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1.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; : 1-13, 2020 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597295

ABSTRACT

The novel SARS-CoV-2 is the etiological agent causing the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which continues to become an inevitable pandemic outbreak. Over a short span of time, the structures of therapeutic target proteins for SARS-CoV-2 were identified based on the homology modelled structure of similar virus, SARS-CoV that transmitted rapidly in 2003. Since the outset of the disease, the research community has been looking for a potential drug lead. Out of all the known resolved structures related to SARS-CoV-2; 3-chymotrypsin (3 C) like protease (3CLpro) is considered as an attractive anti-viral drug compound on the grounds of its role in viral replication and probable non-interactive competency to bind to any viral host protein. To the best of our knowledge, till date only one compound has been identified and tested in-vitro as a potent inhibitor of 3CLpro protein, addressed as N3 (PubChem Compound CID: 6323191) and is known to bind irreversibly to 3CLpro suppressing its activity. Using computational approach, we intend to identify a probable natural fungal metabolite to interact and inhibit 3CLpro. Here after performing docking and molecular dynamics of various small molecules derived as a secondary metabolite from fungi, we propose Flaviolin as potent inhibitor of 3CLpro of novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.

2.
Viruses ; 12(8)2020 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453290

ABSTRACT

Enteric viral co-infections, infections involving more than one virus, have been reported for a diverse group of etiological agents, including rotavirus, norovirus, astrovirus, adenovirus, and enteroviruses. These pathogens are causative agents for acute gastroenteritis and diarrheal disease in immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals of all ages globally. Despite virus-virus co-infection events in the intestine being increasingly detected, little is known about their impact on disease outcomes or human health. Here, we review what is currently known about the clinical prevalence of virus-virus co-infections and how co-infections may influence vaccine responses. While experimental investigations into enteric virus co-infections have been limited, we highlight in vivo and in vitro models with exciting potential to investigate viral co-infections. Many features of virus-virus co-infection mechanisms in the intestine remain unclear, and further research will be critical.


Subject(s)
Coinfection/virology , Gastroenteritis/virology , Virus Diseases/physiopathology , Viruses/classification , Viruses/pathogenicity , Animals , Asymptomatic Infections , Disease Models, Animal , Feces/virology , Humans , Intestines/virology , Mice , Primates
3.
Bull Natl Res Cent ; 44(1): 86, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394486

ABSTRACT

Recently, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2), commonly known as coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread across China and around the world. By the declaration of WHO, COVID-19 outbreak considered as a public health problem of international concern. The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive view on COVID-19 and the future expectations to control virus progression. Patients with liver disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity are more susceptible to the incidence of COVID-19 infection. So, there is a rapid need for disease diagnosis, vaccine development, and drug discovery to detect, prevent, and treat this sudden and lethal virus. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is considered as a rapid, accurate, and specific tool for disease diagnosis. Under this emergency situation that the world facing against COVID-19, there are about 15 potential vaccine candidates tested globally based on messenger RNA, DNA-based, nanoparticle, synthetic, and modified virus-like particle. Certain drugs that are clinically approved for other diseases were tested against COVID-19 as chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, favipiravir, ribavirin, and remdesivir. Convalescent plasma transfusion and traditional herbal medicine were also taken into consideration. Due to the absence of effective treatment or vaccines against COVID-19 so far, the precautionary measures according to WHO's strategic objectives are the only way to confront this crisis. Governments should adopt national medical care programs to reduce the risk of exposure to any future viral outbreaks especially to patients with pre-existing medical conditions.

4.
mBio ; 11(6)2020 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388458

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 uses human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the primary receptor to enter host cells and initiate the infection. The critical binding region of ACE2 is an ∼30-amino-acid (aa)-long helix. Here, we report the design of four stapled peptides based on the ACE2 helix, which is expected to bind to SARS-CoV-2 and prevent the binding of the virus to the ACE2 receptor and disrupt the infection. All stapled peptides showed high helical contents (50 to 94% helicity). In contrast, the linear control peptide NYBSP-C showed no helicity (19%). We have evaluated the peptides in a pseudovirus-based single-cycle assay in HT1080/ACE2 cells and human lung cell line A549/ACE2, overexpressing ACE2. Three of the four stapled peptides showed potent antiviral activity in HT1080/ACE2 (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50]: 1.9 to 4.1 µM) and A549/ACE2 (IC50: 2.2 to 2.8 µM) cells. The linear peptide NYBSP-C and the double-stapled peptide StRIP16, used as controls, showed no antiviral activity. Most significantly, none of the stapled peptides show any cytotoxicity at the highest dose tested. We also evaluated the antiviral activity of the peptides by infecting Vero E6 cells with the replication-competent authentic SARS-CoV-2 (US_WA-1/2020). NYBSP-1 was the most efficient, preventing the complete formation of cytopathic effects (CPEs) at an IC100 of 17.2 µM. NYBSP-2 and NYBSP-4 also prevented the formation of the virus-induced CPE with an IC100 of about 33 µM. We determined the proteolytic stability of one of the most active stapled peptides, NYBSP-4, in human plasma, which showed a half-life (T 1/2) of >289 min.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus with many unknowns. No vaccine or specific therapy is available yet to prevent and treat this deadly virus. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel therapeutics. Structural studies revealed critical interactions between the binding site helix of the ACE2 receptor and SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). Therefore, targeting the entry pathway of SARS-CoV-2 is ideal for both prevention and treatment as it blocks the first step of the viral life cycle. We report the design of four double-stapled peptides, three of which showed potent antiviral activity in HT1080/ACE2 cells and human lung carcinoma cells, A549/ACE2. Most significantly, the active stapled peptides with antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 showed high α-helicity (60 to 94%). The most active stapled peptide, NYBSP-4, showed substantial resistance to degradation by proteolytic enzymes in human plasma. The lead stapled peptides are expected to pave the way for further optimization of a clinical candidate.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Peptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Attachment/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Peptides/chemical synthesis , Protein Binding , Vero Cells
5.
Chemistry ; 26(52): 11950-11954, 2020 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384141

ABSTRACT

Thymidine triphosphate bearing benzylidene-tetrahydroxanthylium near-IR fluorophore linked to the 5-methyl group via triazole was synthesized through the CuAAC reaction and was used for polymerase synthesis of labelled DNA probes. The fluorophore lights up upon incorporation to DNA (up to 348-times) presumably due to interactions in major groove and the fluorescence further increases in the single-stranded oligonucleotide. The labelled dsDNA senses binding of small molecules and proteins by a strong decrease of fluorescence. The nucleotide was used as a light-up building block in real-time PCR for detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , DNA Replication , DNA Probes , Humans , Nucleotides , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Viruses ; 13(1)2020 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389523

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and poses a great threat to public health worldwide. Clinical data shows a disturbed type I interferon (IFN) response during the virus infection. In this study, we discovered that the nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-CoV-2 plays an important role in the inhibition of interferon beta (IFN-ß) production. N protein repressed IFN-ß production induced by poly(I:C) or upon Sendai virus (SeV) infection. We noted that N protein also suppressed IFN-ß production, induced by several signaling molecules downstream of the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) pathway, which is the crucial pattern recognition receptor (PRR) responsible for identifying RNA viruses. Moreover, our data demonstrated that N protein interacted with the RIG-I protein through the DExD/H domain, which has ATPase activity and plays an important role in the binding of immunostimulatory RNAs. These results suggested that SARS-CoV-2 N protein suppresses the IFN-ß response through targeting the initial step, potentially the cellular PRR-RNA-recognition step in the innate immune pathway. Therefore, we propose that the SARS-CoV-2 N protein represses IFN-ß production by interfering with RIG-I.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58/metabolism , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , A549 Cells , Animals , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Receptors, Immunologic , Signal Transduction
7.
Virus Res ; 286: 198040, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328562

ABSTRACT

The interactions between chemokine receptors and their ligands may affect susceptibility to infectious diseases as well as their clinical manifestations. These interactions mediate both the traffic of inflammatory cells and virus-associated immune responses. In the context of viral infections, the human C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5) receives great attention from the scientific community due to its role as an HIV-1 co-receptor. The genetic variant CCR5Δ32 (32 base-pair deletion in CCR5 gene) impairs CCR5 expression on the cell surface and is associated with protection against HIV infection in homozygous individuals. Also, the genetic variant CCR5Δ32 modifies the CCR5-mediated inflammatory responses in various conditions, such as inflammatory and infectious diseases. CCR5 antagonists mimic, at least in part, the natural effects of the CCR5Δ32 in humans, which explains the growing interest in the potential benefits of using CCR5 modulators for the treatment of different diseases. Nevertheless, beyond HIV infection, understanding the effects of the CCR5Δ32 variant in multiple viral infections is essential to shed light on the potential effects of the CCR5 modulators from a broader perspective. In this context, this review discusses the involvement of CCR5 and the effects of the CCR5Δ32 in human infections caused by the following pathogens: West Nile virus, Influenza virus, Human papillomavirus, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, Poliovirus, Dengue virus, Human cytomegalovirus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Enterovirus, Japanese encephalitis virus, and Hantavirus. Subsequently, this review addresses the impacts of CCR5 gene editing and CCR5 modulation on health and viral diseases. Also, this article connects recent findings regarding extracellular vesicles (e.g., exosomes), viruses, and CCR5. Neglected and emerging topics in "CCR5 research" are briefly described, with focus on Rocio virus, Zika virus, Epstein-Barr virus, and Rhinovirus. Finally, the potential influence of CCR5 on the immune responses to coronaviruses is discussed.


Subject(s)
Flavivirus/pathogenicity , HIV Infections/immunology , Receptors, CCR5/genetics , Receptors, CCR5/immunology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Animals , Flavivirus/classification , Genetic Variation , Genotype , HIV-1 , Humans , Mice
8.
Biochimie ; 179: 237-246, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1326916

ABSTRACT

The anti-malarial drug Chloroquine (CQ) and its derivative hydroxychloroquine have shown antiviral activities in vitro against many viruses, including coronaviruses, dengue virus and the biosafety level 4 Nipah and Hendra paramyxoviruses. The in vivo efficacy of CQ in the treatment of COVID-19 is currently a matter of debate. CQ is a lysosomotrophic compound that accumulates in lysosomes, as well as in food vacuoles of Plasmodium falciparum. In the treatment of malaria, CQ impairs the digestion and growth of the parasite by increasing the pH of the food vacuole. Similarly, it is assumed that the antiviral effects of CQ results from the increase of lysosome pH and the inhibition of acidic proteases involved in the maturation of virus fusion protein. CQ has however other effects, among which phospholipidosis, characterized by the accumulation of multivesicular bodies within the cell. The increase in phospholipid species particularly concerns bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP), a specific lipid of late endosomes involved in vesicular trafficking and pH-dependent vesicle budding. It was shown previously that drugs like progesterone, the cationic amphiphile U18666A and the phospholipase inhibitor methyl arachidonyl fluoro phosphonate (MAFP) induce the accumulation of BMP in THP-1 cells and decrease cell infection by human immunodeficiency virus. HIV viral particles were found to be retained into large endosomal-type vesicles, preventing virus spreading. Since BMP was also reported to favour virus entry through hijacking of the endocytic pathway, we propose here that BMP could play a dual role in viral infection, with its antiviral effects triggered by lysosomotropic drugs like CQ.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Endocytosis/drug effects , Endosomes/drug effects , Endosomes/metabolism , Lysophospholipids/metabolism , Monoglycerides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
9.
Pharmacol Res ; 158: 104904, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318936

ABSTRACT

The anti-malarial drugs chloroquine (CQ) and primarily the less toxic hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are currently used to treat autoimmune diseases for their immunomodulatory and anti-thrombotic properties. They have also been proposed for the treatment of several viral infections, due to their anti-viral effects in cell cultures and animal models, and, currently, for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus 2 (Sars-Cov-2) infection that is spreading all over the world. Although in some recent studies a clinical improvement in COVID-19 patients has been observed, the clinical efficacy of CQ and HCQ in COVID-19 has yet to be proven with randomized controlled studies, many of which are currently ongoing, also considering pharmacokinetics, optimal dosing regimen, therapeutic level and duration of treatment and taking into account patients with different severity degrees of disease. Here we review what is currently known on the mechanisms of action of CQ and HCQ as anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic drugs and discuss the up-to-date experimental evidence on the potential mechanisms of action of CQ/HCQ in Sars-Cov2 infection and the current clinical knowledge on their efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Given the role of iron in several human viral infections, we also propose a different insight into a number of CQ and HCQ pharmacological effects, suggesting a potential involvement of iron homeostasis in Sars-Cov-2 infection and COVID-19 clinical course.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Homeostasis/drug effects , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Iron/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Viruses ; 12(10)2020 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305818

ABSTRACT

Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) is a rapidly growing research focus due to numerous demonstrations that many cellular proteins phase-separate to form biomolecular condensates (BMCs) that nucleate membraneless organelles (MLOs). A growing repertoire of mechanisms supporting BMC formation, composition, dynamics, and functions are becoming elucidated. BMCs are now appreciated as required for several steps of gene regulation, while their deregulation promotes pathological aggregates, such as stress granules (SGs) and insoluble irreversible plaques that are hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases. Treatment of BMC-related diseases will greatly benefit from identification of therapeutics preventing pathological aggregates while sparing BMCs required for cellular functions. Numerous viruses that block SG assembly also utilize or engineer BMCs for their replication. While BMC formation first depends on prion-like disordered protein domains (PrLDs), metal ion-controlled RNA-binding domains (RBDs) also orchestrate their formation. Virus replication and viral genomic RNA (vRNA) packaging dynamics involving nucleocapsid (NC) proteins and their orthologs rely on Zinc (Zn) availability, while virus morphology and infectivity are negatively influenced by excess Copper (Cu). While virus infections modify physiological metal homeostasis towards an increased copper to zinc ratio (Cu/Zn), how and why they do this remains elusive. Following our recent finding that pan-retroviruses employ Zn for NC-mediated LLPS for virus assembly, we present a pan-virus bioinformatics and literature meta-analysis study identifying metal-based mechanisms linking virus-induced BMCs to neurodegenerative disease processes. We discover that conserved degree and placement of PrLDs juxtaposing metal-regulated RBDs are associated with disease-causing prion-like proteins and are common features of viral proteins responsible for virus capsid assembly and structure. Virus infections both modulate gene expression of metalloproteins and interfere with metal homeostasis, representing an additional virus strategy impeding physiological and cellular antiviral responses. Our analyses reveal that metal-coordinated virus NC protein PrLDs initiate LLPS that nucleate pan-virus assembly and contribute to their persistence as cell-free infectious aerosol droplets. Virus aerosol droplets and insoluble neurological disease aggregates should be eliminated by physiological or environmental metals that outcompete PrLD-bound metals. While environmental metals can control virus spreading via aerosol droplets, therapeutic interference with metals or metalloproteins represent additional attractive avenues against pan-virus infection and virus-exacerbated neurological diseases.


Subject(s)
Copper/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Nucleocapsid/metabolism , Prions/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism , Computational Biology , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Neurodegenerative Diseases/virology , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Prions/genetics , Protein Domains , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
11.
Microorganisms ; 8(10)2020 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302376

ABSTRACT

Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) is a member of the Filoviridae family of negative sense, single-stranded RNA viruses. EBOV infection causes Ebola virus disease (EVD), characterized by coagulopathy, lymphopenia, and multi-organ failure, which can culminate in death. In 2019, the FDA approved the first vaccine against EBOV, a recombinant live-attenuated viral vector wherein the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus is replaced with the glycoprotein (GP) of EBOV (rVSV-EBOV-GP, Ervebo® by Merck). This vaccine demonstrates high efficacy in nonhuman primates by providing prophylactic, rapid, and post-exposure protection. In humans, rVSV-EBOV-GP demonstrated 100% protection in several phase III clinical trials in over 10,000 individuals during the 2013-2016 West Africa epidemic. As of 2020, over 218,000 doses of rVSV-EBOV-GP have been administered to individuals with high risk of EBOV exposure. Despite licensure and robust preclinical studies, the mechanisms of rVSV-EBOV-GP-mediated protection are not fully understood. Such knowledge is crucial for understanding vaccine-mediated correlates of protection from EVD and to aid the further design and development of therapeutics against filoviruses. Here, we summarize the current literature regarding the host response to vaccination and EBOV exposure, and evidence regarding innate and adaptive immune mechanisms involved in rVSV-EBOV-GP-mediated protection, with a focus on the host transcriptional response. Current data strongly suggest a protective synergy between rapid innate and humoral immunity.

12.
J Infect Dis ; 221(4): 534-543, 2020 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207300

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The safety and immunogenicity of live respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) candidate vaccine, LID/ΔM2-2/1030s, with deletion of RSV ribonucleic acid synthesis regulatory protein M2-2 and genetically stabilized temperature-sensitivity mutation 1030s in the RSV polymerase protein was evaluated in RSV-seronegative children. METHODS: Respiratory syncytial virus-seronegative children ages 6-24 months received 1 intranasal dose of 105 plaque-forming units (PFU) of LID/ΔM2-2/1030s (n = 21) or placebo (n = 11). The RSV serum antibodies, vaccine shedding, and reactogenicity were assessed. During the following RSV season, medically attended acute respiratory illness (MAARI) and pre- and postsurveillance serum antibody titers were monitored. RESULTS: Eighty-five percent of vaccinees shed LID/ΔM2-2/1030s vaccine (median peak nasal wash titers: 3.1 log10 PFU/mL by immunoplaque assay; 5.1 log10 copies/mL by reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction) and had ≥4-fold rise in serum-neutralizing antibodies. Respiratory symptoms and fever were common (60% vaccinees and 27% placebo recipients). One vaccinee had grade 2 wheezing with rhinovirus but without concurrent LID/ΔM2-2/1030s shedding. Five of 19 vaccinees had ≥4-fold increases in antibody titers postsurveillance without RSV-MAARI, indicating anamnestic responses without significant illness after infection with community-acquired RSV. CONCLUSIONS: LID/ΔM2-2/1030s had excellent infectivity without evidence of genetic instability, induced durable immunity, and primed for anamnestic antibody responses, making it an attractive candidate for further evaluation.


Subject(s)
Gene Deletion , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/immunology , Vaccination , Viral Proteins/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Body Temperature , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Infant , Male , Point Mutation , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines/adverse effects , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics , Vaccines, Attenuated , Virus Replication/genetics
13.
Antib Ther ; 3(4): 246-256, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207246

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 antibody therapeutics are being evaluated in clinical and preclinical stages. As of 11 October 2020, 13 human monoclonal antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein have entered clinical trials with three (REGN-COV2, LY3819253/LY-CoV555, and VIR-7831/VIR-7832) in phase 3. On 9 November 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for bamlanivimab (LY3819253/LY-CoV555) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19. This review outlines the development of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, with a focus on discussing various antibody discovery strategies (animal immunization, phage display and B cell cloning), describing binding epitopes and comparing neutralizing activities. Broad-neutralizing antibodies targeting the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV might be helpful for treating COVID-19 and future infections. VIR-7831/7832 based on S309 is the only antibody in late clinical development, which can neutralize both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV although it does not directly block virus receptor binding. Thus far, the only cross-neutralizing antibody that is also a receptor binding blocker is nanobody VHH-72. The feasibility of developing nanobodies as inhaled drugs for treating COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases is an attractive idea that is worth exploring and testing. A cocktail strategy such as REGN-COV2, or engineered multivalent and multispecific molecules, combining two or more antibodies might improve the efficacy and protect against resistance due to virus escape mutants. Besides the receptor-binding domain, other viral antigens such as the S2 subunit of the spike protein and the viral attachment sites such as heparan sulfate proteoglycans that are on the host cells are worth investigating.

14.
Trop Dis Travel Med Vaccines ; 6: 13, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-718156

ABSTRACT

Background: In a year-long pneumonia etiology study conducted June 2017 to May 2018 in Sarawak, Malaysia, 599 patients' nasopharyngeal swab specimens were studied with real-time polymerase chain reaction (rPCR)/ reverse-transcription (rRT-PCR) assays for respiratory pathogens known to contribute to the high burden of lower respiratory tract infections. The study team sought to compare real-time assay results with panspecies conventional molecular diagnostics to compare sensitivities and learn if novel viruses had been missed. Methods: Specimens were studied for evidence of adenovirus (AdV), enterovirus (EV) and coronavirus (CoV) with panspecies gel-based nested PCR/RT-PCR assays. Gene sequences of specimens positive by panspecies assays were sequenced and studied with the NCBI Basic Local Alignment Search Tool software. Results: There was considerable discordance between real-time and conventional molecular methods. The real-time AdV assay found a positivity of 10.4%; however, the AdV panspecies assay detected a positivity of 12.4% and the conventional AdV-Hexon assay detected a positivity of 19.6%. The CoV and EV panspecies assays similarly detected more positive specimens than the real-time assays, with a positivity of 7.8% by the CoV panspecies assay versus 4.2% by rRT-PCR, and 8.0% by the EV panspecies assay versus 1.0% by rRT-PCR. We were not able to ascertain virus viability in this setting. While most discordance was likely due to assay sensitivity for previously described human viruses, two novel, possible zoonotic AdV were detected. Conclusions: The observed differences in the two modes of amplification suggest that where a problem with sensitivity is suspected, real-time assay results might be supplemented with panspecies conventional PCR/RT-PCR assays.

15.
Antib Ther ; 3(3): 167-178, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145148

ABSTRACT

Background: Development of successful neutralizing antibodies is dependent upon broad epitope coverage to increase the likelihood of achieving therapeutic function. Recent advances in synthetic biology have allowed us to conduct an epitope binning study on a large panel of antibodies identified to bind to Ebola virus glycoprotein with only published sequences. Methods and Results: A rapid, first-pass epitope binning experiment revealed seven distinct epitope families that overlapped with known structural epitopes from the literature. A focused set of antibodies was selected from representative clones per bin to guide a second-pass binning that revealed previously unassigned epitopes, confirmed epitopes known to be associated with neutralizing antibodies, and demonstrated asymmetric blocking of EBOV GP from allosteric effectors reported from literature. Conclusions: Critically, this workflow allows us to probe the epitope landscape of EBOV GP without any prior structural knowledge of the antigen or structural benchmark clones. Incorporating epitope binning on hundreds of antibodies during early stage antibody characterization ensures access to a library's full epitope coverage, aids in the identification of high quality reagents within the library that recapitulate this diversity for use in other studies, and ultimately enables the rational development of therapeutic cocktails that take advantage of multiple mechanisms of action such as cooperative synergistic effects to enhance neutralization function and minimize the risk of mutagenic escape. The use of high-throughput epitope binning during new outbreaks such as the current COVID-19 pandemic is particularly useful in accelerating timelines due to the large amount of information gained in a single experiment.

16.
PLoS One ; 15(4): e0232188, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-659620

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The World Health Organization created the Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) criteria in 2011 to monitor influenza (flu)-related hospitalization. Many studies have since used the SARI case definition as inclusion criteria for surveillance studies. We sought to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the SARI criteria for detecting ten different respiratory viruses in a Middle Eastern pediatric cohort. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The data for this study comes from a prospective acute respiratory surveillance study of hospitalized children <2 years in Amman, Jordan from March 16, 2010 to March 31, 2013. Participants were recruited if they had a fever and/or respiratory symptoms. Nasal and throat swabs were obtained and tested by real-time RT-PCR for eleven viruses. Subjects meeting SARI criteria were determined post-hoc. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the SARI case definition for detecting ten different viruses were calculated and results were stratified by age. RESULTS: Of the 3,175 patients enrolled, 3,164 were eligible for this study, with a median age of 3.5 months, 60.4% male, and 82% virus-positive (44% RSV and 3.8% flu). The sensitivity and specificity of the SARI criteria for detecting virus-positive patients were 44% and 77.9%, respectively. Sensitivity of SARI criteria for any virus was lowest in children <3 months at 22.4%. Removing fever as a criterion improved the sensitivity by 65.3% for detecting RSV in children <3 months; whereas when cough was removed, the sensitivity improved by 45.5% for detecting flu in same age group. CONCLUSIONS: The SARI criteria have poor sensitivity for detecting RSV, flu, and other respiratory viruses-particularly in children <3 months. Researchers and policy makers should use caution if using the criteria to estimate burden of disease in children.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , Cough/virology , Female , Fever/virology , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/virology , Jordan , Male , Prospective Studies , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/pathogenicity , Seasons , Sensitivity and Specificity , World Health Organization
17.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med ; 2020: 3219840, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1109677

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection has been spreading through many countries since the end of 2019. The 4th edition of the national guidelines for the management of COVID-19 provides an herbal formula with 9 herbs for its management. Aim of Study. We aimed to predict the mechanism of binding of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV spike glycoproteins with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to provide a molecular-level explanation of the higher pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 and to identify protein sites which may be targeted by therapeutic agents to disrupt virus-host interactions. Subsequently, we aimed to investigate the formula for the initial-stage management to identify a therapeutic agent with the most likely potential to become pharmaceutical candidate for the management of this disease. Materials and Methods: GenBank and SWISS-MODEL were applied for model creation. ClusPro was used for protein-protein docking. PDBePISA was applied for identification of possible binding sites. TCMSP was employed for identification of the chemical compounds. AutoDock Vina together with PyRx was used for the prediction and evaluation of binding pose and affinity to ACE2. SwissADME and PreADME were applied to screening and prediction of the pharmacokinetic properties of the identified chemical compounds. PyMOL was used to visualise the structural models of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV spike glycoproteins complexed to ACE2 and to examine their interactions. Results: SARS-CoV-2 had two chains (labelled chains B and C) which were predicted to bind with ACE2. In comparison, the SARS-CoV had only one chain (labelled chain C) predicted to bind with ACE2. The spike glycoproteins of both viruses were predicted to bind with ACE2 via position 487. Molecular docking screening and pharmacokinetic property prediction of the herbal compounds indicated that atractylenolide III (-9.1 kcal/mol) from Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) Dc. (Cangzhu) may be a candidate therapeutic agent for initial-stage management. Conclusions: Atractylenolide III is predicted to have a strong binding affinity with ACE2 and eligible pharmacokinetic properties, anti-inflammatory effects and antiviral effects in in vitro study, and high distribution on the lungs in in vivo study.

18.
Cornea ; 39(12): 1556-1562, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1109355

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To confirm the ocular tropism of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by evaluating the expression of viral entry factors in human ocular tissues using immunohistochemistry. METHODS: Fresh donor corneas and primary explant cultures of corneal, limbal, and conjunctival epithelial cells were evaluated for the expression of viral entry factors. Using immunohistochemistry, the samples were tested for the expression of angiotension-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), dendritic cell-specific intracellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), DC-SIGN-related protein (DC-SIGNR), and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). RESULTS: In total, 5 donor corneas were evaluated for the expression of viral entry factors. In all specimens, both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were expressed throughout the surface epithelium (corneal, limbal, and conjunctival) and corneal endothelium. In corneal stromal cells, ACE2 was sporadically expressed, whereas TMPRSS2 was absent. DC-SIGN/DC-SIGNR expression varied between donor specimens. Four specimens expressed DC-SIGN/DC-SIGNR in a similar distribution to ACE2, but 1 specimen from a young donor showed no expression of DC-SIGN/DC-SIGNR. ACE2, TMPRSS2, and DC-SIGN/DC-SIGNR were all expressed in the cultured corneal, limbal, and conjunctival epithelial cells. CONCLUSIONS: Both corneal and conjunctival epithelia express ACE2, DC-SIGN/DC-SIGNR, and TMPRSS2, suggesting that the ocular surface is a potential route for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The risk of viral transmission with corneal transplantation cannot be ruled out, given the presence of ACE2 in corneal epithelium and endothelium. Cultured corneal, limbal, and conjunctival epithelial cells mimic the expression of viral entry factors in fresh donor tissue and may be useful for future in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infection studies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Conjunctiva/metabolism , Epithelium, Corneal/metabolism , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Conjunctiva/cytology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect , Humans , Limbus Corneae/cytology , Male , Microscopy, Fluorescence , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tissue Donors , Viral Tropism/physiology , Virus Internalization , Young Adult
19.
Front Cell Dev Biol ; 8: 618296, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1094159

ABSTRACT

Lipid rafts are functional membrane microdomains containing sphingolipids, including gangliosides, and cholesterol. These regions are characterized by highly ordered and tightly packed lipid molecules. Several studies revealed that lipid rafts are involved in life cycle of different viruses, including coronaviruses. Among these recently emerged the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The main receptor for SARS-CoV-2 is represented by the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2), although it also binds to sialic acids linked to host cell surface gangliosides. A new type of ganglioside-binding domain within the N-terminal portion of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein was identified. Lipid rafts provide a suitable platform able to concentrate ACE-2 receptor on host cell membranes where they may interact with the spike protein on viral envelope. This review is focused on selective targeting lipid rafts components as a strategy against coronavirus. Indeed, cholesterol-binding agents, including statins or methyl-ß-cyclodextrin (MßCD), can affect cholesterol, causing disruption of lipid rafts, consequently impairing coronavirus adhesion and binding. Moreover, these compounds can block downstream key molecules in virus infectivity, reducing the levels of proinflammatory molecules [tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-6], and/or affecting the autophagic process involved in both viral replication and clearance. Furthermore, cyclodextrins can assemble into complexes with various drugs to form host-guest inclusions and may be used as pharmaceutical excipients of antiviral compounds, such as lopinavir and remdesivir, by improving bioavailability and solubility. In conclusion, the role of lipid rafts-affecting drugs in the process of coronavirus entry into the host cells prompts to introduce a new potential task in the pharmacological approach against coronavirus.

20.
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 630500, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088916

ABSTRACT

Effective, safe, and pharmacokinetically suitable drugs are urgently needed to curb the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The main protease or 3C-like protease (Mpro or 3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is considered an important target to formulate potent drugs corresponding to its crucial role in virus replication and maturation in addition to its relatively conserved active site. Promising baseline data on the potency and safety of drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro are currently available. However, preclinical and clinical data on the pharmacokinetic profiles of these drugs are very limited. This review discusses the potency, safety, and pharmacokinetic profiles of potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and forward directions on the development of future studies focusing on COVID-19 therapeutics.

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