Comparative Host-Pathogen Interaction Analyses of SARS-CoV2 and Aspergillus fumigatus, and Pathogenesis of COVID-19-Associated Aspergillosis
Microb Ecol. 2021 Nov 4. doi: 10.1007/s00248-021-01913-6. Online ahead of print.
COVID-19 caused a global catastrophe with a large number of cases making it one of the major pandemics of the human history. The clinical presentations of the disease are continuously challenging healthcare workers with the variation of pandemic waves and viral variants. Recently, SARS-CoV2 patients have shown increased occurrence of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis infection even in the absence of traditional risk factors. The mechanism of COVID-19-associated aspergillosis is not completely understood and therefore, we performed this system biological study in order to identify mechanistic implications of aspergillosis susceptibility in COVID-19 patients and the important targets associated with this disease. We performed host-pathogen interaction (HPI) analysis of SARS-CoV2, and most common COVID-19-associated aspergillosis pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, using in silico approaches. The known host-pathogen interactions data of SARS-CoV2 was obtained from BIOGRID database. In addition, A. fumigatus host-pathogen interactions were predicted through homology modeling. The human targets interacting with both pathogens were separately analyzed for their involvement in aspergillosis. The aspergillosis human targets were screened from DisGeNet and GeneCards. The aspergillosis targets involved in both HPI were further analyzed for functional overrepresentation analysis using PANTHER. The results indicate that both pathogens interact with a number of aspergillosis targets and altogether they recruit more aspergillosis targets in host-pathogen interaction than alone. Common aspergillosis targets involved in HPI with both SARS-CoV2 and A. fumigatus can indicate strategies for the management of both conditions by modulating these common disease targets.