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1.
Drug Deliv Transl Res ; 2021 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427438

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic situation has affected millions of people with tens of thousands of deaths worldwide. Despite all efforts for finding drugs or vaccines, the key role for the survival of patients is still related to the immune system. Therefore, improving the efficacy and the functionality of the immune system of COVID-19 patients is very crucial. The potential new, non-invasive, FDA-approved biophysical technology that could be considered in this regard is tumor treating fields (TTFields) based on an alternating electric field has great biological effects. TTFields have significant effects in improving the functionality of dendritic cell, and cytotoxic T-cells, and these cells have a major role in defense against viral infection. Hence, applying TTFields could help COVID-19 patients against infection. Additionally, TTFields can reduce viral genomic replication, by reducing the expressions of some of the vital members of DNA replication complex genes from the minichromosome maintenance family (MCMs). These genes not only are involved in DNA replication but it has also been proven that they have a crucial role in viral replication. Also, TTFields suppress the formation of the network of tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) which is knows as filamentous (F)-actin-rich tubular structures. TNTs have a critical role in promoting the spread of viruses through improving viral entry and acting as a protective agent for viral components from immune cells and even pharmaceuticals. Moreover, TTFields enhance autophagy which leads to apoptosis of virally infected cells. Thus, it can be speculated that using TTFields may prove to be a promising approach as a subsidiary treatment of COVID-19.

2.
Microorganisms ; 9(1)2021 Jan 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389447

ABSTRACT

The expression rate of SARS-CoV-2 entry genes, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the main viral receptor and the proteases, furin and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) in cystic fibrosis (CF) individuals is poorly known. Hence, we examined their levels in upper respiratory samples of CF patients (n = 46) and healthy controls (n = 45). Moreover, we sought to understand the interplay of type I interferon (IFN-I) with ACE2, furin and TMPRSS2 by evaluating their gene expression with respect to ISG15, a well-known marker of IFN activation, in upper respiratory samples and after ex vivo IFNß exposure. Lower ACE2 levels and trends toward the reduction of furin and TMPRSS2 were found in CF patients compared with the healthy controls; decreased ACE2 amounts were also detected in CF individuals with pancreatic insufficiency and in those receiving inhaled antibiotics. Moreover, there was a strong positive correlation between ISG15 and ACE2 levels. However, after ex vivo IFNß stimulation of nasopharyngeal cells, the truncated isoform (dACE2), recently demonstrated as the IFN stimulated one with respect to the full-length isoform (flACE2), slightly augmented in cells from CF patients whereas in those from healthy donors, dACE2 levels showed variable levels of upregulation. An altered expression of SARS-COV-2 entry genes and a poor responsiveness of dACE2 to IFN-I stimulation might be crucial in the diffusion of SARS-CoV-2 infection in CF.

3.
Cytokine ; 140: 155430, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385381

ABSTRACT

In vitro interferon (IFN)α treatment of primary human upper airway basal cells has been shown to drive ACE2 expression, the receptor of SARS-CoV-2. The protease furin is also involved in mediating SARS-CoV-2 and other viral infections, although its association with early IFN response has not been evaluated yet. In order to assess the in vivo relationship between ACE2 and furin expression and the IFN response in nasopharyngeal cells, we first examined ACE2 and furin levels and their correlation with the well-known marker of IFNs' activation, ISG15, in children (n = 59) and adults (n = 48), during respiratory diseases not caused by SARS-CoV-2. A strong positive correlation was found between ACE2 expression, but not of furin, and ISG15 in all patients analyzed. In addition, type I and III IFN stimulation experiments were performed to examine the IFN-mediated activation of ACE2 isoforms (full-length and truncated) and furin in epithelial cell lines. Following all the IFNs treatments, only the truncated ACE2 levels, were upregulated significantly in the A549 and Calu3 cells, in particular by type I IFNs. If confirmed in vivo following IFNs' activation, the induction of the truncated ACE2 isoform only would not enhance the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the respiratory tract.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Gene Expression/drug effects , Interferons/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Adult , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Child , Cytokines/genetics , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Lung/cytology , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Ubiquitins/genetics
4.
Microorganisms ; 9(6)2021 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264494

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been declared a global pandemic. Our goal was to determine whether co-infections with respiratory polyomaviruses, such as Karolinska Institutet polyomavirus (KIPyV) and Washington University polyomavirus (WUPyV) occur in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Oropharyngeal swabs from 150 individuals, 112 symptomatic COVID-19 patients and 38 healthcare workers not infected by SARS-CoV-2, were collected from March 2020 through May 2020 and tested for KIPyV and WUPyV DNA presence. Of the 112 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, 27 (24.1%) were co-infected with KIPyV, 5 (4.5%) were positive for WUPyV, and 3 (2.7%) were infected simultaneously by KIPyV and WUPyV. Neither KIPyV nor WUPyV DNA was detected in samples of healthcare workers. Significant correlations were found in patients co-infected with SARS-CoV-2 and KIPyV (p < 0.05) and between SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold values and KIPyV, WUPyV and KIPyV and WUPyV concurrently detected (p < 0.05). These results suggest that KIPyV and WUPyV may behave as opportunistic respiratory pathogens. Additional investigations are needed to understand the epidemiology and the prevalence of respiratory polyomavirus in COVID-19 patients and whether KIPyV and WUPyV could potentially drive viral interference or influence disease outcomes by upregulating SARS-CoV-2 replicative potential.

6.
Microorganisms ; 9(1)2021 Jan 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011585

ABSTRACT

The expression rate of SARS-CoV-2 entry genes, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the main viral receptor and the proteases, furin and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) in cystic fibrosis (CF) individuals is poorly known. Hence, we examined their levels in upper respiratory samples of CF patients (n = 46) and healthy controls (n = 45). Moreover, we sought to understand the interplay of type I interferon (IFN-I) with ACE2, furin and TMPRSS2 by evaluating their gene expression with respect to ISG15, a well-known marker of IFN activation, in upper respiratory samples and after ex vivo IFNß exposure. Lower ACE2 levels and trends toward the reduction of furin and TMPRSS2 were found in CF patients compared with the healthy controls; decreased ACE2 amounts were also detected in CF individuals with pancreatic insufficiency and in those receiving inhaled antibiotics. Moreover, there was a strong positive correlation between ISG15 and ACE2 levels. However, after ex vivo IFNß stimulation of nasopharyngeal cells, the truncated isoform (dACE2), recently demonstrated as the IFN stimulated one with respect to the full-length isoform (flACE2), slightly augmented in cells from CF patients whereas in those from healthy donors, dACE2 levels showed variable levels of upregulation. An altered expression of SARS-COV-2 entry genes and a poor responsiveness of dACE2 to IFN-I stimulation might be crucial in the diffusion of SARS-CoV-2 infection in CF.

7.
Virus Res ; 295: 198283, 2021 04 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009920

ABSTRACT

The natural course of type I and III interferon (IFN) response in the respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients needs to be better defined. We showed that type I/III IFNs, IFN-regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), and IFN stimulated genes (ISGs), are highly expressed in the oropharyngeal cells of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients compared to healthy controls. Notably, the subgroup of critically-ill patients that required invasive mechanical ventilation had a general decrease in expression of IFN/ISG genes. Heterogeneous patterns of IFN-I/III response in the respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients may be associated to COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Oropharynx/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
8.
J Infect Dis ; 222(5): 722-725, 2020 Aug 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990710

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has forced the clinical and scientific community to try drug repurposing of existing antiviral agents as a quick option against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Under this scenario, interferon (IFN) ß-1a, whose antiviral potential is already known, and which is a drug currently used in the clinical management of multiple sclerosis, may represent as a potential candidate. In this report, we demonstrate that IFN-ß-1a was highly effective in inhibiting in vitro SARS-CoV-2 replication at clinically achievable concentration when administered after virus infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Interferon beta-1a/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Repositioning , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 99(36): e21803, 2020 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-982498

ABSTRACT

RATIONALE: Complex immune dysregulation in interferon (IFN) and T cell response has been observed in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1)-infected patients as well as in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) patients. However, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)/HIV-1 coinfection has been described in only few cases worldwide and no data are available on immunological outcomes in HIV-1-patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Hence, this study aims to compare type I IFN response and T cell activation levels between a SARS-CoV-2/HIV-1-coinfected female patient and age-matched HIV-1-positive or uninfected women. PATIENT CONCERNS: A 52-year-old woman diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2/HIV-1 coinfection, ten HIV-1-positive women and five age-matched-healthy individuals were enrolled in this study. DIAGNOSES: SARS-CoV-2 infection caused severe pneumonia in the second week of illness in HIV-1-positive patient under protease inhibitors. Chest high-resolution computed tomography images of the SARS-CoV-2/HIV-1-coinfected patient showed bilateral ground-glass opacities. INTERVENTIONS: SARS-CoV-2/HIV-1-coinfected female patient under darunavir/cobicistat regimen received a 7-days hydroxychloroquine therapy. Analysis of IFNα/ß mRNA levels and CD4 and CD8 T cell (CD38, human leukocyte antigen-DR [HLA-DR], CD38 HLA-DR) frequencies were performed by RT/real-time PCR assays and flow cytometry, respectively. Median relative difference (MRD) was calculated for each immunological variable. For values greater than reference, MRD should be a positive number and for values that are smaller, MRD should be negative. OUTCOMES: The severe pneumonia observed in SARS-CoV-2/HIV-1-positive patient under protease inhibitors was reversed by a 7-days hydroxychloroquine therapy. At the end of treatment, on day 7, patient reported resolution of fever, normalization of respiratory rate (14 breaths/min), and improved oxygen arterial pressure with a FiO2 of 30%. MRD values for IFNα/ß and CD4 and CD8 T cells expressing CD38 and/or HLA-DR found in SARS-CoV-2-/HIV-1-coinfected woman were approximatively equal to 0 when refereed respectively to HIV-1-positive female patients [MRDs IFNα/ß: median -0.2545 (range: -0.5/0.1); T cells: median -0.11 (range: -0.8/1.3)] and ≥ 6 when referred to healthy individuals [MRDs IFNα/ß: median 28.45 (range: 15/41.9); T cells: median 10 (range 6/22)]. LESSONS: These results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 infection in HIV-1-positive female patient was associated with increased levels of IFNα/ß-mRNAs and T cell activation compared to healthy individuals.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , HIV Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/complications , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Interferons/blood , Lymphocyte Activation , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , RNA, Messenger , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology
10.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 389, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-685804

ABSTRACT

Background: Gastrointestinal disorders are frequent in COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 has been hypothesized to impact on host microbial flora and gut inflammation, infecting intestinal epithelial cells. Since there are currently no coded therapies or guidelines for treatment of COVID-19, this study aimed to evaluate the possible role of a specific oral bacteriotherapy as complementary therapeutic strategy to avoid the progression of COVID-19. Methods: We provide a report of 70 patients positive for COVID-19, hospitalized between March 9th and April 4th, 2020. All the patients had fever, required non-invasive oxygen therapy and presented a CT lung involvement on imaging more than 50%. Forty-two patients received hydroxychloroquine, antibiotics, and tocilizumab, alone or in combination. A second group of 28 subjects received the same therapy added with oral bacteriotherapy, using a multistrain formulation. Results: The two cohorts of patients were comparable for age, sex, laboratory values, concomitant pathologies, and the modality of oxygen support. Within 72 h, nearly all patients treated with bacteriotherapy showed remission of diarrhea and other symptoms as compared to less than half of the not supplemented group. The estimated risk of developing respiratory failure was eight-fold lower in patients receiving oral bacteriotherapy. Both the prevalence of patients transferred to ICU and mortality were higher among the patients not treated with oral bacteriotherapy. Conclusions: A specific bacterial formulation showed a significant ameliorating impact on the clinical conditions of patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection. These results also stress the importance of the gut-lung axis in controlling the COVID-19 disease.

11.
12.
World J Pediatr ; 16(3): 293-298, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617249

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of human bocavirus (HBoV) as a respiratory pathogen has not been fulfilled yet. We aimed to describe clinical and serological characteristics of children with HBoV hospitalized for acute respiratory tract infection and to evaluate whether differences occur between HBoV alone and in co-infection. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed data from 60 children (median age of 6.2 months, range 0.6-70.9) hospitalized for acute respiratory symptoms, with HBoV detected from a respiratory sample, using a reverse transcriptase-PCR for 14 respiratory viruses (including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza virus A and B, human coronavirus OC43, 229E, NL-63 and HUK1, adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus1-3, and human metapneumovirus). RESULTS: HBoV was detected alone in 29 (48.3%) patients, while in co-infection with other viruses in 31 patients (51.7%), with a peak between December and January. Among the 60 patients, 34 were bronchiolitis, 19 wheezing, 3 pneumonia, 2 upper respiratory tract infection, and 2 whooping cough. Seven children (11.6%) required admission to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for respiratory failure. No differences was observed in age, family history for atopy and/or asthma, clinical presentations, chest X-ray, or laboratory findings in children with HBoV alone vs. multiple viral detection. RSV was the most frequently co-detected virus (61.3%). When compared with HBoV detection alone, the co-detection of RSV and HBoV was associated with male sex (P = 0.013), younger age (P = 0.01), and lower blood neutrophil count (P = 0.032). CONCLUSIONS: HBoV can be detected alone and in co-infection respiratory samples of children with an acute respiratory tract infection. A cause-effect relationship between HBoV and respiratory infection is not clear, so further studies are needed to clarify this point.


Subject(s)
Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Human bocavirus/isolation & purification , Parvoviridae Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Acute Disease , Age Distribution , Child , Child, Preschool , Coinfection/epidemiology , Coinfection/virology , Databases, Factual , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric , Italy , Male , Parvoviridae Infections/epidemiology , Prognosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Rome , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Distribution
15.
J Clin Virol ; 128: 104385, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-141649

ABSTRACT

Pneumonia is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children. We described viral aetiologies, with particular interest in detecting SARS-CoV-2, in hospitalized pneumonia children. Human rhinovirus was the most frequently detected agent. No children tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection is rare in children and it was not circulating in Rome before COVID-19 outbreak.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Community-Acquired Infections/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Demography , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Rome/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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