Publications by authors named "Leena H Bajrai"

5 Publications

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Seroprevalence of neutralizing antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among healthcare workers in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

J King Saud Univ Sci 2021 May 13;33(3):101366. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Objective: The new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a major health problem worldwide. The surveillance of seropositive individuals serves as an indicator to the extent of infection spread and provides an estimation of herd immunity status among population. Reports from different countries investigated this issue among healthcare workers (HCWs) who are "at risk" and "sources of risk" for COVID-19. This study aims to investigate the seroprevalence of COVID-19 among HCWs in one of the COVID-19 referral centers in Makkah, Saudi Arabia using three different serological methods.

Methods: In-house developed enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA), commercially available electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA), and microneutralization (MN) assay were utilized to determine the seroprevalence rate among the study population. 204 HCWs participated in the study. Both physicians and nurses working in the COVID-19 and non COVID-19 areas were included. Twelve out of 204 were confirmed cases of COVID-19 with variable disease severity. Samples from recovered HCWs were collected four weeks post diagnosis.

Results: The overall seroprevalence rate was 6.3% (13 out of 204) using the in-house ELISA and MN assay and it was 5.8% (12 out of 204) using the commercial ECLIA. Among HCWs undiagnosed with COVID-19, the seroprevalence was 2% (4 out 192). Notably, neutralizing antibodies were not detected in 3 (25%) out 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Conclusions: Our study, similar to the recent national multi-center study, showed a low seroprevalence of SARS-Cov-2 antibodies among HCWs. Concordance of results between the commercial electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA), in-house ELISA and MN assay was observed. The in-house ELISA is a promising tool for the serological diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, seroprevalence studies may underestimate the extent of COVID-19 infection as some cases with mild disease did not have detectable antibody responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jksus.2021.101366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881290PMC
May 2021

In silico Prediction and Designing of Potential siRNAs to be Used as Antivirals Against SARS-CoV-2.

Curr Pharm Des 2021 Jan 11. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah,. Saudi Arabia.

Background: The unusual pneumonia outbreak that originated in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019 was found to be caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or COVID-19.

Methods: In this work, we have performed an in silico design and prediction of potential siRNAs based on genetic diversity and recombination patterns, targeting various genes of SARS-CoV-2 for antiviral therapeutics. We performed extensive sequence analysis to analyze the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships, and to identify the possible source of virus reservoirs and recombination patterns, and the evolution of the virus as well as we designed the siRNAs which can be used as antivirals against SARS-CoV-2.

Results: The sequence analysis and phylogenetic relationships indicated high sequence identity and closed clusters with many types of coronavirus. In our analysis, the full-genome of SARS-CoV-2 showed the highest sequence (nucleotide) identity with SARS-bat-ZC45 (87.7%). The overall sequence identity ranged from 74.3% to 87.7% with selected SARS viruses. The recombination analysis indicated the bat SARS virus is a potential recombinant and serves as a major and minor parent. We have predicted 442 siRNAs and finally selected only 19 functional, and potential siRNAs.

Conclusions: The siRNAs were predicted and selected based on their greater potency and specificity. The predicted siRNAs need to be validated experimentally for their effective binding and antiviral activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612827999210111194101DOI Listing
January 2021

Amotosalen and ultraviolet A light treatment efficiently inactivates severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human plasma.

Vox Sang 2020 Dec 5. Epub 2020 Dec 5.

Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Background And Objectives: During the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in plasma and platelet products from asymptomatic blood donors, raising concerns about potential risk of transfusion transmission, also in the context of the current therapeutic approach utilizing plasma from convalescent donors. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of amotosalen/UVA light treatment to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in human plasma to reduce the risk of potential transmission through blood transfusion.

Methods: Pools of three whole-blood-derived human plasma units (630-650 ml) were inoculated with a clinical SARS-CoV-2 isolate. Spiked units were treated with amotosalen/UVA light (INTERCEPT Blood System™) to inactivate SARS-CoV-2. Infectious titres and genomic viral load were assessed by plaque assay and real-time quantitative PCR. Inactivated samples were subject to three successive passages on permissive tissue culture to exclude the presence of replication-competent viral particles.

Results: Inactivation of infectious viral particles in spiked plasma units below the limit of detection was achieved by amotosalen/UVA light treatment with a mean log reduction of >3·32 ± 0·2. Passaging of inactivated samples on permissive tissue showed no viral replication even after 9 days of incubation and three passages, confirming complete inactivation. The treatment also inhibited NAT detection by nucleic acid modification with a mean log reduction of 2·92 ± 0·87 PFU genomic equivalents.

Conclusion: Amotosalen/UVA light treatment of SARS-CoV-2 spiked human plasma units efficiently and completely inactivated >3·32 ± 0·2 log of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, showing that such treatment could minimize the risk of transfusion-related SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vox.13043DOI Listing
December 2020

Saudi Moumouvirus, the First Group B Mimivirus Isolated from Asia.

Front Microbiol 2016 20;7:2029. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Unité des Rickettsies, URMITE UMR CNRS 7278 IRD 198 INSERM U1095, Facultés de Médecine et de Pharmacie, IHU Méditerranée Infection, Aix-Marseille Université Marseille, France.

The number of novel giant viruses identified and characterized from the recently proposed order has increased in recent years and new questions have been raised regarding viral diversity and evolution. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of Saudi moumouvirus (SDMV), a new giant virus belonging to lineage B, isolated from a sewage sample taken from the King Abdulaziz University hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. SDMV presented 500 nm icosahedral particles with a 1,046,087 bp genome, which is larger than moumouvirus-like genomes which have been described in the past. The SDMV genome was predicted to encode 868 ORFs, ranging in size from 54 to 2,914 amino acids, with a mean size of 349 aa. Furthermore, this genome was predicted to encode 40 new genes (ORFans) without similarity with other sequences (ORFan L850 transcript was detected by qPCR in infected amoeba), in addition to 42 hypothetical proteins (pseudo-ORFs) with less than 100 aa, which matched other sequences in the NCBI nr database. Phylogenetic analysis showed that SDMV clustered together with mimiviruses from lineage B, including moumouvirus-like strains. It is, therefore, the third Mimivirus to be isolated in Asia and the first of group B.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.02029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5167723PMC
December 2016

Kaumoebavirus, a New Virus That Clusters with Faustoviruses and Asfarviridae.

Viruses 2016 10 28;8(11). Epub 2016 Oct 28.

Unité des Rickettsies, URMITE UMR CNRS 7278 IRD 198 INSERM U1095, Facultés de Médecine et de Pharmacie, IHU Méditerranée Infection, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille 13005, France.

In this study, we report the isolation of a new giant virus found in sewage water from the southern area of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), with morphological and genomic resemblance to Faustoviruses. This new giant virus, named Kaumoebavirus, was obtained from co-culture with , an amoeboid protozoa considered to be of special interest to human health and the environment. This new virus has ~250 nm icosahedral capsids and a 350,731 bp DNA genome length. The genome of Kaumoebavirus has a coding density of 86%, corresponding to 465 genes. Most of these genes (59%) are closely related to genes from members of the proposed order , and the best matches to its proteins with other members of the are Faustoviruses (43%) and Asfarviruses (23%). Unsurprisingly, phylogenetic reconstruction places Kaumoebavirus as a distant relative of Faustoviruses and Asfarviruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v8110278DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5127008PMC
October 2016