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mBio ; : e0304421, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662302


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide since December 2019, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although vaccines for this virus have been developed rapidly, repurposing drugs approved to treat other diseases remains an invaluable treatment strategy. Here, we evaluated the inhibitory effects of drugs on SARS-CoV-2 replication in a hamster infection model and in in vitro assays. Favipiravir significantly suppressed virus replication in hamster lungs. Remdesivir inhibited virus replication in vitro, but was not effective in the hamster model. However, GS-441524, a metabolite of remdesivir, effectively suppressed virus replication in hamsters. Co-administration of favipiravir and GS-441524 more efficiently reduced virus load in hamster lungs than did single administration of either drug for both the prophylactic and therapeutic regimens; prophylactic co-administration also efficiently inhibited lung inflammation in the infected animals. Furthermore, pretreatment of hamsters with favipiravir and GS-441524 effectively protected them from virus transmission via respiratory droplets upon exposure to infected hamsters. Repurposing and co-administration of antiviral drugs may help combat COVID-19. IMPORTANCE During a pandemic, repurposing drugs that are approved for other diseases is a quick and realistic treatment option. In this study, we found that co-administration of favipiravir and the remdesivir metabolite GS-441524 more effectively blocked SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lungs of Syrian hamsters than either favipiravir or GS-441524 alone as part of a prophylactic or therapeutic regimen. Prophylactic co-administration also reduced the severity of lung inflammation. Moreover, co-administration of these drugs to naive hamsters efficiently protected them from airborne transmission of the virus from infected animals. Since both drugs are nucleotide analogs that interfere with the RNA-dependent RNA polymerases of many RNA viruses, these findings may also help encourage co-administration of antivirals to combat future pandemics.

RSC Med Chem ; 12(12): 2016-2021, 2021 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440487


Fucoidan derivatives 10-13, whose basic sugar chains are composed of repeating α(1,4)-linked l-fucopyranosyl residues with different sulfation patterns, were designed and systematically synthesized. A structure-activity relationship (SAR) study examined competitive inhibition by thirteen fucoidan derivatives against heparin binding to the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. The results showed for the first time that 10 exhibited the highest inhibitory activity of the fucoidan derivatives used. The inhibitory activity of 10 was much higher than that of fondaparinux, the reported ligand of SARS-CoV-2 S protein. Furthermore, 10 exhibited inhibitory activities against the binding of heparin with several mutant SARS-CoV-2 S proteins, but was found to not inhibit factor Xa (FXa) activity that could otherwise lead to undesirable anticoagulant activity.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276013


The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a key role in viral infectivity. It is also the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response, specifically, the production of neutralizing antibodies. Recently, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 possessing multiple mutations in the S protein, designated P.1, emerged in Brazil. Here, we characterized a P.1 variant isolated in Japan by using Syrian hamsters, a well-established small animal model for the study of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19). In hamsters, the variant showed replicative abilities and pathogenicity similar to those of early and contemporary strains (i.e., SARS-CoV-2 bearing aspartic acid [D] or glycine [G] at position 614 of the S protein). Sera and/or plasma from convalescent patients and BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccinees showed comparable neutralization titers across the P.1 variant, S-614D, and S-614G strains. In contrast, the S-614D and S-614G strains were less well recognized than the P.1 variant by serum from a P.1-infected patient. Prior infection with S-614D or S-614G strains efficiently prevented the replication of the P.1 variant in the lower respiratory tract of hamsters upon reinfection. In addition, passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies to hamsters infected with the P.1 variant or the S-614G strain led to reduced virus replication in the lower respiratory tract. However, the effect was less pronounced against the P.1 variant than the S-614G strain. These findings suggest that the P.1 variant may be somewhat antigenically different from the early and contemporary strains of SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , X-Ray Microtomography
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(28): 16587-16595, 2020 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611003


At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) was detected in Wuhan, China, that spread rapidly around the world, with severe consequences for human health and the global economy. Here, we assessed the replicative ability and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates in Syrian hamsters. SARS-CoV-2 isolates replicated efficiently in the lungs of hamsters, causing severe pathological lung lesions following intranasal infection. In addition, microcomputed tomographic imaging revealed severe lung injury that shared characteristics with SARS-CoV-2-infected human lung, including severe, bilateral, peripherally distributed, multilobular ground glass opacity, and regions of lung consolidation. SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters mounted neutralizing antibody responses and were protected against subsequent rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passive transfer of convalescent serum to naïve hamsters efficiently suppressed the replication of the virus in the lungs even when the serum was administrated 2 d postinfection of the serum-treated hamsters. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that this Syrian hamster model will be useful for understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and testing vaccines and antiviral drugs.

Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Ribonucleoproteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication