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Bibliography on: covid-19

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

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 19 Apr 2021 at 01:32 Created: 

covid-19

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

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RevDate: 2021-04-17

Dandel M (2021)

Heart-lung interactions in COVID-19: prognostic impact and usefulness of bedside echocardiography for monitoring of the right ventricle involvement.

Heart failure reviews [Epub ahead of print].

Due to the SARS-CoV-2 infection-related severe pulmonary tissue damages associated with a relative specific widespread thrombotic microangiopathy, the pathophysiologic role of heart-lung interactions becomes crucial for the development and progression of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction. The high resistance in the pulmonary circulation, as a result of small vessel thrombosis and hypoxemia, is the major cause of right heart failure associated with a particularly high mortality in severe COVID-19. Timely identification of patients at high risk for RV failure, optimization of mechanical ventilation to limit its adverse effects on RV preload and afterload, avoidance of medication-related increase in the pulmonary vascular resistance, and the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in refractory respiratory failure with hemodynamic instability, before RV failure develops, can improve patient survival. Since it was confirmed that the right-sided heart is particularly involved in the clinical deterioration of patients with COVID-19 and pressure overload-induced RV dysfunction plays a key role for patient outcome, transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) received increasing attention. Limited TTE focused on the right heart appears highly useful in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and particularly beneficial for monitoring of critically ill patients. In addition to detection of right-sided heart dilation and RV dysfunction, it enables assessment of RV-pulmonary arterial coupling and evaluation of RV adaptability to pressure loading which facilitate useful prognostic statements to be made. The increased use of bedside TTE focused on the right heart could facilitate more personalized management and treatment of hospitalized patients and can contribute towards reducing the high mortality associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Mavrogeni SI, Kolovou G, Tsirimpis V, et al (2021)

The importance of heart and brain imaging in children and adolescents with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

Rheumatology international [Epub ahead of print].

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) recently reported in a minority of children affected by SARS-CoV-2, mimics Kawasaki disease (KD), a medium vessel vasculitis of unknown cause. In contrast to acute COVID-19 infection, which is usually mild in children, 68% of patients with MIS-C will need intensive care unit. Myocarditis and coronary artery ectasia/aneurysm are included between the main cardiovascular complications in MIS-C. Therefore, close clinical assessment is need it both at diagnosis and during follow-up. Echocardiography is the cornerstone modality for myocardial function and coronary artery evaluation in the acute phase. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) detects diffuse myocardial inflammation including oedema/fibrosis, myocardial perfusion and coronary arteries anatomy during the convalescence and in adolescents, where echocardiography may provide inadequate images. Brain involvement in MIS-C is less frequent compared to cardiovascular disease. However, it is not unusual and should be monitored by clinical evaluation and brain magnetic resonance (MRI), as we still do not know its effect in brain development. Brain MRI in MIS-C shows T2-hyperintense lesions associated with restricted diffusion and bilateral thalamic lesions. To conclude, MIS-C is a multisystem disease affecting many vital organs, such as heart and brain. Clinical awareness, application of innovative, high technology imaging modalities and advanced treatment protocols including supportive and anti-inflammatory medication will help physicians to prevent the dreadful complications of MIS-C.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Kayki-Mutlu G, MC Michel (2021)

A year in pharmacology: new drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2020.

Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's archives of pharmacology [Epub ahead of print].

While the COVID-19 pandemic also affected the work of regulatory authorities, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a total of 53 new drugs in 2020, one of the highest numbers in the past decades. Most newly approved drugs related to oncology (34%) and neurology (15%). We discuss these new drugs by level of innovation they provide, i.e., first to treat a condition, first using a novel mechanisms of action, and "others." Six drugs were first in indication, 15 first using a novel mechanism of action, and 32 other. This includes many drugs for the treatment of orphan indications and some for the treatment of tropical diseases previously neglected for commercial reasons. Small molecules continue to dominate new drug approvals, followed by antibodies. Of note, newly approved drugs also included small-interfering RNAs and antisense oligonucleotides. These data show that the trend for declines in drug discovery and development has clearly been broken.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Singh D, SV Yi (2021)

On the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2.

Experimental & molecular medicine [Epub ahead of print].

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the ongoing global outbreak of a coronavirus disease (herein referred to as COVID-19). Other viruses in the same phylogenetic group have been responsible for previous regional outbreaks, including SARS and MERS. SARS-CoV-2 has a zoonotic origin, similar to the causative viruses of these previous outbreaks. The repetitive introduction of animal viruses into human populations resulting in disease outbreaks suggests that similar future epidemics are inevitable. Therefore, understanding the molecular origin and ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2 will provide critical insights for preparing for and preventing future outbreaks. A key feature of SARS-CoV-2 is its propensity for genetic recombination across host species boundaries. Consequently, the genome of SARS-CoV-2 harbors signatures of multiple recombination events, likely encompassing multiple species and broad geographic regions. Other regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome show the impact of purifying selection. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2, which enables the virus to enter host cells, exhibits signatures of both purifying selection and ancestral recombination events, leading to an effective S protein capable of infecting human and many other mammalian cells. The global spread and explosive growth of the SARS-CoV-2 population (within human hosts) has contributed additional mutational variability into this genome, increasing opportunities for future recombination.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Lugon P, Fuller T, Damasceno L, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 Infection Dynamics in Children and Household Contacts in a Slum in Rio de Janeiro.

Pediatrics pii:peds.2021-050182 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Chan WP, Yao MS, Lin MF, et al (2021)

Management and infection control practices in a Taiwanese radiology department during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi pii:S1684-1182(21)00064-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The radiology department was categorized as a "high risk area" during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and is similarly considered a "high risk area" during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The purpose of infection control is to isolate patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 from uninfected people by utilizing separate equipment, spaces, and healthcare workers. Infection control measures should be prioritized to prevent the nosocomial spread of infection. We established a COVID-19 infection control team in our radiology department. The team's responsibilities include triaging patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, performing imaging and reporting, using dedicated equipment, disinfecting the equipment and the immediate environment, and staff scheduling.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Theophanous R, Huang W, L Ragsdale (2021)

Cardiopulmonary Emergencies in Older Adults.

Emergency medicine clinics of North America, 39(2):323-338.

Older adults are susceptible to serious illnesses, including atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and pulmonary embolism. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in this age group and can cause complications such as thromboembolic events and stroke. Congestive heart failure is the most common cause of hospital admission and readmission in the older adult population. Older adults are at higher risk for pulmonary embolism because of age-related changes and comorbidities. Pneumonia is also prevalent and is one of the leading causes of death.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Palomares-Aguilera M, Inostroza-Allende F, LR Solar (2021)

Speech pathology telepractice intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic for Spanish-speaking children with cleft palate: A systematic review.

International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology, 144:110700 pii:S0165-5876(21)00093-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Due to the lockdown and quarantines caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to study and use telepractice for providing speech pathology interventions for children with cleft palate has arisen.

OBJECTIVE: To carry out a systematic review of the use of telepractice during the COVID-19 pandemic for providing speech pathology interventions for Spanish-speaking children with cleft palate.

METHODS: In July and August 2020, the authors searched the electronic databases Medline, LILACS, SciELO, and the Cochrane Library using the following keywords in English (MeSH): Cleft palate combined with Early intervention, Speech therapy, Rehabilitation of speech and language disorders, Speech production measurement, Speech articulation tests and Telemedicine. Original articles were selected and analyzed, complemented by an analysis of flowcharts and recommendations by the GES Clinical Guide of Cleft Lip and Palate of Chile's Government and the authors' expert opinions.

RESULTS: A total of 2680 articles were retrieved, of which 23 were critically analyzed and used to adapt the early stimulation, evaluation, and treatment of children with CP to speech therapy telepractice at the Gantz Foundation, a Hospital in Santiago de Chile.

LIMITATIONS: Only three researchers carried out a quick review, which limited the depth of individual analysis of the studies included. Also, the suggestions and material presented should be evaluated in future investigations.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review provides useful guidelines for providing speech pathology interventions through telepractice for children with cleft palate. Audiovisual materials seem to be extremely useful for families receiving the interventions. The use of interactive videos for Spanish-speaking children and educational videos for parents is manifest.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Asadi K, A Gholami (2021)

Virosome-based nanovaccines; a promising bioinspiration and biomimetic approach for preventing viral diseases: A review.

International journal of biological macromolecules pii:S0141-8130(21)00760-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Vaccination is the most effective means of controlling infectious disease-related morbidity and mortality. However, due to low immunogenicity of viral antigens, nanomedicine as a new opportunity in new generation of vaccine advancement attracted researcher encouragement. Virosome is a lipidic nanomaterial emerging as FDA approved nanocarriers with promising bioinspiration and biomimetic potency against viral infections. Virosome surface modification with critical viral fusion proteins is the cornerstone of vaccine development. Surface antigens at virosomes innovatively interact with targeted receptors on host cells that evoke humoral or cellular immune responses through antibody-producing B cell and internalization by endocytosis-mediated pathways. To date, several nanovaccine based on virosome formulations have been commercialized against widespread and life-threatening infections. Recently, Great efforts were made to fabricate a virosome-based vaccine platform against a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Thus, this review provides a novel overview of the virosome based nanovaccine production, properties, and application on the viral disease, especially its importance in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine discovery.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Machnicki S, Patel D, Singh A, et al (2021)

The Utility of Chest CT imaging in suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 Patients - a review of literature.

Chest pii:S0012-3692(21)00689-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating medical and economic consequences globally. The severity of COVID-19 is related, in a large measure, to the extent of pulmonary involvement. The role of chest CT in the management of patients with COVID-19 has evolved since the onset of the pandemic. Specifically, the description of CT findings, use of CT chest in various acute and subacute settings and its usefulness in predicting chronic disease have been better defined. We performed a review of published data on CT scans in COVID-19 patients. A summary of the range of imaging findings, from typical to less common abnormalities is provided. Familiarity with these findings may facilitate in the diagnosis and management of this disease. A comparison of sensitivity and specificity of CT chest with RT-PCR testing highlights the potential role of CT imaging in difficult to diagnose cases of Covid-19. The utility of CT imaging to assess prognosis, guide management, and identify acute pulmonary complications associated with SARS-COV-2 is highlighted. Beyond the acute stage, it is important for clinicians to recognize pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities, progressive fibrotic lung disease and vascular changes that may be responsible for persistent respiratory symptoms. A large collection of multi institutional images has been included to elucidate the CT findings described.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Ahsan N, Rao RSP, Wilson RS, et al (2021)

Mass spectrometry-based proteomic platforms for better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 induced pathogenesis and potential diagnostic approaches.

Proteomics [Epub ahead of print].

While protein-protein interaction is the first step of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, recent comparative proteomic profiling enabled the identification of over eleven thousand protein dynamics, thus providing a comprehensive reflection of the molecular mechanisms underlying the cellular system in response to viral infection. Here we summarize and rationalize the results obtained by various mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic approaches applied to the functional characterization of proteins and pathways associated with SARS-CoV-2-mediated infections in humans. Comparative analysis of cell-lines vs tissue samples indicates that our knowledge in proteome profile alternation in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is still incomplete and the tissue-specific response to SARS-CoV-2 infection can probably not be recapitulated efficiently by in vitro experiments. However, regardless of the viral infection period, sample types, and experimental strategies, a thorough cross-comparison of the recently published proteome, phosphoproteome, and interactome datasets led to the identification of a common set of proteins and kinases associated with PI3K-Akt, EGFR, MAPK, Rap1, and AMPK signaling pathways. Ephrin receptor A2 (EPHA2), was identified by 11 studies including all proteomic platforms suggesting as a potential future target for SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and the development of new therapeutic strategies. We further discuss the potentials of future proteomics strategies for identifying prognostic SARS-CoV-2 responsive age, gender-dependent tissue-specific protein targets. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Oguz SH, Koca M, BO Yildiz (2021)

Aging versus youth: Endocrine aspects of vulnerability for COVID-19.

Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized with a wide range of clinical presentations from asymptomatic to severe disease. In patients with severe disease, the main causes of mortality have been acute respiratory distress syndrome, cytokine storm and thrombotic events. Although all factors that may be associated with disease severity are not yet clear, older age remains a leading risk factor. While age-related immune changes may be at the bottom of severe course of COVID-19, age-related hormonal changes have considerable importance due to their interactions with these immune alterations, and also with endothelial dysfunction and comorbid cardiometabolic disorders. This review aims to provide the current scientific evidence on the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the pathway to severe COVID-19, from a collaborative perspective of age-related immune and hormonal changes together, in accordance with the clinical knowledge acquired thus far.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Liu WJ, Xiao H, Dai L, et al (2021)

Avian influenza A (H7N9) virus: from low pathogenic to highly pathogenic.

Frontiers of medicine [Epub ahead of print].

The avian influenza A (H7N9) virus is a zoonotic virus that is closely associated with live poultry markets. It has caused infections in humans in China since 2013. Five waves of the H7N9 influenza epidemic occurred in China between March 2013 and September 2017. H7N9 with low-pathogenicity dominated in the first four waves, whereas highly pathogenic H7N9 influenza emerged in poultry and spread to humans during the fifth wave, causing wide concern. Specialists and officials from China and other countries responded quickly, controlled the epidemic well thus far, and characterized the virus by using new technologies and surveillance tools that were made possible by their preparedness efforts. Here, we review the characteristics of the H7N9 viruses that were identified while controlling the spread of the disease. It was summarized and discussed from the perspectives of molecular epidemiology, clinical features, virulence and pathogenesis, receptor binding, T-cell responses, monoclonal antibody development, vaccine development, and disease burden. These data provide tools for minimizing the future threat of H7N9 and other emerging and re-emerging viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Samprathi M, M Jayashree (2020)

Biomarkers in COVID-19: An Up-To-Date Review.

Frontiers in pediatrics, 8:607647.

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses several challenges to clinicians. Timely diagnosis and hospitalization, risk stratification, effective utilization of intensive care services, selection of appropriate therapies, monitoring and timely discharge are essential to save the maximum number of lives. Clinical assessment is indispensable, but laboratory markers, or biomarkers, can provide additional, objective information which can significantly impact these components of patient care. COVID-19 is not a localized respiratory infection but a multisystem disease caused by a diffuse systemic process involving a complex interplay of the immunological, inflammatory and coagulative cascades. The understanding of what the virus does to the body and how the body reacts to it has uncovered a gamut of potential biomarkers. This review discusses the different classes of biomarkers - immunological, inflammatory, coagulation, hematological, cardiac, biochemical and miscellaneous - in terms of their pathophysiological basis followed by the current evidence. Differences between children and adults are highlighted. The role of biomarkers in the diagnosis and management of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is reviewed. The correlation of biomarkers with clinical and radiological features and the viral load, temporal evolution and the effect of treatment remain to be studied in detail. Which biomarker needs to be evaluated when and in whom, and how best this information can contribute to patient care are questions which currently lack convincing answers. With the evidence currently available broad guidelines on the rational use of available biomarkers are presented. Integrating clinical and laboratory data, monitoring trends rather than a single value, correlating with the natural course of the disease and tailoring guidelines to the individual patient and healthcare setting are essential.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Fasogbon BM, Ademuyiwa OH, Bamidele OP, et al (2021)

Positive Therapeutic Role of Selected Foods and Plant on Ailments with a Trend Towards COVID-19: A Review.

Preventive nutrition and food science, 26(1):1-11.

Each day since December 2019, increasing numbers of cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection are being detected as it spreads throughout all continents of the world except Antarctica. The virus is transmitted through contact with an infected environment or person, and the symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The healthcare systems of many countries are overwhelmed due to limited therapeutic options and the absence of an approved vaccine. Due to its poor healthcare systems, Africa may be the worst hit continent if other therapeutic alternatives are not explored. This review explores the source and origin of the COVID-19 infection, and alternative therapeutic options derived from available and cheap medicinal foods and plants that have been shown to alleviate similar infections. The results demonstrate the inhibitory activities of selected food crops and plants against human viruses similar to the novel COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Kumar A, Singh R, Kaur J, et al (2021)

Wuhan to World: The COVID-19 Pandemic.

Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 11:596201.

COVID-19 is a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), caused by SARS-CoV-2, a novel virus which belongs to the family Coronaviridae. It was first reported in December 2019 in the Wuhan city of China and soon after, the virus and hence the disease got spread to the entire world. As of February 26, 2021, SARS-CoV-2 has infected ~112.20 million people and caused ~2.49 million deaths across the globe. Although the case fatality rate among SARS-CoV-2 patient is lower (~2.15%) than its earlier relatives, SARS-CoV (~9.5%) and MERS-CoV (~34.4%), the SARS-CoV-2 has been observed to be more infectious and caused higher morbidity and mortality worldwide. As of now, only the knowledge regarding potential transmission routes and the rapidly developed diagnostics has been guiding the world for managing the disease indicating an immediate need for a detailed understanding of the pathogen and the disease-biology. Over a very short period of time, researchers have generated a lot of information in unprecedented ways in the key areas, including viral entry into the host, dominant mutation, potential transmission routes, diagnostic targets and their detection assays, potential therapeutic targets and drug molecules for inhibiting viral entry and/or its replication in the host including cross-neutralizing antibodies and vaccine candidates that could help us to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the current review, we have summarized the available knowledge about the pathogen and the disease, COVID-19. We believe that this readily available knowledge base would serve as a valuable resource to the scientific and clinical community and may help in faster development of the solution to combat the disease.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Li G, Chen Z, Lv Z, et al (2021)

Diabetes Mellitus and COVID-19: Associations and Possible Mechanisms.

International journal of endocrinology, 2021:7394378.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a recently emerged disease with formidable infectivity and high mortality. Emerging data suggest that diabetes is one of the most prevalent comorbidities in patients with COVID-19. Although their causal relationship has not yet been investigated, preexisting diabetes can be considered as a risk factor for the adverse outcomes of COVID-19. Proinflammatory state, attenuation of the innate immune response, possibly increased level of ACE2, along with vascular dysfunction, and prothrombotic state in people with diabetes probably contribute to higher susceptibility for SARS-CoV-2 infection and worsened prognosis. On the other hand, activated inflammation, islet damage induced by virus infection, and treatment with glucocorticoids could, in turn, result in impaired glucose regulation in people with diabetes, thus working as an amplification loop to aggravate the disease. Therefore, glycemic management in people with COVID-19, especially in those with severe illness, is of considerable importance. The insights may help to reduce the fatality in the effort against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Wehbe Z, Wehbe M, Iratni R, et al (2021)

Repurposing Ivermectin for COVID-19: Molecular Aspects and Therapeutic Possibilities.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:663586.

As of January 2021, SARS-CoV-2 has killed over 2 million individuals across the world. As such, there is an urgent need for vaccines and therapeutics to reduce the burden of COVID-19. Several vaccines, including mRNA, vector-based vaccines, and inactivated vaccines, have been approved for emergency use in various countries. However, the slow roll-out of vaccines and insufficient global supply remains a challenge to turn the tide of the pandemic. Moreover, vaccines are important tools for preventing the disease but therapeutic tools to treat patients are also needed. As such, since the beginning of the pandemic, repurposed FDA-approved drugs have been sought as potential therapeutic options for COVID-19 due to their known safety profiles and potential anti-viral effects. One of these drugs is ivermectin (IVM), an antiparasitic drug created in the 1970s. IVM later exerted antiviral activity against various viruses including SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we delineate the story of how this antiparasitic drug was eventually identified as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. We review SARS-CoV-2 lifecycle, the role of the nucleocapsid protein, the turning points in past research that provided initial 'hints' for IVM's antiviral activity and its molecular mechanism of action- and finally, we culminate with the current clinical findings.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Lamadrid P, Alonso-Peña M, San Segundo D, et al (2021)

Innate and Adaptive Immunity Alterations in Metabolic Associated Fatty Liver Disease and Its Implication in COVID-19 Severity.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:651728.

The coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has hit the world, affecting health, medical care, economies and our society as a whole. Furthermore, COVID-19 pandemic joins the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome in western countries. Patients suffering from obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, cardiac involvement and metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) have enhanced risk of suffering severe COVID-19 and mortality. Importantly, up to 25% of the population in western countries is susceptible of suffering from both MAFLD and COVID-19, while none approved treatment is currently available for any of them. Moreover, it is well known that exacerbated innate immune responses are key in the development of the most severe stages of MAFLD and COVID-19. In this review, we focus on the role of the immune system in the establishment and progression of MAFLD and discuss its potential implication in the development of severe COVID-19 in MAFLD patients. As a result, we hope to clarify their common pathology, but also uncover new potential therapeutic targets and prognostic biomarkers for further research.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Russo-Netzer P, M Ameli (2021)

Optimal Sense-Making and Resilience in Times of Pandemic: Integrating Rationality and Meaning in Psychotherapy.

Frontiers in psychology, 12:645926.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a wide variety of psychological crises worldwide. In order to respond rapidly and efficiently to the complex challenges, mental health professionals are required to adopt a multidimensional and integrative view. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) founded by Albert Ellis promotes rationality and self-acceptance. Logotherapy, pioneered by Viktor Frankl potentiates meaning and resilience. Both approaches are complementary and mutually enriching. The goal of this paper is to propose an integrative model of "optimal sense-making," a concept that combines both rationality and meaning, as well as the role of self-transcendence and healthy negative emotions. The model offers a theoretical and clinical foundation for efficient and effective psychological intervention plans for those affected by the pandemic. Along with theoretical background, illustrating case studies are presented to support potential application of the integrative model to affected individuals as well as the work of first-line health professionals during these times of pandemic. Implications are considered for utilizing theoretical and applied insights from the model to cultivate resilience in face of adversity and suffering.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Ackerson BK, Sy LS, Glenn S, et al (2021)

Pediatric Vaccination During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Pediatrics pii:peds.2020-047092 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Hrynick TA, Ripoll Lorenzo S, SE Carter (2021)

COVID-19 response: mitigating negative impacts on other areas of health.

BMJ global health, 6(4):.

'Vertical' responses focused primarily on preventing and containing COVID-19 have been implemented in countries around the world with negative consequences for other health services, people's access to and use of them, and associated health outcomes, especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). 'Lockdowns' and restrictive measures, especially, have complicated service provision and access, and disrupted key supply chains. Such interventions, alongside more traditional public health measures, interact with baseline health, health system, and social and economic vulnerabilities in LMICs to compound negative impacts. This analysis, based on a rapid evidence assessment by the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform in mid-2020, highlights the drivers and evidence of these impacts, emphasises the additional vulnerabilities experienced by marginalised social groups, and provides insight for governments, agencies, organisations and communities to implement more proportionate, appropriate, comprehensive and socially just responses that address COVID-19 in the context of and alongside other disease burdens. In the short term, there is an urgent need to monitor and mitigate impacts of pandemic responses on health service provision, access and use, including through embedding COVID-19 response within integrated health systems approaches. These efforts should also feed into longer-term strategies to strengthen health systems, expand universal healthcare coverage and attend to the social determinants of health-commitments, both existing and new-which governments, donors and international agencies must make and be held accountable to. Crucially, affected communities must be empowered to play a central role in identifying health priorities, allocating resources, and designing and delivering services.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Landecho MF, Marin-Oto M, Recalde-Zamacona B, et al (2021)

Obesity as an adipose tissue dysfunction disease and a risk factor for infections - Covid-19 as a case study.

European journal of internal medicine pii:S0953-6205(21)00097-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV2) disease (COVID-19) is a novel threat that hampers life expectancy especially in obese individuals. Though this association is clinically relevant, the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. SARS CoV2 enters host cells via the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 receptor, that is also expressed in adipose tissue. Moreover, adipose tissue is also a source of many proinflammatory mediators and adipokines that might enhance the characteristic COVID-19 cytokine storm due to a chronic low-grade inflammatory preconditioning. Further obesity-dependent thoracic mechanical constraints may also incise negatively into the prognosis of obese subjects with COVID-19. This review summarizes the current body of knowledge on the obesity-dependent circumstances triggering an increased risk for COVID-19 severity, and their clinical relevance.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Al Jumah M, Abulaban A, Aggad H, et al (2021)

Managing multiple sclerosis in the Covid19 era: a review of the literature and consensus report from a panel of experts in Saudi Arabia.

Multiple sclerosis and related disorders, 51:102925 [Epub ahead of print].

Disease-modifying therapies (DMT) for relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) act on the immune system, suggesting a need for caution during the SARS-CoV2/Covid-19 pandemic. A group of experts in MS care from Saudi Arabia convened to consider the impact of Covid-19 on MS care in that country, and to develop consensus recommendations on the current application of DMT therapy. Covid-19 has led to disruption to the care of MS in Saudi Arabia as elsewhere. The Expert Panel considered a DMT's overall tolerability/safety profile to be the most important consideration on whether or not to prescribe at this time. Treatment can be started or continued with interferon beta, teriflunomide, dimethyl fumarate, or natalizumab, as these DMTs are not associated with increased risk of infection (there was no consensus on the initiation of other DMTs). A consensus also supported continuing treatment regimens with fingolimod (or siponimod) and cladribine tablets for a patient without active Covid-19. No DMT should be imitated in a patient with active Covid-19, and (only) interferon beta could be continued in the case of Covid-19 infection. Vaccination against Covid-19 is a therapeutic priority for people with MS. New treatment should be delayed for 2-4 weeks for vaccination. Where treatment is already ongoing, vaccination against Covid-19 should be administered immediately without disruption of treatment (first-line DMTs, natalizumab, fingolimod), when lymphocytes have recovered sufficiently (cladribine tablets, alemtuzumab) or 4 months after the last dose (ocrelizumab). These recommendations will need to be refined and updated as new clinical evidence in this area emerges.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Saqrane S, El Mhammedi MA, Lahrich S, et al (2021)

Recent knowledge in favor of remdesivir (GS-5734) as a therapeutic option for the COVID-19 infections.

Journal of infection and public health, 14(5):655-660 [Epub ahead of print].

The management of SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been clearly determined and is based on potential therapies evaluated during the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV outbreaks. An emerging potential therapeutic approach currently being evaluated in numerous clinical trials is the remdesivir agent, which acts on COVID-19 by interfering with key steps in the virus replication cycle. It is considered a therapeutic option to be evaluated against COVID-19, based on data on its in vitro and in vivo activity against MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV coronaviruses. In this work, we provide an overview of remdesivir's discovery, mechanism of action, and the current studies exploring its clinical effectiveness. Recommendations for its use against COVID-19 infection are also summarized.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Mohanty A, Agnihotri S, Mehta A, et al (2021)

COVID-19 and cancer: Sailing through the tides.

Pathology, research and practice, 221:153417 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 with its rapid expansion has led to extraordinary implications in our understanding of viral infections and their management globally. In this current scenario of unusual circumstances and public health emergency, the cancer care per se is facing unprecedented challenges. The peculiarity of the SARS-CoV-2 infections is still being uncovered as the pandemic spreads across the populations than showing signs of its curtailment. The review highlights the significance of idiosyncrasy of the SARS-Cov-2 infection especially putting forth the importance of immunosenescence, both in the COVID-19 specific immune response in the infected lungs of the elderly and in the cancer patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.The focus of the article is directed towards demystifying the unparalleled essence of a proprotein convertase, Furin in the biology of the SARS-Cov-2 infection and its role in facilitating viral transmission through expedited cellular entry into alveolar epithelial cells in COVID-19 infected cancer patients. The risk stratification of the cancer treatment and guidelines shaped up by national and international oncology societies in providing uncompromised patient care during the COVID-19 crisis have also been addressed. The global efforts towards vaccination in developing SARS CoV-2 immunity are also discussed in this article.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Song WJ, Hui CKM, Hull JH, et al (2021)

Confronting COVID-19-associated cough and the post-COVID syndrome: role of viral neurotropism, neuroinflammation, and neuroimmune responses.

The Lancet. Respiratory medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Cough is one of the most common presenting symptoms of COVID-19, along with fever and loss of taste and smell. Cough can persist for weeks or months after SARS-CoV-2 infection, often accompanied by chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment, dyspnoea, or pain-a collection of long-term effects referred to as the post-COVID syndrome or long COVID. We hypothesise that the pathways of neurotropism, neuroinflammation, and neuroimmunomodulation through the vagal sensory nerves, which are implicated in SARS-CoV-2 infection, lead to a cough hypersensitivity state. The post-COVID syndrome might also result from neuroinflammatory events in the brain. We highlight gaps in understanding of the mechanisms of acute and chronic COVID-19-associated cough and post-COVID syndrome, consider potential ways to reduce the effect of COVID-19 by controlling cough, and suggest future directions for research and clinical practice. Although neuromodulators such as gabapentin or opioids might be considered for acute and chronic COVID-19 cough, we discuss the possible mechanisms of COVID-19-associated cough and the promise of new anti-inflammatories or neuromodulators that might successfully target both the cough of COVID-19 and the post-COVID syndrome.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Sinclair AJ, Maggi S, Abdelhafiz AH, et al (2021)

Dexamethasone and oxygen therapy in care home residents with diabetes: a management guide and algorithm for treatment: a rapid response action statement from the European Diabetes Working Party for Older People (EDWPOP) and European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS).

Aging clinical and experimental research [Epub ahead of print].

This statement addresses the need to provide clinically relevant and practical guidance for long-term care staff working in care homes and other stakeholders engaged in the care of residents who require consideration for dexamethasone and oxygen therapy. It had been provided following a series of consensus discussions between the EDWPOP and the EuGMS in January and February 2021. Its main aim is to minimise morbidity and mortality from serious acute illnesses including COVID-19 requiring these treatments within the long-term care sector.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Seifried J, Hoffmann A, Reda S, et al (2021)

[Recording of SARS-CoV-2 laboratory tests in Germany].

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

The collection of data on SARS-CoV‑2 tests is central to the assessment of the infection rate in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), data collected from various laboratory data recording systems are consolidated. First, this article aims to exemplify significant aspects regarding test procedures. Subsequently the different systems for recording laboratory tests are described and test numbers from the RKI test laboratory query and the laboratory-based SARS-CoV‑2 surveillance as well as accounting data from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians for SARS-CoV‑2 laboratory tests are shown.Early in the pandemic, the RKI test laboratory query and the laboratory-based SARS-CoV‑2 surveillance became available and able to evaluate data on performed tests and test capacities. By recording the positive and negative test results, statements about the total number of tests and the proportion of positive test rates can be made. While the aggregate test numbers are largely representative nationwide, they are not always representative at the state and district level. The billing data of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians can complement the laboratory data afterwards. In addition, it can provide a retrospective assessment of the total number of SARS-CoV‑2 numbers in Germany, because the services provided by statutory health insurers (around 85% of the population in Germany) are included. The various laboratory data recording systems complement one another and the evaluations flow into the recommended measures for the pandemic response.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Xu L, Herrington J, Cahill K, et al (2021)

Strategies to optimize a pediatric magnetic resonance imaging service.

Pediatric radiology [Epub ahead of print].

A pediatric MRI service is a vital component of a successful radiology department. Building an efficient and effective pediatric MRI service is a multifaceted process that requires detailed planning for considerations related to finance, operations, quality and safety, and process improvement. These are compounded by the unique challenges of caring for pediatric patients, particularly in the setting of the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition to material resources, a successful pediatric MRI service depends on a collaborative team consisting of radiologists, physicists, technologists, nurses and vendor specialists, among others, to identify and resolve challenges and to strive for continued improvement. This article provides an overview of the factors involved in both starting and optimizing a pediatric MRI service, including commonly encountered obstacles and some proposed solutions to address them.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Hamid S, Nasir MU, So A, et al (2021)

Clinical Applications of Dual-Energy CT.

Korean journal of radiology pii:22.e40 [Epub ahead of print].

Dual-energy CT (DECT) provides insights into the material properties of tissues and can differentiate between tissues with similar attenuation on conventional single-energy imaging. In the conventional CT scanner, differences in the X-ray attenuation between adjacent structures are dependent on the atomic number of the materials involved, whereas in DECT, the difference in the attenuation is dependent on both the atomic number and electron density. The basic principle of DECT is to obtain two datasets with different X-ray energy levels from the same anatomic region and material decomposition based on attenuation differences at different energy levels. In this article, we discuss the clinical applications of DECT and its potential robust improvements in performance and postprocessing capabilities.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Davda J, Reynolds K, Davis JD, et al (2021)

BLUEPRINT FOR PANDEMIC RESPONSE: FOCUS ON TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, AND PHARMACOMETRICS.

British journal of clinical pharmacology [Epub ahead of print].

Perhaps the most important lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that of preparedness. Enhanced surveillance systems for early threat detection will be crucial to maximizing response time for implementation of public health measures and mobilization of resources in containing an emerging pandemic. Recent outbreaks have been dominated by viral pathogens with RNA respiratory viruses being the most likely to have pandemic potential. These should therefore be a preparedness priority. Tools in the areas of virology, drug discovery, clinical pharmacology, translational medicine, and pharmacometrics should be considered key components in the rapid identification and development of existing and novel interventions for a pandemic response. Prioritization of therapeutics should be based on in vitro activity, likelihood of achieving effective drug concentrations at the site of action, and safety profile at the doses that will be required for clinical efficacy. Deployment strategies must be tailored to the epidemiology of the disease, and the adequacy of the response should be re-evaluated in view of evolving epidemiological factors. An interdisciplinary framework integrating drug pharmacology, viral kinetics, epidemiology and health economics could help optimize the deployment strategy by improving decision-making around who to treat, when to treat, and with what type of intervention for optimal outcomes. Lastly, while an effective vaccine will ultimately end a pandemic, antiviral drug intervention guided by clinical pharmacology principles will continue to play a critical role in any pandemic response.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Zuin M, Rigatelli G, Bilato C, et al (2021)

Pre-existing atrial fibrillation is associated with increased mortality in COVID-19 Patients.

Journal of interventional cardiac electrophysiology : an international journal of arrhythmias and pacing [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: The impacts of pre-existing atrial fibrillation (AF) on COVID-19-associated outcomes are unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the pooled prevalence of pre-existing AF and its short-term mortality risk in COVID-19 patients.

METHODS: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed in abstracting data and assessing validity. We searched MEDLINE and Scopus to locate all the articles published up to January 31, 2021, reporting data on pre-existing AF among COVID-19 survivors and non-survivors. The pooled prevalence of pre-existing AF was calculated using a random effects model and presenting the related 95% confidence interval (CI), while the mortality risk was estimated using the Mantel-Haenszel random effects models with odds ratio (OR) and related 95% CI. Statistical heterogeneity was measured using the Higgins I2 statistic.

RESULTS: Twelve studies, enrolling 15.562 COVID-19 patients (mean age 71.6 years), met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. The pooled prevalence of pre-existing AF was 11.0% of cases (95% CI: 7.8-15.2%, p < 0.0001) with high heterogeneity (I2 = 95.2%). Pre-existing AF was associated with higher risk of short-term death (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.47-3.36, p < 0.0001), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 79.1%).

CONCLUSION: Pre-existing AF is present in about 11% of COVID-19 cases but results associated with an increased risk of short-term mortality.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Firestone TM, Oyewole OO, Reid SP, et al (2021)

Repurposing Quinoline and Artemisinin Antimalarials as Therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2: Rationale and Implications.

ACS pharmacology & translational science, 4(2):613-623.

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has infected more than 116 million individuals globally and resulted in over 2.5 million deaths since the first report in December 2019. For most of this time, healthcare professionals have had few tools at their disposal. In December 2020, several vaccines that were shown to be highly effective have been granted emergency use authorization (EUA). Despite these remarkable breakthroughs, challenges include vaccine roll-out and implementation, in addition to deeply entrenched antivaccination viewpoints. While vaccines will prevent disease occurrence, infected individuals still need treatment options, and repurposing drugs circumvents the lengthy and costly process of drug development. SARS-CoV-2, like many other enveloped viruses, require the action of host proteases for entry. In addition, this novel virus employs a unique method of cell exit of deacidified lysosomes and exocytosis. Thus, inhibitors of lysosomes or other players in this pathway are good candidates to target SARS-CoV-2. Chemical compounds in the quinoline class are known to be lysomotropic and perturb pH levels. A large number of quinolines are FDA-approved for treatment of inflammatory diseases and antimalarials. Artemisinins are another class of drugs that have been demonstrated to be safe for use in humans and are widely utilized as antimalarials. In this Review, we discuss the use of antimalarial drugs in the class of quinolines and artemisinins, which have been shown to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and in vivo, and provide a rationale in employing quinolines as treatment of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical settings.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Aghayari Sheikh Neshin S, Shahjouei S, Koza E, et al (2021)

Stroke in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Pictorial Overview of the Pathoetiology.

Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 8:649922.

Since the early days of the pandemic, there have been several reports of cerebrovascular complications during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Numerous studies proposed a role for SARS-CoV-2 in igniting stroke. In this review, we focused on the pathoetiology of stroke among the infected patients. We pictured the results of the SARS-CoV-2 invasion to the central nervous system (CNS) via neuronal and hematogenous routes, in addition to viral infection in peripheral tissues with extensive crosstalk with the CNS. SARS-CoV-2 infection results in pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine release and activation of the immune system, COVID-19-associated coagulopathy, endotheliitis and vasculitis, hypoxia, imbalance in the renin-angiotensin system, and cardiovascular complications that all may lead to the incidence of stroke. Critically ill patients, those with pre-existing comorbidities and patients taking certain medications, such as drugs with elevated risk for arrhythmia or thrombophilia, are more susceptible to a stroke after SARS-CoV-2 infection. By providing a pictorial narrative review, we illustrated these associations in detail to broaden the scope of our understanding of stroke in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. We also discussed the role of antiplatelets and anticoagulants for stroke prevention and the need for a personalized approach among patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Ye C, Qi L, Wang J, et al (2021)

COVID-19 Pandemic: Advances in Diagnosis, Treatment, Organoid Applications and Impacts on Cancer Patient Management.

Frontiers in medicine, 8:606755.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally and rapidly developed into a worldwide pandemic. The sudden outburst and rapid dissemination of SARS-CoV-2, with overwhelming public health and economic burdens, highlight an urgent need to develop effective strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of infected patients. In this review, we focus on the current advances in the diagnostics and treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Notably, we also summarize some antineoplastic drugs repurposed for COVID-19 treatment and address the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for oncologists to manage cancer patients in this COVID-19 era. In addition, we emphasize the importance of organoid technology as a valuable experimental virology platform to better understand the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and assist rapid screening of drugs against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Jurado Hernández JL, IF Álvarez Orozco (2021)

COVID-19 in Children: Respiratory Involvement and Some Differences With the Adults.

Frontiers in pediatrics, 9:622240.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents a health problem with multidimensional impacts and heterogeneous respiratory involvement in children, probably due to the interaction between different and complex mechanisms that could explain its variable degrees of severity. Although the majority of reports reveal that children develop less severe cases, the number of patients is increasing with more morbidity. Most serious respiratory manifestations are acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pneumonia. By understanding the key aspects that can be used to differentiate between pediatric and adult respiratory compromise by COVID-19, we can improve our knowledge, and thus decrease the negative impact of the disease in the pediatric population. In this mini review, we summarize some of the mechanisms and findings that distinguish between adult and pediatric COVID-19 and respiratory involvement, taking into account some issues related to the physiopathology, diagnosis, clinical and paraclinical presentation, severity, treatment, and control of the disease.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Daly A, Sapra A, Albers CE, et al (2021)

Food Insecurity and Diabetes: The Role of Federally Qualified Health Centers as Pillars of Community Health.

Cureus, 13(3):e13841.

Food insecurity is a complex public health problem affecting millions of people globally. It leads to negative health outcomes in the afflicted population and the society at large. There is a self-perpetuating vicious cycle between food insecurity and chronic health conditions like diabetes. It is important for healthcare professionals to be aware of its existence, to be able to recognize it, and to work with their patients to find solutions for it. Simultaneously, the providers should advocate for their patients and make program administrators, policymakers, and legislatures aware of this crisis. During the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, when economies have been badly affected and many people have lost their jobs, this subject has arguably assumed much greater importance. In this article, we discuss the magnitude of the problem, its relation to diabetes mellitus, and the role that a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) can play in mitigating this problem.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Caron J, Ridgley LA, M Bodman-Smith (2021)

How to Train Your Dragon: Harnessing Gamma Delta T Cells Antiviral Functions and Trained Immunity in a Pandemic Era.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:666983.

The emergence of viruses with pandemic potential such as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus causing COVID-19 poses a global health challenge. There is remarkable progress in vaccine technology in response to this threat, but their design often overlooks the innate arm of immunity. Gamma Delta (γδ) T cells are a subset of T cells with unique features that gives them a key role in the innate immune response to a variety of homeostatic alterations, from cancer to microbial infections. In the context of viral infection, a growing body of evidence shows that γδ T cells are particularly equipped for early virus detection, which triggers their subsequent activation, expansion and the fast deployment of antiviral functions such as direct cytotoxic pathways, secretion of cytokines, recruitment and activation of other immune cells and mobilization of a trained immunity memory program. As such, γδ T cells represent an attractive target to stimulate for a rapid and effective resolution of viral infections. Here, we review the known aspects of γδ T cells that make them crucial component of the immune response to viruses, and the ways that their antiviral potential can be harnessed to prevent or treat viral infection.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Goplen NP, Cheon IS, J Sun (2021)

Age-Related Dynamics of Lung-Resident Memory CD8+ T Cells in the Age of COVID-19.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:636118.

Following respiratory viral infections or local immunizations, lung resident-memory T cells (TRM) of the CD8 lineage provide protection against the same pathogen or related pathogens with cross-reactive T cell epitopes. Yet, it is now clear that, if homeostatic controls are lost following viral pneumonia, CD8 TRM cells can mediate pulmonary pathology. We recently showed that the aging process can result in loss of homeostatic controls on CD8 TRM cells in the respiratory tract. This may be germane to treatment modalities in both influenza and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, particularly, the portion that present with symptoms linked to long-lasting lung dysfunction. Here, we review the developmental cues and functionalities of CD8 TRM cells in viral pneumonia models with a particular focus on their capacity to mediate heterogeneous responses of immunity and pathology depending on immune status.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Lupieri S (2021)

Refugee Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Review of Global Policy Responses.

Risk management and healthcare policy, 14:1373-1378.

Refugees and displaced persons have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet findings from this narrative review reveal that the health needs of refugees have been largely neglected within global healthcare responses. Such gaps include: (1) responding to the needs of refugees in camps and detention centers; (2) providing adequate public health information; (3) providing access to healthcare and mental health services; (4) and including refugees as decision-makers within health responses. More research is urgently needed to investigate why these gaps exists and to provide recommendations for improving the inclusiveness of healthcare policies during a pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Lee WY, Mok A, JPW Chung (2021)

Potential effects of COVID-19 on reproductive systems and fertility; assisted reproductive technology guidelines and considerations: a review.

Hong Kong medical journal = Xianggang yi xue za zhi [Epub ahead of print].

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) employs the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in the renin-angiotensin system for viral entry. The ACE2 receptor is present in both female and male reproductive systems, and reports of multi-organ involvement have led to uncertainty regarding its effects on the reproductive system and fertility. We review the existing literature regarding the function of ACE2 and the renin-angiotensin system in the female and male reproductive systems to postulate the possible implications of SARS-CoV-2 regarding fertility. Because of the presence of ACE2 in the ovaries, SARS-CoV-2 infection may disrupt ovarian function and hence oocyte quality. Higher expression of ACE2 in the endometrium with age and during the secretory phase raises concern about increased susceptibility to infection during periods of high ACE2 expression. The possibility of vertical transmission and the presence of ACE2 in the placenta and during pregnancy are also discussed. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in semen is controversial, but impaired semen quality has been found in men with moderate coronavirus disease 2019 infection. Evidence of orchitis and hormonal changes seen in male coronavirus disease 2019 infection may lead to infertility. The implications of these effects on assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcomes are also explored. The ART guidelines from different fertility societies for the management of patients treated with ART are provided. The importance of prioritising 'time-sensitive' patients for ART, counselling patients about the uncertainty and risks of ART, and pregnancy during the pandemic is discussed. Recommendations are also provided for infection control and safe regulation of ART centres and laboratories.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Astill Wright L, Gnanapragasam S, Downes AJ, et al (2021)

Managing COVID-19 related distress in primary care: principles of assessment and management.

BMC family practice, 22(1):73.

COVID-19 will cause normal feelings of worry and stress and many of those who experience higher levels of distress will experience resolution of their symptoms as society returns to pre-COVID-19 functioning. Only a minority are likely to develop a psychiatric disorder. Certain individuals may be vulnerable to experiencing persisting symptoms, such as those with pre-existing comorbidity. Management approaches could centre around using collaborative approaches to provide and build on already existing socioeconomic support structures, the avoidance of over-medicalisation, watchful waiting and finally treating those who do meet the criteria for psychiatric diagnosis. Primary care clinicians are likely be the first healthcare point of contact for most COVID-19 related distress and it is important that they are able to provide evidence based and evidence informed responses, which includes social, psychological and pharmacological approaches. This expert opinion paper serves to summarise some approaches, based primarily on indirect extrapolation of evidence concerning the general management of psychological distress, in the absence of COVID-19 specific evidence, to assist primary care clinicians in their assessment and management of COVID-19 related distress.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Muralidar S, Gopal G, SV Ambi (2021)

Targeting the viral-entry facilitators of SARS-CoV-2 as a therapeutic strategy in COVID-19.

Journal of medical virology [Epub ahead of print].

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of COVID-19 infection which has emerged as a global pandemic causing serious concerns. Lack of specific and effective therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 is a major concern and the development of vaccines is another important aspect in managing the infection effectively. The first step in the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis is the viral entry and it is mediated by its densely glycosylated spike protein (S-protein). Similar to the SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 also engages angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the host cell entry receptor. In addition to ACE2, several recent studies have implicated the crucial role cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) as a necessary assisting co-factor for ACE2-mediated SARS-CoV-2 entry. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 was also identified to use both endosomal cysteine proteases cathepsin B and L (CatB/L) and the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) for the pivotal role of S-protein priming mediating viral entry. As the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells is mandatory for viral infection, it becomes an extremely attractive therapeutic intervention point. In this regard, this review will focus on the therapeutic targeting of the crucial steps of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry like S-protein/ACE2 interaction and S-protein priming by host cell proteases. In addition, this review will also give insights to the readers on several therapeutic opportunities, pharmacological targeting of the viral-entry facilitators like S-Protein, ACE2, cell surface HS, TMPRSS2, and CatB/L and evidence for those drugs currently ongoing clinical studies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Boccatonda A, Cocco G, Ianniello E, et al (2021)

One year of SARS-CoV-2 and lung ultrasound: what has been learned and future perspectives.

Journal of ultrasound [Epub ahead of print].

A first screening by ultrasound can be relevant to set a specific diagnostic and therapeutic route for a patient with a COVID-19 infection. The finding of bilateral B-lines and white lung areas with patchy peripheral distribution and sparing areas is the most suggestive ultrasound picture of COVID-19 pneumonia. Failure to detect bilateral interstitial syndrome (A pattern) on ultrasound excludes COVID-19 pneumonia with good diagnostic accuracy, but does not exclude current infection. The use of shared semiotic and reporting schemes allows the comparison and monitoring of the COVID-19 pulmonary involvement over time. This review aims to summarise the main data on pulmonary ultrasound and COVID-19 to provide accurate and relevant information for clinical practice.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Lavergne JA, ML Kennedy (2021)

Telepsychiatry and Medical Students: a Promising Mental Health Treatment for Medical Student Use Both Personally and Professionally.

Current psychiatry reports, 23(6):31.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: We review recent findings on the use of telepsychiatry while investigating medical students' perceptions and willingness to use it for their mental health needs. We explore the impact of COVID-19 on medical school curriculums. We also investigate current education in medical schools surrounding telemedicine.

RECENT FINDINGS: Medical students experience symptoms of anxiety at a greater rate than the general population. Major barriers to help-seeking behaviors are the refusal to seek treatment due to fear of incurring negative views from supervising faculty, time constraints, and the cost of counseling services. Those who do use telemental health resources have positive views and believe that it is an effective tool. Medical students are willing to use telepsychiatry for their personal mental health needs and recognize its value as a treatment modality that will be useful for their future patients. The telemedicine field is evolving but many medical school curriculums do not include education on telemedicine.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Elekhnawy E, Kamar AA, F Sonbol (2021)

Present and future treatment strategies for coronavirus disease 2019.

Future journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 7(1):84.

Background: The recent pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in many challenges to the healthcare organizations around the world. Unfortunately, until now, there are no proven effective therapeutic agents against this virus.

Main body: Several evolving studies suggest repurposing a potential list of drugs which have appropriate pharmacological and therapeutic effects to be used in treating COVID-19 cases. In the present review, we will summarize the potential drugs suggested to be repurposed to be utilized in the treatment of COVID-19 patients like lopinavir-ritonavir, ribavirin, baloxavir marboxil, favipiravir, remdesvir, umifenovir, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, corticosteroids, losartan, statins, interferons, nitric oxide, epoprostenol, tocilizumab, siltuximab, sarilumab anakinra, and ruxolitinib. In addition, we discussed the possible future therapeutic regimens based on the recent molecular and genomic discoveries.

Conclusion: This review could provide beneficial information about the potential current and future treatment strategies to treat the pandemic COVID-19 disease.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Tse TJ, Purdy SK, Shen J, et al (2021)

Toxicology of alcohol-based hand rubs formulated with technical-grade ethanol.

Toxicology reports, 8:785-792.

Alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHRs) formulated with technical-grade ethanol were temporarily permitted in Canada and the U.S beginning April 2020 to meet the current demand due to COVID-19. ABHRs formulated with technical-grade ethanol are low risk for general use. In this review, we discuss the toxicity of common contaminants found in technical-grade ethanol, as well as contaminants that may have been introduced into the products during formulation and packaging of ABHRs. Although primary route of exposure is via dermal absorption and inhalation, there have been reported elevated concerns regarding to ingestion of ABHRs. Overall, the highest risks were associated with methanol (for its toxicity), ethyl acetate (skin defattening), and acetaldehyde (carcinogenic and teratogenic). For these reasons Health Canada and the United States Food and Drug Administration have issued recalls on products containing some of these contaminants. More vigilant policing by regulatory agencies and general product users are required to ensure compliance, safety, and efficacy of these new products, as demand continue to rise during this unprecedented pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Lisi F, Zelikin AN, R Chandrawati (2021)

Nitric Oxide to Fight Viral Infections.

Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany), 8(7):2003895.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) that has quickly and deeply affected the world, with over 60 million confirmed cases. There has been a great effort worldwide to contain the virus and to search for an effective treatment for patients who become critically ill with COVID-19. A promising therapeutic compound currently undergoing clinical trials for COVID-19 is nitric oxide (NO), which is a free radical that has been previously reported to inhibit the replication of several DNA and RNA viruses, including coronaviruses. Although NO has potent antiviral activity, it has a complex role in the immunological host responses to viral infections, i.e., it can be essential for pathogen control or detrimental for the host, depending on its concentration and the type of virus. In this Essay, the antiviral role of NO against SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and other human viruses is highlighted, current development of NO-based therapies used in the clinic is summarized, existing challenges are discussed and possible further developments of NO to fight viral infections are suggested.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Zhang Y, Tambo E, Djuikoue IC, et al (2021)

Early stage risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) strategies and measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.

Global health journal (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 5(1):44-50.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has proven to be tenacious and shows that the global community is still poorly prepared to handling such emerging pandemics. Enhancing global solidarity in emergency preparedness and response, and the mobilization of conscience and cooperation, can serve as an excellent source of ideas and measures in a timely manner. The article provides an overview of the key components of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) strategies at the early stages in vulnerable nations and populations, and highlight contextual recommendations for strengthening coordinated and sustainable RCCE preventive and emergency response strategies against COVID-19 pandemic. Global solidarity calls for firming governance, abundant community participation and enough trust to boost early pandemic preparedness and response. Promoting public RCCE response interventions needs crucially improving government health systems and security proactiveness, community to individual confinement, trust and resilience solutions. To better understand population risk and vulnerability, as well as COVID-19 transmission dynamics, it is important to build intelligent systems for monitoring isolation/quarantine and tracking by use of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems algorithms. Experiences and lessons learned from the international community is crucial for emerging pandemics prevention and control programs, especially in promoting evidence-based decision-making, integrating data and models to inform effective and sustainable RCCE strategies, such as local and global safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and mass immunization programs.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Katal S, Azam S, Bombardieri E, et al (2021)

Reopening the country: Recommendations for nuclear medicine departments.

World journal of nuclear medicine, 20(1):1-6.

The best practices for nuclear medicine departments to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic have been debated in the literature recently. However, as many governments have started to ease restrictions in activity due to COVID-19, a set of guidelines is needed to resume routine patient care throughout the world. The nonessential or elective procedures which were previously postponed or canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic will gradually restart in the following weeks despite the continued risks. In this paper, we aim to review some of the most effective general precautions to restart the regular nuclear medicine operations safely.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Banji D, Alqahtani SS, Banji OJF, et al (2021)

Calming the inflammatory storm in severe COVID-19 infections: Role of biologics- A narrative review.

Saudi pharmaceutical journal : SPJ : the official publication of the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society, 29(3):213-222.

The risk of Coronavirus infection continues, and the fear of resurgence indicates the lack of a successful therapeutic strategy. In severe COVID-19 infection, many immune cells and their products are involved, making management difficult. The abundant release of cytokines and chemokines in severe COVID-19 patients leads to profound hyper inflammation and the mobilization of immune cells, triggering the cytokine storm. The complications associated with the cytokine storm include severe respiratory distress, intravascular coagulation, multi-organ failure, and death. The enormous formation of interleukin (IL)-6 and hemopoietic factors such as granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) are implicated in the severity of the infection. Moreover, these inflammatory cytokines and factors signal through the Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway causing the activation of cytokine-related genes. The neutralization of these proteins could be of therapeutic help in COVID-19 patients and could mitigate the risk of mortality. IL-6 antagonist, IL-6 receptor antagonists, GM-CSF receptor inhibitors, and JAK-STAT inhibitors are being investigated to prevent intense lung injury in COVID-19 patients and increase the chances of survival. The review focuses the role of IL-6, GM-CSF, and JAK-STAT inhibitors in regulating the immune response in severely affected COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Kiss A, Ryan PM, T Mondal (2021)

Management of COVID-19-associated multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children: A comprehensive literature review.

Progress in pediatric cardiology [Epub ahead of print].

Introduction: The prevalence and severity of COVID-19 is greatly reduced in children, yet some pediatric patients develop a syndrome resembling Kawasaki Disease (KD), termed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). With an estimated incidence of 2/100,000 children, MIS-C is relatively rare, but can be fatal. Clinical features can include fever, hyperinflammatory state, gastrointestinal symptoms, myocardial dysfunction, and shock. The pathogenesis of MIS-C, although yet to be completely elucidated, appears to be distinct from KD in terms of epidemiology, severity, and biochemical signature.

Methods: This comprehensive review searched AMED, EBM Reviews, Embase, Healthstar, MEDLINE, ERIC, and Cochrane for studies that reported treatments and outcomes of MIS-C.

Results: The search strategy yielded 42 papers, from which 15 underwent full-text review (n = 386). A majority of children received intravenous immunoglobulin (77%) and some form of anticoagulation (63%). Steroid use was also common (44%), with immunotherapy used only in severe cases (n = 72). Outcomes reported included PICU admission (77%), need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (5%), and mortality (1.3%). Although efficacy of treatments for MIS-C have largely not yet been investigated, we propose close monitoring by a multidisciplinary team, symptomatic treatment (e.g., intravenous immunoglobulin for KD-like symptoms, steroids/immunotherapy for multisystem inflammation), and long-term follow-up.

Conclusion: Although outcomes are largely favorable, management is based on a different disease entity (KD), which may not be appropriate given the likely pathophysiologic divergences. Further research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of current MIS-C treatments and to determine more refined therapies.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Sanyal G, Särnefält A, A Kumar (2021)

Considerations for bioanalytical characterization and batch release of COVID-19 vaccines.

NPJ vaccines, 6(1):53.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted hundreds of laboratories around the world to employ traditional as well as novel technologies to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. The hallmarks of a successful vaccine are safety and efficacy. Analytical evaluation methods, that can ensure the high quality of the products and that can be executed speedily, must be in place as an integral component of Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control (CMC). These methods or assays are developed to quantitatively test for critical quality attributes (CQAs) of a vaccine product. While clinical (human) efficacy of a vaccine can never be predicted from pre-clinical evaluation of CQA, precise and accurate measurements of antigen content and a relevant biological activity (termed "potency") elicited by the antigen allow selection of potentially safe and immunogenic doses for entry into clinical trials. All available vaccine technology platforms, novel and traditional, are being utilized by different developers to produce vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. It took less than a year from the publication of SARS-CoV-2 gene sequence to Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the first vaccine, setting a record for speed in the history of vaccine development. The largest ever global demand for vaccines has prompted some vaccine developers to enter multiple manufacturing partnerships in different countries in addition to implementing unprecedented scale-up plans. Quantitative, robust, and rapid analytical testing for CQA of a product is essential in ensuring smooth technology transfer between partners and allowing analytical bridging between vaccine batches used in different clinical phases leading up to regulatory approvals and commercialization. We discuss here opportunities to improve the speed and quality of the critical batch release and characterization assays.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Cohen JS, Donnelly K, Patel SJ, et al (2021)

Firearms Injuries Involving Young Children in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Pediatrics pii:peds.2020-042697 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Bell TM, Robbins C, A Gosain (2021)

The Influence of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Pediatric Firearm Injuries.

Pediatrics pii:peds.2020-049746 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Chandra A, Chakraborty U, Ghosh S, et al (2021)

Anticoagulation in COVID-19: current concepts and controversies.

Postgraduate medical journal pii:postgradmedj-2021-139923 [Epub ahead of print].

Rising incidence of thromboembolism secondary to COVID-19 has become a global concern, with several surveys reporting increased mortality rates. Thrombogenic potential of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been hypothesised to originate from its ability to produce an exaggerated inflammatory response leading to endothelial dysfunction. Anticoagulants have remained the primary modality of treatment of thromboembolism for decades. However, there is no universal consensus regarding the timing, dosage and duration of anticoagulation in COVID-19 as well as need for postdischarge prophylaxis. This article seeks to review the present guidelines and recommendations as well as the ongoing trials on use of anticoagulants in COVID-19, identify discrepancies between all these, and provide a comprehensive strategy regarding usage of these drugs in the current pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Govender N, Khaliq OP, Moodley J, et al (2021)

Insulin resistance in COVID-19 and diabetes.

Primary care diabetes [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The epidemiology of COVID-19 and its association with cardiometabolic disorders is poorly understood. This is a narrative review that investigates the effects of COVID-19 infection on insulin resistance in patients with diabetes.

METHODS: An online search of all published literature was done via PubMed and Google Scholar using the MeSH terms "COVID-19," "SARS-CoV-2," "coronavirus," "insulin resistance," and "diabetes." Only articles that were directly applicable to insulin resistance in COVID-19 and diabetes was reviewed.

RESULTS: Current data shows an increased risk of mortality in patients with diabetes and COVID-19 compared to those without diabetes. COVID-19 triggers insulin resistance in patients, causing chronic metabolic disorders that were non-existent prior to infection.

CONCLUSION: Patients with diabetes are more susceptible to COVID-19 infection than those without diabetes. ACE2 expression decreases with infection, exaggerating Ang II activity with subsequent insulin resistance development, an exaggerated immune response and severe SARS-COV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Ortiz-Prado E, Espín E, Vásconez J, et al (2021)

Vaccine market and production capabilities in the Americas.

Tropical diseases, travel medicine and vaccines, 7(1):11.

In the Americas, The United States of America, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil are the top vaccine producers and the countries with the leading infrastructure for biological manufacturing. The North American countries have the most demanding legislation regulating and controlling these pharmaceuticals' distribution and production. Some Latin American countries rank in the top 20 of worldwide vaccine manufacturers, with Cuba, Brazil, México and Colombia have a self-sufficient vaccine production of 72.7%, 54,2%; 25%; and 7.7%, respectively, of the national vaccine demand. On the other hand, the rest of Latin American countries cannot satisfy their demand for vaccines, and most of their efforts are associated with the distribution within their health systems rather than in transferring technology.Based on this literature review, the results suggest an increasing growth vaccine demand, not only for their growing populations and previously established demand but also for the recently exerted pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Because the American continent has a marked inequality between the hegemonic producers of vaccines, the exporters, and those that depend heavily on importing these products, this could assert technological dependence in countries with rapid population growth and jeopardize the effectiveness of the two vaccination plans.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Chen B, Han J, Dai H, et al (2021)

Biocide-tolerance and antibiotic-resistance in community environments and risk of direct transfers to humans: Unintended consequences of community-wide surface disinfecting during COVID-19?.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 283:117074 [Epub ahead of print].

During the current pandemic, chemical disinfectants are ubiquitously and routinely used in community environments, especially on common touch surfaces in public settings, as a means of controlling the virus spread. An underappreciated risk in current regulatory guidelines and scholarly discussions, however, is that the persisting input of chemical disinfectants can exacerbate the growth of biocide-tolerant and antibiotic-resistant bacteria on those surfaces and allow their direct transfers to humans. For COVID-19, the most commonly used disinfecting agents are quaternary ammonium compounds, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, and ethanol, which account for two-thirds of the active ingredients in current EPA-approved disinfectant products for the novel coronavirus. Tolerance to each of these compounds, which can be either intrinsic or acquired, has been observed on various bacterial pathogens. Of those, mutations and horizontal gene transfer, upregulation of efflux pumps, membrane alteration, and biofilm formation are the common mechanisms conferring biocide tolerance in bacteria. Further, the linkage between disinfectant use and antibiotic resistance was suggested in laboratory and real-life settings. Evidence showed that substantial bacterial transfers to hands could effectuate from short contacts with surrounding surfaces and further from fingers to lips. While current literature on disinfectant-induced antimicrobial resistance predominantly focuses on municipal wastes and the natural environments, in reality the community and public settings are most severely impacted by intensive and regular chemical disinfecting during COVID-19 and, due to their proximity to humans, biocide-tolerant and antibiotic-resistant bacteria emerged in these environments may pose risks of direct transfers to humans, particularly in densely populated urban communities. Here we highlight these risk factors by reviewing the most pertinent and up-to-date evidence, and provide several feasible strategies to mitigate these risks in the scenario of a prolonging pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Masoodi N, Abou-Samra AB, Bertollini R, et al (2021)

Steps and Challenges in Creating and Managing Quarantine Capacity During a Global Emergency - Qatar's Experience.

Journal of infection and public health, 14(5):598-600 pii:S1876-0341(21)00035-6 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the lack of adequate and appropriate quarantine capacity globally. Most countries lack the knowledge and/or capacity to set up and manage quarantine facilities at a national scale.

METHODS: The State of Qatar developed a systematic plan to create and manage quarantine facilities for persons with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection or returning travelers and residents. A checklist was developed to streamline the process and to help other institutions requiring such guidance.

RESULTS: Three distinct stages were identified: acquisition, commissioning and active operations. Steps required for each stage were identified and added to the checklist.

CONCLUSION: We share our experience and a checklist for setting up new quarantine capacity at a national level. Such checklists can serve as a critical tool to quickly and efficiently ramp up capacity in this setting.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Khodeir MM, Shabana HA, Alkhamiss AS, et al (2021)

Early prediction keys for COVID-19 cases progression: A meta-analysis.

Journal of infection and public health, 14(5):561-569 pii:S1876-0341(21)00058-7 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUNDː: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), within few months of being declared as a global pandemic by WHO, the number of confirmed cases has been over 75 million and over 1.6 million deaths since the start of the Pandemic and still counting, there is no consensus on factors that predict COVID-19 case progression despite the diversity of studies that reported sporadic laboratory predictive values predicting severe progression. We review different biomarkers to systematically analyzed these values to evaluate whether are they are correlated with the severity of COVID-19 disease and so their ability to be a predictor for progression.

METHODS: The current meta-analysis was carried out to identify relevant articles using eight different databases regarding the values of biomarkers and risk factors of significance that predict progression of mild or moderate cases into severe and critical cases. We defined the eligibility criteria using a PICO model.

RESULTS: Twenty-two relevant articles were selected for meta-analysis the following biomarkers C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, LDH, neutrophil, %PD-1 expression, D-dimer, creatinine, AST and Cortisol all recorded high cut-off values linked to severe and critical cases while low lymphocyte count, and low Albumin level were recorded. Also, we meta- analyzed age and comorbidities as a risk factors of progression as hypertension, Diabetes and chronic obstructive lung diseases which significantly correlated with cases progression (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: ː The current meta-analysis is the first step for analysing and getting cut-off references values of significance for prediction COVID-19 case progression. More studies are needed on patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 and on a larger scale to establish clearer threshold values that predict progression from mild to severe cases. In addition, more biomarkers testing also help in building a scoring system for the prediction and guiding for proper timely treatment.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Ghosh S, Bornman C, MM Zafer (2021)

Antimicrobial Resistance Threats in the emerging COVID-19 pandemic: Where do we stand?.

Journal of infection and public health, 14(5):555-560 pii:S1876-0341(21)00055-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to exert a substantial toll on the global health and world economy and is now expected to be hidden by COVID-19 for a while. The wrong consumption of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic will raise disastrous effects on AMR management and antibiotic stewardship programs. This is related to the concerns extrapolated due to an increase in mortality rates in patients with bacterial coinfections. Importantly, the immune system of COVID-19 patients in regions with high AMR may be fighting on two fronts altogether, the virus and MDR bacteria. Current control policies to manage AMR and prioritization of antibiotic stewardship plans are mandatory during this pandemic. This review aims to discuss the rising concerns of the excess use of antibiotics in COVID-19 patients highlighting the role of bacterial coinfections in these patients. Types of prescribed antibiotics and the development of antibiotic resistance is addressed as well.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Qiu M, Huang S, Luo C, et al (2021)

Pharmacological and clinical application of heparin progress: An essential drug for modern medicine.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 139:111561 pii:S0753-3322(21)00346-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Heparin is the earliest and most widely used anticoagulant and antithrombotic drug that is still used in a variety of clinical indications. Since it was discovered in 1916, after more than a century of repeated exploration, heparin has not been replaced by other drugs, but a great progress has been made in its basic research and clinical application. Besides anticoagulant and antithrombotic effects, heparin also has antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and other pharmacological activities. It is widely used clinically in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, lung diseases, kidney diseases, cancer, etc., as the first anticoagulant medicine in COVID-19 exerts anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects. At the same time, however, it also leads to a lot of adverse reactions, such as bleeding, thrombocytopenia, elevated transaminase, allergic reactions, and others. This article comprehensively reviews the modern research progress of heparin compounds; discusses the structure, preparation, and adverse reactions of heparin; emphasizes the pharmacological activity and clinical application of heparin; reveals the possible mechanism of the therapeutic effect of heparin in related clinical applications; provides evidence support for the clinical application of heparin; and hints on the significance of exploring the wider application fields of heparin.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Dourado D, Freire DT, Pereira DT, et al (2021)

Will curcumin nanosystems be the next promising antiviral alternatives in COVID-19 treatment trials?.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 139:111578 pii:S0753-3322(21)00363-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 has become of striking interest since the number of deaths is constantly rising all over the globe, and the search for an efficient treatment is more urgent. In light of this worrisome scenario, this opinion review aimed to discuss the current knowledge about the potential role of curcumin and its nanostructured systems on the SARS-CoV-2 targets. From this perspective, this work demonstrated that curcumin urges as a potential antiviral key for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 based on its relation to the infection pathways. Moreover, the use of curcumin-loaded nanocarriers for increasing its bioavailability and therapeutic efficiency was highlighted. Additionally, the potential of the nanostructured systems by themselves and their synergic action with curcumin on molecular targets for viral infections have been explored. Finally, a viewpoint of the studies that need to be carried out to implant curcumin as a treatment for COVID-19 was addressed.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Mathis S, Le Masson G, Soulages A, et al (2021)

Olfaction and anosmia: From ancient times to COVID-19.

Journal of the neurological sciences, 425:117433 pii:S0022-510X(21)00127-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Olfaction, one of our five main qualitative sensory abilities, is the action of smelling or the capacity to smell. Olfactory impairment can be a sign of a medical problem, from a benign nasal/sinus problem up to a potentially serious brain injury. However, although clinicians (neurologists or not) usually test the olfactory nerves in specific clinical situations (for example, when a neurodegenerative disorder is suspected), they may omit such tests in many other situations. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the resurgence of anosmia has reminded us of the importance of testing this sensorineural function. We retrace here the main historical steps and discoveries concerning olfaction and anosmia.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Chew NW, Ow ZGW, Teo VXY, et al (2021)

The Global Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on STEMI care: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

The Canadian journal of cardiology pii:S0828-282X(21)00179-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) requiring primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) worldwide. This review examines the global impact of COVID-19 pandemic on incidence of STEMI admissions, and relationship between the pandemic and door-to-balloon time (D2B), all-cause mortality and other secondary STEMI outcomes.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to primarily compare D2B time and in-hospital mortality of STEMI patients who underwent primary PCI during and before the pandemic. Subgroup analyses were performed to investigate the influence of geographical region and income status of a country on STEMI care. An online database search included studies comparing the aforementioned outcomes between STEMI patients during and before the pandemic.

RESULTS: In total, 32 articles were analyzed. Overall, 19,140 and 68,662 STEMI patients underwent primary PCI during and before the pandemic respectively. Significant delay in D2B was observed during the pandemic (WMD=8.10mins; CI:3.90-12.30mins; p=0.0002, I2=90%). In-hospital mortality was higher during the pandemic (OR=1.27; CI:1.09-1.49; p=0.002, I2=36%), however this varied with factors such as geographical location and income status of a country. Subgroup analysis found that low-middle income countries observed a higher rate of mortality during the pandemic (OR=1.52; CI:1.13-2.05; p=0.006), with a similar but insignificant trend seen among the high income countries (OR=1.17; CI:0.95-1.44; p=0.13).

CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with worse STEMI performance metrics and clinical outcome, particularly in the Eastern low-middle income status countries. Better strategies are needed to address these global trends in STEMI care during the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Abel T, Moodley J, T Naicker (2021)

The Involvement of MicroRNAs in SARS-CoV-2 Infection Comorbid with HIV-Associated Preeclampsia.

Current hypertension reports, 23(4):20.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review investigated the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the synergy of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, preeclampsia (PE), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Maternal health is a great concern when treating pregnant women fighting this triad of diseases, which is highly prevalent in South Africa. MicroRNAs are involved in fine-tuning of physiological processes. Disruptions to the balance of this minute protein can lead to various physiological changes that are sometimes pathological.

RECENT FINDINGS: MicroRNAs have recently been implicated in PE and have been linked to the anti-angiogenic imbalance evident in PE. Recent in silico studies have identified potential host miRNAs with anti-viral properties against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studies have demonstrated dysregulated expression of several miRNAs in HIV-1 infection along with the ability of HIV-1 to downregulate anti-viral host microRNAs. This review has highlighted the significant gap in literature on the potential of miRNAs in women with HIV-associated PE in synergy with the novel SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, this review has provided evidence of the critical role that the epigenetic regulatory mechanism of miRNA plays in viral infections and PE, thereby providing a foundation for further research investigating the potential of therapeutic miRNA development with fewer side-effects for pregnant women.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Wang C, Xiao X, Feng H, et al (2021)

Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic: A Concise but Updated Comprehensive Review.

Current microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

An ongoing global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; previously temporarily named 2019-nCoV) was reported in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. SARS-CoV-2 has become a pandemic and a major public health concern. As of 18 January 2021, the virus has spread all over the world, resulting in over 99,026 cases in China and more than 95 million cases in another 216 countries. After three months of efforts, Chinese authorities have managed to control the outbreak by implementing aggressive and effective measures; by striking contrast, the number of confirmed patients outside China is still rapidly climbing following an exponential growth trend, especially in some European and American countries. To date, no specific therapeutic drugs still exist for COVID-19. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to understand the updated comprehensive summary regarding COVID-19, in the hopes of providing a reference for the intervention and prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic for public health authorities and healthcare workers around the world.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Augustin M, Hallek M, S Nitschmann (2021)

[Antibody therapy in patients with COVID-19].

Der Internist [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Diercke M, Claus H, Rexroth U, et al (2021)

[Adaptation of the routine surveillance system for infectious diseases in 2020 in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic].

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

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the routine surveillance system for infectious diseases had to be adapted. The disease was unknown before the first cases were reported under a catch-all notification requirement for new and threatening pathogens and diseases, but specific notification requirements for SARS-CoV‑2 detection by laboratories as well as for suspect cases of COVID-19 diagnosed by physicians were soon integrated in the infectious diseases protection act. This article describes how the notification system for infectious diseases was adapted in 2020 to meet the requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.In addition to the notification requirements, the list of data that is collected through the notification system was also amended. To facilitate the work of laboratories and local health authorities we have established the possibility for electronic reporting.Additionally, the software used for case and contact management within the local health authorities had to be adapted accordingly.COVID-19 notification data is important for the assessment of the current epidemiological situation and daily updated data was published by the Robert Koch Institute. To ensure timely data and good data quality, the IT infrastructure within the public health system has to be further modernized and the electronic notification system should be further strengthened.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Borges do Nascimento IJ, Marcolino MS, Abdulazeem HM, et al (2021)

Impact of Big Data Analytics on People's Health: Overview of Systematic Reviews and Recommendations for Future Studies.

Journal of medical Internet research, 23(4):e27275 pii:v23i4e27275.

BACKGROUND: Although the potential of big data analytics for health care is well recognized, evidence is lacking on its effects on public health.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the use of big data analytics on people's health based on the health indicators and core priorities in the World Health Organization (WHO) General Programme of Work 2019/2023 and the European Programme of Work (EPW), approved and adopted by its Member States, in addition to SARS-CoV-2-related studies. Furthermore, we sought to identify the most relevant challenges and opportunities of these tools with respect to people's health.

METHODS: Six databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews via Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, and Epistemonikos) were searched from the inception date to September 21, 2020. Systematic reviews assessing the effects of big data analytics on health indicators were included. Two authors independently performed screening, selection, data extraction, and quality assessment using the AMSTAR-2 (A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews 2) checklist.

RESULTS: The literature search initially yielded 185 records, 35 of which met the inclusion criteria, involving more than 5,000,000 patients. Most of the included studies used patient data collected from electronic health records, hospital information systems, private patient databases, and imaging datasets, and involved the use of big data analytics for noncommunicable diseases. "Probability of dying from any of cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes or chronic renal disease" and "suicide mortality rate" were the most commonly assessed health indicators and core priorities within the WHO General Programme of Work 2019/2023 and the EPW 2020/2025. Big data analytics have shown moderate to high accuracy for the diagnosis and prediction of complications of diabetes mellitus as well as for the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders; prediction of suicide attempts and behaviors; and the diagnosis, treatment, and prediction of important clinical outcomes of several chronic diseases. Confidence in the results was rated as "critically low" for 25 reviews, as "low" for 7 reviews, and as "moderate" for 3 reviews. The most frequently identified challenges were establishment of a well-designed and structured data source, and a secure, transparent, and standardized database for patient data.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the overall quality of included studies was limited, big data analytics has shown moderate to high accuracy for the diagnosis of certain diseases, improvement in managing chronic diseases, and support for prompt and real-time analyses of large sets of varied input data to diagnose and predict disease outcomes.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) CRD42020214048; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=214048.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Theoharides TC, Cholevas C, Polyzoidis K, et al (2021)

Long-COVID syndrome-associated brain fog and chemofog: Luteolin to the rescue.

BioFactors (Oxford, England) [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 leads to severe respiratory problems, but also to long-COVID syndrome associated primarily with cognitive dysfunction and fatigue. Long-COVID syndrome symptoms, especially brain fog, are similar to those experienced by patients undertaking or following chemotherapy for cancer (chemofog or chemobrain), as well in patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) or mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). The pathogenesis of brain fog in these illnesses is presently unknown but may involve neuroinflammation via mast cells stimulated by pathogenic and stress stimuli to release mediators that activate microglia and lead to inflammation in the hypothalamus. These processes could be mitigated by phytosomal formulation (in olive pomace oil) of the natural flavonoid luteolin.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Stracciari A, Bottini G, Guarino M, et al (2021)

Cognitive and behavioral manifestations in SARS-CoV-2 infection: not specific or distinctive features?.

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

Patients with COVID-19 are increasingly reported to suffer from a wide range of neurological complications, affecting both the central and peripheral nervous system. Among central manifestations, cognitive and behavioral symptoms are to date not exhaustively detailed. Furthermore, it is not clear whether these represent a combination of non-specific complications of a severe systemic disease, not differing from those usually seen in patients suffering from heterogenous pathological conditions affecting the central nervous system, or instead, they are a peculiar expression of COVID-19 neurotropism; in other words, if the infection has a coincidental or causal role in such patients. We examined both hypotheses, reporting opposite points of view, with the aim to stimulate discussion and raise awareness of the topic.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

di Filippo L, Doga M, Frara S, et al (2021)

Hypocalcemia in COVID-19: Prevalence, clinical significance and therapeutic implications.

Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 extra-pulmonary features include several endocrine manifestations and these are becoming strongly clinically relevant in patients affected influencing disease severity and outcomes.At the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic no population data on calcium levels in patients affected were available and in April 2020 a first case of severe acute hypocalcemia in an Italian patient with SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported. Subsequently, several studies reported hypocalcemia as a highly prevalent biochemical abnormality in COVID-19 patients with a marked negative influence on disease severity, biochemical inflammation and thrombotic markers, and mortality. Also a high prevalence of vertebral fractures with worse respiratory impairment in patients affected and a widespread vitamin D deficiency have been frequently observed, suggesting an emerging "Osteo-Metabolic Phenotype" in COVID-19.To date, several potential pathophysiological factors have been hypothesized to play a role in determining hypocalcemia in COVID-19 including calcium dependent viral mechanisms of action, high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in general population, chronic and acute malnutrition during critical illness and high levels of unbound and unsaturated fatty acids in inflammatory responses.Since hypocalcemia is a frequent biochemical finding in hospitalized COVID-19 patients possibly predicting worse outcomes and leading to acute cardiovascular and neurological complications if severe, it is reasonable to assess, monitor and, if indicated, replace calcium at first patient hospital evaluation and during hospitalization.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Das S, Ramachandran AK, Birangal SR, et al (2021)

The controversial therapeutic journey of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the battle against SARS-CoV-2: A comprehensive review.

Medicine in drug discovery, 10:100085.

Recently, the pandemic outbreak of a novel coronavirus, officially termed as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), indicated by a pulmonary infection in humans, has become one of the most significant challenges for public health. In the current fight against coronavirus disease-2019, the medical and health authorities across the world focused on quick diagnosis and isolation of patients; meanwhile, researchers worldwide are exploring the possibility of developing vaccines and novel therapeutic options to combat this deadly disease. Recently, based on various small clinical observations, uncontrolled case studies and previously reported antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-1 chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have attracted exceptional consideration as possible therapeutic agents against SARS-CoV-2. However, there are reports on little to no effect of CQ or HCQ against SARS-CoV-2, and many reports have raised concerns about their cardiac toxicity. Here, in this review, we examine the chemistry, molecular mechanism, and pharmacology, including the current scenario and future prospects of CQ or HCQ in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Khan AH, Tirth V, Fawzy M, et al (2021)

COVID-19 transmission, vulnerability, persistence and nanotherapy: a review.

Environmental chemistry letters pii:1229 [Epub ahead of print].

End 2019, the zoonotic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), named COVID-19 for coronavirus disease 2019, is the third adaptation of a contagious virus following the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in 2002, SARS-CoV, and the Middle East respiratory syndrome virus in 2012, MERS-CoV. COVID-19 is highly infectious and virulent compared to previous outbreaks. We review sources, contagious routes, preventive measures, pandemic, outbreak, epidemiology of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 from 2002 to 2020 using a Medline search. We discuss the chronology of the three coronaviruses, the vulnerability of healthcare workers, coronaviruses on surface and in wastewater, diagnostics and cures, and measures to prevent spreading.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Excler JL, Saville M, Berkley S, et al (2021)

Vaccine development for emerging infectious diseases.

Nature medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Examination of the vaccine strategies and technical platforms used for the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of those used for previous emerging and reemerging infectious diseases and pandemics may offer some mutually beneficial lessons. The unprecedented scale and rapidity of dissemination of recent emerging infectious diseases pose new challenges for vaccine developers, regulators, health authorities and political constituencies. Vaccine manufacturing and distribution are complex and challenging. While speed is essential, clinical development to emergency use authorization and licensure, pharmacovigilance of vaccine safety and surveillance of virus variants are also critical. Access to vaccines and vaccination needs to be prioritized in low- and middle-income countries. The combination of these factors will weigh heavily on the ultimate success of efforts to bring the current and any future emerging infectious disease pandemics to a close.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Kaslow DC (2021)

Force of infection: a determinant of vaccine efficacy?.

NPJ vaccines, 6(1):51.

Vaccine efficacy (VE) can vary in different settings. Of the many proposed setting-dependent determinants of VE, force of infection (FoI) stands out as one of the most direct, proximate, and actionable. As highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, modifying FoI through non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) use can significantly contribute to controlling transmission and reducing disease incidence and severity absent highly effective pharmaceutical interventions, such as vaccines. Given that NPIs reduce the FoI, the question arises as to if and to what degree FoI, and by extension NPIs, can modify VE, and more practically, as vaccines become available for a pathogen, whether and which NPIs should continue to be used in conjunction with vaccines to optimize controlling transmission and reducing disease incidence and severity.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Aldea M, Michot JM, Danlos FX, et al (2021)

Repurposing of anticancer drugs expands possibilities for antiviral and anti-inflammatory discovery in COVID-19.

Cancer discovery pii:2159-8290.CD-21-0144 [Epub ahead of print].

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented destabilization of the world's health and economic systems. The rapid spread and life-threatening consequences of COVID-19 have imposed a repurposing drug testing, by investigating drugs already used in other indications, including anti-cancer drugs. Anti-cancer drug repurposing started to contour after deciphering similarities between COVID-19 and malignancies pathogenesis, including abnormal inflammatory and immunological responses. In this review we will discuss the salient positive and negative points of repurposing the main anticancer drugs to further treat COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Tale S, P Meitei Soibam (2021)

Care of tuberculosis patients in the times of COVID-19.

The Indian journal of tuberculosis, 68(2):285-286.

Globally during this time of Covid-19 pandemic health care services are overhelmed and it has negative impact on other diseases like Tuberculosis (TB). High TB burden countries like India despite being faced by several other problems in present times, is continuously trying to provide uninterrupted services to TB patients through the national programs. In this general perspective we have shared our opinion on problems faced by TB patients in the times of covid-19.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Mascarenhas RE, Pralhad S, N Manaktala (2021)

Pan-dent-emic: safety considerations for dental surgery in the era of COVID-19.

Patient safety in surgery, 15(1):16.

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic spread has seized the entire world and has created extensive health concerns in the general population. Despite various efforts to prevent the pandemic spread, the flare-up of this disease is still soaring due to the community spread in every area. The droplet spread from the afflicted is of the highest concern because of its rapid spread to uninfected individuals. Dental treatments have to be planned and carried out with extreme caution and dental personnel should take extreme care and follow meticulous guidelines when treating an individual with SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection. This article highlights the clinical picture of COVID-19 (coronavirus diseases 2019) and presents a summary of precautionary and prophylactic measures in preventing the cross-infection and the nosocomial spread of the infection in a dental setting.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Dalmazane M, Gallou-Guyot M, Compagnat M, et al (2021)

Effects on gait and balance of home-based active video game interventions in persons with multiple sclerosis: A systematic review.

Multiple sclerosis and related disorders, 51:102928 pii:S2211-0348(21)00195-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic makes it difficult to obtain physical therapy in rehabilitation centres, particularly for persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), who are a population at high risk, since viral infections may contribute to MS exacerbations and relapses. Active video games could be a way to maintain physical therapy at home as part of the rehabilitation. The aim of this review is to summarise the current best evidence for the effectiveness of home-based active video games on gait and balance, user compliance, feasibility and safety for pwMS.

METHODS: We searched for studies in five databases (PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, CINAHL and Science direct) up to October 2020. Selection of studies, extraction of data and methodological quality assessment through the PEDro scale were made independently by two authors and discussed with a third author.

RESULTS: Nine studies were included in this systematic review. We found significant improvements in balance; results were mixed concerning mobility, physical activity and gait. Home-based active video games are feasible and safe, with good compliance and adherence. The methodological quality of the studies was moderate (PEDro scale: 5.3 ± 2).

CONCLUSION: Overall, home-based active video games were found safe and effective improving static and dynamic balance in pwMS. Compliance was good, probably because it is a motivating and enjoyable training. Active video games can be a relevant alternative for physical rehabilitation at home in pwMS. Future studies should follow more rigorous methodological standards (larger sample sizes, more randomised controlled trials) to improve the quality of evidence and include cost-effectiveness in the analysis.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Excler JL, Privor-Dumm L, JH Kim (2021)

Supply and delivery of vaccines for global health.

Current opinion in immunology, 71:13-20 pii:S0952-7915(21)00029-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Vaccines developed in high-income countries have been enormously successful in reducing the global burden of infectious diseases, saving perhaps 2.5 million lives per year, but even for successful cases, like the rotavirus vaccine, global implementation may take a decade or more. For unincentivized vaccines, the delays are even more profound, as both the supply of a vaccine from developing country manufacturers and vaccine demand from countries with the high disease burdens have to be generated in order for impact to be manifest. A number of poverty-associated infectious diseases, whose burden is greatest in low-income and middle-income countries, would benefit from appropriate levels of support for vaccine development such as Group A Streptococcus, invasive non-typhoid salmonella, schistosomiasis, shigella, to name a few. With COVID-19 vaccines we will hopefully be able to provide novel vaccine technology to all countries through a unique collaborative effort, the COVAX facility, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Whether this effort can deliver vaccine to all its participating countries remains to be seen, but this ambitious effort to develop, manufacture, distribute, and vaccinate 60-80% of the world's population will hopefully be a lasting legacy of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Surve RM, Sinha P, Baliga SP, et al (2021)

Electroconvulsive therapy services during COVID-19 pandemic.

Asian journal of psychiatry, 59:102653 pii:S1876-2018(21)00109-X [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) services hard worldwide as it is considered an elective procedure and hence has been given less importance. Other reasons include the risk of transmission of infections, lack of resources, and the scarcity of anesthesiologists due to their diversion to intensive care units to manage COVID-19 patients. However, ECT is an urgent and life-saving measure for patients diagnosed with depression and other severe mental illnesses who have suicidality, catatonia, or require a rapid therapeutic response. COVID-19 pandemic is a significant source of stress for individuals due to its impact on health, employment, and social support resulting in new-onset psychiatric illnesses and the worsening of a pre-existing disorder. Hence, a continuation of the ECT services during the COVID-19 pandemic is of paramount importance. In this narrative review, the authors from India have compiled the literature on the ECT practice during the COVID-19 pandemic related to the screening and testing protocol, necessity of personal protective equipment, modification in ECT Suite, electrical stmulus settings, and anesthesia technique modification. The authors have also shared their experiences with the ECT services provided at their institute during this pandemic. This description will help other institutes to manage the ECT services uninterruptedly and make ECT a safe procedure during the current pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Gasmi A, Tippairote T, Mujawdiya PK, et al (2021)

The microbiota-mediated dietary and nutritional interventions for COVID-19.

Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.) pii:S1521-6616(21)00062-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Worldwide, scientists are looking for specific treatment for COVID-19. Apart from the antiviral approach, the interventions to support healthy immune responses to the virus are feasible through diet, nutrition, and lifestyle approaches. This narrative review explores the recent studies on dietary, nutritional, and lifestyle interventions that influence the microbiota-mediated immunomodulatory effects against viral infections. Cumulative studies reported that the airway microbiota and SARS-CoV-2 leverage each other and determine the pathogen-microbiota-host responses. Cigarette smoking can disrupt microbiota abundance. The composition and diversification of intestinal microbiota influence the airway microbiota and the innate and adaptive immunity, which require supports from the balance of macro- and micronutrients from the diet. Colorful vegetables supplied fermentable prebiotics and anti-inflammatory, antioxidant phytonutrients. Fermented foods and beverages support intestinal microbiota. In sensitive individuals, the avoidance of the high immunoreactive food antigens contributes to antiviral immunity. This review suggests associations between airway and intestinal microbiota, antiviral host immunity, and the influences of dietary, nutritional, and lifestyle interventions to prevent the clinical course toward severe COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Patel P, Dhindsa D, Eapen DJ, et al (2021)

OPTIMIZING THE POTENTIAL FOR TELEHEALTH IN CARDIOVASCULAR CARE (IN THE ERA OF COVID-19): TIME WILL TELL.

The American journal of medicine pii:S0002-9343(21)00218-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, use of telehealth services had been limited in cardiovascular care. Potential benefits of telehealth include improved access to care, more efficient care management, reduced costs, the ability to assess patients within their homes while involving key caretakers in medical decisions, maintaining social distancing, and increased patient satisfaction. Challenges include changes in payment models, issues with data security and privacy, potential depersonalization of the patient-clinician relationship, limitations in the use of digital health technologies, and the potential impact on disparities - socioeconomic, gender, age-related, and access to technology and broadband. Implementation and expansion of telehealth from a policy and reimbursement practice standpoint are filled with difficult decisions, yet addressing these are critical to the future of healthcare.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Martins JRM, Villagelin DGP, Carvalho GA, et al (2021)

Management of thyroid disorders during the COVID-19 outbreak: a position statement from the Thyroid Department of the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (SBEM).

This position statement was prepared to guide endocrinologists on the best approach to managing thyroid disorders during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The most frequent thyroid hormonal findings in patients with COVID-19, particularly in individuals with severe disease, are similar to those present in the non-thyroidal illness syndrome and require no intervention. Subacute thyroiditis has also been reported during COVID-19 infection. Diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism during the COVID-19 pandemic may follow usual practice; however, should avoid frequent laboratory tests in patients with previous controlled disease. Well-controlled hypo and hyperthyroidism are not associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 infection or severity. Newly diagnosed hyperthyroidism during the pandemic should be preferably treated with antithyroid drugs (ATDs), bearing in mind the possibility of rare side effects with these medications, particularly agranulocytosis, which requires immediate intervention. Definitive treatment of hyperthyroidism (radioiodine therapy or surgery) may be considered in those cases that protective protocols can be followed to avoid COVID-19 contamination or once the pandemic is over. In patients with moderate Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) not at risk of visual loss, glucocorticoids at immunosuppressive doses should be avoided, while in those with severe GO without COVID-19 and at risk of vision loss, intravenous glucocorticoid is the therapeutic choice. Considering that most of the thyroid cancer cases are low risk and associated with an excellent prognosis, surgical procedures could and should be postponed safely during the pandemic period. Additionally, when indicated, radioiodine therapy could also be safely postponed as long as it is possible.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Cerda Thomas R (2020)

[Excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic, a narrative review].

Revista medica de Chile, 148(11):1647-1651.

Capturing all the deaths caused by COVID-19 through epidemiologic surveillance based on individual case notification is difficult, therefore, all-cause excess mortality (EM) is an appropriate measure for geographic comparisons and monitoring of the application of non-pharmacological sanitary measures. This is a narrative review of the literature about the observed EM during the COVID-19 pandemic. A research was made on scientific databases (Google Scholar, Pubmed, Virtual Health Library) using the terms "excess mortality", "excess deaths", "COVID-19", "coronavirus", "SARS-CoV-2". It included publications between 2019 and June 16, 2020. Twenty-seven articles were selected from 116 publications found. Most of them correspond to original articles with an analytical ecological study design. They confirm EM in the locations studied, with higher proportion of men and older people and with remarkable spatial heterogeneity. The need to optimize the standardization and updating of mortality registration and reporting mechanisms is highlighted. At a local level, data about EM that will allow these analyses is incipiently becoming available.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Rojas P, M Sarmiento (2020)

[Anti-inflammatory therapies for SARS-COV2 infection from a hematological perspective].

Revista medica de Chile, 148(11):1640-1646.

The pathophysiology of the inflammatory profile induced by SARS-COV2 infection has similarities with conditions of immune system activation with cytokine release such as hemophagocytic syndrome and some cases of acute graft-versus-host disease. There are encouraging results of clinical studies, performed with increasingly better methodological quality, supporting the use of targeted and specific anti-inflammatory therapy in selected groups of patients with COVID-19 with severe inflammation. In this review we describe the inflammatory pathophysiology of the disease and the recent findings about its treatment.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Furlong L, Serry T, Bridgman K, et al (2021)

An evidence-based synthesis of instructional reading and spelling procedures using telepractice: A rapid review in the context of COVID-19.

International journal of language & communication disorders [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Due to COVID-19, many educators and allied health practitioners are facing the challenge of rapidly transitioning to telepractice delivery of instructional reading and spelling procedures without being fully informed of the evidence.

AIMS: A rapid review was conducted to provide educators, allied health practitioners and policymakers with a synthesis of valid, relevant and actionable evidence relating to telepractice delivery of instructional reading and spelling procedures. The aim was to investigate the nature and outcomes of studies examining instructional reading and spelling procedures delivered via telepractice to school-aged students.

METHODS & PROCEDURES: A rapid review was undertaken in accordance with the eight-step process published by the Cochrane Rapid Reviews Methods Group. Medline (all databases), Embase, Cochrane and ProQuest Central were systematically searched with predefined search terms organized across four key concepts relating to the research questions.

OUTCOMES & RESULTS: Nine studies were included in this rapid review. Reading and spelling instruction and intervention using telepractice can be feasible and engaging. Telepractice assessment for reading and spelling can be equally effective as onsite assessment.

The evidence base for telepractice delivery of reading and spelling procedures is in its infancy in terms of both the quantity and the quality of the evidence. Insufficient evidence exists to draw clear conclusions about its efficacy, and therefore practitioners should proceed cautiously. What this paper adds What is already known on the subject For onsite delivery, evidence-based reading and spelling assessment, instruction and interventions delivered by educators and allied health practitioners have been shown to accelerate students' skills; less is known about the efficacy of instructional reading and spelling procedures in a telepractice model, which have rapidly become the new norm in many countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The benefits of telepractice include improved access to services, increased service availability, convenience, time efficiency, caseload management efficiency and removal of logistical barriers relating to cost and geographical location. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telepractice has facilitated continued access to services. What this study adds to existing knowledge Reading and spelling instruction and intervention delivered via telepractice can be feasible and engaging. Telepractice is a viable mode to deliver reading and spelling assessments with strong agreement between telepractice and onsite scores. Given their low methodological quality, the studies in this review provide valuable information around the how of telepractice reading and spelling procedures and highlight the factors that may contribute to positive outcomes with this service delivery model. What are the potential or actual clinical implications of this work? Educators and allied health practitioners need a thorough understanding of the student's telepractice environment and require adequate training and support to engage in telepractice service delivery. Educators and allied health practitioners should consider students for telepractice on a case-by-case basis. Practitioners should proceed cautiously with telepractice reading and spelling assessment, intervention and instruction, with the knowledge that the current available evidence is of limited quality.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Reinhardt D (2021)

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MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 163(7):27.

RevDate: 2021-04-13
CmpDate: 2021-04-13

Wang LQ, Tan Su Yin E, Wei GQ, et al (2020)

Weathering the storm: COVID-19 infection in patients with hematological malignancies.

Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B, 21(12):921-939.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Within a matter of months, this highly contagious novel virus has led to a global outbreak and is still spreading rapidly across continents. In patients with COVID-19, underlying chronic diseases and comorbidities are associated with dismal treatment outcomes. Owing to their immunosuppressive status, patients with hematological malignancies (HMs) are at an increased risk of infection and have a worse prognosis than patients without HMs. Accordingly, intensive attention should be paid to this cohort. In this review, we summarize and analyze specific clinical manifestations for patients with coexisting COVID-19 and HMs. Furthermore, we briefly describe customized management strategies and interventions for this susceptible cohort. This review is intended to guide clinical practice.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Labrague LJ (2021)

Psychological resilience, coping behaviours, and social support among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review of quantitative studies.

Journal of nursing management [Epub ahead of print].

AIM: To appraise and synthesize studies examining resilience, coping behaviours, and social support among healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

BACKGROUND: A wide range of evidence has shown that healthcare workers, currently on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19, are not spared from the psychological and mental health-related consequences of the pandemic. Studies synthesizing the role of coping behaviours, resilience, and social support in safeguarding the mental health of healthcare workers during the pandemic is largely unknown.

EVALUATION: This is a systematic review with a narrative synthesis. A total of 31 articles were included in the review.

KEY ISSUES: Healthcare workers utilized both problem-centred and emotion-centred coping to manage the stress-associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Coping behaviours, resilience, and social support were associated with positive mental and psychological health outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Substantial evidence supports the effectiveness of coping behaviours, resilience, and social support to preserve psychological and mental health among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to safeguard the mental health of healthcare workers during the pandemic, hospital and nursing administrators should implement proactive measures to sustain resilience in HCWs, build coping skills, and implement creative ways to foster social support in healthcare workers through theory-based interventions, supportive leadership, and fostering a resilient work environment.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Trimboli P, Camponovo C, Scappaticcio L, et al (2021)

Thyroid sequelae of COVID-19: a systematic review of reviews.

Reviews in endocrine & metabolic disorders [Epub ahead of print].

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has the potential to cause multi-organ effects including endocrine disorders. The impact of COVID-19 on the thyroid gland has been described but several aspects have to be clarified. The systematic review was conceived to achieve more solid information about: 1) which thyroid disease or dysfunction should be expected in COVID-19 patients; 2) whether thyroid patients have a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection; 3) whether the management has to be adapted in thyroid patient when infected. The literature was searched by two authors independently. A 5-step search strategy was a priori adopted. Only reviews focused on the relationship between thyroid and COVID-19 were included. The last search was performed on February 21st 2021. Two-hundred-forty-seven records was initially found and nine reviews were finally included. The reviews identified several potential thyroid consequences in COVID-19 patients, such as thyrotoxicosis, low-T3 syndrome and subacute thyroiditis, while no relevant data were found regarding the potential impact of COVID-19 on the management of patients on thyroid treatment. The present systematic review of reviews found that: 1) patients diagnosed with COVID-19 can develop thyroid dysfunction, frequently non-thyroidal illness syndrome when hospitalized in intensive care unit, 2) having a thyroid disease does not increase the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, 3) thyroid patients do not need a COVID-19-adapted follow-up. Anyway, several factors, such as critical illness and medications, could affect thyroid laboratory tests.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Ritz T, Salsman ML, Young DA, et al (2021)

Boosting Nitric Oxide in Stress and Respiratory Infection: Potential Relevance for Asthma and COVID-19.

Brain, behavior, & immunity - health [Epub ahead of print].

Nitric oxide (NO) is a ubiquitous signaling molecule that is critical for supporting a plethora of processes in biological organisms. Among these, its role in the innate immune system as a first line of defense against pathogens has received less attention. In asthma, levels of exhaled NO have been utilized as a window into airway inflammation caused by allergic processes. However, respiratory infections count among the most important triggers of disease exacerbations. Among the multitude of factors that affect NO levels are psychological processes. In particular, longer lasting states of psychological stress and depression have been shown to attenuate NO production. The novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has caused a pandemic, and with that, sustained levels of psychological stress globally, also adversely affects NO signaling. We review evidence on the role of NO in respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and stress, and argue that boosting NO bioavailability may be beneficial in protection from infections, thus benefitting individuals who suffer from stress in asthma or SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Barrantes FJ (2021)

The Unfolding Palette of COVID-19Multisystemic Syndrome and its Neurological Manifestations.

Brain, behavior, & immunity - health [Epub ahead of print].

Although our current knowledge of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is still fragmentary, the information so far accrued on the tropism and life cycle of its etiological agent SARS-CoV-2, together with the emerging clinical data, suffice to indicate that the severe acute pulmonary syndrome is the main, but not the only manifestation of COVID-19. Necropsy studies are increasingly revealing underlying endothelial vasculopathies in the form of micro-haemorrhages and micro-thrombi. Intertwined with defective antiviral responses, dysregulated coagulation mechanisms, abnormal hyper-inflammatory reactions and responses, COVID-19 is disclosing a wide pathophysiological palette. An additional property in categorising the disease is the combination of tissue (e.g. neuro- and vasculo-tropism) with organ tropism, whereby the virus preferentially attacks certain organs with highly developed capillary beds, such as the lungs gastrointestinal tract, kidney and brain. These multiple clinical presentations confirm that the acute respiratory syndrome as described initially is increasingly unfolding as a more complex nosological entity, a multiorgan syndrome of systemic breadth. The neurological manifestations of COVID-19, the focus of this review, reflect this manifold nature of the disease.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Lee T, Cau A, Cheng MP, et al (2021)

ANGIOTENSIN RECEPTOR BLOCKERS AND ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME INHIBITORS IN COVID-19 -META-ANALYSIS/META-REGRESSION ADJUSTED FOR CONFOUNDING FACTORS.

CJC open pii:S2589-790X(21)00071-8 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and/or angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors could alter mortality of COVID-19, but existing meta-analyses which combined crude and adjusted results may be confounded by comorbidities being more common in ARBs/ACE inhibitors users.

METHODS: We searched PubMed/MEDLINE/Embase for cohort studies and meta-analysis reporting mortality by pre-existing ARB/ACE inhibitor treatment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Random effects meta-regression was used to compute pooled odds ratios for mortality adjusted for imbalance in age, sex and prevalence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease between users and non-users of ARBs/ACE inhibitors at the study-level during data synthesis.

RESULTS: In 30 included studies of 17,281 patients, 22%, 68%, 25%, and 11% had cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease. ARBs/ACE inhibitors use was associated with significantly lower mortality after controlling for potential confounding factors (OR 0.77 (95% CI: 0.62, 0.96)). In contrast, meta-analysis of ARBs/ACE inhibitors use was not significantly associated with mortality when all studies were combined with no confounder adjustment performed (0.87 (95% CI: 0.71, 1.08)).

CONCLUSIONS: ARBs/ACE inhibitors use was associated with decreased mortality in cohorts of COVID-19 patients after adjusting for age, sex, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Unadjusted meta-analyses may not be appropriate for determining whether ARBs/ACE inhibitors are associated with mortality of COVID-19 because of indication bias.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Colombani T, Rogers ZJ, Eggermont LJ, et al (2021)

Harnessing biomaterials for therapeutic strategies against COVID-19.

Emergent materials [Epub ahead of print].

With the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the world is experiencing a profound human health crisis. The number of infections and deaths due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to increase every minute, pinpointing major shortcomings in our ability to prevent viral outbreaks. Although several COVID-19 vaccines have been recently approved for emergency use, therapeutic options remain limited, and their long-term potency has yet to be validated. Biomaterials science has a pivotal role to play in pushing the boundaries of emerging technologies for antiviral research and treatment. In this perspective, we discuss how biomaterials can be harnessed to develop accurate COVID-19 infection models, enhance antiviral drug delivery, foster new antiviral strategies, and boost vaccine efficacy. These efforts will not only contribute to stop or mitigate the current pandemic but will also provide unorthodox platforms to understand, prevent, and protect us from future viral outbreaks.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Hosseini M, Chen W, Xiao D, et al (2021)

Computational molecular docking and virtual screening revealed promising SARS-CoV-2 drugs.

Precision clinical medicine, 4(1):1-16 pii:pbab001.

The pandemic of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rampaged the world, with more than 58.4 million confirmed cases and over 1.38 million deaths across the world by 23 November 2020. There is an urgent need to identify effective drugs and vaccines to fight against the virus. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) belongs to the family of coronaviruses consisting of four structural and 16 non-structural proteins (NSP). Three non-structural proteins, main protease (Mpro), papain-like protease (PLpro), and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), are believed to have a crucial role in replication of the virus. We applied computational ligand-receptor binding modeling and performed comprehensive virtual screening on FDA-approved drugs against these three SARS-CoV-2 proteins using AutoDock Vina, Glide, and rDock. Our computational studies identified six novel ligands as potential inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2, including antiemetics rolapitant and ondansetron for Mpro; labetalol and levomefolic acid for PLpro; and leucal and antifungal natamycin for RdRp. Molecular dynamics simulation confirmed the stability of the ligand-protein complexes. The results of our analysis with some other suggested drugs indicated that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine had high binding energy (low inhibitory effect) with all three proteins-Mpro, PLpro, and RdRp. In summary, our computational molecular docking approach and virtual screening identified some promising candidate SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors that may be considered for further clinical studies.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

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.

Educator

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.

Administrator

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.

Technologist

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.

Publisher

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.

Speaker

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.

Facilitator

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.

Designer

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.

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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