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1.
Crit Care Explor ; 2(6): e0154, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795093

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: As the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 pandemic develops, assays to detect the virus and infection caused by it are needed for diagnosis and management. To describe to clinicians how each assay is performed, what each assay detects, and the benefits and limitations of each assay. DATA SOURCES: Published literature and internet. STUDY SELECTION: As well done, relevant and recent as possible. DATA EXTRACTION: Sources were read to extract data from them. DATA SYNTHESIS: Was synthesized by all coauthors. CONCLUSIONS: Available assays test for current or previous severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection. Nucleic acid assays such as quantitative, or real-time, polymerase chain reaction and loop-mediated isothermal amplification are ideal for acute diagnosis with polymerase chain reaction testing remaining the "gold standard" to diagnose acute infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2, specifically the presence of viral RNA. Assays that detect serum antibodies can theoretically diagnose both acute and remote infection but require time for the patient to develop immunity and may detect nonspecific antibodies. Antibody assays that quantitatively measure neutralizing antibodies are needed to test efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy but are more specialized.

2.
Chin Med J (Engl) ; 134(13): 1522-1534, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769417

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Respiratory viruses are major human pathogens that cause approximately 200 million pneumonia cases annually and induce various comorbidities with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), resulting in significant health concerns and economic burdens. Clinical manifestations in respiratory viral infections and inflammations vary from asymptomatic, mild, to severe, depending on host immune cell responses to pathogens and interactions with airway epithelia. We critically review the activation, effector, and regulation of T cells in respiratory virus infections and chronic inflammations associated with COPD. Crosstalk among T cells, innate immune cells, and airway epithelial cells is discussed as essential parts of pathogenesis and protection in viral infections and COPD. We emphasize the specificity of peptide antigens and the functional heterogeneity of conventional CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to shed some light on potential cellular and molecular candidates for the future development of therapeutics and intervention against respiratory viral infections and inflammations.


Subject(s)
Pneumonia , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , Respiratory Tract Infections , Virus Diseases , Viruses , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans
3.
mBio ; 11(3)2020 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1723548

ABSTRACT

Due to the urgent need of a therapeutic treatment for coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, a number of FDA-approved/repurposed drugs have been suggested as antiviral candidates at clinics, without sufficient information. Furthermore, there have been extensive debates over antiviral candidates for their effectiveness and safety against severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2), suggesting that rapid preclinical animal studies are required to identify potential antiviral candidates for human trials. To this end, the antiviral efficacies of lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine sulfate, and emtricitabine-tenofovir for SARS-CoV-2 infection were assessed in the ferret infection model. While the lopinavir-ritonavir-, hydroxychloroquine sulfate-, or emtricitabine-tenofovir-treated group exhibited lower overall clinical scores than the phosphate-buffered saline (PBS)-treated control group, the virus titers in nasal washes, stool specimens, and respiratory tissues were similar between all three antiviral-candidate-treated groups and the PBS-treated control group. Only the emtricitabine-tenofovir-treated group showed lower virus titers in nasal washes at 8 days postinfection (dpi) than the PBS-treated control group. To further explore the effect of immune suppression on viral infection and clinical outcome, ferrets were treated with azathioprine, an immunosuppressive drug. Compared to the PBS-treated control group, azathioprine-immunosuppressed ferrets exhibited a longer period of clinical illness, higher virus titers in nasal turbinate, delayed virus clearance, and significantly lower serum neutralization (SN) antibody titers. Taken together, all antiviral drugs tested marginally reduced the overall clinical scores of infected ferrets but did not significantly affect in vivo virus titers. Despite the potential discrepancy of drug efficacies between animals and humans, these preclinical ferret data should be highly informative to future therapeutic treatment of COVID-19 patients.IMPORTANCE The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to spread worldwide, with rapidly increasing numbers of mortalities, placing increasing strain on health care systems. Despite serious public health concerns, no effective vaccines or therapeutics have been approved by regulatory agencies. In this study, we tested the FDA-approved drugs lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine sulfate, and emtricitabine-tenofovir against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a highly susceptible ferret infection model. While most of the drug treatments marginally reduced clinical symptoms, they did not reduce virus titers, with the exception of emtricitabine-tenofovir treatment, which led to diminished virus titers in nasal washes at 8 dpi. Further, the azathioprine-treated immunosuppressed ferrets showed delayed virus clearance and low SN titers, resulting in a prolonged infection. As several FDA-approved or repurposed drugs are being tested as antiviral candidates at clinics without sufficient information, rapid preclinical animal studies should proceed to identify therapeutic drug candidates with strong antiviral potential and high safety prior to a human efficacy trial.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Ferrets , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration , Viral Load
4.
J Virol ; 94(12)2020 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1723543

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that recently emerged in China is thought to have a bat origin, as its closest known relative (BatCoV RaTG13) was described previously in horseshoe bats. We analyzed the selective events that accompanied the divergence of SARS-CoV-2 from BatCoV RaTG13. To this end, we applied a population genetics-phylogenetics approach, which leverages within-population variation and divergence from an outgroup. Results indicated that most sites in the viral open reading frames (ORFs) evolved under conditions of strong to moderate purifying selection. The most highly constrained sequences corresponded to some nonstructural proteins (nsps) and to the M protein. Conversely, nsp1 and accessory ORFs, particularly ORF8, had a nonnegligible proportion of codons evolving under conditions of very weak purifying selection or close to selective neutrality. Overall, limited evidence of positive selection was detected. The 6 bona fide positively selected sites were located in the N protein, in ORF8, and in nsp1. A signal of positive selection was also detected in the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of the spike protein but most likely resulted from a recombination event that involved the BatCoV RaTG13 sequence. In line with previous data, we suggest that the common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and BatCoV RaTG13 encoded/encodes an RBM similar to that observed in SARS-CoV-2 itself and in some pangolin viruses. It is presently unknown whether the common ancestor still exists and, if so, which animals it infects. Our data, however, indicate that divergence of SARS-CoV-2 from BatCoV RaTG13 was accompanied by limited episodes of positive selection, suggesting that the common ancestor of the two viruses was poised for human infection.IMPORTANCE Coronaviruses are dangerous zoonotic pathogens; in the last 2 decades, three coronaviruses have crossed the species barrier and caused human epidemics. One of these is the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2. We investigated how, since its divergence from a closely related bat virus, natural selection shaped the genome of SARS-CoV-2. We found that distinct coding regions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome evolved under conditions of different degrees of constraint and are consequently more or less prone to tolerate amino acid substitutions. In practical terms, the level of constraint provides indications about which proteins/protein regions are better suited as possible targets for the development of antivirals or vaccines. We also detected limited signals of positive selection in three viral ORFs. However, we warn that, in the absence of knowledge about the chain of events that determined the human spillover, these signals should not be necessarily interpreted as evidence of an adaptation to our species.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Selection, Genetic , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Betacoronavirus/classification , COVID-19 , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics
5.
Transplantation ; 105(7): 1405-1422, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706459

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has raised concerns for programs overseeing donation and transplantation of cells, tissues, and organs (CTO) that this virus might be transmissible by transfusion or transplantation. Transplant recipients are considered particularly vulnerable to pathogens because of immunosuppression, and SARS-CoV-2 is likely to generate complications if contracted. Several signs and symptoms observed in COVID-19 positive patients reflect damage to multiple organs and tissues, raising the possibility of extrapulmonary SARS-CoV-2 infections and risk of transmission. At the beginning of the pandemic, a consensus has emerged not to consider COVID-19 positive patients as potential living or deceased donors, resulting in a global decrease in transplantation procedures. Medical decision-making at the time of organ allocation must consider safely alongside the survival advantages offered by transplantation. To address the risk of transmission by transplantation, this review summarizes the published cases of transplantation of cells or organs from donors infected with SARS-CoV-2 until January 2021 and assesses the current state of knowledge for the detection of this virus in different biologic specimens, cells, tissues, and organs. Evidence collected to date raises the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication in some CTO, which makes it impossible to exclude transmission through transplantation. However, most studies focused on evaluating transmission under laboratory conditions with inconsistent findings, rendering the comparison of results difficult. Improved standardization of donors and CTO screening practices, along with a systematic follow-up of transplant recipients could facilitate the assessment of SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk by transplantation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Donor Selection/methods , Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Organ Transplantation/adverse effects , Postoperative Complications/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Postoperative Complications/diagnosis , Postoperative Complications/prevention & control , Risk
6.
J Med Virol ; 93(8): 4748-4755, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1610624

ABSTRACT

Respiratory infections are one of the most frequent reasons for medical consultations in children. In low resource settings such as in Lao People's Democratic Republic, knowledge gaps and the dearth of laboratory capacity to support differential diagnosis may contribute to antibiotic overuse. We studied the etiology, temporal trends, and genetic diversity of viral respiratory infections in children to provide evidence for prevention and treatment guidelines. From September 2014 to October 2015, throat swabs and nasopharyngeal aspirates from 445 children under 10 years old with symptoms of acute respiratory infection were collected at the Children Hospital in Vientiane. Rapid antigen tests were performed for influenza A and B and respiratory syncytial virus. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCRs) were performed to detect 16 viruses. Influenza infections were detected with a higher sensitivity using PCR than with the rapid antigen test. By RT-PCR screening, at least one pathogen could be identified for 71.7% of cases. Human rhinoviruses were most frequently detected (29.9%), followed by influenza A and B viruses combined (15.9%). We identify and discuss the seasonality of some of the infections. Altogether these data provide a detailed characterization of respiratory pathogens in Lao children and we provide recommendations for vaccination and further studies.


Subject(s)
Coinfection/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Virus Diseases/epidemiology , Viruses/genetics , Acute Disease/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Coinfection/virology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/virology , Laos/epidemiology , Male , Prevalence , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Viruses/classification , Viruses/isolation & purification
7.
J Oral Microbiol ; 13(1): 1848135, 2020 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574293

ABSTRACT

Background: The ability of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to spread is one of the determinants of the COVID-19 pandemic status. Until June 2020, global COVID-19 cases surpassed 10 million. Asymptomatic patients, with no respiratory impairment, are believed to be responsible for more than 80% of the transmission. Other viruses have been consistently detected in periodontal tissues. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in periodontal tissue. Methods: We conducted video-endoscope minimally invasive post-mortem biopsy in seven fatal cases of COVID-19, using a regular endoscope video system associated with a smartphone to locate periodontal tissue. We analyzed the samples using RT-PCR, to identify the SARS-CoV-2 RNA and histopathological analysis. Results: The seven studied autopsies with positive laboratory tests for COVID-19 included 57.14% of female patients at the average age of 47.4 (range 8 to 74). In five cases, periodontal tissue was positive for SARS-CoV-2 (RT-PCR). Histopathologic analyses showed morphologic alterations in the keratinocytes of the junctional epithelium, a vacuolization of the cytoplasm and nucleus and nuclear pleomorphism. Conclusion: We presented a biomolecular analysis obtained from minimally invasive autopsies. This is the first study to demonstrate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in periodontal tissue in COVID-19 positive patients.

8.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(5): 1-9, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575633

ABSTRACT

Understanding the molecules that are essential for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) entry can provide insights into viral infection and dissemination. Recently, it has been identified from several studies that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor and transmembrane serine protease 2 are the main entry molecules for the SARS-CoV-2, which produced the pandemic of Covid-19. However, additional evidence showed several other viral receptors and cellular proteases that are also important in facilitating viral entry and transmission in the target cells. In this review, we summarized the types of SARS-CoV-2 entry molecules and discussed their crucial roles for virus binding, protein priming and fusion to the cellular membrane important for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Internalization
9.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(5): 1-12, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575376

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enters the host cell by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Other important proteins involved in this process include disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 17 (ADAM17) also known as tumour necrosis factor-α-converting enzyme and transmembrane serine protease 2. ACE2 converts angiotensin II (Ang II) to angiotensin (1-7), to balance the renin angiotensin system. Membrane-bound ACE2 ectodomain shedding is mediated by ADAM17 upon viral spike binding, Ang II overproduction and in several diseases. The shed soluble ACE2 (sACE2) retains its catalytic activity, but its precise role in viral entry is still unclear. Therapeutic sACE2 is claimed to exert dual effects; reduction of excess Ang II and blocking viral entry by masking the spike protein. Nevertheless, the paradox is why SARS-CoV-2 comorbid patients struggle to attain such benefit in viral infection despite having a high amount of sACE2. In this review, we discuss the possible detrimental role of sACE2 and speculate on a series of events where protease primed or non-primed virus-sACE2 complex might enter the host cell. As extracellular virus can bind many sACE2 molecules, sACE2 level could be reduced drastically upon endocytosis by the host cell. A consequential rapid rise in Ang II level could potentially aggravate disease severity through Ang II-angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R) axis in comorbid patients. Hence, monitoring sACE2 and Ang II level in coronavirus disease 2019 comorbid patients are crucial to ensure safe and efficient intervention using therapeutic sACE2 and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/enzymology , ADAM17 Protein/genetics , ADAM17 Protein/metabolism , Angiotensin I/metabolism , Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Humans , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
10.
J Oral Microbiol ; 13(1): 1881361, 2021 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574604

ABSTRACT

Objective: We designed an in vitro study to evaluate the efficiency of an 0.5 vol% hydrogen peroxide-based spray in reducing Coronavirus 229E spread during a conventional dental procedure. Methods: A class III cabinet-like chamber was custom-built, using phantoms for both patient and operator. A suspension of HCoV-229E in artificial saliva having a similar viral load to SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic patients was inoculated inside the patient's phantom mouth. A 10 s-lasting dental procedure was performed using an aerosol-generating air-turbine, with or without high-volume evacuation (HVE). The effect of 0.5 vol% H2O2 cooling spray in reducing viral loads was tested. Viral presence on the operator phantom was assessed by Real-Time quantitative PCR on the mask's outer surface, on the phantom's forehead, and inside its mouth. Results: When the H2O2 cooling spray was used, as compared to the conventional spray, viral loads were significantly lower on all tested sites, falling below the detection limit. Viral loads did not significantly change in any tested site when HVE was used. Conclusion: The use of 0.5 vol% H2O2 cooling spray by dental handpieces drastically reduced the possibility of coronaviruses spread during aerosol-generating dental procedures. This strategy deserves further consideration among the preventive measures to be adopted during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

11.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(6): e2236, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573896

ABSTRACT

Modifications in HLA-I expression are found in many viral diseases. They represent one of the immune evasion strategies most widely used by viruses to block antigen presentation and NK cell response, and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception. These alterations result from a combination of virus-specific factors, genetically encoded mechanisms, and the status of host defences and range from loss or upregulation of HLA-I molecules to selective increases of HLA-I alleles. In this review, I will first analyse characteristic features of altered HLA-I expression found in SARS-CoV-2. I will then discuss the potential factors underlying these defects, focussing on HLA-E and class-I-related (like) molecules and their receptors, the most documented HLA-I alterations. I will also draw attention to potential differences between cells transfected to express viral proteins and those presented as part of authentic infection. Consideration of these factors and others affecting HLA-I expression may provide us with improved possibilities for research into cellular immunity against viral variants.


Subject(s)
Antigenic Variation , COVID-19/immunology , Clonal Anergy , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Alleles , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Gene Expression , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/immunology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/virology
12.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(4): e1271, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525427

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Emerging evidence of dysregulation of the myeloid cell compartment urges investigations on neutrophil characteristics in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We isolated neutrophils from the blood of COVID-19 patients receiving general ward care and from patients hospitalised at intensive care units (ICUs) to explore the kinetics of circulating neutrophils and factors important for neutrophil migration and activation. METHODS: Multicolour flow cytometry was exploited for the analysis of neutrophil differentiation and activation markers. Multiplex and ELISA technologies were used for the quantification of protease, protease inhibitor, chemokine and cytokine concentrations in plasma. Neutrophil polarisation responses were evaluated microscopically. Gelatinolytic and metalloproteinase activity in plasma was determined using a fluorogenic substrate. Co-culturing healthy donor neutrophils with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) allowed us to investigate viral replication in neutrophils. RESULTS: Upon ICU admission, patients displayed high plasma concentrations of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and the chemokine CXCL8, accompanied by emergency myelopoiesis as illustrated by high levels of circulating CD10-, immature neutrophils with reduced CXCR2 and C5aR expression. Neutrophil elastase and non-metalloproteinase-derived gelatinolytic activity were increased in plasma from ICU patients. Significantly higher levels of circulating tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) in patients at ICU admission yielded decreased total MMP proteolytic activity in blood. COVID-19 neutrophils were hyper-responsive to CXCL8 and CXCL12 in shape change assays. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 failed to replicate inside human neutrophils. CONCLUSION: Our study provides detailed insights into the kinetics of neutrophil phenotype and function in severe COVID-19 patients, and supports the concept of an increased neutrophil activation state in the circulation.

13.
EXCLI J ; 20: 781-791, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527045

ABSTRACT

The disruption of antioxidant defense has been demonstrated in severe acute respiratory syndrome due to SARS-CoV infection. Selenium plays a major role in decreasing the ROS produced in response to various viral infections. Selenoprotein enzymes are essential in combating oxidative stress caused due to excessive generation of ROS. Selenium also has a role in inhibiting the activation of NF-κB, thus alleviating inflammation. In viral infections, selenoproteins have also been found to inhibit type I interferon responses, modulate T cell proliferation and oxidative burst in macrophages, and inhibit viral transcriptional activators. Potential virally encoded selenoproteins have been identified by computational analysis in different viral genomes like HIV-1, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), and hepatitis C virus. This review discusses the role and the possible mechanisms of selenium, selenoproteins, and virally encoded selenoproteins in the pathogenicity of viral infections. Identification of potential selenoproteins in the COVID 19 genome by computational tools will give insights further into their role in the pathogenesis of viral infections.

14.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(6): 3443-3452, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526424

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is phylogenetically related to bat coronaviruses (CoVs), specifically SARS-related CoVs from the Eurasian bat family Rhinolophidae. As this human pandemic virus has spread across the world, the potential impacts of SARS-CoV-2 on native North American bat populations are unknown, as is the ability of North American bats to serve as reservoirs or intermediate hosts able to transmit the virus to humans or to other animal species. To help determine the impacts of the pandemic virus on North American bat populations, we experimentally challenged big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) with SARS-CoV-2 under BSL-3 conditions. We inoculated the bats both oropharyngeally and nasally, and over the ensuing three weeks, we measured infectivity, pathology, virus concentrations in tissues, oral and rectal virus excretion, virus transmission, and clinical signs of disease. We found no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in any examined bat, including no viral excretion, no transmission, no detectable virus in tissues, and no signs of disease or pathology. Based on our findings, it appears that big brown bats are resistant to infection with the SARS-CoV-2. The potential susceptibility of other North American bat species to SARS-CoV-2 remains to be investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Coronaviridae , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Humans , North America/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
15.
mBio ; 12(2)2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522913

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a recently emerged virus that causes coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, like SARS-CoV-1, uses the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a cellular receptor to initiate infection. Compounds that interfere with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain protein (RBD)-ACE2 receptor interaction may function as entry inhibitors. Here, we used a dual strategy of molecular docking and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) screening of compound libraries to identify those that bind to human ACE2 or the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD). Molecular modeling screening interrogated 57,641 compounds and focused on the region of ACE2 that is engaged by RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and vice versa. SPR screening used immobilized human ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein to evaluate the binding of these proteins to a library of 3,141 compounds. These combined screens identified compounds from these libraries that bind at KD (equilibrium dissociation constant) <3 µM affinity to their respective targets, 17 for ACE2 and 6 for SARS-CoV-2 RBD. Twelve ACE2 binders and six of the RBD binders compete with the RBD-ACE2 interaction in an SPR-based competition assay. These compounds included registered drugs and dyes used in biomedical applications. A Vero-E6 cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay was used to evaluate infection blockade by candidate entry inhibitors. Three compounds demonstrated dose-dependent antiviral in vitro potency-Evans blue, sodium lifitegrast, and lumacaftor. This study has identified potential drugs for repurposing as SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitors or as chemical scaffolds for drug development.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has caused more than 60 million cases worldwide with almost 1.5 million deaths as of November 2020. Repurposing existing drugs is the most rapid path to clinical intervention for emerging diseases. Using an in silico screen of 57,641 compounds and a biophysical screen of 3,141 compounds, we identified 22 compounds that bound to either the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and/or the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD). Nine of these drugs were identified by both screening methods. Three of the identified compounds, Evans blue, sodium lifitegrast, and lumacaftor, were found to inhibit viral replication in a Vero-E6 cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay and may have utility as repurposed therapeutics. All 22 identified compounds provide scaffolds for the development of new chemical entities for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Aminopyridines/pharmacology , Animals , Benzodioxoles/pharmacology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Evans Blue/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phenylalanine/analogs & derivatives , Phenylalanine/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sulfones/pharmacology , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Vero Cells
16.
Vox Sang ; 115(3): 146-151, 2020 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1508355

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emerging viruses like severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) and Nipah virus (NiV) have been identified to pose a potential threat to transfusion safety. In this study, the ability of the THERAFLEX UV-Platelets and THERAFLEX MB-Plasma pathogen inactivation systems to inactivate these viruses in platelet concentrates and plasma, respectively, was investigated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Blood products were spiked with SARS-CoV, CCHFV or NiV, and then treated with increasing doses of UVC light (THERAFLEX UV-Platelets) or with methylene blue (MB) plus increasing doses of visible light (MB/light; THERAFLEX MB-Plasma). Samples were taken before and after treatment with each illumination dose and tested for residual infectivity. RESULTS: Treatment with half to three-fourths of the full UVC dose (0·2 J/cm2 ) reduced the infectivity of SARS-CoV (≥3·4 log), CCHFV (≥2·2 log) and NiV (≥4·3 log) to the limit of detection (LOD) in platelet concentrates, and treatment with MB and a fourth of the full light dose (120 J/cm2 ) decreased that of SARS-CoV (≥3·1 log), CCHFV (≥3·2 log) and NiV (≥2·7 log) to the LOD in plasma. CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that both THERAFLEX UV-Platelets (UVC) and THERAFLEX MB-Plasma (MB/light) effectively reduce the infectivity of SARS-CoV, CCHFV and NiV in platelet concentrates and plasma, respectively.


Subject(s)
Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo/radiation effects , Light , Methylene Blue/pharmacology , Nipah Virus/radiation effects , SARS Virus/radiation effects , Ultraviolet Rays , Virus Inactivation , Blood Platelets/virology , Blood Transfusion , Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo/drug effects , Humans , Nipah Virus/drug effects , Plasma/virology , SARS Virus/drug effects
17.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 44(12): 2675-2684, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504521

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Due to relevant repercussions on reproductive medicine, we aimed to evaluate feasibility of RT-PCR as a detection method of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in seminal fluid. METHODS: A qualitative determination of the RT-PCR assays in semen was performed through different approaches: (1) efficiency of RNA extraction from sperm and seminal plasma was determined using PRM1 and PRM2 mRNA and a heterologous system as control; (2) samples obtained by diluting viral preparation from a SARS-CoV-2 panel (virus cultured in Vero E6 cell lines) were tested; (3) viral presence in different fractions of seminal fluid (whole sample, seminal plasma and post-centrifugation pellet) was evaluated. Semen samples from mild and recovered COVID-19 subjects were collected by patients referring to the Infectious Disease Department of the Policlinico Umberto I Hospital - "Sapienza" University of Rome. Control subjects were recruited at the Laboratory of Seminology-Sperm Bank "Loredana Gandini'' of the same hospital. RESULTS: The control panel using viral preparations diluted in saline and seminal fluid showed the capability to detect viral RNA presence with Ct values depending on the initial viral concentration. All tested semen samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the nasopharyngeal swab result or seminal fluid fraction. CONCLUSION: These preliminary data show that RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing appears to be a feasible method for the molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in seminal fluid, supported by results of the control panel. The ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 in semen is extremely important for reproductive medicine, especially in assisted reproductive technology and sperm cryopreservation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Pathology, Molecular/methods , Semen/virology , Adult , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Male , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reproductive Techniques , Vero Cells
18.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0080721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486516

ABSTRACT

The membrane fusion between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host cells is essential for the initial step of infection; therefore, the host cell membrane components, including sphingolipids, influence the viral infection. We assessed several inhibitors of the enzymes pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S)-mediated cell-cell fusion and viral infection. N-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR), an inhibitor of dihydroceramide Δ4-desaturase 1 (DES1), suppressed cell-cell fusion and viral infection. The analysis of sphingolipid levels revealed that the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion and viral infection in 4-HPR-treated cells were consistent with an increased ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to total sphingolipids. We investigated the relationship of DES1 with the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion. The changes in the sphingolipid profile induced by 4-HPR were mitigated by the supplementation with exogenous cell-permeative ceramide; however, the reduced cell-cell fusion could not be reversed. The efficiency of cell-cell fusion in DES1 knockout (KO) cells was at a level comparable to that in wild-type (WT) cells; however, the ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to the total sphingolipids was higher in DES1 KO cells than in WT cells. 4-HPR reduced cell membrane fluidity without any significant effects on the expression or localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Therefore, 4-HPR suppresses SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion through a DES1-independent mechanism, and this decrease in membrane fluidity induced by 4-HPR could be the major cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Sphingolipids could play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion with host cells. We studied the cell-cell fusion using SARS-CoV-2 S-expressing cells and sphingolipid-manipulated target cells, with an inhibitor of the sphingolipid metabolism. 4-HPR (also known as fenretinide) is an inhibitor of DES1, and it exhibits antitumor activity and suppresses cell-cell fusion and viral infection. 4-HPR suppresses membrane fusion through a decrease in membrane fluidity, which could possibly be the cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is accumulating clinical data on the safety of 4-HPR. Therefore, it could be a potential candidate drug against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Fenretinide/pharmacology , Membrane Fluidity/drug effects , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Cell Membrane/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Fluidity/genetics , Oxidoreductases/deficiency , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0053021, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486507

ABSTRACT

Elicitation of lung tissue-resident memory CD8 T cells (TRMs) is a goal of T cell-based vaccines against respiratory viral pathogens, such as influenza A virus (IAV). C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2)-dependent monocyte trafficking plays an essential role in the establishment of CD8 TRMs in lungs of IAV-infected mice. Here, we used a combination adjuvant-based subunit vaccine strategy that evokes multifaceted (TC1/TC17/TH1/TH17) IAV nucleoprotein-specific lung TRMs to determine whether CCR2 and monocyte infiltration are essential for vaccine-induced TRM development and protective immunity to IAV in lungs. Following intranasal vaccination, neutrophils, monocytes, conventional dendritic cells (DCs), and monocyte-derived dendritic cells internalized and processed vaccine antigen in lungs. We found that basic leucine zipper ATF-like transcription factor 3 (BATF3)-dependent DCs were essential for eliciting T cell responses, but CCR2 deficiency enhanced the differentiation of CD127hi, KLRG-1lo, OX40+ve CD62L+ve, and mucosally imprinted CD69+ve CD103+ve effector and memory CD8 T cells in lungs and airways of vaccinated mice. Mechanistically, increased development of lung TRMs induced by CCR2 deficiency was linked to dampened expression of T-bet but not altered TCF-1 levels or T cell receptor signaling in CD8 T cells. T1/T17 functional programming, parenchymal localization of CD8/CD4 effector and memory T cells, recall T cell responses, and protective immunity to a lethal IAV infection were unaffected in CCR2-deficient mice. Taken together, we identified a negative regulatory role for CCR2 and monocyte trafficking in mucosal imprinting and differentiation of vaccine-induced TRMs. Mechanistic insights from this study may aid the development of T-cell-based vaccines against respiratory viral pathogens, including IAV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). IMPORTANCE While antibody-based immunity to influenza A virus (IAV) is type and subtype specific, lung- and airway-resident memory T cells that recognize conserved epitopes in the internal viral proteins are known to provide heterosubtypic immunity. Hence, broadly protective IAV vaccines need to elicit robust T cell memory in the respiratory tract. We have developed a combination adjuvant-based IAV nucleoprotein vaccine that elicits strong CD4 and CD8 T cell memory in lungs and protects against H1N1 and H5N1 strains of IAV. In this study, we examined the mechanisms that control vaccine-induced protective memory T cells in the respiratory tract. We found that trafficking of monocytes into lungs might limit the development of antiviral lung-resident memory T cells following intranasal vaccination. These findings suggest that strategies that limit monocyte infiltration can potentiate vaccine-induced frontline T-cell immunity to respiratory viruses, such as IAV and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunologic Memory , Influenza A virus/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Receptors, CCR2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Animals , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/genetics , Influenza Vaccines/pharmacology , Lung/immunology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/prevention & control , Receptors, CCR2/genetics
20.
J Virol ; 95(13): e0019221, 2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486499

ABSTRACT

Understanding factors that affect the infectivity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is central to combatting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The virus surface spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 mediates viral entry into cells by binding to the ACE2 receptor on epithelial cells and promoting fusion. We found that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) induces ACE2 expression when it enters the lytic replicative cycle in epithelial cells. By using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) particles pseudotyped with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, we showed that lytic EBV replication enhances ACE2-dependent SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus entry. We found that the ACE2 promoter contains response elements for Zta, an EBV transcriptional activator that is essential for EBV entry into the lytic cycle of replication. Zta preferentially acts on methylated promoters, allowing it to reactivate epigenetically silenced EBV promoters from latency. By using promoter assays, we showed that Zta directly activates methylated ACE2 promoters. Infection of normal oral keratinocytes with EBV leads to lytic replication in some of the infected cells, induces ACE2 expression, and enhances SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus entry. These data suggest that subclinical EBV replication and lytic gene expression in epithelial cells, which is ubiquitous in the human population, may enhance the efficiency and extent of SARS-CoV-2 infection of epithelial cells by transcriptionally activating ACE2 and increasing its cell surface expression. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, has caused a pandemic leading to millions of infections and deaths worldwide. Identifying the factors governing susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 is important in order to develop strategies to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. We show that Epstein-Barr virus, which infects and persists in >90% of adult humans, increases susceptibility of epithelial cells to infection by SARS-CoV-2. EBV, when it reactivates from latency or infects epithelial cells, increases expression of ACE2, the cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2, enhancing infection by SARS-CoV-2. Inhibiting EBV replication with antivirals may therefore decrease susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Epithelial Cells/virology , Herpesvirus 4, Human/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cell Line , DNA Methylation , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Promoter Regions, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Trans-Activators/metabolism , Virus Activation
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