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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 781280, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608387

ABSTRACT

The development of more effective, accessible, and easy to administer COVID-19 vaccines next to the currently marketed mRNA, viral vector, and whole inactivated virus vaccines is essential to curtailing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A major concern is reduced vaccine-induced immune protection to emerging variants, and therefore booster vaccinations to broaden and strengthen the immune response might be required. Currently, all registered COVID-19 vaccines and the majority of COVID-19 vaccines in development are intramuscularly administered, targeting the induction of systemic immunity. Intranasal vaccines have the capacity to induce local mucosal immunity as well, thereby targeting the primary route of viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 with the potential of blocking transmission. Furthermore, intranasal vaccines offer greater practicality in terms of cost and ease of administration. Currently, only eight out of 112 vaccines in clinical development are administered intranasally. We developed an intranasal COVID-19 subunit vaccine, based on a recombinant, six-proline-stabilized, D614G spike protein (mC-Spike) of SARS-CoV-2 linked via the LPS-binding peptide sequence mCramp (mC) to outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) from Neisseria meningitidis. The spike protein was produced in CHO cells, and after linking to the OMVs, the OMV-mC-Spike vaccine was administered to mice and Syrian hamsters via intranasal or intramuscular prime-boost vaccinations. In all animals that received OMV-mC-Spike, serum-neutralizing antibodies were induced upon vaccination. Importantly, high levels of spike-binding immunoglobulin G (IgG) and A (IgA) antibodies in the nose and lungs were only detected in intranasally vaccinated animals, whereas intramuscular vaccination only induced an IgG response in the serum. Two weeks after their second vaccination, hamsters challenged with SARS-CoV-2 were protected from weight loss and viral replication in the lungs compared to the control groups vaccinated with OMV or spike alone. Histopathology showed no lesions in lungs 7 days after challenge in OMV-mC-Spike-vaccinated hamsters, whereas the control groups did show pathological lesions in the lung. The OMV-mC-Spike candidate vaccine data are very promising and support further development of this novel non-replicating, needle-free, subunit vaccine concept for clinical testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cytoplasmic Vesicles/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Mesocricetus , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neisseria meningitidis/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
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.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 428, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585884

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced hyper-inflammation links to the acute lung injury and COVID-19 severity. Identifying the primary mediators that initiate the uncontrolled hypercytokinemia is essential for treatments. Mast cells (MCs) are strategically located at the mucosa and beneficially or detrimentally regulate immune inflammations. In this study, we showed that SARS-CoV-2-triggered MC degranulation initiated alveolar epithelial inflammation and lung injury. SARS-CoV-2 challenge induced MC degranulation in ACE-2 humanized mice and rhesus macaques, and a rapid MC degranulation could be recapitulated with Spike-RBD binding to ACE2 in cells; MC degranulation altered various signaling pathways in alveolar epithelial cells, particularly, the induction of pro-inflammatory factors and consequential disruption of tight junctions. Importantly, the administration of clinical MC stabilizers for blocking degranulation dampened SARS-CoV-2-induced production of pro-inflammatory factors and prevented lung injury. These findings uncover a novel mechanism for SARS-CoV-2 initiating lung inflammation, and suggest an off-label use of MC stabilizer as immunomodulators for COVID-19 treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Degranulation , Lung Injury/metabolism , Mast Cells/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Female , Humans , Lung Injury/genetics , Lung Injury/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Transgenic , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 789905, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581321

ABSTRACT

Facing the imminent need for vaccine candidates with cross-protection against globally circulating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutants, we present a conserved antigenic peptide RBD9.1 with both T-cell and B-cell epitopes. RBD9.1 can be recognized by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent serum, particularly for those with high neutralizing potency. Immunization with RBD9.1 can successfully induce the production of the receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific antibodies in Balb/c mice. Importantly, the immunized sera exhibit sustained neutralizing efficacy against multiple dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant strains, including B.1.617.2 that carries a point mutation (SL452R) within the sequence of RBD9.1. Specifically, SY451 and SY454 are identified as the key amino acids for the binding of the induced RBD-specific antibodies to RBD9.1. Furthermore, we have confirmed that the RBD9.1 antigenic peptide can induce a S448-456 (NYNYLYRLF)-specific CD8+ T-cell response. Both RBD9.1-specific B cells and the S448-456-specific T cells can still be activated more than 3 months post the last immunization. This study provides a potential vaccine candidate that can generate long-term protective efficacy over SARS-CoV-2 variants, with the unique functional mechanism of activating both humoral and cellular immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
5.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 103: 108463, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587490

ABSTRACT

Therapeutics that impair the innate immune responses of the liver during the inflammatory cytokine storm like that occurring in COVID-19 are greatly needed. Much interest is currently directed toward Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors as potential candidates to mitigate this life-threatening complication. Accordingly, this study investigated the influence of the novel JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib (RXB) on concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis and systemic hyperinflammation in mice to simulate the context occurring in COVID-19 patients. Mice were orally treated with RXB (75 and 150 mg/kg) 2 h prior to the intravenous administration of Con A (20 mg/kg) for a period of 12 h. The results showed that RXB pretreatments were efficient in abrogating Con A-instigated hepatocellular injury (ALT, AST, LDH), necrosis (histopathology), apoptosis (cleaved caspase-3) and nuclear proliferation due to damage (PCNA). The protective mechanism of RXB were attributed to i) prevention of Con A-enhanced hepatic production and systemic release of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17A, which coincided with decreasing infiltration of immune cells (monocytes, neutrophils), ii) reducing Con A-induced hepatic overexpression of IL-1ß and CD98 alongside NF-κB activation, and iii) lessening Con A-induced consumption of GSH and GSH peroxidase and generation of oxidative stress products (MDA, 4-HNE, NOx) in the liver. In summary, JAK inhibition by RXB led to eminent protection of the liver against Con A-deleterious manifestations primarily via curbing the inflammatory cytokine storm driven by TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17A.


Subject(s)
Concanavalin A/toxicity , Cytokine Release Syndrome/chemically induced , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Nitriles/pharmacology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , Aldehydes/metabolism , Animals , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Inflammation/chemically induced , Liver/drug effects , Liver/metabolism , Male , Malondialdehyde/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nitrates/metabolism , Nitriles/administration & dosage , Nitrites/metabolism , Oxidative Stress , Peroxidase/metabolism , Pyrazoles/administration & dosage , Pyrimidines/administration & dosage
6.
Mol Immunol ; 141: 287-296, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559780

ABSTRACT

As the second wave of COVID-19 launched, various variants of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have emerged with a dramatic global spread amongst millions of people causing unprecedented case fatalities and economic shut-downs. That initiated a necessity for developing specific diagnostics and therapeutics along with vaccines to control such a pandemic. This endeavor describes generation of murine derived recombinant single-chain fragment variable (scFv) as a monoclonal antibody (MAb) platform targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. A specific synthesized RBD coding sequence was cloned and expressed in Baculovirus expression system. The recombinant RBD (rRBD) was ascertained to be at the proper encoding size of ∼ 600bp and expressed protein of the molecular weight of ∼ 21KDa. Purified rRBD was proved genuinely antigenic and immunogenic, exhibiting specific reactivity to anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody in an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and inducing strong seroconversion in immunized mice. The scFv phage display library against rRBD was successfully constructed, revealing ∼ 90 % recombination frequency, and great enriching factor reaching 88 % and 25 % in polyclonal Ab-based and MAb-based ELISAs, respectively. Typically, three unique scFvs were generated, selected, purified and molecularly identified. That was manifested by their: accurate structure, close relation to the mouse immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily, right anchored six complementarily-determining regions (CDRs) as three within variable heavy (vH) and variable light (vL) regions each, and proper configuration of the three-dimensional (3D) structure. Besides, their expression downstream in a non-suppressive amber codon of E. coli strain SS32 created a distinct protein band at an apparent molecular weight of ∼ 27KDa. Moreover, the purified scFvs showed authentic immunoreactivity and specificity to both rRBD and SARS-CoV-2 in western blot and ELISA. Accordingly, these developed scFvs platform might be a functional candidate for research, inexpensive diagnostics and therapeutics, mitigating spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Specificity , Baculoviridae , COVID-19/prevention & control , Escherichia coli , Female , Genetic Vectors , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Molecular , Peptide Library , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Single-Chain Antibodies/biosynthesis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(6): 3180-3186, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532922

ABSTRACT

The first human case of zoonotic A(H7N4) avian influenza virus (AIV) infection was reported in early 2018 in China. Two months after this case, novel A(H7N4) viruses phylogenetically related to the Jiangsu isolate emerged in ducks from live bird markets in Cambodia. During active surveillance in Cambodia, a novel A(H7N6) reassortant of the zoonotic low pathogenic AIV (LPAIV) A(H7N4) was detected in domestic ducks at a slaughterhouse. Complete genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis showed that the novel A(H7N6) AIV is a reassortant, in which four gene segments originated from Cambodia A(H7N4) viruses and four gene segments originated from LPAIVs in Eurasia. Animal infection experiments revealed that chickens transmitted the A(H7N6) virus via low-level direct contacts, but ducks did not. Although avian-origin A(H7Nx) LPAIVs do not contain the critical mammalian-adaptive substitution (E627K) in PB2, the lethality and morbidity of the A(H7N6) virus in BALB/c mice were similar to those of A(H7N9) viruses, suggesting potential for interspecies transmission. Our study reports the emergence of a new reassortant of zoonotic A(H7N4) AIVs with novel viral characteristics and emphasizes the need for ongoing surveillance of avian-origin A(H7Nx) viruses.


Subject(s)
Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype , Influenza in Birds , Rodent Diseases , Animals , Cambodia/epidemiology , Chickens , China , Ducks , Influenza in Birds/epidemiology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Phylogeny , Reassortant Viruses/genetics
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 750386, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515534

ABSTRACT

Antibodies targeting Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 have been suggested to account for the majority of neutralizing activity in COVID-19 convalescent sera and several neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) have been isolated, characterized and proposed as emergency therapeutics in the form of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). However, SARS-CoV-2 variants are rapidly spreading worldwide from the sites of initial identification. The variants of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.167.2 (Delta) showed mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein potentially able to cause escape from nAb responses with a consequent reduction of efficacy of vaccines and mAbs-based therapy. We produced the recombinant RBD (rRBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein from the Wuhan-Hu 1 reference sequence in a mammalian system, for mice immunization to isolate new mAbs with neutralizing activity. Here we describe four mAbs that were able to bind the rRBD in Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and the transmembrane full-length spike protein expressed in HEK293T cells by flow cytometry assay. Moreover, the mAbs recognized the RBD in supernatants of SARS-CoV-2 infected VERO E6 cells by Western Blot under non-reducing condition or in supernatants of cells infected with lentivirus pseudotyped for spike protein, by immunoprecipitation assay. Three out of four mAbs lost their binding efficiency to completely N-deglycosylated rRBD and none was able to bind the same recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli, suggesting that the epitopes recognized by three mAbs are generated by the conformational structure of the glycosylated native protein. Of particular relevance, three mAbs were able to inhibit Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 infection of VERO E6 cells in a plaque-reduction neutralization test and the Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 as well as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta VOC in a pseudoviruses-based neutralization test. These mAbs represent important additional tools for diagnosis and therapy of COVID-19 and may contribute to the understanding of the functional structure of SARS-CoV-2 RBD.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
9.
J Exp Med ; 219(1)2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510855

ABSTRACT

As SARS-CoV-2 continues to cause morbidity and mortality around the world, there is an urgent need for the development of effective medical countermeasures. Here, we assessed the antiviral capacity of a minimal RIG-I agonist, stem-loop RNA 14 (SLR14), in viral control, disease prevention, post-infection therapy, and cross-variant protection in mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection. A single dose of SLR14 prevented viral infection in the lower respiratory tract and development of severe disease in a type I interferon (IFN-I)-dependent manner. SLR14 demonstrated remarkable prophylactic protective capacity against lethal SARS-CoV-2 infection and retained considerable efficacy as a therapeutic agent. In immunodeficient mice carrying chronic SARS-CoV-2 infection, SLR14 elicited near-sterilizing innate immunity in the absence of the adaptive immune system. In the context of infection with variants of concern (VOCs), SLR14 conferred broad protection against emerging VOCs. These findings demonstrate the therapeutic potential of SLR14 as a host-directed, broad-spectrum antiviral for early post-exposure treatment and treatment of chronically infected immunosuppressed patients.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , RNA/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21308, 2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493219

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to present and evaluate novel oral vaccines, based on self-amplifying RNA lipid nanparticles (saRNA LNPs), saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum, to neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) variants alpha and delta. After invitro evaluation of the oral vaccines on HEK293T/17 cells, we found that saRNA LNPs, saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum could express S-protein at both mRNA and protein levels. In the next step, BALB/c mice were orally vaccinated with saRNA LNPs, saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum at weeks 1 and 3. Importantly, a high titer of IgG and IgA was observed by all of them, sharply in week 6 (P < 0.05). In all study groups, their ratio of IgG2a/IgG1 was upper 1, indicating Th1-biased responses. Wild-type viral neutralization assay showed that the secreted antibodies in vaccinated mice and recovered COVID-19 patients could neutralize SARS-COV-2 variants alpha and delta. After oral administration of oral vaccines, biodistribution assay was done. It was found that all of them had the same biodistribution pattern. The highest concentration of S-protein was seen in the small intestine, followed by the large intestine and liver.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lactobacillus plantarum/genetics , Lipids/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transfection/methods , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Administration, Oral , Adult , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacokinetics , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Intestine, Small/metabolism , Lactobacillus plantarum/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , Models, Animal , Neutralization Tests , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Distribution
11.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6197, 2021 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493100

ABSTRACT

Rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines has helped mitigating SARS-CoV-2 spread, but more equitable allocation of vaccines is necessary to limit the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of additional variants of concern. We have developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on Newcastle disease virus (NDV) that can be manufactured at high yields in embryonated eggs. Here, we show that the NDV vector expressing an optimized spike antigen (NDV-HXP-S) is a versatile vaccine inducing protective antibody responses. NDV-HXP-S can be administered intramuscularly as inactivated vaccine or intranasally as live vaccine. We show that NDV-HXP-S GMP-produced in Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil is effective in the hamster model. Furthermore, we show that intramuscular vaccination with NDV-HXP-S reduces replication of tested variants of concerns in mice. The immunity conferred by NDV-HXP-S effectively counteracts SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice and hamsters.


Subject(s)
Newcastle disease virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Female , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Newcastle disease virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vaccines, Attenuated/therapeutic use
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488619

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a serious threat to global public health and the economy. The enzymatic product of cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H), 25-Hydroxycholesterol (25-HC), was reported to have potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. Here, we found that the combination of 25-HC with EK1 peptide, a pan-coronavirus (CoV) fusion inhibitor, showed a synergistic antiviral activity. We then used the method of 25-HC modification to design and synthesize a series of 25-HC-modified peptides and found that a 25-HC-modified EK1 peptide (EK1P4HC) was highly effective against infections caused by SARS-CoV-2, its variants of concern (VOCs), and other human CoVs, such as HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E. EK1P4HC could protect newborn mice from lethal HCoV-OC43 infection, suggesting that conjugation of 25-HC with a peptide-based viral inhibitor was a feasible and universal strategy to improve its antiviral activity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Hydroxycholesterols/chemistry , Lipopeptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Body Weight/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus 229E, Human/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Synergism , Humans , Hydroxycholesterols/pharmacology , Hydroxycholesterols/therapeutic use , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Lipopeptides/therapeutic use , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Polyethylene Glycols/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate , Virus Internalization/drug effects
13.
Physiol Rep ; 9(20): e15075, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485552

ABSTRACT

Exercise has substantial health benefits, but the effects of exercise on immune status and susceptibility to respiratory infections are less clear. Furthermore, there is limited research examining the effects of prolonged exercise on local respiratory immunity and antiviral activity. To assess the upper respiratory tract in response to exercise, we collected nasal lavage fluid (NALF) from human subjects (1) at rest, (2) after 45 min of moderate-intensity exercise, and (3) after 180 min of moderate-intensity exercise. To assess immune responses of the lower respiratory tract, we utilized a murine model to examine the effect of exercise duration on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid immune cell content and lung gene expression. NALF cell counts did not change after 45 min of exercise, whereas 180 min significantly increased total cells and leukocytes in NALF. Importantly, fold change in NALF leukocytes correlated with the post-exercise fatigue rating in the 180-min exercise condition. The acellular portion of NALF contained strong antiviral activity against Influenza A in both resting and exercise paradigms. In mice undergoing moderate-intensity exercise, BAL total cells and neutrophils decreased in response to 45 or 90 min of exercise. In lung lobes, increased expression of heat shock proteins suggested that cellular stress occurred in response to exercise. However, a broad upregulation of inflammatory genes was not observed, even at 180 min of exercise. This work demonstrates that exercise duration differentially alters the cellularity of respiratory tract fluids, antiviral activity, and gene expression. These changes in local mucosal immunity may influence resistance to respiratory viruses, including influenza or possibly other pathogens in which nasal mucosa plays a protective role, such as rhinovirus or SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Exercise/physiology , Influenza A virus/immunology , Leukocytes/immunology , Lung/immunology , Nasal Lavage Fluid/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Animals , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Leukocytes/metabolism , Lung/cytology , Lung/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nasal Lavage/methods , Nasal Lavage Fluid/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Time Factors , Young Adult
14.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 369, 2021 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483125

ABSTRACT

The lung is the prophylaxis target against SARS-CoV-2 infection, and neutralizing antibodies are a leading class of biological products against various infectious viral pathogen. In this study, we develop a safe and cost-effective platform to express neutralizing antibody in the lung with replicating mRNA basing on alphavirus replicon particle (VRP) delivery system, to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. First, a modified VEEV replicon with two subgenomic (sg) promoters was engineered to translate the light and heavy chains of antibody simultaneously, for expression and assembly of neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody CB6. Second, the feasibility and protective efficacy of replicating mRNA against SARS-CoV-2 infection were demonstrated through both in vitro and in vivo assays. The lung target delivery with the help of VRP system resulted in efficiently block SARS-CoV-2 infection with reducing viral titer and less tissue damage in the lung of mice. Overall, our data suggests that expressing neutralizing antibodies in the lungs with the help of self-replicating mRNA could potentially be a promising prophylaxis approach against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Alphavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Replicon , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Female , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
15.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258292, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480450

ABSTRACT

Chagas disease is a neglected illness caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and its treatment is done only with two drugs, nifurtimox and benznidazole. However, both drugs are ineffective in the chronic phase, in addition to causing serious side effects. This context of therapeutic limitation justifies the continuous research for alternative drugs. Here, we study the in vitro trypanocidal effects of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug nimesulide, a molecule that has in its chemical structure a toxicophoric nitroaromatic group (NO2). The set of results obtained in this work highlights the potential for repurposing nimesulide in the treatment of this disease that affects millions of people around the world.


Subject(s)
Chagas Disease/drug therapy , Chagas Disease/parasitology , Drug Repositioning , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use , Trypanosoma cruzi/physiology , Animals , Cell Death/drug effects , Cell Survival/drug effects , Life Cycle Stages/drug effects , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Parasites/drug effects , Sulfonamides/chemistry , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Trypanosoma cruzi/drug effects , Trypanosoma cruzi/growth & development , Trypanosoma cruzi/ultrastructure
16.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(45)2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475573

ABSTRACT

Vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other pathogens with pandemic potential requires safe, protective, inexpensive, and easily accessible vaccines that can be developed and manufactured rapidly at a large scale. DNA vaccines can achieve these criteria, but induction of strong immune responses has often required bulky, expensive electroporation devices. Here, we report an ultra-low-cost (<1 USD), handheld (<50 g) electroporation system utilizing a microneedle electrode array ("ePatch") for DNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. The low cost and small size are achieved by combining a thumb-operated piezoelectric pulser derived from a common household stove lighter that emits microsecond, bipolar, oscillatory electric pulses and a microneedle electrode array that targets delivery of high electric field strength pulses to the skin's epidermis. Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 induced by this electroporation system in mice were strong and enabled at least 10-fold dose sparing compared to conventional intramuscular or intradermal injection of the DNA vaccine. Vaccination was well tolerated with mild, transient effects on the skin. This ePatch system is easily portable, without any battery or other power source supply, offering an attractive, inexpensive approach for rapid and accessible DNA vaccination to combat COVID-19, as well as other epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Electroporation/instrumentation , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Costs and Cost Analysis , Electroporation/economics , Electroporation/methods , Equipment Design , Female , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Microelectrodes , Needles , Pandemics/prevention & control , Proof of Concept Study , Rats , Rats, Wistar , Skin/immunology , Skin/metabolism , Transfection , Vaccination/economics , Vaccination/instrumentation , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20738, 2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475484

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies that target SARS-CoV-2 with high affinity are valuable for a wide range of biomedical applications involving novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) diagnosis, treatment, and prophylactic intervention. Strategies for the rapid and reliable isolation of these antibodies, especially potent neutralizing antibodies, are critical toward improved COVID-19 response and informed future response to emergent infectious diseases. In this study, single B cell screening was used to interrogate antibody repertoires of immunized mice and isolate antigen-specific IgG1+ memory B cells. Using these methods, high-affinity, potent neutralizing antibodies were identified that target the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. Further engineering of the identified molecules to increase valency resulted in enhanced neutralizing activity. Mechanistic investigation revealed that these antibodies compete with ACE2 for binding to the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies may warrant further development for urgent COVID-19 applications. Overall, these results highlight the potential of single B cell screening for the rapid and reliable identification of high-affinity, potent neutralizing antibodies for infectious disease applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , B-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Binding Sites/immunology , Biological Products , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Immunologic Memory , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccines
18.
Biochemistry (Mosc) ; 86(10): 1275-1287, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476404

ABSTRACT

A new platform for creating anti-coronavirus epitope vaccines has been developed. Two loop-like epitopes with lengths of 22 and 42 amino acid residues were selected from the receptor-binding motif of the Spike protein from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that participate in a large number of protein-protein interactions in the complexes with ACE2 and neutralizing antibodies. Two types of hybrid proteins, including one of the two selected epitopes, were constructed. To fix conformation of the selected epitopes, an approach using protein scaffolds was used. The homologue of Rop protein from the Escherichia coli ColE1 plasmid containing helix-turn-helix motif was used as an epitope scaffold for the convergence of C- and N-termini of the loop-like epitopes. Loop epitopes were inserted into the turn region. The conformation was additionally fixed by a disulfide bond formed between the cysteine residues present within the epitopes. For the purpose of multimerization, either aldolase from Thermotoga maritima, which forms a trimer in solution, or alpha-helical trimerizer of the Spike protein from SARS-CoV-2, was attached to the epitopes incorporated into the Rop-like protein. To enable purification on the heparin-containing sorbents, a short fragment from the heparin-binding hemagglutinin of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was inserted at the C-terminus of the hybrid proteins. All the obtained proteins demonstrated high level of immunogenicity after triplicate parenteral administration to mice. Sera from the mice immunized with both aldolase-based hybrid proteins and the Spike protein SARS-CoV-2 trimerizer-based protein with a longer epitope interacted with both the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Spike protein receptor-binding domain at high titers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/isolation & purification , Epitopes/pharmacology , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/pharmacology
19.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470934

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)) has caused relatively high mortality rates in humans throughout the world since its first detection in late December 2019, leading to the most devastating pandemic of the current century. Consequently, SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic interventions have received high priority from public health authorities. Despite increased COVID-19 infections, a vaccine or therapy to cover all the population is not yet available. Herein, immunoinformatics and custommune tools were used to identify B and T-cells epitopes from the available SARS-CoV-2 sequences spike (S) protein. In the in silico predictions, six B cell epitopes QTGKIADYNYK, TEIYQASTPCNGVEG, LQSYGFQPT, IRGDEVRQIAPGQTGKIADYNYKLPD, FSQILPDPSKPSKRS and PFAMQMAYRFNG were cross-reacted with MHC-I and MHC-II T-cells binding epitopes and selected for vaccination in experimental animals for evaluation as candidate vaccine(s) due to their high antigenic matching and conserved score. The selected six peptides were used individually or in combinations to immunize female Balb/c mice. The immunized mice raised reactive antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in two different short peptides located in receptor binding domain and S2 region. In combination groups, an additive effect was demonstrated in-comparison with single peptide immunized mice. This study provides novel epitope-based peptide vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
20.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(44)2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470027

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in over 100 million infections and millions of deaths. Effective vaccines remain the best hope of curtailing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, morbidity, and mortality. The vaccines in current use require cold storage and sophisticated manufacturing capacity, which complicates their distribution, especially in less developed countries. We report the development of a candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that is purely protein based and directly targets antigen-presenting cells. It consists of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor-binding domain (SpikeRBD) fused to an alpaca-derived nanobody that recognizes class II major histocompatibility complex antigens (VHHMHCII). This vaccine elicits robust humoral and cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Both young and aged mice immunized with two doses of VHHMHCII-SpikeRBD elicit high-titer binding and neutralizing antibodies. Immunization also induces strong cellular immunity, including a robust CD8 T cell response. VHHMHCII-SpikeRBD is stable for at least 7 d at room temperature and can be lyophilized without loss of efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antigen-Presenting Cells/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Camelids, New World/immunology , Female , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Pandemics/prevention & control , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/administration & dosage , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/administration & dosage , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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