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1.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2452: 379-391, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1844277

ABSTRACT

Identification of an effective antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19 is considered one of the holy grails in the bid to end the pandemic. However, the novelty of SARS-CoV-2, along with the little knowledge available about its infection characteristics at the beginning of this pandemic, challenges the scientific world on how one may be able to promptly identify promising drug candidates from a myriad of compound libraries. Here, we describe a cytopathic effect (CPE)-based drug screening assay for SARS-CoV-2 which allows for rapid assessment of drug compound libraries through pre- or posttreatment drug screening procedures and evaluation using a light microscope. By comparing the virus-induced CPE of the drug-treated cells against the vehicle and drug controls, potent drug candidates can be quickly identified for further downstream studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Pandemics
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 766821, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581335

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants continue to emerge and spread around the world, antibodies and vaccines to confer broad and potent neutralizing activity are urgently needed. Through the isolation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, we identified one antibody, P36-5D2, capable of neutralizing the major SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Crystal and electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) structure analyses revealed that P36-5D2 targeted to a conserved epitope on the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein, withstanding the three key mutations-K417N, E484K, and N501Y-found in the variants that are responsible for escape from many potent neutralizing mAbs, including some already approved for emergency use authorization (EUA). A single intraperitoneal (IP) injection of P36-5D2 as a prophylactic treatment completely protected animals from challenge of infectious SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Beta. Treated animals manifested normal body weight and were devoid of infection-associated death up to 14 days. A substantial decrease of the infectious virus in the lungs and brain, as well as reduced lung pathology, was found in these animals compared to the controls. Thus, P36-5D2 represents a new and desirable human antibody against the current and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mice
3.
Indoor Air ; n/a(n/a), 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1409407

ABSTRACT

Abstract Reliable methods to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 at venues where people gather are essential for epidemiological surveillance to guide public policy. Communal screening of air in a highly crowded space has the potential to provide early warning on the presence and potential transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as suggested by studies early in the epidemic. As hospitals and public facilities apply varying degrees of restrictions and regulations, it is important to provide multiple methodological options to enable environmental SARS-CoV-2 surveillance under different conditions. This study assessed the feasibility of using high-flowrate air samplers combined with RNA extraction kit designed for environmental sample to perform airborne SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in hospital setting, tested by RT-qPCR. The success rate of the air samples in detecting SARS-CoV-2 was then compared with surface swab samples collected in the same proximity. Additionally, positive RT-qPCR samples underwent viral culture to assess the viability of the sampled SARS-CoV-2. The study was performed in inpatient ward environments of a quaternary care university teaching hospital in Singapore housing active COVID-19 patients within the period of February to May 2020. Two types of wards were tested, naturally ventilated open-cohort ward and mechanically ventilated isolation ward. Distances between the site of air sampling and the patient cluster in the investigated wards were also recorded. No successful detection of airborne SARS-CoV-2 was recorded when 50 L/min air samplers were used. Upon increasing the sampling flowrate to 150 L/min, our results showed a high success rate in detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 from the air samples (72%) compared to the surface swab samples (9.6%). The positive detection rate of the air samples along with the corresponding viral load could be associated with the distance between sampling site and patient. The furthest distance from patient with PCR-positive air samples was 5.5 m. The airborne SARS-CoV-2 detection was comparable between the two types of wards with 60%?87.5% success rate. High prevalence of the virus was found in toilet areas, both on surfaces and in air. Finally, no successful culture attempt was recorded from the environmental air or surface samples.

4.
BMC Med Genomics ; 14(1): 155, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266486

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a respiratory viral infection with unique features including a more chronic course and systemic disease manifestations including multiple organ involvement; and there are differences in disease severity between ethnic groups. The immunological basis for disease has not been fully characterised. Analysis of whole-blood RNA expression may provide valuable information on disease pathogenesis. METHODS: We studied 45 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection within 10 days from onset of illness and a control group of 19 asymptomatic healthy volunteers with no known exposure to COVID-19 in the previous 14 days. Relevant demographic and clinical information was collected and a blood sample was drawn from all participants for whole-blood RNA sequencing. We evaluated differentially-expressed genes in COVID-19 patients (log2 fold change ≥ 1 versus healthy controls; false-discovery rate < 0.05) and associated protein pathways and compared these to published whole-blood signatures for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza. We developed a disease score reflecting the overall magnitude of expression of internally-validated genes and assessed the relationship between the disease score and clinical disease parameters. RESULTS: We found 135 differentially-expressed genes in the patients with COVID-19 (median age 35 years; 82% male; 36% Chinese, 53% South Asian ethnicity). Of the 117 induced genes, 14 were found in datasets from RSV and 40 from influenza; 95 genes were unique to COVID-19. Protein pathways were mostly generic responses to viral infections, including apoptosis by P53-associated pathway, but also included some unique pathways such as viral carcinogenesis. There were no major qualitative differences in pathways between ethnic groups. The composite gene-expression score was correlated with the time from onset of symptoms and nasal swab qPCR CT values (both p < 0.01) but was not related to participant age, gender, ethnicity or the presence or absence of chest X-ray abnormalities (all p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The whole-blood transcriptome of COVID-19 has overall similarity with other respiratory infections but there are some unique pathways that merit further exploration to determine clinical relevance. The approach to a disease score may be of value, but needs further validation in a population with a greater range of disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , RNA/blood , Transcriptome , Adult , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Carrier State/metabolism , Carrier State/pathology , Female , Gene Ontology , Humans , Male , RNA/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Up-Regulation
5.
ACS Infect Dis ; 6(7): 1624-1634, 2020 07 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-506087

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. This novel coronavirus disease, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has resulted in severe and unprecedented social and economic disruptions globally. Since the discovery of COVID-19 in December 2019, numerous antivirals have been tested for efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and also clinically to treat this disease. This review article discusses the main antiviral strategies currently employed and summarizes reported in vitro and in vivo efficacies of key antiviral compounds in use.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , BCG Vaccine/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Repositioning , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine/therapeutic use , Mice , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Virus Replication/drug effects
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