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1.
Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev ; 24: 355-366, 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665331

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2) viral infection results in COVID-19 disease, which has caused significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. A vaccine is crucial to curtail the spread of SARS-CoV-2, while therapeutics will be required to treat ongoing and reemerging infections of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 disease. There are currently no commercially available effective anti-viral therapies for COVID-19, urging the development of novel modalities. Here, we describe a molecular therapy specifically targeted to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, which consists of extracellular vesicles (EVs) containing a novel fusion tetraspanin protein, CD63, embedded within an anti-CoV-2 nanobody. These anti-CoV-2-enriched EVs bind SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at the receptor-binding domain (RBD) site and can functionally neutralize SARS-CoV-2. This work demonstrates an innovative EV-targeting platform that can be employed to target and inhibit the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

2.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295128

ABSTRACT

Evidence that more people in some countries and fewer in others are dying because of the pandemic, than is reflected by reported Covid-19 mortality rates, is derived from mortality data. Using publicly available databases, deaths attributed to Covid-19 in 2020 and all deaths for the years 2015-2020 were tabulated for 35 countries together with economic, health, demographic, and government response stringency index variables. Residual mortality rates (RMR) in 2020 were calculated as excess mortality minus reported mortality rates due to Covid-19 where excess deaths were observed deaths in 2020 minus the average for 2015-2019. Differences in RMR are differences not attributed to reported Covid-19. For about half the countries, RMR’s were negative and for half, positive. The absolute rates in some countries were double those in others. In a regression analysis, population density and proportion of female smokers were positively associated with both Covid-19 and excess mortality while the human development index and proportion of male smokers were negatively associated with both. RMR was not associated with any of the investigated variables. The results show that published data on mortality from Covid-19 cannot be directly comparable across countries. This may be due to differences in Covid-19 death reporting and in addition, the unprecedented public health measures implemented to control the pandemic may have produced either increased or reduced excess deaths due to other diseases. Further data on cause-specific mortality is required to determine the extent to which residual mortality represents non-Covid-19 deaths and to explain differences between countries.

3.
Sci Adv ; 7(44): eabj8065, 2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494911

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected more than 160 million people and resulted in more than 3.3 million deaths, and despite the availability of multiple vaccines, the world still faces many challenges with their rollout. Here, we use the high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) to deliver a SARS-CoV-2 spike subunit vaccine directly to the skin. We show that the vaccine is thermostable on the patches, with patch delivery enhancing both cellular and antibody immune responses. Elicited antibodies potently neutralize clinically relevant isolates including the Alpha and Beta variants. Last, a single dose of HD-MAP­delivered spike provided complete protection from a lethal virus challenge in an ACE2-transgenic mouse model. Collectively, these data show that HD-MAP delivery of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was superior to traditional needle-and-syringe vaccination and may be a significant addition to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.

4.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e176, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337078

ABSTRACT

Evidence that more people in some countries and fewer in others are dying because of the pandemic, than is reflected by reported coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) mortality rates, is derived from mortality data. Using publicly available databases, deaths attributed to Covid-19 in 2020 and all deaths for the years 2015-2020 were tabulated for 35 countries together with economic, health, demographic and government response stringency index variables. Residual mortality rates (RMR) in 2020 were calculated as excess mortality minus reported mortality rates due to Covid-19 where excess deaths were observed deaths in 2020 minus the average for 2015-2019. Differences in RMR are differences not attributed to reported Covid-19. For about half the countries, RMR's were negative and for half, positive. The absolute rates in some countries were double those in others. In a regression analysis, population density and proportion of female smokers were positively associated with both Covid-19 and excess mortality while the human development index and proportion of male smokers were negatively associated with both. RMR was not associated with any of the investigated variables. The results show that published data on mortality from Covid-19 cannot be directly comparable across countries. This may be due to differences in Covid-19 death reporting and in addition, the unprecedented public health measures implemented to control the pandemic may have produced either increased or reduced excess deaths due to other diseases. Further data on cause-specific mortality is required to determine the extent to which residual mortality represents non-Covid-19 deaths and to explain differences between countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Mortality , Pandemics , Population Density , Smoking/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
5.
Glob Health Action ; 14(1): 1921351, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236175

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to widen the health care demand-supply gap, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The virus has had the greatest impact on older persons in terms of morbidity and mortality, and is occurring at a time of rapid population ageing, which is happening three times faster in LMICs than in high-income countries. Addressing the demand-supply gap in a post-COVID-19 era, in which resources are further constrained, will require a major 'reset' of the health system. In this article, we argue that the impact of ageing populations needs to be factored into the post-COVID-19 policy and planning reset including explicit, transparent prioritisation processes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Developing Countries , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging , Humans , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Mol Ther ; 29(7): 2219-2226, 2021 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228174

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in humans. Despite several emerging vaccines, there remains no verifiable therapeutic targeted specifically to the virus. Here we present a highly effective small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutic against SARS-CoV-2 infection using a novel lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery system. Multiple siRNAs targeting highly conserved regions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus were screened, and three candidate siRNAs emerged that effectively inhibit the virus by greater than 90% either alone or in combination with one another. We simultaneously developed and screened two novel LNP formulations for the delivery of these candidate siRNA therapeutics to the lungs, an organ that incurs immense damage during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Encapsulation of siRNAs in these LNPs followed by in vivo injection demonstrated robust repression of virus in the lungs and a pronounced survival advantage to the treated mice. Our LNP-siRNA approaches are scalable and can be administered upon the first sign of SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans. We suggest that an siRNA-LNP therapeutic approach could prove highly useful in treating COVID-19 disease as an adjunctive therapy to current vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Lipids/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Double-Stranded/administration & dosage , RNA, Small Interfering/administration & dosage , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Administration, Intravenous , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Female , Gene Silencing , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Transcriptome/drug effects , Treatment Outcome
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