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1.
Nat Aging ; 3(6): 722-733, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322588

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination has resulted in excellent protection against fatal disease, including in older adults. However, risk factors for post-vaccination fatal COVID-19 are largely unknown. We comprehensively studied three large nursing home outbreaks (20-35% fatal cases among residents) by combining severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) aerosol monitoring, whole-genome phylogenetic analysis and immunovirological profiling of nasal mucosa by digital nCounter transcriptomics. Phylogenetic investigations indicated that each outbreak stemmed from a single introduction event, although with different variants (Delta, Gamma and Mu). SARS-CoV-2 was detected in aerosol samples up to 52 d after the initial infection. Combining demographic, immune and viral parameters, the best predictive models for mortality comprised IFNB1 or age, viral ORF7a and ACE2 receptor transcripts. Comparison with published pre-vaccine fatal COVID-19 transcriptomic and genomic signatures uncovered a unique IRF3 low/IRF7 high immune signature in post-vaccine fatal COVID-19 outbreaks. A multi-layered strategy, including environmental sampling, immunomonitoring and early antiviral therapy, should be considered to prevent post-vaccination COVID-19 mortality in nursing homes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , Phylogeny , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Nursing Homes , Vaccination , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control
2.
EBioMedicine ; 92: 104597, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2311635

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma (CP) transfusion is an early option for treating infections with pandemic potential, often preceding vaccine or antiviral drug rollout. Heterogenous findings from randomized clinical trials on transfusion of COVID-19 CP (CCP) have been reported. However, meta-analysis suggests that transfusion of high titer CCP is associated with a mortality benefit for COVID-19 outpatients or inpatients treated within 5 days after symptom onset, indicating the importance of early administration. METHODS: We tested if CCP is an effective prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2 infection by the intranasal administration of 25 µL CCP/nostril (i.e. 0.01-0.06 mg anti-RBD antibodies/kg) in hamsters exposed to infected littermates. FINDINGS: In this model, 40% of CCP treated hamsters were fully protected and 40% had significantly reduced viral loads, the remaining 20% was not protected. The effect seems dose-dependent because high-titer CCP from a vaccinated donor was more effective than low-titer CCP from a donation prior to vaccine rollout. Intranasal administration of human CCP resulted in a reactive (immune) response in hamster lungs, however this was not observed upon administration of hamster CCP. INTERPRETATION: We conclude that CCP is an effective prophylactic when used directly at the site of primary infection. This option should be considered in future prepandemic preparedness plans. FUNDING: Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and the Foundation for Scientific Research of the Belgian Red Cross Flanders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , Administration, Intranasal , COVID-19 Serotherapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents , Antibodies, Viral
3.
Molecules ; 28(7)2023 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298521

ABSTRACT

The Amaryllidaceae species are well-known as a rich source of bioactive compounds in nature. Although Hymenocallis littoralis has been studied for decades, its polar components were rarely explored. The current phytochemical investigation of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids from H. littoralis led to the identification of three previously undescribed compounds: O-demethyl-norlycoramine (1), (-)-2-epi-pseudolycorine (2) and (+)-2-epi-pseudolycorine (3), together with eight known compounds: 6α-hydroxyhippeastidine (4), 6ß-hydroxyhippeastidine (5), lycorine (6), 2-epi-lycorine (7), zephyranthine (8), ungeremine (9), pancratistatin (10) and 9-O-demethyl-7-O-methyllycorenine (11). Among the eight previously reported compounds, five were isolated from H. littoralis for the first time (compounds 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9). Compounds 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 11 exhibited weak anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity (EC50 = 40-77 µM) at non-cytotoxic concentrations. Assessment of cytotoxicity on the Vero-E6 cell line revealed lycorine and pancratistatin as cytotoxic substances with CC50 values of 1.2 µM and 0.13 µM, respectively. The preliminary structure-activity relationship for the lycorine-type alkaloids in this study was further investigated, and as a result ring C appears to play a crucial role in their anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity.


Subject(s)
Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids , Amaryllidaceae , COVID-19 , Liliaceae , Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids/pharmacology , Amaryllidaceae Alkaloids/chemistry , Amaryllidaceae/chemistry
4.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 2124, 2023 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2290485

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (3CLpro) is one of the promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of COVID-19. Nirmatrelvir is the first 3CLpro inhibitor authorized for treatment of COVID-19 patients at high risk of hospitalization. We recently reported on the in vitro selection of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro resistant virus (L50F-E166A-L167F; 3CLprores) that is cross-resistant with nirmatrelvir and other 3CLpro inhibitors. Here, we demonstrate that the 3CLprores virus replicates efficiently in the lungs of intranasally infected female Syrian hamsters and causes lung pathology comparable to that caused by the WT virus. Moreover, hamsters infected with 3CLprores virus transmit the virus efficiently to co-housed non-infected contact hamsters. Importantly, at a dose of 200 mg/kg (BID) of nirmatrelvir, the compound was still able to reduce the lung infectious virus titers of 3CLprores-infected hamsters by 1.4 log10 with a modest improvement in the lung histopathology as compared to the vehicle control. Fortunately, resistance to Nirmatrelvir does not readily develop in clinical setting. Yet, as we demonstrate, in case drug-resistant viruses emerge, they may spread easily which may thus impact therapeutic options. Therefore, the use of 3CLpro inhibitors in combination with other drugs may be considered, especially in immunodeficient patients, to avoid the development of drug-resistant viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cricetinae , Animals , Humans , Female , Mesocricetus , COVID-19/pathology , Lung/pathology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use
5.
Cardiovasc Res ; 2022 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256625

ABSTRACT

AIMS: SARS-CoV-2 infection causes COVID-19, which in severe cases evokes life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Transcriptome signatures and the functional relevance of non-vascular cell types (e.g. immune and epithelial cells) in COVID-19 are becoming increasingly evident. However, despite its known contribution to vascular inflammation, recruitment/invasion of immune cells, vascular leakage and perturbed hemostasis in the lungs of severe COVID-19 patients, an in-depth interrogation of the endothelial cell (EC) compartment in lethal COVID-19 is lacking. Moreover, progressive fibrotic lung disease represents one of the complications of COVID-19 pneumonia and ARDS. Analogous features between idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and COVID-19 suggest partial similarities in their pathophysiology, yet, a head-to-head comparison of pulmonary cell transcriptomes between both conditions has not been implemented to date. METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed single nucleus RNA-seq (snRNA-seq) on frozen lungs from 7 deceased COVID-19 patients, 6 IPF explant lungs and 12 controls. The vascular fraction, comprising 38,794 nuclei, could be subclustered into 14 distinct EC subtypes. Non-vascular cell types, comprising 137,746 nuclei, were subclustered and used for EC-interactome analyses. Pulmonary ECs of deceased COVID-19 patients showed an enrichment of genes involved in cellular stress, as well as signatures suggestive of dampened immunomodulation and impaired vessel wall integrity. In addition, increased abundance of a population of systemic capillary and venous ECs was identified in COVID-19 and IPF. COVID-19 systemic ECs closely resembled their IPF counterparts, and a set of 30 genes was found congruently enriched in systemic ECs across studies. Receptor-ligand interaction analysis of ECs with non-vascular cell types in the pulmonary micro-environment revealed numerous previously unknown interactions specifically enriched/depleted in COVID-19 and/or IPF. CONCLUSIONS: This study uncovered novel insights into the abundance, expression patterns and interactomes of EC subtypes in COVID-19 and IPF, relevant for future investigations into the progression and treatment of both lethal conditions. TRANSLATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: While assessing clinical and molecular characteristics of severe and lethal COVID-19 cases, the vasculature's undeniable role in disease progression has been widely acknowledged. COVID-19 lung pathology moreover shares certain clinical features with late-stage IPF - yet an in-depth interrogation and direct comparison of the endothelium at single-cell level in both conditions is still lacking. By comparing the transcriptomes of ECs from lungs of deceased COVID-19 patients to those from IPF explant and control lungs, we gathered key insights the heterogeneous composition and potential roles of ECs in both lethal diseases, which may serve as a foundation for development of novel therapeutics.

6.
Microorganisms ; 11(3)2023 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2257399

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is partly under control by vaccination. However, highly potent and safe antiviral drugs for SARS-CoV-2 are still needed to avoid development of severe COVID-19. We report the discovery of a small molecule, Z-Tyr-Ala-CHN2, which was identified in a cell-based antiviral screen. The molecule exerts sub-micromolar antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and human coronavirus 229E. Time-of-addition studies reveal that Z-Tyr-Ala-CHN2 acts at the early phase of the infection cycle, which is in line with the observation that the molecule inhibits cathepsin L. This results in antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in VeroE6, A549-hACE2, and HeLa-hACE2 cells, but not in Caco-2 cells or primary human nasal epithelial cells since the latter two cell types also permit entry via transmembrane protease serine subtype 2 (TMPRSS2). Given their cell-specific activity, cathepsin L inhibitors still need to prove their value in the clinic; nevertheless, the activity profile of Z-Tyr-Ala-CHN2 makes it an interesting tool compound for studying the biology of coronavirus entry and replication.

7.
J Mol Struct ; : 134135, 2022 Sep 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2240471

ABSTRACT

Analogs of pyrimidine and 1,3,4-oxadiazole are two well established class of molecules proven as potent antiviral and anticancer agents in the pharmaceutical industry. We envisioned designing new molecules where these two heterocycles were conjugated with the goal of enhancing biological activity. In this vein, we synthesized a series of novel pyrimidine-1,3,4-oxadiazole conjugated hybrid molecules as potential anticancer and antiviral agents. Herein, we present a new design for 5-fluorocytosine-1,3,4-oxadiazole hybrids (5a-h) connected via a methylene bridge. An efficient synthesis of new derivatives was established, and all compounds were fully characterized by NMR and MS. Eight compounds were evaluated for their cytotoxic activity against fibrosarcoma (HT-1080), breast (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231), lung carcinoma (A-549), and for their antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Among all compounds tested, the compound 5e showed marked growth inhibition against all cell lines tested, particularly in HT-1080, with IC50 values of 19.56 µM. Meanwhile, all tested compounds showed no anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, with EC50 >100 µM. The mechanism of cell death was investigated using Annexin V staining, caspase-3/7 activity, and analysis of cell cycle progression. The compound 5e induced apoptosis by the activation of caspase-3/7 and cell-cycle arrest in HT-1080 and A-549 cells at the G2M phase. The molecular docking suggested that the compound 5e activated caspase-3 via the formation of a stable complex protein-ligand.

8.
Molecules ; 28(1)2022 Dec 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2240863

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and dengue fever (DF) pandemics both remain to be significant public health concerns in the foreseeable future. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs and vaccines are both indispensable to eliminate the epidemic situation. Here, two piperazine-based polyphenol derivatives DF-47 and DF-51 were identified as potential inhibitors directly blocking the active site of SARS-CoV-2 and DENV RdRp. Data through RdRp inhibition screening of an in-house library and in vitro antiviral study selected DF-47 and DF-51 as effective inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2/DENV polymerase. Moreover, in silico simulation revealed stable binding modes between the DF-47/DF-51 and SARS-CoV-2/DENV RdRp, respectively, including chelating with Mg2+ near polymerase active site. This work discovered the inhibitory effect of two polyphenols on distinct viral RdRp, which are expected to be developed into broad-spectrum, non-nucleoside RdRp inhibitors with new scaffold.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Polyphenols/pharmacology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation
9.
Chem Sci ; 14(7): 1666-1672, 2023 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2236575

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability of the modern, global society. With expected waves of future infections by SARS-CoV-2, treatment options for infected individuals will be crucial in order to decrease mortality and hospitalizations. The SARS-CoV-2 main protease is a validated drug target, for which the first inhibitor has been approved for use in patients. To facilitate future work on this drug target, we designed a solid-phase synthesis route towards azapeptide activity-based probes that are capped with a cysteine-reactive electrophile for covalent modification of the active site of Mpro. This design led to the most potent ABP for Mpro and one of the most potent inhibitors reported thus far. We demonstrate that this ABP can be used to visualize Mpro activity and target engagement by drugs in infected cells.

10.
Front Pharmacol ; 13: 1072202, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2199120

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir was the first antiviral drug to be approved for the treatment of severe COVID-19; followed by molnupiravir (another prodrug of a nucleoside analogue) and the protease inhibitor nirmatrelvir. Combination of antiviral drugs may result in improved potency and help to avoid or delay the development of resistant variants. We set out to explore the combined antiviral potency of GS-441524 (the parent nucleoside of remdesivir) and molnupiravir against SARS-CoV-2. In SARS-CoV-2 (BA.5) infected A549-Dual™ hACE2-TMPRSS2 cells, the combination resulted in an overall additive antiviral effect with a synergism at certain concentrations. Next, the combined effect was explored in Syrian hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2 (Beta, B.1.351); treatment was started at the time of infection and continued twice daily for four consecutive days. At day 4 post-infection, GS-441524 (50 mg/kg, oral BID) and molnupiravir (150 mg/kg, oral BID) as monotherapy reduced infectious viral loads by 0.5 and 1.6 log10, respectively, compared to the vehicle control. When GS-441524 (50 mg/kg, BID) and molnupiravir (150 mg/kg, BID) were combined, infectious virus was no longer detectable in the lungs of 7 out of 10 of the treated hamsters (4.0 log10 reduction) and titers in the other animals were reduced by ∼2 log10. The combined antiviral activity of molnupiravir which acts by inducing lethal mutagenesis and GS-441524, which acts as a chain termination appears to be highly effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 replication/infectivity. The unexpected potent antiviral effect of the combination warrants further exploration as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

11.
mBio ; 14(1): e0281522, 2023 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2193464

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (3CLpro) has an indispensable role in the viral life cycle and is a therapeutic target for the treatment of COVID-19. The potential of 3CLpro-inhibitors to select for drug-resistant variants needs to be established. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 was passaged in vitro in the presence of increasing concentrations of ALG-097161, a probe compound designed in the context of a 3CLpro drug discovery program. We identified a combination of amino acid substitutions in 3CLpro (L50F E166A L167F) that is associated with a >20× increase in 50% effective concentration (EC50) values for ALG-097161, nirmatrelvir (PF-07321332), PF-00835231, and ensitrelvir. While two of the single substitutions (E166A and L167F) provide low-level resistance to the inhibitors in a biochemical assay, the triple mutant results in the highest levels of resistance (6× to 72×). All substitutions are associated with a significant loss of enzymatic 3CLpro activity, suggesting a reduction in viral fitness. Structural biology analysis indicates that the different substitutions reduce the number of inhibitor/enzyme interactions while the binding of the substrate is maintained. These observations will be important for the interpretation of resistance development to 3CLpro inhibitors in the clinical setting. IMPORTANCE Paxlovid is the first oral antiviral approved for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Antiviral treatments are often associated with the development of drug-resistant viruses. In order to guide the use of novel antivirals, it is essential to understand the risk of resistance development and to characterize the associated changes in the viral genes and proteins. In this work, we describe for the first time a pathway that allows SARS-CoV-2 to develop resistance against Paxlovid in vitro. The characteristics of in vitro antiviral resistance development may be predictive for the clinical situation. Therefore, our work will be important for the management of COVID-19 with Paxlovid and next-generation SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
Antiviral Res ; 210: 105506, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2165061

ABSTRACT

Massive efforts on both vaccine development and antiviral research were launched to combat the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We contributed, amongst others, by the development of a high-throughput screening (HTS) antiviral assay against SARS-CoV-2 using a fully automated, high-containment robot system. Here, we describe the development of this novel, convenient and phenotypic dual-reporter virus-cell-based high-content imaging assay using the A549+hACE2+TMPRSS2_mCherry reporter lung carcinoma cell line and an ancestral SARS-CoV-2_Wuhan_mNeonGreen reporter virus. Briefly, by means of clonal selection, a host cell subclone was selected that (i) efficiently supports replication of the reporter virus with high expression, upon infection, of the NeonGreen fluorescent reporter protein, (ii) that is not affected by virus-induced cytopathogenic effects and, (iii) that expresses a strong fluorescent mCherry signal in the nucleus. The selected clone matched these criteria with an infection rate on average of 75% with limited cell death. The average (R)Z'-factors of the assay plates were all >0.8, which indicates a robust assay suitable for HTS purposes. A selection of reference compounds that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro were used to validate this novel dual-reporter assay and confirms the data reported in the literature. This assay is a convenient and powerful tool for HTS of large compound libraries against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , Humans , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Drug Discovery , Virus Replication
13.
Front Chem ; 10: 1058229, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119726

ABSTRACT

RNA viral infections, including those caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and Venezuelan Equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), pose a major global health challenge. Here, we report the synthesis and screening of a series of pyrrolo[2,3-b]pyridines targeting RSV, SARS-CoV-2 and/or VEEV. From this campaign, a series of lead compounds was generated that demonstrated antiviral activity in the low single-digit micromolar range against the various viruses and did not show cytotoxicity. These findings highlight the potential of 3-alkynyl-5-aryl-7-aza-indoles as a promising chemotype for the development of broad-spectrum antiviral agents.

14.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6644, 2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106406

ABSTRACT

Current COVID-19 vaccines are based on prototypic spike sequences from ancestral 2019 SARS-CoV-2 strains. However, the ongoing pandemic is fueled by variants of concern (VOC) escaping vaccine-mediated protection. Here we demonstrate how immunization in hamsters using prototypic spike expressed from yellow fever 17D (YF17D) as vector blocks ancestral virus (B lineage) and VOC Alpha (B.1.1.7) yet fails to fully protect from Beta (B.1.351). However, the same YF17D vectored vaccine candidate with an evolved antigen induced considerably improved neutralizing antibody responses against VOCs Beta, Gamma (P.1) and the recently predominant Omicron (B.1.1.529), while maintaining immunogenicity against ancestral virus and VOC Delta (B.1.617.2). Thus vaccinated animals resisted challenge by all VOCs, including vigorous high titre exposure to the most difficult to cover Beta, Delta and Omicron variants, eliminating detectable virus and markedly improving lung pathology. Finally, vaccinated hamsters did not transmit Delta variant to non-vaccinated cage mates. Overall, our data illustrate how current first-generation COVID-19 vaccines may need to be updated to maintain efficacy against emerging VOCs and their spread at community level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Yellow Fever Vaccine , Cricetinae , Animals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
15.
Neuron ; 2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2105658

ABSTRACT

Can SARS-CoV-2 hitchhike on the olfactory projection and take a direct and short route from the nose into the brain? We reasoned that the neurotropic or neuroinvasive capacity of the virus, if it exists, should be most easily detectable in individuals who died in an acute phase of the infection. Here, we applied a postmortem bedside surgical procedure for the rapid procurement of tissue, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid samples from deceased COVID-19 patients infected with the Delta, Omicron BA.1, or Omicron BA.2 variants. Confocal imaging of sections stained with fluorescence RNAscope and immunohistochemistry afforded the light-microscopic visualization of extracellular SARS-CoV-2 virions in tissues. We failed to find evidence for viral invasion of the parenchyma of the olfactory bulb and the frontal lobe of the brain. Instead, we identified anatomical barriers at vulnerable interfaces, exemplified by perineurial olfactory nerve fibroblasts enwrapping olfactory axon fascicles in the lamina propria of the olfactory mucosa.

16.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 9: 964512, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099115

ABSTRACT

Recovered COVID-19 patients often display cardiac dysfunction, even after a mild infection. Most current histological results come from patients that are hospitalized and therefore represent more severe outcomes than most COVID-19 patients face. To overcome this limitation, we investigated the cardiac effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a hamster model. SARS-CoV-2 infected hamsters developed diastolic dysfunction after recovering from COVID-19. Histologically, increased cardiomyocyte size was present at the peak of viral load and remained at all time points investigated. As this increase is too rapid for hypertrophic remodeling, we found instead that the heart was oedemic. Moreover, cardiomyocyte swelling is associated with the presence of ischemia. Fibrin-rich microthrombi and pericyte loss were observed at the peak of viral load, resulting in increased HIF1α in cardiomyocytes. Surprisingly, SARS-CoV-2 infection inhibited the translocation of HIF1α to the nucleus both in hamster hearts, in cultured cardiomyocytes, as well as in an epithelial cell line. We propose that the observed diastolic dysfunction is the consequence of cardiac oedema, downstream of microvascular cardiac ischemia. Additionally, our data suggest that inhibition of HIF1α translocation could contribute to an exaggerated response upon SARS-CoV-2 infection.

17.
Science ; 378(6620): 619-627, 2022 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2078696

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages carry distinct spike mutations resulting in escape from antibodies induced by previous infection or vaccination. We show that hybrid immunity or vaccine boosters elicit plasma-neutralizing antibodies against Omicron BA.1, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, and BA.4/5, and that breakthrough infections, but not vaccination alone, induce neutralizing antibodies in the nasal mucosa. Consistent with immunological imprinting, most antibodies derived from memory B cells or plasma cells of Omicron breakthrough cases cross-react with the Wuhan-Hu-1, BA.1, BA.2, and BA.4/5 receptor-binding domains, whereas Omicron primary infections elicit B cells of narrow specificity up to 6 months after infection. Although most clinical antibodies have reduced neutralization of Omicron, we identified an ultrapotent pan-variant-neutralizing antibody that is a strong candidate for clinical development.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Humans , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Memory B Cells/immunology
18.
Mol Divers ; 2022 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2075500

ABSTRACT

A new series of 3-acetyl-1,3,4-oxadiazoline hybrid molecules was designed and synthesized using a condensation between acyclonucleosides and substituted phenylhydrazone. All intermediates and final products were screened against Leishmania donovani, a Protozoan parasite and against three viruses SARS-CoV-2, HCMV and VZV. While no significant activity was observed against the viruses, the intermediate with 6-azatymine as thymine and 5-azathymine-3-acetyl-1,3,4-oxadiazoline hybrid exhibited a significant antileishmanial activity. The later compound was the most promising, exhibiting an IC50 value at 8.98 µM on L. donovani intramacrophage amastigotes and a moderate selectivity index value at 2.4.

19.
J Med Chem ; 65(19): 13328-13342, 2022 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050247

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent behind the COVID-19 pandemic. The main protease (Mpro, 3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is a key enzyme that processes polyproteins translated from the viral RNA. Mpro is therefore an attractive target for the design of inhibitors that block viral replication. We report the diastereomeric resolution of the previously designed SARS-CoV-2 Mpro α-ketoamide inhibitor 13b. The pure (S,S,S)-diastereomer, 13b-K, displays an IC50 of 120 nM against the Mpro and EC50 values of 0.8-3.4 µM for antiviral activity in different cell types. Crystal structures have been elucidated for the Mpro complexes with each of the major diastereomers, the active (S,S,S)-13b (13b-K), and the nearly inactive (R,S,S)-13b (13b-H); results for the latter reveal a novel binding mode. Pharmacokinetic studies show good levels of 13b-K after inhalative as well as after peroral administration. The active inhibitor (13b-K) is a promising candidate for further development as an antiviral treatment for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , Polyproteins , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
20.
EBioMedicine ; 83: 104195, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2035960

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, a critical component of the kallikrein-kinin system. Its dysregulation may lead to increased vascular permeability and release of inflammatory chemokines. Interactions between the kallikrein-kinin and the coagulation system might further contribute to thromboembolic complications in COVID-19. METHODS: In this observational study, we measured plasma and tissue kallikrein hydrolytic activity, levels of kinin peptides, and myeloperoxidase (MPO)-DNA complexes as a biomarker for neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from patients with and without COVID-19. FINDINGS: In BAL fluid from patients with severe COVID-19 (n = 21, of which 19 were mechanically ventilated), we observed higher tissue kallikrein activity (18·2 pM [1·2-1535·0], median [range], n = 9 vs 3·8 [0·0-22·0], n = 11; p = 0·030), higher levels of the kinin peptide bradykinin-(1-5) (89·6 [0·0-2425·0], n = 21 vs 0·0 [0·0-374·0], n = 19, p = 0·001), and higher levels of MPO-DNA complexes (699·0 ng/mL [66·0-142621·0], n = 21 vs 70·5 [9·9-960·0], n = 19, p < 0·001) compared to patients without COVID-19. INTERPRETATION: Our observations support the hypothesis that dysregulation of the kallikrein-kinin system might occur in mechanically ventilated patients with severe pulmonary disease, which might help to explain the clinical presentation of patients with severe COVID-19 developing pulmonary oedema and thromboembolic complications. Therefore, targeting the kallikrein-kinin system should be further explored as a potential treatment option for patients with severe COVID-19. FUNDING: Research Foundation-Flanders (G0G4720N, 1843418N), KU Leuven COVID research fund.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Kallikrein-Kinin System , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Bradykinin , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , Humans , Kallikreins/metabolism , Peroxidase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Tissue Kallikreins/metabolism
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