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1.
Viruses ; 14(8):1644, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1969495

ABSTRACT

Vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the safest and most effective strategy for controlling the pandemic. However, some cases of acute cardiac events following vaccine administration have been reported, including myocarditis and myocardial infarction (MI). While post-vaccine myocarditis has been widely discussed, information about post-vaccine MI is scarce and heterogenous, often lacking in histopathological and pathophysiological details. We hereby present five cases (four men, mean age 64 years, range 50–76) of sudden death secondary to MI and tightly temporally related to COVID-19 vaccination. In each case, comprehensive macro- and microscopic pathological analyses were performed, including post-mortem cardiac magnetic resonance, to ascertain the cause of death. To investigate the pathophysiological determinants of MI, toxicological and tryptase analyses were performed, yielding negative results, while the absence of anti-platelet factor 4 antibodies ruled out vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia. Finally, genetic testing disclosed that all subjects were carriers of at least one pro-thrombotic mutation. Although the presented cases do not allow us to establish any causative relation, they should foster further research to investigate the possible link between COVID-19 vaccination, pro-thrombotic genotypes, and acute cardiovascular events.

2.
Infection ; 50(4): 989-993, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1943467

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The presence of the SARS-CoV-2 in the peritoneal fluid is a matter of debate in the COVID-19 literature. The study aimed to report the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the peritoneal fluid of patients with nasopharyngeal swab tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 undergoing emergency surgery and review the literature. METHODS: The present study was conducted between March 2020 and June 2021. Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 positivity was confirmed by preoperative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RESULTS: Eighteen patients with positive nasopharyngeal swabs were operated in emergency in two third-level Italian hospitals. In 13 of these patients (72%), a peritoneal swab was analyzed: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in the abdominal fluid of two patients (15%). Neither of them had visceral perforation and one patient died. In ten patients with negative peritoneal swabs, visceral perforation and mortality rates were 30% and 20%, respectively. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 peritoneal positivity is rare. Abdominal surgery can, therefore, be safely performed in patients with COVID-19 using standard precautions. The correlation with a visceral perforation is not evaluable. The clinical outcomes seem uninfluenced by the viral colonization of the peritoneum. Assessment in large series to provide definitive answers about the involvement of the SARS-CoV-2 in the peritoneum will be challenging to coordinate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869812

ABSTRACT

Lipids play a crucial role in the entry and egress of viruses, regardless of whether they are naked or enveloped. Recent evidence shows that lipid involvement in viral infection goes much further. During replication, many viruses rearrange internal lipid membranes to create niches where they replicate and assemble. Because of the close connection between lipids and inflammation, the derangement of lipid metabolism also results in the production of inflammatory stimuli. Due to its pivotal function in the viral life cycle, lipid metabolism has become an area of intense research to understand how viruses seize lipids and to design antiviral drugs targeting lipid pathways. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a lipid-derived peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) agonist that also counteracts SARS-CoV-2 entry and its replication. Our work highlights for the first time the antiviral potency of PEA against SARS-CoV-2, exerting its activity by two different mechanisms. First, its binding to the SARS-CoV-2 S protein causes a drop in viral infection of ~70%. We show that this activity is specific for SARS-CoV-2, as it does not prevent infection by VSV or HSV-2, other enveloped viruses that use different glycoproteins and entry receptors to mediate their entry. Second, we show that in infected Huh-7 cells, treatment with PEA dismantles lipid droplets, preventing the usage of these vesicular bodies by SARS-CoV-2 as a source of energy and protection against innate cellular defenses. This is not surprising since PEA activates PPAR-α, a transcription factor that, once activated, generates a cascade of events that leads to the disruption of fatty acid droplets, thereby bringing about lipid droplet degradation through ß-oxidation. In conclusion, the present work demonstrates a novel mechanism of action for PEA as a direct and indirect antiviral agent against SARS-CoV-2. This evidence reinforces the notion that treatment with this compound might significantly impact the course of COVID-19. Indeed, considering that the protective effects of PEA in COVID-19 are the current objectives of two clinical trials (NCT04619706 and NCT04568876) and given the relative lack of toxicity of PEA in humans, further preclinical and clinical tests will be needed to fully consider PEA as a promising adjuvant therapy in the current COVID-19 pandemic or against emerging RNA viruses that share the same route of replication as coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Amides , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Ethanolamines , Humans , Palmitic Acids/pharmacology , Pandemics , Peas , Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
6.
J Appl Biomater Funct Mater ; 20: 22808000221076326, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862080

ABSTRACT

Face masks are an effective protection tool to prevent bacterial and viral transmission. However, commercial face masks contain filters made of materials that are not capable of inactivating either SARS-CoV-2. In this regard, we report the development of an antiviral coating of polyurethane and Copper nanoparticles on a face mask filter fabricated with a spray technology that is capable of inactivating more than 99% of SARS-CoV-2 particles in 30 min of contact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , COVID-19/prevention & control , Copper , Humans , Masks , Polymers , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Comput Struct Biotechnol J ; 19: 6140-6156, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734314

ABSTRACT

We exploited a multi-scale microscopy imaging toolbox to address some major issues related to SARS-CoV-2 interactions with host cells. Our approach harnesses both conventional and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and easily matches the spatial scale of single-virus/cell checkpoints. After its validation through the characterization of infected cells and virus morphology, we leveraged this toolbox to reveal subtle issues related to the entry phase of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Vero E6 cells. Our results show that in Vero E6 cells the B.1.1.7 strain (aka Alpha Variant of Concern) is associated with much faster kinetics of endocytic uptake compared to its ancestor B.1.177. Given the cell-entry scenario dominated by the endosomal "late pathway", the faster internalization of B.1.1.7 could be directly related to the N501Y mutation in the S protein, which is known to strengthen the binding of Spike receptor binding domain with ACE2. Remarkably, we also directly observed the central role of clathrin as a mediator of endocytosis in the late pathway of entry. In keeping with the clathrin-mediated endocytosis, we highlighted the non-raft membrane localization of ACE2. Overall, we believe that our fluorescence microscopy-based approach represents a fertile strategy to investigate the molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with cells.

8.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327541

ABSTRACT

Several compounds have been tested against SARS-CoV-2;at present, COVID-19 treatments decrease the deleterious inflammatory response and acute lung injury. However, the best therapeutic response would be expected by combining anti-inflammatory properties, while concomitantly blocking viral replication. These combined effects should drastically reduce both infection rate and severe complications induced by novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. Therefore, we explored the antiviral potency of a class of anti-inflammatory compounds that inhibit the N-Acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA). This enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), a bioactive lipid that mediates anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity through the activation of peroxisome proliferator receptor-α (PPAR-α). Similarly, this pathway is likely to be a significant target to impede viral replication since PPAR-α activation leads to dismantling of lipid droplets, where viral replication of Flaviviruses and Coronaviruses occurs. Here, we show that either genetic or pharmacological inhibition of the NAAA enzyme leads to five-fold reduction in the replication of both SARS-CoV-2 and ZIKV in various cell lines. Once NAAA enzyme is blocked, both ZIKV and SARS CoV-2 replication decrease, which parallels a sudden five-fold decrease in virion release. These effects induced by NAAA inhibition occurs concomitantly with stimulation of autophagy during infection. Remarkably, parallel antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of NAAA antagonism were confirmed in ex-vivo experiments, within SARS-CoV-2 infected human PBMC cells, in which both viral genomes and TNF-α production drop by ~60%. It is known that macrophages contribute to viral spread, excessive inflammation and macrophage activation syndrome that NAAA inhibitors might prevent, reducing the macrophage-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome and subsequent death of COVID-19 patients.

9.
Microorganisms ; 10(2)2022 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651057

ABSTRACT

Recurrent infection by Clostridioides difficile has recently been treated by fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). As viable SARS-CoV-2 was recovered from stool of asymptomatic individuals, the FMT procedure could be a potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, thus underlying the need to reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 in stool. Here, we performed a multicentric study to explore performances of two commercially available assays for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in stool of potential FMT donors. In three hospitals, 180 stool samples were spiked with serial 10-fold dilutions of a SARS-CoV-2 inactivated lysate to evaluate the Seegene Allplex™ SARS-CoV-2 (SC2) and SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB/RSV (SC2FABR) Assays for the detection of viral RNA in stool of FMT donors. The results revealed that both assays detected down to 2 TCID50/mL with comparable limit of detection values, SC2 showing more consistent target positivity rate than SC2FABR. Beyond high amplification efficiency, correlation between CT values and log concentrations of inactivated viral lysates showed R2 values ranging from 0.88 to 0.90 and from 0.87 to 0.91 for the SC2 and SC2FABR assay, respectively. The present results demonstrate that both methods are highly reproducible, sensitive, and accurate for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in stool, suggesting a potential use in FMT-donor screening.

10.
Blood Cancer J ; 12(1): 8, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630561

ABSTRACT

Understanding antibody-based SARS-CoV-2 immunity in hematologic malignancy (HM) patients following infection is crucial to inform vaccination strategies for this highly vulnerable population. This cross-sectional study documents the anti-SARS-CoV-2 humoral response and serum neutralizing activity in 189 HM patients recovering from a PCR-confirmed infection. The overall seroconversion rate was 85.7%, with the lowest values in patients with lymphoid malignancies or undergoing chemotherapy. Therapy-naive patients in the "watch and wait" status were more likely to seroconvert and display increased anti-s IgG titers. Enhanced serum neutralizing activity was observed in the following SARS-CoV-2-infected HM patient groups: (i) males; (ii) severe COVID-19; and (iii) "watch and wait" or "complete/partial response". The geometric mean (GeoMean) ID50 neutralization titers in patients analyzed before or after 6 months post-infection were 299.1 and 306.3, respectively, indicating that >50% of the patients in either group had a neutralization titer sufficient to provide 50% protection from symptomatic COVID-19. Altogether, our findings suggest that therapy-naive HM patients mount a far more robust immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection vs. patients receiving anti-cancer treatment, raising the important question as to whether HM patients should be vaccinated before therapy and/or receive vaccine formats capable of better recapitulating the natural infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antineoplastic Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , Hematologic Neoplasms , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Female , Hematologic Neoplasms/drug therapy , Hematologic Neoplasms/immunology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
11.
Epilepsy Behav ; 126: 108470, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560506

ABSTRACT

Several studies reported acute symptomatic seizures as a possible neurological complication of COVID-19 pneumonia. Apart from metabolic imbalances, hypoxia, and fever, other ictogenic mechanisms are likely related to an immune-mediated damage. The same mechanisms are shared by other respiratory viruses. Since neurotropic properties of SARS-CoV-2 have been questioned, we investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 has a similar ictogenic potential to other respiratory non-neurotropic viruses. We conducted a retrospective study identifying 1141 patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and 146 patients with H1N1/H3N2 pneumonia. We found a similar prevalence of seizures in the two viral pneumonia (1.05% with SARS-CoV-2 vs 2.05% with influenza; p = 0.26). We detailed clinical, electroencephalographic, and neuroradiological features of each patient, together with the hypothesized pathogenesis of seizures. Previous epilepsy or pre-existing predisposing conditions (i.e., Alzheimer's disease, stroke, cerebral neoplasia) were found in one-third of patients that experienced seizures, while two-thirds of patients had seizures without known risk factors other than pneumonia in both groups. The prevalence of pre-existing predisposing conditions and disease severity indexes was similar in SARS-CoV-2 and H1N1/H3N2 pneumonia, thus excluding they could act as potential confounders. Considering all the patients with viral pneumonia together, previous epilepsy (p < 0.001) and the need for ventilatory support (p < 0.001), but not the presence of pre-existing predisposing conditions (p = 0.290), were associated with seizure risk. Our study showed that SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses share a similar ictogenic potential. In both these infections, seizures are rare but serious events, and can manifest without pre-existing predisposing conditions, in particular when pneumonia is severe, thus suggesting an interplay between disease severity and host response as a major mechanism of ictogenesis, rather than a virus-specific mechanism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Pneumonia, Viral , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seizures
12.
Infect Dis Ther ; 10(4): 2479-2488, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505925

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of hospitalization or death in patients infected by SARS-CoV2 variants of concern (VOCs) receiving combinations of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), bamlanivimab/etesevimab or casirivimab/imdevimab. METHODS: Observational prospective study conducted in two Italian hospitals (University Hospital of Pisa and San Donato Hospital, Arezzo) including consecutive outpatients with COVID-19 who received bamlanivimab/etesevimab or casirivimab/imdevimab from March 20th to May 10th 2021. All patients were at high risk of COVID-19 progression according to FDA/AIFA recommendations. Patients were divided into two study groups according to the infecting viral strain (VOCs): Alpha and Gamma group. The primary endpoint was a composite of hospitalization or death within 30 days from mAbs infusion. A Cox regression multivariate analysis was performed to identify factors associated with the primary outcome in the overall population. RESULTS: The study included 165 patients: 105 were infected by the VOC Alpha and 43 by the VOC Gamma. In the Alpha group, no differences in the primary endpoint were observed between patients treated with bamlanivimab/etesevimab or casirivimab/imdevimab. Conversely, in the Gamma group, a higher proportion of patients treated with bamlanivimab/etesevimab met the primary endpoint compared to those receiving casirivimab/imdevimab (55% vs. 17.4%, p = 0.013). On multivariate Cox-regression analysis, the Gamma variant and days from symptoms onset to mAbs infusion were factors independently associated with higher risk of hospitalization or death, while casirivimab/imdevimab was protective (HR 0.33, 95% CI 0.13-0.83, p = 0.019). CONCLUSIONS: In patients infected by the SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant, bamlanivimab/etesevimab should be used with caution because of the high risk of disease progression.

13.
World J Emerg Surg ; 16(1): 46, 2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403246

ABSTRACT

On January 2020, the WHO Director General declared that the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The world has faced a worldwide spread crisis and is still dealing with it. The present paper represents a white paper concerning the tough lessons we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, an international and heterogenous multidisciplinary panel of very differentiated people would like to share global experiences and lessons with all interested and especially those responsible for future healthcare decision making. With the present paper, international and heterogenous multidisciplinary panel of very differentiated people would like to share global experiences and lessons with all interested and especially those responsible for future healthcare decision making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Global Health , Pandemics , Biomedical Research , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Policy , Health Services Accessibility , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , International Cooperation , Mass Vaccination/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Politics , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration
14.
Sci Adv ; 7(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388432

ABSTRACT

Using AI, we identified baricitinib as having antiviral and anticytokine efficacy. We now show a 71% (95% CI 0.15 to 0.58) mortality benefit in 83 patients with moderate-severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia with few drug-induced adverse events, including a large elderly cohort (median age, 81 years). An additional 48 cases with mild-moderate pneumonia recovered uneventfully. Using organotypic 3D cultures of primary human liver cells, we demonstrate that interferon-α2 increases ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in parenchymal cells by greater than fivefold. RNA-seq reveals gene response signatures associated with platelet activation, fully inhibited by baricitinib. Using viral load quantifications and superresolution microscopy, we found that baricitinib exerts activity rapidly through the inhibition of host proteins (numb-associated kinases), uniquely among antivirals. This reveals mechanistic actions of a Janus kinase-1/2 inhibitor targeting viral entry, replication, and the cytokine storm and is associated with beneficial outcomes including in severely ill elderly patients, data that incentivize further randomized controlled trials.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Azetidines/pharmacology , COVID-19/mortality , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Janus Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Liver/virology , Purines/pharmacology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Interferon alpha-2/metabolism , Italy , Janus Kinases/metabolism , Liver/drug effects , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Platelet Activation , Proportional Hazards Models , RNA-Seq , Spain , Virus Internalization/drug effects
16.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 1(3): 100035, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347690

ABSTRACT

Background: Several ABO blood groups have been associated with the likelihood of infection, severity, and/or outcome of COVID-19 in hospitalized cohorts, raising the hypothesis that anti-A isoagglutinins in non-A-group recipients could act as neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Materials and methods: We run live virus neutralization tests using sera from 58 SARS-CoV-2 seronegative blood donors (27 O-group and 31 A-group) negatives for SARS-CoV-2 IgG to investigate what degree of neutralizing activity could be detected in their sera and eventual correlation with anti-A isoagglutinin titers. Results: We could not find clinically relevant neutralizing activity in any blood group, regardless of anti-isoagglutinin titer. Discussion: Our findings suggest that mechanisms other than neutralization explain the differences in outcomes from COVID19 seen in different ABO blood groups.

17.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 1(1): 100016, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213343

ABSTRACT

COVID19 convalescent patient plasma units with high titer neutralizing antibody can be used to treat patients with severe disease. Therefore, in order to select suitable donors, neutralizing antibody titer against SARS CoV-2 needs to be determined. Because the neutralization assay is highly demanding from several points of view, a pre-selection of sera would be desirable to minimize the number of sera to be tested. In this study, a total of 140 serum samples that had been titrated for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody by microneutralization assay were also tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV2 antibody using 5 different tests: Architect® immunoassay (Abbott Diagnostics), detecting IgG against the nucleocapsid protein, LIAISON XL® (Diasorin) detecting IgG against a recombinant form of the S1/S2 subunits of the spike protein, VITROS® (Ortho Clinical Diagnostics), detecting IgG against a recombinant form of the spike protein, and ELISA (Euroimmun AG), detecting IgA or IgG against a recombinant form of the S1 subunit. To determine which immunoassay had the highest chance to detect sera with neutralizing antibodies above a certain threshold, we compared the results obtained from the five immunoassays with the titers obtained by microneutralization assay by linear regression analysis and by using receiver operating characteristic curve and Youden's index. Our results indicate that the most suitable method to predict sera with high Nab titer is Euroimmun® IgG, followed closely by Ortho VITROS® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG.

19.
ERJ Open Res ; 7(2)2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183500

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has a variable degree of severity according to underlying comorbidities and life-style. Several research groups have reported an association between cigarette smoking and increased severity of COVID-19. The exact mechanism of action is largely unclear. We exposed low angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-expressing human pulmonary adenocarcinoma A549 epithelial cells to nicotine and assessed ACE2 expression at different times. We further used the nicotine-exposed cells in a virus neutralisation assay. Nicotine exposure induces rapid and long-lasting increases in gene and protein expression of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2, which in turn translates into increased competence for SARS-CoV-2 replication and cytopathic effect. These findings show that nicotine worsens SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary infection and have implications for public health policies.

20.
Ann Surg ; 272(3): e240-e242, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1114935

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The excretion pathomechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 are actually unknown. No certain data exist about viral load in the different body compartments and fluids during the different disease phases. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Specific real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction targeting 3 SARS-CoV-e genes were used to detect the presence of the virus. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 was detected in peritoneal fluid at a higher concentration than in respiratory tract. CONCLUSION: Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in peritoneal fluid has never been reported. The present article represents the very first positive result describing the presence of the virus in peritoneal fluid during an emergency surgical procedure in a COVID-19 sick patient. This article thus represents a warning for increasing the level of awareness and protection for surgeon especially in emergency surgical setting.


Subject(s)
Ascitic Fluid/virology , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Viral Load
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