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Front Pharmacol ; 13: 813087, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775746


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an acute respiratory disease with systemic complications. Therapeutic strategies for COVID-19, including repurposing (partially) developed drugs are urgently needed, regardless of the increasingly successful vaccination outcomes. We characterized two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional models (3D) to establish a physiologically relevant airway epithelial model with potential for investigating SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics. Human airway basal epithelial cells maintained in submerged 2D culture were used at low passage to retain the capacity to differentiate into ciliated, club, and goblet cells in both air-liquid interface culture (ALI) and airway organoid cultures, which were then analyzed for cell phenotype makers. Airway biopsies from non-asthmatic and asthmatic donors enabled comparative evaluation of the level and distribution of immunoreactive angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 and transmembrane serine proteinase 2 (TMPRSS2) mRNA were expressed in ALI and airway organoids at levels similar to those of native (i.e., non-cultured) human bronchial epithelial cells, whereas furin expression was more faithfully represented in ALI. ACE2 was mainly localized to ciliated and basal epithelial cells in human airway biopsies, ALI, and airway organoids. Cystic fibrosis appeared to have no influence on ACE2 gene expression. Neither asthma nor smoking status had consistent marked influence on the expression or distribution of ACE2 in airway biopsies. SARS-CoV-2 infection of ALI cultures did not increase the levels of selected cytokines. Organotypic, and particularly ALI airway cultures are useful and practical tools for investigation of SARS-CoV-2 infection and evaluating the clinical potential of therapeutics for COVID-19.

Transbound Emerg Dis ; 69(2): 297-307, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007329


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging virus that has caused significant human morbidity and mortality since its detection in late 2019. With the rapid emergence has come an unprecedented programme of vaccine development with at least 300 candidates under development. Ferrets have proven to be an appropriate animal model for testing safety and efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines due to quantifiable virus shedding in nasal washes and oral swabs. Here, we outline our efforts early in the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak to propagate and characterize an Australian isolate of the virus in vitro and in an ex vivo model of human airway epithelium, as well as to demonstrate the susceptibility of domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) to SARS-CoV-2 infection following intranasal challenge.

COVID-19 , Ferrets , Animals , Australia , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Viruses ; 12(6)2020 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-620517


The respiratory Influenza A Viruses (IAVs) and emerging zoonotic viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pose a significant threat to human health. To accelerate our understanding of the host-pathogen response to respiratory viruses, the use of more complex in vitro systems such as normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cell culture models has gained prominence as an alternative to animal models. NHBE cells were differentiated under air-liquid interface (ALI) conditions to form an in vitro pseudostratified epithelium. The responses of well-differentiated (wd) NHBE cells were examined following infection with the 2009 pandemic Influenza A/H1N1pdm09 strain or following challenge with the dsRNA mimic, poly(I:C). At 30 h postinfection with H1N1pdm09, the integrity of the airway epithelium was severely impaired and apical junction complex damage was exhibited by the disassembly of zona occludens-1 (ZO-1) from the cell cytoskeleton. wdNHBE cells produced an innate immune response to IAV-infection with increased transcription of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and the antiviral viperin but reduced expression of the mucin-encoding MUC5B, which may impair mucociliary clearance. Poly(I:C) produced similar responses to IAV, with the exception of MUC5B expression which was more than 3-fold higher than for control cells. This study demonstrates that wdNHBE cells are an appropriate ex-vivo model system to investigate the pathogenesis of respiratory viruses.

Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/physiology , Influenza, Human/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Dogs , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Intercellular Junctions , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Models, Biological , Mucin 5AC/metabolism , Pandemics , Virus Cultivation