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1.
Journal of infection and public health ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1842616

ABSTRACT

Background Rheumatic diseases patients receiving Rituximab had severe COVID-19 disease. Although they had impaired humoral immune responses following COVID-19 vaccine, they had preserved cellular immune responses. Waning of COVID-19 antibody responses was observed within six months post vaccination among immunocompromised patients. Recent reports showed fatal outcome of breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections among vaccinated high-risk rheumatic diseases patients receiving Rituximab. SAR-CoV-2 serological tests were not performed. Objective Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine humoral responses and breakthrough infections among low risk fully vaccinated rheumatic patients during the Delta Variant Era. Methods A case series of 19 fully vaccinated patients with rheumatic diseases were followed to determine post vaccine SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers and to monitor the development of breakthrough infections up to eight months post vaccine at our tertiary care center in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 1st April until 30th November 2021. Results The mean age of patients was 49 years old. 10% of patients were receiving Rituximab. 73% of patients had positive SARS-CoV-2 serological testing post second vaccine. Two mild breakthrough COVID-19 infections were diagnosed six months post second dose of vaccine. Patients were less than 65 years, did not receive Rituximab, did not have interstitial lung diseases and had positive post vaccine serological testing. Conclusions We demonstrated high SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies seroprevalence and self-limiting breakthrough infections in low risk rheumatic diseases patients during the Delta Era. Future studies are needed to study the outcome of rheumatic diseases patients in the Era of Omicron in view of viral immune escape responses.

2.
PeerJ ; 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1837394

ABSTRACT

Importance The rise of novel, more infectious SARS-CoV-2 variants has made clear the need to rapidly deploy large-scale testing for COVID-19 to protect public health. However, testing remains limited due to shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), naso- and oropharyngeal swabs, and healthcare workers. Simple test methods are needed to enhance COVID-19 screening. Here, we describe a simple, and inexpensive spit-test for COVID-19 screening called Patient Self-Collection of Sample-CoV2 (PSCS-CoV2). Objective To evaluate an affordable and convenient test for COVID-19. Methods The collection method relies on deep throat sputum (DTS) self-collected by the subject without the use of swabs, and was hence termed the Self-Collection of Sample for SARS-CoV-2 (abbreviated PSCS-CoV2). We used a phenol-chloroform extraction method for the viral RNA. We then tested for SARS-CoV-2 using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction with primers against at least two coding regions of the viral nucleocapsid protein (N1 and N2 or E) of SARS-CoV-2. We evaluted the sensitivity and specificity of our protocol. In addition we assess the limit of detection, and efficacy of our Viral Inactivating Solution. We also evaluated our protocol, and pooling strategy from volunteers on a local college campus. Results We show that the PSCS-CoV2 method accurately identified 42 confirmed COVID-19 positives, which were confirmed through the nasopharyngeal swabbing method of an FDA approved testing facility. For samples negative for COVID-19, we show that the cycle threshold for N1, N2, and RP are similar between the PSCS-CoV2 and nasopharynx swab collection method (n = 30). We found a sensitivity of 100% (95% Confidence Interval [CI], 92-100) and specifity of 100% (95% CI, 89-100) for our PSCS-CoV2 method. We determined our protocol has a limit of detection of 1/10,000 for DTS from a COVID-19 patient. In addition, we show field data of the PSCS-CoV2 method on a college campus. Ten of the twelve volunteers (N1 < 30) that we tested as positive were subsequently tested positive by an independent laboratory. Finally, we show proof of concept of a pooling strategy to test for COVID-19, and recommend pool sizes of four if the positivity rate is less than 15%. Conclusion and Relevance We developed a DTS-based protocol for COVID-19 testing with high sensitivity and specificity. This protocol can be used by non-debilitated adults without the assistance of another adult, or by non-debilitated children with the assistance of a parent or guardian. We also discuss pooling strategies based on estimated positivity rates to help conserve resources, time, and increase throughput. The PSCS-CoV2 method can be a key component of community-wide efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

3.
Vet Pathol ; : 3009858221095270, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820036

ABSTRACT

Emerging and re-emerging human coronaviruses (hCoVs) cause severe respiratory illness in humans, but the basis for lethal pneumonia in these diseases is not well understood. Alveolar macrophages (AMs) are key orchestrators of host antiviral defense and tissue tolerance during a variety of respiratory infections, and AM dysfunction is associated with severe COVID-19. In this study, using a mouse model of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, we examined the role of AMs in MERS pathogenesis. Our results show that depletion of AMs using clodronate (CL) liposomes significantly increased morbidity and mortality in human dipeptidyl peptidase 4 knock-in (hDPP4-KI) mice. Detailed examination of control and AM-depleted lungs at different days postinfection revealed increased neutrophil activity but a significantly reduced MERS-CoV-specific CD4 T-cell response in AM-deficient lungs during later stages of infection. Furthermore, enhanced MERS severity in AM-depleted mice correlated with lung inflammation and lesions. Collectively, these data demonstrate that AMs are critical for the development of an optimal virus-specific T-cell response and controlling excessive inflammation during MERS-CoV infection.

4.
Nature ; 605(7908): 146-151, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815561

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is especially severe in aged populations1. Vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are highly effective, but vaccine efficacy is partly compromised by the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with enhanced transmissibility2. The emergence of these variants emphasizes the need for further development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapies, especially for aged populations. Here we describe the isolation of highly virulent mouse-adapted viruses and use them to test a new therapeutic drug in infected aged animals. Many of the alterations observed in SARS-CoV-2 during mouse adaptation (positions 417, 484, 493, 498 and 501 of the spike protein) also arise in humans in variants of concern2. Their appearance during mouse adaptation indicates that immune pressure is not required for selection. For murine SARS, for which severity is also age dependent, elevated levels of an eicosanoid (prostaglandin D2 (PGD2)) and a phospholipase (phospholipase A2 group 2D (PLA2G2D)) contributed to poor outcomes in aged mice3,4. mRNA expression of PLA2G2D and prostaglandin D2 receptor (PTGDR), and production of PGD2 also increase with ageing and after SARS-CoV-2 infection in dendritic cells derived from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Using our mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2, we show that middle-aged mice lacking expression of PTGDR or PLA2G2D are protected from severe disease. Furthermore, treatment with a PTGDR antagonist, asapiprant, protected aged mice from lethal infection. PTGDR antagonism is one of the first interventions in SARS-CoV-2-infected animals that specifically protects aged animals, suggesting that the PLA2G2D-PGD2/PTGDR pathway is a useful target for therapeutic interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Eicosanoids , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Mice , Organic Chemicals , Oxazoles , Piperazines , Polyesters , Prostaglandins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Sulfonamides
6.
Transl Res ; 2022 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805281

ABSTRACT

Multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants are identified with higher rates of transmissibility or greater disease severity. Particularly, recent emergence of Omicron variant with rapid human-to-human transmission posts new challenges to the current prevention strategies. In this study, following vaccination with an mRNA vaccine encoding SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD-mRNA), we detected serum antibodies that neutralized pseudoviruses expressing spike (S) protein harboring single or multiple mutations, as well as authentic SARS-CoV-2 variants, and evaluated its protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The vaccine induced durable antibodies that potently neutralized prototypic strain and B.1.1.7 lineage variant pseudoviruses containing N501Y or D614G mutations alone or in combination with a N439K mutation (B.1.258 lineage), with a L452R mutation (B.1.427 or B.1.429 lineage), or a L452R-E484Q double mutation (B.1.617.1 variant), although neutralizing activity against B.1.1.7 lineage variant containing 10 amino acid changes in the S protein was slightly reduced. The RBD-mRNA-induced antibodies exerted moderate neutralization against authentic B.1.617.2 and B.1.1.529 variants, and pseudotyped B.1.351 and P.1 lineage variants containing K417N/T, E484K, and N501Y mutations, the B.1.617.2 lineage variant harboring L452R, T478K, and P681R mutations, and the B.1.1.529 lineage variant containing 38 mutations in the S protein. Particularly, RBD-mRNA vaccine completely protected mice from challenge with a virulent mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 variant. Among these lineages, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.617.2, and B.1.1.529 belong to Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron variants, respectively. Our observations reveal that RBD-mRNA vaccine is promising and highlights the need to design novel vaccines with improved neutralization against current and future pandemic SARS-CoV-2 variants.

7.
Cell Rep ; 39(5): 110786, 2022 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797092

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve into variants of concern (VOC), with greatest variability in the multidomain, entry-facilitating spike proteins. To recognize the significance of adaptive spike protein changes, we compare variant SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in several assays reflecting authentic virus-cell entry. Virus particles with adaptive changes in spike amino-terminal domains (NTDs) are hypersensitive to proteolytic activation of membrane fusion, an essential step in virus-cell entry. Proteolysis is within fusion domains (FDs), at sites over 10 nm from the VOC-specific NTD changes, indicating allosteric inter-domain control of fusion activation. In addition, NTD-specific antibodies block FD cleavage, membrane fusion, and virus-cell entry, suggesting restriction of inter-domain communication as a neutralization mechanism. Finally, using structure-guided mutagenesis, we identify an inter-monomer ß sheet structure that facilitates NTD-to-FD transmissions and subsequent fusion activation. This NTD-to-FD axis that sensitizes viruses to infection and to NTD-specific antibody neutralization provides new context for understanding selective forces driving SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Communication , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization
8.
J Immunol ; 208(8): 1989-1997, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776403

ABSTRACT

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are critical for regulating immunopathogenic responses in a variety of infections, including infection of mice with JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV), a neurotropic coronavirus that causes immune-mediated demyelinating disease. Although virus-specific Tregs are known to mitigate disease in this infection by suppressing pathogenic effector T cell responses of the same specificity, it is unclear whether these virus-specific Tregs form memory populations and persist similar to their conventional T cell counterparts of the same epitope specificity. Using congenically labeled JHMV-specific Tregs, we found that virus-specific Tregs persist long-term after murine infection, through at least 180 d postinfection and stably maintain Foxp3 expression. We additionally demonstrate that these cells are better able to proliferate and inhibit virus-specific T cell responses postinfection than naive Tregs of the same specificity, further suggesting that these cells differentiate into memory Tregs upon encountering cognate Ag. Taken together, these data suggest that virus-specific Tregs are able to persist long-term in the absence of viral Ag as memory Tregs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Murine hepatitis virus , Animals , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Mice , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
9.
Cell Res ; 32(5): 421-422, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751710
10.
J Biol Chem ; 297(6): 101362, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751075

ABSTRACT

The Nsp9 replicase is a conserved coronaviral protein that acts as an essential accessory component of the multi-subunit viral replication/transcription complex. Nsp9 is the predominant substrate for the essential nucleotidylation activity of Nsp12. Compounds specifically interfering with this viral activity would facilitate its study. Using a native mass-spectrometry-based approach to screen a natural product library for Nsp9 binders, we identified an ent-kaurane natural product, oridonin, capable of binding to purified SARS-CoV-2 Nsp9 with micromolar affinities. By determining the crystal structure of the Nsp9-oridonin complex, we showed that oridonin binds through a conserved site near Nsp9's C-terminal GxxxG-helix. In enzymatic assays, oridonin's binding to Nsp9 reduces its potential to act as substrate for Nsp12's Nidovirus RdRp-Associated Nucleotidyl transferase (NiRAN) domain. We also showed using in vitro cellular assays oridonin, while cytotoxic at higher doses has broad antiviral activity, reducing viral titer following infection with either SARS-CoV-2 or, to a lesser extent, MERS-CoV. Accordingly, these preliminary findings suggest that the oridonin molecular scaffold may have the potential to be developed into an antiviral compound to inhibit the function of Nsp9 during coronaviral replication.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Diterpenes, Kaurane/pharmacology , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diterpenes, Kaurane/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
11.
mBio ; : e0366221, 2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741579

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Understanding the immunological and pathological processes of coronavirus diseases is crucial for the rational design of effective vaccines and therapies for COVID-19. Previous studies showed that 2'-O-methylation of the viral RNA cap structure is required to prevent the recognition of viral RNAs by intracellular innate sensors. Here, we demonstrate that the guanine N7-methylation of the 5' cap mediated by coronavirus nonstructural protein 14 (nsp14) contributes to viral evasion of the type I interferon (IFN-I)-mediated immune response and pathogenesis in mice. A Y414A substitution in nsp14 of the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) significantly decreased N7-methyltransferase activity and reduced guanine N7-methylation of the 5' cap in vitro. Infection of myeloid cells with recombinant MHV harboring the nsp14-Y414A mutation (rMHVnsp14-Y414A) resulted in upregulated expression of IFN-I and ISG15 mainly via MDA5 signaling and in reduced viral replication compared to that of wild-type rMHV. rMHVnsp14-Y414A replicated to lower titers in livers and brains and exhibited an attenuated phenotype in mice. This attenuated phenotype was IFN-I dependent because the virulence of the rMHVnsp14-Y414A mutant was restored in Ifnar-/- mice. We further found that the comparable mutation (Y420A) in SARS-CoV-2 nsp14 (rSARS-CoV-2nsp14-Y420A) also significantly decreased N7-methyltransferase activity in vitro, and the mutant virus was attenuated in K18-human ACE2 transgenic mice. Moreover, infection with rSARS-CoV-2nsp14-Y420A conferred complete protection against subsequent and otherwise lethal SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice, indicating the vaccine potential of this mutant. IMPORTANCE Coronaviruses (CoVs), including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, use several strategies to evade the host innate immune responses. While the cap structure of RNA, including CoV RNA, is important for translation, previous studies indicate that the cap also contributes to viral evasion from the host immune response. In this study, we demonstrate that the N7-methylated cap structure of CoV RNA is pivotal for virus immunoevasion. Using recombinant MHV and SARS-CoV-2 encoding an inactive N7-methyltransferase, we demonstrate that these mutant viruses are highly attenuated in vivo and that attenuation is apparent at very early times after infection. Virulence is restored in mice lacking interferon signaling. Further, we show that infection with virus defective in N7-methylation protects mice from lethal SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that the N7-methylase might be a useful target in drug and vaccine development.

12.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(1): e1010161, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703195

ABSTRACT

The global response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is now facing new challenges such as vaccine inequity and the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs). Preclinical models of disease, in particular animal models, are essential to investigate VOC pathogenesis, vaccine correlates of protection and postexposure therapies. Here, we provide an update from the World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 modeling expert group (WHO-COM) assembled by WHO, regarding advances in preclinical models. In particular, we discuss how animal model research is playing a key role to evaluate VOC virulence, transmission and immune escape, and how animal models are being refined to recapitulate COVID-19 demographic variables such as comorbidities and age.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2 , Age Factors , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Comorbidity , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
13.
Journal of Virology ; 96(3):1-10, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1678986

ABSTRACT

Research activities with infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are currently permitted only under biosafety level 3 (BSL3) containment. Here, we report the development of a single-cycle infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus replicon particle (VRP) system with a luciferase and green fluorescent protein (GFP) dual reporter that can be safely handled in BSL2 laboratories to study SARS-CoV-2 biology. The spike (S) gene of SARS-CoV-2 encodes the envelope glycoprotein, which is essential for mediating infection of new host cells. Through deletion and replacement of this essential S gene with a luciferase and GFP dual reporter, we have generated a conditional SARSCoV-2 mutant (DS-VRP) that produces infectious particles only in cells expressing a viral envelope glycoprotein of choice. Interestingly, we observed more efficient production of infectious particles in cells expressing vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) glycoprotein G [DSVRP(G)] than in cells expressing other viral glycoproteins, including S. We confirmed that infection from DS-VRP(G) is limited to a single round and can be neutralized by anti-VSV serum. In our studies with DS-VRP(G), we observed robust expression of both luciferase and GFP reporters in various human and murine cell types, demonstrating that a broad variety of cells can support intracellular replication of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, treatment of DS-VRP(G)-infected cells with either of the anti-CoV drugs remdesivir (nucleoside analog) and GC376 (CoV 3CL protease inhibitor) resulted in a robust decrease in both luciferase and GFP expression in a drug dose- and cell-type-dependent manner. Taken together, our findings show that we have developed a single-cycle infectious SARS-CoV-2 VRP system that serves as a versatile platform to study SARS-CoV-2 intracellular biology and to perform high-throughput screening of antiviral drugs under BSL2 containment. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Virology is the property of American Society for Microbiology and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

14.
Journal of biomolecular techniques : JBT ; 32(3):102-113, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1619409

ABSTRACT

Conventional reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) technology has struggled to fulfill the unprecedented need for diagnostic testing created by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Complexity and cost hinder access to testing, and long turnaround time decreases its utility. To ameliorate these issues, we focus on saliva and introduce several advances to colorimetric reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) technology;RT-LAMP offers a minimal equipment alternative to RT-qPCR. First, we validated the use of the novel dye LAMPShade Violet (LSV), which improves the visual clarity and contrast of the colorimetric readout. Second, we compared different inactivation conditions on infectivity and RNA yield from saliva. Third, we developed a 10-minute RNA purification protocol from saliva. We call this magnetic bead protocol SalivaBeads. Finally, we developed a magnetic stick, StickLAMP, which provides reliable bead-based RNA purification as well as simple and low-cost access to scalable testing from saliva.

15.
Curr Opin Virol ; 52: 258-264, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611679

ABSTRACT

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is the second of three zoonotic coronaviruses to infect humans since 2002, causing severe pneumonia. Unlike SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, the causes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome and Covid-19, respectively, MERS-CoV is enzootic in dromedary camels, a domestic/companion animal present across Africa, the Middle East and Central or South Asia and is sporadically transmitted to humans. However, it does not transmit readily from human to human except in hospital and household settings. Human MERS disease is reported only from the Arabian Peninsula (and only since 2012 even though the virus was detected in camels from at least the early 1990's) and in travelers from this region. Remarkably, no zoonotic MERS disease has been detected in Africa or Asia, even in areas of high density of MERS-CoV infected dromedaries. Here, we review aspects of MERS biology and epidemiology that might contribute to this lack of correlation between sites of camel infection and human zoonotic disease. Since MERS-CoV or MERS-like CoV have pandemic potential, further investigations into this disparity is critical, to forestall pandemics caused by this virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Animals , Camelus , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses/epidemiology
16.
Lancet Neurol ; 20(9): 753-761, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599333

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mechanisms by which any upper respiratory virus, including SARS-CoV-2, impairs chemosensory function are not known. COVID-19 is frequently associated with olfactory dysfunction after viral infection, which provides a research opportunity to evaluate the natural course of this neurological finding. Clinical trials and prospective and histological studies of new-onset post-viral olfactory dysfunction have been limited by small sample sizes and a paucity of advanced neuroimaging data and neuropathological samples. Although data from neuropathological specimens are now available, neuroimaging of the olfactory system during the acute phase of infection is still rare due to infection control concerns and critical illness and represents a substantial gap in knowledge. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: The active replication of SARS-CoV-2 within the brain parenchyma (ie, in neurons and glia) has not been proven. Nevertheless, post-viral olfactory dysfunction can be viewed as a focal neurological deficit in patients with COVID-19. Evidence is also sparse for a direct causal relation between SARS-CoV-2 infection and abnormal brain findings at autopsy, and for trans-synaptic spread of the virus from the olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulb. Taken together, clinical, radiological, histological, ultrastructural, and molecular data implicate inflammation, with or without infection, in either the olfactory epithelium, the olfactory bulb, or both. This inflammation leads to persistent olfactory deficits in a subset of people who have recovered from COVID-19. Neuroimaging has revealed localised inflammation in intracranial olfactory structures. To date, histopathological, ultrastructural, and molecular evidence does not suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is an obligate neuropathogen. WHERE NEXT?: The prevalence of CNS and olfactory bulb pathosis in patients with COVID-19 is not known. We postulate that, in people who have recovered from COVID-19, a chronic, recrudescent, or permanent olfactory deficit could be prognostic for an increased likelihood of neurological sequelae or neurodegenerative disorders in the long term. An inflammatory stimulus from the nasal olfactory epithelium to the olfactory bulbs and connected brain regions might accelerate pathological processes and symptomatic progression of neurodegenerative disease. Persistent olfactory impairment with or without perceptual distortions (ie, parosmias or phantosmias) after SARS-CoV-2 infection could, therefore, serve as a marker to identify people with an increased long-term risk of neurological disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Olfaction Disorders/diagnostic imaging , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Olfactory Mucosa/diagnostic imaging , Brain/diagnostic imaging , Brain/physiopathology , Brain/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Humans , Neurodegenerative Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Neurodegenerative Diseases/etiology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/physiopathology , Olfaction Disorders/physiopathology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/physiopathology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , Prospective Studies , Smell/physiology
19.
J Med Chem ; 64(24): 17846-17865, 2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555306

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on public health worldwide, and there is an urgent need for the creation of an armamentarium of effective therapeutics, including vaccines, biologics, and small-molecule therapeutics, to combat SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants. Inspection of the virus life cycle reveals multiple viral- and host-based choke points that can be exploited to combat the virus. SARS-CoV-2 3C-like protease (3CLpro), an enzyme essential for viral replication, is an attractive target for therapeutic intervention, and the design of inhibitors of the protease may lead to the emergence of effective SARS-CoV-2-specific antivirals. We describe herein the results of our studies related to the application of X-ray crystallography, the Thorpe-Ingold effect, deuteration, and stereochemistry in the design of highly potent and nontoxic inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Drug Design , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Stereoisomerism , Vero Cells
20.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0183721, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546443

ABSTRACT

Research activities with infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are currently permitted only under biosafety level 3 (BSL3) containment. Here, we report the development of a single-cycle infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus replicon particle (VRP) system with a luciferase and green fluorescent protein (GFP) dual reporter that can be safely handled in BSL2 laboratories to study SARS-CoV-2 biology. The spike (S) gene of SARS-CoV-2 encodes the envelope glycoprotein, which is essential for mediating infection of new host cells. Through deletion and replacement of this essential S gene with a luciferase and GFP dual reporter, we have generated a conditional SARS-CoV-2 mutant (ΔS-VRP) that produces infectious particles only in cells expressing a viral envelope glycoprotein of choice. Interestingly, we observed more efficient production of infectious particles in cells expressing vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) glycoprotein G [ΔS-VRP(G)] than in cells expressing other viral glycoproteins, including S. We confirmed that infection from ΔS-VRP(G) is limited to a single round and can be neutralized by anti-VSV serum. In our studies with ΔS-VRP(G), we observed robust expression of both luciferase and GFP reporters in various human and murine cell types, demonstrating that a broad variety of cells can support intracellular replication of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, treatment of ΔS-VRP(G)-infected cells with either of the anti-CoV drugs remdesivir (nucleoside analog) and GC376 (CoV 3CL protease inhibitor) resulted in a robust decrease in both luciferase and GFP expression in a drug dose- and cell-type-dependent manner. Taken together, our findings show that we have developed a single-cycle infectious SARS-CoV-2 VRP system that serves as a versatile platform to study SARS-CoV-2 intracellular biology and to perform high-throughput screening of antiviral drugs under BSL2 containment. IMPORTANCE Due to the highly contagious nature of SARS-CoV-2 and the lack of immunity in the human population, research on SARS-CoV-2 has been restricted to biosafety level 3 laboratories. This has greatly limited participation of the broader scientific community in SARS-CoV-2 research and thus has hindered the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs. By deleting the essential spike gene in the viral genome, we have developed a conditional mutant of SARS-CoV-2 with luciferase and fluorescent reporters, which can be safely used under biosafety level 2 conditions. Our single-cycle infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus replicon system can serve as a versatile platform to study SARS-CoV-2 intracellular biology and to perform high-throughput screening of antiviral drugs under BSL2 containment.


Subject(s)
Genetic Engineering , Recombination, Genetic , Replicon , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Line , Containment of Biohazards/standards , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Laboratories/standards , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication
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