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1.
Cell Discov ; 8(1): 123, 2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2118938
2.
Placenta ; 124: 62-66, 2022 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914906

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has been associated with several adverse pregnancy outcomes, including perinatal loss. Differential effects of COVID-19 in a twin pregnancy may provide unique insights into virus-placental interactions. We present a case of perinatal loss of a female fetus with survival of the male co-twin in a pregnancy complicated by COVID-19 and premature delivery. METHODS: Viral detection methods recommended by the NICHD task force were used to identify SARS-CoV-2 and its viral receptors in the placentas and fetal tissue (Antoun et al., 2020) [1] RESULTS: Compared with the surviving twin, we found a more severe intervillous necrosis and a relatively low detection of ACE2 membranous expression in the syncytiotrophoblasts of the female twin that succumbed. DISCUSSION: The interactions of SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 at the maternal fetal interface within the placenta may play a significant role in perinatal loss, and the effects of fetal sex and gestational age at time of infection need to be explored further.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Female , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Male , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 439, 2022 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839575

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants shaped the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the discourse around effective control measures. Evaluating the threat posed by a new variant is essential for adapting response efforts when community transmission is detected. In this study, we compare the dynamics of two variants, Alpha and Iota, by integrating genomic surveillance data to estimate the effective reproduction number (Rt) of the variants. We use Connecticut, United States, in which Alpha and Iota co-circulated in 2021. We find that the Rt of these variants were up to 50% larger than that of other variants. We then use phylogeography to show that while both variants were introduced into Connecticut at comparable frequencies, clades that resulted from introductions of Alpha were larger than those resulting from Iota introductions. By monitoring the dynamics of individual variants throughout our study period, we demonstrate the importance of routine surveillance in the response to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genomics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United States/epidemiology
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5729, 2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778632

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic-caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)- has posed a global threat and presented with it a multitude of economic and public-health challenges. Establishing a reliable means of readily available, rapid diagnostic testing is of paramount importance in halting the spread of COVID-19, as governments continue to ease lockdown restrictions. The current standard for laboratory testing utilizes reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR); however, this method presents clear limitations in requiring a longer run-time as well as reduced on-site testing capability. Therefore, we investigated the feasibility of a reverse transcription looped-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)-based model of rapid COVID-19 diagnostic testing which allows for less invasive sample collection, named SaliVISION. This novel, two-step, RT-LAMP assay utilizes a customized multiplex primer set specifically targeting SARS-CoV-2 and a visual report system that is ready to interpret within 40 min from the start of sample processing and does not require a BSL-2 level testing environment or special laboratory equipment. When compared to the SalivaDirect and Thermo Fisher Scientific TaqPath RT-qPCR testing platforms, the respective sensitivities of the SaliVISION assay are 94.29% and 98.28% while assay specificity was 100% when compared to either testing platform. Our data illustrate a robust, rapid diagnostic assay in our novel RT-LAMP test design, with potential for greater testing throughput than is currently available through laboratory testing and increased on-site testing capability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Communicable Disease Control , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/chemistry , Sensitivity and Specificity
5.
Nat Cell Biol ; 24(1): 24-34, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625709

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells is initiated by the binding of the viral Spike protein to its cell-surface receptor ACE2. We conducted a targeted CRISPRi screen to uncover druggable pathways controlling Spike protein binding to human cells. Here we show that the protein BRD2 is required for ACE2 transcription in human lung epithelial cells and cardiomyocytes, and BRD2 inhibitors currently evaluated in clinical trials potently block endogenous ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells, including those of human nasal epithelia. Moreover, pharmacological BRD2 inhibition with the drug ABBV-744 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Syrian hamsters. We also found that BRD2 controls transcription of several other genes induced upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the interferon response, which in turn regulates the antiviral response. Together, our results pinpoint BRD2 as a potent and essential regulator of the host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and highlight the potential of BRD2 as a therapeutic target for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Epithelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Transcription Factors/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcription Factors/metabolism
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(52)2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569356

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), continues to be a pressing health concern. In this study, we investigated the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on host microRNA (miRNA) populations in three human lung-derived cell lines, as well as in nasopharyngeal swabs from SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. We did not detect any major and consistent differences in host miRNA levels after SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, we unexpectedly discovered a viral miRNA-like small RNA, named CoV2-miR-O7a (for SARS-CoV-2 miRNA-like ORF7a-derived small RNA). Its abundance ranges from low to moderate as compared to host miRNAs and it associates with Argonaute proteins-core components of the RNA interference pathway. We identify putative targets for CoV2-miR-O7a, including Basic Leucine Zipper ATF-Like Transcription Factor 2 (BATF2), which participates in interferon signaling. We demonstrate that CoV2-miR-O7a production relies on cellular machinery, yet is independent of Drosha protein, and is enhanced by the presence of a strong and evolutionarily conserved hairpin formed within the ORF7a sequence.


Subject(s)
Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , RNA, Small Untranslated/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , RNA, Small Untranslated/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
8.
Med (N Y) ; 2(3): 263-280.e6, 2021 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284368

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Scaling SARS-CoV-2 testing to meet demands of safe reopenings continues to be plagued by assay costs and supply chain shortages. In response, we developed SalivaDirect, which received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). METHODS: We simplified our saliva-based diagnostic test by (1) not requiring collection tubes with preservatives, (2) replacing nucleic acid extraction with a simple enzymatic and heating step, and (3) testing specimens with a dualplex qRT-PCR assay. Moreover, we validated SalivaDirect with reagents and instruments from multiple vendors to minimize supply chain issues. FINDINGS: From our hospital cohort, we show a high positive agreement (94%) between saliva tested with SalivaDirect and nasopharyngeal swabs tested with a commercial qRT-PCR kit. In partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), we tested 3,779 saliva specimens from healthy individuals and detected low rates of invalid (0.3%) and false-positive (<0.05%) results. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that saliva is a valid alternative to swabs for SARS-CoV-2 screening and that SalivaDirect can make large-scale testing more accessible and affordable. Uniquely, we can designate other laboratories to use our sensitive, flexible, and simplified platform under our EUA (https://publichealth.yale.edu/salivadirect/). FUNDING: This study was funded by the NBA and NBPA (N.D.G.), the Huffman Family Donor Advised Fund (N.D.G.), a Fast Grant from Emergent Ventures at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University (N.D.G.), the Yale Institute for Global Health (N.D.G.), and the Beatrice Kleinberg Neuwirth Fund (A.I.K.). C.B.F.V. is supported by NWO Rubicon 019.181EN.004.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Laboratories , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva
9.
PLoS Biol ; 19(5): e3001236, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1220158

ABSTRACT

With the emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that may increase transmissibility and/or cause escape from immune responses, there is an urgent need for the targeted surveillance of circulating lineages. It was found that the B.1.1.7 (also 501Y.V1) variant, first detected in the United Kingdom, could be serendipitously detected by the Thermo Fisher TaqPath COVID-19 PCR assay because a key deletion in these viruses, spike Δ69-70, would cause a "spike gene target failure" (SGTF) result. However, a SGTF result is not definitive for B.1.1.7, and this assay cannot detect other variants of concern (VOC) that lack spike Δ69-70, such as B.1.351 (also 501Y.V2), detected in South Africa, and P.1 (also 501Y.V3), recently detected in Brazil. We identified a deletion in the ORF1a gene (ORF1a Δ3675-3677) in all 3 variants, which has not yet been widely detected in other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. Using ORF1a Δ3675-3677 as the primary target and spike Δ69-70 to differentiate, we designed and validated an open-source PCR assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 VOC. Our assay can be rapidly deployed in laboratories around the world to enhance surveillance for the local emergence and spread of B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , DNA Primers , Humans , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Mutation , Polyproteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
10.
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol ; 105(10): 4005-4015, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216211

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread rapidly worldwide. Given that this contagious viral outbreak is still unfolding, it is urgent to understand the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and explore effective treatments to protect patients from developing a severe illness related to COVID-19. Recently, IFN-α has been considered a potential therapeutic strategy to treat COVID-19 disease, mainly because the innate immune system rapidly produces IFN-α as the first line of defense to combat viral infections. However, IFN-α can also play a role in immunoregulatory effects, causing pathogenic damage and uncontrolled inflammatory responses. There are 13 human IFN-α subtypes that bind to the same receptor and induce different interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression, regulating various antiviral and immunoregulatory effects. The varying degrees of inflammatory regulations may raise concerns about the possible side effects to enlarge the inflammatory responses, exacerbating the severity of infection. Thus, the analysis of various IFN-α subtype induction during SARS-CoV-2 infection is necessary in exploring the mechanism of COVID-19 pathogenesis. This review summarizes the current understanding of IFN-α in the pathogenesis of respiratory virus diseases and IFN-α based clinical intervention used in SARS-CoV-2 infection and other respiratory virus diseases. Besides, new ideas in selecting suitable IFN-α subtypes or combinations as drug candidates for viral infection treatment will also be discussed.Key Points• IFN-α plays an important role in anti-viral and immunoregulatory effects in COVID-19 patients caused by SARS-CoV-2.• The uncontrolled inflammation and disease severity correlated to the diversity of IFN-α subtype induction.• Selecting suitable IFN-α subtypes or combinations as drug candidates will be beneficial for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Interferon-alpha/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Cell ; 184(10): 2595-2604.e13, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163482

ABSTRACT

The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, first detected in the United Kingdom, has become a global public health concern because of its increased transmissibility. Over 2,500 COVID-19 cases associated with this variant have been detected in the United States (US) since December 2020, but the extent of establishment is relatively unknown. Using travel, genomic, and diagnostic data, we highlight that the primary ports of entry for B.1.1.7 in the US were in New York, California, and Florida. Furthermore, we found evidence for many independent B.1.1.7 establishments starting in early December 2020, followed by interstate spread by the end of the month. Finally, we project that B.1.1.7 will be the dominant lineage in many states by mid- to late March. Thus, genomic surveillance for B.1.1.7 and other variants urgently needs to be enhanced to better inform the public health response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States/epidemiology
12.
Front Microbiol ; 11: 1302, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615532

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a pandemic, infecting more than 4,000,000 people worldwide. This review describes the main clinical features of COVID-19 and potential role of microbiota in COVID-19. SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 have 79.5% nucleotide sequence identity and use angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors to enter host cells. The distribution of ACE2 may determine how SARS-CoV-2 infects the respiratory and digestive tract. SARS and COVID-19 share similar clinical features, although the estimated fatality rate of COVID-19 is much lower. The communication between the microbiota and SARS-CoV-2 and the role of this association in diagnosis and treatment are unclear. Changes in the lung microbiota were identified in COVID-19 patients, and the enrichment of the lung microbiota with bacteria found in the intestinal tract is correlated with the onset of acute respiratory distress syndrome and long-term outcomes. ACE2 regulates the gut microbiota by indirectly controlling the secretion of antimicrobial peptides. Moreover, the gut microbiota enhances antiviral immunity by increasing the number and function of immune cells, decreasing immunopathology, and stimulating interferon production. In turn, respiratory viruses are known to influence microbial composition in the lung and intestine. Therefore, the analysis of changes in the microbiota during SARS-CoV-2 infection may help predict patient outcomes and allow the development of microbiota-based therapies.

13.
J Infect Public Health ; 13(5): 818-820, 2020 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-46385

ABSTRACT

As the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapidly spread across China and to more than 70 countries, an increasing number of pregnant women were affected. The vertical transmission potential of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is of great concern to the obstetrics, neonatologists, and public health agencies. Though some studies indicated the risk of vertical transmission is low, few cases have been reported with comprehensive serial tests from multiple specimens. In this case, a female preterm infant was born to a mother with confirmed COVID-19. She presented with mild respiratory distress and received general management and a short period of nasal continuous positive airway pressure support. During her stay at the hospital, a series of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic test from her throat and anal swab, serum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and urine were negative. The nucleic acid test from the mother's amniotic fluid, vaginal secretions, cord blood, placenta, serum, anal swab, and breast milk were also negative. The most comprehensively tested case reported to date confirmed that the vertical transmission of COVID is unlikely, but still, more evidence is needed.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
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