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1.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med ; 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874929

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Autopsy and biomarker studies suggest that endotheliopathy contributes to COVID-19-associated ARDS. However, the effects of COVID-19 on the lung endothelium are not well-defined. We hypothesized that the lung endotheliopathy of COVID-19 is caused by circulating host factors and direct endothelial infection by SARS-CoV-2. Objectives: We aimed to determine the effects of SARS-CoV-2 or sera from patients with COVID-19 on permeability and inflammatory activation of lung microvascular endothelial cells. Methods: Human lung microvascular endothelial cells were treated with live SARS-CoV-2, inactivated viral particles, or sera from COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients and healthy volunteers. Permeability was determined by measuring transendothelial resistance to electrical current flow, where decreased resistance signifies increased permeability. Inflammatory mediators were quantified in culture supernatants. Endothelial biomarkers were quantified in patient sera. Measurements and Main Results: Viral PCR confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 enters and replicates in endothelial cells. Live SARS-CoV-2, but not dead virus or spike protein, induces endothelial permeability and secretion of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 and vascular endothelial growth factor. There was substantial variability in the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on endothelial cells from different donors. Sera from COVID-19 patients induced endothelial permeability, which correlated with disease severity. Serum levels of endothelial activation and injury biomarkers were increased in COVID-19 patients and correlated with severity of illness. Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infects and dysregulates endothelial cell functions. Circulating factors in COVID-19 patients also induces endothelial cell dysfunction. Our data point to roles for both systemic factors acting on lung endothelial cells and viral infection of endothelial cells in COVID-19-associated endotheliopathy. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

2.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 66(6): e0022222, 2022 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832332

ABSTRACT

Genetic variation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in the emergence and rapid spread of multiple variants throughout the pandemic, of which Omicron is currently the predominant variant circulating worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern/variants of interest (VOC/VOI) have evidence of increased viral transmission, disease severity, or decreased effectiveness of vaccines and neutralizing antibodies. Remdesivir (RDV [VEKLURY]) is a nucleoside analog prodrug and the first FDA-approved antiviral treatment of COVID-19. Here, we present a comprehensive antiviral activity assessment of RDV and its parent nucleoside, GS-441524, against 10 current and former SARS-CoV-2 VOC/VOI clinical isolates by nucleoprotein enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and plaque reduction assay. Delta and Omicron variants remained susceptible to RDV and GS-441524, with 50% effective concentration (EC50) values 0.30- to 0.62-fold of those observed against the ancestral WA1 isolate. All other tested variants exhibited EC50 values ranging from 0.13- to 2.3-fold of the observed EC50 values against WA1. Analysis of nearly 6 million publicly available variant isolate sequences confirmed that Nsp12, the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) target of RDV and GS-441524, is highly conserved across variants, with only 2 prevalent changes (P323L and G671S). Using recombinant viruses, both RDV and GS-441524 retained potency against all viruses containing frequent variant substitutions or their combination. Taken together, these results highlight the conserved nature of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp12 and provide evidence of sustained SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activity of RDV and GS-441524 across the tested variants. The observed pan-variant activity of RDV supports its continued use for the treatment of COVID-19 regardless of the SARS-CoV-2 variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335230

ABSTRACT

In the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, considerable focus has been placed on a model of viral entry into host epithelial populations, with a separate focus upon the responding immune system dysfunction that exacerbates or causes disease. We developed a precision-cut lung slice model to investigate very early host-viral pathogenesis and found that SARS-CoV-2 had a rapid and specific tropism for myeloid populations in the human lung. Infection of alveolar macrophages was partially dependent upon their expression of ACE2 and the infections were productive for amplifying virus, both findings which were in contrast with their neutralization of another pandemic virus, Influenza A virus (IAV). Compared to IAV, SARS-CoV-2 was extremely poor at inducing interferon-stimulated genes in infected myeloid cells, providing a window of opportunity for modest titers to amplify within these cells. Endotracheal aspirate samples from humans with COVID-19 confirmed the lung slice findings, revealing a persistent myeloid depot. In the early phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection, myeloid cells may provide a safe harbor for the virus with minimal immune stimulatory cues being generated, resulting in effective viral colonization and quenching of the immune system.

4.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol ; 66(4): 391-401, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775050

ABSTRACT

Asthma is associated with chronic changes in the airway epithelium, a key target of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Many epithelial changes, including goblet cell metaplasia, are driven by the type 2 cytokine IL-13, but the effects of IL-13 on SARS-CoV-2 infection are unknown. We found that IL-13 stimulation of differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) cultured at air-liquid interface reduced viral RNA recovered from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and decreased double-stranded RNA, a marker of viral replication, to below the limit of detection in our assay. An intact mucus gel reduced SARS-CoV-2 infection of unstimulated cells, but neither a mucus gel nor SPDEF, which is required for goblet cell metaplasia, were required for the antiviral effects of IL-13. Bulk RNA sequencing revealed that IL-13 regulated 41 of 332 (12%) mRNAs encoding SARS-CoV-2-associated proteins that were detected in HBECs (>1.5-fold change; false discovery rate < 0.05). Although both IL-13 and IFN-α each inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, their transcriptional effects differed markedly. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed cell type-specific differences in SARS-CoV-2-associated gene expression and IL-13 responses. Many IL-13-induced gene expression changes were seen in airway epithelium from individuals with type 2 asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. IL-13 effects on airway epithelial cells may protect individuals with type 2 asthma from COVID-19 and could lead to identification of novel strategies for reducing SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Asthma , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells , Epithelium , Humans , Interleukin-13/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327574

ABSTRACT

Genetic variation of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in the emergence and rapid spread of multiple variants throughout the pandemic, of which Omicron is currently the predominant variant circulating worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern or interest (VOC/VOI) have evidence of increased viral transmission, disease severity, or decreased effectiveness of vaccines and neutralizing antibodies. Remdesivir (RDV, VEKLURY ® ) is a nucleoside analog prodrug and the first FDA-approved antiviral treatment of COVID-19. Here we present a comprehensive antiviral activity assessment of RDV and its parent nucleoside, GS-441524, against 10 current and former SARS-CoV-2 VOC/VOI clinical isolates by nucleoprotein ELISA and plaque reduction assay. Delta and Omicron variants remained susceptible to RDV and GS-441524, with EC 50 values 0.31 to 0.62-fold of those observed against the ancestral WA1 isolate. All other tested variants exhibited EC 50 values ranging from 0.15 to 2.3-fold of the observed EC 50 values against WA1. Analysis of nearly 6 million publicly available variant isolate sequences confirmed that Nsp12, the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) target of RDV and GS-441524, is highly conserved across variants with only 2 prevalent changes (P323L and G671S). Using recombinant viruses, both RDV and GS-441524 retained potency against all viruses containing frequent variant substitutions or their combination. Taken together, these results highlight the conserved nature of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp12 and provide evidence of sustained SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activity of RDV and GS-441524 across the tested variants. The observed pan-variant activity of RDV supports its continued use for the treatment of COVID-19 regardless of the SARS-CoV-2 variant.

6.
Eur J Public Health ; 31(5): 1084-1089, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483431

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of the COVID-19 public health social measures (PHSM) on health behaviours is poorly understood. We aimed to identify factors associated with changes in alcohol and tobacco consumption during the strictest period of PHSM 'lockdown'. METHODS: Logistic regression analysis was conducted using secondary data from the Central Statistics Office Social Impact Survey collected during the first lockdown in Ireland (23 April- 1 May 2020). RESULTS: Of the 1362 (33.8%) individuals that responded to the survey, 80.6% were current drinkers and 26.0% were smokers. The majority of smokers (60.9%) and drinkers (60.6%) reported no change in consumption. However, 30.5% of smokers and 22.2% of drinkers reported increased consumption. Being concerned about household stress from confinement [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-2.9, P = 0.002], working from home (aOR 2.1, 95 CI 1.4-3.3, P < 0.001) and urban living (aOR 2.0, 95 CI 1.5-2.9, P < 0.001) were associated with increases in alcohol consumption. Feeling very nervous (aOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2-4.0, P = 0.009), feeling downhearted/depressed (aOR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3-4.4, P = 0.004), being concerned about someone else's health (aOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1-3.9, P = 0.031), working from home (aOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0-5.3, P = 0.046) and increases in alcohol consumption (aOR 3.6, 95% CI 1.7-7.7, P = 0.023) were associated with increases in tobacco consumption. CONCLUSION: A mixed picture was evident in terms of changes in consumption among current smokers and drinkers. Increased consumption was more commonly reported than reductions. Increased consumption was associated with psychological distress and socio-economic factors. Policies and services should consider a response to widening inequalities in harmful consumption.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Smokers , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Nature ; 591(7848): 124-130, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368933

ABSTRACT

Although infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has pleiotropic and systemic effects in some individuals1-3, many others experience milder symptoms. Here, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the distinction between severe and mild phenotypes in the pathology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its origins, we performed a whole-blood-preserving single-cell analysis protocol to integrate contributions from all major immune cell types of the blood-including neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, lymphocytes and the contents of the serum. Patients with mild COVID-19 exhibit a coordinated pattern of expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs)3 across every cell population, whereas these ISG-expressing cells are systemically absent in patients with severe disease. Paradoxically, individuals with severe COVID-19 produce very high titres of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and have a lower viral load compared to individuals with mild disease. Examination of the serum from patients with severe COVID-19 shows that these patients uniquely produce antibodies that functionally block the production of the ISG-expressing cells associated with mild disease, by activating conserved signalling circuits that dampen cellular responses to interferons. Overzealous antibody responses pit the immune system against itself in many patients with COVID-19, and perhaps also in individuals with other viral infections. Our findings reveal potential targets for immunotherapies in patients with severe COVID-19 to re-engage viral defence.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Interferons/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferons/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , Base Sequence , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Interferons/metabolism , Male , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/pathology , Protein Domains , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/immunology , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Viral Load/immunology
9.
Cell ; 184(1): 106-119.e14, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064913

ABSTRACT

The Coronaviridae are a family of viruses that cause disease in humans ranging from mild respiratory infection to potentially lethal acute respiratory distress syndrome. Finding host factors common to multiple coronaviruses could facilitate the development of therapies to combat current and future coronavirus pandemics. Here, we conducted genome-wide CRISPR screens in cells infected by SARS-CoV-2 as well as two seasonally circulating common cold coronaviruses, OC43 and 229E. This approach correctly identified the distinct viral entry factors ACE2 (for SARS-CoV-2), aminopeptidase N (for 229E), and glycosaminoglycans (for OC43). Additionally, we identified phosphatidylinositol phosphate biosynthesis and cholesterol homeostasis as critical host pathways supporting infection by all three coronaviruses. By contrast, the lysosomal protein TMEM106B appeared unique to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Pharmacological inhibition of phosphatidylinositol kinases and cholesterol homeostasis reduced replication of all three coronaviruses. These findings offer important insights for the understanding of the coronavirus life cycle and the development of host-directed therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus/physiology , Genome-Wide Association Study , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , A549 Cells , Animals , Biosynthetic Pathways/drug effects , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cholesterol/biosynthesis , Cholesterol/metabolism , Cluster Analysis , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Common Cold/genetics , Common Cold/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Mice , Phosphatidylinositols/biosynthesis , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication
10.
Res Sq ; 2020 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-903184

ABSTRACT

While SARS-CoV-2 infection has pleiotropic and systemic effects in some patients, many others experience milder symptoms. We sought a holistic understanding of the severe/mild distinction in COVID-19 pathology, and its origins. We performed a wholeblood preserving single-cell analysis protocol to integrate contributions from all major cell types including neutrophils, monocytes, platelets, lymphocytes and the contents of serum. Patients with mild COVID-19 disease display a coordinated pattern of interferonstimulated gene (ISG) expression across every cell population and these cells are systemically absent in patients with severe disease. Severe COVID-19 patients also paradoxically produce very high anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers and have lower viral load as compared to mild disease. Examination of the serum from severe patients demonstrates that they uniquely produce antibodies with multiple patterns of specificity against interferon-stimulated cells and that those antibodies functionally block the production of the mild disease-associated ISG-expressing cells. Overzealous and autodirected antibody responses pit the immune system against itself in many COVID-19 patients and this defines targets for immunotherapies to allow immune systems to provide viral defense.

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