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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 681516, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399136

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) broke out and then became a global epidemic at the end of 2019. With the increasing number of deaths, early identification of disease severity and interpretation of pathogenesis are very important. Aiming to identify biomarkers for disease severity and progression of COVID-19, 75 COVID-19 patients, 34 healthy controls and 23 patients with pandemic influenza A(H1N1) were recruited in this study. Using liquid chip technology, 48 cytokines and chemokines were examined, among which 33 were significantly elevated in COVID-19 patients compared with healthy controls. HGF and IL-1ß were strongly associated with APACHE II score in the first week after disease onset. IP-10, HGF and IL-10 were correlated positively with virus titers. Cytokines were significantly correlated with creatinine, troponin I, international normalized ratio and procalcitonin within two weeks after disease onset. Univariate analyses were carried out, and 6 cytokines including G-CSF, HGF, IL-10, IL-18, M-CSF and SCGF-ß were found to be associated with the severity of COVID-19. 11 kinds of cytokines could predict the severity of COVID-19, among which IP-10 and M-CSF were excellent predictors for disease severity. In conclusion, the levels of cytokines in COVID-19 were significantly correlated with the severity of the disease in the early stage, and serum cytokines could be used as warning indicators of the severity and progression of COVID-19. Early stratification of disease and intervention to reduce hypercytokinaemia may improve the prognosis of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome/immunology , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Chemokines/blood , Chemokines/genetics , Chemokines/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Influenza, Human/blood , Influenza, Human/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 708184, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346403

ABSTRACT

There is a worldwide pandemic of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection; yet our understanding remains limited on the characteristic of antibodies, especially for dynamic long-term tracking. Sequential serum samples were collected up to 416 days post onset of symptoms (POS) from 102 patients who were hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Immunoglobulin (Ig)G, IgM, and IgA levels targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike 1 receptor-binding domain (S1-RBD), spike 2 extracellular domain (S2-ECD), and nucleocapsid protein (N) were quantified as well as neutralizing activity. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the antibody remained detective and effective for more than a year POS. We also found the varied reactions of different antibodies as time passed: N-IgA rose most rapidly in the early stage of infection, while S2-IgG was present at a high level in the long time of observation. This study described the long traceable antibody response of the COVID-19 and offered hints about targets to screen for postinfectious immunity and for vaccination development of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroconversion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
J Med Chem ; 64(15): 11554-11569, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316696

ABSTRACT

The development of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is of paramount importance to terminate the current pandemic. An adjuvant is crucial for improving the efficacy of the subunit COVID19 vaccine. α-Galactosylceramide (αGC) is a classical iNKT cell agonist which causes the rapid production of Th1- and Th2-associated cytokines; we, therefore, expect that the Th1- or Th2-skewing analogues of αGC can better enhance the immunogenicity of the receptor-binding domain in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 fused with the Fc region of human IgG (RBD-Fc). Herein, we developed a universal synthetic route to the Th1-biasing (α-C-GC) and Th2-biasing (OCH and C20:2) analogues. Immunization of mice demonstrated that αGC-adjuvanted RBD-Fc elicited a more potent humoral response than that observed with Alum and enabled the sparing of antigens. Remarkably, at a low dose of the RBD-Fc protein (2 µg), the Th2-biasing agonist C20:2 induced a significantly higher titer of the neutralizing antibody than that of Alum.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Galactosylceramides/pharmacology , Natural Killer T-Cells/drug effects , Animals , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Natural Killer T-Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells
4.
Engineering (Beijing) ; 2021 Jun 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267670

ABSTRACT

Understanding the immunological characteristics of monocytes-including the characteristics associated with fibrosis-in severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is crucial for understanding the pathogenic mechanism of the disease and preventing disease severity. In this study, we performed single-cell transcriptomic sequencing of peripheral blood samples collected from six healthy controls and 14 COVID-19 samples including severe, moderate, and convalescent samples from three severely/critically ill and four moderately ill patients. We found that the monocytes were strongly remodeled in the severely/critically ill patients with COVID-19, with an increased proportion of monocytes and seriously reduced diversity. In addition, we discovered two novel severe-disease-specific monocyte subsets: Mono 0 and Mono 5. These subsets expressed amphiregulin (AREG), epiregulin (EREG), and cytokine interleukin-18 (IL-18) gene, exhibited an enriched erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog (ErbB) signaling pathway, and appeared to exhibit pro-fibrogenic and pro-inflammation characteristics. We also found metabolic changes in Mono 0 and Mono 5, including increased glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and an increased hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) signaling pathway. Notably, one pre-severe sample displayed a monocyte atlas similar to that of the severe/critical samples. In conclusion, our study discovered two novel severe-disease-specific monocyte subsets as potential predictors and therapeutic targets for severe COVID-19. Overall, this study provides potential predictors for severe disease and therapeutic targets for COVID-19 and thus provides a resource for further studies on COVID-19.

5.
J Proteome Res ; 20(7): 3463-3474, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253876

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a worldwide health crisis. So far, most studies have focused on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of this infectious disease. Little attention has been given to the disease sequelae in patients recovering from COVID-19, and nothing is known about the mechanisms underlying these sequelae. Herein, we profiled the serum proteome of a cohort of COVID-19 patients in the disease onset and recovery stages. Based on the close integration of our proteomic analysis with clinical data, we propose that COVID-19 is associated with prolonged disorders in cholesterol metabolism and myocardium, even in the recovery stage. We identify potential biomarkers for these disorders. Moreover, severely affected patients presented more serious disturbances in these pathways. Our findings potentially support clinical decision-making to improve the prognosis and treatment of patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Proteomics , Cholesterol , Humans , Myocardium , Pandemics , Proteome , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 480, 2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182874

ABSTRACT

The relationship between gut microbes and COVID-19 or H1N1 infections is not fully understood. Here, we compared the gut mycobiota of 67 COVID-19 patients, 35 H1N1-infected patients and 48 healthy controls (HCs) using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 3-ITS4 sequencing and analysed their associations with clinical features and the bacterial microbiota. Compared to HCs, the fungal burden was higher. Fungal mycobiota dysbiosis in both COVID-19 and H1N1-infected patients was mainly characterized by the depletion of fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillium, but several fungi, including Candida glabrata, were enriched in H1N1-infected patients. The gut mycobiota profiles in COVID-19 patients with mild and severe symptoms were similar. Hospitalization had no apparent additional effects. In COVID-19 patients, Mucoromycota was positively correlated with Fusicatenibacter, Aspergillus niger was positively correlated with diarrhoea, and Penicillium citrinum was negatively correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP). In H1N1-infected patients, Aspergillus penicilloides was positively correlated with Lachnospiraceae members, Aspergillus was positively correlated with CRP, and Mucoromycota was negatively correlated with procalcitonin. Therefore, gut mycobiota dysbiosis occurs in both COVID-19 patients and H1N1-infected patients and does not improve until the patients are discharged and no longer require medical attention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Dysbiosis/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/physiology , Influenza, Human/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Feces/microbiology , Female , Fungi/classification , Fungi/genetics , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/physiology , Influenza, Human/virology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Analysis, DNA/methods
8.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 2021 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1070628

ABSTRACT

The variety and widespread of coronavirus in natural reservoir animals is likely to cause epidemics via interspecific transmission, which has attracted much attention due to frequent coronavirus epidemics in recent decades. Birds are natural reservoir of various viruses, but the existence of coronaviruses in wild birds in central China has been barely studied. Some bird coronaviruses belong to the genus of Deltacoronavirus. To explore the diversity of bird deltacoronaviruses in central China, we tested faecal samples from 415 wild birds in Hunan Province, China. By RT-PCR detection, we identified eight samples positive for deltacoronaviruses which were all from common magpies, and in four of them, we successfully amplified complete deltacoronavirus genomes distinct from currently known deltacoronavirus, indicating four novel deltacoronavirus stains (HNU1-1, HNU1-2, HNU2 and HNU3). Comparative analysis on the four genomic sequences showed that these novel magpie deltacoronaviruses shared three different S genes among which the S genes of HNU1-1 and HNU1-2 showed 93.8% amino acid (aa) identity to that of thrush coronavirus HKU12, HNU2 S showed 71.9% aa identity to that of White-eye coronavirus HKU16, and HNU3 S showed 72.4% aa identity to that of sparrow coronavirus HKU17. Recombination analysis showed that frequent recombination events of the S genes occurred among these deltacoronavirus strains. Two novel putative cleavage sites separating the non-structural proteins in the HNU coronaviruses were found. Bayesian phylogeographic analysis showed that the south coast of China might be a potential origin of bird deltacoronaviruses existing in inland China. In summary, these results suggest that common magpie in China carries diverse deltacoronaviruses with novel genomic features, indicating an important source of environmental coronaviruses closed to human communities, which may provide key information for prevention and control of future coronavirus epidemics.

9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(10): 2669-2678, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging serious global health problem. Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in COVID-19 patients, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA has been detected in stool specimens. However, the relationship between the gut microbiome and disease remains to be established. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 30 patients with COVID-19, 24 patients with influenza A(H1N1), and 30 matched healthy controls (HCs) to identify differences in the gut microbiota by 16S ribosomal RNA gene V3-V4 region sequencing. RESULTS: Compared with HCs, COVID-19 patients had significantly reduced bacterial diversity; a significantly higher relative abundance of opportunistic pathogens, such as Streptococcus, Rothia, Veillonella, and Actinomyces; and a lower relative abundance of beneficial symbionts. Five biomarkers showed high accuracy for distinguishing COVID-19 patients from HCs with an area under the curve (AUC) up to 0.89. Patients with H1N1 displayed lower diversity and different overall microbial composition compared with COVID-19 patients. Seven biomarkers were selected to distinguish the 2 cohorts (AUC = 0.94). CONCLUSIONS: The gut microbial signature of patients with COVID-19 was different from that of H1N1 patients and HCs. Our study suggests the potential value of the gut microbiota as a diagnostic biomarker and therapeutic target for COVID-19, but further validation is needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dysbiosis , Feces , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Eur J Pharm Sci ; 157: 105631, 2021 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893750

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective antiviral drugs for COVID-19 are still lacking. This study aims to evaluate the clinical outcomes and plasma concentrations of baloxavir acid and favipiravir in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Favipiravir and baloxavir acid were evaluated for their antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro before the trial initiation. We conducted an exploratory trial with 3 arms involving hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19. Patients were randomized assigned in a 1:1:1 ratio into baloxavir marboxil group, favipiravir group, and control group. The primary outcome was the percentage of subjects with viral negative by Day 14 and the time from randomization to clinical improvement. Virus load reduction, blood drug concentration and clinical presentation were also observed. The trial was registered with Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR 2000029544). RESULTS: Baloxavir acid showed antiviral activity in vitro with the half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) of 5.48 µM comparable to arbidol and lopinavir, but favipiravir didn't demonstrate significant antiviral activity up to 100 µM. Thirty patients were enrolled. The percentage of patients who turned viral negative after 14-day treatment was 70%, 77%, and 100% in the baloxavir marboxil, favipiravir, and control group respectively, with the medians of time from randomization to clinical improvement was 14, 14 and 15 days, respectively. One reason for the lack of virological effect and clinical benefits may be due to insufficient concentrations of these drugs relative to their antiviral activities. One of the limitations of this study is the time from symptom onset to randomization, especially in the baloxavir marboxil and control groups, which is higher than the favipiravir group. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings could not prove a benefit of addition of either baloxavir marboxil or favipiravir under the trial dosages to the existing standard treatment.


Subject(s)
Amides , COVID-19 , Dibenzothiepins , Morpholines , Pyrazines , Pyridones , Triazines , Amides/administration & dosage , Amides/blood , Amides/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/blood , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/physiopathology , Dibenzothiepins/administration & dosage , Dibenzothiepins/blood , Dibenzothiepins/pharmacokinetics , Drug Monitoring/methods , Female , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Male , Middle Aged , Morpholines/administration & dosage , Morpholines/blood , Morpholines/pharmacokinetics , Pyrazines/administration & dosage , Pyrazines/blood , Pyrazines/pharmacokinetics , Pyridones/administration & dosage , Pyridones/blood , Pyridones/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Symptom Assessment , Treatment Outcome , Triazines/administration & dosage , Triazines/blood , Triazines/pharmacokinetics , Viral Load/drug effects
11.
Virus Res ; 286: 198074, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611212

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel human coronavirus causing the pandemic of severe pneumonia (Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in human, having posed immeasurable public health challenges to the world. Innate immune response is critical for the host defense against viral infection and the dysregulation of the host innate immune responses probably aggravates SARS-CoV-2 infection, contributing to the high morbidity and lethality of COVID-19. It has been reported that some coronavirus proteins play an important role in modulating innate immunity of the host, but few studies have been conducted on SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we screened the viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and found that the viral ORF6, ORF8 and nucleocapsid proteins were potential inhibitors of type I interferon signaling pathway, a key component for antiviral response of host innate immune. All the three proteins showed strong inhibition on type I interferon (IFN-ß) and NF-κB-responsive promoter, further examination revealed that these proteins were able to inhibit the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) after infection with Sendai virus, while only ORF6 and ORF8 proteins were able to inhibit the ISRE after treatment with interferon beta. These findings would be helpful for the further study of the detailed signaling pathway and unveil the key molecular player that may be targeted.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Interferon-beta/genetics , NF-kappa B/genetics , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Gene Expression Regulation , Genes, Reporter , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , Interferon-beta/immunology , Luciferases/genetics , Luciferases/metabolism , NF-kappa B/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Response Elements , SARS-CoV-2 , Sendai virus/genetics , Sendai virus/immunology , Signal Transduction , Transfection/methods , Viral Proteins/immunology
12.
Microbes Infect ; 22(2): 80-85, 2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384

ABSTRACT

At the end of December 2019, a novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, caused an outbreak of pneumonia spreading from Wuhan, Hubei province, to the whole country of China, which has posed great threats to public health and attracted enormous attention around the world. To date, there are no clinically approved vaccines or antiviral drugs available for these human coronavirus infections. Intensive research on the novel emerging human infectious coronaviruses is urgently needed to elucidate their route of transmission and pathogenic mechanisms, and to identify potential drug targets, which would promote the development of effective preventive and therapeutic countermeasures. Herein, we describe the epidemic and etiological characteristics of 2019-nCoV, discuss its essential biological features, including tropism and receptor usage, summarize approaches for disease prevention and treatment, and speculate on the transmission route of 2019-nCoV.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Epidemics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Receptors, Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Tropism
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