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1.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 2022 Jul 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991092

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may result in a severe pneumonia associated with elevation of blood inflammatory parameters, reminiscent of cytokine storm syndrome. Steroidal anti-inflammatory therapies have shown efficacy in reducing mortality in critically ill patients; however, the mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 triggers such an extensive inflammation remain unexplained. OBJECTIVES: To dissect the mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we studied the role of IL-1ß, a pivotal cytokine driving inflammatory phenotypes, whose maturation and secretion are regulated by inflammasomes. METHODS: We analyzed nod-like receptor protein 3 pathway activation by means of confocal microscopy, plasma cytokine measurement, cytokine secretion following in vitro stimulation of blood circulating monocytes, and whole-blood RNA sequencing. The role of open reading frame 3a SARS-CoV-2 protein was assessed by confocal microscopy analysis following nucleofection of a monocytic cell line. RESULTS: We found that circulating monocytes from patients with COVID-19 display ASC (adaptor molecule apoptotic speck like protein-containing a CARD) specks that colocalize with nod-like receptor protein 3 inflammasome and spontaneously secrete IL-1ß in vitro. This spontaneous activation reverts following patient's treatment with the IL-1 receptor antagonist anakinra. Transfection of a monocytic cell line with cDNA coding for the ORF3a SARS-CoV-2 protein resulted in ASC speck formation. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide further evidence that IL-1ß targeting could represent an effective strategy in this disease and suggest a mechanistic explanation for the strong inflammatory manifestations associated with COVID-19.

2.
J Pers Med ; 11(3)2021 Mar 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154441

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the human population; therefore, multiple prevention and intervention protocols are being rapidly developed. The aim of our study was to develop a new chemo-prophylactic/-therapeutic strategy that effectively prevents COVID-19 and related complications. METHODS: In in vitro studies, COVID-19 infection-sensitive cells were incubated with human oropharyngeal fluids containing high SARS-CoV-2 loads. Levels of infection were determined via intra-cellular virus loads using quantitative PCR (qPCR). Efficacies for infection prevention were determined using several antiviral treatments: lipid-encapsulated ozonized oil (HOO), water-soluble HOO (HOOws), UV, and hydrogen peroxide. In in vivo studies, safety and efficacy of HOO in fighting COVID-19 infection was evaluated in human subjects. RESULTS: HOO in combination with HOOws was the only treatment able to fully neutralize SARS-CoV-2 as well as its capacity to penetrate and reproduce inside sensitive cells. Accordingly, the feasibility of using HOO/HOOws was tested in vivo. Analysis of expired gas in healthy subjects indicates that HOO administration increases oxygen availability in the lung. For our human studies, HOO/HOOws was administered to 52 cancer patients and 21 healthy subjects at high risk for COVID-19 infection, and all of them showed clinical safety. None of them developed COVID-19 infection, although an incidence of at least 11 cases was expected. Efficacy of HOO/HOOws was tested in four COVID-19 patients obtaining recovery and qPCR negativization in less than 10 days. CONCLUSIONS: Based on our experience, the HOO/HOOws treatment can be administered at standard doses (three pills per day) for chemo-prophylactic purposes to healthy subjects for COVID-19 prevention and at high doses (up to eight pills per day) for therapeutic purposes to infected patients. This combined prevention strategy can provide a novel protocol to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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