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31 Jul 2021 at 01:37
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Bibliography on: covid-19


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-07-30

Robert AA, Al Saeed A, MA Al Dawish (2021)

COVID-19 among people with diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabia: Current situation and new perspectives.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 15(5):102231 pii:S1871-4021(21)00251-4 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIM: This review aims to report the current status of COVID-19 among people with diabetes, newly diagnosed diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, and programmatic efforts including vaccinations.

METHODS: We conducted a literature search using PubMed, Google, and Scopus until July 15, 2021.

RESULTS: In Saudi Arabia, most studies have reported diabetes as one of the highly prevalent comorbidities among patients with COVID-19. Currently, there are limited studies from Saudi Arabia on the newly diagnosed diabetes and diabetic ketoacidosis caused by COVID-19. The Saudi ministry has taken several measures to control the impact of COVID-19 among people with diabetes, including comprehensive guidelines and prioritized vaccinations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth services dramatically increased in diabetes clinics in Saudi Arabia.

CONCLUSIONS: Focused and evidence-based interventions are essential to control the impact of COVID-19 among people with diabetes.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Ndwandwe D, CS Wiysonge (2021)

COVID-19 vaccines.

Current opinion in immunology, 71:111-116 pii:S0952-7915(21)00090-X [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 is a pandemic of unprecedented proportions in recent human history. Less than 18 months since the onset of the pandemic, there are close to two hundred million confirmed cases and four million deaths worldwide. There have also been massive efforts geared towards finding safe and effective vaccines. By July 2021 there were 184 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical development, 105 in clinical development, and 18 vaccines approved for emergency use by at least one regulatory authority. These vaccines include whole virus live attenuated or inactivated, protein-based, viral vector, and nucleic acid vaccines. By mid-2021 three billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered around the world, mostly in high-income countries. COVID-19 vaccination provides hope for an end to the pandemic, if and only if there would be equal access and optimal uptake in all countries around the world.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Babaahmadi V, Amid H, Naeimirad M, et al (2021)

Biodegradable and multifunctional surgical face masks: A brief review on demands during COVID-19 pandemic, recent developments, and future perspectives.

The Science of the total environment, 798:149233 pii:S0048-9697(21)04306-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Providing the greater public with the current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines is time-consuming and research-intensive; intermediately, some essential ways to reduce the transmission include social distancing, personal hygiene, testing, contact tracing, and universal masking. The data suggests that universal masking, especially using multilayer surgical face masks, offers a powerful efficacy for indoor places. These layers have different functions including antiviral/antibacterial, fluid barrier, particulate and bacterial filtration, and fit and comfort. However, universal masking poses a serious environmental threat since billions of them are disposed on a daily basis; the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has put such demands and consequences in perspective. This review focuses on surgical face mask structures and classifications, their impact on our environment, some of their desirable functionalities, and the recent developments around their biodegradability. The authors believe that this review provides an insight into the fabrication and deployment of effective surgical face masks, and it discusses the utilization of multifunctional structures along with biodegradable materials to deal with future demands in a more eco-friendly fashion.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Ma H, Cassedy A, R O'Kennedy (2021)

The role of antibody-based troponin detection in cardiovascular disease: A critical assessment.

Journal of immunological methods pii:S0022-1759(21)00153-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Cardiovascular disease has remained the world's biggest killer for 30 years. To aid in the diagnosis and prognosis of patients suffering cardiovascular-related disease accurate detection methods are essential. For over 20 years, the cardiac-specific troponins, I (cTnI) and T (cTnT), have acted as sensitive and specific biomarkers to assist in the diagnosis of various types of heart diseases. Various cardiovascular complications were commonly detected in patients with COVID-19, where cTn elevation is detectable, which suggested potential great prognostic value of cTn in COVID-19-infected patients. Detection of these biomarkers circulating in the bloodstream is generally facilitated by immunoassays employing cTnI- and/or cTnT-specific antibodies. While several anti-troponin assays are commercially available, there are still obstacles to overcome to achieve optimal troponin detection. Such obstacles include the proteolytic degradation of N and C terminals on cTnI, epitope occlusion of troponin binding-sites by the cTnI/cTnT complex, cross reactivity of antibodies with skeletal troponins or assay interference caused by human anti-species antibodies. Therefore, further research into multi-antibody based platforms, multi-epitope targeting and rigorous validation of immunoassays is required to ensure accurate measurements. Moreover, with combination and modification of various latest technical (e.g. microfluidics), antibody-based troponin detection systems can be more specific, sensitive and rapid which could be incorporated into portable biosensor systems to be used at point-of care.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Piotrowicz K, Gąsowski J, Michel JP, et al (2021)

Post-COVID-19 acute sarcopenia: physiopathology and management.

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

In this review, we discuss the pathophysiologic and management aspects of acute sarcopenia in relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19 is as a multi-organ infectious disease characterized by a severe inflammatory and highly catabolic status, influencing the deep changes in the body build, especially the amount, structure, and function of skeletal muscles which would amount to acutely developed sarcopenia. Acute sarcopenia may largely impact patients' in-hospital prognosis as well as the vulnerability to the post-COVID-19 functional and physical deterioration. The individual outcome of the COVID-19 and the degree of muscle mass and functional loss may be influenced by multiple factors, including the patient's general pre-infection medical and functional condition, especially in older adults. This paper gathers the information about how the SARS-CoV-2 hyper-inflammatory involvement exacerbates the immunosenescence process, enhances the endothelial damage, and due to mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy, induces myofibrillar breakdown and muscle degradation. The aftermath of these acute and complex immunological SARS-CoV-2-related phenomena, augmented by anosmia, ageusia and altered microbiota may lead to decreased food intake and exacerbated catabolism. Moreover, the imposed physical inactivity, lock-down, quarantine or acute hospitalization with bedrest would intensify the acute sarcopenia process. All these deleterious mechanisms must be swiftly put to a check by a multidisciplinary approach including nutritional support, early physical as well cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation, and psychological support and cognitive training. The proposed holistic and early management of COVID-19 patients appears essential to minimize the disastrous functional outcomes of this disease and allow avoiding the long COVID-19 syndrome.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Correale M, Croella F, Leopizzi A, et al (2021)

The Evolving Phenotypes of Cardiovascular Disease during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Cardiovascular drugs and therapy [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the management of patients with acute and chronic cardiovascular disease: acute coronary syndrome patients were often not timely reperfused, heart failure patients not adequately followed up and titrated, atrial arrhythmias not efficaciously treated and became chronic. New phenotypes of cardiovascular patients were more and more frequent during COVID-19 pandemic and are expected to be even more frequent in the next future in the new world shaped by the pandemic. We therefore aimed to briefly summarize the main changes in the phenotype of cardiovascular patients in the COVID-19 era, focusing on new clinical challenges and possible therapeutic options.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Priesemann V, Meyer-Hermann M, Pigeot I, et al (2021)

[The contribution of epidemiological models to the description of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic].

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

After the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, an infection dynamic of immense extent developed. Since then, numerous measures have been taken to bring the infection under control. This was very successful in the spring of 2020, while the number of infections rose sharply the following autumn. To predict the occurrence of infections, epidemiological models are used. These are in principle a very valuable tool in pandemic management. However, they still partly need to be based on assumptions regarding the transmission routes and possible drivers of the infection dynamics. Despite numerous individual approaches, systematic epidemiological data are still lacking with which, for example, the effectiveness of individual measures could be quantified. Such information generated in studies is needed to enable reliable predictions regarding the further course of the pandemic. Thereby, the complexity of the models could develop hand in hand with the complexity of the available data. In this article, after delineating two basic classes of models, the contribution of epidemiological models to the assessment of various central aspects of the pandemic, such as the reproduction rate, the number of unreported cases, infection fatality rate, and the consideration of regionality, is shown. Subsequently, the use of the models to quantify the impact of measures and the effects of the "test-trace-isolate" strategy is described. In the concluding discussion, the limitations of such modelling approaches are juxtaposed with their advantages.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Larochelle RD, Mann SE, C Ifantides (2021)

3D Printing in Eye Care.

Ophthalmology and therapy [Epub ahead of print].

Three-dimensional printing enables precise modeling of anatomical structures and has been employed in a broad range of applications across medicine. Its earliest use in eye care included orbital models for training and surgical planning, which have subsequently enabled the design of custom-fit prostheses in oculoplastic surgery. It has evolved to include the production of surgical instruments, diagnostic tools, spectacles, and devices for delivery of drug and radiation therapy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased demand for personal protective equipment and supply chain shortages inspired many institutions to 3D-print their own eye protection. Cataract surgery, the most common procedure performed worldwide, may someday make use of custom-printed intraocular lenses. Perhaps its most alluring potential resides in the possibility of printing tissues at a cellular level to address unmet needs in the world of corneal and retinal diseases. Early models toward this end have shown promise for engineering tissues which, while not quite ready for transplantation, can serve as a useful model for in vitro disease and therapeutic research. As more institutions incorporate in-house or outsourced 3D printing for research models and clinical care, ethical and regulatory concerns will become a greater consideration. This report highlights the uses of 3D printing in eye care by subspecialty and clinical modality, with an aim to provide a useful entry point for anyone seeking to engage with the technology in their area of interest.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

da Silva Lopes L, Silva RO, de Sousa Lima G, et al (2021)

Is there a common pathophysiological mechanism between COVID-19 and depression?.

Acta neurologica Belgica [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 and was initially considered to cause serious damage to the respiratory system. Over time, it has been found to affect other organs due to its ability to bind to the ACE2 receptor (type 2 angiotensin-converting enzyme), which can be found in various tissues, including the central nervous system. In addition, a large formation of pro-inflammatory cytokines responsible for various lesions was observed during the evolution of this disease. Our objective was to demonstrate the molecular mechanisms involved in the infection that may demonstrate the relationship between COVID-19 and the development of depressive conditions. Based on the main medical databases (LiLacs, SciELO, Bireme, Scopus, EBSCO, and PubMed) and using the terms 'coronavirus infections' AND 'Inflammation' AND 'depression' AND 'cytokines', we conducted an integrative review of articles published in 2020. Considering this stage of Covid-19 and the inflammatory component of depression, this review showed a relationship between these two conditions based on common pathophysiological mechanisms indicating possible depressive disorders in surviving patients, especially in the most severe cases. The role of inflammatory cytokines and the presence of ACE-2 receptors on the cell surface appear to be the common pathophysiological mechanism between COVID-19 and depression.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Walter U, Volmer E, Wittstock M, et al (2021)

[Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis after COVID-19 vaccination : Neurological and radiological management].

Der Radiologe [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Vaccine-induced cerebral venous and sinus thrombosis (VI-CVST) is a rare complication in recipients of the adenovirus-vectored coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (Vaxzevria®; AstraZeneca).

OBJECTIVES: Development of a diagnostic and therapeutic standard.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Analysis of clinical and basic research findings, expert opinions, and experience with our own cases.

RESULTS: VI-CVST usually manifests on day 4-24 after vaccination, mostly in individuals aged < 60 years, and women. In the majority there is an immune pathogenesis caused by antibodies against platelet factor 4/polyanion complexes, leading to thrombotic thrombocytopenia which can result in severe, sometimes fatal, course. The cardinal symptom is headache worsening within days which, however, also can be of variable intensity. Other possible symptoms are seizures, visual disturbance, focal neurological deficits and signs of increased intracranial pressure. If VI-CVST is suspected, the determination of plasma D‑dimer level, platelet count, and screening for heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT-2) are essential for treatment decision-making. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with venous MR-angiography is the neuroimaging modality of choice to confirm or exclude VI-CVST. On T2* susceptibility-weighted MRI, the clot in the sinuses or veins produces marked susceptibility artifacts ("blooming"), which also enables the detection of isolated cortical venous thromboses. MRI/MR-angiography or computed tomography (CT)/CT-angiography usually allow-in combination with clinical and laboratory findings-reliable diagnosis of VI-CVST.

CONCLUSIONS: The clinical suspicion of VI-CVST calls for urgent laboratory and neuroimaging workup. In the presence of thrombocytopenia and/or pathogenic antibodies, specific medications for anticoagulation and immunomodulation are recommended.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Koppe U, Wilking H, Harder T, et al (2021)

[COVID-19 patients in Germany: exposure risks and associated factors for hospitalization and severe disease].

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

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread worldwide in 2020. By the end of June 2021, over 3.7 million people had been infected in Germany. The spread of the infection, however, is not evenly distributed across all parts of the population. Some groups are at a higher risk for SARS-CoV‑2 infections or severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) trajectories than others.This narrative review provides an overview of the parts of the population in Germany that are most affected by COVID-19. In addition, risk factors associated with hospitalization or severe courses of COVID-19 are identified.SARS-CoV‑2 transmission may occur in various locations and settings. Professional settings, e.g., in the meat-processing industry, but also leisure activities and large public events are particularly affected. In the course of the pandemic, certain comorbidities associated with an increased risk for hospitalization or severe courses of COVID-19 have been identified. These include preexisting pulmonary, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Patients with organ transplants and people with Down syndrome (trisomy 21) have the highest risk for hospitalization after SARS-CoV‑2 infection.The identified settings that contribute to the spread of SARS-CoV‑2 and the knowledge about vulnerable groups with a higher risk for hospitalization or severe disease trajectories form an important evidence base for the planning of prevention strategies and the fight against the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Duffy EY, Hiremath PG, Martinez-Amezcua P, et al (2021)

Opportunities to improve cardiovascular health in the new American workplace.

American journal of preventive cardiology, 5:100136 pii:S2666-6677(20)30136-7.

Adult working-class Americans spend on average 50% of their workday awake time at their jobs. The vast majority of these jobs involve mostly physically inactive tasks and frequent exposure to unhealthy food options. Traditionally, the workplace has been a challenging environment for cardiovascular prevention, where cardiovascular guidelines have had limited implementation. Despite the impact that unhealthy lifestyles at the workplace may have on the cardiovascular health of U.S. workers, there is currently no policy in place aimed at improving this. In this review, we discuss recent evidence on the prevalence of physical inactivity among Americans, with a special focus on the time spent at the workplace; and the invaluable opportunity that workplace-based lifestyle interventions may represent for improving the prevention of cardiovascular disease. We describe the current regulatory context, the key stakeholders involved, and present specific, guideline-inspired initiatives to be considered by both Congress and employers to improve the "cardiovascular safety" of US jobs. Additionally, we discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has forever altered the workplace, and what lessons can be taken from this experience and applied to cardiovascular disease prevention in the new American workplace. For many Americans, long sitting hours at their job represent a risk to their cardiovascular health. We discuss how a paradigm shift in how we approach cardiovascular health, from focusing on leisure time to also focusing on work time, may help curtail the epidemic of cardiovascular disease in this country.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Feldman DI, Michos ED, Stone NJ, et al (2020)

Same evidence, varying viewpoints: Three questions illustrating important differences between United States and European cholesterol guideline recommendations.

American journal of preventive cardiology, 4:100117 pii:S2666-6677(20)30117-3.

In 2018, the AHA/ACC Multisociety Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol was released. Less than one year later, the 2019 ESC/EAS Dyslipidemia Guideline was published. While both provide important recommendations for managing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk through lipid management, differences exist. Prior to the publication of both guidelines, important randomized clinical trial data emerged on non-statin lipid lowering therapy and ASCVD risk reduction. To illustrate important differences in guideline recommendations, we use this data to help answer three key questions: 1) Are ASCVD event rates similar in high-risk primary and stable secondary prevention? 2) Does imaging evidence of subclinical atherosclerosis justify aggressive use of statin and non-statin therapy (if needed) to reduce LDL-C levels below 55 ​mg/dL as recommended in the European Guideline? 3) Do LDL-C levels below 70 ​mg/dL achieve a large absolute risk reduction in secondary ASCVD prevention? The US guideline prioritizes both the added efficacy and cost implications of non-statin therapy, which limits intensive therapy to individuals with the highest risk of ASCVD. The European approach broadens the eligibility criteria by incorporating goals of therapy in both primary and secondary prevention. The current cost and access constraints of healthcare worldwide, especially amidst a COVID-19 pandemic, makes the European recommendations more challenging to implement. By restricting non-statin therapy to a subgroup of high- and, in particular, very high-risk individuals, the US guideline provides primary and secondary ASCVD prevention recommendations that are more affordable and attainable. Ultimately, finding a common ground for both guidelines rests on our ability to design trials that assess cost-effectiveness in addition to efficacy and safety.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Millar E, Gurney J, Beuker S, et al (2021)

Maintaining cancer services during the COVID-19 pandemic: the Aotearoa New Zealand experience.

The Lancet regional health. Western Pacific, 11:100172 pii:S2666-6065(21)00081-X.

COVID-19 caused significant disruption to cancer services around the world. The health system in Aotearoa New Zealand has fared better than many other regions, with the country being successful, so far, in avoiding sustained community transmission. However, there was a significant initial disruption to services across the cancer continuum, resulting in a decrease in the number of new diagnoses of cancer in March and April 2020. Te Aho o Te Kahu, Aotearoa New Zealand's national Cancer Control Agency, coordinated a nationwide response to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on people with cancer. The response, outlined in this paper, included rapid clinical governance, a strong equity focus, development of national clinical guidance, utilising new ways of delivering care, identifying and addressing systems issues and close monitoring and reporting of the impact on cancer services. Diagnostic procedures and new cancer registrations increased in the months following the national lockdown, and the cumulative number of cancer registrations in 2020 surpassed the number of registrations in 2019 by the end of September. Cancer treatment services - surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology and haematology - continued during the national COVID-19 lockdown in March and April 2020 and continued to be delivered at pre-COVID-19 volumes in the months since. We are cautiously optimistic that, in general, the COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to have increased inequities in cancer diagnosis and treatment for Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Robinson-Agramonte MA, Gonçalves CA, Noris-García E, et al (2021)

Impact of SARS-CoV-2 on neuropsychiatric disorders.

World journal of psychiatry, 11(7):347-354.

Evolving data show a variable expression of clinical neurological manifestations in patients suffering with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from early disease onset. The most frequent symptoms and signs are fatigue, dizziness, impaired consciousness, ageusia, anosmia, radicular pain, and headache, as well as others. Based on the high number of series of cases reported, there is evidence for the implication of the immune system in the pathological mechanism of COVID-19. Although the exact role of the immunological mechanism is not elucidated, two main mechanisms are suggested which implicate the direct effect of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection in the central nervous system and neuroinflammation. In the context of neurological manifestations associated with COVID-19, neuropsychiatric disorders show an exacerbation and are described by symptoms and signs such as depression, anxiety, mood alterations, psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, delirium, and cognitive impairment, which appear to be common in COVID-19 survivors. A worsened score on psychopathological measures is seen in those with a history of psychiatric comorbidities. We review the neuropsychiatric manifestations associated with COVID-19 and some critical aspects of the innate and adaptive immune system involved in mental health disorders occurring in COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Cai CZ, Lin YL, Hu ZJ, et al (2021)

Psychological and mental health impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers in China: A review.

World journal of psychiatry, 11(7):337-346.

The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has put healthcare workers in an unprecedented situation, increasing their psychological and mental health distress. Much research has focused on the issues surrounding anxiety, depression, and stress among healthcare workers. The consequences of mental health problems on healthcare workers' physical health, health-compromising behaviours, suicide ideation, family relationships, and job satisfaction during the COVID-19 pandemic are not well studied. Enhanced psychological stress has known effects on an individual's physical health. In healthcare workers with pre-existing comorbidities, psychological stressors may exacerbate their current health problems. Healthcare professionals are known to have a high risk of substance use, hence they may be at risk of development of substance use addiction or vulnerable to addiction relapse. Frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers are being pushed above and beyond their limits, possibly resulting in suicidal tendencies. Furthermore, the burden of high workload and burnout may also have serious manifestations in relationships with family and an intention to quit their jobs. Future studies should explore the above-mentioned deleterious consequences to provide insight into the development of mental healthcare strategies to combat the psychological impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers during the COVID-19 emergency. It is imperative to employ strategies to care for and policies to protect the psychological well-being of healthcare workers.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Daramola OJ, Osasan S, Ali H, et al (2021)

Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells directly participate in host immune response.

American journal of stem cells, 10(2):18-27.

The properties of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), including self-renewal and pluripotency, have been extensively studied. These features have been explored in the management of several haematological disorders and malignancies. Although their role as precursors of innate immune cells is well understood, little is known about their direct participation in host immune response. In this review, we explicate the direct role of HSPCs in the host immune response and highlight therapeutic options for the infectious disease burden that is currently ravaging the world, including COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Kodama C, Kuniyoshi G, A Abubakar (2021)

Lessons learned during COVID-19: Building critical care/ICU capacity for resource limited countries with complex emergencies in the World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Journal of global health, 11:03088 pii:jogh-11-03088.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Costa-Font J, Asaria M, E Mossialos (2021)

'Erring on the side of rare events'? A behavioural explanation for COVID-19 vaccine regulatory misalignment.

Journal of global health, 11:03080 pii:jogh-11-03080.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Arafat MY, Zaman S, MDH Hawlader (2021)

Telemedicine improves mental health in COVID-19 pandemic.

Journal of global health, 11:03004 pii:jogh-11-03004.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Ansari Ramandi MM, Yarmohammadi H, Beikmohammadi S, et al (2021)

Comparison of the cardiovascular presentations, complications and outcomes following different coronaviruses' infection: A systematic review.

Journal of cardiovascular and thoracic research, 13(2):92-101.

Manifestations caused by coronavirus family have presented it in many ways during the previous years. The aim of this systematic review was to gather all possible cardiovascular manifestations of the coronavirus family in the literature. Adhering to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, we searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane and ProQuest which were updated on May 1, 2020 for the last time. Regarding to the novelty and speed of publications on COVID-19, we searched Google Scholar and also references of included studies and review articles in the systematic search results were searched manually. The searched keywords were the combination of the following MeSH terms: "COVID-19", "SARS", "MERS" and "cardiovascular presentation". The systematic review was registered with ID CRD42020180736 in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO). After screening, 28 original articles and ten case studies (five case reports and five case series) were included. Most of the studies were focused on COVID-19 (20 original articles and four case studies) while the only studies about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) were a case report and a case series. Almost all the cardiovascular presentations and complications including acute cardiac injury, arrhythmias and the thrombotic complications were more prevalent in COVID-19 than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and MERS. The cardiac injury was the most common cardiovascular presentation and complication in COVID-19 whereas thrombotic complications were commonly reported in SARS. The cardiac injury was the predictor of disease severity and mortality in both COVID-19 and SARS.Coronavirus 2019 may present with cardiovascular manifestations and complications in signs and symptoms, laboratory data and other paraclinical findings. Also, cardiovascular complications in the course of COVID-19 may result in worse outcomes.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Viurcos-Sanabria R, G Escobedo (2021)

Immunometabolic bases of type 2 diabetes in the severity of COVID-19.

World journal of diabetes, 12(7):1026-1041.

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 and type 2 diabetes (T2D) have now merged into an ongoing global syndemic that is threatening the lives of millions of people around the globe. For this reason, there is a deep need to understand the immunometabolic bases of the main etiological factors of T2D that affect the severity of COVID-19. Here, we discuss how hyperglycemia contributes to the cytokine storm commonly associated with COVID-19 by stimulating monocytes and macrophages to produce interleukin IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in the airway epithelium. The main mechanisms through which hyperglycemia promotes reactive oxygen species release, inhibition of T cell activation, and neutrophil extracellular traps in the lungs of patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection are also studied. We further examine the molecular mechanisms by which proinflammatory cytokines induce insulin resistance, and their deleterious effects on pancreatic β-cell exhaustion in T2D patients critically ill with COVID-19. We address the effect of excess glucose on advanced glycation end product (AGE) formation and the role of AGEs in perpetuating pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Finally, we discuss the contribution of preexisting endothelial dysfunction secondary to diabetes in the development of neutrophil trafficking, vascular leaking, and thrombotic events in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. As we outline here, T2D acts in synergy with SARS-CoV-2 infection to increase the progression, severity, and mortality of COVID-19. We think a better understanding of the T2D-related immunometabolic factors that contribute to exacerbate the severity of COVID-19 will improve our ability to identify patients with high mortality risk and prevent adverse outcomes.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Abi Nassif T, Fakhri G, Younis NK, et al (2021)

Cardiac Manifestations in COVID-19 Patients: A Focus on the Pediatric Population.

The Canadian journal of infectious diseases & medical microbiology = Journal canadien des maladies infectieuses et de la microbiologie medicale, 2021:5518979.

Background: SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of the coronavirus family that emerged by the end of 2019 and led to the unpreceded COVID-19 pandemic. The virus affects multiple organs simultaneously and leads to a high rate of morbidity and mortality in all age groups. The cardiovascular system is one of the major affected organ systems. Various mechanisms including direct myocardial injury contribute to the cardiac manifestations of COVID-19 patients.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive and updated search on the cardiac manifestations of COVID-19. Our search included laboratory and imaging evaluations. In addition, we added a unique section on the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the cardiovascular system in the pediatric population.

Results: COVID-19 might have an effect on the cardiovascular system at various levels leading to myocardial ischemia, arrhythmia, heart failure, myocarditis, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. The incidence of cardiovascular complications varies among patients. This paper also provides a comprehensive summary of all the reported pediatric cases with cardiac manifestations.

Conclusion: Multidisciplinary teams are crucial for adequate management of patients with COVID-19 regardless of age. Timely diagnosis is critical in reducing mortality.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Grant AH, Estrada A, Ayala-Marin YM, et al (2021)

The Many Faces of JAKs and STATs Within the COVID-19 Storm.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:690477.

The positive-sense single stranded RNA virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), resulted in a global pandemic with horrendous health and economic consequences not seen in a century. At a finer scale, immunologically, many of these devastating effects by SARS-CoV-2 can be traced to a "cytokine storm" resulting in the simultaneous activation of Janus Kinases (JAKs) and Signal Transducers and Activators of Transcription (STAT) proteins downstream of the many cytokine receptor families triggered by elevated cytokines found in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this report, cytokines found in the storm are discussed in relation to the JAK-STAT pathway in response to SARS-CoV-2 and the lessons learned from RNA viruses and previous Coronaviruses (CoVs). Therapeutic strategies to counteract the SARS-CoV-2 mediated storm are discussed with an emphasis on cell signaling and JAK inhibition.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Chen R, Wang T, Song J, et al (2021)

Antiviral Drug Delivery System for Enhanced Bioactivity, Better Metabolism and Pharmacokinetic Characteristics.

International journal of nanomedicine, 16:4959-4984 pii:315705.

Antiviral drugs (AvDs) are the primary resource in the global battle against viruses, including the recent fight against corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Most AvDs require multiple medications, and their use frequently leads to drug resistance, since they have poor oral bioavailability and low efficacy due to their low solubility/low permeability. Characterizing the in vivo metabolism and pharmacokinetic characteristics of AvDs may help to solve the problems associated with AvDs and enhance their efficacy. In this review of AvDs, we systematically investigated their structure-based metabolic reactions and related enzymes, their cellular pharmacology, and the effects of metabolism on AvD pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. We further assessed how delivery systems achieve better metabolism and pharmacology of AvDs. This review suggests that suitable nanosystems may help to achieve better pharmacological activity and pharmacokinetic behavior of AvDs by altering drug metabolism through the utilization of advanced nanotechnology and appropriate administration routes. Notably, such AvDs as ribavirin, remdesivir, favipiravir, chloroquine, lopinavir and ritonavir have been confirmed to bind to the severe acute respiratory syndrome-like coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) receptor and thus may represent anti-COVID-19 treatments. Elucidating the metabolic and pharmacokinetic characteristics of AvDs may help pharmacologists to identify new formulations with high bioavailability and efficacy and help physicians to better treat virus-related diseases, including COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Delgado-Gonzalez P, Gonzalez-Villarreal CA, Roacho-Perez JA, et al (2021)

Inflammatory effect on the gastrointestinal system associated with COVID-19.

World journal of gastroenterology, 27(26):4160-4171.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has provoked a global pandemic, mainly affecting the respiratory tract; however, a percentage of infected individuals can develop gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Some studies describe the development of GI symptoms and how they affect the progression of COVID-19. In this review, we summarize the main mechanisms associated with gut damage during infection by SARS-CoV-2 as well as other organs such as the liver and pancreas. Not only are host factors associated with severe COVID-19 but intestinal microbiota dysbiosis is also observed in patients with severe disease.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Boraschi P, Giugliano L, Mercogliano G, et al (2021)

Abdominal and gastrointestinal manifestations in COVID-19 patients: Is imaging useful?.

World journal of gastroenterology, 27(26):4143-4159.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be considered a systemic disease with a specific tropism for the vascular system, in which the alterations of the microcirculation have an important pathogenetic role. The lungs are the main organ involved in COVID-19, and severe progressive respiratory failure is the leading cause of death in the affected patients; however, many other organs can be involved with variable clinical manifestations. Concerning abdominal manifestations, the gastrointestinal tract and the hepatobiliary system are mainly affected, although the pancreas, urinary tract and spleen may also be involved. The most common gastrointestinal symptoms are loss of appetite, followed by nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Gastrointestinal imaging findings include bowel wall thickening, sometimes associated with hyperemia and mesenteric thickening, fluid-filled segments of the large bowel and rarely intestinal pneumatosis and ischemia. Hepatic involvement manifests as an increase in the enzymatic levels of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, serum bilirubin and γ-glutamyl transferase with clinical manifestations in most cases mild and transient. The most frequent radiological features are hepatic steatosis, biliary sludge and gallstones. Edematous acute pancreatitis, kidney infarct and acute kidney injury from acute tubular necrosis have been described more rarely in COVID-19. Lastly, splenic involvement is characterized by splenomegaly and by the development of solitary or multifocal splenic infarcts with classic wedge-shaped or even rounded morphology, with irregular or smooth profiles. In summary, the abdominal radiological findings of COVID-19 are nonspecific and with poor pathological correlation reported in the literature. Ultrasound and particularly computed tomography with multiphasic acquisition are the diagnostic methods mainly utilized in COVID-19 patients with abdominal clinical symptoms and signs. Although radiological signs are not specific of abdominal and gastrointestinal involvement, the diagnostic imaging modalities and in particular computed tomography are helpful for the clinician in the management, evaluation of the severity and evolution of the COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Xu XL, Jiang LS, Wu CS, et al (2021)

The role of fibrosis index FIB-4 in predicting liver fibrosis stage and clinical prognosis: A diagnostic or screening tool?.

Journal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi pii:S0929-6646(21)00344-2 [Epub ahead of print].

This review evaluates the ability of the fibrosis index based on four factors (FIB-4) identifying fibrosis stages, long-time prognosis in chronic liver disease, and short-time outcomes in acute liver injury. FIB-4 was accurate in predicting the absence or presence of advanced fibrosis with cut-offs of 1.0 and 2.65 for viral hepatitis B, 1.45 and 3.25 for viral hepatitis C, 1.30 (<65 years), 2.0 (≥65 years), and 2.67 for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), respectively, but had a low-to-moderate accuracy in alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and autoimmune hepatitis. It performed better in excluding fibrosis, so we built an algorithm for identifying advanced fibrosis by combined methods and giving work-up and follow-up suggestions. High FIB-4 in viral hepatitis, NAFLD, and ALD was associated with significantly high hepatocellular carcinoma incidence and mortality. Additionally, FIB-4 showed the ability to predict high-risk varices with cut-offs of 2.87 and 3.91 in cirrhosis patients and predict long-term survival in hepatocellular carcinoma patients after hepatectomy. In acute liver injury caused by COVID-19, FIB-4 had a predictive value for mechanical ventilation and 30-day mortality. Finally, FIB-4 may act as a screening tool in the secondary prevention of NAFLD in the high-risk population.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Hunt RC, Struminger BB, Redd JT, et al (2021)

Virtual Peer-to-Peer Learning to Enhance and Accelerate the Health System Response to COVID-19: The HHS ASPR Project ECHO COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Initiative.

Annals of emergency medicine, 78(2):223-228.

Tasked with identifying digital health solutions to support dynamic learning health systems and their response to COVID-19, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response partnered with the University of New Mexico's Project ECHO and more than 2 dozen other organizations and agencies to create a real-time virtual peer-to-peer clinical education opportunity: the COVID-19 Clinical Rounds Initiative. Focused on 3 "pressure points" in the COVID-19 continuum of care-(1) the out-of-hospital and/or emergency medical services setting, (2) emergency departments, and (3) inpatient critical care environments-the initiative has created a massive peer-to-peer learning network for real-time information sharing, engaging participants in all 50 US states and more than 100 countries. One hundred twenty-five learning sessions had been conducted between March 24, 2020 and February 25, 2021, delivering more than 58,000 total learner-hours of contact in the first 11 months of operation.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Figueroa CA, Luo T, Aguilera A, et al (2021)

The need for feminist intersectionality in digital health.

The Lancet. Digital health, 3(8):e526-e533.

Digital health, including the use of mobile health apps, telemedicine, and data analytics to improve health systems, has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The social and economic fallout from COVID-19 has further exacerbated gender inequities, through increased domestic violence against women, soaring unemployment rates in women, and increased unpaid familial care taken up by women-all factors that can worsen women's health. Digital health can bolster gender equity through increased access to health care, empowerment of one's own health data, and reduced burden of unpaid care work. Yet, digital health is rarely designed from a gender equity perspective. In this Viewpoint, we show that because of lower access and exclusion from app design, gender imbalance in digital health leadership, and harmful gender stereotypes, digital health is disadvantaging women-especially women with racial or ethnic minority backgrounds. Tackling digital health's gender inequities is more crucial than ever. We explain our feminist intersectionality framework to tackle digital health's gender inequities and provide recommendations for future research.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Khachatryan SG (2021)

Insomnia Burden and Future Perspectives.

Sleep medicine clinics, 16(3):513-521.

Insomnia is an important but widely ignored health problem in modern society. Despite unequivocal evidence on its large prevalence, health and social impacts, comorbidities, and various pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic (behavioral and device-based) approaches, its effective management is still difficult and often incomplete. This article discusses the role of insomnia in modern societies, newer complicating factors, and its overall social and public health burden. Acute insomnia and sleep difficulties during pandemic and confinement are reviewed. The article also focuses on newer developments accumulating in the field of insomnia and possible future trends.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Grote L, Theorell-Haglöw J, Ulander M, et al (2021)

Prolonged Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Sleep Medicine Services-Longitudinal Data from the Swedish Sleep Apnea Registry.

Sleep medicine clinics, 16(3):409-416.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has affected the operation of health care systems. The direct impact of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on COVID-19 infection outcome remains to be elucidated. However, the coincidence of common risk factors for OSA and severe COVID-19 suggests that patients with OSA receiving positive airway pressure therapy may have an advantage relative to those untreated when confronted with a COVID-19 infection. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial reduction of sleep medicine services, and the long-term consequences may be considerable. New strategies for the management of sleep disorders are needed to overcome the current underdiagnosis and delay of treatment.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Kirienko M, Telo S, Hustinx R, et al (2021)

The Impact of COVID-19 on Nuclear Medicine in Europe.

Seminars in nuclear medicine pii:S0001-2998(21)00054-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed hospital activities, including nuclear medicine (NM) practice. This review aimed to determine and describe the impact of COVID-19 on NM in Europe and critically discuss actions and strategies applied to face the pandemic. A literature search for relevant articles was performed on PubMed, covering COVID-19 studies published up until January 21, 2021. The findings were summarized according to general and specific activities within the NM departments. The pandemic strongly challenged NM departments: a reduction in the workforce has been experienced in almost every center in Europe due to personnel diagnosed with COVID-19 and other reasons related to the coronavirus. NM departments introduced procedures to limit COVID-19 transmission, including environmental and personal hygiene, social distancing, rescheduling of non-high-priority procedures, the correct use of personal protective equipment, and prompt identification of suspect COVID-19 cases. A proportion of the departments experienced a delay in radiopharmaceuticals supply or technical assistance during the pandemic. Furthermore, the pandemic resulted in a significant reduction of diagnostic and therapeutic NM procedures, as well as a reduced level of care for patients affected by diseases other than COVID-19, such as cancer or acute cardiovascular disease. Telemedicine services have been set up to maintain medical assistance for patients. COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped human work resources, patient's diagnostic and therapeutic management, operative models, radiopharmaceutical supplies, teaching, training and research of NM departments. Limits of availability of resources emerged. Nonetheless, we have to provide continuity in care, especially for fragile patients, maintaining infection control measures. Challenges that have been faced should reshape our vision and get us prepared for the future.

RevDate: 2021-07-30
CmpDate: 2021-07-30

Galanter W, Rodríguez-Fernández JM, Chow K, et al (2021)

Predicting clinical outcomes among hospitalized COVID-19 patients using both local and published models.

BMC medical informatics and decision making, 21(1):224.

BACKGROUND: Many models are published which predict outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The generalizability of many is unknown. We evaluated the performance of selected models from the literature and our own models to predict outcomes in patients at our institution.

METHODS: We searched the literature for models predicting outcomes in inpatients with COVID-19. We produced models of mortality or criticality (mortality or ICU admission) in a development cohort. We tested external models which provided sufficient information and our models using a test cohort of our most recent patients. The performance of models was compared using the area under the receiver operator curve (AUC).

RESULTS: Our literature review yielded 41 papers. Of those, 8 were found to have sufficient documentation and concordance with features available in our cohort to implement in our test cohort. All models were from Chinese patients. One model predicted criticality and seven mortality. Tested against the test cohort, internal models had an AUC of 0.84 (0.74-0.94) for mortality and 0.83 (0.76-0.90) for criticality. The best external model had an AUC of 0.89 (0.82-0.96) using three variables, another an AUC of 0.84 (0.78-0.91) using ten variables. AUC's ranged from 0.68 to 0.89. On average, models tested were unable to produce predictions in 27% of patients due to missing lab data.

CONCLUSION: Despite differences in pandemic timeline, race, and socio-cultural healthcare context some models derived in China performed well. For healthcare organizations considering implementation of an external model, concordance between the features used in the model and features available in their own patients may be important. Analysis of both local and external models should be done to help decide on what prediction method is used to provide clinical decision support to clinicians treating COVID-19 patients as well as what lab tests should be included in order sets.

RevDate: 2021-07-30
CmpDate: 2021-07-30

Finsterer J, FA Scorza (2021)

Infectious and immune-mediated central nervous system disease in 48 COVID-19 patients.

Journal of clinical neuroscience : official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia, 90:140-143.

OBJECTIVES: To summarise and discuss current knowledge about SARS-CoV-2-associated infectious/immune-mediatedcentral nervous system (CNS)-disease.

METHOD: Literature review.

RESULTS: Altogether 28 articles were found, which reported 48 patients with SARS-CoV-2-associated infectious/immune-mediatedCNS-disease. Age ranged from 22 to 79y. There was male preponderance. There were 14 patients with infectious CNS-disease (meningitis (n = 1), encephalitis (n = 5), meningo-encephalitis (n = 5), myelitis (n = 3)), and 34 patients with parainfectious CNS-disease (encephalopathy (n = 18), autoimmune encephalitis (n = 11), acute, disseminated, encephalo-myelitis (n = 3), acute, haemorrhagic, necrotizing encephalopathy (n = 2)). The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was tested for SARS-CoV-2 in 40 patients and was positive for the virus in 4 patients with infectious CNS-disease but was negative for the virus in all patients with parainfectious CNS-disease. Immune-modulating treatment may be more effective than virostatics/antibiotics for SARS-CoV-2-associated infectious/parainfectious, non-vascular, non-hypoxic CNS-disease. In patients with autoimmune encephalitis plasmapheresis may be beneficial. Twenty-two patients recovered, 2 did not, and 6 patients died.

CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 can cause infectious/immune-mediatedCNS-disease. The CSF is positive for virus-RNA in only few patients with infectious CNS-disease but negative for virus-RNA in immune-mediatedCNS-disease, suggesting an immune-mediated pathophysiological mechanism. The outcome of SARS-CoV-2-associated infectious/immune-mediatedCNS-disease is favourable in the majority of cases but can be fatal in single cases.

RevDate: 2021-07-30
CmpDate: 2021-07-30

Kaur H, Sarma P, Bhattacharyya A, et al (2021)

Efficacy and safety of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) inhibitors "leflunomide" and "teriflunomide" in Covid-19: A narrative review.

European journal of pharmacology, 906:174233.

Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) is rate-limiting enzyme in biosynthesis of pyrimidone which catalyzes the oxidation of dihydro-orotate to orotate. Orotate is utilized in the biosynthesis of uridine-monophosphate. DHODH inhibitors have shown promise as antiviral agent against Cytomegalovirus, Ebola, Influenza, Epstein Barr and Picornavirus. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 action of DHODH inhibitors are also coming up. In this review, we have reviewed the safety and efficacy of approved DHODH inhibitors (leflunomide and teriflunomide) against COVID-19. In target-centered in silico studies, leflunomide showed favorable binding to active site of MPro and spike: ACE2 interface. In artificial-intelligence/machine-learning based studies, leflunomide was among the top 50 ligands targeting spike: ACE2 interaction. Leflunomide is also found to interact with differentially regulated pathways [identified by KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) and reactome pathway analysis of host transcriptome data] in cogena based drug-repurposing studies. Based on GSEA (gene set enrichment analysis), leflunomide was found to target pathways enriched in COVID-19. In vitro, both leflunomide (EC50 41.49 ± 8.8 μmol/L) and teriflunomide (EC50 26 μmol/L) showed SARS-CoV-2 inhibition. In clinical studies, leflunomide showed significant benefit in terms of decreasing the duration of viral shredding, duration of hospital stay and severity of infection. However, no advantage was seen while combining leflunomide and IFN alpha-2a among patients with prolonged post symptomatic viral shredding. Common adverse effects of leflunomide were hyperlipidemia, leucopenia, neutropenia and liver-function alteration. Leflunomide/teriflunomide may serve as an agent of importance to achieve faster virological clearance in COVID-19, however, findings needs to be validated in bigger sized placebo controlled studies.

RevDate: 2021-07-30
CmpDate: 2021-07-30

Shioji N, Aoyama K, Englesakis M, et al (2021)

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children during the coronavirus disease pandemic of 2019: a review of clinical features and acute phase management.

Journal of anesthesia, 35(4):563-570.

The current coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented unique health challenges in the pediatric population. Compared to adults, the most significant change in viral disease manifestation is encompassed by the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). MIS-C is a new inflammatory syndrome which develops 2-4 weeks after COVID-19 exposure, with evidence suggesting it is a post-infectious immune reaction. We describe its epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis (which varies based on definition used) and treatment options based on published recommendations. A systematic literature search we conducted through MEDLINE yielded 518 abstracts and identified five studies that reported more than 100 cases of MIS-C and their mortality. Most cases developed multiorgan dysfunction, including cardiovascular, dermatologic, neurological, renal, and respiratory issues, and required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Many patients admitted to the ICU needed inotrope support and invasive mechanical ventilation, and the most severe cases required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. Most clinicians treated MIS-C with intravenous immunoglobulin, systemic steroids, and biological therapies. Overall mortality was low (2-3%) in all studies. Further research is needed to: understand if early intervention can prevent its progression; optimize its treatment; and improve outcomes of this new syndrome for the patients who develop MIS-C.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Gonçalves J, da Silva PG, Reis L, et al (2021)

Surface contamination with SARS-CoV-2: A systematic review.

The Science of the total environment, 798:149231 pii:S0048-9697(21)04304-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Little is known about contaminated surfaces as a route of transmission for SARS-CoV- 2 and a systematic review is missing and urgently needed to provide guidelines for future research studies. As such, the aim of the present study was to review the current scientific knowledge and to summarize the existing studies in which SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in inanimate surfaces. This systematic review includes studies since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, available in PubMed/MEDLINE and Scopus. Duplicate publications were removed, and exclusion criteria was applied to eliminate unrelated studies, resulting in 37 eligible publications. The present study provides the first overview of SARS-CoV-2 detection in surfaces. The highest detection rates occurred in hospitals and healthcare facilities with COVID-19 patients. Contamination with SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces was detected in a wide range of facilities and surfaces. There is a lack of studies performing viability testing for SARS-CoV-2 recovered from surfaces, and consequently it is not yet possible to assess the potential for transmission via surfaces.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Minnaert AK, Vanluchene H, Verbeke R, et al (2021)

Strategies for controlling the innate immune activity of conventional and self-amplifying mRNA therapeutics: getting the message across.

Advanced drug delivery reviews pii:S0169-409X(21)00293-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The recent approval of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines to combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic highlights the potential of both conventional mRNA and self-amplifying mRNA (saRNA) as a flexible immunotherapy platform to treat infectious diseases. Besides the antigen it encodes, mRNA itself has an immune-stimulating activity that can contribute to vaccine efficacy. This self-adjuvant effect, however, will interfere with mRNA translation and may influence the desired therapeutic outcome. To further exploit its potential as a versatile therapeutic platform, it will be crucial to control mRNA's innate immune-stimulating properties. In this regard, we describe the mechanisms behind the innate immune recognition of mRNA and provide an extensive overview of strategies to control its innate immune-stimulating activity. These strategies range from modifications to the mRNA backbone itself, optimization of production and purification processes to the combination with innate immune inhibitors. Furthermore, we discuss the delicate balance of the self-adjuvant effect in mRNA vaccination strategies, which can be both beneficial and detrimental to the therapeutic outcome.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

SeyedAlinaghi S, Karimi A, MohsseniPour M, et al (2021)

The clinical outcomes of COVID-19 in HIV-positive patients: A systematic review of current evidence.

Immunity, inflammation and disease [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Patients with chronic underlying diseases are more susceptible to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complications. Recent studies showed people living with HIV (PLWH) are not at greater risk than the general population. Few studies have reviewed the impacts of COVID-19 on PLWH. The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on patients infected with HIV.

METHODS: We executed a systematic search using four databases of PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, and Web of Science and screened the records in two steps based on their title/abstract and full text. This study follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist to elevate the validity and reliability of its results.

RESULTS: We reviewed 36 studies. The patients' age was above 20 years in all studies. In almost all studies, the inflammatory parameters were reported high. In most of the studies, all HIV patients completely recovered from the COVID 19 infection. Although CD4 count was not recorded in all studies, the minimum level was reported as 12 cells/µl.

CONCLUSION: Based on the current review, we concluded that HIV patients at advanced stages (3 or 4) of the disease, whose CD4 counts are low, may show less severe COVID-19 infection symptoms. Similarly, Interference can reduce the severity of immune reactions and subsequent cytokine storms and consequently mitigate the symptoms. Therefore, in most of the studies, the majority of HIV patients showed no severe symptoms and completely recovered from COVID 19 infection.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Puius YA, Bartash RM, BS Zingman (2021)

Maintaining mask momentum in transplant recipients.

Transplant infectious disease : an official journal of the Transplantation Society [Epub ahead of print].

The widespread use of facemasks has been a crucial element in control of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. With mounting evidence for mask efficacy against respiratory infectious diseases and greater acceptability of this intervention, it is proposed that masking should continue after the pandemic has abated to protect some of our most vulnerable patients, recipients of stem cell and solid organ transplants. This may involve not only masking these high-risk patients, but possibly their close contacts and the healthcare workers involved in their care. We review the evidence for mask efficacy in prevention of respiratory viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 and address the burden of disease in transplant recipients. Although we acknowledge that there are limited data on masking to prevent infection in transplant recipients, we propose a framework for the study and implementation of routine masking as a part of infection prevention interventions after transplantation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Hamady A, Lee J, ZA Loboda (2021)

Waning antibody responses in COVID-19: what can we learn from the analysis of other coronaviruses?.

Infection [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel betacoronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was declared a pandemic in March 2020. Due to the continuing surge in incidence and mortality globally, determining whether protective, long-term immunity develops after initial infection or vaccination has become critical.

METHODS/RESULTS: In this narrative review, we evaluate the latest understanding of antibody-mediated immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and to other coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and the four endemic human coronaviruses) in order to predict the consequences of antibody waning on long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2. We summarise their antibody dynamics, including the potential effects of cross-reactivity and antibody waning on vaccination and other public health strategies. At present, based on our comparison with other coronaviruses we estimate that natural antibody-mediated protection for SARS-CoV-2 is likely to last for 1-2 years and therefore, if vaccine-induced antibodies follow a similar course, booster doses may be required. However, other factors such as memory B- and T-cells and new viral strains will also affect the duration of both natural and vaccine-mediated immunity.

CONCLUSION: Overall, antibody titres required for protection are yet to be established and inaccuracies of serological methods may be affecting this. We expect that with standardisation of serological testing and studies with longer follow-up, the implications of antibody waning will become clearer.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Oh DY, Böttcher S, Kröger S, et al (2021)

[SARS-CoV-2 transmission routes and implications for self- and non-self-protection].

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

The global spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV‑2 has massively impacted health, economic, and social systems. Although effective vaccines are now available, it is likely that this pathogen will become endemic and stay with us for years. In order to most effectively protect others and oneself from SARS-CoV‑2 infection, an understanding of how SARS-CoV‑2 is transmitted is of utmost importance.In this review paper, we explain transmission routes with an eye towards protecting others and oneself. We also address characteristics of SARS-CoV‑2 transmission in the community. This work will help to clarify the following questions based on the available literature: When and for how long is an infected person contagious? How is the virus excreted? How is the virus taken up? How does the virus spread in society?Human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV‑2 is strongly determined by pathogen molecular characteristics as well as the kinetics of replication, shedding, and infection. SARS-CoV‑2 is transmitted primarily via human aerosols, which infected persons can excrete even if symptoms of the disease are not (yet) present. Most infected people cause only a few secondary cases, whereas a few cases (so-called super-spreaders) cause a high number of secondary infections - at the population level one speaks of a so-called "overdispersion." These special characteristics of SARS-CoV‑2 (asymptomatic aerosol transmission and overdispersion) make the pandemic difficult to control.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Farella I, Panza R, Capozza M, et al (2021)

Lecithinized superoxide dismutase in the past and in the present: Any role in the actual pandemia of COVID-19?.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 141:111922 pii:S0753-3322(21)00704-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The Coronavirus disease 19 (Covid-19) pandemic is devastating the public health: it is urgent to find a viable therapy to reduce the multiorgan damage of the disease. A validated therapeutic protocol is still missing. The most severe forms of the disease are related to an exaggerated inflammatory response. The pivotal role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the amplification of inflammation makes the antioxidants a potential therapy, but clinical trials are needed. The lecitinized superoxide dismutase (PC-SOD) could represent a possibility because of bioaviability, safety, and its modulatory effect on the innate immune response in reducing the harmful consequences of oxidative stress. In this review we summarize the evidence on lecitinized superoxide dismutase in animal and human studies, to highlight the rationale for using the PC-SOD to treat COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Ismailova A, JH White (2021)

Vitamin D, infections and immunity.

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

Vitamin D, best known for its role in skeletal health, has emerged as a key regulator of innate immune responses to microbial threat. In immune cells such as macrophages, expression of CYP27B1, the 25-hydroxyvitamin D 1α-hydroxylase, is induced by immune-specific inputs, leading to local production of hormonal 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D) at sites of infection, which in turn directly induces the expression of genes encoding antimicrobial peptides. Vitamin D signaling is active upstream and downstream of pattern recognition receptors, which promote front-line innate immune responses. Moreover, 1,25D stimulates autophagy, which has emerged as a mechanism critical for control of intracellular pathogens such as M. tuberculosis. Strong laboratory and epidemiological evidence links vitamin D deficiency to increased rates of conditions such as dental caries, as well as inflammatory bowel diseases arising from dysregulation of innate immune handling intestinal flora. 1,25D is also active in signaling cascades that promote antiviral innate immunity; 1,25D-induced expression of the antimicrobial peptide CAMP/LL37, originally characterized for its antibacterial properties, is a key component of antiviral responses. Poor vitamin D status is associated with greater susceptibility to viral infections, including those of the respiratory tract. Although the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has been alleviated in some areas by the arrival of vaccines, it remains important to identify therapeutic interventions that reduce disease severity and mortality, and accelerate recovery. This review outlines of our current knowledge of the mechanisms of action of vitamin D signaling in the innate immune system. It also provides an assessment of the therapeutic potential of vitamin D supplementation in infectious diseases, including an up-to-date analysis of the putative benefits of vitamin D supplementation in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Fitzgerald DA, Scott KM, MS Ryan (2021)

Blended and e-learning in pediatric education: harnessing lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

European journal of pediatrics [Epub ahead of print].

Face-to-face education as the traditional basis for medical education was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic as learners and educators were moved online with little time for preparation. Fortunately, as online learning has grown, together with medical education shifting to problem-based and team-centered learning over the last three decades, existing resources have been adapted and improved upon to meet the challenges. Effective blended learning has resulted in innovative synchronous and asynchronous learning platforms. Clearly, to do this well requires time, effort, and adjustment from clinicians, educators, and learners, but it should result in an engaging change in teaching practice. Its success will rely on an evaluation of learning outcomes, educator and learner satisfaction, and long-term retention of knowledge. It will be important to maintain ongoing assessment of all aspects of the medical education process, including how to best teach and assess theory, physiology, pathology, history-taking, physical examination, and clinical management.Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic triggered emergency transitional processes for teaching and assessment in medical education which built upon existing innovations in teaching medicine with the use of technology. These strategies will continue to evolve so as to provide the basis for an enduring hybrid teaching model involving blended and e-learning in medical education.. What is Known: • Most pediatricians provide clinical teaching to medical students and residents, but few have had formal training in online educational approaches and techniques. • Being able to adapt to new and innovative integrated teaching methods is of key importance when becoming a competent teacher. What is New: • This review presents an up-to-date summary of best practice in blended and e-learning and how it may be optimally delivered. • Knowledge of the principles of e-learning, and how people learn more generally, helps pediatricians shape their clinical teaching and facilitates better interaction with medical students and residents.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Pandit P, Maity S, Singha K, et al (2021)

Potential biodegradable face mask to counter environmental impact of Covid-19.

Cleaner engineering and technology, 4:100218.

On the eve of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a tremendous increase in the production of facemasks across the world. The primary raw materials for the manufacturing of the facemasks are non-biodegradable synthetic polymers derived from petrochemicals. Disposal of these synthetic facemasks increases waste-load in the environment causing severe ecological issues for flora and fauna. The synthesis processes of the polymers from the petrochemical by-products were also not eco-friendly, which releases huge greenhouse and harmful gases. Therefore, many research organizations and entrepreneurs realize the need for biodegradable facemasks to render similar performance as the existing non-biodegradable masks. The conventional textile fabrics made of natural fibers like cotton, flax, hemp, etc., can also be used to prepare facemasks with multiple layers in use for general protection. Such natural textile masks can be made anti-microbial by applying various herbal anti-microbial extracts like turmeric, neem, basil, aloe vera, etc. As porosity is the exclusive feature of the masks for arresting tiny viruses, the filter of the masks should have a pore size in the nanometre scale, and that can be achieved in nanomembrane manufactured by electrospinning technology. This article reviews the various scopes of electrospinning technology for the preparation of nanomembrane biomasks. Besides protecting us from the virus, the biomasks can be useful for skin healing, skincare, auto-fragrance, and organized cooling which are also discussed in this review article.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Zizza A, Recchia V, Aloisi A, et al (2021)

Clinical features of COVID-19 and SARS epidemics. A literature review.

Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene, 62(1):E13-E24.

SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the current pandemic, is a novel strain of the Coronaviridae family, which has infected humans as a result of the leap to a new species. It causes an atypical pneumonia similar to that caused by SARS-CoV in 2003. SARS-CoV-2 has currently infected more than 9,200,000 people and caused almost 480,000 deaths worldwide. Although SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV have similar phylogenetic and pathogenetic characteristics, they show important differences in clinical manifestations. We have reviewed the recent literature comparing the characteristics of the two epidemics and highlight their peculiar aspects. An analysis of all signs and symptoms of 3,365 SARS patients and 23,280 COVID-19 patients as well as of the comorbidities has been carried out. A total of 17 and 75 studies regarding patients with SARS and COVID-19, respectively, were included in the analysis. The analysis revealed an overlap of some symptoms between the two infections. Unlike SARS patients, COVID-19 patients have developed respiratory, neurological and gastrointestinal symptoms, and, in a limited number of subjects, symptoms involving organs such as skin and subcutaneous tissue, kidneys, cardiovascular system, liver and eyes. This analysis was conducted in order to direct towards an early identification of the infection, a suitable diagnostic procedure and the adoption of appropriate containment measures.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Hamid S, MY Mir (2021)

Global Agri-Food Sector: Challenges and Opportunities in COVID-19 Pandemic.

Frontiers in sociology, 6:647337 pii:647337.

COVID-19 pandemic has been catastrophic for almost everything including the global economy. Among many sectors, the food and the agriculture sector was the worst hit following the immediate lockdown and market shutdowns. Though some stability was prevalent from supply side till date, however, the severe restrictions put in place to curb the spread of pandemic have endangered the supply of agricultural and food articles contemporaneously across borders and from field to fork. While the income decline due to price falland supplies chain disruptions due to pandemic have escalated the food shortages in several of developing and developed countries. Nevertheless the global demand for food items has remained more or less unchanged owing to their inelastic demand. Even within the global level, the scenario of food security and supply chain stability has been substantially deplorable for emerging and less developing countries due to their lack of insulation to the global shocks or pandemics. Notably, the technological backwardness, excessive know-how dependence and denied accessibility on several grounds lead to poverty and food hunger in these countries. At the policy level, a holistic approach specifically targeted towards the developing and less developed economies is highly warranted to ensure an appreciable progress towards the minimisation of sensitivity with regard to agriculture and food security. Apart from the measures to insulate them from global shocks, additional steps need to be taken to alleviate their technological backwardness and denied accessibility on certain socio-cultural norms.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Ramesh M, Anand K, Shahbaaz M, et al (2021)

Current Perspectives in the Discovery of Newer Medications Against the Outbreak of COVID-19.

Frontiers in molecular biosciences, 8:648232 pii:648232.

A rapid and increasing spread of COVID-19 pandemic disease has been perceived worldwide in 2020. The current COVID-19 disease outbreak is due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus that has spike protein on the envelope. The spike protein of the virus binds with the ACE-2 receptor of the human lungs surface for entering into the host. Therefore, the blocking of viral entry into the host by targeting the spike protein has been suggested to be a valid strategy to treat COVID-19. The patients of COVID-19 were found to be asymptomatic, cold, mild to severe respiratory illness, and leading to death. The severe illness has been noted mainly in old age people, cardiovascular disease patients, and respiratory disease patients. However, the long-term health effects due to COVID-19 are not yet known. Recently, the vaccines were authorized to protect from COVID-19. However, the researchers have put an effort to discover suitable targets and newer medications in the form of small molecules or peptides, based on in-silico methods and synthetic approaches. This manuscript describes the current perspectives of the causative agent, diagnostic procedure, therapeutic targets, treatment, clinical trials, and development of potential clinical candidates of COVID-19. The study will be useful to identify the potential newer medications for the treatment of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Batiha GE, Alqarni M, Awad DAB, et al (2021)

Dairy-Derived and Egg White Proteins in Enhancing Immune System Against COVID-19.

Frontiers in nutrition, 8:629440.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a global health challenge, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) triggers a plethora of respiratory disturbances and even multiple organs failure that can be fatal. Nutritional intervention is one of the key components toward to a proper management of COVID-19 patients, especially in those requiring medication, and should thus be considered the first-line treatment. Immuno-modulation and -stimulation are currently being explored in COVID-19 management and are gaining interest by food and pharmaceutical industries. Various dietary combinations, bioactive components, nutrients and fortified foods have been reported to modulate inflammation during disease progression. Dietary combinations of dairy-derived products and eggs are gaining an increasing attention given the huge immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties attributed to some of their chemical constituents. Eggs are complex dietary components containing many essential nutrients and bioactive compounds as well as a high-quality proteins. Similarly, yogurts can replenish beneficial bacteria and contains macronutrients capable of stimulating immunity by enhancing cell immunity, reducing oxidative stress, neutralizing inflammation and regulating the intestinal barriers and gut microbiome. Thus, this review highlights the impact of nutritional intervention on COVID-19 management, focusing on the immunomodulatory and inflammatory effects of immune-enhancing nutrients.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Basnet BB, Bishwakarma K, Pant RR, et al (2021)

Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experiences of the First Wave From Nepal.

Frontiers in public health, 9:613402.

Unprecedented and unforeseen highly infectious Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a significant public health concern for most of the countries worldwide, including Nepal, and it is spreading rapidly. Undoubtedly, every nation has taken maximum initiative measures to break the transmission chain of the virus. This review presents a retrospective analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal, analyzing the actions taken by the Government of Nepal (GoN) to inform future decisions. Data used in this article were extracted from relevant reports and websites of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) of Nepal and the WHO. As of January 22, 2021, the highest numbers of cases were reported in the megacity of the hilly region, Kathmandu district (population = 1,744,240), and Bagmati province. The cured and death rates of the disease among the tested population are ~98.00 and ~0.74%, respectively. Higher numbers of infected cases were observed in the age group 21-30, with an overall male to female death ratio of 2.33. With suggestions and recommendations from high-level coordination committees and experts, GoN has enacted several measures: promoting universal personal protection, physical distancing, localized lockdowns, travel restrictions, isolation, and selective quarantine. In addition, GoN formulated and distributed several guidelines/protocols for managing COVID-19 patients and vaccination programs. Despite robust preventive efforts by GoN, pandemic scenario in Nepal is, yet, to be controlled completely. This review could be helpful for the current and future effective outbreak preparedness, responses, and management of the pandemic situations and prepare necessary strategies, especially in countries with similar socio-cultural and economic status.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Tiwari A, Patil MB, Nath J, et al (2021)

Impairment of olfactory and gustatory sensations in severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 virus) disease.

Journal of family medicine and primary care, 10(6):2153-2158.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 virus) disease had first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and since then, it has emerged as a global threat to humanity. An early diagnosis and isolation are the most significant measures required to prevent its spread. Recent anecdotal evidence has suggested impairment of olfactory and gustatory sensations associated with corona virus disease (COVID-19). Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 is an important aspect for the manifestations seen in this deadly viral disease. The associated olfactory and gustatory dysfunction can also lead to partial and/or complete loss of the ability to smell and taste in the early stages of disease onset. Evidence has also suggested that the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in human saliva makes it the carrier of the infectious viral disease and aids in its diagnosis. The present review focuses on the listed clinical manifestations in the form of olfactory and gustatory impairment in SARS-CoV-2 virus disease.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Mittal N, Mittal R, Gupta MC, et al (2021)

Systematic review and meta-analysis of efficacy and safety of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19.

Journal of family medicine and primary care, 10(6):2126-2139.

Repurposed drugs like hydroxycloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) are being tested for potential therapeutic role in COVID-19. We aimed to evaluate efficacy and safety of HCQ and CQ in COVID-19. Using PubMed, EMBASE, medRxiv, Google Scholar, clinicaltrials.gov, electronic search was carried out to identify relevant articles till June 2020 with re-evaluation in last week of November 2020. Observational and interventional clinical studies comparing efficacy of CQ or HCQ to standard management or other drug/s for SARS-CoV-2 infection patients were included. Cochrane review manager version 5.3 was used for synthesis of meta-analysis results. For randomized controlled trials, risk of bias was assessed using Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias assessment tool, version 2.0 (ROB-2). ROBINS-I was used for quality assessment of observational studies. Overall evidence quality generated by review was graded as per GRADE Recommendation. A total of 903 studies were screened. Nineteen studies were included in synthesis of meta-analysis with total of 4,693, 1,626, and 6,491 patients in HCQ/CQ, HCQ/CQ + AZ and control groups, respectively. HCQ/CQ treatment was associated with significantly increased rates of virological cure (OR = 2.08, 95%CI = 1.36-3.17; P = 0.0007) and radiological cure (OR = 3.89, 95%CI = 1.35 - 11.23; P = 0.01) compared to control. HCQ/CQ had no difference in unadjusted mortality rate (unadjusted OR = 0.98 95% CI = 0.70-1.37, P = 0.89, random effect model) and adjusted hazard ratio for mortality (adjusted HR = 1.05, 95%CI = 0.86--1.29; P = 0.64). However, a significant increase in odds of disease progression (OR = 1.77, 95%CI = 1.46-2.13; P < 0.00001) and QT prolongation (OR = 11.15, 95%CI = 3.95-31.44; P < 0.00001) was noted. The results with HCQ/CQ and azithromycin combination were similar to HCQ/CQ mono-therapy. In the light of contemporary evidence on effectiveness of HCQ/CQ, judicious and monitored use of HCQ/CQ for treatment of COVID-19 patients is recommended in low to middle income countries with emphasis on no mortality benefit. Registration number of Systematic review. Register in PROSPERO database: cRD42020187710.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Kant R, Yadav P, Kishore S, et al (2021)

Is it time to consider shreds of epidemiological and environmental evidence associated with high transmission of COVID-19?.

Journal of family medicine and primary care, 10(6):2120-2125.

Novel coronavirus named COVID-19 that emerged in late December from Wuhan affected almost the entire globe. Recent studies provided new insight into the high transmission of the disease. This review explores the current evidence of epidemiological and environmental factors associated with high transmission of COVID-19. Even transmission and symptoms found among cats, dogs, ferrets, and tiger suggested low species barrier of the virus. The airborne transmission was found even up to 4 m, and fecal transmission with virus particles and RNA in sewage and wastewater suggests rethinking containment strategies. However, temperature, humidity, and pollution were also associated with transmission and mortality trends of COVID-19. To better mitigate and contain the current pandemic, it is a need of hours to consider the recent shreds of evidence to prevent further spread and require detailed investigations of these evidences by extensive epidemiological and meteorological studies.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Nasa P, Jain R, D Juneja (2021)

Delphi methodology in healthcare research: How to decide its appropriateness.

World journal of methodology, 11(4):116-129.

The Delphi technique is a systematic process of forecasting using the collective opinion of panel members. The structured method of developing consensus among panel members using Delphi methodology has gained acceptance in diverse fields of medicine. The Delphi methods assumed a pivotal role in the last few decades to develop best practice guidance using collective intelligence where research is limited, ethically/logistically difficult or evidence is conflicting. However, the attempts to assess the quality standard of Delphi studies have reported significant variance, and details of the process followed are usually unclear. We recommend systematic quality tools for evaluation of Delphi methodology; identification of problem area of research, selection of panel, anonymity of panelists, controlled feedback, iterative Delphi rounds, consensus criteria, analysis of consensus, closing criteria, and stability of the results. Based on these nine qualitative evaluation points, we assessed the quality of Delphi studies in the medical field related to coronavirus disease 2019. There was inconsistency in reporting vital elements of Delphi methods such as identification of panel members, defining consensus, closing criteria for rounds, and presenting the results. We propose our evaluation points for researchers, medical journal editorial boards, and reviewers to evaluate the quality of the Delphi methods in healthcare research.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Martínez-Flores D, Zepeda-Cervantes J, Cruz-Reséndiz A, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines Based on the Spike Glycoprotein and Implications of New Viral Variants.

Frontiers in immunology, 12:701501.

Coronavirus 19 Disease (COVID-19) originating in the province of Wuhan, China in 2019, is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), whose infection in humans causes mild or severe clinical manifestations that mainly affect the respiratory system. So far, the COVID-19 has caused more than 2 million deaths worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 contains the Spike (S) glycoprotein on its surface, which is the main target for current vaccine development because antibodies directed against this protein can neutralize the infection. Companies and academic institutions have developed vaccines based on the S glycoprotein, as well as its antigenic domains and epitopes, which have been proven effective in generating neutralizing antibodies. However, the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants could affect the effectiveness of vaccines. Here, we review the different types of vaccines designed and developed against SARS-CoV-2, placing emphasis on whether they are based on the complete S glycoprotein, its antigenic domains such as the receptor-binding domain (RBD) or short epitopes within the S glycoprotein. We also review and discuss the possible effectiveness of these vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Anvar AA, Ahari H, M Ataee (2021)

Antimicrobial Properties of Food Nanopackaging: A New Focus on Foodborne Pathogens.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:690706.

Food products contaminated by foodborne pathogens (bacteria, parasites, and viruses) cause foodborne diseases. Today, great efforts are being allocated to the development of novel and effective agents against food pathogenic microorganisms. These efforts even might have a possible future effect in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Nanotechnology introduces a novel food packaging technology that creates and uses nanomaterials with novel physiochemical and antimicrobial properties. It could utilize preservatives and antimicrobials to extend the food shelf life within the package. Utilizing the antimicrobial nanomaterials into food packaging compounds typically involves incorporation of antimicrobial inorganic nanoparticles such as metals [Silver (Ag), Copper (Cu), Gold (Au)], and metal oxides [Titanium dioxide (TiO2), Silicon oxide (SiO2), Zinc oxide (ZnO)]. Alternatively, intelligent food packaging has been explored for recognition of spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. This review paper focused on antimicrobial aspects of nanopackaging and presented an overview of antibacterial properties of inorganic nanoparticles. This article also provides information on food safety during COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Suresh R, Alam A, Z Karkossa (2021)

Using Peer Support to Strengthen Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review.

Frontiers in psychiatry, 12:714181.

Background: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant impact on society's overall mental health. Measures such as mandated lockdowns and physical distancing have contributed to higher levels of anxiety, depression, and other metrics indicating worsening mental health. Peer support, which is peer-to-peer provided social and emotional support, is an underutilized and effective mental health resource that can potentially be used to ameliorate mental health during these times. Objective: This review aims to summarize the toll that this pandemic has had on society's mental health as found in peer-reviewed literature from October 2019 to March 2021, as well as suggest the utility of peer support to address these needs. Methods: References for this review were chosen through searches of PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar for articles published between October 2019 and March 2021 that used the terms: "coronavirus," "COVID-19," "mental health," "anxiety," "depression," "isolation," "mental health resources," "peer support," "online mental health resources," and "healthcare workers." Articles resulting from these searches and relevant references cited in those articles were reviewed. Articles published in English, French and Italian were included. Results: This pandemic has ubiquitously worsened the mental health of populations across the world. Peer support has been demonstrated to yield generally positive effects on the mental health of a wide variety of recipients, and it can be provided through numerous accessible mediums. Conclusions: Peer support can overall be beneficial for improving mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and may be an effective tool should similar events arise in the future, although the presence of a few conflicting studies suggests the need for additional research.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Hertanto DM, Wiratama BS, Sutanto H, et al (2021)

Immunomodulation as a Potent COVID-19 Pharmacotherapy: Past, Present and Future.

Journal of inflammation research, 14:3419-3428 pii:322831.

In the first year of its appearance, the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has affected more than 150 million individuals and killed 3 million people worldwide. The pandemic has also triggered numerous global initiatives to tackle the newly emerging disease, including the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and the attempt to discover potential pharmacological therapies. Nonetheless, despite the success of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development, COVID-19 therapy remains challenging. Several repurposed drugs that were documented to be useful in small clinical trials have been shown to be ineffective in larger studies. Additionally, the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection displayed the predominance of hyperinflammation and immune dysregulation in inducing multiorgan damage. Therefore, the potential benefits of both immune modulation and suppression in COVID-19 have been extensively discussed. Here, we reviewed the roles of immunomodulation as potential COVID-19 pharmacological modalities based on the existing data and proposed several new immunologic targets to be tested in the foreseeable future.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Inchingolo R, Acquafredda F, Tedeschi M, et al (2021)

Worldwide management of hepatocellular carcinoma during the COVID-19 pandemic.

World journal of gastroenterology, 27(25):3780-3789.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted hospital organization, with the necessity to quickly react to face the pandemic. The management of the oncological patient has been modified by necessity due to different allocation of nurses and doctors, requiring new strategies to guarantee the correct assistance to the patients. Hepatocellular carcinoma, considered as one of the most aggressive types of liver cancer, has also required a different management during this period in order to optimize the management of patients at risk for and with this cancer. The aim of this document is to review recommendations on hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance and management, including surgery, liver transplantation, interventional radiology, oncology, and radiotherapy. Publications and guidelines from the main scientific societies worldwide regarding the management of hepatocellular carcinoma during the COVID-19 pandemic were reviewed.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Kumric M, Ticinovic Kurir T, Martinovic D, et al (2021)

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on inflammatory bowel disease patients: A review of the current evidence.

World journal of gastroenterology, 27(25):3748-3761.

Since the initial coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in China in December 2019, the infection has now become the biggest medical issue of modern medicine. Two major contributors that amplified the impact of the disease and subsequently increased the burden on health care systems were high mortality among patients with multiple co-morbidities and overcapacity of intensive care units. Within the gastroenterology-related community, particular concern was raised with respect to patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as those patients are prone to opportunistic infections mainly owing to their immunosuppressive-based therapies. Hence, we sought to summarize current knowledge regarding COVID-19 infection in patients with IBD. Overall, it seems that IBD is not a comorbidity that poses an increased risk for COVID-19 acquisition, except in patients treated with 5-aminosalicylates. Furthermore, outcomes of the infected patients are largely dependent on therapeutic modality by which they are treated, as some worsen the clinical course of COVID-19 infection, whereas others seem to dampen the detrimental effects of COVID-19. Finally, we discussed the present and the future impact of COVID-19 pandemic and concomitantly increased health care burden on IBD-management.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Nancy S, AR Dongre (2021)

Behavior Change Communication: Past, Present, and Future.

Indian journal of community medicine : official publication of Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine, 46(2):186-190.

Behavior change communication (BCC) aids in the prevention of both communicable and noncommunicable diseases in clinical settings and public health. Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in the future need to be tackled by developing behavioral immunity through effective BCC strategies. Health education and Information Education and Communication gradually evolved to BCC primarily focusing on creating a conducive environment for promoting behavior change. Various theories/models operating at the individual, inter-personal, and community levels were put forward to explain the core constructs of behavior change. Each theory/model has its own strengths and weaknesses in its applicability. In practice, no theory is perfect and each has certain limitations. Hence, a battery of theories may be needed to develop a BCC strategy. This review article critically appraises the evolution of BCC, the strengths and weaknesses of BCC theories/models and it's applicability from the past to the future. This review will benefit postgraduates and public health workers in understanding the concepts of BCC and applying the same in their practice.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Li LC, Zhang ZH, Zhou WC, et al (2020)

Lianhua Qingwen prescription for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment: Advances and prospects.

Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, 130:110641.

BACKGROUND: An outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) which was infected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is still spreading and has led to unprecedented health emergency over the world. Though no specific drug has been developed so far, emerging agents have been confirmed effective or potentially beneficial to restrain it. Lianhua Qingwen (LHQW) is a commonly used Chinese medical preparation to treat viral influenza, including in the fight against SARS in 2002-2003 in China. Recent data also showed that LHQW played a vigorous role in COVID-19 treatment.

PURPOSE: This review will elucidate the pre-clinical and clinical evidence of LHQW in lung protection and antiviral activities, and provide timely data delivery for the exploration of effective treatment strategies in the therapy of COVID-19.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHOD: The research data were obtained from the academic databases (up to August 8, 2020) including Pubmed, CNKI and Web of Science, on ethnobotany and ethno medicines. The search keywords for screening the literature information were "virus", "COVID-19", or "SARS-CoV-2", and "Lianhua Qingwen". The documents were filtered and summarized for final evaluation.

RESULTS: The collected evidence demonstrated that LHQW exhibited benefits against COVID-19. Impressively, LHQW in conjunction with conventional treatment could significantly improve COVID-19 patients as a synergetic strategy. The mechanisms were mainly involved the antiviral activity, and regulation of inflammation response as well as immune function.

CONCLUSION: Although the data were far from adequate, the latest advances had shown the benefits of LHQW in COVID-19, especially in combination with other antiviral drugs. This review provides comprehensive evidence of LHQW as a complementary strategy for treating COVID-19. Nevertheless, imperious researches should be conducted to clarify the unconfirmed effects, regulatory mechanisms and adverse reactions of LHQW in treating COVID-19 by means of well designed randomized controlled trials.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Fan Y, Wang Y, Yu S, et al (2021)

Natural products provide a new perspective for anti-complement treatment of severe COVID-19: a review.

Chinese medicine, 16(1):67.

Exaggerated immune response and cytokine storm are accounted for the severity of COVID-19, including organ dysfunction, especially progressive respiratory failure and generalized coagulopathy. Uncontrolled activation of complement contributes to acute and chronic inflammation, the generation of cytokine storm, intravascular coagulation and cell/tissue damage, which may be a favorable target for the treatment of multiple organ failure and reduction of mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Cytokine storm suppression therapy can alleviate the symptoms of critically ill patients to some extent, but as a remedial etiological measure, its long-term efficacy is still questionable. Anti-complement therapy has undoubtedly become an important hotspot in the upstream regulation of cytokine storm. However, chemosynthetic complement inhibitors are expensive, and their drug resistance and long-term side effects require further investigation. New complement inhibitors with high efficiency and low toxicity can be obtained from natural products at low development cost. This paper puts forward some insights of the development of natural anti-complement products in traditional Chinese medicine, that may provide a bright perspective for suppressing cytokine storm in critically ill patients with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Marini JJ, L Gattinoni (2021)

Improving lung compliance by external compression of the chest wall.

Critical care (London, England), 25(1):264.

As exemplified by prone positioning, regional variations of lung and chest wall properties provide possibilities for modifying transpulmonary pressures and suggest that clinical interventions related to the judicious application of external pressure may yield benefit. Recent observations made in late-phase patients with severe ARDS caused by COVID-19 (C-ARDS) have revealed unexpected mechanical responses to local chest wall compressions over the sternum and abdomen in the supine position that challenge the clinician's assumptions and conventional bedside approaches to lung protection. These findings appear to open avenues for mechanism-defining research investigation with possible therapeutic implications for all forms and stages of ARDS.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Chadha J, Khullar L, N Mittal (2021)

Facing the wrath of enigmatic mutations: A review on the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emerging respiratory virus responsible for the ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. More than a year into this pandemic, the COVID-19 fatigue is still escalating and takes hold of the entire world population. Driven by the ongoing geographical expansion and upcoming mutations, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a new shape in the form of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. These mutations in the viral spike (S) protein enhance the virulence of SARS-CoV-2 variants by improving viral infectivity, transmissibility, and immune evasion abilities. Such variants have resulted in cluster outbreaks and fresh infection waves in various parts of the world with increased disease severity and poor clinical outcomes. Hence, the variants of SARS-CoV-2 pose a threat to human health and public safety. This review enlists the most recent updates regarding the presently characterized variants of SARS-CoV-2 recognized by the global regulatory health authorities (WHO, CDC). Based on the slender literature on SARS-CoV-2 variants, we collate information on the biological implications of these mutations on virus pathology. We also shed light on the efficacy of therapeutics and COVID-19 vaccines against the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Seidi F, Deng C, Zhong Y, et al (2021)

Functionalized Masks: Powerful Materials against COVID-19 and Future Pandemics.

Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

The outbreak of COVID-19 revealed the vulnerability of commercially available face masks. Without having antibacterial/antiviral activities, the current masks act only as filtering materials of the aerosols containing microorganisms. Meanwhile, in surgical masks, the viral and bacterial filtration highly depends on the electrostatic charges of masks. These electrostatic charges disappear after 8 h, which leads to a significant decline in filtration efficiency. Therefore, to enhance the masks' protection performance, fabrication of innovative masks with more advanced functions is in urgent demand. This review summarizes the various functionalizing agents which can endow four important functions in the masks including i) boosting the antimicrobial and self-disinfectant characteristics via incorporating metal nanoparticles or photosensitizers, ii) increasing the self-cleaning by inserting superhydrophobic materials such as graphenes and alkyl silanes, iii) creating photo/electrothermal properties by forming graphene and metal thin films within the masks, and iv) incorporating triboelectric nanogenerators among the friction layers of masks to stabilize the electrostatic charges and facilitating the recharging of masks. The strategies for creating these properties toward the functionalized masks are discussed in detail. The effectiveness and limitation of each method in generating the desired properties are well-explained along with addressing the prospects for the future development of masks.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Akbarialiabad H, Taghrir MH, Abdollahi A, et al (2021)

Long COVID, a comprehensive systematic scoping review.

Infection [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: To find out what is known from literature about Long COVID until January 30, 2021.

METHODS: We undertook a four-step search with no language restriction. A preliminary search was made to identify the keywords. A search strategy of all electronic databases resulted in 66 eligible studies. A forward and backward search of the references and citations resulted in additional 54 publications. Non-English language articles were translated using Google Translate. We conducted our scoping review based on the PRISMA-ScR Checklist.

RESULTS: Of 120 papers, we found only one randomized clinical trial. Of the 67 original studies, 22 were cohort, and 28 were cross-sectional studies. Of the total 120 publications, 49.1% focused on signs and symptoms, 23.3% on management, and 10.8% on pathophysiology. Ten publications focused on imaging studies. The results are also presented extensively in a narrative synthesis in separated sections (nomenclature, diagnosis, pathophysiology, risk factors, signs/symptoms, management).

CONCLUSIONS: The controversies in its definition have impaired proper recognition and management. The predominant symptoms were: fatigue, breathlessness, arthralgia, sleep difficulties, and chest pain. Recent reports also point to the risk of long-term sequela with cutaneous, respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, mental health, neurologic, and renal involvement in those who survive the acute phase of the illness.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Al-Kuraishy HM, Al-Gareeb AI, Alzahrani KJ, et al (2021)

The potential role of neopterin in Covid-19: a new perspective.

Molecular and cellular biochemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Neopterin (NPT) is a member of pteridines group, synthesized by macrophages when stimulated by interferon gamma (INF-γ). NPT is regarded as a macrophage stimulation indicator, marker of cellular immune activation and T helper 1 (Th1) type 1 immune response. Here, we aimed to provide a view point on the NPT features and role in Covid-19. Serum NPT level is regarded as an independent prognostic factor for Covid-19 severity, with levels starting to increase from the 3rd day of SARS-CoV-2 infection, being associated with severe dyspnea, longer hospitalization period and complications. Also, early raise of NPT reflects monocytes/macrophages activation before antibody immune response, despite the NPT level may also remain high in Covid-19 patients or at the end of incubation period before the onset of clinical symptoms. On the other hand, NPT attenuates the activity of macrophage foam cells and is linked to endothelial inflammation through inhibition of adhesion molecules and monocytes migration. However, NPT also exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects by suppressing NF-κB signaling and NLRP3 inflammasomes. NPT can be viewed as a protective compensatory mechanism to counterpoise hyper-inflammation, oxidative stress, and associated organ damage.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Barberán J, Barberán LC, A de la Cuerda (2021)

[Safety in the selection of oral antibiotic treatment in community infections, beyond COVID-19].

Revista espanola de quimioterapia : publicacion oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Quimioterapia, 34(4):289-297.

Oral antibiotics are among the most frequently used medications in the community. Its adverse effects are generally considered to be infrequent and mild, and include allergies, toxicities and drug interactions. Antibiotics are able to harm patients by various mechanisms, not always well known. Knowledge of the clinically relevant antibiotic-associated adverse effects can allow a judicious use based on the principle first do no harm, primun non nocere. In this review we explore the main adverse effects of oral antibiotics with specific focus on β-lactams, macrolides, and fluoroquinolones.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Comber S, Wilson L, Kelly S, et al (2021)

Physician leaders' cross-boundary use of social media: what are the implications in the current COVID-19 environment?.

Leadership in health services (Bradford, England), ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print):.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to better understand social media (SM) factors that physician leaders need to consider, as they adapt their cross-boundary practices to engage with colleagues and patients. Firstly, this study explores why SM is being used by physicians to cross horizontal (physician to physician) and stakeholder (physician to patient) boundaries prior to COVID-19. Secondly, based on the studies reviewed, this study provides insights on the practical SM implications for physician leaders working in the COVID-19 environment to actively enhance their practices, reduce public confusion and improve patient care, thus informing health-care practices.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A systematic literature review was used to conduct a structured transparent overview of peer reviewed articles that describe physicians' use of cross-boundary SM across several disciplines (e.g. health, information science). As a baseline assessment prior to COVID-19, the review synthesized 47 articles, identified and selected from six databases and Novanet. This study used NVivo 12 to thematical code the articles, leading to the emergence of four broad factors that influence SM use.

FINDINGS: A key reason noted in the literature for physicians use of SM to cross horizontal boundaries is to share knowledge. Regarding stakeholder boundaries, the most cited reasons are to improve patient's health and encourage behavioural changes. Insights garnered on the practical SM implications include the need for physicians to be stronger leaders in presenting trustworthy and consistent facts about health information to the public and fellow peers. As role models for the effective use of SM tools, physician leaders can mentor and coach their colleagues and counterparts.

As this was a literature review, the authors did not collect primary data to further explore this rapidly changing and dynamic SM world. Next steps could include a survey to determine firstly, how physicians currently use SM in this COVID-19 environment, and secondly, how they could leverage it for their work. Findings from this survey will help us better understand the role of physician leaders as health-care influencers and how they could better create trust and inform the Canadian public in the health information that is being conveyed.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: Physician leaders can play a key role in positively influencing institutional support for ethical and safe SM use and engagement practices. Physicians need to participate in developing regulations and guidelines that are fundamentally to physician leader's SM use. Central to this research would be the need to understand how physicians cross-boundary practices have changed during and potentially post COVID-19. Physician leaders also need to monitor information sources for credibility and ensure that these sources are protected. As role models for the effective use of SM tools, physician leaders can mentor and coach their colleagues and counterparts in this area.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE: Although there have been studies of how physicians use SM, fewer studies explore why physician leaders' cross boundaries (horizontal and stakeholder) using SM. Important insights are gained in physician leaders practical use of SM. Key themes that emerged included: organizational and individual, information, professional and regulations and guideline factors. These factors strengthen physician leaders understanding of areas of foci to enhance their cross-boundary interactions. There is an urgency to study the complexity of SM and the effectiveness of regulations and guidelines for physicians, who are being required, at an accelerated rate, to strengthen and increase their cross-boundary practices.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Popp M, Stegemann M, Metzendorf MI, et al (2021)

Ivermectin for preventing and treating COVID-19.

The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 7:CD015017.

BACKGROUND: Ivermectin, an antiparasitic agent used to treat parasitic infestations, inhibits the replication of viruses in vitro. The molecular hypothesis of ivermectin's antiviral mode of action suggests an inhibitory effect on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication in the early stages of infection. Currently, evidence on efficacy and safety of ivermectin for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 treatment is conflicting.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy and safety of ivermectin compared to no treatment, standard of care, placebo, or any other proven intervention for people with COVID-19 receiving treatment as inpatients or outpatients, and for prevention of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 (postexposure prophylaxis).

SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, Web of Science (Emerging Citation Index and Science Citation Index), medRxiv, and Research Square, identifying completed and ongoing studies without language restrictions to 26 May 2021.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing ivermectin to no treatment, standard of care, placebo, or another proven intervention for treatment of people with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, irrespective of disease severity, treated in inpatient or outpatient settings, and for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Co-interventions had to be the same in both study arms. We excluded studies comparing ivermectin to other pharmacological interventions with unproven efficacy.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We assessed RCTs for bias, using the Cochrane risk of bias 2 tool. The primary analysis excluded studies with high risk of bias. We used GRADE to rate the certainty of evidence for the following outcomes 1. to treat inpatients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19: mortality, clinical worsening or improvement, adverse events, quality of life, duration of hospitalization, and viral clearance; 2. to treat outpatients with mild COVID-19: mortality, clinical worsening or improvement, admission to hospital, adverse events, quality of life, and viral clearance; (3) to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection: SARS-CoV-2 infection, development of COVID-19 symptoms, adverse events, mortality, admission to hospital, and quality of life.

MAIN RESULTS: We found 14 studies with 1678 participants investigating ivermectin compared to no treatment, placebo, or standard of care. No study compared ivermectin to an intervention with proven efficacy. There were nine studies treating participants with moderate COVID-19 in inpatient settings and four treating mild COVID-19 cases in outpatient settings. One study investigated ivermectin for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Eight studies had an open-label design, six were double-blind and placebo-controlled. Of the 41 study results contributed by included studies, about one third were at overall high risk of bias. Ivermectin doses and treatment duration varied among included studies. We identified 31 ongoing and 18 studies awaiting classification until publication of results or clarification of inconsistencies. Ivermectin compared to placebo or standard of care for inpatient COVID-19 treatment We are uncertain whether ivermectin compared to placebo or standard of care reduces or increases mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14 to 2.51; 2 studies, 185 participants; very low-certainty evidence) and clinical worsening up to day 28 assessed as need for invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.11 to 2.59; 2 studies, 185 participants; very low-certainty evidence) or need for supplemental oxygen (0 participants required supplemental oxygen; 1 study, 45 participants; very low-certainty evidence), adverse events within 28 days (RR 1.21, 95% CI 0.50 to 2.97; 1 study, 152 participants; very low-certainty evidence), and viral clearance at day seven (RR 1.82, 95% CI 0.51 to 6.48; 2 studies, 159 participants; very low-certainty evidence). Ivermectin may have little or no effect compared to placebo or standard of care on clinical improvement up to 28 days (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.35; 1 study; 73 participants; low-certainty evidence) and duration of hospitalization (mean difference (MD) -0.10 days, 95% CI -2.43 to 2.23; 1 study; 45 participants; low-certainty evidence). No study reported quality of life up to 28 days. Ivermectin compared to placebo or standard of care for outpatient COVID-19 treatment We are uncertain whether ivermectin compared to placebo or standard of care reduces or increases mortality up to 28 days (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.01 to 8.05; 2 studies, 422 participants; very low-certainty evidence) and clinical worsening up to 14 days assessed as need for IMV (RR 2.97, 95% CI 0.12 to 72.47; 1 study, 398 participants; very low-certainty evidence) or non-IMV or high flow oxygen requirement (0 participants required non-IMV or high flow; 1 study, 398 participants; very low-certainty evidence). We are uncertain whether ivermectin compared to placebo reduces or increases viral clearance at seven days (RR 3.00, 95% CI 0.13 to 67.06; 1 study, 24 participants; low-certainty evidence). Ivermectin may have little or no effect compared to placebo or standard of care on the number of participants with symptoms resolved up to 14 days (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.21; 1 study, 398 participants; low-certainty evidence) and adverse events within 28 days (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.05; 2 studies, 422 participants; low-certainty evidence). None of the studies reporting duration of symptoms were eligible for primary analysis. No study reported hospital admission or quality of life up to 14 days. Ivermectin compared to no treatment for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection We found one study. Mortality up to 28 days was the only outcome eligible for primary analysis. We are uncertain whether ivermectin reduces or increases mortality compared to no treatment (0 participants died; 1 study, 304 participants; very low-certainty evidence). The study reported results for development of COVID-19 symptoms and adverse events up to 14 days that were included in a secondary analysis due to high risk of bias. No study reported SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospital admission, and quality of life up to 14 days.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Based on the current very low- to low-certainty evidence, we are uncertain about the efficacy and safety of ivermectin used to treat or prevent COVID-19. The completed studies are small and few are considered high quality. Several studies are underway that may produce clearer answers in review updates. Overall, the reliable evidence available does not support the use ivermectin for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 outside of well-designed randomized trials.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Hirakawa Y, Saif-Ur-Rahman KM, Aita K, et al (2021)

Implementation of advance care planning amid the COVID-19 crisis: A narrative review and synthesis.

Geriatrics & gerontology international [Epub ahead of print].

Advance care planning is considered an important issue in end-of-life care for older adults. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted the healthcare system and end-of-life care tremendously. This review aimed to explore available articles on advance care planning amid the pandemic and analyze qualitatively. PubMed and Google Scholar were searched on February 2021 using the relevant keywords. Retrieved articles were screened applying inclusion criteria. Any article describing advance care planning during the COVID-19 era was included. A qualitative content analysis was conducted. In total, 20 articles incorporating 5542 participants from five countries were included. Among the articles, eight were primary studies and the rest were perspective papers or secondary analysis. From the qualitative content analysis six major themes emerged namely palliative care, lack of coordination among acute care, hospital palliative care, and long-term care, community-based advance care planning, real-time dissemination of scientific information on the regional pandemic situation, online system and legislation. The COVID-19 pandemic had decreased the uptake of advance care planning. Findings of the review suggested simplification of the procedure regarding advance care planning, implementation of community-based advance care planning and utilization of online resources to enhance the process. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2021; ••: ••-••.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Grant K, Andruchow JE, Conly J, et al (2021)

Personal protective equipment preservation strategies in the covid-19 era: A narrative review.

Infection prevention in practice, 3(3):100146.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to personal protective equipment (PPE) supply concerns on a global scale. While efforts to increase production are underway in many jurisdictions, demand may yet outstrip supply leading to PPE shortages, particularly in low resource settings. PPE is critically important for the safety of healthcare workers (HCW) and patients and to reduce viral transmission within healthcare facilities. A structured narrative review was completed to identify methods for extending the use of available PPE as well as decontamination and reuse.

Methods: Database searches were conducted in MEDLINE and EMBASE for any available original research or review articles detailing guidelines for the safe extended use of PPE, and/or PPE decontamination and reuse protocols prior to September 28, 2020. Grey literature in addition to key websites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Infection Prevention Association of Canada (IPAC), and the National Health Service (NHS) was also reviewed.

Results: Extended use guidelines support co-locating patients with confirmed COVID-19 within specific areas of healthcare facilities to enable the use of PPE between multiple patients, and reduce PPE requirements outside these areas. Decontamination strategies for N95 respirators and face shields range from individual HCWs using conventional ovens and microwave steam bags at home, to large-scale centralized decontamination using autoclave machines, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, hydrogen peroxide vapors, or peracetic acid dry fogging systems. Specific protocols for such strategies have been recommended by the US CDC and WHO and are being implemented by multiple institutions across North America. Further studies are underway testing decontamination strategies that have been reported to be effective at inactivating coronavirus and influenza, and on SARs-CoV-2 specifically.

Conclusions: This narrative review summarizes current extended use guidelines and decontamination protocols specific to COVID-19. Preserving PPE through the implementation of such strategies could help to mitigate shortages in PPE supply, and enable healthcare facilities in low resource settings to continue to operate safely for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Rooney CM, McIntyre J, Ritchie L, et al (2021)

Evidence review of physical distancing and partition screens to reduce healthcare acquired SARS-CoV-2.

Infection prevention in practice, 3(2):100144.

We review the evidence base for two newly introduced Infection prevention and control strategies within UK hospitals. The new standard infection control precaution of 2 metres physical distancing and the use of partition screens as a means of source control of infection for SARS-CoV-2. Following review of Ovid-MEDLINE and governmental SAGE outputs there is limited evidence to support the use of 2 metres physical distancing and partition screens within healthcare.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Hallam C, Denton A, G Thirkell (2020)

COVID-19: considerations for the safe management and disposal of human excreta.

Infection prevention in practice, 2(4):100085.

Management and disposal of human excreta is an essential element of healthcare practice. The potential for cross transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in faeces and urine has led global healthcare providers to examine different infection prevention and control practices not least the management and disposal of human excreta. There are two major systems in place to undertake this; one being the use of re-usable bedpans and urinals with reprocessing in a washer disinfectors (WD). The other is use of disposable system; either with pulp bedpans and urinals disposed of in a macerator or hygienic bags disposed of as waste. A review of the literature provided limited evidence to explore these different methods; both having pros and cons with regards to the environmental aspects as well as the infection prevention and control implications. Manual cleaning can pose associated infection risks to both staff and patients. Disinfection of re-usable bedpans may not achieve the level of disinfection required. Disposable systems offer an alternative that can overcome some of the infection prevention and control limitations of washer disinfectors. Adherence to infection prevention and control standards are paramount to the safe management and disposal of excreta.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Tobaiqy M, Qashqary M, Al-Dahery S, et al (2020)

Therapeutic management of patients with COVID-19: a systematic review.

Infection prevention in practice, 2(3):100061.

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11th March 2020. The treatment guidelines for COVID-19 vary between countries, yet there is no approved treatment to date.

Aim: To report any evidence of therapeutics used for the management of patients with COVID-19 in clinical practice since emergence of the virus.

Methods: A systematic review protocol was developed based on the PRISMA statement. Articles for review were selected from Embase, Medline and Google Scholar. Readily accessible peer-reviewed, full articles in English published from 1st December 2019 to 26th March 2020 were included. The search terms included combinations of: COVID, SARS-COV-2, glucocorticoids, convalescent plasma, antiviral and antibacterial. There were no restrictions on the types of study eligible for inclusion.

Results: Four hundred and forty-nine articles were identified in the literature search; of these, 41 studies were included in this review. These were clinical trials (N=3), case reports (N=7), case series (N=10), and retrospective (N=11) and prospective (N=10) observational studies. Thirty-six studies were conducted in China (88%). Corticosteroid treatment was reported most frequently (N=25), followed by lopinavir (N=21) and oseltamivir (N=16).

Conclusions: This is the first systematic review to date related to medication used to treat patients with COVID-19. Only 41 studies were eligible for inclusion, most of which were conducted in China. Corticosteroid treatment was reported most frequently in the literature.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Kampf G (2020)

Potential role of inanimate surfaces for the spread of coronaviruses and their inactivation with disinfectant agents.

Infection prevention in practice, 2(2):100044.

The novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has become a global health concern causing severe respiratory tract infections in humans. Human-to-human transmissions have been described, probably via droplets but possibly also via contaminated hands or surfaces. In a recent review on the persistence of human and veterinary coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces it was shown that human coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days. Some disinfectant agents effectively reduce coronavirus infectivity within 1 minute such 62%-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite. Other compounds such as 0.05%-0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective. An effective surface disinfection may help to ensure an early containment and prevention of further viral spread.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Wontakal SN, Bortz RH, Lin WW, et al (2021)

Approaching the Interpretation of Discordances in SARS-CoV-2 Testing.

Open forum infectious diseases, 8(7):ofab144.

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has upended life throughout the globe. Appropriate emphasis has been placed on developing effective therapies and vaccines to curb the pandemic. While awaiting such countermeasures, mitigation efforts coupled with robust testing remain essential to controlling spread of the disease. In particular, serological testing plays a critical role in providing important diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic information. However, this information is only useful if the results can be accurately interpreted. This pandemic placed clinical testing laboratories and requesting physicians in a precarious position because we are actively learning about the disease and how to interpret serological results. Having developed robust assays to detect antibodies generated against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and serving the hardest-hit areas within the New York City epicenter, we found 3 types of discordances in SARS-CoV-2 test results that challenge interpretation. Using representative clinical vignettes, these interpretation dilemmas are highlighted, along with suggested approaches to resolve such cases.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Nitesh J, Kashyap R, SR Surani (2021)

What we learned in the past year in managing our COVID-19 patients in intensive care units?.

World journal of critical care medicine, 10(4):81-101.

Coronavirus disease 2019 is a pandemic, was first recognized at Wuhan province, China in December 2019. The disease spread quickly across the globe, spreading stealthily from human to human through both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. A multisystem disease which appears to primarily spread via bio aerosols, it has exhibited a wide clinical spectrum involving multiple organ systems with the respiratory system pathology being the prime cause of morbidity and mortality. Initially unleashing a huge destructive trail at Wuhan China, Lombardy Italy and New York City, it has now spread to all parts of the globe and has actively thrived and mutated into new forms. Health care systems and Governments responded initially with panic, with containment measures giving way to mitigation strategies. The global medical and scientific community has come together and responded to this huge challenge. Professional medical societies quickly laid out "expert" guidelines which were conservative in their approach. Many drugs were re formulated and tested quickly with the help of national and international collaborative groups, helping carve out effective treatment strategies and help build a good scientific foundation for evidence-based medicine. Out of the darkness of chaos, we now have an orderly approach to manage this disease both from a public health preventive and therapeutic standpoint. With preventive measures such as masking and social distancing to the development of highly effective and potent vaccines, the public health success of such measures has been tempered by behavioral responses and resource mobilization. From a therapy standpoint, we now have drugs that were promising but now proven ineffective, and those that are effective when given early during viral pathogenesis or later when immune dysregulation has established, and the goal is to help reign in the destructive cascade. It has been a fascinating journey for mankind and our work here recapitulates the evolution of various aspects of critical care and other inpatient practices which continue to evolve.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Chen F, Hao L, Zhu S, et al (2021)

Potential Adverse Effects of Dexamethasone Therapy on COVID-19 Patients: Review and Recommendations.

Infectious diseases and therapy [Epub ahead of print].

In the context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the global healthcare community has raced to find effective therapeutic agents against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To date, dexamethasone is the first and an important therapeutic to significantly reduce the risk of death in COVID-19 patients with severe disease. Due to powerful anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, dexamethasone could attenuate SARS-CoV-2-induced uncontrolled cytokine storm, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung injury. Nevertheless, dexamethasone treatment is a double-edged sword, as numerous studies have revealed that it has significant adverse impacts later in life. In this article, we reviewed the literature regarding the adverse effects of dexamethasone administration on different organ systems as well as related disease pathogenesis in an attempt to clarify the potential harms that may arise in COVID-19 patients receiving dexamethasone treatment. Overall, taking the threat of COVID-19 pandemic into account, we think it is necessary to apply dexamethasone as a pharmaceutical therapy in critical patients. However, its adverse side effects cannot be ignored. Our review will help medical professionals in the prognosis and follow-up of patients treated with dexamethasone. In addition, given that a considerable amount of uncertainty, confusion and even controversy still exist, further studies and more clinical trials are urgently needed to improve our understanding of the parameters and the effects of dexamethasone on patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Loh HC, Looi I, Ch'ng ASH, et al (2021)

Positive global environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown: a review.

GeoJournal [Epub ahead of print].

Global environmental change is mainly due to human behaviours and is a major threat to sustainability. Despite all the health and economic consequences, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on environmental health warrants the scientific community's attention. Thus, this article examined and narratively reviewed the impact of several drastic measures taken on the macro environment and holistic planetary health. We note that the amount of pollution in the air, water, soil, and noise showed a significant decline during the pandemic. Global air quality improved due to lower anthropogenic emissions of air pollutants and atmospheric particles. Water ecosystems also demonstrated signs of recuperation in many countries. Less commercial fishing internationally resulted in the restoration of some aquatic life. Additionally, significant reduction of solid and water waste led to less soil pollution. Some places experienced cleaner beaches and ocean water while wildlife sightings in urban areas across the world occurred more often. Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown also led to a worldwide decline in noise pollution. However, the beneficial environmental effects will not be permanent as the world gradually returns to its pre-pandemic status quo. Therefore, behavioural changes such as adopting a lifestyle that reduces carbon footprint are needed to make a positive impact on the environment. In addition, world leaders should consider the national policy changes necessary to ensure continuity of as many of the positive environmental impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown as possible. Those changes would also serve to lessen the likelihood of another zoonotic calamity.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Mozzini C, M Pagani (2021)

Cardiovascular Diseases: Consider Netosis.

Current problems in cardiology pii:S0146-2806(21)00144-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are net-like chromatin fibers that are released from dying neutrophils during infections. NETs are a sort of scaffold, ideal to retain microbes. The main function of NETs is the trapping and killing pathogens, as such as bacteria, fungi, viruses (including SARS-CoV-2) and protozoa. The death of neutrophils via NETs formation is called "NETosis." Nevertheless, recent studies suggest that NETosis is involved in several diseases, other than infections. Very recently, it has been shown that NETs formation contributes to venous thromboembolism but also to atherosclerosis progression, creating a link between venous and arterial thrombosis. The presence of NETs in the luminal portion of human atherosclerotic vessels and coronary specimens obtained from patients after acute myocardial infarction has been detected. This review provides evidence of the most important updates about the role of NETs in myocardial infarction, in heart failure and in the process of atherosclerosis itself. The prognostic significance of NETs-related markers in cardiovascular diseases will be discussed, in order to assess targeted therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

da Silva KN, Gobatto ALN, Costa-Ferro ZSM, et al (2021)

Is there a place for mesenchymal stromal cell-based therapies in the therapeutic armamentarium against COVID-19?.

Stem cell research & therapy, 12(1):425.

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the rapid global spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has caused healthcare systems to collapse and led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 is not only limited to local pneumonia but also represents multiple organ involvement, with potential for systemic complications. One year after the pandemic, pathophysiological knowledge has evolved, and many therapeutic advances have occurred, but mortality rates are still elevated in severe/critical COVID-19 cases. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) can exert immunomodulatory, antiviral, and pro-regenerative paracrine/endocrine actions and are therefore promising candidates for MSC-based therapies. In this review, we discuss the rationale for MSC-based therapies based on currently available preclinical and clinical evidence of safety, potential efficacy, and mechanisms of action. Finally, we present a critical analysis of the risks, limitations, challenges, and opportunities that place MSC-based products as a therapeutic strategy that may complement the current arsenal against COVID-19 and reduce the pandemic's unmet medical needs.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Chu L, Huang F, Zhang M, et al (2021)

Current status of traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 in China.

Chinese medicine, 16(1):63.

An ongoing outbreak of severe respiratory illness and pneumonia caused by the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) commenced in December 2019, and the disease was named as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Soon after, scientists identified the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, including its genome sequence and protein structure. The clinical manifestations of COVID-19 have now been established; and nucleic acid amplification is used for the direct determination of the virus, whereas immunoassays can determine the antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Clinical trials of several antiviral drugs are ongoing. However, there is still no specific drugs to treat COVID-19. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) was used in the treatment of COVID-19 during the early stages of the outbreak in China. Some ancient TCM prescriptions, which were efficacious in the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-03 and the influenza pandemic (H1N1) of 2009, have been improved by experienced TCM practitioners for the treatment of COVID-19 based on their clinical symptoms. These developed new prescriptions include Lianhua Qingwen capsules/granules, Jinhua Qinggan granules and XueBiJing injection, among others. In this review, we have summarized the presenting features of SARS-CoV-2, the clinical characteristics of COVID-19, and the progress in the treatment of COVID-19 using TCMs.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Liu Y, Pan Y, Yin Y, et al (2021)

Association of dyslipidemia with the severity and mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a meta-analysis.

Virology journal, 18(1):157.

BACKGROUND: The numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and COVID-19 related deaths are still increasing, so it is very important to determine the risk factors of COVID-19. Dyslipidemia is a common complication in patients with COVID-19, but the association of dyslipidemia with the severity and mortality of COVID-19 is still unclear. The aim of this study is to analyze the potential association of dyslipidemia with the severity and mortality of COVID-19.

METHODS: We searched the PubMed, Embase, MEDLINE, and Cochrane Library databases for all relevant studies up to August 24, 2020. All the articles published were retrieved without language restriction. All analysis was performed using Stata 13.1 software and Mantel-Haenszel formula with fixed effects models was used to compare the differences between studies. The Newcastle Ottawa scale was used to assess the quality of the included studies.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies involving 12,995 COVID-19 patients were included in the meta-analysis, which was consisted of 26 cohort studies and 2 case-control studies. Dyslipidemia was associated with the severity of COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11-1.44, P = 0.038, I2 = 39.8%). Further, patients with dyslipidemia had a 2.13-fold increased risk of death compared to patients without dyslipidemia (95% CI 1.84-2.47, P = 0.001, I2 = 66.4%).

CONCLUSIONS: The results proved that dyslipidemia is associated with increased severity and mortality of COVID-19. Therefore, we should monitor blood lipids and administer active treatments in COVID-19 patients with dyslipidemia to reduce the severity and mortality.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Escandón K, Rasmussen AL, Bogoch II, et al (2021)

COVID-19 false dichotomies and a comprehensive review of the evidence regarding public health, COVID-19 symptomatology, SARS-CoV-2 transmission, mask wearing, and reinfection.

BMC infectious diseases, 21(1):710.

Scientists across disciplines, policymakers, and journalists have voiced frustration at the unprecedented polarization and misinformation around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Several false dichotomies have been used to polarize debates while oversimplifying complex issues. In this comprehensive narrative review, we deconstruct six common COVID-19 false dichotomies, address the evidence on these topics, identify insights relevant to effective pandemic responses, and highlight knowledge gaps and uncertainties. The topics of this review are: 1) Health and lives vs. economy and livelihoods, 2) Indefinite lockdown vs. unlimited reopening, 3) Symptomatic vs. asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, 4) Droplet vs. aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, 5) Masks for all vs. no masking, and 6) SARS-CoV-2 reinfection vs. no reinfection. We discuss the importance of multidisciplinary integration (health, social, and physical sciences), multilayered approaches to reducing risk ("Emmentaler cheese model"), harm reduction, smart masking, relaxation of interventions, and context-sensitive policymaking for COVID-19 response plans. We also address the challenges in understanding the broad clinical presentation of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and SARS-CoV-2 reinfection. These key issues of science and public health policy have been presented as false dichotomies during the pandemic. However, they are hardly binary, simple, or uniform, and therefore should not be framed as polar extremes. We urge a nuanced understanding of the science and caution against black-or-white messaging, all-or-nothing guidance, and one-size-fits-all approaches. There is a need for meaningful public health communication and science-informed policies that recognize shades of gray, uncertainties, local context, and social determinants of health.

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Tripathi N, Sheikh D, D Antimisiaris (2021)

Anticancer Therapy in COViD-19 Patients: A Descriptive Literature Review.

The Senior care pharmacist, 36(8):365-373.

OBJECTIVE: To provide a descriptive literature review about the effects of anticancer treatment on clinical outcomes because of active COVID-19 infection in older people.

DATA SOURCES: A literature search was conducted in Google Scholar, PubMed, American Society of Clinical Oncology, European Society for Medical Oncology, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Articles published in English between December 1, 2019, to September 1, 2020, were included.

STUDY SELECTION: Nine studies assessing the effectiveness of various modalities for cancer treatments in patients infected with COVID-19 infection were reviewed. The studies reviewed the severity of COVID-19 infection outcomes in patients who underwent any anticancer treatment. Studies exclusively focused on older people could not be found, but all studies included older people. DATA SYNTHESiS AND RESULTS: Early pandemic studies suggested avoiding anticancer treatment during a COVID-19 infection because of poor clinical outcomes and increased mortality. However, the totality of studies reviewed found no association between the continuation of anticancer treatment and adverse COVID-19 outcomes in cancer patients. Adverse COVID-19 infection outcomes and high mortality rates were associated with older cancer patients independent of anticancer therapy.

CONCLUSION: Treatment of cancer could be challenging because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interruption or delaying the anticancer therapy could increase the burden of overall mortality. This literature review indicated that adverse outcomes because of COVID-19 are associated with advanced age independent of anticancer therapy. Further exploration of the correlation between cancer, anticancer treatments, and COVID-19 infection outcomes is needed.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Pirrone I, Dieleman M, Reis R, et al (2021)

Syndemic contexts: findings from a review of research on non-communicable diseases and interviews with experts.

Global health action, 14(1):1927332.

BACKGROUND: Syndemics are characterized by the clustering of two or more health conditions, their adverse interaction, and contextual factors that create the conditions for clustering and/or interaction that worsens health outcomes. Studying syndemics entails drawing on diverse disciplines, including epidemiology and anthropology. This often means collaboration between researchers with different scholarly backgrounds, who share and - ideally - integrate their findings.

OBJECTIVE: This article examines how context within syndemics has been defined and studied.

METHODS: A literature review of empirical studies focusing on syndemics involving non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and mental health conditions was conducted and the full text of 13 articles was analyzed. The review was followed-up with semi-structured interviews with 11 expert researchers working in the field.

RESULTS: The review and interviews highlighted a relatively consistent definition of syndemics. The reviewed studies of NCD-related syndemics tended to focus on micro-level context, suggesting a need to analyze further underlying structural factors. In their syndemics research, respondents described working with other disciplines and, although there were some challenges, welcomed greater disciplinary diversity. Methodological gaps, including a lack of mixed methods and longitudinal studies, were identified, for which further interdisciplinary collaborations would be beneficial.

CONCLUSIONS: NCD-related syndemics research would benefit from further analysis of structural factors and the interconnections between syndemic components across multiple levels, together with more ambitious research designs integrating quantitative and qualitative methods. Research on the COVID-19 pandemic can benefit from a syndemics approach, particularly to understand vulnerability and the unequal impacts of this public health crisis.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Kasherman L, Madariaga A, Liu Q, et al (2021)

Ethical frameworks in clinical research processes during COVID-19: a scoping review.

BMJ open, 11(7):e047076.

OBJECTIVES: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic there have been significant developments in research, its conduct and the supporting ethical framework. While many protocols have been delayed, halted or modified, other research efforts have been accelerated, generating controversy. The goal of this paper is to determine the rates of references surrounding the ethical oversight of research as reported in current COVID-19-related research publications.

DESIGN: Scoping review.

SETTING: Population-based observational or interventional studies from December 2019 to May 2020 with sample size of two or more. Studies were searched through electronic databases including Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane CENTRAL Register of Controlled Trials.

PARTICIPANTS: Eligibility criteria included participants within published studies who tested positive for COVID-19.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Data were extracted and charting methods included taking note of references to ethical frameworks, institutional review board (IRB), ethics committee (EC) or research ethics board (REB) involvement, consent processes, and other variables.

RESULTS: 11 556 articles were screened, with 656 included in the final analysis. References to ethics were present in 530 (80.8%) studies, with 491 (74.8%) involving IRB/ECs/REBs and 126 (19.2%) not referencing ethics. Consent processes were outlined in 201 (30.6%) studies, with 198 (30.2%) reporting that they obtained consent waivers, however, 257 (39.2%) did not mention consent at all. Differences (p<0.001) in ethics-related references were apparent when analysed by continent, publication type, sample size and IF.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of published articles pertaining to COVID-19 research made mention of ethical considerations, however, national and regional variations in research ethics review requirements introduce heterogeneity between studies and raise important questions about the conduct of scientific research during global public emergencies.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: Open Science Framework: https://osfio/z67wb.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Park DI (2021)

Development and Validation of a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Questionnaire on COVID-19 (KAP COVID-19).

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(14):.

Given its highly contagious nature and an absence of a specific antiviral agent to this date, the key to controlling the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and decreasing the infection rate is adherence to preventive measures. It is essential to understand an individual's knowledge, attitudes and practices toward COVID-19 since public adherence to health guidelines relies heavily on these aspects. However, there is no validated instrument that evaluates knowledge, attitudes and practices toward COVID-19. Thus, this study aimed to develop and validate such tool. A questionnaire was developed based on international and national guidelines and a review of the literature. Initial items were evaluated by 10 experts to determine content validity. Exploratory factor analysis and reliability testing were conducted with a convenience sample of 229 nursing students. Based on the content, face validity and factor analysis, 34 items were selected. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin value of 0.735 indicated a highly acceptable score with a significant Bartlett's test of sphericity (p < 0.0001). The internal consistency coefficients indicated acceptable reliability of the tool (Cronbach's α = 0.75). The KAP COVID-19 is a valid instrument that can be used to evaluate knowledge, attitudes and practices toward COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Chandran A, Selva Kumar S, Hairi NN, et al (2021)

Non-communicable Disease Surveillance in Malaysia: An Overview of Existing Systems and Priorities Going Forward.

Frontiers in public health, 9:698741.

In 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) set a comprehensive set of nine global voluntary targets, including the landmark "25 by 25" mortality reduction target, and 25 indicators. WHO has also highlighted the importance of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) surveillance as a key action by Member States in addressing NCDs. This study aimed to examine the current national NCD surveillance tools, activities and performance in Malaysia based on the WHO Global Monitoring Framework for NCDs and to highlight gaps and priorities moving forward. A desk review was conducted from August to October in 2020, to examine the current national NCD surveillance activities in Malaysia from multiple sources. Policy and program documents relating to NCD surveillance in Malaysia from 2010 to 2020 were identified and analyzed. The findings of this review are presented according to the three major themes of the Global Monitoring Framework: monitoring of exposure/risk factor, monitoring of outcomes and health system capacity/response. Currently, there is a robust monitoring system for NCD Surveillance in Malaysia for indicators that are monitored by the WHO NCD Global Monitoring Framework, particularly for outcome and exposure monitoring. However, Malaysia still lacks data for the surveillance of the health system indicators of the framework. Although Malaysia has an NCD surveillance in place that is adequate for the WHO NCD Global Monitoring Framework, there are areas that require strengthening. The country must also look beyond these set of indicators in view of the increasing burden and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes incorporating mental health indicators and leveraging on alternate sources of data relating to behaviors.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Martínez-Murillo C, Ramos Peñafiel C, Basurto L, et al (2021)

COVID-19 in a country with a very high prevalence of diabetes: The impact of admission hyperglycaemia on mortality.

Endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism, 4(3):e00279.

Aims: To evaluate the frequency of diabetes and admission hyperglycaemia in Mexican COVID-19 patients, to describe the clinical and biochemical characteristics of patients with admission hyperglycaemia and to determinate the impact of diabetes and admission hyperglycaemia on COVID-19 severity and mortality.

Methods: A multicentric study was performed in 480 hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Clinical and biochemical characteristics were evaluated in patients with admission hyperglycaemia and compared with non-hyperglycaemic patients. The effect of diabetes and admission hyperglycaemia on severity and risk of death were evaluated.

Results: Age was 50.7 ± 13.6 years; 68.3% were male. Some 48.5% (n = 233) had admission hyperglycaemia; 29% (n = 139) of these patients had pre-existing diabetes. Patients with admission hyperglycaemia had more requirement of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), higher levels of urea, D-dimer and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), as well as lower lymphocyte count. An association between admission hyperglycaemia with IMV and D-dimer with glucose was found. Age ≥50 years (OR 2.09; 95%CI 1.37-3.17), pre-existing diabetes (OR 2.38; 95%CI 1.59-5.04) and admission hyperglycaemia (OR 8.24; 95%CI 4.74-14.32) were risk factors for mortality.

Conclusions: Admission hyperglycaemia is presented in 48.5% of COVID-19 patients. Diabetes and admission hyperglycaemia are associated with the severity of disease and mortality. This study shows the devastating conjunction of hyperglycaemia and COVID-19. Clinical trial registration: Clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19, DI/20/204/04/41 (Hospital General de Mexico) and NR-13-2020 (Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad Ixtapaluca).

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Symons X, Matthews S, B Tobin (2021)

Why should HCWs receive priority access to vaccines in a pandemic?.

BMC medical ethics, 22(1):79.

BACKGROUND: Viral pandemics present a range of ethical challenges for policy makers, not the least among which are difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce healthcare resources. One important question is whether healthcare workers (HCWs) should receive priority access to a vaccine in the event that an effective vaccine becomes available. This question is especially relevant in the coronavirus pandemic with governments and health authorities currently facing questions of distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

MAIN TEXT: In this article, we critically evaluate the most common ethical arguments for granting healthcare workers priority access to a vaccine. We review the existing literature on this topic, and analyse both deontological and utilitarian arguments in favour of HCW prioritisation. For illustrative purposes, we focus in particular on the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. We also explore some practical complexities attendant on arguments in favour of HCW prioritisation.

CONCLUSIONS: We argue that there are deontological and utilitarian cases for prioritising HCWs. Indeed, the widely held view that we should prioritise HCWs represents an example of ethical convergence. Complexities arise, however, when considering who should be included in the category of HCW, and who else should receive priority in addition to HCWs.

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Bertoletti L, Bikdeli B, Zuily S, et al (2021)

Thromboprophylaxis strategies to improve the prognosis of COVID-19.

Vascular pharmacology, 139:106883.

The outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has deeply challenged the world population, but also our medical knowledge. Special attention has been paid early to an activation of coagulation, then to an elevated rate of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19. These data suggested that anticoagulant drugs should be evaluated in the treatment of patients with COVID-19. The publication of unexpected high rates of VTE in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, despite receiving thromboprophylaxis, open the way to dedicated trials, evaluating modified regimens of thromboprophylaxis. Moreover, the further improvement in our comprehension of the disease, particularly the pulmonary endothelial dysfunction increased the hope that anticoagulant drugs may also protect patients from pulmonary thrombosis. In this comprehensive review, we cover the different situations where thromboprophylaxis standard may be modified (medically-ill inpatients, ICU inpatients, outpatients), and describe some of the current randomized controls trials evaluating new regimens of thromboprophylaxis in patients with COVID-19, including the preliminary available results. We also discuss the potential of anticoagulant drugs to target the thromboinflammation described in patients with severe COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Powis M, Milley-Daigle C, Hack S, et al (2021)

Impact of the early phase of the COVID pandemic on cancer treatment delivery and the quality of cancer care: a scoping review and conceptual model.

International journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care, 33(2):.

BACKGROUND: The disruption of health services due to coronavirus disease (COVID) is expected to dramatically alter cancer care; however, the implications for care quality and outcomes remain poorly understood.

OBJECTIVE: We undertook a scoping review to evaluate what is known in the literature about how cancer treatment has been modified as a result of the COVID pandemic in patients receiving treatment for solid tumours, and what domains of quality of care are most impacted.

METHODS: Citations were retrieved from MEDLINE and EMBASE (from 1 January 2019 to 28 October 2020), utilizing search terms grouped by the key concept (oncology, treatment, treatment modifications and COVID). Articles were excluded if they dealt exclusively with management of COVID-positive patients, modifications to cancer screening, diagnosis or supportive care or were not in English. Articles reporting on guidelines, consensus statements, recommendations, literature reviews, simulations or predictive models, or opinions in the absence of accompanying information on experience with treatment modifications in practice were excluded. Treatment modifications derived from the literature were stratified by modality (surgery, systemic therapy (ST) and radiotherapy) and thematically grouped. To understand what areas of quality were most impacted, modifications were mapped against the Institute of Medicine's quality domains. Where reported, barriers and facilitators were abstracted and thematically grouped to understand drivers of treatment modifications. Findings were synthesized into a logic model to conceptualize the inter-relationships between different modifications, as well as their downstream impacts on outcomes.

RESULTS: In the 87 retained articles, reductions in outpatients visits (26.4%) and delays/deferrals were commonly reported across all treatment modalities (surgery: 50%; ST: 55.8% and radiotherapy: 56.7%), as were reductions in surgical capacity (57.1%), alternate systemic regimens with longer treatment intervals or use of oral agents (19.2%) and the use of hypofractionated radiotherapy regimens (40.0%). Delivery of effective, timely and equitable care was the quality domains found to be the most impacted. The most commonly reported facilitator of maintaining cancer care delivery levels was the shift to virtual models of care (62.1%), while patient-initiated deferrals and cancellations (34.8%), often due to fear of contracting COVID (60.9%), was a commonly reported barrier.

CONCLUSIONS: As it will take a considerable amount of time for the cancer system to resume capacity and adjust models of care in response to the pandemic, these treatment delays and modifications will likely be prolonged and will negatively impact the quality of care and patient outcomes.

RevDate: 2021-07-27
CmpDate: 2021-07-27

Masan J, Sramka M, D Rabarova (2021)

The possibilities of using the effects of ozone therapy in neurology.

Neuro endocrinology letters, 42(1):13-21.

OBJECTIVES: The beneficial effects of ozone therapy consist mainly of the promotion of blood circulation: peripheral and central ischemia, immunomodulatory effect, energy boost, regenerative and reparative properties, and correction of chronic oxidative stress. Ozone therapy increases interest in new neuroprotective strategies that may represent therapeutic targets for minimizing the effects of oxidative stress.

METHODS: The overview examines the latest literature in neurological pathologies treated with ozone therapy as well as our own experience with ozone therapy. The effectiveness of treatments is connected to the ability of ozone therapy to reactivate the antioxidant system to address oxidative stress for chronic neurodegenerative diseases, strokes, and other pathologies. Application options include large and small autohemotherapy, intramuscular application, intra-articular, intradiscal, paravertebral and epidural, non-invasive rectal, transdermal, mucosal, or ozonated oils and ointments. The combination of different types of ozone therapy stimulates the benefits of the effects of ozone.

RESULTS: Clinical studies on O2-O3 therapy have been shown to be efficient in the treatment of neurological degenerative disorders, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular, peripheral vascular, orthopedic, gastrointestinal and genitourinary pathologies, fibromyalgia, skin diseases/wound healing, diabetes/ulcers, infectious diseases, and lung diseases, including the pandemic disease caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

CONCLUSION: Ozone therapy is a relatively fast administration of ozone gas. When the correct dose is administered, no side effects occur. Further clinical and experimental studies will be needed to determine the optimal administration schedule and to evaluate the combination of ozone therapy with other therapies to increase the effectiveness of treatment.

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Palacios S, Schiappacasse G, Valdes R, et al (2021)

COVID-19: Abdominal and Pelvic Imaging Findings: A Primer for Radiologists.

Journal of computer assisted tomography, 45(3):352-358.

ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic presents an ongoing global health threat. The SARS-CoV-2 is known to cause substantial pulmonary disease, and most of the current radiological publications are dedicated to describing and characterizing these findings. However, studies regarding imaging findings in the abdomen and pelvis of infected patients are still very limited. The aim of this review is to discuss the most frequent abdominal manifestations based on the current literature and representative images from our local experience.

RevDate: 2021-07-28
CmpDate: 2021-07-28

Horenstein AL, Faini AC, F Malavasi (2021)

CD38 in the age of COVID-19: a medical perspective.

Physiological reviews, 101(4):1457-1486.

This medical review addresses the hypothesis that CD38/NADase is at the center of a functional axis (i.e., intracellular Ca2+ mobilization/IFNγ response/reactive oxygen species burst) driven by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, as already verified in respiratory syncytial virus pathology and CD38 activity in other cellular settings. Key features of the hypothesis are that 1) the substrates of CD38 (e.g., NAD+ and NADP+) are depleted by viral-induced metabolic changes; 2) the products of the enzymatic activity of CD38 [e.g., cyclic adenosine diphosphate-ribose (ADPR)/ADPR/nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate] and related enzymes [e.g., poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase, Sirtuins, and ADP-ribosyl hydrolase] are involved in the anti-viral and proinflammatory response that favors the onset of lung immunopathology (e.g., cytokine storm and organ fibrosis); and 3) the pathological changes induced by this kinetic mechanism may be reduced by distinct modulators of the CD38/NAD+ axis (e.g., CD38 blockers, NAD+ suppliers, among others). This view is supported by arrays of associative basic and applied research data that are herein discussed and integrated with conclusions reported by others in the field of inflammatory, immune, tumor, and viral diseases.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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