVID-19 disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death.Conclusions: Circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with increased oxidative burst, NETosis and phagocytosis. Readily accessible and dynamic, plasma IL-8 and circulating neutrophil function can be explored as potential COVID-19 disease biomarkers.Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs (salary support and VA Merit Award, PI Crotty Alexander) and NIH NHLBI (PI Crotty Alexander).Declaration of Interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: The research protocol was approved by the UCSD, VASDHS and Rady Children’s Hospital institutional review boards (IRBs) and all participants or designated family member gave written informed consent.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 479-489, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684541

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased inflammation has been well defined in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), while definitive pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils are known to contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Changes in neutrophil function in COVID-19 may give insight into disease pathogenesis and identify therapeutic targets. METHODS: Blood was obtained serially from critically ill COVID-19 patients for 11 days. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), oxidative burst, phagocytosis, and cytokine levels were assessed. Lung tissue was obtained immediately postmortem for immunostaining. PubMed searches for neutrophils, lung, and COVID-19 yielded 10 peer-reviewed research articles in English. RESULTS: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines interleukin 8 (IL-8) and interleukin 6, and general inflammatory cytokines IFN-inducible protien-19, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin 1ß, interleukin 10, and tumor necrosis factor, were identified both at first measurement and across hospitalization (P < .0001). COVID-19 neutrophils had exaggerated oxidative burst (P < .0001), NETosis (P < .0001), and phagocytosis (P < .0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis correlated with leukocytosis and neutrophilia, and neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma of 40% of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected lungs available for examination (2 of 5). While elevations in IL-8 and absolute neutrophil count correlated with disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death. CONCLUSIONS: Literature to date demonstrates compelling evidence of increased neutrophils in the circulation and lungs of COVID-19 patients. Importantly, neutrophil quantity and activation correlates with severity of disease. Similarly, our data show that circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with enhanced NETosis and oxidative burst.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracellular Traps , Critical Illness , Humans , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(10): 100421, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440413

ABSTRACT

Understanding viral tropism is an essential step toward reducing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, decreasing mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and limiting opportunities for mutant strains to arise. Currently, little is known about the extent to which distinct tissue sites in the human head and neck region and proximal respiratory tract selectively permit SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication. In this translational study, we discover key variabilities in expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), essential SARS-CoV-2 entry factors, among the mucosal tissues of the human proximal airways. We show that SARS-CoV-2 infection is present in all examined head and neck tissues, with a notable tropism for the nasal cavity and tracheal mucosa. Finally, we uncover an association between smoking and higher SARS-CoV-2 viral infection in the human proximal airway, which may explain the increased susceptibility of smokers to developing severe COVID-19. This is at least partially explained by differences in interferon (IFN)-ß1 levels between smokers and non-smokers.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Smokers , Viral Tropism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Cavity/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Trachea/metabolism
7.
Elife ; 102021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380072

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, causes widespread damage in the lungs in the setting of an overzealous immune response whose origin remains unclear. Methods: We present a scalable, propagable, personalized, cost-effective adult stem cell-derived human lung organoid model that is complete with both proximal and distal airway epithelia. Monolayers derived from adult lung organoids (ALOs), primary airway cells, or hiPSC-derived alveolar type II (AT2) pneumocytes were infected with SARS-CoV-2 to create in vitro lung models of COVID-19. Results: Infected ALO monolayers best recapitulated the transcriptomic signatures in diverse cohorts of COVID-19 patient-derived respiratory samples. The airway (proximal) cells were critical for sustained viral infection, whereas distal alveolar differentiation (AT2→AT1) was critical for mounting the overzealous host immune response in fatal disease; ALO monolayers with well-mixed proximodistal airway components recapitulated both. Conclusions: Findings validate a human lung model of COVID-19, which can be immediately utilized to investigate COVID-19 pathogenesis and vet new therapies and vaccines. Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) grants 1R01DK107585-01A1, 3R01DK107585-05S1 (to SD); R01-AI141630, CA100768 and CA160911 (to PG) and R01-AI 155696 (to PG, DS and SD); R00-CA151673 and R01-GM138385 (to DS), R01- HL32225 (to PT), UCOP-R00RG2642 (to SD and PG), UCOP-R01RG3780 (to P.G. and D.S) and a pilot award from the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health (P.G, S.D, D.S). GDK was supported through The American Association of Immunologists Intersect Fellowship Program for Computational Scientists and Immunologists. L.C.A's salary was supported in part by the VA San Diego Healthcare System. This manuscript includes data generated at the UC San Diego Institute of Genomic Medicine (IGC) using an Illumina NovaSeq 6000 that was purchased with funding from a National Institutes of Health SIG grant (#S10 OD026929).


Subject(s)
Adult Stem Cells , COVID-19 , Lung/pathology , Models, Biological , Organoids , Adult Stem Cells/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Organoids/virology , Pulmonary Alveoli/cytology , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
8.
Sci Adv ; 7(34)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365115

ABSTRACT

Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity is highly variable, with pediatric patients typically experiencing less severe infection than adults and especially the elderly. The basis for this difference is unclear. We find that mRNA and protein expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cell entry receptor for the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, increases with advancing age in distal lung epithelial cells. However, in humans, ACE2 expression exhibits high levels of intra- and interindividual heterogeneity. Further, cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience endoplasmic reticulum stress, triggering an unfolded protein response and caspase-mediated apoptosis, a natural host defense system that halts virion production. Apoptosis of infected cells can be selectively induced by treatment with apoptosis-modulating BH3 mimetic drugs. Notably, epithelial cells within young lungs and airways are more primed to undergo apoptosis than those in adults, which may naturally hinder virion production and support milder COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Apoptosis/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Age Factors , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Infant , Lung/cytology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
9.
Clin Transplant ; 36(1): e14443, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328997

ABSTRACT

Immunosuppressed heart transplant (HT) recipients are thought to be at higher risk of infection and mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); however, evidence guiding management of HT patients are limited. Retrospective search of electronic health records from February 2020 to February 2021, identified 28 HT recipients out of 400 followed by UC San Diego who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Patient demographics, COVID-19 directed therapies, hospital course and outcomes were compared to control HT recipients who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 during the same period (n = 80). Among 28 HT recipients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 15 were admitted to the hospital and 13 were monitored closely as outpatients. Among inpatients, five developed severe illness and two died (7% mortality). Nine patients were treated with remdesivir, and four received dexamethasone and remdesivir. Two outpatients received neutralizing monoclonal antibody therapy and one outpatient received dexamethasone for persistent dyspnea. Immunosuppressed HT recipients, especially Hispanic patients and patients with higher body mass index, were at greater risk of infection and mortality from COVID-19 than the general population. Use of remdesivir and dexamethasone may have improved outcomes in our HT recipients compared to HT recipients at other centers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Transplantation , Heart Transplantation/adverse effects , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
10.
EBioMedicine ; 68: 103390, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267655

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) continues to challenge the limits of our knowledge and our healthcare system. Here we sought to define the host immune response, a.k.a, the "cytokine storm" that has been implicated in fatal COVID-19 using an AI-based approach. METHOD: Over 45,000 transcriptomic datasets of viral pandemics were analyzed to extract a 166-gene signature using ACE2 as a 'seed' gene; ACE2 was rationalized because it encodes the receptor that facilitates the entry of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) into host cells. An AI-based approach was used to explore the utility of the signature in navigating the uncharted territory of Covid-19, setting therapeutic goals, and finding therapeutic solutions. FINDINGS: The 166-gene signature was surprisingly conserved across all viral pandemics, including COVID-19, and a subset of 20-genes classified disease severity, inspiring the nomenclatures ViP and severe-ViP signatures, respectively. The ViP signatures pinpointed a paradoxical phenomenon wherein lung epithelial and myeloid cells mount an IL15 cytokine storm, and epithelial and NK cell senescence and apoptosis determine severity/fatality. Precise therapeutic goals could be formulated; these goals were met in high-dose SARS-CoV-2-challenged hamsters using either neutralizing antibodies that abrogate SARS-CoV-2•ACE2 engagement or a directly acting antiviral agent, EIDD-2801. IL15/IL15RA were elevated in the lungs of patients with fatal disease, and plasma levels of the cytokine prognosticated disease severity. INTERPRETATION: The ViP signatures provide a quantitative and qualitative framework for titrating the immune response in viral pandemics and may serve as a powerful unbiased tool to rapidly assess disease severity and vet candidate drugs. FUNDING: This work was supported by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) [grants CA151673 and GM138385 (to DS) and AI141630 (to P.G), DK107585-05S1 (SD) and AI155696 (to P.G, D.S and S.D), U19-AI142742 (to S. C, CCHI: Cooperative Centers for Human Immunology)]; Research Grants Program Office (RGPO) from the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) (R00RG2628 & R00RG2642 to P.G, D.S and S.D); the UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center (to P.G, D.S and S.D); LJI Institutional Funds (to S.C); the VA San Diego Healthcare System Institutional funds (to L.C.A). GDK was supported through The American Association of Immunologists Intersect Fellowship Program for Computational Scientists and Immunologists. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: The host immune response in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Interleukin-15/genetics , Receptors, Interleukin-15/genetics , Virus Diseases/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Artificial Intelligence , Autopsy , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Cricetinae , Cytidine/administration & dosage , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Cytidine/pharmacology , Databases, Genetic , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Regulatory Networks/drug effects , Genetic Markers/drug effects , Humans , Hydroxylamines/administration & dosage , Hydroxylamines/pharmacology , Interleukin-15/blood , Lung/immunology , Mesocricetus , Pandemics , Receptors, Interleukin-15/blood , Virus Diseases/immunology
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 479-489, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228461

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased inflammation has been well defined in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), while definitive pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils are known to contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Changes in neutrophil function in COVID-19 may give insight into disease pathogenesis and identify therapeutic targets. METHODS: Blood was obtained serially from critically ill COVID-19 patients for 11 days. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), oxidative burst, phagocytosis, and cytokine levels were assessed. Lung tissue was obtained immediately postmortem for immunostaining. PubMed searches for neutrophils, lung, and COVID-19 yielded 10 peer-reviewed research articles in English. RESULTS: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines interleukin 8 (IL-8) and interleukin 6, and general inflammatory cytokines IFN-inducible protien-19, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin 1ß, interleukin 10, and tumor necrosis factor, were identified both at first measurement and across hospitalization (P < .0001). COVID-19 neutrophils had exaggerated oxidative burst (P < .0001), NETosis (P < .0001), and phagocytosis (P < .0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis correlated with leukocytosis and neutrophilia, and neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma of 40% of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected lungs available for examination (2 of 5). While elevations in IL-8 and absolute neutrophil count correlated with disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death. CONCLUSIONS: Literature to date demonstrates compelling evidence of increased neutrophils in the circulation and lungs of COVID-19 patients. Importantly, neutrophil quantity and activation correlates with severity of disease. Similarly, our data show that circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with enhanced NETosis and oxidative burst.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracellular Traps , Critical Illness , Humans , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2
12.
bioRxiv ; 2021 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-807000

ABSTRACT

We sought to define the host immune response, a.k.a, the "cytokine storm" that has been implicated in fatal COVID-19 using an AI-based approach. Over 45,000 transcriptomic datasets of viral pandemics were analyzed to extract a 166-gene signature using ACE2 as a 'seed' gene; ACE2 was rationalized because it encodes the receptor that facilitates the entry of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) into host cells. Surprisingly, this 166-gene signature was conserved in all vi ral p andemics, including COVID-19, and a subset of 20-genes classified disease severity, inspiring the nomenclatures ViP and severe-ViP signatures, respectively. The ViP signatures pinpointed a paradoxical phenomenon wherein lung epithelial and myeloid cells mount an IL15 cytokine storm, and epithelial and NK cell senescence and apoptosis determines severity/fatality. Precise therapeutic goals were formulated and subsequently validated in high-dose SARS-CoV-2-challenged hamsters using neutralizing antibodies that abrogate SARS-CoV-2•ACE2 engagement or a directly acting antiviral agent, EIDD-2801. IL15/IL15RA were elevated in the lungs of patients with fatal disease, and plasma levels of the cytokine tracked with disease severity. Thus, the ViP signatures provide a quantitative and qualitative framework for titrating the immune response in viral pandemics and may serve as a powerful unbiased tool to rapidly assess disease severity and vet candidate drugs. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: The host immune response in COVID-19. PANEL RESEARCH IN CONTEXT: Evidence before this study: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has inspired many groups to find innovative methodologies that can help us understand the host immune response to the virus; unchecked proportions of such immune response have been implicated in fatality. We searched GEO and ArrayExpress that provided many publicly available gene expression data that objectively measure the host immune response in diverse conditions. However, challenges remain in identifying a set of host response events that are common to every condition. There are no studies that provide a reproducible assessment of prognosticators of disease severity, the host response, and therapeutic goals. Consequently, therapeutic trials for COVID-19 have seen many more 'misses' than 'hits'. This work used multiple (> 45,000) gene expression datasets from GEO and ArrayExpress and analyzed them using an unbiased computational approach that relies upon fundamentals of gene expression patterns and mathematical precision when assessing them.Added value of this study: This work identifies a signature that is surprisingly conserved in all viral pandemics, including Covid-19, inspiring the nomenclature ViP-signature. A subset of 20-genes classified disease severity in respiratory pandemics. The ViP signatures pinpointed the nature and source of the 'cytokine storm' mounted by the host. They also helped formulate precise therapeutic goals and rationalized the repurposing of FDA-approved drugs.Implications of all the available evidence: The ViP signatures provide a quantitative and qualitative framework for assessing the immune response in viral pandemics when creating pre-clinical models; they serve as a powerful unbiased tool to rapidly assess disease severity and vet candidate drugs.

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