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1.
Biomaterials ; 292: 121907, 2022 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120390

ABSTRACT

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic represents a brutal reminder of the continual threat of mucosal infectious diseases. Mucosal immunity may provide robust protection at the predominant sites of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, it remains unclear whether respiratory mucosal administration of DNA vaccines could confer protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 challenge due to insurmountable barriers posed by the airway. Here, we applied self-assembled peptide-poloxamine nanoparticles with mucus-penetrating properties for pulmonary inoculation of a COVID-19 DNA vaccine (pSpike/PP-sNp). The pSpike/PP-sNp not only displays superior gene transfection and favorable biocompatibility in the mouse airway, but also promotes a tripartite immunity consisting of systemic, cellular, and mucosal immune responses that are characterized by mucosal IgA secretion, high levels of neutralizing antibodies, and resident memory phenotype T-cell responses in the lungs of mice. Most importantly, immunization with pSpike/PP-sNp completely eliminates SARS-CoV-2 infection in both upper and lower respiratory tracts and enables 100% survival rate of mice following lethal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Our findings indicate PP-sNp is a promising platform in mediating DNA vaccines to elicit all-around mucosal immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

2.
J Pharm Anal ; 2022 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082761

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine storms constitute the primary cause of COVID-19 progression, severity, criticality, and death. Glucocorticoid and anti-cytokine therapies have been frequently administered to treat COVID-19 but have had limited clinical efficacy in severe and critical cases. Nevertheless, the weaknesses of these treatment modalities have prompted the development of anti-inflammatory therapy against this infection. We found that the broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory agent inosine downregulated proinflammatory IL-6, upregulated anti-inflammatory IL-10, and ameliorated acute inflammatory lung injury caused by multiple infectious agents. Inosine significantly improved survival in mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. It indirectly impeded TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) phosphorylation by binding stimulator of interferon genes (STING) and glycogen synthase kinase-3ß (GSK3ß), inhibited the activation and nuclear translocation of the downstream transcription factors IRF3 and NF-κB, and downregulated IL-6 in the sera and lung tissues of mice infected with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), H1N1, or SARS-CoV-2. Thus, inosine administration is feasible for clinical anti-inflammatory therapy against severe and critical COVID-19. Moreover, targeting TBK1 is a promising strategy for inhibiting cytokine storms and mitigating acute inflammatory lung injury induced by SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious agents.

3.
Aging Cell ; : e13729, 2022 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2078298

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is known to disproportionately affect older individuals. How aging processes affect SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease progression remains largely unknown. Here, we found that DNA damage, one of the hallmarks of aging, promoted SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and in vivo. SARS-CoV-2 entry was facilitated by DNA damage caused by extrinsic genotoxic stress or telomere dysfunction and hampered by inhibition of the DNA damage response (DDR). Mechanistic analysis revealed that DDR increased expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the primary receptor of SARS-CoV-2, by activation of transcription factor c-Jun. Importantly, in vivo experiment using a mouse-adapted viral strain also verified the significant roles of DNA damage in viral entry and severity of infection. Expression of ACE2 was elevated in the older human and mice tissues and positively correlated with γH2AX, a DNA damage biomarker, and phosphorylated c-Jun (p-c-Jun). Finally, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and MDL-800, which promote DNA repair, alleviated SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our data provide insights into the age-associated differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection and a novel approach for antiviral intervention.

5.
Front Microbiol ; 13: 896965, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969043

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a major public health challenge worldwide. A comprehensive understanding of clinical characteristics and immune responses in asymptomatic carriers and symptomatic patients with COVID-19 is of great significance to the countermeasures of patients with COVID-19. Herein, we described the clinical information and laboratory findings of 43 individuals from Hunan Province, China, including 13 asymptomatic carriers and 10 symptomatic patients with COVID-19, as well as 20 healthy controls in the period from 25 January to 18 May 2020. The serum samples of these individuals were analyzed to measure the cytokine responses, receptor-binding domain (RBD), and nucleocapsid (N) protein-specific antibody titers, as well as SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). For cytokines, significantly higher Th1 cytokines including IL-2, IL-8, IL-12p70, IFN-γ, and TNF-α, as well as Th2 cytokines including IL-10 and IL-13 were observed in symptomatic patients compared with asymptomatic carriers. Compared with symptomatic patients, higher N-specific IgG4/IgG1 ratio and RBD-specific/N-specific IgG1 ratio were observed in asymptomatic carriers. Comparable nAbs were detected in both asymptomatic carriers and symptomatic patients with COVID-19. In the symptomatic group, nAbs in patients with underlying diseases were weaker than those of patients without underlying diseases. Our retrospective study will enrich and verify the clinical characteristics and serology diversities in asymptomatic carriers and symptomatic patients with COVID-19.

6.
Viruses ; 12(1)2020 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969491

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is an acute, high-mortality-rate, severe infectious disease caused by an emerging MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that causes severe respiratory diseases. The continuous spread and great pandemic potential of MERS-CoV make it necessarily important to develop effective vaccines. We previously demonstrated that the application of Gram-positive enhancer matrix (GEM) particles as a bacterial vector displaying the MERS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) is a very promising MERS vaccine candidate that is capable of producing potential neutralization antibodies. We have also used the rabies virus (RV) as a viral vector to design a recombinant vaccine by expressing the MERS-CoV S1 (spike) protein on the surface of the RV. In this study, we compared the immunological efficacy of the vaccine candidates in BALB/c mice in terms of the levels of humoral and cellular immune responses. The results show that the rabies virus vector-based vaccine can induce remarkably earlier antibody response and higher levels of cellular immunity than the GEM particles vector. However, the GEM particles vector-based vaccine candidate can induce remarkably higher antibody response, even at a very low dose of 1 µg. These results indicate that vaccines constructed using different vaccine vector platforms for the same pathogen have different rates and trends in humoral and cellular immune responses in the same animal model. This discovery not only provides more alternative vaccine development platforms for MERS-CoV vaccine development, but also provides a theoretical basis for our future selection of vaccine vector platforms for other specific pathogens.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Genetic Vectors , Humans , Immunization , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lactococcus lactis/genetics , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Rabies virus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage
7.
Frontiers in microbiology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1887955

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a major public health challenge worldwide. A comprehensive understanding of clinical characteristics and immune responses in asymptomatic carriers and symptomatic patients with COVID-19 is of great significance to the countermeasures of patients with COVID-19. Herein, we described the clinical information and laboratory findings of 43 individuals from Hunan Province, China, including 13 asymptomatic carriers and 10 symptomatic patients with COVID-19, as well as 20 healthy controls in the period from 25 January to 18 May 2020. The serum samples of these individuals were analyzed to measure the cytokine responses, receptor-binding domain (RBD), and nucleocapsid (N) protein-specific antibody titers, as well as SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). For cytokines, significantly higher Th1 cytokines including IL-2, IL-8, IL-12p70, IFN-γ, and TNF-α, as well as Th2 cytokines including IL-10 and IL-13 were observed in symptomatic patients compared with asymptomatic carriers. Compared with symptomatic patients, higher N-specific IgG4/IgG1 ratio and RBD-specific/N-specific IgG1 ratio were observed in asymptomatic carriers. Comparable nAbs were detected in both asymptomatic carriers and symptomatic patients with COVID-19. In the symptomatic group, nAbs in patients with underlying diseases were weaker than those of patients without underlying diseases. Our retrospective study will enrich and verify the clinical characteristics and serology diversities in asymptomatic carriers and symptomatic patients with COVID-19.

8.
J Virol ; 96(12): e0041222, 2022 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874504

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and poses a significant threat to global health. N protein (NP), which is a major pathogenic protein among betacoronaviruses, binds to the viral RNA genome to allow viral genome packaging and viral particle release. Recent studies showed that NP antagonizes interferon (IFN) induction and mediates phase separation. Using live SARS-CoV-2 viruses, this study provides solid evidence showing that SARS-CoV-2 NP associates with G3BP1 and G3BP2 in vitro and in vivo. NPSARS-CoV-2 could efficiently suppress G3BP-mediated SG formation and potentiate viral infection by overcoming G3BP1-mediated antiviral innate immunity. G3BP1 conditional knockout mice (g3bp1fl/fL, Sftpc-Cre) exhibit significantly higher lung viral loads after SARS-CoV-2 infection than wild-type mice. Our findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge regarding the pathogenicity of NPSARS-CoV-2 and provide insight into new therapeutics targeting NPSARS-CoV-2. IMPORTANCE In this study, by in vitro assay and live SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, we provide solid evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 NP associates with G3BP1 and G3BP2 in vitro and in vivo. NPSARS-CoV-2 could efficiently suppress G3BP-mediated SG formation and potentiate viral infection by overcoming antiviral innate immunity mediated by G3BP1 in A549 cell lines and G3BP1 conditional knockout mice (g3bp1-cKO) mice, which provide in-depth evidence showing the mechanism underlying NP-related SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis through G3BPs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , DNA Helicases/metabolism , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Mice , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins/metabolism , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Stress Granules , Virus Replication/genetics
9.
Front Immunol ; 13: 869809, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847173

ABSTRACT

Previous studies have shown that B.1.351 and other variants have extended the host range of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to mice. Sustained transmission is a prerequisite for viral maintenance in a population. However, no evidence of natural transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in wild mice has been documented to date. Here, we evaluated the replication and contact transmission of the B.1.351 variant in mice and rats. The B.1.351 variant could infect and replicate efficiently in the airways of mice and rats. Furthermore, the B.1.351 variant could not be transmitted in BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice but could be transmitted with moderate efficiency in rats by direct contact. Additionally, the B.1.351 variant did not transmit from inoculated Syrian hamsters to BALB/c mice. Moreover, the mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strain C57MA14 did not transmit in mice. In summary, the risk of B.1.351 variant transmission in mice is extremely low, but the transmission risk in rats should not be neglected. We should pay more attention to the potential natural transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants in rats and their possible spillback to humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Rats
10.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1695128

ABSTRACT

New emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a worldwide pandemic. Several animal models of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been developed and applied to antiviral research. In this study, two lethal mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 variants (BMA8 and C57MA14) with different virulence were generated from different hosts, which are characterized by high viral replication titers in the upper and lower respiratory tract, pulmonary pathology, cytokine storm, cellular tropism, lymphopenia, and neutrophilia. Two variants exhibit host genetics-related and age-dependent morbidity and mortality in mice, exquisitely reflecting the clinical manifestation of asymptomatic, moderate, and severe COVID-19 patients. Notably, both variants equally weaken the neutralization capacity of the serum derived from COVID-19 convalescent, but the C57MA14 variant showed a much higher virulence than the BMA8 variant in vitro. Q489H substitution in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of BMA8 and C57MA14 variants results in the receptors of SARS-CoV-2 switching from human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) to murine angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (mACE2). Additionally, A22D and A36V mutation in E protein were first reported in our study, which potentially contributed to the virulence difference between the two variants. Of note, the protective efficacy of the novel bacterium-like particle (BLP) vaccine candidate was validated using the BMA8- or C57MA14-infected aged mouse model. The BMA8 variant- and C57MA14 variant-infected models provide a relatively inexpensive and accessible evaluation platform for assessing the efficacy of vaccines and novel therapeutic approaches. This will promote further research in the transmissibility and pathogenicity mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2.

11.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(3): e0009227, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110082

ABSTRACT

Since its first emergence in 2012, cases of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have continued to occur. At the end of January 2020, 2519 laboratory confirmed cases with a case-fatality rate of 34.3% have been reported. Approximately 84% of human cases have been reported in the tropical region of Saudi Arabia. The emergence of MERS-CoV has highlighted need for a rapid and accurate assay to triage patients with a suspected infection in a timely manner because of the lack of an approved vaccine or an effective treatment for MERS-CoV to prevent and control potential outbreaks. In this study, we present two rapid and visual nucleic acid assays that target the MERS-CoV UpE and N genes as a panel that combines reverse transcription recombinase polymerase amplification with a closed vertical flow visualization strip (RT-RPA-VF). This test panel was designed to improve the diagnostic accuracy through dual-target screening after referencing laboratory testing guidance for MERS-CoV. The limit of detection was 1.2×101 copies/µl viral RNA for the UpE assay and 1.2 copies/µl viral RNA for the N assay, with almost consistent with the sensitivity of the RT-qPCR assays. The two assays exhibited no cross-reactivity with multiple CoVs, including the bat severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV), the bat coronavirus HKU4, and the human coronaviruses 229E, OC43, HKU1 and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Furthermore, the panel does not require sophisticated equipment and provides rapid detection within 30 min. This panel displays good sensitivity and specificity and may be useful to rapidly detect MERS-CoV early during an outbreak and for disease surveillance.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcription , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
12.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 897, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075219

ABSTRACT

The dynamics, duration, and nature of immunity produced during SARS-CoV-2 infection are still unclear. Here, we longitudinally measured virus-neutralising antibody, specific antibodies against the spike (S) protein, receptor-binding domain (RBD), and the nucleoprotein (N) of SARS-CoV-2, as well as T cell responses, in 25 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients up to 121 days post-symptom onset (PSO). All patients seroconvert for IgG against N, S, or RBD, as well as IgM against RBD, and produce neutralising antibodies (NAb) by 14 days PSO, with the peak levels attained by 15-30 days PSO. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and NAb remain detectable and relatively stable 3-4 months PSO, whereas IgM antibody rapidly decay. Approximately 65% of patients have detectable SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ or CD8+ T cell responses 3-4 months PSO. Our results thus provide critical evidence that IgG, NAb, and T cell responses persist in the majority of patients for at least 3-4 months after infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Kinetics , Leukocyte Common Antigens/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Receptors, CCR7/metabolism
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