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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686819

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced the urgent need for the discovery of broad-spectrum antiviral therapies that could be deployed in the case of future emergence of novel viral threats, as well as to back up current therapeutic options in the case of drug resistance development. Most current antivirals are directed to inhibit specific viruses since these therapeutic molecules are designed to act on a specific viral target with the objective of interfering with a precise step in the replication cycle. Therefore, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been identified as promising antiviral agents that could help to overcome this limitation and provide compounds able to act on more than a single viral family. We evaluated the antiviral activity of an amphibian peptide known for its strong antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, namely Temporin L (TL). Previous studies have revealed that TL is endowed with widespread antimicrobial activity and possesses marked haemolytic activity. Therefore, we analyzed TL and a previously identified TL derivative (Pro3, DLeu9 TL, where glutamine at position 3 is replaced with proline, and the D-Leucine enantiomer is present at position 9) as well as its analogs, for their activity against a wide panel of viruses comprising enveloped, naked, DNA and RNA viruses. We report significant inhibition activity against herpesviruses, paramyxoviruses, influenza virus and coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, we further modified our best candidate by lipidation and demonstrated a highly reduced cytotoxicity with improved antiviral effect. Our results show a potent and selective antiviral activity of TL peptides, indicating that the novel lipidated temporin-based antiviral agents could prove to be useful additions to current drugs in combatting rising drug resistance and epidemic/pandemic emergencies.


Subject(s)
Amphibian Proteins/pharmacology , Amphibians/metabolism , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , DNA Viruses/drug effects , RNA Viruses/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Amphibian Proteins/chemistry , Amphibian Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gram-Negative Bacteria/drug effects , Gram-Positive Bacteria/drug effects , Humans , Lipids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vero Cells
2.
Microorganisms ; 10(2)2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667249

ABSTRACT

The aim of the present study is to check the relationship between virus detection on the conjunctival swabs by RT-PCR and the systemic and ocular clinical data, treatments, and to the modalities of administration of supplemental oxygen. The SARS-CoV-2 RNA reverse-transcriptase PCR assay of conjunctival brushing samples and the corneal/conjunctival clinical findings were evaluated in 18 eyes of 9 consecutive patients admitted to the COVID-19 Sub-intensive Unit of Salerno Hospital University, Italy. Conjunctival swabs were positive for SARS-CoV-2 in 13 eyes of 7 patients; corneal epithelial defects were detected in 9 eyes. The seven patients with ocular involvement from SARS-CoV-2 had undergone treatment with a full-face mask or oxygen helmet in the last week, while the two subjects with negative conjunctival swabs had been treated with high flow nasal cannula. The positivity to the conjunctival test for SARS-CoV-2 was higher (72%) than that reported in the literature (10-15%) and related in all cases to the use of facial respiratory devices. These results suggest that exposure of unprotected eyes to aerosols containing high concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 could cause a keratoconjunctival viral infection. Further studies are needed to verify the causal link with the use of respiratory facial devices in patients suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia.

3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(2)2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625084

ABSTRACT

Viral infections represent a serious threat to the world population and are becoming more frequent. The search and identification of broad-spectrum antiviral molecules is necessary to ensure new therapeutic options, since there is a limited availability of effective antiviral drugs able to eradicate viral infections, and consequently due to the increase of strains that are resistant to the most used drugs. Recently, several studies on antimicrobial peptides identified them as promising antiviral agents. In detail, amphibian skin secretions serve as a rich source of natural antimicrobial peptides. Their antibacterial and antifungal activities have been widely reported, but their exploitation as potential antiviral agents have yet to be fully investigated. In the present study, the antiviral activity of the peptide derived from the secretion of Rana tagoi, named AR-23, was evaluated against both DNA and RNA viruses, with or without envelope. Different assays were performed to identify in which step of the infectious cycle the peptide could act. AR-23 exhibited a greater inhibitory activity in the early stages of infection against both DNA (HSV-1) and RNA (MeV, HPIV-2, HCoV-229E, and SARS-CoV-2) enveloped viruses and, on the contrary, it was inactive against naked viruses (PV-1). Altogether, the results indicated AR-23 as a peptide with potential therapeutic effects against a wide variety of human viruses.


Subject(s)
Amphibian Proteins/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Ranidae/metabolism , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , DNA Viruses/drug effects , RNA Viruses/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vero Cells , Viral Envelope/drug effects , Viral Plaque Assay , Virus Diseases/drug therapy
4.
Pharmaceutics ; 13(12)2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554858

ABSTRACT

Emerging and re-emerging viruses represent a serious threat to human health at a global level. In particular, enveloped viruses are one of the main causes of viral outbreaks, as recently demonstrated by SARS-CoV-2. An effective strategy to counteract these viruses could be to target the envelope by using surface-active compounds. Rhamnolipids (RLs) are microbial biosurfactants displaying a wide range of bioactivities, such as antibacterial, antifungal and antibiofilm, among others. Being of microbial origin, they are environmentally-friendly, biodegradable, and less toxic than synthetic surfactants. In this work, we explored the antiviral activity of the rhamnolipids mixture (M15RL) produced by the Antarctic bacteria Pseudomonas gessardii M15 against viruses belonging to Coronaviridae and Herpesviridae families. In addition, we investigated the rhamnolipids' mode of action and the possibility of inactivating viruses on treated surfaces. Our results show complete inactivation of HSV-1 and HSV-2 by M15RLs at 6 µg/mL, and of HCoV-229E and SARS-CoV-2 at 25 and 50 µg/mL, respectively. Concerning activity against HCoV-OC43, 80% inhibition of cytopathic effect was recorded, while no activity against naked Poliovirus Type 1 (PV-1) was detectable, suggesting that the antiviral action is mainly directed towards the envelope. In conclusion, we report a significant activity of M15RL against enveloped viruses and demonstrated for the first time the antiviral effect of rhamnolipids against SARS-CoV-2.

5.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(11)2021 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512534

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting pandemic has led to a spasmodic search for approaches able to limit the diffusion of the disease. The epigenetic machinery has aroused considerable interest in the last decades, and much evidence has demonstrated that this type of modification could regulate the early stages of viral infection. Recently it was reported that N6-methyladenosine (m6A) influences SARS-CoV-2 replication, although its role remains to be further investigated. The knockdown of enzymes involved in the m6A pathway could represent an optimal strategy to deepen the epigenetic mechanism. In the present study, we blocked the catalytic activity of the fat mass and obesity-associated protein (FTO) by using the selective inhibitor rhein. We observed a strong broad-spectrum reduction of infectivity caused by various coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. This effect could be due to the modulation of m6A levels and could allow identification of this modification as a new therapeutic target to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.

6.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci ; 76(10): 1775-1783, 2021 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358442

ABSTRACT

Aging and comorbidities make individuals at greatest risk of COVID-19 serious illness and mortality due to senescence-related events and deleterious inflammation. Long-living individuals (LLIs) are less susceptible to inflammation and develop more resiliency to COVID-19. As demonstrated, LLIs are characterized by high circulating levels of BPIFB4, a protein involved in homeostatic response to inflammatory stimuli. Also, LLIs show enrichment of homozygous genotype for the minor alleles of a 4 missense single-nucleotide polymorphism haplotype (longevity-associated variant [LAV]) in BPIFB4, able to counteract progression of diseases in animal models. Thus, the present study was designed to assess the presence and significance of BPIFB4 level in COVID-19 patients and the potential therapeutic use of LAV-BPIFB4 in fighting COVID-19. BPIFB4 plasma concentration was found significantly higher in LLIs compared to old healthy controls while it significantly decreased in 64 COVID-19 patients. Further, the drop in BPIFB4 values correlated with disease severity. Accordingly to the LAV-BPIFB4 immunomodulatory role, while lysates of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells induced an inflammatory response in healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro, the co-treatment with recombinant protein (rh) LAV-BPIFB4 resulted in a protective and self-limiting reaction, culminating in the downregulation of CD69 activating-marker for T cells (both TCD4+ and TCD8+) and in MCP-1 reduction. On the contrary, rhLAV-BPIFB4 induced a rapid increase in IL-18 and IL-1b levels, shown largely protective during the early stages of the virus infection. This evidence, along with the ability of rhLAV-BPIFB4 to counteract the cytotoxicity induced by SARS-CoV-2 lysate in selected target cell lines, corroborates BPIFB4 prognostic value and open new therapeutic possibilities in more vulnerable people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins , Longevity/immunology , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Cytokines/blood , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic/drug effects , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/immunology , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/blood , Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/immunology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Prognosis , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Microorganisms ; 9(8)2021 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325735

ABSTRACT

In 2020, a global pandemic was declared following the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen responsible for COVID-19. The risk of infection is high due to the ease of transmission, which can occur orally, through droplets, or via contact with contaminated surfaces and objects. It has also been demonstrated that the ocular surface can constitute a transmission route, especially in hospital settings, where health care workers can become a dangerous source of infection. In order to increase prevention and reduce the spread of the virus on the ocular surface, the antiviral activity of already-marketed eye drops against SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated. Iodim, Ozodrop, Septavis, and Dropsept were tested against SARS-CoV-2 in plaque-assay experiments at different stimulation times. Furthermore, the expression levels of early and late genes were evaluated through molecular assays. Results indicated that three of the four ophthalmic solutions showed a considerable dose-dependent inhibition of viral replication, highlighting their use as potential antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and preventing other ocular infections.

8.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289028

ABSTRACT

Vitis vinifera represents an important and renowned source of compounds with significant biological activity. Wines and winery bioproducts, such as grape pomace, skins, and seeds, are rich in bioactive compounds against a wide range of human pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. However, little is known about the biological properties of vine leaves. The aim of this study was the evaluation of phenolic composition and antiviral activity of Vitis vinifera leaf extract against two human viruses: the Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the pandemic and currently widespread severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). About 40 phenolic compounds were identified in the extract by HPLC-MS/MS analysis: most of them were quercetin derivatives, others included derivatives of luteolin, kaempferol, apigenin, isorhamnetin, myricetin, chrysoeriol, biochanin, isookanin, and scutellarein. Leaf extract was able to inhibit both HSV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 replication in the early stages of infection by directly blocking the proteins enriched on the viral surface, at a very low concentration of 10 µg/mL. These results are very promising and highlight how natural extracts could be used in the design of antiviral drugs and the development of future vaccines.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Herpesvirus 1, Human/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Plant Leaves/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vitis/chemistry , A549 Cells , Animals , Biological Products/analysis , Biological Products/pharmacology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid , Humans , MCF-7 Cells , Phenols/pharmacology , Plant Extracts/analysis , Tandem Mass Spectrometry , Vero Cells
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(12)2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282513

ABSTRACT

Novel antiviral nanotherapeutics, which may inactivate the virus and block it from entering host cells, represent an important challenge to face viral global health emergencies around the world. Using a combination of bioorthogonal copper-catalyzed 1,3-dipolar alkyne/azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) and photoinitiated thiol-ene coupling, monofunctional and bifunctional peptidodendrimer conjugates were obtained. The conjugates are biocompatible and demonstrate no toxicity to cells at biologically relevant concentrations. Furthermore, the orthogonal addition of multiple copies of two different antiviral peptides on the surface of a single dendrimer allowed the resulting bioconjugates to inhibit Herpes simplex virus type 1 at both the early and the late stages of the infection process. The presented work builds on further improving this attractive design to obtain a new class of therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Dendrimers/pharmacology , Glycoproteins , Herpesvirus 1, Human , Peptides/pharmacology , Viral Proteins , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , CHO Cells , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chemical Phenomena , Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid , Cricetulus , Dendrimers/chemistry , Glycoproteins/chemistry , Herpesvirus 1, Human/metabolism , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Peptides/chemistry , Spectrum Analysis , Viral Proteins/chemistry
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 695242, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282388

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached direct and indirect medical and social consequences with a subset of patients who rapidly worsen and die from severe-critical manifestations. As a result, there is still an urgent need to identify prognostic biomarkers and effective therapeutic approaches. Severe-critical manifestations of COVID-19 are caused by a dysregulated immune response. Immune checkpoint molecules such as Programmed death-1 (PD-1) and its ligand programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) play an important role in regulating the host immune response and several lines of evidence underly the role of PD-1 modulation in COVID-19. Here, by analyzing blood sample collection from both hospitalized COVID-19 patients and healthy donors, as well as levels of PD-L1 RNA expression in a variety of model systems of SARS-CoV-2, including in vitro tissue cultures, ex-vivo infections of primary epithelial cells and biological samples obtained from tissue biopsies and blood sample collection of COVID-19 and healthy individuals, we demonstrate that serum levels of PD-L1 have a prognostic role in COVID-19 patients and that PD-L1 dysregulation is associated to COVID-19 pathogenesis. Specifically, PD-L1 upregulation is induced by SARS-CoV-2 in infected epithelial cells and is dysregulated in several types of immune cells of COVID-19 patients including monocytes, neutrophils, gamma delta T cells and CD4+ T cells. These results have clinical significance since highlighted the potential role of PD-1/PD-L1 axis in COVID-19, suggest a prognostic role of PD-L1 and provide a further rationale to implement novel clinical studies in COVID-19 patients with PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors.


Subject(s)
B7-H1 Antigen/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Up-Regulation
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