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1.
Birth Defects Res ; 2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2118130

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nirmatrelvir, in combination with ritonavir, is one of the first orally available antiviral treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Symptomatic pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness and complications that can affect the developing baby. No malformations or lower embryo-fetal survival have been observed when nirmatrelvir were administered to pregnant rats and rabbits. Safety evaluation of drugs used for treating COVID-19 also in pregnancy is urgent for public health, then in this study we further investigated nirmatrelvir developmental toxicity using zebrafish as in vivo model. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Using the standardized Fish Embryo Toxicity (FET) test, we first determined the lethal concentration 50 (LC50), exposing embryos from gastrula stage up to 120 hr post fertilization (hpf) and daily recording lethality. Then, we exposed embryos to five doses comprising the human therapeutic one and up to the LC50 (25 µM). Morphology was evaluated at 72 and 120 hpf. RESULTS: Nirmatrelvir did not affect survival rate and did not induce morphological defects up to the human therapeutic dose. Exposure at higher doses (2.4× and 3× the human Cmax ) however resulted in decreased hatching rate, reduced growth, slower heartbeat with pericardial edema, reduction of eye dimension, absence of the swim bladder and disruption of the anterior-posterior axis, with lack of tail detachment, spinal curvature and straight and smaller head. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings in zebrafish embryos add further information about developmental nirmatrelvir safety. Further studies are needed for pharmacological safety assessment of nirmatrelvir exposure during pregnancy.

2.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 110: 108943, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1885845

ABSTRACT

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) is a complex phenomenon mediated by antibodies, frequently pre-existing non-neutralizing or sub-neutralizing antibodies. In the course of infectious diseases, ADE may be responsible for worsening the clinical course of the disease by increasing the virulence of pathogens (ADE of infection) or enhancing disease severity (ADE of disease). Here we reviewed the mechanisms thought to be behind the ADE phenomenon and its potential relationship with COVID-19 severity. Since the early COVID-19 epidemics, ADE has been mentioned as a possible mechanism involved in severe COVID-19 disease and, later, as a potential risk in the case of infection after vaccination. However, current data do not support its role in disease severity, both after infection and reinfection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody-Dependent Enhancement , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Curr Res Pharmacol Drug Discov ; 3: 100099, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768024
4.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(12)2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554966

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been known since the 1970s. However, their therapeutic potential in the medical field has recently emerged, with the advancement of manufacturing techniques. Initially exploited mainly in the oncology field, mAbs have become increasingly relevant in Infectious Diseases. Numerous mAbs have been developed against SARS-CoV 2 and have proven their effectiveness, especially in the management of the mild-to-moderate disease. In this review, we describe the monoclonal antibodies currently authorized for the treatment of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and offer an insight into the clinical trials that led to their approval. We discuss the mechanisms of action and methods of administration as well as the prophylactic and therapeutic labelled indications (both in outpatient and hospital settings). Furthermore, we address the critical issues regarding mAbs, focusing on their effectiveness against the variants of concern (VoC) and their role now that a large part of the population has been vaccinated. The purpose is to offer the clinician an up-to-date overview of a therapeutic tool that could prove decisive in treating patients at high risk of progression to severe disease.

7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(13)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288901

ABSTRACT

A cytokine storm, autoimmune features and dysfunctions of myeloid cells significantly contribute to severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Genetic background of the host seems to be partly responsible for severe phenotype and genes related to innate immune response seem critical host determinants. The C9orf72 gene has a role in vesicular trafficking, autophagy regulation and lysosome functions, is highly expressed in myeloid cells and is involved in immune functions, regulating the lysosomal degradation of mediators of innate immunity. A large non-coding hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE) in this gene is the main genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), both characterized by neuroinflammation and high systemic levels of proinflammatory cytokines, while HREs of intermediate length, although rare, are more frequent in autoimmune disorders. C9orf72 full mutation results in haploinsufficiency and intermediate HREs seem to modulate gene expression as well and impair autophagy. Herein, we sought to explore whether intermediate HREs in C9orf72 may be a risk factor for severe COVID-19. Although we found intermediate HREs in only a small portion of 240 patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, the magnitude of risk for requiring non-invasive or mechanical ventilation conferred by harboring intermediate repeats >10 units in at least one C9orf72 allele was more than twice respect to having shorter expansions, when adjusted for age (odds ratio (OR) 2.36; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-5.37, p = 0.040). The association between intermediate repeats >10 units and more severe clinical outcome (p = 0.025) was also validated in an independent cohort of 201 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. These data suggest that C9orf72 HREs >10 units may influence the pathogenic process driving more severe COVID-19 phenotypes.


Subject(s)
C9orf72 Protein/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Microsatellite Repeats , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/genetics , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/pathology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(5)2021 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224099

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is spreading worldwide with different clinical manifestations. Age and comorbidities may explain severity in critical cases and people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) might be at particularly high risk for severe progression. Nonetheless, current data, although sometimes contradictory, do not confirm higher morbidity, risk of more severe COVID-19 or higher mortality in HIV-infected people with complete access to antiretroviral therapy (ART). A possible protective role of ART has been hypothesized to explain these observations. Anti-viral drugs used to treat HIV infection have been repurposed for COVID-19 treatment; this is also based on previous studies on severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome virus (MERS-CoV). Among them, lopinavir/ritonavir, an inhibitor of viral protease, was extensively used early in the pandemic but it was soon abandoned due to lack of effectiveness in clinical trials. However, remdesivir, a nucleotide analog that acts as reverse-transcriptase inhibitor, which was tested early during the pandemic because of its wide range of antiviral activity against several RNA viruses and its safety profile, is currently the only antiviral medication approved for COVID-19. Tenofovir, another nucleotide analog used extensively for HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), has also been hypothesized as effective in COVID-19. No data on tenofovir's efficacy in coronavirus infections other than COVID-19 are currently available, although information relating to SARS-CoV-2 infection is starting to come out. Here, we review the currently available evidence on tenofovir's efficacy against SARS-CoV-2.

9.
Biomed J ; 44(1): 43-53, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917222

ABSTRACT

Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. However, drugs previously developed to treat other viral infections are being tested to verify if they might also be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Twenty years ago, the F.D.A. approved Lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r) to treat HIV infection. LPV and ritonavir were initially purposed to inhibit 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV and preliminary promising data on its efficacy for treating people infected with those viruses were available. Therefore, due to the high genetic similarities among those viruses and SARS-CoV-2, early during COVID-19 pandemic LPV/r was also proposed as one emergency treatment. We reviewed data from the literature about LPV/r treatment and SARS-CoV-2 infection, mainly focused on the efficacy and safety of this drugs for COVID-19 treatment. We can conclude that although up to date no clear benefit has been observed with the LPV/r treatment beyond standard care, its efficacy against SARS-COV-2 infection deserves further evaluations, particularly during the very early phase of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Lopinavir/administration & dosage , Ritonavir/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Clinical Trials as Topic , Drug Combinations , Humans
10.
Pharmacological Research ; : 104904-104904, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-244949

ABSTRACT

The anti-malarial drugs chloroquine (CQ) and primarily the less toxic hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are currently used to treat autoimmune diseases for their immunomodulatory and anti-thrombotic properties. They have also been proposed for the treatment of several viral infections, due to their anti-viral effects in cell cultures and animal models, and, currently, for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus 2 (Sars-Cov-2) infection that is spreading all over the world. Although in some recent studies a clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients has been observed, the clinical efficacy of CQ and HCQ in COVID-19 has yet to be proven with randomized controlled studies, many of which are currently ongoing, also considering pharmacokinetics, optimal dosing regimen, therapeutic level and duration of treatment and taking into account patients with different severity degrees of disease. Here we review what is currently known on the mechanisms of action of CQ and HCQ as anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic drugs and discuss the up-to-date experimental evidence on the potential mechanisms of action of CQ/HCQ in Sars-Cov2 infection and the current clinical knowledge on their efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Given the role of iron in several human viral infections, we also propose a different insight into a number of CQ and HCQ pharmacological effects, suggesting a potential involvement of iron homeostasis in Sars-Cov-2 infection and COVID-19 clinical course.

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