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researchsquare; 2022.


Since the first reports of hepatitis of unknown aetiology occurring in UK children, over 1000 cases have been reported worldwide, including 268 cases in the UK, with the majority younger than 6 years old. Using genomic, proteomic and immunohistochemical methods, we undertook extensive investigation of 28 cases and 136 control subjects. In five cases who underwent liver transplantation, we detected high levels of adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) in the explanted livers. AAV2 was also detected at high levels in blood from 10/11 non-transplanted cases. Low levels of Adenovirus (HAdV) and Human Herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B), both of which enable AAV2 lytic replication, were also found in the five explanted livers and blood from 15/17 and 6/9 respectively, of the 23 non-transplant cases tested. In contrast, AAV2 was detected at low titre in 6/100 whole bloods from child controls from cohorts with presence or absence of hepatitis and/or adenovirus infection. Our data show an association of AAV2 at high titre in blood or liver tissue, with unexplained hepatitis in children infected in the recent HAdV-F41 outbreak. We were unable to find evidence by electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry or proteomics of HAdV or AAV2 viral particles or proteins in explanted livers, suggesting that hepatic pathology is not due to direct lytic infection by either virus. The potential that AAV2, although not previously associated with disease, may, together with HAdV-F41 and/or HHV-6, be causally implicated in the outbreak of unexplained hepatitis, requires further investigation.

Adenoviridae Infections , Hepatitis
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.10.06.327635


Since December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV) has spread quickly worldwide, with more than 29 million cases and 920,000 deaths. Interestingly, coronaviruses were found to subvert and hijack the autophagic process to allow their viral replication. One of the spotlights had been focused on the autophagy inhibitors as a target mechanism effective in the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Consequently, chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a derivative of CQ, was suggested as the first potentially be therapeutic strategies as they are known to be autophagy inhibitors. Then, they were used as therapeutics in SARS-CoV-2 infection along with remdesivir, for which the FDA approved emergency use authorization. Here, we investigated the antiviral activity and associated mechanism of GNS561, a small basic lipophilic molecule inhibitor of late-stage autophagy, against SARS-CoV-2. Our data indicated that GNS561 showed the highest antiviral effect for two SARS-CoV-2 strains compared to CQ and remdesivir. Focusing on the autophagy mechanism, we showed that GNS561, located in LAMP2-positive lysosomes, together with SARS-CoV-2, blocked autophagy by increasing the size of LC3-II spots and the accumulation of autophagic vacuoles in the cytoplasm with the presence of multilamellar bodies characteristic of a complexed autophagy. Finally, our study revealed that the combination of GNS561 and remdesivir was associated with a strong synergistic antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2. Overall, our study highlights GNS561 as a powerful drug in SARS-CoV-2 infection and supports that the hypothesis that autophagy inhibitors could be an alternative strategy for SARS-CoV-2 infection.