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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 660019, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389181

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of a recent pandemic that has led to more than 3 million deaths worldwide. Most individuals are asymptomatic or display mild symptoms, which raises an inherent question as to how does the immune response differs from patients manifesting severe disease? During the initial phase of infection, dysregulated effector immune cells such as neutrophils, macrophages, monocytes, megakaryocytes, basophils, eosinophils, erythroid progenitor cells, and Th17 cells can alter the trajectory of an infected patient to severe disease. On the other hand, properly functioning CD4+, CD8+ cells, NK cells, and DCs reduce the disease severity. Detailed understanding of the immune response of convalescent individuals transitioning from the effector phase to the immunogenic memory phase can provide vital clues to understanding essential variables to assess vaccine-induced protection. Although neutralizing antibodies can wane over time, long-lasting B and T memory cells can persist in recovered individuals. The natural immunological memory captures the diverse repertoire of SARS-CoV-2 epitopes after natural infection whereas, currently approved vaccines are based on a single epitope, spike protein. It is essential to understand the nature of the immune response to natural infection to better identify 'correlates of protection' against this disease. This article discusses recent findings regarding immune response against natural infection to SARS-CoV-2 and the nature of immunogenic memory. More precise knowledge of the acute phase of immune response and its transition to immunological memory will contribute to the future design of vaccines and the identification of variables essential to maintain immune protection across diverse populations.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Disease Resistance , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunologic Memory
2.
EPMA J ; 11(4): 581-601, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932654

ABSTRACT

The long evolutionary battle between humans and pathogens has played an important role in shaping the current network of host-pathogen interactions. Each organ brings new challenges from the perspective of a pathogen to establish a suitable niche for survival while subverting the protective mechanisms of the host. Lungs, the organ for oxygen exchange, have been an easy target for pathogens due to its accessibility. The organ has evolved diverse capabilities to provide the flexibility required for an organism's health and at the same time maintain protective functionality to prevent and resolve assault by pathogens. The pathogenic invasions are strongly challenged by healthy lung architecture which includes the presence and activity of the epithelium, mucous, antimicrobial proteins, surfactants, and immune cells. Competitively, the pathogens in the form of viruses, bacteria, and fungi have evolved an arsenal of strategies that can over-ride the host's protective mechanisms. While bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) can survive in dormant form for years before getting active in humans, novel pathogens can wreak havoc as they pose a high risk of morbidity and mortality in a very short duration of time. Recently, a coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2 has caused a pandemic which provides us an opportunity to look at the host manipulative strategies used by respiratory pathogens. Their ability to hide, modify, evade, and exploit cell's processes are key to their survival. While pathogens like M. tuberculosis have been infecting humans for thousands of years, SARS-CoV-2 has been the cause of the recent pandemic. Molecular understanding of the strategies used by these pathogens could greatly serve in design of predictive, preventive, personalized medicine (PPPM). In this article, we have emphasized on the clinically relevant evasive strategies of the pathogens in the lungs with emphasis on M. tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2. The molecular basis of these evasive strategies illuminated through advances in genomics, cell, and structural biology can assist in the mapping of vulnerable molecular networks which can be exploited translationally. These evolutionary approaches can further assist in generating screening and therapeutic options for susceptible populations and could be a promising approach for the prediction, prevention of disease, and the development of personalized medicines. Further, tailoring the clinical data of COVID-19 patients with their physiological responses in light of known host-respiratory pathogen interactions can provide opportunities to improve patient profiling and stratification according to identified therapeutic targets.

3.
Future Microbiol ; : 1483-1487, 2020 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-921124

ABSTRACT

RT-PCR-based assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 have played an essential role in the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, the sample collection and test reagents are in short supply, primarily due to supply chain issues. Thus, to eliminate testing constraints, we have optimized three key process variables: RNA extraction and RT-PCR reactions, different sample types and media to facilitate SARS-CoV-2 testing. By performing various validation and bridging studies, we have shown that various sample types such as nasopharyngeal swab, bronchioalveolar lavage and saliva, collected using conventional nasopharyngeal swabs, ESwab or 3D-printed swabs and, preserved in viral transport media, universal transport media, 0.9% sodium chloride or Amies media are compatible with RT-PCR assay for COVID-19. Besides, the reduction of PCR reagents by up to fourfold also produces reliable results.

4.
J Cell Mol Med ; 24(21): 12869-12872, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-863121

ABSTRACT

Considering lack of target-specific antiviral treatment and vaccination for COVID-19, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve COVID-19-infected patient outcomes. In a follow-up study to our recent findings indicating the potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), here we show for the first time that CBD may ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS through up-regulation of apelin, a peptide with significant role in the central and peripheral regulation of immunity, CNS, metabolic and cardiovascular system. By administering intranasal Poly (I:C), a synthetic viral dsRNA, while we were able to mimic the symptoms of ARDS in a murine model, interestingly, there was a significant decrease in the expression of apelin in both blood and lung tissues. CBD treatment was able to reverse the symptoms of ARDS towards a normal level. Importantly, CBD treatment increased the apelin expression significantly, suggesting a potential crosstalk between apelinergic system and CBD may be the therapeutic target in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as COVID-19 and many other pathologic conditions.


Subject(s)
Apelin/metabolism , Cannabidiol/pharmacology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Poly I-C/toxicity , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/chemically induced , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology
5.
J Neuroinflammation ; 17(1): 286, 2020 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808484

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented worldwide health crisis. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, a highly infectious pathogen that is genetically similar to SARS-CoV. Similar to other recent coronavirus outbreaks, including SARS and MERS, SARS-CoV-2 infected patients typically present with fever, dry cough, fatigue, and lower respiratory system dysfunction, including high rates of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); however, a rapidly accumulating set of clinical studies revealed atypical symptoms of COVID-19 that involve neurological signs, including headaches, anosmia, nausea, dysgeusia, damage to respiratory centers, and cerebral infarction. These unexpected findings may provide important clues regarding the pathological sequela of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, no efficacious therapies or vaccines are currently available, complicating the clinical management of COVID-19 patients and emphasizing the public health need for controlled, hypothesis-driven experimental studies to provide a framework for therapeutic development. In this mini-review, we summarize the current body of literature regarding the central nervous system (CNS) effects of SARS-CoV-2 and discuss several potential targets for therapeutic development to reduce neurological consequences in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Mol Diagn ; 22(10): 1294-1299, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-802774

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing has lagged in many countries because of test kit shortages and analytical process bottlenecks. This study investigated the feasibility and accuracy of a sample pooling approach for wide-scale population screening for coronavirus disease 2019. A total of 940 nasopharyngeal swab samples (934 negative and 6 positive) previously tested for SARS-CoV-2 were deidentified and assigned random numbers for analysis, and 94 pools of 10 samples each were generated. Automated RNA extraction, followed by RT-PCR, was performed in a 96-well plate. Positive pools were identified, and the individual samples were reanalyzed. Of the 94 pools/wells, four were positive [Ct values: N (22.7 to 28.3), ORF1ab (23.3 to 27.2), and internal control (34.4 to 35.4)]. The 40 samples comprising the four pools were identified and reanalyzed individually; six samples were positive, with Ct values of N gene, ORF1ab, and internal control comparable to their respective wells. Additional experiments were performed on samples with high Ct values, and overall results showed 91.6% positive and 100% negative agreement compared with individual testing approach. Thus, 940 samples were tested in 148 reactions compared with 940 reactions in routine screening. The sample pooling strategy may help catch up with testing needs and minimal turnaround times and facilitate enormous savings on laboratory supplies, extraction, and PCR kits currently in short supply.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Mass Screening/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Specimen Handling/standards , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
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