ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0405.v2
Online: 3 May 2020 (09:36:48 CEST)
Coronaviruses are a large family of RNA viruses which cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and COVID-19. This article highlights some key findings based on a thorough scanning of genes of 475 SARS-CoV2 genomes, including the co-presence of ORF7a and ORF8 over the 256 SARS-CoV2 genomes and the absence of the gene ORF7b over the 219 SARS-CoV2 genomes collected from various countries including India. The presence of the gene ORF7b is found in the SARS-CoV2 genomes containing the L-type strain which is reported to having much higher virulence as compared to the S-type strain.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0019.v2
Online: 3 April 2020 (15:23:50 CEST)
OBJECTIVE: Recent worldwide outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of respiratory coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a current, ongoing life-threatening crisis and international public health emergency. The early diagnosis and management of the disease remains a major challenge. In this review, we aim to summarize the updated epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, as well as prevention and control of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.MATERIALS AND METHODS: A broad search of the literature was performed in “PubMed” “Medline” “Web of knowledge”, and “Google Scholar” World Health Organization-WHO” using the keywords “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus”, “2019-nCoV”, “COVID-19, “SARS”, “SARS-CoV-2” “Epidemiology” “Transmission” “Pathogenesis” “Clinical Characteristics”. We reviewed and documented the information obtained from literature on epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical appearances of SARS-CoV-2 infection.RESULTS: The global cases of COVID-19 as of April 2, 2020 have risen to more than 900,000 and morbidity has reached more than 47,000. The incidence rate for COVID-19 has been predicted to be higher than the previous outbreaks of other coronavirus family members, including those of SARS-CoV and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The main clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic stages to severe lower respiratory infection in the form of pneumonia. Most of the patients also presented with fever, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, myalgia and breathlessness.Individuals at higher risk for severe illness include elderly people and patients with a weakened immune system or that are suffering from a underlying chronic medical condition like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, respiratory illness or cardiovascular diseases.CONCLUSIONS: SARS-Cov-2 has emerged as a worldwide threat, currently affecting 170 countries and territories across the globe. There is still much to be understood regarding SARS-CoV-2 about its virology, epidemiology and clinical management strategies; this knowledge will be essential to both manage the current pandemic and to conceive comprehensive measures to prevent such outbreaks in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0422.v1
Online: 29 March 2020 (06:16:20 CEST)
Currently, the world is struggling with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Prion-like domains are critical for virulence and the development of therapeutic targets; however, the prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 proteome have not been analyzed. In this in silico study, using the PLAAC algorithm, we identified the presence of prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Compared with other viruses, a striking difference was observed in the distribution of prion-like domains in the spike protein, since SARS-CoV-2 was the only coronavirus with a prion-like domain found in the receptor-binding domain of the S1 region of the spike protein. The presence and unique distribution of prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domains of the spike protein is particularly interesting, since although the SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV S proteins share the same host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates a 10- to 20-fold higher affinity for ACE2. Finally, we identified prion-like domains in the α1 helix of the ACE2 receptor that interact with the viral receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, the present findings indicate that the identified PrDs in the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and ACE2 region that interact with RBD have important functional roles in viral adhesion and entry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0337.v1
Online: 19 April 2020 (07:14:52 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind COVID-19 pandemic is acquiring new mutations in its genome. Although some mutations provide benefits to the virus against human immune response, a number of them may result in their reduced pathogenicity and virulence. By analyzing more than 3000 high-coverage, complete genome sequences deposited in the GISAID database, here I report a unique 28881-28883:GGG>AAC trinucleotide-bloc mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 genome that results in two sub-strains, described here as SARS-CoV-2g (28881-28883:GGG genotype) and SARS-CoV-2a (28881-28883:AAC genotype). Computational analysis and literature review suggest that this bloc mutation would bring 203-204:RG(arginine-glycine)>KR(lysine-arginine) amino acid changes in the nucleocapsid (N) protein affecting the SR (serine-arginine)-rich motif of the protein, a critical region for the transcription of viral RNA and replication of the virus. Thus, 28881-28883:GGG>AAC bloc-mutation is expected to modulate the pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2g and SARS-CoV-2a strains can be linked with the heterogeneity of COVID-19 cases across different regions within and between countries by analyzing existing data. Sequence analysis suggests that severely affected cities, such as Milan, Lombardy, New York, Paris have the predominant presence of SARS-CoV-2g strains, whereas less affected places like Abruzzo, Lyon, Valencia have a relatively higher presence of SARS-CoV-2a, an indication that the latter strain may contribute to the reduced cases of COVID-19. A similar relationship is observed when Netherlands, Portugal are compared with Spain, France and Germany. These analyses suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 has already evolved into a less infective SARS-CoV-2a affecting COVID-19 cases in different regions. The time a country or region needs to acquire SARS-CoV-2a strains may be indicative to the time it would need to overcome the peak of the COVID-19 cases. To confirm these assumptions, prompt retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies should be conducted in different countries to understand the course of pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2a and SARS-CoV-2g. Potential drugs can be designed targeting 28881-28883 region of the N protein to modulate virus pathogenicity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0065.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; influenza; pneumonia; respiratory tract infectious diseases
Online: 3 August 2020 (08:44:56 CEST)
The short study implicates few basic similarities of COVID-19 such as diseases origination, symptoms, diagnosis with other relatable viral diseases viz SARS-CoV, common Flu, pneumonia etc. In the present situation, other viral diseases are frequently chaotic and misled with COVID-19 disease because of few clinical features similarities in signs and symptoms and also due to lack of specific diagnostic test. To avoid unnecessary suspects, quarantines of false positive results and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 diseases, the scientific technical research field are highly encourage to implement an efficient, rapid and sophisticated superior test for early stages of infection detection. It will be significantly convenient for physician, laboratory technicians and most importantly the common population facing a psychological disturbance.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0448.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: betacoronaviruses; genomics; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:50:46 CEST)
In the 21st century, three highly pathogenic betacoronaviruses have emerged, with an alarming rate of human morbidity and case fatality. Genomic information has been widely used to understand the pathogenesis, animal origin and mode of transmission of betacoronaviruses in the aftermath of the 2002-03 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. Furthermore, genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis have had an unprecedented relevance in the battle against the 2019-20 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the newest and most devastating outbreak caused by a coronavirus in the history of mankind, allowing the follow up of disease spread and transmission dynamics in near real time. Here, we review how genomic information has been used to tackle outbreaks caused by emerging, highly pathogenic, betacoronavirus strains, emphasizing on SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; RATG13; BtCoV/4991; SARS-like (SL-) corona virus; pneumonia
Online: 24 May 2020 (20:02:22 CEST)
Genomic analysis indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is most related to RaTG13, a beta corona virus derived from bats by 96% 1. At present, RaTG13 is only available on the public database in the form of a genome sequence. The genome of RaTG13 (MN996532.1) was sequenced from the RNA of a bat faecal swab collected in 2013 from Yunnan, China, however the exact location is not mentioned. Since RaTG13 is one of the main supports for SARS-CoV-2 to have a natural origin, it is of utmost importance to understand the sample location. RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) sequence of RaTG13 shows that it is 100% similar to that of bat corona virus BtCoV/4991 and 98.7-98.9% similar to SARS-CoV-2 RdRp 2. BtCoV/4991 was described to be a SARS-like (SL-) corona virus from bat faeces sampled in an abandoned mine from Mojiang 2. Both the publications 1,2 are authored by Dr. Zheng-li Shi (Z-L Shi), who is described as the bat woman of China 3. However, BtCoV/4991 has not been mentioned by Zhou et al 2020 1 where novel corona virus was first described. Based on the RdRp sequence similarities, similarities in sample collection dates, sample locations, and the fact that RaTG13 is mentioned synonymous to BtCoV/4991 on the Chinese bat database, it is predicted that RaTG13 and BtCoV/4991 originate from the same sample. The sample, bat faecal swab was collected in 2013 from an abandoned mineshaft in Mojiang by Dr. Shi and her work group. In 2012, in a Mojiang mineshaft, six mine workers suffered from atypical pneumonia and three of them died. These workers were engaged in the work of clearing debris from a mineshaft which had a lot of bats and bat faeces 3,4. A detailed health investigation indicated that the miners suffered from atypical pneumonia mostly of the viral origin 4. Therefore, in the light of the present Covid-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, the fact that its phylogenetic neighbour RaTG13 originated from bat faeces collected from a mineshaft, which was also the origin of pneumonia-like disease in miners in 2012, should be noted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0264.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: plaque assay; neutralization; SARS; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; Avicel; methylcellulose; COVID
Online: 16 May 2020 (15:51:52 CEST)
When working with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 during a pandemic response, having a rapid, reproducible and reliable assay for infectious virus quantitation and utilization for evaluation of potential therapeutics is critical. Compared to traditional agarose overlay plaques visualized with neutral red, assays performed with Avicel R RC-591 semi-solid overlay provide a simplified format for rapid and easy detection and neutralization testing. The method is easily modified for higher throughput using dispensers or automated processing. Fixation using formalin provides flexibility when dealing with pathogenic agents such as SARS-CoV-2 where tissue culture plates might be removed from biocontainment for staining. Although plaque assays are considered straightforward in principle, having an easily reproducible, consistent plaque assay is an invaluable tool.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0516.v1
Online: 30 April 2020 (05:51:35 CEST)
Objective: On March 11, 2020 the WHO declared that COVID-19 is pandemic. Among the risk factors for many infectious diseases, a role of the ABO blood group system is reported in the literature. We argue whether it is necessary to investigate the relationship between ABO blood groups and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and if we should consider some blood groups as potential risk factors for COVID-19. Results: Based on the scientific evidence reported in this letter, we believe that further studies are needed to investigate how the ABO polymorphism influences the host susceptibility, individual response and clinical risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0430.v1
Online: 24 April 2020 (08:58:13 CEST)
Sars-CoV-2 outbreak represents a public health emergency, affecting different regions of the world. Lung is the organ more damaged due to the high presence of Sars-CoV-2 binding receptor ACE2 on epithelial alveolar cells. Severity of infection vary from absence of symptomatology to be more severe, characterized by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure and sepsis requiring treatment in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).It is not still clear why in a small percentage of patients immune system is not able to efficiently suppress viral replication. It has been documented as predictive factors for severity and susceptibility affections of cardiovascular system such as heart failure (HF), coronary heart disease (CHD) and risk factors for atherosclerotic progression, hypertension and diabetes among others.Atherosclerotic progression, as chronic inflammation process, is characterized by immune system dysregulation leading to pro-inflammatory pattern, including (Interleukin 6) IL-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) and IL-1β raise. Reviewing immune system and inflammation profiles in atherosclerosis and laboratory results report in severe Sars-CoV-2 infection we have supposed a pathogenetic correlation. Atherosclerosis may be a pathogenetic ideal substrate to high viral replication ability leading to adverse outcomes, how reported in patients with cardiovascular factors. Moreover, level of atherosclerotic progression may impact on a different degree of severe infection and in a vicious circle feeding itself Sars-CoV-2 may exacerbate atherosclerotic progression due to excessive and aberrant plasmatic concentration of cytokines.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0189.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS CoV; SARS CoV-2; novel CoV; India
Online: 12 April 2020 (09:17:16 CEST)
COVID-19 disease outbreak was started in the December, 2019 in the Wuhan city of China which is also known as the largest transportation hub of China. During the spring festival of China the situation become epidemic. Soon, the virus is imported to many regions including the low income countries. Till now, 234073 infected reported cases of the COVID-19 in the world with the total of 9840 deaths (March 20, 2020). The common symptoms of the COVID-19 are the cough, high fever, sore throat, fatigue and breathlessness. The disease is found to be mild in most of the people, some of cases reported to the pneumonia also with multi organ dysfunction and acute ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). It is found that the incubation period for the infection is 2-14 days which is usually 4 days in maximum of cases. India has reported 283 cases of COVID-19 infections till now with 4 deaths. India is still at stage 2 on local transmission as per WHO report 60. WHO reported 60 clearly stated that there is no community transmission occurred in India yet which can be prevented by the avoiding mass gathering and proper screening of the people. Govt. of India has taken many initiatives to minimize the spread of COVID-19 infection in the country. The infection rate of the COVID-19 in India remains low related to population size of the country. It is because of fast government action to quarantine the suspected people and shut down all its borders. There is a great slowdown in the global economy due to COVID-19 attack which is likely to costs around $1 trillion. The spread of COVID-19 infection can be reduced by minimizing the H-H transmissions. Still there is need of Anti-n-CoV drug development which can replace the supporting therapies for the treatment of infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0260.v2
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-like coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); RdRp; Remdesivir; and neutralizing antibody
Online: 10 July 2020 (16:21:17 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging, highly transmissible, and pathogenic coronavirus in humans, which has caused global public health emergency and economic crisis. To date, millions of infections and thousands of deaths have been reported worldwide, and the numbers continue to rise. Currently, there is no specific drug or vaccine against this deadly virus; therefore, there is a pressing need to understand the mechanism through which this virus enters the host cell. Viral entry into the host cell is a multistep process in which SARS-CoV-2 utilizes the receptor binding domain of the spike glycoprotein (S) to recognize ACE2 receptors on the human cells; this initiates host cell entry by promoting viral-host cell membrane fusion through large scale conformational changes in the S protein. Receptor recognition and fusion are critical and essential steps of viral infections and are key determinants of the viral host range and cross-species transmission. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and the roles of key viral factors. We discuss the RNA dependent RNA polymerase structure of SARS-CoV-2, its significance in drug discovery, and explain the receptor recognition mechanisms of coronaviruses. We provide a comparative analysis of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 S proteins, receptor-binding specificity, and discuss the differences in their antigenicity based on biophysical and structural characteristics.
Online: 12 March 2020 (03:15:15 CET)
The COVID19 coronavirus SARS-CoV2 spreading in Wuhan and now worldwide has been shown to use angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 ACE2 as its host cell receptor, like the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Epidemiology studies found different sex and age groups have different susceptibility to infection, and very skewed severity and mortality of the virus infection, with male, old age, and comorbidity being the most inflicted. Here by analyzing GTEx and other public data in 30 tissues across thousands of individuals, we found significantly higher expression in Asian females compared to males and other ethnic groups, an age dependent ACE2 expression decrease and a highly significant decrease in type II diabetic patients. Consistently, the most significant expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) contributing to high ACE2 expression are close to 100% in East Asians, >30% higher than other ethnic groups. Together with the shockingly common enrichment of viral infection pathways among ACE2 anti-expressed genes, binding of virus infection-related transcription factors at ACE2 regulatory regions, the repression of ACE2 expression by inflammatory cytokines and by type 2 diabetes, and the induction by estrogen and androgen (both decrease with age) established a negative correlation between ACE2 expression and CovID19 fatality at both population and molecular levels. Our results will be instrumental when designing potential prevention and treatment strategies for ACE2 binding coronaviruses in general.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0587.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; Accessory Protein; ORF8; ORF8ab
Online: 24 July 2020 (13:51:12 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic in first seven months has led to more than 15 million confirmed infected cases and 600,000 deaths. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19 has proved a great challenge for its ability to spread in asymptomatic stages and a diverse disease spectrum it has generated. This has created a challenge of unimaginable magnitude not only affecting human health and life but also potentially generating a long-lasting socioeconomic impact. Both medical sciences and biomedical research have also been challenged consequently leading to a large number of clinical trials and vaccine initiatives. While known proteins of pathobiological importance are targets for these therapeutic approaches, it is imperative to explore other factors of viral significance. Accessory proteins are one such trait that have diverse roles in coronavirus pathobiology. Here we analyze certain genomic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 accessory protein ORF8, predict upon its protein features and review current available literature regarding its function. We have also undertaken review of ORF8 homolog ORF8ab from SARS-CoV with a purpose of developing holistic understanding of these proteins for reason that coronaviruses have been infecting humans repeatedly and might continue to do so. Despite low nucleotide and protein identity and differentiating genome level characteristics, there appears to be significant structural integrity and functional proximity between these proteins pointing towards their high significance. There is further need for comprehensive genomics and structural-functional studies to lead towards definitive conclusions regarding their criticality and that can eventually define their relevance to therapeutics development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0551.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; Antiviral therapy
Online: 23 July 2020 (11:43:46 CEST)
Background: To prioritize the development of antiviral compounds, it is necessary to compare their relative preclinical activity and clinical efficacy. Methods: We reviewed in vitro, animal model, and clinical studies of candidate anti-coronavirus compounds and placed extracted data in an online relational database. Results: As of July 2020, the Coronavirus Antiviral Research Database (CoV-RDB; covdb.stanford.edu) contained >2,400 cell culture, entry assay and biochemical experiments, 240 animal model studies, and 56 clinical studies from >300 published papers. SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV account for approximately 85% of the data. Approximately 75% of experiments involved compounds with a known or likely mechanism of action, including receptor binding inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies (20%); viral protease inhibitors (18%); polymerase inhibitors (9%); interferons (8%); fusion inhibitors (8%); host endosomal trafficking inhibitors (7%); and host protease inhibitors (5%). For 724 compounds with a known or likely mechanism, 95 (13%) are licensed in the US for other indications, 72 (10%) are licensed outside the US or are in human trials, and 557 (77%) are pre-clinical investigational compounds. Conclusion: CoV-RDB facilitates comparisons between different candidate antiviral compounds, thereby helping scientists, clinical investigators, public health officials, and funding agencies prioritize the most promising compounds and repurposed drugs for further development.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: human coronavirus; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; envelope protein; immunopathology
Online: 25 May 2020 (17:54:57 CEST)
Since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, human coronaviruses (hCoVs) have been identified as causative agents of severe acute respiratory tract infections. Two more hCoV outbreaks have since occurred, the most recent being SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The clinical presentation of SARS and MERS is remarkably similar to COVID-19, with hyperinflammation causing a severe form of the disease in some patients. Previous studies show that the expression of the SARS-CoV E protein is associated with the hyperinflammatory response that could culminate in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a potentially fatal complication. This immune-mediated damage is largely caused by a cytokine storm, which is induced by significantly elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-6, which are partly mediated by the expression of the SARS-CoV E protein. The interaction between the SARS-CoV E protein and the host protein, syntenin, as well as the viroporin function of SARS-CoV E, are linked to this cytokine dysregulation. This review aims to compare the clinical presentation of virulent hCoVs with a specific focus on the cause of the immunopathology. The review also proposes that inhibition of IL-1beta and IL-6 in severe cases can improve patient outcome.
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Sars-CoV-2; homology modelling; envelope membrane glycoprotein; Bat; Pangolin; Sars-CoV
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:43:08 CEST)
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new viral infection caused by the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Genomic analyses have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is related to Pangolin and Bat coronaviruses. In this report, a structural comparison between the Sars-CoV-2 Envelope and Membrane proteins from different human isolates with homologous proteins from closely related viruses is described. The analyses here reported show the high structural similarity of Envelope and Membrane proteins to the counterparts from Pangolin and Bat coronavirus isolates. However, the comparisons have also highlighted structural differences specific of Sars-CoV-2 proteins which may be correlated to the cross-species transmission and/or to the properties of the virus. Structural modelling has been applied to map the variant sites onto the predicted three-dimensional structure of the Envelope and Membrane proteins.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0423.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; SARS-CoV; variable residues; main protease; structural analysis
Online: 29 March 2020 (06:22:06 CEST)
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 (CoV2) emerged in December 2019. This virus has 88% genomic similarity with SARS-CoV (CoV), and both viruses largely depend on their main protease (Mpro) to regulate infection. Mpro thus represents an attractive target for anti-SARS drug design. The CoV and CoV2 Mpro are 97% identical at the sequence level, with 12 variable residues, and their X-ray structures appear similar. We thus structurally analysed how these variable residues affect the intra-molecular interactions between key residues in the CoV2 Mpro active-site. Compared to CoV Mpro, the 12 divergent residues in CoV2 Mpro exhibit modified intra-molecular interaction networks that ultimately restructure the molecular micro-environment. These altered networks also indirectly affect the networks of other active-site residues at the entrance (T26, M49 and Q192) and near the catalytic region (F140, H163, H164, M165 and H172) of the Mpro. This suggest CoV2 indirectly (via neighbours) reshape key molecular networks around the Mpro active-site. It seems that the CoV2 Mpro deceives us with its apparent structurally identical to the CoV Mpro while this viral system accumulates mass mutations (12 variable residues) at key positions. Some of these identified CoV2 Mpro networks at the active-site might guide design of efficient CoV2 Mpro inhibitors.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0201.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 Detection, SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test, SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, False Negative, False Positive, Sensitivity, Specificity, Point-of-care testing (POCT), SARS-CoV-2 Mutants
Online: 25 March 2021 (15:33:14 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created huge damage to society and brought panics around the world. Such panics can be ascribed to the seemingly deceptive features of the COVID-19: compared to other deadly viral outspreads, it has medium transmission and mortality rates. As a result, the severity of the causative coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was deeply underestimated by the society at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on this, in this review, we define the viruses with features similar to those of SARS-CoV-2 as the Panic Zone viruses. To contain those viruses, accurate and fast diagnosis followed by effective isolation and treatment of patients are pivotal at the early stage of virus breakouts. This is especially true when there is no cure or vaccine available for a transmissible disease, which is the case for current COVID-19 pandemic. As of January 2021, more than two hundred kits for the COVID-19 diagnosis on the market are surveyed in this review, while emerging sensing techniques for SARS-CoV-2 are also discussed. It is of critical importance to rationally use these kits for the efficient management and control of the Panic Zone viruses. Therefore, we discuss guidelines to select diagnostic kits at different outbreak stages of the Panic Zone viruses, SARS-CoV-2 in particular. While it is of utmost importance to use nucleic acid-based detection kits with low false negativity (high sensitivity) at the early stage of an outbreak, the low false positivity (high specificity) gains its importance at later stages of the outbreak. When a society is set to reopen from the lock-down stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes critical to have antibody based immunoassay kits with high specificity to identify people who can safely return to the society after their recovery of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Given that the emergence of mutant viruses at the beginning of 2021 has complicated current battle against the COVID-19, we also discussed approaches and guidelines to detect viral mutants in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic that started at the end of 2020. Finally, since a massive attack from a viral pandemic requires a massive defense from the whole society, we urge both government and private sectors to research and develop more affordable and reliable point-of-care testing (POCT) kits, which can be used massively by the general public (and therefore called as massive POCT) to contain Panic Zone viruses in future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0165.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Conserved signature indels (CSIs) specific for SARS and SARS-CoV-2-related viruses. Molecular markers distinguishing different clades of Sarbecovirus, Evolutionary relationships between SARS and SARS-CoV-2-related viruses, Origin of SARS-CoV-2 and Pangolin CoV_MP789 viruses, Novel sequence and structural features of spike and nucleocapsid proteins. Genetic recombination.
Online: 26 August 2020 (10:17:16 CEST)
Both SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and SARS coronaviruses (CoVs) are members of the subgenus Sarbecovirus. To understand the origin of SARS-CoV-2, protein sequences from sarbecoviruses were analyzed to identify highly-specific molecular markers consisting of conserved inserts or deletions (termed CSIs) in the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins that are specific for either particular clusters/lineages of these viruses or are commonly shared by specific lineages. Three novel CSIs in the N-terminal domain of the spike protein S1-subunit (S1-NTD) are uniquely shared by the SARS-CoV-2, BatCoV-RaTG13 and most pangolin CoVs, distinguishing this cluster of viruses (SARS-CoV-2r) from all others. In the same positions, where these CSIs are found, related CSIs are also present in two other sarbecoviruses (viz. CoVZXC21 and CoVZC45 forming CoVZC cluster), which form an out group of the SARS-CoV-2r cluster. These three CSIs are not found in the SARS-CoVs. However, both SARS and SARS-CoV-2r CoVs contain two large CSIs in the C-terminal domain of S1 (S1-CTD), which binds the human ACE-2 receptor, that are absent in the CoVZC cluster of CoVs. These results indicate that while the S1-NTD of the SARS-CoV-2r viruses possesses the sequence characteristics of the CoVZC cluster of CoVs, their S1-CTD resembles the SARS viruses. Thus, the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2r viruses has likely originated from a recombination event between the S1-NTD of the CoVZC viruses and the S1-CTD of SARS viruses. This inference is also supported by the amino acid sequence similarity of the S1-NTD and S1-CTD from SARS-CoV-2 compared to the CoVZC and SARS CoVs. We also present evidence that one of the pangolin-CoV_MP789, whose receptor-binding domain is most similar to the SARS-CoV-2, is also derived by a recent recombination between the S1-NTD of the CoVZC CoVs and the S1-CTD of a SARS-CoV-2 related virus. Several other identified CSIs are specific for others clusters of sarbecoviruses including a clade consisting of bat SARS-CoVs (BM48-31/BGR/2008 and SARS_BtKY72). Structural mappings studies show that the identified CSIs are located within surface-exposed loops and form distinct patches on the surface of the spike protein. These surface loops/patches are predicted to interact with other host components and play important role in the biology/pathology of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Lastly, the CSIs specific for the SARS-CoV-2r clade provide novel means for development of new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for these viruses.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0488.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV; COVID-19; Sarbecovirus; D614G; Spike glycoprotein; Coronavirus; Alignment-free
Online: 21 July 2020 (12:47:13 CEST)
Conservation history of D614 residue is valuable in predicting the consequences of D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (SGP). We report here that the D614 belonged to an extraordinarily conserved, densely hydrophobic eleven amino acid peptide-motif vavlyqdvnct (11-aa), in the Sarbecovirus group and the variant carrying vavlyqdvnct had appeared in Chinese samples and became predominant in several geographical hotspots in late March, 2020. Interestingly a 2009 annotation of SARS-CoV contained the same mutation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0184.v1
Online: 12 April 2020 (05:36:40 CEST)
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are positive-stranded RNA viruses that infect humans and animals. Infection by CoVs such as HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43 and -HKUI1 leads to the common cold, short lasting rhinitis, cough, sore throat and fever. However, CoVs such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the newest SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19) lead to severe and deadly diseases with mortality rates ranging between ~1 to 35% depending on factors such as age and pre-existing conditions. Despite continuous global health threats to human, there are no approved vaccines or drugs targeting human CoVs, and the recent outbreak of COVID-19 emphasizes an urgent need for therapeutic interventions. Using computational and bioinformatics tools, here we present the feasibility of reported broad-spectrum RNA polymerase inhibitors as anti- SARS-CoV-2 drugs targeting its main RNA polymerase, suggesting that investigational and approved nucleoside RNA polymerase inhibitors have potential as anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. However, we note that it is also possible for SARS-CoV-2 to evolve and acquire drug resistance mutations against these nucleoside inhibitors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0098.v1
Online: 7 June 2022 (09:00:26 CEST)
Despite the remarkable success of SARS CoV-2 vaccines, the rise of variants, some of which are more resistant to the effects of vaccination, highlights the potential need for additional COVID-19 vaccines. We used the Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS) technology, in which proteins are presented on a polysaccharide polymer to induce antibody, Th1, Th17 and CD8+ T cell responses, to engineer a novel vaccine targeting SARS CoV-2. This vaccine contains a fragment of the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) sequence of the original D614G strain and was used to immunize nonhuman primates (NHP) for assessment of immunological responses and protection against SARS CoV-2 challenge. The SARS CoV-2 MAPS vaccine generated robust neutralizing antibodies as well as Th1, Th17 and cytotoxic CD8 T-cell responses in NHPs. Furthermore, MAPS-immunized NHPs had significantly lower viral loads in the nasopharynx and lung compared to control animals. Taken together, these findings support the use of the MAPS platform to make a SARS CoV-2 vaccine. The nature of the platform also could enable its use for the inclusion of different variants in a single vaccine.
Online: 7 June 2021 (13:01:18 CEST)
Wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 has garnered extensive public attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as a proposed complement to existing disease surveillance systems. Over the past year, methods for detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in untreated sewage have advanced, and concentrations in wastewater have been shown to correlate with trends in reported cases. Despite the promise of wastewater surveillance, for these measurements to translate into useful public health tools, it is necessary to bridge the communication and knowledge gaps between researchers and public health responders. Here we describe the key uses, barriers, and applicability of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance for supporting public health decisions and actions, including establishing ethical consideration for monitoring. Overall, while wastewater surveillance to assess community infections is not a new idea, by addressing these barriers, the COVID-19 pandemic may be the initiating event that turns this emerging public health tool into a sustainable nationwide surveillance system.
Online: 27 January 2021 (15:08:12 CET)
To date, uncertainty remains about how long the protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 persists and reports of suspected reinfection began to be described in recovered patients months after the first episode. Viral evolution may favor reinfections, and the recently described spike mutations, particularly in the receptor binding domain (RBD) in SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in the UK, South Africa, and most recently in Brazil, have raised concern on their potential impact in infectivity, immune escape and reinfection. We report a case of reinfection from distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages presenting the E484K mutation in Brazil, a variant associated with escape from neutralizing antibodies.
Online: 15 January 2021 (13:14:15 CET)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the current coronavirus pandemic is an infectious disease that initially confirmed in China in late December 2019. In this study, we analyzed 131 complete sequences of SARS-CoV-2 from Asia. Our results show that there are fifteen major mutations in Asia which most of them are co-evolved. There were five groups based on co-mutations which three of them resulted in clade G including (241C>T, 3037C>T, 14408C>T, and 23403A>G), (28881G>A, 28882G>A, 28883G>C and 23403A>G) and (25563G>T and 23403A>G). Co-mutations in (8782C>T and 28144T>C) and (1397G>A, 28688T>C, 29742G>T and 11083G>T) were clustered in clade S and a new clade outside of GISAID classification, respectively. Sequences with a mutation in 26144G>T had low variability without any co-mutation which formed clade V. In this study, we showed that Most of the circulated viruses in Asia collected in five co-mutation groups which may affect the transmissibility and vaccine designing strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0002.v1
Online: 4 January 2021 (08:27:33 CET)
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a well-known group of viruses in veterinary medicine. We currently know four genera of Coronavirus, alfa, beta, gamma and delta. Wild, farmed and pet animals are infected with CoVs belonging to all four genera. Seven human respiratory coronaviruses have still been identified, four of which cause upper respiratory tract diseases, specifically, the common cold, and the last three that have emerged cause severe acute respiratory syndromes, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. In this review we briefly describe animal coronaviruses and what we actually know about SARS-CoV-2 infection in farm and domestic animals.
Online: 29 May 2020 (03:41:50 CEST)
The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a global public health crisis. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 by contact is widely accepted, but the relative importance of aerosol transmission for the spread of COVID-19 is controversial. Here we characterize the distribution of SARA-CoV-2 in 123 aerosol samples, 63 masks, and 30 surface samples collected at various locations in Wuhan, China. The positive percentages of viral RNA included 21% of the aerosol samples from an intensive care unit and 39% of the masks from patients with a range of conditions. A viable virus was isolated from the surgical mask of one critically ill patient while all viral RNA positive aerosol samples were cultured negative. The SARS-CoV-2 detected in masks from patients, ambient air, and respirators from health workers compose a chain of emission, transport, and recipient of the virus. Our results indicate that masks are effective in protecting against the spread of viruses, and it is strongly recommended that people throughout the world wear masks to break the chain of virus transmission and thus protect themselves and others from SARS-CoV-2.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS; Covid-19; Vitamins; Therapy
Online: 23 April 2020 (05:44:52 CEST)
In December 2019 a novel human-infecting coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2 has been recognized to cause a pneumonia epidemic outbreak with different degree of severity in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China. Since then this epidemic spread worldwide an in the last week Europe and Italy also have been involved. Effective preventive and therapeutic strategies are absolutely required to block this serious public health concern. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated only recently, therefore a few studies concerning its immunopathogenesis and tretament are available. Therefore, on the basis of the assumption that the SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to SARS-CoV (about 82% of genome homology) and that its characteristics, like the modality of transmission, the route of infection, the organ localization, the type of the immune response it may stimulate, the morbidity and the mortality rates are still poor-known, a literature search was performed to identify the reports assessing these elements in patients with SARS-CoV-induced infection. Therefore, we have analysed: 1) the structure of SARS CoV-2 and SARS CoV; 2) the clinical signs and symptoms and pathogenic mechanisms observed during the development of acute respiratory syndrome and the Cytokine Release Syndrome; 3) the modification of the cell microRNome and of the immune response in patients with SARS infection; 4) the possible role of some liposoluble compounds (such as vitamin A, D and E) in modulating directly or indirectly the replication ability of SARS-CoV-2 and host immune response.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0154.v1
Online: 9 April 2020 (13:15:21 CEST)
SARS-CoV2 popularly known as (COVID-19) has presently received worldwide attention. It has been considered a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Owing to its high transmittance factor the virus has brought about many deaths and spread to all the major countries of the world. Scientists and Researchers worldwide are giving their full efforts to develop a vaccine. In our present study, we have included the comparative analysis of the different spike glycoprotein sequences of the patients suffering from COVID-19 from different countries where this pandemic has occurred. Spike glycoproteins are the structural proteins that bring about the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 viral molecule to the ACE2 receptor of the host following which infection occurs. Through this data, we have shown the different point mutations in the spike glycoproteins that occurred over time in different countries as the disease progressed.
Online: 27 April 2020 (09:55:03 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the respiratory infection known as COVID-19. From an immunopathological standpoint, coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 induce an increase in a variety of T-helper 1 (Th1) and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines including interleukins IL-1, IL-6, CCL2 protein and CXCL10 protein. In the absence of proven antiviral agents or an effective vaccine, substances with immunomodulatory activity may be able to inhibit inflammatory and Th1 cytokines and/or yield an anti-inflammatory and/or Th2 immune response to counteract COVID-19 symptoms and severity. This report briefly describes four unconventional but commercially accessible immunomodulatory agents that could be employed in clinical trials to evaluate their effectiveness at alleviating disease symptoms and severity: Low-dose oral interferon-alpha, microdose DNA, low-dose thimerosal and phytocannabinoids.
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:41:36 CEST)
There is an urgent need to advance safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Such vaccines rely on proven technologies such as recombinant protein-based vaccines to facilitate its transfer for emerging market vaccine manufacturers. Our group is developing a two-pronged approach to advance recombinant protein-based vaccines to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS CoV2 and other coronavirus infections. One vaccine is based on a yeast-derived (Pichia pastoris) recombinant protein comprised of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV formulated on alum and referred to as the CoV RBD219-N1 Vaccine. Potentially this vaccine could be used as a heterologous vaccine against COVID-19. A second vaccine specific for COVID-19 is also being advanced using the corresponding RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The first antigen has already undergone cGMP manufacture and is therefore “shovel ready” for advancing into clinical trials, following vialing and required GLP toxicology testing. Evidence for its potential efficacy to cross-protect against SARS-CoV-2 includes cross-neutralization and binding studies using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. Evidence in support of its safety profile include our internal assessments in a mouse challenge model using a lethal mouse adapted SARS strain, which show that SARS-CoV RBD 291N1 (when adsorbed to Alhydrogel®) does not elicit eosinophilic lung pathology. Together these findings suggest that recombinant protein-based vaccines based on the RBD warrant further development to prevent SARS, COVID-19 or other coronaviruses of pandemic potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0024.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; COVID-19; infertility; lockdown; IVF; SARS-CoV-2 serological testing
Online: 4 January 2021 (12:07:44 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic had profound negative effects on millions of couples affected by infertility and in need to resort to assisted reproductive technologies. There is no consensus over the optimal way and moment of screening triage-negative asymptomatic patients and staff. We present SARS-CoV-2 antibodies’ (IgM, IgG) seroprevalence in 516 triage-negative patients and 30 fertility care providers. The sampling for SARS-CoV-2 serological assays took place from the lockdown release throughout the second half of 2020 (17.05 - 01.12.2020). It revealed an increased seroprevalence of antibodies that closely followed the local epidemiology of COVID-19, with the highest rate of seropositivity coincident with the peak of the second wave. From 546 triage-negative individuals whose blood samples were assessed for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, 6% yielded positive results. The overall seroconversion rate was 2.8% for IgG and 5.1% for IgM. In the group with positive IgM, we observed a negative predictive value for IgM of 98.36% (95% CI: 88.79 – 99.78%), which is clinically meaningful. Serological testing of triage-negative patients up to seven days prior to the actual fertility procedure might avoid the more expensive and not more sensitive molecular testing currently being used for patient screening in most fertility units.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0139.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: SARS epidemiology; super spread events; efficient diagnosis to contain magnitude of SARS-2 outbreaks
Online: 9 April 2020 (07:48:47 CEST)
Corona viruses cause extensive SARS epidemics via super spread events (SSE). Due to variation in infection risk and heterogeneity of reproduction numbers specific distinction between SSE’s and typical case events is essential. SARS transmissions unveil a complex scenario in which SSE’s are shaped by multiple factors. Specific screening strategies for infection emergence within potential super spreading groups will help to efficiently control the SARS-2 pandemic and alleviate the partially effective general restriction measures.
Subject: Keywords: heterologous vaccine; receptor-binding domain; subunit vaccine; coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 4 March 2020 (05:19:16 CET)
A SARS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) recombinant protein was developed and manufactured under current good manufacturing practices in 2016. The protein known as RBD219-N1 when formulated on Alhydrogel®, induced high-level neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity with minimal immunopathology in mice after a homologous virus challenge with SARS-CoV (MA15 strain). In this report, we examined published evidence in support of whether the SARS-CoV RBD219-N1 could be repurposed as a heterologous vaccine against Coronavirus Infectious Disease (COVID)-19. Our findings include evidence that convalescent serum from SARS-CoV patients can neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a review of published studies using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised against SARS-CoV RBD and that neutralize the SARS-CoV virus in vitro, finds that some of these mAbs bind to the receptor-binding motif (RBM) within the RBD, while others bind to domains outside this region within RBD. This information is relevant and supports the possibility of developing a heterologous SARS-CoV RBD vaccine against COVID-19, especially due to the finding that the overall high amino acid similarity (82%) between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike and RBD domains is not reflected in RBM region (59%). However, the high similarity (94%) in the region outside of RBM offers the potential of conserved neutralizing epitopes between both viruses.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0058.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Emerging infectious diseases; coronaviruses; COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; MERS-CoV; zoonotic diseases
Online: 3 September 2020 (04:54:38 CEST)
The ongoing global pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has once again demonstrated the significance of the Coronaviridae family in causing human disease outbreaks. As SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in December 2019, information on its tropism, host range, and clinical presentation in animals is limited. Given the limited information, data from other coronaviruses may be useful to inform scientific inquiry, risk assessment and decision-making. We review the endemic and emerging alpha- and betacoronavirus infections of wildlife, livestock, and companion animals, and provide information on the receptor usage, known hosts, and clinical signs associated with each host for 15 coronaviruses discovered in people and animals. This information can be used to guide implementation of a One Health approach that involves human health, animal health, environmental, and other relevant partners in developing strategies for preparedness, response, and control to current and future coronavirus disease threats.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system
Online: 25 March 2020 (03:56:27 CET)
The role of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS) in Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection has become a controversial topic of discussion. RAAS inhibitors, such as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which are used to treat cardiovascular diseases, have been implicated in potentially increasing cell surface levels of ACE2. ACE2 is the host receptor for COVID-19 that was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since December, COVID-19 has transmitted rapidly across the world and has become a global pandemic. COVID-19 is similar to the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) with the first case reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. COVID-19, also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is also similar to SARS-CoV, which first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002, and caused an epidemic between November 2002 and July 2003. Both SARS-CoV and COVID-19 use ACE2 to enter host cells. ACE2 is primarily expressed in the mouth, lung, heart, esophagus, kidney, bladder, and intestines, and is a component of RAAS, which serves to maintain vascular tone and blood volume. Inhibition or activation of other components of RAAS has been shown to directly increase or decrease the expression and/or activity of ACE2. Furthermore, RAAS-targeting therapeutics, such as ACE inhibitors and ARBs, have also been shown to regulate the expression and/or activity of ACE2, albeit in animal models. Although these changes in ACE2 have been demonstrated only in animal models, there is no evidence that administration of RAAS-targeting therapeutics to humans for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases (e.g., myocardial infarction and heart failure) causes changes in ACE2 expression. Nor is there clinical evidence that RAAS-targeting therapeutics augment COVID-19 infection, morbidity, or mortality. However, clinical evidence does suggest that ACE2 expression may protect against respiratory distress caused by a variety of noxious agents. This review attempts to provide a balanced overview of the potential role of RAAS in regulating ACE2, and the role of ACE2 during COVID-19 infection. Evidence is provided to show that the expression of ACE2 may mediate both positive and negative outcomes, depending on the timing of ACE2 expression.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0159.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: bat SARS-like CoV; SARS-CoV; 2019-nCoV; phylogeny; spike protein; viral and host fusion
Online: 10 March 2020 (03:49:10 CET)
A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that is initially found to trigger human severe respiratory illness in Wuhan City of China, 2019, has been recognized as a public health emergency of international concern. In the past two months, this deadly agent has caused 77,785 cases with 2,666 deaths via rapid person-to-person transmission and reached at least 25 countries. However, its evolutionary origin is poorly understood. Here we show integrative evidence that 2019-nCoV is a possible progenitor for SARS-CoV with bat origin. Our finding underscores the importance of tracing origin in the efficient monitoring, and effectively preventing the interspecies transmission of such emerging/re-emerging coronaviruses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0209.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: cluster analysis; SARS-CoV-2; Variant
Online: 11 August 2022 (06:01:14 CEST)
Viral variant analysis is a bedrock of the disease surveillance. When combined with temporospatial analysis variant analysis can further the knowledge of disease spread in a study area. This paper suggests a method to perform the analysis in an operational setting which will allow for real-time surveillance of viral variants and allow local public health professionals to rapidly respond to changes in the evolution of the disease. This method includes three main subprocesses: preprocessing, analysis, and rendering. This method can be performed across multiple software platforms. A use case is given in which it was found that this method helped a hospital system understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Northeast, Ohio.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0335.v1
Online: 22 July 2022 (09:57:40 CEST)
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), etiological agent of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread since December 2019, resulting in massive health and economic crisis worldwide. While efforts to stop the pandemic are crucial, collecting epidemiological data to help manage current and future pandemics will be important. In addition to humans, serological and molecular based studies have demonstrated SARS CoV-2 exposure in several wild, domestic and farmed animals. For examples Shriner and the team showed serologically an exposure of 40% to the white deer living in close proximity to urban centers. Additional reports have also emerged of susceptibility of animal’s species like cats, ferrets, raccoon dogs, cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques, white-tailed deer, rabbits, Egyptian fruit bats, and Syrian hamsters to SARS-CoV-2 infection.. It’s worth emphasizing that these reports are based on experimental data mostly derived from Europe, USA, South America and parts of Asia. In limited instances natural infections of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in pet dogs, cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, pumas, gorillas at zoos and farmed mink and ferrets. The presence of the virus in animal species and an understanding of whether these are natural or recent human to animal transmissions is important. It’s possible that such transmission could passage the virus or subject the virus to a different immunological pressure thereby helping with the development of viral variants in addition to being a host for future reservoirs of the virus. In Kenya SARS-CoV-2 was first detected on March 12th 2020 from imported human cases of persons who had travelled from the United States. This was followed by detection of imported cases majorly from China, Sweden and United Kingdom. Later infections were confirmed in Nairobi and Mombasa suggesting further cases of disease importations through the major ports of entry. However, no comparable data on animal exposure have hitherto been generated in Kenya. To address this key concern, we focused on three objectives; 1) development of a robust antibody ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate. 2) SARS-CoV-2 serology of domestic animals in Kenya. 3) Corroboration of the crude lysate based seroprevalence data and a commercial ELISA kit based on the Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen. Our sample set included camel sera (both pre- & post outbreak sera), as well as sera from cats and dogs collected at the peak of the pandemic. Our results using the ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate indicated SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in camels (71%, N=145), cats 11% (N=16) and dogs (81%, N=36) with varying titer levels. These findings were comparable to those obtained using the commercial ELISA kit based on the spike RBD antigens. In summary, the data warrants two key conclusions: (i) we have demonstrated that the crude lysate ELISA allows for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection, and given its potential to offer robust detection could be applied for initial mass screening (ii) although the current study cannot disentangle the relative contributions of antigenic cross-reactivity, pre-pandemic exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or human-animal transmission, it nonetheless demonstrates for the first time the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 like antibodies in domestic and wild animals in Kenya. Our findings set the scene for further research into the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic and wild animals to understand their potential epidemiological implications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0226.v1
Online: 17 May 2022 (08:57:44 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for society, especially for those residing in long-term care facilities (LTCF). This study aimed to describe rates of infection, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19 among older people and staff of LTCF in Minas Gerais (Brazil) and identify strategies to prevent and control the disease spread. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 164 LTCF (6,017 older people). Among the studied LTCF, 48.7% confirmed COVID-19 infection in older people, resulting in 39.6% hospitalization and 32.3% death among infected. Moreover, 68.9% of LTCF confirmed COVID-19 infection in the staff, with 7.3% hospitalization and 1.2% death. Preventive measures were identified and classified as organizational, infrastructure, hygiene items and personal protective equipment, and staff training against COVID-19. These measures showed strategies and barriers experienced in the daily routine of LTCF during the pandemic. LTCF in Brazil experienced challenges similar to observed worldwide. Results highlighted the importance of continuity and improvement of protective measures for older people in LTCF, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID19; SARS CoV2; physiotherapy; healthcare system
Online: 3 June 2021 (12:06:26 CEST)
Background: The practices of various health-care professionals have been improvised to accommodate the on-going covid-19 pandemic situation. Different guidelines have been set in place to ease the process of re-opening of non-elective healthcare services like out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Although the measures taken should be guided by evidence based information, major consensus amongst practicing therapists needs to guide the India physiotherapy clinics. Objective: To identify and present the opinions of different physiotherapists about the various strategies for re-opening the out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted. Over 169 participants were selected to participate in the survey according to the pre-decided inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data was collected and saved via google forms. Result and conclusion: A majority of respondents had a consensus over different strategies for re-opening the physiotherapy OPDs. These were regarding different measures to be adapted including modifications in the clinic infrastructure and the practice pattern. This would help in smoothly re-instating the physiotherapy services post the covid-19 lockdown.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0271.v1
Online: 9 March 2021 (12:37:24 CET)
Background The World Health Organization has recently recognized Long COVID, calling the international medical community to strengthen research and comprehensive care of patients with this condition. However, if Long COVID pertains to children as well is not yet clear. Methods An anonymous, online survey was developed by an organization of parents of children suffering from persisting symptoms since initial infection. Parents were asked to report signs and symptoms, physical activity and mental health issues. Only children with symptoms persisting for more than four weeks were included. Results 510 children were included (56.3% females) infected between January 2020 and January 2021. At their initial COVID-19 infection, 22 (4.3%) children were hospitalized. Overall, children had persisting COVID-19 for a mean of 8.2 months (SD 3.9). Most frequent symptoms were: Tiredness and weakness (444 patients, 87.1% of sample), Fatigue (410, 80.4%), Headache (401, 78.6%), Abdominal pain (387, 75.9%), Muscle and joint pain (309, 60.6%), Post-exertional malaise (274, 53.7%), rash (267, 52.4%). 484 (94.9%) children had had at least four symptoms. 129 (25.3%) children have suffered constant COVID-19 infection symptoms, 252 (49.4%) have had periods of apparent recovery and then symptoms returning, and 97 (19.0%) had a prolonged period of wellness followed by symptoms. Only 51 (10.0%) children have returned to previous levels of physical activity. Parents reported a significant prevalence of Neuropsychiatric symptoms. Conclusions Our study provides further evidence on Long COVID in children. Symptoms like fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, rashes and heart palpitations, and mental health issues like lack of concentration and short memory problems, were particularly frequent and confirm previous observations, suggesting that they may characterize this condition. A better comprehension of Long COVID is urgently needed..
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0543.v1
Online: 21 December 2020 (19:10:09 CET)
Prevention practices have been extensively used to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These include social distancing, wearing masks, disinfection of hands, and sanitization of contact surfaces. However, the excessive usage of chemical disinfectants pose long term adverse effects to human health and the environment. Development of effective and environmentally friendly biocides, or virucidal agents, will help mitigate the ill effects of chemical disinfectants. Enzymes are potential candidates for the preparation of biocides against bacteria and viruses. Exploration of the virucidal activity of commercial enzymes, will highlight prospective, readily available sources for research on enzyme based biocides. In this study, the virucidal effect of some com-mercial enzyme preparations has been investigated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vida Defense (2000 µg/ml), Excellacor (1500 µg/ml), and SEBkinase (3000 µg/ml) reduced SARS-CoV-2 viral ti-ters by ≥1 log CCID50 (≥90%). ImmunoSEB (6000µg/ml) and Peptizyme SP (500µg/ml) reduced the SARS-CoV-2 viral titers by 0.8 log CCID50 (84.2%). The study indicates that enzyme prepara-tions offer the potential to be explored further for an anti-viral biocide against SARS‐CoV‐2 for reducing the risk of COVID‐19 transmission. However, further studies are mandated to improve efficacy and establish safety.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0555.v1
Online: 23 September 2020 (17:44:21 CEST)
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused more than 745,000 deaths worldwide. Vitamin D has been identified as a potential strategy to prevent or treat this disease. The purpose of the study was to measure vitamin D at hospital admission of COVID-19; Methods: We included critically ill patients with the polymerase chain reaction positive test for COVID-19, from March to April, 2020. Statistical significance was defined as P < .05. All tests were 2-tailed; Results: A total of 35 patients (median age, 60 years; 26 [74.3%] male) were included. Vitamin D levels were categorized as deficient for 14 participants (40%). Vitamin D deficiency was associated with vitamin A (P= 0.003) and Zinc (P= 0.019) deficiency and lower levels of albumin (P= 0.026) and prealbumin (P= 0.009). Overall, none of the studied variables were associated with vitamin D status: mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) or hospital stay, necessity of vasoactive agents, intubation, prone position, C reactive protein (CRP), Dimer-D, Interleukin 6 levels (IL-6), ferritin levels, or bacterial superinfection; Conclusions: In this single-center, retrospective cohort study, deficient vitamin D status was found in 40% in COVID-19 critically ill patients. However, deficient vitamin D status was not associated with inflammation or outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0425.v1
Online: 18 September 2020 (09:58:49 CEST)
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is clearly taking a firmer grip on South Africa and more podiatrists will face the potential transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Government response was swift with the implementation of a travel ban, strict national lockdown as well as social distancing and hygiene protocols in line with international health regulations. Co-morbidities such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, endemic to South Africa, are considered a dangerous combination with COVID-19, making many South Africans vulnerable to contracting the COVID-19. Patients with diabetes as well as the aged are vulnerable, both in terms of potential combined complications and challenges in continuity in foot care. The demands of the pandemic may outstrip the ability of the health systems to cope. Should this time arrive, all healthcare practitioners, including podiatrists, would have to step in and take on a role beyond their scope of practice in order to ensure that the healthcare system does not get overwhelmed. It is important for podiatrists to keep abreast with the developments around the COVID-19, in order that they may institute appropriate clinical practice which will ensure maximum protection for themselves, staff and patients as well as providing quality foot health care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0327.v1
Online: 15 September 2020 (04:24:17 CEST)
In regions lacking genomic data, analysis of sequences from the early stages of an outbreak can provide important insights into the diversity of pathogens present. Following the detection of the first imported case of COVID-19 in the Northern sector of Ghana on 13th March 2020, we have now molecularly characterized and phylogenetically analysed sequences including three (3) complete genomes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) isolated from nine (9) patients observed in Ghana. Eight (8) of these patients reported with a recent history of foreign travel and one (1) with no history of foreign travel. We performed high throughput sequencing for 9 samples following the determination of high concentration of viral RNA. In addition, we estimated the potential impact that long distance transportation of samples to testing centres may have on sequencing outcomes. Here, two samples that were closest in terms of viral RNA concentration but transported from sites which are over 400km apart were assessed. All sequences were compared to previous sequences from Ghana and representative sequences from regions where our patients had previously travelled. Complete genomes were obtained for three (3) sequences and with another near complete genome with a coverage of 95.6%. Sequences with coverage in excess of 80% were found to belong to three lineages namely A, B.1 and B.2. Our sequences clustered in two different clades with the majority falling within a clade composed of sequences from sub-Saharan Africa. Less RNA fragmentation was seen in sample KATH23 which was collected 9km compared with sample TTH6 which was collected and transported over a distance of 400km to the testing site. The clustering of several sequences from sub-Saharan Africa suggests regional circulation of the viruses in the subregion. Importantly, there may be the need to decentralize testing sites and build more capacity across Africa to boost the sequencing output of the subregion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0184.v1
Online: 14 June 2020 (16:00:35 CEST)
Spike protein is the surface glycoprotein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) necessary for the entry of the virus via the transmembrane receptors of the human endothelial cells of the respiratoty system for the virus to be engulfed causing COVID-19 disease after priming by type II transmembrane protease TMPRSS2 and then binding with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Therefore, mutations and amino acid variants analysis are essential in understanding the mechanism of binding of spike protein with its receptor to have an insights on possibilities to design a peptide or nucleotide-based vaccine for COVID-19. Here, we employed Iterative Threading Assembly Refinement (I-TASSER) and Multiple Alignment using Fast Fourier Transform (MAFFT) to predict the three-dimensional monomer structure of spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and to analyze the amino acid variants for protein sequences from GISAID database for samples collected from Jordan in a try to find an explanation for the low confirmed number of COVID-19 in Jordan. Our Protein Homology/analogY Recognition Engine V 2.0 (Phyre2) findings showed four single amino acid variants (SAV) found in 20 samples of SARS-CoV-2. What is equal to 5% of samples showed tyrosine deletion at Y144 located in the SARS-CoV-like_Spike_S1_NTD (N terminal domain), 62% showed aspartate substitution to glycine at D614G located in the SARS-CoV-2_Spike_S1_RBD (spike recognition binding site), 5% showed aspartate substitution to tyrosine at D1139Y and 5% showed glycine substitution to serine at G1167S both located in the Corona_S2 domain. The findings have shown lower mutational sensitivity in all variants that might not affect the function of spike glycoprotein except for D614G, which has the highest mutational sensitivity score (5 out of 9) indicating a higher likelihood to affect the function of the spike protein. This might suggest, in general, a reduced transmitability of SARS-CoV-2 in Jordan.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0024.v1
Online: 4 June 2020 (05:50:09 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic has caused a large-scale havoc in almost every country across the globe, putting major challenges for the healthcare system in many parts of the world. Several of the laboratories are running in the race with undying efforts for developing potential vaccine, drugs or therapeutics to treat or prevent the infection. However, with the limited time window and high rate of infection, the task is very big for humanity to find a cure. With hundreds of genomic data of SARS-CoV-2 virus isolates from humans are being submitted almost every day, it is coming into knowledge that virus is mutating, slower in countries with sporadic cases, but higher in countries experiencing large outbreak. These types of mutations in virus may bring challenges in vaccine or therapeutic development for use in each and every country, as each hotspot region may have their own pattern of mutations in virus with ongoing outbreak. In our current study, we retrieved non-synonymous mutation data of around 12,225 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples isolated from humans globally, and discovered all mutations that are collectively happening in antibody epitope regions of the virus country-wise. We found a few numbers of epitope regions in SARS-CoV-2 that are highly conserved collectively in all variants and may be used for epitope-based vaccine development for whole world. We also found epitope regions that are conserved collectively in SARS-CoV-2 variants country-wise and can be used for customized epitope-based vaccine development in each different country.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0509.v1
Online: 31 May 2020 (20:50:18 CEST)
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome” (SARS) due to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection is a known cause of death. Sometimes demise can occur unexpectedly in apparently previous healthy individual after a brief period of trivial flue-like symptoms. In this dobtfull cases the forensic pathologist could be requested to define cause of death occurred outside hospital. In this report the authors describe two thorough autopsied cases of SARS-CoV-2 related deaths occurred suddenly at home and not preceded by hospitalization, highlighting associated histopathologic patterns and correlating them to pathophysiology of viral infection.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0359.v1
Online: 23 May 2020 (05:26:13 CEST)
Severe Covid-19 disease is associated with endothelial infection, viraemia, and multi-organ dysfunction. The process through which SARS-CoV2 causes severe disease is yet to be determined. Here, we propose that in severe Covid-19 infection, SARS-CoV2 reaches the host bloodstream by infecting endothelial cells through their basal surface. This occurs, independently of ACE2, through CD147, a putative SARS-CoV2 receptor. The pathway proposed here encourages research on the mechanisms mediating endothelial cell infection in Covid-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0413.v1
Online: 23 April 2020 (11:36:29 CEST)
Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic a shortage of personal protective equipment, including surgical facemasks and Filtering Facepiece Particle Respirators has occurred. SARS-CoV-2 has a 79,5-82% homology to SARS-CoV. The SARS-CoV UVC sensitivity is described in literature. We have performed UVC transmission measurements of surgical facemasks and respirators. In addition, we performed UVC disinfection experiments of S. aureus with surgical facemasks and respirators. Results show that we can achieve an 8-log reduction of S. aureus in the inner layers of FFP1 respirators and the exterior of surgical facemasks. Furthermore, we showed a 7-log reduction of S. aureus in the inner layers of FFP2 respirators. We conclude that UVC disinfection is an effective, safe and scalable method for reuse of surgical facemask and respirators.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0339.v1
Online: 19 April 2020 (08:22:24 CEST)
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 is a challenge in the actual medical scenario. Besides the classical lung and respiratory disease, patients infected with the virus can present with cardiac injury, and pathogenic mechanisms point to a direct infection of the heart.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0289.v1
Online: 17 April 2020 (01:53:32 CEST)
In December 2019, an animal human coronavirus transmission occurred in Wuhan, China. A state of global pandemic was shortly declared, among a very rapid contagious spread of the virus. The causative virus was identified as SARS CoV 2 virus and is genetically related to the previous SARS outbreak in 2003. The virus causes wide clinical spectrum from mild flu like symptoms to adult respiratory distress syndrome. Kidney involvement has been reported in several reports in patients with various degrees of severity of SARS CoV2 infection. As knowledge is evolving, the accurate incidence of AKI is not known. Many questions are yet to be answered as regards the effect of epidemiological variables and comorbidities on the occurrence of AKI. Some reports have observed the occurrence of hematuria and proteinuria in a percentage of infected patients. Moreover, chronic kidney disease has not been found in some reports to add to the adverse outcomes, an aspect that merits further exploration. Patients on regular hemodialysis may be vulnerable to contagion due to lower status of immunity and need for frequent attendance to healthcare facilities. Due to the previous factors, prevention and mitigation of SARS CoV2 virus in this vulnerable population constitutes a major challenge.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0354.v1
Online: 24 February 2020 (14:03:12 CET)
Covid-19 has now become a public health concern worldwide. The infection primarily involves the respiratory tract. Hitherto, some Covid-19 pneumonia patients carry the viral nucleic acids, and the active virus was detected in stool specimens. The virus discharged with feces is a potential contagious source. In the present study, three Covid-19 respiratory tract infection patients showed no gastrointestinal symptoms, and two were positive for viral nucleic acids in anal swab specimens remained positive 6 and at least 14 days after virus turned negative in the respiratory tract, respectively (details of the patients were listed in Fig 1). Thus, for Covid-19-infected patients with or without gastrointestinal symptoms, viral nucleic acids in stool specimens or anal swab specimens should be focused on for testing in order to decide the isolation duration of the patient.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0230.v1
Online: 21 January 2020 (03:15:50 CET)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which is chiefly originated by a retrovirus named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), has influenced about 70 million populations worldwide. Even though several advancements have been invented in the field of antiretroviral combination therapy, still HIV has become the dominant reason for death in South Africa, for example. The current antiretroviral therapies have achieved success in providing instant HIV suppression but with countless undesirable adverse effects. In the present day, the biodiversity of the plant kingdom is being explored by several researchers for the discovery of potent anti-HIV drugs with different mechanisms of action. The primary challenge is to afford a treatment that is free from any sort of risk of drug resistance and serious side effects. Hence, there is a strong demand to evaluate the drugs obtained from natural plants as well as the synthetic derivatives that have been derived from the natural compounds by various chemical reactions. Several plants such as Andrographis paniculata, Dioscorea bulbifera, Aegle marmelos, Wistaria floribunda, Lindera chunii, Xanthoceras sorbifolia and others have displayed significant anti-HIV activity showing more potent anti-HIV activity along with their structures, SARs & important key findings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0247.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Covid-19 vaccination coverage; anti-SARS-CoV-2 herd immunity; Covid-19 vaccination strategy; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 27 April 2022 (05:04:20 CEST)
The pandemic associated with SARS-CoV-2 is a worldwide public health challenge. The WHO has proposed to achieve 70% COVID-19 vaccination coverage in all countries by mid-2022. Nevertheless, the prevention strategy based on COVID-19 vaccination and other applied prevention measures have not been sufficient to prevent SARS-CoV-2 epidemic waves. The study assessed the vaccination coverage that would be required to establish herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 by taking into account virus transmissibility (Ro values from 1.1 to 10) and Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness. The study found that Covid-19 vaccination programs could establish herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 with Ro < 3 with levels of Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness of 10−100% and against viruses with Ro values ranging from 3 to 10 with levels of Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness of 70−100%. Factors reducing Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness (emergent variants, reinfections, high risk individuals) and factors increasing SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility (close settings) increased percentages of vaccination coverage that would be required to establish herd immunity. The vaccination coverage objective of 70% could be adequate against SARS-CoV-2 with Ro values of 1.1−2.5, while percentages of vaccination coverage of 80% and 90% could be more adequate against viruses with Ro values of 2.5−3.5 and >3.5, respectively. On February 2022, the vaccination coverage for complete vaccination was lower than 70% in 73.2% of the countries of the world. Percentages of Covid-19 vaccination coverage must be increased in most countries of the world to increase individual and herd immunity levels in the population.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0148.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Alignment-free software tool; Coronavirus; COVID-19; D614G mutation; Sarbecovirus; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; Spike glycoprotein
Online: 6 August 2020 (10:12:00 CEST)
As reported by us and others previously (1, 2), the D614G mutation appeared in the spike glycoprotein (SPG) of the SARS-CoV-2 (the pathogen behind COVID-19) at the early stages of the pandemic and then G614 containing variant of SARS-CoV-2 became the predominant strain in most human populations across the world. However, one of the most recent reports from India (3) stated the incidence of G614 to be only 26% in the Indian population. This report is contradictory to the information available through the GenBank (4) SARS-CoV-2 sequence deposits made by various laboratories from India. The above stated report currently circulating in the Indian media is likely to create a public perception that the Indian strain is less contagious and such a notion could be harmful to people’s welfare. In view of this concern we have re-evaluated, updated and recalculated the incidence of the G614 variant in the Indian population by analyzing 395 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences available in the GenBank as of June 26, 2020. In our analysis we have categorized the samples by the month in which the samples were collected. We have used an alignment-free software tool named Compare (5, 6), and the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) (7) in the present analysis. We finally inspected each of the 395 sequences physically for the presence of aspartic acid (D) or glycine (G) at the 614th position of the spike glycoprotein. We analyzed an Australian cohort in parallel for comparison. We have found that the prevalence of G614 variant in the Indian samples for the month of June 2020 is 90.6%. The trends are similar with the Australian samples.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0241.v1
Online: 16 September 2022 (08:07:10 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is constantly evolving leading to new variants. We analysed data from 4,400 SARS-CoV-2-positive samples in order to continue variant surveillance in Italy to evaluate their epidemiological and relative impact on public health in the period April-December 2021. The main circulating strain (76.2%) was Delta followed by Alpha (13.3%), Omicron (5.3%) and Gamma variants (2.9%). B.1.1 lineages, Eta, Beta, Iota, Mu and Kappa variants represented around 1% of cases. Overall, 48.2% of subjects were not vaccinated with a lower median age compared to vaccinated subjects (47 vs. 61 years). An increasing number of infections in vaccinated subjects was observed overtime, with the highest proportion in November (85.2%). Variants correlated with clinical status; the largest proportion of symptomatic patients (59.6%) was observed among Delta variant, while subjects harboring Gamma variant showed the highest proportion of asymptomatics (21.6%), albeit also of deaths (5.4%). The Omicron variant was only found in vac-cinated subjects, of which 47% were hospitalized. Diffusivity and pathogenicity associated with the different SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to have relevant public health implications, both at national and international level. Our study pro-vides data on the rapid changes in the epidemiological landscape of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Italy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0430.v1
Online: 25 August 2022 (10:00:27 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a race to determine the best measures to control the disease and to save as many people as possible. Efforts to implement social distancing, the use of masks, and massive vaccination programs turned out to be essential in reducing the devastating effects of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the high mutation rates of SARS-CoV-2 challenge the vaccination strategy and maintain the threat of new outbreaks due to the risk of infection surges and even lethal variations able to resist the effects of vaccines and upset the balance. Most of the new therapies tested against SARS-CoV-2 came from already available formulations developed to treat other diseases, so they were not specifically developed for SARS-CoV-2. In parallel, the knowledge produced regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in this disease was vast due to massive efforts worldwide. Taking advantage of such a vast molecular understanding of virus genomes and disease mechanisms, a targeted molecular therapy based on siRNA specifically developed to reach exclusive SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences was tested in a non-transformed human cell model. Since coronavirus can escape from siRNA by producing siRNA inhibitors, a complex strategy to simultaneously strike both the viral infectious mechanism and the capability of evading siRNA therapy was developed. The combined administration of the chosen produced siRNA proved to be highly effective in successfully reducing viral load and keeping virus replication under control, even after many days of treatment, unlike the combinations of siRNAs lacking this anti-anti-siRNA capability. Additionally, the developed therapy did not harm the normal cells, which was demonstrated because, instead of testing the siRNA in nonhuman cells or in transformed human cells, a non-transformed human thyroid cell was specifically chosen for the experiment. The proposed siRNA combination deeply reduced the viral load throughout the experiment and allowed cellular recovery, thus representing a potential innovation, to be considered as an additional weapon for therapy of COVID-19 and even other infectious diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0204.v1
Online: 11 August 2022 (03:22:22 CEST)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 commonly known as SARS-CoV-2 is the utmost challenging pandemic that attracted scientific community to discover therapeutics as well as vaccination solutions to control SARS-CoV-2. Different diagnostic and detection methods have been improved and re-introduced from the previous observations of SERS and MERS. Due to the high mortality rate and fast spread, researchers all around the globe gathered to develop an effective vaccine. The review article summarizes various types of vaccines, mutants of virus, strategies in tackling virus, vaccine development and its global distribution with the focus on the use of mix and match of vaccines to fight the virus. The reported studies depict the design and production of successful COVID-19 vaccines with good efficacy as the selected vaccine population embrace high-risk personages i.e. above the age of 60, frontline workers and other essential service workers. We have targeted at delivering an outline of the determinations devoted to an effectual vaccine for novel Covid-19 that has restricted the domain by means of human health, economy, as well as life.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0051.v1
Online: 4 July 2022 (10:28:04 CEST)
For the first time in history, we have witnessed the origin and development of a pandemic. To handle the accelerated accumulation of viral mutations and to comprehend the virus' evolutionary adaptation in humans, an unparalleled program of genetic sequencing and monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 variants has been undertaken. Several scientists have theorized that, with the Omicron surge producing a more contagious but less severe disease, the end of COVID-19 is near. However, by analyzing the behavior shown by this virus for 2 years, we have noted that pandemic viruses do not always show a decreased virulence. Instead, it appears there is an evolutionary equilibrium between transmissibility and virulence. We have termed this concept “intermittent virulence”. The present work analyzes the temporal and epidemiological behavior of SARS-CoV-2 and suggests that there is a high possibility that new virulent variants will arise in the near future, although it is improbable that SARS-CoV-2´s virulence will be the same as was seen during the pandemic phase.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0253.v1
Online: 19 May 2022 (08:01:56 CEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced the style of work of many people. However, it remains a question to what extent it has influenced the work of outdoor workers like forestry workers. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the level of professional burnout among forest-ry workers, as a lack of burnout symptoms is a dimension of well-being at work. The Oldenburg Burnout Inventory was administered to 42 respondents. Both subscales of the inventory were reliable: Cronbach’s alpha was 0.806 for disengagement and 0.865 for exhaustion. The mean number of overtime hours was 10.13 hours per month. The mean disengagement score of 2.24 was lower than the reference value of 2.25, but the mean exhaustion score of 2.33 was high-er than the reference value of 2.1. Age correlated significantly with stage of work, as did exhaustion with stage of work, and over-time hours with disengagement. The average forestry officer had no symptoms of disengagement and slight symptoms of exhaustion. These results suggest that being in the forest can help prevent burnout. Overtime work and a heavy workload appear to threaten forestry workers’ well-being, as they can cause exhaustion and lower commitment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0225.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-Cov-2; arbidol; treatment
Online: 26 April 2022 (04:07:48 CEST)
Background The spread of COVID-19 continues, the mutation of SARS-COV-2 is still difficult to control, and the need for antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19 remains urgent. The use of arbidol in the treatment of COVID-19 is limited and controversial. Methods To clarify the efficacy of arbidol on COVID-19, we collected 25 cases and 178 related studies. We analyzed the treatment information of arbidol based on the obtained cases, expanded the scope of the study, and collected current studies on the treatment of COVID-19 in various databases for in-depth analysis. Results History analysis showed that arbidol was effective (76% cure rate) compared with other drugs. However, compared with other antiviral drugs or standard therapy, the arbidol group had no significant advantage in reducing the time to negative virus transformation, length of hospital stays, or improvement in CT (MD=0.22, 95%CI -0.29-0.73; MD = 0.61, 95% CI 1.46 to 2.67; RR=1.15, 95%CI 0.88-1.50); Analysis of adverse events showed no significant difference between the arbidol group and the other groups (RR=0.82, 95%CI 0.25-2.71). Conclusion Our study showed that arbidol had no significant effect on COVID-19, but showed a slight advantage in CT improvement and adverse events. Our study objectively evaluated the efficacy of arbidol in the treatment of COVID-19 and provided some guidance for arbidol in the treatment of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0654.v1
Online: 29 July 2021 (12:23:23 CEST)
The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0034.v5
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV2; Biomathematics; vaccine; variants; mRNA; Fibonacci; numerical standing waves
Online: 20 April 2021 (10:05:55 CEST)
ABSTRACT. In this paper, we suggest a biomathematical numerical method for analysing mRNA nucleotides sequences based on UA/CG Fibonacci numbers proportions. This method is used to evaluate then compare the spike genes related to the main SARS-CoV2 VARIANTS currently circulating within the world population. The 10 main results proposed to be reproduced by peers are: 1/ SARS-CoV2 genome and spike evolution in one year 2020-2021. 2/ SARS-CoV2 Origins. 3/ Comparing 11 reference variants spikes. 4/ analysing 32 CAL.20C California variant patients spikes. 5/ Toward a meta mRNA Fibonacci gene end message code. 6/ Analysing S501 UK, S484 South Africa and « 2 mutations » INDIA variants. 7/ Suggesting a possible variants spike mRNA palindrome symmetry metastructure improving mRNA stability then infectiousness. 8/ Analysing Fibonacci Metastructures in the mRNA coding for the vaccines PFIZER and MODERNA. 9/ Does the CG-rich modification of the synonymous codons of the spikes of the 2 mRNA vaccines affect the expression and quantity of SARS-CoV2 antibodies? 10/ The exceptional case of the Brazilian variant P.1. Particularly, we suggest the following conjecture at mRNA folding level : CONJECTURE of SARS-CoV2 VARIANTS: The growth of long Fibonacci structures in the shape of "podiums" for almost all of the variants studied (UK, California, South Africa, India, etc.) suggests the probable folding of the Spike mRNA in the form of a "hairpin", which can strengthen the cohesion and the lifespan of this mRNA. Finally, we show that these kinds of Fibonacci matastructures disapear TOTALLY by analysing the published mRNA sequences of PFIZER and MODERNA vaccines. One fact is certain, the two mRNAs of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will result in a low functionality of the spike vaccine. This is because their designers by seeking greater stability, have doped to build CG rich sequences which, as soon as they are inserted into the human host, will, paradoxically, seek to mutate, like SARS-CoV2 variants, towards CG ==> UA forms in order to improve their STABILITY and LIFETIME. We conclude using new biomathematics theoretical methods (Master code and numerical standing waves), and comparing the Spikes of the two vaccines Moderna and Pfizer, that there will be very probable differences in stability and shelf life of the two respective mRNAs vaccines. However, “State of the Art” analyzes will disclose that their two protein sequences are strictly identical. By modified their synonymous codons using different strategies, no one can guarantee that the quantity of antibodies generated will be identical in the two cases. We wish to draw attention to the great ADAPTATION power - at the global scale of their genomes - of the most infectious VARIANTS, such as the BRAZIL 20J / 501Y.V3 variant (P.1). This is very worrying for the VACCINES <==> VARIANTS run: We demonstrate how the Brazilian variant P.1 which becomes uncontrollable in Brazil in April 2021 has a level of organization of long metastructures of 17,711 bases covering the genome which is 3.6 more important than that of the 2 reference genomes SARS-CoV2 and worldwide D614G. We suggest that this high level of overall structure of this variant contributes to the stability of this genome and, might explain its greater contagiousness.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0122.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; canine; gastrointestinal; infection; virus
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:23:45 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 infects a range of host species. However, the susceptibility of companion animals to SARS-CoV-2 and their potential ability to transmit the virus to humans remains unclear. Here, we present a detailed clinical description of an immunosuppressed dog that was infected with SARS-CoV-2. The dog had severe gastrointestinal (GI) clinical signs, coagulopathy, elevated hepatic transaminases, and met canine systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria, without respiratory clinical signs, mirroring a subset of humans with GI-restricted COVID-19. Viral sequencing demonstrated divergence from other reported sequences, based on phylogenetic analysis. The dog shed high levels of virus for a prolonged time period with positive virus isolation. The dog’s immunosuppressed state may have increased both susceptibility to infection and disease progression. Together, our findings suggest that certain individual companion animals may be at higher risk for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19-like disease, and high viral shedding, which may pose a transmission risk to humans.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0596.v1
Online: 23 December 2020 (15:58:38 CET)
We report the treatment of a 21-year-old female Covid-19 patient by a novel combination of minocycline and a guanosine-restricted diet. Minocycline is an antibiotic with well documented broad spectrum anti-viral effects, including evidence of activity against SARS-CoV-2. Deprivation of guanosine has been documented as an effective anti-viral modality in vitro and in animal models, and specific in vitro activity against CoV-SARS-2 has been reported. The patient's symptoms resolved rapidly.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0203.v4
Online: 2 November 2020 (10:18:00 CET)
The science around the use of masks by the general public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In this narrative review, we develop an analytical framework to examine mask usage, considering and synthesizing the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: population impact; transmission characteristics; source control; PPE; sociological considerations; and implementation considerations. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is via respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and other measures, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Given the current shortages of medical masks we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. Because many respiratory droplets become smaller due to evaporation, we recommend increasing focus on a previously overlooked aspect of mask usage: mask-wearing by infectious people ("source control") with benefits at the population-level, rather than mask-wearing by susceptible people, such as health-care workers, with focus on individual outcomes. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0040.v2
Online: 28 September 2020 (03:19:50 CEST)
To address the expression pattern of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and the viral priming protease, TMPRSS2, in the respiratory tract, this study investigated RNA sequencing transcriptome profiling of samples of airway and oral mucosa. As shown, ACE2 has medium levels of expression in both small airway epithelium and masticatory mucosa, and high levels of expression in nasal epithelium. The expression of ACE2 is low in mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, and can’t be detected in alveolar macrophages. TMPRSS2 is highly expressed in small airway epithelium and nasal epithelium, and has lower expression in masticatory mucosa. Our results provide the molecular basis that the nasal mucosa is the most susceptible locus in the respiratory tract for SARS-CoV-2 infection and consequently for subsequent droplet transmission and should be the focus for protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0487.v1
Online: 21 September 2020 (03:35:15 CEST)
The age-related mortality and morbidity risk of COVID-19 has been considered speculative without enough scientific evidence. This study aimed to collect more evidence on the association between patient age and risk of severe disease state and/or mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Genomic dataset along with metadata (3608 samples) retrieved from GISAID from different geographical regions were grouped into 10 age groups (0-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100 years) as well as high-risk or low-risk according to patient clinical status. Genomic sequences were aligned and analyzed using MAFFT and FASTTREE to build a phylogenetic tree in order to identify age-risk associations based on phylogenetic clustering. Case fatality rates (CFR), as well as the Odds ratio (OR) for high-risk outcomes, were calculated for different age groups. Results revealed that individuals aged between 25-50 years have the best immune response to the infection. On the other hand, disease fatality was higher in patients aging above 50 years. We created an application to calculate the OR of being at high risk given a certain age threshold from GISAID datasets. OR values increased between ages 1-10 years (1.271) and 11-20 years (1.313) but reduced at age range 21-30 years (1.290) and increased again for 61-70 years (2.465). CFR calculated for each of the age groups had peak values at 90-100 years (26.8%) and the lowest at 0-10 years (0%). The CFR for ages above 50 years was about twice greater (11.6%-26.8%) than that for ages below (0-6.6%). The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the majority of samples obtained from India showed low-risk among different age groups and were defined as clade GH. Another cluster from Singapore visualization showed unfavorable patient outcome across several age groups and were classified under clade O. To conclude, this study analyses showed a variety of age-risk associations. As scientists from different countries upload more genomes to globally shared databases, more evidence will reinforce mortality risk associations in COVID-19 patients.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0659.v1
Online: 30 August 2020 (11:22:12 CEST)
We show that low quality of all 427 Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 genomes recently published in Science (1) challenges their phylogenetic inference and may lead to incorrect typing of viral strains in clades with no statistical support. Absence of basecalling quality in genome assemblies and proper phylogeny parameter estimates preclude the assessment of signal-to-noise ratio in the data, downstream analysis and conclusions.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0270.v1
Online: 16 May 2020 (16:51:36 CEST)
A novel approach has been suggested to use isoelectric points of viral and human proteins to quickly identify proteins that are effective in not allowing virus particles to attach to human receptor cells by virtue of their electrical charge. The method has been applied to SARS CoV-2 to suggest potentially important human proteins that can be suitable for making anti-viral drugs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0114.v1
Online: 7 May 2020 (08:57:14 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has resulted in a global pandemic. The clinical symptoms of the disease vary from mild illness to acute respiratory issues. Older age, diabetes, cardiac diseases predict poor prognosis in COVID-19 patients. Various reports mention the incidence of liver injury with transient elevations in the levels of aminotransferases (liver function enzymes). The clinical characteristics, etiology and underlying pathophysiological mechanisms associated with liver damage in SARS-CoV2 infected patients need to be explored. This review highlights the severity of the hepatic injury in COVID-19.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0061.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Lysosomotropism; Chloroquine
Online: 5 May 2020 (04:29:48 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the largest challenges in medicine and health care worldwide in recent decades, and it is infecting and killing increasing numbers of people every day. In this paper, we discuss the possible relationships among lysosomotropism, increasing lysosomal pH, and the SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease process, and we deduce a possible approach for treatment and prophylaxis. Lysosomotropism is a biological characteristic of small molecules, such as (hydroxyl)chloroquine, amitriptyline, NB 06, or sertraline, which is present in addition to intrinsic receptor-mediated or enzymatic pharmacological effects. Lysosomotropic compounds affect prominent inflammatory messengers, such as IL1B, CCL4, CCL20, and IL6, as well as cathepsin L dependent viral entry (fusion) into host cells. Therefore, this heterogeneous group of compounds is a promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections, as well as influenza A infections and cytokine release syndrome (CRS) triggered by bacterial or viral infections. Patients who have already taken medications with lysosomotropic compounds for other pre-existing conditions may benefit from this treatment in the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased lysosomal pH levels play an important role in the disease process in common skin disorders, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, thus suggesting that affected individuals might benefit from their particular conditions in the COVID-19 pandemic. We suggest data analysis of patients with these diseases, and who are treated with lysosomotropic compounds, and, if the results are promising, subsequent clinical testing of off-label therapy with clinically approved lysosomotropic compounds in the current COVID-19 pandemic and future influenza A pandemics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0532.v1
Online: 30 April 2020 (13:58:41 CEST)
The disproportionate incidences of COVID-19-related hospitalization and mortality for different age groups and various underlying health conditions is a result of a complex social predisposition to the exposure, resistance, and tolerance for the infection. Based on the observed data as well as the molecular mechanisms for viral entry and replication, cellular senescence related to aging, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes appears to be strongly correlated with the SARS-CoV-2 infections resulting in higher COVID-19 related complications and mortality. Establishing such a correlation may allow us to better explain the pathobiology as well as the differential nature of the SARS-CoV-2 infections and consider targeted control and therapeutic strategies to combat the disease.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0151.v2
Online: 22 April 2020 (09:46:54 CEST)
Human respiratory beta coronavirus are emerging causes for Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC). SARS-CoV2 is circulating worldwide since November 2019. We review here the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in COVID-19, and data supporting the role for dysregulation of the RAS counterregulatory axis due to binding of SARS-CoV2 S protein to ACE2 receptor. Since this counterregulatory axis provides benefits not only on the cardiovascular front but also in acute lung injury, we speculate on potential use of ACE inhibitors and AT1R blockers in critically ill COVID-19 patients, and report current evidences.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0363.v2
Online: 22 April 2020 (06:23:01 CEST)
Covid-19 is often related to hyperinflammation that drives lung or multi-organ injury. The immunopathological mechanisms that cause excessive inflammation following SARS-Cov-2 infection are under investigation while different approaches to limit hyperinflammation in affected patients are being proposed. Here, a computational protein-protein interaction network approach was used on recently available data to identify possible Covid-19 inflammatory mechanisms and bioactive genes. First, network analysis of putative SARS-Cov-2 cellular receptors and their directly associated proteins, led to the mining of a robust neutrophil response signature and multiple relevant inflammatory genes. Second, analysis of RNA-seq datasets of lung epithelial cells infected with SARS-Cov-2 revealed that infected cells specifically expressed neutrophil-attracting chemokines, further supporting the likely role of neutrophils in Covid-19 inflammation. Third, analysis of RNA-seq datasets of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from Covid-19 patients, identified neutrophil-specific genes and chemokines. Different immunoregulatory and neutrophil-relevant molecules mined here such as, TNFR, IL8, CXCR1, CXCR2, ADAM10, GPR84, MME-neprilysin, ANPEP and LAP3 are druggable and might be therapeutic targets in efforts to limit SARS-Cov-2 inflammation in severe clinical cases. The role of neutrophils in Covid-19 needs to be studied further.
Online: 21 April 2020 (08:19:11 CEST)
Mycophenolate mofetil was reported to have broad in vitro activity against different viruses and had been tried in combination with IFN-β in treating MERS infection. We tested the pharmacological activity of mycophenolate mofetil using SARS-CoV-2 infected Vero cells. The half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) of mycophenolate mofetil against SARS-CoV-2 was 0.47 μM while that of remdesivir was 0.77 μM. Molecular docking results of mycophenolate mofetil to potential target proteins of COVID-19 suggested that mycophenolate mofetil might inhibit SARS-CoV-2 mainly by interacting with DHODH and IMPDH2. Furthermore, mycophenolate mofetil as an immunosuppressant may be a good therapeutic option for the management of hyperinflammation in patients with severe COVID-19. Based on its high potency against SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells, its good pharmacokinetics and clinical safety profile, mycophenolate mofetil deserves further exploration as potential treatment for COVID-19.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0304.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Neurology; coronavirus
Online: 17 April 2020 (15:27:14 CEST)
The recently emerged coronavirus named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2) is the newest threat to human health. It has already infected more than half a million people worldwide, leading to a lot of deaths. Although it causes mild flu-like disease in most patients, lethality may increase to more than 20% in elderly subjects, especially those with comorbidities, like hypertension, diabetes or lung and cardiac disease, and the mechanisms are still elusive. Common symptoms at the onset of illness are fever, cough, myalgia or fatigue, headache, and diarrhea or constipation. Interestingly, respiratory viruses have also placed themselves as relevant agents for CNS pathologies. Here we discuss several CNS related features, referred by several patients, especially at the beginning of the disease. Thus, we also discuss the possibility by which SARS-CoV-2 may affect the olfactive system of patients, either directly or indirectly.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0299.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; coronavirus; remdesivir
Online: 17 April 2020 (13:02:03 CEST)
The global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, the causative viral pathogen of COVID-19, has driven the biomedical community to action – to uncover and develop anti-viral interventions. One potential therapeutic approach currently being evaluated in numerous clinical trials is the agent remdesivir, which has endured a long and winding developmental path. Remdesivir is a nucleotide analog prodrug that perturbs viral replication, originally evaluated in clinical trials to thwart the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Subsequent evaluation by numerous virology laboratories demonstrated the ability of remdesivir to inhibit coronavirus replication, including SARS-CoV-2. Here, we provide an overview of its mechanism of action, discovery, and the current studies exploring its clinical effectiveness.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0282.v1
Online: 16 April 2020 (15:44:39 CEST)
Purpose: Pandemic Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has emerger centered from wuhan, China. Structurally homologous spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 receptor is taxonomically homologous with SARS-Cov and SARS associated bat coronavirus. Still now scientists are trying to find out proper vaccine and treatments for this disease. Methods: Systematically we modeled and compared the structure of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein along with Bat Cov, Bat SARS Cov and SARS Cov Urbani. S1 and S2 unit of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) are attached with ACE2 and furin, here we docked 5 Ca+ chelating drugs with these two proteins. Results: Structural comparison with all these spike proteins revealed that less significant but not negligible difference exists among them. Inserted stable nucleotide sequences and corresponding surface exposed peptidal region may be considered as epitope. Docking result with Toxicokinetics and half life of Penicillamine can effectly inhibit the attachment site of spike protein of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Conclusions: Docking summery and the pharmacokinetics with toxicokinetics index recommend that Penicillamine can able to inhibit the infection of SARS-CoV-2.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0184.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; diagnosis; antibody; serology; screening
Online: 6 April 2020 (14:09:34 CEST)
To date, viral RNA detection is almost the only way to confirm SARS-CoV-2infectionin practice.However, variousreasons can cause low sensitivity for RNA detection, and thisposes aserious challenge to disease control. We tested the performance of detecting total antibody(Ab) and IgM levels in serum by the methods of chemiluminescence, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and colloidal golddetection. The datashowed that the sensitivity and specificity for detecting total Ab and IgM levels were high by all three methods, and the sensitivity was higher for detecting total Ab than for detecting IgM. Evidence from studieshas shown thatviral RNA testingcombinedwith serological testing could increase the diagnostic sensitivity while maintaining a high specificity. Specific serology testsfor SARS-CoV-2 havegreat value for clinical practice and public health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0045.v1
Online: 6 April 2020 (09:28:00 CEST)
The emerging of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates globally. One of the most prominent characteristics of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is lymphopenia which is in contrast to other viral infections. This controversy might be explained by the evaluation of impaired innate and adaptive immune responses during the SARS-CoV-2 infection. During the innate immune response, poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) hyperactivated due to virus entry and extensive DNA damage sequentially leading to NAD+ depletion, ATP depletion and finally cell death. In contrast to the immune response against viral infections, cytotoxic T lymphocytes decline sharply in SARS-CoV-2 infection which might be due to infiltration and trapping in the lower respiratory tract. In addition, there are more factors proposed to involve in lymphopenia in COVID-19 infection like the role of CD38 which functions as NADase and intensifies NAD depletion which in turn affects NAD+ dependent Sirtuin proteins, as the regulators of cell death and viability. Lung tissue sequestration following cytokine storm supposed to be another reason for lymphopenia in COVID-19 patients. Protein 7a as one of the virus-encoded proteins induces apoptosis in various organ-derived cell lines. These mechanisms proposed to induce lymphopenia, although there are still more studies needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms for lymphopenia in COVID-19 patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0007.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: nCov-19, COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV
Online: 1 April 2020 (09:30:00 CEST)
Coronaviruse disease (COVID-19) outbreak has created an emergency globally, and social distancing and isolation is the only solution to prevent its spread. Several countries have announced fully locked on to tackle this pandemic. The recent COVID-2019 has shaken the globe with incidence cases of more than half-million cases, and a mortality toll of more than twenty thousand to date. The coronavirus family is inclusive of pathogen of both – animal species and humans, encapsulating the isolated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Researchers round the globe have been dexterously working to decode this lethal virus. Many mathematical frameworks have also been depicted which have helped to understand the dynamics of the COVID-19. Research on coronaviruses continues to explore various aspects of viral replication and pathogenesis to understanding the predilection of these viruses to switch between species, to develop an infection in a new host, and to identify significant reservoirs of coronaviruses will dramatically aid in our potential to prophesize when and where potential epidemics may occur. Many of the non-structural and accessory proteins encoded by the viruses remain unclear and unknown. This systematic review highlights the current situation of the pandemic, virus genomic composition, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and prognosis along with mathematical models of disease transmission and dynamics.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0400.v1
Online: 27 March 2020 (02:48:01 CET)
The world is currently going through a serious pandemic of viral infection with SARS-CoV-2, a new isolate of coronavirus, resembling and surpassing the crisis that occurred in 2002 and 2013 with SARS and MERS, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 has currently infected more than 142,000 people, causing 5,000 deaths and reaching more than 130 countries worldwide. The very large spreading capacity of the virus clearly demonstrates the potential threat of respiratory viruses to human health, alarming governments around the world that preventive health policies and scientific research are pivotal to overcoming the crisis. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes flu-like symptoms in most cases. However, approximately 15% of patients will need hospitalization, and 5% require assisted ventilation, depending on the cohorts studied. What is intriguing, however, is the higher susceptibility of elderly individuals, especially those who are more than 60 years old and have comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, the death rate in this group may be up to 10-12%. Interestingly, children are somehow protected and not included as a risk group.Thus, here, we discuss some possibilities of molecular and cellular mechanisms by which elderly subjects may be more susceptible to severe COVID-19. In this sense, we raise two main points: i) increased ACE-2 expression in pulmonary and heart tissue of chronic angiotensin 1 receptor (AT1R) blocker users and hypertensive individuals and ii) antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) after previous exposure to other circulating coronaviruses. We believe these are pivotal points for a better understanding of the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and must be addressed with attention by physicians and scientists in the field.
Online: 12 March 2020 (09:28:43 CET)
Both in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and severe acute respiratory syndromes (SARS) uncontrolled inflammation could be detected in lung tissue. Whether the similarity mechanism exists is still unknown. PDZ-binding motif (PBM) in SARS-CoV E protein has been demonstrated as virulence factor induce inflammation storm. Study function of PBM in LUAD is significant for mechanism exploration of carcinogenesis mediated by SARS-CoV. To identify gene expression fluctuation induced by PBM, a microarray sequencing data of lung tissue infected by wild type (SARS-CoV-E-wt) and recombinant virus (SARS-CoV-E-mutPBM) was analysis followed by functional enrichment analysis. To understand the role of screened specific genes in LUAD, overall survival and immune correlation were calculated. A total of 12 genes (MAPK1, PRKCA, FGFR4, KDR, PTPRD, BCL2L15, UBD, MAMDC2, LTBP4, PTPRB, LGI3 and ITGA8) might participate in initial and development stage of LUAD through expression variation and mutation. Meanwhile, a total of 12 genes (CARHSP1, EIF4E2, HMGA1, IL1R2, MAGOHB, PVR, ADCY9, ELF5, ESYT3, SCML4, SECL14L4 and THRA) could lead to poorer prognosis via dysregulation. In addition, MAMDC2 and ITGA8 down-regulated by PBM could also alter prognosis. Though the conservative PBM (-D-L-L-V-) could be found at the end of carboxyl terminal in multi E proteins of coronaviruses, the specific function of each one depend on the whole amino acid sequence simultaneously. In conclusion, PBM of SARS-CoV E protein could promote carcinogenesis of LUAD by dysregulating important gene expression profiles followed by influence immune response and overall prognosis. The results in present study also provided reference for the therapy of SARS-CoV-2 in LUAD patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0248.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: 10-methoxycanthin-6-one; quaternization; antibacterial; SARs
Online: 27 February 2019 (05:08:02 CET)
Natural products are an important source of antibacterial agents. Canthin-6-one alkaloids have displayed potential antibacterial activity based on our previous work. In order to improve the activity, twenty-two new 3-N-benzylated 10-methoxy canthin-6-ones were designed and synthesized through quaternization reaction. The in vitro antibacterial activity against three bacteria was evaluated by double dilution method. Four compounds (6f, 6i, 6p and 6t) displayed 2-fold superiority (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) = 3.91 µg/mL) against agricultural pathogenic bacteria R. solanacearum and P. syringae than agrochemical propineb. Moreover, the structure–activity relationships (SARs) were also carefully summarized in order to guide the development of antibacterial canthin-6-one agents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0528.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Antibacterial, Linezolid, SARs, Alaninyl-oxazolidinone, Triazolyl-oxazolidinone
Online: 30 August 2018 (14:35:03 CEST)
Bacterial resistance towards existing class of antibacterial drugs continues to increase posing significant threat to clinical usefulness of these drugs. This increasing and alarming rates of antibacterial resistance development and the decline in the number of new antibacterial drugs approval continue to serve as major impetus for research into discovery and development of new antibacterial agents. We synthesized a series D-/L-alaninyl substituted triazolyl oxazolidinone derivatives and evaluated their antibacterial activity against selected standard Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. Overall, the compounds showed moderate to strong antibacterial activity. Compounds 9d and 10d (D- and L-alaninyl derivatives bearing 3,5-dinitrobenzoyl substituent), 10e (D-alaninyl derivative bearing 5-nitrofurancarbonyl group) and 9f and 10f (D- and L-alaninyl derivatives bearing 5-nitrothiophene carbonyl moiety) demonstrated antibacterial activity (MIC:2 g/mL) against S. aureus, S. epidermidis, E. faecalis and M. catarrhalis standard bacterial strains. No significant differences were noticeable between the antibacterial activity of the D- and L-alaninyl derivatives as a result of the stereochemistry of the compounds.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0749.v2
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 infection; Interleukin 6; NFB; Nsp5; Cox2; SARS-CoV-2 interactome; Nonlinear dynamics of inflammation
Online: 15 March 2021 (12:18:02 CET)
In the present work we propose a dynamical mathematical model of the lung cells inflammation process in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this scenario the main protease Nsp5 enhances the inflammatory process, increasing the levels of NF kB, IL-6, Cox2, and PGE2 with respect to a reference state without the virus. In presence of the virus the translation rates of NF kB and IkB arise to a high constant value, and when the translation rate of IL-6 also increases above the threshold value of 7 pg mL-1 s-1 the model predicts a persistent over stimulated immune state with high levels of the cytokine IL-6. Our model shows how such over stimulated immune state becomes autonomous of the signals from other immune cells such as macrophages and lymphocytes, and does not shut down by itself. We also show that in the context of the dynamical model presented here, Dexamethasone or Nimesulide have little effect on such inflammation state of the infected lung cell, and the only form to suppress it is with the inhibition of the activity of the viral protein Nsp5.To that end, our model suggest that drugs like Saquinavir may be useful. In this form, our model suggests that Nsp5 is effectively a central node underlying the severe acute lung inflammation during SARS-CoV-2 infection. The persistent production of IL-6 by lung cells can be one of the causes of the cytokine storm observed in critical patients with COVID19. Nsp5 seems to be the switch to start inflammation, the consequent overproduction of the ACE2 receptor, and an important underlying cause of the most severe cases of COVID19.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: anti-viral; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; autophagy; chloroquine; hydroxychloroquine; immunology; infection; inflammation; lysophagy; microbiology; Plaquenil; SARS; virophagy
Online: 23 May 2020 (10:45:40 CEST)
At a time when the world faces an emotional breakdown, crushing our dreams if not taking our lives, we realize that together we must fight the war against the COVID-19 outbreak even if almost the majority of the scientific community finds itself confined to home. Every day, like everyone else, we, scientists, listen to the latest news with its promises and announcements. Across the world, a surge of clinical trials trying to cure or slow down the coronavirus pandemic has been launched to bring hope instead of fear and despair. One first proposed clinical trial has drawn worldwide hype to the benefit of chloroquine (CQ), a well-known and broadly used anti-malarial drug, in the treatment of patients infected by the recently emerged deadly coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). We should consider this information in the light of the long-standing anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties of CQ-related drugs. Yet, none of the articles promoting the use of CQ in the current pandemic evoked a possible molecular or cellular mechanism of action that could account for any efficacy. Here, given the interaction of viruses with macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy), a CQ-sensitive anti-viral safeguard pathway, we would like to discuss the pros, but also the cons concerning the current therapeutic options targeting this process.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0390.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; SARS-CoV; ACE2; spike protein; phosphorylation; O-β-GlcNAcylation; molecular docking; chloroquine; 2-hydroxybenzohydrazine
Online: 22 April 2020 (06:01:00 CEST)
The novel coronavirus COVID- 19 disease is extremely contagious and has been spread worldwide. First COVID-19 case was identified in December, 2019 and within three months, more than one million affected cases and over 65,000 deaths have been reported. SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also known as 2019-nCoV is a causative agent of COVID-19 disease and belongs to the SARS CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome corona virus) family. The SARS-CoV-2 enters the human body by binding its viral surface spike protein with the host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors and cause infection. To prevent the virus entry and its transmission in the human body, we focused on the two domains of ACE2: i) the N-terminal extracellular binding domain (18-740 residues) reported for coronavirus spike interaction, and ii) the C-terminal cytoplasmic region (762-805 residues) to prevent the virus transmission. Therefore, we proposed: i) inhibition of receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 and human ACE2 protein may prevent the virus entry to the host and ii) inhibition of phosphorylation at Ser-787 of ACE2 protein may prevent the transmission of the virus in the COVID-19 patients. In the past, the critical role of Ser 787 in human ACE2 protein has been experimentally verified in SARS-CoV transmission, that upon binding to the receptor, SARS- CoV induces CKII- mediated phosphorylation of ACE2 at Ser-787 that in-turn facilitate virus entry to host cells, followed by replication and activation of ACE2, initiates downstream signaling leading to lung fibrosis. Therefore, in this study, we have suggested post-translational modification (PTM) O-β-GlcNAcylation, and two compounds Chloroquine and 2-hydroxybenzohydrazine might share the common pathways to prevent the COVID-19 infection in human. The addition of O-β-GlcNAcylation at same or neighboring Ser/ Thr residues results in phosphorylation inhibition and a change in protein structural and functional confirmations. Thereby, using neural networking methods, we have identified Ser/ Thr residues in ACE2 that are potential sites for phosphorylation and / or O-β-GlcNAcylation. Molecular docking showed that UDP-GlcNAc has more binding affinity with Ser-787 than the phosphoryl group. Moreover, chloroquine and 2-hydroxybenzohydrazine also showed great potential to bind at Ser-787 that may result in inhibition of Ser-787 phosphorylation and downstream signaling. Furthermore, O-β-GlcNAcylation, chloroquine and 2-hydroxybenzohydrazine showed their high affinity at ACE2-SARS-CoV-2receptor binding domain that may prevent the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human body. In conclusion, inhibition of human ACE2 phosphorylation at Ser-787 and ACE2-SARS-CoV-2 binding domain could be promising targets against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0516.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Omicron; children; hospitalization
Online: 30 August 2022 (09:00:24 CEST)
(1) Background: When the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 first emerged in Germany in January 2022, data on related disease severity among children and adolescents was not yet available. Given Omicron’s high transmissibility, the ability to assess its impact on admission and hospitalization rates in children’s hospitals is critical for the purpose of understanding the scope of its burden on the German health care system. (2) Methods: From January 24, 2022 to July 31, 2022, SARS-CoV-2 cases admitted to German pediatric hospitals were monitored via a national, clinician-led reporting system (CLRS) established by the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (DGPI). Cases treated on general wards and intensive care units, as well as patient age and need for respiratory support were recorded. (3) Results: From January to July 2022, a median of 1.7 cases (range 0.4–3) per reporting pediatric hospital per day were hospitalized on general wards, whereas a median of 0.1 cases (range 0–0.4 cases) were on intensive care units. Of all hospitalized patients, 4.2% received respiratory support. (4) Conclusions: Despite the high incidence rates documented in connection with the Omicron variant in early 2022, the number of pediatric hospital admissions, and especially the number of cases with need for intensive care treatment and respiratory support due to a symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, remained relatively low. Higher Omicron incidence rates had only a modest impact on SARS-CoV-2-related admissions and hospitalization in German children’s hospitals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0014.v2
Online: 2 August 2022 (12:25:20 CEST)
Introduction: Studies conducted in real-life scenarios on vaccine protection against COVID-19 constitute an important global priority, but one that is currently mostly neglected in low- and middle-income countries such as Angola. Here, we analyze for the first-time vaccine protection against COVID-19 in a real-life scenario after 6 months of implementing a multi-vaccination plan in Angola, providing estimation of odds ratios in vaccinated individuals and vaccine efficacy against infection by SARS-CoV-2 in a period that coincided with the identification of the Omicron variant in the country. Methods: We used a negative test case-control design to assess the effectiveness of vaccination against confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. A total of 4.232 vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with the result of a rapid antigen diagnostic test against SARS-CoV-2 performed from December 27 to 28, 2021 were included in the study. Data were extracted from the Digital Vaccination Record Platform (Rediv) of the Ministry of Health of Angola. All ethical procedures related to the authorization necessary to carry out the study were followed. Statistical analyzes were performed using version 188.8.131.52 of CDC's Epi Info. Frequency distributions and measures of central tendency were used to characterize the study universe. The general and sex-adjusted and age-adjusted odds ratios, were evaluated by comparing the chances of vaccination between cases and controls, and their associated 95% CI, which were calculated using the Mantel-Haenszel stratification method. The risk classification of Axel Kroeger, Piscoya and Alarcon was used to interpret the odds ratio. The Breslow-Day statistic was used to assess the homogeneity of the odds ratios. Vaccine efficacy was calculated using the odds ratio applying the accepted statistical vaccine efficacy formula:(1 − odds ratio) × 100. For all estimates, a P value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The population consisted of 63.63% male and 36.37% female. The mean age was 36 years with a standard deviation of 13. 83. Regarding vaccination status, 83.27% of individuals were vaccinated and 16.73% were unvaccinated, with 21.81% positive and 78.19% negative for SARS -CoV-2. The odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection were 0.85 (95% CI 0.70 – 1.03) times lower in vaccinated compared to unvaccinated individuals, with P=0.09. The overall vaccine efficacy (VE) was 15% (95% CI -3 – 30). Conclusion: There was no statistically significant decrease in the chances of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vaccinated versus unvaccinated individuals. However, the overall vaccine efficacy was 15%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0235.v1
Online: 16 June 2022 (09:13:11 CEST)
The development of inexpensive, fast and reliable screening tests for COVID-19 is, as yet, an unmet need. The present study was aimed at evaluating the usefulness of serum arylesterase activity of paraoxonase-1 (PON1) measurement as a screening test in patients with different severity levels of COVID-19 infection. We included 615 COVID-19 positive patients who were classified as asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic, severely symptomatic, or fatally symptomatic. Results were compared with 50 healthy volunteers, 330 patients with cancer and 343 with morbid obesity. Results showed PON1 activity greatly decreased in COVID-19 compared to healthy vol-unteers; receiver operating characteristics plot showed a high diagnostic accuracy. The degree of COVID-19 severity did not influence PON1 levels. Our results indicated that PON1 determination was efficient for disease diagnosis but not for prognosis. Further, patients with obesity or cancer presented alterations similar to those of COVID-19 patients. As such, elevated levels of PON1 in-dicate the absence of COVID-19, but low levels may be present in various other chronic diseases. The assay is fast and inexpensive. We suggest that PON1 measurement could be used as an initial, high cut-off point screening method, while lower values should be confirmed with the more ex-pensive nucleic acid amplification test.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0125.v1
Online: 10 May 2022 (03:44:27 CEST)
Gal-3BP is a multifunctional glycoprotein involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions known to be upregulated in cancer and various viral infections, including HIV-1, HCV and SARS-CoV-2, with a key role in regulating the antiviral immune response. Studies have identified a direct correlation between circulating levels of Gal-3BP and the severity of disease and/or disease progression for some viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2, suggesting a role of Gal-3BP in these processes. Due to Gal-3BP’s complex biology, the molecular mechanisms underlying its role in viral diseases have been only partially clarified. Gal-3BP induces the expression of IFN and pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-6, mainly interacting with galectin-3, targeting TRAF-6 and TRAF-3 complex, thus having a putative role in the modulation of TGF-β signaling. In addition, an antiviral activity of Gal-3BP has been ascribed to a direct interaction of the protein with virus components. In this review, we explored the role of Gal-3BP in viral infections and the relationship between Gal-3BP upregulation and disease severity and progression, mainly focusing on SARS-CoV-2. Augmented knowledge of Gal-3BP role in virus infections can be useful to evaluate its possible use as a prognostic biomarker and as a putative target to block or attenuate severe disease.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0336.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; Wastewater; research; surveillance
Online: 25 March 2022 (03:30:23 CET)
Background: In the span of just two years, tracking the COVID-19 pandemic through wastewater surveillance has advanced from early reports of successful SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in untreated wastewater to implementation of programs in at least 60 countries. Early wastewater monitoring efforts primarily originated in research laboratories and are now transitioning into more formal surveillance programs run in commercial and public health laboratories. A major challenge in this progression has been to simultaneously optimize methods and build scientific consensus while implementing surveillance programs, particularly during the rapidly changing landscape of the pandemic. Translating wastewater surveillance results for effective use by public health agencies also remains a key objective for the field. Objectives: We examine the evolution of wastewater surveillance to identify model collaborations and effective partnerships that have created rapid and sustained success. We propose needed areas of research and key roles academic researchers can play in the framework of wastewater surveillance to aid in the transition of early monitoring efforts to more formalized programs within the public health system. Discussion: Wastewater surveillance has rapidly developed as a public health tool Clinical testing programs are ramping down and home testing is on the rise, making wastewater monitoring important for future surveillance of COVID-19. Our experience in initiating and implementing wastewater surveillance programs in the United States has allowed us to reflect on key barriers and organizational challenges and draw useful lessons. As wastewater surveillance programs are formalized, the working relationships developed between academic researchers, commercial and public health laboratories, and data users should continue and should promote knowledge co-development. While wastewater surveillance has demonstrated utility for tracking COVID-19, there remain technical challenges and open scientific questions that researchers are equipped to address, which will contribute to building robust surveillance programs that provide public health practitioners with new insights into population health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0300.v1
Online: 22 March 2022 (11:21:05 CET)
Following the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe, the intense response that was demanded of diagnostic centers and research laboratories prompted the use of numerous products and protocols for the management of SARS-CoV-2 specimens. In these settings, proper handling of such infectious specimen is necessary to ensure the safety of personnel and to reduce the risk of active transmission. Our aim was to evaluate the inactivation efficacy of different inactivating methods, notably from commercial lysis buffers available in diagnostic kits. Heat and sodium dodecyl sulfate detergent were also included in our investigations. A cell culture-based assay was used, and supported by molecular qRT-PCR detection, to show in vitro infectivity reduction after inactivation treatment. Overall, all the investigated methods were successful in inactivating SARS-CoV-2. Ten minutes of contact with the commercial buffers completely stopped in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Fifteen minutes at 68°C and 30 minutes at 56°C as well as one hour with sodium dodecyl sulfate detergent at 2, 1, 0.5, and 0.1% yielded the same results. These findings demonstrate the reliability of these protocols with regards to biosafety. Inactivation by heat and sodium dodecyl sulfate detergent are rather simple and can be readily available methods for rendering an infectious SARS-CoV-2 specimen inactive, especially in settings where commercial buffers are not available.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0101.v1
Online: 7 March 2022 (14:03:11 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest public health threat facing the globe today. Multiple vaccines have been approved, however the emergence of viral variants such as the recent Omicron, raises the possibility of booster doses to achieve adequate protection. In Brazil, the CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccine was used, however it’s important to assess the immune response to this vaccine over time. This study aimed to monitor the anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in those immunized with CoronaVac and SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. Samples were collected between August 2020 and August 2021. Within the vaccinated cohort, some individuals had history of infection by SARS-CoV-2 prior to immunization and others not. We analyzed RBD-specific and neutralizing- antibodies. Anti-RBD antibodies were detected in both cohorts, with a peak between 45-90 days post infection or vaccination, followed by a steady decline over time. In those with previous history of COVID-19, a higher, longer, more persistent response was observed. This trend was mirrored in the neutralization assays, where infection followed by immunization resulted in higher, longer lasting responses which were conditioned on the presence of levels of RBD antibodies right before the vaccination. This supports the necessity of booster doses of CoronaVac in due course to prevent serious disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0071.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; receptors; COVID-19; pandemic
Online: 3 August 2021 (11:05:23 CEST)
Several recent surges in COVID-19 cases due to newly emerging variant strains of SARS-CoV-2 with greater transmissibility have highlighted the virus’s capability to directly modulate spike-ACE2 interactions and promote immune evasion by sterically masking the immunogenic epitopes. Recently, there have also been reports of the bidirectional transfer of coronavirus between different animal species and humans. The ability of coronavirus to infect and adapt to a wide range of hosts can be attributed to new variants that modify the molecular recognition profile of the spike protein (S protein). The receptor-binding domain of the spike protein specifically interacts with key host receptor molecules present on the host cell membranes to gain entry into the host and begin the infection cycle. In this review, we discuss the molecular, structural, and functional diversity associated with the coronavirus receptors across their different phylogenetic lineages and its relevance to various symptomatology in the rapid human-to-human infection in COVID-19 patients, tropism, and zoonosis. Despite this seeming diversity of host receptors, there may be some common underlying mechanisms that influence the host range, virus transmissibility, and pathogenicity. Understanding these mechanisms may be crucial in not only controlling the ongoing pandemic but also help in stopping the resurgence of such virus threats in the future.