Topic Review
Ivermectin as Broad-Spectrum Host-Directed Antiviral
The small molecule macrocyclic lactone ivermectin, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for parasitic infections, has received attention in the last eight years due to its exciting potential as an antiviral. It was identified in a high-throughput chemical screen as inhibiting recognition of the nuclear localizing Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 (HIV-1) integrase protein by the host heterodimeric importin (IMP) α/β1 complex, and has since been shown to bind directly to IMPα to induce conformational changes that prevent its normal function in mediating nuclear import of key viral and host proteins. Excitingly, cell culture experiments show robust antiviral action towards HIV-1, dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Chikungunya virus, Pseudorabies virus, adenovirus, and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Phase III human clinical trials have been completed for DENV, with >60 trials currently in progress worldwide for SARS-CoV-2.
  • 6103
  • 30 Sep 2020
Topic Review
We present an overview of the current state of knowledge on the SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to an overview of the epidemiological, clinical, and radiological features of SARS-CoV-2, we also summarize possible therapeutic options currently under investigation and the future outlook for the disease. Whereas the trials on SARS-CoV-2 genome-based specific vaccines and therapeutic antibodies are currently being tested, this solution is more long-term, as they require thorough testing of their safety. On the other hand, the repurposing of the existing therapeutic agents previously designed for other virus infections and pathologies happens to be the only practical approach as a rapid response measure to the emergent pandemic. The current pandemic emergency will be a trigger for more systematic drug repurposing design approaches based on big data analysis.
  • 5277
  • 06 Feb 2022
Topic Review
Viroids: Definition and Features
Viroids are plant-restricted parasites that represent a remarkable model system to analyze many aspects of host-pathogen interactions at the genomic level. As the smallest known agents of infectious disease (247-401 nucleotides, nt), they have a highly structured, single-stranded circular naked and non-coding RNA genome. Although the list of known diseases caused by viroids and molecular characterization of the causative agents has expanded since they were discovered, their origin, evolution, and interaction with host genetic machinery to induce symptoms or escape the defensive system remain unclear.
  • 5038
  • 01 Nov 2020
Topic Review
Essential Oil Prevents COVID-19
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV‑2), also known as coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), is a pandemic disease that has been declared as modern history’s gravest health emergency worldwide. Until now, no precise treatment modality has been developed. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, a host cell receptor, has been found to play a crucial role in virus cell entry; therefore, ACE2 blockers can be a potential target for anti-viral intervention. In this study, we evaluated the ACE2 inhibitory effects of 10 essential oils. Among them, geranium and lemon oils displayed significant ACE2 inhibitory effects in epithelial cells. In addition, immunoblotting and qPCR analysis also confirmed that geranium and lemon oils possess potent ACE2 inhibitory effects. Furthermore, the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis displayed 22 compounds in geranium oil and 9 compounds in lemon oil. Citronellol, geraniol, and neryl acetate were the major compounds of geranium oil and limonene that represented major compound of lemon oil. Next, we found that treatment with citronellol and limonene significantly downregulated ACE2 expression in epithelial cells. The results suggest that geranium and lemon essential oils and their derivative compounds are valuable natural anti-viral agents that may contribute to the prevention of the invasion of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 into the human body.
  • 4816
  • 13 Feb 2021
Topic Review
Detection and Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19
Latest weeks the humanity is faced with the spread of a new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that causes a respiratory illness with high mortality rates, COVID-19. Since there is no approved treatment or vaccination against that specific coronavirus the reduce in virus spread is essential. That is based in the use of appropriate tools, enabling the accurate and early detection. Molecular biology and immunological techniques are widely used in order to predict the COVID-19 cases in a very short period of time. These are commonly based either in identification of the SARS-CoV-2’s genetic material or in detection of antibodies that have been produced by the immune system against the virus. Many of the above mentioned tests have been validated and approved by local authorities. However, there are much more companies that provide detection tests, without basic validation processes, contributing in non-precise data. The present review aim to analyze the most common platforms that are used in COVID-19 detection, analyzing their advantages and weaknesses. Therefore, each physician will be equipped with appropriate information required for each test.
  • 1747
  • 29 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Hesperidin and SARS-CoV-2
Among the flavonoids, hesperidin has recently attracted the attention of researchers, because it binds to the key proteins of the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Several computational methods, independently applied by different researchers, showed that hesperidin has a low binding energy, both with the coronavirus “spike” protein, and with the main protease that transforms the early proteins of the virus into the complex responsible for viral replication. The binding energy of hesperidin to these important components is lower than that of lopinavir, ritonavir, and indinavir, suggesting that it could perform an effective antiviral action. Furthermore, both hesperidin and ascorbic acid counteract the cell damaging effects of the oxygen free radicals triggered by virus infection and inflammation.
  • 1606
  • 26 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Canine Adenoviruses
Canine adenoviruses (CAdVs) can be the backbones of viral vectors that could be applied in recombinant vaccines or for gene transfer in dogs and in serologically naïve humans. Although conventional plasmid-based reverse genetics systems can be used to construct CAdV vectors, their large genome size creates technical difficulties in gene cloning and manipulation. Here, we established an improved reverse genetics system for CAdVs using bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), in which genetic modifications can be efficiently and simply made through BAC recombineering. Our established BAC-based reverse genetics system for CAdVs would be a useful and powerful tool for basic and advanced practical studies with these viruses.
  • 753
  • 04 Nov 2021
Topic Review
Coronavirus Diseases
At the end of 2019 a novel virus, SARS-Cov-2, causing severe acute respiratory syndrome has expanded from Wuhan, China. In March 2020 the World Health Organization declared the SARS-Cov-2 virus a global pandemic. We performed a narrative review to describe existing literature with regard to COVID-19 epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, management and future perspective. MEDLINE, EMBASE and Scopus databases were searched for relevant articles.Although only when the pandemic will end it will be possible to assess the health, social and economic impact of this global disaster, this review represents a picture of the current state of the art. In particular, we focus on public health impact, pathophysiology and clinical manifestations, diagnosis, case management, emergency response and preparedness.
  • 696
  • 07 May 2021
Topic Review
Microbiota for HPV Infection
The microbiome is able to modulate immune responses, alter the physiology of the human organism, and increase the risk of viral infections and development of diseases such as cancer. Herein, we address changes in the cervical microbiota as potential biomarkers to identify the risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) development and invasive cervical cancer in the context of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • 622
  • 30 Oct 2020
Topic Review
Transformation of Natural Philosophy
Is there any reason, to believe a modern natural philosophy makes sense? The history of natural philosophy is marked by the search for principles that determine all beings independently whether they are abiotic matter or living organisms. Empirical data on the key features of life contradict even the possibility to find such principles because life in contrast to abiotic matter offers some main characteristics that are completely absent on abiotic planets. This means, if a modern natural philosophy should have any benefit it must be divided into a natural philosophy of physics or cosmology and a natural philosophy of life. If it is possible to give an updated definition of life, empirically based, non-reductive, non-mechanistic and without metaphysical assumptions, this would be an appropriate basis for a global consensus how future of humans may be generated in symbiosis with global biosphere. If we think on billions invested in health and drug research a new natural philosophy of life could orientate future of research on health and new drugs and avoid misinvestments.
  • 615
  • 09 Nov 2020
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