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04 Mar 2024 at 01:43
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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 04 Mar 2024 at 01:43 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: 2024-03-01

Paschke K, R Thomasius (2024)

[Digital media use and mental health in adolescents-a narrative review].

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

The opportunities and hazards of digital media, especially with regard to children and adolescents, are currently the subject of frequent family, school, and social debates.Digital platforms can support the accomplishment of adolescent developmental tasks through gaming and social exchange as well as communication and contact promotion, learning, and health promotion, and are widely used for entertainment. In Germany, almost all adolescents own a smartphone. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an intensification of the use of digital games, social media, and streaming offers by adolescents was observed. Exposure to age-uncensored content such as the depiction of violence, extreme political views, and conspiracy theories, as well as personal attacks through cyberbullying, unfiltered initiation of contact including cybergrooming, dysfunctional role models, and addiction-promoting aspects are associated with mental health risks.Cyberbullying affects about 5% of children and adolescents in Germany. A bidirectional relationship with mental health could be shown. The gaming disorder is the first digital media use disorder (DMUD) that has been included in the ICD-11 and thus internationally recognized as a mental illness. Adolescents are affected disproportionately often and experience impairments in their mental development and levels of functioning.Services are available to promote adolescent media literacy, and their expansion, structured application, and evaluation are needed. Evidence-based prevention and treatment options for DMUD are currently largely lacking. Their development, review, and dissemination should be further supported.

RevDate: 2024-03-01

Windeck S, Allgoewer K, von Stillfried S, et al (2024)

[Development and progress of the National Autopsy Network (NATON)].

Pathologie (Heidelberg, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Autopsies have long been considered the gold standard for quality assurance in medicine, yet their significance in basic research has been relatively overlooked. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the potential of autopsies in understanding pathophysiology, therapy, and disease management. In response, the German Registry for COVID-19 Autopsies (DeRegCOVID) was established in April 2020, followed by the DEFEAT PANDEMIcs consortium (2020-2021), which evolved into the National Autopsy Network (NATON).

DEREGCOVID: DeRegCOVID collected and analyzed autopsy data from COVID-19 deceased in Germany over three years, serving as the largest national multicenter autopsy study. Results identified crucial factors in severe/fatal cases, such as pulmonary vascular thromboemboli and the intricate virus-immune interplay. DeRegCOVID served as a central hub for data analysis, research inquiries, and public communication, playing a vital role in informing policy changes and responding to health authorities.

NATON: Initiated by the Network University Medicine (NUM), NATON emerged as a sustainable infrastructure for autopsy-based research. NATON aims to provide a data and method platform, fostering collaboration across pathology, neuropathology, and legal medicine. Its structure supports a swift feedback loop between research, patient care, and pandemic management.

CONCLUSION: DeRegCOVID has significantly contributed to understanding COVID-19 pathophysiology, leading to the establishment of NATON. The National Autopsy Registry (NAREG), as its successor, embodies a modular and adaptable approach, aiming to enhance autopsy-based research collaboration nationally and, potentially, internationally.

RevDate: 2024-03-01

Xu Z, Zhao B, Zhang Z, et al (2024)

Prevalence and associated factors of secondary traumatic stress in emergency nurses: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

European journal of psychotraumatology, 15(1):2321761.

Background: Nurses in emergency departments are at a high risk of experiencing secondary traumatic stress because of their frequent exposure to trauma patients and high-stress environments.Objective: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the overall prevalence of secondary traumatic stress among emergency nurses and to identify the contributing factors.Method: We conducted a systematic search for cross-sectional studies in databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, CINAHL, Wanfang Database, and China National Knowledge Internet up to October 21, 2023. The Joanna Briggs Institute's appraisal checklists for prevalence and analytical cross-sectional studies were used for quality assessment. Heterogeneity among studies was assessed using Cochrane's Q test and the I[2] statistic. A random effects model was applied to estimate the pooled prevalence of secondary traumatic stress, and subgroup analyses were performed to explore sources of heterogeneity. Descriptive analysis summarized the associated factors.Results: Out of 345 articles retrieved, 14 met the inclusion criteria, with 11 reporting secondary traumatic stress prevalence. The pooled prevalence of secondary traumatic stress among emergency nurses was 65% (95% CI: 58%-73%). Subgroup analyses indicated the highest prevalence in Asia (74%, 95% CI: 72%-77%), followed by North America (59%, 95% CI: 49%-72%) and Europe (53%, 95% CI: 29%-95%). Nine studies identified associated factors, including personal, work-related, and social factors. In the subgroup of divided by recruitment period, emergency department nurses in the COVID-19 outbreak period had a higher prevalence of secondary traumatic stress (70%, 95% CI: 62%-78%).Conclusions: Secondary traumatic stress prevalence is notably high among emergency department nurses, with significant regional variations and period differences. The factors affecting secondary traumatic stress also varied across studies. Future research should focus on improving research designs and sample sizes to pinpoint risk factors and develop prevention strategies.Registration: PROSPERO CRD42022301167.

RevDate: 2024-03-03

Burns JC (2024)

The etiologies of Kawasaki disease.

The Journal of clinical investigation, 134(5):.

Kawasaki disease (KD) is a systemic vasculitis that affects young children and can result in coronary artery aneurysms. The etiology is currently unknown, but new clues from the epidemiology of KD in Japan, the country of highest incidence, are beginning to shed light on what may trigger this acute inflammatory condition. Additional clues from the global changes in KD incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with a new birth cohort study from Japan, point to the potential role of person-to-person transmission of an infectious agent. However, the rising incidence of KD in Japan, with coherent waves across the entire country, points to an increasing intensity of exposure that cannot be explained by person-to-person spread. This Review discusses new and historical observations that guide us toward a better understanding of KD etiology and explores hypotheses and interpretations that can provide direction for future investigations. Once the etiology of KD is determined, accurate diagnostic tests will become available, and new, less expensive, and more effective targeted therapies will likely be possible. Clearly, solving the mystery of the etiologies of KD remains a priority for pediatric research.

RevDate: 2024-03-02

Nag K, Tripura K, Datta A, et al (2024)

Effect of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin Combination Use in COVID-19 Patients - An Umbrella Review.

Indian journal of community medicine : official publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, 49(1):22-27.

BACKGROUND: Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin combination was used rampantly in management of COVID-19 patients in different countries. Present review was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin combination compared to the control (standard care) and any adverse effect following this combination use in COVID-19 patients if any.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We included all the systematic review with or without meta-analysis reporting the effect of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Azithromycin (AZM) combination use in COVID-19 patient using three databases namely PubMed, medline, CINHAL, Web of Science from July 2020 till Jan 2022.

RESULTS: The systematic search strategy has identified 104 studies in total, after removal of duplicates only 4 systematic reviews were included in the qualitative synthesis. The various tools for assessing and reporting the data in the reviews were PRISMA, ROBINS-I, Robs2, AMSTAR, MASTER checklists. Mortality among the hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin combination group was significantly higher than among the Standard Care group. The duration of hospital stay in days was shorter in the Standard Care group in comparison with the hydroxychloroquine group or the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination group. Of the 4 systematic reviews included, 3 had low risk of bias and one had unclear risk of bias using the ROBIS tool. Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine combination did not shorten the duration of hospital stay.

CONCLUSION: Rampant use of Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine alone or with Azithromycin combination caused adverse effects like QT prolongation. Finally, there is no evidence to support use of either Hydroxychloroquine with or without Azithromycin, for the treatment of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2024-03-02

Leonel JW, Ciurleo GCV, Formiga AM, et al (2024)

Long COVID: neurological manifestations - an updated narrative review.

Dementia & neuropsychologia, 18:e20230076.

Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus can lead to neurological symptoms in the acute phase and in the Long COVID phase. These symptoms usually involve cognition, sleep, smell disorders, psychiatric manifestations, headache and others. This condition is more commonly described in young adults and women. This symptomatology can follow severe or mild cases of the disease. The importance of this issue resides in the high prevalence of neurological symptoms in the Long COVID phase, which entails significant morbidity in this population. In addition, such a condition is associated with high health care costs, with some estimates hovering around 3.7 trillion US dollars. In this review, we will sequentially describe the current knowledge about the most prevalent neurological symptoms in Long COVID, as well as their pathophysiology and possible biomarkers.

RevDate: 2024-03-02

Talukder S, Deb P, Parveen M, et al (2024)

Clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 patients with concomitant herpesvirus co-infection or reactivation: A systematic review.

New microbes and new infections, 58:101233.

BACKGROUND: Since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Wuhan, China in late 2019, concomitant infections with Herpesviridae were documented that were presented from simple skin manifestations to severe life-threatening conditions that may lead to mortality. In this systematic review, we have included studies conducted in different parts of the world to find out the association of clinical features and outcomes of COVID-19 infection and concomitant Herpesviridae infection.

METHODS: A comprehensive search was conducted in electronic databases including Medline through PubMed, Cochrane database, Scopus and Web of science (core collection). Two review authors independently screened the articles and extracted data. The Risk of bias assessment was done by using RoBANS tool.

RESULTS: A total of 919 studies were retrieved and 19 studies were included having data of 539 patients who were infected with both COVID-19 and Herpesviridae. Herpes Simplex-1, Varicella Zoster, Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and Human Herpes Virus-6 were the detected viruses in the included studies. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation was the most detected concomitant infection. In case of reactivation with more than one Herpes virus mortality among patients were detected along with single viral infection in some studies. Significant association was noted in dosage and usage of steroid and Herpesviridae reactivation in COVID-19 patients. Blood markers such as D-dimer, CRP along with length of stay in the ICU and usage of invasive mechanical ventilation were found to be the significantly associated markers.

CONCLUSION: Findings from this study will aid clinicians to assess and treat COVID-19 cases with co-infections.

RevDate: 2024-03-03

Reilly K, A Ebersole (2024)

Confidentiality and privacy considerations for adolescents receiving contraceptive health services via telemedicine: A narrative review.

Women's health (London, England), 20:17455057241233126.

Confidential medical care for adolescent patients is essential as they are likely to forgo needed care if privacy cannot be maintained. The use of telemedicine for adolescent health has rapidly expanded due to the COVID-19 pandemic and can increase access to important services like reproductive care; however, it has raised challenges for providers, patients, and their parents/guardians related to confidentiality and privacy. Health care providers are often uncertain about the laws and regulations that govern confidential services including the 21st Century Cures Act. Through a narrative review of studies on confidentiality and telemedicine, this article seeks to summarize the available evidence and provide recommendations on maintaining privacy during virtual encounters and identify current best practices for prescribing contraception via telemedicine.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Woodward IR, CA Fromen (2024)

Recent Developments in Aerosol Pulmonary Drug Delivery: New Technologies, New Cargos, and New Targets.

Annual review of biomedical engineering [Epub ahead of print].

There is nothing like a global pandemic to motivate the need for improved respiratory treatments and mucosal vaccines. Stimulated by the COVID-19 pandemic, pulmonary aerosol drug delivery has seen a flourish of activity, building on the prior decades of innovation in particle engineering, inhaler device technologies, and clinical understanding. As such, the field has expanded into new directions and is working toward the efficient delivery of increasingly complex cargos to address a wider range of respiratory diseases. This review seeks to highlight recent innovations in approaches to personalize inhalation drug delivery, deliver complex cargos, and diversify the targets treated and prevented through pulmonary drug delivery. We aim to inform readers of the emerging efforts within the field and predict where future breakthroughs are expected to impact the treatment of respiratory diseases. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, Volume 26 is May 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Johnston R, Sonnappa S, Goddings AL, et al (2024)

A review of post COVID syndrome pathophysiology, clinical presentation and management in children and young people.

Paediatric respiratory reviews pii:S1526-0542(24)00003-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Post Covid Syndrome (PCS) is a complex multi-system disorder with a spectrum of presentations. Severity ranges from mild to very severe with variable duration of illness and recovery. This paper discusses the difficulties defining and describing PCS. We review the current understanding of PCS, epidemiology, and predisposing factors. We consider potential mechanisms including viral persistence, clotting dysfunction and immunity. We review presentation and diagnosis and finally consider management strategies including addressing symptom burden, rehabilitation, and novel therapies.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Guo J, Chen X, Guo Y, et al (2024)

Real-world effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccination and age as effect modifier: A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of test-negative design studies.

Vaccine pii:S0264-410X(24)00218-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Under the global risk of epidemic rebound of influenza after COVID-19 outbreak, the study aimed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE) and to explore the potential effect modifiers.

METHODS: We searched for test-negative design studies with IVE estimates published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2022. We estimated pooled IVE using random-effects meta-analysis, and conducted meta-regression with study site, age, sex and comorbidity as explanatory variables.

RESULTS: We identified 2429 publications and included 191 in the meta-analysis. The pooled IVE was 41.4 % (95 % CI: 39.2-43.5 %) against any influenza. For specific strains, the IVE was 55.4 % (95 % CI: 52.7-58.1 %) against A/H1N1, 26.8 % (95 % CI: 23.5-29.9 %) against A/H3N2, 47.2 % (95 % CI: 38.1-54.9 %) against B/Yamagata, and 40.6 % (95 % CI: 23.7-53.7 %) against B/Victoria, and the effectiveness against A/H3N2 was significantly lower than A/H1N1 (p < 0.0001) and B/Yamagata (p < 0.0001). The pooled IVE was 39.2 % (95 % CI: 36.5-41.9 %) in preventing influenza-associated outpatient visit and 43.7 % (95 % CI: 39.7-47.4 %) in preventing influenza-related hospitalization. The IVE against any influenza was 48.6 % (95 % CI: 44.7-52.2 %) for children aged < 18 years, 36.7 % (95 % CI: 31.9-41.1 %) for adults aged 18-64 years, and 30.6 % (95 % CI: 26.2-34.8 %) for elderly aged ≥65 years. Meta-regression revealed that the IVE was associated with the average age of study participants, in which both young adults [relative odds ratio (ROR) = 1.225, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 1.099-1.365, p = 0.0002] and elderly (ROR = 1.245, 95 % CI: 1.083-1.431, p = 0.002) manifested a significantly decreased effectiveness compared with children.

CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccines provided moderate protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza and related outpatient visit and hospitalization. However, the effectiveness may vary substantially by virus type and age group, suggesting the necessity to tailor vaccination strategies especially for older individuals and against the A/H3N2 strain, and to promote annual immunization and annual analysis of vaccine effectiveness.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

JaKa MM, Ziegenfuss JY, Dinh JM, et al (2024)

Evidence to support health system prioritization of health behaviors in the COVID-19 era.

Progress in cardiovascular diseases pii:S0033-0620(24)00026-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Since the COVID-19 pandemic health systems have shifted necessarily from chronic to infectious disease treatment, but chronic disease remains critical. One large health system uniquely tracks member health behaviors. This analysis compares data from select months of an ongoing monthly cross-sectional survey before and during the pandemic.

METHODS: Responses in April 2019 (pre-pandemic), April 2020 (early pandemic) or April 2021 (later pandemic) were included in the primary analysis (N = 252). Differences in meeting health behavior guidelines were analyzed via logistic regression.

RESULTS: A significant decline was seen for physical activity (19% not meeting guidelines pre-pandemic vs. 41% later pandemic) but not fruit/vegetable, alcohol, or sleep from early to later pandemic. Prevalence of women not meeting tobacco guidelines increased from early (5%) to later pandemic (10%) while prevalence in men decreased (10% vs 4% respectively). The percent of people not thinking about the good things that happen to them fluctuated closely with reports of new COVID-19 cases.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings show the nuance of changing health behaviors throughout the pandemic. Results should be used by health systems to tailor support based on insights from the pandemic experience.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Ciccacci F, De Santo C, Mosconi C, et al (2024)

Not only COVID-19: a systematic review of anti-COVID-19 measures and their effect on health care-associated infections.

The Journal of hospital infection pii:S0195-6701(24)00065-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) burden healthcare globally. Amid the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, intensified infection control measures, such as mask usage and hand hygiene, were implemented. This study aimed to assess the efficacy of these measures in preventing HCAIs among hospitalized patients.

METHODS: Using the PICO framework, the study focused on hospitalized patients and the effectiveness of anti-COVID-19 measures in preventing HCAIs. A systematic review of literature published in 2020-2021-2022 was conducted, examining interventions such as mask usage, hand hygiene, and environmental cleaning.

RESULTS: This systematic review analyzed 42 studies: 2 in 2020, 21 in 2021 and 19 in 2022. Most studies were from high-income countries (28). Most studies (30 out of 42) reported a reduction in HCAIs after implementing anti-COVID-19 measures Gastrointestinal infections and respiratory tract infections showed significant reduction unlike bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections. Some wards, like cardiology and neurology, experienced reduced HCAIs, unlike intensive care units and coronary care units. We observed an increase in studies reporting no effect of hygiene measures on HCAIs in 2022, eventually indicating a shift in effectiveness over time.

DISCUSSION: Anti-COVID-19 measures have shown selective efficacy in preventing HCAIs. The study emphasizes the need for context-specific strategies and increased focus on regions with limited resources. Continued research is essential to refine infection control practices, especially in high-risk settings.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Finsterer J, D Matovu (2024)

Immune-mediated encephalitis following SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.

Clinical neurology and neurosurgery, 238:108188 pii:S0303-8467(24)00075-1 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: one of the neurological side effects of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations is immune encephalitis. This review aims at summarising previous and current findings on the frequency, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination-associated encephalitis (SC2VIE).

METHODS: narrative review of eligible articles meeting defined search criteria and published between January 2021 and January 2024.

RESULTS: A total of 21 patients with SC2VIE reported in 18 articles were included. The AstraZeneca vaccine (ChAdOx1) was the trigger in 10 cases, the Biontech Pfizer vaccine (BNT162b2) in 8 cases, and the Moderna (mRNA1273), CoronaVac, and Sinopharm vaccine (BBIBP-CorV) in one case each. The ages ranged from 21 to 82 years. Twelve patients were female. SC2VIE developed after the first dose in eight patients, after the second in six patients, and in two after the third dose. The latency between vaccination and onset of clinical manifestations ranged from 1 to 56d. Eighteen patients received steroids, one patient intravenous immunoglobulins, one patient plasmapheresis, and two patients rituximab. Complete recovery was achieved in nine patients and incomplete recovery in ten.

CONCLUSIONS: SC2VIE is not an uncommon complication of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. The clinical presentation and treatment of SC2VIE do not differ from those of autoimmune encephalitis of other causes. Since SC2VIE can manifest only as a psychiatric disease, patients with post-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination psychosis should be evaluated for SC2VIA. The outcome of SC2VIE depends largely on the severity of the immune response and comorbidities.

RevDate: 2024-03-02

Hakim H, Driedger SM, Gagnon D, et al (2024)

Digital Gamification Tools to Enhance Vaccine Uptake: Scoping Review.

JMIR serious games, 12:e47257.

BACKGROUND: Gamification has been used successfully to promote various desired health behaviors. Previous studies have used gamification to achieve desired health behaviors or facilitate their learning about health.

OBJECTIVE: In this scoping review, we aimed to describe digital gamified tools that have been implemented or evaluated across various populations to encourage vaccination, as well as any reported effects of identified tools.

METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, CINAHL, the Web of Science Core Collection, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Academic Search Premier, PsycInfo, Global Health, and ERIC for peer-reviewed papers describing digital gamified tools with or without evaluations. We also conducted web searches with Google to identify digital gamified tools lacking associated publications. We consulted 12 experts in the field of gamification and health behavior to identify any papers or tools we might have missed. We extracted data about the target population of the tools, the interventions themselves (eg, type of digital gamified tool platform, type of disease/vaccine, type and design of study), and any effects of evaluated tools, and we synthesized data narratively.

RESULTS: Of 1402 records, we included 28 (2%) peer-reviewed papers and 10 digital gamified tools lacking associated publications. The experts added 1 digital gamified tool that met the inclusion criteria. Our final data set therefore included 28 peer-reviewed papers and 11 digital gamified tools. Of the 28 peer-reviewed papers, 7 (25%) explained the development of the tool, 16 (57%) described evaluation, and 2 (7%) reported both development and evaluation of the tool. The 28 peer-reviewed papers reported on 25 different tools. Of these 25 digital gamified tools, 11 (44%) were web-based tools, 8 (32%) mobile (native mobile or mobile-enabled web) apps, and 6 (24%) virtual reality tools. Overall, tools that were evaluated showed increases in knowledge and intentions to receive vaccines, mixed effects on attitudes, and positive effects on beliefs. We did not observe discernible advantages of one type of digital gamified tool (web based, mobile, virtual reality) over the others. However, a few studies were randomized controlled trials, and publication bias may have led to such positive effects having a higher likelihood of appearing in the peer-reviewed literature.

CONCLUSIONS: Digital gamified tools appear to have potential for improving vaccine uptake by fostering positive beliefs and increasing vaccine-related knowledge and intentions. Encouraging comparative studies of different features or different types of digital gamified tools could advance the field by identifying features or types of tools that yield more positive effects across populations and contexts. Further work in this area should seek to inform the implementation of gamification for vaccine acceptance and promote effective health communication, thus yielding meaningful health and social impacts.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Corrin T, Rabeenthira P, Young KM, et al (2024)

A scoping review of human pathogens detected in untreated human wastewater and sludge.

Journal of water and health, 22(2):436-449.

Wastewater monitoring is an approach to identify the presence or abundance of pathogens within a population. The objective of this scoping review (ScR) was to identify and characterize research on human pathogens and antimicrobial resistance detected in untreated human wastewater and sludge. A search was conducted up to March 2023 and standard ScR methodology was followed. This ScR included 1,722 articles, of which 56.5% were published after the emergence of COVID-19. Viruses and bacteria were commonly investigated, while research on protozoa, helminths, and fungi was infrequent. Articles prior to 2019 were dominated by research on pathogens transmitted through fecal-oral or waterborne pathways, whereas more recent articles have explored the detection of pathogens transmitted through other pathways such as respiratory and vector-borne. There was variation in sampling, samples, and sample processing across studies. The current evidence suggests that wastewater monitoring could be applied to a range of pathogens as a public health tool to detect an emerging pathogen and understand the burden and spread of disease to inform decision-making. Further development and refinement of the methods to identify and interpret wastewater signals for different prioritized pathogens are needed to develop standards on when, why, and how to monitor effectively.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Mohammadi S, S Ghaderi (2024)

Post-COVID-19 conditions: a systematic review on advanced magnetic resonance neuroimaging findings.

Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology [Epub ahead of print].

Post-COVID conditions (PCCs) cover a wide spectrum of lingering symptoms experienced by survivors of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Neurological and neuropsychiatric sequelae are common in PCCs. Advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques can reveal subtle alterations in brain structure, function, and perfusion that underlie these sequelae. This systematic review aimed to synthesize findings from studies that used advanced MRI to characterize brain changes in individuals with PCCs. A detailed literature search was conducted in the PubMed and Scopus databases to identify relevant studies that used advanced MRI modalities, such as structural MRI (sMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional MRI (fMRI), and perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI), to evaluate brain changes in PCCs. Twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 1219 participants with PCCs. The most consistent findings from sMRI were reduced gray matter volume (GMV) and cortical thickness (CTh) in cortical and subcortical regions. DTI frequently reveals increased mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (RD), and decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in white matter tracts (WMTs) such as the corpus callosum, corona radiata, and superior longitudinal fasciculus. fMRI demonstrated altered functional connectivity (FC) within the default mode, salience, frontoparietal, somatomotor, subcortical, and cerebellar networks. PWI showed decreased cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the frontotemporal area, thalamus, and basal ganglia. Advanced MRI shows changes in the brain networks and regions of the PCCs, which may cause neurological and neuropsychiatric problems. Multimodal neuroimaging may help understand brain-behavior relationships. Longitudinal studies are necessary to better understand the progression of these brain anomalies.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Creisher PS, SL Klein (2024)

Pathogenesis of viral infections during pregnancy.

Clinical microbiology reviews [Epub ahead of print].

SUMMARYViral infections during pregnancy are associated with significant adverse perinatal and fetal outcomes. Pregnancy is a unique immunologic and physiologic state, which can influence control of virus replication, severity of disease, and vertical transmission. The placenta is the organ of the maternal-fetal interface and provides defense against microbial infection while supporting the semi-allogeneic fetus via tolerogenic immune responses. Some viruses, such as cytomegalovirus, Zika virus, and rubella virus, can breach these defenses, directly infecting the fetus and having long-lasting consequences. Even without direct placental infection, other viruses, including respiratory viruses like influenza viruses and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, still cause placental damage and inflammation. Concentrations of progesterone and estrogens rise during pregnancy and contribute to immunological adaptations, placentation, and placental development and play a pivotal role in creating a tolerogenic environment at the maternal-fetal interface. Animal models, including mice, nonhuman primates, rabbits, and guinea pigs, are instrumental for mechanistic insights into the pathogenesis of viral infections during pregnancy and identification of targetable treatments to improve health outcomes of pregnant individuals and offspring.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Mattioli LB, Frosini M, Corazza I, et al (2024)

Long COVID-19 gastrointestinal related disorders and traditional Chinese medicine: A network target-based approach.

Phytotherapy research : PTR [Epub ahead of print].

The significant number of individuals impacted by the pandemic makes prolonged symptoms after COVID-19 a matter of considerable concern. These are numerous and affect multiple organ systems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prolonged gastrointestinal issues are a crucial part of post-COVID-19 syndrome. The resulting disruption of homeostasis underscores the need for a therapeutic approach based on compounds that can simultaneously affect more than one target/node. The present review aimed to check for nutraceuticals possessing multiple molecular mechanisms helpful in relieving Long COVID-19-specific gastrointestinal symptoms. Specific plants used in Keywords Chinese Medicine (TCM) expected to be included in the WHO Global Medical Compendium were selected based on the following criteria: (1) they are widely used in the Western world as natural remedies and complementary medicine adjuvants; (2) their import and trade are regulated by specific laws that ensure quality and safety (3) have the potential to be beneficial in alleviating intestinal issues associated with Long COVID-19. Searches were performed in PubMed, Elsevier, Google Scholar, Scopus, Science Direct, and ResearchGate up to 2023. Cinnamomum cassia, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Magnolia officinalis, Poria cocos, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Scutellaria baicalensis, and Zingiber officinalis were identified as the most promising for their potential impact on inflammation and oxidative stress. Based on the molecular mechanisms of the phytocomplexes and isolated compounds of the considered plants, their clinical use may lead to benefits in gastrointestinal diseases associated with Long COVID-19, thanks to a multiorgan and multitarget approach.

RevDate: 2024-03-01

Behboudi E, Nooreddin Faraji S, Daryabor G, et al (2024)

SARS-CoV-2 mechanisms of cell tropism in various organs considering host factors.

Heliyon, 10(4):e26577.

A critical step in the drug design for SARS-CoV-2 is to discover its molecular targets. This study comprehensively reviewed the molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2, exploring host cell tropism and interaction targets crucial for cell entry. The findings revealed that beyond ACE2 as the primary entry receptor, alternative receptors, co-receptors, and several proteases such as TMPRSS2, Furin, Cathepsin L, and ADAM play critical roles in virus entry and subsequent pathogenesis. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 displays tropism in various human organs due to its diverse receptors. This review delves into the intricate details of receptors, host proteases, and the involvement of each organ. Polymorphisms in the ACE2 receptor and mutations in the spike or its RBD region contribute to the emergence of variants like Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron, impacting the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2. The challenge posed by mutations raises questions about the effectiveness of existing vaccines and drugs, necessitating consideration for updates in their formulations. In the urgency of these critical situations, repurposed drugs such as Camostat Mesylate and Nafamostat Mesylate emerge as viable pharmaceutical options. Numerous drugs are involved in inhibiting receptors and host factors crucial for SARS-CoV-2 entry, with most discussed in this review. In conclusion, this study may provide valuable insights to inform decisions in therapeutic approaches.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Andrup L, Krogfelt KA, Stephansen L, et al (2024)

Reduction of acute respiratory infections in day-care by non-pharmaceutical interventions: a narrative review.

Frontiers in public health, 12:1332078.

OBJECTIVE: Children who start in day-care have 2-4 times as many respiratory infections compared to children who are cared for at home, and day-care staff are among the employees with the highest absenteeism. The extensive new knowledge that has been generated in the COVID-19 era should be used in the prevention measures we prioritize. The purpose of this narrative review is to answer the questions: Which respiratory viruses are the most significant in day-care centers and similar indoor environments? What do we know about the transmission route of these viruses? What evidence is there for the effectiveness of different non-pharmaceutical prevention measures?

DESIGN: Literature searches with different terms related to respiratory infections in humans, mitigation strategies, viral transmission mechanisms, and with special focus on day-care, kindergarten or child nurseries, were conducted in PubMed database and Web of Science. Searches with each of the main viruses in combination with transmission, infectivity, and infectious spread were conducted separately supplemented through the references of articles that were retrieved.

RESULTS: Five viruses were found to be responsible for ≈95% of respiratory infections: rhinovirus, (RV), influenza virus (IV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), coronavirus (CoV), and adenovirus (AdV). Novel research, emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, suggests that most respiratory viruses are primarily transmitted in an airborne manner carried by aerosols (microdroplets).

CONCLUSION: Since airborne transmission is dominant for the most common respiratory viruses, the most important preventive measures consist of better indoor air quality that reduces viral concentrations and viability by appropriate ventilation strategies. Furthermore, control of the relative humidity and temperature, which ensures optimal respiratory functionality and, together with low resident density (or mask use) and increased time outdoors, can reduce the occurrence of respiratory infections.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Chowdhury F, Estcourt L, MF Murphy (2024)

Mitigating the impact of blood shortages in England.

British journal of haematology [Epub ahead of print].

The supply of blood components and products in sufficient quantities is key to any effective health care system. This report describes the challenges faced by the English blood service, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), towards the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, which in October 2022 led to an Amber Alert being declared to hospitals indicating an impending blood shortage. The impact on the hospital transfusion services and clinical users is explained. The actions taken by NHSBT to mitigate the blood supply challenges and ensure equity of transfusion support for hospitals in England including revisions to the national blood shortage plans are described. This report focuses on the collaboration and communication between NHSBT, NHS England (NHSE), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), National Blood Transfusion Committee (NBTC), National Transfusion Laboratory Managers Advisory Group for NBTC (NTLM), National Transfusion Practitioners Network, the medical Royal Colleges and clinical colleagues across the NHS.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Ganeshan G, Sekar H, Reilly S, et al (2024)

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of obstetrics and gynaecology trainees: a world-wide literature review.

Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology : the journal of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 44(1):2319791.

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the training and wellbeing of obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) trainees. The aim of this review is to offer a worldwide overview on its' impact on the mental health of O&G trainees, so that measures can be put into place to better support trainees during the transition back to the 'new normal'.

METHODS: Key search terms used on PubMed and Google Scholar databases include: mental health, COVID-19, O&G, trainees, residents.

RESULTS: Fifteen articles (cumulative number of respondents = 3230) were identified, of which eight employed validated questionnaires (n = 1807 respondents), while non-validated questionnaires were used in seven (n = 1423 respondents). Studies showed that COVID-19 appeared to exert more of a negative impact on females and on senior trainees' mental health, while protective factors included marriage/partner and having had children. Validated and non-validated questionnaires suggested that trainees were exposed to high levels of anxiety and depression. Their mental health was also affected by insomnia, stress, burnout and fear of passing on the virus.

DISCUSSION: This review analyses the global impact of COVID-19 on O&G trainees' mental health, showing a pervasive negative effect linked to fear of the virus. Limited psychological support has led to prolonged issues, hindering patient safety and increasing sick leave. The study underscores the urgency of comprehensive support, particularly in female-dominated fields. Addressing these challenges is crucial for future pandemics, highlighting the need to learn from past mistakes and prioritise mental health resources for trainee well-being during and beyond pandemics.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Chang K, Zaikos T, Kilner-Pontone N, et al (2024)

Mechanisms of COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction.

Neuropathology and applied neurobiology, 50(2):e12960.

Olfactory dysfunction is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. In the first 2 years of the pandemic, it was frequently reported, although its incidence has significantly decreased with the emergence of the Omicron variant, which has since become the dominant viral strain. Nevertheless, many patients continue to suffer from persistent dysosmia and dysgeusia, making COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction an ongoing health concern. The proposed pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction are complex and likely multifactorial. While evidence suggests that infection of sustentacular cells and associated mucosal inflammation may be the culprit of acute, transient smell loss, alterations in other components of the olfactory system (e.g., olfactory receptor neuron dysfunction, olfactory bulb injury and alterations in the olfactory cortex) may lead to persistent, long-term olfactory dysfunction. This review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the epidemiology, clinical manifestations and current understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19-associated olfactory dysfunction.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Nkambule E, BC Mbakaya (2024)

COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among Malawians: a scoping review.

Systematic reviews, 13(1):77.

BACKGROUND: The best chance of eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic lies in a successful vaccination campaign against the virus. There is still hesitancy among some of the Malawians over the use of COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available. This review's objective was to currently analyze COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among Malawians.

METHODS: This scoping review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for Scoping Reviews. An electronic database search was performed using CINAHL, OVID Medline, PubMed, and Google Scholar for studies published between January 1, 2020, and July 10, 2023, on the topic of reluctance toward COVID-19 vaccine in Malawi. A review of the journal titles and abstracts was performed to establish a match within the selection criteria. Based on the parameters of interest, this paper included publications that explicitly mentioned COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Malawi.

RESULTS: A total of seven articles were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria. Some of the eligible Malawian population's poor response to COVID-19 vaccination was due to hesitancy. Misinformation is primarily to blame for COVID-19 vaccine reluctance. COVID-19 vaccines are viewed as dangerous or intended to cause harm such as the myth that the COVID-19 vaccine would cause infertility, severe disability, and even death. The review revealed that some people choose not to receive vaccines due to religious convictions and beliefs. Some individuals also think that getting the COVID-19 vaccine could result in receiving a triple-six (666) mark from the devil. There were also reports that the COVID-19 vaccination is being considered experimental and ineffective.

CONCLUSIONS: The Malawi government should focus on fear and misinformation regarding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, using interventions, motivational interviews, and individual sensitization. Traditional, religious, and youth-led organizations should provide practical information on COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Arjona C, Gourdin M, Jego M, et al (2024)

[Barriers to entry into Ehpad since the Covid-19 crisis: a qualitative study of people over 65 in Marseille].

Soins. Gerontologie, 29(166):28-35.

From the outset of the Covid-19 health crisis, residential care facilities for the dependent elderly (Ehpad) were faced with health and safety challenges. Strict infection prevention measures, such as visiting restrictions and the implementation of sanitary protocols, have been essential to protect residents. While Ehpad occupancy rates were stable before the health crisis, they fell sharply in the aftermath of Covid-19.

RevDate: 2024-02-28

Faghy MA, Tatler A, Chidley C, et al (2024)

The physiologic benefits of optimizing cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity - From the cell to systems level in a post-pandemic world.

Progress in cardiovascular diseases pii:S0033-0620(24)00028-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD) is a leading cause of premature death and hospitalization which places a significant strain on health services and economies around the World. Evidence from decades of empirical and observational research demonstrates clear associations between physical activity (PA) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) which can offset the risk of mortality and increase life expectancy and the quality of life in patients. Whilst well documented, the narrative of increased CRF remained pertinent during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, where individuals with lower levels of CRF had more than double the risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to those with a moderate or high CRF. The need to better understand the mechanisms associated with COVID-19 and those that continue to be affected with persistent symptoms following infection (Long COVID), and CV health is key if we are to be able to effectively target the use of CRF and PA to improve the lives of those suffering its afflictions. Whilst there is a long way to go to optimise PA and CRF for improved health at a population level, particularly in a post-pandemic world, increasing the understanding using a cellular-to-systems approach, we hope to provide further insight into the benefits of engaging in PA.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Daniels D, GP Conners (2024)

Treatment of Acute COVID-19 and COVID-19 Exposures in Children and Adolescents.

Pediatric emergency care, 40(3):223-230.

The landscape of acute COVID-19 therapeutics has dramatically evolved since the onset of the pandemic. The treatment of acute COVID-19 in children and adolescents requires knowledge of risk factors and clinical features to appropriately select antiviral and immunomodulatory therapies. This review article provides updated guidance for emergency physicians in the treatment of acute COVID-19 in children and adolescents.

RevDate: 2024-02-28

Singh S, Sharma P, Pal N, et al (2024)

Holistic One Health Surveillance Framework: Synergizing Environmental, Animal, and Human Determinants for Enhanced Infectious Disease Management.

ACS infectious diseases [Epub ahead of print].

Recent pandemics, including the COVID-19 outbreak, have brought up growing concerns about transmission of zoonotic diseases from animals to humans. This highlights the requirement for a novel approach to discern and address the escalating health threats. The One Health paradigm has been developed as a responsive strategy to confront forthcoming outbreaks through early warning, highlighting the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and their environment. The system employs several innovative methods such as the use of advanced technology, global collaboration, and data-driven decision-making to come up with an extraordinary solution for improving worldwide disease responses. This Review deliberates environmental, animal, and human factors that influence disease risk, analyzes the challenges and advantages inherent in using the One Health surveillance system, and demonstrates how these can be empowered by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. The Holistic One Health Surveillance Framework presented herein holds the potential to revolutionize our capacity to monitor, understand, and mitigate the impact of infectious diseases on global populations.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Xiao J, Luo Y, Li Y, et al (2024)

The characteristics of BCR-CDR3 repertoire in COVID-19 patients and SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated volunteers.

Journal of medical virology, 96(3):e29488.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 1 billion infections, and numerous SARS-CoV-2 vaccines developed rapidly have been administered over 10 billion doses. The world is continuously concerned about the cytokine storms induced by the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host, long COVID, breakthrough infections postvaccination, and the impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants. BCR-CDR3 repertoire serves as a molecular target for monitoring the antiviral response "trace" of B cells, evaluating the effects, mechanisms, and memory abilities of individual responses to B cells, and has been successfully applied in analyzing the infection mechanisms, vaccine improvement, and neutralizing antibodies preparation of influenza virus, HIV, MERS, and Ebola virus. Based on research on BCR-CDR3 repertoire of COVID-19 patients and volunteers who received different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in multiple laboratories worldwide, we focus on analyzing the characteristics and changes of BCR-CDR3 repertoire, such as diversity, clonality, V&J genes usage and pairing, SHM, CSR, shared CDR3 clones, as well as the summary on BCR sequences targeting virus-specific epitopes in the preparation and application research of SARS-CoV-2 potential therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. This review provides comparative data and new research schemes for studying the possible mechanisms of differences in B cell response between SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination, and supplies a foundation for improving vaccines after SARS-CoV-2 mutations and potential antibody therapy for infected individuals.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Bingham R, McCarthy H, N Buckley (2024)

Exploring Retrograde Trafficking: Mechanisms and Consequences in Cancer and Disease.

Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark), 25(2):e12931.

Retrograde trafficking (RT) orchestrates the intracellular movement of cargo from the plasma membrane, endosomes, Golgi or endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) in an inward/ER-directed manner. RT works as the opposing movement to anterograde trafficking (outward secretion), and the two work together to maintain cellular homeostasis. This is achieved through maintaining cell polarity, retrieving proteins responsible for anterograde trafficking and redirecting proteins that become mis-localised. However, aberrant RT can alter the correct location of key proteins, and thus inhibit or indeed change their canonical function, potentially causing disease. This review highlights the recent advances in the understanding of how upregulation, downregulation or hijacking of RT impacts the localisation of key proteins in cancer and disease to drive progression. Cargoes impacted by aberrant RT are varied amongst maladies including neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases, bacterial and viral infections (including SARS-CoV-2), and cancer. As we explore the intricacies of RT, it becomes increasingly apparent that it holds significant potential as a target for future therapies to offer more effective interventions in a wide range of pathological conditions.

RevDate: 2024-03-01
CmpDate: 2024-03-01

Indari O, Ghosh S, Bal AS, et al (2024)

Awakening the sleeping giant: Epstein-Barr virus reactivation by biological agents.

Pathogens and disease, 82:.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may cause harm in immunocompromised conditions or on stress stimuli. Various chemical agents have been utilized to induce the lytic cycle in EBV-infected cells. However, apart from chemical agents and external stress stimuli, certain infectious agents may reactivate the EBV. In addition, the acute infection of other pathogens may provide suitable conditions for EBV to thrive more and planting the roots for EBV-associated pathologies. Various bacteria such as periodontal pathogens like Aggregatibacter, Helicobacter pylori, etc. have shown to induce EBV reactivation either by triggering host cells directly or indirectly. Viruses such as Human simplex virus-1 (HSV) induce EBV reactivation by HSV US3 kinase while other viruses such as HIV, hepatitis virus, and even novel SARS-CoV-2 have also been reported to cause EBV reactivation. The eukaryotic pathogens such as Plasmodium falciparum and Aspergillus flavus can also reactivate EBV either by surface protein interaction or as an impact of aflatoxin, respectively. To highlight the underexplored niche of EBV reactivation by biological agents, we have comprehensively presented the related information in this review. This may help to shedding the light on the research gaps as well as to unveil yet unexplored mechanisms of EBV reactivation.

RevDate: 2024-02-28

Mitsikostas DD, Caronna E, De Tommaso M, et al (2024)

Headaches and facial pain attributed to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination: a systematic review.

European journal of neurology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim was to provide insights to the characteristics of headache in the context of COVID-19 on behalf of the Headache Scientific Panel and the Neuro-COVID-19 Task Force of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) and the European Headache Federation (EHF).

METHODS: Following the Delphi method the Task Force identified six relevant questions and then conducted a systematic literature review to provide evidence-based answers and suggest specific diagnostic criteria.

RESULTS: No data for facial pain were identified in the literature search. (1) Headache incidence during acute COVID-19 varies considerably, with higher prevalence rates in prospective compared to retrospective studies (28.9%-74.6% vs. 6.5%-34.0%). (2) Acute COVID-19 headache is usually bilateral or holocranial and often moderate to severe with throbbing pain quality lasting 2-14 days after first signs of COVID-19; photo-phonophobia, nausea, anosmia and ageusia are common associated features; persistent headache shares similar clinical characteristics. (3) Acute COVID-19 headache is presumably caused by immune-mediated mechanisms that activate the trigeminovascular system. (4) Headache occurs in 13.3%-76.9% following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and occurs more often amongst women with a pre-existing primary headache; the risk of developing headache is higher with the adenoviral-vector-type vaccines than with other preparations. (5) Headache related to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is mostly bilateral, and throbbing, pressing, jolting or stabbing. (6) No studies have been conducted investigating the underlying mechanism of headache attributed to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

CONCLUSION: The results of this joint EAN/EHF initiative provide a framework for a better understanding of headache in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Bell E, Kaufmann C, GS Malhi (2023)

Telehealth: a new opportunity for out-patient psychiatric services.

BJPsych international, 20(2):33-37.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare systems rapidly embraced technology as a means of providing care while adhering to social distancing protocols. In this brief article, we report on a new telehealth initiative recently implemented in an out-patient psychiatric setting and outline the novel role telehealth may serve in facilitating psychiatric care globally. The uptake of telehealth represents a new and exciting opportunity to increase both access to, and quality of, care for people with mental illness.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Ayub M (2023)

Staying sane in psychiatric residency during COVID times.

BJPsych international, 20(2):47-48.

This article gives a junior psychiatry resident's personal story of burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic: what led to it, what helped her get through it and the continual process of working to avoid burnout in the future.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Ambalavanan R, Snead RS, Marczika J, et al (2024)

Epidemiological contemplation for a currently pragmatic COVID-19 health passport: a perspective.

Frontiers in public health, 12:1347623.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people around the world. Confinement measures aim to reduce the epidemic's spread and minimize the burden of morbidity and mortality. In response to the challenges caused by the pandemic, digital health passports have been developed exponentially. We highlight the latent epidemiological barriers to health passports to achieve standardized digital care platforms. This review paper not only highlights the epidemiological barriers but also articulates the possible infrastructure required to make the International Standard for a multi-factor authenticated and validated health passport.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Msetfi RM, Kornbrot DE, YJ Halbrook (2024)

The association between the sense of control and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Frontiers in psychiatry, 15:1323306.

INTRODUCTION: High levels of depression and low sense of control have been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. The removal of typical freedoms through public health restrictions may have played an important role. The aim of this review was to examine data collected during the pandemic and (1) estimate the strength of the association between sense of control and depression, (2) examine whether the different types of control measures affected the strength of the association, and (3) whether this changed as a function of pandemic indicators.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies published in English between December 2019 and November 2022. A total of 993 articles were identified, of which 20 were included in the review and 16 in the meta-analysis after conducting a quality assessment using the standard NIH tool.

RESULTS: The control-depression association gave a bias-independent pooled effect size of r = .41, and grew stronger over the 130 weeks covered by this review but did not change as a function of local COVID incidence rates. Subgroup analyses showed that external and overall control were more strongly related to depression than internal control.

DISCUSSION: These findings emphasize that external factors are important to the sense of control and the importance of preserving the sense of control in situations where the removal of personal freedoms is necessary, such as public health emergencies.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Mitchell M, Suh M, Hooda N, et al (2024)

The effect of bovine dairy products and their components on the incidence and natural history of infection: a systematic literature review.

Nutrition journal, 23(1):26.

BACKGROUND: Dairy products and their components may impact immune function, although the current evidence base has some research gaps. As part of a larger systematic literature review of dairy products/components (including probiotics, dairy proteins, and dairy fats) and immune function, we identified the available epidemiologic research on the impact of dairy products/components on incidence and natural history of infectious diseases.

METHODS: PubMed and Embase databases were systematically searched through May 2022 to identify eligible studies using pre-defined Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes, and Study design criteria. Herein, we focused on describing the impacts of dairy product/component on infectious disease outcomes, including the effect on leukocyte and cytokine response in humans. Risk of bias assessment was performed using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Quality Criteria Checklist. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed.

RESULTS: Among 9,832 studies identified from the larger literature search, 133 relevant publications from 128 studies reported on dairy product/component and infectious disease outcomes. Few studies are available on the impact of non-fermented milk and traditional yogurt on infectious disease. Evidence was identified to suggest milk and yogurt drinks fermented with Lactobacillus strains reduce the risk and burden of common infectious diseases (CIDs), although the findings are mixed and difficult to reconcile due to heterogenous study populations, bacterial strains, and study methods. Few studies are available on the impact of dairy products/components on the natural history of infection, with the available findings indicating probiotics may both improve gastrointestinal symptoms among HIV-infected persons and help eradicate and alleviate the symptoms of Heliobacter (H.) pylori. The available evidence also suggests lactoferrin may reduce the virological burden of COVID-19 and hepatitis C virus. No consistent changes in leukocytes or cytokine production were observed for any type of dairy product or their components, but probiotics appeared to enhance natural killer cell levels/activity and the phagocytic process.

CONCLUSIONS: Dairy products, particularly those with added probiotics, may represent an easily accessible nutritional intervention to prevent and improve the course of infectious diseases. This review highlights the need for additional research in this potentially impactful area.


RevDate: 2024-02-29

Pandit JA, Pawelek JB, Leff B, et al (2024)

The hospital at home in the USA: current status and future prospects.

NPJ digital medicine, 7(1):48.

The annual cost of hospital care services in the US has risen to over $1 trillion despite relatively worse health outcomes compared to similar nations. These trends accentuate a growing need for innovative care delivery models that reduce costs and improve outcomes. HaH-a program that provides patients acute-level hospital care at home-has made significant progress over the past two decades. Technological advancements in remote patient monitoring, wearable sensors, health information technology infrastructure, and multimodal health data processing have contributed to its rise across hospitals. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic brought HaH into the mainstream, especially in the US, with reimbursement waivers that made the model financially acceptable for hospitals and payors. However, HaH continues to face serious challenges to gain widespread adoption. In this review, we evaluate the peer-reviewed evidence and discuss the promises, challenges, and what it would take to tap into the future potential of HaH.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Park JK, Lee EB, KL Winthrop (2024)

What rheumatologists need to know about mRNA vaccines: current status and future of mRNA vaccines in autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases.

Annals of the rheumatic diseases pii:ard-2024-225492 [Epub ahead of print].

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines as a novel vaccine platform offer new tools to effectively combat both emerging and existing pathogens which were previously not possible. The 'plug and play' feature of mRNA vaccines enables swift design and production of vaccines targeting complex antigens and rapid incorporation of new vaccine constituents as needed. This feature makes them likely to be adopted for widespread clinical use in the future.Currently approved mRNA vaccines include only those against SARS-CoV-2 virus. These vaccines demonstrate robust immunogenicity and offer substantial protection against severe disease. Numerous mRNA vaccines against viral pathogens are in the early to late phase of development. Several mRNA vaccines for influenza are tested in clinical trials, with some already in phase 3 studies. Other vaccines in the early and late phases of development include those targeting Cytomegalovirus, varicella zoster virus, respiratory syncytial virus and Epstein-Barr virus. Many of these vaccines will likely be indicated for immunosuppressed populations including those with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRD). This review focuses on the mechanism, safety and efficacy of mRNA in general and summarises the status of mRNA vaccines in development for common infectious diseases of particular interest for patients with AIIRD.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Bazak YL, Sander B, Werker E, et al (2024)

The economic impact of international travel measures used during the COVID-19 pandemic: a scoping review.

BMJ global health, 9(2):.

INTRODUCTION: Assessment of the use of travel measures during COVID-19 has focused on their effectiveness in achieving public health objectives. However, the prolonged use of highly varied and frequently changing measures by governments, and their unintended consequences caused, has been controversial. This has led to a call for coordinated decision-making focused on risk-based approaches, which requires better understanding of the broader impacts of international travel measures (ITMs) on individuals and societies.

METHODS: Our scoping review investigates the literature on the economic impact of COVID-19 ITMs. We searched health, social science and COVID-19-specific databases for empirical studies preprinted or published between 1 January 2020 and 31 October 2023. Evidence was charted using a narrative approach and included jurisdiction of study, ITMs studied, study design, outcome categories, and main findings.

RESULTS: Twenty-six studies met the inclusion criteria and were included for data extraction. Twelve of them focused on the international travel restrictions implemented in early 2020. Limited attention was given to measures such as entry/exit screening and vaccination requirements. Eight studies focused on high-income countries, 6 on low-income and middle-income countries and 10 studies were comparative although did not select countries by income. Economic outcomes assessed included financial markets (n=13), economic growth (n=4), economic activities (n=1), performance of industries central to international travel (n=9), household-level economic status (n=3) and consumer behaviour (n=1). Empirical methods employed included linear regression (n=17), mathematical modelling (n=3) and mixed strategies (n=6).

CONCLUSION: Existing studies have begun to provide evidence of the wide-ranging economic impacts resulting from ITMs. However, the small body of research combined with difficulties in isolating the effects of such measures and limitations in available data mean that it is challenging to draw general and robust conclusions. Future research using rigorous empirical methods and high-quality data is needed on this topic.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Alruwaili A, ARM Alanazy (2024)

The prevalence of depression among paramedical students and workers with highlights from the COVID-19 pandemic: A meta-analysis of prevalence.

General hospital psychiatry, 87:134-142 pii:S0163-8343(24)00040-9 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence and risk factors of depression among paramedical workers/students.

METHOD: 6205 paramedics (reported in 25 cross-sectional studies) were meta-analyzed after searching seven electronic databases. The main outcome was the prevalence of depression. Subgroup analyses were conducted based on year and country of investigation, pandemic status and wave, population type, and disease severity. Several risk factors were also examined (gender, marital status, and population type).

RESULTS: 34% [95%CI: 26-43%] of paramedics have depression, mostly of the mild form [19%, 95%CI: 13-27%]. Depression was highest in India and Australia. Students [45%, 95%CI: 30-62%] were more vulnerable to depression than workers [29%, 95%CI: 18-40%]. No linear trend was observed for depression over the years. Depression was lower during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic period [25% vs. 39%] with similar rates across all pandemic waves. Male [MD = 1.40; 95%CI: 0.57: 2.23] and married paramedics [MD = -1.33, 95%CI: -2.04: -0.62] were significant predictors of depression; however, no significant difference in depression was noted between paramedics and non-paramedics [logOR = 0.08; 95%CI: -0.10: 0.25].

CONCLUSIONS: One in every three paramedics have depression, with higher rates among students and before the COVID-19 pandemic. Gender and marital status are risk factors of depression.

RevDate: 2024-02-28
CmpDate: 2024-02-28

Liu Y, Yin Y, Ward MP, et al (2024)

Optimization of Screening Strategies for COVID-19: Scoping Review.

JMIR public health and surveillance, 10:e44349 pii:v10i1e44349.

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 screening is an effective nonpharmaceutical intervention for identifying infected individuals and interrupting viral transmission. However, questions have been raised regarding its effectiveness in controlling the spread of novel variants and its high socioeconomic costs. Therefore, the optimization of COVID-19 screening strategies has attracted great attention.

OBJECTIVE: This review aims to summarize the evidence and provide a reference basis for the optimization of screening strategies for the prevention and control of COVID-19.

METHODS: We applied a methodological framework for scoping reviews and the PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews) checklist. We conducted a scoping review of the present publications on the optimization of COVID-19 screening strategies. We searched the PubMed, Web of Science, and Elsevier ScienceDirect databases for publications up to December 31, 2022. English publications related to screening and testing strategies for COVID-19 were included. A data-charting form, jointly developed by 2 reviewers, was used for data extraction according to the optimization directions of the screening strategies.

RESULTS: A total of 2770 unique publications were retrieved from the database search, and 95 abstracts were retained for full-text review. There were 62 studies included in the final review. We summarized the results in 4 major aspects: the screening population (people at various risk conditions such as different regions and occupations; 12/62, 19%), the timing of screening (when the target population is tested before travel or during an outbreak; 12/62, 19%), the frequency of screening (appropriate frequencies for outbreak prevention, outbreak response, or community transmission control; 6/62, 10%), and the screening and detection procedure (the choice of individual or pooled detection and optimization of the pooling approach; 35/62, 56%).

CONCLUSIONS: This review reveals gaps in the optimization of COVID-19 screening strategies and suggests that a number of factors such as prevalence, screening accuracy, effective allocation of resources, and feasibility of strategies should be carefully considered in the development of future screening strategies.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Dommisch H, AM Schmidt-Westhausen (2024)

The role of viruses in oral mucosal lesions.

Periodontology 2000 [Epub ahead of print].

The mucosa of the oral cavity is exposed to a large number of different microorganisms such as archaea, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Among those, viruses cause specific infections, which can easily be transmitted from one person to another. The infectious route may not only include patients and their relatives but also the dental professional team. Thus, a wide knowledge regarding specific viral infections is crucial for the daily routine. Signs and symptoms of oral viral infections can be completely absent or develop into a pronounced clinical picture, so that early detection and information determine the further course of the infection and its influence on other inflammatory diseases, such as periodontitis, as well as the safety of family members and the social environment. As the clinical manifestation of viral infections may be highly variable leading to heterogenous mucosal lesions it is, in most cases, mandatory to differentiate them by specific microbiological tests in addition to clinical examination procedures. This article will give an overview of the role of viruses infecting the oral mucosa, and in addition, describe their clinical manifestation and management.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Arabzadeh Bahri R, Esmaeilpur Abianeh F, Peisepar M, et al (2024)

Anosmia or Ageusia Following COVID-19 Vaccination: A Systematic Review.

Ear, nose, & throat journal [Epub ahead of print].

Aim: To systematically review the cases of anosmia or ageusia after receiving the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in electronic databases, including Web of Science, Scopus, Embase, and PubMed, to identify any published study that evaluated the anosmia or ageusia after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, including case reports, case series, letter to editor articles with reported cases regarding our topic, or observational studies with at least 1 eligible patient consisted with our criteria. We excluded the studies that reported anosmia or ageusia due to COVID-19 infection and non-COVID-19 vaccines. Results: Five studies consisting of 11 patients were included in this systematic review. Of the 11 patients, 5 patients had received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and 6 patients received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, of which 6 patients developed symptoms after the first dose of vaccination and 5 patients were symptomatic after the second vaccine dose. Most of the patients developed symptoms within 1 week after the vaccination. The disorders of the patients included partial or total anosmia, parosmia, phantosmia, hyposmia, ageusia, and dysgeusia. Also, the patients had symptoms other than smell or taste disorders, including arthralgia, fever, chills, rhinorrhea, myalgia, abdominal pain, fatigue, muscle weakness, altered bowel pattern, aural fullness, tinnitus, and headache. Most of the evaluated patients did not receive any treatment as for their disorders. However, in some cases, treatment with oral corticosteroids or dietary supplementation was required. Conclusion: Anosmia and ageusia are important symptoms of COVID-19 vaccination. These symptoms will resolve without any treatment in most cases, although some interventions may be needed in some patients.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Cummins MR, Ivanova J, Ong T, et al (2024)

Will the United States pass on telemedicine progress?.

JAMIA open, 7(1):ooae016.

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, federal and state health policies allowed temporary flexibilities for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, leading to a sharp increase in telemedicine use. However, many of the flexibilities that enabled innovation and growth in telemedicine continue temporarily since the federal emergency declaration ended in May 2023, and the United States has not made permanent decisions about telemedicine policy. Analysts have raised concerns about increased spending, program integrity, safety, and equity, and recommend strengthening oversight.

METHODS: Here, we argue that we must continue the flexibilities to better understand telemedicine's quality, safety, and outcomes, and until the United States can develop an evidence-based digital health strategy. A premature regression to pre-pandemic telemedicine policies risks unintended consequences.

CONCLUSION: We must continue the current policy flexibilities, safeguard against fraud and abuse, and immediately prioritize research and evaluation of telemedicine's quality, safety, and outcomes, to avoid unintended consequences and support more permanent policy decision-making.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Shen M, J Huai (2024)

Prone Positioning During Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome With COVID-19: A Meta-Analysis.

Cureus, 16(1):e53049.

The available literature has furnished substantial evidence indicating the favorable outcomes of prone positioning (PP) on oxygenation parameters among patients afflicted with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, there is a notable disparity in the reported influence of PP on the overall outcomes of COVID-19 patients undergoing venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-V ECMO) for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) across studies. This article has been prepared in adherence with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases were utilized for data retrieval. The primary endpoint was to evaluate the cumulative survival rate among COVID-19 patients receiving V-V ECMO, comparing those who received PP to those who did not. Secondary endpoints included the duration of intensive care unit (ICU) stay, ECMO duration, and mechanical ventilation duration. A total of 15 studies involving 2286 patients were analyzed in the meta-analysis. PP significantly improved the cumulative survival rate (0.48, 95% CI: 0.40-0.55); risk ratio (RR) of 1.24 (95% CI: 1.11-1.38).PP during ECMO for COVID-19 patients yielded favorable outcomes in terms of 60-day survival, 90-day survival, ICU survival, and hospital survival. In contrast, patients who underwent PP had longer ECMO duration (8.1 days, 95% CI: 6.2-9.9, p<0.001) and mechanical ventilation duration (9.6 days, 95% CI: 8.0-11.2, p<0.001). PP demonstrated improved survival in COVID-19 patients with ARDS receiving V-V ECMO. However, additional well-designed prospective trials are warranted to further explore the effects of this combination on survival outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Aldakhlan HA, Khan AS, D Alabdulbaqi (2024)

Hesitancy Over the COVID-19 Vaccine Among Various Healthcare Workers: An International Narrative Review.

Cureus, 16(1):e53059.

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are role models in their communities. If they receive the COVID-19 vaccine, many people are likely to follow and have the vaccine. If HCWs are hesitant or resistant to taking the vaccine, this may impede the efforts to implement the vaccine, reach herd immunity, and eliminate the pandemic. In this narrative review, we reviewed previous studies on hesitancy over COVID-19 vaccination among different healthcare professions and people in the medical field, such as primary HCWs, dentists, nurses, and medical students. We reviewed the common reasons and associated factors for hesitancy toward the COVID-19 vaccine among different healthcare professions. The following keywords were used in the database search: COVID-19 AND vaccine AND hesitancy AND healthcare workers. We searched for articles using the PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. We found HCW professions with various rates of hesitancy, including primary healthcare center (PHC) workers (50%), medical students (45%), nurses (21%), and dentists (18%). Hesitancy toward booster doses was also found in HCWs who had taken primary doses (2.8% to 26%). Race and ethnicity also influenced hesitancy rates, with Black individuals being the most hesitant group. The most common reasons were concerns about the safety and adverse effects of the vaccine, insufficient information, and a lack of confidence in healthcare policies. Despite varying rates of HCW hesitancy after the vaccine's release, this hesitancy is expected to negatively affect efforts to achieve widespread vaccination. The recommendations to policymakers to address these concerns are raising the awareness of PHC doctors because they are the easiest to reach and are the first line for patient information, improving communication with the HCWs through all channels (e.g., webinars, e-mails, and social media), and inviting HCWs to online meetings or workshops with the healthcare policymakers so the policymakers can listen to their concerns and recommendations. Correctly addressing the issue of HCWs' vaccination hesitancy can support efforts to contain the pandemic.

RevDate: 2024-02-29

Yousef M, Rob M, Varghese S, et al (2024)

The effect of microbiome therapy on COVID-19-induced gut dysbiosis: A narrative and systematic review.

Life sciences, 342:122535 pii:S0024-3205(24)00124-3 [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: Emerging evidence highlights the role of COVID-19 in instigating gut dysbiosis, with repercussions on disease severity and bidirectional gut-organ communication involving the lung, heart, brain, and liver. This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in addressing gut dysbiosis associated with COVID-19, as well as their impact on related disease severity and clinical outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We systematically review 27 studies exploring the efficacy of different microbiome-modulating therapies: probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation as potential interventions for COVID-19.

KEY FINDINGS: The probiotics and synbiotics investigated encompassed a spectrum of eight bacterial and fungal genera, namely Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Pediococcus, Bacillus, Saccharomyces, and Kluyveromyces. Noteworthy prebiotics employed in these studies included chestnut tannin, galactooligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, xylooligosaccharide, and resistant dextrin. The majority of the investigated biotics exhibited positive effects on COVID-19 patients, manifesting in symptom alleviation, inflammation reduction, and notable decreases in mortality rates. Five studies reported death rates, showing an average mortality ranging from 0 % to 11 % in the intervention groups, as compared to 3 % to 30 % in the control groups. Specifically, probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics demonstrated efficacy in diminishing the duration and severity of symptoms while significantly accelerating viral and symptomatic remission. FMT emerged as a particularly effective strategy, successfully restoring gut microbiota and ameliorating gastrointestinal disorders.

SIGNIFICANCE: The insights gleaned from this review significantly contribute to our broader comprehension of the therapeutic potential of biotics in addressing COVID-19-related gut dysbiosis and mitigating secondary multi-organ complications.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Karousis ED (2024)

The art of hijacking: how Nsp1 impacts host gene expression during coronaviral infections.

Biochemical Society transactions, 52(1):481-490.

Non-structural protein 1 (Nsp1) is one of the first proteins produced during coronaviral infections. It plays a pivotal role in hijacking and rendering the host gene expression under the service of the virus. With a focus on SARS-CoV-2, this review presents how Nsp1 selectively inhibits host protein synthesis and induces mRNA degradation of host but not viral mRNAs and blocks nuclear mRNA export. The clinical implications of this protein are highlighted by showcasing the pathogenic role of Nsp1 through the repression of interferon expression pathways and the features of viral variants with mutations in the Nsp1 coding sequence. The ability of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 to hinder host immune responses at an early step, the absence of homology to any human proteins, and the availability of structural information render this viral protein an ideal drug target with therapeutic potential.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Lui KO, Ma Z, S Dimmeler (2024)

SARS-CoV-2 induced vascular endothelial dysfunction: direct or indirect effects?.

Cardiovascular research, 120(1):34-43.

Clinical evidence reveals that manifestations of endothelial dysfunction are widely observed in COVID-19 and long-COVID patients. However, whether these detrimental effects are caused by direct infection of the endothelium or are indirectly mediated by systemic inflammation has been a matter of debate. It has been well acknowledged that endothelial cells (ECs) of the cardiovascular system ubiquitously express the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), yet accumulating evidence suggests that it is more predominantly expressed by pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells of the mammalian blood vessel. Besides, replicative infection of ECs by SARS-CoV-2 has yet to be demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we review latest research on endothelial ACE2 expression in different vascular beds, and the heterogeneity in various EC subsets with differential ACE2 expression in response to SARS-CoV-2. We also discuss ACE2-independent alternative mechanisms underlying endothelial activation in COVID-19, and the clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2-induced endothelial dysfunction. Altogether, understanding ACE2-dependent and ACE2-independent mechanisms driving SARS-CoV-2-induced vascular dysfunction would shed light on strategies of more effective therapies targeting cardiovascular complications associated with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2024-02-29
CmpDate: 2024-02-29

Olson CA, Eng-Kulawy J, DD Buckland-Coffey (2024)

Hospitalists as Facilitators of Surge and Contingency Medical Operations and Planning.

Military medicine, 189(3-4):70-73.

Hospital medicine, a specialty encompassing physicians and advanced practice providers in internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine, has been a core and rapidly growing component of civilian health care for the past two decades. More recently, hospitalists have been taking on key roles during surge and contingency planning and operations, most notably during the COVID-19 pandemic which necessitated marked changes in inpatient care across the United States. The military health system has been slower to incorporate hospitalists into clinical care and planning than civilian organizations due to its unique features. However, an increasing focus on future distributed operations in contested environments, pandemic care, and humanitarian assistance/disaster response requires new consideration of their role in military medicine. This stems from hospitalists' value as clinicians who include triage, resource utilization stewardship, medical inpatient care, pre-/post-operative management of surgical patients, and high acuity patient stabilization and management within their scope, often working collaboratively with other specialists such as emergency medicine physicians, surgeons, and intensivists. Just as importantly, hospitalists are system-level facilitators and leaders of patient capacity expansion and/or clinical process changes when needed for response to incidents in a variety of acute care scenarios. With uniformed billets being increasingly targeted to military platform requirements, there is now an opportunity to revisit the value of hospitalists in military medicine. In this Commentary, we review the roles that hospitalists can fill in hospital and operational medical settings, with a focus on surge and contingency operations. To demonstrate this capability, we present here the experience of two operational units employing hospitalists for high acuity patient management and two civilian hospitals implementing surge operations during the 2022-2023 "tripledemic" of viral respiratory infections in the United States. Their innovations facilitated the care of higher acuity and higher volume during times when medical care requirements were limited by traditional staffing models. We end by reviewing opportunities and challenges related to expanding hospitalist use within the military health system and describing efforts that are underway to address the challenges.

RevDate: 2024-02-28
CmpDate: 2024-02-28

Dzau VJ, CP Hodgkinson (2024)

RNA Therapeutics for the Cardiovascular System.

Circulation, 149(9):707-716.

RNA therapeutics hold significant promise in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. RNAs are biologically diverse and functionally specific and can be used for gain- or loss-of-function purposes. The effectiveness of mRNA-based vaccines in the recent COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly proven the benefits of an RNA-based approach. RNA-based therapies are becoming more common as a treatment modality for cardiovascular disease. This is most evident in hypertension where several small interfering RNA-based drugs have proven to be effective in managing high blood pressure in several clinical trials. As befits a rapidly burgeoning field, there is significant interest in other classes of RNA. Revascularization of the infarcted heart through an mRNA drug is under clinical investigation. mRNA technology may provide the platform for the expression of paracrine factors for myocardial protection and regeneration. Emergent technologies on the basis of microRNAs and gene editing are tackling complex diseases in a novel fashion. RNA-based gene editing offers hope of permanent cures for monogenic cardiovascular diseases, and long-term control of complex diseases such as essential hypertension, as well. Likewise, microRNAs are proving effective in regenerating cardiac muscle. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the current landscape of RNA-based therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. The review describes the large number of RNA molecules that exist with a discussion of the clinical development of each RNA type. In addition, the review also presents a number of avenues for future development.

RevDate: 2024-02-26

Lan X, Chen D, Wang M, et al (2024)

The Effect of COVID-19 on Male Sex Hormones: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Study.

Journal of epidemiology and global health [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: To evaluate the possible effects of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (2019-NCOV) on male sex hormones and reproductive ability, and analyze its incidence and risk factors.

METHODS: We retrieved from PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Clinical Trails, CNKI, CBM, Wan Fang Database and VIP to collect research on the effects of COVID-19 on the male sex hormone. Our literature search was conducted until April 2022, and two investigators independently screened articles based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. In strict accordance with the inclusion and exclusion criteria, two researchers independently screened the literature and comprehensively analyzed 8 cohort studies on the impact of COVID-19 on male sex hormone. And We used RevMan5.4.1 and Stata15.0 for statistical analysis. Finally, there were eight cohort studies on the effects of COVID-19 on male sex hormones.

RESULTS: T(RR = - 3.94; 95% CI - 6.22, - 1.66; P = 0.0007), testosterone in the COVID-19 group decreased by 3.94 nmol/L compared with the control group, and the difference was statistically significant. LH (RR = 0.85; 95% CI - 0.26, 1.96; P = 0.13), the LH in COVID-19 group was 0.85 mlU/ml higher than that in control group, but the difference was not statistically significant. FSH (RR = 0.25; 95% CI - 0.72, 1.23; P = 0.61), the FSH of COVID-19 group was 0.25 mlU/ml higher than that of the control group, but the difference was not statistically significant. PRL (RR = 2.42; 95% CI 0.52, 4.31; P = 0.01), the PRL in the COVID-19 group was 2.42 ng/ml higher than that in the control group, and the difference was statistically significant. E2(RR = 11.88; 95% CI 9.90, 13.86; P < 0.00001), The level of E2 in the COVID-19 group was 11.88 pg/ml higher than that in the control group, and the difference was statistically significant. T:LH (RR = - 0.39; 95% CI - 076, - 0.02; P = 0.04), the ratio of T:LH in COVID-19 group was lower than that in control group, and the difference was statistically significant. FSH:LH (RR = - 0.38; 95% CI - 0.86, 0.11; P = 0.13), the ratio of FSH:LH decreased in COVID-19 group compared with control group, but the difference was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 can affect the level of sex hormones, especially T, which may further affect male fertility. Due to the limitations of this study, this conclusion needs to be further verified by large-sample, high-quality prospective cohort studies on the long-term effects of COVID-19 on male sex hormones and fertility.

RevDate: 2024-02-27
CmpDate: 2024-02-27

van den Ouweland F, Charpentier N, Türeci Ö, et al (2024)

Safety and reactogenicity of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine: Development, post-marketing surveillance, and real-world data.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 20(1):2315659.

The pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) led to urgent actions by innovators, vaccine developers, regulators, and other stakeholders to ensure public access to protective vaccines while maintaining regulatory agency standards. Although development timelines for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 were much quicker than standard vaccine development timelines, regulatory requirements for efficacy and safety evaluations, including the volume and quality of data collected, were upheld. Rolling review processes supported by sponsors and regulatory authorities enabled rapid assessment of clinical data as well as emergency use authorization. Post-authorization and pharmacovigilance activities enabled the quantity and breadth of post-marketing safety information to quickly exceed that generated from clinical trials. This paper reviews safety and reactogenicity data for the BNT162 vaccine candidates, including BNT162b2 (Comirnaty, Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine) and bivalent variant-adapted BNT162b2 vaccines, from preclinical studies, clinical trials, post-marketing surveillance, and real-world studies, including an unprecedentedly large body of independent evidence.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Joo H, Min S, SW Cho (2024)

Advanced lung organoids for respiratory system and pulmonary disease modeling.

Journal of tissue engineering, 15:20417314241232502.

Amidst the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, respiratory system research has made remarkable progress, particularly focusing on infectious diseases. Lung organoid, a miniaturized structure recapitulating lung tissue, has gained global attention because of its advantages over other conventional models such as two-dimensional (2D) cell models and animal models. Nevertheless, lung organoids still face limitations concerning heterogeneity, complexity, and maturity compared to the native lung tissue. To address these limitations, researchers have employed co-culture methods with various cell types including endothelial cells, mesenchymal cells, and immune cells, and incorporated bioengineering platforms such as air-liquid interfaces, microfluidic chips, and functional hydrogels. These advancements have facilitated applications of lung organoids to studies of pulmonary diseases, providing insights into disease mechanisms and potential treatments. This review introduces recent progress in the production methods of lung organoids, strategies for improving maturity, functionality, and complexity of organoids, and their application in disease modeling, including respiratory infection and pulmonary fibrosis.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Xie Y, Li S, Wu D, et al (2024)

Vitamin K: Infection, Inflammation, and Auto-Immunity.

Journal of inflammation research, 17:1147-1160.

Vitamin K (VK) comprises a group of substances with chlorophyll quinone bioactivity and exists in nature in the form of VK1 and VK2. As its initial recognition originated from the ability to promote blood coagulation, it is known as the coagulation vitamin. However, based on extensive research, VK has shown potential for the prevention and treatment of various diseases. Studies demonstrating the beneficial effects of VK on immunity, antioxidant capacity, intestinal microbiota regulation, epithelial development, and bone protection have drawn growing interest in recent years. This review article focuses on the mechanism of action of VK and its potential preventive and therapeutic effects on infections (eg, asthma, COVID-19), inflammation (eg, in type 2 diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer, aging, atherosclerosis) and autoimmune disorders (eg, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis). In addition, VK-dependent proteins (VKDPs) are another crucial mechanism by which VK exerts anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. This review explores the potential role of VK in preventing aging, combating neurological abnormalities, and treating diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Although current research appoints VK as a therapeutic tool for practical clinical applications in infections, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases, future research is necessary to elucidate the mechanism of action in more detail and overcome current limitations.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Assiri AM, Alamaa T, Elenezi F, et al (2024)

Unveiling the Clinical Spectrum of Post-COVID-19 Conditions: Assessment and Recommended Strategies.

Cureus, 16(1):e52827.

SARS-CoV-2 caused the pandemic of the rapidly evolving COVID-19. As of December 6, 2023, there were 765,152,854 COVID-19-recovering cases. Long-term consequences known as "long COVID" and "post-COVID-19 conditions" (PCCs) or "post-acute COVID-19 syndrome" are being reported more frequently in a subset of recovering patients. Systemic, neuropsychiatric, cardio-respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms are the most prevalent. The management of PCCs poses unique challenges due to the lack of official guidelines and the complex nature of the illness. This abstract highlights key principles derived from recent reviews and expert recommendations to provide healthcare professionals with a comprehensive approach to manage post-COVID-19 patients. Preventive medicine plays a crucial role in managing PCCs. While no specific medications are available for treatment, preventive measures such as COVID-19 vaccination, adherence to precautionary measures, regular consultations with medical professionals, monitoring symptoms and progress, and seeking information on symptom management are essential to assist patients in their recovery and improve their quality of life. Medical management requires transparent goal-setting and collaborative decision-making based on the patient's symptoms, comorbidities, and treatment objectives. Treatment plans for post-COVID-19 patients should focus on patient education, using registries and calendars to track symptoms and triggers, providing support and reassurance, and offering holistic support through peer networks and supportive psychotherapy techniques. Symptomatic and rehabilitative care, including well-established symptom management techniques, physical rehabilitation programs, and addressing mental health and well-being, are vital components of post-COVID-19 management. Lifestyle factors such as stress reduction, nutrition, and sleep should be incorporated into managing underlying medical conditions in post-COVID-19 patients. Regular follow-up visits and referrals to specialists are recommended to monitor the patient's progress and address specific organ system involvement or additional care needs. In summary, for the effective management of PCCs, a holistic approach should include preventive measures, patient education, supportive psychotherapy, symptomatic and rehabilitative care, medical management, counseling on lifestyle elements, and appropriate follow-up plans. However, it is crucial to stay updated with evolving guidelines and recommendations from healthcare authorities to provide the most effective and evidence-based care to post-COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Deng Y, N Sato (2024)

Global frailty screening tools: Review and application of frailty screening tools from 2001 to 2023.

Intractable & rare diseases research, 13(1):1-11.

As the aging population increases globally, health-related issues caused by frailty are gradually coming to light and have become a global health priority. Frailty leads to a significantly increased risk of falls, incapacitation, and death. Early screening leads to better prevention and management of frailty, increasing the possibility of reversing it. Developing assessment tools by incorporating disease states of older adults using effective interventions has become the most effective approach for preventing and controlling frailty. The most direct and effective tool for evaluating debilitating conditions is a frailty screening tool, but because there is no globally recognized gold standard, every country has its own scale for national use. The diversity and usefulness of the frailty screening tool has become a hot topic worldwide. In this article, we reviewed the frailty screening tool published worldwide from January 2001 to June 2023. We focused on several commonly used frailty screening tools. A systematic search was conducted using PubMed database, and the commonly used frailty screening tools were found to be translated and validated in many countries. Disease-specific scales were also selected to fit the disease. Each of the current frailty screening tools are used in different clinical situations, and therefore, the clinical practice applications of these frailty screening tools are summarized graphically to provide the most intuitive screening and reference for clinical practitioners. The frailty screening tools were categorized as (ⅰ) Global Frailty Screening Tools in Common; (ⅱ) Frailty Screening Tools in various countries; (ⅲ) Frailty Screening Tools for various diseases. As science and technology continue to advance, electronic frailty assessment tools have been developed and utilized. In the context of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), electronic frailty assessment tools played an important role. This review compares the currently used frailty screenings tools, with a view to enable quick selection of the appropriate scale. However, further improvement and justification of each tool is needed to guide clinical practitioners to make better decisions.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Ciabatti M, Zocchi C, Olivotto I, et al (2023)

Myocarditis and COVID-19 related issues.

Global cardiology science & practice, 2023(4):e202328.

The recent COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic by SARS-CoV2 infection has caused millions of deaths and hospitalizations across the globe. In the early pandemic phases, the infection had been initially considered a primary pulmonary disease. However, increasing evidence has demonstrated a wide range of possible cardiac involvement. Most of systemic and cardiac damage is likely sustained by a complex interplay between inflammatory, immune-related and thrombotic mechanisms. Biventricular failure and myocardial damage with elevation of cardiac biomarkers have been reported in COVID-19 patients, although histological demonstration of acute myocarditis has been rarely documented. Indeed while cardiac magnetic resonance findings include different patterns of myocardial involvement in terms of late gadolinium enhancement, histological data from necropsy and endomyocardial biopsy showed peculiar inflammatory patterns, mostly composed by macrophages. On the other hand COVID-19 vaccines based on mRN technology have been also associated with increased risk of myocarditis. COVID-19 and mRNA vaccine-related myocarditis present different clinical and imaging presentations and recent data suggest the presence of distinctive immunological mechanisms involved.

RevDate: 2024-02-27
CmpDate: 2024-02-27

Wang N, T Wang (2024)

Innovative translational platforms for rapid developing clinical vaccines against COVID-19 and other infectious disease.

Biotechnology journal, 19(2):e2300658.

A vaccine is a biological preparation that contains the antigen capable of stimulating the immune system to form the defense against pathogens. Vaccine development often confronts big challenges, including time/energy-consuming, low efficacy, lag to pathogen emergence and mutation, and even safety concern. However, these seem now mostly conquerable through constructing the advanced translational platforms that can make innovative vaccines, sometimes, potentiated with a distinct multifunctional VADS (vaccine adjuvant delivery system), as evidenced by the development of various vaccines against the covid-19 pandemic at warp speed. Particularly, several covid-19 vaccines, such as the viral-vectored vaccines, mRNA vaccines and DNA vaccines, regarded as the innovative ones that are rapidly made via the high technology-based translational platforms. These products have manifested powerful efficacy while showing no unacceptable safety profile in clinics, allowing them to be approved for massive vaccination at also warp speed. Now, the proprietary translational platforms integrated with the state-of-the-art biotechnologies, and even the artificial intelligence (AI), represent an efficient mode for rapid making innovative clinical vaccines against infections, thus increasingly attracting interests of vaccine research and development. Herein, the advanced translational platforms for making innovative vaccines, together with their design principles and immunostimulatory efficacies, are comprehensively elaborated.

RevDate: 2024-02-28
CmpDate: 2024-02-28

Pullis BC, Hekel BE, RM Pullis (JD, LLM) (2024)

Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy: A Nursing Perspective.

Journal of community health nursing, 41(2):138-144.

PURPOSE: Vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective health promotion interventions, preventing millions of deaths per year. Vaccine hesitancy (VH) received renewed attention in the United States when over 30 million Americans were undecided or had barriers to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The purpose is to examine the literature regarding vaccine hesitancy, its history and legal aspects.

DESIGN: An interprofessional team of a lawyer and two nurses reviewed the literature to synthesize the history of vaccine hesitancy and documented effective strategies to address disinformation, misinformation, and other barriers to vaccine uptake.

METHODS: The authors conducted a thorough review of the literature regarding vaccine hesitancy, including legal aspects.

FINDINGS: There is a scarcity of available literature regarding effective strategies, especially from the nursing perspective. Much of the literature on vaccine hesitancy dates back to the 1970's, offering few strategies to address this issue. Nursing implications and strategies to address vaccine hesitancy from a nursing perspective are provided, including an innovative example of preparing nursing students to address vaccine hesitancy through participation in a high-fidelity simulation.

CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination uptake is impacted by misinformation and disinformation. Vaccine hesitancy is impacting the uptake of other routine immunizations putting Americans at risk. Regardless of vaccination policies, health care professionals must be prepared to communicate with people who have a wide range of VH. Strategies such as providing accurate information, addressing patient concerns, and reducing barriers to access decrease VH.

RevDate: 2024-02-28
CmpDate: 2024-02-28

Clynick M, DL Holness (2024)

New causes of occupational allergic contact dermatitis.

Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology, 24(2):51-57.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Occupational allergic contact dermatitis (OACD) is an important work-related skin disease. Information about the causative agents comes from many sources, including patch test databases, registries, case series and case reports. This review summarizes new information about common causative allergens and diagnosis.

RECENT FINDINGS: Common causes of OACD include rubber components, epoxies and preservatives. New exposure sources for these allergens continue to be described. Often these exposure sources are related to the changing world around us, such as allergens related to smartphones and technology, and personal protective equipment-related exposures during the COVID-19 pandemic. New allergens are also being described, some of which are related to known allergens (e.g. a new epoxy or acrylate component).Accurate diagnosis is critical to effective management of OACD, which may include removing the worker from exposure to the causative allergen. Safety data sheets may not contain complete information and patch testing with specialized series of allergens and workplace materials may be necessary.

SUMMARY: This review provides current evidence about causes of OACD and important aspects of diagnosis. This is important for clinical practice to ensure cases of OACD are not missed.

RevDate: 2024-02-28
CmpDate: 2024-02-28

Zhao X, Wu H, Li S, et al (2024)

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SLE.

Modern rheumatology, 34(2):247-264.

Little is known about the association between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and autoimmune diseases, especially in the case of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE patients met with many questions during the pandemic in COVID-19, such as how to minimize risk of infection, the complex pathological features and cytokine profiles, diagnosis and treatment, rational choice of drugs and vaccine, good nursing, psychological supervision, and so on. In this study, we review and discuss the multifaceted effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients living with SLE using the available literature. Cross-talk in implicated inflammatory pathways/mechanisms exists between SLE and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, and SARS-CoV-2 displays similar clinical characteristics and immuno-inflammatory responses to SLE. Current epidemiological data inadequately assess the risk and severity of COVID-19 infection in patients with SLE. More evidence has shown that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine cannot prevent COVID-19. During the pandemic, patients with SLE had a higher rate of hospitalization. Vaccination helps to reduce the risk of infection. Several therapies for patients with SLE infected with COVID-19 are discussed. The cases in the study can provide meaningful information for clinical diagnosis and management. Our main aim is to help preventing infection and highlight treatment options for patients with SLE infected with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2024-02-25

Wingo MT, Andersen CA, Bornstein SL, et al (2024)

Update in Outpatient General Internal Medicine: Practice-Changing Evidence Published in 2023.

The American journal of medicine pii:S0002-9343(24)00099-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The expansive scope of internal medicine can make it challenging for clinicians to stay informed about new literature that changes practice. Guideline updates and synthesis of relevant evidence can facilitate incorporation of advancements into clinical practice. The titles and abstracts from the seven general medicine journals with highest impact factors and relevance to outpatient internal medicine were reviewed by six internal medicine physicians. Coronavirus disease 19 research was excluded. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), The Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The British Medical Journal (BMJ), Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Mayo Clinic Proceedings were reviewed. Additionally, article synopsis collections and databases were evaluated: American College of Physicians Journal Club, NEJM Journal Watch, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine, McMaster ACCESSSS/DynaMed Evidence Alerts, and Cochrane Reviews. A modified Delphi method was used to gain consensus based on clinical relevance to outpatient internal medicine, potential impact on practice, and strength of evidence. Article qualities and importance were debated until consensus was reached. Clusters of articles pertinent to the same topic were considered together. In total, seven practice-changing articles were included.

RevDate: 2024-02-25

de Andrade HN, de Oliveira JF, Siniscalchi LAB, et al (2024)

Global insight into the occurrence, treatment technologies and ecological risk of emerging contaminants in sanitary sewers: Effects of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)01214-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic caused changes in the consumption of prescribed/non-prescribed drugs and the population's habits, influencing the detection and concentration of emerging contaminants (ECs) in sanitary sewage and harming environmental and health risks. Therefore, the present work sought to discuss current literature data on the effects of the "COVID-19 pandemic factor" on the quality of raw sewage produced over a five-year period (2018-2019: pre-pandemic; 2020-2022: during the pandemic) and biological, physical, chemical and hybrid treatment technologies, influencing factors in the removal of ECs and potential ecological risks (RQs). Seven hundred thirty-one publications correlating sewage and COVID-19 were identified: 184 pre-pandemic and 547 during the pandemic. Eight classes and 37 ECs were detected in sewage between 2018 and 2022, with the "COVID-19 pandemic factor" promoting an increase in estrogens (+31,775 %), antibiotics (+19,544 %), antiepileptics and antipsychotics (+722 %), pesticides (+200 %), analgesics, anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants (+173 %), and stimulant medications (+157 %) in sanitary sewage. Among the treatment systems, aerated reactors integrated into biomembranes removed >90 % of cephalexin, clarithromycin, ibuprofen, estrone, and 17β-estradiol. The absorption, adsorption, and biodegradation mechanisms of planted wetland systems contributed to better cost-benefit in reducing the polluting load of sewage ECs in the COVID-19 pandemic, individually or integrated into the WWTP. The COVID-19 pandemic factor increased the potential ecological risks (RQs) for aquatic organisms by 40 %, with emphasis on clarithromycin and sulfamethoxazole, which changed from negligible risk and low risk to (very) high risk and caffeine with RQ > 2500. Therefore, it is possible to suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic intensified physiological, metabolic, and physical changes to different organisms in aquatic biota by ECs during 2020 and 2022.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Abuawwad MT, Taha MJJ, Taha AJ, et al (2024)

Guillain-Barré syndrome after COVID-19 vaccination: A systematic review and analysis of case reports.

Clinical neurology and neurosurgery, 238:108183 pii:S0303-8467(24)00070-2 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) have been believed to be associated with the novel COVID-19 infection, and also with the following vaccines developed against the infection. Our work aims to investigate the incidence of GBS after COVID-19 vaccination, and describe its clinical characteristics and potential confounders.

METHODS: An electronic search was conducted through four databases: PubMed, Scopus, medRxiv, and Google Scholar for all case reports and case series describing after COVID-19 vaccine administration. All published articles from inception until November 1st, 2022 were included. Differences between groups were assessed using Pearson chi-square test. Modified Erasmus GBS Outcome Score (mEGOS) for the ability to walk after GBS was calculated for all cases with sufficient clinical data, and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to study the effect of vaccine type on the relationship between vaccination time and complication of GBS.

RESULTS: About 103 studies describing 175 cases of GBS following COVID-19 vaccination were included. The Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyradiculoneuropathy subtype was the most reported subtype with 74 cases (42.29%). The affected age group averaged around 53.59 ±18.83 years, with AMSAN occurring in a rather older group (63.88 ±20.87 years, p=0.049). The AstraZeneca vaccine was associated with AIDP (n=38, 21.71%) more than other vaccines, p=0.02. The bilateral facial palsy subtype was mostly linked to adenoviral vector vaccinations, accounting for an average of 72% of the total BFP cases. Dysesthesias was the most reported sensory complication (60%, p=0.349). Most GBS patients survived (96%, p=0.036), however, most patients had low mEGOS scores (4 ±3.57, p<0.01). On average, patients developed GBS at 13.43 ±11.45 days from vaccination (p=0.73), and survival analysis for complication of GBS into mechanical ventilation or walking impairment yielded a severely increased probability of complication after 25 days (p<0.01). Intravenous immunoglobulins (p=0.03) along with rehabilitation (p=0.19) were the most commonly used treatment.

CONCLUSION: This work investigates the incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome after COVID-19 vaccination. Most cases occurred after receiving the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines, and despite low mortality rates, ambulation was compromised in most patients. A higher risk of GBS complication is associated with an onset later than 12-13 days, particularly with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna vaccines. No specific predisposing or prognostic factor was identified, and the relation between the COVID-19 vaccines and GBS remain unclear.

RevDate: 2024-02-27
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Krause C, Bergmann E, SV Schmidt (2024)

Epigenetic modulation of myeloid cell functions in HIV and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Molecular biology reports, 51(1):342.

Myeloid cells play a vital role in innate immune responses as they recognize and phagocytose pathogens like viruses, present antigens, produce cytokines, recruit other immune cells to combat infections, and contribute to the attenuation of immune responses to restore homeostasis. Signal integration by pathogen recognition receptors enables myeloid cells to adapt their functions by a network of transcription factors and chromatin remodelers. This review provides a brief overview of the subtypes of myeloid cells and the main epigenetic regulation mechanisms. Special focus is placed on the epigenomic alterations in viral nucleic acids of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 along with the epigenetic changes in the host's myeloid cell compartment. These changes are important as they lead to immune suppression and promote the progression of the disease. Finally, we highlight some promising examples of 'epidrugs' that modulate the epigenome of immune cells and could be used as therapeutics for viral infections.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Noiri E, Katagiri D, Asai Y, et al (2024)

Urine oxygenation predicts COVID-19 risk.

Clinical and experimental nephrology [Epub ahead of print].

Since February, 2023, the omicron variant has accounted for essentially all new coronavirus infections in Japan. If future infections involve mutant strains with the same level of infectivity and virulence as omicron, the government's basic policy will be to prevent the spread of infection, without compromising socioeconomic activities. Objectives include protecting pregnant women and elderly persons, and focusing on citizens requiring hospitalization and those at risk of serious illness, without imposing new social restrictions. Although the government tries to raise public awareness through education, most people affected by COVID-19 stay at home, and by the time patients become aware of the seriousness of their disease, it has often reached moderate or higher severity. In this review, we discuss why this situation persists even though the disease seems to have become milder with the shift from the delta variant to omicron. We also propose a pathophysiological method to determine the risk of severe illness. This assessment can be made at home in the early stages of COVID-19 infection, using urine analysis. Applicability of this method to drug discovery and development is also discussed.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Achterbergh RCA, McGovern I, M Haag (2024)

Co-Administration of Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccines: Policy Review and Vaccination Coverage Trends in the European Union, UK, US, and Canada between 2019 and 2023.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

Recommending co-administration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines has emerged as a strategy to enhance vaccination coverage. This study describes the policy on co-administration and uptake of influenza and COVID-19 vaccination in Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada between 2019 and 2023. We collected co-administration policy data from governmental websites, national health organizations, and newspapers. Influenza vaccination coverage among persons ≥65 years and COVID-19 vaccination coverage rates among persons ≥60 years or the general population were collected using national databases, the ECDC database, or ourworldindata.org between 2019 and 2023. Descriptive analyses were used. We collected data from 30/32 (94%) countries on vaccination policy in seasons 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, with most countries (25/30 to 30/30) having policies recommending co-administration. For influenza vaccination coverage, we collected data from 29/32 (91%, 2019-2020), 28/32 (88%, 2020-2021), 27/32 (84%, 2021-2022), and 6/32 (19%, 2022-2023) countries. COVID-19 vaccination was collected from 32/32 (2020-2021), 31/32 (97%, 2021-2022), and 24/32 (75%, 2022-2023) countries. Influenza vaccination coverage increased from 2019-2020 to 2021-2022. COVID-19 vaccination coverage was higher among countries with higher influenza vaccination coverage. By 2022-2023, all countries included implemented a policy supporting co-administration. A positive correlation existed between higher influenza vaccination coverage and higher COVID-19 vaccination rates.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Park JE (2024)

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea: Insights and Progress on Vaccines.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is a swine-wasting disease caused by coronavirus infection. It causes great economic damage to the swine industry worldwide. Despite the continued use of vaccines, PED outbreaks continue, highlighting the need to review the effectiveness of current vaccines and develop additional vaccines based on new platforms. Here, we review existing vaccine technologies for preventing PED and highlight promising technologies that may help control PED virus in the future.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Gai C, Pomatto MAC, Deregibus MC, et al (2024)

Edible Plant-Derived Extracellular Vesicles for Oral mRNA Vaccine Delivery.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

Nucleic acid delivery through extracellular vesicles (EVs) is a well-preserved evolutionary mechanism in all life kingdoms including eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and plants. EVs naturally allow horizontal transfer of native as well as exogenous functional mRNAs, which once incorporated in EVs are protected from enzymatic degradation. This observation has prompted researchers to investigate whether EVs from different sources, including plants, could be used for vaccine delivery. Several studies using human or bacterial EVs expressing mRNA or recombinant SARS-CoV-2 proteins showed induction of a humoral and cell mediated immune response. Moreover, EV-based vaccines presenting the natural configuration of viral antigens have demonstrated advantages in conferring long-lasting immunization and lower toxicity than synthetic nanoparticles. Edible plant-derived EVs were shown to be an alternative to human EVs for vaccine delivery, especially via oral administration. EVs obtained from orange juice (oEVs) loaded with SARS-CoV-2 mRNAs protected their cargo from enzymatic degradation, were stable at room temperature for one year, and were able to trigger a SARS-CoV-2 immune response in mice. Lyophilized oEVs containing the S1 mRNA administered to rats via gavage induced a specific humoral immune response with generation of blocking antibodies, including IgA and Th1 lymphocyte activation. In conclusion, mRNA-containing oEVs could be used for developing new oral vaccines due to optimal mucosal absorption, resistance to stress conditions, and ability to stimulate a humoral and cellular immune response.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Al-Dury S, N Kanberg (2024)

Advancements in Vaccine Strategies for Chronic Liver Disease Patients: Navigating Post-COVID Challenges and Opportunities.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

This review addresses the vital role of vaccinations in managing patients with chronic liver disease (CLD), especially in the context of the post-COVID-19 landscape. The pandemic has highlighted the unique vulnerabilities of CLD patients, including those awaiting liver transplantation and post-transplant individuals, who face heightened risks of infection due to compromised immune responses. Recent advancements in vaccine technology, such as mRNA platforms, novel adjuvants, and advanced delivery systems, have significantly accelerated vaccine development, enhancing both speed and efficacy. Moreover, the emergence of personalized vaccines, tailored to everyone's unique immunological profile, presents new opportunities, particularly for those with chronic conditions. This review synthesizes the current state of evidence regarding vaccine recommendations for CLD patients, focusing on their response to vaccinations and proposing effective strategies to protect this vulnerable group from vaccine-preventable diseases. It also explores the challenges in implementing these strategies and considers the impact of emerging vaccine delivery systems on improving outcomes for CLD patients. The paper aims to provide nuanced guidance on vaccination in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, addressing both technological innovations and comprehensive patient care strategies.

RevDate: 2024-02-27

Chen LN, Shou ZX, X Jin (2024)

Interaction Between Genetic Susceptibility and COVID-19 Pathogenesis in Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Disorders: The Role of Immune Responses.

Viral immunology, 37(1):1-11.

Numerous studies have highlighted the emergence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) symptoms reminiscent of Kawasaki disease in children, including fever, heightened multisystem inflammation, and multiorgan involvement, posing a life-threatening complication. Consequently, extensive research endeavors in pediatric have aimed to elucidate the intricate relationship between COVID-19 infection and the immune system. COVID-19 profoundly impacts immune cells, culminating in a cytokine storm that particularly inflicts damage on the pulmonary system. The gravity and vulnerability to COVID-19 are closely intertwined with the vigor of the immune response. In this context, the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecule assumes pivotal significance in shaping immune responses. Genetic scrutiny of HLA has unveiled the presence of at least one deleterious allele in children afflicted with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Furthermore, research has demonstrated that COVID-19 exploits the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor, transmembrane serine protease type 2, and various other genes to gain entry into host cells, with individuals harboring ACE-2 polymorphisms being at higher risk. Pediatric studies have employed diverse genetic methodologies, such as genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and whole exome sequencing, to scrutinize target genes. These investigations have pinpointed two specific genomic loci linked to the severity and susceptibility of COVID-19, with the HLA locus emerging as a notable risk factor. In this comprehensive review article, we endeavor to assess the available evidence and consolidate data, offering insights into current clinical practices and delineating avenues for future research. Our objective is to advance early diagnosis, stabilization, and appropriate management strategies to mitigate genetic susceptibility's impact on the incidence of COVID-19 in pediatric patients with multisystem inflammation.

RevDate: 2024-02-27
CmpDate: 2024-02-27

Kitano T, Salmon DA, Dudley MZ, et al (2024)

Benefit-Risk Assessment of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines in Children Aged 6 Months to 4 Years in the Omicron Era.

Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, 13(2):129-135.

BACKGROUND: There is no risk and benefit assessment of COVID-19 vaccination for children younger than 5 years using a single health outcomes scale. The objective of this study is to compare the expected risk and benefits of the mRNA primary series of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months to 4 years in the United States using a single health outcome scale in the Omicron era.

METHODS: The expected benefits and risks of the primary two-dose series of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months to 4 years were stratified by sex, the presence of underlying medical conditions, the presence of infection-induced immunity, and the type of mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273). A scoping literature review was conducted to identify the indicators in the decision tree model. The benefit-risk ratio was the outcome of interest.

RESULTS: The benefit-risk ratios ranged from 200.4 in BNT162b2 for males aged 6-11 months with underlying medical conditions and without infection-induced immunity to 3.2 in mRNA-1273 for females aged 1-4 years without underlying medical conditions and with infection-induced immunity.

CONCLUSIONS: The expected benefit of receiving the primary series of mRNA vaccines outweighed the risk among children ages 6 months to 4 years regardless of sex, presence of underlying medical conditions, presence of infection-induced immunity, or type of mRNA vaccines. However, the continuous monitoring of the COVID-19 epidemiology as well as vaccine effectiveness and safety is important.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Man MA, Rosca D, Bratosin F, et al (2024)

Impact of Pre-Infection COVID-19 Vaccination on the Incidence and Severity of Post-COVID Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

This systematic review critically evaluated the impact of a pre-infection COVID-19 vaccination on the incidence and severity of post-COVID-19 syndrome and aimed to assess the potential protective effect across different vaccines and patient demographics. This study hypothesized that vaccination before infection substantially reduces the risk and severity of post-COVID-19 syndrome. In October 2023, a comprehensive literature search was conducted across three databases, PubMed, Embase, and Scopus, focusing on studies published up to that date. Utilizing a wide array of keywords, the search strategy adhered to the PRISMA guidelines and was registered in the Open Science Framework. The inclusion criteria comprised studies focusing on patients with a breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection who developed post-COVID-19 syndrome. We included a total of 13 articles that met the inclusion criteria, analyzing more than 10 million patients with a mean age of 50.6 years, showing that the incidence of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions post-vaccination was as low as 2.4%, with a significant reduction in mortality risk (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.58-0.74). The prevalence of post-COVID-19 syndrome symptoms was lower in vaccinated individuals (9.5%) compared to unvaccinated (14.6%), with a notable decrease in activity-limiting symptoms (adjusted OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.48-0.73). Vaccinated patients also showed a quicker recovery and return to work (HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.04-1.79). The pooled odds ratio of 0.77 indicates that vaccination is associated with a 23% reduction in the risk of developing post-COVID-19 syndrome (95% CI 0.75-0.79). Despite the protective effects observed, a substantial heterogeneity among the studies was noted. In conclusion, a pre-infection COVID-19 vaccination is associated with a significant reduction in the risk and severity of post-COVID-19 syndrome. However, the observed heterogeneity across studies suggests a need for further research with standardized methods to fully comprehend vaccine efficacy against long COVID.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Thai-Van H, Bagheri H, MB Valnet-Rabier (2024)

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss after COVID-19 Vaccination: A Review of the Available Evidence through the Prism of Causality Assessment.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL), a rare audiological condition that accounts for 1% of all cases of sensorineural hearing loss, can cause permanent hearing damage. Soon after the launch of global COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, the World Health Organization released a signal detection about SSNHL cases following administration of various COVID-19 vaccines. Post-marketing studies have been conducted in different countries using either pharmacovigilance or medico-administrative databases to investigate SSNHL as a potential adverse effect of COVID-19 vaccines. Here, we examine the advantages and limitations of each type of post-marketing study available. While pharmacoepidemiological studies highlight the potential association between drug exposure and the event, pharmacovigilance approaches enable causality assessment. The latter objective can only be achieved if an expert evaluation is provided using internationally validated diagnostic criteria. For a rare adverse event such as SSNHL, case information and quantification of hearing loss are mandatory for assessing seriousness, severity, delay onset, differential diagnoses, corrective treatment, recovery, as well as functional sequelae. Appropriate methodology should be adopted depending on whether the target objective is to assess a global or individual risk.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Karampinis E, Papadopoulou MM, Chaidaki K, et al (2024)

Plaque Psoriasis Exacerbation and COVID-19 Vaccination: Assessing the Characteristics of the Flare and the Exposome Parameters.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

The diverse patient population and widespread vaccination in the COVD-19 era make vaccine-triggered episodes of psoriasis an ideal model of exposome research. This scenario explores the fine balance between protective and exacerbating factors, providing insights into the complex relationship between environmental exposure and psoriasis immunopathogenesis when a trigger appears, such as that of the hyperinflammatory state induced by the COVID-19 vaccine. Analyzing interactions between vaccine-induced phenomena and exposome parameters may provide clinically relevant information important for personalized medicine decision-making. We performed a literature review seeking patients with plaque psoriasis flares or new onset or change in plaque psoriasis into another psoriasis subtype, such as pustular or erythrodermic flare, focusing on the inner and external exposome traits of patients. We identified 71 patients with plaque psoriasis flares, 12 patients with new-onset psoriasis, and 17 with plaque psoriasis subtype change, and assessed the COVID-19 vaccine-induced plaque psoriasis in terms of clinical presentation, post-vaccination flare period and treatment status, as well as inner exposome parameters (genomics, oxidative stress, hormonal impact due to gender, aging, skin color) and external parameters (UV, infectomics). Novel data on psoriasis flares following COVID-19 vaccination are primarily obtained by combining exposome and vaccine-triggered episode features and characteristics and comparing them with similar psoriasis flares unrelated to COVID-19 vaccination.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Palomares F, Pina A, Dakhaoui H, et al (2024)

Dendritic Cells as a Therapeutic Strategy in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Vaccines.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

Dendritic cells (DCs) serve as professional antigen-presenting cells (APC) bridging innate and adaptive immunity, playing an essential role in triggering specific cellular and humoral responses against tumor and infectious antigens. Consequently, various DC-based antitumor therapeutic strategies have been developed, particularly vaccines, and have been intensively investigated specifically in the context of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This hematological malignancy mainly affects the elderly population (those aged over 65), which usually presents a high rate of therapeutic failure and an unfavorable prognosis. In this review, we examine the current state of development and progress of vaccines in AML. The findings evidence the possible administration of DC-based vaccines as an adjuvant treatment in AML following initial therapy. Furthermore, the therapy demonstrates promising outcomes in preventing or delaying tumor relapse and exhibits synergistic effects when combined with other treatments during relapses or disease progression. On the other hand, the remarkable success observed with RNA vaccines for COVID-19, delivered in lipid nanoparticles, has revealed the efficacy and effectiveness of these types of vectors, prompting further exploration and their potential application in AML, as well as other neoplasms, loading them with tumor RNA.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Mahony TJ, Briody TE, SC Ommeh (2024)

Can the Revolution in mRNA-Based Vaccine Technologies Solve the Intractable Health Issues of Current Ruminant Production Systems?.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

To achieve the World Health Organization's global Sustainable Development Goals, increased production of high-quality protein for human consumption is required while minimizing, ideally reducing, environmental impacts. One way to achieve these goals is to address losses within current livestock production systems. Infectious diseases are key limiters of edible protein production, affecting both quantity and quality. In addition, some of these diseases are zoonotic threats and potential contributors to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Vaccination has proven to be highly successful in controlling and even eliminating several livestock diseases of economic importance. However, many livestock diseases, both existing and emerging, have proven to be recalcitrant targets for conventional vaccination technologies. The threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unprecedented global investment in vaccine technologies to accelerate the development of safe and efficacious vaccines. While several vaccination platforms emerged as front runners to meet this challenge, the clear winner is mRNA-based vaccination. The challenge now is for livestock industries and relevant stakeholders to harness these rapid advances in vaccination to address key diseases affecting livestock production. This review examines the key features of mRNA vaccines, as this technology has the potential to control infectious diseases of importance to livestock production that have proven otherwise difficult to control using conventional approaches. This review focuses on the challenging diseases of ruminants due to their importance in global protein production. Overall, the current literature suggests that, while mRNA vaccines have the potential to address challenges in veterinary medicine, further developments are likely to be required for this promise to be realized for ruminant and other livestock species.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Goryaynov S, O Gurova (2024)

Effect of Platform Type on Clinical Efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines in Prime Vaccination Settings: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Vaccines, 12(2):.

This systematic review investigated the association between platform type and the clinical efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines using the meta-regression of randomized controlled trials to compare the rates of the first appearance of symptomatic COVID-19 on the platforms. The trial search was conducted using PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the EU Clinical Trials Register. The main selection criteria included: non-active control, immunocompetent individuals without previous vaccination, and a low risk of bias. The platform effect was summarized with an incidence rate ratio (IRR) and a 95% confidence interval for every platform category against the reference. IRR was obtained by random-effect meta-regression with adjustment for confounding by effect modifiers. The analysis was conducted in per-protocol (PP) and modified intention-to-treat (mITT) sets. Six vaccine types with 35 trials were included. Vector vaccines were a reference category. In the PP set, rates of symptomatic COVID-19 on mRNA and protein subunit vaccines were significantly lower than on the vector: IRR = 0.30 [0.19; 0.46], p = 0.001 and 0.63 [0.46; 0.86], p = 0.012, respectively. There was no difference for inactivated and virus-like particle vaccines compared to the vector: IRR = 0.98 [0.71; 1.36], p = 0.913 and 0.70 [0.41; 1.20], p = 0.197, respectively. The rate of cases on DNA vaccines was significantly higher than that on the vector: IRR = 2.58 [1.17; 5.68], p = 0.034. Results for the mITT set were consistent. Platform type is an effect modifier of the clinical efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Chang D, Dela Cruz C, L Sharma (2024)

Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Cytokines during Influenza and COVID-19.

Viruses, 16(2):.

Cytokines are signaling molecules that play a role in myriad processes, including those occurring during diseases and homeostasis. Their homeostatic function begins during embryogenesis and persists throughout life, including appropriate signaling for the cell and organism death. During viral infections, antiviral cytokines such as interferons and inflammatory cytokines are upregulated. Despite the well-known benefits of these cytokines, their levels often correlate with disease severity, linking them to unfavorable outcomes. In this review, we discuss both the beneficial and pathological functions of cytokines and the potential challenges in separating these two roles. Further, we discuss challenges in targeting these cytokines during disease and propose a new method for quantifying the cytokine effect to limit the pathological consequences while preserving their beneficial effects.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Coelho SVA, Augusto FM, LB Arruda (2024)

Potential Pathways and Pathophysiological Implications of Viral Infection-Driven Activation of Kallikrein-Kinin System (KKS).

Viruses, 16(2):.

Microcirculatory and coagulation disturbances commonly occur as pathological manifestations of systemic viral infections. Research exploring the role of the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) in flavivirus infections has recently linked microvascular dysfunctions to bradykinin (BK)-induced signaling of B2R, a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) constitutively expressed by endothelial cells. The relevance of KKS activation as an innate response to viral infections has gained increasing attention, particularly after the reports regarding thrombogenic events during COVID-19. BK receptor (B2R and B1R) signal transduction results in vascular permeability, edema formation, angiogenesis, and pain. Recent findings unveiling the role of KKS in viral pathogenesis include evidence of increased activation of KKS with elevated levels of BK and its metabolites in both intravascular and tissue milieu, as well as reports demonstrating that virus replication stimulates BKR expression. In this review, we will discuss the mechanisms triggered by virus replication and by virus-induced inflammatory responses that may stimulate KKS. We also explore how KKS activation and BK signaling may impact virus pathogenesis and further discuss the potential therapeutic application of BKR antagonists in the treatment of hemorrhagic and respiratory diseases.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Rosas-Murrieta NH, Rodríguez-Enríquez A, Herrera-Camacho I, et al (2024)

Comparative Review of the State of the Art in Research on the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and SARS-CoV-2, Scope of Knowledge between Coronaviruses.

Viruses, 16(2):.

This review presents comparative information corresponding to the progress in knowledge of some aspects of infection by the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) coronaviruses. PEDV is an alphacoronavirus of great economic importance due to the million-dollar losses it generates in the pig industry. PEDV has many similarities to the SARS-CoV-2 betacoronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease. This review presents possible scenarios for SARS-CoV-2 based on the collected literature on PEDV and the tools or strategies currently developed for SARS-CoV-2 that would be useful in PEDV research. The speed of the study of SARS-CoV-2 and the generation of strategies to control the pandemic was possible due to the knowledge derived from infections caused by other human coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS). Therefore, from the information obtained from several coronaviruses, the current and future behavior of SARS-CoV-2 could be inferred and, with the large amount of information on the virus that causes COVID-19, the study of PEDV could be improved and probably that of new emerging and re-emerging coronaviruses.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Li X, Wu Y, Yan Z, et al (2024)

A Comprehensive View on the Protein Functions of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus.

Genes, 15(2):.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus (PEDV) is one of the main pathogens causing diarrhea in piglets and fattening pigs. The clinical signs of PED are vomiting, acute diarrhea, dehydration, and mortality resulting in significant economic losses and becoming a major challenge in the pig industry. PEDV possesses various crucial structural and functional proteins, which play important roles in viral structure, infection, replication, assembly, and release, as well as in escaping host innate immunity. Over the past few years, there has been progress in the study of PEDV pathogenesis, revealing the crucial role of the interaction between PEDV viral proteins and host cytokines in PEDV infection. At present, the main control measure against PEDV is vaccine immunization of sows, but the protective effect for emerging virus strains is still insufficient, and there is no ideal safe and efficient vaccine. Although scientists have persistently delved their research into the intricate structure and functionalities of the PEDV genome and viral proteins for years, the pathogenic mechanism of PEDV remains incompletely elucidated. Here, we focus on reviewing the research progress of PEDV structural and nonstructural proteins to facilitate the understanding of biological processes such as PEDV infection and pathogenesis.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Nakane S, Koike H, Hayashi T, et al (2024)

Autoimmune Autonomic Neuropathy: From Pathogenesis to Diagnosis.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(4):.

Autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG) is a disease of autonomic failure caused by ganglionic acetylcholine receptor (gAChR) autoantibodies. Although the detection of autoantibodies is important for distinguishing the disease from other neuropathies that present with autonomic dysfunction, other factors are important for accurate diagnosis. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of the clinical features of AAG, highlighting differences in clinical course, clinical presentation, and laboratory findings from other neuropathies presenting with autonomic symptoms. The first step in diagnosing AAG is careful history taking, which should reveal whether the mode of onset is acute or chronic, followed by an examination of the time course of disease progression, including the presentation of autonomic and extra-autonomic symptoms. AAG is a neuropathy that should be differentiated from other neuropathies when the patient presents with autonomic dysfunction. Immune-mediated neuropathies, such as acute autonomic sensory neuropathy, are sometimes difficult to differentiate, and therefore, differences in clinical and laboratory findings should be well understood. Other non-neuropathic conditions, such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and long COVID, also present with symptoms similar to those of AAG. Although often challenging, efforts should be made to differentiate among the disease candidates.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Igyártó BZ, Z Qin (2024)

The mRNA-LNP vaccines - the good, the bad and the ugly?.

Frontiers in immunology, 15:1336906.

The mRNA-LNP vaccine has received much attention during the COVID-19 pandemic since it served as the basis of the most widely used SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in Western countries. Based on early clinical trial data, these vaccines were deemed safe and effective for all demographics. However, the latest data raise serious concerns about the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines. Here, we review some of the safety and efficacy concerns identified to date. We also discuss the potential mechanism of observed adverse events related to the use of these vaccines and whether they can be mitigated by alterations of this vaccine mechanism approach.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Meadows J, Montano M, Alfar AJK, et al (2024)

The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on population health in the UK: rapid evidence review.

BMC public health, 24(1):561.

BACKGROUND: In the UK, unique and unforeseen factors, including COVID-19, Brexit, and Ukraine-Russia war, have resulted in an unprecedented cost of living crisis, creating a second health emergency. We present, one of the first rapid reviews with the aim of examining the impact of this current crisis, at a population level. We reviewed published literature, as well as grey literature, examining a broad range of physical and mental impacts on health in the short, mid, and long term, identifying those most at risk, impacts on system partners, including emergency services and the third sector, as well as mitigation strategies.

METHODS: We conducted a rapid review by searching PubMed, Embase, MEDLINE, and HMIC (2020 to 2023). We searched for grey literature on Google and hand-searched the reports of relevant public health organisations. We included interventional and observational studies that reported outcomes of interventions aimed at mitigating against the impacts of cost of living at a population level.

RESULTS: We found that the strongest evidence was for the impact of cold and mouldy homes on respiratory-related infections and respiratory conditions. Those at an increased risk were young children (0-4 years), the elderly (aged 75 and over), as well as those already vulnerable, including those with long-term multimorbidity. Further short-term impacts include an increased risk of physical pain including musculoskeletal and chest pain, and increased risk of enteric infections and malnutrition. In the mid-term, we could see increases in hypertension, transient ischaemic attacks, and myocardial infarctions, and respiratory illnesses. In the long term we could see an increase in mortality and morbidity rates from respiratory and cardiovascular disease, as well as increase rates of suicide and self-harm and infectious disease outcomes. Changes in behaviour are likely particularly around changes in food buying patterns and the ability to heat a home. System partners are also impacted, with voluntary sectors seeing fewer volunteers, an increase in petty crime and theft, alternative heating appliances causing fires, and an increase in burns and burn-related admissions. To mitigate against these impacts, support should be provided, to the most vulnerable, to help increase disposable income, reduce energy bills, and encourage home improvements linked with energy efficiency. Stronger links to bridge voluntary, community, charity and faith groups are needed to help provide additional aid and support.

CONCLUSION: Although the CoL crisis affects the entire population, the impacts are exacerbated in those that are most vulnerable, particularly young children, single parents, multigenerational families. More can be done at a community and societal level to support the most vulnerable, and those living with long-term multimorbidity. This review consolidates the current evidence on the impacts of the cost of living crisis and may enable decision makers to target limited resources more effectively.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Senthinathan A, Cimino S, Jaglal SB, et al (2024)

The impact of the COVID-19 virus and pandemic on healthcare utilization, access, delivery, experiences, and outcomes in the spinal cord injuries/dysfunction population: A scoping review study.

PloS one, 19(2):e0297384.

BACKGROUND: Individuals with spinal cord injuries or disease (SCI/D) require frequent healthcare services. The COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted healthcare. Furthermore, due to secondary health conditions and comorbidities persons with SCI/D are at increased risk of experiencing severe symptoms or outcomes if infected with the COVID-19 virus. It is unclear to what extent research has investigated the pandemic and virus impacts on the SCI/D population.

OBJECTIVE: To identify and summarize what is reported in the literature on the impact the COVID-19 virus and pandemic had on healthcare, health outcomes, and experiences in the adult SCI/D population.

METHODS: Electronic databases and grey literature were searched for articles that included an adult population with a SCI/D and investigated the impact the COVID-19 virus and pandemic had on healthcare-related outcomes and experiences. Articles were double screened, and data were extracted, and synthesized to provide a descriptive summary of the findings.

RESULTS: Twenty-four studies were included in this review with eight qualitative, fifteen quantitative, and one mixed methods study. Sixteen studies investigated healthcare utilization/access; nine investigated care delivery, nine investigated patient outcomes, and eight investigated patient experiences, with multiple studies spanning different categories of investigation. The pandemic was detrimental to healthcare utilization, access, and outcomes, but no studies quantified these changes. Virtual care was well-received by the SCI/D population to maintain continuity of care. The SCI/D population had issues with maintaining caregiving support. It was unclear if the COVID-19 virus infection impacted individuals with SCI/D differently than the general population.

CONCLUSIONS: This scoping review found the pandemic negatively impacted multiple aspects of healthcare in individuals with SCI/D, however further investigation on health outcomes is required. More research, particularly large-scale quantitative studies, investigating healthcare access, utilization, and delivery, as well as patient outcomes and experiences is needed to improve care in the SCI/D population post-pandemic onset.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-14

Muhsen K, Cohen D, Glatman-Freedman A, et al (2023)

Review of Israel's action and response during the COVID-19 pandemic and tabletop exercise for the evaluation of readiness and resilience-lessons learned 2020-2021.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1308267.

BACKGROUND: Reevaluating response plans is essential to ensuring consistent readiness and resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic. The "During Action Review" and Tabletop (DART) methodology provides a retrospective and prospective assessment to inform the adaptive response. Israel introduced COVID-19 vaccinations in December 2020 and was the first country to implement booster vaccination to address waning immunity and surges caused by new variants. We assessed Israel's readiness and resilience related to COVID-19 response while capturing the pre-vaccination and vaccination periods.

METHODS: A DART analysis was conducted between December 2020 and August 2021 among experts involved in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel. During the retrospective stage, a role-based questionnaire and discussions were undertaken in a participant-led review of the response, focusing on epidemiology and surveillance, risk communication, and vaccines. The prospective stage included tabletop exercises to evaluate short to long-term simulated scenarios.

RESULTS: Participants emphasized the pivotal role of Israel globally by sharing experiences with the pandemic, and vaccination. Perceived strengths included multi-sectoral collaboration between the Ministry of Health, healthcare providers, academia, military, and others, stretching capacities, expanding laboratory workload, and establishing/maintaining surveillance. The vaccine prioritization plan and strong infrastructure, including computerized databases, enabled real-life assessment of vaccine uptake and impact. Challenges included the need to change case definitions early on and insufficient staffing. Quarantine of patients and contacts was particularly challenging among underprivileged communities. Risk communication approaches need to focus more on creating norms in behavior. Trust issues and limited cooperation were noted, especially among ethnic and religious minorities. To ensure readiness and resiliency, participants recommended establishing a nationally deployed system for bringing in and acting upon feedback from the field, especially concerning risk communication and vaccines.

CONCLUSION: Our study appraised strengths and weaknesses of the COVID-19 pandemic response in Israel and led to concrete recommendations for adjusting responses and future similar events. An efficient response comprised multi-sectoral collaboration, policy design, infrastructure, care delivery, and mitigation measures, including vaccines, while risk communication, trust issues, and limited cooperation with minority groups were perceived as areas for action and intervention.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Miyamoto S, T Suzuki (2024)

Infection-mediated immune response in SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection and implications for next-generation COVID-19 vaccine development.

Vaccine, 42(6):1401-1406.

Post-vaccination infections, termed breakthrough infections, occur after the virus infection overcomes the vaccine-induced immune barrier. During the early stages of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron wave, high serum-neutralizing antibody titers against the Omicron variant were detected in individuals with breakthrough infections as well as those who received a third vaccine dose (i.e., booster recipients). Additionally, these cases indicated that Omicron antigens triggered an immune response that differed from that triggered by the vaccine strain before analysis of the effectiveness of new vaccines updated for the Omicron variants. Moreover, the magnitude and breadth of neutralizing antibody titers induced by breakthrough infections are correlated with the upper respiratory viral load at diagnosis and the duration between vaccination and infection, respectively. Unlike booster vaccine recipients, patients with breakthrough infections have varying durations between vaccination and infection. Accordingly, optimal booster vaccination intervals may be estimated based on the cross-neutralizing antibody response induced over time. Examination of breakthrough infection cases has provided valuable insights that could not be yielded by only examining vaccinated individuals alone. These insights include estimates of vaccine-induced immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants and the various factors related to the clinical status. This review describes the immune response elicited by breakthrough infections; specifically, it discusses factors that affect the magnitude and breadth of serum antibody titers as well as the appropriate booster vaccination strategy. This review provides key aspects that could contribute to developing next-generation COVID-19 vaccines through breakthrough infection cases.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Rana P, Patial S, Soni V, et al (2024)

"Long COVID" and Its Impact on The Environment: Emerging Concerns and Perspectives.

Environmental management, 73(3):471-480.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented global health and economic crises. The emergence of long COVID-19 has raised concerns about the interplay between SARS-CoV-2 infections, climate change, and the environment. In this context, a concise analysis of the potential long-term effects of the COVID-19 epidemic along with the awareness aboutenvironmental issues are realized. While COVID-19 effects in the short-term have reduced environmental air pollutants and pressures, CO2 emissions are projected to increase as the economy recovers and growth rates return to pre-COVID-19 levels. This review discusses the systematic effects of both the short-term and long-term effects of the pandemic on the clean energy revolution and environmental issues. This article also discusses opportunities to achieve long-term environmental benefits and emphasizes the importance of future policies in promoting global environmental sustainability. Future directions for growth and recovery are presented to cope with long COVID-19 epidemic along with the critical findings focussing on various aspects: waste management, air quality improvement.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Koroneos G, Berry W, Sweeney N, et al (2024)

Reactive infectious mucocutaneous eruption secondary to COVID-19 infection: A case report and review of the literature.

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology : JEADV, 38(3):e204-e208.

RevDate: 2024-02-26
CmpDate: 2024-02-26

Ford A, De Togni G, Erikainen S, et al (2024)

How and why to use 'vulnerability': an interdisciplinary analysis of disease risk, indeterminacy and normality.

Medical humanities, 50(1):125-134 pii:medhum-2023-012683.

In recent years, 'vulnerability' has been getting more traction in theoretical, professional and popular spaces as an alternative or complement to the concept of risk. As a group of science and technology studies scholars with different disciplinary orientations yet a shared concern with biomedicine, self and society, we investigate how vulnerability has become a salient and even dominant idiom for discussing disease and disease risk. We argue that this is at least partly due to an inherent indeterminacy in what 'vulnerability' means and does, both within and across different discourses. Through a review of feminist and disability theory, and a discussion of how vulnerability and disease both get recruited into a binary conceptualisation of normal versus abnormal, we argue that vulnerability's indeterminacy is, in fact, its strength, and that it should be used differently than risk. Using COVID-19 management in the UK as an illustration of the current ambivalence and ambiguity in how vulnerability versus risk is applied, we suggest that instead of being codified or quantified, as it has started to be in some biomedical and public health applications, vulnerability and its remedies should be determined in conjunction with affected communities and in ways that are polyvalent, flexible and nuanced. The concept of vulnerability encapsulates an important precept: we must recognise inequality as undesirable while not attempting to 'solve' it in deterministic ways. Rather than becoming fixed into labels, unidirectional causalities or top-down universalising metrics, vulnerability could be used to insist on relational, context-specific understandings of disease and disease risk-in line with contemporary social justice movements that require non-hierarchical and non-universal approaches to problems and solutions.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Focosi D, Casadevall A, Franchini M, et al (2024)

Sotrovimab: A Review of Its Efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 Variants.

Viruses, 16(2):.

Among the anti-Spike monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), the S-309 derivative sotrovimab was the most successful in having the longest temporal window of clinical use, showing a high degree of resiliency to SARS-CoV-2 evolution interrupted only by the appearance of the BA.2.86* variant of interest (VOI). This success undoubtedly reflects rational selection to target a highly conserved epitope in coronavirus Spike proteins. We review here the efficacy of sotrovimab against different SARS-CoV-2 variants in outpatients and inpatients, discussing both randomized controlled trials and real-world evidence. Although it could not be anticipated at the time of its development and introduction, sotrovimab's use in immunocompromised individuals who harbor large populations of variant viruses created the conditions for its eventual demise, as antibody selection and viral evolution led to its eventual withdrawal due to inefficacy against later variant lineages. Despite this, based on observational and real-world data, some authorities have continued to promote the use of sotrovimab, but the lack of binding to newer variants strongly argues for the futility of continued use. The story of sotrovimab highlights the power of modern biomedical science to generate novel therapeutics while also providing a cautionary tale for the need to devise strategies to minimize the emergence of resistance to antibody-based therapeutics.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

He Q, Hu D, Zheng F, et al (2024)

Investigating the Nexus of NLRP3 Inflammasomes and COVID-19 Pathogenesis: Unraveling Molecular Triggers and Therapeutic Strategies.

Viruses, 16(2):.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been marked by severe cases demonstrating a "cytokine storm", an upsurge of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the bloodstream. NLRP3 inflammasomes, integral to the innate immune system, are speculated to be activated by SARS-CoV-2 within host cells. This review investigates the potential correlation between NLRP3 inflammasomes and COVID-19, exploring the cellular and molecular mechanisms through which SARS-CoV-2 triggers their activation. Furthermore, promising strategies targeting NLRP3 inflammasomes are proposed to mitigate the excessive inflammatory response provoked by SARS-CoV-2 infection. By synthesizing existing studies, this paper offers insights into NLRP3 as a therapeutic target, elucidating the interplay between COVID-19 and its pathophysiology. It serves as a valuable reference for future clinical approaches in addressing COVID-19 by targeting NLRP3, thus providing potential avenues for therapeutic intervention.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Lundstrom K (2024)

COVID-19 Vaccines: Where Did We Stand at the End of 2023?.

Viruses, 16(2):.

Vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2 has been highly successful in slowing down the COVID-19 pandemic. A wide spectrum of approaches including vaccines based on whole viruses, protein subunits and peptides, viral vectors, and nucleic acids has been developed in parallel. For all types of COVID-19 vaccines, good safety and efficacy have been obtained in both preclinical animal studies and in clinical trials in humans. Moreover, emergency use authorization has been granted for the major types of COVID-19 vaccines. Although high safety has been demonstrated, rare cases of severe adverse events have been detected after global mass vaccinations. Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants possessing enhanced infectivity have affected vaccine protection efficacy requiring re-design and re-engineering of novel COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Furthermore, insight is given into preparedness against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Lefkowitz RB, Miller CM, Martinez-Caballero JD, et al (2024)

Epigenetic Control of Innate Immunity: Consequences of Acute Respiratory Virus Infection.

Viruses, 16(2): pii:v16020197.

Infections caused by acute respiratory viruses induce a systemic innate immune response, which can be measured by the increased levels of expression of inflammatory genes in immune cells. There is growing evidence that these acute viral infections, alongside transient transcriptomic responses, induce epigenetic remodeling as part of the immune response, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, which might persist after the infection is cleared. In this article, we first review the primary mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling in the context of innate immunity and inflammation, which are crucial for the regulation of the immune response to viral infections. Next, we delve into the existing knowledge concerning the impact of respiratory virus infections on the epigenome, focusing on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Influenza A Virus (IAV), and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Finally, we offer perspectives on the potential consequences of virus-induced epigenetic remodeling and open questions in the field that are currently under investigation.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Liu W, Huang Z, Xiao J, et al (2024)

Evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variants: Genetic Impact on Viral Fitness.

Viruses, 16(2): pii:v16020184.

Over the last three years, the pandemic of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on people's lives and the global economy. The incessant emergence of variant strains has compounded the challenges associated with the management of COVID-19. As the predominant variant from late 2021 to the present, Omicron and its sublineages, through continuous evolution, have demonstrated iterative viral fitness. The comprehensive elucidation of the biological implications that catalyzed this evolution remains incomplete. In accordance with extant research evidence, we provide a comprehensive review of subvariants of Omicron, delineating alterations in immune evasion, cellular infectivity, and the cross-species transmission potential. This review seeks to clarify the underpinnings of biology within the evolution of SARS-CoV-2, thereby providing a foundation for strategic considerations in the post-pandemic era of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2024-02-24

Zech F, Jung C, Jacob T, et al (2024)

Causes and Consequences of Coronavirus Spike Protein Variability.

Viruses, 16(2): pii:v16020177.

Coronaviruses are a large family of enveloped RNA viruses found in numerous animal species. They are well known for their ability to cross species barriers and have been transmitted from bats or intermediate hosts to humans on several occasions. Four of the seven human coronaviruses (hCoVs) are responsible for approximately 20% of common colds (hCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, -HKU1). Two others (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV) cause severe and frequently lethal respiratory syndromes but have only spread to very limited extents in the human population. In contrast the most recent human hCoV, SARS-CoV-2, while exhibiting intermediate pathogenicity, has a profound impact on public health due to its enormous spread. In this review, we discuss which initial features of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and subsequent adaptations to the new human host may have helped this pathogen to cause the COVID-19 pandemic. Our focus is on host forces driving changes in the Spike protein and their consequences for virus infectivity, pathogenicity, immune evasion and resistance to preventive or therapeutic agents. In addition, we briefly address the significance and perspectives of broad-spectrum therapeutics and 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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E-mail: RJR8222@gmail.com

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

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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