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1.
Methods ; 203: 214-225, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873339

ABSTRACT

In the past 20 years, there have been several infectious disease outbreaks in humans for which the causative agent has been a zoonotic coronavirus. Novel infectious disease outbreaks, as illustrated by the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, demand a rapid response in terms of identifying effective treatments for seriously ill patients. The repurposing of approved drugs from other therapeutic areas is one of the most practical routes through which to approach this. Here, we present a systematic network-based drug repurposing methodology, which interrogates virus-human, human protein-protein and drug-protein interactome data. We identified 196 approved drugs that are appropriate for repurposing against COVID-19 and 102 approved drugs against a related coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV). We constructed a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network based on disease signatures from COVID-19 and SARS multi-omics datasets. Analysis of this PPI network uncovered key pathways. Of the 196 drugs predicted to target COVID-19 related pathways, 44 (hypergeometric p-value: 1.98e-04) are already in COVID-19 clinical trials, demonstrating the validity of our approach. Using an artificial neural network, we provide information on the mechanism of action and therapeutic value for each of the identified drugs, to facilitate their rapid repurposing into clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Repositioning , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316079

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19 continues to cause an ongoing global pandemic. Therapeutics are still needed to treat mild and severe COVID-19. Drug repurposing provides an opportunity to deploy drugs for COVID-19 more rapidly than developing novel therapeutics. Some existing drugs have shown promise for treating COVID-19 in clinical trials. This in silico study uses structural similarity to clinical trial drugs to identify two drugs with potential applications to treat early COVID-19. We apply in silico validation to suggest a possible mechanism of action for both. Triamcinolone is a corticosteroid structurally similar to Dexamethasone. Gallopamil is a calcium channel blocker structurally similar to Verapamil. We propose that both these drugs could be useful to treat early COVID-19 infection due to the proximity of their targets within a SARS-CoV-2-induced protein-protein interaction network to kinases active in early infection, and the APOA1 protein which is linked to the spread of COVID-19.

3.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 406-411, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595567

ABSTRACT

Patients with recent pandemic coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) complain of neurological abnormalities in sensory functions such as smell and taste in the early stages of infection. Determining the cellular and molecular mechanism of sensory impairment is critical to understand the pathogenesis of clinical manifestations, as well as in setting therapeutic targets for sequelae and recurrence. The absence of studies utilizing proper models of human peripheral nerve hampers an understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis. Here, we report that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) directly infects human peripheral sensory neurons, leading to molecular pathogenesis for chemosensory impairments. An in vitro system utilizing human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived peripheral neurons was used to model the cellular and molecular pathologies responsible for symptoms that most COVID-19 patients experience early in infection or may develop as sequelae. Peripheral neurons differentiated from hESCs expressed viral entry factor ACE2, and were directly infected with SARS-CoV-2 via ACE2. Human peripheral neurons infected with SARS-CoV-2 exhibited impaired molecular features of chemosensory function associated with abnormalities in sensory neurons of the olfactory or gustatory organs. Our results provide new insights into the pathogenesis of chemosensory dysfunction in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensory Receptor Cells/virology , Taste Disorders/etiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Humans
4.
Sci Adv ; 7(27)2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290607

ABSTRACT

The global outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) necessitates the rapid development of new therapies against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Here, we present the identification of 200 approved drugs, appropriate for repurposing against COVID-19. We constructed a SARS-CoV-2-induced protein network, based on disease signatures defined by COVID-19 multiomics datasets, and cross-examined these pathways against approved drugs. This analysis identified 200 drugs predicted to target SARS-CoV-2-induced pathways, 40 of which are already in COVID-19 clinical trials, testifying to the validity of the approach. Using artificial neural network analysis, we classified these 200 drugs into nine distinct pathways, within two overarching mechanisms of action (MoAs): viral replication (126) and immune response (74). Two drugs (proguanil and sulfasalazine) implicated in viral replication were shown to inhibit replication in cell assays. This unbiased and validated analysis opens new avenues for the rapid repurposing of approved drugs into clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Drug Repositioning , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Neural Networks, Computer , Proguanil/pharmacology , Proguanil/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sulfasalazine/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13026, 2021 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279902

ABSTRACT

The objective of the study was to develop and validate a prediction model that identifies COVID-19 patients at risk of requiring oxygen support based on five parameters: C-reactive protein (CRP), hypertension, age, and neutrophil and lymphocyte counts (CHANeL). This retrospective cohort study included 221 consecutive COVID-19 patients and the patients were randomly assigned randomly to a training set and a test set in a ratio of 1:1. Logistic regression, logistic LASSO regression, Random Forest, Support Vector Machine, and XGBoost analyses were performed based on age, hypertension status, serial CRP, and neutrophil and lymphocyte counts during the first 3 days of hospitalization. The ability of the model to predict oxygen requirement during hospitalization was tested. During hospitalization, 45 (41.8%) patients in the training set (n = 110) and 41 (36.9%) in the test set (n = 111) required supplementary oxygen support. The logistic LASSO regression model exhibited the highest AUC for the test set, with a sensitivity of 0.927 and a specificity of 0.814. An online risk calculator for oxygen requirement using CHANeL predictors was developed. "CHANeL" prediction models based on serial CRP, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts during the first 3 days of hospitalization, along with age and hypertension status, provide a reliable estimate of the risk of supplement oxygen requirement among patients hospitalized with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/pathology , Hypertension/complications , Lymphocytes/cytology , Neutrophils/cytology , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Age Factors , Aged , Area Under Curve , Biomarkers/analysis , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/metabolism , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Support Vector Machine
6.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 8080, 2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182872

ABSTRACT

The objective of the study was to identify distinct patterns in inflammatory immune responses of COVID-19 patients and to investigate their association with clinical course and outcome. Data from hospitalized COVID-19 patients were retrieved from electronic medical record. Supervised k-means clustering of serial C-reactive protein levels (CRP), absolute neutrophil counts (ANC), and absolute lymphocyte counts (ALC) was used to assign immune responses to one of three groups. Then, relationships between patterns of inflammatory responses and clinical course and outcome of COVID-19 were assessed in a discovery and validation cohort. Unbiased clustering analysis grouped 105 patients of a discovery cohort into three distinct clusters. Cluster 1 (hyper-inflammatory immune response) was characterized by high CRP levels, high ANC, and low ALC, whereas Cluster 3 (hypo-inflammatory immune response) was associated with low CRP levels and normal ANC and ALC. Cluster 2 showed an intermediate pattern. All patients in Cluster 1 required oxygen support whilst 61% patients in Cluster 2 and no patient in Cluster 3 required supplementary oxygen. Two (13.3%) patients in Cluster 1 died, whereas no patient in Clusters 2 and 3 died. The results were confirmed in an independent validation cohort of 116 patients. We identified three different patterns of inflammatory immune response to COVID-19. Hyper-inflammatory immune responses with elevated CRP, neutrophilia, and lymphopenia are associated with a severe disease and a worse outcome. Therefore, targeting the hyper-inflammatory response might improve the clinical outcome of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Immunity , Adult , Aged , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cluster Analysis , Female , Humans , Lymphocytes/cytology , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/cytology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
7.
Adv Drug Deliv Rev ; 172: 249-274, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064699

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, was first identified in humans in late 2019 and is a coronavirus which is zoonotic in origin. As it spread around the world there has been an unprecedented effort in developing effective vaccines. Computational methods can be used to speed up the long and costly process of vaccine development. Antigen selection, epitope prediction, and toxicity and allergenicity prediction are areas in which computational tools have already been applied as part of reverse vaccinology for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development. However, there is potential for computational methods to assist further. We review approaches which have been used and highlight additional bioinformatic approaches and PK modelling as in silico methods which may be useful for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine design but remain currently unexplored. As more novel viruses with pandemic potential are expected to arise in future, these techniques are not limited to application to SARS-CoV-2 but also useful to rapidly respond to novel emerging viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Computational Biology/methods , Drug Development/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/drug effects , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Computational Biology/trends , Drug Development/trends , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Gene Expression Profiling/trends , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
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