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Nature ; 599(7884): 283-289, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404888


Derailed cytokine and immune cell networks account for the organ damage and the clinical severity of COVID-19 (refs. 1-4). Here we show that SARS-CoV-2, like other viruses, evokes cellular senescence as a primary stress response in infected cells. Virus-induced senescence (VIS) is indistinguishable from other forms of cellular senescence and is accompanied by a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which comprises pro-inflammatory cytokines, extracellular-matrix-active factors and pro-coagulatory mediators5-7. Patients with COVID-19 displayed markers of senescence in their airway mucosa in situ and increased serum levels of SASP factors. In vitro assays demonstrated macrophage activation with SASP-reminiscent secretion, complement lysis and SASP-amplifying secondary senescence of endothelial cells, which mirrored hallmark features of COVID-19 such as macrophage and neutrophil infiltration, endothelial damage and widespread thrombosis in affected lung tissue1,8,9. Moreover, supernatant from VIS cells, including SARS-CoV-2-induced senescence, induced neutrophil extracellular trap formation and activation of platelets and the clotting cascade. Senolytics such as navitoclax and a combination of dasatinib plus quercetin selectively eliminated VIS cells, mitigated COVID-19-reminiscent lung disease and reduced inflammation in SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters and mice. Our findings mark VIS as a pathogenic trigger of COVID-19-related cytokine escalation and organ damage, and suggest that senolytic targeting of virus-infected cells is a treatment option against SARS-CoV-2 and perhaps other viral infections.

COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cellular Senescence/drug effects , Molecular Targeted Therapy , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Aniline Compounds/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Dasatinib/pharmacology , Dasatinib/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Quercetin/pharmacology , Quercetin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/metabolism
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374538


The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has required the development of multiple testing systems to monitor and control the viral infection. Here, we developed a PCR test to screen COVID-19 infections that can process up to ~180 samples per day without the requirement of robotics. For this purpose, we implemented the use of multichannel pipettes and plate magnetics for the RNA extraction step and combined the reverse transcription with the qPCR within one step. We tested the performance of two RT-qPCR kits as well as different sampling buffers and showed that samples taken in NaCl or PBS are stable and compatible with different COVID-19 testing systems. Finally, we designed a new internal control based on the human RNase P gene that does not require a DNA digestion step. Our protocol is easy to handle and reaches the sensitivity and accuracy of the standardized diagnostic protocols used in the clinic to detect COVID-19 infections.

COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Load
Wien Med Wochenschr ; 2021 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286151


BACKGROUND: In December 2019, the new virus infection coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged. Simple clinical risk scores may improve the management of COVID-19 patients. Therefore, the aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) score, which is well established for other diseases, as an early risk assessment tool predicting a severe course of COVID-19. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed data from adult COVID-19 patients hospitalized between March and July 2020. A critical disease progress was defined as admission to intensive care unit (ICU) or death. RESULTS: Of 64 COVID-19 patients, 33% (21/64) had a critical disease progression from which 13 patients had to be transferred to ICU. The COVID-19-associated mortality rate was 20%, increasing to 39% after ICU admission. All patients without a critical progress had a qSOFA score ≤ 1 at admission. Patients with a critical progress had in only 14% (3/21) and in 20% (3/15) of cases a qSOFA score ≥ 2 at admission (p = 0.023) or when measured directly before critical progression, respectively, while 95% (20/21) of patients with critical progress had an impairment oxygen saturation (SO2) at admission time requiring oxygen supplementation. CONCLUSION: A low qSOFA score cannot be used to assume short-term stable or noncritical disease status in COVID-19.