1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
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Golden Syrian hamster as a model to study cardiovascular complications associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection

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Cite this article as: eLife 2022;11:e73522 doi: 10.7554/eLife.73522

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 infection in the Golden Syrian hamster causes lung pathology that resembles human coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, extra-pulmonary pathologies associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and post COVID sequelae remain to be understood. Here we show, using a hamster model, that the early phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to an acute inflammatory response and lung pathologies, while the late phase of infection causes cardiovascular complications (CVC) characterized by ventricular wall thickening associated with increased ventricular mass/ body mass ratio and interstitial coronary fibrosis. Molecular profiling further substantiated our findings of CVC, as SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters showed elevated levels of serum cardiac Troponin-I (cTnI), cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and long-chain fatty acid triglycerides. Serum metabolomics profiling of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters identified N-acetylneuraminate, a functional metabolite found to be associated with CVC, as a metabolic marker was found to be common between SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters and COVID-19 patients. Together, we propose hamsters as a suitable animal model to study post-COVID sequelae associated with CVC which could be extended to therapeutic interventions.

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Author details

  1. Zaigham Abbas Rizvi

    Immuno-biology Lab, Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    For correspondence
    zaigham.abbas15@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Rajdeep Dalal

    Immuno-biology Lab, Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Srikanth Sadhu

    Immuno-biology Lab, Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Akshay Binayke

    Immuno-biology Lab, Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9808-9036
  5. Jyotsna Dandotiya

    Immuno-biology Lab, Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Yashwant Kumar

    Non-communicable disease centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Tripti Shrivastava

    Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Sonu Kumar Gupta

    Non-communicable disease centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Suruchi Aggarwal

    Non-communicable disease centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Manas Ranjan Tripathy

    Immuno-biology Lab, Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Deepak Kumar Rathore

    Infection and Immunology Center, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  12. Amit Kumar Yadav

    Non-communicable disease center, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-9445-8156
  13. Guruprasad R Medigeshi

    Infection and Immunology Center, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Gurgaon, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  14. Amit Kumar Pandey

    Infection and Immunology Center, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  15. Sweety Samal

    Infection and Immunology Center, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  16. Shailendra Asthana

    Non-communicable disease centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  17. Amit Awasthi

    Immuno-biology Lab, Infection and Immunology centre, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, India
    For correspondence
    aawasthi@thsti.res.in
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2563-1971

Funding

THSTI core

  • Amit Awasthi

Translational Research Program

  • Amit Awasthi

DST-SERB

  • Amit Awasthi

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: This study was performed in accordance with the institutional animal ethics committee (IAEC) guidelines and all the protocols and procedures involved in the study were approved (IAEC approval number: IAEC/THSTI/94). The experimental procedures on animals were followed in strict accordance with the animal handling and usage guidelines by the IAEC and small animal facility, THSTI. Infection through intranasal route was performed under anesthesia to minimize pain.

Human subjects: Human plasma samples were collected according to the recommended guidelines of the Institutional Ethics Committee (Human Research) of THSTI and ESIC Hospital, Faridabad (Letter Ref No: THS 1.8.1/ (97) dated 07th July 2020). Human blood samples were collected from COVID-19 patients and healthy individuals after the written informed consent. Individuals were enrolled in this study based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria prescribed by the Institutional Ethics Committee (Human Research) of THSTI.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Shiv Pillai, Ragon Institute

Publication history

  1. Received: September 1, 2021
  2. Accepted: January 7, 2022
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: January 11, 2022 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2022, Rizvi et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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