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Bibliography on: covid-19

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 29 Nov 2021 at 01:32 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.

NOTE: To obtain the entire bibliography (all 21648 citations) in bibtek format (a format that can be easily loaded into many different reference-manager software programs, click HERE.

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-11-27

Gryksa K, ID Neumann (2021)

Consequences of pandemic-associated social restrictions: Role of social support and the oxytocin system.

Psychoneuroendocrinology, 135:105601 pii:S0306-4530(21)00475-3 [Epub ahead of print].

During pandemics, governments take drastic actions to prevent the spreading of the disease, as seen during the present COVID-19 crisis. Sanctions of lockdown, social distancing and quarantine urge people to exclusively work and teach at home and to restrict social contacts to a minimum; lonely people get into further isolation, while families` nerves are strained to the extreme. Overall, this results in a dramatic and chronic increase in the level of psychosocial stress over several months mainly caused by i) social isolation and ii) psychosocial stress associated with overcrowding, social tension in families, and domestic violence. Moreover, pandemic-associated social restrictions are accompanied by loss of an essential stress buffer and important parameter for general mental and physical health: social support. Chronic psychosocial stress and, in particular, social isolation and lack of social support affect not only mental health, but also the brain oxytocin system and the immune system. Hence, pandemic-associated social restrictions are expected to increase the risk of developing psychopathologies, such as depression, anxiety-related and posttraumatic stress disorders, on the one hand, but also to induce a general inflammatory state and to impair the course of infectious disorders on the other. Due to its pro-social and stress-buffering effects, resulting in an anti-inflammatory state in case of disease, the role of the neuropeptide oxytocin will be discussed and critically considered as an emerging treatment option in cases of pandemic-induced psychosocial stress, viral infection and during recovery. In this review, we aim to critically focus on possible short- and long-term consequences of social restrictions on mental health and the immune system, while discussion oxytocin as a possible treatment option.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Antwi J, Appiah B, Oluwakuse B, et al (2021)

The Nutrition-COVID-19 Interplay: a Review.

Current nutrition reports [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Nutritional status is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, directly or indirectly. Even with the recent rollout of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines and availability of medicines such as remdesivir, and monoclonal antibodies, host nutritional status is pivotal in the fight against the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and outcomes. The purpose of this review is to discuss the effects of COVID-19-related lockdown on lifestyle behaviors, and the nutritional consequences, and the direct sequelae of the infection on nutrition including potential nutritional interventions.

RECENT FINDINGS: The COVID-19-related lockdown imposed radical changes in lifestyle behaviors with considerable short-term and long-term health and nutritional consequences including weight gain and obesity and increased cardiometabolic risk, consistently linked to worsened prognosis. The extent of the impact was dependent on food insecurity, overall stress and disordered eating, physical inactivity, and exposure to COVID-19-related nutrition information sources. COVID-19 could directly induce inflammatory responses and poor nutrient intake and absorption leading to undernutrition with micronutrient deficiencies, which impairs immune system function with subsequent amplified risk of infection and disease severity. Nutrition interventions through nutrition support, dietary supplementation, and home remedies such as use of zinc, selenium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids showed the most significant promise to mitigate the course of COVID-19 infection and improve survival rates. The nutrition-COVID-19 relationship and related dietary changes mimic a vicious cycle of the double burden of malnutrition, both obesity and undernutrition with micronutrient deficiencies, which promote infection, disease progression, and potential death.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Aparicio M, Guillén-Astete CA, López-Medina C, et al (2021)

Evidence for the Use of Secukinumab in Patients with Radiographic and Non-radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis in the Last 5 Years.

Rheumatology and therapy [Epub ahead of print].

Axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) is an inflammatory rheumatic disorder that causes chronic pain, primarily in the spine and sacroiliac joints. It is characterized by the presence of type 1 major histocompatibility complex HLA-B27 genetic marker, arthritis in peripheral joints, enthesitis and/or dactylitis and extra-articular manifestations. Current guidelines recommend biological therapy when first-line therapy is not sufficiently effective. The finding that the interleukin (IL)-17 axis is vital for the pathogenesis of axSpA propelled the development of secukinumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody directed against IL-17A. The present review provides evidence on the efficacy and safety of secukinumab in the treatment of radiographic and non-radiographic axSpA from nine randomized controlled phase III trials, as well as evidence from real-world observational analyses. The primary endpoint in six clinical trials was the proportion of patients meeting the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society criteria for either 20% or 40% improvement (ASAS20, ASAS40) at week 16. Significantly more patients achieved the primary endpoint with secukinumab compared with placebo in all the studies except MEASURE 4. Both clinical trials and real-world studies showed significant improvements in the secondary endpoints of disease activity, quality of life, and pain and fatigue relative to placebo. The benefits of secukinumab were generally sustained during longer-term (up to 5 years) treatment. Overall, secukinumab was well tolerated with a low frequency of adverse events and treatment persistence was high in the real-world setting. Although indirect comparisons suggest that secukinumab and adalimumab have comparable efficacy and safety, they are being directly compared in the ongoing SURPASS study. During the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is advisable to continue biological therapy in patients who do not have severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infection, but interrupt treatment during an infection, reinitiating once the patient has recovered from the infection. In conclusion, secukinumab is a largely safe and effective treatment for radiographic and non-radiographic axSpA.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Ahvanooei MRR, Norouzian MA, P Vahmani (2021)

Beneficial Effects of Vitamins, Minerals, and Bioactive Peptides on Strengthening the Immune System Against COVID-19 and the Role of Cow's Milk in the Supply of These Nutrients.

Biological trace element research [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic, which causes severe respiratory tract infections in humans, has become a global health concern and is spreading rapidly. At present, the most important issue associated with COVID-19 is the immune system and the factors that affect it. It is well known that cow's milk is highly rich in micronutrients that increase and strengthen the immune system. Research shows that the administration of these nutrients is very effective in fighting COVID-19, and a deficiency in any of them can be a weakness in the fight against the virus. On the other hand, cow's milk is accessible to the whole population, and drinking colostrum, raw, and micro-filtered milk from cows vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 could provide individuals with short-term protection against the SARS-CoV-2 infection until vaccines become commercially available. This review aimed to discuss the effects of milk vitamins, minerals, and bioactive peptides on general health in humans to combat viral diseases, especially COVID-19, and to what extent cow's milk consumption plays a role in providing these metabolites. Cow's milk contains many bioactive compounds that include vitamins, minerals, biogenic amines, nucleotides, oligosaccharides, organic acids, and immunoglobulins. Humans can meet a significant portion of their requirements for vitamins and minerals through the consumption of cow's milk. Recent studies have shown that micronutrients such as vitamins D, E, B, C, and A as well as minerals Zn, Cu, Mg, I, and Se and bioactive peptides, each can have positive and significant effects on strengthening the immune system and general health in humans.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Hemmati F, Hemmati-Dinarvand M, Karimzade M, et al (2021)

Plant-derived VLP: a worthy platform to produce vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

Biotechnology letters [Epub ahead of print].

After its emergence in late 2019 SARS-CoV-2 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020 and has claimed more than 2.8 million lives. There has been a massive global effort to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and the rapid and low cost production of large quantities of vaccine is urgently needed to ensure adequate supply to both developed and developing countries. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are composed of viral antigens that self-assemble into structures that mimic the structure of native viruses but lack the viral genome. Thus they are not only a safer alternative to attenuated or inactivated vaccines but are also able to induce potent cellular and humoral immune responses and can be manufactured recombinantly in expression systems that do not require viral replication. VLPs have successfully been produced in bacteria, yeast, insect and mammalian cell cultures, each production platform with its own advantages and limitations. Plants offer a number of advantages in one production platform, including proper eukaryotic protein modification and assembly, increased safety, low cost, high scalability as well as rapid production speed, a critical factor needed to control outbreaks of potential pandemics. Plant-based VLP-based viral vaccines currently in clinical trials include, amongst others, Hepatitis B virus, Influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Here we discuss the importance of plants as a next generation expression system for the fast, scalable and low cost production of VLP-based vaccines.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Edenfield RC, CA Easley (4th) (2021)

Implications of testicular ACE2 and the renin-angiotensin system for SARS-CoV-2 on testis function.

Nature reviews. Urology [Epub ahead of print].

Although many studies have focused on SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lungs, comparatively little is known about the potential effects of the virus on male fertility. SARS-CoV-2 infection of target cells requires the presence of furin, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors, and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). Thus, cells in the body that express these proteins might be highly susceptible to viral entry and downstream effects. Currently, reports regarding the expression of the viral entry proteins in the testes are conflicting; however, other members of the SARS-CoV family of viruses - such as SARS-CoV - have been suspected to cause testicular dysfunction and/or orchitis. SARS-CoV-2, which displays many similarities to SARS-CoV, could potentially cause similar adverse effects. Commonalities between SARS family members, taken in combination with sparse reports of testicular discomfort and altered hormone levels in patients with SARS-CoV-2, might indicate possible testicular dysfunction. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 infection has the potential for effects on testis somatic and germline cells and experimental approaches might be required to help identify potential short-term and long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on male fertility.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Wong LR, S Perlman (2021)

Immune dysregulation and immunopathology induced by SARS-CoV-2 and related coronaviruses - are we our own worst enemy?.

Nature reviews. Immunology [Epub ahead of print].

Human coronaviruses cause a wide spectrum of disease, ranging from mild common colds to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. Three highly pathogenic human coronaviruses - severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2 - have illustrated the epidemic and pandemic potential of human coronaviruses, and a better understanding of their disease-causing mechanisms is urgently needed for the rational design of therapeutics. Analyses of patients have revealed marked dysregulation of the immune system in severe cases of human coronavirus infection, and there is ample evidence that aberrant immune responses to human coronaviruses are typified by impaired induction of interferons, exuberant inflammatory responses and delayed adaptive immune responses. In addition, various viral proteins have been shown to impair interferon induction and signalling and to induce inflammasome activation. This suggests that severe disease associated with human coronaviruses is mediated by both dysregulated host immune responses and active viral interference. Here we discuss our current understanding of the mechanisms involved in each of these scenarios.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Abumalloh RA, Nilashi M, Yousoof Ismail M, et al (2021)

Medical image processing and COVID-19: A literature review and bibliometric analysis.

Journal of infection and public health pii:S1876-0341(21)00377-4 [Epub ahead of print].

COVID-19 crisis has placed medical systems over the world under unprecedented and growing pressure. Medical imaging processing can help in the diagnosis, treatment, and early detection of diseases. It has been considered as one of the modern technologies applied to fight against the COVID-19 crisis. Although several artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning techniques have been deployed in medical image processing in the context of COVID-19 disease, there is a lack of research considering systematic literature review and categorization of published studies in this field. A systematic review locates, assesses, and interprets research outcomes to address a predetermined research goal to present evidence-based practical and theoretical insights. The main goal of this study is to present a literature review of the deployed methods of medical image processing in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. With this in mind, the studies available in reliable databases were retrieved, studied, evaluated, and synthesized. Based on the in-depth review of literature, this study structured a conceptual map that outlined three multi-layered folds: data gathering and description, main steps of image processing, and evaluation metrics. The main research themes were elaborated in each fold, allowing the authors to recommend upcoming research paths for scholars. The outcomes of this review highlighted that several methods have been adopted to classify the images related to the diagnosis and detection of COVID-19. The adopted methods have presented promising outcomes in terms of accuracy, cost, and detection speed.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Mengist HM, Kombe Kombe AJ, Mekonnen D, et al (2021)

Mutations of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein: Implications on immune evasion and vaccine-induced immunity.

Seminars in immunology pii:S1044-5323(21)00064-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Responsible for more than 4.9 million deaths so far, COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is instigating devastating effects on the global health care system whose impacts could be longer for the years to come. Acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of host-virus interaction is critical for designing effective vaccines and/or drugs. Understanding the evolution of the virus and the impact of genetic variability on host immune evasion and vaccine efficacy is helpful to design novel strategies to minimize the effects of the emerging variants of concern (VOC). Most vaccines under development and/or in current use target the spike protein owning to its unique function of host receptor binding, relatively conserved nature, potent immunogenicity in inducing neutralizing antibodies, and being a good target of T cell responses. However, emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains are exhibiting variability on the spike protein which could affect the efficacy of vaccines and antibody-based therapies in addition to enhancing viral immune evasion mechanisms. Currently, the degree to which mutations on the spike protein affect immunity and vaccination, and the ability of the current vaccines to confer protection against the emerging variants attracts much attention. This review discusses the implications of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mutations on immune evasion and vaccine-induced immunity and forward directions which could contribute to future studies focusing on designing effective vaccines and/or immunotherapies to consider viral evolution. Combining vaccines derived from different regions of the spike protein that boost both the humoral and cellular wings of adaptive immunity could be the best options to cope with the emerging VOC.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kan WL, Cheung Tung Shing KS, Nero TL, et al (2021)

Messing with βc: A unique receptor with many goals.

Seminars in immunology pii:S1044-5323(21)00044-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Our understanding of the biological role of the βc family of cytokines has evolved enormously since their initial identification as bone marrow colony stimulating factors in the 1960's. It has become abundantly clear over the intervening decades that this family of cytokines has truly astonishing pleiotropic capacity, capable of regulating not only hematopoiesis but also many other normal and pathological processes such as development, inflammation, allergy and cancer. As noted in the current pandemic, βc cytokines contribute to the cytokine storm seen in acutely ill COVID-19 patients. Ongoing studies to discover how these cytokines activate their receptor are revealing insights into the fundamental mechanisms that give rise to cytokine pleiotropy and are providing tantalizing glimpses of how discrete signaling pathways may be dissected for activation with novel ligands for therapeutic benefit.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Alam MS, DM Czajkowsky (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 infection and oxidative stress: Pathophysiological insight into thrombosis and therapeutic opportunities.

Cytokine & growth factor reviews pii:S1359-6101(21)00080-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to global health. Although the majority of COVID-19 patients exhibit mild-to-no symptoms, many patients develop severe disease and need immediate hospitalization, with most severe infections associated with a dysregulated immune response attributed to a cytokine storm. Epidemiological studies suggest that overall COVID-19 severity and morbidity correlate with underlying comorbidities, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and immunosuppressive conditions. Patients with such comorbidities exhibit elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress caused by an increased accumulation of angiotensin II and by activation of the NADPH oxidase pathway. Moreover, accumulating evidence suggests that oxidative stress coupled with the cytokine storm contribute to COVID-19 pathogenesis and immunopathogenesis by causing endotheliitis and endothelial cell dysfunction and by activating the blood clotting cascade that results in blood coagulation and microvascular thrombosis. In this review, we survey the mechanisms of how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces oxidative stress and the consequences of this stress on patient health. We further shed light on aspects of the host immunity that are crucial to prevent the disease during the early phase of infection. A better understanding of the disease pathophysiology as well as preventive measures aimed at lowering ROS levels may pave the way to mitigate SARS-CoV-2-induced complications and decrease mortality.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Lim J, Lee SA, Khil EK, et al (2021)

COVID-19 vaccine-related axillary lymphadenopathy in breast cancer patients: Case series with a review of literature.

Seminars in oncology pii:S0093-7754(21)00069-5 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Lymphadenopathy (LAP) after COVID-19 vaccination in patients with a diagnosis of cancer has been challenging. We analyzed imaging and clinical features from early cases of axillary LAP in six COVID-19 vaccine recipients with a history of breast cancer.

METHOD: Among the patients with a history of breast cancer and recent COVID-19 vaccine administration, six patients who showed isolated axillary LAP were gathered. Radiologic features were reviewed from breast ultrasound, chest computed tomography, and breast magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical and pathological information were obtained for analysis.

RESULTS: The interval between ultrasound detection of LAP and last COVID-19 vaccine administration ranged from 14 to 28 days (mean 21.67 days). Round shape of the lymph node and irregular cortex were noted in 2 and 0 cases, respectively. Mean maximum cortical thickness, length to width ratio and interval aggravation in maximum cortical thickening were 4.2 mm, 1.34, and 2.81-fold with cut-off value of 3 mm, 1.5, 2.0-fold, respectively.

CONCLUSION: We observed axillary LAP ipsilateral to a recent vaccine administration persisting longer than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced. In our patients, COVID-19 vaccine-related LAP tended to show increased cortical thickness without cortical irregularity. Oncologist as well as radiologist should be familiar with the fact that COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of vaccine type or dosage, can frequently cause ipsilateral axillary LAP, showing some suspicious features more often than others, and can persist longer than anticipated so that both over- and underdiagnosis can be avoided. We report our observations in six patients and provide an exhaustive review of the published literature.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Mirończuk-Chodakowska I, Kujawowicz K, AM Witkowska (2021)

Beta-Glucans from Fungi: Biological and Health-Promoting Potential in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era.

Nutrients, 13(11): pii:nu13113960.

Beta-glucans comprise a group of polysaccharides of natural origin found in bacteria, algae, and plants, e.g., cereal seeds, as well as microfungi and macrofungi (mushrooms), which are characterized by diverse structures and functions. They are known for their metabolic and immunomodulatory properties, including anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral. Recent reports suggest a potential of beta-glucans in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. In contrast to β-glucans from other sources, β-glucans from mushrooms are characterized by β-1,3-glucans with short β-1,6-side chains. This structure is recognized by receptors located on the surface of immune cells; thus, mushroom β-glucans have specific immunomodulatory properties and gained BRM (biological response modifier) status. Moreover, mushroom beta-glucans also owe their properties to the formation of triple helix conformation, which is one of the key factors influencing the bioactivity of mushroom beta-glucans. This review summarizes the latest findings on biological and health-promoting potential of mushroom beta-glucans for the treatment of civilization and viral diseases, with particular emphasis on COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Adebayo A, Varzideh F, Wilson S, et al (2021)

l-Arginine and COVID-19: An Update.

Nutrients, 13(11): pii:nu13113951.

l-Arginine is involved in many different biological processes and recent reports indicate that it could also play a crucial role in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Herein, we present an updated systematic overview of the current evidence on the functional contribution of L-Arginine in COVID-19, describing its actions on endothelial cells and the immune system and discussing its potential as a therapeutic tool, emerged from recent clinical experimentations.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Calcaterra V, Verduci E, Vandoni M, et al (2021)

Telehealth: A Useful Tool for the Management of Nutrition and Exercise Programs in Pediatric Obesity in the COVID-19 Era.

Nutrients, 13(11): pii:nu13113689.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the implementation of policies that mandate various restrictions on daily life, including social distancing, the closure of public services and schools, and movement limitations. Even though these restrictive measures decreased the COVID-19 spread, they may have detrimental effects on various lifestyle components such as physical inactivity, sedentary behavior, and dietary habits, influencing the maintenance of weight and contributing to obesity among children and adolescents. The coexistence of childhood obesity and COVID-19 and changes in the bioecological environment have put children and adolescents at increased risk for developing obesity and exacerbating the severity of this disorder. The use of telehealth technology is a modern approach useful for the delivery of health care services by health care professionals, where distance is a critical factor. Telehealth is effective in promoting increased self-monitoring and behavioral change, and provides the opportunity to perform online nutritional support and exercise training programs to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce sedentary behaviors in children and adolescents. Telehealth, including tele-exercise and tele-nutrition, has the potential to address many of the key challenges in providing health services, including in patients with obesity during the COVID-19 outbreak. This narrative review aims to describe the role of telehealth as an opportunity in the management of pediatric obesity in the COVID-19 era, and to deliver nutrition and exercise programs for the maintenance of health.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Chue-Gonçalves M, Pereira GN, Faccin-Galhardi LC, et al (2021)

Metal Nanoparticles against Viruses: Possibilities to Fight SARS-CoV-2.

Nanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:nano11113118.

In view of the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak, the research community is focusing on development of diagnostics, treatment, and vaccines to halt or reverse this scenario. Although there are already various vaccines available, adaptive mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome can alter its pathogenic potential and, at the same time, increase the difficulty of developing drugs or immunization by vaccines. Nanotechnology carries a potential to act in all stages in fighting this viral disease, with several possibilities of strategies such as applying nanoparticles directly as antivirals in delivery systems against these viruses or incorporating them in materials, with power of achievement in therapeutics, vaccines and prevention. In this paper, we review and bring insights of recent studies using metal nanocomposites as antivirals against coronavirus and structurally similar viruses.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Butera A, Maiorani C, Morandini A, et al (2021)

Assessment of Oral Microbiome Changes in Healthy and COVID-19-Affected Pregnant Women: A Narrative Review.

Microorganisms, 9(11): pii:microorganisms9112385.

During pregnancy, there are several metabolic changes and an alteration in the composition of microorganisms that inhabit the oral cavity, with an increase in pathogenic bacteria that promote the onset of gingival diseases. This review is based on research in reference to the PICO model (Problem/Intervention/Comparison/Outcome), related to changes in the oral microbiome of pregnant women and possible oral consequences in patients with COVID-19. The results showed a growth of some pathogenic bacteria in pregnant women, including Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Fusobacterium nucleatum, and the selective growth of the Prevotella intermedia, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella species, probably due to the fact that these bacteria use progesterone as a source of nutrition. These same bacteria are implicated in the development of periodontal disease. Periodontal pockets have bidirectional interactions between the oral cavity and the systemic circulatory system through the peripheral gingival blood vessels. The affinity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to specific membrane receptors is now clear, and could involve the internal and external epithelial lining or the fibroblasts of the periodontal ligament. According to the results of the present review, the control of oral microbiome changes during pregnancy would be welcomed. The use of probiotics could help clinicians manage pregnant patients, reducing inflammatory indexes. Future studies should focus not only on changes in the level of the oral microbiome in pregnancy or the correlation between periodontal disease and COVID-19, but also on oral changes induced by both clinical situations.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kasti AN, Synodinou KD, Pyrousis IA, et al (2021)

Probiotics Regulating Inflammation via NLRP3 Inflammasome Modulation: A Potential Therapeutic Approach for COVID-19.

Microorganisms, 9(11): pii:microorganisms9112376.

Inflammasomes are cytoplasmic multiprotein complexes formed by the host's immune system as a response to microbial infection and cellular damage. Many studies have revealed various regulators of NOD-, LRR-, and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation, while it has been recently shown that NLRP3 is implicated in COVID-19 pathogenesis. At the same time, probiotics counteract the inflammatory process and modulate cytokine release, thus influencing both innate and adaptive immune systems. Herein, we review the immunomodulatory potential of probiotics on the assembly of NLRP3 inflammasome, as well as the pathophysiological mechanisms supporting the use of probiotic bacteria for SARS-CoV-2 infection management, presenting evidence from preclinical studies of the last decade: in vivo, ex vivo, and mixed trials. Data show that probiotics intake is related to NLRP3 inflammasome attenuation and lower levels of inflammation markers, highlighting the beneficial effects of probiotics on inflammatory conditions. Currently, none of the ongoing clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of probiotics intake in humans with COVID-19 has been completed. However, evidence from preclinical studies indicates that probiotics may block virus invasion and replication through their metabolites, bacteriocins, and their ability to block Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), and by stimulating the immune response through NLRP3 inflammasome regulation. In this review, the beneficial effects of probiotics in the inflammatory process through NLRP3 inflammasome attenuation are presented. Furthermore, probiotics may target SARS-CoV-2 both by blocking virus invasion and replication and by stimulating the immune response through NLRP3 inflammasome regulation. Heterogeneity of the results-due to, among others, different bacterial strains and their metabolites, forms, dosage, and experimental designs-indicates the need for more extensive research.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kountouras J, Papaefthymiou A, Polyzos SA, et al (2021)

Impact of Helicobacter pylori-Related Metabolic Syndrome Parameters on Arterial Hypertension.

Microorganisms, 9(11): pii:microorganisms9112351.

Arterial hypertension is a risk factor for several pathologies, mainly including cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, which rank as leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Arterial hypertension also constitutes a fundamental component of the metabolic syndrome. Helicobacter pylori infection is one of the most common types of chronic infection globally and displays a plethora of both gastric and extragastric effects. Among other entities, Helicobacter pylori has been implicated in the pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome. Within this review, we illustrate the current state-of-the-art evidence, which may link several components of the Helicobacter pylori-related metabolic syndrome, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and arterial hypertension. In particular, current knowledge of how Helicobacter pylori exerts its virulence through dietary, inflammatory and metabolic pathways will be discussed. Although there is still no causative link between these entities, the emerging evidence from both basic and clinical research supports the proposal that several components of the Helicobacter pylori infection-related metabolic syndrome present an important risk factor in the development of arterial hypertension. The triad of Helicobacter pylori infection, the metabolic syndrome, and hypertension represents a crucial worldwide health problem on a pandemic scale with high morbidity and mortality, like COVID-19, thereby requiring awareness and appropriate management on a global scale.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Karrow NA, Shandilya UK, Pelech S, et al (2021)

Maternal COVID-19 Vaccination and Its Potential Impact on Fetal and Neonatal Development.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111351.

Vaccines have been developed at "warp speed" to combat the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Although they are considered the best approach for preventing mortality, when assessing the safety of these vaccines, pregnant women have not been included in clinical trials. Thus, vaccine safety for this demographic, as well as for the developing fetus and neonate, remains to be determined. A global effort has been underway to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated despite the uncertain risk posed to them and their offspring. Given this, post-hoc data collection, potentially for years, will be required to determine the outcomes of COVID-19 and vaccination on the next generation. Most COVID-19 vaccine reactions include injection site erythema, pain, swelling, fatigue, headache, fever and lymphadenopathy, which may be sufficient to affect fetal/neonatal development. In this review, we have explored components of the first-generation viral vector and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines that are believed to contribute to adverse reactions and which may negatively impact fetal and neonatal development. We have followed this with a discussion of the potential for using an ovine model to explore the long-term outcomes of COVID-19 vaccination during the prenatal and neonatal periods.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Machado BAS, Hodel KVS, Fonseca LMDS, et al (2021)

The Importance of RNA-Based Vaccines in the Fight against COVID-19: An Overview.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111345.

In recent years, vaccine development using ribonucleic acid (RNA) has become the most promising and studied approach to produce safe and effective new vaccines, not only for prophylaxis but also as a treatment. The use of messenger RNA (mRNA) as an immunogenic has several advantages to vaccine development compared to other platforms, such as lower coast, the absence of cell cultures, and the possibility to combine different targets. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of mRNA as a vaccine became more relevant; two out of the four most widely applied vaccines against COVID-19 in the world are based on this platform. However, even though it presents advantages for vaccine application, mRNA technology faces several pivotal challenges to improve mRNA stability, delivery, and the potential to generate the related protein needed to induce a humoral- and T-cell-mediated immune response. The application of mRNA to vaccine development emerged as a powerful tool to fight against cancer and non-infectious and infectious diseases, for example, and represents a relevant research field for future decades. Based on these advantages, this review emphasizes mRNA and self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) for vaccine development, mainly to fight against COVID-19, together with the challenges related to this approach.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Heidari S, Palmer-Ross A, T Goodman (2021)

A Systematic Review of the Sex and Gender Reporting in COVID-19 Clinical Trials.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111322.

Sex and gender have implications for COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and adverse effects from the vaccine. As vaccination is one of the key responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that sex and gender differences be acknowledged, measured, and analysed in clinical research. Here, we systematically review published COVID-19 vaccine trials, both interventional and observational, to assess the quality of reporting of sex and gender. Of the 75 clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccines included in this review, only 24% presented their main outcome data disaggregated by sex, and only 13% included any discussion of the implications of their study for women and men. Considering the sex differences in adverse events after vaccination, and the gendered aspects of vaccine hesitancy, these oversights in clinical research on vaccines have implications for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and for wider public health.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Al-Karmalawy AA, Soltane R, Abo Elmaaty A, et al (2021)

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Control between Drug Repurposing and Vaccination: A Comprehensive Overview.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111317.

Respiratory viruses represent a major public health concern, as they are highly mutated, resulting in new strains emerging with high pathogenicity. Currently, the world is suffering from the newly evolving severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This virus is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a mild-to-severe respiratory tract infection with frequent ability to give rise to fatal pneumonia in humans. The overwhelming outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 continues to unfold all over the world, urging scientists to put an end to this global pandemic through biological and pharmaceutical interventions. Currently, there is no specific treatment option that is capable of COVID-19 pandemic eradication, so several repurposed drugs and newly conditionally approved vaccines are in use and heavily applied to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence of new variants of the virus that partially or totally escape from the immune response elicited by the approved vaccines requires continuous monitoring of the emerging variants to update the content of the developed vaccines or modify them totally to match the new variants. Herein, we discuss the potential therapeutic and prophylactic interventions including repurposed drugs and the newly developed/approved vaccines, highlighting the impact of virus evolution on the immune evasion of the virus from currently licensed vaccines for COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Hayawi K, Shahriar S, Serhani MA, et al (2021)

Vaccine versus Variants (3Vs): Are the COVID-19 Vaccines Effective against the Variants? A Systematic Review.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111305.

BACKGROUND: With the emergence and spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, concerns are raised about the effectiveness of the existing vaccines to protect against these new variants. Although many vaccines were found to be highly effective against the reference COVID-19 strain, the same level of protection may not be found against mutation strains. The objective of this study is to systematically review relevant studies in the literature and compare the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against new variants.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of research published in Scopus, PubMed, and Google Scholar until 30 August 2021. Studies including clinical trials, prospective cohorts, retrospective cohorts, and test negative case-controls that reported vaccine effectiveness against any COVID-19 variants were considered. PRISMA recommendations were adopted for screening, eligibility, and inclusion.

RESULTS: 129 unique studies were reviewed by the search criteria, of which 35 met the inclusion criteria. These comprised of 13 test negative case-control studies, 6 Phase 1-3 clinical trials, and 16 observational studies. The study location, type, vaccines used, variants considered, and reported efficacies were highlighted.

CONCLUSION: Full vaccination (two doses) offers strong protection against Alpha (B.1.1.7) with 13 out of 15 studies reporting more than 84% efficacy. The results are not conclusive against the Beta (B.1.351) variant for fully vaccinated individuals with 4 out of 7 studies reporting efficacies between 22 and 60% and 3 out of 7 studies reporting efficacies between 75 and 100%. Protection against Gamma (P.1) variant was lower than 50% according to two studies in fully vaccinated individuals. The data on Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is limited but indicates lower protection compared to other variants.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Alcendor DJ (2021)

Targeting COVID Vaccine Hesitancy in Rural Communities in Tennessee: Implications for Extending the COVID-19 Pandemic in the South.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111279.

Approximately 40% of Tennesseans are vaccinated fully, due mainly to higher vaccination levels within urban counties. Significantly lower rates are observed in rural counties. Surveys suggest COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is entrenched mostly among individuals identifying as white, rural, Republican, and evangelical Christian. Rural counties represent 70 of the total 95 counties in Tennessee, and vaccine hesitancy signifies an immediate public health crisis likely to extend the COVID-19 pandemic. Tennessee is a microcosm of the pandemic's condition in the Southern U.S. Unvaccinated communities are the greatest contributors of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Rural Tennesseans have a long history of cultural conservatism, poor health literacy, and distrust of government and medical establishments and are more susceptible to misinformation and conspiracy theories. Development of novel strategies to increase vaccine acceptance is essential. Here, I examine the basis of COVID-19 following SARS-CoV-2 infection and summarize the pandemic's extent in the South, current vaccination rates and efforts across Tennessee, and underlying factors contributing to vaccine hesitancy. Finally, I discuss specific strategies to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. We must develop novel strategies that go beyond financial incentives, proven ineffective toward vaccinations. Successful strategies for vaccine acceptance of rural Tennesseans could increase acceptance among unvaccinated rural U.S. populations.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Wu HHL, Kalra PA, R Chinnadurai (2021)

New-Onset and Relapsed Kidney Histopathology Following COVID-19 Vaccination: A Systematic Review.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111252.

INTRODUCTION: The introduction of COVID-19 vaccination programs has become an integral part of the major strategy to reduce COVID-19 numbers worldwide. New-onset and relapsed kidney histopathology have been reported following COVID-19 vaccination, sparking debate on whether there are causal associations. How these vaccines achieve an immune response to COVID-19 and the mechanism that this triggers kidney pathology remains unestablished. We describe the results of a systematic review for new-onset and relapsed kidney histopathology following COVID-19 vaccination.

METHODS: A systematic literature search of published data up until 31 August 2021 was completed through the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses (PRISMA) guideline. Research articles reporting new onset or relapsed kidney histopathology in adult patients (>18 years) following COVID-19 vaccination were included for qualitative review. Only full-text articles published in the English language were selected for review.

RESULTS: Forty-eight cases from thirty-six articles were included in the qualitative synthesis of this systematic review. Minimal change disease (19 cases) was the most frequent pathology observed, followed by IgA nephropathy (14 cases) and vasculitis (10 cases). Other cases include relapse of membranous nephropathy, acute rejection of kidney transplant, relapse of IgG4 nephritis, new-onset renal thrombotic microangiopathy, and scleroderma renal crisis following COVID-19 vaccination. There was no mortality reported in any of the included cases. Patients in all but one case largely recovered and did not require long-term renal replacement therapy.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review provides insight into the relationship between various kidney pathologies that may have followed COVID-19 vaccination. Despite these reported cases, the protective benefits offered by COVID-19 vaccination far outweigh its risks. It would be recommended to consider early biopsy to identify histopathology amongst patients presenting with symptoms relating to new-onset kidney disease following vaccination and to monitor symptoms for those with potential relapsed disease.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Biswas MR, Alzubaidi MS, Shah U, et al (2021)

A Scoping Review to Find Out Worldwide COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Its Underlying Determinants.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111243.

BACKGROUND: The current crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic is impacting all facets of life. Coronavirus vaccines have been developed to prevent coronavirus infection and fight the pandemic. Since vaccines might be the only way to prevent and stop the spread of coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already approved several vaccines, and many countries have started vaccinating people. Misperceptions about vaccines persist despite the evidence of vaccine safety and efficacy.

OBJECTIVES: To explore the scientific literature and find the determinants for worldwide COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy as reported in the literature.

METHODS: PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guidelines were followed to conduct a scoping review of literature on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and willingness to vaccinate. Several databases (e.g., MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Google Scholar) were searched to find relevant articles. Intervention- (i.e., COVID-19 vaccine) and outcome- (i.e., hesitancy) related terms were used to search in these databases. The search was conducted on 22 February 2021. Both forward and backward reference lists were checked to find further studies. Three reviewers worked independently to select articles and extract data from selected literature. Studies that used a quantitative survey to measure COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and acceptance were included in this review. The extracted data were synthesized following the narrative approach and results were represented graphically with appropriate figures and tables.

RESULTS: 82 studies were included in this scoping review of 882 identified from our search. Sometimes, several studies had been performed in the same country, and it was observed that vaccine hesitancy was high earlier and decreased over time with the hope of vaccine efficacy. People in different countries had varying percentages of vaccine uptake (28-86.1%), vaccine hesitancy (10-57.8%), vaccine refusal (0-24%). The most common determinants affecting vaccination intention include vaccine efficacy, vaccine side effects, mistrust in healthcare, religious beliefs, and trust in information sources. Additionally, vaccination intentions are influenced by demographic factors such as age, gender, education, and region.

CONCLUSIONS: The underlying factors of vaccine hesitancy are complex and context-specific, varying across time and socio-demographic variables. Vaccine hesitancy can also be influenced by other factors such as health inequalities, socioeconomic disadvantages, systemic racism, and level of exposure to misinformation online, with some factors being more dominant in certain countries than others. Therefore, strategies tailored to cultures and socio-psychological factors need to be developed to reduce vaccine hesitancy and aid informed decision-making.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Karimabad MN, Kounis NG, Hassanshahi G, et al (2021)

The Involvement of CXC Motif Chemokine Ligand 10 (CXCL10) and Its Related Chemokines in the Pathogenesis of Coronary Artery Disease and in the COVID-19 Vaccination: A Narrative Review.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111224.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) constitute two of the leading causes of death in Europe, USA and the rest of the world. According to the latest reports of the Iranian National Health Ministry, CAD is the main cause of death in Iranian patients with an age over 35 years despite a significant reduction in mortality due to early interventional treatments in the context of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Inflammation plays a fundamental role in coronary atherogenesis, atherosclerotic plaque formation, acute coronary thrombosis and CAD establishment. Chemokines are well-recognized mediators of inflammation involved in several bio-functions such as leucocyte migration in response to inflammatory signals and oxidative vascular injury. Different chemokines serve as chemo-attractants for a wide variety of cell types including immune cells. CXC motif chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10), also known as interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-10/CXLC10), is a chemokine with inflammatory features whereas CXC chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3) serves as a shared receptor for CXCL9, 10 and 11. These chemokines mediate immune responses through the activation and recruitment of leukocytes, eosinophils, monocytes and natural killer (NK) cells. CXCL10, interleukin (IL-15) and interferon (IFN-g) are increased after a COVID-19 vaccination with a BNT162b2 mRNA (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccine and are enriched by tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and IL-6 after the second vaccination. The aim of the present study is the presentation of the elucidation of the crucial role of CXCL10 in the patho-physiology and pathogenesis of CAD and in identifying markers associated with the vaccination resulting in antibody development.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Abdelzaher HM, Gabr AS, Saleh BM, et al (2021)

RNA Vaccines against Infectious Diseases: Vital Progress with Room for Improvement.

Vaccines, 9(11): pii:vaccines9111211.

mRNA vaccines have amassed a strong interest from scientists and nonscientists alike for their potential in treating cancer and curbing the spread of infectious diseases. Their success has been bolstered by the COVID-19 pandemic as mRNA vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus showed unrivaled efficiency and success. The strategy relies on the delivery of an RNA transcript that carries the sequence of an antigenic molecule into the body's cells where the antigen is manufactured. The lack of use of infectious pathogens and the fact that they are made of nucleic acids render these vaccines a favorable alternative to other vaccination modalities. However, mRNA vaccination still suffers from a great deal of hurdles starting from their safety, cellular delivery, uptake and response to their manufacturing, logistics and storage. In this review, we examine the premise of RNA vaccination starting from their conceptualization to their clinical applications. We also thoroughly discuss the advances in the field of RNA vaccination for infectious diseases. Finally, we discuss the challenges impeding their progress and shed light on potential areas of research in the field.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kayesh MEH, Kohara M, K Tsukiyama-Kohara (2021)

An Overview of Recent Insights into the Response of TLR to SARS-CoV-2 Infection and the Potential of TLR Agonists as SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Adjuvants.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112302.

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a global health pandemic causing millions of deaths worldwide. However, the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19, particularly the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host innate immunity, remains unclear. The innate immune system acts as the first line of host defense, which is critical for the initial detection of invading pathogens and the activation and shaping of adaptive immunity. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are key sensors of innate immunity that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns and activate downstream signaling for pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine production. However, TLRs may also act as a double-edged sword, and dysregulated TLR responses may enhance immune-mediated pathology, instead of providing protection. Therefore, a proper understanding of the interaction between TLRs and SARS-CoV-2 is of great importance for devising therapeutic and preventive strategies. The use of TLR agonists as vaccine adjuvants for human disease is a promising approach that could be applied in the investigation of COVID-19 vaccines. In this review, we discuss the recent progress in our understanding of host innate immune responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection, with particular focus on TLR response. In addition, we discuss the use of TLR agonists as vaccine adjuvants in enhancing the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Rudroff T, Workman CD, LLB Ponto (2021)

18F-FDG-PET Imaging for Post-COVID-19 Brain and Skeletal Muscle Alterations.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112283.

Scientific evidence concerning the subacute and long-term effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is on the rise. It has been established that infection by serious acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a systemic process that involves multiple organs. The complications and long-term consequences of COVID-19 are diverse and patients need a multidisciplinary treatment approach in the acute and post-acute stages of the disease. A significant proportion of COVID-19 patients experience neurological manifestations, some enduring for several months post-recovery. However, brain and skeletal muscle changes resultant from SARS CoV-2 infection remain largely unknown. Here, we provide a brief overview of the current knowledge, and usefulness, of [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG-PET/CT) to investigate brain and skeletal muscles changes in Post-COVID-19 patients with persistent symptoms. Furthermore, a brief discussion of future 18F-FDG-PET/CT applications that might advance the current knowledge of the pathogenesis of post-COVID-19 is also provided.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Chulanov V, Kostyusheva A, Brezgin S, et al (2021)

CRISPR Screening: Molecular Tools for Studying Virus-Host Interactions.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112258.

CRISPR/Cas is a powerful tool for studying the role of genes in viral infections. The invention of CRISPR screening technologies has made it possible to untangle complex interactions between the host and viral agents. Moreover, whole-genome and pathway-specific CRISPR screens have facilitated identification of novel drug candidates for treating viral infections. In this review, we highlight recent developments in the fields of CRISPR/Cas with a focus on the use of CRISPR screens for studying viral infections and identifying new candidate genes to aid development of antivirals.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Beran J, Špajdel M, J Slíva (2021)

Inosine Pranobex Deserves Attention as a Potential Immunomodulator to Achieve Early Alteration of the COVID-19 Disease Course.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112246.

Since its licensing in 1971, the synthetic compound inosine pranobex has been effectively combating viral infections, including herpes zoster, varicella, measles, and infections caused by the herpes simplex virus, human papillomavirus, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and respiratory viruses. With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, new and existing drugs have been intensively evaluated for their potential as COVID-19 medication. Due to its potent immunomodulatory properties, inosine pranobex, an orally administered drug with pleiotropic effects, can, during early treatment, alter the course of the disease. We describe the action of inosine pranobex in the body and give an overview of existing evidence collected to support further efforts to study this drug in a rigorous clinical trial setup.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Feng F, Chen J, Zhao J, et al (2021)

Killing Two Birds with One Stone by Administration of Soluble ACE2: A Promising Strategy to Treat Both Cardiovascular Diseases and SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112243.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enters host cells mainly by the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which can recognize the spike (S) protein by its extracellular domain. Previously, recombinant soluble ACE2 (sACE2) has been clinically used as a therapeutic treatment for cardiovascular diseases. Recent data demonstrated that sACE2 can also be exploited as a decoy to effectively inhibit the cell entry of SARS-CoV-2, through blocking SARS-CoV-2 binding to membrane-anchored ACE2. In this study, we summarized the current findings on the optimized sACE2-based strategies as a therapeutic agent, including Fc fusion to prolong the half-life of sACE2, deep mutagenesis to create high-affinity decoys for SARS-CoV-2, or designing the truncated functional fragments to enhance its safety, among others. Considering that COVID-19 patients are often accompanied by manifestations of cardiovascular complications, we think that administration of sACE2 in COVID-19 patients may be a promising therapeutic strategy to simultaneously treat both cardiovascular diseases and SARS-CoV-2 infection. This review would provide insights for the development of novel therapeutic agents against the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Liang F, Y Wang (2021)

COVID-19 Anosmia: High Prevalence, Plural Neuropathogenic Mechanisms, and Scarce Neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2?.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112225.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative pathogen of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is known as a respiratory virus, but SARS-CoV-2 appears equally, or even more, infectious for the olfactory epithelium (OE) than for the respiratory epithelium in the nasal cavity. In light of the small area of the OE relative to the respiratory epithelium, the high prevalence of olfactory dysfunctions (ODs) in COVID-19 has been bewildering and has attracted much attention. This review aims to first examine the cytological and molecular biological characteristics of the OE, especially the microvillous apical surfaces of sustentacular cells and the abundant SARS-CoV-2 receptor molecules thereof, that may underlie the high susceptibility of this neuroepithelium to SARS-CoV-2 infection and damages. The possibility of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism, or the lack of it, is then analyzed with regard to the expression of the receptor (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) or priming protease (transmembrane serine protease 2), and cellular targets of infection. Neuropathology of COVID-19 in the OE, olfactory bulb, and other related neural structures are also reviewed. Toward the end, we present our perspectives regarding possible mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 neuropathogenesis and ODs, in the absence of substantial viral infection of neurons. Plausible causes for persistent ODs in some COVID-19 convalescents are also examined.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Tang Q, Owens RJ, JH Naismith (2021)

Structural Biology of Nanobodies against the Spike Protein of SARS-CoV-2.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112214.

Nanobodies are 130 amino acid single-domain antibodies (VHH) derived from the unique heavy-chain-only subclass of Camelid immunogloblins. Their small molecular size, facile expression, high affinity and stability have combined to make them unique targeting reagents with numerous applications in the biomedical sciences. The first nanobody agent has now entered the clinic as a treatment against a blood disorder. The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has seen the global scientific endeavour work to accelerate the development of technologies to try to defeat a pandemic that has now killed over four million people. In a remarkably short period of time, multiple studies have reported nanobodies directed against the viral Spike protein. Several agents have been tested in culture and demonstrate potent neutralisation of the virus or pseudovirus. A few agents have completed animal trials with very encouraging results showing their potential for treating infection. Here, we discuss the structural features that guide the nanobody recognition of the receptor binding domain of the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Wong ACP, Lau SKP, PCY Woo (2021)

Interspecies Jumping of Bat Coronaviruses.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112188.

In the last two decades, several coronavirus (CoV) interspecies jumping events have occurred between bats and other animals/humans, leading to major epidemics/pandemics and high fatalities. The SARS epidemic in 2002/2003 had a ~10% fatality. The discovery of SARS-related CoVs in horseshoe bats and civets and genomic studies have confirmed bat-to-civet-to-human transmission. The MERS epidemic that emerged in 2012 had a ~35% mortality, with dromedaries as the reservoir. Although CoVs with the same genome organization (e.g., Tylonycteris BatCoV HKU4 and Pipistrellus BatCoV HKU5) were also detected in bats, there is still a phylogenetic gap between these bat CoVs and MERS-CoV. In 2016, 10 years after the discovery of Rhinolophus BatCoV HKU2 in Chinese horseshoe bats, fatal swine disease outbreaks caused by this virus were reported in southern China. In late 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia emerged in Wuhan, China, and rapidly spread globally, leading to >4,000,000 fatalities so far. Although the genome of SARS-CoV-2 is highly similar to that of SARS-CoV, patient zero and the original source of the pandemic are still unknown. To protect humans from future public health threats, measures should be taken to monitor and reduce the chance of interspecies jumping events, either occurring naturally or through recombineering experiments.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Rahman A, Kuddus MA, Ip RHL, et al (2021)

A Review of COVID-19 Modelling Strategies in Three Countries to Develop a Research Framework for Regional Areas.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112185.

At the end of December 2019, an outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in Wuhan city, China. Modelling plays a crucial role in developing a strategy to prevent a disease outbreak from spreading around the globe. Models have contributed to the perspicacity of epidemiological variations between and within nations and the planning of desired control strategies. In this paper, a literature review was conducted to summarise knowledge about COVID-19 disease modelling in three countries-China, the UK and Australia-to develop a robust research framework for the regional areas that are urban and rural health districts of New South Wales, Australia. In different aspects of modelling, summarising disease and intervention strategies can help policymakers control the outbreak of COVID-19 and may motivate modelling disease-related research at a finer level of regional geospatial scales in the future.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Gargan S, NJ Stevenson (2021)

Unravelling the Immunomodulatory Effects of Viral Ion Channels, towards the Treatment of Disease.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112165.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the research community to develop a better understanding of viruses, in particular their modes of infection and replicative lifecycles, to aid in the development of novel vaccines and much needed anti-viral therapeutics. Several viruses express proteins capable of forming pores in host cellular membranes, termed "Viroporins". They are a family of small hydrophobic proteins, with at least one amphipathic domain, which characteristically form oligomeric structures with central hydrophilic domains. Consequently, they can facilitate the transport of ions through the hydrophilic core. Viroporins localise to host membranes such as the endoplasmic reticulum and regulate ion homeostasis creating a favourable environment for viral infection. Viroporins also contribute to viral immune evasion via several mechanisms. Given that viroporins are often essential for virion assembly and egress, and as their structural features tend to be evolutionarily conserved, they are attractive targets for anti-viral therapeutics. This review discusses the current knowledge of several viroporins, namely Influenza A virus (IAV) M2, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-1 Viral protein U (Vpu), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) p7, Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-16 E5, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) Open Reading Frame (ORF)3a and Polyomavirus agnoprotein. We highlight the intricate but broad immunomodulatory effects of these viroporins and discuss the current antiviral therapies that target them; continually highlighting the need for future investigations to focus on novel therapeutics in the treatment of existing and future emergent viruses.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kirby EN, Shue B, Thomas PQ, et al (2021)

CRISPR Tackles Emerging Viral Pathogens.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112157.

Understanding the dynamic relationship between viral pathogens and cellular host factors is critical to furthering our knowledge of viral replication, disease mechanisms and development of anti-viral therapeutics. CRISPR genome editing technology has enhanced this understanding, by allowing identification of pro-viral and anti-viral cellular host factors for a wide range of viruses, most recently the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2. This review will discuss how CRISPR knockout and CRISPR activation genome-wide screening methods are a robust tool to investigate the viral life cycle and how other class 2 CRISPR systems are being repurposed for diagnostics.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Bitterman R, D Kumar (2021)

Respiratory Viruses in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112146.

Solid organ transplantation is often lifesaving, but does carry an increased risk of infection. Respiratory viral infections are one of the most prevalent infections, and are a cause of significant morbidity and mortality, especially among lung transplant recipients. There is also data to suggest an association with acute rejection and chronic lung allograft dysfunction in lung transplant recipients. Respiratory viral infections can appear at any time post-transplant and are usually acquired in the community. All respiratory viral infections share similar clinical manifestations and are all currently diagnosed using nucleic acid testing. Influenza has good treatment options and prevention strategies, although these are hampered by resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors and lower vaccine immunogenicity in the transplant population. Other respiratory viruses, unfortunately, have limited treatments and preventive methods. This review summarizes the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, therapies and preventive measures for clinically significant RNA and DNA respiratory viruses, with the exception of SARS-CoV-2. This area is fast evolving and hopefully the coming decades will bring us new antivirals, immunologic treatments and vaccines.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Jung HE, HK Lee (2021)

Current Understanding of the Innate Control of Toll-like Receptors in Response to SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112132.

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, threatens the entire world. It has affected every aspect of life and increased the burden on both healthcare and socioeconomic systems. Current studies have revealed that excessive inflammatory immune responses are responsible for the severity of COVID-19, which suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs may be promising therapeutic treatments. However, there are currently a limited number of approved therapeutics for COVID-19. Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which recognize microbial components derived from invading pathogens, are involved in both the initiation of innate responses against SARS-CoV-2 infection and the hyperinflammatory phenotype of COVID-19. In this review, we provide current knowledge on the pivotal role of TLRs in immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 infection and demonstrate the potential effectiveness of TLR-targeting drugs on the control of hyperinflammation in patients with COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Segala FV, Bavaro DF, Di Gennaro F, et al (2021)

Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic on Antimicrobial Resistance: A Literature Review.

Viruses, 13(11): pii:v13112110.

Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent threat to public health and global development; in this scenario, the SARS-CoV2 pandemic has caused a major disruption of healthcare systems and practices. A narrative review was conducted on articles focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on multidrug-resistant gram-negative, gram-positive bacteria, and fungi. We found that, worldwide, multiple studies reported an unexpected high incidence of infections due to methicillin-resistant S. aureus, carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and C. auris among COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit. In this setting, inappropriate antimicrobial exposure, environmental contamination, and discontinuation of infection control measures may have driven selection and diffusion of drug-resistant pathogens.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Pataka A, Kotoulas S, Sakka E, et al (2021)

Sleep Dysfunction in COVID-19 Patients: Prevalence, Risk Factors, Mechanisms, and Management.

Journal of personalized medicine, 11(11): pii:jpm11111203.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to establish the prevalence of sleep dysfunction and psychological distress, identify predisposing and protective factors, and explore effective management strategies remains an important priority. Evidence to date suggests that a considerable proportion of COVID-19 patients experience significant sleep disturbances (estimated to afflict up to 50-75%) as well as psychological distress such as depression, anxiety, and traumatic stress. Duration of hospitalization, pre-existing mental health concerns, lower absolute lymphocyte count, and increased neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio have been all associated with a greater risk of sleep dysfunction in infected and hospitalized patients. Furthermore, in this review, we discuss the link between sleep deprivation, susceptibility to viral infections, and psychosocial wellbeing in relevance to COVID-19 and summarize the existing evidence regarding the presence and role of sleep apnea in infected individuals. Finally, we highlight the importance of suitable interventions in order to prevent and manage sleep dysfunction and avoid long-term physical and psychological implications. Future research should aim to provide high-quality information including in high risk, underserved, or difficult to reach populations and on the long-term consequences and effectiveness of applied interventions.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kondili E, Makris D, Georgopoulos D, et al (2021)

COVID-19 ARDS: Points to Be Considered in Mechanical Ventilation and Weaning.

Journal of personalized medicine, 11(11): pii:jpm11111109.

The COVID-19 disease can cause hypoxemic respiratory failure due to ARDS, requiring invasive mechanical ventilation. Although early studies reported that COVID-19-associated ARDS has distinctive features from ARDS of other causes, recent observational studies have demonstrated that ARDS related to COVID-19 shares common clinical characteristics and respiratory system mechanics with ARDS of other origins. Therefore, mechanical ventilation in these patients should be based on strategies aiming to mitigate ventilator-induced lung injury. Assisted mechanical ventilation should be applied early in the course of mechanical ventilation by considering evaluation and minimizing factors associated with patient-inflicted lung injury. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation should be considered in selected patients with refractory hypoxia not responding to conventional ventilation strategies. This review highlights the current and evolving practice in managing mechanically ventilated patients with ARDS related to COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Fouka E, Kalomenidis I, Gianniou N, et al (2021)

COVID-19 Advanced Care.

Journal of personalized medicine, 11(11): pii:jpm11111082.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, related to the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused a worldwide sudden and substantial burden in public health due to an enormous increase in hospitalizations for pneumonia with the multiorgan disease. Treatment for individuals with COVID-19 includes best practices for supportive management of acute hypoxic respiratory failure. Emerging data indicate that dexamethasone therapy reduces 28-day mortality in patients requiring supplemental oxygen compared with usual care, and ongoing trials are testing the efficacy of antiviral therapies, immune modulators and anticoagulants in the prevention of disease progression and complications, while monoclonal antibodies and hyperimmune globulin may provide additional preventive strategies. Consensus suggestions can standardize care, thereby improving outcomes and facilitating future research. This review discusses current evidence regarding the pharmacotherapy of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Czyrski A, Resztak M, Świderski P, et al (2021)

The Overview on the Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Interactions of Triazoles.

Pharmaceutics, 13(11): pii:pharmaceutics13111961.

Second generation triazoles are widely used as first-line drugs for the treatment of invasive fungal infections, including aspergillosis and candidiasis. This class, along with itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, and isavuconazole, is characterized by a broad range of activity, however, individual drugs vary considerably in safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics profiles, and interactions with concomitant medications. The interaction may be encountered on the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (ADME) step. All triazoles as inhibitors or substrates of CYP isoenzymes can often interact with many drugs, which may result in the change of the activity of the drug and cause serious side effects. Drugs of this class should be used with caution with other agents, and an understanding of their pharmacokinetic profile, safety, and drug-drug interaction profiles is important to provide effective antifungal therapy. The manuscript reviews significant drug interactions of azoles with other medications, as well as with food. The PubMed and Google Scholar bases were searched to collect the literature data. The interactions with anticonvulsants, antibiotics, statins, kinase inhibitors, proton pump inhibitors, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, opioid analgesics, benzodiazepines, cardiac glycosides, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, antipsychotics, corticosteroids, biguanides, and anticoagulants are presented. We also paid attention to possible interactions with drugs during experimental therapies for the treatment of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Jannat K, Paul AK, Bondhon TA, et al (2021)

Nanotechnology Applications of Flavonoids for Viral Diseases.

Pharmaceutics, 13(11): pii:pharmaceutics13111895.

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of several viral diseases, including various zoonotic diseases such as the current pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Other viruses, which possess pandemic-causing potential include avian flu, Ebola, dengue, Zika, and Nipah virus, as well as the re-emergence of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronaviruses. Notably, effective drugs or vaccines against these viruses are still to be discovered. All the newly approved vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2-induced disease COVID-19 possess real-time possibility of becoming obsolete because of the development of 'variants of concern'. Flavonoids are being increasingly recognized as prophylactic and therapeutic agents against emerging and old viral diseases. Around 10,000 natural flavonoid compounds have been identified, being phytochemicals, all plant-based. Flavonoids have been reported to have lesser side effects than conventional anti-viral agents and are effective against more viral diseases than currently used anti-virals. Despite their abundance in plants, which are a part of human diet, flavonoids have the problem of low bioavailability. Various attempts are in progress to increase the bioavailability of flavonoids, one of the promising fields being nanotechnology. This review is a narrative of some anti-viral dietary flavonoids, their bioavailability, and various means with an emphasis on the nanotechnology system(s) being experimented with to deliver anti-viral flavonoids, whose systems show potential in the efficient delivery of flavonoids, resulting in increased bioavailability.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Saied EM, El-Maradny YA, Osman AA, et al (2021)

A Comprehensive Review about the Molecular Structure of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): Insights into Natural Products against COVID-19.

Pharmaceutics, 13(11): pii:pharmaceutics13111759.

In 2019, the world suffered from the emergence of COVID-19 infection, one of the most difficult pandemics in recent history. Millions of confirmed deaths from this pandemic have been reported worldwide. This disaster was caused by SARS-CoV-2, which is the last discovered member of the family of Coronaviridae. Various studies have shown that natural compounds have effective antiviral properties against coronaviruses by inhibiting multiple viral targets, including spike proteins and viral enzymes. This review presents the classification and a detailed explanation of the SARS-CoV-2 molecular characteristics and structure-function relationships. We present all currently available crystal structures of different SARS-CoV-2 proteins and emphasized on the crystal structure of different virus proteins and the binding modes of their ligands. This review also discusses the various therapeutic approaches for COVID-19 treatment and available vaccinations. In addition, we highlight and compare the existing data about natural compounds extracted from algae, fungi, plants, and scorpion venom that were used as antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, we discuss the repurposing of select approved therapeutic agents that have been used in the treatment of other viruses.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Mishra A, Shaik HA, Sinha RK, et al (2021)

Andrographolide: A Herbal-Chemosynthetic Approach for Enhancing Immunity, Combating Viral Infections, and Its Implication on Human Health.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(22): pii:molecules26227036.

Plants consistently synthesize and accumulate medically valuable secondary metabolites which can be isolated and clinically tested under in vitro conditions. An advancement with such important phytochemical production has been recognized and utilized as herbal drugs. Bioactive andrographolide (AGL; C20H30O5) isolated from Andrographis paniculate (AP) (Kalmegh) is a diterpenoid lactones having multifunctional medicinal properties including anti-manic, anti-inflammatory, liver, and lung protective. AGL is known for its immunostimulant activity against a variety of microbial infections thereby, regulating classical and alternative macrophage activation, Ag-specific antibody production during immune disorder therapy. In vitro studies with AGL found it to be effective against multiple tumors, neuronal disorders, diabetes, pneumonia, fibrosis, and other diverse therapeutic misadventures. Generally, virus-based diseases like ZIKA, influenza A virus subtype (H1NI), Ebola (EBOV), Dengue (DENV), and coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemics have greatly increased scientific interest and demands to develop more effective and economical immunomodulating drugs with minimal side effects. Trials and in vitro pharmacological studies with AGL and medicinally beneficial herbs might contribute to benefit the human population without using chemical-based synthetic drugs. In this review, we have discussed the possible role of AGL as a promising herbal-chemo remedy during human diseases, viral infections and as an immunity booster.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

El-Arif G, Farhat A, Khazaal S, et al (2021)

The Renin-Angiotensin System: A Key Role in SARS-CoV-2-Induced COVID-19.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(22): pii:molecules26226945.

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was first identified in Eastern Asia (Wuhan, China) in December 2019. The virus then spread to Europe and across all continents where it has led to higher mortality and morbidity, and was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. Recently, different vaccines have been produced and seem to be more or less effective in protecting from COVID-19. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS), an essential enzymatic cascade involved in maintaining blood pressure and electrolyte balance, is involved in the pathogenicity of COVID-19, since the angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) acts as the cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2 in many human tissues and organs. In fact, the viral entrance promotes a downregulation of ACE2 followed by RAS balance dysregulation and an overactivation of the angiotensin II (Ang II)-angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) axis, which is characterized by a strong vasoconstriction and the induction of the profibrotic, proapoptotic and proinflammatory signalizations in the lungs and other organs. This mechanism features a massive cytokine storm, hypercoagulation, an acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and subsequent multiple organ damage. While all individuals are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2, the disease outcome and severity differ among people and countries and depend on a dual interaction between the virus and the affected host. Many studies have already pointed out the importance of host genetic polymorphisms (especially in the RAS) as well as other related factors such age, gender, lifestyle and habits and underlying pathologies or comorbidities (diabetes and cardiovascular diseases) that could render individuals at higher risk of infection and pathogenicity. In this review, we explore the correlation between all these risk factors as well as how and why they could account for severe post-COVID-19 complications.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Saha P, Bose S, Srivastava AK, et al (2021)

Jeopardy of COVID-19: Rechecking the Perks of Phytotherapeutic Interventions.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(22): pii:molecules26226783.

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the reason for worldwide pandemic, has already masked around 220 countries globally. This disease is induced by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Arising environmental stress, increase in the oxidative stress level, weak immunity and lack of nutrition deteriorates the clinical status of the infected patients. Though several researches are at its peak for understanding and bringing forward effective therapeutics, yet there is no promising solution treating this disease directly. Medicinal plants and their active metabolites have always been promising in treating many clinical complications since time immemorial. Mother nature provides vivid chemical structures, which act multi-dimensionally all alone or synergistically in mitigating several diseases. Their unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity with least side effects have made them more effective candidate for pharmacological studies. These medicinal plants inhibit attachment, encapsulation and replication of COVID-19 viruses by targeting various signaling molecules such as angiotensin converting enzyme-2, transmembrane serine protease 2, spike glycoprotein, main protease etc. This property is re-examined and its potency is now used to improve the existing global health crisis. This review is an attempt to focus various antiviral activities of various noteworthy medicinal plants. Moreover, its implications as prophylactic or preventive in various secondary complications including neurological, cardiovascular, acute kidney disease, liver disease are also pinpointed in the present review. This knowledge will help emphasis on the therapeutic developments for this novel coronavirus where it can be used as alone or in combination with the repositioned drugs to combat COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Santabárbara J, Ozamiz-Etxebarria N, Idoiaga N, et al (2021)

Meta-Analysis of Prevalence of Depression in Dental Students during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(11): pii:medicina57111278.

Background and Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has a negative impact on the mental health of the population in general, and in college students in particular. Dental students have seen their teaching altered and their clinical practice reduced. This study was aimed at conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting levels of depression among dental students during the COVID-19 and estimating the pooled prevalence of depression. Materials and Methods: Medline via PubMed and other databases were searched for studies on the prevalence of depression in dental undergraduates, published from 1 December 2019 to 1 September 2021. The pooled proportions of depression were calculated with random effects models. Results: We identified 13 studies from 9 countries. The pooled prevalence of depression in dental students was 37% (95% CI: 26-49%) with no variation due to gender, response rate or methodological quality. We only found a significantly higher prevalence of depression in studies from Asia compared to Europe and America. Conclusions: Our results suggest that dental students are suffering from higher levels of depression compared with the general population or other college students during the COVID-19 pandemic, with differences across regions. Measures to improve mental health and wellbeing of dental students during the pandemic are needed.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Fabrazzo M, Russo A, Camerlengo A, et al (2021)

Delirium and Cognitive Impairment as Predisposing Factors of COVID-19 Infection in Neuropsychiatric Patients: A Narrative Review.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(11): pii:medicina57111244.

SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasive and neurotropic abilities may underlie delirium onset and neuropsychiatric outcomes. Only a limited number of studies have addressed the potential effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on mental health so far. Most studies mainly reported the acute onset of mixed neuropsychiatric conditions in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, characterized by agitated behavior, altered level of consciousness, and disorganized thinking, regardless of psychological or socioeconomic triggering factors. The present narrative review aims to analyze and discuss the mechanisms underlying the neuroinvasive/neurotropic properties of SARS-CoV-2 and the subsequent mental complications. Delirium appeared as a clinical manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 brain infection in some patients, without systemic or multiple organ failure symptoms. A small number of studies demonstrated that neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with COVID-19, initially presenting as a confused state, may subsequently evolve in a way that is consistent with the patients' neuropsychiatric history. A literature analysis on this topic prevalently showed case reports and case series of patients presenting delirium or delirium-like symptoms as the main outburst of COVID-19, plus a cognitive impairment, from mild to severe, which pre-existed or was demonstrated during the acute phase or after infection. Dementia appeared as one of the most frequent predisposing factors to SARS-CoV-2 infection complicated with delirium. Instead, contrasting data emerged on the potential link between COVID-19 and delirium in patients with cognitive impairment and without a neuropsychiatric history. Therefore, clinicians should contemplate the possibility that COVID-19 appears as delirium followed by a psychiatric exacerbation, even without other systemic symptoms. In addition, cognitive impairment might act as a predisposing factor for COVID-19 in patients with delirium.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Rusu LC, Ardelean LC, Tigmeanu CV, et al (2021)

COVID-19 and Its Repercussions on Oral Health: A Review.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(11): pii:medicina57111189.

In 2019, a new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the causing agent of COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan, China. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. The manifestations of COVID-19 are mostly age-dependent and potentially more severe in cases with involved co-morbidities. The gravity of the symptoms depends on the clinical stage of the infection. The most common symptoms include runny nose and nasal congestion, anosmia, dysgeusia or hypogeusia, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, respiratory distress, fatigue, ocular symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These systemic conditions are often accompanied by skin and mucosal lesions. Oral lesions reported in patients with COVID-19 include: herpex simplex, candidiasis, geographic tongue, aphthous-like ulcers, hemorrhagic ulcerations, necrotic ulcerations, white hairy tongue, reddish macules, erythematous surfaces, petechiae, and pustular enanthema. It is still unclear if these manifestations are a direct result of the viral infection, a consequence of systemic deterioration, or adverse reactions to treatments. Poor oral hygiene in hospitalized or quarantined COVID-19 patients should also be considered as an aggravating condition. This narrative review is focused on presenting the most relevant data from the literature regarding oral manifestations related to SARS-CoV-2, as well as the challenges faced by the dental system during this pandemic. A routine intraoral examination is recommended in COVID-19 patients, either suspected or confirmed, as, in certain cases, oral manifestations represent a sign of severe infection or even of a life-threatening condition. It is our belief that extensive knowledge of all possible manifestations, including oral lesions, in cases of COVID-19 is of great importance in the present uncertain context, including new, currently emerging viral variants with unknown future impact.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Chang JC, HB Hawley (2021)

Vaccine-Associated Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis: Venous Endotheliopathy Leading to Venous Combined Micro-Macrothrombosis.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(11): pii:medicina57111163.

Serious vaccine-associated side effects are very rare. Major complications of vaccines are thrombocytopenia and thrombosis in which pathogenetic mechanism is consistent with endotheliopathy characterized by "attenuated" sepsis-like syndrome, leading to the activation of inflammatory and microthrombotic pathway. In the COVID-19 pandemic, acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by microthrombosis has been the major clinical phenotype from the viral sepsis in association with endotheliopathy-associated vascular microthrombotic disease (EA-VMTD), sometimes presenting with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)-like syndrome. Often, venous thromboembolism has coexisted due to additional vascular injury. In contrast, clinical phenotypes of vaccine complication have included "silent" immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP-like syndrome), multiorgan inflammatory syndrome, and deep venous thrombosis (DVT), cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) in particular. These findings are consistent with venous (v) EA-VMTD. In vEA-VMTD promoted by activated complement system following vaccination, "consumptive" thrombocytopenia develops as ITP-like syndrome due to activated unusually large von Willebrand factor (ULVWF) path of hemostasis via microthrombogenesis. Thus, the pathologic phenotype of ITP-like syndrome is venous microthrombosis. Myocarditis/pericarditis and other rare cases of inflammatory organ syndrome are promoted by inflammatory cytokines released from activated inflammatory pathway, leading to various organ endotheliitis. Vaccine-associated CVST is a form of venous combined "micro-macrothrombosis" composed of binary components of "microthrombi strings" from vEA-VMTD and "fibrin meshes" from vaccine-unrelated incidental vascular injury perhaps such as unreported head trauma. This mechanism is identified based on "two-path unifying theory" of in vivo hemostasis. Venous combined micro-macrothrombosis due to vaccine is much more serious thrombosis than isolated distal DVT made of macrothrombus. This paradigm changing novel concept of combined micro-macrothrombosis implies the need of combined therapy of a complement inhibitor and anticoagulant for CVST and other complex forms of DVT.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Hardan L, Filtchev D, Kassem R, et al (2021)

COVID-19 and Alzheimer's Disease: A Literature Review.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 57(11): pii:medicina57111159.

There are a number of potential implications for the field of Alzheimer's disease (AD) stemming from the global spread of "SARS-COV-2". Many studies that were conducted by Cleveland Clinic researchers identified a link between COVID-19 infection and brain abnormalities seen in people with AD. This article explains the association between COVID-19 and AD and how people with AD are affected by COVID-19, whether directly or indirectly. First, this article begins by explaining AD and its types, then giving an overview about COVID-19, its symptoms and the associated complications. Then, direct and indirect consequences of COVID-19 on people experiencing AD are discussed briefly. Some management strategies are recommended at the end of this article in addition to a future perspective on this topic. This article concludes by summarizing the main points mentioned about the association between COVID-19 and AD.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Abbas M, Alqahtani MS, Almohiy HM, et al (2021)

The Potential Contribution of Biopolymeric Particles in Lung Tissue Regeneration of COVID-19 Patients.

Polymers, 13(22): pii:polym13224011.

The lung is a vital organ that houses the alveoli, which is where gas exchange takes place. The COVID-19 illness attacks lung cells directly, creating significant inflammation and resulting in their inability to function. To return to the nature of their job, it may be essential to rejuvenate the afflicted lung cells. This is difficult because lung cells need a long time to rebuild and resume their function. Biopolymeric particles are the most effective means to transfer developing treatments to airway epithelial cells and then regenerate infected lung cells, which is one of the most significant symptoms connected with COVID-19. Delivering biocompatible and degradable natural biological materials, chemotherapeutic drugs, vaccines, proteins, antibodies, nucleic acids, and diagnostic agents are all examples of these molecules' usage. Furthermore, they are created by using several structural components, which allows them to effectively connect with these cells. We highlight their most recent uses in lung tissue regeneration in this review. These particles are classified into three groups: biopolymeric nanoparticles, biopolymeric stem cell materials, and biopolymeric scaffolds. The techniques and processes for regenerating lung tissue will be thoroughly explored.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Wang H (2021)

A Review of the Effects of Collagen Treatment in Clinical Studies.

Polymers, 13(22): pii:polym13223868.

Collagen, an abundant extracellular matrix protein, has been found to have a lot of pharmaceuticals, medicine, food, and cosmetics applications. Increased knowledge of collagen sources, extraction techniques, structure, and properties in the last decades has helped develop more collagen-based products and tissue engineering biomaterials. Collagen products have been playing an important role in benefiting the health of the human body, especially for aging people. In this paper, the effects of collagen treatment in different clinical studies including skin regeneration, bone defects, sarcopenia, wound healing, dental therapy, gastroesophageal reflux, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis have been reviewed. The collagen treatments were significant in these clinical studies. In addition, the associations between these diseases were discussed. The comorbidity of these diseases might be closely related to collagen deficiency, and collagen treatment might be a good choice when a patient has more than one of these diseases, including the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It concludes that collagen-based medication is useful in treating comorbid diseases and preventing complications.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Rawal H, Cornelison SD, Flynn SM, et al (2021)

Will Remotely Based Pulmonary Rehabilitation Water Down Its Effectiveness?.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111270.

Despite numerous benefits, traditional Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) as a resource remains underutilized in chronic lung disease. Less than 3% of eligible candidates for PR attend one or more sessions after hospitalization due to many barriers, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Emerging alternative models of PR delivery such as home-based PR, tele-rehabilitation, web-based PR, or hybrid models could help address these barriers. Numerous studies have tested the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of these methods, but there is wide variability across studies and methods. We conducted a literature review to help determine if these alternative delivery methods watered down the effectiveness of PR. To evaluate the effectiveness of remotely based PR, the authors performed a literature search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cohort studies, and case series using PubMed, CINAHL, and Medline to identify relevant articles through 1 May 2021. Twenty-six applicable studies were found in which 11 compared tele-rehabilitation to conventional clinic-based PR; 11 evaluated tele-rehabilitation using the patient's baseline status as control; and four compared tele-rehabilitation to no rehabilitation. Despite the different technologies used across studies, tele-rehabilitation was found to be both a feasible and an efficacious option for select patients with lung disease. Outcomes across these studies demonstrated similar benefits to traditional PR programs. Thus the existing data does not show that remotely based PR waters down the effectiveness of conventional PR. Use of remotely based PR is a feasible and effective option to deliver PR, especially for patients with significant barriers to conventional clinic-based PR. Additional, well-conducted RCTs are needed to answer the questions regarding its efficacy, safety, cost-effectiveness and who, among patients with COPD and other lung diseases, will derive the maximum benefit.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Lahham A, AE Holland (2021)

The Need for Expanding Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111236.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a strongly recommended and effective treatment for people with chronic lung disease. However, access to pulmonary rehabilitation is poor. Globally, pulmonary rehabilitation is accessed by less than 3% of people with chronic lung disease. Barriers to referral, uptake and completion of pulmonary rehabilitation are well documented and linked with organizational, practitioner and patient-related factors. Enhancing the knowledge of health care professionals, family carers, and people with chronic lung disease about the program and its benefits produces modest increases in referral and uptake rates, but evidence of the sustainability of such approaches is limited. Additionally, initiatives focusing on addressing organizational barriers to access, such as expanding services and implementing alternative models to the conventional center-based setting, are not yet widely used in clinical practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for health care systems to deliver pulmonary rehabilitation programs remotely, safely, and efficiently. This paper will discuss the pressing need to address the issue of the low accessibility of pulmonary rehabilitation. It will also highlight the distinctive challenges to pulmonary rehabilitation delivery in rural and remote regions, as well as low-income countries.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Yusof W, Irekeola AA, Wada Y, et al (2021)

A Global Mutational Profile of SARS-CoV-2: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of 368,316 COVID-19 Patients.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111224.

Since its first detection in December 2019, more than 232 million cases of COVID-19, including 4.7 million deaths, have been reported by the WHO. The SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes have evolved rapidly worldwide, causing the emergence of new variants. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to provide a global mutational profile of SARS-CoV-2 from December 2019 to October 2020. The review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA), and a study protocol was lodged with PROSPERO. Data from 62 eligible studies involving 368,316 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were analyzed. The mutational data analyzed showed most studies detected mutations in the Spike protein (n = 50), Nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (n = 34), ORF1ab gene (n = 29), 5'-UTR (n = 28) and ORF3a (n = 25). Under the random-effects model, pooled prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 variants was estimated at 95.1% (95% CI; 93.3-96.4%; I2 = 98.952%; p = 0.000) while subgroup meta-analysis by country showed majority of the studies were conducted 'Worldwide' (n = 10), followed by 'Multiple countries' (n = 6) and the USA (n = 5). The estimated prevalence indicated a need to continuously monitor the prevalence of new mutations due to their potential influence on disease severity, transmissibility and vaccine effectiveness.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Tepasse PR, Vollenberg R, TM Nowacki (2021)

Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Where Do We Stand?.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111220.

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). Immunosuppressive medication is the main therapeutic approach to reducing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Immunocompromised patients are more vulnerable to severe courses of illness after infection with common pathogens. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the pathogen of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. COVID-19 leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) following severe pulmonal damage in a significant number of cases. The worldwide circulation of SARS-CoV-2 has led to major concerns about the management of IBD patients during the pandemic, as these patients are expected to be at greater risk of complications because of their underlying altered immunological condition and immunosuppressive therapies. Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is considered the main approach in containing the pandemic. Today, several vaccines have been shown to be highly effective in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe disease course in subjects without underlying conditions in respective registration studies. Patients with underlying conditions such as IBD and/or immunosuppressive therapies were not included in the registration studies, so little is known about effectiveness and safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in immunocompromised IBD patients. This review provides an overview of the recent knowledge about vaccine response in IBD patients after vaccination against SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Chan KG, Ang GY, Yu CY, et al (2021)

Harnessing CRISPR-Cas to Combat COVID-19: From Diagnostics to Therapeutics.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111210.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), remains a global threat with an ever-increasing death toll even after a year on. Hence, the rapid identification of infected individuals with diagnostic tests continues to be crucial in the on-going effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. Viral nucleic acid detection via real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) or sequencing is regarded as the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis, but these technically intricate molecular tests are limited to centralized laboratories due to the highly specialized instrument and skilled personnel requirements. Based on the current development in the field of diagnostics, the programmable clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) system appears to be a promising technology that can be further explored to create rapid, cost-effective, sensitive, and specific diagnostic tools for both laboratory and point-of-care (POC) testing. Other than diagnostics, the potential application of the CRISPR-Cas system as an antiviral agent has also been gaining attention. In this review, we highlight the recent advances in CRISPR-Cas-based nucleic acid detection strategies and the application of CRISPR-Cas as a potential antiviral agent in the context of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Congrete S, ML Metersky (2021)

Telemedicine and Remote Monitoring as an Adjunct to Medical Management of Bronchiectasis.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111196.

The limited resources and the practice of social distancing during the COVID pandemic create a paradigm shift in the utilization of telemedicine in healthcare. However, the implementation of best practices is hampered in part by a lack of literature devoted to telehealth in bronchiectasis. In this commentary, we examine multiple approaches to structuring of telemedicine care for patients with bronchiectasis, highlight current evidence-based interventions that can be incorporated into the management of bronchiectasis, and describe our experience with telemedicine at the University of Connecticut Center for Bronchiectasis Care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The structural model must be adapted to different local dynamics and available technologies with careful attention to patient characteristics and access to technology to avoid the potential paradoxical effects of increasing patients' burden and healthcare disparities in underserved populations.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Śniadach J, Szymkowiak S, Osip P, et al (2021)

Increased Depression and Anxiety Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Children and Adolescents: A Literature Review.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111188.

Depression and anxiety disorders are a serious and increasingly commonly diagnosed problem at present. The problem applies not only to adults but also, increasingly often, to children and adolescents as well. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has further compounded the issue. There are still relatively few publications that show that quarantine and social isolation have a negative effect on the psychological well-being of children and adolescents. Above all, the situation applies to children and adolescents with pre-existing predispositions and to individuals suffering from mental disorders. The key factor in this situation seems to be putting the needs of young people first so that they can safely return to school. It is also important to provide them with effective treatment strategies and methods with which to deal with this stressful and potentially traumatic situation. Most of the mental health research during the COVID-19 pandemic has been conducted in Asia and Europe, where the disease first spread. This article presents an overview of the results of the latest Polish and international studies on the increase in depression and anxiety disorders among children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. It concludes with recommendations regarding mental health support for young people, and further directions for treatment are suggested.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Kowalczyk M, Kowalczyk E, Kwiatkowski P, et al (2021)

Ketamine-New Possibilities in the Treatment of Depression: A Narrative Review.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111186.

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic has led to an increase in the number of people with depression. Symptoms related to the mental sphere (mainly depression and anxiety) may be experienced by one third of the worldwide population. This entails the need for the effective and rapid treatment of depressive episodes. An effective drug seems to be s-ketamine, which was accepted in March 2019 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of drug-resistant depression. This drug provides a quick antidepressant effect with maximum effectiveness achieved after 24 h. It also appears to reduce the occurrence of suicidal thoughts. However, research into undesirable effects, especially in groups of people susceptible to psychotic episodes or those who use alcohol or psychoactive substances, is necessary.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Holford P, Carr AC, Zawari M, et al (2021)

Vitamin C Intervention for Critical COVID-19: A Pragmatic Review of the Current Level of Evidence.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111166.

Severe respiratory infections are characterized by elevated inflammation and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which may lead to a decrease in antioxidants such as vitamin C and a higher requirement for the vitamin. Administration of intravenous vitamin C to patients with pneumonia and sepsis appears to decrease the severity of the disease and potentially improve survival rate. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection causes pneumonia, sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in severe cases, and is referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Patients with COVID-19 infection also appear to have depleted vitamin C status and require additional supplementation of vitamin C during the acute phase of the disease. To date there have been 12 vitamin C and COVID-19 trials published, including five randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and seven retrospective cohort studies. The current level of evidence from the RCTs suggests that intravenous vitamin C intervention may improve oxygenation parameters, reduce inflammatory markers, decrease days in hospital and reduce mortality, particularly in the more severely ill patients. High doses of oral vitamin C supplementation may also improve the rate of recovery in less severe cases. No adverse events have been reported in published vitamin C clinical trials in COVID-19 patients. Upcoming findings from larger RCTs will provide additional evidence on vitamin supplementation in COVID-19 patients.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Tiyo BT, Schmitz GJH, Ortega MM, et al (2021)

What Happens to the Immune System after Vaccination or Recovery from COVID-19?.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11): pii:life11111152.

Due to its leading role in fighting infections, the human immune system has been the focus of many studies in the context of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In a worldwide effort, the scientific community has transitioned from reporting about the effects of the novel coronavirus on the human body in the early days of the pandemic to exploring the body's many immunopathological and immunoprotecting properties that have improved disease treatment and enabled the development of vaccines. The aim of this review is to explain what happens to the immune system after recovery from COVID-19 and/or vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease. We detail the way in which the immune system responds to a SARS-CoV-2 infection, including innate and adaptive measures. Then, we describe the role of vaccination, the main types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they protect us. Further, we explain the reason why immunity after COVID-19 infection plus a vaccination appears to induce a stronger response compared with virus exposure alone. Additionally, this review reports some correlates of protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In conclusion, we reinforce that vaccination is safe and important in achieving herd immunity.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Attia MA, Essa EA, Elebyary TT, et al (2021)

Brief on Recent Application of Liposomal Vaccines for Lower Respiratory Tract Viral Infections: From Influenza to COVID-19 Vaccines.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 14(11): pii:ph14111173.

Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing infectious diseases and saving lives. Modern biotechnology largely enabled vaccine development. In the meantime, recent advances in pharmaceutical technology have resulted in the emergence of nanoparticles that are extensively investigated as promising miniaturized drug delivery systems. Scientists are particularly interested in liposomes as an important carrier for vaccine development. Wide acceptability of liposomes lies in their flexibility and versatility. Due to their unique vesicular structure with alternating aqueous and lipid compartments, liposomes can enclose both hydrophilic and lipophilic compounds, including antigens. Liposome composition can be tailored to obtain the desired immune response and adjuvant characteristics. During the current pandemic of COVID-19, many liposome-based vaccines have been developed with great success. This review covers a liposome-based vaccine designed particularly to combat viral infection of the lower respiratory tract (LRT), i.e., infection of the lung, specifically in the lower airways. Viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2) are common causes of LRT infections, hence this review mainly focuses on this category of viruses.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Torres Neto L, Monteiro MLG, Galvan D, et al (2021)

An Evaluation of the Potential of Essential Oils against SARS-CoV-2 from In Silico Studies through the Systematic Review Using a Chemometric Approach.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 14(11): pii:ph14111138.

Essential oils (EOs) and their compounds have attracted particular attention for their reported beneficial properties, especially their antiviral potential. However, data regarding their anti-SARS-CoV-2 potential are scarce in the literature. Thus, this study aimed to identify the most promising EO compounds against SARS-CoV-2 based on their physicochemical, pharmacokinetic, and toxicity properties. A systematic literature search retrieved 1669 articles; 40 met the eligibility criteria, and 35 were eligible for analysis. These studies resulted in 465 EO compounds evaluated against 11 human and/or SARS-CoV-2 target proteins. Ninety-four EO compounds and seven reference drugs were clustered by the highest predicted binding affinity. Furthermore, 41 EO compounds showed suitable drug-likeness and bioactivity score indices (≥0.67). Among these EO compounds, 15 were considered the most promising against SARS-CoV-2 with the ADME/T index ranging from 0.86 to 0.81. Some plant species were identified as EO potential sources with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, such as Melissa officinalis Arcang, Zataria multiflora Boiss, Eugenia brasiliensis Cambess, Zingiber zerumbet Triboun & K.Larsen, Cedrus libani A.Rich, and Vetiveria zizanoides Nash. Our work can help fill the gap in the literature and guide further in vitro and in vivo studies, intending to optimize the finding of effective EOs against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Adiguna SP, Panggabean JA, Atikana A, et al (2021)

Antiviral Activities of Andrographolide and Its Derivatives: Mechanism of Action and Delivery System.

Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 14(11): pii:ph14111102.

Andrographispaniculata (Burm.f.) Nees has been used as a traditional medicine in Asian countries, especially China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. This herbaceous plant extract contains active compounds with multiple biological activities against various diseases, including the flu, colds, fever, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Several isolated compounds from A. paniculata, such as andrographolide and its analogs, have attracted much interest for their potential treatment against several virus infections, including SARS-CoV-2. The mechanisms of action in inhibiting viral infections can be categorized into several types, including regulating the viral entry stage, gene replication, and the formation of mature functional proteins. The efficacy of andrographolide as an antiviral candidate was further investigated since the phytoconstituents of A. paniculata exhibit various physicochemical characteristics, including low solubility and low bioavailability. A discussion on the delivery systems of these active compounds could accelerate their development for commercial applications as antiviral drugs. This study critically reviewed the current antiviral development based on andrographolide and its derivative compounds, especially on their mechanism of action as antiviral drugs and drug delivery systems.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Sundaram S, Olson S, Sharma P, et al (2021)

A Review of the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Colorectal Cancer Screening: Implications and Solutions.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11): pii:pathogens10111508.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of medical care, including cancer screening and preventative measures. Colorectal cancer screening declined significantly at the onset of the pandemic as the result of an intentional effort to conserve resources, prioritize emergencies and reduce risk of transmission. There has already been an increase in diagnosis at more advanced stages and symptomatic emergencies due to suspended screenings. As endoscopy units find their way back to pre-pandemic practices, a backlog of cases remains. The missed CRC diagnoses amongst the missed screenings carry a risk of increased morbidity and mortality which will only increase as time-to-diagnosis grows. This review discusses the impact of COVID-19 on colonoscopy screening rates, trends in stages/symptoms/circumstances at diagnosis, and economic and social impact of delayed diagnosis. Triaging and use of FITs are proposed solutions to the challenge of catching up with the large number of pandemic-driven missed CRC screenings.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Sahni S, Chattopadhyay P, Khare K, et al (2021)

Single-Cell Genomics: Enabling the Functional Elucidation of Infectious Diseases in Multi-Cell Genomes.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11): pii:pathogens10111467.

Since the time when detection of gene expression in single cells by microarrays to the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) enabled Single Cell Genomics (SCG), it has played a pivotal role to understand and elucidate the functional role of cellular heterogeneity. Along this journey to becoming a key player in the capture of the individuality of cells, SCG overcame many milestones, including scale, speed, sensitivity and sample costs (4S). There have been many important experimental and computational innovations in the efficient analysis and interpretation of SCG data. The increasing role of AI in SCG data analysis has further enhanced its applicability in building models for clinical intervention. Furthermore, SCG has been instrumental in the delineation of the role of cellular heterogeneity in specific diseases, including cancer and infectious diseases. The understanding of the role of differential immune responses in driving coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) disease severity and clinical outcomes has been greatly aided by SCG. With many variants of concern (VOC) in sight, it would be of great importance to further understand the immune response specificity vis-a-vis the immune cell repertoire, the identification of novel cell types, and antibody response. Given the potential of SCG to play an integral part in the multi-omics approach to the study of the host-pathogen interaction and its outcomes, our review attempts to highlight its strengths, its implications for infectious disease biology, and its current limitations. We conclude that the application of SCG would be a critical step towards future pandemic preparedness.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Abdelqader R, Hasan H, L Alanagreh (2021)

Epidemiology of Human Bocavirus in the Middle East and North Africa: Systematic Review.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11): pii:pathogens10111456.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of studying newly emerging viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. Human bocavirus (HBoV) is one of the relatively newly discovered viruses that has been detected worldwide and causes respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, mainly in pediatric patients. However, little is known about the pathogenicity and evolution of HBoV. This systematic review was initiated to clarify the prevalence and circulating genotypes of HBoV in both respiratory and stool samples from patients of all age groups in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from 2005 to February 2021. We performed an electronic search through Science Direct, Scopus, PubMed, Mendeley and Cochrane Library databases. We included all studies reporting the detection rate of HBoV in the MENA region. Data were extracted, and the quality of the included articles was assessed. We included articles containing data on HBoV only or with other respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infections. Review articles, case studies, and animal and environmental studies were excluded. The final number of articles included in this study was 65 articles. The results showed that the HBoV prevalence in children was the lowest in Iran (0%) and the highest in Egypt (56.8%). In adults, the lowest and the highest prevalence were reported in Iran, with values of 0% and 6.6%, respectively. Regarding the respiratory cases, our findings revealed no significant difference between HBoV prevalence among the tested categories (p-value = 0.998). The present study has shown that HBoV is common in children and adults in the MENA region. This systematic review highlights the need for more data on the role of coinfection of HBoV and other viruses, for instance, SARS-CoV-2 in children with acute bronchiolitis.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Malkova A, Kudryavtsev I, Starshinova A, et al (2021)

Post COVID-19 Syndrome in Patients with Asymptomatic/Mild Form.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11): pii:pathogens10111408.

Post COVID-19 Syndrome (PCS) is a complex of various symptoms developing a month or more after the acute phase of the disease. The cases of PCS development among patients with asymptomatic/mild forms are frequently reported; however, the pathogenesis of PCS in this group of patients is still not completely clear. The publications about COVID-19 which were published in online databases from December 2019 to September 2021 are analyzed in this review. According to the analysis, PCS develops on average in 30-60% of patients, mainly among women. Fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, and anosmia were reported as the most common symptoms. The possible association between the described PCS symptoms and brain damage was revealed. We assume the possibility of an alternative course of COVID-19, which develops in genetically predisposed individuals with a stronger immune response, in which it predominantly affects the cells of the nervous system, possibly with the presence of an autoimmune component, which might have similarity with chronic fatigue syndrome or autoimmune disautonomia. Thus, the gender (female) and the presence of anosmia during an asymptomatic or mild course of the disease can be predictive factors for the development of PCS, which can be caused by autoimmune damage to neurons, glia, and cerebral vessels.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Tiecco G, Degli Antoni M, Storti S, et al (2021)

A 2021 Update on Syphilis: Taking Stock from Pathogenesis to Vaccines.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11): pii:pathogens10111364.

In 2021 the scientific community's efforts have been focused on solving the back-breaking challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, but sexually transmitted infections (STI) are still one of the most common global health problems. Syphilis is a systemic disease caused by the spirochaete Treponema pallidum (TP) and is one of the oldest known diseases. Its incidence has increased in the last few years and syphilis still remains a contemporary plague that continues to afflict millions of people worldwide. Despite research improvements, syphilis pathogenesis is not completely clear; clinical presentation is very heterogeneous and the diagnosis can sometimes be difficult. Furthermore, few therapeutic options are available, and a vaccine has not been found yet. In this review, we describe the most recent evidence concerning the clinical manifestation, diagnosis, treatment and vaccine prospectives for this disease.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Okamoto R, Manabe T, K Mizukami (2021)

Effects of Facial Muscles Exercise on Mental Health: A Systematic Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212216.

Mental disorders are increasing worldwide. Previous research has reported an association between mental health and facial expressions. Face-to-face communication, specifically, is majorly affected when wearing face masks for a long time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there have been no systematic reviews of facial muscles exercise intervention studies for mental health. Thus, evidence of their effect on mental health is unclear. This review aimed to evaluate the current evidence of the effectiveness of voluntary facial muscles exercise to improve some parameters of mental health. We implemented a systematic review of experimental studies (published between 2007 and 2018, 10 years before we decided to start this review). Of the 61,096 references screened, seven studies reported that facial muscles exercise may help to improve some parameters of mental health. Moreover, the study quality was assessed, and we extracted sub outcomes for mental health. Non-coherent results of seven experimental studies were included in this review. Voluntary facial muscles exercise may help improve depressive symptoms, mood, and reduce the level of chronic stress. However, due to the low quality of analyzed studies, further studies are needed to confirm the mental health benefits of a facial muscles exercise program.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Su M, Wang Q, R Li (2021)

How to Dispose of Medical Waste Caused by COVID-19? A Case Study of China.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212127.

The rapid increase in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients also means a rapid increase in medical waste that could carry the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). How to safely dispose of medical waste caused by COVID-19 is a huge challenge that needs to be solved urgently. The outbreak of the COVID-19 has led to a significant increase in the daily generation of medical waste in China and has placed a severe test on the Chinese medical waste disposal system. Unlike ordinary wastes and garbage, medical waste that is untreated or incompletely treated will not only cause environmental pollution, but also directly or indirectly cause infections and endanger people's health. Faced with difficulties, the Chinese government formulated a policy for medical waste management and a response plan for the epidemic, which provides policy guarantee for the standardized disposal of epidemic medical waste. In addition, the government and medical institutions at all levels formed a comprehensive, refined, and standardized medical treatment process system during research and practice. China has increased the capacity of medical waste disposal in various places by constructing new centralized disposal centers and adding mobile disposal facilities. China has achieved good results in the fight against COVID-19, and the pressure on medical waste disposal has been relieved to a certain extent. However, the global epidemic situation is severe. How to ensure the proper and safe disposal of medical waste is related to the prevention and control of the epidemic situation. This study summarizes China's experience in the disposal of medical waste in the special case of COVID-19 and hopes to provide some reference for other countries in the disposal of medical waste.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Lopez-Villegas A, Leal-Costa C, Perez-Heredia M, et al (2021)

Knowledge Update on the Economic Evaluation of Pacemaker Telemonitoring Systems.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212120.

(1) Introduction: In the last two decades, telemedicine has been increasingly applied to telemonitoring (TM) of patients with pacemakers; however, presently, its growth has significantly accelerated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed patients and healthcare workers alike to seek new ways to stay healthy with minimal physical contact. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to update the current knowledge on the differences in the medium-and long-term effectiveness of TM and conventional monitoring (CM) in relation to costs and health outcomes. (2) Methods: Three databases and one scientific registry were searched (PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Google Scholar), with no restrictions on language or year of publication. Studies published until July 2021 were included. The inclusion criteria were: (a) experimental or observational design, (b) complete economic evaluation, (c) patients with implanted pacemakers, and (d) comparison of TM with CM. Measurements of study characteristics (author, study duration, sample size, age, sex, major indication for implantation, and pacemaker used), analysis, significant results of the variables (analysis performed, primary endpoints, secondary endpoints, health outcomes, and cost outcomes), and further miscellaneous measurements (methodological quality, variables coded, instrument development, coder training, and intercoder reliability, etc.) were included. (3) Results: 11 studies met the inclusion criteria, consisting of 3372 enrolled patients; 1773 (52.58%) of them were part of randomized clinical trials. The mean age was 72 years, and the atrioventricular block was established as the main indication for device implantation. TM was significantly effective in detecting the presence or absence of pacemaker problems, leading to a reduction in the number of unscheduled hospital visits (8.34-55.55%). The cost of TM was up to 87% lower than that of CM. There were no significant differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and the number of cardiovascular events. (4) Conclusions: Most of the studies included in this systematic review confirm that in the TM group of patients with pacemakers, cardiovascular events are detected and treated earlier, and the number of unscheduled visits to the hospital is significantly reduced, without affecting the HRQoL of patients. In addition, with TM modality, both formal and informal costs are significantly reduced in the medium and long term.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Aldakheel FM (2021)

Allergic Diseases: A Comprehensive Review on Risk Factors, Immunological Mechanisms, Link with COVID-19, Potential Treatments, and Role of Allergen Bioinformatics.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212105.

The prevalence of allergic diseases is regarded as one of the key challenges in health worldwide. Although the precise mechanisms underlying this rapid increase in prevalence are unknown, emerging evidence suggests that genetic and environmental factors play a significant role. The immune system, microbiota, viruses, and bacteria have all been linked to the onset of allergy disorders in recent years. Avoiding allergen exposure is the best treatment option; however, steroids, antihistamines, and other symptom-relieving drugs are also used. Allergen bioinformatics encompasses both computational tools/methods and allergen-related data resources for managing, archiving, and analyzing allergological data. This study highlights allergy-promoting mechanisms, algorithms, and concepts in allergen bioinformatics, as well as major areas for future research in the field of allergology.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

de Vargas D, Pereira CF, Volpato RJ, et al (2021)

Strategies Adopted by Addiction Facilities during the Coronavirus Pandemic to Support Treatment for Individuals in Recovery or Struggling with a Substance Use Disorder: A Scoping Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212094.

This review aimed to identify and synthesize strategies and actions adopted by addiction facilities to support and maintain treatment during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A scoping review was conducted using the following information sources: Virtual Health Library, SCOPUS, Web of Science, PubMed, CINAHL, and Latin American and Caribbean Health Science Literature. From a total of 971 articles, 28 studies were included. The strategies to maintain the care offer were telehealth/telemedicine, counselling/screening, 24-h telephone, webinars, conducting group therapy and support among users, adaptation for electronic health records, increased methadone/naloxone dispensing, restriction in the number of medication dispensing/day, and electronic prescription and home delivery medications. These strategies can be used to support health professionals in addressing the impact of the pandemic on the treatment of those in recovery or struggling with a substance use disorder when in-person treatment is not possible.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Raymond CB, PR Ward (2021)

Community-Level Experiences, Understandings, and Responses to COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review of Qualitative and Ethnographic Studies.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212063.

(1) Background: COVID-19 disruptions offer researchers insight into how pandemics are at once biological and social threats, as communities struggle to construct meaning from novel challenges to their ontological status quo. Multiple epistemes, in which public health imperatives confront and negotiate locally derived knowledge and traditions, vie for legitimacy and agency, resulting in new cultural forms. (2) Methods: To investigate the context and construction of community responses, a systematic review of qualitative literature was conducted with the aim of evaluating those insights provided by empirical, social field research in low- and middle-income countries since the onset of COVID-19. Six scholarly databases were searched for empirical, qualitative, field-based, or participatory research that was published in peer-reviewed journals between December 2019 and August 2021. (3) Results: Twenty-five studies were selected for data extraction, following critical appraisal for methodological rigor by two independent reviewers, and were then analyzed thematically. Faced with unprecedented social ruptures, restrictions in social and physical mobility, and ever-looming uncertainties of infection, financial insecurity, stigma, and loss, communities worldwide reacted in multiple and complex ways. Pervasive misinformation and fear of social rejection resulted in noncompliance with pandemic sanctions, resistance, and increased isolation, allowing the spread of the disease. The meaning of, and understandings about, COVID-19 were constructed using traditional, religious, and biomedical epistemologies, which were occasionally in conflict with each other. Innovations and adaptations, through syntheses of traditional and biomedical discourses and practice, illustrated community resilience and provided models for successful engagement to improve public health outcomes. (4) Conclusion: Local context and community engagement were indispensable considerations when enacting effective public health interventions to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Mollalo A, Mohammadi A, Mavaddati S, et al (2021)

Spatial Analysis of COVID-19 Vaccination: A Scoping Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212024.

Spatial analysis of COVID-19 vaccination research is increasing in recent literature due to the availability of COVID-19 vaccination data that usually contain location components. However, to our knowledge, no previous study has provided a comprehensive review of this research area. Therefore, in this scoping review, we examined the breadth of spatial and spatiotemporal vaccination studies to summarize previous findings, highlight research gaps, and provide guidelines for future research. We performed this review according to the five-stage methodological framework developed by Arksey and O'Malley. We screened all articles published in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases, as of 21 September 2021, that had employed at least one form of spatial analysis of COVID-19 vaccination. In total, 36 articles met the inclusion criteria and were organized into four main themes: disease surveillance (n = 35); risk analysis (n = 14); health access (n = 16); and community health profiling (n = 2). Our findings suggested that most studies utilized preliminary spatial analysis techniques, such as disease mapping, which might not lead to robust inferences. Moreover, few studies addressed data quality, modifiable areal unit problems, and spatial dependence, highlighting the need for more sophisticated spatial and spatiotemporal analysis techniques.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

El Zakhem A, Chalhoub MA, M Bassil (2021)

The Role of Herbal and Nutritional Treatments in the Fight against COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Tract Infections.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182212001.

With the growing spread of COVID-19 worldwide, the appeal to alternative and nutritional therapies in conjunction with medical therapies has been heightened. This article aims to review studies assessing the roles of Chinese traditional medicine and nutrition in upper respiratory infections, including COVID-19. Various Chinese herbal protocols have been shown to fight respiratory infections, with several having been tested on the novel coronavirus. Additionally, promising findings have been reported when medical treatments were complemented with nutritional interventions. Supplementation with vitamins C and D, Zinc and Selenium are discussed, in addition to certain phytochemicals and food that also possess immunoregulatory and antiviral properties. Further clinical studies are needed to establish these alternative treatments as part of the management of emerging respiratory infections.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Di Fusco SA, Spinelli A, Castello L, et al (2021)

Impact of Working from Home on Cardiovascular Health: An Emerging Issue with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182211882.

Mandatory working from home is one of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for a large number of workers. Transition to working from home may significantly impact lifestyle, psychosocial status, and the overall health of workers. This review summarizes available data about the effects of lockdown measures, particularly working from home, on cardiovascular risk factors including sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet pattern, psychological distress, smoking, alcohol misuse, and cardiometabolic parameters. Finally, we suggest countermeasures that can attenuate the negative health impact of working from home. Indeed, timely and tailored interventions implemented by companies in cooperation with the health care system could allow workers to benefit more from some of the advantages associated with working from home.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Ciuffreda G, Cabanillas-Barea S, Carrasco-Uribarren A, et al (2021)

Factors Associated with Depression and Anxiety in Adults ≥60 Years Old during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182211859.

COVID-19 represents a threat to public health and the mental health of the aged population. Prevalence and risk factors of depression and anxiety have been reported in previous reviews in other populations; however, a systematic review on the factors associated with depression and anxiety in older adults is not currently present in the literature. We searched PubMed, Embase, Scopus, ProQuest Psychology Database, Science Direct, Cochrane Library and SciELO databases (23 February 2021). The results were obtained by entering a combination of MeSH or Emtree terms with keywords related to COVID-19, elderly, depression and anxiety in the databases. A total of 11 studies were included in the systematic review. Female gender, loneliness, poor sleep quality and poor motor function were identified as factors associated with both depression and anxiety. Aspects related to having a stable and high monthly income represent protective factors for both depression and anxiety, and exercising was described as protective for depression. This study synthesised information and analysed the main factors associated with depression and anxiety in the older population during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the cross-sectional design of most of the included studies does not allow a causal relationship between the factors analysed and depression or anxiety.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Berrigan D, Dannenberg AL, Lee M, et al (2021)

The 2019 Conference on Health and Active Transportation: Research Needs and Opportunities.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182211842.

Active transportation (AT) is widely viewed as an important target for increasing participation in aerobic physical activity and improving health, while simultaneously addressing pollution and climate change through reductions in motor vehicular emissions. In recent years, progress in increasing AT has stalled in some countries and, furthermore, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created new AT opportunities while also exposing the barriers and health inequities related to AT for some populations. This paper describes the results of the December 2019 Conference on Health and Active Transportation (CHAT) which brought together leaders from the transportation and health disciplines. Attendees charted a course for the future around three themes: Reflecting on Innovative Practices, Building Strategic Institutional Relationships, and Identifying Research Needs and Opportunities. This paper focuses on conclusions of the Research Needs and Opportunities theme. We present a conceptual model derived from the conference sessions that considers how economic and systems analysis, evaluation of emerging technologies and policies, efforts to address inclusivity, disparities and equity along with renewed attention to messaging and communication could contribute to overcoming barriers to development and use of AT infrastructure. Specific research gaps concerning these themes are presented. We further discuss the relevance of these themes considering the pandemic. Renewed efforts at research, dissemination and implementation are needed to achieve the potential health and environmental benefits of AT and to preserve positive changes associated with the pandemic while mitigating negative ones.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Chattu VK, Dave VB, Reddy KS, et al (2021)

Advancing African Medicines Agency through Global Health Diplomacy for an Equitable Pan-African Universal Health Coverage: A Scoping Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(22): pii:ijerph182211758.

The African continent is home to 15% of the world's population and suffers from a disease burden of more than 25% globally. In this COVID-19 era, the high burden and mortality are further worsened due to inequities, inequalities such as inadequate health systems, scarce financial and human resources, as well as unavailability of inexpensive medicines of good quality, safety, and efficacy. The Universal Health Coverage ensures that people have access to high-quality essential health services, secure, reliable, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines, as well as financial security. This paper aimed at addressing the critical need for a continental African Medicines Agency (AMA) in addressing the inequities and the role of global health diplomacy in building consensus to support the ratification of the Treaty of AMA. A literature review was done in Scopus, Web of Science, MEDLINE/PubMed, and Google Scholar search engine to identify the critical literature in the context of study objectives. All the articles published after 2015 till 2021 in the context of AMA were included. African Health Strategy 2016-2030 highlighted the importance of an African regulatory mechanism for medicines and medical products. Through global health diplomacy (GHD), the African Union and its partners can negotiate and cooperate in providing infrastructural, administrative, and regulatory support for establishing the AMA. The paper emphasizes the South-South cooperation and highlights the contributions of India and China in the supply of medicines and vaccines to Africa. A strong AMA created through GHD can be a vital instrument in utilizing Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) flexibilities extension and an ideal partner for European and other regional regulatory authorities seeking to stem the tide of counterfeit, sub-standard, or fake products.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Simeon M, Dangwal S, Sachinidis A, et al (2021)

Application of the Pluripotent Stem Cells and Genomics in Cardiovascular Research-What We Have Learnt and Not Learnt until Now.

Cells, 10(11): pii:cells10113112.

Personalized regenerative medicine and biomedical research have been galvanized and revolutionized by human pluripotent stem cells in combination with recent advances in genomics, artificial intelligence, and genome engineering. More recently, we have witnessed the unprecedented breakthrough life-saving translation of mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19 to contain the global pandemic and the investment in billions of US dollars in space exploration projects and the blooming space-tourism industry fueled by the latest reusable space vessels. Now, it is time to examine where the translation of pluripotent stem cell research stands currently, which has been touted for more than the last two decades to cure and treat millions of patients with severe debilitating degenerative diseases and tissue injuries. This review attempts to highlight the accomplishments of pluripotent stem cell research together with cutting-edge genomics and genome editing tools and, also, the promises that have still not been transformed into clinical applications, with cardiovascular research as a case example. This review also brings to our attention the scientific and socioeconomic challenges that need to be effectively addressed to see the full potential of pluripotent stem cells at the clinical bedside.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Vlahopoulos S, Wang K, Xue Y, et al (2021)

Endothelial Dysfunction through Oxidatively Generated Epigenetic Mark in Respiratory Viral Infections.

Cells, 10(11): pii:cells10113067.

The bronchial vascular endothelial network plays important roles in pulmonary pathology during respiratory viral infections, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A(H1N1) and importantly SARS-Cov-2. All of these infections can be severe and even lethal in patients with underlying risk factors.A major obstacle in disease prevention is the lack of appropriate efficacious vaccine(s) due to continuous changes in the encoding capacity of the viral genome, exuberant responsiveness of the host immune system and lack of effective antiviral drugs. Current management of these severe respiratory viral infections is limited to supportive clinical care. The primary cause of morbidity and mortality is respiratory failure, partially due to endothelial pulmonary complications, including edema. The latter is induced by the loss of alveolar epithelium integrity and by pathological changes in the endothelial vascular network that regulates blood flow, blood fluidity, exchange of fluids, electrolytes, various macromolecules and responses to signals triggered by oxygenation, and controls trafficking of leukocyte immune cells. This overview outlines the latest understanding of the implications of pulmonary vascular endothelium involvement in respiratory distress syndrome secondary to viral infections. In addition, the roles of infection-induced cytokines, growth factors, and epigenetic reprogramming in endothelial permeability, as well as emerging treatment options to decrease disease burden, are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Soares LC, Al-Dalahmah O, Hillis J, et al (2021)

Novel Galectin-3 Roles in Neurogenesis, Inflammation and Neurological Diseases.

Cells, 10(11): pii:cells10113047.

Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is an evolutionarily conserved and multifunctional protein that drives inflammation in disease. Gal-3's role in the central nervous system has been less studied than in the immune system. However, recent studies show it exacerbates Alzheimer's disease and is upregulated in a large variety of brain injuries, while loss of Gal-3 function can diminish symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Several novel molecular pathways for Gal-3 were recently uncovered. It is a natural ligand for TREM2 (triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells), TLR4 (Toll-like receptor 4), and IR (insulin receptor). Gal-3 regulates a number of pathways including stimulation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling and modulating Wnt signalling in a context-dependent manner. Gal-3 typically acts in pathology but is now known to affect subventricular zone (SVZ) neurogenesis and gliogenesis in the healthy brain. Despite its myriad interactors, Gal-3 has surprisingly specific and important functions in regulating SVZ neurogenesis in disease. Gal-1, a similar lectin often co-expressed with Gal-3, also has profound effects on brain pathology and adult neurogenesis. Remarkably, Gal-3's carbohydrate recognition domain bears structural similarity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein necessary for cell entry. Gal-3 can be targeted pharmacologically and is a valid target for several diseases involving brain inflammation. The wealth of molecular pathways now known further suggest its modulation could be therapeutically useful.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Chaudhary JK, Yadav R, Chaudhary PK, et al (2021)

Insights into COVID-19 Vaccine Development Based on Immunogenic Structural Proteins of SARS-CoV-2, Host Immune Responses, and Herd Immunity.

Cells, 10(11): pii:cells10112949.

The first quarter of the 21st century has remarkably been characterized by a multitude of challenges confronting human society as a whole in terms of several outbreaks of infectious viral diseases, such as the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), China; the 2009 influenza H1N1, Mexico; the 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Saudi Arabia; and the ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), China. COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, reportedly broke out in December 2019, Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, and continues unabated, leading to considerable devastation and death worldwide. The most common target organ of SARS-CoV-2 is the lungs, especially the bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells, culminating in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in severe patients. Nevertheless, other tissues and organs are also known to be critically affected following infection, thereby complicating the overall aetiology and prognosis. Excluding H1N1, the SARS-CoV (also referred as SARS-CoV-1), MERS, and SARS-CoV-2 are collectively referred to as coronaviruses, and taxonomically placed under the realm Riboviria, order Nidovirales, suborder Cornidovirineae, family Coronaviridae, subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, genus Betacoronavirus, and subgenus Sarbecovirus. As of 23 September 2021, the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has globally resulted in around 229 million and 4.7 million reported infections and deaths, respectively, apart from causing huge psychosomatic debilitation, academic loss, and deep economic recession. Such an unprecedented pandemic has compelled researchers, especially epidemiologists and immunologists, to search for SARS-CoV-2-associated potential immunogenic molecules to develop a vaccine as an immediate prophylactic measure. Amongst multiple structural and non-structural proteins, the homotrimeric spike (S) glycoprotein has been empirically found as the most suitable candidate for vaccine development owing to its immense immunogenic potential, which makes it capable of eliciting both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. As a consequence, it has become possible to design appropriate, safe, and effective vaccines, apart from related therapeutic agents, to reduce both morbidity and mortality. As of 23 September 2021, four vaccines, namely, Comirnaty, COVID-19 vaccine Janssen, Spikevax, and Vaxzevria, have received the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) approval, and around thirty are under the phase three clinical trial with emergency authorization by the vaccine-developing country-specific National Regulatory Authority (NRA). In addition, 100-150 vaccines are under various phases of pre-clinical and clinical trials. The mainstay of global vaccination is to introduce herd immunity, which would protect the majority of the population, including immunocompromised individuals, from infection and disease. Here, we primarily discuss category-wise vaccine development, their respective advantages and disadvantages, associated efficiency and potential safety aspects, antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins and immune responses to them along with the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 VOC, and the urgent need of achieving herd immunity to contain the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Bhalerao A, Raut S, Noorani B, et al (2021)

Molecular Mechanisms of Multi-Organ Failure in COVID-19 and Potential of Stem Cell Therapy.

Cells, 10(11): pii:cells10112878.

As the number of confirmed cases and deaths occurring from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) surges worldwide, health experts are striving hard to fully comprehend the extent of damage caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although COVID-19 primarily manifests itself in the form of severe respiratory distress, it is also known to cause systemic damage to almost all major organs and organ systems within the body. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms leading to multi-organ failure seen in COVID-19 patients. We also examine the potential of stem cell therapy in treating COVID-19 multi-organ failure cases.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Alfaro-García JP, Granados-Alzate MC, Vicente-Manzanares M, et al (2021)

An Integrated View of Virus-Triggered Cellular Plasticity Using Boolean Networks.

Cells, 10(11): pii:cells10112863.

Virus-related mortality and morbidity are due to cell/tissue damage caused by replicative pressure and resource exhaustion, e.g., HBV or HIV; exaggerated immune responses, e.g., SARS-CoV-2; and cancer, e.g., EBV or HPV. In this context, oncogenic and other types of viruses drive genetic and epigenetic changes that expand the tumorigenic program, including modifications to the ability of cancer cells to migrate. The best-characterized group of changes is collectively known as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, or EMT. This is a complex phenomenon classically described using biochemistry, cell biology and genetics. However, these methods require enormous, often slow, efforts to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets. Systems biology can complement and accelerate discoveries in this field. One example of such an approach is Boolean networks, which make complex biological problems tractable by modeling data ("nodes") connected by logical operators. Here, we focus on virus-induced cellular plasticity and cell reprogramming in mammals, and how Boolean networks could provide novel insights into the ability of some viruses to trigger uncontrolled cell proliferation and EMT, two key hallmarks of cancer.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Deligiorgi MV, Siasos G, Vakkas L, et al (2021)

Charting the Unknown Association of COVID-19 with Thyroid Cancer, Focusing on Differentiated Thyroid Cancer: A Call for Caution.

Cancers, 13(22): pii:cancers13225785.

BACKGROUND: Conceived of as the "silver lining" of the dark cloud of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, lessons taught by this catastrophe should be leveraged by medical authorities and policy makers to optimize health care globally. A major lesson is that resilient health systems should absorb sudden shocks incited by overwhelming health emergencies without compromising the continuum of care of chronic diseases, especially of cancer.

METHODS: The present review dissects the association between COVID-19 and thyroid cancer (TC), especially with differentiated TC (DTC), focusing on available data, knowledge gaps, current challenges, and future perspectives.

RESULTS: Obesity has been incriminated in terms of both COVID-19 severity and a rising incidence of TC, especially of DTC. The current conceptualization of the pathophysiological landscape of COVID-19-(D)TC association implicates an interplay between obesity, inflammation, immunity, and oxidative stress. Whether COVID-19 could aggravate the health burden posed by (D)TC or vice versa has yet to be clarified. Improved understanding and harnessing of the pathophysiological landscape of the COVID-19-(D)TC association will empower a mechanism-guided, safe, evidence-based, and risk-stratified management of (D)TC in the COVID-19 era and beyond.

CONCLUSION: A multidisciplinary patient-centered decision-making will ensure high-quality (D)TC care for patients, with or without COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Celewicz A, Celewicz M, Michalczyk M, et al (2021)

Pregnancy as a Risk Factor of Severe COVID-19.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(22): pii:jcm10225458.

Since first being identified in December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as an etiological agent behind Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), has caused three waves of a global pandemic, with a fourth in progress. Despite its high percentage of asymptomatic and low-symptomatic courses of illness, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has claimed a higher death toll than the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV epidemics because of its high infectivity when compared to the other coronaviruses. High COVID-19 mortality is associated with age and other coexisting morbidities, as well as healthcare quality. According to several studies, pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes (caesarean delivery, pre-term birth, low birth weight, preeclampsia, ICU admission, and need for mechanical ventilation). In our review of recent literature, we focused on the effects of COVID-19 in pregnant women, emphasizing the subcellular pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2. In this paper, we concentrate on the pathophysiology of sub-cellular changes in COVID-19 and endeavor to highlight the aspects that manifest in physiological pregnancy and potentially create a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and acute COVID-19 symptoms. Understanding how pregnancy-associated changes can cause a synergistic effect with COVID-19 may point us in the right direction for future prophylaxis and treatment for women undergoing COVID-19 during pregnancy.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Laubscher GJ, Lourens PJ, Venter C, et al (2021)

TEG®, Microclot and Platelet Mapping for Guiding Early Management of Severe COVID-19 Coagulopathy.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(22): pii:jcm10225381.

An important component of severe COVID-19 disease is virus-induced endothelilitis. This leads to disruption of normal endothelial function, initiating a state of failing normal clotting physiology. Massively increased levels of von Willebrand Factor (VWF) lead to overwhelming platelet activation, as well as activation of the enzymatic (intrinsic) clotting pathway. In addition, there is an impaired fibrinolysis, caused by, amongst others, increased levels of alpha-(2) antiplasmin. The end result is hypercoagulation (proven by thromboelastography® (TEG®)) and reduced fibrinolysis, inevitably leading to a difficult-to-overcome hypercoagulated physiological state. Platelets in circulation also plays a significant role in clot formation, but they themselves may also drive hypercoagulation when they are overactivated due to the interactions of their receptors with the endothelium, immune cells or circulating inflammatory molecules. From the literature it is clear that the role of platelets in severely ill COVID-19 patients has been markedly underestimated or even ignored. We here highlight the value of early management of severe COVID-19 coagulopathy as guided by TEG®, microclot and platelet mapping. We also argue that the failure of clinical trials, where the efficacy of prophylactic versus therapeutic clexane (low molecular weight heparin (LMWH)) were not always successful, which may be because the significant role of platelet activation was not taken into account during the planning of the trial. We conclude that, because of the overwhelming alteration of clotting, the outcome of any trial evaluating an any single anticoagulant, including thrombolytic, would be negative. Here we suggest the use of the degree of platelet dysfunction and presence of microclots in circulation, together with TEG®, might be used as a guideline for disease severity. A multi-pronged approach, guided by TEG® and platelet mapping, would be required to maintain normal clotting physiology in severe COVID-19 disease.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Sagris D, Florentin M, Tasoudis P, et al (2021)

Immunomodulation and Reduction of Thromboembolic Risk in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(22): pii:jcm10225366.

BACKGROUND: We aimed to investigate the potential beneficial effect of immunomodulation therapy on the thromboembolic risk in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

METHODS: We searched PubMed and Scopus for randomized trials reporting the outcomes of venous thromboembolism (VTE), ischemic stroke or systemic embolism, myocardial infarction, any thromboembolic event, and all-cause mortality in COVID-19 patients treated with immunomodulatory agents. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the Mantel-Haenszel random effects method.

RESULTS: Among 8499 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 4638 were treated with an immunomodulatory agent, 3861-with usual care only. Among the patients prescribed immunomodulatory agents, there were 1.77 VTEs per 100 patient-months compared to 2.30 among those treated with usual care (OR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.61-1.16; I2: 0%). Among the patients who received an interleukin 6 (IL-6) antagonist, VTEs were reported in 12 among the 1075 patients compared to 20 among the 848 receiving the usual care (OR: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.22-1.20; I2: 6%). Immunomodulators as an add-on to usual care did not reduce the risk of stroke or systemic embolism (OR: 1.10, 95% CI: 0.50-2.40; I2: 0%) or of myocardial infarction (OR: 1.06, 95% CI: 0.47-2.39; I2: 0%) and there was a nonsignificant reduction in any thromboembolic event (OR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.65-1.14; I2: 0%).

CONCLUSIONS: We did not identify a statistically significant effect of immunomodulation on prevention of thromboembolic events in COVID-19. However, given the large effect estimate for VTE prevention, especially in the patients treated with IL-6 antagonists, we cannot exclude a potential effect of immunomodulation.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Bellinato F, Maurelli M, Gisondi P, et al (2021)

Cutaneous Adverse Reactions Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines.

Journal of clinical medicine, 10(22): pii:jcm10225344.

Many patients are receiving SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations, which have been associated with a variety of adverse effects. Cutaneous adverse reactions to SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations have been progressively reported, but they have not been reviewed according to their morphological clinical patterns. The objective of this review was to summarize the existing data concerning the cutaneous adverse reactions following SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and group them according to common morphological and pathogenetic patterns. We reviewed the English language literature up to 15 August 2021, using predefined keywords to identify the relevant studies evaluating cutaneous adverse reactions associated with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. We search for recurrent morphological patterns sharing clinical signs and symptoms and physio-pathological mechanisms. Timing to onset following the first or booster dose of the vaccine, predisposing conditions, therapeutic management, and outcome were also collected. Among the dermatological manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations, we distinguished: (1) new onset reactions and (2) flares of preexisting dermatoses. The most common were injection site reactions, affecting 30-70% and generally mild or moderate. Small case series or single case reports included filler reactions, exanthemas, vascular lesions, urticaria, eczematous dermatitis, autoimmune bullous reactions, and severe cutaneous adverse reactions. In addition, the exacerbation of chronic immuno-mediated dermatoses (mainly psoriasis and atopic dermatitis) and reactivations of herpes infection were reported. The cutaneous reactions were generally mild, self-limiting, and resembled common cutaneous drug eruptions and/or COVID-19 skin manifestations.


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 )