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1.
Immunol Rev ; 309(1): 12-24, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1916183

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has caused millions of deaths in the past two years. Although initially little was understood about this virus, recent research has significantly advanced and landed interferons (IFNs) in the spotlight. While Type I and III IFN have long been known as central to antiviral immunity, in the case of COVID-19 their role was initially controversial. However, the protective function of IFN is now well supported by the identification of human deficiencies in IFN responses as a predictor of disease severity. Here, we will review the cell types and pathways that lead to IFN production as well as the importance of IFN timing and location for disease outcome. We will further discuss the mechanisms that SARS-CoV-2 uses to evade IFN responses, and the current efforts to implement IFNs as therapeutics in the treatment of COVID-19. It is essential to understand the relationships between SARS-CoV-2 and IFN to better inform treatments that exploit IFN functions to alleviate COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911656

ABSTRACT

The effects of casirivimab and imdevimab (C/I) on the innate immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection remain unclear. We evaluated the effect of C/I on type I interferon (IFN-I) and cytokines in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. This prospective observational study recruited consecutive patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Blood levels of IFN-I and cytokines before and after C/I administration were assessed using enzyme-linked immunoassay. The study enrolled 29 patients in the C/I group. In addition, 11 patients who received remdesivir and dexamethasone (R/D group) during the early phase (≤5 days after the onset of symptoms) were included as a comparator group. After treatment, IFN-α and IFN-ß levels decreased significantly in both the C/I group and R/D group, whilst the post-treatment neutrophil-to-lymphoid ratio increased in the early C/I group but not the R/D group. In the C/I group, temporal temperature elevation and hypoxemia were observed after treatment in 58.6% and 41.4% of the cohort, respectively. However, most patients recovered by 5 days after treatment. This study could demonstrate the high therapeutic effect of C/I with an antibody-dependent enhancement-like response and decreased IFN-I production, which was likely due to the immediate induction of an antibody-dependent immune response against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokines , Humans , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferon Type I/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Vopr Virusol ; 67(2): 115-125, 2022 05 05.
Article in Russian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1836596

ABSTRACT

By the end of 2021, about 200 studies on the effect of interferons (IFNs) on the incidence and course of the new coronavirus infection COVID-19 (Coronaviridae: Coronavirinae: Betacoronavirus: Sarbecovirus) have been reported worldwide, with the number of such studies steadily increasing. This review discusses the main issues of the use of IFN drugs in this disease. The literature search was carried out in the PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, RSCI databases, as well as in the Google Scholar preprint database using the available search queries «MeSH for coronavirus¼, «SARS-CoV-2¼, «IFN drugs¼, and «COVID-19¼. Interferon therapy is indicated for early administration (within the first 5 days of patient admission) in cases of mild to moderate COVID-19 to take advantage of the narrow therapeutic window of IFNs action. Control and suppression of viral replication requires therapy with IFNs and other effective antiviral agents that inhibit the reproduction of SARS-CoV-2 and induce several interferon-stimulated genes (ISG). Type I IFNs (IFN-I) exhibit potent pro-inflammatory properties and activate a wide variety of different cell types that respond to IFNs stimulation and pathogen entry. IFN-III confer local mucosal antiviral immunity without inducing the strong systemic pro-inflammatory responses associated with IFN-I. The use of IFNs drugs in the therapy of new coronavirus infection requires a cautious and differentiated approach, because in severe cases they can aggravate viral pathogenesis by causing excessive intensity of inflammatory reactions. The unique biological properties of substances of this class allow us to consider them as therapeutic agents with significant potential for use in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronaviridae , Interferon Type I , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferon Type I/therapeutic use , Interferons/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Virol ; 96(7): e0170521, 2022 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736024

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 caused the COVID-19 global pandemic leading to 5.3 million deaths worldwide as of December 2021. The human intestine was found to be a major viral target which could have a strong impact on virus spread and pathogenesis since it is one of the largest organs. While type I interferons (IFNs) are key cytokines acting against systemic virus spread, in the human intestine type III IFNs play a major role by restricting virus infection and dissemination without disturbing homeostasis. Recent studies showed that both type I and III IFNs can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, but it is not clear whether one IFN controls SARS-CoV-2 infection of the human intestine better or with a faster kinetics. In this study, we could show that type I and III IFNs both possess antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in human intestinal epithelial cells (hIECs); however, type III IFN is more potent. Shorter type III IFN pretreatment times and lower concentrations were required to efficiently reduce virus load compared to type I IFNs. Moreover, type III IFNs significantly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 even 4 h postinfection and induced a long-lasting antiviral effect in hIECs. Importantly, the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 to type III IFNs was virus specific since type III IFN did not control VSV infection as efficiently. Together, these results suggest that type III IFNs have a higher potential for IFN-based treatment of SARS-CoV-2 intestinal infection compared to type I IFNs. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 infection is not restricted to the respiratory tract and a large number of COVID-19 patients experience gastrointestinal distress. Interferons are key molecules produced by the cell to combat virus infection. Here, we evaluated how two types of interferons (type I and III) can combat SARS-CoV-2 infection of human gut cells. We found that type III interferons were crucial to control SARS-CoV-2 infection when added both before and after infection. Importantly, type III interferons were also able to produce a long-lasting effect, as cells were protected from SARS-CoV-2 infection up to 72 h posttreatment. This study suggested an alternative treatment possibility for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Interferons , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells , Humans , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
5.
Viruses ; 12(5)2020 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726014

ABSTRACT

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease with a high morbidity and mortality by the FIP virus (FIPV, virulent feline coronavirus). Several antiviral drugs for FIP have been identified, but many of these are expensive and not available in veterinary medicine. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a drug approved by several countries to treat malaria and immune-mediated diseases in humans, and its antiviral effects on other viral infections (e.g., SARS-CoV-2, dengue virus) have been confirmed. We investigated whether HCQ in association with interferon-ω (IFN-ω) is effective for FIPV in vitro. A total of 100 µM of HCQ significantly inhibited the replication of types I and II FIPV. Interestingly, the combination of 100 µM of HCQ and 104 U/mL of recombinant feline IFN-ω (rfIFN-ω, veterinary registered drug) increased its antiviral activity against type I FIPV infection. Our study suggested that HCQ and rfIFN-ω are applicable for treatment of FIP. Further clinical studies are needed to verify the combination of HCQ and rIFN-ω will be effective and safe treatment for cats with FIP.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus, Feline/drug effects , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Analysis of Variance , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/toxicity , Cats , Cell Line/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus, Feline/pathogenicity , Drug Combinations , Feline Infectious Peritonitis/drug therapy , Feline Infectious Peritonitis/virology , Fluorescent Antibody Technique/veterinary , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Hydroxychloroquine/toxicity , Interferon Type I/therapeutic use , Interferon Type I/toxicity , Virulence
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 679, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671560

ABSTRACT

Emergence of mutant SARS-CoV-2 strains associated with an increased risk of COVID-19-related death necessitates better understanding of the early viral dynamics, host responses and immunopathology. Single cell RNAseq (scRNAseq) allows for the study of individual cells, uncovering heterogeneous and variable responses to environment, infection and inflammation. While studies have reported immune profiling using scRNAseq in terminal human COVID-19 patients, performing longitudinal immune cell dynamics in humans is challenging. Macaques are a suitable model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our longitudinal scRNAseq of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cell suspensions from young rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2 (n = 6) demonstrates dynamic changes in transcriptional landscape 3 days post- SARS-CoV-2-infection (3dpi; peak viremia), relative to 14-17dpi (recovery phase) and pre-infection (baseline) showing accumulation of distinct populations of both macrophages and T-lymphocytes expressing strong interferon-driven inflammatory gene signature at 3dpi. Type I interferon response is induced in the plasmacytoid dendritic cells with appearance of a distinct HLADR+CD68+CD163+SIGLEC1+ macrophage population exhibiting higher angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression. These macrophages are significantly enriched in the lungs of macaques at 3dpi and harbor SARS-CoV-2 while expressing a strong interferon-driven innate anti-viral gene signature. The accumulation of these responses correlated with decline in viremia and recovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferons/pharmacology , Myeloid Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents , Bronchoalveolar Lavage , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons/genetics , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , Macrophages/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
8.
J Exp Med ; 218(10)2021 10 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345702

ABSTRACT

IFN-I and IFN-III immunity in the nasal mucosa is poorly characterized during SARS-CoV-2 infection. We analyze the nasal IFN-I/III signature, namely the expression of ISGF-3-dependent IFN-stimulated genes, in mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients and show its correlation with serum IFN-α2 levels, which peak at symptom onset and return to baseline from day 10 onward. Moreover, the nasal IFN-I/III signature correlates with the nasopharyngeal viral load and is associated with the presence of infectious viruses. By contrast, we observe low nasal IFN-I/III scores despite high nasal viral loads in a subset of critically ill COVID-19 patients, which correlates with the presence of autoantibodies (auto-Abs) against IFN-I in both blood and nasopharyngeal mucosa. In addition, functional assays in a reconstituted human airway epithelium model of SARS-CoV-2 infection confirm the role of such auto-Abs in abrogating the antiviral effects of IFN-I, but not those of IFN-III. Thus, IFN-I auto-Abs may compromise not only systemic but also local antiviral IFN-I immunity at the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Animals , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Cavity/immunology , Nasal Cavity/virology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/immunology
10.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(5): e1009229, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1239922

ABSTRACT

While MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus) provokes a lethal disease in humans, camelids, the main virus reservoir, are asymptomatic carriers, suggesting a crucial role for innate immune responses in controlling the infection. Experimentally infected camelids clear infectious virus within one week and mount an effective adaptive immune response. Here, transcription of immune response genes was monitored in the respiratory tract of MERS-CoV infected alpacas. Concomitant to the peak of infection, occurring at 2 days post inoculation (dpi), type I and III interferons (IFNs) were maximally transcribed only in the nasal mucosa of alpacas, while interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) were induced along the whole respiratory tract. Simultaneous to mild focal infiltration of leukocytes in nasal mucosa and submucosa, upregulation of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL10 and dampened transcription of pro-inflammatory genes under NF-κB control were observed. In the lung, early (1 dpi) transcription of chemokines (CCL2 and CCL3) correlated with a transient accumulation of mainly mononuclear leukocytes. A tight regulation of IFNs in lungs with expression of ISGs and controlled inflammatory responses, might contribute to virus clearance without causing tissue damage. Thus, the nasal mucosa, the main target of MERS-CoV in camelids, seems central in driving an efficient innate immune response based on triggering ISGs as well as the dual anti-inflammatory effects of type III IFNs and IL10.


Subject(s)
Camelids, New World , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Camelids, New World/immunology , Camelids, New World/metabolism , Camelids, New World/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Disease Reservoirs/veterinary , Disease Resistance/drug effects , Disease Resistance/genetics , Disease Resistance/immunology , Gene Expression Regulation , Immunity, Innate/physiology , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/veterinary , Inflammation/virology , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/pharmacology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Respiratory System/drug effects , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/metabolism , Respiratory System/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
11.
Antiviral Res ; 187: 105015, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023450

ABSTRACT

The newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus initiated a pneumonia outbreak (COVID-19) that rapidly spread worldwide and quickly became a public health emergency of international concern; However to date, except Remdesivir, there are no clinically approved specific or effective medicines to prevent or treat COVID-19. Therefore, the development of novel treatments against coronavirus infections caused by the current SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as other highly pathogenic human coronaviruses, represents an urgent unmet need. Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) plays a central role in host defense mechanisms against microbial infections. STING activation leads to the induction of both type I interferon and autophagy responses, which elicit strong inhibitory effect against the infections caused by a broad range of microbial pathogens. However, whether STING activation can impact infections from SARS-CoV-2 or other coronaviruses remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the anti-coronavirus activity triggered by STING activation. We discovered that dimeric amidobenzimidazole (diABZI), a synthetic small molecule STING receptor agonist, showed potent anti-coronavirus activity against both the common cold human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) and SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture systems. In addition, we demonstrated that the antiviral activity of diABZI was dependent on the interferon pathway in HCoV-229E infected normal human fibroblast lung cells (MRC-5) and reconstituted primary human airway air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures. Furthermore, low-dose of diABZI treatment at 0.1 µM effectively reduced the SARS-CoV-2 viral load at the epithelial apical surface and prevented epithelial damage in the reconstituted primary human bronchial airway epithelial ALI system. Our findings have thus revealed the therapeutic potential of STING agonists, such as diABZI, as treatments for SARS-CoV-2 and other human coronavirus infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzimidazoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Membrane Proteins/agonists , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Autophagy/drug effects , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Lung/virology , Virus Replication
12.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 91: 107245, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-950776

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infective disease generated by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Given the pandemic urgency and lack of an effective cure for this disease, drug repurposing could open the way for finding a solution. Lots of investigations are ongoing to test the compounds already identified as antivirals. On the other hand, induction of type I interferons are found to play an important role in the generation of immune responses against SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, it was opined that the antivirals capable of triggering the interferons and their signaling pathway, could rationally be beneficial for treating COVID-19. On this basis, using a database of antivirals, called drugvirus, some antiviral agents were derived, followed by searches on their relevance to interferon induction. The examined list included drugs from different categories such as antibiotics, immunosuppressants, anti-cancers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), calcium channel blocker compounds, and some others. The results as briefed here, could help in finding potential drug candidates for COVID-19 treatment. However, their advantages and risks should be taken into account through precise studies, considering a systemic approach. Even though the adverse effects of some of these drugs may overweight their benefits, considering their mechanisms and structures may give a clue for designing novel drugs in the future. Furthermore, the antiviral effect and IFN-modifying mechanisms possessed by some of these drugs might lead to a synergistic effect against SARS-CoV-2, which deserve to be evaluated in further investigations.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferon Type I/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
13.
J Virol ; 94(23)2020 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-772280

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus (CoV) that causes COVID-19, has recently emerged causing an ongoing outbreak of viral pneumonia around the world. While distinct from SARS-CoV, both group 2B CoVs share similar genome organization, origins to bat CoVs, and an arsenal of immune antagonists. In this report, we evaluate type I interferon (IFN-I) sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 relative to the original SARS-CoV. Our results indicate that while SARS-CoV-2 maintains similar viral replication to SARS-CoV, the novel CoV is much more sensitive to IFN-I. In Vero E6 and in Calu3 cells, SARS-CoV-2 is substantially attenuated in the context of IFN-I pretreatment, whereas SARS-CoV is not. In line with these findings, SARS-CoV-2 fails to counteract phosphorylation of STAT1 and expression of ISG proteins, while SARS-CoV is able to suppress both. Comparing SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus in human airway epithelial cultures, we observe the absence of IFN-I stimulation by SARS-CoV-2 alone but detect the failure to counteract STAT1 phosphorylation upon IFN-I pretreatment, resulting in near ablation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Next, we evaluated IFN-I treatment postinfection and found that SARS-CoV-2 was sensitive even after establishing infection. Finally, we examined homology between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in viral proteins shown to be interferon antagonists. The absence of an equivalent open reading frame 3b (ORF3b) and genetic differences versus ORF6 suggest that the two key IFN-I antagonists may not maintain equivalent function in SARS-CoV-2. Together, the results identify key differences in susceptibility to IFN-I responses between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 that may help inform disease progression, treatment options, and animal model development.IMPORTANCE With the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, differences between SARS-CoV-2 and the original SARS-CoV could be leveraged to inform disease progression and eventual treatment options. In addition, these findings could have key implications for animal model development as well as further research into how SARS-CoV-2 modulates the type I IFN response early during infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , SARS Virus/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Interferon Type I/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferon-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Interferon-alpha/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
14.
J Virol ; 94(15)2020 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-762192

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory disease in humans. MERS-CoV strains from early epidemic clade A and contemporary epidemic clade B have not been phenotypically characterized to compare their abilities to infect cells and mice. We isolated the clade B MERS-CoV ChinaGD01 strain from a patient infected during the South Korean MERS outbreak in 2015 and compared the phylogenetics and pathogenicity of MERS-CoV EMC/2012 (clade A) and ChinaGD01 (clade B) in vitro and in vivo Genome alignment analysis showed that most clade-specific mutations occurred in the orf1ab gene, including mutations that were predicted to be potential glycosylation sites. Minor differences in viral growth but no significant differences in plaque size or sensitivity to beta interferon (IFN-ß) were detected between these two viruses in vitro ChinaGD01 virus infection induced more weight loss and inflammatory cytokine production in human DPP4-transduced mice. Viral titers were higher in the lungs of ChinaGD01-infected mice than with EMC/2012 infection. Decreased virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell numbers were detected in the lungs of ChinaGD01-infected mice. In conclusion, MERS-CoV evolution induced changes to reshape its pathogenicity and virulence in vitro and in vivo and to evade adaptive immune response to hinder viral clearance.IMPORTANCE MERS-CoV is an important emerging pathogen and causes severe respiratory infection in humans. MERS-CoV strains from early epidemic clade A and contemporary epidemic clade B have not been phenotypically characterized to compare their abilities to infect cells and mice. In this study, we showed that a clade B virus ChinaGD01 strain caused more severe disease in mice, with delayed viral clearance, increased inflammatory cytokines, and decreased antiviral T cell responses, than the early clade A virus EMC/2012. Given the differences in pathogenicity of different clades of MERS-CoV, periodic assessment of currently circulating MERS-CoV is needed to monitor potential severity of zoonotic disease.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genotype , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Adult , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Genome, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Male , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/classification , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Virulence , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing
15.
mBio ; 11(5)2020 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760223

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a recently emerged respiratory coronavirus that has infected >23 million people worldwide with >800,000 deaths. Few COVID-19 therapeutics are available, and the basis for severe infections is poorly understood. Here, we investigated properties of type I (ß), II (γ), and III (λ1) interferons (IFNs), potent immune cytokines that are normally produced during infection and that upregulate IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) effectors to limit virus replication. IFNs are already in clinical trials to treat COVID-19. However, recent studies highlight the potential for IFNs to enhance expression of host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), suggesting that IFN therapy or natural coinfections could exacerbate COVID-19 by upregulating this critical virus entry receptor. Using a cell line model, we found that beta interferon (IFN-ß) strongly upregulated expression of canonical antiviral ISGs, as well as ACE2 at the mRNA and cell surface protein levels. Strikingly, IFN-λ1 upregulated antiviral ISGs, but ACE2 mRNA was only marginally elevated and did not lead to detectably increased ACE2 protein at the cell surface. IFN-γ induced the weakest ISG response but clearly enhanced surface expression of ACE2. Importantly, all IFN types inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in a dose-dependent manner, and IFN-ß and IFN-λ1 exhibited potent antiviral activity in primary human bronchial epithelial cells. Our data imply that type-specific mechanisms or kinetics shape IFN-enhanced ACE2 transcript and cell surface levels but that the antiviral action of IFNs against SARS-CoV-2 counterbalances any proviral effects of ACE2 induction. These insights should aid in evaluating the benefits of specific IFNs, particularly IFN-λ, as repurposed therapeutics.IMPORTANCE Repurposing existing, clinically approved, antiviral drugs as COVID-19 therapeutics is a rapid way to help combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Interferons (IFNs) usually form part of the body's natural innate immune defenses against viruses, and they have been used with partial success to treat previous new viral threats, such as HIV, hepatitis C virus, and Ebola virus. Nevertheless, IFNs can have undesirable side effects, and recent reports indicate that IFNs upregulate the expression of host ACE2 (a critical entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2), raising the possibility that IFN treatments could exacerbate COVID-19. Here, we studied the antiviral- and ACE2-inducing properties of different IFN types in both a human lung cell line model and primary human bronchial epithelial cells. We observed differences between IFNs with respect to their induction of antiviral genes and abilities to enhance the cell surface expression of ACE2. Nevertheless, all the IFNs limited SARS-CoV-2 replication, suggesting that their antiviral actions can counterbalance increased ACE2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferon-gamma/pharmacology , Interferons/pharmacology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Immunotherapy/methods , Interferon Type I/adverse effects , Interferon-gamma/adverse effects , Interferons/adverse effects , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Up-Regulation/drug effects , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
16.
J Biol Chem ; 295(41): 13958-13964, 2020 10 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615996

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the devastating COVID-19 lung disease pandemic. Here, we tested the inhibitory activities of the antiviral interferons of type I (IFN-α) and type III (IFN-λ) against SARS-CoV-2 and compared them with those against SARS-CoV-1, which emerged in 2003. Using two mammalian epithelial cell lines (human Calu-3 and simian Vero E6), we found that both IFNs dose-dependently inhibit SARS-CoV-2. In contrast, SARS-CoV-1 was restricted only by IFN-α in these cell lines. SARS-CoV-2 generally exhibited a broader IFN sensitivity than SARS-CoV-1. Moreover, ruxolitinib, an inhibitor of IFN-triggered Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling, boosted SARS-CoV-2 replication in the IFN-competent Calu-3 cells. We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 is sensitive to exogenously added IFNs. This finding suggests that type I and especially the less adverse effect-prone type III IFN are good candidates for the management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons/pharmacology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Janus Kinases/metabolism , Nitriles , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , Pyrimidines , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
17.
Science ; 369(6504): 712-717, 2020 08 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-594812

ABSTRACT

Excessive cytokine signaling frequently exacerbates lung tissue damage during respiratory viral infection. Type I (IFN-α and IFN-ß) and III (IFN-λ) interferons are host-produced antiviral cytokines. Prolonged IFN-α and IFN-ß responses can lead to harmful proinflammatory effects, whereas IFN-λ mainly signals in epithelia, thereby inducing localized antiviral immunity. In this work, we show that IFN signaling interferes with lung repair during influenza recovery in mice, with IFN-λ driving these effects most potently. IFN-induced protein p53 directly reduces epithelial proliferation and differentiation, which increases disease severity and susceptibility to bacterial superinfections. Thus, excessive or prolonged IFN production aggravates viral infection by impairing lung epithelial regeneration. Timing and duration are therefore critical parameters of endogenous IFN action and should be considered carefully for IFN therapeutic strategies against viral infections such as influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Cytokines/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/pathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/immunology , Animals , Apoptosis , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Cell Differentiation , Cell Proliferation , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/administration & dosage , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Interferon Type I/administration & dosage , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferon-alpha/administration & dosage , Interferon-alpha/metabolism , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , Interferon-beta/administration & dosage , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , Interferons/administration & dosage , Interferons/pharmacology , Male , Mice , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/metabolism , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/metabolism , Receptors, Interferon/genetics , Receptors, Interferon/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism
18.
Cell Host Microbe ; 27(6): 870-878, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-594357

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Without approved antiviral therapeutics or vaccines to this ongoing global threat, type I and type III interferons (IFNs) are currently being evaluated for their efficacy. Both the role of IFNs and the use of recombinant IFNs in two related, highly pathogenic coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, have been controversial in terms of their protective effects in the host. In this review, we describe the recent progress in our understanding of both type I and type III IFN-mediated innate antiviral responses against human coronaviruses and discuss the potential use of IFNs as a treatment strategy for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/pharmacology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction
19.
Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol ; 47(10): 1765-1767, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-382005

ABSTRACT

The 2020 global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) is a serious threat to international health, and thus, there is an urgent need for discovery of novel therapies or use of repurposed drugs that can make a significant impact on slowing the spread of the virus. Type 1 interferons (IFN-I) are a family cytokines of the early innate immune response to viruses that are being tested against SARS-CoV-2. However, coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 can suppress host IFN-I antiviral responses. Retinoids are a family molecules related to vitamin A that possess robust immune-modulating properties, including the ability to increase and potentiate the actions of IFN-I. Therefore, adjuvants such as retinoids, capable of increasing IFN-I-mediated antiviral responses, should be tested in combinations of IFN-I and antiviral drugs in pre-clinical studies of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Retinoids/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Interferon Type I/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Retinoids/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
20.
Antiviral Res ; 179: 104811, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-133419

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to identify antivirals to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we report the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 to recombinant human interferons α and ß (IFNα/ß). Treatment with IFN-α or IFN-ß at a concentration of 50 international units (IU) per milliliter reduces viral titers by 3.4 log or over 4 log, respectively, in Vero cells. The EC50 of IFN-α and IFN-ß treatment is 1.35 IU/ml and 0.76 IU/ml, respectively, in Vero cells. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is more sensitive than many other human pathogenic viruses, including SARS-CoV. Overall, our results demonstrate the potential efficacy of human Type I IFN in suppressing SARS-CoV-2 infection, a finding which could inform future treatment options for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon Type I/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Animals , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
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