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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690219

ABSTRACT

The development of prophylactic agents against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a public health priority in the search for new surrogate markers of active virus replication. Early detection markers are needed to follow disease progression and foresee patient negativization. Subgenomic RNA transcripts (with a focus on sgN) were evaluated in oro/nasopharyngeal swabs from COVID-19-affected patients with an analysis of 315 positive samples using qPCR technology. Cut-off Cq values for sgN (Cq < 33.15) and sgE (Cq < 34.06) showed correlations to high viral loads. The specific loss of sgN in home-isolated and hospitalized COVID-19-positive patients indicated negativization of patient condition, 3-7 days from the first swab, respectively. A new detection kit for sgN, gene E, gene ORF1ab, and gene RNAse P was developed recently. In addition, in vitro studies have shown that 2'-O-methyl antisense RNA (related to the sgN sequence) can impair SARS-CoV-2 N protein synthesis, viral replication, and syncytia formation in human cells (i.e., HEK-293T cells overexpressing ACE2) upon infection with VOC Alpha (B.1.1.7)-SARS-CoV-2 variant, defining the use that this procedure might have for future therapeutic actions against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/physiology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Giant Cells/drug effects , Giant Cells/virology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Antisense/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Ribonuclease P/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Social Isolation , Viral Load , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307756

ABSTRACT

Background: In December 2019 an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 was first observed in Wuhan, China. The virus has spread rapidly throughout the world creating a pandemic scenario. Several risk factors have been identified, such as age, gender, concomitant diseases as well as viral load. One of the key questions since the beginning of the pandemic, is the role of asymptomatic people in spreading SARS-CoV-2. An observational study in Southern Italy was conducted in order to elucidate the possible role of asymptomatic individuals related to their viral loads in the transmission of the virus within two nursing facilities. Methods: : oro-nasopharyngeal swabs from 179 nursing health care workers and patients were collected. SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR was performed and viral loads were calculated by using standard curve. For positive results, a statistical correlation between viral loads , the presence/absence of symptoms , age and gender variables was investigated. Results: : SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed in the 50.8% (n=91) of the cases. Median age of positive individuals resulted higher than negative ones. A statistically significant difference (p <.001) was observed for age and gender variables and over 65 years individuals showed higher susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection than younger ones (OR=3.93) as well as female (OR=2.86). Among 91 tested positive, the 70.3% was symptomatic (n=64) whilst the 29.7% was asymptomatic (n=27). Median viral loads of asymptomatic individuals were found statistically significant higher than symptomatic ones (p=.001), while no influence was observed in age and gender variables. Conclusions: : A range from 9.2% to 69% of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases remains asymptomatic, moreover, sporadic transmissions from asymptomatic people are reported, that makes their involvement an important issue to take into account in the spreading control of the virus. An asymptomatic clinical course was observed in the 29.7% of positive individuals, moreover, median viral loads resulted to be statistically significant when compared to symptomatic ones. Surely, such a relevant frequency should not be ignored in relation to the spread of the disease in an environment which has not only important intrinsic (age, gender, concomitant diseases) but also extrinsic factors such as high population density and close contacts.

3.
Molecules ; 27(3)2022 Jan 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674736

ABSTRACT

Butyrate is a major gut microbiome metabolite that regulates several defense mechanisms against infectious diseases. Alterations in the gut microbiome, leading to reduced butyrate production, have been reported in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. A new butyrate releaser, useful for all the known applications of butyrate, presenting physiochemical characteristics suitable for easy oral administration, (N-(1-carbamoyl-2-phenyl-ethyl) butyramide (FBA), has been recently developed. We investigated the protective action of FBA against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the human small intestine and enterocytes. Relevant aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection were assessed: infectivity, host functional receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), neuropilin-1 (NRP1), pro-inflammatory cytokines expression, genes involved in the antiviral response and the activation of Nf-kB nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2-like) 2 (Nfr2) pathways. We found that FBA positively modulates the crucial aspects of the infection in small intestinal biopsies and human enterocytes, reducing the expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and NRP1, pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-15, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and TNF-α, and regulating several genes involved in antiviral pathways. FBA was also able to reduce the number of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells, and ACE2, TMPRSS2 and NRP1 expression. Lastly, through the inhibition of Nf-kB and the up-regulation of Nfr2, it was also able to reduce the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-15, MCP-1 and TNF-α in human enterocytes. The new butyrate releaser, FBA, exerts a preventive action against SARS-CoV-2 infection. It could be considered as an innovative strategy to limit COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Butyrates/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Butyrates/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Caco-2 Cells , Enterocytes/drug effects , Enterocytes/metabolism , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Humans , Intestines/drug effects , Intestines/metabolism , Male , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
4.
J Funct Foods ; 87: 104787, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607061

ABSTRACT

Fermented foods have been proposed in limiting SARS-CoV-2 infection. Emerging evidence suggest the efficacy of cow's milk fermented with the probiotic L. paracasei CBAL74 (FM-CBAL74) in preventing infectious diseases. We evaluated the protective action of FM-CBAL74 against SARS-CoV-2 infection in human enterocytes. Relevant aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection were assessed: infectivity, host functional receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and pro-inflammatory cytokines expression (IL-6, IL-15, IL-1ß, VEGFß, TNF-α, MCP-1, CXCL1). Pre-incubation with FM-CBA L74 reduced the number of infected cells. The expression of ACE2 and the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, VEGFß, IL-15, IL-1ß was downregulated by the pre-treatment with this fermented food. No effect on TMPRSS2, MCP-1, TNF-α and CXCL1 expression was observed. Modulating the crucial aspects of the infection, the fermented food FM-CBAL74 exerts a preventive action against SARS-CoV-2. These evidence could pave the way to innovative nutritional strategy to mitigate the COVID-19.

5.
Future Sci OA ; 7(7): FSO711, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302056

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, has rarely been associated with transmission from humans to animals (reverse zoonotic transmission). In this retrospective study, the authors reviewed data obtained from 236 animals, including buffaloes, goats/sheep, horses, carrier pigeons, rabbits, hens, snakes, pigs and cows that were screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection because they had been in contact with their SARS-CoV-2-positive breeder for at least 2 weeks. None of the tested animals were found to be positive. The authors' findings suggest that the risk of reverse zoonotic transmission among bred animals and SARS-CoV-2-positive breeders is very low or nonexistent. Additional studies are warranted.

6.
Sci Signal ; 14(690)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299215

ABSTRACT

Inorganic polyphosphates (polyPs) are linear polymers composed of repeated phosphate (PO4 3-) units linked together by multiple high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds. In addition to being a source of energy, polyPs have cytoprotective and antiviral activities. Here, we investigated the antiviral activities of long-chain polyPs against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In molecular docking analyses, polyPs interacted with several conserved amino acid residues in angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the host receptor that facilitates virus entry, and in viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). ELISA and limited proteolysis assays using nano- LC-MS/MS mapped polyP120 binding to ACE2, and site-directed mutagenesis confirmed interactions between ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 RdRp and identified the specific amino acid residues involved. PolyP120 enhanced the proteasomal degradation of both ACE2 and RdRp, thus impairing replication of the British B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant. We thus tested polyPs for functional interactions with the virus in SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 and Caco2 cells and in primary human nasal epithelial cells. Delivery of a nebulized form of polyP120 reduced the amounts of viral positive-sense genomic and subgenomic RNAs, of RNA transcripts encoding proinflammatory cytokines, and of viral structural proteins, thereby presenting SARS-CoV-2 infection in cells in vitro.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Polyphosphates/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Administration, Inhalation , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Host Microbial Interactions/drug effects , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/physiology , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Models, Biological , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nebulizers and Vaporizers , Polyphosphates/administration & dosage , Polyphosphates/chemistry , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/metabolism , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Proteolysis/drug effects , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
7.
Infect Agent Cancer ; 16(1): 45, 2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1277954

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In December 2019 an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 was first observed in Wuhan, China. The virus has spread rapidly throughout the world creating a pandemic scenario. Several risk factors have been identified, such as age, sex, concomitant diseases as well as viral load. A key point is the role of asymptomatic people in spreading SARS-CoV-2. An observational study in Southern Italy was conducted in order to elucidate the possible role of asymptomatic individuals related to their viral loads in the transmission of the virus within two nursing facilities. METHODS: Oro-nasopharyngeal swabs from 179 nursing health care workers and patients were collected. SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR was performed and viral loads were calculated by using standard curve. A statistical correlation between viral loads, the presence/absence of symptoms, age and sex variables was investigated. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed in the 50.8 % (n = 91) of the cases. Median age of positive individuals resulted higher than negative ones. Over 65 year as well as female individuals showed higher susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, OR = 3.93 and 2.86, respectively. Among 91 tested positive, the 70.3 % was symptomatic while the 29.7 % was asymptomatic. Median viral loads of asymptomatic individuals were found statistically significant higher than symptomatic ones (p = 0.001), while no influence was observed in age and sex variables. The presence of comorbidities was 8.9 folds higher in patients who showed and developed symptoms compared to non-symptomatic ones. Moreover, higher viral loads were found in patients who remained asymptomatic than pre-symptomatic (p = 0.022). CONCLUSIONS: A range from 9.2 to 69 % of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases remains asymptomatic, moreover, sporadic transmissions from asymptomatic people are reported, that makes their involvement an important issue to take into account in the spreading control of the virus. An asymptomatic clinical course was observed in the 29.7 % of positive individuals, moreover, median viral loads resulted to be statistically significant when compared to symptomatic ones. Surely, such a relevant frequency should not be ignored in relation to the spread of the disease in an environment which has not only important intrinsic (age, sex, concomitant diseases) but also extrinsic factors such as high population density and close contacts.

8.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11046, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246388

ABSTRACT

Among the therapies against the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus, monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs) targeting the Spike glycoprotein represent good candidates to interfere in the Spike/ACE2 interaction, preventing virus cell entry. Since anti-spike mAbs, used individually, might be unable to block the virus entry in the case of resistant mutations, we designed an innovative strategy for the isolation of multiple novel human scFvs specific for the binding domain (RBD) of Spike. By panning a large phage display antibody library on immobilized RBD, we obtained specific binders by eluting with ACE2 in order to identify those scFvs recognizing the epitope of Spike interacting with its receptor. We converted the novel scFvs into full size IgG4, differently from the previously isolated IgG1 mAbs, to avoid unwanted potential side effects of IgG1 potent effector functions on immune system. The novel antibodies specifically bind to RBD in a nanomolar range and interfere in the interaction of Spike with ACE2 receptor, either used as purified protein or when expressed on cells in its native conformation. Furthermore, some of them have neutralizing activity for virus infection in cell cultures by using two different SARS-CoV-2 isolates including the highly contagious VOC 202012/01 variant and could become useful therapeutic tools to fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Immunotherapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Epitopes , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
Vet Med Int ; 2020: 6207297, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611219

ABSTRACT

Infectious diseases are a common cause of death in young dogs. Several factors are thought to predispose young dogs to microbiological infections. Identifying the cause of death is often a challenge, and broad diagnostic analysis is often needed. Here, we aimed to determine the infectious causes of death in young dogs aged up to 1 year, examining how it relates to age (under and over 6 months), lifestyle (owned versus ownerless), breed (purebred and crossbreed), and gender. A retrospective study was conducted in a 3-year period (2015-2017) on 138 dead dogs that had undergone necropsy and microbiological diagnostics. Enteritis and pneumonia were the most commonly observed lesions. Polymicrobism was more prevalent (62.3%) than single-agent infections and associated with a higher rate of generalised lesions. Ownerless dogs showed over a three-fold higher predisposition to viral coinfections than owned dogs. Above all, canine parvovirus was the most prevalent agent (77.5%), followed by canine coronavirus (31.1%) and canine adenovirus (23.9%); ownerless pups had a higher predisposition to these viruses. Escherichia coli (23.9%), Clostridium perfringens type A (18.1%), and Enterococcus spp. (8.7%) were the most commonly identified bacteria, which mostly involved in coinfections. A lower prevalence of CDV and Clostridium perfringens type A was observed in puppies under 6 months of age. In conclusion, this study is the first comprehensive survey on a wide panel of microbiological agents related to necropsy lesions. It lays the groundwork for future studies attempting to understand the circulation of infectious agents in a determined area.

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