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1.
J Photochem Photobiol ; 10: 100107, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611878

ABSTRACT

We performed an in-depth analysis of the virucidal effect of discrete wavelengths: UV-C (278 nm), UV-B (308 nm), UV-A (366 nm) and violet (405 nm) on SARS-CoV-2. By using a highly infectious titer of SARS-CoV-2 we observed that the violet light-dose resulting in a 2-log viral inactivation is only 104 times less efficient than UV-C light. Moreover, by qPCR (quantitative Polymerase chain reaction) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) approach we verified that the viral titer typically found in the sputum of COVID-19 patients can be completely inactivated by the long UV-wavelengths corresponding to UV-A and UV-B solar irradiation. The comparison of the UV action spectrum on SARS-CoV-2 to previous results obtained on other pathogens suggests that RNA viruses might be particularly sensitive to long UV wavelengths. Our data extend previous results showing that SARS-CoV-2 is highly susceptible to UV light and offer an explanation to the reduced incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection seen in the summer season.

2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0150421, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604818

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) started spreading worldwide causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The hyperactivation of the immune system has been proposed to account for disease severity and death in COVID-19 patients. Despite several approaches having been tested, no therapeutic protocol has been approved. Given that Cyclosporine A (CsA) is well-known to exert a strong antiviral activity on several viral strains and an anti-inflammatory role in different organs with relevant benefits in diverse pathological contexts, we tested its effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection of lung cells. We found that treatment with CsA either before or after infection of CaLu3 cells by three SARS-CoV-2 variants: (i) reduces the expression of both viral RNA and proteins in infected cells; (ii) decreases the number of progeny virions released by infected cells; (iii) dampens the virus-triggered synthesis of cytokines (including IL-6, IL-8, IL1α and TNF-α) that are involved in cytokine storm in patients. Altogether, these data provide a rationale for CsA repositioning for the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is the most recently identified member of the betacoronavirus genus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Repurposing of available drugs has been a "quick and dirty" approach to try to reduce mortality and severe symptoms in affected patients initially, and can still represent an undeniable and valuable approach to face COVID-19 as the continuous appearance and rapid diffusion of more "aggressive"/transmissible variants, capable of eluding antibody neutralization, challenges the effectiveness of some anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Here, we tested a known antiviral and anti-inflammatory drug, Cyclosporine A (CsA), and found that it dampens viral infection and cytokine release from lung cells upon exposure to three different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Knock down of the main intracellular target of CsA, Cyclophilin A, does not phenocopy the drug inhibition of viral infection. Altogether, these findings shed new light on the cellular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and provide the rationale for CsA repositioning to treat severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cyclosporine/pharmacology , Cytokines/immunology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Release/drug effects , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/genetics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
3.
Cells ; 10(6)2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264419

ABSTRACT

In late 2019, the betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was identified as the viral agent responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Coronaviruses Spike proteins are responsible for their ability to interact with host membrane receptors and different proteins have been identified as SARS-CoV-2 interactors, among which Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and Basigin2/EMMPRIN/CD147 (CD147). CD147 plays an important role in human immunodeficiency virus type 1, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infections. In particular, SARS-CoV recognizes the CD147 receptor expressed on the surface of host cells by its nucleocapsid protein binding to cyclophilin A (CyPA), a ligand for CD147. However, the involvement of CD147 in SARS-CoV-2 infection is still debated. Interference with both the function (blocking antibody) and the expression (knock down) of CD147 showed that this receptor partakes in SARS-CoV-2 infection and provided additional clues on the underlying mechanism: CD147 binding to CyPA does not play a role; CD147 regulates ACE2 levels and both receptors are affected by virus infection. Altogether, these findings suggest that CD147 is involved in SARS-CoV-2 tropism and represents a possible therapeutic target to challenge COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Basigin/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Basigin/antagonists & inhibitors , Basigin/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Hep G2 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy , RNA Interference/physiology , RNA, Small Interfering/pharmacology , RNA, Small Interfering/therapeutic use , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Tropism/physiology
5.
Atherosclerosis ; 328: 136-143, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171201

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The potential impact of coronary atherosclerosis, as detected by coronary artery calcium, on clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients remains unsettled. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic impact of clinical and subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD), as assessed by coronary artery calcium score (CAC), in a large, unselected population of hospitalized COVID-19 patients undergoing non-gated chest computed tomography (CT) for clinical practice. METHODS: SARS-CoV 2 positive patients from the multicenter (16 Italian hospitals), retrospective observational SCORE COVID-19 (calcium score for COVID-19 Risk Evaluation) registry were stratified in three groups: (a) "clinical CAD" (prior revascularization history), (b) "subclinical CAD" (CAC >0), (c) "No CAD" (CAC = 0). Primary endpoint was in-hospital mortality and the secondary endpoint was a composite of myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accident (MI/CVA). RESULTS: Amongst 1625 patients (male 67.2%, median age 69 [interquartile range 58-77] years), 31%, 57.8% and 11.1% had no, subclinical and clinical CAD, respectively. Increasing rates of in-hospital mortality (11.3% vs. 27.3% vs. 39.8%, p < 0.001) and MI/CVA events (2.3% vs. 3.8% vs. 11.9%, p < 0.001) were observed for patients with no CAD vs. subclinical CAD vs clinical CAD, respectively. The association with in-hospital mortality was independent of in-study outcome predictors (age, peripheral artery disease, active cancer, hemoglobin, C-reactive protein, LDH, aerated lung volume): subclinical CAD vs. No CAD: adjusted hazard ratio (adj-HR) 2.86 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-7.17, p=0.025); clinical CAD vs. No CAD: adj-HR 3.74 (95% CI 1.21-11.60, p=0.022). Among patients with subclinical CAD, increasing CAC burden was associated with higher rates of in-hospital mortality (20.5% vs. 27.9% vs. 38.7% for patients with CAC score thresholds≤100, 101-400 and > 400, respectively, p < 0.001). The adj-HR per 50 points increase in CAC score 1.007 (95%CI 1.001-1.013, p=0.016). Cardiovascular risk factors were not independent predictors of in-hospital mortality when CAD presence and extent were taken into account. CONCLUSIONS: The presence and extent of CAD are associated with in-hospital mortality and MI/CVA among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 disease and they appear to be a better prognostic gauge as compared to a clinical cardiovascular risk assessment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronary Artery Disease , Aged , Calcium , Coronary Angiography , Coronary Artery Disease/diagnostic imaging , Coronary Vessels/diagnostic imaging , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr ; 15(5): 421-430, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141959

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread worldwide determining dramatic impacts on healthcare systems. Early identification of high-risk parameters is required in order to provide the best therapeutic approach. Coronary, thoracic aorta and aortic valve calcium can be measured from a non-gated chest computer tomography (CT) and are validated predictors of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. However, their prognostic role in acute systemic inflammatory diseases, such as COVID-19, has not been investigated. OBJECTIVES: The aim was to evaluate the association of coronary artery calcium and total thoracic calcium on in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: 1093 consecutive patients from 16 Italian hospitals with a positive swab for COVID-19 and an admission chest CT for pneumonia severity assessment were included. At CT, coronary, aortic valve and thoracic aorta calcium were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated separately and combined together (total thoracic calcium) by a central Core-lab blinded to patients' outcomes. RESULTS: Non-survivors compared to survivors had higher coronary artery [Agatston (467.76 â€‹± â€‹570.92 vs 206.80 â€‹± â€‹424.13 â€‹mm2, p â€‹< â€‹0.001); Volume (487.79 â€‹± â€‹565.34 vs 207.77 â€‹± â€‹406.81, p â€‹< â€‹0.001)], aortic valve [Volume (322.45 â€‹± â€‹390.90 vs 98.27 â€‹± â€‹250.74 mm2, p â€‹< â€‹0.001; Agatston 337.38 â€‹± â€‹414.97 vs 111.70 â€‹± â€‹282.15, p â€‹< â€‹0.001)] and thoracic aorta [Volume (3786.71 â€‹± â€‹4225.57 vs 1487.63 â€‹± â€‹2973.19 mm2, p â€‹< â€‹0.001); Agatston (4688.82 â€‹± â€‹5363.72 vs 1834.90 â€‹± â€‹3761.25, p â€‹< â€‹0.001)] calcium values. Coronary artery calcium (HR 1.308; 95% CI, 1.046-1.637, p â€‹= â€‹0.019) and total thoracic calcium (HR 1.975; 95% CI, 1.200-3.251, p â€‹= â€‹0.007) resulted to be independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. CONCLUSION: Coronary, aortic valve and thoracic aortic calcium assessment on admission non-gated CT permits to stratify the COVID-19 patients in-hospital mortality risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Computed Tomography Angiography , Vascular Calcification/mortality , Vascular Calcification/physiopathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aorta, Thoracic/diagnostic imaging , Aortic Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Aortic Diseases/mortality , Aortic Diseases/physiopathology , Aortic Valve/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Coronary Vessels/diagnostic imaging , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Vascular Calcification/diagnostic imaging
7.
Eur Radiol ; 31(6): 4031-4041, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-996387

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Enlarged main pulmonary artery diameter (MPAD) resulted to be associated with pulmonary hypertension and mortality in a non-COVID-19 setting. The aim was to investigate and validate the association between MPAD enlargement and overall survival in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: This is a cohort study on 1469 consecutive COVID-19 patients submitted to chest CT within 72 h from admission in seven tertiary level hospitals in Northern Italy, between March 1 and April 20, 2020. Derivation cohort (n = 761) included patients from the first three participating hospitals; validation cohort (n = 633) included patients from the remaining hospitals. CT images were centrally analyzed in a core-lab blinded to clinical data. The prognostic value of MPAD on overall survival was evaluated at adjusted and multivariable Cox's regression analysis on the derivation cohort. The final multivariable model was tested on the validation cohort. RESULTS: In the derivation cohort, the median age was 69 (IQR, 58-77) years and 537 (70.6%) were males. In the validation cohort, the median age was 69 (IQR, 59-77) years with 421 (66.5%) males. Enlarged MPAD (≥ 31 mm) was a predictor of mortality at adjusted (hazard ratio, HR [95%CI]: 1.741 [1.253-2.418], p < 0.001) and multivariable regression analysis (HR [95%CI]: 1.592 [1.154-2.196], p = 0.005), together with male gender, old age, high creatinine, low well-aerated lung volume, and high pneumonia extension (c-index [95%CI] = 0.826 [0.796-0.851]). Model discrimination was confirmed on the validation cohort (c-index [95%CI] = 0.789 [0.758-0.823]), also using CT measurements from a second reader (c-index [95%CI] = 0.790 [0.753;0.825]). CONCLUSION: Enlarged MPAD (≥ 31 mm) at admitting chest CT is an independent predictor of mortality in COVID-19. KEY POINTS: • Enlargement of main pulmonary artery diameter at chest CT performed within 72 h from the admission was associated with a higher rate of in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients. • Enlargement of main pulmonary artery diameter (≥ 31 mm) was an independent predictor of death in COVID-19 patients at adjusted and multivariable regression analysis. • The combined evaluation of clinical findings, lung CT features, and main pulmonary artery diameter may be useful for risk stratification in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Artery , Aged , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Pulmonary Artery/diagnostic imaging , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
8.
Radiol Med ; 126(3): 498-502, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915235

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In overwhelmed emergency departments (EDs) facing COVID-19 outbreak, a swift diagnosis is imperative. CT role was widely debated for its limited specificity. Here we report the diagnostic role of CT in two EDs in Lombardy, epicenter of Italian outbreak. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Admitting chest CT from 142 consecutive patients with suspected COVID-19 were retrospectively analyzed. CT scans were classified in "highly likely," "likely," and "unlikely" COVID-19 pneumonia according to the presence of typical, indeterminate, and atypical findings, or "negative" in the absence of findings, or "alternative diagnosis" when a different diagnosis was found. Nasopharyngeal swab results, turnaround time, and time to positive results were collected. CT diagnostic performances were assessed considering RT-PCR as reference standard. RESULTS: Most of cases (96/142, 68%) were classified as "highly likely" COVID-19 pneumonia. Ten (7%) and seven (5%) patients were classified as "likely" and "unlikely" COVID-19 pneumonia, respectively. In 21 (15%) patients a differential diagnosis was provided, including typical pneumonia, pulmonary edema, neoplasia, and pulmonary embolism. CT was negative in 8/142 (6%) patients. Mean turnaround time for the first COVID-19 RT-PCR was 30 ± 13 h. CT diagnostic accuracy in respect of the first test swab was 79% and increased to 91.5% after repeated swabs and/or BAL, for 18 false-negative first swab. CT performance was good with 76% specificity, 99% sensitivity, 90% positive predictive value and 97% negative predictive value. CONCLUSION: Chest CT was useful to streamline patients' triage while waiting for RT-PCR in the ED, supporting the clinical suspicion of COVID-19 or providing alternative diagnosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Emergency Service, Hospital , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Aged , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity , Triage
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