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Bibliography on: covid-19

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 29 May 2023 at 01:38 Created: 


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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-05-28

Akinosoglou K, Rigopoulos EA, Schinas G, et al (2023)

Remdesivir Use in the Real-World Setting: An Overview of Available Evidence.

Viruses, 15(5):.

In the years of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), various treatment options have been utilized. COVID-19 continues to circulate in the global population, and the evolution of the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus has posed significant challenges to the treatment and prevention of infection. Remdesivir (RDV), an anti-viral agent with in vitro efficacy against coronaviruses, is a potent and safe treatment as suggested by a plethora of in vitro and in vivo studies and clinical trials. Emerging real-world data have confirmed its effectiveness, and there are currently datasets evaluating its efficacy and safety against SARS-CoV-2 infections in various clinical scenarios, including some that are not in the SmPC recommendations according for COVID-19 pharmacotherapy. Remdesivir increases the chance of recovery, reduces progression to severe disease, lowers mortality rates, and exhibits beneficial post-hospitalization outcomes, especially when used early in the course of the disease. Strong evidence suggests the expansion of remdesivir use in special populations (e.g., pregnancy, immunosuppression, renal impairment, transplantation, elderly and co-medicated patients) where the benefits of treatment outweigh the risk of adverse effects. In this article, we attempt to overview the available real-world data of remdesivir pharmacotherapy. With the unpredictable course of COVID-19, we need to utilize all available knowledge to bridge the gap between clinical research and clinical practice and be sufficiently prepared for the future.

RevDate: 2023-05-28

Schinas G, Moustaka V, Polyzou E, et al (2023)

Targeting CMV Reactivation to Optimize Care for Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients: A Review on the Therapeutic Potential of Antiviral Treatment.

Viruses, 15(5):.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation has been linked to adverse clinical outcomes in critically ill patients, with emerging evidence suggesting a potential connection with severe COVID-19. Mechanisms driving this association may include primary lung injury, amplification of systemic inflammation, and secondary immunosuppression. Diagnostic challenges in detecting and assessing CMV reactivation necessitate a comprehensive approach to improve accuracy and inform treatment decisions. Currently, there is limited evidence on the efficacy and safety of CMV pharmacotherapy in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Although insights from non-COVID-19 critical illness studies suggest a potential role for antiviral treatment or prophylaxis, the risks and benefits must be carefully balanced in this vulnerable patient population. Understanding the pathophysiological role of CMV in the context of COVID-19 and exploring the advantages of antiviral treatment are crucial for optimizing care in critically ill patients. This review provides a comprehensive synthesis of available evidence, emphasizing the need for additional investigation to establish the role of CMV treatment or prophylaxis in the management of severe COVID-19 and to develop a framework for future research on this topic.

RevDate: 2023-05-28

Principi N, Autore G, Ramundo G, et al (2023)

Epidemiology of Respiratory Infections during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Viruses, 15(5):.

To face the COVID-19 outbreak, a wide range of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) aimed at limiting the spread of the virus in communities, such as mask-wearing, hand hygiene, social distancing, travel restrictions, and school closures, were introduced in most countries. Thereafter, a significant reduction of new asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 cases occurred, although there were differences between countries according to the type and duration of the NPIs. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by significant variations in the global incidence of diseases due to the most common non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory viruses and some bacteria. In this narrative review, the epidemiology of the most common non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infections during the COVID-19 pandemic is detailed. Moreover, factors that could have had a role in modifying the traditional circulation of respiratory pathogens are discussed. A literature analysis shows that NPIs were the most important cause of the general reduction in the incidence of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus infection in the first year of the pandemic, although the different sensitivity of each virus to NPIs, the type and duration of measures used, as well as the interference among viruses may have played a role in modulating viral circulation. Reasons for the increase in the incidences of Streptococcus pneumoniae and group A Streptococcus infections seem strictly linked to immunity debt and the role played by NPIs in reducing viral infections and limiting bacterial superimposed infections. These results highlight the importance of NPIs during pandemics, the need to monitor the circulation of infectious agents that cause diseases similar to those caused by pandemic agents, and the need to make efforts to improve coverage with available vaccines.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Cheng Y, Ji C, Zhou HY, et al (2023)

Web Resources for SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Database, Annotation, Analysis and Variant Tracking.

Viruses, 15(5): pii:v15051158.

The SARS-CoV-2 genomic data continue to grow, providing valuable information for researchers and public health officials. Genomic analysis of these data sheds light on the transmission and evolution of the virus. To aid in SARS-CoV-2 genomic analysis, many web resources have been developed to store, collate, analyze, and visualize the genomic data. This review summarizes web resources used for the SARS-CoV-2 genomic epidemiology, covering data management and sharing, genomic annotation, analysis, and variant tracking. The challenges and further expectations for these web resources are also discussed. Finally, we highlight the importance and need for continued development and improvement of related web resources to effectively track the spread and understand the evolution of the virus.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Dutta D, Liu J, H Xiong (2023)

The Impact of COVID-19 on People Living with HIV-1 and HIV-1-Associated Neurological Complications.

Viruses, 15(5): pii:v15051117.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative pathogen of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a fatal respiratory illness. The associated risk factors for COVID-19 are old age and medical comorbidities. In the current combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) era, a significant portion of people living with HIV-1 (PLWH) with controlled viremia is older and with comorbidities, making these people vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-associated severe outcomes. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 is neurotropic and causes neurological complications, resulting in a health burden and an adverse impact on PLWH and exacerbating HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). The impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity on neuroinflammation, the development of HAND and preexisting HAND is poorly explored. In the present review, we compiled the current knowledge of differences and similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1, the conditions of the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and HIV-1/AIDS syndemic and their impact on the central nervous system (CNS). Risk factors of COVID-19 on PLWH and neurological manifestations, inflammatory mechanisms leading to the neurological syndrome, the development of HAND, and its influence on preexisting HAND are also discussed. Finally, we have reviewed the challenges of the present syndemic on the world population, with a particular emphasis on PLWH.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Tian WJ, XJ Wang (2023)

Broad-Spectrum Antivirals Derived from Natural Products.

Viruses, 15(5): pii:v15051100.

Scientific advances have led to the development and production of numerous vaccines and antiviral drugs, but viruses, including re-emerging and emerging viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, remain a major threat to human health. Many antiviral agents are rarely used in clinical treatment, however, because of their inefficacy and resistance. The toxicity of natural products may be lower, and some natural products have multiple targets, which means less resistance. Therefore, natural products may be an effective means to solve virus infection in the future. New techniques and ideas are currently being developed for the design and screening of antiviral drugs thanks to recent revelations about virus replication mechanisms and the advancement of molecular docking technology. This review will summarize recently discovered antiviral drugs, mechanisms of action, and screening and design strategies for novel antiviral agents.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Buchynskyi M, Kamyshna I, Oksenych V, et al (2023)

The Intersection of COVID-19 and Metabolic-Associated Fatty Liver Disease: An Overview of the Current Evidence.

Viruses, 15(5): pii:v15051072.

The global population is currently experiencing the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which has caused the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. With our profound comprehension of COVID-19, encompassing the involvement sequence of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal system, and cardiovascular apparatus, the multiorgan symptoms of this infectious disease have been discerned. Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), formerly known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is a pervasive public health concern intricately linked with metabolic dysregulation and estimated to afflict one-fourth of the global adult population. The burgeoning focus on the association between COVID-19 and MAFLD is justified by the potential role of the latter as a risk factor for both SARS-CoV-2 infection and the subsequent emergence of severe COVID-19 symptoms. Investigations have suggested that changes in both innate and adaptive immune responses among MAFLD patients may play a role in determining the severity of COVID-19. The remarkable similarities observed in the cytokine pathways implicated in both diseases imply the existence of shared mechanisms governing the chronic inflammatory responses characterizing these conditions. The effect of MAFLD on the severity of COVID-19 illness remains uncertain, as indicated by conflicting results in cohort investigations.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Devaux CA, L Camoin-Jau (2023)

Molecular Mimicry of the Viral Spike in the SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Possibly Triggers Transient Dysregulation of ACE2, Leading to Vascular and Coagulation Dysfunction Similar to SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Viruses, 15(5): pii:v15051045.

The benefits of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccines are well known, including a significant decline in COVID-19 morbidity and a decrease in the mortality rate of SARS-CoV-2 infected persons. However, pharmacovigilance studies have revealed the existence of rare cases of cardiovascular complications after mass vaccination using such formulations. Cases of high blood pressure have also been reported but were rarely documented under perfectly controlled medical supervision. The press release of these warning signals triggered a huge debate over COVID-19 vaccines' safety. Thereby, our attention was quickly focused on issues involving the risk of myocarditis, acute coronary syndrome, hypertension and thrombosis. Rare cases of undesirable post-vaccine pathophysiological phenomena should question us, especially when they occur in young subjects. They are more likely to occur with inappropriate use of mRNA vaccine (e.g., at the time when the immune response is already very active during a low-noise infection in the process of healing), leading to angiotensin II (Ang II) induced inflammation triggering tissue damage. Such harmful effects observed after the COVID-19 vaccine evoke a possible molecular mimicry of the viral spike transiently dysregulating angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) function. Although the benefit/risk ratio of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine is very favorable, it seems reasonable to suggest medical surveillance to patients with a history of cardiovascular diseases who receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Hessien M, Donia T, Tabll AA, et al (2023)

Mechanistic-Based Classification of Endocytosis-Related Inhibitors: Does It Aid in Assigning Drugs against SARS-CoV-2?.

Viruses, 15(5): pii:v15051040.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) canonically utilizes clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) and several other endocytic mechanisms to invade airway epithelial cells. Endocytic inhibitors, particularly those targeting CME-related proteins, have been identified as promising antiviral drugs. Currently, these inhibitors are ambiguously classified as chemical, pharmaceutical, or natural inhibitors. However, their varying mechanisms may suggest a more realistic classification system. Herein, we present a new mechanistic-based classification of endocytosis inhibitors, in which they are segregated among four distinct classes including: (i) inhibitors that disrupt endocytosis-related protein-protein interactions, and assembly or dissociation of complexes; (ii) inhibitors of large dynamin GTPase and/or kinase/phosphatase activities associated with endocytosis; (iii) inhibitors that modulate the structure of subcellular components, especially the plasma membrane, and actin; and (iv) inhibitors that cause physiological or metabolic alterations in the endocytosis niche. Excluding antiviral drugs designed to halt SARS-CoV-2 replication, other drugs, either FDA-approved or suggested through basic research, could be systematically assigned to one of these classes. We observed that many anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs could be included either in class III or IV as they interfere with the structural or physiological integrity of subcellular components, respectively. This perspective may contribute to our understanding of the relative efficacy of endocytosis-related inhibitors and support the optimization of their individual or combined antiviral potential against SARS-CoV-2. However, their selectivity, combined effects, and possible interactions with non-endocytic cellular targets need more clarification.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Calabrò GE, Pappalardo C, D'Ambrosio F, et al (2023)

The Impact of Vaccination on COVID-19 Burden of Disease in the Adult and Elderly Population: A Systematic Review of Italian Evidence.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11051011.

COVID-19 is a major global health threat, with millions of confirmed cases and deaths worldwide. Containment and mitigation strategies, including vaccination, have been implemented to reduce transmission and protect the population. We conducted two systematic reviews to collect nonrandomized studies investigating the effects of vaccination on COVID-19-related complications and deaths in the Italian population. We considered studies conducted in Italian settings and written in English that contained data on the effects of vaccination on COVID-19-related mortality and complications. We excluded studies that pertained to the pediatric population. In total, we included 10 unique studies in our two systematic reviews. The results showed that fully vaccinated individuals had a lower risk of death, severe symptoms, and hospitalization compared to unvaccinated individuals. The review also looked at the impact of vaccination on post-COVID-19 syndrome, the effectiveness of booster doses in older individuals, and nationwide adverse events. Our work highlights the crucial role that vaccination campaigns have played in reducing the burden of COVID-19 disease in the Italian adult population, positively impacting the pandemic trajectory in Italy.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Fu C, Lin N, Zhu J, et al (2023)

Association between Overweight/Obesity and the Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccination: A Systematic Review.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050996.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to appraise the interrelation between overweight/obesity and the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination by synthesizing the currently available evidence.

METHODS: A systematic review of published studies on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in people who were overweight or obese was conducted. Databases including Embase, Medline Epub (Ovid), PsychInfo (Ovid), Web of Science, PubMed, CINAHL, and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant studies. The databases of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) were also searched for relevant unpublished and gray literature.

RESULTS: Fifteen studies were included in the review. All the included studies used observational study designs; there were ten cohort studies and five cross-sectional studies. The sample size of these studies ranged from 21 to 9,171,524. Thirteen studies reported using BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, USA), four reported using ChAdOx-nCov19 (AstraZeneca, U.K), two were reported using CoronaVac (Sinovac, China), and two were reported using mRNA1273 (Moderna, USA). The efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines have been extensively studied in individuals with overweight/obesity. Most studies have shown that the humoral response decreases with increasing BMI. The available evidence does not conclusively indicate that these vaccines are generally safe in this population.

CONCLUSION: While the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine may be less than ideal in people who are overweight or obese, it does not mean that obese people should not be vaccinated, as the vaccine can still provide some protection. There is a lack of evidence for conclusions to be drawn about the safety of the vaccine in the population. This study calls on health professionals, policymakers, caregivers, and all other stakeholders to focus on monitoring the possible adverse effects of injections in overweight/obese people.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Meade E, Rowan N, M Garvey (2023)

Bioprocessing and the Production of Antiviral Biologics in the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Infectious Disease.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050992.

Emerging, re-emerging and zoonotic viral pathogens represent a serious threat to human health, resulting in morbidity, mortality and potentially economic instability at a global scale. Certainly, the recent emergence of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus (and its variants) highlighted the impact of such pathogens, with the pandemic creating unprecedented and continued demands for the accelerated production of antiviral therapeutics. With limited effective small molecule therapies available for metaphylaxis, vaccination programs have been the mainstay against virulent viral species. Traditional vaccines remain highly effective at providing high antibody titres, but are, however, slow to manufacture in times of emergency. The limitations of traditional vaccine modalities may be overcome by novel strategies, as outlined herein. To prevent future disease outbreaks, paradigm shift changes in manufacturing and distribution are necessary to advance the production of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, cytokines and other antiviral therapies. Accelerated paths for antivirals have been made possible due to advances in bioprocessing, leading to the production of novel antiviral agents. This review outlines the role of bioprocessing in the production of biologics and advances in mitigating viral infectious disease. In an era of emerging viral diseases and the proliferation of antimicrobial resistance, this review provides insight into a significant method of antiviral agent production which is key to protecting public health.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Uversky VN, Redwan EM, Makis W, et al (2023)

IgG4 Antibodies Induced by Repeated Vaccination May Generate Immune Tolerance to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050991.

Less than a year after the global emergence of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a novel vaccine platform based on mRNA technology was introduced to the market. Globally, around 13.38 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses of diverse platforms have been administered. To date, 72.3% of the total population has been injected at least once with a COVID-19 vaccine. As the immunity provided by these vaccines rapidly wanes, their ability to prevent hospitalization and severe disease in individuals with comorbidities has recently been questioned, and increasing evidence has shown that, as with many other vaccines, they do not produce sterilizing immunity, allowing people to suffer frequent re-infections. Additionally, recent investigations have found abnormally high levels of IgG4 in people who were administered two or more injections of the mRNA vaccines. HIV, Malaria, and Pertussis vaccines have also been reported to induce higher-than-normal IgG4 synthesis. Overall, there are three critical factors determining the class switch to IgG4 antibodies: excessive antigen concentration, repeated vaccination, and the type of vaccine used. It has been suggested that an increase in IgG4 levels could have a protecting role by preventing immune over-activation, similar to that occurring during successful allergen-specific immunotherapy by inhibiting IgE-induced effects. However, emerging evidence suggests that the reported increase in IgG4 levels detected after repeated vaccination with the mRNA vaccines may not be a protective mechanism; rather, it constitutes an immune tolerance mechanism to the spike protein that could promote unopposed SARS-CoV2 infection and replication by suppressing natural antiviral responses. Increased IgG4 synthesis due to repeated mRNA vaccination with high antigen concentrations may also cause autoimmune diseases, and promote cancer growth and autoimmune myocarditis in susceptible individuals.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Thammathiwat T, Banjongjit A, Iampenkhae K, et al (2023)

ANCA Associated Glomerulonephritis Following SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination: A Case Series and Systematic Review.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050983.

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) proved beneficial for COVID-19 disease attenuation and preventing virus spreading. Cumulative reports of the rarity of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) raise concerns about its relationship with COVID-19 vaccination. Several case reports described ANCA-associated pauci-immune glomerulonephritis (ANCA-GN) following COVID-19 vaccination with some uniqueness. We systematically reviewed COVID-19 vaccine-induced ANCA-GN from PubMed, SCOPUS, and Cochrane library databases until 1 January 2023 according to PRISMA guidelines and presented our three cases. Twenty-six cases from 25 articles, including our 3 cases, were analyzed. Most cases were diagnosed following the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (59%) with a median (IQR) interval onset of 14 (16) days. The highest prevalence was related to the mRNA-type vaccine. Anti-myeloperoxidase (MPO) ANCA was far more common than the other ANCAs, with various positive autoantibodies. Fourteen cases (out of 29 cases, 48%) had extra-kidney AAV manifestation. Although severe kidney injury was observed in 10/29 (34%), remission was achieved in 89% (25/28) with no death. The mechanisms of the vaccine-inducing ANCA-GN were postulated here. Since ANCA-GN after the COVID-19 vaccine was rare, the benefit of the COVID-19 vaccine could outweigh the risk of ANCA-GN side effects in the pandemic era.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Nabia S, Wonodi CB, Vilajeliu A, et al (2023)

Experiences, Enablers, and Challenges in Service Delivery and Integration of COVID-19 Vaccines: A Rapid Systematic Review.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050974.

The COVID-19 vaccination is a crucial public health intervention for controlling the spread and severity of the SARS-CoV2 virus. COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in record time, but their deployment has varied across countries, owing to differences in health system capacity, demand for the vaccine, and purchasing power of countries. The aim of this rapid review is to summarize and synthesize experiences on COVID-19 vaccine service delivery and integration to inform future COVID-19 vaccination programming and contribute to the knowledge base for future pandemic management. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, and Global Index Medicus databases. Twenty-five studies were included in the analysis. Included studies spanned nine countries where COVID-19 vaccines were delivered through mass, mobile, and fixed-post vaccination service delivery models. There was limited evidence of integrating COVID-19 vaccines into routine services for pregnant women, people who inject drugs, and leveraging existing health programs to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to the general population. Common challenges reported were vaccine skepticism, lack of adequate health workers, and linguistic barriers to access. Partnerships with a variety of stakeholders and the involvement of volunteers were vital in overcoming barriers and contributed to the efficient functioning of COVID-19 vaccination programs.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Rodilla AM, Tavolacci S, Cagan J, et al (2023)

Serological Response to SARS-CoV-2 after COVID-19 Vaccination in Lung Cancer Patients: Short Review.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050969.

In comparison to the general population, lung cancer patients are more likely to suffer from severe Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and associated mortality. Considering this increased risk, and in order to prevent symptoms and severe disease, patients with lung cancer have been prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination primary and booster doses. Despite this, the pivotal clinical trials did not include these patients, which leaves open questions regarding vaccine efficacy and humoral immune response. This review outlines the findings of recent investigations into the humoral responses of lung cancer patients to COVID-19 vaccination, particularly the primary doses and first boost.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Albayat S, Almaslamani M, Alromaihi H, et al (2023)

Key Lessons from COVID-19: A Narrative Review Describing Qatar's Multifactorial Approach in Executing a Vaccination Campaign.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050953.

Widespread vaccination programs have been implemented in many countries to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic, with varying success and challenges. To better understand the successes and challenges of the global COVID-19 response in the face of emerging new variants and epidemiologic data, we discuss how Qatar engaged the healthcare sector, governmental bodies, and the populace to combat COVID-19, with a focus on the country's vaccination strategy. This narrative provides the history and timeline of the Qatar COVID-19 vaccination campaign; factors that helped the vaccination campaign and the transferable lessons learned are discussed. Details regarding how Qatar responded to challenges, such as vaccine hesitancy and mitigation of misinformation, are highlighted. Qatar was one of the first countries to procure the BNT162b2 (Comirnaty[®]; Pfizer-BioNTech, Pfizer Inc., New York, NY, USA) and mRNA-1273 (Spikevax[®]; Moderna, Cambridge, MA, USA) COVID-19 vaccines. A relatively high vaccination rate and low case mortality rate (0.14% as of 4 January 2023) was observed in Qatar compared with other countries (global case mortality rate, 1.02%). Learnings will be carried forward as a basis for addressing this evolving pandemic and any future national emergencies in Qatar.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Alcendor DJ, Matthews-Juarez P, Smoot D, et al (2023)

Vaccine Confidence and Uptake of the Omicron Bivalent Booster in Tennessee: Implications for Vulnerable Populations.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050906.

The COVID-19 Omicron variant and its subvariants are now the dominant variants circulating in the US. Therefore, the original COVID-19 vaccine cannot offer full protection. Instead, vaccines that target the spike proteins of the Omicron variants are warranted. Hence, the FDA recommended the development of a bivalent booster. Unfortunately, despite the safety and immunogenicity of the Omicron bivalent boosters from Pfizer and Moderna, uptake in the US has been poor. At this time, only 15.8% of individuals in the US aged five and older have received the Omicron bivalent booster (OBB). The rate is 18% for those aged 18 and older. Poor vaccine confidence and booster uptake are often fueled by misinformation and vaccine fatigue. These result in more problems associated with vaccine hesitancy, which are particular prevalent in Southern states in the US. In Tennessee, the OBB vaccination rate for eligible recipients is only 5.88% at time of writing (16 February 2023). In this review, we discuss (1) the rationale for developing the OBBs; (2) the efficacy and safety of the bivalent boosters; (3) the adverse events associated with these boosters; (4) vaccine hesitancy associated with the OBBs uptake in Tennessee; (5) implications for vulnerable populations, disparities in uptake of OBBs in Tennessee, and strategies to improve vaccine confidence and OBB uptake. In support of public health, it is essential that we continue to provide education, awareness, and vaccine access to the vulnerable and medically underserved populations in Tennessee. Receiving the OBBs is the most effective method to date of protecting the public against severe COVID disease, hospitalization, and death.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Castrodeza-Sanz J, Sanz-Muñoz I, JM Eiros (2023)

Adjuvants for COVID-19 Vaccines.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050902.

In recent decades, the improvement of traditional vaccines has meant that we have moved from inactivated whole virus vaccines, which provoke a moderate immune response but notable adverse effects, to much more processed vaccines such as protein subunit vaccines, which despite being less immunogenic have better tolerability profiles. This reduction in immunogenicity is detrimental to the prevention of people at risk. For this reason, adjuvants are a good solution to improve the immunogenicity of this type of vaccine, with much better tolerability profiles and a low prevalence of side effects. During the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination focused on mRNA-type and viral vector vaccines. However, during the years 2022 and 2023, the first protein-based vaccines began to be approved. Adjuvanted vaccines are capable of inducing potent responses, not only humoral but also cellular, in populations whose immune systems are weak or do not respond properly, such as the elderly. Therefore, this type of vaccine should complete the portfolio of existing vaccines, and could help to complete vaccination against COVID-19 worldwide now and over the coming years. In this review we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of adjuvants, as well as their use in current and future vaccines against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

De Vito A, Colpani A, Trunfio M, et al (2023)

Living with HIV and Getting Vaccinated: A Narrative Review.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050896.

After 40 years of its appearance, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection remains a leading public health challenge worldwide. Since the introduction of antiretroviral treatment (ART), HIV infection has become a chronic condition, and people living with HIV could have life expectancies close to those of the general population. People with HIV often have an increased risk of infection or experience more severe morbidity following exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases. Nowadays, several vaccines are available against bacteria and viruses. However, national and international vaccination guidelines for people with HIV are heterogeneous, and not every vaccine is included. For these reasons, we aimed to perform a narrative review about the vaccinations available for adults living with HIV, reporting the most updated studies performed for each vaccine among this population. We performed a comprehensive literature search through electronic databases (Pubmed-MEDLINE and Embase) and search engines (Google Scholar). We included English peer-reviewed publications (articles and reviews) on HIV and vaccination. Despite widespread use and guideline recommendations, few vaccine trials have been conducted in people with HIV. In addition, not all vaccines are recommended for people with HIV, especially for those with low CD4 cells count. Clinicians should carefully collect the history of vaccinations and patients' acceptance and preferences and regularly check the presence of antibodies for vaccine-preventable pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Kawuki J, Chen S, Fang Y, et al (2023)

COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance, Attitude and Perception among Slum and Underserved Communities: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Vaccines, 11(5): pii:vaccines11050886.

This systematic review summarises the literature on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination, including acceptance, uptake, hesitancy, attitude and perceptions among slum and underserved communities. Relevant studies were searched from PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar, following a pre-registered protocol in PROSPERO (CRD42022355101) and PRISMA guidelines. We extracted data, used random-effects models to combine the vaccine acceptance, hesitancy and uptake rates categorically, and performed meta-regression by R software (version 4.2.1). Twenty-four studies with 30,323 participants met the inclusion criteria. The overall prevalence was 58% (95% CI: 49-67%) for vaccine acceptance, 23% (95% CI: 13-39%) for uptake and 29% (95% CI: 18-43%) for hesitancy. Acceptance and uptake were positively associated with various sociodemographic factors, including older age, higher education level, male gender, ethnicity/race (e.g., Whites vs African Americans), more knowledge and a higher level of awareness of vaccines, but some studies reported inconsistent results. Safety and efficacy concerns, low-risk perception, long distance to vaccination centres and unfavourable vaccination schedules were prominent reasons for hesitancy. Moreover, varying levels of attitudes and perceptions regarding COVID-19 vaccination were reported with existing misconceptions and negative beliefs, and these were strong predictors of vaccination. Infodemic management and continuous vaccine education are needed to address existing misconceptions and negative beliefs, and this should target young, less-educated women and ethnic minorities. Considering mobile vaccination units to vaccinate people at home or workplaces would be a useful strategy in addressing access barriers and increasing vaccine uptake.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Akanchise T, A Angelova (2023)

Ginkgo Biloba and Long COVID: In Vivo and In Vitro Models for the Evaluation of Nanotherapeutic Efficacy.

Pharmaceutics, 15(5): pii:pharmaceutics15051562.

Coronavirus infections are neuroinvasive and can provoke injury to the central nervous system (CNS) and long-term illness consequences. They may be associated with inflammatory processes due to cellular oxidative stress and an imbalanced antioxidant system. The ability of phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, such as Ginkgo biloba, to alleviate neurological complications and brain tissue damage has attracted strong ongoing interest in the neurotherapeutic management of long COVID. Ginkgo biloba leaf extract (EGb) contains several bioactive ingredients, e.g., bilobalide, quercetin, ginkgolides A-C, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, and luteolin. They have various pharmacological and medicinal effects, including memory and cognitive improvement. Ginkgo biloba, through its anti-apoptotic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory activities, impacts cognitive function and other illness conditions like those in long COVID. While preclinical research on the antioxidant therapies for neuroprotection has shown promising results, clinical translation remains slow due to several challenges (e.g., low drug bioavailability, limited half-life, instability, restricted delivery to target tissues, and poor antioxidant capacity). This review emphasizes the advantages of nanotherapies using nanoparticle drug delivery approaches to overcome these challenges. Various experimental techniques shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the oxidative stress response in the nervous system and help comprehend the pathophysiology of the neurological sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. To develop novel therapeutic agents and drug delivery systems, several methods for mimicking oxidative stress conditions have been used (e.g., lipid peroxidation products, mitochondrial respiratory chain inhibitors, and models of ischemic brain damage). We hypothesize the beneficial effects of EGb in the neurotherapeutic management of long-term COVID-19 symptoms, evaluated using either in vitro cellular or in vivo animal models of oxidative stress.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Usman Khan M, Cai X, Shen Z, et al (2023)

Challenges in the Development and Application of Organ-on-Chips for Intranasal Drug Delivery Studies.

Pharmaceutics, 15(5): pii:pharmaceutics15051557.

With the growing demand for the development of intranasal (IN) products, such as nasal vaccines, which has been especially highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of novel technologies to accurately test the safety and effectiveness of IN products in vitro so that they can be delivered promptly to the market is critically acknowledged. There have been attempts to manufacture anatomically relevant 3D replicas of the human nasal cavity for in vitro IN drug tests, and a couple of organ-on-chip (OoC) models, which mimic some key features of the nasal mucosa, have been proposed. However, these models are still in their infancy, and have not completely recapitulated the critical characteristics of the human nasal mucosa, including its biological interactions with other organs, to provide a reliable platform for preclinical IN drug tests. While the promising potential of OoCs for drug testing and development is being extensively investigated in recent research, the applicability of this technology for IN drug tests has barely been explored. This review aims to highlight the importance of using OoC models for in vitro IN drug tests and their potential applications in IN drug development by covering the background information on the wide usage of IN drugs and their common side effects where some classical examples of each area are pointed out. Specifically, this review focuses on the major challenges of developing advanced OoC technology and discusses the need to mimic the physiological and anatomical features of the nasal cavity and nasal mucosa, the performance of relevant drug safety assays, as well as the fabrication and operational aspects, with the ultimate goal to highlight the much-needed consensus, to converge the effort of the research community in this area of work.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Feng YX, Hu H, Wong YY, et al (2023)

Microneedles: An Emerging Vaccine Delivery Tool and a Prospective Solution to the Challenges of SARS-CoV-2 Mass Vaccination.

Pharmaceutics, 15(5): pii:pharmaceutics15051349.

Vaccination is an effective measure to prevent infectious diseases. Protective immunity is induced when the immune system is exposed to a vaccine formulation with appropriate immunogenicity. However, traditional injection vaccination is always accompanied by fear and severe pain. As an emerging vaccine delivery tool, microneedles overcome the problems associated with routine needle vaccination, which can effectively deliver vaccines rich in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) to the epidermis and dermis painlessly, inducing a strong immune response. In addition, microneedles have the advantages of avoiding cold chain storage and have the flexibility of self-operation, which can solve the logistics and delivery obstacles of vaccines, covering the vaccination of the special population more easily and conveniently. Examples include people in rural areas with restricted vaccine storage facilities and medical professionals, elderly and disabled people with limited mobility, infants and young children afraid of pain. Currently, in the late stage of fighting against COVID-19, the main task is to increase the coverage of vaccines, especially for special populations. To address this challenge, microneedle-based vaccines have great potential to increase global vaccination rates and save many lives. This review describes the current progress of microneedles as a vaccine delivery system and its prospects in achieving mass vaccination against SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Schaefer D, X Cheng (2023)

Recent Advances in Covalent Drug Discovery.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 16(5): pii:ph16050663.

In spite of the increasing number of biologics license applications, the development of covalent inhibitors is still a growing field within drug discovery. The successful approval of some covalent protein kinase inhibitors, such as ibrutinib (BTK covalent inhibitor) and dacomitinib (EGFR covalent inhibitor), and the very recent discovery of covalent inhibitors for viral proteases, such as boceprevir, narlaprevir, and nirmatrelvir, represent a new milestone in covalent drug development. Generally, the formation of covalent bonds that target proteins can offer drugs diverse advantages in terms of target selectivity, drug resistance, and administration concentration. The most important factor for covalent inhibitors is the electrophile (warhead), which dictates selectivity, reactivity, and the type of protein binding (i.e., reversible or irreversible) and can be modified/optimized through rational designs. Furthermore, covalent inhibitors are becoming more and more common in proteolysis, targeting chimeras (PROTACs) for degrading proteins, including those that are currently considered to be 'undruggable'. The aim of this review is to highlight the current state of covalent inhibitor development, including a short historical overview and some examples of applications of PROTAC technologies and treatment of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Zuo J, Meng T, Wang Y, et al (2023)

A Review of the Antiviral Activities of Glycyrrhizic Acid, Glycyrrhetinic Acid and Glycyrrhetinic Acid Monoglucuronide.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 16(5): pii:ph16050641.

Licorice, a natural medicine derived from the roots and rhizomes of Glycyrrhiza species, possesses a wide range of therapeutic applications, including antiviral properties. Glycyrrhizic acid (GL) and glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) are the most important active ingredients in licorice. Glycyrrhetinic acid 3-O-mono-β-d-glucuronide (GAMG) is the active metabolite of GL. GL and its metabolites have a wide range of antiviral activities against viruses, such as, the hepatitis virus, herpes virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and so on. Although their antiviral activity has been widely reported, the specific mechanism of action involving multiple links such as the virus itself, cells, and immunity are not clearly established. In this review, we will give an update on the role of GL and its metabolites as antiviral agents, and detail relevant evidence on the potential use and mechanisms of actions. Analyzing antivirals, their signaling, and the impacts of tissue and autoimmune protection may provide promising new therapeutic strategies.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Loyola-Cruz MÁ, Gonzalez-Avila LU, Martínez-Trejo A, et al (2023)

ESKAPE and Beyond: The Burden of Coinfections in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5): pii:pathogens12050743.

The ESKAPE group constitute a threat to public health, since these microorganisms are associated with severe infections in hospitals and have a direct relationship with high mortality rates. The presence of these bacteria in hospitals had a direct impact on the incidence of healthcare-associated coinfections in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In recent years, these pathogens have shown resistance to multiple antibiotic families. The presence of high-risk clones within this group of bacteria contributes to the spread of resistance mechanisms worldwide. In the pandemic, these pathogens were implicated in coinfections in severely ill COVID-19 patients. The aim of this review is to describe the main microorganisms of the ESKAPE group involved in coinfections in COVID-19 patients, addressing mainly antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, epidemiology, and high-risk clones.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Devaux CA, J Fantini (2023)

Unravelling Antigenic Cross-Reactions toward the World of Coronaviruses: Extent of the Stability of Shared Epitopes and SARS-CoV-2 Anti-Spike Cross-Neutralizing Antibodies.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5): pii:pathogens12050713.

The human immune repertoire retains the molecular memory of a very great diversity of target antigens (epitopes) and can recall this upon a second encounter with epitopes against which it has previously been primed. Although genetically diverse, proteins of coronaviruses exhibit sufficient conservation to lead to antigenic cross-reactions. In this review, our goal is to question whether pre-existing immunity against seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoVs) or exposure to animal CoVs has influenced the susceptibility of human populations to SARS-CoV-2 and/or had an impact upon the physiopathological outcome of COVID-19. With the hindsight that we now have regarding COVID-19, we conclude that although antigenic cross-reactions between different coronaviruses exist, cross-reactive antibody levels (titers) do not necessarily reflect on memory B cell frequencies and are not always directed against epitopes which confer cross-protection against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, the immunological memory of these infections is short-term and occurs in only a small percentage of the population. Thus, in contrast to what might be observed in terms of cross-protection at the level of a single individual recently exposed to circulating coronaviruses, a pre-existing immunity against HCoVs or other CoVs can only have a very minor impact on SARS-CoV-2 circulation at the level of human populations.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Zhao J, Zhao Y, G Zhang (2023)

Key Aspects of Coronavirus Avian Infectious Bronchitis Virus.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5): pii:pathogens12050698.

Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is an enveloped and positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus. IBV was the first coronavirus to be discovered and predominantly causes respiratory disease in commercial poultry worldwide. This review summarizes several important aspects of IBV, including epidemiology, genetic diversity, antigenic diversity, and multiple system disease caused by IBV as well as vaccination and antiviral strategies. Understanding these areas will provide insight into the mechanism of pathogenicity and immunoprotection of IBV and may improve prevention and control strategies for the disease.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Scendoni R, Bury E, Lima Arrais Ribeiro I, et al (2023)

Leading Pathogens Involved in Co-Infection and Super-Infection with COVID-19: Forensic Medicine Considerations after a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5): pii:pathogens12050646.

The COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns about the potential for co-infection or over-infection with other respiratory infections, as they can complicate the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the disease. This is also a challenge for forensic pathologists, who may come across cases where the presence of co-infection or over-infection is suspected or confirmed, and it is important that they take this into account when determining the cause of death. The aim of this systematic review is to analyse the prevalence of each specific pathogen co-infecting or over-infecting patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. In total, 575 studies were selected from the Scopus and Pub-Med online databases and 8 studies were included in a meta-analysis. Male gender, advanced age and nursing home care are risk factors associated with the development of co-infection, whereas age, tachypnoea, hypoxaemia and bacterial infection are predictors of mortality. Overall, however, having a SARS-CoV-2 infection does not represent a real risk for the development of co-infections/super-infections.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Wang S, Wu J, Ran D, et al (2023)

Study of the Relationship between Mucosal Immunity and Commensal Microbiota: A Bibliometric Analysis.

Nutrients, 15(10): pii:nu15102398.

This study presents the first bibliometric evaluation and systematic analysis of publications related to mucosal immunity and commensal microbiota over the last two decades and summarizes the contribution of countries, institutions, and scholars in the study of this field. A total of 1423 articles related to mucosal immunity and commensal microbiota in vivo published in 532 journals by 7774 authors from 1771 institutions in 74 countries/regions were analyzed. The interaction between commensal microbiota in vivo and mucosal immunity is essential in regulating the immune response of the body, maintaining communication between different kinds of commensal microbiota and the host, and so on. Several hot spots in this field have been found to have received extensive attention in recent years, especially the effects of metabolites of key strains on mucosal immunity, the physiopathological phenomena of commensal microbiota in various sites including the intestine, and the relationship between COVID-19, mucosal immunity and microbiota. We hope that the full picture of the last 20 years in this research area provided in this study will serve to deliver necessary cutting-edge information to relevant researchers.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Ambra R, Melloni S, E Venneria (2023)

Could Selenium Supplementation Prevent COVID-19? A Comprehensive Review of Available Studies.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 28(10): pii:molecules28104130.

The purpose of this review is to systematically examine the scientific evidence investigating selenium's relationship with COVID-19, aiming to support, or refute, the growing hypothesis that supplementation could prevent COVID-19 etiopathogenesis. In fact, immediately after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, several speculative reviews suggested that selenium supplementation in the general population could act as a silver bullet to limit or even prevent the disease. Instead, a deep reading of the scientific reports on selenium and COVID-19 that are available to date supports neither the specific role of selenium in COVID-19 severity, nor the role of its supplementation in the prevention disease onset, nor its etiology.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Tieu MV, Le HTN, S Cho (2023)

Using Nanomaterials for SARS-CoV-2 Sensing via Electrochemical Techniques.

Micromachines, 14(5): pii:mi14050933.

Advancing low-cost and user-friendly innovations to benefit public health is an important task of scientific and engineering research. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), electrochemical sensors are being developed for low-cost SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, particularly in resource-limited settings. Nanostructures with sizes ranging from 10 nm to a few micrometers could deliver optimum electrochemical behavior (e.g., quick response, compact size, sensitivity and selectivity, and portability), providing an excellent alternative to the existing techniques. Therefore, nanostructures, such as metal, 1D, and 2D materials, have been successfully applied in in vitro and in vivo detection of a wide range of infectious diseases, particularly SARS-CoV-2. Electrochemical detection methods reduce the cost of electrodes, provide analytical ability to detect targets with a wide variety of nanomaterials, and are an essential strategy in biomarker sensing as they can rapidly, sensitively, and selectively detect SARS-CoV-2. The current studies in this area provide fundamental knowledge of electrochemical techniques for future applications.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Anand A, H Aoyagi (2023)

Understudied Hyperphosphatemia (Chronic Kidney Disease) Treatment Targets and New Biological Approaches.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 59(5): pii:medicina59050959.

Hyperphosphatemia is a secondary disorder of chronic kidney disease that causes vascular calcifications and bone-mineral disorders. As per the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, renal damage requires first-priority medical attention for patients with COVID-19; according to a Johns Hopkins Medicine report, SARS-CoV-2 can cause renal damage. Therefore, addressing the research inputs required to manage hyperphosphatemia is currently in great demand. This review highlights research inputs, such as defects in the diagnosis of hyperphosphatemia, flaws in understanding the mechanisms associated with understudied tertiary toxicities, less cited adverse effects of phosphate binders that question their use in the market, socioeconomic challenges of renal treatment and public awareness regarding the management of a phosphate-controlled diet, novel biological approaches (synbiotics) to prevent hyperphosphatemia as safer strategies with potential additional health benefits, and future functional food formulations to enhance the quality of life. We have not only introduced our contributions to emphasise the hidden aspects and research gaps in comprehending hyperphosphatemia but also suggested new research areas to strengthen approaches to prevent hyperphosphatemia in the near future.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Porosnicu TM, Sirbu IO, Oancea C, et al (2023)

The Impact of Therapeutic Plasma Exchange on Inflammatory Markers and Acute Phase Reactants in Patients with Severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 59(5): pii:medicina59050867.

Background and Objectives: Due to the poor prognosis and the very high mortality rate associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infections, various regimens have been tried to stop the evolution of the inflammatory cascade, such as immunomodulatory therapy and plasma clearance of the acute phase reactants involved. Therefore, the objective of this review was to analyze the effects of using therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), also known as plasmapheresis, on the inflammatory markers of critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Materials and Methods: A thorough scientific database search was performed, and it included a review of articles published on PubMed, Cochrane Database, Scopus, and Web of Science from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 until September 2022 that focused on the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections using plasma exchange for patients admitted to the ICU. The current study included original articles, reviews, editorials, and short or special communications regarding the topic of interest. Results: A total of 13 articles were selected after satisfying the inclusion criterion of three or more patients enrolled with clinically severe COVID-19 that were eligible for TPE. From the included articles, it was observed that TPE was used as a last-resort salvage therapy that can be regarded as an alternative treatment method when the standard management for these patients fails. TPE significantly decreased the inflammatory status as measured by Interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), lymphocyte count, and D-dimers, as well as improving the clinical status measured with PaO2/FiO2 and duration of hospitalization. The pooled mortality risk reduction after TPE was 20%. Conclusions: There are sufficient studies and evidence to show that TPE reduces inflammatory mediators and improves coagulation function and the clinical/paraclinical status. Nevertheless, although it was shown that TPE decreases the severe inflammatory status without significant complications, the improvement of survival rate remains unclear.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Shaik L, Boike S, Ramar K, et al (2023)

COVID-19 and Sleep Disturbances: A Literature Review of Clinical Evidence.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 59(5): pii:medicina59050818.

The need for adequate good quality sleep to optimally function is well known. Over years, various physical, psychological, biological, and social factors have been investigated to understand their impact on sleep. However, understanding the etiological processes that are involved in causing sleep disturbances (SD) as impacted by stressful phases such as pandemics has not been well studied. Many such etiological and management strategies have surfaced during the latest "coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The occurrence of these SD in the infected and uninfected individuals poses a need to investigate factors linked to such occurrence during this phase. Some of such factors include stressful practices such as social distancing, masking, vaccines, and medications availability, changes in routines, and lifestyles. As the status of infection improved, a collective term for all the prolonged effects of COVID-19 after the resolution of the primary infection called the post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) surfaced. Apart from impacting sleep during the infectious phase, the aftereffects of this virus left an even greater impact during the PCS. Various mechanisms have been hypothesized to be linked to such SD during the PCS, but the available data are inconclusive. Further, the varied patterns of incidence of these SDs differed by many factors, such as age, gender, and geographical location, making clinical management even more challenging. This review elucidates the impact of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID) disease on sleep health during the various phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also investigate different causal relationships, management strategies, and knowledge gaps related to SD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Juliá-Burchés C, A Martínez-Varea (2023)

An Update on COVID-19 Vaccination and Pregnancy.

Journal of personalized medicine, 13(5): pii:jpm13050797.

Pregnant women are more prone to experience severe COVID-19 disease, including intensive care unit (ICU) admission, use of invasive ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and mortality compared to non-pregnant individuals. Additionally, research suggests that SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy is linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, preeclampsia, and stillbirth, as well as adverse neonatal outcomes, including hospitalization and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. This review assessed the available literature from November 2021 to 19 March 2023, concerning the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. COVID-19 vaccination administered during pregnancy is not linked to significant adverse events related to the vaccine or negative obstetric, fetal, or neonatal outcomes. Moreover, the vaccine has the same effectiveness in preventing severe COVID-19 disease in pregnant individuals as in the general population. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccination is the safest and most effective method for pregnant women to protect themselves and their newborns from severe COVID-19 disease, hospitalization, and ICU admission. Thus, vaccination should be recommended for pregnant patients. While the immunogenicity of vaccination in pregnancy appears to be similar to that in the general population, more research is needed to determine the optimal timing of vaccination during pregnancy for the benefit of the neonate.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Shad MU (2023)

Recent Developments in Pharmacotherapy of Depression: Bench to Bedside.

Journal of personalized medicine, 13(5): pii:jpm13050773.

For the last 70 years, we did not move beyond the monoamine hypothesis of depression until the approval of the S-enantiomer of ketamine, an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor blocker and the first non-monoaminergic antidepressant characterized by rapid antidepressant and antisuicidal effects. A similar profile has been reported with another NMDA receptor antagonist, dextromethorphan, which has also been approved to manage depression in combination with bupropion. More recently, the approval of a positive allosteric modulator of GABA-A receptors, brexanolone, has added to the list of recent breakthroughs with the relatively rapid onset of antidepressant efficacy. However, multiple factors have compromised the clinical utility of these exciting discoveries in the general population, including high drug acquisition costs, mandatory monitoring requirements, parenteral drug administration, lack of insurance coverage, indirect COVID-19 effects on healthcare systems, and training gaps in psychopharmacology. This narrative review aims to analyze the clinical pharmacology of recently approved antidepressants and discuss potential barriers to the bench-to-bedside transfer of knowledge and clinical application of exciting recent discoveries. Overall, clinically meaningful advances in the treatment of depression have not reached a large proportion of depressed patients, including those with treatment-resistant depression, who might benefit the most from the novel antidepressants.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

De Rose DU, Pace PG, Ceccherini-Silberstein F, et al (2023)

T Lymphocyte Subset Counts and Interferon-Gamma Production in Adults and Children with COVID-19: A Narrative Review.

Journal of personalized medicine, 13(5): pii:jpm13050755.

Adults and children exhibit a broad range of clinical outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection, with minimal to mild symptoms, especially in the pediatric age. However, some children present with a severe hyperinflammatory post-infectious complication named multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), mainly affecting previously healthy subjects. Understanding these differences is still an ongoing challenge, that can lead to new therapeutic strategies and avoid unfavorable outcomes. In this review, we discuss the different roles of T lymphocyte subsets and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) in the immune responses of adults and children. Lymphopenia can influence these responses and represent a good predictor for the outcome, as reported by most authors. The increased IFN-γ response exhibited by children could be the starting point for the activation of a broad response that leads to MIS-C, with a significantly higher risk than in adults, although a single IFN signature has not been identified. Multicenter studies with large cohorts in both age groups are still needed to study SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis with new tools and to understand how is possible to better modulate immune responses.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Jalil Y, Ferioli M, M Dres (2023)

The COVID-19 Driving Force: How It Shaped the Evidence of Non-Invasive Respiratory Support.

Journal of clinical medicine, 12(10): pii:jcm12103486.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of non-invasive respiratory support (NIRS) became crucial in treating patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. Despite the fear of viral aerosolization, non-invasive respiratory support has gained attention as a way to alleviate ICU overcrowding and reduce the risks associated with intubation. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented increased demand for research, resulting in numerous publications on observational studies, clinical trials, reviews, and meta-analyses in the past three years. This comprehensive narrative overview describes the physiological rationale, pre-COVID-19 evidence, and results of observational studies and randomized control trials regarding the use of high-flow nasal oxygen, non-invasive mechanical ventilation, and continuous positive airway pressure in adult patients with COVID-19 and associated acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. The review also highlights the significance of guidelines and recommendations provided by international societies and the need for further well-designed research to determine the optimal use of NIRS in treating this population.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Lee MH, Shomanov A, Kudaibergenova M, et al (2023)

Deep Learning Methods for Interpretation of Pulmonary CT and X-ray Images in Patients with COVID-19-Related Lung Involvement: A Systematic Review.

Journal of clinical medicine, 12(10): pii:jcm12103446.

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus that has been affecting the global population by spreading rapidly and causing severe complications, which require prompt and elaborate emergency treatment. Automatic tools to diagnose COVID-19 could potentially be an important and useful aid. Radiologists and clinicians could potentially rely on interpretable AI technologies to address the diagnosis and monitoring of COVID-19 patients. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the state-of-the-art deep learning techniques for COVID-19 classification. The previous studies are methodically evaluated, and a summary of the proposed convolutional neural network (CNN)-based classification approaches is presented. The reviewed papers have presented a variety of CNN models and architectures that were developed to provide an accurate and quick automatic tool to diagnose the COVID-19 virus based on presented CT scan or X-ray images. In this systematic review, we focused on the critical components of the deep learning approach, such as network architecture, model complexity, parameter optimization, explainability, and dataset/code availability. The literature search yielded a large number of studies over the past period of the virus spread, and we summarized their past efforts. State-of-the-art CNN architectures, with their strengths and weaknesses, are discussed with respect to diverse technical and clinical evaluation metrics to safely implement current AI studies in medical practice.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Sonoda J, Mizoguchi I, Inoue S, et al (2023)

A Promising Needle-Free Pyro-Drive Jet Injector for Augmentation of Immunity by Intradermal Injection as a Physical Adjuvant.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24109094.

Current worldwide mRNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 by intramuscular injection using a needled syringe has greatly protected numerous people from COVID-19. An intramuscular injection is generally well tolerated, safer and easier to perform on a large scale, whereas the skin has the benefit of the presence of numerous immune cells, such as professional antigen-presenting dendritic cells. Therefore, intradermal injection is considered superior to intramuscular injection for the induction of protective immunity, but more proficiency is required for the injection. To improve these issues, several different types of more versatile jet injectors have been developed to deliver DNAs, proteins or drugs by high jet velocity through the skin without a needle. Among them, a new needle-free pyro-drive jet injector has a unique characteristic that utilizes gunpower as a mechanical driving force, in particular, bi-phasic pyrotechnics to provoke high jet velocity and consequently the wide dispersion of the injected DNA solution in the skin. A significant amount of evidence has revealed that it is highly effective as a vaccinating tool to induce potent protective cellular and humoral immunity against cancers and infectious diseases. This is presumably explained by the fact that shear stress generated by the high jet velocity facilitates the uptake of DNA in the cells and, consequently, its protein expression. The shear stress also possibly elicits danger signals which, together with the plasmid DNA, subsequently induces the activation of innate immunity including dendritic cell maturation, leading to the establishment of adaptive immunity. This review summarizes the recent advances in needle-free jet injectors to augment the cellular and humoral immunity by intradermal injection and the possible mechanism of action.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Ragnoli B, Da Re B, Galantino A, et al (2023)

Interrelationship between COVID-19 and Coagulopathy: Pathophysiological and Clinical Evidence.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24108945.

Since the first description of COVID-19 infection, among clinical manifestations of the disease, including fever, dyspnea, cough, and fatigue, it was observed a high incidence of thromboembolic events potentially evolving towards acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and COVID-19-associated-coagulopathy (CAC). The hypercoagulation state is based on an interaction between thrombosis and inflammation. The so-called CAC represents a key aspect in the genesis of organ damage from SARS-CoV-2. The prothrombotic status of COVID-19 can be explained by the increase in coagulation levels of D-dimer, lymphocytes, fibrinogen, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and prothrombin time. Several mechanisms have been hypothesized to explain this hypercoagulable process such as inflammatory cytokine storm, platelet activation, endothelial dysfunction, and stasis for a long time. The purpose of this narrative review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge on the pathogenic mechanisms of coagulopathy that may characterize COVID-19 infection and inform on new areas of research. New vascular therapeutic strategies are also reviewed.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Gudima G, Kofiadi I, Shilovskiy I, et al (2023)

Antiviral Therapy of COVID-19.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24108867.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific community has focused on prophylactic vaccine development. In parallel, the experience of the pharmacotherapy of this disease has increased. Due to the declining protective capacity of vaccines against new strains, as well as increased knowledge about the structure and biology of the pathogen, control of the disease has shifted to the focus of antiviral drug development over the past year. Clinical data on safety and efficacy of antivirals acting at various stages of the virus life cycle has been published. In this review, we summarize mechanisms and clinical efficacy of antiviral therapy of COVID-19 with drugs based on plasma of convalescents, monoclonal antibodies, interferons, fusion inhibitors, nucleoside analogs, and protease inhibitors. The current status of the drugs described is also summarized in relation to the official clinical guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19. In addition, here we describe innovative drugs whose antiviral effect is provided by antisense oligonucleotides targeting the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Analysis of laboratory and clinical data suggests that current antivirals successfully combat broad spectra of emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2 providing reliable defense against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Solimando AG, Bittrich M, Shahini E, et al (2023)

Determinants of COVID-19 Disease Severity-Lessons from Primary and Secondary Immune Disorders including Cancer.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24108746.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with primary and secondary immune disorders-including patients suffering from cancer-were generally regarded as a high-risk population in terms of COVID-19 disease severity and mortality. By now, scientific evidence indicates that there is substantial heterogeneity regarding the vulnerability towards COVID-19 in patients with immune disorders. In this review, we aimed to summarize the current knowledge about the effect of coexistent immune disorders on COVID-19 disease severity and vaccination response. In this context, we also regarded cancer as a secondary immune disorder. While patients with hematological malignancies displayed lower seroconversion rates after vaccination in some studies, a majority of cancer patients' risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease were either inherent (such as metastatic or progressive disease) or comparable to the general population (age, male gender and comorbidities such as kidney or liver disease). A deeper understanding is needed to better define patient subgroups at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease courses. At the same time, immune disorders as functional disease models offer further insights into the role of specific immune cells and cytokines when orchestrating the immune response towards SARS-CoV-2 infection. Longitudinal serological studies are urgently needed to determine the extent and the duration of SARS-CoV-2 immunity in the general population, as well as immune-compromised and oncological patients.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Adimulam T, Arumugam T, Gokul A, et al (2023)

Genetic Variants within SARS-CoV-2 Human Receptor Genes May Contribute to Variable Disease Outcomes in Different Ethnicities.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24108711.

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved into a global pandemic, with an alarming infectivity and mortality rate. Studies have examined genetic effects on SARS-CoV-2 disease susceptibility and severity within Eurasian populations. These studies identified contrasting effects on the severity of disease between African populations. Genetic factors can explain some of the diversity observed within SARS-CoV-2 disease susceptibility and severity. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the SARS-CoV-2 receptor genes have demonstrated detrimental and protective effects across ethnic groups. For example, the TT genotype of rs2285666 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)) is associated with the severity of SARS-CoV-2 disease, which is found at higher frequency within Asian individuals compared to African and European individuals. In this study, we examined four SARS-CoV-2 receptors, ACE2, Transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), and Basigin (CD147). A total of 42 SNPs located within the four receptors were reviewed: ACE2 (12), TMPRSS2 (10), BSG (CD147) (5), and NRP1 (15). These SNPs may be determining factors for the decreased disease severity observed within African individuals. Furthermore, we highlight the absence of genetic studies within the African population and emphasize the importance of further research. This review provides a comprehensive summary of specific variants within the SARS-CoV-2 receptor genes, which can offer a better understanding of the pathology of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and identify novel potential therapeutic targets.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Petersen E, Chudakova D, Erdyneeva D, et al (2023)

COVID-19-The Shift of Homeostasis into Oncopathology or Chronic Fibrosis in Terms of Female Reproductive System Involvement.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(10): pii:ijms24108579.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus remains a global public health concern due to the systemic nature of the infection and its long-term consequences, many of which remain to be elucidated. SARS-CoV-2 targets endothelial cells and blood vessels, altering the tissue microenvironment, its secretion, immune-cell subpopulations, the extracellular matrix, and the molecular composition and mechanical properties. The female reproductive system has high regenerative potential, but can accumulate damage, including due to SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 is profibrotic and can change the tissue microenvironment toward an oncogenic niche. This makes COVID-19 and its consequences one of the potential regulators of a homeostasis shift toward oncopathology and fibrosis in the tissues of the female reproductive system. We are looking at SARS-CoV-2-induced changes at all levels in the female reproductive system.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Buhmeida A, Assidi M, B Budowle (2023)

Current Healthcare Systems in Light of Hyperendemic NCDs and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Time to Change.

Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 11(10): pii:healthcare11101382.

Despite the significant achievements of current healthcare systems (CHCSs) in curing or treating several acute conditions, there has been far less success coping with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which have complex roots and nonconventional transmission vectors. Owing to the impact of the invisible hyperendemic NCDs and the COVID-19 pandemic, the limitations of CHCSs have been exposed. In contrast, the advent of omics-based technologies and big data science has raised global hope of curing or treating NCDs and improving overall healthcare outcomes. However, challenges related to their use and effectiveness must be addressed. Additionally, while such advancements intend to improve quality of life, they can also contribute the ever-increasing health disparity among vulnerable populations, such as low/middle-income populations, poorly educated people, gender-based violence victims, and minority and indigenous peoples, to name a few. Among five health determinants, the contribution of medical care to individual health does not exceed 11%. Therefore, it is time to implement a new well-being-oriented system complementary or parallel to CHCSs that incorporates all five health determinants to tackle NCDs and unforeseen diseases of the future, as well as to promote cost-effective, accessible, and sustainable healthy lifestyle choices that can reduce the current level of healthcare inequity.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Loofbourrow BM, RE Scherr (2023)

Food Insecurity in Higher Education: A Contemporary Review of Impacts and Explorations of Solutions.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(10): pii:ijerph20105884.

Food insecurity is a global phenomenon which impacts a variety of social, economic, and life-stage groups. One such group affected by food insecurity is college students, who tend to experience food insecurity at a prevalence which exceeds the average of their local communities. The impacts of food insecurity in this population are multifaceted and have implications for their college experience and beyond. Food insecurity has been observed to have negative effects on college student academic performance, physical health, and mental health. This review explores the impacts of and solutions for food insecurity in this population globally, with particular emphasis on the United States, and specifically California.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Sorrentino A, Sulla F, Santamato M, et al (2023)

Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Cyberbullying and Cybervictimization Prevalence among Children and Adolescents? A Systematic Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(10): pii:ijerph20105825.

In light of the alarming results emerging from some studies and reports on the significant increase in aggressive online behaviors among children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic, the current research aimed at providing a more detailed evaluation of the investigations focusing on the cyberbullying prevalence rates published between 2020 and 2023. To this purpose, systematic searches were conducted on four databases (Web of Science, APA PsycInfo, Scopus and Google Scholar), and following PRISMA guidelines, 16 studies were included and qualitatively reviewed. Although studies were characterized by a large variety in cyberbullying operationalization and measurement, and by different methodologies used for data collection, the prevalence rates of the involvement in cyberbullying and/or cybervictimization generally revealed opposite trends: an increase in many Asian countries and Australia and a decrease in Western countries. The findings were also discussed by considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, some suggestions were provided to policy makers for promoting prevention and intervention anti-cyberbullying programs in school contexts.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Giansanti D (2023)

The Artificial Intelligence in Teledermatology: A Narrative Review on Opportunities, Perspectives, and Bottlenecks.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(10): pii:ijerph20105810.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is recently seeing significant advances in teledermatology (TD), also thanks to the developments that have taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last two years, there was an important development of studies that focused on opportunities, perspectives, and problems in this field. The topic is very important because the telemedicine and AI applied to dermatology have the opportunity to improve both the quality of healthcare for citizens and the workflow of healthcare professionals. This study conducted an overview on the opportunities, the perspectives, and the problems related to the integration of TD with AI. The methodology of this review, following a standardized checklist, was based on: (I) a search of PubMed and Scopus and (II) an eligibility assessment, using parameters with five levels of score. The outcome highlighted that applications of this integration have been identified in various skin pathologies and in quality control, both in eHealth and mHealth. Many of these applications are based on Apps used by citizens in mHealth for self-care with new opportunities but also open questions. A generalized enthusiasm has been registered regarding the opportunities and general perspectives on improving the quality of care, optimizing the healthcare processes, minimizing costs, reducing the stress in the healthcare facilities, and in making citizens, now at the center, more satisfied. However, critical issues have emerged related to: (a) the need to improve the process of diffusion of the Apps in the hands of citizens, with better design, validation, standardization, and cybersecurity; (b) the need for better attention paid to medico-legal and ethical issues; and (c) the need for the stabilization of international and national regulations. Targeted agreement initiatives, such as position statements, guidelines, and/or consensus initiatives, are needed to ensure a better result for all, along with the design of both specific plans and shared workflows.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Borrelli N, Grimaldi N, Papaccioli G, et al (2023)

Telemedicine in Adult Congenital Heart Disease: Usefulness of Digital Health Technology in the Assistance of Critical Patients.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(10): pii:ijerph20105775.

The number of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) has progressively increased in recent years to surpass that of children. This population growth has produced a new demand for health care. Moreover, the 2019 coronavirus pandemic has caused significant changes and has underlined the need for an overhaul of healthcare delivery. As a result, telemedicine has emerged as a new strategy to support a patient-based model of specialist care. In this review, we would like to highlight the background knowledge and offer an integrated care strategy for the longitudinal assistance of ACHD patients. In particular, the emphasis is on recognizing these patients as a special population with special requirements in order to deliver effective digital healthcare.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Hromić-Jahjefendić A, Sezer A, Aljabali AAA, et al (2023)

COVID-19 Vaccines and Myocarditis: An Overview of Current Evidence.

Biomedicines, 11(5): pii:biomedicines11051469.

COVID-19 vaccines have been widely used to reduce the incidence and disease severity of COVID-19. Questions have lately been raised about the possibility of an association between COVID-19 vaccines and myocarditis, an inflammatory condition affecting the myocardium, or the middle layer of the heart. Myocarditis can be caused by infections, immune reactions, or toxic exposure. The incidence rate of myocarditis and pericarditis was calculated to be 5.98 instances per million COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered, which is less than half of the incidences after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Myocarditis rates in people aged 12 to 39 years are around 12.6 cases per million doses following the second dose of mRNA vaccination. Adolescent men are more likely than women to develop myocarditis after receiving mRNA vaccines. The objectives of this systematic review and meta-analysis are to find out how often myocarditis occurs after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the risk factors and clinical repercussions of this condition. Nevertheless, the causal relationship between vaccination and myocarditis has been difficult to establish, and further research is required. It is also essential to distinguish between suggested cases of myocarditis and those confirmed by endomyocardial biopsy.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Maniu I, Maniu GC, Antonescu E, et al (2023)

SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Responses in Pediatric Patients: A Bibliometric Analysis.

Biomedicines, 11(5): pii:biomedicines11051455.

The characteristics, dynamics and mechanisms/determinants of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection are not fully understood. We performed a bibliometric review of studies that have assessed SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in the pediatric population using Web of Science online databases, VOSviewer and Bibliometrix tools. The analysis was conducted on 84 publications, from 310 institutions located in 29 countries and published in 57 journals. The results showed the collaboration of scientists and organizations, international research interactions and summarized the findings on (i) the measured titers of antibodies (total antibody and/or individual antibody classes IgG, IgM, IgA) against different antigens (C-terminal region of N (N CT), full-length N protein (N FL), RBD, RBD Alpha, RBD Beta, RBD Gamma, RBD Delta, spike (S), S1, S2) in the case of different clinical forms of the disease; and (ii) the correlations between SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and cytokines, chemokines, neutrophils, C-reactive protein, ferritin, and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. The presented study offers insights regarding research directions to be explored in the studied field and may provide a starting point for future research.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Martins AC, Albericio F, BG de la Torre (2023)

FDA Approvals of Biologics in 2022.

Biomedicines, 11(5): pii:biomedicines11051434.

The year 2022 witnessed the control of the COVID-19 pandemic in most countries through social and hygiene measures and also vaccination campaigns. It also saw a decrease in total approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nevertheless, there was no fall in the Biologics class, which was boosted through the authorization of 15 novel molecules, thus maintaining the figures achieved in previous years. Indeed, the decrease in approvals was only for the category of small molecules. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) continued to be the drug class with the most approvals, and cancer remained the most targeted disease, followed by autoimmune conditions, as in previous years. Interestingly, the FDA gave the green light to a remarkable number of bispecific Biologics (four), the highest number in recent years. Indeed, 2022 was another year without the approval of an antimicrobial Biologic, although important advancements were made in targeting new diseases, which are discussed herein. In this work, we only analyze the Biologics authorized in 2022. Furthermore, we also consider the orphan drugs authorized. We not only apply a quantitative analysis to this year's harvest, but also compare the efficacy of the Biologics with those authorized in previous years. On the basis of their chemical structure, the Biologics addressed fall into the following classes: monoclonal antibodies; antibody-drug conjugates; and proteins/enzymes.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Grewal T, C Buechler (2023)

Adipokines as Diagnostic and Prognostic Markers for the Severity of COVID-19.

Biomedicines, 11(5): pii:biomedicines11051302.

Accumulating evidence implicates obesity as a risk factor for increased severity of disease outcomes in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Obesity is associated with adipose tissue dysfunction, which not only predisposes individuals to metabolic complications, but also substantially contributes to low-grade systemic inflammation, altered immune cell composition, and compromised immune function. This seems to impact the susceptibility and outcome of diseases caused by viruses, as obese people appear more vulnerable to developing infections and they recover later from infectious diseases than normal-weight individuals. Based on these findings, increased efforts to identify suitable diagnostic and prognostic markers in obese Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients to predict disease outcomes have been made. This includes the analysis of cytokines secreted from adipose tissues (adipokines), which have multiple regulatory functions in the body; for instance, modulating insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, lipid metabolism, appetite, and fertility. Most relevant in the context of viral infections, adipokines also influence the immune cell number, with consequences for overall immune cell activity and function. Hence, the analysis of the circulating levels of diverse adipokines in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 have been considered to reveal diagnostic and prognostic COVID-19 markers. This review article summarizes the findings aimed to correlate the circulating levels of adipokines with progression and disease outcomes of COVID-19. Several studies provided insights on chemerin, adiponectin, leptin, resistin, and galectin-3 levels in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, while limited information is yet available on the adipokines apelin and visfatin in COVID-19. Altogether, current evidence points at circulating galectin-3 and resistin levels being of diagnostic and prognostic value in COVID-19 disease.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Niazi SK (2023)

RNA Therapeutics: A Healthcare Paradigm Shift.

Biomedicines, 11(5): pii:biomedicines11051275.

COVID-19 brought about the mRNA vaccine and a paradigm shift to a new mode of treating and preventing diseases. Synthetic RNA products are a low-cost solution based on a novel method of using nucleosides to act as an innate medicine factory with unlimited therapeutic possibilities. In addition to the common perception of vaccines preventing infections, the newer applications of RNA therapies include preventing autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Down syndrome; now, we can deliver monoclonal antibodies, hormones, cytokines, and other complex proteins, reducing the manufacturing hurdles associated with these products. Newer PCR technology removes the need for the bacterial expression of DNA, making mRNA a truly synthetic product. AI-driven product design expands the applications of mRNA technology to repurpose therapeutic proteins and test their safety and efficacy quickly. As the industry focuses on mRNA, many novel opportunities will arise, as hundreds of products under development will bring new perspectives based on this significant paradigm shift-finding newer solutions to existing challenges in healthcare.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Teixeira CSS, Villa C, Costa J, et al (2023)

Edible Insects as a Novel Source of Bioactive Peptides: A Systematic Review.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 12(10): pii:foods12102026.

The production of food and feed to meet the needs of the growing world's population will soon become a serious challenge. In search for sustainable solutions, entomophagy is being proposed as an alternative source of proteins, with economic and environmental advantages when compared to meat. Edible insects are not only a valuable source of important nutrients, but their gastrointestinal digestion also originates small peptides with important bioactive properties. The present work intends to provide an exhaustive systematic review on research articles reporting bioactive peptides identified from edible insects, as demonstrated by in silico, in vitro, and/or in vivo assays. A total of 36 studies were identified following the PRISMA methodology, gathering 211 potentially bioactive peptides with antioxidant, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antiobesity, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemia, antimicrobial, anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), antithrombotic, and immunomodulatory properties, originated from the hydrolysates of 12 different insect species. From these candidates, the bioactive properties of 62 peptides were characterized in vitro and 3 peptides were validated in vivo. Data establishing the scientific basis of the health benefits associated with the consumption of edible insects can be a valuable contribution to overcoming the cultural issues that hinder the introduction of insects in the Western diet.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Pérez de la Lastra JM, Curieses Andrés CM, Andrés Juan C, et al (2023)

Hydroxytyrosol and Arginine as Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory and Immunostimulant Dietary Supplements for COVID-19 and Long COVID.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 12(10): pii:foods12101937.

Phytochemicals from plant extracts are becoming increasingly popular in the world of food science and technology because they have positive effects on human health. In particular, several bioactive foods and dietary supplements are being investigated as potential treatments for chronic COVID. Hydroxytyrosol (HXT) is a natural antioxidant, found in olive oil, with antioxidant anti-inflammatory properties that has been consumed by humans for centuries without reported adverse effects. Its use was approved by the European Food Safety Authority as a protective agent for the cardiovascular system. Similarly, arginine is a natural amino acid with anti-inflammatory properties that can modulate the activity of immune cells, reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α. The properties of both substances may be particularly beneficial in the context of COVID-19 and long COVID, which are characterised by inflammation and oxidative stress. While l-arginine promotes the formation of [•]NO, HXT prevents oxidative stress and inflammation in infected cells. This combination could prevent the formation of harmful peroxynitrite, a potent pro-inflammatory substance implicated in pneumonia and COVID-19-associated organ dysfunction, as well as reduce inflammation, improve immune function, protect against free radical damage and prevent blood vessel injury. Further research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of HXT and arginine in the context of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Alzahrani FA, Khan MI, Kameli N, et al (2023)

Plant-Derived Extracellular Vesicles and Their Exciting Potential as the Future of Next-Generation Drug Delivery.

Biomolecules, 13(5): pii:biom13050839.

Plant cells release tiny membranous vesicles called extracellular vesicles (EVs), which are rich in lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and pharmacologically active compounds. These plant-derived EVs (PDEVs) are safe and easily extractable and have been shown to have therapeutic effects against inflammation, cancer, bacteria, and aging. They have shown promise in preventing or treating colitis, cancer, alcoholic liver disease, and even COVID-19. PDEVs can also be used as natural carriers for small-molecule drugs and nucleic acids through various administration routes such as oral, transdermal, or injection. The unique advantages of PDEVs make them highly competitive in clinical applications and preventive healthcare products in the future. This review covers the latest methods for isolating and characterizing PDEVs, their applications in disease prevention and treatment, and their potential as a new drug carrier, with special attention to their commercial viability and toxicological profile, as the future of nanomedicine therapeutics. This review champions the formation of a new task force specializing in PDEVs to address a global need for rigor and standardization in PDEV research.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Maiese K (2023)

Cellular Metabolism: A Fundamental Component of Degeneration in the Nervous System.

Biomolecules, 13(5): pii:biom13050816.

It is estimated that, at minimum, 500 million individuals suffer from cellular metabolic dysfunction, such as diabetes mellitus (DM), throughout the world. Even more concerning is the knowledge that metabolic disease is intimately tied to neurodegenerative disorders, affecting both the central and peripheral nervous systems as well as leading to dementia, the seventh leading cause of death. New and innovative therapeutic strategies that address cellular metabolism, apoptosis, autophagy, and pyroptosis, the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK), growth factor signaling with erythropoietin (EPO), and risk factors such as the apolipoprotein E (APOE-ε4) gene and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can offer valuable insights for the clinical care and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders impacted by cellular metabolic disease. Critical insight into and modulation of these complex pathways are required since mTOR signaling pathways, such as AMPK activation, can improve memory retention in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and DM, promote healthy aging, facilitate clearance of β-amyloid (Aß) and tau in the brain, and control inflammation, but also may lead to cognitive loss and long-COVID syndrome through mechanisms that can include oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, cytokine release, and APOE-ε4 if pathways such as autophagy and other mechanisms of programmed cell death are left unchecked.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Kaiser A (2023)

The Role of Spermidine and Its Key Metabolites in Important, Pathogenic Human Viruses and in Parasitic Infections Caused by Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma brucei.

Biomolecules, 13(5): pii:biom13050803.

The triamine spermidine is a key metabolite of the polyamine pathway. It plays a crucial role in many infectious diseases caused by viral or parasitic infections. Spermidine and its metabolizing enzymes, i.e., spermidine/spermine-N[1]-acetyltransferase, spermine oxidase, acetyl polyamine oxidase, and deoxyhypusine synthase, fulfill common functions during infection in parasitic protozoa and viruses which are obligate, intracellular parasites. The competition for this important polyamine between the infected host cell and the pathogen determines the severity of infection in disabling human parasites and pathogenic viruses. Here, we review the impact of spermidine and its metabolites in disease development of the most important, pathogenic human viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, HIV, Ebola, and in the human parasites Plasmodium and Trypanosomes. Moreover, state-of-the-art translational approaches to manipulate spermidine metabolism in the host and the pathogen are discussed to accelerate drug development against these threatful, infectious human diseases.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Swiderski J, Gadanec LK, Apostolopoulos V, et al (2023)

Role of Angiotensin II in Cardiovascular Diseases: Introducing Bisartans as a Novel Therapy for Coronavirus 2019.

Biomolecules, 13(5): pii:biom13050787.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the main contributors to global morbidity and mortality. Major pathogenic phenotypes of CVDs include the development of endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and hyper-inflammatory responses. These phenotypes have been found to overlap with the pathophysiological complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). CVDs have been identified as major risk factors for severe and fatal COVID-19 states. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is an important regulatory system in cardiovascular homeostasis. However, its dysregulation is observed in CVDs, where upregulation of angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) signaling via angiotensin II (AngII) leads to the AngII-dependent pathogenic development of CVDs. Additionally, the interaction between the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 leads to the downregulation of the latter, resulting in the dysregulation of the RAS. This dysregulation favors AngII/AT1R toxic signaling pathways, providing a mechanical link between cardiovascular pathology and COVID-19. Therefore, inhibiting AngII/AT1R signaling through angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) has been indicated as a promising therapeutic approach to the treatment of COVID-19. Herein, we review the role of AngII in CVDs and its upregulation in COVID-19. We also provide a future direction for the potential implication of a novel class of ARBs called bisartans, which are speculated to contain multifunctional targeting towards COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Fancello V, Fancello G, Genovese E, et al (2023)

Auditory Screening in Newborns after Maternal SARS-CoV-2 Infection: An Overview.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 10(5): pii:children10050834.

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Several viruses have previously been reported to be responsible for congenital hearing loss; therefore, since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 infection pandemic, various reports have investigated a possible link. The aim of this review is to assess the possible link between maternal COVID-19 infection and congenital hearing loss.

METHODS: This systematic review was performed using PRISMA criteria, searching Medline and Embase databases from March 2020 to February 2023. A total of 924 candidate papers were identified; however, considering the specific selection criteria, only nine were selected for additional analysis.

RESULTS: The overall number of children born from mothers infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy identified through this review was 1687. The confirmed cases of hearing loss were 0.7% (12/1688); a description of its nature (sensorineural vs. conductive) is missing in the selected studies, and the follow-up period is variable across the analyzed papers. Surprisingly, a large proportion of false positives were recorded at the first stage of screening, which resulted normal at the re-test.

CONCLUSIONS: Currently, a correlation between congenital hearing loss and SARS-CoV-2 infection cannot be definitively established. Further studies are desirable to provide additional evidence on this topic.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Di Spirito F, D'Ambrosio F, Di Palo MP, et al (2023)

COVID-19 and Related Vaccinations in Children: Pathogenic Aspects of Oral Lesions.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 10(5): pii:children10050809.

Various clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infections and adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccination have been described in children. The present narrative review aimed to collect and synthesize reported findings on oral lesions detected in SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects following COVID-19 EMA-authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing-approved vaccine administration in the pediatric population to detail their clinical features and highlight possible pathogenic aspects of those lesions based on current evidence. Few and incomplete reports were retrieved from the literature, probably because most lesions belonged to a broad spectrum of systemic diseases and syndromes and were nonspecific or inaccurately described. The most common oral lesions in pediatric SARS-CoV-2-positive patients were erosive-ulcerative lesions and macules/petechiae, primarily erythematous. In the context of COVID-19 vaccination, oral adverse reactions were rare and typically presented as erosive-ulcerative lesions, with EM-like or unspecified patterns. Future studies should investigate oral lesions in SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects and after COVID-19 vaccination in the pediatric population, taking into account viral variants and newly developed vaccines. Deeper insight into oral lesions detectable in pediatric SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects and after COVID-19 vaccination may increase clinicians' ability to improve multidisciplinary pediatric oral and general care.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Sfayyih AH, Sabry AH, Jameel SM, et al (2023)

Acoustic-Based Deep Learning Architectures for Lung Disease Diagnosis: A Comprehensive Overview.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 13(10): pii:diagnostics13101748.

Lung auscultation has long been used as a valuable medical tool to assess respiratory health and has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, notably following the coronavirus epidemic. Lung auscultation is used to assess a patient's respiratory role. Modern technological progress has guided the growth of computer-based respiratory speech investigation, a valuable tool for detecting lung abnormalities and diseases. Several recent studies have reviewed this important area, but none are specific to lung sound-based analysis with deep-learning architectures from one side and the provided information was not sufficient for a good understanding of these techniques. This paper gives a complete review of prior deep-learning-based architecture lung sound analysis. Deep-learning-based respiratory sound analysis articles are found in different databases including the Plos, ACM Digital Libraries, Elsevier, PubMed, MDPI, Springer, and IEEE. More than 160 publications were extracted and submitted for assessment. This paper discusses different trends in pathology/lung sound, the common features for classifying lung sounds, several considered datasets, classification methods, signal processing techniques, and some statistical information based on previous study findings. Finally, the assessment concludes with a discussion of potential future improvements and recommendations.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Abbasi Habashi S, Koyuncu M, R Alizadehsani (2023)

A Survey of COVID-19 Diagnosis Using Routine Blood Tests with the Aid of Artificial Intelligence Techniques.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 13(10): pii:diagnostics13101749.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing a disease called COVID-19, is a class of acute respiratory syndrome that has considerably affected the global economy and healthcare system. This virus is diagnosed using a traditional technique known as the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test. However, RT-PCR customarily outputs a lot of false-negative and incorrect results. Current works indicate that COVID-19 can also be diagnosed using imaging resolutions, including CT scans, X-rays, and blood tests. Nevertheless, X-rays and CT scans cannot always be used for patient screening because of high costs, radiation doses, and an insufficient number of devices. Therefore, there is a requirement for a less expensive and faster diagnostic model to recognize the positive and negative cases of COVID-19. Blood tests are easily performed and cost less than RT-PCR and imaging tests. Since biochemical parameters in routine blood tests vary during the COVID-19 infection, they may supply physicians with exact information about the diagnosis of COVID-19. This study reviewed some newly emerging artificial intelligence (AI)-based methods to diagnose COVID-19 using routine blood tests. We gathered information about research resources and inspected 92 articles that were carefully chosen from a variety of publishers, such as IEEE, Springer, Elsevier, and MDPI. Then, these 92 studies are classified into two tables which contain articles that use machine Learning and deep Learning models to diagnose COVID-19 while using routine blood test datasets. In these studies, for diagnosing COVID-19, Random Forest and logistic regression are the most widely used machine learning methods and the most widely used performance metrics are accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and AUC. Finally, we conclude by discussing and analyzing these studies which use machine learning and deep learning models and routine blood test datasets for COVID-19 detection. This survey can be the starting point for a novice-/beginner-level researcher to perform on COVID-19 classification.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Esposito MM, Turku S, Lehrfield L, et al (2023)

The Impact of Human Activities on Zoonotic Infection Transmissions.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(10): pii:ani13101646.

As humans expand their territories across more and more regions of the planet, activities such as deforestation, urbanization, tourism, wildlife exploitation, and climate change can have drastic consequences for animal movements and animal-human interactions. These events, especially climate change, can also affect the arthropod vectors that are associated with the animals in these scenarios. As the COVID-19 pandemic and other various significant outbreaks throughout the centuries have demonstrated, when animal patterns and human interactions change, so does the exposure of humans to zoonotic pathogens potentially carried by wildlife. With approximately 60% of emerging human pathogens and around 75% of all emerging infectious diseases being categorized as zoonotic, it is of great importance to examine the impact of human activities on the prevalence and transmission of these infectious agents. A better understanding of the impact of human-related factors on zoonotic disease transmission and prevalence can help drive the preventative measures and containment policies necessary to improve public health.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Toledano JM, Puche-Juarez M, Moreno-Fernandez J, et al (2023)

Antioxidant and Immune-Related Implications of Minerals in COVID-19: A Possibility for Disease Prevention and Management.

Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5): pii:antiox12051104.

Since the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic appeared, both governments and the scientific community have focused their efforts on the search for prophylactic and therapeutic alternatives in order to reduce its effects. Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have been approved and administered, playing a key role in the overcoming of this situation. However, they have not reached the whole world population, and several doses will be needed in the future in order to successfully protect individuals. The disease is still here, so other strategies should be explored with the aim of supporting the immune system before and during the infection. An adequate diet is certainly associated with an optimal inflammatory and oxidative stress status, as poor levels of different nutrients could be related to altered immune responses and, consequently, an augmented susceptibility to infections and severe outcomes derived from them. Minerals exert a wide range of immune-modulatory, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities, which may be useful for fighting this illness. Although they cannot be considered as a definitive therapeutic solution, the available evidence to date, obtained from studies on similar respiratory diseases, might reflect the rationality of deeper investigations of the use of minerals during this pandemic.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Guerrero-Romero F, Micke O, Simental-Mendía LE, et al (2023)

Importance of Magnesium Status in COVID-19.

Biology, 12(5): pii:biology12050735.

A large amount of published research points to the interesting concept (hypothesis) that magnesium (Mg) status may have relevance for the outcome of COVID-19 and that Mg could be protective during the COVID disease course. As an essential element, Mg plays basic biochemical, cellular, and physiological roles required for cardiovascular, immunological, respiratory, and neurological functions. Both low serum and dietary Mg have been associated with the severity of COVID-19 outcomes, including mortality; both are also associated with COVID-19 risk factors such as older age, obesity, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and asthma. In addition, populations with high rates of COVID-19 mortality and hospitalization tend to consume diets high in modern processed foods, which are generally low in Mg. In this review, we review the research to describe and consider the possible impact of Mg and Mg status on COVID-19 showing that (1) serum Mg between 2.19 and 2.26 mg/dL and dietary Mg intakes > 329 mg/day could be protective during the disease course and (2) inhaled Mg may improve oxygenation of hypoxic COVID-19 patients. In spite of such promise, oral Mg for COVID-19 has thus far been studied only in combination with other nutrients. Mg deficiency is involved in the occurrence and aggravation of neuropsychiatric complications of COVID-19, including memory loss, cognition, loss of taste and smell, ataxia, confusion, dizziness, and headache. Potential of zinc and/or Mg as useful for increasing drug therapy effectiveness or reducing adverse effect of anti-COVID-19 drugs is reviewed. Oral Mg trials of patients with COVID-19 are warranted.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Xue VW, Wong SCC, Li B, et al (2023)

The discovery and development of mRNA vaccines for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Expert opinion on drug discovery [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most serious public health events of this century. There have been more than 670 million confirmed cases and more than 6 million deaths worldwide. From the emergence of the Alpha variant to the later rampant Omicron variant, the high transmissibility and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 accelerate the research and development of effective vaccines. Against this background, mRNA vaccines stepped onto the historical stage and became an important tool for COVID-19 prevention.

AREAS COVERED: This article introduces the characteristics of different mRNA vaccines in the prevention of COVID-19, including antigen selection, therapeutic mRNA design and modification, and different delivery systems of mRNA molecules. It also summarizes and discusses the mechanisms, safety, effectiveness, side effects, and limitations of current COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

EXPERT OPINION: Therapeutic mRNA molecules have plenty of advantages, including flexible design, rapid production, sufficient immune activation, safety without the risk of genome insertion in the host cells, and no viral vectors or particles involved, making them an important tool to fight diseases in the future. However, the application of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines also faces many challenges, such as storage and transportation, mass production, and nonspecific immunity.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Al-Haideri MT, Mannani R, Kaboli R, et al (2023)

The effects of methotrexate on the immune responses to the COVID-19 vaccines in the patients with immune-mediated inflammatory disease: A systematic review of clinical evidence.

Transplant immunology [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 vaccines exhibit high levels of immunogenicity in the overall population. Data on the effects of immunomodulators on the consequences of COVID-19 in patients with Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) remains scarce. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the immune responses to the COVID-19 vaccines in IMID patients receiving methotrexate (MTX) compared to healthy individuals. A comprehensive literature search was carried out using electronic databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Embase up to August 2022 to identify eligible RCTs evaluating the effect of MTX on immune responses in patients with COVID-19. The PRISMA checklist protocol was applied for the quality assessment of the selected trials. Our findings demonstrated that MTX lowered the responses of T cells and antibodies in IMID patients compared to healthy controls. We also discovered that young age (<60 years) was the main parameter influencing the antibody response after vaccination, while MTX had little effect. Following vaccination, MTX-hold and age were considered the main factors influencing the antibody response. In patients older than 60 years of age, the time point of 10 days of MTX discontinuation was critical to boosting the humoral response to anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG. Because many IMID patients did not have adequate humoral and cellular responses, our findings highlighted the importance of second or booster doses of vaccine and temporary MTX discontinuation. As a result, it implies that individuals with IMIDs should be subjected to more research, particularly humoral and cellular immunity efficiency trials after COVID-19 vaccination, until credible information is achieved.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Ren Y, Yan C, H Yang (2023)

Erythrocytes: Member of the Immune System that Should Not Be Ignored.

Critical reviews in oncology/hematology pii:S1040-8428(23)00127-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Erythrocytes are the most abundant type of cells in the blood and have a relatively simple structure when mature; they have a long life-span in the circulatory system. The primary function of erythrocytes is as oxygen carriers; however, they also play an important role in the immune system. Erythrocytes recognize and adhere to antigens and promote phagocytosis. The abnormal morphology and function of erythrocytes are also involved in the pathological processes of some diseases. Owing to the large number and immune properties of erythrocytes, their immune functions should not be ignored. Currently, research on immunity is focused on immune cells other than erythrocytes. However, research on the immune function of erythrocytes and the development of erythrocyte-mediated applications is of great significance. Therefore, we aimed to review the relevant literature and summarize the immune functions of erythrocytes.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Ekpor E, S Akyirem (2023)

Global acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine among persons with diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Diabetes research and clinical practice [Epub ahead of print].

AIM: This review aimed to estimate the level of acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine among persons with diabetes.

METHODS: A systematic search was conducted on PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL to identify relevant studies for this review. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed to generate an overall estimate of vaccine acceptance. The I[2] statistic was used to quantify the degree of variation across studies, and subgroup analysis was conducted to identify the sources of heterogeneity. The review was conducted in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA).

RESULTS: This review included 18 studies involving 11,292 diabetes patients. The pooled prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance among persons with diabetes was 76.1% (95% CI: 66.7% - 83.5%). The pooled prevalence across the continent ranged from 68.9% (95% CI: 47.8% - 84.3%) in Asia to 82.1% (95% CI: 80.2% - 83.8%) in Europe. Barriers to vaccine acceptance included misinformation, lack of information, mistrust, health concerns, and external influences.

CONCLUSION: The barriers to vaccine acceptance identified in this review, could inform the formulation of health policies and public health interventions that are specifically tailored to address the needs of persons with diabetes.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Gibbons JB, Harris SJ, Solomon KT, et al (2023)

Increasing overdose deaths among Black Americans: a review of the literature.

The lancet. Psychiatry pii:S2215-0366(23)00119-0 [Epub ahead of print].

In 2020, opioid overdose fatalities among Black Americans surpassed those among White Americans for the first time in US history. This Review analyses the academic literature on disparities in overdose deaths to highlight potential factors that could explain these increases in overdose deaths among Black Americans. Overall, we find that differences in structural and social determinants of health; inequality in the access, use, and continuity of substance use disorder and harm reduction services; variability in fentanyl exposure and risk; and changes in social and economic circumstances since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic are central to explaining this trend. We conclude with a discussion of opportunities for US policy reform and opportunities for future research.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Heeralall C, Ibrahim UH, Lazarus L, et al (2023)

The effects of COVID-19 on placental morphology.

Placenta, 138:88-96 [Epub ahead of print].

The impact of the COVID-19 infection, caused by Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), during the pandemic has been considerably more severe in pregnant women than non-pregnant women. Therefore, a review detailing the morphological alterations and physiological changes associated with COVID-19 during pregnancy and the effect that these changes have on the feto-placental unit is of high priority. This knowledge is crucial for these mothers, their babies and clinicians to ensure a healthy life post-pandemic. Hence, we review the placental morphological changes due to COVID-19 to enhance the general understanding of how pregnant mothers, their placentas and unborn children may have been affected by this pandemic. Based on current literature, we deduced that COVID-19 pregnancies were oxygen deficient, which could further result in other pregnancy-related complications like preeclampsia and IUGR. Therefore, we present an up-to-date review of the COVID-19 pathophysiological implications on the placenta, covering the function of the placenta in COVID-19, the effects of this virus on the placenta, its functions and its link to other gestational complications. Furthermore, we highlight the possible effects of COVID-19 therapeutic interventions on pregnant mothers and their unborn children. Based on the literature, we strongly suggest that consistent surveillance for the mothers and infants from COVID-19 pregnancies be prioritised in the future. Though the pandemic is now in the past, its effects are long-term, necessitating the monitoring of clinical manifestations in the near future.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Koulas I, Goldin M, Schulman S, et al (2023)

Antithrombotic therapy in the management of hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

British journal of hospital medicine (London, England : 2005), 84(5):1-11.

Hospitalised patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at a significantly higher risk of having thromboembolic events while in hospital and in the immediate post-hospital discharge period. Based on early data from observational studies, multiple high quality randomised controlled trials have been conducted worldwide to evaluate optimal thromboprophylaxis regimens to reduce thromboembolism and other COVID-19-related adverse outcomes in hospitalised patients. The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis has published evidence-based guideline recommendations using established methodology for the management of antithrombotic therapy of COVID-19 patients, both in-hospital and in the immediate post-hospital discharge period. A good clinical practice statement supplemented these guidelines based on topics for which there was no or limited high-quality evidence. This review summarises the main recommendations of these documents to serve as a quick access tool for hospital doctors to use in their everyday practice when treating COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Rosca EC, Heneghan C, Spencer EA, et al (2023)

Coinfection with Strongyloides and SARS-CoV-2: A Systematic Review.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 8(5): pii:tropicalmed8050248.

BACKGROUND: Treatments for COVID-19, including steroids, might exacerbate Strongyloides disease in patients with coinfection. We aimed to systematically review clinical and laboratory features of SARS-CoV-2 and Strongyloides coinfection, investigate possible interventions, assess outcomes, and identify research gaps requiring further attention.

METHODS: We searched two electronic databases, LitCOVID and WHO, up to August 2022, including SARS-CoV-2 and Strongyloides coinfection studies. We adapted the World Health Organization-Uppsala Monitoring Centre (WHO-UMC) system for standardized case causality assessment to evaluate if using corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs in COVID-19 patients determined acute manifestations of strongyloidiasis.

RESULTS: We included 16 studies reporting 25 cases of Strongyloides and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection: 4 with hyperinfection syndrome; 2 with disseminated strongyloidiasis; 3 with cutaneous reactivation of strongyloidiasis; 3 with isolated digestive symptoms; and 2 with solely eosinophilia, without clinical manifestations. Eleven patients were asymptomatic regarding strongyloidiasis. Eosinopenia or normal eosinophil count was reported in 58.3% of patients with Strongyloides reactivation. Steroids were given to 18/21 (85.7%) cases. A total of 4 patients (19.1%) received tocilizumab and/or Anakirna in addition to steroids. Moreover, 2 patients (9.5%) did not receive any COVID-19 treatment. The causal relationship between Strongyloides reactivation and COVID-19 treatments was considered certain (4% of cases), probable (20% of patients), and possible (20% of patients). For 8% of cases, it was considered unlikely that COVID-19 treatment was associated with strongyloidiasis reactivations; the relationship between the Strongyloides infection and administration of COVID-19 treatment was unassessable/unclassifiable in 48% of cases. Of 13 assessable cases, 11 (84.6%) were considered to be causally associated with Strongyloides, ranging from certain to possible.

CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed to assess the frequency and risk of Strongyloides reactivation in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our limited data using causality assessment supports recommendations that clinicians should screen and treat for Strongyloides infection in patients with coinfection who receive immunosuppressive COVID-19 therapies. In addition, the male gender and older age (over 50 years) may be predisposing factors for Strongyloides reactivation. Standardized guidelines should be developed for reporting future research.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Kim JH, Ahn C, Park Y, et al (2023)

Comparison of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests during the COVID-19 pandemic with those before the pandemic: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1180511.

The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, directly and indirectly, affected the emergency medical care system and resulted in worse out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) outcomes and epidemiological features compared with those before the pandemic. This review compares the regional and temporal features of OHCA prognosis and epidemiological characteristics. Various databases were searched to compare the OHCA outcomes and epidemiological characteristics during the COVID-19 pandemic with before the pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, survival and favorable neurological outcome rates were significantly lower than before. Survival to hospitalization, return of spontaneous circulation, endotracheal intubation, and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) decreased significantly, whereas the use of a supraglottic airway device, the incidence of cardiac arrest at home, and response time of emergency medical service (EMS) increased significantly. Bystander CPR, unwitnessed cardiac arrest, EMS transfer time, use of mechanical CPR, and in-hospital target temperature management did not differ significantly. A subgroup analysis of the studies that included only the first wave with those that included the subsequent waves revealed the overall outcomes in which the epidemiological features of OHCA exhibited similar patterns. No significant regional differences between the OHCA survival rates in Asia before and during the pandemic were observed, although other variables varied by region. The COVID-19 pandemic altered the epidemiologic characteristics, survival rates, and neurological prognosis of OHCA patients. Review registration: PROSPERO (CRD42022339435).

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Lutz M, Lazarus S, F Caldera (2023)

COVID-19 vaccination in adults with inflammatory bowel disease.

Therapeutic advances in gastroenterology, 16:17562848231173130.

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to the general population, and most are not at increased risk for severe disease. COVID-19 is nonetheless common, and vaccination is critical. Four safe and efficacious vaccines are now available for the prevention of COVID-19, with most data available for mRNA vaccines. Patients with IBD have a robust humoral response to vaccination with rates of seroconversion exceeding 95% following a two-dose mRNA vaccine series and 99% following a three-dose mRNA series, although those on certain therapies including anti-tumor necrosis factor α agents may have lower antibody concentrations and waning of antibodies over time. Additionally, rates of cell-mediated immune response, even in those patients with IBD who did not have evidence of humoral immunity, are high. Vaccines are safe and have not been associated with flares in disease activity. Gastroenterology providers should take an active role in ensuring patients with IBD are appropriately vaccinated against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Aganovic A (2023)

pH-dependent endocytosis mechanisms for influenza A and SARS-coronavirus.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1190463.

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the influenza epidemics have revived the interest in understanding how these highly contagious enveloped viruses respond to alterations in the physicochemical properties of their microenvironment. By understanding the mechanisms and conditions by which viruses exploit the pH environment of the host cell during endocytosis, we can gain a better understanding of how they respond to pH-regulated anti-viral therapies but also pH-induced changes in extracellular environments. This review provides a detailed explanation of the pH-dependent viral structural changes preceding and initiating viral disassembly during endocytosis for influenza A (IAV) and SARS coronaviruses. Drawing upon extensive literature from the last few decades and latest research, I analyze and compare the circumstances in which IAV and SARS-coronavirus can undertake endocytotic pathways that are pH-dependent. While there are similarities in the pH-regulated patterns leading to fusion, the mechanisms and pH activation differ. In terms of fusion activity, the measured activation pH values for IAV, across all subtypes and species, vary between approximately 5.0 to 6.0, while SARS-coronavirus necessitates a lower pH of 6.0 or less. The main difference between the pH-dependent endocytic pathways is that the SARS-coronavirus, unlike IAV, require the presence of specific pH-sensitive enzymes (cathepsin L) during endosomal transport. Conversely, the conformational changes in the IAV virus under acidic conditions in endosomes occur due to the specific envelope glycoprotein residues and envelope protein ion channels (viroporins) getting protonated by H+ ions. Despite extensive research over several decades, comprehending the pH-triggered conformational alterations of viruses still poses a significant challenge. The precise mechanisms of protonation mechanisms of certain during endosomal transport for both viruses remain incompletely understood. In absence of evidence, further research is needed.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Li J, Wang J, Wang M, et al (2023)

Bifidobacterium: a probiotic for the prevention and treatment of depression.

Frontiers in microbiology, 14:1174800.

Depression is a common psychological disease, which has become one of the main factors affecting human health. It has a serious impact on individuals, families, and society. With the prevalence of COVID-19, the incidence of depression has further increased worldwide. It has been confirmed that probiotics play a role in preventing and treating depression. Especially, Bifidobacterium is the most widely used probiotic and has positive effects on the treatment of depression. The mechanisms underlying its antidepressant effects might include anti-inflammation and regulation of tryptophan metabolism, 5-hydroxytryptamine synthesis, and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. In this mini-review, the relationship between Bifidobacterium and depression was summarized. It is hoped that Bifidobacterium-related preparations would play a positive role in the prevention and treatment of depression in the future.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Sreeshyla HS, Usha H, Nitin P, et al (2023)

Digital microscopy: A routine mandate in future? A leaf out of Covid-19 pandemic laboratory experience.

Journal of oral and maxillofacial pathology : JOMFP, 27(1):162-167.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out lot of changes among the way people and organisations function. It has also reduced social gatherings and hence social relations considerably, forcing people to adjust to new ways of work and life. An outstanding difference between the current COVID-19 pandemic and previous epidemics or pandemics is the increased availability and use of technology currently, which has been validated by various reports from across the globe. Thus, even with the ensuing pandemic, lockdown and decreased social gatherings, with the technology support we have devised ways to keep in contact with friends, family and work place, so as to continue our lives. Social distancing guidelines and regulations have put pressure on a great many organisations to find new ways of keeping employees and students connected while working remotely. For more deskbound occupations and roles, this can be relatively straightforward, but it is challenging if not impossible for lab-based quality control, research and study. The answer to this is digital remote microscopy which enables sharing of data online, carrying out collaborative work through multi-viewing in real time and facilitates remote training functions.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Gupta V, Acharya S, A Keerti (2023)

Common Coagulopathies Associated With COVID-19 Patients.

Cureus, 15(4):e38067.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which first appeared in the Chinese province of Hubei city of Wuhan, has been spreading internationally since December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus illness from 2019 to be a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Patients hospitalised with severe coronavirus or comorbid conditions (like cardiovascular disease and obesity) are linked to a worse prognosis. The rise in D-dimer and its relationship to prognosis are the most often documented aberrations in coagulation/fibrinolysis in COVID-19. However, the D-dimer assessment's utility is not limitless. Since the coagulation/fibrinolytic state might occasionally change over a short period of time, routine exams are also advantageous in understanding the relevance of the inquiry. Both thrombotic and hemorrhagic diseases should be taken into consideration, despite the fact that the pathophysiology of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) linked with coronavirus disease 19 differs significantly from that of septic disseminated intravascular coagulation. Coagulation as well as fibrinolysis indicators are used to make the diagnosis of COVID-19 thrombosis, which encompasses both macro- and micro-thrombosis. Compared to bacterial-sepsis-associated coagulopathy/DIC, COVID-19 has a lower prevalence of prolonged prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, and decreased antithrombin activity. However, the causes of coagulopathy remain poorly understood. Hypoxia, endothelial injury, dysregulated immunological responses mediated by inflammatory cytokines, and lymphocyte cell death are thought to be implicated. While blood loss tends to be rare, it is uncertain if COVID-19 suffers from thrombosis or whether the current recommendations for regular venous thromboembolic dose are appropriate. It is important to decide on the COVID-19 therapy phases. Antiviral therapy, cytokine storm therapy, and thrombosis therapy are the steps. Future advancements are predicted, such as a therapy that combines heparin and nafamostat.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Pollack B, von Saltza E, McCorkell L, et al (2023)

Female reproductive health impacts of Long COVID and associated illnesses including ME/CFS, POTS, and connective tissue disorders: a literature review.

Frontiers in rehabilitation sciences, 4:1122673.

Long COVID disproportionately affects premenopausal women, but relatively few studies have examined Long COVID's impact on female reproductive health. We conduct a review of the literature documenting the female reproductive health impacts of Long COVID which may include disruptions to the menstrual cycle, gonadal function, ovarian sufficiency, menopause, and fertility, as well as symptom exacerbation around menstruation. Given limited research, we also review the reproductive health impacts of overlapping and associated illnesses including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), connective tissue disorders like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), and endometriosis, as these illnesses may help to elucidate reproductive health conditions in Long COVID. These associated illnesses, whose patients are 70%-80% women, have increased rates of dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, dyspareunia, endometriosis, infertility, vulvodynia, intermenstrual bleeding, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and bleeding, pelvic congestion syndrome, gynecological surgeries, and adverse pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, maternal mortality, and premature birth. Additionally, in Long COVID and associated illnesses, symptoms can be impacted by the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. We propose priorities for future research and reproductive healthcare in Long COVID based on a review of the literature. These include screening Long COVID patients for comorbid and associated conditions; studying the impacts of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause on symptoms and illness progression; uncovering the role of sex differences and sex hormones in Long COVID and associated illnesses; and addressing historical research and healthcare inequities that have contributed to detrimental knowledge gaps for this patient population.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Holloway K, Cahill G, Tieu T, et al (2023)

Reviewing the Literature on the Impact of Gun Violence on Early Childhood Development.

Current psychiatry reports [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To examine the impacts of gun violence on early childhood development including early childhood mental health, cognitive development, and the assessment and treatment of survivors.

RECENT FINDINGS: The literature reflects that gun violence exposure is often associated with significant mental health outcomes including anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and depression in older youth. Historically, studies have focused on adolescents and their exposures to gun violence through proximity to gun violence within their communities, neighborhoods, and schools. However, the impacts of gun violence on young children are less known. Gun violence has significant impacts on mental health outcomes of youth aged 0-18. Few studies focus specifically on how gun violence impacts early childhood development. In light of the increase in youth gun violence over the past three decades with a significant uptick since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, continued efforts are needed to better understand how gun violence impacts early childhood development.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Lu LW, Quek SY, Lu SP, et al (2023)

Potential Benefits of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (N3PUFAs) on Cardiovascular Health Associated with COVID-19: An Update for 2023.

Metabolites, 13(5): pii:metabo13050630.

The accumulating literature demonstrates that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, N3PUFA) can be incorporated into the phospholipid bilayer of cell membranes in the human body to positively affect the cardiovascular system, including improving epithelial function, decreasing coagulopathy, and attenuating uncontrolled inflammatory responses and oxidative stress. Moreover, it has been proven that the N3PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are precursors of some potent endogenous bioactive lipid mediators that mediate some favorable effects attributed to their parent substances. A dose-response relationship between increased EPA and DHA intake and reduced thrombotic outcomes has been reported. The excellent safety profile of dietary N3PUFAs makes them a prospective adjuvant treatment for people exposed to a higher risk of cardiovascular problems associated with COVID-19. This review presented the potential mechanisms that might contribute to the beneficial effects of N3PUFA and the optimal form and dose applied.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Kwiatkowska A, LH Granicka (2023)

Anti-Viral Surfaces in the Fight against the Spread of Coronaviruses.

Membranes, 13(5): pii:membranes13050464.

This review is conducted against the background of nanotechnology, which provides us with a chance to effectively combat the spread of coronaviruses, and which primarily concerns polyelectrolytes and their usability for obtaining protective function against viruses and as carriers for anti-viral agents, vaccine adjuvants, and, in particular, direct anti-viral activity. This review covers nanomembranes in the form of nano-coatings or nanoparticles built of natural or synthetic polyelectrolytes--either alone or else as nanocomposites for creating an interface with viruses. There are not a wide variety of polyelectrolytes with direct activity against SARS-CoV-2, but materials that are effective in virucidal evaluations against HIV, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV are taken into account as potentially active against SARS-CoV-2. Developing new approaches to materials as interfaces with viruses will continue to be relevant in the future.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Kraka E, Antonio JJ, M Freindorf (2023)

Reaction mechanism - explored with the unified reaction valley approach.

Chemical communications (Cambridge, England) [Epub ahead of print].

One of the ultimate goals of chemistry is to understand and manipulate chemical reactions, which implies the ability to monitor the reaction and its underlying mechanism at an atomic scale. In this article, we introduce the Unified Reaction Valley Approach (URVA) as a tool for elucidating reaction mechanisms, complementing existing computational procedures. URVA combines the concept of the potential energy surface with vibrational spectroscopy and describes a chemical reaction via the reaction path and the surrounding reaction valley traced out by the reacting species on the potential energy surface on their way from the entrance to the exit channel, where the products are located. The key feature of URVA is the focus on the curving of the reaction path. Moving along the reaction path, any electronic structure change of the reacting species is registered by a change in the normal vibrational modes spanning the reaction valley and their coupling with the path, which recovers the curvature of the reaction path. This leads to a unique curvature profile for each chemical reaction, with curvature minima reflecting minimal change and curvature maxima indicating the location of important chemical events such as bond breaking/formation, charge polarization and transfer, rehybridization, etc. A decomposition of the path curvature into internal coordinate components or other coordinates of relevance for the reaction under consideration, provides comprehensive insight into the origin of the chemical changes taking place. After giving an overview of current experimental and computational efforts to gain insight into the mechanism of a chemical reaction and presenting the theoretical background of URVA, we illustrate how URVA works for three diverse processes, (i) [1,3] hydrogen transfer reactions; (ii) α-keto-amino inhibitor for SARS-CoV-2 M[pro]; (iii) Rh-catalyzed cyanation. We hope that this article will inspire our computational colleagues to add URVA to their repertoire and will serve as an incubator for new reaction mechanisms to be studied in collaboration with our experimental experts in the field.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Noorain S, Paola Scaparra M, K Kotiadis (2023)

Mind the gap: a review of optimisation in mental healthcare service delivery.

Health systems (Basingstoke, England), 12(2):133-166 pii:2035260.

Well-planned care arrangements with effective distribution of available resources have the potential to address inefficiencies in mental health services. We begin by exploring the complexities associated with mental health and describe how these influence service delivery. We then conduct a scoping literature review of studies employing optimisation techniques that address service delivery issues in mental healthcare. Studies are classified based on criteria such as the type of planning decision addressed, the purpose of the study and care setting. We analyse the modelling methodologies used, objectives, constraints and model solutions. We find that the application of optimisation to mental healthcare is in its early stages compared to the rest of healthcare. Commonalities between mental healthcare service provision and other services are discussed, and the future research agenda is outlined. We find that the existing application of optimisation in specific healthcare settings can be transferred to mental healthcare. Also highlighted are opportunities for addressing specific issues faced by mental healthcare services.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Yang N, Zhang L, S Feng (2023)

Clinical Features and Treatment Progress of Invasive Mucormycosis in Patients with Hematological Malignancies.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(5): pii:jof9050592.

The incidence rate of invasive mucormycosis (IM) in patients with hematological malignancies (HMs) is increasing year by year, ranging from 0.07% to 4.29%, and the mortality rate is mostly higher than 50%. With the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, COVID-19-associated mucormycosis (CAM) also became a global health threat. Patients with high risk factors such as active HMs, relapsed/refractory leukemia, prolonged neutropenia may still develop breakthrough mucormycosis (BT-MCR) even under the prophylaxis of Mucorales-active antifungals, and such patients often have higher mortality. Rhizopus spp. is the most common genus associated with IM, followed by Mucor spp. and Lichtheimia spp. Pulmonary mucormycosis (PM) is the most common form of IM in patients with HMs, followed by rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis (ROCM) and disseminated mucormycosis. The prognosis of IM patients with neutrophil recovery, localized IM and receiving early combined medical-surgical therapy is usually better. As for management of the disease, risk factors should be eliminated firstly. Liposome amphotericin B (L-AmB) combined with surgery is the initial treatment scheme of IM. Those who are intolerant to L-AmB can choose intravenous formulations or tablets of isavuconazole or posaconazole. Patients who are refractory to monotherapy can turn to combined antifungals therapy.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Tejeda-Garibay S, KK Hoyer (2023)

Coccidioidomycosis and Host Microbiome Interactions: What We Know and What We Can Infer from Other Respiratory Infections.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(5): pii:jof9050586.

Between 70 and 80% of Valley fever patients receive one or more rounds of antibiotic treatment prior to accurate diagnosis with coccidioidomycosis. Antibiotic treatment and infection (bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic) often have negative implications on host microbial dysbiosis, immunological responses, and disease outcome. These perturbations have focused on the impact of gut dysbiosis on pulmonary disease instead of the implications of direct lung dysbiosis. However, recent work highlights a need to establish the direct effects of the lung microbiota on infection outcome. Cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COVID-19, and M. tuberculosis studies suggest that surveying the lung microbiota composition can serve as a predictive factor of disease severity and could inform treatment options. In addition to traditional treatment options, probiotics can reverse perturbation-induced repercussions on disease outcomes. The purpose of this review is to speculate on the effects perturbations of the host microbiome can have on coccidioidomycosis progression. To do this, parallels are drawn to aa compilation of other host microbiome infection studies.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Grussu P, Jorizzo GJ, Alderdice F, et al (2023)

Preventing, Mitigating, and Treating Women's Perinatal Mental Health Problems during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review of Reviews with a Qualitative Narrative Synthesis.

Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 13(5): pii:bs13050358.

Meeting the mental health needs of perinatal women during the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious concern. This scoping review looks at how to prevent, mitigate or treat the mental health problems faced by women during a pandemic, and lays out suggestions for further research. Interventions for women with pre-existing mental health problems or health problems that develop during the perinatal period are included. The literature in English published in 2020-2021 is explored. Hand searches were conducted in PubMed and PsychINFO using the terms COVID-19, perinatal mental health and review. A total of 13 systematic and scoping reviews and meta-analyses were included. This scoping review shows that every woman should be assessed for mental health issues at every stage of her pregnancy and postpartum, with particular attention to women with a history of mental health problems. In the COVID-19 era, efforts should be focused on reducing the magnitude of stress and a perceived sense of lack of control experienced by perinatal women. Helpful instructions for women with perinatal mental health problems include mindfulness, distress tolerance skills, relaxation exercises, and interpersonal relationship building skills. Further longitudinal multicenter cohort studies could help improve the current knowledge. Promoting perinatal resilience and fostering positive coping skills, mitigating perinatal mental health problems, screening all prenatal and postpartum women for affective disorders, and using telehealth services appear to be indispensable resources. In future, governments and research agencies will need to pay greater attention to the trade-offs of reducing the spread of the virus through lockdowns, physical distancing, and quarantine measures and developing policies to mitigate the mental health impact on perinatal women.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Li D, Feng WD, Chen TY, et al (2023)

Diagnosis and Treatment Strategy of Nasogenic Olfactory Dysfunction.

International archives of allergy and immunology, 184(6):529-538 pii:000529024 [Epub ahead of print].

Since the global outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a symptom of the onset of SARS-CoV-2, olfactory dysfunction (OD), has attracted tremendous attention. OD is not only a negative factor for quality of life but also an independent hazard and early biomarker for various diseases, such as Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. Therefore, early identification and treatment of OD in patients are critical. Many etiological factors are responsible for OD based on current opinions. Sniffin'Sticks are recommended to identify the initial position (central or peripheral) for OD when treating patients clinically. It is worth emphasizing that the olfactory region in nasal cavity is recognized as the primary and critical olfactory receptor. Many nasal diseases, such as those with traumatic, obstructive and inflammatory causes, can lead to OD. The key question is no refined diagnosis or treatment strategy for nasogenic OD currently. This study summarizes the differences in medical history, symptoms, auxiliary examination, treatment and prognosis of different types of nasogenic OD by analyzing the current studies. We propose using olfactory training after 4-6 weeks of initial treatment for nasogenic OD patients with no significant improvement in olfaction. We hope that our research can provide valuable clinical guidance by systematically summarizing the clinical characteristics of nasogenic OD.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Greistorfer T, P Jud (2023)

Clinical characteristics of COVID-19 associated vasculopathic diseases.

Thrombosis journal, 21(1):61.

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has shown to be an infectious disease affecting not only of the respiratory system, but also cardiovascular system leading to different COVID-19-associated vasculopathies. Venous and arterial thromboembolic events have been frequently described among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and inflammatory vasculopathic changes have also been observed. Several of the reported COVID-19 associated vasculopathies exhibit differences on epidemiology, clinical characteristics and outcome compared to non-COVID-19 types. This review focuses on the epidemiology, clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic characteristics as well as outcome data of COVID-19 associated thromboembolic events and inflammatory vasculopathies, elaborating similarities and differences with non-COVID-19 cohorts.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Zhang J, H Zou (2023)

Insights into artificial intelligence in myopia management: from a data perspective.

Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie [Epub ahead of print].

Given the high incidence and prevalence of myopia, the current healthcare system is struggling to handle the task of myopia management, which is worsened by home quarantine during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in ophthalmology is thriving, yet not enough in myopia. AI can serve as a solution for the myopia pandemic, with application potential in early identification, risk stratification, progression prediction, and timely intervention. The datasets used for developing AI models are the foundation and determine the upper limit of performance. Data generated from clinical practice in managing myopia can be categorized into clinical data and imaging data, and different AI methods can be used for analysis. In this review, we comprehensively review the current application status of AI in myopia with an emphasis on data modalities used for developing AI models. We propose that establishing large public datasets with high quality, enhancing the model's capability of handling multimodal input, and exploring novel data modalities could be of great significance for the further application of AI for myopia.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Lv R, Liu X, Zhang Y, et al (2023)

Pathophysiological mechanisms and therapeutic approaches in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Signal transduction and targeted therapy, 8(1):218.

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common breathing disorder in sleep in which the airways narrow or collapse during sleep, causing obstructive sleep apnea. The prevalence of OSAS continues to rise worldwide, particularly in middle-aged and elderly individuals. The mechanism of upper airway collapse is incompletely understood but is associated with several factors, including obesity, craniofacial changes, altered muscle function in the upper airway, pharyngeal neuropathy, and fluid shifts to the neck. The main characteristics of OSAS are recurrent pauses in respiration, which lead to intermittent hypoxia (IH) and hypercapnia, accompanied by blood oxygen desaturation and arousal during sleep, which sharply increases the risk of several diseases. This paper first briefly describes the epidemiology, incidence, and pathophysiological mechanisms of OSAS. Next, the alterations in relevant signaling pathways induced by IH are systematically reviewed and discussed. For example, IH can induce gut microbiota (GM) dysbiosis, impair the intestinal barrier, and alter intestinal metabolites. These mechanisms ultimately lead to secondary oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, and sympathetic activation. We then summarize the effects of IH on disease pathogenesis, including cardiocerebrovascular disorders, neurological disorders, metabolic diseases, cancer, reproductive disorders, and COVID-19. Finally, different therapeutic strategies for OSAS caused by different causes are proposed. Multidisciplinary approaches and shared decision-making are necessary for the successful treatment of OSAS in the future, but more randomized controlled trials are needed for further evaluation to define what treatments are best for specific OSAS patients.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Vagg T, Shanthikumar S, Ibrahim H, et al (2023)

Telehealth in Cystic Fibrosis. A systematic review incorporating a novel scoring system and expert weighting to identify a 'top 10 manuscripts' to inform future best practices implementation.

Journal of cystic fibrosis : official journal of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society [Epub ahead of print].

The ongoing development and integration of telehealth within CF care has been accelerated in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with many centres publishing their experiences. Now, as the restrictions of the pandemic ease, the use of telehealth appears to be waning, with many centres returning to routine traditional face-to-face services. For most, telehealth is not integrated into clinical care models, and there is a lack of guidance on how to integrate such a service into clinical care. The aims of this systematic review were to first identify manuscripts which may inform best CF telehealth practices, and second, to analyse these finding to determine how the CF community may use telehealth to improve care for patients, families, and Multidisciplinary Teams into the future. To achieve this, the PRISMA review methodology was utilised, in combination with a modified novel scoring system that consolidates expert weighting from key CF stakeholders, allowing for the manuscripts to be placed in a hierarchy in accordance with their scientific robustness. From the 39 found manuscripts, the top ten are presented and further analysed. The top ten manuscripts are exemplars of where telehealth is used effectively within CF care at this time, and demonstrate specific use cases of its potential best practices. However, there is a lack of guidance for implementation and clinical decision making, which remains an area for improvement. Thus, it is suggested that further work explores and provides guidance for standardised implementation into CF clinical practice.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Seok Y, Mauk MG, Li R, et al (2023)

Trends of respiratory virus detection in point-of-care testing: A review.

Analytica chimica acta, 1264:341283.

In resource-limited conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on-site detection of diseases using the Point-of-care testing (POCT) technique is becoming a key factor in overcoming crises and saving lives. For practical POCT in the field, affordable, sensitive, and rapid medical testing should be performed on simple and portable platforms, instead of laboratory facilities. In this review, we introduce recent approaches to the detection of respiratory virus targets, analysis trends, and prospects. Respiratory viruses occur everywhere and are one of the most common and widely spreading infectious diseases in the human global society. Seasonal influenza, avian influenza, coronavirus, and COVID-19 are examples of such diseases. On-site detection and POCT for respiratory viruses are state-of-the-art technologies in this field and are commercially valuable global healthcare topics. Cutting-edge POCT techniques have focused on the detection of respiratory viruses for early diagnosis, prevention, and monitoring to protect against the spread of COVID-19. In particular, we highlight the application of sensing techniques to each platform to reveal the challenges of the development stage. Recent POCT approaches have been summarized in terms of principle, sensitivity, analysis time, and convenience for field applications. Based on the analysis of current states, we also suggest the remaining challenges and prospects for the use of the POCT technique for respiratory virus detection to improve our protection ability and prevent the next pandemic.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Milner KA (2023)

Evolution of Visiting the Intensive Care Unit.

Critical care clinics, 39(3):541-558.

This article gives a historical perspective of visitation in the intensive care unit (ICU) since the establishment of critical care units. Initially, visitors were not allowed because it was thought to be harmful to the patient. Despite the evidence, ICUs with open visitation have consistently been in the minority and the COVID-19 pandemic halted progress in this area. Virtual visitation was introduced during the pandemic to maintain family presence, but limited evidence suggests that this is not equivalent to in-person visitation. Going forward ICUs and health systems must consider family presence policies that allow for visitation under any circumstance.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.


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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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )