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1.
Biosensors (Basel) ; 12(7)2022 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957224

ABSTRACT

The ongoing highly contagious Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), underlines the fundamental position of diagnostic testing in outbreak control by allowing a distinction of the infected from the non-infected people. Diagnosis of COVID-19 remains largely based on reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), identifying the genetic material of the virus. Molecular testing approaches have been largely proposed in addition to infectivity testing of patients via sensing the presence of viral particles of SARS-CoV-2 specific structural proteins, such as the spike glycoproteins (S1, S2) and the nucleocapsid (N) protein. While the S1 protein remains the main target for neutralizing antibody treatment upon infection and the focus of vaccine and therapeutic design, it has also become a major target for the development of point-of care testing (POCT) devices. This review will focus on the possibility of surface plasmon resonance (SPR)-based sensing platforms to convert the receptor-binding event of SARS-CoV-2 viral particles into measurable signals. The state-of-the-art SPR-based SARS-CoV-2 sensing devices will be provided, and highlights about the applicability of plasmonic sensors as POCT for virus particle as well as viral protein sensing will be discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , Virion
2.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 2: 56, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947553

ABSTRACT

Background: An ongoing need during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the requirement for accurate and efficient point-of-care testing platforms to distinguish infected from non-infected people, and to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 infections from other viruses. Electrochemical platforms can detect the virus via its envelope spike protein by recording changes in voltammetric signals between samples. However, this remains challenging due to the limited sensitivity of these sensing platforms. Methods: Here, we report on a nanobody-functionalized electrochemical platform for the rapid detection of whole SARS-CoV-2 viral particles in complex media such as saliva and nasopharyngeal swab samples. The sensor relies on the functionalization of gold electrode surface with highly-oriented Llama nanobodies specific to the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD). The device provides results in 10 min of exposure to 200 µL of unprocessed samples with high specificity to SARS-CoV-2 viral particles in human saliva and nasopharyngeal swab samples. Results: The developed sensor could discriminate between different human coronavirus strains and other respiratory viruses, with 90% positive and 90% negative percentage agreement on 80 clinical samples, as compared to RT-qPCR. Conclusions: We believe this diagnostic concept, also validated for RBD mutants and successfully tested on Delta variant samples, to be a powerful tool to detect patients' infection status, easily extendable to other viruses and capable of overcoming sensing-related mutation effects.

4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330837

ABSTRACT

Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is ongoing. The pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection is beginning to be elucidated but the role of microRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, remains incompletely understood. They play a role in the pathophysiology of viral infections with potential use as biomarkers. The objective of this study was to identify miRNAs as biomarkers of severe COVID-19 and to analyze their role in the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods miRNA expression was measured in nasopharyngeal swabs from 20 patients with severe COVID-19, 21 patients with non-severe COVID-19 and 20 controls. Promising miRNAs to differentiate non-severe from severe COVID-19 patients were identified by differential expression analysis and sparse Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (sPLS-DA). ROC analysis, target prediction, GO enrichment and pathway analysis were used to analyze the role and the pertinence of these miRNAs in severe COVID-19. Results The number of expressed miRNAs was lower in severe COVID-19 patients compared to non-severe COVID-19 patients and controls. Among the differentially expressed miRNAs between severe COVID-19 and controls, 5 miRNAs were also differentially expressed between severe and non-severe COVID-19. sPLS-DA analysis highlighted 8 miRNAs, that allowed to discriminate the severe and non-severe COVID-19 cases. Target and functional analysis revealed enrichment for genes involved in viral infections and the cellular response to infection as well as one miRNA, hsa-miR-15b-5p, that targeted the SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The comparison of results of differential expression analysis and discriminant analysis revealed three miRNAs, namely hsa-miR-125a-5p, hsa-miR-491-5p and hsa-miR-200b-3p. These discriminated severe from non-severe cases with areas under the curve ranging from 0.76 to 0.80. Conclusions Our analysis of miRNA expression in nasopharyngeal swabs revealed several miRNAs of interest to discriminate severe and non-severe COVID-19. These miRNAs represent promising biomarkers and possibly targets for antiviral or anti-inflammatory treatment strategies.

5.
Pathogens ; 10(7)2021 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302436

ABSTRACT

Vaccination remains one of the most effective tools to prevent infectious diseases. To ensure that the best possible antigenic components are chosen to stimulate a cognitive immune response, boosting antigen presentation using adjuvants is common practice. Nanodiamond-based adjuvants are proposed here as a rapid and versatile platform for antigen conjugation, utilizing peptides common to different pathogenic strains and making this strategy a good candidate for a "ready-to-use" vaccine. Initiation of an inflammatory reaction with a resulting immune response is based on the ability of living organisms to entrap nanostructures such as nanodiamonds with neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation. In this work, coronavirus peptide homological for MERS-CoV, fusion inhibitor, was conjugated to nanodiamonds and used to induce neutrophilic-driven self-limiting inflammation. The resulting adjuvant was safe and did not induce any tissue damage at the site of injection. Mice immunization resulted in IgG titers of »,000 within 28 days. Immunization of rabbits resulted in the formation of a high level of antibodies persistently present for up to 120 days after the first immunization (animal lifespan ~3 years). The peptide used for immunization proved to be reactive with sera of convalescent COVID patients, demonstrating the possibility of developing pancoronaviral vaccine candidates.

6.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 192: 113486, 2021 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300634

ABSTRACT

Diagnostics of SARS-CoV-2 infection using real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on nasopharyngeal swabs is now well-established, with saliva-based testing being lately more widely implemented for being more adapted for self-testing approaches. In this study, we introduce a different concept based on exhaled breath condensate (EBC), readily collected by a mask-based sampling device, and detection with an electrochemical biosensor with a modular architecture that enables fast and specific detection and quantification of COVID-19. The face mask forms an exhaled breath vapor containment volume to hold the exhaled breath vapor in proximity to the EBC collector to enable a condensate-forming surface, cooled by a thermal mass, to coalesce the exhaled breath into a 200-500 µL fluid sample in 2 min. EBC RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 genes (E, ORF1ab) on samples collected from 7 SARS-CoV-2 positive and 7 SARS-CoV-2 negative patients were performed. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 could be detected in 5 out of 7 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients. Furthermore, the EBC samples were screened on an electrochemical aptamer biosensor, which detects SARS-CoV-2 viral particles down to 10 pfu mL-1 in cultured SARS-CoV-2 suspensions. Using a "turn off" assay via ferrocenemethanol redox mediator, results about the infectivity state of the patient are obtained in 10 min.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Exhalation , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
7.
ACS Omega ; 6(10): 6528-6536, 2021 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145042

ABSTRACT

Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, clinical laboratories worldwide are overwhelmed with SARS-CoV-2 testing using the current gold standard: real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. The large numbers of suspected cases led to shortages in numerous reagents such as specimen transport and RNA extraction buffers. We try to provide some answers on how strongly preanalytical issues affect RT-PCR results by reviewing the utility of different transport buffer media and virus inactivation procedures and comparing the literature data with our own recent findings. We show that various viral inactivation procedures and transport buffers are available and are less of a bottleneck for PCR-based methods. However, efficient alternative lysis buffers remain more difficult to find, and several fast RT-PCR assays are not compatible with guanidine-containing media, making this aspect more of a challenge in the current crisis. Furthermore, the availability of different SARS-CoV-2-specific RT-PCR kits with different sensitivities makes the definition of a general cutoff level for the cycle threshold (Ct) value challenging. Only a few studies have considered how Ct values relate to viral infectivity and how preanalytical issues might affect viral infectivity and RNA detection. We review the current data on the correlation between Ct values and viral infectivity. The presence of the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome in its own is not sufficient proof of infectivity and caution is needed in evaluation of the infectivity of samples. The correlation between Ct values and viral infectivity revealed an RT-PCR cutoff value of 34 cycles for SARS-CoV-2 infectivity using a laboratory-developed RT-PCR assay targeting the RdRp gene. While ideally each clinical laboratory should perform its own correlation, we believe this perspective article could be a reference point for others, in particular medical doctors and researchers interested in COVID-19 diagnostics, and a first step toward harmonization.

8.
Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) ; 69(1): 5, 2021 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118194

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses share conservative spike protein (S) on their enveloped membrane surface, where S1 subunit recognizes and binds the cellular receptor, and the S2 subunit mediates membrane fusion. This similarity raises the question: does coronaviral infection by one create protection to others? Convalescent SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) sera were tested for cross reactivity with peptides from Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) which shares 74% homology. Our results showed significant cross-reactivity with a peptide of the heptad repeat 2 (HR2) domain of the MERS-CoV spike protein. Sera samples of 47 validated seropositive convalescent COVID-19 patients and 40 sera samples of control patients, collected in pre-COVID time were used to establish cross-bind reactivity with the MERS-CoV peptide. Significantly stronger binding (p < 0.0001) was observed for IgG antibodies in convalescent COVID-19 patients compared to the control group. In ELISA, MERS-CoV peptide helps to discriminate post-COVID-19 populations and non-infected ones by the presence of antibodies in blood samples. This suggests that polyclonal antibodies established during SARS-CoV-2 infection can recognize and probably decrease severity of MERS-CoV and other coronaviral infections. The high homology of the spike protein domain also suggests that the opposite effect can be true: coronaviral infections produce cross-reactive antibodies effective against SARS-CoV-2. The collected data prove that despite the core HR2 region is hidden in the native viral conformation, its exposure during cell entry makes it highly immunogenic. Since inhibitory peptides to this region were previously described, this opens new possibilities in fighting coronaviral infections and developing vaccines effective even after possible viral mutations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Cross Reactions , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology
9.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 414(1): 103-113, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092649

ABSTRACT

Point-of-care (POC) technologies and testing programs hold great potential to significantly improve diagnosis and disease surveillance. POC tests have the intrinsic advantage of being able to be performed near the patient or treatment facility, owing to their portable character. With rapid results often in minutes, these diagnostic platforms have a high positive impact on disease management. POC tests are, in addition, advantageous in situations of a shortage of skilled personnel and restricted availability of laboratory-based analytics. While POC testing programs are widely considered in addressing health care challenges in low-income health systems, the ongoing pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections could largely benefit from fast, efficient, accurate, and cost-effective point-of-care testing (POCT) devices for limiting COVID-19 spreading. The unrestrained availability of SARS-CoV-2 POC tests is indeed one of the adequate means of better managing the COVID-19 outbreak. A large number of novel and innovative solutions to address this medical need have emerged over the last months. Here, we critically elaborate the role of the surface ligands in the design of biosensors to cope with the current viral outbreak situation. Their notable effect on electrical and electrochemical sensors' design will be discussed in some given examples. Graphical abstract.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Testing/trends , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Electrochemical Techniques , Humans , Ligands , Point-of-Care Systems
10.
Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 10(7)2020 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-625962

ABSTRACT

The eradication of viral infections is an ongoing challenge in the medical field, as currently evidenced with the newly emerged Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) associated with severe respiratory distress. As treatments are often not available, early detection of an eventual infection and its level becomes of outmost importance. Nanomaterials and nanotechnological approaches are increasingly used in the field of viral sensing to address issues related to signal-to-noise ratio, limiting the sensitivity of the sensor. Superparamagnetic nanoparticles (MPs) present one of the most exciting prospects for magnetic bead-based viral aggregation assays and their integration into different biosensing strategies as they can be easily separated from a complex matrix containing the virus through the application of an external magnetic field. Despite the enormous potential of MPs as capture/pre-concentrating elements, they are not ideal with regard of being active elements in sensing applications as they are not the sensor element itself. Even though engineering of magneto-plasmonic nanostructures as promising hybrid materials directly applicable for sensing due to their plasmonic properties are often used in sensing, to our surprise, the literature of magneto-plasmonic nanostructures for viral sensing is limited to some examples. Considering the wide interest this topic is evoking at present, the different approaches will be discussed in more detail and put into wider perspectives for sensing of viral disease markers.

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