REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0278.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: stress response system; sympathetic activity; HPA(Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal) axis; SARS-CoV-2; catecholamine; corticosteroids; clonidine; dexamethasone
Online: 30 December 2022 (02:43:54 CET)
We are in amidst of COVID-19 pandemic. Since Dec 2019, severe acute respiratory corona virus (SAR-CoV-2) has infected more than half a billion people killing nearly 7 million people worldwide. Now the BA.5 variant of SARS-CoV-2 is causing mayhem and driving the global surge. Epidemiologist are aware of the fact that this virus is capable of escaping immunity and likely to infect the same person multiple times despite adequate vaccination status. Elderly people of age more than 60 years and those with underlying health conditions are considered as high-risk who are likely to suffer complications and death. While it is tempting to frame complications and mortality from COVID-19 as a simple matter of too much of a virulent virus in too weak of a host, much more is at play here. Framing the pathophysiology of COVID-19 in the context of the Chrousos and Gold model of the central stress response system can shed insight into its complex pathogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms by which pharmacologic modulation of the central stress response system via administration of clonidine and/or dexamethasone may offer an explanation as to why a viral pathogen can be well tolerated and cleared by one host while inflaming and killing another.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0337.v1
Online: 19 April 2020 (07:14:52 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind COVID-19 pandemic is acquiring new mutations in its genome. Although some mutations provide benefits to the virus against human immune response, a number of them may result in their reduced pathogenicity and virulence. By analyzing more than 3000 high-coverage, complete genome sequences deposited in the GISAID database, here I report a unique 28881-28883:GGG>AAC trinucleotide-bloc mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 genome that results in two sub-strains, described here as SARS-CoV-2g (28881-28883:GGG genotype) and SARS-CoV-2a (28881-28883:AAC genotype). Computational analysis and literature review suggest that this bloc mutation would bring 203-204:RG(arginine-glycine)>KR(lysine-arginine) amino acid changes in the nucleocapsid (N) protein affecting the SR (serine-arginine)-rich motif of the protein, a critical region for the transcription of viral RNA and replication of the virus. Thus, 28881-28883:GGG>AAC bloc-mutation is expected to modulate the pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2g and SARS-CoV-2a strains can be linked with the heterogeneity of COVID-19 cases across different regions within and between countries by analyzing existing data. Sequence analysis suggests that severely affected cities, such as Milan, Lombardy, New York, Paris have the predominant presence of SARS-CoV-2g strains, whereas less affected places like Abruzzo, Lyon, Valencia have a relatively higher presence of SARS-CoV-2a, an indication that the latter strain may contribute to the reduced cases of COVID-19. A similar relationship is observed when Netherlands, Portugal are compared with Spain, France and Germany. These analyses suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 has already evolved into a less infective SARS-CoV-2a affecting COVID-19 cases in different regions. The time a country or region needs to acquire SARS-CoV-2a strains may be indicative to the time it would need to overcome the peak of the COVID-19 cases. To confirm these assumptions, prompt retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies should be conducted in different countries to understand the course of pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2a and SARS-CoV-2g. Potential drugs can be designed targeting 28881-28883 region of the N protein to modulate virus pathogenicity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0191.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: forest types; forest mapping; Sentinel-2; SAR; LiDAR; canopy metrics
Online: 16 July 2019 (08:12:02 CEST)
Indigenous forests cover 24% of New Zealand and provide valuable ecosystem services. However, a national map of forest types, that is, physiognomic types, which would benefit conservation management, does not currently exist at an appropriate level of detail. While traditional forest classification approaches from remote sensing data are based on spectral information alone, the joint use of space-based optical imagery and structural information from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and canopy metrics from air-borne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) facilitates more detailed and accurate classifications of forest structure. We present a support vector machine (SVM) classification using data from ESA’s Sentinel-1 and 2 missions, ALOS PALSAR, and airborne LiDAR to produce a regional map of physiognomic types of indigenous forest in New Zealand. A five-fold cross-validation of ground data showed that the highest classification accuracy of 80.9% is achieved for bands 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, and 12 from Sentinel-2, the ratio of bands VH and VV from Sentinel-1, HH from PALSAR, and mean canopy height and 97th percentile canopy height from LiDAR. The classification based on the optical bands alone was 73.1% accurate and the addition of structural metrics from SAR and LiDAR increased accuracy by 7.8%. The classification accuracy is sufficient for many management applications for indigenous forest in New Zealand, including biodiversity management, carbon inventory, pest control, ungulate management, and disease management. National application of the method will be possible in several years, once national LiDAR coverage is achieved, and a national canopy height model is available.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0151.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence; Vaccination Status; SARS-CoV-2; anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; Albanian population
Online: 2 August 2023 (10:10:13 CEST)
Understanding the dynamics of humoral immune responses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is crucial for optimizing vaccine strategies. This study aimed to investigate the impact of infection and vaccine-induced immunity on the Albanian population from August 2021 to August 2022. Two independent samples from the Albanian general population were analyzed using an ELISA method to assess IgG class anti-Spike (S1) and anti-Nucleocapsid (N) SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The results revealed a robust immune response among vaccinated individuals with prior COVID-19 infection who received only one vaccine dose. In the 2022 cohort, most individuals who received one vaccine dose achieved comparable seropositivity and antibody levels to those who received two doses. However, individuals aged 61 and over required two or three vaccine doses to reach the same level of immune response as the younger population. Notably, the time elapsed since infection or vaccination did not significantly impact the immune response. These findings highlight the importance of hybrid immunity and suggest that one vaccine dose may be sufficient for most individuals with prior COVID-19 infection. However, additional doses are necessary for optimal protection in older individuals. This study provides unique insights into humoral immune response dynamics that can be used to refine ongoing COVID-19 population vaccination strategies for middle-income countries with low vaccination coverage.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0430.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: atherosclerosis; sars-cov-2; covid-19; pathogenesis of sars-cov-2
Online: 24 April 2020 (08:58:13 CEST)
Sars-CoV-2 outbreak represents a public health emergency, affecting different regions of the world. Lung is the organ more damaged due to the high presence of Sars-CoV-2 binding receptor ACE2 on epithelial alveolar cells. Severity of infection vary from absence of symptomatology to be more severe, characterized by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure and sepsis requiring treatment in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).It is not still clear why in a small percentage of patients immune system is not able to efficiently suppress viral replication. It has been documented as predictive factors for severity and susceptibility affections of cardiovascular system such as heart failure (HF), coronary heart disease (CHD) and risk factors for atherosclerotic progression, hypertension and diabetes among others.Atherosclerotic progression, as chronic inflammation process, is characterized by immune system dysregulation leading to pro-inflammatory pattern, including (Interleukin 6) IL-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) and IL-1β raise. Reviewing immune system and inflammation profiles in atherosclerosis and laboratory results report in severe Sars-CoV-2 infection we have supposed a pathogenetic correlation. Atherosclerosis may be a pathogenetic ideal substrate to high viral replication ability leading to adverse outcomes, how reported in patients with cardiovascular factors. Moreover, level of atherosclerotic progression may impact on a different degree of severe infection and in a vicious circle feeding itself Sars-CoV-2 may exacerbate atherosclerotic progression due to excessive and aberrant plasmatic concentration of cytokines.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: COVID-19; Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS); SAR-CoV-2; flow cytometry; flow virometry; viral particles; herpes simplex virus; HSV; nanoparticles
Online: 12 May 2020 (07:45:53 CEST)
The coronavirus disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 (known as COVID 19) is highly contagious and has spread rapidly over 200 countries over last three months. WHO suggested urgent escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, as the "backbone" of managing the pandemic. Globally, the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in patients are done by RT-PCR and blood antibody-based testing. In addition to the existing processes, flow-cytometry could be used as a high-throughput and efficient diagnostic method for detection of COVID 19. The suspected COVID 19 samples can be analyzed using ‘Indirect flow cytometry’, with the specific primary antibody and fluorescent tagged secondary antibodies. The fluorescence signal can distinguish the infected v/s non-infected samples. In the present article, we have summarized the applications of Flow virometry to study various viruses and have proposed possible application in the detection of COVID 19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0073.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: SARS-COV-2; respiratory tests; Xpert® Xpress COV-2 plus; Xpert(2) Xpress COV-2/Flu/RSV plus; diagnostic evaluation; novel target
Online: 5 December 2022 (10:17:58 CET)
The Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 and Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV tests were rapidly developed and widely used during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. In response to emerging genetic variability, a new SARS-CoV-2 target (RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase) has been added to both tests: Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus and Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test. A rapid evaluation of both tests was performed in South Africa, using residual respiratory specimens. Residual respiratory specimens (n=125) were used to evaluate the Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus test and included 50 genotyped specimens. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test was assessed using 45 genotyped SARS-CoV-2 specimens, ten influenza A, ten Influenza B and twenty respiratory syncytial virus specimens. Results were com-pared to in-country standard of care tests. Genotyped specimens tested the performance of the test under pressure from circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Reference material was included to assess the test limits and linearity. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus test performance compared to reference results across residual respiratory specimens was good (positive per-centage agreement (PPA)=95.2%, negative percentage agreement (NPA)=95.0%) The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test showed good performance across all residual respiratory specimens (PPA=100%, NPA=98.3%). All genotyped variants of concern were detected by both tests. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus and Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus tests can be used to diagnose SARS-CoV-2, and to diagnose and differentiate SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus respectively. The NPA was lower than the recommended 99%, but was influenced by the low number of negative specimens tested. The variants of concern assessed did not affect test performance. It is recommended that sites perform their own assessments compared to in-country standard of care tests.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0400.v1
Online: 27 March 2020 (02:48:01 CET)
The world is currently going through a serious pandemic of viral infection with SARS-CoV-2, a new isolate of coronavirus, resembling and surpassing the crisis that occurred in 2002 and 2013 with SARS and MERS, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 has currently infected more than 142,000 people, causing 5,000 deaths and reaching more than 130 countries worldwide. The very large spreading capacity of the virus clearly demonstrates the potential threat of respiratory viruses to human health, alarming governments around the world that preventive health policies and scientific research are pivotal to overcoming the crisis. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes flu-like symptoms in most cases. However, approximately 15% of patients will need hospitalization, and 5% require assisted ventilation, depending on the cohorts studied. What is intriguing, however, is the higher susceptibility of elderly individuals, especially those who are more than 60 years old and have comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, the death rate in this group may be up to 10-12%. Interestingly, children are somehow protected and not included as a risk group.Thus, here, we discuss some possibilities of molecular and cellular mechanisms by which elderly subjects may be more susceptible to severe COVID-19. In this sense, we raise two main points: i) increased ACE-2 expression in pulmonary and heart tissue of chronic angiotensin 1 receptor (AT1R) blocker users and hypertensive individuals and ii) antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) after previous exposure to other circulating coronaviruses. We believe these are pivotal points for a better understanding of the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and must be addressed with attention by physicians and scientists in the field.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0201.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 Detection, SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test, SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, False Negative, False Positive, Sensitivity, Specificity, Point-of-care testing (POCT), SARS-CoV-2 Mutants
Online: 25 March 2021 (15:33:14 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created huge damage to society and brought panics around the world. Such panics can be ascribed to the seemingly deceptive features of the COVID-19: compared to other deadly viral outspreads, it has medium transmission and mortality rates. As a result, the severity of the causative coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was deeply underestimated by the society at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on this, in this review, we define the viruses with features similar to those of SARS-CoV-2 as the Panic Zone viruses. To contain those viruses, accurate and fast diagnosis followed by effective isolation and treatment of patients are pivotal at the early stage of virus breakouts. This is especially true when there is no cure or vaccine available for a transmissible disease, which is the case for current COVID-19 pandemic. As of January 2021, more than two hundred kits for the COVID-19 diagnosis on the market are surveyed in this review, while emerging sensing techniques for SARS-CoV-2 are also discussed. It is of critical importance to rationally use these kits for the efficient management and control of the Panic Zone viruses. Therefore, we discuss guidelines to select diagnostic kits at different outbreak stages of the Panic Zone viruses, SARS-CoV-2 in particular. While it is of utmost importance to use nucleic acid-based detection kits with low false negativity (high sensitivity) at the early stage of an outbreak, the low false positivity (high specificity) gains its importance at later stages of the outbreak. When a society is set to reopen from the lock-down stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes critical to have antibody based immunoassay kits with high specificity to identify people who can safely return to the society after their recovery of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Given that the emergence of mutant viruses at the beginning of 2021 has complicated current battle against the COVID-19, we also discussed approaches and guidelines to detect viral mutants in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic that started at the end of 2020. Finally, since a massive attack from a viral pandemic requires a massive defense from the whole society, we urge both government and private sectors to research and develop more affordable and reliable point-of-care testing (POCT) kits, which can be used massively by the general public (and therefore called as massive POCT) to contain Panic Zone viruses in future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0052.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: COVID-19; therapeutic antibody; SARS-CoV-2 Delta; SARS-CoV-2 Omicron; toxicology
Online: 1 August 2023 (11:27:40 CEST)
We recently reported the isolation and characterization of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, called IgG-A7, that protected transgenic mice expressing the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE-2) from the infection with SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan. We show here that IgG-A7 protected 100% of the transgenic mice infected with Delta (B.1.617.2) and Omicron (B.1.1.529) at doses of 0.5 and 5 mg/kg, respectively. In addition, we studied the pharmacokinetic (PK) profile and Toxicology (Tox) of IgG-A7 in CD-1 mice at single doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg. PK parameters at those high doses were proportional to the dose, with the half-life in serum of ~10.5 days. IgG-A7 was well tolerated with no signs of toxicity in urine and blood samples, nor in histopathology analyses. Tissue Cross-reactivity (TCR) with a panel of mouse and human tissues showed no evidence of IgG-A7 interaction with tissues of these species, supporting the PK/Tox results in vivo and suggesting that while IgG-A7 has a broad efficacy profile it is not toxic in humans. The information generated in CD-1 mouse as PK/Tox model, complemented with the mouse and human TCR, could be of relevance as alternatives to NHPs in rapidly emerging viral diseases and/or quickly evolving viruses such as SARS-CoV-2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0962.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID pass; SARS-CoV-2 antigen test; SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; societal restrictions
Online: 14 July 2023 (05:20:20 CEST)
To control the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries implemented vaccination and imposed societal restrictions both at the national level and for international travel. As a check of the corona status, a COVID pass has been issued. A COVID pass could be obtained when fully vaccinated against COVID-19, having recovered from a documented COVID-19 episode, or a recent (24-48 hours) negative SARS-CoV-2 antigen test. A global analysis of SARS-CoV-2 immune status (determined by past infection and/or vaccination), vaccination rates, as well as societal restrictions in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic is presented.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1332.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Gastroenterology And Hepatology Keywords: Sars-CoV-2 infection; mycophenolate mofetil, liver transplantation, anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
Online: 18 May 2023 (10:39:20 CEST)
Background & aims. The fourth dose of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine slightly improved the humoral response among previously seronegative liver transplant (LT) recipients. Mycophenolate (MMF) treatment worsens the vaccination response. This study aimed to evaluate whether temporary MMF interruption might improve immunogenicity of the fourth anti-SARS-CoV-2 BNT16b2 vaccine dose in nonresponsive LT recipients. Methods. LT recipients negative for anti-spike glycoprotein-specific immunoglobulin G receptor-binding domain (s-RBD) antibodies after the third vaccine dose were enrolled. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific T cell responses were measured before and two months following the fourth vaccine dose, and anti-SARS-CoV-2-s-RBD antibodies also 6 months thereafter. MMF was suspended two weeks before and after vaccination. Results. Five LT recipients were enrolled. After a mean of 78 days after vaccination, all patients tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2-s-RBD antibodies. The mean antibody titer was 8944 UI/ml. The positive antibody response was maintained during a mean of 193 days of follow-up. Three patients developed a positive T cell response. Two patients (one positive for T cell response) developed a self-limited SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusions. Suspending MMF prior to the fourth dose of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine seems feasible and safe. This procedure could restore vaccine-induced immunogenicity in a large portion of previously nonresponsive LT recipients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0272.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2); COVID-19; coronavirus; pandemic; smell; anosmia; taste; ageusia
Online: 16 April 2020 (12:42:44 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2) is a coronavirus which is causing the actual COVID-19 pandemic. The disease caused by 2019 new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was named coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization in February 2020. Primary non-specific reported symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection at the prodromal phase are malaise, fever, and dry cough. The most commonly reported signs and symptoms are fever (98%), cough (76%), dyspnea (55%), and myalgia or fatigue (44%). Nonetheless, recent reports suggest an association between COVID-19 and altered olfactory and taste functions, although smell seems to be more affected than taste. These associations of smell and taste dysfunctions and CoV-2 are consistent with case reports describing a patient with SARS with long term anosmia after recovery from respiratory distress, with the observation that olfactory function is commonly altered after infection with endemic coronaviruses, and with data demonstrating that intentional experimental infection of humans with CoV-299 raises the thresholds at which odors can be detected. Post-viral anosmia and is one of the leading causes of loss of sense of smell in adults, accounting for up to 40% cases of anosmia. Viruses that give rise to the common cold are well known to cause post-infectious loss, and over 200 different viruses are known to cause upper respiratory tract infections. I reviewed the possible mechanisms of smell and taste loss in COVID-19. I concluded that since the existence of such a relationship is likely, it is highly recommended that those patients who experience complications such as smell and/or taste loss, even as unique symptoms, should be considered as potential SARS-CoV-2 virus carriers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0085.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; CoV-Mpro; CoV-Nsp12 polymerase; CoV-Nsp13 helicase
Online: 5 March 2020 (11:50:45 CET)
The recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused a major outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and instigated a widespread fear and has threatened global health security. Although phenomenal efforts are in progress to effectively combat this COVID-19 outbreak. Still, no licensed antiviral drugs or vaccines are available, and treatment is limited to supportive care and few repurposed drugs. In this urgency situation, computational drug discovery methods provide both an alternative and a supplement to tiresome high-throughput screening, particularly in the hit-to-lead-optimization stage. Identification of small molecules that specifically target viral replication apparatus has shown the most successful strategy in antiviral drug discovery. The present study deals with the identification of potential compounds that specifically interact with SARS-CoV-2 vital proteins, including main protease (Mpro), Nsp12 RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase (RdRp) and Nsp13 helicase. A constructive and integrated virtual screening efforts together with molecular dynamics simulations identified potential binding modes and favourable molecular interaction profile of corresponding compounds. Moreover, structurally important binding site residues in conserved motifs located inside the active site are elucidated, which displayed relative importance in ligand binding based on residual energy decomposition analysis. Although the current study lacks experimental validation, the structural information obtained from this computational study paved the way to identify and design specific targeted inhibitors to combat COVID-19 outbreak.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0448.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: betacoronaviruses; genomics; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:50:46 CEST)
In the 21st century, three highly pathogenic betacoronaviruses have emerged, with an alarming rate of human morbidity and case fatality. Genomic information has been widely used to understand the pathogenesis, animal origin and mode of transmission of betacoronaviruses in the aftermath of the 2002-03 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. Furthermore, genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis have had an unprecedented relevance in the battle against the 2019-20 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the newest and most devastating outbreak caused by a coronavirus in the history of mankind, allowing the follow up of disease spread and transmission dynamics in near real time. Here, we review how genomic information has been used to tackle outbreaks caused by emerging, highly pathogenic, betacoronavirus strains, emphasizing on SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0189.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS CoV; SARS CoV-2; novel CoV; India
Online: 12 April 2020 (09:17:16 CEST)
COVID-19 disease outbreak was started in the December, 2019 in the Wuhan city of China which is also known as the largest transportation hub of China. During the spring festival of China the situation become epidemic. Soon, the virus is imported to many regions including the low income countries. Till now, 234073 infected reported cases of the COVID-19 in the world with the total of 9840 deaths (March 20, 2020). The common symptoms of the COVID-19 are the cough, high fever, sore throat, fatigue and breathlessness. The disease is found to be mild in most of the people, some of cases reported to the pneumonia also with multi organ dysfunction and acute ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). It is found that the incubation period for the infection is 2-14 days which is usually 4 days in maximum of cases. India has reported 283 cases of COVID-19 infections till now with 4 deaths. India is still at stage 2 on local transmission as per WHO report 60. WHO reported 60 clearly stated that there is no community transmission occurred in India yet which can be prevented by the avoiding mass gathering and proper screening of the people. Govt. of India has taken many initiatives to minimize the spread of COVID-19 infection in the country. The infection rate of the COVID-19 in India remains low related to population size of the country. It is because of fast government action to quarantine the suspected people and shut down all its borders. There is a great slowdown in the global economy due to COVID-19 attack which is likely to costs around $1 trillion. The spread of COVID-19 infection can be reduced by minimizing the H-H transmissions. Still there is need of Anti-n-CoV drug development which can replace the supporting therapies for the treatment of infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0038.v2
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Environmental Science Keywords: SAR offset and speckle tracking; glacier velocity; Radarsat-2 Wide Fine; Svalbard
Online: 10 September 2016 (05:03:14 CEST)
Glacier dynamics play an important role in the mass balance of many glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets. In this study we exploit Radarsat-2 (RS-2) Wide Fine (WF) data to determine the surface speed of Svalbard glaciers in the winters of 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 using Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) offset and speckle tracking. The RS-2 WF mode combines the advantages of the large spatial coverage of the Wide mode (150 x 150 km) and the high pixel resolution (9m) of the Fine mode and thus has a major potential for glacier velocity monitoring from space through offset and speckle tracking. Faster flowing glaciers (1.95 m d-1 - 2.55 m d-1) which are studied in detail are Nathorstbreen, Kronebreen, Kongsbreen and Monacobreen. Using our Radarsat-2 WF dataset, we compare the performance of two SAR tracking algorithms, namely the GAMMA Remote Sensing Software and a custom written MATLAB script (GRAY method) that has primarily been used in the Canadian Arctic. Both algorithms provide comparable results, especially for the faster flowing glaciers and the termini of slower tidewater glaciers. A comparison of the WF data to RS-2 Ultrafine and Wide mode data reveals the superiority of RS-2 WF data over the Wide mode data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1955.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Obstetrics And Gynaecology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; pregnancy; morbidity
Online: 30 October 2023 (16:13:03 CET)
Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to respiratory diseases. We aimed to study seroconversion rate during pregnancy in a cohort of consecutive pregnancies tested in the first and third trimesters and to compare maternal and obstetric complications between women who seroconverted in the first versus the third trimester. This is an observational, cohort study carried out at Hospital Universitario de Torrejón, in Madrid, Spain, during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. All consecutive singleton pregnancies with a viable fetus attending their 11-13 weeks scan between January 1st and May 15th, 2020, were included and monthly follow up until delivery. Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 (IgA and IgG) were analyzed on stored serum samples obtained from the first and third trimester routine antenatal bloods in 470 pregnant women. Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 31 (6.6%) women in the first trimester and in 66 (14.0%) in the third trimester, including 48 (10.2%) that were negative in the first trimester (seroconversion during pregnancy). Although the rate of infection was significantly higher in the third versus the first trimester (p = 0.003), no significant differences in maternal or obstetric complications were observed in women testing positive in the first versus the third trimester.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0098.v1
Online: 7 June 2022 (09:00:26 CEST)
Despite the remarkable success of SARS CoV-2 vaccines, the rise of variants, some of which are more resistant to the effects of vaccination, highlights the potential need for additional COVID-19 vaccines. We used the Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS) technology, in which proteins are presented on a polysaccharide polymer to induce antibody, Th1, Th17 and CD8+ T cell responses, to engineer a novel vaccine targeting SARS CoV-2. This vaccine contains a fragment of the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) sequence of the original D614G strain and was used to immunize nonhuman primates (NHP) for assessment of immunological responses and protection against SARS CoV-2 challenge. The SARS CoV-2 MAPS vaccine generated robust neutralizing antibodies as well as Th1, Th17 and cytotoxic CD8 T-cell responses in NHPs. Furthermore, MAPS-immunized NHPs had significantly lower viral loads in the nasopharynx and lung compared to control animals. Taken together, these findings support the use of the MAPS platform to make a SARS CoV-2 vaccine. The nature of the platform also could enable its use for the inclusion of different variants in a single vaccine.
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Water Science And Technology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; wastewater surveillance
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.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; reinfection; E484K
Online: 27 January 2021 (15:08:12 CET)
To date, uncertainty remains about how long the protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 persists and reports of suspected reinfection began to be described in recovered patients months after the first episode. Viral evolution may favor reinfections, and the recently described spike mutations, particularly in the receptor binding domain (RBD) in SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in the UK, South Africa, and most recently in Brazil, have raised concern on their potential impact in infectivity, immune escape and reinfection. We report a case of reinfection from distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages presenting the E484K mutation in Brazil, a variant associated with escape from neutralizing antibodies.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Phylogenetics; Asia
Online: 15 January 2021 (13:14:15 CET)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the current coronavirus pandemic is an infectious disease that initially confirmed in China in late December 2019. In this study, we analyzed 131 complete sequences of SARS-CoV-2 from Asia. Our results show that there are fifteen major mutations in Asia which most of them are co-evolved. There were five groups based on co-mutations which three of them resulted in clade G including (241C>T, 3037C>T, 14408C>T, and 23403A>G), (28881G>A, 28882G>A, 28883G>C and 23403A>G) and (25563G>T and 23403A>G). Co-mutations in (8782C>T and 28144T>C) and (1397G>A, 28688T>C, 29742G>T and 11083G>T) were clustered in clade S and a new clade outside of GISAID classification, respectively. Sequences with a mutation in 26144G>T had low variability without any co-mutation which formed clade V. In this study, we showed that Most of the circulated viruses in Asia collected in five co-mutation groups which may affect the transmissibility and vaccine designing strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0002.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; animals; veterinary
Online: 4 January 2021 (08:27:33 CET)
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a well-known group of viruses in veterinary medicine. We currently know four genera of Coronavirus, alfa, beta, gamma and delta. Wild, farmed and pet animals are infected with CoVs belonging to all four genera. Seven human respiratory coronaviruses have still been identified, four of which cause upper respiratory tract diseases, specifically, the common cold, and the last three that have emerged cause severe acute respiratory syndromes, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. In this review we briefly describe animal coronaviruses and what we actually know about SARS-CoV-2 infection in farm and domestic animals.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Airborne; Mask
Online: 29 May 2020 (03:41:50 CEST)
The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a global public health crisis. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 by contact is widely accepted, but the relative importance of aerosol transmission for the spread of COVID-19 is controversial. Here we characterize the distribution of SARA-CoV-2 in 123 aerosol samples, 63 masks, and 30 surface samples collected at various locations in Wuhan, China. The positive percentages of viral RNA included 21% of the aerosol samples from an intensive care unit and 39% of the masks from patients with a range of conditions. A viable virus was isolated from the surgical mask of one critically ill patient while all viral RNA positive aerosol samples were cultured negative. The SARS-CoV-2 detected in masks from patients, ambient air, and respirators from health workers compose a chain of emission, transport, and recipient of the virus. Our results indicate that masks are effective in protecting against the spread of viruses, and it is strongly recommended that people throughout the world wear masks to break the chain of virus transmission and thus protect themselves and others from SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.1836.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 immunity; ELISA; Spike-RBD; SARS-CoV-2 variants; Omicron; virus neutralizing
Online: 30 October 2023 (07:06:58 CET)
We have developed a simple, rapid, high-throughput RBD-based ELISA to assess the humoral immunity against emerging SARS-CoV-2 virus variants. The cDNAs of the his-tagged RBD proteins of the virus variants were stably engineered into HEK cells secreting the protein into the supernatant, and RBD purification was performed by Ni-chromatography and buffer exchange by membrane filtration. The simplified assay uses single dilutions of sera from finger-pricked native blood samples, purified RBD in 96-well plates, and a chromogenic dye for development. The results of this RBD-ELISA were confirmed to correlate with those of a commercial immunoassay measuring antibodies against the Wuhan strain, as well as direct virus neutralization assays assessing the cellular effects of the Wuhan and the Omicron (BA.5) variants. Here we document the applicability of this ELISA to assess the variant-specific humoral immunity in vaccinated and convalescent patients, as well as to follow the time course of selective vaccination response. This simple and rapid assay, easily modified to detect humoral immunity against emerging SARS-CoV-2 virus variants, may help to assess the level of antiviral protection after vaccination or infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1835.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Internal Medicine Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccines; breakthrough infection; hybrid immunity; SARS-CoV-2 antibody
Online: 26 May 2023 (04:05:24 CEST)
More than 3 years have passed since the emergence of COVID-19. On May 8, 2023, COVID-19 in Japan was downgraded to Category 5 by the Infectious Disease Control Law. In Japan, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, cases of infection and deaths from severe disease were few compared with those of Western countries. However, in the medical field, screening for COVID-19 was given top priority, resulting in confusion and proving disadvantageous for many patients, also the overreaction to COVID-19 as the most important issue in society can be attributed largely to statements by infectious disease experts. In addition, the mRNA vaccine emerged in 2021, and most of the population was vaccinated up to two times within a short period of less than 1 year because infectious disease experts strongly promoted vaccination. After 2022, when vaccination progressed, and the Omicron strain, which is an attenuated strain, became the mainstay of the SARS-CoV-2, the number of severe cases of COVID-19 decreased significantly; however, the number of infected people increased dramatically instead. A significant portion of the population is thought to have hybrid immunity due to vaccination plus natural infection and maintains high antibody titers. Henceforth, additional vaccination should be given preferentially to those who will benefit most from it. Conversely, measures against COVID-19 caused serious damage to the economy and society. Policies that not only address countermeasures against infection, but also those that encompass the economy and society as a whole are necessary.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0024.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; COVID-19; infertility; lockdown; IVF; SARS-CoV-2 serological testing
Online: 4 January 2021 (12:07:44 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic had profound negative effects on millions of couples affected by infertility and in need to resort to assisted reproductive technologies. There is no consensus over the optimal way and moment of screening triage-negative asymptomatic patients and staff. We present SARS-CoV-2 antibodies’ (IgM, IgG) seroprevalence in 516 triage-negative patients and 30 fertility care providers. The sampling for SARS-CoV-2 serological assays took place from the lockdown release throughout the second half of 2020 (17.05 - 01.12.2020). It revealed an increased seroprevalence of antibodies that closely followed the local epidemiology of COVID-19, with the highest rate of seropositivity coincident with the peak of the second wave. From 546 triage-negative individuals whose blood samples were assessed for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, 6% yielded positive results. The overall seroconversion rate was 2.8% for IgG and 5.1% for IgM. In the group with positive IgM, we observed a negative predictive value for IgM of 98.36% (95% CI: 88.79 – 99.78%), which is clinically meaningful. Serological testing of triage-negative patients up to seven days prior to the actual fertility procedure might avoid the more expensive and not more sensitive molecular testing currently being used for patient screening in most fertility units.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0330.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Neuroscience And Neurology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2); COVID-19; coronavirus; pandemic; respiratory distress; brainstem; respiratory center
Online: 19 April 2020 (05:37:30 CEST)
Covid-19 pandemic has captivated scientists to investigate if this new disease can affect the central nervous system (CNS). The most challenging symptoms of Covid-19 are related to respiratory distress, and most patients admitted in intensive care units cannot breathe by their own. Therefore, a crucial question is if respiratory distress can be partially explained by the CNS affection. SARS-Cov-2 is a beta-coronavirus that shares high similarities with SARS-CoV. The infection of SARS‐CoV has been reported in the brains from both patients and experimental animals, where the brainstem was heavily infected. Those coronaviruses have been able to invade the brainstem via a synapse‐connected route to the medullary respiratory center, where the infected regions included the nucleus of the solitary tract and nucleus ambiguous. The vagal afferent nerves from receptors in the lung communicate with the medulla and pons respiratory control centers to coordinate inspiration and expiration. This suggests that neuroinvasion of SARS‐CoV‐2 might play a role in the acute respiratory failure of Covid-19. Therefore, acute respiratory distress in Covid-19 can be partially explained by brainstem dysfunction, suggesting the needs of more specific and aggressive treatments with the direct participation of neurologists and neurointensivists.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0390.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: Recombinant protein; Protease; DPP4; SARS-CoV-2; MERS-CoV
Online: 17 November 2020 (11:38:02 CET)
Proteases catalyse irreversible posttranslational modifications that often alter a biological function of the substrate. The protease dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) is a pharmacological target in type 2 diabetes therapy primarily because it inactivates glucagon-like protein-1. DPP4 also has roles in steatosis, insulin resistance, cancers and inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. In addition, DPP4 binds to the spike protein of MERS virus, causing it to be the human cell surface receptor for that virus. DPP4 has been identified as a potential binding target of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, so this question requires experimental investigation. Understanding protein structure and function requires reliable protocols for production and purification. We developed such strategies for baculovirus generated soluble recombinant human DPP4 (residues 29-766) produced in insect cells. Purification used differential ammonium sulphate precipitation, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, dye affinity chromatography in series with immobilised metal affinity chromatography, and ion exchange chromatography. The binding affinities of DPP4 to the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein and its receptor binding domain (RBD) were measured using surface plasmon resonance and ELISA. This optimised DPP4 purification procedure yielded 1 to 1.8 mg of pure fully active soluble DPP4 protein per litre of insect cell culture with specific activity >30 U/mg, indicative of high purity. No specific binding between DPP4 and CoV-2 spike protein was detected by surface plasmon resonance or ELISA. In summary, a procedure for high purity high yield soluble human DPP4 was achieved and used to show that, unlike MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 does not bind human DPP4.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0551.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; Antiviral therapy
Online: 23 July 2020 (11:43:46 CEST)
Background: To prioritize the development of antiviral compounds, it is necessary to compare their relative preclinical activity and clinical efficacy. Methods: We reviewed in vitro, animal model, and clinical studies of candidate anti-coronavirus compounds and placed extracted data in an online relational database. Results: As of July 2020, the Coronavirus Antiviral Research Database (CoV-RDB; covdb.stanford.edu) contained >2,400 cell culture, entry assay and biochemical experiments, 240 animal model studies, and 56 clinical studies from >300 published papers. SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV account for approximately 85% of the data. Approximately 75% of experiments involved compounds with a known or likely mechanism of action, including receptor binding inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies (20%); viral protease inhibitors (18%); polymerase inhibitors (9%); interferons (8%); fusion inhibitors (8%); host endosomal trafficking inhibitors (7%); and host protease inhibitors (5%). For 724 compounds with a known or likely mechanism, 95 (13%) are licensed in the US for other indications, 72 (10%) are licensed outside the US or are in human trials, and 557 (77%) are pre-clinical investigational compounds. Conclusion: CoV-RDB facilitates comparisons between different candidate antiviral compounds, thereby helping scientists, clinical investigators, public health officials, and funding agencies prioritize the most promising compounds and repurposed drugs for further development.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: human coronavirus; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; envelope protein; immunopathology
Online: 25 May 2020 (17:54:57 CEST)
Since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, human coronaviruses (hCoVs) have been identified as causative agents of severe acute respiratory tract infections. Two more hCoV outbreaks have since occurred, the most recent being SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The clinical presentation of SARS and MERS is remarkably similar to COVID-19, with hyperinflammation causing a severe form of the disease in some patients. Previous studies show that the expression of the SARS-CoV E protein is associated with the hyperinflammatory response that could culminate in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a potentially fatal complication. This immune-mediated damage is largely caused by a cytokine storm, which is induced by significantly elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-6, which are partly mediated by the expression of the SARS-CoV E protein. The interaction between the SARS-CoV E protein and the host protein, syntenin, as well as the viroporin function of SARS-CoV E, are linked to this cytokine dysregulation. This review aims to compare the clinical presentation of virulent hCoVs with a specific focus on the cause of the immunopathology. The review also proposes that inhibition of IL-1beta and IL-6 in severe cases can improve patient outcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0340.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: synthetic aperture radar (sar); space-borne sar; deceptive jamming
Online: 27 November 2019 (09:49:31 CET)
Due to the advantages such as low power consumption and higher concealment, deceptive jamming against synthetic aperture radar (SAR) receives extensive attention during the past decades. However, the large scene deception jamming is still a challenge because of the huge computing burden. In this paper, we propose a new large scene deceptive jamming algorithm. First, the time-delay and frequency-shift (TDFS) algorithm is introduced to improve the jamming processing speed. The system function of jammer (JSF) for a fake scatter is simplified to the multiplication of the scattering coefficient, a time-delay term in range dimension and a frequency-shift term in azimuth dimension. Then, in order to solve the problem that the effective region of the TDFS algorithm is limited, the scene deceptive jamming template is divided into several blocks according to the SAR parameters and imaging quality control factor. The JSF of each block is calculated by the TDFS algorithm and added together to achieve the large scene jamming. Finally, the correction algorithm in squint mode is derived. The simplification and parallel block processing could improve the calculation efficiency significantly. The simulation results verified the validity of the algorithm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0409.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; SARS-CoV-2; spike protein; COVID-19
Online: 9 April 2020 (09:59:37 CEST)
Objectives Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has high infectivity in humans, attributed to the strong affinity of its spike (S) protein to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Here, we analyzed the structural similarity of the S protein between SARS-CoV-2 and other SARS-related coronaviruses (CoVs). Methods We performed multiple alignment analysis of nine amino acid sequences of CoV S proteins from NCBI with MAFFT web-based software, followed by phylogeny analysis. Three-dimensional structure modeling was performed by SWISS-MODEL. We calculated the template modeling score between the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 and that of other SARS-related CoVs. Results The S1 domain of the unclassified CoV RaTG13 (the host of which is the intermediate horseshoe bat) was structurally very similar to that of SARS-CoV-2, implying that RaTG13 could be the origin of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the folding property of the entire S protein was nearly the same between SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 after the PRRA amino acid insertion was removed from SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions RaTG13 could have a high binding affinity to ACE2, similar to SARS-CoV-2, and it is therefore highly likely to infect other animals. Therefore, massive research and monitoring of CoVs in animals is necessary to prevent future COVID-19-like disasters.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0564.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Vaccine; Children; SARS-CoV-2 RBD IgG; Memory T cell
Online: 8 September 2023 (02:55:35 CEST)
(1) Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection is mostly accompanied by mild COVID-19 symptoms in children. However, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) and long-term sequelae are often severe complications. Therefore, the protection of the pediatric population against SARS-CoV-2 with effective vaccines is particularly important. Here we compare the humoral and cellular immune responses elicited in children (n=15) aged 5-11 years vaccinated with RBD-based vaccines combined in a heterologous scheme of SOBERANA® 02 and SOBERANA® Plus with those from children (n=10) aged 4-11 years who recovered from mild symptomatic COVID-19. (2) Methods: Blood samples were taken 14 days after last dose for vaccinated and 45-60 days after the infection diagnosis for COVID-19 recovered children. Anti-RBD IgG and ACE2-RBD inhibition were assessed by ELISA; IgA, cytokine and cytotoxic related proteins profile were determined by multiplex assays. Total B and T cell subpopulations and IFN-γ release were measured by multiparametric flow cytometry using a large panel of antibodies after in vitro stimulation with S1 peptides. (3) Results: Significant higher levels of specific anti-RBD IgG and IgA and ACE2-RBD inhibition capacity were found in vaccinated children in comparison to COVID-19 recovered children. Th1-like and Th2-like CD4+ T cells were also significantly higher in vaccinated subjects. IFN-γ secretion were higher in central memory CD4+ T cells of COVID-19 recovered children, but no differences between both groups were found in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells effector, terminal and naïve T cell subpopulations. High levels of IL-2, IL-6, IFN-γ and IL-10 in contrast to low levels of IL-4 suggesting a predominant Th1 cell polarization. Cytotoxic-related proteins granzyme A and B, perforin and granulin were also found in the supernatant after S1 stimulation in both vaccinated and recovered children. (4) Conclusions: Vaccination with the heterologous scheme of SOBERANA® 02/ SOBERANA® Plus induces strong antibody and cellular immune response compared to natural infections of young children.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system
Online: 25 March 2020 (03:56:27 CET)
The role of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS) in Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection has become a controversial topic of discussion. RAAS inhibitors, such as Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which are used to treat cardiovascular diseases, have been implicated in potentially increasing cell surface levels of ACE2. ACE2 is the host receptor for COVID-19 that was discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since December, COVID-19 has transmitted rapidly across the world and has become a global pandemic. COVID-19 is similar to the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) with the first case reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. COVID-19, also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is also similar to SARS-CoV, which first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002, and caused an epidemic between November 2002 and July 2003. Both SARS-CoV and COVID-19 use ACE2 to enter host cells. ACE2 is primarily expressed in the mouth, lung, heart, esophagus, kidney, bladder, and intestines, and is a component of RAAS, which serves to maintain vascular tone and blood volume. Inhibition or activation of other components of RAAS has been shown to directly increase or decrease the expression and/or activity of ACE2. Furthermore, RAAS-targeting therapeutics, such as ACE inhibitors and ARBs, have also been shown to regulate the expression and/or activity of ACE2, albeit in animal models. Although these changes in ACE2 have been demonstrated only in animal models, there is no evidence that administration of RAAS-targeting therapeutics to humans for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, and other cardiovascular diseases (e.g., myocardial infarction and heart failure) causes changes in ACE2 expression. Nor is there clinical evidence that RAAS-targeting therapeutics augment COVID-19 infection, morbidity, or mortality. However, clinical evidence does suggest that ACE2 expression may protect against respiratory distress caused by a variety of noxious agents. This review attempts to provide a balanced overview of the potential role of RAAS in regulating ACE2, and the role of ACE2 during COVID-19 infection. Evidence is provided to show that the expression of ACE2 may mediate both positive and negative outcomes, depending on the timing of ACE2 expression.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0169.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Synthetic Aperture Rader (SAR); Optical image (Sentinel 2); Random Forest (RF); CART; GEE
Online: 13 September 2022 (10:06:14 CEST)
Observing cultivated crops and other forms of land use is an important environmental and economic concern for agricultural land management and crop classification. Crop categorization offers significant crop management data, ensuring food security, and developing agricultural policies. Remote sensing data, especially publicly available Sentinel 1 and 2 data, has effectively been used in crop mapping and classification in cloudy places because of their high spatial and temporal resolution. This study aimed to improve crop type classification by combining Sentinel-1 (Synthetic Aperture Rader (SAR)) data and the Sentinel-2 Multispectral Instrument (MSI) data. In the study, Random Forest (RF) and Classification and Regression Trees (CART) classier were used to classify grain crops (Barley and Wheat). The classification results based on the combination of Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1 data indicated an overall accuracy (OA) of 93 % and a kappa coefficient (K) of 0.896 for RF and (89.15%, 0.84) for the CART classifier. It is suggested to employ a mix of radar and optical data to attain the highest level of classification accuracy since doing so improves the likelihood that the details will be observed in comparison to the single-sensor classification technique and yields more accurate results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0184.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: Coronavirus; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; RNA polymerase; nsp12
Online: 12 April 2020 (05:36:40 CEST)
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are positive-stranded RNA viruses that infect humans and animals. Infection by CoVs such as HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43 and -HKUI1 leads to the common cold, short lasting rhinitis, cough, sore throat and fever. However, CoVs such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the newest SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19) lead to severe and deadly diseases with mortality rates ranging between ~1 to 35% depending on factors such as age and pre-existing conditions. Despite continuous global health threats to human, there are no approved vaccines or drugs targeting human CoVs, and the recent outbreak of COVID-19 emphasizes an urgent need for therapeutic interventions. Using computational and bioinformatics tools, here we present the feasibility of reported broad-spectrum RNA polymerase inhibitors as anti- SARS-CoV-2 drugs targeting its main RNA polymerase, suggesting that investigational and approved nucleoside RNA polymerase inhibitors have potential as anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. However, we note that it is also possible for SARS-CoV-2 to evolve and acquire drug resistance mutations against these nucleoside inhibitors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0621.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SAR-COV-2; COVID-19; Asymptomatic patients; Viral transmission networks; Exponential random graph model (ERGM) network analysis; Demographic homogeneities and heterogeneities; Symptomological homogeneities and heterogeneities
Online: 22 April 2021 (21:10:10 CEST)
Background Hokkaido is the northernmost, least populous, and coldest of the Japanese islands. It was the first prefecture to be affected by COVID-19, while Kanagawa is home to one of the most populous areas of Japan, namely the Tokyo metro area. The Japanese government responded early during the pandemic by identifying infected patients, contact tracing, and performing PCR analysis on anyone who was suspected of having been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The government has also been publishing information about each individual who tested positive for the virus. Both Hokkaido and Kanagawa started recording COVID-19 cases in the winter of 2020 and have detailed records of thousands of patients, thus providing an invaluable resource for the transmission and behavior of the virus. Methods The current study analyzed the COVID-19 registry data from the Hokkaido and Kanagawa prefectures. The Hokkaido registry contained 1,269 cases (674 (53%) females and 595 (47%) males) recorded between February 14 and July 22, 2020. The Kanagawa registry had 3,123 cases (1,346 (43%) females and 1,777 (57%) males. The final data contained a total of 4,392 cases (2,020 (46%) females and 2,372 (54%) males). By leveraging the information on viral transmission paths available in the registry data, we performed exponential random graph model (ERGM) network analysis to examine demographic and symptomological homophilies of the SARS-CoV-2 viral transmission networks. Results We observed age, symptomatic, and asymptomatic homophilies in both prefectures. Furthermore, those patients who contracted the virus through secondary or tertiary contacts were more likely to be asymptomatic than those who contracted it from primary infection cases. The transmission networks showed that transmission occurred significantly in healthcare settings, as well as in families, although the size of the networks was small in the latter. Most of the transmissions stopped at the primary and secondary levels and no transmission beyond quaternary was observed. We also observed a higher level of asymptomatic transmission in Kanagawa than in Hokkaido. Conclusions Symptom homophilies are an important component of COVID-19 and suggest that nuanced genetic differences in the virus may affect its epithelial cell type range and can thus result in the diversity of symptoms seen in individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, environmental variables such as temperature and humidity may also be playing an important role in the overall pathogenesis of the virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0379.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Coronaviruses; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; Serological assay; VSV pseudovirus
Online: 23 May 2020 (16:46:15 CEST)
Emerging highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (CoVs) represent a serious ongoing threat to the public health worldwide. The spike (S) proteins of CoVs are surface glycoproteins that facilitate viral entry into host cells via attachment to their respective cellular receptors. The S protein is believed to be a major immunogenic component of CoVs and a target for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and most candidate vaccines. Development of a safe and convenient assay is thus urgently needed to determine the prevalence of CoVs nAbs in the population, to study immune response in infected individuals, and to aid in vaccines and viral entry inhibitors evaluation. While live virus-based neutralization assays are used as gold standard serological methods to detect and measure nAbs, handling of highly pathogenic live CoVs requires strict bio-containment conditions in biosafety level-3 laboratories. On the other hand, use of replication-incompetent pseudoviruses bearing CoVs S proteins could represent a safe and useful method to detect nAbs in serum samples under biosafety level-2 conditions. Here, we describe a detailed protocol of a safe and convenient assay to generate vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based pseudoviruses to evaluate and measure nAbs against highly pathogenic CoVs. The protocol covers methods to produce VSV pseudovirus bearing the S protein of the Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2), pseudovirus titration, and pseudovirus neutralizing assay. Such assay could be adapted by different laboratories and researchers working on highly pathogenic CoVs without the need to handle live viruses in biosafety level-3 environment.
Online: 27 October 2020 (12:21:00 CET)
COMPASS is a mission concept aiming to determine the recent climate history of planet Mars. Aboard this mission, there would be a dual mode radar instrument capable of acting both as a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and a Subsurface Sounder for mapping shallow ice. The COMPASS Radar Observer for Mars Exploration (CROME) instrument will help advance science and exploration. First, the COMPASS mission is described. Then, the CROME instrument concept and its implementation are presented. Finally, the procedure used to predict the performance is detailed for both the Side-Looking SAR and the Nadir-looking Sounder modes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0217.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, Immune response, Pandemic
Online: 4 October 2023 (07:54:10 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic outbreak challenged the global public health in last couple of years. Throughout the pandemic period, numbers of mutant strains of SARS- CoV-2 created challenges for the infected patients with diverse pathophysiology and immune response. Variant of Concern (VOC) alpha (B.1.1.7), delta (B.1.617.2) and omicron (B.1.1.529) grew most notable for causing the epidemiological manifestations, which eventually caused elevated infectivity resulting in significant mortality. This review indicates the comparative analysis of the immune-pathophysiological mechanisms in respect to the aforementioned strains of SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.1994.v1
Online: 28 July 2023 (13:29:56 CEST)
A large population has been infected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease-19) and it has been necessary a rapid and simple diagnostic method to detect the SARS-CoV-2and control its spread. We developed a colorimetric reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) kit that allow the detection of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swab samples without the need of RNA extraction. The kit utilizes three sets of LAMP primers targeting two regions of ORF1ab and one region in the E gene. The results are reported using colorimetric change of hydroxynaphthol blue, enabling visual interpretation without the need for expensive instrument. The kit demonstrated sensitivity to detect between 50 and 100 copies of the viral genome per reaction. The kit was authorized by the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Technology (ANMAT) of Argentina after validation using samples previously analyzed by gold standard RT-qPCR. The results showed sensitivity of 90,6 % and specificity of 100%, consistent with conventional RT-qPCR. In silico analysis confirmed the recognition of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.617.2, B.1.427, B.1.429and lineages of variant Omicron (B.1.1.529) with 100% homology. This rapid, simple, and sensitive RT-LAMP method paves a way for a large screening strategy to be carried out at locations lacking sophisticated-instrumental and trained-staff, as particularly happen at regional hospitals and medical centers from rural areas.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0921.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; epidemiology
Online: 13 July 2023 (10:34:33 CEST)
We provide a summary of various epidemiological parameters related to COVID-19 such as incubation period, serial interval and other parameters. Understanding these parameters is important for developing prevention strategies. SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by droplets and close contact, but there is evidence of airborne transmission. Aerosol-generating procedures have been identified as one of the specific risk factors for healthcare workers. Super-spreading events refer to situations where a small number of individuals cause the majority of infections. The basic reproductive number (R0) and the spread parameter (k) are used to characterise the transmissibility of the disease. Estimated values for R0 range from 2 to 3 and the estimated value for k is 0.1.The duration of infectiousness depends on viral load and shedding. Viral load varies according to factors such as clinical spectrum, type of variant and vaccination status. The relationship between viral load and infectivity is not fully understood.With regard to the frequency of symptoms and signs of COVID-19, fever, cough, fatigue and dyspnoea are common. The prevalence of olfactory and gustatory dysfunction (OGD) varies between studies and countries. Age and comorbidities are factors associated with olfactory dysfunction.Estimates of the proportion of asymptomatic patients range from 6% to 96%. Asymptomatic transmission is considered likely and is important for control measures.We reviewed the quantitative semiology of COVID-19 is reported on sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratios of signs.Finally, we also review risk factors for COVID-19 (including health care workers), co-infections, and epidemiology of variants..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0363.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; ICU; MDRO; resistance
Online: 6 July 2023 (07:25:58 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 pandemic caused an increase in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospitalizations with rise in morbidity and mortality; nevertheless, there is still little evidence of pandemic impact on antibiotic resistance in ICU. Retrospective monocentric epidemiological study. All microorganisms isolated from all patients admitted to E.O. Galliera ICU from January 2018 to December 2022 were included. Antibiotic resistance (AR) profiles were evaluated. Aim of the study was to describe and analyze the impact of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on ICU microorganisms resistance patterns. 1,771 microorganisms identified, 221 (12.47%) had resistant pattern (Resistant Organisms; ROs) isolated from 1,679 patients during 12,030 hospitalization days. The majority of ROs were Gram-negative (79.66% 2018, 77.29% 2019, 61.83% 2020, 62.56% 2021, 60.75% 2022), but increase of Gram-positive microorganisms was observed (20.34% to 39.25% between 2018-2022). Prevalence of AR was: 19.44% 2018, 11.54% 2019, 38.04% 2020, 34.15% 2021, 39.29% 2022 for Gram-positives; 19.86%, 13.56%, 18.12%, 12.41%, 12.31% for Gram-negatives. Incidence of Ros showed COVID-related rise in 2020-2021, followed by a lowering trend since 2021, with new rise in 2022. Possible explanations are antibiotic overtreatment and drop of containing measures. Interesting finding is the cumulative lowering trend of carbapenem resistant K. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa probably due to different patient features.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.2265.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: ACE2, DKA, SARS-CoV-2, T1D
Online: 30 June 2023 (14:11:59 CEST)
Introduction SARS-CoV-2 infection normally damages respiratory system but may likewise impair endocrine organs’ function. Thyroid dysfunction and hyperglycemia are common endocrine complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Onset of T1D and associated complications including DKA, hospitalization and death, are thought to be increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study is to review the available data about the incidence rate of T1D and accompanying complications since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A systematic review was conducted using electronic databases PubMed and Google Scholar. The keywords “T1D, T1DM, Type 1 DM or Type 1 Diabetes”, “Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19” were used to search these databases. Titles and abstracts were screened for selection, and then relevant studies were reviewed in full text. Result: we selected 21 manuscripts out of 296 identified studies. Data about the incidence rate of T1D, hospitalization and death are not consistent across countries, but DKA incidence and severity seem to be higher during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusion: Our data collection demonstrated that COVID-19 may or may not increase the incidence of type 1 diabetes. Nevertheless, it is associated with higher incidence and severity of DKA in T1D patients. Antivirals are not fully protective against endocrine complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Combining medications that reduce SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cells and modulate the immune response to infection is an alternative practical approach to treating COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0512.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: metatranscriptome; microbiome; SARS-CoV-2; virome
Online: 7 June 2023 (08:23:07 CEST)
The recent global emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has accelerated research in several areas of science whose valuable outputs and findings can help to address future health challenges in the event of emerging infectious agents. We performed a multifocus shotgun analysis to compare differences in bacterial spectrum and viral presence through culture-independent RNA sequencing. We compared the microbiome of healthy people versus those with varying degrees of COVID-19 severity. We observed a significant increase in the diversity of microbial species in patients with COVID-19 regardless of disease severity. Some bacterial phyla, such as Actinobacteria, are significantly more abundant in healthy people than in infected people, whereas Bacteroides are less abundant in the latter. Infected people, regardless of severity and symptoms, have the same proportional representation of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Fusobacteriales the same. In addition to SARS-CoV-2 and numerous phage groups, we identified sequences of clinically significant viruses such as Human Herpes Virus 1, Human Mastadenovirus D, Molluscum Contagiosum Virus, and Rhinovirus A in several samples. Analyses were performed retrospectively, therefore, in the case of SARS-CoV-2 various WHO variants such as Alpha (B.1.1.7), Delta (B.1.617.2), Omicron (B.1.1.529), and 20C strains are represented. Additionally, the presence of specific virus strains has a certain effect on the distribution of individual microbial taxa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0568.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; pregnancy
Online: 9 May 2023 (04:51:40 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on health systems around the globe and Romania is no exception. The impact on healthcare expense for pregnant women has been considerable, especially in COVID-only tertiary centers, where specialized care is being provided .The aim of this study is to analyze the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on healthcare costs, in particular by managing cases in COVID-only maternity. Material and Methods: The objective of the study was to analyze if the model adopted by the health system consisting in complete separation of delivering obstetrical care for covid and non-covid patients was efficient. We conducted an observational study in which we compared a group of pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2 (study group) with a control group in which we included uninfected pregnant women. The patients were recruited from Bucur Maternity Hospital, declared a COVID-only center in march 2020. We compared the two groups in terms of expenses over the entire period of hospitalization, i.e. expense on hospitalization, medicines, medical supplies, and medical investigations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0226.v2
Online: 5 April 2023 (12:35:21 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for society, especially for those residing in long-term care facilities (LTCF). This study aimed to describe rates of infection, hospitalization, and death due to COVID-19 among older people and staff of LTCF in a state of Southeastern Brazil and identify strategies to prevent and control the disease spread. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 164 LTCF (6,017 older people). Among the studied LTCF, 48.7% confirmed COVID-19 infection in older people, resulting in 39.6% hospitalization and 32.3% death among infected. Moreover, 68.9% of LTCF confirmed COVID-19 infection in the staff, with 7.3% hospitalization and 1.2% death. Preventive measures were identified and classified as organizational, infrastructure, hygiene items and personal protective equipment, and staff training against COVID-19. These measures showed strategies and barriers experienced in the daily routine of LTCF during the pandemic. LTCF in Brazil experienced challenges similar to observed worldwide.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0260.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; atherosclerosis
Online: 16 February 2023 (02:18:09 CET)
Patients with COVID-19 demonstrate higher rates of cardiovascular complications, including thromboses and thromboembolism. One may suppose that the action of SARS-CoV-2 transforms stable atherosclerotic plaques into unstable status. Cardiovascular complications in COVID-19 may be caused by progressive viral alteration the blood vessels, including vasa vasorum. A lethal case of ischemic brain disease caused by cerebral atherosclerosis and exacerbated with a stroke during COVID-19 infection is briefly described. The results of autopsy showed perivascular lymphocytic infiltration and signs of vasa vasorum vasculitis with thrombi of adventitial microvasculature. The data discussed in the article are interpreted in context of the concept giving the important role in atherogenesis to vasa vasorum.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0469.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Reinfection
Online: 26 December 2022 (03:53:55 CET)
Background: Repeated SARS-CoV-2 infections are plausible and related published data are scarce. We aimed to identify factors associated with the risk of recurrent (three episodes) laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted and 1,700 healthcare workers were enrolled. We used risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to evaluate factors associated with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Results: We identified 14 participants with recurrent illness episodes. Therefore, the incidence rate was 8.5 per 10,000 person-months. In multiple model, vaccinated adults (vs. unvaccinated, RR = 1.05 [1.03 - 1.06]) and those with a severe first illness episode (vs mild disease, RR = 1.05 [1.01 - 1.10]) were at increased risk for repeated symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 reinfections. Increasing age showed a protective effect (per each additional year of age: RR = 0.98 [0.97 - 0.99]). Conclusions: Our results suggest that recurrent SARS-CoV-2 infections are rare events in adults and they seem to be determined, partially, by vaccination status and age.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0162.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Electrochemistry Keywords: Immunosensor; SARS-CoV-2; N-protein
Online: 12 October 2022 (03:28:14 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and urgent need of rapid and accurate diagnostic tests for detection and screening of this infection. In our proposal, a biosensor based on the ELISA immunoassay was developed for monitoring antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in human serum samples. The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N-protein) was selected as a specific receptor for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid immunoglobulin G. Thus, the N-protein was immobilized on surface of screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE) modified with carboxylated graphene (CG). The IgG-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid concentration was quantified using a secondary antibody labelled with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) (anti-IgG-HRP) catalyzed by 3,3’,5,5’-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) mediator by chronoamperometry. A linear response was obtained in the range of 1:1000-1:200 v/v in phosphate buffer solution (PBS) and the limit of detection calculated was of 1:4947 v/v. The chronoamperometric method showed electrical signals directly proportional to antibody concentrations due to Ag-Ab specific and stable binding reaction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0209.v1
Online: 11 August 2022 (06:01:14 CEST)
Viral variant analysis is a bedrock of the disease surveillance. When combined with temporospatial analysis variant analysis can further the knowledge of disease spread in a study area. This paper suggests a method to perform the analysis in an operational setting which will allow for real-time surveillance of viral variants and allow local public health professionals to rapidly respond to changes in the evolution of the disease. This method includes three main subprocesses: preprocessing, analysis, and rendering. This method can be performed across multiple software platforms. A use case is given in which it was found that this method helped a hospital system understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Northeast, Ohio.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0335.v1
Online: 22 July 2022 (09:57:40 CEST)
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), etiological agent of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread since December 2019, resulting in massive health and economic crisis worldwide. While efforts to stop the pandemic are crucial, collecting epidemiological data to help manage current and future pandemics will be important. In addition to humans, serological and molecular based studies have demonstrated SARS CoV-2 exposure in several wild, domestic and farmed animals. For examples Shriner and the team showed serologically an exposure of 40% to the white deer living in close proximity to urban centers. Additional reports have also emerged of susceptibility of animal’s species like cats, ferrets, raccoon dogs, cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques, white-tailed deer, rabbits, Egyptian fruit bats, and Syrian hamsters to SARS-CoV-2 infection.. It’s worth emphasizing that these reports are based on experimental data mostly derived from Europe, USA, South America and parts of Asia. In limited instances natural infections of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in pet dogs, cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, pumas, gorillas at zoos and farmed mink and ferrets. The presence of the virus in animal species and an understanding of whether these are natural or recent human to animal transmissions is important. It’s possible that such transmission could passage the virus or subject the virus to a different immunological pressure thereby helping with the development of viral variants in addition to being a host for future reservoirs of the virus. In Kenya SARS-CoV-2 was first detected on March 12th 2020 from imported human cases of persons who had travelled from the United States. This was followed by detection of imported cases majorly from China, Sweden and United Kingdom. Later infections were confirmed in Nairobi and Mombasa suggesting further cases of disease importations through the major ports of entry. However, no comparable data on animal exposure have hitherto been generated in Kenya. To address this key concern, we focused on three objectives; 1) development of a robust antibody ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate. 2) SARS-CoV-2 serology of domestic animals in Kenya. 3) Corroboration of the crude lysate based seroprevalence data and a commercial ELISA kit based on the Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen. Our sample set included camel sera (both pre- & post outbreak sera), as well as sera from cats and dogs collected at the peak of the pandemic. Our results using the ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate indicated SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in camels (71%, N=145), cats 11% (N=16) and dogs (81%, N=36) with varying titer levels. These findings were comparable to those obtained using the commercial ELISA kit based on the spike RBD antigens. In summary, the data warrants two key conclusions: (i) we have demonstrated that the crude lysate ELISA allows for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection, and given its potential to offer robust detection could be applied for initial mass screening (ii) although the current study cannot disentangle the relative contributions of antigenic cross-reactivity, pre-pandemic exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or human-animal transmission, it nonetheless demonstrates for the first time the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 like antibodies in domestic and wild animals in Kenya. Our findings set the scene for further research into the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic and wild animals to understand their potential epidemiological implications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0271.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: long covid; children; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 9 March 2021 (12:37:24 CET)
Background The World Health Organization has recently recognized Long COVID, calling the international medical community to strengthen research and comprehensive care of patients with this condition. However, if Long COVID pertains to children as well is not yet clear. Methods An anonymous, online survey was developed by an organization of parents of children suffering from persisting symptoms since initial infection. Parents were asked to report signs and symptoms, physical activity and mental health issues. Only children with symptoms persisting for more than four weeks were included. Results 510 children were included (56.3% females) infected between January 2020 and January 2021. At their initial COVID-19 infection, 22 (4.3%) children were hospitalized. Overall, children had persisting COVID-19 for a mean of 8.2 months (SD 3.9). Most frequent symptoms were: Tiredness and weakness (444 patients, 87.1% of sample), Fatigue (410, 80.4%), Headache (401, 78.6%), Abdominal pain (387, 75.9%), Muscle and joint pain (309, 60.6%), Post-exertional malaise (274, 53.7%), rash (267, 52.4%). 484 (94.9%) children had had at least four symptoms. 129 (25.3%) children have suffered constant COVID-19 infection symptoms, 252 (49.4%) have had periods of apparent recovery and then symptoms returning, and 97 (19.0%) had a prolonged period of wellness followed by symptoms. Only 51 (10.0%) children have returned to previous levels of physical activity. Parents reported a significant prevalence of Neuropsychiatric symptoms. Conclusions Our study provides further evidence on Long COVID in children. Symptoms like fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, rashes and heart palpitations, and mental health issues like lack of concentration and short memory problems, were particularly frequent and confirm previous observations, suggesting that they may characterize this condition. A better comprehension of Long COVID is urgently needed..
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0543.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; enzymes; virucidal; biocide
Online: 21 December 2020 (19:10:09 CET)
Prevention practices have been extensively used to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These include social distancing, wearing masks, disinfection of hands, and sanitization of contact surfaces. However, the excessive usage of chemical disinfectants pose long term adverse effects to human health and the environment. Development of effective and environmentally friendly biocides, or virucidal agents, will help mitigate the ill effects of chemical disinfectants. Enzymes are potential candidates for the preparation of biocides against bacteria and viruses. Exploration of the virucidal activity of commercial enzymes, will highlight prospective, readily available sources for research on enzyme based biocides. In this study, the virucidal effect of some com-mercial enzyme preparations has been investigated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vida Defense (2000 µg/ml), Excellacor (1500 µg/ml), and SEBkinase (3000 µg/ml) reduced SARS-CoV-2 viral ti-ters by ≥1 log CCID50 (≥90%). ImmunoSEB (6000µg/ml) and Peptizyme SP (500µg/ml) reduced the SARS-CoV-2 viral titers by 0.8 log CCID50 (84.2%). The study indicates that enzyme prepara-tions offer the potential to be explored further for an anti-viral biocide against SARS‐CoV‐2 for reducing the risk of COVID‐19 transmission. However, further studies are mandated to improve efficacy and establish safety.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0555.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dietetics And Nutrition Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; covid-19; vitamins
Online: 23 September 2020 (17:44:21 CEST)
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused more than 745,000 deaths worldwide. Vitamin D has been identified as a potential strategy to prevent or treat this disease. The purpose of the study was to measure vitamin D at hospital admission of COVID-19; Methods: We included critically ill patients with the polymerase chain reaction positive test for COVID-19, from March to April, 2020. Statistical significance was defined as P < .05. All tests were 2-tailed; Results: A total of 35 patients (median age, 60 years; 26 [74.3%] male) were included. Vitamin D levels were categorized as deficient for 14 participants (40%). Vitamin D deficiency was associated with vitamin A (P= 0.003) and Zinc (P= 0.019) deficiency and lower levels of albumin (P= 0.026) and prealbumin (P= 0.009). Overall, none of the studied variables were associated with vitamin D status: mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) or hospital stay, necessity of vasoactive agents, intubation, prone position, C reactive protein (CRP), Dimer-D, Interleukin 6 levels (IL-6), ferritin levels, or bacterial superinfection; Conclusions: In this single-center, retrospective cohort study, deficient vitamin D status was found in 40% in COVID-19 critically ill patients. However, deficient vitamin D status was not associated with inflammation or outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0425.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; podiatry; foot
Online: 18 September 2020 (09:58:49 CEST)
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is clearly taking a firmer grip on South Africa and more podiatrists will face the potential transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Government response was swift with the implementation of a travel ban, strict national lockdown as well as social distancing and hygiene protocols in line with international health regulations. Co-morbidities such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, endemic to South Africa, are considered a dangerous combination with COVID-19, making many South Africans vulnerable to contracting the COVID-19. Patients with diabetes as well as the aged are vulnerable, both in terms of potential combined complications and challenges in continuity in foot care. The demands of the pandemic may outstrip the ability of the health systems to cope. Should this time arrive, all healthcare practitioners, including podiatrists, would have to step in and take on a role beyond their scope of practice in order to ensure that the healthcare system does not get overwhelmed. It is important for podiatrists to keep abreast with the developments around the COVID-19, in order that they may institute appropriate clinical practice which will ensure maximum protection for themselves, staff and patients as well as providing quality foot health care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0327.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Ghana; SARS-CoV-2; transmission; Phylogenetics
Online: 15 September 2020 (04:24:17 CEST)
In regions lacking genomic data, analysis of sequences from the early stages of an outbreak can provide important insights into the diversity of pathogens present. Following the detection of the first imported case of COVID-19 in the Northern sector of Ghana on 13th March 2020, we have now molecularly characterized and phylogenetically analysed sequences including three (3) complete genomes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) isolated from nine (9) patients observed in Ghana. Eight (8) of these patients reported with a recent history of foreign travel and one (1) with no history of foreign travel. We performed high throughput sequencing for 9 samples following the determination of high concentration of viral RNA. In addition, we estimated the potential impact that long distance transportation of samples to testing centres may have on sequencing outcomes. Here, two samples that were closest in terms of viral RNA concentration but transported from sites which are over 400km apart were assessed. All sequences were compared to previous sequences from Ghana and representative sequences from regions where our patients had previously travelled. Complete genomes were obtained for three (3) sequences and with another near complete genome with a coverage of 95.6%. Sequences with coverage in excess of 80% were found to belong to three lineages namely A, B.1 and B.2. Our sequences clustered in two different clades with the majority falling within a clade composed of sequences from sub-Saharan Africa. Less RNA fragmentation was seen in sample KATH23 which was collected 9km compared with sample TTH6 which was collected and transported over a distance of 400km to the testing site. The clustering of several sequences from sub-Saharan Africa suggests regional circulation of the viruses in the subregion. Importantly, there may be the need to decentralize testing sites and build more capacity across Africa to boost the sequencing output of the subregion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0024.v1
Online: 4 June 2020 (05:50:09 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic has caused a large-scale havoc in almost every country across the globe, putting major challenges for the healthcare system in many parts of the world. Several of the laboratories are running in the race with undying efforts for developing potential vaccine, drugs or therapeutics to treat or prevent the infection. However, with the limited time window and high rate of infection, the task is very big for humanity to find a cure. With hundreds of genomic data of SARS-CoV-2 virus isolates from humans are being submitted almost every day, it is coming into knowledge that virus is mutating, slower in countries with sporadic cases, but higher in countries experiencing large outbreak. These types of mutations in virus may bring challenges in vaccine or therapeutic development for use in each and every country, as each hotspot region may have their own pattern of mutations in virus with ongoing outbreak. In our current study, we retrieved non-synonymous mutation data of around 12,225 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples isolated from humans globally, and discovered all mutations that are collectively happening in antibody epitope regions of the virus country-wise. We found a few numbers of epitope regions in SARS-CoV-2 that are highly conserved collectively in all variants and may be used for epitope-based vaccine development for whole world. We also found epitope regions that are conserved collectively in SARS-CoV-2 variants country-wise and can be used for customized epitope-based vaccine development in each different country.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0509.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Forensic autopsy; Histopathology
Online: 31 May 2020 (20:50:18 CEST)
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome” (SARS) due to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection is a known cause of death. Sometimes demise can occur unexpectedly in apparently previous healthy individual after a brief period of trivial flue-like symptoms. In this dobtfull cases the forensic pathologist could be requested to define cause of death occurred outside hospital. In this report the authors describe two thorough autopsied cases of SARS-CoV-2 related deaths occurred suddenly at home and not preceded by hospitalization, highlighting associated histopathologic patterns and correlating them to pathophysiology of viral infection.
Online: 27 April 2020 (09:55:03 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the respiratory infection known as COVID-19. From an immunopathological standpoint, coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 induce an increase in a variety of T-helper 1 (Th1) and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines including interleukins IL-1, IL-6, CCL2 protein and CXCL10 protein. In the absence of proven antiviral agents or an effective vaccine, substances with immunomodulatory activity may be able to inhibit inflammatory and Th1 cytokines and/or yield an anti-inflammatory and/or Th2 immune response to counteract COVID-19 symptoms and severity. This report briefly describes four unconventional but commercially accessible immunomodulatory agents that could be employed in clinical trials to evaluate their effectiveness at alleviating disease symptoms and severity: Low-dose oral interferon-alpha, microdose DNA, low-dose thimerosal and phytocannabinoids.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0339.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: SARS-COV-2; COVID-19; myocarditis
Online: 19 April 2020 (08:22:24 CEST)
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 is a challenge in the actual medical scenario. Besides the classical lung and respiratory disease, patients infected with the virus can present with cardiac injury, and pathogenic mechanisms point to a direct infection of the heart.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0019.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; SARS
Online: 3 April 2020 (15:23:50 CEST)
OBJECTIVE: Recent worldwide outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of respiratory coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a current, ongoing life-threatening crisis and international public health emergency. The early diagnosis and management of the disease remains a major challenge. In this review, we aim to summarize the updated epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, as well as prevention and control of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.MATERIALS AND METHODS: A broad search of the literature was performed in “PubMed” “Medline” “Web of knowledge”, and “Google Scholar” World Health Organization-WHO” using the keywords “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus”, “2019-nCoV”, “COVID-19, “SARS”, “SARS-CoV-2” “Epidemiology” “Transmission” “Pathogenesis” “Clinical Characteristics”. We reviewed and documented the information obtained from literature on epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical appearances of SARS-CoV-2 infection.RESULTS: The global cases of COVID-19 as of April 2, 2020 have risen to more than 900,000 and morbidity has reached more than 47,000. The incidence rate for COVID-19 has been predicted to be higher than the previous outbreaks of other coronavirus family members, including those of SARS-CoV and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The main clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic stages to severe lower respiratory infection in the form of pneumonia. Most of the patients also presented with fever, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, myalgia and breathlessness.Individuals at higher risk for severe illness include elderly people and patients with a weakened immune system or that are suffering from a underlying chronic medical condition like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, respiratory illness or cardiovascular diseases.CONCLUSIONS: SARS-Cov-2 has emerged as a worldwide threat, currently affecting 170 countries and territories across the globe. There is still much to be understood regarding SARS-CoV-2 about its virology, epidemiology and clinical management strategies; this knowledge will be essential to both manage the current pandemic and to conceive comprehensive measures to prevent such outbreaks in the future.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0354.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Covid-19; case
Online: 24 February 2020 (14:03:12 CET)
Covid-19 has now become a public health concern worldwide. The infection primarily involves the respiratory tract. Hitherto, some Covid-19 pneumonia patients carry the viral nucleic acids, and the active virus was detected in stool specimens. The virus discharged with feces is a potential contagious source. In the present study, three Covid-19 respiratory tract infection patients showed no gastrointestinal symptoms, and two were positive for viral nucleic acids in anal swab specimens remained positive 6 and at least 14 days after virus turned negative in the respiratory tract, respectively (details of the patients were listed in Fig 1). Thus, for Covid-19-infected patients with or without gastrointestinal symptoms, viral nucleic acids in stool specimens or anal swab specimens should be focused on for testing in order to decide the isolation duration of the patient.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0333.v2
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: 2-Deoxyglucose; Adverse effects; COVID-19; Glutamine; PI3K/Akt
Online: 1 July 2021 (13:04:43 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 the 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0708.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Phytochemicals; SARS-CoV-2; S-Protein; Molecular docking; ACE 2
Online: 28 December 2020 (16:51:12 CET)
Since December 2019, the worldwide spread of COVID-19 has brought the majority of the world to a standstill, affecting daily lives as well as economy. Under these conditions, it is imperative to develop a cure as soon as possible. On account of some of the adverse side effects of the existing conventional drugs, researchers all around the world are screening natural antiviral phytochemicals as potential therapeutic agents against COVID-19. This paper aims to review interactions of some specific phytochemicals with the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 and suggest their possible therapeutic applications. Literature search was done based on the wide array of in-silico studies conducted using broad spectrum phytochemicals against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. We shortlisted 26 such phytochemicals specifically targeting the S protein and its interactions with host receptors. To validate the previously published results, we also conducted molecular docking using the AutoDockVina application and identified 6 high potential phytochemicals for therapeutic use based on their binding energies. Besides this, availability of these compounds, their mode of action, toxicity data and cost-effectiveness were also taken into consideration. Our review specifically identifies 6 phytochemicals that can be used as potential treatments for COVID-19 based on their availability, toxicology results and low costs of production. However, all these compounds need to be further validated by wet lab experiments and should be approved for clinical use only after appropriate trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0066.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Remote Sensing Keywords: Crop classification; SAR; Optical; time series; Sentinel-1; Sentinel-2; random forest; machine learning
Online: 3 August 2018 (12:01:50 CEST)
A timely inventory of agricultural areas and crop types is an essential requirement for ensuring global food security. Satellite remote sensing has proven to be an increasingly more reliable tool to identify crop types. With the Copernicus program and its Sentinel satellites, a growing source of satellite remote sensing data is publicly available at no charge. Here we use joint Sentinel-1 radar and Sentinel-2 optical imagery to create a crop map for Belgium. To ensure homogenous radar and optical input across the country, Sentinel-1 12-day backscatter composites were created after incidence angle normalization, and Sentinel-2 NDVI images were smoothed to yield dekadal cloud-free composites. An optimized random forest classifier predicted the 8 crop types with a maximum accuracy of 82% and a kappa coefficient of 0.77. We found that a combination of radar and optical imagery always outperformed a classification based on single-sensor inputs, and that classification performance increased throughout the season until July, when differences between crop types are largest. Furthermore we showed that the concept of classification confidence derived from the random forest classifier provided insight in the reliability of the predicted class for each pixel, clearly showing that parcel borders have a lower classification confidence. We concluded that the synergistic use of radar and optical data for crop classification led to richer information increasing classification accuracies compared to optical-only classification. Further work should focus on object-level classification and crop monitoring to exploit the rich potential of combined radar and optical observations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0065.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; influenza; pneumonia; respiratory tract infectious diseases
Online: 3 August 2020 (08:44:56 CEST)
The short study implicates few basic similarities of COVID-19 such as diseases origination, symptoms, diagnosis with other relatable viral diseases viz SARS-CoV, common Flu, pneumonia etc. In the present situation, other viral diseases are frequently chaotic and misled with COVID-19 disease because of few clinical features similarities in signs and symptoms and also due to lack of specific diagnostic test. To avoid unnecessary suspects, quarantines of false positive results and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 diseases, the scientific technical research field are highly encourage to implement an efficient, rapid and sophisticated superior test for early stages of infection detection. It will be significantly convenient for physician, laboratory technicians and most importantly the common population facing a psychological disturbance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.2048.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; diabetes; new-onset diabetes; long-COVID; postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2
Online: 29 September 2023 (07:50:01 CEST)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an infectious disease pandemic, affected millions of people globally, resulting in high morbidity and mortality. Causing further concern, significant proportions of COVID-19 survivors suffer from the lingering health effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen that causes COVID-19. One of the diseases manifesting as a post-acute sequela of COVID-19 is new-onset diabetes. This systematic review and meta-analysis will perform a comprehensive and systematic literature search to estimate the burden of new-onset diabetes after COVID-19. Specifically, this study will estimate the magnitude of the incidence, risk, and population-attributable fraction of new-onset diabetes. The study will also explore and summarize the data on the natural history or clinical course of the new-onset diabetes cases. Five bibliographic databases, including PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science, will be searched for eligible studies. The World Health Organization COVID-19 Research Database, preprint servers, and conference abstracts will also be searched. Cohort studies of COVID-19 patients of all ages providing data on new cases of diabetes in the post-acute phase of the illness will be included. The comparators to estimate the pooled risk ratio will be those with no diagnosis of COVID-19 or those infected with other respiratory tract infections. The findings of this study will likely inform clinical practice, public health guidelines, and policies for early detection and treatment of new-onset diabetes cases in the long-COVID phase. This protocol has been registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO: No.CRD42020200432).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0247.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Health Policy And Services Keywords: Covid-19 vaccination coverage; anti-SARS-CoV-2 herd immunity; Covid-19 vaccination strategy; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 27 April 2022 (05:04:20 CEST)
The pandemic associated with SARS-CoV-2 is a worldwide public health challenge. The WHO has proposed to achieve 70% COVID-19 vaccination coverage in all countries by mid-2022. Nevertheless, the prevention strategy based on COVID-19 vaccination and other applied prevention measures have not been sufficient to prevent SARS-CoV-2 epidemic waves. The study assessed the vaccination coverage that would be required to establish herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 by taking into account virus transmissibility (Ro values from 1.1 to 10) and Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness. The study found that Covid-19 vaccination programs could establish herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 with Ro < 3 with levels of Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness of 10−100% and against viruses with Ro values ranging from 3 to 10 with levels of Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness of 70−100%. Factors reducing Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness (emergent variants, reinfections, high risk individuals) and factors increasing SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility (close settings) increased percentages of vaccination coverage that would be required to establish herd immunity. The vaccination coverage objective of 70% could be adequate against SARS-CoV-2 with Ro values of 1.1−2.5, while percentages of vaccination coverage of 80% and 90% could be more adequate against viruses with Ro values of 2.5−3.5 and >3.5, respectively. On February 2022, the vaccination coverage for complete vaccination was lower than 70% in 73.2% of the countries of the world. Percentages of Covid-19 vaccination coverage must be increased in most countries of the world to increase individual and herd immunity levels in the population.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0058.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Emerging infectious diseases; coronaviruses; COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; MERS-CoV; zoonotic diseases
Online: 3 September 2020 (04:54:38 CEST)
The ongoing global pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has once again demonstrated the significance of the Coronaviridae family in causing human disease outbreaks. As SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in December 2019, information on its tropism, host range, and clinical presentation in animals is limited. Given the limited information, data from other coronaviruses may be useful to inform scientific inquiry, risk assessment and decision-making. We review the endemic and emerging alpha- and betacoronavirus infections of wildlife, livestock, and companion animals, and provide information on the receptor usage, known hosts, and clinical signs associated with each host for 15 coronaviruses discovered in people and animals. This information can be used to guide implementation of a One Health approach that involves human health, animal health, environmental, and other relevant partners in developing strategies for preparedness, response, and control to current and future coronavirus disease threats.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0585.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; Endothelium dysfunction; Thrombosis; Vasculitis.
Online: 28 October 2020 (11:21:55 CET)
Abstract: SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) infection is associated, alongside with lung infection and respiratory disease, to cardiovascular dysfunction that occurs at any stage of the disease. This includes ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathies. The common pathophysiological link between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cardiovascular events is represented by coagulation abnormalities and disruption of factors released by endothelial cells which contribute in maintaining the blood vessels into an anti-thrombotic state. Thus, early alteration of the functionality of endothelial cells, which may be found soon after SARS-CoV-2 infection, seems to represent the major target of SARS CoV-2 disease state and accounts for the systemic vascular dysfunction that leads to detrimental effect in terms of hospitalization and death accompanying the disease. In particular, the molecular interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with ACE2 receptor located in endothelial cell surface, either at the pulmonary and systemic level, leads to early impairment of endothelial function which, in turn, is followed by vascular inflammation and thrombosis of peripheral blood vessels. This highlights systemic hypoxia and further aggravates the vicious circle that compromises the development of the disease leading to irreversible tissue damage and death of patients with SARS CoV-2 infection. The review aims to assess some recent advances to define the crucial role of endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of vascular complications accompanying SARS-CoV-2 infection. In particular, the molecular mechanisms associated to the interaction of SARS CoV-2 with ACE2 receptor located on the endothelial cells are highlighted to support its role in compromising endothelial cell functionality. Finally, the consequences of endothelial dysfunction in enhancing pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection are assessed in order to identify early therapeutic interventions able to reduce the impact of the disease in high-risk patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0466.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 RBD; Ubrogepant; ACE-2; MD simulation
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:50:27 CEST)
Background: COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global pandemic affecting approximately 490,000 people and accounting for more than 22,000 deaths and has no generally acceptable cure. Here, the recently resolved 3D structure of SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) in complex with its receptor-the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) have provided the basis for screening chemical database for novel entry inhibitors. Methods: Molecular docking protocols have been used to rapidly screen FDA database for high affinity interaction at the SARS-CoV-2-RBD/ACE-2 interface. One of the top candidates, ubrogepant has been selected and further studied using atomistic molecular dynamics simulation method. Results: Molecular docking result showed that ubrogepant (UBR) and darunavir have binding energies of -10.4 kcal/mol. MMPBSA free energy analyses of UBR bound to RBD, ACE-2 and RBD/ACE-2 revealed RBD/ACE-2 > ACE-2 > RBD preference. Network analysis showed that interaction captured in the crystal structure were disrupted in UBR-bound state, hydration of the interface and increased atomic fluctuation within the RBD oligomerization interface and ACE-2 zinc binding site. Conclusions: The ability of ubrogepant to rupture the interaction at the RBD/ACE-2 interface residues of SARS-CoV-2 RBD/ACE-2 complex may result in loss of protein function with direct implication on oligomerization formation in RBD and loss of function in ACE-2 thus, making binding, cellular receptor recognition impossible. General Significance: Ubrogepant represents a new therapeutic candidate in the fight against COVID-19, as it binds with relatively high affinity with free RBD, ACE-2 receptor and SARS-CoV-2 RBD/ACE-2 complex based on binding affinity calculations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202310.0429.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: cats; SARS-CoV-2; evolution; variants; phylogenomics
Online: 9 October 2023 (11:45:25 CEST)
Several questions regarding the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 remain poorly elucidated. One of these questions is the possible evolutionary impact of SARS-CoV-2 after the infection in domestic animals. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential role of cats as generators of relevant SARS-CoV-2 lineages during the pandemic. A total of 105 full-length genome viral sequences obtained from naturally infected cats during the pandemic were evaluated by distinct evolutionary algorithms. Analyses were enhanced, including a set of highly related SARS-CoV-2 sequences recovered from human populations. Our results showed the apparent high susceptibility of cats to the infection SARS-CoV-2 compared with other animal species. Evolutionary analyses indicated that the phylogenomic characteristics displayed by cat populations were influenced by the dominance of specific SARS-CoV-2 genetic groups affecting human populations. However, disparate dN/dS rates at some genes between populations recovered from cats and humans suggested that infection in these two species may suppose a different evolutionary constraint for SARS-CoV-2. Interestingly, the branch selection analysis showed evidence of the potential role of natural selection in the emergence of 5 distinct cat lineages during the pandemic. Although these lineages were apparently irrelevant to public health during the pandemic, our results suggested that additional studies are needed to understand the role of other animal species in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 during the pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.1665.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: skin; COVID infection; cytokines; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 25 September 2023 (09:37:37 CEST)
Background: There have been few reports of cutaneous skin lesions in severe COVID-19 hospitalized patients which exhibit different behavior compared to outpatients. Furthermore, a notable lack of rigorous studies exits. In this study we included patients with generalized rash during the first wave of the pandemic for characterization.Methods: Hospitalized patients with severe confirmed pulmonary COVID-19 infection and a generalized cutaneous rash during the first wave in March-May 2020 were included. The study received approval from the ethics committee. Clinical presentation, histo-logical examination, blood test, and complete blood interleukin profile were assessed. Special immunohistochemical investigations were conducted. Long term follow-up of the patient was performed throuhg a phone call 24 months later. Results: A total 28 patients were studied and classified by histological examination into three groups: G1: perivascular dermatitis (18/28, 64%); G2: Drug reaction (7/28, 25%); and G3: Generalized exanthema and chilblain (3/28, 11%). The virus was not detected in the skin, by PCR and by immunohistochemical analysis, and the interleukin expression in the skin were undetectable results. Vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1), E-selectine, and IT Galpha 5 were unspecific. G1 exhibited the least inflammation, G2 the most in-flammatory, and G3 had previous inflammation. Discussion: Our data suggest that generalized exanthemas during severe SARS-Cov-2 infection exhibit unspecific finding and are similar to other rashes caused by inflammation. Drug reaction should be considered, as they accounted for 25% of the rashes. Further studies including higher number of patients are necessary.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202309.0829.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; seroprevalence; vaccine; spatial distribution
Online: 13 September 2023 (16:13:52 CEST)
Incidence of COVID-19 has been associated with sociodemographic factors. We investigated variations in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence at sub-national levels in the Dominican Republic and assessed potential factors influencing variation in regional-level seroprevalence. Data were collected in a three-stage cross-sectional national serosurvey from June to October 2021. Seroprevalence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (anti-S) was estimated and adjusted for selection probability, age, and sex. Multilevel logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of covariates on seropositivity for anti-S and correlates of 80% protection (PT80) against symptomatic infection for ancestral and Delta strains. A total of 6,683 participants from 134 clusters in all 10 regions were enrolled. Anti-S, PT80 for ancestral and Delta strains odds ratio varied across regions, Enriquillo presented significant higher odds for all outcomes compared with Yuma. Compared to unvaccinated, receiving ≥2doses of COVID-19 vaccine was associated with a significantly higher odds of anti-S positivity (OR 85.94, [10.95-674.33]), and PT80 for ancestral (OR 4.78, [2.15-10.62]) and Delta strains (OR 3.08, [1.57-9.65]) nationally, and also for each region. Our results can help inform regional-level public health response, such as strategies to increase vaccination coverage in areas with low population immunity against currently circulating strains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1489.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; Rhabdomyolisys; Viruses; SARS-COV-2
Online: 22 August 2023 (07:36:29 CEST)
Rhabdomyolysis is a serious clinical condition, which if left untreated can lead to kidney failure and in extreme cases, to death. It has also been reported in association with SARS COV2 infection and can be its initial presentation. COVID-19 is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2), which has many variants that change the characteristics of the disease affecting, among other things, the method of transmission or treatment. Some investigators have implicated excessive immune response in the causes of muscle damage during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Others point to direct damage caused by the virus or involving immune factors. In this study we described cases of COVID-19 infection from 1 June 2022 to 15 July 2022 with elevated muscle enzymes in the blood and hospitalized to the first division of Cotugno hospital in Campania. Of 39 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 15 patients presented also rhabdomyolysis. The most common symptoms were: asthenia, fever, arthomyalgia, lipothymia and syncope. No patient had myocardial infarction and 2 patients had atrial fibrillation. All patients were affected by omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants. Of these patients: 4 patients died (2 due to rhabdomyolysis and 2 due to sepsis) and only one patient presented acute kidney injury.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.1245.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; vaccination; antivirals; viral evolution
Online: 17 August 2023 (05:30:45 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has been met with an unprecedented response from the scientific community leading to the development, study, and authorization of vaccines and antivirals, ultimately reducing the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on global public health. However, SARS-CoV-2 is far from being eradicated, continues to evolve, and causes substantial health and economic burdens. In this paper, we posit essential points on SARS-CoV-2 and its management during the transition from the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. As discussed, despite Omicron (sub)variant(s) causing clinically milder infections, SARS-CoV-2 is far from being a negligible pathogen. It requires continued genomic surveillance, particularly if one considers that its future (sub)lineages do not necessarily have to be milder. Antivirals and vaccines remain the essential elements in COVID-19 management. However, the former could benefit from further development and improvements in dosing, while the seasonal administration of the latter requires simplification to increase interest and tackle vaccine hesitancy. It is also essential to ensure accessibility of COVID-19 pharmaceuticals and vaccines in low-income countries and improve the understanding of their use in the context of long-term goals of SARS-CoV-2 management. Regardless of location, the primary role of COVID-19 awareness and education must be played by healthcare workers who directly communicate with patients and serve as role models for healthy behaviors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0570.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; waves; mortality
Online: 10 July 2023 (09:47:27 CEST)
(1) Background: Since the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, seven epidemic waves have been described in Spain. Our objective was to study mortality and severity, and associated factors in our hospitalized patients; (2) Method: Retrospective cohort study was conducted on COVID-19 patients admitted to the Hospital de Fuenlabrada (Madrid, Spain) from the beginning of the pandemic until December 31, 2022; (3) Results: A total of 5,510 admissions for COVID-19 were recorded. First wave accounted for 1,823 (33%) and exhibited the highest proportion of severe patients (lowest mean oxygen saturation, 88.2%; elevated levels of CRP, IL-6, D-dimer and ferri-tin), but a below-average percentage of intubated patients (5% vs. 6.5%). Overall mortality rate was 10.3%, higher during the first wave (11.5%) and the two winter waves (third: 11.3%, sixth: 12%), although the first wave represented 39% of the total. Variables associated with mortality were age (OR 1.08,1.07-1.09), need for high-flow oxygen (OR 6.10,4.94-7.52), oncological disease (OR 1.88,1.53-2.60), dementia (OR 1.82,1.2-2.75), Charlson index (OR 1.38,1.31-1.47), and maxi-mum IL-6 levels (OR 1.001,1.000-1.001); (4) Conclusions: Variables associated with mortality in-cluded age, comorbidity, respiratory failure, and inflammation. Differences on baseline charac-teristics of patients admitted explained differences on mortality in each wave
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0375.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; pandemic; animals; antibodies; seroprevalence
Online: 6 July 2023 (07:17:54 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has become the largest public health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic. Despite the extensive research conducted on the SARS-CoV-2 virus in humans, little is still known about animal-related transmission and its consequences. Therefore, this study contributed to a better understanding of this issue by focusing on the serological survey of SARS-CoV-2 in samples from the serum bank of the Bovine Virology Laboratory at the Biological Institute of São Paulo, as well as horses and dogs from the Military Police of the State of São Paulo, and tapirs and bats from the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo. To achieve this, the possible presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in domestic and wild animal species was evaluated using the ID Screen® "SARS-CoV-2 Double Antigen Multi Species" ELISA test (ID-Vet.®), following the manufacturer's recommendations. The findings of this study demonstrate a higher occurrence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in domestic animals compared to wild animals, as well as different antibody profiles among the species analyzed, with horses showing a wide range of seroconversion comparable to humans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0636.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Life Sciences Keywords: Clostridioides difficile; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 8 June 2023 (10:55:48 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with increases in some healthcare-associated infections. We investigated the impact of the pandemic on rates and molecular epidemiology of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) within one VA Hospital. We anticipated that the potential widespread use of antibiotics for pneumonia during the pandemic might increase CDI rates given that antibiotics are a major risk for CDI. Hospital data on patients with CDI and recurrent CDI (rCDI) were reviewed pre-COVID-19 pandemic (2015 to 2019) and during the pandemic (2020 - 2021). Restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) strain typing was performed on CD isolates recovered from stool samples collected from 10/2019 – 3/2022. CDI case numbers declined 43.2% in 2020 – 2021 compared to the annual mean over the previous 5 years. Stool test positivity rate was also lower during the COVID-19 pandemic (14.3% vs. 17.2%; P = 0.013). Although inpatient volume declined, rates of CDI among inpatients were reduced by 34.2% in 2020 – 2021. Mean monthly cases of rCDI also declined significantly after 2020 [3.38 (95% CI: 2.89 – 3.87) vs. 1.92 (95% CI: 1.27 – 2.56); P = <0.01]. Prior to the pandemic, REA group Y was the most prevalent CD strain among the major REA groups (27.3%). During the first wave of the pandemic from March 8, 2020, through June 30, 2020, there was an increase in the relative incidence of REA group BI (26.7% vs. 9.1%. After adjusting for CDI risk factors, a multivariable logistic regression model revealed that odds of developing an REA group BI CDI increased during the first pandemic wave (OR 6.41, 95% CI: 1.03 – 39.91) compared to the pre-pandemic period. In conclusion, the incidence of CDI and rCDI decreased significantly during the initial waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast, REA BI (Ribotype 027), a virulent, previously epidemic CD strain and frequently associated with hospital transmission and outbreaks, reappeared as a prevalent strain during the first wave of the pandemic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0508.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Hematology; COVID-19; Biomarkers
Online: 7 June 2023 (08:05:43 CEST)
The SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that has executed 6.9 million people and infected over 765 million. It’s become a major worldwide health alarm and is also known to cause abnormalities in various systems, including the hematologic system. COVID-19 infection primarily affects the lower res-piratory tract and can lead to a cascade of events, including a cytokine storm, intravascular thrombosis, and subsequent complications such as arterial and venous thromboses. COVID-19 can cause thrombocytopenia, lymphopenia, and neutrophilia, which are associated with worse out-comes. Prophylactic anticoagulation is essential to prevent complication and death rate associated with the virus's effect on the coagulation system. It is crucial to recognize these complications early and promptly start therapeutic anticoagulation to improve patient outcomes. While rare, COVID-19-induced disseminated intravascular coagulation exhibits some similarities to DIC induced by sepsis. LDH, D-dimer, ferritin, and CRP biomarker are often increase in serious COVID-19 cases and poor prognosis. Understanding the pathophysiology of the disease and identifying risk factors for adverse outcomes is critical for effective management of COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0038.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Oncology And Oncogenics Keywords: lung cancer; SARS-CoV-2 vaccine; immunogenicity
Online: 4 April 2023 (04:58:31 CEST)
In comparison to the general population, lung cancer patients are more likely to suffer from severe Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and mortality associated with it. Considering this increased risk, and in order to prevent symptoms and severe disease, patients with lung cancer have been prioritized for COVID-19 vaccinations, primary and booster doses. Despite this, the pivotal clinical trials did not include these patients, which leaves open questions regarding vaccine efficacy and humoral immune response. This review outlines the findings of recent investigations into the humoral responses of lung cancer patients to COVID-19 vaccination, particularly the primary doses and first boost.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0235.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Homeopathy; Database
Online: 13 January 2023 (04:33:23 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to healthcare and the available solutions are unsatisfactory. Classical homeopathy may have a role to play in alleviating this burden. Covid cases treated with homeopathy was curated with the intention to provide basic information for further studies. The results are promising although far from being definitive. 367 patients considered were for statistical analysis, the mean age of the participants was 42.75 years, and males and females were 166 and 201 respectively. The mean follow-up period was 6.5 (SD 5.3) days, with a median of 1 homeopathic remedy used per case. 192 patients were diagnosed by RT–PCR, 111 by the WHO clinical criteria and 64 via retrospective antibodies. According to the WHO criteria, 255 were confirmed cases, 61 were probable cases, and 51 were suspected cases. It was seen that 73.8% of covid patients improved under homeopathic treatment, even those among severe disease 78.6%. Correlational analyses showed that presence of fever was associated with more likelihood of improvement and increasing age and a greater number of homeopathic remedies required in a case were associated negatively with improvement. However, it was seen that severe cases were more likely to improve under homeopathic treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0577.v1
Online: 30 December 2022 (09:13:21 CET)
Background: Signaling by toll like receptors (TLRs) initiates important immune responses against viral infection. The role of TLRs in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections is not well elucidated. Thus, we investigated the interaction of TLRs agonists and SARS-COV-2 antigens with immune cells in vitro. Material & methods: 30 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients (15 severe and 15 moderate) and 10 age and sex matched control (HC) were enrolled. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated and activated with TLR3, 7, 8 and 9 agonists, the spike protein (SP) of SARS-CoV-2 and the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) unit of SP. Frequencies of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells, and CD3+IFN-g+ T cells was evaluated by flow cytometry. Interferon (IFN)-b gene expression was assessed by qRT-PCR. Results: The frequency of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells was higher in moderate and severe patients at baseline in comparison with HCs. Stimulation of PBMCs from moderate patients with SP and TLR8 agonist significantly upregulated the frequency of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells (P=0.0005 and 0.0024, respectively) when compared to non-stimulated (NS) samples. The greatest increase in CD3+IFN-b+ T cell frequency in PBMCs from severe patients was seen with TLR8 and TLR7 agonists when compared to NS (P= 0.003 and 0.0167, respectively). TLR stimulation did not significantly enhance the frequency of CD3+IFN-g+ T cells generated from PBMCs from moderate and severe patients compared with unstimulated controls. However, the frequency of CD3+IFN-ɣ+ T cells in PBMCs from moderate patients was upregulated by agonists of TLR3, 8 and 9, SP and RBD when compared with NS samples from HCs. The expression of the IFN-β gene after stimulation of CD3+T cells with the TLR8 agonist was also up-regulated in moderate than severe patients (moderate vs. severe: p=0.0006). In addition, stimulation of CD3+ T cells with SP, up-regulated the expression of IFN-β gene expression in cells from patients with moderate disease (moderate vs. severe: p=0.01). Conclusion: Stimulation of PBMCs from COVID-19 patients with a TLR8 agonist and with SP enhanced IFN-b protein and gene levels. This may potentiate immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 infection and prevent viral replication and spread.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0471.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Perinatology And Child Health Keywords: children; seroprevalence; antibodies; SARS-CoV-2; Vietnam
Online: 31 October 2022 (07:37:55 CET)
Background: The robustness of sero-surveillence has delineated the high burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children; however, these existing data showed wide variation. This study aimed to identify the serostatus of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and associated factors among children following the fourth pandemic wave in Vietnam. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Vietnam National Children’s Hospital (VNCH) between March 13 and April 3, 2022. 4,032 eligible children seeking medical care for any medical condition not related to acute Covid-19 infections was tested for IgG SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies by ADVIA Centaur® SARS-CoV-2 IgG (sCOVG) assay using the residuals of routine blood samples. Results: The median age of enrolled children was 39 (IQR=14-82) months. The overall seropositive prevalence was 59.2%, and the median antibody titer was 4.78 [IQR 2.38-9.57] UI/mL. The risk of seropositivity and the median antibody titer was not related to gender (58.6% versus 60.1%, 4.9 versus 4.6 UI/mL, all p>0.05). Among age groups, the highest seroprevalence was reported in the children aged 13 to <36 months old. Children aged ≤12 months were likely to be seropositive compared to children aged 36 to <60 months (59.2% versus 57.5%, p=0.49) and those aged ≥144 months (59.2% versus 65.5%, p=0.16). Children aged ≥144 months exhibited a significantly higher titer of protective COVID-19 antibodies than other age groups (p <0.001). In multivariate logistic regression, we observed independent factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity, including the age 13 to <36 months (OR=1.29, 95%CI=1.06-1.56, p=0.01), 60 to <144 months (OR=79, 95%CI=0.67-0.95, p=0.01), ≥144 months (OR=1.84, 95%CI=1.21-2.8, p=0.005), the presence of infected household members (OR=2.36, 95%CI=2.06–2.70, p<0.001), participants from Hanoi (OR=1.54, 95%CI=1.34-1.77, p<0.001), underlying conditions (OR=0.71, 95%CI=0.60-0.85, p<=0.001), and using corticosteroids or immunosuppressants (OR=0.64, 95%CI=0.48-0.86, p=0.003). Conclusions: This study highlights a high seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among children seeking medical care for non-COVID-19-related conditions in a tertiary children’s hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. In the context of reopening in-person schools and future emerged COVID-19 variants, this point will also be a key message about the necessity of “rush-out” immunization coverage for children, especially those under the age of three years.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0241.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: variants circulation; SARS-CoV-2; Italy; epidemiology
Online: 16 September 2022 (08:07:10 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is constantly evolving leading to new variants. We analysed data from 4,400 SARS-CoV-2-positive samples in order to continue variant surveillance in Italy to evaluate their epidemiological and relative impact on public health in the period April-December 2021. The main circulating strain (76.2%) was Delta followed by Alpha (13.3%), Omicron (5.3%) and Gamma variants (2.9%). B.1.1 lineages, Eta, Beta, Iota, Mu and Kappa variants represented around 1% of cases. Overall, 48.2% of subjects were not vaccinated with a lower median age compared to vaccinated subjects (47 vs. 61 years). An increasing number of infections in vaccinated subjects was observed overtime, with the highest proportion in November (85.2%). Variants correlated with clinical status; the largest proportion of symptomatic patients (59.6%) was observed among Delta variant, while subjects harboring Gamma variant showed the highest proportion of asymptomatics (21.6%), albeit also of deaths (5.4%). The Omicron variant was only found in vac-cinated subjects, of which 47% were hospitalized. Diffusivity and pathogenicity associated with the different SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to have relevant public health implications, both at national and international level. Our study pro-vides data on the rapid changes in the epidemiological landscape of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Italy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0430.v1
Online: 25 August 2022 (10:00:27 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a race to determine the best measures to control the disease and to save as many people as possible. Efforts to implement social distancing, the use of masks, and massive vaccination programs turned out to be essential in reducing the devastating effects of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the high mutation rates of SARS-CoV-2 challenge the vaccination strategy and maintain the threat of new outbreaks due to the risk of infection surges and even lethal variations able to resist the effects of vaccines and upset the balance. Most of the new therapies tested against SARS-CoV-2 came from already available formulations developed to treat other diseases, so they were not specifically developed for SARS-CoV-2. In parallel, the knowledge produced regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in this disease was vast due to massive efforts worldwide. Taking advantage of such a vast molecular understanding of virus genomes and disease mechanisms, a targeted molecular therapy based on siRNA specifically developed to reach exclusive SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences was tested in a non-transformed human cell model. Since coronavirus can escape from siRNA by producing siRNA inhibitors, a complex strategy to simultaneously strike both the viral infectious mechanism and the capability of evading siRNA therapy was developed. The combined administration of the chosen produced siRNA proved to be highly effective in successfully reducing viral load and keeping virus replication under control, even after many days of treatment, unlike the combinations of siRNAs lacking this anti-anti-siRNA capability. Additionally, the developed therapy did not harm the normal cells, which was demonstrated because, instead of testing the siRNA in nonhuman cells or in transformed human cells, a non-transformed human thyroid cell was specifically chosen for the experiment. The proposed siRNA combination deeply reduced the viral load throughout the experiment and allowed cellular recovery, thus representing a potential innovation, to be considered as an additional weapon for therapy of COVID-19 and even other infectious diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0051.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Omicron; variant of concern
Online: 4 July 2022 (10:28:04 CEST)
For the first time in history, we have witnessed the origin and development of a pandemic. To handle the accelerated accumulation of viral mutations and to comprehend the virus' evolutionary adaptation in humans, an unparalleled program of genetic sequencing and monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 variants has been undertaken. Several scientists have theorized that, with the Omicron surge producing a more contagious but less severe disease, the end of COVID-19 is near. However, by analyzing the behavior shown by this virus for 2 years, we have noted that pandemic viruses do not always show a decreased virulence. Instead, it appears there is an evolutionary equilibrium between transmissibility and virulence. We have termed this concept “intermittent virulence”. The present work analyzes the temporal and epidemiological behavior of SARS-CoV-2 and suggests that there is a high possibility that new virulent variants will arise in the near future, although it is improbable that SARS-CoV-2´s virulence will be the same as was seen during the pandemic phase.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0253.v1
Online: 19 May 2022 (08:01:56 CEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced the style of work of many people. However, it remains a question to what extent it has influenced the work of outdoor workers like forestry workers. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the level of professional burnout among forest-ry workers, as a lack of burnout symptoms is a dimension of well-being at work. The Oldenburg Burnout Inventory was administered to 42 respondents. Both subscales of the inventory were reliable: Cronbach’s alpha was 0.806 for disengagement and 0.865 for exhaustion. The mean number of overtime hours was 10.13 hours per month. The mean disengagement score of 2.24 was lower than the reference value of 2.25, but the mean exhaustion score of 2.33 was high-er than the reference value of 2.1. Age correlated significantly with stage of work, as did exhaustion with stage of work, and over-time hours with disengagement. The average forestry officer had no symptoms of disengagement and slight symptoms of exhaustion. These results suggest that being in the forest can help prevent burnout. Overtime work and a heavy workload appear to threaten forestry workers’ well-being, as they can cause exhaustion and lower commitment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0225.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-Cov-2; arbidol; treatment
Online: 26 April 2022 (04:07:48 CEST)
Background The spread of COVID-19 continues, the mutation of SARS-COV-2 is still difficult to control, and the need for antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19 remains urgent. The use of arbidol in the treatment of COVID-19 is limited and controversial. Methods To clarify the efficacy of arbidol on COVID-19, we collected 25 cases and 178 related studies. We analyzed the treatment information of arbidol based on the obtained cases, expanded the scope of the study, and collected current studies on the treatment of COVID-19 in various databases for in-depth analysis. Results History analysis showed that arbidol was effective (76% cure rate) compared with other drugs. However, compared with other antiviral drugs or standard therapy, the arbidol group had no significant advantage in reducing the time to negative virus transformation, length of hospital stays, or improvement in CT (MD=0.22, 95%CI -0.29-0.73; MD = 0.61, 95% CI 1.46 to 2.67; RR=1.15, 95%CI 0.88-1.50); Analysis of adverse events showed no significant difference between the arbidol group and the other groups (RR=0.82, 95%CI 0.25-2.71). Conclusion Our study showed that arbidol had no significant effect on COVID-19, but showed a slight advantage in CT improvement and adverse events. Our study objectively evaluated the efficacy of arbidol in the treatment of COVID-19 and provided some guidance for arbidol in the treatment of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0654.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; viral variants; molecular tracing
Online: 29 July 2021 (12:23:23 CEST)
The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0122.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; canine; gastrointestinal; infection; virus
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:23:45 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 infects a range of host species. However, the susceptibility of companion animals to SARS-CoV-2 and their potential ability to transmit the virus to humans remains unclear. Here, we present a detailed clinical description of an immunosuppressed dog that was infected with SARS-CoV-2. The dog had severe gastrointestinal (GI) clinical signs, coagulopathy, elevated hepatic transaminases, and met canine systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria, without respiratory clinical signs, mirroring a subset of humans with GI-restricted COVID-19. Viral sequencing demonstrated divergence from other reported sequences, based on phylogenetic analysis. The dog shed high levels of virus for a prolonged time period with positive virus isolation. The dog’s immunosuppressed state may have increased both susceptibility to infection and disease progression. Together, our findings suggest that certain individual companion animals may be at higher risk for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19-like disease, and high viral shedding, which may pose a transmission risk to humans.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0596.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, drug repurposing
Online: 23 December 2020 (15:58:38 CET)
We report the treatment of a 21-year-old female Covid-19 patient by a novel combination of minocycline and a guanosine-restricted diet. Minocycline is an antibiotic with well documented broad spectrum anti-viral effects, including evidence of activity against SARS-CoV-2. Deprivation of guanosine has been documented as an effective anti-viral modality in vitro and in animal models, and specific in vitro activity against CoV-SARS-2 has been reported. The patient's symptoms resolved rapidly.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0203.v4
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; masks; pandemic
Online: 2 November 2020 (10:18:00 CET)
The science around the use of masks by the general public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In this narrative review, we develop an analytical framework to examine mask usage, considering and synthesizing the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: population impact; transmission characteristics; source control; PPE; sociological considerations; and implementation considerations. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is via respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and other measures, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Given the current shortages of medical masks we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. Because many respiratory droplets become smaller due to evaporation, we recommend increasing focus on a previously overlooked aspect of mask usage: mask-wearing by infectious people ("source control") with benefits at the population-level, rather than mask-wearing by susceptible people, such as health-care workers, with focus on individual outcomes. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0040.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: ACE2; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; TMPRSS2
Online: 28 September 2020 (03:19:50 CEST)
To address the expression pattern of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and the viral priming protease, TMPRSS2, in the respiratory tract, this study investigated RNA sequencing transcriptome profiling of samples of airway and oral mucosa. As shown, ACE2 has medium levels of expression in both small airway epithelium and masticatory mucosa, and high levels of expression in nasal epithelium. The expression of ACE2 is low in mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, and can’t be detected in alveolar macrophages. TMPRSS2 is highly expressed in small airway epithelium and nasal epithelium, and has lower expression in masticatory mucosa. Our results provide the molecular basis that the nasal mucosa is the most susceptible locus in the respiratory tract for SARS-CoV-2 infection and consequently for subsequent droplet transmission and should be the focus for protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0487.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Phylogenetics; mortality
Online: 21 September 2020 (03:35:15 CEST)
The age-related mortality and morbidity risk of COVID-19 has been considered speculative without enough scientific evidence. This study aimed to collect more evidence on the association between patient age and risk of severe disease state and/or mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Genomic dataset along with metadata (3608 samples) retrieved from GISAID from different geographical regions were grouped into 10 age groups (0-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100 years) as well as high-risk or low-risk according to patient clinical status. Genomic sequences were aligned and analyzed using MAFFT and FASTTREE to build a phylogenetic tree in order to identify age-risk associations based on phylogenetic clustering. Case fatality rates (CFR), as well as the Odds ratio (OR) for high-risk outcomes, were calculated for different age groups. Results revealed that individuals aged between 25-50 years have the best immune response to the infection. On the other hand, disease fatality was higher in patients aging above 50 years. We created an application to calculate the OR of being at high risk given a certain age threshold from GISAID datasets. OR values increased between ages 1-10 years (1.271) and 11-20 years (1.313) but reduced at age range 21-30 years (1.290) and increased again for 61-70 years (2.465). CFR calculated for each of the age groups had peak values at 90-100 years (26.8%) and the lowest at 0-10 years (0%). The CFR for ages above 50 years was about twice greater (11.6%-26.8%) than that for ages below (0-6.6%). The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the majority of samples obtained from India showed low-risk among different age groups and were defined as clade GH. Another cluster from Singapore visualization showed unfavorable patient outcome across several age groups and were classified under clade O. To conclude, this study analyses showed a variety of age-risk associations. As scientists from different countries upload more genomes to globally shared databases, more evidence will reinforce mortality risk associations in COVID-19 patients.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0659.v1
Online: 30 August 2020 (11:22:12 CEST)
We show that low quality of all 427 Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 genomes recently published in Science (1) challenges their phylogenetic inference and may lead to incorrect typing of viral strains in clades with no statistical support. Absence of basecalling quality in genome assemblies and proper phylogeny parameter estimates preclude the assessment of signal-to-noise ratio in the data, downstream analysis and conclusions.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0270.v1
Online: 16 May 2020 (16:51:36 CEST)
A novel approach has been suggested to use isoelectric points of viral and human proteins to quickly identify proteins that are effective in not allowing virus particles to attach to human receptor cells by virtue of their electrical charge. The method has been applied to SARS CoV-2 to suggest potentially important human proteins that can be suitable for making anti-viral drugs.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0061.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pharmacology And Toxicology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Lysosomotropism; Chloroquine
Online: 5 May 2020 (04:29:48 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the largest challenges in medicine and health care worldwide in recent decades, and it is infecting and killing increasing numbers of people every day. In this paper, we discuss the possible relationships among lysosomotropism, increasing lysosomal pH, and the SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease process, and we deduce a possible approach for treatment and prophylaxis. Lysosomotropism is a biological characteristic of small molecules, such as (hydroxyl)chloroquine, amitriptyline, NB 06, or sertraline, which is present in addition to intrinsic receptor-mediated or enzymatic pharmacological effects. Lysosomotropic compounds affect prominent inflammatory messengers, such as IL1B, CCL4, CCL20, and IL6, as well as cathepsin L dependent viral entry (fusion) into host cells. Therefore, this heterogeneous group of compounds is a promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections, as well as influenza A infections and cytokine release syndrome (CRS) triggered by bacterial or viral infections. Patients who have already taken medications with lysosomotropic compounds for other pre-existing conditions may benefit from this treatment in the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased lysosomal pH levels play an important role in the disease process in common skin disorders, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, thus suggesting that affected individuals might benefit from their particular conditions in the COVID-19 pandemic. We suggest data analysis of patients with these diseases, and who are treated with lysosomotropic compounds, and, if the results are promising, subsequent clinical testing of off-label therapy with clinically approved lysosomotropic compounds in the current COVID-19 pandemic and future influenza A pandemics.