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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13971, 2021 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301179


To unravel the source of SARS-CoV-2 introduction and the pattern of its spreading and evolution in the United Arab Emirates, we conducted meta-transcriptome sequencing of 1067 nasopharyngeal swab samples collected between May 9th and Jun 29th, 2020 during the first peak of the local COVID-19 epidemic. We identified global clade distribution and eleven novel genetic variants that were almost absent in the rest of the world and that defined five subclades specific to the UAE viral population. Cross-settlement human-to-human transmission was related to the local business activity. Perhaps surprisingly, at least 5% of the population were co-infected by SARS-CoV-2 of multiple clades within the same host. We also discovered an enrichment of cytosine-to-uracil mutation among the viral population collected from the nasopharynx, that is different from the adenosine-to-inosine change previously reported in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples and a previously unidentified upregulation of APOBEC4 expression in nasopharynx among infected patients, indicating the innate immune host response mediated by ADAR and APOBEC gene families could be tissue-specific. The genomic epidemiological and molecular biological knowledge reported here provides new insights for the SARS-CoV-2 evolution and transmission and points out future direction on host-pathogen interaction investigation.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Coinfection/epidemiology , Genomics , Immunity, Innate , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Cytidine Deaminase/genetics , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Organ Specificity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
J Chem Inf Model ; 60(12): 5735-5745, 2020 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065777


The emergence of the new coronavirus (nCoV-19) has impacted human health on a global scale, while the interaction between the virus and the host is the foundation of the disease. The viral genome codes a cluster of proteins, each with a unique function in the event of host invasion or viral development. Under the current adverse situation, we employ virtual screening tools in searching for drugs and natural products which have been already deposited in DrugBank in an attempt to accelerate the drug discovery process. This study provides an initial evaluation of current drug candidates from various reports using our systemic in silico drug screening based on structures of viral proteins and human ACE2 receptor. Additionally, we have built an interactive online platform ( for browsing these results with the visual display of a small molecule docked on its potential target protein, without installing any specialized structural software. With continuous maintenance and incorporation of data from laboratory work, it may serve not only as the assessment tool for the new drug discovery but also an educational web site for the public.

Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Computer Simulation , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Drug Design , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Conformation , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Software , Viral Proteins/metabolism