ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0297.v1
Online: 20 September 2022 (07:15:52 CEST)
Abstract Despite the lightning-fast advances in the management of SARS-CoV after 2 years of pandemic, COVID-19 continues to pose a challenge for fragile patients, who could benefit from early administration of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to reduce the risk of severe disease progression. We conducted a prospective study to evaluate effectiveness of mAbs against SARS-CoV-2 among patients at risk for severe disease progression, namely elderly and those with comorbidities, before the omicron variant surge. Patients were treated with either casirivimab/imdevimab, sotrovimab, and bamlanivimab/etesevimab. The rates and risk factos for clinical worsening, hospitalization, ICU admission and death (unfavourable outcomes) were evaluated. A stratified analysis according to the presence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG was also performed. Among 185 included patients, we showed low rates of unfavorable outcomes (9.2%), which were more frequent in patients with chronic kidney disease (aOR: 10.44, 95CI: 1.73-63.03; p<0.05) and basal D-dimer serum concentrations >600 ng/ml (aOR 21.74, 95CI: 1.18-397.70; p<0.05). Patients with negative SARS-CoV-2 serology at baseline showed higher C-reactive protein values compared with patients with positive serology (p <0.05) and showed a trend toward a higher admission rate to SICU and ICU compared with patients with positive serology. Our results thus showed, in a real-life setting, the efficacy of mAbs against SARS-CoV-2 before Omicron surge when the available mabs become not effective.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0028.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: VOC; technological risk; exposure to risks; DRI; risk mapping; SIG; BTEX
Online: 13 September 2016 (03:42:52 CEST)
The population’s mobility in urban areas is a necessary variable in the modeling of risk scenarios caused by atmospheric contamination. The inclusion of this concept makes static models more dynamic while considering people within a city to be an entity with complex mobility processes. We propose a conceptual and methodological tool to make the representation of the social, economic and territorial components, as well as the patterns in the population´s mobility to delimitate risk areas for human health by exposure of contaminants. In the volatile organic compounds (VOC), benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene (BTEX) are amongst the most dominant substances in fugitive vapor emissions in gas stations (GS). In urban areas, the exposure to BTEX by residential proximity and proximity to other facilities, which cause intra-urban agglomeration, can impact and affect human health. This model seeks to facilitate the focalization, identification and prioritization of risk areas by BTEX environmental contamination. This article goes beyond de conceptual framework. It suggests methodological and instrumental aspects to be applied in other cities. The government agencies must consider these results when establishing rules, permissions and procedures to reduce environmental pollution for managing the risk in a complex urban environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0069.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Volatile organic compound; VOC; headspace; breath; breath biomarker; volatile metabolite; breath diagnosis
Online: 6 May 2022 (09:27:04 CEST)
Volatile compounds, abundant in breath, can be used to accurately diagnose and monitor a range of medical conditions. This offers a non-invasive, low-cost approach with screening applications; however, uptake of this diagnostic approach has been limited by conflicting published outcomes. Most published reports rely on large scale screening of the public, at single time points and without reference to ambient air. Here, we present a novel approach to volatile sampling from cellular headspace and mouse breath that incorporates multi-time point analysis and ambient air subtraction revealing compound flux as an effective proxy of active metabolism. This approach to investigating breath volatiles offers a new avenue for disease biomarker discovery and diagnosis. Using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), we focus on low molecular weight, metabolic substrate/by-product compounds and demonstrate that this non-invasive technique is sensitive (reproducible at ~1 µg cellular protein, or ~500,000 cells) and capable of precisely determining cell type, status and treatment. Isolated cellular models represent components of larger mammalian systems and we show that stress- and pathology-indicative compounds are detectable in mice, supporting further investigation using this methodology as a tool to identify volatile targets in human patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0375.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Gas exchanges; LMA; rare species; Salvia ceratophylloides Ard.; VOC; within-plant plasticity
Online: 17 February 2021 (10:31:07 CET)
Salvia ceratophylloides (Ard.) is an endemic, rare, threatened plant species recently rediscovered in very few individuals in two different sites of South Italy. The study of within-plant variation more than among-plant one is fundamental to understand the plant adaptation to the local conditions, especially in rare species, and consequently to preserve plant biodiversity. Here, we reported the variation of the morpho-ecophysiological and metabolic traits between the sessile and petiolate leaf of S. ceratophylloides plants in two different sites for understanding the adaptation strategies for surviving in these habitats. The S. ceratophylloides individuals exhibited different net photosynthetic rate, maximum quantum yield, light intensity for the saturation of the photosynthetic machinery, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, leaf area, fractal dimension and some VOCs between the different leaf types. This within-plant morpho-physiological and metabolic variation was depended on the site. These results provide empirical evidence of sharply within-plant variation of the morpho-physiological traits and VOCs profiles in S. ceratophylloides which could be because of adaptation to the local conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0710.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; D614G; N501Y; S477N; mink; VOC 202012/01; B.1.1.7
Online: 28 December 2020 (17:00:23 CET)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes an outbreak of COVID-19 disease in humans with the aid of spike protein. It consists of a receptor-binding domain (RBD) that recognizes and binds to the host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The aim of this study was to examine the mutational effect of spike protein on the sequence through an interaction study of the mutant spike protein and the human ACE2 protein at the structural level. A total of 17,227 spike proteins from Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania, South America, and North America were compared to the Wuhan spike protein reference sequence (Wuhan-Hu-1). The structural and stability implications of D614G, N501Y, and S477N mutations were evaluated. The binding affinity between mutated RBD and human ACE2 protein was also studied. The D614G mutation may have originated in Germany, Europe based on the date of the first sample collection report. It is now widely circulated all over the world with most occurrences in North America. The mutations N501Y and S477N may have originated from Oceania based on the date of the first sample collection report and also have the highest occurrences in Oceania. Based on the computational analysis of mutational effects, the D614G, N501Y, and S477N mutations decreased stability and were tolerated. For disease propensity prediction, N501Y was more prone to disease compared to D614G, while S477N was not prone to disease. The mutation of D to G at position 614 and S to N at position 477 for secondary structure prediction shows no changes in secondary structure while remaining in the coil region, whereas the mutation of N to Y at position 501 changes from coil structure to extended strand. N501Y mutation has a higher affinity to human ACE2 protein compared to D614G and S477N based on a docking study. D614G spike mutation was identified to exist between the two hosts based on a comparison of SARS-CoV-2 derived between the mink and human. Further research is needed on the link between the mink mutation N501T and the mutation N501Y in humans, which has evolved as a separate variant.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0210.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: eNose; gas sensor, SAW; Surface Acoustic Wave, Love wave, diabetes, breath, VOC, ZIF, Zeolite
Online: 8 November 2018 (11:18:23 CET)
In the present work a novel, portable and innovative eNose composed of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor array based ZIF-8, and ZIF-67 nanocrystals (pure and combined with gold nanoparticles) as sensitive layers has been tested as a non-invasive system to detect and differentiate disease markers, such as acetone, ethanol and ammonia, related with early diagnosis of diabetes mellitus through exhaled breath. The sensors have been prepared by spin coating, achieving continuous and homogenous sensitive layers. Low concentrations (5 ppm, 10 ppm and 25ppm) of the marker analytes were measured, obtaining high sensitivities, good reproducibility, short time response and fast signal recovery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0038.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: historical reconstruction; modeling; drinking water; water quality; VOC; epidemiological study; health study; Camp Lejeune
Online: 4 August 2016 (10:09:23 CEST)
A U.S. government health agency conducted epidemiological studies to evaluate whether exposures to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were associated with increased health risks to children and adults. These health studies required knowledge of contaminant concentrations in drinking water—at monthly intervals—delivered to family housing, barracks, and other facilities within the study area. Because concentration data were limited or unavailable during much of the period of contamination (1950s–1985), the historical reconstruction process was used to quantify estimates of monthly mean contaminant-specific concentrations. This paper integrates many efforts, reports, and papers into a synthesis of the overall approach to, and results from, a drinking-water historical reconstruction study. Results show that at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant (WTP) reconstructed (simulated) tetrachloroethylene (PCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 183 micrograms per liter (ug/L) compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 215 ug/L and exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 5 ug/L during the period November 1957–February 1987. At the Hadnot Point WTP, reconstructed trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 783 ug/L compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 1,400 ug/L during the period August 1953–December 1984. The Hadnot Point WTP also provided contaminated drinking water to the Holcomb Boulevard housing area continuously prior to June 1972, when the Holcomb Boulevard WTP came on line (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 32 ug/L) and intermittently during the period June 1972–February 1985 (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 66 ug/L). Applying the historical reconstruction process to quantify contaminant-specific monthly drinking-water concentrations is advantageous for epidemiological studies when compared to using the classical exposed versus unexposed approach.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0310.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; CoviRx.org; database; drugs; pandemic; repurposing; SARS-CoV-2; therapies; treatments; Variants of Concern (VOC)
Online: 20 September 2022 (15:00:48 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2, is the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic which has claimed more than six million lives worldwide, devastating the economy and overwhelming healthcare systems globally. The development of new drug molecules and vaccines has played a critical role in managing the pandemic; however, new variants of concern still pose a significant threat as the current vaccines cannot prevent all infections. This situation calls for the collaboration of biomedical scientists and healthcare workers across the world. Repurposing approved drugs is an effective way of fast-tracking new treatments for recently emerged diseases. To this end, we have assembled and curated a database consisting of 7817 compounds from the Compounds Australia Open Drug collection. We developed a set of eight filters based on indicators of efficacy and safety that were applied sequentially to down-select drugs that showed promise for drug repurposing efforts against SARS-CoV-2. Considerable effort was made to evaluate approximately 14000 assay data points for SARS-CoV-2 FDA/TGA-approved drugs and provide an average activity score for 3539 compounds. The filtering process identified 12 FDA approved molecules with established safety profiles that have a plausible mechanism for treating COVID-19 disease. The methodology developed in our study provides a template for prioritising repurposable drug candidates that are safe, efficacious, and cost-effective for the treatment of COVID-19, long COVID, or any other future disease. We present our database in an easy-to-use interactive interface (CoviRx, https://www.covirx.org/) that was also developed to enable scientific community to access to the data of over 7000 potential drugs and to implement alternative prioritisation and down-selection strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0458.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: grid-tied photovoltaic system; maximum power point tracking (MPPT); voltage oriented control (VOC); integral sliding mode control (ISMC)theory; dc-link control.
Online: 27 August 2018 (11:33:45 CEST)
This contribution considers an improved control scheme for three-phase two-stage grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) power system based on integral sliding mode control (ISMC) theory. The proposed control scheme consists of maximum power point tracking (MPPT), DC-Link voltage regulation and grid currents synchronization. A modified voltage-oriented maximum power point tracking (VO-MPPT) method based on ISMC theory is proposed for design of an enhanced MPPT under irradiation changes. Moreover, a novel DC-Link voltage control based on ISMC theory is proposed in order to achieve good regulation of DC-Link voltage over its reference. To inject the generated PV power into the grid with high quality, a voltage oriented control based on space vector modulation (SVM) and ISMC (VOC-ISMC-SVM) has been developed to control the grid currents synchronization. Numerical simulations are performed in Matlab/SimulinkTM environment in order to evaluate the proposed control strategy. In comparison with conventional control scheme, the developed control strategy provides an accurate MPP tracking with less power oscillation as well as a fast and an accurate DC-Link regulation under climatic conditions variations. Moreover, the transfer of the extracted power into the grid is achieved with high quality.