ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0164.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: biofilm; co-culture; Staphylococcus aureus; SaOS-2; biomaterials; implanted devices
Online: 12 December 2019 (05:24:29 CET)
Biofilm-mediated infection is a major cause of bone prosthesis failure. The lack of molecules able to act in biofilms has driven research aimed at identifying new anti-biofilm agents via chemical screens. However, to be able to accommodate a large number of compounds, the testing conditions of these screenings end up being typically far from the clinical scenario. In this study, we assess the potential applicability of three anti-biofilm compounds (based on natural compounds) as part of implanted medical devices by testing them on in vitro systems that more faithfully resemble the clinical scenario. To that end, we used a competition model based on the co-culture of SaOS-2 mammalian cells and Staphylococcus aureus (collection and clinical strains) on a titanium surface. Additionally, we studied whether these derivatives of natural compounds enhance the previously proven protective effect of pre-incubating the titanium surface with SaOS-2 cells. Out of the three tested leads, one showed the highest potential, and can be regarded as a promising agent for incorporation into bone implants. This study emphasizes and demonstrates the importance of using meaningful experimental models, where potential antimicrobials ought to be tested for protection of biomaterials in translational applications.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0400.v1
Online: 27 March 2020 (02:48:01 CET)
The world is currently going through a serious pandemic of viral infection with SARS-CoV-2, a new isolate of coronavirus, resembling and surpassing the crisis that occurred in 2002 and 2013 with SARS and MERS, respectively. SARS-CoV-2 has currently infected more than 142,000 people, causing 5,000 deaths and reaching more than 130 countries worldwide. The very large spreading capacity of the virus clearly demonstrates the potential threat of respiratory viruses to human health, alarming governments around the world that preventive health policies and scientific research are pivotal to overcoming the crisis. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes flu-like symptoms in most cases. However, approximately 15% of patients will need hospitalization, and 5% require assisted ventilation, depending on the cohorts studied. What is intriguing, however, is the higher susceptibility of elderly individuals, especially those who are more than 60 years old and have comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, the death rate in this group may be up to 10-12%. Interestingly, children are somehow protected and not included as a risk group.Thus, here, we discuss some possibilities of molecular and cellular mechanisms by which elderly subjects may be more susceptible to severe COVID-19. In this sense, we raise two main points: i) increased ACE-2 expression in pulmonary and heart tissue of chronic angiotensin 1 receptor (AT1R) blocker users and hypertensive individuals and ii) antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) after previous exposure to other circulating coronaviruses. We believe these are pivotal points for a better understanding of the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and must be addressed with attention by physicians and scientists in the field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0198.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: epidemiological history of HCV-2; HCV-2 subtypes; evolutionary demography of HCV-2; phylodynamics of HCV-2 in Italy and Albania; HCV-2 Re estimation
Online: 11 January 2021 (13:10:30 CET)
Newly characterising 245 Italian and Albanian HCV-2 NS5B sequences collected between 2001 and 2016 was used to reconstruct the origin and dispersion pathways of HCV-2c. The tree of a subset of these sequences aligned with 247 publicly available sequences was reconstructed in spatio-temporal scale using the Bayesian approach, and the effective replication number (Re) was estimated using the birth-death model. Our findings show that HCV-2c was the most prevalent subtype in Italy and Albania, and that GT2 originated in Guinea Bissau in the XVI century and spread to Europe in the XX century. The HCV-2c subtype had two internal nodes respectively dating back to the 1930s and 1950s having as most probable locations Ghana and Italy, respectively. Phylodynamic analysis revealed an exponential increase in the effective number of infections and Re in both Italy between the 1950s and 1980s, and Albania between the 1990s and the early 2000s. It seems very likely that HCV-2c reached Italy from Africa at the time of the second Italian colonisation (1936-1941), but did not reach Albania until the period of dramatic migration to Italy in the 1990s.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0409.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; SARS-CoV-2; spike protein; COVID-19
Online: 9 April 2020 (09:59:37 CEST)
Objectives Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has high infectivity in humans, attributed to the strong affinity of its spike (S) protein to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Here, we analyzed the structural similarity of the S protein between SARS-CoV-2 and other SARS-related coronaviruses (CoVs). Methods We performed multiple alignment analysis of nine amino acid sequences of CoV S proteins from NCBI with MAFFT web-based software, followed by phylogeny analysis. Three-dimensional structure modeling was performed by SWISS-MODEL. We calculated the template modeling score between the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 and that of other SARS-related CoVs. Results The S1 domain of the unclassified CoV RaTG13 (the host of which is the intermediate horseshoe bat) was structurally very similar to that of SARS-CoV-2, implying that RaTG13 could be the origin of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the folding property of the entire S protein was nearly the same between SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 after the PRRA amino acid insertion was removed from SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions RaTG13 could have a high binding affinity to ACE2, similar to SARS-CoV-2, and it is therefore highly likely to infect other animals. Therefore, massive research and monitoring of CoVs in animals is necessary to prevent future COVID-19-like disasters.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0225.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Analysis Keywords: 2-inner product; vector-valued spaces; 2-semi norm.
Online: 22 June 2019 (14:46:09 CEST)
This paper is devoted to the study of reproducing kernels on 2-inner product Hilbert spaces. We focus on a new structure to produce reproducing kernel Hilbert and Banach spaces. According to multi-variable computing, this structures can be useful in electrocardiographs, machine learning and economy
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0073.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS-COV-2; respiratory tests; Xpert® Xpress COV-2 plus; Xpert(2) Xpress COV-2/Flu/RSV plus; diagnostic evaluation; novel target
Online: 5 December 2022 (10:17:58 CET)
The Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 and Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2/Flu/RSV tests were rapidly developed and widely used during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. In response to emerging genetic variability, a new SARS-CoV-2 target (RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase) has been added to both tests: Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus and Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test. A rapid evaluation of both tests was performed in South Africa, using residual respiratory specimens. Residual respiratory specimens (n=125) were used to evaluate the Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus test and included 50 genotyped specimens. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test was assessed using 45 genotyped SARS-CoV-2 specimens, ten influenza A, ten Influenza B and twenty respiratory syncytial virus specimens. Results were com-pared to in-country standard of care tests. Genotyped specimens tested the performance of the test under pressure from circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Reference material was included to assess the test limits and linearity. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus test performance compared to reference results across residual respiratory specimens was good (positive per-centage agreement (PPA)=95.2%, negative percentage agreement (NPA)=95.0%) The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus test showed good performance across all residual respiratory specimens (PPA=100%, NPA=98.3%). All genotyped variants of concern were detected by both tests. The Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus and Xpert® Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus tests can be used to diagnose SARS-CoV-2, and to diagnose and differentiate SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus respectively. The NPA was lower than the recommended 99%, but was influenced by the low number of negative specimens tested. The variants of concern assessed did not affect test performance. It is recommended that sites perform their own assessments compared to in-country standard of care tests.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0333.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: 2-Deoxyglucose; Adverse effects; COVID-19; Glutamine; PI3K/Akt
Online: 1 July 2021 (13:04:43 CEST)
The treatment of viral infections is challenging owing to the intricate structure and metabolism of the viruses. In addition, they can highjack host cellular metabolism, mutate and adapt to harsh environmental conditions. The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) displays further resilient attributes, making its eradication even more difficult. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus whose replication can be targeted by limiting the substrates available for structural incorporation. One such molecule that limits substrate availability and has received much attention lately is 2-Deoxy-d-glucose (2-DG). SARS-CoV-2 infection induces glycolysis, impairs mitochondrial function, and damages the infected cells. Administration of 2-DG can inhibit increased glycolytic flux and some other metabolic processes to cause the cessation of viral replication. This article provides a review of the mechanism of action and safety concerns associated with administering 2-DG in the treatment of COVID-19. The drug can have adverse effects on normal cell metabolism since it targets cells non-selectively, possibly in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the drug has limited use in SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with stroke, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and critical illness.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0708.v1
Subject: Biology, 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/preprints202004.0337.v1
Online: 19 April 2020 (07:14:52 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind COVID-19 pandemic is acquiring new mutations in its genome. Although some mutations provide benefits to the virus against human immune response, a number of them may result in their reduced pathogenicity and virulence. By analyzing more than 3000 high-coverage, complete genome sequences deposited in the GISAID database, here I report a unique 28881-28883:GGG>AAC trinucleotide-bloc mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 genome that results in two sub-strains, described here as SARS-CoV-2g (28881-28883:GGG genotype) and SARS-CoV-2a (28881-28883:AAC genotype). Computational analysis and literature review suggest that this bloc mutation would bring 203-204:RG(arginine-glycine)>KR(lysine-arginine) amino acid changes in the nucleocapsid (N) protein affecting the SR (serine-arginine)-rich motif of the protein, a critical region for the transcription of viral RNA and replication of the virus. Thus, 28881-28883:GGG>AAC bloc-mutation is expected to modulate the pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2g and SARS-CoV-2a strains can be linked with the heterogeneity of COVID-19 cases across different regions within and between countries by analyzing existing data. Sequence analysis suggests that severely affected cities, such as Milan, Lombardy, New York, Paris have the predominant presence of SARS-CoV-2g strains, whereas less affected places like Abruzzo, Lyon, Valencia have a relatively higher presence of SARS-CoV-2a, an indication that the latter strain may contribute to the reduced cases of COVID-19. A similar relationship is observed when Netherlands, Portugal are compared with Spain, France and Germany. These analyses suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 has already evolved into a less infective SARS-CoV-2a affecting COVID-19 cases in different regions. The time a country or region needs to acquire SARS-CoV-2a strains may be indicative to the time it would need to overcome the peak of the COVID-19 cases. To confirm these assumptions, prompt retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies should be conducted in different countries to understand the course of pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2a and SARS-CoV-2g. Potential drugs can be designed targeting 28881-28883 region of the N protein to modulate virus pathogenicity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0338.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Forests; biomass; ALOS-2 PALSAR-2; Sentinel-1 CSAR; Sentinel-2 MSI; Landsat 8 OLI; ensemble learning.
Online: 16 February 2021 (14:15:01 CET)
This paper presents ensemble learning of multi-source satellite sensors dataset to obtain better predictive performance of the forest biomass. Spectral, spectral-indices, and spectral-textural features were generated from two optical satellite sensors, Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Sentinel-2 Multispectral Instrument (MSI). In addition, two radar satellite sensors, Sentinel-1 C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (CSAR), and Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS-2) Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR-2) were utilized to generate backscattering and backscattering-textural features. The plot-wise above ground biomass data available from five forests in New England region were utilized. Ensemble learning of multi-source satellite sensors dataset was carried out by employing four machine learning regressors namely, Support Vector Machines (SVM), Random Forests (RF), Gradient Boosting (GB), and Multilayer Perceptron (MLP). A five-fold cross-validation method was used to evaluate predictive performance of the multi-source satellite sensors. The integration of multi-source satellite features, comprising of spectral, spectral-indices, backscattering, spectral-textural, and backscattering-textural information, through ensemble learning and cross-validation approach implemented in the research showed promising results (R2 = 0.81, RMSE = 46.2 Mg/ha) for the estimation of plots-level forest biomass in New England region.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0509.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: isatin; indolin-2-one; acute myeloid leukemia; apoptosis; ERK1/2; MAPK
Online: 28 November 2022 (09:59:20 CET)
Searching for bioactive compounds within the huge chemical space is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Isatin is a unique natural compound which is endowed with different biopertinent activities specially in cancer therapy. Herein, we envisaged that adopting a hybrid strategy of isatin and α,β-unsaturated ketone would afford new chemical entities with strong chemotherapeutic potential. Of interest, compounds 5b and 5g demonstrated significant antiproliferative activities against different cancer genotypes according to NCI assay. Concomitantly, their IC50 against HL-60 cells were 0.38 ± 0.08 and 0.57 ± 0.05, respectively, demonstrating remarkable apoptosis and mod-erate cell cycle arrest at G1 phase. Intriguingly, an impressive safety profile for 5b was reflected by a 37.2 times selectivity against HL-60 over PBMC from a healthy donor. This provoked us to further explore their mechanism of action by in vitro and in silico tools. Conclusively, 5b and 5g stand out as strong chemotherapeutic agents that hold a clinical promise against acute myeloid leukemia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0133.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: bone formation; BMP-2; FGF-2; beta-TCP; osteoblast-osteoclast communication
Online: 9 March 2022 (10:58:33 CET)
It is very difficult to repair large bone defects, especially when they have a complex shape. We have developed a new technique to make a desired copy of rabbit bones. A rabbit distal femur was scanned by computed tomography (CT), and a rectangular-shaped beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) block with 75% porosity was automatically machined using milling tools into a half-scale copy of the distal femur based on the CT data. The β-TCP block was seeded with bone morphogenetic protein-2 and bone marrow cells obtained from the femur and implanted on the periosteum of the femur. At 10 weeks after implantation, most of the β-TCP block had been replaced by bone and a complete copy of the distal femur was reconstructed. Our findings indicate that this technique will be useful in the clinical setting. We also report the representative clinical results of treatment with β-TCP graft in patients with bone defects since 1989.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0585.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; Endothelium dysfunction; Thrombosis; Vasculitis.
Online: 28 October 2020 (11:21:55 CET)
Abstract: SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) infection is associated, alongside with lung infection and respiratory disease, to cardiovascular dysfunction that occurs at any stage of the disease. This includes ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathies. The common pathophysiological link between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cardiovascular events is represented by coagulation abnormalities and disruption of factors released by endothelial cells which contribute in maintaining the blood vessels into an anti-thrombotic state. Thus, early alteration of the functionality of endothelial cells, which may be found soon after SARS-CoV-2 infection, seems to represent the major target of SARS CoV-2 disease state and accounts for the systemic vascular dysfunction that leads to detrimental effect in terms of hospitalization and death accompanying the disease. In particular, the molecular interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with ACE2 receptor located in endothelial cell surface, either at the pulmonary and systemic level, leads to early impairment of endothelial function which, in turn, is followed by vascular inflammation and thrombosis of peripheral blood vessels. This highlights systemic hypoxia and further aggravates the vicious circle that compromises the development of the disease leading to irreversible tissue damage and death of patients with SARS CoV-2 infection. The review aims to assess some recent advances to define the crucial role of endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of vascular complications accompanying SARS-CoV-2 infection. In particular, the molecular mechanisms associated to the interaction of SARS CoV-2 with ACE2 receptor located on the endothelial cells are highlighted to support its role in compromising endothelial cell functionality. Finally, the consequences of endothelial dysfunction in enhancing pro-inflammatory and pro-thrombotic effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection are assessed in order to identify early therapeutic interventions able to reduce the impact of the disease in high-risk patients.
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0466.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 RBD; Ubrogepant; ACE-2; MD simulation
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:50:27 CEST)
Background: COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global pandemic affecting approximately 490,000 people and accounting for more than 22,000 deaths and has no generally acceptable cure. Here, the recently resolved 3D structure of SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) in complex with its receptor-the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) have provided the basis for screening chemical database for novel entry inhibitors. Methods: Molecular docking protocols have been used to rapidly screen FDA database for high affinity interaction at the SARS-CoV-2-RBD/ACE-2 interface. One of the top candidates, ubrogepant has been selected and further studied using atomistic molecular dynamics simulation method. Results: Molecular docking result showed that ubrogepant (UBR) and darunavir have binding energies of -10.4 kcal/mol. MMPBSA free energy analyses of UBR bound to RBD, ACE-2 and RBD/ACE-2 revealed RBD/ACE-2 > ACE-2 > RBD preference. Network analysis showed that interaction captured in the crystal structure were disrupted in UBR-bound state, hydration of the interface and increased atomic fluctuation within the RBD oligomerization interface and ACE-2 zinc binding site. Conclusions: The ability of ubrogepant to rupture the interaction at the RBD/ACE-2 interface residues of SARS-CoV-2 RBD/ACE-2 complex may result in loss of protein function with direct implication on oligomerization formation in RBD and loss of function in ACE-2 thus, making binding, cellular receptor recognition impossible. General Significance: Ubrogepant represents a new therapeutic candidate in the fight against COVID-19, as it binds with relatively high affinity with free RBD, ACE-2 receptor and SARS-CoV-2 RBD/ACE-2 complex based on binding affinity calculations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0086.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: praeruptorin A; human cervical cancer; ERK; Invasion; MMP-2; TIMP-2
Online: 19 September 2017 (07:45:00 CEST)
Praeruptorin A(PA), a naturally existing pyranocumarin, is isolated from the dried root of Peucedanum praeruptorum Dunn. So far the anti-cancer effect and molecular mechanism behind Praeruptorin A action in human cervical cancer HeLa cells remain unknown. In the present study, we find that PA reduces cell proliferation and colony formation of human cervical cancer HeLa cells through inducing cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. PA-upregulated p21 and p27 proteins are observed, accompanied with inhibition of cyclin D1 and S-phase kinase-associated protein 2(Skp2) proteins expression. PA could significantly inhibit migration and invasion of human HeLa cells. Meanwhile, PA significantly reduces invasive protein expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), and increases protein expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2). PA is observed to possess the capacity in suppressing ERK1/2 activation. PD98059 (ERK specific inhibitor) significantly enhances PA-induced downregulation of MMP-2 expression, and upregulation of TIMP-2 expression. Moreover, we found that PA treatment notably inhibits 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate(TPA)-upregulated ERK1/2 activation, MMP-2 expression, cellular migration and invasion in human HeLa cells. Taken together, these findings are the first to demonstrate the anti-cancer activity of PA, which may act as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of human cervical cancer.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0414.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: : mineralocorticosteroid receptor antagonist (MRA); angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); SARS-CoV-2; transmembrane protease receptor serine 2; furin; plasmin
Online: 18 May 2021 (10:39:03 CEST)
Aims: Spironolactone is a steroidal mineralocoricosteroid receptor antagonist (MRA) used for treatment of resistant hypertension, heart failure and edema. It exerts class specific adverse effects that are shared by other MRAs. Additionally, it exerts unique “off target” steroidal effects that include gynecomastia, impotence and loss of libido in males and menstrual irregularity in females. Together, these have led to a poor tolerability and limited use despite positive results in many randomized, controlled clinical trials. We review the off-target effects of spironolactone that may summate with its MRA action to provide an advantageous profile for prevention or treatment of patients with COVID-19. Methods: Literature review using PubMed Central. Results: The blockade by spironolactone of the androgen receptor should diminish the expression of transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) that has an androgen promoter while its MRA action should enhance the expression of protease nexin1 (PN1) that inhibits furin and plasmin. TMPRSS2, furin and plasmin cooperated to process the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to increase its high affinity binding to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and thereby promote viral cell entry. Its actions as an MRA may reduce inflammation and preserve pulmonary, cardiac and vascular functions. Its anti-plasmin action may combat hemostatic dysfunction. Conclusion: The hypothesis that the off-target effects of spironolactone summate with its MRA actions to provide special benefits for COVID-19 is worthy of direct investigation and clinical trial.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0120.v1
Online: 13 April 2022 (08:31:45 CEST)
BA.2, a sublineage of Omicron BA.1, is now prominent in many parts of the world. Early reports indicate that BA.2 is more infectious than BA.1. To gain insight into BA.2 mutation profile and the resulting impact of mutations on interaction with receptor and/or monoclonal antibodies, we analyzed available se-quences, structures of Spike/receptor, and Spike/antibody complexes, and conducted molecular dynamics simulations. The results showed that BA.2 has 50 high-prevalent mutations compared to 48 in BA.1. Seventeen BA.1 mutations are not present in BA.2. Instead, BA.2 has 19 unique mutations and a signature Delta variant mutation (G142D). Intriguingly, the BA.2 has 28 signature mutations in Spike, compared to 30 in BA.1. This is due to two revertant mutations S446G and S496G in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), making BA.2 somewhat similar to Wuhan-Hu-1 (WT), which has G446 and G496. The molecular dynamics simulations showed that the RBD consisting of G446/G496 is more stable than S446/S496 containing RBD. Thus, our analyses suggest that BA.2 has evolved with novel mutations (i) to maintain receptor binding similar to WT, (ii) evade the antibody binding greater than BA.1, and (iii) acquire mutation of the Delta variant that may be associated with the high infectivity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0187.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: endothelial dysfunction; SARS-CoV-2 infection; thrombosis, angiotensin-converting enzyme-2; angiogenesis
Online: 15 February 2022 (11:05:22 CET)
One of the hallmarks of the SARS-CoV-2 infection has been the inflammatory process that played a role in its pathogenesis, resulting in mortality within susceptible individuals. This uncontrolled inflammatory process leads to severe systemic symptoms via multiple pathways, however, the role of endothelial dysfunction and thrombosis have not been truly explored. This review aims to highlight the pathogenic mechanisms of these inflammatory triggers leading to thrombogenic complications. There are direct and indirect pathogenic pathways of the infection that are examined in detail. We also describe the case of carotid artery thrombosis in a patient following the SARS-CoV-2 infection, while reviewing the literature on the role of ACE2, the endothelium, and the different mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 may manifest both acutely and chronically. We also highlight differences from the other coronaviruses that have made this infection pandemic with similarities to the influenza virus.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0673.v1
Subject: Keywords: Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); trafficking; localization; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Online: 26 November 2020 (12:10:41 CET)
With the emergence of the novel corona virus SARS-CoV-2 since December 2019, more than 43 million cases have been reported worldwide. This virus has shown high infectivity and severe symptoms in some cases leading to over 1 million deaths globally. Despite the collaborative and concerted research efforts that has been made, no effective treatment for COVID-19 (corona virus disease-2019) is currently available. SARS-CoV-2 uses the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as an initial mediator for viral attachment and host cell invasion. ACE2 is widely distributed in human tissues including the cell surface of lung cells which represent the primary site of the infection. Inhibiting or reducing cell surface availability of ACE2 represents a promising therapy for tackling COVID-19. In this context, most ACE2–based therapeutic strategies have aimed to achieve this through the use of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or neutralizing the virus by exogenous administration of ACE2. However, through this review, we present another perspective focusing on the subcellular localization and trafficking of ACE2. Membrane targeting of ACE2, shedding and its cellular trafficking pathways including internalization are not well elucidated. Therefore, hereby we present an overview on the fate of newly synthesized ACE2, its post translational modifications, what is known of its trafficking pathways. In addition, we highlight the possibility that some of the identified ACE2 missense variants might affect its trafficking efficiency and localization and hence may explain some of the observed variable severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Extensive understanding of these processes is necessary to evaluate the potential use of ACE2 as a credible therapeutic target.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0353.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2; Curcumin
Online: 24 March 2020 (03:16:22 CET)
COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a public health emergency of international concern caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of this time, there is no known effective pharmaceutical, phytopharmaceutical or traditional medicine for cure or prevention of COVID-19, although it is urgently needed. In this review, based on the current understanding of the disease molecular mechanisms of novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and its closest relative SARS-CoV and other human Coronaviruses, I have identified some naturally occurring plant based substances and Ayurvedic medicinal herbs that could feasibly be tested as a matter of urgency for prevention as well as therapeutic option for COVID-19 in India and other parts of the world. I conclude that dried rhizome of Curcuma longa L. i.e. turmeric, and its active ingredient curcumin may be effective in preventing as well as cure the COVID-19 pandemic due to its proven antiviral activities, this however need to be tested by appropriate clinical trials as research priority.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0047.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: Kidney; hypertonicity; osmotic stress; lipocalin-2; lipocalin-2 receptor; lipopolysaccharide; TonEBP; CREB
Online: 4 September 2019 (14:24:49 CEST)
The rodent collecting duct (CD) expresses a 24p3/NGAL/lipocalin-2 (Lcn2) receptor (Slc22a17) apically to possibly mediate high-affinity reabsorption of filtered proteins by endocytosis, yet its functions remain uncertain. Recently, we showed that hyperosmolarity/-tonicity upregulates Slc22a17 in cultured mouse inner medullary CD cells, whereas activation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) via bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) downregulates Slc22a17. This is similar to the upregulation of Aqp2 by hyperosmolarity/-tonicity and arginine vasopressin (AVP) and downregulation by TLR4 signaling that occur via the transcription factors Nfat5 (TonEBP or OREBP), cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), and nuclear factor-kappa B, respectively. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of osmolarity/tonicity via Nfat5, AVP via CREB and TLR4 signaling on the expression of Slc22a17 and its ligand Lcn2 in the mouse (m) cortical collecting duct cell line mCCD(cl.1). Normosmolarity/-tonicity was 300 mosmol/l whereas addition of 50-100 mmol/l NaCl for up to 72 h induced hyperosmolarity/-tonicity (400-500 mosmol/l). RT-PCR, qPCR, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence microscopy detected Slc22a17 and Lcn2 expression. RNAi silenced Nfat5, and the pharmacological agent 666-15 blocked CREB. Activation of TLR4 occurred with LPS. Similar to Aqp2, hyperosmotic/-tonic media and AVP upregulated Slc22a17 via activation of Nfat5 and CREB, respectively, and LPS/TLR4 signaling downregulated Slc22a17. Conversely, though Nfat5 mediated hyperosmolarity/-tonicity induced downregulation of Lcn2 expression, AVP reduced Lcn2 expression and predominantly apical Lcn2 secretion evoked by LPS, but through a posttranslational mode of action that was independent of cAMP signaling. In conclusion, the hyperosmotic/-tonic upregulation of Slc22a17 in mCCD(cl.1) cells via Nfat5 and by AVP via CREB suggests a contribution of Slc22a17 to adaptive osmotolerance, whereas Lcn2 downregulation could counteract increased proliferation and permanent damage of osmotically stressed cells.
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/preprints202106.0396.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Shadowed Type-2 Fuzzy Sets; Generalized Type-2 Fuzzy Systems; Differential Evolution algorithm
Online: 15 June 2021 (11:20:20 CEST)
This work is mainly focused on improving the differential evolution algorithm with the utilization of shadowed and general type 2 fuzzy systems to dynamically adapt one of the parameters of the evolutionary method. In this case, the mutation parameter is dynamically moved during the evolution process by using a shadowed and general type-2 fuzzy systems. The main idea of this work is to make a performance comparison between using shadowed and general type 2 fuzzy systems as controllers of the mutation parameter in differential evolution. The performance is compared with the problem of optimizing fuzzy controllers for a D.C. Motor. Simulation results show that general type-2 fuzzy systems are better when higher levels of noise are considered in the controller.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: enteric nervous system; ENS; gastrointestinal tract; GI; glucagon-like peptide 2; GLP-2
Online: 11 June 2020 (11:58:03 CEST)
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is innervated by the enteric nervous system (ENS), an extensive neuronal network that traverses along its walls. Due to local reflex circuits, the ENS is capable of functioning with and without input from the central nervous system. The functions of the ENS range from the propulsion of food to nutrient handling, blood flow regulation and immunological defense. Records of it first being studied emerged in the early 19th century when the submucosal and myenteric plexuses were discovered. This was followed by extensive research and further delineation of its development, anatomy, and function during the next two centuries. The morbidity and mortality associated with the underdevelopment, infection or inflammation of the ENS highlights its importance and the need for us to completely understand its normal function. This review will provide a general overview of the ENS to date and connect specific GI disorders such as short bowel syndrome with neuronal pathophysiology. Exciting opportunities in which the ENS could be used as a therapeutic target for common GI diseases will also be highlighted, as the further unlocking of such mechanisms could open the door to more therapy-related advances, and ultimately change our approach to GI disorders.
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; susceptibility; livestock; aquatic mammals
Online: 7 June 2020 (08:18:54 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, the causal agent of the globally spreading COVID-19, is capable of infecting variable animals besides human being. We evaluated the potential susceptibility of important livestock, pets and aquatic mammals by performing a multi-species sequence analysis of ACE2 based on the reported affected and unaffected animals. We identified a triple amino acid pattern of ACE2, at position 30, 31 and 34, that might be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and H34 might be an indicator of the susceptibility to COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0272.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2); COVID-19; coronavirus; pandemic; smell; anosmia; taste; ageusia
Online: 16 April 2020 (12:42:44 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2) is a coronavirus which is causing the actual COVID-19 pandemic. The disease caused by 2019 new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was named coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization in February 2020. Primary non-specific reported symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection at the prodromal phase are malaise, fever, and dry cough. The most commonly reported signs and symptoms are fever (98%), cough (76%), dyspnea (55%), and myalgia or fatigue (44%). Nonetheless, recent reports suggest an association between COVID-19 and altered olfactory and taste functions, although smell seems to be more affected than taste. These associations of smell and taste dysfunctions and CoV-2 are consistent with case reports describing a patient with SARS with long term anosmia after recovery from respiratory distress, with the observation that olfactory function is commonly altered after infection with endemic coronaviruses, and with data demonstrating that intentional experimental infection of humans with CoV-299 raises the thresholds at which odors can be detected. Post-viral anosmia and is one of the leading causes of loss of sense of smell in adults, accounting for up to 40% cases of anosmia. Viruses that give rise to the common cold are well known to cause post-infectious loss, and over 200 different viruses are known to cause upper respiratory tract infections. I reviewed the possible mechanisms of smell and taste loss in COVID-19. I concluded that since the existence of such a relationship is likely, it is highly recommended that those patients who experience complications such as smell and/or taste loss, even as unique symptoms, should be considered as potential SARS-CoV-2 virus carriers.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0091.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); receptor utilization; phylogenetic analysis.
Online: 5 March 2020 (12:12:38 CET)
SARS-CoV-2, the newly identified human coronavirus causing severe pneumonia epidemic, was probably originated from Chinese horseshoe bats. However, direct transmission of the virus from bats to humans is unlikely due to lack of direct contact, implying the existence of unknown intermediate hosts. Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the receptor of SARS-CoV-2, but only ACE2s of certain species can be utilized by SARS-CoV-2. Here, we evaluated and ranked the receptor-utilizing capability of ACE2s from various species by phylogenetic clustering and sequence alignment with the currently known ACE2s utilized by SARS-CoV-2, predicting potential intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0098.v1
Online: 7 June 2022 (09:00:26 CEST)
Despite the remarkable success of SARS CoV-2 vaccines, the rise of variants, some of which are more resistant to the effects of vaccination, highlights the potential need for additional COVID-19 vaccines. We used the Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS) technology, in which proteins are presented on a polysaccharide polymer to induce antibody, Th1, Th17 and CD8+ T cell responses, to engineer a novel vaccine targeting SARS CoV-2. This vaccine contains a fragment of the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) sequence of the original D614G strain and was used to immunize nonhuman primates (NHP) for assessment of immunological responses and protection against SARS CoV-2 challenge. The SARS CoV-2 MAPS vaccine generated robust neutralizing antibodies as well as Th1, Th17 and cytotoxic CD8 T-cell responses in NHPs. Furthermore, MAPS-immunized NHPs had significantly lower viral loads in the nasopharynx and lung compared to control animals. Taken together, these findings support the use of the MAPS platform to make a SARS CoV-2 vaccine. The nature of the platform also could enable its use for the inclusion of different variants in a single vaccine.
Online: 7 June 2021 (13:01:18 CEST)
Wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 has garnered extensive public attention during the COVID-19 pandemic as a proposed complement to existing disease surveillance systems. Over the past year, methods for detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in untreated sewage have advanced, and concentrations in wastewater have been shown to correlate with trends in reported cases. Despite the promise of wastewater surveillance, for these measurements to translate into useful public health tools, it is necessary to bridge the communication and knowledge gaps between researchers and public health responders. Here we describe the key uses, barriers, and applicability of SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance for supporting public health decisions and actions, including establishing ethical consideration for monitoring. Overall, while wastewater surveillance to assess community infections is not a new idea, by addressing these barriers, the COVID-19 pandemic may be the initiating event that turns this emerging public health tool into a sustainable nationwide surveillance system.
Online: 27 January 2021 (15:08:12 CET)
To date, uncertainty remains about how long the protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 persists and reports of suspected reinfection began to be described in recovered patients months after the first episode. Viral evolution may favor reinfections, and the recently described spike mutations, particularly in the receptor binding domain (RBD) in SARS-CoV-2 lineages circulating in the UK, South Africa, and most recently in Brazil, have raised concern on their potential impact in infectivity, immune escape and reinfection. We report a case of reinfection from distinct SARS-CoV-2 lineages presenting the E484K mutation in Brazil, a variant associated with escape from neutralizing antibodies.
Online: 15 January 2021 (13:14:15 CET)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the current coronavirus pandemic is an infectious disease that initially confirmed in China in late December 2019. In this study, we analyzed 131 complete sequences of SARS-CoV-2 from Asia. Our results show that there are fifteen major mutations in Asia which most of them are co-evolved. There were five groups based on co-mutations which three of them resulted in clade G including (241C>T, 3037C>T, 14408C>T, and 23403A>G), (28881G>A, 28882G>A, 28883G>C and 23403A>G) and (25563G>T and 23403A>G). Co-mutations in (8782C>T and 28144T>C) and (1397G>A, 28688T>C, 29742G>T and 11083G>T) were clustered in clade S and a new clade outside of GISAID classification, respectively. Sequences with a mutation in 26144G>T had low variability without any co-mutation which formed clade V. In this study, we showed that Most of the circulated viruses in Asia collected in five co-mutation groups which may affect the transmissibility and vaccine designing strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0002.v1
Online: 4 January 2021 (08:27:33 CET)
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a well-known group of viruses in veterinary medicine. We currently know four genera of Coronavirus, alfa, beta, gamma and delta. Wild, farmed and pet animals are infected with CoVs belonging to all four genera. Seven human respiratory coronaviruses have still been identified, four of which cause upper respiratory tract diseases, specifically, the common cold, and the last three that have emerged cause severe acute respiratory syndromes, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. In this review we briefly describe animal coronaviruses and what we actually know about SARS-CoV-2 infection in farm and domestic animals.
Online: 29 May 2020 (03:41:50 CEST)
The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a global public health crisis. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 by contact is widely accepted, but the relative importance of aerosol transmission for the spread of COVID-19 is controversial. Here we characterize the distribution of SARA-CoV-2 in 123 aerosol samples, 63 masks, and 30 surface samples collected at various locations in Wuhan, China. The positive percentages of viral RNA included 21% of the aerosol samples from an intensive care unit and 39% of the masks from patients with a range of conditions. A viable virus was isolated from the surgical mask of one critically ill patient while all viral RNA positive aerosol samples were cultured negative. The SARS-CoV-2 detected in masks from patients, ambient air, and respirators from health workers compose a chain of emission, transport, and recipient of the virus. Our results indicate that masks are effective in protecting against the spread of viruses, and it is strongly recommended that people throughout the world wear masks to break the chain of virus transmission and thus protect themselves and others from SARS-CoV-2.
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:41:36 CEST)
There is an urgent need to advance safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines for low- and middle-income countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Such vaccines rely on proven technologies such as recombinant protein-based vaccines to facilitate its transfer for emerging market vaccine manufacturers. Our group is developing a two-pronged approach to advance recombinant protein-based vaccines to prevent COVID-19 caused by SARS CoV2 and other coronavirus infections. One vaccine is based on a yeast-derived (Pichia pastoris) recombinant protein comprised of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV formulated on alum and referred to as the CoV RBD219-N1 Vaccine. Potentially this vaccine could be used as a heterologous vaccine against COVID-19. A second vaccine specific for COVID-19 is also being advanced using the corresponding RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The first antigen has already undergone cGMP manufacture and is therefore “shovel ready” for advancing into clinical trials, following vialing and required GLP toxicology testing. Evidence for its potential efficacy to cross-protect against SARS-CoV-2 includes cross-neutralization and binding studies using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. Evidence in support of its safety profile include our internal assessments in a mouse challenge model using a lethal mouse adapted SARS strain, which show that SARS-CoV RBD 291N1 (when adsorbed to Alhydrogel®) does not elicit eosinophilic lung pathology. Together these findings suggest that recombinant protein-based vaccines based on the RBD warrant further development to prevent SARS, COVID-19 or other coronaviruses of pandemic potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0025.v1
Online: 3 February 2019 (03:19:50 CET)
Angiogenesis mediated by proteins such as Fibroblast Growth Factor – 2 (FGF-2) is a vital component of normal physiological processes and has also been implicated in contributing to disease state associated with various microbial infections. Previous studies by our group and others have shown that Candida albicans, a common agent of candidiasis, induces FGF-2 expression in vitro, and angiogenesis in brains and kidneys during systemic infections. However, the underlying mechanism(s) via which the fungus increases FGF-2 expression and the role(s) that FGF-2/angiogenesis plays in C. albicans disease remain unknown. Here we show, for the first time, that C. albicans hyphae (and not yeast cells) increase the FGF-2 response in human endothelial cells. Moreover, candidalysin, a toxin secreted exclusively by C. albicans in the hyphal state is required to induce this response. Our in vivo studies show that, in the systemic C. albicans infection model, mice treated with FGF-2 exhibit significantly higher mortality rates when compared to untreated mice not given the angiogenic growth factor. Even treatment with fluconazole could not fully rescue infected animals that were administered FGF-2. Our data suggest that the increase of FGF-2 production/angiogenesis induced by candidalysin contributes to the pathogenicity of C. albicans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0065.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; VSV replicon; PDC-109; Bovine seminal plasma; Fn-type 2 proteins
Online: 5 July 2022 (07:49:32 CEST)
Mammalian seminal plasma contains a multitude of bioactive components, including lipids, glucose, mineral elements, metabolites, proteins, cytokines and growth factors, with various functions during insemination and fertilization. The seminal plasma protein PDC-109 is one of the major soluble components of the bovine ejaculate and is crucially important for sperm motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction. A hitherto underappreciated function of seminal plasma is its anti-microbial and anti-viral activity, which may limit sexual transmission of infectious diseases during intercourse. We have recently discovered that PDC-109 inhibits the membrane fusion activity of influenza virus particles and significantly impairs viral infections at micromolar concentrations. Here we investigated whether the antiviral activity of PDC-109 is restricted to Influenza or if other mammalian viruses are similarly affected. We focused on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19), thoroughly assessing PDC-109 inhibition with SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S)-pseudotyped reporter virus particles, but also live-virus infections. Consistent with our previous publications we found significant virus inhibition, albeit accompanied by substantial cytotoxicity. Using time-of-addition experiments however, we discovered treatment regimen that enable virus suppression without affecting cell viability. We furthermore demonstrated that PDC-109 is also able to impair infections mediated by the VSV glycoprotein (VSVg) thus indicating a broad pan-antiviral activity against multiple virus species and families.
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0330.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2); COVID-19; coronavirus; pandemic; respiratory distress; brainstem; respiratory center
Online: 19 April 2020 (05:37:30 CEST)
Covid-19 pandemic has captivated scientists to investigate if this new disease can affect the central nervous system (CNS). The most challenging symptoms of Covid-19 are related to respiratory distress, and most patients admitted in intensive care units cannot breathe by their own. Therefore, a crucial question is if respiratory distress can be partially explained by the CNS affection. SARS-Cov-2 is a beta-coronavirus that shares high similarities with SARS-CoV. The infection of SARS‐CoV has been reported in the brains from both patients and experimental animals, where the brainstem was heavily infected. Those coronaviruses have been able to invade the brainstem via a synapse‐connected route to the medullary respiratory center, where the infected regions included the nucleus of the solitary tract and nucleus ambiguous. The vagal afferent nerves from receptors in the lung communicate with the medulla and pons respiratory control centers to coordinate inspiration and expiration. This suggests that neuroinvasion of SARS‐CoV‐2 might play a role in the acute respiratory failure of Covid-19. Therefore, acute respiratory distress in Covid-19 can be partially explained by brainstem dysfunction, suggesting the needs of more specific and aggressive treatments with the direct participation of neurologists and neurointensivists.
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); animal reservoir; cross-species transmission; cats
Online: 8 April 2020 (04:43:14 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 causes severe pneumonia epidemics and probably originated in horseshoe bats, but the intermediate host is unknown. The interaction of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its acceptor protein ACE2 is an important issue in determining viral host range and cross-species infection, while the binding capacity of Spike protein to ACE2 of different species is unknown. Here, we used the atomic structure model of SARS-CoV-2 and human ACE2 to assess the receptor utilization capacity of ACE2s from different species including cats, chimpanzees, dogs, cattles. Our results show, domestic cats (Felis catusc) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are more susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2 and that they can efficiently transmit the virus to previously uninfected animals that are housed with them. Especially, cats could be a choice of animal model for screening antiviral drugs or vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0145.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: methyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate; oxidative stress; apoptosis; neuroprotection; nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2
Online: 15 August 2016 (10:42:05 CEST)
This study investigated the neuroprotective effects of methyl 3,4-dihydroxybenzoate (MDHB) against t-butylhydroperoxide(TBHP) induced oxidative damage in SH-SY5Y (human neuroblastoma cells) and the underlying mechanisms. SH-SY5Y were cultured in DMEM+10% FBS for 24 hours and pretreated with different concentrations of MDHB or N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) for 4 hours prior to the addition of 40 μM TBHP for 24 hours. Cell viability was analyzed using the methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assays. An annexin V-FITC assay was used to detect cell apoptosis rate. The 2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate (DCFH-DA) assay was used to determine intracellular ROS levels. The activities of antioxidative enzymes (GSH-Px and SOD) were measured using commercially available kits. The oxidative DNA damage marker 8-OHdG was detected using ELISA. Western blotting was used to determine the expression of Bcl-2, Bax, caspase 3, p-Akt and Akt proteins in treated SH-SY5Y cells. Our results showed that MDHB is an effective neuroprotective compound that can mitigate oxidative stress and inhibit apoptosis in SH-SY5Y cells
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0343.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Electrochemistry Keywords: cyclodextrins; anthraquinone-2-sulfonic acid; anthraquinone-2-carboxylic acid; daunorubicin; stability constant; solubility; inclusion complex
Online: 20 September 2021 (15:59:36 CEST)
β-cyclodextrin (CD) derivatives containing aromatic triazole ring were studied as potential carriers of drugs containing an anthraquinone moiety in the structure: anthraquinone-2-sulfonic acid (AQ2S), anthraquinone-2-carboxylic acid (AQ2CA) and a common anthracycline, daunorubicin (DNR). UV-Vis and voltammetry measurements were carried out to determine the solubilities and stability constants of the complexes formed and revealed the unique properties of the chosen CDs as effective pH dependent drug complexing agents. The stability constants of the drug complexes with the CDs containing triazole: βCDLip and βCDGAL were significantly larger than with the native βCD. The AQ2CA and AQ2S drugs are ill-soluble and their solubilities increased as the result of complex formation with βCDLip and βCDGAL ligands. AQ2CA, AQ2S were negatively charged at pH 7.4 and therefore they were less prone to form inclusion complex with the hydrophobic CD cavity than at pH 3 (characteristic of gastric juices) when they were protonated. βCDTriazole and βCDGAL ligands were found to form weaker inclusion complexes with the positively charged drug DNR at acidic pH (pH 5.5) than in the neutral medium (pH 7.4) when the drug dissociates to the neutral, uncharged form. This pH dependence is favorable for anti-tumor applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0311.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Angiotensin converting enzyme 2; breast feeding; drug therapy; pregnancy; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
Online: 13 May 2021 (15:26:34 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become the chief concern of the international community in almost no time. As of May 9th, 2021, more than 150 million cases and 3.2 million deaths have been recorded. Considering the early struggle in treating COVID-19 patients, the researchers and clinicians have decided to try the previously available drugs according to their mechanisms of action. Hence, many antivirals, antibiotics, antiparasitics, and antipyretics have been proposed. Pregnant women, fetuses, and infants are known high-risk populations that are threatened during disease outbreaks. Therefore, this article reviews the safety of potential drugs for COVID-19 patients during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: low intensity exercise; intestine; sodium-dependent glucose transporter; glucose transporter 2; glucagon like peptide 2
Online: 20 April 2021 (11:48:02 CEST)
Exercise affects various organs. However, its effects on nutrient digestion and absorption in the intestinal tract are not well understood. A few studies have reported that exercise training in-creases the expression of carbohydrate digestion and absorption molecules. Exercise was also shown to increase the concentration of blood glucagon like peptide-2(GLP-2), which regulates carbohydrate digestion and absorption in small intestinal epithelium. Therefore, we investigated the effects of exercise on intestinal digestion and absorption molecules and the levels of GLP-2. 6-wk-old of male mice were divided into 2 groups; sedentary (SED) and low-intensity exercise (LEx). LEx mice were required to run on a treadmill (12.5 m/min, 60 min), whereas SED mice rested. All mice were euthanized 1 h after exercise or rest and plasma, jejunum, ileum, and colon were sampled. Samples were analyzed using EIA and immunoblotting. The levels of plasma GLP-2 and the expression of the GLP-2 receptor, sucrase-isomaltase (SI), and glucose transporter (GLUT2) in the jejunum were increased in LEx group. We showed that acute low-intensity exer-cise affects the intestinal carbohydrate digestion and absorption molecules via GLP-2. Our results suggest that exercise might provide new benefits to the small intestine for people with intestinal frailty.
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.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0469.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Reinfection
Online: 26 December 2022 (03:53:55 CET)
Background: Repeated SARS-CoV-2 infections are plausible and related published data are scarce. We aimed to identify factors associated with the risk of recurrent (three episodes) laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted and 1,700 healthcare workers were enrolled. We used risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to evaluate factors associated with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections. Results: We identified 14 participants with recurrent illness episodes. Therefore, the incidence rate was 8.5 per 10,000 person-months. In multiple model, vaccinated adults (vs. unvaccinated, RR = 1.05 [1.03 - 1.06]) and those with a severe first illness episode (vs mild disease, RR = 1.05 [1.01 - 1.10]) were at increased risk for repeated symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 reinfections. Increasing age showed a protective effect (per each additional year of age: RR = 0.98 [0.97 - 0.99]). Conclusions: Our results suggest that recurrent SARS-CoV-2 infections are rare events in adults and they seem to be determined, partially, by vaccination status and age.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0162.v1
Online: 12 October 2022 (03:28:14 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and urgent need of rapid and accurate diagnostic tests for detection and screening of this infection. In our proposal, a biosensor based on the ELISA immunoassay was developed for monitoring antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in human serum samples. The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N-protein) was selected as a specific receptor for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid immunoglobulin G. Thus, the N-protein was immobilized on surface of screen-printed carbon electrode (SPCE) modified with carboxylated graphene (CG). The IgG-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid concentration was quantified using a secondary antibody labelled with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) (anti-IgG-HRP) catalyzed by 3,3’,5,5’-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) mediator by chronoamperometry. A linear response was obtained in the range of 1:1000-1:200 v/v in phosphate buffer solution (PBS) and the limit of detection calculated was of 1:4947 v/v. The chronoamperometric method showed electrical signals directly proportional to antibody concentrations due to Ag-Ab specific and stable binding reaction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0209.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: cluster analysis; SARS-CoV-2; Variant
Online: 11 August 2022 (06:01:14 CEST)
Viral variant analysis is a bedrock of the disease surveillance. When combined with temporospatial analysis variant analysis can further the knowledge of disease spread in a study area. This paper suggests a method to perform the analysis in an operational setting which will allow for real-time surveillance of viral variants and allow local public health professionals to rapidly respond to changes in the evolution of the disease. This method includes three main subprocesses: preprocessing, analysis, and rendering. This method can be performed across multiple software platforms. A use case is given in which it was found that this method helped a hospital system understand the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Northeast, Ohio.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0335.v1
Online: 22 July 2022 (09:57:40 CEST)
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), etiological agent of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spread since December 2019, resulting in massive health and economic crisis worldwide. While efforts to stop the pandemic are crucial, collecting epidemiological data to help manage current and future pandemics will be important. In addition to humans, serological and molecular based studies have demonstrated SARS CoV-2 exposure in several wild, domestic and farmed animals. For examples Shriner and the team showed serologically an exposure of 40% to the white deer living in close proximity to urban centers. Additional reports have also emerged of susceptibility of animal’s species like cats, ferrets, raccoon dogs, cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques, white-tailed deer, rabbits, Egyptian fruit bats, and Syrian hamsters to SARS-CoV-2 infection.. It’s worth emphasizing that these reports are based on experimental data mostly derived from Europe, USA, South America and parts of Asia. In limited instances natural infections of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in pet dogs, cats, tigers, lions, snow leopards, pumas, gorillas at zoos and farmed mink and ferrets. The presence of the virus in animal species and an understanding of whether these are natural or recent human to animal transmissions is important. It’s possible that such transmission could passage the virus or subject the virus to a different immunological pressure thereby helping with the development of viral variants in addition to being a host for future reservoirs of the virus. In Kenya SARS-CoV-2 was first detected on March 12th 2020 from imported human cases of persons who had travelled from the United States. This was followed by detection of imported cases majorly from China, Sweden and United Kingdom. Later infections were confirmed in Nairobi and Mombasa suggesting further cases of disease importations through the major ports of entry. However, no comparable data on animal exposure have hitherto been generated in Kenya. To address this key concern, we focused on three objectives; 1) development of a robust antibody ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate. 2) SARS-CoV-2 serology of domestic animals in Kenya. 3) Corroboration of the crude lysate based seroprevalence data and a commercial ELISA kit based on the Spike receptor binding domain (RBD) antigen. Our sample set included camel sera (both pre- & post outbreak sera), as well as sera from cats and dogs collected at the peak of the pandemic. Our results using the ELISA based on crude SARS-CoV-2 lysate indicated SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in camels (71%, N=145), cats 11% (N=16) and dogs (81%, N=36) with varying titer levels. These findings were comparable to those obtained using the commercial ELISA kit based on the spike RBD antigens. In summary, the data warrants two key conclusions: (i) we have demonstrated that the crude lysate ELISA allows for SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection, and given its potential to offer robust detection could be applied for initial mass screening (ii) although the current study cannot disentangle the relative contributions of antigenic cross-reactivity, pre-pandemic exposure to SARS-CoV-2 or human-animal transmission, it nonetheless demonstrates for the first time the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 like antibodies in domestic and wild animals in Kenya. Our findings set the scene for further research into the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in domestic and wild animals to understand their potential epidemiological implications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0273.v1
Online: 22 February 2022 (11:28:05 CET)
Background: The isoflurane minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) was measured in rats chronically treated with WIN 55,212-2. Methods: The isoflurane MAC was determined in 24 male rats from the end expiratory samples at time of tail clamping under the following conditions: without treatment (MACISO), in rats treated for 21 days with WIN 55,212-2 (MACISO+WIN55) and other group 8 days after stopping treatment for 21 days with WIN 55,212-2 (MACISO+WIN55+8D). Results: The MACISO was 1.32 ± 0.06. In the MACISO+WIN55 group the MAC increase to 1.69 ± 0.09 (28%). After 8 days stopping treatment, MAC did not decrease significantly 1.67 ± 0.07 (26%). Conclusions: The administration for 21 days of WIN 55,212-2 increases the MAC of isoflurane in rats; this effect does not disappear after 8 days of discontinuing treatment with the synthetic cannabinoid.
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..
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0543.v1
Online: 21 December 2020 (19:10:09 CET)
Prevention practices have been extensively used to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These include social distancing, wearing masks, disinfection of hands, and sanitization of contact surfaces. However, the excessive usage of chemical disinfectants pose long term adverse effects to human health and the environment. Development of effective and environmentally friendly biocides, or virucidal agents, will help mitigate the ill effects of chemical disinfectants. Enzymes are potential candidates for the preparation of biocides against bacteria and viruses. Exploration of the virucidal activity of commercial enzymes, will highlight prospective, readily available sources for research on enzyme based biocides. In this study, the virucidal effect of some com-mercial enzyme preparations has been investigated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vida Defense (2000 µg/ml), Excellacor (1500 µg/ml), and SEBkinase (3000 µg/ml) reduced SARS-CoV-2 viral ti-ters by ≥1 log CCID50 (≥90%). ImmunoSEB (6000µg/ml) and Peptizyme SP (500µg/ml) reduced the SARS-CoV-2 viral titers by 0.8 log CCID50 (84.2%). The study indicates that enzyme prepara-tions offer the potential to be explored further for an anti-viral biocide against SARS‐CoV‐2 for reducing the risk of COVID‐19 transmission. However, further studies are mandated to improve efficacy and establish safety.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0555.v1
Online: 23 September 2020 (17:44:21 CEST)
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has caused more than 745,000 deaths worldwide. Vitamin D has been identified as a potential strategy to prevent or treat this disease. The purpose of the study was to measure vitamin D at hospital admission of COVID-19; Methods: We included critically ill patients with the polymerase chain reaction positive test for COVID-19, from March to April, 2020. Statistical significance was defined as P < .05. All tests were 2-tailed; Results: A total of 35 patients (median age, 60 years; 26 [74.3%] male) were included. Vitamin D levels were categorized as deficient for 14 participants (40%). Vitamin D deficiency was associated with vitamin A (P= 0.003) and Zinc (P= 0.019) deficiency and lower levels of albumin (P= 0.026) and prealbumin (P= 0.009). Overall, none of the studied variables were associated with vitamin D status: mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) or hospital stay, necessity of vasoactive agents, intubation, prone position, C reactive protein (CRP), Dimer-D, Interleukin 6 levels (IL-6), ferritin levels, or bacterial superinfection; Conclusions: In this single-center, retrospective cohort study, deficient vitamin D status was found in 40% in COVID-19 critically ill patients. However, deficient vitamin D status was not associated with inflammation or outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0425.v1
Online: 18 September 2020 (09:58:49 CEST)
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is clearly taking a firmer grip on South Africa and more podiatrists will face the potential transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Government response was swift with the implementation of a travel ban, strict national lockdown as well as social distancing and hygiene protocols in line with international health regulations. Co-morbidities such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, endemic to South Africa, are considered a dangerous combination with COVID-19, making many South Africans vulnerable to contracting the COVID-19. Patients with diabetes as well as the aged are vulnerable, both in terms of potential combined complications and challenges in continuity in foot care. The demands of the pandemic may outstrip the ability of the health systems to cope. Should this time arrive, all healthcare practitioners, including podiatrists, would have to step in and take on a role beyond their scope of practice in order to ensure that the healthcare system does not get overwhelmed. It is important for podiatrists to keep abreast with the developments around the COVID-19, in order that they may institute appropriate clinical practice which will ensure maximum protection for themselves, staff and patients as well as providing quality foot health care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0327.v1
Online: 15 September 2020 (04:24:17 CEST)
In regions lacking genomic data, analysis of sequences from the early stages of an outbreak can provide important insights into the diversity of pathogens present. Following the detection of the first imported case of COVID-19 in the Northern sector of Ghana on 13th March 2020, we have now molecularly characterized and phylogenetically analysed sequences including three (3) complete genomes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) isolated from nine (9) patients observed in Ghana. Eight (8) of these patients reported with a recent history of foreign travel and one (1) with no history of foreign travel. We performed high throughput sequencing for 9 samples following the determination of high concentration of viral RNA. In addition, we estimated the potential impact that long distance transportation of samples to testing centres may have on sequencing outcomes. Here, two samples that were closest in terms of viral RNA concentration but transported from sites which are over 400km apart were assessed. All sequences were compared to previous sequences from Ghana and representative sequences from regions where our patients had previously travelled. Complete genomes were obtained for three (3) sequences and with another near complete genome with a coverage of 95.6%. Sequences with coverage in excess of 80% were found to belong to three lineages namely A, B.1 and B.2. Our sequences clustered in two different clades with the majority falling within a clade composed of sequences from sub-Saharan Africa. Less RNA fragmentation was seen in sample KATH23 which was collected 9km compared with sample TTH6 which was collected and transported over a distance of 400km to the testing site. The clustering of several sequences from sub-Saharan Africa suggests regional circulation of the viruses in the subregion. Importantly, there may be the need to decentralize testing sites and build more capacity across Africa to boost the sequencing output of the subregion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0024.v1
Online: 4 June 2020 (05:50:09 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic has caused a large-scale havoc in almost every country across the globe, putting major challenges for the healthcare system in many parts of the world. Several of the laboratories are running in the race with undying efforts for developing potential vaccine, drugs or therapeutics to treat or prevent the infection. However, with the limited time window and high rate of infection, the task is very big for humanity to find a cure. With hundreds of genomic data of SARS-CoV-2 virus isolates from humans are being submitted almost every day, it is coming into knowledge that virus is mutating, slower in countries with sporadic cases, but higher in countries experiencing large outbreak. These types of mutations in virus may bring challenges in vaccine or therapeutic development for use in each and every country, as each hotspot region may have their own pattern of mutations in virus with ongoing outbreak. In our current study, we retrieved non-synonymous mutation data of around 12,225 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples isolated from humans globally, and discovered all mutations that are collectively happening in antibody epitope regions of the virus country-wise. We found a few numbers of epitope regions in SARS-CoV-2 that are highly conserved collectively in all variants and may be used for epitope-based vaccine development for whole world. We also found epitope regions that are conserved collectively in SARS-CoV-2 variants country-wise and can be used for customized epitope-based vaccine development in each different country.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0509.v1
Online: 31 May 2020 (20:50:18 CEST)
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome” (SARS) due to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection is a known cause of death. Sometimes demise can occur unexpectedly in apparently previous healthy individual after a brief period of trivial flue-like symptoms. In this dobtfull cases the forensic pathologist could be requested to define cause of death occurred outside hospital. In this report the authors describe two thorough autopsied cases of SARS-CoV-2 related deaths occurred suddenly at home and not preceded by hospitalization, highlighting associated histopathologic patterns and correlating them to pathophysiology of viral infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0158.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: apoptosis; cancer; phosphorylation; kinases; Bcl-2
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:40:40 CEST)
The regulation of apoptosis depends upon the Bcl-2 protein family. The process of cell death and survival is highly complicated and regulated by various types of extrinsic as well as intrinsic network of biological system. Several enzymes and regulators play crucial role in cell death and survival cycle not only in healthy but also in pathological state particularly in cancer. In cancerous cells, various proto-oncogenes and anti-apoptotic proteins are activated and responsible for the cell survival and longevity. The mechanism of activation and inactivation of various proteins in cell survival is regulated by the process of phosphorylation (kinases) and dephosphorylation (phosphatases). The current review will summarize the dynamics of Bcl-2 phosphorylation and its role in apoptosis and cell survival.
Online: 27 April 2020 (09:55:03 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the respiratory infection known as COVID-19. From an immunopathological standpoint, coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 induce an increase in a variety of T-helper 1 (Th1) and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines including interleukins IL-1, IL-6, CCL2 protein and CXCL10 protein. In the absence of proven antiviral agents or an effective vaccine, substances with immunomodulatory activity may be able to inhibit inflammatory and Th1 cytokines and/or yield an anti-inflammatory and/or Th2 immune response to counteract COVID-19 symptoms and severity. This report briefly describes four unconventional but commercially accessible immunomodulatory agents that could be employed in clinical trials to evaluate their effectiveness at alleviating disease symptoms and severity: Low-dose oral interferon-alpha, microdose DNA, low-dose thimerosal and phytocannabinoids.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0339.v1
Online: 19 April 2020 (08:22:24 CEST)
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 is a challenge in the actual medical scenario. Besides the classical lung and respiratory disease, patients infected with the virus can present with cardiac injury, and pathogenic mechanisms point to a direct infection of the heart.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0019.v2
Online: 3 April 2020 (15:23:50 CEST)
OBJECTIVE: Recent worldwide outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of respiratory coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a current, ongoing life-threatening crisis and international public health emergency. The early diagnosis and management of the disease remains a major challenge. In this review, we aim to summarize the updated epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, as well as prevention and control of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.MATERIALS AND METHODS: A broad search of the literature was performed in “PubMed” “Medline” “Web of knowledge”, and “Google Scholar” World Health Organization-WHO” using the keywords “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus”, “2019-nCoV”, “COVID-19, “SARS”, “SARS-CoV-2” “Epidemiology” “Transmission” “Pathogenesis” “Clinical Characteristics”. We reviewed and documented the information obtained from literature on epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical appearances of SARS-CoV-2 infection.RESULTS: The global cases of COVID-19 as of April 2, 2020 have risen to more than 900,000 and morbidity has reached more than 47,000. The incidence rate for COVID-19 has been predicted to be higher than the previous outbreaks of other coronavirus family members, including those of SARS-CoV and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The main clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic stages to severe lower respiratory infection in the form of pneumonia. Most of the patients also presented with fever, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, myalgia and breathlessness.Individuals at higher risk for severe illness include elderly people and patients with a weakened immune system or that are suffering from a underlying chronic medical condition like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, respiratory illness or cardiovascular diseases.CONCLUSIONS: SARS-Cov-2 has emerged as a worldwide threat, currently affecting 170 countries and territories across the globe. There is still much to be understood regarding SARS-CoV-2 about its virology, epidemiology and clinical management strategies; this knowledge will be essential to both manage the current pandemic and to conceive comprehensive measures to prevent such outbreaks in the future.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0354.v1
Online: 24 February 2020 (14:03:12 CET)
Covid-19 has now become a public health concern worldwide. The infection primarily involves the respiratory tract. Hitherto, some Covid-19 pneumonia patients carry the viral nucleic acids, and the active virus was detected in stool specimens. The virus discharged with feces is a potential contagious source. In the present study, three Covid-19 respiratory tract infection patients showed no gastrointestinal symptoms, and two were positive for viral nucleic acids in anal swab specimens remained positive 6 and at least 14 days after virus turned negative in the respiratory tract, respectively (details of the patients were listed in Fig 1). Thus, for Covid-19-infected patients with or without gastrointestinal symptoms, viral nucleic acids in stool specimens or anal swab specimens should be focused on for testing in order to decide the isolation duration of the patient.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0282.v1
Online: 21 December 2019 (11:00:09 CET)
Rice is an essential crop for national food security in Egypt. Increasing the population calls for regular increases in rice production. At the same time, cultivated rice crop areas should be decreased because of the gradual scarcity of irrigation water. This means more rice production should be gained from less rice area. This situation calls for the annual accurate system for rice monitoring and yield estimation. Therefore, it is necessary to apply a remotely sensed based system for rice cultivation assessment using satellite imagery parallel with field measurements of some biophysical parameters. Multi-temporal normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) extracted from twelve sentinel-2 imagery cover the whole summer season with variance and maximum value assessed by ground control points (GCPs), were used to isolate uncultivated areas, then to isolate rice areas and other vegetation covers. object-based classification methods with kappa co-efficient 0.9261 and overall accuracy 94.92% was generated to discriminate rice crop area and other summer crops on the study area. Leaf area index (LAI) for the experiment the l site was calculated using the surface energy balance algorithm for Land (SEBAL) model and then tested versus measured (LAI). NDVI and LAI were used to generate an empirical ran rice yield prediction model. Then, this model was used to produce rice to yield a map. The study was carried out in an experimental site in Kafr Elsheikh governorate with a total area of 5040 Hectare. Produced cultivated land use map showed 95% overall accuracy. High similarity was observed between measured and calculated (LAI) with high accuracy of R2 = 0.94. of Rice, yield map showed expected to yield more to than a month before harvest. The generated yield map was tested using a correlation coefficient between actual yield and estimated yield with high accuracy R2 = 0.9. This method is applicable to estimate the acreage and productivity of rice in the northern Nile delta in adequate time before harvest.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0089.v1
Online: 5 July 2019 (04:53:09 CEST)
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a polygenic metabolic disease described by hyperglycemia, which is caused by insulin resistance or reduced insulin secretion. Interaction between various genetic variants and environmental factors triggers T2DM. The main aim of this study was to find the risk associated with genetic variant (rs5210) of KCNJ11gene in the development of T2D in Indian Population. A total number of 300 cases of T2D and 100 control samples were studied to find the polymorphism in KCNJ11 through PCR-RFLP. The genotype and allele frequencies in T2DM cases were significantly different from the control population. We found a significant association of KCNJ11 (rs5210) gene polymorphism with T2DM in North Indian patients indicating the role of this variant in developing risk for T2DM.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0324.v1
Online: 31 January 2019 (08:56:46 CET)
Introduction: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a major driver of health care costs, thus treatments enabling T2D reversal may reduce expenditures. We examined the impact of a T2D continuous care intervention (CCI) on health care utilization. Previous research documented that CCI, including individualized nutrition supported by remote care, simultaneously reduced hemoglobin A1c and medication use and improved cardiovascular status after two years; however, the impact on utilization is unknown. Methods: This study used four years of data (two years pre-intervention, two years post-intervention) from the Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC) health record. Two methods estimated the impact of CCI on utilization. First, an interrupted time series (ITS) including only CCI participants (n=193) compared post-intervention utilization to expected utilization had the pre-intervention trend persisted. Deviation from the trend was estimated non-parametrically for each 6-month interval after the implementation of CCI . Second, a 1:3 matched comparator group (n=579) was constructed and used for a difference-in-differences (DiD) analysis. The primary outcome was annualized outpatient encounters. Secondary outcomes included emergency encounters and hospitalizations. Results: In two years prior to intervention, CCI participants had a mean of 5.77 annualized encounters (5.62 outpatient, 0.04 hospitalizations, 0.11 emergency). The CCI group showed a reduction in outpatient utilization after intervention. In ITS analysis, 1.6 to 1.9 fewer annualized outpatient encounters occurred in each 6-month interval post-intervention relative to expected utilization based on pre-intervention trends (p<0.01 each 6-month period; 28-33% reduction). The DiD analysis suggested a larger reduction; 5 fewer annualized outpatient encounters in the quarter after intervention, diminishing to 2.5 fewer after 2 years (p<0.01 each quarter). The study was underpowered to draw conclusions about hospitalization and emergency encounters due to the limited number of CCI patients and the rarity of encounters. Conclusions: Outpatient encounters were significantly reduced for a T2D patient population up to 2 years after receiving an individualized intervention supporting nutrition and behavior change through remote care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0034.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: T-2 toxin, toxicity, autophagy, apoptosis
Online: 2 October 2018 (16:51:09 CEST)
T-2 toxin produced by fungi of Fusarium genus is highly toxic to human and animals and has been shown to induce apoptosis in various organs/tissues. Apoptosis and autophagy are interconnected processes and these interactions are important for cellular homeostasis as well as pathogenesis. In this study, we report for the first time that T-2 toxin induced autophagy in human liver cells (L02). We showed that T-2 toxin induced the formation of acidic vesicular organelles, concordant with the time and dose-dependent alterations in LC3-phosphatidylethanolamine conjugate (LC3-II) LC3-I/II and p62/SQSTM1 suggesting an enhanced autophagic flux. The T-2 toxin-induced formation of autophagosome and lysosomal fusion was observed by expressing mRFP-GFP-LC3 in L02 cells by lentiviral transduction, and autophagosome was observed by transmission electron microcopy. We found that while T-2 toxin activated both apoptosis and autophagy, activation of autophagy appears to be a leading event reflecting the protective mechanism of cells against the insults by T-2 toxin. Activating autophagy by rapamycin (RAPA) inhibited the apoptosis while suppressing autophagy by chloroquine greatly enhanced the T-2 toxin-induced apoptosis suggesting the crosstalk of autophagy and apoptosis. In summary, our study showed that activation of autophagy protects liver cells from T-2 toxin-induced apoptosis suggesting autophagy may be targeted for prevention of the T-2 toxin-induced toxicity in human and animals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0110.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: AAC(2′)-Ia; aminoglycoside 2′-N-acetyltransferase type Ia; aminoglycoside; multidrug resistance; metal ions; plazomicin; adjuvant
Online: 6 January 2023 (02:26:45 CET)
Plazomicin is a recently U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved semisynthetic aminoglycoside. Its structure consists of a sisomicin scaffold modified by adding a 2(S)-hydroxy aminobutyryl group at the N1 position and a hydroxyethyl substituent at the 6′ position. These substitutions produced a molecule refractory to most aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes. The main enzyme within this group that recognizes plazomicin as substrate is the aminoglycoside 2′-N-acetyltransferase type Ia [AAC(2′)-Ia], which reduces the antibiotic’s potency. Designing formulations that combine an antimicrobial with an inhibitor of resistance is a recognized strategy to extend the useful life of existing antibiotics. We have recently found that several metal ions inhibit acetylation of numerous aminoglycosides catalyzed by the aminoglycoside 6′-N-acetyltransferase type Ib [AAC(6′)-Ib]. In particular, Ag1+, which also enhances the effect of aminoglycosides by other mechanisms, is very effective in interfering with AAC(6′)-Ib-mediated resistance to amikacin. Here we report that silver acetate is a potent inhibitor of AAC(2′)-Ia-mediated acetylation of plazomicin in vitro, and it reduces resistance levels of Escherichia coli carrying aac(2′)-Ia. The resistance reversion assays produced equivalent results when the structural gene was expressed under the control of the natural or the blaTEM-1 promoters. The antibiotic effect of plazomicin in combination with silver was bactericidal, and the mix did not show significant toxicity to human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0136.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: deubiquitination; leukemia; ubiquitin-specific protease 2 (USP2); SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro); COVID-19
Online: 8 May 2020 (03:45:22 CEST)
The ubiquitin-specific protease 2 (USP) belongs to the family of deubiquitinases and plays a critical role in tumors cells’ survival and therefore signifies an important therapeutic target. Previous studies have indicated promising efficacies of potent human USP2 inhibitors including, thiopurine analogues against SARS-CoV papain-like proteases (PLpro). The PLpro have significant functional implications in the innate immune response during SARS-CoV-2 infection and considered an important antiviral target. Both proteases share strikingly similar USP fold with right-handed thumb–palm–fingers structural scaffold and conserved catalytic triad Cys-His-Asp/Asn. In this urgency situation of COVID-19 outbreak, there is a lack of in-vitro facilities readily available to test SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors in whole-cell assays. Therefore, we adopted an alternate route to identify potential USP2 inhibitor through integrated structure-based virtual screening efforts. After a subsequent virtual screening protocol, the best compounds were selected and tested. The compound Z93 showed significant IC50 value against Jurkat (9.67 µM) and MOTL-4 cells (11.8 µM). The binding mode of Z93 was extensively analyzed through molecular docking, followed by MD simulations, and molecular interactions were compared with SARS-CoV-2. The relative binding poses of Z93 fitted well in the binding site of both proteases and showed consensus π-π stacking and H-bond interactions with histidine and aspartate/asparagine residues of the catalytic triad. These results led us to speculate that compound Z93 might be the first potential chemical lead against SARS-CoV-2 PLpro, which warrants in-vitro evaluations.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0340.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; lysosomal storage diseases; lipid rafts; cholesterol; angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2); cathepsins
Online: 24 March 2020 (03:07:06 CET)
In the face of the newly emergent COVID-19 pandemic, researchers around the world are racing to identify efficacious drugs capable of preventing or treating its infection. They are doing that by testing already available and approved antimicrobials for their rapid repurposing against COVID-19. Using the data emerging on the comparable efficacy of various compounds having different mechanisms of action and indications, I suggest in this report, their potential mechanistic convergence. Specifically, I highlight the lysosome as a key possible therapeutic target for COVID-19, proposing one of the lysosomal storage disorders, Niemann-Pick type C disease (NPC), as a prototypical condition with inherent resistance or an “unfavorable” host cell environment for viral propagation. The included reasoning evolves from previously generated data in NPC, along with the emerging data on COVID-19. The aim of this report is to suggest that pharmacological induction of a “transient” NPC-like lysosomal dysfunction, could hold answers for targeting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0229.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: quercetogetin (QUE); anti-inflammatory; inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS); cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2); MAPK; NF-κB
Online: 9 November 2018 (03:31:28 CET)
Citrus peel has been used in Asian traditional medicine for the treatment of cough, asthma, and bronchial disorders. However, the anti-inflammatory effect of quercetogetin (QUE), a polymethoxylated flavone isolated from the peel of citrus unshui is poorly understood. We investigated the anti-inflammatory effect and the molecular mechanisms of QUE in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW264.7 cells. QUE inhibited the production of NO and prostaglandin E2 by suppressing the LPS-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 at both the mRNA and protein levels. QUE suppressed the production of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α. QUE also inhibited the translocation of the nuclear factor kappa B subunit, p65, into the nucleus by interrupting the phosphorylation of IκB-α in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells. Based on the finding that QUE significantly decreased p-ERK protein expression in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells, we confirmed that suppression of the inflammatory process by QUE was mediated through the MAPK pathway. This is the first report on the strong anti-inflammatory effects of QUE, which is a compound that can potentially be used as a therapeutic agent for inflammatory diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0205.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; Chloracne; Dioxin; Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2; heme oxygenase-1; Yusho
Online: 13 June 2018 (10:29:35 CEST)
Chloracne is the major skin symptom caused by dioxin intoxication. Dioxin activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)–cytochrome p450 1A1 (CYP1A1) system, generates oxidative stress, and induces hyperkeratinization of keratinocytes and sebocytes leading to chloracne. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (NRF2) is a master switch inducing expression of various antioxidative enzymes such as heme oxygenase-1. Cinnamaldehyde is an antioxidant phytochemical that inhibits AHR–CYP1A1 signaling and activates the NRF2–antioxidative axis. The cinnamaldehyde-containing Kampo herbal medicine Keishibukuryogan is capable of improving chloracne in Yusho patients who are highly contaminated with dioxin. Agents with dual functions in promoting AHR–CYP1A1 inhibition and NRF2 activation may be useful in managing dioxin-related health hazards.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0126.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Organic Chemistry Keywords: (2-fluoro-phenyl)ethanone; phenyl trimethyl ammonium tribromide; 3-bromopyridine-2-amine; zinc dust; ammonium chloride
Online: 18 October 2017 (04:34:12 CEST)
We report here the synthesis and characterization of new N-(3-(8-bromoimidazo[1, 2-a]pyridin-2-yl)-4-fluorophenyl)benzamide derivatives. This collection was obtained from 3-(8-bromoimidazo [1,2-a]pyridin-2-yl)-4-fluoroaniline(5). The family of new compounds was characterized by 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, FT-IR and LC-MS analysis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0377.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: aa = amino acids; ACE-2 = receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; cDNA = complementary DNA; mRNA = messenger RNA; orf = open reading frame; RBD = receptor binding protein; S-protein = Spike protein; SARS-CoV-2 = severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Vaccines.
Online: 22 June 2021 (11:53:34 CEST)
The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)-CoV (Coronavirus)-2 S(spike)-protein mRNA/cDNA currently being used as vaccines are antigenic but not antigens against SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID (Coronavirus Disease) -19. Furthermore, the mRNA and cDNA antigenic vaccines also have potentials for homologous as well as heterologous recombination, primarily into the somatic cell DNA of the vaccine recipients. On the contrary, a SARS-CoV-2 RBD-protein antigen, a part of the S-protein, will directly stimulate antibody production against SARS-CoV-2. Hence, a vaccine composed of SARS-CoV-2 RBD-protein as a safer, fast acting, and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and thus against COVID-19. This is also useful for some immune compromised individuals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0247.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Covid-19 vaccination coverage; anti-SARS-CoV-2 herd immunity; Covid-19 vaccination strategy; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 27 April 2022 (05:04:20 CEST)
The pandemic associated with SARS-CoV-2 is a worldwide public health challenge. The WHO has proposed to achieve 70% COVID-19 vaccination coverage in all countries by mid-2022. Nevertheless, the prevention strategy based on COVID-19 vaccination and other applied prevention measures have not been sufficient to prevent SARS-CoV-2 epidemic waves. The study assessed the vaccination coverage that would be required to establish herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 by taking into account virus transmissibility (Ro values from 1.1 to 10) and Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness. The study found that Covid-19 vaccination programs could establish herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 with Ro < 3 with levels of Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness of 10−100% and against viruses with Ro values ranging from 3 to 10 with levels of Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness of 70−100%. Factors reducing Covid-19 vaccination effectiveness (emergent variants, reinfections, high risk individuals) and factors increasing SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility (close settings) increased percentages of vaccination coverage that would be required to establish herd immunity. The vaccination coverage objective of 70% could be adequate against SARS-CoV-2 with Ro values of 1.1−2.5, while percentages of vaccination coverage of 80% and 90% could be more adequate against viruses with Ro values of 2.5−3.5 and >3.5, respectively. On February 2022, the vaccination coverage for complete vaccination was lower than 70% in 73.2% of the countries of the world. Percentages of Covid-19 vaccination coverage must be increased in most countries of the world to increase individual and herd immunity levels in the population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0316.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Type 2 diabetes; cancer; shared pathways; shared genes and proteins; relationship between cancer and type 2 diabetes
Online: 15 October 2020 (09:47:35 CEST)
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and different forms of cancers are among the leading human diseases and highly complex in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Diabetes and cancer are among the most frequent and complex diseases and based on epidemiological evidence and study it can be concluded that the patients suffering from diabetes are considered to be significantly at higher risk for a number of cancer types. Both these diseases are among the highly complex and heterogeneous in nature. There are a number of evidences which support the hypothesis that these diseases interlinked and obesity may aggravate the risk(s) of both these diseases type 2 diabetes and different types of cancers. Multi-level unwanted alterations such as (epi-)genetic alterations, changes at the transcriptional level, and altered signaling pathways (receptor, cytoplasmic, and nuclear level) are the major source which promotes a number of complex diseases and such heterogeneous level of complexities are considered as the major barrier in the development of therapeutic. With so many known challenges, it is critical to understand the relationships and the common shared causes between type 2 diabetes and cancer which is difficult to unravel and understand. Furthermore, the real complexity arises during diagnosis from contended corroborations that specific drug(s) (individually or in combination) during diagnosis process of type 2 diabetes may increase or decrease the cancer risk or affect cancer prognosis. In this review article, we have presented the recent and most updated evidences from the studies where the origin, biological background, correlation between them have been presented or proved. Furthermore, we have summarized the methodological challenges and tasks that are frequently encountered. we have also outlined the physiological links between type 2 diabetes and cancers. Finally, we have presented and summarized the outline of the hallmarks for both these diseases diabetes and cancer.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0317.v2
Subject: Keywords: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); COVID19; Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus; bioaerosol; aerosol
Online: 30 April 2020 (05:30:30 CEST)
A short review of the important studies was conducted to evaluate the potential of aerosol transmission of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The minimum size of droplets potentially carrying the SARS-CoV-2 was newly estimated and discussed in this review.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0068.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; hACE-2; MPro; multi-target-directed ligand; protease inhibito; RdRp; SARS-CoV-2 virus
Online: 9 April 2020 (05:13:05 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has resulted in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Worldwide this disease has infected around 1.5 million individuals with a mortality rate ranging from 5 to 10%. It has also imposed extreme challenges on global health, economy, and social behavior. Due to the unavailability of therapeutics, several efforts are going on in the drug discovery to control the SARS-CoV-2 viral infection. The main protease (MPro) plays a critical role in viral replication and maturation, thus can serve as the primary drug target. To understand the structural evolution of MPro, we have performed phylogenetic and SSN analysis, that depicted divergence of Coronaviridae MPro in five clusters specific to viral hosts. This clustering was also corroborated with the comparison of MPro structures. Furthermore, it has been observed that backbone and binding site conformations are conserved despite variation in some of the residues. This conservation can be exploited to repurpose available viral protease inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 MPro. In agreement with this, we performed screening of the custom-made library of ~7100 molecules including active ingredients present in the Ayurvedic anti-tussive medicines, anti-viral phytochemicals and synthetic anti-virals against SARS-CoV-2 MPro as the primary target. We identified several natural molecules that strongly binds to SARS-CoV-2 MPro among which top seven molecules are d-Viniferin, Myricitrin, Taiwanhomoflavone A, Lactucopicrin 15-oxalate, Nympholide A, Biorobin and Phyllaemblicin B. Most of the predicted lead molecules are from Vitis vinifera, also reported for anti-tussive and/or antiviral activities. These molecules also showed strong binding with other main targets RdRp and hACE-2. We anticipate that our approach for identification of multi-target-directed ligand will provide new avenues for drug discovery against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0016.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: periodontitis; the periodontal ligament stem cells; the nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2; oxidative stress; apoptosis
Online: 4 April 2017 (08:58:13 CEST)
The present study aimed to analyze novel mechanisms underlying Nrf2-mediated anti-apoptosis in periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) in the periodontitis oxidative microenvironment. We created an oxidative stress model with H2O2-treated PDLSCs. Herein, we used real-time PCR, western blotting, TUNEL staining, fluorogenic assay and transfer genetics to confirm the degree of oxidative stress and apoptosis as well as the Nrf2 function. Surprisingly, we demonstrated that with up-regulated ROS and MDA levels, the effect of oxidative stress was obvious under H2O2 treatment. Anti-oxidative molecules were changed after the H2O2 exposure, whereby the anti-oxidative signaling of Nrf2 was activated with the increase of its downstream effectors, HO-1, NQO1 and γ-GCS. Additionally, the apoptosis levels gradually increased with oxidative stress and changes in the caspase-9, caspase-3, Bax and c-Fos levels, but not with caspase-8 and down-regulated Bcl-2. The enhanced antioxidant effect could not resist the occurrence of apoptosis. Furthermore, Nrf2 overexpression effectively improved the anti-oxidative levels and increased cell proliferation. At the same time, overexpression effectively restrained TUNEL staining and decreased the molecular levels of caspase-9, caspase-3, et al, but not that of caspase-8. By contrast, silencing the expression Nrf2 levels had the opposite effect. Collectively, Nrf2 alleviates PDLSCs via its effects on anti-oxidative and anti-intrinsic apoptosis by the activation of anti-oxidative enzymes.
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/preprints202212.0577.v1
Online: 30 December 2022 (09:13:21 CET)
Background: Signaling by toll like receptors (TLRs) initiates important immune responses against viral infection. The role of TLRs in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections is not well elucidated. Thus, we investigated the interaction of TLRs agonists and SARS-COV-2 antigens with immune cells in vitro. Material & methods: 30 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients (15 severe and 15 moderate) and 10 age and sex matched control (HC) were enrolled. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated and activated with TLR3, 7, 8 and 9 agonists, the spike protein (SP) of SARS-CoV-2 and the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) unit of SP. Frequencies of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells, and CD3+IFN-g+ T cells was evaluated by flow cytometry. Interferon (IFN)-b gene expression was assessed by qRT-PCR. Results: The frequency of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells was higher in moderate and severe patients at baseline in comparison with HCs. Stimulation of PBMCs from moderate patients with SP and TLR8 agonist significantly upregulated the frequency of CD3+IFN-β+ T cells (P=0.0005 and 0.0024, respectively) when compared to non-stimulated (NS) samples. The greatest increase in CD3+IFN-b+ T cell frequency in PBMCs from severe patients was seen with TLR8 and TLR7 agonists when compared to NS (P= 0.003 and 0.0167, respectively). TLR stimulation did not significantly enhance the frequency of CD3+IFN-g+ T cells generated from PBMCs from moderate and severe patients compared with unstimulated controls. However, the frequency of CD3+IFN-ɣ+ T cells in PBMCs from moderate patients was upregulated by agonists of TLR3, 8 and 9, SP and RBD when compared with NS samples from HCs. The expression of the IFN-β gene after stimulation of CD3+T cells with the TLR8 agonist was also up-regulated in moderate than severe patients (moderate vs. severe: p=0.0006). In addition, stimulation of CD3+ T cells with SP, up-regulated the expression of IFN-β gene expression in cells from patients with moderate disease (moderate vs. severe: p=0.01). Conclusion: Stimulation of PBMCs from COVID-19 patients with a TLR8 agonist and with SP enhanced IFN-b protein and gene levels. This may potentiate immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 infection and prevent viral replication and spread.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0471.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: children; seroprevalence; antibodies; SARS-CoV-2; Vietnam
Online: 31 October 2022 (07:37:55 CET)
Background: The robustness of sero-surveillence has delineated the high burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children; however, these existing data showed wide variation. This study aimed to identify the serostatus of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and associated factors among children following the fourth pandemic wave in Vietnam. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Vietnam National Children’s Hospital (VNCH) between March 13 and April 3, 2022. 4,032 eligible children seeking medical care for any medical condition not related to acute Covid-19 infections was tested for IgG SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies by ADVIA Centaur® SARS-CoV-2 IgG (sCOVG) assay using the residuals of routine blood samples. Results: The median age of enrolled children was 39 (IQR=14-82) months. The overall seropositive prevalence was 59.2%, and the median antibody titer was 4.78 [IQR 2.38-9.57] UI/mL. The risk of seropositivity and the median antibody titer was not related to gender (58.6% versus 60.1%, 4.9 versus 4.6 UI/mL, all p>0.05). Among age groups, the highest seroprevalence was reported in the children aged 13 to <36 months old. Children aged ≤12 months were likely to be seropositive compared to children aged 36 to <60 months (59.2% versus 57.5%, p=0.49) and those aged ≥144 months (59.2% versus 65.5%, p=0.16). Children aged ≥144 months exhibited a significantly higher titer of protective COVID-19 antibodies than other age groups (p <0.001). In multivariate logistic regression, we observed independent factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity, including the age 13 to <36 months (OR=1.29, 95%CI=1.06-1.56, p=0.01), 60 to <144 months (OR=79, 95%CI=0.67-0.95, p=0.01), ≥144 months (OR=1.84, 95%CI=1.21-2.8, p=0.005), the presence of infected household members (OR=2.36, 95%CI=2.06–2.70, p<0.001), participants from Hanoi (OR=1.54, 95%CI=1.34-1.77, p<0.001), underlying conditions (OR=0.71, 95%CI=0.60-0.85, p<=0.001), and using corticosteroids or immunosuppressants (OR=0.64, 95%CI=0.48-0.86, p=0.003). Conclusions: This study highlights a high seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among children seeking medical care for non-COVID-19-related conditions in a tertiary children’s hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam. In the context of reopening in-person schools and future emerged COVID-19 variants, this point will also be a key message about the necessity of “rush-out” immunization coverage for children, especially those under the age of three years.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0241.v1
Online: 16 September 2022 (08:07:10 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is constantly evolving leading to new variants. We analysed data from 4,400 SARS-CoV-2-positive samples in order to continue variant surveillance in Italy to evaluate their epidemiological and relative impact on public health in the period April-December 2021. The main circulating strain (76.2%) was Delta followed by Alpha (13.3%), Omicron (5.3%) and Gamma variants (2.9%). B.1.1 lineages, Eta, Beta, Iota, Mu and Kappa variants represented around 1% of cases. Overall, 48.2% of subjects were not vaccinated with a lower median age compared to vaccinated subjects (47 vs. 61 years). An increasing number of infections in vaccinated subjects was observed overtime, with the highest proportion in November (85.2%). Variants correlated with clinical status; the largest proportion of symptomatic patients (59.6%) was observed among Delta variant, while subjects harboring Gamma variant showed the highest proportion of asymptomatics (21.6%), albeit also of deaths (5.4%). The Omicron variant was only found in vac-cinated subjects, of which 47% were hospitalized. Diffusivity and pathogenicity associated with the different SARS-CoV-2 variants are likely to have relevant public health implications, both at national and international level. Our study pro-vides data on the rapid changes in the epidemiological landscape of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Italy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0430.v1
Online: 25 August 2022 (10:00:27 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a race to determine the best measures to control the disease and to save as many people as possible. Efforts to implement social distancing, the use of masks, and massive vaccination programs turned out to be essential in reducing the devastating effects of the pandemic. Nevertheless, the high mutation rates of SARS-CoV-2 challenge the vaccination strategy and maintain the threat of new outbreaks due to the risk of infection surges and even lethal variations able to resist the effects of vaccines and upset the balance. Most of the new therapies tested against SARS-CoV-2 came from already available formulations developed to treat other diseases, so they were not specifically developed for SARS-CoV-2. In parallel, the knowledge produced regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in this disease was vast due to massive efforts worldwide. Taking advantage of such a vast molecular understanding of virus genomes and disease mechanisms, a targeted molecular therapy based on siRNA specifically developed to reach exclusive SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences was tested in a non-transformed human cell model. Since coronavirus can escape from siRNA by producing siRNA inhibitors, a complex strategy to simultaneously strike both the viral infectious mechanism and the capability of evading siRNA therapy was developed. The combined administration of the chosen produced siRNA proved to be highly effective in successfully reducing viral load and keeping virus replication under control, even after many days of treatment, unlike the combinations of siRNAs lacking this anti-anti-siRNA capability. Additionally, the developed therapy did not harm the normal cells, which was demonstrated because, instead of testing the siRNA in nonhuman cells or in transformed human cells, a non-transformed human thyroid cell was specifically chosen for the experiment. The proposed siRNA combination deeply reduced the viral load throughout the experiment and allowed cellular recovery, thus representing a potential innovation, to be considered as an additional weapon for therapy of COVID-19 and even other infectious diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0051.v1
Online: 4 July 2022 (10:28:04 CEST)
For the first time in history, we have witnessed the origin and development of a pandemic. To handle the accelerated accumulation of viral mutations and to comprehend the virus' evolutionary adaptation in humans, an unparalleled program of genetic sequencing and monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 variants has been undertaken. Several scientists have theorized that, with the Omicron surge producing a more contagious but less severe disease, the end of COVID-19 is near. However, by analyzing the behavior shown by this virus for 2 years, we have noted that pandemic viruses do not always show a decreased virulence. Instead, it appears there is an evolutionary equilibrium between transmissibility and virulence. We have termed this concept “intermittent virulence”. The present work analyzes the temporal and epidemiological behavior of SARS-CoV-2 and suggests that there is a high possibility that new virulent variants will arise in the near future, although it is improbable that SARS-CoV-2´s virulence will be the same as was seen during the pandemic phase.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0253.v1
Online: 19 May 2022 (08:01:56 CEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced the style of work of many people. However, it remains a question to what extent it has influenced the work of outdoor workers like forestry workers. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the level of professional burnout among forest-ry workers, as a lack of burnout symptoms is a dimension of well-being at work. The Oldenburg Burnout Inventory was administered to 42 respondents. Both subscales of the inventory were reliable: Cronbach’s alpha was 0.806 for disengagement and 0.865 for exhaustion. The mean number of overtime hours was 10.13 hours per month. The mean disengagement score of 2.24 was lower than the reference value of 2.25, but the mean exhaustion score of 2.33 was high-er than the reference value of 2.1. Age correlated significantly with stage of work, as did exhaustion with stage of work, and over-time hours with disengagement. The average forestry officer had no symptoms of disengagement and slight symptoms of exhaustion. These results suggest that being in the forest can help prevent burnout. Overtime work and a heavy workload appear to threaten forestry workers’ well-being, as they can cause exhaustion and lower commitment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0225.v1
Subject: Medicine & 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0408.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Type 2 Diabetes; Osteoporosis; Bisphosphonate; MRONJ; Osteoclast
Online: 31 March 2022 (13:44:57 CEST)
Osteoporosis is a common metabolic bone disease in patients with diabetes, which can develop simultane-ously with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) in postmenopausal women. Bisphosphonate (BP) is administered to pa-tients with both the conditions and may cause medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (MRONJ). It affects the differentiation and function of osteoclasts as well as thickness of cortical bone through bone mineralization. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effects of T2D on osteoclast differentiation and activity as well as cortical bone formation in postmenopausal patients with MRONJ. Tissue samples were collected from 10 patients diagnosed with T2D and Stage III MRONJ in the experimental group and from 10 patients without T2D in the control group. Histological examination was conducted, and expres-sion of dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP) and tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) was assessed. Cortical bone formation was analyzed using CBCT images. The number of TRAP-positive osteoclasts and DC-STAMP-positive mononuclear cells were significantly less in the experi-mental group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the thickness and ratio of cortical bone were significantly greater in the experimental group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, T2D decreased the differentiation and function of osteo-clasts, and increased cortical bone formation in postmenopausal patients with MRONJ.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0388.v1
Online: 22 September 2021 (15:25:12 CEST)
We have proposed a simple algorithm to retrieve the total ozone column and snow properties (spectral albedo and effective light absorption path) using the high spatial resolution single – view MSI/S-2 measurements over Antarctica.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0654.v1
Online: 29 July 2021 (12:23:23 CEST)
The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0256.v1
Online: 9 June 2021 (10:58:20 CEST)
Abstract: Oxidative metabolism is crucial for leukemic stem cell (LSC) function and drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Mitochondrial metabolism also affects the immune system and therefore the antitumor response. Modulation of oxidative phosphorylation (OxPHOS) has emerged as a promising approach to improve therapy outcome for AML patients. However, the effect of mitochondrial inhibitors on the immune compartment in the context of AML is yet to be explored. Immune checkpoints such as the ecto-nucleotidase CD39 and programmed dead ligand 1 (PD-L1) have been reported to be expressed in AML and linked to chemoresistance and poor prognosis. In the present study, we first demonstrated that a novel selective electron transfer chain complex (ETC) I inhibitor, EVT-701, decreased OxPHOS metabolism of murine and human cytarabine (AraC)-resistant leukemic cell lines. Furthermore, we showed that, while AraC induced immune response regulation by increasing CD39 expression and by reinforcing interferon-γ/PD-L1 axis, EVT-701 reduced CD39 and PD-L1 expression in vitro in a panel of both murine and human AML cell lines, especially upon AraC treatment. Altogether, this work uncovers a non-canonical function of ETCI in controlling CD39 and PD-L1 immune checkpoints, thereby improving the anti-tumor response in AML.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0556.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: super-resolution; generative adversarial network; Sentinel-2
Online: 21 April 2021 (08:25:54 CEST)
Sentinel-2 can provide multi-spectral optical remote sensing images in RGBN bands with a spatial resolution of 10m, but the spatial details provided are not enough for many applications. WorldView can provide HR multi-spectral images less than 2m, but it is a commercial paid resource with relatively high usage costs. In this paper, without any available reference images, Sentinel-2 images at 10m resolution are improved to a resolution of 2.5m through super-resolution (SR) based on deep learning technology. Our model, named DKN-SR-GAN, uses degradation kernel estimation and noise injection to construct a dataset of near-natural low-high-resolution (LHR) image pairs, with only low-resolution (LR) images and no high-resolution (HR) prior information. DKN-SR-GAN uses the Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN) combined of ESRGAN-type generator, PatchGAN-type discriminator and the VGG-19-type feature extractor, using perceptual loss to optimize the network, so as to obtain SR images with clearer details and better perceptual effects. Experiments demonstrate that in the quantitative comparison of the non-reference image quality assessment (NR-IQA) metrics like NIQE, BRISQUE and PIQE, as well as the intuitive visual effects of the generated images, compared with state-of-the-art models such as EDSR8-RGB, RCAN and RS-ESRGAN, our proposed model has obvious advantages.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0122.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; canine; gastrointestinal; infection; virus
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:23:45 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 infects a range of host species. However, the susceptibility of companion animals to SARS-CoV-2 and their potential ability to transmit the virus to humans remains unclear. Here, we present a detailed clinical description of an immunosuppressed dog that was infected with SARS-CoV-2. The dog had severe gastrointestinal (GI) clinical signs, coagulopathy, elevated hepatic transaminases, and met canine systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria, without respiratory clinical signs, mirroring a subset of humans with GI-restricted COVID-19. Viral sequencing demonstrated divergence from other reported sequences, based on phylogenetic analysis. The dog shed high levels of virus for a prolonged time period with positive virus isolation. The dog’s immunosuppressed state may have increased both susceptibility to infection and disease progression. Together, our findings suggest that certain individual companion animals may be at higher risk for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19-like disease, and high viral shedding, which may pose a transmission risk to humans.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0596.v1
Online: 23 December 2020 (15:58:38 CET)
We report the treatment of a 21-year-old female Covid-19 patient by a novel combination of minocycline and a guanosine-restricted diet. Minocycline is an antibiotic with well documented broad spectrum anti-viral effects, including evidence of activity against SARS-CoV-2. Deprivation of guanosine has been documented as an effective anti-viral modality in vitro and in animal models, and specific in vitro activity against CoV-SARS-2 has been reported. The patient's symptoms resolved rapidly.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0203.v4
Online: 2 November 2020 (10:18:00 CET)
The science around the use of masks by the general public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In this narrative review, we develop an analytical framework to examine mask usage, considering and synthesizing the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: population impact; transmission characteristics; source control; PPE; sociological considerations; and implementation considerations. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is via respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and other measures, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Given the current shortages of medical masks we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. Because many respiratory droplets become smaller due to evaporation, we recommend increasing focus on a previously overlooked aspect of mask usage: mask-wearing by infectious people ("source control") with benefits at the population-level, rather than mask-wearing by susceptible people, such as health-care workers, with focus on individual outcomes. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0114.v1
Online: 6 October 2020 (09:43:40 CEST)
Prevalence studies of current smoking among hospitalized COVID-19 patients demonstrated an unexpectedly low prevalence of current smoking among patients with COVID-19. The aim of the present proposal was to evaluate the effect of smoke from cigarettes on ACE-2 in bronchial epithelial cells. Normal bronchial epithelial cells (H292) were exposed to smoke by an air-liquid-interface (ALI) system and ACE-2 membrane protein expression was evaluated after 24 hours from exposure. Our transcriptomics data analysis showed a significant selective reduction of membrane ACE-2 expression (about 25%) following smoking exposure. Interestingly, we observed a positive direct correlation between ACE-2 reduction and nicotine delivery. Furthermore, by stratifying GSE52237 as a function of ACE-2 gene expression levels, we highlighted 1012 genes related to ACE-2 in smokers and 855 in non-smokers. Furthermore, we showed that 161 genes involved in the endocytosis process were highlighted using the online pathway tool KEGG. Finally, 11 genes were in common between the ACE-2 pathway in smokers and the genes regulated during endocytosis, while 12 genes with non-smokers. Interestingly, six in non-smokers and four genes in smokers were closely involved during the viral internalization process. Our data may offer a pharmaceutical role of nicotine as potential treatment option in COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0040.v2
Online: 28 September 2020 (03:19:50 CEST)
To address the expression pattern of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and the viral priming protease, TMPRSS2, in the respiratory tract, this study investigated RNA sequencing transcriptome profiling of samples of airway and oral mucosa. As shown, ACE2 has medium levels of expression in both small airway epithelium and masticatory mucosa, and high levels of expression in nasal epithelium. The expression of ACE2 is low in mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, and can’t be detected in alveolar macrophages. TMPRSS2 is highly expressed in small airway epithelium and nasal epithelium, and has lower expression in masticatory mucosa. Our results provide the molecular basis that the nasal mucosa is the most susceptible locus in the respiratory tract for SARS-CoV-2 infection and consequently for subsequent droplet transmission and should be the focus for protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0487.v1
Online: 21 September 2020 (03:35:15 CEST)
The age-related mortality and morbidity risk of COVID-19 has been considered speculative without enough scientific evidence. This study aimed to collect more evidence on the association between patient age and risk of severe disease state and/or mortality from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Genomic dataset along with metadata (3608 samples) retrieved from GISAID from different geographical regions were grouped into 10 age groups (0-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100 years) as well as high-risk or low-risk according to patient clinical status. Genomic sequences were aligned and analyzed using MAFFT and FASTTREE to build a phylogenetic tree in order to identify age-risk associations based on phylogenetic clustering. Case fatality rates (CFR), as well as the Odds ratio (OR) for high-risk outcomes, were calculated for different age groups. Results revealed that individuals aged between 25-50 years have the best immune response to the infection. On the other hand, disease fatality was higher in patients aging above 50 years. We created an application to calculate the OR of being at high risk given a certain age threshold from GISAID datasets. OR values increased between ages 1-10 years (1.271) and 11-20 years (1.313) but reduced at age range 21-30 years (1.290) and increased again for 61-70 years (2.465). CFR calculated for each of the age groups had peak values at 90-100 years (26.8%) and the lowest at 0-10 years (0%). The CFR for ages above 50 years was about twice greater (11.6%-26.8%) than that for ages below (0-6.6%). The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the majority of samples obtained from India showed low-risk among different age groups and were defined as clade GH. Another cluster from Singapore visualization showed unfavorable patient outcome across several age groups and were classified under clade O. To conclude, this study analyses showed a variety of age-risk associations. As scientists from different countries upload more genomes to globally shared databases, more evidence will reinforce mortality risk associations in COVID-19 patients.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0659.v1
Online: 30 August 2020 (11:22:12 CEST)
We show that low quality of all 427 Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 genomes recently published in Science (1) challenges their phylogenetic inference and may lead to incorrect typing of viral strains in clades with no statistical support. Absence of basecalling quality in genome assemblies and proper phylogeny parameter estimates preclude the assessment of signal-to-noise ratio in the data, downstream analysis and conclusions.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: cancer biomarkers; BRCA1/2; genomics; European recommendation
Online: 18 August 2020 (16:30:04 CEST)
Rapid and continuing advances in biomarker testing are not being matched by uptake in health systems, and this is hampering both patient care and innovation. It also risks costing health systems the opportunity to make their services more efficient and, over time, more economical. The potential that genomics has brought to biomarker testing in diagnosis, prediction and research is being realised, pre-eminently in many cancers, but also in an ever-wider range of conditions – notably BRCA1/2 testing in ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Nevertheless, the implementation of genetic testing in clinical routine setting is still challenging. Development is impeded by country-related heterogeneity, data deficiencies, and lack of policy alignment on standards, approval – and the role of real-world evidence in the process - and reimbursement. The acute nature of the problem is compellingly illustrated by the particular challenges facing the development and use of tumour agnostic therapies, where the gaps in preparedness for taking advantage of this innovative approach to cancer therapy are sharply exposed. Europe should already have in place a guarantee of universal access to a minimum suite of biomarker tests and should be planning for an optimum testing scenario with a wider range of biomarker tests integrated into a more sophisticated health system articulated around personalised medicine. Improving healthcare and winning advantages for Europe's industrial competitiveness and innovation require an appropriate policy framework – starting with an update to outdated recommendations.