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2.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 187: 113292, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265641

ABSTRACT

CRISPR-Cas12a (Cpf1) trans-cleaves ssDNA and this feature has been widely harnessed for nucleic acid detection. Herein, we introduce a new type of Cas12a reporter, G-triplex (G3), and a highly sensitive biosensor termed G-CRISPR. We proved that Cas12a trans-cleaves G3 structures in about 10 min and G3 can serve as an excellent reporter based on the cleavage-induced high-order structure disruption. G3 reporter improves the analytical sensitivity up to 20 folds, enabling the detection of unamplified and amplified DNA as low as 50 pmol and 0.1 amol (one copy/reaction), respectively. G-CRISPR has been utilized for the analysis of 27 PCR-amplified patient samples with HPV infection risk based on both fluorescence and lateral flow assays, resulting in 100% concordance between the two. In comparison with the clinical results, it achieved overall specificity and sensitivity of 100% and 94.7%, respectively. These results suggest that G-CRISPR can serve as a rapid, sensitive, and reliable biosensor, and could further expand the CRISPR toolbox in biomedical diagnostics.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , CRISPR-Cas Systems/genetics , DNA , DNA, Single-Stranded , Humans
3.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 4: 100045, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1235945

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The possibility of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission to neonates through breast milk remains unverified. METHODS: This paper presents the interim results of a longitudinal study being carried out in Hubei province. As of 1 April 2020, 24 mothers confirmed with COVID-19, 19 mothers suspected with COVID-19 but Polymerase chain reaction negative, and 21 mothers without COVID-19 and their neonates have been recruited. Telephone follow-up was conducted to collect information on breastfeeding practices. Forty-four breast milk samples were collected from 16 of the 24 mothers with confirmed COVID-19 for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) ribonucleic acid (RNA) and antibodies (IgM and IgG) testing. FINDINGS: The average mother-child separation time was 36•7 ± 21•1 days among mothers confirmed with COVID-19, significantly longer than that of the suspected group (16•6 ± 13•1 days) and control group (10•5 ± 8•2 days). Both the COVID-19 confirmed (58•3%) and suspected (52•6%) groups presented significantly lower rates of breastfeeding as compared with the control group (95•2%). All 44 breast milk samples tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid. Thirty-eight breast milk samples underwent antibody testing and all tested negative for IgG. Twenty-one breast milk samples from 8 women tested positive for IgM, while the remaining samples from 11 women tested negative. INTERPRETATION: Considering the lack of evidence for SARS-CoV-2 transmission through breast milk, breastfeeding counselling along with appropriate hand hygiene precautions and facemasks should be provided to all pregnant women. FUNDING: The study was funded by the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF.

4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 181, 2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223081

ABSTRACT

Over 40% of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) COVID-19 patients were asymptomatically infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the immune responses of these asymptomatic individuals is a critical factor for developing the strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we determined the viral dynamics and antibody responses among 143 asymptomatic individuals identified in a massive screening of more than 5 million people in eight districts of Wuhan in May 2020. Asymptomatic individuals were admitted to the government-designated centralized sites in accordance with policy. The incidence rate of asymptomatic infection is ~2.92/100,000. These individuals had low viral copy numbers (peaked at 315 copies/mL) and short-lived antibody responses with the estimated diminish time of 69 days. The antibody responses in individuals with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection is much longer with the estimated diminish time of 257 days. These results imply that the immune responses in the asymptomatic individuals are not potent enough for preventing SARS-CoV-2 re-infection, which has recently been reported in recovered COVID-19 patients. This casts doubt on the efficacy of forming "herd-immunity" through natural SARS-CoV-2 infection and urges for the development of safe and effective vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
5.
J Mol Cell Biol ; 13(3): 197-209, 2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145182

ABSTRACT

Although millions of patients have clinically recovered from COVID-19, little is known about the immune status of lymphocytes in these individuals. In this study, the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of a clinically recovered (CR) cohort were comparatively analyzed with those of an age- and sex-matched healthy donor cohort. We found that CD8+ T cells in the CR cohort had higher numbers of effector T cells and effector memory T cells but lower Tc1 (IFN-γ+), Tc2 (IL-4+), and Tc17 (IL-17A+) cell frequencies. The CD4+ T cells of the CR cohort were decreased in frequency, especially the central memory T cell subset. Moreover, CD4+ T cells in the CR cohort showed lower programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) expression and had lower frequencies of Th1 (IFN-γ+), Th2 (IL-4+), Th17 (IL-17A+), and circulating follicular helper T (CXCR5+PD-1+) cells. Accordingly, the proportion of isotype-switched memory B cells (IgM-CD20hi) among B cells in the CR cohort showed a significantly lower proportion, although the level of the activation marker CD71 was elevated. For CD3-HLA-DR- lymphocytes in the CR cohort, in addition to lower levels of IFN-γ, granzyme B and T-bet, the correlation between T-bet and IFN-γ was not observed. Additionally, by taking into account the number of days after discharge, all the phenotypes associated with reduced function did not show a tendency toward recovery within 4‒11 weeks. The remarkable phenotypic alterations in lymphocytes in the CR cohort suggest that  severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection profoundly affects lymphocytes and potentially results in dysfunction even after clinical recovery.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/blood , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Lineage/genetics , Cell Lineage/immunology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Granzymes/genetics , Humans , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , T-Box Domain Proteins/genetics , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th1 Cells/virology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/virology , Th2 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/virology
6.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(3): e1259, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120286

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 has caused a worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. The existence of prolonged SARS-CoV-2 positivity (PP) has further increased the burden on the health system. Since T cells are vital for viral control, we aimed to evaluate the characteristics of T-cell responses associated with PP. METHODS: We established a PP cohort and two age- and sex-matched control cohorts: a regular clinical recovery (CR) cohort and a healthy donor (HD) cohort. The mean time for RNA negativity conversion in the PP cohort was markedly longer than that in the CR cohort (66.2 vs 25.3 days), while the time from illness onset to sampling was not significantly different. T-cell responses in the PP cohort were assayed, analysed and compared with those in the CR and HD cohorts by flow cytometry and ELISpot analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. RESULTS: Compared with the CR cohort, the proliferation, activation and functional potential of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in the PP cohort were not significantly different. However, the frequencies and counts of Teff and Tem in CD8+ but not in CD4+ T cells of the PP cohort were prominently lower. Moreover, a weaker SARS-CoV-2 N protein-specific IFN-γ+ T-cell response and a higher frequency of Tregs were detected in the PP cohort. CONCLUSION: Suppressed CD8+ T-cell differentiation is associated with PP and may be an indicator for the prediction of prolonged SARS-CoV-2 positivity in COVID-19 patients. The association between suppressed CD8+ T-cell differentiation and elevated Tregs warrants studies in the future.

7.
Virol Sin ; 36(5): 859-868, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1070952

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 infection, is a global health crisis. While many patients have clinically recovered, little is known about long-term alterations in T cell responses of COVID-19 convalescents. In this study, T cell responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of a long-time COVID-19 clinically recovered (20-26 weeks) cohort (LCR) were measured via flow cytometry and ELISpot. The T cell responses of LCR were comparatively analyzed against an age and sex matched short-time clinically recovered (4-9 weeks) cohort (SCR) and a healthy donor cohort (HD). All volunteers were recruited from Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital, China. Phenotypic analysis showed that activation marker PD-1 expressing on CD4+ T cells of LCR was still significantly lower than that of HD. Functional analysis indicated that frequencies of Tc2, Th2 and Th17 in LCR were comparable to those of HD, but Tc17 was higher than that of HD. In LCR, compared to the HD, there were fewer IFN-γ producing T cells but more IL-2 secreting T cells. In addition, the circulating Tfh cells in LCR were still slightly lower compared to HD, though the subsets composition had recovered. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses in LCR were comparable to that of SCR. Collectively, T cell responses experienced long-term alterations in phenotype and functional potential of LCR cohort. However, after clinical recovery, SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses could be sustained at least for six months, which may be helpful in resisting re-infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Pandemics , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2
8.
SSRN; 2020.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-1675

ABSTRACT

Background: There have been no confirmed cases of vertical transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from mother to child through breastfeed

9.
SSRN; 2020.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-833

ABSTRACT

Background: 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been characterized as a pandemic by WHO. Clinical and virological course of patients with severe disea

11.
Front Microbiol ; 11: 1570, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646612

ABSTRACT

The current outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been defined as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. We aimed to evaluate the clinical features and virological course of non-severe COVID-19 patients with or without symptoms who were admitted to a Chinese cabin hospital. In this retrospective single center study, we reviewed 252 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients treated at one temporary cabin hospital in Wuhan, China. Demographic, clinical, serial chest computed tomography (CT), and serial viral test data were compared between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients. The association between clinical features and symptomatic status or patient referral status was analyzed. Among all 252 patients, 74 (29.4%) were asymptomatic and 138 (54.76%) had more than two family members who developed COVID-19. The probability for family clustering was similar between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients (59.70 vs. 61.64%, P = 0.79). Asymptomatic patients and symptomatic patients were equally likely to reach a virus-free state during their stay at the cabin hospital (93.15 vs. 86.44%, P = 0.13). The initial chest CT screening showed that 81 (32.1%) patients had no visible pneumonia, 52 (20.6%) had unilateral pneumonia, and 119 (47.2%) had bilateral pneumonia. Symptomatic patients had a higher chance to have bilateral pneumonia (P < 0.0001) and were less likely to show improvement on the follow-up CT scan (P = 0.0002). In total, 69 (27.4%) patients were referred to the designated hospital and only 23 (9.1%) patients were referred due to the progression of pneumonia. Non-severe COVID-19 patients can transmit the disease regardless of their symptomatic status. It is highly recommended that asymptomatic patients be identified and quarantined to eliminate the transmission of COVID-19.

12.
Virol Sin ; 35(3): 305-310, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88643

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic has become a major challenge to public health in China and other countries, considering its pathogenicity across all age groups. Pregnancy is a unique physiological condition, and is characterized by altered immunity and elevated hormone levels to actively tolerate the semi-allogeneic fetus, which undergoes a sudden and substantial fluctuation during the immediate postpartum period. Changes in clinical features, laboratory characteristics, and imaging features of pregnant women during the pre-partum and post-partum periods require further elucidation. Here, we retrospectively analyzed the clinical features, laboratory characteristics, and imaging features of eight pregnant cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the pre-partum and post-partum periods. Our results showed that four of the eight pregnant women were asymptomatic before delivery but became symptomatic post-partum. Correspondingly, white blood cell (WBC) counts increased and lymphocyte (LYMPH) counts decreased. C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the serum also increased to a higher level than those in general pregnancy. Therefore, it is imperative to closely monitor laboratory parameters including the WBC count, LYMPH count, and CRP, along with other imaging features in chest CT scans, to promptly prevent, diagnose, and treat a SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Adult , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Blood Cell Count , C-Reactive Protein , COVID-19 , China , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Female , Humans , Immunity , Leukocyte Count , Lymphocytes , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pregnancy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
ACS Nano ; 14(4): 3747-3754, 2020 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-42323

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of those global challenges that transcends territorial, political, ideological, religious, cultural, and certainly academic boundaries. Public health and healthcare workers are at the frontline, working to contain and to mitigate the spread of this disease. Although intervening biological and immunological responses against viral infection may seem far from the physical sciences and engineering that typically work with inanimate objects, there actually is much that can-and should-be done to help in this global crisis. In this Perspective, we convert the basics of infectious respiratory diseases and viruses into physical sciences and engineering intuitions, and through this exercise, we present examples of questions, hypotheses, and research needs identified based on clinicians' experiences. We hope researchers in the physical sciences and engineering will proactively study these challenges, develop new hypotheses, define new research areas, and work with biological researchers, healthcare, and public health professionals to create user-centered solutions and to inform the general public, so that we can better address the many challenges associated with the transmission and spread of infectious respiratory diseases.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Engineering , Nanotechnology , Natural Science Disciplines , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Nanotechnology/trends , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Public Health , Publishing , SARS-CoV-2
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