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30 Mar 2023 at 01:41
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Bibliography on: covid-19


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2023 at 01:41 Created: 


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-03-29

Pannucci P, Jefferson SR, Hampshire J, et al (2023)

COVID-19-Induced Myocarditis: Pathophysiological Roles of ACE2 and Toll-like Receptors.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(6): pii:ijms24065374.

The clinical manifestations of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) commonly include dyspnoea and fatigue, and they primarily involve the lungs. However, extra-pulmonary organ dysfunctions, particularly affecting the cardiovascular system, have also been observed following COVID-19 infection. In this context, several cardiac complications have been reported, including hypertension, thromboembolism, arrythmia and heart failure, with myocardial injury and myocarditis being the most frequent. These secondary myocardial inflammatory responses appear to be associated with a poorer disease course and increased mortality in patients with severe COVID-19. In addition, numerous episodes of myocarditis have been reported as a complication of COVID-19 mRNA vaccinations, especially in young adult males. Changes in the cell surface expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and direct injury to cardiomyocytes resulting from exaggerated immune responses to COVID-19 are just some of the mechanisms that may explain the pathogenesis of COVID-19-induced myocarditis. Here, we review the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying myocarditis associated with COVID-19 infection, with a particular focus on the involvement of ACE2 and Toll-like receptors (TLRs).

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Gattinger P, Ohradanova-Repic A, R Valenta (2023)

Importance, Applications and Features of Assays Measuring SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(6): pii:ijms24065352.

More than three years ago, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic with millions of deaths. In the meantime, SARS-CoV-2 has become endemic and is now part of the repertoire of viruses causing seasonal severe respiratory infections. Due to several factors, among them the development of SARS-CoV-2 immunity through natural infection, vaccination and the current dominance of seemingly less pathogenic strains belonging to the omicron lineage, the COVID-19 situation has stabilized. However, several challenges remain and the possible new occurrence of highly pathogenic variants remains a threat. Here we review the development, features and importance of assays measuring SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). In particular we focus on in vitro infection assays and molecular interaction assays studying the binding of the receptor binding domain (RBD) with its cognate cellular receptor ACE2. These assays, but not the measurement of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies per se, can inform us of whether antibodies produced by convalescent or vaccinated subjects may protect against the infection and thus have the potential to predict the risk of becoming newly infected. This information is extremely important given the fact that a considerable number of subjects, in particular vulnerable persons, respond poorly to the vaccination with the production of neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, these assays allow to determine and evaluate the virus-neutralizing capacity of antibodies induced by vaccines and administration of plasma-, immunoglobulin preparations, monoclonal antibodies, ACE2 variants or synthetic compounds to be used for therapy of COVID-19 and assist in the preclinical evaluation of vaccines. Both types of assays can be relatively quickly adapted to newly emerging virus variants to inform us about the magnitude of cross-neutralization, which may even allow us to estimate the risk of becoming infected by newly appearing virus variants. Given the paramount importance of the infection and interaction assays we discuss their specific features, possible advantages and disadvantages, technical aspects and not yet fully resolved issues, such as cut-off levels predicting the degree of in vivo protection.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Tate WP, Walker MOM, Peppercorn K, et al (2023)

Towards a Better Understanding of the Complexities of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Long COVID.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(6): pii:ijms24065124.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex condition arising in susceptible people, predominantly following viral infection, but also other stressful events. The susceptibility factors discussed here are both genetic and environmental although not well understood. While the dysfunctional physiology in ME/CFS is becoming clearer, understanding has been hampered by different combinations of symptoms in each affected person. A common core set of mainly neurological symptoms forms the modern clinical case definition, in the absence of an accessible molecular diagnostic test. This landscape has prompted interest in whether ME/CFS patients can be classified into a particular phenotype/subtype that might assist better management of their illness and suggest preferred therapeutic options. Currently, the same promising drugs, nutraceuticals, or behavioral therapies available can be beneficial, have no effect, or be detrimental to each individual patient. We have shown that individuals with the same disease profile exhibit unique molecular changes and physiological responses to stress, exercise and even vaccination. Key features of ME/CFS discussed here are the possible mechanisms determining the shift of an immune/inflammatory response from transient to chronic in ME/CFS, and how the brain and CNS manifests the neurological symptoms, likely with activation of its specific immune system and resulting neuroinflammation. The many cases of the post viral ME/CFS-like condition, Long COVID, following SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the intense research interest and investment in understanding this condition, provide exciting opportunities for the development of new therapeutics that will benefit ME/CFS patients.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Barni L, Carrasco-Vega E, Olivieri M, et al (2023)

Does Physical Exercise Enhance the Immune Response after Vaccination? A Systematic Review for Clinical Indications of COVID-19 Vaccine.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20065183.

BACKGROUND: Stimulating protective immunity with vaccines appears to be the most promising option for providing widespread moderate to high protection against COVID-19 in people over the age of 18. Regular exercise improves the immune response, transmitting possible benefits against virus infections. The aim of this review is to study the effects of physical activity on vaccine injections, helping to develop new recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.

METHODS: A comprehensive review of the existing literature was undertaken using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The internal quality of the studies was assessed according to the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. The outcomes analyzed were antibody titer, the level of lymphocytes CD4, CD8, InterLeukin 6 (IL6), leukocytes level, the visual analogue scale (VAS) for overall pain rating, arm and forearm circumferences and volume of oxygen (VO2) peak.

RESULTS: Fourteen articles were selected for the analysis. The majority of studies were randomized controlled trials (RCT) (n = 8) and controlled trials (CT) (n = 6). According to PEDro, the 'fair' category (n = 7) was the most represented, followed by 'good' (n = 6) and 'excellent' (n = 1). Physical training showed a positive effect on antibody titers of the vaccine; yet, different variables seem to influence antibody titers: higher new vs. old antigen in the vaccine, higher in younger vs. older individuals, and higher in females vs. males. After exercise, when analyzing variables of direct response to the vaccine, such as the amount of CD4, IL-6 and leukocytes, higher levels were observed in the patients who performed physical exercise compared to the control group. In the same way, better results were observed in physiological variables such as VO2 and limb circumferences, or subjective variables such as pain, which showed better results than the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: The immune response (antibody titers) depends on age, gender and the intensity of physical activity: long-term protocols at moderate intensity are the most recommended. All of these aspects also have to be carefully considered for the COVID-19 vaccination.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Kamat D, Al-Ajlouni YA, RCW Hall (2023)

The Therapeutic Impact of Plant-Based and Nutritional Supplements on Anxiety, Depressive Symptoms and Sleep Quality among Adults and Elderly: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20065171.

BACKGROUND: The emerging research in the literature continues to forecast a drastic and alarming increase in negative mental health and sleep health outcomes among populations, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly influenced people's way of life. With mental health pharmaceutical interventions continuing to be stigmatized and inaccessible among populations, natural supplements provide an opportunity for intervention.

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to conduct a systematic review of the literature on the most recent comprehensive evidence for which nutritional supplements have the greatest therapeutic impact on symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

METHODS: A systematic search of the literature, utilizing several databases, including PubMed and Web of Science, was conducted on 29 April 2022. We used developed keywords and MeSH terms for the search. The study eligibility criteria included (1) a randomized control trial; (2) investigating a plant-based therapeutic or natural supplement as the intervention; (3) measuring at least one health outcome of the following: anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, or sleep health outcomes; (4) utilizing validated measurement tools to measure the outcome of interest; (5) written in the English language; (6) peer reviewed; and (7) focused on adults and elderly populations.

MAIN RESULTS: Following the PRISMA guidelines, 76 studies were included in this review. We used the revised Risk of Bias tool (RoB2) to assess the quality of all included randomized control trials. A qualitative data synthesis was conducted. Overall, we found several valuable insights from the evidence in the literature, including evidence that demonstrates the benefits of probiotics and vitamin B complexes on anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and sleep quality. Implication of Key Findings: This review provides the most updated findings in the literature on the topic, including an abundance of research that was published in the past 5 years. Given the expected rise in negative mental and sleep health outcomes following the pandemic, the supplements and therapeutics identified in this study should be the target of intervention measures to increase their accessibility and affordability and allow them to be incorporated into clinical guidelines of treatment. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42022361130.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Avittan H, D Kustovs (2023)

Cognition and Mental Health in Pediatric Patients Following COVID-19.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20065061.

The global coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted public health and has been a research subject since its emergence in 2019. The acute phase of the disease leads to pulmonary and non-pulmonary manifestations, which in some individuals may progress to long-lasting symptoms. In this article, we conducted a narrative review of the current literature to summarize current knowledge regarding long COVID syndrome in children, focusing on cognitive symptoms. The review included a search of three databases (PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science) using the key phrases "post COVID-19 cognitive pediatric", "long COVID pediatric", "mental health long COVID children", and "COVID-19 cognitive symptoms". A total of 102 studies were included. The review revealed that the main long-term cognitive symptoms following COVID-19 were memory and concentration deficits, sleep disturbances, and psychiatric states such as anxiety and stress. In addition to the direct physiological effects of a viral infection, there are psychological, behavioral, and social factors contributing to cognitive impairment, which should be addressed regarding the pediatric population. The high prevalence of neurocognitive symptoms in children following COVID-19 emphasizes the importance of understanding the mechanisms of nervous system involvement.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Sirois FM (2023)

Procrastination and Stress: A Conceptual Review of Why Context Matters.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20065031.

Research over the past two decades has continued to highlight the robust associations between procrastination and stress across multiple populations and contexts. Despite this burgeoning evidence base and theory linking procrastination to higher levels of stress, as well as the reverse, the role of context in this potentially dynamic association has received relatively little attention. In this conceptual review I argue that from a mood regulation perspective of procrastination, stressful contexts necessarily increase risk for procrastination because they deplete coping resources and lower the threshold for tolerating negative emotions. Drawing on insights from coping and emotion regulation theory, the new stress context vulnerability model of procrastination proposes that the risk for procrastination increases in stressful contexts primarily because procrastination is a low-resource means of avoiding aversive and difficult task-related emotions. The new model is then applied to evidence on the primary and secondary sources of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they may have increased vulnerability for procrastination. After discussing potential applications of the new model for understanding how and why risk for procrastination may increase in other stressful contexts, approaches that might mitigate vulnerability for procrastination in high-stress contexts are discussed. Overall, this new stress context vulnerability model underscores the need for taking a more compassionate view of the antecedents and factors that may increase the risk for procrastination.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Fadel M, Bodin J, Cros F, et al (2023)

Teleworking and Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Systematic Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20064973.

Teleworking has spread drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but its effect on musculo-skeletal disorders (MSD) remains unclear. We aimed to make a qualitative systematic review on the effect of teleworking on MSD. Following the PRISMA guidelines, several databases were searched using strings based on MSD and teleworking keywords. A two-step selection process was used to select relevant studies and a risk of bias assessment was made. Relevant variables were extracted from the articles included, with a focus on study design, population, definition of MSD, confounding factors, and main results. Of 205 studies identified, 25 were included in the final selection. Most studies used validated questionnaires to assess MSD, six considered confounders extensively, and seven had a control group. The most reported MSD were lower back and neck pain. Some studies found increased prevalence or pain intensity, while others did not. Risk of bias was high, with only 5 studies with low/probably low risk of bias. Conflicting results on the effect of teleworking on MSD were found, though an increase in MSD related to organizational and ergonomic factors seems to emerge. Future studies should focus on longitudinal approaches and consider ergonomic and work organization factors as well as socio-economic status.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Sancho-Cantus D, Cubero-Plazas L, Botella Navas M, et al (2023)

Importance of Soft Skills in Health Sciences Students and Their Repercussion after the COVID-19 Epidemic: Scoping Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20064901.

Soft skills (SKs) are skills related to the interaction among people and their way of dealing with tasks. Increasingly valued in the workplace, they are especially relevant in health professionals due to the importance of the relationship among them and their patients and families. Given their importance, the university training of healthcare professionals must promote the development of SKs. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a turning point in many areas, changing the learning process and, even more, the use of these soft skills as a fundamental ingredient in human relationships. The aim of this study was to analyse the available evidence regarding SKs in health science students, specifically nursing students, and to describe whether there is a worsening in the development of such skills after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the PRISMA-ScR methodology for systematic reviews, this study included articles on social skills and possible changes in these skills as a consequence of the pandemic in health sciences students The results highlight the importance of these emotional competences for future nurses, being particularly relevant for communication and emotional self-awareness and showing their influence on academic aspects, such as academic performance or mental health and coping skills. A major limitation of the present study was not considering aspects such as compassion or empathy. However, the novelty provided by this work is the analysis of the changes in SKs produced as a consequence of the pandemic. It is definitely clear that there is a need to enhance emotional intelligence, and thus soft skills, in future health professionals.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Manfredini A, Pisano F, Incoccia C, et al (2023)

The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown Measures and COVID-19 Infection on Cognitive Functions: A Review in Healthy and Neurological Populations.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20064889.

The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected people's mental health all over the world. This review aims to present a comprehensive overview of the literature related to the effects of COVID-19 lockdown measures and COVID-19 infection on cognitive functioning in both healthy people and people with neurological conditions by considering only standardized tests. We performed a narrative review of the literature via two databases, PUBMED and SCOPUS, from December 2019 to December 2022. In total, 62 out of 1356 articles were selected and organized into three time periods: short-term (1-4 months), medium-term (5-8 months), and long-term (9-12 months), according to the time in which the tests were performed. Regardless of the time period, most studies showed a general worsening in cognitive performance in people with neurological conditions due to COVID-19 lockdown measures and in healthy individuals recovered from COVID-19 infection. Our review is the first to highlight the importance of considering standardized tests as reliable measures to quantify the presence of cognitive deficits due to COVID-19. Indeed, we believe that they provide an objective measure of the cognitive difficulties encountered in the different populations, while allowing clinicians to plan rehabilitation treatments that can be of great help to many patients who still, nowadays, experience post-COVID-19 symptoms.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Fouladi N, Tchangalova N, Ajayi D, et al (2023)

COVID-19 Public Health Measures and Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care Research: An Umbrella Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(6): pii:ijerph20064887.

An umbrella review of previously published systematic reviews was conducted to determine the nature and extent of the patient and public involvement (PPI) in COVID-19 health and social care research and identify how PPI has been used to develop public health measures (PHM). In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on PPI in research as it offers alternative perspectives and insight into the needs of healthcare users to improve the quality and relevance of research. In January 2022, nine databases were searched from 2020-2022, and records were filtered to identify peer-reviewed articles published in English. From a total of 1437 unique records, 54 full-text articles were initially evaluated, and six articles met the inclusion criteria. The included studies suggest that PHM should be attuned to communities within a sociocultural context. Based on the evidence included, it is evident that PPI in COVID-19-related research is varied. The existing evidence includes written feedback, conversations with stakeholders, and working groups/task forces. An inconsistent evidence base exists in the application and use of PPI in PHM. Successful mitigation efforts must be community specific while making PPI an integral component of shared decision-making.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Saeki S, Okada R, PY Shane (2023)

Medical Education during the COVID-19: A Review of Guidelines and Policies Adapted during the 2020 Pandemic.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 11(6): pii:healthcare11060867.

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically changed education systems as most governments around the world closed schools to prevent outbreaks on campus. Medical education was not immune from these policies, and medical students were deprived of opportunities, particularly in clinical training. To determine how countries worldwide have responded to the pandemic, we conducted a literature review of the policies and guidelines of four countries: Japan, the United States (USA), the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia, as well as case reports of faculty and medical students up to September, 2020. Although the methods of implementation were unique to each country, the concept of "returning medical students to live education as quickly and safely as possible" was common. However, the extent to which students and faculty members became engaged in the treatment process of COVID-19 varied. While some countries endorsed students to work as members of medical staff to treat COVID-19, other countries took measures to ensure the safety of both medical students and patients. We await further reports worldwide in order to better understand the strategies employed by different nations in preparation for future possible infection outbreaks.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Mahalakshmi V, Balobaid A, Kanisha B, et al (2023)

Artificial Intelligence: A Next-Level Approach in Confronting the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 11(6): pii:healthcare11060854.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which caused coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) in late 2019 in China created a devastating economical loss and loss of human lives. To date, 11 variants have been identified with minimum to maximum severity of infection and surges in cases. Bacterial co-infection/secondary infection is identified during viral respiratory infection, which is a vital reason for morbidity and mortality. The occurrence of secondary infections is an additional burden to the healthcare system; therefore, the quick diagnosis of both COVID-19 and secondary infections will reduce work pressure on healthcare workers. Therefore, well-established support from Artificial Intelligence (AI) could reduce the stress in healthcare and even help in creating novel products to defend against the coronavirus. AI is one of the rapidly growing fields with numerous applications for the healthcare sector. The present review aims to access the recent literature on the role of AI and how its subfamily machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) are used to curb the pandemic's effects. We discuss the role of AI in COVID-19 infections, the detection of secondary infections, technology-assisted protection from COVID-19, global laws and regulations on AI, and the impact of the pandemic on public life.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Jiang L, Alizadeh F, W Cui (2023)

Effectiveness of Drama-Based Intervention in Improving Mental Health and Well-Being: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Period.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 11(6): pii:healthcare11060839.

As a creative form of psychotherapy, drama appears to assist individuals in the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic period in altering crisis conditions and challenging negative perspectives. Drama-based intervention is presented as an option for addressing mental health issues in clinical and general populations by utilising various multidisciplinary sources, such as psychodrama and role playing. In this study, a systematic review and meta-analysis were employed to assess the impact of drama on mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic. Four electronic databases (PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect) were extensively searched from December 2019 to October 2022. Quality assessment and Risk of Bias tool of the Cochrane Collaboration were performed. Using a random effect model, standardised mean difference (SMD) values and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. In the final analysis, 25 studies involving 797 participants were included. The study revealed that drama-based interventions have the potential to improve mental health (e.g., trauma-related disorders) and well-being (e.g., psychological well-being), which could position drama as an adjunctive method of mental health care. This original review offered the newer, more comprehensive recommendations for drama-based intervention based on evidence.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Aldana GL, Evoh OV, A Reddy (2023)

Best Practices for Providing Patient-Centered Tele-Palliative Care to Cancer Patients.

Cancers, 15(6): pii:cancers15061809.

Cancer patients receiving palliative care may face significant challenges in attending outpatient appointments. Patients on controlled substances such as opioids require frequent visits and often rely on assistive devices and/or a caregiver to accompany them to these visits. In addition, pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath may magnify the challenges associated with in-person visits. The rapid adoption of telemedicine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be highly beneficial for advanced cancer patients and caregivers. The hurried COVID-19-related implementation of telemedicine is now evolving into a permanent platform for providing palliative care. This review will focus on the best practices and recommendations to deliver high-quality, interdisciplinary tele-palliative care.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Daponte N, Valasoulis G, Michail G, et al (2023)

HPV-Based Self-Sampling in Cervical Cancer Screening: An Updated Review of the Current Evidence in the Literature.

Cancers, 15(6): pii:cancers15061669.

Identifying and reaching women at higher risk for cervical cancer is all-important for achieving the ambitious endpoints set in 2020 by the WHO for global cervical cancer control by 2030. HPV-based (vaginal) self-sampling (SS) represents a cost-effective screening strategy, which has been successfully implemented during the last decade both in affluent and constrained settings. Among other advantages, SS strategies offer convenience, diminished costs, flexibility to obtain a sample in the office or home, avoiding a pelvic exam and uncomfortable appointment with a healthcare professional, as well as social and cultural acceptability. SS implementation has been globally boosted during the COVID-19 pandemic. In pragmatic terms, social distancing, local lockdowns, discontinuation of clinics and reallocation of human and financial resources challenged established clinician-based screening; self-collection strategies apparently surpassed most obstacles, representing a viable and flexible alternative. With time, sufficient reassuring data has accumulated regarding specially designed SS devices, aspects of sample preparation, transport and storage and, importantly, optimization of validated PCR-based HPV testing platforms for self-collected specimens. Suboptimal rates of clinical follow-up post-SS screening, as well as overtreatment with reliance solely on molecular assays, have both been documented and remain concerning. Therefore, effective strategies are still required to ensure linkage to follow-up testing and management following positive SS results by trained health professionals with knowledge of HPV biology and management algorithms. Because of the prolonged SS screening intervals, implementation data are limited regarding subsequent screening rounds of SS-screened individuals; however, these are accumulating gradually. With further refinement of assays and validation of novel biomarkers in self-collected samples, there is a clear potential for increasing SS accuracy and PPV. The potential differentiation of self-collection protocols for vaccinated versus non-vaccinated individuals also represents an open issue. In conclusion, HPV-based self-collection techniques can effectively address limited uptake alongside other conventional cervical screening drawbacks; however, assays, logistics and infrastructures need further optimization to increase the efficacy, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of SS approaches.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Avila FR, Carter RE, McLeod CJ, et al (2023)

The Role of Telemedicine in Prehospital Traumatic Hand Injury Evaluation.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 13(6): pii:diagnostics13061165.

Unnecessary ED visits and transfers to hand clinics raise treatment costs and patient burden at trauma centers. In the present COVID-19 pandemic, needless transfers can increase patients' risk of viral exposure. Therefore, this review analyzes different aspects of the remote diagnosis and triage of traumatic hand injuries. The most common file was photography, with the most common devices being cell phone cameras. Treatment, triage, diagnosis, cost, and time outcomes were assessed, showing concordance between teleconsultation and face-to-face patient evaluations. We conclude that photography and video consultations are feasible surrogates for ED visits in patients with traumatic hand injuries. These technologies should be leveraged to decrease treatment costs and potentially decrease the time to definitive treatment after initial evaluation.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Jankovic M, Nikolic D, Novakovic I, et al (2023)

miRNAs as a Potential Biomarker in the COVID-19 Infection and Complications Course, Severity, and Outcome.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 13(6): pii:diagnostics13061091.

During the last three years, since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant number of scientific publications have focused on resolving susceptibility to the infection, as well as the course of the disease and potential long-term complications. COVID-19 is widely considered as a multisystem disease and a variety of socioeconomic, medical, and genetic/epigenetic factors may contribute to the disease severity and outcome. Furthermore, the SARS-COV-2 infection may trigger pathological processes and accelerate underlying conditions to clinical entities. The development of specific and sensitive biomarkers that are easy to obtain will allow for patient stratification, prevention, prognosis, and more individualized treatments for COVID-19. miRNAs are proposed as promising biomarkers for different aspects of COVID-19 disease (susceptibility, severity, complication course, outcome, and therapeutic possibilities). This review summarizes the most relevant findings concerning miRNA involvement in COVID-19 pathology. Additionally, the role of miRNAs in wide range of complications due to accompanied and/or underlying health conditions is discussed. The importance of understanding the functional relationships between different conditions, such as pregnancy, obesity, or neurological diseases, with COVID-19 is also highlighted.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Alwakeel A, Alwakeel M, Zahra SR, et al (2023)

Common Mental Disorders in Smart City Settings and Use of Multimodal Medical Sensor Fusion to Detect Them.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 13(6): pii:diagnostics13061082.

Cities have undergone numerous permanent transformations at times of severe disruption. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755, for example, sparked the development of seismic construction rules. In 1848, when cholera spread through London, the first health law in the United Kingdom was passed. The Chicago fire of 1871 led to stricter building rules, which led to taller skyscrapers that were less likely to catch fire. Along similar lines, the COVID-19 epidemic may have a lasting effect, having pushed the global shift towards greener, more digital, and more inclusive cities. The pandemic highlighted the significance of smart/remote healthcare. Specifically, the elderly delayed seeking medical help for fear of contracting the infection. As a result, remote medical services were seen as a key way to keep healthcare services running smoothly. When it comes to both human and environmental health, cities play a critical role. By concentrating people and resources in a single location, the urban environment generates both health risks and opportunities to improve health. In this manuscript, we have identified the most common mental disorders and their prevalence rates in cities. We have also identified the factors that contribute to the development of mental health issues in urban spaces. Through careful analysis, we have found that multimodal feature fusion is the best method for measuring and analysing multiple signal types in real time. However, when utilizing multimodal signals, the most important issue is how we might combine them; this is an area of burgeoning research interest. To this end, we have highlighted ways to combine multimodal features for detecting and predicting mental issues such as anxiety, mood state recognition, suicidal tendencies, and substance abuse.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Fabbrizi E, Fiorentino F, Carafa V, et al (2023)

Emerging Roles of SIRT5 in Metabolism, Cancer, and SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Cells, 12(6): pii:cells12060852.

Sirtuin 5 (SIRT5) is a predominantly mitochondrial enzyme catalyzing the removal of glutaryl, succinyl, malonyl, and acetyl groups from lysine residues through a NAD[+]-dependent deacylase mechanism. SIRT5 is an important regulator of cellular homeostasis and modulates the activity of proteins involved in different metabolic pathways such as glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, fatty acid oxidation, electron transport chain, generation of ketone bodies, nitrogenous waste management, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification. SIRT5 controls a wide range of aspects of myocardial energy metabolism and plays critical roles in heart physiology and stress responses. Moreover, SIRT5 has a protective function in the context of neurodegenerative diseases, while it acts as a context-dependent tumor promoter or suppressor. In addition, current research has demonstrated that SIRT5 is implicated in the SARS-CoV-2 infection, although opposing conclusions have been drawn in different studies. Here, we review the current knowledge on SIRT5 molecular actions under both healthy and diseased settings, as well as its functional effects on metabolic targets. Finally, we revise the potential of SIRT5 as a therapeutic target and provide an overview of the currently reported SIRT5 modulators, which include both activators and inhibitors.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Rahman NHA, Mohd Zahir MZ, NM Althabhawi (2023)

Repercussions of COVID-19 Lockdown on Implementation of Children's Rights to Education.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 10(3): pii:children10030474.

Lockdowns were among the control measures taken by many countries to hinder the virus from rapidly spreading. Public places had to be closed, including schools, as children are among the vulnerable groups that must always be protected. The primary purpose of this article is to explain children's rights to education based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDG 2030). This article further investigates the consequences of COVID-19 lockdowns for ensuring that privilege for children. The article applies a qualitative method and observed that the lockdown strategy created challenges for all children with respect to receiving education, as the traditional learning pedagogy involving face-to-face meetings forcibly replaced by online learning. The principle of the best interest of the child is a primary consideration. In conclusion, governments must be responsible for providing all necessities to support education for all children, which is essential for human development.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Pari B, Gallucci M, Ghigo A, et al (2023)

Insight on Infections in Diabetic Setting.

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030971.

The correlation between diabetes mellitus and infectious diseases is widely recognized. DM patients are characterized by the impaired function of the immune system. This translates into the occurrence of a variety of infections, including urinary tract, skin and surgical site infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and, more recently, SARS-CoV-2. Hyperglycemia has been identified as a relevant factor contributing to unfavorable outcomes in hospitalized patients including SARS-CoV-2 patients. Several studies have been performed proving that to maintain the proper and stringent monitoring of glycemia, a balanced diet and physical activity is mandatory to reduce the risk of infections and their associated complications. This review is focused on the mechanisms accounting for the increased susceptibility of DM patients to infections, with particular attention to the impact of newly introduced hypoglycemic drugs in sepsis management.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Niculae CM, Hristea A, R Moroti (2023)

Mechanisms of COVID-19 Associated Pulmonary Thrombosis: A Narrative Review.

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030929.

COVID-19, the infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is frequently associated with pulmonary thrombotic events, especially in hospitalized patients. Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection is characterized by a proinflammatory state and an associated disbalance in hemostasis. Immune pathology analysis supports the inflammatory nature of pulmonary arterial thrombi composed of white blood cells, especially neutrophils, CD3[+] and CD20[+] lymphocytes, fibrin, red blood cells, and platelets. Immune cells, cytokines, chemokines, and the complement system are key drivers of immunothrombosis, as they induce the damage of endothelial cells and initiate proinflammatory and procoagulant positive feedback loops. Neutrophil extracellular traps induced by COVID-19-associated "cytokine storm", platelets, red blood cells, and coagulation pathways close the inflammation-endotheliopathy-thrombosis axis, contributing to SARS-CoV-2-associated pulmonary thrombotic events. The hypothesis of immunothrombosis is also supported by the minor role of venous thromboembolism with chest CT imaging data showing peripheral blood clots associated with inflammatory lesions and the high incidence of thrombotic events despite routine thromboprophylaxis. Understanding the complex mechanisms behind COVID-19-induced pulmonary thrombosis will lead to future combination therapies for hospitalized patients with severe disease that would target the crossroads of inflammatory and coagulation pathways.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

McDonnell T, Wu HHL, Kalra PA, et al (2023)

COVID-19 in Elderly Patients Receiving Haemodialysis: A Current Review.

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030926.

There is an increased incidence of elderly adults diagnosed with kidney failure as our global aging population continues to expand. Hence, the number of elderly adults indicated for kidney replacement therapy is also increasing simultaneously. Haemodialysis initiation is more commonly observed in comparison to kidney transplantation and peritoneal dialysis for the elderly. The onset of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic brought new paradigms and insights for the care of this patient population. Elderly patients receiving haemodialysis have been identified as high-risk groups for poor COVID-19 outcomes. Age, immunosenescence, impaired response to COVID-19 vaccination, increased exposure to sources of COVID-19 infection and thrombotic risks during dialysis are key factors which demonstrated significant associations with COVID-19 incidence, severity and mortality for this patient group. Recent findings suggest that preventative measures such as regular screening and, if needed, isolation in COVID-19-positive cases, alongside the fulfillment of COVID-19 vaccination programs is an integral strategy to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases and consequential complications from COVID-19, particularly for high-risk groups such as elderly haemodialysis patients. The COVID-19 pandemic brought about the rapid development and repurposing of a number of medications to treat patients in the viral and inflammatory stages of their disease. However, elderly haemodialysis patients were grossly unrepresented in many of these trials. We review the evidence for contemporary treatments for COVID-19 in this population to provide clinicians with an up-to-date guide. We hope our article increases awareness on the associations and impact of COVID-19 for the elderly haemodialysis population, and encourage research efforts to address knowledge gaps in this topical area.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Zhang T, Wang N, Zhu L, et al (2023)

Bidirectional Relationship between Glycemic Control and COVID-19 and Perspectives of Islet Organoid Models of SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030856.

Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to morbidity and mortality, with several clinical manifestations, and has caused a widespread pandemic. It has been found that type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness. Moreover, accumulating evidence has shown that SARS-CoV-2 infection can increase the risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes, though the underlying mechanism remains unclear because of a lack of authentic disease models to recapitulate the abnormalities involved in the development, regeneration, and function of human pancreatic islets under SARS-CoV-2 infection. Stem-cell-derived islet organoids have been valued as a model to study islets' development and function, and thus provide a promising model for unraveling the mechanisms underlying the onset of diabetes under SARS-CoV-2 infection. This review summarized the latest results from clinical and basic research on SARS-CoV-2-induced pancreatic islet damage and impaired glycemic control. Furthermore, we discuss the potential and perspectives of using human ES/iPS cell-derived islet organoids to unravel the bidirectional relationship between glycemic control and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Cornea A, Lata I, Simu M, et al (2023)

Parsonage-Turner Syndrome Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Systematic Review.

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030837.

Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS) is an inflammatory disorder of the brachial plexus. Hypothesized underlying causes focus on immune-mediated processes, as more than half of patients present some antecedent event or possible predisposing condition, such as infection, vaccination, exercise, or surgery. Recently, PTS was reported following the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. We aimed to investigate data on PTS triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection to provide an extensive perspective on this pathology and to reveal what other, more specific, research questions can be further addressed. In addition, we aimed to highlight research gaps requiring further attention. We systematically reviewed two databases (LitCOVID and the World Health Organization database on COVID-19) to January 2023. We found 26 cases of PTS in patients with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The clinical and paraclinical spectrum was heterogeneous, ranging from classical PTS to pure sensory neuropathy, extended neuropathy, spinal accessory nerve involvement, and diaphragmatic palsy. Also, two familial cases were reported. Among them, 93.8% of patients had severe pain, 80.8% were reported to present a motor deficit, and 53.8% of patients presented muscle wasting. Paresthesia was noted in 46.2% of PTS individuals and a sensory loss was reported in 34.6% of patients. The present systematic review highlights the necessity of having a high index of suspicion of PTS in patients with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, as the clinical manifestations can be variable. Also, there is a need for a standardized approach to investigation and reporting on PTS. Future studies should aim for a comprehensive assessment of patients. Factors including the baseline characteristics of the patients, evolution, and treatments should be consistently assessed across studies. In addition, a thorough differential diagnosis should be employed.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Ting M, Molinari JA, JB Suzuki (2023)

Current SARS-CoV-2 Protective Strategies for Healthcare Professionals.

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030808.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 was first reported in China in December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and spread primarily via an airborne route. Hand hygiene, surgical masks, vaccinations and boosters, air filtration, environmental sanitization, instrument sterilization, mouth rinses, and social distancing are essential infection control measures against the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This paper aims to provide healthcare professionals with evidence-based protective strategies.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Palazzuoli A, Beltrami M, PA McCullough (2023)

Acute COVID-19 Management in Heart Failure Patients: A Specific Setting Requiring Detailed Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital Care.

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030790.

The relationship existing between heart failure (HF) and COVID-19 remains questioned and poorly elucidated. Many reports suggest that HF events are reduced during pandemics, although other studies have demonstrated higher mortality and sudden death in patients affected by HF. Several vascular, thrombotic, and respiratory features may deteriorate stable HF patients; therefore, the infection may directly cause direct myocardial damage, leading to cardiac function deterioration. Another concern is related to the possibility that antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and corticosteroid agents commonly employed during acute COVID-19 infection may have potentially deleterious effects on the cardiovascular (CV) system. For these reasons, HF patients deserve specific management with a tailored approach in order to avoid arrhythmic complications and fluid retention events. In this review, we describe the complex interplay between COVID-19 and HF, the evolving trend of infection with related CV events, and the specific management strategy to adopt in this setting.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Gheorghe AM, Trandafir AI, Ionovici N, et al (2023)

Pituitary Apoplexy in Patients with Pituitary Neuroendocrine Tumors (PitNET).

Biomedicines, 11(3): pii:biomedicines11030680.

Various complications of pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNET) are reported, and an intratumor hemorrhage or infarct underlying pituitary apoplexy (PA) represents an uncommon, yet potentially life-threatening, feature, and thus early recognition and prompt intervention are important. Our purpose is to overview PA from clinical presentation to management and outcome. This is a narrative review of the English-language, PubMed-based original articles from 2012 to 2022 concerning PA, with the exception of pregnancy- and COVID-19-associated PA, and non-spontaneous PA (prior specific therapy for PitNET). We identified 194 original papers including 1452 patients with PA (926 males, 525 females, and one transgender male; a male-to-female ratio of 1.76; mean age at PA diagnostic of 50.52 years, the youngest being 9, the oldest being 85). Clinical presentation included severe headache in the majority of cases (but some exceptions are registered, as well); neuro-ophthalmic panel with nausea and vomiting, meningism, and cerebral ischemia; respectively, decreased visual acuity to complete blindness in two cases; visual field defects: hemianopia, cranial nerve palsies manifesting as diplopia in the majority, followed by ptosis and ophthalmoplegia (most frequent cranial nerve affected was the oculomotor nerve, and, rarely, abducens and trochlear); proptosis (N = 2 cases). Risk factors are high blood pressure followed by diabetes mellitus as the main elements. Qualitative analysis also pointed out infections, trauma, hematologic conditions (thrombocytopenia, polycythemia), Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, and T3 thyrotoxicosis. Iatrogenic elements may be classified into three main categories: medication, diagnostic tests and techniques, and surgical procedures. The first group is dominated by anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs; additionally, at a low level of statistical evidence, we mention androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, chemotherapy, thyroxine therapy, oral contraceptives, and phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors. The second category includes a dexamethasone suppression test, clomiphene use, combined endocrine stimulation tests, and a regadenoson myocardial perfusion scan. The third category involves major surgery, laparoscopic surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, mitral valvuloplasty, endonasal surgery, and lumbar fusion surgery in a prone position. PA in PitNETs still represents a challenging condition requiring a multidisciplinary team from first presentation to short- and long-term management. Controversies involve the specific panel of risk factors and adequate protocols with concern to neurosurgical decisions and their timing versus conservative approach. The present decade-based analysis, to our knowledge the largest so far on published cases, confirms a lack of unanimous approach and criteria of intervention, a large panel of circumstantial events, and potential triggers with different levels of statistical significance, in addition to a heterogeneous clinical picture (if any, as seen in subacute PA) and a spectrum of evolution that varies from spontaneous remission and control of PitNET-associated hormonal excess to exitus. Awareness is mandatory. A total of 25 cohorts have been published so far with more than 10 PA cases/studies, whereas the largest cohorts enrolled around 100 patients. Further studies are necessary.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Ferrari E (2023)

Gold Nanoparticle-Based Plasmonic Biosensors.

Biosensors, 13(3): pii:bios13030411.

One of the emerging technologies in molecular diagnostics of the last two decades is the use of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for biosensors. AuNPs can be functionalized with various biomolecules, such as nucleic acids or antibodies, to recognize and bind to specific targets. AuNPs present unique optical properties, such as their distinctive plasmonic band, which confers a bright-red color to AuNP solutions, and their extremely high extinction coefficient, which makes AuNPs detectable by the naked eye even at low concentrations. Ingenious molecular mechanisms triggered by the presence of a target analyte can change the colloidal status of AuNPs from dispersed to aggregated, with a subsequent visible change in color of the solution due to the loss of the characteristic plasmonic band. This review describes how the optical properties of AuNPs have been exploited for the design of plasmonic biosensors that only require the simple mixing of reagents combined with a visual readout and focuses on the molecular mechanisms involved. This review illustrates selected examples of AuNP-based plasmonic biosensors and promising approaches for the point-of-care testing of various analytes, spanning from the viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 to the molecules that give distinctive flavor and color to aged whisky.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Yin J, Xu J, TL Ren (2023)

Recent Progress in Long-Term Sleep Monitoring Technology.

Biosensors, 13(3): pii:bios13030395.

Sleep is an essential physiological activity, accounting for about one-third of our lives, which significantly impacts our memory, mood, health, and children's growth. Especially after the COVID-19 epidemic, sleep health issues have attracted more attention. In recent years, with the development of wearable electronic devices, there have been more and more studies, products, or solutions related to sleep monitoring. Many mature technologies, such as polysomnography, have been applied to clinical practice. However, it is urgent to develop wearable or non-contacting electronic devices suitable for household continuous sleep monitoring. This paper first introduces the basic knowledge of sleep and the significance of sleep monitoring. Then, according to the types of physiological signals monitored, this paper describes the research progress of bioelectrical signals, biomechanical signals, and biochemical signals used for sleep monitoring. However, it is not ideal to monitor the sleep quality for the whole night based on only one signal. Therefore, this paper reviews the research on multi-signal monitoring and introduces systematic sleep monitoring schemes. Finally, a conclusion and discussion of sleep monitoring are presented to propose potential future directions and prospects for sleep monitoring.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Ferreira MDP, Yamada-Ogatta SF, CR Teixeira Tarley (2023)

Electrochemical and Bioelectrochemical Sensing Platforms for Diagnostics of COVID-19.

Biosensors, 13(3): pii:bios13030336.

Rapid transmission and high mortality rates caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus showed that the best way to fight against the pandemic was through rapid, accurate diagnosis in parallel with vaccination. In this context, several research groups around the world have endeavored to develop new diagnostic methods due to the disadvantages of the gold standard method, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), in terms of cost and time consumption. Electrochemical and bioelectrochemical platforms have been important tools for overcoming the limitations of conventional diagnostic platforms, including accuracy, accessibility, portability, and response time. In this review, we report on several electrochemical sensors and biosensors developed for SARS-CoV-2 detection, presenting the concepts, fabrication, advantages, and disadvantages of the different approaches. The focus is devoted to highlighting the recent progress of electrochemical devices developed as next-generation field-deployable analytical tools as well as guiding future researchers in the manufacture of devices for disease diagnosis.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Beeram R, Vepa KR, VR Soma (2023)

Recent Trends in SERS-Based Plasmonic Sensors for Disease Diagnostics, Biomolecules Detection, and Machine Learning Techniques.

Biosensors, 13(3): pii:bios13030328.

Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy/scattering (SERS) has evolved into a popular tool for applications in biology and medicine owing to its ease-of-use, non-destructive, and label-free approach. Advances in plasmonics and instrumentation have enabled the realization of SERS's full potential for the trace detection of biomolecules, disease diagnostics, and monitoring. We provide a brief review on the recent developments in the SERS technique for biosensing applications, with a particular focus on machine learning techniques used for the same. Initially, the article discusses the need for plasmonic sensors in biology and the advantage of SERS over existing techniques. In the later sections, the applications are organized as SERS-based biosensing for disease diagnosis focusing on cancer identification and respiratory diseases, including the recent SARS-CoV-2 detection. We then discuss progress in sensing microorganisms, such as bacteria, with a particular focus on plasmonic sensors for detecting biohazardous materials in view of homeland security. At the end of the article, we focus on machine learning techniques for the (a) identification, (b) classification, and (c) quantification in SERS for biology applications. The review covers the work from 2010 onwards, and the language is simplified to suit the needs of the interdisciplinary audience.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Chandrasekar N, Balaji R, Perala RS, et al (2023)

A Brief Review of Graphene-Based Biosensors Developed for Rapid Detection of COVID-19 Biomarkers.

Biosensors, 13(3): pii:bios13030307.

The prevalence of mutated species of COVID-19 antigens has provided a strong impetus for identifying a cost-effective, rapid and facile strategy for identifying the viral loads in public places. The ever-changing genetic make-up of SARS-CoV-2 posts a significant challenfge for the research community to identify a robust mechanism to target, bind and confirm the presence of a viral load before it spreads. Synthetic DNA constructs are a novel strategy to design complementary DNA sequences specific for antigens of interest as in this review's case SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Small molecules, complementary DNA and protein-DNA complexes have been known to target analytes in minimal concentrations. This phenomenon can be exploited by nanomaterials which have unique electronic properties such as ballistic conduction. Graphene is one such candidate for designing a device with a very low LOD in the order of zeptomolar and attomolar concentrations. Surface modification will be the significant aspect of the device which needs to have a high degree of sensitivity at the same time as providing a rapid signaling mechanism.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Burbelo PD, Ji Y, MJ Iadarola (2023)

Advancing Luciferase-Based Antibody Immunoassays to Next-Generation Mix and Read Testing.

Biosensors, 13(3): pii:bios13030303.

Antibody measurements play a central role in the diagnosis of many autoimmune and infectious diseases. One antibody detection technology, Luciferase Immunoprecipitation Systems (LIPS), utilizes genetically encoded recombinant luciferase antigen fusion proteins in an immunoglobulin capture format to generate robust antibody measurement with high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. The LIPS technology has been highly useful in detecting antibodies for research diagnostics and the discovery of new autoantigens. The methodology of the assay requires immunoglobulin binding reagents such as protein A/G beads and washing steps to process the immune complex before antibody levels are measured by light production with a luminometer. Recently, simplified mix and read immunoassays based on split components of the nanoluciferase enzyme in a complementation format have been developed for antibody measurements without requiring immunoglobulin-capturing beads or washing steps. The mix and read immunoassays utilize two or three nanoluciferase fragments which when reconstituted via antigen-specific antibody binding generate a functional enzyme. At present, these split luciferase tests have been developed mainly for detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Here, we describe the traditional LIPS technology and compare it to the new split luciferase methodologies focusing on their technical features, strengths, limitations, and future opportunities for diagnostic research, and clinical applications.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Minervini G, Franco R, Marrapodi MM, et al (2023)

The Association between COVID-19 Related Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Temporomandibular Disorders, and Headaches from Childhood to Adulthood: A Systematic Review.

Brain sciences, 13(3): pii:brainsci13030481.

Objective: The coronavirus belongs to the family of Coronaviridae, which are not branched single-stranded RNA viruses. COVID-19 creates respiratory problems and infections ranging from mild to severe. The virus features mechanisms that serve to delay the cellular immune response. The host's response is responsible for the pathological process that leads to tissue destruction. Temporomandibular disorders are manifested by painful jaw musculature and jaw joint areas, clicks, or creaks when opening or closing the mouth. All these symptoms can be disabling and occur during chewing and when the patient yawns or even speaks. The pandemic situation has exacerbated anxieties and amplified the vulnerability of individuals. Therefore, from this mechanism, how the COVID-19 pandemic may have increased the incidence of temporomandibular disorders is perceived. The purpose of this review is to evaluate whether COVID-19-related anxiety has caused an increase in temporomandibular dysfunction symptoms in adults to children. Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, Lilacs, and Scopus were systematically searched, until 30 July 2022, to identify studies presenting: the connection between COVID-19 with temporomandibular disorders. Results: From 198 papers, 4 studies were included. Literature studies have shown that the state of uncertainty and anxiety has led to an increase in the incidence of this type of disorder, although not all studies agree. Seventy-three studies were identified after viewing all four search engines; at the end of the screening phase, only four were considered that met the PECO, the planned inclusion, and the exclusion criteria. All studies showed a statistically significant correlation between temporomandibular disorders and COVID-19 with a p < 0.05. Conclusions: All studies agreed that there is an association between COVID-19 and increased incidence of temporomandibular disorders.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Askari H, Rabiei F, Lohrasbi F, et al (2023)

The Latest Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of COVID-19 on Non-Lung Organs.

Brain sciences, 13(3): pii:brainsci13030415.

Understanding the transmission pathways of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) will aid in developing effective therapies directed at the virus's life cycle or its side effects. While severe respiratory distress is the most common symptom of a coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection, the virus is also known to cause damage to almost every major organ and system in the body. However, it is not obvious whether pathological changes in extra-respiratory organs are caused by direct infection, indirect, or combination of these effects. In this narrative review, we first elaborate on the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, followed by the mechanisms of this virus on various organs such as brain, eye, and olfactory nerve and different systems such as the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Valdebenito-Navarrete H, Fuentes-Barrera V, Smith CT, et al (2023)

Can Probiotics, Particularly Limosilactobacillus fermentum UCO-979C and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus UCO-25A, Be Preventive Alternatives against SARS-CoV-2?.

Biology, 12(3): pii:biology12030384.

COVID-19, an infection produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in humans, has rapidly spread to become a high-mortality pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus characterized by infecting epithelial cells of the intestine and lungs, binding to the ACE2 receptor present on epithelial cells. COVID-19 treatment is based on antivirals and antibiotics against symptomatology in addition to a successful preventive strategy based on vaccination. At this point, several variants of the virus have emerged, altering the effectiveness of treatments and thereby attracting attention to several alternative therapies, including immunobiotics, to cope with the problem. This review, based on articles, patents, and an in silico analysis, aims to address our present knowledge of the COVID-19 disease, its symptomatology, and the possible beneficial effects for patients if probiotics with the characteristics of immunobiotics are used to confront this disease. Moreover, two probiotic strains, L. fermentum UCO-979C and L. rhamnosus UCO-25A, with different effects demonstrated at our laboratory, are emphasized. The point of view of this review highlights the possible benefits of probiotics, particularly those associated with immunomodulation as well as the production of secondary metabolites, and their potential targets during SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Męcik-Kronenberg T, Kuć A, Kubik-Machura D, et al (2023)

Interaction of Metals, Menopause and COVID-19-A Review of the Literature.

Biology, 12(3): pii:biology12030350.

A growing number of reports point to the possible role of environmental factors in determining the age of onset of menopause. Specific metals, such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead can lead to fertility disorders, to endocrine dysregulation, and in addition, their high blood concentrations correlate with the onset of menopause. Changing concentrations of hormones in the blood during this period of a woman's life can also have an impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection, and excessively high or low levels of metals may also be an important predictor for the course of COVID-19. Postmenopausal women are exposed to greater risk of serum biochemical changes, and with the possibility of nutritional disturbances, particularly involving trace minerals, the risk of age-related diseases is very high during this period. These adverse changes in serum trace minerals should be taken into consideration for the early diagnosis and prevention of menopause-related diseases. Dietary supplementation may be necessary, especially where levels are significantly reduced. We performed a manual search of scientific articles cited in major electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and Google Scholar) in November 2022 to identify studies relevant to the relationship between metals, COVID-19 and menopause. The effects of metals on the course of menopause is a broad topic and should certainly still be a subject of research, due to, among other things, continuing environmental pollution and the use of metals in many areas of life.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Nuszkiewicz J, Sutkowy P, Wróblewski M, et al (2023)

Links between Vitamin K, Ferroptosis and SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(3): pii:antiox12030733.

Ferroptosis is a recently discovered form of programmed cell death. It is characterized by the accumulation of iron and lipid hydroperoxides in cells. Vitamin K is known to have antioxidant properties and plays a role in reducing oxidative stress, particularly in lipid cell membranes. Vitamin K reduces the level of reactive oxygen species by modulating the expression of antioxidant enzymes. Additionally, vitamin K decreases inflammation and potentially prevents ferroptosis. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection leading to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with oxidant-antioxidant imbalance. Studies have shown that intensified ferroptosis occurs in various tissues and cells affected by COVID-19. Vitamin K supplementation during SARS-CoV-2 infection may have a positive effect on reducing the severity of the disease. Preliminary research suggests that vitamin K may reduce lipid peroxidation and inhibit ferroptosis, potentially contributing to its therapeutic effects in COVID-19 patients. The links between ferroptosis, vitamin K, and SARS-CoV-2 infection require further investigation, particularly in the context of developing potential treatment strategies for COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Widyasari K, S Kim (2023)

Rapid Antigen Tests during the COVID-19 Era in Korea and Their Implementation as a Detection Tool for Other Infectious Diseases.

Bioengineering (Basel, Switzerland), 10(3): pii:bioengineering10030322.

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are diagnostic tools developed to specifically detect a certain protein of infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, or parasites). RATs are easily accessible due to their rapidity and simplicity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, RATs have been widely used in detecting the presence of the specific SARS-CoV-2 antigen in respiratory samples from suspected individuals. Here, the authors review the application of RATs as detection tools for COVID-19, particularly in Korea, as well as for several other infectious diseases. To address these issues, we present general knowledge on the design of RATs that adopt the lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of the analyte (antigen). The authors then discuss the clinical utilization of the authorized RATs amidst the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea and their role in comparison with other detection methods. We also discuss the implementation of RATs for other, non-COVID-19 infectious diseases, the challenges that may arise during the application, the limitations of RATs as clinical detection tools, as well as the possible problem solving for those challenges to maximize the performance of RATs and avoiding any misinterpretation of the test result.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Bogdan I, Gadela T, Bratosin F, et al (2023)

The Assessment of Multiplex PCR in Identifying Bacterial Infections in Patients Hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Systematic Review.

Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 12(3): pii:antibiotics12030465.

Bacterial infection can occur in patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 in various conditions, resulting in poorer outcomes, such as a higher death rate. This current systematic review was conducted in order to assess the efficiency of multiplex PCR in detecting bacterial infections in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, as well as to analyze the most common bacterial pathogens and other factors that interfere with this diagnosis. The research was conducted using four electronic databases (PubMed, Taylor&Francis, Web of Science, and Wiley Online Library). Out of 290 studies, nine were included in the systematic review. The results supported the use of multiplex PCR in detecting bacteria, considering its high sensitivity and specificity rates. The most common bacterial pathogens found were Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae. The median age at admission was 61.5 years, and the majority of patients were men (70.3%), out of a total of 1553 patients. The proportion of ICU admission was very high, with a pooled proportion of 52.6% over the analyzed studies, and an average duration of hospitalization of 13 days. The mortality rate was proportionally high, as was the rate of ICU admission, with a pooled mortality of 24.9%. It was discovered that 65.2% of all patients used antibiotics before admission, with or without medical prescription. Antibiotic treatment should be considered consciously, considering the high risks of developing antibiotic resistance.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Zhu T, Niu G, Zhang Y, et al (2023)

Host-mediated RNA editing in viruses.

Biology direct, 18(1):12.

Viruses rely on hosts for life and reproduction, cause a variety of symptoms from common cold to AIDS to COVID-19 and provoke public health threats claiming millions of lives around the globe. RNA editing, as a crucial co-/post-transcriptional modification inducing nucleotide alterations on both endogenous and exogenous RNA sequences, exerts significant influences on virus replication, protein synthesis, infectivity and toxicity. Hitherto, a number of host-mediated RNA editing sites have been identified in diverse viruses, yet lacking a full picture of RNA editing-associated mechanisms and effects in different classes of viruses. Here we synthesize the current knowledge of host-mediated RNA editing in a variety of viruses by considering two enzyme families, viz., ADARs and APOBECs, thereby presenting a landscape of diverse editing mechanisms and effects between viruses and hosts. In the ongoing pandemic, our study promises to provide potentially valuable insights for better understanding host-mediated RNA editing on ever-reported and newly-emerging viruses.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Preteroti M, Wilson ET, Eidelman DH, et al (2023)

Modulation of pulmonary immune function by inhaled cannabis products and consequences for lung disease.

Respiratory research, 24(1):95.

The lungs, in addition to participating in gas exchange, represent the first line of defense against inhaled pathogens and respiratory toxicants. Cells lining the airways and alveoli include epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages, the latter being resident innate immune cells important in surfactant recycling, protection against bacterial invasion and modulation of lung immune homeostasis. Environmental exposure to toxicants found in cigarette smoke, air pollution and cannabis can alter the number and function of immune cells in the lungs. Cannabis (marijuana) is a plant-derived product that is typically inhaled in the form of smoke from a joint. However, alternative delivery methods such as vaping, which heats the plant without combustion, are becoming more common. Cannabis use has increased in recent years, coinciding with more countries legalizing cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Cannabis may have numerous health benefits owing to the presence of cannabinoids that dampen immune function and therefore tame inflammation that is associated with chronic diseases such as arthritis. The health effects that could come with cannabis use remain poorly understood, particularly inhaled cannabis products that may directly impact the pulmonary immune system. Herein, we first describe the bioactive phytochemicals present in cannabis, with an emphasis on cannabinoids and their ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system. We also review the current state-of-knowledge as to how inhaled cannabis/cannabinoids can shape immune response in the lungs and discuss the potential consequences of altered pulmonary immunity. Overall, more research is needed to understand how cannabis inhalation shapes the pulmonary immune response to balance physiological and beneficial responses with potential deleterious consequences on the lungs.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Veroniki AA, Tricco AC, Watt J, et al (2023)

Rapid antigen-based and rapid molecular tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2: a rapid review with network meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies.

BMC medicine, 21(1):110.

BACKGROUND: The global spread of COVID-19 created an explosion in rapid tests with results in < 1 hour, but their relative performance characteristics are not fully understood yet. Our aim was to determine the most sensitive and specific rapid test for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.

METHODS: Design: Rapid review and diagnostic test accuracy network meta-analysis (DTA-NMA).

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies assessing rapid antigen and/or rapid molecular test(s) to detect SARS-CoV-2 in participants of any age, suspected or not with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

INFORMATION SOURCES: Embase, MEDLINE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, up to September 12, 2021.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Sensitivity and specificity of rapid antigen and molecular tests suitable for detecting SARS-CoV-2. Data extraction and risk of bias assessment: Screening of literature search results was conducted by one reviewer; data abstraction was completed by one reviewer and independently verified by a second reviewer. Risk of bias was not assessed in the included studies.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Random-effects meta-analysis and DTA-NMA.

RESULTS: We included 93 studies (reported in 88 articles) relating to 36 rapid antigen tests in 104,961 participants and 23 rapid molecular tests in 10,449 participants. Overall, rapid antigen tests had a sensitivity of 0.75 (95% confidence interval 0.70-0.79) and specificity of 0.99 (0.98-0.99). Rapid antigen test sensitivity was higher when nasal or combined samples (e.g., combinations of nose, throat, mouth, or saliva samples) were used, but lower when nasopharyngeal samples were used, and in those classified as asymptomatic at the time of testing. Rapid molecular tests may result in fewer false negatives than rapid antigen tests (sensitivity: 0.93, 0.88-0.96; specificity: 0.98, 0.97-0.99). The tests with the highest sensitivity and specificity estimates were the Xpert Xpress rapid molecular test by Cepheid (sensitivity: 0.99, 0.83-1.00; specificity: 0.97, 0.69-1.00) among the 23 commercial rapid molecular tests and the COVID-VIRO test by AAZ-LMB (sensitivity: 0.93, 0.48-0.99; specificity: 0.98, 0.44-1.00) among the 36 rapid antigen tests we examined.

CONCLUSIONS: Rapid molecular tests were associated with both high sensitivity and specificity, while rapid antigen tests were mainly associated with high specificity, according to the minimum performance requirements by WHO and Health Canada. Our rapid review was limited to English, peer-reviewed published results of commercial tests, and study risk of bias was not assessed. A full systematic review is required.


RevDate: 2023-03-28

Mao L, Chen Y, Gu J, et al (2023)

Roles and mechanisms of exosomal microRNAs in viral infections.

Archives of virology, 168(4):121.

Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles with a diameter of 30-150 nm that originate from endosomes and fuse with the plasma membrane. They are secreted by almost all kinds of cells and can stably transfer different kinds of cargo from donor to recipient cells, thereby altering cellular functions for assisting cell-to-cell communication. Exosomes derived from virus-infected cells during viral infections are likely to contain different microRNAs (miRNAs) that can be transferred to recipient cells. Exosomes can either promote or suppress viral infections and therefore play a dual role in viral infection. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge about the role of exosomal miRNAs during infection by six important viruses (hepatitis C virus, enterovirus A71, Epstein-Barr virus, human immunodeficiency virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and Zika virus), each of which causes a significant global public health problem. We describe how these exosomal miRNAs, including both donor-cell-derived and virus-encoded miRNAs, modulate the functions of the recipient cell. Lastly, we briefly discuss their potential value for the diagnosis and treatment of viral infections.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Stefano GB, Büttiker P, Weissenberger S, et al (2023)

Potential Prion Involvement in Long COVID-19 Neuropathology, Including Behavior.

Cellular and molecular neurobiology [Epub ahead of print].

Prion' is a term used to describe a protein infectious particle responsible for several neurodegenerative diseases in mammals, e.g., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The novelty is that it is protein based infectious agent not involving a nucleic acid genome as found in viruses and bacteria. Prion disorders exhibit, in part, incubation periods, neuronal loss, and induce abnormal folding of specific normal cellular proteins due to enhancing reactive oxygen species associated with mitochondria energy metabolism. These agents may also induce memory, personality and movement abnormalities as well as depression, confusion and disorientation. Interestingly, some of these behavioral changes also occur in COVID-19 and mechanistically include mitochondrial damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 and subsequenct production of reactive oxygen species. Taken together, we surmise, in part, long COVID may involve the induction of spontaneous prion emergence, especially in individuals susceptible to its origin may thus explain some of its manesfestions post-acute viral infection.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Cutolo M, Smith V, Paolino S, et al (2023)

Involvement of the secosteroid vitamin D in autoimmune rheumatic diseases and COVID-19.

Nature reviews. Rheumatology [Epub ahead of print].

Evidence supporting the extra-skeletal role of vitamin D in modulating immune responses is centred on the effects of its final metabolite, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3, also known as calcitriol), which is regarded as a true steroid hormone. 1,25(OH)2D3, the active form of vitamin D, can modulate the innate immune system in response to invading pathogens, downregulate inflammatory responses and support the adaptive arm of the immune system. Serum concentrations of its inactive precursor 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3, also known as calcidiol) fluctuate seasonally (being lowest in winter) and correlate negatively with the activation of the immune system as well as with the incidence and severity of autoimmune rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis. Thus, a low serum concentration of 25(OH)D3 is considered to be a risk factor for autoimmune rheumatic diseases and vitamin D3 supplementation seems to improve the prognosis; moreover, long-term vitamin D3 supplementation seems to reduce their incidence (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis). In the setting of COVID-19, 1,25(OH)2D3 seems to downregulate the early viral phase (SARS-CoV-2 infection), by enhancing innate antiviral effector mechanisms, as well as the later cytokine-mediated hyperinflammatory phase. This Review provides an update of the latest scientific and clinical evidence concerning vitamin D and immune response in autoimmune rheumatic diseases and COVID-19, which justify the need for monitoring of serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations and for appropriate supplementation following clinical trial-based approaches.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Li C, Wang C, Xie HY, et al (2023)

Cell-Based Biomaterials for COVID-19 Prevention and Therapy.

Advanced healthcare materials [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to threaten human health, economic development and national security. Although many vaccines and drugs have been explored to fight against the major pandemic, their efficacy and safety still need to be improved. Cell-based biomaterials, especially living cells, extracellular vesicles and cell membranes, offer great potential in preventing and treating COVID-19 owing to their versatility and unique biological functions. In this review, we describe the characteristics and functions of cell-based biomaterials and their biological applications in COVID-19 prevention and therapy. We first summarize the pathological features of COVID-19, providing enlightenment on how to fight against COVID-19. Next, we focus on the classification, organization structure, characteristics, and functions of cell-based biomaterials. Finally, we comprehensively describe the progress of cell-based biomaterials in overcoming COVID-19 in different aspects, including the prevention of viral infection, inhibition of viral proliferation, anti-inflammation, tissue repair, and alleviation of lymphopenia. At the end of this review, a look forward to the challenges of this aspect is presented. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Limbu YB, BA Huhmann (2023)

Why Some People Are Hesitant to Receive COVID-19 Boosters: A Systematic Review.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 8(3): pii:tropicalmed8030159.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and transitions to an endemic stage, booster vaccines will play an important role in personal and public health. However, convincing people to take boosters continues to be a key obstacle. This study systematically analyzed research that examined the predictors of COVID-19 booster vaccine hesitancy. A search of PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Scopus uncovered 42 eligible studies. Globally, the average COVID-19 booster vaccination hesitancy rate was 30.72%. Thirteen key factors influencing booster hesitancy emerged from the literature: demographics (gender, age, education, income, occupation, employment status, ethnicity, and marital status), geographical influences (country, region, and residency), adverse events, perceived benefit/efficacy, perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, prior history of COVID-19 infection, vaccination status, vaccination recommendations, health status, knowledge and information, skepticism/distrust/conspiracy theories, and vaccine type. Vaccine communication campaigns and interventions for COVID boosters should focus on factors influencing booster confidence, complacency, and convenience.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Mehri A, Sotoodeh Ghorbani S, Farhadi-Babadi K, et al (2023)

Risk Factors Associated with Severity and Death from COVID-19 in Iran: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Study.

Journal of intensive care medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Objectives: This study aims to investigate the risk factors associated with severity and death from COVID-19 through a systematic review and meta-analysis of the published documents in Iran. Methods: A systematic search was performed based on all articles indexed in Scopus, Embase, Web of Science (WOS), PubMed, and Google Scholar in English and Scientific Information Database (SID) and Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (IRA)NDOC indexes in Persian. To assess quality, we used the Newcastle Ottawa Scale. Publication bias was assessed using Egger's tests. Forest plots were used for a graphical description of the results. We used HRs, and ORs reported for the association between risk factors and COVID-19 severity and death. Results: Sixty-nine studies were included in the meta-analysis, of which 62 and 13 had assessed risk factors for death and severity, respectively. The results showed a significant association between death from COVID-19 and age, male gender, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease (CVD), cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease (CKD), Headache, and Dyspnea. We observed a significant association between increased white blood cell (WBC), decreased Lymphocyte, increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN), increased creatinine, vitamin D deficiency, and death from COVID-19. There was only a significant relationship between CVD and disease severity. Conclusion: It is recommended that the predictive risk factors of COVID-19 severity and death mentioned in this study to be used for therapeutic and health interventions, to update clinical guidelines and determine patients' prognoses.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Lobão C, Coelho A, Parola V, et al (2023)

Changes in Clinical Training for Nursing Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review.

Nursing reports (Pavia, Italy), 13(1):378-388 pii:nursrep13010035.

(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has cost social, economic, cultural, and educational life, distressing nursing training and practice. This study aimed to map the literature on changes in clinical training for nursing students during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2) Methods: A scoping review was conducted according to JBI methodology's latest guidance. A set of relevant electronic databases and grey literature was searched to report results published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. (3) Results: A total of 12 studies were included in the study, addressing changes in clinical training in undergraduate nursing students due to COVID-19 pandemic activity, published between 2020 and 2022. (4) Conclusions: Nursing schools made an effort to replace traditional clinical training with several activities, primarily based on simulation or virtual activities. However, contact with others is essential, and simulation programs or scenarios cannot provide it.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Dash SR, CN Kundu (2023)

Advances in nanomedicine for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by viruses.

Biomaterials science [Epub ahead of print].

Viruses have a worldwide impact on healthcare and social and economic growth because they are the largest cause of mortality due to infectious diseases. Furthermore, the long-term conventional drug use comes with substantial risks to public health, such as the rapid evolution of drug resistance and the emergence of secondary side effects. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new methods for the treatment of virus-related diseases. In this case, the use of nanomaterial-based nanomedicines possesses tremendous advantages over the traditional treatment approach. Nanomaterial-based drug delivery systems have unique features that make them promising candidates in the pursuit of therapeutic benefits. In this review, we present the various biocompatible nanomaterials that show promise as nanomedicines for anti-viral therapy. Also, we include how current developments in nanomedicine are being used to treat and prevent the most common viral illnesses such as the flu, HIV, SARS-CoV-2, monkeypox, and human papillomaviruses.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Burton H, K Gordon (2023)

'We don't have the answers': What do we know about the experiences of psychological professionals providing virtual psychological support to people with intellectual disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic?.

Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities : JARID [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Government restrictions enforced globally in response to COVID-19 necessitated changes to the delivery of mental health services, with many psychology professionals (PPs) forced to transfer their face-to-face practice to virtual means (telephone/video therapy) overnight. This review explores what is known about the experiences of PPs providing psychological support to people with intellectual disabilities (PWID) during the pandemic.

METHOD: Literature was systematically searched and 11 papers were identified, critically appraised and thematically synthesised.

RESULTS: Four themes were synthesised from findings: (1) 'Impact at Service Level', (2) 'The Emotional Impact on PPs', (3) 'The Limitations of Virtual Support', (4) 'Unexpected Gains'.

CONCLUSIONS: This review highlights the challenges and positives in experiences of PPs, whilst acknowledging the inequalities experienced by PWID. It is hoped that the findings can be used to aid education and training, and inform future practice and policy. Future research is recommended.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Fithriyyah YN, Alda AK, H Haryani (2023)

Trends and ethical issues in nursing during disasters: A systematic review.

Nursing ethics [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: During a disaster, nurses face complex ethical challenges because of risky situations. It is necessary to identify trends and ethical issues of nurses in disasters to improve the quality of care and impact for nurses.

METHOD: This systematic review enrolled in the international registration with PROSPERO: CRD42022350765. We searched the following databases: PubMed, EBSCO MEDLINE, SCOPUS, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and Sage Pub. The inclusion criteria were developed according to PICO and D; are Population (F): involving nurses; intervention/Exposure (I): disaster, Comparison (C): none; outcome (O): ethical practice. And Design (D): qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods. Years of publication were 2012-2022, with full text in English. The quality of study assessment used was The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Critical Appraisal tool and Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) version 2018. Analysis used PICO synthesis.

RESULTS: There were 15 studies reviewed from 2093 results, including cross-sectional (4/15, 26.6%), qualitative (9/15, 60%), and mixed methods (2/15, 13.3%) studies. The types of disasters were: COVID-19 (7/15, 46.6%), infectious (4/15, 26.6%), and all disaster events (4/15, 26.6%). The main themes were: (1) ethical issues in disasters have the potential to address ethical dilemmas, (2) factors applying nursing ethics to support ethical decision-making in disasters, (3) strategies for applying ethics and dealing with ethical issues in disasters, and (4) the impact of applying ethics in disasters.

CONCLUSION: Applying ethics nursing in a disaster is influenced by various factors. This framework for ethical nursing in disasters aims to help nurses, educational institutions, and policymakers develop schemes or scenarios to enhance responsible ethical decisions in disasters.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Khera G, Chandrika Yelisetty R, Spence GM, et al (2023)

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of preschoolers: A parental guide.

Heliyon, 9(4):e14332.

UNLABELLED: Unexpected changes brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have affected humans worldwide. This review attempts to address major parental concerns about the development of preschool-aged children during the pandemic from the perspectives of neuropsychology, consultation, and motor development for preschoolers aged 2-5 years.

METHODS: A total of 273 articles including original data, review articles, national and regional perspectives, government websites, and commentaries were considered in this review, of which 117 manuscripts were excluded because they were unrelated to children, adolescents, or COVID -19 pandemic/upper respiratory infections. A total of 156 manuscripts were included after reading the abstract and entire article.

RESULTS: Telehealth could be an effective tool for addressing cognitive and emotional challenges that arise during the pandemic. Online consultations are highlighted for nutritional guidelines and to overcome problems that parents face when caring for children in difficult times. Outdoor activities using sanitisers, proper cleanliness, and following standard operating procedures are recommended. Parental preoccupation with media should be avoided. Interpretation: Many preschoolers show delays in reaching their developmental milestones, and the pandemic has increased parents' concerns, as access to practitioners is limited. Therefore, parents should be encouraged to undergo neuropsychological consultations whenever necessary. This study emphasises important strategies to ensure that children's development is minimally affected while staying in the confined environment of their homes. This study serves as a new guide for parents, as they raise young children in the new normal. Parents should undergo basic yearly physical, neuropsychological, nutritional, and speech checkups.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Rasooly A, Ben-Sheleg E, Davidovitch N, et al (2023)

Rethinking the path from evidence to decision-making.

Israel journal of health policy research, 12(1):10.

Evidence-informed decision-making is increasingly recognized as a standard for policymaking in many fields, including public health. However, many challenges exist in identifying the appropriate evidence, disseminating it to different stakeholders, and implementing it in various settings. The Israel Implementation Science and Policy Engagement Centre (IS-PEC) was established at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to "bridge the gap" between scientific research and policy. As an illustrative case study, IS-PEC is conducting a scoping review on strategies to engage senior citizens in Israel when developing health policy. In May 2022, IS-PEC brought together international experts and Israeli stakeholders to increase knowledge in the field of evidence-informed policy, develop a research agenda, strengthen international collaborations, and create a community for sharing experience, research, and best practices. Panelists presented the importance of communicating clear, accurate bottom-line messages with the media. Also, they highlighted the once-in-a-generation opportunity to promote the uptake of evidence in public health due to the increased public interest in evidence-informed policymaking post-COVID-19 pandemic and the need to build systems and centers to support the systematic use of evidence. Group discussions focused on various aspects of communication, including challenges and strategies when communicating to policymakers, understanding the nuances of communication between scientists, journalists, and the public, and some ethical issues surrounding data visualization and infographics. Panelists participated in a passionate debate regarding whether and how values play a role when conducting, analyzing, and communicating evidence. Takeaway lessons from the workshop included that going forward, Israel must create lasting systems and a sustainable environment for evidence-informed policy. Novel and interdisciplinary academic programs must be developed to train future policymakers in various fields, including public health, public policy, ethics, communication, social marketing, and infographics. Sustainable professional relationships between journalists, scientists, and policymakers must be fostered and strengthened based on mutual respect and a shared commitment to creating, synthesizing, implementing, and communicating high-quality evidence to serve the public and individual wellbeing.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Ferreira VM, Plein S, Wong TC, et al (2023)

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance for evaluation of cardiac involvement in COVID-19: recommendations by the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance.

Journal of cardiovascular magnetic resonance : official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, 25(1):21.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing global pandemic that has affected nearly 600 million people to date across the world. While COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, cardiac injury is also known to occur. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is uniquely capable of characterizing myocardial tissue properties in-vivo, enabling insights into the pattern and degree of cardiac injury. The reported prevalence of myocardial involvement identified by CMR in the context of COVID-19 infection among previously hospitalized patients ranges from 26 to 60%. Variations in the reported prevalence of myocardial involvement may result from differing patient populations (e.g. differences in severity of illness) and the varying intervals between acute infection and CMR evaluation. Standardized methodologies in image acquisition, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of CMR abnormalities across would likely improve concordance between studies. This consensus document by the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) provides recommendations on CMR imaging and reporting metrics towards the goal of improved standardization and uniform data acquisition and analytic approaches when performing CMR in patients with COVID-19 infection.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Evenson KR, Alothman SA, Moore CC, et al (2023)

A scoping review on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity and sedentary behavior in Saudi Arabia.

BMC public health, 23(1):572.

BACKGROUND: In Saudi Arabia, stay-at-home orders to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic between March 15 and 23, 2020 and eased on May 28, 2020. We conducted a scoping review to systematically describe physical activity and sedentary behavior in Saudi Arabia associated with the timing of the lockdown.

METHODS: We searched six databases on December 13, 2021 for articles published in English or Arabic from 2018 to the search date. Studies must have reported data from Saudi Arabia for any age and measured physical activity or sedentary behavior.

RESULTS: Overall, 286 records were found; after excluding duplicates, 209 records were screened, and 19 studies were included in the review. Overall, 15 studies were cross-sectional, and 4 studies were prospective cohorts. Three studies included children and adolescents (age: 2-18 years), and 16 studies included adults (age: 15-99 years). Data collection periods were <  = 5 months, with 17 studies collecting data in 2020 only, one study in 2020-2021, and one study in 2021. The median analytic sample size was 363 (interquartile range 262-640). Three studies of children/adolescents collected behaviors online at one time using parental reporting, with one also allowing self-reporting. All three studies found that physical activity was lower during and/or following the lockdown than before the lockdown. Two studies found screen time, television watching, and playing video games were higher during or following the lockdown than before the lockdown. Sixteen adult studies assessed physical activity, with 15 utilizing self-reporting and one using accelerometry. Physical activity, exercise, walking, and park visits were all lower during or following the lockdown than before the lockdown. Six adult studies assessed sedentary behavior using self-report. Sitting time (4 studies) and screen time (2 studies) were higher during or following the lockdown than before the lockdown.

CONCLUSIONS: Among children, adolescents, and adults, studies consistently indicated that in the short-term, physical activity decreased and sedentary behavior increased in conjunction with the movement restrictions. Given the widespread impact of the pandemic on other health behaviors, it would be important to continue tracking behaviors post-lockdown and identify subpopulations that may not have returned to their physical activity and sedentary behavior to pre-pandemic levels to focus on intervention efforts.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Ting R, Dutton H, A Sorisky (2023)

In vitro studies of the renin-angiotensin system in human adipose tissue/adipocytes and possible relationship to SARS-CoV-2: a scoping review.

Adipocyte, 12(1):2194034.

The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) operates within adipose tissue. Obesity-related changes can affect adipose RAS, predisposing to hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and possibly severe COVID-19. We evaluated the in vitro research on human adipose RAS and identified gaps in the literature. Medline (Ovid), Embase (Ovid), Web of Science, Scopus, and 1findr were searched to identify relevant studies. Fifty primary studies met our inclusion criteria for analysis. Expression of RAS components (n = 14), role in differentiation (n = 14), association with inflammation (n = 15) or blood pressure (n = 7) were investigated. We found (1) obesity-related changes in RAS were frequently studied (30%); (2) an upswing of articles investigating adipose ACE-2 expression since the COVID-19 pandemic; (3) a paucity of papers on AT2R and Ang (1-7)/MasR which counterbalance Ang II/ART1; (4) weight loss lowered adipose ACE-2 mRNA expression; and (5) angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) reduced deleterious effects of angiotensin II. Overall, these studies link Ang II/ATR1 signalling to impaired adipogenesis and a pro-inflammatory dysfunctional adipose tissue, with ATR1 blockade limiting these responses. ACE-2 may mitigate Ang II effects by converting it to Ang(1-7) which binds MasR. More work is needed to understand adipose RAS in various pathologic states such as obesity and COVID-19 infection.T.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Hernán MA, J Del Amo (2023)

Drug Repurposing and Observational Studies: The Case of Antivirals for the Treatment of COVID-19.

Annals of internal medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Remdesivir and molnupiravir were the only 2 repurposed antivirals that were approved for emergency use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both drugs received their emergency use authorization on the basis of a single industry-funded phase 3 trial, which was launched after evidence of in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2. In contrast, for tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), little in vitro evidence was generated, no randomized trials for early treatment were done, and the drug was not considered for authorization. Yet, by the summer of 2020, observational evidence suggested a substantially lower risk for severe COVID-19 in TDF users compared with nonusers. The decision-making process for the launching of randomized trials for these 3 drugs is reviewed. Observational data in favor of TDF was systematically dismissed, even though no viable alternative explanations were proposed for the lower risk for severe COVID-19 among TDF users. Lessons learned from the TDF example during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic are described, and the use of observational clinical data to guide decisions about the launch of randomized trials during the next public health emergency is proposed. The goal is that gatekeepers of randomized trials make better use of the available observational evidence for the repurposing of drugs without commercial value.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Rosenlund M, Kinnunen UM, K Saranto (2023)

The Use of Digital Health Services Among Patients and Citizens Living at Home: Scoping Review.

Journal of medical Internet research, 25:e44711 pii:v25i1e44711.

BACKGROUND: The development of digital health services reflects not only the technical development of services but also a change in attitude and the way of thinking. It has become a cornerstone for engaging and activating patients and citizens in health management while living at home. Digital health services are also aimed at enhancing the efficiency and quality of services, while simultaneously providing services more cost-effectively. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated worldwide the development and use of digital services in response to requirements for social distancing and other regulations.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this review is to identify and summarize how digital health services are being used among patients and citizens while living at home.

METHODS: The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodology for scoping reviews was used as guidance. A search conducted in 3 databases (CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus) resulted in 419 papers. The reporting was conducted by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for scoping review (PRISMA-ScR), and the analysis of the included papers was performed using a framework consisting of 5 clusters describing the use of digital health services. After screening and excluding papers that did not match the inclusion criteria, 88 (21%) papers from 2010 to 2022 were included in the final analysis.

RESULTS: Results indicated that digital health services are used in different situations and among different kinds of populations. In most studies, digital health services were used in the form of video visits or consultations. The telephone was also used regularly for consultations. Other services, such as remote monitoring and transmitting of recorded information and the use the of internet or portals for searching information, were observed as well. Alerts, emergency systems, and reminders were observed to offer possibilities of use, for example, among older people. The digital health services also showed to have potential for use in patient education.

CONCLUSIONS: The development of digital services reflects a shift toward the provision of care regardless of time and place. It also reflects a shift toward emphasis on patient-centered care, meaning activating and engaging patients in their own care as they use digital services for various health-related purposes. Despite the development of digital services, many challenges (eg, adequate infrastructure) still prevail worldwide.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Agnew H, Kitson S, EJ Crosbie (2023)

Interventions for weight reduction in obesity to improve survival in women with endometrial cancer.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 3:CD012513.

BACKGROUND: This is an updated version of the original Cochrane Review published in Issue 2, 2018. Diagnoses of endometrial cancer are increasing secondary to the rising prevalence of obesity. Obesity plays an important role in promoting the development of endometrial cancer, by inducing a state of unopposed oestrogen excess, insulin resistance and inflammation. It also affects treatment, increasing the risk of surgical complications and the complexity of radiotherapy planning, and may additionally impact on subsequent survival. Weight-loss interventions have been associated with improvements in breast and colorectal cancer-specific survival, as well as a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is a frequent cause of death in endometrial cancer survivors.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the benefits and harm of weight-loss interventions, in addition to standard management, on overall survival and the frequency of adverse events in women with endometrial cancer who are overweight or obese compared with any other intervention, usual care, or placebo.

SEARCH METHODS: We used standard, extensive Cochrane search methods. The latest search date was from January 2018 to June 2022 (original review searched from inception to January 2018).

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions to facilitate weight loss in women with endometrial cancer who are overweight or obese undergoing treatment for, or previously treated for, endometrial cancer compared with any other intervention, usual care, or placebo.  DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard Cochrane methods. Our primary outcomes were 1. overall survival and 2. frequency of adverse events. Our secondary outcomes were 3. recurrence-free survival, 4. cancer-specific survival, 5. weight loss, 6. cardiovascular and metabolic event frequency and 7. quality of Life. We used GRADE to assess certainty of evidence. We contacted study authors to obtain missing data, including details of any adverse events.

MAIN RESULTS: We identified nine new RCTs and combined these with the three RCTs identified in the original review. Seven studies are ongoing.  The 12 RCTs randomised 610 women with endometrial cancer who were overweight or obese. All studies compared combined behavioural and lifestyle interventions designed to facilitate weight loss through dietary modification and increased physical activity with usual care. Included RCTs were of low or very low quality, due to high risk of bias by failing to blind participants, personnel and outcome assessors, and significant loss to follow-up (withdrawal rate up to 28% and missing data up to 65%, largely due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic). Importantly, the short duration of follow-up limits the directness of the evidence in evaluating the impact of these interventions on any of the survival and other longer-term outcomes.  Combined behaviour and lifestyle interventions were not associated with improved overall survival compared with usual care at 24 months (risk ratio (RR) mortality, 0.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01 to 4.55, P = 0.34; 1 RCT, 37 participants; very low-certainty evidence). There was no evidence that such interventions were associated with improvements in cancer-specific survival or cardiovascular event frequency as the studies reported no cancer-related deaths, myocardial infarctions or strokes, and there was only one episode of congestive heart failure at six months (RR 3.47, 95% CI 0.15 to 82.21; P = 0.44, 5 RCTs, 211 participants; low-certainty evidence). Only one RCT reported recurrence-free survival; however, there were no events. Combined behaviour and lifestyle interventions were not associated with significant weight loss at either six or 12 months compared with usual care (at six months: mean difference (MD) -1.39 kg, 95% CI -4.04 to 1.26; P = 0.30, I[2] = 32%; 5 RCTs, 209 participants; low-certainty evidence). Combined behaviour and lifestyle interventions were not associated with increased quality of life, when measured using 12-item Short Form (SF-12) Physical Health questionnaire, SF-12 Mental Health questionnaire, Cancer-Related Body Image Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire 9-Item Version or Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy - General (FACT-G) at 12 months when compared with usual care (FACT-G: MD 2.77, 95% CI -0.65 to 6.20; P = 0.11, I[2] = 0%; 2 RCTs, 89 participants; very low-certainty evidence). The trials reported no serious adverse events related to weight loss interventions, for example hospitalisation or deaths. It is uncertain whether lifestyle and behavioural interventions were associated with a higher or lower risk of musculoskeletal symptoms (RR 19.03, 95% CI 1.17 to 310.52; P = 0.04; 8 RCTs, 315 participants; very low-certainty evidence; note: 7 studies reported musculoskeletal symptoms but recorded 0 events in both groups. Thus, the RR and CIs were calculated from 1 study rather than 8).  AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The inclusion of new relevant studies has not changed the conclusions of this review. There is currently insufficient high-quality evidence to determine the effect of combined lifestyle and behavioural interventions on survival, quality of life or significant weight loss in women with a history of endometrial cancer who are overweight or obese compared to those receiving usual care. The limited evidence suggests that there is little or no serious or life-threatening adverse effects due to these interventions, and it is uncertain if musculoskeletal problems were increased, as only one out of eight studies reporting this outcome had any events. Our conclusion is based on low- and very low-certainty evidence from a small number of trials and few women. Therefore, we have very little confidence in the evidence: the true effect of weight-loss interventions in women with endometrial cancer and obesity is currently unknown. Further methodologically rigorous, adequately powered RCTs are required with follow-up of five to 10 years of duration. These should focus on the effects of varying dietary modification regimens, and pharmacological treatments associated with weight loss and bariatric surgery on survival, quality of life, weight loss and adverse events.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Nada H, Sivaraman A, Lu Q, et al (2023)

Perspective for Discovery of Small Molecule IL-6 Inhibitors through Study of Structure-Activity Relationships and Molecular Docking.

Journal of medicinal chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays a key role in the pathogenesis and physiology of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as coronary heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and most recently COVID-19. IL-6 and its signaling pathway are promising targets in the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Although, anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibodies are currently being used in clinics, huge unmet medical needs remain because of the high cost, administration-related toxicity, lack of opportunity for oral dosing, and potential immunogenicity of monoclonal antibody therapy. Furthermore, nonresponse or loss of response to monoclonal antibody therapy has been reported, which increases the importance of optimizing drug therapy with small molecule drugs. This work aims to provide a perspective for the discovery of novel small molecule IL-6 inhibitors by the analysis of the structure-activity relationships and computational studies for protein-protein inhibitors targeting the IL-6/IL-6 receptor/gp130 complex.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Yaribeygi H, Maleki M, Atkin SL, et al (2023)

Anti-inflammatory effects of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors in COVID-19.

IUBMB life [Epub ahead of print].

The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 is intrinsically a systemic inflammatory disorder; hence, those patients suffering an underlying chronic inflammatory disease such as diabetes mellitus are at high risk of severe complications. Preventing or suppressing the inflammatory responses are of importance in diabetic patients. Sodium-glucose cotransporters-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are a newly introduced anti-diabetic drugs that have hypoglycemic effects through the urinary excretion of glucose. They also have an anti-inflammatory potential in diabetes patients, in addition to improving glycemic control, and while there is no direct data available in diabetic patients with COVID-19 disease, there is evidence that suggests that SGLT2i can reduce systemic inflammation and diminish the cytokine storm effect via several cellular mechanisms. In the current review, our aim was to classify and describe the molecular and cellular pathways by which SGLT2i have anti-inflammatory effects in diabetic patients with COVID-19 disease.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Frey R, D Balmer (2023)

The challenges for health professionals delivering palliative care in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic: An integrative review.

Palliative & supportive care pii:S1478951523000275 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The growing demand for palliative care has been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, providing community-based palliative care was also more difficult to do safely and faced several challenges. The goal of this integrative review was to identify, describe, and synthesize previous studies on the challenges for health professionals delivering palliative care in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: Searches were carried out on the Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Care Online, PubMed, Embase, and Expanded Academic databases. Journals typically reporting palliative care and community health studies were also searched (Palliative Medicine, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, and Health & Social Care in the Community). All articles were peer-reviewed and published in English between December 2019 and September 2022.

RESULTS: Database and hand searches identified 1231 articles. After duplicates were removed and the exclusion criteria applied, 27 articles were included in the final review. Themes in the research findings centered on 6 interconnected categories. The challenges imposed by the pandemic (lack of resources, communication difficulties, access to education and training, and interprofessional coordination), as well as the varying levels of success of the health-care responses, impacted the well-being of health professionals and, in turn, the well-being and care of patients and families.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The pandemic has provided the impetus for rethinking flexible and innovative approaches to overcome the challenges of delivering community palliative care. However, existing governmental and organizational policies require revision to improve communication and effective interprofessional collaboration, and additional resources are needed. A blended model of virtual and in-person palliative care delivery may provide the best solution to community palliative care delivery moving forward.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Gupta I, Baranwal P, Singh G, et al (2023)

Mucormycosis, past and present: a comprehensive review.

Future microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Mucormycosis is an emerging opportunistic angioinvasive fungal infection. Predisposing factors such as diabetes, neutropenia, long-term corticosteroid therapy, solid organ transplantation and immunosuppression contribute to its occurrence. This disease was not of significant concern prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but gained prominence due to infections in COVID-19 patients. Mucormycosis needs special attention and coordinated efforts of the scientific community and medical professionals to reduce morbidity and mortality. Here we present an overview of the epidemiology and prevalence of mucormycosis in the pre- and post-COVID-19 eras, the factors that contributed to the abrupt increase in COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM), the actions taken by the regulatory agencies (including Code Mucor and CAM registry), the existing diagnostic tools and CAM management strategies.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Kimani RW, SM Gatimu (2023)

Nursing and midwifery education, regulation and workforce in Kenya: A scoping review.

International nursing review [Epub ahead of print].

AIM: To explore contextual literature on nursing and midwifery education, regulation and workforce in Kenya to develop an understanding of the current state and inform opportunities to strengthen the nursing and midwifery professions.

INTRODUCTION: Kenya has yet to achieve the minimum nursing and midwifery workforce threshold, despite the exponential increase in population and epidemiologic disease transitions.

BACKGROUND: There are glaring health gaps and inequities in sub-Saharan African countries. Health systems are evolving into complex and costly utilities, increasing the demand for nurses and midwives. It is, therefore, necessary to re-examine systems that educate, deploy and retain the nursing workforce, especially given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and increase in non-communicable diseases.

METHODS: This scoping review was guided and reported following the PRISMA-ScR guidelines. Four electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL and Web of Science) were probed for relevant studies conducted in Kenya between 1963 and 2020. The search was supplemented using Google Scholar. Findings from selected studies were extracted and analysed thematically.

RESULTS: Of the 238 retrieved studies, 37 were included in this review: 10 articles on nursing and midwifery education, 11 on regulation and 16 on the workforce.

DISCUSSION: There have been changes in regulation and an increase in nursing and midwifery enrolment and graduates. However, maldistribution and shortage of nurses and midwives persist.

CONCLUSIONS: Kenya's nursing and midwifery professions have undergone significant changes to meet the demand for a skilled workforce. However, the shortage of qualified and specialised nurses and midwives persists. Moreover, this shortage is exacerbated by underinvestment, outmigration and a need for more reforms to expand the nursing and midwifery workforce.

Investment in nurse and midwifery education, mentorship and legislation is needed to build the capacity of the profession to provide quality health services. Several nursing and midwifery policy changes utilising a multipronged approach involving stakeholders' collaboration are suggested to address the bottlenecks from education to deployment.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Qaderi K, Yazdkhasti M, Zangeneh S, et al (2023)

Changes in sexual activities, function, and satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic era: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Sexual medicine, 11(2):qfad005.

INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the impact of the coronavirus on sexual behavior, function, and satisfaction.

AIM: The aim of the present study was to systematically review people's sexual function and behaviors and their changes in sexual activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

METHODS: Comprehensive searches in PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus were conducted with keywords in accordance with MeSH terms: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, sexual health, sexual function, sexual dysfunctions, sexuality, sexual orientation, sexual activities, and premarital sex. Two reviewers independently assessed full-text articles according to predefined criteria: original design, English studies, and investigating either the general population or sexual minorities.

RESULTS: Risk of bias in the studies was assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, and data were pooled via random effects meta-analyses. We utilized the standardized mean difference to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual activity, functioning, and satisfaction. We included 19 studies in the analysis and 11 studies in the meta-analysis, with a sample size of 12 350. To investigate sexual activity changes, a sample size of 8838 was entered into the subgroup analysis, which showed a significant decrease in both genders (5821 women, P < .033; 3017 men, P < .008). A subgroup meta-analysis showed that the sexual function of men and women during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly declined (3974 women, P < .001; 1427 men, P < .001). Sexual desire and arousal decreased in both genders, though mainly in women. In investigating sexual satisfaction changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, a meta-analysis with a sample size of 2711 showed a significant decrease (P < .001). The most indicative changes in sexual behaviors during the pandemic were the increase in masturbating and usage of sex toys. Greater COVID-19 knowledge was associated with lower masturbation, oral sex, and vaginal sex. The more protective behaviors were associated with less hugging, kissing, cuddling, genital touching, watching porn with a partner, and vaginal sex.

CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic led to increased challenges and changes for individuals' sexual behaviors. Efforts for preventive strategies should therefore be concentrated between pandemics, while ensuring that there is information available to the population during a pandemic for help in times of psychological distress or crisis.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Attia R, Abubakar A, Bresee J, et al (2023)

A review of policies and coverage of seasonal influenza vaccination programs in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Influenza and other respiratory viruses, 17(3):e13126.

BACKGROUND: Although there has been an effective seasonal influenza vaccine available for more than 60 years, influenza continues to circulate and cause illness. The Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is very diverse in health systems capacities, capabilities, and efficiencies, which affect the performance of services, especially vaccination, including seasonal influenza vaccination.

AIMS: The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive overview on country-specific influenza vaccination policies, vaccine delivery, and coverage in EMR.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We have analyzed data from a regional seasonal influenza survey conducted in 2022, Joint Reporting Form (JRF), and verified their validity by the focal points. We also compared our results with those of the regional seasonal influenza survey conducted in 2016.

RESULTS: Fourteen countries (64%) had reported having a national seasonal influenza vaccine policy. About (44%) countries recommended influenza vaccine for all SAGE recommended target groups. Up to 69% of countries reported that COVID-19 had an impact on influenza vaccine supply in the country, with most of them (82%) reporting increases in procurement due to COVID-19.

DISCUSSION: The situation of seasonal influenza vaccination in EMR is varied, with some countries having well established programs while others having no policy or program; these variances may be due to resources inequity, political, and socioeconomic dissimilarities. Few countries have reported wide vaccination coverage over time with no clear trend of improvement.

CONCLUSION: We suggest supporting countries to develop a roadmap for influenza vaccine uptake and utilization, assessment of barriers, and burden of influenza, including measuring the economic burden to enhance vaccine acceptance.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

AlGhawi FS, AlMudarra SS, AM Assiri (2023)

Mortality patterns among COVID-19 patients in two Saudi hospitals: Demographics, etiology, and treatment.

Influenza and other respiratory viruses, 17(3):e13127.

BACKGROUND: Saudi Arabia (SA) reported its first case of COVID-19 on 2 March 2020. Mortality varied nationwide; by April 14, 2020, Medina had 16% of SA's total COVID-19 cases and 40% of all COVID-19 deaths. A team of epidemiologists investigated to identify factors impacting survival.

METHODS: We reviewed medical records from two hospitals: Hospital A in Medina and Hospital B in Dammam. All patients with a registered COVID-related death between March and May 1, 2020, were included. We collected data on demographics, chronic health conditions, clinical presentation, and treatment. We analyzed data using SPSS.

RESULTS: We identified 76 cases: 38 cases from each hospital. More fatalities were among non-Saudis at Hospital A (89%) versus Hospital B (82%, p < 0.001). Hypertension prevalence was higher among cases at Hospital B (42%) versus Hospital A (21%) (p < 0.05). We found statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in symptoms at initial presentation among cases at Hospital B versus Hospital A, including body temperature (38°C vs. 37°C), heart rate (104 bpm vs. 89 bpm), and regular breathing rhythms (61% vs. 55%). Fewer cases (50%) at Hospital A received heparin versus Hospital B (97%, p-value < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Patients who died typically presented with more severe illnesses and were more likely to have underlying health conditions. Migrant workers may be at increased risk due to poorer baseline health and reluctance to seek care. This highlights the importance of cross-cultural outreach to prevent deaths. Health education efforts should be multilingual and accommodate all literacy levels.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Guan C, Shen H, Dong S, et al (2023)

Research status and development trend of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation based on bibliometrics.

Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 10:1048903.

BACKGROUND: Using bibliometric method to analyze the research status and development trend of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), we aim to provide clinicians, scientists, and stakeholders with the most up-to-date and comprehensive overview of ECMO research.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using Excel and VOSviewer, the literature on ECMO was systematically analyzed regarding publication trends, journal source, foundation, countries, institutions, core authors, research hotspots, and market distribution.

RESULTS: There were five important time nodes in the research process of ECMO, including the success of the first ECMO operation, the establishment of ELSO, and the outbreak of influenza A/H1N1 and COVID-19. The R&D centers of ECMO were the United States, Germany, Japan, and Italy, and the attention to ECMO was gradually increasing in China. The products most used in the literature were from Maquet, Medtronic, and LivaNova. Medicine enterprises attached great importance to the funding of ECMO research. In recent years, the literature has mainly focused on the following aspects: the treatment of ARDS, the prevention of coagulation system-related complications, the application in neonatal and pediatric patients, mechanical circulatory support for cardiogenic shock, and ECPR and ECMO during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CONCLUSION: The frequent epidemic occurrence of viral pneumonia and the technical advancement of ECMO in recent years have caused an increase in clinical applications. The hot spots of ECMO research are shown in the treatment of ARDS, mechanical circulatory support for cardiogenic shock, and the application during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Babatope T, Ilyenkova V, D Marais (2023)

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: a systematic review of barriers to the uptake of COVID-19 vaccine among adults in Nigeria.

Bulletin of the National Research Centre, 47(1):45.

BACKGROUND: Since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) disease was reported in 2019, huge human and material resources have been expended globally to combat the spread of the disease. Achieving herd immunity through mass vaccination remains an important strategy to adopt in the war against this disease since it is practically impossible for 60-70% of the population to achieve immunity through natural infection alone. Unfortunately, there have been widespread reports of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. This study aims to systematically review the literature to provide an up-to-date assessment of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates and also explore factors impacting COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among adults in Nigeria.

MAIN BODY OF THE ABSTRACT: A systematic search of indexed electronic peer-reviewed literature published from 2019 onwards was conducted in Science Direct, PubMed, ProQuest, and EBSCOhost databases and reported according to the PRISMA checklist and Synthesis without meta-analysis (SWiM) in systematic review reporting guidelines. Fifteen out of the 148 studies retrieved, met the inclusion criteria and these were critically appraised using the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Critical Appraisal checklist and Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool, version 2018. Basic descriptive statistic (percentage) was employed in the analysis of acceptance rates of the COVID-19 vaccine among various subgroups of adults in Nigeria, while a thematic analysis of the facilitators and barriers to the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria was conducted. Acceptance rates ranging from 24.3% to 49.5% were observed across the four studies conducted among the high-risk populations in Nigeria, while the acceptance rates among the low-risk populations ranged from 26.0% to 86.2%. Themes such as socio-demographic factors, perception of risk factors, and concerns about the vaccine's safety and efficacy act interchangeably as facilitators and barriers to the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, whereas political factors, conspiracy theories, and cost primarily act as barriers to vaccine uptake.

SHORT CONCLUSION: Substantial heterogeneity was observed in COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates among adults in Nigeria. More than half of the studies reviewed reported acceptance rates below 60.0%. A multidisciplinary approach is recommended in engaging important stakeholders, to effectively address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Nigeria.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Bower M, Smout S, Donohoe-Bales A, et al (2023)

A hidden pandemic? An umbrella review of global evidence on mental health in the time of COVID-19.

Frontiers in psychiatry, 14:1107560.

BACKGROUND: The mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain a public health concern. High quality synthesis of extensive global literature is needed to quantify this impact and identify factors associated with adverse outcomes.

METHODS: We conducted a rigorous umbrella review with meta-review and present (a) pooled prevalence of probable depression, anxiety, stress, psychological distress, and post-traumatic stress, (b) standardised mean difference in probable depression and anxiety pre-versus-during the pandemic period, and (c) comprehensive narrative synthesis of factors associated with poorer outcomes. Databases searched included Scopus, Embase, PsycINFO, and MEDLINE dated to March 2022. Eligibility criteria included systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses, published post-November 2019, reporting data in English on mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FINDINGS: Three hundred and thirty-eight systematic reviews were included, 158 of which incorporated meta-analyses. Meta-review prevalence of anxiety symptoms ranged from 24.4% (95%CI: 18-31%, I [2]: 99.98%) for general populations to 41.1% (95%CI: 23-61%, I [2]: 99.65%) in vulnerable populations. Prevalence of depressive symptoms ranged from 22.9% (95%CI: 17-30%, I [2]: 99.99%) for general populations to 32.5% (95%CI: 17-52%, I [2]: 99.35) in vulnerable populations. Prevalence of stress, psychological distress and PTSD/PTSS symptoms were 39.1% (95%CI: 34-44%; I [2]: 99.91%), 44.2% (95%CI: 32-58%; I [2]: 99.95%), and 18.8% (95%CI: 15-23%; I [2]: 99.87%), respectively. Meta-review comparing pre-COVID-19 to during COVID-19 prevalence of probable depression and probable anxiety revealed standard mean differences of 0.20 (95%CI = 0.07-0.33) and 0.29 (95%CI = 0.12-0.45), respectively.

CONCLUSION: This is the first meta-review to synthesise the longitudinal mental health impacts of the pandemic. Findings show that probable depression and anxiety were significantly higher than pre-COVID-19, and provide some evidence that that adolescents, pregnant and postpartum people, and those hospitalised with COVID-19 experienced heightened adverse mental health. Policymakers can modify future pandemic responses accordingly to mitigate the impact of such measures on public mental health.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Cheung CKM, Law KWT, Law AWH, et al (2023)

Efficacy of Vaccine Protection Against COVID-19 Virus Infection in Patients with Chronic Liver Diseases.

Journal of clinical and translational hepatology, 11(3):718-735.

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 is a useful weapon to combat the virus. Patients with chronic liver diseases (CLDs), including compensated or decompensated liver cirrhosis and noncirrhotic diseases, have a decreased immunologic response to coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines. At the same time, they have increased mortality if infected. Current data show a reduction in mortality when patients with chronic liver diseases are vaccinated. A suboptimal vaccine response has been observed in liver transplant recipients, especially those receiving immunosuppressive therapy, so an early booster dose is recommended to achieve a better protective effect. Currently, there are no clinical data comparing the protective efficacy of different vaccines in patients with chronic liver diseases. Patient preference, availability of the vaccine in the country or area, and adverse effect profiles are factors to consider when choosing a vaccine. There have been reports of immune-mediated hepatitis after coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination, and clinicians should be aware of that potential side effect. Most patients who developed hepatitis after vaccination responded well to treatment with prednisolone, but an alternative type of vaccine should be considered for subsequent booster doses. Further prospective studies are required to investigate the duration of immunity and protection against different viral variants in patients with chronic liver diseases or liver transplant recipients, as well as the effect of heterologous vaccination.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Rana R, Kant R, Kumra T, et al (2023)

An update on SARS-CoV-2 immunization and future directions.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 14:1125305.

Millions of people have died as a result of SARS-CoV-2, which was first discovered in China and has since spread globally. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection may show a range of symptoms, including fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, or they may show no symptoms at all. To treat COVID-19 symptoms and avoid serious infections, many medications and vaccinations have been employed. However, to entirely eradicate COVID-19 from the world, next-generation vaccine research is required because of the devastating consequences it is having for humanity and every nation's economy. Scientists are working hard to eradicate this dangerous virus across the world. SARS-CoV-2 has also undergone significant mutation, leading to distinct viral types such as the alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and omicron variants. This has sparked discussion about the effectiveness of current vaccines for the newly formed variants. A proper comparison of these vaccinations is required to compare their efficacy as the number of people immunized against SARS-CoV-2 globally increases. Population-level statistics evaluating the capacity of these vaccines to reduce infection are therefore being developed. In this paper, we analyze the many vaccines on the market in terms of their production process, price, dosage needed, and efficacy. This article also discusses the challenges of achieving herd immunity, the likelihood of reinfection, and the importance of convalescent plasma therapy in reducing infection.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Nagy H, Hameed M, Khan F, et al (2023)

COVID-19 Ramifications: A Scientific Approach to Bridge the Existing Gap between COVID Vaccines Hesitancy and Effectiveness.

Avicenna journal of medicine, 13(1):15-22.

The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been a major dilemma all over the world since December 2019. Several types of COVID-19 vaccines were developed for public utilization to halt the widespread of the disease; however, vaccine hesitancy is one major factor that prevents a successful control of this pandemic. This study aimed to summarize the different kinds of available COVID-19 vaccines and their effectiveness, and to assess the associated factors regarding vaccine hesitancy of the general population to bridge the gap existing between the two factors. 1 3.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Pang JCY, Chan ELS, Lau HMC, et al (2023)

The impacts of physical activity on psychological and behavioral problems, and changes in physical activity, sleep and quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic in preschoolers, children, and adolescents: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Frontiers in pediatrics, 11:1015943.

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the level of physical activity (PA). However, little is known about its effect on health outcomes.

METHODS: Articles without language restrictions published from the database inception through March 16, 2022, were retrieved using the CINAHL Complete, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, and PsycINFO databases. High-quality articles assessing the effect of PA on psychological and behavioral problems. Additionally, PA, QoL, and/or sleep problems before and during the pandemic were included. Articles without data regarding PA or involving non-general populations were excluded. The PRISMA and MOOSE guidelines were followed. Data quality of the selected articles was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and GRADE approach. Data were pooled using a random-effects model and sensitivity analysis if heterogenicity was high (I [2 ]≥ 50%). The relationship between PA and psychological and behavioral problems; and changes in PA, QoL, and sleeping patterns before and during the pandemic in preschoolers, children, and adolescents were investigated. A meta-analysis was conducted; odds ratios (ORs), mean differences (MD), and standardized MDs (SMDs) were calculated.

RESULTS: Thirty-four articles involving 66,857 participants were included. The results showed an overall significant protective effect between PA and psychological and/or behavioral problems (OR = 0.677; 95% CI = 0.630, 0.728; p-value <0.001; I [2] [ ] = 59.79%). This relationship was also significant in the subgroup analysis of children (OR = 0.690; 95% CI = 0.632, 0.752; p-value <0.001; I [2] [ ] = 58.93%) and adolescents (OR = 0.650; 95% CI = 0.570, 0.741; p-value <0.001; I [2] [ ] = 60.85%); however, no data on the relationship in preschoolers were collected. In addition, the overall time spent on PA significantly decreased by 23.2 min per day during the COVID-19 pandemic (95% CI = -13.5, -32.9; p-value <0.001; I [2] [ ] = 99.82%). Moreover, the results showed an overall significant decrease in QoL (SMD = -0.894, 95% CI = -1.180, -0.609, p-value <0.001, I [2] [ ] = 96.64%). However, there was no significant difference in sleep duration during the COVID-19 pandemic (MD = 0.01 h per day, 95% CI = -0.027, 0.225; p-value = 0.125; I [2] [ ] = 98.48%).

CONCLUSION: During the pandemic, less PA was contributed to poor QoL and sleep quality. However, increases in PA are associated with reduced occurrences of psychological and behavioral problems. Implementing recovery plans to address the health effect of the pandemic is essential.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Yang G, Wang J, Sun P, et al (2023)

SARS-CoV-2 epitope-specific T cells: Immunity response feature, TCR repertoire characteristics and cross-reactivity.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1146196.

The devastating COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 and multiple variants or subvariants remains an ongoing global challenge. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses play a critical role in early virus clearance, disease severity control, limiting the viral transmission and underpinning COVID-19 vaccine efficacy. Studies estimated broad and robust T cell responses in each individual recognized at least 30 to 40 SARS-CoV-2 antigen epitopes and associated with COVID-19 clinical outcome. Several key immunodominant viral proteome epitopes, including S protein- and non-S protein-derived epitopes, may primarily induce potent and long-lasting antiviral protective effects. In this review, we summarized the immune response features of immunodominant epitope-specific T cells targeting different SRAS-CoV-2 proteome structures after infection and vaccination, including abundance, magnitude, frequency, phenotypic features and response kinetics. Further, we analyzed the epitopes immunodominance hierarchy in combination with multiple epitope-specific T cell attributes and TCR repertoires characteristics, and discussed the significant implications of cross-reactive T cells toward HCoVs, SRAS-CoV-2 and variants of concern, especially Omicron. This review may be essential for mapping the landscape of T cell responses toward SARS-CoV-2 and optimizing the current vaccine strategy.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Ancona G, Alagna L, Alteri C, et al (2023)

Gut and airway microbiota dysbiosis and their role in COVID-19 and long-COVID.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1080043.

The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in human health and disease. Gut dysbiosis is known to be associated with increased susceptibility to respiratory diseases and modifications in the immune response and homeostasis of the lungs (the so-called gut-lung axis). Furthermore, recent studies have highlighted the possible role of dysbiosis in neurological disturbances, introducing the notion of the "gut-brain axis." During the last 2 years, several studies have described the presence of gut dysbiosis during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its relationship with disease severity, SARS-CoV-2 gastrointestinal replication, and immune inflammation. Moreover, the possible persistence of gut dysbiosis after disease resolution may be linked to long-COVID syndrome and particularly to its neurological manifestations. We reviewed recent evidence on the association between dysbiosis and COVID-19, investigating the possible epidemiologic confounding factors like age, location, sex, sample size, the severity of disease, comorbidities, therapy, and vaccination status on gut and airway microbial dysbiosis in selected studies on both COVID-19 and long-COVID. Moreover, we analyzed the confounding factors strictly related to microbiota, specifically diet investigation and previous use of antibiotics/probiotics, and the methodology used to study the microbiota (α- and β-diversity parameters and relative abundance tools). Of note, only a few studies focused on longitudinal analyses, especially for long-term observation in long-COVID. Lastly, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the role of microbiota transplantation and other therapeutic approaches and their possible impact on disease progression and severity. Preliminary data seem to suggest that gut and airway dysbiosis might play a role in COVID-19 and in long-COVID neurological symptoms. Indeed, the development and interpretation of these data could have important implications for future preventive and therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Bonilla H, Peluso MJ, Rodgers K, et al (2023)

Therapeutic trials for long COVID-19: A call to action from the interventions taskforce of the RECOVER initiative.

Frontiers in immunology, 14:1129459.

Although most individuals recover from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, a significant number continue to suffer from Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC), including the unexplained symptoms that are frequently referred to as long COVID, which could last for weeks, months, or even years after the acute phase of illness. The National Institutes of Health is currently funding large multi-center research programs as part of its Researching COVID to Enhance Recover (RECOVER) initiative to understand why some individuals do not recover fully from COVID-19. Several ongoing pathobiology studies have provided clues to potential mechanisms contributing to this condition. These include persistence of SARS-CoV-2 antigen and/or genetic material, immune dysregulation, reactivation of other latent viral infections, microvascular dysfunction, and gut dysbiosis, among others. Although our understanding of the causes of long COVID remains incomplete, these early pathophysiologic studies suggest biological pathways that could be targeted in therapeutic trials that aim to ameliorate symptoms. Repurposed medicines and novel therapeutics deserve formal testing in clinical trial settings prior to adoption. While we endorse clinical trials, especially those that prioritize inclusion of the diverse populations most affected by COVID-19 and long COVID, we discourage off-label experimentation in uncontrolled and/or unsupervised settings. Here, we review ongoing, planned, and potential future therapeutic interventions for long COVID based on the current understanding of the pathobiological processes underlying this condition. We focus on clinical, pharmacological, and feasibility data, with the goal of informing future interventional research studies.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Carmona Loayza DA, MF Lafebre (2023)

Periodontal disease and COVID-19: Prognosis and potential pathways of association in their pathogenesis.

Canadian journal of dental hygiene : CJDH = Journal canadien de l'hygiene dentaire : JCHD, 57(1):44-51.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this narrative review is to determine if periodontal disease is a factor in the development of a poor prognosis for COVID-19.

METHOD: A bibliographic search was conducted in PubMed, Virtual Health Library, Google Scholar, and in the databases of Science Direct, Scopus, Lilacs, Bireme, Scielo, and Web of Science, using the following keywords: "COVID-19," "SARS-CoV-2," and "periodontal diseases."

RESULTS: Fifty-six records were retrieved from the database searches. After screening, 39 articles were selected for study: 13 reviews, 2 case-control studies, 1 systematic review, 8 letters to the editor, 2 cohort studies, 1 thesis, 7 hypotheses, 1 short communication, 3 commentaries, and 1 scoping review.

DISCUSSION: Both periodontal disease and COVID-19 produce an inflammatory response. This immune response generates an over-production of inflammatory cytokines that can harm overall health.

CONCLUSION: The mouth serves as the entryway for many microorganisms that can harm health in general, among them SARS-CoV-2. It is important to maintain good oral health to lower the inflammatory load present in periodontal disease, lessening the possibility of complications from COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Hashimoto K (2023)

Overview of the potential use of fluvoxamine for COVID-19 and long COVID.

Discover mental health, 3(1):9.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has presented a serious worldwide threat to public health since its emergence in late 2019. From a safety point of view, drug repurposing has received particular attention. Several clinical studies have demonstrated that the use of fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with potent sigma-1 receptor agonism, in the early-stage of infection might be associated with the prevention of clinical deterioration in individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection, although several reports have shown that a low dose of fluvoxamine may be ineffective. There is increasing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can cross the blood-brain barrier, resulting in a number of psychiatric and neurologic symptoms in COVID-19 survivors. Importantly, about half of COVID-19 survivors experience a variety of long-term sequelae, including psychiatric and neurologic symptoms, known as long COVID. In this priority review, the author presents an overview of the potential use of fluvoxamine in the treatment of COVID-19 and long COVID.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Kalantan HA (2023)

Teleophthalmology in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi journal of ophthalmology : official journal of the Saudi Ophthalmological Society, 37(1):55-59.

Teleophthalmology is the provision of ophthalmic care using digital medical equipment and telecommunications technology. While teleophthalmology has been practiced since the 1990s, it became a crucial medical service during the COVID-19 pandemic when doctors were required to make diagnoses from a distance. This was certainly the case in Saudi Arabia, a relatively large country with limited medical workforce to meet demands, yet a high prevalence of diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and cataracts which are considered leading causes of visual impairment. In response to the pandemic, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health issued scientific instruction manuals and guidelines for health-care providers which paved the way for increased use of digital technologies and solutions to mitigate the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic served to accelerate the use of virtual ophthalmology in Saudi Arabia with the most common teleophthalmology applications being teleconsultation and disease-specific applications such as diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. Although some challenges relating to implementing teleophthalmology in Saudi Arabia remain, it is felt that there are great opportunities to expand the use of telemedicine in ophthalmology in this country.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Butterworth RF (2023)

Adamantanes for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases in the presence of SARS-CoV-2.

Frontiers in neuroscience, 17:1128157.

Advent of the acute respiratory coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in the search for novel antiviral agents and in the repurposing of existing agents with demonstrated efficacy against other known coronaviruses in the search for an agent with antiviral activity for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adamantanes including amantadine, rimantadine, and memantine have well-established benefit in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD) and fatigue related to Multiple sclerosis (MS) all of which are known comorbidities related to COVID-19 Moreover, results of basic pharmacological studies both in vitro and in vivo reveal that amantadine has the potential to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 via down-regulation of host-cell proteases resulting in impaired viral genome release into the host cell and via amantadine's property as an NMDA receptor antagonist resulting in the prevention of the acute lung injury and respiratory distress that is characteristic of COVID-19. Cases suggestive of COVID-19 prophylaxis have been reported in patients with PD or MS or severe cognitive impairment treated in all cases for several months with an adamantane [amantadine or memantine] who were subsequently infected with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by RT-PCR, and, in all cases, no signs of infectious disease were encountered. Amantadine is effective for the treatment of fatigue in MS and for the neurological complications of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Sari DM, LCG Wijaya (2023)

General rehabilitation for the Post-COVID-19 condition: A narrative review.

Annals of thoracic medicine, 18(1):10-14.

COVID-19 significantly impacts the acute phase or the period after being infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2. Studies have shown it has affected multiorgan and needs continuous care by a multidisciplinary team. Nowadays, guidance is required to assist the recovery process of survivors who reported at least one symptom as a residual effect. This study aims to describe the rehabilitation management of post-COVID-19 conditions. As the number of survivors seems to be increasing, it is expected that COVID-19 survivors will recover through a holistic approach by all physicians. Comprehensive rehabilitation for long COVID or COVID-19-related illnesses includes exercising, nutrition, education, managing voice, breathlessness, neurocognitive problems, mental health, feeding problems, and daily activities. Specific recommendations have already been published to support rehabilitation for survivors in every targeted organ. Supportive care, especially rehabilitation programs, is recently an urgent knowledge in this pandemic.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Afrin S, M Shammi (2023)

A review on the gendered impact of COVID-19 pandemic towards achieving sustainable development goals in Bangladesh: Ecofeminist perspectives on the response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Heliyon, 9(3):e14680.

In this article, we have reviewed how the women of Bangladesh are negatively exposed to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of quality education, employment loss, labour market contribution, domestic violence, and health and wellness, thus putting their lives at more significant risk. We have employed the Drivers-Pressures-States-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework to analyze the gendered effects of COVID-19 on some specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh. We have purposively selected five SDGs, SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 5 (gender equality), and SDG 8 (decent work & economic growth), those have direct effects on women's livelihood and well-being. Our DPSIR framework analysis has shown that gendered vulnerabilities have been exacerbated due to the COVID-19 situation with multiple pre-existing socio-cultural norms and various state policies like patriarchal values, stay-home policies etc. As SDG 1 focuses on poverty reduction, and SDG 8 focuses on decent work and economic growth, unemployment, losing job opportunities and economic downturn due to the pandemic have slowed down national growth as well as increased poverty in the country. With excessive pressure on the health sector to deal with COVID-19, women's essential maternal, sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services were neglected and health disparities were also observed. Thus, many women and adolescent girls could not access SRH services when needed that led to a myriad of consequences for SDG 3 achievements. The prolonged shutdown of educational institutes resulted in mass school dropouts, mental health problems, and higher risks of child labour and child marriage among girl children which has significant negative impacts on the achievement of SDG 4. Due to COVID-19-related preventive measures, such as social distancing, and lockdown, women have been involved to do more care and household job following traditional gender roles, experienced work from home, and a 'shadow pandemic' domestic violence amidst the COVID-19. Consequently, the overall gender gap has increased (SDG 5). We have argued that the existing neoliberal market economy has failed to save the global society from a pandemic, therefore, it is important to rethink its development targets and indicators. Moreover, a paradigm shift is recommended by deconstructing present economic systems to build a resilient society based on the caring relationships among nature, humans, and society embracing an ecofeminist perspective.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Yao Y, Wu L, Toland S, et al (2023)

An exploration of the psychological impact and support needs of nurses during a pandemic: A qualitative systematic review.

Nursing open [Epub ahead of print].

AIM: When a public health emergency occurs, nurses play an important role on the front lines and experience tremendous physical and mental stress. This review aims to synthesize existing qualitative studies exploring the psychological impact and support needs of nurses.

DESIGN: Qualitative systematic reviews. Registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021288509).

METHODS: This review uses the PEOD framework to explicitly identify qualitative questions and systematically searches four electronic databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, PsychINFO) for articles published between 25 March 2000 and 27 December 2020.

RESULTS: A total of 10 studies published in English from 2005 to 2020 were included in the review. Following the quality critical appraisal, 26 concepts were extracted and six descriptive themes were synthesized into three analytical themes: (1) positive psychological drive, (2) need more formal supports and (3) need to be treated fairly. During sudden public health incidents, it is crucial to provide support to family members, offer psychological counselling and isolation training to nurses, while considering cultural factors and appropriate methods. Organizations and governments should prioritize establishing a robust and effective psychological support system.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Wang QX, Wang J, Wu RK, et al (2023)

The safety of digestive tract cancer surgery during COVID-19: A living systematic review and meta-analysis.

Asian journal of surgery [Epub ahead of print].

Surgery is the primary curative treatment of solid cancers. However, its safety has been compromised by the outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the safety of digestive tract cancer surgery in the context of COVID-19. We used the Review Manager software (v.5.4) and Stata software (version 16.0) for meta-analysis and statistical analysis. Sixteen retrospective studies involving 17,077 patients met the inclusion criteria. The data indicates that performing digestive tract cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased blood loss(MD = -11.31, 95%CI:-21.43 to -1.20, P = 0.03), but did not increase postoperative complications(OR = 1.03, 95%CI:0.78 to1.35, P = 0 0.86), anastomotic leakage (OR = 0.96, 95%CI:0.52 to1.77, P = 0 0.89), postoperative mortality (OR = 0.65, 95%CI:0.40 to1.07, P = 0 0.09), number of transfusions (OR = 0.74, 95%CI:0.30 to 1.80, P = 0.51), number of patients requiring ICU care(OR = 1.37, 95%CI:0.90 to 2.07, P = 0.14), postoperative 30-d readmission (OR = 0.94, 95%CI:0.82 to 1.07, P = 0 0.33), total hospital stay (MD = 0.11, 95%CI:-2.37 to 2.59, P = 0.93), preoperative waiting time(MD = - 0.78, 95%CI:-2.34 to 0.79, P = 0.33), postoperative hospital stay(MD = - 0.44, 95%CI:-1.61 to 0.74, P = 0.47), total operation time(MD = -12.99, 95%CI:-28.00 to 2.02, P = 0.09) and postoperative ICU stay (MD = - 0.02, 95%CI:-0.62 to 0.57, P = 0.94). Digestive tract cancer surgery can be safely performed during the COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-03-26

Vodovotz Y (2023)

Towards systems immunology of critical illness at scale: from single cell 'omics to digital twins.

Trends in immunology pii:S1471-4906(23)00048-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Single-cell 'omics methodology has yielded unprecedented insights based largely on data-centric informatics for reducing, and thus interpreting, massive datasets. In parallel, parsimonious mathematical modeling based on abstractions of pathobiology has also yielded major insights into inflammation and immunity, with these models being extended to describe multi-organ disease pathophysiology as the basis of 'digital twins' and in silico clinical trials. The integration of these distinct methods at scale can drive both basic and translational advances, especially in the context of critical illness, including diseases such as COVID-19. Here, I explore achievements and argue the challenges that are inherent to the integration of data-driven and mechanistic modeling approaches, highlighting the potential of modeling-based strategies for rational immune system reprogramming.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Szekely Y, Gilead R, Réa ABBAC, et al (2023)

An evolving understanding of the basis and management of vascular complications of COVID-19: Where do we go from here?.

The Canadian journal of cardiology [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic led to millions of deaths worldwide following its emergence in 2020. The SARS-CoV-2 virus primarily affects respiratory function, but immune dysregulation leading to systemic inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and coagulopathy can predispose to systemic complications including hematologic and vascular complications. Treatment strategies for patients with COVID-19 have rapidly evolved and the effectiveness and safety of antithrombotic agents have been evaluated in multiple clinical trials. The findings have spurred interest in the prevention and treatment of the hematologic and vascular complications of non-COVID-19 respiratory infections. This review focuses on hematological and vascular complications of COVID-19, including their pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and management. Due to the perpetually changing nature of the disease, the review places prior data in temporal contexts and outlines potential next steps for future research in COVID-19 and other severe respiratory infections.

RevDate: 2023-03-26

Friel S, Collin J, Daube M, et al (2023)

Commercial determinants of health: future directions.

Lancet (London, England) pii:S0140-6736(23)00011-9 [Epub ahead of print].

This paper is about the future role of the commercial sector in global health and health equity. The discussion is not about the overthrow of capitalism nor a full-throated embrace of corporate partnerships. No single solution can eradicate the harms from the commercial determinants of health-the business models, practices, and products of market actors that damage health equity and human and planetary health and wellbeing. But evidence shows that progressive economic models, international frameworks, government regulation, compliance mechanisms for commercial entities, regenerative business types and models that incorporate health, social, and environmental goals, and strategic civil society mobilisation together offer possibilities of systemic, transformative change, reduce those harms arising from commercial forces, and foster human and planetary wellbeing. In our view, the most basic public health question is not whether the world has the resources or will to take such actions, but whether humanity can survive if society fails to make this effort.

RevDate: 2023-03-26

Gilmore AB, Fabbri A, Baum F, et al (2023)

Defining and conceptualising the commercial determinants of health.

Lancet (London, England) pii:S0140-6736(23)00013-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Although commercial entities can contribute positively to health and society there is growing evidence that the products and practices of some commercial actors-notably the largest transnational corporations-are responsible for escalating rates of avoidable ill health, planetary damage, and social and health inequity; these problems are increasingly referred to as the commercial determinants of health. The climate emergency, the non-communicable disease epidemic, and that just four industry sectors (ie, tobacco, ultra-processed food, fossil fuel, and alcohol) already account for at least a third of global deaths illustrate the scale and huge economic cost of the problem. This paper, the first in a Series on the commercial determinants of health, explains how the shift towards market fundamentalism and increasingly powerful transnational corporations has created a pathological system in which commercial actors are increasingly enabled to cause harm and externalise the costs of doing so. Consequently, as harms to human and planetary health increase, commercial sector wealth and power increase, whereas the countervailing forces having to meet these costs (notably individuals, governments, and civil society organisations) become correspondingly impoverished and disempowered or captured by commercial interests. This power imbalance leads to policy inertia; although many policy solutions are available, they are not being implemented. Health harms are escalating, leaving health-care systems increasingly unable to cope. Governments can and must act to improve, rather than continue to threaten, the wellbeing of future generations, development, and economic growth.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Molnár N, Nagy F, Fritúz G, et al (2023)

[Out-of-hospital adult basic life support: new guidelines and the involvement of bystanders].

Orvosi hetilap, 164(12):443-448.

Survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest remains low across Europe. In the last decade, involving bystanders turned out to be one of the most important key factors in improving the outcome of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Beside recognizing cardiac arrest and initiate chest compressions, bystanders could be also involved in delivering early defibrillation. Although adult basic life support is a sequence of simple interventions that can be easily learnt even by schoolchildren, non-technical skills and emotional components can complicate real-life situations. This recognition combined with modern technology brings a new point of view in teaching and implementation. We review the latest practice guidelines and new advances in the education (including the importance of non-technical skills) of out-of-hospital adult basic life support, also considering the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. We briefly present the Szív City application developed to support the involvement of lay rescuers. Orv Hetil. 2023; 164(12): 443-448.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Dsouza NN, Alampady V, Baby K, et al (2023)

Thalidomide interaction with inflammation in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Inflammopharmacology [Epub ahead of print].

The "Thalidomide tragedy" is a landmark in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. Despite limited clinical trials, there is a continuous effort to investigate thalidomide as a drug for cancer and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lepromatous leprosy, and COVID-19. This review focuses on the possibilities of targeting inflammation by repurposing thalidomide for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Articles were searched from the Scopus database, sorted, and selected articles were reviewed. The content includes the proven mechanisms of action of thalidomide relevant to IPF. Inflammation, oxidative stress, and epigenetic mechanisms are major pathogenic factors in IPF. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is the major biomarker of IPF. Thalidomide is an effective anti-inflammatory drug in inhibiting TGF-β, interleukins (IL-6 and IL-1β), and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Thalidomide binds cereblon, a process that is involved in the proposed mechanism in specific cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple myeloma, and lung cancer. Cereblon is involved in activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-TGF-β/Smad signalling, thereby attenuating fibrosis. The past few years have witnessed an improvement in the identification of biomarkers and diagnostic technologies in respiratory diseases, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, investment in clinical trials with a systematic plan can help repurpose thalidomide for pulmonary fibrosis.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Lison A, Banholzer N, Sharma M, et al (2023)

Effectiveness assessment of non-pharmaceutical interventions: lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lancet. Public health, 8(4):e311-e317.

Effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), such as school closures and stay-at-home orders, during the COVID-19 pandemic has been assessed in many studies. Such assessments can inform public health policies and contribute to evidence-based choices of NPIs during subsequent waves or future epidemics. However, methodological issues and no standardised assessment practices have restricted the practical value of the existing evidence. Here, we present and discuss lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and make recommendations for standardising and improving assessment, data collection, and modelling. These recommendations could contribute to reliable and policy-relevant assessments of the effectiveness of NPIs during future epidemics.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Chen X, Mou L, Qu J, et al (2023)

Adverse effects of triclosan exposure on health and potential molecular mechanisms.

The Science of the total environment, 879:163068 [Epub ahead of print].

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of disinfectants has grown significantly around the world. Triclosan (TCS), namely 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy) phenol or 2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxydiphenyl ether, is a broad-spectrum, lipophilic, antibacterial agent that is extensively used in multifarious consumer products. Due to the widespread use and bioaccumulation, TCS is frequently detected in the environment and human biological samples. Accumulating evidence suggests that TCS is considered as a novel endocrine disruptor and may have potential unfavorable effects on human health, but studies on the toxic effect mediated by TCS exposure as well as its underlying mechanisms of action are relatively sparse. Therefore, in this review, we attempted to summarize the potential detrimental effects of TCS exposure on human reproductive health, liver function, intestinal homeostasis, kidney function, thyroid endocrine, and other tissue health, and further explore its mechanisms of action, thereby contributing to the better understanding of TCS characteristics and safety. Moreover, our work suggested the need to further investigate the biological effects of TCS exposure at the metabolic level in vivo.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Dumitrescu L, Papathanasiou A, Coclitu C, et al (2023)

An update on the use of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulators for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 24(4):495-509.

INTRODUCTION: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disorder of the CNS manifested by recurrent attacks of neurological symptoms (related to focal inflammation) and gradual disability accrual (related to progressive neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation). Sphingosine-1-phosphate-receptor (S1PR) modulators are a class of oral disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for relapsing MS. The first S1PR modulator developed and approved for MS was fingolimod, followed by siponimod, ozanimod, and ponesimod. All are S1P analogues with different S1PR-subtype selectivity. They restrain the S1P-dependent lymphocyte egress from lymph nodes by binding the lymphocytic S1P-subtype-1-receptor. Depending on their pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, they can also interfere with other biological functions.

AREAS COVERED: Our narrative review covers the PubMed English literature on S1PR modulators in MS until August 2022. We discuss their pharmacology, efficacy, safety profile, and risk management recommendations based on the results of phase II and III clinical trials. We briefly address their impact on the risk of infections and vaccines efficacy.

EXPERT OPINION: S1PR modulators decrease relapse rate and may modestly delay disease progression in people with relapsing MS. Aside their established benefit, their place and timing within the long-term DMT strategy in MS, as well as their immunological effects in the new and evolving context of the post-COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination campaigns warrant further study.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Pon A, Osinski A, A Sreelatha (2023)

Redefining pseudokinases: A look at the untapped enzymatic potential of pseudokinases.

IUBMB life, 75(4):370-376.

Catalytically inactive kinases, known as pseudokinases, are conserved in all three domains of life. Due to the lack of catalytic residues, pseudokinases are considered to act as allosteric regulators and scaffolding proteins with no enzymatic function. However, since these "dead" kinases are conserved along with their active counterparts, a role for pseudokinases may have been overlooked. In this review, we will discuss the recently characterized pseudokinases Selenoprotein O, Legionella effector SidJ, and the SARS-CoV2 protein nsp12 which catalyze AMPylation, glutamylation, and RNAylation, respectively. These studies provide structural and mechanistic insight into the versatility and diversity of the kinase fold.

RevDate: 2023-03-29
CmpDate: 2023-03-29

Ma Y, Huang Y, G Xu (2023)

New insights into the mucosal immune pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy from the perspective of COVID-19 vaccination.

QJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians, 116(3):181-195.

Large-scale SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is one of the key strategies to curb the COVID-19 pandemic; however, there are increasing reports of IgA nephropathy following COVID-19 vaccination. The clinical manifestation, treatment and prognostic effects are different in IgAN patients who have had an onset after the first and second dose of vaccination, as well as new and recurrent IgAN patients. These conditions bring about a relatively important window for understanding the pathogenesis of IgAN. Gd-IgA1 is the core of the pathogenesis of IgAN. Most IgA is produced at mucosal sites; however, antigen-activated Toll-like receptor activation pathways expressed by antigen-presenting cells and B-cell homing receptors are different in the intestinal and respiratory mucosa, and the link between respiratory and intestinal mucosa is not well understood in the pathogenesis of IgAN. Budesonide treatment of IgAN is thought to inhibit the intestinal immune response by binding to glucocorticoid receptors in the intestinal mucosa or submucosa; however, it is unclear whether there is a therapeutic effect in respiratory mucosa-derived IgA nephropathy. The present review firstly described the relationship between the gut and respiratory mucosa, and the differences in antigen-presenting cell activation pathways and B-cell homing from the perspective of COVID-19 vaccines.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.


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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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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )