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1.
iScience ; 26(6): 106955, 2023 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2328292

ABSTRACT

Several antibody therapeutics have been developed against SARS-CoV-2; however, they have attenuated neutralizing ability against variants. In this study, we generated multiple broadly neutralizing antibodies from B cells of convalescents, by using two types of receptor-binding domains, Wuhan strain and the Gamma variant as bait. From 172 antibodies generated, six antibodies neutralized all strains prior to the Omicron variant, and the five antibodies were able to neutralize some of the Omicron sub-strains. Structural analysis showed that these antibodies have a variety of characteristic binding modes, such as ACE2 mimicry. We subjected a representative antibody to the hamster infection model after introduction of the N297A modification, and observed a dose-dependent reduction of the lung viral titer, even at a dose of 2 mg/kg. These results demonstrated that our antibodies have certain antiviral activity as therapeutics, and highlighted the importance of initial cell-screening strategy for the efficient development of therapeutic antibodies.

3.
mBio ; : e0304421, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254833

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide since December 2019, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although vaccines for this virus have been developed rapidly, repurposing drugs approved to treat other diseases remains an invaluable treatment strategy. Here, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of drugs on SARS-CoV-2 replication in a hamster infection model and in in vitro assays. Favipiravir significantly suppressed virus replication in hamster lungs. Remdesivir inhibited virus replication in vitro, but was not effective in the hamster model. However, GS-441524, a metabolite of remdesivir, effectively suppressed virus replication in hamsters. Co-administration of favipiravir and GS-441524 more efficiently reduced virus load in hamster lungs than did single administration of either drug for both the prophylactic and therapeutic regimens; prophylactic co-administration also efficiently inhibited lung inflammation in the infected animals. Furthermore, pretreatment of hamsters with favipiravir and GS-441524 effectively protected them from virus transmission via respiratory droplets upon exposure to infected hamsters. Repurposing and co-administration of antiviral drugs may help combat COVID-19. IMPORTANCE During a pandemic, repurposing drugs that are approved for other diseases is a quick and realistic treatment option. In this study, we found that co-administration of favipiravir and the remdesivir metabolite GS-441524 more effectively blocked SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lungs of Syrian hamsters than either favipiravir or GS-441524 alone as part of a prophylactic or therapeutic regimen. Prophylactic co-administration also reduced the severity of lung inflammation. Moreover, co-administration of these drugs to naive hamsters efficiently protected them from airborne transmission of the virus from infected animals. Since both drugs are nucleotide analogs that interfere with the RNA-dependent RNA polymerases of many RNA viruses, these findings may also help encourage co-administration of antivirals to combat future pandemics.

4.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 1620, 2023 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2284921

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 rapidly increased in India and Nepal during the summer of 2022, and spread globally. However, the virological features of BA.2.75 are largely unknown. Here, we evaluated the replicative ability and pathogenicity of BA.2.75 clinical isolates in Syrian hamsters. Although we found no substantial differences in weight change among hamsters infected with BA.2, BA.5, or BA.2.75, the replicative ability of BA.2.75 in the lungs is higher than that of BA.2 and BA.5. Of note, BA.2.75 causes focal viral pneumonia in hamsters, characterized by patchy inflammation interspersed in alveolar regions, which is not observed in BA.5-infected hamsters. Moreover, in competition assays, BA.2.75 replicates better than BA.5 in the lungs of hamsters. These results suggest that BA.2.75 can cause more severe respiratory disease than BA.5 and BA.2 in a hamster model and should be closely monitored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Cricetinae , SARS-CoV-2 , Biological Assay , DNA Replication , India , Mesocricetus
7.
mSphere ; 8(1): e0041122, 2023 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2193483

ABSTRACT

Although it has been 2.5 years since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began, the transmissibility of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from a dead infected body remains unclear, and in Japan, bereaved family members are often not allowed to view in person a loved one who has died from COVID-19. In this study, we analyzed the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from a dead body using a hamster model. We also analyzed the effect of "angel care"--in which the pharynx, nostrils, and rectum are plugged--and embalming on reducing transmissibility from dead bodies. We found that SARS-CoV-2 could be transmitted from the bodies of animals that had died within a few days of infection; however, angel care and embalming were effective in preventing transmission from the dead bodies. These results suggest that protection from infection is essential when in contact with a SARS-CoV-2-infected dead body and that sealing the cavities of a dead body is an important infection control step if embalming is not performed. IMPORTANCE We found that SARS-CoV-2 could be transmitted from a dead body, presumably via postmortem gases. However, we also found that postmortem care, such as plugging the pharynx, nostrils, and rectum or embalming the corpse, could prevent transmission from the dead body. These results indicate that protection from infection is essential when handling infected corpses and that appropriate care of SARS-CoV-2-infected corpses is important.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Infection Control , Japan
9.
iScience ; 25(12): 105596, 2022 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120399

ABSTRACT

The use of therapeutic neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 infection has been highly effective. However, there remain few practical antibodies against viruses that are acquiring mutations. In this study, we created 494 monoclonal antibodies from patients with COVID-19-convalescent, and identified antibodies that exhibited the comparable neutralizing ability to clinically used antibodies in the neutralization assay using pseudovirus and authentic virus including variants of concerns. These antibodies have different profiles against various mutations, which were confirmed by cell-based assay and cryo-electron microscopy. To prevent antibody-dependent enhancement, N297A modification was introduced. Our antibodies showed a reduction of lung viral RNAs by therapeutic administration in a hamster model. In addition, an antibody cocktail consisting of three antibodies was also administered therapeutically to a macaque model, which resulted in reduced viral titers of swabs and lungs and reduced lung tissue damage scores. These results showed that our antibodies have sufficient antiviral activity as therapeutic candidates.

11.
Nature ; 2022 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096734

ABSTRACT

The BA.2 sublineage of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has become dominant in most countries around the world; however, the prevalence of BA.4 and BA.5 is increasing rapidly in several regions. BA.2 is less pathogenic in animal models than previously circulating variants of concern1-4. Compared with BA.2, however, BA.4 and BA.5 possess additional substitutions in the spike protein, which play a key role in viral entry, raising concerns that the replication capacity and pathogenicity of BA.4 and BA.5 are higher than those of BA.2. Here we have evaluated the replicative ability and pathogenicity of BA.4 and BA.5 isolates in wild-type Syrian hamsters, human ACE2 (hACE2) transgenic hamsters and hACE2 transgenic mice. We have observed no obvious differences among BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 isolates in growth ability or pathogenicity in rodent models, and less pathogenicity compared to a previously circulating Delta (B.1.617.2 lineage) isolate. In addition, in vivo competition experiments revealed that BA.5 outcompeted BA.2 in hamsters, whereas BA.4 and BA.2 exhibited similar fitness. These findings suggest that BA.4 and BA.5 clinical isolates have similar pathogenicity to BA.2 in rodents and that BA.5 possesses viral fitness superior to that of BA.2.

12.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(11): 2198-2205, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054906

ABSTRACT

Japan has reported a relatively small number of COVID-19 cases. Because not all infected persons receive diagnostic tests for COVID-19, the reported number must be lower than the actual number of infections. We assessed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence by analyzing >60,000 samples collected in Japan (Tokyo Metropolitan Area and Hokkaido Prefecture) during February 2020-March 2022. The results showed that ≈3.8% of the population had become seropositive by January 2021. The seroprevalence increased with the administration of vaccinations; however, among the elderly, seroprevalence was not as high as the vaccination rate. Among children, who were not eligible for vaccination, infection was spread during the epidemic waves caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variants. Nevertheless, seroprevalence for unvaccinated children <5 years of age was as low as 10% as of March 2022. Our study underscores the low incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Japan and the effects of vaccination on immunity at the population level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Japan/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Antibodies, Viral , Vaccination
15.
Nature ; 607(7917): 119-127, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915276

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529 lineage) variants possessing numerous mutations has raised concerns of decreased effectiveness of current vaccines, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs for COVID-19 against these variants1,2. The original Omicron lineage, BA.1, prevailed in many countries, but more recently, BA.2 has become dominant in at least 68 countries3. Here we evaluated the replicative ability and pathogenicity of authentic infectious BA.2 isolates in immunocompetent and human ACE2-expressing mice and hamsters. In contrast to recent data with chimeric, recombinant SARS-CoV-2 strains expressing the spike proteins of BA.1 and BA.2 on an ancestral WK-521 backbone4, we observed similar infectivity and pathogenicity in mice and hamsters for BA.2 and BA.1, and less pathogenicity compared with early SARS-CoV-2 strains. We also observed a marked and significant reduction in the neutralizing activity of plasma from individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 and vaccine recipients against BA.2 compared to ancestral and Delta variant strains. In addition, we found that some therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (REGN10987 plus REGN10933, COV2-2196 plus COV2-2130, and S309) and antiviral drugs (molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir and S-217622) can restrict viral infection in the respiratory organs of BA.2-infected hamsters. These findings suggest that the replication and pathogenicity of BA.2 is similar to that of BA.1 in rodents and that several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antiviral compounds are effective against Omicron BA.2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Drug Combinations , Hydroxylamines , Indazoles , Lactams , Leucine , Mice , Nitriles , Proline , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Triazines , Triazoles
16.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(8): 1252-1258, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890192

ABSTRACT

The spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response. Here we assessed the efficacy of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) sublineage BA.1 variants in Syrian hamsters. Of the FDA-approved therapeutic mAbs tested (that is, REGN10987/REGN10933, COV2-2196/COV2-2130 and S309), only COV2-2196/COV2-2130 efficiently inhibited BA.1 replication in the lungs of hamsters, and this effect was diminished against a BA.1.1 variant possessing the S-R346K substitution. In addition, treatment of BA.1-infected hamsters with molnupiravir (a SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor) or S-217622 (a SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitor) strongly reduced virus replication in the lungs. These findings suggest that the use of therapeutic mAbs in Omicron-infected patients should be carefully considered due to mutations that affect efficacy, and demonstrate that the antiviral compounds molnupiravir and S-217622 are effective against Omicron BA.1 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus , RNA, Viral
17.
mSphere ; 7(2): e0094121, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1816706

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infection transmitted by droplets, aerosols, and contact. Controlling the spread of COVID-19 and developing effective decontamination options are urgent issues for the international community. Here, we report the quantitative inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 in liquid and aerosolized samples by a state-of-the-art, high-power, AlGaN-based, single-chip compact deep-UV (DUV) light-emitting diode (LED) that produces a record continuous-wave output power of 500 mW at its peak emission wavelength of 265 nm. Using this DUV-LED, we observed a greater-than-5-log reduction in infectious SARS-CoV-2 in liquid samples within very short irradiation times (<0.4 s). When we quantified the efficacy of the 265-nm DUV-LED in inactivating SARS-CoV-2, we found that DUV-LED inactivation of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 was approximately nine times greater than that of SARS-CoV-2 suspension. Our data demonstrate that this newly developed, compact, high-power 265-nm DUV-LED irradiation system with remarkably high inactivation efficiency for aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 could be an effective and practical tool for controlling SARS-CoV-2 spread. IMPORTANCE We developed a 265-nm high-power DUV-LED irradiation system and quantitatively demonstrated that the DUV-LED can inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in suspensions and aerosols within very short irradiation times. We also found that the inactivation effect was about nine times greater against aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 than against SARS-CoV-2 suspensions. The DUV-LED has several advantages over conventional LEDs and mercury lamps, including high power, compactness, and environmental friendliness; its rapid inactivation of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 opens up new possibilities for the practical application of DUV-LEDs in high-efficiency air purification systems to control airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Humans , Suspensions , Ultraviolet Rays
19.
J Virol ; 96(4): e0155121, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700556

ABSTRACT

Despite various attempts to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected patients with COVID-19 convalescent plasmas, neither appropriate approach nor clinical utility has been established. We examined the efficacy of administration of highly neutralizing COVID-19 convalescent plasma (hn-plasmas) and such plasma-derived IgG administration using the Syrian hamster COVID-19 model. Two hn-plasmas, which were in the best 1% of 340 neutralizing activity-determined convalescent plasmas, were intraperitoneally administered to SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters, resulting in a significant reduction of viral titers in lungs by up to 32-fold compared to the viral titers in hamsters receiving control nonneutralizing plasma, while with two moderately neutralizing plasmas (mn-plasmas) administered, viral titer reduction was by up to 6-fold. IgG fractions purified from the two hn-plasmas also reduced viral titers in lungs more than those from the two mn-plasmas. The severity of lung lesions seen in hamsters receiving hn-plasmas was minimal to moderate as assessed using microcomputerized tomography, which histological examination confirmed. Western blotting revealed that all four COVID-19 convalescent plasmas variably contained antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 components, including the receptor-binding domain and S1 domain. The present data strongly suggest that administering potent neutralizing activity-confirmed COVID-19 convalescent plasmas would be efficacious in treating patients with COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Convalescent plasmas obtained from patients who recovered from a specific infection have been used as agents to treat other patients infected with the very pathogen. To treat using convalescent plasmas, despite that more than 10 randomized controlled clinical trials have been conducted and more than 100 studies are currently ongoing, the effects of convalescent plasma against COVID-19 remained uncertain. On the other hand, certain COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to reduce the clinical COVID-19 onset by 94 to 95%, for which the elicited SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies are apparently directly responsible. Here, we demonstrate that highly neutralizing effect-confirmed convalescent plasmas significantly reduce the viral titers in the lung of SARS-CoV-2-infected Syrian hamsters and block the development of virally induced lung lesions. The present data provide a proof of concept that the presence of highly neutralizing antibody in COVID-19 convalescent plasmas is directly responsible for the reduction of viral replication and support the use of highly neutralizing antibody-containing plasmas in COVID-19 therapy with convalescent plasmas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Lung , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Vero Cells , COVID-19 Serotherapy
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