Tag Archives: COVID-19

CRISPR as a novel technique for COVID-19 diagnosis: a review

A. A. Saleem1*, A. F. Annooz2, I. M. A. Hadi3, A. H. H. Kabla4

1Medical Laboratory Techniques, Al-Hakim General Hospital, Najaf, Iraq;
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Kufa, Najaf, Iraq;
3Medical Laboratory Techniques, Al-Sadr Medical city, Najaf, Iraq;
4National Advanced IPv6 Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia;
*e-mail: aliadil41994@gmail.com

Received: 30 November 2022; Revised: 21 February 2023;
Accepted: 13 April 2023; Available on-line: 27 April 2023

To this moment, the human coronavirus disease COVID-19 that occurs as a result of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is still a critical case that provokes concern around the world. In January 2022, there were over 300 million infections and over 5 million fatalities from COVID-19. As a countermeasure against this rapid spread, there is a vital need for effective and low-cost diagnosis methods in order to control the danger of this pandemic. CRISPR technology has proved its efficiency in detecting COVID-19 due to its simplicity, specificity and high sensitivity. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art of developing the CRISPR platforms for the purpose of COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. Limitations and challenges of CRISPR in terms of nucleic acid analytical methods for viral infection diagnosis are discussed.

Computational investigation of honeybee venom proteins as potential Omicron SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors

H. A. Al-Madhagi1*, M. G. Saleh2

1Biochemical Technology Program, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Dhamar University, Yemen;
2Division of Microbiology, Biology Department, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Dhamar University, Yemen;
*e-mail: bio.haitham@gmail.com

Received: 01 October 2022; Revised: 07 November 2022;
Accepted: 17 February 2023; Available on-line:  27 February 2023

Because of the catastrophic consequences of COVID-19 on the world population, there should be novel­ interventions to handle ongoing infections and daily death cases. The aim of the current study is to examine the effectiveness of HBV (Honeybee venom) proteins on spike protein RBD by in silico tools. The sequences of 5 HBV proteins were used for homology modeling by Phyre 2. The generated protein models were employed for protein-protein docking against Omicron Spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain (RBD) (PDB ID# 7T9L) through HDock and ClusPro platforms followed by prediction of binding affinity using PRODIGY web portal and PDBsum for revealing interaction details. It was found that all of the examined HBV proteins exhibi­ted strong docking scores and binding affinity profiles toward RBD. The findings of the present study indicate the possible HBV as preventive as well as treatment options against Omicron SARS-CoV-2.

The level of nitric oxide and arginase activity in patients with arterial hypertension and diabetes mellitus during COVID-19

O. Y. Sklyarova1, S. R. Mahiiovych2, N. V. Denysenko3,
L. I. Kobylinska3*, Y. Y. Sklyarov2

1Department of Family Medicine FPGE, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine;
2Department of Therapy No 1 and Medical Diagnostics FPGE, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine;
3Department of Biological Chemistry, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine;
*e-mail: lesyaivanivna.biochemistry@gmail.com

Received: 28 September 2022; Revised: 06 November 2022;
Accepted: 11 November 2022; Available on-line: 19 December 2022

The aim of this study was to assess the level of nitric oxide production and arginase activity in patients with arterial hypertension and type II diabetes mellitus during infection with SARS-CoV-2. The study groups included patients with arterial hypertension, patients with arterial hypertension combined with a severe course of COVID-19 and patients who, in addition to arterial hypertension and COVID-19, were suffering from type II diabetes mellitus. The volunteers without any clinical signs of diseases and normal blood pressure formed the control group. It has been established that arterial hypertension, combined with COVID-19 occurs along with reduced L-arginine, nitric oxide, superoxide dismutase activity and increased arginase activity. At the same time, the presence of arterial hypertension in patients with diabetes and coronavirus disease is accompanied by a decline in the content of L-arginine and arginase activity. Our study’s results may help scientists find new pharmacological targets in the future treatment of coronavirus disease and comorbid disorders.

We are stronger and better together

Sandor G. Vari

International Research, and Innovation in Medicine Program, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA, and President of the RECOOP HST Association

I learned during twenty years in RECOOP HST Association that sharing ideas, plans and actions make a human network naturally productive. Also, I believed throughout these years that honesty is a key component of a healthy relationship. Not only because honesty helps us avoid harmful breaches of trust, but because it allows us to build creative collaborative research organizations.
Nonetheless, in the last two years, we were challenged with a vast scale of crises. First, the COVID-19 pandemic and second, beginning February 24, 2022, the brutal Russian aggression against Ukraine have impacted everybody’s life causing significant concern and insecurity across the globe. Economic instability, disturbed work routines and disrupted family lives have caused higher risks of physical and mental disorders [1, 2].
Socially isolated people often feel lonely or depressed. Constantly lonely people have higher blood pressure, are more vulnerable to infection and are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Loneliness also interferes with an entire range of everyday functions such as sleep patterns, attention and logical and verbal reasoning [3-6].
At the time the pandemic calmed, the Russian barbaric aggression and bombardment of civilian targets exposed large populations to physical aggression, which grants more damage over time as many Ukrainians are losing human condition. Are we losing humanity also?
Humans are good or bad, or predators also capable of great kindness. Humanity symbolizes human love and sympathy toward each other. Human qualities include honesty, integrity, courage, self-awareness and dedication. These qualities define who we are as human beings. In this troubled time, we must look for the good in people and strengthen the care for others.
Gandhi taught us, “The power of humanity is the strength of individual commitment and the force of collective action.” When RECOOP HST Association does something to help in Ukraine, all of us gain a sense of being valuable, helpful and worthwhile. Gandhi’s words remind us, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
The human misery caused by Russia’s attacks only strengthen Ukrainians’ extraordinary spirit and their dedication to protect their family, culture and homeland. Putin is scrambled by the strength of Ukraine and getting more aggressive. His actions prove, like Gandhi wrote, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” And we are stronger and better together.

Detection of unusual high molecular form of albumin in blood serum of COVID-19 patients

Yu. Kit1, M. Starykovych1, N. Manko1, S. Kannan2,
A. Orfin3, S. Souchelnytskyi4, R. Stoika1*

1Institute of Cell Biology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Lviv;
2College of Medicine, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar;
3Municipal Non-commercial Enterprise of Lviv Regional Council “Lviv Regional Infection Clinical Hospital”, Lviv, Ukraine;
4Oranta CancerDiagnostics AB, Uppsala, Sweden;
*e-mail: stoika.rostyslav@gmail.com

Received: 07 June 2022; Revised: 15 September 2022;
Accepted: 29 September 2022; Available on-line: 06 October 2022

Blood sera of 12 severe Covid-19 patients and 14 healthy human donors were subjected to original TCA-extraction/acetone-precipitation followed by SDS-PAAG electrophoresis and mass-spectrometry. 76 kDa protein was detected as one of the differentially expressed proteins in the samples of Covid-19 patients. This 76 kDa protein was identified with mass-spectrometry as human serum albumin. Such molecular form of albumin was absent in blood serum of healthy human donors. The potential ways of generation of the unusual form of human serum albumin and its probable diagnostic value were discussed.

Tumor biomarkers CEA, CA19.9, CA15.3 and AFP levels in the serum of patients with COVID-19

Abubaker H. Ali1*, Abdullah H. Yaqub2, Ihssin A. Faraj2

1Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Sebha University, Libya;
2Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Sebha University, Libya;
*e-mail: Abu.Ali@sebhau.edu.ly

Received: 11 December 2021; Accepted: 01 July 2022

Early diagnosis is very important to reduce morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 infected patients. The aim of this study was to detect of tumor antigens CEA, CA19.9, CA15.3, and AFP and to compare their levels in the serum of 69 COVID-19 patients and 69 healthy individuals who did not have COVID-19. The levels of CEA, CA19.9, CA15.3, and AFP in the serum were measured using ELISA. The levels of the tumor biomarkers in the serum of COVID-19 patients were found to be 7.74 ± 4.65 ng/ml for CEA, 29.33 ± 16.35 U/ml for CA19.9, 23.24 ± 13.48 U/ml for CA15.3 and 7.46 ± 5.57 ng/ml for AFP, while in the serum of healthy control patients 9.73 ± 43.58 ng/ml for CEA, 20.66 ± 11.1 for CA19.9, 19.64 ± 10.99 U/ml for CA15.3, and 3.83 ± 9.20 ng/ml for AFP, indicating no differences in the levels of the studied tumor biomarkers in the two experimental groups. It is concluded that tumor biomarkers CEA, CA19.9, CA15.3, and AFP cannot be used as effective screening tools for patients with COVID-19.

Serum levels of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in COVID-19 patients

S. Z. Hussein1, M. A. Abdalla2*

1Clinical Biochemistry Unit, Salah Aldeen Health Directorate, Tikrit, Iraq;
2Department of Human Anatomy, Tikrit University College of Medicine, Tikrit, Iraq;
*e-mail: dr.mohammad68@tu.edu.iq

Received: 04 April 2021; Accepted: 12 November 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic occurred and quickly spread throughout the world. To improve the state of COVID-19 patients, it is important to identify the possible clinical differential diagnostic markers and their correlation with the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this study, the serum level of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium in the serum of COVID-19 patients were analyzed. Blood samples were collected from 60 patients who attended Isolated Hospital in Tikrit City/Iraq from September to December 2020 and diagnosed by RT-PCR as COVID-19 positive and from 30 healthy individuals. It was shown that COVID-19 patients revealed high serum levels of α-MSH as compared with healthy individuals but low serum levels of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium which may be recommended as supplements for those patients to increase the innate immune response.

Production of recombinant SARS-COV-2 proteins and diphtheria toxoid CRM197-based fusion

O. I. Krynina1, S. I. Romaniuk1, O. B. Gorbatiuk1,2,
O. H. Korchynskyi1,3,4, А. V. Rebriiev1, Ya. S. Kulyk1,
Ye. O. Kozadaieva1, A. A. Siromolot1,5, M. M. Guzyk1,
D. V. Kolybo1*, S. V. Komisarenko1

1Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv;
2State Institute of Genetic and Regenerative Medicine, National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv;
3Centre for Innovative Research in Medical and Natural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, Poland;
4S. Gzhytskyi National University of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies, Lviv, Ukraine;
5ESC “Institute of Biology and Medicine”, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine;
*e-mail: kolibo@biochem.kiev.ua

Received: 10 October 2021; Accepted: 12 November 2021

The quickly emerged global COVID-19 pandemic raised a desperate need in the development of protecting vaccines targeting this disease. Therefore, a generation of effective producers of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins became an urgent task. Its resolving contributes to the study of functional SARS-CoV-2 properties, as well as will allow developing the domestic COVID-19 vaccine in Ukraine, thus playing an important strategic role in tackling the pandemics. The aim of the study was to generate prokaryotic and eukaryotic producers of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins and to isolate nucleocapsid (N) protein, receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike (S) protein, as well as RBD fused to the carrier – diphtheria toxoid CRM197. For this purpose, appropriate genetic constructs, in particular, replication deficient recombinant AdvC5-based adenoviral vectors expressing the SARS-CoV-2 proteins and CRM197-fused conjugate were created through methods of molecular biology and genetic engineering. Restriction analysis and/or DNA sequencing confirmed that we created the correct constructs. Immobilized metal affinity chromatography was used to purify the recombinant proteins. Compliance of their properties was confirmed by the results from polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, immunoenzymatic assay and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. As a result, we generated E. coli Rosetta (DE3) bacterial strain and HEK293 cell line producing recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins and CRM197-based fusion. In addition, pure N protein, RBD of S protein and RBD-CRM197 fusion protein were isolated. The obtained recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins can be used to study immunogenic and antigenic properties of the SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Cells producing recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins and RBD-CRM197 fusion protein are able to provide cheap and safe synthesis of the antigenic substances for domestic development and production of immunodiagnostics for COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines in Ukraine.

Determination the binding ability of N-acetyl cysteine and its derivatives with SARS-COV-2 main protease using molecular docking and molecular dynamics studies

A. H. Shntaif*, N. A. Alrazzak, A. Bader, A. M. Almarzoqi

University of Babylon, College of Science for Women, Iraq;
*e-mail: ahmed1979sh@gmail.com

Received: 25 May 2021; Accepted: 22 September 2021

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) drug has been used as an antioxidant and  anti-inflammatory agent in clinical practice and more recently in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Using docking analysis and molecular dynamics studies we compare the interaction between of N-acetyl cysteine and its derivatives with SARS-COV-2 main protease (Mpro) which is essential for processing the proteins translated from the viral RNA. The results obtained from this study showed that NAC benzyl ester (NACBn), NAC ethyl ester (NACEt) and NAC amide (NACA) could bind with SARS-COV-2 protease better than NAC drug.

Covid-19 pandemic quarantine and social jetlag

M. Sahraei1, G. H. Meftahi2, H. Sahraei2*

1School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran;
2Neuroscience Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran;
*e-mail: h.sahraei@bmsu.ac.ir or hsahraei1343@gmail.com

Received: 31 January 2021; Accepted: 22 September 2021

Covid-19 pandemic forced the governments to choose the policy to the lockdown the gathering centers­, including universities and schools to prevent the rapid spread of the disease, forcing millions of people to stay at home for several weeks and even more. Staying in the home for such long periods is associated with a change in the wake/sleep period (a kind of social jet lag) and the resulting alteration in feeding time and type of food. Moreover, the prevalence of anxiety and depression resulted from the reduction in physical activity and bad news also may help to worsen the social jetlag effect on these parts of society. Possible hazardous changes in this factor are reviewed in this study and some suggestions for better management of this condition are also offered. Pubmed, SCOPUS, WOS, and Google Scholar data banks were searched using the following keyword in combination and/or alone: jetlag, social jetlag, Chronobiology, photoperiod, metabolic disease, cardiovascular, sleep/weak period. Longtime lockdown gathering centers are shown to change the photoperiod cycle in people, and it may induce several consequences, including the effects on cognitive brain function, induce mental illness, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, mitochondrial aging, and cardiovascular diseases. Considering these facts, it is important to make rehabilitation programs for all the societies’ members for post-pandemic time.