Preprints on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2
Reminder: Please bear in mind that these are early stage research which have not gone through a rigorous peer review process, and should not be regarded as conclusive clinical guidance or be reported in news media as established fact.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0341.v2
Subject: Keywords: : Impact of COVID on TB; TB Notification in India; Integrated TB COVID Activity; Threats and Opportunity during COVID; Initiatives to improve TB Surveillance; TB Surveillance during COVID Pandemic
Online: 22 June 2021 (14:05:04 CEST)
Introduction: Due to COVID-19 pandemic, performance of many program has been declined and Tuberculosis (TB) program is not an exception. TB case detection and notification has been recognized as one of worst hit area. The objective of this study was to explore the TB notification status of India during this pandemic and explore options to mitigate the issue. Methods: A secondary data analysis was performed on open source TB notification database of India. Relevant literature review was done to find out remedies based on the different initiative taken by different states of India. Results: In 2020, total TB notification decreased in all the states in comparison to 2019. The percentage of loss in the country was 34%. Private TB notification also decreased in 2020 in all the states except in Jharkhand. The percentage of loss in private TB notification in the country was 35%. Notification started declining in the month of February 2020 and it was lowest in the month of April-2020. The trend of notification began to improve since May 2020 when the States started taking innovative initiatives like Integrated TB Covid Case Search. Conclusion: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the notifications of TB cases declined noticeably which has a serious implication in terms of silent spread within household and community. But the picture can be improved with integrated approach for TB-COVID case finding and management.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0377.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: aa = amino acids; ACE-2 = receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; cDNA = complementary DNA; mRNA = messenger RNA; orf = open reading frame; RBD = receptor binding protein; S-protein = Spike protein; SARS-CoV-2 = severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Vaccines.
Online: 22 June 2021 (11:53:34 CEST)
The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)-CoV (Coronavirus)-2 S(spike)-protein mRNA/cDNA currently being used as vaccines are antigenic but not antigens against SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID (Coronavirus Disease) -19. Furthermore, the mRNA and cDNA antigenic vaccines also have potentials for homologous as well as heterologous recombination, primarily into the somatic cell DNA of the vaccine recipients. On the contrary, a SARS-CoV-2 RBD-protein antigen, a part of the S-protein, will directly stimulate antibody production against SARS-CoV-2. Hence, a vaccine composed of SARS-CoV-2 RBD-protein as a safer, fast acting, and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and thus against COVID-19. This is also useful for some immune compromised individuals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0538.v1
Online: 22 June 2021 (10:22:56 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic put pregnant women in high risk, but behavioural changes has also led to lower rates of preterm births in high-income countries. The main goal in this article is to study the impact that COVID-19 pandemic is having on pregnancy control and outcomes. This is a joint analysis of two cohorts. A pre-pandemic one includes 969 pregnant women recruited in 2018. The pandemic cohort comprises 1168 pregnant women recruited in 2020. Information on demographic and socio-economic characteristics, reproductive history, characteristics of the current pregnancy and its outcome were obtained from medical records. Caesarean section was more frequent in the pre-pandemic cohort (24% vs. 18%, p = 0.004). Birth with less than 37 weeks of gestational age was more frequent in the pre-pandemic cohort (6% vs. 5%, p = 0.04). Weight at birth lower than 2500 grams occurred more frequently in the pre-pandemic cohort (9% vs. 6%, p = 0.001). Exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge was more frequent in the pandemic cohort than in the pre-pandemic one (60% vs. 54%, p = 0.005). We are reporting reductions in Caesarean section and preterm birth during the pandemic in a hospital located Northern of Spain. Further analysis would clarify if these lessening are related to changes in health-related behaviour or health-care functioning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0534.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; pandemic; bibliometric analysis; MERS; SARS
Online: 22 June 2021 (08:33:26 CEST)
India is ranked 5th in world in terms of Covid-19 publications accounting for 6.7% of the total. About 60% of the Covid-19 publications in the year 2020 are from United States, China, UK, Italy, and India. We present a bibliometrics analysis of the publi-cation trends and citation structure along with identification of major research clusters. By performing network analysis of authors, citations, institutions, key-words, and countries, we explore semantic associations by applying visualization techniques. Our study shows lead taken by United States, China, UK, Italy, India in Covid-19 research may be attributed to the high prevalence of Covid-19 cases in those countries witnessing the first outbreak and also due to access to Covid-19 data, access to labs for experimental trials, immediate funding, and overall support from the govt. agencies. Large number of publications and citations from India are due to co-authored publications with countries like United States, UK, China, and Saudi Arabia. Findings show health sciences with highest the number of publications and citations, while physical sciences and social sciences and humanities counts were low. A large proportion of publications fall into the open access category. With India as focus, by comparing three major pandemics SARS, MERS, Covid-19 from biblio-metrics perspective, we observe much broader involvement of authors from multiple countries for Covid-19 studies as compared to SARS and MERS. Finally, by applying bibliometric indicators, we see an increasing number of sustainable develop-ment-related studies from the Covid-19 domain, particularly concerning the topic of good health and well-being. This study allows for a deeper understanding on how the scholarly community from a populous country like India pursued research in the midst of a major pandemic which resulted in closure of scientific institutions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0533.v1
Online: 22 June 2021 (08:30:30 CEST)
The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has created immense threats to public health on various levels around the globe. The unpredictable outbreak of this disease and the pandemic situation are causing severe depression, anxiety and other mental as physical health related problems among the human beings. To combat against this disease, vaccination is essential as it will boost the immune system of human beings while being in the contact with the infected people. The vaccination process is thus necessary to confront the outbreak of COVID-19. This deadly disease has put social, economic condition of the entire world into an enormous challenge. The worldwide vaccination progress should be tracked to identify how fast the entire economic as well as social life will be stabilized. The monitor ofthe vaccination progress, a machine learning based Regressor model is approached in this study. This tracking process has been applied on the data starting from 14th December, 2020 to 24th April, 2021. A couple of ensemble based machine learning Regressor models such as Random Forest, Extra Trees, Gradient Boosting, AdaBoost and Extreme Gradient Boosting are implemented and their predictive performance are compared. The comparative study reveals that the AdaBoostRegressor outperforms with minimized mean absolute error (MAE) of 9.968 and root mean squared error (RMSE) of 11.133.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Singing; Disease Outbreaks; Aerosols; Dose-Response Model
Online: 21 June 2021 (14:49:39 CEST)
Background: Superspreading events are important drivers of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. By analyzing two outbreaks associated with choir rehearsals in March 2020, we demonstrate the risk of indoor, long-range (LR) transmission and singing, to help prevent similar outbreaks. Methods: We conducted two retrospective cohort studies and obtained demographic, clinical, laboratory and contact data, performed SARS-CoV-2 serology, whole genome sequencing (WGS), calculated LR transmission probabilities, measured particle emissions of selected choir members, and calculated particle air concentrations and inhalation doses.Results: We included 65 (84%) and 42 (100%) members of choirs 1 and 2, respectively. WGS confirmed strain identity in both choirs and the primary case of choir 1 (transmitting presymptomatically). Particle emission rate when singing was 7 times higher compared to talking. In choir 1, the median concentration of primary cases’ emitted particles was 8 times higher, exposure at least 30 minutes longer and room volume smaller than in choir 2, resulting in markedly different estimated probabilities for LR transmission (median: 89% vs. 18%, 95%CI: 80-95% vs. 6-36%). Observed AR in choir 1 (89%) was significantly higher than in choir 2 (24%). According to a risk model, first transmission in choir 1 occurred likely after 7 minutes of singing. The number of inhaled particles emitted by an infectious case, sufficient to infect 50% of exposed, was calculated to 1039-2883 particles (95%CI).Conclusions: Even in large rooms, singing of an infectious person may lead to secondary infections through LR exposure within minutes. Given the potential for presymptomatic infectiousness, greatest caution is required wherever aerosols can accumulate.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0482.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: COVID-19 Infodemic; Text Classification; Noun-phrases Networks; Supervised Learning.
Online: 18 June 2021 (14:48:31 CEST)
The spread of the Coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by an infodemic. The false information that is embedded in the infodemic affects people’s ability to have access to safety and follow proper procedures to mitigate the risks. Here, we present a novel supervised machine learning text mining algorithm that analyzes the content of a given news article and assign a label to it. The NeoNet algorithm is trained by noun-phrases features which contributes a network model. The algorithm was tested on a real-world dataset and predicted the label of never-seem articles and flags ones that are suspicious or disputed. In five different fold comparisons, NeoNet surpassed prominent contemporary algorithm such as Neural Networks, SVM, and Random Forests. The analysis shows that the NeoNet algorithm predicts a label of an article with a 100% precision using a non-pruned model. This highlights the promise of detecting disputed online contents that may contribute negatively to the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, using machine learning combined with powerful text mining and network science provide the necessary tools to counter the spread of misinformation, disinformation, fake news, rumors, and conspiracy theories that is associated with the COVID19 Infodemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0472.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Mutations; Furin Cleavage Site (FCS); Evenly-uneven; Invariant regions
Online: 18 June 2021 (09:22:08 CEST)
Several hypotheses have been presented on the origin of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from its identification as the agent causing the current coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. So far, no hypothesis has managed to identify the origin, and the issue has resurfaced. Here we have unfolded a pattern of distribution of several mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 proteins across different continents comprising 24 geo-locations. The results showed an evenly uneven distribution of unique protein variants, distinct mutations, unique frequency of common conserved residues, and mutational residues across the 24 geo-locations. Furthermore, ample mutations were identified in the evolutionarily conserved invariant regions in the SARS-CoV-2 proteins across almost all geo-locations we have considered. This pattern of mutations potentially breaches the law of evolutionary conserved functional units of the beta-coronavirus genus. These mutations may lead to several novel SARS-CoV-2 variants with a high degree of transmissibility and virulence. A thorough investigation on the origin and characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 needs to be conducted in the interest of science and to be prepared to meet the challenges of potential future pandemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0469.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: coronavirus; cross-national study; pandemic; public authorities; social media; trust
Online: 18 June 2021 (08:09:01 CEST)
This study aimed to examine trust in information provided by public authorities and financial measures put in place to address the impact of COVID-19. Using a cross-national approach among four Western countries; the United States of America, Norway, Australia, and the United Kingdom provides an analysis of responses related to trust and how they were associated with age group, gender, education level, employment status, size of place of residence, infection sta-tus, and social media use. When controlling for all included variables in logistic regression analyses, the likelihood of having trust in the public authorities’ information was higher for women, those with higher levels of education, and those living in urban areas. Being infected with the coronavirus, and spending more time daily on social media was associated with lower likelihood reporting trust in information. Although policies implemented to respond to eco-nomic concerns varied cross-nationally, higher age, identifying as female, being employed, liv-ing in a city, and lower levels of social media usage were associated with higher likelihood of trusting in the financial measures put in place to counteract the economic effects of COVID-19.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Emergency medical security system; Mass gatherings; COVID-19; Binary logistic regression; traumatic injury; Public health
Online: 17 June 2021 (15:36:44 CEST)
Objectives: To acquire the disease rules and characters of the athletes, analyze the influencing factors of traumatic injury. Methods: Five hundred ten valid cases from July 2017 to September 2017 were classified according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10); a binary logistic regression model was performed to analyse the influencing factors of traumatic injury. Results: Among the 14 disease classifications, traumatic injuries accounted for the largest number, with significant differences by sex, competition venue, and competition event (P<0.05). Sex and competition events were risk factors for traumatic injury (OR>1). In particular, athletes participating in ball games were more likely to experience traumatic injury than those participating in nonball games. Conclusions: It is necessary to implement differentiated allocation of medical resources for different competition events, achieve a balance between supply and demand; take intervention measures to reduce risk factors. This can be a basis for subsequent mass gatherings in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic and disease prevention through establishing an emergency medical security system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0446.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: digital divide, e-learning, covid-19, driver of digital divide
Online: 16 June 2021 (12:48:11 CEST)
The devastating COVID-19 pandemic forced academia to go virtual. Educational institutions around the world have stressed online learning programs in the aftermath of the pandemic. However, because of insufficient access to ICT, a substantial number of students failed to harness the opportunity of online learning. This study explores the latent digital divide exhibited during the COVID-19 pandemic while online learning activities are emphasized among Bangladeshi students. It also explores the digital divide exposure and the significant underlying drivers of the divide. A cross-sectional survey was employed to collect quantitative data mixed with open-ended questions to collect qualitative information from the student community. The findings revealed that despite the majority of students have physical access to ICT but only 32.5% of students could attend online classes seamlessly, 34.1% of the students reported the data prices as the critical barrier, and 39.8% of students identified the poor network infrastructure is the significant barrier for them to participate in online learning activities. This paper aimed to explore the underlying issues of the digital divide among Bangladeshi students to assist relevant stakeholders (e.g., the Bangladesh government, Educational Institutions, Researchers) in providing the necessary insights to arrange for students to undertake online learning activities successfully.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0378.v1
Subject: Keywords: Trace metals; COVID-19; Lagoon ecosystem; Anthropogenic pollution; Water quality; India
Online: 14 June 2021 (15:56:06 CEST)
A complete halt on all anthropogenic activities and human movement due to COVID-19 lockdown has provided a great opportunity to assess the impact of human activities on coastal marine ecosystems. The current study assessed the concentration of the metals in water samples of the largest brackish water lagoon of Asia; the Chilika lagoon in the state of Odisha, India between pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 lockdown scenarios. Monthly water samples (n=30 stations) from 0.3 m depth were collected from three sectors of the lagoon seasonally; pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon. In addition to various physical parameters [pH, salinity, alkalinity, (DO) dissolved oxygen, (TDS) total dissolved solids, and (EC) electrical conductivity] the collected water samples were analysed for 18 trace metals (Al, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sr, Th, Tl, U, V). Most of the physical parameters showed a significant variation between pre-and post-COVID-19 scenarios, except for pH and DO. The concentration of five metals (Be, Cd, Co, Ni, and Pb) remained below detection limits in all water samples. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the concentration of the metal in the water samples was noticed along with the three sectors of the lagoon. However, eight metals (Al, As, Cr, Fe, Mn, Th, U, and V) were significantly different between the COVID-19 scenarios and the remaining five metals were not statistically significant. The mean concentration of Al, As, Fe, Th, and V were higher in the pre-COVID-19 scenarios, whereas only Cr and Mn were higher in the post-COVID-19 scenarios. The mean concentration of U was similar among both COVID-19 scenarios, even though there were seasonal and sectoral differences. The seasonal influence of riverine influx was more evident on metal concentration during the monsoon season, whereas the difference between sectors was more prominent during the post-monsoon season. An increased number of correlations between physical parameters and metal concentration were observed in the post-monsoon season and post-COVID-19 scenario. This study provides evidence that the imposition of COVID-19 lockdown reduced metal influx in the water column and improved the water quality of the Chilika lagoon. Our results can be used as baseline for metal concentration in surface waters of the lagoon.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0376.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; EVD; HPAI; Socio-economic impact; Public health impact; Measurements
Online: 14 June 2021 (15:36:21 CEST)
Concurrent waves of Coronavirus disease, Ebola virus disease, avian influenza A and black fungus are jeopardizing the lives in some parts of Africa and Asia. From this point of view, this review aims to summarize both socio-economic and public health implications of these parallel outbreaks along with their best possible management approaches. Various online databases were used to collect the necessary information regarding these outbreaks. Based on the reports published and analyses done so far, the long-lasting damages caused by these simultaneous outbreaks on global socio-economical and public health status can be conceived from the past experiences of outbreaks, especially the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, prolonged restrictions by the local government may lead to food insecurity, global recession, and an enormous impact on the mental health of people of all ages, specifically in developing countries. Such overwhelming effects already have been reported to be declining national growth of the economy as well as increasing political insecurity and shortage of basic needs. Although various actions have already been taken including vaccination, clinical management, and further research, social distancing, and lockdown, etc. to improve the situation, the emerging variants and associated genetic mutations may make the containment difficult worsening the situation again. Considering the current mutational dynamics of the pathogens and the past experiences, perpetual preparedness along with updated clinical management backed by epidemiological studies and innovating scientific effort are inevitable to combat the simultaneous waves of multiple infectious diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0362.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; depression; chronic fatigue syndrome; inflammation; neuro-immune; psychiatry
Online: 14 June 2021 (13:01:31 CEST)
Background: COVID-19 is associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms including increased depressive, anxiety and chronic fatigue-syndrome (CFS)-like physiosomatic (previously known as psychosomatic) symptoms.Aims: To delineate the associations between affective and CFS-like symptoms in COVID-19 and chest CT-scan anomalies (CCTAs), oxygen saturation (SpO2), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), albumin, calcium, magnesium, soluble angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE2) and soluble advanced glycation products (sRAGEs).Method: The above biomarkers were assessed in 60 COVID-19 patients and 30 heathy controls who had measurements of the Hamilton Depression (HDRS) and Anxiety (HAM-A) and the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue (FF) Rating Scales. Results: Partial Least Squares-SEM analysis showed that reliable latent vectors could be extracted from a) key depressive and anxiety and physiosomatic symptoms (the physio-affective or PA-core), b) IL-6, IL-10, CRP, albumin, calcium, and sRAGEs (the immune response core); and c) different CCTAs (including ground glass opacities, consolidation, and crazy paving) and lowered SpO2% (lung lesions). PLS showed that 70.0% of the variance in the PA-core was explained by the regression on the immune response and lung lesions latent vectors. Moreover, one common “infection-immune-inflammatory (III) core” underpins pneumonia-associated CCTAs, lowered SpO2 and immune activation, and this III core explains 70% of the variance in the PA core, and a relevant part of the variance in melancholia, insomnia, and neurocognitive symptoms.Discussion: Acute SARS-CoV-2 infection is accompanied by lung lesions and lowered SpO2 which both may cause activated immune-inflammatory pathways, which mediate the effects of the former on the PA-core and other neuropsychiatric symptoms due to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0342.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19 lockdown; diabetes mellitus; meta-analysis; metabolic control; systematic review
Online: 14 June 2021 (09:44:15 CEST)
Background: The abrupt implementation of COVID-19 lockdown had impacted the management of diabetes mellitus. Limited access to health facilities and alterations in daily lifestyle put metabolic control among patients at risk. Thus, we observed the differences in metabolic control parameters in diabetic patients before and during the lockdown. Methods: We performed searches from five databases. Meta-analyses were done using random or fixed-effect approaches with glycemic control parameters (HbA1c, RBG, FBG, TIR, TAR, TBR) as primary outcomes. Mean difference (MD), Confidence Interval (CI), and p-value were calculated. Lipid profile presented as secondary outcome. Results: 21 studies with 3992 diabetic patients were included in the study. Meta-analysis presented an increase on HbA1c of T1D and T2D patients [MD=+0.06% (95%CI -0.10–0.23), I2=77%, p=0.45], TBR of T1D patients [MD=-0.05% (95%CI -0.38–0.28), I2=0%, p=0.77], FBG of T2D patients [MD=+3,47 mg/dL (95%CI 1.22–5.73), I2=0%, p=0.002], and lipid profile on qualitative analysis. However, TIR, TAR, and RBG of T1D patients were improved [MD=+3.52% (95%CI 0.29–6.74), I2=76%, p=0.03; MD=-3.36% (95%CI -6.48–-0.25), I2=75%, p=0.03; MD=-0.91 mg/dL (95%CI -4.52–6.34), I2=88%, p=0.74]. Conclusion: Lockdown enforcement did not worsen the glycemic control parameter in diabetic patients. Particular parameters inclined to improve during the lockdown.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0336.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: Nationalism; The millennial generation; Covid-19
Online: 14 June 2021 (08:53:46 CEST)
Background: In the current era of globalization, the Indonesian government's problem today is the weakening of nationalism and patriotism among the millennial generation. The large number of foreign cultures that have entered Indonesia has caused a sense of nationalism and patriotism. In addition, Indonesia is also facing the problem of spreading the Covid-19 virus. During the pandemic, various policies set by the government received protests from some circles because they felt their freedom was restricted. Therefore, the awareness of millennial generation nationalism is needed, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic like today. This research aims to make millennials aware of nationalism sense, which mainly to prevent the spread of Covid-19. This research is used to answer the questions of what the problems that arise due to the waning of the spirit of nationalism during the pandemic are? and what efforts should be made to maintain the spirit of nationalism? Methods: This research is a qualitative study using the literature review method. The articles used are research published in 2019 to 2021 in Google Scholar, with keywords that match the topic of millennial generation nationalism in the Covid-19 pandemic. Results and Discussion: The results of the study found that the spirit of Indonesian nationalism during the Covid-19 pandemic was decreasing. The decline in the sense of nationalism is due to several government policies that impact the psychology of society and the Indonesian economy. As a result, society, particularly the millennial generation, must play a role in breaking the chain of the Covid-19 virus's propagation by following the government's health standards. Conclusion: The government and society need to work together to understand nationalism in the millennial generation, especially in dealing with problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on this, various efforts need to be made to foster the spirit of nationalism and overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. So that later, it can produce a generation that upholds the value of nationalism in everyday life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0334.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: 21st century; Covid 19; education; the government system
Online: 14 June 2021 (08:46:38 CEST)
In this modern era, continuous change is the first step in forming a new structure between theory and practice. The idea of a juggernaut is very relevant to the theory of structuration with current conditions in the 21st century, where technology becomes a reference that can crush anyone who is not responsive to its power. This technology takes one path and takes many roles from various fields: economic, social, political, legal, and educational. This 21st century is marked by great momentum for changes in human behavior and civilization, namely the industrial revolution 4.0 and the arrival of Covid-19, which have changed many social structures and human activities. This makes history a means of connecting the problems in the 21st century with past events. By using a descriptive qualitative method, this paper will reveal how technological developments are very influential on educational and political developments and what are the challenges faced based on historical perspective?. In this case, the study aims to discuss the history and challenges of Indonesia's education system and government system in the 21st century and give a solution. The data used are from 2 books, 14 journal articles, and 4 websites with a span of 2019-2021. The research results are expected to be used as a further study in the face of the development of the modern era in the fields of education and government. This study also has limitations, namely only on the face of the development of the modern era in the fields of education and government.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0333.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: 2-Deoxyglucose; Hyperglycemia; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; PI3K/Akt
Online: 14 June 2021 (08:44:50 CEST)
The treatment of viral infections is challenging owing to the intricate structure and metabolism of the viruses. In addition, they can highjack host cellular metabolism, mutate and adapt to harsh environmental conditions. The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) displays further resilient attributes, making its eradication even more difficult. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus whose replication can be targeted by limiting the substrates available for structural incorporation. One such molecule that limits substrate availability and has received much attention lately is 2-Deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG). SARS-CoV-2 infection induces glycolysis, impairs mitochondrial function and damages the infected cells. Administration of 2-DG can inhibit increased glycolytic flux and some other metabolic processes to cause cessation of viral replication. This article provides a review of the mechanism of action and safety concerns associated with administering 2-DG in the treatment of COVID-19. The drug can have adverse effects on normal cell metabolism since it targets cells non-selectively, possibly in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the drug has limited use in SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with stroke, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and critical illness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0187.v3
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV2; Biomathematics; Benford law; trials; Epidemiology; Fibonacci; data analysis; big data
Online: 11 June 2021 (15:47:44 CEST)
The Benford method can be used to detect manipulation of epidemiological or trial data during the validation of new drugs. We extend here the Benford method after having detected particular properties for the Fibonacci values 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 of the first decimal of 10 runs of official epidemiological data published in France and Italy (positive cases, intensive care, and deaths) for the periods of March 1 to May 30, 2020 and 2021, each with 91 raw data. This new method – called “BFP” for Benford-Fibonacci-Perez - is positive in all 10 cases (i.e. 910 values) with an average of favorable cases close to 80%, which, in our opinion, would validate the reliability of these basic data.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0320.v1
Subject: Keywords: RT-qPCR; assay validity; standard curve; quality assurance; quality control; wastewater surveillance
Online: 11 June 2021 (14:10:51 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to wastewater surveillance becoming an important tool for monitoring the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within communities. As a result, molecular methods, in particular reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), have been employed to generate large data sets aimed at the detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Although RT-qPCR is rapid and sensitive, there is no standard method that fits all use cases, there are no certified quantification standards and experiments are carried out using numerous different assays, reagents, instruments, and data analysis protocols. These variations can lead to the reporting of erroneous quantitative data resulting in potentially misleading interpretations and conclusions. We have reviewed the SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance literature focusing on the variability of RT-qPCR data as revealed by inconsistent standard curves and associated parameters. We find that variation in these parameters and deviations from best practices as described in The Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments (MIQE) guidelines suggest a lack of reproducibility and reliability in quantitative measurements of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0310.v1
Online: 11 June 2021 (09:19:51 CEST)
Because of the covid-19 pandemic, world development has de-escalated, and some have come to a halt because there are many new problems that this era never faced before. Especially in Indonesia's education, every student in this millennial era who is already used to face-to-face lectures and teachers and professors are going through massive changes where every task will be done virtually. These actions are being done to prevent the spread of Covid-19. With online meetings, there will be many changes in the curriculum to find an effective way of studying, and the former curriculum will not fit because it was made for the offline lecture. Also adapting to it will take time. This article will bring up Indonesia’s education progress in this era while Covid-19 pandemic is happening and give an insight on how to anticipate this problem. Questions that arise from this topic are the effect of government effort on holding the pandemic, is it safe if school will be opened soon, and how education after this pandemic is. This research uses literature review methods where it’s done by search, gather, compile and interpret data that is being used. The data are from the latest research, namely from 2019 to 2021 published through Google Scholar, totaling 11 articles, and few online news to keep relevancy of the topic. The results of this study indicate that Covid-19 produces a change that is worse than the good. Even so, the government has allowed face-to-face and online learning according to the consent of students and parents. Thus, the community, especially students, teachers, and others, are expected to uphold education even though it is required to adapt according to existing protocols. From the research, literature review methods proved to be effective to study this topic while Covid-19 is happening to keep safety measures, but it does not give many details and specific information well. This method is recommended to researchers who don’t want to risk their life by being exposed to the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0307.v1
Online: 11 June 2021 (09:02:07 CEST)
Poverty is one of the indexes that can see how a country succeeds in development. In Indonesia, the poverty rate is high as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic increases over time. Therefore, a solution is embraced in the form of government policies in tackling poverty in Indonesia. The purpose of this study is to analyze the poverty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.What is the current state of poverty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia? and what are the previous government policies that have succeeded in reducing poverty in Indonesia? The method used in this study is the literature review method based on the results of critical analysis of journal articles that are relevant to the topic of discussion. The results showed that three government policies have succeeded in lowering the poverty level in Indonesia, namely the PKH program policy, the zakat policy as an indicator of poverty reduction, and the Bank Wakaf Mikro policy. Therefore, this study focuses on the policy as a study for government policy in lowering poverty levels due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0298.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; online learning; pandemic; online education; Bangladesh; students' perceptions; higher education; distance learning; online classes
Online: 10 June 2021 (14:36:09 CEST)
Though there have been works highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, no study focused on university-level economics students. None of the studies explored students' opinions about improving the quality and effectiveness of online classes. Many used questionable samples, closed-ended questions, and all those researches were carried out at the beginning of online classes. In this paper, we overcome these limitations of earlier studies. Using a convenience sampling technique and open-ended questions, we collect data from 154 university-level economics students after being exposed to the online class for a year. Some advantages of online classes are: students can do classes from home without being exposed to health risks, easily accessible, flexible class schedule, students remained connected with the study, it saves costs, reduce the likelihood of semester loss, easy to understand, less stressful, and learning new technologies. Major problems from students' perspectives include network problems, difficulties in understanding the topic, unsuitable for mathematical courses, concentration problem, class not interactive, financial constraint, adverse health impacts, device issues, power outages, unfamiliarity with digital technology, internet problem, and unfixed class-schedule. Disadvantages outnumbered advantages. Students made several suggestions to improve the quality and effectiveness of online classes. Some of the vital suggestions are: using state-of-the-art digital tools, recording and uploading lectures, resolving internet issues, holding classes regularly, higher efforts to make the topics easier, resolving network issues, lowering class duration, institutional support, implementing a fixed class schedule, and introducing online evaluation system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0291.v1
Subject: Keywords: Cryptocurrency; Coronavirus Disease 2019; Time-Varying Parameter Vector Autoregression; Portfolio Weight; Hedging Effectiveness
Online: 10 June 2021 (12:07:58 CEST)
This paper examines interlinkages and hedging opportunities between nine major cryptocurrencies for the period between 30 September 2015 and 4 June 2020, which notably includes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak lasting from early 2020 through the end of the sample period. The results of dynamic conditional correlation (DCC) analysis using a minimum connectedness approach show a high degree of correlation between cryptocurrencies throughout the sample period. However, the correlations reach their minimum values during the COVID-19 pandemic, which indicates that cryptocurrencies acted as a hedge or safe haven during the stressful period of the COVID-19 pandemic. The weight of cryptocurrencies was significantly reduced and their hedging effectiveness varied greatly during the pandemic, which indicates that investors’ preferences changed during the COVID-19 period.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0272.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19, Education App, Biochemist, Global issue analyst
Online: 9 June 2021 (22:07:37 CEST)
AbstractBackground: The World Health Organization (WHO) said the situation in India was a "devastating reminder" of what the coronavirus could do. COVID-19 cases suddenly spiked across India. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that one of the major reasons for the spike in coronavirus cases was people not following COVID-appropriate behaviour. The Union minister noted that the sudden rise in cases is largely or maybe event-driven comprising local body elections, grand weddings, and farmers' protest. These events may cause asymptomatic covid-19 carriers to spread wide covid-19 to others. Malaysia is also facing a surge in Covid-19 may due to the spread of covid-19 by asymptomatic covid-19 carriers. Therefore, it is important to develop an application that can publicize information on asymptomatic covid-19 carriers. The purpose of this application is to provide sufficient information and scientific research evidence to ensure that prevention strategies for asymptomatic covid-19 carriers must be implemented. The app is also open to anyone who uses it to educate others so that information can be shared more quickly to prevent other countries from becoming "Second India or Malaysia".Method: The homepage of the app shows that asymptomatic covid-19 carriers may have a lower viral load, the same viral load, or a higher viral load than symptomatic covid-19 carriers. When the user app is pressed by each category, they will see sufficient information and scientifically based research evidence about each category. These apps also show the evidence that on January 13, 2021 - Malaysian Health Department Director Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah instructs test Only those Close Contacts With Symptoms and The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has urged the Health Ministry to urgently improve the management of mild Covid-19 cases and revert to its policy of testing all close contacts. In addition, These apps also show App raise public awareness of the importance of COVID-19 vaccination(version 4) [Peter Chew, 2021] can intuitively see that countries with high vaccination rates can solve the problem of asymptomatic transmission of covid-19 carriers.Result: This application displays sufficient information and scientifically based research evidence to prove asymptomatic covid-19 carriers are the main key to the outbreak of covid-19. Some countries are using covid-19 symptom prevention strategies. They are only testing the symptomatic closed contact of covid-19 patients, because they may think that asymptomatic covid-19 carrier is just a low viral load and a low transmission rate, which is wrong. Some asymptomatic covid-19 carriers of covid-19 have high viral loads. The accumulation of asymptomatic covid-19 carriers with high viral load is the main cause of the covid-19 outbreak. Conclusion: Three apps have been developed to educate the public about the importance of asymptomatic covid-19 carriers. The asymptomatic covid-19 carrier education app (1) will provide sufficient information and scientific research evidence to educate citizens of any country to ensure that preventive strategies must be implemented for asymptomatic carriers to prevent the country’s Covid-19 outbreak. App, Game Base Learning to Prevent Infection from COVID-19 (version 3) [Peter Chew, 2020 ]. The app allows anyone to intuitively see that when the second wave covid-19 arrives, the accumulation of a large number of asymptomatic carriers in some countries has led to the high infection rate of covid-19. This is what is happening in India now. App raise public awareness of the importance of COVID-19 vaccination(version 4) can intuitively see that countries with high vaccination rates can solve the problem of asymptomatic transmission of covid-19 carriers. This is what is happening in Israel now.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0267.v1
Online: 9 June 2021 (13:29:20 CEST)
Objective The study aims to investigate the risk factors of bad psychosomatic health among students in quarantine during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Method:The survey was conducted on-line, on a sample of 1,978 respondents in Poland. The study was carried out by the end of the summer semester. The questionnaire was designed in a way which allows for the observation of main risk factors which have impact on the students’ mental health. The variance analysis and the hierarchical regression analysis were used to determine the predictors of mental health. Results:The results indicate that average and high levels of psychosomatic disorders were observed among 61% of respondents. The hierarchical regression analysis has revealed that the main factors influencing the level of mental health disorders were educational burnout, satisfaction with life, strategies for coping with stress and gender. As indicated by the respondents, mental health disorders increase in tandem with educational burnout, the application of emotion-focused coping strategies and the lack of satisfaction with one’s life. Moreover, it was observed that female respondents scored higher on the scale of disorders in comparison to males. Conclusions:The results of research indicate that distance education and negative coping strategies are the main risk factors of mental health disorders among students during the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0262.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: COVID-19; SEIR model; spatial; excess deaths; South Africa; hospitalisations
Online: 9 June 2021 (11:40:11 CEST)
The virus SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in numerous modelling approaches arising rapidly to understand the spread of the disease COVID-19 and to plan for future interventions. Herein, we present an SEIR model with a spatial spread component as well as four infectious compartments to account for the variety of symptom levels and transmission rate. The model takes into account the pattern of spatial vulnerability in South Africa through a vulnerability index that is based on socioeconomic and health susceptibility characteristics. Another spatially relevant factor in this context is level of mobility throughout. The thesis of this study is that without the contextual spatial spread modelling, the heterogeneity in COVID-19 prevalence in the South African setting would not be captured. The model is illustrated on South African COVID-19 case counts and hospitalisations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0255.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Care home; Long-term care; Social care; Preparedness; Contingency plan; Safety culture; Workforce; Survey
Online: 9 June 2021 (10:52:34 CEST)
(1) Background: Nursing homes’ preparedness in managing a public health crisis has been fragile, with effects on safety culture. The objective of this study was to assess nursing homes’ COVID-19 preparedness in Southern Portugal, including personnel’s work experiences during the pandemic. (2) Methods: We used a COVID-19 preparedness checklist to be completed by management teams, followed by follow-up calls to nursing homes. Thereafter, a survey to personnel was applied. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, and thematic analysis of open-end questions. (3) Results: In total, 71% (138/195) of eligible nursing homes returned the preparedness checklist. We conducted 83 follow-up calls and received 720 replies to the personnel survey. On average, 25% of nursing homes did not have an adequate decision-making structure to respond to the pandemic. Outbreak capacity and training were fragile areas among nursing homes’ contingency plans. We identified compliance with procedures and nonpunitive response to mistakes as fragile areas of safety culture, and teamwork as a strong safety area. (4) Conclusions: To strengthen how nursing homes cope with upcoming phases of the COVID-19 pandemic or future public health emergencies, nursing homes’ preparedness and safety culture should be fostered and closely monitored.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0249.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: mouthwash; mouth rinse; oral rinse; covid19; SARS-COV-2; coronavirus
Online: 9 June 2021 (09:10:08 CEST)
There is a relatively high risk of virus transmission in dental procedures and oropharyngeal examinations. We investigated the effects of mouthwashes on covid-19 viral load reduction during dental practices and oro-pharyngeal assessments. We performed a systematic search in PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane library for relevant studies up to February 2021. Papers evaluating patients with covid-19 infection (patients) who rinse mouthwashes (intervention) compared to patients who don’t rinse them (comparison) for reducing covid-19 viral load or reducing cross-infection of covid-19 (outcome) in the randomized and non-randomized clinical trial and quasi-experimental studies (study) were included due to PICOS question. Three independent authors conducted literature screening and data extraction. We extracted the most relevant data and we evaluated the risk of bias from the included studies. Out of 344 potentially eligible articles, six studies were included in this systematic review. Regarding viral load and negative cycle threshold (ct) values, 1% PVP_I and Listerine mouthwash were effective. 0.12% CHX mouthwash was effective 0-2 hours post rinsing, but it was not effective after 2 hours. A mixture solution of 0.2% Chlorhexidine gluconate and 6% Hydrogen peroxide was effective on day 5 of intervention. Gargling 1% hydrogen peroxide, 0.075% Cetylpiridinum Chloride (CPC), 0.5%PVP-I and 0.2% CHX mouthwashes was not effective on SARS-COV-2. It cannot be guaranteed that rinsing a specific kind of mouthwash prevents cross-infection of covid-19; however, the viral load of SARS-COV-2 in saliva will be decreased after rinsing mouthwashes containing 1%PVP-I and Listerine.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0245.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: extract of humic substances; fulvic acid; standardization; nanoparticles of polyelectrolytes; antiviral activity; SARS-CoV-2; VERO-E6; Spirotox-method
Online: 9 June 2021 (07:42:16 CEST)
This work presents the results of a comprehensive physico-chemical and biological study of hu-mic substances samples – an extract of humic and fulvic acids. The performed loss on drying test showed a 22 times different dry matter content between EHS and FA. The morphology and dis-tribution of particles in the dry residue of the samples assessed using the methods of optical and digital microscopy demonstrated differences in the qualitative features of the microstructures of their surfaces and granulometries. Shimadzu X-ray fluorescence spectrometry revealed Si (8.1 and 1.7%), P (33.5 and 2.7%), S (4.3 and 59.5%), K (1.35 and 2.5%), Ca (10.9 and 3.2%), Mn (0.27 and 0.06%), Fe (11 and 0.05%), Cu (0.16 and 0.45%), Zn (0.06 and 0.02%) in the dry residues of the EHS and FA samples, respectively. A high intensity of the X-ray fluorescence signal for Fe atoms in the EHS sample was demonstrated. The FT-IR spectra for EHS and FA are characterized by simi-lar vibration frequencies that are characteristic of the chromone derivatives (1-benzopyran-4-one). The UV absorption spectrum is characterized by max = 281 nm for FA. The EHS solution showed a fluorescence maximum at em = 560 nm at ex = 280 nm. Using the DLS method, nanoparticles of 1 nm and 200 nm were detected in EHS and FA diluted solutions, which are likely to condition the biochemical and physical properties of humic acids. Using the Spiro-tox-test method, the absence of the toxic effect of humic acids on the cell model of ciliates Sp. am-bigua was established. When the cell model was incubated in a solution of a toxicant of the fluo-roquinolone group, a decrease in toxicity was demonstrated when diluted with the EHS solu-tion. The results of the study of the antiviral activity of EHS and FA showed that the study ob-jects in the culture of Vero-E6 cells, in doses non-toxic to cells, suppress the reproduction of the SARS-CoV-2 virus both in the study of the virucidal effect and in the study of the antiviral activ-ity according to the therapeutic and prophylactic model scheme of injection. The results obtained suggest that standardized drugs based on humic acids may open up new perspectives in their biomedical application as antiviral drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0244.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; animals; dogs; epidemiology; risk factors; clinical picture; Croatia
Online: 9 June 2021 (07:40:55 CEST)
Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infections among dogs are more common than previously thought. In this study, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was investigated in two dog population. The first group was comprised of 1069 dogs admitted to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital for any given reason. The second group included dogs that shared households with confirmed COVID-19 cases in humans. This study group numbered 78 dogs. In COVID-19 infected households, 43.9% tested ELISA positive, and neutralisation antibodies were detected in 25.64% of dogs. Those data are comparable with the secondary attack rate in the human population. With 14.69% of dogs in the general population testing ELISA positive, there was a surge of SARS-CoV-2 infections within the dog population amid the second wave of the pandemic. Noticeably seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the dog and the human population did not differ at the end of the study period. Male sex, breed and age were identified as significant risk factors. This study gives strong evidence that while acute dog infections are mostly asymptomatic, they can pose a significant risk to dog health. Seropositive dogs had a 1.97 times greater risk for developing central nervous symptoms.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0238.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Immunoinformatics; Molecular dynamics simulation; mutation; SARS-CoV-2; Spike protein; Virus structure
Online: 8 June 2021 (13:57:03 CEST)
It has been more than a year since the first case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was found. This coronavirus has infected more than 110 million people worldwide by the end of February, 2021, and several virulent as well as more spreadable mutant forms of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged subsequently. In the latter group, three variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P1 lineages, have been reported. Using computer simulation, the present paper investigates the structural differences between the wild type SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its Asn501Tyr (N501Y) mutant variant. Time-based structural changes between the receptor binding domains of these two species are also examined. The N501Y mutation is common to all the three aforesaid mutant variants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0237.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; vaccine; BNT162b2; antibody, serology; kinetic; age; gender; BMI; blood-group.
Online: 8 June 2021 (13:48:34 CEST)
Background: Little is known about potential confounding factors influencing the humoral response in individuals having received the BNT162b2 vaccine. Methods: Blood samples from 231 subjects were collected before and 14, 28 and 42 days following COVID-19 vaccination with BNT162b2. Anti-Spike Receptor-Binding-Domain protein (anti-Spike/RBD) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies were measured at each time-point. Impact of age, sex, childbearing age status, hormonal therapy, blood group, body mass index and past-history of SARS-CoV-2 infection were assessed by multivariable analyses. Results and Conclusions: In naïve subjects, the level of anti-Spike/RBD antibodies gradually increased following administration of the first dose to reach the maximal response at day 28 and then plateauing at day 42. In vaccinated subjects with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, the plateau was reached sooner (i.e. at day 14). In the naïve population, age had a significant negative impact on anti-Spike/RBD titers at day 14 and 28 while lower levels were observed for males at day 42, when corrected for other confounding factors. BMI as well as B and AB blood groups had a significant impact in various subgroups on the early response at day 14 but no longer after. No significant confounding factors were highlighted in the previously infected group.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0218.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Mucormycosis; Causative agents; Rhizopus sp.; Mucor sp.; Botanical insights; COVID-19
Online: 8 June 2021 (13:36:36 CEST)
Mucormycosis (previously called zygomycosis or phycomycosis), an aggressive, life-threatening infection is further aggravating the human health-impact of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, a great deal of mostly misleading discussion is focused also on the aggravation of the COVID-19 accrued impacts due to the white and yellow fungal diseases. In addition to the knowledge of important risk factors, modes of spread, pathogenesis and host defences, a critical discussion on the botanical insights into the main causative agents of mucormycosis in the current context is very imperative. Given above, in this paper: (i) general background of the mucormycosis and COVID-19 is briefly presented; (ii) overview of fungi is presented, the major beneficial and harmful fungi are highlighted; and also the major ways of fungal infections such as mycosis, mycotoxicosis, and mycetismus are enlightened; (iii) the major causative agents of mucormycosis are critically discussed; (iv) the systematic position, occurrence, structure, and the major modes of reproduction are summarized for Rhizopus sp. and Mucor sp., the major causative agents of mucormycosis; (v) the other causative agents of mucormycosis includes Cunninghamella bertholletiae, Apophysomyces elegans, Lichtheimia (Absidia), Saksenaea, and Rhizomucor pusillus are briefly introduced; (vi) facts related with the infection-misnomers based on fungi colour are also highlighted; and lastly, (vii) the major take-home message and clues for future research on the subject are listed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0232.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-SoV-2; hospital admissions; COPD exacerbation; asthma exacerbation; air pollution
Online: 8 June 2021 (13:27:21 CEST)
We conducted a retrospective observational study to assess the hospitalization rates for acute exacerbations of asthma and/or COPD during the first imposed lockdown in Athens, Greece. Patient characteristics and the concentration of eight air pollutants (namely, CO, NO, NO2, O3 PM2.5, PM10, SO2 and benzene) were considered. A total of 153 consecutive hospital admissions were studied. Reduced admissions occurred in the lockdown period when compared to the Pre-lockdown 2020 (p<0.001) or the Control 2019 (p=0.007) period. Furthermore, the concentration of 6/8 air pollutants positively correlated with weekly hospital admissions in 2020 and significantly decreased during the lockdown. Finally, admitted patients for asthma exacerbation during the lockdown were younger (p=0.046) and less frequently presented respiratory failure (p=0.038), whereas patients with COPD presented higher blood eosinophil percentage (p=0.017) and count (p=0.012). Overall, admissions for asthma and COPD exacerbations decreased during the lockdown. This might partially explained by reduction of air pollution during this period while medical care avoidance behavior, especially among elderly patients cannot be excluded. Our findings aid in understanding the untold impact of the pandemic on diseases beyond COVID-19, focusing on patients with obstructive diseases..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0211.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: COVID-19; spatial; mobility; spatial weight matrices; principal component analysis; hierarchical clustering
Online: 8 June 2021 (10:56:22 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic starting in the first half of 2020 has changed the lives of everyone across the world. Reduced mobility was essential due to it being the largest impact possible against the spread of the little understood SARS-CoV-2 virus. To understand the spread, a comprehension of human mobility patterns is needed. The use of mobility data in modelling is thus essential to capture the intrinsic spread through the population. It is necessary to determine to what extent mobility data convey the same message of mobility within a region. This paper compares different mobility data sources by constructing spatial weight matrices and further compares the results through hierarchical clustering. This provides insight for the user into which data provides what type of information and in what situations a particular source is most useful.
Online: 7 June 2021 (13:01:18 CEST)
Wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 has garnered extensive public attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as a proposed complement to existing disease surveillance systems. Over the past year, methods for detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in untreated sewage have advanced, and concentrations in wastewater have been shown to correlate with trends in reported cases. Despite the promise of wastewater surveillance, for these measurements to translate into useful public health tools, it is necessary to bridge the communication and knowledge gaps between researchers and public health responders. Here we describe the key uses, barriers, and applicability of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance for supporting public health decisions and actions, including establishing ethical consideration for monitoring. Overall, while wastewater surveillance to assess community infections is not a new idea, by addressing these barriers, the COVID-19 pandemic may be the initiating event that turns this emerging public health tool into a sustainable nationwide surveillance system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0177.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: public health decision making; COVID-19; behavioral economic; experimental economics; first-order stochastic dominance; bounded rationality; decision trees
Online: 7 June 2021 (12:46:27 CEST)
Results from a behavioral economic laboratory experiment are used to enhance our understanding of public health decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic. The identification of systematic biases from optimal decision theory found in controlled experiments could help inform public policy design for future public health crises. The laboratory and the shelter-in-place decisions made during COVID-19 included elements of risk, uncertainty and ambiguity. The lab findings found individuals adopt different decision rules depending on both personal attributes and on the context and environment in which the decision task is conducted. Key observations to consider in the context of the COVID-19 decision environment include the importance of past experience, the ability to understand and calculate the odds of each action, the size and differences in economic payoffs given the choice, the value of information received, and how past statistical independent outcomes influence future decisions. The academic space encompassing both public health and behavioral economics is small, yet important, particularly in the current crisis. The objective of continued research in this area would be to develop a more representative model of decision-making processes, particularly during crisis, that would serve to enhance future public health policy design.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0155.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: disease spread; herd immunity; hierarchy of social clusters; ultrametric spaces; trees; social barriers; linear growing barriers; energy landscapes
Online: 7 June 2021 (09:16:21 CEST)
In spite of numerous predictions, the natural herd immunity for covid-19 visru had not been approahed anywhere in the world. Thus, the traditional mathematical models of disease spread demonstrated their inability to describe adequately the covid-19 pandemic. In author's works, the novel model of the disease spread was developed. This model reflects the basic features of the covid-19 pandemic: a) the social clustering character of virus spread, b) . Social clustering is mathematically modelled with ultrametric spaces having the treelike geometry encoding hierarchy of the regulation constraints. The virus spread is described by ultrametric diffusion or random walk on the hierarchic energy landscape. In contrast to the standard models which are characterized by the exponential decrease of the probability to become infected - at the stage of approaching of the herd immunity, the ultrametric model is characterized by the power law. Moreover, the model gives the possibility to quantify the influence of restriction measures up to the lockdown. Our main result is that the play with restrictions, including lockdowns, is counterproductive and leads to the essential slowdown of approaching the herd immunity or even makes this impossible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0152.v1
Online: 7 June 2021 (08:29:46 CEST)
Fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is one of the most critical challenges facing the global health system today. The possibility to identify the group of persons in the cohort of people under 50 years old, who are sensitive to the COVID-disease by non-invasive methods, is a very perspective approach for estimating the epidemiological state of the human population. The study aimed to identify the features of people's faces with COVID-19 that the most correlate with disease severity could serve as one of these approaches. For this aim, 525 photos of patients' faces with different outcomes of COVID-19 disease were analyzed using the Dlib face recognition convolutional neural network pre-trained for face recognition. Face descriptor vectors were obtained using the convolutional neural network. Facial features were found that predict a person's sensitivity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (disease severity), and the contribution of each of the features to the risk of developing a severe form of COVID in a person was found. The accuracy of the binary classification of the individual severity of the COVID-19 course using the k-nearest neighbors algorithm on the test dataset was accuracy - 84%, AUC - 0.90.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Arterial and Venous Thrombosis; COVID-19 disease; SARS-CoV-2 infection; vaccines
Online: 4 June 2021 (10:46:33 CEST)
The Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a global pandemic that has affected millions of people worldwide. The advent of vaccines, however, has permitted some restitution. Aside from the respiratory complications of the infection, there is also a thrombotic risk attributed to both the disease alongside the vaccine. There are no reliable data for the risk of thromboembolism in SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients managed out with the hospital setting. A literature review was performed to identify the pathophysiological mechanism of thrombosis from the SARS-CoV-2 infection including the role of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme receptors. The impact of the vaccine and likely mechanisms from thrombosis following vaccination was also clarified. Finally, the utility of the vaccines available against the multiple variants is also highlighted. The systemic response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is still relatively poorly understood, but several risk factors have been identified. The roll-out of the vaccines worldwide has also allowed the lifting of lockdown measures and a reduction in the spread of the disease. The experience of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, has highlighted the crucial role of epidemiological research and the need for ongoing studies within this field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0134.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: risk; resilience; pandemic; prioritization; risk management; Arctic
Online: 4 June 2021 (10:40:38 CEST)
The Arctic is a remote region that has become increasingly globalised yet remains extremely vulnerable to many risks. The COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges to the region. Using the Search, Appraisal, Synthesis and Analysis (SALSA) approach to conduct a meta-synthesis of the academic and grey literature on the impacts of the pandemic, an assessment is conducted of the types of risks that have been presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the scales, and the national response strategies for mitigating the risks. Two case studies are explored, Iceland and Greenland, island nations that exemplify the extremes of the Arctic and reliance on tourism, a sector that was nearly entirely suspended by the pandemic. An evaluative matrix is employed which combines five different scales of risk – nano, micro, meso, macro and cosmic – with a sustainability categorisation of impacts. The risks of the pandemic cut across the respective scale and categories, with the potential for macro-scale events (systemic risk) to unfold linked to economic spillover effects driven by the curtailment of tourism and various supply chain delays. Both Iceland and Greenland have exemplified risk mitigation strategies which prioritise health over wealth, very strictly in the case of the latter. Strict border controls and domestic restrictions have enabled Iceland and Greenland to have much lower case and death numbers than most nations. In addition, Iceland has led the way, globally, in terms of testing and accumulating scientific knowledge concerning the genetic sequencing of the virus. The academic contribution of the paper concerns its broadening of understanding concerning systemic risk, which extends beyond financial implications to includes sustainability dimensions. For policymakers and practitioners, the paper highlights successful risk mitigation and science-based measures that will be useful for any nation tackling a future pandemic, regardless of whether they are island states, Arctic nations or another country.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0131.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; Cytokine storm; IL-6; Natural product
Online: 4 June 2021 (10:05:40 CEST)
Plant species with anti-inflammatory properties might play an essential role in combatting COVID-19 via reducing cytokine storms. We aimed to review the extant evidence of the potential therapeutic efficacy of natural products against cytokine storms by inhibiting interleukin-6 (IL-6) as a major pathological mediator. Data were collected following an electronic search in major databases (Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar) and also preprint articles on preprint and medRxiv servers by using a combination of relevant keywords. Seventeen active compounds and medicinal plants were found and reviewed in the present review. Results of both in-vivo and in-vitro experiments conducted on these compounds showed that Phillyrin, SMFM, Qiangzhi decoction, curcumin, Shen-Fu, Forsythia, and Alpha-Mangostin inhibit the production of IL-6. Andrographolide and Liu Shen Wan have an inhibitory effect on releasing this agent, while Ilex Asprella and Deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide and naringin reduce the expression of IL-6. Theaflavin and Cholorogenic acid inhibit the secretion of IL-6, Xuebijing, and Chai-Hu-Gui-Zi-Gan-Jiang-Tang and Lipanpaidu prescription can reduce the serum level of IL-6. These agents also effectively improve infected lungs, increase survival rates, and minimize tissue damage. Medicinal plants and their phytochemical ingredients with down-regulatory effects on the expression of IL-6 have a potential influence on the inhibition of cytokine storms during viral infection caused by COVID-19. Therefore, phytochemicals could be regarded as promising candidates for managing cytokine storm inflammatory responses due to COVID-19 infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0130.v1
Online: 4 June 2021 (10:00:12 CEST)
Many inflammatory mechanisms are involved in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 inhibits IFN antiviral responses, so we should expect an out-of-control viral replication. “Cytokine storms” occur due to the over-production of pro-inflammatory cytokines after an influx of neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages and may be responsible for the immunopathology of the lung involvement. Several cascades have been reported in the activation process of NF-κB. In this paper, to find new therapeutic options for COVID-19 infection, we reviewed some natural products that could potentially inhibit the NF-κB pathway. We found that sevoflurane, quercetin, resveratrol, curcumin, KIOM-C, bergenin, garcinia kola, shenfu, piperlongumine, wogonin, oroxylin, plantamajoside, naringin, ginseng, kaempferol, allium sativum L, illicium henryi, isoliquiritigenin, lianhua qingwen, magnoflorine, and ma Huang Tang might be effective in inhibiting the NF-KB pathway. These natural products could be helpful in the control of COVID-19 infections. However, larger clinical trials are needed to ascertain the efficacy of these products fully.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0125.v1
Subject: Keywords: cell fusion; syncytia; hybrids; viruses; coronaviruses; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; blood coagulation cascade; thrombosis; cancer
Online: 4 June 2021 (08:21:00 CEST)
This commentary proposes how the coronavirus SARS- CoV-2 can contribute to clinical manifestations of COVID-19 by producing syncytia.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0121.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 origin; Furin Cleavage Site; Arginine Codon Usage; Bioinformatics
Online: 4 June 2021 (08:00:03 CEST)
The furin cleavage site, with an arginine doublet (RR), is one of the clues of the SARS-CoV-2 origin. This furin-RR is encoded by the CGG-CGG sequence. Because arginine can be encoded by six codons, in a previous work we found that in SARS-CoV-2, CGG was the minority arginine codon (3%). Also, analyzing the RR doublet from a large sample of furin cleavage sites of several kinds of viruses, we found that none of them were encoded by CGG-CGG. Here, we come back to the core of the matter, but from the perspective that in the human genome, in contrast, CGG is the majoroty arginine codon (21%). Here, we highlighted that the 6 arginine codons provide genetic markers to a traceability on the RR origin in the furin site, as well as, to weigh the probability of the theories about the origin of the virus.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0117.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: COVID-19; Medical Waste; Sustainability; Environment.
Online: 3 June 2021 (13:22:55 CEST)
The situation in the world of pandemics is rapidly changing, and the second wave of COVID-19 has put a lot of pressure on the government and private sector, which are primarily responsible for controlling the situation. COVID-19 positive cases have increased in recent months relative to last year, and the number of patients admitted to hospitals has also increased, despite the fact that few of them were denied admission due to shortage of beds. Normal people who experience any symptoms immediately isolate themselves and begin taking the COVID medications prescribed by medical personnel and their team. During these times, all domestic people tossed the wrappers and boxes of medicines into the regular trash can, and the waste was handed over to the waste collector, who treated it like any other domestic waste and disposed of it using open dumping or other methods. The goal of this perspective is to suggest the collections of these types of waste from domestics, and protect the natural resources like water, soil, and even living beings like animals from pollution (from the effect of SARS-CoV-2). The main challenge for environmental waste management agencies is determining who has COVID positive and which houses generate these types of waste; thus, proposed strategy may be beneficial to the long-term sustainability of natural resources and animals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID19; SARS CoV2; physiotherapy; healthcare system
Online: 3 June 2021 (12:06:26 CEST)
Background: The practices of various health-care professionals have been improvised to accommodate the on-going covid-19 pandemic situation. Different guidelines have been set in place to ease the process of re-opening of non-elective healthcare services like out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Although the measures taken should be guided by evidence based information, major consensus amongst practicing therapists needs to guide the India physiotherapy clinics. Objective: To identify and present the opinions of different physiotherapists about the various strategies for re-opening the out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted. Over 169 participants were selected to participate in the survey according to the pre-decided inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data was collected and saved via google forms. Result and conclusion: A majority of respondents had a consensus over different strategies for re-opening the physiotherapy OPDs. These were regarding different measures to be adapted including modifications in the clinic infrastructure and the practice pattern. This would help in smoothly re-instating the physiotherapy services post the covid-19 lockdown.
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Online Social Media prediction, Covid-19 prediction, Twitter, Google Trends
Online: 3 June 2021 (11:37:56 CEST)
As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to rage worldwide, the United States has become the most affected country with more than 34.1 million total confirmed cases up to June 1, 2021. In this work, we investigate correlations between online social media and Internet search for the COVID-19 pandemic among 50 U.S. states. By collecting the state-level daily trends through both Twitter and Google Trends, we observe a high but state-different lag correlation with the number of daily confirmed cases. We further find that the predictive accuracy measured by the correlation coefficient is positively correlated to a state’s demographic, air traffic volume and GDP development. Most importantly, we show that a state’s early infection rate is negatively correlated with the lag to the previous peak in Internet search and tweeting about COVID-19, indicating that earlier collective awareness on Twitter/Google correlates with lower infection rate. Lastly, we demonstrate that correlations between online social media and search trends are sensitive to time, mainly due to the attention shifting of the public.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0103.v1
Online: 3 June 2021 (11:35:30 CEST)
Clubhouse is an auditory app that allows users to host various rooms surrounding a diverse range of topics from Artificial Intelligence to Philosophy. Along with its educational and serene approach, it is known for its popularity amongst celebrities, including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Shopify, and its elusive invite and ios-only pass into gaining access into Clubhouse. Waiting lists are available in the case of not achieving an invite, but to further speed the process, various sellers on eBay, Reddit, Twitter, etc., charging invites from $10-$200. This research paper covers the phenomenon of Clubhouse and the emergence of audio-only rooms, along with a hypothesis of why Clubhouse and other apps of a similar kind are experiencing a harsh downfall despite its seemingly successful business model.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0094.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: vaccination, the first 30 days; COVID-19 vaccines introduction; Cameroon; achievements; challenges; lessons learned
Online: 3 June 2021 (09:53:49 CEST)
Cameroon's national vaccination campaign was launched on April 12, 2021, amid a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19 with two types of vaccines. This study provides preliminary evidence of the level of coverage of the population and gives an early overview of the challenges, the achievements and the lessons learned. COVID-19 vaccine administration data were obtained from data of the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health. Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted. Thirty days after the introduction of COVID 19 vaccines, five percent of the target population was vaccinated. Women represented one third of the people vaccinated regardless of age and health conditions. Although AEFI reported were minor and scanty with both vaccines, the majority of the vaccinated did not come back for their second dose. There is a need to build confidence among eligible beneficiaries in order to expand the benefits of vaccination to control the current pandemic. The country is still far below the target which could be worrisome given that the uptake is slow and, the 391 200 doses of the AstraZeneca are going to expire in August 2021. This study offers insights into those early efforts as a contribution to significant discussions about upcoming approach to improve service delivery and uptake.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0091.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 variant; lateral flow immunoassay; spike protein; receptor binding domain (RBD); neutralizing antibody; therapeutic antibody cocktail; epitope binning; rapid neutralization test; ACE2
Online: 2 June 2021 (16:11:29 CEST)
Identifying anti-spike antibodies that exhibit strong neutralizing activity against current dominant circulating variants and antibodies that are escaped by these variants have important implications in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic solutions as well as in improving understanding of the humoral response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. We characterized seven anti-RBD monoclonal antibodies for their binding activity, pairing capability and neutralization activity to SARS-CoV-2 and three variant RBDs (UK, SA and BR P.1) via lateral flow immunoassays. The results allowed us to group these antibodies into three distinct epitope bins. Our studies showed that two antibodies had broadly potent neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 and these variant RBDs and that one antibody did not neutralize the SA and BR P.1 RBDs. The antibody escaped by the SA and BR P.1 RBDs retained binding activity to SA and BR P.1 RBDs but was unable to induce neutralization. Further, we demonstrated that the lateral flow immunoassay can be a rapid and effective tool for antibody characterization, including epitope classification and antibody neutralization kinetics. From these studies, the potential contributions of the mutations (N501Y, E484K and K417N/T) contained in these variants’ RBDs on antibody pairing capability, neutralization activity and therapeutic antibody targeting strategy are discussed.
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: COVID-19; machine learning; feature significance; feature correlation; risk factors
Online: 2 June 2021 (14:54:10 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the whole world, but not all countries were impacted equally. This opens the question of what factors can explain the initial faster spread in some countries compared to others. Many such factors are overshadowed by the effect of the countermeasures, so we studied the early phases of the infection when countermeasures have not yet taken place. We collected the most diverse dataset of potentially relevant factors and infection metrics to date for this task. Using it, we show the importance of different factors and factor categories as determined by both statistical methods and machine learning (ML) feature selection (FS) approaches. Factors related to culture (e.g., individualism, openness), development, and travel proved the most important. A more thorough factor analysis was then made using a novel rule discovery algorithm. We also show how interconnected these factors are and caution against relying on ML analysis in isolation. Importantly, we explore potential pitfalls found in the methodology of similar work and demonstrate their impact on COVID-19 data analysis. Our best models using the decision tree classifier can predict the infection class with roughly 80% accuracy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0060.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; variants; vaccines; immune dysregulated; comorbidities; antibody; Spike protein; biomolecules; coronavirus
Online: 2 June 2021 (09:56:14 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which has been a topic of major concern to global human health. The challenge to restrain the COVID-19 pandemic is further compounded by the emergence of several SARS-CoV-2 variants viz. B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P1 and, B.1.617., which show in-creased transmissibility and resistance towards vaccines and therapies. Importantly, the likelihood of susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection among individuals with dysregulated immune response or comorbidities needs greater attention. Herein, we provide a comprehensive perspective regarding ongoing vaccine (mRNA, protein-based, viral vector based etc.) and therapeutic (mono-clonal antibodies, small molecules, plasma therapy, etc.) modalities designed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. We also discuss in detail the challenges posed by different SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) identified across the globe and their effects on therapeutic and prophylactic interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0053.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Mindfulness; stress; COVID-1; CSQ-8; Natural Language Processing; Deep Learning; Embedding; IMDB; Swivel; Neural Networks.
Online: 2 June 2021 (08:40:48 CEST)
The aim of this study was to build a tool to analyze, using artificial intelligence, the sentiment perception of users who answered two questions from the CSQ – 8 questionnaires with raw Spanish free-text. Their responses are related to mindfulness, which is a novel technique used to control stress and anxiety caused by different factors in daily life. As such, we proposed an online course where this method was applied in order to improve the quality of life of health care professionals in COVID 19 pandemic times. We also carried out an evaluation of the satis-faction level of the participants involved, with a view to establishing strategies to improve fu-ture experiences. To automatically perform this task, we used Natural Language Processing (NLP) models such as swivel embedding, neural networks and transfer learning, so as to classify the inputs into the following 3 categories: negative, neutral and positive. Due to the lim-ited amount of data available - 86 registers for the first and 68 for the second - transfer learning techniques were required. The length of the text had no limit from the user’s standpoint, and our approach attained a maximum accuracy of 93.02 % and 90.53 % respectively based on ground truth labeled by 3 experts. Finally, we proposed a complementary analysis, using com-puter graphic text representation based on word frequency, to help researchers identify relevant information about the opinions with an objective approach to sentiment. The main conclusion drawn from this work is that the application of NLP techniques in small amounts of data using transfer learning is able to obtain enough accuracy in sentiment analysis and text classification stages
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0044.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SEI models; metapoplations; Venezuela; SARS-CoV-2; drivers of transmission; spatial incidence.
Online: 1 June 2021 (15:18:05 CEST)
Testing and isolation have been crucial for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Venezuela has one of the weakest testing infrastructures in Latin America and the low number of reported cases in the country has been attributed to substantial underreporting. However, the Venezuelan epidemic seems to have lagged behind other countries in the region, with most cases occurring within the capital region and four border states. Here, we describe the spatial epidemiology of COVID-19 in Venezuela and its relation to population mobility, migration patterns, non-pharmaceutical interventions and fuel availability. Using an SEI metapopulation model, we explore how movement patterns could have driven the observed distribution of cases. Low within-country connectivity most likely delayed the epidemic in most states, except for those bordering Colombia and Brazil where high immigration seeded outbreaks. NPIs slowed early epidemic growth and subsequent fuel shortages appeared to be responsible for limiting the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0028.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: online teaching and learning; differentiated instruction; gifted students; motivation; achievement; English language teaching
Online: 1 June 2021 (11:39:11 CEST)
Differentiated instruction has been implemented in classrooms where students who come from various backgrounds require appropriate lessons that are tailored to their varied learning preferences. As the spread of coronavirus 19 (Covid-19) is becoming more rampant, online learning has been lifted up as the main platform of teaching and learning, forcing the need to shift from the conventional face-to-face classroom to online, or virtual, mode of knowledge transfer. Having such global phenomenon affecting education, how does it affect the implementation of differentiated instruction that has been practised regularly by teachers before the wake of Covid-19? Previous studies have shown how it is done in the normal classroom setting, and that the practice of differentiated instruction contributes to students’ motivation as well as academic performance. However, there is a need to explore how do teachers go about with online differentiated instruction and how does it affect the students, since online learning poses various threads to both teachers and students; and thus, one might argue the effectiveness of not only the teaching approach but also the overall teaching and learning outcomes. Borg’s framework of teacher cognition, which has been extensively used in exploring how teachers teach, can be utilized to document the practice of online differentiated instruction. This study aimed to explore the practice of online differentiated instruction by teachers and examined its impact on students’ motivation and academic performance during the Covid-19 outbreak. The participants of this study consists of 247 gifted students from a public school in Malaysia. To meet these aims, this study employed a mixed method research design, utilizing the framework of teacher cognition to explore the teachers’ practice of online differentiated through interviews; and, utilizing a survey design using a questionnaire to determine the impact of online differentiated instruction towards students’ motivation and academic performance. The findings revealed that although online differentiated instruction is feasible, however, appropriate combination of differentiation constructs need to be applied in order to achieve higher motivation and better academic performance among the students.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0027.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: athletic program; collegiate sports; UNIVAS; COVID-19; mental management
Online: 1 June 2021 (11:24:42 CEST)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among student athlete’s identity and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, this study aimed to clarify the relationship between perceived social support from teammates and mental health in student-athletes. Two studies were conducted to investigate to clarify the mental health states of student-athletes in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Study 1 conducted in April 2020, the participants were 402 male student-athletes, and examined the relationships among student-athlete’s identity and mental health. The results of correlational analyses indicated that there were significant negative correlations between degree of student-athlete’s identity and depression and sports helplessness. In Study 2 conducted in March 2021, the participants were 136 male student-athletes, and examined the relationship between perceived social support from teammates, student-athlete’s identity and mental health. The results indicated that there was significant correlation among social support, student athlete’s identity and mental health. These results suggested that mental health may be improved if student-athletes are strongly aware of their social identity, which is their social role, when unforeseen events such as the COVID-19 pandemic occur. In addition, social support provided by significant others such as teammates may contribute to the improvement of mental health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0011.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: long covid; symptom cluster; persistent symptoms; long-term; Mexico; survey
Online: 1 June 2021 (09:44:47 CEST)
Recently, several reports have emerged describing the long-term consequences of COVID-19 that may affect multiple systems, suggesting its chronicity. As further research is needed, we conducted a longitudinal observational study to report the prevalence and associated risk factors of long-term health consequences of COVID-19 by symptom clusters in patients discharged from the Temporary COVID-19 Hospital (TCH) in Mexico City. Self-reported clinical symptom data were collected via telephone calls over 90 days post-discharge. Among 4670 patients discharged from the TCH, we identified 45 symptoms across eight symptom clusters (neurological; mood disorders; systemic; respiratory; musculoskeletal; ear, nose, and throat; dermatological; and gastrointestinal). We observed that the neurological, dermatological, and mood disorder symptom clusters persisted in >30% of patients at 90 days post-discharge. Although most symptoms decreased in frequency between day 30 and 90, alopecia and the dermatological symptom cluster significantly increased (p<0·00001). Women were more prone than men to develop long-term symptoms and invasive mechanical ventilation also increased the frequency of symptoms at 30-days post-discharge. Overall, we observed that symptoms often persisted regardless of disease severity. We hope these findings will help promote public health strategies that ensure equity in the access to solutions focused on the long-term consequences of COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0007.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: computerized tomography; coronavirus disease 2019; echocardiography; lung ultrasound
Online: 1 June 2021 (09:31:10 CEST)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the pandemic challenge of the last year. Cardiovascular involvement is one of the main characteristics of this disease. Due to endothelial damage, consequent phlogosis may increase a thrombosis risk. Cardiac injury may occur in different ways. However, an ischemic involvement of the cardiovascular system is rarely implied. In this regard, direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 are described. Nonetheless, the possible evaluation of the cardiovascular system may require different modalities. The cardiovascular evaluation may be different in emergency compared to critical care, requiring different tools for each setting. The aim of this review is to explore these modalities according to the different involvement of the cardiovascular system..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0253.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: social media, Covid-19, cross-sectional, trans-national, mental health, loneliness, pandemic
Online: 31 May 2021 (23:10:36 CEST)
Background Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the strict national policies regarding social distancing behavior in Europe, America and Australia, people became reliant on social media as a means for gathering information and a tool for staying connected to family, friends and work. This is the first trans-national study exploring the qualitative experiences and challenges of using social media while in lockdown or shelter in place during the current pandemic. Methods This study was part of a wider cross-sectional online survey conducted in Norway, UK, USA and Australia during April/May 2020. The manuscript reports on the qualitative free text component of the study asking about the challenges of social media users during the Covid-19 pandemic in UK, USA and Australia. 1991 responses were included in the analysis. Thematic analysis was conducted independently by two researchers. Results Three overarching themes identified were: Emotional/Mental Health, Information and Being Connected. Participants experienced that using social media during the pandemic amplified anxiety, depression, fear, panic, anger, frustration and loneliness. They felt that there was information overload and social media was full of misleading or polarized opinions from which was difficult to switch off. Nonetheless, participants also thought that there was an urge for connection and learning which was positive and stressful and the same time. Conclusion Using social media while in shelter in place or lockdown could have a negative impact on the emotional and mental health of some of the population. To support policy and practice in strengthening mental health care in the community, social media could be used to deliver practical advice on coping and stress management. Communication with the public should be strengthened by unambiguous and clear messages and clear communication pathways. We should be looking at alternative ways of staying connected.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0766.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Homelessness; SARS-CoV-2; Health inequalities; seroprevalence; Housing conditions
Online: 31 May 2021 (12:15:39 CEST)
Background: Overcrowded housing, as well as inadequate sanitary conditions, contribute to making homeless people particularly vulnerable to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. We aimed to assess the seroprevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 infection among people experiencing homelessness on a large city-wide scale in France, taking into account different community settings. Methods: A consortium of outreach teams in 48 different locations including streets, slums, squats, emergency or transitional shelters and drop-in centres participated in the inclusion process. All participants consented to receive a validated rapid assay for immunoglobulins M (IgM) and G (IgG) antibodies and to answer a questionnaire on medical health conditions, comorbidities, historic of symptoms compatible with COVID-19, with a retrospective calendar of types of accommodation since COVID-19 crisis. Results: From June 01 to August 05, 2020, 1,156 homeless participants were enrolled in the study and tested. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM antibodies was 5.6% (95%CI 2.3–7.0), with a range of 2.2% in people living on the streets to 8.1% in people living in emergency shelters (P=0.009). Around one third of the seropositive participants reported symptoms with COVID-19. Compared to the general population in Marseille (3.6%), the homeless population living in the same urban area experienced an significant increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (|z|=3.65 > 1.96). Conclusion: These results highlight the need for organizing regular screening to prevent clusters forming in homeless accommodations and for providing basic resources for health maintenance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0750.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 genomics; spike protein; epitope prediction; coronavirus comparative genomics
Online: 31 May 2021 (11:36:29 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) challenges include understanding what triggered SARS-CoV-2 emergence, how this RNA virus is evolving or how the genomic variability may impact the primary structure of proteins that are targets for vaccine. We analyzed 19471 SARS-CoV-2 genomes and 199,984 spike glycoprotein sequences available at the GISAID database from all over the world and 3335 genomes of other Coronoviridae family members available at Genbank, collecting SARS-CoV-2 high-quality genomes and distinct Coronoviridae family genomes. Here, we identify a SARS-CoV-2 emerging cluster containing 13 closely related genomes isolated from bat and pangolin that showed evidence of recombination, which may have contributed to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. The analyzed SARS-CoV-2 genomes presented 9632 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) corresponding to a variant density of 0.3 over the genome, and a clear geographic distribution. SNPs are unevenly distributed throughout the genome and hotspots for mutations were found for the spike gene and ORF 1ab. We describe a set of predicted spike protein epitopes whose variability is negligible. All predicted epitopes for the structural E, M and N proteins are highly conserved. This result favors the continuous efficacy of the available vaccines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0736.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: middle school students, health perception, importance-performance analysis (IPA), online physical education class types, COVID-19
Online: 31 May 2021 (10:41:19 CEST)
This study aimed to assess the differences in the importance and performance of health awareness in Korean middle school students according to the types of online physical education classes they attended during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic. Overall, 583 participants were selected using a convenience sampling method; the data were obtained through an online survey using Google forms. Frequency analysis, reliability analysis, independent sample t-test, and importance-performance analysis were performed. First, the differences between importance and performance were found to be the most for sleep and physical activity management, and the least for disease and hygiene management. In addition, both the groups demonstrated higher importance and performance for hygiene and disease management. There were significant differences in the importance and performance of all the sub-factors. Second, hygiene, disease management, and mental health management were found in quadrant I in both the groups, while physical activity, sleep, and dietary habit management were in quadrant III. No factors were in quadrant II and IV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0731.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: cytokine storm; COVID-19; CD169; inflammation; respiratory outcome; T-cell exhaustion; COVID-19 therapy
Online: 31 May 2021 (10:28:24 CEST)
Background: CD169 has been found overexpressed in the blood of COVID-19 patients and identified as a biomarker in the early disease. We have analysed CD169 in blood cells of COVID-19 patients to assess its role as predictive marker of the disease. Methods : The ratio of the CD169 Median median Fluorescence fluorescence Intensity intensity of CD169 between monocytes and lymphocytes (CD169 RMFI ) was analysed by flow cytometry in blood samples of COVID-19 patients (COV) and healthy donors (HD ) and correlated with immunophenotyping, inflammatory markers, cytokines mRNA expression, pulmonary involvement and disease progression. Results: CD169 RMFI increased in COV but not in HD. CD169 RMFI correlated with T-cell differentiation and exhaustion markers as well as with B cells maturation and differentiation. In vitro stimulation of PBMCs of HD with SARS-CoV-2 Spike spike protein induced CD169 RMFI together with IL-6 and IL-10 gene expression. Likewise, CD169 RMFI correlated with blood cytokine mRNA levels, inflammatory markers, and pneumonia severity in patients which that had not received any treatment at sampling. Notably, in untreated patients, CD169 RMFI reflected the respiratory outcome during hospitalization. Conclusion : Considering the immunological role of CD169 and its involvement during the infection and the progression of COVID-19, it could be considered as an early biomarker to evaluate disease progression and clinical outcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0711.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: pneumonia; Resnet; residual; PEPX-Resnet; COVID-19
Online: 31 May 2021 (08:29:00 CEST)
Pneumonia is a leading cause of death worldwide, and one of the most significant approaches to diagnose pneumonia is Chest X-ray (CXR) since it was used in clinical scenes. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been widely used in computer vision community. Along with the development of CNNs, we want to make use of CNNs to recognize CXR of people who get pneumonia and make classification. It is important, especially during epidemic period. In this paper, we present a new type of residual learning framework, PEPX-Resnet, which makes use of a type of lightweight residual, and apply this network to CXR dataset. The result shows that PEPX-Resnet is easier to optimize and can have better results, especially for COVID-19 cases. PEPX-Resnet could reach higher accuracy, f1 score and some other evaluations for CXR dataset.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0690.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Chloroquine; Hydroxychloroquine; Remdesivir; Favipiravir; Dexamethasone; Remdesivir
Online: 28 May 2021 (10:18:45 CEST)
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCOV) causes inflammatory response with worsening symptoms. Classification of potential anti-viral and anti-inflammatory drugs in managing the symptoms of the COVID-19 and reducing morbidity is important. The objective of this study is to identify a group of drugs, best suited for COVID-19 treatment based on recent developments in clinical trials, FDA drug evaluation, directions and developments and from drug therapies globally. Online literature search was done on Medline, PubMed and google scholar databases for studies on various treatments and drug therapies for COVID-19 and relevant studies were identified and the identified drugs are described in detail as per their Pharmacological, pharmaceutical properties of the drugs, mechanism of action, current COVID-19 drug therapy, contraindications and drug-drug interactions Certain drugs can inhibit action against viral infection and protect lungs from severe inflammatory response. This article summarizes several drugs like Hydroxychloroquine, Chloroquine, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Lopinavir, Ritonavir, Dexamethasone, Ivermectin, Baricitinib, Casirivimab / imdevimab, Bamlanivimab along with auxiliary treatment like convalescent plasma transfusion. Remdesivir is first drug approved by FDA. Hydroxychloroquine, dexamethasone and remdesivir are showing results against COVID-19 but it is important to test the efficacy and safety of such drugs though some drugs have shown remarkable results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0623.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: biomarkers; chemokines; COVID-19; galectin-3; machine learning; paraoxonase-1; SARS-CoV-2.
Online: 26 May 2021 (08:06:56 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 infection produces a response of the innate immune system causing oxidative stress and a strong inflammatory reaction termed ‘cytokine storm’ that is one of the leading causes of death. Paraoxonase-1 (PON1) protects against oxidative stress by hydrolyzing lipoperoxides. Alterations in PON1 activity have been associated with pro-inflammatory mediators such as the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) and the glycoprotein galectin-3. We aimed to investigate the alterations in the circulating levels of PON1, CCL2 and galectin-3 in 126 patients with COVID-19 and their interactions with clinical variables and analytical parameters. A machine learning approach was used to identify predictive markers of the disease. For comparisons, we recruited 45 COVID-19 negative patients and 50 healthy individuals. Our approach identified a synergy between oxidative stress, inflammation and fibrogenesis in positive patients that is not observed in negative patients. PON1 activity was the parameter with the greatest power to discriminate between patients who were either positive or negative for COVID-19, while their levels of CCL2 and galectin-3 were similar. We suggest that the measurement of serum PON1 activity may be a useful marker for the diagnosis of COVID-19.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0617.v1
Online: 25 May 2021 (15:06:40 CEST)
The harrowing second wave of COVID-19 in India has led to much discussion over the quality and timeliness of reporting of deaths attributed to the pandemic. In this brief report, we aim to present the existing evidence, as well as the broader complexities surrounding the mortality burden of COVID-19 in India. This article sheds light on the following epidemiological issues: (1) general and India-specific challenges to COVID-19 death reporting, (2) latest COVID-19 mortality estimates in India as of May 16, 2021, (3) the apparent scale of uncaptured COVID-19 deaths, and (4) the role of disaggregated historic mortality trends in quantification of excess deaths attributed to COVID-19. We conclude with a set of high-level policy recommendations for improving the vital surveillance system and tracking of causes of death in India. We encourage direct efforts to integrate health data and indirect strategies for cross-validation of registered deaths. Such system-wide advances would drastically aid epidemiological research efforts and strengthen India’s position to overcome future public health crises.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0612.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Activities of daily living; Barthel index; SARS-COV-2
Online: 25 May 2021 (14:05:25 CEST)
Objective: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the activities of daily living using the Barthel Index, before and after the infection by SARS-COV-2 and to see if the results vary according to sex. Methods: The activities of daily living of 68 cohabiting geriatric patients, 34 men and 34 women, in 2 nursing homes were measured before and after SARS-COV-2 infection using the Barthel index. Results: The Covid 19 infection affects the performance of daily life activities in institutionalized elderly in nursing homes, and it does so especially the older the subject, regardless of sex. Conclusions: The Covid 19 pandemic, in addition to having claimed some victims, especially in the elderly population, has reduced the ability of these people to carry out their activities of daily life, considerably worsening their quality of life despite have been able to overcome the disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0593.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Hospital admissions; care homes; COVID-19; linked data; administrative data
Online: 25 May 2021 (10:33:46 CEST)
Background: Care home residents have complex healthcare needs but may have faced barriers to accessing hospital treatment during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To examine trends in the number of hospital admissions for care home residents during the first months of the COVID-19 outbreak. Methods: Retrospective analysis of a national linked dataset on hospital admissions for residential and nursing home residents in England (257,843 residents, 45% in nursing homes) between 20 January 2020 and 28 June 2020, compared to admissions during the corresponding period in 2019 (252,432 residents, 45% in nursing homes). Elective and emergency admission rates, normalised to the time spent in care homes across all residents, were derived across the first three months of the pandemic between 1 March and 31 May and primary admissions reasons for this period were compared across years. Results: Hospital admission rates rapidly declined during early March 2020 and remained substantially lower than in 2019 until the end of June. Between March and May, 2,960 admissions from residential homes (16.2%) and 3,295 admissions from nursing homes (23.7%) were for suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Rates of other emergency admissions decreased by 36% for residential and by 38% for nursing home residents (13,191 fewer admissions in total). Emergency admissions for acute coronary syndromes fell by 43% and 29% (105 fewer admission) and emergency admissions for stroke fell by 17% and 25% (128 fewer admissions) for residential and nursing home residents, respectively. Elective admission rates declined by 64% for residential and by 61% for nursing home residents (3,762 fewer admissions). Conclusions: This is the first study showing that care home residents’ hospital use declined during the first wave of COVID-19, potentially resulting in substantial unmet health need that will need to be addressed alongside ongoing pressures from COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0605.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: deep learning; computed tomography; image classification; COVID-19; medical image analysis; pneumonia; CNN, LSTM, medical diagnosis
Online: 25 May 2021 (10:32:29 CEST)
Advancements in deep learning and availability of medical imaging data have led to use of CNN based architectures in disease diagnostic assisted systems. In spite of the abundant use of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based tests in COVID-19 diagnosis, CT images offer an applicable supplement with its high sensitivity rates. Here, we study classification of COVID-19 pneumonia (CP) and non-COVID-19 pneumonia (NCP) in chest CT scans using efficient deep learning methods to be readily implemented by any hospital. We report our deep network framework design that encompasses Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and bidirectional Long Short Term Memory (biLSTM) architectures. Our study achieved high specificity (CP: 98.3%, NCP: 96.2% Healthy: 89.3%) and high sensitivity (CP: 84.0%, NCP: 93.9% Healthy: 94.9%) in classifying COVID-19 pneumonia, non-COVID-19 pneumonia and healthy patients. Next, we provide visual explanations for the CNN predictions with gradient-weighted class activation mapping (Grad-CAM). The results provided a model explainability by showing that Ground Glass Opacities (GGO), indicators of COVID-19 pneumonia disease, were captured by our CNN network. Finally, we have implemented our approach in three hospitals proving its compatibility and efficiency.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0604.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; Mental Health; Prevalence; Depression; Anxiety; Insomnia; Stress; PTSD; Distress
Online: 25 May 2021 (10:29:20 CEST)
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the prevalence of depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, PTSD, and distress in Chinese healthcare workers (HCWs) and the changes in prevalence before and after the peak incidence of COVID-19 in China. 20 cross-sectional studies assessing the aforementioned psychological outcomes were included. Eligible studies were searched from the following databases: PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Comparative analysis based on the time period of the included studies was conducted to assess changes in prevalence before and after peak incidence. Additionally, subgroup analyses based on study quality, province, survey tools, gender and healthcare profession, frontline or non-frontline working status, and severity of psychological outcomes were conducted to evaluate the prevalence of outcomes across various study methods, geographic regions, and professions. The findings of this study suggest that the overall prevalence of depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress, PTSD, and distress before peak incidence were 36.2%, 34.2%, 22.4%, 31.3%, 9.8%, and 56.7% as opposed to 31.8%, 24.1%, 34.4%, 59.0%, 20.9%, and 40.7% after the peak. The higher prevalence of depression, anxiety, and distress prior to the peak incidence of COVID-19 in China and of insomnia, stress, and PTSD thereafter serve as evidence that the mental health decline of HCWs is dynamic and should be addressed with adaptive approaches that provide tailored treatments.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0581.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Healthcare; Internet of Things; Smart hospitals; Big data; Cloud computing; Blockchain; Electronic health records; Smart-health; IOT-Healthcare; Healthcare sensors; Remote health monitoring; Healthcare
Online: 24 May 2021 (15:10:31 CEST)
In this ‘New Normal' post-COVID-19 modern world, people's health is becoming increasingly important to track. An advanced technology that uses sensory instruments to track and record critical parameters and communicates with others is the need of the time. It's difficult to keep track of all of the medical parameters and post-operative data of people with non-communicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease on a continuous basis. The system discussed here to be designed for patients who are confined to their homes, particularly when going out and being exposed to the outer world is prohibited. This paper proposed a groundbreaking health management system based on the Internet of Things (IoT) for accessing patient medical parameters in both local and remote areas. When a person's wellbeing becomes urgent, this initiative seeks to send an emergency alert to family members or loved ones. A cloud server records data from the patient's temperature sensor and pulse sensor; the data is analyzed using support vector machine algorithms to identify irregular conditions, and an emergency message is sent to the rest of the family via a mobile application, as well as a warning message to the nearest hospital.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0565.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: higher education; Bangladesh; eLearning; COVID-19; lockdown
Online: 24 May 2021 (11:59:51 CEST)
The great lockdown of the current COVID-19 pandemic has significant consequences on the global Higher Education Studies (HES).To find the relevance of eLearning in the HES, our study calculates the economic costs of higher education during Covid-19 in Bangladesh, which includes both stu-dents’ cost and institutional cost. The study used a purposive random sample survey conducted on 105 students enrolled in higher education in different categories of institutions to identify the stu-dents’ cost during this pandemic. The institutional cost of higher education is analyzed by breaking down the budget allocated in the education sector in Bangladesh and reviewing the literature. The result indicates that the HES of Bangladesh experiences a huge economic cost due to this pandemic and the study found eLearning can reduce the economic impact of HES. In the post-COVID-19 world, higher education will never be the similar because many institutions that already had experi-ence a huge advantage from online education. The findings of the study might be helpful for the policymakers to frame effective education policies during any bizarre situation that creates huge cost in higher education sector.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0557.v1
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Wastewater; treatment; plant; Environmental Virology Monitoring and Surveillance; E gene
Online: 24 May 2021 (10:35:04 CEST)
The experience gained over the last hundred years clearly indicates that two groups of viruses represent the main risk for the development of highly transmissible epidemics and pandemics in the human species: influenza viruses and coronaviruses (CoV). Although the search for viruses with pandemic potential in the environment may have an important predictive and monitoring role, it is still based on empirical methodologies, mostly translated from the clinic and not fully validated for environmental matrices.As far as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, currently underway, is concerned, environmental monitoring activities aiming at checking the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater can be extremely useful to predict and control the diffusion of the disease. For this reason, the present study aims to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 diffusion by means of a wastewater-based environmental monitoring developed in Piedmont, N-W Italy, during the pandemic second and third waves. Sampling strategies, sampling points, sample pre-treatments and analytical methods have been developed and validated to give representative and reliable results. The outcomes highlighted by the present paper demonstrate a strong correlation between SARS-CoV-2 concentration in untreated wastewater and epidemic evolution in the considered areas as well as a predictive potential that could provide decision-makers with indications for establishing effective policies to mitigate the effects of the ongoing pandemic and to prepare response plans for future pandemics that could certainly arise in the decades to come.Moreover, the study highlights the potential of wastewater treatment plants to degrade the genetic material referable to SARS-CoV-2 as well.In conclusion, the preliminary data reported in the present paper, although they need to be complemented by further studies considering other geographical regions as well, are very promising.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0552.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Liver; biochemistry tests; function; COVID-19; injury; SARS-CoV-2; infection; severity; mortality
Online: 24 May 2021 (10:14:53 CEST)
Globally, over the past several months millions of persons contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulting in significant mortality. Health care systems are negatively impacted including the care of individuals with cancers and other chronic diseases such as chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. There are various probable pathogenic mechanisms that have been presented to account for liver injury in COVID-19 patients such as hepatotoxicity cause by therapeutic drugs, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection of the bile duct cells and hepatocytes, hypoxia and systemic inflammatory response. Liver biochemistry tests such as AST, ALT, GGT and ALP are deranged in COVID-19 patients with liver injury. Hepatocellular damage results in the elevation of serum AST and ALT levels in early onset disease while a cholestatic pattern that develops as the disease progress causes higher levels of ALP, GGT, direct and total bilirubin. These liver biochemistry tests are prognostic markers of disease severity and should be carefully monitored in COVID-19 patients. We conducted a systematic review of abnormal liver biochemistry tests in COVID-19 and the possible pathogenesis involved. Significant findings regarding the severity, hepatocellular pattern, incidence and related clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients are highlighted.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0549.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Africa; SARS-CoV-2 virus spread; lower COVID-19 disease burden; African populations; demographic pyramid; trained immunity; government measures
Online: 24 May 2021 (09:56:05 CEST)
COVID-19 differential spread and impacts across regions is a major focus for researchers and policy makers. Africa has attracted tremendous attention due to predictions of catastrophic impacts that have not yet materialized. Early in the pandemic, the seemingly low African case count was largely attributed to low testing and case reporting. However, there is also reason to consider that many African countries got out ahead of the virus early on. Factors explaining low spread include early government mandated lockdowns, community-wide actions, population distribution, social contacts, and ecology of human habitation. While recent data from seroprevalence studies posit more extensive circulation of the virus, continuing low COVID-19 burden may be explained by the demographic pyramid, prevalence of pre-existing conditions, trained immunity, genetics, and broader sociocultural dynamics. Though all these prongs contribute to the observed profile of COVID-19 in Africa, some provide stronger evidence than others. This review is important to expand what is known about the differential impacts of pandemics enhancing scientific understanding and gearing appropriate public health responses. Also, highlighting potential lessons the world may draw from Africa for global health on assumptions regarding deadly viral pandemics given its long experience with infectious diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0545.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Covid-19; online teaching and learning; face to face study; learning management system
Online: 24 May 2021 (09:01:42 CEST)
The study is an attempt to enquire into the preference of undergraduate students, after a considerable and over a year-long experience with Online Teaching and Learning (OTL), under the emergency preventive measure of switching from the traditional face-to-face classes to online. The study followed an exploratory approach, with a quantitative survey followed by a qualitative one, and a convenient sampling method to collect responses from a substantial sample size. The study is positioned after more than a year of remote classes by the undergraduate student, and hence represents highly experienced reflections and preferences from these students, as compared to other studies conducted last year. The study has profound implications in considering, and questioning, the importance of on-campus classes, and significance of the physical presence of a tutor in the class, and its effect on the learning experience of undergraduate students.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0530.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; antibodies; cohort; population-based; body mass index; ECLIA
Online: 21 May 2021 (15:41:51 CEST)
In March 2020, several mass gathering events were related to the Falles festival in Borriana (Spain), resulting in a 536 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases outbreak among participants. Our objective was to estimate anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies persistence six months after and factors associated with antibody response. A prospective population-based cohort study was carried out by the Public Health Center of Castellon and the Emergency and Clinical Analysis and Microbiology Services of Hospital de la Plana in Vila-real. In October 2020, sero-epidemiologic study to estimate the persistence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by a electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) was implemented. We enrolled 484 (90.2%) of the 536 members of the initial outbreak cohort and detected persistent antibodies in 479 (99%) without re-infection episodes. Five participants had a negative antibody test. Factors associated with a negative result were a lower body mass index (BMI), and less contact with other COVID-19 cases. Among the 469 participants with two ECLIA tests, 96 (20.5%) had an increase of antibodies and 373 (79.5%) a decline. Increased antibodies were associated with older age, higher BMI, more severe illness, and low current smokers. After a COVID-19 infection, a high proportion of cases maintained detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0526.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 virus; complete genome sequencing; COVID-19 RT-PCR testing; Spike protein; vi-ral variants
Online: 21 May 2021 (15:12:17 CEST)
A growing number of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is being identified worldwide, potentially impacting the effectiveness of current vaccines. We report the data obtained in several Italian regions involved in the SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring from the beginning of the epidemic and spanning the period from October 2020 to March 2021.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0525.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; glycyrrhizin; mineralocorticoid receptor; toll like receptor 4; angiotensin converting enzyme; aldosterone
Online: 21 May 2021 (15:11:30 CEST)
Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key entry point of SARS-CoV-2 virus known to induce COVID-19. We have recently outlined the concept to reduce ACE2 expression by the administration of glycyrrhizin, a component of Glycyrrhiza glabra extract, via its inhibitory activity on 11beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11betaHSD2) and resulting activation of mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). We hypothesized that in organs, such as the intestine, which co-express 11betaHSD2, MR and ACE2, the expression of ACE2 would be suppressed. We studied organ tissues from an experiment originally designed to address the effects of Glycyrrhiza glabra extract on the stress response. Male Sprague Dawley rats were left undisturbed or exposed to chronic mild stress for five weeks. For the last two weeks, animals continued with a placebo diet or received a diet containing extract of Glycyrrhiza glabra root at a dose of 150 mg/kg of body weight/day. Quantitative PCR measurements showed a significant decrease in gene expression of ACE2 in the small intestine of rats fed with diet containing Glycyrrhiza glabra extract. This effect was independent of the stress condition and failed to be observed in non-target tissues, namely the heart and the brain cortex. In the small intestine we confirmed the reduction of ACE2 also at the protein level. Present findings provide first evidence to support the hypothesis that Glycyrrhiza glabra extract may reduce an entry point of SARS-CoV-2. Whether this phenomenon, when confirmed in additional studies, is linked to the susceptibility of cells to the virus requires further studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0516.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Perceptions, public university students, online classes, COVID-19, Bangladesh
Online: 21 May 2021 (09:52:48 CEST)
The severe disease outbreak COVID-19 pandemic impacted public health and safety and the educational systems worldwide. For fear of the further spread of diseases, most educational institutions, including Bangladesh, have postponed their face-to-face teaching. Therefore, this study explores public university student's perceptions towards online classes during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. Data were collected among students of Islamic University, Kushtia, Bangladesh, through an online survey. The study followed both a qualitative and quantitative approach, where the survey technique was used as an instrument of data collection. Results showed that most students were facing difficulty participating in virtual classes and could not communicate with their friends correctly during online classes. They faced challenges in online schooling, and the majority of the students preferred conventional types of learning to virtual classes and did not understand the content of virtual classes easily. The study also explored that most students did not feel comfortable in online classes. Still, considering the present pandemic situation, they decided to participate in online classes to continue schooling. Besides, the study discovered that female students showed better real perceptions than male students regarding online classes, and urban students have more optimistic appreciation than rural students. Moreover, laptop or personal computer users showed more positive perceptions towards online education than mobile users. Furthermore, Broadband/ Wi-Fi users have more positive perceptions than mobile network users. These findings would be an essential guideline for governments, policymakers, technology developers, and university authorities for making better policy choices in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0492.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Drug resistance; nsp12; protein design; fitness; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; resistance mutations; SARS-CoV-2.
Online: 20 May 2021 (13:18:14 CEST)
Favipiravir is a broad-spectrum inhibitor of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) currently being used to manage COVID-19 in several countries. By acting as a substrate for RdRp, favipiravir gets incorporated into the nascent viral RNA and prevents strand extension. A high mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp may facilitate antigenic drift as an answer to the host immune response, thereby generating resistance of virus to favipiravir. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to predict potential mutational sites in the RdRp and the emergence of structural modifications contributing to drug resistance. Here, we used high-throughput interface-based protein design to generate >100,000 designs and identify mutation hotspot residues in the favipiravir-binding site of RdRp. Several mutants had lower binding affinities to favipiravir, out of which hotspot residues with a high propensity to undergo positive selection were identified. The results showed that the designs retained an average of 97 to 98% sequence identity, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 can develop favipiravir resistance with just a few mutations. Notably, we observed that out of 134 mutations predicted designs, 63 specific mutations were already present in the CoV-GLUE database, thus attaining ~47% correlation match with the clinical sequencing data. The findings improve our understanding of the potential signatures of adaptation in SARS-CoV-2 against favipiravir and management of COVID-19. Furthermore, they can help develop exhaustive strategies for robust antiviral design and discovery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0474.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus infection; inequalities; socioeconomic factors.
Online: 20 May 2021 (10:21:34 CEST)
Background: The aim of our study was to analyze the effect of socioeconomic inequalities, both at the individual and area of residence levels, on the probability of COVID-19 confirmed infection, and its variations across three pandemic waves. Methods: Retrospective cohort study. We included data from all individuals tested by COVID-19 during the three waves of the pandemic, from March to December 2020 (357,989 individuals). We studied the effect of inequalities on the risk of having a COVID-19 confirmed diagnosis after being tested using multilevel analyses with two levels of aggregation: individuals and basic healthcare area (BHA) of residence (deprivation level and type of zone). Results: Patient profile changed through the pandemic, with a predominance of low-paid employees living in deprived BHA. Workers with low salaries, unemployed and people on minimum integration income or who no longer receive the unemployment allowance, had a higher probability of COVID-19 infection than workers with salaries ≥€18,000 per year. Inequalities were higher in women and in the second wave. The deprivation level of BHA of residence influenced the risk of COVID-19 infection, especially in the second wave. Conclusions: There are inequalities in the risk of COVID-19 confirmed infection, both at individual and area level. It is necessary to develop individual and area coordinated measures in the control, diagnosis and treatment of the epidemic, in order to avoid an increase in the already existing inequalities.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0461.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: ACE2; Ang II; AT1R; AT2R; angiotensin (1-7); β-arrestin; CFTR; COVID-19; ENaC; GPCR; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV2; SARS-CoV; G-protein
Online: 20 May 2021 (09:28:37 CEST)
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) belong to a large family of molecules eliciting different responses to a variety of signaling molecules. These receptors participate in various physiologic pathways such as metabolism, growth, immune responses, inflammation, vision, taste, olfaction, neurotransmission and even and pathologic responses including chronic inflammatory and vascular diseases. Receptors contributing to the biological responses of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) are members of GPCR family. COVID-19-induced inflammatory cascade has been attributed to acute ACE2 downregulation and imbalance of proinflammatory ACE/AngII/AT1R and anti-inflammatory ACE2/angiotensin (1-7)/Mas axes in favor of the former. Some of the receptors contributing to activities of proteins in RAS including AT1R, AT2R and Mas receptors are members of GPCR family. It is notable that these receptors induce their effects both through G protein and β-arrestin pathway; the former exerts temporary and the latter more sustained effects. In addition to the imbalance of GPCR responses contributing to RAS activities, it has been suggested that SARS-CoV2 pathogenesis might be attributed to the activation of GPCRs or modulating G-proteins involved in adenosine-CFTR regulation system and epithelial Na channel function.This article includes a minireview about the physiological functions of GPCRs and their contribution to COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0452.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: corona; covid-19; crisis management; basic income; environmental politics; globalization; public policy; inequality; sustainable development
Online: 19 May 2021 (14:38:12 CEST)
The rapidly expanding corona pandemic in 2020 brought the world to virtual economic stagna-tion. While the impact on the environment from suspended air traffic, idle industry and economic lockdown has been considerable, so have the economic and social consequences of the crisis. To make matters worse, the resulting state of stagnation is neither economically nor socially sustaina-ble. Nevertheless, we need to ask ourselves what we can learn from the situation in order to ex-plore the benefits of globalization, intercept similar crisis situations more effectively in the future and move towards more sustainable development on an ecological, economic and social level. This paper identifies the areas of expanded externality management needed to further improve environmental quality, digitalization, network expansion and basic income. These central issues need to be addressed both during and after the crisis in order to deal with problems of inequality and climate change mitigation for current and future generations. Concrete concepts will be put forward and discussed in the paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0447.v1
Subject: Keywords: Vaccine; Sentiment analysis; Public Sentiment Scenarios framework; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Twitter; Textual analytics; Public policy
Online: 19 May 2021 (13:51:57 CEST)
There exists a compelling need to better understand the temporal dynamics of public sentiment towards COVID-19 vaccines in the US on a national and state-wise level for facilitating appropriate public policy applications. Our analysis of social media data from early February of 2021 and late March of 2021 shows that in spite of overall strength of positive sentiment, and increasing numbers of Americans being fully vaccinated, negative sentiment about COVID-19 vaccines still persists among sections of people who are hesitant towards the vaccine. In this study, we performed sentiment analytics on vaccine tweets, studied changes in public sentiment over time, conducted vaccination sentiment validation using actual vaccination data from the US CDC and Household Pulse Survey (HPS), explored influence of maturity of Twitter user-accounts and generated geographic mapping of sentiments by location of Twitter users. Furthermore, we leverage the emotion polarity based Public Sentiment Scenarios (PSS) framework which was developed for COVID-19 sentiment analytics, to systematically analyze directions for public policy processes to potentially improve the administration of vaccines. Application of the PSS framework provides important time sensitive insights for state and federal government agencies and associated organizations to better implement public policy processes for healthcare management, communication, transparency, motivation and societal operational policies such as social distancing. These insights are expected to contribute to processes that can expedite the vaccination program and move closer to the cherished herd immunity goal.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0423.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; post-COVID pulmonary fibrosis; lung injury; anti-fibrotic agents
Online: 18 May 2021 (11:32:07 CEST)
Total 219 countries and territories globally suffering from the recent pandemic COVID-19 is now in its second wave with more brutality, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) . It has several symptoms like as persistent fever; respiratory illnesses; cough; fatigue; shortness of breath; loss of appetite; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; dysgeusia; acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) etc., and here the things to worry about is the development of pulmonary fibrosis after COVID-19 in both peoples who had died of due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or those who survived. Due to COVID-19, dysregulated immune response and wound repair mainly in elderly patients causes this secondary pulmonary fibrosis. Thus using anti-fibrotic agents could be meaningful in these circumstances although their efficacy in treating COVID-19 is subject to more detailed laboratory research works. In this review article you will get to know about the lung fibrosis generation due to COVID-19 infection, about anti-fibrotic agents and the currents challenges of this field.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0414.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: : mineralocorticosteroid receptor antagonist (MRA); angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); SARS-CoV-2; transmembrane protease receptor serine 2; furin; plasmin
Online: 18 May 2021 (10:39:03 CEST)
Aims: Spironolactone is a steroidal mineralocoricosteroid receptor antagonist (MRA) used for treatment of resistant hypertension, heart failure and edema. It exerts class specific adverse effects that are shared by other MRAs. Additionally, it exerts unique “off target” steroidal effects that include gynecomastia, impotence and loss of libido in males and menstrual irregularity in females. Together, these have led to a poor tolerability and limited use despite positive results in many randomized, controlled clinical trials. We review the off-target effects of spironolactone that may summate with its MRA action to provide an advantageous profile for prevention or treatment of patients with COVID-19. Methods: Literature review using PubMed Central. Results: The blockade by spironolactone of the androgen receptor should diminish the expression of transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) that has an androgen promoter while its MRA action should enhance the expression of protease nexin1 (PN1) that inhibits furin and plasmin. TMPRSS2, furin and plasmin cooperated to process the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to increase its high affinity binding to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and thereby promote viral cell entry. Its actions as an MRA may reduce inflammation and preserve pulmonary, cardiac and vascular functions. Its anti-plasmin action may combat hemostatic dysfunction. Conclusion: The hypothesis that the off-target effects of spironolactone summate with its MRA actions to provide special benefits for COVID-19 is worthy of direct investigation and clinical trial.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0413.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Zinc; vitamin D; iron; Gripes; COVID-19; Anemia
Online: 18 May 2021 (10:34:15 CEST)
Abstract: COVID-19 in 2020 brought challenges to the Brazilian public health system with an emerging virus with respiratory contagion called SARS-CoV-2. There are few studies in Brazil and in some countries, on the increased incidence of certain viral respiratory infections, includ-ing H1N1 and coronavirus and their association with low levels of vitamin D, zinc and iron. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that the deficit of vitamin D, zinc and iron has an impact on the infectious process of patients with COVID-19 and to establish new forms of prevention for the worsening of COVID-19 in the human body. Data were collected from medical records and test results from patients being followed up during the treatment period for COVID-19. Patients with low blood levels of vitamin D, zinc and iron during the treatment period of COVID-19 had a higher percentage of worsening and complications requiring hospitalization in intensive care beds. The ingestion of vitamin D, zinc and iron in the treatment period of patients with COVID-19 in addition to being an immunological protector against SARS-CoV-2 and alleviating the process of worsening the disease can also act as a biomarker in cases of this disease.
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Twitter; Geo-Tagged; Metropolitan; Computational Social Science
Online: 18 May 2021 (10:24:58 CEST)
One of the unfortunate findings from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis is the disproportionate impact the crisis has had on people and communities who were already socioeconomically disadvantaged. It has, however, been difficult to study this issue at scale and in greater detail using social media platforms like Twitter. Several COVID-19 Twitter datasets have been released, but they have very broad scope, both topically and geographically. In this paper, we present a more controlled and compact dataset that can be used to answer a range of potential research questions (especially pertaining to computational social science) without requiring extensive preprocessing or tweet-hydration from the earlier datasets. The proposed dataset comprises tens of thousands of geotagged (and in many cases, reverse-geocoded) tweets originally collected over a 255-day period in 2020 over 10 metropolitan areas in North America. Since there are socioeconomic disparities within these cities (sometimes to an extreme extent, as witnessed in `inner city neighborhoods’ in some of these cities), the dataset can be used to assess such socioeconomic disparities from a social media lens, in addition to comparing and contrasting behavior across cities.
Online: 17 May 2021 (17:06:31 CEST)
The most severe threat that the Covid-19 pandemic poses to the global economy is the need to choose between human lives and livelihoods. Bangladesh must assess the implications of such impacts on Bangladesh's macro-financial scenario to maintain the economy's current high growth trajectory. The paper outlines the major Covid-19 shock wave transmission channels to the four major sectors of the Bangladesh economy. Authorities around the world have taken every precaution possible to halt the spread of the pandemic. An aggregate transmission framework that includes these four sectors is required to contain the impact of Covid-19 can propagate through these sectors and eventually impact macro-financial stability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0381.v1
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; wastewater monitoring; environmental surveillance; RT-LAMP; building-level; near-source; passive sampling
Online: 17 May 2021 (10:07:04 CEST)
Community-level wastewater monitoring for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA has demonstrated useful correlation with both coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case numbers and clinical testing positivity. Wastewater monitoring on college campuses has demonstrated promising predictive capacity for the presence and absence of COVID-19 cases. However, to date, such monitoring has largely relied upon composite or grab samples and reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) techniques, which limits the accessibility and scalability of wastewater monitoring. In this study, we piloted a workflow that uses tampons as passive swabs for collection and reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater. Results for the developed workflow were available same day, with a time to result following tampon swab collection of approximately three hours. The RT-LAMP 95% limit of detection (76 gene copies reaction-1) was greater than RT-droplet digital PCR (ddPCR; 3.3 gene copies reaction-1). Nonetheless, during a building-level wastewater monitoring campaign conducted in the midst of weekly clinical testing of all students, the workflow demonstrated a same-day positive predictive value (PPV) of 33% and negative predictive value (NPV) of 80% for incident COVID-19 cases. The NPV is comparable to that reported by wastewater monitoring using RT-qPCR. These observations suggest that even with lower analytical sensitivity the tampon swab and RT-LAMP workflow offers a cost-effective and rapid approach that could be leveraged for scalable same-day building-level wastewater monitoring for COVID-19.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0342.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; nasopharyngeal swab; RNA extraction; RT-PCR
Online: 14 May 2021 (14:46:42 CEST)
Background: the devastating outbreak of COVID-19 poses serious challenges for the diagnostics laboratories, which are often facing global shortage of reagents and equipment. With the aim of increasing the diagnostic throughput for SARS-CoV-2 molecular test, the purpose of this study was to validate an additional RNA extraction method respect to those already recommended by WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Methods: a new protocol for RNA extraction from nasopharyngeal swab was set up, adapting the Qiagen RNeasy 96 plate and validated on a set of 100 clinical samples analyzed in parallel by Roche-Magnapure method (already recommended by CDC guidelines). Results: the internal control and target genes analysis showed a good agreement between the two extraction methods indicating that the two methods can be considered equivalent and that the RNeasy-adapted method can be applied for the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics. The addition of this new extraction method resulted in a throughput increase for SARS-CoV-2 molecular test of about 2000 samples/month during the initial months of the pandemic emergency in which the lack of reagents for the extraction led to an insufficient sample processing throughput of the analysis of the swabs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0337.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: antibacterial agents; antibiotics; COVID-19; drug misuse; odontogenic infection
Online: 14 May 2021 (14:03:42 CEST)
This review revisits clinical use of antibiotics for most common acute oro-dental conditions; we aim to provide evidence governing antibiotics use when access to oral healthcare is not available, as during the ongoing outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. In this rapid review, articles were retrieved after conducting a search on PubMed and Google Scholar. Relevant publications were selected and analyzed. Most recent systematic reviews with/without meta-analyses and societal guidelines were selected. Data were extracted, grouped, and synthesized according to the respective subtopic analysis. There were evidence supporting the use of antibiotics in common oro-dental conditions as temporary measure when immediate care is not accessible, such as in case of localized oral swellings as well as to prevent post-extraction complications. No sufficient evidence could be found in support of antibiotic use for pain resulting from pulpal origin. Consequently, antibiotic use may be justified to defer treatment temporarily or reduce risk of complications in case of localized infection and tooth extraction, when no access to immediate dental care is possible.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: COVID 19; pandemic; mining company; epidemic emergency; prevention; good practices
Online: 14 May 2021 (11:52:21 CEST)
The state of epidemic emergency in force in our country since March and the related requirement to implement various sanitary procedures constitute problems for the operation of all companies. However, the unique operation of underground mining companies increases their scale considerably. However, despite initial turbulent moments related to the occurrence of an unknown threat, it was possible to stabilise the situation in all such companies as a result of implementing various anti-threat actions. Following the initial introduction to basic properties of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the paper presents the results of the study (a case study) on actions taken in individual mining companies. There was an attempt to formulate the so-called good work practices recommended to be applied.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0327.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: test-tracking-quarantine; cost benefit analysis; economic analysis; COVID-19; asymptomatic screening; mass testing; non-pharmacological interventions
Online: 14 May 2021 (11:48:47 CEST)
The epidemiological situation generated by COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of applying non-pharmacological measures. Among these, mass screening of the asymptomatic general population has been established as a priority strategy by carrying out diagnostic tests to limit the spread of the virus. In this article, we aim to evaluate the economic impact of mass COVID-19 screenings of an asymptomatic population through a Cost-Benefit Analysis based on the estimated total costs of mass screening versus health gains and associated health costs avoided. Excluding the value of monetized health, the Benefit-Cost ratio was estimated at approximately 0.45. However, if monetized health is included in the calculation, the ratio is close to 1.20. The monetization of health is the critical element that tips the scales in favour of the desirability of screening. Screenings with the highest return are those that maximize the percentage of positives detected.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0319.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Greenspace; mental health; SARS-CoV-2; pandemic; South Korea; social determinants of mental health; intervention
Online: 14 May 2021 (08:56:52 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for health, social, and economic domains, but what has received far less focus is the effect on people’s relationship to vital ecological supports, including access to greenspace. We assessed patterns of greenspace use in relation to individual and environmental factors and their relationship with experiencing psychological symptoms under the pandemic. We conducted an online survey recruiting participants from social media for adults