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Bibliography on: covid-19

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 16 Jan 2021 at 01:36 Created: 


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

NOTE: To obtain the entire bibliography (all 10117 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: 2021-01-15

Paraskevis D, Kostaki EG, Alygizakis N, et al (2020)

A review of the impact of weather and climate variables to COVID-19: In the absence of public health measures high temperatures cannot probably mitigate outbreaks.

The Science of the total environment, 768:144578 pii:S0048-9697(20)38109-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The new severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic was first recognized at the end of 2019 and has caused one of the most serious global public health crises in the last years. In this paper, we review current literature on the effect of weather (temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind, etc.) and climate (temperature as an essential climate variable, solar radiation in the ultraviolet, sunshine duration) variables on SARS-CoV-2 and discuss their impact to the COVID-19 pandemic; the review also refers to respective effect of urban parameters and air pollution. Most studies suggest that a negative correlation exists between ambient temperature and humidity on the one hand and the number of COVID-19 cases on the other, while there have been studies which support the absence of any correlation or even a positive one. The urban environment and specifically the air ventilation rate, as well as air pollution, can probably affect, also, the transmission dynamics and the case fatality rate of COVID-19. Due to the inherent limitations in previously published studies, it remains unclear if the magnitude of the effect of temperature or humidity on COVID-19 is confounded by the public health measures implemented widely during the first pandemic wave. The effect of weather and climate variables, as suggested previously for other viruses, cannot be excluded, however, under the conditions of the first pandemic wave, it might be difficult to be uncovered. The increase in the number of cases observed during summertime in the Northern hemisphere, and especially in countries with high average ambient temperatures, demonstrates that weather and climate variables, in the absence of public health interventions, cannot mitigate the resurgence of COVID-19 outbreaks.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Keflie TS, HK Biesalski (2020)

Micronutrients and bioactive substances: Their potential roles in combating COVID-19.

Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 84:111103 pii:S0899-9007(20)30386-5 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is seriously threatening public health and setting off huge economic crises across the world. In the absence of specific drugs for COVID-19, there is an urgent need to look for alternative approaches. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to review the roles of micronutrients and bioactive substances as potential alternative approaches in combating COVID-19.

METHODS: This review was based on the literature identified using electronic searches in different databases.

RESULTS: Vitamins (A, B, C, D, and E), minerals (selenium and zinc), and bioactive substances from curcumin, echinacea, propolis, garlic, soybean, green tea, and other polyphenols were identified as having potential roles in interfering with spike glycoproteins, angiotensin converting enzyme 2, and transmembrane protease serine 2 at the entry site, and inhibiting activities of papain-like protease, 3 chymotrypsin-like protease, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in the replication cycle of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Having immunomodulating, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties, such micronutrients and bioactive substances are consequently promising alterative nutritional approaches to combat COVID-19.

CONCLUSIONS: The roles of micronutrients and bioactive substances in the fight against COVID-19 are exciting areas of research. This review may suggest directions for further study.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Wardley A, Canon JL, Elsten L, et al (2021)

Flexible care in breast cancer.

ESMO open, 6(1):100007 pii:S2059-7029(20)32869-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Treatment of patients with cancer in hospitals or clinics is resource-intensive and imposes a burden on patients. 'Flexible care' is a term that can be used to describe treatment administered outside the oncology ward, oncological outpatient clinic or office-based oncologist setting. Programmes that reduce travel burden by bringing cancer treatment to the patient's home, workplace or closer to the patient's home, in the form of satellite clinics or mobile cancer units, expand treatment capacity and are well received. Clinical trial data show that, compared with intravenous administration, subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of trastuzumab is preferred by patients with breast cancer (BC), saves healthcare professionals' (HCPs) time, reduces drug preparation and administration time and reduces direct and indirect costs. As such, s.c. trastuzumab is well suited to flexible care. The results of a Belgian study (BELIS) show that home administration of s.c. trastuzumab is feasible and preferred by patients with BC. Numerous programmes and pilot studies in Europe show that s.c. trastuzumab can be administered effectively in the patient's home, in primary care settings or local hospitals. Such programmes require planning, training, careful patient selection and technology to link patients, caregivers and specialists in oncology clinics. Once these elements are in place, flexible care offers patients with BC a choice of how treatment may be delivered and lead to improved quality of life, while reducing pressure on HCPs and hospitals. The concept of flexible care is particularly relevant amid the COVID-19 pandemic where guidelines have been developed encouraging remote care.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Kesavadev J, Misra A, Saboo B, et al (2021)

Blood glucose levels should be considered as a new vital sign indicative of prognosis during hospitalization.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 15(1):221-227 pii:S1871-4021(20)30527-0 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The measurement of vital signs is an important part of clinical work up. Presently, measurement of blood glucose is a factor for concern mostly when treating individuals with diabetes. Significance of blood glucose measurement in prognosis of non-diabetic and hospitalized patients is not clear.

METHODS: A systematic search of literature published in the Electronic databases, PubMed and Google Scholar was performed using following keywords; blood glucose, hospital admissions, critical illness, hospitalizations, cardiovascular disease (CVD), morbidity, and mortality. This literature search was largely restricted to non-diabetic individuals.

RESULTS: Blood glucose level, even when in high normal range, or in slightly high range, is an important determinant of morbidity and mortality, especially in hospitalized patients. Further, even slight elevation of blood glucose may increase mortality in patients with COVID-19. Finally, blood glucose variability and hypoglycemia in critically ill individuals without diabetes causes excess in-hospital complications and mortality.

CONCLUSION: In view of these data, we emphasize the significance of blood glucose measurement in all patients admitted to the hospital regardless of presence of diabetes. We propose that blood glucose be included as the "fifth vital sign" for any hospitalized patient.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Pahl DA, Wieder MS, DM Steinberg (2021)

Social isolation and connection in adolescents with cancer and survivors of childhood cancer: A systematic review.

Journal of adolescence, 87:15-27 pii:S0140-1971(20)30204-9 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Cancer may cause significant disruptions in normal adolescent development particularly in social domains. Both treatment and survivorship pose challenges to fostering social connections. To better understand these challenges, we conducted a systematic literature review of the experience of social isolation and connectedness in adolescents with cancer and adolescent survivors of childhood cancer.

METHODS: A systematic review of the scientific literature was conducted following PRISMA Guidelines. Eligible articles included original peer-reviewed research published in English between January 2000 and April 2020 that reported on social domains of patients and survivors of cancer between the ages of 10-21. Initial database search identified 4606 articles with 43 studies meeting inclusion criteria.

RESULTS: Results were synthesized into four domains: (1) the prevalence of connectedness/isolation; (2) risk factors associated with social isolation; (3) protective factors against social isolation; (4) the impact of social isolation on psychological health. Overall, adolescent patients and survivors of cancer have satisfactory social connectedness. However, certain subgroups including those with central nervous system tumors are at higher risk of social isolation.

CONCLUSIONS: In general, adolescent cancer patients and survivors report levels of social connectedness consistent with healthy adolescent population norms. The risk and protective factors identified in this review may help serve as important indicators for psychosocial screening and interventions. These findings are particularly relevant in the COVID-19 era as all adolescents face challenges to social connections and psychosocial development.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Barreto PS, Vellas B, Y Rolland (2021)

Physical activity and exercise in the context of SARS-Cov-2: a perspective from geroscience field.

Ageing research reviews pii:S1568-1637(21)00005-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The recent pandemics of the SARS-Cov-2 has pushed physical activity (PA) and exercise at the forefront of the discussion, since PA is associated with a reduced risk of developing all the chronic diseases strongly associated with severe cases of SARS-Cov-2 and exercise is considered a complimentary therapeutics for the treatment of these age-related conditions. The mechanisms through which PA and exercise could contribute to reduce the severity of the SARS-Cov-2 infection would be multiple, including their capacity to boost the immune system, but also their global effect on slowing down the progression of the aging process. The present perspective presents a discussion on how PA and exercise might hypothetically be linked with SARS-Cov-2 infection, current scientific gaps and shortcomings as well as recommendations for advancing research in this area, placing the debate in the context of aging and gerosciences.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Sehrawat S, BT Rouse (2021)

COVID-19: Disease, or no disease? - that is the question. It's the dose stupid!.

Microbes and infection pii:S1286-4579(21)00001-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many issues not the least of which is the reason for its high variability in consequences to the infected person. In this opinion letter, we advocate that the dose and presentation of the infecting virus is a major factor that affects whether the outcome is subclinical, tissue damaging or even lethal following infection. We briefly describe the known effects of virus dose on the course COVID-19 and discuss practical maneuvers as well as largely untested procedures that can raise the threshold dose needed to break through barriers of resistance.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Delshadi R, Bahrami A, Mcclements DJ, et al (2021)

Development of nanoparticle-delivery systems for antiviral agents: A review.

Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society pii:S0168-3659(21)00026-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented increases in sickness, death, economic disruption, and social disturbances globally. However, the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that caused this pandemic is only one of many viruses threatening public health. Consequently, it is important to have effective means of preventing viral transmission and reducing its devastating effects on human and animal health. Although many antivirals are already available, their efficacy is often limited because of factors such as poor solubility, low permeability, poor bioavailability, un-targeted release, adverse side effects, and antiviral resistance. Many of these problems can be overcome using advanced antiviral delivery systems constructed using nanotechnology principles. These delivery systems consist of antivirals loaded into nanoparticles, which may be fabricated from either synthetic or natural materials. Nevertheless, there is increasing empHasis on the development of antiviral delivery systems from natural substances, such as lipids, phospholipids, surfactants, proteins, and polysaccharides, due to health and environmental issues. The composition, morphology, dimensions, and interfacial characteristics of nanoparticles can be manipulated to improve the handling, stability, and potency of antivirals. This article outlines the major classes of antivirals, summarizes the challenges currently limiting their efficacy, and highlights how nanoparticles can be used to overcome these challenges. Recent studies on the application of antiviral nanoparticle-based delivery systems are reviewed and future directions are described.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Supady A, Curtis JR, Abrams D, et al (2021)

Allocating scarce intensive care resources during the COVID-19 pandemic: practical challenges to theoretical frameworks.

The Lancet. Respiratory medicine pii:S2213-2600(20)30580-4 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic strained health-care systems throughout the world. For some, available medical resources could not meet the increased demand and rationing was ultimately required. Hospitals and governments often sought to establish triage committees to assist with allocation decisions. However, for institutions operating under crisis standards of care (during times when standards of care must be substantially lowered in the setting of crisis), relying on these committees for rationing decisions was impractical-circumstances were changing too rapidly, occurring in too many diverse locations within hospitals, and the available information for decision making was notably scarce. Furthermore, a utilitarian approach to decision making based on an analysis of outcomes is problematic due to uncertainty regarding outcomes of different therapeutic options. We propose that triage committees could be involved in providing policies and guidance for clinicians to help ensure equity in the application of rationing under crisis standards of care. An approach guided by egalitarian principles, integrated with utilitarian principles, can support physicians at the bedside when they must ration scarce resources.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Correale M, Tricarico L, Fortunato M, et al (2021)

Infection, atherothrombosis and thromboembolism beyond the COVID-19 disease: what similar in physiopathology and researches.

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

The recent Sars-Cov-2 pandemic (COVID-19) has led to growing research on the relationship between thromboembolism and Sars-Cov-2 infection. Nowadays, endothelial dysfunction, platelet activation, coagulation, and inflammatory host immune response are the subject of extensive researches in patients with COVID-19 disease. However, studies on the link between microorganisms or infections and thrombotic or thromboembolic events met fluctuating interest in the past. We, therefore, aimed to briefly summarize previous evidence on this topic, highlighting common points between previous data and what experienced today with SARS-COV2 infections.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Moschonas IC, AD Tselepis (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 infection and thrombotic complications: a narrative review.

Journal of thrombosis and thrombolysis [Epub ahead of print].

The current, global situation regarding the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and its potentially devastating clinical manifestations, i.e. coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), took the world by storm, as millions of people have been infected worldwide and more than 1,600,000 patients have succumbed. Infection induced by various respiratory viruses may lead to thrombotic complications. Infection-elicited thrombosis may involve a repertoire of distinct, yet interconnected pathophysiological mechanisms, implicating a hyperinflammatory response, platelet activation and triggering of the coagulation cascade. In the present review, we present current knowledge on the pathophysiological mechanisms that may underlie thrombotic complications in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we provide clinical data regarding the incidence rate of thrombotic events in several viral respiratory infections that cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, including SARS-CoV-2 infection and finally we summarize current recommendations concerning thromboprophylaxis and antithrombotic therapy in patients with thrombotic complications related to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Yeh T, Yeung M, FA Mendelsohn Curanaj (2021)

Managing Patients with Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitors in the Hospital: to Wear or Not to Wear.

Current diabetes reports, 21(2):7.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: As the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the USA continues to rise, so does the popularity of diabetes management devices such as continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps. The use of this technology has been shown to improve outpatient glycemic outcomes and quality of life and oftentimes may be continued in the hospital setting. Our aim is to review the current guidelines and available evidence on the continuation of insulin pumps and CGMs in the inpatient setting.

RECENT FINDINGS: Patients with diabetes are at higher risk for hospitalizations and complications due to hyper- or hypoglycemia, metabolic co-morbidities, or as seen recently, more severe illness from infections such as SARS-CoV-2. The maintenance of euglycemia is important to decrease both morbidity and mortality in the hospital setting. There is consensus among experts and medical societies that inpatient use of diabetes technology in carefully selected patients with proper institutional protocols is safe and can improve inpatient glycemic outcomes and reduce hypoglycemia. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CGMs played a vital role in managing hyperglycemia in some hospitalized patients. Insulin pumps and CGMs have the potential to transform glycemic management in hospitalized patients. In order for institutions to safely and effectively incorporate these technologies on their inpatient units, hospital-based providers will need to be able to understand how to manage and utilize these devices in their practice in conjunction with diabetes experts.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Nuara A, Fabbri-Destro M, Scalona E, et al (2021)

Telerehabilitation in response to constrained physical distance: an opportunity to rethink neurorehabilitative routines.

Journal of neurology [Epub ahead of print].

Ensuring proper dosage of treatment and repetition over time is a major challenge in neurorehabilitation. However, a requirement of physical distancing to date compromises their achievement. While mostly associated to COVID-19, physical distancing is not only required in a pandemic scenario, but also advised for several clinical conditions (e.g. immunocompromised individuals) or forced for specific social contexts (e.g. people living in remote areas worldwide). All these contexts advocate for the implementation of alternative healthcare models. The objective of this perspective is to highlight the benefits of remote administration of rehabilitative treatment, namely telerehabilitation, in counteracting physical distancing barriers in neurorehabilitation. Sustaining boosters of treatment outcome, such as compliance, sustainability, as well as motivation, telerehabilitation may adapt to multiple neurological conditions, with the further advantage of a high potential for individualization to patient's or pathology's specificities. The effectiveness of telerehabilitation can be potentiated by several technologies available to date: virtual reality can recreate realistic environments in which patients may bodily operate, wearable sensors allow to quantitatively monitor the patient's performance, and signal processing may contribute to the prediction of long-term dynamics of patient recovery. Telerehabilitation might spark its advantages far beyond the mere limitation of physical distancing effects, mitigating criticalities of daily neurorehabilitative practice, and thus paving the way to the envision of mixed models of care, where hospital-based procedures are complementarily integrated with telerehabilitative ones.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Elsner P (2020)

Teledermatology in the times of COVID-19 - a systematic review.

Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft = Journal of the German Society of Dermatology : JDDG, 18(8):841-845.

The COVID-19 pandemic restricts the care of dermatological patients in many ways. Teledermatology such as video consultation or "store-and-forward" teledermatology could at least partly compensate for this. This systematic review summarizes all published studies on teledermatology during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on a MEDLINE search for articles from 2020 in English and German. Two surveys among dermatologists from the USA and India showed that more than 80 % offered teledermatology. Among German dermatologists 17.5 % of 480 respondents offered online video consultation, 11.3 % offline consultation (store and forward) and 10.0 % both. Five cohort studies on teledermatology during the pandemic were identified. Three of them investigated teledermatology in chronic dermatoses (acne, inflammatory skin diseases), one dealt with the care of oncological patients with dermatological complications, and one analyzed teleconsultation in suspected COVID-19 cases. In all studies, teledermatology largely reduced the number of personal consultations. The results indicate that the limitations of personal dermatological care of patients with skin diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic can be at least partially compensated by an extension of teledermatology. Findings from the use of teledermatology during the pandemic should be employed to improve the use and acceptance of teledermatology by patients and dermatologists.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Kumar R, Sharma A, Srivastava JK, et al (2021)

Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19: therapeutic promises, current status, and environmental implications.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

The outbreak of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has affected the entire world with its infectious spread and mortality rate. The severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are characterized by hypoxia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. In the absence of any specific treatment, just the preventive and supportive care options are available. Therefore, much focus is given to assess the available therapeutic options not only to avoid acute respiratory failure and hypoxia but also to reduce the viral load to control the severity of the disease. The antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is among the much-discussed drugs for the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients. This article reviews the therapeutic potential of HCQ in the treatment of COVID-19 based on the available in vitro and clinical evidence, current status of registered HCQ-based clinical trials investigating therapeutic options for COVID-19, and environmental implications of HCQ.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Klausner M, Handa Y, S Aizawa (2021)

In vitro three-dimensional organotypic culture models of the oral mucosa.

In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Animal [Epub ahead of print].

Three-dimensional, organotypic models of the oral mucosa have been developed to study a wide variety of phenomena occurring in the oral cavity. Although a number of models have been developed in academic research labs, only a few models have been commercialized. Models from academic groups offer a broader range of phenotypes while the commercial models are more focused on the oral and gingival mucosa. The commercialized models are manufactured under highly controlled conditions and meet the requirements of quality standards, which leads to high levels of reproducibility. These in vitro models have been used to evaluate the irritancy of oral care products such as toothpastes, mouthwashes, and mucoadhesives. The effects of cigarette smoke on oral cavity tissues have been studied and compared to those of e-cigarettes. Oral tissue models have facilitated investigation of the mechanisms of oral mucositis and oral candidiasis and have been used to examine transbuccal drug delivery rates and the absorption of nanoparticles. Infection studies have investigated the effects of HIV-1 along with the effects of commensal and pathogenic bacteria. More recently, a differentiated oral tissue model has been shown to express the ACE2 receptor, which is known to be important for the receptor-mediated entry of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus into human cells and tissues. Hence, oral mucosal models may find application in determining whether viral infection of the oral mucosa is possible and whether such infection has implications vis-a-vis the current COVID-19 pandemic. As is apparent, these models are used in a broad variety of applications and often offer advantages versus animal models in terms of reproducibility, avoiding species extrapolation, and the ethical concerns related to human and animal experimentation. The goals of this paper are to review commercially available models of the human buccal and gingival mucosa and highlight their use to gain a better understanding of a broad range of phenomena affecting tissues in the oral cavity.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Zhang Z, Zhang L, Zhu A, et al (2020)

Narrative review of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: update on genomic characteristics, transmissions and animal model.

Journal of thoracic disease, 12(12):7454-7466.

Two outbreaks of severe respiratory infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) caused global pandemics and highlighted the importance of preparedness for respiratory CoVs. Recently, a third highly pathogenic CoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China and posed a public health crisis worldwide. Here, we focus on the recent advances of the novel CoV, and discuss its genomic similarity with other CoVs, transmission, animal model and clinical treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) induced by SARS-CoV-2, which help epidemic prevention and control, and guide treatment strategies.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Zhang T, Huang WS, Guan W, et al (2020)

Risk factors and predictors associated with the severity of COVID-19 in China: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression.

Journal of thoracic disease, 12(12):7429-7441.

Since December 2019, the pneumonia cases infected with 2019 novel coronavirus have appeared, posing a critical threat to global health. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis to discover the different clinical characteristics between severe and non-severe patients with COVID-19 to find the potential risk factors and predictors of this disease's severity, as well as to serve as a guidance for subsequent epidemic prevention and control work. PubMed, Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase and other databases were searched to collect studies on the difference of clinical characteristics of severe and non-severe patients. Meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3 software, and the funnel plots could be made to evaluate the publication bias. P>0.05 means no statistical significance. Furthermore, a meta-regression analysis was performed by using Stata 15.0 to find the potential factors of the high degree of heterogeneity (I2>50%). Sixteen studies have been included, with 1,172 severe patients and 2,803 non-severe patients. Compared with non-severe patients, severe patients were more likely to have the symptoms of dyspnea, hemoptysis, and the complications of ARDS, shock, secondary infection, acute kidney injury, and acute cardiac injury. Interestingly, the former smokers were more prevalent in severe cases as compared to non-severe cases, but there was no difference between the two groups of 'current smokers'. Except for chronic liver disease and chronic kidney disease, the underlying comorbidities of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), malignancy, cerebrovascular disease, and HIV can make the disease worse. In terms of laboratory indicators, the decreased lymphocyte and platelet count, and the increased levels of white blood cell (WBC), D-dimer, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, procalcitonin, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and C-reactive protein were more prevalent in severe patients. Meta-regression analysis showed that patient age, gender, and proportion of severe cases did not significantly impact on the outcomes of any clinical indexes that showed high degree of heterogeneity in the meta-analysis. In conclusion, the severity of COVID-19 could be evaluated by, radiologic finding, some symptoms like dyspnea and hemoptysis, some laboratory indicators, and smoking history, especially the ex-smokers. Compared with non-severe patients, severe patients were more likely to have complications and comorbidities including hypertension, cardiovascular disease etc., which were the risk factors for the disease to be severer, but the chronic liver disease and chronic kidney disease were not associated the severity of COVID-19 in China.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Duner P, A Salehi (2020)

COVID-19 and Possible Pharmacological Preventive Options.

Journal of clinical medicine research, 12(12):758-772.

The dreadful fear of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with the deadly consequences, requires rapid development of pharmacological cures. The objective of this review is to speculate about possible pharmacological options, already available today to prevent or treat the COVID-19 in the early stage of its outbreak. A literature search across PubMed and internet was conducted. A number of studies dealing with COVID-19 were identified. The data elucidated that increased pro-inflammatory and decreased anti-inflammatory cytokines in combination with hypoxia, thromboembolism and pneumonia are involved in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although many drugs has been tested in monotherapy regimen with varying outcome or without desirable effect, there is still hope for better results by simultaneously targeting the virus itself and its symptoms. Theoretically, a mixture of at least two available antiviral drugs in combination with other anti-pathogenic and immune system-enhancing drugs or combination of antiviral drugs with convalescent plasma seems likely to have much better effect than the monotherapy regimen of either of these drugs.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Shah SB, R Chawla (2020)

Cancer in corona times.

Saudi journal of anaesthesia, 14(4):504-509.

Humanity is witnessing an unprecedented tsunami of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Till date, India houses 10,453 confirmed COVID-19 patients with a death toll of 358 nationwide and the number is steadily rising with each passing day. The capital city of Delhi, harbouring 1510 patients, has the dubious distinction of being the second largest hotspot for COVID positive patients in India, second only to the state of Maharashtra. Being immuno-compromised, cancer patients are first more susceptible to catch this virus and secondly may witness a more devastating course. Having cancer is a bigger risk factor for contracting COVID-19 than even old age. "Death due to untreated cancer is a much bigger reality than death due to COVID-19," is one perspective that advocates continuation of cancer therapy in corona times albeit by converting cancer hospitals into virtual corona-free fortresses with several tiers of barriers against corona. The immediate, short and long term implications of the corona pandemic and a nationwide lockdown to curtail it, on cancer patients and their caregivers is discussed at length here tempered with experience from the largest tertiary care oncology setup of Northern India. Rigorous literature review based on Medline, Google scholar, Embase, Cochrane and Scopus database search was utilized.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Sharma H, S Verma (2020)

Unusual routes for transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Recommendations to interrupt the vicious cycle of infection.

Saudi journal of anaesthesia, 14(4):498-503.

The outbreak of the novel COVID-19, which began silently in Wuhan City, China, has now taken the form of a pandemic, with its claws spreading rapidly in many countries, with new and new cases emerging rapidly. The COVID-19-associated CoV is a beta coronavirus, which spreads at such a deadly rate that the World Health Organization (WHO) has to declare it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The objective of the narrative review is to describe what is COVID-19-related coronavirus (CoV), its structure and particle size, potential transmission routes, the risk of infection in patients undergoing blood transfusion or in patients with diabetes and cancer, and recommendations to prevent its spread in office settings, travel / recreation settings, residential and health facilities. This paper also discusses several groundbreaking approaches that are used to counter COVID-19. With this narrative review, we hope to raise awareness of the usual and unusual pathways of transmission and prevent the spread of this pandemic disease.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Yisak H, Ewunetei A, Kefale B, et al (2021)

Effects of Vitamin D on COVID-19 Infection and Prognosis: A Systematic Review.

Risk management and healthcare policy, 14:31-38 pii:291584.

Introduction: Vitamin D status is related to risks of influenza and respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D has direct antiviral effects primarily against enveloped viruses, and coronavirus is an enveloped virus. The 2019 coronavirus disease had a high mortality rate and impacted the whole population of the planet, with severe acute respiratory syndrome the principal cause of death. Vitamin D can adequately modulate and regulate the immune and oxidative response to infection with COVID-19. The goal of this systematic review was thus to summarize and decide if there were a link between vitamin D status and COVID-19 infection and prognosis.

Methods: The protocol of this study is documented in the Prospero database and can be accessed with the protocol number CRD42020201283. PubMed and Google Scholar were used for a literature search from August 2020 to September 2020. We restricted the year of publication of reviewed articles to 2019-2020, and the selected language was English. Studies that used secondary data, feedback, or analysis of reviews were removed. To assess the standard of studies included, the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) method was used.

Results: Of the nine studies reviewed, seven (77.8%) showed that COVID-19 infection, prognosis, and mortality were correlated with vitamin D status.

Conclusion: Most of the articles reviewed showed that blood vitamin D status can determine the risk of being infected with COVID-19, seriousness of COVID-19, and mortality from COVID-19. Therefore, maintaining appropriate levels of Vitamin D through supplementation or natural methods, eg, sunlight on the skin, is recommended for the public to be able to cope with the pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Hanna R, Dalvi S, Sălăgean T, et al (2021)

Understanding COVID-19 Pandemic: Molecular Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutic Strategies. An Evidence-Based Review.

Journal of inflammation research, 14:13-56 pii:282213.

Initially, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was considered as a pneumonia virus; however, a series of peer reviewed medical papers published in the last eight months suggest that this virus attacks the brain, heart, intestine, nervous and vascular systems, as well the blood stream. Although many facts remain unknown, an objective appraisal of the current scientific literature addressing the latest progress on COVID-19 is required. The aim of the present study was to conduct a critical review of the literature, focusing on the current molecular structure of SARS-CoV-2 and prospective treatment modalities of COVID-19. The main objectives were to collect, scrutinize and objectively evaluate the current scientific evidence-based information, as well to provide an updated overview of the topic that is ongoing. The authors underlined potential prospective therapies, including vaccine and phototherapy, as a monotherapy or combined with current treatment modalities. The authors concluded that this review has produced high quality evidence, which can be utilized by the clinical scientific community for future reference, as the knowledge and understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are evolving, in terms of its epidemiological, pathogenicity, and clinical manifestations, which ultimately map the strategic path, towards an effective and safe treatment and production of a reliable and potent vaccine.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Sodhi K, G Chanchalani (2020)

Awake Proning: Current Evidence and Practical Considerations.

Indian journal of critical care medicine : peer-reviewed, official publication of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine, 24(12):1236-1241.

Prone positioning has been shown to improve oxygenation for decades. However, proning in awake, non-intubated patients gained acceptance in the last few months since the onset of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To overcome the shortage of ventilators, to decrease the overwhelming burden on intensive care beds in the pandemic era, and also as invasive ventilation was associated with poor outcomes, proning of awake, spontaneously breathing patients gathered momentum. Being an intervention with minimal risk and requiring minimum assistance, it is now a globally accepted therapy to improve oxygenation in acute hypoxemic respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients. We thus reviewed the literature of awake proning in non-intubated patients and described a safe protocol to practice the same. How to cite this article: Sodhi K, Chanchalani G. Awake Proning: Current Evidence and Practical Considerations. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020;24(12):1236-1241.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Czajka TF, Vance DJ, NJ Mantis (2020)

Slaying SARS-CoV-2 One (Single-domain) Antibody at a Time.

Trends in microbiology pii:S0966-842X(20)30323-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Camelid-derived and synthetic single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) are emerging as potent weapons against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. sdAbs are small, compact, thermostable immunoglobulin elements capable of binding targets with subnanomolar affinities. By leveraging the power of phage- and yeast surface-display technologies, rare sdAbs can be isolated from highly diverse and complex antibody libraries. Once in hand, sdAbs can be engineered to improve binding affinity, avidity, target specificities, and biodistribution. In this Opinion piece we highlight a series of sophisticated studies describing the identification of ultrapotent sdAbs directed against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. We discuss the possible applications of these antibodies in the global fight against COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Chan J, Auffermann W, Jenkins P, et al (2021)

Implementing a Novel Through-Glass Chest Radiography Technique for COVID-19 Patients: Image Quality, Radiation Dose Optimization, and Practical Considerations.

Current problems in diagnostic radiology pii:S0363-0188(21)00018-9 [Epub ahead of print].

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented many logistical challenges, including unprecedented shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). A technique of obtaining portable chest radiographs (pCXR) through glass doors or windows to minimize technologist-patient contact and conserve PPE has gained popularity, but remains incompletely evaluated in the literature. Our goal was to quickly implement this technique and evaluate image quality and radiation dose.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An infographic and video were developed to educate nurses and technologists on the through-glass pCXR technique. Imaging parameters were optimized using a phantom and scatter radiation was measured. Three reviewers independently evaluated 100 conventionally obtained and 100 through-glass pCXRs from March 13, 2020 to April 30, 2020 on patients with suspected COVID-19, using criteria for positioning and sharpness/contrast on a 1 (confident criteria not met) to 5 (confident criteria met) scale. Imaging parameters, including deviation index (DI) were recorded for all radiographs.

RESULTS: The through-glass method was rapidly adopted and conserved one isolation gown per interaction. Although there was a statistically significant difference in the positioning (P value 0.018) and sharpness/contrast (P value 0.016), the difference in mean ratings was small: 4.82 vs 4.65 for positioning and 4.67 vs 4.50 (conventional vs modified) for sharpness/contrast. Scatter radiation was measured using a thorax phantom and found to be acceptable for the patient and nearby personnel. Standard deviation was higher for the DI for the through-glass technique (2.8) compared to the conventional technique (1.8), although the means were similar.

CONCLUSION: The through-glass technique was quickly implemented, producing diagnostic quality chest radiographs while conserving PPE and reducing risks to radiology staff. There was more variability with imaging technique and DI using the through-glass technique, likely due to technologist uncertainty regarding technical modifications. Further work to reduce this variation is necessary to optimize quality and dose.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Maury A, Lyoubi A, Peiffer-Smadja N, et al (2020)

Neurological manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses: A narrative review for clinicians.

Revue neurologique pii:S0035-3787(20)30732-3 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: The past two decades have been marked by three epidemics linked to emerging coronaviruses. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the existence of neurological manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and raised the question of the neuropathogenicity of coronaviruses. The aim of this review was to summarize the current data about neurological manifestations and diseases linked to human coronaviruses.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Articles have been identified by searches of PubMed and Google scholar up to September 25, 2020, using a combination of coronavirus and neurology search terms and adding relevant references in the articles.

RESULTS: We found five cohorts providing prevalence data of neurological symptoms among a total of 2533 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and articles focusing on COVID-19 patients with neurological manifestations including a total of 580 patients. Neurological symptoms involved up to 73% of COVID-19 hospitalized patients, and were mostly headache, myalgias and impaired consciousness. Central nervous system (CNS) manifestations reported in COVID-19 were mostly non-specific encephalopathies that represented between 13% and 40% of all neurological manifestations; post-infectious syndromes including acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis (ADEM, n=13), acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE, n=4), Bickerstaff's encephalitis (n=5), generalized myoclonus (n=3) and acute transverse myelitis (n=7); other encephalitis including limbic encephalitis (n=9) and miscellaneous encephalitis with variable radiologic findings (n=26); acute cerebrovascular diseases including ischemic strokes (between 1.3% and 4.7% of COVID-19 patients), hemorrhagic strokes (n=17), cerebral venous thrombosis (n=8) and posterior reversible encephalopathy (n=5). Peripheral nervous system (PNS) manifestations reported in COVID-19 were the following: Guillain-Barré syndrome (n=31) and variants including Miller Fisher syndrome (n=3), polyneuritis cranialis (n=2) and facial diplegia (n=2); isolated oculomotor neuropathy (n=6); critical illness myopathy (n=6). Neuropathological studies in COVID-19 patients demonstrated different patterns of CNS damage, mostly ischemic and hemorrhagic changes with few cases of inflammatory injuries. Only one case suggested SARS-CoV-2 infiltration in endothelial and neural cells. We found 10 case reports or case series describing 22 patients with neurological manifestations associated with other human coronaviruses. Among them we found four MERS patients with ADEM or Bickerstaff's encephalitis, two SARS patients with encephalitis who had a positive SARS-CoV PCR in cerebrospinal fluid, five patients with ischemic strokes associated with SARS, eight MERS patients with critical illness neuromyopathy and one MERS patient with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. An autopsy study on SARS-CoV patients demonstrated the presence of the virus in the brain of eight patients.

CONCLUSION: The wide range of neurological manifestations and diseases associated with SARS-CoV-2 is consistent with multiple pathogenic pathways including post-infectious mechanisms, septic-associated encephalopathies, coagulopathy or endothelitis. There was no definite evidence to support direct neuropathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Corsi M, Orsini A, Pedrinelli V, et al (2021)

PTSD in parents of children with severe diseases: a systematic review to face Covid-19 impact.

Italian journal of pediatrics, 47(1):8.

CONTEXT: The literature agrees on the impact of post-traumatic stress symptoms in parents of seriously ill children but there is less clarity about the real extent and gender differences of this psychopathological risk. The recent Covid-19 outbreak highlighted new burdens for researchers on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and clear evidence-based knowledge on this issue is timely needed.

OBJECTIVE: In this review, we present a synthesis of the updated evidence on PTSD rates in parents of children with severe diseases. We also aim to try to understand if research in this field has been refined over time with the long-term intent to better face the new challenges of Covid-19 in the paediatric field.

DATA SOURCES: The PubMed database was searched.

STUDY SELECTION: Studies were included if they assessed PTSD in parents of children diagnosed with physical illnesses.

DATA EXTRACTION: Of 240 studies, 4 were included.

RESULTS: Analysis of the 4 studies revealed 2 studies with PTSD rates around 20% and in line with previous best-evidence. All 4 studies tried to provide more data on fathers, however, all the studies present the lack of a control group.

LIMITATIONS: The limited number of studies, which also differ widely in the methodology used.

CONCLUSIONS: Methodological errors evidenced in all the 4 studies limit their reliability, making the understanding of the paediatric caregiver's concern regarding PTSD still difficult. More sound research is needed.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Klasa K, Galaitsi S, Wister A, et al (2021)

System models for resilience in gerontology: application to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BMC geriatrics, 21(1):51.

The care needs for aging adults are increasing burdens on health systems around the world. Efforts minimizing risk to improve quality of life and aging have proven moderately successful, but acute shocks and chronic stressors to an individual's systemic physical and cognitive functions may accelerate their inevitable degradations. A framework for resilience to the challenges associated with aging is required to complement on-going risk reduction policies, programs and interventions. Studies measuring resilience among the elderly at the individual level have not produced a standard methodology. Moreover, resilience measurements need to incorporate external structural and system-level factors that determine the resources that adults can access while recovering from aging-related adversities. We use the National Academies of Science conceptualization of resilience for natural disasters to frame resilience for aging adults. This enables development of a generalized theory of resilience for different individual and structural contexts and populations, including a specific application to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Pum A, Ennemoser M, Adage T, et al (2021)

Cytokines and Chemokines in SARS-CoV-2 Infections-Therapeutic Strategies Targeting Cytokine Storm.

Biomolecules, 11(1): pii:biom11010091.

The recently identified severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus, the cause of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the associated ongoing pandemic, frequently leads to severe respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia with fatal consequences. Although several factors of this infection and its consequences are not completely clear, the presence and involvement of specific chemokines is undoubtedly crucial for the development and progression of COVID-19. Cytokine storm and the often-resulting cytokine release syndrome (CRS) are pathophysiological hallmarks in COVID-19 infections related to its most severe and fatal cases. In this hyperinflammatory event, chemokines and other cytokines are highly upregulated and are therefore not fulfilling their beneficial function in the host response anymore but causing harmful effects. Here, we present the recent views on the involvement of chemokines and selected cytokines in COVID-19 and the therapeutics currently in clinical development targeting or interfering with them, discussing their potentials in the treatment of COVID-19 infections.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Ghaffari A, Meurant R, A Ardakani (2021)

COVID-19 Point-of-Care Diagnostics That Satisfy Global Target Product Profiles.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:diagnostics11010115.

COVID-19 pandemic will continue to pose a major public health threat until vaccination-mediated herd immunity is achieved. Most projections predict vaccines will reach a large subset of the population late in 2021 or early 2022. In the meantime, countries are exploring options to remove strict lockdown measures and allow society and the economy to return to normal function. One possibility is to expand on existing COVID-19 testing strategies by including large-scale rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests (POCTs). Currently, there is significant variability in performance and features of available POCTs, making selection and procurement of an appropriate test for specific use case difficult. In this review, we have used the World Health Organization's (WHO) recently published target product profiles (TPPs) for specific use cases of COVID-19 diagnostic tests to screen for top-performing POCTs on the market. Several POCTs, based on clinical sensitivity/specificity, the limit of detection, and time to results, which meet WHO TPP criteria for direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 (acute infection) or indirect diagnosis of past infection (host antibodies), are highlighted here.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

d'Ettorre G, Ceccarelli G, Santinelli L, et al (2021)

Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms in Healthcare Workers Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2): pii:ijerph18020601.

Prevention of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in healthcare workers (HCWs) facing the current COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge worldwide as HCWs are likely to experience acute and chronic, often unpredictable, occupational stressors leading to PTSS. This review aims to analyze the literature to discover which topics have been focused on and what the latest developments are in managing the occupational risk of PTSS in HCWs during the current pandemic. For the purpose of this review, we searched for publications in MEDLINE/Pubmed using selected keywords. The articles were reviewed and categorized into one or more of the following categories based on their subject matter: risk assessment, risk management, occurrence rates. A total of 16 publications matched our inclusion criteria. The topics discussed were: "Risk Assessment", "Occurrence Rates", and "Risk Management". Young age, low work experience, female gender, heavy workload, working in unsafe settings, and lack of training and social support were found to be predictors of PTSS. This review's findings showed the need for urgent interventions aimed at protecting HCWs from the psychological impact of traumatic events related to the pandemic and leading to PTSS; healthcare policies need to consider preventive and management strategies toward PTSS, and the related psychic sequelae, in HCWs.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Papapanou M, Papaioannou M, Petta A, et al (2021)

Maternal and Neonatal Characteristics and Outcomes of COVID-19 in Pregnancy: An Overview of Systematic Reviews.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2): pii:ijerph18020596.

(1) Background: A considerable number of systematic reviews, with substantial heterogeneity regarding their methods and included populations, on the impact of COVID-19 on infected pregnant women and their neonates, has emerged. The aim was to describe the obstetric-perinatal and neonatal outcome of infected pregnant women and their newborns during the COVID-19 pandemic; (2) Methods: Three bibliographical databases were searched (last search: September 10, 2020). Quality assessment was performed using the AMSTAR-2 tool. Primary outcomes included mode of delivery, preterm delivery/labor, premature rupture of membranes (PROM/pPROM) and abortions/miscarriages. Outcomes were mainly presented as ranges. A separate analysis, including only moderate and high-quality systematic reviews, was also conducted. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020214447); (3) Results: Thirty-nine reviews were analyzed. Reported rates, regarding both preterm and term gestations, varied between 52.3 and 95.8% for cesarean sections; 4.2-44.7% for vaginal deliveries; 14.3-63.8% specifically for preterm deliveries and 22.7-32.2% for preterm labor; 5.3-12.7% for PROM and 6.4-16.1% for pPROM. Maternal anxiety for potential fetal infection contributed to abortion decisions, while SARS-CoV-2-related miscarriages could not be excluded. Maternal ICU admission and mechanical ventilation rates were 3-28.5% and 1.4-12%, respectively. Maternal mortality rate was <2%, while stillbirth, neonatal ICU admission and mortality rates were <2.5%, 3.1-76.9% and <3%, respectively. Neonatal PCR positivity rates ranged between 1.6% and 10%. After accounting for quality of studies, ranges of our primary outcomes remained almost unchanged, while among our secondary outcomes, maternal ICU admission (3-10%) and mechanical ventilation rates (1.4-5.5%) were found to be relatively lower; (4) Conclusions: Increased rates of cesarean sections and preterm birth rates were found, with iatrogenic reasons potentially involved. In cases of symptomatic women with confirmed infection, high maternal and neonatal ICU admission rates should raise some concerns. The probability of vertical transmission cannot be excluded. Further original studies on women from all trimesters are warranted.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Zafer MM, El-Mahallawy HA, HM Ashour (2021)

Severe COVID-19 and Sepsis: Immune Pathogenesis and Laboratory Markers.

Microorganisms, 9(1): pii:microorganisms9010159.

The ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has taken a significant toll on people and countries all over the world. The pathogenesis of COVID-19 has not been completely elucidated yet. This includes the interplay between inflammation and coagulation which needs further investigation. The massive production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines results in the so-called cytokine storm, leading to plasma leakage, vascular hyperpermeability, and disseminated vascular coagulation. This is usually accompanied by multiorgan failure. The extensive changes in the serum levels of cytokines are thought to play a crucial role in the COVID-19 pathogenesis. Additionally, the viral load and host inflammation factors are believed to have a significant role in host damage, particularly lung damage, from SARS-CoV-2. Interestingly, patients exhibit quantitative and qualitative differences in their immune responses to the virus, which can impact the clinical manifestation and outcomes of COVID-19. There needs to be a better understanding of the dynamic events that involve immune responses, inflammatory reactions, and viral replication in the context of the COVID-19 infection. Here, we discuss the main aspects of COVID-19 pathogenesis while supporting the hypothesis that inflammatory immune responses are involved in the progression of the disease to a more critical and fatal phase. We also explore the similarities and differences between severe COVID-19 and sepsis. A deeper understanding of the COVID-19 clinical picture as it relates to better-known conditions such as sepsis can provide useful clues for the management, prevention, and therapy of the disease.

RevDate: 2021-01-15

Rico-González M, Pino-Ortega J, LP Ardigò (2021)

Playing Non-Professional Football in COVID-19 Time: A Narrative Review of Recommendations, Considerations, and Best Practices.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2): pii:ijerph18020568.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020 resulted in widespread interruption of team sports training and competitions. Our aim was to review the recommendations and best practices in return to play in non-professional football after activity lockdown. The authors searched two electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science) to extract studies published before September 15 2020. Twenty studies explained recommendations, considerations, or best practices in return to play in football, and all of them were clustered into three groups: (1) training load management (n = 10), (2) medical recommendations (n = 9), and (3) recovery related issues (n = 5). The way to establish a progression in training process should be based on training load management and managing the number of stimuli per time. Following the studies, this training process should be divided into three phases: phase 1-physical distancing should be maintained; phases 2 and 3-group training should start. Medical considerations were clustered into different groups: general, pre- and post- training, during training, education, planning to return to competition, and suggestions for post confinement weeks. In particular, social issues, strict hygiene questions, and continuous PCR testing should be considered in return to play over football season. Finally, since a correlation has been found between high-intensive training loads and immunoglobulin A, nutritional and lifestyle recovery strategies should be performed. Moreover, since immunosuppression has been related to congested schedules (<72 h between matches), football federations should avoid this situation.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Araújo MS, Santos MMPD, Silva CJA, et al (2021)

Prone positioning as an emerging tool in the care provided to patients infected with COVID-19: a scoping review.

Revista latino-americana de enfermagem, 29:e3397 pii:S0104-11692021000100600.

OBJECTIVE: to describe scientific evidence regarding the use of prone positioning in the care provided to patients with acute respiratory failure caused by COVID-19.

METHOD: this is a scoping review. PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews was used to support the writing of this study. The search was conducted in seven databases and resulted in 2,441 studies, 12 of which compose the sample. Descriptive statistics, such as relative and absolute frequencies, was used to analyze data.

RESULTS: prone positioning was mainly adopted in Intensive Care Units, lasted from a minimum of 12 up to 16 hours, and its prescription was based on specific criteria, such as PaO2/FiO2 ratio, oxygen saturation, and respiratory rate. The most prevalent complications were: accidental extubation, pressure ulcer, and facial edema. Decreased hypoxemia and mortality rates were the main outcomes reported.

CONCLUSION: positive outcomes outweighed complications. Various cycles of prone positioning are needed, which may cause potential work overload for the health staff. Therefore, an appropriate number of trained workers is necessary, in addition to specific institutional protocols to ensure patient safety in this context.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Howard J, Huang A, Li Z, et al (2021)

An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(4):.

The science around the use of masks by the public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. In this narrative review, we develop an analytical framework to examine mask usage, synthesizing the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: population impact, transmission characteristics, source control, wearer protection, sociological considerations, and implementation considerations. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is via respiratory particles, and it is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic, paucisymptomatic, and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: limiting contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and other measures and reducing the transmission probability per contact. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected respiratory particles in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. Given the current shortages of medical masks, we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. Because many respiratory particles become smaller due to evaporation, we recommend increasing focus on a previously overlooked aspect of mask usage: mask wearing by infectious people ("source control") with benefits at the population level, rather than only mask wearing by susceptible people, such as health care workers, with focus on individual outcomes. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Daoud AK, Hall JK, Petrick H, et al (2021)

The Potential for Cloth Masks to Protect Health Care Clinicians From SARS-CoV-2: A Rapid Review.

Annals of family medicine, 19(1):55-62.

PURPOSE: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led at times to a scarcity of personal protective equipment, including medical masks, for health care clinicians, especially in primary care settings. The objective of this review was to summarize current evidence regarding the use of cloth masks to prevent respiratory viral infections, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), among health care clinicians.

METHODS: We searched 5 databases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, and the reference lists of identified articles on April 3, 2020. All identified publications were independently screened by 2 reviewers. Two authors independently extracted data and graded the studies. Randomized control trials (RCTs) were graded using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) checklist, and observational and nonhuman subject studies were graded using 11 domains common across frequently used critical appraisal tools. All discrepancies were resolved by consensus.

RESULTS: Our search identified 136 original publications. Nine studies met inclusion criteria. We performed a qualitative synthesis of the data from these studies. Four nonrandomized trials, 3 laboratory studies, 1 single-case experiment, and 1 RCT were identified. The laboratory studies found that cloth materials provided measurable levels of particle filtration but were less efficacious at blocking biologic material than medical masks. The RCT found that cloth masks were associated with significantly more viral infections than medical masks.

CONCLUSIONS: The current literature suggests that cloth materials are somewhat efficacious in filtering particulate matter and aerosols but provide a worse fit and inferior protection compared to medical masks in clinical environments. The quality and quantity of literature addressing this question are lacking. Cloth masks lack evidence for adequate protection of health care clinicians against respiratory viral infections.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Esposito S, Cotugno N, N Principi (2021)

Comprehensive and safe school strategy during COVID-19 pandemic.

Italian journal of pediatrics, 47(1):6.

BACKGROUND: Although several studies have tried to evaluate the real efficacy of school closure for pandemic control over time, no definitive answer to this question has been given. Moreover, it has not been clarified whether children or teenagers could be considered a problem for SARS-CoV-2 diffusion or, on the contrary, whether parents and school workers play a greater role. The aims of this review are to discuss about children's safety at school and the better strategies currently able to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection at school.

MAIN AIM: Compared to adults, very few cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in children, who generally suffered from an asymptomatic infection or a mild disease. Moreover, school closure is systematically associated with the development of problems involving students, teachers and parents, particularly among populations with poor resources. Although several researches have tried to evaluate the real efficacy of school closure for pandemic control over time, no definitive answer to this question has been given. Available findings seem to confirm that to ensure adequate learning and to avoid social and economic problems, schools must remain open, provided that the adults who follow children at home and at school absolutely comply with recommendations for prevention measures and that school facilities can be optimized in order to significantly reduce the spread of infection. In this regard, the universal use of face masks in addition to hand hygiene and safe distancing in schools, at least starting from the age of 6 years, seems extremely useful. Moreover, since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak the use of telemedicine to manage suspected SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals in the community has appeared to be an easy and effective measure to solve many paediatric problems and could represent a further support to schools .

CONCLUSIONS: We think that schools must remain open, despite COVID-19 pandemic. However, several problems strictly related to school frequency and reduction of infectious risk must be solved before school attendance can be considered completely safe. A single more in-depth guideline agreed between countries with the same school problems could be very useful in eliminating doubts and fostering the compliance of students, teachers and non-teaching school staff reducing errors and misinterpretations.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Karaderi T, Bareke H, Kunter I, et al (2020)

Host Genetics at the Intersection of Autoimmunity and COVID-19: A Potential Key for Heterogeneous COVID-19 Severity.

Frontiers in immunology, 11:586111.

COVID-19 presentation is very heterogeneous across cases, and host factors are at the forefront for the variables affecting the disease manifestation. The immune system has emerged as a key determinant in shaping the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is mainly the deleterious unconstrained immune response, rather than the virus itself, which leads to severe cases of COVID-19 and the associated mortality. Genetic susceptibility to dysregulated immune response is highly likely to be among the host factors for adverse disease outcome. Given that such genetic susceptibility has also been observed in autoimmune diseases (ADs), a number of critical questions remain unanswered; whether individuals with ADs have a significantly different risk for COVID-19-related complications compared to the general population, and whether studies on the genetics of ADs can shed some light on the host factors in COVID-19. In this perspective, we discuss the host genetic factors, which have been under investigation in association with COVID-19 severity. We touch upon the intricate link between autoimmunity and COVID-19 pathophysiology. We put forth a number of autoimmune susceptibility genes, which have the potential to be additional host genetic factors for modifying the severity of COVID-19 presentation. In summary, host genetics at the intersection of ADs and COVID-19 may serve as a source for understanding the heterogeneity of COVID-19 severity, and hence, potentially holds a key in achieving effective strategies in risk group identification, as well as effective treatments.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Chetty T, Daniels BB, Ngandu NK, et al (2020)

A rapid review of the effectiveness of screening practices at airports, land borders and ports to reduce the transmission of respiratory infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde, 110(11):1105-1109.

BACKGROUND: Travel screening for infectious diseases is often implemented to delay or prevent the entry of infected persons to a country/area.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of different point-of-entry screening strategies in achieving a reduction in imported COVID-19 transmission.

METHODS: A rapid evidence review was conducted, systematically searching PubMed and Google Scholar and grey literature on 27 March 2020.

RESULTS: We screened 1 194 records. Nine potential full-text articles were assessed for eligibility and included. Three articles investigated the effectiveness of entry-based thermal and body temperature scanning. Entry-based infrared thermal or body temperature scanning for COVID-19 was unlikely to be effective. Two systematic reviews found no additional benefit of travel restrictions/screening. In a COVID-19 modelling study, airport screening was not effective, with exit and entry thermal scanning identifying half and missing almost half of infected travellers. Two other modelling studies found that entry-based travel screening would achieve only modest delays in community transmission, while international travel quarantine could reduce case importations by 80%.

CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence to support entry and exit screening at points of entry, as these strategies detect just over half of the infected cases, missing almost half at entry points. The benefits of airport screening therefore need to be context specific and weighed against the resources and cost of implementation, the contribution of imported cases to total cases, and the benefits of identifying 50% of cases in the South African context with the country's high HIV and tuberculosis prevalence and limited resources to deal with a pandemic of this nature.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Brooke BD, Raman J, Frean J, et al (2020)

Implementing malaria control in South Africa, Eswatini and southern Mozambique during the COVID-19 pandemic.

South African medical journal = Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir geneeskunde, 110(11):1072-1076.

The COVID-19 pandemic has strained healthcare delivery systems in a number of southern African countries. Despite this, it is imperative that malaria control and elimination activities continue, especially to reduce as far as possible the number and rate of hospitalisations caused by malaria. The implementation of enhanced malaria control/elimination activities in the context of COVID-19 requires measures to protect healthcare workers and the communities they serve. The aim of this review is therefore to present innovative ideas for the timely implementation of malaria control without increasing the risk of COVID-19 to healthcare workers and communities. Specific recommendations for parasite and vector surveillance, diagnosis, case management, mosquito vector control and community outreach and sensitisation are given.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Jayawardena R, Jeyakumar DT, Misra A, et al (2020)

Obesity: A potential risk factor for infection and mortality in the current COVID-19 epidemic.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 14(6):2199-2203.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: COVID-19 is an ongoing global pandemic, affecting nearly 35 million people from 214 countries as at September 30, 2020 and emerging evidence suggests that obesity is a potential risk factor for communicable diseases, including viral infections. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between obesity prevalence of the total adult population and COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, in different countries.

METHODS: A total of 54 countries from six continents were selected. Country-specific obesity prevalence data were retrieved from the latest non-communicable diseases profiles released by the Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster of World Health Organization, while the real time statistics from the Worldometer website were used to extract data on COVID-19 infections and mortality per million of the total population as of September 30, 2020.

RESULTS: Obesity prevalence data ranged from 2.0% (Vietnam) to 35.0% (Saudi Arabia). Among the selected countries, the highest number of COVID-19 cases per million was documented in Qatar (n = 44,789) while the lowest was reported from Vietnam (n = 11). Highest mortality per million population due to COVID-19 infections occurred in Peru (n = 981), in contrast with the smallest number reported in Mongolia (n = 0). A significant positive correlation (r = 0.46; p < 0.001) was observed between the total number of COVID-19 infections and the prevalence of obesity. COVID-19 mortality was also significantly correlated (r = 0.34; p < 0.05) with the prevalence of obesity.

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity prevalence in each country was significantly associated with both infection and mortality rate of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Nainu F, Abidin RS, Bahar MA, et al (2020)

SARS-CoV-2 reinfection and implications for vaccine development.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):3061-3073.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern. Multiple vaccine candidates for COVID-19, which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have entered clinical trials. However, some evidence suggests that patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can be reinfected. For example, in China, two discharged COVID-19 patients who had recovered and fulfilled the discharge criteria for COVID-19 were retested positive to a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for the virus. This finding is critical and could hamper COVID-19 vaccine development. This review offers literature-based evidence of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2, provides explanation for the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection both from the agent and host points of view, and discusses its implication for COVID-19 vaccine development.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Gautret P, Million M, Jarrot PA, et al (2020)

Natural history of COVID-19 and therapeutic options.

Expert review of clinical immunology, 16(12):1159-1184.

Introduction: COVID-19 presents benign forms in young patients who frequently present with anosmia. Infants are rarely infected, while severe forms occur in patients over 65 years of age with comorbidities, including hypertension and diabetes. Lymphopenia, eosinopenia, thrombopenia, increased lactate dehydrogenase, troponin, C-reactive protein, D-dimers and low zinc levels are associated with severity.Areas covered: The authors review the literature and provide an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the natural history of and therapeutic options for COVID-19. Expert opinion: Diagnosis should rely on PCR and not on clinical presumption. Because of discrepancies between clinical symptoms, oxygen saturation or radiological signs on CT scans, pulse oximetry, and radiological investigation should be systematic. The disease evolves in successive phases: an acute virological phase, and, in some patients, a cytokine storm phase; an uncontrolled coagulopathy; and an acute respiratory distress syndrome. Therapeutic options include antivirals, oxygen therapy, immunomodulators, anticoagulants and prolonged mechanical treatment. Early diagnosis, care, and implementation of an antiviral treatment; the use of immunomodulators at a later stage; and the quality of intensive care are critical regarding mortality rates. The higher mortality observed in Western countries remains unexplained. Pulmonary fibrosis may occur in some patients. Its future is unpredictable.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Sharma R, Palanisamy A, Dhama K, et al (2020)

Exploring the possible use of saponin adjuvants in COVID-19 vaccine.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2944-2953.

There is an urgent need for a safe, efficacious, and cost-effective vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by novel coronavirus strain, severe acute respiratory syndrome-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The protective immunity of certain types of vaccines can be enhanced by the addition of adjuvants. Many diverse classes of compounds have been identified as adjuvants, including mineral salts, microbial products, emulsions, saponins, cytokines, polymers, microparticles, and liposomes. Several saponins have been shown to stimulate both the Th1-type immune response and the production of cytotoxic T lymphocytes against endogenous antigens, making them very useful for subunit vaccines, especially those for intracellular pathogens. In this review, we discuss the structural characteristics, mechanisms of action, structure-activity relationship of saponins, biological activities, and use of saponins in various viral vaccines and their applicability to a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Dhama K, Patel SK, Natesan S, et al (2020)

COVID-19 in the elderly people and advances in vaccination approaches.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2938-2943.

The rapid worldwide spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in tens of millions of infections and over one million deaths. SARS-CoV-2 infection affects all age groups; however, those over 60 years old are affected more severely. Moreover, pre-existing co-morbidities result in higher COVID-19-associated mortality in the geriatric population. This article highlights the associated risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infection in older people and progress in developing COVID-19 vaccines, especially for efficient vaccination of the older population. There is also a summary of immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic approaches to ameliorate the outcome of COVID-19 in older individuals.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Dhama K, Natesan S, Iqbal Yatoo M, et al (2020)

Plant-based vaccines and antibodies to combat COVID-19: current status and prospects.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2913-2920.

Globally, researchers are undertaking significant efforts to design and develop effective vaccines, therapeutics, and antiviral drugs to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Plants have been used for the production of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulatory proteins, drugs, and pharmaceuticals via molecular farming/transient expression system and are considered as bioreactors or factories for their bulk production. These biological products are stable, safe, effective, easily available, and affordable. Plant molecular farming could facilitate rapid production of biologics on an industrial scale, and has the potential to fulfill emergency demands, such as in the present situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. This article aims to describe the methodology and basics of plant biopharming, in addition to its prospective applications for developing effective vaccines and antibodies to counter COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Yadav T, Srivastava N, Mishra G, et al (2020)

Recombinant vaccines for COVID-19.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2905-2912.

SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has imposed a major public health threat, which needs effective therapeutics and vaccination strategies. Several potential candidate vaccines being rapidly developed are in clinical evaluation. Considering the crucial role of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein in virus attachment, entry, and induction of neutralizing antibodies, S protein is being widely used as a target for vaccine development. Based on advances in techniques for vaccine design, inactivated, live-vectored, nucleic acid, and recombinant COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and tested for their efficacy. Phase3 clinical trials are underway or will soon begin for several of these vaccines. Assuming that clinical efficacy is shown for one or more vaccines, safety is a major aspect to be considered before deploying such vaccines to the public. The current review focuses on the recent advances in recombinant COVID-19 vaccine research and development and associated issues.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Wada K, Hashimoto Y, Nakajima M, et al (2020)

[COVID-19 and stroke].

Rinsho shinkeigaku = Clinical neurology, 60(12):822-839.

Due to the pandemic of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the stroke medical care system is unavoidably undergoing major changes such as a decrease in the number of stroke patients receiving consultation, delay in consultation, and a decrease in the number of intravenous thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy procedures. Stroke incidence in COVID-19 patients is approximately 1.1%. The features of stroke with COVID-19 have been elucidated: higher incidence in ischemic stroke than hemorrhagic stroke, increasing number of young patients, high D-dimer levels, and higher risk in elderly patients with cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes. In patients with COVID-19, venous thromboembolism is more common than arterial thromboembolism, and stroke is more common than acute coronary syndrome. Protected code stroke (PCS) has been proposed which provides safe, effective and prompt treatment under complete infection control.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Vora KS, Sundararajan A, Saiyed S, et al (2020)

Impact of COVID-19 on women and children and the need for a gendered approach in vaccine development.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2932-2937.

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unprecedented health and socioeconomic challenges on public health, disrupting it on a global scale. Given that women and children are widely considered the most vulnerable in the times of emergency, whether in war or during a pandemic, the current pandemic has also severely disrupted access to reproductive and child health services. Despite this, data on the effect of the pandemic on pregnant women and newborns remain scarce, and gender-disaggregated indicators of mortality and morbidity are not available. In this context, we suggest the implementation of a gendered approach to ensure the specific needs of women and their newborns are considered during the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Taking into account gender-based biological differences, the inclusion of pregnant and lactating mothers in clinical trials for the development of COVID-19 vaccines is of vital importance.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Rabaan AA, Al-Ahmed SH, Sah R, et al (2020)

Recent advances in vaccine and immunotherapy for COVID-19.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):3011-3022.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Beyond there being no available antiviral therapy, stimulating protective immunity by vaccines is the best option for managing future infections. Development of a vaccine for a novel virus is a challenging effort that may take several years to accomplish. This mini-review summarizes the immunopathological responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and discusses advances in the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics for COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Amigues I, Pearlman AH, Patel A, et al (2020)

Coronavirus disease 2019: investigational therapies in the prevention and treatment of hyperinflammation.

Expert review of clinical immunology, 16(12):1185-1204.

Introduction: The mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is frequently driven by an injurious immune response characterized by the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), endotheliitis, coagulopathy, and multi-organ failure. This spectrum of hyperinflammation in COVID-19 is commonly referred to as cytokine storm syndrome (CSS). Areas covered: Medline and Google Scholar were searched up until 15th of August 2020 for relevant literature. Evidence supports a role of dysregulated immune responses in the immunopathogenesis of severe COVID-19. CSS associated with SARS-CoV-2 shows similarities to the exuberant cytokine production in some patients with viral infection (e.g.SARS-CoV-1) and may be confused with other syndromes of hyperinflammation like the cytokine release syndrome (CRS) in CAR-T cell therapy. Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha have emerged as predictors of COVID-19 severity and in-hospital mortality. Expert opinion: Despite similarities, COVID-19-CSS appears to be distinct from HLH, MAS, and CRS, and the application of HLH diagnostic scores and criteria to COVID-19 is not supported by emerging data. While immunosuppressive therapy with glucocorticoids has shown a mortality benefit, cytokine inhibitors may hold promise as 'rescue therapies' in severe COVID-19. Given the arguably limited benefit in advanced disease, strategies to prevent the development of COVID-19-CSS are needed.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Barbuddhe SB, Rawool DB, Gaonkar PP, et al (2020)

Global scenario, public health concerns and mitigation strategies to counter current ongoing SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):3023-3033.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus- 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has posed a great public health threat to the global community as a pandemic. The origin of the virus has been linked to animals, through a yet-to-be-identified intermediate host. The disease is transmitted to humans mainly through inhalation or contact with infected droplets. The variable clinical presentation of COVID-19 includes fever, cough, sore throat, breathlessness, fatigue and malaise; however, cutaneous, ocular, neurological, and gastrointestinal manifestations have also been reported. There is an urgent need to strengthen One Health surveillance, intervention, and management strategies to understand the ecology of coronaviruses and to prevent epidemics in the future. Global attention toward the development of treatments, immunotherapies, vaccines, and control options to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has been on an increasing trend. Here, we review the current epidemiological status, public health concerns, and mitigation strategies for COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Rab S, Afjal , Javaid M, et al (2020)

An update on the global vaccine development for coronavirus.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 14(6):2053-2055.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Ricciardolo FLM, Bertolini F, Carriero V, et al (2020)

Nitric oxide's physiologic effects and potential as a therapeutic agent against COVID-19.

Journal of breath research, 15(1):014001.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for COVID-19 pneumonia, a pandemic that precipitates huge pressures on the world's social and economic systems. Disease severity varies among individuals. SARS-CoV-2 infection can be associated with e.g. flu-like symptoms, dyspnoea, severe interstitial pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan dysfunction, and generalized coagulopathy. Nitric oxide (NO), is a small signal molecule that impacts pleiotropic functions in human physiology, which can be involved in the significant effects of COVID-19 infection. NO is a neurotransmitter involved in the neural olfactory processes in the central nervous system, and some infected patients have reported anosmia as a symptom. Additionally, NO is a well-known vasodilator, important coagulation mediator, anti-microbial effector and inhibitor of SARS-CoV replication. Exhaled NO is strongly related to the type-2 inflammatory response found in asthma, which has been suggested to be protective against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Several reports indicate that the use of inhaled NO has been an effective therapy during this pandemic since the ventilation-perfusion ratio in COVID-19 patients improved afterwards and they did not require mechanical ventilation. The aim of this mini-review is to summarize relevant actions of NO that could be beneficial in the treatment of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Pandey S, Pathak SK, Pandey A, et al (2020)

Ivermectin in COVID-19: What do we know?.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 14(6):1921-1922.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Quispe Flores MA, Concepción Zavaleta MJ, Plasencia Dueñas EA, et al (2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries: A new opportunity to improve the monitoring of patients with diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 14(6):1871-1872.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Malik YS, Ansari MI, Ganesh B, et al (2020)

BCG vaccine: a hope to control COVID-19 pandemic amid crisis.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2954-2962.

COVID-19 caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 has gripped essentially all countries in the world, and has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people. Several innovative approaches are in development to restrain the spread of SARS-CoV-2. In particular, BCG, a vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), is being considered as an alternative therapeutic modality. BCG vaccine is known to induce both humoral and adaptive immunities, thereby activating both nonspecific and cross-reactive immune responses in the host, which combined could effectively resist other pathogens including SARS-CoV-2. Notably, some studies have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, case positivity, and mortality rate have been higher in countries that have not adopted BCG vaccination than in countries that have done so. This review presents an overview of the concepts underlying BCG vaccination and its nonspecific immuological effects and protection, resulting in 'trained immunity' and potential utility for resisting COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Gupta A, Karki R, Dandu HR, et al (2020)

COVID-19: benefits and risks of passive immunotherapeutics.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2963-2972.

Passive immunotherapeutics (PITs), including convalescent plasma, serum, or hyperimmune immunoglobulin, have been of clinical importance during sudden outbreaks since the early twentieth century for the treatment of viral diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS) and swine flu (H1N1). With the recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, wherein effective antivirals and vaccines are still lacking, an interest in convalescent plasma therapy as a lifesaving option has resurfaced due to its capacity for antigenic neutralization and reducing viremia. This review summarizes convalescent blood products (CBPs) in terms of current technologies and the shortcomings related to the collection, manufacture, pathogen inactivation, and banking of CBPs, with a specific focus on their plausible applications, benefits, and risks in the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Mudgal R, Nehul S, S Tomar (2020)

Prospects for mucosal vaccine: shutting the door on SARS-CoV-2.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2921-2931.

The sudden emergence of a highly transmissible and pathogenic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019 from China and its rapid global spread has posed an international health emergency. The rapid development of an effective vaccine is imperative to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2. A number of concurrent efforts to find an effective therapeutic agent or vaccine for COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) are being undertaken globally. Oral and nasal mucosal surfaces serve as the primary portal of entry for pathogens like coronaviruses in the human body. As evidenced by studies on similar coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV), mucosal vaccination can provide a safe and effective means for the induction of long-lasting systemic and mucosal immunity to confer protection against SARS-CoV-2. This article summarizes the approaches to an effective mucosal vaccine formulation which can be a rewarding approach to combat the unprecedented threat posed by this emerging global pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Zong X, Gu Y, Yu H, et al (2021)

Thrombocytopenia Is Associated with COVID-19 Severity and Outcome: An Updated Meta-Analysis of 5637 Patients with Multiple Outcomes.

Laboratory medicine, 52(1):10-15.

The COVID-19 pandemic is persistent worldwide. A prior meta-analysis suggested the association of thrombocytopenia (TCP) with more severe COVID-19 illness and high mortality. Considering newly published studies, we updated the previous meta-analysis to confirm and explain the association of TCP with COVID-19 severity and multiple outcomes. Twenty-four studies with 5637 patients with COVID-19 were included in this study. The weighted incidence of TCP in COVID-19 was 12.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.9%-17.7%). Data synthesis showed that the platelet number was lower in patients with either more severe illness or poor outcomes and even lower in nonsurvivors, with weighted mean differences of -24.56 × 109/L, -22.48 × 109/L, and -49.02 × 109/L, respectively. The meta-analysis of binary outcomes (with and without TCP) indicated the association between TCP and 3-fold enhanced risk of a composite outcome of intensive care unit admission, progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome, and mortality (odds ratio [OR], 3.49; 95% CI, 1.57-7.78). Subgroup analysis by endpoint events suggested TCP to be significantly associated with mortality (OR, 7.37; 95% CI, 2.08-26.14). Overall, the present comprehensive meta-analysis indicated that approximately 12% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 have TCP, which also represents a sign of more severe illness and poor outcomes.

RevDate: 2021-01-14
CmpDate: 2021-01-14

Cirri D, Pratesi A, Marzo T, et al (2021)

Metallo therapeutics for COVID-19. Exploiting metal-based compounds for the discovery of new antiviral drugs.

Expert opinion on drug discovery, 16(1):39-46.

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented challenge for the rapid discovery of drugs against this life-threatening disease. Owing to the peculiar features of the metal centers that are currently used in medicinal chemistry, metallodrugs might offer an excellent opportunity to achieve this goal.

AREAS COVERED: Two main strategies for developing metal-based drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 are herein illustrated. Firstly, a few clinically approved metallodrugs could be evaluated in patients according to a 'drug repurposing' approach. To this respect, the gold drug auranofin seems a promising candidate, but some other clinically established metal compounds are worthy of a careful evaluation as well. On the other hand, libraries of inorganic compounds, featuring a large chemical diversity, should be screened to identify the most effective molecules. This second strategy might be assisted by a pathway-driven discovery approach arising from a preliminary knowledge of the mode of action, exploitable to inhibit the functional activities of the key viral proteins. Also, attention must be paid to selectivity and toxicity issues.

EXPERT OPINION: The medicinal inorganic chemistry community may offer a valuable contribution against COVID-19. The screening of metallodrugs' libraries can expand the explored 'chemical space' and increase the chance of finding effective anti-COVID agents.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Sharun K, Tiwari R, Patel SK, et al (2020)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in domestic animals and wildlife: advances and prospects in the development of animal models for vaccine and therapeutic research.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):3043-3054.

SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is suspected to have been first contracted via animal-human interactions; it has further spread across the world by efficient human-to-human transmission. Recent reports of COVID-19 in companion animals (dogs and cats) and wild carnivores such as tigers have created a dilemma regarding its zoonotic transmission. Although in silico docking studies, sequence-based computational studies, and experimental studies have shown the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in cats, ferrets, and other domestic/wild animals, the results are not conclusive of infection under natural conditions. Identifying the potential host range of SARS-CoV-2 will not only help prevent the possibility of human-to-animal and animal-to-human transmission but also assist in identifying efficient animal models that can mimic the clinical symptoms, transmission potential, and pathogenesis of the disease. Such an efficient animal model will accelerate the process of development and evaluation of vaccines, immunotherapeutics, and other remedies for SARS-CoV-2.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Gorenko JA, Moran C, Flynn M, et al (2021)

Social Isolation and Psychological Distress Among Older Adults Related to COVID-19: A Narrative Review of Remotely-Delivered Interventions and Recommendations.

Journal of applied gerontology : the official journal of the Southern Gerontological Society, 40(1):3-13.

The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with several short- and long-term negative impacts on the well-being of older adults. Physical distancing recommendations to reduce transmission of the SARS-CoV2-19 virus increase the risk of social isolation and loneliness, which are associated with negative outcomes including anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and mortality. Taken together, social isolation and additional psychological impacts of the pandemic (e.g., worry, grief) underscore the importance of intervention efforts to older adults. This narrative review draws upon a wide range of evidence to provide a comprehensive overview of appropriate remotely-delivered interventions for older adults that target loneliness and psychological symptoms. These include interventions delivered by a range of individuals (i.e., community members to mental health professionals), and interventions that vary by implementation (e.g., self-guided therapy, remotely-delivered interventions via telephone or video call). Recommendations to overcome barriers to implementation and delivery are provided, with consideration given to the different living situations.

RevDate: 2021-01-12
CmpDate: 2021-01-12

Burk-Rafel J, TC Standiford (2021)

A Novel Ticket System for Capping Residency Interview Numbers: Reimagining Interviews in the COVID-19 Era.

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 96(1):50-55.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to dramatic changes in the 2020 residency application cycle, including halting away rotations and delaying the application timeline. These stressors are laid on top of a resident selection process already under duress with exploding application and interview numbers-the latter likely to be exacerbated with the widespread shift to virtual interviewing. Leveraging their trainee perspective, the authors propose enforcing a cap on the number of interviews that applicants may attend through a novel interview ticket system (ITS). Specialties electing to participate in the ITS would select an evidence-based, specialty-specific interview cap. Applicants would then receive unique electronic tickets-equal in number to the cap-that would be given to participating programs at the time of an interview, when the tickets would be marked as used. The system would be self-enforcing and would ensure each interview represents genuine interest between applicant and program, while potentially increasing the number of interviews-and thus match rate-for less competitive applicants. Limitations of the ITS and alternative approaches for interview capping, including an honor code system, are also discussed. Finally, in the context of capped interview numbers, the authors emphasize the need for transparent preinterview data from programs to inform applicants and their advisors on which interviews to attend, learning from prior experiences and studies on virtual interviewing, adherence to best practices for interviewing, and careful consideration of how virtual interviews may shift inequities in the resident selection process.

RevDate: 2021-01-11
CmpDate: 2021-01-11

Borah P, Deb PK, Deka S, et al (2021)

Current Scenario and Future Prospect in the Management of COVID-19.

Current medicinal chemistry, 28(2):284-307.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc worldwide due to the lack of risk assessment, rapid spreading ability, and propensity to precipitate severe disease in comorbid conditions. In an attempt to fulfill the demand for prophylactic and treatment measures to intercept the ongoing outbreak, the drug development process is facing several obstacles and renaissance in clinical trials, including vaccines, antivirals, immunomodulators, plasma therapy, and traditional medicines. This review outlines the overview of SARS-CoV-2 infection, significant recent findings, and ongoing clinical trials concerning current and future therapeutic interventions for the management of advancing pandemic of the century.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Singh AK, R Singh (2020)

At-admission hyperglycemia is consistently associated with poor prognosis and early intervention can improve outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 14(6):1641-1644.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: At-admission hyperglycemia have been associated with poorer outcome during critical illnesses. At-admission hyperglycemia in previously unknown diabetes is not uncommonly encountered entity in patients with COVID-19. We sought to find out the outcomes of at-admission hyperglycemia and effect of early intervention to achieve optimal glycemic control in relation to COVID-19 patients.

METHODS: We searched the PubMed and Google Scholar database up till August 20, 2020 using specific keywords related to our aims and objectives.

RESULTS: All currently available evidences clearly hint that at-admission hyperglycemia in patients with COVID-19 is associated with a poorer outcome, compared with normoglycemic individuals. Fortunately, early intervention by achieving an optimal glycemic control has also been associated with a significant improvement in the outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

CONCLUSION: At-admission hyperglycemia should be taken seriously by all clinicians treating patients with COVID-19. All efforts should be made towards an optimal glycemic control in patients with COVID-19, even in absence of pre-existing diabetes.

RevDate: 2021-01-04
CmpDate: 2021-01-04

Brüssow H (2020)

Efforts towards a COVID-19 vaccine.

Environmental microbiology, 22(10):4071-4084.

To many scientists and political authorities, the development of a vaccine against Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) will be the way to restore normality to civil life in this time of a devastating pandemic. Expectations for a vaccine are high while the case numbers continue to rise. As of mid-August 2020, more than 20 million people have been infected and more than 760 000 lives have been lost worldwide. The threat of this virus to health, the economy and to society is so great that the wish for a fast track vaccine is understandable, but how realistic is it? This survey article tries to give an overview of vaccine candidates in development, including preclinical and clinical testing, and it mentions some of the societal problems of vaccine acceptance.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Mbunge E (2020)

Integrating emerging technologies into COVID-19 contact tracing: Opportunities, challenges and pitfalls.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 14(6):1631-1636.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: With no approved vaccines for treating COVID-19 as of August 2020, many health systems and governments rely on contact tracing as one of the prevention and containment methods. However, there have been instances when the infected person forgets his/her contact-persons and does not have their contact details. Therefore, this study aimed at analyzing possible opportunities and challenges of integrating emerging technologies into COVID-19 contact tracing.

METHODS: The study applied literature search from Google Scholar, Science Direct, PubMed, Web of Science, IEEE and WHO COVID-19 reports and guidelines analyzed.

RESULTS: While the integration of technology-based contact tracing applications to combat COVID-19 and break transmission chains promise to yield better results, these technologies face challenges such as technical limitations, dealing with asymptomatic individuals, lack of supporting ICT infrastructure and electronic health policy, socio-economic inequalities, deactivation of mobile devices' WIFI, GPS services, interoperability and standardization issues, security risks, privacy issues, political and structural responses, ethical and legal risks, consent and voluntariness, abuse of contact tracing apps, and discrimination.

CONCLUSION: Integrating emerging technologies into COVID-19 contact tracing is seen as a viable option that policymakers, health practitioners and IT technocrats need to seriously consider in mitigating the spread of coronavirus. Further research is also required on how best to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the utilisation of emerging technologies in contact tracing while observing the security and privacy of people in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2021-01-13
CmpDate: 2021-01-13

Varikasuvu SR, Dutt N, Thangappazham B, et al (2021)

Diabetes and COVID-19: A pooled analysis related to disease severity and mortality.

Primary care diabetes, 15(1):24-27.

Globally, COVID-19 has become a major concern for the diabetic community. We conducted a pooled analysis and constructed a forest plot for the association between diabetes and COVID-19 progression in 47 studies. A random effects meta-analysis (Mantel-Haenszel method) was conducted to estimate the outcomes effect size as odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using Review Manager Software version 5.3. COVID-19 patients with diabetes have a significantly higher risk of disease severity (OR=2.20, 95% CI=1.69-2.86, p<0.00001) and associated mortality outcomes (OR=2.52, 95% CI=1.93-3.30, p=<0.00001).

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Singh AK, A Misra (2020)

Impact of COVID-19 and comorbidities on health and economics: Focus on developing countries and India.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome, 14(6):1625-1630.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Presence of comorbidities in patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have often been associated with increased in-hospital complications and mortality. Intriguingly, several developed countries with a higher quality of life have relatively higher mortality with COVID-19, compared to the middle- or low-income countries. Moreover, certain ethnic groups have shown a higher predilection to contract COVID-19, with heightened mortality. We sought to review the available literature with regards to impact of COVID-19 and comorbidities on the health and economics, especially in context to the developing countries including India.

METHODS: A Boolean search was carried out in PubMed, MedRxiv and Google Scholar databases up till August 23, 2020 using the specific keywords, to find the prevalence of comorbidities and its outcome in patients with COVID-19.

RESULTS: All available evidence consistently suggests that presence of comorbidities is associated with a poor outcome in patients with COVID-19. Diabetes prevalence is highest in Indian COVID-19 patients, compared to other countries. Majority of the patients with COVID-19 are asymptomatic ranging from 26 to 76%.

CONCLUSIONS: Universal masking is the need of hour during unlock period. Low-income countries such as India, Brazil and Africa with less resources and an average socio-economic background, must adopt a strict policy for an affordable testing programs to trace, test, identify and home quarantine of asymptomatic cases. Despite the huge number of COVID-19 patients, India still has low volume research at the moment.

RevDate: 2021-01-12
CmpDate: 2021-01-12

Thakur A, Soklaridis S, Crawford A, et al (2021)

Using Rapid Design Thinking to Overcome COVID-19 Challenges in Medical Education.

Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 96(1):56-61.

The rapid rise of cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has led to the implementation of public health measures on an unprecedented scale. These measures have significantly affected the training environment and the mental health of health care providers and learners. Design thinking offers creative and innovative solutions to emergent complex problems, including those related to training and patient care that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design thinking can accelerate the development and implementation of solution prototypes through a process of inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Digital technology can be leveraged as part of this process to provide care and education in new or enhanced ways. Online knowledge hubs, videoconference-based interactive sessions, virtual simulations, and technology-enhanced coaching for health care providers are potential solutions to address identified issues. Limitations of this model include inherent bias toward utilitarian instead of egalitarian principles and the subsequent threat to diversity, equity, and inclusion in solutions. Although medical educators have embraced digital transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to ensure that these changes are sustained.

RevDate: 2021-01-15
CmpDate: 2021-01-15

Al-Tawfiq JA, Y Arabi (2020)

Convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus infection: experience from MERS and application in COVID-19.

Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 16(12):2973-2979.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a very large number of infections and high number of mortality. There is no specific therapeutic options that are approved for clinical use. Administration of convalescent plasma as a possible therapy was used in the case of viral pneumonia including SARS and influenza. There have been multiple studies of COVID-19 patients utilizing convalescent plasma. These studies employed different dosage levels and different regiments, were observational and lacked control arms, and had variable outcomes. Two of these studies used plasma with anti-SARS-CoV-2 titers of >1:640 to >1:1000. A recent randomized controlled clinical trial showed no benefit of convalescent plasma in patients with severe diseases. However, the study was terminated early and thus further clinical trials are needed to show efficacy in patients with COVID-19 infection.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Topf JM, PN Williams (2021)

COVID-19, Social Media, and the Role of the Public Physician.

Blood purification pii:000512707 [Epub ahead of print].

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an avalanche of information, much of it false or misleading. Social media posts with misleading or dangerous opinions and analyses are often amplified by celebrities and social media influencers; these posts have contributed substantially to this avalanche of information. An emerging force in this information infodemic is public physicians, doctors who view a public presence as a large segment of their mission. These physicians bring authority and real-world experience to the COVID-19 discussion. To investigate the role of public physicians, we interviewed a convenience cohort of physicians who have played a role in the infodemic. We asked the physicians about how their roles have changed, how their audience has changed, what role politics plays, and how they address misinformation. The physicians noted increased audience size with an increased focus on the pandemic. Most avoided confronting politics, but others found it unavoidable or that even if they tried to avoide it, it would be brought up by their audience. The physicians felt that confronting and correcting misinformation was a core part of their mission. Public physicians on social media are a new occurrence and are an important part of fighting online misinformation.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Santos REA, da Silva MG, do Monte Silva MCB, et al (2021)

Onset and duration of symptoms of loss of smell/taste in patients with COVID-19: A systematic review.

American journal of otolaryngology, 42(2):102889 pii:S0196-0709(20)30583-4 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature to investigate the time of onset and duration of symptoms of loss of smell and taste in patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

METHODS: Two independent authors performed a systematic review of the Medline/PubMed, SCOPUS, COCHRANE, Lilacs and Web of Science electronic databases. The time of onset and duration of symptoms were considered primary outcomes. The sex and age of individuals, the geographical location of the study, the prevalence of symptoms, other associated symptoms, associated comorbidities, and the impact on quality of life and eating habits were considered secondary outcomes.

RESULTS: Our search generated 17 articles. Many of the studies reported that the onset of anosmia and ageusia occurred 4 to 5 days after the manifestation of other symptoms of the infection and that these symptoms started to disappear after one week, with more significant improvements in the first two weeks.

CONCLUSION: The present study concludes that the onset of symptoms of loss of smell and taste, associated with COVID-19, occurs 4 to 5 days after other symptoms, and that these symptoms last from 7 to 14 days. Findings, however, varied and there is therefore a need for further studies to clarify the occurrence of these symptoms. This would help to provide early diagnosis and reduce contagion by the virus.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Hashemi-Madani N, Emami Z, Janani L, et al (2021)

Typical chest CT features can determine the severity of COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the observational studies.

Clinical imaging, 74:67-75 pii:S0899-7071(20)30553-2 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: It remains unclear whether a specific chest CT characteristic is associated with the clinical severity of COVID-19. This meta-analysis was performed to assess the relationship between different chest CT features and severity of clinical presentation in COVID-19.

METHODS: PubMed, Embase, Scopus, web of science databases (WOS), Cochrane library, and Google scholar were searched up to May 19, 2020 for observational studies that assessed the relationship of different chest CT manifestations and the severity of clinical presentation in COVID-19 infection. Risk of bias assessment was evaluated applying the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. A random-effects model or fixed-effects model, as appropriately, were used to pool results. Heterogeneity was assessed using Forest plot, Cochran's Q test, and I2. Publication bias was assessed applying Egger's test.

RESULTS: A total of 18 studies involving 3323 patients were included. Bronchial wall thickening (OR 11.64, 95% CI 1.81-74.66) was more likely to be associated with severe cases of COVID-19 infection, followed by crazy paving (OR 7.60, 95% CI 3.82-15.14), linear opacity (OR 3.27, 95% CI 1.10-9.70), and GGO (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.08-1.73). However, there was no significant association between the presence of consolidation and severity of clinical presentation (OR 2.33, 95% CI 0.85-6.36). Considering the lesion distribution bilateral lung involvement was more frequently associated with severe clinical presentation (OR 3.44, 95% CI 1.74-6.79).

CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis of observational studies indicates some specific chest CT features are associated with clinical severity of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Sohrabi C, Mathew G, Franchi T, et al (2021)

Impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on scientific research and implications for clinical academic training - a review.

International journal of surgery (London, England) pii:S1743-9191(21)00002-9 [Epub ahead of print].

A pneumonia outbreak of unknown aetiology emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The causative organism was identified on the 7th of January 2020 as a novel coronavirus (nCoV or 2019-nCoV), later renamed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The resulting coronavirus (COVID-19) disease has infected over 37 57.8 million individuals, resulted in over 1 1.3 million deaths, and has led to an unprecedented impact on research activities worldwide. Extraordinary challenges have also been imposed upon medical and surgical trainees following re-deployment to full-time clinical duties. Moreover, the introduction of travel restrictions and strict lockdown measures have forced the closure of many institutions and laboratories working on research unrelated to the pandemic. The lockdown has similarly stifled supply chains and slowed research and development endeavours, whilst research charities have endured significant financial strains that have since reshaped the allocation and availability of funds. Worldwide scientific adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic has also been observed through unprecedented levels of international collaboration as well as the uprise of remote telecommunication platforms. Although the long-term consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic on research and academic training is difficult to ascertain, the current crises will inevitably shape working and teaching patterns for years to come. To this end, we provide a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the impact of COVID-19 on scientific research and funding, as well as academic medical and surgical training.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Chen C, Zhu C, Yan D, et al (2021)

The epidemiological and radiographical characteristics of asymptomatic infections with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19): A systematic review and meta-analysis.

International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases pii:S1201-9712(21)00027-8 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: The role of asymptomatic infections in the transmission of COVID-19 have drawn considerable attention. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to summarize the epidemiological and radiographical characteristics of asymptomatic infections with COVID-19.

METHODS: Data on the epidemiological and radiographical characteristics of asymptomatic infections were extracted. Pooled proportions with 95% confidence intervals were calculated using a random effects model.

RESULTS: A total of 104 studies involving 20,152 cases were included. The proportion of asymptomatic individuals among those with COVID-19 was 13.34% (10.86%-16.29%), among which the presymptomatic and covert infections were 7.64% (4.02%-14.04%) and 8.44% (5.12%-13.62%), respectively. The proportions of asymptomatic infections among infected children and healthcare workers were 32.24% (23.08%-42.13%) and 36.96% (18.51%-60.21%), respectively. The proportion of asymptomatic infections was significantly higher after 2020/02/29 than before (33.53% vs 10.19%) and in non-Asian regions than in Asia (28.76% vs 11.54%). The median viral shedding duration of asymptomatic infections was 14.14 days (11.25-17.04). A total of 47.62% (31.13%-72.87%) of asymptomatic infections showed lung abnormalities, especially ground-glass opacity 41.11% (19.7%-85.79%).

CONCLUSIONS: Asymptomatic infections were more often found in infected children and healthcare workers, and they increased after 2020/02/29 and in non-Asian regions. Chest radiographical imaging could be conducive to early identification of asymptomatic infections.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Zhu H, Zhang L, Ma Y, et al (2021)

The role of SARS-CoV-2 target ACE2 in cardiovascular diseases.

Journal of cellular and molecular medicine [Epub ahead of print].

SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, attacks multiple organs of the human body by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to enter cells. More than 20 million people have already been infected by the virus. ACE2 is not only a functional receptor of COVID-19 but also an important endogenous antagonist of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). A large number of studies have shown that ACE2 can reverse myocardial injury in various cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) as well as is exert anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-apoptotic and anticardiomyocyte fibrosis effects by regulating transforming growth factor beta, mitogen-activated protein kinases, calcium ions in cells and other major pathways. The ACE2/angiotensin-(1-7)/Mas receptor axis plays a decisive role in the cardiovascular system to combat the negative effects of the ACE/angiotensin II/angiotensin II type 1 receptor axis. However, the underlying mechanism of ACE2 in cardiac protection remains unclear. Some approaches for enhancing ACE2 expression in CVDs have been suggested, which may provide targets for the development of novel clinical therapies. In this review, we aimed to identify and summarize the role of ACE2 in CVDs.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Chaudhry F, Lavandero S, Xie X, et al (2020)

Manipulation of ACE2 expression in COVID-19.

Open heart, 7(2):.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The virus uses ACE2 receptor for viral entry. ACE2 is part of the counter-regulatory renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and is also expressed in the lower respiratory tract along the alveolar epithelium. There is, however, significant controversy regarding the role of ACE2 expression in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Some have argued that decreasing ACE2 expression would result in decreased susceptibility to the virus by decreasing available binding sites for SARS-CoV-2 and restricting viral entry into the cells. Others have argued that, like the pathogenesis of other viral pneumonias, including those stemming from previous severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) viruses, once SARS-CoV-2 binds to ACE2, it downregulates ACE2 expression. Lack of the favourable effects of ACE2 might exaggerate lung injury by a variety of mechanisms. In order to help address this controversy, we conducted a literature search and review of relevant preclinical and clinical publications pertaining to SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, ACE2, viral pneumonia, SARS, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung injury. Our review suggests, although controversial, that patients at increased susceptibility to COVID-19 complications may have reduced baseline ACE2, and by modulating ACE2 expression one can possibly improve COVID-19 outcomes. Herein, we elucidate why and how this potential mechanism might work.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Song SJ (2020)

Protecting the Global Mental Health of Forcibly Displaced Children From the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Pediatrics pii:peds.2020-025346 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Awad WI, M Bashir (2021)

Mechanical circulatory support-Challenges, strategies, and preparations.

Journal of cardiac surgery [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is usually mild, but patients can present with pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and circulatory shock. Although the symptoms of the disease are predominantly respiratory, the involvement of the cardiovascular system is common. Patients with heart failure (HF) are particularly vulnerable when suffering from COVID-19.

AIM OF THE REVIEW: To examine the challenges faced by healthcare organizations, and mechanical circulatory support management strategies available to patients with heart failure, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RESULTS: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can be lifesaving in patients with severe forms of ARDS, or refractory cardio-circulatory compromise. The Impella RP can provide right ventricular circulatory support for patients who develop right side ventricular failure or decompensation caused by COVID-19 complications, including pulmonary embolus. HT are reserved for only those patients with a high short-term mortality. LVAD as a bridge to transplant may be a viable strategy to get at-risk patients home quickly. Elective LVAD implantations have been reduced and only patients classified as INTERMACS profile 1 and 2 are being considered for LVAD implantation. Delayed recognition of LVAD-related complications, misdiagnosis of COVID-19, and impaired social and psychological well-being for patients and families may ensue. Remote patient care with virtual or telephone contacts is becoming the norm.

CONCLUSIONS: HF incidence, prevalence, and undertreatment will grow as a result of new COVID-19-related heart disease. ECMO should be reserved for highly selected cases of COVID-19 with a reasonable probability of recovery. Special considerations are needed for patients with advanced HF, including those supported by durable LVADs.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Stephenson D, Alexander R, Aggarwal V, et al (2020)

Precompetitive Consensus Building to Facilitate the Use of Digital Health Technologies to Support Parkinson Disease Drug Development through Regulatory Science.

Digital biomarkers, 4(Suppl 1):28-49 pii:dib-0004-0028.

Innovative tools are urgently needed to accelerate the evaluation and subsequent approval of novel treatments that may slow, halt, or reverse the relentless progression of Parkinson disease (PD). Therapies that intervene early in the disease continuum are a priority for the many candidates in the drug development pipeline. There is a paucity of sensitive and objective, yet clinically interpretable, measures that can capture meaningful aspects of the disease. This poses a major challenge for the development of new therapies and is compounded by the considerable heterogeneity in clinical manifestations across patients and the fluctuating nature of many signs and symptoms of PD. Digital health technologies (DHT), such as smartphone applications, wearable sensors, and digital diaries, have the potential to address many of these gaps by enabling the objective, remote, and frequent measurement of PD signs and symptoms in natural living environments. The current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic creates a heightened sense of urgency for effective implementation of such strategies. In order for these technologies to be adopted in drug development studies, a regulatory-aligned consensus on best practices in implementing appropriate technologies, including the collection, processing, and interpretation of digital sensor data, is required. A growing number of collaborative initiatives are being launched to identify effective ways to advance the use of DHT in PD clinical trials. The Critical Path for Parkinson's Consortium of the Critical Path Institute is highlighted as a case example where stakeholders collectively engaged regulatory agencies on the effective use of DHT in PD clinical trials. Global regulatory agencies, including the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, are encouraging the efficiencies of data-driven engagements through multistakeholder consortia. To this end, we review how the advancement of DHT can be most effectively achieved by aligning knowledge, expertise, and data sharing in ways that maximize efficiencies.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Rochester L, Mazzà C, Mueller A, et al (2020)

A Roadmap to Inform Development, Validation and Approval of Digital Mobility Outcomes: The Mobilise-D Approach.

Digital biomarkers, 4(Suppl 1):13-27 pii:dib-0004-0013.

Health care has had to adapt rapidly to COVID-19, and this in turn has highlighted a pressing need for tools to facilitate remote visits and monitoring. Digital health technology, including body-worn devices, offers a solution using digital outcomes to measure and monitor disease status and provide outcomes meaningful to both patients and health care professionals. Remote monitoring of physical mobility is a prime example, because mobility is among the most advanced modalities that can be assessed digitally and remotely. Loss of mobility is also an important feature of many health conditions, providing a read-out of health as well as a target for intervention. Real-world, continuous digital measures of mobility (digital mobility outcomes or DMOs) provide an opportunity for novel insights into health care conditions complementing existing mobility measures. Accepted and approved DMOs are not yet widely available. The need for large collaborative efforts to tackle the critical steps to adoption is widely recognised. Mobilise-D is an example. It is a multidisciplinary consortium of 34 institutions from academia and industry funded through the European Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking. Members of Mobilise-D are collaborating to address the critical steps for DMOs to be adopted in clinical trials and ultimately health care. To achieve this, the consortium has developed a roadmap to inform the development, validation and approval of DMOs in Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and recovery from proximal femoral fracture. Here we aim to describe the proposed approach and provide a high-level view of the ongoing and planned work of the Mobilise-D consortium. Ultimately, Mobilise-D aims to stimulate widespread adoption of DMOs through the provision of device agnostic software, standards and robust validation in order to bring digital outcomes from concept to use in clinical trials and health care.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Gundlapalli AV, Salerno RM, Brooks JT, et al (2021)

SARS-CoV-2 Serologic Assay Needs for the Next Phase of the US COVID-19 Pandemic Response.

Open forum infectious diseases, 8(1):ofaa555 pii:ofaa555.

Background: There is a need for validated and standardized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quantitative immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralization assays that can be used to understand the immunology and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and support the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic response.

Methods: Literature searches were conducted to identify English language publications from peer-reviewed journals and preprints from January 2020 through November 6, 2020. Relevant publications were reviewed for mention of IgG or neutralization assays for SARS-CoV-2, or both, and the methods of reporting assay results.

Results: Quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG results have been reported from a limited number of studies; most studies used in-house laboratory-developed tests in limited settings, and only two semiquantitative tests have received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As of November 6, 2020, there is only one SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay with FDA EUA. Relatively few studies have attempted correlation of quantitative IgG titers with neutralization results to estimate surrogates of protection. The number of individuals tested is small compared with the magnitude of the pandemic, and persons tested are not representative of disproportionately affected populations. Methods of reporting quantitative results are not standardized to enable comparisons and meta-analyses.

Conclusions: Lack of standardized SARS-CoV-2 quantitative IgG and neutralization assays precludes comparison of results from published studies. Interassay and interlaboratory validation and standardization of assays will support efforts to better understand antibody kinetics and longevity of humoral immune responses postillness, surrogates of immune protection, and vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. Public-private partnerships could facilitate realization of these advances in the United States and worldwide.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Lin L, Niu LL, Zheng E, et al (2020)

Management strategies in a thoracic surgery ward during COVID-19 pandemic: Experience from West China Hospital.

World journal of virology, 9(4):47-53.

The coronavirus disease 2019 was first reported in Wuhan in December 2019 and then spread rapidly throughout the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus disease 2019 a pandemic. In response to the pandemic, the management division of West China Hospital oversaw the implementation of hospital-wide emergency measures. In accordance with these measures, the hospital's thoracic surgery ward implemented a new management system by reformulating staff training plans, patient admission procedures, and other systems for managing the ward and protecting perioperative patients. Overall, the ward was successful in restoring normal working order, protecting all staff from occupational exposures, and ensuring the safety of inpatients and their families.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Anirvan P, Bharali P, Gogoi M, et al (2020)

Liver injury in COVID-19: The hepatic aspect of the respiratory syndrome - what we know so far.

World journal of hepatology, 12(12):1182-1197.

The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has posed a serious threat to global public health. Although primarily, the infection causes lung injury, liver enzyme abnormalities have also been reported to occur during the course of the disease. We conducted an extensive literature review using the PubMed database on articles covering a broad range of issues related to COVID-19 and hepatic injury. The present review summarizes available information on the spectrum of liver involvement, the possible mechanisms and risk factors of liver injury due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the prognostic significance of the presence of liver injury. Hopefully, this review will enable clinicians, especially the hepatologists, to understand and manage the liver derangements they may encounter in these patients better and provide guidance for further studies on the liver injury of COVID-19.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Cavalli G, Farina N, Campochiaro C, et al (2020)

Repurposing of Biologic and Targeted Synthetic Anti-Rheumatic Drugs in COVID-19 and Hyper-Inflammation: A Comprehensive Review of Available and Emerging Evidence at the Peak of the Pandemic.

Frontiers in pharmacology, 11:598308 pii:598308.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a condition caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Severe cases of COVID-19 result in acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. A detrimental, hyper-inflammatory immune response with excess release of cytokines is the main driver of disease development and of tissue damage in these patients. Thus, repurposing of biologic agents and other pharmacological inhibitors of cytokines used for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions emerged as a logical therapeutic strategy to quench inflammation and improve the clinical outcome of COVID-19 patients. Evaluated agents include the interleukin one receptor blocker anakinra, monoclonal antibodies inhibiting IL-6 tocilizumab and sarilumab, monoclonal antibodies inhibiting granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor and tumor necrosis factor, and Janus kinase inhibitors. In this review, we discuss the efficacy and safety of these therapeutic options based on direct personal experience and on published evidence from observational studies and randomized clinical trials.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Pagliano P, Scarpati G, Sellitto C, et al (2021)

Experimental Pharmacotherapy for COVID-19: The Latest Advances.

Journal of experimental pharmacology, 13:1-13 pii:255209.

The coronavirus infectious disease-2019 (COVID-19) has overwhelmed like a shock wave in a completely unprepared world. Despite coronavirus infections were involved in previous epidemic outbreaks, no antiviral agent was developed for specific treatment. As a consequence, since the beginning of this pandemic, both repositioned and experimental drugs were used to treat the infected patients without evidence of clinical efficacy. Just based on experience coming from the use of antiviral agents to treat other viruses (eg, lopinavir/ritonavir, remdesivir) and supposed antiviral or immunomodulatory activities of drugs with no approved antiviral indications (eg hydroxychloroquine, tocilizumab), clinicians have faced the ongoing pandemic. Currently, after about 9 months from the COVID-19 spread, there is still no antiviral agent capable of ensuring the cure of this syndrome. Clinical trials are beginning to confirm the benefits of some drugs, while for other compounds, efficacy and safety have not yet been confirmed. Randomized clinical trials (RCT) have denied or downsized the beneficial effects attributed to certain molecules, such as aminoquinolines, largely used in clinical practice at the beginning of COVID-19 spread. Conversely, at the same time, they have provided evidence for unexpected effectiveness of other agents that have been underutilized, such as steroids, which were not used in SARS treatment because of the threatened effect on viral replication. Evidence deriving from pathologic studies have demonstrated that the prothrombotic effects of SARS-CoV-2 can be prevented by heparin prophylaxis, underlining the need for personalized treatment for patients with severe disease. The main aim of this review is to synthesize the available information and evidence on both repositioned and experimental drugs for the treatment of COVID-19, focusing on the need to exercise caution on the use of unproven medical therapies.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Grygiel-Górniak B, MT Oduah (2021)

COVID-19: What Should the General Practitioner Know?.

Clinical interventions in aging, 16:43-56 pii:268607.

Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection is currently the most significant public health challenge. Its presentation ranges from mild to severe respiratory failure and septic shock. Rapid transmission of the virus is dangerous with a high possibility of life-threatening complications. Lack of treatment standards for SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the current dilemma in clinical medicine.

Methods: An electronic literature search was done using PubMed to gather information on the pathogenesis, transmission of infection, clinical symptoms, diagnosis, and therapeutic options for COVID-19. Search items included "SARS-CoV-2", "COVID-19" and "coronavirus infection".

Results: In light of the current global crisis caused by SARS-CoV-2, the exchange of information within the scientific community should be quick and extremely transparent. Thus, this review presents the available information necessary for a general practitioner. Such presentation of data should allow the reader quick access to basic and crucial information related to epidemiology, viral transmission, clinical symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, and complications that may occur in the course of COVID-19.

Conclusion: Rapidly increasing amounts of information about the diagnosis and treatment of patients with SARS-CoV-2 allow a better understanding of the etiology and course of the infection. In the current epidemiological situation, readily accessible information helps minimize the time to acquire knowledge and focus on prevention methods, diagnostic and treatment options. Thus, this review highlights key issues related to SARS-CoV-2 infection and contains the most useful data for daily medical practice.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Pramono LA (2020)

COVID-19 and Thyroid Diseases: How the Pandemic Situation Affects Thyroid Disease Patients.

Journal of the ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies, 35(2):155-157.

Patients with thyroid diseases need special attention during this COVID-19 pandemic. There is a paucity of publications that review the effect of coronavirus infection on thyroid disease patients, such as those with hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules and cancer. This article aims to collect reviews and statements about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the management of thyroid disease patients.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Baidya A, Singh SK, Bajaj S, et al (2020)

Diabetes and COVID-19: A Review.

Journal of the ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies, 35(1):40-48.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging disease and since its first identification in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, there has been a rapid increase in cases and deaths across the world. COVID-19 has been shown to have an immense impact in infected persons with diabetes, worsening their outcome, especially in elderly, smokers, obese, those having CVD, CKD, poor glycemic control and long duration of diabetes. In this review we summarize the current understanding of `the impact of COVID-19 on diabetes and discusses the pathophysiological mechanisms and management of diabetes and its complication in this scenario.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Brodin P (2021)

Immune determinants of COVID-19 disease presentation and severity.

Nature medicine, 27(1):28-33.

COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, is mild to moderate in the majority of previously healthy individuals, but can cause life-threatening disease or persistent debilitating symptoms in some cases. The most important determinant of disease severity is age, with individuals over 65 years having the greatest risk of requiring intensive care, and men are more susceptible than women. In contrast to other respiratory viral infections, young children seem to be less severely affected. It is now clear that mild to severe acute infection is not the only outcome of COVID-19, and long-lasting symptoms are also possible. In contrast to severe acute COVID-19, such 'long COVID' is seemingly more likely in women than in men. Also, postinfectious hyperinflammatory disease has been described as an additional outcome after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here I discuss our current understanding of the immunological determinants of COVID-19 disease presentation and severity and relate this to known immune-system differences between young and old people and between men and women, and other factors associated with different disease presentations and severity.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Gyselinck I, Janssens W, Verhamme P, et al (2021)

Rationale for azithromycin in COVID-19: an overview of existing evidence.

BMJ open respiratory research, 8(1):.

Azithromycin has rapidly been adopted as a repurposed drug for the treatment of COVID-19, despite the lack of high-quality evidence. In this review, we critically appraise the current pharmacological, preclinical and clinical data of azithromycin for treating COVID-19. Interest in azithromycin has been fuelled by favourable treatment outcomes in other viral pneumonias, a documented antiviral effect on SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and uncontrolled case series early in the pandemic. Its antiviral effects presumably result from interfering with receptor mediated binding, viral lysosomal escape, intracellular cell-signalling pathways and enhancing type I and III interferon expression. Its immunomodulatory effects may mitigate excessive inflammation and benefit tissue repair. Currently, in vivo reports on azithromycin in COVID-19 are conflicting and do not endorse its widespread use outside of clinical trials. They are, however, mostly retrospective and therefore inherently biased. The effect size of azithromycin may depend on when it is started. Also, extended follow-up is needed to assess benefits in the recovery phase. Safety data warrant monitoring of drug-drug interactions and subsequent cardiac adverse events, especially with hydroxychloroquine. More prospective data of large randomised controlled studies are expected and much-needed. Uniform reporting of results should be strongly encouraged to facilitate data pooling with the many ongoing initiatives.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Synowiec A, Szczepański A, Barreto-Duran E, et al (2021)

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2): a Systemic Infection.

Clinical microbiology reviews, 34(2):.

SUMMARYTo date, seven identified coronaviruses (CoVs) have been found to infect humans; of these, three highly pathogenic variants have emerged in the 21st century. The newest member of this group, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was first detected at the end of 2019 in Hubei province, China. Since then, this novel coronavirus has spread worldwide, causing a pandemic; the respiratory disease caused by the virus is called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic to mild respiratory tract infections and influenza-like illness to severe disease with accompanying lung injury, multiorgan failure, and death. Although the lungs are believed to be the site at which SARS-CoV-2 replicates, infected patients often report other symptoms, suggesting the involvement of the gastrointestinal tract, heart, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and other organs; therefore, the following question arises: is COVID-19 a respiratory or systemic disease? This review aims to summarize existing data on the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in different tissues in both patients and ex vivo models.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Rosa V, Ho D, Sabino-Silva R, et al (2021)

Fighting viruses with materials science: Prospects for antivirus surfaces, drug delivery systems and artificial intelligence.

Dental materials : official publication of the Academy of Dental Materials pii:S0109-5641(20)30367-5 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Viruses on environmental surfaces, in saliva and other body fluids represent risk of contamination for general population and healthcare professionals. The development of vaccines and medicines is costly and time consuming. Thus, the development of novel materials and technologies to decrease viral availability, viability, infectivity, and to improve therapeutic outcomes can positively impact the prevention and treatment of viral diseases.

METHODS: Herein, we discuss (a) interaction mechanisms between viruses and materials, (b) novel strategies to develop materials with antiviral properties and oral antiviral delivery systems, and (c) the potential of artificial intelligence to design and optimize preventive measures and therapeutic regimen.

RESULTS: The mechanisms of viral adsorption on surfaces are well characterized but no major breakthrough has become clinically available. Materials with fine-tuned physical and chemical properties have the potential to compromise viral availability and stability. Emerging strategies using oral antiviral delivery systems and artificial intelligence can decrease infectivity and improve antiviral therapies.

SIGNIFICANCE: Emerging viral infections are concerning due to risk of mortality, as well as psychological and economic impacts. Materials science emerges for the development of novel materials and technologies to diminish viral availability, infectivity, and to enable enhanced preventive and therapeutic strategies, for the safety and well-being of humankind.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Mellet J, MS Pepper (2021)

A COVID-19 Vaccine: Big Strides Come with Big Challenges.

Vaccines, 9(1): pii:vaccines9010039.

As of 8 January 2021, there were 86,749,940 confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and 1,890,342 COVID-19-related deaths worldwide, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO). In order to address the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting transmission, an intense global effort is underway to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The development of a safe and effective vaccine usually requires several years of pre-clinical and clinical stages of evaluation and requires strict regulatory approvals before it can be manufactured in bulk and distributed. Since the global impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented in the modern era, the development and testing of a new vaccine are being expedited. Given the high-level of attrition during vaccine development, simultaneous testing of multiple candidates increases the probability of finding one that is effective. Over 200 vaccines are currently in development, with over 60 candidate vaccines being tested in clinical trials. These make use of various platforms and are at different stages of development. This review discusses the different phases of vaccine development and the various platforms in use for candidate COVID-19 vaccines, including their progress to date. The potential challenges once a vaccine becomes available are also addressed.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Le TT, Vodden K, Wu J, et al (2021)

Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Vietnam.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(2): pii:ijerph18020559.

The COVID-19 pandemic has become one of the most serious health crises in human history, spreading rapidly across the globe from January 2020 to the present. With prompt and drastic measures, Vietnam is one of the few countries that has largely succeeded in controlling the outbreak. This result is derived from a harmonious combination of many factors, with the policy system playing a key role. This study assessed the policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam from the early days of the outbreak in January 2020 to 24 July 2020 (with a total of 413 cases confirmed and 99 days of no new cases infected from the local community) by synthesizing and evaluating 959 relevant policy documents in different classifications. The findings show that the Vietnamese policy system responded promptly, proactively, and effectively at multiple authority levels (33 different agencies from the national to provincial governments), using a range of policy tools and measures. Parallel to the daily occurrence of 2.24 new cases, 5.13 new policy documents were issued on average per day over the study period. The pandemic policy response over the first six months in Vietnam were divided into four periods, I (23 January-5 March), II (6-19 March), III (20 March-21 April), and IV (22 April-24 July). This paper synthesizes eight solution groups for these four anti-pandemic phases, including outbreak announcements and steering documents, medical measures, blockade of the schools, emergency responses, border and entry control measures, social isolation and nationwide social isolation measures, financial supports, and other measures. By emphasizing diversification of the policy responses, from the agencies to the tools and measures, the case study reviews and shares lessons from the successful COVID-19 prevention and control in Vietnam that could be useful for other nations.

RevDate: 2021-01-14

Tanner JE, C Alfieri (2021)

The Fatty Acid Lipid Metabolism Nexus in COVID-19.

Viruses, 13(1): pii:v13010090.

Enteric symptomology seen in early-stage severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-2003 and COVID-19 is evidence of virus replication occurring in the intestine, liver and pancreas. Aberrant lipid metabolism in morbidly obese individuals adversely affects the COVID-19 immune response and increases disease severity. Such observations are in line with the importance of lipid metabolism in COVID-19, and point to the gut as a site for intervention as well as a therapeutic target in treating the disease. Formation of complex lipid membranes and palmitoylation of coronavirus proteins are essential during viral replication and assembly. Inhibition of fatty acid synthase (FASN) and restoration of lipid catabolism by activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) impede replication of coronaviruses closely related to SARS-coronavirus-2 (CoV-2). In vitro findings and clinical data reveal that the FASN inhibitor, orlistat, and the AMPK activator, metformin, may inhibit coronavirus replication and reduce systemic inflammation to restore immune homeostasis. Such observations, along with the known mechanisms of action for these types of drugs, suggest that targeting fatty acid lipid metabolism could directly inhibit virus replication while positively impacting the patient's response to COVID-19.


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 )