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1.
J Virol ; : e0003822, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788914

ABSTRACT

Due to the limitation of human studies with respect to individual difference or the accessibility of fresh tissue samples, how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection results in pathological complications in lung, the main site of infection, is still incompletely understood. Therefore, physiologically relevant animal models under realistic SARS-CoV-2 infection conditions would be helpful to our understanding of dysregulated inflammation response in lung in the context of targeted therapeutics. Here, we characterized the single-cell landscape in lung and spleen upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in an acute severe disease mouse model that replicates human symptoms, including severe lung pathology and lymphopenia. We showed a reduction of lymphocyte populations and an increase of neutrophils in lung and then demonstrated the key role of neutrophil-mediated lung immunopathology in both mice and humans. Under severe conditions, neutrophils recruited by a chemokine-driven positive feedback produced elevated "fatal signature" proinflammatory genes and pathways related to neutrophil activation or releasing of granular content. In addition, we identified a new Cd177high cluster that is undergoing respiratory burst and Stfahigh cluster cells that may dampen antigen presentation upon infection. We also revealed the devastating effect of overactivated neutrophil by showing the highly enriched neutrophil extracellular traps in lung and a dampened B-cell function in either lung or spleen that may be attributed to arginine consumption by neutrophil. The current study helped our understanding of SARS-CoV-2-induced pneumonia and warranted the concept of neutrophil-targeting therapeutics in COVID-19 treatment. IMPORTANCE We demonstrated the single-cell landscape in lung and spleen upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in an acute severe disease mouse model that replicated human symptoms, including severe lung pathology and lymphopenia. Our comprehensive study revealed the key role of neutrophil-mediated lung immunopathology in SARS-CoV-2-induced severe pneumonia, which not only helped our understanding of COVID-19 but also warranted the concept of neutrophil targeting therapeutics in COVID-19 treatment.

2.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 83, 2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740428

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 induced marked lymphopenia in severe patients with COVID-19. However, whether lymphocytes are targets of viral infection is yet to be determined, although SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen has been identified in T cells from patients. Here, we confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen could be detected in patient peripheral blood cells (PBCs) or postmortem lung T cells, and the infectious virus could also be detected from viral antigen-positive PBCs. We next prove that SARS-CoV-2 infects T lymphocytes, preferably activated CD4 + T cells in vitro. Upon infection, viral RNA, subgenomic RNA, viral protein or viral particle can be detected in the T cells. Furthermore, we show that the infection is spike-ACE2/TMPRSS2-independent through using ACE2 knockdown or receptor blocking experiments. Next, we demonstrate that viral antigen-positive T cells from patient undergone pronounced apoptosis. In vitro infection of T cells induced cell death that is likely in mitochondria ROS-HIF-1a-dependent pathways. Finally, we demonstrated that LFA-1, the protein exclusively expresses in multiple leukocytes, is more likely the entry molecule that mediated SARS-CoV-2 infection in T cells, compared to a list of other known receptors. Collectively, this work confirmed a SARS-CoV-2 infection of T cells, in a spike-ACE2-independent manner, which shed novel insights into the underlying mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-induced lymphopenia in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Vero Cells
3.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 902-913, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730557

ABSTRACT

The immune memory of over 400 million COVID-19 convalescents is not completely understood. In this integrated study, we recorded the post-acute sequelae symptoms and tested the immune memories, including circulating antibodies, memory B cell, and memory CD4 or CD8 T cell responses of a cohort of 65 COVID-19 patients over 1-year after infection. Our data show that 48% of them still have one or more sequelae symptoms and all of them maintain at least one of the immune components. The chances of having sequelae symptoms or having better immune memory are associated with peak disease severity. We did four-time points sampling per subject to precisely understand the kinetics of durability of SARS-CoV-2 circulating antibodies. We found that the RBD IgG levels likely reach a stable plateau at around 6 months, albeit it is waning at the first 6 months after infection. At 1-year after infection, more than 90% of the convalescents generated memory CD4 or CD8 T memory responses, preferably against the SARS-CoV-2 M peptide pool. The convalescents also have polyfunctional and central memory T cells that could provide rapid and efficient response to SARS-CoV-2 re-infection. Based on this information, we assessed the immune protection against the Omicron variant and concluded that convalescents should still induce effective T cell immunity against the Omicron. By studying the circulating antibodies and memory B or T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 in an integrated manner, our study provides insight into the understanding of protective immunity against diseases caused by secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572660

ABSTRACT

Patients with COVID-19 generally raise antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 following infection, and the antibody level is positively correlated to the severity of disease. Whether the viral antibodies exacerbate COVID-19 through antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is still not fully understood. Here, we conducted in vitro assessment of whether convalescent serum enhanced SARS-CoV-2 infection or induced excessive immune responses in immune cells. Our data revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infection of primary B cells, macrophages and monocytes, which express variable levels of FcγR, could be enhanced by convalescent serum from COVID-19 patients. We also determined the factors associated with ADE, and found which showed a time-dependent but not viral-dose dependent manner. Furthermore, the ADE effect is not associated with the neutralizing titer or RBD antibody level when testing serum samples collected from different patients. However, it is higher in a medium level than low or high dilutions in a given sample that showed ADE effect, which is similar to dengue. Finally, we demonstrated more viral genes or dysregulated host immune gene expression under ADE conditions compared to the no-serum infection group. Collectively, our study provides insight into the understanding of an association of high viral antibody titer and severe lung pathology in severe patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibody-Dependent Enhancement/immunology , Leukocytes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Leukocytes/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , Virus Replication/immunology
5.
Acta Pharmacol Sin ; 43(4): 781-787, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387237

ABSTRACT

Lack of efficiency has been a major problem shared by all currently developed anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapies. Our previous study shows that SARS-CoV-2 structural envelope (2-E) protein forms a type of cation channel, and heterogeneously expression of 2-E channels causes host cell death. In this study we developed a cell-based high throughput screening (HTS) assay and used it to discover inhibitors against 2-E channels. Among 4376 compounds tested, 34 hits with cell protection activity were found. Followed by an anti-viral analysis, 15 compounds which could inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication were identified. In electrophysiological experiments, three representatives showing inhibitory effect on 2-E channels were chosen for further characterization. Among them, proanthocyanidins directly bound to 2-E channel with binding affinity (KD) of 22.14 µM in surface plasmon resonance assay. Molecular modeling and docking analysis revealed that proanthocyanidins inserted into the pore of 2-E N-terminal vestibule acting as a channel blocker. Consistently, mutations of Glu 8 and Asn 15, two residues lining the proposed binding pocket, abolished the inhibitory effects of proanthocyanidins. The natural product proanthocyanidins are widely used as cosmetic, suggesting a potential of proanthocyanidins as disinfectant for external use. This study further demonstrates that 2-E channel is an effective antiviral drug target and provides a potential antiviral candidate against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 905-912, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1191602

ABSTRACT

Without an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the build-up of herd immunity through natural infection has been suggested as a means to control COVID-19. Although population immunity is typically estimated by the serological investigation of recovered patients, humoral immunity in asymptomatic subjects has not been well studied, although they represent a large proportion of all SARS-CoV-2 infection cases. In this study, we conducted a serosurvey of asymptomatic infections among food workers and performed serological and cellular response analyses of asymptomatic subjects in Wuhan, the original epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our data showed that up to 5.91% of the food workers carried SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies asymptomatically; however, in 90.4% of them, the antibody level declined over a 2-week period. IgM and IgG antibodies, including neutralizing antibodies, were significantly lower in asymptomatic subjects than in recovered symptomatic patients with similar disease courses. Furthermore, the asymptomatic subjects showed lymphopenia and a prominent decrease in the B-cell population, as well as a low frequency of antibody-secreting cells and a low cytokine response. These factors probably contributed to the low and unsustained antibody levels in asymptomatic subjects. Our results show that asymptomatic subjects are likely to be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 reinfection, and neither the proportion of population immunity nor the breadth of immune responses is sufficient for herd immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , B-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , China/epidemiology , Convalescence , Cytokines/blood , Disease Susceptibility , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Follow-Up Studies , Food Handling , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin M/biosynthesis , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphopenia/etiology , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/blood , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sputum/virology
8.
Virol Sin ; 36(5): 879-889, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174014

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused more than 96 million infections and over 2 million deaths worldwide so far. However, there is no approved vaccine available for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the disease causative agent. Vaccine is the most effective approach to eradicate a pathogen. The tests of safety and efficacy in animals are pivotal for developing a vaccine and before the vaccine is applied to human populations. Here we evaluated the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of an inactivated vaccine based on the whole viral particles in human ACE2 transgenic mouse and in non-human primates. Our data showed that the inactivated vaccine successfully induced SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies in mice and non-human primates, and subsequently provided partial (in low dose) or full (in high dose) protection of challenge in the tested animals. In addition, passive serum transferred from vaccine-immunized mice could also provide full protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. These results warranted positive outcomes in future clinical trials in humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Primates , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology
9.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 2571-2577, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944151

ABSTRACT

Following acute infection, individuals COVID-19 may still shed SARS-CoV-2 RNA. However, limited information is available regarding the active shedding period or whether infectious virus is also shed. Here, we monitored the clinical characteristics and virological features of 38 patients with COVID-19 (long-term carriers) who recovered from the acute disease, but still shed viral RNA for over 3 months. The median carrying history of the long-term carriers was 92 days after the first admission, and the longest carrying history was 118 days. Negative-positive viral RNA-shedding fluctuations were observed. Long-term carriers were mostly elderly people with a history of mild infection. Infectious SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from the sputum, where high level viral RNA was found. All nine full-length genomes of samples obtained in March-April 2020 matched early viral clades circulating in January-February 2020, suggesting that these patients persistently carried SARS-CoV-2 and were not re-infected. IgM and IgG antibodies and neutralizing-antibody profiles were similar between long-term carriers and recovered patients with similar disease courses. In summary, although patients with COVID-19 generated neutralizing antibodies, they may still shed infectious SARS-CoV-2 for over 3 months. These data imply that patients should be monitored after discharge to control future outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Carrier State , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Sputum/virology
11.
Cell ; 182(1): 50-58.e8, 2020 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-343611

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has spread worldwide since 2019 and is now a severe threat to public health. We previously identified the causative agent as a novel SARS-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that uses human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) as the entry receptor. Here, we successfully developed a SARS-CoV-2 hACE2 transgenic mouse (HFH4-hACE2 in C3B6 mice) infection model. The infected mice generated typical interstitial pneumonia and pathology that were similar to those of COVID-19 patients. Viral quantification revealed the lungs as the major site of infection, although viral RNA could also be found in the eye, heart, and brain in some mice. Virus identical to SARS-CoV-2 in full-genome sequences was isolated from the infected lung and brain tissues. Last, we showed that pre-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 could protect mice from severe pneumonia. Our results show that the hACE2 mouse would be a valuable tool for testing potential vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Transgenic , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/pathology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/virology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C3H , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic/genetics , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Tropism , Weight Loss
12.
Nature ; 579(7798): 270-273, 2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-246

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 18 years ago, a large number of SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats1-4. Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans5-7. Here we report the identification and characterization of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, which started on 12 December 2019, had caused 2,794 laboratory-confirmed infections including 80 deaths by 26 January 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at an early stage of the outbreak. The sequences are almost identical and share 79.6% sequence identity to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, we show that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus. Pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins domains show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. In addition, 2019-nCoV virus isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient could be neutralized by sera from several patients. Notably, we confirmed that 2019-nCoV uses the same cell entry receptor-angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2)-as SARS-CoV.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/ultrastructure , COVID-19 , Cell Line , China/epidemiology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Male , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Phylogeny , SARS Virus/classification , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Vero Cells
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