ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0198.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: epidemiological history of HCV-2; HCV-2 subtypes; evolutionary demography of HCV-2; phylodynamics of HCV-2 in Italy and Albania; HCV-2 Re estimation
Online: 11 January 2021 (13:10:30 CET)
Newly characterising 245 Italian and Albanian HCV-2 NS5B sequences collected between 2001 and 2016 was used to reconstruct the origin and dispersion pathways of HCV-2c. The tree of a subset of these sequences aligned with 247 publicly available sequences was reconstructed in spatio-temporal scale using the Bayesian approach, and the effective replication number (Re) was estimated using the birth-death model. Our findings show that HCV-2c was the most prevalent subtype in Italy and Albania, and that GT2 originated in Guinea Bissau in the XVI century and spread to Europe in the XX century. The HCV-2c subtype had two internal nodes respectively dating back to the 1930s and 1950s having as most probable locations Ghana and Italy, respectively. Phylodynamic analysis revealed an exponential increase in the effective number of infections and Re in both Italy between the 1950s and 1980s, and Albania between the 1990s and the early 2000s. It seems very likely that HCV-2c reached Italy from Africa at the time of the second Italian colonisation (1936-1941), but did not reach Albania until the period of dramatic migration to Italy in the 1990s.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0423.v1
Online: 16 June 2021 (08:21:33 CEST)
This study aimed to characterize the genetic subtypes of HCV-GT4 and identify the presence of natural occurring resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) in Saudi Arabia patients. A total of 17 GT4 patients was analyzed. Sequence analysis of NS3, NS5A and NS5B regions was performed by direct sequencing. In addition, phylogenetic analysis was used to determine genetic subtypes, RAS and polymorphisms. Nine patients were infected by a GT4a, one with GT4o, 3 with GT4d. The remaining four patients were infected with a recombinant virus (GT4a+GT4o in three patients, GT4c+GT4d in a patient). Natural RASs were found in six patients (35%), including three infected by GT4a, two by GT4a+GT4o and one patient infected by GT4c+GT4d. In particular, NS3-RAS V170I was demonstrated in three patients, while NS5A-RASs (L28M, L30R, L28M+M31L) were detected in the remaining three patients. All patients were treated with sofosbuvir plus daclatasvir; three patients were lost to follow-up whereas 14 patients completed the treatment. A sustained virological response (SVR) was obtained in all but one patient carrying NS3-RAS V170I who later relapsed. GT4a is the most common subtype in this small cohort of Saudi Arabia patients infected with hepatitis C infection. Natural RASs were observed in about a third of patients, but only one of them showed a treatment failure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0543.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: HSPA5; GRP78; BiP; HCV E2; protein-protein docking; structural bioinformatics
Online: 27 October 2020 (09:11:13 CET)
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the main causative factor for liver cirrhosis and the development of liver cancer, with a confirmed ~ 180 million infections worldwide. E2 is an HCV structural protein responsible for virus entry to the host cell. Heat Shock Protein A5 (HSPA5), also termed BiP and GRP78, is the master regulator of the unfolded protein response mechanism, where it mainly localizes in the lumen of the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) in normal conditions. Under the stress of HCV infection or carcinogenesis, HSPA5 is upregulated. Consequently, HSPA5 escapes the ER retention localization and translocates to the cytoplasm and plasma membrane. Pep42, a cyclic peptide that was reported to target explicitly cell-surface HSPA5 in vivo. Owing to the high sequence and structural conservation between the C554-C566 region of HCV E2 and the Pep42, then we propose that the HCV E2 C554-C566 region could be the recognition site. The motivation of this work is to predict the possible binding mode between HCV E2 and HSPA5 by implementing molecular docking to test such proposed binding. Docking results reveal the high potent binding of the HCV E2 C554-C566 region to HSPA5 substrate-binding domain β (SBDβ). Moreover, the full-length HCV E2 also exhibits high binding potency to HSPA5 SBDβ. Defining the binding mode between HCV E2 and HSPA5 is of significance, so one can interfere with such binding and reducing the viral infection.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0395.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2); RdRp; HCV; beclabuvir; in silico; molecular docking
Online: 2 April 2020 (11:25:57 CEST)
Recent emergence of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) all over the world has resulted more than 33,106 global deaths. To date well-established therapeutics modules for infected patients are unknown. In this present initiative, molecular interactions between FDA-approved antiviral drugs against the Hepatitis-C virus (HCV) have been investigated theoretically against the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of SARS-CoV-2. HCV and SARS-CoV-2 are both +ssRNA viruses. At 25o C beclabuvir, a non-nucleoside inhibitor of the RdRpHCV can efficiently bind to RdRp SARS-CoV-2 (ΔGAutoDock = -9.95 kcal mol-1) with an inhibition constant of 51.03 nM. Both the ΔGLondon and ΔGGBVI / WSA values were - 9.06 and - 6.67 kcal mol-1, respectively for binding of beclabuvir to RdRpSARS-CoV-2. In addition, beclabuvir has also shown better binding free energy with RdRpSARS-CoV-2 (ΔGvina = -8.0 kcal mol-1) than that observed with the Thumb 1 domain of RdRpHCV (ΔGvina = -7.1 kcal mol-1). InterProScan has suggested the RNA-directed 5'-3' polymerase activity exists within 549th to 776th amino acid residues of RdRpSARS-CoV, where the major amino acid residues interacting being I591, Y621, C624, D625, A690, N693, L760, D762, D763, and E813-N817. Molecular interaction suggests occupancy of beclabuvir inside the active site environment of the RdRpSARS-CoV-2, the enzyme essential for viral RNA synthesis. In conclusion, results suggest beclabuvir may serve as an anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0692.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: RACK1; HIV-1; IRES; Hepatitis C; HCV; AZT; HTA; Host-targeted antiviral; HEK293T; SD29-14
Online: 26 April 2021 (20:35:00 CEST)
Host ribosome-associated scaffold protein Receptor for Activated C Kinase 1 (RACK1) is utilized by a diverse group of human viruses for Internal Ribosomal Entry Sites (IRES) – mediated translation of viral mRNAs. We recently reported inhibition of herpes virus by small molecules targeting the RACK1 functional site. Here, we tested these molecules against HIV-1 and HCV, as HIV-1 contains two potential IRES sites and HCV translation occurs exclusively through IRES. Compounds significantly downregulated activities of HIV-1- and HCV-related dicistronic reporter constructs in transfected HEK293T cells. The compounds also strongly downregulated production of the HIV-1 capsid protein p24 in HIV-infected cells, as well as production of HIV-1 Gag precursor p55 and p55-derived proteins p24 and p17 in cells infected with the HIV-1 virus. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) IRES activities were also significantly inhibited by RACK1 inhibitor compounds. Since a number of human and plant pathogenic viruses are reported to use IRES, the RACK1 compounds can be established as broad host-targeted antivirals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0226.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus (HCV); liver; samples; structure; electrochemiluminescence (ECL); ELISA method (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay); antigen-antibodies
Online: 17 January 2022 (12:37:22 CET)
Objective: The study aimed to manage and to analyse the results of the laboratory tests, available nowadays, used from routine clinical practice, for screening of hepatitis C. Methods: comparison of ELISA method results (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) and chemiluminescence methods results. Beside previously mentioned, the study show the structural comparison of normal liver and pathologic liver with hepatic cirrhosis, using permanent samples colored after the technique protocol. Statistical analysis of this study results, was performed using the laboratory informatic system. Results: The results of the study are substantial and intricate. For this purpose, the results of preliminary EСL screening method of patients at risk for HCV who took part in the study, are presented in tables and figures. Results of this study are various and are correlate from different perspectives. Also good to mention that the correlations of results were used in order to identify a possible relationships between indicators of ELISA method and ECL index. More than, correlations antibodies detected in ECL and ELISA are point out. Conclusion: EСL and ELISA method results, are relevant for screening and for diagnostic confirmation in HCV risk patients. Unfotunately in the present study, were impossible to conclude about false-negative results. Good to know our opinion that RT-PCR technique, it is considered proper for the diagnosis of HCV.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0007.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: molecular diagnostics; molecular epidemiology; HIV; HBV; HCV; HPV; Zika virus; Dengue virus; tuberculosis; SARS; MERS; nCov-2019
Online: 3 February 2020 (03:47:27 CET)
Infectious diseases are a global health problem affecting billions of people. Developing rapid and sensitive diagnostic tools is key for successful patient management and curbing disease spread. Currently available diagnostics are very specific and sensitive but time-consuming and require expensive laboratory settings and well-trained personnel; thus, they are not available in resource-limited areas, for the purposes of large-scale screenings and in case of outbreaks and epidemics. Developing new, rapid, and affordable point-of-care diagnostic assays is urgently needed. This review focuses on CRISPR-based technologies and their perspectives to become platforms for point-of-care nucleic acid detection methods and as deployable diagnostic platforms that could help to identify and curb outbreaks and emerging epidemics. We describe the mechanisms and function of different classes and types of CRISPR-Cas systems, including pros and cons for developing molecular diagnostic tests and applications of each type to detect a wide range of infectious agents. Many Cas proteins (Cas9, Cas12, Cas13, Cas14) have been leveraged to create highly accurate and sensitive diagnostic tools combined with technologies of signal amplification and fluorescent, potentiometric, colorimetric, or lateral flow assay detection. In particular, the most advanced platforms -- SHERLOCK/v2, DETECTR, or CRISPR-Chip -- enable detection of attomolar amounts of pathogenic nucleic acids with specificity comparable to that of PCR but with minimal technical settings. Further developing CRISPR-based diagnostic tools promises to dramatically transform molecular diagnostics, making them easily affordable and accessible virtually anywhere in the world. The burden of socially significant diseases, frequent outbreaks, recent epidemics (MERS, SARS and the ongoing coronoviral nCov-2019 infection) urgently need the developing of express-diagnostic tools. Recently devised CRISPR-technologies represent the unprecedented opportunity to reshape epidemiological surveillance and molecular diagnostics.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; Hepatitis C Virus (HCV); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); Influenza viruses ribonucleic acid (RNA); SARS-CoV-2
Online: 19 February 2021 (14:34:38 CET)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of the current pandemic worldwide. The pathological condition induced by this pathogen is known as COVID-19 disease. SARS-CoV-2 associated pandemic has been defined as a “public health emergency of international concern” by the International Health Regulation Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization. To date, considerable efforts are in progress to develop more advanced strategies against SARS-CoV-2. Despite the numerous scientific studies published, our knowledge regarding this pathogen is still incomplete, as this virus has been identified only recently. Therefore, scientific investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 has been possible only for a short period of time and effective management of the serious forms of this disease is still lacking. Considerable efforts are in progress worldwide with the purpose to develop more advanced strategies against this pathogen. In this review, we have analyzed the structural and the biological SARS-CoV-2 characteristics and those of other well-known RNA viruses, with the aim to identify possible similarities and analogies between all these pathogens, may be a very useful approach. These infectious agents have been widely studied since several years ago and, a large series of scientific reports are available in the literature regarding this topic. Therefore, focusing on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Influenza viruses (IVs), we have collected their historical data, clinical manifestations, pathogenetic mechanisms and related infections. Taking advantage of the results of our research, we have assembled this narrative review, with the aim to get useful insights and lessons from HIV, HCV and IVs characteristics and, consequently, to transfer the obtained knowledge to the study of SARS-CoV-2 biology. There are well known differences between all these pathogens. In particular, they present a distinct mode of transmission, as SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza viruses are airborne pathogens, whereas HIV and HCV are bloodborne infectious agents. However, these viruses exhibit some potential common clinical manifestations and pathogenetic mechanisms and their understanding may contribute to establishing preventive measures and new therapies against SARS-CoV-2. Accordingly, we have analysed and discussed the following points: 1) the biology, the pathogenesis and the clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2, HIV, HCV and IVs in mankind; 2) the onset and spreading of pandemics caused by respiratory viruses according to a perspective historical point of view; 3) the possible development of a persistent SARS-CoV-2 reservoir worldwide; 4) the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection/reactivation; 5) the possible involvement and impact of climatic factors in increasing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spreading.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0324.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: T cytotoxic cells; Leukocyte-associated Immunoglobulin-like Receptor-1; LAIR-1; Hepatitis C virus genotype 4; HCV G4; hepatocellular carcinoma; cirrhosis; immune inhibitory checkpoints; inflammation; prognosis; insulin resistance
Online: 17 August 2022 (11:38:10 CEST)
Background and Aim. Since virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pathogenesis involves liver inflammation, therefore, post-hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection would be a cause for liver cirrhosis that would progress to HCC. Cytotoxic T cells (Tc) are known to be involved in post-HCV complications and HCC pathogenesis. The inhibitory checkpoint Leukocyte-Associated Immunoglobulin-like Receptor-1 (LAIR-1) is expressed on Tc. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether the Tc expression level of LAIR-1 is associated with HCC progression post-HCV and moreover, to evaluate LAIR-1 expression as a non-invasive biomarker for HCC progression in the context of liver cirrhosis post-HCV genotype 4 (G4) in Egyptian patients’ peripheral venous blood liquid biopsy. We studied LAIR-1 expression on Tc related to the progression of liver cirrhosis in a case-controlled study enrolled 64 patients with post-HCV G4-HCC and 37 patients with post-HCV G4-liver cirrhosis. Methods: LAIR-1 expression was analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: LAIR-1 expression on Tc and the percentage of Tc positive for LAIR-1 (LAIR-1+Tc %) were significantly higher in the post-HCV G4-HCC group compared to the post-HCV G4-liver cirrhosis