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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 797390, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686476

ABSTRACT

Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors are immunomodulatory drugs approved to treat diseases associated with chronic inflammatory conditions, such as COPD, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Tanimilast (international non-proprietary name of CHF6001) is a novel, potent and selective inhaled PDE4 inhibitor in advanced clinical development for the treatment of COPD. To begin testing its potential in limiting hyperinflammation and immune dysregulation associated to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we took advantage of an in vitro model of dendritic cell (DC) activation by SARS-CoV-2 genomic ssRNA (SCV2-RNA). In this context, Tanimilast decreased the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6), chemokines (CCL3, CXCL9, and CXCL10) and of Th1-polarizing cytokines (IL-12, type I IFNs). In contrast to ß-methasone, a reference steroid anti-inflammatory drug, Tanimilast did not impair the acquisition of the maturation markers CD83, CD86 and MHC-II, nor that of the lymph node homing receptor CCR7. Consistent with this, Tanimilast did not reduce the capability of SCV2-RNA-stimulated DCs to activate CD4+ T cells but skewed their polarization towards a Th2 phenotype. Both Tanimilast and ß-methasone blocked the increase of MHC-I molecules in SCV2-RNA-activated DCs and restrained the proliferation and activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. Our results indicate that Tanimilast can modulate the SCV2-RNA-induced pro-inflammatory and Th1-polarizing potential of DCs, crucial regulators of both the inflammatory and immune response. Given also the remarkable safety demonstrated by Tanimilast, up to now, in clinical studies, we propose this inhaled PDE4 inhibitor as a promising immunomodulatory drug in the scenario of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells , Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibitors/pharmacology , RNA/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Activation/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokines/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/virology , Humans , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/immunology , Virus Activation/immunology
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 784145, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674332

ABSTRACT

As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is ongoing and new variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are emerging, there is an urgent need for vaccines to protect individuals at high risk for complications and to potentially control disease outbreaks by herd immunity. Surveillance of rare safety issues related to these vaccines is progressing, since more granular data emerge about adverse events of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines during post-marketing surveillance. Varicella zoster virus (VZV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation has already been reported in COVID-19 patients. In addition, adverse events after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination have also been in the context of varicella zoster virus (VZV) reactivation and directly associated with the mRNA vaccine. We present the first case of CMV reactivation and pericarditis in temporal association with SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, particularly adenovirus-based DNA vector vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against SARS-CoV-2. After initiation of antiviral therapy with oral valganciclovir, CMV viremia disappeared and clinical symptoms rapidly improved. Since huge vaccination programs are ongoing worldwide, post-marketing surveillance systems must be in place to assess vaccine safety that is important for the detection of any events. In the context of the hundreds of millions of individuals to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, a potential causal association with CMV reactivation may result in a considerable number of cases with potentially severe complications.


Subject(s)
/adverse effects , Cytomegalovirus/drug effects , Pericarditis/chemically induced , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Activation/drug effects , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytomegalovirus/physiology , Cytomegalovirus Infections/chemically induced , Cytomegalovirus Infections/drug therapy , Cytomegalovirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Pericarditis/drug therapy , Pericarditis/virology , Treatment Outcome , Valganciclovir/therapeutic use , Viremia/chemically induced , Viremia/drug therapy , Viremia/virology
4.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009898, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394564

ABSTRACT

The respiratory disease COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Here we report the discovery of ethacridine as a potent drug against SARS-CoV-2 (EC50 ~ 0.08 µM). Ethacridine was identified via high-throughput screening of an FDA-approved drug library in living cells using a fluorescence assay. Plaque assays, RT-PCR and immunofluorescence imaging at various stages of viral infection demonstrate that the main mode of action of ethacridine is through inactivation of viral particles, preventing their binding to the host cells. Consistently, ethacridine is effective in various cell types, including primary human nasal epithelial cells that are cultured in an air-liquid interface. Taken together, our work identifies a promising, potent, and new use of the old drug via a distinct mode of action for inhibiting SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Ethacridine/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Virus Activation/drug effects , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Genes, Reporter , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , Humans , Vero Cells , Virion/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
5.
Int J Antimicrob Agents ; 58(4): 106409, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330851

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been concern about the concomitant rise of antimicrobial resistance. While bacterial co-infections seem rare in COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital wards and intensive care units (ICUs), an increase in empirical antibiotic use has been described. In the ICU setting, where antibiotics are already abundantly-and often inappropriately-prescribed, the need for an ICU-specific antimicrobial stewardship programme is widely advocated. Apart from essentially warning against the use of antibacterial drugs for the treatment of a viral infection, other aspects of ICU antimicrobial stewardship need to be considered in view of the clinical course and characteristics of COVID-19. First, the distinction between infectious and non-infectious (inflammatory) causes of respiratory deterioration during an ICU stay is difficult, and the much-debated relevance of fungal and viral co-infections adds to the complexity of empirical antimicrobial prescribing. Biomarkers such as procalcitonin for the decision to start antibacterial therapy for ICU nosocomial infections seem to be more promising in COVID-19 than non-COVID-19 patients. In COVID-19 patients, cytomegalovirus reactivation is an important factor to consider when assessing patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 as it may have a role in modulating the patient immune response. The diagnosis of COVID-19-associated invasive aspergillosis is challenging because of the lack of sensitivity and specificity of the available tests. Furthermore, altered pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic properties need to be taken into account when prescribing antimicrobial therapy. Future research should now further explore the 'known unknowns', ideally with robust prospective study designs.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Stewardship/methods , COVID-19 , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antimicrobial Stewardship/organization & administration , Biomarkers/analysis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coinfection/drug therapy , Coinfection/microbiology , Cross Infection/drug therapy , Cytomegalovirus Infections/drug therapy , Cytomegalovirus Infections/virology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/drug therapy , Virus Activation/drug effects
6.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 682, 2021 06 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260957

ABSTRACT

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory disease, has infected almost one hundred million people since the end of 2019, killed over two million, and caused worldwide social and economic disruption. Because the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection of host cells and its pathogenesis remain largely unclear, there are currently no antiviral drugs with proven efficacy. Besides severe respiratory and systematic symptoms, several comorbidities increase risk of fatal disease outcome. Therefore, it is required to investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on pre-existing diseases of patients, such as cancer and other infectious diseases. In the current study, we report that SARS-CoV-2 encoded proteins and some currently used anti-COVID-19 drugs are able to induce lytic reactivation of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), one of major human oncogenic viruses, through manipulation of intracellular signaling pathways. Our data indicate that those KSHV + patients especially in endemic areas exposure to COVID-19 or undergoing the treatment may have increased risks to develop virus-associated cancers, even after they have fully recovered from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/complications , Herpesvirus 8, Human/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sarcoma, Kaposi/etiology , Virus Activation , Azithromycin/pharmacology , Benzamidines/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Guanidines/pharmacology , Herpesviridae Infections/chemically induced , Herpesviridae Infections/etiology , Herpesvirus 8, Human/drug effects , Humans , Oncogenic Viruses/drug effects , Oncogenic Viruses/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sarcoma, Kaposi/chemically induced , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Activation/drug effects
7.
Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 60(SI): SI90-SI95, 2021 10 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180634

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: As global vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 disease commence, vaccine safety needs to be closely assessed. The safety profile of mRNA-based vaccines in patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRD) is unknown. The objective of this report is to raise awareness of reactivation of herpes zoster (HZ) following the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination in patients with AIIRD. METHODS: The safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination was assessed in an observational study monitoring post-vaccination adverse effects in patients with AIIRD (n = 491) and controls (n = 99), conducted in two rheumatology departments in Israel. RESULTS: The prevalence of HZ was 1.2% (n = 6) in patients with AIIRD compared with none in controls. Six female patients aged 49 ± 11 years with stable AIIRD: RA (n = 4), Sjogren's syndrome (n = 1), and undifferentiated connective disease (n = 1), developed the first in a lifetime event of HZ within a short time after the first vaccine dose in five cases and after the second vaccine dose in one case. In the majority of cases, HZ infection was mild, except a case of HZ ophthalmicus, without corneal involvement, in an RA patient treated with tofacitinib. There were no cases of disseminated HZ disease or postherpetic neuralgia. All but one patient received antiviral treatment with a resolution of HZ-related symptoms up to 6 weeks. Five patients completed the second vaccine dose without other adverse effects. CONCLUSION: Epidemiologic studies on the safety of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in patients with AIIRD are needed to clarify the association between the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination and reactivation of zoster.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Herpes Zoster/chemically induced , Herpesvirus 3, Human/physiology , Rheumatic Diseases/virology , Virus Activation/drug effects , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Herpes Zoster/virology , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
8.
EBioMedicine ; 65: 103255, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116567

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antivirals are needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. The clinically-proven protease inhibitor Camostat mesylate inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection by blocking the virus-activating host cell protease TMPRSS2. However, antiviral activity of Camostat mesylate metabolites and potential viral resistance have not been analyzed. Moreover, antiviral activity of Camostat mesylate in human lung tissue remains to be demonstrated. METHODS: We used recombinant TMPRSS2, reporter particles bearing the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 or authentic SARS-CoV-2 to assess inhibition of TMPRSS2 and viral entry, respectively, by Camostat mesylate and its metabolite GBPA. FINDINGS: We show that several TMPRSS2-related proteases activate SARS-CoV-2 and that two, TMPRSS11D and TMPRSS13, are robustly expressed in the upper respiratory tract. However, entry mediated by these proteases was blocked by Camostat mesylate. The Camostat metabolite GBPA inhibited recombinant TMPRSS2 with reduced efficiency as compared to Camostat mesylate. In contrast, both inhibitors exhibited similar antiviral activity and this correlated with the rapid conversion of Camostat mesylate into GBPA in the presence of serum. Finally, Camostat mesylate and GBPA blocked SARS-CoV-2 spread in human lung tissue ex vivo and the related protease inhibitor Nafamostat mesylate exerted augmented antiviral activity. INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can use TMPRSS2 and closely related proteases for spread in the upper respiratory tract and that spread in the human lung can be blocked by Camostat mesylate and its metabolite GBPA. FUNDING: NIH, Damon Runyon Foundation, ACS, NYCT, DFG, EU, Berlin Mathematics center MATH+, BMBF, Lower Saxony, Lundbeck Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Esters/pharmacology , Guanidines/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Membrane Proteins/biosynthesis , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Serine Endopeptidases/biosynthesis , Serine Proteases/biosynthesis , Vero Cells , Virus Activation/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
Dig Dis Sci ; 66(11): 4026-4034, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002116

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: To investigate the risk of hepatitis B virus reactivation in patients undergoing long-term tocilizumab therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. METHOD: From January 2011 through August 2019, a total of 97 patients were enrolled in this retrospective study. Clinical data, comedications, and the occurrence of HBV reactivation were recorded. RESULTS: Seven patients were HBsAg+ (7.2%), 64 were HBsAg-/HBcAb+ (65.9%), and 26 were HBsAg-/HBcAb- (26.8%). The median disease follow-up time was 9 years. TCZ was administered for a median of 29 months. Four patients (4.1%) experienced HBV reactivation after tocilizumab therapy. Of the 7 HBsAg+ patients, 4 received antiviral prophylaxis and had no HBV reactivation; the remaining 3 patients did not receive antiviral prophylaxis, and all 3 (100%) experienced HBV reactivation and hepatitis flare-up. Hyperbilirubinemia occurred in 2 of these 3 patients, with mild prothrombin time prolongation in one. After salvage entecavir treatment, all patients had a favorable outcome. Of the 64 HBsAg-/HBcAb+ patients, only one became positive for serum HBV DNA (2.5 × 107 IU/mL) after 18 months of tocilizumab treatment (1.6%; 1/64). This patient was immediately treated with entecavir, which prevented hepatitis flare-up. CONCLUSIONS: Tocilizumab is widely used in treating rheumatoid arthritis and has the potential to reduce the mortality rate among severe COVID-19 patients. However, HBV reactivation needs to be considered. HBsAg+ patients have a high risk of HBV reactivation, which could be prevented by antiviral prophylaxis. Although the risk of reactivation is low in HBsAg-/HBcAb+ patients, strict monitoring is necessary.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , Hepatitis B, Chronic/drug therapy , Virus Activation/drug effects , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/adverse effects , Antirheumatic Agents/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Guanine/analogs & derivatives , Guanine/therapeutic use , Hepatitis B Antibodies/blood , Hepatitis B Surface Antigens/blood , Hepatitis B virus/physiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Virus Latency/drug effects
10.
J Viral Hepat ; 28(1): 89-94, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-793304

ABSTRACT

A significant proportion of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop severe respiratory symptoms due to an excessive immune response. Treatment of this condition may include immunosuppressive therapies, such as IL-6 receptor antagonists and corticosteroids, which pose a risk for patients with active or past hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. In this prospective cohort study, we analysed the risk of HBV reactivation in patients with severe COVID-19 and resolved HBV infection undergoing immunosuppressive therapy. From 15th March to 30th April 2020, 600 patients with severe COVID-19 were admitted to our hospital and treated with immune modulators. Data regarding HBV infection were available in 484, of whom 69 (14%) were HBsAg negative/anti-HBc positive. For these patients, HBV reactivation prophylaxis with entecavir was strongly recommended. Complete follow-up was available in 61 patients: 72% were male, median age was 67 years, and anti-HBs was >10 IU/mL in 72%. The immunosuppressive drug most used was tocilizumab (72%). Despite HBV prophylaxis recommendation, 38 (62%) patients received entecavir and 23 (38%) did not. Baseline features of both groups were similar. At follow-up, we found no cases of HBsAg seroreversion and only 2 (3%) patients (no prophylaxis group) had detectable serum HBV-DNA (<15 IU/mL). Both were anti-HBs negative and had normal aminotransferase levels. Our data show that the risk of HBV reactivation in patients with severe COVID-19 and resolved HBV infection undergoing immunosuppressive treatment is low. However, if a systematic follow-up after hospital discharge is unfeasible in patients without anti-HBs, a short course of antiviral prophylaxis may be a safe option.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Hepatitis B/virology , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Virus Activation/drug effects , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , DNA, Viral/blood , Female , Hepatitis B/complications , Hepatitis B/prevention & control , Hepatitis B Antibodies/blood , Hepatitis B Core Antigens/immunology , Hepatitis B Surface Antigens/blood , Hepatitis B virus/immunology , Hepatitis B virus/physiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk , SARS-CoV-2
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