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1.
J Clin Invest ; 132(4)2022 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705312

ABSTRACT

Many SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) lose potency against variants of concern. In this study, we developed 2 strategies to produce mutation-resistant antibodies. First, a yeast library expressing mutant receptor binding domains (RBDs) of the spike protein was utilized to screen for potent nAbs that are least susceptible to viral escape. Among the candidate antibodies, P5-22 displayed ultrahigh potency for virus neutralization as well as an outstanding mutation resistance profile. Additionally, P14-44 and P15-16 were recognized as mutation-resistant antibodies with broad betacoronavirus neutralization properties. P15-16 has only 1 binding hotspot, which is K378 in the RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The crystal structure of the P5-22, P14-44, and RBD ternary complex clarified the unique mechanisms that underlie the excellent mutation resistance profiles of these antibodies. Secondly, polymeric IgG enhanced antibody avidity by eliminating P5-22's only hotspot, residue F486 in the RBD, thereby potently blocking cell entry by mutant viruses. Structural and functional analyses of antibodies screened using both potency assays and the yeast RBD library revealed rare, ultrapotent, mutation-resistant nAbs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/blood , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Cloning, Molecular , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , In Vitro Techniques , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0184221, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691423

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a beta coronavirus that emerged in 2012, causing severe pneumonia and renal failure. MERS-CoV encodes five accessory proteins. Some of them have been shown to interfere with host antiviral immune response. However, the roles of protein 8b in innate immunity and viral virulence was rarely studied. Here, we introduced individual MERS-CoV accessory protein genes into the genome of an attenuated murine coronavirus (Mouse hepatitis virus, MHV), respectively, and found accessory protein 8b could enhance viral replication in vivo and in vitro and increase the lethality of infected mice. RNA-seq analysis revealed that protein 8b could significantly inhibit type I interferon production (IFN-I) and innate immune response in mice infected with MHV expressing protein 8b. We also found that MERS-CoV protein 8b could initiate from multiple internal methionine sites and at least three protein variants were identified. Residues 1-23 of protein 8b was demonstrated to be responsible for increased virulence in vivo. In addition, the inhibitory effect on IFN-I of protein 8b might not contribute to its virulence enhancement as aa1-23 deletion did not affect IFN-I production in vitro and in vivo. Next, we also found that protein 8b was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi membrane in infected cells, which was disrupted by C-terminal region aa 88-112 deletion. This study will provide new insight into the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection. IMPORTANCE Multiple coronaviruses (CoV) cause severe respiratory infections and become global public health threats such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Each coronavirus contains different numbers of accessory proteins which show high variability among different CoVs. Accessory proteins are demonstrated to play essential roles in pathogenesis of CoVs. MERS-CoV contains 5 accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 8b), and deletion of all four accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5), significantly affects MERS-CoV replication and pathogenesis. However, whether ORF8b also regulates MERS-CoV infection is unknown. Here, we constructed mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) recombinant virus expressing MERS-CoV protein 8b and demonstrated protein 8b could significantly enhance the virulence of MHV, which is mediated by N-terminal domain of protein 8b. This study will shed light on the understanding of pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection.


Subject(s)
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Mice , Mortality , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Tropism , Virulence/genetics , Virulence Factors/genetics
3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327270

ABSTRACT

The highly mutated and transmissible Omicron variant has provoked serious concerns over its decreased sensitivity to the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines and evasion from most anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). In this study, we explored the possibility of combatting the Omicron variant by constructing bispecific antibodies based on non-Omicron NAbs. We engineered ten IgG-like bispecific antibodies with non-Omicron NAbs named GW01, 16L9, 4L12, and REGN10987 by fusing the single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) of two antibodies through a linker and then connecting them to the Fc region of IgG1. Surprisingly, eight out of ten bispecific antibodies showed high binding affinity to the Omicron receptor-binding domain (RBD) and exhibited extreme breadth and potency against pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) including Omicron, as well as authentic Omicron(+R346K) variants. Six bispecific antibodies containing the cross-NAb GW01 neutralized Omicron variant and retained their abilities to neutralize other sarbecoviruses. Bispecific antibodies inhibited Omicron infection by binding to the ACE2 binding site. A cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure study of the representative bispecific antibody FD01 in complex with the Omicron spike (S) revealed 5 distinct trimers and one unique bi-trimer conformation. The structure and mapping analyses of 34 Omicron S variant single mutants elucidated that two scFvs of the bispecific antibody synergistically induced the RBD-down conformation into 3-RBD-up conformation, enlarged the interface area, accommodated the S371L mutation, improved the affinity between a single IgG and the Omicron RBD, and hindered ACE2 binding by forming bi-trimer conformation. Our study offers an important foundation for anti-Omicron NAb design. Engineering bispecific antibodies based on non-Omicron NAbs may provide an efficient solution to combat the Omicron variant.

4.
Thorax ; 2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685700

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a worldwide threat and effective antiviral drugs and vaccines are being developed in a joint global effort. However, some elderly and immune-compromised populations are unable to raise an effective immune response against traditional vaccines. AIMS: We hypothesised that passive immunity engineered by the in vivo expression of anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), an approach termed vectored-immunoprophylaxis (VIP), could offer sustained protection against COVID-19 in all populations irrespective of their immune status or age. METHODS: We developed three key reagents to evaluate VIP for SARS-CoV-2: (i) we engineered standard laboratory mice to express human ACE2 via rAAV9 in vivo gene transfer, to allow in vivo assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection, (ii) to simplify in vivo challenge studies, we generated SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein pseudotyped lentiviral vectors as a simple mimic of authentic SARS-CoV-2 that could be used under standard laboratory containment conditions and (iii) we developed in vivo gene transfer vectors to express anti-SARS-CoV-2 mAbs. CONCLUSIONS: A single intranasal dose of rAAV9 or rSIV.F/HN vectors expressing anti-SARS-CoV-2 mAbs significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 mimic infection in the lower respiratory tract of hACE2-expressing mice. If translated, the VIP approach could potentially offer a highly effective, long-term protection against COVID-19 for highly vulnerable populations; especially immune-deficient/senescent individuals, who fail to respond to conventional SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The in vivo expression of multiple anti-SARS-CoV-2 mAbs could enhance protection and prevent rapid mutational escape.

5.
Genome Res ; 32(2): 228-241, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642462

ABSTRACT

The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is still elusive, which impedes disease progression prediction, differential diagnosis, and targeted therapy. Plasma cell-free RNAs (cfRNAs) carry unique information from human tissue and thus could point to resourceful solutions for pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions. Here, we performed a comparative analysis of cfRNA profiles between COVID-19 patients and healthy donors using serial plasma. Analyses of the cfRNA landscape, potential gene regulatory mechanisms, dynamic changes in tRNA pools upon infection, and microbial communities were performed. A total of 380 cfRNA molecules were up-regulated in all COVID-19 patients, of which seven could serve as potential biomarkers (AUC > 0.85) with great sensitivity and specificity. Antiviral (NFKB1A, IFITM3, and IFI27) and neutrophil activation (S100A8, CD68, and CD63)-related genes exhibited decreased expression levels during treatment in COVID-19 patients, which is in accordance with the dynamically enhanced inflammatory response in COVID-19 patients. Noncoding RNAs, including some microRNAs (let 7 family) and long noncoding RNAs (GJA9-MYCBP) targeting interleukin (IL6/IL6R), were differentially expressed between COVID-19 patients and healthy donors, which accounts for the potential core mechanism of cytokine storm syndromes; the tRNA pools change significantly between the COVID-19 and healthy group, leading to the accumulation of SARS-CoV-2 biased codons, which facilitate SARS-CoV-2 replication. Finally, several pneumonia-related microorganisms were detected in the plasma of COVID-19 patients, raising the possibility of simultaneously monitoring immune response regulation and microbial communities using cfRNA analysis. This study fills the knowledge gap in the plasma cfRNA landscape of COVID-19 patients and offers insight into the potential mechanisms of cfRNAs to explain COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids , RNA/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Cell Res ; 32(3): 269-287, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634806

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants and potentially other highly pathogenic sarbecoviruses in the future highlights the need for pan-sarbecovirus vaccines. Here, we discovered a new STING agonist, CF501, and found that CF501-adjuvanted RBD-Fc vaccine (CF501/RBD-Fc) elicited significantly stronger neutralizing antibody (nAb) and T cell responses than Alum- and cGAMP-adjuvanted RBD-Fc in mice. Vaccination of rabbits and rhesus macaques (nonhuman primates, NHPs) with CF501/RBD-Fc elicited exceptionally potent nAb responses against SARS-CoV-2 and its nine variants and 41 S-mutants, SARS-CoV and bat SARSr-CoVs. CF501/RBD-Fc-immunized hACE2-transgenic mice were almost completely protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, even 6 months after the initial immunization. NHPs immunized with a single dose of CF501/RBD-Fc produced high titers of nAbs. The immunized macaques also exhibited durable humoral and cellular immune responses and showed remarkably reduced viral load in the upper and lower airways upon SARS-CoV-2 challenge even at 108 days post the final immunization. Thus, CF501/RBD-Fc can be further developed as a novel pan-sarbecovirus vaccine to combat current and future outbreaks of sarbecovirus diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , T-Lymphocytes
8.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 168-171, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623181

ABSTRACT

HCoV-OC43 is one of the mildly pathogenic coronaviruses with high infection rates in common population. Here, 43 HCoV-OC43 related cases with pneumonia were reported, corresponding genomes of HCoV-OC43 were obtained. Phylogenetic analyses based on complete genome, orf1ab and spike genes revealed that two novel genotypes of HCoV-OC43 have emerged in China. Obvious recombinant events also can be detected in the analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of novel HCoV-OC43 genotypes. Estimated divergence time analysis indicated that the two novel genotypes had apparently independent evolutionary routes. Efforts should be conducted for further investigation of genomic diversity and evolution analysis of mildly pathogenic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Common Cold/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Base Sequence , Bayes Theorem , Child , Child, Hospitalized , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Common Cold/pathology , Common Cold/transmission , Common Cold/virology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/classification , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Monte Carlo Method , Mutation , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Recombination, Genetic
9.
Cell Discov ; 7(1): 65, 2021 Aug 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569241

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, poses a serious public health threat. Effective therapeutic and prophylactic treatments are urgently needed. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a functional receptor for SARS-CoV-2, which binds to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Here, we developed recombinant human ACE2-Fc fusion protein (hACE2-Fc) and a hACE2-Fc mutant with reduced catalytic activity. hACE2-Fc and the hACE2-Fc mutant both efficiently blocked entry of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and HCoV-NL63 into hACE2-expressing cells and inhibited SARS-CoV-2 S protein-mediated cell-cell fusion. hACE2-Fc also neutralized various SARS-CoV-2 strains with enhanced infectivity including D614G and V367F mutations, as well as the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), B.1.617.1 (Kappa), and B.1.617.2 (Delta), demonstrating its potent and broad-spectrum antiviral effects. In addition, hACE2-Fc proteins protected HBE from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Unlike RBD-targeting neutralizing antibodies, hACE2-Fc treatment did not induce the development of escape mutants. Furthermore, both prophylactic and therapeutic hACE2-Fc treatments effectively protected mice from SARS-CoV-2 infection, as determined by reduced viral replication, weight loss, histological changes, and inflammation in the lungs. The protection provided by hACE2 showed obvious dose-dependent efficacy in vivo. Pharmacokinetic data indicated that hACE2-Fc has a relative long half-life in vivo compared to soluble ACE2, which makes it an excellent candidate for prophylaxis and therapy for COVID-19 as well as for SARS-CoV and HCoV-NL63 infections.

10.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0184221, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532965

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a beta coronavirus that emerged in 2012, causing severe pneumonia and renal failure. MERS-CoV encodes five accessory proteins. Some of them have been shown to interfere with host antiviral immune response. However, the roles of protein 8b in innate immunity and viral virulence was rarely studied. Here, we introduced individual MERS-CoV accessory protein genes into the genome of an attenuated murine coronavirus (Mouse hepatitis virus, MHV), respectively, and found accessory protein 8b could enhance viral replication in vivo and in vitro and increase the lethality of infected mice. RNA-seq analysis revealed that protein 8b could significantly inhibit type I interferon production (IFN-I) and innate immune response in mice infected with MHV expressing protein 8b. We also found that MERS-CoV protein 8b could initiate from multiple internal methionine sites and at least three protein variants were identified. Residues 1-23 of protein 8b was demonstrated to be responsible for increased virulence in vivo. In addition, the inhibitory effect on IFN-I of protein 8b might not contribute to its virulence enhancement as aa1-23 deletion did not affect IFN-I production in vitro and in vivo. Next, we also found that protein 8b was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi membrane in infected cells, which was disrupted by C-terminal region aa 88-112 deletion. This study will provide new insight into the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection. IMPORTANCE Multiple coronaviruses (CoV) cause severe respiratory infections and become global public health threats such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Each coronavirus contains different numbers of accessory proteins which show high variability among different CoVs. Accessory proteins are demonstrated to play essential roles in pathogenesis of CoVs. MERS-CoV contains 5 accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 8b), and deletion of all four accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5), significantly affects MERS-CoV replication and pathogenesis. However, whether ORF8b also regulates MERS-CoV infection is unknown. Here, we constructed mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) recombinant virus expressing MERS-CoV protein 8b and demonstrated protein 8b could significantly enhance the virulence of MHV, which is mediated by N-terminal domain of protein 8b. This study will shed light on the understanding of pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection.


Subject(s)
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Mice , Mortality , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Tropism , Virulence/genetics , Virulence Factors/genetics
11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-291506

ABSTRACT

Some variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) are threatening our global efforts of herd immunity, novel and more efficacious agents are urgently needed. We have developed a bispecific antibody, 2022, which bonds with high affinity to two non-overlapping epitopes on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) simultaneously, blocks the binding of RBD to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and potently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 and all of the variants tested, including variants carrying mutations known to resist neutralizing antibodies approved under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and reduce the efficacy of existing vaccines. In a mouse model of SARS-CoV-2, 2022 showed strong prophylactic and therapeutic effects. A single administration of 2022 completely protected all mice from bodyweight loss, as compared with up to 20% loss of bodyweight in placebo treated mice, reduced the lung viral titers to undetectable in all mice treated with 2022 either prophylactically or therapeutically, as compared with around 1X10 5 pfu/g lung tissue in placebo treated mice. In summary, bispecific antibody 2022 showed potent binding and neutralizing activity across a variety of SARS-CoV-2 variants and could be an attractive weapon to combat the ongoing waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 197, 2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233703

ABSTRACT

Our understanding of the protective immunity, particularly the long-term dynamics of neutralizing antibody (NAbs) response to SARS-CoV-2, is currently limited. We enrolled a cohort of 545 COVID-19 patients from Hubei, China, who were followed up up to 7 months, and determined the dynamics of NAbs to SARS-CoV-2 by using a surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT). In our validation study, sVNT IC50 titers and the neutralization rate measured at a single dilution (1:20) were well correlated with FRNT titers (r = 0.85 and 0.84, respectively). The median time to seroconversion of NAbs was 5.5 days post onset of symptoms. The rate of positive sVNT was 52% in the first week, reached 100% in the third week, and remained above 97% till 6 months post onset. Quantitatively, NAbs peaked in the fourth week and only a quarter of patients had an estimated peak titer of >1000. NAbs declined with a half-time of 61 days (95% CI: 49-80 days) within the first two months, and the decay deaccelerated to a half-time of 104 days (95% CI: 86-130 days) afterward. The peak levels of NAbs were positively associated with severity of COVID-19 and age, while negatively associated with serum albumin levels. The observation that the low-moderate peak neutralizing activity and fast decay of NAbs in most naturally infected individuals called for caution in evaluating the feasibility of antibody-based therapy and vaccine durability. NAbs response positively correlated with disease severity, warning for the possibility of repeat infection in patients with mild COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
13.
Sci China Life Sci ; 64(12): 2129-2143, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1212915

ABSTRACT

Prolonged viral RNA shedding and recurrence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have been reported. However, the clinical outcome and pathogenesis remain unclear. In this study, we recruited 43 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients. We found that prolonged viral RNA shedding or recurrence mainly occurred in severe/critical patients (P<0.05). The average viral shedding time in severe/critical patients was more than 50 days, and up to 100 days in some patients, after symptom onset. However, chest computed tomography gradually improved and complete absorption occurred when SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR was still positive, but specific antibodies appeared. Furthermore, the viral shedding time significantly decreased when the A1,430G or C12,473T mutation occurred (P<0.01 and FDR<0.01) and increased when G227A occurred (P<0.05 and FDR<0.05). High IL1R1, IL1R2, and TNFRSF21 expression in the host positively correlated with viral shedding time (P<0.05 and false discovery rate <0.05). Prolonged viral RNA shedding often occurs but may not increase disease damage. Prolonged viral RNA shedding is associated with viral mutations and host factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , China/epidemiology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Genome, Viral/genetics , Hospitalization , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Time Factors , Virus Replication , Virus Shedding
14.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(5)2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1200875

ABSTRACT

Understanding the immune response to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is crucial for disease prevention and vaccine development. We studied the antibody responses in 48 human MERS-CoV infection survivors who had variable disease severity in Saudi Arabia. MERS-CoV-specific neutralizing antibodies were detected for 6 years postinfection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Animals , Antibody Formation , Camelus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology
15.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 155, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189204

ABSTRACT

Disease progression prediction and therapeutic drug target discovery for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are particularly important, as there is still no effective strategy for severe COVID-19 patient treatment. Herein, we performed multi-platform omics analysis of serial plasma and urine samples collected from patients during the course of COVID-19. Integrative analyses of these omics data revealed several potential therapeutic targets, such as ANXA1 and CLEC3B. Molecular changes in plasma indicated dysregulation of macrophage and suppression of T cell functions in severe patients compared to those in non-severe patients. Further, we chose 25 important molecular signatures as potential biomarkers for the prediction of disease severity. The prediction power was validated using corresponding urine samples and plasma samples from new COVID-19 patient cohort, with AUC reached to 0.904 and 0.988, respectively. In conclusion, our omics data proposed not only potential therapeutic targets, but also biomarkers for understanding the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery , Lipidomics , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Biomarkers/blood , Female , Humans , Male
16.
Cell Discov ; 7(1): 23, 2021 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182823

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the microbial composition of the respiratory tract and other infected tissues as well as their possible pathogenic contributions to varying degrees of disease severity in COVID-19 patients remain unclear. Between 27 January and 26 February 2020, serial clinical specimens (sputum, nasal and throat swab, anal swab and feces) were collected from a cohort of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, including 8 mildly and 15 severely ill patients in Guangdong province, China. Total RNA was extracted and ultra-deep metatranscriptomic sequencing was performed in combination with laboratory diagnostic assays. We identified distinct signatures of microbial dysbiosis among severely ill COVID-19 patients on broad spectrum antimicrobial therapy. Co-detection of other human respiratory viruses (including human alphaherpesvirus 1, rhinovirus B, and human orthopneumovirus) was demonstrated in 30.8% (4/13) of the severely ill patients, but not in any of the mildly affected patients. Notably, the predominant respiratory microbial taxa of severely ill patients were Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC), Staphylococcus epidermidis, or Mycoplasma spp. (including M. hominis and M. orale). The presence of the former two bacterial taxa was also confirmed by clinical cultures of respiratory specimens (expectorated sputum or nasal secretions) in 23.1% (3/13) of the severe cases. Finally, a time-dependent, secondary infection of B. cenocepacia with expressions of multiple virulence genes was demonstrated in one severely ill patient, which might accelerate his disease deterioration and death occurring one month after ICU admission. Our findings point to SARS-CoV-2-related microbial dysbiosis and various antibiotic-resistant respiratory microbes/pathogens in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in relation to disease severity. Detection and tracking strategies are needed to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance, improve the treatment regimen and clinical outcomes of hospitalized, severely ill COVID-19 patients.

17.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(3): 385-395, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1162009

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) remains of global public health concern. Dromedary camels are the source of zoonotic infection. Over 70% of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV)-infected dromedaries are found in Africa but no zoonotic disease has been reported in Africa. We aimed to understand whether individuals with exposure to dromedaries in Africa had been infected by MERS-CoV. METHODS: Workers slaughtering dromedaries in an abattoir in Kano, Nigeria, were compared with abattoir workers without direct dromedary contact, non-abattoir workers from Kano, and controls from Guangzhou, China. Exposure to dromedaries was ascertained using a questionnaire. Serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were tested for MERS-CoV specific neutralising antibody and T-cell responses. FINDINGS: None of the participants from Nigeria or Guangdong were MERS-CoV seropositive. 18 (30%) of 61 abattoir workers with exposure to dromedaries, but none of 20 abattoir workers without exposure (p=0·0042), ten non-abattoir workers or 24 controls from Guangzhou (p=0·0002) had evidence of MERS-CoV-specific CD4+ or CD8+ T cells in PBMC. T-cell responses to other endemic human coronaviruses (229E, OC43, HKU-1, and NL-63) were observed in all groups with no association with dromedary exposure. Drinking both unpasteurised camel milk and camel urine was significantly and negatively associated with T-cell positivity (odds ratio 0·07, 95% CI 0·01-0·54). INTERPRETATION: Zoonotic infection of dromedary-exposed individuals is taking place in Nigeria and suggests that the extent of MERS-CoV infections in Africa is underestimated. MERS-CoV could therefore adapt to human transmission in Africa rather than the Arabian Peninsula, where attention is currently focused. FUNDING: The National Science and Technology Major Project, National Institutes of Health.


Subject(s)
Camelus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Camelus/virology , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Nigeria/epidemiology , Young Adult , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology
18.
Fundamental Research ; 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1116731

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents a major public health threat worldwide. Insight into protective and pathogenic aspects of SARS-CoV-2 immune responses is critical to work out effective therapeutics and develop vaccines for controlling the disease. Here, we review the present literature describing the innate and adaptive immune responses including innate immune cells, cytokine responses, antibody responses and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 in human infection, as well as in AEC2-humanized mouse infection. We also summarize the now known and unknown about the role of the SARS-CoV-2 immune responses. By better understanding the mechanisms that drive the immune responses, we can tailor treatment strategies at specific disease stages and improve our response to this worldwide public health threat.

19.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 585358, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116697

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the novel human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, causes a global COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. Here, we have characterized and compared viral populations of SARS-CoV-2 among COVID-19 patients within and across households. Our work showed an active viral replication activity in the human respiratory tract and the co-existence of genetically distinct viruses within the same host. The inter-host comparison among viral populations further revealed a narrow transmission bottleneck between patients from the same households, suggesting a dominated role of stochastic dynamics in both inter-host and intra-host evolutions.

20.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 30, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1097198

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since early February 2021, the causative agent of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, has infected over 104 million people with more than 2 million deaths according to official reports. The key to understanding the biology and virus-host interactions of SARS-CoV-2 requires the knowledge of mutation and evolution of this virus at both inter- and intra-host levels. However, despite quite a few polymorphic sites identified among SARS-CoV-2 populations, intra-host variant spectra and their evolutionary dynamics remain mostly unknown. METHODS: Using high-throughput sequencing of metatranscriptomic and hybrid captured libraries, we characterized consensus genomes and intra-host single nucleotide variations (iSNVs) of serial samples collected from eight patients with COVID-19. The distribution of iSNVs along the SARS-CoV-2 genome was analyzed and co-occurring iSNVs among COVID-19 patients were identified. We also compared the evolutionary dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 population in the respiratory tract (RT) and gastrointestinal tract (GIT). RESULTS: The 32 consensus genomes revealed the co-existence of different genotypes within the same patient. We further identified 40 intra-host single nucleotide variants (iSNVs). Most (30/40) iSNVs presented in a single patient, while ten iSNVs were found in at least two patients or identical to consensus variants. Comparing allele frequencies of the iSNVs revealed a clear genetic differentiation between intra-host populations from the respiratory tract (RT) and gastrointestinal tract (GIT), mostly driven by bottleneck events during intra-host migrations. Compared to RT populations, the GIT populations showed a better maintenance and rapid development of viral genetic diversity following the suspected intra-host bottlenecks. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings here illustrate the intra-host bottlenecks and evolutionary dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in different anatomic sites and may provide new insights to understand the virus-host interactions of coronaviruses and other RNA viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Gene Frequency , Genotype , Haplotypes , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
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