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1.
Work ; 70(2): 355-363, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538352

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-COV2, a highly transmissible and pathogenic viral infection, and was identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Three months later, it became a severe pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To identify scientific evidence on the use of face shields by health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic period. METHOD: An integrative literature review of articles obtained from PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Web of Science databases was undertaken. For the search, controlled, non-controlled descriptors and specific keywords: "face shield," "fluid resistance procedure," "respiratory infections," "healthcare workers," "COVID-19," "aerosols," and "personal protection infection" were used. RESULTS: The sample comprised seven studies. The available evidence has shown that face shields do not have a defined standard for their production-their effectiveness depends on the quality of the visor, structure, and fixation system. They must be used as adjuvants to other personal protective equipment (PPE), and their isolated use is not recommended due to the fragilities of peripheral face sealing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic period. CONCLUSION: Due to the shortage of this equipment, domestic face shields can be indicated if they meet production requirements, based on scientific evidence for their efficient use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20121, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532138

ABSTRACT

The Brazilian strategy to overcome the spread of COVID-19 has been particularly criticized due to the lack of a national coordinating effort and an appropriate testing program. Here, a successful approach to control the spread of COVID-19 transmission is described by the engagement of public (university and governance) and private sectors (hospitals and oil companies) in Macaé, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a city known as the National Oil Capital. In 2020 between the 17th and 38th epidemiological week, over two percent of the 206,728 citizens were subjected to symptom analysis and RT-qPCR testing by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, with positive individuals being notified up to 48 h after swab collection. Geocodification and spatial cluster analysis were used to limit COVID-19 spreading in Macaé. Within the first semester after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Brazil, Macaé recorded 1.8% of fatalities associated with COVID-19 up to the 38th epidemiological week, which was at least five times lower than the state capital (10.6%). Overall, considering the successful experience of this joint effort of private and public engagement in Macaé, our data suggest that the development of a similar strategy countrywise could have contributed to a better control of the COVID-19 spread in Brazil. Quarantine decree by the local administration, comprehensive molecular testing coupled to scientific analysis of COVID-19 spreading, prevented the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic as seen in other populous cities within the state of Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere in Brazil.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cities/epidemiology , Cities/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
4.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 717068, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528814

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to detect the SARS-COV2 viral component directly from inoculated VTM without RNA extraction. Inoculated VTMs of already tested 50 positive and 50 negative samples were divided into three groups. Group I was treated with Proteinase K (PK) followed by 3-step-heat treatment at different temperatures (25°C, 60°C, and 98°C) and stored at 4°C. Group II was directly subjected to 3-step-heat treatment without PK exposure and stored at 4°C. And group III was set-up as standard group; it was processed using Qiagen's column based QIAamp Nucleic Acid kit and the obtained nucleic acids were stored at 4°C. These stored samples were used as a template to execute real-time polymerase chain reaction, and results were noted. Group I demonstrated 96% and 88% sensitivity for N and ORF1ab genes respectively, whereas group II demonstrated 78% and 60% when compared to the results of standard group III. Overall group I showed better results than group II when compared to group III. Thus, in situations where gold-standard reagents are not available, PK exposure and heat treatment can be employed to carry out molecular detection of SARS-CoV2 viral component.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Endopeptidase K , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
5.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1169, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526606

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 stability and infection persistence has been studied on different surfaces, but scarce data exist related to personal protective equipment (PPE), moreover using realist viral loads for infection. Due to the importance for adequate PPE management to avoid risk of virus infection, RNA stability was evaluated on PPE. METHODS: Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and detection of genomic RNA in PPE (gowns and face masks) were determined by in-vitro assays and RT-qPCR, respectively. Samples were infected with a clinical sample positive for SARS-CoV-2 (Clin-Inf), and with a heat-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 strain sample (Str-Inf) as a control. RESULTS: PPE samples infected with Clin-Inf were positive for the 3 viral genes on gowns up to 5 days post-infection, whereas these overall genes were detected up to 30 days in the case of face masks. However, gowns and FFP2 masks samples contaminated with Clin-Inf showed a cytopathic effect over VERO cells up to 5-7 days post-infection. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on different PPE materials for 5 to 30 days, but PPE contaminated with the virus was infectious up to 5-7 days. These findings demonstrate the need to improve PPE management and to formulate strategies to introduce viricidal compounds in PPE fabrics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Personal Protective Equipment , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells
6.
Expert Opin Ther Pat ; 31(12): 1177-1188, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526144

ABSTRACT

Introduction: NGOs and governments of some countries have demanded suspension of patents protection of COVID-19 vaccines and the underlying technology to enhance worldwide access. At the same time, companies actually developing and producing COVID-19 vaccines have to navigate the patent landscape and have to deal with 3rd party patents.Areas covered: This article discusses these different aspects regarding patent protection of COVID-19 vaccines. Patent searches have been carried out in Espacenet and the ORBIT database. Different search strings were used by the author, based on his own background knowledge.Expert opinion: SARS-CoV 2 was for the first time fully described on 10 January 2020, so it is so far not possible to determine if, and by whom, patent applications were filed for respective vaccines. On that background, allegations that patents would be responsible for insufficient access to the vaccine in particular in developing countries are baseless. Even the key players are facing contraints caused by third-party patents, and legal disputes are already ongoing. Anyway, the bigger obstacle for worldwide equitable vaccine distribution seems to reside in know how transfer and production capacities, as ramping up production requires considerable efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Patents as Topic , Humans , RNA, Viral/immunology
7.
Analyst ; 146(22): 6917-6923, 2021 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526109

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid amplification is a widely used diagnostic tool, although it requires a relatively time-consuming and complicated extraction step. To address this issue outside the laboratory, we investigated a sample preparation system and determined that a silica membrane and silica-coated beads are powerful tools for the extraction from raw samples: nucleic acids are kept in the silica membrane, retained during a single wash step, and released at the elution step. The eluent is appropriate for the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and loop-mediated amplification (LAMP) assay in terms of purity and quantity. We also built an innovative equipment-free nucleic acid extraction squeeze system which requires less than 20 min. The sample with improved purity augments the specificity and sensitivity. This system is simple, user-friendly, low-cost, and equipment-free, thus making nucleic acid extraction more accessible and affordable for researchers and untrained users. Furthermore, when combined with the reverse-transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction method, the method will accelerate the detection of diseases. The same goes when combined with the LAMP assay, especially in developing countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Pathology, Molecular , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
Cell Rep ; 37(4): 109882, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525720

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir (RDV), a nucleotide analog with broad-spectrum features, has exhibited effectiveness in COVID-19 treatment. However, the precise working mechanism of RDV when targeting the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) has not been fully elucidated. Here, we solve a 3.0-Å structure of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RdRP elongation complex (EC) and assess RDV intervention in polymerase elongation phase. Although RDV could induce an "i+3" delayed termination in meta-stable complexes, only pausing and subsequent elongation are observed in the EC. A comparative investigation using an enterovirus RdRP further confirms similar delayed intervention and demonstrates that steric hindrance of the RDV-characteristic 1'-cyano at the -4 position is responsible for the "i+3" intervention, although two representative Flaviviridae RdRPs do not exhibit similar behavior. A comparison of representative viral RdRP catalytic complex structures indicates that the product RNA backbone encounters highly conserved structural elements, highlighting the broad-spectrum intervention potential of 1'-modified nucleotide analogs in anti-RNA virus drug development.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Proteins/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/drug effects , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(21): 6745-6766, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524863

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that has created the current pandemic, has caused a worldwide worry. Different countries have since enforced varying levels of lockdowns and guidelines for their populations to follow in a serious effort to mitigate the spread. Up until recently, the majority of these regulations and policies were established on the assumption that the dominant routes of transmission of this virus are through droplets and fomite contact. However, there is now a substantial amount of research pointing towards the strong possibility that SARS-CoV-2 can spread through airborne means. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently recognized this, which poses the question of whether our collective methods of lessening transmission risk and keeping people safe have been sufficient. This paper is a comprehensive review of the evidence on SARS-CoV-2 being an airborne disease, through different epidemiological, experimental, and animal-model based published research. Studies opposing this evidence have also been discussed. The majority of these studies are favoring the high plausibility of SARS-CoV-2 aerosol transmission, and therefore the many implications of aerosol transmission have been discussed in this paper to suggest effective mitigation and control strategies.


Subject(s)
Aerosols , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Equipment and Supplies, Hospital/virology , Feces/virology , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Particulate Matter , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ventilation/standards , Virus Inactivation
10.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 2103, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Closed fitness centers during the Covid-19 pandemic may negatively impact health and wellbeing. We assessed whether training at fitness centers increases the risk of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. METHODS: In a two-group parallel randomized controlled trial, fitness center members aged 18 to 64 without Covid-19-relevant comorbidities, were randomized to access to training at a fitness center or no-access. Fitness centers applied physical distancing (1 m for floor exercise, 2 m for high-intensity classes) and enhanced hand and surface hygiene. Primary outcomes were SARS-CoV-2 RNA status by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) after 14 days, hospital admission after 21 days. The secondary endpoint was SARS-CoV-2 antibody status after 1 month. RESULTS: 3764 individuals were randomized; 1896 to the training arm and 1868 to the no-training arm. In the training arm, 81.8% trained at least once, and 38.5% trained ≥six times. Of 3016 individuals who returned the SARS-CoV-2 RNA tests (80.5%), there was one positive test in the training arm, and none in the no-training arm (risk difference 0.053%; 95% CI - 0.050 to 0.156%; p = 0.32). Eleven individuals in the training arm (0.8% of tested) and 27 in the no-training arm (2.4% of tested) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (risk difference - 0.87%; 95%CI - 1.52% to - 0.23%; p = 0.001). No outpatient visits or hospital admissions due to Covid-19 occurred in either arm. CONCLUSION: Provided good hygiene and physical distancing measures and low population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, there was no increased infection risk of SARS-CoV-2 in fitness centers in Oslo, Norway for individuals without Covid-19-relevant comorbidities. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was prospectively registered in ClinicalTrials.gov on May 13, 2020. Due to administrative issues it was first posted on the register website on May 29, 2020: NCT04406909 .


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Fitness Centers , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
11.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1162, 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523285

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Current assays for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rely on time consuming, costly and laboratory based methods for virus isolation, purification and removing inhibitors. To address this limitation, we propose a simple method for testing RNA from nasopharyngeal swab samples that bypasses the RNA purification step. METHODS: In the current project, we have described two extraction-free reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by using E gene and RdRp gene as the targets. RESULTS: Here, results showed that reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays with 88.4% sensitive (95% CI: 74.9-96.1%) and 67.4% sensitive (95% CI: 51.5-80.9%) for E gene and RdRp gene, respectively. CONCLUSION: Without the need of RNA purification, our developed RT-LAMP assays for direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swab samples could be turned into alternatives to qRT-PCR for rapid screening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcription , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(12): e0144621, 2021 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522905

ABSTRACT

To provide an accessible and inexpensive method to surveil for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutations, we developed a multiplex real-time reverse transcription-PCR (rRT-PCR) assay, the Spike single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assay, to detect specific mutations in the spike receptor binding domain. A single primer pair was designed to amplify a 348-bp region of spike, and probes were initially designed to detect K417, E484K, and N501Y. The assay was evaluated using characterized variant sample pools and residual nasopharyngeal samples. Variant calls were confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing in a subset of samples. Subsequently, a fourth probe was designed to detect L452R. The lower limit of 95% detection was 2.46 to 2.48 log10 genome equivalents (GE)/ml for the three initial targets (∼1 to 2 GE/reaction). Among 253 residual nasopharyngeal swabs with detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA, the Spike SNP assay was positive in 238 (94.1%) samples. All 220 samples with threshold cycle (CT) values of <30 for the SARS-CoV-2 N2 target were detected, whereas 18/33 samples with N2 CT values of ≥30 were detected. Spike SNP results were confirmed by sequencing in 50/50 samples (100%). Addition of the 452R probe did not affect performance for the original targets. The Spike SNP assay accurately identifies SARS-CoV-2 mutations in the receptor binding domain, and it can be quickly modified to detect new mutations that emerge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mutation , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcription
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518611

ABSTRACT

Inhaled nebulized interferon (IFN)-α and IFN-ß have been shown to be effective in the management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to construct a virus-free rapid detection system for high-throughput screening of IFN-like compounds that induce viral RNA degradation and suppress the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We prepared a SARS-CoV-2 subreplicon RNA expression vector which contained the SARS-CoV-2 5'-UTR, the partial sequence of ORF1a, luciferase, nucleocapsid, ORF10, and 3'-UTR under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter. The expression vector was transfected into Calu-3 cells and treated with IFN-α and the IFNAR2 agonist CDM-3008 (RO8191) for 3 days. SARS-CoV-2 subreplicon RNA degradation was subsequently evaluated based on luciferase levels. IFN-α and CDM-3008 suppressed SARS-CoV-2 subreplicon RNA in a dose-dependent manner, with IC50 values of 193 IU/mL and 2.54 µM, respectively. HeLa cells stably expressing SARS-CoV-2 subreplicon RNA were prepared and treated with the IFN-α and pan-JAK inhibitor Pyridone 6 or siRNA-targeting ISG20. IFN-α activity was canceled with Pyridone 6. The knockdown of ISG20 partially canceled IFN-α activity. Collectively, we constructed a virus-free rapid detection system to measure SARS-CoV-2 RNA suppression. Our data suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 subreplicon RNA was degraded by IFN-α-induced ISG20 exonuclease activity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Exoribonucleases/genetics , Genetic Vectors , HeLa Cells , Humans , Interferon-alpha/administration & dosage , Luciferases/genetics , Luciferases/metabolism , Naphthyridines/administration & dosage , Naphthyridines/pharmacology , Oxadiazoles/administration & dosage , Oxadiazoles/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/drug effects , Replicon
14.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0257689, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518354

ABSTRACT

The worldwide spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has ubiquitously impacted many aspects of life. As vaccines continue to be manufactured and administered, limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will rely more heavily on the early identification of contagious individuals occupying reopened and increasingly populated indoor environments. In this study, we investigated the utility of an impaction-based bioaerosol sampling system with multiple nucleic acid collection media. Heat-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 was utilized to perform bench-scale, short-range aerosol, and room-scale aerosol experiments. Through bench-scale experiments, AerosolSense Capture Media (ACM) and nylon flocked swabs were identified as the highest utility media. In room-scale aerosol experiments, consistent detection of aerosol SARS-CoV-2 was achieved at an estimated aerosol concentration equal to or greater than 0.089 genome copies per liter of room air (gc/L) when air was sampled for eight hours or more at less than one air change per hour (ACH). Shorter sampling periods (75 minutes) yielded consistent detection at ~31.8 gc/L of room air and intermittent detection down to ~0.318 gc/L at (at both 1 and 6 ACH). These results support further exploration in real-world testing scenarios and suggest the utility of indoor aerosol surveillance as an effective risk mitigation strategy in occupied buildings.


Subject(s)
Aerosols/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Environmental Monitoring , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
15.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2132923, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516695

ABSTRACT

Importance: Seroprevalence studies inform the extent of infection and assist evaluation of mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of unidentified SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population of Hong Kong. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in Hong Kong after each major wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 21 to July 7, 2020; September 29 to November 23, 2020; and January 15 to April 18, 2021). Adults (age ≥18 years) who had not been diagnosed with COVID-19 were recruited during each period, and their sociodemographic information, symptoms, travel, contact, quarantine, and COVID-19 testing history were collected. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies were detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on spike (S1/S2) protein, followed by confirmation with a commercial electrochemiluminescence immunoassay based on the receptor binding domain of spike protein. Results: The study enrolled 4198 participants (2539 [60%] female; median age, 50 years [IQR, 25 years]), including 903 (22%), 1046 (25%), and 2249 (53%) during April 21 to July 7, 2020; during September 29 to November 23, 2020; and during January 15 to April 18, 2021, respectively. The numbers of participants aged 18 to 39 years, 40 to 59 years, and 60 years or older were 1328 (32%), 1645 (39%), and 1225 (29%), respectively. Among the participants, 2444 (58%) stayed in Hong Kong since November 2019 and 2094 (50%) had negative SARS-CoV-2 RNA test results. Only 170 (4%) reported ever having contact with individuals with confirmed cases, and 5% had been isolated or quarantined. Most (2803 [67%]) did not recall any illnesses, whereas 737 (18%), 212 (5%), and 385 (9%) had experienced respiratory symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, or both, respectively, before testing. Six participants were confirmed to be positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG; the adjusted prevalence of unidentified infection was 0.15% (95% CI, 0.06%-0.32%). Extrapolating these findings to the whole population, there were fewer than 1.9 unidentified infections for every recorded confirmed case. The overall prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Hong Kong before the roll out of vaccination was less than 0.45%. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of participants from the general public in Hong Kong, the prevalence of unidentified SARS-CoV-2 infection was low after 3 major waves of the pandemic, suggesting the success of the pandemic mitigation by stringent isolation and quarantine policies even without complete city lockdown. More than 99.5% of the general population of Hong Kong remain naive to SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the urgent need to achieve high vaccine coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
16.
Zool Res ; 42(6): 834-844, 2021 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515719

ABSTRACT

Understanding the zoonotic origin and evolution history of SARS-CoV-2 will provide critical insights for alerting and preventing future outbreaks. A significant gap remains for the possible role of pangolins as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 related coronaviruses (SC2r-CoVs). Here, we screened SC2r-CoVs in 172 samples from 163 pangolin individuals of four species, and detected positive signals in muscles of four Manis javanica and, for the first time, one M. pentadactyla. Phylogeographic analysis of pangolin mitochondrial DNA traced their origins from Southeast Asia. Using in-solution hybridization capture sequencing, we assembled a partial pangolin SC2r-CoV (pangolin-CoV) genome sequence of 22 895 bp (MP20) from the M. pentadactyla sample. Phylogenetic analyses revealed MP20 was very closely related to pangolin-CoVs that were identified in M. javanica seized by Guangxi Customs. A genetic contribution of bat coronavirus to pangolin-CoVs via recombination was indicated. Our analysis revealed that the genetic diversity of pangolin-CoVs is substantially higher than previously anticipated. Given the potential infectivity of pangolin-CoVs, the high genetic diversity of pangolin-CoVs alerts the ecological risk of zoonotic evolution and transmission of pathogenic SC2r-CoVs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/veterinary , Evolution, Molecular , Pangolins/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics
17.
Front Immunol ; 12: 736529, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515533

ABSTRACT

Various authors have hypothesized carotid body (CB) involvement in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), through direct invasion or indirect effects by systemic stimuli ('cytokine storm', angiotensin-converting enzyme [ACE]1/ACE2 imbalance). However, empirical evidence is limited or partial. Here, we present an integrated histopathological and virological analysis of CBs sampled at autopsy from four subjects (2 males and 2 females; age: >70 years old) who died of COVID-19. Histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular investigation techniques were employed to characterize Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) viral invasion and inflammatory reaction. SARS-CoV2 RNA was detected in the CBs of three cases through Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). In these cases, positive immunostaining for Nucleocapsid and Spike protein were also demonstrated, mainly at the level of large roundish cells consistent with type I cells, confirming direct CB invasion. In these cases, T lymphocytes showed focal aggregations in the CBs, suggestive of local inflammatory reaction. Blood congestion and microthrombosis were also found in one of the positive cases. Intriguingly, microthrombosis, blood congestion and microhaemorrages were also bilaterally detected in the CBs of the negative case, supporting the possibility of COVID-19 effects on the CB even in the absence of its direct invasion. SARS-CoV-2 direct invasion of the CB is confirmed through both immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, with likely involvement of different cell types. We also reported histopathological findings which could be ascribed to local and/or systemic actions of SARS-CoV-2 and which could potentially affect chemoreception.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Carotid Body , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Autopsy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Carotid Body/pathology , Carotid Body/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
18.
Curr Protein Pept Sci ; 22(4): 273-289, 2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515505

ABSTRACT

Innate immunity is the first line of defence elicited by the host immune system to fight against invading pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. From this elementary immune response, the more complex antigen-specific adaptive responses are recruited to provide a long-lasting memory against the pathogens. Innate immunity gets activated when the host cell utilizes a diverse set of receptors known as pattern recognition receptors (PRR) to recognize the viruses that have penetrated the host and responds with cellular processes like complement system, phagocytosis, cytokine release and inflammation and destruction of NK cells. Viral RNA or DNA or viral intermediate products are recognized by receptors like toll-like receptors(TLRs), nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)-like receptors (NLRs) and retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs) thereby, inducing type I interferon response (IFN) and other proinflammatory cytokines in infected cells or other immune cells. But certain viruses can evade the host innate immune response to replicate efficiently, triggering the spread of the viral infection. The present review describes the similarity in the mechanism chosen by viruses from different families -HIV, SARSCoV- 2 and Nipah viruses to evade the innate immune response and how efficiently they establish the infection in the host. The review also addresses the stages of developments of various vaccines against these viral diseases and the challenges encountered by the researchers during vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , HIV Infections/virology , Henipavirus Infections/virology , RNA, Viral/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Viruses , Animals , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunity, Innate , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/immunology
19.
BMC Bioinformatics ; 22(1): 553, 2021 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515434

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Wearable devices enable monitoring and measurement of physiological parameters over a 24-h period, and some of which exhibit circadian rhythm characteristics. However, the currently available R package cosinor could only analyze daily cross-sectional data and compare the parameters between groups with two levels. To evaluate longitudinal changes in the circadian patterns, we need to extend the model to a mixed-effect model framework, allowing for random effects and interaction between COSINOR parameters and time-varying covariates. RESULTS: We developed the cosinoRmixedeffects R package for modelling longitudinal periodic data using mixed-effects cosinor models. The model allows for covariates and interactions with the non-linear parameters MESOR, amplitude, and acrophase. To facilitate ease of use, the package utilizes the syntax and functions of the widely used emmeans package to obtain estimated marginal means and contrasts. Estimation and hypothesis testing involving the non-linear circadian parameters are carried out using bootstrapping. We illustrate the package functionality by modelling daily measurements of heart rate variability (HRV) collected among health care workers over several months. Differences in circadian patterns of HRV between genders, BMI, and during infection with SARS-CoV2 are evaluated to illustrate how to perform hypothesis testing. CONCLUSION: cosinoRmixedeffects package provides the model fitting, estimation and hypothesis testing for the mixed-effects COSINOR model, for the linear and non-linear circadian parameters MESOR, amplitude and acrophase. The model accommodates factors with any number of categories, as well as complex interactions with circadian parameters and categorical factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Circadian Rhythm , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 753249, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512021

ABSTRACT

Background: Novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 is evolving continuously with emergence of several variants of increasing transmission capabilities and pandemic potential. Generation of variants occurs through accumulation of mutations due to the RNA nature of viral genome, which is further enhanced by variable selection pressures of this ongoing pandemic. COVID-19 presentations of SARS-CoV2 are mainly pulmonary manifestations with or without mild gastrointestinal (GI) and hepatic symptoms. However, the virus has evolved beyond pulmonary manifestations to multisystem disorder due to systemic inflammation and cytokine storm. Definitive cause of acute or late onset of inflammation, infection in various organs, and host response to emerging variants lacks clarity and needs elucidation. Several studies have reported underlying diseases including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardio- and cerebrovascular disorders, and immunocompromised conditions as significant risk factors for severe form of COVID-19. Pre-existing liver and GI diseases are also highly predominant in the population, which can alter COVID-19 outcome due to altered immune status and host response. We aim to review the emerging variants of SARS-CoV2 and host response in patients with pre-existing liver and GI diseases. Methods: In this review, we have elucidated the emergence and characteristic features of new SARS-CoV2 variants, mechanisms of infection and host immune response, GI and hepatic manifestation with radiologic features of COVID-19, and outcomes in pre-existing liver and GI diseases. Key Findings: Emerging variants of concern (VOC) have shown increased transmissibility and virulence with severe COVID-19 presentation and mortality. There is a drastic swift of variants from the first wave to the next wave of infections with predominated major VOC including alpha (B.1.1.7, UK), beta (B.1.351, South Africa), gamma (B.1.1.28.1, Brazil), and delta (B1.1.617, India) variants. The mutations in the spike protein of VOC are implicated for increased receptor binding (N501Y, P681R) and immune escape (L452R, E484K/Q, T478K/R) to host response. Pre-existing liver and GI diseases not only have altered tissue expression and distribution of viral entry ACE2 receptor but also host protease TMPRSS2, which is required for both spike protein binding and cleavage to initiate infection. Altered immune status due to pre-existing conditions results in delayed virus clearance or prolonged viremia. Even though GI and hepatic manifestations of SARS-CoV2 are less severe, the detection of virus in patient's stool indicates GI tropism, replication, and shedding from the GI tract. COVID-19-induced liver injury, acute hepatic decompensation, and incidences of acute-on-chronic liver failure may change the disease outcomes. Conclusions: The changes in the spike protein of emerging variants, immunomodulation by viral proteins, and altered expression of host viral entry receptor in pre-existing diseases are the key determinants of host response to SARS-CoV2 and its disease outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Diseases , Humans , Immunity , Liver , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
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