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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.
J Intern Med ; 292(4): 654-666, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine may confer cross-protection against viral diseases in adults. This study evaluated BCG vaccine cross-protection in adults with convalescent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHOD: This was a multicenter, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase III study (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04369794). SETTING: University Community Health Center and Municipal Outpatient Center in South America. PATIENTS: a total of 378 adult patients with convalescent COVID-19 were included. INTERVENTION: single intradermal BCG vaccine (n = 183) and placebo (n = 195). MEASUREMENTS: the primary outcome was clinical evolution. Other outcomes included adverse events and humoral immune responses for up to 6 months. RESULTS: A significantly higher proportion of BCG patients with anosmia and ageusia recovered at the 6-week follow-up visit than placebo (anosmia: 83.1% vs. 68.7% healed, p = 0.043, number needed to treat [NNT] = 6.9; ageusia: 81.2% vs. 63.4% healed, p = 0.032, NNT = 5.6). BCG also prevented the appearance of ageusia in the following weeks: seven in 113 (6.2%) BCG recipients versus 19 in 126 (15.1%) placebos, p = 0.036, NNT = 11.2. BCG did not induce any severe or systemic adverse effects. The most common and expected adverse effects were local vaccine lesions, erythema (n = 152; 86.4%), and papules (n = 111; 63.1%). Anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 humoral response measured by N protein immunoglobulin G titer and seroneutralization by interacting with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor suggest that the serum of BCG-injected patients may neutralize the virus at lower specificity; however, the results were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: BCG vaccine is safe and offers cross-protection against COVID-19 with potential humoral response modulation. LIMITATIONS: No severely ill patients were included.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , COVID-19 , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Anosmia , BCG Vaccine/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G , Prospective Studies
3.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 844728, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834450

ABSTRACT

Background: Nitazoxanide exerts antiviral activity in vitro and in vivo and anti-inflammatory effects, but its impact on patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia is uncertain. Methods: A multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 19 hospitals in Brazil. Hospitalized adult patients requiring supplemental oxygen, with COVID-19 symptoms and a chest computed tomography scan suggestive of viral pneumonia or positive RT-PCR test for COVID-19 were enrolled. Patients were randomized 1:1 to receive nitazoxanide (500 mg) or placebo, 3 times daily, for 5 days, and were followed for 14 days. The primary outcome was intensive care unit admission due to the need for invasive mechanical ventilation. Secondary outcomes included clinical improvement, hospital discharge, oxygen requirements, death, and adverse events within 14 days. Results: Of the 498 patients, 405 (202 in the nitazoxanide group and 203 in the placebo group) were included in the analyses. Admission to the intensive care unit did not differ between the groups (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval], 0.68 [0.38-1.20], p = 0.179); death rates also did not differ. Nitazoxanide improved the clinical outcome (2.75 [2.21-3.43], p < 0.0001), time to hospital discharge (1.37 [1.11-1.71], p = 0.005), and reduced oxygen requirements (0.77 [0.64-0.94], p = 0.011). C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and ferritin levels were lower in the nitazoxanide group than the placebo group on day 7. No serious adverse events were observed. Conclusions: Nitazoxanide, compared with placebo, did not prevent admission to the intensive care unit for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia. Clinical Trial Registration: Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials (REBEC) RBR88bs9x; ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04561219.

4.
J Med Virol ; 94(8): 3714-3721, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1787688

ABSTRACT

Vaccination certainly is the best way to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, the seroconversion effectiveness of two vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 was assessed in healthcare workers: virus-inactivated CoronaVac (CV, n = 303), and adenovirus-vectored Oxford-AstraZeneca (AZ, n = 447). The immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies anti-spike glycoprotein and anti-nucleocapsid protein were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at the time before vaccination (T1), before the second dose (T2), and 30 days after the second dose (T3). Of all individuals vaccinated with AZ, 100% (n = 447) exhibited seroconversion, compared to 91% (n = 276) that were given CV vaccine. Among individuals who did not respond to the CV, only three individuals showed a significant increase in the antibody level 4 months later the booster dose. A lower seroconversion rate was observed in elders immunized with the CV vaccine probably due to the natural immune senescence, or peculiarity of this vaccine. The AZ vaccine induced a higher humoral response; however, more common side effects were also observed. Nonvaccinated convalescent individuals revealed a similar rate of anti-spike IgG to individuals that were given two doses of CV vaccine, which suggests that only a one-shot COVID-19 vaccine could produce an effective immune response in convalescents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adenoviridae/genetics , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , Brazil , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics/prevention & control
5.
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
6.
Eur Respir J ; 58(1)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999707

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nitazoxanide is widely available and exerts broad-spectrum antiviral activity in vitro. However, there is no evidence of its impact on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: In a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, adult patients presenting up to 3 days after onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms (dry cough, fever and/or fatigue) were enrolled. After confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection using reverse transcriptase PCR on a nasopharyngeal swab, patients were randomised 1:1 to receive either nitazoxanide (500 mg) or placebo, three times daily, for 5 days. The primary outcome was complete resolution of symptoms. Secondary outcomes were viral load, laboratory tests, serum biomarkers of inflammation and hospitalisation rate. Adverse events were also assessed. RESULTS: From June 8 to August 20, 2020, 1575 patients were screened. Of these, 392 (198 placebo, 194 nitazoxanide) were analysed. Median (interquartile range) time from symptom onset to first dose of study drug was 5 (4-5) days. At the 5-day study visit, symptom resolution did not differ between the nitazoxanide and placebo arms. Swabs collected were negative for SARS-CoV-2 in 29.9% of patients in the nitazoxanide arm versus 18.2% in the placebo arm (p=0.009). Viral load was reduced after nitazoxanide compared to placebo (p=0.006). The percentage viral load reduction from onset to end of therapy was higher with nitazoxanide (55%) than placebo (45%) (p=0.013). Other secondary outcomes were not significantly different. No serious adverse events were observed. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with mild COVID-19, symptom resolution did not differ between nitazoxanide and placebo groups after 5 days of therapy. However, early nitazoxanide therapy was safe and reduced viral load significantly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Nitro Compounds , SARS-CoV-2 , Thiazoles , Treatment Outcome
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