ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0405.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV2; ORF7a; ORF7b; ORF8; SARS-CoV2 genomes
Online: 3 May 2020 (09:36:48 CEST)
Coronaviruses are a large family of RNA viruses which cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and COVID-19. This article highlights some key findings based on a thorough scanning of genes of 475 SARS-CoV2 genomes, including the co-presence of ORF7a and ORF8 over the 256 SARS-CoV2 genomes and the absence of the gene ORF7b over the 219 SARS-CoV2 genomes collected from various countries including India. The presence of the gene ORF7b is found in the SARS-CoV2 genomes containing the L-type strain which is reported to having much higher virulence as compared to the S-type strain.
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0422.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS; SARS-CoV-2 Prion-like domain
Online: 29 March 2020 (06:16:20 CEST)
Currently, the world is struggling with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Prion-like domains are critical for virulence and the development of therapeutic targets; however, the prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 proteome have not been analyzed. In this in silico study, using the PLAAC algorithm, we identified the presence of prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Compared with other viruses, a striking difference was observed in the distribution of prion-like domains in the spike protein, since SARS-CoV-2 was the only coronavirus with a prion-like domain found in the receptor-binding domain of the S1 region of the spike protein. The presence and unique distribution of prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domains of the spike protein is particularly interesting, since although the SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV S proteins share the same host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates a 10- to 20-fold higher affinity for ACE2. Finally, we identified prion-like domains in the α1 helix of the ACE2 receptor that interact with the viral receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, the present findings indicate that the identified PrDs in the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and ACE2 region that interact with RBD have important functional roles in viral adhesion and entry.
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/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/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.
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.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; RATG13; BtCoV/4991; SARS-like (SL-) corona virus; pneumonia
Online: 24 May 2020 (20:02:22 CEST)
Genomic analysis indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is most related to RaTG13, a beta corona virus derived from bats by 96% 1. At present, RaTG13 is only available on the public database in the form of a genome sequence. The genome of RaTG13 (MN996532.1) was sequenced from the RNA of a bat faecal swab collected in 2013 from Yunnan, China, however the exact location is not mentioned. Since RaTG13 is one of the main supports for SARS-CoV-2 to have a natural origin, it is of utmost importance to understand the sample location. RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) sequence of RaTG13 shows that it is 100% similar to that of bat corona virus BtCoV/4991 and 98.7-98.9% similar to SARS-CoV-2 RdRp 2. BtCoV/4991 was described to be a SARS-like (SL-) corona virus from bat faeces sampled in an abandoned mine from Mojiang 2. Both the publications 1,2 are authored by Dr. Zheng-li Shi (Z-L Shi), who is described as the bat woman of China 3. However, BtCoV/4991 has not been mentioned by Zhou et al 2020 1 where novel corona virus was first described. Based on the RdRp sequence similarities, similarities in sample collection dates, sample locations, and the fact that RaTG13 is mentioned synonymous to BtCoV/4991 on the Chinese bat database, it is predicted that RaTG13 and BtCoV/4991 originate from the same sample. The sample, bat faecal swab was collected in 2013 from an abandoned mineshaft in Mojiang by Dr. Shi and her work group. In 2012, in a Mojiang mineshaft, six mine workers suffered from atypical pneumonia and three of them died. These workers were engaged in the work of clearing debris from a mineshaft which had a lot of bats and bat faeces 3,4. A detailed health investigation indicated that the miners suffered from atypical pneumonia mostly of the viral origin 4. Therefore, in the light of the present Covid-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, the fact that its phylogenetic neighbour RaTG13 originated from bat faeces collected from a mineshaft, which was also the origin of pneumonia-like disease in miners in 2012, should be noted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0264.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: plaque assay; neutralization; SARS; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; Avicel; methylcellulose; COVID
Online: 16 May 2020 (15:51:52 CEST)
When working with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 during a pandemic response, having a rapid, reproducible and reliable assay for infectious virus quantitation and utilization for evaluation of potential therapeutics is critical. Compared to traditional agarose overlay plaques visualized with neutral red, assays performed with Avicel R RC-591 semi-solid overlay provide a simplified format for rapid and easy detection and neutralization testing. The method is easily modified for higher throughput using dispensers or automated processing. Fixation using formalin provides flexibility when dealing with pathogenic agents such as SARS-CoV-2 where tissue culture plates might be removed from biocontainment for staining. Although plaque assays are considered straightforward in principle, having an easily reproducible, consistent plaque assay is an invaluable tool.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0516.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: ABO blood groups system; COVID-19; susceptibility; SARS-CoV-2; SARS
Online: 30 April 2020 (05:51:35 CEST)
Objective: On March 11, 2020 the WHO declared that COVID-19 is pandemic. Among the risk factors for many infectious diseases, a role of the ABO blood group system is reported in the literature. We argue whether it is necessary to investigate the relationship between ABO blood groups and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and if we should consider some blood groups as potential risk factors for COVID-19. Results: Based on the scientific evidence reported in this letter, we believe that further studies are needed to investigate how the ABO polymorphism influences the host susceptibility, individual response and clinical risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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.
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0260.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-like coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); RdRp; Remdesivir; and neutralizing antibody
Online: 10 July 2020 (16:21:17 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging, highly transmissible, and pathogenic coronavirus in humans, which has caused global public health emergency and economic crisis. To date, millions of infections and thousands of deaths have been reported worldwide, and the numbers continue to rise. Currently, there is no specific drug or vaccine against this deadly virus; therefore, there is a pressing need to understand the mechanism through which this virus enters the host cell. Viral entry into the host cell is a multistep process in which SARS-CoV-2 utilizes the receptor binding domain of the spike glycoprotein (S) to recognize ACE2 receptors on the human cells; this initiates host cell entry by promoting viral-host cell membrane fusion through large scale conformational changes in the S protein. Receptor recognition and fusion are critical and essential steps of viral infections and are key determinants of the viral host range and cross-species transmission. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and the roles of key viral factors. We discuss the RNA dependent RNA polymerase structure of SARS-CoV-2, its significance in drug discovery, and explain the receptor recognition mechanisms of coronaviruses. We provide a comparative analysis of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 S proteins, receptor-binding specificity, and discuss the differences in their antigenicity based on biophysical and structural characteristics.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: COVID19; ACE2; SARS-CoV2
Online: 12 March 2020 (03:15:15 CET)
The COVID19 coronavirus SARS-CoV2 spreading in Wuhan and now worldwide has been shown to use angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 ACE2 as its host cell receptor, like the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Epidemiology studies found different sex and age groups have different susceptibility to infection, and very skewed severity and mortality of the virus infection, with male, old age, and comorbidity being the most inflicted. Here by analyzing GTEx and other public data in 30 tissues across thousands of individuals, we found significantly higher expression in Asian females compared to males and other ethnic groups, an age dependent ACE2 expression decrease and a highly significant decrease in type II diabetic patients. Consistently, the most significant expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) contributing to high ACE2 expression are close to 100% in East Asians, >30% higher than other ethnic groups. Together with the shockingly common enrichment of viral infection pathways among ACE2 anti-expressed genes, binding of virus infection-related transcription factors at ACE2 regulatory regions, the repression of ACE2 expression by inflammatory cytokines and by type 2 diabetes, and the induction by estrogen and androgen (both decrease with age) established a negative correlation between ACE2 expression and CovID19 fatality at both population and molecular levels. Our results will be instrumental when designing potential prevention and treatment strategies for ACE2 binding coronaviruses in general.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0587.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; Accessory Protein; ORF8; ORF8ab
Online: 24 July 2020 (13:51:12 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic in first seven months has led to more than 15 million confirmed infected cases and 600,000 deaths. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19 has proved a great challenge for its ability to spread in asymptomatic stages and a diverse disease spectrum it has generated. This has created a challenge of unimaginable magnitude not only affecting human health and life but also potentially generating a long-lasting socioeconomic impact. Both medical sciences and biomedical research have also been challenged consequently leading to a large number of clinical trials and vaccine initiatives. While known proteins of pathobiological importance are targets for these therapeutic approaches, it is imperative to explore other factors of viral significance. Accessory proteins are one such trait that have diverse roles in coronavirus pathobiology. Here we analyze certain genomic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 accessory protein ORF8, predict upon its protein features and review current available literature regarding its function. We have also undertaken review of ORF8 homolog ORF8ab from SARS-CoV with a purpose of developing holistic understanding of these proteins for reason that coronaviruses have been infecting humans repeatedly and might continue to do so. Despite low nucleotide and protein identity and differentiating genome level characteristics, there appears to be significant structural integrity and functional proximity between these proteins pointing towards their high significance. There is further need for comprehensive genomics and structural-functional studies to lead towards definitive conclusions regarding their criticality and that can eventually define their relevance to therapeutics development.
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.
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Sars-CoV-2; homology modelling; envelope membrane glycoprotein; Bat; Pangolin; Sars-CoV
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:43:08 CEST)
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new viral infection caused by the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Genomic analyses have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is related to Pangolin and Bat coronaviruses. In this report, a structural comparison between the Sars-CoV-2 Envelope and Membrane proteins from different human isolates with homologous proteins from closely related viruses is described. The analyses here reported show the high structural similarity of Envelope and Membrane proteins to the counterparts from Pangolin and Bat coronavirus isolates. However, the comparisons have also highlighted structural differences specific of Sars-CoV-2 proteins which may be correlated to the cross-species transmission and/or to the properties of the virus. Structural modelling has been applied to map the variant sites onto the predicted three-dimensional structure of the Envelope and Membrane proteins.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0423.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; SARS-CoV; variable residues; main protease; structural analysis
Online: 29 March 2020 (06:22:06 CEST)
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 (CoV2) emerged in December 2019. This virus has 88% genomic similarity with SARS-CoV (CoV), and both viruses largely depend on their main protease (Mpro) to regulate infection. Mpro thus represents an attractive target for anti-SARS drug design. The CoV and CoV2 Mpro are 97% identical at the sequence level, with 12 variable residues, and their X-ray structures appear similar. We thus structurally analysed how these variable residues affect the intra-molecular interactions between key residues in the CoV2 Mpro active-site. Compared to CoV Mpro, the 12 divergent residues in CoV2 Mpro exhibit modified intra-molecular interaction networks that ultimately restructure the molecular micro-environment. These altered networks also indirectly affect the networks of other active-site residues at the entrance (T26, M49 and Q192) and near the catalytic region (F140, H163, H164, M165 and H172) of the Mpro. This suggest CoV2 indirectly (via neighbours) reshape key molecular networks around the Mpro active-site. It seems that the CoV2 Mpro deceives us with its apparent structurally identical to the CoV Mpro while this viral system accumulates mass mutations (12 variable residues) at key positions. Some of these identified CoV2 Mpro networks at the active-site might guide design of efficient CoV2 Mpro inhibitors.
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/preprints202006.0165.v2
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Conserved signature indels (CSIs) specific for SARS and SARS-CoV-2-related viruses. Molecular markers distinguishing different clades of Sarbecovirus, Evolutionary relationships between SARS and SARS-CoV-2-related viruses, Origin of SARS-CoV-2 and Pangolin CoV_MP789 viruses, Novel sequence and structural features of spike and nucleocapsid proteins. Genetic recombination.
Online: 26 August 2020 (10:17:16 CEST)
Both SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and SARS coronaviruses (CoVs) are members of the subgenus Sarbecovirus. To understand the origin of SARS-CoV-2, protein sequences from sarbecoviruses were analyzed to identify highly-specific molecular markers consisting of conserved inserts or deletions (termed CSIs) in the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins that are specific for either particular clusters/lineages of these viruses or are commonly shared by specific lineages. Three novel CSIs in the N-terminal domain of the spike protein S1-subunit (S1-NTD) are uniquely shared by the SARS-CoV-2, BatCoV-RaTG13 and most pangolin CoVs, distinguishing this cluster of viruses (SARS-CoV-2r) from all others. In the same positions, where these CSIs are found, related CSIs are also present in two other sarbecoviruses (viz. CoVZXC21 and CoVZC45 forming CoVZC cluster), which form an out group of the SARS-CoV-2r cluster. These three CSIs are not found in the SARS-CoVs. However, both SARS and SARS-CoV-2r CoVs contain two large CSIs in the C-terminal domain of S1 (S1-CTD), which binds the human ACE-2 receptor, that are absent in the CoVZC cluster of CoVs. These results indicate that while the S1-NTD of the SARS-CoV-2r viruses possesses the sequence characteristics of the CoVZC cluster of CoVs, their S1-CTD resembles the SARS viruses. Thus, the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2r viruses has likely originated from a recombination event between the S1-NTD of the CoVZC viruses and the S1-CTD of SARS viruses. This inference is also supported by the amino acid sequence similarity of the S1-NTD and S1-CTD from SARS-CoV-2 compared to the CoVZC and SARS CoVs. We also present evidence that one of the pangolin-CoV_MP789, whose receptor-binding domain is most similar to the SARS-CoV-2, is also derived by a recent recombination between the S1-NTD of the CoVZC CoVs and the S1-CTD of a SARS-CoV-2 related virus. Several other identified CSIs are specific for others clusters of sarbecoviruses including a clade consisting of bat SARS-CoVs (BM48-31/BGR/2008 and SARS_BtKY72). Structural mappings studies show that the identified CSIs are located within surface-exposed loops and form distinct patches on the surface of the spike protein. These surface loops/patches are predicted to interact with other host components and play important role in the biology/pathology of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Lastly, the CSIs specific for the SARS-CoV-2r clade provide novel means for development of new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for these viruses.
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.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0488.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV; COVID-19; Sarbecovirus; D614G; Spike glycoprotein; Coronavirus; Alignment-free
Online: 21 July 2020 (12:47:13 CEST)
Conservation history of D614 residue is valuable in predicting the consequences of D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (SGP). We report here that the D614 belonged to an extraordinarily conserved, densely hydrophobic eleven amino acid peptide-motif vavlyqdvnct (11-aa), in the Sarbecovirus group and the variant carrying vavlyqdvnct had appeared in Chinese samples and became predominant in several geographical hotspots in late March, 2020. Interestingly a 2009 annotation of SARS-CoV contained the same mutation.
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/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.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pathology And Pathobiology Keywords: SARS; Covid-19; Vitamins; Therapy
Online: 23 April 2020 (05:44:52 CEST)
In December 2019 a novel human-infecting coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2 has been recognized to cause a pneumonia epidemic outbreak with different degree of severity in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China. Since then this epidemic spread worldwide an in the last week Europe and Italy also have been involved. Effective preventive and therapeutic strategies are absolutely required to block this serious public health concern. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated only recently, therefore a few studies concerning its immunopathogenesis and tretament are available. Therefore, on the basis of the assumption that the SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to SARS-CoV (about 82% of genome homology) and that its characteristics, like the modality of transmission, the route of infection, the organ localization, the type of the immune response it may stimulate, the morbidity and the mortality rates are still poor-known, a literature search was performed to identify the reports assessing these elements in patients with SARS-CoV-induced infection. Therefore, we have analysed: 1) the structure of SARS CoV-2 and SARS CoV; 2) the clinical signs and symptoms and pathogenic mechanisms observed during the development of acute respiratory syndrome and the Cytokine Release Syndrome; 3) the modification of the cell microRNome and of the immune response in patients with SARS infection; 4) the possible role of some liposoluble compounds (such as vitamin A, D and E) in modulating directly or indirectly the replication ability of SARS-CoV-2 and host immune response.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0154.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV2; spike glycoprotein; mutation
Online: 9 April 2020 (13:15:21 CEST)
SARS-CoV2 popularly known as (COVID-19) has presently received worldwide attention. It has been considered a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Owing to its high transmittance factor the virus has brought about many deaths and spread to all the major countries of the world. Scientists and Researchers worldwide are giving their full efforts to develop a vaccine. In our present study, we have included the comparative analysis of the different spike glycoprotein sequences of the patients suffering from COVID-19 from different countries where this pandemic has occurred. Spike glycoproteins are the structural proteins that bring about the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 viral molecule to the ACE2 receptor of the host following which infection occurs. Through this data, we have shown the different point mutations in the spike glycoproteins that occurred over time in different countries as the disease progressed.
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.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Medicine And Pharmacology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS 2; coronavirus
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:41:36 CEST)
There is an urgent need to advance safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Such vaccines rely on proven technologies such as recombinant protein-based vaccines to facilitate its transfer for emerging market vaccine manufacturers. Our group is developing a two-pronged approach to advance recombinant protein-based vaccines to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS CoV2 and other coronavirus infections. One vaccine is based on a yeast-derived (Pichia pastoris) recombinant protein comprised of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV formulated on alum and referred to as the CoV RBD219-N1 Vaccine. Potentially this vaccine could be used as a heterologous vaccine against COVID-19. A second vaccine specific for COVID-19 is also being advanced using the corresponding RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The first antigen has already undergone cGMP manufacture and is therefore “shovel ready” for advancing into clinical trials, following vialing and required GLP toxicology testing. Evidence for its potential efficacy to cross-protect against SARS-CoV-2 includes cross-neutralization and binding studies using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. Evidence in support of its safety profile include our internal assessments in a mouse challenge model using a lethal mouse adapted SARS strain, which show that SARS-CoV RBD 291N1 (when adsorbed to Alhydrogel®) does not elicit eosinophilic lung pathology. Together these findings suggest that recombinant protein-based vaccines based on the RBD warrant further development to prevent SARS, COVID-19 or other coronaviruses of pandemic potential.
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/preprints202004.0139.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: SARS epidemiology; super spread events; efficient diagnosis to contain magnitude of SARS-2 outbreaks
Online: 9 April 2020 (07:48:47 CEST)
Corona viruses cause extensive SARS epidemics via super spread events (SSE). Due to variation in infection risk and heterogeneity of reproduction numbers specific distinction between SSE’s and typical case events is essential. SARS transmissions unveil a complex scenario in which SSE’s are shaped by multiple factors. Specific screening strategies for infection emergence within potential super spreading groups will help to efficiently control the SARS-2 pandemic and alleviate the partially effective general restriction measures.
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: heterologous vaccine; receptor-binding domain; subunit vaccine; coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 4 March 2020 (05:19:16 CET)
A SARS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) recombinant protein was developed and manufactured under current good manufacturing practices in 2016. The protein known as RBD219-N1 when formulated on Alhydrogel®, induced high-level neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity with minimal immunopathology in mice after a homologous virus challenge with SARS-CoV (MA15 strain). In this report, we examined published evidence in support of whether the SARS-CoV RBD219-N1 could be repurposed as a heterologous vaccine against Coronavirus Infectious Disease (COVID)-19. Our findings include evidence that convalescent serum from SARS-CoV patients can neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a review of published studies using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised against SARS-CoV RBD and that neutralize the SARS-CoV virus in vitro, finds that some of these mAbs bind to the receptor-binding motif (RBM) within the RBD, while others bind to domains outside this region within RBD. This information is relevant and supports the possibility of developing a heterologous SARS-CoV RBD vaccine against COVID-19, especially due to the finding that the overall high amino acid similarity (82%) between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike and RBD domains is not reflected in RBM region (59%). However, the high similarity (94%) in the region outside of RBM offers the potential of conserved neutralizing epitopes between both viruses.
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.
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.
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/preprints202003.0159.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Immunology And Microbiology Keywords: bat SARS-like CoV; SARS-CoV; 2019-nCoV; phylogeny; spike protein; viral and host fusion
Online: 10 March 2020 (03:49:10 CET)
A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that is initially found to trigger human severe respiratory illness in Wuhan City of China, 2019, has been recognized as a public health emergency of international concern. In the past two months, this deadly agent has caused 77,785 cases with 2,666 deaths via rapid person-to-person transmission and reached at least 25 countries. However, its evolutionary origin is poorly understood. Here we show integrative evidence that 2019-nCoV is a possible progenitor for SARS-CoV with bat origin. Our finding underscores the importance of tracing origin in the efficient monitoring, and effectively preventing the interspecies transmission of such emerging/re-emerging coronaviruses.
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/preprints202106.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID19; SARS CoV2; physiotherapy; healthcare system
Online: 3 June 2021 (12:06:26 CEST)
Background: The practices of various health-care professionals have been improvised to accommodate the on-going covid-19 pandemic situation. Different guidelines have been set in place to ease the process of re-opening of non-elective healthcare services like out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Although the measures taken should be guided by evidence based information, major consensus amongst practicing therapists needs to guide the India physiotherapy clinics. Objective: To identify and present the opinions of different physiotherapists about the various strategies for re-opening the out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted. Over 169 participants were selected to participate in the survey according to the pre-decided inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data was collected and saved via google forms. Result and conclusion: A majority of respondents had a consensus over different strategies for re-opening the physiotherapy OPDs. These were regarding different measures to be adapted including modifications in the clinic infrastructure and the practice pattern. This would help in smoothly re-instating the physiotherapy services post the covid-19 lockdown.
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/preprints202006.0184.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS; spike; variants; structure
Online: 14 June 2020 (16:00:35 CEST)
Spike protein is the surface glycoprotein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) necessary for the entry of the virus via the transmembrane receptors of the human endothelial cells of the respiratoty system for the virus to be engulfed causing COVID-19 disease after priming by type II transmembrane protease TMPRSS2 and then binding with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Therefore, mutations and amino acid variants analysis are essential in understanding the mechanism of binding of spike protein with its receptor to have an insights on possibilities to design a peptide or nucleotide-based vaccine for COVID-19. Here, we employed Iterative Threading Assembly Refinement (I-TASSER) and Multiple Alignment using Fast Fourier Transform (MAFFT) to predict the three-dimensional monomer structure of spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and to analyze the amino acid variants for protein sequences from GISAID database for samples collected from Jordan in a try to find an explanation for the low confirmed number of COVID-19 in Jordan. Our Protein Homology/analogY Recognition Engine V 2.0 (Phyre2) findings showed four single amino acid variants (SAV) found in 20 samples of SARS-CoV-2. What is equal to 5% of samples showed tyrosine deletion at Y144 located in the SARS-CoV-like_Spike_S1_NTD (N terminal domain), 62% showed aspartate substitution to glycine at D614G located in the SARS-CoV-2_Spike_S1_RBD (spike recognition binding site), 5% showed aspartate substitution to tyrosine at D1139Y and 5% showed glycine substitution to serine at G1167S both located in the Corona_S2 domain. The findings have shown lower mutational sensitivity in all variants that might not affect the function of spike glycoprotein except for D614G, which has the highest mutational sensitivity score (5 out of 9) indicating a higher likelihood to affect the function of the spike protein. This might suggest, in general, a reduced transmitability of SARS-CoV-2 in Jordan.
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.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0359.v1
Online: 23 May 2020 (05:26:13 CEST)
Severe Covid-19 disease is associated with endothelial infection, viraemia, and multi-organ dysfunction. The process through which SARS-CoV2 causes severe disease is yet to be determined. Here, we propose that in severe Covid-19 infection, SARS-CoV2 reaches the host bloodstream by infecting endothelial cells through their basal surface. This occurs, independently of ACE2, through CD147, a putative SARS-CoV2 receptor. The pathway proposed here encourages research on the mechanisms mediating endothelial cell infection in Covid-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0413.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Pulmonary And Respiratory Medicine Keywords: SARS-CoV2; UVC; disinfeciton; respirators; reuse
Online: 23 April 2020 (11:36:29 CEST)
Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic a shortage of personal protective equipment, including surgical facemasks and Filtering Facepiece Particle Respirators has occurred. SARS-CoV-2 has a 79,5-82% homology to SARS-CoV. The SARS-CoV UVC sensitivity is described in literature. We have performed UVC transmission measurements of surgical facemasks and respirators. In addition, we performed UVC disinfection experiments of S. aureus with surgical facemasks and respirators. Results show that we can achieve an 8-log reduction of S. aureus in the inner layers of FFP1 respirators and the exterior of surgical facemasks. Furthermore, we showed a 7-log reduction of S. aureus in the inner layers of FFP2 respirators. We conclude that UVC disinfection is an effective, safe and scalable method for reuse of surgical facemask and respirators.
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/preprints202004.0289.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Epidemiology And Infectious Diseases Keywords: SARS Coronavirus; COVID-19; AKI; CKD
Online: 17 April 2020 (01:53:32 CEST)
In December 2019, an animal human coronavirus transmission occurred in Wuhan, China. A state of global pandemic was shortly declared, among a very rapid contagious spread of the virus. The causative virus was identified as SARS CoV 2 virus and is genetically related to the previous SARS outbreak in 2003. The virus causes wide clinical spectrum from mild flu like symptoms to adult respiratory distress syndrome. Kidney involvement has been reported in several reports in patients with various degrees of severity of SARS CoV2 infection. As knowledge is evolving, the accurate incidence of AKI is not known. Many questions are yet to be answered as regards the effect of epidemiological variables and comorbidities on the occurrence of AKI. Some reports have observed the occurrence of hematuria and proteinuria in a percentage of infected patients. Moreover, chronic kidney disease has not been found in some reports to add to the adverse outcomes, an aspect that merits further exploration. Patients on regular hemodialysis may be vulnerable to contagion due to lower status of immunity and need for frequent attendance to healthcare facilities. Due to the previous factors, prevention and mitigation of SARS CoV2 virus in this vulnerable population constitutes a major challenge.
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/preprints202001.0230.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: AIDS; anti-HIV; natural products; SARs
Online: 21 January 2020 (03:15:50 CET)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which is chiefly originated by a retrovirus named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), has influenced about 70 million populations worldwide. Even though several advancements have been invented in the field of antiretroviral combination therapy, still HIV has become the dominant reason for death in South Africa, for example. The current antiretroviral therapies have achieved success in providing instant HIV suppression but with countless undesirable adverse effects. In the present day, the biodiversity of the plant kingdom is being explored by several researchers for the discovery of potent anti-HIV drugs with different mechanisms of action. The primary challenge is to afford a treatment that is free from any sort of risk of drug resistance and serious side effects. Hence, there is a strong demand to evaluate the drugs obtained from natural plants as well as the synthetic derivatives that have been derived from the natural compounds by various chemical reactions. Several plants such as Andrographis paniculata, Dioscorea bulbifera, Aegle marmelos, Wistaria floribunda, Lindera chunii, Xanthoceras sorbifolia and others have displayed significant anti-HIV activity showing more potent anti-HIV activity along with their structures, SARs & important key findings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202311.0709.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV2 variants; IgA epitopes; IgA-diagnostic; Cross-reactive epitopes; mucosal immunity.
Online: 13 November 2023 (08:34:45 CET)
Background: The newly introduced COVID-19 vaccines have reduced disease severity and hospitalizations. However, they do not significantly prevent infection or transmission. In the same context, measuring IgM and IgG antibody levels is important, but it doesn't provide information about the status of the mucosal immune response. This article describes a comprehensive mapping of IgA epitopes of the S protein, its cross-reactivity, and the development of an ELISA-peptide assay. Methods: IgA epitope mapping was conducted using Spot-synthesis and sera from RT-qPCR COVID-19-positive patients. Specific and cross-reacting epitopes were identified, and an evolutionary analysis from the early Wuhan strain to the Omicron variant was performed using bioinformatics tools and a microarray of peptides. The selected epitopes were chemically synthesized and evaluated using ELISA-IgA. Results: 40 IgA epitopes were identified, with 23 in S1 and 17 in the S2 subunit. Among these, at least 23 epitopes showed cross-reactivity with DENV and other organisms and 24 with other associated coronaviruses. Three MAP4 polypeptides were validated by ELISA, demonstrating a sensitivity of 90-99.96% and a specificity of 100%. Among the six IgA-RBD epitopes, only the SC/18 epitope of the Omicron variants (BA.2 and BA.2.12.1) presented a single IgA epitope. Conclusions: This research unveiled the IgA epitome of the S protein and identified many epitopes that exhibit cross-reactivity with DENV and other coronaviruses. The S protein of variants from Wuhan to Omicron retains many conserved IgA epitopes, except for one epitope (#SCov/18). The cross-reactivity with DENV suggests limitations in using the whole S protein or the S1/S2/RBD segment for IgA serological diagnostic tests for COVID-19. The expression of these identified specific epitopes as diagnostic biomarkers could facilitate monitoring mucosal immunity to COVID-19, potentially leading to more accurate diagnoses and alternative mucosal vaccines.
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.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0148.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Alignment-free software tool; Coronavirus; COVID-19; D614G mutation; Sarbecovirus; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; Spike glycoprotein
Online: 6 August 2020 (10:12:00 CEST)
As reported by us and others previously (1, 2), the D614G mutation appeared in the spike glycoprotein (SPG) of the SARS-CoV-2 (the pathogen behind COVID-19) at the early stages of the pandemic and then G614 containing variant of SARS-CoV-2 became the predominant strain in most human populations across the world. However, one of the most recent reports from India (3) stated the incidence of G614 to be only 26% in the Indian population. This report is contradictory to the information available through the GenBank (4) SARS-CoV-2 sequence deposits made by various laboratories from India. The above stated report currently circulating in the Indian media is likely to create a public perception that the Indian strain is less contagious and such a notion could be harmful to people’s welfare. In view of this concern we have re-evaluated, updated and recalculated the incidence of the G614 variant in the Indian population by analyzing 395 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences available in the GenBank as of June 26, 2020. In our analysis we have categorized the samples by the month in which the samples were collected. We have used an alignment-free software tool named Compare (5, 6), and the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) (7) in the present analysis. We finally inspected each of the 395 sequences physically for the presence of aspartic acid (D) or glycine (G) at the 614th position of the spike glycoprotein. We analyzed an Australian cohort in parallel for comparison. We have found that the prevalence of G614 variant in the Indian samples for the month of June 2020 is 90.6%. The trends are similar with the Australian samples.
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/preprints202208.0204.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Vaccine cocktail; COVID-19; MERS; SARS; Viruses
Online: 11 August 2022 (03:22:22 CEST)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 commonly known as SARS-CoV-2 is the utmost challenging pandemic that attracted scientific community to discover therapeutics as well as vaccination solutions to control SARS-CoV-2. Different diagnostic and detection methods have been improved and re-introduced from the previous observations of SERS and MERS. Due to the high mortality rate and fast spread, researchers all around the globe gathered to develop an effective vaccine. The review article summarizes various types of vaccines, mutants of virus, strategies in tackling virus, vaccine development and its global distribution with the focus on the use of mix and match of vaccines to fight the virus. The reported studies depict the design and production of successful COVID-19 vaccines with good efficacy as the selected vaccine population embrace high-risk personages i.e. above the age of 60, frontline workers and other essential service workers. We have targeted at delivering an outline of the determinations devoted to an effectual vaccine for novel Covid-19 that has restricted the domain by means of human health, economy, as well as life.
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0034.v5
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV2; Biomathematics; vaccine; variants; mRNA; Fibonacci; numerical standing waves
Online: 20 April 2021 (10:05:55 CEST)
ABSTRACT. In this paper, we suggest a biomathematical numerical method for analysing mRNA nucleotides sequences based on UA/CG Fibonacci numbers proportions. This method is used to evaluate then compare the spike genes related to the main SARS-CoV2 VARIANTS currently circulating within the world population. The 10 main results proposed to be reproduced by peers are: 1/ SARS-CoV2 genome and spike evolution in one year 2020-2021. 2/ SARS-CoV2 Origins. 3/ Comparing 11 reference variants spikes. 4/ analysing 32 CAL.20C California variant patients spikes. 5/ Toward a meta mRNA Fibonacci gene end message code. 6/ Analysing S501 UK, S484 South Africa and « 2 mutations » INDIA variants. 7/ Suggesting a possible variants spike mRNA palindrome symmetry metastructure improving mRNA stability then infectiousness. 8/ Analysing Fibonacci Metastructures in the mRNA coding for the vaccines PFIZER and MODERNA. 9/ Does the CG-rich modification of the synonymous codons of the spikes of the 2 mRNA vaccines affect the expression and quantity of SARS-CoV2 antibodies? 10/ The exceptional case of the Brazilian variant P.1. Particularly, we suggest the following conjecture at mRNA folding level : CONJECTURE of SARS-CoV2 VARIANTS: The growth of long Fibonacci structures in the shape of "podiums" for almost all of the variants studied (UK, California, South Africa, India, etc.) suggests the probable folding of the Spike mRNA in the form of a "hairpin", which can strengthen the cohesion and the lifespan of this mRNA. Finally, we show that these kinds of Fibonacci matastructures disapear TOTALLY by analysing the published mRNA sequences of PFIZER and MODERNA vaccines. One fact is certain, the two mRNAs of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will result in a low functionality of the spike vaccine. This is because their designers by seeking greater stability, have doped to build CG rich sequences which, as soon as they are inserted into the human host, will, paradoxically, seek to mutate, like SARS-CoV2 variants, towards CG ==> UA forms in order to improve their STABILITY and LIFETIME. We conclude using new biomathematics theoretical methods (Master code and numerical standing waves), and comparing the Spikes of the two vaccines Moderna and Pfizer, that there will be very probable differences in stability and shelf life of the two respective mRNAs vaccines. However, “State of the Art” analyzes will disclose that their two protein sequences are strictly identical. By modified their synonymous codons using different strategies, no one can guarantee that the quantity of antibodies generated will be identical in the two cases. We wish to draw attention to the great ADAPTATION power - at the global scale of their genomes - of the most infectious VARIANTS, such as the BRAZIL 20J / 501Y.V3 variant (P.1). This is very worrying for the VACCINES <==> VARIANTS run: We demonstrate how the Brazilian variant P.1 which becomes uncontrollable in Brazil in April 2021 has a level of organization of long metastructures of 17,711 bases covering the genome which is 3.6 more important than that of the 2 reference genomes SARS-CoV2 and worldwide D614G. We suggest that this high level of overall structure of this variant contributes to the stability of this genome and, might explain its greater contagiousness.
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.