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2.
MedComm ; 3(1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1749258

ABSTRACT

New genetic variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) constantly emerge through unmitigated spread of the virus in the ongoing Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Omicron (B.1.1.529), the latest variant of concern (VOC), has so far shown exceptional spread and infectivity and has established itself as the dominant variant in recent months. The SARS‐CoV‐2 spike glycoprotein is a key component for the recognition and binding to host cell angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2 receptors. The Omicron variant harbors a cluster of substitutions/deletions/insertions, and more than 30 mutations are located in spike. Some noticeable mutations, including K417N, T478K, N501Y, and P681H, are shared with the previous VOCs Alpha, Beta, Gamma, or Delta variants and have been proven to be associated with higher transmissibility, viral infectivity, and immune evasion potential. Studies have revealed that the Omicron variant is partially resistant to the neutralizing activity of therapeutic antibodies and convalescent sera, which poses significant challenges for the clinical effectiveness of the current vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. We provide a comprehensive analysis and summary of the epidemiology and immune escape mechanisms of the Omicron variant. We also suggest some therapeutic strategies against the Omicron variant. This review, therefore, aims to provide information for further research efforts to prevent and contain the impact of new VOCs during the ongoing pandemic. Omicron (B.1.1.529), the latest variant of concern, is partially resistant to the neutralizing activity of therapeutic antibodies and convalescent sera, which poses significant challenges for the clinical effectiveness of the current vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. We provide a comprehensive analysis and summary of the epidemiology and immune escape mechanisms of the Omicron variant. We also suggest some therapeutic strategies against the Omicron variant.

3.
MedComm (2020) ; 3(1): e126, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750417

ABSTRACT

New genetic variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) constantly emerge through unmitigated spread of the virus in the ongoing Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Omicron (B.1.1.529), the latest variant of concern (VOC), has so far shown exceptional spread and infectivity and has established itself as the dominant variant in recent months. The SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein is a key component for the recognition and binding to host cell angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors. The Omicron variant harbors a cluster of substitutions/deletions/insertions, and more than 30 mutations are located in spike. Some noticeable mutations, including K417N, T478K, N501Y, and P681H, are shared with the previous VOCs Alpha, Beta, Gamma, or Delta variants and have been proven to be associated with higher transmissibility, viral infectivity, and immune evasion potential. Studies have revealed that the Omicron variant is partially resistant to the neutralizing activity of therapeutic antibodies and convalescent sera, which poses significant challenges for the clinical effectiveness of the current vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. We provide a comprehensive analysis and summary of the epidemiology and immune escape mechanisms of the Omicron variant. We also suggest some therapeutic strategies against the Omicron variant. This review, therefore, aims to provide information for further research efforts to prevent and contain the impact of new VOCs during the ongoing pandemic.

4.
EBioMedicine ; 76: 103841, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649699

ABSTRACT

Currently licensed COVID-19 vaccines are all designed for intramuscular (IM) immunization. However, vaccination today failed to prevent the virus infection through the upper respiratory tract, which is partially due to the absence of mucosal immunity activation. Despite the emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants, the next generation of COVID-19 vaccine is in demand and intranasal (IN) vaccination method has been demonstrated to be potent in inducing both mucosal and systemic immune responses. Presently, although not licensed, various IN vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are under intensive investigation, with 12 candidates reaching clinical trials at different phases. In this review, we give a detailed description about current status of IN COVID-19 vaccines, including virus-vectored vaccines, recombinant subunit vaccines and live attenuated vaccines. The ongoing clinical trials for IN vaccines are highlighted. Additionally, the underlying mechanisms of mucosal immunity and potential mucosal adjuvants and nasal delivery devices are also summarized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Immunity, Mucosal , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology
5.
Bioact Mater ; 17: 29-48, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1624692

ABSTRACT

Biotherapy has recently become a hotspot research topic with encouraging prospects in various fields due to a wide range of treatments applications, as demonstrated in preclinical and clinical studies. However, the broad applications of biotherapy have been limited by critical challenges, including the lack of safe and efficient delivery systems and serious side effects. Due to the unique potentials of biomaterials, such as good biocompatibility and bioactive properties, biomaterial-assisted biotherapy has been demonstrated to be an attractive strategy. The biomaterial-based delivery systems possess sufficient packaging capacity and versatile functions, enabling a sustained and localized release of drugs at the target sites. Furthermore, the biomaterials can provide a niche with specific extracellular conditions for the proliferation, differentiation, attachment, and migration of stem cells, leading to tissue regeneration. In this review, the state-of-the-art studies on the applications of biomaterials in biotherapy, including drug delivery, vaccine development, gene therapy, and stem cell therapy, have been summarized. The challenges and an outlook of biomaterial-assisted biotherapies have also been discussed.

6.
MedComm (2020) ; 3(1): 1-12, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589001

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) sweeping the world, effective and affordable vaccines are in urgent need. A reliable system for the assessment of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines would boost the development of vaccines and reduce the research cost. We constructed a logistic regression model and analyzed the relationship between antibody (Ab) level and efficacy of different vaccine types. The relationship between assessment dates and Ab levels was depicted by plotting the mean of Ab levels evolved over time and a fitted cubic polynomial model. Anti-spike immunoglobulin G (IgG) could best estimate the vaccine efficacy (VE) (adjusted R 2  = 0.731) and neutralizing Ab to live SARS-CoV-2 also explained a fine relationship (adjusted R 2 = 0.577). Neutralizing Abs to live SARS-CoV-2 in inactivated virus vaccines reached a peak during days 40-60, and their receptor-binding domain (RBD)-IgG peaked during days 40-50. For messenger RNA (mRNA) and viral vector vaccines, their neutralizing Ab to live SARS-CoV-2 peaked later than day 40, and for RBD-IgG during days 30-50. For mRNA and viral vector vaccines, their peak time of Abs was later than that in inactivated virus vaccines. RBD-IgG peaked earlier than Ab to live SARS-CoV-2. Anti-spike IgG and Ab to live SARS-CoV-2 may be good immune markers for VE assessment.

7.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 439, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585883

ABSTRACT

The development of animal models for COVID-19 is essential for basic research and drug/vaccine screening. Previously reported COVID-19 animal models need to be established under a high biosafety level condition for the utilization of live SARS-CoV-2, which greatly limits its application in routine research. Here, we generate a mouse model of COVID-19 under a general laboratory condition that captures multiple characteristics of SARS-CoV-2-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) observed in humans. Briefly, human ACE2-transgenic (hACE2) mice were intratracheally instilled with the formaldehyde-inactivated SARS-CoV-2, resulting in a rapid weight loss and detrimental changes in lung structure and function. The pulmonary pathologic changes were characterized by diffuse alveolar damage with pulmonary consolidation, hemorrhage, necrotic debris, and hyaline membrane formation. The production of fatal cytokines (IL-1ß, TNF-α, and IL-6) and the infiltration of activated neutrophils, inflammatory monocyte-macrophages, and T cells in the lung were also determined, suggesting the activation of an adaptive immune response. Therapeutic strategies, such as dexamethasone or passive antibody therapy, could effectively ameliorate the disease progression in this model. Therefore, the established mouse model for SARS-CoV-2-induced ARDS in the current study may provide a robust tool for researchers in the standard open laboratory to investigate the pathological mechanisms or develop new therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 and ARDS.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Lung/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics
8.
MedComm ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1567507

ABSTRACT

Several SARS‐CoV‐2 variants have emerged since the pandemic, bringing about a renewed threat to the public. Delta variant (B.1.617.2) was first detected in October 2020 in India and was characterized as variants of concern (VOC) by WHO on May 11, 2021. Delta variant rapidly outcompeted other variants to become the dominant circulating lineages due to its clear competitive advantage. There is emerging evidence of enhanced transmissibility and reduced vaccine effectiveness (VE) against Delta variant. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the features and phenotypic effects of this variant. Herein, we comprehensively described the evaluation and features of Delta variant, summarized the effects of mutations in spike on the infectivity, transmission ability, immune evasion, and provided a perspective on efficient approaches for preventing and overcoming COVID‐19. SARS‐CoV Delta (B.1.617.2) variant has been classified as variants of concern (VOC) by World Health Organization (WHO). The reproductive number (R0) of SARS‐CoV‐2 wild type and Delta variant is 2.3‐5.7 and 5‐8, respectively. Patients infected by Delta variant exhibit shorter mean generation time and mean serial interval, higher virus load and hospitalization rate compared to those infected by wild‐type SARS‐CoV‐2.

9.
MedComm ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1567323

ABSTRACT

The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) cases has been increasing significantly, and the disease has evolved into a global pandemic, posing an unprecedented challenge to the healthcare community. Angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2, the binding and entry receptor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) in hosts, is also expressed on pulmonary vascular endothelium;thus, pulmonary vasculature is a potential target in COVID‐19. Indeed, pulmonary vascular thickening is observed by early clinical imaging, implying a tropism of SARS‐CoV‐2 for pulmonary vasculature. Recent studies reported that COVID‐19 is associated with vascular endothelial damage and dysfunction along with inflammation, coagulopathy, and microthrombosis;all of these pathologic changes are the hallmarks of pulmonary vascular diseases. Notwithstanding the not fully elucidated effects of COVID‐19 on pulmonary vasculature, the vascular endotheliopathy that occurs after infection is attributed to direct infection and indirect damage mainly caused by renin‐angiotensin‐aldosterone system imbalance, coagulation cascade, oxidative stress, immune dysregulation, and intussusceptive angiogenesis. Degradation of endothelial glycocalyx exposes endothelial cell (EC) surface receptors to the vascular lumen, which renders pulmonary ECs more susceptible to SARS‐CoV‐2 infection. The present article reviews the potential pulmonary vascular pathophysiology and clinical presentations in COVID‐19 to provide a basis for clinicians and scientists, providing insights into the development of therapeutic strategies targeting pulmonary vasculature. SARS‐CoV‐2 infection‐induced pulmonary vascular injury and potential treatments target the pulmonary vascular system.

10.
MedComm (2020) ; 2021 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568243

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought about a great threat to global public health. Recently, a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant B.1.1.529 has been reported in South Africa and induced a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. On November 24, 2021, B.1.1.529 named Omicron was designated as a variant under monitoring (VUM) by World Health Organization (WHO). Two days later, the Omicron variant was classified as a variant of concern (VOC). This variant harbors a high number of mutations, including 15 mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike. The Omicron variant also shares several mutations with the previous VOC Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants, which immediately raised global concerns about viral transmissibility, pathogenicity, and immune evasion. Here we described the discovery and characteristics of the Omicron variant, compared the mutations of the spike in the five VOCs, and further raised possible strategies to prevent and overcome the prevalence of the Omicron variant.

11.
Mol Biomed ; 2(1): 1, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515457

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2). COVID-19 can spread to the entire body and cause multiple organ failure. It is a daunting challenge to control the fast growing worldwide pandemic because effective prevention and treatment strategies are unavailable currently. Generally, the immune response of the human body triggered by viral infection is essential for the elimination of the virus. However, severe COVID-19 patients may manifest dysregulated immune responses, such as lymphopenia, lymphocyte exhaustion, exacerbated antibody response, cytokine release syndrome (CRS), etc. Understanding of these immunological characteristics may help identify better approaches for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients. As specific anti-viral agents are notoriously difficult to develop, strategies for modulating the immune responses by either developing novel vaccines or using immunotherapy hold great promise to improve the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

12.
MedComm (2020) ; 2021 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469531

ABSTRACT

The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases has been increasing significantly, and the disease has evolved into a global pandemic, posing an unprecedented challenge to the healthcare community. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the binding and entry receptor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in hosts, is also expressed on pulmonary vascular endothelium; thus, pulmonary vasculature is a potential target in COVID-19. Indeed, pulmonary vascular thickening is observed by early clinical imaging, implying a tropism of SARS-CoV-2 for pulmonary vasculature. Recent studies reported that COVID-19 is associated with vascular endothelial damage and dysfunction along with inflammation, coagulopathy, and microthrombosis; all of these pathologic changes are the hallmarks of pulmonary vascular diseases. Notwithstanding the not fully elucidated effects of COVID-19 on pulmonary vasculature, the vascular endotheliopathy that occurs after infection is attributed to direct infection and indirect damage mainly caused by renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system imbalance, coagulation cascade, oxidative stress, immune dysregulation, and intussusceptive angiogenesis. Degradation of endothelial glycocalyx exposes endothelial cell (EC) surface receptors to the vascular lumen, which renders pulmonary ECs more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The present article reviews the potential pulmonary vascular pathophysiology and clinical presentations in COVID-19 to provide a basis for clinicians and scientists, providing insights into the development of therapeutic strategies targeting pulmonary vasculature.

13.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 343, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415924

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 recognizes, via its spike receptor-binding domain (S-RBD), human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to initiate infection. Ecto-domain protein of ACE2 can therefore function as a decoy. Here we show that mutations of S19W, T27W, and N330Y in ACE2 could individually enhance SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD binding. Y330 could be synergistically combined with either W19 or W27, whereas W19 and W27 are mutually unbeneficial. The structures of SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD bound to the ACE2 mutants reveal that the enhanced binding is mainly contributed by the van der Waals interactions mediated by the aromatic side-chains from W19, W27, and Y330. While Y330 and W19/W27 are distantly located and devoid of any steric interference, W19 and W27 are shown to orient their side-chains toward each other and to cause steric conflicts, explaining their incompatibility. Finally, using pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 viruses, we demonstrate that these residue substitutions are associated with dramatically improved entry-inhibition efficacy toward both wild-type and antibody-resistant viruses. Taken together, our biochemical and structural data have delineated the basis for the elevated S-RBD binding associated with S19W, T27W, and N330Y mutations in ACE2, paving the way for potential application of these mutants in clinical treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19 , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation, Missense , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
14.
Genes Dis ; 9(1): 12-27, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404746

ABSTRACT

To defense harmful stimuli or maintain the immune homeostasis, the body produces and recruits a superfamily of cytokines such as interleukins, interferons, chemokines etc. Among them, chemokines act as crucial regulators in defense systems. CCL5/CCR5 combination is known for facilitating inflammatory responses, as well as inducing the adhesion and migration of different T cell subsets in immune responses. In addition, recent studies have shown that the interaction between CCL5 and CCR5 is involved in various pathological processes including inflammation, chronic diseases, cancers as well as the infection of COVID-19. This review focuses on how CCL5/CCR5 axis participates in the pathological processes of different diseases and their relevant signaling pathways for the regulation of the axis. Moreover, we highlighted the gene therapy and chemotherapy studies for treating CCR5-related diseases, including the ongoing clinical trials. The barriers and perspectives for future application and translational research were also summarized.

17.
MedComm (2020) ; 2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222647

ABSTRACT

The emerging variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in pandemic call for the urgent development of universal corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines which could be effective for both wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and mutant strains. In the current study, we formulated protein subunit vaccines with AS03 adjuvant and recombinant proteins of S1 subunit of SARS-CoV-2 (S1-WT) and S1 variant (K417N, E484K, N501Y, and D614G) subunit (S1-Mut), and immunized transgenic mice that express human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2). The S1 protein-specific antibody production and the neutralization capability for SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.351 variant were measured after immunization in mice. The results revealed that the S1-Mut antigens were more effective in inhibiting the receptor-binding domain and ACE2 binding in B.1.351 variant than in wild-type SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the development of a bivalent vaccine exhibited the ideal neutralization properties against wild-type and B.1.351 variant, as well as other variants. Our findings may provide a rationale for the development of a bivalent recombinant vaccine targeting the S1 protein that can induce the neutralizing antibodies against both SARS-CoV-2 variants and wild-type of the virus and may be of importance to explore the potential clinical use of bivalent recombinant vaccine in the future.

18.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 619738, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145575

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, a member of the family coronaviridae, has triggered a lethal pandemic termed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pediatric patients, mainly from families with a cluster of infection or a history of exposure to epidemic areas, get infected via direct contacts or air-borne droplets. Children (aged below 18 years) are susceptible to COVID-19, with an average incubation period of about 6.5 days. Most cases present asymptomatic or common cold symptoms such as fever, cough, and myalgia or fatigue, which is milder than adult patients. Besides, most abnormal laboratory and radiologic findings in children with COVID-19 are non-specific. Since no specific chemotherapeutic agents have been approved for children, timely preventive methods could effectively forestall the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. To date, mostly studied cases have been adults with COVID-19, whereas data on pediatrics patients remain poorly defined. We herein conducted a literature review for papers published in PubMed and medRxiv (preprints) between December 2019 and December 2020 that reported on pediatrics patients (aged below 18 years) with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. In this review, we summarized and discussed the pathogenesis, epidemiology, and clinical management of COVID-19 in pediatrics patients to improve our understanding of this new disease in children.

19.
Mol Cancer ; 20(1): 33, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088597

ABSTRACT

mRNA vaccines have tremendous potential to fight against cancer and viral diseases due to superiorities in safety, efficacy and industrial production. In recent decades, we have witnessed the development of different kinds of mRNAs by sequence optimization to overcome the disadvantage of excessive mRNA immunogenicity, instability and inefficiency. Based on the immunological study, mRNA vaccines are coupled with immunologic adjuvant and various delivery strategies. Except for sequence optimization, the assistance of mRNA-delivering strategies is another method to stabilize mRNAs and improve their efficacy. The understanding of increasing the antigen reactiveness gains insight into mRNA-induced innate immunity and adaptive immunity without antibody-dependent enhancement activity. Therefore, to address the problem, scientists further exploited carrier-based mRNA vaccines (lipid-based delivery, polymer-based delivery, peptide-based delivery, virus-like replicon particle and cationic nanoemulsion), naked mRNA vaccines and dendritic cells-based mRNA vaccines. The article will discuss the molecular biology of mRNA vaccines and underlying anti-virus and anti-tumor mechanisms, with an introduction of their immunological phenomena, delivery strategies, their importance on Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related clinical trials against cancer and viral diseases. Finally, we will discuss the challenge of mRNA vaccines against bacterial and parasitic diseases.


Subject(s)
Vaccines, Synthetic/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Transfer Techniques , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunotherapy , RNA Stability , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
20.
MedComm (2020) ; 2020 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-807359

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs), a subfamily of coronavirinae, are a panel of single-stranded RNA virus. Human coronavirus (HCoV) strains (HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-NL63) usually cause mild upper respiratory diseases and are believed to be harmless. However, other HCoVs, associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and COVID-19, have been identified as important pathogens due to their potent infectivity and lethality worldwide. Moreover, currently, no effective antiviral drugs treatments are available so far. In this review, we summarize the biological characters of HCoVs, their association with human diseases, and current therapeutic options for the three severe HCoVs. We also highlight the discussion about novel treatment strategies for HCoVs infections.

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