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Front Microbiol ; 13: 888195, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911066


Background: During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks of Zika were reported from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra, India in 2021. The Dengue and Chikungunya negative samples were retrospectively screened to determine the presence of the Zika virus from different geographical regions of India. Methods: During May to October 2021, the clinical samples of 1475 patients, across 13 states and a union territory of India were screened and re-tested for Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika by CDC Trioplex Real time RT-PCR. The Zika rRTPCR positive samples were further screened with anti-Zika IgM and Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test. Next generation sequencing was used for further molecular characterization. Results: The positivity was observed for Zika (67), Dengue (121), and Chikungunya (10) amongst screened cases. The co-infections of Dengue/Chikungunya, Dengue/Zika, and Dengue/Chikungunya/Zika were also observed. All Zika cases were symptomatic with fever (84%) and rash (78%) as major presenting symptoms. Of them, four patients had respiratory distress, one presented with seizures, and one with suspected microcephaly at birth. The Asian Lineage of Zika and all four serotypes of Dengue were found in circulation. Conclusion: Our study indicates the spread of the Zika virus to several states of India and an urgent need to strengthen its surveillance.

J King Saud Univ Sci ; 34(2): 101773, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1670766


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread around the world jeopardizing the global economy and health. The rapid proliferation and infectivity of the virus can be attributed to many accumulating mutations in the spike protein leading to continuous generation of variants. The spike protein is a glycoprotein that recognizes and binds to cell surface receptor known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) leading to the fusion of the viral and host cell membranes and entry into the host cells. These circulating variants in the population have greatly impacted the virulence, transmissibility, and immunological evasion of the host. The present study is aimed at understanding the impact of the major mutations (L452R, T478K and N501Y) in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike protein and their consequences on the binding affinity to human ACE2 through protein-protein docking and molecular dynamics simulation approaches. Protein-protein docking and Molecular mechanics with generalised Born and surface area solvation (MM/GBSA) binding free energy analysis reveal that the spike mutants-L452R, T478K and N501Y have a higher binding affinity to human ACE2 as compared to the native spike protein. The increase in the number of interface residues, interface area and intermolecular forces such as hydrogen bonds, salt bridges and non-bonded contacts corroborated with the increase in the binding affinity of the spike mutants to ACE2. Further, 75 ns all-atom molecular dynamics simulation investigations show variations in the geometric properties such as root mean square deviation (RMSD), radius of gyration (Rg), total solvent accessible surface area (SASA) and number of hydrogen bonds (NHBs) in the mutant spike:ACE2 complexes with respect to the native spike:ACE2 complex. Therefore, the findings of this study unravel plausible molecular mechanisms of increase in binding affinity of spike mutants (L452R, T478K and N501Y) to human ACE2 leading to higher virulence and infectivity of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The study will further aid in designing novel therapeutics targeting the interface residues between spike protein and ACE2 receptor.

Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology ; 39:S75-S75, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1517274
Saudi J Biol Sci ; 29(1): 53-64, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415785


Human serum albumin (HSA) is the most prevalent protein in the blood plasma which binds an array of exogenous compounds. Drug binding to HSA is an important consideration when developing new therapeutic molecules, and it also aids in understanding the underlying mechanisms that govern their pharmacological effects. This study aims to investigate the molecular binding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) therapeutic candidate molecules to HSA and to identify their putative binding sites. Binding energies and interacting residues were used to evaluate the molecular interaction. Four drug candidate molecules (ß-D-N4-hydroxycytidine, Chloroquine, Disulfiram, and Carmofur) demonstrate weak binding to HSA, with binding energies ranging from -5 to -6.7 kcal/mol. Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, Arbidol, and other twenty drug molecules with binding energies ranging from -6.9 to -9.5 kcal/mol demonstrated moderate binding to HSA. The strong HSA binding drug candidates consist of fourteen molecules (Saquinavir, Ritonavir, Dihydroergotamine, Daclatasvir, Paritaprevir etc.) with binding energies ranging from -9.7 to -12.1 kcal/mol. All these molecules bind to different HSA subdomains (IA, IB, IIA, IIB, IIIA, and IIIB) through molecular forces such as hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Various pharmacokinetic properties (gastrointestinal absorption, blood-brain barrier permeation, P-glycoprotein substrate, and cytochrome P450 inhibitor) of each molecule were determined using SwissADME program. Further, the stability of the HSA-ligand complexes was analyzed through 100 ns molecular dynamics simulations considering various geometric properties. The binding free energy between free HSA and compounds were calculated using Molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) and molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area (MM/GBSA) approach. The findings of this study might be useful in understanding the mechanism of COVID-19 drug candidates binding to serum albumin protein, as well as their pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.