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Bibliography on: covid-19

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 08 Mar 2021 at 01:32 Created: 

covid-19

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 11986 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®)

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RevDate: 2021-03-06

Singer TG, Evankovich KD, Fisher K, et al (2021)

Coronavirus Infections in the Nervous System of Children: A Scoping Review Making the Case for Long-Term Neurodevelopmental Surveillance.

Pediatric neurology, 117:47-63 pii:S0887-8994(21)00008-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to describe the case literature of human coronavirus infections in the nervous system of children, including from SARS-CoV-2, and to provide guidance to pediatric providers for managing the potential long-term effects on neurodevelopment of human coronavirus infections in the nervous system.

METHODS: Using a structured strategy, the PubMed and Ovid:Embase databases were queried for articles about the clinical presentation and pathophysiology of coronavirus infections in the nervous system of children and young adults, aged 0 to 24 years.

RESULTS: Of 2302 articles reviewed, 31 described SARS-CoV-2 infections in the nervous system of children and 21 described other human coronaviruses: HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-1. Excepting MERS-CoV, we found cases of neurological disease in children from each human coronavirus. Children with non-SARS-CoV-2 infections have suffered acute flaccid paralysis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, encephalitis, and seizures. In addition, cases of ischemic, hemorrhagic, and microvascular strokes have occurred in children with SARS-CoV-2. Patients with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children have suffered encephalitis, stroke, pseudotumor cerebri syndrome, and cytotoxic lesions of deep brain structures. Despite these reports, few articles evaluated the impact of human coronavirus infections on long-term neurodevelopmental domains including cognitive, language, academic, motor, and psychosocial outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Neurological manifestations of human coronavirus infections can cause severe disease in children. The case literature suggests a critical gap in knowledge of the long-term effects on child neurodevelopment of these infections. As the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues, this gap must be filled to facilitate optimal outcomes in recovering children.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Pillon NJ, Loos RJF, Marshall SM, et al (2021)

Metabolic consequences of obesity and type 2 diabetes: balancing genes and environment for personalized care.

Cell pii:S0092-8674(21)00162-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity has risen dramatically for decades and is expected to rise further, secondary to the growing aging, sedentary population. The strain on global health care is projected to be colossal. This review explores the latest work and emerging ideas related to genetic and environmental factors influencing metabolism. Translational research and clinical applications, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, are highlighted. Looking forward, strategies to personalize all aspects of prevention, management and care are necessary to improve health outcomes and reduce the impact of these metabolic diseases.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Alawa KA, CS Sales (2021)

Alleviating an Increasingly Burdened Healthcare System with Telemedicine: Anterior Segment.

Ophthalmology and therapy [Epub ahead of print].

Tele-ophthalmology is a rapidly evolving and exciting field that has become increasingly relevant amidst the current global pandemic. With advancements in technology, many components of an evaluation previously possible only in an office setting are becoming possible remotely, paving the way for at-home visits. Examples of these technologies include measurement of visual acuity using smartphones, remote monitoring of intraocular pressure using self-administered tonometers or implantable sensors, and use of digitally acquired slit-lamp or smartphone images for diagnosis of anterior segment pathology. While many examples showcasing the utility of telemedicine have been shown for diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, concerted efforts are needed to develop similar technology for anterior segment diseases. As technology continues to advance, it may be possible to diagnose and manage more anterior segment disease with telemedicine.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Solimani F, Meier K, K Ghoreschi (2021)

Janus kinase signaling as risk factor and therapeutic target for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.

European journal of immunology [Epub ahead of print].

Cytokine signaling, especially interferon (IFN) signaling is closely linked to several aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection. During initial SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptomatic patients present with impaired type I/III IFN-mediated antiviral responses. Interestingly, IFNs regulate the cellular entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2 on epithelial and endothelial cells. As reported recently, critically ill COVID-19 patients show genetic polymorphisms in one IFN receptor gene (IFNRA2) and in a gene locus near the Janus kinase (JAK) TYK2, which is key for IFN, Interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 signaling and T helper (Th) 1/Th17 cell-mediated antiviral immune responses. In the advanced stage of the disease, critically ill COVID-19 patients develop a cytokine storm where many inflammatory mediators using the JAK/STAT signaling pathway like IL-6, IFN-γ, the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) or IL-2 and chemokines result in an influx of macrophages and neutrophils damaging the lung tissue. The knowledge on the cytokine and JAK/STAT signaling pathways in severe COVID-19 disease explains the promising first results with JAK inhibitors like baricitinib, which not only dampen the inflammation but in the case of baricitinib also affect virus replication and endocytosis in target cells. Here, we summarize the current immunological associations of SARS-CoV-2 infection with cytokine signaling, the JAK/STAT pathway and the current clinical stage of JAK inhibitors for improving severe COVID-19 disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Stockmaier S, Stroeymeyt N, Shattuck EC, et al (2021)

Infectious diseases and social distancing in nature.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 371(6533):.

Spread of contagious pathogens critically depends on the number and types of contacts between infectious and susceptible hosts. Changes in social behavior by susceptible, exposed, or sick individuals thus have far-reaching downstream consequences for infectious disease spread. Although "social distancing" is now an all too familiar strategy for managing COVID-19, nonhuman animals also exhibit pathogen-induced changes in social interactions. Here, we synthesize the effects of infectious pathogens on social interactions in animals (including humans), review what is known about underlying mechanisms, and consider implications for evolution and epidemiology.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Amruta N, Chastain WH, Paz M, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 mediated neuroinflammation and the impact of COVID-19 in neurological disorders.

Cytokine & growth factor reviews pii:S1359-6101(21)00018-6 [Epub ahead of print].

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that severely affects the respiratory system, is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is projected to result in the deaths of 2 million people worldwide. Recent reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2 also affects the central nervous system along with other organs. COVID-19-associated complications are observed in older people with underlying neurological conditions like stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Hence, we discuss SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and its inflammation-mediated infection. This review also focuses on COVID-19 associated neurological complications in individuals with those complications as well as other groups of people. Finally, we also briefly discuss the current therapies available to treat patients, as well as ongoing available treatments and vaccines for effective cures with a special focus on the therapeutic potential of a small 5 amino acid peptide (PHSCN), ATN-161, that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding to both integrin α5β1 and α5β1/hACE2.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Finney Rutten LJ, Zhu X, Leppin AL, et al (2021)

Evidence-Based Strategies for Clinical Organizations to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy.

Mayo Clinic proceedings, 96(3):699-707.

The success of vaccination programs is contingent upon irrefutable scientific safety data combined with high rates of public acceptance and population coverage. Vaccine hesitancy, characterized by lack of confidence in vaccination and/or complacency about vaccination that may lead to delay or refusal of vaccination despite the availability of services, threatens to undermine the success of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination programs. The rapid pace of vaccine development, misinformation in popular and social media, the polarized sociopolitical environment, and the inherent complexities of large-scale vaccination efforts may undermine vaccination confidence and increase complacency about COVID-19 vaccination. Although the experience of recent lethal surges of COVID-19 infections has underscored the value of COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring population uptake of COVID-19 vaccination will require application of multilevel, evidence-based strategies to influence behavior change and address vaccine hesitancy. Recent survey research evaluating public attitudes in the United States toward the COVID-19 vaccine reveals substantial vaccine hesitancy. Building upon efforts at the policy and community level to ensure population access to COVID-19 vaccination, a strong health care system response is critical to address vaccine hesitancy. Drawing on the evidence base in social, behavioral, communication, and implementation science, we review, summarize, and encourage use of interpersonal, individual-level, and organizational interventions within clinical organizations to address this critical gap and improve population adoption of COVID-19 vaccination.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Ciaccio M, Lo Sasso B, Scazzone C, et al (2021)

COVID-19 and Alzheimer's Disease.

Brain sciences, 11(3): pii:brainsci11030305.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a neurotropic virus with a high neuroinvasive potential. Indeed, more than one-third of patients develop neurological symptoms, including confusion, headache, and hypogeusia/ageusia. However, long-term neurological consequences have received little interest compared to respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal manifestations. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the potential SARS-CoV-2 neurological injury that could lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's Disease (AD). A mutualistic relationship between AD and COVID-19 seems to exist. On the one hand, COVID-19 patients seem to be more prone to developing AD. On the other hand, AD patients could be more susceptible to severe COVID-19. In this review, we sought to provide an overview on the relationship between AD and COVID-19, focusing on the potential role of biomarkers, which could represent precious tool for early identification of COVID-19 patients at high risk of developing AD.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Golanski J, Szymanska P, M Rozalski (2021)

Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Their Metabolites on Haemostasis-Current Perspectives in Cardiovascular Disease.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(5): pii:ijms22052394.

The beneficial effects of long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs) in cardioprotection are widely known and generally accepted. In this literature review, we have focused on the known and postulated mechanisms of action of omega-3 PUFAs and their metabolites on various components of the haemostatic system, in particular on blood platelets and endothelium. We have also made an attempt to provide a comprehensive review of epidemiological studies with particular regard to clinical trials. Notably, the results of these studies are contradictory, and some of them failed to report the beneficial effects of taking or supplementing omega-3 PUFAs in the diet. A potential explanation, in our opinion, could be the need to use higher doses of omega-3 PUFAs and a proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFAs. An additional problem which is difficult to solve is the use of a proper neutral placebo for interventional studies. Despite some controversies regarding the beneficial effects of supplementation of omega-3 PUFAs in cardiovascular disease, our review suggests that a promising aspect of future studies and applications is to focus on the anti-thrombotic properties of these compounds. An argument supporting this assumption is the recent use of omega-3 PUFAs as a supporting tool for the treatment of COVID-19 complications.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Rosa RB, Dantas WM, do Nascimento JCF, et al (2021)

In Vitro and In Vivo Models for Studying SARS-CoV-2, the Etiological Agent Responsible for COVID-19 Pandemic.

Viruses, 13(3): pii:v13030379.

The emergence and rapid worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has prompted the scientific community to rapidly develop in vitro and in vivo models that could be applied in COVID-19 research. In vitro models include two-dimensional (2D) cultures of immortalized cell lines or primary cells and three-dimensional (3D) cultures derived from lung, alveoli, bronchi, and other organs. Although cell-based systems are economic and allow strict control of experimental variables, they do not always resemble physiological conditions. Thus, several in vivo models are being developed, including different strains of mice, hamsters, ferrets, dogs, cats, and non-human primates. In this review, we summarize the main models of SARS-CoV-2 infection developed so far and discuss their advantages, drawbacks and main uses.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Fatima M, O'Keefe KJ, Wei W, et al (2021)

Geospatial Analysis of COVID-19: A Scoping Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(5): pii:ijerph18052336.

The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China in late December 2019 became the harbinger of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, geospatial techniques, such as modeling and mapping, have helped in disease pattern detection. Here we provide a synthesis of the techniques and associated findings in relation to COVID-19 and its geographic, environmental, and socio-demographic characteristics, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) methodology for scoping reviews. We searched PubMed for relevant articles and discussed the results separately for three categories: disease mapping, exposure mapping, and spatial epidemiological modeling. The majority of studies were ecological in nature and primarily carried out in China, Brazil, and the USA. The most common spatial methods used were clustering, hotspot analysis, space-time scan statistic, and regression modeling. Researchers used a wide range of spatial and statistical software to apply spatial analysis for the purpose of disease mapping, exposure mapping, and epidemiological modeling. Factors limiting the use of these spatial techniques were the unavailability and bias of COVID-19 data-along with scarcity of fine-scaled demographic, environmental, and socio-economic data-which restrained most of the researchers from exploring causal relationships of potential influencing factors of COVID-19. Our review identified geospatial analysis in COVID-19 research and highlighted current trends and research gaps. Since most of the studies found centered on Asia and the Americas, there is a need for more comparable spatial studies using geographically fine-scaled data in other areas of the world.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Peddapalli A, Gehani M, Kalle AM, et al (2021)

Demystifying Excess Immune Response in COVID-19 to Reposition an Orphan Drug for Down-Regulation of NF-κB: A Systematic Review.

Viruses, 13(3): pii:v13030378.

The immunological findings from autopsies, biopsies, and various studies in COVID-19 patients show that the major cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 is excess immune response resulting in hyper-inflammation. With the objective to review various mechanisms of excess immune response in adult COVID-19 patients, Pubmed was searched for free full articles not related to therapeutics or co-morbid sub-groups, published in English until 27.10.2020, irrespective of type of article, country, or region. Joanna Briggs Institute's design-specific checklists were used to assess the risk of bias. Out of 122 records screened for eligibility, 42 articles were included in the final review. The review found that eventually, most mechanisms result in cytokine excess and up-regulation of Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling as a common pathway of excess immune response. Molecules blocking NF-κB or targeting downstream effectors like Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNFα) are either undergoing clinical trials or lack specificity and cause unwanted side effects. Neutralization of upstream histamine by histamine-conjugated normal human immunoglobulin has been demonstrated to inhibit the nuclear translocation of NF-κB, thereby preventing the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines Interleukin (IL) 1β, TNF-α, and IL-6 and IL-10 in a safer manner. The authors recommend repositioning it in COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Kshirsagar SG, RV Rao (2021)

Antiviral and Immunomodulation Effects of Artemisia.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(3): pii:medicina57030217.

Background and Objectives: Artemisia is one of the most widely distributed genera of the family Astraceae with more than 500 diverse species growing mainly in the temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America. The plant is used in Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of medicine for its antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, insecticidal, hepatoprotective and neuroprotective properties. Research based studies point to Artemisia's role in addressing an entire gamut of physiological imbalances through a unique combination of pharmacological actions. Terpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins, caffeoylquinic acids, sterols and acetylenes are some of the major phytochemicals of the genus. Notable among the phytochemicals is artemisinin and its derivatives (ARTs) that represent a new class of recommended drugs due to the emergence of bacteria and parasites that are resistant to quinoline drugs. This manuscript aims to systematically review recent studies that have investigated artemisinin and its derivatives not only for their potent antiviral actions but also their utility against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Materials andMethods: PubMed Central, Scopus and Google scholar databases of published articles were collected and abstracts were reviewed for relevance to the subject matter. Conclusions: The unprecedented impact that artemisinin had on public health and drug discovery research led the Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 to the discoverers of artemisinin. Thus, it is clear that Artemisia's importance in indigenous medicinal systems and drug discovery systems holds great potential for further investigation into its biological activities, especially its role in viral infection and inflammation.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Church PT, Banihani R, Watson J, et al (2021)

The E-Nurture Project: A Hybrid Virtual Neonatal Follow Up Model for 2021.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 8(2): pii:children8020139.

Neonatal follow-up has long focused on a model of surveillance and identification of short-term outcomes. This model has long become outdated, with evidence documenting the need for longer follow-up with known school-based challenges and significant gaps in knowledge by educators. This article reviews the history of neonatal follow-up and demonstrates a novel approach to neonatal follow-up, built largely with a hybrid virtual platform, which then became essential with the declaration of the pandemic in 2020.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Lieneck C, Weaver E, T Maryon (2021)

Pandemic Pause: Systematic Review of Cost Variables for Ambulatory Care Organizations Participating in Accountable Care Organizations.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:healthcare9020198.

Ambulatory health care provider organizations participating in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) organizations assume costs beyond typical practice operations that are directly associated with value-based care initiatives. Identifying these variables that influence such costs are essential to an organization's financial viability. To enable the U.S. healthcare system to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic CMS issued blanket waivers that permit enhanced flexibility, extension, and other emergency declaration changes to ACO reporting requirements through the unforeseen future. This relaxation and even pausing of reporting requirements encouraged the researchers to conduct a systematic review and identify variables that have influenced costs incurred by ambulatory care organizations participating in ACOs prior to the emergency declaration. The research findings identified ACO-ambulatory care variables (enhanced patient care management, health information technology improvements, and organizational ownership/reimbursement models) that helped to reduce costs to the ambulatory care organization. Additional variables (social determinants of health/environmental conditions, lack of integration/standardization, and misalignment of financial incentives) were also identified in the literature as having influenced costs for ambulatory care organizations while participating in an ACO initiative with CMS. Findings can assist ambulatory care organizations to focus on new and optimized strategies as they begin to prepare for the post-pandemic resumption of ACO quality reporting requirements once the emergency declaration is eventually lifted.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Stavridou A, Kapsali E, Panagouli E, et al (2021)

Obesity in Children and Adolescents during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 8(2): pii:children8020135.

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to special circumstances and changes to everyday life due to the worldwide measures that were imposed such as lockdowns. This review aims to evaluate obesity in children, adolescents and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: A literature search was conducted to evaluate pertinent studies up to 10 November 2020.

RESULTS: A total of 15 articles were eligible; 9 identified 17,028,111 children, adolescents and young adults from 5-25 years old, 5 pertained to studies with an age admixture (n = 20,521) and one study included parents with children 5-18 years old (n = 584). During the COVID-19 era, children, adolescents and young adults gained weight. Changes in dietary behaviors, increased food intake and unhealthy food choices including potatoes, meat and sugary drinks were noted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity associated with financial reasons represents another concern. Moreover, as the restrictions imposed reduced movements out of the house, physical activity was limited, representing another risk factor for weight gain.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 restrictions disrupted the everyday routine of children, adolescents and young adults and elicited changes in their eating behaviors and physical activity. To protect them, health care providers should highlight the risk of obesity and provide prevention strategies, ensuring also parental participation. Worldwide policies, guidelines and precautionary measures should ideally be established.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Bettini E, M Locci (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccines: Immunological Mechanism and Beyond.

Vaccines, 9(2): pii:vaccines9020147.

To successfully protect against pathogen infection, a vaccine must elicit efficient adaptive immunity, including B and T cell responses. While B cell responses are key, as they can mediate antibody-dependent protection, T cells can modulate B cell activity and directly contribute to the elimination of pathogen-infected cells. In the unprecedented race to develop an effective vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the respiratory disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines have emerged as front runners thanks to their capacity for rapid development and ability to drive potent adaptive immune responses. In this review article, we provide an overview of the results from pre-clinical studies in animal models as well as clinical studies in humans that assessed the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines, with a primary focus on adaptive immune responses post vaccination.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Ali SG, Ansari MA, Alzohairy MA, et al (2021)

Natural Products and Nutrients against Different Viral Diseases: Prospects in Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(2): pii:medicina57020169.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic and is posing a serious challenge to mankind. As per the current scenario, there is an urgent need for antiviral that could act as a protective and therapeutic against SARS-CoV-2. Previous studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 is much similar to the SARS-CoV bat that occurred in 2002-03. Since it is a zoonotic virus, the exact source is still unknown, but it is believed bats may be the primary reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 through which it has been transferred to humans. In this review, we have tried to summarize some of the approaches that could be effective against SARS-CoV-2. Firstly, plants or plant-based products have been effective against different viral diseases, and secondly, plants or plant-based natural products have the minimum adverse effect. We have also highlighted a few vitamins and minerals that could be beneficial against SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Profili J, Dubois EL, Karakitsos D, et al (2021)

Overview of the User Experience for Snorkeling Mask Designs during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:healthcare9020204.

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, industries and academic institutes have collaborated to resolve the worldwide medical supply shortage issues. Innovative designs of 3D-printed items were proposed and developed by the maker community as a temporary solution to address the lack of personal protective equipment. An overview of global ongoing and past initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic along with their challenges on retrofitting full-face snorkeling masks for healthcare applications such as splash-proof face shields, respirator masks and non-invasive ventilation systems are reported in this contribution. This study reviews these global initiatives and challenges. From our analysis, the present situation highlights the need to build solid networks between healthcare institutes and the different rapid prototyping initiatives. A clear feedback system needs to be implemented to facilitate effective collaboration between engineering (maker) and healthcare teams, to optimize the available human resources, and to achieve adequate product developments responding to the needs of healthcare workers.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Raadsen M, Du Toit J, Langerak T, et al (2021)

Thrombocytopenia in Virus Infections.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(4): pii:jcm10040877.

Thrombocytopenia, which signifies a low platelet count usually below 150 × 109/L, is a common finding following or during many viral infections. In clinical medicine, mild thrombocytopenia, combined with lymphopenia in a patient with signs and symptoms of an infectious disease, raises the suspicion of a viral infection. This phenomenon is classically attributed to platelet consumption due to inflammation-induced coagulation, sequestration from the circulation by phagocytosis and hypersplenism, and impaired platelet production due to defective megakaryopoiesis or cytokine-induced myelosuppression. All these mechanisms, while plausible and supported by substantial evidence, regard platelets as passive bystanders during viral infection. However, platelets are increasingly recognized as active players in the (antiviral) immune response and have been shown to interact with cells of the innate and adaptive immune system as well as directly with viruses. These findings can be of interest both for understanding the pathogenesis of viral infectious diseases and predicting outcome. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the literature currently available on various mechanisms within the relationship between thrombocytopenia and virus infections.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Root-Bernstein R (2021)

Innate Receptor Activation Patterns Involving TLR and NLR Synergisms in COVID-19, ALI/ARDS and Sepsis Cytokine Storms: A Review and Model Making Novel Predictions and Therapeutic Suggestions.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22042108.

Severe COVID-19 is characterized by a "cytokine storm", the mechanism of which is not yet understood. I propose that cytokine storms result from synergistic interactions among Toll-like receptors (TLR) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLR) due to combined infections of SARS-CoV-2 with other microbes, mainly bacterial and fungal. This proposition is based on eight linked types of evidence and their logical connections. (1) Severe cases of COVID-19 differ from healthy controls and mild COVID-19 patients in exhibiting increased TLR4, TLR7, TLR9 and NLRP3 activity. (2) SARS-CoV-2 and related coronaviruses activate TLR3, TLR7, RIG1 and NLRP3. (3) SARS-CoV-2 cannot, therefore, account for the innate receptor activation pattern (IRAP) found in severe COVID-19 patients. (4) Severe COVID-19 also differs from its mild form in being characterized by bacterial and fungal infections. (5) Respiratory bacterial and fungal infections activate TLR2, TLR4, TLR9 and NLRP3. (6) A combination of SARS-CoV-2 with bacterial/fungal coinfections accounts for the IRAP found in severe COVID-19 and why it differs from mild cases. (7) Notably, TLR7 (viral) and TLR4 (bacterial/fungal) synergize, TLR9 and TLR4 (both bacterial/fungal) synergize and TLR2 and TLR4 (both bacterial/fungal) synergize with NLRP3 (viral and bacterial). (8) Thus, a SARS-CoV-2-bacterium/fungus coinfection produces synergistic innate activation, resulting in the hyperinflammation characteristic of a cytokine storm. Unique clinical, experimental and therapeutic predictions (such as why melatonin is effective in treating COVID-19) are discussed, and broader implications are outlined for understanding why other syndromes such as acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis display varied cytokine storm symptoms.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Ng KT, Mohd-Ismail NK, YJ Tan (2021)

Spike S2 Subunit: The Dark Horse in the Race for Prophylactic and Therapeutic Interventions against SARS-CoV-2.

Vaccines, 9(2): pii:vaccines9020178.

In the midst of the unceasing COVID-19 pandemic, the identification of immunogenic epitopes in the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein plays a vital role in the advancement and development of intervention strategies. S is expressed on the exterior of the SARS-CoV-2 virion and contains two subunits, namely the N-terminal S1 and C-terminal S2. It is the key element for mediating viral entry as well as a crucial antigenic determinant capable of stimulating protective immune response through elicitation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and activation of CD4+ and CD8+ cells in COVID-19 patients. Given that S2 is highly conserved in comparison to the S1, here, we provide a review of the latest findings on the SARS-CoV-2 S2 subunit and further discuss its potential as an attractive and promising target for the development of prophylactic vaccines and therapeutic agents against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Lowe H, Steele B, Bryant J, et al (2021)

Non-Cannabinoid Metabolites of Cannabis sativa L. with Therapeutic Potential.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(2): pii:plants10020400.

The cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa L.) produces an estimated 545 chemical compounds of different biogenetic classes. In addition to economic value, many of these phytochemicals have medicinal and physiological activity. The plant is most popularly known for its two most-prominent and most-studied secondary metabolites-Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both Δ9-THC and CBD have a wide therapeutic window across many ailments and form part of a class of secondary metabolites called cannabinoids-of which approximately over 104 exist. This review will focus on non-cannabinoid metabolites of Cannabis sativa that also have therapeutic potential, some of which share medicinal properties similar to those of cannabinoids. The most notable of these non-cannabinoid phytochemicals are flavonoids and terpenes. We will also discuss future directions in cannabis research and development of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals. Caflanone, a flavonoid molecule with selective activity against the human viruses including the coronavirus OC43 (HCov-OC43) that is responsible for COVID-19, and certain cancers, is one of the most promising non-cannabinoid molecules that is being advanced into clinical trials. As validated by thousands of years of the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, vast anecdotal evidence abounds on the medicinal benefits of the plant. These benefits are attributed to the many phytochemicals in this plant, including non-cannabinoids. The most promising non-cannabinoids with potential to alleviate global disease burdens are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Shoji H, SM Opal (2021)

Therapeutic Rationale for Endotoxin Removal with Polymyxin B Immobilized Fiber Column (PMX) for Septic Shock.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22042228.

Endotoxin removal therapy with polymyxin B immobilized fiber column (PMX) has been clinically applied for sepsis and septic shock patients since 1994. The effectiveness and usefulness of this therapy have been demonstrated for more than a quarter of a century. However, a documented survival benefit has not yet been demonstrable in a large, multicenter, randomized and controlled trial. Following the findings derived from a large sepsis clinical trial with PMX in North America, a new trial is ongoing to determine if PMX has a long-term survival benefit when administered to septic patients. Another approach to support a survival benefit from intervention with PMX is to utilize a detailed analysis available from a large clinical data base. The endotoxin adsorption capacity of PMX columns in vitro and the effectiveness of PMX columns can be further demonstrable in animal models. The capability of PMX and details of its mechanism of action to intervene in the sepsis cascade and impede organ dysfunction in septic patients is not fully understood. The surface antigen expression in monocytes and neutrophils are improved after PMX therapy. Immunomodulatory effects as a result of endotoxin removal and/or other mechanisms of action have been suggested. These effects and other potential immune effects may explain some of the improved effects upon organ dysfunction of sepsis and septic shock patients. Endotoxemia may be involved in the pathophysiology of other diseases than sepsis. A rapid diagnostic method to detect and target endotoxemia could allow us to practice precision medicine and expand the clinical indications of endotoxin removal therapy.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Ng SL, Ong YS, Khaw KY, et al (2021)

Focused Review: Potential Rare and Atypical Symptoms as Indicator for Targeted COVID-19 Screening.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(2): pii:medicina57020189.

The global pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 is a known consequence of infection of severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). It has affected nations worldwide with soaring number of cases daily. Symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are commonly presented in COVID-19 patients. This focused review aims to discuss these uncommon and atypical COVID-19 symptoms that may be presented which might affect neurological, cardiovascular, cutaneous and ocular systems and their possible mode of actions. Nonetheless, there are some cases of reported uncommon or atypical symptoms which may warrant healthcare professionals to be aware of, especially when in contact with patients. The knowledge and information concerning these symptoms might be able to provide additional cues for healthcare professional by subjecting patients to COVID-19 screening. Meanwhile, it might be able to further enhance the alertness and additional precautions being taken by healthcare personnel, which eventually lead to reduced risk of infections.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Al Falasi B, Al Mazrouei M, Al Ali M, et al (2021)

Prevalence and Determinants of Immediate and Long-Term PTSD Consequences of Coronavirus-Related (CoV-1 and CoV-2) Pandemics among Healthcare Professionals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4): pii:ijerph18042182.

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise. In order to control the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals have been subjected to increased exposure to work stress. In this systematic review, we aimed at investigating the prevalence and determinants of immediate and long-term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) effects on healthcare professionals by the COVID-19 (SARS CoV-2) and SARS-2003 (SARS CoV-1) pandemics.

METHODS: This systematic review was conducted according to the recommendations of the Protocols for Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. Only studies reporting the prevalence of PTSD (frequency, percentage) and related risk factors (adjusted odds ratio (OR)) in healthcare professionals (HCPs) during the SARS CoV-2 and SARS CoV-1 pandemics were included. The following databases were screened: Medline, Embase, PsychINFO, and Health Psychosocial Instrument (HaPI).

RESULTS: Six of eight studies reported PTSD symptoms among healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic in China (three), Singapore (one), India (one), and the United States of America (USA) (two), while two studies reported symptoms during the SARS-2003 pandemic in China (one) and Singapore (one). Sample sizes ranged from 263 to 5062 with a combined total of 10,074 participants. All of the studies self-reported the level of exposure to coronaviruses (CoV-1 and CoV-2) and severity of PTSD. Seven studies reported the prevalence of immediate PTSD and determinants, while one study reported delayed-onset PTSD (3 years after CoV-1 pandemic). Determinants of immediate PTSD were reported for the CoV-2 pandemic, while those for long-term PTSD were reported for the CoV-1 pandemic.

CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive understanding of the prevalence and determinants of immediate or long-term pandemic PTSD for healthcare workers can improve prevention, diagnosis, and management. Rigorous research measuring the prevalence of PTSD and its associated risk factors (adjusted OR) for the CoV-2 pandemic are envisaged. Although strategies to resolve immediate PTSD are key, long-term PTSD must not be overlooked.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Gomez CR, Espinoza I, Faruke FS, et al (2021)

Therapeutic Intervention of COVID-19 by Natural Products: A Population-Specific Survey Directed Approach.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(4): pii:molecules26041191.

To date very few promising leads from natural products (NP) secondary metabolites with antiviral and immunomodulatory properties have been identified for promising/potential intervention for COVID-19. Using in-silico docking studies and genome based various molecular targets, and their in vitro anti-SARS CoV-2 activities against whole cell and/or selected protein targets, we select a few compounds of interest, which can be used as potential leads to counteract effects of uncontrolled innate immune responses, in particular those related to the cytokine storm. A critical factor for prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection relates to factors independent of viral infection or host response. They include population-related variables such as concurrent comorbidities and genetic factors critically relevant to COVID-19 health disparities. We discuss population risk factors related to SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we focus on virulence related to glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PDd), the most common human enzymopathy. Review of data on the response of individuals and communities with high prevalence of G6PDd to NP, prompts us to propose the rationale for a population-specific management approach to rationalize design of therapeutic interventions of SARS-CoV-2 infection, based on use of NP. This strategy may lead to personalized approaches and improve disease-related outcomes.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Udeh R, Advani S, de Guadiana Romualdo LG, et al (2021)

Calprotectin, an Emerging Biomarker of Interest in COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(4): pii:jcm10040775.

COVID-19 has been shown to present with varied clinical course, necessitating a need for more specific diagnostic tools that could identify severe cases and predict outcomes during COVID-19 infection. Recent evidence has shown an expanded potential role for calprotectin, both as a diagnostic tool and also as a tool in stratifying COVID-19 patients in terms of severity. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis aims to evaluate the levels of calprotectin in severe and non-severe COVID-19 and also identify the implication of raised calprotectin levels. MEDLINE, EMBASE, The Cochrane Library, Web of science and MedRxiv were searched. Meta-analysis was done to compare the serum/fecal levels of calprotectin between severe and non-severe COVID-19 infections. A total of ten studies included in the review (eight had quantitative data while two were qualitative). A pooled analysis of the eight studies from 613 patients who were RT-PCR positive for COVID-19 (average age = 55 years; 52% males) showed an overall estimate as 1.34 (95%CI: 0.77, 1.91). In conclusion, calprotectin levels have been demonstrated to be significantly elevated in COVID-19 patients who develop the severe form of the disease, and it also has prognostic importance.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Chew HSJ, V Lopez (2021)

Global Impact of COVID-19 on Weight and Weight-Related Behaviors in the Adult Population: A Scoping Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4): pii:ijerph18041876.

Objective: To provide an overview of what is known about the impact of COVID-19 on weight and weight-related behaviors. Methods: Systematic scoping review using the Arksey and O'Malley methodology. Results: A total of 19 out of 396 articles were included. All studies were conducted using online self-report surveys. The average age of respondents ranged from 19 to 47 years old, comprised of more females. Almost one-half and one-fifth of the respondents gained and lost weight during the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively. Among articles that examined weight, diet and physical activity changes concurrently, weight gain was reported alongside a 36.3% to 59.6% increase in total food consumption and a 67.4% to 61.4% decrease in physical activities. Weight gain predictors included female sex, middle-age, increased appetite, snacking after dinner, less physical exercise, sedentary behaviors of ≥6 h/day, low water consumption and less sleep at night. Included articles did not illustrate significant associations between alcohol consumption, screen time, education, place of living and employment status, although sedentary behaviors, including screen time, did increase significantly. Conclusions: Examining behavioral differences alone is insufficient in predicting weight status. Future research could examine differences in personality and coping mechanisms to design more personalized and effective weight management interventions.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Walker R, Usher K, Jackson D, et al (2021)

Connection to... Addressing Digital Inequities in Supporting the Well-Being of Young Indigenous Australians in the Wake of COVID-19.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4): pii:ijerph18042141.

(1) Background: This article examines whether connection to digital technologies helps connect young Indigenous people in Australia to culture, community and country to support good mental health and well-being and protect against indirect and potentially long-term effects of COVID-19. (2) Method: We reviewed literature published between February and November 2020 and policy responses related to digital strategies. We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, government policy websites and key Indigenous literature sources, identifying 3460 articles. Of these, 30 articles and 26 policy documents were included and analysed to identify existing and expected mental health outcomes among Indigenous young people associated with COVID-19 and more broadly. (3) Results: There are inequities in affordable access to digital technologies. Only 63% of Indigenous people have access to internet at home. Digital technologies and social media contribute to strong cultural identity, enhance connections to community and country and improve mental health and social and emotional well-being outcomes. (4) Discussion: Access to digital technologies can facilitate healing and cultural continuity, self-determination and empowerment for young people to thrive, not just survive, in the future. (5) Conclusion: More targeted policies and funding is urgently needed to promote digital technologies to enhance Indigenous young people's access to mental health and well-being services, maintain cultural connections and evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives using Indigenous well-being indicators.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Wallach-Dayan SB, Petukhov D, Ahdut-HaCohen R, et al (2021)

sFasL-The Key to a Riddle: Immune Responses in Aging Lung and Disease.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22042177.

By dint of the aging population and further deepened with the Covid-19 pandemic, lung disease has turned out to be a major cause of worldwide morbidity and mortality. The condition is exacerbated when the immune system further attacks the healthy, rather than the diseased, tissue within the lung. Governed by unremittingly proliferating mesenchymal cells and increased collagen deposition, if inflammation persists, as frequently occurs in aging lungs, the tissue develops tumors and/or turns into scars (fibrosis), with limited regenerative capacity and organ failure. Fas ligand (FasL, a ligand of the Fas cell death receptor) is a key factor in the regulation of these processes. FasL is primarily found in two forms: full length (membrane, or mFasL) and cleaved (soluble, or sFasL). We and others found that T-cells expressing the mFasL retain autoimmune surveillance that controls mesenchymal, as well as tumor cell accumulation following an inflammatory response. However, mesenchymal cells from fibrotic lungs, tumor cells, or cells from immune-privileged sites, resist FasL+ T-cell-induced cell death. The mechanisms involved are a counterattack of immune cells by FasL, by releasing a soluble form of FasL that competes with the membrane version, and inhibits their cell death, promoting cell survival. This review focuses on understanding the previously unrecognized role of FasL, and in particular its soluble form, sFasL, in the serum of aged subjects, and its association with the evolution of lung disease, paving the way to new methods of diagnosis and treatment.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Morniroli D, Consales A, Crippa BL, et al (2021)

The Antiviral Properties of Human Milk: A Multitude of Defence Tools from Mother Nature.

Nutrients, 13(2): pii:nu13020694.

The anti-infective properties of breast milk have been known for decades. In recent years, an increasing number of papers have described the variety of bioactive compounds that are present in breast milk with varying degrees of antiviral activity. However, to date, the totality of the properties of these compounds is not fully understood and, above all, their synergistic interaction is not yet known. The purpose of this review is to describe the current knowledge about the antiviral compounds in breast milk, both with specific and non-specific action against pathogens. Due to the current pandemic situation from SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus-2), research has focused on a multitude of potential antiviral substances, taking breast milk as a biological model of reference. Future research is needed to expand the knowledge of these compounds, which will hopefully assist in the development of therapies applicable even at later ages.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Syed IU (2021)

Feminist Political Economy of Health: Current Perspectives and Future Directions.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:healthcare9020233.

Feminist political economy of health is a term that has emerged as a result of research that has combined and connected a feminist political economy lens with a focus on health disparities of women. This paper provides an overview of the literature from the work of feminist medical sociologists and feminist health scholars that have shaped the concept of feminist political economy of health. The analysis indicates that while women have experienced health inequities inside the healthcare system, there are also significant health disparities that are experienced outside the healthcare system due to women's social, economic, political, and cultural conditions. Given that there are dual crises with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as social movements pushing for change, further work that uses intersectional approaches is advocated.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Malinowska B, Baranowska-Kuczko M, Kicman A, et al (2021)

Opportunities, Challenges and Pitfalls of Using Cannabidiol as an Adjuvant Drug in COVID-19.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22041986.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may lead to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which, in turn, may be associated with multiple organ dysfunction. In this review, we present advantages and disadvantages of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid from the cannabis plant, as a potential agent for the treatment of COVID-19. CBD has been shown to downregulate proteins responsible for viral entry and to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication. Preclinical studies have demonstrated its effectiveness against diseases of the respiratory system as well as its cardioprotective, nephroprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and anti-convulsant properties, that is, effects that may be beneficial for COVID-19. Only the latter two properties have been demonstrated in clinical studies, which also revealed anxiolytic and antinociceptive effects of CBD (given alone or together with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which may be important for an adjuvant treatment to improve the quality of life in patients with COVID-19 and to limit post-traumatic stress symptoms. However, one should be aware of side effects of CBD (which are rarely serious), drug interactions (also extending to drugs acting against COVID-19) and the proper route of its administration (vaping may be dangerous). Clearly, further clinical studies are necessary to prove the suitability of CBD for the treatment of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Yokota S, Miyamae T, Kuroiwa Y, et al (2021)

Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Cytokine Storms for More Effective Treatments from an Inflammatory Pathophysiology.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(4): pii:jcm10040801.

The Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has swept the world and caused a global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 seems to have originated from bats as their reservoir hosts over time. Similar to SARS-CoV, this new virus also exerts its action on the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This action causes infections in cells and establishes an infectious disease, COVID-19. Against this viral invasion, the human body starts to activate the innate immune system in producing and releasing proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-1β, IL-8, TNF-α, and other chemokines, such as G-CSF, IP10 and MCPl, which all develop and increase the inflammatory response. In cases of COVID-19, excessive inflammatory responses occur, and exaggerated proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines are detected in the serum, resulting in cytokine release syndrome or cytokine storm. This causes coagulation abnormalities, excessive oxidation developments, mitochondrial permeability transition, vital organ damage, immune system failure and eventually progresses to disseminated intravascular coagulation and multiple organ failure. Additionally, the excessive inflammatory responses also cause mitochondrial dysfunction due to progressive and persistent stress. This damages cells and mitochondria, leaving products containing mitochondrial DNA and cell debris involved in the excessive chronic inflammation as damage-associated molecular patterns. Thus, the respiratory infection progressively leads to disseminated intravascular coagulation from acute respiratory distress syndrome, including vascular endothelial cell damage and coagulation-fibrinolysis system disorders. This condition causes central nervous system disorders, renal failure, liver failure and, finally, multiple organ failure. Regarding treatment for COVID-19, the following are progressive and multiple steps for mitigating the excessive inflammatory response and subsequent cytokine storm in patients. First, administering of favipiravir to suppress SARS-CoV-2 and nafamostat to inhibit ACE2 function should be considered. Second, anti-rheumatic drugs (monoclonal antibodies), which act on the leading cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6) and/or cytokine receptors such as tocilizumab, should be administered as well. Finally, melatonin may also have supportive effects for cytokine release syndrome, resulting in mitochondrial function improvement. This paper will further explore these subjects with reports mostly from China and Europe.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Parisi GF, Carota G, Castruccio Castracani C, et al (2021)

Nutraceuticals in the Prevention of Viral Infections, including COVID-19, among the Pediatric Population: A Review of the Literature.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(5): pii:ijms22052465.

In recent years, there has been a growth in scientific interest in nutraceuticals, which are those nutrients in foods that have beneficial effects on health. Nutraceuticals can be extracted, used for food supplements, or added to foods. There has long been interest in the antiviral properties of nutraceuticals, which are especially topical in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to evaluate the main nutraceuticals to which antiviral roles have been attributed (either by direct action on viruses or by modulating the immune system), with a focus on the pediatric population. Furthermore, the possible applications of these substances against SARS-CoV-2 will be considered.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Byun J (2021)

Recent Progress and Opportunities for Nucleic Acid Aptamers.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(3): pii:life11030193.

Coined three decades ago, the term aptamer and directed evolution have now reached their maturity. The concept that nucleic acid could modulate the activity of target protein as ligand emerged from basic science studies of viruses. Aptamers are short nucleic acid sequences capable of specific, high-affinity molecular binding, which allow for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. Compared to traditional antibodies, aptamers have several advantages, including small size, flexible structure, good biocompatibility, and low immunogenicity. In vitro selection method is used to isolate aptamers that are specific for a desired target from a randomized oligonucleotide library. The first aptamer drug, Macugen, was approved by FDA in 2004, which was accompanied by many studies and clinical investigations on various targets and diseases. Despite much promise, most aptamers have failed to meet the requisite safety and efficacy standards in human clinical trials. Amid these setbacks, the emergence of novel technologies and recent advances in aptamer and systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) design are fueling hope in this field. The unique properties of aptamer are gaining renewed interest in an era of COVID-19. The binding performance of an aptamer and reproducibility are still the key issues in tackling current hurdles in clinical translation. A thorough analysis of the aptamer binding under varying conditions and the conformational dynamics is warranted. Here, the challenges and opportunities of aptamers are reviewed with recent progress.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Boldt K, Coenen M, Movsisyan A, et al (2021)

Interventions to Ameliorate the Psychosocial Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children-A Systematic Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(5): pii:ijerph18052361.

The aim of this study was to identify interventions targeting children and their caregivers to reduce psychosocial problems in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and comparable outbreaks. The review was performed using systematic literature searches in MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and COVID-19-specific databases, including the CDC COVID-19 Research Database, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Database on COVID-19 Research and the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, ClinicalTrials.gov, the EU Clinical Trials Register and the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS) up to 25th September 2020. The search yielded 6657 unique citations. After title/abstract and full text screening, 11 study protocols reporting on trials planned in China, the US, Canada, the UK, and Hungary during the COVID-19 pandemic were included. Four interventions targeted children ≥10 years directly, seven system-based interventions targeted the parents and caregivers of younger children and adolescents. Outcome measures encompassed mainly anxiety and depressive symptoms, different dimensions of stress or psychosocial well-being, and quality of supportive relationships. In conclusion, this systematic review revealed a paucity of studies on psychosocial interventions for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further research should be encouraged in light of the expected demand for child mental health management.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Sivaganesh V, Promi N, Maher S, et al (2021)

Emerging Immunotherapies against Novel Molecular Targets in Breast Cancer.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(5): pii:ijms22052433.

Immunotherapy is a highly emerging form of breast cancer therapy that enables clinicians to target cancers with specific receptor expression profiles. Two popular immunotherapeutic approaches involve chimeric antigen receptor-T cells (CAR-T) and bispecific antibodies (BsAb). Briefly mentioned in this review as well is the mRNA vaccine technology recently popularized by the COVID-19 vaccine. These forms of immunotherapy can highly select for the tumor target of interest to generate specific tumor lysis. Along with improvements in CAR-T, bispecific antibody engineering, and therapeutic administration, much research has been done on novel molecular targets that can especially be useful for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) immunotherapy. Combining emerging immunotherapeutics with tumor marker discovery sets the stage for highly targeted immunotherapy to be the future of cancer treatments. This review highlights the principles of CAR-T and BsAb therapy, improvements in CAR and BsAb engineering, and recently identified human breast cancer markers in the context of in vitro or in vivo CAR-T or BsAb treatment.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Subedi S, Koirala S, L Chai (2021)

COVID-19 in Farm Animals: Host Susceptibility and Prevention Strategies.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(3): pii:ani11030640.

COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 that belongings to the family of Coronaviridae, which has affected multiple species and demonstrated zoonotic potential. The COVID-19 infections have been reported on farm animals (e.g., minks) and pets, which were discussed and summarized in this study. Although the damage of COVID-19 has not been reported as serious as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) for poultry and African Swine Fever (ASF) for pigs on commercial farms so far, the transmission mechanism of COVID-19 among group animals/farms and its long-term impacts are still not clear. Prior to the marketing of efficient vaccines for livestock and animals, on-farm biosecurity measures (e.g., conventional disinfection strategies and innovated technologies) need to be considered or innovated in preventing the direct contact spread or the airborne transmission of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Kreppel F, C Hagedorn (2021)

Capsid and Genome Modification Strategies to Reduce the Immunogenicity of Adenoviral Vectors.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(5): pii:ijms22052417.

Adenovirus-based gene transfer vectors are the most frequently used vector type in gene therapy clinical trials to date, and they play an important role as genetic vaccine candidates during the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Immediately upon delivery, adenovirus-based vectors exhibit multiple complex vector-host interactions and induce innate and adaptive immune responses. This can severely limit their safety and efficacy, particularly after delivery through the blood stream. In this review article we summarize two strategies to modulate Ad vector-induced immune responses: extensive genomic and chemical capsid modifications. Both strategies have shown beneficial effects in a number of preclinical studies while potential synergistic effects warrant further investigations.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Saviñon-Flores F, Méndez E, López-Castaños M, et al (2021)

A Review on SERS-Based Detection of Human Virus Infections: Influenza and Coronavirus.

Biosensors, 11(3): pii:bios11030066.

The diagnosis of respiratory viruses of zoonotic origin (RVsZO) such as influenza and coronaviruses in humans is crucial, because their spread and pandemic threat are the highest. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) is an analytical technique with promising impact for the point-of-care diagnosis of viruses. It has been applied to a variety of influenza A virus subtypes, such as the H1N1 and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. In this work, a review of the strategies used for the detection of RVsZO by SERS is presented. In addition, relevant information about the SERS technique, anthropozoonosis, and RVsZO is provided for a better understanding of the theme. The direct identification is based on trapping the viruses within the interstices of plasmonic nanoparticles and recording the SERS signal from gene fragments or membrane proteins. Quantitative mono- and multiplexed assays have been achieved following an indirect format through a SERS-based sandwich immunoassay. Based on this review, the development of multiplex assays that incorporate the detection of RVsZO together with their specific biomarkers and/or secondary disease biomarkers resulting from the infection progress would be desirable. These configurations could be used as a double confirmation or to evaluate the health condition of the patient.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Gori D, Reno C, Remondini D, et al (2021)

Are We Ready for the Arrival of the New COVID-19 Vaccinations? Great Promises and Unknown Challenges Still to Come.

Vaccines, 9(2): pii:vaccines9020173.

While the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to strike and collect its death toll throughout the globe, as of 31 January 2021, the vaccine candidates worldwide were 292, of which 70 were in clinical testing. Several vaccines have been approved worldwide, and in particular, three have been so far authorized for use in the EU. Vaccination can be, in fact, an efficient way to mitigate the devastating effect of the pandemic and offer protection to some vulnerable strata of the population (i.e., the elderly) and reduce the social and economic burden of the current crisis. Regardless, a question is still open: after vaccination availability for the public, will vaccination campaigns be effective in reaching all the strata and a sufficient number of people in order to guarantee herd immunity? In other words: after we have it, will we be able to use it? Following the trends in vaccine hesitancy in recent years, there is a growing distrust of COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, the online context and competition between pro- and anti-vaxxers show a trend in which anti-vaccination movements tend to capture the attention of those who are hesitant. Describing this context and analyzing its possible causes, what interventions or strategies could be effective to reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy? Will social media trend analysis be helpful in trying to solve this complex issue? Are there perspectives for an efficient implementation of COVID-19 vaccination coverage as well as for all the other vaccinations?

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Ashraf MU, Kim Y, Kumar S, et al (2021)

COVID-19 Vaccines (Revisited) and Oral-Mucosal Vector System as a Potential Vaccine Platform.

Vaccines, 9(2): pii:vaccines9020171.

There are several emerging strategies for the vaccination of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) however, only a few have yet shown promising effects. Thus, choosing the right pathway and the best prophylactic options in preventing COVID-19 is still challenging at best. Approximately, more than two-hundred vaccines are being tested in different countries, and more than fifty clinical trials are currently undergoing. In this review, we have summarized the immune-based strategies for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and the different vaccine candidate platforms that are in clinical stages of evaluation, and up to the recently licensed mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines of Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna's. Lastly, we have briefly included the potentials of using the 'RPS-CTP vector system' for the development of a safe and effective oral mucosal COVID-19 vaccine as another vaccine platform.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Liskova A, Samec M, Koklesova L, et al (2021)

Mitochondriopathies as a Clue to Systemic Disorders-Analytical Tools and Mitigating Measures in Context of Predictive, Preventive, and Personalized (3P) Medicine.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22042007.

The mitochondrial respiratory chain is the main site of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the cell. Although mitochondria possess a powerful antioxidant system, an excess of ROS cannot be completely neutralized and cumulative oxidative damage may lead to decreasing mitochondrial efficiency in energy production, as well as an increasing ROS excess, which is known to cause a critical imbalance in antioxidant/oxidant mechanisms and a "vicious circle" in mitochondrial injury. Due to insufficient energy production, chronic exposure to ROS overproduction consequently leads to the oxidative damage of life-important biomolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and amino acids, among others. Different forms of mitochondrial dysfunction (mitochondriopathies) may affect the brain, heart, peripheral nervous and endocrine systems, eyes, ears, gut, and kidney, among other organs. Consequently, mitochondriopathies have been proposed as an attractive diagnostic target to be investigated in any patient with unexplained progressive multisystem disorder. This review article highlights the pathomechanisms of mitochondriopathies, details advanced analytical tools, and suggests predictive approaches, targeted prevention and personalization of medical services as instrumental for the overall management of mitochondriopathy-related cascading pathologies.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Karim S, Islam A, Rafiq S, et al (2021)

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Disproportionate Thrombotic Tendency and Management Recommendations.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 6(1): pii:tropicalmed6010026.

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS COV-2 virus. Patients with COVID-19 are susceptible to thrombosis due to excessive inflammation, platelet activation, endothelial dysfunction, and circulatory stasis, resulting in an increased risk of death due to associated coagulopathies. In addition, many patients receiving antithrombotic therapy for pre-existing thrombotic diseases can develop COVID-19, which can further complicate dose adjustment, choice and laboratory monitoring of antithrombotic treatment. This review summarizes the laboratory findings, the prohemostatic state, incidence of thromboembolic events and some potential therapeutic interventions of COVID-19 associated coagulopathy. We explore the roles of biomarkers of thrombosis and inflammation according to the severity of COVID-19. While therapeutic anticoagulation has been used empirically in some patients with severe COVID-19 but without thrombosis, it may be preferable to provide supportive care based on evidence-based randomized clinical trials. The likely lifting of travel restrictions will accelerate the spread of COVID-19, increasing morbidity and mortality across nations. Many individuals will continue to receive anticoagulation therapy regardless of their location, requiring on-going treatment with low-molecular weight heparin, vitamin K antagonist or direct-acting anticoagulants.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Khatoon H, E Abdulmalek (2021)

Novel Synthetic Routes to Prepare Biologically Active Quinoxalines and Their Derivatives: A Synthetic Review for the Last Two Decades.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(4): pii:molecules26041055.

Quinoxalines, a class of N-heterocyclic compounds, are important biological agents, and a significant amount of research activity has been directed towards this class. They have several prominent pharmacological effects like antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial. Quinoxaline derivatives have diverse therapeutic uses and have become the crucial component in drugs used to treat cancerous cells, AIDS, plant viruses, schizophrenia, certifying them a great future in medicinal chemistry. Due to the current pandemic situation caused by SARS-COVID 19, it has become essential to synthesize drugs to combat deadly pathogens (bacteria, fungi, viruses) for now and near future. Since quinoxalines is an essential moiety to treat infectious diseases, numerous synthetic routes have been developed by researchers, with a prime focus on green chemistry and cost-effective methods. This review paper highlights the various synthetic routes to prepare quinoxaline and its derivatives, covering the literature for the last two decades. A total of 31 schemes have been explained using the green chemistry approach, cost-effective methods, and quinoxaline derivatives' therapeutic uses.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Dziedzic A, Saluk-Bijak J, Miller E, et al (2021)

The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Infection on the Development of Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22041804.

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), remains a global challenge. Currently, there is some information on the consequences of COVID-19 infection in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, as it is a newly discovered coronavirus, but its far-reaching effects on participation in neurodegenerative diseases seem to be significant. Recent cases reports showed that SARS-CoV-2 may be responsible for initiating the demyelination process in people who previously had no symptoms associated with any nervous system disorders. It is presently known that infection of SARS-CoV-2 evokes cytokine storm syndrome, which may be one of the factors leading to the acute cerebrovascular disease. One of the substantial problems is the coexistence of cerebrovascular disease and MS in an individual's life span. Epidemiological studies showed an enhanced risk of death rate from vascular disabilities in MS patients of approximately 30%. It has been demonstrated that patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection usually show increased levels of D-dimer, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein (CRP), and overactivation of blood platelets, which are essential elements of prothrombotic events. In this review, the latest knowledge gathered during an ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the neurodegeneration processes in MS is discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Al Musaimi O, Al Shaer D, Albericio F, et al (2021)

2020 FDA TIDES (Peptides and Oligonucleotides) Harvest.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 14(2): pii:ph14020145.

2020 has been an extremely difficult and challenging year as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and one in which most efforts have been channeled into tackling the global health crisis. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 53 new drug entities, six of which fall in the peptides and oligonucleotides (TIDES) category. The number of authorizations for these kinds of drugs has been similar to that of previous years, thereby reflecting the consolidation of the TIDES market. Here, the TIDES approved in 2020 are analyzed in terms of chemical structure, medical target, mode of action, and adverse effects.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Doraiswamy S, Jithesh A, Mamtani R, et al (2021)

Telehealth Use in Geriatrics Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic-A Scoping Review and Evidence Synthesis.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4): pii:ijerph18041755.

Introduction: Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected older people disproportionately. Prior to the pandemic, some studies reported that telehealth was an efficient and effective form of health care delivery, particularly for older people. There has been increased use of telehealth and publication of new literature on this topic during the pandemic, so we conducted a scoping review and evidence synthesis for telehealth use in geriatric care to summarize learning from these new data. Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase, and the World Health Organization's COVID-19 global research database for articles published between 1 January and 20 August 2020. We included 79 articles that met our inclusion criteria. The information collected has been synthesized and presented as descriptive statistics. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) have also been discussed. Results: The articles included in our review provide some evidence of effective provision of preventive, curative, and rehabilitative telehealth services for older people, but they highlight a greater focus on curative services and are mostly concentrated in high-income countries. We identified convenience and affordability as the strengths of telehealth use in geriatric care. Weaknesses identified include the inability of telehealth to cater to the needs of older people with specific physical and cognitive limitations. While the threats of increasing inequity and the lack of standardization in the provision of age-friendly telehealth services remain, we identified opportunities for technologic advancements driven by simplicity and user-friendliness for older people. Conclusion: Telehealth offers futuristic promise for the provision of essential health care services for older people worldwide. However, the extent of these services via telehealth appears to be currently limited in low and low-middle income countries. Optimizing telehealth services that can be accessed by older people requires greater government investments and active engagement by broader participation of older people, their caregivers, physicians and other health care providers, technology experts, and health managers.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Moreira VM, Mascarenhas P, Machado V, et al (2021)

Diagnosis of SARS-Cov-2 Infection by RT-PCR Using Specimens Other Than Naso- and Oropharyngeal Swabs: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 11(2): pii:diagnostics11020363.

The rapid and accurate testing of SARS-CoV-2 infection is still crucial to mitigate, and eventually halt, the spread of this disease. Currently, nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and oropharyngeal swab (OPS) are the recommended standard sampling techniques, yet, these have some limitations such as the complexity of collection. Hence, several other types of specimens that are easier to obtain are being tested as alternatives to nasal/throat swabs in nucleic acid assays for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This study aims to critically appraise and compare the clinical performance of RT-PCR tests using oral saliva, deep-throat saliva/posterior oropharyngeal saliva (DTS/POS), sputum, urine, feces, and tears/conjunctival swab (CS) against standard specimens (NPS, OPS, or a combination of both). In this systematic review and meta-analysis, five databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ClinicalTrial.gov and NIPH Clinical Trial) were searched up to the 30th of December, 2020. Case-control and cohort studies on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 were included. The methodological quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS 2). We identified 1560 entries, 33 of which (1.1%) met all required criteria and were included for the quantitative data analysis. Saliva presented the higher accuracy, 92.1% (95% CI: 70.0-98.3), with an estimated sensitivity of 83.9% (95% CI: 77.4-88.8) and specificity of 96.4% (95% CI: 89.5-98.8). DTS/POS samples had an overall accuracy of 79.7% (95% CI: 43.3-95.3), with an estimated sensitivity of 90.1% (95% CI: 83.3-96.9) and specificity of 63.1% (95% CI: 36.8-89.3). The remaining index specimens could not be adequately assessed given the lack of studies available. Our meta-analysis shows that saliva samples from the oral region provide a high sensitivity and specificity; therefore, these appear to be the best candidates for alternative specimens to NPS/OPS in SARS-CoV-2 detection, with suitable protocols for swab-free sample collection to be determined and validated in the future. The distinction between oral and extra-oral salivary samples will be crucial, since DTS/POS samples may induce a higher rate of false positives. Urine, feces, tears/CS and sputum seem unreliable for diagnosis. Saliva testing may increase testing capacity, ultimately promoting the implementation of truly deployable COVID-19 tests, which could either work at the point-of-care (e.g. hospitals, clinics) or at outbreak control spots (e.g., schools, airports, and nursing homes).

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Sansone P, Giaccari LG, Aurilio C, et al (2021)

Post-Infectious Guillain-Barré Syndrome Related to SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Systematic Review.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(2): pii:life11020167.

Background. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is the most common cause of flaccid paralysis, with about 100,000 people developing the disorder every year worldwide. Recently, the incidence of GBS has increased during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemics. We reviewed the literature to give a comprehensive overview of the demographic characteristics, clinical features, diagnostic investigations, and outcome of SARS-CoV-2-related GBS patients. Methods. Embase, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Central Trials Register were systematically searched on 24 September 2020 for studies reporting on GBS secondary to COVID-19. Results. We identified 63 articles; we included 32 studies in our review. A total of 41 GBS cases with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 infection were reported: 26 of them were single case reports and 6 case series. Published studies on SARS-CoV-2-related GBS typically report a classic sensorimotor type of GBS often with a demyelinating electrophysiological subtype. Miller Fisher syndrome was reported in a quarter of the cases. In 78.1% of the cases, the response to immunomodulating therapy is favourable. The disease course is frequently severe and about one-third of the patients with SARS-CoV-2-associated GBS requires mechanical ventilation and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission. Rarely the outcome is poor or even fatal (10.8% of the cases). Conclusion. Clinical presentation, course, response to treatment, and outcome are similar in SARS-CoV-2-associated GBS and GBS due to other triggers.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Alqarni MH, Foudah AI, Muharram MM, et al (2021)

The Pleiotropic Function of Human Sirtuins as Modulators of Metabolic Pathways and Viral Infections.

Cells, 10(2): pii:cells10020460.

Sirtuins (SIRTs) are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent histone deacetylases that incorporate complex functions in the mechanisms of cell physiology. Mammals have seven distinct members of the SIRT family (SIRT1-7), which play an important role in a well-maintained network of metabolic pathways that control and adapt the cell to the environment, energy availability and cellular stress. Until recently, very few studies investigated the role of SIRTs in modulating viral infection and progeny. Recent studies have demonstrated that SIRT1 and SIRT2 are promising antiviral targets because of their specific connection to numerous metabolic and regulatory processes affected during infection. In the present review, we summarize some of the recent progress in SIRTs biochemistry and their emerging function as antiviral targets. We also discuss the potential of natural polyphenol-based SIRT modulators to control their functional roles in several diseases including viral infections.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Lu M (2021)

Single-Molecule FRET Imaging of Virus Spike-Host Interactions.

Viruses, 13(2): pii:v13020332.

As a major surface glycoprotein of enveloped viruses, the virus spike protein is a primary target for vaccines and anti-viral treatments. Current vaccines aiming at controlling the COVID-19 pandemic are mostly directed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. To promote virus entry and facilitate immune evasion, spikes must be dynamic. Interactions with host receptors and coreceptors trigger a cascade of conformational changes/structural rearrangements in spikes, which bring virus and host membranes in proximity for membrane fusion required for virus entry. Spike-mediated viral membrane fusion is a dynamic, multi-step process, and understanding the structure-function-dynamics paradigm of virus spikes is essential to elucidate viral membrane fusion, with the ultimate goal of interventions. However, our understanding of this process primarily relies on individual structural snapshots of endpoints. How these endpoints are connected in a time-resolved manner, and the order and frequency of conformational events underlying virus entry, remain largely elusive. Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has provided a powerful platform to connect structure-function in motion, revealing dynamic aspects of spikes for several viruses: SARS-CoV-2, HIV-1, influenza, and Ebola. This review focuses on how smFRET imaging has advanced our understanding of virus spikes' dynamic nature, receptor-binding events, and mechanism of antibody neutralization, thereby informing therapeutic interventions.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Shamsoddin E, DeTora LM, Tovani-Palone MR, et al (2021)

Dental Care in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review.

Medical sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:medsci9010013.

Given the dynamic relationship between oral and general health, dental care must not be neglected even during a public health emergency. Nevertheless, the fear of contracting the infection appears to have caused instances of dental treatment avoidance. In these times of uncertainty, regulatory and public health organizations have made numerous and sometimes controversial recommendations to practitioners and to the public about how to secure their oral health care needs. Dentists, as advocates of oral health, should actively maintain their practices while considering local epidemiological reports and recommendations regarding prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Providing appropriate safety measures, accurate triage and prioritization of patients, notice to susceptible communities, remote health care delivery when appropriate, and epidemiological reports of COVID-19 (whenever possible) are all critical considerations for dental practitioners.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Calistri P, Decaro N, A Lorusso (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: Not the First, Not the Last.

Microorganisms, 9(2): pii:microorganisms9020433.

The common trait among the betacoronaviruses that emerged during the past two decades (the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-SARS-CoV, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus-MERS-CoV, and the recent SARS coronavirus 2-SARS-CoV-2) is their probable animal origin, all deriving from viruses present in bat species. Bats have arisen the attention of the scientific community as reservoir of emerging viruses, given their wide geographical distribution, their biological diversity (around 1400 species, 21 different families and over 200 genera), and their peculiar ecological and physiological characteristics which seem to facilitate them in harbouring a high viral diversity. Several human activities may enable the viral spill-over from bats to humans, such as deforestation, land-use changes, increased livestock grazing or intensive production of vegetal cultures. In addition, the globalization of trade and high global human mobility allow these viruses to be disseminated in few hours in many parts of the World. In order to avoid the emergence of new pandemic threats in the future we need to substantially change our global models of social and economic development, posing the conservation of biodiversity and the preservation of natural ecosystems as a pillar for the protection of global human health.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Lundstrom K (2021)

Viral Vectors for COVID-19 Vaccine Development.

Viruses, 13(2): pii:v13020317.

Vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2 has been fierce due to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and has included all potential approaches for providing the global community with safe and efficient vaccine candidates in the shortest possible timeframe. Viral vectors have played a central role especially using adenovirus-based vectors. Additionally, other viral vectors based on vaccinia viruses, measles viruses, rhabdoviruses, influenza viruses and lentiviruses have been subjected to vaccine development. Self-amplifying RNA virus vectors have been utilized for lipid nanoparticle-based delivery of RNA as COVID-19 vaccines. Several adenovirus-based vaccine candidates have elicited strong immune responses in immunized animals and protection against challenges in mice and primates has been achieved. Moreover, adenovirus-based vaccine candidates have been subjected to phase I to III clinical trials. Recently, the simian adenovirus-based ChAdOx1 vector expressing the SARS-CoV-2 S spike protein was approved for use in humans in the UK.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Subedi L, Tchen S, Gaire BP, et al (2021)

Adjunctive Nutraceutical Therapies for COVID-19.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22041963.

The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19), is a worldwide pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is a respiratory virus that infects people of all ages. Although it may present with mild to no symptoms in most patients, those who are older, immunocompromised, or with multiple comorbidities may present with severe and life-threatening infections. Throughout history, nutraceuticals, such as a variety of phytochemicals from medicinal plants and dietary supplements, have been used as adjunct therapies for many disease conditions, including viral infections. Appropriate use of these adjunct therapies with antiviral proprieties may be beneficial in the treatment and/or prophylaxis of COVID-19. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary of nutraceuticals, such as vitamins C, D, E, zinc, melatonin, and other phytochemicals and function foods. These nutraceuticals may have potential therapeutic efficacies in fighting the threat of the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Sallam M (2021)

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Worldwide: A Concise Systematic Review of Vaccine Acceptance Rates.

Vaccines, 9(2): pii:vaccines9020160.

Utility of vaccine campaigns to control coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) is not merely dependent on vaccine efficacy and safety. Vaccine acceptance among the general public and healthcare workers appears to have a decisive role in the successful control of the pandemic. The aim of this review was to provide an up-to-date assessment of COVID-19 vaccination acceptance rates worldwide. A systematic search of the peer-reviewed English survey literature indexed in PubMed was done on 25 December 2020. Results from 31 peer-reviewed published studies met the inclusion criteria and formed the basis for the final COVID-19 vaccine acceptance estimates. Survey studies on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates were found from 33 different countries. Among adults representing the general public, the highest COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates were found in Ecuador (97.0%), Malaysia (94.3%), Indonesia (93.3%) and China (91.3%). However, the lowest COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates were found in Kuwait (23.6%), Jordan (28.4%), Italy (53.7), Russia (54.9%), Poland (56.3%), US (56.9%), and France (58.9%). Only eight surveys among healthcare workers (doctors and nurses) were found, with vaccine acceptance rates ranging from 27.7% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to 78.1% in Israel. In the majority of survey studies among the general public stratified per country (29/47, 62%), the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination showed a level of ≥70%. Low rates of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance were reported in the Middle East, Russia, Africa and several European countries. This could represent a major problem in the global efforts to control the current COVID-19 pandemic. More studies are recommended to address the scope of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Such studies are particularly needed in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Middle and South America. Addressing the scope of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in various countries is recommended as an initial step for building trust in COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Klempel N, Blackburn NE, McMullan IL, et al (2021)

The Effect of Chair-Based Exercise on Physical Function in Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4): pii:ijerph18041902.

Physical activity is an important determinant of health in later life. The public health restrictions in response to COVID-19 have interrupted habitual physical activity behaviours in older adults. In response, numerous exercise programmes have been developed for older adults, many involving chair-based exercise. The aim of this systematic review was to synthesise the effects of chair-based exercise on the health of older adults. Ovid Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, PyscInfo and SPORTDiscus databases were searched from inception to 1 April 2020. Chair-based exercise programmes in adults ≥50 years, lasting for at least 2 weeks and measuring the impact on physical function were included. Risk of bias of included studies were assessed using Cochrane risk of bias tool v2. Intervention content was described using TiDieR Criteria. Where sufficient studies (≥3 studies) reported data on an outcome, a random effects meta-analysis was performed. In total, 25 studies were included, with 19 studies in the meta-analyses. Seventeen studies had a low risk of bias and five had a high risk of bias. In this systematic review including 1388 participants, results demonstrated that chair-based exercise programmes improve upper extremity (handgrip strength: MD = 2.10; 95% CI = 0.76, 3.43 and 30 s arm curl test: MD = 2.82; 95% CI = 1.34, 4.31) and lower extremity function (30 s chair stand: MD 2.25; 95% CI = 0.64, 3.86). The findings suggest that chair-based exercises are effective and should be promoted as simple and easily implemented activities to maintain and develop strength for older adults.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Ghigo A, Prono G, Riccardi E, et al (2021)

Dysfunctional Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis Airways: From Mechanisms to Novel Therapeutic Approaches.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22041952.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, an ATP-gated chloride channel expressed on the apical surface of airway epithelial cells. CFTR absence/dysfunction results in defective ion transport and subsequent airway surface liquid dehydration that severely compromise the airway microenvironment. Noxious agents and pathogens are entrapped inside the abnormally thick mucus layer and establish a highly inflammatory environment, ultimately leading to lung damage. Since chronic airway inflammation plays a crucial role in CF pathophysiology, several studies have investigated the mechanisms responsible for the altered inflammatory/immune response that, in turn, exacerbates the epithelial dysfunction and infection susceptibility in CF patients. In this review, we address the evidence for a critical role of dysfunctional inflammation in lung damage in CF and discuss current therapeutic approaches targeting this condition, as well as potential new treatments that have been developed recently. Traditional therapeutic strategies have shown several limitations and limited clinical benefits. Therefore, many efforts have been made to develop alternative treatments and novel therapeutic approaches, and recent findings have identified new molecules as potential anti-inflammatory agents that may exert beneficial effects in CF patients. Furthermore, the potential anti-inflammatory properties of CFTR modulators, a class of drugs that directly target the molecular defect of CF, also will be critically reviewed. Finally, we also will discuss the possible impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on CF patients, with a major focus on the consequences that the viral infection could have on the persistent inflammation in these patients.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Atzeni F, Masala IF, Rodríguez-Carrio J, et al (2021)

The Rheumatology Drugs for COVID-19 Management: Which and When?.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(4): pii:jcm10040783.

INTRODUCTION: While waiting for the development of specific antiviral therapies and vaccines to effectively neutralize the SARS-CoV2, a relevant therapeutic strategy is to counteract the hyperinflammatory status, characterized by an increase mainly of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, which hallmarks the most severe clinical cases. 'Repurposing' immunomodulatory drugs and applying clinical management approved for rheumatic diseases represents a game-changer option. In this article, we will review the drugs that have indication in patients with COVID-19, including corticosteroids, antimalarials, anti-TNF, anti-IL-1, anti-IL-6, baricitinib, intravenous immunoglobulins, and colchicine. The PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for English-language papers concerning COVID-19 treatment published between January 2020 and October 2020. Results were summarized as a narrative review due to large heterogeneity among studies. In the absence of specific treatments, the use of immunomodulatory drugs could be advisable in severe COVID-19 patients, but clinical outcomes are still suboptimal. An early detection and treatment of the complications combined with a multidisciplinary approach could allow a better recovery of these patients.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Derruau S, Bouchet J, Nassif A, et al (2021)

COVID-19 and Dentistry in 72 Questions: An Overview of the Literature.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(4): pii:jcm10040779.

The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has significantly affected the dental care sector. Dental professionals are at high risk of being infected, and therefore transmitting SARS-CoV-2, due to the nature of their profession, with close proximity to the patient's oropharyngeal and nasal regions and the use of aerosol-generating procedures. The aim of this article is to provide an update on different issues regarding SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 that may be relevant for dentists. Members of the French National College of Oral Biology Lecturers ("Collège National des EnseignantS en Biologie Orale"; CNESBO-COVID19 Task Force) answered seventy-two questions related to various topics, including epidemiology, virology, immunology, diagnosis and testing, SARS-CoV-2 transmission and oral cavity, COVID-19 clinical presentation, current treatment options, vaccine strategies, as well as infection prevention and control in dental practice. The questions were selected based on their relevance for dental practitioners. Authors independently extracted and gathered scientific data related to COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 and the specific topics using scientific databases. With this review, the dental practitioners will have a general overview of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on their practice.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Mokra D, J Mokry (2021)

Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors in Acute Lung Injury: What Are the Perspectives?.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22041929.

Despite progress in understanding the pathophysiology of acute lung damage, currently approved treatment possibilities are limited to lung-protective ventilation, prone positioning, and supportive interventions. Various pharmacological approaches have also been tested, with neuromuscular blockers and corticosteroids considered as the most promising. However, inhibitors of phosphodiesterases (PDEs) also exert a broad spectrum of favorable effects potentially beneficial in acute lung damage. This article reviews pharmacological action and therapeutical potential of nonselective and selective PDE inhibitors and summarizes the results from available studies focused on the use of PDE inhibitors in animal models and clinical studies, including their adverse effects. The data suggest that xanthines as representatives of nonselective PDE inhibitors may reduce acute lung damage, and decrease mortality and length of hospital stay. Various (selective) PDE3, PDE4, and PDE5 inhibitors have also demonstrated stabilization of the pulmonary epithelial-endothelial barrier and reduction the sepsis- and inflammation-increased microvascular permeability, and suppression of the production of inflammatory mediators, which finally resulted in improved oxygenation and ventilatory parameters. However, the current lack of sufficient clinical evidence limits their recommendation for a broader use. A separate chapter focuses on involvement of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and PDE-related changes in its metabolism in association with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The chapter illuminates perspectives of the use of PDE inhibitors as an add-on treatment based on actual experimental and clinical trials with preliminary data suggesting their potential benefit.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Boyacι-Gündüz CP, Ibrahim SA, Wei OC, et al (2021)

Transformation of the Food Sector: Security and Resilience during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 10(3): pii:foods10030497.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a new era in the efficacy of the food supply chain, while the consequences of this new era on humanity, the economy, and the food sector are still under examination. For example, food security is one vital aspect of food systems which is directly affected. This review summarizes food security during epidemics and pandemics before moving on to panic buying, food shortages, and price spikes observed during the current crisis. The importance of food resilience, together with the need for addressing issues related to food loss and food waste, is underlined in the review towards food security and sustainable development. As a result, the pandemic has shown that our food systems are fragile. Since the global population and urbanization will grow in the coming decades, pandemics will likely occur more often, and climate change will intensify. Consequently, there is a need to ensure that our food systems become more sustainable and resilient. To that end, we have highlighted the need to develop contingency plans and mitigation strategies that would allow a more rapid response to extreme events (e.g., disasters from climate change) and transform the food sector by making it more resilient.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Etibor TA, Yamauchi Y, MJ Amorim (2021)

Liquid Biomolecular Condensates and Viral Lifecycles: Review and Perspectives.

Viruses, 13(3): pii:v13030366.

Viruses are highly dependent on the host they infect. Their dependence triggers processes of virus-host co-adaptation, enabling viruses to explore host resources whilst escaping immunity. Scientists have tackled viral-host interplay at differing levels of complexity-in individual hosts, organs, tissues and cells-and seminal studies advanced our understanding about viral lifecycles, intra- or inter-species transmission, and means to control infections. Recently, it emerged as important to address the physical properties of the materials in biological systems; membrane-bound organelles are only one of many ways to separate molecules from the cellular milieu. By achieving a type of compartmentalization lacking membranes known as biomolecular condensates, biological systems developed alternative mechanisms of controlling reactions. The identification that many biological condensates display liquid properties led to the proposal that liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) drives their formation. The concept of LLPS is a paradigm shift in cellular structure and organization. There is an unprecedented momentum to revisit long-standing questions in virology and to explore novel antiviral strategies. In the first part of this review, we focus on the state-of-the-art about biomolecular condensates. In the second part, we capture what is known about RNA virus-phase biology and discuss future perspectives of this emerging field in virology.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Bono N, Ponti F, Punta C, et al (2021)

Effect of UV Irradiation and TiO2-Photocatalysis on Airborne Bacteria and Viruses: An Overview.

Materials (Basel, Switzerland), 14(5): pii:ma14051075.

Current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has put a spotlight on the spread of infectious diseases brought on by pathogenic airborne bacteria and viruses. In parallel with a relentless search for therapeutics and vaccines, considerable effort is being expended to develop ever more powerful technologies to restricting the spread of airborne microorganisms in indoor spaces through the minimization of health- and environment-related risks. In this context, UV-based and photocatalytic oxidation (PCO)-based technologies (i.e., the combined action of ultraviolet (UV) light and photocatalytic materials such as titanium dioxide (TiO2)) represent the most widely utilized approaches at present because they are cost-effective and ecofriendly. The virucidal and bactericidal effect relies on the synergy between the inherent ability of UV light to directly inactivate viral particles and bacteria through nucleic acid and protein damages, and the production of oxidative radicals generated through the irradiation of the TiO2 surface. In this literature survey, we draw attention to the most effective UV radiations and TiO2-based PCO technologies available and their underlying mechanisms of action on both bacteria and viral particles. Since the fine tuning of different parameters, namely the UV wavelength, the photocatalyst composition, and the UV dose (viz, the product of UV light intensity and the irradiation time), is required for the inactivation of microorganisms, we wrap up this review coming up with the most effective combination of them. Now more than ever, UV- and TiO2-based disinfection technologies may represent a valuable tool to mitigate the spread of airborne pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Farah E, Ali R, Tope P, et al (2021)

A Review of Canadian Cancer-Related Clinical Practice Guidelines and Resources during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Current oncology (Toronto, Ont.), 28(2):1020-1033 pii:curroncol28020100.

(1) Background: Preventive measures taken in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have adversely affected an entire range of cancer-related medical activities. The reallocation of medical resources, staff, and ambulatory services, as well as critical shortages in pharmaceutical and medical supplies have compelled healthcare professionals to prioritize patients with cancer to treatment and screening services based on a set of classification criteria in cancer-related guidelines. Cancer patients themselves have been affected on multiple levels, and addressing their concerns poses another challenge to the oncology community. (2) Methods: We conducted a Canada-wide search of cancer-related clinical practice guidelines on the management and prioritization of individuals into treatment and screening services. We also outlined the resources provided by Canadian cancer charities and patient advocacy groups to provide cancer patients, or potential cancer patients, with useful information and valuable support resources. (3) Results: The identified provincial guidelines emphasized cancer care (i.e., treatment) more than cancer control (i.e., screening). For cancer-related resources, a clear significance was placed on knowledge & awareness and supportive resources, mainly relating to mental health. (4) Conclusion: We provided a guidance document outlining cancer-related guidelines and resources that are available to healthcare providers and patients across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Ali AM, H Kunugi (2021)

Propolis, Bee Honey, and Their Components Protect against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of In Silico, In Vitro, and Clinical Studies.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(5): pii:molecules26051232.

Despite the virulence and high fatality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), no specific antiviral treatment exists until the current moment. Natural agents with immune-promoting potentials such as bee products are being explored as possible treatments. Bee honey and propolis are rich in bioactive compounds that express strong antimicrobial, bactericidal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antioxidant activities. This review examined the literature for the anti-COVID-19 effects of bee honey and propolis, with the aim of optimizing the use of these handy products as prophylactic or adjuvant treatments for people infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Molecular simulations show that flavonoids in propolis and honey (e.g., rutin, naringin, caffeic acid phenyl ester, luteolin, and artepillin C) may inhibit viral spike fusion in host cells, viral-host interactions that trigger the cytokine storm, and viral replication. Similar to the potent antiviral drug remdesivir, rutin, propolis ethanolic extract, and propolis liposomes inhibited non-structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, and these compounds along with naringin inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero E6 cells. Propolis extracts delivered by nanocarriers exhibit better antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2 than ethanolic extracts. In line, hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving green Brazilian propolis or a combination of honey and Nigella sativa exhibited earlier viral clearance, symptom recovery, discharge from the hospital as well as less mortality than counterparts receiving standard care alone. Thus, the use of bee products as an adjuvant treatment for COVID-19 may produce beneficial effects. Implications for treatment outcomes and issues to be considered in future studies are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Signorini C, Pignatti P, T Coccini (2021)

How Do Inflammatory Mediators, Immune Response and Air Pollution Contribute to COVID-19 Disease Severity? A Lesson to Learn.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(3): pii:life11030182.

Inflammatory and immune processes are defensive mechanisms that aim to remove harmful agents. As a response to infections, inflammation and immune response contribute to the pathophysiological mechanisms of diseases. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), whose underlying mechanisms remain not fully elucidated, has posed new challenges for the knowledge of pathophysiology. Chiefly, the inflammatory process and immune response appear to be unique features of COVID-19 that result in developing a hyper-inflammatory syndrome, and air pollution, the world's largest health risk factor, may partly explain the behaviour and fate of COVID-19. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the progression of COVID-19 is of fundamental importance in order to avoid the late stage of the disease, associated with a poor prognosis. Here, the role of the inflammatory and immune mediators in COVID-19 pathophysiology is discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Gatti M, F De Ponti (2021)

Drug Repurposing in the COVID-19 Era: Insights from Case Studies Showing Pharmaceutical Peculiarities.

Pharmaceutics, 13(3): pii:pharmaceutics13030302.

COVID-19 may lead to severe respiratory distress syndrome and high risk of death in some patients. So far (January 2021), only the antiviral remdesivir has been approved, although no significant benefits in terms of mortality and clinical improvement were recently reported. In a setting where effective and safe treatments for COVID-19 are urgently needed, drug repurposing may take advantage of the fact that the safety profile of an agent is already well known and allows rapid investigation of the efficacy of potential treatments, at lower costs and with reduced risk of failure. Furthermore, novel pharmaceutical formulations of older agents (e.g., aerosolized administration of chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, heparin, pirfenidone) have been tested in order to increase pulmonary delivery and/or antiviral effects of potentially active drugs, thus overcoming pharmacokinetic issues. In our review, we will highlight the importance of the drug repurposing strategy in the context of COVID-19, including regulatory and ethical aspects, with a specific focus on novel pharmaceutical formulations and routes of administration.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Sabbatini M, Magnelli V, F Renò (2021)

NETosis in Wound Healing: When Enough Is Enough.

Cells, 10(3): pii:cells10030494.

The neutrophils extracellular traps (NETs) are a meshwork of chromatin, histonic and non-histonic proteins, and microbicidal agents spread outside the cell by a series of nuclear and cytoplasmic events, collectively called NETosis. NETosis, initially only considered a defensive/apoptotic mechanism, is now considered an extreme defensive solution, which in particular situations induces strong negative effects on tissue physiology, causing or exacerbating pathologies as recently shown in NETs-mediated organ damage in COVID-19 patients. The positive effects of NETs on wound healing have been linked to their antimicrobial activity, while the negative effects appear to be more common in a plethora of pathological conditions (such as diabetes) and linked to a NETosis upregulation. Recent evidence suggests there are other positive physiological NETs effects on wound healing that are worthy of a broader research effort.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Sanchez-Russo L, Billah M, Chancay J, et al (2021)

COVID-19 and the Kidney: A Worrisome Scenario of Acute and Chronic Consequences.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(5): pii:jcm10050900.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common finding in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and has been associated with higher rates of death when compared to COVID-19 patients without kidney injury. Whereas the definitive pathogenesis of COVID-19-related AKI (CoV-AKI) is not clear, histopathologic evidence seems to point at multiple etiologies for the disease, including indirect and direct viral kidney injury. The high incidence of CoV-AKI, along with the aggressive clinical presentation of this entity, have increased the demands for kidney replacement therapies, rapidly overwhelming the supplies of healthcare systems even in major tertiary care centers. As a result, nephrologists have come up with alternatives to maximize the efficiency of treatments and have developed non-conventional therapeutic alternatives such as the implementation of acute peritoneal dialysis for critically ill patients. The long-term implications of CoV-AKI are yet unknown, though early studies suggest that around one third of the patients who survive will remain dependent on kidney replacement therapy. Nephrologists and healthcare workers need to be familiar with the clinical presentation and therapeutic challenges of CoV-AKI in order to develop strategies to mitigate the burden of the disease for patients, and for services providing kidney replacement therapies.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Panneer S, Kantamaneni K, Pushparaj RRB, et al (2021)

Multistakeholder Participation in Disaster Management-The Case of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:healthcare9020203.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting society's health, economy, environment and development. COVID-19 has claimed many lives across the globe and severely impacted the livelihood of a considerable section of the world's population. We are still in the process of finding optimal and effective solutions to control the pandemic and minimise its negative impacts. In the process of developing effective strategies to combat COVID-19, different countries have adapted diverse policies, strategies and activities and yet there are no universal or comprehensive solutions to the problem. In this context, this paper brings out a conceptual model of multistakeholder participation governance as an effective model to fight against COVID-19. Accordingly, the current study conducted a scientific review by examining multi-stakeholder disaster response strategies, particularly in relation to COVID-19. The study then presents a conceptual framework for multistakeholder participation governance as one of the effective models to fight against COVID-19. Subsequently, the article offers strategies for rebuilding the economy and healthcare system through multi-stakeholder participation, and gives policy directions/decisions based on evidence to save lives and protect livelihoods. The current study also provides evidence about multidimensional approaches and multi-diplomatic mechanisms during the COVID-19 crisis, in order to examine dimensions of multi-stakeholder participation in disaster management and to document innovative, collaborative strategic directions across the globe. The current research findings highlight the need for global collaboration by working together to put an end to this pandemic situation through the application of a Multi-Stakeholder Spatial Decision Support System (MS-SDSS).

RevDate: 2021-03-06

De Marchi F, Contaldi E, Magistrelli L, et al (2021)

Telehealth in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Opportunities and Challenges for Patients and Physicians.

Brain sciences, 11(2): pii:brainsci11020237.

Telehealth, by definition, is distributing health-related services while using electronic technologies. This narrative Review describes the technological health services (telemedicine and telemonitoring) for delivering care in neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's Disease, and amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis, among others. This paper aims to illustrate this approach's primary experience and application, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses, with the goal of understanding which could be the most useful application for each one, in order to facilitate telehealth improvement and use in standard clinical practice. We also described the potential role of the COVID-19 pandemic to speed up this service's use, avoiding a sudden interruption of medical care.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Mayor A, Chesnay A, Desoubeaux G, et al (2021)

Therapeutic Antibodies for the Treatment of Respiratory Tract Infections-Current Overview and Perspectives.

Vaccines, 9(2): pii:vaccines9020151.

Respiratorytract infections (RTIs) are frequent and life-threatening diseases, accounting for several millions of deaths worldwide. RTIs implicate microorganisms, including viruses (influenza virus, coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)), bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis) and fungi (Pneumocystis spp., Aspergillus spp. and very occasionally Candida spp.). The emergence of new pathogens, like the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and the substantial increase in drug resistance have highlighted the critical necessity to develop novel anti-infective molecules. In this context, antibodies (Abs) are becoming increasingly important in respiratory medicine and may fulfill the unmet medical needs of RTIs. However, development of Abs for treating infectious diseases is less advanced than for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Currently, only three Abs have been marketed for RTIs, namely, against pulmonary anthrax and RSV infection, while several clinical and preclinical studies are in progress. This article gives an overview of the advances in the use of Abs for the treatment of RTIs, based on the analysis of clinical studies in this field. It describes the Ab structure, function and pharmacokinetics, and discusses the opportunities offered by the various Ab formats, Ab engineering and co-treatment strategies. Including the most recent literature, it finally highlights the strengths, weaknesses and likely future trends of a novel anti-RTI Ab armamentarium.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Youssef FS, Alshammari E, ML Ashour (2021)

Bioactive Alkaloids from Genus Aspergillus: Mechanistic Interpretation of Their Antimicrobial and Potential SARS-CoV-2 Inhibitory Activity Using Molecular Modelling.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(4): pii:ijms22041866.

Genus Aspergillus represents a widely spread genus of fungi that is highly popular for possessing potent medicinal potential comprising mainly antimicrobial, cytotoxic and antioxidant properties. They are highly attributed to its richness by alkaloids, terpenes, steroids and polyketons. This review aimed to comprehensively explore the diverse alkaloids isolated and identified from different species of genus Aspergillus that were found to be associated with different marine organisms regarding their chemistry and biology. Around 174 alkaloid metabolites were reported, 66 of which showed important biological activities with respect to the tested biological activities mainly comprising antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, cytotoxic, antioxidant and antifouling activities. Besides, in silico studies on different microbial proteins comprising DNA-gyrase, topoisomerase IV, dihydrofolate reductase, transcriptional regulator TcaR (protein), and aminoglycoside nucleotidyl transferase were done for sixteen alkaloids that showed anti-infective potential for better mechanistic interpretation of their probable mode of action. The inhibitory potential of compounds vs. Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) as an important therapeutic target combating COVID-19 infection and its complication was also examined using molecular docking. Fumigatoside E showed the best fitting within the active sites of all the examined proteins. Thus, Aspergillus species isolated from marine organisms could afford bioactive entities combating infectious diseases.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

De Bandt JP, C Monin (2021)

Obesity, Nutrients and the Immune System in the Era of COVID-19.

Nutrients, 13(2): pii:nu13020610.

The past year has shown that obesity is a risk factor for severe complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Excess fat mass during obesity is known to be a risk factor for chronic diseases but also for severe infections and infectious complications. We have focused here on the elements responsible for this particular susceptibility to infections and more specifically to COVID-19. Excess fat is, in itself, responsible for alterations of the immune system by disrupting the production and function of immune cells. Indeed, hypertrophic adipocytes produce more pro-inflammatory adipokines (including cytokines). The increase in their apoptosis induces a release of pro-inflammatory compounds into the circulation and a recruitment of pro-inflammatory macrophages into the adipose tissue. A chronic systemic inflammatory state is then observed. In addition, diet, apart from its role in the development of adipose tissue, can also affect the immune system, with excess simple sugars and saturated fats exerting pro-inflammatory effects. This inflammation, the adipokines released by the adipocytes, and the infiltration of lipids into the lymphoid organs affects the production of immune cells and, directly, the functions of these cells. The alteration of the immune system increases the risk of infection as well as complications, including secondary bacterial infections and septic states, and increases infection-related mortality. During COVID-19, the chronic inflammatory state promotes the cytokine shock, characteristic of severe forms, caused in particular by excessive activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Furthermore, in obese subjects, the already present endothelial dysfunction will render endothelial inflammation (endotheliitis) due to viral infiltration all the more severe. Added to this is a state of hypercoagulability and a decrease in respiratory capacity, leading to a risk of severe COVID-19 with cardiovascular complications, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and disseminated intravascular coagulation, which can lead to multiple organ failure and even death.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Borbone N, Piccialli G, Roviello GN, et al (2021)

Nucleoside Analogs and Nucleoside Precursors as Drugs in the Fight against SARS-CoV-2 and Other Coronaviruses.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(4): pii:molecules26040986.

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are positive-sense RNA enveloped viruses, members of the family Coronaviridae, that cause infections in a broad range of mammals including humans. Several CoV species lead to mild upper respiratory infections typically associated with common colds. However, three human CoV (HCoV) species: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV-1, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, are responsible for severe respiratory diseases at the origin of two recent epidemics (SARS and MERS), and of the current COronaVIrus Disease 19 (COVID-19), respectively. The easily transmissible SARS-CoV-2, emerging at the end of 2019 in China, spread rapidly worldwide, leading the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare COVID-19 a pandemic. While the world waits for mass vaccination, there is an urgent need for effective drugs as short-term weapons to combat the SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this context, the drug repurposing approach is a strategy able to guarantee positive results rapidly. In this regard, it is well known that several nucleoside-mimicking analogs and nucleoside precursors may inhibit the growth of viruses providing effective therapies for several viral diseases, including HCoV infections. Therefore, this review will focus on synthetic nucleosides and nucleoside precursors active against different HCoV species, paying great attention to SARS-CoV-2. This work covers progress made in anti-CoV therapy with nucleoside derivatives and provides insight into their main mechanisms of action.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Donia A, Hassan SU, Zhang X, et al (2021)

COVID-19 Crisis Creates Opportunity towards Global Monitoring & Surveillance.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(3): pii:pathogens10030256.

The spectrum of emerging new diseases as well as re-emerging old diseases is broadening as infectious agents evolve, adapt, and spread at enormous speeds in response to changing ecosystems. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a recent phenomenon and may take a while to understand its transmission routes from less traveled territories, ranging from fomite exposure routes to wastewater transmission. The critical challenge is how to negotiate with such catastrophic pandemics in high-income countries (HICs ~20% of the global population) and low-and middle-income countries (LMICs ~ 80% of the global population) with a total global population size of approximately eight billion, where practical mass testing and tracing is only a remote possibility, particularly in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Keeping in mind the population distribution disparities of high-income countries (HICs) and LMICs and urbanisation trends over recent years, traditional wastewater-based surveillance such as that used to combat polio may help in addressing this challenge. The COVID-19 era differs from any previous pandemics or global health challenges in the sense that there is a great deal of curiosity within the global community to find out everything about this virus, ranging from diagnostics, potential vaccines/therapeutics, and possible routes of transmission. In this regard, the fact that the gut is the common niche for both poliovirus and SARS-CoV-2, and due to the shedding of the virus through faecal material into sewerage systems, the need for long-term wastewater surveillance and developing early warning systems for better preparedness at local and global levels is increasingly apparent. This paper aims to provide an insight into the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, how it can be managed, and what measures are required to deal with a current global international public health concern. Additionally, it shed light on the importance of using wastewater surveillance strategy as an early warning practical tool suitable for massive passive screening, as well as the urgent need for microfluidic technology as a rapid and cost-effective approach tracking SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Kozlov EM, Ivanova E, Grechko AV, et al (2021)

Involvement of Oxidative Stress and the Innate Immune System in SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:diseases9010017.

The emergence of the novel coronavirus in December 2019 in China marked the beginning of a pandemic that impacted healthcare systems and economic life all over the world. The virus primarily targets the respiratory system causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in some patients, and therefore received the name of SARS-CoV-2. The pathogen stands out among other coronaviruses by its rapid transmission from human to human, with the majority of infected individuals being asymptomatic or presenting with only minor illness, therefore facilitating the pathogen spread. At the same time, people from the risk groups, such as the elderly, patients suffering from chronic diseases, or obese individuals, have increased chances of developing a severe or even fatal disease. The search for risk factors explaining this phenomenon continues. In this review, we focus on the known mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection affecting the functioning of the immune system and discuss potential risk factors responsible for the severe disease course. Oxidative stress is one of such factors, which plays a prominent role in innate immunity activity, and recent research has revealed its tight involvement in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We discuss these recent findings and the development of excessive inflammation and cytokine storm observed during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Finally, we consider potential use of antioxidant drugs for alleviating the severe symptoms in affected patients.

RevDate: 2021-03-06

Chourasia M, Koppula PR, Battu A, et al (2021)

EGCG, a Green Tea Catechin, as a Potential Therapeutic Agent for Symptomatic and Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(5): pii:molecules26051200.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has emerged to be the greatest threat to humanity in the modern world and has claimed nearly 2.2 million lives worldwide. The United States alone accounts for more than one fourth of 100 million COVID-19 cases across the globe. Although vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 has begun, its efficacy in preventing a new or repeat COVID-19 infection in immunized individuals is yet to be determined. Calls for repurposing of existing, approved, drugs that target the inflammatory condition in COVID-19 are growing. Our initial gene ontology analysis predicts a similarity between SARS-CoV-2 induced inflammatory and immune dysregulation and the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis. Interestingly, many of the drugs related to rheumatoid arthritis have been found to be lifesaving and contribute to lower COVID-19 morbidity. We also performed in silico investigation of binding of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a well-known catechin, and other catechins on viral proteins and identified papain-like protease protein (PLPro) as a binding partner. Catechins bind to the S1 ubiquitin-binding site of PLPro, which might inhibit its protease function and abrogate SARS-CoV-2 inhibitory function on ubiquitin proteasome system and interferon stimulated gene system. In the realms of addressing inflammation and how to effectively target SARS-CoV-2 mediated respiratory distress syndrome, we review in this article the available knowledge on the strategic placement of EGCG in curbing inflammatory signals and how it may serve as a broad spectrum therapeutic in asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Akbar MR, Pranata R, Wibowo A, et al (2021)

The prognostic value of elevated creatine kinase to predict poor outcome in patients with COVID-19 - A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 15(2):529-534 pii:S1871-4021(21)00035-7 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Creatine kinase (CK), a marker of muscle damage, is potentially associated with a more severe COVID-19. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aim to evaluate the association between the elevated CK and severity and mortality in COVID-19.

METHODS: We performed a systematic literature search on PubMed, Scopus, and Embase up until January 26, 2020. The main outcome was poor outcome, a composite of mortality and severe COVID-19.

RESULTS: There are 2471 patients from 14 studies included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. The incidence of elevated CK in this pooled analysis was 17% (11%, 22%) and the incidence of poor outcome in this pooled analysis was 27% (19%, 34%). Elevated CK was associated with poor outcome in patients with COVID-19 (OR 3.01 [2.21, 4.10], p < 0.001; I2: 10.2%). The effect estimate did not vary with age (p = 0.610), male (p = 0.449), hypertension (p = 0.490), and diabetes (p = 0.457). Elevated CK has a sensitivity of 0.24 (0.17, 0.32), specificity of 0.91 (0.86, 0.94), PLR of 2.6 (1.9, 3.7), NLR of 0.84 (0.78, 0.90), DOR of 3 (2, 5), and AUC of 0.62 (0.57, 0.66) for predicting poor outcome in patients with COVID-19. In this pooled analysis, elevated CK confers to a 49% probability for poor outcome and a non-elevated CK confers to a 24% probability. Subgroup analysis and univariate meta-regression indicates that the sensitivity and specificity does not vary with age, male, hypertension, and diabetes.

CONCLUSION: Elevated CK was associated with increased mortality and severity in patients with COVID-19.

PROSPERO: CRD42021233435.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Liu BM, Martins TB, Peterson LK, et al (2021)

Clinical significance of measuring serum cytokine levels as inflammatory biomarkers in adult and pediatric COVID-19 cases: A review.

Cytokine, 142:155478 pii:S1043-4666(21)00058-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a rapidly evolving infectious/inflammatory disorder which has turned into a global pandemic. With severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as its etiologic agent, severe COVID-19 cases usually develop uncontrolled inflammatory responses and cytokine storm-like syndromes. Measuring serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-6 and others) as inflammatory biomarkers may have several potential applications in the management of COVID-19, including risk assessment, monitoring of disease progression, determination of prognosis, selection of therapy and prediction of response to treatment.This is especially true for pediatric patients with COVID-19 associated Kawasaki-like disease and similar syndromes. In this report, we review the current knowledge of COVID-19 associated cytokines, their roles in host immune and inflammatory responses, the clinical significance and utility of cytokine immunoassays in adult and pediatric COVID-19 patients, as well as the challenges and pitfalls in implementation and interpretation of cytokine immunoassays. Given that cytokines are implicated in different immunological disorders and diseases, it is challenging to interpret the multiplex cytokine data for COVID-19 patients. Also, it should be taken into consideration that biological and technical variables may affect the commutability of cytokine immunoassays and enhance complexity of cytokine immunoassay interpretation. It is recommended that the same method, platform and laboratory should be used when monitoring differences in cytokine levels between groups of individuals or for the same individual over time. It may be important to correlate cytokine profiling data with the SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification testing and imaging observations to make an accurate interpretation of the inflammatory status and disease progression in COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Souza PFN, Mesquita FP, Amaral JL, et al (2021)

The human pandemic coronaviruses on the show: The spike glycoprotein as the main actor in the coronaviruses play.

International journal of biological macromolecules pii:S0141-8130(21)00503-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Three coronaviruses (CoVs) have threatened the world population by causing outbreaks in the last two decades. In late 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged and caused the coronaviruses to disease 2019 (COVID-19), leading to the ongoing global outbreak. The other pandemic coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), share a considerable level of similarities at genomic and protein levels. However, the differences between them lead to distinct behaviors. These differences result from the accumulation of mutations in the sequence and structure of spike (S) glycoprotein, which plays an essential role in coronavirus infection, pathogenicity, transmission, and evolution. In this review, we brought together many studies narrating a sequence of events and highlighting the differences among S proteins from SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. It was performed here, analysis of S protein sequences and structures from the three pandemic coronaviruses pointing out the mutations among them and what they come through. Additionally, we investigated the receptor-binding domain (RBD) from all S proteins explaining the mutation and biological importance of all of them. Finally, we discuss the mutation in the S protein from several new isolates of SARS-CoV-2, reporting their difference and importance. This review brings into detail how the variations in S protein that make SARS-CoV-2 more aggressive than its relatives coronaviruses and other differences between coronaviruses.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Pitt B, Sutton NR, Wang Z, et al (2021)

Potential repurposing of the HDAC inhibitor valproic acid for patients with COVID-19.

European journal of pharmacology pii:S0014-2999(21)00141-2 [Epub ahead of print].

There is a need for therapeutic approaches to prevent and mitigate the effects of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor valproic acid, which has been available for the therapy of epilepsy for many years, is a drug that could be repurposed for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. This article will review the reasons to consider valproic acid as a potential therapeutic to prevent severe COVID-19. Valproic acid could reduce angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and transmembrane serine protease 2 expression, required for SARS-CoV-2 viral entry, and modulate the immune cellular and cytokine response to infection, thereby reducing end-organ damage. The combined anti-thrombotic, anti-platelet, and anti-inflammatory effects of valproic acid suggest it could be a promising therapeutic target for COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Rojas-Rueda D, E Morales-Zamora (2021)

Built Environment, Transport, and COVID-19: a Review.

Current environmental health reports [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted daily-life activities around the world. Multiple countries and cities are implementing different mitigation strategies to reduce their transmission (e.g., physical distancing, stay-at-home orders, avoiding large gatherings). Such interventions have been related to positive and negative health externalities. Currently, the selection of mitigation strategies has not been systematically considering a long-term vision for urban health equity. This review presents evidence and a framework linking COVID-19 mitigation strategies, the built environment, and transport to health determinants and outcomes. In addition, the paper provides a set of urban interventions aimed at supporting COVID-19 mitigation strategies and promoting a long-term health equity vision.

RECENT FINDINGS: COVID-19 mitigation strategies, in addition to helping reduce disease transmission, have also decreased urban road transport, resulting in indirect benefits on air quality, traffic noise, and traffic incidents. On the other hand, the same mitigation strategies have had negative impacts on physical activity, mental health, home isolation, and access to transport options, among others. COVID-19 mitigation strategies are an opportunity to test and implement built environment and transport interventions aimed to maximize health equity and minimize health risks. National and local authorities should systematically integrate a long-term urban health equity vision when designing and implementing COVID-19 mitigation strategies. COVID-19 offers an opportunity to rethink the built environment and transport infrastructure with the aim to support short-term mitigation strategies and reduce long-term urban health inequities.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Cordeiro LP, Linhares EONN, Nogueira FGO, et al (2021)

Perspectives on glucocorticoid treatment for COVID-19: a systematic review.

Pharmacological reports : PR [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral pneumonia that can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Until the commercialization of a vaccine, pharmacological treatment still represents an important strategy to fight against the ongoing pandemic. Glucocorticoids (GC) were widely used in the past coronavirus pandemics and have been used against the coronavirus 2 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2). This article aimed to review the studies that described the treatment with GC in COVID-19 patients. Randomized or nonrandomized clinical trials and retrospective or prospective-controlled longitudinal studies were screened for this systematic review. Studies in English, Portuguese, and Spanish published since 2019, with participants of any clinical status, geographic location, age, and sex were included. The most significant interest was related to the length of stay, radiological profile changes, viremia, and mortality. The research was done electronically on the Pubmed database using the following terms: "corticosteroids", "glucocorticoids", "dexamethasone", "methylprednisolone", "COVID-19", "SARS- CoV-2", "ADRS". We identified 6332 publications, and at the end, 14 retrospective observational studies that met all the inclusion criteria were selected. These studies included only patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by RT-PCR, involving 2,713 participants. The results showed great heterogeneity in their designs and results, which precludes a reliable conclusion on the use of GCs in the treatment of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Gordon JS, MH Drazner (2021)

Biomarkers of Cardiac Stress and Cytokine Release Syndrome in COVID-19: A Review.

Current heart failure reports [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) resulted in the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. While primarily a respiratory virus, SARS-CoV-2 can cause myocardial injury. The pattern of injury, referred to as acute COVID-19 cardiovascular syndrome (ACovCS), is defined by cardiac troponin leak in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease. Although the etiology of the injury is unknown, many speculate that a cytokine release syndrome (CRS) may be an important factor. We aim to review recent data concerning markers of cardiac injury in ACovCS and its relation to the CRS.

RECENT FINDINGS: Cardiac injury was common in patients hospitalized for COVID-19, with both cardiac troponin and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) being elevated in this population. Biomarkers were correlated with illness severity and increased mortality. Cytokines such as IL-6 were more often elevated in patients with ACovCS. Myocarditis evident on cardiac MR following COVID-19 may be associated with cardiac troponin levels. The impact of dexamethasone and remdesivir, two therapies shown to have clinical benefit in COVID-19, on myocardial injury is unknown. Biomarkers of cardiac stress and injury in COVID-19 may be used to stratify risk in the future. Currently, there is no evidence that inhibition of cytokine release will reduce myocardial injury in patients with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Brandt EB, TB Mersha (2021)

Environmental Determinants of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Current allergy and asthma reports, 21(3):15.

PURPOSE FOR REVIEW: Since the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in China in late 2019 turned into a global pandemic, numerous studies have reported associations between environmental factors, such as weather conditions and a range of air pollutants (particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, etc.) and the first wave of COVID-19 cases. This review aims to offer a critical assessment of the role of environmental exposure risk factors on SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 disease severity.

RECENT FINDINGS: In this review, we provide a critical assessment of COVID-19 risk factors, identify gaps in our knowledge (e.g., indoor air pollution), and discuss methodological challenges of association and causation and the impact lockdowns had on air quality. In addition, we will draw attention to ethnic and socioeconomic factors driving viral transmission related to COVID-19. The complex role angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) plays in COVID-19 and future promising avenues of research are discussed. To demonstrate causality, we stress the need for future epidemiologic studies integrating personal air pollution exposures, detailed clinical COVID-19 data, and a range of socioeconomic factors, as well as in vitro and in vivo mechanistic studies.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Halm A, Grote U, An der Heiden M, et al (2021)

[Crisis management at the Robert Koch Institute during the COVID-19 pandemic and the exchange between federal and state governments].

Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz [Epub ahead of print].

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) plays a central role in Germany in the management of health hazards of biological origin. The RKI's crisis management aims to contribute to protecting the health of the population in Germany in significant epidemic situations and to maintain the RKI's working ability over a long period of time even under high load. This article illustrates the crisis management of the RKI in general as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic. The generic RKI crisis management structures and the setup of the RKI emergency operations centre (EOC), their operationalisation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting challenges as of 31 October 2020 are described in this paper. The exchange between the federal and state governments during the pandemic is also described.The COVID-19 pandemic has led to extraordinary circumstances. During the epidemic situation, good communication and coordination has been essential, both within the RKI and with other federal or state authorities and expert groups. Under great pressure, the RKI produces and regularly updates recommendations, statements and assessments on various topics. To provide operational support for all COVID-19 related activities, an EOC was activated at the RKI. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are various challenges regarding personnel and structures. It became apparent that good preparation (e.g. existing task descriptions and premises) has an important positive impact on crisis management.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Roy HS, Singh R, D Ghosh (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 and tissue damage: current insights and biomaterial-based therapeutic strategies.

Biomaterials science [Epub ahead of print].

The effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on humanity has gained worldwide attention and importance due to the rapid transmission, lack of treatment options and high mortality rate of the virus. While scientists across the world are searching for vaccines/drugs that can control the spread of the virus and/or reduce the risks associated with infection, patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 have been reported to have tissue/organ damage. With most tissues/organs having limited regenerative potential, interventions that prevent further damage or facilitate healing would be helpful. In the past few decades, biomaterials have gained prominence in the field of tissue engineering, in view of their major role in the regenerative process. Here we describe the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on multiple tissues/organs, and provide evidence for the positive role of biomaterials in aiding tissue repair. These findings are further extrapolated to explore their prospects as a therapeutic platform to address the tissue/organ damage that is frequently observed during this viral outbreak. This study suggests that the biomaterial-based approach could be an effective strategy for regenerating tissues/organs damaged by SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Bischof E, Siow RC, Zhavoronkov A, et al (2021)

The potential of rapalogs to enhance resilience against SARS-CoV-2 infection and reduce the severity of COVID-19.

The Lancet. Healthy longevity, 2(2):e105-e111.

COVID-19 disproportionately affects older people, with likelihood of severe complications and death mirroring that of other age-associated diseases. Inhibition of the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) has been shown to delay or reverse many age-related phenotypes, including declining immune function. Rapamycin (sirolimus) and rapamycin derivatives are US Food and Drug Administration-approved inhibitors of mTORC1 with broad clinical utility and well established dosing and safety profiles. Based on preclinical and clinical evidence, a strong case can be made for immediate large-scale clinical trials to assess whether rapamycin and other mTORC1 inhibitors can prevent COVID-19 infection in these populations and also to determine whether these drugs can improve outcomes in patients with severe COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Bruinvels G, Lewis NA, Blagrove RC, et al (2021)

COVID-19-Considerations for the Female Athlete.

Frontiers in sports and active living, 3:606799.

The SARS CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) caused the whole sporting calendar to be paused. As we embark on the challenge of navigating through the return to play (RTP) process, there is a necessity to consider the needs of all athletes. This commentary specifically considers recommendations and requirements for the female athlete with a physiological emphasis during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it will be relevant for any similar future scenarios that may present. It is important to acknowledge that there remain many unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and the female athlete both in the short- and long-term.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Lan Y, Liu W, Y Zhou (2021)

Right Ventricular Damage in COVID-19: Association Between Myocardial Injury and COVID-19.

Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 8:606318.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, is a global pandemic. It has resulted in considerable morbidity and mortality around the world. The respiratory system is the main system invaded by the virus involved in COVID-19. In addition to typical respiratory manifestations, a certain proportion of severe COVID-19 cases present with evidence of myocardial injury, which is associated with excessive mortality. With availability of an increasing amount of imaging data, right ventricular (RV) damage is prevalent in patients with COVID-19 and myocardial injury, while left ventricular damage is relatively rare and lacks specificity. The mechanisms of RV damage may be due to increased RV afterload and decreased RV contractility caused by various factors, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary thrombosis, direct viral injury, hypoxia, inflammatory response and autoimmune injury. RV dysfunction usually indicates a poor clinical outcome in patients with COVID-19. Timely and effective treatment is of vital importance to save patients' lives as well as improve prognosis. By use of echocardiography or cardiovascular magnetic resonance, doctors can find RV dilatation and dysfunction early. By illustrating the phenomenon of RV damage and its potential pathophysiological mechanisms, we will guide doctors to give timely medical treatments (e.g., anticoagulants, diuretics, cardiotonic), and device-assisted therapy (e.g., mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) when necessary for these patients. In the paper, we examined the latest relevant studies to investigate the imaging features, potential mechanisms, and treatments of myocardial damage caused by COVID-19. RV damage may be an association between myocardial damage and lung injury in COVID-19. Early assessment of RV geometry and function will be helpful in aetiological determination and adjustment of treatment options.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Bassaganya-Riera J, Berry EM, Blaak EE, et al (2020)

Goals in Nutrition Science 2020-2025.

Frontiers in nutrition, 7:606378.

Five years ago, with the editorial board of Frontiers in Nutrition, we took a leap of faith to outline the Goals for Nutrition Science - the way we see it (1). Now, in 2020, we can put ourselves to the test and take a look back. Without a doubt we got it right with several of the key directions. To name a few, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Food and Nutrition are part of the global public agenda, and the SDGs contribute to the structuring of international science and research. Nutritional Science has become a critical element in strengthening work on the SDGs, and the development of appropriate methodologies is built on the groundwork of acquiring and analyzing big datasets. Investigation of the Human Microbiome is providing novel insight on the interrelationship between nutrition, the immune system and disease. Finally, with an advanced definition of the gut-brain-axis we are getting a glimpse into the potential for Nutrition and Brain Health. Various milestones have been achieved, and any look into the future will have to consider the lessons learned from Covid-19 and the sobering awareness about the frailty of our food systems in ensuring global food security. With a view into the coming 5 years from 2020 to 2025, the editorial board has taken a slightly different approach as compared to the previous Goals article. A mind map has been created to outline the key topics in nutrition science. Not surprisingly, when looking ahead, the majority of scientific investigation required will be in the areas of health and sustainability. Johannes le Coutre, Field Chief Editor, Frontiers in Nutrition.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Chávez-Reyes J, Escárcega-González CE, Chavira-Suárez E, et al (2021)

Susceptibility for Some Infectious Diseases in Patients With Diabetes: The Key Role of Glycemia.

Frontiers in public health, 9:559595.

Uncontrolled diabetes results in several metabolic alterations including hyperglycemia. Indeed, several preclinical and clinical studies have suggested that this condition may induce susceptibility and the development of more aggressive infectious diseases, especially those caused by some bacteria (including Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, among others) and viruses [such as coronavirus 2 (CoV2), Influenza A virus, Hepatitis B, etc.]. Although the precise mechanisms that link glycemia to the exacerbated infections remain elusive, hyperglycemia is known to induce a wide array of changes in the immune system activity, including alterations in: (i) the microenvironment of immune cells (e.g., pH, blood viscosity and other biochemical parameters); (ii) the supply of energy to infectious bacteria; (iii) the inflammatory response; and (iv) oxidative stress as a result of bacterial proliferative metabolism. Consistent with this evidence, some bacterial infections are typical (and/or have a worse prognosis) in patients with hypercaloric diets and a stressful lifestyle (conditions that promote hyperglycemic episodes). On this basis, the present review is particularly focused on: (i) the role of diabetes in the development of some bacterial and viral infections by analyzing preclinical and clinical findings; (ii) discussing the possible mechanisms by which hyperglycemia may increase the susceptibility for developing infections; and (iii) further understanding the impact of hyperglycemia on the immune system.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

D'Cruz RF, Hart N, G Kaltsakas (2020)

High-flow therapy: physiological effects and clinical applications.

Breathe (Sheffield, England), 16(4):200224.

Humidified high-flow therapy (HFT) is a noninvasive respiratory therapy, typically delivered through a nasal cannula interface, which delivers a stable fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2) at flow rates of up to 60 L·min-1. It is well-tolerated, simple to set up and ideally applied at 37°C to permit optimal humidification of inspired gas. Flow rate and FIO2 should be selected based on patients' inspiratory effort and severity of hypoxaemia. HFT yields beneficial physiological effects, including improved mucociliary clearance, enhanced dead space washout and optimisation of pulmonary mechanics. Robust evidence supports its application in the critical care setting (treatment of acute hypoxaemic respiratory failure and prevention of post-extubation respiratory failure) and emerging data supports HFT use during bronchoscopy, intubation and breaks from noninvasive ventilation or continuous positive airway pressure. There are limited data on HFT use in patients with hypercapnic respiratory failure, as an adjunct to pulmonary rehabilitation and in the palliative care setting, and further research is needed to validate the findings of small studies. The COVID-19 pandemic raises questions regarding HFT efficacy in COVID-19-related hypoxaemic respiratory failure and concerns regarding aerosolisation of respiratory droplets. Clinical trials are ongoing and healthcare professionals should implement strict precautions to mitigate the risk of nosocomial transmission.

Educational aims: Provide a practical guide to HFT setup and delivery.Outline the physiological effects of HFT on the respiratory system.Describe clinical applications of HFT in adult respiratory and critical care medicine and evaluate the supporting evidence.Discuss application of HFT in COVID-19 and aerosolisation of respiratory droplets.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Majumdar S, Verma R, Saha A, et al (2021)

Perspectives About Modulating Host Immune System in Targeting SARS-CoV-2 in India.

Frontiers in genetics, 12:637362.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus induced disease-2019 (COVID-19), is a type of common cold virus responsible for a global pandemic which requires immediate measures for its containment. India has the world's largest population aged between 10 and 40 years. At the same time, India has a large number of individuals with diabetes, hypertension and kidney diseases, who are at a high risk of developing COVID-19. A vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2, may offer immediate protection from the causative agent of COVID-19, however, the protective memory may be short-lived. Even if vaccination is broadly successful in the world, India has a large and diverse population with over one-third being below the poverty line. Therefore, the success of a vaccine, even when one becomes available, is uncertain, making it necessary to focus on alternate approaches of tackling the disease. In this review, we discuss the differences in COVID-19 death/infection ratio between urban and rural India; and the probable role of the immune system, co-morbidities and associated nutritional status in dictating the death rate of COVID-19 patients in rural and urban India. Also, we focus on strategies for developing masks, vaccines, diagnostics and the role of drugs targeting host-virus protein-protein interactions in enhancing host immunity. We also discuss India's strengths including the resources of medicinal plants, good food habits and the role of information technology in combating COVID-19. We focus on the Government of India's measures and strategies for creating awareness in the containment of COVID-19 infection across the country.

RevDate: 2021-03-05

Javed H, Meeran MFN, Jha NK, et al (2020)

Carvacrol, a Plant Metabolite Targeting Viral Protease (Mpro) and ACE2 in Host Cells Can Be a Possible Candidate for COVID-19.

Frontiers in plant science, 11:601335.

The recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) started in December 2019, resulting in the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Coronaviruses are solely accountable for rising mortality and socioeconomic saddles. Presently, there are few repurposed drugs such as remdesivir or favipiravir approved for the treatment of COVID-19, although vaccines and plasma therapy is also subject to emergency approval. However, some potential natural treatments and cures have also been proposed. Molecules of natural origin showed therapeutic importance such as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity, and could be useful drug candidates for treating COVID-19. In recent years, essential oils have shown promising therapeutic effects against many viral diseases. Carvacrol is one of the monoterpene phenol with abundant presence in essential oils of many aromatic plants, including thyme and oregano. It is being used as food flavoring, additive, and preservatives. Carvacrol is also used as a fragrance in cosmetic products. A number of research studies have shown biological actions of carvacrol with its therapeutic potential is of clinical significance. The in vitro and in vivo studies have shown multiple pharmacological properties such as anticancer, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasorelaxant, hepatoprotective, and spasmolytic. This review highlights the various biological and pharmacological properties of carvacrol within the scope of COVID-19.

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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

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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).

Timelines

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

Biographies

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 )