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1.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 897416, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847157

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of respiratory diseases, such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and influenza, has imposed significant public health and economic burdens on the world. Wearing masks is an effective way to cut off the spread of the respiratory virus. However, due to cultural differences and uncomfortable wearing experiences, not everyone is willing to wear masks; there is an urgent need to find alternatives to masks. In this study, we tested the disinfection effect of a portable ionizer on pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (strain V34) and influenza A virus (strain CA04). Negative ions significantly reduced the concentration of particulate matter in the air above and effectively disinfected viruses stuck to the solid plate at the level of both nucleic acid and virus titer. The disinfection efficiency was >99.8% after 1-h exposure. Moreover, negative ions effectively disinfected aerosolized viruses; the disinfection efficiency was more than 87.77% after purification for 10 min. Furthermore, negative ions had a significant protective effect on susceptible animals exposed to viral aerosols. When the negative ionizer was switched from off to on, the inhalation 50% infective dose (ID50) for golden hamsters challenged with SARS-CoV-2 rose from 9.878 median tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) [95% confidence interval (CI), 6.727-14.013 TCID50] to 43.891 TCID50 (95% CI, 29.31-76.983 TCID50), and the inhalation ID50 for guinea pigs challenged with influenza A virus rose from 6.696 TCID50 (95% CI, 3.251-9.601 TCID50) to 28.284 TCID50 (95% CI, 19.705-40.599 TCID50). In the experiment of transmission between susceptible animals, negative ions 100% inhibited the aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus. Finally, we tested the safety of negative ion exposure. Balb/c mice exposed to negative ions for 4 weeks showed no abnormalities in body weight, blood routine analysis, and lung pathology. Our study demonstrates that air ions can be used as a safe and effective means of blocking respiratory virus transmission and contribute to pandemic prevention and control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A virus , Aerosols , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Guinea Pigs , Ions , Mice , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Drugs ; 82(5): 533-557, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1827389

ABSTRACT

Sulopenem (formerly known as CP-70,429, and CP-65,207 when a component of a racemic mixture with its R isomer) is an intravenous and oral penem that possesses in vitro activity against fluoroquinolone-resistant, extended spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBL)-producing, multidrug-resistant (MDR) Enterobacterales. Sulopenem is being developed to treat patients with uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) as well as intra-abdominal infections. This review will focus mainly on its use in UTIs. The chemical structure of sulopenem shares properties of penicillins, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. Sulopenem is available as an oral prodrug formulation, sulopenem etzadroxil, which is hydrolyzed by intestinal esterases, resulting in active sulopenem. In early studies, the S isomer of CP-65,207, later developed as sulopenem, demonstrated greater absorption, higher drug concentrations in the urine, and increased stability against the renal enzyme dehydropeptidase-1 compared with the R isomer, which set the stage for its further development as a UTI antimicrobial. Sulopenem is active against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive microorganisms. Sulopenem's ß-lactam ring alkylates the serine residues of penicillin-binding protein (PBP), which inhibits peptidoglycan cross-linking. Due to its ionization and low molecular weight, sulopenem passes through outer membrane proteins to reach PBPs of Gram-negative bacteria. While sulopenem activity is unaffected by many ß-lactamases, resistance arises from alterations in PBPs (e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA]), expression of carbapenemases (e.g., carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales and in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia), reduction in the expression of outer membrane proteins (e.g., some Klebsiella spp.), and the presence of efflux pumps (e.g., MexAB-OprM in Pseudomonas aeruginosa), or a combination of these mechanisms. In vitro studies have reported that sulopenem demonstrates greater activity than meropenem and ertapenem against Enterococcus faecalis, Listeria monocytogenes, methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), and Staphylococcus epidermidis, as well as similar activity to carbapenems against Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pyogenes. With some exceptions, sulopenem activity against Gram-negative aerobes was less than ertapenem and meropenem but greater than imipenem. Sulopenem activity against Escherichia coli carrying ESBL, CTX-M, or Amp-C enzymes, or demonstrating MDR phenotypes, as well as against ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, was nearly identical to ertapenem and meropenem and greater than imipenem. Sulopenem exhibited identical or slightly greater activity than imipenem against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative anaerobes, including Bacteroides fragilis. The pharmacokinetics of intravenous sulopenem appear similar to carbapenems such as imipenem-cilastatin, meropenem, and doripenem. In healthy subjects, reported volumes of distribution (Vd) ranged from 15.8 to 27.6 L, total drug clearances (CLT) of 18.9-24.9 L/h, protein binding of approximately 10%, and elimination half-lives (t½) of 0.88-1.03 h. The estimated renal clearance (CLR) of sulopenem is 8.0-10.6 L/h, with 35.5% ± 6.7% of a 1000 mg dose recovered unchanged in the urine. An ester prodrug, sulopenem etzadroxil, has been developed for oral administration. Initial investigations reported a variable oral bioavailability of 20-34% under fasted conditions, however subsequent work showed that bioavailability is significantly improved by administering sulopenem with food to increase its oral absorption or with probenecid to reduce its renal tubular secretion. Food consumption increases the area under the curve (AUC) of oral sulopenem (500 mg twice daily) by 23.6% when administered alone and 62% when administered with 500 mg of probenecid. Like carbapenems, sulopenem demonstrates bactericidal activity that is associated with the percentage of time that free concentrations exceed the MIC (%f T > MIC). In animal models, bacteriostasis was associated with %f T > MICs ranging from 8.6 to 17%, whereas 2-log10 kill was seen at values ranging from 12 to 28%. No pharmacodynamic targets have been documented for suppression of resistance. Sulopenem concentrations in urine are variable, ranging from 21.8 to 420.0 mg/L (median 84.4 mg/L) in fasted subjects and 28.8 to 609.0 mg/L (median 87.3 mg/L) in those who were fed. Sulopenem has been compared with carbapenems and cephalosporins in guinea pig and murine systemic and lung infection animal models. Studied pathogens included Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, B. fragilis, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris, and Serratia marcescens. These studies reported that overall, sulopenem was non-inferior to carbapenems but appeared to be superior to cephalosporins. A phase III clinical trial (SURE-1) reported that sulopenem was not non-inferior to ciprofloxacin in women infected with fluoroquinolone-susceptible pathogens, due to a higher rate of asymptomatic bacteriuria in sulopenem-treated patients at the test-of-cure visit. However, the researchers reported superiority of sulopenem etzadroxil/probenecid over ciprofloxacin for the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs in women infected with fluoroquinolone/non-susceptible pathogens, and non-inferiority in all patients with a positive urine culture. A phase III clinical trial (SURE-2) compared intravenous sulopenem followed by oral sulopenem etzadroxil/probenecid with ertapenem in the treatment of complicated UTIs. No difference in overall success was noted at the end of therapy. However, intravenous sulopenem followed by oral sulopenem etzadroxil was not non-inferior to ertapenem followed by oral stepdown therapy in overall success at test-of-cure due to a higher rate of asymptomatic bacteriuria in the sulopenem arm. After a meeting with the US FDA, Iterum stated that they are currently evaluating the optimal design for an additional phase III uncomplicated UTI study to be conducted prior to the potential resubmission of the New Drug Application (NDA). It is unclear at this time whether Iterum intends to apply for EMA or Japanese regulatory approval. The safety and tolerability of sulopenem has been reported in various phase I pharmacokinetic studies and phase III clinical trials. Sulopenem (intravenous and oral) appears to be well tolerated in healthy subjects, with and without the coadministration of probenecid, with few serious drug-related treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) reported to date. Reported TEAEs affecting ≥1% of patients were (from most to least common) diarrhea, nausea, headache, vomiting and dizziness. Discontinuation rates were low and were not different than comparator agents. Sulopenem administered orally and/or intravenously represents a potentially well tolerated and effective option for treating uncomplicated and complicated UTIs, especially in patients with documented or highly suspected antimicrobial pathogens to commonly used agents (e.g. fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli), and in patients with documented microbiological or clinical failure or patients who demonstrate intolerance/adverse effects to first-line agents. This agent will likely be used orally in the outpatient setting, and intravenously followed by oral stepdown in the hospital setting. Sulopenem also allows for oral stepdown therapy in the hospital setting from intravenous non-sulopenem therapy. More clinical data are required to fully assess the clinical efficacy and safety of sulopenem, especially in patients with complicated UTIs caused by resistant pathogens such as ESBL-producing, Amp-C, MDR E. coli. Antimicrobial stewardship programs will need to create guidelines for when this oral and intravenous penem should be used.


Subject(s)
Bacteriuria , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Prodrugs , Urinary Tract Infections , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Bacteriuria/chemically induced , Bacteriuria/drug therapy , Carbapenems/pharmacology , Cephalosporins/pharmacology , Ciprofloxacin/pharmacology , Ertapenem , Escherichia coli , Female , Fluoroquinolones/pharmacology , Gram-Negative Bacteria , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Imipenem/pharmacology , Lactams , Male , Membrane Proteins/pharmacology , Meropenem/pharmacology , Mice , Probenecid/pharmacology , Prodrugs/pharmacology , Staphylococcus aureus , Urinary Tract Infections/drug therapy , beta-Lactamases/pharmacology
3.
BMC Vet Res ; 18(1): 93, 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770540

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mycobacteria are found in many environmental conditions and infect a variety of species, including rodents and rabbits. Guinea pigs are used experimentally as a model for Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but natural mycobacteriosis in guinea pigs has not been reported. CASE PRESENTATION: A 1.5-year-old female guinea pig was found acutely deceased with no premonitory illness. On gross post-mortem examination, multifocal to coalescing, raised, firm, pale tan nodules with discrete, irregular margins were noted over the surfaces of all lung lobes. Histopathology revealed nodules composed of clustered foamy macrophages and multinucleated giant cells containing numerous bacterial rods. Similar bacteria-laden macrophages were noted within sections of the liver, heart, palpebral conjunctiva, duodenum, and cecum. Polymerase chain reaction was performed on tissues collected during post-mortem examination. The 16S rRNA gene product was sequenced and was identical to the Mycobacterium genavense type strain. CONCLUSIONS: To the best of the author's knowledge, this report details the first documented case of Mycobacterium genvaense infection in a guinea pig and a follow up investigation of close-contact animals. Given their experimental susceptibility and this clinical case report, mycobacteriosis should be considered as a differential in guinea pigs exhibiting weight loss in the absence of other clinical signs. With the potential for zoonotic transmission in immunosuppressed individuals, precautions should be taken to safeguard human health in cases of guinea pigs with suspected M. genavense infection.


Subject(s)
Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous , Mycobacterium , Animals , Female , Guinea Pigs , Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous/veterinary , Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , Rabbits
4.
Cell Rep ; 38(5): 110318, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654152

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines may target epitopes that reduce durability or increase the potential for escape from vaccine-induced immunity. Using synthetic vaccinology, we have developed rationally immune-focused SARS-CoV-2 Spike-based vaccines. Glycans can be employed to alter antibody responses to infection and vaccines. Utilizing computational modeling and in vitro screening, we have incorporated glycans into the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and assessed antigenic profiles. We demonstrate that glycan-coated RBD immunogens elicit stronger neutralizing antibodies and have engineered seven multivalent configurations. Advanced DNA delivery of engineered nanoparticle vaccines rapidly elicits potent neutralizing antibodies in guinea pigs, hamsters, and multiple mouse models, including human ACE2 and human antibody repertoire transgenics. RBD nanoparticles induce high levels of cross-neutralizing antibodies against variants of concern with durable titers beyond 6 months. Single, low-dose immunization protects against a lethal SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Single-dose coronavirus vaccines via DNA-launched nanoparticles provide a platform for rapid clinical translation of potent and durable coronavirus vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cricetinae , Epitopes , Guinea Pigs , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Nanoparticles/chemistry , /chemistry , /immunology , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Polysaccharides/genetics , Polysaccharides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccine Potency
5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1075, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642005

ABSTRACT

Inflammatory diseases including COVID-19 are associated with a cytokine storm characterized by high interleukin-6 (IL-6) titers. In particular, while recent studies examined COVID-19 associated arrhythmic risks from cardiac injury and/or from pharmacotherapy such as the combination of azithromycin (AZM) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the role of IL-6 per se in increasing the arrhythmic risk remains poorly understood. The objective is to elucidate the electrophysiological basis of inflammation-associated arrhythmic risk in the presence of AZM and HCQ. IL-6, AZM and HCQ were concomitantly administered to guinea pigs in-vivo and in-vitro. Electrocardiograms, action potentials and ion-currents were analyzed. IL-6 alone or the combination AZM + HCQ induced mild to moderate reduction in heart rate, PR-interval and corrected QT (QTc) in-vivo and in-vitro. Notably, IL-6 alone was more potent than the combination of the two drugs in reducing heart rate, increasing PR-interval and QTc. In addition, the in-vivo or in-vitro combination of IL-6 + AZM + HCQ caused severe bradycardia, conduction abnormalities, QTc prolongation and asystole. These electrocardiographic abnormalities were attenuated in-vivo by tocilizumab (TCZ), a monoclonal antibody against IL-6 receptor, and are due in part to the prolongation of action potential duration and selective inhibition of Na+, Ca2+ and K+ currents. Inflammation confers greater risk for arrhythmia than the drug combination therapy. As such, in the setting of elevated IL-6 during inflammation caution must be taken when co-administering drugs known to predispose to fatal arrhythmias and TCZ could be an important player as a novel anti-arrhythmic agent. Thus, identifying inflammation as a critical culprit is essential for proper management.


Subject(s)
Arrhythmias, Cardiac , Azithromycin/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/etiology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/metabolism , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/physiopathology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/prevention & control , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/physiopathology , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Male
6.
J Med Virol ; 94(5): 2108-2125, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627779

ABSTRACT

Variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to emerge, posing great challenges in outbreak prevention and control. It is important to understand in advance the impact of possible variants of concern (VOCs) on infectivity and antigenicity. Here, we constructed one or more of the 15 high-frequency naturally occurring amino acid changes in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of Alpha, Beta, and Gamma variants. A single mutant of A520S, V367F, and S494P in the above three VOCs enhanced infectivity in ACE2-overexpressing 293T cells of different species, LLC-MK2 and Vero cells. Aggregation of multiple RBD mutations significantly reduces the infectivity of the possible three VOCs. Regarding neutralization, it is noteworthy that E484K, N501Y, K417N, and N439K predispose to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) protection failure in the 15 high-frequency mutations. Most importantly, almost all possible VOCs (single RBD mutation or aggregation of multiple mutations) showed no more than a fourfold decrease in neutralizing activity with convalescent sera, vaccine sera, and immune sera of guinea pigs with different immunogens, and no significant antigenic drift was formed. In conclusion, our pseudovirus results could reduce the concern that the aggregation of multiple high-frequency mutations in the RBD of the spike protein of the three VOCs would lead to severe antigenic drift, and this would provide value for vaccine development strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vero Cells
7.
Vet Microbiol ; 264: 109271, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593985

ABSTRACT

Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus (SEZ) is a commensal bacterium of horses and causes infections in mammalian species, including humans. Historically, virulent strains of SEZ caused high mortality in pigs in China and Indonesia, while disease in the U.S. was infrequent. More recently, high mortality events in sows were attributed to SEZ in North America. The SEZ isolates from these mortality events have high genetic similarity to an isolate from an outbreak in China. Taken together, this may indicate SEZ is an emerging threat to swine health. To generate a disease model and evaluate the susceptibility of healthy, conventionally raised pigs to SEZ, we challenged sows and five-month-old pigs with an isolate from a 2019 mortality event. Pigs were challenged with a genetically similar guinea pig isolate or genetically distinct horse isolate to evaluate comparative virulence. The swine isolate caused severe systemic disease in challenged pigs with 100 % mortality. Disease manifestation in sows was similar to field reports: lethargy/depression, fever, reluctance to rise, and high mortality. The guinea pig isolate also caused severe systemic disease; however, most five-month-old pigs recovered. In contrast, the horse isolate did not cause disease and was readily cleared from the respiratory tract. In conclusion, we were able to replicate disease reported in the field. The results indicate differences in virulence between isolates, with the highest virulence associated with the swine isolate. Additionally, we generated a challenge model that can be used in future research to evaluate virulence factors and disease prevention strategies.


Subject(s)
Horse Diseases , Streptococcal Infections , Streptococcus equi , Swine Diseases , Virus Replication , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Guinea Pigs , Horse Diseases/virology , Horses , Streptococcal Infections/veterinary , Streptococcal Infections/virology , Streptococcus equi/physiology , Swine , Swine Diseases/virology , Virus Replication/physiology
8.
J Clin Invest ; 131(23)2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571525

ABSTRACT

Nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccines have gained global attention because of COVID-19. We evaluated a similar vaccine approach for preventing a chronic, latent genital infection rather than an acute respiratory infection. We used animal models to compare an HSV-2 trivalent nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine with the same antigens prepared as proteins, with an emphasis on antigen-specific memory B cell responses and immune correlates of protection. In guinea pigs, serum neutralizing-antibody titers were higher at 1 month and declined far less by 8 months in mRNA- compared with protein-immunized animals. Both vaccines protected against death and genital lesions when infected 1 month after immunization; however, protection was more durable in the mRNA group compared with the protein group when infected after 8 months, an interval representing greater than 15% of the animal's lifespan. Serum and vaginal neutralizing-antibody titers correlated with protection against infection, as measured by genital lesions and vaginal virus titers 2 days after infection. In mice, the mRNA vaccine generated more antigen-specific memory B cells than the protein vaccine at early times after immunization that persisted for up to 1 year. High neutralizing titers and robust B cell immune memory likely explain the more durable protection by the HSV-2 mRNA vaccine.


Subject(s)
Herpes Genitalis , Herpesvirus 2, Human/immunology , Immunologic Memory , RNA, Viral/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Guinea Pigs , Herpes Genitalis/immunology , Herpes Genitalis/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
9.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 46(1): 16-24, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1570283

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Tailored communication is necessary to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and increase uptake. We aimed to understand the information needs, perceived benefits and barriers to COVID-19 vaccination of people prioritised, but hesitant to receive the vaccine. METHOD: In this qualitative study in Victoria, Australia (February-May 2021), we purposively sampled hesitant adults who were health or aged/disability care workers (n=20), or adults aged 18-69 with comorbidities or aged ≥70 years ('prioritised adults'; n=19). We thematically analysed interviews inductively, then deductively organised themes within the World Health Organization Behavioural and Social Drivers of vaccination model. Two stakeholder workshops (n=12) explored understanding and preferences for communicating risks and benefits. We subsequently formed communication recommendations. RESULTS: Prioritised adults and health and aged care workers had short- and long-term safety concerns specific to personal circumstances, and felt like "guinea pigs". They saw vaccination as beneficial for individual and community protection and travel. Some health and aged care workers felt insufficiently informed to recommend vaccines, or viewed this as outside their scope of practice. Workshop participants requested interactive materials and transparency from spokespeople about uncertainty. Conclusions and public health implications: Eleven recommendations address communication content, delivery and context to increase uptake and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Intention , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Victoria
10.
J Am Heart Assoc ; 10(21): e022095, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538011

ABSTRACT

Background Recent data suggest that systemic inflammation can negatively affect atrioventricular conduction, regardless of acute cardiac injury. Indeed, gap-junctions containing connexin43 coupling cardiomyocytes and inflammation-related cells (macrophages) are increasingly recognized as important factors regulating the conduction in the atrioventricular node. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute impact of systemic inflammatory activation on atrioventricular conduction, and elucidate underlying mechanisms. Methods and Results We analyzed: (1) the PR-interval in patients with inflammatory diseases of different origins during active phase and recovery, and its association with inflammatory markers; (2) the existing correlation between connexin43 expression in the cardiac tissue and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and the changes occurring in patients with inflammatory diseases over time; (3) the acute effects of interleukin(IL)-6 on atrioventricular conduction in an in vivo animal model, and on connexin43 expression in vitro. In patients with elevated C-reactive protein levels, atrioventricular conduction indices are increased, but promptly normalized in association with inflammatory markers reduction, particularly IL-6. In these subjects, connexin43 expression in PBMC, which is correlative of that measured in the cardiac tissue, inversely associated with IL-6 changes. Moreover, direct IL-6 administration increased atrioventricular conduction indices in vivo in a guinea pig model, and IL-6 incubation in both cardiomyocytes and macrophages in culture, significantly reduced connexin43 proteins expression. Conclusions The data evidence that systemic inflammation can acutely worsen atrioventricular conduction, and that IL-6-induced down-regulation of cardiac connexin43 is a mechanistic pathway putatively involved in the process. Though reversible, these alterations could significantly increase the risk of severe atrioventricular blocks during active inflammatory processes.


Subject(s)
Atrioventricular Block , Connexin 43 , Animals , Atrioventricular Node , Cytokines , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Inflammation , Interleukin-6 , Leukocytes, Mononuclear
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(22)2021 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534091

ABSTRACT

Myopia is the second leading cause of visual impairment globally. Myopia can induce sight-threatening retinal degeneration and the underlying mechanism remains poorly defined. We generated a model of myopia-induced early-stage retinal degeneration in guinea pigs and investigated the mechanism of action. Methods: The form-deprivation-induced myopia (FDM) was induced in the right eyes of 2~3-week-old guinea pigs using a translucent balloon for 15 weeks. The left eye remained untreated and served as a self-control. Another group of untreated age-matched animals was used as naïve controls. The refractive error and ocular biometrics were measured at 3, 7, 9, 12 and 15 weeks post-FDM induction. Visual function was evaluated by electroretinography. Retinal neurons and synaptic structures were examined by confocal microscopy of immunolabelled retinal sections. The total RNAs were extracted from the retinas and processed for RNA sequencing analysis. Results: The FDM eyes presented a progressive axial length elongation and refractive error development. After 15 weeks of intervention, the average refractive power was -3.40 ± 1.85 D in the FDM eyes, +2.94 ± 0.59 D and +2.69 ± 0.56 D in the self-control and naïve control eyes, respectively. The a-wave amplitude was significantly lower in FDM eyes and these eyes had a significantly lower number of rods, secretagogin+ bipolar cells, and GABAergic amacrine cells in selected retinal areas. RNA-seq analysis showed that 288 genes were upregulated and 119 genes were downregulated in FDM retinas compared to naïve control retinas. In addition, 152 genes were upregulated and 12 were downregulated in FDM retinas compared to self-control retinas. The KEGG enrichment analysis showed that tyrosine metabolism, ABC transporters and inflammatory pathways were upregulated, whereas tight junction, lipid and glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis were downregulated in FDM eyes. Conclusions: The long-term (15-week) FDM in the guinea pig models induced an early-stage retinal degeneration. The dysregulation of the tyrosine metabolism and inflammatory pathways may contribute to the pathogenesis of myopia-induced retinal degeneration.


Subject(s)
Inflammation/genetics , Myopia/genetics , Retinal Degeneration/genetics , Tyrosine/metabolism , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Glycosaminoglycans/genetics , Glycosaminoglycans/metabolism , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/genetics , Myopia/complications , Myopia/pathology , RNA-Seq , Retina/metabolism , Retina/pathology , Retinal Degeneration/etiology , Retinal Degeneration/pathology , Tyrosine/genetics
12.
Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi ; 156(6): 335-337, 2021.
Article in Japanese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486151

ABSTRACT

Laboratory work is an essential part of natural science education because it provides students with a valuable opportunity to experience practical scientific research firsthand. In laboratory work in pharmacology, students generally learn about biological mechanisms and drug action mechanisms by analyzing drug actions using laboratory animals. Actual experience with hands and eyes is an important factor in the laboratory work. Under the COVID-19 epidemic, however, we were forced to conduct the laboratory work online. For the laboratory work using isolated organs, we used simulation software, in which students can examine effects of a range of drugs on the smooth muscle within the guinea pig ileum. For the behavioral observation practice, we showed the video of the experiments conducted by the instructors beforehand to the students, and asked them to observe and analyze the behavior. In this review, we will share our challenges to online laboratory work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmacology , Animals , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Laboratories , Learning , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Health Educ Behav ; 48(6): 747-757, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443746

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Latinos are disproportionately vulnerable to severe COVID-19 due to workplace exposure, multigenerational households, and existing health disparities. Rolling out COVID-19 vaccines among vulnerable Latinos is critical to address disparities. This study explores vaccine perceptions of Latino families to inform culturally centered strategies for vaccine dissemination. METHOD: Semistructured telephone interviews with Latino families (22 mothers and 24 youth, 13-18 years old) explored COVID-19 vaccine perceptions including (1) sources of information, (2) trust of vaccine effectiveness and willingness to get vaccinated, and (3) access to the vaccine distribution. We identified thematic patterns using immersion-crystallization. RESULTS: We found that (1) 41% expressed optimism and willingness to receive the vaccine coupled with concerns about side effects; (2) 45% expressed hesitancy or would refuse vaccination based on mistrust, myths, fear of being used as "guinea pigs," and the perceived role of politics in vaccine development; (3) families "digested" information gathered from social media, the news, and radio through intergenerational communication; and (4) participants called for community-led advocacy and "leading by example" to dispel fear and misinformation. Optimistic participants saw the vaccine as a way to protect their families, allowing youth to return to schools and providing safer conditions for frontline essential workers. CONCLUSIONS: Culturally centered vaccine promotion campaigns may consider the Latino family unit as their target audience by providing information that can be discussed among parents and youth, engaging a range of health providers and advocates that includes traditional practitioners and community health workers, and disseminating information at key venues, such as schools, churches, and supermarkets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Oregon , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
14.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1790-1806, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370760

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented in recent history global COVID-19 pandemic urged the implementation of all existing vaccine platforms to ensure the availability of the vaccines against COVID-19 to every country in the world. Despite the multitude of high-quality papers describing clinical trials of different vaccine products, basic detailed data on general toxicity, reproductive toxicity, immunogenicity, protective efficacy and durability of immune response in animal models are scarce. Here, we developed a ß-propiolactone-inactivated whole virion vaccine CoviVac and assessed its safety, protective efficacy, immunogenicity and stability of the immune response in rodents and non-human primates. The vaccine showed no signs of acute/chronic, reproductive, embryo- and fetotoxicity, or teratogenic effects, as well as no allergenic properties in studied animal species. The vaccine induced stable and robust humoral immune response both in form of specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and NAbs in mice, Syrian hamsters, and common marmosets. The NAb levels did not decrease significantly over the course of one year. The course of two immunizations protected Syrian hamsters from severe pneumonia upon intranasal challenge with the live virus. Robustness of the vaccine manufacturing process was demonstrated as well. These data encouraged further evaluation of CoviVac in clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Callithrix , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Rats , Rats, Wistar , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Time Factors , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Inactivated/adverse effects
15.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(8): 2546-2564, 2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309427

ABSTRACT

The receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. We designed a trimeric, highly thermotolerant glycan engineered RBD by fusion to a heterologous, poorly immunogenic disulfide linked trimerization domain derived from cartilage matrix protein. The protein expressed at a yield of ∼80-100 mg/L in transiently transfected Expi293 cells, as well as CHO and HEK293 stable cell lines and formed homogeneous disulfide-linked trimers. When lyophilized, these possessed remarkable functional stability to transient thermal stress of up to 100 °C and were stable to long-term storage of over 4 weeks at 37 °C unlike an alternative RBD-trimer with a different trimerization domain. Two intramuscular immunizations with a human-compatible SWE adjuvanted formulation elicited antibodies with pseudoviral neutralizing titers in guinea pigs and mice that were 25-250 fold higher than corresponding values in human convalescent sera. Against the beta (B.1.351) variant of concern (VOC), pseudoviral neutralization titers for RBD trimer were ∼3-fold lower than against wildtype B.1 virus. RBD was also displayed on a designed ferritin-like Msdps2 nanoparticle. This showed decreased yield and immunogenicity relative to trimeric RBD. Replicative virus neutralization assays using mouse sera demonstrated that antibodies induced by the trimers neutralized all four VOC to date, namely B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, and B.1.617.2 without significant differences. Trimeric RBD immunized hamsters were protected from viral challenge. The excellent immunogenicity, thermotolerance, and high yield of these immunogens suggest that they are a promising modality to combat COVID-19, including all SARS-CoV-2 VOC to date.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thermotolerance , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Guinea Pigs , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
16.
Vaccine ; 39(30): 4108-4116, 2021 07 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267950

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), initially originated in China in year 2019 and spread rapidly across the globe within 5 months, causing over 96 million cases of infection and over 2 million deaths. Huge efforts were undertaken to bring the COVID-19 vaccines in clinical development, so that it can be made available at the earliest, if found to be efficacious in the trials. We developed a candidate vaccine ZyCoV-D comprising of a DNA plasmid vector carrying the gene encoding the spike protein (S) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The S protein of the virus includes the receptor binding domain (RBD), responsible for binding to the human angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE-2) receptor. The DNA plasmid construct was transformed into E. coli cells for large scale production. The immunogenicity potential of the plasmid DNA has been evaluated in mice, guinea pig, and rabbit models by intradermal route at 25, 100 and 500 µg dose. Based on the animal studies proof-of-concept has been established and preclinical toxicology (PCT) studies were conducted in rat and rabbit model. Preliminary animal study demonstrates that the candidate DNA vaccine induces antibody response including neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and also elicited Th-1 response as evidenced by elevated IFN-γ levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , China , Escherichia coli , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Mice , Models, Animal , Rabbits , Rats , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(11)2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127220

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has reemphasized the need to identify safe and scalable therapeutics to slow or reverse symptoms of disease caused by newly emerging and reemerging viral pathogens. Recent clinical successes of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in therapy for viral infections demonstrate that mAbs offer a solution for these emerging biothreats. We have explored this with respect to Junin virus (JUNV), an arenavirus classified as a category A high-priority agent and the causative agent of Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF). There are currently no Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs available for preventing or treating AHF, although immune plasma from convalescent patients is used routinely to treat active infections. However, immune plasma is severely limited in quantity, highly variable in quality, and poses significant safety risks including the transmission of transfusion-borne diseases. mAbs offer a highly specific and consistently potent alternative to immune plasma that can be manufactured at large scale. We previously described a chimeric mAb, cJ199, that provided protection in a guinea pig model of AHF. To adapt this mAb to a format more suitable for clinical use, we humanized the mAb (hu199) and evaluated it in a cynomolgus monkey model of AHF with two JUNV isolates, Romero and Espindola. While untreated control animals experienced 100% lethality, all animals treated with hu199 at 6 d postinoculation (dpi) survived, and 50% of animals treated at 8 dpi survived. mAbs like hu199 may offer a safer, scalable, and more reproducible alternative to immune plasma for rare viral diseases that have epidemic potential.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Hemorrhagic Fever, American/prevention & control , Junin virus/metabolism , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Guinea Pigs , Hemorrhagic Fever, American/blood , Humans , Macaca fascicularis
18.
J Biol Chem ; 296: 100025, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066050

ABSTRACT

Virtually all SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently in clinical testing are stored in a refrigerated or frozen state prior to use. This is a major impediment to deployment in resource-poor settings. Furthermore, several of them use viral vectors or mRNA. In contrast to protein subunit vaccines, there is limited manufacturing expertise for these nucleic-acid-based modalities, especially in the developing world. Neutralizing antibodies, the clearest known correlate of protection against SARS-CoV-2, are primarily directed against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein, suggesting that a suitable RBD construct might serve as a more accessible vaccine ingredient. We describe a monomeric, glycan-engineered RBD protein fragment that is expressed at a purified yield of 214 mg/l in unoptimized, mammalian cell culture and, in contrast to a stabilized spike ectodomain, is tolerant of exposure to temperatures as high as 100 °C when lyophilized, up to 70 °C in solution and stable for over 4 weeks at 37 °C. In prime:boost guinea pig immunizations, when formulated with the MF59-like adjuvant AddaVax, the RBD derivative elicited neutralizing antibodies with an endpoint geometric mean titer of ∼415 against replicative virus, comparing favorably with several vaccine formulations currently in the clinic. These features of high yield, extreme thermotolerance, and satisfactory immunogenicity suggest that such RBD subunit vaccine formulations hold great promise to combat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/biosynthesis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Binding Sites , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Female , Guinea Pigs , HEK293 Cells , Hot Temperature , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Stability , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccine Potency
19.
J Med Chem ; 64(1): 890-904, 2021 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997768

ABSTRACT

The sigma 1 receptor (S1R) is a molecular chaperone protein located in the endoplasmic reticulum and plasma membranes and has been shown to play important roles in various pathological disorders including pain and, as recently discovered, COVID-19. Employing structure- and QSAR-based drug design strategies, we rationally designed, synthesized, and biologically evaluated a series of novel triazole-based S1R antagonists. Compound 10 exhibited potent binding affinity for S1R, high selectivity over S2R and 87 other human targets, acceptable in vitro metabolic stability, slow clearance in liver microsomes, and excellent blood-brain barrier permeability in rats. Further in vivo studies in rats showed that 10 exhibited negligible acute toxicity in the rotarod test and statistically significant analgesic effects in the formalin test for acute inflammatory pain and paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain models during cancer chemotherapy. These encouraging results promote further development of our triazole-based S1R antagonists as novel treatments for pain of different etiologies.


Subject(s)
Pain Management/methods , Receptors, sigma/antagonists & inhibitors , Triazoles/chemistry , Animals , Binding Sites , Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Drug Design , Guinea Pigs , Half-Life , Humans , Microsomes, Liver/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Neuralgia/chemically induced , Neuralgia/drug therapy , Protein Structure, Tertiary , Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship , Rats , Receptors, sigma/metabolism , Triazoles/metabolism , Triazoles/therapeutic use
20.
PLoS Biol ; 18(12): e3001016, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992640

ABSTRACT

SARS Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in late 2019, leading to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that continues to cause significant global mortality in human populations. Given its sequence similarity to SARS-CoV, as well as related coronaviruses circulating in bats, SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have originated in Chiroptera species in China. However, whether the virus spread directly to humans or through an intermediate host is currently unclear, as is the potential for this virus to infect companion animals, livestock, and wildlife that could act as viral reservoirs. Using a combination of surrogate entry assays and live virus, we demonstrate that, in addition to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the Spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 has a broad host tropism for mammalian ACE2 receptors, despite divergence in the amino acids at the Spike receptor binding site on these proteins. Of the 22 different hosts we investigated, ACE2 proteins from dog, cat, and cattle were the most permissive to SARS-CoV-2, while bat and bird ACE2 proteins were the least efficiently used receptors. The absence of a significant tropism for any of the 3 genetically distinct bat ACE2 proteins we examined indicates that SARS-CoV-2 receptor usage likely shifted during zoonotic transmission from bats into people, possibly in an intermediate reservoir. Comparison of SARS-CoV-2 receptor usage to the related coronaviruses SARS-CoV and RaTG13 identified distinct tropisms, with the 2 human viruses being more closely aligned. Finally, using bioinformatics, structural data, and targeted mutagenesis, we identified amino acid residues within the Spike-ACE2 interface, which may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in humans. The apparently broad tropism of SARS-CoV-2 at the point of viral entry confirms the potential risk of infection to a wide range of companion animals, livestock, and wildlife.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Tropism , Virus Attachment , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Binding Sites , Cats , Cattle , Dogs , Guinea Pigs , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Rabbits , Rats , Viral Zoonoses/virology
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