ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0405.v2
Online: 3 May 2020 (09:36:48 CEST)
Coronaviruses are a large family of RNA viruses which cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and COVID-19. This article highlights some key findings based on a thorough scanning of genes of 475 SARS-CoV2 genomes, including the co-presence of ORF7a and ORF8 over the 256 SARS-CoV2 genomes and the absence of the gene ORF7b over the 219 SARS-CoV2 genomes collected from various countries including India. The presence of the gene ORF7b is found in the SARS-CoV2 genomes containing the L-type strain which is reported to having much higher virulence as compared to the S-type strain.
Online: 12 March 2020 (03:15:15 CET)
The COVID19 coronavirus SARS-CoV2 spreading in Wuhan and now worldwide has been shown to use angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 ACE2 as its host cell receptor, like the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Epidemiology studies found different sex and age groups have different susceptibility to infection, and very skewed severity and mortality of the virus infection, with male, old age, and comorbidity being the most inflicted. Here by analyzing GTEx and other public data in 30 tissues across thousands of individuals, we found significantly higher expression in Asian females compared to males and other ethnic groups, an age dependent ACE2 expression decrease and a highly significant decrease in type II diabetic patients. Consistently, the most significant expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) contributing to high ACE2 expression are close to 100% in East Asians, >30% higher than other ethnic groups. Together with the shockingly common enrichment of viral infection pathways among ACE2 anti-expressed genes, binding of virus infection-related transcription factors at ACE2 regulatory regions, the repression of ACE2 expression by inflammatory cytokines and by type 2 diabetes, and the induction by estrogen and androgen (both decrease with age) established a negative correlation between ACE2 expression and CovID19 fatality at both population and molecular levels. Our results will be instrumental when designing potential prevention and treatment strategies for ACE2 binding coronaviruses in general.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0154.v1
Online: 9 April 2020 (13:15:21 CEST)
SARS-CoV2 popularly known as (COVID-19) has presently received worldwide attention. It has been considered a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. Owing to its high transmittance factor the virus has brought about many deaths and spread to all the major countries of the world. Scientists and Researchers worldwide are giving their full efforts to develop a vaccine. In our present study, we have included the comparative analysis of the different spike glycoprotein sequences of the patients suffering from COVID-19 from different countries where this pandemic has occurred. Spike glycoproteins are the structural proteins that bring about the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 viral molecule to the ACE2 receptor of the host following which infection occurs. Through this data, we have shown the different point mutations in the spike glycoproteins that occurred over time in different countries as the disease progressed.
Online: 27 April 2020 (09:55:03 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the respiratory infection known as COVID-19. From an immunopathological standpoint, coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 induce an increase in a variety of T-helper 1 (Th1) and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines including interleukins IL-1, IL-6, CCL2 protein and CXCL10 protein. In the absence of proven antiviral agents or an effective vaccine, substances with immunomodulatory activity may be able to inhibit inflammatory and Th1 cytokines and/or yield an anti-inflammatory and/or Th2 immune response to counteract COVID-19 symptoms and severity. This report briefly describes four unconventional but commercially accessible immunomodulatory agents that could be employed in clinical trials to evaluate their effectiveness at alleviating disease symptoms and severity: Low-dose oral interferon-alpha, microdose DNA, low-dose thimerosal and phytocannabinoids.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID19; SARS CoV2; physiotherapy; healthcare system
Online: 3 June 2021 (12:06:26 CEST)
Background: The practices of various health-care professionals have been improvised to accommodate the on-going covid-19 pandemic situation. Different guidelines have been set in place to ease the process of re-opening of non-elective healthcare services like out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Although the measures taken should be guided by evidence based information, major consensus amongst practicing therapists needs to guide the India physiotherapy clinics. Objective: To identify and present the opinions of different physiotherapists about the various strategies for re-opening the out-patient physiotherapy clinics. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted. Over 169 participants were selected to participate in the survey according to the pre-decided inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data was collected and saved via google forms. Result and conclusion: A majority of respondents had a consensus over different strategies for re-opening the physiotherapy OPDs. These were regarding different measures to be adapted including modifications in the clinic infrastructure and the practice pattern. This would help in smoothly re-instating the physiotherapy services post the covid-19 lockdown.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0359.v1
Online: 23 May 2020 (05:26:13 CEST)
Severe Covid-19 disease is associated with endothelial infection, viraemia, and multi-organ dysfunction. The process through which SARS-CoV2 causes severe disease is yet to be determined. Here, we propose that in severe Covid-19 infection, SARS-CoV2 reaches the host bloodstream by infecting endothelial cells through their basal surface. This occurs, independently of ACE2, through CD147, a putative SARS-CoV2 receptor. The pathway proposed here encourages research on the mechanisms mediating endothelial cell infection in Covid-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0413.v1
Online: 23 April 2020 (11:36:29 CEST)
Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic a shortage of personal protective equipment, including surgical facemasks and Filtering Facepiece Particle Respirators has occurred. SARS-CoV-2 has a 79,5-82% homology to SARS-CoV. The SARS-CoV UVC sensitivity is described in literature. We have performed UVC transmission measurements of surgical facemasks and respirators. In addition, we performed UVC disinfection experiments of S. aureus with surgical facemasks and respirators. Results show that we can achieve an 8-log reduction of S. aureus in the inner layers of FFP1 respirators and the exterior of surgical facemasks. Furthermore, we showed a 7-log reduction of S. aureus in the inner layers of FFP2 respirators. We conclude that UVC disinfection is an effective, safe and scalable method for reuse of surgical facemask and respirators.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0034.v5
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV2; Biomathematics; vaccine; variants; mRNA; Fibonacci; numerical standing waves
Online: 20 April 2021 (10:05:55 CEST)
ABSTRACT. In this paper, we suggest a biomathematical numerical method for analysing mRNA nucleotides sequences based on UA/CG Fibonacci numbers proportions. This method is used to evaluate then compare the spike genes related to the main SARS-CoV2 VARIANTS currently circulating within the world population. The 10 main results proposed to be reproduced by peers are: 1/ SARS-CoV2 genome and spike evolution in one year 2020-2021. 2/ SARS-CoV2 Origins. 3/ Comparing 11 reference variants spikes. 4/ analysing 32 CAL.20C California variant patients spikes. 5/ Toward a meta mRNA Fibonacci gene end message code. 6/ Analysing S501 UK, S484 South Africa and « 2 mutations » INDIA variants. 7/ Suggesting a possible variants spike mRNA palindrome symmetry metastructure improving mRNA stability then infectiousness. 8/ Analysing Fibonacci Metastructures in the mRNA coding for the vaccines PFIZER and MODERNA. 9/ Does the CG-rich modification of the synonymous codons of the spikes of the 2 mRNA vaccines affect the expression and quantity of SARS-CoV2 antibodies? 10/ The exceptional case of the Brazilian variant P.1. Particularly, we suggest the following conjecture at mRNA folding level : CONJECTURE of SARS-CoV2 VARIANTS: The growth of long Fibonacci structures in the shape of "podiums" for almost all of the variants studied (UK, California, South Africa, India, etc.) suggests the probable folding of the Spike mRNA in the form of a "hairpin", which can strengthen the cohesion and the lifespan of this mRNA. Finally, we show that these kinds of Fibonacci matastructures disapear TOTALLY by analysing the published mRNA sequences of PFIZER and MODERNA vaccines. One fact is certain, the two mRNAs of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will result in a low functionality of the spike vaccine. This is because their designers by seeking greater stability, have doped to build CG rich sequences which, as soon as they are inserted into the human host, will, paradoxically, seek to mutate, like SARS-CoV2 variants, towards CG ==> UA forms in order to improve their STABILITY and LIFETIME. We conclude using new biomathematics theoretical methods (Master code and numerical standing waves), and comparing the Spikes of the two vaccines Moderna and Pfizer, that there will be very probable differences in stability and shelf life of the two respective mRNAs vaccines. However, “State of the Art” analyzes will disclose that their two protein sequences are strictly identical. By modified their synonymous codons using different strategies, no one can guarantee that the quantity of antibodies generated will be identical in the two cases. We wish to draw attention to the great ADAPTATION power - at the global scale of their genomes - of the most infectious VARIANTS, such as the BRAZIL 20J / 501Y.V3 variant (P.1). This is very worrying for the VACCINES <==> VARIANTS run: We demonstrate how the Brazilian variant P.1 which becomes uncontrollable in Brazil in April 2021 has a level of organization of long metastructures of 17,711 bases covering the genome which is 3.6 more important than that of the 2 reference genomes SARS-CoV2 and worldwide D614G. We suggest that this high level of overall structure of this variant contributes to the stability of this genome and, might explain its greater contagiousness.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0114.v1
Online: 7 May 2020 (08:57:14 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has resulted in a global pandemic. The clinical symptoms of the disease vary from mild illness to acute respiratory issues. Older age, diabetes, cardiac diseases predict poor prognosis in COVID-19 patients. Various reports mention the incidence of liver injury with transient elevations in the levels of aminotransferases (liver function enzymes). The clinical characteristics, etiology and underlying pathophysiological mechanisms associated with liver damage in SARS-CoV2 infected patients need to be explored. This review highlights the severity of the hepatic injury in COVID-19.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0423.v2
Online: 9 August 2020 (22:08:56 CEST)
Zinc plays a crucial role in the process of virion maturation inside the host cell. The accessory Cys-rich proteins expressed in SARS-CoV-2 by genes ORF7a and ORF8 are likely involved in zinc binding and in interactions with cellular antigens activated by extensive disulfide bonds. In this report we provide a proof of concept for the feasibility of a structural study of orf7a and orf8 proteins. A conceivable hypothesis is that lack of cellular zinc, or substitution thereof, might lead to a significant slowing down of viral maturation.
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV2; spike; receptor–ligand docking; super infection
Online: 20 March 2020 (08:30:40 CET)
SARS-CoV2 (corona virus) has spread globally at an unprecedented rate; so far, increasing SARS-CoV2-infected individuals have been identified. Although the situation in China is improving and is currently under control, the outbreak in other countries and its pandemic management is only beginning to develop. Based on 154 SARS-CoV2 genome sequence analyses, we used receptor–ligand docking to identify one potential point mutation (V354F) on the spike structure which enhances spike binding to ACE2 receptors underlying potential super infection. Importantly, the V354F site on spike S1 had been identified in 5/10 infected French patients living in Paris, who sharing 100% identical SARS-CoV2 genomes. With Covid-19 cases increasing rapidly in France that could lead to a new explosion, we suggest that the French government should identify all potential super spreaders and treat them accordingly. In summary, our study provides on of the measures to avoid the potential second worldwide explosion of SARS-CoV2.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0279.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: chloroquine; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; antiviral; viral prophylaxis
Online: 17 March 2020 (15:57:38 CET)
The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly advancing despite public health measures. Pharmaceutical prophylaxis is an established approach to potentially control infectious diseases and is one solution to the urgent public health challenge posed by COVID-19. Screening and development of new vaccines and antivirals is expensive and time consuming while the repositioning of available drugs should receive priority attention as well as international government and agency support. Here we propose an old drug chloroquine (CQ) to be urgently repositioned as an ideal antiviral prophylactic against COVID-19. CQ has ability to block viral attachment and entry to host cells. Its proven clinical efficacy against a variety of viruses including COVID-19 and its current deployment in COVID-19 therapeutic trials strengthens its potential candidacy as a prophylactic. Furthermore, CQ has a long safety record, is inexpensive and widely available. Here we reviewed CQ's antiviral mechanisms, its laboratory efficacy activity against COVID-19, as well as CQ's pharmacokinetics in its established use against malaria and autoimmune diseases to recommend safe and potentially efficacious dose regimens for protection against COVID-19: a pre-exposure prophylaxis of 250-500mg daily and post-exposure prophylaxis at 8mg/kg/day for 3 days. We recommend further urgent research on CQ for COVID-19 prevention and urge that the above regimens be investigated in parallel with mass deployment by relevant agencies in attempts to contain the pandemic without unnecessary regulatory delays as benefits far outweigh risks or costs.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0423.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; SARS-CoV; variable residues; main protease; structural analysis
Online: 29 March 2020 (06:22:06 CEST)
The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 (CoV2) emerged in December 2019. This virus has 88% genomic similarity with SARS-CoV (CoV), and both viruses largely depend on their main protease (Mpro) to regulate infection. Mpro thus represents an attractive target for anti-SARS drug design. The CoV and CoV2 Mpro are 97% identical at the sequence level, with 12 variable residues, and their X-ray structures appear similar. We thus structurally analysed how these variable residues affect the intra-molecular interactions between key residues in the CoV2 Mpro active-site. Compared to CoV Mpro, the 12 divergent residues in CoV2 Mpro exhibit modified intra-molecular interaction networks that ultimately restructure the molecular micro-environment. These altered networks also indirectly affect the networks of other active-site residues at the entrance (T26, M49 and Q192) and near the catalytic region (F140, H163, H164, M165 and H172) of the Mpro. This suggest CoV2 indirectly (via neighbours) reshape key molecular networks around the Mpro active-site. It seems that the CoV2 Mpro deceives us with its apparent structurally identical to the CoV Mpro while this viral system accumulates mass mutations (12 variable residues) at key positions. Some of these identified CoV2 Mpro networks at the active-site might guide design of efficient CoV2 Mpro inhibitors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0368.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV2; personal protection devices; snorkel masks; safety test
Online: 30 June 2020 (07:43:58 CEST)
Introduction: The SARS-CoV2 pandemic has led to an worldwide shortage of Personal Protection Devices (PPD) for medical and paramedical personnel. Adaptation of commercially available snorkel masks to serve as full face masks has been proposed. Even not formally approved as PPD, they are publicized on social media as suitable for this use. Concerns about actual protection levels and risk of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulation while wearing them for extended periods made us perform a systematic testing of various brands, in order to verify whether they are as safe and effective as claimed. Methods: A ‘fit’ test was performed, analogous to gas mask testing. Respiratory safety was evaluated by measuring end-tidal CO2 and oxygen saturation while wearing the masks in rest and during physical exercise. Masks were tested with 3D adaptors to mount regular bacterial-viral ventilator filters when available, or with snorkel openings covered with N95/FFP2 cloth. Results: Modified masks performed reasonably well on the fit test, comparable to regular N95/FFP2 masks. Not all ventilator filters are equally protective. For all masks, a small initial increase in end-tidal CO2 was noted, remaining within physiological limits. Masks with specific adaptors (3D printed or provided by the manufacturer) are safer, have more flexibility and reliability than makeshift adaptations. Conclusions: These masks can offer benefit as a substitute for complete protective gear as they are easier to don and remove and offer full-face protection. They may be more comfortable to wear for extended periods. Proper selection of mask size, fit testing, quality of 3D printed parts and choice of filter are important.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0072.v1
Online: 7 June 2020 (09:20:25 CEST)
In the NCBI database, as on June 6, 2020, total number of available complete genome sequences of SARS-CoV2 across the world is 3617. The envelope protein of SARS-CoV2 possesses several non-synonymous mutations over the transmembrane domain and (C)-terminus in 0.414\% of these 3617 genomes. The C-terminus motif DLLV has been changed to DFLV and YLLV in the proteins QJR88103 (Australia: Victoria) and QKI36831 (China: Guangzhou) respectively, which might affect the binding of this motif with the host protein PALS1.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0316.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: RT-PCR; seroconversion; serum biomarkers; SARS-CoV2; neutralizing antibodies
Online: 20 May 2020 (04:10:24 CEST)
The progression of the recent COVID-19 pandemic surprised political authorities as well as scientists. The possibility to design powerful strategies for health care and preserving economic and social activities strongly relies on the capacity to monitor correctly the virus spreading and the immune response in the symptomatic and asymptomatic population. The available data relative to the first pandemic months indicate that the test reliability was progressively improved but also that the extremely variable methodologies used in the diagnostic studies generated data that are often not comparable. This condition prevents a simple metadata analysis for the identification of reliable diagnostics guidelines. Nevertheless, there are converging evidences that combinations of complementary approaches may enable more precise identification of virus infection. Furthermore, it appears that the similarities between SARS-CoV2 and the related types SARS-CoV1 and MERS that caused outbreaks in the last 20 years can be exploited to infer some information for which no direct evidence is still available
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0309.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: covid19; sars cov2; fondaparinux; enoxaparin; venous thrpmbpembolism; inflammatory diseases
Online: 19 May 2020 (04:07:50 CEST)
Background: After the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (i.e. SARS COV2) in China and its diffusion around the world, great attentions was reserved to the increased incidence of venous thromboembolism in these patients. A specific antiviral action of heparins toward SARS COV2 has been reported in vitro such as a well know action of heparins to prevent VTE in inpatients with infective disease has already been reported since several years. Yet, because fondaparinux represent the pharmacological antithrombotic active sequence of all heparins and because its clinical indication o prevent VTE in inpatients is similar to heprains, we realized a retrospective analysis in inpatients with SARS COV2 on the incidence of VTE during pharmacological prophylaxis with enoxaparin or fondaparinux. This retrospective analysis was named FONDENOXAVID. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study that used patients with SARS COV2 during the Italian outbreak from February 18, 2020 to April 30, 2020. Our aim was to compare the clinical characteristics, prophylactic treatment and outcomes in inpatients positive to SARS COV2 at risk to develop venous thromboembolism, in particular venous thrombosis with or without pulmonary embolism, during in-hospital primary thromboprophylaxis with enoxaparin (40 mg or 60 mg once daily) or fondaparinux (2.5 mg once daily). Statistical analysis was conducted with using MatLab R2016B and eventually ad hoc functions. Results: There were not significative differences in clinical characteristics between patients that used enoxaparin or fondaparinux as thromboprpophylaxis for SARS COV2. The cumulative incidence of thrombotic events was not different in patients that used enoxaparin or fondaparinux as thromboprpophylaxis. No differences were found also in d-dimer and fibrinogen levels test at the admission and after 3 weeks as markers of prolonged inflammation due to SARS COV2. Discussion: The increased incidence of VTE in vivo has been reported in several studies although prophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin was conducted in some of them. The clinical indication to prevent VTE was similar for heparins and fondaparinux. In our results a non-inferiority to prevent VTE was recorded when inpatients with SARS COV2 were treated with prophylactic doses of enoxaparin or fondaparinux according to international guidelines. The incidence of VTE in this retrospective analysis showed that Fondaparinux at fixed doses of 2.5 mg daily was not inferior to enoxaparin (4000 UI daily). Our results testify that fondaparinux and enoxaparin showed the same efficacy to reduce the incidence of VTE in inpatients with SARS COV2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0357.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; dentistry; oral health; transmission
Online: 20 April 2020 (02:14:36 CEST)
On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) as a pandemic. Until an effective treatment or a vaccine is developed, the current recommendations are to contain the disease, and control its transmission. It is now clear that the primary mode of SARS-CoV2 transmission is aerosol/droplet spread, and by contacting virus contaminated surfaces acting as fomites (inanimate vectors). Furthermore, recent data indicate that the live virus particles are present in saliva, and, more alarmingly, asymptomatic individuals may transmit the infection. By virtue of the nature of the practice of dentistry where intrinsically, a high volume of aerosols are produced, as well as the close proximity of dentists and patients during treatment, dentists and allied dental staff are considered the highest risk health professional group for acquiring SARS-CoV2 during patient management. Therefore, several organizations and specialty associations have proposed guidelines and recommendations for limiting the transmission of SARS-COV2 from carriers to dentists and vice versa. This paper aims to provide a review of these guidelines, and concludes with a brief look at how the practice of dentistry may be impacted by COVID-19, in the post-pandemic era.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0315.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; ACE2 receptor; medical cannabis; CBD
Online: 19 April 2020 (02:45:50 CEST)
With the rapidly growing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the new and challenging to treat zoonotic SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, there is an urgent need for new therapies and prevention strategies that can help curtail disease spread and reduce mortality. Inhibition of viral entry and thereby spread constitute plausible therapeutic avenues. Similar to other respiratory pathogens, SARS-CoV2 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, with potential for aerosol and contact spread. It uses receptor-mediated entry into the human host via angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) that is expressed in lung tissue, as well as oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract. Modulation of ACE2 levels in these gateway tissues may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility. Cannabis sativa, especially one high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been proposed to modulate gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Working under the Health Canada research license, we have developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa lines and extracts and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues. Screening C. sativa extracts using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues, we identified 13 high CBD C. sativa extracts that modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. Our initial data suggest that some C. sativa extract down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 entry into host cells. While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19. The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C. sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy. They can be used to develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and at-home use. Such products ought to be tested for their potential to decrease viral entry via the oral mucosa. Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0285.v1
Online: 16 April 2020 (16:05:27 CEST)
In December 2019, outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and exported across the world leading to thousands of deaths and millions of suspected cases. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infection into the host undergoes a huge number of complex replicative machineries which still remains unclear. Understanding the mechanism (s) of replication and mode of infection of SARS-CoV2 to human cells will help us in the development of novel vaccines or drugs for the eradication and prevention of the disease. This review compiles the knowledge of SARS-CoV2 replicative machinery, mode of infection to the human cells and the development of drugs and vaccines which are currently under clinical trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0228.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: COVID-19 vaccines; SARS-CoV2; lactation; mother-child dyads; reactogenicity
Online: 17 May 2022 (10:31:51 CEST)
The aims of the study are: a) Describe the reactogenicity of WHO-approved two mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) and two non-RNA vaccines (Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinovac) among lactating mother and baby pairs; and b) compare and contrast the reactogenicity between mRNA and non-mRNA vaccines. A cross-sectional, self-reported survey was conducted amongst 1784 lactating women who received COVID-19 vaccinations. The most common maternal adverse reaction was a local reaction at the injection site; the largest minority of respondents, 43.7% (780/1784), reported experiencing worse symptoms when receiving the second dose compared to the first dose. There were no major reported adverse effects or behavioural changes in the breastfed infants. Among the respondents who received non-mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations, a majority reported no change in lactation but those who did more commonly reported an increase in milk supply, decrease in milk supply and pain in the breast. The more commonly reported lactation changes (fluctuations in breastmilk supply and pain in the breast) for the non-mRNA vaccines were similar to that of respondents who received mRNA vaccines. Our study, with a large cohort and wide geographical and racial mix, further augments earlier reported findings that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for breastfeeding mothers and her children.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0006.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Teacher training; moral education; values system; higher education; SARS-CoV2
Online: 1 April 2022 (11:29:54 CEST)
To determine the ethical-attitudinal profile of university students in the education career during the pandemic with a tendency towards a new normality. University students of the education career were surveyed online, in an ethical key (axiological attitude, moral attitude and attitude towards new normality). The research was descriptive of univariate hypothesis, with non-probabilistic snowball sampling, reaching a sample of 480 participants. The Ethical-Attitudinal Profile Scale (EPEA) was designed, whose reliability was 0.93 in Lawshe's formula and 0.89 in Cronbach's Alpha. In the axiological attitude, values were obtained more frequently: respect with 79%, sincerity with 73%, prudence with 72%. In the moral attitude, a polar result is contrasted between laxity (67%) and kindness (45%); while, in the attitude towards new normality, there was no spike in frequencies, being distributed more homogeneously between indicators, with a low resilience index. There is an adequate evaluative profile of the university students of the education career despite the context of the pandemic and the trend towards a new normality; having a moral attitude of laxity inferred by the circumstances of uncertainty that are experienced in adverse contexts.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0192.v1
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV2; corona virus; affinity proteomics; glycoproteins; glycoprotein-binding domains
Online: 11 May 2020 (10:24:43 CEST)
We analyzed the affinity-proteomics data of saliva absorbed to plate-bound Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, and identified major virus-binding proteins as MUC7, MUC5B, DMBT1, and neutrophil defensins. Furthermore, we found that saliva from healthy donors inhibited the binding of Spike-protein-specific polyclonal antibodies to Spike antigen. These data suggest that the Spike protein’s glycoprotein-binding domains (GBD) may be targeted to block virus adherence or entry of SARS-CoV-2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0160.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Sars-Cov2; Covid-19; Children; Kawasaki disease; toxic shock syndrome
Online: 9 May 2020 (09:01:24 CEST)
In the end of April nearly 100 cases of children aged between 6 month and 9 years with Kawasaki like disease were reported (mostly in Europe) probably linked to COVID-19. With the increasing awareness of this condition the number of cases reported is increasing worldwide. We aim to sum up the known data about this new entity based on published data (in a case report, a series of 8 cases and in newspapers and society statement) and using our knowledge of classical Kawasaki disease. It seems to be a post infectious disease with an onset between 2-4 weeks after the infection, probably in genetically predisposed children aged between 6 month to 17 years. A very rough estimation of incidence based on current data from Bergamo, Italy, and New York State and a lot assumption is between 0.016% (95% CI:0.013-0.02%) - 0.31% (95% CI: 0.2-0.47%) of infected children. Clinical signs overlaps with Kawasaki disease in some children, but another feature is prominent gastrointestinal manifestations. For the 9 detailed patients most had incomplete presentation for Kawasaki disease (with a mean 1.7 (+/-1.2) criteria per patient for the 5 non fever criterion) and only one had a classical form. In some cases, presentation is closer to toxic shock syndrome or isolated myocarditis. Persistent fever seems to be constant and biological exploration are consistent with inflammation (elevated CRP, ferritin and D-Dimers). Management is described as supportive and children seem to improve rapidly, but can require cardiac or respiratory support. In date of 11 may 2020 there is 4 deaths confirmed linked to these new entities (1 in UK and 3 in New York). Paediatricians and general practitioners need to be aware of these possible evolution following COVID-19 infection. However it seems to be rare and children are probably still spared from most morbidities and mortality linked to COVID-19 infection .There are need of published detailed cohorts to better delineate these entities.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: ACE2; Spike protein; SARS-CoV2; death rate; polymorphism; isoform variant; CD157, sankramikogenomics
Online: 17 May 2020 (14:51:39 CEST)
The 2019-Novel Coronavirus has currently gripped the world in terror, affecting 210 countries and territories. Originating from Wuhan, Hubei province, China, the virus has spread so rapidly throughout the world and has already claimed 308,927 lives and is currently afflicting 4.6 million people. The US has over 1.48 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, followed by Spain, Italy, France, UK, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Iran, and China. On careful inspection of the COVID-19 statistics, a peculiar unsettling trend becomes apparent. Western European countries and the US appear to have difficulties in overcoming the catastrophe. In contrast, countries in East Asia, Middle East and mid-Europe have sorted out the situation. Here, we will highlight this trend and propose the importance of infection-genomics (sankramikogenomics), in understanding the susceptibility to COVID-19 and the severity of disease progress. More detailed, systematic evaluation may also identify more susceptible populations. We will also highlight mere 12-fold lower affinity is insufficient to ignore CD147, as interactions occur between tens of spike proteins and equal number of cell surface ACE2 and/or CD147. Thus, both receptors are important to understand sankramikogenomics and severity of COVID-19. The observed ethnic differences in COVID severities may be due to variations in structure or tissue-specific expression (alternate splicing and accessibility) of both the target receptors. Research on both receptors may help in designing improved therapeutic strategies to fight COVID-19. Similar to pharmacogenomics to drug development and precision medicine, Sankramikogenomics will become an important field in other infectious diseases and pathogenicity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0034.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Applied Mathematics Keywords: Shannon entropy; Hurst exponent; Amino acid; Frequency distribution; \& SARS-CoV2
Online: 6 April 2020 (14:00:15 CEST)
The world is now undergoing through a global emergency due to COVID-19 which needs immediate remedies in order to strengthen the healthcare facility to save the nations. Looking towards to the remedies, research on different aspects including the genomic and proteomic level characterizations of the SARS-CoV2 are necessarily important. In this present study, the spatial representation/composition of twenty amino acids across the primary protein sequences of SARS-CoV2 have been looked into through different parameters viz. Shannon entropy, Hurst exponent in order to fetch the autocorrelation and amount of information over the spatial representations. Also frequency distribution of each of the amino acids over the protein sequences have been chalked out.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0344.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: fractal dimension; Shannon entropy; Hurst Exponent; GC Content & SARS-CoV2
Online: 23 March 2020 (07:23:40 CET)
In 2020, the pandemic caused by the Coronaviruses (CoV) that are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV2). The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. It is the high time to investigate the quantitative and/or qualitative genomic informations of the virus SARS-CoV2 in order to strengthen the healthcare facility to fight against this viral disease. In this article, a through quantitative understanding of the purine and pyrimidine spatial distribution/organization of all 89 complete sequences of SARS-CoV (available as on date in the NCBI virus database, is made using different parameters such as fractal dimension, Hurst exponent, Shannon entropy and GC content of the nucleotide sequences of the genome of SARS-CoV2. Also a cluster among all the the SARS-CoV sequences of nucleotide have been made based on their phylogeny made through their closeness (Hamming distance) based on respective purine-pyrimidine distribution.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV2; Biomathematics; vaccine; variants; mRNA; Fibonacci; Indian variants; B.1.617; B.1.617.2.
Online: 18 May 2021 (14:05:33 CEST)
ABSTRACT. In this paper, we run for all INDIA mutations and variants a biomathematical numerical method for analysing mRNA nucleotides sequences based on UA/CG Fibonacci numbers proportions (Perez, 2021). In this study, we limit ourselves to the analysis of whole genomes, all coming from the mutations and variants of SARS-CoV2 sequenced in India in 2020 and 2021. We then demonstrate - both on actual genomes of patients and on variants combining the most frequent mutations to the SARS-CoV2 Wuhan genomes and then to the B.1.617 variant - that the numerical Fibonacci AU / CG metastructures increase considerably in all cases analyzed in ratios of up to 8 times. We can affirm that this property contributes to a greater stability and lifespan of messenger RNAs, therefore, possibly also to a greater INFECTUOSITY of these variant genomes. Out of a total of 108 genomes analyzed: - None ("NONE") of them contained a number of metastructures LOWER than those of the reference SARS-CoV2 Wuhan genome. - Eleven (11) among them contained the same number of metastructures as the reference genome. - 97 of them contained a GREATER number of metastructures than the reference genome, ie 89.81% of cases. The average increase in the number of metastructures for the 97 cases studied is 4.35 times the number of SARS-CoV2 UA/CG 17711 Fibonacci metastructures. Finally, we put a focus on B.1.617.2 crucial exponential growth Indian variant. Then, we demonstrate, by analyzing the main worldwide 19 variants, both at the level of spikes and of whole genomes, how and why these UA / CG metastuctures increase overall in the variants compared to the 2 reference strains SARS-CoV2 Wuhan and D614G.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0173.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: calcitriol; vitamin D; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2 infection; chronic kidney disease
Online: 6 April 2021 (11:50:28 CEST)
Treatment with calcitriol, the hormonal form of vitamin D, has shown beneficial effects in ex-perimental models of acute lung injury. In this study we aimed to analyze the associations be-tween calcitriol supplementation and the risk of SARS-CoV2 infection or COVID-19 mortality. Individuals ≥18 years old living in Catalonia and supplemented with calcitriol from April 2019 to February 2020 were compared with propensity score matched controls. Outcome variables were SARS-CoV2 infection, severe COVID-19 and COVID-19 mortality. Associations between calcitriol supplementation and outcome variables were analyzed using multivariable Cox proportional regression. A total of 8076 patients were identified as being on calcitriol treatment. Advanced chronic kidney disease and hypoparathyroidism were the most frequent reasons for calcitriol supplementation in our population. Calcitriol use was associated with reduced risk of SARS-CoV2 infection (HR 0.78 [CI 95% 0.64-0.94], p=0.010), reduced risk of severe COVID-19 and reduced COVID-19 mortality (HR 0.57 (CI 95% 0.41-0.80), p=0.001) in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. In addition, an inverse association between mean daily calcitriol dose and COVID-19 severity or mortality was observed in treated patients, independently of renal function. Our findings point out that patients with advanced chronic kidney disease could benefit from calcitriol supplementation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0187.v3
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV2; Biomathematics; Benford law; trials; Epidemiology; Fibonacci; data analysis; big data
Online: 11 June 2021 (15:47:44 CEST)
The Benford method can be used to detect manipulation of epidemiological or trial data during the validation of new drugs. We extend here the Benford method after having detected particular properties for the Fibonacci values 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 of the first decimal of 10 runs of official epidemiological data published in France and Italy (positive cases, intensive care, and deaths) for the periods of March 1 to May 30, 2020 and 2021, each with 91 raw data. This new method – called “BFP” for Benford-Fibonacci-Perez - is positive in all 10 cases (i.e. 910 values) with an average of favorable cases close to 80%, which, in our opinion, would validate the reliability of these basic data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0451.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: SARS-CoV2 outbreak; pandemic; Terror Management Theory; moral panic; Corriere della Sera
Online: 17 March 2021 (16:47:47 CET)
Exactly one year ago, between February and March 2020, the SARS-CoV2 infection went from an epidemic confined to China to a worldwide pandemic that was particularly lethal in Italy. This study examined media accounts during that period by analysing the representation of death-related constructs in Corriere della Sera, the most widely read newspaper in Italy. A textual and thematic analysis of articles published between period A (epidemic: 23 January–22 February 2020) and period B (pandemic: 23 February–31 March 2020) was conducted using Nvivo-11. A total of 141 articles comprising 48,524 words was collected. The most utilized words and meanings linked to SARS-CoV2 were computed. In the rank distribution, ‘China’ and ’virus’ were the terms most frequently used in both periods. The terms ‘death’ and ‘dead’ were completely absent in period A and appeared in the 535th position in period B. The term ‘dead’ was used primarily to indicate the number of deceased. From a Terror Management Theory perspective, it is possible that the minimal reference to death-related issues was a reflection of death denial and a manifestation of efforts to deny death to manage terror. These findings highlight the ambiguities and ambivalence surrounding any issue pertaining to death; on one side, undue alarmism may provoke exaggerated reactions, such as moral panic, while on the other denial-based messages that minimize references to mortality may reduce safe behaviour during a pandemic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0257.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; Acute Cardiac Injury; Arrhythmia; Heart Failure; Cardiogenic Shock
Online: 11 August 2020 (07:47:51 CEST)
A newly identified novel coronavirus named as severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus2 (SARS‐CoV 2) has given rise to the global pandemic. SARS-CoV2 which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a positive-stranded RNA virus with nucleocapsid. It binds to host angiotensin-converting enzyme2 (ACE2) receptor through surface glycoprotein (S protein). These ACE 2 receptors are attached to the cell membranes of many organs. Thus, COVID-19 does not only result in acute respiratory distress syndrome but also affects multiple organ systems, requiring a multidisciplinary approach to manage this disease. COVID-19 can damage the myocardial cells and result in fulminant myocarditis, acute cardiac injury, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, cardiogenic shock, or arrhythmia. COVID-19 seeds harmful immune response through cytokine storm leading to indirect organ damage. In this literature review, the available data is comprehended regarding cardiovascular complications in COVID-19, and the correlation of biomarkers with the disease activity is discussed. This literature review also highlights the important treatment options and outcomes of the individual study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0144.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: phylodynamic analyses; SARS-CoV2 circulation in Italy; molecular tracing; Whole Genome Sequencing
Online: 8 July 2020 (11:00:19 CEST)
The aim of this study is the characterization and genomic tracing by phylogenetic analyses of 59 new SARS-CoV-2 Italian isolates obtained from patients attending clinical centres in North and Central Italy until the end of April 2020. All but one of the newly characterized genomes belonged to the lineage B.1, the most frequently identified in European countries, including Italy. Only a single sequence was found to belong to lineage B. A mean of 6 nucleotide substitutions per viral genome was observed, without significant differences between synonymous and non-synonymous mutations, indicating genetic drift as a major source for virus evolution. tMRCA estimation confirmed the probable origin of the epidemic between the end of January and the beginning of February with a rapid increase in the number of infections between the end of February and mid-March. Since early February, an effective reproduction number (Re) greater than 1 was estimated, which then increased reaching the peak of 2.3 in early March, confirming the circulation of the virus before the first COVID-19 cases were documented. Continuous use of state-of-the-art methods for molecular surveillance is warranted to trace virus circulation and evolution and inform effective prevention and containment of future SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0097.v7
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: convalescent plasma; serology; pathogen reduction technologies; pathogen inactivation; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2
Online: 1 July 2020 (14:12:21 CEST)
Convalescent blood product therapy has been introduced since early 1900s to treat emerging infectious disease based on the evidence that polyclonal neutralizing antibodies can reduce duration of viremia. Recent large outbreaks of viral diseases for whom effective antivirals or vaccines are still lacking has revamped the interest in convalescent plasma as life-saving treatments. This review summarizes historical settings of application, and surveys current technologies for collection, manufacturing, pathogen inactivation, and banking, with a focus on COVID-19.
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; SARS-CoV2; model; transmission model; mathematical model; lockdown; quarantine
Online: 16 May 2020 (18:46:59 CEST)
Objective: To use mathematical models to predict the epidemiological impact of lifting the lockdown in London, UK, and alternative strategies to help inform policy in the UK. Methods: A mathematical model for the transmission of SARS-CoV2 in London. The model was parametrised using data on notified cases, deaths, contacts, and mobility to analyse the epidemic in the UK capital. We investigated the impact of multiple non pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and combinations of these measures on future incidence of COVID-19. Results: Immediate action at the early stages of an epidemic in the affected districts would have tackled spread. While an extended lockdown is highly effective, other measures such as shielding older populations, universal testing and facemasks can all potentially contribute to a reduction of infections and deaths. However, based on current evidence it seems unlikely they will be as effective as continued lockdown. In order to achieve elimination and lift lockdown within 5 months, the best strategy seems to be a combination of weekly universal testing, contact tracing and use of facemasks, with concurrent lockdown. This approach could potentially reduce deaths by 48% compared with continued lockdown alone. Conclusions: A combination of NPIs such as universal testing, contact tracing and mask use while under lockdown would be associated with least deaths and infections. This approach would require high uptake and sustained local effort but it is potentially feasible as may lead to elimination in a relatively short time scale.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; extreme epidemiology response; population at risk; case fatality
Online: 12 April 2020 (14:08:15 CEST)
Objectives: COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by SARS-COV2 and transmitted from person-to-person through viral droplets remains a global pandemic. There is a need to understand the transmission modes, populations at risk, and how to mitigate the spread and case fatality in the United States (US) and globally. The current study aimed to assess the global COVID-19 transmission and case fatality, examine similar parameters by countries and determine evidence-based practice in extreme epidemiology response in epidemic curve flattening and case fatality reduction. Methods: A cross-sectional ecologic design was used to assess the preexisting data on confirmed COVID-19 cases and mortality in March 2020 from the CDC, WHO, Worldodomter, and STATISTA. A rapid assessment between March 23rd and 31st, 2020, was utilized for the extreme epidemiology response. The case fatality, termed fatality proportion, was examined using mortality in relation to confirmed cases involving the world, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Italy, France, Spain, China, Germany, India and South Korea. Results: The COVID-19 is a global pandemic, with the US as the epicenter for transmission, representing 20.9% of all confirmed cases worldwide, while Italy is the epicenter for case fatality, 30.6% of mortality as at 03/31/ 2020. The fatality proportion (FP) in Italy was 11.4%, Spain (8.8%), France (6.8%) and UK (6.4%). Despite the increased number of confirmed cases, the lowest FP was observed in Germany (0.96%) and South Korea (1.66%). There is increasing linear tends in transmission in the US, R2=0.97 as well as positive daily percentage change, ranging from 1.27% to 20.5%. Conclusions: The USA remains the epicenter for COVID-19 transmission, while Italy is the epicenter for case fatality. The observed relatively low case fatality in Germany and South Korea is due to an “extreme epidemiology” response through the application of Wuhan, China’s early data on COVID-19 transmission control measures and optimized patient care. These data are suggestive of relaxing the clinical guidelines in the United States in COVID-19 testing, application of contact tracing and testing, case isolation and most importantly enhancing resources for case management and social and physical distancing globally, hence epidemic curve flattening and case fatality reduction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0393.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: SARS-CoV2; RNA depended RNA polymerase; Valproic acid Co-A; drug repurposing
Online: 26 March 2020 (15:04:22 CET)
SARS-CoV2 RNA depended RNA polymerase is an essential enzyme for the survival of the virus in hosts as it helps in the replication of viral RNA. There are no human polymerases that share either sequence or structural homology with viral RNA depended RNA polymerase. These make it a good target for inhibitor discovery, as a specific inhibitor cannot cross-react with the human polymerases. We have used virtual screening, docking, binding energy calculation and simulation to show that valproic acid Co-A, a metabolite from prodrug valproic acid, forms stable interaction with nsP12 of CoV. Our results suggest valproic acid Co-A could be a potential inhibitor of nsP12 of SARS-CoV2.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; Public AwareneSs; Public Practice; Social Distancing and Saudi Arabia
Online: 31 May 2020 (21:27:01 CEST)
Objectives: Social distancing measures are currently implemented to control COVID-19 pandemic in many countries, including Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the awareness and adherence of the Saudi population to these measures. Methods: A web-based questionnaire was designed with 16 questions (8 questions related to demographics, 3 in relation to awareness about social distancing and 5 related to overall practice of social distancing). Results: 5105 participants completed the survey [58.4% female, 66.3% young individuals (aged 18-37 years), 55.8% bachelor degree holders, and 51.0% from the western region]. The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) was the main source of information about COVID-19 for most participants (78.2%). High awareness (81.3%) regarding social distancing was observed, associated mainly with female participants, those from the middle region and those with high education and income. Overall implementation of social distancing was satisfactory (score 3.13/5), with 37.8% never leaving home during the home-stay period. Better adherence to social distancing was observed for female participants, higher degree holders and those aged over 38 years. Conclusions: Organised plans by the Saudi MOH have been effective in raising awareness and improving practice of social distancing among public. However, the observed lower practice of social distancing by individuals with lower education and income indicates the need for targeted interventions to achieve better outcome.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0480.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: endothelial; infection; basement membrane; fibroblast; fibrosis; nsp7; hypothesis; pathogenesis; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2
Online: 31 May 2020 (16:28:19 CEST)
Severe COVID-19 is associated with viraemia and multiple organ disease. Similar clinicopathological features have been previously seen in SARS and MERS. Clinically, the severity of SARS, MERS and COVID-19 has been associated with the presence of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV2 viraemia in affected patients. In vitro work has looked at the pattern of viral entry and release from polarised epithelial cells infected by coronaviruses. This work has demonstrated a correlation between the severity of a coronavirus infection and the ability of the virus to reach and infect the basal surface of host cells. It has been postulated that this ability helps the virus invade the bloodstream of the host, resulting in a systemic infection with multiple organ involvement. Here we propose that basal surface release and entry of COVID-19 into and out of cells at epithelial-endothelial interface plays a key pathogenic role in severe COVID-19 disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0486.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV2; MERS; HKU1; Hurst exponent; Shannon entropy; Nucleotide Density; Purine-Pyrimidine representation
Online: 28 April 2020 (08:21:07 CEST)
A precise understanding of the genes and associated genomes of SARS-CoV2 is important for various reasons such as discovering origin of the virus and virulence and so on. A thorough descriptive understanding of the SARS-CoV2 genomes and other coronavirus of the beta-coronavirus genus is primarily important. In this article, a set of ten genomes of four CoVs and their associated genes are considered for this present study. A spatial representations of nucleotide bases including purine-pyrimidine representations of the different genes of the corresponding genomes are quantified using Hurst exponent, Shannon entropy and density estimation of different nucleotides including GC content, in order to draw a comparison and contrast among the ten genomes of different types of CoVs which include MERS, SARS-CoV, HKU1 (Human Coronavirus) and associated their genes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0116.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV2; inactivated vaccine; mRNA vaccine; COVID-19; homologous vaccination; heterolo-gous vaccination; protectivity
Online: 8 June 2022 (05:39:30 CEST)
This prospective cohort study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine schemes, ho-mologous versus heterologous vaccine strategies, and vaccine-induced anti-S-RBD-IgG antibody response in preventing COVID-19 among 942 healthcare workers one year after vaccination with the inactivated and/or mRNA vaccines. All participants received the first two primary doses of vaccines, 13.6% of them lacked the dose-3, 50.5% the dose-4, and 90.3% the dose-5. Antibody lev-els increased with the increase in number of vaccine doses and also in heterologous vaccine regi-mens. In both inactive and mRNA vaccines, infection rates were significantly higher in 2-dose-receivers, but lower in 4- or 5-dose receivers and increasing the total number of vaccine doses resulted in more protection against infection: the 3-dose regimen yielded 4.71 times more protection, the 4-dose 11.76 times and 5-dose 38.46 times more protection from COVID-19 infec-tion, compared to any 2-dose vaccination regimens. Antibody levels at the end of the first year of 4- or 5-dose-receivers were significantly higher than 2- or 3-dose-receivers. To conclude; increased number of total vaccine doses and anti-S-RBD antibody levels increased the protection from COVID-19 infection. Therefore, four or more doses are recommended in one year, for effective protection, especially in risk groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0152.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV2; COVID-19; homeless people; public health; vulnerable population; Seroprevalence, cohort; residential mobility
Online: 11 January 2022 (17:20:14 CET)
Most vulnerable individuals are particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study takes place in a large city in France. The aim of this study is to describe the mobility of the homeless population at the begin-ning of the health crisis and to analyze its impact in terms of COVID-19 prevalence. From June to August 2020 and September to December 2020, 1272 homeless people were invited to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and virus in and completed questionnaires. Our data show that homeless populations are sociologically dif-ferent depending on where they live. We show that people living on the street were most likely to be relocated to emergency shelters than other inhabitants. Some neighborhoods are points of attraction for homeless peo-ple in the city while others emptied during the health crisis, which had consequences for virus circulation. People with a greater number of different dwellings reported became more infected. This first study of the mo-bility and epidemiology of homeless people in time of pandemic provides unique information about mobility mapping, sociological factors of this mobility, mobility at different scales and epidemiological consequences. We suggest that homeless policies need to be radically transformed since actual model exposes people to infection in emergency.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0107.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Ang II; COVID19; erythropoietin; EPO-R; neuroinflammation: AT1R; SARS-CoV2; angiotensin(1-7); COVID-19 encephalopathy
Online: 20 August 2020 (09:06:38 CEST)
Neuroinflammation, defined as inflammatory reactions mediated by cytokines, chemokines, reactive oxygen species, and secondary messengers in the central nervous system (CNS) including the brain and spinal cord is the basis of many neurological disorders. Recently, erythropoietin (EPO) has been considered and studied as a modulator of neuroinflammation. On this article minireview of pathophysiology of neuroinflammation and the neuroprotective effects of EPO is discussed and a case of subacute huge subdural hematoma with double mydriasis operated urgently, treated with low daily dose (vs high dose once or twice a month in the literature) of EPO and recovered fully and discharged home with good consciousness is reported. In addition, the probable unfavorable outcome of erythropoietin administration in patients with neuroinflammation in COVID-19 is considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0461.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: ACE2; Ang II; AT1R; AT2R; angiotensin (1-7); β-arrestin; CFTR; COVID-19; ENaC; GPCR; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV2; SARS-CoV; G-protein
Online: 20 May 2021 (09:28:37 CEST)
G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) belong to a large family of molecules eliciting different responses to a variety of signaling molecules. These receptors participate in various physiologic pathways such as metabolism, growth, immune responses, inflammation, vision, taste, olfaction, neurotransmission and even and pathologic responses including chronic inflammatory and vascular diseases. Receptors contributing to the biological responses of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) are members of GPCR family. COVID-19-induced inflammatory cascade has been attributed to acute ACE2 downregulation and imbalance of proinflammatory ACE/AngII/AT1R and anti-inflammatory ACE2/angiotensin (1-7)/Mas axes in favor of the former. Some of the receptors contributing to activities of proteins in RAS including AT1R, AT2R and Mas receptors are members of GPCR family. It is notable that these receptors induce their effects both through G protein and β-arrestin pathway; the former exerts temporary and the latter more sustained effects. In addition to the imbalance of GPCR responses contributing to RAS activities, it has been suggested that SARS-CoV2 pathogenesis might be attributed to the activation of GPCRs or modulating G-proteins involved in adenosine-CFTR regulation system and epithelial Na channel function.This article includes a minireview about the physiological functions of GPCRs and their contribution to COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0577.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS-CoV2; Random walks; Population dispersal; Diffusion; Lockdown; Confinement; Movement restrictions; Disease spread; Kuwait
Online: 24 July 2020 (10:57:04 CEST)
To mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, some countries have enforced more stringent non-pharmaceutical interventions in contrast to those widely adopted (for e.g. the state of Kuwait). In addition to standard practices such as enforcing curfews, social distancing, and closure of non-essential service industries, other non-conventional policies such as the total confinement of highly populated areas has also been implemented. In this paper, we model the movement of a host population using a mechanistic approach based on random walks, which are either diffusive or super-diffusive. Infections are realised through a contact process, whereby a susceptible host may be infected if in close spatial proximity of the infectious host. Our focus is only on the short-time scale prior to the infectious period, so that no further transmission is assumed. We find that the level of infection depends heavily on the population dynamics, and increases in the case of slow population diffusion, but remains stable for a high or super-diffusive population. Also, we find that the confinement of homogeneous or overcrowded sub-populations has minimal impact in the short term. Finally, we discuss the possible implications of our findings for total confinement in the context of the current situation in Kuwait.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0381.v2
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV2; corona virus; glycopeptide; N-linked glycans; mass spectrometry; antibody; cryo-EM structure; crystal structures; epitope prediction
Online: 13 April 2020 (11:09:29 CEST)
Corona viruses hijack human enzymes to assembly sugar coat on Spike glycoproteins. The mechanism that human antibodies may uncover the antigenic viral peptide epitopes hidden by sugar coat are unknown. In this study, we analyzed recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein secreted from BTI-Tn-5B1-4 cells, by trypsin and chymotrypsin digestion followed by mass spectrometry analysis. We acquired MS/MS spectrums for glycopeptides of all 22 predicted N-glycosylated sites. We further analyzed the surface accessibility of Spike proteins according to Cryo-EM and homolog-modeled structures, and available antibodies that bind to SARS-CoV-1. The results showed that all 22 N-glycosylated sites of SARS-CoV-2 are modified by high-mannose type of N-glycans. MS/MS fragmentation clearly established the glycopeptide identities. Electron densities of glycans cover most of the Spike receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2, except YQAGSTPCNGVEGFNCYFPLQSYGFQPTNGVGYQ, similar to a region FSPDGKPCTPPALNCYWPLNDYGFYTTTGIGYQ in SARS-CoV-1. Other surface-exposed domains included those located on Central Helix, between amino acids 967 and 1016 of SARS-CoV-1, and 985 to 1034 of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. As the majority of antibody paratopes bind to peptide portion with or without sugar modification, we propose a snake-catcher model that a minimal length of peptide is first clamped by a paratope, and the binding is either strengthened by sugars close to peptide, or not interfered by sugar modification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0392.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV2), COVID-19, molecular diagnostics, real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR)
Online: 23 August 2022 (03:55:44 CEST)
Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2. In Colombia, many commercial methods are now available to perform the RT-qPCR assays, and the laboratories must evaluate its diagnostic accuracy to ensure reliable results to suspected COVID-19 patients. The purpose of the study was to compare four commercial RT-qPCR assays for detection of SARS-CoV2 virus, from nasopharyngeal swab samples referred to Laboratorio Carvajal IPS, SAS of Tunja, Boyacá - Colombia. Methods: This prospective study was conducted on 152 samples of respiratory tract samples (Nasopharyngeal Swab) from patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. Diagnostic accuracy of GeneFinderTM COVID-19 Plus RealAmp (In Vitro diagnostic), One-Step Real-Time RT-PCR (Vitro Master diagnostica), Berlin modified protocol and gold standard Berlin protocol (Berlin Charite Probe One-Step RT-qPCR Kit, New England Biolabs) as reference was assessed. Operational characteristics were estimated in terms of sensitivity, specificity, agreement, and predictive values. Results: Using Berlin Charite Probe One-Step RT-qPCR Kit as reference, the sensitivity/specificity for the diagnostic tests were found to be GeneFinderTM COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit 100%/92.7%, One-Step Real-Time RT-PCR, One-Step Real-Time RT-PCR 92.75%/67.47%, and Berlin modified protocol 100%/96.39%. The results of four commercially available methods were found to be consistent with those obtained from Berlin Modified protocol analysis for % of the samples and showed good agreement (κ= 0.96). Concordant SARS-CoV2 negative and positive RT-qPCR results were reported for xxx and xxx samples, respectively. Summarize something about the Ct. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that all commercially available methods are rapid and reliable for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 virus associated with COVID-19. One-Step RT-qPCR Kit and GeneFinderTM COVID-19 Plus RealAmp assay show optimal sensitivity compared with Belin modified protocol. In addition, there is no significant correlation between xxxxx
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0046.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19 vaccines; seroconversion; inactivated SARS-CoV2 vaccine; BNT162 Vaccine; COVID-19 vaccine booster shot; heterologous vaccination; mixed vaccination; vaccination strategy
Online: 2 March 2022 (12:05:03 CET)
This study aimed to evaluate the mixed and homogeneous application of the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine CoronaVac (CV) and the mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (BNT). This prospective cohort study included 235 health care workers, who had received two prime shots with CoronaVac. They were divided into three cohorts after the third month: Cohort-I (CV/CV); Cohort-II (CV/CV/CV) and Cohort-III (CV/CV/BNT). Anti-S-RBD-IgG and total an-ti-spike/anti-nucleocapsid-IgG antibody concentrations were examined in vaccinated health workers at the 1st, 3rd and 6th months following the second dose of the vaccination. The mean age of 235 health care workers who participated in the project was 39.51±10.39 (min-max: 22-64). At the end of the 6th month, no antibodies were detected in 16.7% of Cohort-I participants, and anti-S-RDB IgG levels showed a decrease of 60% compared to the levels of the 3rd month. The antibody concentrations of the 6th month were found to have increased by an average of 5.13 times compared to the 3rd-month levels in the Cohort-II and 20.4 times in Cohort-III. The heterologous vaccination strategy “CoronaVac and BNT162b2 regimen” is able to induce a stronger immunity and it will help remove inequalities in the developing world where CoronaVac was the initial prime.
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0422.v1
Online: 29 March 2020 (06:16:20 CEST)
Currently, the world is struggling with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Prion-like domains are critical for virulence and the development of therapeutic targets; however, the prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 proteome have not been analyzed. In this in silico study, using the PLAAC algorithm, we identified the presence of prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Compared with other viruses, a striking difference was observed in the distribution of prion-like domains in the spike protein, since SARS-CoV-2 was the only coronavirus with a prion-like domain found in the receptor-binding domain of the S1 region of the spike protein. The presence and unique distribution of prion-like domains in the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domains of the spike protein is particularly interesting, since although the SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV S proteins share the same host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), SARS-CoV-2 demonstrates a 10- to 20-fold higher affinity for ACE2. Finally, we identified prion-like domains in the α1 helix of the ACE2 receptor that interact with the viral receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, the present findings indicate that the identified PrDs in the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and ACE2 region that interact with RBD have important functional roles in viral adhesion and entry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0337.v1
Online: 19 April 2020 (07:14:52 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus behind COVID-19 pandemic is acquiring new mutations in its genome. Although some mutations provide benefits to the virus against human immune response, a number of them may result in their reduced pathogenicity and virulence. By analyzing more than 3000 high-coverage, complete genome sequences deposited in the GISAID database, here I report a unique 28881-28883:GGG>AAC trinucleotide-bloc mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 genome that results in two sub-strains, described here as SARS-CoV-2g (28881-28883:GGG genotype) and SARS-CoV-2a (28881-28883:AAC genotype). Computational analysis and literature review suggest that this bloc mutation would bring 203-204:RG(arginine-glycine)>KR(lysine-arginine) amino acid changes in the nucleocapsid (N) protein affecting the SR (serine-arginine)-rich motif of the protein, a critical region for the transcription of viral RNA and replication of the virus. Thus, 28881-28883:GGG>AAC bloc-mutation is expected to modulate the pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2g and SARS-CoV-2a strains can be linked with the heterogeneity of COVID-19 cases across different regions within and between countries by analyzing existing data. Sequence analysis suggests that severely affected cities, such as Milan, Lombardy, New York, Paris have the predominant presence of SARS-CoV-2g strains, whereas less affected places like Abruzzo, Lyon, Valencia have a relatively higher presence of SARS-CoV-2a, an indication that the latter strain may contribute to the reduced cases of COVID-19. A similar relationship is observed when Netherlands, Portugal are compared with Spain, France and Germany. These analyses suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 has already evolved into a less infective SARS-CoV-2a affecting COVID-19 cases in different regions. The time a country or region needs to acquire SARS-CoV-2a strains may be indicative to the time it would need to overcome the peak of the COVID-19 cases. To confirm these assumptions, prompt retrospective and prospective epidemiological studies should be conducted in different countries to understand the course of pathogenicity of the SARS-CoV-2a and SARS-CoV-2g. Potential drugs can be designed targeting 28881-28883 region of the N protein to modulate virus pathogenicity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0065.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; influenza; pneumonia; respiratory tract infectious diseases
Online: 3 August 2020 (08:44:56 CEST)
The short study implicates few basic similarities of COVID-19 such as diseases origination, symptoms, diagnosis with other relatable viral diseases viz SARS-CoV, common Flu, pneumonia etc. In the present situation, other viral diseases are frequently chaotic and misled with COVID-19 disease because of few clinical features similarities in signs and symptoms and also due to lack of specific diagnostic test. To avoid unnecessary suspects, quarantines of false positive results and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 diseases, the scientific technical research field are highly encourage to implement an efficient, rapid and sophisticated superior test for early stages of infection detection. It will be significantly convenient for physician, laboratory technicians and most importantly the common population facing a psychological disturbance.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0448.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: betacoronaviruses; genomics; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:50:46 CEST)
In the 21st century, three highly pathogenic betacoronaviruses have emerged, with an alarming rate of human morbidity and case fatality. Genomic information has been widely used to understand the pathogenesis, animal origin and mode of transmission of betacoronaviruses in the aftermath of the 2002-03 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreaks. Furthermore, genome sequencing and bioinformatic analysis have had an unprecedented relevance in the battle against the 2019-20 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the newest and most devastating outbreak caused by a coronavirus in the history of mankind, allowing the follow up of disease spread and transmission dynamics in near real time. Here, we review how genomic information has been used to tackle outbreaks caused by emerging, highly pathogenic, betacoronavirus strains, emphasizing on SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; RATG13; BtCoV/4991; SARS-like (SL-) corona virus; pneumonia
Online: 24 May 2020 (20:02:22 CEST)
Genomic analysis indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is most related to RaTG13, a beta corona virus derived from bats by 96% 1. At present, RaTG13 is only available on the public database in the form of a genome sequence. The genome of RaTG13 (MN996532.1) was sequenced from the RNA of a bat faecal swab collected in 2013 from Yunnan, China, however the exact location is not mentioned. Since RaTG13 is one of the main supports for SARS-CoV-2 to have a natural origin, it is of utmost importance to understand the sample location. RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) sequence of RaTG13 shows that it is 100% similar to that of bat corona virus BtCoV/4991 and 98.7-98.9% similar to SARS-CoV-2 RdRp 2. BtCoV/4991 was described to be a SARS-like (SL-) corona virus from bat faeces sampled in an abandoned mine from Mojiang 2. Both the publications 1,2 are authored by Dr. Zheng-li Shi (Z-L Shi), who is described as the bat woman of China 3. However, BtCoV/4991 has not been mentioned by Zhou et al 2020 1 where novel corona virus was first described. Based on the RdRp sequence similarities, similarities in sample collection dates, sample locations, and the fact that RaTG13 is mentioned synonymous to BtCoV/4991 on the Chinese bat database, it is predicted that RaTG13 and BtCoV/4991 originate from the same sample. The sample, bat faecal swab was collected in 2013 from an abandoned mineshaft in Mojiang by Dr. Shi and her work group. In 2012, in a Mojiang mineshaft, six mine workers suffered from atypical pneumonia and three of them died. These workers were engaged in the work of clearing debris from a mineshaft which had a lot of bats and bat faeces 3,4. A detailed health investigation indicated that the miners suffered from atypical pneumonia mostly of the viral origin 4. Therefore, in the light of the present Covid-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, the fact that its phylogenetic neighbour RaTG13 originated from bat faeces collected from a mineshaft, which was also the origin of pneumonia-like disease in miners in 2012, should be noted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0264.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: plaque assay; neutralization; SARS; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; Avicel; methylcellulose; COVID
Online: 16 May 2020 (15:51:52 CEST)
When working with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 during a pandemic response, having a rapid, reproducible and reliable assay for infectious virus quantitation and utilization for evaluation of potential therapeutics is critical. Compared to traditional agarose overlay plaques visualized with neutral red, assays performed with Avicel R RC-591 semi-solid overlay provide a simplified format for rapid and easy detection and neutralization testing. The method is easily modified for higher throughput using dispensers or automated processing. Fixation using formalin provides flexibility when dealing with pathogenic agents such as SARS-CoV-2 where tissue culture plates might be removed from biocontainment for staining. Although plaque assays are considered straightforward in principle, having an easily reproducible, consistent plaque assay is an invaluable tool.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0516.v1
Online: 30 April 2020 (05:51:35 CEST)
Objective: On March 11, 2020 the WHO declared that COVID-19 is pandemic. Among the risk factors for many infectious diseases, a role of the ABO blood group system is reported in the literature. We argue whether it is necessary to investigate the relationship between ABO blood groups and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and if we should consider some blood groups as potential risk factors for COVID-19. Results: Based on the scientific evidence reported in this letter, we believe that further studies are needed to investigate how the ABO polymorphism influences the host susceptibility, individual response and clinical risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0430.v1
Online: 24 April 2020 (08:58:13 CEST)
Sars-CoV-2 outbreak represents a public health emergency, affecting different regions of the world. Lung is the organ more damaged due to the high presence of Sars-CoV-2 binding receptor ACE2 on epithelial alveolar cells. Severity of infection vary from absence of symptomatology to be more severe, characterized by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure and sepsis requiring treatment in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).It is not still clear why in a small percentage of patients immune system is not able to efficiently suppress viral replication. It has been documented as predictive factors for severity and susceptibility affections of cardiovascular system such as heart failure (HF), coronary heart disease (CHD) and risk factors for atherosclerotic progression, hypertension and diabetes among others.Atherosclerotic progression, as chronic inflammation process, is characterized by immune system dysregulation leading to pro-inflammatory pattern, including (Interleukin 6) IL-6, Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) and IL-1β raise. Reviewing immune system and inflammation profiles in atherosclerosis and laboratory results report in severe Sars-CoV-2 infection we have supposed a pathogenetic correlation. Atherosclerosis may be a pathogenetic ideal substrate to high viral replication ability leading to adverse outcomes, how reported in patients with cardiovascular factors. Moreover, level of atherosclerotic progression may impact on a different degree of severe infection and in a vicious circle feeding itself Sars-CoV-2 may exacerbate atherosclerotic progression due to excessive and aberrant plasmatic concentration of cytokines.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0189.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS CoV; SARS CoV-2; novel CoV; India
Online: 12 April 2020 (09:17:16 CEST)
COVID-19 disease outbreak was started in the December, 2019 in the Wuhan city of China which is also known as the largest transportation hub of China. During the spring festival of China the situation become epidemic. Soon, the virus is imported to many regions including the low income countries. Till now, 234073 infected reported cases of the COVID-19 in the world with the total of 9840 deaths (March 20, 2020). The common symptoms of the COVID-19 are the cough, high fever, sore throat, fatigue and breathlessness. The disease is found to be mild in most of the people, some of cases reported to the pneumonia also with multi organ dysfunction and acute ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). It is found that the incubation period for the infection is 2-14 days which is usually 4 days in maximum of cases. India has reported 283 cases of COVID-19 infections till now with 4 deaths. India is still at stage 2 on local transmission as per WHO report 60. WHO reported 60 clearly stated that there is no community transmission occurred in India yet which can be prevented by the avoiding mass gathering and proper screening of the people. Govt. of India has taken many initiatives to minimize the spread of COVID-19 infection in the country. The infection rate of the COVID-19 in India remains low related to population size of the country. It is because of fast government action to quarantine the suspected people and shut down all its borders. There is a great slowdown in the global economy due to COVID-19 attack which is likely to costs around $1 trillion. The spread of COVID-19 infection can be reduced by minimizing the H-H transmissions. Still there is need of Anti-n-CoV drug development which can replace the supporting therapies for the treatment of infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0260.v2
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-like coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); RdRp; Remdesivir; and neutralizing antibody
Online: 10 July 2020 (16:21:17 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging, highly transmissible, and pathogenic coronavirus in humans, which has caused global public health emergency and economic crisis. To date, millions of infections and thousands of deaths have been reported worldwide, and the numbers continue to rise. Currently, there is no specific drug or vaccine against this deadly virus; therefore, there is a pressing need to understand the mechanism through which this virus enters the host cell. Viral entry into the host cell is a multistep process in which SARS-CoV-2 utilizes the receptor binding domain of the spike glycoprotein (S) to recognize ACE2 receptors on the human cells; this initiates host cell entry by promoting viral-host cell membrane fusion through large scale conformational changes in the S protein. Receptor recognition and fusion are critical and essential steps of viral infections and are key determinants of the viral host range and cross-species transmission. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and the roles of key viral factors. We discuss the RNA dependent RNA polymerase structure of SARS-CoV-2, its significance in drug discovery, and explain the receptor recognition mechanisms of coronaviruses. We provide a comparative analysis of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 S proteins, receptor-binding specificity, and discuss the differences in their antigenicity based on biophysical and structural characteristics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0587.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; Accessory Protein; ORF8; ORF8ab
Online: 24 July 2020 (13:51:12 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic in first seven months has led to more than 15 million confirmed infected cases and 600,000 deaths. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19 has proved a great challenge for its ability to spread in asymptomatic stages and a diverse disease spectrum it has generated. This has created a challenge of unimaginable magnitude not only affecting human health and life but also potentially generating a long-lasting socioeconomic impact. Both medical sciences and biomedical research have also been challenged consequently leading to a large number of clinical trials and vaccine initiatives. While known proteins of pathobiological importance are targets for these therapeutic approaches, it is imperative to explore other factors of viral significance. Accessory proteins are one such trait that have diverse roles in coronavirus pathobiology. Here we analyze certain genomic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 accessory protein ORF8, predict upon its protein features and review current available literature regarding its function. We have also undertaken review of ORF8 homolog ORF8ab from SARS-CoV with a purpose of developing holistic understanding of these proteins for reason that coronaviruses have been infecting humans repeatedly and might continue to do so. Despite low nucleotide and protein identity and differentiating genome level characteristics, there appears to be significant structural integrity and functional proximity between these proteins pointing towards their high significance. There is further need for comprehensive genomics and structural-functional studies to lead towards definitive conclusions regarding their criticality and that can eventually define their relevance to therapeutics development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0551.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; Antiviral therapy
Online: 23 July 2020 (11:43:46 CEST)
Background: To prioritize the development of antiviral compounds, it is necessary to compare their relative preclinical activity and clinical efficacy. Methods: We reviewed in vitro, animal model, and clinical studies of candidate anti-coronavirus compounds and placed extracted data in an online relational database. Results: As of July 2020, the Coronavirus Antiviral Research Database (CoV-RDB; covdb.stanford.edu) contained >2,400 cell culture, entry assay and biochemical experiments, 240 animal model studies, and 56 clinical studies from >300 published papers. SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV account for approximately 85% of the data. Approximately 75% of experiments involved compounds with a known or likely mechanism of action, including receptor binding inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies (20%); viral protease inhibitors (18%); polymerase inhibitors (9%); interferons (8%); fusion inhibitors (8%); host endosomal trafficking inhibitors (7%); and host protease inhibitors (5%). For 724 compounds with a known or likely mechanism, 95 (13%) are licensed in the US for other indications, 72 (10%) are licensed outside the US or are in human trials, and 557 (77%) are pre-clinical investigational compounds. Conclusion: CoV-RDB facilitates comparisons between different candidate antiviral compounds, thereby helping scientists, clinical investigators, public health officials, and funding agencies prioritize the most promising compounds and repurposed drugs for further development.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: human coronavirus; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; envelope protein; immunopathology
Online: 25 May 2020 (17:54:57 CEST)
Since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, human coronaviruses (hCoVs) have been identified as causative agents of severe acute respiratory tract infections. Two more hCoV outbreaks have since occurred, the most recent being SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The clinical presentation of SARS and MERS is remarkably similar to COVID-19, with hyperinflammation causing a severe form of the disease in some patients. Previous studies show that the expression of the SARS-CoV E protein is associated with the hyperinflammatory response that could culminate in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a potentially fatal complication. This immune-mediated damage is largely caused by a cytokine storm, which is induced by significantly elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-6, which are partly mediated by the expression of the SARS-CoV E protein. The interaction between the SARS-CoV E protein and the host protein, syntenin, as well as the viroporin function of SARS-CoV E, are linked to this cytokine dysregulation. This review aims to compare the clinical presentation of virulent hCoVs with a specific focus on the cause of the immunopathology. The review also proposes that inhibition of IL-1beta and IL-6 in severe cases can improve patient outcome.
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Sars-CoV-2; homology modelling; envelope membrane glycoprotein; Bat; Pangolin; Sars-CoV
Online: 9 May 2020 (08:43:08 CEST)
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new viral infection caused by the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Genomic analyses have revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is related to Pangolin and Bat coronaviruses. In this report, a structural comparison between the Sars-CoV-2 Envelope and Membrane proteins from different human isolates with homologous proteins from closely related viruses is described. The analyses here reported show the high structural similarity of Envelope and Membrane proteins to the counterparts from Pangolin and Bat coronavirus isolates. However, the comparisons have also highlighted structural differences specific of Sars-CoV-2 proteins which may be correlated to the cross-species transmission and/or to the properties of the virus. Structural modelling has been applied to map the variant sites onto the predicted three-dimensional structure of the Envelope and Membrane proteins.
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/preprints202006.0165.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Conserved signature indels (CSIs) specific for SARS and SARS-CoV-2-related viruses. Molecular markers distinguishing different clades of Sarbecovirus, Evolutionary relationships between SARS and SARS-CoV-2-related viruses, Origin of SARS-CoV-2 and Pangolin CoV_MP789 viruses, Novel sequence and structural features of spike and nucleocapsid proteins. Genetic recombination.
Online: 26 August 2020 (10:17:16 CEST)
Both SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and SARS coronaviruses (CoVs) are members of the subgenus Sarbecovirus. To understand the origin of SARS-CoV-2, protein sequences from sarbecoviruses were analyzed to identify highly-specific molecular markers consisting of conserved inserts or deletions (termed CSIs) in the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins that are specific for either particular clusters/lineages of these viruses or are commonly shared by specific lineages. Three novel CSIs in the N-terminal domain of the spike protein S1-subunit (S1-NTD) are uniquely shared by the SARS-CoV-2, BatCoV-RaTG13 and most pangolin CoVs, distinguishing this cluster of viruses (SARS-CoV-2r) from all others. In the same positions, where these CSIs are found, related CSIs are also present in two other sarbecoviruses (viz. CoVZXC21 and CoVZC45 forming CoVZC cluster), which form an out group of the SARS-CoV-2r cluster. These three CSIs are not found in the SARS-CoVs. However, both SARS and SARS-CoV-2r CoVs contain two large CSIs in the C-terminal domain of S1 (S1-CTD), which binds the human ACE-2 receptor, that are absent in the CoVZC cluster of CoVs. These results indicate that while the S1-NTD of the SARS-CoV-2r viruses possesses the sequence characteristics of the CoVZC cluster of CoVs, their S1-CTD resembles the SARS viruses. Thus, the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2r viruses has likely originated from a recombination event between the S1-NTD of the CoVZC viruses and the S1-CTD of SARS viruses. This inference is also supported by the amino acid sequence similarity of the S1-NTD and S1-CTD from SARS-CoV-2 compared to the CoVZC and SARS CoVs. We also present evidence that one of the pangolin-CoV_MP789, whose receptor-binding domain is most similar to the SARS-CoV-2, is also derived by a recent recombination between the S1-NTD of the CoVZC CoVs and the S1-CTD of a SARS-CoV-2 related virus. Several other identified CSIs are specific for others clusters of sarbecoviruses including a clade consisting of bat SARS-CoVs (BM48-31/BGR/2008 and SARS_BtKY72). Structural mappings studies show that the identified CSIs are located within surface-exposed loops and form distinct patches on the surface of the spike protein. These surface loops/patches are predicted to interact with other host components and play important role in the biology/pathology of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Lastly, the CSIs specific for the SARS-CoV-2r clade provide novel means for development of new diagnostic and therapeutic targets for these viruses.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0488.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV; COVID-19; Sarbecovirus; D614G; Spike glycoprotein; Coronavirus; Alignment-free
Online: 21 July 2020 (12:47:13 CEST)
Conservation history of D614 residue is valuable in predicting the consequences of D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (SGP). We report here that the D614 belonged to an extraordinarily conserved, densely hydrophobic eleven amino acid peptide-motif vavlyqdvnct (11-aa), in the Sarbecovirus group and the variant carrying vavlyqdvnct had appeared in Chinese samples and became predominant in several geographical hotspots in late March, 2020. Interestingly a 2009 annotation of SARS-CoV contained the same mutation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0184.v1
Online: 12 April 2020 (05:36:40 CEST)
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are positive-stranded RNA viruses that infect humans and animals. Infection by CoVs such as HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43 and -HKUI1 leads to the common cold, short lasting rhinitis, cough, sore throat and fever. However, CoVs such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the newest SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19) lead to severe and deadly diseases with mortality rates ranging between ~1 to 35% depending on factors such as age and pre-existing conditions. Despite continuous global health threats to human, there are no approved vaccines or drugs targeting human CoVs, and the recent outbreak of COVID-19 emphasizes an urgent need for therapeutic interventions. Using computational and bioinformatics tools, here we present the feasibility of reported broad-spectrum RNA polymerase inhibitors as anti- SARS-CoV-2 drugs targeting its main RNA polymerase, suggesting that investigational and approved nucleoside RNA polymerase inhibitors have potential as anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. However, we note that it is also possible for SARS-CoV-2 to evolve and acquire drug resistance mutations against these nucleoside inhibitors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/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.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS; Covid-19; Vitamins; Therapy
Online: 23 April 2020 (05:44:52 CEST)
In December 2019 a novel human-infecting coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2 has been recognized to cause a pneumonia epidemic outbreak with different degree of severity in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China. Since then this epidemic spread worldwide an in the last week Europe and Italy also have been involved. Effective preventive and therapeutic strategies are absolutely required to block this serious public health concern. Unfortunately, SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated only recently, therefore a few studies concerning its immunopathogenesis and tretament are available. Therefore, on the basis of the assumption that the SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to SARS-CoV (about 82% of genome homology) and that its characteristics, like the modality of transmission, the route of infection, the organ localization, the type of the immune response it may stimulate, the morbidity and the mortality rates are still poor-known, a literature search was performed to identify the reports assessing these elements in patients with SARS-CoV-induced infection. Therefore, we have analysed: 1) the structure of SARS CoV-2 and SARS CoV; 2) the clinical signs and symptoms and pathogenic mechanisms observed during the development of acute respiratory syndrome and the Cytokine Release Syndrome; 3) the modification of the cell microRNome and of the immune response in patients with SARS infection; 4) the possible role of some liposoluble compounds (such as vitamin A, D and E) in modulating directly or indirectly the replication ability of SARS-CoV-2 and host immune response.
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/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/preprints202004.0139.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: SARS epidemiology; super spread events; efficient diagnosis to contain magnitude of SARS-2 outbreaks
Online: 9 April 2020 (07:48:47 CEST)
Corona viruses cause extensive SARS epidemics via super spread events (SSE). Due to variation in infection risk and heterogeneity of reproduction numbers specific distinction between SSE’s and typical case events is essential. SARS transmissions unveil a complex scenario in which SSE’s are shaped by multiple factors. Specific screening strategies for infection emergence within potential super spreading groups will help to efficiently control the SARS-2 pandemic and alleviate the partially effective general restriction measures.
Subject: Keywords: heterologous vaccine; receptor-binding domain; subunit vaccine; coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 4 March 2020 (05:19:16 CET)
A SARS-CoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) recombinant protein was developed and manufactured under current good manufacturing practices in 2016. The protein known as RBD219-N1 when formulated on Alhydrogel®, induced high-level neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity with minimal immunopathology in mice after a homologous virus challenge with SARS-CoV (MA15 strain). In this report, we examined published evidence in support of whether the SARS-CoV RBD219-N1 could be repurposed as a heterologous vaccine against Coronavirus Infectious Disease (COVID)-19. Our findings include evidence that convalescent serum from SARS-CoV patients can neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a review of published studies using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised against SARS-CoV RBD and that neutralize the SARS-CoV virus in vitro, finds that some of these mAbs bind to the receptor-binding motif (RBM) within the RBD, while others bind to domains outside this region within RBD. This information is relevant and supports the possibility of developing a heterologous SARS-CoV RBD vaccine against COVID-19, especially due to the finding that the overall high amino acid similarity (82%) between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike and RBD domains is not reflected in RBM region (59%). However, the high similarity (94%) in the region outside of RBM offers the potential of conserved neutralizing epitopes between both viruses.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0058.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Emerging infectious diseases; coronaviruses; COVID-19; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; MERS-CoV; zoonotic diseases
Online: 3 September 2020 (04:54:38 CEST)
The ongoing global pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has once again demonstrated the significance of the Coronaviridae family in causing human disease outbreaks. As SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in December 2019, information on its tropism, host range, and clinical presentation in animals is limited. Given the limited information, data from other coronaviruses may be useful to inform scientific inquiry, risk assessment and decision-making. We review the endemic and emerging alpha- and betacoronavirus infections of wildlife, livestock, and companion animals, and provide information on the receptor usage, known hosts, and clinical signs associated with each host for 15 coronaviruses discovered in people and animals. This information can be used to guide implementation of a One Health approach that involves human health, animal health, environmental, and other relevant partners in developing strategies for preparedness, response, and control to current and future coronavirus disease threats.
Subject: Medicine & 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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0159.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: bat SARS-like CoV; SARS-CoV; 2019-nCoV; phylogeny; spike protein; viral and host fusion
Online: 10 March 2020 (03:49:10 CET)
A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that is initially found to trigger human severe respiratory illness in Wuhan City of China, 2019, has been recognized as a public health emergency of international concern. In the past two months, this deadly agent has caused 77,785 cases with 2,666 deaths via rapid person-to-person transmission and reached at least 25 countries. However, its evolutionary origin is poorly understood. Here we show integrative evidence that 2019-nCoV is a possible progenitor for SARS-CoV with bat origin. Our finding underscores the importance of tracing origin in the efficient monitoring, and effectively preventing the interspecies transmission of such emerging/re-emerging coronaviruses.
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/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/preprints202006.0184.v1
Online: 14 June 2020 (16:00:35 CEST)
Spike protein is the surface glycoprotein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) necessary for the entry of the virus via the transmembrane receptors of the human endothelial cells of the respiratoty system for the virus to be engulfed causing COVID-19 disease after priming by type II transmembrane protease TMPRSS2 and then binding with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Therefore, mutations and amino acid variants analysis are essential in understanding the mechanism of binding of spike protein with its receptor to have an insights on possibilities to design a peptide or nucleotide-based vaccine for COVID-19. Here, we employed Iterative Threading Assembly Refinement (I-TASSER) and Multiple Alignment using Fast Fourier Transform (MAFFT) to predict the three-dimensional monomer structure of spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and to analyze the amino acid variants for protein sequences from GISAID database for samples collected from Jordan in a try to find an explanation for the low confirmed number of COVID-19 in Jordan. Our Protein Homology/analogY Recognition Engine V 2.0 (Phyre2) findings showed four single amino acid variants (SAV) found in 20 samples of SARS-CoV-2. What is equal to 5% of samples showed tyrosine deletion at Y144 located in the SARS-CoV-like_Spike_S1_NTD (N terminal domain), 62% showed aspartate substitution to glycine at D614G located in the SARS-CoV-2_Spike_S1_RBD (spike recognition binding site), 5% showed aspartate substitution to tyrosine at D1139Y and 5% showed glycine substitution to serine at G1167S both located in the Corona_S2 domain. The findings have shown lower mutational sensitivity in all variants that might not affect the function of spike glycoprotein except for D614G, which has the highest mutational sensitivity score (5 out of 9) indicating a higher likelihood to affect the function of the spike protein. This might suggest, in general, a reduced transmitability of SARS-CoV-2 in Jordan.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0024.v1
Online: 4 June 2020 (05:50:09 CEST)
COVID-19 pandemic has caused a large-scale havoc in almost every country across the globe, putting major challenges for the healthcare system in many parts of the world. Several of the laboratories are running in the race with undying efforts for developing potential vaccine, drugs or therapeutics to treat or prevent the infection. However, with the limited time window and high rate of infection, the task is very big for humanity to find a cure. With hundreds of genomic data of SARS-CoV-2 virus isolates from humans are being submitted almost every day, it is coming into knowledge that virus is mutating, slower in countries with sporadic cases, but higher in countries experiencing large outbreak. These types of mutations in virus may bring challenges in vaccine or therapeutic development for use in each and every country, as each hotspot region may have their own pattern of mutations in virus with ongoing outbreak. In our current study, we retrieved non-synonymous mutation data of around 12,225 SARS-CoV-2 virus samples isolated from humans globally, and discovered all mutations that are collectively happening in antibody epitope regions of the virus country-wise. We found a few numbers of epitope regions in SARS-CoV-2 that are highly conserved collectively in all variants and may be used for epitope-based vaccine development for whole world. We also found epitope regions that are conserved collectively in SARS-CoV-2 variants country-wise and can be used for customized epitope-based vaccine development in each different country.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0509.v1
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.
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/preprints202004.0289.v1
Online: 17 April 2020 (01:53:32 CEST)
In December 2019, an animal human coronavirus transmission occurred in Wuhan, China. A state of global pandemic was shortly declared, among a very rapid contagious spread of the virus. The causative virus was identified as SARS CoV 2 virus and is genetically related to the previous SARS outbreak in 2003. The virus causes wide clinical spectrum from mild flu like symptoms to adult respiratory distress syndrome. Kidney involvement has been reported in several reports in patients with various degrees of severity of SARS CoV2 infection. As knowledge is evolving, the accurate incidence of AKI is not known. Many questions are yet to be answered as regards the effect of epidemiological variables and comorbidities on the occurrence of AKI. Some reports have observed the occurrence of hematuria and proteinuria in a percentage of infected patients. Moreover, chronic kidney disease has not been found in some reports to add to the adverse outcomes, an aspect that merits further exploration. Patients on regular hemodialysis may be vulnerable to contagion due to lower status of immunity and need for frequent attendance to healthcare facilities. Due to the previous factors, prevention and mitigation of SARS CoV2 virus in this vulnerable population constitutes a major challenge.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0354.v1
Online: 24 February 2020 (14:03:12 CET)
Covid-19 has now become a public health concern worldwide. The infection primarily involves the respiratory tract. Hitherto, some Covid-19 pneumonia patients carry the viral nucleic acids, and the active virus was detected in stool specimens. The virus discharged with feces is a potential contagious source. In the present study, three Covid-19 respiratory tract infection patients showed no gastrointestinal symptoms, and two were positive for viral nucleic acids in anal swab specimens remained positive 6 and at least 14 days after virus turned negative in the respiratory tract, respectively (details of the patients were listed in Fig 1). Thus, for Covid-19-infected patients with or without gastrointestinal symptoms, viral nucleic acids in stool specimens or anal swab specimens should be focused on for testing in order to decide the isolation duration of the patient.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0230.v1
Online: 21 January 2020 (03:15:50 CET)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which is chiefly originated by a retrovirus named Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), has influenced about 70 million populations worldwide. Even though several advancements have been invented in the field of antiretroviral combination therapy, still HIV has become the dominant reason for death in South Africa, for example. The current antiretroviral therapies have achieved success in providing instant HIV suppression but with countless undesirable adverse effects. In the present day, the biodiversity of the plant kingdom is being explored by several researchers for the discovery of potent anti-HIV drugs with different mechanisms of action. The primary challenge is to afford a treatment that is free from any sort of risk of drug resistance and serious side effects. Hence, there is a strong demand to evaluate the drugs obtained from natural plants as well as the synthetic derivatives that have been derived from the natural compounds by various chemical reactions. Several plants such as Andrographis paniculata, Dioscorea bulbifera, Aegle marmelos, Wistaria floribunda, Lindera chunii, Xanthoceras sorbifolia and others have displayed significant anti-HIV activity showing more potent anti-HIV activity along with their structures, SARs & important key findings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/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.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0148.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Alignment-free software tool; Coronavirus; COVID-19; D614G mutation; Sarbecovirus; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2; Spike glycoprotein
Online: 6 August 2020 (10:12:00 CEST)
As reported by us and others previously (1, 2), the D614G mutation appeared in the spike glycoprotein (SPG) of the SARS-CoV-2 (the pathogen behind COVID-19) at the early stages of the pandemic and then G614 containing variant of SARS-CoV-2 became the predominant strain in most human populations across the world. However, one of the most recent reports from India (3) stated the incidence of G614 to be only 26% in the Indian population. This report is contradictory to the information available through the GenBank (4) SARS-CoV-2 sequence deposits made by various laboratories from India. The above stated report currently circulating in the Indian media is likely to create a public perception that the Indian strain is less contagious and such a notion could be harmful to people’s welfare. In view of this concern we have re-evaluated, updated and recalculated the incidence of the G614 variant in the Indian population by analyzing 395 Indian SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences available in the GenBank as of June 26, 2020. In our analysis we have categorized the samples by the month in which the samples were collected. We have used an alignment-free software tool named Compare (5, 6), and the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) (7) in the present analysis. We finally inspected each of the 395 sequences physically for the presence of aspartic acid (D) or glycine (G) at the 614th position of the spike glycoprotein. We analyzed an Australian cohort in parallel for comparison. We have found that the prevalence of G614 variant in the Indian samples for the month of June 2020 is 90.6%. The trends are similar with the Australian samples.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/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.