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2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852993

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 can infect human and other mammals, including hamsters. Syrian (Mesocricetus auratus) and dwarf (Phodopus sp.) hamsters are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection in the laboratory setting. However, pet shop-related COVID-19 outbreaks have not been reported. METHODS: We conducted an investigation of a pet shop-related COVID-19 outbreak due to Delta variant AY.127 involving at least three patients in Hong Kong. We tested samples collected from the patients, environment, and hamsters linked to this outbreak and performed whole genome sequencing analysis of the RT-PCR-positive samples. RESULTS: The patients included a pet shop keeper (Patient 1), a female customer of the pet shop (Patient 2), and the husband of Patient 2 (Patient 3). Investigation showed that 17.2% (5/29) and 25.5% (13/51) environmental specimens collected from the pet shop and its related warehouse, respectively, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. Among euthanized hamsters randomly collected from the storehouse, 3% (3/100) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR and seropositive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody by ELISA. Whole genome analysis showed that although all genomes from the outbreak belonged to the Delta variant AY.127, there were at least 3 nucleotide differences among the genomes from different patients and the hamster cages. Genomic analysis suggests that multiple strains have emerged within the hamster population, and these different strains have likely transmitted to human either via direct contact or via the environment. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated probable hamster-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2. As pet trading is common around the world, this can represent a route of international spread of this pandemic virus.

3.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(5): 716-725, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852420

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants continue to cause waves of new infections globally. Developing effective antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants is an urgent task. The main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is an attractive drug target because of its central role in viral replication and its conservation among variants. We herein report a series of potent α-ketoamide-containing Mpro inhibitors obtained using the Ugi four-component reaction. The prioritized compound, Y180, showed an IC50 of 8.1 nM against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and had oral bioavailability of 92.9%, 31.9% and 85.7% in mice, rats and dogs, respectively. Y180 protected against wild-type SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and P.3 (Theta), with EC50 of 11.4, 20.3, 34.4 and 23.7 nM, respectively. Oral treatment with Y180 displayed a remarkable antiviral potency and substantially ameliorated the virus-induced tissue damage in both nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-infected K18-human ACE2 (K18-hACE2) transgenic mice. Therapeutic treatment with Y180 improved the survival of mice from 0 to 44.4% (P = 0.0086) upon B.1.617.1 infection in the lethal infection model. Importantly, Y180 was also highly effective against the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant both in vitro and in vivo. Overall, our study provides a promising lead compound for oral drug development against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Disease Models, Animal , Dogs , Humans , Mice , Rats
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2539, 2022 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830055

ABSTRACT

Extrapulmonary complications of different organ systems have been increasingly recognized in patients with severe or chronic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, limited information on the skeletal complications of COVID-19 is known, even though inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract have been known to perturb bone metabolism and cause pathological bone loss. In this study, we characterize the effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on bone metabolism in an established golden Syrian hamster model for COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 causes significant multifocal loss of bone trabeculae in the long bones and lumbar vertebrae of all infected hamsters. Moreover, we show that the bone loss is associated with SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine dysregulation, as the circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines not only upregulate osteoclastic differentiation in bone tissues, but also trigger an amplified pro-inflammatory cascade in the skeletal tissues to augment their pro-osteoclastogenesis effect. Our findings suggest that pathological bone loss may be a neglected complication which warrants more extensive investigations during the long-term follow-up of COVID-19 patients. The benefits of potential prophylactic and therapeutic interventions against pathological bone loss should be further evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2
5.
JCI Insight ; 7(11)2022 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807763

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has been confirmed in over 450 million confirmed cases since 2019. Although several vaccines have been certified by the WHO and people are being vaccinated on a global scale, it has been reported that multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants can escape neutralization by antibodies, resulting in vaccine breakthrough infections. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is known to induce heterologous protection based on trained immune responses. Here, we investigated whether BCG-induced trained immunity protected against SARS-CoV-2 in the K18-hACE2 mouse model. Our data demonstrate that i.v. BCG (BCG-i.v.) vaccination induces robust trained innate immune responses and provides protection against WT SARS-CoV-2, as well as the B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 variants. Further studies suggest that myeloid cell differentiation and activation of the glycolysis pathway are associated with BCG-induced training immunity in K18-hACE2 mice. Overall, our study provides the experimental evidence that establishes a causal relationship between BCG-i.v. vaccination and protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , BCG Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Melphalan , Mice , gamma-Globulins
6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312716

ABSTRACT

Positive-sense single-stranded ((+)ss) RNA viruses are among the leading causes of human and animal infectious diseases in the world, but so far, no effective antiviral agents are available to treat these infections. Here we found that several bis- benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (e.g. berbamine), potently inhibited the infection of coronaviruses (e.g. SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV), flaviviruses (e.g. JEV, ZIKV and DENV), and enteroviruses (e.g. EV-A71) in host cells. Moreover, berbamine protected mice from lethal challenge of JEV. We also found that berbamine inhibited TRPMLs (Ca2+ permeable non-selective cation channels in endosomes and lysosomes), which compromised the endolysosomal trafficking of viral receptors, such as ACE2 and DPP4. This led to the increased secretion of these receptors via extracellular vesicles and the concomitant decrease in their levels at the plasma membrane, thereby preventing (+)ss RNA viruses from entering the host cells. In summary, these results indicate that bis- benzylisoquinoline alkaloids such as berbamine, can act as a pan-anti-(+)ss RNA virus drug by inhibiting TPRMLs to prevent viral entry.

7.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308523

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has affected over 9 million patients with more than 460,000 deaths in about 6 months. Understanding the factors that contribute to efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells, which are not previously reported, may provide insights on SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility and pathogenesis, and reveal targets of intervention. Here, we reported key host and viral determinants that were essential for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection in the human lung. First, we identified heparan sulfate as an important attachment factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Second, we demonstrated that while cell surface sialic acids significantly restricted SARS-CoV infection, SARS-CoV-2 could largely overcome sialic acid-mediated restriction in both human lung epithelial cells and ex vivo human lung tissue explants. Third, we demonstrated that the inserted furin-like cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 spike was required for efficient virus replication in human lung but not intestine tissues. Overall, these findings contributed to our understanding on efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human lungs.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324830

ABSTRACT

Highly pathogenic coronaviruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) 1,2 , Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 3,4 , and SARS-CoV-1 5 vary in their transmissibility and pathogenicity. However, infection by all three viruses result in substantial apoptosis in cell culture 6-8 and in patient samples 9-11 , suggesting a potential link between apoptosis and the pathogenesis of coronaviruses. To date, the underlying mechanism of how apoptosis modulates coronavirus pathogenesis is unknown. Here we show that a cysteine-aspartic protease of the apoptosis cascade, caspase-6, serves as an essential host factor for efficient coronavirus replication. We demonstrate that caspase-6 cleaves coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) proteins, generating N fragments that serve as interferon (IFN) antagonists, thus facilitating virus replication. Inhibition of caspase-6 substantially attenuates the lung pathology and body weight loss of SARS-CoV-2-infected golden Syrian hamsters and improves the survival of mouse-adapted MERS-CoV (MERS-CoV MA )-infected human DPP4 knock-in (hDPP4 KI) mice. Overall, our study reveals how coronaviruses exploit a component of the host apoptosis cascade to facilitate their replication. These results further suggest caspase-6 as a potential target of intervention for the treatment of highly pathogenic coronavirus infections including COVID-19 and MERS.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321467

ABSTRACT

Mice are not susceptible to wildtype SARS-CoV-2 infection. Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and P.3 contain mutations in spike, which have been suggested to associate with an increased recognition of mouse ACE2, raising the postulation that they may have evolved to expand species tropism to rodents. Here, we investigated the capacity of B.1.1.7 and other emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants in infecting mouse (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus) under in vitro and in vivo settings. Our results show that B.1.1.7 and P.3, but not B.1 or wildtype SARS-CoV-2, can utilize mouse and rat ACE2 for virus entry in vitro. High infectious virus titers, abundant viral antigen expression, and pathological changes are detected in the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice and rats. Together, these results reveal that the current predominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.7, has gained the capability to expand species tropism to rodents.

10.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 519-531, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642257

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACTHost circular RNAs (circRNAs) play critical roles in the pathogenesis of viral infections. However, how viruses modulate the biogenesis of host proviral circRNAs to facilitate their replication remains unclear. We have recently shown that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection increases co-expression of circRNAs and their cognate messenger RNAs (mRNAs), possibly by hijacking specific host RNA binding proteins (RBPs). In this study, we systemically analysed the interactions between the representative circRNA-mRNA pairs upregulated upon MERS-CoV infection and host RBPs. Our analysis identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein C (hnRNP C) as a key host factor that governed the expression of numerous MERS-CoV-perturbed circRNAs, including hsa_circ_0002846, hsa_circ_0002061, and hsa_circ_0004445. RNA immunoprecipitation assay showed that hnRNP C could bind physically to these circRNAs. Specific knockdown of hnRNP C by small interfering RNA significantly (P < 0.05 to P < 0.0001) suppressed MERS-CoV replication in human lung adenocarcinoma (Calu-3) and human small airway epithelial (HSAEC) cells. Both MERS-CoV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection increased the total and phosphorylated forms of hnRNP C to activate the downstream CRK-mTOR pathway. Treatment of MERS-CoV- (IC50: 0.618 µM) or SARS-CoV-2-infected (IC50: 1.233 µM) Calu-3 cells with the mTOR inhibitor OSI-027 resulted in significantly reduced viral loads. Collectively, our study identified hnRNP C as a key regulator of MERS-CoV-perturbed circRNAs and their cognate mRNAs, and the potential of targeting hnRNP C-related signalling pathways as an anticoronaviral strategy.


Subject(s)
Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group C , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication , COVID-19 , Cognition , Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group C/genetics , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
11.
Nature ; 603(7902): 693-699, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641975

ABSTRACT

The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in November 2021 and is rapidly spreading among the human population1. Although recent reports reveal that the Omicron variant robustly escapes vaccine-associated and therapeutic neutralization antibodies2-10, the pathogenicity of the virus remains unknown. Here we show that the replication of Omicron is substantially attenuated in human Calu3 and Caco2 cells. Further mechanistic investigations reveal that Omicron is inefficient in its use of transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) compared with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 (HKU-001a) and previous variants, which may explain its reduced replication in Calu3 and Caco2 cells. The replication of Omicron is markedly attenuated in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts of infected K18-hACE2 mice compared with that of the wild-type strain and Delta (B.1.617.2) variant, resulting in its substantially ameliorated lung pathology. Compared with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (1.351) and Delta variants, infection by Omicron causes the lowest reduction in body weight and the lowest mortality rate. Overall, our study demonstrates that the replication and pathogenicity of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 in mice is attenuated compared with the wild-type strain and other variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Caco-2 Cells , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virulence
12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296805

ABSTRACT

The Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2 was only recently detected in southern Africa, but its subsequent spread has been extensive, both regionally and globally1. It is expected to become dominant in the coming weeks2, probably due to enhanced transmissibility. A striking feature of this variant is the large number of spike mutations3 that pose a threat to the efficacy of current COVID-19 vaccines and antibody therapies4. This concern is amplified by the findings from our study. We found B.1.1.529 to be markedly resistant to neutralization by serum not only from convalescent patients, but also from individuals vaccinated with one of the four widely used COVID-19 vaccines. Even serum from persons vaccinated and boosted with mRNA-based vaccines exhibited substantially diminished neutralizing activity against B.1.1.529. By evaluating a panel of monoclonal antibodies to all known epitope clusters on the spike protein, we noted that the activity of 18 of the 19 antibodies tested were either abolished or impaired, including ones currently authorized or approved for use in patients. In addition, we also identified four new spike mutations (S371L, N440K, G446S, and Q493R) that confer greater antibody resistance to B.1.1.529. The Omicron variant presents a serious threat to many existing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, compelling the development of new interventions that anticipate the evolutionary trajectory of SARS-CoV-2.

13.
EBioMedicine ; 73: 103643, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482542

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Wildtype mice are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, including B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and P.3, contain mutations in spike that has been suggested to associate with an increased recognition of mouse ACE2, raising the postulation that these SARS-CoV-2 variants may have evolved to expand species tropism to wildtype mouse and potentially other murines. Our study evaluated this possibility with substantial public health importance. METHODS: We investigated the capacity of wildtype (WT) SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2 variants in infecting mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus) under in vitro and in vivo settings. Susceptibility to infection was evaluated with RT-qPCR, plaque assays, immunohistological stainings, and neutralization assays. FINDINGS: Our results reveal that B.1.1.7 and other N501Y-carrying variants but not WT SARS-CoV-2 can infect wildtype mice. High viral genome copies and high infectious virus particle titres are recovered from the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice for 4-to-7 days post infection. In agreement with these observations, robust expression of viral nucleocapsid protein and histopathological changes are detected from the nasal turbinate and lung of B.1.1.7-inocluated mice but not that of the WT SARS-CoV-2-inoculated mice. Similarly, B.1.1.7 readily infects wildtype rats with production of infectious virus particles. INTERPRETATION: Our study provides direct evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 variant, B.1.1.7, as well as other N501Y-carrying variants including B.1.351 and P.3, has gained the capability to expand species tropism to murines and public health measures including stringent murine control should be implemented to facilitate the control of the ongoing pandemic. FUNDING: A full list of funding bodies that contributed to this study can be found in the Acknowledgements section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Tropism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Turbinates/pathology , Turbinates/virology , Virus Internalization
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429186

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effect of low environmental temperature on viral shedding and disease severity of COVID-19 is uncertain. METHODS: We investigated the virological, clinical, pathological, and immunological changes in hamsters housed at room (21 oC), low (12-15 oC), and high (30-33 oC) temperature after challenge by 10 5 plaque-forming units of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: The nasal turbinate, trachea, and lung viral load and live virus titre were significantly higher (~0.5-log10 gene copies/ß-actin, p<0.05) in the low temperature group at 7 days post-infection (dpi). The low temperature group also demonstrated significantly higher level of TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1ß, and CCL3, and lower level of the antiviral IFN-α in lung tissues at 4dpi than the other two groups. Their lungs were grossly and diffusely haemorrhagic, with more severe and diffuse alveolar and peribronchiolar inflammatory infiltration, bronchial epithelial cell death, and significantly higher mean total lung histology scores. By 7dpi, the low temperature group still showed persistent and severe alveolar inflammation and haemorrhage, and little alveolar cell proliferative changes of recovery. The viral loads in the oral swabs of the low temperature group were significantly higher from 10-17dpi by about 0.5-1.0-log10 gene copies/ß-actin. The mean neutralizing antibody titre of the low temperature group was significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of the room temperature group at 7dpi and 30dpi. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided in-vivo evidence that low environmental temperature exacerbated the degree of virus shedding, disease severity, and tissue proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines expression, and suppressed the neutralizing antibody response of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters. Keeping warm in winter may reduce the severity of COVID-19.

15.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 134, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387323

ABSTRACT

Understanding the factors that contribute to efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells may provide insights on SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility and pathogenesis, and reveal targets of intervention. Here, we analyze host and viral determinants essential for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection in both human lung epithelial cells and ex vivo human lung tissues. We identify heparan sulfate as an important attachment factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Next, we show that sialic acids present on ACE2 prevent efficient spike/ACE2-interaction. While SARS-CoV infection is substantially limited by the sialic acid-mediated restriction in both human lung epithelial cells and ex vivo human lung tissues, infection by SARS-CoV-2 is limited to a lesser extent. We further demonstrate that the furin-like cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 spike is required for efficient virus replication in human lung but not intestinal tissues. These findings provide insights on the efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human lungs.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , Sialic Acids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Furin/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Humans , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Intestines/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication/physiology
17.
Lancet Microbe ; 1(1): e14-e23, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087358

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported from China in January, 2020. SARS-CoV-2 is efficiently transmitted from person to person and, in 2 months, has caused more than 82 000 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 2800 deaths in 46 countries. The total number of cases and deaths has surpassed that of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Although both COVID-19 and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) manifest as pneumonia, COVID-19 is associated with apparently more efficient transmission, fewer cases of diarrhoea, increased mental confusion, and a lower crude fatality rate. However, the underlying virus-host interactive characteristics conferring these observations on transmissibility and clinical manifestations of COVID-19 remain unknown. METHODS: We systematically investigated the cellular susceptibility, species tropism, replication kinetics, and cell damage of SARS-CoV-2 and compared findings with those for SARS-CoV. We compared SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV replication in different cell lines with one-way ANOVA. For the area under the curve comparison between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV replication in Calu3 (pulmonary) and Caco2 (intestinal) cells, we used Student's t test. We analysed cell damage induced by SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV with one-way ANOVA. FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 infected and replicated to comparable levels in human Caco2 cells and Calu3 cells over a period of 120 h (p=0·52). By contrast, SARS-CoV infected and replicated more efficiently in Caco2 cells than in Calu3 cells under the same multiplicity of infection (p=0·0098). SARS-CoV-2, but not SARS-CoV, replicated modestly in U251 (neuronal) cells (p=0·036). For animal species cell tropism, both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 replicated in non-human primate, cat, rabbit, and pig cells. SARS-CoV, but not SARS-CoV-2, infected and replicated in Rhinolophus sinicus bat kidney cells. SARS-CoV-2 consistently induced significantly delayed and milder levels of cell damage than did SARS-CoV in non-human primate cells (VeroE6, p=0·016; FRhK4, p=0·0004). INTERPRETATION: As far as we know, our study presents the first quantitative data for tropism, replication kinetics, and cell damage of SARS-CoV-2. These data provide novel insights into the lower incidence of diarrhoea, decreased disease severity, and reduced mortality in patients with COVID-19, with respect to the pathogenesis and high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 compared with SARS-CoV. FUNDING: May Tam Mak Mei Yin, The Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Richard Yu and Carol Yu, Michael Seak-Kan Tong, Respiratory Viral Research Foundation, Hui Ming, Hui Hoy and Chow Sin Lan Charity Fund, Chan Yin Chuen Memorial Charitable Foundation, Marina Man-Wai Lee, The Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association South China Microbiology Research Fund, The Jessie & George Ho Charitable Foundation, Perfect Shape Medical, The Consultancy Service for Enhancing Laboratory Surveillance of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Research Capability on Antimicrobial Resistance for the Department of Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, The Theme-Based Research Scheme of the Research Grants Council, Sanming Project of Medicine in Shenzhen, and The High Level-Hospital Program, Health Commission of Guangdong Province, China.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS Virus , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Diarrhea , Humans , Kinetics , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2 , Swine , Tropism
18.
Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 11(3): 771-781, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808973

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Besides prominent respiratory involvement, gastrointestinal manifestations are commonly reported in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We compared infection of ex vivo human intestinal tissues by SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV with respect to their replication kinetics and immune activation profile. METHODS: Human intestinal tissues were obtained from patients while undergoing surgical operations at Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. Upon surgical removal, the tissues were immediately processed and infected with SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV. Replication kinetics were determined with immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR, and plaque assays. Immune activation in the infected intestinal tissues was assessed by detecting the gene expression of interferons and representative pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 could infect and productively replicate in the ex vivo human intestinal tissues with release of infectious virus particles, but not in ex vivo human liver and kidney tissues. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 replicated less efficiently than SARS-CoV, induced less cytopathology in the human intestinal epithelium, and induced a more robust innate immune response including the activation of both type I and type III interferons, than SARS-CoV in human intestinal tissues. CONCLUSION: Using the ex vivo human intestinal tissues as a physiologically relevant model, our data indicated that SARS-CoV-2 could productively replicate in the human gut and suggested that the gastrointestinal tract might serve as an alternative route of virus dissemination. SARS-CoV-2 replicated less efficiently and induced less cytopathology than SARS-CoV in keeping with the clinical observations reported for COVID-19 and SARS, which might be the result of a more robust immune activation by SARS-CoV-2 than SARS-CoV in the human intestine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Male , Middle Aged , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , Virus Replication/immunology , Virus Replication/physiology
19.
J Infect Dis ; 222(5): 734-745, 2020 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-711823

ABSTRACT

Clinical manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vary from asymptomatic virus shedding, nonspecific pharyngitis, to pneumonia with silent hypoxia and respiratory failure. Dendritic cells and macrophages are sentinel cells for innate and adaptive immunity that affect the pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and these cell types remains unknown. We investigated infection and host responses of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) and macrophages (MDMs) infected by SARS-CoV-2. MoDCs and MDMs were permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection and protein expression but did not support productive virus replication. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 launched an attenuated interferon response in both cell types and triggered significant proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine expression in MDMs but not moDCs. Investigations suggested that this attenuated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in moDCs was associated with viral antagonism of STAT1 phosphorylation. These findings may explain the mild and insidious course of COVID-19 until late deterioration.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , STAT1 Transcription Factor/antagonists & inhibitors , Adaptive Immunity , Animals , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Chemokines/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/virology , Humans , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/virology , Monocytes/virology , Pandemics , Phosphorylation , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT1 Transcription Factor/immunology , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/physiology , Virus Shedding
20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(6): 1400-1409, 2020 09 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-47605

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging coronavirus that has resulted in more than 2 000 000 laboratory-confirmed cases including over 145 000 deaths. Although SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share a number of common clinical manifestations, SARS-CoV-2 appears to be highly efficient in person-to-person transmission and frequently causes asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. However, the underlying mechanisms that confer these viral characteristics of high transmissibility and asymptomatic infection remain incompletely understood. METHODS: We comprehensively investigated the replication, cell tropism, and immune activation profile of SARS-CoV-2 infection in human lung tissues with SARS-CoV included as a comparison. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 infected and replicated in human lung tissues more efficiently than SARS-CoV. Within the 48-hour interval, SARS-CoV-2 generated 3.20-fold more infectious virus particles than did SARS-CoV from the infected lung tissues (P < .024). SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV were similar in cell tropism, with both targeting types I and II pneumocytes and alveolar macrophages. Importantly, despite the more efficient virus replication, SARS-CoV-2 did not significantly induce types I, II, or III interferons in the infected human lung tissues. In addition, while SARS-CoV infection upregulated the expression of 11 out of 13 (84.62%) representative proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines, SARS-CoV-2 infection only upregulated 5 of these 13 (38.46%) key inflammatory mediators despite replicating more efficiently. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides the first quantitative data on the comparative replication capacity and immune activation profile of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection in human lung tissues. Our results provide important insights into the pathogenesis, high transmissibility, and asymptomatic infection of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS Virus/physiology , Virus Replication/immunology , COVID-19 , Chemokines/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Interferons/immunology , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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