ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0594.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Primary Health Care Keywords: concerns; resources; pandemic; inflation; war in Ukraine; content analysis; Austria
Online: 8 August 2023 (07:20:17 CEST)
This study aimed to analyze areas of concern and support of the Austrian general population two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. A representative sample (N = 1,031) of the Austrian general population was surveyed online between April 19 and 26, 2022. A qualitative study design was used to explore the factors of most considerable current concern (question 1) and the most important sources of support (question 2). The responses to the two open-ended questions were evaluated using conventional content analysis and categories were formed according to the frequency of the answers. The analysis revealed that inflation and finances (30% of participants) and the war in Ukraine (22%) were the greatest sources of concern, followed by mental health (10%), and physical health (10%). Factors such as social contacts within and outside the family were mentioned most frequently as sources of support (36% of participants), followed by recreational activities (23%) and attitudes and abilities (22%). Compared to data collected at the end of the first year of the pandemic (between December 23, 2020, and January 4, 2021), concerns about one's financial situation was now mentioned more frequently (30,4% vs. 8,5%). On the other hand, different types of pandemic-related concerns were less often mentioned. Social contacts and recreation were mentioned as the most important sources of support at both time points (46% and 36% of the participants). Results suggest that the economic concerns are lagging behind the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. In addition, the impending war in Ukraine seems to have a relevant impact on mental health in Austria. Further nuanced qualitative research, particularly involving vulnerable groups like low-income individuals and the unemployed, is crucial.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0198.v2
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: labour challenges; climate change; Ukraine War; high fuel costs; sustainability
Online: 26 December 2022 (09:13:10 CET)
This exploratory study examined the impacts of COVID-19 and emerging challenges and opportunities from aviation recovery. Using archival and secondary data analysis, the study found that there are several challenges to aviation recovery chief among them are labour challenges and extreme weather events, which have been responsible for traffic disruptions in major aviation markets such as Europe and the USA. Other emerging challenges include high debt, inflation, interest rates, fuel, cost of labour, and general operational costs. The study recommends several interventions to address the sector’s challenges, including adopting risk disaster preparedness and management to foster sustainability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0311.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Gastroenterology And Hepatology Keywords: Baltic states; chronic hepatitis C; epidemiology; hepatitis C virus; genotype; Ukraine
Online: 5 July 2023 (12:30:04 CEST)
Background and objectives: Since 2013, highly effective direct-acting (DAA) chronic hepatitis C (CHC) antiviral therapy became available, which has cure rates of over 95%. For choice of optimal CHC treatment, assessment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (GT) and liver fibrosis stage are necessary. Information about distribution of these parameters among CHC patients in Baltic states and especially in Ukraine is scarce. This study was performed to obtain epidemiological data regarding CHC GT and fibrosis stage distribution for better planning of resources and prioritization of patients for DAA drug treatment according to disease severity in high-income (Baltic states) and lower-middle income (Ukraine) countries. Materials and Methods: This was an epidemiological, retrospective, cross-sectional study that included 1451 CHC patients. Demographic and disease information from medical charts was collected for each patient during a single visit. Results: Most frequent suspected mode of viral transmission was blood transfusions (17.8%), followed by injection drug use (15.7%); however, in 50.9% of patients exact mode of transmission was not clarified. In Ukraine (18.4%) and Estonia (26%) transmission by the injection drug use was higher than in Lithuania (5%) and Latvia (5.3%). Distribution of HCV GT among patients with CHC was as follows: GT1 - 66.4%; GT3 - 28.1; and GT2 - 4.1%. The prevalence of GT1 was the highest in Latvia (84%), and the lowest in Ukraine (63%, p<0.001). Liver fibrosis stages were distributed as follows: F0 - 12.2%, F1 - 26.3%, F2 - 23.5%, F3 – 17.1% and F4 - 20.9%. Cirrhosis (F4) was more prevalent in Lithuanian patients (30.1%) than in Estonians (8.1%, p <0.001). Conclusions: This study contributes to the knowledge of epidemiological characteristics of HCV infection in the Baltic states and Ukraine. The data regarding the patterns of HCV GT and fibrosis stage distribution will be helpful for the development of national strategies to control HCV infection in the era of DAA therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0050.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: porcine circovirus; PCV2; domestic pig; wild boar; subtype; phylogenetics; MinION; Ukraine
Online: 7 April 2022 (03:03:31 CEST)
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is responsible for a number of porcine circovirus associated diseases (PCAD) that can severely impact domestic pig herds. For a non-enveloped virus with a small genome (1.7 kb ssDNA), PCV2 is remarkably diverse, with 8 subtypes (a-h). New subtypes of PCV2 can spread through migration of wild boars, which are thought to infect domestic pigs and spread further through the domestic pig trade. Despite a large swine population, the diversity of PCV2 subtypes in Ukraine has been undersampled, with few PCV2 genome sequences reported in the past decade. To gain a deeper understanding of PCV2 subtype diversity in Ukraine, samples of blood serum were collected from wild boars (n = 107) that were hunted in Ukraine during the November-December 2012 hunting season. We found 34/107 (31.8%) prevalence of PCV2 by diagnostic PCR. For domestic pigs, liver samples (n = 16) were collected from a commercial market near Kharkiv in 2019, of which 6/16 (37%) were positive for PCV2. We sequenced the genotyping locus ORF2, a gene encoding the PCV2 viral capsid (Cp), for 11 wild boar and 6 domestic pig samples in Ukraine using an Oxford Nanopore MinION device. Of 17 samples with resolved subtypes, PCV2 subtype b was most common in wild boar (10/11, 91%), while domestic pigs were infected with subtypes b and d. We also detected subtype b/d and b/a co-infections in wild boar and domestic pigs, respectively, and subtype f in a wild boar from Poltava for the first time in Ukraine. Building a maximum likelihood phylogeny, we identified a sublineage of PCV2 subtype b infections in both wild and domestic swine, suggesting a possible epizootic cluster and ecological interaction in northeastern Ukraine.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0174.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Insect Science Keywords: Emerald Ash Borer; EAB; Ukraine; Europe; Fraxinus pennsylvanica; ash trees; invasive pest; plant quarantine
Online: 16 September 2019 (16:53:04 CEST)
Agrilus planipennis is a devastating invasive pest of ash trees. This wood-boring insect native to Asia and established in European Russia about 20 years ago poses a serious threat to ash trees all over Europe. In 2019 we first detected Agrilus planipennis in Ukraine. More than 20 larvae have been collected from under the bark of Fraxinus pennsylvanica trees on 5 September 2019 in Markivka District of Luhansk Region. Coordinates of the localities of collection: 49.614991 N, 39.559743 E; 49.614160 N, 39.572402 E and 49.597043 N, 39.561811 E. The photos of damaged trees with larval galleries, exit holes and larvae are presented. There is no doubt that the pest is established in Ukraine. This fact is important for development of quarantine protocols to prevent or at least slow the further spread of this invasive pest in Europe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0322.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Viral Ecology; APMV; wild birds; Surveillance of Avian Paramyxoviruses; phylogenetics; MinION; Azov-Black Sea region in Ukraine
Online: 23 June 2022 (09:33:18 CEST)
Emerging RNA virus infections are a growing concern among domestic bird and poultry industries due to the severe impact it can have on the flock health and economic livelihoods. Avian paramyxoviruses (APMV) are pathogenic, negative sense RNA viruses that cause serious infections in the respiratory and central nervous system. APMV was detected in multiple avian species during the 2017 migration season in Ukraine, and studied using PCR, virus isolation, and sequencing. Of the 4090 wild bird samples, eleven swabs were isolated in chicken embryos and identified for APMV serotype by hemagglutinin inhibition test: APMV-1, APMV-4, APMV-6, APMV-7. At a variety of sites in Ukraine we characterized the virulence of the virus and further analyzed and predicted the potential risks of spillover to immunologically naïve populations. RNA was extracted and amplified using a multiplex-tiling primer approach to encompass full cDNA genomes. Full-length APMV-1 (n=5) and APMV-6 (n=2) genomes were sequenced on an Oxford Nanopore MinION device in Ukraine. All APMV-1 and APMV-6 fusion (F) proteins possessed a monobasic cleavage site, suggesting these APMV were likely low virulence, annually circulating strains. Utilization of this low-cost method will identify gaps in viral evolution and circulation in this understudied but important critical region for Eurasia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0736.v1
Subject: Business, Economics And Management, Business And Management Keywords: energy security; EU energy policy; energy balance; COVID-19 pandemic; war in Ukraine; imports of natural gas; imports of oil and petroleum products
Online: 9 August 2023 (08:03:14 CEST)
The main objective of this article was to evaluate the repercussions of the crises resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine on changes in the European Union's reliance on energy raw material imports, particularly from Russia. Furthermore, several specific objectives were outlined: to ascertain the EU's energy balance and any alterations therein, to identify changes in the concentration of energy raw material imports among EU countries during the crises, to determine the level and fluctuations in energy raw material import dependence within the EU and individual member states throughout the crises, and lastly, to assess changes in the concentration of energy raw material imports from Russia in EU countries during the crises. The research encompassed all 27 EU Member States as of 31st December 2022, and the examination period spanned from 2010 to 2022. The information sources included relevant literature on the subject and data sourced from Eurostat. In conducting the analysis and presenting the data, several methodologies were employed, including descriptive, tabular, and graphical techniques. Additionally, quantitative measures such as the Gini structure concentration coefficient and concentration analysis through the Lorenz curve were utilized. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU experienced a slight reduction in dependence on energy raw material imports. However, this reduction was short-lived and mainly attributed to the decrease in energy demand caused by the pandemic. Conversely, the war in Ukraine had a substantial impact, leading to a notable surge in energy raw material imports as a result of stockpiling efforts and the need to safeguard against further disruptions in the energy market. Notably, the EU's reliance on energy imports from Russia was already considerable. Following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, imports of oil, petroleum products, and solid fossil fuels experienced significant decline due to imposed sanctions. Nonetheless, restrictions on natural gas imports were comparatively less severe.