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1.
Adv Sci (Weinh) ; 9(11): e2105378, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1680239

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) strain is a variant of concern (VOC) that has become the dominant strain worldwide in 2021. Its transmission capacity is approximately twice that of the original strain, with a shorter incubation period and higher viral load during infection. Importantly, the breakthrough infections of the Delta variant have continued to emerge in the first-generation vaccine recipients. There is thus an urgent need to develop a novel vaccine with SARS-CoV-2 variants as the major target. Here, receptor binding domain (RBD)-conjugated nanoparticle vaccines targeting the Delta variant, as well as the early and Beta/Gamma strains, are developed. Under both a single-dose and a prime-boost strategy, these RBD-conjugated nanoparticle vaccines induce the abundant neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and significantly protect hACE2 mice from infection by the authentic SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain, as well as the early and Beta strains. Furthermore, the elicitation of the robust production of broader cross-protective NAbs against almost all the notable SARS-CoV-2 variants including the Omicron variant in rhesus macaques by the third re-boost with trivalent vaccines is found. These results suggest that RBD-based monovalent or multivalent nanoparticle vaccines provide a promising second-generation vaccine strategy for SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Animals , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , COVID-19/prevention & control , Macaca mulatta/metabolism , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines, Conjugate
2.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 420, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585885

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is identified as a zoonotic disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, which also can cross-transmit to many animals but not mice. Genetic modifications of SARS-CoV-2 or mice enable the mice susceptible to viral infection. Although neither is the natural situation, they are currently utilized to establish mouse infection models. Here we report a direct contact transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 in wild-type mice. The SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) replicated efficiently and induced significant pathological changes in lungs and tracheas, accompanied by elevated proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs and sera. Mechanistically, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) spike protein turned to a high binding affinity to mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (mACE2), allowing the mice highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) infection. Our work suggests that SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) expands the host range and therefore increases its transmission route without adapted mutation. As the wild house mice live with human populations quite closely, this possible transmission route could be potentially risky. In addition, because SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) is one of the major epidemic strains and the mACE2 in laboratory-used mice is naturally expressed and regulated, the SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351)/mice could be a much convenient animal model system to study COVID-19 pathogenesis and evaluate antiviral inhibitors and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Replication
3.
mBio ; 12(1)2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066818

ABSTRACT

The etiologic agent of COVID-19 is highly contagious and has caused a severe global pandemic. Until now, there has been no simple and reliable system available in a lower-biosafety-grade laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 virologic research and inhibitor screening. In this study, we reported a replicon system which consists of four plasmids expressing the required segments of SARS-CoV-2. Our study revealed that the features for viral RNA synthesis and responses to antivirus drugs of the replicon are similar to those of wild-type viruses. Further analysis indicated that ORF6 provided potent in trans stimulation of the viral replication. Some viral variations, such as 5'UTR-C241T and ORF8-(T28144C) L84S mutation, also exhibit their different impact upon viral replication. Besides, the screening of clinically used drugs identified that several tyrosine kinase inhibitors and DNA-Top II inhibitors potently inhibit the replicon, as well as authentic SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Collectively, this replicon system provides a biosafety-worry-free platform for studying SARS-CoV-2 virology, monitoring the functional impact of viral mutations, and developing viral inhibitors.IMPORTANCE COVID-19 has caused a severe global pandemic. Until now, there has been no simple and reliable system available in a lower-biosafety-grade laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 virologic research and inhibitor screening. We reported a replicon system which consists of four ordinary plasmids expressing the required segments of SARS-CoV-2. Using the replicon system, we developed three application scenarios: (i) to identify the effects of viral proteins on virus replication, (ii) to identify the effects of mutations on viral replication during viral epidemics, and (iii) to perform high-throughput screening of antiviral drugs. Collectively, this replicon system would be useful for virologists to study SARS-CoV-2 virology, for epidemiologists to monitor virus mutations, and for industry to develop antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , Replicon/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Female , Genetic Engineering , HEK293 Cells , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Mutation , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Replicon/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
Perspect Ecol Conserv ; 18(4): 243-246, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060614

ABSTRACT

Tropical deforestation drivers are complex and can change rapidly in periods of profound societal transformation, such as those during a pandemic. Evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred illegal, opportunistic forest clearing in tropical countries, threatening forest ecosystems and their resident human communities. A total of 9583 km2 of deforestation alerts from Global Land Analysis & Discovery (GLAD) were detected across the global tropics during the first month following the implementation of confinement measures of local governments to reduce COVID-19 spread, which is nearly double that of 2019 (4732 km2). We present a conceptual framework linking tropical deforestation and the current pandemic. Zoonotic diseases, public health, economy, agriculture, and forests may all be reciprocally linked in complex positive and negative feedback loops with overarching consequences. We highlight the emerging threats to nature and society resulting from this complex reciprocal interplay and possible policy interventions that could minimize these threats.

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