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1.
Antiviral Res ; 205: 105372, 2022 Jul 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914151

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron subvariant BA.2 has spread in many countries, replacing the earlier Omicron subvariant BA.1 and other variants. Here, using a cell culture infection assay, we quantified the intrinsic sensitivity of BA.2 and BA.1 compared with other variants of concern, Alpha, Gamma, and Delta, to five approved-neutralizing antibodies and antiviral drugs. Our assay revealed the diverse sensitivities of these variants to antibodies, including the loss of response of both BA.1 and BA.2 to casirivimab and of BA.1 to imdevimab. In contrast, EIDD-1931 and nirmatrelvir showed a more conserved activities to these variants. The viral response profile combined with mathematical analysis estimated differences in antiviral effects among variants in the clinical concentrations. These analyses provide essential evidence that gives insight into variant emergence's impact on choosing optimal drug treatment.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-333065

ABSTRACT

The severity of disease following infection with SARS-CoV-2 is determined by viral replication kinetics and host immunity, with early T cell responses and/or suppression of viraemia driving a favourable outcome. Recent studies have uncovered a role for cholesterol metabolism in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle and in T cell function. Here we show that blockade of the enzyme Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) with Avasimibe inhibits SARS-CoV-2 entry and fusion independent of transmembrane protease serine 2 expression in multiple cell types. We also demonstrate a role for ACAT in regulating SARS-CoV-2 RNA replication in primary bronchial epithelial cells. Furthermore, Avasimibe boosts the expansion of functional SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells from the blood of patients sampled in the acute phase of infection. Thus, re-purposing of available ACAT inhibitors provides a compelling therapeutic strategy for the treatment of COVID-19 to achieve both antiviral and immunomodulatory effects.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329162

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron subvariant BA.2 has spread in many countries, replacing the earlier Omicron subvariant BA.1 and other variants. Here, using a cell culture infection assay, we quantified the intrinsic sensitivity of BA.2 and BA.1 compared with other variants of concern, Alpha, Gamma, and Delta, to five approved-neutralizing antibodies and antiviral drugs. Our assay revealed the diverse sensitivities of these variants to antibodies, including the loss of response of both BA.1 and BA.2 to casirivimab and of BA.1 to imdevimab. In contrast, EIDD-1931 and nirmatrelvir showed a more conserved activities to these variants. The viral response profile combined with mathematical analysis estimated differences in antiviral effects among variants in the clinical concentrations. These analyses provide essential evidence that gives insight into the impact of variant emergence on choosing optimal drug treatment.

4.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 651403, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231355

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused serious public health, social, and economic damage worldwide and effective drugs that prevent or cure COVID-19 are urgently needed. Approved drugs including Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir or Interferon were reported to inhibit the infection or propagation of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), however, their clinical efficacies have not yet been well demonstrated. To identify drugs with higher antiviral potency, we screened approved anti-parasitic/anti-protozoal drugs and identified an anti-malarial drug, Mefloquine, which showed the highest anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity among the tested compounds. Mefloquine showed higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity than Hydroxychloroquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 cells, with IC50 = 1.28 µM, IC90 = 2.31 µM, and IC99 = 4.39 µM in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells. Mefloquine inhibited viral entry after viral attachment to the target cell. Combined treatment with Mefloquine and Nelfinavir, a replication inhibitor, showed synergistic antiviral activity. Our mathematical modeling based on the drug concentration in the lung predicted that Mefloquine administration at a standard treatment dosage could decline viral dynamics in patients, reduce cumulative viral load to 7% and shorten the time until virus elimination by 6.1 days. These data cumulatively underscore Mefloquine as an anti-SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitor.

5.
iScience ; 24(4): 102367, 2021 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157438

ABSTRACT

Antiviral treatments targeting the coronavirus disease 2019 are urgently required. We screened a panel of already approved drugs in a cell culture model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and identified two new agents having higher antiviral potentials than the drug candidates such as remdesivir and chroloquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells: the anti-inflammatory drug cepharanthine and human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitor nelfinavir. Cepharanthine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 entry through the blocking of viral binding to target cells, while nelfinavir suppressed viral replication partly by protease inhibition. Consistent with their different modes of action, synergistic effect of this combined treatment to limit SARS-CoV-2 proliferation was highlighted. Mathematical modeling in vitro antiviral activity coupled with the calculated total drug concentrations in the lung predicts that nelfinavir will shorten the period until viral clearance by 4.9 days and the combining cepharanthine/nelfinavir enhanced their predicted efficacy. These results warrant further evaluation of the potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of cepharanthine and nelfinavir.

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