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1.
Frontiers in immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1939959

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had a social and economic impact worldwide, and vaccination is an efficient strategy for diminishing those damages. New adjuvant formulations are required for the high vaccine demands, especially adjuvant formulations that induce a Th1 phenotype. Herein we assess a vaccination strategy using a combination of Alum and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid [Poly(I:C)] adjuvants plus the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in a prefusion trimeric conformation by an intradermal (ID) route. We found high levels of IgG anti-spike antibodies in the serum by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and high neutralizing titers against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro by neutralization assay, after two or three immunizations. By evaluating the production of IgG subtypes, as expected, we found that formulations containing Poly(I:C) induced IgG2a whereas Alum did not. The combination of these two adjuvants induced high levels of both IgG1 and IgG2a. In addition, cellular immune responses of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells producing interferon-gamma were equivalent, demonstrating that the Alum + Poly(I:C) combination supported a Th1 profile. Based on the high neutralizing titers, we evaluated B cells in the germinal centers, which are specific for receptor-binding domain (RBD) and spike, and observed that more positive B cells were induced upon the Alum + Poly(I:C) combination. Moreover, these B cells produced antibodies against both RBD and non-RBD sites. We also studied the impact of this vaccination preparation [spike protein with Alum + Poly(I:C)] in the lungs of mice challenged with inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus. We found a production of IgG, but not IgA, and a reduction in neutrophil recruitment in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of mice, suggesting that our immunization scheme reduced lung inflammation. Altogether, our data suggest that Alum and Poly(I:C) together is a possible adjuvant combination for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 by the intradermal route.

2.
Cell Death Discov ; 8(1): 324, 2022 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937427

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected over 400 million people worldwide, leading to 6 million deaths. Among the complex symptomatology of COVID-19, hypercoagulation and thrombosis have been described to directly contribute to lethality, pointing out platelets as an important SARS-CoV-2 target. In this work, we explored the platelet proteome of COVID-19 patients through a label-free shotgun proteomics approach to identify platelet responses to infection, as well as validation experiments in a larger patient cohort. Exclusively detected proteins (EPs) and differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were identified in the proteomic dataset and thus classified into biological processes to map pathways correlated with pathogenesis. Significant changes in the expression of proteins related to platelet activation, cell death, and antiviral response through interferon type-I were found in all patients. Since the outcome of COVID-19 varies highly among individuals, we also performed a cross-comparison of proteins found in survivors and nonsurvivors. Proteins belonging to the translation pathway were strongly highlighted in the nonsurvivor group. Moreover, the SARS-CoV-2 genome was fully sequenced in platelets from five patients, indicating viral internalization and preprocessing, with CD147 as a potential entry route. In summary, platelets play a significant role in COVID-19 pathogenesis via platelet activation, antiviral response, and disease severity.

3.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917793

ABSTRACT

Despite the fast development of vaccines, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still circulating and generating variants of concern (VoC) that escape the humoral immune response. In this context, the search for anti-SARS-CoV-2 compounds is still essential. A class of natural polyphenols known as flavonoids, frequently available in fruits and vegetables, is widely explored in the treatment of different diseases and used as a scaffold for the design of novel drugs. Therefore, herein we evaluate seven flavonoids divided into three subclasses, isoflavone (genistein), flavone (apigenin and luteolin) and flavonol (fisetin, kaempferol, myricetin, and quercetin), for COVID-19 treatment using cell-based assays and in silico calculations validated with experimental enzymatic data. The flavonols were better SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors than isoflavone and flavones. The increasing number of hydroxyl groups in ring B of the flavonols kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin decreased the 50% effective concentration (EC50) value due to their impact on the orientation of the compounds inside the target. Myricetin and fisetin appear to be preferred candidates; they are both anti-inflammatory (decreasing TNF-α levels) and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 mainly by targeting the processability of the main protease (Mpro) in a non-competitive manner, with a potency comparable to the repurposed drug atazanavir. However, fisetin and myricetin might also be considered hits that are amenable to synthetic modification to improve their anti-SARS-CoV-2 profile by inhibiting not only Mpro, but also the 3'-5' exonuclease (ExoN).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Flavones , Isoflavones , COVID-19/drug therapy , Flavones/pharmacology , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Flavonols/pharmacology , Humans , Isoflavones/pharmacology , Kaempferols , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors , Quercetin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 862284, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847186

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to extra caution in workplaces to avoid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In the occupational environment, SARS-CoV-2 testing is a powerful approach in providing valuable information to detect, monitor, and mitigate the spread of the virus and preserve productivity. Here a centralized Occupational Health Center provided molecular diagnosis and genomic sequences for companies and industries in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From May to August 2021, around 20% of the SARS-CoV-2 positive nasopharyngeal swabs from routinely tested workers were sequenced and reproduced the replacement of Gamma with Delta variant observed in regular surveillance programs. Moreover, as a proof-of-concept on the sensibility of the occupational health genomic surveillance program described here, it was also found: i) the primo-identification of B.1.139 and A.2.5 viral genomes in Brazil and ii) an improved dating of Delta VoC evolution, by identifying earlier cases associated with AY-related genomes. We interpret that SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing of workers, independent of symptom presentation, provides an earlier opportunity to identify variants. Thus, considering the continuous monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in workplaces, positive samples from occupation health programs should be regarded as essential to improve the knowledge on virus genetic diversity and VoC emergence.

6.
Microbiome ; 10(1): 65, 2022 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799088

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Critically ill 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients under invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) are 10 to 40 times more likely to die than the general population. Although progression from mild to severe COVID-19 has been associated with hypoxia, uncontrolled inflammation, and coagulopathy, the mechanisms involved in the progression to severity are poorly understood. METHODS: The virome of tracheal aspirates (TA) from 25 COVID-19 patients under IMV was assessed through unbiased RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), and correlation analyses were conducted using available clinical data. Unbiased sequences from nasopharyngeal swabs (NS) from mild cases and TA from non-COVID patients were included in our study for further comparisons. RESULTS: We found higher levels and differential expression of human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) genes in TA from critically ill and deceased patients when comparing nasopharyngeal swabs from mild cases to TA from non-COVID patients. In critically ill patients, higher HERV-K levels were associated with early mortality (within 14 days of diagnosis) in the intensive care unit. Increased HERV-K expression in deceased patients was associated with IL-17-related inflammation, monocyte activation, and an increased consumption of clotting/fibrinolysis factors. Moreover, increased HERV-K expression was detected in human primary monocytes from healthy donors after experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. CONCLUSION: Our data implicate the levels of HERV-K transcripts in the physiopathology of COVID-19 in the respiratory tract of patients under invasive mechanical ventilation. Video abstract.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endogenous Retroviruses , Critical Illness , Endogenous Retroviruses/genetics , Humans , Inflammation , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Leukoc Biol ; 111(5): 1107-1121, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756612

ABSTRACT

Infection by SARS-CoV-2 may elicit uncontrolled and damaging inflammatory responses. Thus, it is critical to identify compounds able to inhibit virus replication and thwart the inflammatory reaction. Here, we show that the plasma levels of the immunoregulatory neuropeptide VIP are elevated in patients with severe COVID-19, correlating with reduced inflammatory mediators and with survival on those patients. In vitro, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), highly similar neuropeptides, decreased the SARS-CoV-2 RNA content in human monocytes and viral production in lung epithelial cells, also reducing cell death. Both neuropeptides inhibited the production of proinflammatory mediators in lung epithelial cells and in monocytes. VIP and PACAP prevented in monocytes the SARS-CoV-2-induced activation of NF-kB and SREBP1 and SREBP2, transcriptions factors involved in proinflammatory reactions and lipid metabolism, respectively. They also promoted CREB activation, a transcription factor with antiapoptotic activity and negative regulator of NF-kB. Specific inhibition of NF-kB and SREBP1/2 reproduced the anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and cell death protection effects of VIP and PACAP. Our results support further clinical investigations of these neuropeptides against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide , Humans , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Receptors, Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide, Type I , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide/pharmacology
8.
Front Immunol ; 13: 820131, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731776

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently a worldwide emergency caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In observational clinical studies, statins have been identified as beneficial to hospitalized patients with COVID-19. However, experimental evidence of underlying statins protection against SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive. Here we reported for the first-time experimental evidence of the protective effects of simvastatin treatment both in vitro and in vivo. We found that treatment with simvastatin significantly reduced the viral replication and lung damage in vivo, delaying SARS-CoV-2-associated physiopathology and mortality in the K18-hACE2-transgenic mice model. Moreover, simvastatin also downregulated the inflammation triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection in pulmonary tissue and in human neutrophils, peripheral blood monocytes, and lung epithelial Calu-3 cells in vitro, showing its potential to modulate the inflammatory response both at the site of infection and systemically. Additionally, we also observed that simvastatin affected the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection through displacing ACE2 on cell membrane lipid rafts. In conclusion, our results show that simvastatin exhibits early protective effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection by inhibiting virus cell entry and inflammatory cytokine production, through mechanisms at least in part dependent on lipid rafts disruption.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Inflammation/drug therapy , Membrane Microdomains/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Simvastatin/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Inflammation/virology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 15(1)2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725923

ABSTRACT

Atazanavir (ATV) has already been considered as a potential repurposing drug to 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19); however, there are controversial reports on its mechanism of action and effectiveness as anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Through the pre-clinical chain of experiments: enzymatic, molecular docking, cell-based and in vivo assays, it is demonstrated here that both SARS-CoV-2 B.1 lineage and variant of concern gamma are susceptible to this antiretroviral. Enzymatic assays and molecular docking calculations showed that SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) was inhibited by ATV, with Morrison's inhibitory constant (Ki) 1.5-fold higher than GC376 (a positive control) dependent of the catalytic water (H2Ocat) content. ATV was a competitive inhibitor, increasing the Mpro's Michaelis-Menten (Km) more than sixfold. Cell-based assays indicated that different lineages of SARS-CoV-2 is susceptible to ATV. Using oral administration of ATV in mice to reach plasmatic exposure similar to humans, transgenic mice expression in human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (K18-hACE2) were partially protected against lethal challenge with SARS-CoV-2 gamma. Moreover, less cell death and inflammation were observed in the lung from infected and treated mice. Our studies may contribute to a better comprehension of the Mpro/ATV interaction, which could pave the way to the development of specific inhibitors of this viral protease.

10.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 154, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699831

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has an exonuclease-based proofreader, which removes nucleotide inhibitors such as Remdesivir that are incorporated into the viral RNA during replication, reducing the efficacy of these drugs for treating COVID-19. Combinations of inhibitors of both the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and the exonuclease could overcome this deficiency. Here we report the identification of hepatitis C virus NS5A inhibitors Pibrentasvir and Ombitasvir as SARS-CoV-2 exonuclease inhibitors. In the presence of Pibrentasvir, RNAs terminated with the active forms of the prodrugs Sofosbuvir, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Molnupiravir and AT-527 were largely protected from excision by the exonuclease, while in the absence of Pibrentasvir, there was rapid excision. Due to its unique structure, Tenofovir-terminated RNA was highly resistant to exonuclease excision even in the absence of Pibrentasvir. Viral cell culture studies also demonstrate significant synergy using this combination strategy. This study supports the use of combination drugs that inhibit both the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase and exonuclease for effective COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Exonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Anilides/pharmacology , Animals , Base Sequence , Benzimidazoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Synergism , Exonucleases/genetics , Exonucleases/metabolism , Humans , Proline/pharmacology , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Valine/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics
11.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687050

ABSTRACT

Despite the development of specific therapies against severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the continuous investigation of the mechanism of action of clinically approved drugs could provide new information on the druggable steps of virus-host interaction. For example, chloroquine (CQ)/hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) lacks in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 in TMPRSS2-expressing cells, such as human pneumocyte cell line Calu-3, and likewise, failed to show clinical benefit in the Solidarity and Recovery clinical trials. Another antimalarial drug, mefloquine, which is not a 4-aminoquinoline like CQ/HCQ, has emerged as a potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 antiviral in vitro and has also been previously repurposed for respiratory diseases. Here, we investigated the anti-SARS-CoV-2 mechanism of action of mefloquine in cells relevant for the physiopathology of COVID-19, such as Calu-3 cells (that recapitulate type II pneumocytes) and monocytes. Molecular pathways modulated by mefloquine were assessed by differential expression analysis, and confirmed by biological assays. A PBPK model was developed to assess mefloquine's optimal doses for achieving therapeutic concentrations. Mefloquine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Calu-3, with an EC50 of 1.2 µM and EC90 of 5.3 µM. It reduced SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in monocytes and prevented virus-induced enhancement of IL-6 and TNF-α. Mefloquine reduced SARS-CoV-2 entry and synergized with Remdesivir. Mefloquine's pharmacological parameters are consistent with its plasma exposure in humans and its tissue-to-plasma predicted coefficient points suggesting that mefloquine may accumulate in the lungs. Altogether, our data indicate that mefloquine's chemical structure could represent an orally available host-acting agent to inhibit virus entry.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Mefloquine/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Virus Internalization/drug effects
13.
J Virol ; 95(22): e0127621, 2021 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494956

ABSTRACT

The emergence of life-threatening zoonotic diseases caused by betacoronaviruses, including the ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, has highlighted the need for developing preclinical models mirroring respiratory and systemic pathophysiological manifestations seen in infected humans. Here, we showed that C57BL/6J wild-type mice intranasally inoculated with the murine betacoronavirus murine hepatitis coronavirus 3 (MHV-3) develop a robust inflammatory response leading to acute lung injuries, including alveolar edema, hemorrhage, and fibrin thrombi. Although such histopathological changes seemed to resolve as the infection advanced, they efficiently impaired respiratory function, as the infected mice displayed restricted lung distention and increased respiratory frequency and ventilation. Following respiratory manifestation, the MHV-3 infection became systemic, and a high virus burden could be detected in multiple organs along with morphological changes. The systemic manifestation of MHV-3 infection was also marked by a sharp drop in the number of circulating platelets and lymphocytes, besides the augmented concentration of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin 1 beta (IL-1ß), IL-6, IL-12, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), thereby mirroring some clinical features observed in moderate and severe cases of COVID-19. Importantly, both respiratory and systemic changes triggered by MHV-3 infection were greatly prevented by blocking TNF signaling, either via genetic or pharmacologic approaches. In line with this, TNF blockage also diminished the infection-mediated release of proinflammatory cytokines and virus replication of human epithelial lung cells infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Collectively, results show that MHV-3 respiratory infection leads to a large range of clinical manifestations in mice and may constitute an attractive, lower-cost, biosafety level 2 (BSL2) in vivo platform for evaluating the respiratory and multiorgan involvement of betacoronavirus infections. IMPORTANCE Mouse models have long been used as valuable in vivo platforms to investigate the pathogenesis of viral infections and effective countermeasures. The natural resistance of mice to the novel betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has launched a race toward the characterization of SARS-CoV-2 infection in other animals (e.g., hamsters, cats, ferrets, bats, and monkeys), as well as adaptation of the mouse model, by modifying either the host or the virus. In the present study, we utilized a natural pathogen of mice, MHV, as a prototype to model betacoronavirus-induced acute lung injure and multiorgan involvement under biosafety level 2 conditions. We showed that C57BL/6J mice intranasally inoculated with MHV-3 develops severe disease, which includes acute lung damage and respiratory distress that precede systemic inflammation and death. Accordingly, the proposed animal model may provide a useful tool for studies regarding betacoronavirus respiratory infection and related diseases.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Murine hepatitis virus/pathogenicity , Animals , Cell Line , Containment of Biohazards , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation , Liver/pathology , Liver/virology , Lung/virology , Mice , Murine hepatitis virus/drug effects , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
16.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 76(7): 1874-1885, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195719

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Current approaches of drug repurposing against COVID-19 have not proven overwhelmingly successful and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to cause major global mortality. SARS-CoV-2 nsp12, its RNA polymerase, shares homology in the nucleotide uptake channel with the HCV orthologue enzyme NS5B. Besides, HCV enzyme NS5A has pleiotropic activities, such as RNA binding, that are shared with various SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Thus, anti-HCV NS5B and NS5A inhibitors, like sofosbuvir and daclatasvir, respectively, could be endowed with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero cells, HuH-7 cells, Calu-3 cells, neural stem cells and monocytes were used to investigate the effects of daclatasvir and sofosbuvir. In silico and cell-free based assays were performed with SARS-CoV-2 RNA and nsp12 to better comprehend the mechanism of inhibition of the investigated compounds. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model was generated to estimate daclatasvir's dose and schedule to maximize the probability of success for COVID-19. RESULTS: Daclatasvir inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero, HuH-7 and Calu-3 cells, with potencies of 0.8, 0.6 and 1.1 µM, respectively. Although less potent than daclatasvir, sofosbuvir alone and combined with daclatasvir inhibited replication in Calu-3 cells. Sofosbuvir and daclatasvir prevented virus-induced neuronal apoptosis and release of cytokine storm-related inflammatory mediators, respectively. Sofosbuvir inhibited RNA synthesis by chain termination and daclatasvir targeted the folding of secondary RNA structures in the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Concentrations required for partial daclatasvir in vitro activity are achieved in plasma at Cmax after administration of the approved dose to humans. CONCLUSIONS: Daclatasvir, alone or in combination with sofosbuvir, at higher doses than used against HCV, may be further fostered as an anti-COVID-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Carbamates , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Imidazoles , Pyrrolidines , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Sofosbuvir/pharmacology , Valine/analogs & derivatives , Vero Cells
17.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(5): 1446-1453, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167282

ABSTRACT

The dynamics underlying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reinfection remain poorly understood. We identified a small cluster of patients in Brazil who experienced 2 episodes of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in March and late May 2020. In the first episode, patients manifested an enhanced innate response compared with healthy persons, but neutralizing humoral immunity was not fully achieved. The second episode was associated with different SARS-CoV-2 strains, higher viral loads, and clinical symptoms. Our finding that persons with mild COVID-19 may have controlled SARS-CoV-2 replication without developing detectable humoral immunity suggests that reinfection is more frequent than supposed, but this hypothesis is not well documented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Brazil/epidemiology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Reinfection
18.
ACS Omega ; 6(11): 7454-7468, 2021 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155692

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a newly identified virus that has resulted in over 2.5 million deaths globally and over 116 million cases globally in March, 2021. Small-molecule inhibitors that reverse disease severity have proven difficult to discover. One of the key approaches that has been widely applied in an effort to speed up the translation of drugs is drug repurposing. A few drugs have shown in vitro activity against Ebola viruses and demonstrated activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo. Most notably, the RNA polymerase targeting remdesivir demonstrated activity in vitro and efficacy in the early stage of the disease in humans. Testing other small-molecule drugs that are active against Ebola viruses (EBOVs) would appear a reasonable strategy to evaluate their potential for SARS-CoV-2. We have previously repurposed pyronaridine, tilorone, and quinacrine (from malaria, influenza, and antiprotozoal uses, respectively) as inhibitors of Ebola and Marburg viruses in vitro in HeLa cells and mouse-adapted EBOV in mice in vivo. We have now tested these three drugs in various cell lines (VeroE6, Vero76, Caco-2, Calu-3, A549-ACE2, HUH-7, and monocytes) infected with SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viruses (including MHV and HCoV 229E). The compilation of these results indicated considerable variability in antiviral activity observed across cell lines. We found that tilorone and pyronaridine inhibited the virus replication in A549-ACE2 cells with IC50 values of 180 nM and IC50 198 nM, respectively. We used microscale thermophoresis to test the binding of these molecules to the spike protein, and tilorone and pyronaridine bind to the spike receptor binding domain protein with K d values of 339 and 647 nM, respectively. Human Cmax for pyronaridine and quinacrine is greater than the IC50 observed in A549-ACE2 cells. We also provide novel insights into the mechanism of these compounds which is likely lysosomotropic.

19.
Cell Death Discov ; 7(1): 43, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1111974

ABSTRACT

Infection by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been associated with leukopenia and uncontrolled inflammatory response in critically ill patients. A better comprehension of SARS-CoV-2-induced monocyte death is essential for the identification of therapies capable to control the hyper-inflammation and reduce viral replication in patients with 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Here, we show that SARS-CoV-2 engages inflammasome and triggers pyroptosis in human monocytes, experimentally infected, and from patients under intensive care. Pyroptosis associated with caspase-1 activation, IL-1ß production, gasdermin D cleavage, and enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in human primary monocytes. At least in part, our results originally describe mechanisms by which monocytes, a central cellular component recruited from peripheral blood to respiratory tract, succumb to control severe COVID-19.

20.
Biosaf Health ; 3(1): 1-3, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-951151

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents an enormous challenge to all countries, regardless of their development status. The manipulation of its etiologic agent SARS-CoV-2 requires a biosafety containment level 3 laboratories (BSL-3) to understand virus biology and in vivo pathogenesis as well as the translation of new knowledge into the preclinical development of vaccines and antivirals. As such, BSL-3 facilities should be considered an integral part of any public health response to emerging infectious disease prevention, control and management. Differently from BSL-2, BSL-3 units vary considerably along the range from industrialized to the least developed countries. Innovative Developing Countries (IDCs) such as Brazil, which excelled at controlling the 2015-2017 Zika epidemic, had to face a serious flaw in its disease control and prevention structure: the scarcity and uneven geographic distribution of its BSL-3 facilities, including those for preclinical animal experimentation.

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