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Volume 1, September

Biologics, Volume 1, Issue 1 (June 2021) – 4 articles

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Review
Can the European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) Be a Sentinel for One Health Concerns?
Biologics 2021, 1(1), 61-69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biologics1010004 - 17 Jun 2021
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Abstract
Erinaceus europaeus is a cosmopolitan mammalian species broadly distributed in Europe, from natural to suburban areas. Due to its ecological role and susceptibility to distinct zoonotic agents, E. europaeus could be a suitable sentinel candidate for many global problems that negatively affect human [...] Read more.
Erinaceus europaeus is a cosmopolitan mammalian species broadly distributed in Europe, from natural to suburban areas. Due to its ecological role and susceptibility to distinct zoonotic agents, E. europaeus could be a suitable sentinel candidate for many global problems that negatively affect human and animal health. Hedgehogs can work as bioindicators to environmental contamination and can be hosts for multiple tickborne zoonotic agents. Thus, people who directly or indirectly make physical contact with this species are exposed to a variety of threats. Moreover, it has also been studied as an indicator for antibiotic resistance, which was already confirmed for tetracyclines. Additionally, it was also reported as a reservoir for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). More recently, hedgehogs have been recently recognised as potential reservoirs of MERS-CoV-like strains. Among other animals, this species can possibly represent an intermediate reservoir for SARS-CoV-2. The aim of this review is to briefly expose the scientific attainments about hedgehog health, namely agents, diseases, and threats that significantly affect general health concerns and that contribute to achieve One Health principles. Full article
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Article
The Peptide TAT-I24 with Antiviral Activity against DNA Viruses Binds Double-Stranded DNA with High Affinity
Biologics 2021, 1(1), 41-60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biologics1010003 - 10 Jun 2021
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Abstract
The peptide TAT-I24, composed of the 9-mer peptide I24 and the TAT (48-60) peptide, exerts broad-spectrum antiviral activity against several DNA viruses. The current model of the mode of action suggests a reduction of viral entry and also a possible interaction with the [...] Read more.
The peptide TAT-I24, composed of the 9-mer peptide I24 and the TAT (48-60) peptide, exerts broad-spectrum antiviral activity against several DNA viruses. The current model of the mode of action suggests a reduction of viral entry and also a possible interaction with the viral DNA upon virus entry. To further support this model, the present study investigates the DNA binding properties of TAT-I24. DNA binding was analysed by gel retardation of a peptide-complexed DNA, fluorescence reduction of DNA labelled with intercalating dyes and determination of binding kinetics by surface plasmon resonance. Molecular dynamics simulations of DNA-peptide complexes predict high-affinity binding and destabilization of the DNA by TAT-I24. The effect on viral DNA levels of infected cells were studied by real-time PCR and staining of viral DNA by bromodeoxyuridine. TAT-I24 binds double-stranded DNA with high affinity, leading to inhibition of polymerase binding and thereby blocking of de novo nucleic acid synthesis. Analysis of early steps of virus entry using a bromodeoxyuridine-labelled virus as well as quantification of viral genomes in the cells indicate direct binding of the peptide to the viral DNA. Saturation of the peptide with exogenous DNA can fully neutralize the inhibitory effect. The antiviral activity of TAT-I24 is linked to its ability to bind DNA with high affinity. This mechanism could be the basis for the development of novel antiviral agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiviral Peptides - From Discovery to Translation)
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Review
Overview of COVID-19 Disease: Virology, Epidemiology, Prevention Diagnosis, Treatment, and Vaccines
Biologics 2021, 1(1), 2-40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biologics1010002 - 12 May 2021
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Abstract
Coronaviruses belong to the “Coronaviridae family”, which causes various diseases, from the common cold to SARS and MERS. The coronavirus is naturally prevalent in mammals and birds. So far, six human-transmitted coronaviruses have been discovered. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was [...] Read more.
Coronaviruses belong to the “Coronaviridae family”, which causes various diseases, from the common cold to SARS and MERS. The coronavirus is naturally prevalent in mammals and birds. So far, six human-transmitted coronaviruses have been discovered. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Common symptoms include fever, dry cough, and fatigue, but in acute cases, the disease can lead to severe shortness of breath, hypoxia, and death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the three main transmission routes, such as droplet and contact routes, airborne transmission and fecal and oral for COVID-19, have been identified. So far, no definitive curative treatment has been discovered for COVID-19, and the available treatments are only to reduce the complications of the disease. According to the World Health Organization, preventive measures at the public health level such as quarantine of the infected person, identification and monitoring of contacts, disinfection of the environment, and personal protective equipment can significantly prevent the outbreak COVID-19. Currently, based on the urgent needs of the community to control this pandemic, the BNT162b2 (Pfizer), mRNA-1273 (Moderna), CoronaVac (Sinovac), Sputnik V (Gamaleya Research Institute, Acellena Contract Drug Research, and Development), BBIBP-CorV (Sinofarm), and AZD1222 (The University of Oxford; AstraZeneca) vaccines have received emergency vaccination licenses from health organizations in vaccine-producing countries. Vasso Apostolopoulos, Majid Hassanzadeganroudsari Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anti-SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Drugs and Vaccines)
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Editorial
Biologics—An Open Access Journal for Biological Drugs
Biologics 2021, 1(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biologics1010001 - 11 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Biological drugs have been attracting interest from the scientific community in recent years [...] Full article
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