REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0416.v1
Online: 16 March 2021 (11:54:28 CET)
CoVID-19 is a multi-symptomatic disease which has made a global impact due to its ability to spread rapidly, and its relatively high mortality rate. Beyond the heroic efforts to develop vaccines, which we will not discuss, the response of scientists and clinicians to this complex problem has reflected the need to detect CoVID-19 rapidly, to diagnose patients likely to show adverse symptoms, and to treat severe and critical CoVID-19. Here we aim to encapsulate these varied and sometimes conflicting approaches and the resulting data in terms of chemistry and biology. In the process we highlight emerging concepts, and potential future applications that may arise out of this immense effort.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0235.v1
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/preprints202103.0271.v1
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..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0226.v1
Online: 17 May 2022 (08:57:44 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 Minas Gerais (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. Results highlighted the importance of continuity and improvement of protective measures for older people in LTCF, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0242.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; long-haul; inflammation; tissue damage; drug repurposing
Online: 10 December 2020 (09:42:20 CET)
Long-haul COVID-19 illness first gained widespread recognition among social support groups and later in scientific and medical communities. This illness is mysterious as it affects COVID-19 survivors at all levels of disease severity, even younger adults and children. While the precise definition may be lacking, the defining symptoms are fatigue, dyspnea, and headache that last for months after hospital discharge. The less typical symptoms may include cognitive impairments, chest and joint pains, myalgia, smell and taste dysfunctions, cough, mood changes, and gastrointestinal and cardiac issues. Presently, there is limited literature discussing the possible pathophysiology, risk factors, and treatments in long-haul COVID-19, which the current review aims to address. In brief, long-haul COVID-19 may be driven by long-term lung and brain damage and unresolved inflammation from multiple sources. The associated risk factors may include female sex, more than five early symptoms, early dyspnea, and specific biomarkers like D-dimer. While only rehabilitation training has been useful for long-haul COVID-19, therapeutics repurposed from mast cell activation syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, and pulmonary fibrosis also hold potential. In sum, this review hopes to provide the current understanding of what is known about long-haul COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0200.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: sequelae; COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; long-COVID; systematic review
Online: 14 September 2022 (08:50:08 CEST)
Background: COVID-19 made its debut as a pandemic in 2020; since then, more than 607 million cases and at least 6.5 million deaths have been reported worldwide. While the burden of disease has been described, the long-term effects or chronic sequelae are still being described. Objective: To describe the findings of a current systematic review of the long-term effects related to post-COVID-19 sequelae. Design: A systematic review was carried out in which cohort studies, case series, clinical case reports were included, and the PubMed, Scielo, SCOPUS and Web of Science databases were ex-tracted. Information published 2020 to June 1, 2022, was sought. Results: We reviewed 300 manuscripts during the first step of the literature review process. Then 260 abstracts were analyzed. In the end, we included 32 manuscripts: 9 for pulmonary, 6 for cardiac, 2 for renal, 9 for neurological and psychiatric, and 8 for cutaneous sequelae. Conclusion: Studies show that the most common sequelae are those linked to the lungs, followed by skin, cutaneous and psychiatric alterations. Women report a higher incidence of the sequelae, as well as those with comorbidities and severer COVID-19 history. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused death and disease since its apparition but has also sickened millions of people around the globe who potentially suffer from serious illnesses that will continue to add to the list of health problems and further burden healthcare systems around the world.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0196.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; PCR persistent positive; respiratory infection; COVID-19
Online: 12 December 2022 (09:04:59 CET)
Background and Objectives: Most individuals infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms of COVID-19, which usually resolve after few days. Regardless of symptoms, infected people can transmit the virus to others especially on the first days of infection. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is used to confirm SARS-CoV-2 infection; some individuals show persistent PCR-positivity after recovering from COVID-19. In this study, 12 individuals who showed persistence of COVID-19 symptoms and of SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positivity were followed-up. Methods: nasopharyngeal samples were collected for SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-qPCR; clinical and epidemiological data were analyzed. Results: that persistence of SARS-CoV-2 PCR positivity was associated with duration of symptoms (rs 0.81338), which varied between one and 49 days, with 75% of the individuals reporting symptoms for more than two weeks; 83.33% of cases remained positive after two weeks of onset of symptoms, despite decreases in viral load. Conclusion: neither RT-qPCR test nor a symptom-based approach alone are sufficient to evaluate discontinuation of patient isolation; other factors such as viral loads and symptom severity should also be considered. Additional studies are needed to understand how RT-PCR-positivity is related to symptoms and the risk of viral transmission, and to better support isolation guidelines.
Online: 26 February 2020 (02:50:17 CET)
Both lung adenocarcinoma and SARS-CoV-2 infection could cause pulmonary inflammation. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, not only as the functional receptor of SARS-CoV-2 but also play key role in lung adenocarcinoma. To study the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in lung adenocarcinoma patients, mRNA and miRNA profiles were obtained from TCGA and GEO databases followed by bioinformatics analysis. A regulatory network which regards angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 as the center would be structured. In addition, via immunological analysis about key factors in lung adenocarcinoma patients, to explore the essential reasons for the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2. Compared with normal tissue, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 was increased in lung adenocarcinoma patients. Furthermore, a total of 7 differently expressed correlated mRNAs (ACE2, CXCL9, MMP12, IL6, AZU1, FCN3, HYAL1 and IRAK3) and 5 differently expressed correlated miRNAs (miR-125b-5p, miR-9-5p, miR-130b-5p, miR-381-3p and miR-421) were screened followed by enrichment analysis. Interestingly, toll-like receptor signaling pathway with the most frequent occurrence was enriched by mRNA (IL6) and miRNA (miR-125b-5p) sets simultaneously. Finally through comprehensive analysis, it was assumed that miR-125b-5p-ACE2-IL6 axis in the structured regulatory network could alter risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in lung adenocarcinoma patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0376.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; long-COVID; sequalae; symptoms; Latin America; high altitude
Online: 22 August 2022 (06:04:53 CEST)
Background: Some patients who have recovered from COVID-19 have experienced a range of persistent symptoms or the appearance of new ones after a SARS-CoV-2 infection. These symptoms can last from weeks to months, impacting everyday functioning to a significant number of patients. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis based on an online, self-reporting questionnaire was conducted in Ecuador from April to July 2022. Participants were invited by social media, radio, and TV to voluntarily participate in our study. A total of 2103 surveys were included in this study. We compared socio-demographic variables and long-term persisting symptoms at low (< 2,500 m) and high altitude (>2,500 m).Results: Overall, 1100 (52.3%) responders claimed to have long-term symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Most of these symptoms were reported by women (64.0%), the most affected group was young adults (68.5%), and the majority of long-haulers were mestizos (91.6%). We found that high altitude residents were more likely to report persisting symptoms (71.7%) versus those living at lower altitudes (29.3%). The most common symptoms were fatigue or tiredness (8.4%), hair loss (5.1%) and difficulty concentrating (5.0%). The highest proportion of persisting symptoms was observed among those who received an incomplete vaccine scheme.Conclusions: This is the first study describing post-COVID symptoms' persistence in low and high-altitude residents. Our findings demonstrate that women, especially those aging between 20-40, are more likely to describe sequalae associated with post-COVID. We also found that living at a high altitude was associated with earlier onset and longer symptom duration. Finally, we found a greater risk to report long lasting symptoms among women, those with previous comorbidities and those who had a severer acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0201.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry 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/preprints202007.0719.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; long-term; neutralization antibody; lymphocyte functionality; viral pathogenicity.
Online: 30 July 2020 (12:16:21 CEST)
COVID-19 patients can recover with a median SARS-CoV-2 clearance of 20 days post initial symptoms (PIS). However, we observed some COVID-19 patients with existing SARS-CoV-2 for more than 50 days PIS. This study aimed to investigate the cause of viral clearance delay and the infectivity in these patients. Demographic data and clinical characteristics of 22 long-term COVID-19 patients were collected. SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid, peripheral lymphocyte count, and functionality were assessed. SARS-CoV-2-specific and neutralization antibodies were detected, followed by virus isolation and genome sequencing. The median age of the studied cohort was 59.83±12.94 years. All patients were clinically cured after long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection ranging from 53 to 112 days PIS. Peripheral lymphocytes counts were normal. Interferon gamma (IFN-ƴ)-generated CD4+ and CD8+ cells were normal as 24.68±9.60% and 66.41±14.87%. However, the number of IFN-ƴ-generated NK cells diminished (58.03±11.78%). All patients presented detectable IgG, which positively correlated with mild neutralizing activity (ID50=157.2, P=0.05). SARS-CoV-2 was not isolated, and a cytopathic effect was lacking. Only three synonymous variants were identified in spike protein coding regions. In conclusion, decreased IFN-γ production by NK cells and low neutralizing antibodies might favor SARS-CoV-2 long-term existence. Further, low viral load and weak viral pathogenicity was observed in COVID-19 patients with long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0490.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Covid-19; Long Covid-19; Long Haulers Covid; Post Covid-19 Syndrome; Post-Acute Covid-19; Corona Virus; SARS-Cov-2; Novel Corona Virus 2019; Post-Acute SARS-CoV-2; PASC, Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19; Late Sequelae COVID-19
Online: 18 March 2021 (17:16:52 CET)
Introduction: Despite more than one year passed since the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 were reported, there is still no consensus on the definition and clinical management of post-acute-COVID-19. The condition has heterogeneously been named as Chronic COVID syndrome, Post COVID-19 Syndrome, post-acute sequela of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC), and the more familiar long COVID. Method: In order to capture all relevant published studies, we undertook a multi-step search with no language restriction. The following four-step search strategy was utilized: First, a preliminary (limited) search was conducted on January 20, 2021, in Google Scholar and PubMed to identify the appropriate keywords. Then, on January 30, 2021, we adopted a search strategy of electronic databases from Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and Web of sciences, using those keywords. Then, after duplicate removal, we screened all titles, abstracts, and full texts. This resulted in 66 eligible studies. Subsequently, after a forward and backward search of their references and citations an additional 54 publications were found, resulting in a total of 120 publications that formed the basis of the present analysis. The titles, abstracts, and full-texts of non-English articles were translated using Google Translate for further evaluation. We conducted our scoping review based on the PRISMA-ScR Checklist.Results: We found only one randomized clinical trial in our search. Of the 67 original studies, 22 were cohort and 28 were cross-sectional studies totaling 74.6% of the original studies. Of the total of 120 publications, 59 (49.1%) focused on signs and symptoms, 28 (23.3%) were focused on management, and 13 (10.8%) focused on pathophysiology. Ten (9%) publications focused on imaging studies. Ninety-one percent of the original investigations came from high and upper-middle-income countries, highlighting the scarcity of reports originating from low-income and lower-middle-income countries.Conclusion: The predominant symptoms among those with the so-called “Long COVID” were: fatigue, breathlessness, arthralgia, sleep difficulties, and chest pain. Recent reports also point to the risk of long-term sequela with cutaneous, respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, mental health, neurologic, and renal involvement in those who survive the acute phase of the illness. The ambiguity and controversies in its definition have impaired proper recognition and management of those requiring additional support following the resolution of the acute phase of this infection. This has resulted in long-standing distress for the patients and their families. Our findings highlight the need for a multidisciplinary approach, support, and rehabilitation for these patients in terms of long-term mental and physical health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0084.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: long COVID; Post COVID-19 condition; sleep disorders, SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus; children
Online: 14 October 2022 (10:13:22 CEST)
Acute SARS-CoV-2 infections in children and adolescents are usually mild. However, they can suffer from ongoing symptoms generally referred as long COVID. Sleep disorders are one of the most frequent complaints in long COVID although precise data are missing. We assessed the sleep behavior of children and adolescents who presented at our outpatient clinic between January 2021 and May 2022 with the Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ-DE). We compared sleep behavior at three different time points: pre-COVID-19, post-COVID-19 at initial presentation and post-COVID-19 at re-presentation. Data from 45 patients were analyzed. Of those, 64% were female and the median age was 10 years (range 0-18 years). Asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 disease was experienced in 89% of patients, whilst 11% experienced moderate disease. Initial presentation occurred at a median of 20.4 weeks (6 weeks - 14 months) after infection. The CSHQ-DE score increased significantly from pre-COVID-19 (45.82+8.7 points) to post-COVID-19 (49.40+8.3 points; p=<0.01). The score then normalized at re-presentation (46.98+7.8; p=0.1). The greatest changes were seen in the CSHQ-DE subscale score "daytime sleepiness". Our data show that children and adolescents with long COVID often suffer from sleep disturbance. For most children and adolescents these sleep disorders decreased over time without further medical intervention, aside from a basic sleep consultation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0189.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other 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/preprints202004.0019.v2
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0425.v1
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0448.v1
Subject: 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.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0363.v2
Online: 22 April 2020 (06:23:01 CEST)
Covid-19 is often related to hyperinflammation that drives lung or multi-organ injury. The immunopathological mechanisms that cause excessive inflammation following SARS-Cov-2 infection are under investigation while different approaches to limit hyperinflammation in affected patients are being proposed. Here, a computational protein-protein interaction network approach was used on recently available data to identify possible Covid-19 inflammatory mechanisms and bioactive genes. First, network analysis of putative SARS-Cov-2 cellular receptors and their directly associated proteins, led to the mining of a robust neutrophil response signature and multiple relevant inflammatory genes. Second, analysis of RNA-seq datasets of lung epithelial cells infected with SARS-Cov-2 revealed that infected cells specifically expressed neutrophil-attracting chemokines, further supporting the likely role of neutrophils in Covid-19 inflammation. Third, analysis of RNA-seq datasets of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from Covid-19 patients, identified neutrophil-specific genes and chemokines. Different immunoregulatory and neutrophil-relevant molecules mined here such as, TNFR, IL8, CXCR1, CXCR2, ADAM10, GPR84, MME-neprilysin, ANPEP and LAP3 are druggable and might be therapeutic targets in efforts to limit SARS-Cov-2 inflammation in severe clinical cases. The role of neutrophils in Covid-19 needs to be studied further.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology 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.
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.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0555.v1
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/preprints202004.0203.v4
Online: 2 November 2020 (10:18:00 CET)
The science around the use of masks by the general public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In this narrative review, we develop an analytical framework to examine mask usage, considering and synthesizing the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: population impact; transmission characteristics; source control; PPE; sociological considerations; and implementation considerations. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is via respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and other measures, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Given the current shortages of medical masks we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. Because many respiratory droplets become smaller due to evaporation, we recommend increasing focus on a previously overlooked aspect of mask usage: mask-wearing by infectious people ("source control") with benefits at the population-level, rather than mask-wearing by susceptible people, such as health-care workers, with focus on individual outcomes. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0432.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: SARS CoV-2; COVID-19; Nitazoxanide; Azithromycin; Interferons
Online: 24 April 2020 (09:24:23 CEST)
Azithromycin has been shown to have a clinical efficacy against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2); ivermectin has also demonstrated a remarkable experimental efficacy with a potential to be used for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Further, BCG vaccination is being considered for clinical trials aiming to test its potential for lowering COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. This article illustrates some structural and functional relationships that may gather these drugs and the author, basing on a combined pathophysiological and pharmacological approach, recommends the FDA-approved antidiarrhea drug; nitazoxanide, which has been previously suggested but unfortunately ignored, to be tested in combination with azithromycin for their potential activity against SARS CoV-2 soonest. The author recommends testing their combined administration as early during the clinical course of COVID-19 as possible. Further, basing on the same represented concept, the author recommends more trials for interferons to be tested against SARS CoV-2 especially in severe and critical cases.
Online: 12 March 2020 (09:28:43 CET)
Both in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) and severe acute respiratory syndromes (SARS) uncontrolled inflammation could be detected in lung tissue. Whether the similarity mechanism exists is still unknown. PDZ-binding motif (PBM) in SARS-CoV E protein has been demonstrated as virulence factor induce inflammation storm. Study function of PBM in LUAD is significant for mechanism exploration of carcinogenesis mediated by SARS-CoV. To identify gene expression fluctuation induced by PBM, a microarray sequencing data of lung tissue infected by wild type (SARS-CoV-E-wt) and recombinant virus (SARS-CoV-E-mutPBM) was analysis followed by functional enrichment analysis. To understand the role of screened specific genes in LUAD, overall survival and immune correlation were calculated. A total of 12 genes (MAPK1, PRKCA, FGFR4, KDR, PTPRD, BCL2L15, UBD, MAMDC2, LTBP4, PTPRB, LGI3 and ITGA8) might participate in initial and development stage of LUAD through expression variation and mutation. Meanwhile, a total of 12 genes (CARHSP1, EIF4E2, HMGA1, IL1R2, MAGOHB, PVR, ADCY9, ELF5, ESYT3, SCML4, SECL14L4 and THRA) could lead to poorer prognosis via dysregulation. In addition, MAMDC2 and ITGA8 down-regulated by PBM could also alter prognosis. Though the conservative PBM (-D-L-L-V-) could be found at the end of carboxyl terminal in multi E proteins of coronaviruses, the specific function of each one depend on the whole amino acid sequence simultaneously. In conclusion, PBM of SARS-CoV E protein could promote carcinogenesis of LUAD by dysregulating important gene expression profiles followed by influence immune response and overall prognosis. The results in present study also provided reference for the therapy of SARS-CoV-2 in LUAD patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0024.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0225.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0260.v2
Subject: Biology, Other 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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0708.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Phytochemicals; SARS-CoV-2; S-Protein; Molecular docking; ACE 2
Online: 28 December 2020 (16:51:12 CET)
Since December 2019, the worldwide spread of COVID-19 has brought the majority of the world to a standstill, affecting daily lives as well as economy. Under these conditions, it is imperative to develop a cure as soon as possible. On account of some of the adverse side effects of the existing conventional drugs, researchers all around the world are screening natural antiviral phytochemicals as potential therapeutic agents against COVID-19. This paper aims to review interactions of some specific phytochemicals with the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the Spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 and suggest their possible therapeutic applications. Literature search was done based on the wide array of in-silico studies conducted using broad spectrum phytochemicals against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. We shortlisted 26 such phytochemicals specifically targeting the S protein and its interactions with host receptors. To validate the previously published results, we also conducted molecular docking using the AutoDockVina application and identified 6 high potential phytochemicals for therapeutic use based on their binding energies. Besides this, availability of these compounds, their mode of action, toxicity data and cost-effectiveness were also taken into consideration. Our review specifically identifies 6 phytochemicals that can be used as potential treatments for COVID-19 based on their availability, toxicology results and low costs of production. However, all these compounds need to be further validated by wet lab experiments and should be approved for clinical use only after appropriate trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0487.v1
Online: 21 September 2020 (03:35:15 CEST)
The age-related mortality and morbidity risk of COVID-19 has been considered speculative without enough scientific evidence. This study aimed to collect more evidence on the association between patient age and risk of severe disease state and/or mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Genomic dataset along with metadata (3608 samples) retrieved from GISAID from different geographical regions were grouped into 10 age groups (0-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100 years) as well as high-risk or low-risk according to patient clinical status. Genomic sequences were aligned and analyzed using MAFFT and FASTTREE to build a phylogenetic tree in order to identify age-risk associations based on phylogenetic clustering. Case fatality rates (CFR), as well as the Odds ratio (OR) for high-risk outcomes, were calculated for different age groups. Results revealed that individuals aged between 25-50 years have the best immune response to the infection. On the other hand, disease fatality was higher in patients aging above 50 years. We created an application to calculate the OR of being at high risk given a certain age threshold from GISAID datasets. OR values increased between ages 1-10 years (1.271) and 11-20 years (1.313) but reduced at age range 21-30 years (1.290) and increased again for 61-70 years (2.465). CFR calculated for each of the age groups had peak values at 90-100 years (26.8%) and the lowest at 0-10 years (0%). The CFR for ages above 50 years was about twice greater (11.6%-26.8%) than that for ages below (0-6.6%). The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the majority of samples obtained from India showed low-risk among different age groups and were defined as clade GH. Another cluster from Singapore visualization showed unfavorable patient outcome across several age groups and were classified under clade O. To conclude, this study analyses showed a variety of age-risk associations. As scientists from different countries upload more genomes to globally shared databases, more evidence will reinforce mortality risk associations in COVID-19 patients.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0304.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Neurology; coronavirus
Online: 17 April 2020 (15:27:14 CEST)
The recently emerged coronavirus named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2) is the newest threat to human health. It has already infected more than half a million people worldwide, leading to a lot of deaths. Although it causes mild flu-like disease in most patients, lethality may increase to more than 20% in elderly subjects, especially those with comorbidities, like hypertension, diabetes or lung and cardiac disease, and the mechanisms are still elusive. Common symptoms at the onset of illness are fever, cough, myalgia or fatigue, headache, and diarrhea or constipation. Interestingly, respiratory viruses have also placed themselves as relevant agents for CNS pathologies. Here we discuss several CNS related features, referred by several patients, especially at the beginning of the disease. Thus, we also discuss the possibility by which SARS-CoV-2 may affect the olfactive system of patients, either directly or indirectly.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; redmdesivir; cholorquine; therapy; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 10 May 2020 (18:26:04 CEST)
On 11 March 2020, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was defined by the World Health Organization as a pandemic. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the newly evolving human coronavirus infection, causing (COVID-19), first appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and spread rapidly all over the world. COVID-19 is being increasingly investigated in virology, epidemiology, and clinical management strategies. There is currently no established consensus on the standard of care in the pharmacological treatment of COVID-19 patients. However, certain medications suggested for other diseases tend to be potentially effective for treating this infection, although, so far, without clear evidence. Therapies include new agents which are currently tested in several clinical trials, in addition to other medications that have been repurposed as antiviral and immune-modulating therapies. Previous high-morbidity human coronavirus epidemics such as the 2003 SARS-CoV and the 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) prompted the identification of compounds that could theoretically be active against the emerging coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, the advances in molecular biology techniques and computational analysis allowed better recognition of the virus structure and quicker screening of chemical libraries to suggest potential therapies. This review aims to summarize rationalized pharmacotherapy considerations in COVID-19 patients, to serve as a tool for health care professionals at the forefront of clinical care during this pandemic. All the therapies reviewed require either additional drug development or randomized large-scale clinical trials to be justified for clinical use.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0596.v1
Online: 23 December 2020 (15:58:38 CET)
We report the treatment of a 21-year-old female Covid-19 patient by a novel combination of minocycline and a guanosine-restricted diet. Minocycline is an antibiotic with well documented broad spectrum anti-viral effects, including evidence of activity against SARS-CoV-2. Deprivation of guanosine has been documented as an effective anti-viral modality in vitro and in animal models, and specific in vitro activity against CoV-SARS-2 has been reported. The patient's symptoms resolved rapidly.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0061.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Lysosomotropism; Chloroquine
Online: 5 May 2020 (04:29:48 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the largest challenges in medicine and health care worldwide in recent decades, and it is infecting and killing increasing numbers of people every day. In this paper, we discuss the possible relationships among lysosomotropism, increasing lysosomal pH, and the SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease process, and we deduce a possible approach for treatment and prophylaxis. Lysosomotropism is a biological characteristic of small molecules, such as (hydroxyl)chloroquine, amitriptyline, NB 06, or sertraline, which is present in addition to intrinsic receptor-mediated or enzymatic pharmacological effects. Lysosomotropic compounds affect prominent inflammatory messengers, such as IL1B, CCL4, CCL20, and IL6, as well as cathepsin L dependent viral entry (fusion) into host cells. Therefore, this heterogeneous group of compounds is a promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections, as well as influenza A infections and cytokine release syndrome (CRS) triggered by bacterial or viral infections. Patients who have already taken medications with lysosomotropic compounds for other pre-existing conditions may benefit from this treatment in the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased lysosomal pH levels play an important role in the disease process in common skin disorders, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, thus suggesting that affected individuals might benefit from their particular conditions in the COVID-19 pandemic. We suggest data analysis of patients with these diseases, and who are treated with lysosomotropic compounds, and, if the results are promising, subsequent clinical testing of off-label therapy with clinically approved lysosomotropic compounds in the current COVID-19 pandemic and future influenza A pandemics.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Singing; Disease Outbreaks; Aerosols; Dose-Response Model
Online: 21 June 2021 (14:49:39 CEST)
Background: Superspreading events are important drivers of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. By analyzing two outbreaks associated with choir rehearsals in March 2020, we demonstrate the risk of indoor, long-range (LR) transmission and singing, to help prevent similar outbreaks. Methods: We conducted two retrospective cohort studies and obtained demographic, clinical, laboratory and contact data, performed SARS-CoV-2 serology, whole genome sequencing (WGS), calculated LR transmission probabilities, measured particle emissions of selected choir members, and calculated particle air concentrations and inhalation doses.Results: We included 65 (84%) and 42 (100%) members of choirs 1 and 2, respectively. WGS confirmed strain identity in both choirs and the primary case of choir 1 (transmitting presymptomatically). Particle emission rate when singing was 7 times higher compared to talking. In choir 1, the median concentration of primary cases’ emitted particles was 8 times higher, exposure at least 30 minutes longer and room volume smaller than in choir 2, resulting in markedly different estimated probabilities for LR transmission (median: 89% vs. 18%, 95%CI: 80-95% vs. 6-36%). Observed AR in choir 1 (89%) was significantly higher than in choir 2 (24%). According to a risk model, first transmission in choir 1 occurred likely after 7 minutes of singing. The number of inhaled particles emitted by an infectious case, sufficient to infect 50% of exposed, was calculated to 1039-2883 particles (95%CI).Conclusions: Even in large rooms, singing of an infectious person may lead to secondary infections through LR exposure within minutes. Given the potential for presymptomatic infectiousness, greatest caution is required wherever aerosols can accumulate.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0105.v1
Online: 7 June 2020 (16:00:25 CEST)
Recycled wastewater is considered as a sustainable source of irrigation water. Despite commendable safety records, viral contamination of agricultural products has occurred the past causing disease outbreaks. This review examines the apprehension that the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) may also spread through recycled wastewater irrigation (RWI) industry. The novel SARS-CoV-2 is now perceived as an enteric pathogen, and has been found to remain stable in the wastewater for days. Mounting evidences also suggest that viral particles shed by infected individuals through sewage, and greywater is much higher (up to 10 Log10) than the amount typically removed (6-7 Log10) through the recycled water disinfection processes. Such gap indicated an increased risk of infection through fecal-oral transmission route. This study also identified greywater irrigation schemes posing a higher risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. It was recommended that countries putting greywater in the ‘low risk’ category may rewrite the safety guidelines in post COVID-19 times. This review also suggest that the choice of irrigation method could be critical in protecting the farmers, and the consumers from possible infections during the pandemic. In this regard, irrigation methods (i.e. sprinkler) that generate airborne droplet (leading to aerosols) may be operated with caution when public spaces are in the vicinity. The study also indicated that the developing countries should regulate surface irrigation practice that pump water from polluted rivers during the pandemic.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0516.v1
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0547.v1
Online: 22 March 2021 (15:45:51 CET)
Alcoholism is a condition associated with psychiatric and psychiatric problems, where the respiratory system is damaged through the mucociliary ladder mechanism and alveolar macrophage dysfunction. In the time COVID-19 has been observed a dramatic increase in alcohol consumption mediated by levels of anxiety and situations of confinement. In this work we analyze the relationship between alcoholism and SARS, especially with SARS-CoV-2, explained by a degradation of the host defenses of the respiratory epithelium by changing the barrier function, the discharge of cytokines and the functions of the cilia. All of them involved in the defense mechanism. of the lungs. This leads to a worse prognosis for patients precisely because of alcohol consumption. Based on this approach, alcoholism will exacerbate the consequences of COVID-19.
Online: 4 June 2020 (17:36:28 CEST)
The probability of zoonoses, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), emerging is strongly related to remediable factors such as habitat encroachment and trade in wild animals. Tackling these underlying determinants is important to prevent future pandemics from the approximately 700,000 viruses with the potential to cause zoonoses. Reversing habitat destruction is also vital to halt the accelerating rate of extinction of a wide array of life forms - with all the adverse consequences these extinctions will have for human health. These insights depend on viewing health and disease from within an ecological theoretical framework. We therefore argue that preventing future zoonotic outbreaks as well as dealing with a range of contemporary health issues would be facilitated by grounding our health sciences in more a more explicitly ecological conceptual framework.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0435.v1
Online: 27 May 2020 (04:23:44 CEST)
This paper is purposed to delineate the current situation around Bangladesh as well as impacts of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) around the country and how the people over here are encountering this threatening pandemic. COVID-19 is an international epidemic that has got rapid wide-spread throughout different countries of the world to date. After its first outbreak in China different continents started to make sense and get aware against COVID-19 though, due to its special strategy of transmission several countries have been quite deteriorated preventing it. All the countries are moving at their best forward to find out any solution so that whole world could get rid of this horrifying situation as soon as possible. The authors here have reported an overview of how the outbreak of COVID-19 had put its commence in Bangladesh and to date how people over here have been tracing the way to tackle this havoc. Also, the changes that have brought around due to the crisis have offered us some fertile lessons that are enunciated here by the authors. To conclude, special considerations are anticipated to be highlighted pertaining COVID-19 outbreak in Bangladesh.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0372.v1
Online: 21 April 2020 (04:44:40 CEST)
The recent pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread so rapidly and severely affected the people of almost every country in the world. The highly contagious nature of this virus makes it difficult to take control of the present pandemic situation. With no specific treatment available, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents a threat to people of all ages including the elderly people and people with other medical complications as a vulnerable group to this disease. Better understanding of viral pathogenesis, appropriate preventive measures, early diagnosis and supportive treatments of the infected patients are now the general solutions to fight against this viral transmission. But, as an emerging disease, most about it remains still poorly understood. This article holds an overview on the origin and structure, pathogenesis, diagnosis and possible therapeutic options for the causative agent, SARS-CoV-2 and disease, COVID-19. However, few therapeutic options, laboratory experiments and other strategies proposed here need to be further clinically tested.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0286.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-2019; SARS-CoV-2; repurposing; network bioinformatics
Online: 18 March 2020 (08:50:10 CET)
The COVID-2019 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (aka 2019-nCoV) has raised significant health concerns in China and worldwide. While novel drug discovery and vaccine studies are long, repurposing old drugs against the COVID-2019 epidemic can help identify treatments, with known preclinical, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and toxicity profiles, which can rapidly enter Phase 3 or 4 or can be used directly in clinical settings. In this study, we presented a novel network based drug repurposing platform to identify potential drugs for the treatment of COVID-2019. We first analysed the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 and identified SARS as the closest disease, based on genome similarity between both causal viruses, followed by MERS and other human coronavirus diseases. Using our AutoSeed pipeline (text mining and database searches), we obtained 34 COVID-2019-related genes. Taking those genes as seeds, we automatically built a molecular network for which our module detection and drug prioritization algorithms identified 24 disease-related human pathways, five modules and finally suggested 78 drugs to repurpose. Following manual filtering based on clinical knowledge, we re-prioritized 30 potential repurposable drugs against COVID-2019 (including pseudoephedrine, andrographolide, chloroquine, abacavir, and thalidomide) . We hope that this data can provide critical insights into SARS-CoV-2 biology and help design rapid clinical trials of treatments against COVID-2019.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0299.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; coronavirus; remdesivir
Online: 17 April 2020 (13:02:03 CEST)
The global pandemic of SARS-CoV-2, the causative viral pathogen of COVID-19, has driven the biomedical community to action – to uncover and develop anti-viral interventions. One potential therapeutic approach currently being evaluated in numerous clinical trials is the agent remdesivir, which has endured a long and winding developmental path. Remdesivir is a nucleotide analog prodrug that perturbs viral replication, originally evaluated in clinical trials to thwart the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Subsequent evaluation by numerous virology laboratories demonstrated the ability of remdesivir to inhibit coronavirus replication, including SARS-CoV-2. Here, we provide an overview of its mechanism of action, discovery, and the current studies exploring its clinical effectiveness.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS; CoV-2; COVID-19; immune system; cytokine
Online: 18 May 2020 (12:46:48 CEST)
Objectives: In December 2019 a novel human-infecting coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has emerged. The WHO has stated the epidemic as a “public health emergency of international concern”. A drammatic situation has emerged with thousands of deaths, occurring mainly in the aged and very ill people. Epidemiological studies suggest that immune system function is impaired in elderly individuals and these subjects often present a severe deficiency in nutrients as fatsoluble and hydrosoluble vitamins. Design: In this first part of the review about Cov2 in aged people, we searched for reviews describing the characteristics of autoimmune diseases and the available therapeutic protocols for their treatment. We sed them as a paradigm with the purpose to retrieve pathogenetic mechanisms in common among these pathological conditions and SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the alteration induced in immune system function by this virus, or by its homologous SARS-CoV. Results: SARS-CoV-2 infection induces an important immune system dysfunction with the development of an exhuberant proinflammatory response in the host, and with the development of a life-threatening condition defined as Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). This leads to the Acute Respiratory Syndrome (ARDS), mainly in the aged people. High mortality and lethality rates have been observed in the elderly subjects with CoV-2-related infection. Conclusion: These diseases may serve as a paradigm for the study of CRS emerging in the course of SARS CoV-2 infection. This review discusses about the possible activity of Vitamin A, D, E and C in restoring normal antiviral Immune System function or the potential therapeutic role of these micronutrients as a part of a multi-treatment strategy against SARS- CoV-2 infection.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0384.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Bangladesh; Pandemic; stimulus package
Online: 21 April 2020 (09:34:19 CEST)
An outbreak of a pandemic COVID-19 disease caused by a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has posed a serious threat to human health and the economy of the whole world. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, which has also come under the attack of this viral disease. This perspective report aimed to describe the responses of Bangladesh to tackle the COVID-19, particularly on how Bangladesh is dealing with this novel viral disease with limited resources. The first case of a COVID-19 patient was detected in Bangladesh on March 8, 2020. Since then, a total of 2,144 peoples are officially reported as COVID-19 infected with 84 deaths. To combat the COVID-19, the government has taken various steps to tackle the epidemic outbreak of it such as diagnosis of the suspected cases, quarantine of doubted people and isolation of infected patients, local or regional lockdown, grant general leave from all offices for staying home of people, increase public awareness and enforce social distancing and so on. In addition, to address the socio-economic situations, the government announced several financial stimulus packages of about USD 11.17 billion. However, very limited diagnostic facilities, health workers, resources such as hospital beds, personal protective equipment, intensive care unit, and ventilators in the hospitals along with limited public unawareness are the major challenges for Bangladesh to tackle the situation effectively. This report described the responses of Bangladesh to tackle the COVID-19 and discusses prevailing challenges to mitigate this highly contagious disease with limited resources.
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0085.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Vaccines; Myocarditis; Pericarditis
Online: 6 February 2023 (07:51:04 CET)
Cardiac complications of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been well-identified since the beginning of the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Such conditions can occur of various etiologies, such as respiratory failure and hypoxemia, direct cardiac tissue damage due to viral replication, indirect myocarditis as systemic inflammation, and the interaction of different medications. Recently, with the start of the COVID-19 vaccination programs, COVID-19 vaccine-associated cardiac adverse events (AEs) have emerged and are increasingly being reported. Although these AEs are usually mild and self-limited, they can sometimes cause severe, catastrophic outcomes. This review compares the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the de novo SARS-CoV-2 infection-related and COVID-19 vaccine-related myocarditis and pericarditis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0353.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: aptamers; theranostics; SARS-COV-2; COVID-19; bioaffinity
Online: 17 August 2020 (08:01:15 CEST)
The novel coronavirus named by WHO and Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) as SARS-COV-2 is the etiological agent of the newly emerged Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 has become a pandemic threat as the WHO declared it a public health emergency of international concern. Early and precise detection of the virus is important for effective diagnosis and treatment. Various testing kits and assays, including real-time reverse Transcriptase PCR, thermal screening guns, ELISA-based immunoassays, and Point-of-Care (POC), have been implemented or are being explored to detect the virus and/or characterise cellular and antibody responses to the infection. However, these approaches have inherent limitations such as non-specificity, high cost, characterize by long turnaround times for test results, and can be labour intensive. Aptamers, which are single-stranded oligonucleotides, generated artificially by SELEX (Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) may offer the capacity to generate high affinity bioprobes for monitoring relevant SARS-COV 2 and COVID-19 biomarkers. This article discusses the prospects of implementing aptasensing technologies for rapid point-of-care detection of SARS-COV-2.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Thalidomide; pneumonia
Online: 26 February 2020 (12:31:47 CET)
A novel coronavirus strain (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first appeared in December 2019 and can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. However, there are only limited therapy choices and no vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is currently available. Here we report about a case of a SARS-CoV-2 caused pneumonia successfully treated with thalidomide. Thalidomide is an immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory agent and was combined with a low-dose glucocorticoid. We suggest, that the effects of thalidomide might be related to regulating immunity, inhibiting the inflammatory cytokine surge, alleviating anxiety to reduce oxygen consumption, relieving vomit and lung exudation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0321.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; coronavirus; pandemic; food; hygiene
Online: 14 August 2020 (11:16:44 CEST)
The outbreak of COVID-19 started in mainland China and has rapidly spread to more than 200 countries and territories around the world (WHO, 2020). The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus and its transmission is known to occur by upper respiratory secretions, including airborne droplets after coughing or sneezing. There is no evidence to support the role of food in the transmission of COVID-19. However, sharing food in public places is not encouraged. Furthermore, standard operating procedures of food safety like thorough washing, avoid cross contamination, keeping raw and cooked foods separated, refrigeration and heating are highly suggested. The pandemic has dramatically increased food insecurity across the countries and threatens the food security and nutrition of millions of people. The review presents information about SARS-CoV-2 with respect to food, including a brief history of coronavirus, its classification and transmission. It further presents the role of food as a carrier of the virus, which looks unlikely so far but cannot be fully ruled out, food contamination and handling followed by prevention and safety measures as per the standard guidelines, and conclusive remarks.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0157.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-Cov-2; cytokine storm; inflammation; immunosenescence
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:35:51 CEST)
The dysregulated release of cytokines has been identified as one of the key factors behind poorer outcomes in COVID-19. This ‘cytokine storm ‘produces an excessive inflammatory and immune response, especially in the lungs, leading to acute respiratory distress (ARDS), pulmonary edema and multi-organ failure. Alleviating this inflammatory state is crucial to improve prognosis. Pro-inflammatory factors play a central role in COVID-19 severity, especially in patients with comorbidities In these situations, an overactive, untreated immune response can be deadly, suggesting that mortality in COVID-19 cases is likely due to this virally driven hyperinflammation. Administering immunomodulators has not yielded conclusive improvements in other pathologies characterized by dysregulated inflammation such as sepsis, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS. The success of these drugs at reducing COVID-19-driven inflammation is still anecdotal and comes with serious risks. It is also imperative to screen the elderly for risk factors that predispose them to severe COVID-19. Immunosenescence and comorbidities should be taken into consideration. In this review, we summarize the latest data available about the role of the cytokine storm in COVID-19 disease severity as well as potential therapeutic approaches to ameliorate it. We also examine the role of inflammation in other diseases often comorbid with COVID-19, such as aging, sepsis, and pulmonary disorders. Finally, we identify gaps in our knowledge and suggest priorities for future research aimed at stratifying patients according to risk as well as personalizing therapies in the context of COVID19-driven hyperinflammation.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS CoV-2; IFN-⍺; IFN-β; IFN-λ
Online: 2 August 2020 (11:31:40 CEST)
COVID-19 disease, caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus, is a potentially fatal disease that represents a serious public health and economic problem worldwide. The SARS-CoV2 virus infects the lower respiratory tract and can cause pneumonia in humans. ARDS is the leading cause of death in COVID-19 disease. One of the main characteristics of ARDS is the cytokine storm, an uncontrolled systemic inflammatory response resulting from the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and growth factors, by immune cells. The other important aspect of the disease is represented by the involvement of the vascular organ that undergoes endothelitis. Hyperinflammation and endothelitis contribute in various ways to trigger coagulation disorders with diffuse micro thrombotic and thromboembolic phenomena. Lastly, multiple organ failure may occur (MOF). Since so far there is no approved treatment, there is an urgent need to reposition known treatments, considered safe, to be included in trials. Naturally produced interferons represent the body's first line of defense against viruses. Pharmacological forms, obtained by means of genetic recombination techniques, have long been approved and used to treat numerous pathologies. Interferons are divided into three families, within which some subfamilies are distinguishable. Only IFN-II comprises a single isoform which has completely different aspects and functions. The IFN I and III, however, each comprise different subfamilies (17 subfamilies the IFN-I and 4 subfamilies the IFN-III), share many aspects, representing the body's first antiviral response, but play different roles. The use of IFNs has been studied in two severe hCoV (Human Coronavirus) diseases, closely related to COVID-19 disease, such as SARS and MERS. Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have been conducted, often in combination with other antivirals. The results have been controversial. The positive results in vitro and in experimental animals were often not replicable in humans. The possible positioning of these molecules in the right window of therapeutic opportunity requires that the complex dialogue between IFN, inflammasome, cytokines, pro-inflammatory chemokines, growth factors and barrier function be shed light.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0119.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; gender role; sex differences
Online: 4 August 2021 (15:30:46 CEST)
Background: from December 2019 and the spreading of syndemics, a lot of medical centers reg-istered data about their patients. In Italy, the most relevant quantity of patients was hospitalized in internal medicine wards. Methods: In this observational, retrospective cross-sectional study, all data of the COVID-19 patients, admitted Latio hospitals, from March 01 to December 31, 2020, were collected and their Epidemiological data, demographics, signs and symptoms on admission, comorbidities, laboratory findings, chest radiography and CT findings, treatment received and mortality rate were analyzed by gender to find any differences of gravity of disease. Clinician details were registered on database (one for every hospital). Cost analysis was performed by length of stay and antiviral drugs use, using point of view of Italian Healthcare System. Results: 2256 patients with mean age of 71.01 ± 28.02 years were included. For men, frequency of hyper-tension, COPD, use of oxygen therapy, Tocilizumab were significantly higher and epidemiolog-ical link was related to rehabilitation ward and community. The gender difference about hospi-talization was one day more for man. No strong significant difference by gender in the death rate was observed. Considering antiviral drugs and hospitalization, a man costs €1000 more than woman. Conclusions: In male patients, hypertension and COPD were observed more frequently and the epidemiological link was related to rehabilitation ward and community. In female sub-jects, the epidemiological link was related to Hospital and we observed significantly higher atypical chest-X ray. Tocilizumab, oxygen therapy and antiviral drugs were prescribed more in male subjects. No differences by gender we report in other treatments and outcomes. Future studies should be analyzed to get a more comprehensive understanding of COVID-19 by gender.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0060.v3
Online: 6 July 2021 (11:30:53 CEST)
The greatest pandemic of the century, COVID-19, is an ongoing global public health problem. With a clinically approved treatment available only for those who are acutely ill and are hospitalized, the control of this disease in the general population is still largely dependent on the preventive measures issued by the World Health Organization. Among the general control measures other than immunization with the COVID-19 vaccines, handwashing with soap and water has been emphasized the most because it is cost-effective and easily accessible to the general public. Studies have reported that soaps offer unique chemical properties that can completely destroy enveloped viruses. However, the general public seems to be still uncertain about whether soaps can shield us from a highly contagious disease such as COVID-19. In an attempt to help eliminate the uncertainty, we analyzed the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of soap and its prospect for preventing the spread of COVID-19. In this paper, we provide an overview of the history and characteristics of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the current global COVID-19 situation, the possible mechanisms of the deactivation of viruses by soaps, and the potential effectiveness of soap in eliminating coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0201.v1
Online: 11 May 2020 (13:26:56 CEST)
The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already taken on pandemic proportions, affecting over 150 countries in a matter of months. Even though containment measures in China have reduced new cases by more than 90%, this reduction is not the case elsewhere, as the US, Spain and Italy have come off worse-off by the spread of the virus, and there is serious concern regarding the national health systems' capacity around the world and Africa, in particular, to effectively respond to the needs of infected patients who require intensive care for the COVID-19 illness. As a result, authorities around the world have resorted to the lockdown strategy to curb the spread of the virus. Therefore, the study aimed at investigating the effect of the lockdown strategy in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria. Consequently, the study found daily relative risk increase in cases, and daily relative risk increase in mortality. Also observed is the growth in cases in areas where active measures were not taken. Further, halt in business activities has rendered many penniless and unable to provide for themselves basic amenities. The study recommends that there is need to implement community-level measures of social distancing which may include closing schools, need for individuals with COVID-19 case or respiratory symptoms be properly taken care of, trace and quarantine those who must have come in contact with affected persons and introducing stay at home palliatives for the general public.
Online: 25 February 2020 (11:38:47 CET)
Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new viral respiratory disease and whether pregnant women are at increased risk of infection is unknown. Viral pneumonia is an important indirect cause of maternal death. Little is known about the effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during pregnancy. Objective: To describe the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in pregnancy and their newborn infant, and we sought to explored whether the SARS-CoV-2 can be intrauterine vertically transmitted. Study Design: The study was a case series study conducted in the obstetric ward of Tongji Hospital affiliated to Huazhong University of science and technology, Wuhan, China. Demographic, clinical, laboratory and radiological profiles of the SARS-CoV-2 infection case series. A systematic testing procedure for SARS-CoV-2 infection using oropharyngeal swab, placenta tissue, vaginal mucus, and breast milk of mothers. and oropharyngeal swab, umbilical cord blood, and serum of newborns was conducted. Results: We have conducted the most thorough virological assessment to date, and we include a longer clinical observation in mother-infant dyads during hospitalization. The clinical course and outcomes of three pregnant women who acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection late pregnancy are described in mother-infant dyads. Two had caesarean delivery in their third trimester. All patients showed an uneventful perinatal course, and a successful outcome. No infants became infected by vertical transmission or during delivery. Conclusion: No evidence to suggest the potential risk of intrauterine vertical transmission in the case series and further in-depth study is needed. Both the pregnancy woman and infant showed fewer adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0132.v1
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; masks materials; pandemic
Online: 11 June 2020 (11:44:17 CEST)
It is highly likely that the wearing of face masks reduces the rate of respiratory infections (e.g. SARS-CoV-2), to protect both the user and those around them. This paper sets out to review the areas that effect the efficacy of masks, the materials, design, hygiene and fit testing, in order to make recommendations as to how to make mask from resources found in most homes for when commercial models are unavailable. This paper finds that a mask constructed with a filter made from high thread count cotton is likely to provide a reasonable level of protection (~70% filtration) and that if a layers of other materials such as chiffon or silk is added the filtration may be much higher (~90%). There is also some promise in less available materials such as vacuum cleaner bags and air conditioner filters. Examples of fabric and rigid designs are reviewed but most are limited by the fit to the users which is hard to determine in a home setting. It would be extremely helpful if a method was devised for people to test or be tested for the fit of home made masks. In the mean time careful thought should be given to whether the user judges a good fit. Users should also be careful to practice other means of hygiene and distancing.
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0157.v1
Subject: Keywords: novel coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; pneumonia; Betacoronavirus; transmission
Online: 14 June 2020 (03:06:15 CEST)
The emergence of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in marked as the highest pathogenic coronavirus that has crossed from the hosts to the human population in the twenty-first century. The spreading of COVID-19 in different chinese cities and around the world is travel-related viral spread with the unprecedented nosocomial outbreaks. It has also shown with high case-fatality rates, indeed to urgent prophylactic and therapeutic settings. Scientific advancements of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic allowed for rapid progress to understand the epidemiology and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. This review highlights the the genomic structure of SARS-CoV-2 with the proposed roles of genotype and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 in pathogenesis and discuss recent results supporting treatment strategies of COVID-19 with a special focus on how these new insights may facilitate rational development of SARS-CoV-2 for targeted therapies in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0119.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; pandemic; medical staff; vaccine
Online: 3 March 2021 (09:36:41 CET)
Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the need for developing rapidly effective and safety vaccines to prevent infection, particularly in those at-risk populations such as medical personnel. The objective of this study was to assess perception of COVID-19 vaccination amongst Colombian physicians featuring two different sceneries of COVID-19 vaccination. Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was carried out through an online survey, directed at medical staff in several cities in Colombia. The percentage of physicians who have a positive perception to be vaccinated and the associated factors that determine that decision were determined. A binomial regression analysis adjusted for age and sex was carried out, taking as a dependent variable the acceptance of free vaccination with an effectiveness of 60 and 80%. The most significant factors were determined in the non-acceptance of vaccination. Results: Between 77.1% and 90.8% of physicians in Colombia, accept COVID-19 vaccination, according to the scenario evaluated where the effectiveness of the vaccine was 60 or 80%, respectively. Medical specialty, have ever paid for a vaccine, recommend administrating the vaccine to their parents or people over 70 years and dispense the vaccine to their children were the factors to be vaccinated for free with an effectiveness of 60% and 80%. Conclusions: There is a high perception of the intention to vaccinate physicians in Colombia against COVID-19. But it is very similar to that of the general population, according to results reported in other studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0533.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Macronutrients; Micronutrients; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Immunity; Complications;
Online: 26 October 2020 (11:26:43 CET)
The novel coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) has unfolded an unprecedented worldwide public health emergency with disastrous economic consequences. Around 12 million coronavirus cases have already been identified with over half a million deaths. Despite numerous efforts by the government as well as international organizations, these numbers are still increasing with a surprising rate. Although urgent and absolutely necessary, a reliable therapeutic or vaccine is still elusive and this status quo may remain for an uncertain period of time. Taken that into account, boosting up adaptive immunity through nutritional interventions may help subside this epidemic and save many lives. This review focuses on the nexus between a balanced diet and adaptive immunity, particularly, how a poor diet may lead to compromised immunity resulting in susceptibility to viral infections. Additionally, we discuss how nutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements) could be used as a tool to modulate immune response and thus impede viral infections. The study also summarized nutritional recommendations to combat COVID-19 in different countries and territories and dietary sources of those key nutrients. Moreover, different nutritional intervention strategies based on different age groups, physiological and medical conditions were also included, and the challenges of nutritional interventions towards the care of COVID-19 patients were also discussed. Since the availability of a drug or vaccine is still uncertain, a balanced diet or nutrient therapy could be used as a robust strategy to combat COVID-19. Thus, we hope this review may help to make an informed decision with regard to diet choice both at individual level as well as clinical settings.
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/preprints202206.0235.v1
Online: 16 June 2022 (09:13:11 CEST)
The development of inexpensive, fast and reliable screening tests for COVID-19 is, as yet, an unmet need. The present study was aimed at evaluating the usefulness of serum arylesterase activity of paraoxonase-1 (PON1) measurement as a screening test in patients with different severity levels of COVID-19 infection. We included 615 COVID-19 positive patients who were classified as asymptomatic, mildly symptomatic, severely symptomatic, or fatally symptomatic. Results were compared with 50 healthy volunteers, 330 patients with cancer and 343 with morbid obesity. Results showed PON1 activity greatly decreased in COVID-19 compared to healthy vol-unteers; receiver operating characteristics plot showed a high diagnostic accuracy. The degree of COVID-19 severity did not influence PON1 levels. Our results indicated that PON1 determination was efficient for disease diagnosis but not for prognosis. Further, patients with obesity or cancer presented alterations similar to those of COVID-19 patients. As such, elevated levels of PON1 in-dicate the absence of COVID-19, but low levels may be present in various other chronic diseases. The assay is fast and inexpensive. We suggest that PON1 measurement could be used as an initial, high cut-off point screening method, while lower values should be confirmed with the more ex-pensive nucleic acid amplification test.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0466.v1
Online: 18 December 2020 (12:19:07 CET)
Opsoclonus-myoclonus-ataxia syndrome is a heterogeneous constellation of symptoms ranging from full combination of these three neurological findings to varying degree of isolated individual sign. Since the emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), neurological symptoms, syndromes and complications associated with this multi-organ viral infection have been reported and the various aspects of neurological involvement are increasingly uncovered. As a neuro-inflammatory disorder in nature, one would expect to observe opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome after a prevalent viral infection in a pandemic scale, as it has been the case for many other neuro-inflammatory syndromes. We report seven cases of opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome presumably para-infectious in nature and discuss their phenomenology, their possible pathophysiological relationship to COVID-19 and diagnostic and treatment strategy in each case. Finally we review the relevant data in the literature regarding the opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome and possible similar cases associated with COVID-19 and its diagnostic importance for clinicians in various fields of medicine encountering COVID-19 patients and its complications.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS; CoV-2; COVID-19; vitamins; therapeutic strategy
Online: 18 May 2020 (12:51:05 CEST)
Objectives: In December 2019 a novel human-infecting coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has emerged. The WHO has stated the epidemic as a “public health emergency of international concern”. A dramatic situation has emerged with thousands of deaths, occurring mainly in the aged and very ill people. Epidemiological studies suggest that immune system function is impaired in elderly individuals and these subjects often present a severe deficiency in nutrients as fatsoluble and hydrosoluble vitamins. Design: In this second part of the review about Cov2 in aged people, we searched for studies describing the possible efficacy of vitamins A, D, E and C in improving the immune system function and their possible activities against viruses. Results: Vitamins may shift the proinflammatory Th17 mediated immune-response arising in the autoimmune diseases towards a T-cell regulatory phenotype. These diseases may serve as a paradigm for the study of CRS emerging in the course of SARS CoV-2 infection. Conclusion: This review discusses about the possible activity of Vitamin A, D, E and C in restoring normal antiviral Immune System function or the potential therapeutic role of these micronutrients as a part of a multi-treatment strategy against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0220.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19 pneumonia; pathology; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 2 March 2020 (01:34:58 CET)
There is currently a lack of pathologic data on the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia, or COVID-19, from autopsy or biopsy. Two patients who recently underwent lung lobectomies for adenocarcinoma were retrospectively found to have had COVID-19 at the time of surgery. These two cases thus provide important first opportunities to study the pathology of COVID-19. Pathologic examinations revealed that, apart from the tumors, the lungs of both patients exhibited edema, proteinaceous exudate, focal reactive hyperplasia of pneumocytes with patchy inflammatory cellular infiltration, and multinucleated giant cells. Hyaline membranes were not prominent. Since both patients did not exhibit symptoms of pneumonia at the time of surgery, these changes likely represent an early phase of the lung pathology of COVID-19 pneumonia.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0159.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; herd immunity; pandemic; pathogenesis; SARS-CoV-2; WHO
Online: 8 July 2020 (18:33:41 CEST)
Herd immunity happens when a relatively large proportion of a population becomes infected by an agent, subsequently recovers, and attains immunity against the same agent. That proportion thus indirectly protects the naïve population by preventing the spread of the infection. Herd immunity has been suggested to interrupt and control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, relying on establishing herd immunity can be catastrophic considering the virulence and lethality of SARS-CoV-2. Meanwhile our understanding of the pathogenesis, case-fatality rate, transmission routes, and antiviral therapy for COVID-19 remains limited now. Interrupting or slowing the COVID-19 transmission seems more opportune than vaccination, antiviral therapy, or herd immunity, all of which will take some time to yield. Thus, social distancing, face-masking, and hygiene are the most appropriate immediate countermeasures. Because the social fabrics, economic implications, and local demands of various nations are unique, early relaxation of restrictions may seem hasty particularly when fatality rates are high, or when the healthcare systems could be inadequate or become inundated. Conclusively, avoiding any overwhelmingly risky approach in fighting the pandemic is prudent.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0292.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Omicron; Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; Variants of concern
Online: 20 October 2022 (02:16:05 CEST)
Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, there have been multiple peaks of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus virus 2) infection, mainly due to the emergence of new variants, each with a new set of mutations in the viral genome, which have led to changes in the pathogenicity, transmissibility, and morbidity. The Omicron variant is the most recent variant of concern (VOC) to emerge and was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) on November 26, 2021. The Omicron lineage is phylogenetically distinct from earlier variants, including the previously dominant Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant. Previous research has reported the most common clinical manifestations of the Omicron variant to be fever, runny nose, sore throat, severe headache, and fatigue. The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, rapid antigen assays, and chest computed tomography (CT) scans can help diagnose those with the Omicron variant. Furthermore, many agents are expected to have therapeutic benefits for those infected with the Omicron variant, including TriSb92, molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir, and their combination, corticosteroids, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor blockers. Despite being milder than previous variants, the Omicron variant threatens many lives, particularly among the unvaccinated, due to its higher transmissibility, pathogenicity, and infectivity. This review summarizes the essential features of the Omicron variant, including its history, genome, transmissibility, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, management, and the effectiveness of existing vaccines against this VOC.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0424.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-COV-2; COVID-19; TTP; refractory; thrombotic microangiopathies
Online: 30 June 2022 (09:06:54 CEST)
Introduction: The proliferation of literature regarding COVID-19 pandemic has served to highlight a wide spectrum of disease manifestations and complications like thrombotic microangiopathies. Our review with a brief case presentation highlights the increasing recognition of TTP in COVID-19 and describes its salient characteristics. Methods: We screened the available literature in Pubmed, EMBASE and Cochrane database from inception till April 2022 of articles mentioning COVID-19 associated TTP in English Language. Results: From 404 records, we included 8 articles mentioning data of 11 patients in our review. TTP was predominantly reported in females (72%) with a mean age of 48.2 years (SD 15.1). Dyspnea was the most common symptom in 1/3rd of patients (36.6%). Neurological symptoms were reported in 27.3% of cases. The time to diagnosis of TTP was 10 days (SD: 5.8) from onset of Covid-19. All 11 cases underwent plasma exchange (PLEX), with a mean of 12 sessions per patient, whereas six cases received Rituximab (54.5%), and three received Caplacizumab (27.3%). One patient died from the illness. Conclusion: This review of available literature highlights the atypical and refractory nature of COVID-19 associated TTP. It required longer sessions of PLEX with half of the patients receiving at least one immunosuppressant.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0243.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: telemedicine; otolaryngology; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; virtual healthcare
Online: 26 April 2022 (13:02:00 CEST)
Objectives: As institutions modified medical practices to mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, providers were forced to modify care through the implementation of telemedicine. The objective of this article is to review the current practices of otolaryngology during the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations of telemedicine in current practice. Methods: A thorough review of the PubMed and MEDLINE databases was performed for publications between 2020 and 2021. Studies discussing telemedicine in otolaryngology during COVID-19 pandemic were selected. Results: As worldwide cases of COVID-19 continue to oscillate, we must continue to be vigilant in our clinical practice, implementing safe techniques to mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the continual use of telemedicine in all specialties of otolaryngology. Trends of increased patient acceptance of the use of telemedicine have been seen across subspecialities, including otolaryngology. Conclusion: Currently there are challenges associated with the implementation of telemedicine in the field of otolaryngology that rely heavily on adjunct physical examination, imaging studies, and specialty procedures. However, telemedicine has tremendous potential and can be adapted to include in the otolaryngologist’s toolbelt during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0486.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; azithromycin; hydroxychloroquine; primary care
Online: 31 May 2020 (17:51:52 CEST)
The challenge regarding COVID-19 is to prevent complications and fatal evolution. Azithromycin (AZM) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have proven their antiviral effect in vitro. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of AZM alone or combined to HCQ, prescribed, at an early stage, in patients with Covid-19, in a primary care setting. Eighty-eight patients received either no or a symptomatic treatment (NST) (n=34) or AZM alone (n=34) or AZM+HCQ (n=20). The efficacy end point was the time to clinical recovery and the safety end point was the occurrence of cardiovascular events. The mean (SD) times to achieve clinical recovery were respectively 25.8 days (11.1), 12.9 days (13.4) and 9.2 days (9.3), showing a statistically significant difference between NST and AZM alone (p<0.0001) or AZM+HCQ (p<0.0001). To improve the evidence level, a case-control analysis was performed on a sample of 57 patients (19/group) matched for age, sex and BMI. The statistical difference between NST and AZM was confirmed (p=0.0149) as well as the difference with AZM+HCQ (p=0.0002). No cardiac toxicity was recorded in any patient. No statistical difference was shown between AZM and AZM+HCQ groups, although the dual therapy tended to be more effective in patients over 50 years, based on an analysis using the cox model. In conclusion, AZM and AZM+HCQ favourably impacted the course of the disease. We need trials, ideally prospective/double blind, to show if a statistical difference can be evidenced with a broader group, and clarify the indications of each treatment depending on initial clinical presentation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0005.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Pandemic; Viral Genomics
Online: 1 April 2020 (09:22:38 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic is due to infection caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 that impacts the lower respiratory tract. The spectrum of symptoms ranges from asymptomatic infections to mild respiratory symptoms to the lethal form of COVID-19 which is associated with severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress and fatality. At present, the global case fatality rate of COVID-19 laboratory confirmed cases is ~4.7% ranging from ~0.3-0.4% in Chile and Israel to ~10.8% in Italy. To address this global crisis, up-to-date information on the viral genomics and transcriptomics is crucial for understanding the origins and global dispersal of the virus, providing insight into viral pathogenicity, transmission and epidemiology, and enabling strategies for therapeutic interventions, drug discovery and vaccine development. Therefore, this review provides a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 epidemiology, genomic etiology, findings from recent transcriptomic map analysis, viral-human protein interactions, molecular diagnostics, and the current status of vaccine and novel therapeutic intervention development. Moreover, we provide an extensive list of resources that will help the scientific community access numerous types of databases related to SARS-CoV-2 OMICs and approaches to therapeutics related to COVID-19 treatment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0642.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; RAS; acute kidney injury; immune response
Online: 29 July 2021 (10:20:36 CEST)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To contain the virus, numerous preventive measures have been taken including isolation of patients, careful infection control, social distancing, and taking vaccine. So far, new confirmed and death cases are still increasing. SARS-CoV-2 invades cells by using the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is an essential enzyme of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) which converts angiotensin II (Ang II) to angiotensin (1-7). ACE2 is expressed in different organs, including lung, heart, and kidney. A high number of COVID-19 patients developed kidney injury has been reported. Renal impairment and acute injury are associated with mortality of COVID-19, which is 14-16 times higher than other general patients. Acute Kidney Injury has been occured in 2.9 up to 43% of intensive care unit patients. The increasing evidence show that the components of RAS can activate the complement cascade, and cytokines production. Kidney injury caused by SARS-CoV-2 is related mainly to systemic and local inflammation. Moreover, the uncontrolled immune responses mediated by SARS-CoV-2 including hypercytokinaemia, secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, antibody dependent enhancement, complement system, and phagocytic cells activation can contribute in the virus pathogenesis leading to associated renal dysfunction. However, the role and crosstalk between of RAS components and immune response in mediating kidney injury remain undefined. In this review, we focus on the recent studies to provide the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 interacting with RAS and immune responses to mediate kidney injury.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0293.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV-2; doxycycline; pentoxifylline; treatment; proposal
Online: 24 June 2020 (09:47:14 CEST)
We are proposing, for any interested investigator, a randomized open clinical trial for mild and mild-to-moderate Covid-19 comparing a treatment regimen with standard of care, and eventually with another investigational regimen, if ongoing or will be implemented. The patients could be hospitalized or ambulatory but not requiring admission to intensive care units and mechanical ventilation. The proposed therapeutic regimen consists of doxycycline (an antimicrobial having also anti-inflammatory properties, probable antioxidant and possible some antiviral effects), and pentoxifylline, a hemorheological compound used in occlusive arterial diseases but also having proven anti-inflammatory properties. Doxycycline is included in the WHO’s list of essential medicine being an effective, safe, widely available, and inexpensive medication and widely accessible. It will be administered at a dosage of 100 mg orally twice daily for ten days. Pentoxifylline, in clinical use since 1972, and also widely accessible, will be given at a dosage of 400 mg orally, also twice daily, for ten days. The primary outcome measures are: 1) Progression of disease to a severe form requiring intensive care admission and mechanical ventilation; 2) Fatality rates and 3) Time to clinical recovery.This proposal was presented to the National Directors and Core Leads meeting of the Canadian Trials Network (CTN) on May 6, 2020. The interventional trial template suggested by CTN was used for designing the trial.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0071.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; Simultaneous surveillance; Jordan
Online: 5 May 2020 (10:57:53 CEST)
The outbreak of coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already taken on pandemic proportions and has affected more than 100 countries in recent weeks. It is imperative that global healthcare systems are prepared. Containment initiatives in Jordan, on the other hand, have decreased new cases by over 63%. The Jordanian national health system has been very pleased with its ability to adequately meet the needs of the patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, and includes intensive care. From 2 March to 14 April 2020, between 4% and 8% of active infected patients in Jordan registered daily in intensive care. The percentage is very low.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0417.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-Cov-2; infection; Physiotherapy; rehabilitation
Online: 23 April 2020 (15:22:55 CEST)
This document outlines best practice recommendations for an acute care physiotherapy for patients with COVID-19, with an emphasis on critical care rehabilitation including the patients in extra corporeal membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) support, developed for practice in Qatar but adaptable within any settings. This recommendation is the result of a combination of systematic evidence search, subsequent critical evaluation of retrieved evidence and consensus process. The agreed recommendations were integrated into a physiotherapy clinical reasoning algorithm. It includes recommendations on physiotherapy referral, screening, management categories and best practice recommendations. It is intended for use by physiotherapists and other relevant stakeholders in the acute care setting caring for adult patients with suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0004.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19, Pakistan, Economic Losses, Disease Spread, SARS-CoV-2
Online: 1 April 2020 (09:19:30 CEST)
As of 26 March 2020, Pakistan had 1179 cases of COVID-19, with most 421 cases from Sindh, 394 cases, 131 cases, 123 cases, 84 cases, 25 cases and 01 cases from Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad Capital Territory, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir respectively. Travel-related cases were the main source of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the early phase of the pandemic in Pakistan. Nevertheless, cases of local virus transmission are increasing day by day. As of 26 March 2020, nine deaths have been reported from COVID-19. The case fatality rate is 0.8%, which is less compare to China, Italy, USA, and Iran. The SIR (Susceptible-Infected-Recovered) model of epidemiological analysis predicts that almost 90 million population will be infected in the coming days with 5% critical cases that need health care facilities. However, the Pakistan health care system cannot provide services to this much population. Hence, we need to act timely to reduce this number by restricting local transmission of the disease. This can be done by mass testing, quarantine, isolation and social distancing of the active coronavirus cases in Pakistan. Moreover, better communication between the authorities is very much required to control disease transmission.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0334.v2
Online: 16 September 2020 (03:01:07 CEST)
COVID-19, previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”, is a newly discovered virus which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, similar to corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has spread widely through human to human contact and was declared a pandemic by the WHO in March 2020. To cope with this pandemic many countries have adopted nationwide lockdowns which restrict nonessential activities and encourage their populations to avoid public transport, work from hone wherever possible, and to maintain social distancing at all times. While the severity of these shutdowns has varied with country, large geographic regions of the world (including China, India, Iran, Italy, Spain, and the USA) have all been severely affected, not just in the loss of human life, but also in terms of the financial impacts the lockdowns will have on their countries future prosperityIt was previously reported that a number of environmental factors, including humidity and temperature, played an important role in development and spread of the SARS-Corona Virus infection with the virus retaining viability for over 5 days at temperatures between 22–25oC and relative humidity (RH) of 40–50%. Whereas, elevated temperatures and higher RH (38oC, and >95% RH) decreased virus viability (Kroumpouzos et al., 2020). The spread of COVID-19 started in low temperature areas of China, with major outbreaks subsequently occurring in Iran, Japan, Northern Italy and South Korea. These new virus epicenters all had similar temperature and latitude, along the 30-50◦N” zone. Subsequently, the virus was spread to regions of elevated temperature, such as India, the Middle East and Thailand, due to international travel (Kroumpouzos et al., 2020).The aim of this study was to consider the environmental impact of COVID-19, including water pollution. The paper is divided into four sections. In the first section the current literature related to COVID-19 is reviewed. In the second section a recent update on COVID-19 globally is presented, followed by a descriptive impact on the environment in the third section and finally in the fourth section the COVID-19 related worldwide environmental impact is discussed. Since COVID-19 is a currently an active pandemic with no end in sight, while constructive conclusions can only be made on the limited data currently, which may be prone to high errors. However, these conclusions may provide some preliminary suggestions for assisting in assessing spreading patterns of COVID-19 across the globe, and may be of long-term significances with respect to assessing the environmental impact of lockdown policies due to COVID-19 worldwide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0425.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; vaccines; hesitancy; Africa
Online: 24 January 2023 (08:14:15 CET)
While vaccines are a well-established method of controlling the spread of infectious diseases, vaccine hesitancy jeopardizes curbing the spread of COVID-19. Through the Vaccine Information Network (VIN), this study explored barriers and motivators to COVID-19 vaccine uptake. We conducted 18 focus group discussions with male and female community members, stratified by country, age group, and—for Zimbabwe only—by HIV status. Participants’ median age across both countries was 40 years (interquartile range of 22–40) and most (65.9%) were female. We conceptualized the key themes within the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) 3Cs (convenience, confidence, complacency) vaccine hesitancy model. Barriers to vaccine uptake—lack of convenience, low confidence, and high complacency—included inaccessibility of vaccines and vaccination sites, vaccine safety and development concerns, and disbelief in COVID-19’s existence. Motivators to vaccine uptake—convenience, confidence and low complacency—included accessibility of vaccination sites, user-friendly registration processes, trust in governments and vaccines, fear of dying from COVID-19 and knowing someone who had died or become infected with COVID-19. Overall, vaccine hesitancy in South Africa and Zimbabwe was influenced by inconvenience, a lack of confidence, and high complacency around COVID-19 vaccines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0334.v1
Online: 28 June 2020 (10:00:38 CEST)
The COVID-19 global pandemic is now a public health emergency in Morocco. Reports on factors associated with prolonged viral shedding are not consistent. In this retrospective laboratory based study, time to RNA negative conversion is reported in a series of 129 patients monitored in a single laboratory in Casablanca. Risk factors associated with delayed negative conversion have been evaluated, by chi-squared test. Median delay of negative conversion was 22.5 days (IQR 17.75-29.0) from illness onset. Neither gender nor age were particularly associated with delayed viral clearance. Delayed time to hospital admission and disease severity were associated with prolonged viral shedding in this series. We recommend early diagnosis and treatment onset to reduce time to viral clearance and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Online: 28 April 2020 (07:50:12 CEST)
There were warnings before; nevertheless the current CoVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise: within just four month, it conquered the globe and claimed over 200'000 lives. Unprecedented governmental actions put about half of the population under curfew or lock-down. The resulting economic meltdown is expected to eliminate globally 9’000’000’000’000 (9 trillion) USD in 2020 and 2021 alone, a value roughly the size of the yearly GDP of the world’s 150 smallest economies. The resulting crises might cause mass-unemployment and a hunger pandemic later this year. This Essay analyses current statistical data of the CoVID-19 pandemic to develop a guideline for a path through the crisis, minimizing both loss of lives and economic costs. Part 1 details the current situation; part 2 develops a small set of measures, allowing a near normal life until a future vaccination campaign has reached sufficient numbers of people; and part 3 provides some important lessons for the future beyond SARS-CoV-2. The Essay leads to the following key-messages: 1) The CoVID-19 pandemic will stay for at least two more years. This is the minimum time required for a vaccination campaign to reach sufficient numbers of people. 2) The crucial element to control the pandemic is keeping case numbers under the threshold required for a functional tracing, testing & isolation (TTI) strategy. That threshold differs from country to country and strongly depends on culture and the applied tracing technology as well as available testing capacities. 3) The economic burden of a TTI strategy is moderate while fatalities are also reduced. Hence, such an approach is strongly recommended. Its implementation requires a set of simple and cost-effective measures (see figure below), which in combination seem to be sufficient to keep CoVID-2’s reproductive rate at or below 1. 4) Implementing international coordination of actions will be necessary for effective infection-chain tracing5) If case numbers are above the TTI threshold, shutdown measures remain the only option until tracing of infection chains becomes feasible again.6) In the future, neglected pandemic-related research requires a funding boost. Just 1% of the bill of the current crisis could support the research of 45’000 scientist for 20 years.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0430.v1
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/preprints202211.0075.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: coronavirus; TMPRSS2; ACE2; SARS-CoV-2; androgens; sex hormones; antiandrogens
Online: 3 November 2022 (09:21:09 CET)
COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2), is estimated to have caused over 6.5 million deaths to date worldwide. The emergence of fast-evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern alongside increased transmissibility and/or virulence as well as immune and vaccine escape capabilities highlight the urgent need for more effective antivirals to combat the disease in the long run along with regularly updated vaccine boosters. One of the early risk factors identified during the COVID-19 pandemic was that men are more likely to get infected by the virus, more likely to develop severe disease and exhibit higher likelihood of hospitalisation and mortality rates compared to women. An association exists between SARS-CoV-2 infectiveness and disease severity with sex steroid hormones and in particular androgens. Several studies underlined the importance of the androgen-mediated regulation of the host protease TMPRSS2 and the cell entry protein ACE2 as well as the key role of these factors in the entry of the virus into target cells. In this context, modulating androgen signalling is a promising strategy to block viral infection and antiandrogens could be used as a preventative measure at the pre- or early-hospitalisation stage of COVID-19 disease. Different antiandrogens, including commercial drugs used to treat metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer and other conditions, have been tested as antivirals with varying success. In this review, we summarise the most recent updates concerning the use of antiandrogens as prophylactic and therapeutic options for COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0022.v1
Online: 2 May 2020 (16:29:38 CEST)
During December 2019, a novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 has emerged in Wuhan, China. The human to human transmission of this virus has also been established. The virus has so far infected more than 2 million people and spread over 200 countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global health emergency due to its spread well beyond China. It has been established that this virus originates from bats and uses an intermediate host for transfer to humans. The knowledge about the intermediate host is important to find the virus shuttle mechanism to stop future outbreaks. For this, the genetic and structural analysis of coronaviruses spike proteins was performed using a computer-assisted approach.To conduct the In silico analysis, 43 sequences of spike protein belong to different species were retrieved from the NCBI nucleotide database. Pairwise and multiple sequence alignments were performed to check the similarities and differences of the retrieved sequences. Moreover, to highlight relationships among different species, phylogenetics analysis was performed using the MEGA software tool. In the end, protein structure alignment (superimposition) was performed against the reference structure by UCSF Chimera software. The results highlighted that the maximum similarity of human protein was found against Bat and Pangolinsequences. Moreover, among Bat and Pangolin, the highest similarity was found against pangolin based on phylogenetics analysis. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 transfers from bats to humans through pangolins.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0283.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Covid-19; coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; review; pandemic
Online: 16 April 2020 (15:55:12 CEST)
Coronaviruses are an extensive family of viruses that can cause disease in both animals and humans. The current classification of coronaviruses recognizes 39 species in 27 subgenera that belong to the family Coronaviridae. From those, at least seven coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections in humans. Four of these viruses can cause common cold-like symptoms, while others that infect animals can evolve and become infectious to humans. Three recent examples of this viral jumps include SARS CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS CoV-2 virus. They are responsible for causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the most recently discovered coronavirus disease during 2019 (COVID-19).COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020. The rapid spread of the disease has taken the scientific and medical community by surprise. Latest figures from 14 April 2020 show more than 2 million people had been infected with the virus, causing more than 120,000 deaths in over 210 countries worldwide. The large amount of information we receive every day concerning this new disease is so abundant and dynamic that medical staff, health authorities, academics and the media are not able to keep up with this new pandemic. In order to offer a clear insight of the extensive literature available, we have conducted a comprehensive literature review of the SARS CoV-2 Virus and the Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19).
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0208.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: malaria; COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; chloroquine; hydroxychloroquine
Online: 13 April 2020 (07:47:36 CEST)
World is currently experiencing a new pandemic for which no curative treatment is available. At this time, coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has reached 183 countries and has caused several deaths. Many reports presented chloroquine (CQ) and hydrochloroquine (HCQ), former drugs used against malaria, as the best current choice to fight this terrible disease. As these molecules had been withdrawn in malaria treatment policy due to chemoresistance, their reintroduction could have some consequences. Though local malaria prevalence could decrease for a while, molecular changes are likely to happen on some plasmodium falciparum genes involved in conferring drug resistance. This could threaten efforts in malaria control, if these molecules are widely administered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0333.v1
Online: 23 March 2020 (04:30:47 CET)
COVID-19, a rapidly spreading new strain of coronavirus, has affected more than 150 countries and received worldwide attention. The lack of efficacious drugs or vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 has further worsened the situation. Thus, there is an urgent need to boost up research for the development of effective therapeutics and affordable diagnostic against COVID-19. The crystallized form of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) was demonstrated by a Chinese researcher Liu et al. (2020) which is a novel therapeutic drug target. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of medicinal plant-based bioactive compounds against COVID-19 Mpro by molecular docking study. Molecular docking investigations were performed by using Molegro Virtual Docker 7 to analyze the inhibition probability of these compounds against COVID-19. COVID-19 Mpro was docked with 80 flavonoid compounds and the binding energies were obtained from the docking of (PDB ID: 6LU7: Resolution 2.16 Å) with the native ligand. According to obtained results, hesperidin, rutin, diosmin, apiin, diacetylcurcumin, (E)-1-(2-Hydroxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-3-[3-[(E)-3-(2-hydroxy-4- methoxyphenyl)-3-oxoprop-1-enyl]phenyl]prop-2-en-1-one, and beta,beta'-(4-Methoxy-1,3- phenylene)bis(2'-hydroxy-4',6'-dimethoxyacrylophenone have been found as more effective on COVID-19 than nelfinavir. So, this study will pave a way for doing advanced experimental research to evaluate the real medicinal potential of these compounds to cure COVID-19.
Online: 16 October 2020 (11:49:13 CEST)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by infection with the 2019 novel coronavirus 2 (2019-nCoV, now referred to as SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 has become a global pandemic since its outbreak at the end of Dec 2019. COVID-19 could lead to severe acute respiratory disease, especially to those who have reduced immunity. Binding of the viral Spike protein (S) to its receptor ACE2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2) on the surface of target cells has been proven to be key for virus entry and infection. Although ACE2 expression in the respiratory system is necessary for pneumonia infection by SARS-CoV-2, the regulation of ACE2 gene expression remains poorly investigated, especially for patients that are in pre-pathological conditions. Here, by analyzing The Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, we investigated the expression regulation of ACE2 in various kinds of primary epithelial cells from the respiratory system after varies of respiratory viruses infection such as influenza A virus (IFV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human rhinovirus (hRV). Our analyses reveal that infection of multiple kinds of respiratory viruses or influenza vaccines greatly increased ACE2 expression, suggesting that respiratory viruses infection could represent a high risk factor for developing COVID-19. We also found that the regulatory effect of influenza A virus on ACE2 expression is associated with activation of the interferon beta-induced pathway and viral RNA-activated host response. Together, our data provide a theoretical framework for clinical classification for SARS-CoV-2 infection susceptibility and could be used for future prevention and therapy treatment for COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0375.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: co-infection; SARS-CoV-2; pike glycoprotein; stop mutations
Online: 17 September 2020 (05:33:59 CEST)
There is a rising global concern for the ongoing outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 due to its high transmission rate and unavailability of treatment. Through the binding of its spike glycoprotein with angiotensin type 2 (ACE2), SARS-CoV-2 can efficiently get in the cells of patients and start its pandemic cycle. Herein, the biological diversity of SARS-CoV-2 infection was assessed in Babylon province of Iraq by investigating the possible genetic variations of the spike glycoprotein. A specific coding region of 795 bp within the viral spike (S) gene was amplified from 19 patients who suffered from obvious symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Sequencing results identified fifteen novel nucleic acid variations with a variety of distributions within the investigated samples. The electropherograms of all the identified variations showed obvious co-infections with at least two different viral strains per sample. Within these co-infections, the majority of samples exhibited three nonsense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)s, p.301Cdel, p.380Ydel, and p.436del, which yielded three truncated SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoproteins of 301, 380, and 436 amino acids length, respectively. The network and phylogenetic analyses indicated that for all viral infections were derived from multi-ancestral origins. Results inferred from the specific clade-based tree entailed that some viral strains were derived from European G-clade sequences. In conclusion, our data demonstrated the absence of any single strain infection among all investigated viral samples in the studied area, which may entail a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 in this country. Through the identified high frequency of truncated spike proteins, we suggest that defective SARS-CoV-2 may depend on helper strains having intact spikes in its infection. Alternatively, another putative ACE2-independent route of viral infection way also suggested. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to describe the co-infection of multiple strains of SARS-CoV-2 in patients with COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0499.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Numerical Analysis & Optimization Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; System dynamics; Japan; SEIR
Online: 31 May 2020 (19:58:23 CEST)
This study developed a system dynamics model to understand the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Japan. The model is built on the generic SEIR (Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, and Recovered) framework adopted by Ghaffarzadegan and Rahmandad (2020) to build a system dynamics model for the spread of COVID-19 in Iran. Japan seems to be successful in containing the spread compared with other countries, and its first peak has passed. However, because this also leaves a large population still susceptible to the virus, it could cause a second and potentially higher peak of infection after the state of emergency aimed at reducing contact rate is lifted. As the government has proposed the “New Lifestyle,” it is critical to behave cautiously so as not to be infected. While the model focuses on the SEIR structure, the reflection of other sub-structures such as economy and hospital capacity that have tradeoffs with reducing contact rate should be beneficial. However, before extending the model, it is also critical to conduct estimates using confidence intervals rather than point estimates to better reflect uncertainties.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0311.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; pathology; post-mortem biopsy
Online: 20 March 2020 (09:24:10 CET)
Data on pathologic changes of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are scarce. To gain knowledge about the pathology that may contribute to disease progression and fatality, we performed post-mortem needle core biopsies of lung, liver, and heart in four patients who died of COVID-19 pneumonia. The patients’ ages ranged from 59 to 81, including 3 males and 1 female. Each patient had at least one underlying disease, including immunocompromised status (chronic lymphocytic leukemia and renal transplantation) or other conditions (cirrhosis, hypertension, and diabetes). Time from disease onset to death ranged from 15 to 52 days. All patients had elevated white blood cell counts, with significant rise toward the end, and all had lymphocytopenia except for the patient with leukemia. Histologically, the main findings are in the lungs, including injury to the alveolar epithelial cells, hyaline membrane formation, and hyperplasia of type II pneumocytes, all components of diffuse alveolar damage. Consolidation by fibroblastic proliferation with extracellular matrix and fibrin forming clusters in airspaces is evident. In one patient, the consolidation consists of abundant intra-alveolar neutrophilic infiltration, consistent with superimposed bacterial bronchopneumonia. The liver exhibits mild lobular infiltration by small lymphocytes, and centrilobular sinusoidal dilation. Patchy necrosis is also seen. The heart shows only focal mild fibrosis and mild myocardial hypertrophy, changes likely related to the underlying conditions. In conclusion, the post-mortem examinations show advanced diffuse alveolar damage, as well as superimposed bacterial pneumonia in some patients. Changes in the liver and heart are likely secondary or related to the underlying diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0075.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; immunotherapeutics; therapeutics; vaccines
Online: 7 April 2020 (02:01:34 CEST)
A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), causing an emerging coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China has resulted in an outbreak in China which has taken a catastrophic turn with high toll rates in China and subsequently spreading across the globe. The rapid spread of this virus to more than 175 countries while affecting nearly 500,000 persons and causing more than 22,000 human deaths, it has resulted in a pandemic situation in the world. The SARS-CoV-2 virus belongs to the genus Betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, all of which originated in bats. It is highly contagious, causing symptoms like fever, dyspnea, asthenia and pneumonia, thrombocytopenia and the severely infected patients succumb to the disease. Coronaviruses (CoVs) among all known RNA viruses have the largest genomes ranging from 26 to 32 kb in length. Extensive research has been conducted to understand the molecular basis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection and evolution, develop effective therapeutics, antiviral drugs and vaccines, and to design rapid and confirmatory viral diagnostics as well as adopt appropriate prevention and control strategies. Till date, no clinically proclaimed, proven therapeutic antibodies or specific drugs and therapeutics, and vaccines have turned up. Several molecular diagnostic tests such as Real Time-PCR, isothermal loop-mediated amplification of coronavirus (i-LACO), full genome analysis by next-generation sequencing (NGS), multiplex nucleic acid amplification, and microarray-based assays are in use currently for the laboratory confirmation of this CoV infection. In this review article, we describe the basic molecular organization and phylogenetic analysis of the coronaviruses, including the SARS-CoV-2, and recent advances in diagnosis and vaccine development in brief and focusing mainly on developing potential therapeutic options that can be explored to manage this pandemic virus infection, which would help in valid countering of COVID-19.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; animal models; vaccines; future prospects
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:15:48 CEST)
The worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become an unprecedented challenge to global public health. With the intensification of the COVID-19 epidemic, the development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs against the etiological agent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are also widespread. To prove the effectiveness and safety of these preventive vaccines and therapeutic drugs, available animal models that faithfully recapitulate clinical hallmarks of COVID-19 are urgently needed. Currently, animal models including mice, golden hamsters, ferrets, nonhuman primates and other susceptible animals have been involved in the study of COVID-19. 92 vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials after the primary evaluation in animal models, of which inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, virus-vectored vaccines and mRNA vaccines are promising vaccine candidates. In this review, we summarize the landscape of animal models and advanced vaccines with efficacy range from about 50% to more than 95%. In addition, we point out future directions for animal models and vaccine development, aiming at providing valuable information and accelerating the breakthroughs confronting SARS-CoV-2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0757.v1
Online: 30 September 2020 (15:08:34 CEST)
Human civilizations are under enormous threats due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) originated from Wuhan, China. The asymptomatic carriers are the potential spreads of this novel virus. Since, guaranteed antiviral treatments have not been available in the market so far, it is really challenging to fight against this contagious disease. To save the living mankind, it is urgent to know more about how the virus transmits itself from one to another quite rapidly and how we can predict future infections. Scientists and Researchers are working hard in investigating to understand its high infection rate and transmission process. One possible way to know is to use our existing COVID-19 infection data and prepare a useful model to predict the future trend. Mathematical modelling is very useful to understand the basic principle of COVID-19 transmission and provide necessary guidelines for future prediction. Here, we have reviewed 9 distinct commonly used models based on Mathematical implementations for COVID-19 transmission and dig into the deep head to head comparison of each model. Finally, we have discussed interesting key behaviour of each model, relevant upcoming important issues, challenges and future directions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0108.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; hypothesis; pathophysiology; drug repurposing
Online: 7 July 2020 (02:50:55 CEST)
During the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, clinicians and scientists are working assiduously to unravel its pathophysiology and find effective treatments. An impressive number of papers has been published on SARS-CoV-2, exposing the complexity of the disease, the tendency of scientists to form hypotheses within their area of expertise, and the lack of orchestration of research. Hypotheses and research findings mainly complement each other, though sometimes controversies can be discerned among various theories and study results. Our overview aims to portray the ‘big picture’ of COVID-19, visualising the interwovenness of different pathophysiological pathways, with a focus on cytokine-induced pathology, the sequelae of ACE2 downregulation, and thrombosis associated with microvascular injury. It aids in overseeing the effects of repurposed drugs on intended targets, but also alerts to the (adverse) effects on interacting pathways. The overview shows how comorbidities probably increase susceptibility to (severe) COVID-19 and provides the possible pathophysiological origin of signs, symptoms, and biochemical abnormalities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0351.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: COVID-19; BCG immunization; SARS-CoV-2; immunity and tuberculosis
Online: 19 April 2020 (13:55:50 CEST)
The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine (BCG vaccine) designed to prevent tuberculosis in children has been shown to induce a trained immune response in the body to fight against bacteria as well as other parasites and viruses. This knowledge has been reciprocated to generate the idea that this vaccine can also offer protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2). Some recent pre-print articles have highlighted that countries with mass BCG immunizations seems to have a lower incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) compared to those without BCG immunization. There are yet no experimental proof of any such association and the world health organisation (WHO) is currently testing the theory with clinical trials on selected cohorts. Epidemiologists and other scientific experts has expressed both their hope and concern simultaneously regarding the success theory of BCG vaccination to prevent COVID-19. Though its still not verified in any way whether the BCG vaccination can actually prevent COVID-19 or not but we believe a thorough analytical research in this regard is indeed worth a shot.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0189.v1
Online: 9 July 2020 (12:18:46 CEST)
Background: The novel emerging virus SARS-CoV-2 has affected all human-kind during the first half of 2020. The aim of the study was to survey the actual circumstances from January until May. Methods: The data are collected and released systematically, by law, from the National Epidemiological Surveillance of Infectious Disease (NESID). Findings: Analysis of these data revealed that the infection spread in Japan from late March to early April 2020. The SARS-CoV-2 infection rate at its peak was estimated to be 10%. Thus, the size of the population who may have been exposed to the novel virus in Japan is estimated at 0.2 million, which is relatively small. The number of related deaths is likely to converge on 1,000 people. Interpretation: Applying the law of large numbers allows estimation of the infection rate as well as of the size of the affected population by statistical analysis. How to collect the data must be defined before the data analysis is suggested to be important to reflect the actual circumstances about COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0159.v1
Online: 14 June 2020 (03:18:35 CEST)
Novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has affected nearly 7 million individuals and claimed more than 0.4 million lives to date. There are several reports of gender differences related to infection and death due to COVID-19. This raises important questions such as “Whether there are differences based on gender in risk and severity of infection or mortality rate?” and “What are the biological explanation and mechanisms underlying these differences?” Emerging evidence has proposed sex-based immunological, genetic, and hormonal differences to explain this ambiguity. Besides biological differences, women have also faced social inequities and economic hardships due to this pandemic. Several recent studies have shown that independent of age males are at higher risk for severity and mortality in COVID-19 patients. Although susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 was found to be similar across both genders in several disease cohorts, a disproportionate death ratio in men can be partly explained by the higher burden of pre-existing diseases and occupational exposures among men. From an immunological point of view, females can engage a more active immune response, which may protect them and counter infectious diseases as compared to men. This attribute of better immune responses towards pathogens is thought to be due to high estrogen levels in females. Here we review the current knowledge about sex differences in susceptibility, the severity of infection and mortality, host immune responses, and the role of sex hormones in COVID-19 disease.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0774.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; infection control; healthcare-associated infections; healthcare workers; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 29 April 2021 (11:35:40 CEST)
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of healthcare workers (HCWs) infected with COVID-19 have lost their lives worldwide. At the early stage of the epidemic, when COVID-19 was still not considered as a pandemic, a large number of Chinese HCWs were infected. Officials reported that more than 3,000 HCWs in Hubei contracted the virus at the early stage of the outbreak due to limited knowledge of the virus. Following reports of overloaded local hospitals, more than 42,000 medical staff, including those from the military, were dispatched to Hubei from across the country. At the peak of the fight, one in 10 intensive care medics in China were working in Wuhan. During fighting against COVID-19 in China, although a large number of HCWs were infected by SARS-CoV-2 in the early stages of the epidemic, the timely adoption of measures indicated that, a faster rate of diagnosis could be achieved, patients were isolated in-time, HCWs’ safety was prioritized, training on basic protective knowledge and unified management of HCWs was strengthened, and effective protective measures were implemented. This resulted in the accomplishment of zero SARS-CoV-2 infection among the 42,632 members of the national medical teams sent to Hubei, and the number of COVID-19 cases among HCWs in local hospitals also significantly decreased, thereby indicating that hospital-acquired infections of SARS-CoV-2 among HCWs are fully preventable.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0481.v1
Online: 31 May 2020 (16:35:25 CEST)
COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused significant human and economic burden. Of the three major methods to mitigate the effect of the virus, diagnostics have become the focal point because vaccines and therapeutics, despite the intense effort of scientists worldwide, will take months to develop, test for safety and efficacy, scaleup and distribute to millions. This perspective aims to clarify some of the issues related to COVID-19 diagnostics and highlights some of the challenges key stakeholders including policymakers, businesses, managers, scientists and individuals face during this evolving pandemic.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0124.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Therapy; Chloroquine; Hydroxychloroquine; Zinc
Online: 8 April 2020 (10:54:33 CEST)
Currently, drug repurposing is an alternative to novel drug development for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The antimalarial drug chloroquine (CQ) and its metabolite hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are currently being tested in several clinical studies as potential candidates to limit SARS-CoV-2-mediated morbidity and mortality. CQ and HCQ (CQ/HCQ) inhibit pH-dependent steps of SARS-CoV-2 replication by increasing pH in intracellular vesicles and interfere with virus particle delivery into host cells. Besides direct antiviral effects, CQ/HCQ specifically target extracellular zinc to intracellular lysosomes where it interferes with RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity and coronavirus replication. As zinc deficiency frequently occurs in elderly patients and in those with cardiovascular disease, chronic pulmonary disease, or diabetes, we hypothesize that CQ/HCQ plus zinc supplementation may be more effective in reducing COVID-19 morbidity and mortality than CQ or HCQ in monotherapy. Therefore, CQ/HCQ in combination with zinc should be considered as additional study arm for COVID-19 clinical trials.