Vaccination

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RECORD 1
TITLE
  COVID-19 treatment by repurposing drugs until the vaccine is in sight
AUTHOR NAMES
  Phadke M.;  Saunik S.
SOURCE
  Drug Development Research (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  Corona virus disease (COVID-19) has created pandemic in the world as declared by WHO on March 12, 2020. It is a viral disease caused by SARS-CoV 2 virus and has affected large populations in over 120 countries. There is no specific treatment available and management is empirical. Until such time that an effective vaccine is available for COVID-19 viral infection, one can repurpose known therapeutic drug molecules such as angiotensin receptor 2 blocker, a commonly used antihypertensive drug, to control COVID-19 virus from gaining entry into the host cell by blocking the angiotensin receptor. Clinical trials should also be undertaken to use statins, which are lipid-lowering drugs but have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties to prevent acute lung injury in COVID-19 infection.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ddr.21666

RECORD 2
TITLE
  The SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Pipeline: an Overview
AUTHOR NAMES
  Chen W.-H.;  Strych U.;  Hotez P.J.;  Bottazzi M.E.
SOURCE
  Current Tropical Medicine Reports (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  Purpose of Review: The goal of this review is to provide a timely overview on efforts to develop a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Recent Findings: Previous research efforts to develop a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) vaccine in the years following the 2003 pandemic have opened the door for investigators to design vaccine concepts and approaches for the COVID-19 epidemic in China. Both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 exhibit a high degree of genetic similarity and bind to the same host cell ACE2 receptor. Based on previous experience with SARS-CoV vaccines, it is expected that all COVID-19 vaccines will require careful safety evaluations for immunopotentiation that could lead to increased infectivity or eosinophilic infiltration. Besides this, a COVID-19 vaccine target product profile must address vaccinating at-risk human populations including frontline healthcare workers, individuals over the age of 60, and those with underlying and debilitating chronic conditions. Among the vaccine technologies under evaluation are whole virus vaccines, recombinant protein subunit vaccines, and nucleic acid vaccines. Summary: Each current vaccine strategy has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is paramount that multiple strategies be advanced quickly and then evaluated for safety and efficacy. Ultimately, the safety studies to minimize undesired immunopotentiation will become the most significant bottleneck in terms of time.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40475-020-00201-6

RECORD 3
TITLE
  COVID-19 challenge: Feverish search for vaccines and antiviral treatments
AUTHOR NAMES
  Blasius H.
SOURCE
  Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung (2020) 160:10 Article Number: S24. Date of Publication: 2020

RECORD 4
TITLE
  Could Intravenous Immunoglobulin Collected from Recovered Coronavirus Patients Protect against COVID-19 and Strengthen the Immune System of New Patients?
AUTHOR NAMES
  Jawhara S.
SOURCE
  International journal of molecular sciences (2020) 21:7. Date of Publication: 25 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The emergence of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, which causes severe respiratory tract infections in humans (COVID-19), has become a global health concern. Most coronaviruses infect animals but can evolve into strains that cross the species barrier and infect humans. At the present, there is no single specific vaccine or efficient antiviral therapy against COVID-19. Recently, we showed that intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment reduces inflammation of intestinal epithelial cells and eliminates overgrowth of the opportunistic human fungal pathogen Candida albicans in the murine gut. Immunotherapy with IVIg could be employed to neutralize COVID-19. However, the efficacy of IVIg would be better if the immune IgG antibodies were collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 in the same city, or the surrounding area, in order to increase the chance of neutralizing the virus. These immune IgG antibodies will be specific against COVID-19 by boosting the immune response in newly infected patients. Different procedures may be used to remove or inactivate any possible pathogens from the plasma of recovered coronavirus patient derived immune IgG, including solvent/detergent, 60 °C heat-treatment, and nanofiltration. Overall, immunotherapy with immune IgG antibodies combined with antiviral drugs may be an alternative treatment against COVID-19 until stronger options such as vaccines are available.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072272

RECORD 5
TITLE
  Immune responses in COVID-19 and potential vaccines: Lessons learned from SARS and MERS epidemic
AUTHOR NAMES
  Prompetchara E.;  Ketloy C.;  Palaga T.
SOURCE
  Asian Pacific journal of allergy and immunology (2020) 38:1 (1-9). Date of Publication: 1 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  As the world is witnessing the epidemic of COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, emerging genetics and clinical evidences suggest a similar path to those of SARS and MERS. The rapid genomic sequencing and open access data, together with advanced vaccine technology, are expected to give us more knowledge on the pathogen itself, including the host immune response as well as the plan for therapeutic vaccines in the near future. This review aims to provide a comparative view among SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and the newly epidemic SARS-CoV-2, in the hope to gain a better understanding of the host-pathogen interaction, host immune responses, and the pathogen immune evasion strategies. This predictive view may help in designing an immune intervention or preventive vaccine for COVID-19 in the near future.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.12932/AP-200220-0772

RECORD 6
TITLE
  SARS-CoV-2: A Storm is Raging
AUTHOR NAMES
  Pedersen S.F.;  Ho Y.-C.
SOURCE
  The Journal of clinical investigation (2020). Date of Publication: 27 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The pandemic coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is rapidly spreading across the globe. In this issue of the JCI, Chen and colleagues compared the clinical and immunologic characteristics between moderate versus severe COVID-19. The authors found that respiratory distress on admission is associated with unfavorable outcomes. Increased cytokine levels (IL-6, IL-10 and TNFα), lymphopenia (in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells), and decreased IFNγ expression in CD4+ T cells are associated with severe COVID-19. Overall, this study characterized the cytokine storm in severe COVID-19 and provides insights into immune therapeutics and vaccine design.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI137647

RECORD 7
TITLE
  Organ-protective Effect of Angiotensin-converting Enzyme 2 and its Effect on the Prognosis of COVID-19
AUTHOR NAMES
  Cheng H.;  Wang Y.;  Wang G.-Q.
SOURCE
  Journal of medical virology (2020). Date of Publication: 27 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  This article reviews the correlation between ACE2 and severe risk factors for COVID-19 and the possible mechanisms. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a crucial component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The classical RAS ACE-Ang II-AT1R regulatory axis and the ACE2-Ang1-7-MasR counter-regulatory axis play an essential role in maintaining homeostasis in humans. ACE2 is widely distributed in the heart, kidneys, lungs, and testes. ACE2 antagonizes the activation of the classical RAS system and protects against organ damage, protecting against hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Similar to SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 also uses the ACE2 receptor to invade human alveolar epithelial cells. ARDS is a clinical high-mortality disease, and ACE2 has a protective effect on this type of acute lung injury. Current research shows that the poor prognosis of patients with COVID-19 is related to factors such as sex (male), age (higher than 60 years), underlying diseases (hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease), secondary ARDS, and other relevant factors. Because of these protective effects of ACE2 on chronic underlying diseases and ARDS, the development of spike protein-based vaccine and drugs enhancing ACE2 activity may become one of the most promising approaches for the treatment of COVID-19 in the future. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25785

RECORD 8
TITLE
  COVID-19, an emerging coronavirus infection: advances and prospects in designing and developing vaccines, immunotherapeutics, and therapeutics
AUTHOR NAMES
  Dhama K.;  Sharun K.;  Tiwari R.;  Dadar M.;  Malik Y.S.;  Singh K.P.;  Chaicumpa W.
SOURCE
  Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  The novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease 2019) that emerged from Wuhan, Hubei province of China has spread to many countries worldwide. Efforts have been made to develop vaccines against human coronavirus (CoV) infections such as MERS and SARS in the past decades. However, to date, no licensed antiviral treatment or vaccine exists for MERS and SARS. Most of the efforts for developing CoV vaccines and drugs target the spike glycoprotein or S protein, the major inducer of neutralizing antibodies. Although a few candidates have shown efficacy in in vitro studies, not many have progressed to randomized animal or human trials, hence may have limited use to counter COVID-19 infection. This article highlights ongoing advances in designing vaccines and therapeutics to counter COVID-19 while also focusing on such experiences and advances as made with earlier SARS- and MERS-CoVs, which together could enable efforts to halt this emerging virus infection.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2020.1735227

RECORD 9
TITLE
  Mesenchymal stem cell infusion shows promise for combating coronavirus (COVID-19)-induced pneumonia
AUTHOR NAMES
  Shetty A.K.
SOURCE
  Aging and Disease (2020) 11:2 (462-464). Date of Publication: 9 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  A new study published by the journal Aging & Disease reported that intravenous administration of clinical-grade human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in improved functional outcomes (Leng et al., Aging Dis, 11:216-228, 2020). This study demonstrated that intravenous infusion of MSCs is a safe and effective approach for treating patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, including elderly patients displaying severe pneumonia. COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, treating COVID-19 patients, particularly those afflicted with severe pneumonia, is challenging as no specific drugs or vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are available. Therefore, MSC therapy inhibiting the overactivation of the immune system and promoting endogenous repair by improving the lung microenvironment after the SARS-CoV-2 infection found in this study is striking. Additional studies in a larger cohort of patients are needed to validate this therapeutic intervention further, however.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.14336/AD.2020.0301

RECORD 10
TITLE
  Challenges to prevent and control the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (COVID-19)
AUTHOR NAMES
  Liu X.;  Na R.S.;  Bi Z.Q.
SOURCE
  Zhonghua liu xing bing xue za zhi = Zhonghua liuxingbingxue zazhi (2020) 41 (E029). Date of Publication: 28 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  An outbreak of severe pneumonia of unknown cause was reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The infectious virus was soon identified and named as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov). The name of the coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) was given by WHO on 11 February 2020. It has so far caused about 118 000 cases in 114 countries including China and was characterized as a pandemic by WHO on 11 March. We still face great challenges in control of the epidemic: uncertain initial source of infection, infected populations widely scattered, complex routs of transmission, populations generally susceptible, high contagiousness of the virus, and finally vaccines unlikely available in the near future.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3760/cma.j.cn112338-20200216-00108

RECORD 11
TITLE
  Don’t rush to deploy COVID-19 vaccines and drugs without sufficient safety guarantees
AUTHOR NAMES
  Jiang S.
SOURCE
  Nature (2020) 579:7799 (321). Date of Publication: 1 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00751-9

RECORD 12
TITLE
  Therapeutic opportunities to manage COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 infection: Present and future
AUTHOR NAMES
  Shetty R.;  Ghosh A.;  Honavar S.G.;  Khamar P.;  Sethu S.
SOURCE
  Indian journal of ophthalmology (2020). Date of Publication: 28 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  A severe form of respiratory disease – COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, has evolved into a pandemic resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. The unabated spread of the disease is due to lack of vaccine and effective therapeutic agents against this novel virus. Hence, the situation demands an immediate need to explore all the plausible therapeutic and prophylactic strategies that can be made available to stem the spread of the disease. Towards this effort, the current review outlines the key aspects of the pathobiology associated with the morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 patients, which includes a viral response phase and an exaggerated host response phase. The review also summarizes therapeutic agents that are currently being explored along with those with potential for consideration. The broad groups of therapeutic agents discussed include those that: (i) block viral entry to host cells, (ii) block viral replication and survival in host cells, and (iii) dampen exaggerated host immune response. The various kinds of pharmaceutical prophylactic options that may be followed to prevent COVID-19 have also been discussed.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/ijo.IJO_639_20

RECORD 13
TITLE
  Practical Strategies Against the Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19—the Imminent Global Threat
AUTHOR NAMES
  Rahimi F.;  Talebi Bezmin Abadi A.
SOURCE
  Archives of Medical Research (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  The last month of 2019 harbingered the emergence of a viral outbreak that is now a major public threat globally. COVID-19 was first diagnosed and confirmed in a couple of cases with unknown pneumonia; the patients lived in, or travelled to, Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province. People now face a complex challenge that deserves urgent intervention by all involved in medical healthcare globally. Conventional antiviral therapies or vaccines are the most referred means of tackling the virus, but we think establishing these ideal management strategies is presently far-fetched. In-house isolation or quarantine of suspected cases to keep hospital admissions manageable and prevent in-hospital spread of the virus, and promoting general awareness about transmission routes are the practical strategies used to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Cases with weakened or compromised immune systems—for example, elderly individuals, young children, and those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, and chronic respiratory diseases—are particularly more susceptible to COVID-19. Hopefully, cumulative data using whole-genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome in parallel with mathematical modeling will help the molecular biologists to understand unknown features of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of COVID-19.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2020.03.005

RECORD 14
TITLE
  SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: The most important research questions
AUTHOR NAMES
  Yuen K.-S.;  Ye Z.-W.;  Fung S.-Y.;  Chan C.-P.;  Jin D.-Y.
SOURCE
  Cell and Bioscience (2020) 10:1 Article Number: 40. Date of Publication: 16 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an ongoing global health emergency. Here we highlight nine most important research questions concerning virus transmission, asymptomatic and presymptomatic virus shedding, diagnosis, treatment, vaccine development, origin of virus and viral pathogenesis.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13578-020-00404-4

RECORD 15
TITLE
  Biological Product Development Strategies for Prevention and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019
AUTHOR NAMES
  Yan C.-X.;  Li J.;  Shen X.;  Luo L.;  Li Y.;  Li M.-Y.
SOURCE
  Sichuan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Sichuan University. Medical science edition (2020) 51:2 (139-145). Date of Publication: 1 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus, also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2), has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Due to the large infection population, broad transmissibility and high mortality, it is urgent to find out the efficient and specific methods to prevent and treat COVID-19. As biological products have broadly applied in the prevention and treatment of severe epidemic diseases, they are promising in blocking novel coronavirus infection. According to the research advances of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), we reviewed the potential application of biological products such as interferon, convalescent plasma, intestinal micro-ecological regulators, vaccines and therapeutic antibodies, etc. , on prevention and treatment of COVID-19. May this review be helpful for conquering COVID-19 in the near future.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.12182/20200360506

RECORD 16
TITLE
  Advances in the research of mechanism of pulmonary fibrosis induced by Corona Virus Disease 2019 and the corresponding therapeutic measures
AUTHOR NAMES
  Wang J.;  Wang B.J.;  Yang J.C.;  Wang M.Y.;  Chen C.;  Luo G.X.;  He W.F.
SOURCE
  Zhonghua shao shang za zhi = Zhonghua shaoshang zazhi = Chinese journal of burns (2020) 36 (E006). Date of Publication: 16 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbroke in Guangzhou, China in 2003 were caused by highly pathogenic coronaviruses with high homology. Since the 2019 novel coronavirus has strong transmissibility and progress rapidly. It has caused negative social effects and massive economic damage on a global scale. While there is currently no vaccine or effective drugs. Pulmonary fibrosis is a pulmonary disease with progressive fibrosis, which is the main factor leading to pulmonary dysfunction and quality of life decline in SARS survivors after recovery. Extensive epidemiological, viral immunological, and current clinical evidences support the possibility that pulmonary fibrosis may be one of the major complications in COVID-19 patients. Although there are no reports on the mechanism of COVID-19 inducing pulmonary fibrosis, based on the existing theoretical basis, we focus on the possible mechanism of COVID-19 sustained lung damaging, the key role of abnormal immune mechanism in the initiation and promotion of pulmonary fibrosis, and the corresponding therapeutic measures.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3760/cma.j.cn501120-20200307-00132

RECORD 17
TITLE
  Virology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and control of covid-19
AUTHOR NAMES
  Jin Y.;  Yang H.;  Ji W.;  Wu W.;  Chen S.;  Zhang W.;  Duan G.
SOURCE
  Viruses (2020) 12:4 Article Number: 372. Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  The outbreak of emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) in China has been brought to global attention and declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. Scientific advancements since the pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002~2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012 have accelerated our understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and the development of therapeutics to treat viral infection. As no specific therapeutics and vaccines are available for disease control, the epidemic of COVID-19 is posing a great threat for global public health. To provide a comprehensive summary to public health authorities and potential readers worldwide, we detail the present understanding of COVID-19 and introduce the current state of development of measures in this review.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12040372

RECORD 18
TITLE
  Why is COVID-19 so mild in children?
AUTHOR NAMES
  Brodin P.
SOURCE
  Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992) (2020). Date of Publication: 25 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  There is an urgent need to understand why the course of the coronavirus that started in late 2019 (COVID-19) is affecting different groups of individuals with varying severity during the ongoing global pandemic. Greater knowledge of the disease, which is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), will help us to prioritise our limited health resources. Because the virus is new, and no vaccine is yet available, everyone is naïve and susceptible to being infected with SARS-CoV2. The virus will continue to spread until an effective vaccine exists or sufficient members of our global population have been infected to establish herd immunity. At the moment, the best way to minimize loss of life and severe cases requiring intensive care is to try and shelter vulnerable groups of individuals and slow down the spread of the virus.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.15271

RECORD 19
TITLE
  Expanded Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSCs) as a Therapeutic Strategy in Managing Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: The Case for Compassionate Use
AUTHOR NAMES
  Atluri S.;  Manchikanti L.;  Hirsch J.A.
SOURCE
  Pain physician (2020) 23:2 (E71-E83). Date of Publication: 1 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  COVID-19 has affected the United States leading to a national emergency with health care and economic impact, propelling the country into a recession with disrupted lifestyles not seen in recent history. COVID-19 is a serious illness leading to multiple deaths in various countries including the United States. Several million Americans satisfy the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for being high risk. Unfortunately, the available supply of medical beds and equipment for mechanical ventilation are much less than is projected to be needed. The World Health Organization (WHO) and multiple agencies led by the CDC in the United States have attempted to organize intensive outbreak investigation programs utilizing appropriate preventive measures, evaluation, and treatment. The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 varies from asymptomatic forms to conditions encompassing multiorgan and systemic manifestations in terms of septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction (MOD) syndromes. The presently approved treatments are supportive but not curative for the disease. There are multiple treatments being studied. These include vaccines, medications Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine and potentially combination therapy. Finally, expanded umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells or (UC-MSCs) may have a role and are being studied. The cure of COVID-19 is essentially dependent on the patients’ own immune system. When the immune system is over activated in an attempt to kill the virus, this can lead to the production of a large number of inflammatory factors, resulting in severe cytokine storm. The cytokine storm may induce organ damage followed by the edema, dysfunction of air exchange, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute cardiac injury, and secondary infection, which may lead to death. Thus, at this point, the avoidance of the cytokine storm may be the key for the treatment of HCOV-19 infected patients.In China, where there was limited availability of effective modalities to manage COVID-19 several patients were treated with expanded UC-MSCs. Additionally, the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care have reported guidelines to treat coronavirus patients with stem cells in the hope of decreasing the number of patients going to the ICU, and, also relatively quickly getting them out of ICU. In this manuscript, we describe the urgent need for various solutions, pathogenesis of coronavirus and the clinical evidence for treatment of COVID-19 with stem cells. The limited but emerging evidence regarding UC MSC in managing COVID-19 suggests that it might be considered for compassionate use in critically ill patients to reduce morbidity and mortality in the United States. The administration and Coronavirus Task Force might wish to approach the potential of expanded UC-MSCs as an evolutionary therapeutic strategy in managing COVID-19 illness with a 3-pronged approach: If proven safe and effective on a specific and limited basis…1. Minimize regulatory burden by all agencies so that critically ill COVID-19 patients will have access regardless of their financial circumstance.2. Institute appropriate safeguards to avoid negative consequences from unscrupulous actors.3. With proper informed consent from patients or proxy when necessary, and subject to accumulation of data in that cohort, allow the procedure to be initiated in critically ill patients who are not responding to conventional therapies.KEY WORDS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, cytokine storm, multiorgan failure, expanded umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells.

RECORD 20
TITLE
  Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic and Pregnancy
AUTHOR NAMES
  Dashraath P.;  Jing Lin Jeslyn W.;  Mei Xian Karen L.;  Li Min L.;  Sarah L.;  Biswas A.;  Arjandas Choolani M.;  Mattar C.;  Lin S.L.
SOURCE
  American journal of obstetrics and gynecology (2020). Date of Publication: 23 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, is spreading globally at an accelerated rate, with a basic reproduction number (R0) of 2 – 2.5, indicating that 2 – 3 persons will be infected from an index patient. A serious public health emergency, it is particularly deadly in vulnerable populations and communities in which healthcare providers are insufficiently prepared to manage the infection. As of March 16, 2020, there are more than 180,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with over 7,000 related deaths. The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been isolated from asymptomatic individuals, and affected patients continue to be infectious two weeks after cessation of symptoms. The substantial morbidity and socioeconomic impact have necessitated drastic measures across all continents, including nationwide lockdowns and border closures. Pregnant women and their fetuses represent a high-risk population during infectious disease outbreaks. To date, the outcomes of 55 pregnant women infected with COVID-19 and 46 neonates have been reported in the literature, with no definite evidence of vertical transmission. Physiological and mechanical changes in pregnancy increase susceptibility to infections in general, particularly when the cardiorespiratory system is affected, and encourage rapid progression to respiratory failure in the gravida. Furthermore, the pregnancy bias towards T-helper 2 (Th2) system dominance which protects the fetus, leaves the mother vulnerable to viral infections, which are more effectively contained by the Th1 system. These unique challenges mandate an integrated approach to pregnancies affected by SARS-CoV-2. Here we present a review of COVID-19 in pregnancy, bringing together the various factors integral to the understanding of pathophysiology and susceptibility, diagnostic challenges with real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays, therapeutic controversies, intrauterine transmission and maternal-fetal complications. We discuss the latest options in antiviral therapy and vaccine development, including the novel use of chloroquine in the management of COVID-19. Fetal surveillance, in view of the predisposition to growth restriction and special considerations during labor and delivery are addressed. Additionally, we focus on keeping frontline obstetric care providers safe while continuing to provide essential services. Our clinical service model is built around the principles of workplace segregation, responsible social distancing, containment of cross-infection to healthcare providers, judicious use of personal protective equipment and telemedicine. Our aim is to share a framework which can be adopted by tertiary maternity units managing pregnant women in the flux of a pandemic while maintaining the safety of the patient and healthcare provider at its core.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2020.03.021

RECORD 21
TITLE
  Possible method for the production of a Covid-19 vaccine
AUTHOR NAMES
  Myint A.;  Jones T.
SOURCE
  The Veterinary record (2020) 186:12 (388). Date of Publication: 28 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.m1193

RECORD 22
TITLE
  Covid-19: Trump sought to buy vaccine developer exclusively for US, say German officials
AUTHOR NAMES
  Dyer O.
SOURCE
  BMJ (Clinical research ed.) (2020) 368 (m1100). Date of Publication: 17 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1100

RECORD 23
TITLE
  The outbreak of COVID-19: An overview
AUTHOR NAMES
  Wu Y.-C.;  Chen C.-S.;  Chan Y.-J.
SOURCE
  Journal of the Chinese Medical Association (2020) 83:3 (217-220). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  In late December 2019, a previous unidentified coronavirus, currently named as the 2019 novel coronavirus#, emerged from Wuhan, China, and resulted in a formidable outbreak in many cities in China and expanded globally, including Thailand, Republic of Korea, Japan, United States, Philippines, Viet Nam, and our country (as of 2/6/2020 at least 25 countries). The disease is officially named as Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19, by WHO on February 11, 2020). It is also named as Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens on January 15, 2019 by the Taiwan CDC, the Ministry of Health and is a notifiable communicable disease of the fifth category. COVID-19 is a potential zoonotic disease with low to moderate (estimated 2%-5%) mortality rate. Person-to-person transmission may occur through droplet or contact transmission and if there is a lack of stringent infection control or if no proper personal protective equipment available, it may jeopardize the first-line healthcare workers. Currently, there is no definite treatment for COVID-19 although some drugs are under investigation. To promptly identify patients and prevent further spreading, physicians should be aware of the travel or contact history of the patient with compatible symptoms.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JCMA.0000000000000270

RECORD 24
TITLE
  From SARS to COVID-19: A previously unknown SARS- related coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) of pandemic potential infecting humans – Call for a One Health approach
AUTHOR NAMES
  El Zowalaty M.E.;  Järhult J.D.
SOURCE
  One Health (2020) 9 Article Number: 100124. Date of Publication: 1 Jun 2020
ABSTRACT
  Human coronaviruses continue to pose a threat to human health. The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in December 2019 which causes coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), an acute respiratory disease marked the third introduction of a highly pathogenic coronavirus into the human population in the twenty-first century. This recent emergence of a previously unknown coronavirus in China leads to huge impacts on humans globally. Covid-19 is a challenge to global public health. Here, we discuss the COVID-19 outbreak in a one health context, highlighting the need for the implementation of one health measures and practices to improve human health and reduce the emergence of pandemic viruses.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2020.100124

RECORD 25
TITLE
  Preliminary identification of potential vaccine targets for the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Based on SARS-CoV Immunological Studies
AUTHOR NAMES
  Ahmed S.F.;  Quadeer A.A.;  McKay M.R.
SOURCE
  Viruses (2020) 12:3 Article Number: 254. Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  The beginning of 2020 has seen the emergence of COVID-19 outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). There is an imminent need to better understand this new virus and to develop ways to control its spread. In this study, we sought to gain insights for vaccine design against SARS-CoV-2 by considering the high genetic similarity between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, which caused the outbreak in 2003, and leveraging existing immunological studies of SARS-CoV. By screening the experimentallydetermined SARS-CoV-derived B cell and T cell epitopes in the immunogenic structural proteins of SARS-CoV, we identified a set of B cell and T cell epitopes derived from the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins that map identically to SARS-CoV-2 proteins. As no mutation has been observed in these identified epitopes among the 120 available SARS-CoV-2 sequences (as of 21 February 2020), immune targeting of these epitopes may potentially offer protection against this novel virus. For the T cell epitopes, we performed a population coverage analysis of the associated MHC alleles and proposed a set of epitopes that is estimated to provide broad coverage globally, as well as in China. Our findings provide a screened set of epitopes that can help guide experimental efforts towards the development of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12030254

RECORD 26
TITLE
  What the cruise-ship outbreaks reveal about COVID-19
AUTHOR NAMES
  Mallapaty S.
SOURCE
  Nature (2020). Date of Publication: 26 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00885-w

RECORD 27
TITLE
  The call for a rapid response
AUTHOR NAMES
  Peters R.
SOURCE
  BioPharm International (2020) 33:2 (6). Date of Publication: 1 Feb 2020

RECORD 28
TITLE
  Potential interventions for novel coronavirus in China: A systematic review
AUTHOR NAMES
  Zhang L.;  Liu Y.
SOURCE
  Journal of Medical Virology (2020) 92:5 (479-490). Date of Publication: 1 May 2020
ABSTRACT
  An outbreak of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19 or 2019-CoV) infection has posed significant threats to international health and the economy. In the absence of treatment for this virus, there is an urgent need to find alternative methods to control the spread of disease. Here, we have conducted an online search for all treatment options related to coronavirus infections as well as some RNA-virus infection and we have found that general treatments, coronavirus-specific treatments, and antiviral treatments should be useful in fighting COVID-19. We suggest that the nutritional status of each infected patient should be evaluated before the administration of general treatments and the current children’s RNA-virus vaccines including influenza vaccine should be immunized for uninfected people and health care workers. In addition, convalescent plasma should be given to COVID-19 patients if it is available. In conclusion, we suggest that all the potential interventions be implemented to control the emerging COVID-19 if the infection is uncontrollable.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25707

RECORD 29
TITLE
  COVID-19 needs a Manhattan Project
AUTHOR NAMES
  Berkley S.
SOURCE
  Science (2020) 367:6485 (1407). Date of Publication: 27 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abb8654

RECORD 30
TITLE
  Characteristics of and public health responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in China
AUTHOR NAMES
  Deng S.-Q.;  Peng H.-J.
SOURCE
  Journal of Clinical Medicine (2020) 9:2 Article Number: 575. Date of Publication: 1 Feb 2020
ABSTRACT
  In December 2019, cases of unidentified pneumonia with a history of exposure in the Huanan Seafood Market were reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was identified to be accountable for this disease. Human-to-human transmission is confirmed, and this disease (named COVID-19 by World Health Organization (WHO)) spread rapidly around the country and the world. As of 18 February 2020, the number of confirmed cases had reached 75,199 with 2009 fatalities. The COVID-19 resulted in a much lower case-fatality rate (about 2.67%) among the confirmed cases, compared with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Among the symptom composition of the 45 fatality cases collected from the released official reports, the top four are fever, cough, short of breath, and chest tightness/pain. The major comorbidities of the fatality cases include hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, cerebral infarction, and chronic bronchitis. The source of the virus and the pathogenesis of this disease are still unconfirmed. No specific therapeutic drug has been found. The Chinese Government has initiated a level-1 public health response to prevent the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, it is also crucial to speed up the development of vaccines and drugs for treatment, which will enable us to defeat COVID-19 as soon as possible.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020575

RECORD 31
TITLE
  Angiotensin receptor blockers as tentative SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics
AUTHOR NAMES
  Gurwitz D.
SOURCE
  Drug Development Research (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  At the time of writing this commentary (February 2020), the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic has already resulted in more fatalities compared with the SARS and MERS coronavirus epidemics combined. Therapeutics that may assist to contain its rapid spread and reduce its high mortality rates are urgently needed. Developing vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus may take many months. Moreover, vaccines based on viral-encoded peptides may not be effective against future coronavirus epidemics, as virus mutations could make them futile. Indeed, new Influenza virus strains emerge every year, requiring new immunizations. A tentative suggestion based on existing therapeutics, which would likely be resistant to new coronavirus mutations, is to use available angiotensin receptor 1 (AT1R) blockers, such as losartan, as therapeutics for reducing the aggressiveness and mortality from SARS-CoV-2 virus infections. This idea is based on observations that the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) very likely serves as the binding site for SARS-CoV-2, the strain implicated in the current COVID-19 epidemic, similarly to strain SARS-CoV implicated in the 2002–2003 SARS epidemic. This commentary elaborates on the idea of considering AT1R blockers as tentative treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infections, and proposes a research direction based on datamining of clinical patient records for assessing its feasibility.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ddr.21656

RECORD 32
TITLE
  Updated approaches against SARS-CoV-2
AUTHOR NAMES
  Li H.;  Zhou Y.;  Zhang M.;  Wang H.;  Zhao Q.;  Liu J.
SOURCE
  Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy (2020). Date of Publication: 23 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lies behind the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There is a growing understanding of SARS-CoV-2 in the virology, epidemiology and clinical management strategies. However, no anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug or vaccine has been officially approved due to the absence of adequate evidence. Scientists are racing towards the development of treatment for COVID-19. Recent studies have revealed many attractive threptic options, even if some of them remain to be further confirmed in rigorous preclinical models and clinical trials. In this minireview, we aim to summarize the updated potential approaches against SARS-CoV-2. We emphasize that further efforts are warranted to develop the safest and most effective approach.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00483-20

RECORD 33
TITLE
  Computers and viral diseases. Preliminary bioinformatics studies on the design of a synthetic vaccine and a preventative peptidomimetic antagonist against the SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV, COVID-19) coronavirus
AUTHOR NAMES
  Robson B.
SOURCE
  Computers in Biology and Medicine (2020) 119 Article Number: 103670. Date of Publication: 1 Apr 2020
ABSTRACT
  This paper concerns study of the genome of the Wuhan Seafood Market isolate believed to represent the causative agent of the disease COVID-19. This is to find a short section or sections of viral protein sequence suitable for preliminary design proposal for a peptide synthetic vaccine and a peptidomimetic therapeutic, and to explore some design possibilities. The project was originally directed towards a use case for the Q-UEL language and its implementation in a knowledge management and automated inference system for medicine called the BioIngine, but focus here remains mostly on the virus itself. However, using Q-UEL systems to access relevant and emerging literature, and to interact with standard publically available bioinformatics tools on the Internet, did help quickly identify sequences of amino acids that are well conserved across many coronaviruses including 2019-nCoV. KRSFIEDLLFNKV was found to be particularly well conserved in this study and corresponds to the region around one of the known cleavage sites of the SARS virus that are believed to be required for virus activation for cell entry. This sequence motif and surrounding variations formed the basis for proposing a specific synthetic vaccine epitope and peptidomimetic agent. The work can, nonetheless, be described in traditional bioinformatics terms, and readily reproduced by others, albeit with the caveat that new data and research into 2019-nCoV is emerging and evolving at an explosive pace. Preliminary studies using molecular modeling and docking, and in that context the potential value of certain known herbal extracts, are also described.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2020.103670

RECORD 34
TITLE
  Are certain drugs associated with enhanced mortality in COVID-19?
AUTHOR NAMES
  Goldstein M.R.;  Poland G.A.;  Graeber C.W.
SOURCE
  QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians (2020). Date of Publication: 27 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/qjmed/hcaa103

RECORD 35
TITLE
  China coronavirus: Six questions scientists are asking
AUTHOR NAMES
  Callaway E.;  Cyranoski D.
SOURCE
  Nature (2020) 577:7792 (605-607). Date of Publication: 1 Jan 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00166-6

RECORD 36
TITLE
  Rapid Identification of Potential Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease by Deep Docking of 1.3 Billion Compounds
AUTHOR NAMES
  Ton A.-T.;  Gentile F.;  Hsing M.;  Ban F.;  Cherkasov A.
SOURCE
  Molecular informatics (2020). Date of Publication: 11 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The recently emerged 2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and associated COVID-19 disease cause serious or even fatal respiratory tract infection and yet no approved therapeutics or effective treatment is currently available to effectively combat the outbreak. This urgent situation is pressing the world to respond with the development of novel vaccine or a small molecule therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2. Along these efforts, the structure of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) has been rapidly resolved and made publicly available to facilitate global efforts to develop novel drug candidates. Recently, our group has developed a novel deep learning platform – Deep Docking (DD) which provides fast prediction of docking scores of Glide (or any other docking program) and, hence, enables structure-based virtual screening of billions of purchasable molecules in a short time. In the current study we applied DD to all 1.3 billion compounds from ZINC15 library to identify top 1,000 potential ligands for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protein. The compounds are made publicly available for further characterization and development by scientific community.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/minf.202000028

RECORD 37
TITLE
  COVID-19: time for WHO to reconsider its stance towards Taiwan
AUTHOR NAMES
  Nelson C.W.
SOURCE
  Nature (2020) 579:7798 (193). Date of Publication: 12 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-00693-2

RECORD 38
TITLE
  Possible therapeutic role of a highly standardized mixture of active compounds derived from cultured Lentinula edodes mycelia (AHCC) in patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus
AUTHOR NAMES
  Di Pierro F.;  Bertuccioli A.;  Cavecchia I.
SOURCE
  Minerva gastroenterologica e dietologica (2020). Date of Publication: 12 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19) is currently, March 2020, affecting more than 100000 people worldwide and, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), a pandemic is shortly expected. The virus infects the lower respiratory tract and causes severe pneumonia and mortality in approximately 10% and 3-5%, respectively, of cases, mainly among the elderly and/or people affected by other diseases. AHCC is an α-glucan-based standardized mushroom extract that has been extensively investigated as an immunostimulant both in animals and/or in humans affected by West Nile virus, influenza virus, avian influenza virus, hepatitis C virus, papillomavirus, herpes virus, hepatitis B virus and HIV by promoting a regulated and protective immune response. Although the efficacy of AHCC has not yet been specifically evaluated with respect to SARS-CoV-2 disease, its action in promoting a protective response to a wide range of viral infections, and the current absence of effective vaccines, could support its use in the prevention of diseases provoked by human pathogenic coronavirus, including COVID-19.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S1121-421X.20.02697-5

RECORD 39
TITLE
  Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic
AUTHOR NAMES
  Feng S.;  Shen C.;  Xia N.;  Song W.;  Fan M.;  Cowling B.J.
SOURCE
  The Lancet. Respiratory medicine (2020). Date of Publication: 20 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30134-X

RECORD 40
TITLE
  Potential Effects of Coronaviruses on the Cardiovascular System: A Review
AUTHOR NAMES
  Madjid M.;  Safavi-Naeini P.;  Solomon S.D.;  Vardeny O.
SOURCE
  JAMA Cardiology (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  Importance: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reached a pandemic level. Coronaviruses are known to affect the cardiovascular system. We review the basics of coronaviruses, with a focus on COVID-19, along with their effects on the cardiovascular system. Observations: Coronavirus disease 2019 can cause a viral pneumonia with additional extrapulmonary manifestations and complications. A large proportion of patients have underlying cardiovascular disease and/or cardiac risk factors. Factors associated with mortality include male sex, advanced age, and presence of comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, and cerebrovascular diseases. Acute cardiac injury determined by elevated high-sensitivity troponin levels is commonly observed in severe cases and is strongly associated with mortality. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is also strongly associated with mortality. Conclusions and Relevance: Coronavirus disease 2019 is associated with a high inflammatory burden that can induce vascular inflammation, myocarditis, and cardiac arrhythmias. Extensive efforts are underway to find specific vaccines and antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. Meanwhile, cardiovascular risk factors and conditions should be judiciously controlled per evidence-based guidelines..
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1286

RECORD 41
TITLE
  How health anxiety influences responses to viral outbreaks like COVID-19: What all decision-makers, health authorities, and health care professionals need to know
AUTHOR NAMES
  Asmundson G.J.G.;  Taylor S.
SOURCE
  Journal of Anxiety Disorders (2020) 71 Article Number: 102211. Date of Publication: 1 Apr 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102211

RECORD 42
TITLE
  Sex difference and smoking predisposition in patients with COVID-19
AUTHOR NAMES
  Cai H.
SOURCE
  The Lancet Respiratory Medicine (2020) 8:4 (e20). Date of Publication: 1 Apr 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30117-X

RECORD 43
TITLE
  Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients of novel coronavirus disease 2019
AUTHOR NAMES
  Zhao J.;  Yuan Q.;  Wang H.;  Liu W.;  Liao X.;  Su Y.;  Wang X.;  Yuan J.;  Li T.;  Li J.;  Qian S.;  Hong C.;  Wang F.;  Liu Y.;  Wang Z.;  He Q.;  Li Z.;  He B.;  Zhang T.;  Fu Y.;  Ge S.;  Liu L.;  Zhang J.;  Xia N.;  Zhang Z.
SOURCE
  Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (2020). Date of Publication: 28 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging virus. The antibody response in infected patient remains largely unknown, and the clinical values of antibody testing have not been fully demonstrated. METHODS: A total of 173 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled. Their serial plasma samples (n=535) collected during the hospitalization were tested for total antibodies (Ab), IgM and IgG against SARS-CoV-2. The dynamics of antibodies with the disease progress was analyzed. RESULTS: Among 173 patients, the seroconversion rate for Ab, IgM and IgG was 93.1%, 82.7% and 64.7%, respectively. The reason for the negative antibody findings in 12 patients might due to the lack of blood samples at the later stage of illness. The median seroconversion time for Ab, IgM and then IgG were day-11, day-12 and day-14, separately. The presence of antibodies was <40% among patients within 1-week since onset, and rapidly increased to 100.0% (Ab), 94.3% (IgM) and 79.8% (IgG) since day-15 after onset. In contrast, RNA detectability decreased from 66.7% (58/87) in samples collected before day-7 to 45.5% (25/55) during day 15-39. Combining RNA and antibody detections significantly improved the sensitivity of pathogenic diagnosis for COVID-19 (p<0.001), even in early phase of 1-week since onset (p=0.007). Moreover, a higher titer of Ab was independently associated with a worse clinical classification (p=0.006). CONCLUSIONS: The antibody detection offers vital clinical information during the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The findings provide strong empirical support for the routine application of serological testing in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 patients.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa344

RECORD 44
TITLE
  Sars-cov-2 and coronavirus disease 2019: What we know so far
AUTHOR NAMES
  Rabi F.A.;  Al Zoubi M.S.;  Al-Nasser A.D.;  Kasasbeh G.A.;  Salameh D.M.
SOURCE
  Pathogens (2020) 9:3 Article Number: 231. Date of Publication: 1 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  In December 2019, a cluster of fatal pneumonia cases presented in Wuhan, China. They were caused by a previously unknown coronavirus. All patients had been associated with the Wuhan Wholefood market, where seafood and live animals are sold. The virus spread rapidly and public health authorities in China initiated a containment effort. However, by that time, travelers had carried the virus to many countries, sparking memories of the previous coronavirus epidemics, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and causing widespread media attention and panic. Based on clinical criteria and available serological and molecular information, the new disease was called coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), and the novel coronavirus was called SARS Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), emphasizing its close relationship to the 2002 SARS virus (SARS-CoV). The scientific community raced to uncover the origin of the virus, understand the pathogenesis of the disease, develop treatment options, define the risk factors, and work on vaccine development. Here we present a summary of current knowledge regarding the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030231

RECORD 45
TITLE
  How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic?
AUTHOR NAMES
  Anderson R.M.;  Heesterbeek H.;  Klinkenberg D.;  Hollingsworth T.D.
SOURCE
  The Lancet (2020) 395:10228 (931-934). Date of Publication: 21 Mar 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30567-5

RECORD 46
TITLE
  Covid-19: A puzzle with many missing pieces
AUTHOR NAMES
  Vetter P.;  Eckerle I.;  Kaiser L.
SOURCE
  The BMJ (2020) 368 Article Number: m627. Date of Publication: 1 Feb 2020
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m627

RECORD 47
TITLE
  Isolation and rapid sharing of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SAR-CoV-2) from the first patient diagnosed with COVID-19 in Australia
AUTHOR NAMES
  Caly L.;  Druce J.;  Roberts J.;  Bond K.;  Tran T.;  Kostecki R.;  Yoga Y.;  Naughton W.;  Taiaroa G.;  Seemann T.;  Schultz M.B.;  Howden B.P.;  Korman T.M.;  Lewin S.R.;  Williamson D.A.;  Catton M.G.
SOURCE
  Medical Journal of Australia (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  Objectives: To describe the first isolation and sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in Australia and rapid sharing of the isolate. Setting: SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from a 58-year-old man from Wuhan, China who arrived in Melbourne on 19 January 2020 and was admitted to the Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne from the emergency department on 24 January 2020 with fever, cough, and progressive dyspnoea. Major outcomes: Clinical course and laboratory features of the first reported case of COVID-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) in Australia; isolation, whole genome sequencing, imaging, and rapid sharing of virus from the patient. Results: A nasopharyngeal swab and sputum collected when the patient presented to hospital were each positive for SARS-CoV-2 (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction). Inoculation of Vero/hSLAM cells with material from the nasopharyngeal swab led to the isolation of SARS-CoV-2 virus in culture. Electron microscopy of the supernatant confirmed the presence of virus particles with morphology characteristic of viruses of the family Coronaviridae. Whole genome sequencing of the viral isolate and phylogenetic analysis indicated the isolate exhibited greater than 99.99% sequence identity with other publicly available SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Within 24 hours of isolation, the first Australian SARS-CoV-2 isolate was shared with local and overseas reference laboratories and major North American and European culture collections. Conclusions: The ability to rapidly identify, propagate, and internationally share our SARS-CoV-2 isolate is an important step in collaborative scientific efforts to deal effectively with this international public health emergency by developing better diagnostic procedures, vaccine candidates, and antiviral agents.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.5694/mja2.50569

RECORD 48
TITLE
  A Sequence Homology and Bioinformatic Approach Can Predict Candidate Targets for Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-2
AUTHOR NAMES
  Grifoni A.;  Sidney J.;  Zhang Y.;  Scheuermann R.H.;  Peters B.;  Sette A.
SOURCE
  Cell Host and Microbe (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  Effective countermeasures against the recent emergence and rapid expansion of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) require the development of data and tools to understand and monitor its spread and immune responses to it. However, little information is available about the targets of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. We used the Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource (IEDB) to catalog available data related to other coronaviruses. This includes SARS-CoV, which has high sequence similarity to SARS-CoV-2 and is the best-characterized coronavirus in terms of epitope responses. We identified multiple specific regions in SARS-CoV-2 that have high homology to the SARS-CoV virus. Parallel bioinformatic predictions identified a priori potential B and T cell epitopes for SARS-CoV-2. The independent identification of the same regions using two approaches reflects the high probability that these regions are promising targets for immune recognition of SARS-CoV-2. These predictions can facilitate effective vaccine design against this virus of high priority.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2020.03.002

RECORD 49
TITLE
  Therapeutic strategies in an outbreak scenario to treat the novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China
AUTHOR NAMES
  Kruse R.L.
SOURCE
  F1000Research (2020) 9 (72). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originating in Wuhan, China presents a potential respiratory viral pandemic to the world population. Current efforts are focused on containment and quarantine of infected individuals. Ultimately, the outbreak could be controlled with a protective vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. While vaccine research should be pursued intensely, there exists today no therapy to treat 2019-nCoV upon infection, despite an urgent need to find options to help these patients and preclude potential death. Herein, I review the potential options to treat 2019-nCoV in patients, with an emphasis on the necessity for speed and timeliness in developing new and effective therapies in this outbreak. I consider the options of drug repurposing, developing neutralizing monoclonal antibody therapy, and an oligonucleotide strategy targeting the viral RNA genome, emphasizing the promise and pitfalls of these approaches. Finally, I advocate for the fastest strategy to develop a treatment now, which could be resistant to any mutations the virus may have in the future. The proposal is a biologic that blocks 2019-nCoV entry using a soluble version of the viral receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), fused to an immunoglobulin Fc domain, providing a neutralizing antibody with maximal breath to avoid any viral escape, while also helping to recruit the immune system to build lasting immunity. The sequence of the ACE2-Fc protein is provided to investigators, allowing its possible use in recombinant protein expression systems to start producing drug today to treat patients under compassionate use, while formal clinical trials are later undertaken. Such a treatment could help infected patients before a protective vaccine is developed and widely available in the coming months to year(s).
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.22211.2

RECORD 50
TITLE
  Immunoinformatics-aided identification of T cell and B cell epitopes in the surface glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV
AUTHOR NAMES
  Baruah V.;  Bose S.
SOURCE
  Journal of Medical Virology (2020) 92:5 (495-500). Date of Publication: 1 May 2020
ABSTRACT
  The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak has caused a large number of deaths with thousands of confirmed cases worldwide, especially in East Asia. This study took an immunoinformatics approach to identify significant cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) and B cell epitopes in the 2019-nCoV surface glycoprotein. Also, interactions between identified CTL epitopes and their corresponding major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I supertype representatives prevalent in China were studied by molecular dynamics simulations. We identified five CTL epitopes, three sequential B cell epitopes and five discontinuous B cell epitopes in the viral surface glycoprotein. Also, during simulations, the CTL epitopes were observed to be binding MHC class I peptide-binding grooves via multiple contacts, with continuous hydrogen bonds and salt bridge anchors, indicating their potential in generating immune responses. Some of these identified epitopes can be potential candidates for the development of 2019-nCoV vaccines.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25698

RECORD 51
TITLE
  Perioperative Management of Patients Infected with the Novel Coronavirus: Recommendation from the Joint Task Force of the Chinese Society of Anesthesiology and the Chinese Association of Anesthesiologists
AUTHOR NAMES
  Chen X.;  Liu Y.;  Gong Y.;  Guo X.;  Zuo M.;  Li J.;  Shi W.;  Li H.;  Xu X.;  Mi W.;  Huang Y.
SOURCE
  Anesthesiology (2020). Date of Publication: 19 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The outbreak of the new Coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has been involved in 77,262 cases in China as well as in 27 other countries as of February 24, 2020. Because the virus is novel to human beings, and there is no vaccine yet available, every individual is susceptible and can become infected. Healthcare workers are at high risk, and unfortunately, more than 3,000 healthcare workers in China have been infected. Anesthesiologists are among healthcare workers who are at an even higher risk of becoming infected because of their close contact with infected patients and high potential of exposure to respiratory droplets or aerosol from their patients’ airways. In order to provide healthcare workers with updated recommendations on the management of patients in the perioperative setting as well as for emergency airway management outside of the operating room, the two largest anesthesia societies, the Chinese Society of Anesthesiology (CSA) and the Chinese Association of Anesthesiologists (CAA) have formed a task force to produce the recommendations. The task force hopes to help healthcare workers, particularly anesthesiologists, optimize the care of their patients and protect patients, healthcare workers, and the public from becoming infected. The recommendations were created mainly based on the practice and experience of anesthesiologists who provide care to patients in China. Therefore, adoption of these recommendations outside of China must be done with caution, and the local environment, culture, uniqueness of the healthcare system, and patients’ needs should be considered. The task force will continuously update the recommendations and incorporate new information in future versions.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000003301

RECORD 52
TITLE
  Characterization of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of 2019 novel coronavirus: implication for development of RBD protein as a viral attachment inhibitor and vaccine
AUTHOR NAMES
  Tai W.;  He L.;  Zhang X.;  Pu J.;  Voronin D.;  Jiang S.;  Zhou Y.;  Du L.
SOURCE
  Cellular & molecular immunology (2020). Date of Publication: 19 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed a serious threat to global public health, calling for the development of safe and effective prophylactics and therapeutics against infection of its causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The CoV spike (S) protein plays the most important roles in viral attachment, fusion and entry, and serves as a target for development of antibodies, entry inhibitors and vaccines. Here, we identified the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in SARS-CoV-2 S protein and found that the RBD protein bound strongly to human and bat angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. SARS-CoV-2 RBD exhibited significantly higher binding affinity to ACE2 receptor than SARS-CoV RBD and could block the binding and, hence, attachment of SARS-CoV-2 RBD and SARS-CoV RBD to ACE2-expressing cells, thus inhibiting their infection to host cells. SARS-CoV RBD-specific antibodies could cross-react with SARS-CoV-2 RBD protein, and SARS-CoV RBD-induced antisera could cross-neutralize SARS-CoV-2, suggesting the potential to develop SARS-CoV RBD-based vaccines for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41423-020-0400-4

RECORD 53
TITLE
  Structural genomics of SARS-COV-2 indicates evolutionary conserved functional regions of viral proteins
AUTHOR NAMES
  Srinivasan S.;  Cui H.;  Gao Z.;  Liu M.;  Lu S.;  Mkandawire W.;  Narykov O.;  Sun M.;  Korkin D.
SOURCE
  Viruses (2020) 12:4 Article Number: 360. Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  During its first two and a half months, the recently emerged 2019 novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has already infected over one-hundred thousand people worldwide and has taken more than four thousand lives. However, the swiftly spreading virus also caused an unprecedentedly rapid response from the research community facing the unknown health challenge of potentially enormous proportions. Unfortunately, the experimental research to understand the molecular mechanisms behind the viral infection and to design a vaccine or antivirals is costly and takes months to develop. To expedite the advancement of our knowledge, we leveraged data about the related coronaviruses that is readily available in public databases and integrated these data into a single computational pipeline. As a result, we provide comprehensive structural genomics and interactomics roadmaps of SARS-CoV-2 and use this information to infer the possible functional differences and similarities with the related SARS coronavirus. All data are made publicly available to the research community.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12040360

RECORD 54
TITLE
  Drug treatment options for the 2019-new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
AUTHOR NAMES
  Lu H.
SOURCE
  Bioscience trends (2020) 14:1 (69-71). Date of Publication: 16 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  As of January 22, 2020, a total of 571 cases of the 2019-new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been reported in 25 provinces (districts and cities) in China. At present, there is no vaccine or antiviral treatment for human and animal coronavirus, so that identifying the drug treatment options as soon as possible is critical for the response to the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Three general methods, which include existing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs using standard assays, screening of a chemical library containing many existing compounds or databases, and the redevelopment of new specific drugs based on the genome and biophysical understanding of individual coronaviruses, are used to discover the potential antiviral treatment of human pathogen coronavirus. Lopinavir /Ritonavir, Nucleoside analogues, Neuraminidase inhibitors, Remdesivir, peptide (EK1), abidol, RNA synthesis inhibitors (such as TDF, 3TC), anti-inflammatory drugs (such as hormones and other molecules), Chinese traditional medicine, such ShuFengJieDu Capsules and Lianhuaqingwen Capsule, could be the drug treatment options for 2019-nCoV. However, the efficacy and safety of these drugs for 2019- nCoV still need to be further confirmed by clinical experiments.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.5582/bst.2020.01020

RECORD 55
TITLE
  Structural, glycosylation and antigenic variation between 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
AUTHOR NAMES
  Kumar S.;  Maurya V.K.;  Prasad A.K.;  Bhatt M.L.B.;  Saxena S.K.
SOURCE
  VirusDisease (2020) 31:1 (13-21). Date of Publication: 1 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  The emergence of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is of global concern and might have emerged from RNA recombination among existing coronaviruses. CoV spike (S) protein which is crucial for receptor binding, membrane fusion via conformational changes, internalization of the virus, host tissue tropism and comprises crucial targets for vaccine development, remain largely uncharacterized. Therefore, the present study has been planned to determine the sequence variation, structural and antigenic divergence of S glycoprotein which may be helpful for the management of 2019-nCoV infection. The sequences of spike glycoprotein of 2019-nCoV and SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) were used for the comparison. The sequence variations were determined using EMBOSS Needle pairwise sequence alignment tools. The variation in glycosylation sites was predicted by NetNGlyc 1.0 and validated by N-GlyDE server. Antigenicity was predicted by NetCTL 1.2 and validated by IEDB Analysis Resource server. The structural divergence was determined by using SuperPose Version 1.0 based on cryo-EM structure of the SARS coronavirus spike glycoprotein. Our data suggests that 2019-nCoV is newly spilled coronavirus into humans in China is closely related to SARS-CoV, which has only 12.8% of difference with SARS-CoV in S protein and has 83.9% similarity in minimal receptor-binding domain with SARS-CoV. Addition of a novel glycosylation sites were observed in 2019-nCoV. In addition, antigenic analysis proposes that great antigenic differences exist between both the viral strains, but some of the epitopes were found to be similar between both the S proteins. In spite of the variation in S protein amino acid composition, we found no significant difference in their structures. Collectively, for the first time our results exhibit the emergence of human 2019-nCoV is closely related to predecessor SARS-CoV and provide the evidence that 2019-nCoV uses various novel glycosylation sites as SARS-CoV and may have a potential to become pandemic owing its antigenic discrepancy. Further, demonstration of novel Cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes may impart opportunities for the development of peptide based vaccine for the prevention of 2019-nCoV.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13337-020-00571-5

RECORD 56
TITLE
  Characterization of spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 on virus entry and its immune cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV
AUTHOR NAMES
  Ou X.;  Liu Y.;  Lei X.;  Li P.;  Mi D.;  Ren L.;  Guo L.;  Guo R.;  Chen T.;  Hu J.;  Xiang Z.;  Mu Z.;  Chen X.;  Chen J.;  Hu K.;  Jin Q.;  Wang J.;  Qian Z.
SOURCE
  Nature communications (2020) 11:1 (1620). Date of Publication: 27 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  Since 2002, beta coronaviruses (CoV) have caused three zoonotic outbreaks, SARS-CoV in 2002-2003, MERS-CoV in 2012, and the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019. However, little is currently known about the biology of SARS-CoV-2. Here, using SARS-CoV-2 S protein pseudovirus system, we confirm that human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) is the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, find that SARS-CoV-2 enters 293/hACE2 cells mainly through endocytosis, that PIKfyve, TPC2, and cathepsin L are critical for entry, and that SARS-CoV-2 S protein is less stable than SARS-CoV S. Polyclonal anti-SARS S1 antibodies T62 inhibit entry of SARS-CoV S but not SARS-CoV-2 S pseudovirions. Further studies using recovered SARS and COVID-19 patients’ sera show limited cross-neutralization, suggesting that recovery from one infection might not protect against the other. Our results present potential targets for development of drugs and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15562-9

RECORD 57
TITLE
  Genome Detective Coronavirus Typing Tool for rapid identification and characterization of novel coronavirus genomes
AUTHOR NAMES
  Cleemput S.;  Dumon W.;  Fonseca V.;  Karim W.A.;  Giovanetti M.;  Alcantara L.C.;  Deforche K.;  de Oliveira T.
SOURCE
  Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) (2020). Date of Publication: 28 Feb 2020
ABSTRACT
  SUMMARY: Genome Detective is a web-based, user-friendly software application to quickly and accurately assemble all known virus genomes from next generation sequencing datasets. This application allows the identification of phylogenetic clusters and genotypes from assembled genomes in FASTA format. Since its release in 2019, we have produced a number of typing tools for emergent viruses that have caused large outbreaks, such as Zika and Yellow Fever Virus in Brazil. Here, we present The Genome Detective Coronavirus Typing Tool that can accurately identify the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) related coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) sequences isolated in China and around the world. The tool can accept up to 2,000 sequences per submission and the analysis of a new whole genome sequence will take approximately one minute. The tool has been tested and validated with hundreds of whole genomes from ten coronavirus species, and correctly classified all of the SARS-related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV) and all of the available public data for SARS-CoV-2. The tool also allows tracking of new viral mutations as the outbreak expands globally, which may help to accelerate the development of novel diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to stop the COVID-19 disease. AVAILABILITY: https://www.genomedetective.com/app/typingtool/cov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btaa145

RECORD 58
TITLE
  Epidemiology, Treatment, and Epidemic Prevention and Control of the Coronavirus Disease 2019: a Review
AUTHOR NAMES
  Luan R.-S.;  Wang X.;  Sun X.;  Chen X.-S.;  Zhou T.;  Liu Q.-H.;  Lü X.;  Wu X.-P.;  Gu D.-Q.;  Tang M.-S.;  Cui H.-J.;  Shan X.-F.;  Ouyang J.;  Zhang B.;  Zhang W.;  Sichuan University Covid- E.R.G.
SOURCE
  Sichuan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Sichuan University. Medical science edition (2020) 51:2 (131-138). Date of Publication: 1 Mar 2020
ABSTRACT
  This review summarizes the ongoing researches regarding etiology, epidemiology, transmission dynamics, treatment, and prevention and control strategies of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with comparison to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and pandemic H1N1 virus. SARS-CoV-2 may be originated from bats, and the patients and asymptomatic carriers are the source of epidemic infection. The virus can be transmitted human-to-human through droplets and close contact, and people at all ages are susceptible to this virus. The main clinical symptoms of the patients are fever and cough, accompanied with leukocytopenia and lymphocytopenia. Effective drugs have been not yet available thus far. In terms of the prevention and control strategies, vaccine development as the primary prevention should be accelerated. Regarding the secondary prevention, ongoing efforts of the infected patients and close contacts quarantine, mask wearing promotion, regular disinfection in public places should be continued. Meanwhile, rapid detection kit for serological monitoring of the virus in general population is expected so as to achieve early detection, early diagnosis, early isolation and early treatment. In addition, public health education on this disease and prevention should be enhanced so as to mitigate panic and mobilize the public to jointly combat the epidemic.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.12182/20200360505

RECORD 59
TITLE
  The deadly coronaviruses: The 2003 SARS pandemic and the 2020 novel coronavirus epidemic in China
AUTHOR NAMES
  Yang Y.;  Peng F.;  Wang R.;  Guan K.;  Jiang T.;  Xu G.;  Sun J.;  Chang C.
SOURCE
  Journal of Autoimmunity (2020) Article Number: 102434. Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  The 2019-nCoV is officially called SARS-CoV-2 and is the cause of the disease named COVID-19. This viral epidemic in China has led to the deaths of over 1800 people, mostly elderly or those with an underlying chronic disease or immunosuppressed state. This is the third serious Coronavirus outbreak in less than 20 years, following SARS in 2002–2003 and MERS in 2012. While human strains of Coronavirus are associated with about 15% of cases of the common cold, the SARS-CoV-2 may present with varying degrees of severity, from flu-like symptoms to death. It is currently believed that this deadly Coronavirus strain originated from wild animals at the Huanan market in Wuhan, a city in Hubei province. Bats, snakes and pangolins have been cited as potential carriers based on the sequence homology of CoV isolated from these animals and the viral nucleic acids of the virus isolated from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Extreme quarantine measures, including sealing off large cities, closing borders and confining people to their homes, were instituted in January 2020 to prevent spread of the virus, but by that time much of the damage had been done, as human-human transmission became evident. While these quarantine measures are necessary and have prevented a historical disaster along the lines of the Spanish flu, earlier recognition and earlier implementation of quarantine measures may have been even more effective. Lessons learned from SARS resulted in faster determination of the nucleic acid sequence and a more robust quarantine strategy. However, it is clear that finding an effective antiviral and developing a vaccine are still significant challenges. The costs of the epidemic are not limited to medical aspects, as the virus has led to significant sociological, psychological and economic effects globally. Unfortunately, emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has led to numerous reports of Asians being subjected to racist behavior and hate crimes across the world.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102434

RECORD 60
TITLE
  Establishment and validation of a pseudovirus neutralization assay for SARS-CoV-2
AUTHOR NAMES
  Nie J.;  Li Q.;  Wu J.;  Zhao C.;  Hao H.;  Liu H.;  Zhang L.;  Nie L.;  Qin H.;  Wang M.;  Lu Q.;  Li X.;  Sun Q.;  Liu J.;  Fan C.;  Huang W.;  Xu M.;  Wang Y.
SOURCE
  Emerging Microbes and Infections (2020) 9:1 (680-686). Date of Publication: 1 Jan 2020
ABSTRACT
  Pseudoviruses are useful virological tools because of their safety and versatility, especially for emerging and re-emerging viruses. Due to its high pathogenicity and infectivity and the lack of effective vaccines and therapeutics, live SARS-CoV-2 has to be handled under biosafety level 3 conditions, which has hindered the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Based on a VSV pseudovirus production system, a pseudovirus-based neutralization assay has been developed for evaluating neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in biosafety level 2 facilities. The key parameters for this assay were optimized, including cell types, cell numbers, virus inoculum. When tested against the SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, SARS-CoV-2 convalescent patient sera showed high neutralizing potency, which underscore its potential as therapeutics. The limit of detection for this assay was determined as 22.1 and 43.2 for human and mouse serum samples respectively using a panel of 120 negative samples. The cutoff values were set as 30 and 50 for human and mouse serum samples, respectively. This assay showed relatively low coefficient of variations with 15.9% and 16.2% for the intra- and inter-assay analyses respectively. Taken together, we established a robust pseudovirus-based neutralization assay for SARS-CoV-2 and are glad to share pseudoviruses and related protocols with the developers of vaccines or therapeutics to fight against this lethal virus.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22221751.2020.1743767

RECORD 61
TITLE
  From SARS and MERS CoVs to SARS-CoV-2: Moving toward more biased codon usage in viral structural and nonstructural genes
AUTHOR NAMES
  Kandeel M.;  Ibrahim A.;  Fayez M.;  Al-Nazawi M.
SOURCE
  Journal of Medical Virology (2020). Date of Publication: 2020
ABSTRACT
  Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging disease with fatal outcomes. In this study, a fundamental knowledge gap question is to be resolved by evaluating the differences in biological and pathogenic aspects of SARS-CoV-2 and the changes in SARS-CoV-2 in comparison with the two prior major COV epidemics, SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses. Methods: The genome composition, nucleotide analysis, codon usage indices, relative synonymous codons usage, and effective number of codons (ENc) were analyzed in the four structural genes; Spike (S), Envelope (E), membrane (M), and Nucleocapsid (N) genes, and two of the most important nonstructural genes comprising RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2, Beta-CoV from pangolins, bat SARS, MERS, and SARS CoVs. Results: SARS-CoV-2 prefers pyrimidine rich codons to purines. Most high-frequency codons were ending with A or T, while the low frequency and rare codons were ending with G or C. SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins showed 5 to 20 lower ENc values, compared with SARS, bat SARS, and MERS CoVs. This implies higher codon bias and higher gene expression efficiency of SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins. SARS-CoV-2 encoded the highest number of over-biased and negatively biased codons. Pangolin Beta-CoV showed little differences with SARS-CoV-2 ENc values, compared with SARS, bat SARS, and MERS CoV. Conclusion: Extreme bias and lower ENc values of SARS-CoV-2, especially in Spike, Envelope, and Mpro genes, are suggestive for higher gene expression efficiency, compared with SARS, bat SARS, and MERS CoVs.
FULL TEXT LINK
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25754