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1.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.06.16.496324

ABSTRACT

Neurological effects of COVID-19 and long-COVID-19 as well as neuroinvasion by SARS-CoV-2 still pose several questions and are of both clinical and scientific relevance. We described the cellular and molecular effects of the human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs) in vitro infection by SARS-CoV-2 to understand the underlying mechanisms of viral transmigration through the Blood-Brain Barrier. Despite the low to non- productive viral replication, SARS-CoV-2-infected cultures displayed increased apoptotic cell death and tight junction protein expression and immunolocalization. Transcriptomic profiling of infected cultures revealed endothelial activation via NF-{kappa}B non-canonical pathway, including RELB overexpression, and mitochondrial dysfunction. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 led to altered secretion of key angiogenic factors and to significant changes in mitochondrial dynamics, with increased mitofusin-2 expression and increased mitochondrial networks. Endothelial activation and remodeling can further contribute to neuroinflammatory processes and lead to further BBB permeability in COVID-19.

2.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.03.12.434969

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in Brazil was dominated by two lineages designated as B.1.1.28 and B.1.1.33. Two SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring mutations at the receptor-binding domain of the Spike (S) protein, designated as lineages P.1 and P.2, evolved within lineage B.1.1.28 and are rapidly spreading in Brazil. Lineage P.1 is considered a Variant of Concern (VOC) because of the presence of multiple mutations in the S protein (including K417T, E484K, N501Y), while lineage P.2 only harbors mutation S:E484K and is considered a Variant of Interest (VOI). Here we report the identification of a new SARS-CoV-2 VOI within lineage B.1.1.33 that also harbors mutation S:E484K and was detected in Brazil between November 2020 and February 2021. This VOI displayed four non-synonymous lineage-defining mutations (NSP3:A1711V, NSP6:F36L, S:E484K, and NS7b:E33A) and was designated as lineage N.9. The VOI N.9 probably emerged in August 2020 and has spread across different Brazilian states from the Southeast, South, North and Northeast regions.

3.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.06.17.158006

ABSTRACT

Despite all efforts to control the COVID-19 spread, the SARS-CoV-2 reached South America within three months after its first detection in China, and Brazil became one of the hotspots of COVID-19 in the world. Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages have been identified and some local clusters have been described in this early pandemic phase in Western countries. Here we investigated the genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 during the early phase (late February to late April) of the epidemic in Brazil. Phylogenetic analyses revealed multiple introductions of SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil and the community transmission of a major B.1.1 lineage defined by two amino acid substitutions in the Nucleocapsid and ORF6. This SARS-CoV-2 Brazilian lineage was probably established during February 2020 and rapidly spread through the country, reaching different Brazilian regions by the middle of March 2020. Our study also supports occasional exportations of this Brazilian B.1.1 lineage to neighboring South American countries and to more distant countries before the implementation of international air travels restrictions in Brazil.

4.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.13.093781

ABSTRACT

Since its emergence in late 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been posing a serious threat to public health worldwide as the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Now distributed in a pandemic pattern, this disease still lacks an effective drug treatment with low toxicity, leading pharmaceutical companies and research labs to work against time to find a candidate molecule to efficiently treat the affected patients. Due to the well-known broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of the lactoferrin protein, we sought to verify whether its bovine form (bLf) would also be effective in vitro against SARS-CoV-2. Using an antiviral assay based on quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we found that bLf reduced progeny virus yield by up to [~]84,6% in African green monkey kidney epithelial cells (Vero E6) and [~]68,6% in adenocarcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cells (A549) at 1 mg/mL, a concentration previously shown to have low cytotoxicity. Therefore, our preliminary data suggest that bLf has the potential to constitute a biochemical approach to fight the new coronavirus pandemic.

5.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.30.069039

ABSTRACT

Genomic surveillance has become a useful tool for better understanding virus pathogenicity, origin and spread. Obtaining accurately assembled, complete viral genomes directly from clinical samples is still a challenging. Here, we describe three protocols using a unique primer set designed to recover long reads of SARS-CoV-2 directly from total RNA extracted from clinical samples. This protocol is useful, accessible and adaptable to laboratories with varying resources and access to distinct sequencing methods: Nanopore, Illumina and/or Sanger.

6.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.04.020925

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is already responsible for far more deaths than previous pathogenic coronaviruses (CoVs) from 2002 and 2012. The identification of clinically approved drugs to be repurposed to combat 2019 CoV disease (COVID-19) would allow the rapid implementation of potentially life-saving procedures. The major protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is considered a promising target, based on previous results from related CoVs with lopinavir (LPV), an HIV protease inhibitor. However, limited evidence exists for other clinically approved antiretroviral protease inhibitors, such as atazanavir (ATV). ATV is of high interest because of its bioavailability within the respiratory tract. Our results show that ATV could dock in the active site of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, with greater strength than LPV. ATV blocked Mpro activity. We confirmed that ATV inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication, alone or in combination with ritonavir (RTV) in Vero cells, human pulmonary epithelial cell line and primary monocytes, impairing virus-induced enhancement of IL-6 and TNF- levels. Together, our data strongly suggest that ATV and ATV/RTV should be considered among the candidate repurposed drugs undergoing clinical trials in the fight against COVID-19.

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