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1.
Microorganisms ; 10(8):1639, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1987897

ABSTRACT

In the absence of drugs to treat or prevent COVID-19, drug repurposing can be a valuable strategy. Despite a substantial number of clinical trials, drug repurposing did not deliver on its promise. While success was observed with some repurposed drugs (e.g., remdesivir, dexamethasone, tocilizumab, baricitinib), others failed to show clinical efficacy. One reason is the lack of clear translational processes based on adequate preclinical profiling before clinical evaluation. Combined with limitations of existing in vitro and in vivo models, there is a need for a systematic approach to urgent antiviral drug development in the context of a global pandemic. We implemented a methodology to test repurposed and experimental drugs to generate robust preclinical evidence for further clinical development. This translational drug development platform comprises in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models of SARS-CoV-2, along with pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation approaches to evaluate exposure levels in plasma and target organs. Here, we provide examples of identified repurposed antiviral drugs tested within our multidisciplinary collaboration to highlight lessons learned in urgent antiviral drug development during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our data confirm the importance of assessing in vitro and in vivo potency in multiple assays to boost the translatability of pre-clinical data. The value of pharmacokinetic modeling and simulations for compound prioritization is also discussed. We advocate the need for a standardized translational drug development platform for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 to generate preclinical evidence in support of clinical trials. We propose clear prerequisites for progression of drug candidates for repurposing into clinical trials. Further research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the scope and limitations of the presented translational drug development platform.

2.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 225, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740485

ABSTRACT

Late 2020, SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant emerged in United Kingdom and gradually replaced G614 strains initially involved in the global spread of the pandemic. In this study, we use a Syrian hamster model to compare a clinical strain of Alpha variant with an ancestral G614 strain. The Alpha variant succeed to infect animals and to induce a pathology that mimics COVID-19. However, both strains replicate to almost the same level and induced a comparable disease and immune response. A slight fitness advantage is noted for the G614 strain during competition and transmission experiments. These data do not corroborate the epidemiological situation observed during the first half of 2021 in humans nor reports that showed a more rapid replication of Alpha variant in human reconstituted bronchial epithelium. This study highlights the need to combine data from different laboratories using various animal models to decipher the biological properties of newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Models, Animal , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Genome, Viral , Lung/virology , Nasal Lavage Fluid/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication
3.
Viruses ; 12(6)2020 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726020

ABSTRACT

Clinical samples collected in coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), patients are commonly manipulated in biosafety level 2 laboratories for molecular diagnostic purposes. Here, we tested French norm NF-EN-14476+A2 derived from European standard EN-14885 to assess the risk of manipulating infectious viruses prior to RNA extraction. SARS-CoV-2 cell-culture supernatant and nasopharyngeal samples (virus-spiked samples and clinical samples collected in COVID-19 patients) were used to measure the reduction of infectivity after 10 minute contact with lysis buffer containing various detergents and chaotropic agents. A total of thirteen protocols were evaluated. Two commercially available formulations showed the ability to reduce infectivity by at least 6 log 10, whereas others proved less effective.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Virus Inactivation/drug effects , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Chlorocebus aethiops , Containment of Biohazards/methods , Containment of Biohazards/standards , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Specimen Handling/methods , Vero Cells , Viral Load/methods
4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329017

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of pre-exposure prophylaxis by the Tixagevimab/Cilgavimab cocktail (AZD7442) was evaluated in hamsters against a clinical BA.1 strain of SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron. AZD7442 retains inhibitory activity against Omicron despite a substantial loss of efficacy. We estimate that Omicron virus requires about 20-times more antibodies in plasma than the ancestral B.1 strain (G614) virus to achieve a similar drug efficacy in reducing lung infectious titers.

5.
Travel Med Infect Dis ; 44: 102183, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1473503

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several outbreaks of pneumococcal pneumonia among shipyard workers have been described. In this study, following a previous report of grouped cases, we aimed to elucidate the features of disease onset. METHODS: We compared the population characteristics of shipyard workers with a confirmed diagnosis of pneumococcal pneumonia (N = 38) to those of workers without pneumonia (N = 53). We compared nine S. pneumoniae strains isolated from patients with pneumonia by capsular serotyping, multi-locus sequence typing, and whole genome sequencing. RESULTS: Shipyard workers with Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumonia were more frequently from Italy (P = 0.016), had at least one underlying condition (P = 0.024), lived on-board the ship (P = 0.009). None of these factors was independent by multivariate analysis. While capsular serotyping enabled us to identify four different serotypes: 4 (n = 5), 8 (n = 2), 9 N (n = 1), and 3 (n = 1), by sequence typing, we distinguished five sequence types (STs): ST801 (n = 4), ST205 (n = 2), ST1220 (n = 1), ST1280 (n = 1), and ST66 (n = 1). Whole genome sequencing confirmed the results obtained by MLST. Genomes of isolates of the same sequence type were similar with ≤80 single-nucleotide polymorphisms. CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed that the onset of pneumococcal infection among shipyard workers was attributable to both a person-to-person spread of single strains of S. pneumoniae and a shift of different strains from commensal to pathogen under favourable conditions (professional exposure, viral infections). Control measures should therefore be implemented by taking into account these features.


Subject(s)
Pneumococcal Infections , Pneumonia, Pneumococcal , Humans , Multilocus Sequence Typing , Pneumonia, Pneumococcal/epidemiology , Serogroup , Serotyping , Streptococcus pneumoniae/genetics
6.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging ; 49(3): 913-920, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366348

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Several weeks after COVID-19 infection, some children report the persistence or recurrence of functional complaints. This clinical presentation has been referred as "long COVID" in the adult population, and an [18F]-FDG brain PET hypometabolic pattern has recently been suggested as a biomarker. Herein, we present a retrospective analysis of 7 paediatric patients with suspected long COVID who were explored by [18F]-FDG brain PET exam. Metabolic brain findings were confronted to those obtained in adult patients with long COVID, in comparison to their respective age-matched control groups. METHODS: Review of clinical examination and whole-brain voxel-based analysis of [18F]-FDG PET metabolism of the 7 children in comparison to 21 paediatric controls, 35 adult patients with long COVID and 44 healthy adult subjects. RESULTS: Despite lower initial severity at the acute stage of the infection, paediatric patients demonstrated on average 5 months later a similar brain hypometabolic pattern as that found in adult long COVID patients, involving bilateral medial temporal lobes, brainstem and cerebellum (p-voxel < 0.001, p-cluster < 0.05 FWE-corrected), and also the right olfactory gyrus after small volume correction (p-voxel = 0.010 FWE-corrected), with partial PET recovery in two children at follow-up. CONCLUSION: These results provide arguments in favour of possible long COVID in children, with a similar functional brain involvement to those found in adults, regardless of age and initial severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Brain/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/complications , Child , Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 , Humans , Positron-Emission Tomography , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
mBio ; 12(4): e0085021, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297961

ABSTRACT

Since its emergence in 2019, circulating populations of the new coronavirus (CoV) continuously acquired genetic diversity. At the end of 2020, a variant named 20I/501Y.V1 (lineage B.1.1.7) emerged and replaced other circulating strains in several regions. This phenomenon has been poorly associated with biological evidence that this variant and the original strain exhibit different phenotypic characteristics. Here, we analyze the replication ability of this new variant in different cellular models using for comparison an ancestral D614G European strain (lineage B1). Results from comparative replication kinetics experiments in vitro and in a human reconstituted bronchial epithelium showed no difference. However, when both viruses were put in competition in human reconstituted bronchial epithelium, the 20I/501Y.V1 variant outcompeted the ancestral strain. All together, these findings demonstrate that this new variant replicates more efficiently and may contribute to a better understanding of the progressive replacement of circulating strains by the severe acute respiratory CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) 20I/501Y.V1 variant. IMPORTANCE The emergence of several SARS-CoV-2 variants raised numerous questions concerning the future course of the pandemic. We are currently observing a replacement of the circulating viruses by the variant from the United Kingdom known as 20I/501Y.V1, from the B.1.1.7 lineage, but there is little biological evidence that this new variant exhibits a different phenotype. In the present study, we used different cellular models to assess the replication ability of the 20I/501Y.V1 variant. Our results showed that this variant replicates more efficiently in human reconstituted bronchial epithelium, which may explain why it spreads so rapidly in human populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Genetic Fitness/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Load
10.
Travel Med Infect Dis ; 36: 101632, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-14125

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Rapid virological diagnosis is needed to limit the length of isolation for suspected COVID-19 cases. METHOD: We managed the first 280 patients suspected to have COVID-19 through a rapid care circuit and virological diagnosis in our infectious disease reference hospital in Marseille, France. Rapid viral detection was performed on sputum and nasopharyngeal samples. RESULTS: Over our study period, no SARS-CoV-2 was detected. Results were obtained within approximately 3 h of the arrival of patient samples at the laboratory. Other viral infections were identified in 49% of the patients, with most common pathogens being influenza A and B viruses, rhinovirus, metapneumovirus and common coronaviruses, notably HKU1 and NL63. CONCLUSION: Early recognition of COVID-19 is critical to isolate confirmed cases and prevent further transmission. Early rule-out of COVID-19 allows public health containment measures to be adjusted by reducing the time spent in isolation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Sputum/virology , Young Adult
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