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2.
Cell Reports ; : 110799, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1800157

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY Although vaccines and monoclonal antibody countermeasures have reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, variants with constellations of mutations in the spike gene jeopardize their efficacy. Accordingly, antiviral interventions that are resistant to further virus evolution are needed. The host-derived cytokine IFN-λ has been proposed as a possible treatment based on studies in human COVID-19 patients. Here, we show IFN-λ protects against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variants in three strains of conventional and human ACE2 transgenic mice. Prophylaxis or therapy with nasally-delivered IFN-λ2 limited infection of historical or variant SARS-CoV-2 strains in the upper and lower respiratory tracts without causing excessive inflammation. In the lung, IFN-λ was produced preferentially in epithelial cells and acted on radio-resistant cells to protect against of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, inhaled IFN-λ may have promise as a treatment for evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants that develop resistance to antibody-based countermeasures.

3.
Med ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1796324

ABSTRACT

Summary Background Since the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019, viral variants with greater transmissibility or immune-evasion properties have arisen, which could jeopardize recently deployed vaccine- and antibody-based countermeasures. Methods Here, we evaluated in mice and hamsters the efficacy of a pre-clinical version of the Moderna mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273) and the Johnson & Johnson recombinant adenoviral-vectored vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) against the B.1.621 (Mu) variant of SARS-CoV-2, which contains spike mutations T95I, Y144S, Y145N, R346K, E484K, N501Y, D614G, P681H, and D950N. Findings Immunization of 129S2 and K18-human ACE2 transgenic mice with the mRNA-1273 vaccine protected against weight loss, lung infection, and lung pathology after challenge with the B.1.621 or WA1/2020 N501Y/D614G SARS-CoV-2 strain. Similarly, immunization of 129S2 mice and Syrian hamsters with a high dose of Ad26.COV2.S reduced lung infection after B.1.621 virus challenge. Conclusions Thus, immunity induced by the mRNA-1273 or Ad26.COV2.S vaccine can protect against the B.1.621 variant of SARS-CoV-2 in multiple animal models. Funding This study was supported by the NIH (R01 AI157155 and U01 AI151810), NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Response [CEIRR] contracts 75N93021C00014 and 75N93021C00016, and the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers [CIVIC] contract 75N93019C00051. It was also supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis (HHSN272201400008C) and the Japan Program for Infectious Diseases Research and Infrastructure (JP21wm0125002) from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332884

ABSTRACT

Prolonged infections in immunocompromised individuals may be a source for novel SARS-CoV-2 variants, particularly when both the immune system and antiviral therapy fail to clear the infection, thereby promoting adaptation. Here we describe an approximately 16-month case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in an immunocompromised individual. Following monotherapy with the monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab, the individual's virus was resistant to this antibody via a globally unique Spike amino acid variant (E484T) that evolved from E484A earlier in infection. With the emergence and spread of the Omicron Variant of Concern, which also contains Spike E484A, E484T may arise again as an antibody-resistant derivative of E484A.

5.
Cell Rep ; : 110688, 2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763614

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant with a surprising number of spike mutations raises concerns about reduced sensitivity of this virus to antibody neutralization and subsequent vaccine breakthrough infections. Here, we infect Moderna mRNA-vaccinated or previously infected hamsters with the Omicron BA.1 variant. While the Moderna mRNA vaccine reduces viral loads in the respiratory tissues upon challenge with an early S-614G isolate, the vaccine efficacy is not as pronounced after infection with the Omicron variant. Previous infection with the early SARS-CoV-2 isolate prevents replication after rechallenge with either virus in the lungs of previously infected hamsters, but the Omicron variant replicates efficiently in nasal turbinate tissue. These results experimentally demonstrate in an animal model that the antigenic changes in the Omicron variant are responsible for vaccine breakthrough and re-infection.

6.
Intern Med ; 2022 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760075

ABSTRACT

Objective Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread globally. Although the relationship between anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and COVID-19 severity has been reported, information is lacking regarding the seropositivity of patients with particular types of diseases, including hematological diseases. Methods In this single-center, retrospective study, we compared SARS-CoV-2 IgG positivity between patients with hematological diseases and those with non-hematological diseases. Results In total, 77 adult COVID-19 patients were enrolled. Of these, 30 had hematological disorders, and 47 had non-hematological disorders. The IgG antibody against the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein was detected less frequently in patients with hematological diseases (60.0%) than in those with non-hematological diseases (91.5%; p=0.029). Rituximab use was significantly associated with seronegativity (p=0.010). Conclusion Patients with hematological diseases are less likely to develop anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies than those with non-hematological diseases, which may explain the poor outcomes of COVID-19 patients in this high-risk group.

7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330772

ABSTRACT

Omicron variant strains encode large numbers of changes in the spike protein compared to historical SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Although in vitro studies have suggested that several monoclonal antibody therapies lose neutralizing activity against Omicron variants1-4, the effects in vivo remain largely unknown. Here, we report on the protective efficacy against three SARS-CoV-2 Omicron lineage strains (BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2) of two monoclonal antibody therapeutics (S309 [Vir Biotechnology] monotherapy and AZD7442 [AstraZeneca] combination), which correspond to ones used to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans. Despite losses in neutralization potency in cell culture, S309 or AZD7442 treatments reduced BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2 lung infection in susceptible mice that express human ACE2 (K18-hACE2). Correlation analyses between in vitro neutralizing activity and reductions in viral burden in K18-hACE2 or human Fc-gamma receptor transgenic mice suggest that S309 and AZD7442 have different mechanisms of protection against Omicron variants, with S309 utilizing Fc effector function interactions and AZD7442 acting principally by direct neutralization. Our data in mice demonstrate the resilience of S309 and AZD7442 mAbs against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant strains and provide insight into the relationship between loss of antibody neutralization potency and retained protection in vivo.

8.
Med (N Y) ; 3(4): 262-268.e4, 2022 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747689

ABSTRACT

Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has proven to be highly transmissible and has outcompeted the Delta variant in many regions of the world. Early reports have also suggested that Omicron may result in less severe clinical disease in humans. Here, we show that Omicron is less pathogenic than prior SARS-CoV-2 variants in Syrian golden hamsters. Methods: Hamsters were inoculated with either SARS-CoV-2 Omicron or other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Animals were followed for weight loss, and upper and lower respiratory tract tissues were assessed for viral loads and histopathology. Findings: Infection of hamsters with the SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020, Alpha, Beta, or Delta strains led to 4%-10% weight loss by day 4 and 10%-17% weight loss by day 6. In contrast, infection of hamsters with two different Omicron challenge stocks did not result in any detectable weight loss, even at high challenge doses. Omicron infection led to substantial viral replication in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts but demonstrated lower viral loads in lung parenchyma and reduced pulmonary pathology compared with WA1/2020 infection. Conclusions: These data suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant may result in robust upper respiratory tract infection, but less severe lower respiratory tract clinical disease, compared with prior SARS-CoV-2 variants. Funding: Funding for this study was provided by NIH grant CA260476, the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness, the Ragon Institute, and the Musk Foundation.

11.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330133

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite its urgency, we still do not fully understand the molecular basis of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and its ability to antagonize innate immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 leads to shutoff of cellular protein synthesis and over-expression of nsp1, a central shutoff factor in coronaviruses, inhibits cellular gene translation. However, the diverse molecular mechanisms nsp1 employs as well as its functional importance in infection are still unresolved. By overexpressing various nsp1 mutants and generating a SARS-CoV-2 mutant in which nsp1 does not bind ribosomes, we untangle the effects of nsp1. We uncover that nsp1, through inhibition of translation and induction of mRNA degradation, is the main driver of host shutoff during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we find the propagation of nsp1 mutant virus is inhibited specifically in cells with intact interferon (IFN) response as well as in-vivo, in infected hamsters, and this attenuation is associated with stronger induction of type I IFN response. This illustrates that nsp1 shutoff activity has an essential role mainly in counteracting the IFN response. Overall, our results reveal the multifaceted approach nsp1 uses to shut off cellular protein synthesis and uncover the central role it plays in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, explicitly through blockage of the IFN response.

13.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732253

ABSTRACT

Assays using ELISA measurements on serially diluted serum samples have been heavily used to measure serum reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 antigens and are widely used in virology and elsewhere in biology. We test a method using Bayesian hierarchical modelling to reduce the workload of these assays and measure reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV antigens to human serum samples collected before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflection titers for SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein (S1S2), spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD), and nucleoprotein (N) inferred from 3 spread-out dilutions correlated with those inferred from 8 consecutive dilutions with an R2 value of 0.97 or higher. We confirm existing findings showing a small proportion of pre-pandemic human serum samples contain cross-reactive antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 S1S2 and N, and that SARS-CoV-2 infection increases serum reactivity to the beta-HCoVs OC43 and HKU1 S1S2. In serial dilution assays, large savings in resources and/or increases in throughput can be achieved by reducing the number of dilutions measured and using Bayesian hierarchical modelling to infer inflection or endpoint titers. We have released software for conducting these types of analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Pandemics , Seasons , Workload
14.
Microbiol Spectr ; : e0168921, 2022 Mar 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731262

ABSTRACT

The role of the intestinal microbiota in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is being elucidated. Here, we analyzed the temporal changes in microbiota composition and the correlation between inflammation biomarkers/cytokines and microbiota in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. We obtained stool specimens, blood samples, and patient records from 22 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and performed 16S rRNA metagenomic analysis of stool samples over the course of disease onset compared to 40 healthy individual stool samples. We analyzed the correlation between the changes in the gut microbiota and plasma proinflammatory cytokine levels. Immediately after admission, differences in the gut microbiota were observed between COVID-19 patients and healthy subjects, mainly including enrichment of the classes Bacilli and Coriobacteriia and decrease in abundance of the class Clostridia. The bacterial profile continued to change throughout the hospitalization, with a decrease in short-chain fatty acid-producing bacteria including Faecalibacterium and an increase in the facultatively anaerobic bacteria Escherichia-Shigella. A consistent increase in Eggerthella belonging to the class Coriobacteriia was observed. The abundance of the class Clostridia was inversely correlated with interferon-γ level and that of the phylum Actinobacteria, which was enriched in COVID-19, and was positively correlated with gp130/sIL-6Rb levels. Dysbiosis was continued even after 21 days from onset. The intestines tended to be an aerobic environment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Because the composition of the gut microbiota correlates with the levels of proinflammatory cytokines, this finding emphasizes the need to understand how pathology is related to the temporal changes in the specific gut microbiota observed in COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE There is growing evidence that the commensal microbiota of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts regulates local and systemic inflammation (gut-lung axis). COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease, but the involvement of microbiota changes in the pathogenesis of this disease remains unclear. The composition of the gut microbiota of patients with COVID-19 changed over time during hospitalization, and the intestines tended to be an aerobic environment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. These changes in gut microbiota may induce increased intestinal permeability, called leaky gut, allowing bacteria and toxins to enter the circulatory system and further aggravate the systemic inflammatory response. Since gut microbiota composition correlates with levels of proinflammatory cytokines, this finding highlights the need to understand how pathology relates to the gut environment, including the temporal changes in specific gut microbiota observed in COVID-19 patients.

15.
Cell Rep ; 38(7): 110394, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719436

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) raises concerns about potential reduced sensitivity of the virus to antibody neutralization and subsequent vaccine breakthrough infections. Here, we use a live virus neutralization assay with sera from Pfizer- and Moderna-vaccinated individuals to examine neutralizing antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 and observe a 3.9- and 2.7-fold reduction, respectively, in neutralizing antibody titers against the Delta variant compared with an early isolate bearing only a D614G substitution in its spike protein. We observe similar reduced sensitivity with sera from hamsters that were previously infected with an early isolate of SARS-CoV-2. Despite this reduction in neutralizing antibody titers against the Delta variant, hamsters previously infected (up to 15 months earlier) with an early isolate are protected from infection with the Delta variant, suggesting that the immune response to the first infection is sufficient to provide protection against subsequent infection with the Delta variant.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Reinfection/immunology , Reinfection/transmission , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Load
16.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703642

ABSTRACT

Reduced COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) has been observed with increasing predominance of SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Two-dose VE against laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (symptomatic and asymptomatic) was estimated using Cox proportional hazards models with time-varying vaccination status in a prospective rural community cohort of 1266 participants aged ≥12 years. Between November 3, 2020 and December 7, 2021, VE was 56% for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines overall, 65% for Moderna, and 50% for Pfizer-BioNTech. VE when Delta predominated (June to December 2021) was 54% for mRNA COVID-19 vaccines overall, 59% for Moderna, and 52% for Pfizer-BioNTech.

17.
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
18.
J Virol ; 95(24): e0136821, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691427

ABSTRACT

Severe cardiovascular complications can occur in coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Cardiac damage is attributed mostly to the aberrant host response to acute respiratory infection. However, direct infection of cardiac tissue by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also occurs. We examined here the cardiac tropism of SARS-CoV-2 in spontaneously beating human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). These cardiomyocytes express the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor but not the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) that mediates spike protein cleavage in the lungs. Nevertheless, SARS-CoV-2 infection of hiPSC-CMs was prolific; viral transcripts accounted for about 88% of total mRNA. In the cytoplasm of infected hiPSC-CMs, smooth-walled exocytic vesicles contained numerous 65- to 90-nm particles with canonical ribonucleocapsid structures, and virus-like particles with knob-like spikes covered the cell surface. To better understand how SARS-CoV-2 spreads in hiPSC-CMs, we engineered an expression vector coding for the spike protein with a monomeric emerald-green fluorescent protein fused to its cytoplasmic tail (S-mEm). Proteolytic processing of S-mEm and the parental spike were equivalent. Live cell imaging tracked spread of S-mEm cell-to-cell and documented formation of syncytia. A cell-permeable, peptide-based molecule that blocks the catalytic site of furin and furin-like proteases abolished cell fusion. A spike mutant with the single amino acid change R682S that disrupts the multibasic furin cleavage motif was fusion inactive. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in hiPSC-CMs and furin, and/or furin-like-protease activation of its spike protein is required for fusion-based cytopathology. This hiPSC-CM platform enables target-based drug discovery in cardiac COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Cardiac complications frequently observed in COVID-19 patients are tentatively attributed to systemic inflammation and thrombosis, but viral replication has occasionally been confirmed in cardiac tissue autopsy materials. We developed an in vitro model of SARS-CoV-2 spread in myocardium using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. In these highly differentiated cells, viral transcription levels exceeded those previously documented in permissive transformed cell lines. To better understand the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 spread, we expressed a fluorescent version of its spike protein that allowed us to characterize a fusion-based cytopathic effect. A mutant of the spike protein with a single amino acid mutation in the furin/furin-like protease cleavage site lost cytopathic function. Of note, the fusion activities of the spike protein of other coronaviruses correlated with the level of cardiovascular complications observed in infections with the respective viruses. These data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 may cause cardiac damage by fusing cardiomyocytes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Cathepsin B/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Chlorocebus aethiops , Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism , Exocytosis , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Microscopy, Confocal , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
19.
Nihon Naika Gakkai Zasshi ; 110(Suppl):59a-59a, 2021.
Article in Japanese | J-STAGE | ID: covidwho-1690559
20.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324400

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a receptor for cell entry of SARS-CoV-2, and recombinant soluble ACE2 protein inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection as a decoy. ACE2 is a carboxypeptidase that degrades angiotensin II (Ang II) to angiotensin 1-7 (Ang 1-7) and thereby improves the pathologies of cardiovascular disease or acute lung injury. To address whether the carboxypeptidase activity of ACE2 is protective in COVID-19, we investigated the effects of B38-CAP, an ACE2-like enzyme, on SARS-CoV-2-induced lung injury. Expression of endogenous ACE2 protein was significantly downregulated in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters or SARS-CoV-2 challenged human ACE2 transgenic mice, leading to elevation of Ang II levels. In vivo administration of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Spike also downregulated ACE2 expression, elevated Ang II levels and considerably worsened the symptoms of acute lung injury in hamsters exposed to acid aspiration. Despite its ACE2-like catalytic core, B38-CAP neither bound to Spike nor neutralized cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. However, treatment with B38-CAP improved the pathologies of Spike-augmented acid-induced lung injury. In SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters, B38-CAP significantly improved lung edema and pathologies of lung injury and downregulated IL-6 levels without affecting viral RNA loads. Moreover, in human ACE2 transgenic mice, B38-CAP also attenuated SARS-CoV-2-induced lung edema and pathologies and improved lung functions. These results provide the first experimental in vivo evidence that increasing ACE2-like enzymatic activity is a potential therapeutic strategy to alleviate lung pathologies in COVID-19.

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