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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337786

ABSTRACT

Newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants may escape monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and antiviral drugs. By using live virus assays, we assessed the ex vivo inhibition of the B.1 wild type (WT), delta and omicron BA.1 and BA.2 lineages by post-infusion sera from 40 individuals treated with bamlanivimab/etesevimab (BAM/ETE), casirivimab/imdevimab (CAS/IMD) and sotrovimab (SOT) as well as the activity of remdesivir, nirmatrelvir and molnupiravir. mAbs and drug activity were defined as the serum dilution (ID50) and drug concentration (IC50), respectively, showing 50% protection of virus-induced cytopathic effect. All pre-infusion sera were negative for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing activity. BAM/ETE, CAS/IMD and SOT showed activity against the WT (ID50 6,295 [4,355-8,075] for BAM/ETE;18,214 [16,248-21,365] for CAS/IMD and 456 [265-592] for SOT) and the delta (14,780 [ID50 10,905-21,020] for BAM/ETE, 63,937 [47,211-79,971] for CAS/IMD and 1,103 [843-1,334] for SOT). Notably, only SOT was active against BA.1 (ID50 200 [37-233]) while BA.2 was neutralized by CAS/IMD (ID50 174 [134-209] ID50) and SOT (ID50 20 [9-31] ID50) but not by BAM/ETE. No significant inter-variant IC50 differences were observed for molnupiravir (1.5±0.1/1.5±0.7/1.0±0.5/0.8±0.01 μM for WT/delta/BA.1/BA.2, respectively);nirmatrelvir (0.05±0.02/0.06±0.01/0.04±0.02/0.04±0.01 μM) and remdesivir (0.08±0.04/0.11±0.08/0.05±0.04/0.08±0.01 μM). Continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 requires updating the mAbs arsenal, however antivirals have so far remained unaffected.

2.
Cells ; 11(9)2022 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809730

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may affect female reproductive health. Here, we investigated the potential of SARS-CoV-2 to infect the follicular microenvironment, in particular granulosa (GCs) and cumulus cells (CCs), thus providing evidence for a productive infection. GCs and CCs were recovered from women (n = 25) who underwent in vitro fertilization at the Assisted Reproductive Unit, Siena University Hospital. Follicular ovarian cells were co-cultured with SARS-CoV-2 and then analyzed by qPCR, immunofluorescence (IF), western blot (WB) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, cell culture supernatant was used to infect VERO6 cells. We demonstrated the expression of cell host factors ACE2, TRPMSS2, BSG and CTSL, which are pivotal for the virus life cycle. Cultured GCs and CCs incubated with SARS-CoV-2 revealed productive SARS-CoV-2 infection at 24 h, 48 h and 72 h post-adsorption. Indeed, SARS-CoV-2 RNA, spike and nucleocapsid proteins were detected in GCs and CCs, and their cell culture supernatant successfully infected the standard VERO E6 cells. Finally, TEM showed full-size virions attached to the membrane and located inside the cytoplasm. This in vitro study reveals the susceptibility of human ovarian cells to SARS-CoV-2 infection, suggesting a potential detrimental effect of COVID-19 infection on female human fertility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Fertility , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells
4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786093

ABSTRACT

We described the long-term decay of neutralizing antibody (NtAb) to the wild-type and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant after three antigen stimulations (mild or asymptomatic natural infection followed by two doses of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine after a median of 296 days) in immunocompetent healthcare workers (HCWs). Live virus microneutralization against the B.1 and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants was performed in VERO E6 cell cultures. The median NtAb titers for B.1 and Delta were comparable and highly correlated at both 20 and 200 days after the second vaccine dose in the 23 HCWs enrolled (median age, 46 years). A small group of naturally infected unvaccinated HCWs had comparable NtAb titers for the two strains after a median follow-up of 522 days from infection diagnosis. The NtAb response to the Delta VoC appears to follow the same long-term dynamics as the wild-type response regardless of the vaccinal boost; data collected after three antigen stimulations (natural infection followed by two doses of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine) may be helpful for tailoring the continuous monitoring of vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants over time.

5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5736, 2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778634

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including < 80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 (20B) most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 (20D) developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, within the limitations of phylogeographical reconstruction, the estimated ancestral scenario suggests an important role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314810

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314809

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including <80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314808

ABSTRACT

A growing number of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is being identified worldwide, potentially impacting the effectiveness of current vaccines. We report the data obtained in several Italian regions involved in the SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring from the beginning of the epidemic and spanning the period from October 2020 to March 2021.

9.
Int J Infect Dis ; 112: 40-44, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654526

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the longitudinal evolution of neutralizing antibody titres (NtAb) in three different cohorts of healthcare workers (HCWs), including vaccinated HCWs with and without a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and previously infected unvaccinated HCWs. COVID-19 was mild or asymptomatic in those experiencing infection. METHODS: NtAb was tested before BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (V0), 20±2 days after the first dose (V1_20), 20±3 days (V2_20) and 90±2 days (V2_90) after the second dose in vaccinated HCWs and after about 2 months (N_60), 10 months (N_300) and 13 months (N_390) from natural infection in unvaccinated HCWs. NtAb were measured by authentic virus neutralization with a SARS-CoV-2 B.1 isolate circulating in Italy at HCW enrolment. RESULTS: Sixty-two HCWs were enrolled. NtAb were comparable in infected HCWs with no or mild disease at all the study points. NtAb of uninfected HCWs were significantly lower with respect to those of previously infected HCWs at V1_20, V2_20 and V2_90. The median NtAb fold decrease from V2_20 to V2_90 was higher in the uninfected HCWs with respect to those with mild infection (6.26 vs 2.58, p=0.03) and to asymptomatic HCWs (6.26 vs 3.67, p=0.022). The median Nabt at N_390 was significantly lower than at N_60 (p=0.007). CONCLUSIONS: In uninfected HCWs completing the two-dose vaccine schedule, a third mRNA vaccine dose is a reasonable option to counteract the substantial NtAb decline occurring at a significantly higher rate compared with previously infected, vaccinated HCWs. Although low, Nabt were still at a detectable level after 13 months in two-thirds of previously infected and unvaccinated HCWs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Health Personnel , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic
10.
Biomolecules ; 11(12)2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572360

ABSTRACT

Metal-based drugs represent a rich source of chemical substances of potential interest for the treatment of COVID-19. To this end, we have developed a small but representative panel of nine metal compounds, including both synthesized and commercially available complexes, suitable for medical application and tested them in vitro against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The screening revealed that three compounds from the panel, i.e., the organogold(III) compound Aubipyc, the ruthenium(III) complex KP1019, and antimony trichloride (SbCl3), are endowed with notable antiviral properties and an acceptable cytotoxicity profile. These initial findings prompted us to perform a computational study to unveil the likely molecular basis of their antiviral actions. Calculations evidenced that the metalation of nucleophile sites in SARS-CoV-2 proteins or nucleobase strands, induced by Aubipyc, SbCl3, and KP1019, is likely to occur. Remarkably, we found that only the deprotonated forms of Cys and Sec residues can react favorably with these metallodrugs. The mechanistic implications of these findings are discussed.


Subject(s)
2,2'-Dipyridyl/analogs & derivatives , Antimony/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorides/pharmacology , Indazoles/pharmacology , Organogold Compounds/pharmacology , Organometallic Compounds/pharmacology , Ruthenium Compounds/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , 2,2'-Dipyridyl/chemistry , 2,2'-Dipyridyl/pharmacology , Animals , Antimony/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Line , Chlorides/chemistry , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Discovery , Humans , Indazoles/chemistry , Organogold Compounds/chemistry , Organometallic Compounds/chemistry , Ruthenium Compounds/chemistry , Vero Cells
11.
ChemMedChem ; 16(23):3495-3495, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1557779

ABSTRACT

The Front Cover shows bithiazole derivatives acting as broad-spectrum antiviral agents (BSAAs) by targeting human host cells. These molecules block the replication of human rhinoviruses (hRVs) and Zika virus (ZIKV) via inhibition of the intracellular protein PI4KIII? while the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication seems to be connected with the modulation of an additional target. Cover design by Marco Radi. More information can be found in the Communication by Maria?Grazia Martina, Marco Radi et?al.

12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453251

ABSTRACT

In Italy, the influenza season lasts from October until April of the following year. Influenza A and B viruses are the two viral types that cocirculate during seasonal epidemics and are the main causes of respiratory infections. We analyzed influenza A and B viruses in samples from hospitalized patients at Le Scotte University Hospital in Siena (Central Italy). From 2015 to 2020, 182 patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Infections were enrolled. Oropharyngeal swabs were collected from patients and tested by means of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to identify influenza A(H3N2), A(H1N1)pdm09 and B. Epidemiological and virological surveillance remain an essential tool for monitoring circulating viruses and possible mismatches with seasonal vaccine strains, and provide information that can be used to improve the composition of influenza vaccines.


Subject(s)
Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Influenza B virus , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Italy/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Seasons
13.
ChemMedChem ; 16(23): 3548-3552, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1400781

ABSTRACT

Over half a century since the description of the first antiviral drug, "old" re-emerging viruses and "new" emerging viruses still represent a serious threat to global health. Their high mutation rate and rapid selection of resistance toward common antiviral drugs, together with the increasing number of co-infections, make the war against viruses quite challenging. Herein we report a host-targeted approach, based on the inhibition of the lipid kinase PI4KIIIß, as a promising strategy for inhibiting the replication of multiple viruses hijacking this protein. We show that bithiazole inhibitors of PI4KIIIß block the replication of human rhinoviruses (hRV), Zika virus (ZIKV) and SARS-CoV-2 at low micromolar and sub-micromolar concentrations. However, while the anti-hRV/ZIKV activity can be directly linked to PI4KIIIß inhibition, the role of PI4KIIIß in SARS-CoV-2 entry/replication is debated.


Subject(s)
1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Rhinovirus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thiazoles/chemistry , Virus Replication/drug effects , Zika Virus/physiology , 1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Drug Stability , Enzyme Inhibitors/metabolism , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thiazoles/metabolism , Zika Virus/isolation & purification , Zika Virus Infection/pathology
14.
Life (Basel) ; 11(9)2021 Aug 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374447

ABSTRACT

We aimed to investigate neutralizing antibody titers (NtAbT) to the P.1 and B.1 SARS-CoV-2 variants in a cohort of healthy health care workers (HCW), including 20 previously infected individuals tested at baseline (BLinf, after a median of 298 days from diagnosis) and 21 days after receiving one vaccine dose (D1inf) and 15 uninfected subjects tested 21 days after the second-dose vaccination (D2uninf). All the subjects received BNT162b2 vaccination. D1inf NtAbT increased significantly with respect to BLinf against both B.1 and P.1 variants, with a fold-change significantly higher for P.1. D1inf NtAbT were significantly higher than D2uninf NtAbT, against B.1 and P.1. NtAbT against the two strains were highly correlated. P.1 NtAbT were significantly higher than B.1 NtAbT. This difference was significant for post-vaccination sera in infected and uninfected subjects. A single-dose BNT162b2 vaccination substantially boosted the NtAb response to both variants in the previously infected subjects. NtAb titers to B.1 and P.1 lineages were highly correlated, suggesting substantial cross-neutralization. Higher titers to the P.1 than to the B.1 strain were driven by the post-vaccination titers, highlighting that cross-neutralization can be enhanced by vaccination.

15.
Virol J ; 18(1): 168, 2021 08 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359000

ABSTRACT

A growing number of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is being identified worldwide, potentially impacting the effectiveness of current vaccines. We report the data obtained in several Italian regions involved in the SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring from the beginning of the epidemic and spanning the period from October 2020 to March 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Prevalence
16.
Int J Infect Dis ; 108: 176-178, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351693

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody (NtAb) titres in previously infected or uninfected health care workers who received one or two doses of BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. METHODS: NtAbs were titrated as dose-inhibiting 50% virus replication (ID50) by live virus microneutralization. We evaluated 41 health care workers recovering from mild or asymptomatic infection at first vaccination dose (T1_inf) and 21 days later (T2_inf). Sixteen uninfected health care workers were evaluated 20 days after first dose (T2_uninf) and 20 days after second vaccine dose (T3_uninf). RESULTS: At T2_inf, but not at T1_inf, there was a significant correlation between days from diagnosis (median 313, interquartile range 285-322) and NtAb levels (P = 0.011). NtAb titres increased at T2_inf with respect to T1_inf (1544 (732-2232) vs 26 (10-88), P < 0.001). Similarly, there was a significant increase in NtAb titres at T3_uninf compared with T2_uninf (183 (111-301) vs 5 (5-15), P < 0001). However, NtAb levels at T2_inf were significantly higher than those at T2_uninf and T3_uninf (P < 0.0001 for both analyses). CONCLUSIONS: A single vaccination in people with mild or asymptomatic previous infection further boosts SARS-CoV-2 humoral immunity to levels higher than those obtained by complete two-vaccination in uninfected subjects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Personnel , Humans , RNA, Messenger
19.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(7): ofab312, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322652

ABSTRACT

We describe the time course of neutralizing antibody (NtAb) titer in a cohort of health care workers with mild or asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection. NtAb levels decreased over time; however, serum neutralizing activity remained detectable after a median of 7 months from SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis in the majority of cases.

20.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308455

ABSTRACT

The recent spreading of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, carrying several mutations in the spike protein, could impact immune protection elicited by natural infection or conferred by vaccination. In this study, we evaluated the neutralizing activity against the viral variants that emerged in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), Brazil (P.1), and South Africa (B.1.351) in human serum samples from hospitalized patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 during the first pandemic wave in Italy in 2020. Of the patients studied, 59.5% showed a decrease (≥2 fold) in neutralizing antibody titer against B.1.1.7, 83.3% against P.1, and 90.5% against B.1.351 with respect to the original strain. The reduction in antibody titers against all analyzed variants, and in particular P.1 and B.1.351, suggests that previous symptomatic infection might be not fully protective against exposure to SARS-CoV-2 variants carrying a set of relevant spike mutations.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Chlorocebus aethiops , Mutation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , South Africa/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccination , Vero Cells
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