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1.
mBio ; 13(4): e0194422, 2022 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1986333

ABSTRACT

The human upper respiratory tract, specifically the nasopharyngeal epithelium, is the entry portal and primary infection site of respiratory viruses. Productive infection of SARS-CoV-2 in the nasal epithelium constitutes the cellular basis of viral pathogenesis and transmissibility. Yet a robust and well-characterized in vitro model of the nasal epithelium remained elusive. Here we report an organoid culture system of the nasal epithelium. We derived nasal organoids from easily accessible nasal epithelial cells with a perfect establishment rate. The derived nasal organoids were consecutively passaged for over 6 months. We then established differentiation protocols to generate 3-dimensional differentiated nasal organoids and organoid monolayers of 2-dimensional format that faithfully simulate the nasal epithelium. Moreover, when differentiated under a slightly acidic pH, the nasal organoid monolayers represented the optimal correlate of the native nasal epithelium for modeling the high infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, superior to all existing organoid models. Notably, the differentiated nasal organoid monolayers accurately recapitulated higher infectivity and replicative fitness of the Omicron variant than the prior variants. SARS-CoV-2, especially the more transmissible Delta and Omicron variants, destroyed ciliated cells and disassembled tight junctions, thereby facilitating virus spread and transmission. In conclusion, we establish a robust organoid culture system of the human nasal epithelium for modeling upper respiratory infections and provide a physiologically-relevant model for assessing the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 emerging variants. IMPORTANCE An in vitro model of the nasal epithelium is imperative for understanding cell biology and virus-host interaction in the human upper respiratory tract. Here we report an organoid culture system of the nasal epithelium. Nasal organoids were derived from readily accessible nasal epithelial cells with perfect efficiency and stably expanded for more than 6 months. The long-term expandable nasal organoids were induced maturation into differentiated nasal organoids that morphologically and functionally simulate the nasal epithelium. The differentiated nasal organoids adequately recapitulated the higher infectivity and replicative fitness of SARS-CoV-2 emerging variants than the ancestral strain and revealed viral pathogenesis such as ciliary damage and tight junction disruption. Overall, we established a human nasal organoid culture system that enables a highly efficient reconstruction and stable expansion of the human nasal epithelium in culture plates, thus providing a facile and robust tool in the toolbox of microbiologists.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nasal Mucosa , Organoids , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tissue Culture Techniques
2.
Viruses ; 14(8)2022 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957457

ABSTRACT

Reinfection risk is a great concern with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic because a large proportion of the population has recovered from an initial infection, and previous reports found that primary exposure to SARS-CoV-2 protects against reinfection in rhesus macaques without viral presence and pathological injury; however, a high possibility for reinfection at the current stage of the pandemic has been proven. We found the reinfection of SARS-CoV-2 in Syrian hamsters with continuous viral shedding in the upper respiratory tracts and few injuries in the lung, and nasal mucosa was exploited by SARS-CoV-2 for replication and shedding during reinfection; meanwhile, no viral replication or enhanced damage was observed in the lower respiratory tracts. Consistent with the mild phenotype in the reinfection, increases in mRNA levels in cytokines and chemokines in the nasal mucosa but only slight increases in the lung were found. Notably, the high levels of neutralizing antibodies in serum could not prevent reinfection in hamsters but may play roles in benefitting the lung recovery and symptom relief of COVID-19. In summary, Syrian hamsters could be reinfected by SARS-CoV-2 with mild symptoms but with obvious viral shedding and replication, and both convalescent and vaccinated patients should be wary of the transmission and reinfection of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mesocricetus , Nasal Mucosa , Pandemics , Reinfection
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3357, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947338

ABSTRACT

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have shown high efficacy in clinical trials, yet a full immunologic characterization of these vaccines, particularly within the human upper respiratory tract, is less well known. Here, we enumerate and phenotype T cells in nasal mucosa and blood using flow cytometry before and after vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (n = 21). Tissue-resident memory (Trm) CD8+ T cells expressing CD69+CD103+ increase in number ~12 days following the first and second doses, by 0.31 and 0.43 log10 cells per swab respectively (p = 0.058 and p = 0.009 in adjusted linear mixed models). CD69+CD103+CD8+ T cells in the blood decrease post-vaccination. Similar increases in nasal CD8+CD69+CD103- T cells are observed, particularly following the second dose. CD4+ cells co-expressing CCR6 and CD161 are also increased in abundance following both doses. Stimulation of nasal CD8+ T cells with SARS-CoV-2 spike peptides elevates expression of CD107a at 2- and 6-months (p = 0.0096) post second vaccine dose, with a subset of donors also expressing increased cytokines. These data suggest that nasal T cells may be induced and contribute to the protective immunity afforded by this vaccine.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 , BNT162 Vaccine , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunologic Memory , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily B/immunology , Nasal Mucosa , RNA, Messenger , Receptors, CCR6 , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5680, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931430

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the infectious disease COVID-19, which has rapidly become an international pandemic with significant impact on healthcare systems and the global economy. To assist antiviral therapy and vaccine development efforts, we performed a natural history/time course study of SARS-CoV-2 infection in ferrets to characterise and assess the suitability of this animal model. Ten ferrets of each sex were challenged intranasally with 4.64 × 104 TCID50 of SARS-CoV-2 isolate Australia/VIC01/2020 and monitored for clinical disease signs, viral shedding, and tissues collected post-mortem for histopathological and virological assessment at set intervals. We found that SARS-CoV-2 replicated in the upper respiratory tract of ferrets with consistent viral shedding in nasal wash samples and oral swab samples up until day 9. Infectious SARS-CoV-2 was recovered from nasal washes, oral swabs, nasal turbinates, pharynx, and olfactory bulb samples within 3-7 days post-challenge; however, only viral RNA was detected by qRT-PCR in samples collected from the trachea, lung, and parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Viral antigen was seen exclusively in nasal epithelium and associated sloughed cells and draining lymph nodes upon immunohistochemical staining. Due to the absence of clinical signs after viral challenge, our ferret model is appropriate for studying asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and most suitable for use in vaccine efficacy studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ferrets , Animals , Nasal Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(21): e2123208119, 2022 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860508

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) emerged into humans in 2012, causing highly lethal respiratory disease. The severity of disease may be, in part, because MERS-CoV is adept at antagonizing early innate immune pathways­interferon (IFN) production and signaling, protein kinase R (PKR), and oligoadenylate synthetase/ribonuclease L (OAS/RNase L)­activated in response to viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) generated during genome replication. This is in contrast to severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which we recently reported to activate PKR and RNase L and, to some extent, IFN signaling. We previously found that MERS-CoV accessory proteins NS4a (dsRNA binding protein) and NS4b (phosphodiesterase) could weakly suppress these pathways, but ablation of each had minimal effect on virus replication. Here we investigated the antagonist effects of the conserved coronavirus endoribonuclease (EndoU), in combination with NS4a or NS4b. Inactivation of EndoU catalytic activity alone in a recombinant MERS-CoV caused little if any effect on activation of the innate immune pathways during infection. However, infection with recombinant viruses containing combined mutations with inactivation of EndoU and deletion of NS4a or inactivation of the NS4b phosphodiesterase promoted robust activation of dsRNA-induced innate immune pathways. This resulted in at least tenfold attenuation of replication in human lung­derived A549 and primary nasal cells. Furthermore, replication of these recombinant viruses could be rescued to the level of wild-type MERS-CoV by knockout of host immune mediators MAVS, PKR, or RNase L. Thus, EndoU and accessory proteins NS4a and NS4b together suppress dsRNA-induced innate immunity during MERS-CoV infection in order to optimize viral replication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Lung/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Nasal Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Uridylate-Specific Endoribonucleases
6.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(8): 1308-1320, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1825936

ABSTRACT

Human nasal mucosa is susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and serves as a reservoir for viral replication before spreading to other organs (e.g. the lung and brain) and transmission to other individuals. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a common respiratory tract disease and there is evidence suggesting that susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection differs between the two known subtypes, eosinophilic CRS and non-ECRS (NECRS). However, the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the human nasal mucosa and its association with CRS has not been experimentally validated. In this study, we investigated whether the human nasal mucosa is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and how different endotypes of CRS impact on viral infection and progression. Primary human nasal mucosa tissue culture revealed highly efficient SARS-CoV-2 viral infection and production, with particularly high susceptibility in the NECRS group. The gene expression differences suggested that human nasal mucosa is highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, presumably due to an increase in ACE2-expressing cells and a deficiency in antiviral immune response, especially for NECRS. Importantly, patients with NECRS may be at a particularly high risk of viral infection and transmission, and therefore, close monitoring should be considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rhinitis , Sinusitis , Chronic Disease , Humans , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Rhinitis/complications , Rhinitis/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sinusitis/complications , Sinusitis/metabolism
7.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 150: 113058, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814160

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a worldwide pandemic with unprecedented economic and societal impact. Currently, several vaccines are available and multitudes of antiviral treatments have been proposed and tested. Although many of the vaccines show clinical efficacy, they are not equally accessible worldwide. Additionally, due to the continuous emergence of new variants and generally short duration of immunity, the development of effective antiviral treatments remains of the utmost importance. Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, substantial efforts have been undertaken to repurpose existing drugs for accelerated clinical testing and emergency use authorizations. However, drug-repurposing studies using cellular assays often identify hits that later prove ineffective clinically, highlighting the need for more complex screening models. To this end, we evaluated the activity of single compounds that have either been tested clinically or already undergone extensive preclinical profiling, using a standardized in vitro model of human nasal epithelium. Furthermore, we also evaluated drug combinations based on a sub-maximal concentration of molnupiravir. We report the antiviral activity of 95 single compounds and 30 combinations. We show that only a few single agents are highly effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 replication while selected drug combinations containing 10 µM molnupiravir boosted antiviral activity compared to single compound treatment. These data indicate that molnupiravir-based combinations are worthy of further consideration as potential treatment strategies against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Humans , Hydroxylamines , Nasal Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(7)2022 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776253

ABSTRACT

The nasal epithelium is a key portal for infection by respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and represents an important target for prophylactic and therapeutic interventions. In the present study, we test the safety and efficacy of a newly developed nasal spray (AM-301, marketed as Bentrio) against infection by SARS-CoV-2 and its Delta variant on an in vitro 3D-model of the primary human nasal airway epithelium. Safety was assessed in assays for tight junction integrity, cytotoxicity and cilia beating frequency. Efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 infection was evaluated in pre-viral load and post-viral load application on airway epithelium. No toxic effects of AM-301 on the nasal epithelium were found. Prophylactic treatment with AM-301 significantly reduced viral titer vs. controls over 4 days, reaching a maximum reduction of 99% in case of infection from the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 variant and more than 83% in case of the Delta variant. When AM-301 administration was started 24 h after infection, viral titer was reduced by about 12-folds and 3-folds on Day 4. The results suggest that AM-301 is safe and significantly decelerates SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture inhibition assays of prophylaxis (pre-viral load application) and mitigation (post-viral load application). Its physical (non-pharmaceutical) mechanism of action, safety and efficacy warrant additional investigations both in vitro and in vivo for safety and efficacy against a broad spectrum of airborne viruses and allergens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Epithelium , Humans , Nasal Mucosa , Nasal Sprays
10.
Nature ; 603(7902): 706-714, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764186

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant emerged in 20211 and has multiple mutations in its spike protein2. Here we show that the spike protein of Omicron has a higher affinity for ACE2 compared with Delta, and a marked change in its antigenicity increases Omicron's evasion of therapeutic monoclonal and vaccine-elicited polyclonal neutralizing antibodies after two doses. mRNA vaccination as a third vaccine dose rescues and broadens neutralization. Importantly, the antiviral drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir retain efficacy against Omicron BA.1. Replication was similar for Omicron and Delta virus isolates in human nasal epithelial cultures. However, in lung cells and gut cells, Omicron demonstrated lower replication. Omicron spike protein was less efficiently cleaved compared with Delta. The differences in replication were mapped to the entry efficiency of the virus on the basis of spike-pseudotyped virus assays. The defect in entry of Omicron pseudotyped virus to specific cell types effectively correlated with higher cellular RNA expression of TMPRSS2, and deletion of TMPRSS2 affected Delta entry to a greater extent than Omicron. Furthermore, drug inhibitors targeting specific entry pathways3 demonstrated that the Omicron spike inefficiently uses the cellular protease TMPRSS2, which promotes cell entry through plasma membrane fusion, with greater dependency on cell entry through the endocytic pathway. Consistent with suboptimal S1/S2 cleavage and inability to use TMPRSS2, syncytium formation by the Omicron spike was substantially impaired compared with the Delta spike. The less efficient spike cleavage of Omicron at S1/S2 is associated with a shift in cellular tropism away from TMPRSS2-expressing cells, with implications for altered pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Cell Membrane/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Intestines/pathology , Intestines/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Culture Techniques , Virulence , Virus Replication
11.
Acta Otolaryngol ; 142(3-4): 329-332, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740536

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impacts of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on nasal mucociliary clearance (MCC) have shown conflicting results. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine whether COVID-19 infections affect nasal mucociliary activity using the saccharin test to measure nasal MCC time. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This prospective comparative investigation included 25 patients with COVID-19 infection and 25 healthy controls. The nasal MCC time was assessed using the saccharin test. Saccharin test was applied to COVID-19 patients between the 10th and 20th days of COVID-19 test positivity. Patients admitted to the otolaryngology outpatient clinic with non-nasal symptoms and no history of COVID-19 infection served as the control subjects. RESULTS: Age, gender distribution, smoking, and alcohol usage, and the existence of other systemic disorders had no statistically significant differences between the groups (p = 0.25, p = 0.77, p = 1.00, p = 0.28, p = 0.54, respectively). The COVID-19 group had a mean nasal MCC time of 12.00 ± 2.51 min, compared to 9.77 ± 2.51 min in the control group. The nasal MCC time in the COVID-19 group was statistically significantly longer (p = 0.043). CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The COVID-19 infection negatively affects mucociliary activity and causes prolongation of MCC. As the nasal defense mechanism weakens in the early period after COVID-19 infection, susceptibility to respiratory infections may occur.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mucociliary Clearance , Humans , Nasal Mucosa , Prospective Studies , Saccharin/pharmacology
12.
Environ Res ; 210: 112890, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706308

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) symptoms range from mild to severe illness; the cause for this differential response to infection remains unknown. Unravelling the immune mechanisms acting at different levels of the colonization process might be key to understand these differences. We carried out a multi-tissue (nasal, buccal and blood; n = 156) gene expression analysis of immune-related genes from patients affected by different COVID-19 severities, and healthy controls through the nCounter technology. Mild and asymptomatic cases showed a powerful innate antiviral response in nasal epithelium, characterized by activation of interferon (IFN) pathway and downstream cascades, successfully controlling the infection at local level. In contrast, weak macrophage/monocyte driven innate antiviral response and lack of IFN signalling activity were present in severe cases. Consequently, oral mucosa from severe patients showed signals of viral activity, cell arresting and viral dissemination to the lower respiratory tract, which ultimately could explain the exacerbated innate immune response and impaired adaptative immune responses observed at systemic level. Results from saliva transcriptome suggest that the buccal cavity might play a key role in SARS-CoV-2 infection and dissemination in patients with worse prognosis. Co-expression network analysis adds further support to these findings, by detecting modules specifically correlated with severity involved in the abovementioned biological routes; this analysis also provides new candidate genes that might be tested as biomarkers in future studies. We also found tissue specific severity-related signatures mainly represented by genes involved in the innate immune system and cytokine/chemokine signalling. Local immune response could be key to determine the course of the systemic response and thus COVID-19 severity. Our findings provide a framework to investigate severity host gene biomarkers and pathways that might be relevant to diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents , Biomarkers , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Nasal Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Vet Pathol ; 59(4): 602-612, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662392

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes severe viral pneumonia and is associated with a high fatality rate. A substantial proportion of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 suffer from mild hyposmia to complete loss of olfactory function, resulting in anosmia. However, the pathogenesis of the olfactory dysfunction and comparative pathology of upper respiratory infections with SARS-CoV-2 are unknown. We describe the histopathological, immunohistochemical, and in situ hybridization findings from rodent models of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The main histopathological findings in the olfactory epithelia of K8-hACE2 Tg mice, hACE2 Tg mice, and hamsters were varying degrees of inflammatory lesions, including disordered arrangement, necrosis, exfoliation, and macrophage infiltration of the olfactory epithelia, and inflammatory exudation. On the basis of these observations, the nasal epithelia of these rodent models appeared to develop moderate, mild, and severe rhinitis, respectively. Correspondingly, SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antigen were mainly identified in the olfactory epithelia and lamina propria. Moreover, viral RNA was abundant in the cerebrum of K18-hACE2 Tg mice, including the olfactory bulb. The K8-hACE2 Tg mouse, hACE2 Tg mouse, and hamster models could be used to investigate the pathology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the upper respiratory tract and central nervous system. These models could help to provide a better understanding of the pathogenic process of this virus and to develop effective medications and prophylactic treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rodent Diseases , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Melphalan , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Nasal Mucosa , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , RNA, Viral , Rodent Diseases/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , gamma-Globulins
15.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(6)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650946

ABSTRACT

The development of small-molecules targeting different components of SARS-CoV-2 is a key strategy to complement antibody-based treatments and vaccination campaigns in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we show that two thiol-based chemical probes that act as reducing agents, P2119 and P2165, inhibit infection by human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and decrease the binding of spike glycoprotein to its receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Proteomics and reactive cysteine profiling link the antiviral activity to the reduction of key disulfides, specifically by disruption of the Cys379-Cys432 and Cys391-Cys525 pairs distal to the receptor binding motif in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike glycoprotein. Computational analyses provide insight into conformation changes that occur when these disulfides break or form, consistent with an allosteric role, and indicate that P2119/P2165 target a conserved hydrophobic binding pocket in the RBD with the benzyl thiol-reducing moiety pointed directly toward Cys432. These collective findings establish the vulnerability of human coronaviruses to thiol-based chemical probes and lay the groundwork for developing compounds of this class, as a strategy to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 infection by shifting the spike glycoprotein redox scaffold.


Subject(s)
Amino Alcohols/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Phenyl Ethers/pharmacology , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Sulfhydryl Compounds/pharmacology , Allosteric Regulation , Amino Alcohols/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Disulfides/antagonists & inhibitors , Disulfides/chemistry , Disulfides/metabolism , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nasal Mucosa/drug effects , Nasal Mucosa/metabolism , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Oxidation-Reduction , Phenyl Ethers/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Receptors, Virus/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Sulfhydryl Compounds/chemistry
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(2)2022 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625839

ABSTRACT

The global urgency to uncover medical countermeasures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has revealed an unmet need for robust tissue culture models that faithfully recapitulate key features of human tissues and disease. Infection of the nose is considered the dominant initial site for SARS-CoV-2 infection and models that replicate this entry portal offer the greatest potential for examining and demonstrating the effectiveness of countermeasures designed to prevent or manage this highly communicable disease. Here, we test an air-liquid-interface (ALI) differentiated human nasal epithelium (HNE) culture system as a model of authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Progenitor cells (basal cells) were isolated from nasal turbinate brushings, expanded under conditionally reprogrammed cell (CRC) culture conditions and differentiated at ALI. Differentiated cells were inoculated with different SARS-CoV-2 clinical isolates. Infectious virus release into apical washes was determined by TCID50, while infected cells were visualized by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy. We demonstrate robust, reproducible SARS-CoV-2 infection of ALI-HNE established from different donors. Viral entry and release occurred from the apical surface, and infection was primarily observed in ciliated cells. In contrast to the ancestral clinical isolate, the Delta variant caused considerable cell damage. Successful establishment of ALI-HNE is donor dependent. ALI-HNE recapitulate key features of human SARS-CoV-2 infection of the nose and can serve as a pre-clinical model without the need for invasive collection of human respiratory tissue samples.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Tissue Culture Techniques/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Differentiation , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization
17.
Aging Cell ; 21(2): e13544, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621824

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is especially severe in aged patients, defined as 65 years or older, for reasons that are currently unknown. To investigate the underlying basis for this vulnerability, we performed multimodal data analyses on immunity, inflammation, and COVID-19 incidence and severity as a function of age. Our analysis leveraged age-specific COVID-19 mortality and laboratory testing from a large COVID-19 registry, along with epidemiological data of ~3.4 million individuals, large-scale deep immune cell profiling data, and single-cell RNA-sequencing data from aged COVID-19 patients across diverse populations. We found that decreased lymphocyte count and elevated inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein, D-dimer, and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio) are significantly associated with age-specific COVID-19 severities. We identified the reduced abundance of naïve CD8 T cells with decreased expression of antiviral defense genes (i.e., IFITM3 and TRIM22) in aged severe COVID-19 patients. Older individuals with severe COVID-19 displayed type I and II interferon deficiencies, which is correlated with SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Elevated expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors and reduced expression of antiviral defense genes (LY6E and IFNAR1) in the secretory cells are associated with critical COVID-19 in aged individuals. Mechanistically, we identified strong TGF-beta-mediated immune-epithelial cell interactions (i.e., secretory-non-resident macrophages) in aged individuals with critical COVID-19. Taken together, our findings point to immuno-inflammatory factors that could be targeted therapeutically to reduce morbidity and mortality in aged COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Aging , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Inflammation , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Communication , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Female , Humans , Immune System , Interferons/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Odds Ratio , RNA-Seq , Registries , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Young Adult
18.
Nature ; 602(7896): 321-327, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585831

ABSTRACT

It is not fully understood why COVID-19 is typically milder in children1-3. Here, to examine the differences between children and adults in their response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we analysed paediatric and adult patients with COVID-19 as well as healthy control individuals (total n = 93) using single-cell multi-omic profiling of matched nasal, tracheal, bronchial and blood samples. In the airways of healthy paediatric individuals, we observed cells that were already in an interferon-activated state, which after SARS-CoV-2 infection was further induced especially in airway immune cells. We postulate that higher paediatric innate interferon responses restrict viral replication and disease progression. The systemic response in children was characterized by increases in naive lymphocytes and a depletion of natural killer cells, whereas, in adults, cytotoxic T cells and interferon-stimulated subpopulations were significantly increased. We provide evidence that dendritic cells initiate interferon signalling in early infection, and identify epithelial cell states associated with COVID-19 and age. Our matching nasal and blood data show a strong interferon response in the airways with the induction of systemic interferon-stimulated populations, which were substantially reduced in paediatric patients. Together, we provide several mechanisms that explain the milder clinical syndrome observed in children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Adult , Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Chicago , Cohort Studies , Disease Progression , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , London , Male , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Single-Cell Analysis , Trachea/virology , Young Adult
19.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 13(50): 60612-60624, 2021 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569206

ABSTRACT

New analytical techniques that overcome major drawbacks of current routinely used viral infection diagnosis methods, i.e., the long analysis time and laboriousness of real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and the insufficient sensitivity of "antigen tests", are urgently needed in the context of SARS-CoV-2 and other highly contagious viruses. Here, we report on an antifouling terpolymer-brush biointerface that enables the rapid and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 in untreated clinical samples. The developed biointerface carries a tailored composition of zwitterionic and non-ionic moieties and allows for the significant improvement of antifouling capabilities when postmodified with biorecognition elements and exposed to complex media. When deployed on a surface of piezoelectric sensor and postmodified with human-cell-expressed antibodies specific to the nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-CoV-2, it made possible the quantitative analysis of untreated samples by a direct detection assay format without the need of additional amplification steps. Natively occurring N-protein-vRNA complexes, usually disrupted during the sample pre-treatment steps, were detected in the untreated clinical samples. This biosensor design improved the bioassay sensitivity to a clinically relevant limit of detection of 1.3 × 104 PFU/mL within a detection time of only 20 min. The high specificity toward N-protein-vRNA complexes was validated both by mass spectrometry and qRT-PCR. The performance characteristics were confirmed by qRT-PCR through a comparative study using a set of clinical nasopharyngeal swab samples. We further demonstrate the extraordinary fouling resistance of this biointerface through exposure to other commonly used crude biological samples (including blood plasma, oropharyngeal, stool, and nasopharyngeal swabs), measured via both the surface plasmon resonance and piezoelectric measurements, which highlights the potential to serve as a generic platform for a wide range of biosensing applications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Polymers/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Biofouling , Biological Assay , Biosensing Techniques , Humans , Ions , Limit of Detection , Mass Spectrometry , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Reproducibility of Results , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7092, 2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561304

ABSTRACT

The nasal epithelium is a plausible entry point for SARS-CoV-2, a site of pathogenesis and transmission, and may initiate the host response to SARS-CoV-2. Antiviral interferon (IFN) responses are critical to outcome of SARS-CoV-2. Yet little is known about the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and innate immunity in this tissue. Here we apply single-cell RNA sequencing and proteomics to a primary cell model of human nasal epithelium differentiated at air-liquid interface. SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates widespread tropism for nasal epithelial cell types. The host response is dominated by type I and III IFNs and interferon-stimulated gene products. This response is notably delayed in onset relative to viral gene expression and compared to other respiratory viruses. Nevertheless, once established, the paracrine IFN response begins to impact on SARS-CoV-2 replication. When provided prior to infection, recombinant IFNß or IFNλ1 induces an efficient antiviral state that potently restricts SARS-CoV-2 viral replication, preserving epithelial barrier integrity. These data imply that the IFN-I/III response to SARS-CoV-2 initiates in the nasal airway and suggest nasal delivery of recombinant IFNs to be a potential chemoprophylactic strategy.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/virology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Kinetics , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication/drug effects
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