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Cell Biosci ; 12(1): 15, 2022 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686027


BACKGROUND: Thrombosis and coagulopathy are pervasive pathological features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and thrombotic complications are a sign of severe COVID-19 disease and are associated with multiple organ failure and increased mortality. Platelets are essential cells that regulate hemostasis, thrombus formation and inflammation; however, the mechanism underlying the interaction between platelets and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) remains unclear. RESULTS: The present study performed RNA sequencing on the RNA isolated from platelets obtained from 10 COVID-19 patients and eight healthy donors, and discovered that SARS-CoV-2 not only significantly altered the coding and non-coding transcriptional landscape, but also altered the function of the platelets, promoted thrombus formation and affected energy metabolism of platelets. Integrative network biology analysis identified four key subnetworks and 16 risk regulators underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection, involved in coronavirus disease-COVID-19, platelet activation and immune response pathways. Furthermore, four risk genes (upstream binding transcription factor, RNA polymerase II, I and III subunit L, Y-box binding protein 1 and yippee like 2) were found to be associated with COVID-19 severity. Finally, a significant alteration in the von Willebrand factor/glycoprotein Ib-IX-V axis was revealed to be strongly associated with platelet aggregation and immunothrombosis. CONCLUSIONS: The transcriptional landscape and the identification of critical subnetworks and risk genes of platelets provided novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of immunothrombosis in COVID-19 progression, which may pave the way for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for preventing COVID-19-associated thrombosis and improving the clinical outcome of COVID-19 patients.

Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1215-1224, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343625


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) urgently calls for more sensitive molecular diagnosis to improve sensitivity of current viral nuclear acid detection. We have developed an anchor primer (AP)-based assay to improve viral RNA stability by bioinformatics identification of RNase-binding site of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA and implementing AP dually targeting the N gene of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and RNase 1, 3, 6. The arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) improvement of viral RNA integrity was supported by (a) the AP increased resistance of the targeted gene (N gene) of SARS-CoV-2 RNA to RNase treatment; (b) the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA by AP-PCR with lower cycle threshold values (-2.7 cycles) compared to two commercially available assays; (c) improvement of the viral RNA stability of the ORF gene upon targeting of the N gene and RNase. Furthermore, the improved sensitivity by AP-PCR was demonstrated by detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 70-80% of sputum, nasal, pharyngeal swabs and feces and 36% (4/11) of urine of the confirmed cases (n = 252), 7% convalescent cases (n = 54) and none of 300 negative cases. Lastly, AP-PCR analysis of 306 confirmed and convalescent cases revealed prolonged presence of viral loading for >20 days after the first positive diagnosis. Thus, the AP dually targeting SARS-CoV-2 RNA and RNase improves molecular detection by preserving SARS-CoV-2 RNA integrity and reveals the prolonged viral loading associated with older age and male gender in COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19/virology , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Ribonucleases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Aged , Binding Sites , Female , Humans , Male , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 10: 331, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-634362


Objectives: Development and validation of a single-step and accurate reverse transcriptase loop-mediated isothermal amplification technique (RT-LAMP) for rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2 relative to commercial quantitative reverse transcriptase real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) assays to allow prompt initiation of proper medical care and containment of virus spread. Methods: Primers showing optimal in-silico features were subjected to analytical sensitivity and specificity to assess the limit of detection (LOD) and cross-reaction with closely- and distantly-related viral species, and clinically prominent bacterial and fungal species. In order to evaluate the clinical utility, our RT-LAMP was subjected to a large number of clinical samples, including 213 negative and 47 positive patients, relative to two commercial quantitative RT-PCR assays. Results: The analytical specificity and sensitivity of our assay was 100% and 500 copies/ml when serial dilution was performed in both water and sputum. Subjecting our RT-LAMP assay to clinical samples showed a high degree of specificity (99.5%), sensitivity (91.4%), positive predictive value (97.7%), and negative predictive value (98.1%) when used relative to qRT-PCR. Our RT-LAMP assay was two times faster than qRT-PCR and is storable at room temperature. A suspected case that later became positive tested positive using both our RT-LAMP and the two qRT-PCR assays, which shows the capability of our assay for screening purposes. Conclusions: We present a rapid RT-LAMP assay that could extend the capacity of laboratories to process two times more clinical samples relative to qRT-PCR and potentially could be used for high-throughput screening purposes when demand is increasing at critical situations.

Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Mass Screening/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity