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Bibliography on: covid-19

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 27 Jul 2021 at 01:32 Created: 


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2), a virus closely related to the SARS virus. The disease was discovered and named during the 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak. Those affected may develop a fever, dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. A sore throat, runny nose or sneezing is less common. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some can progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure. The infection is spread from one person to others via respiratory droplets produced from the airways, often during coughing or sneezing. Time from exposure to onset of symptoms is generally between 2 and 14 days, with an average of 5 days. The standard method of diagnosis is by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) from a nasopharyngeal swab or sputum sample, with results within a few hours to 2 days. Antibody assays can also be used, using a blood serum sample, with results within a few days. The infection can also be diagnosed from a combination of symptoms, risk factors and a chest CT scan showing features of pneumonia. Correct handwashing technique, maintaining distance from people who are coughing and not touching one's face with unwashed hands are measures recommended to prevent the disease. It is also recommended to cover one's nose and mouth with a tissue or a bent elbow when coughing. Those who suspect they carry the virus are recommended to wear a surgical face mask and seek medical advice by calling a doctor rather than visiting a clinic in person. Masks are also recommended for those who are taking care of someone with a suspected infection but not for the general public. There is no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment, with management involving treatment of symptoms, supportive care and experimental measures. The case fatality rate is estimated at between 1% and 3%. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the 2019-20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). As of 29 February 2020, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States are areas having evidence of community transmission of the disease.

NOTE: To obtain the entire bibliography (all 17080 citations) in bibtek format (a format that can be easily loaded into many different reference-manager software programs, click HERE.

Created with PubMed® Query: "SARS-CoV-2" OR "COVID-19" OR (wuhan AND "coronavirus") AND review[SB] NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-07-22

Olaniyan OT, Dare A, Okoli B, et al (2021)

Increase in SARS-CoV-2 infected biomedical waste among low middle-income countries: environmental sustainability and impact with health implications.

Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology pii:jbcpp-2020-0533 [Epub ahead of print].

Studies have shown that severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly infectious disease, with global deaths rising to about 360,438 as of 28 May 2020. Different countries have used various approaches such as lockdown, social distancing, maintenance of personal hygiene, and increased establishment of testing and isolation centers to manage the pandemic. Poor biomedical waste (BMW) management, treatment, and disposal techniques, especially SARS-CoV-2 infected BMW, may threaten the environmental and public health in most developing countries and, by extension, impact the economic status of individuals and the nation at large. This may increase the potential for the transmission of air/blood body fluid-borne pathogens, increase the growth of microorganisms, risk of mutagenesis, and upsurge of more virulent strain. In contrast, uncontrolled substandard burning could increase the potential spread of nosocomial infection and environmental exposure to toxic organic compounds, heavy metals, radioactive, and genotoxic bio-aerosols which might be present in the gaseous, liquid, and solid by-products. The paucity of understanding of pathophysiology and management of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has also necessitated the need to put in place appropriate disposal techniques to cater for the sudden increase in the global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and pharmaceutical drugs to manage the pandemic and to reduce the risk of preventable infection by the waste. Therefore, there is a need for adequate sensitization, awareness, and environmental monitoring of the impacts of improper handling of SARS-CoV-2 infected BMWs. Hence, this review aimed to address the issues relating to the improper management of increased SARS-CoV-2 infected BMW in low middle-income countries (LMICs).

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Vedder A, Boerner K, Stokes JE, et al (2021)

A systematic review of loneliness in bereavement: Current research and future directions.

Current opinion in psychology, 43:48-64 pii:S2352-250X(21)00072-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Bereaved people suffer from loneliness and loneliness is associated with poor mental health. In this study, this topic is reviewed. An agenda is suggested for future research. Research that is theory-driven, addresses measurement consistency, correlates of loneliness in bereaved and non-bereaved, and treatment is necessary for prevention and intervention.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Zaffanello M, Piacentini G, Nosetti L, et al (2021)

Thrombotic risk in children with COVID-19 infection: A systematic review of the literature.

Thrombosis research, 205:92-98 pii:S0049-3848(21)00404-7 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Coagulation and inflammatory parameters are mildly altered in children with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection, and laboratory evidence of a proinflammatory and procoagulant state has been noted in multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). It is not clear whether this pediatric condition is related to thrombotic events. With this study we reviewed the literature for thrombotic complications in children with COVID-19 infection and MIS-C.

DATA SOURCES: We searched the Medline PubMed Advanced Search Builder, Scopus, Web Of Science, and Google Scholar electronic databases (until 1 January 2021) using the medical subject headings (MeSH) terms and text words (their combinations and truncated synonyms): (THROMBOSIS OR THROMBOPHILIA) AND (CHILD OR CHILDREN OR INFANT) AND (COVID-19 OR SARS-CoV-2).

STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Inclusion criteria were children with COVID-19 or SARS-COV-2 infection. The search was limited to articles published in English. Exclusion criteria were: reviews of published studies, studies published only as abstracts, letters or conference proceedings, discussion papers, animal studies, or editorials.

RESULTS: After screening for duplicates, the initial search yielded 86 records: 12 were case reports involving 19 children; comorbidities were absent or mild in 73.7%. The most common site of thrombosis the lung (21%); the most often used drug was heparin (42%). Two studies were an international survey (n = 337 patients) and a large multicenter study (n = 186 patients with MIS-C). The risk of ischemic stroke in SARS-CoV-2 infection (0.82%) and deep venous thrombosis in MIS-C (4.3%) was lower in children than in adults.

CONCLUSIONS: Thrombodic or thromboembolic events are rare in pediatric patients with COVID-19 infection and MIS-C. Nonetheless, as in adults, a high index of suspicion should be maintained in children with COVID-19 infection or MIS-C, particularly in those with comorbidities predisposing to thrombotic events.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Tammam SN, El Safy S, Ramadan S, et al (2021)

Repurpose but also (nano)-reformulate! The potential role of nanomedicine in the battle against SARS-CoV2.

Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society pii:S0168-3659(21)00371-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) has taken the world by surprise. To date, a worldwide approved treatment remains lacking and hence in the context of rapid viral spread and the growing need for rapid action, drug repurposing has emerged as one of the frontline strategies in the battle against SARS-CoV2. Repurposed drugs currently being evaluated against COVID-19 either tackle the replication and spread of SARS-CoV2 or they aim at controlling hyper-inflammation and the rampaged immune response in severe disease. In both cases, the target for such drugs resides in the lungs, at least during the period where treatment could still provide substantial clinical benefit to the patient. Yet, most of these drugs are administered systemically, questioning the percentage of administered drug that actually reaches the lung and as a consequence, the distribution of the remainder of the dose to off target sites. Inhalation therapy should allow higher concentrations of the drug in the lungs and lower concentrations systemically, hence providing a stronger, more localized action, with reduced adverse effects. Therefore, the nano-reformulation of the repurposed drugs for inhalation is a promising approach for targeted drug delivery to lungs. In this review, we critically analyze, what nanomedicine could and ought to do in the battle against SARS-CoV2. We start by a brief description of SARS-CoV2 structure and pathogenicity and move on to discuss the current limitations of repurposed antiviral and immune-modulating drugs that are being clinically investigated against COVID-19. This account focuses on how nanomedicine could address limitations of current therapeutics, enhancing the efficacy, specificity and safety of such drugs. With the appearance of new variants of SARS-CoV2 and the potential implication on the efficacy of vaccines and diagnostics, the presence of an effective therapeutic solution is inevitable and could be potentially achieved via nano-reformulation. The presence of an inhaled nano-platform capable of delivering antiviral or immunomodulatory drugs should be available as part of the repertoire in the fight against current and future outbreaks.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Christ-Crain M, Hoorn EJ, Thompson CJ, et al (2021)

ENDOCRINOLOGY IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 - 2021 updates: The Management of Diabetes insipidus and Hyponatraemia.

European journal of endocrinology pii:EJE-21-0596 [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 has changed the nature of medical consultations, emphasizing virtual patient counseling, with relevance for patients with diabetes insipidus (DI) or hyponatremia. The main complication of desmopressin treatment in DI is dilutional hyponatraemia. Since plasma sodium monitoring is not always possible in times of COVID-19, we recommend to delay the desmopressin dose once a week until aquaresis occurs allowing excess retained water to be excreted. Patients should measure their body weight daily. Patients with DI admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 have a high risk for mortality due to volume depletion. Specialists must supervise fluid replacement and dosing of desmopressin. Patients after pituitary surgery should drink to thirst and measure their body weight daily to early recognize the development of postoperative SIAD. They should know hyponatraemia symptoms. Hyponatraemia in COVID-19 is common with a prevalence of 20 to 30% and is mostly due to SIAD or hypovolemia. It mirrors disease severity and is an early predictor for mortality. Hypernatraemia may also develop in COVID-19 patients, with a prevalence of 3-5%, especially in ICU, and derives from different multifactorial reasons, e.g. due to insensible water losses from pyrexia, increased respiration rate and use of diuretics. Hypernatraemic dehydration may contribute to the high risk of acute kidney injury in COVID-19. IV fluid replacement should be administered with caution in severe cases of COVID-19 because of the risk of pulmonary oedema.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Aripov AN, Kayumov UK, Inoyatova FK, et al (2021)

Role of lungs in the hemostasis system (review of literature).

Klinicheskaia laboratornaia diagnostika, 66(7):411-416.

The lung tissue contains various hemostatic system elements, which can be released from the lungs, both under physiological and pathological conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the number of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in intensive care units worldwide. When the lungs are damaged, coagulation disorders are mediated by tissue factor (TF) - factor VIIa (F VIIa), and inhibition of this pathway completely eliminates intrapulmonary fibrin deposition. A tissue factor pathway inhibitor TFPI also contributes to pulmonary coagulationdisturbance in ARDS. Pulmonary coagulationdisturbance caused by pneumonia can worsen the damage to the lungs and thus contribute to the progression of the disease. Cytokines are the main linking factors between inflammation and changes in blood clotting and fibrinolysis. The sources of proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs are probably alveolar macrophages. The activation of alveolar macrophages occurs through the nuclear factor kappa-bi (NF-κB), which controls thetranscription of the expression of immune response genes, cell apoptosis, which leads to the development of inflammation and autoimmune diseases as a result of direct stimulation of TF activation. Conversely,coagulation itself can affect bronchoalveolar inflammation. Coagulation leads to the formation of proteases that interact with specific cellular receptors, activating intracellular signaling pathways. The use of anticoagulant therapy, which also has an anti-inflammatory effect, perhaps one of the therapeutic targets for coronavirus infection.The difficulty here is that it seems appropriate to study anticoagulant interventions' influence on clinically significant cardio-respiratory parameters.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Ghidini S, Gasperetti A, Winterton D, et al (2021)

Echocardiographic assessment of the right ventricle in COVID-19: a systematic review.

The international journal of cardiovascular imaging [Epub ahead of print].

Cardiac involvement has been frequently reported in COVID-19 as responsible of increased morbidity and mortality. Given the importance of right heart function in acute and chronic respiratory diseases, its assessment in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients may add prognostic accuracy. Transthoracic echocardiography has been proposed to early predict myocardial injury and risk of death in hospitalized patients. This systematic review presents the up-to-date sum of literature regarding right ventricle ultrasound assessment. We evaluated commonly used echocardiographic parameters to assess RV function and discussed their relationship with pathophysiological mechanisms involved in COVID-19. We searched Medline and Embase for studies that used transthoracic echocardiography for right ventricle assessment in patients with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

O'Byrne L, Webster KE, MacKeith S, et al (2021)

Interventions for the treatment of persistent post-COVID-19 olfactory dysfunction.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7:CD013876.

BACKGROUND: Olfactory dysfunction is an early and sensitive marker of COVID-19 infection. Although self-limiting in the majority of cases, when hyposmia or anosmia persists it can have a profound effect on quality of life. Little guidance exists on the treatment of post-COVID-19 olfactory dysfunction, however several strategies have been proposed from the evidence relating to the treatment of post-viral anosmia (such as medication or olfactory training).

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects (benefits and harms) of interventions that have been used, or proposed, to treat persisting olfactory dysfunction due to COVID-19 infection. A secondary objective is to keep the evidence up-to-date, using a living systematic review approach. SEARCH METHODS: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register; Cochrane ENT Register; CENTRAL; Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid Embase; Web of Science;; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished studies. The date of the search was 16 December 2020.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials including participants who had symptoms of olfactory disturbance following COVID-19 infection. Only individuals who had symptoms for at least four weeks were included in this review. Studies compared any intervention with no treatment or placebo.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. Primary outcomes were the recovery of sense of smell, disease-related quality of life and serious adverse effects. Secondary outcomes were the change in sense of smell, general quality of life, prevalence of parosmia and other adverse effects (including nosebleeds/bloody discharge). We used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence for each outcome.

MAIN RESULTS: We included one study with 18 participants, which compared the use of a 15-day course of oral steroids combined with nasal irrigation (consisting of an intranasal steroid/mucolytic/decongestant solution) with no intervention. Psychophysical testing was used to assess olfactory function at baseline, 20 and 40 days. Systemic corticosteroids plus intranasal steroid/mucolytic/decongestant compared to no intervention Recovery of sense of smell was assessed after 40 days (25 days after cessation of treatment) using the Connecticut Chemosensory Clinical Research Center (CCCRC) score. This tool has a range of 0 to 100, and a score of ≥ 90 represents normal olfactory function. The evidence is very uncertain about the effect of this intervention on recovery of the sense of smell at one to three months (5/9 participants in the intervention group scored ≥ 90 compared to 0/9 in the control group; risk ratio (RR) 11.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70 to 173.66; 1 study; 18 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Change in sense of smell was assessed using the CCCRC score at 40 days. This study reported an improvement in sense of smell in the intervention group from baseline (median improvement in CCCRC score 60, interquartile range (IQR) 40) compared to the control group (median improvement in CCCRC score 30, IQR 25) (1 study; 18 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Serious adverse events andother adverse events were not identified in any participants of this study; however, it is unclear how these outcomes were assessed and recorded (1 study; 18 participants; very low-certainty evidence).

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is very limited evidence available on the efficacy and harms of treatments for persistent olfactory dysfunction following COVID-19 infection. However, we have identified other ongoing trials in this area. As this is a living systematic review we will update the data regularly, as new results become available. For this (first) version of the living review we identified only one study with a small sample size, which assessed systemic steroids and nasal irrigation (intranasal steroid/mucolytic/decongestant). However, the evidence regarding the benefits and harms from this intervention to treat persistent post-COVID-19 olfactory dysfunction is very uncertain.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Webster KE, O'Byrne L, MacKeith S, et al (2021)

Interventions for the prevention of persistent post-COVID-19 olfactory dysfunction.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7:CD013877.

BACKGROUND: Loss of olfactory function is well recognised as a cardinal symptom of COVID-19 infection, and the ongoing pandemic has resulted in a large number of affected individuals with abnormalities in their sense of smell. For many, the condition is temporary and resolves within two to four weeks. However, in a significant minority the symptoms persist. At present, it is not known whether early intervention with any form of treatment (such as medication or olfactory training) can promote recovery and prevent persisting olfactory disturbance. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects (benefits and harms) of interventions that have been used, or proposed, to prevent persisting olfactory dysfunction due to COVID-19 infection. A secondary objective is to keep the evidence up-to-date, using a living systematic review approach. SEARCH METHODS: The Cochrane ENT Information Specialist searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register; Cochrane ENT Register; CENTRAL; Ovid MEDLINE; Ovid Embase; Web of Science;; ICTRP and additional sources for published and unpublished studies. The date of the search was 16 December 2020.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials including participants who had symptoms of olfactory disturbance following COVID-19 infection. Individuals who had symptoms for less than four weeks were included in this review. Studies compared any intervention with no treatment or placebo. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. Our primary outcomes were the presence of normal olfactory function, serious adverse effects and change in sense of smell. Secondary outcomes were the prevalence of parosmia, change in sense of taste, disease-related quality of life and other adverse effects (including nosebleeds/bloody discharge). We used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence for each outcome. MAIN RESULTS: We included one study of 100 participants, which compared an intranasal steroid spray to no intervention. Participants in both groups were also advised to undertake olfactory training for the duration of the trial. Data were identified for only two of the prespecified outcomes for this review, and no data were available for the primary outcome of serious adverse effects. Intranasal corticosteroids compared to no intervention (all using olfactory training) Presence of normal olfactory function after three weeks of treatment was self-assessed by the participants, using a visual analogue scale (range 0 to 10, higher scores = better). A score of 10 represented "completely normal smell sensation". The evidence is very uncertain about the effect of intranasal corticosteroids on self-rated recovery of sense of smell (estimated absolute effect 619 per 1000 compared to 520 per 1000, risk ratio (RR) 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85 to 1.68; 1 study; 100 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Change in sense of smell was not reported, but the self-rated score for sense of smell was reported at the endpoint of the study with the same visual analogue scale (after three weeks of treatment). The median scores at endpoint were 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 9 to 10) for the group receiving intranasal corticosteroids, and 10 (IQR 5 to 10) for the group receiving no intervention (1 study; 100 participants; very low-certainty evidence).

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is very limited evidence regarding the efficacy of different interventions at preventing persistent olfactory dysfunction following COVID-19 infection. However, we have identified a small number of additional ongoing studies in this area. As this is a living systematic review, the evidence will be updated regularly to incorporate new data from these, and other relevant studies, as they become available. For this (first) version of the living review, we identified a single study of intranasal corticosteroids to include in this review, which provided data for only two of our prespecified outcomes. The evidence was of very low certainty, therefore we were unable to determine whether intranasal corticosteroids may have a beneficial or harmful effect.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Motolese F, Ferrante M, Rossi M, et al (2021)

Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome and brain haemorrhage as COVID-19 complication: a review of the available literature.

Journal of neurology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection has been associated with various neurological manifestations. Since patients affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection present coagulation and immune system dysregulation, ischemic or haemorragic stroke is not uncommon, irrespective of respiratory distress. However, the occurrence of focal neurological deficits together with other symptoms like headache, cortical blindness, seizure and altered mental status should prompt the diagnosis of Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES). Antithrombotic treatment, the alteration of endothelial function, and coagulopathy due to COVID-19 and PRES leading to the breakdown of blood-brain barrier may then contribute to the occurrence of a brain haemorrhage.

METHODS: We describe the case of a COVID-19 patient who developed bilateral occipital lobe haemorrhages suggestive of haemorrhagic PRES. We then reviewed the available literature about haemorrhagic evolution of PRES in COVID-19.

RESULTS: We describe the clinical and radiological features of five COVID-19 patients who developed haemorrhagic PRES.

CONCLUSIONS: Coagulopathy and endothelial dysfunction resulting from the massive release of cytokines during the host immune response may be key factors in the pathogenesis of COVID-19-related PRES. Antithrombotic therapy and the leakage of the blood-brain barrier can subsequently increase the risk of haemorrhagic transformation of the lesioned brain tissue. A prompt diagnosis of PRES is mandatory, since the timely interruption/reversal of antithrombotic therapy may be a key determinant for a good prognosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Yong TM, Pappas MA, Ray GS, et al (2021)

Analyzing the Proliferation of Social Media Use Among Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Programs.

JB & JS open access, 6(3): pii:JBJSOA-D-21-00017.

Social media can influence how students and residents learn about and select graduate medical education programs. COVID-19-related travel restrictions forced residencies to adapt their recruitment strategies. The objective of our investigation was to characterize the prevalence of social media use by orthopaedic surgery residency programs and to examine any change over time before the COVID-19 pandemic and leading up to the 2020 to 2021 virtual interview season.

Methods: The Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database was queried for all orthopaedic surgery residency programs (N = 164). We performed a cross-sectional analysis on the use of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by orthopaedic surgery residency programs in May 2019, July 2020, and November 2020. Orthopaedic surgery residency programs were systematically identified on each of the social media platforms. Descriptive statistics were used to facilitate comparisons between the time points.

Results: Seventy-six social media accounts were identified in May 2019 compared with 239 in November 2020-a greater than 300% increase in 19 months. The prevalence of residency programs using Facebook increased from 21.3% in May 2019 to 30.5% in July 2020 to 36.0% in November 2020. Similar increases in prevalence were identified for Twitter (15.2%-31.7% then 43.9%) and Instagram (9.1% to 37.2% to 65.9%). In May 2019, we identified 35 programs with Facebook accounts, 26 with Twitter accounts, and 15 with Instagram accounts. By November 2020, this increased to 59 Facebook accounts, 72 Twitter accounts, and 108 Instagram accounts. This corresponds to an expansion in the use of each platform by 69%, 177%, and 620% for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, respectively.

Conclusions: The use of social media by academic orthopaedic surgery residency programs increased substantially over the study period. The adoption of Instagram seems to be occurring at the fastest rate. Social media may represent a useful tool in resident recruitment, but the platform must be carefully selected and planned to avoid unintended dilemmas.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Mortaz E, Bezemer G, Alipoor SD, et al (2021)

Nutritional Impact and Its Potential Consequences on COVID-19 Severity.

Frontiers in nutrition, 8:698617.

Background: During late 2019 a viral disease due to a novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, which rapidly developed into an exploding pandemic and poses a severe threat to human health all over the world. Until now (May 2021), there are insufficient treatment options for the management of this global disease and shortage of vaccines. Important aspects that help to defeat coronavirus infection seems to be having a healthy, strong, and resilient immune system. Nutrition and metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes play a crucial role on the community health situation in general and especially during this new pandemic. There seems to be an enormous impact of lifestyle, metabolic disorders, and immune status on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity and recovery. For this reason, it is important to consider the impact of lifestyle and the consumption of well-defined healthy diets during the pandemic. Aims: In this review, we summarise recent findings on the effect of nutrition on COVID-19 susceptibility and disease severity and treatment. Understanding how specific dietary features might help to improve the public health strategies to reduce the rate and severity of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Ljubin-Sternak S, Meštrović T, Lukšić I, et al (2021)

Seasonal Coronaviruses and Other Neglected Respiratory Viruses: A Global Perspective and a Local Snapshot.

Frontiers in public health, 9:691163.

Respiratory viral infections are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world; however, there are several groups of viruses that are insufficiently routinely sought for, and can thus be considered neglected from a diagnostic and clinical standpoint. Timely detection of seasonality of certain respiratory viruses (e.g., enveloped viruses such as seasonal coronaviruses) in the local context can aid substantially in targeted and cost-effective utilization of viral diagnostic approaches. For the other, non-enveloped and year-round viruses (i.e., rhinovirus, adenovirus, and bocavirus), a continuous virological diagnosis needs to be implemented in clinical laboratories to more effectively address the aetiology of respiratory infections, and assess the overall impact of these viruses on disease burden. While the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still actively unfolding, we aimed to emphasize the persistent role of seasonal coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and bocaviruses in the aetiology of respiratory infections. Consequently, this paper concentrates on the burden and epidemiological trends of aforementioned viral groups on a global level, but also provides a snapshot of their prevalence patterns in Croatia in order to underscore the potential implications of viral seasonality. An overall global prevalence in respiratory tract infections was found to be between 0.5 and 18.4% for seasonal coronaviruses, between 13 and 59% for rhinoviruses, between 1 and 36% for human adenoviruses, and between 1 and 56.8% for human bocaviruses. A Croatian dataset on patients with respiratory tract infection and younger than 18 years of age has revealed a fairly high prevalence of rhinoviruses (33.4%), with much lower prevalence of adenoviruses (15.6%), seasonal coronaviruses (7.1%), and bocaviruses (5.3%). These insights represent a relevant discussion point in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic where the testing of non-SARS-CoV-2 viruses has been limited in many settings, making the monitoring of disease burden associated with other respiratory viruses rather difficult.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Moradi G, Gholami F, Rasouli MA, et al (2021)

How is the iceberg of COVID-19? Results from a rapid literature review.

Medical journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 35:77.

Background: Given the various reports of the clinical spectrum of the disease, the aim of the present study was to determine possible scenarios of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) iceberg using published articles. Methods: The present study was a rapid review of all international databases, including PubMed (Medline), Scopus, Web of Sciences, Embase, and Cochrane Library from January 1 to October 30, 2020. Results: In this review, 7 scenarios were considered for COVID-19 iceberg, in which the range of fatality percentage was estimated to be 0.5% to 7%, the range of asymptomatic cases 1% to 88.6%, the range of cases with mild symptoms 8% to 78%, no symptoms 1 % to 90 %, the range of intensive care unit (ICU) admission was 0.5% to 14.2%, and finally the intubation percentage was estimated to be 0.2% to 12.2%. The Scenarios Diamond Princess Cruise Ship and Iceland are closer to the reality of the clinical spectrum of COVID-19 around the world, which represent 0.6% and 0.5% of deaths, 0.7% and 1% of intubations, 2.5% and 9.7% of ICU admissions, 1.1% and 6% of hospitalizations, 15% and 31% of cases with mild symptoms, and finally 56.9% and 75% of asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, respectively, which should now be considered as the basis of the clinical knowledge of the disease. Conclusion: Understanding the clinical spectrum and natural knowledge of the disease and paying attention to asymptomatic or mild-symptom cases can help to make better decisions and develop more effective interventions to control COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Founou RC, Blocker AJ, Noubom M, et al (2021)

The COVID-19 pandemic: a threat to antimicrobial resistance containment.

Future science OA, 7(8):FSO736.

As of 23 April 2021, the outbreak of COVID-19 claimed around 150 million confirmed cases with over 3 million deaths worldwide. Yet, an even more serious but silent pandemic, that of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), is likely complicating the outcome of COVID-19 patients. This study discusses the current knowledge on the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 and highlights the likely contribution of the COVID-19 pandemic on the escalation of AMR. COVID-19 engenders extensive antibiotic overuse and misuse, and will undoubtedly and substantially increase AMR rates worldwide. Amid the expanding COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers should consider the hidden threat of AMR much more, which may well be enhanced through improper use of antibiotics to treat patients with severe COVID-19 infection.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Werneke U, Gaughran F, DM Taylor (2021)

Vitamin D in the time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic - a clinical review from a public health and public mental health perspective.

Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 11:20451253211027699 pii:10.1177_20451253211027699.

Individuals with serious mental disorders (SMD) may have a higher risk of vitamin D (VIT-D) deficiency. They also experience higher mortality because of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Therefore, we have conducted a comprehensive review to examine the significance of VIT-D for public health and public mental health during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This review had three specific aims, from a global perspective to (a) create a profile of VIT-D and review the epidemiology of VIT-D deficiency, (b) explore VIT-D deficiency as risk factor for SMD and COVID-19 infections and (c) examine the effectiveness of VIT-D supplementation for both conditions. We found that, in terms of SMD, the evidence from laboratory and observational studies points towards some association between VIT-D deficiency and depression or schizophrenia. Mendelian randomisation studies, however, suggest no, or reverse, causality. The evidence from intervention studies is conflicting. Concerning COVID-19 infection, on proof of principle, VIT-D could provide a plausible defence against the infection itself and against an adverse clinical course. But data from observational studies and the first preliminary intervention studies remain conflicting, with stronger evidence that VIT-D may mitigate the clinical course of COVID-19 infection rather than the risk of infection in the first place. From a public health and public mental health point of view, based on the currently limited knowledge, for individuals with SMD, the benefits of VIT-D optimisation through supplementation seem to outweigh the risks. VIT-D supplementation, however, should not substitute for vaccination or medical care for COVID-19 infection.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Amjad W, Haider R, Malik A, et al (2021)

Insights into the management of anorectal disease in the coronavirus 2019 disease era.

Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology, 14:17562848211028117 pii:10.1177_17562848211028117.

Coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) has created major impacts on public health. The virus has plagued a large population requiring hospitalization and resource utilization. Knowledge about the COVID-19 virus continues to grow. It can commonly present with gastrointestinal symptoms; initially, this was considered an atypical presentation, which led to delays in care. The pandemic has posed serious threats to the care of anorectal diseases. Urgent surgeries have been delayed, and the care of cancer patients and cancer screenings disrupted. This had added to patient discomfort and the adverse outcomes on healthcare will continue into the future. The better availability of personal protective equipment to providers and standard checklist protocols in operating rooms can help minimize healthcare-related spread of the virus. Telehealth, outpatient procedures, and biochemical tumor marker tests can help with mitigation of anorectal-disease-related problems. There is limited literature about the clinical management of anorectal diseases during the pandemic. We performed a detailed literature review to guide clinicians around management options for anorectal disease patients. We also highlighted the health challenges seen during the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Sadikoglu IS, MG Caymaz (2021)

Saliva: Both a Threat and an Opportunity in Covid-19 Pandemic.

Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 37(4):1215-1220.

Covid-19 pandemic, continues all over the world with the increasing number of confirmed cases and performed tests day by day. It has been shown that collecting nasopharyngeal samples, as the most commonly prefered method to perform RT-PCR, has disadvantages like causing discomfort and bleeding in patients. Sample collecting procedure also renders healthcare professionals by exposing them to the risk of transmission of the virus related to the direct contact with patients. These disadvantages make this procedure undesirable for the researchers and forces them to search for an alternative technique. At this point, saliva appears as an opportunity, regarding its high viral load. On the other hand, this high viral load poses a threat, especially for professions such as dental practitioners, with too much aerosol exposure. Since dentistry is a branch of health that constantly needs direct operations, it is necessary to be protected from the virus as much as possible while caring for the patient. A literature review was done using electronic databases "PubMed," "Google Scholar," and "Cochrane Database," on January 2021. Studies have proposed many different preventive measures in this regard. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to draw attention to the saliva by bringing together the recent research and also to provide information and a perspective to dental clinicians about both prevention and a potential diagnostic technique.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Cox D (2021)

Targeting SARS-CoV-2-Platelet Interactions in COVID-19 and Vaccine-Related Thrombosis.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 12:708665 pii:708665.

It is clear that COVID-19 is more than a pneumonia and is associated with a coagulopathy and multi-organ failure. While the use of anti-coagulants does reduce the incidence of pulmonary emboli, it does not help with survival. This suggests that the coagulopathy is more likely to be platelet-driven rather than thrombin-driven. There is significant evidence to suggest that SARS-CoV-2 virions directly interact with platelets to trigger activation leading to thrombocytopenia and thrombosis. I propose a model of multiple interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and platelets that has many similarities to that with Staphylococcus aureus and Dengue virus. As platelet activation and thrombosis are major factors in poor prognosis, therapeutics that target the platelet-SARS-CoV-2 interaction have potential in treating COVID-19 and other virus infections.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Guo W, Lakshminarayanan H, Rodriguez-Palacios A, et al (2021)

Glycan Nanostructures of Human Coronaviruses.

International journal of nanomedicine, 16:4813-4830 pii:302516.

Human coronaviruses present a substantial global disease burden, causing damage to populations' health, economy, and social well-being. Glycans are one of the main structural components of all microbes and organismic structures, including viruses-playing multiple essential roles in virus infection and immunity. Studying and understanding virus glycans at the nanoscale provide new insights into the diagnosis and treatment of viruses. Glycan nanostructures are considered potential targets for molecular diagnosis, antiviral therapeutics, and the development of vaccines. This review article describes glycan nanostructures (eg, glycoproteins and glycolipids) that exist in cells, subcellular structures, and microbes. We detail the structure, characterization, synthesis, and functions of virus glycans. Furthermore, we describe the glycan nanostructures of different human coronaviruses, such as human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43), severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV), human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1), the Middle East respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and how glycan nanotechnology can be useful to prevent and combat human coronaviruses infections, along with possibilities that are not yet explored.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Shakoori TA, Hafeez MM, A Malik (2020)


Acta clinica Croatica, 59(4):740-744.

The world is struggling to deal with the corona pandemic. Effective therapies are still awaited due to the lack of understanding of the pathophysiological mechanism of the disease. Bearing recent research and clinical observations in mind, the authors propose a novel physiological mechanism of COVID-19 and explain development of COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to COVID-19 related hemoglobinopathy. It is a consistent observation that the radiological picture of COVID-19 related ARDS bears more resemblance to high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) than typical ARDS. There has been great controversy regarding this proposed similarity. The main argument from those objecting to this comparison is that the etiology is hypoxia in case of HAPE and inflammation in COVID-19 related ARDS. We propose that considering the recent bioinformatics prediction models, COVID-19 might first infect red blood cells via CD147 and cause hemoglobin damage. The resulting hypoxemia may cause pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction leading to HAPE-like lung lesions. The now introduced alveolar hypoxia further exaggerates hemoglobinopathy hypoxemia leading to a vicious cycle. In this review, the authors recommend laboratory experiments to prove these hypotheses. The proposed physiological mechanism has significant therapeutic implications. If proven, the authors suggest the use of exchange transfusion as adjunct therapy and development of anti-CD147 drugs.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

D'Arcy R, CH Courtney (2021)

Diabetes and Covid-19: Clinical implications and novel management strategies.

The Ulster medical journal, 90(2):81-85.

From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, diabetes has been identified as attracting higher rates of severe infection and associated mortality. Our understanding of the mechanisms behind these observations continue to develop but it is clear that the comorbidities associated with diabetes play a key role. Here we provide a brief overview of the clinical implications relevant to Covid-19 infection in diabetes and outline the changes we have instituted to adapt the management of both acute hyperglycaemic emergencies and routine diabetes care during the current pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Castañeda-Gómez J, González-Acosta C, Jaime-Rodríguez JL, et al (2021)

COVID-19 and its impact on the control of Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti mosquito and epidemiological surveillance of arbovirus infections.

Gaceta medica de Mexico, 157(2):187-193.

In American countries, simultaneously with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, epidemics caused by different arboviruses (dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses) are occurring. In Mexico, several of the strategies to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits arboviruses, involve the interaction of health personnel with the community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and home confinement measures have been implemented. To obey these measures and avoid the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (CENAPRECE) has presented the vector control strategy in the scenario of simultaneous dengue and COVID-19 transmission in Mexico. In this work, we mention the routine comprehensive mosquito control measures and describe the adaptations that have been made. Furthermore, we discuss the relevance of medical personnel training and supervision, especially focusing on the similarity of symptoms between both pathologies.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Ignacio-Ibarra G, García-Lee MT, González-Ávila AI, et al (2021)

A proposal for the management of COVID-19-induced coagulopathy in adults.

Gaceta medica de Mexico, 157(2):201-206.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is the cause of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has a high case fatality rate. Most severely ill patients develop a special type of coagulopathy that had not been described before and that is now considered the main cause of death. For this reason, anticoagulant treatment has become one of the cornerstones of the treatment of this infection. However, the rate at which the evidence regarding the use of anticoagulants is generated is quite fast, and sometimes it is difficult to interpret and conflicting. After having performed an extensive review of the published literature, this proposal for the use of anticoagulant treatment is made, taking into account available resources in Mexico.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Steel PAD, Carpenter CR, Fengler B, et al (2021)

Calculated decisions: ACEP ED COVID-19 management tool.

Emergency medicine practice, 23(Suppl 7):CD1-CD6.

This supplement reviews the ACEP ED COVID-19 Management Tool, an emergency department classification and management tool for adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Nile SH, Nile A, Jalde S, et al (2021)

Recent advances in potential drug therapies combating COVID-19 and related coronaviruses-A perspective.

Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 154:112333.

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a large family of viruses responsible for the severe pathophysiological effects on human health. The most severe outbreak includes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The COVID-19 poses major challenges to clinical management because no specific FDA-approved therapy yet to be available. Thus, the existing therapies are being used for the treatment of COVID-19, which are under clinical trials and compassionate use, based on in vitro and in silico studies. In this review, we summarize the potential therapies utilizing small molecules, bioactive compounds, nucleoside and nucleotide analogs, peptides, antibodies, natural products, and synthetic compounds targeting the complex molecular signaling network involved in COVID-19. In this review>230 natural and chemically synthesized drug therapies are described with their recent advances in research and development being done in terms of their chemical, structural and functional properties. This review focuses on possible targets for viral cells, viral proteins, viral replication, and different molecular pathways for the discovery of novel viral- and host-based therapeutic targets against SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Jin D, Wei J, J Sun (2021)

Analysis of the molecular mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 566:45-52.

A newly-emergent beta-coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, rapidly has become a pandemic since 2020. It is a serious respiratory disease and caused more than 100 million of deaths in the world. WHO named it COVIA-19 and there is no effective targeted drug for it. The main treatment strategies include chemical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and biologics. Due to SARS-CoV-2 uses the spike proteins (S proteins) on its envelope to infect human cells, monoclonal antibodies that neutralize the S protein have become one of the hot research areas in the current research and treatment of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we reviewed the antibodies that have been reported to have neutralizing activity against the SARS-CoV-2 infection. According to their different binding epitope regions in RBD or NTD, they are classified, and the mechanism of the representative antibodies in each category is discussed in depth, which provides potential foundation for future antibody and vaccine therapy and the development of antibody cocktails against SARS-CoV-2 mutants.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Bartek N, Peck JL, Garzon D, et al (2021)

Addressing the Clinical Impact of COVID-19 on Pediatric Mental Health.

Journal of pediatric health care : official publication of National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates & Practitioners, 35(4):377-386.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacts daily lives of families globally. Sequelae are not limited to physical consequences of medical complications but extend into social, emotional, spiritual, and psychological health. Interventions including mask-wearing and physical distancing are intended to prevent viral spread, but have unintended negative effects on mental health and child development. Although it is too early to know the full impact, practicing pediatric clinicians are well-positioned to help young people recover and thrive despite challenges presented. This article will review the impact of COVID-19 on child mental health and give practical interventions to foster resilience in youth and their families.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Eberhardt CS, Balletto E, Cornberg M, et al (2021)

Coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination in transplant recipients.

Current opinion in infectious diseases, 34(4):275-287.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is considered one of the most promising and socioeconomically sustainable strategy to help control the pandemic and several vaccines are currently being distributed in nationwide mass immunization campaigns. Very limited data are available on benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised patients and in particular in solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients as they were excluded from phase III trials. This review summarizes current knowledge, international guidelines and controversies regarding COVID-19 vaccination in these vulnerable populations.

RECENT FINDINGS: Various COVID-19 vaccine platforms showed good efficacy in phase III trials in the immunocompetent and there are data arising on the safety and immunogenicity of these vaccines in the immunocompromised population.

SUMMARY: Transplant recipients could benefit significantly from COVID-19 vaccination, both through active immunization provided they elicit protective vaccine responses, and probably through cocooning by immunization of caregivers and healthcare personnel and thus reducing the risk of SARS-coronavirus-2 exposure. Although awaiting more data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines to inform potential adaptations of vaccine regimens, we strongly recommend prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination of solid and hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients to decrease COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Bellotti D, M Remelli (2021)

Deferoxamine B: A Natural, Excellent and Versatile Metal Chelator.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(11):.

Deferoxamine B is an outstanding molecule which has been widely studied in the past decade for its ability to bind iron and many other metal ions. The versatility of this metal chelator makes it suitable for a number of medicinal and analytical applications, from the well-known iron chelation therapy to the most recent use in sensor devices. The three bidentate hydroxamic functional groups of deferoxamine B are the centerpiece of its metal binding ability, which allows the formation of stable complexes with many transition, lanthanoid and actinoid metal ions. In addition to the ferric ion, in fact, more than 20 different metal complexes of deferoxamine b have been characterized in terms of their chemical speciation in solution. In addition, the availability of a terminal amino group, most often not involved in complexation, opens the way to deferoxamine B modification and functionalization. This review aims to collect and summarize the available data concerning the complex-formation equilibria in solutions of deferoxamine B with different metal ions. A general overview of the progress of its applications over the past decade is also discussed, including the treatment of iron overload-associated diseases, its clinical use against cancer and neurodegenerative disorders and its role as a diagnostic tool.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Stachel A, Keegan LT, Blumberg S, et al (2021)

Modeling transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings.

Current opinion in infectious diseases, 34(4):333-338.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Mathematical, statistical, and computational models provide insight into the transmission mechanisms and optimal control of healthcare-associated infections. To contextualize recent findings, we offer a summative review of recent literature focused on modeling transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings.

RECENT FINDINGS: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic shift in the modeling landscape as the healthcare community has raced to characterize the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and develop effective interventions. Inequities in COVID-19 outcomes have inspired new efforts to quantify how structural bias impacts both health outcomes and model parameterization. Meanwhile, developments in the modeling of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridioides difficile, and other nosocomial infections continue to advance. Machine learning continues to be applied in novel ways, and genomic data is being increasingly incorporated into modeling efforts.

SUMMARY: As the type and amount of data continues to grow, mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling will play an increasing role in healthcare epidemiology. Gaps remain in producing models that are generalizable to a variety of time periods, geographic locations, and populations. However, with effective communication of findings and interdisciplinary collaboration, opportunities for implementing models for clinical decision-making and public health decision-making are bound to increase.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Sun Jin L, D Fisher (2021)

MDRO transmission in acute hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current opinion in infectious diseases, 34(4):365-371.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in necessary modifications of infection control policies and practices in acute healthcare facilities globally. This is often accompanied by infrastructure modifications, ward redesignations, as well as healthcare staff redeployments and changes to infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. We review the potential for both negative and positive impacts these major changes can have on nosocomial transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).

RECENT FINDINGS: Healthcare facilities around the world have reported outbreaks of MDROs during the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast some centres have reported a decrease in baseline rates due to a number of possible factors.

SUMMARY: While implementing crucial preventive measures for COVID-19, is it important to consider any collateral effects of changes in IPC and antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) practices. The disruption caused to IPC and ASP practices during the pandemic are likely to see a counter intuitive increase in transmission of MDROs.

RevDate: 2021-07-22
CmpDate: 2021-07-22

Rezaei Z, Mobasheri L, F Sadri (2021)

Molecular Insights into COVID-19 Pathophysiology, Immune Pathogenesis, Detection, and Treatment.

DNA and cell biology, 40(7):858-868.

In late December 2019, a new kind of Coronavirus called severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was officially identified in Wuhan, China. In March 2020, SARS-CoV-2 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and it has infected millions of people worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 is a highly contagious Coronavirus, which has led to an outbreak of acute respiratory tract infection called "Coronavirus disease 2019" (COVID-19), resulting in mild to severe respiratory infections in humans. The design of appropriate therapeutic approaches is dependent on the understanding of molecular and cellular pathways of Coronavirus infections. In this study, we summarized the characteristic features of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we considered the recent information regarding COVID-19 molecular immune pathogenesis, diagnosis, and potential treatment, which may provide novel perspectives and therapeutic goals in combating SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Levy JH, Iba T, Olson LB, et al (2021)

COVID-19: Thrombosis, thromboinflammation, and anticoagulation considerations.

International journal of laboratory hematology, 43 Suppl 1:29-35.

Vascular endothelial injury is a hallmark of acute infection at both the microvascular and macrovascular levels. The hallmark of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the current COVID-19 clinical sequelae of the pathophysiologic responses of hypercoagulability and thromboinflammation associated with acute infection. The acute lung injury that initially occurs in COVID-19 results from vascular and endothelial damage from viral injury and pathophysiologic responses that produce the COVID-19-associated coagulopathy. Clinicians should continue to focus on the vascular endothelial injury that occurs and evaluate potential therapeutic interventions that may benefit those with new infections during the current pandemic as they may also be of benefit for future pathogens that generate similar thromboinflammatory responses. The current Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) studies are important projects that will further define our management strategies. At the time of writing this report, two mRNA vaccines are now being distributed and will hopefully have a major impact on slowing the global spread and subsequent thromboinflammatory injury we see clinically in critically ill patients.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Devreese KMJ (2021)

COVID-19-related laboratory coagulation findings.

International journal of laboratory hematology, 43 Suppl 1:36-42.

The alterations in the hemostatic balance in COVID-19 patients are strongly disturbed and contribute to a high prothrombotic status. The high rate of venous thromboembolism in COVID-19 patients goes along with derangements in coagulation laboratory parameters. Hemostasis testing has an important role in diagnosed COVID-19 patients. Elevated D-dimer levels were found to be a crucial laboratory marker in the risk assessment of thrombosis in COVID-19 patients. The diagnostic approach also includes prothrombin time and platelet count. Fibrinogen might give an indication for worsening coagulopathy. Other markers (activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), fibrinolysis parameters, coagulation factors, natural anticoagulants, antiphospholipid antibodies and parameters obtained by thromboelastography or thrombin generation assays) have been described as being deranged. These may help to understand the pathophysiology of thrombosis in COVID-19 patients but have currently no place in diagnosis or management in COVID-19 patients. For monitoring the heparin anticoagulant therapy, the anti-Xa assay is suggested, because the severe acute-phase reaction (high fibrinogen and high factor VIII) shortens the aPTT.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Roe K (2021)

A role for T-cell exhaustion in Long COVID-19 and severe outcomes for several categories of COVID-19 patients.

Journal of neuroscience research [Epub ahead of print].

Unusual mortality rate differences and symptoms have been experienced by COVID-19 patients, and the postinfection symptoms called Long COVID-19 have also been widely experienced. A substantial percentage of COVID-19-infected individuals in specific health categories have been virtually asymptomatic, several other individuals in the same health categories have exhibited several unusual symptoms, and yet other individuals in the same health categories have fatal outcomes. It is now hypothesized that these differences in mortality rates and symptoms could be caused by a SARS-CoV-2 virus infection acting together with one or more latent pathogen infections in certain patients, through mutually beneficial induced immune cell dysfunctions, including T-cell exhaustion. A latent pathogen infection likely to be involved is the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which infects approximately one third of the global human population. Furthermore, certain infections and cancers that cause T-cell exhaustion can also explain the more severe outcomes of other COVID-19 patients having several disease and cancer comorbidities.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Batool M, Kim MS, S Choi (2021)

Structural insights into the distinctive RNA recognition and therapeutic potentials of RIG-I-like receptors.

Medicinal research reviews [Epub ahead of print].

RNA viruses, including the coronavirus, develop a unique strategy to evade the host immune response by interrupting the normal function of cytosolic retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs). RLRs rapidly detect atypical nucleic acids, thereby triggering the antiviral innate immune signaling cascade and subsequently activates the interferons transcription and induction of other proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Nonetheless, these receptors are manipulated by viral proteins to subvert the host immune system and sustain the infectivity and replication potential of the virus. RIG-I senses the single-stranded, double-stranded, and short double-stranded RNAs and recognizes the key signature, a 5'-triphosphate moiety, at the blunt end of the viral RNA. Meanwhile, the melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) is triggered by longer double stranded RNAs, messenger RNAs lacking 2'-O-methylation in their 5'-cap, and RNA aggregates. Therefore, structural insights into the nucleic-acid-sensing and downstream signaling mechanisms of these receptors hold great promise for developing effective antiviral therapeutic interventions. This review highlights the critical roles played by RLRs in viral infections as well as their ligand recognition mechanisms. In addition, we highlight the crosstalk between the toll-like receptors and RLRs and provide a comprehensive overview of RLR-associated diseases as well as the therapeutic potential of RLRs for the development of antiviral-drugs. Moreover, we believe that these RLR-based antivirals will serve as a step toward countering the recent coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Zuin M, Gentili V, Cervellati C, et al (2021)

Viral Load Difference between Symptomatic and Asymptomatic COVID-19 Patients: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Infectious disease reports, 13(3):645-653 pii:idr13030061.

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the possible difference in the SARS-CoV-2 viral load between asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed in abstracting data and assessing validity. We searched MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar for all investigations in the English language, reporting data on the threshold cycle (Ct) from real-time RT-PCR assays for the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), envelope (E) and nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 genes in asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients. Results: Overall, 703 COVID-19 patients (553 symptomatic and 150 asymptomatic) were analyzed. Five investigations reported the mean age of patients, evidencing that asymptomatic patients were younger than symptomatic patients (34.0 vs. 40.3 years, respectively). Pooled data regarding the levels of expression of the RdRp gene revealed no significant difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. Similarly, no differences were observed comparing the mean Ct values for the E and N genes. Based on real-time RT-PCR data, no differences exist in the viral load between symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 subjects considering Ct values for RdRp, E and N genes' expression. Asymptomatic subjects may represent a reservoir of the infection and significantly contribute to the maintenance of the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Smirni D, Garufo E, Di Falco L, et al (2021)

The Playing Brain. The Impact of Video Games on Cognition and Behavior in Pediatric Age at the Time of Lockdown: A Systematic Review.

Pediatric reports, 13(3):401-415 pii:pediatric13030047.

A growing number of children and adolescents play video games (VGs) for long amounts of time. The current outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has significantly reduced outdoor activities and direct interpersonal relationships. Therefore, a higher use of VGs can become the response to stress and fear of illness. VGs and their practical, academic, vocational and educational implications have become an issue of increasing interest for scholars, parents, teachers, pediatricians and youth public policy makers. The current systematic review aims to identify, in recent literature, the most relevant problems of the complex issue of playing VGs in children and adolescents in order to provide suggestions for the correct management of VG practice. The method used searches through standardized search operators using keywords related to video games and the link with cognition, cognitive control and behaviors adopted during the pandemic. Ninety-nine studies were reviewed and included, whereas twelve studies were excluded because they were educationally irrelevant. Any debate on the effectiveness of VGs cannot refer to a dichotomous approach, according to which VGs are rigidly 'good' or 'bad'. VGs should be approached in terms of complexity and differentiated by multiple dimensions interacting with each other.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Dioguardi M, Cazzolla AP, Arena C, et al (2021)

Innate Immunity in Children and the Role of ACE2 Expression in SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Pediatric reports, 13(3):363-382 pii:pediatric13030045.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is an emerging viral disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), which leads to severe respiratory infections in humans. The first reports came in December 2019 from the city of Wuhan in the province of Hubei in China. It was immediately clear that children developed a milder disease than adults. The reasons for the milder course of the disease were attributed to several factors: innate immunity, difference in ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme II) receptor expression, and previous infections with other common coronaviruses (CovH). This literature review aims to summarize aspects of innate immunity by focusing on the role of ACE2 expression and viral infections in children in modulating the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This review was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Articles deemed potentially eligible were considered, including those dealing with COVID-19 in children and providing more up-to-date and significant data in terms of epidemiology, prognosis, course, and symptoms, focusing on the etiopathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 disease in children. The bibliographic search was conducted using the search engines PubMed and Scopus. The following search terms were entered in PubMed and Scopus: COVID-19 AND ACE2 AND Children; COVID-19 AND Immunity innate AND children. The search identified 857 records, and 18 studies were applicable based on inclusion and exclusion criteria that addressed the issues of COVID-19 concerning the role of ACE2 expression in children. The scientific literature agrees that children develop milder COVID-19 disease than adults. Milder symptomatology could be attributed to innate immunity or previous CovH virus infections, while it is not yet fully understood how the differential expression of ACE2 in children could contribute to milder disease.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

McGrowder DA, Miller F, Anderson Cross M, et al (2021)

Abnormal Liver Biochemistry Tests and Acute Liver Injury in COVID-19 Patients: Current Evidence and Potential Pathogenesis.

Diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 9(3): pii:diseases9030050.

Globally, millions of persons have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) over the past several months, resulting in significant mortality. Health care systems are negatively impacted including the care of individuals with cancers and other chronic diseases such as chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. There are various probable pathogenic mechanisms that have been presented to account for liver injury in COVID-19 patients such as hepatotoxicity cause by therapeutic drugs, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection of the bile duct cells and hepatocytes, hypoxia and systemic inflammatory response. Liver biochemistry tests such as aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) are deranged in COVID-19 patients with liver injury. Hepatocellular damage results in the elevation of serum AST and ALT levels in early onset disease while a cholestatic pattern that develops as the disease progress causes higher levels of ALP, GGT, direct and total bilirubin. These liver biochemistry tests are prognostic markers of disease severity and should be carefully monitored in COVID-19 patients. We conducted a systematic review of abnormal liver biochemistry tests in COVID-19 and the possible pathogenesis involved. Significant findings regarding the severity, hepatocellular pattern, incidence and related clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients are highlighted.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Qasem A, Shaw AM, Elkamel E, et al (2021)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Diagnostic Tools: A Focus on Detection Technologies and Limitations.

Current issues in molecular biology, 43(2):728-748 pii:cimb43020053.

The ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses a severe threat to human health and the global economy and has resulted in overwhelming stress on health care systems worldwide. Despite the global health catastrophe, especially in the number of infections and fatalities, the COVID-19 pandemic has also revolutionized research and discovery with remarkable success in diagnostics, treatments, and vaccine development. The use of many diagnostic methods has helped establish public health guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, limited information has been shared about these methods, and there is a need for the scientific community to learn about these technologies, in addition to their sensitivity, specificity, and limitations. This review article is focused on providing insights into the major methods used for SARS-CoV-2 detection. We describe in detail the core principle of each method, including molecular and serological approaches, along with reported claims about the rates of false negatives and false positives, the types of specimens needed, and the level of technology and the time required to perform each test. Although this study will not rank or prioritize these methods, the information will help in the development of guidelines and diagnostic protocols in clinical settings and reference laboratories.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Tudor Car L, Kyaw BM, Nannan Panday RS, et al (2021)

Digital Health Training Programs for Medical Students: Scoping Review.

JMIR medical education, 7(3):e28275 pii:v7i3e28275.

BACKGROUND: Medical schools worldwide are accelerating the introduction of digital health courses into their curricula. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to this swift and widespread transition to digital health and education. However, the need for digital health competencies goes beyond the COVID-19 pandemic because they are becoming essential for the delivery of effective, efficient, and safe care.

OBJECTIVE: This review aims to collate and analyze studies evaluating digital health education for medical students to inform the development of future courses and identify areas where curricula may need to be strengthened.

METHODS: We carried out a scoping review by following the guidance of the Joanna Briggs Institute, and the results were reported in accordance with the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews) guidelines. We searched 6 major bibliographic databases and gray literature sources for articles published between January 2000 and November 2019. Two authors independently screened the retrieved citations and extracted the data from the included studies. Discrepancies were resolved by consensus discussions between the authors. The findings were analyzed using thematic analysis and presented narratively.

RESULTS: A total of 34 studies focusing on different digital courses were included in this review. Most of the studies (22/34, 65%) were published between 2010 and 2019 and originated in the United States (20/34, 59%). The reported digital health courses were mostly elective (20/34, 59%), were integrated into the existing curriculum (24/34, 71%), and focused mainly on medical informatics (17/34, 50%). Most of the courses targeted medical students from the first to third year (17/34, 50%), and the duration of the courses ranged from 1 hour to 3 academic years. Most of the studies (22/34, 65%) reported the use of blended education. A few of the studies (6/34, 18%) delivered courses entirely digitally by using online modules, offline learning, massive open online courses, and virtual patient simulations. The reported courses used various assessment approaches such as paper-based assessments, in-person observations, and online assessments. Most of the studies (30/34, 88%) evaluated courses mostly by using an uncontrolled before-and-after design and generally reported improvements in students' learning outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Digital health courses reported in literature are mostly elective, focus on a single area of digital health, and lack robust evaluation. They have diverse delivery, development, and assessment approaches. There is an urgent need for high-quality studies that evaluate digital health education.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Noori M, Nejadghaderi SA, Arshi S, et al (2021)

Potency of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2 variants of concern: A systematic review of in vitro studies.

Reviews in medical virology [Epub ahead of print].

BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 are two types of mRNA-based vaccine platforms that have received emergency use authorization. The emergence of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) variants has raised concerns of reduced sensitivity to neutralization by their elicited antibodies. We aimed to systematically review the most recent in vitro studies evaluating the effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 induced neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. We searched PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science in addition to bioRxiv and medRxiv with terms including 'SARS-CoV-2', 'BNT162b2', 'mRNA-1273', and 'neutralizing antibody' up to June 29, 2021. A modified version of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) checklist was used for assessing included study quality. A total 36 in vitro studies meeting the eligibility criteria were included in this systematic review. B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.617.2 (Delta) are four SARS-CoV-2 variants that have recently been identified as variants of concern. Included studies implemented different methods regarding pseudovirus or live virus neutralization assays for measuring neutralization titres against utilized viruses. After two dose vaccination by BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273, the B.1.351 variant had the least sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies, while B.1.1.7 variant had the most sensitivity; that is, it was better neutralized relative to the comparator strain. P.1 and B.1.617.2 variants had an intermediate level of impaired naturalization activity of antibodies elicited by prior vaccination. Our review suggests that immune sera derived from vaccinated individuals might show reduced protection of individuals immunized with mRNA vaccines against more recent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Santos Ferreira RD, Dos Santos C, Maranhão Mendonça LAB, et al (2021)

Immunonutrition effects on coping with COVID-19.

Food & function [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 implications are still a threat to global health. In the face of this pandemic, food and nutrition are key issues that can boost the immune system. The bioactivity of functional foods and nutrients (probiotics, prebiotics, water- and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, glutamine, arginine, nucleotides, and PUFAs) contributes to immune system modulation, which establishes the status of nutrients as a factor of immune competence. These foods can contribute, especially during a pandemic, to the minimization of complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, it is important to support the nutritional strategies for strengthening the immune status, associated with good eating habits, as a way to confront COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Czarnywojtek A, Ochmańska A, Zgorzalewicz-Stachowiak M, et al (2021)

Influence of SARS-CoV-2 infection on thyroid gland function: The current knowledge.

Advances in clinical and experimental medicine : official organ Wroclaw Medical University [Epub ahead of print].

The paper summarizes the current knowledge about the influence of SARS-CoV-2 on the thyroid gland and benign thyroid diseases, with emphasis on the situation in Poland. Based on the latest scientific literature published up to May 1, 2021 and the PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE and Web of Science database searches, keywords related to SARS-CoV-2 and its impact on the thyroid gland and benign thyroid diseases were searched. COVID-19-related thyroid disorders include non-thyroid syndrome, hypothyroidism and thyrotoxicosis. The authors paid special attention to the treatment of thyroid disease during the pandemic. The emphasis was on radioiodine therapy, which is of high clinical value due to the lower risk of neutropenia or agranulocytosis. It is currently unknown whether COVID-19 may lead to de novo thyroid dysfunction or if it can aggravate an existing thyroid disease. Patients with uncontrolled thyrotoxicosis are in a risk group for complications (e.g., cytokine storm) from any infection (especially from SARS-CoV-2 infection). Moreover, this group of patients should receive more extensive care, bearing in mind the neutropenia from taking antithyroid drugs, which may mask the symptoms of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Guizani I, Fourti N, Zidi W, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 and pathological matrix remodeling mediators.

Inflammation research : official journal of the European Histamine Research Society ... [et al.] [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Recognizing only sharp elevation in a short period of time, the COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 propagation is more and more marked in the whole world. Induced inflammation afterwards infection engenders a high infiltration of immune cells and cytokines that triggers matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) activation. These endopeptidases are mediators of the lung extracellular matrix (ECM), a basic element for alveoli structure and gas exchange.

METHODS: When immune cells, MMPs, secreted cytokines and several other mediators are gathered a pathological matrix remodeling occurs. This phenomenon tends to tissue destruction in the first place and a pulmonary hypertrophy and fibrosis in the second place.

FINDINGS: After pathological matrix remodeling establishment, pathological diseases take place even after infection state. Since post COVID-19 pulmonary fibrosis is an emerging complication of the disease, there is an urge to better understand and characterize the implication of ECM remodeling during SARS-CoV-2 infection.

CONCLUSION: Targeting MMPs and their inhibitors could be a probable solution for occurred events since there are many cured patients that remain with severe sequels even after the end of infection.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Alsaied T, A Ashfaq (2021)

From Other Journals: A Review of Recent Articles by Our Editorial Team.

Pediatric cardiology [Epub ahead of print].

In this review, we provide a brief description of recently published articles addressing topics relevant to pediatric cardiologists. Our hope is to provide a summary of the latest articles published recently in other journals in our field. The articles address (1) outcomes for COVID-19 infection in adults with congenital heart disease which showed no increased mortality compared to the general population, (2) hepatorenal dysfunction before transplantation in patients with Fontan is associated with increased mortality, (3) abnormal Von Willebrand factor metabolism and angiopoietin signaling may contribute to pulmonary AVM formation in children with a Glenn circulation, (4) low cardiac output after the Norwood procedure which improves with higher hemoglobin and with milrionone, (5) a comparison of staged versus complete repair in neonatal tetralogy of Fallot reveiling the pros and cons of each strategy, (6) the long-term outcomes of early repair of complete atrioventricular canal show no difference in outcomes in patients who were repaired below 3 months of life.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Koch T (2021)

Welcome to the revolution: COVID-19 and the democratization of spatial-temporal data.

Patterns (New York, N.Y.), 2(7):100272 pii:S2666-3899(21)00098-2.

On January 22, 2020, Johns Hopkins University launched its online COVID-19 dashboard to track in real time what began in December as the regional outbreak of a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The dashboard and its format were quickly adopted by other organizations, making global, national, and regional data on the pandemic available to all. The wealth of data freely offered in this way was collected by syndromic programs whose precise algorithms search official and popular sources for data on COVID-19 and other diseases. The dashboard signals a new phase in the maturation of the "digital revolution" from paper resources and, in their popular employ, a "democratizion" of data and their presentation. This perspective thus uses the COVID-19 experience as an example of the effect of this digital revolution on both expert and popular audiences. Understanding it permits a broader perspective on not simply the pandemic but also the cultural and socioeconomic context in which it has occurred.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Istampoulouoglou I, Zimmermanns B, Grandinetti T, et al (2021)

Cardiovascular adverse effects of lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients: Cases from a single pharmacovigilance centre.

Global cardiology science & practice, 2021(2):e202111 pii:gcsp.2021.11.

In this article we summarize the cardiovascular adverse events that were observed in three patients during their treatment for COVID-19 and discuss their association with lopinavir/ ritonavir (LPV/r) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). The cases were reported to our regional pharmacovigilance centre in April 2020. All three patients were above 75 years in age, male and multimorbid, and had been hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19. As part of their treatment, all of them received a very strictly monitored off-label therapy with LPV/r and HCQ, for which they had given their prior, written, informed consent. In one patient, erythromycin was also administered. All three patients developed a significant QTc time prolongation during or shortly after therapy with the above drugs. On account of this, the treatment had to be discontinued early in each case and QTc time recovered in all three patients.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Saltagi AK, Saltagi MZ, Nag AK, et al (2021)

Diagnosis of Anosmia and Hyposmia: A Systematic Review.

Allergy & rhinology (Providence, R.I.), 12:21526567211026568 pii:10.1177_21526567211026568.

Background: Anosmia and hyposmia have many etiologies, including trauma, chronic sinusitis, neoplasms, and respiratory viral infections such as rhinovirus and SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to systematically review the literature on the diagnostic evaluation of anosmia/hyposmia.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched for articles published since January 1990 using terms combined with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). We included articles evaluating diagnostic modalities for anosmia, written in the English language, used original data, and had two or more patients.

Results: A total of 2065 unique titles were returned upon the initial search. Of these, 226 abstracts were examined, yielding 27 full-text articles meeting inclusion criteria (Level of evidence ranging from 1 to 4; most level 2). The studies included a total of 13,577 patients. The most utilized diagnostic tools were orthonasal smell tests (such as the Sniffin' Sticks and the UPSIT, along with validated abridged smell tests). Though various imaging modalities (including MRI and CT) were frequently mentioned in the workup of olfactory dysfunction, routine imaging was not used to primarily diagnose smell loss.

Conclusion: The literature includes several studies on validity and reliability for various smell tests in diagnosing anosmia. Along with a thorough history and physical, validated orthonasal smell tests should be part of the workup of the patient with suspected olfactory dysfunction. The most widely studied modality was MRI, but criteria for the timing and sequence of imaging modalities was heterogenous.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Sharma D, Sharma J, A Singh (2021)

Exploring the Mystery of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme II (ACE2) in the Battle against SARS-CoV-2.

Journal of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system : JRAAS, 2021:9939929.

COVID-19 is the newly born pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the recently emerged betacoronavirus that crosses the species barrier. It predominantly infects pneumocytes of the respiratory tract, but due to the presence of angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) on other cells like surface enterocytes of the upper esophagus and colon, these are also considered as the primary sites of infection. ACE2 receptor served as a cellular entry point for SARS-CoV-2. The expression of the ACE2 receptors is regulated by several factors such as age, tobacco smoking, inflammatory signaling, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and comorbidities (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tuberculosis, cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes). Therefore, scientists are trying to explore the in-depth knowledge of ACE2 and considered it as a potential indirect target for COVID-19 therapeutics. In this focused review, we discussed in detail ACE2 expressions and regulation by different factors in the primary or vulnerable sites of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Clinical trials of rhACE2 in COVID-19 patients are ongoing, and if the outcome of the trials proves positive, it will be a breakthrough for the management of COVID-19. Finally, we suggest that targeting the ACE2 (a master regulator) in a balanced way could serve as a potential option against the management of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Cumhur Cure M, E Cure (2021)

Effects of the Na+/H+ Ion Exchanger on Susceptibility to COVID-19 and the Course of the Disease.

Journal of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system : JRAAS, 2021:4754440.

The Na+/H+ ion exchanger (NHE) pumps Na+ inward the cell and H+ ion outside the cell. NHE activity increases in response to a decrease in intracellular pH, and it maintains intracellular pH in a narrow range. Patients with obesity, diabetes, and hypertension and the elderly are prone to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. The angiotensin II (Ang II) level is high in chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Ang II is the main stimulator of NHE, and an increased Ang II level causes prolonged NHE activation in these patients. The long-term increase in NHE activity causes H+ ions to leave the cell in patients with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Increasing H+ ions outside the cell lead to an increase in oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species. H+ ion flows into the cell due to the increased oxidative stress. This vicious circle causes intracellular pH to drop. Although NHE is activated when intracellular pH decreases, there is prolonged NHE activation in chronic diseases such as aforementioned. Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) progression may be more severe and mortal in these patients. SARS-CoV-2 readily invades the cell at low intracellular pH and causes infection. The renin-angiotensin system and NHE play a vital role in regulating intracellular pH. The reduction of NHE activity or its prolonged activation may cause susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection by lowering intracellular pH in patients with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Prolonged NHE activation in these patients with COVID-19 may worsen the course of the disease. Scientists continue to investigate the mechanism of the disease and the factors that affect its clinical progression.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Che Abdul Rahim N, Manjit Singh JS, Pardi M, et al (2021)

Analysis of Available Nutrition Recommendations to Combat COVID-19: A Scoping Review.

The Malaysian journal of medical sciences : MJMS, 28(3):18-45.

The current COVID-19 pandemic remains severe. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives. Currently, the spread of inaccurate information or fake news on the internet to the public is causing the community to panic. Thus, this study aims to obtain available information on food and nutrition related to the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 from various sources. A scoping review framework was used to chart the evidence on nutritional recommendations to prevent COVID-19 based on the preferred method in reporting systematic review and meta-analysis extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR). The articles were categorised into three main groups: i) general dietary recommendations; ii) supplementation with specific micronutrients and iii) their mixtures and supplementation with traditional herbs and miscellaneous foods. A total of 60 articles met the inclusion criteria and were used in the review. This scoping review demonstrates that there is no miracle cure, food or supplement that can cure or prevent COVID-19. Currently, there is no confirmed treatment or vaccine for the disease. Practicing healthy eating habits is the best nutritional recommendation during the pandemic. Hence, this review hopefully will provide evidence-based nutrition recommendations that are available for current COVID-19 treatment. We hope that the authorities can inform the public and media to stop the spread of nutrition pseudoscience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Moshirfar M, Odayar VS, McCabe SE, et al (2021)

Corneal Donation: Current Guidelines and Future Direction.

Clinical ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.), 15:2963-2973 pii:284617.

Purpose: This review aims to outline current practices and guidelines of corneal donation and eye banking, describes the implications of COVID-19 and emerging diseases on the corneal donor pool, and discusses future trends to improve and increase the efficiency of the processes involved in corneal donation and eye banking.

Summary: Corneal screening, preservation, corneal storage, and prevention of systemic disease transmission from donor to recipient have been crucial in shaping the policies of the FDA and eye banks across the world. Eye banks globally have developed varying guidelines and criteria for evaluating the viability of donor corneas. Variables such as the age of the donor, medical history, and potential disease transmission are important screening parameters. While known infectious diseases may be transmissible through the cornea, emerging infectious diseases that are not well studied may be more transmissible than other infections. In particular, coronavirus has impacted corneal transplantation as SARS-CoV-2 expression has been detected in corneal tissue and conjunctiva. In recent years, partial-thickness corneal transplantations have been introduced. Lamellar grafts and other corneal layers are now utilized for transplantation of the specific areas that are damaged.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Malik SM, Barlow A, B Johnson (2021)

Reconceptualising health security in post-COVID-19 world.

BMJ global health, 6(7):.

While drawing upon the existing literature and policy documents on health security and its practice at the national and global levels, this article shows that the idea of health security has mostly remained rhetoric or at the most conceptualised and operationalised within the narrow Westphalian tradition of protecting nation states from external threats. By undertaking a critical examination of the national security strategies of some powerful G-20 countries, we show that non-traditional threats such as infectious diseases and pandemics are either absent from the list of potential threats or are accorded a weak priority and addressed within the state and military-centric notion of security. This approach has shortcomings that are laid bare by the ongoing pandemic. In this article, we show how national and global health security agendas can be advanced much more productively by mobilising a wider securitisation discourse that is driven by the human security paradigm as advanced by the United Nations in 1994, that considers people rather than states as the primary referent of security and that emphasises collective action rather than competition to address the transnational nature of security threats. We discuss the relevance of this paradigm in broadening the concept of health security in view of the contemporary and future threats to public health.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Simonelli C, Paneroni M, Vitacca M, et al (2021)

Measures of physical performance in COVID-19 patients: a mapping review.

Pulmonology pii:S2531-0437(21)00125-2 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: There is evidence of short- and long-term impairment of physical performance in patients with COVID-19 infection, but a verification of measures of physical impairment in this condition is lacking. We reviewed the measures used to assess physical performance in these patients. Secondary targets were measures of exercise or daily life activities induced symptoms.

METHODS: Medline, CINAHL, and Pedro databases were searched from January 2020 to February 2021 for articles in the English language. Two investigators independently conducted the search, screened all titles and/or abstracts based on the inclusion criteria and independently scored the studies. The quality of the studies was evaluated by two reviewers according to the NIH quality assessment tool for observational cohort and cross-sectional studies. Discrepancies were resolved through consensus.

RESULTS: Out of 156 potentially relevant articles, 31 observational studies (8 cross-sectional), 1 randomized controlled trial, and 1 protocol were included. The quality of most of the 31 evaluable studies was judged as low (11 studies) or fair (14 studies). Sample sizes of the studies ranged from 14 to 20,889 patients. among the 28 reported measures, Barthel Index (42.4% of studies), Six-Minute Walking Distance Test (36.4%), Short Physical Performance Battery (21.2%) and 1-Minute Sit-to-Stand (12.1%) were the most used. Fifteen% and 36% of studies reported exercise induced desaturation and dyspnoea when performing the assessments, respectively. Other exercise induced symptoms were fatigue and pain. Studies reported wide ranges of impairment in physical performance as compared to "reference" values (range of mean or median reported values vs "reference values": 11-77 vs 100 points for Barthel Index; 11-22 vs 22-37 repetitions/min for 1m-STS; 0.5-7.9 vs 11.4 ± 1.3 points for SPPB; and 45-223 vs 380-782 m for 6MWT respectively).

CONCLUSION: This review found that a wide variety of functional status tests have been used, making comparisons difficult between studies. These measures show impairment in physical performance in COVID-19 patients. However, the quality of most of the studies was judged as low or fair.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Kordyukova LV, AV Shanko (2021)

COVID-19: Myths and Reality.

Biochemistry. Biokhimiia, 86(7):800-817.

COVID-19, a new human respiratory disease that has killed nearly 3 million people in a year since the start of the pandemic, is a global public health challenge. Its infectious agent, SARS-CoV-2, differs from other coronaviruses in a number of structural features that make this virus more pathogenic and transmissible. In this review, we discuss some important characteristics of the main SARS-CoV-2 surface antigen, the spike (S) protein, such as (i) ability of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) to switch between the "standing-up" position (open pre-fusion conformation) for receptor binding and the "lying-down" position (closed pre-fusion conformation) for immune system evasion; (ii) advantage of a high binding affinity of the RBD open conformation to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for efficient cell entry; and (iii) S protein preliminary activation by the intracellular furin-like proteases for facilitation of the virus spreading across different cell types. We describe interactions between the S protein and cellular receptors, co-receptors, and antagonists, as well as a hypothetical mechanism of the homotrimeric spike structure destabilization that triggers the fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane at physiological pH and mediates the viral nucleocapsid entry into the cytoplasm. The transition of the S protein pre-fusion conformation to the post-fusion one on the surface of virions after their treatment with some reagents, such as β-propiolactone, is essential, especially in relation to the vaccine production. We also compare the COVID-19 pathogenesis with that of severe outbreaks of "avian" influenza caused by the A/H5 and A/H7 highly pathogenic viruses and discuss the structural similarities between the SARS-CoV-2 S protein and hemagglutinins of those highly pathogenic strains. Finally, we touch on the prospective and currently used COVID-19 antiviral and anti-pathogenetic therapeutics, as well as recently approved conventional and innovative COVID-19 vaccines and their molecular and immunological features.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Grieb P, K Rejdak (2021)

Are central nervous system drugs displaying anti-inflammatory activity suitable for early treatment of COVID-19?.

Folia neuropathologica, 59(2):113-120.

The majority of COVID-19 cases are only mildly or moderately symptomatic, but in some patients excessive inflammatory response becomes the dominant factor of disease progression to the advanced stage, with high mortality. Treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs either does not prevent disease progression (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs], colchicine), or is recommended only at the advanced disease stage (dexamethasone). Fluvoxamine and amantadine are drugs used to treat neurological and psychiatric diseases. Fluvoxamine is a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor, whereas amantadine is an old antiviral variably influencing brain neurotransmitter systems, and repurposed to Parkinson's disease. Both drugs are agonists of sigma-1 receptors located in the endoplasmic reticulum, which effect seems responsible for their anti-inflammatory activity. Moreover, amantadine was found to dampen the expression of cathepsin-L, a lysosomal enzyme implicated in SARS-CoV-2 virus entry to target cells. In two small controlled clinical trials, early treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected persons with fluvoxamine fully prevented COVID-19 symptoms. Anecdotal evidence shows that amantadine may be similarly effective. Both drugs are easily available, inexpensive and have favorable safety profiles. Clinical trials evaluating their efficacy as much-needed post-exposure prophylaxis and early treatment of COVID-19 are ongoing.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Guest PC, SE Ozanne (2021)

The Worldwide Effort to Develop Vaccines for COVID-19.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1327:215-223.

There have been recent encouraging reports about the development of vaccines for COVID-19. Given the scale and effects of this pandemic on public health and economies worldwide, there has been an unprecedented approach across the globe, leading to the emergence of vaccine candidates many times faster than the normal process would allow. This review gives up-to-date information as of November 28, 2020, on the latest developments in this area and covers the plans to roll out the most promising vaccines across the entire world to halt the spread of this devastating virus.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Hsue VB, Itamura K, Wu AW, et al (2021)

Topical Oral and Intranasal Antiviral Agents for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1327:169-189.

With the largest viral loads in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) present in the oral and nasal cavities, agents that act on these two areas have the potential for large therapeutic and prophylactic benefit. A literature review was conducted to elucidate the possible agents useful in treatment of SARS-CoV-2. These agents were evaluated for their current applications, adverse reactions, their current state of study, and any future considerations in their management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019). Our review has found that, while there are many promising agents with proven efficacy in their in-vitro efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, more clinical trials and in-vivo studies, as well as safety trials, must be conducted before these agents can be effectively implemented.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

George JA, S Khoza (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 Infection and the Kidneys: An Evolving Picture.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1327:107-118.

Since December 2019, a novel coronavirus known as Severe Acute Respiratory Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused an outbreak of a respiratory illness worldwide. Even though SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory system, other organs such as the heart and kidneys are implicated. The pathophysiology of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients is not clearly defined. Direct kidney injury results from virus entry through angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptors which are highly expressed by the podocytes and proximal convoluted tubules, as suggested by "viral-like" particles on electron microscopy. However, the link between the presence of viral particles in kidney tissue and kidney injury has not been fully explained. Furthermore, it is also hypothesized that collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), myoglobin toxicity, sepsis-linked, and glomeruli fibrin thrombi is part of the mechanism for AKI. Reported cases link FSGS and high-risk apolipoprotein 1 (APOL1) alleles in patients of African ancestry. Typically, these patients present with AKI and nephrotic-range proteinuria. The rate of AKI in hospitalized patients is high and associated with a higher mortality rate in older patients with comorbidities. Even higher mortality is now being reported in patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney transplant recipients due to immune system dysfunction. Herein, we review the current literature on kidney disease and pathogenesis in COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Ghale-Noie ZN, Salmaninejad A, Bergquist R, et al (2021)

Genetic Aspects and Immune Responses in Covid-19: Important Organ Involvement.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1327:3-22.

In the last two decades, the world has experienced outbreaks of three major coronaviruses with high morbidity and mortality rates. The most recent of these started in the form of an unusual viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China, and now the world is facing a serious pandemic. This new disease has been called COVID-19 and is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Understanding the specific genetic and phenotypic structure of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 pathogenesis is vital in finding appropriate drugs and vaccines. With this in mind, this review sheds light on the virology, genetics, immune-responses, and mechanism of action of this virus.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Berg SH, O'Hara JK, Shortt MT, et al (2021)

Health authorities' health risk communication with the public during pandemics: a rapid scoping review.

BMC public health, 21(1):1401.

BACKGROUND: Responses from the H1N1 swine flu pandemic and the recent COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic provide an opportunity for insight into the role of health authorities' ways of communicating health risk information to the public. We aimed to synthesise the existing evidence regarding different modes of communication used by health authorities in health risk communication with the public during a pandemic.

METHODS: We conducted a rapid scoping review. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for publications in English from January 2009 through October 2020, covering both the full H1N1 pandemic and the response phase during the COVID-19 pandemic. The search resulted in 1440 records, of which 48 studies met our eligibility criteria.

RESULTS: The present review identified studies across a broad interdisciplinary field of health risk communication. The majority focused on the H1N1 pandemic and the COVID-19 pandemic. A content analysis of the studies identified three categories for modes of communication: i) communication channels, ii) source credibility and iii) how the message is communicated. The identified studies on social media focused mainly on content and engagement, while studies on the effect of the use of social media and self-protective behaviour were lacking. Studies on the modes of communication that take the diversity of receivers in the field into account are lacking. A limited number of studies of health authorities' use of graphic and audio-visual means were identified, yet these did not consider/evaluate creative communication choices.

CONCLUSION: Experimental studies that investigate the effect of health authorities' videos and messages on social media platforms and self-protective behaviour are needed. More studies are needed across the fields of health risk communication and media studies, including visual communication, web design, video and digital marketing, at a time when online digital communication is central to reaching the public.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Siddiqui S, HM Yassin (2021)

Effects of Covid-19 on pregnancy: An overview.

Saudi medical journal, 42(7):798-800.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

He W, Baysal C, Lobato Gómez M, et al (2021)

Contributions of the international plant science community to the fight against infectious diseases in humans-part 2: Affordable drugs in edible plants for endemic and re-emerging diseases.

Plant biotechnology journal [Epub ahead of print].

The fight against infectious diseases often focuses on epidemics and pandemics, which demand urgent resources and command attention from the health authorities and media. However, the vast majority of deaths caused by infectious diseases occur in endemic zones, particularly in developing countries, placing a disproportionate burden on underfunded health systems and often requiring international interventions. The provision of vaccines and other biologics is hampered not only by the high cost and limited scalability of traditional manufacturing platforms based on microbial and animal cells, but also by challenges caused by distribution and storage, particularly in regions without a complete cold chain. In this review article, we consider the potential of molecular farming to address the challenges of endemic and re-emerging diseases, focusing on edible plants for the development of oral drugs. Key recent developments in this field include successful clinical trials based on orally delivered dried leaves of Artemisia annua against malarial parasite strains resistant to artemisinin combination therapy, the ability to produce clinical-grade protein drugs in leaves to treat infectious diseases and the long-term storage of protein drugs in dried leaves at ambient temperatures. Recent FDA approval of the first orally delivered protein drug encapsulated in plant cells to treat peanut allergy has opened the door for the development of affordable oral drugs that can be manufactured and distributed in remote areas without cold storage infrastructure and that eliminate the need for expensive purification steps and sterile delivery by injection.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Haq K, Mahmood F, M Ghaly (2021)

Renal manifestations, incidence, pathogenesis and implications on prognosis and mortality in COVID-19 patients: A review of current evidence and the potential for future directions.

Clinical nephrology, 96(2):67-81.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has now spread into a worldwide pandemic. The pulmonary manifestations of this disease have been well described in literature, however COVID-19 can also cause severe and lasting harm in other organs including the kidneys, heart, and pancreas. Emerging evidence suggests that COVID-19 has multiple renal manifestations which impact the prognosis and mortality of this disease. Here we present a literature review of the current evidence of renal involvement in COVID-19 patients and the potential for future directions in management.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Garcia LC, Szabo JK, de Oliveira Roque F, et al (2021)

Record-breaking wildfires in the world's largest continuous tropical wetland: Integrative fire management is urgently needed for both biodiversity and humans.

Journal of environmental management, 293:112870.

In the Brazilian Pantanal, wildfire occurrence has increased, reaching record highs of over 40,000 km2 in 2020. Smoke from wildfires worsened the situation of isolated, as well as urban communities, already under an increasing toll of COVID-19. Here we review the impacts and the possible causes of the 2020 mega-fires and recommend improvements for public policies and fire management in this wetland. We calculated the amount of area burnt annually since 2003 and describe patterns in precipitation and water level measurements of the Paraguay River. Our analyses revealed that the 2020 wildfires were historically unprecedented, as 43% of the area (over 17,200 km2) had not been burnt previously in the last two decades. The extent of area affected in 2020 represents a 376% increase compared to the annual average of the area burnt annually in the last two decades, double than the value in 2019. Potential factors responsible for this increase are (i) severe drought decreased water levels, (ii) the fire corridor was located in the Paraguay River flood zone, (iii) constraints on firefighters, (iv) insufficient fire prevention strategy and agency budget reductions, and (v) recent landscape changes. Climate and land use change will further increase the frequency of these extreme events. To make fire management more efficient and cost-effective, we recommend the implementation of an Integrated Fire Management program in the Pantanal. Stakeholders should use existing traditional, local ecological, and scientific knowledge to form a collective strategy with clear, achievable, measurable goals, considering the socio-ecological context. Permanent fire brigades, including indigenous members, should conduct year-round fire management. Communities should cooperate to create a collaborative network for wildfire prevention, the location and characteristics (including flammability) of infrastructures should be (re)planned in fire-prone environments considering and managing fire-catalysed transitions, and depending on the severity of wildfires. The 2020 wildfires were tackled in an ad-hoc fashion and prioritisation of areas for urgent financial investment, management, protection, and restoration is necessary to prevent this catastrophe from happening again.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Binzel DW, Li X, Burns N, et al (2021)

Thermostability, Tunability, and Tenacity of RNA as Rubbery Anionic Polymeric Materials in Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine-Specific Cancer Targeting with Undetectable Toxicity.

Chemical reviews, 121(13):7398-7467.

RNA nanotechnology is the bottom-up self-assembly of nanometer-scale architectures, resembling LEGOs, composed mainly of RNA. The ideal building material should be (1) versatile and controllable in shape and stoichiometry, (2) spontaneously self-assemble, and (3) thermodynamically, chemically, and enzymatically stable with a long shelf life. RNA building blocks exhibit each of the above. RNA is a polynucleic acid, making it a polymer, and its negative-charge prevents nonspecific binding to negatively charged cell membranes. The thermostability makes it suitable for logic gates, resistive memory, sensor set-ups, and NEM devices. RNA can be designed and manipulated with a level of simplicity of DNA while displaying versatile structure and enzyme activity of proteins. RNA can fold into single-stranded loops or bulges to serve as mounting dovetails for intermolecular or domain interactions without external linking dowels. RNA nanoparticles display rubber- and amoeba-like properties and are stretchable and shrinkable through multiple repeats, leading to enhanced tumor targeting and fast renal excretion to reduce toxicities. It was predicted in 2014 that RNA would be the third milestone in pharmaceutical drug development. The recent approval of several RNA drugs and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines by FDA suggests that this milestone is being realized. Here, we review the unique properties of RNA nanotechnology, summarize its recent advancements, describe its distinct attributes inside or outside the body and discuss potential applications in nanotechnology, medicine, and material science.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Chen L, Deng Y, Dong S, et al (2021)

The occurrence and control of waterborne viruses in drinking water treatment: A review.

Chemosphere, 281:130728.

As the coronavirus disease 2019 continues to spread globally, its culprit, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has been brought under scrutiny. In addition to inhalation transmission, the possible fecal-oral viral transmission via water/wastewater has also been brought under the spotlight, necessitating a timely global review on the current knowledge about waterborne viruses in drinking water treatment system - the very barrier that intercepts waterborne pathogens to terminal water users. In this article we reviewed the occurrence, concentration methods, and control strategies, also, treatment performance on waterborne viruses during drinking water treatment were summarized. Additionally, we emphasized the potential of applying the quantitative microbial risk assessment to guide drinking water treatment to mitigate the viral exposure risks, especially when the unregulated novel viral pathogens are of concern. This review paves road for better control of viruses at drinking water treatment plants to protect public health.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Ibrahim S, Monaco GSF, EK Sims (2021)

Not so sweet and simple: impacts of SARS-CoV-2 on the β cell.

Islets, 13(3-4):66-79.

The link between COVID-19 infection and diabetes has been explored in several studies since the start of the pandemic, with associations between comorbid diabetes and poorer prognosis in patients infected with the virus and reports of diabetic ketoacidosis occurring with COVID-19 infection. As such, significant interest has been generated surrounding mechanisms by which the virus may exert effects on the pancreatic β cells. In this review, we consider possible routes by which SARS-CoV-2 may impact β cells. Specifically, we outline data that either support or argue against the idea of direct infection and injury of β cells by SARS-CoV-2. We also discuss β cell damage due to a "bystander" effect in which infection with the virus leads to damage to surrounding tissues that are essential for β cell survival and function, such as the pancreatic microvasculature and exocrine tissue. Studies elucidating the provocation of a cytokine storm following COVID-19 infection and potential impacts of systemic inflammation and increases in insulin resistance on β cells are also reviewed. Finally, we summarize the existing clinical data surrounding diabetes incidence since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Wenham C, Kavanagh M, Phelan A, et al (2021)

Problems with traffic light approaches to public health emergencies of international concern.

Lancet (London, England), 397(10287):1856-1858.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Wollitz AD, Hong C, F Blanco (2021)

Compounding sterile products during a personal protective equipment shortage.

American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 78(14):1330-1335.

PURPOSE: To describe our pharmacy department's plan for conservation of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to ensure continued availability of sterile compounded products.

SUMMARY: PPE shortages impacted hospitals throughout the nation in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The PPE requirement for sterile compounding and need to maintain supplies within the pharmacy cleanroom are often overlooked. A sustained supply of PPE is critical to ensure an uninterrupted supply of compounded medications to our patient population. Multiple conservation strategies, including staffing changes, communication, adjustments to training, and even reuse of select PPE, can assist with conservation.

CONCLUSION: PPE in pharmacy cleanrooms is critical for the continued provision of sterile compounds with appropriate beyond-use dates and effective patient care. Pharmacy departments must employ multiple conservation strategies to ensure PPE is available for continued compounding of sterile products, and early planning and implementation of conservation strategies are key.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Maldonado-Garza HJ, Garza-González E, Bocanegra-Ibarias P, et al (2021)

Diagnostic syndromic multiplex approaches for gastrointestinal infections.

Expert review of gastroenterology & hepatology, 15(7):743-757.

Introduction: Gastrointestinal diseases due to infectious pathogens currently represent an important global health concern, especially in children and developing countries. Early and accurate detection of gastrointestinal pathogens is important to initiate the appropriate type of therapy. Multiplex molecular gastrointestinal panels rapidly detect several gastrointestinal pathogens at once with high sensitivity.Areas covered: We assess the scope and limitations of several multiplex gastrointestinal panels approved by the Food and Drug Administration or marked by Conformité Européenne-in vitro diagnostic. We compare 10 syndromic gastrointestinal panels, 14 bacteria-specific multiplex panels, seven parasite-specific multiplex panels, and eight virus-specific multiplex panels.Expert opinion: Thanks to the advances made in the diagnostic approaches for gastrointestinal infections, there are various panels to choose. The choice of a specific syndromic gastrointestinal multiplex panel should be made to improve patient care. Diagnostic syndromic multiplex approaches for gastrointestinal infections should be customized; each hospital should develop its diagnostic algorithm for gastrointestinal infections tailored to its setting, study population, and geographical site. Current multiplex gastrointestinal panels could be improved by including the detection of antimicrobial resistance, toxigenic Clostridioides difficile, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic).

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-14

Thompson KM, Kalkowska DA, K Badizadegan (2021)

Hypothetical emergence of poliovirus in 2020: part 2. exploration of the potential role of vaccines in control and eradication.

Expert review of vaccines, 20(4):449-460.

OBJECTIVES: The emergence of human pathogens with pandemic potential motivates rapid vaccine development. We explore the role of vaccines in control and eradication of a novel emerging pathogen.

METHODS: We hypothetically simulate emergence of a novel wild poliovirus (nWPV) in 2020 assuming an immunologically naïve population. Assuming different nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), we explore the impacts of vaccines resembling serotype-specific oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), novel OPV (nOPV), or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV).

RESULTS: Vaccines most effectively change the trajectory of an emerging disease when disseminated early, rapidly, and widely in the background of ongoing strict NPIs, unless the NPIs successfully eradicate the emerging pathogen before it establishes endemic transmission. Without strict NPIs, vaccines primarily reduce the burden of disease in the remaining susceptible individuals and in new birth cohorts. Live virus vaccines that effectively compete with the nWPVs can reduce disease burdens more than other vaccines. When relaxation of existing NPIs occurs at the time of vaccine introduction, nWPV transmission can counterintuitively increase in the short term.

CONCLUSIONS: Vaccines can increase the probability of disease eradication in the context of strict NPIs. However, successful eradication will depend on specific immunization strategies used and a global commitment to eradication.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Kaur N, RW Byard (2021)

Prevalence and potential consequences of child labour in India and the possible impact of COVID-19 - a contemporary overview.

Medicine, science, and the law, 61(3):208-214.

Child labour is a global phenomenon occurring predominantly in countries with lower socioeconomic status and resources. Societal and familial poverty, loss or incapacitation/illness of parents, lack of social security and protection, and ignorance about the value of, or limited access to, education are among the myriad reasons for the involvement of children in the workforce. Child labour is a barrier to the development of individual children and their society and economy. Global estimates indicate that 152 million children (64 million girls and 88 million boys) are working, accounting for almost one in 10 of all children worldwide. Currently the COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market consequences are having a major impact on people's lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, impoverished families and their children are often the first to suffer, which may push many more vulnerable children into child labour situations. Child labour in India is more prevalent than in many other countries, with approximately 10 million children actively engaged in, or seeking, work. This paper focuses on the issue of child labour, its causes and its ill effects. Further, it also reviews the international legal framework relating to child labour and legislative issues in India. There is clearly an urgent need for this issue to be effectively addressed and resolved.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Rani I, Goyal A, Bhatnagar M, et al (2021)

Potential molecular mechanisms of zinc- and copper-mediated antiviral activity on COVID-19.

Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 92:109-128 pii:S0271-5317(21)00030-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread across the globe; and surprisingly, no potentially protective or therapeutic antiviral molecules are available to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. However, zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) have been shown to exert protective effects due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Therefore, it is hypothesized that supplementation with Zn and Cu alone or as an adjuvant may be beneficial with promising efficacy and a favorable safety profile to mitigate symptoms, as well as halt progression of the severe form of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The objective of this review is to discuss the proposed underlying molecular mechanisms and their implications for combating SARS-CoV-2 infection in response to Zn and Cu administration. Several clinical trials have also included the use of Zn as an adjuvant therapy with dietary regimens/antiviral drugs against COVID-19 infection. Overall, this review summarizes that nutritional intervention with Zn and Cu may offer an alternative treatment strategy by eliciting their virucidal effects through several fundamental molecular cascades, such as, modulation of immune responses, redox signaling, autophagy, and obstruction of viral entry and genome replication during SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

McCleery J, Laverty J, TJ Quinn (2021)

Diagnostic test accuracy of telehealth assessment for dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7:CD013786.

BACKGROUND: Many millions of people living with dementia around the world are not diagnosed, which has a negative impact both on their access to care and treatment and on rational service planning. Telehealth - the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to provide health services at a distance - may be a way to increase access to specialist assessment for people with suspected dementia, especially those living in remote or rural areas. It has also been much used during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to know whether diagnoses made using telehealth assessment are as accurate as those made in conventional, face-to-face clinical settings.

OBJECTIVES: Primary objective: to assess the diagnostic accuracy of telehealth assessment for dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Secondary objectives: to identify the quality and quantity of the relevant research evidence; to identify sources of heterogeneity in the test accuracy data; to identify and synthesise any data on patient or clinician satisfaction, resource use, costs or feasibility of the telehealth assessment models in the included studies.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched multiple databases and clinical trial registers on 4 November 2020 for published and 'grey' literature and registered trials. We applied no search filters and no language restrictions. We screened the retrieved citations in duplicate and assessed in duplicate the full texts of papers considered potentially relevant.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included in the review cross-sectional studies with 10 or more participants who had been referred to a specialist service for assessment of a suspected cognitive disorder. Within a period of one month or less, each participant had to undergo two clinical assessments designed to diagnose dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI): a telehealth assessment (the index test) and a conventional face-to-face assessment (the reference standard). The telehealth assessment could be informed by some data collected face-to-face, e.g. by nurses working in primary care, but all contact between the patient and the specialist clinician responsible for synthesising the information and making the diagnosis had to take place remotely using ICT.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently extracted data from included studies. Data extracted covered study design, setting, participants, details of index test and reference standard, and results in the form of numbers of participants given diagnoses of dementia or MCI. Data were also sought on dementia subtype diagnoses and on quantitative measures of patient or clinician satisfaction, resource use, costs and feasibility. We assessed risk of bias and applicability of each included study using QUADAS-2. We entered the results into 2x2 tables in order to calculate the sensitivity and specificity of telehealth assessment for the diagnosis of all-cause dementia, MCI, and any cognitive syndrome (combining dementia and MCI). We presented the results of included studies narratively because there were too few studies to derive summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity.

MAIN RESULTS: Three studies with 136 participants were eligible for inclusion. Two studies (20 and 100 participants) took place in community settings in Australia and one study (16 participants) was conducted in veterans' homes in the USA. Participants were referred from primary care with undiagnosed cognitive symptoms or were identified as being at high risk of having dementia on a screening test in the care homes. Dementia and MCI were target conditions in the larger study; the other studies targeted dementia diagnosis only. Only one small study used a 'pure' telehealth model, i.e. not involving any elements of face-to-face assessment. The studies were generally well-conducted. We considered two studies to be at high risk of incorporation bias because a substantial amount of information collected face-to-face by nurses was used to inform both index test and reference standard assessments. One study was at unclear risk of selection bias. For the diagnosis of all-cause dementia, sensitivity of telehealth assessment ranged from 0.80 to 1.00 and specificity from 0.80 to 1.00. We considered this to be very low-certainty evidence due to imprecision, inconsistency between studies and risk of bias. For the diagnosis of MCI, data were available from only one study (100 participants) giving a sensitivity of 0.71 (95% CI 0.54 to 0.84) and a specificity of 0.73 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.84). We considered this to be low-certainty evidence due to imprecision and risk of bias. For diagnosis of any cognitive syndrome (dementia or MCI), data from the same study gave a sensitivity of 0.97 (95% CI 0.91 to 0.99) and a specificity of 0.22 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.60). The majority of diagnostic disagreements concerned the distinction between MCI and dementia, occurring approximately equally in either direction. There was also a tendency for patients identified as cognitively healthy at face-to-face assessment to be diagnosed with MCI at telehealth assessment (but numbers were small). There were insufficient data to make any assessment of the accuracy of dementia subtype diagnosis. One study provided a small amount of data indicating a good level of clinician and especially patient satisfaction with the telehealth model. There were no data on resource use, costs or feasibility.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We found only very few eligible studies with a small number of participants. An important difference between the studies providing data for the analyses was whether the target condition was dementia only (two studies) or dementia and MCI (one study). The data suggest that telehealth assessment may be highly sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of all-cause dementia when assessed against a reference standard of conventional face-to-face assessment, but the estimates are imprecise due to small sample sizes and between-study heterogeneity, and may apply mainly to telehealth models which incorporate a considerable amount of face-to-face contact with healthcare professionals other than the doctor responsible for making the diagnosis. For the diagnosis of MCI by telehealth assessment, best estimates of both sensitivity and specificity were somewhat lower, but were based on a single study. Errors occurred at the cognitively healthy/MCI and the MCI/dementia boundaries. However, there is no evidence that diagnostic disagreements were more frequent than would be expected due to the known variation between clinicians' opinions when assigning a dementia diagnosis.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Glenton C, Carlsen B, Lewin S, et al (2021)

Healthcare workers' perceptions and experiences of communicating with people over 50 years of age about vaccination: a qualitative evidence synthesis.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7:CD013706.

BACKGROUND: Infectious diseases are a major cause of illness and death among older adults. Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases, including against seasonal influenza, pneumococcal diseases, herpes zoster and COVID-19. However, the uptake of vaccination among older adults varies across settings and groups. Communication with healthcare workers can play an important role in older people's decisions to vaccinate. To support an informed decision about vaccination, healthcare workers should be able to identify the older person's knowledge gaps, needs and concerns. They should also be able to share and discuss information about the person's disease risk and disease severity; the vaccine's effectiveness and safety; and practical information about how the person can access vaccines. Therefore, healthcare workers need good communication skills and to actively keep up-to-date with the latest evidence. An understanding of their perceptions and experiences of this communication can help us train and support healthcare workers and design good communication strategies.

OBJECTIVES: To explore healthcare workers' perceptions and experiences of communicating with older adults about vaccination.

SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, CINAHL and Scopus on 21 March 2020. We also searched Epistemonikos for related reviews, searched grey literature sources, and carried out reference checking and citation searching to identify additional studies. We searched for studies in any language.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included qualitative studies and mixed-methods studies with an identifiable qualitative component. We included studies that explored the perceptions and experiences of healthcare workers and other health system staff towards communication with adults over the age of 50 years or their informal caregivers about vaccination.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data using a data extraction form designed for this review. We assessed methodological limitations using a list of predefined criteria. We extracted and assessed data regarding study authors' motivations for carrying out their study. We used a thematic synthesis approach to analyse and synthesise the evidence. We used the GRADE-CERQual (Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research) approach to assess our confidence in each finding. We examined each review finding to identify factors that may influence intervention implementation and we developed implications for practice.

MAIN RESULTS: We included 11 studies in our review. Most studies explored healthcare workers' views and experiences about vaccination of older adults more broadly but also mentioned communication issues specifically. All studies were from high-income countries. The studies focused on doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others working in hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and nursing homes. These healthcare workers discussed different types of vaccines, including influenza, pneumococcal and herpes zoster vaccines. The review was carried out before COVID-19 vaccines were available. We downgraded our confidence in several of the findings from high confidence to moderate, low or very low confidence. One reason for this was that some findings were based on only small amounts of data. Another reason was that the findings were based on studies from only a few countries, making us unsure about the relevance of these findings to other settings. Healthcare workers reported that older adults asked about vaccination to different extents, ranging from not asking about vaccines at all, to great demand for information (high confidence finding). When the topic of vaccination was discussed, healthcare workers described a lack of information, and presence of misinformation, fears and concerns about vaccines among older adults (moderate confidence). The ways in which healthcare workers discussed vaccines with older adults appeared to be linked to what they saw as the aim of vaccination communication. Healthcare workers differed among themselves in their perceptions of this aim and about their own roles and the roles of older adults in vaccine decisions. Some healthcare workers thought it was important to provide information but emphasised the right and responsibility of older adults to decide for themselves. Others used information to persuade and convince older adults to vaccinate in order to increase 'compliance' and 'improve' vaccination rates, and in some cases to gain financial benefits. Other healthcare workers tailored their approach to what they believed the older adult needed or wanted (moderate confidence). Healthcare workers believed that older adults' decisions could be influenced by several factors, including the nature of the healthcare worker-patient relationship, the healthcare worker's status, and the extent to which healthcare workers led by example (low confidence). Our review also identified factors that are likely to influence how communication between healthcare workers and older adults take place. These included issues tied to healthcare workers' views and experiences regarding the diseases in question and the vaccines; as well as their views and experiences of the organisational and practical implementation of vaccine services.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is little research focusing specifically on healthcare workers' perceptions and experiences of communication with older adults about vaccination. The studies we identified suggest that healthcare workers differed among themselves in their perceptions about the aim of this communication and about the role of older adults in vaccine decisions. Based on these findings and the other findings in our review, we have developed a set of questions or prompts that may help health system planners or programme managers when planning or implementing strategies for vaccination communication between healthcare workers and older adults.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Shirey KA, Blanco JCG, SN Vogel (2021)

Targeting TLR4 Signaling to Blunt Viral-Mediated Acute Lung Injury.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:705080.

Respiratory viral infections have been a long-standing global burden ranging from seasonal recurrences to the unexpected pandemics. The yearly hospitalizations from seasonal viruses such as influenza can fluctuate greatly depending on the circulating strain(s) and the congruency with the predicted strains used for the yearly vaccine formulation, which often are not predicted accurately. While antiviral agents are available against influenza, efficacy is limited due to a temporal disconnect between the time of infection and symptom development and viral resistance. Uncontrolled, influenza infections can lead to a severe inflammatory response initiated by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) or host-derived danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that ultimately signal through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Overall, these pathogen-host interactions result in a local cytokine storm leading to acute lung injury (ALI) or the more severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with concomitant systemic involvement and more severe, life threatening consequences. In addition to traditional antiviral treatments, blocking the host's innate immune response may provide a more viable approach to combat these infectious pathogens. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic illustrates a critical need for novel treatments to counteract the ALI and ARDS that has caused the deaths of millions worldwide. This review will examine how antagonizing TLR4 signaling has been effective experimentally in ameliorating ALI and lethal infection in challenge models triggered not only by influenza, but also by other ALI-inducing viruses.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Paleckyte A, Dissanayake O, Mpagama S, et al (2021)

Reducing the risk of tuberculosis transmission for HCWs in high incidence settings.

Antimicrobial resistance and infection control, 10(1):106.

Globally, tuberculosis (TB) is a leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of hospital-acquired TB infection due to persistent exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in healthcare settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an international system of infection prevention and control (IPC) interventions to interrupt the cycle of nosocomial TB transmission. The guidelines on TB IPC have proposed a comprehensive hierarchy of three core practices, comprising: administrative controls, environmental controls, and personal respiratory protection. However, the implementation of most recommendations goes beyond minimal physical and organisational requirements and thus cannot be appropriately introduced in resource-constrained settings and areas of high TB incidence. In many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) the lack of knowledge, expertise and practice on TB IPC is a major barrier to the implementation of essential interventions. HCWs often underestimate the risk of airborne Mtb dissemination during tidal breathing. The lack of required expertise and funding to design, install and maintain the environmental control systems can lead to inadequate dilution of infectious particles in the air, and in turn, increase the risk of TB dissemination. Insufficient supply of particulate respirators and lack of direction on the re-use of respiratory protection is associated with unsafe working practices and increased risk of TB transmission between patients and HCWs. Delayed diagnosis and initiation of treatment are commonly influenced by the effectiveness of healthcare systems to identify TB patients, and the availability of rapid molecular diagnostic tools. Failure to recognise resistance to first-line drugs contributes to the emergence of drug-resistant Mtb strains, including multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant Mtb. Future guideline development must consider the social, economic, cultural and climatic conditions to ensure that recommended control measures can be implemented in not only high-income countries, but more importantly low-income, high TB burden settings. Urgent action and more ambitious investments are needed at both regional and national levels to get back on track to reach the global TB targets, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Brant AC, Tian W, Majerciak V, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2: from its discovery to genome structure, transcription, and replication.

Cell & bioscience, 11(1):136.

SARS-CoV-2 is an extremely contagious respiratory virus causing adult atypical pneumonia COVID-19 with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). SARS-CoV-2 has a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA (+RNA) genome of ~ 29.9 kb and exhibits significant genetic shift from different isolates. After entering the susceptible cells expressing both ACE2 and TMPRSS2, the SARS-CoV-2 genome directly functions as an mRNA to translate two polyproteins from the ORF1a and ORF1b region, which are cleaved by two viral proteases into sixteen non-structural proteins (nsp1-16) to initiate viral genome replication and transcription. The SARS-CoV-2 genome also encodes four structural (S, E, M and N) and up to six accessory (3a, 6, 7a, 7b, 8, and 9b) proteins, but their translation requires newly synthesized individual subgenomic RNAs (sgRNA) in the infected cells. Synthesis of the full-length viral genomic RNA (gRNA) and sgRNAs are conducted inside double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) by the viral replication and transcription complex (RTC), which comprises nsp7, nsp8, nsp9, nsp12, nsp13 and a short RNA primer. To produce sgRNAs, RTC starts RNA synthesis from the highly structured gRNA 3' end and switches template at various transcription regulatory sequence (TRSB) sites along the gRNA body probably mediated by a long-distance RNA-RNA interaction. The TRS motif in the gRNA 5' leader (TRSL) is responsible for the RNA-RNA interaction with the TRSB upstream of each ORF and skipping of the viral genome in between them to produce individual sgRNAs. Abundance of individual sgRNAs and viral gRNA synthesized in the infected cells depend on the location and read-through efficiency of each TRSB. Although more studies are needed, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world a painful lesson that is to invest and proactively prepare future emergence of other types of coronaviruses and any other possible biological horrors.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Inchingolo AD, Cazzolla AP, Di Cosola M, et al (2021)

The integumentary system and its microbiota between health and disease.

Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents, 35(2 Suppl. 1):303-321.

The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the essential physiological functions of the skin microbiota in human health and diseases. The main characteristics of the normal microbiota in the different anatomical sites have been reported in relation to the main factors, such as the effect of age, on its composition and stability for the eubiosis condition. Moreover, the present overview analyzed the functions and composition and the correct functionality of the skin microbiota in the light of current knowledge. According to several evidence is important preserving the eubiosis of the commensal microbes of the microecosystem (symbiotic and pathogenic), and probiotics are able to counteract the conditions of dysbiosis. Also, it has been shown that there is a crosstalk between gut and skin microbiota that affects human health and is still being studied, and its relationship to the current pandemic SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

De Vito D, Zullo MJ, Benincasa C, et al (2021)

Facial Mask and Plexiglass Box: a critical overview on the current strategies to protect patients from COVID-19 infection.

Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents, 35(2 Suppl. 1):139-145.

The route of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been understood thanks to the knowledge of previously identified human coronaviruses. According to these studies, the transmission of the virus occurs mainly between humans at close range, through respiratory droplets produced during conversation or coughing, as well as through direct contact of the hands then placed on the mucous membranes or mouth. From the final analysis of studies carried out on protective systems, the validity of plexiglass as a material to be used for the construction of protective devices could be affirmed. The plexiglass, in fact, would seem able to isolate the diffusion of aerosol particles dispersed by infected subjects and in different environments.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Conte C (2021)

Possible Link between SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Parkinson's Disease: The Role of Toll-Like Receptor 4.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(13): pii:ijms22137135.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the most common neurodegenerative motor disorder characterized by selective degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) of the midbrain, depletion of dopamine (DA), and impaired nigrostriatal pathway. The pathological hallmark of PD includes the aggregation and accumulation α-synuclein (α-SYN). Although the precise mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of PD are still unknown, the activation of toll-like receptors (TLRs), mainly TLR4 and subsequent neuroinflammatory immune response, seem to play a significant role. Mounting evidence suggests that viral infection can concur with the precipitation of PD or parkinsonism. The recently identified coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of ongoing pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), responsible for 160 million cases that led to the death of more than three million individuals worldwide. Studies have reported that many patients with COVID-19 display several neurological manifestations, including acute cerebrovascular diseases, conscious disturbance, and typical motor and non-motor symptoms accompanying PD. In this review, the neurotropic potential of SARS-CoV-2 and its possible involvement in the pathogenesis of PD are discussed. Specifically, the involvement of the TLR4 signaling pathway in mediating the virus entry, as well as the massive immune and inflammatory response in COVID-19 patients is explored. The binding of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein to TLR4 and the possible interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and α-SYN as contributing factors to neuronal death are also considered.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Trigo-Gutierrez JK, Vega-Chacón Y, Soares AB, et al (2021)

Antimicrobial Activity of Curcumin in Nanoformulations: A Comprehensive Review.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(13): pii:ijms22137130.

Curcumin (CUR) is a natural substance extracted from turmeric that has antimicrobial properties. Due to its ability to absorb light in the blue spectrum, CUR is also used as a photosensitizer (PS) in antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy (aPDT). However, CUR is hydrophobic, unstable in solutions, and has low bioavailability, which hinders its clinical use. To circumvent these drawbacks, drug delivery systems (DDSs) have been used. In this review, we summarize the DDSs used to carry CUR and their antimicrobial effect against viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including drug-resistant strains and emergent pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2. The reviewed DDSs include colloidal (micelles, liposomes, nanoemulsions, cyclodextrins, chitosan, and other polymeric nanoparticles), metallic, and mesoporous particles, as well as graphene, quantum dots, and hybrid nanosystems such as films and hydrogels. Free (non-encapsulated) CUR and CUR loaded in DDSs have a broad-spectrum antimicrobial action when used alone or as a PS in aPDT. They also show low cytotoxicity, in vivo biocompatibility, and improved wound healing. Although there are several in vitro and some in vivo investigations describing the nanotechnological aspects and the potential antimicrobial application of CUR-loaded DDSs, clinical trials are not reported and further studies should translate this evidence to the clinical scenarios of infections.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Ramadori G (2021)

Albumin Infusion in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: Hemodilution and Anticoagulation.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(13): pii:ijms22137126.

Hypercoagulation is one of the major risk factors for ICU treatment, mechanical ventilation, and death in critically ill patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. At the same time, hypoalbuminemia is one risk factor in such patients, independent of age and comorbidities. Especially in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2-infection, albumin infusion may be essential to improve hemodynamics and to reduce the plasma level of the main marker of thromboembolism, namely, the D-dimer plasma level, as suggested by a recent report. Albumin is responsible for 80% of the oncotic pressure in the vessels. This is necessary to keep enough water within the systemic circulatory system and for the maintenance of sufficient blood pressure, as well as for sufficient blood supply for vital organs like the brain, lungs, heart, and kidney. The liver reacts to a decrease in oncotic pressure with an increase in albumin synthesis. This is normally possible through the use of amino acids from the proteins introduced with the nutrients reaching the portal blood. If these are not sufficiently provided with the diet, amino acids are delivered to the liver from muscular proteins by systemic circulation. The liver is also the source of coagulation proteins, such as fibrinogen, fibronectin, and most of the v WF VIII, which are physiological components of the extracellular matrix of the vessel wall. While albumin is the main negative acute-phase protein, fibrinogen, fibronectin, and v WF VIII are positive acute-phase proteins. Acute illnesses cause the activation of defense mechanisms (acute-phase reaction) that may lead to an increase of fibrinolysis and an increase of plasma level of fibrinogen breakdown products, mainly fibrin and D-dimer. The measurement of the plasma level of the D-dimer has been used as a marker for venous thromboembolism, where a fourfold increase of the D-dimer plasma level was used as a negative prognostic marker in critically ill SARS-CoV-2 hospitalized patients. Increased fibrinolysis can take place in ischemic peripheral sites, where the mentioned coagulation proteins can become part of the provisional clot (e.g., in the lungs). Although critically ill SARS-CoV-2-infected patients are considered septic shock patients, albumin infusions have not been considered for hemodynamic resuscitation and as anticoagulants. The role of coagulation factors as provisional components of the extracellular matrix in case of generalized peripheral ischemia due to hypoalbuminemia and hypovolemia is discussed in this review.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Bestetti RB, Furlan-Daniel R, VMR Silva (2021)

Pharmacological Treatment of Patients with Mild to Moderate COVID-19: A Comprehensive Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13): pii:ijerph18137212.

Mild to moderate COVID-19 can be found in about 80% of patients. Although mortality is low, mild to moderate COVID-19 may progress to severe or even critical stages in about one week. This poses a substantial burden on the health care system, and ultimately culminates in death or incapacitation and hospitalization. Therefore, pharmacological treatment is paramount for patients with this condition, especially those with recognized risk factors to disease progression. We conducted a comprehensive review in the medical literature searching for randomized studies carried out in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. A total of 14 randomized studies were identified, enrolling a total of 6848 patients. Nine studies (64%) were randomized, placebo-controlled trials, whereas five were open-label randomized trials (35%). We observed that Bamlanivimab and nitazoxanide reduced viral load, whereas ivermectin may have shortened time to viral clearance; Interferon Beta-1 reduced time to viral clearance and vitamin D reduced viral load; Favirapir, peginterferon, and levamisole improved clinical symptoms, whereas fluvoxamine halted disease progression; inhaled budesonide reduced the number of hospitalizations and visits to emergency departments; colchicine reduced the number of deaths and hospitalizations. Collectively, therefore, these findings show that treatment of early COVID-19 may be associated with reduced viral load, thus potentially decreasing disease spread in the community. Moreover, treatment of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 may also be associated with improved clinical symptoms, hospitalization, and disease progression. We suggest that colchicine, inhaled budesonide, and nitazoxanide, along with nonpharmacological measures, based on efficacy and costs, may be used to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in middle-income countries.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Ahmad M, L Vismara (2021)

The Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Women's Mental Health during Pregnancy: A Rapid Evidence Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13): pii:ijerph18137112.

BACKGROUND: The perinatal period is a particularly vulnerable period in women's lives that implies significant physiological and psychological changes that can place women at higher risk for depression and anxiety symptoms. In addition, the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is likely to increase this vulnerability and the prevalence of mental health problems. This review aimed to investigate the existing literature on the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women during pregnancy and the first year postpartum.

METHOD: The literature search was conducted using the following databases: Pubmed, Scopus, WOS-web of science, PsycInfo and Google Scholar. Out of the total of 116 initially selected papers, 17 have been included in the final work, according to the inclusion criteria.

RESULTS: The reviewed contributions report a moderate to severe impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental health of pregnant women, mainly in the form of a significant increase in depression-up to 58% in Spain-and anxiety symptoms-up to 72% in Canada. In addition to the common psychological symptoms, COVID-19-specific worries emerged with respect to its potential effects on pregnancy and the well-being of the unborn child. Social support and being engaged in regular physical activities appear to be protective factors able to buffer against the effects of the pandemic on maternal mental health.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the limitations of the study design, the evidence suggests that it is essential to provide appropriate psychological support to pregnant women during the emergency in order to protect their mental health and to minimize the risks of long-term effects on child development.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

White AM, Mutai D, Cheruiyot D, et al (2021)

Disinfection of Neonatal Resuscitation Equipment in Low-Resource Settings: The Importance, the Reality, and Considerations for the Future.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(13): pii:ijerph18137065.

Preventable neonatal deaths due to prematurity, perinatal events, and infections are the leading causes of under-five mortality. The vast majority of these deaths are in resource-limited areas. Deaths due to infection have been associated with lack of access to clean water, overcrowded nurseries, and improper disinfection (reprocessing) of equipment, including vital resuscitation equipment. Reprocessing has recently come to heightened attention, with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing this issue to the forefront across all economic levels; however, it is particularly challenging in low-resource settings. In 2015, Eslami et al. published a letter to the editor in Resuscitation, highlighting concerns about the disinfection of equipment being used to resuscitate newborns in Kenya. To address the issue of improper disinfection, the global health nongovernment organization PATH gathered a group of experts and, due to lack of best-practice evidence, published guidelines with recommendations for reprocessing of neonatal resuscitation equipment in low-resource areas. The guidelines follow the gold-standard principle of high-level disinfection; however, there is ongoing concern that the complexity of the guideline would make feasibility and sustainability difficult in the settings for which it was designed. Observations from hospitals in Kenya and Malawi reinforce this concern. The purpose of this review is to discuss why proper disinfection of equipment is important, why this is challenging in low-resource settings, and suggestions for solutions to move forward.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Balogh P (2021)

Immunophysiology of the lung – road signs to the terra incognita.

Orvosi hetilap, 162(29):1147-1155.

Összefoglaló. A tüdő a benne lévő légutak és a légzőhám felületének kiterjedtsége, valamint a folyamatos napi gázcsere mennyisége miatt az emlősszervezetnek a környezeti antigének számára legnagyobb mértékben kitett közvetlen behatolási kapuja. A különböző antigénekkel szemben számos fizikai-mechanikai tisztulási folyamat, valamint helyi és szisztémás immunológiai védelmi mechanizmus együttesen biztosítja a légutak átjárhatóságát és a megfelelő gázcseréhez a légzőhám és a tüdő interstitialis összetevőinek szöveti integritását. A tüdő - veleszületett és adaptív immunológiai - védelmét ellátó molekuláris és sejtes résztvevőkre, ezáltal a légutak alapvető életfontosságú működésének biztosítására vonatkozó ismereteink az utóbbi időben számos új megfigyeléssel bővültek, melyek felvetik a tüdő immunológiai szerveződésének egyedi szerkezeti és funkcionális specializációját. A jelen összefoglaló célja ezeknek az új eredményeknek a bemutatása, ezen keresztül a tüdőben zajló sokrétű immunológiai folyamatok főbb jellemzőinek és a bennük részt vevő sejtes és molekuláris összetevőknek az áttekintése. Ezek részletesebb megismerése elősegítheti a légúti (köztük a SARS-CoV-2 általi) fertőzések után fellépő, helyi és szisztémás immunpatológiai események pontosabb megértését és a lehetséges terápiás eljárások kritikai értelmezését. Orv Hetil. 2021; 162(29): 1147-1155. Summary. Due to the size of the surface area of airways and respiratory epithelium combined with the daily amount of continuous gas exchange, in mammalians the lung represents the most exposed organ serving as immediate entry port for airborne antigens. Together with several physicochemical clearance processes, both local and systemic immunological defense mechanisms ensure the passage of airways and the tissue integrity of respiratory epithelium and pulmonary interstitium necessary for the maintenance of gas exchange. Several recent observations concerning the molecular and cellular constituents of the pulmonary immunological defense have substantially broadened our knowledge of the maintenance of the vital functionality of airways, raising the unique specialization of the organization of pulmonary immune compartment. The purpose of the present review is to highlight the main findings on the complexity of pulmonary immunity, including the overview of the main characteristics of its cellular and molecular participants. Unrevealing these mechanisms may promote our understanding the local and systemic immunopathological processes occurring after airway infections (including SARS-CoV-2) and the critical assessment of potential therapeutic interventions. Orv Hetil. 2021; 162(29): 1147-1155.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Mamoon N, Ahmad IN, Rana AI, et al (2021)

Lung Biopsy in Coronavirus-19 Pneumonia: A Case Report and Review of Literature.

Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons--Pakistan : JCPSP, 31(7):117-119.

Pneumonia is one of the major manifestations of infection by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) virus. CT scans are used as first line investigation in suspected cases. Biopsies are almost never done. The gross and microscopic pathology has been studied mostly on autopsy specimens in fatal cases. We present a case of a mildly symptomatic adult male, who was a chronic liver disease patient awaiting liver transplant. His lung biopsy was done for diagnosis of a lesion, suspected to be a fungal infection. He was tested for COVID-19 and was PCR-negative at the time. His biopsy showed patchy changes of viral pneumonia. One week later, he tested positive for COVID-19 on PCR. He became asymptomatic soon and the ground glass lung opacities cleared up within another week without any treatment in spite of having a serious comorbid condition. Key Words: Viral pneumonia, COVID-19, Lung biopsy.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Surboyo MD, Ernawati DS, HS Budi (2021)

Oral mucosal lesions and oral symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Minerva dental and oral science, 70(4):161-168.

INTRODUCTION: SARS-CoV-2 develops well in the oral mucosa because, it is the first contact area with the virus. The oral mucosa is highly expressed with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and makes the virus replicated in the epithelial cells and produce both oral lesions and oral symptoms. This review aimed to describe the oral mucosal symptoms and lesions related to SARS-CoV-2-infected patients that have been reported around the world.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A literature search was performed on PubMed, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar, from February to October 5, 2020, focusing on COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) oral lesions and oral symptoms.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Eighteen studies were identified with a total of 25 cases describing the oral symptoms and oral mucosal lesions of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The oral symptoms related to the SARS-CoV-2 infection included dysgeusia, ageusia, a burning mouth sensation, a dry mouth and severe halitosis. The oral mucosal lesions varied from ulceration and depapilation to pseudomembranous, maculae, nodules and plaque. The mucosal lesions related to the skin lesions were in the form of crusty lips, multiple ulcerations and rashes, targeted lesions, blisters and vesiculobullous lesions.

CONCLUSIONS: The manifestations of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in the oral cavity are non-specific. The oral mucosal lesions that occur mimic the Herpes zoster virus infection, the Herpes simplex virus infection, Varicella and hand, foot and mouth disease, and the oral mucosal lesions with the skin manifestations (e.g. erythema multiforme).

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-19

Misra V, Safi F, Brewerton KA, et al (2021)

Gender disparity between authors in leading medical journals during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional review.

BMJ open, 11(7):e051224.

OBJECTIVES: Evaluate gender differences in authorship of COVID-19 articles in high-impact medical journals compared with other topics.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional review.

DATA SOURCES: Medline database.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Articles published from 1 January to 31 December 2020 in the seven leading general medical journals by impact factor. Article types included primary research, reviews, editorials and commentaries.

DATA EXTRACTION: Key data elements were whether the study topic was related to COVID-19 and names of the principal and the senior authors. A hierarchical approach was used to determine the likely gender of authors. Logistic regression assessed the association of study characteristics, including COVID-19 status, with authors' likely gender; this was quantified using adjusted ORs (aORs).

RESULTS: We included 2252 articles, of which 748 (33.2%) were COVID-19-related and 1504 (66.8%) covered other topics. A likely gender was determined for 2138 (94.9%) principal authors and 1890 (83.9%) senior authors. Men were significantly more likely to be both principal (1364 men; 63.8%) and senior (1332 men; 70.5%) authors. COVID-19-related articles were not associated with the odds of men being principal (aOR 0.99; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.21; p=0.89) or senior authors (aOR 0.96; 95% CI 0.78 to 1.19; p=0.71) relative to other topics. Articles with men as senior authors were more likely to have men as principal authors (aOR 1.49; 95% CI 1.21 to 1.83; p<0.001). Men were more likely to author articles reporting original research and those with corresponding authors based outside the USA and Europe.

CONCLUSIONS: Women were substantially under-represented as authors among articles in leading medical journals; this was not significantly different for COVID-19-related articles. Study limitations include potential for misclassification bias due to the name-based analysis. Results suggest that barriers to women's authorship in high-impact journals during COVID-19 are not significantly larger than barriers that preceded the pandemic and that are likely to continue beyond it.


RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Dhar P, Rocks T, Samarasinghe RM, et al (2021)

Augmented reality in medical education: students' experiences and learning outcomes.

Medical education online, 26(1):1953953.

Augmented reality (AR) is a relatively new technology that allows for digitally generated three-dimensional representations to be integrated with real environmental stimuli. AR can make use of smart phones, tablets, or other devices to achieve a highly stimulating learning environment and hands-on immersive experience. The use of AR in industry is becoming widespread with applications being developed for use not just for entertainment and gaming but also healthcare, retail and marketing, education, military, travel and tourism, automotive industry, manufacturing, architecture, and engineering. Due to the distinct learning advantages that AR offers, such as remote learning and interactive simulations, AR-based teaching programs are also increasingly being adopted within medical schools across the world. These advantages are further highlighted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused an even greater shift towards online learning. In this review, we investigate the use of AR in medical training/education and its effect on students' experiences and learning outcomes. This includes the main goals of AR-based learning, such as to simplify the delivery and enhance the comprehension of complex information. We also describe how AR can enhance the experiences of medical students, by improving knowledge and understanding, practical skills and social skills. These concepts are discussed within the context of specific AR medical training programs, such as HoloHuman, OculAR SIM, and HoloPatient. Finally, we discuss the challenges of AR in learning and teaching and propose future directions for the use of this technology in medical education.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Goraya MHN, Kalsoom S, Almas T, et al (2021)

Simultaneous Left Ventricular Aneurysm and Ventricular Septal Rupture Complicating Delayed STEMI Presentation: A Case-Based Review of Post-MI Mechanical Complications Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Journal of investigative medicine high impact case reports, 9:23247096211031135.

Amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there is an unprecedented increase in public avoidance of hospitals predominantly driven by fear of contracting the virus. Recent publications highlight a re-emergence of rare post-myocardial infarction complications. While mechanical complications are infrequent in the era of primary percutaneous coronary intervention, they are associated with high mortality rates. The concurrent occurrence of mechanical complications such as left ventricular aneurysm and ventricular septal rupture is an extremely rare entity. We hereby delineate a unique case of a 53-year-old Caucasian male who underwent successful concomitant closure of a ventricular septal rupture, left ventricular aneurysmectomy, and 3-vessel coronary artery bypass grafting. Due to a delayed initial presentation owing to the patient's fear of contracting COVID-19, the surgery was carried out 3 months after the myocardial infarction. His postoperative evaluation confirmed normal contractility of the left ventricle and complete closure of the ventricular septal rupture. Six months postoperatively, the patient continues to do well. We also present a literature review of the mechanical complications following delayed presentation of myocardial infarction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This article illustrates that clinicians should remain cognizant of these extremely rare but potentially lethal collateral effects during the ongoing global public-health challenge. Furthermore, it highlights a significant concern regarding the delay in first medical contact due to the reluctance of patients to visit the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Leo F, Meybaum C, Wormanns D, et al (2021)

[Update 2021: Pulmonary Sequelae of COVID-19 Pneumonia].

Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946), 146(13-14):927-932.

Acute COVID-19 pneumonia may result in persistent changes with various imaging and histopathological patterns, including organizing pneumonia and pulmonary fibrosis. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with increased risk of pulmonary vascular endothelialitis and thrombosis. Herein, current findings on pulmonary consequences of COVID-19 with implications for clinical management are summarized based on a selective literature review.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Herold T, Wörnle M, J Schelling (2021)

[COVID-19 in GP Practice and Emergency Rooms - Update 2021].

Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946), 146(13-14):924-926.

COVID-19 continues to pose major challenges for GP practice and emergency rooms across Germany. Even if there is now a certain routine, the optimal treatment of patients is still difficult. This article provides an overview of the aspects of caring for COVID-19 patients in GP practice and emergency rooms and the changes since the beginning of the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Simon OJ, Menzler K, L Timmermann (2021)

[Update 2021: COVID-19 from the perspective of neurology].

Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946), 146(13-14):918-923.

Neurological complications, direct affection of neuronal structures in the course of infections with SARS-CoV-2 and long-term effects ("long COVID") are evident. This article aims to summarize and evaluate the current literature on this topic.

RevDate: 2021-07-20
CmpDate: 2021-07-20

Kann M, T Benzing (2021)

[Update 2021: COVID-19 from the perspective of nephrology].

Deutsche medizinische Wochenschrift (1946), 146(13-14):915-917.

Increasing insight into the clinical phenotype and mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 has identified damage of the kidneys as a key player in the course of the disease. This manuscript updates our previous summary with current knowledge on kidney involvement in COVID-19 and chronic kidney disease as a risk factor for severe COVID-19, as well as recommendations regarding SARS-CoV-2 vaccination for patients suffering from chronic kidney disease and after organ transplantation, respectively. populations, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is strongly recommended for all patients suffering from chronic kidney disease and after kidney transplantation.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.


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With the world now in the middle of a new and rapidly spreading pandemic, now is the time to read this book, originally published in 2012, that describes animal infections and the next human pandemic (that's actually the book's subtitle). You would be hard pressed to find a more relevant explanation of how this got started and why there will be more after this one. R. Robbins

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )