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1.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(12)2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542704

ABSTRACT

Without effective antivirals, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely continue to substantially affect public health. Medicinal plants and phytochemicals are attractive therapeutic options, particularly those targeting viral proteins essential for replication cycle. Herein, a total 179 phytochemicals of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) were screened and scrutinized against the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) with considerable binding affinities in the range of -9.831 to -2.710 kcal/mol. The top 10 compounds with the best docking scores, licuraside, glucoliquiritin apioside, 7,3'-Dihydroxy-5'-methoxyisoflavone, licuroside, kanzonol R, neoisoliquiritin, licochalcone-A, formononetin, isomucronulatol, and licoricone, were redocked using AutoDock Vina, yielding -8.7 to -7.3 kcal/mol binding energy against Glycyrrhizin (-8.0 kcal/mol) as a reference ligand. Four compounds, licuraside, glucoliquiritin apioside, 7,3'-Dihydroxy-5'-methoxyisoflavone, and licuroside, with glycyrrhizin (reference ligand) were considered for the 100 ns MD simulation and post-simulation analysis which support the stability of docked bioactive compounds with viral protein. In vitro studies demonstrated robust anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of licorice and glycyrrhizin under different treatment protocols (simulations treatment with viral infection, post-infection treatment, and pre-treatment), suggesting multiple mechanisms for action. Although both compounds inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication, the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of glycyrrhizin was substantially lower than licorice. This study supports proceeding with in vivo experimentation and clinical trials and highlights licorice and glycyrrhizin as potential therapeutics for COVID-19.

2.
Saudi Med J ; 42(7): 742-749, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513260

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To identify the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies among operating room and critical care staff. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 319 Healthcare workers employed in the operation theater and intensive care unit of King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH), a tertiary teaching hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia between August 9, 2020 and November 2, 2020. All participants completed a 20-item questionnaire on demographic data and COVID-19 risk factors and provided blood samples. Antibody testing was performed using an in-house enzyme immunoassay and microneutralization test. RESULTS: Of the 319 participants, 39 had detectable COVID-19 antibodies. Five of them had never experienced any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, and only 19 were previously diagnosed with COVID-19. The odds of developing COVID-19 or having corresponding antibodies increased if participants experienced COVID-19 symptoms (odds ratio [OR], 3.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-7.5) or reported contact with an infected family member (OR, 5.3; 95% CI, 2.5-11.2). Disease acquisition was not associated with employment in the ICU and involvement in the intubation of or close contact with COVID-19 patients. Of the 19 previously diagnosed participants, 6 did not possess any detectable COVID-19 antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare workers may have undiagnosed COVID-19, and those previously infected may not have long-lasting immunity. Therefore, hospitals must continue to uphold strict infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Hospitals, Teaching , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional , Male , Middle Aged , Operating Rooms , Pandemics , Prevalence , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology
3.
Int J Infect Dis ; 108: 112-115, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351691

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunocompromised patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have prolonged infectious viral shedding for more than 20 days. A test-based approach is suggested for de-isolation of these patients. METHODS: The strategy was evaluated by comparing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load (cycle threshold (Ct) values) and viral culture at the time of hospital discharge in a series of 13 COVID-19 patients: six immunocompetent and seven immunocompromised (five solid organ transplant patients, one lymphoma patient, and one hepatocellular carcinoma patient). RESULTS: Three of the 13 (23%) patients had positive viral cultures: one patient with lymphoma (on day 16) and two immunocompetent patients (on day 7 and day 11). Eighty percent of the patients had negative viral cultures and had a mean Ct value of 20.5. None of the solid organ transplant recipients had positive viral cultures. CONCLUSIONS: The mean Ct value for negative viral cultures was 20.5 in this case series of immunocompromised patients. Unlike those with hematological malignancies, none of the solid organ transplant patients had positive viral cultures. Adopting the test-based approach for all immunocompromised patients may lead to prolonged quarantine. Large-scale studies in disease-specific populations are needed to determine whether a test-based approach versus a symptom-based approach or a combination is applicable for the de-isolation of various immunocompromised patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Quarantine , Virus Shedding
4.
Vox Sang ; 116(6): 673-681, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319364

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: During the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in plasma and platelet products from asymptomatic blood donors, raising concerns about potential risk of transfusion transmission, also in the context of the current therapeutic approach utilizing plasma from convalescent donors. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of amotosalen/UVA light treatment to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in human plasma to reduce the risk of potential transmission through blood transfusion. METHODS: Pools of three whole-blood-derived human plasma units (630-650 ml) were inoculated with a clinical SARS-CoV-2 isolate. Spiked units were treated with amotosalen/UVA light (INTERCEPT Blood System™) to inactivate SARS-CoV-2. Infectious titres and genomic viral load were assessed by plaque assay and real-time quantitative PCR. Inactivated samples were subject to three successive passages on permissive tissue culture to exclude the presence of replication-competent viral particles. RESULTS: Inactivation of infectious viral particles in spiked plasma units below the limit of detection was achieved by amotosalen/UVA light treatment with a mean log reduction of >3·32 ± 0·2. Passaging of inactivated samples on permissive tissue showed no viral replication even after 9 days of incubation and three passages, confirming complete inactivation. The treatment also inhibited NAT detection by nucleic acid modification with a mean log reduction of 2·92 ± 0·87 PFU genomic equivalents. CONCLUSION: Amotosalen/UVA light treatment of SARS-CoV-2 spiked human plasma units efficiently and completely inactivated >3·32 ± 0·2 log of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, showing that such treatment could minimize the risk of transfusion-related SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
Furocoumarins/pharmacology , Plasma/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Ultraviolet Therapy , Virus Inactivation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Transfusion Reaction/prevention & control , Treatment Outcome
5.
Int J Infect Dis ; 110: 267-271, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313161

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised patients who have a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection pose many clinical and public health challenges. We describe the case of a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patient with lymphoma who had a protracted illness requiring three consecutive hospital admissions. Whole genome sequencing confirmed two different SARS-CoV-2 clades. Clinical management issues and the unanswered questions arising from this case are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation , Humans , Reinfection , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Shedding
6.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(6)2021 May 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256438

ABSTRACT

The unusual cases of pneumonia outbreak were reported from Wuhan city in late December 2019. Serological testing provides a powerful tool for the identification of prior infection and for epidemiological studies. Pseudotype virus neutralization assays are widely used for many viruses and applications in the fields of serology. The accuracy of pseudotype neutralizing assay allows for its use in low biosafety lab and provides a safe and effective alternative to the use of wild-type viruses. In this study, we evaluated the performance of this assay compared to the standard microneutralization assay as a reference. The lentiviral pseudotype particles were generated harboring the Spike gene of SARS-CoV-2. The generated pseudotype particles assay was used to evaluate the activity of neutralizing antibodies in 300 human serum samples from a COVID-19 sero-epidemiological study. Testing of these samples resulted in 55 positive samples and 245 negative samples by pseudotype viral particles assay while microneutralization assay resulted in 64 positive and 236 negative by MN assay. Compared to the MN, the pseudotyped viral particles assay showed a sensitivity of 85.94% and a specificity of 100%. Based on the data generated from this study, the pseudotype-based neutralization assay showed a reliable performance for the detection of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and can be used safely and efficiently as a diagnostic tool in a biosafety level 2 laboratory.

7.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(5)2021 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223965

ABSTRACT

A few months ago, the availability of a reliable and cost-effective testing capacity for COVID-19 was a concern for many countries. With the emergence and circulation of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, another layer of challenge can be added for COVID-19 testing at both molecular and serological levels. This is particularly important for the available tests principally designed to target the S gene/protein where multiple mutations have been reported. Herein, the SARS-CoV-2 NP recombinant protein was utilized to develop a simple and reliable COVID-19 NP human IgG ELISA. The optimized protocol was validated against a micro-neutralization (MN) assay, in-house S-based ELISA, and commercial chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The developed assay provides 100% sensitivity, 98.9% specificity, 98.9% agreement, and high overall accuracy with an area under curve equal to 0.9998 ± 0.0002 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.99 to 1.00. The optical density values of positive samples significantly correlated with their corresponding MN titers. The assay specifically detects IgG antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 NP protein and does not cross-detect IgG to the viral S protein. Moreover, it does not cross-react with antibodies related to other coronaviruses (e.g., the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or human coronavirus HKU1). The availability of this reliable COVID-19 NP IgG ELISA protocol is highly valuable for its diagnostic and epidemiological applications.

8.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(5)2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1200875

ABSTRACT

Understanding the immune response to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is crucial for disease prevention and vaccine development. We studied the antibody responses in 48 human MERS-CoV infection survivors who had variable disease severity in Saudi Arabia. MERS-CoV-specific neutralizing antibodies were detected for 6 years postinfection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Animals , Antibody Formation , Camelus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology
9.
Pathogens ; 10(3)2021 Mar 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143550

ABSTRACT

The aim of our study was to define the spectrum of viral infections in pilgrims with acute respiratory tract illnesses presenting to healthcare facilities around the holy places in Makkah, Saudi Arabia during the 2019 Hajj pilgrimage. During the five days of Hajj, a total of 185 pilgrims were enrolled in the study. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPSs) of 126/185 patients (68.11%) tested positive for one or more respiratory viruses by PCR. Among the 126 pilgrims whose NPS were PCR positive: (a) there were 93/126 (74%) with a single virus infection, (b) 33/126 (26%) with coinfection with more than one virus (up to four viruses): of these, 25/33 cases had coinfection with two viruses; 6/33 were infected with three viruses, while the remaining 2/33 patients had infection with four viruses. Human rhinovirus (HRV) was the most common detected viruses with 53 cases (42.06%), followed by 27 (21.43%) cases of influenza A (H1N1), and 23 (18.25%) cases of influenza A other than H1N1. Twenty-five cases of CoV-229E (19.84%) were detected more than other coronavirus members (5 CoV-OC43 (3.97%), 4 CoV-HKU1 (3.17%), and 1 CoV-NL63 (0.79%)). PIV-3 was detected in 8 cases (6.35%). A single case (0.79%) of PIV-1 and PIV-4 were found. HMPV represented 5 (3.97%), RSV and influenza B 4 (3.17%) for each, and Parechovirus 1 (0.79%). Enterovirus, Bocavirus, and M. pneumoniae were not detected. Whether identification of viral nucleic acid represents nasopharyngeal carriage or specific causal etiology of RTI remains to be defined. Large controlled cohort studies (pre-Hajj, during Hajj, and post-Hajj) are required to define the carriage rates and the specific etiology and causal roles of specific individual viruses or combination of viruses in the pathogenesis of respiratory tract infections in pilgrims participating in the annual Hajj. Studies of the specific microbial etiology of respiratory track infections (RTIs) at mass gathering religious events remain a priority, especially in light of the novel SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

10.
J King Saud Univ Sci ; 33(3): 101366, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1080393

ABSTRACT

Objective: The new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a major health problem worldwide. The surveillance of seropositive individuals serves as an indicator to the extent of infection spread and provides an estimation of herd immunity status among population. Reports from different countries investigated this issue among healthcare workers (HCWs) who are "at risk" and "sources of risk" for COVID-19. This study aims to investigate the seroprevalence of COVID-19 among HCWs in one of the COVID-19 referral centers in Makkah, Saudi Arabia using three different serological methods. Methods: In-house developed enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), commercially available electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA), and microneutralization (MN) assay were utilized to determine the seroprevalence rate among the study population. 204 HCWs participated in the study. Both physicians and nurses working in the COVID-19 and non COVID-19 areas were included. Twelve out of 204 were confirmed cases of COVID-19 with variable disease severity. Samples from recovered HCWs were collected four weeks post diagnosis. Results: The overall seroprevalence rate was 6.3% (13 out of 204) using the in-house ELISA and MN assay and it was 5.8% (12 out of 204) using the commercial ECLIA. Among HCWs undiagnosed with COVID-19, the seroprevalence was 2% (4 out 192). Notably, neutralizing antibodies were not detected in 3 (25%) out 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Conclusions: Our study, similar to the recent national multi-center study, showed a low seroprevalence of SARS-Cov-2 antibodies among HCWs. Concordance of results between the commercial electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA), in-house ELISA and MN assay was observed. The in-house ELISA is a promising tool for the serological diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, seroprevalence studies may underestimate the extent of COVID-19 infection as some cases with mild disease did not have detectable antibody responses.

11.
Curr Pharm Des ; 27(32): 3490-3500, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024456

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The unusual pneumonia outbreak that originated in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019 was found to be caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or COVID-19. METHODS: In this work, we have performed an in silico design and prediction of potential siRNAs based on genetic diversity and recombination patterns, targeting various genes of SARS-CoV-2 for antiviral therapeutics. We performed extensive sequence analysis to analyze the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships, and to identify the possible source of virus reservoirs and recombination patterns, and the evolution of the virus as well as we designed the siRNAs which can be used as antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: The sequence analysis and phylogenetic relationships indicated high sequence identity and closed clusters with many types of coronavirus. In our analysis, the full-genome of SARS-CoV-2 showed the highest sequence (nucleotide) identity with SARS-bat-ZC45 (87.7%). The overall sequence identity ranged from 74.3% to 87.7% with selected SARS viruses. The recombination analysis indicated the bat SARS virus is a potential recombinant and serves as a major and minor parent. We have predicted 442 siRNAs and finally selected only 19 functional, and potential siRNAs. CONCLUSION: The siRNAs were predicted and selected based on their greater potency and specificity. The predicted siRNAs need to be validated experimentally for their effective binding and antiviral activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Computer Simulation , Humans , Phylogeny , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics
12.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(1)2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011456

ABSTRACT

In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Saudi Arabia have imposed timely restrictions to minimize the infection spread, lower the risk for vulnerable groups, and reduce the pressure on healthcare services. The effectiveness of these measures has not been assessed comprehensively and, thereby, remains uncertain. Besides monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed by molecular assays, the seroprevalence can serve as an indicator for the incidence rate among the general population. This study aimed to evaluate seroprevalence status of all healthy blood donors who attended one of the main largest hospital located in the western region of Saudi Arabia from 1 January to 31 May 2020. The study period covered two months prior to reporting the first COVID-19 case in the country on 2 March 2020. Importantly, it covered the period when "lock-down type" measures have been enforced. Samples were subjected to in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA), and microneutralization (MN). The sero statuses of all samples were confirmed negative, demonstrating the lack of antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among blood donors during COVID-19 lockdown period. This study supports the hypothesis that COVID-19 restrictions have potential for limiting the extent of the infection.

13.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(1)2021 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011452

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic of acute respiratory disease (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-strand RNA virus and its genomic characterization has played a vital role in the design of appropriate diagnostics tests. The current RT-PCR protocol for SARS-CoV-2 detects two regions of the viral genome, requiring RNA extraction and several hours. There is a need for fast, simple, and cost-effective detection strategies. METHODS: we optimized a protocol for direct RT-PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 without the need for nucleic acid extraction. Nasopharyngeal samples were diluted to 1:3 using diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC)-treated water. The diluted samples were incubated at 95 °C for 5 min in a thermal cycler, followed by a cooling step at 4 °C for 5 min. Samples then underwent reverse transcription real-time RT-PCR in the E and RdRp genes. RESULTS: our direct detection protocol showed 100% concordance with the standard protocol with an average Ct value difference of 4.38 for the E region and 3.85 for the RdRp region. CONCLUSION: the direct PCR technique was found to be a reliable and sensitive method that can be used to reduce the time and cost of the assay by removing the need for RNA extraction. It enables the use of the assay in research, diagnostics, and screening for COVID-19 in regions with fewer economic resources, where supplies are more limited allowing for wider use for screening.

14.
Pathogens ; 9(10)2020 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-904941

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), poses a threat to human health. Despite this, many affected countries are now in the process of gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions that were initially implemented in response to the pandemic. The success of the so-called "exit strategy" requires continued surveillance of virus circulation in the community and evaluation of the prevalence of protective immunity among population. Serology tests are valuable tools for these purposes. Herein, SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike (S) recombinant protein was utilized to develop and optimize an indirect enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) that enables a reliable detection of virus-specific IgG antibody in human sera. Importantly, the performance of this assay was evaluated utilizing micro-neutralization (MN) assay as a reference test. Our developed ELISA offers 100% sensitivity, 98.4% specificity, 98.8% agreement, and high overall accuracy. Moreover, the optical density (OD) values of positive samples significantly correlated with their MN titers. The assay specifically detects human IgG antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2, but not those to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1). The availability of this in-house ELISA protocol would be valuable for various diagnostic and epidemiological applications.

15.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 8(4)2020 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-902683

ABSTRACT

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified in 2012 and causes severe and often fatal acute respiratory illness in humans. No approved prophylactic and therapeutic interventions are currently available. In this study, we have developed egg yolk antibodies (immunoglobulin Y (IgY)) specific for MERS-CoV spike protein (S1) in order to evaluate their neutralizing efficiency against MERS-CoV infection. S1-specific immunoglobulins were produced by injecting chickens with purified recombinant S1 protein of MERS-CoV at a high titer (5.7 mg/mL egg yolk) at week 7 post immunization. Western blotting and immune-dot blot assays demonstrated that the IgY antibody specifically bound to the MERS-CoV S1 protein. Anti-S1 antibodies were also able to recognize MERS-COV inside cells, as demonstrated by an immunofluorescence assay. Plaque reduction and microneutralization assays showed the neutralization of MERS-COV in Vero cells by anti-S1 IgY antibodies and non-significantly reduced virus titers in the lungs of MERS-CoV-infected mice during early infection, with a nonsignificant decrease in weight loss. However, a statistically significant (p = 0.0196) quantitative reduction in viral antigen expression and marked reduction in inflammation were observed in lung tissue. Collectively, our data suggest that the anti-MERS-CoV S1 IgY could serve as a potential candidate for the passive treatment of MERS-CoV infection.

16.
Pathogens ; 9(10):803, 2020.
Article | MDPI | ID: covidwho-798869

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), poses a threat to human health. Despite this, many affected countries are now in the process of gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions that were initially implemented in response to the pandemic. The success of the so-called "exit strategy"requires continued surveillance of virus circulation in the community and evaluation of the prevalence of protective immunity among population. Serology tests are valuable tools for these purposes. Herein, SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike (S) recombinant protein was utilized to develop and optimize an indirect enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) that enables a reliable detection of virus-specific IgG antibody in human sera. Importantly, the performance of this assay was evaluated utilizing micro-neutralization (MN) assay as a reference test. Our developed ELISA offers 100% sensitivity, 98.4% specificity, 98.8% agreement, and high overall accuracy. Moreover, the optical density (OD) values of positive samples significantly correlated with their MN titers. The assay specifically detects human IgG antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2, but not those to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1). The availability of this in-house ELISA protocol would be valuable for various diagnostic and epidemiological applications.

17.
Int J Infect Dis ; 98: 454-459, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-653180

ABSTRACT

Genetic factors such as the HLA type of patients may play a role in regard to disease severity and clinical outcome of patients with COVID-19. Taking the data deposited in the GISAID database, we made predictions using the IEDB analysis resource (TepiTool) to gauge how variants in the SARS-CoV-2 genome may change peptide binding to the most frequent MHC-class I and -II alleles in Africa, Asia and Europe. We caracterized how a single mutation in the wildtype sequence of of SARS-CoV-2 could influence the peptide binding of SARS-CoV-2 variants to MHC class II, but not to MHC class I alleles. Assuming the ORF8 (L84S) mutation is biologically significant, selective pressure from MHC class II alleles may select for viral varients and subsequently shape the quality and quantity of cellular immune responses aginast SARS-CoV-2. MHC 4-digit typing along with viral sequence analysis should be considered in studies examining clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Africa , Alleles , Asia , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
18.
PLoS One ; 15(5): e0232790, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-616862

ABSTRACT

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an endemic virus in dromedaries. Annually, Saudi Arabia imports thousands of camels from the Horn of Africa, yet the epidemiology of MERS-CoV in these animals is largely unknown. Here, MERS-CoV prevalence was compared in imported African camels and their local counterparts. A total of 1399 paired sera and nasal swabs were collected from camels between 2016 and 2018. Imported animals from Sudan (n = 829) and Djibouti (n = 328) were sampled on incoming ships at Jeddah Islamic seaport before unloading, and local camels were sampled from Jeddah (n = 242). Samples were screened for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and MERS-CoV viral RNA. The overall seroprevalence was 92.7% and RNA detection rate was 17.2%. Imported camels had higher seroprevalence compared to resident herds (93.8% vs 87.6%, p <0.01) in contrast to RNA detection (13.3% vs 35.5%, p <0.0001). Seroprevalence significantly increased with age (p<0.0001) and viral RNA detection rate was ~2-folds higher in camels <2-year-old compared to older animals. RNA detection was higher in males verses females (24.3% vs 12.6%, p<0.0001) but seroprevalence was similar. Concurrent positivity for viral RNA and nAbs was found in >87% of the RNA positive animals, increased with age and was sex-dependent. Importantly, reduced viral RNA load was positively correlated with nAb titers. Our data confirm the widespread of MERS-CoV in imported and domestic camels in Saudi Arabia and highlight the need for continuous active surveillance and better prevention measures. Further studies are also warranted to understand camels correlates of protection for proper vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Camelus/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification , RNA, Viral/blood , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Djibouti/epidemiology , Female , Male , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Prevalence , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sudan/epidemiology
19.
Int J Infect Dis ; 96: 431-439, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-276112

ABSTRACT

As of May 17th 2020, the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused 307,395 deaths worldwide, out of 3,917,366 cases reported to the World Health Organization. No specific treatments for reducing mortality or morbidity are yet available. Deaths from COVID-19 will continue to rise globally until effective and appropriate treatments and/or vaccines are found. In search of effective treatments, the global medical, scientific, pharma and funding communities have rapidly initiated over 500 COVID-19 clinical trials on a range of antiviral drug regimens and repurposed drugs in various combinations. A paradigm shift is underway from the current focus of drug development targeting the pathogen, to advancing cellular Host-Directed Therapies (HDTs) for tackling the aberrant host immune and inflammatory responses which underlie the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and high COVID-19 mortality rates. We focus this editorial specifically on the background to, and the rationale for, the use and evaluation of mesenchymal stromal (Stem) cells (MSCs) in treatment trials of patients with severe COVID-19 disease. Currently, the ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) report a combined 28 trials exploring the potential of MSCs or their products for treatment of COVID-19. MSCs should also be trialed for treatment of other circulating WHO priority Blueprint pathogens such as MERS-CoV which causes upto 34% mortality rates. It's about time funding agencies invested more into development MSCs per se, and also for a range of other HDTs, in combination with other therapeutic interventions. MSC therapy could turn out to be an important contribution to bringing an end to the high COVID-19 death rates and preventing long-term functional disability in those who survive disease.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Consensus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Humans , Morbidity , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
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