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1.
Sci Adv ; 8(8): eabi6110, 2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714330

ABSTRACT

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for new treatments. Here we report that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cells and mice. CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD, but not THC or other congeneric cannabinoids tested, potently block SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells. CBD acts after viral entry, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. CBD inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in part by up-regulating the host IRE1α RNase endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and interferon signaling pathways. In matched groups of human patients from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, CBD (100 mg/ml oral solution per medical records) had a significant negative association with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. This study highlights CBD as a potential preventative agent for early-stage SARS-CoV-2 infection and merits future clinical trials. We caution against use of non-medical formulations including edibles, inhalants or topicals as a preventative or treatment therapy at the present time.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cannabidiol/pharmacology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cannabidiol/chemistry , Cannabidiol/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress/drug effects , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Mice , /metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524223

ABSTRACT

We developed a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate (CoV-RBD121-NP) comprised of a tobacco mosaic virus-like nanoparticle conjugated to the receptor-binding domain of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 fused to a human IgG1 Fc domain. CoV-RBD121-NP elicits strong antibody responses in C57BL/6 mice and is stable for up to 12 months at 2-8 or 22-28 °C. Here, we showed that this vaccine induces a strong neutralizing antibody response in K18-hACE2 mice. Furthermore, we demonstrated that immunization protects mice from virus-associated mortality and symptomatic disease. Our data indicated that a sufficient pre-existing pool of neutralizing antibodies is required to restrict SARS-CoV-2 replication upon exposure and prevent induction of inflammatory mediators associated with severe disease. Finally, we identified a potential role for CXCL5 as a protective cytokine in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our results suggested that disruption of the CXCL5 and CXCL1/2 axis may be important early components of the inflammatory dysregulation that is characteristic of severe cases of COVID-19.

3.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18285, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410888

ABSTRACT

Serological assays intended for diagnosis, sero-epidemiologic assessment, and measurement of protective antibody titers upon infection or vaccination are essential for managing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Serological assays measuring the antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 antigens are readily available. However, some lack appropriate characteristics to accurately measure SARS-CoV-2 antibodies titers and neutralization. We developed an Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) methods for measuring IgG, IgA, and IgM responses to SARS-CoV-2, Spike (S), receptor binding domain (RBD), and nucleocapsid (N) proteins. Performance characteristics of sensitivity and specificity have been defined. ELISA results show positive correlation with microneutralization and Plaque Reduction Neutralization assays with infectious SARS-CoV-2. Our ELISA was used to screen healthcare workers in Louisville, KY during the first wave of the local pandemic in the months of May and July 2020. We found a seropositive rate of approximately 1.4% and 2.3%, respectively. Our analyses demonstrate a broad immune response among individuals and suggest some non-RBD specific S IgG and IgA antibodies neutralize SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Kentucky/epidemiology , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 15715, 2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341011

ABSTRACT

Key elements for viral pathogenesis include viral strains, viral load, co-infection, and host responses. Several studies analyzing these factors in the function of disease severity of have been published; however, no studies have shown how all of these factors interplay within a defined cohort. To address this important question, we sought to understand how these four key components interplay in a cohort of COVID-19 patients. We determined the viral loads and gene expression using high throughput sequencing and various virological methods. We found that viral loads in the upper respiratory tract in COVID-19 patients at an early phase of infection vary widely. While the majority of nasopharyngeal (NP) samples have a viral load lower than the limit of detection of infectious viruses, there are samples with an extraordinary amount of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and a high viral titer. No specific viral factors were identified that are associated with high viral loads. Host gene expression analysis showed that viral loads were strongly correlated with cellular antiviral responses. Interestingly, however, COVID-19 patients who experience mild symptoms have a higher viral load than those with severe complications, indicating that naso-pharyngeal viral load may not be a key factor of the clinical outcomes of COVID-19. The metagenomics analysis revealed that the microflora in the upper respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients with high viral loads were dominated by SARS-CoV-2, with a high degree of dysbiosis. Finally, we found a strong inverse correlation between upregulation of interferon responses and disease severity. Overall our study suggests that a high viral load in the upper respiratory tract may not be a critical factor for severe symptoms; rather, dampened antiviral responses may be a critical factor for a severe outcome from the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Interferons/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Dysbiosis/etiology , Female , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Microbiota/genetics , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory System/microbiology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation , Viral Load
5.
Science ; 373(6557): 931-936, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319369

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for antiviral agents that treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. We screened a library of 1900 clinically safe drugs against OC43, a human beta coronavirus that causes the common cold, and evaluated the top hits against SARS-CoV-2. Twenty drugs significantly inhibited replication of both viruses in cultured human cells. Eight of these drugs inhibited the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, 3CLpro, with the most potent being masitinib, an orally bioavailable tyrosine kinase inhibitor. X-ray crystallography and biochemistry show that masitinib acts as a competitive inhibitor of 3CLpro. Mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 and then treated with masitinib showed >200-fold reduction in viral titers in the lungs and nose, as well as reduced lung inflammation. Masitinib was also effective in vitro against all tested variants of concern (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1).


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thiazoles/pharmacology , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Benzamides , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Piperidines , Pyridines , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thiazoles/chemistry , Thiazoles/metabolism , Thiazoles/therapeutic use , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
6.
Mol Ther ; 29(8): 2424-2440, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225433

ABSTRACT

Lung inflammation is a hallmark of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study, we show that mice develop inflamed lung tissue after being administered exosomes released from the lung epithelial cells exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Nsp12 and Nsp13 (exosomesNsp12Nsp13). Mechanistically, we show that exosomesNsp12Nsp13 are taken up by lung macrophages, leading to activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and the subsequent induction of an array of inflammatory cytokines. Induction of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-1ß from exosomesNsp12Nsp13-activated lung macrophages contributes to inducing apoptosis in lung epithelial cells. Induction of exosomesNsp12Nsp13-mediated lung inflammation was abolished with ginger exosome-like nanoparticle (GELN) microRNA (miRNA aly-miR396a-5p. The role of GELNs in inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) was further demonstrated via GELN aly-miR396a-5p- and rlcv-miR-rL1-28-3p-mediated inhibition of expression of Nsp12 and spike genes, respectively. Taken together, our results reveal exosomesNsp12Nsp13 as potentially important contributors to the development of lung inflammation, and GELNs are a potential therapeutic agent to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Exosomes/metabolism , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Plants/metabolism , Pneumonia/metabolism , A549 Cells , Animals , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokines/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , NF-kappa B/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , U937 Cells , Vero Cells
8.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 171: 112709, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-838449

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and has caused over 550,000 deaths worldwide as of July 2020. Accurate and scalable point-of-care devices would increase screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of COVID-19 patients. Here, we demonstrate rapid label-free electrochemical detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using a commercially available impedance sensing platform. A 16-well plate containing sensing electrodes was pre-coated with receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and subsequently tested with samples of anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody CR3022 (0.1 µg/ml, 1.0 µg/ml, 10 µg/ml). Subsequent blinded testing was performed on six serum specimens taken from COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients (1:100 dilution factor). The platform was able to differentiate spikes in impedance measurements from a negative control (1% milk solution) for all CR3022 samples. Further, successful differentiation and detection of all positive clinical samples from negative control was achieved. Measured impedance values were consistent when compared to standard ELISA test results showing a strong correlation between them (R2=0.9). Detection occurs in less than five minutes and the well-based platform provides a simplified and familiar testing interface that can be readily adaptable for use in clinical settings.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Dielectric Spectroscopy/instrumentation , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biosensing Techniques/economics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/economics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dielectric Spectroscopy/economics , Electric Impedance , Equipment Design , Humans , Immobilized Proteins/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
9.
J Infect Dis ; 221(Supplement_4): S480-S492, 2020 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-827906

ABSTRACT

Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic zoonotic paramyxovirus that causes fatal encephalitis and respiratory disease in humans. There is currently no approved therapeutic for human use against NiV infection. Griffithsin (GRFT) is high-mannose oligosaccharide binding lectin that has shown in vivo broad-spectrum activity against viruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, human immunodeficiency virus 1, hepatitis C virus, and Japanese encephalitis virus. In this study, we evaluated the in vitro antiviral activities of GRFT and its synthetic trimeric tandemer (3mG) against NiV and other viruses from 4 virus families. The 3mG had comparatively greater potency than GRFT against NiV due to its enhanced ability to block NiV glycoprotein-induced syncytia formation. Our initial in vivo prophylactic evaluation of an oxidation-resistant GRFT (Q-GRFT) showed significant protection against lethal NiV challenge in Syrian golden hamsters. Our results warrant further development of Q-GRFT and 3mG as potential NiV therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Henipavirus Infections/drug therapy , Nipah Virus/drug effects , Plant Lectins/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Henipavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Mesocricetus , Nipah Virus/isolation & purification , Plant Lectins/therapeutic use , Vero Cells
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