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22 Jan 2021 at 01:36
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Bibliography on: covid-19


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 22 Jan 2021 at 01:36 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: 2021-01-21

Izadi M, Cegolon L, Javanbakht M, et al (2020)

Ozone therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia: A scoping review.

International immunopharmacology, 92:107307 pii:S1567-5769(20)33774-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Severe forms of COVID-19 can evolve into pneumonia, featured by acute respiratory failure due to acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In viral diseases, the replication of viruses is seemingly stimulated by an imbalance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant activity as well as by the deprivation of antioxidant mechanisms. In COVID-19 pneumonia, oxidative stress also appears to be highly detrimental to lung tissues. Although inhaling ozone (O3) gas has been shown to be toxic to the lungs, recent evidence suggests that its administration via appropriate routes and at small doses can paradoxically induce an adaptive reaction capable of decreasing the endogenous oxidative stress. Ozone therapy is recommended to counter the disruptive effects of severe COVID-19 on lung tissues, especially if administered in early stages of the disease, thereby preventing the progression to ARDS.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Smit M, Marinosci A, Agoritsas T, et al (2021)

Prophylaxis for COVID-19: a systematic review.

Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases pii:S1198-743X(21)00040-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: While the landscape of vaccine and treatment candidates against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reviewed systematically, prophylactic candidates remain unexplored.

OBJECTIVES: Map pre- and post-exposure prophylactic (PrEP and PEP) candidate for COVID-19.

DATA SOURCES: PubMed/Medline, Embase, International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform clinical trial registries and MedRxiv.

All studies in humans or animals and randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in humans reporting primary data on prophylactic candidates against COVID-19, excluding studies focused on key populations.

INTERVENTIONS: PrEP and PEP candidate for COVID-19.

METHODS: Systematic review (SR) and qualitative synthesis of COVID-19 PrEP and PEP studies and RCTs complemented by search of MedRxiv and PubMed and Embase for studies reporting RCTs outcomes since SR search completion.

RESULTS: We identified 13 studies (out of 2,119 database records) and 117 RCTs (out of 5565 RCTs in the registries) meeting inclusion criteria. Non-RCT studies reported on cross-sectional studies using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in humans (n=2) or reported on animal studies (n=7) most of which used antibodies. All five completed RCTs focused on the use of HCQ as either PrEP or PEP and these and the cross-sectional studies reported no prophylactic effect. The majority of ongoing RCTs evaluated HCQ or other existing candidates including non-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, anti(retro)virals, or use of vitamins and supplements.

CONCLUSIONS: The key message from completed studies and RCTs seems to be that HCQ does not work, there is little evidence regarding other compounds with all RCTs using candidates other than HCQ still ongoing. It remains to be seen if the portfolio of existing molecules being evaluated in RCTs will identify successful prophylaxis against COVID-19 or if there is a need for the development of new candidates.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Scarabel L, Guardascione M, Dal Bo M, et al (2021)

Pharmacological strategies to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and to treat the early phases of COVID-19 disease.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases pii:S1201-9712(21)00046-1 [Epub ahead of print].

A novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 causing the human COVID-19 disease, emerged in China and is spreading worldwide. At present, a wide spectrum of different clinical scenarios occurred, ranging from totally asymptomatic to severe-fatal forms. Prevention remains the best approach against SARS-CoV-2 infection and a number of strategies have been adopted including social and medical interventions. Some vaccines have been proposed and several pharmacological approaches, mainly based on repurposing drugs, are currently under investigation and still need to be validated. In this review, we summarized the ongoing clinical trials using pharmacological strategies including vaccine, as prophylaxis to avoid SARS-CoV-2 infection or to limit its transmission and as early treatment of COVID-19 disease to prevent severe clinical outcomes.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Chaouch M (2021)

Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP): An effective molecular point-of-care technique for the rapid diagnosis of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Reviews in medical virology [Epub ahead of print].

The novel coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) public health emergency has caused enormous loss around the world. This pandemic is a concrete example of the existing gap between availability of advanced diagnostics and current need for cost-effective methodology. The advent of the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay provided an innovative tool for establishing a rapid diagnostic technique based on the molecular amplification of pathogen RNA or DNA. In this review, we explore the applications, diagnostic effectiveness of LAMP test for molecular diagnosis and surveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Our results show that LAMP can be considered as an effective point-of-care test for the diagnosis of Covid-19 in endemic areas, especially for low- and middle-income countries.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Opriessnig T, YW Huang (2021)

Third update on possible animal sources for human COVID-19.

Xenotransplantation [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Malik YS, Sircar S, Bhat S, et al (2020)

How artificial intelligence may help the Covid-19 pandemic: Pitfalls and lessons for the future.

Reviews in medical virology [Epub ahead of print].

The clinical severity, rapid transmission and human losses due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have led the World Health Organization to declare it a pandemic. Traditional epidemiological tools are being significantly complemented by recent innovations especially using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI-based model systems could improve pattern recognition of disease spread in populations and predictions of outbreaks in different geographical locations. A variable and a minimal amount of data are available for the signs and symptoms of Covid-19, allowing a composite of maximum likelihood algorithms to be employed to enhance the accuracy of disease diagnosis and to identify potential drugs. AI-based forecasting and predictions are expected to complement traditional approaches by helping public health officials to select better response and preparedness measures against Covid-19 cases. AI-based approaches have helped address the key issues but a significant impact on the global healthcare industry is yet to be achieved. The capability of AI to address the challenges may make it a key player in the operation of healthcare systems in future. Here, we present an overview of the prospective applications of the AI model systems in healthcare settings during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Udupa A, Leverenz D, Balevic SJ, et al (2021)

Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19: a Rheumatologist's Take on the Lessons Learned.

Current allergy and asthma reports, 21(1):5.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Told from the viewpoint of rheumatologists, this review tells the story of hydroxychloroquine and its swift ascent to become a household name as a therapeutic strategy against the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. This review describes the history, mechanisms, pharmacokinetics, therapeutic applications, and safety profile of hydroxychloroquine as an immunomodulatory and antiviral agent. It also summarizes the major studies that launched and assessed the use of hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19 infection.

RECENT FINDINGS: More recent literature calls into question the long-held dogma that endolysosomal alkalinization is the primary mode of action of hydroxychloroquine. Ongoing uncertainty about the multiple potential mechanisms contributing to the therapeutic effect of hydroxychloroquine in rheumatic and viral disease led to a natural avenue for exploration in the treatment of COVID-19. Taken as a whole, the literature does not support utilizing hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is, at least in part, due to the wide variability in hydroxychloroquine pharmacokinetics between patients and difficulty achieving adequate target tissue concentrations of hydroxychloroquine without encountering unacceptable toxicities. Hydroxychloroquine continues to be a routinely prescribed, well-tolerated, effective, and low-cost treatment for rheumatic disease. Its therapeutic versatility has led to frequent repurposing for other conditions, most recently as an investigative treatment against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Despite overall negative findings, the intense study of hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19 infection has enhanced our overall understanding of how hydroxychloroquine operates in autoimmune disease and beyond.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Anirudhan V, Lee H, Cheng H, et al (2021)

Targeting SARS-CoV-2 Viral Proteases as a Therapeutic Strategy to Treat COVID-19.

Journal of medical virology [Epub ahead of print].

The 21st century has witnessed three outbreaks of coronavirus (CoVs) infections caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, spreads rapidly and since the discovery of the first COVID-19 infection in December 2019, has caused 1.2 million deaths worldwide and 226,777 deaths in the United States alone. The high amino acid similarity between SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins supports testing therapeutic molecules that were designed to treat SARS infections during the 2003 epidemic. In this review, we provide information on possible COVID-19 treatment strategies that act via inhibition of the two essential proteins of the virus, 3C-like protease (3CLpro) or papain-like protease (PLpro). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Wu ZH, Q Cheng (2021)

D-dimer levels is associated with severe COVID-19 infections: A meta-analysis.

International journal of clinical practice [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Nowadays, the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Excluded typical manifestation of pneumonia and acute respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 patients also have abnormal D-dimer concentration in the serum, but the results are controversial.

METHOD: A meta-analysis first aims to explored the possible clinical severe between D-dimer concentration and COVID-19, and analysis if infected patients with abnormal D-dimer are particularly likely to have the worst clinical prognostic risk and to evaluate the strength of the evidence.

RESULTS: Our results found a significant relationship between D-dimer and COVID-19, with a pooled OR of 1.90 (95% CI: 1.32-2.48; P<0.001). The pooled data was calculated with the REM as a high heterogeneity within the studies. The sensitivity analysis results showed that the WMD ranged from 1.69 (95% CI: 1.15 to 2.23) to 2.06 (95% CI: 1.51 to 2.62) and there was no publication bias.

CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis showed that the severity of patients with COVID-19 significance related to D-dimer concentrations. Meanwhile, the severe COVID-19 patients tend to have a higher concentration of D-dimer when compared with non-severe patients.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Irving AT, Ahn M, Goh G, et al (2021)

Lessons from the host defences of bats, a unique viral reservoir.

Nature, 589(7842):363-370.

There have been several major outbreaks of emerging viral diseases, including Hendra, Nipah, Marburg and Ebola virus diseases, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-as well as the current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Notably, all of these outbreaks have been linked to suspected zoonotic transmission of bat-borne viruses. Bats-the only flying mammal-display several additional features that are unique among mammals, such as a long lifespan relative to body size, a low rate of tumorigenesis and an exceptional ability to host viruses without presenting clinical disease. Here we discuss the mechanisms that underpin the host defence system and immune tolerance of bats, and their ramifications for human health and disease. Recent studies suggest that 64 million years of adaptive evolution have shaped the host defence system of bats to balance defence and tolerance, which has resulted in a unique ability to act as an ideal reservoir host for viruses. Lessons from the effective host defence of bats would help us to better understand viral evolution and to better predict, prevent and control future viral spillovers. Studying the mechanisms of immune tolerance in bats could lead to new approaches to improving human health. We strongly believe that it is time to focus on bats in research for the benefit of both bats and humankind.

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Powell WT, Campbell JA, Ross F, et al (2021)

Acute ANCA Vasculitis and Asymptomatic COVID-19.

Pediatrics pii:peds.2020-033092 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-01-21

Chen W, JY Pan (2021)

Anatomical and Pathological Observation and Analysis of SARS and COVID-19: Microthrombosis Is the Main Cause of Death.

Biological procedures online, 23(1):4.

The spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 for short) has caused a large number of deaths around the world. We summarized the data reported in the past few months and emphasized that the main causes of death of COVID-19 patients are DAD (Diffuse Alveolar Damage) and DIC (Disseminated intravascular coagulation). Microthrombosis is a prominent clinical feature of COVID-19, and 91.3% of dead patients had microthrombosis.Endothelial damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 cell invasion and subsequent host response disorders involving inflammation and coagulation pathways play a key role in the progression of severe COVID-19. Microvascular thrombosis may lead to microcirculation disorders and multiple organ failure lead to death.The characteristic pathological changes of DAD include alveolar epithelial and vascular endothelial injury, increased alveolar membrane permeability, large numbers of neutrophil infiltration, alveolar hyaline membrane formation, and hypoxemia and respiratory distress as the main clinical manifestations. DAD leads to ARDS in COVID-19 patients. DIC is a syndrome characterized by the activation of systemic intravascular coagulation, which leads to extensive fibrin deposition in the blood. Its occurrence and development begin with the expression of tissue factor and interact with physiological anticoagulation pathways. The down-regulation of fibrin and the impaired fibrinolysis together lead to extensive fibrin deposition.DIC is described as a decrease in the number of platelets and an increase in fibrin degradation products, such as D-dimer and low fibrinogen. The formation of microthrombus leads to the disturbance of microcirculation, which in turn leads to the death of the patient. However, the best prevention and treatment of COVID-19 microthrombosis is still uncertain.This review discusses the latest findings of basic and clinical research on COVID-19-related microthrombosis, and then we proposed the theory of microcirculation perfusion bundle therapy to explore effective methods for preventing and treating COVID-19-related microthrombosis. Further research is urgently needed to clarify how SARS-CoV-2 infection causes thrombotic complications, and how it affects the course and severity of the disease. To cultivate a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying mechanism of this disease. Raise awareness of the importance of preventing and treating microthrombosis in patients with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

De Giorgio MR, Di Noia S, Morciano C, et al (2020)

The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on skeletal muscles.

Acta myologica : myopathies and cardiomyopathies : official journal of the Mediterranean Society of Myology, 39(4):307-312.

In 2019-2020, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has shocked the world and most health care systems, and a "second wave" of the viral spread is ongoing in Europe and in Italy too. While, at the initial outbreak, the treatment of patients had focused on the respiratory symptoms, many diverse clinical manifestations of the disease have to date been reported. However, the complete course of the disease has not yet been fully clarified. In particular, several reports from the real-world clinical practice have highlighted the noxious effects of SARS-CoV-2 on skeletal muscles. In this brief review, we summarized the main current findings about muscular and neuromuscular damages that may be triggered by the virus or by the drugs used to treat COVID-19. Moreover, we underlined the need of attentive care and vigilance for patients with neuro-muscular disorders, who may be particularly susceptible to infection and at increased risk for severe COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Dalakas MC (2020)

Inflammatory myopathies: update on diagnosis, pathogenesis and therapies, and COVID-19-related implications.

Acta myologica : myopathies and cardiomyopathies : official journal of the Mediterranean Society of Myology, 39(4):289-301.

The inflammatory myopathies constitute a heterogeneous group of acquired myopathies that have in common the presence of endomysial inflammation. Based on steadily evolved clinical, histological and immunopathological features and some autoantibody associations, these disorders can now be classified in five characteristic subsets: Dermatomyositis (DM) Polymyositis (PM), Necrotizing Autoimmune Myositis (NAM), Anti-synthetase syndrome-overlap myositis (Anti-SS-OM), and Inclusion-Body-Myositis (IBM). Each inflammatory myopathy subset has distinct immunopathogenesis, prognosis and response to immunotherapies, necessitating the need to correctly identify each subtype from the outset to avoid disease mimics and proceed to early therapy initiation. The review presents the main clinicopathologic characteristics of each subset highlighting the importance of combining expertise in clinical neurological examination with muscle morphology and immunopathology to avoid erroneous diagnoses and therapeutic schemes. The main autoimmune markers related to autoreactive T cells, B cells, autoantibodies and cytokines are presented and the concomitant myodegenerative features seen in IBM muscles are pointed out. Most importantly, unsettled issues related to a role of autoantibodies and controversies with reference to possible triggering factors related to statins are clarified. The emerging effect SARS-CoV-2 as the cause of hyperCKemia and potentially NAM is addressed and practical guidelines on the best therapeutic approaches and concerns regarding immunotherapies during COVID-19 pandemic are summarized.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Zacchigna S, Marcello A, L Banks (2020)

Spotlight on COVID-19: from biology to therapy and prevention.

The FEBS journal, 287(17):3606-3608.

In this COVID-19 Focus Issue, we highlight a collection of recently published The FEBS Journal articles that consider the broader aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from the debunking of urban myths to highlighting some of the most pressing questions concerning SARS-CoV-2 infection, treatment, prevention and pathology. The collection comprises two review articles, six Viewpoints, two research papers and one commentary. We hope that these articles will provide readers with an informative and interesting overview that will promote further critical analysis of currently available data and observations on COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Kashour T, Halwani R, Arabi YM, et al (2021)

Statins as an adjunctive therapy for COVID-19: the biological and clinical plausibility.

Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology, 43(1):37-50.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected millions of individuals and has claimed hundreds of thousands of human lives worldwide. Patients with underlying cardiovascular conditions are at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, and COVID-19 patients have high incidence of cardiovascular complications such as acute cardiac injury, arrhythmias, heart failure, and thromboembolism. The disease has no approved proven effective therapy and hence repurposing of existing approved drugs has been considered as the fastest treatment approach. Statins have been shown to exhibit lipid lowering dependent and independent cardiovascular protective effects as well as favorable effects in various other pathophysiological states. These beneficial properties of statins are a result of their multiple pleotropic effects that include, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antithrombotic and antimicrobial properties. In this review, we provide a comprehensive description of the mechanisms of the pleotropic effects of statins, the relevant pre-clinical and clinical data pertinent to their role in infections and acute lung injury, the possible cardiovascular benefits of statins in COVID-19, and the implications of the therapeutic potential of statins in COVID-19 disease. We conclude with the rationale for conducting randomized controlled trials of statins in COVID-19 disease.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Kadkhodazadeh M, Amid R, A Moscowchi (2020)

Does COVID-19 Affect Periodontal and Peri-Implant Diseases?.

Journal of long-term effects of medical implants, 30(1):1-2.

COVID-19 has imposed tremendous burden on the healthcare systems and healthcare professionals worldwide. As periodontitis and peri-implantitis are chronic diseases, regular recall visits play a critical role in management of these conditions; however, the current situation may stop patients from attending their regular maintenance. Therefore, it may be necessary to reconsider and revise the treatment protocols.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Mahshid SS, Flynn SE, S Mahshid (2021)

The potential application of electrochemical biosensors in the COVID-19 pandemic: A perspective on the rapid diagnostics of SARS-CoV-2.

Biosensors & bioelectronics, 176:112905.

Electrochemical biosensors combine the selectivity of electrochemical signal transducers with the specificity of biomolecular recognition strategies. Although they have been broadly studied in different areas of diagnostics, they are not yet fully commercialized. During the COVID-19 pandemic, electrochemical platforms have shown the potential to address significant limitations of conventional diagnostic platforms, including accuracy, affordability, and portability. The advantages of electrochemical platforms make them a strong candidate for rapid point-of-care detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection by targeting not only viral RNA but antigens and antibodies. Herein, we reviewed advancements in electrochemical biosensing platforms towards the detection of SARS-CoV-2 through studying similar viruses.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Khadka S, Nisar S, Syed NI, et al (2021)

Different aspects of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 treatment; a critical review.

Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology, 43(1):30-36.

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is ominously threatening the survival of humankind on the whole planet. With a quick spread of the outbreak from its origin, Wuhan, China, to almost all over the world, it has affected more than seven million people to date, hence it has devastated every part of the infrastructural skeleton of governance. Continuously escalating disease burden and lack of proven therapeutic approaches are mounting challenges to health scientists and ultimately to healthcare providers. Although recent studies have shown benefits in decreasing the severity and duration of the illness and there are more benefits compared to risks, plasma therapy cannot be considered as a standard of care until the ongoing trials are completed and they establish definite evidence on its therapeutic efficacy and safety. Though a beneficial aspect may be there, acquiring donors and adequate availability of plasma is equally challenging, and its associated untoward effects related to biological therapeutic agents. The rational practice of CP therapy guided by risk-benefit judgment from aspects of donor and recipient can be a therapeutic option in such a global health crisis.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Titova J (2021)

The year at Future Cardiology.

Future cardiology, 17(1):1-2.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Lin JE, Asfour A, Sewell TB, et al (2021)

Neurological issues in children with COVID-19.

Neuroscience letters, 743:135567.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) usually leads to a mild infectious disease course in children, but serious complications may occur in conjunction with both acute infection and associated phenomena such as the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Neurological symptoms, which have been predominantly reported in adults, range from mild headache to seizure, peripheral neuropathy, stroke, demyelinating disorders, and encephalopathy. Similar to respiratory and cardiac manifestations of COVID-19, neurological complications present differently based on age and underlying comorbidities. This review provides a concise overview of the neurological conditions seen in the context of COVID-19, as well as potential mechanisms and long-term implications of COVID-19 in the pediatric population from literature reviews and primary data collected at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Vogrig A, Gigli GL, Bnà C, et al (2021)

Stroke in patients with COVID-19: Clinical and neuroimaging characteristics.

Neuroscience letters, 743:135564.

Acute cerebrovascular disease, particularly ischemic stroke, has emerged as a serious complication of infection by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of the Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Accumulating data on patients with COVID-19-associated stroke have shed light on specificities concerning clinical presentation, neuroimaging findings, and outcome. Such specificities include a propensity towards large vessel occlusion, multi-territory stroke, and involvement of otherwise uncommonly affected vessels. Conversely, small-vessel brain disease, cerebral venous thrombosis, and intracerebral hemorrhage appear to be less frequent. Atypical neurovascular presentations were also described, ranging from bilateral carotid artery dissection to posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES), and vasculitis. Cases presenting with encephalopathy or encephalitis with seizures heralding stroke were particularly challenging. The pathogenesis and optimal management of ischemic stroke associated with COVID-19 still remain uncertain, but emerging evidence suggest that cytokine storm-triggered coagulopathy and endotheliopathy represent possible targetable mechanisms. Some specific management issues in this population include the difficulty in identifying clinical signs of stroke in critically ill patients in the intensive care unit, as well as the need for a protected pathway for brain imaging, intravenous thrombolysis, and mechanical thrombectomy, keeping in mind that "time is brain" also for COVID-19 patients. In this review, we discuss the novel developments and challenges for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke in patients with COVID-19, and delineate the principles for a rational approach toward precision medicine in this emerging field.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Zequn Z, Yujia W, Dingding Q, et al (2021)

Off-label use of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and lopinavir/ritonavir in COVID-19 risks prolonging the QT interval by targeting the hERG channel.

European journal of pharmacology, 893:173813.

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), poses an enormous challenge to the medical system, especially the lack of safe and effective COVID-19 treatment methods, forcing people to look for drugs that may have therapeutic effects as soon as possible. Some old drugs have shown clinical benefits after a few small clinical trials that attracted great attention. Clinically, however, many drugs, including those currently used in COVID-19, such as chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and lopinavir/ritonavir, may cause cardiotoxicity by acting on cardiac potassium channels, especially hERG channel through their off-target effects. The blocking of the hERG channel prolongs QT intervals on electrocardiograms; thus, it might induce severe ventricular arrhythmias and even sudden cardiac death. Therefore, while focusing on the efficacy of COVID-19 drugs, the fact that they block hERG channels to cause arrhythmias cannot be ignored. To develop safer and more effective drugs, it is necessary to understand the interactions between drugs and the hERG channel and the molecular mechanism behind this high affinity. In this review, we focus on the biochemical and molecular mechanistic aspects of drug-related blockade of the hERG channel to provide insights into QT prolongation caused by off-label use of related drugs in COVID-19, and hope to weigh the risks and benefits when using these drugs.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Carroll JD, Mack MJ, Vemulapalli S, et al (2020)

STS-ACC TVT Registry of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement.

Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 76(21):2492-2516.

The STS-ACC TVT Registry (Society of Thoracic Surgeons-American College of Cardiology Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry) from 2011 to 2019 has collected data on 276,316 patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) at sites in all U.S. states. Volumes have increased every year, exceeding surgical aortic valve replacement in 2019 (72,991 vs. 57,626), and it is now performed in all U.S. states. TAVR now extends from extreme- to low-risk patients. This is the first presentation on 8,395 low-risk patients treated in 2019. In 2019, for the entire cohort, femoral access increased to 95.3%, hospital stay was 2 days, and 90.3% were discharged home. Since 2011, the 30-day mortality rate has decreased (7.2% to 2.5%), stroke has started to decrease (2.75% to 2.3%), but pacemaker need is unchanged (10.9% to 10.8%). Alive with acceptable patient-reported outcomes is achieved in 8 of 10 patients at 1 year. The Registry is a national resource to improve care and analyze TAVR's evolution. Real-world outcomes, site performance, and the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 will be subsequently studied. (STS/ACC Transcatheter Valve Therapy Registry [TVT Registry]; NCT01737528).

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Forbester JL, IR Humphreys (2021)

Genetic influences on viral-induced cytokine responses in the lung.

Mucosal immunology, 14(1):14-25.

Infection with respiratory viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and coronavirus provides a difficult immunological challenge for the host, where a balance must be established between controlling viral replication and limiting damage to the delicate lung structure. Although the genetic architecture of host responses to respiratory viral infections is not yet understood, it is clear there is underlying heritability that influences pathogenesis. Immune control of virus replication is essential in respiratory infections, but overt activation can enhance inflammation and disease severity. Cytokines initiate antiviral immune responses but are implicated in viral pathogenesis. Here, we discuss how host genetic variation may influence cytokine responses to respiratory viral infections and, based on our current understanding of the role that cytokines play in viral pathogenesis, how this may influence disease severity. We also discuss how induced pluripotent stem cells may be utilised to probe the mechanistic implications of allelic variation in genes in virus-induced inflammatory responses. Ultimately, this could help to design better immune modulators, stratify high risk patients and tailor anti-inflammatory treatments, potentially expanding the ability to treat respiratory virus outbreaks in the future.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Ozieranski K, Tyminska A, Jonik S, et al (2021)

Clinically Suspected Myocarditis in the Course of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Novel Coronavirus-2 Infection: Fact or Fiction?.

Journal of cardiac failure, 27(1):92-96.

Cardiac complications, including clinically suspected myocarditis, have been described in novel coronavirus disease 2019. Here, we review current data on suspected myocarditis in the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome novel coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Hypothetical mechanisms to explain the pathogenesis of troponin release in patients with novel coronavirus disease 2019 include direct virus-induced myocardial injury (ie, viral myocarditis), systemic hyperinflammatory response (ie, cytokine storm), hypoxemia, downregulation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, systemic virus-induced endothelialitis, and type 1 and type 2 myocardial infarction. To date, despite the fact that millions of SARS-CoV-2 infections have been diagnosed worldwide, there is no definitive proof that SARS-CoV-2 is a novel cardiotropic virus causing direct cardiomyocyte damage. Diagnosis of viral myocarditis should be based on the molecular assessment of endomyocardial biopsy or autopsy by polymerase chain reaction or in-situ hybridization. Blood, sputum, or nasal and throat swab virology testing are insufficient and do not correlate with the myocardial involvement of a given pathogen. Data from endomyocardial biopsies and autopsies in clinically suspected SARS-CoV-2 myocarditis are scarce. Overall, current clinical epidemiologic data do not support the hypothesis that viral myocarditis is caused by SARS-CoV-2, or that it is common. More endomyocardial biopsy and autopsy data are also needed for a better understanding of pathogenesis of clinically suspected myocarditis in the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which may include virus-negative immune-mediated or already established subclinical autoimmune forms, triggered or accelerated by the hyperinflammatory state of severe novel coronavirus disease 2019.

RevDate: 2021-01-21
CmpDate: 2021-01-21

Malinis M, McManus D, Davis M, et al (2021)

An overview on the use of antivirals for the treatment of patients with COVID19 disease.

Expert opinion on investigational drugs, 30(1):45-59.

Introduction: There is an urgent need for safe and efficacious antiviral drugs to improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients. Understanding SARS-CoV-2 virology can elucidate potential drug targets for the inhibition of viral replication. Areas covered: This review offers insights into novel and repurposed drugs that may have activity against SARS-CoV-2. We searched the PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, Web of Science and ClinicalTrials.gov for COVID-19 related therapy until 28 October 2020. using search words 'SARS-CoV-2', 'COVID-19', 'antiviral', and/or 'treatment'. Expert opinion: Remdesivir decreased symptom duration modestly but had no significant impact on survival. Antivirals alone may be insufficient for a specific subset of patients with severe disease because of cytokine release syndrome (CRS). Treatment may require a combination of antivirals and immunomodulators to inhibit viral replication and CRS, respectively. A safe and efficacious SARS-CoV-2 specific vaccine is critical for prevention and mortality reduction. Moreover, we cannot overstate the importance of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in testing of novel treatments. The pervasive stumbling block, however, is the low representation of minority groups. The benefit of remdesivir may not be generalizable to these populations because of significant underrepresentation in trials. Future endeavors should encompass the recruitment of patient populations that are reflective of the demographics significantly impacted by COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Iba T, Connors JM, Spyropoulos AC, et al (2021)

Ethnic differences in thromboprophylaxis for COVID-19 patients: should they be considered?.

International journal of hematology [Epub ahead of print].

Thromboembolic events contribute to morbidity and mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As a result, thromboprophylaxis using low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is universally recommended for hospitalized patients based on multiple guidelines. However, ethnic differences with respect to thrombogenicity have been reported and the incidence of thromboembolic events is considered to be lower in the Asian population. Despite the importance of thromboprophylaxis, bleeding is also a side effect that should be considered. We examine the data relating to potential ethnic differences in thrombosis and bleeding in COVID-19. Although sufficient data is not yet available, current evidence does not oppose routine anticoagulant use and thromboprophylaxis using a standard dose of LMWH for admitted patients regardless of ethnicity based on our review.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Linz W, Andrzejewski C, Wu DW, et al (2020)

Apheresis medicine in the era of advanced telehealth technologies: An American Society for Apheresis position paper Part I: Understanding the basic technologies and apheresis medicine practice models.

Journal of clinical apheresis, 35(5):460-468.

The wide spread availability and use of sophisticated high-speed telecommunication networks coupled with inexpensive and easily accessible computing capacity have catalyzed the creation of new tools and strategies for healthcare delivery. Such tools and strategies are of value to apheresis medicine (AM) practitioners if they improve delivery of patient care, enhance safety during a therapeutic apheresis (TA) intervention, facilitate care access, advance technical capabilities of apheresis devices, and/or elevate quality performance within TA programs. In the past several years, healthcare delivery systems' adoption of telecommunication technologies has been fostered by organizational financial and quality improvement objectives. More recently, adoption of telehealth technologies has been catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic as these technologies enhance both patient and provider safety in an era of social distancing. These changes will also influence the delivery of TA services which now can be generally viewed in a tripartite model format comprised of traditional hospital-based fixed site locales, mobile TA operations and lately an evolving telemedicine remote management model now reffered to as telapheresis (TLA). This communication developed by the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee of the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) and endorsed by its Board of Directors, reviews and describes various aspects of established and evolving electronic technologies related to TLA and the practice of AM. In subsequent companion publications, additional aspects to TLA will be explored and ASFA's vision of reasonable, regulatory compliant and high-quality TLA practices will be expounded.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Eijkholt M, Hulsbergen A, Muskens I, et al (2021)

Should neurosurgeons continue to work in the absence of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 era?.

Acta neurochirurgica [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widespread shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Many healthcare workers, including neurosurgeons, have expressed concern about how to safely and adequately perform their medical responsibilities in these challenging circumstances. One of these concerns revolves around the pressing question: should providers continue to work in the absence of adequate PPE? Although the first peak of the COVID-19 crisis seems to have subsided and supply of PPE has increased, concerns about insufficient PPE availability remain. Inconsistent supply, limited efficacy, and continued high demand for PPE, combined with the continued threat of a second COVID-19 wave, mean that the issues surrounding PPE availability remain unresolved, including a duty to work. This paper offers an ethical investigation of whether neurosurgeons should perform their professional responsibilities with limited availability of PPE. We evaluate ethical considerations and conflicting duties and thereby hope to facilitate providers in making a well-considered personal and moral decision about this challenging issue.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Smith KG, J Cleland (2020)

Drastic times need drastic measures: COVID-19 and widening access to medicine.

The journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 50(4):431-435.

In response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and universities across the world have closed or shifted to online/remote or blended teaching, learning and assessment. These changed ways of working pose challenges to students and will likely exacerbate existing educational attainment gaps between different societal groups. Our focus is the potential impact of COVID-19 on widening access to medicine. We provide an account of the process, in the form of comparative cases, of applying for medical school for two applicants from differing backgrounds. Three challenges were identified: family circumstances and support (financial security and parental educational support); staying connected (access to educational material, technology and Wifi); getting the grades and meeting other entry criteria (predicting grades and work experience). We propose that medical schools adopt drastic measures to protect widening access including increasing the use of aptitude tests, contextualised admissions, online multiple mini interviews (MMIs), creative outreach and promotion of alternative means of gaining relevant experience.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Thapa BB, Shrestha D, Bista S, et al (2021)

Urology during COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis: A Systematic Review.

Surgery journal (New York, N.Y.), 7(1):e3-e10 pii:2000084ra.

Background Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has evolved as a pandemic of unimaginable magnitude. The health care system is facing a tremendous challenge to provide ethical and quality care. The transformation of the patient-based care to population-based care during the COVID-19 pandemic has raised ethical dilemma among urologists. Our objective is to explore the consensus in modified standard urology care, that can be adopted and applied during COVID-19 and similar pandemic. Methods We adopted an exploratory study design using secondary data. The data were extracted from a web-based medical library using keywords "COVID-19," "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)," and "urology." We identify and extrapolate (screening, eligibility, and inclusion) the data using PRISMA protocol, and summarize pandemic standard urology care under four main themes: (1) general urology care, (2) choice of surgical modality, (3) triage, and (4) urology training. Result We identified 63 academic papers related to our research question. The majority are expert opinions and perspectives on urology care. The common consensus is triage-based urology care and surgeries. Life or organ threatening conditions need immediate attention. Universal protective measures (personal protective equipment, safe operative environment) and protocol-based patient care are necessary to prevent and control SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conservation of the resources and its rational distribution provide an ethical basis for population-based health care during a pandemic. Informed decision making serves best to patients, families, and society during the public health crisis. Conclusion COVID-19 pandemic tends to transform standard urology practice into crisis standard population-based care. The consensus in crisis is drawn from evolving pieces of medical evidence and public health ethics. The provision of urology care during a pandemic is based on the availability of resources; severity of the disease, consequences of deferment of service, and dynamics of the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Petronio Petronio G, Di Marco R, C Costagliola (2020)

Do Ocular Fluids Represent a Transmission Route of SARS-CoV-2 Infection?.

Frontiers in medicine, 7:620412.

The spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 is marked by a short timeline. In this scenario, explaining or excluding the possible transmission routes is mandatory to contain and manage the spread of the disease in the community. In the recent pandemic, it is still unclear how coronavirus can end up in ocular fluids. Nevertheless, eye redness and irritation in COVID-19 patients have been reported, suggesting that a possible ocular manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be conjunctivitis. On the basis of epidemiological data provided by previous SARS-Cove infection, numerous theories have been proposed: (1) conjunctiva as the site of direct inoculation by infected droplets; (2) the nasolacrimal duct as a migration route of the virus to the upper respiratory tract, or (3) haematogenic infection of the tear gland. The demand for further investigations to verify ocular involvement in COVID-19 infection came out from the results of recent meta-analysis studies, so the eye cannot be completely excluded as a transmission route of the infection. Thus, healthcare personnel and all the people that enter in contact with infected or suspected patients must always use the prescribed protective equipment.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Jacome LS, Deshmukh SK, Thulasiraman P, et al (2021)

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Ovarian Cancer Management: Adjusting to the New Normal.

Cancer management and research, 13:359-366 pii:287152.

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) declared pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). As the world faces the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis, the oncology community is being impacted by unprecedented challenges. During this trying time, patients with ovarian cancer (OC) have been affected by a delay in diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and oncology follow-ups being conducted via telemedicine instead of in-person visits. OC patients and their oncologists are balancing the fears of COVID-19 and cancer treatment with the consequences of delaying cancer care. The delay in treatment care that women with OC are experiencing has resulted in higher levels of cancer worry, anxiety, and depression. In this article, we succinctly review the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis and treatment and ongoing clinical trials of OC. We also discuss the psychological effects of COVID-19 on women with OC and alternative therapeutic strategies to limit in-person hospital visits to reduce the spread of the disease, and the impact of COVID-19 on OC patients.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Alanzi T (2021)

A Review of Mobile Applications Available in the App and Google Play Stores Used During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

Journal of multidisciplinary healthcare, 14:45-57 pii:285014.

Purpose: The objective of this paper was to review the functionalities and effectiveness of the free mobile health applications available in the Google Play and App stores used in Saudi Arabia, Italy, Singapore, the United Kingdom, USA, and India during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Methods: This study adopted a systematic search strategy to identify the free mobile applications available in the App and Google Play stores related to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the PRISMA flowchart of the search, only 12 applications met the inclusion criterion.

Results: The 12 mobile applications that met the inclusion criterion were: Mawid, Tabaud, Tawakkalna, Sehha, Aarogya setu, TraceTogether, COVID safe, Immuni, COVID symptom study, COVID watch, NHS COVID-19, and PathCheck. The following features and functionalities of the apps were described: app overview (price, ratings, android, iOS, developer/owner, country, status), health tools (user status-risk assessment, self-assessment, E-pass integration, test results reporting, online consultation, contact tracing), learning options (personalized notes, educational resources, COVID-19 information), communication tools (query resolution, appointments, social network, notifications), app design (data visualization, program plan), networking tools (location mapping - GPS, connectivity with other devices), and safety and security options (alerts, data protection). Also, the effectiveness of the apps was analyzed.

Conclusion: The analysis revealed that various applications have been developed for different functions like contact tracing, awareness building, appointment booking, online consultation, etc. However, only a few applications have integrated various functions and features such as self-assessment, consultation, support and access to information. Also, most of the apps are focused on contact tracing, while very few are dedicated to raising awareness and sharing information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, the majority of applications rely on GPS and Bluetooth technologies for relevant functions. No apps were identified that had built-in social media features. It is suggested to design and develop an integrated mobile health application with most of the features and functionalities analyzed in this study.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Kim JH, Marks F, JD Clemens (2021)

Looking beyond COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 trials.

Nature medicine [Epub ahead of print].

After the recent announcement of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy in clinical trials by several manufacturers for protection against severe disease, a comprehensive post-efficacy strategy for the next steps to ensure vaccination of the global population is now required. These considerations should include how to manufacture billions of doses of high-quality vaccines, support for vaccine purchase, coordination of supply, the equitable distribution of vaccines and the logistics of global vaccine delivery, all of which are a prelude to a massive vaccination campaign targeting people of all ages. Furthermore, additional scientific questions about the vaccines remain that should be answered to improve vaccine efficacy, including questions regarding the optimization of vaccination regimens, booster doses, the correlates of protection, vaccine effectiveness, safety and enhanced surveillance. The timely and coordinated execution of these post-efficacy tasks will bring the pandemic to an effective, and efficient, close.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Naidoo N, Moodley J, T Naicker (2021)

Maternal endothelial dysfunction in HIV-associated preeclampsia comorbid with COVID-19: a review.

Hypertension research : official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension [Epub ahead of print].

This review assesses markers of endothelial dysfunction (ED) associated with the maternal syndrome of preeclampsia (PE). We evaluate the role of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected preeclamptic women. Furthermore, we briefly discuss the potential of lopinavir/ritonavir (LPV/r), dolutegravir (DTG) and remdesivir (RDV) in drug repurposing and their safety in pregnancy complicated by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In HIV infection, the trans-activator of transcription protein, which has homology with vascular endothelial growth factor, impairs angiogenesis, leading to endothelial injury and possible PE development despite neutralization of their opposing immune states. Markers of ED show strong evidence supporting the adverse role of ART in PE development and mortality compared to treatment-naïve pregnancies. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, exploits angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) to induce ED and hypertension, thereby mimicking angiotensin II-mediated PE in severe cases of infection. Upregulated ACE 2 in pregnancy is a possible risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent PE development. The potential effectiveness of LPV/r against COVID-19 is inconclusive; however, defective decidualization, along with elevated markers of ED, was observed. Therefore, the safety of these drugs in HIV-positive pregnancies complicated by COVID-19 requires attention. Despite the observed endothelial protective properties of DTG, there is a lack of evidence of its effects on pregnancy and COVID-19 therapeutics. Understanding RDV-ART interactions and the inclusion of pregnant women in antiviral drug repurposing trials is essential. This review provides a platform for further research on PE in the HIV-COVID-19 syndemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Dhakal R, O'Connell C, Gurung JB, et al (2021)

A team effort in Nepal: experiences from managing a large COVID-19 rehabilitation hospital outbreak.

Spinal cord series and cases, 7(1):5 pii:10.1038/s41394-020-00374-2.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Stout AE, Guo Q, Millet JK, et al (2021)

Coronaviruses Associated with the Superfamily Musteloidea.

mBio, 12(1):.

Among the animal superfamily Musteloidea, which includes those commonly known as mustelids, naturally occurring and species-specific alphacoronavirus infections have been observed in both mink (Mustela vison/Neovison vison) and domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Ferret systemic coronavirus (FRSCV), in particular, has been associated with a rare but fatal systemic disease. In recent months, it has become apparent that both minks and ferrets are susceptible to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a betacoronavirus and the cause of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Several mink farms have experienced SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, and experimental models have demonstrated susceptibility of ferrets to SARS-CoV-2. The potential for pet ferrets to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, however, remains elusive. During the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic, it was also apparent that ferrets were susceptible to SARS-CoV and could be utilized in vaccine development. From a comparative standpoint, understanding the relationships between different infections and disease pathogenesis in the animal superfamily Musteloidea may help elucidate viral infection and transmission mechanisms, as well as treatment and prevention strategies for coronaviruses.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Grainger R, Machado PM, PC Robinson (2020)

Novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) in people with rheumatic disease: Epidemiology and outcomes.

Best practice & research. Clinical rheumatology pii:S1521-6942(20)30174-1 [Epub ahead of print].

There is concern that people with rheumatic disease, often treated with immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory medication, may be at an increased risk of poor outcomes of novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). However, hyperinflammation is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 and treatment with glucocorticoids has been shown to improve outcomes in patients with severe COVID-19. Therefore, uncertainty exists about continuing or withholding immune therapies with the risk of infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This review covers the current knowledge with respect to the risk of infection and outcomes and risk factors for poor outcomes in patients with rheumatic disease. We also discuss data from other immune-mediated diseases and its relevance to patients with rheumatic disease. In addition, we cover the limitations of the research efforts to date and how the current knowledge translates into practice guidance. Finally, we discuss our vision of the future research agenda.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Shetty O, Gurav M, Bapat P, et al (2021)

COVID 19 pandemic testing time - Crisis or opportunity in disguise for India?.

Seminars in oncology pii:S0093-7754(20)30122-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The current SARS-CoV-2 infection or the COVID 19 pandemic has taken the world by storm, where the best health care systems in the world seem to be overwhelmed and still this virus is eluding us as we are compelled to explore the preventive and/or therapeutic interventions to control the disease outbreak as well as to prevent deaths. In parallel to clinical services, laboratories have been overwhelmed with task of keeping up with ever increasing demand for testing. Real time PCR detection of COVID19 is the gold standard method, however, has certain shortcomings in terms of availability of infrastructure, reagents, consumables, and technical expertise. All these have paved the way for the alternative testing algorithms and strategies. Countries like United States and Italy have struggled with these issues. India has been criticized for not testing enough and not adopting the right policy, but has been managing the disease within its resource limited health care system to a fair extent. The present review provides the Indian perspective of COVID 19 testing, the journey from not testing enough in the past to a vast expanse and depth of testing in present time.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Alizadeh N, A Salimi (2021)

Multienzymes activity of metals and metal oxide nanomaterials: applications from biotechnology to medicine and environmental engineering.

Journal of nanobiotechnology, 19(1):26.

With the rapid advancement and progress of nanotechnology, nanomaterials with enzyme-like catalytic activity have fascinated the remarkable attention of researchers, due to their low cost, high operational stability, adjustable catalytic activity, and ease of recycling and reuse. Nanozymes can catalyze the same reactions as performed by enzymes in nature. In contrast the intrinsic shortcomings of natural enzymes such as high manufacturing cost, low operational stability, production complexity, harsh catalytic conditions and difficulties of recycling, did not limit their wide applications. The broad interest in enzymatic nanomaterial relies on their outstanding properties such as stability, high activity, and rigidity to harsh environments, long-term storage and easy preparation, which make them a convenient substitute instead of the native enzyme. These abilities make the nanozymes suitable for multiple applications in sensing and imaging, tissue engineering, environmental protection, satisfactory tumor diagnostic and therapeutic, because of distinguished properties compared with other artificial enzymes such as high biocompatibility, low toxicity, size dependent catalytic activities, large surface area for further bioconjugation or modification and also smart response to external stimuli. This review summarizes and highlights latest progress in applications of metal and metal oxide nanomaterials with enzyme/multienzyme mimicking activities. We cover the applications of sensing, cancer therapy, water treatment and anti-bacterial efficacy. We also put forward the current challenges and prospects in this research area, hoping to extension of this emerging field. In addition to therapeutic potential of nanozymes for disease prevention, their practical effects in diagnostics, to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and related biomarkers for future pandemics will be predicted.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Sanghvi SK, Schwarzman LS, NT Nazir (2021)

Cardiac MRI and Myocardial Injury in COVID-19: Diagnosis, Risk Stratification and Prognosis.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:diagnostics11010130.

Myocardial injury is a common complication of the COVID-19 illness and is associated with a worsened prognosis. Systemic hyperinflammation seen in the advanced stage of COVID-19 likely contributes to myocardial injury. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is the preferred imaging modality for non-invasive evaluation in acute myocarditis, enabling risk stratification and prognostication. Modified scanning protocols in the pandemic setting reduce risk of exposure while providing critical data regarding cardiac tissue inflammation and fibrosis, chamber remodeling, and contractile function. The growing use of CMR in clinical practice to assess myocardial injury will improve understanding of the acute and chronic sequelae of myocardial inflammation from various pathological etiologies.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Casuso RA, JR Huertas (2021)

Mitochondrial Functionality in Inflammatory Pathology-Modulatory Role of Physical Activity.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:life11010061.

The incidence and severity of metabolic diseases can be reduced by introducing healthy lifestyle habits including moderate exercise. A common observation in age-related metabolic diseases is an increment in systemic inflammation (the so-called inflammaging) where mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production may have a key role. Exercise prevents these metabolic pathologies, at least in part, due to its ability to alter immunometabolism, e.g., reducing systemic inflammation and by improving immune cell metabolism. Here, we review how exercise regulates immunometabolism within contracting muscles. In fact, we discuss how circulating and resident macrophages alter their function due to mitochondrial signaling, and we propose how these effects can be triggered within skeletal muscle in response to exercise. Finally, we also describe how exercise-induced mitochondrial adaptations can help to fight against virus infection. Moreover, the fact that moderate exercise increases circulating immune cells must be taken into account by public health agencies, as it may help prevent virus spread. This is of interest in order to face not only acute respiratory-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV) responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic but also for future virus infection challenges.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Vilibic-Cavlek T, Barbic L, Mrzljak A, et al (2021)

Emerging and Neglected Viruses of Zoonotic Importance in Croatia.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(1): pii:pathogens10010073.

Several arboviruses have emerged in Croatia in recent years. Tick-borne encephalitis is endemic in continental counties; however, new natural micro-foci have been detected. Two autochthonous dengue cases were reported in 2010. West Nile virus emerged in 2012, followed by emergence of Usutu virus in 2013. Although high seroprevalence rates of Toscana virus have been detected among residents of Croatian littoral, the virus remains neglected, with only a few clinical cases of neuroinvasive infections reported. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus is a neglected neuroinvasive rodent-borne virus. So far, there are no reports on human clinical cases; however, the seroprevalence studies indicate the virus presence in the Croatian mainland. Puumala and Dobrava hantaviruses are widely distributing rodent-borne viruses with sporadic and epidemic occurrence. Hepatitis E virus is an emerging food-borne virus in Croatia. After the emergence in 2012, cases were regularly recorded. Seropositivity varies greatly by region and population group. Rotaviruses represent a significant healthcare burden since rotavirus vaccination is not included in the Croatian national immunization program. Additionally, rotaviruses are widely distributed in the Croatian ecosystem. A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, emerged in February 2020 and spread rapidly throughout the country. This review focuses on emerging and neglected viruses of zoonotic importance detected in Croatia.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Apostolopoulos V, Bojarska J, Chai TT, et al (2021)

A Global Review on Short Peptides: Frontiers and Perspectives.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(2): pii:molecules26020430.

Peptides are fragments of proteins that carry out biological functions. They act as signaling entities via all domains of life and interfere with protein-protein interactions, which are indispensable in bio-processes. Short peptides include fundamental molecular information for a prelude to the symphony of life. They have aroused considerable interest due to their unique features and great promise in innovative bio-therapies. This work focusing on the current state-of-the-art short peptide-based therapeutical developments is the first global review written by researchers from all continents, as a celebration of 100 years of peptide therapeutics since the commencement of insulin therapy in the 1920s. Peptide "drugs" initially played only the role of hormone analogs to balance disorders. Nowadays, they achieve numerous biomedical tasks, can cross membranes, or reach intracellular targets. The role of peptides in bio-processes can hardly be mimicked by other chemical substances. The article is divided into independent sections, which are related to either the progress in short peptide-based theranostics or the problems posing challenge to bio-medicine. In particular, the SWOT analysis of short peptides, their relevance in therapies of diverse diseases, improvements in (bio)synthesis platforms, advanced nano-supramolecular technologies, aptamers, altered peptide ligands and in silico methodologies to overcome peptide limitations, modern smart bio-functional materials, vaccines, and drug/gene-targeted delivery systems are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Brown JM, Wasson MD, P Marcato (2021)

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Clinical Management Perspectives and Potential Consequences of Infection.

Cancers, 13(2): pii:cancers13020296.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the need for prioritization strategies for breast cancer treatment, where patients with aggressive disease, such as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) are a high priority for clinical intervention. In this review, we summarize how COVID-19 has thus far impacted the management of TNBC and highlighted where more information is needed to hone shifting guidelines. Due to the immunocompromised state of most TNBC patients receiving treatment, TNBC management during the pandemic presents challenges beyond the constraints of overburdened healthcare systems. We conducted a literature search of treatment recommendations for both primary and targeted TNBC therapeutic strategies during the COVID-19 outbreak and noted changes to treatment timing and drugs of choice. Further, given that SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory virus, which has systemic consequences, management of TNBC patients with metastatic versus localized disease has additional considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Published dataset gene expression analysis of critical SARS-CoV-2 cell entry proteins in TNBCs suggests that the virus could in theory infect metastasized TNBC cells it contacts. This may have unforeseen consequences in terms of both the dynamics of the resulting acute viral infection and the progression of the chronic metastatic disease. Undoubtedly, the results thus far suggest that more research is required to attain a full understanding of the direct and indirect clinical impacts of COVID-19 on TNBC patients.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Abraham J, Dowling K, S Florentine (2021)

Can Optimum Solar Radiation Exposure or Supplemented Vitamin D Intake Reduce the Severity of COVID-19 Symptoms?.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2): pii:ijerph18020740.

The foremost mortality-causing symptom associated with COVID-19 is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). A significant correlation has been identified between the deficiency in vitamin D and the risk of developing ARDS. It has been suggested that if we can reduce or modify ARDS in COVID-19 patients, we may significantly reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and associated mortality rates. The increased mortality of dark-skinned people, who have a reduced UV absorption capacity, may be consistent with diminished vitamin D status. The factors associated with COVID-19 mortality, such as old age, ethnicity, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, are all found to be linked with vitamin D deficiency. Based on this review and as a precautionary measure, it is suggested that the adoption of appropriate and safe solar exposure and vitamin D enriched foods and supplements should be considered to reduce the possible severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Safe sun exposure is deemed beneficial globally, specifically in low and middle-income countries, as there is no cost involved. It is also noted that improved solar exposure and vitamin D levels can reduce the impact of other diseases as well, thus assisting in maintaining general human well-being.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Ingersoll JG (2021)

Observations on the Occurrence, Transmission and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic Derived from Physics.

Diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:diseases9010009.

Three important observations derived from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could result in the development of novel approaches to deal with it and avoid or at least minimize the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks. First, the dramatic increase in pandemics in the past decade alone suggests that the current relationship of humans with the environment is quickly becoming unstable, with potentially catastrophic consequences. In order to reduce the toll in life and property, we would need to shift our emphasis from control of nature to a symbiosis with nature. This, then, can become the new framework for dealing effectively with environmental issues such as climate change, whereby properly applied medical science would provide the necessary impetus for action. Second, the existence of superspreaders of infection among populations in this pandemic requires that we develop objective tests, most likely of a genetic nature, to identify them rather than apply indiscriminate and draconian controls across the board. Not identifying superspreaders in a timely fashion could allow this pandemic to turn into a black swan event, with a catastrophic impact on society. Third, we need to refocus our efforts in dealing with this pandemic from the virus itself to the human hosts. An objective morbidity risk index can be developed such that most of us can go about our daily business without the fear of becoming seriously ill, while measures can be implemented to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus. These observations point clearly to a need for a paradigm shift.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Vougogiannopoulou K, Corona A, Tramontano E, et al (2021)

Natural and Nature-Derived Products Targeting Human Coronaviruses.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(2): pii:molecules26020448.

The ongoing pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), caused by the SARS-CoV-2 human coronavirus (HCoV), has brought the international scientific community before a state of emergency that needs to be addressed with intensive research for the discovery of pharmacological agents with antiviral activity. Potential antiviral natural products (NPs) have been discovered from plants of the global biodiversity, including extracts, compounds and categories of compounds with activity against several viruses of the respiratory tract such as HCoVs. However, the scarcity of natural products (NPs) and small-molecules (SMs) used as antiviral agents, especially for HCoVs, is notable. This is a review of 203 publications, which were selected using PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar, evaluates the available literature since the discovery of the first human coronavirus in the 1960s; it summarizes important aspects of structure, function, and therapeutic targeting of HCoVs as well as NPs (19 total plant extracts and 204 isolated or semi-synthesized pure compounds) with anti-HCoV activity targeting viral and non-viral proteins, while focusing on the advances on the discovery of NPs with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, and providing a critical perspective.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Jiang P, Klemeš JJ, Fan YV, et al (2021)

More Is Not Enough: A Deeper Understanding of the COVID-19 Impacts on Healthcare, Energy and Environment Is Crucial.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2): pii:ijerph18020684.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has magnified the insufficient readiness of humans in dealing with such an unexpected occurrence. During the pandemic, sustainable development goals have been hindered severely. Various observations and lessons have been highlighted to emphasise local impacts on a single region or single sector, whilst the holistic and coupling impacts are rarely investigated. This study overviews the structural changes and spatial heterogeneities of changes in healthcare, energy and environment, and offers perspectives for the in-depth understanding of the COVID-19 impacts on the three sectors, in particular the cross-sections of them. Practical observations are summarised through the broad overview. A novel concept of the healthcare-energy-environment nexus under climate change constraints is proposed and discussed, to illustrate the relationships amongst the three sectors and further analyse the dynamics of the attention to healthcare, energy and environment in view of decision-makers. The society is still on the way to understanding the impacts of the whole episode of COVID-19 on healthcare, energy, environment and beyond. The raised nexus thinking could contribute to understanding the complicated COVID-19 impacts and guiding sustainable future planning.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Xia X (2021)

Domains and Functions of Spike Protein in Sars-Cov-2 in the Context of Vaccine Design.

Viruses, 13(1): pii:v13010109.

The spike protein in SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-2-S) interacts with the human ACE2 receptor to gain entry into a cell to initiate infection. Both Pfizer/BioNTech's BNT162b2 and Moderna's mRNA-1273 vaccine candidates are based on stabilized mRNA encoding prefusion SARS-2-S that can be produced after the mRNA is delivered into the human cell and translated. SARS-2-S is cleaved into S1 and S2 subunits, with S1 serving the function of receptor-binding and S2 serving the function of membrane fusion. Here, I dissect in detail the various domains of SARS-2-S and their functions discovered through a variety of different experimental and theoretical approaches to build a foundation for a comprehensive mechanistic understanding of how SARS-2-S works to achieve its function of mediating cell entry and subsequent cell-to-cell transmission. The integration of structure and function of SARS-2-S in this review should enhance our understanding of the dynamic processes involving receptor binding, multiple cleavage events, membrane fusion, viral entry, as well as the emergence of new viral variants. I highlighted the relevance of structural domains and dynamics to vaccine development, and discussed reasons for the spike protein to be frequently featured in the conspiracy theory claiming that SARS-CoV-2 is artificially created.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Martinez-Liu C, Martínez-Acuña N, Arellanos-Soto D, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 in Mexico: Beyond Detection Methods, Scope and Limitations.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:diagnostics11010124.

The new coronavirus that was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan China, now called SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease called COVID-19, has spread from China to the entire world in a few months. Due to its contagious potential (R0: 5.7) and because there is still no effective treatment to stop the infection, and a vaccine for prevention it is not yet available to the general population, COVID-19 is currently considered a global health problem. The need to implement sensitive methods for the identification of individuals with COVID-19 has led to the development of different molecular and immunological tests. The importance of a timely and accurate diagnosis is essential to determine the course of the pandemic. The interpretation of the results obtained by each test as well as the factors that affect these results have not been fully described. In this review, we describe and analyze the different SARS-CoV-2 detection methods that have been performed in Mexico and are available worldwide, outlining their strengths and weaknesses. Further, a broader perspective of the correct use and interpretation of the results obtained with these diagnostic tools is proposed to improve the containment strategy and identify the true impact of the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Stasiłowicz A, Tomala A, Podolak I, et al (2021)

Cannabis sativa L. as a Natural Drug Meeting the Criteria of a Multitarget Approach to Treatment.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(2): pii:ijms22020778.

Cannabis sativa L. turned out to be a valuable source of chemical compounds of various structures, showing pharmacological activity. The most important groups of compounds include phytocannabinoids and terpenes. The pharmacological activity of Cannabis (in epilepsy, sclerosis multiplex (SM), vomiting and nausea, pain, appetite loss, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), Parkinson's disease, Tourette's syndrome, schizophrenia, glaucoma, and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)), which has been proven so far, results from the affinity of these compounds predominantly for the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), type two (CB2), and the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55)) but, also, for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR), glycine receptors, serotonin receptors (5-HT), transient receptor potential channels (TRP), and GPR, opioid receptors. The synergism of action of phytochemicals present in Cannabis sp. raw material is also expressed in their increased bioavailability and penetration through the blood-brain barrier. This review provides an overview of phytochemistry and pharmacology of compounds present in Cannabis extracts in the context of the current knowledge about their synergistic actions and the implications of clinical use in the treatment of selected diseases.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Janiuk K, Jabłońska E, M Garley (2021)

Significance of NETs Formation in COVID-19.

Cells, 10(1): pii:cells10010151.

Severe contagious respiratory disease-COVID-19-caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, can lead to fatal respiratory failure associated with an excessive inflammatory response. Infiltration and spread of SARS-CoV-2 are based on the interaction between the virus' structural protein S and the cell's receptor-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), with the simultaneous involvement of human trans-membrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2). Many scientific reports stress the importance of elevated recruitment and activity of neutrophils, which can form extracellular neutrophil traps (NETs) playing a significant role in the mechanism of combating pathogens, in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Excessive generation of NETs during prolonged periods of inflammation predisposes for the occurrence of undesirable reactions including thromboembolic complications and damage to surrounding tissues and organs. Within the present manuscript, we draw attention to the impact of NET generation on the severe course of COVID-19 in patients with concurrent cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Additionally, we indicate the necessity to explore not only the cellular but also the molecular bases of COVID-19 pathogenesis, which may aid the development of dedicated therapies meant to improve chances for the successful treatment of patients. We also present new directions of research into medications that display NETs formation regulatory properties as potential significant therapeutic strategies in the progress of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Aquino-Martinez R, S Hernández-Vigueras (2021)

Severe COVID-19 Lung Infection in Older People and Periodontitis.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(2): pii:jcm10020279.

Periodontal bacteria dissemination into the lower respiratory tract may create favorable conditions for severe COVID-19 lung infection. Once lung tissues are colonized, cells that survive persistent bacterial infection can undergo permanent damage and accelerated cellular senescence. Consequently, several morphological and functional features of senescent lung cells facilitate SARS-CoV-2 replication. The higher risk for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19, and death in older patients has generated the question whether basic aging mechanisms could be implicated in such susceptibility. Mounting evidence indicates that cellular senescence, a manifestation of aging at the cellular level, contributes to the development of age-related lung pathologies and facilitates respiratory infections. Apparently, a relationship between life-threatening COVID-19 lung infection and pre-existing periodontal disease seems improbable. However, periodontal pathogens can be inoculated during endotracheal intubation and/or aspirated into the lower respiratory tract. This review focuses on how the dissemination of periodontal bacteria into the lungs could aggravate age-related senescent cell accumulation and facilitate more efficient SARS-CoV-2 cell attachment and replication. We also consider how periodontal bacteria-induced premature senescence could influence the course of COVID-19 lung infection. Finally, we highlight the role of saliva as a reservoir for both pathogenic bacteria and SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the identification of active severe periodontitis can be an opportune and valid clinical parameter for risk stratification of old patients with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Coke CJ, Davison B, Fields N, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Oral Health: Therapeutic Opportunities and Challenges.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(1): pii:jcm10010156.

The novel corona virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the disease it causes, COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease-2019) have had multi-faceted effects on a number of lives on a global scale both directly and indirectly. A growing body of evidence suggest that COVID-19 patients experience several oral health problems such as dry mouth, mucosal blistering, mouth rash, lip necrosis, and loss of taste and smell. Periodontal disease (PD), a severe inflammatory gum disease, may worsen the symptoms associated with COVID-19. Routine dental and periodontal treatment may help decrease the symptoms of COVID-19. PD is more prevalent among patients experiencing metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk. Studies have shown that these patients are highly susceptible for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress known to contribute to the development of PD and other metabolic diseases are highly elevated among COVID-19 patients. Periodontal health may help to determine the severity of COVID-19 infection. Accumulating evidence shows that African-Americans (AAs) and vulnerable populations are disproportionately susceptible to PD, metabolic diseases and COVID-19 compared to other ethnicities in the United States. Dentistry and dental healthcare professionals are particularly susceptible to this virus due to the transferability via the oral cavity and the use of aerosol creating instruments that are ubiquitous in this field. In this review, we attempt to provide a comprehensive and updated source of information about SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and the various effects it has had on the dental profession and patients visits to dental clinics. Finally, this review is a valuable resource for the management of oral hygiene and reduction of the severity of infection.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Rzymski P, Kulus M, Jankowski M, et al (2021)

COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Call to Search for Alternative Protein Sources as Food and Feed: A Review of Possibilities.

Nutrients, 13(1): pii:nu13010150.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a global health challenge with substantial adverse effects on the world economy. It is beyond any doubt that it is, again, a call-to-action to minimize the risk of future zoonoses caused by emerging human pathogens. The primary response to contain zoonotic diseases is to call for more strict regulations on wildlife trade and hunting. This is because the origins of coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as well as other viral pathogens (e.g., Ebola, HIV) are traceable to wild animals. Although COVID-19 is not related to livestock animals, the pandemic increased general attention given to zoonotic viral infections-the risk of which can also be associated with livestock. Therefore, this paper discusses the potential transformation of industrial livestock farming and the production of animal products, particularly meat, to decrease the risks for transmission of novel human pathogens. Plant-based diets have a number of advantages, but it is unrealistic to consider them as the only solution offered to the problem. Therefore, a search for alternative protein sources in insect-based foods and cultured meat, important technologies enabling safer meat production. Although both of these strategies offer a number of potential advantages, they are also subject to the number of challenges that are discussed in this paper. Importantly, insect-based foods and cultured meat can provide additional benefits in the context of ecological footprint, an aspect important in light of predicted climate changes. Furthermore, cultured meat can be regarded as ethically superior and supports better food security. There is a need to further support the implementation and expansion of all three approaches discussed in this paper, plant-based diets, insect-based foods, and cultured meat, to decrease the epidemiological risks and ensure a sustainable future. Furthermore, cultured meat also offers a number of additional benefits in the context of environmental impact, ethical issues, and food security.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Andermann A, Mott S, Mathew CM, et al (2021)

Evidence-informed interventions and best practices for supporting women experiencing or at risk of homelessness: a scoping review with gender and equity analysis.

Health promotion and chronic disease prevention in Canada : research, policy and practice, 41(1):1-13.

INTRODUCTION: While much of the literature on homelessness is centred on the experience of men, women make up over one-quarter of Canada's homeless population. Research has shown that women experiencing homelessness are often hidden (i.e. provisionally housed) and have different pathways into homelessness and different needs as compared to men. The objective of this research is to identify evidence-based interventions and best practices to better support women experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

METHODS: We conducted a scoping review with a gender and equity analysis. This involved searching MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and other databases for systematic reviews and randomized trials, supplementing our search through reference scanning and grey literature, followed by a qualitative synthesis of the evidence that examined gender and equity considerations.

RESULTS: Of the 4102 articles identified on homelessness interventions, only 4 systematic reviews and 9 randomized trials were exclusively conducted on women or published disaggregated data enabling a gender analysis. Interventions with the strongest evidence included post-shelter advocacy counselling for women experiencing homelessness due to intimate partner violence, as well as case management and permanent housing subsidies (e.g. tenant-based rental assistance vouchers), which were shown to reduce homelessness, food insecurity, exposure to violence and psychosocial distress, as well as promote school stability and child well-being.

CONCLUSION: Much of the evidence on interventions to better support women experiencing homelessness focusses on those accessing domestic violence or family shelters. Since many more women are experiencing or at risk of hidden homelessness, population-based strategies are also needed to reduce gender inequity and exposure to violence, which are among the main structural drivers of homelessness among women.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Almallah YZ, DJ Doyle (2020)

Telehealth in the time of Corona: 'doctor in the house'.

Internal medicine journal, 50(12):1578-1583.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many physicians working from home whenever possible. Although the concept of 'remote' patient care has been around for decades, present circumstances have provided a grand impetus in that direction with a view to protecting both patient and caregiver. In this article, we discuss some of the various challenges to moving forward with telemedicine, drawing in part on our own experiences in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical, technical, financial and cultural barriers to telemedicine are identified, along with a discussion concerning anticipated benefits. We conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely forever change how healthcare is conducted as telemedicine figures increasingly prominently in the clinical landscape.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Izzedine H, Brocheriou I, Arzouk N, et al (2020)

COVID-19-associated collapsing glomerulopathy: a report of two cases and literature review.

Internal medicine journal, 50(12):1551-1558.

Nephrotic range proteinuria has been reported during the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, the pathological mechanisms underlying this manifestation are unknown. In this article, we present two cases of collapsing glomerulopathy (CG) associated with acute tubular necrosis during the course of COVID-19, and review the literature for similar reports. In our two cases, as in the 14 cases reported so far, the patients were of African ancestry. The 14 patients assessed had an APOL1 high-risk genotype. At the end of the reported period, two patients had died and five patients were still requiring dialysis. The 16 cases detailed in the present report strongly argue in favour of a causal link between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the occurrence of CG in patients homozygous for APOL1 high-risk genotype for which the term COVID-associated nephropathy (COVIDAN) can be put forward.

RevDate: 2021-01-20

Valentine AZ, Hall SS, Young E, et al (2021)

Implementation of Telehealth Services to Assess, Monitor, and Treat Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Systematic Review.

Journal of medical Internet research, 23(1):e22619 pii:v23i1e22619.

BACKGROUND: In response to COVID-19, there has been increasing momentum in telehealth development and delivery. To assess the anticipated exponential growth in telehealth, it is important to accurately capture how telehealth has been used in specific mental health fields prior to the pandemic.

OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aimed to highlight how telehealth has been used with clinical samples in the neurodevelopmental field, including patients with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs), their families, and health care professionals. To identify which technologies show the greatest potential for implementation into health services, we evaluated technologies for effectiveness, economic impact, and readiness for clinical adoption.

METHODS: A systematic search of literature was undertaken in April 2018 and updated until December 2019, by using the Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL Plus, EMBASE, and PsycInfo databases. Extracted data included the type of technology, how the technology was used (ie, assessment, treatment, and monitoring), participant characteristics, reported outcomes and authors' views on clinical effectiveness, user impact (ie, feasibility and acceptability), economic impact, and readiness for clinic adoption. A quality review of the research was performed in accordance with the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Levels of Evidence.

RESULTS: A total of 42 studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies included participants and family members with autism spectrum disorders (21/42, 50%), attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (8/42, 19%), attention deficit hyperactivity or autism spectrum disorders (3/42, 7%), communication disorders (7/42, 17%), and tic disorders (2/42, 5%). The focus of most studies (33/42, 79%) was on treatment, rather than assessment (4/42, 10%) or monitoring (5/42, 12%). Telehealth services demonstrated promise for being clinically effective, predominantly in relation to diagnosing and monitoring NDDs. In terms of NDD treatment, telehealth services were usually equivalent to control groups. There was some evidence of positive user and economic impacts, including increased service delivery efficiency (eg, increased treatment availability and decreased waiting times). However, these factors were not widely recorded across the studies. Telehealth was demonstrated to be cost-effective in the few studies that considered cost-effectiveness. Study quality varied, as many studies had small sample sizes and inadequate control groups. Of the 42 studies, only 11 (26%) were randomized controlled trials, 12 (29%) were case studies or case series, 6 (14%) were qualitative studies, and 5 (12%) were noncomparative trials.

CONCLUSIONS: Telehealth has the potential to increase treatment availability, decrease diagnosis waiting times, and aid in NDD monitoring. Further research with more robust and adequately powered study designs that consider cost-effectiveness and increased efficiency is needed. This systematic review highlights the extent of telehealth technology use prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for investing in remote access to treatments.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42018091156; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42018091156.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Wilder-Smith A, S Osman (2020)

Public health emergencies of international concern: a historic overview.

Journal of travel medicine, 27(8):.

RATIONALE: The International Health Regulations (IHR) have been the governing framework for global health security since 2007. Declaring public health emergencies of international concern (PHEIC) is a cornerstone of the IHR. Here we review how PHEIC are formally declared, the diseases for which such declarations have been made from 2007 to 2020 and justifications for such declarations.

KEY FINDINGS: Six events were declared PHEIC between 2007 and 2020: the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Ebola (West African outbreak 2013-2015, outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo 2018-2020), poliomyelitis (2014 to present), Zika (2016) and COVID-19 (2020 to present). Poliomyelitis is the longest PHEIC. Zika was the first PHEIC for an arboviral disease. For several other emerging diseases a PHEIC was not declared despite the fact that the public health impact of the event was considered serious and associated with potential for international spread.

RECOMMENDATIONS: The binary nature of a PHEIC declaration is often not helpful for events where a tiered or graded approach is needed. The strength of PHEIC declarations is the ability to rapidly mobilize international coordination, streamline funding and accelerate the advancement of the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics under emergency use authorization. The ultimate purpose of such declaration is to catalyse timely evidence-based action, to limit the public health and societal impacts of emerging and re-emerging disease risks while preventing unwarranted travel and trade restrictions.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Hamer DH, Rizwan A, Freedman DO, et al (2020)

GeoSentinel: past, present and future†.

Journal of travel medicine, 27(8):.

RATIONALE FOR REVIEW: In response to increased concerns about emerging infectious diseases, GeoSentinel, the Global Surveillance Network of the International Society of Travel Medicine in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was established in 1995 in order to serve as a global provider-based emerging infections sentinel network, conduct surveillance for travel-related infections and communicate and assist global public health responses. This review summarizes the history, past achievements and future directions of the GeoSentinel Network.

KEY FINDINGS: Funded by the US CDC in 1996, GeoSentinel has grown from a group of eight US-based travel and tropical medicine centers to a global network, which currently consists of 68 sites in 28 countries. GeoSentinel has provided important contributions that have enhanced the ability to use destination-specific differences to guide diagnosis and treatment of returning travelers, migrants and refugees. During the last two decades, GeoSentinel has identified a number of sentinel infectious disease events including previously unrecognized outbreaks and occurrence of diseases in locations thought not to harbor certain infectious agents. GeoSentinel has also provided useful insight into illnesses affecting different traveling populations such as migrants, business travelers and students, while characterizing in greater detail the epidemiology of infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, leishmaniasis and Zika virus disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Surveillance of travel- and migration-related infectious diseases has been the main focus of GeoSentinel for the last 25 years. However, GeoSentinel is now evolving into a network that will conduct both research and surveillance. The large number of participating sites and excellent geographic coverage for identification of both common and illnesses in individuals who have traversed international borders uniquely position GeoSentinel to make important contributions of travel-related infectious diseases in the years to come.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Bellam N, Denfeld QE, Kamdar F, et al (2021)

Navigating Early Careers in Heart Failure in the Era of Novel Coronavirus Disease-2019.

Journal of cardiac failure, 27(1):97-99.

RevDate: 2021-01-20
CmpDate: 2021-01-20

Khatib AN, Carvalho AM, Primavesi R, et al (2020)

Navigating the risks of flying during COVID-19: a review for safe air travel.

Journal of travel medicine, 27(8):.

RATIONALE FOR REVIEW: With air travel restarting, there has been much discourse about the safety of flying during the pandemic. In travel medicine, risk assessment includes estimating baseline risk to the traveller, recognizing factors that may modify that risk, considering the role of interventions to decrease that risk and accounting for a traveller's perception and tolerance of risk. The goals of this review are to identify the in-flight transmission risks of commercial air travel, provide recommendations about the risks of flying during the pandemic and propose strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

KEY FINDINGS: The airline industry has taken a layered approach to increase passenger safety through effective onboard ventilation, extended ventilation at the gate, boarding and deplaning strategies, improved aircraft disinfection and pre-flight screening such as temperature checks and COVID-19 testing. Proximity to an index case may contribute to the risk of transmission more than the seat type or location. The use of face masks has significantly reduced onboard transmission, and mandatory in-flight mask-wearing policies are being enforced. Innovations such as digital health passports may help standardize screening entry requirements at airports and borders, allowing for a safer return to travel.

RECOMMENDATIONS: In-flight transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is a real risk, which may be minimized by combining mitigation strategies and infection prevention measures including mandatory masking onboard, minimizing unmasked time while eating, turning on gasper airflow in-flight, frequent hand sanitizing, disinfecting high touch surfaces, promoting distancing while boarding and deplaning, limiting onboard passenger movement, implementing effective pre-flight screening measures and enhancing contact tracing capability. Assessing risk is a cornerstone of travel medicine. It is important to evaluate the multiple factors contributing to the cumulative risk of an individual traveller during the COVID-19 pandemic and to employ a multi-pronged approach to reduce that risk.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Linehan L, O'Donoghue K, Dineen S, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 placentitis: An uncommon complication of maternal COVID-19.

Placenta, 104:261-266 pii:S0143-4004(21)00020-5 [Epub ahead of print].

We present a case of third trimester pregnancy complicated by SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent reduced fetal movements, resulting in emergency Caesarean delivery with demonstrable placental SARS-CoV-2 placentitis. We show through illustration of this case and literature review that SARS-Co-V-2 placentitis is an uncommon but readily recognisable complication of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection that may be a marker of potential vertical transmission and that may have the capacity to cause fetal compromise through a direct injurious effect on the placenta.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Ning L, Rong J, Zhang Z, et al (2021)

Therapeutic approaches targeting renin-angiotensin system in sepsis and its complications.

Pharmacological research pii:S1043-6618(20)31717-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Sepsis, caused by the inappropriate host response to infection, is characterized by excessive inflammation response and organ dysfunction, continues to be a critical clinical problem. Commonly, sepsis may progress to septic shock and have a high risk of complications, including acute kidney injury (AKI), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis-induced myocardial dysfunction (SIMD), liver dysfunction, cerebral dysfunction, and skeletal muscle atrophy, predominantly contributing to high mortality. Additionally, viral sepsis may be critical for the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may represent as an effective therapeutic target for sepsis therapies. The role of RAS involved in the pathogenesis of sepsis has been spotlighted and some preclinical and clinical trials studies targeted at RAS for sepsis treatment have shown promising results. Herein, we attempt to review the effects and mechanisms of RAS manipulation on sepsis and provide new insights into optimization RAS modulation for this terrible heterogeneous syndrome.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Sohail MS, Ahmed SF, Quadeer AA, et al (2021)

In silico T cell epitope identification for SARS-CoV-2: Progress and perspectives.

Advanced drug delivery reviews pii:S0169-409X(21)00017-X [Epub ahead of print].

Growing evidence suggests that T cells may play a critical role in combating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Hence, COVID-19 vaccines that can elicit a robust T cell response may be particularly important. The design, development and experimental evaluation of such vaccines is aided by an understanding of the landscape of T cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2, which is largely unknown. Due to the challenges of identifying epitopes experimentally, many studies have proposed the use of in silico methods. Here, we present a review of the in silico methods that have been used for the prediction of SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes. These methods employ a diverse set of technical approaches, often rooted in machine learning. A performance comparison is provided based on the ability to identify a specific set of immunogenic epitopes that have been determined experimentally to be targeted by T cells in convalescent COVID-19 patients, shedding light on the relative performance merits of the different approaches adopted by the in silico studies. The review also puts forward perspectives for future research directions.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Bleich SN, JD Ard (2021)

COVID-19, Obesity, and Structural Racism: Understanding the Past and Identifying Solutions for the Future.

Cell metabolism pii:S1550-4131(21)00010-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Long-standing systemic inequalities-fueling unequal access to critical resources such as healthcare, housing, education, and employment opportunities-are largely responsible for the significant race disparities in obesity and COVID-19. Because of this legacy, public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impact communities of color, exacerbated by high rates of pre-existing chronic diseases like obesity. Learning from this history is instructive for understanding our present situation and for crafting effective solutions that promote health equity. Critical action is needed now to meaningfully address the disproportionate impact of these major public health problems on Black and Brown populations.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Kalia V, Studzinski GP, S Sarkar (2021)

Role of vitamin D in regulating COVID-19 severity-An immunological perspective.

Journal of leukocyte biology [Epub ahead of print].

Vitamin D, a key nutrient/prohormone classically associated with skeletal health, is also an important immunomodulator, with pleotropic effects on innate and adaptive immune cells. Outcomes of several chronic, autoimmune, and infectious diseases are linked to vitamin D. Emergent correlations of vitamin D insufficiency with coronavirus-induced disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity, alongside empirical and clinical evidence of immunoregulation by vitamin D in other pulmonary diseases, have prompted proposals of vitamin D supplementation to curb the COVID-19 public health toll. In this review paper, we engage an immunological lens to discuss potential mechanisms by which vitamin D signals might regulate respiratory disease severity in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infections, vis a vis other pulmonary infections. It is proposed that vitamin D signals temper lung inflammatory cascades during SARS-CoV2 infection, and insufficiency of vitamin D causes increased inflammatory cytokine storm, thus leading to exacerbated respiratory disease. Additionally, analogous to studies of reduced cancer incidence, the dosage of vitamin D compounds administered to patients near the upper limit of safety may serve to maximize immune health benefits and mitigate inflammation and disease severity in SARS-CoV2 infections. We further deliberate on the importance of statistically powered clinical correlative and interventional studies, and the need for in-depth basic research into vitamin D-dependent host determinants of respiratory disease severity.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Taher T, Sheikh AB, Anwar F, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2: its potential neurological manifestations and plausible mechanism: a review article.

Acta neurologica Belgica [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first identified in late December 2019. The disease began in Wuhan, Hubei province in China and since then it has spread quickly to many countries all over the world. COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was majorly seen to overwhelm the respiratory system with mild to severe acute respiratory syndrome considered pathognomic for the disease. However, with time a plethora of symptoms was observed in the patients infected with COVID-19 including strong evidence for neurological symptoms. Evidence suggests that the virus has both central and peripheral nervous system manifestations. Patients, particularly those who suffer from a severe illness, have a central nervous system (CNS) involvement and neurological manifestations. There is precise and targeted documentation of neurological symptoms with details of clinical, neurological, and electrophysiological findings. This review article thus gives an insight into the neuro-invasive potential of COVID-19 and discusses the possible pathogenesis.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Jha NK, Ojha S, Jha SK, et al (2021)

Evidence of Coronavirus (CoV) Pathogenesis and Emerging Pathogen SARS-CoV-2 in the Nervous System: A Review on Neurological Impairments and Manifestations.

Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN [Epub ahead of print].

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an issue of global significance that has taken the lives of many across the world. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the virus responsible for its pathogenesis. The pulmonary manifestations of COVID-19 have been well described in the literature. Initially, it was thought to be limited to the respiratory system; however, we now recognize that COVID-19 also affects several other organs, including the nervous system. Two similar human coronaviruses (CoV) that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-1) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) are also known to cause disease in the nervous system. The neurological manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection are growing rapidly, as evidenced by several reports. There are several mechanisms responsible for such manifestations in the nervous system. For instance, post-infectious immune-mediated processes, direct virus infection of the central nervous system (CNS), and virus-induced hyperinflammatory and hypercoagulable states are commonly involved. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and its variants, dysfunction of taste and smell, and muscle injury are numerous examples of COVID-19 PNS (peripheral nervous system) disease. Likewise, hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, encephalitis, meningitis, encephalopathy acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, endothelialitis, and venous sinus thrombosis are some instances of COVID-19 CNS disease. Due to multifactorial and complicated pathogenic mechanisms, COVID-19 poses a large-scale threat to the whole nervous system. A complete understanding of SARS-CoV-2 neurological impairments is still lacking, but our knowledge base is rapidly expanding. Therefore, we anticipate that this comprehensive review will provide valuable insights and facilitate the work of neuroscientists in unfolding different neurological dimensions of COVID-19 and other CoV associated abnormalities.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Gosch M, Heppner HJ, K Singler (2021)

[Recommendations for the management of COVID-19 pandemic in long term care facilities].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 163(1):52-57.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Worm M, Ring J, Klimek L, et al (2021)

[Covid-19 vaccination and risk of anaphylaxis - Recommendations for practical management].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 163(1):48-51.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Parhofer KG (2021)

[Diabetes mellitus in the time of COVID-19].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 163(1):45-47.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Gross M, Op den Winkel P, J Aksoy (2021)

[Gastrointestinal manifestations in patients with COVID-19].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 163(1):42-44.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Diener HC, P Berlit (2021)

[COVID-19 and neurology].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 163(1):40-41.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Dutsch A, Lechner K, H Schunkert (2021)

[Cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 163(1):36-39.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Bedenkov A, Moreno C, Agustin L, et al (2021)

Customer Centricity in Medical Affairs Needs Human-centric Artificial Intelligence.

Pharmaceutical medicine [Epub ahead of print].

The evolution of healthcare, together with the changing behaviour of healthcare professionals, means that medical affairs functions of pharmaceutical organisations are constantly reinventing themselves. The emergence of digital ways of working, expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic, means that pharmaceutical-healthcare relationships are evolving to operate in an increasingly virtual world. The value of the pharmaceutical medical affairs function is dependent on understanding customers' needs and providing the right knowledge at the right time to physicians. This requires a human-centric artificial intelligence (AI) approach for medical affairs, which allows the function to query internal and external data sets in a conversational format and receive timely, accurate and concise intelligence on their customers.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

do Vale B, Lopes AP, Fontes MDC, et al (2021)

Bats, pangolins, minks and other animals - villains or victims of SARS-CoV-2?.

Veterinary research communications [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute Respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has become unstoppable, spreading rapidly worldwide and, consequently, reaching a pandemic level. This review aims to provide the information available so far on the likely animal origin of SARS-CoV-2 and its possible hosts/reservoirs as well as all natural animal infections and experimental evidence using animal models. Horseshoe bats from the species Rhinolophus affinis seem to be a natural reservoir and pangolins (Manis javanica) appear to be an intermediate host of SARS-CoV-2. Humans remain the most likely spreading source of SARS-CoV-2 to other humans and also to domestic, zoo and farm animals. Indeed, human-to-animal transmission has been reported in cats, dogs, tigers, lions, a puma and minks. Animal-to-human transmission is not a sustained pathway, although mink-to-human transmission remains to be elucidated. Through experimental infections, other animals seem also to be susceptible hosts for SARS-CoV-2, namely ferrets, some non-human primate species, hamsters and transgenic mice, while dogs, pigs and poultry are resistant. A One Health perspective must be implemented in order to develop epidemiological surveillance and establish disease control mechanisms to limit zoonotic transmission. Moreover, research in this field is important to better understand SARS-CoV-2 and to obtain the long-awaited vaccine and specific treatment.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Kheirabadi D, Haddad F, Mousavi-Roknabadi RS, et al (2021)

A complementary critical appraisal on systematic reviews regarding the most efficient therapeutic strategies for current COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.

Journal of medical virology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: This critical appraisal aims to clarify which systematic reviews on COVID-19 treatment are based on high-value evidence. Hereby, the most profitable medicines can be suggested.

METHODS: The Mesh term of "COVID-19 drug treatment" [Supplementary Concept] and "COVID-19 drug treatment" sequentially utilized as search strategies in Medline and Science direct on October 18th , 2020.Searches were confined to systematic reviews/meta-analysis. Cochrane database was searched on November 1st , 2020 by "COVID". With adding up 4 articles from other resources, 84 systematic reviews considered for initial screening. Finally, 22 articles fulfilled the criteria and were assessed using PRISMA guidelines.

RESULTS: increasing number of clinical trials from onset of COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are not only profitable but also deleterious. Lopinavir/ritonavir failed to maintain their initial efficacy in improving clinical symptoms and mortality rate. Steroids and tocilizumab were suggested in patients with intensely severe symptoms. Steroids reduced mechanical ventilation and death in severely ill patients. Plasma or immunoglobulins effects are absolutely controversial. Favorable impressions of remdesivir have been relied on for the early onset of this drug. Hypotension and abnormal liver function tests realized as its side effects. Favipiravir has resulted in higher viral clearance than remdesivir. However, this claim needs to be proved with subsequent clinical trials.

CONCLUSIONS: currently, remdesivir and favipiravir are advantageous drugs that should be administered in the early phases. Their side effects are not well known and need to be found in following research projects. Steroids and tocilizumab have been considered beneficial in the cytokine storm phase. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Zhang L, Zetter MA, Guerra EC, et al (2021)

ACE2 in the second act of COVID-19 syndrome: Peptide dysregulation and possible correction with oestrogen.

Journal of neuroendocrinology [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become the most critical pandemic of the 21st Century and the most severe since the 1918 influenza pandemic. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects the host by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The role of ACE2 in the pathophysiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a topic of debate, with clinical and experimental evidence indicating a multifaceted relationship between ACE2 activity and disease severity. Here, we review the mechanisms by which the peptidergic substrates and products of ACE and ACE2 contribute to physiological and pathophysiological processes and hypothesise how down-regulation of ACE2 by SARS-CoV-2 cellular entry disrupts homeostasis. A better understanding of the endocrinology of the disease, in particular the neuroendocrinology of ACE2 during COVID-19, may contribute to the timely design of new therapeutic strategies, including the regulation of ACE2 itself by steroid hormones, to ameliorate the severity of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Simões JLB, MD Bagatini (2021)

Purinergic Signaling of ATP in COVID-19 Associated Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Journal of neuroimmune pharmacology : the official journal of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology [Epub ahead of print].

Declared as a global public health emergency, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is presented as a disease of the respiratory tract, although severe cases can affect the entire organism. Several studies have shown neurological symptoms, ranging from dizziness and loss of consciousness to cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, Guillain-Barré syndrome, an immune-mediated inflammatory neuropathy, has been closely associated with critical cases of infection with "severe acute respiratory syndrome of coronavirus 2" (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of COVID-19. Its pathophysiology is related to a generalized inflammation that affects the nervous system, but neurotropism was also revealed by the new coronavirus, which may increase the risk of neurological sequel, as well as the mortality of the disease. Thus, considering the comorbidities that SARS-CoV-2 infection can promote, the modulation of purinergic signaling can be applied as a potential therapy. In this perspective, given the role of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in neural intercommunication, the P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) acts on microglia cells and its inhibition may be able to reduce the inflammatory condition of neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, alternative measures to circumvent the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic need to be considered, given the severity of critical cases and the viral involvement of multiple organs.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Münzel T, Hahad O, Daiber A, et al (2021)

[Air pollution and cardiovascular diseases].

Herz [Epub ahead of print].

Air pollution in the environment and in households is responsible worldwide for almost 9 million preventable premature deaths per year and almost 800,000 such deaths within Europe. Air pollution therefore shortens life expectancy worldwide by almost 3 years. Smoking, a proven cardiovascular risk factor, shortens the mean life expectancy by 2.2 years. Epidemiological studies have shown that air pollution from fine and coarse particulate matter is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Responsible for this are mainly cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, hypertension and also diabetes, which are mainly caused or aggravated by fine particulate matter. After inhalation fine particulate matter can reach the brain directly and also reach the bloodstream via a transition process. There, the particles are absorbed by the blood vessels where they stimulate the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the vascular wall. They therefore promote the formation of atherosclerotic changes and in this way increase the cardiovascular risks, especially an increase in chronic ischemic heart disease and stroke. Recent studies also reported that in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients a high degree of air pollution is correlated with severe disease courses with cardiovascular complications and pulmonary diseases. This necessitates preventive measures, such as lowering of the upper limits for air pollutants. Individual measures to mitigate the health consequences of fine particulate matter are also discussed.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Hemmat N, Asadzadeh Z, Ahangar NK, et al (2021)

The roles of signaling pathways in SARS-CoV-2 infection; lessons learned from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

Archives of virology [Epub ahead of print].

The number of descriptions of emerging viruses has grown at an unprecedented rate since the beginning of the 21st century. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is the third highly pathogenic coronavirus that has introduced itself into the human population in the current era, after SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Molecular and cellular studies of the pathogenesis of this novel coronavirus are still in the early stages of research; however, based on similarities of SARS-CoV-2 to other coronaviruses, it can be hypothesized that the NF-κB, cytokine regulation, ERK, and TNF-α signaling pathways are the likely causes of inflammation at the onset of COVID-19. Several drugs have been prescribed and used to alleviate the adverse effects of these inflammatory cellular signaling pathways, and these might be beneficial for developing novel therapeutic modalities against COVID-19. In this review, we briefly summarize alterations of cellular signaling pathways that are associated with coronavirus infection, particularly SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and tabulate the therapeutic agents that are currently approved for treating other human diseases.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Bogdan C (2021)

[STIKO vaccination recommendations : Vaccination of immunodeficient patients and vaccination against COVID-19].

Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift fur Dermatologie, Venerologie, und verwandte Gebiete [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The working methods of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) and its recommendations are only partially known by medical professionals and the public.

OBJECTIVES: Methodology of the standard operating procedure of the STIKO, annual vaccination recommendations, normal vaccination reaction versus vaccination side effects, instructions for vaccination in case of immunodeficiency, and recommendation for COVID-19 vaccination are presented.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Presentation of the path to a vaccination recommendation, differences between recommendations and instructions for action, key statements on vaccination in immunodeficiency, and summary of the data situation on COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.

RESULTS: The STIKO works purely on an evidence-based basis by systematically evaluating the existing preclinical and clinical studies results for a vaccine using the GRADE method. Only vaccination complications and vaccination injuries are notifiable. Immunodeficient patients can receive inactivated vaccines at any time, but generally not live vaccines. Based on current knowledge, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccination can be described as safe and effective.

CONCLUSIONS: The STIKO vaccination recommendations are considered as the medical standard. The published current instructions for vaccination of immunodeficient patients and the recently published recommendation for COVID-19 vaccination, together with their scientific backgrounds and reasons, represent a valuable basis for medical action in the field of vaccination against infectious diseases.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Ganesh B, Rajakumar T, Malathi M, et al (2021)

Epidemiology and pathobiology of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in comparison with SARS, MERS: An updated overview of current knowledge and future perspectives.

Clinical epidemiology and global health pii:S2213-3984(20)30264-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative etiology of 'Coronavirus Disease-2019' (COVID-19); formerly referred as 'novel-Coronavirus-2019'. It was originated in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China in early December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared it as 'Public Health Emergency of International Concern' due to their rapid transmission and causing public and health-care-related casualties worldwide. This review provides an updated overview of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), in comparison with the etiologies of the same group viz. SARS and MERS and also, its future perspectives for planning appropriate strategies for prevention, control and treatment modalities to avert similar catastrophe in near future.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Rahman MM, Mosaddik A, AK Alam (2021)

Traditional foods with their constituent's antiviral and immune system modulating properties.

Heliyon, 7(1):e05957.

Background: Viruses are responsible for several diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome, a condition caused by today's pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A negotiated immune system is a common risk factor for all viral infections, including COVID-19. To date, no specific therapies or vaccines have been approved for coronavirus. In these circumstances, antiviral and immune boosting foods may ensure protection against viral infections, especially SARS-CoV-2 by reducing risk and ensuring fast healing of SARS-CoV-2 illness.

Scope and approach: In this review, we have conducted an online search using several search engines (Google Scholar, PubMed, Web of Science and Science Direct) to find out some traditional foods (plant, animal and fungi species), which have antiviral and immune-boosting properties against numerous viral infections, particularly coronaviruses (CoVs) and others RNA-virus infections. Our review indicated some foods to be considered as potential immune enhancers, which may help individuals to overcome viral infections like COVID-19 by modulating immune systems and reducing respiratory problems. Furthermore, this review will provide information regarding biological properties of conventional foods and their ingredients to uphold general health.

Key Findings and Conclusions: We observed some foods with antiviral and immune-boosting properties, which possess bioactive compounds that showed significant antiviral properties against different viruses, particularly RNA viruses such as CoVs. Interestingly, some antiviral and immune-boosting mechanisms were very much similar to the antiviral drug of COVID-19 homologous SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus). The transient nature and the devastating spreading capability of COVID-19 lead to ineffectiveness of many curative therapies. Therefore, body shielding and immune-modulating foods, which have previous scientific recognition, have been discussed in this review to discern the efficacy of these foods against viral infections, especially SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Mukherjee S, Boral S, Siddiqi H, et al (2021)

Present cum future of SARS-CoV-2 virus and its associated control of virus-laden air pollutants leading to potential environmental threat - A Review.

Journal of environmental chemical engineering pii:S2213-3437(20)31322-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The world is presently infected by the biological fever of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus. The present study is mainly related to the airborne transmission of novel coronavirus through airway. Similarly, our mother planet is suffering from drastic effects of air pollution. There are sufficient probabilities or evidences proven for contagious virus transmission through polluted airborne-pathway in formed aerosol molecules. The pathways and sources of spread are detailed along with the best possible green control technologies or ideas to hinder further transmission. The combined effects of such root causes and unwanted outcomes are similar in nature leading to acute cardiac arrest of our planet. To maintain environmental sustainability, the prior future of such emerging unknown biological hazardous air emissions is to be thoroughly researched. So it is high time to deal with the future of hazardous air pollution and work on its preventive measures. The lifetime of such an airborne virus continues for several hours, thus imposing severe threat even during post-lockdown phase. The world waits eagerly for the development of successful vaccination or medication but the possible outcome is quite uncertain in terms of equivalent economy distribution and biomedical availability. Thus, risk assessments are to be carried out even during the post-vaccination period with proper environmental surveillance and monitoring. The skilled techniques of disinfection, sanitization, and other viable wayouts are to be modified with time, place, and prevailing climatic conditions, handling the pandemic efficiently. A healthy atmosphere makes the earth a better place to dwell, ensuring its future lifecycle.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Chen B, Jia P, J Han (2021)

Role of indoor aerosols for COVID-19 viral transmission: a review.

Environmental chemistry letters pii:1174 [Epub ahead of print].

The relationship between outdoor atmospheric pollution by particulate matter and the morbidity and mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections was recently disclosed, yet the role of indoor aerosols is poorly known . Since people spend most of their time indoor, indoor aerosols are closer to human occupants than outdoors, thus favoring airborne transmission of COVID-19. Therefore, here we review the characteristics of aerosol particles emitted from indoor sources, and how exposure to particles affects human respiratory infections and transport of airborne pathogens. We found that tobacco smoking, cooking, vacuum cleaning, laser printing, burning candles, mosquito coils and incenses generate large quantities of particles, mostly in the ultrafine range below 100 nm. These tiny particles stay airborne, are deposited in the deeper regions of human airways and are difficult to be removed by the respiratory system. As a consequence, adverse effects can be induced by inhaled aerosol particles via oxidative stress and inflammation. Early epidemiological evidence and animal studies have revealed the adverse effects of particle exposure in respiratory infections. In particular, inhaled particles can impair human respiratory systems and immune functions, and induce the upregulation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, thus inducing higher vulnerability to COVID-19 infection. Moreover, co-production of inflammation mediators by COVID-19 infection and particle exposure magnifies the cytokine storm and aggravates symptoms in patients. We also discuss the role of indoor aerosol particles as virus carriers. Although many hypotheses were proposed, there is still few knowledge on interactions between aerosol articles and virus-laden droplets or droplet nuclei.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Orzechowski M, Schochow M, F Steger (2021)

Balancing public health and civil liberties in times of pandemic.

Journal of public health policy [Epub ahead of print].

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic constitutes not only a danger for public health, but may also threaten civil liberties. Looking at the examples of recent events in Poland and Hungary, the authors argue that governments may misuse pandemic for their political advantage, thus endangering public health. Political decisions taken to stem the spread of pandemics should be limited and strictly proportionate to the situation.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Wilcox W, Bajaj K, Rossberg MC, et al (2021)

Lessons learnt in transitioning from universal screening to universal testing of pregnant patients for SARS-CoV-2 at the largest municipal health system in America.

Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Pillet S, Gueudin M, Plantier JC, et al (2021)

[Virological diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infections].

Revue des maladies respiratoires pii:S0761-8425(20)30344-2 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: The etiological diagnosis of bronchopulmonary infections cannot be assessed with clinical, radiological and epidemiological data alone. Viruses have been demonstrated to cause a large proportion of these infections, both in children and adults.

BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of viral bronchopulmonary infections is based on the analysis of secretions, collected from the lower respiratory tract when possible, by techniques that detect either influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses, or a large panel of viruses that can be responsible for respiratory disease. The latter, called multiplex PCR assays, allow a syndromic approach to respiratory infection. Their high cost for the laboratory raises the question of their place in the management of patients in terms of antibiotic economy and isolation. In the absence of clear recommendations, the strategy and equipment are very unevenly distributed in France.

OUTLOOK: Medico-economic analyses need to be performed in France to evaluate the place of these tests in the management of patients. The evaluation of the role of the different viruses often detected in co-infection, especially in children, also deserves the attention of virologists and clinicians.

CONCLUSIONS: The availability of new diagnostic technologies, the recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2, together with the availability of new antiviral drugs are likely to impact future recommendations for the management of viral bronchopulmonary infections.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Everitt ML, Tillery A, David MG, et al (2021)

A critical review of point-of-care diagnostic technologies to combat viral pandemics.

Analytica chimica acta, 1146:184-199.

The COVID-19 global pandemic of 2019-2020 pointedly revealed the lack of diagnostic solutions that are able to keep pace with the rapid spread of the virus. Despite the promise of decades of lab-on-a-chip research, no commercial products were available to deliver rapid results or enable testing in the field at the onset of the pandemic. In this critical review, we assess the current state of progress on the development of point-of-care technologies for the diagnosis of viral diseases that cause pandemics. While many previous reviews have reported on progress in various lab-on-a-chip technologies, here we address the literature from the perspective of the testing needs of a rapidly expanding pandemic. First, we recommend a set of requirements to heed when designing point-of-care diagnostic technologies to address the testing needs of a pandemic. We then review the current state of assay technologies with a focus on isothermal amplification and lateral-flow immunoassays. Though there is much progress on assay development, we argue that the largest roadblock to deployment exists in sample preparation. We summarize current approaches to automate sample preparation and discuss both the progress and shortcomings of these developments. Finally, we provide our recommendations to the field of specific challenges to address in order to prepare for the next pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Kotlar B, Gerson E, Petrillo S, et al (2021)

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and perinatal health: a scoping review.

Reproductive health, 18(1):10.

INTRODUCTION: The Covid-19 pandemic affects maternal health both directly and indirectly, and direct and indirect effects are intertwined. To provide a comprehensive overview on this broad topic in a rapid format behooving an emergent pandemic we conducted a scoping review.

METHODS: A scoping review was conducted to compile evidence on direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic on maternal health and provide an overview of the most significant outcomes thus far. Working papers and news articles were considered appropriate evidence along with peer-reviewed publications in order to capture rapidly evolving updates. Literature in English published from January 1st to September 11 2020 was included if it pertained to the direct or indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the physical, mental, economic, or social health and wellbeing of pregnant people. Narrative descriptions were written about subject areas for which the authors found the most evidence.

RESULTS: The search yielded 396 publications, of which 95 were included. Pregnant individuals were found to be at a heightened risk of more severe symptoms than people who are not pregnant. Intrauterine, vertical, and breastmilk transmission were unlikely. Labor, delivery, and breastfeeding guidelines for COVID-19 positive patients varied. Severe increases in maternal mental health issues, such as clinically relevant anxiety and depression, were reported. Domestic violence appeared to spike. Prenatal care visits decreased, healthcare infrastructure was strained, and potentially harmful policies implemented with little evidence. Women were more likely to lose their income due to the pandemic than men, and working mothers struggled with increased childcare demands.

CONCLUSION: Pregnant women and mothers were not found to be at higher risk for COVID-19 infection than people who are not pregnant, however pregnant people with symptomatic COVID-19 may experience more adverse outcomes compared to non-pregnant people and seem to face disproportionate adverse socio-economic consequences. High income and low- and middle-income countries alike faced significant struggles. Further resources should be directed towards quality epidemiological studies. The Covid-19 pandemic impacts reproductive and perinatal health both directly through infection itself but also indirectly as a consequence of changes in health care, social policy, or social and economic circumstances. The direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19 on maternal health are intertwined. To provide a comprehensive overview on this broad topic we conducted a scoping review. Pregnant women who have symptomatic COVID-19 may experience more severe outcomes than people who are not pregnant. Intrauterine and breastmilk transmission, and the passage of the virus from mother to baby during delivery are unlikely. The guidelines for labor, delivery, and breastfeeding for COVID-19 positive patients vary, and this variability could create uncertainty and unnecessary harm. Prenatal care visits decreased, healthcare infrastructure was strained, and potentially harmful policies are implemented with little evidence in high and low/middle income countries. The social and economic impact of COVID-19 on maternal health is marked. A high frequency of maternal mental health problems, such as clinically relevant anxiety and depression, during the epidemic are reported in many countries. This likely reflects an increase in problems, but studies demonstrating a true change are lacking. Domestic violence appeared to spike. Women were more vulnerable to losing their income due to the pandemic than men, and working mothers struggled with increased childcare demands. We make several recommendations: more resources should be directed to epidemiological studies, health and social services for pregnant women and mothers should not be diminished, and more focus on maternal mental health during the epidemic is needed.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Rabaan AA, Al-Ahmed SH, Sah R, et al (2021)

MERS-CoV: epidemiology, molecular dynamics, therapeutics, and future challenges.

Annals of clinical microbiology and antimicrobials, 20(1):8.

The Severe Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has gained research attention worldwide, given the current pandemic. Nevertheless, a previous zoonotic and highly pathogenic coronavirus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), is still causing concern, especially in Saudi Arabia and neighbour countries. The MERS-CoV has been reported from respiratory samples in more than 27 countries, and around 2500 cases have been reported with an approximate fatality rate of 35%. After its emergence in 2012 intermittent, sporadic cases, nosocomial infections and many community clusters of MERS continued to occur in many countries. Human-to-human transmission resulted in the large outbreaks in Saudi Arabia. The inherent genetic variability among various clads of the MERS-CoV might have probably paved the events of cross-species transmission along with changes in the inter-species and intra-species tropism. The current review is drafted using an extensive review of literature on various databases, selecting of publications irrespective of favouring or opposing, assessing the merit of study, the abstraction of data and analysing data. The genome of MERS-CoV contains around thirty thousand nucleotides having seven predicted open reading frames. Spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N) proteins are the four main structural proteins. The surface located spike protein (S) of betacoronaviruses has been established to be one of the significant factors in their zoonotic transmission through virus-receptor recognition mediation and subsequent initiation of viral infection. Three regions in Saudi Arabia (KSA), Eastern Province, Riyadh and Makkah were affected severely. The epidemic progression had been the highest in 2014 in Makkah and Riyadh and Eastern Province in 2013. With a lurking epidemic scare, there is a crucial need for effective therapeutic and immunological remedies constructed on sound molecular investigations.

RevDate: 2021-01-17

McNeely JA (2021)

Nature and COVID-19: The pandemic, the environment, and the way ahead.

Ambio [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought profound social, political, economic, and environmental challenges to the world. The virus may have emerged from wildlife reservoirs linked to environmental disruption, was transmitted to humans via the wildlife trade, and its spread was facilitated by economic globalization. The pandemic arrived at a time when wildfires, high temperatures, floods, and storms amplified human suffering. These challenges call for a powerful response to COVID-19 that addresses social and economic development, climate change, and biodiversity together, offering an opportunity to bring transformational change to the structure and functioning of the global economy. This biodefense can include a "One Health" approach in all relevant sectors; a greener approach to agriculture that minimizes greenhouse gas emissions and leads to healthier diets; sustainable forms of energy; more effective international environmental agreements; post-COVID development that is equitable and sustainable; and nature-compatible international trade. Restoring and enhancing protected areas as part of devoting 50% of the planet's land to environmentally sound management that conserves biodiversity would also support adaptation to climate change and limit human contact with zoonotic pathogens. The essential links between human health and well-being, biodiversity, and climate change could inspire a new generation of innovators to provide green solutions to enable humans to live in a healthy balance with nature leading to a long-term resilient future.

RevDate: 2021-01-17

Khan MT, Irfan M, Ahsan H, et al (2021)

Structures of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-Binding Proteins and Therapeutic Targets.

Intervirology pii:000513686 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic has resulted in thousands of infections and deaths worldwide. Several therapies are currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the development of new drugs and the repositioning of existing drugs can only be achieved after the identification of potential therapeutic targets within structures, as this strategy provides the most precise solution for developing treatments for sudden epidemic infectious diseases.

SUMMARY: In the current investigation, crystal and cryo-electron microscopy structures encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 genome were systematically examined for the identification of potential drug targets. These structures include nonstructural proteins (Nsp-9; Nsp-12; and Nsp-15), nucleocapsid (N) proteins, and the main protease (Mpro). Key Message: The structural information reveals the presence of many potential alternative therapeutic targets, primarily involved in interaction between N protein and Nsp3, forming replication-transcription complexes (RTCs) which might be a potential drug target for effective control of current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. RTCs consist of 16 nonstructural proteins (Nsp1-16) that play the most essential role in the synthesis of viral RNA. Targeting the physical linkage between the envelope and single-stranded positive RNA, a process facilitated by matrix proteins may provide a good alternative strategy. Our current study provides useful information for the development of new lead compounds against SARS-CoV-2 infections.

RevDate: 2021-01-19

Habib HM, Ibrahim S, Zaim A, et al (2021)

The role of iron in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and possible treatment with lactoferrin and other iron chelators.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 136:111228 pii:S0753-3322(21)00013-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Iron overload is increasingly implicated as a contributor to the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Indeed, several of the manifestations of COVID-19, such as inflammation, hypercoagulation, hyperferritinemia, and immune dysfunction are also reminiscent of iron overload. Although iron is essential for all living cells, free unbound iron, resulting from iron dysregulation and overload, is very reactive and potentially toxic due to its role in the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS react with and damage cellular lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins, with consequent activation of either acute or chronic inflammatory processes implicated in multiple clinical conditions. Moreover, iron-catalyzed lipid damage exerts a direct causative effect on the newly discovered nonapoptotic cell death known as ferroptosis. Unlike apoptosis, ferroptosis is immunogenic and not only leads to amplified cell death but also promotes a series of reactions associated with inflammation. Iron chelators are generally safe and are proven to protect patients in clinical conditions characterized by iron overload. There is also an abundance of evidence that iron chelators possess antiviral activities. Furthermore, the naturally occurring iron chelator lactoferrin (Lf) exerts immunomodulatory as well as anti-inflammatory effects and can bind to several receptors used by coronaviruses thereby blocking their entry into host cells. Iron chelators may consequently be of high therapeutic value during the present COVID-19 pandemic.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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