ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0430.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: COVID-19 vaccines; menstruation; pregnancy outcomes; Influenza vaccines; VAERS
Online: 28 September 2022 (03:50:35 CEST)
Objectives: Assess rates of adverse events (AE) after COVID-19 vaccines experienced by women of reproductive age, focusing on pregnancy and menstruation, using data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database. Design: Population based retrospective cohort study. Setting: US and global entries in US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Participants CDC VAERS entries from January 1, 1998 to June 30, 2022. Interventions: None. Main Outcome and Measures: A proportional reporting ratio analysis is performed using data in the VAERS system comparing adverse events (AE) reported post COVID-19 vaccines with that of post-Influenza vaccines. Results: COVID-19 vaccines, when compared to the Influenza vaccines are associated with a significant increase in AE with all proportional reporting ratios of > 2.0: menstrual abnormality, miscarriage, fetal chromosomal abnormalities, fetal malformation, fetal cystic hygroma, fetal cardiac disorders, fetal arrhythmia, fetal cardiac arrest, fetal vascular mal-perfusion, fetal growth abnormalities, fetal abnormal surveillance, fetal placental thrombosis, low amniotic fluid, and fetal death/stillbirth (all p values were much smaller than 0.05). When normalized by time-available, doses-given, or persons-received, all COVID-19 vaccine AE far exceed the safety signal on all recognized thresholds. Conclusions: Pregnancy and menstrual abnormalities are significantly more frequent following COVID-19 vaccinations than that of Influenza vaccinations. A worldwide moratorium on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy is advised until randomized prospective trials document safety in pregnancy and long-term follow-up in offspring.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0291.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Neisseria meningitidis; glycoconjugate vaccines; protein-based vaccines, vaccine development
Online: 31 January 2018 (03:07:42 CET)
Neisseria meningitidis causes most cases of bacterial meningitis. Meningococcal meningitis is a public health burden to both developed and developing countries throughout the world. There are a number of vaccines (polysaccharide-based, glycoconjugate, protein-based and combined conjugate vaccines) that are approved to target five of the six disease-causing serogroups of the pathogen. Immunization strategies have been effective at helping to decrease the global incidence of meningococcal meningitis. Researchers continue to enhance these efforts through discovery of new antigen targets that may lead to a broadly protective vaccine and development of new methods of homogenous vaccine production. This review describes current meningococcal vaccines and discusses some recent research discoveries that may transform vaccine development against N. meningitidis in the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0076.v1
Online: 4 March 2022 (09:10:15 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has now become very severe as never before due to the overwhelming spread of Omicron. We found that Omicron outbreak can be effectively prevented by inactivated vaccines, which averted an outbreak of more than 1.6 million people in Hangzhou, China. The 36 mutations in the target spike protein of Omicron neutralizing antibody enable it to evade the immune protection afforded by vaccines. This is because that mRNA and adenovirus-vector vaccines are designed to recognize the spike (S) glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 wild-type (WT) strain. However, Inactivated vaccines contain the whole viral antigens and remain stable in their recognition of newly emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2. Our study confirmed the advantage of inactivated vaccines in the face of highly mutated Omicron variant and provided a basis for the development of effective vaccines to prevent future long-term transmission, mutation and recurrence of SARS-CoV-2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0236.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19 Vaccines; Vaccine Hesitancy; Healthcare workers; Vaccine acceptance; Vaccination; Vaccines; Arab Healthcare workers
Online: 9 April 2021 (08:41:36 CEST)
Background: Health Care Workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of acquiring and transmitting COVID-19 infection. Also, they present role models for communities with regards to attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. Hence, hesitancy of HCWs towards vaccination can crucially affect the efforts aiming to contain the pandemic. Previously published studies paid little attention to HCWs in Arab countries, which has a population of over 440 million. Objectives: to assess the rates of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Arabic-speaking HCWs residing in and outside the Arab countries, and their perceived barriers towards vaccination. Methods: a cross-sectional study based on an online survey was conducted from 14-Jan 2021 to 29-Jan 2021, targeting Arabic-speaking HCWs from all around the world. Results: the survey recruited 5,708 eligible participants (55.6% males, 44.4% females, age 30.6±10 years) from 21 Arab countries (87.5%) and 54 other countries (12.5%). Our analysis shows a significant rate of vaccine hesitancy among Arabic-speaking HCWs residing in and outside Arab countries (25.8% and 32.8%, respectively). The highest rates of hesitancy were among participants from the west region of the Arab world (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria). The most cited reasons for hesitancy were concerns about side effects and distrust in vaccine expedited production and healthcare policies. Factors associated with higher hesitancy included age of 30-59, previous or current suspected or confirmed COVID-19, female gender, not knowing the vaccine type authorized in the participant’s country, and not regularly receiving the influenza vaccine. Conclusion: this is the first large-scale, multinational, post-vaccine-availability study on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among HCWs. It reveals high rates of hesitancy among Arab-speaking HCWs. Unless addressed properly, this hesitancy can impede the efforts for achieving widespread vaccination and collective immunity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0153.v2
Online: 22 July 2021 (09:45:08 CEST)
The human adenovirus phylogenetic tree is split across seven species (A-G). Species D adenoviruses offer potential advantages for gene therapy applications, with low rates of preexisting immunity detected across screened populations. However, many aspects of the basic virology of species D, such as their cellular tropism, receptor usage and in vivo biodistribution profile, remain unknown. Here, we have characterized human adenovirus type 49 (HAdV-D49), a relatively understudied species D member. We report that HAdV-D49 does not appear to use a single pathway to gain cell entry but appears able to interact with various surface molecules for entry. As such, HAdV-D49 can transduce a broad range of cell types in vitro, with variable engagement of blood coagulation FX. Interestingly, when comparing in vivo biodistribution to adenovirus type 5, HAdV-D49 vectors show reduced liver targeting whilst maintaining transduction of lung and spleen. Overall, this presents HAdV-D49 as a robust viral vector platform for ex vivo manipulation of human cells and for in vivo applications where the therapeutic goal is to target the lung or gain access to immune cells in the spleen whilst avoiding liver interactions, such as intravascular vaccine applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0676.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: RNA; Protamine; Transfection; Cancer Therapy; Vaccines
Online: 26 April 2021 (13:37:51 CEST)
Protamine is a natural cationic peptide mixture mostly known as a drug for the neutralization of heparin and as a compound in formulations of slow-release insulin. Protamine is also used for cellular delivery of nucleic acids due to opposite charge-driven coupling. This year marks60 years since the first use of Protamine as a transfection enhancement agent. Since then, Protamine has been broadly used as a stabilization agent for RNA delivery. It has also been involved in several compositions for RNA-based vaccinations in clinical development. Protamine stabilization of RNA shows double functionality: it not only protects RNA from degradation within biological systems, but also enhances penetration into cells. A Protamine-based RNA delivery system is a flexible and versatile platform that can be adjusted according to therapeutic goals: fused with targeting antibodies for precise delivery, digested into a cell penetrating peptide for better transfection efficiency or not-covalently mixed with functional polymers. This manuscript gives an overview of the strategies employed in protamine-based RNA delivery, including the optimization of the nucleic acid’s stability and translational efficiency, as well as the regulation of its immunostimulatory properties from early studies to recent developments.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0294.v1
Online: 25 January 2020 (00:55:19 CET)
Vaccination has been one of the most successful and the most significant scientific advances in human health and life expectancy all around the globe. The World Health Organization considers that immunization should be recognized as the main component of human health right, due to the fact that vaccination prevents 2.5 million deaths annually (World Health Organization, 2011). The most successful vaccines have been developed using conventional methods that follow the paradigm established by Pasteur: "to isolate, inactivate and inject" the pathogen microorganism and mimic a natural infection. Recently, metagenomics have played an important role in the discovery of new immunogens for vaccine design and the selection of antigens based on genomic information. The main approach that has used this strategy has been called "reverse vaccinology". This promising and arising field allows the screening of the entire potential antigenic repertoire of an organism using predictive bioinformatic tools. Once the antigenic protein or proteins have been selected, they are expressed and purified using molecular cloning and in vitro expression techniques. Following the in vitro production step, they are probed in animal models to evaluate the in vivo protective strength of the immune response. The main aim of this in vivo approach is to evaluate the ability of the immune response to eliminate or neutralize the pathogen at the time of infection. Those antigens capable of generate a specific immune response with neutralizing activity for natural infections are the best candidate vaccines. In this review we summarize the evolution of vaccinology since its inception, with special emphasis on the development of VLPs as vaccine platforms and their future in preventive medicine and we introduce a new recombinant platform for antigen presentation based on Junin virus VLPs (JUNV-VLPs).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0273.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: influenza virus; vaccines; passive immunization; immunotherapeutics
Online: 22 May 2019 (11:31:15 CEST)
Influenza is a disease that poses a significant health burden worldwide. Vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza virus infections. However, conventional vaccines are only effective for a short period of time due to the propensity of influenza viruses to undergo antigenic drift and antigenic shift. The efficacy of these vaccines is uncertain from year-to-year due to potential mismatching between the circulating viruses and vaccine strains, mutations arising due to egg adaptation, and potential contamination of the vaccine virus stock. Subsequently, the inability to store these vaccines long-term and vaccine shortages are challenges that need to be overcome. Conventional vaccines are also less effective for certain populations, including the young, old, and immunocompromised. This warrants for diverse efficacious vaccine developmental approaches, involving both active and passive immunization. As opposed to active immunization platforms (requiring the use of whole or portions of pathogens as vaccines), the rapidly developing passive immunization involves administration of either pathogen-specific or broadly acting antibodies against a kind or class of pathogens as a prophylactic treatment to corresponding acute infection. Several antibodies with broadly acting capacities have been discovered that may serve as means to suppress influenza viral infection and allow the process of natural immunity to engage opsonized pathogens whilst boosting immune system by antibody-dependent mechanisms that bridge the innate and adaptive arms. By that, passive immunotherapeutics approach assumes a robust tool that could aid control of influenza viruses. In this review, we comment on some improvements in influenza management and promising vaccine development platforms, with emphasis on the capacity of passive immunotherapeutics especially when coupled with the use of antivirals in the management of influenza infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0082.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: vaccines; vaccination; bovine respiratory disease; antigen; adjuvants
Online: 3 August 2021 (13:39:11 CEST)
Vaccination is widely regarded as a cornerstone in animal or herd health and infectious disease management. Nineteen vaccines against the major pathogens implicated in bovine respiratory disease are registered for use in the UK by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). However, despite annual prophylactic vaccination, bovine respiratory disease is still conservatively estimated to cost the UK economy approximately £80 million per annum. This review examines the vaccine types available, discusses the surrounding literature and scientific rationale of the limitations and assesses the potential of novel vaccine technologies.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0353.v1
Online: 17 February 2021 (09:36:15 CET)
Rapid online surveys are an important tool in tracking the public’s knowledge and perceptions during infectious disease outbreaks. In June 2020, during the early phases of COVID-19 vaccines development, a survey had been conducted, aimed at assessing attitudes and opinions about vaccination of 885 Italian adults, in addition to their vaccine literacy levels (i.e. skills of finding, understanding and using information about vaccines). In January 2021, the same questionnaire has been administered to a similar population (n=160). Interactive vaccine literacy was significantly higher than in June 2020 (mean score 3.38 vs 3.27 respectively, P=.0021). The percentage of participants willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 was assessed by the means of either-or questions, and was equally high in both surveys (>90%), which is quite reassuring, despite metrics based on categorical scales cannot identify hesitant subjects.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0493.v2
Online: 24 December 2020 (13:51:51 CET)
Vaccines based on mRNA-containing lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) pioneered by Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman at the University of Pennsylvania are a promising new vaccine platform used by two of the leading vaccine candidates against coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19). However, there are many questions regarding their mechanism of action in humans that remain unanswered. Here we consider the immunological features of LNP components and off-target effects of the mRNA, both of which could increase the risk of side effects. We suggest ways to mitigate these potential risks by harnessing dendritic cell (DC) biology.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0212.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; Drug targets; Inflammation; Treatment Options; Vaccines
Online: 11 August 2022 (08:07:05 CEST)
Background: A novel virulent coronavirus is what causes Novel Corona-virus Disease 2019 (nCOVID 19). It results in severe respiratory distress syndrome and potentially fatal infectious pneumonia. On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization first labeled it a pandemic, which was then followed on the same day by a community health emergency of global concern. Vaccines against this deadly virus are now being created. Many drugs with different uses have been repurposed and tested for the prevention and treatment of the infection. Objective: The purpose of this review is to provide an in-depth analysis of data on possible pharmacological targets and available coronavirus treatments. Methods: Following the review protocol, a literature search was conducted. Results: Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, and Lopinavir-Ritonavir in combination with or without interferon and convalescent plasma therapy are the main treatment candidates, according to the World Health Organization. This review article has elaborated on the current evidence of prospective pharmacological targets and related ongoing research, including inflammatory chemicals, bioactive peptides, beta cells, platelets, and the Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme 2 Receptor. This information was gathered from published journals. In addition, stories of medications and biological products like interferons and vaccinations that are utilized or could be utilized have been provided. Conclusion: There are a variety of pharmacological targets and therapeutic strategies that need more study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0243.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Vaccines; Adverse Events; Self-reporting; Pandemic
Online: 18 May 2022 (11:06:19 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of pressure on health systems worldwide. Mass vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 has reduced morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite their safety profiles, vaccines like any other medical product can cause adverse events. Yet, in countries with poor epidemiological surveillance and monitoring systems, reporting vaccine-related adverse events is scarce. The objective of this study was to describe self-reported vaccine adverse events after receiving one of the available COVID-19 vaccine schemes in Ecuador. A cross-sectional analysis based on an online self-reporting 32-questionnaire was conducted in Ecuador from April 1st to July 15th, 2021. Participants were invited by social media, radio, and TV to voluntarily participate in our study. A total of 6,654 participants were included in this study. A 38.2% of the participants reported having at least one comorbidity. Patients received AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sinovac vaccines, and these were distributed 38.4%, 31.1%, and 30.5%, respectively. Pain, inflammation at the injection site (20,01%), and headache (16,91%) were the most reported adverse events. Women addressed ESAVIs (64%), more often than men (36%). After receiving the first dose of any available COVID-19 vaccine, a total of 19,481 self-reported ESAVIs were informed (86.9% were mild, 11.6% moderate and 1.5% severe). In terms of vaccine type and brand, the most reactogenic vaccine was AstraZeneca with 57.8%, followed by Pfizer (24.9%) and Sinovac (17, 3 %). After the second dose, 6,757 self-reported ESAVIs were reported (87.0% mild, 10.9% moderate, and 2.1% severe). AstraZeneca vaccine users reported a higher proportion of ESAVIs (72.2%) in comparison to Pfizer/BioNTech (15.9%) and Sinovac Vaccine (11.9%). Swelling at the injection site, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue were the most common ESAVIs for the first as well as second dose. In conclusion, most ESAVIs were mild. AstraZeneca users were more likely to report adverse events. Participants without a history of COVID-19 infection, as well as those who receive the first dose, were more prone to report ESAVIs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0101.v1
Online: 7 March 2022 (14:03:11 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest public health threat facing the globe today. Multiple vaccines have been approved, however the emergence of viral variants such as the recent Omicron, raises the possibility of booster doses to achieve adequate protection. In Brazil, the CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccine was used, however it’s important to assess the immune response to this vaccine over time. This study aimed to monitor the anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in those immunized with CoronaVac and SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. Samples were collected between August 2020 and August 2021. Within the vaccinated cohort, some individuals had history of infection by SARS-CoV-2 prior to immunization and others not. We analyzed RBD-specific and neutralizing- antibodies. Anti-RBD antibodies were detected in both cohorts, with a peak between 45-90 days post infection or vaccination, followed by a steady decline over time. In those with previous history of COVID-19, a higher, longer, more persistent response was observed. This trend was mirrored in the neutralization assays, where infection followed by immunization resulted in higher, longer lasting responses which were conditioned on the presence of levels of RBD antibodies right before the vaccination. This supports the necessity of booster doses of CoronaVac in due course to prevent serious disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0015.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: tilapia broodstock; inactivated vaccines; maternal passive immunity; antibody
Online: 4 January 2022 (15:41:19 CET)
Tilapia lake virus (TiLV), a major pathogen of farmed tilapia, is known to be vertically transmitted. Here, we hypothesize that Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) broodstock immunized with a TiLV inactivated vaccine can mount a protective antibody response and passively transfer maternal antibodies to their fertilized eggs and larvae. To test this hypothesis, three groups of tilapia broodstock, each containing 4 males and 8 females, were immunized with either a heat-killed TiLV vaccine (HKV), a formalin-killed TiLV vaccine (FKV) (both administered at 3.6 ×106 TCID50 per fish), or with L15 medium. Booster vaccination with the same vaccines was given 3-weeks later, and mating took place 1 week thereafter. Broodstock blood sera, fertilized eggs and larvae were collected from 6-14 weeks post-primary vaccination for measurement of TiLV-specific antibody (anti-TiLV IgM) levels. In parallel, passive immunization using sera from the immunized female broodstock was administered to naïve tilapia juveniles to assess if antibodies induced in immunized broodstock were protective. The results showed that anti-TiLV IgM was produced in the majority of both male and female broodstock vaccinated with either the HKV or FKV and that and that these antibodies could be detected in the fertilized eggs and larvae from vaccinated broodstock. Higher levels of maternal antibody were observed in fertilized eggs from broodstock vaccinated with HKV than those vaccinated with FKV. Low levels of TiLV-IgM were detected in some of the 1-3-day old larvae but were undetectable in 7-14-day old larvae from the vaccinated broodstock, indicating a short persistence of TiLV-IgM in larvae. Moreover, passive immunization proved that antibodies elicited by TiLV vaccination were able to confer 85% to 90% protection against TiLV challenge in naïve juvenile tilapia. In conclusion, immunization of tilapia broodstock with TiLV vaccines could be a potential strategy for the prevention of TiLV in tilapia fertilized eggs and larvae, with HKV appearing to be more promising than FKV for maternal vaccination.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0263.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Antibody titer; Broiler chicken; IBD vaccines; Immunogenicity evaluation
Online: 19 October 2021 (08:51:54 CEST)
Infectious bursal disease (IBD) is one of the most endemic diseases of commercial poultry in Ethiopia. Vaccination has been practiced as the major means of IBD prevention and control. A study was conducted to determine and compare the immunogenicity of two commercially available IBD vaccines in broiler chicken with maternally derived antibody (MDA). Day-old chickens of 270 were randomly assigned to three groups, group 1 vaccinated with brand 1 vaccine at 7th and 19th days and group 2 with brand 2 vaccine at 15th and 22nd days while group 3 were kept as control. Six chickens were also randomly selected and bled on day 1 for differential leukocyte count (DLC) and determination of MDA. Representative chickens from each group were bled at 24th and 42nd days of age for antibody titration using the indirect ELISA test. DLC scores were determined in the 1st and 24th days. The result revealed highly significant differences (P = 0.001) between group 1 and group 2 in DLC at 24th days of age. Antibody titers against IBD were differed significantly (P = 0.02) at 24th and 42nd days of age in broilers vaccinated with brand 1 and brand 2 vaccines. It is concluded that although both brands of vaccine induce an adequate immunological response at the end of the experiment, brand 1 vaccine has shown significantly high antibody titers against the IBDV and DLC than brand 2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0506.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: H5N8; Influenza; Virus; Antiviral; Mutation; Reassortment; Therapeutics; Vaccines
Online: 30 September 2021 (08:08:36 CEST)
2014 marked the first emergence of avian influenza A(H5N8) in Jeonbuk Province, South Korea, which then quickly spread worldwide. In the midst of the 2020-21 H5N8 outbreak, it spread to domestic poultry and wild waterfowl shorebirds, leading to the first human infection in Astrakhan Oblast, Russia. Despite being clinically asymptomatic and without direct human-to-human transmission, the World Health Organisation stressed the need for continued risk assessment given the nature of Influenza to reassort and generate novel strains. Given its promiscuity and spread to humans, the urgency to understand the mechanisms of possible species jumping to avert disastrous pandemics is increasing. Addressing the epidemiology of H5N8 and its mechanisms of species jumping and its implications, mutational and reassortment libraries can potentially be built, allowing them to be tested on various models complemented with deep-sequencing and automation. With the knowledge on mutational patterns, cellular pathways, drug resistance mechanisms and effects of host proteins can allow better preparedness against H5N8 and other influenza A viruses.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0205.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: prostate cancer, renal cancer, urothelial cancer, vaccines, immunotherapy
Online: 10 May 2021 (14:54:43 CEST)
Background: In the last years, many new treatment options have widened the therapeutic scenario of genitourinary malignancies. Immunotherapy has shown efficacy, especially in the urothelial and renal cell carcinomas, with no particular relevance in prostate cancer. However, despite the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors, there is still high morbidity and mortality among these neo-plasms. Cancer vaccines represent another way to activate the immune system. We sought to summarize the most recent advances in vaccine therapy for genitourinary malignancies with this review. Methods: We searched Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane Database for clinical trials conducted in the last ten years, focusing on cancer vaccines in the prostate, urothelial and renal cancer. Results: Various therapeutic vaccines, including DNA-based, RNA-based, peptide-based, dendritic cells, viral vectors, and modified tumor cells, have been demonstrated to induce specific immune responses in a variable percentage of patients. However, these responses rarely corresponded to significant survival improvements. Conclusions: Further pre-clinical and clinical studies will improve the knowledge about cancer vaccines in genitourinary malignancies to optimize dosage, select targets with a driver role for tumor development and growth, and finally overcome resistance mechanisms. Combination strategies represent possibly more effective and long-lasting treatments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0216.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; variants; co-circulation; dominance; vaccines
Online: 7 April 2021 (17:24:38 CEST)
Some emergent SARS-CoV-2 variants raise concerns due to their altered biological properties. For both B.1.1.7 and B.1351 variants, named as variants of concern (VOC), increased transmissibility was reported, whereas B.1.351 was more resistant to multiple monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), as well as convalescent and vaccination sera. To test this hypothesis, we examined the proportion of VOC over time across different geographic areas where the two VOC, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, co-circulate. Our comparative analysis was based on the number of SARS-CoV-2 sequences on GISAID database. We report that B.1.1.7 dominates over B.1.351 in geographic areas where both variants co-circulate and the B.1.1.7 was the first variant introduced in the population. The only areas where B.1.351 was detected at higher proportion were South Africa and Mayotte in Africa, where this strain was associated with increased community transmission before the detection of B.1.1.7. The dominance of B.1.1.7 over B.1.351 could be important since B.1.351 was more resistant to certain mAbs, as well as heterologous convalescent and vaccination sera, thus suggesting that it may be transmitted more effectively in people with pre-existing immunity to other VOC. This scenario would lessen the effectiveness of vaccine and urge the need to update them with new strains.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0075.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; immunotherapeutics; therapeutics; vaccines
Online: 7 April 2020 (02:01:34 CEST)
A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), causing an emerging coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China has resulted in an outbreak in China which has taken a catastrophic turn with high toll rates in China and subsequently spreading across the globe. The rapid spread of this virus to more than 175 countries while affecting nearly 500,000 persons and causing more than 22,000 human deaths, it has resulted in a pandemic situation in the world. The SARS-CoV-2 virus belongs to the genus Betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, all of which originated in bats. It is highly contagious, causing symptoms like fever, dyspnea, asthenia and pneumonia, thrombocytopenia and the severely infected patients succumb to the disease. Coronaviruses (CoVs) among all known RNA viruses have the largest genomes ranging from 26 to 32 kb in length. Extensive research has been conducted to understand the molecular basis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection and evolution, develop effective therapeutics, antiviral drugs and vaccines, and to design rapid and confirmatory viral diagnostics as well as adopt appropriate prevention and control strategies. Till date, no clinically proclaimed, proven therapeutic antibodies or specific drugs and therapeutics, and vaccines have turned up. Several molecular diagnostic tests such as Real Time-PCR, isothermal loop-mediated amplification of coronavirus (i-LACO), full genome analysis by next-generation sequencing (NGS), multiplex nucleic acid amplification, and microarray-based assays are in use currently for the laboratory confirmation of this CoV infection. In this review article, we describe the basic molecular organization and phylogenetic analysis of the coronaviruses, including the SARS-CoV-2, and recent advances in diagnosis and vaccine development in brief and focusing mainly on developing potential therapeutic options that can be explored to manage this pandemic virus infection, which would help in valid countering of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0123.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Influenza vaccines; Vaccine hesitancy; Healthcare workers (HCWs); South Africa
Online: 8 June 2022 (10:03:21 CEST)
Vaccination attitudes among healthcare workers (HCWs) is a vital factor for measuring their level of vaccination uptake and intention to recommend vaccinations to their patients. To our knowledge, no study has been conducted in South Africa to assess hesitancy to influenza vaccines among HCWs. We used questionnaire adapted from Betsch and colleagues to conduct an online and face-to-face cross-sectional study among HCWs at the start of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out prior to the flu season. Main outcome was influenza vaccine hesitancy. We used multivariate logistic regression to assess predictors of influenza vaccine hesitancy. Of 401 participants, 64.5% were women, 49.2% nurses, and 12.5% physicians. A total of 54.9% were willing to accept vaccination, 20.4% were undecided, and 24.7% intended to refuse. Older participants above 17-25 years and physicians were likely to receive the vaccine. Key predictors of vaccine acceptance were confidence in the effectiveness, consideration of benefits and risks, and willingness to be vaccinated to protect others. Influenza vaccine hesitancy was highest in those who did not trust that influenza vaccines are safe. For future flu seasons, tailored education programs targeting younger HCWs and more information about the composition of flu vaccines would be vital to improve vaccine uptake.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0059.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: smallholder women farmers; Newcastle disease vaccines; informal institutional barriers
Online: 6 May 2022 (04:34:32 CEST)
Institutional barriers can hinder effective access and utilisation of Newcastle disease vaccines among smallholder chicken farmers. Many studies have focused on formal institutional barriers with minimal focus on informal institutions - unwritten rules and regulations that govern access and utilisation of Newcastle vaccines. However, informal institutions are more profound and encultured in individuals’ daily activities. This study sought to investigate informal institutional barriers to access and utilisation of Newcastle disease vaccines among women smallholder chicken farmers in Makueni, Kenya. The cross-sectional qualitative study employed in-depth interviews, key informant interviews and focus group discussions as data collection methods. Study informants were conveniently and purposively sampled. Informal institutional barriers to access and utilisation included: fear of Newcastle disease vaccine as a new technology, use of herbal remedies, mistrust of community vaccinators, gender division of labour, ownership of household resources and beliefs that indigenous chickens do not need vaccines. The study concludes that women chicken farmers are constrained by unwritten rules, norms, regulations and gender roles that hinder their access to and utilisation of the Newcastle disease vaccines. The need to examine informal institutions to identify and eradicate barriers to access and utilisation of Newcastle disease vaccines by farmers is recommended.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0321.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: 2019 Novel Coronavirus; plants; antiviral compounds; plant recombinant vaccines
Online: 19 April 2020 (04:15:18 CEST)
The proposal of novel drugs and approaches for effective treatment of the novel coronavirus is a necessity after the quick outbreak of the disease. Since the commencement of the coronavirus spread, enormous efforts have been made to protect, alleviate and cure the disease, though no specific treatment has been approved. While there have been convincing results in the use of chemical drugs and interferon therapy, such therapeutic approaches have various drawbacks and lack the required performance for the treatment of the new coronavirus. Medicinal plant species can provide a solution as a source of natural antiviral compounds by the accumulation of secondary metabolites and lectins as well as acting as a platform to express the viral immunogenic proteins. This study reviews the advantages and the results of previous research for the treatment of the novel coronavirus disease and previous generations of similar coronaviruses. Several plant-derived anti coronavirus compounds have been nominated that could be targeted for further research due to the similarity of the coronavirus disease in 2003 and the current coronavirus. This review regards plant species such as Scutellaria baicalensis (Baikal skullcap), and Utrica dioica (Stinging nettle) as suitable candidates for the new coronavirus antiviral research. Furthermore, the use of plants such as Nicotiana tabacum (Tobacco) for the expression of the coronavirus viral antigens can be a target for the future vaccinal research of the new coronavirus due to the efficiency of expression and intrinsic antiviral properties.
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0759.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: pharmacy law, education, training, vaccines, community pharmacy, ambulatory care
Online: 1 November 2018 (18:01:34 CET)
Pharmacists and pharmacies are highly visible and accessible to the public and have long been regarded as a source for immunization services in the United States. As international travel continues to increase and grow in popularity in this country, there is a pressing need for expanded access to preventative health services including routine and travel vaccinations and medications for prophylaxis or self-treatment of conditions that may be acquired overseas. In the United States, the scope of pharmacy practice continues to expand and incorporate these preventable health services to varying degrees on a state-by-state level. As a result, pharmacists can help to increase access to and awareness of the need for these services to insure that patients remain healthy while traveling abroad and that they do not acquire a travel-related disease while on their trip. For those pharmacists interested in starting a travel health service, considerations should be undertaken that ensures that they have the necessary training, education, and skill set in order to provide this specialty level of care and that their practice setting is optimally designed to facilitate this service. Outcomes from studies that have evaluated pharmacy-based travel health services are positive, which further supports the role of the pharmacist in this setting. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to highlight United States pharmacy laws and regulations, pharmacist training, travel clinic considerations, and patient care outcomes from pharmacy-based travel health services.
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.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; animal models; vaccines; future prospects
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:15:48 CEST)
The worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become an unprecedented challenge to global public health. With the intensification of the COVID-19 epidemic, the development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs against the etiological agent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are also widespread. To prove the effectiveness and safety of these preventive vaccines and therapeutic drugs, available animal models that faithfully recapitulate clinical hallmarks of COVID-19 are urgently needed. Currently, animal models including mice, golden hamsters, ferrets, nonhuman primates and other susceptible animals have been involved in the study of COVID-19. 92 vaccine candidates have entered clinical trials after the primary evaluation in animal models, of which inactivated vaccines, subunit vaccines, virus-vectored vaccines and mRNA vaccines are promising vaccine candidates. In this review, we summarize the landscape of animal models and advanced vaccines with efficacy range from about 50% to more than 95%. In addition, we point out future directions for animal models and vaccine development, aiming at providing valuable information and accelerating the breakthroughs confronting SARS-CoV-2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0530.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Epidemiolog; Pathophysiology; Clinical manifestations; Vaccines
Online: 23 February 2021 (16:00:05 CET)
During 2019, the number of patients suffering from cough, fever and reduction of WBC’s count increased. At the beginning, this mysterious illness was called “fever with unknown origin”. At the present time, the cause of this pneumonia is known as the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 is one member of great family of coronaviruses. Coronaviruses can cause different kind of illnesses including respiratory, enteric, hepatic, and neurological diseases in animals like cat and bat. Coronaviruses are enveloped positive-stranded RNA viruses. The SARS-CoV-2 has some particular structures for binding to host cells, reproducing itself in cells and damaging human cells. The SARS-CoV-2 can bind angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE‐2) receptors and cause various difficulties for human. The SARS-CoV-2 can cause either not-serious issues like fever and cough or serious concerns such as multi-organ failure. Source(s) of SARS-CoV-2 is under debate. Malayan pangolin and bat are the most suspicious candidate for being sources of the SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by various ways such as transmitting from infected human to healthy human and can make severe pneumonia, which can lead to death. The SARS-CoV-2 can infect different kind of people with different ages, races, and social and economic levels. The SARS‐CoV‐2 infection can cause various sorts of clinical manifestations like cough and fever and intensity of signs and symptoms depends on sufferer conditions. Clinicians use all of available documents and tests like laboratory, histopathological and radiological findings for diagnosing new cases and curing patients with high accuracy. At the present time, there is no particular way for treating SARS-CoV-2 infection; neither antiviral drugs nor palliative agents. It seems that the best way for standing against the SARS-CoV-2 infection is preventing from it by social distancing and vaccination. This review tries to prepare an essential brief update about SARS-CoV-2 infection for clinicians.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0780.v1
Online: 31 December 2020 (09:25:54 CET)
With the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, a new stage of the pandemic commenced, with new challenges ahead. During the coming months, countries will be implementing their COVID-19 vaccination programs depending on their implementation of vaccine availability and its prescription on risk stratification. Although children will not benefit from active immunization programs, now, with the beginning of the era of the anti-COVID19 vaccines, the suffering of children can no longer be ethically tolerated or neglected. The time has come to provide specific lasting strategies for children living in the COVID-19 era. Here we propose a child-focused indirect COVID-19 vaccination strategy.For better or worse, children depend on their natural caregivers (adults) and the rest of society for their well-being and achieving their full potential. We believe that including in the priority categories also those adults in close contact with children could ensure a safety net of child protection.A child-focused vaccination strategy would allow the faster return to "normality" for children and their families. Such an approach would not only enable the reopening and continuity of essential services for children but also would allow adults to return to their routine economic/productive activities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0004.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Endocrinology & Metabolomics Keywords: metabolomics; vaccines; infections; integrative metabolomics; systems biology; diagnosis; response detection
Online: 1 September 2020 (10:25:03 CEST)
Approaches to identification of metabolites have progressed from early biochemical pathway evaluation to modern high dimensional metabolomics which is a powerful tool to identify and characterize biomarkers of health and disease. While traditionally considered relevant in the context of classic metabolic diseases, immunometabolism has emerged as an important area of study as leukocytes generate key metabolites important to innate and adaptive immunity. Herein we discuss the metabolomic signatures and pathways perturbed during infection as well as vaccination. For example, changes in lipid and amino acid pathways (e.g., tryptophan, serine, and threonine) have been noted during infection while carbohydrate and bile acid pathways have shift upon vaccination. Metabolomics holds substantial promise to provide fresh insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying host response to infection and vaccination, and its integration with other systems biology platforms will add further impact to our studies of health and disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0359.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; genetic diversity; genome evolution; diagnostics; therapeutics; vaccines
Online: 20 April 2020 (02:33:15 CEST)
A novel coronavirus COVID-19 was first emerged in Wuhan city of Hubei Province in China in December 2019. The COVID-19, since then spreads to 213 countries and territories, and has become a pandemic. Genomic analyses have indicated that the virus, popularly named as corona, originated through a natural process and is probably not a purposefully manipulated laboratory construct. However, currently available data are not sufficient to precisely conclude the origin of this fearsome virus. Genome-wide annotation of thousands of genomes revealed that more than 1,407 nucleotide mutations and 722 amino acids replacements occurred at different positions of the SARS-CoV-2. The spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 possesses a functional polybasic (furin) cleavage site at the S1-S2 boundary through the insertion of 12 nucleotides. It leads to the predicted acquisition of 3-O-linked glycan around the cleavage site. Although real-time RT-PCR methods targeting specific gene(s) have widely been used to diagnose the COVID-19 patients, however, recently developed more convenient, rapid, and specific diagnostic tools targeting IgM/IgG or newly developed plug and play methods should be available for resource-poor developing countries. Some drugs, vaccines and therapies have shown great promise in early trials, however, these candidates of preventive or therapeutic agents have to pass a long path of trials before being released for the practical application against COVID-19. This review updates current knowledge on origin, genomic evolution, development of the diagnostic tools and the preventive or therapeutic remedies of the COVID-19, and discusses on scopes for further research and effective management and surveillance of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0284.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: adsorbed vaccines, identity, protein conformation, particle sizing, FTIR, SEM, Fluorescence
Online: 16 August 2018 (12:54:59 CEST)
1) Background: Traditionally, complex biological products such as vaccines presented unique challenges to implementation of even rudimentary characterization packages; thus, the product was defined almost exclusively by its manufacturing process. The advances in technology and analytical tools allowed the application of more comprehensive characterization packages for products such as adsorbed combination vaccines, which contain several antigens in a single formulation to protect against more than one disease, and may contain adjuvants and excipients. Aluminum phosphate (AlPO4) is a well-established adjuvant for enhancing the uptake of vaccines and to induce robust immunity against pathogens. During manufacturing, adjuvant is mixed with protein antigens which may in turn impact their higher order structure and stability. 2) Methods: To study the structural changes of protein antigens after adsorption several analytical tools including DLS, FTIR, Fluorescence, LD, and SEM were used. 3) Results: the AlPO4 adjuvant suspension consists of small submicron particles that form a continuous porous surface. Secondary structure alpha-helix and beta-sheet content of DT and TT increased after adsorption to AlPO4 adjuvant, whereas no significant changes were noted for other protein antigens. Interactions were noted between AlPO4 adjuvant and DT, TT, and FHA. 4) Conclusions: here we report for the first time the use of SEM for the visualization of adsorbed multivalent vaccine components. A unique signature profile detected for each multivalent vaccine by FTIR can be used as a lean in-process test to verify vaccine product composition and identity prior to filling.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0796.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: HIV-1; HSV-1/2; CD4; CD8; Vaccines; Infection; Immunity; Keratitis
Online: 31 December 2020 (12:18:00 CET)
Tissue resident memory T cells (TRM) were first described in 2009. While initially the major focus was on CD8 TRM, there has been recently an increased interest in defining the phenotype and the role of CD4 TRM in diseases. Circulating CD4 T cells seed tissue CD4 TRM, but there also appears to be an equilibrium between CD4 TRM and blood CD4 T cells. CD4 TRM are more mobile than CD8 TRM, usually localized deeper within the dermis/lamina propria and yet may exhibit synergy with CD8 TRM in disease control. This has been demonstrated in herpes simplex infections in mice. In human recurrent herpes infections, both CD4 and CD8 TRM persisting between lesions may control asymptomatic shedding through interferon gamma secretion, although this has been more clearly shown for CD8 T cells. The exact role of the CD4/CD8 TRM axis in the trigeminal ganglia and/or cornea in controlling recurrent herpetic keratitis is unknown. In HIV, CD4 TRM have now been shown to be a major target for productive and latent infection in cervix. In HSV and HIV co-infections, CD4 TRM persisting in the dermis support HIV replication. Further understanding of the role of CD4 TRM and their induction by vaccines may help control sexual transmission by both viruses.
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; S-protein; RBD; COVID-19; neutralizing antibodies; serology; vaccines; animal models; Warp Speed
Online: 21 June 2020 (15:44:06 CEST)
In this review, we address issues that relate to the rapid “Warp Speed” development of vaccines to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. We review the antibody response that is triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection of humans, and how it may inform vaccine research. The isolation and properties of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies from COVID-19 patients provide additional information on what vaccines should try to elicit. The nature and longevity of the antibody response to coronaviruses are relevant to the potency and duration of vaccine-induced immunity. We summarize the immunogenicity of leading vaccine candidates tested to date in animals and humans, and discuss the outcome and interpretation of virus-challenge experiments in animals. By far the most immunogenic vaccine candidates for antibody responses are recombinant proteins, which are not included in the initial wave of “Warp Speed” immunogens. A substantial concern for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is adverse events, which we review by considering what was seen in studies of SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV vaccines. We conclude by outlining the possible outcomes of the “Warp Speed” vaccine program, which range from the hoped-for rapid success to a catastrophic adverse influence on vaccine uptake generally.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0063.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: economic evaluation; mathematical modeling; HIV vaccines; pre-exposure prophylaxis; cost-effectiveness
Online: 8 May 2017 (12:13:45 CEST)
This economic evaluation aims to support policy-making on the combined use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) with HIV vaccines by evaluating the potential cost-effectiveness of implementation that would support the design of clinical trials for assessment of combined product safety and efficacy. The target study population is a cohort of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. Policy strategies considered include standard HIV prevention, daily oral PrEP, HIV vaccine, and their combination. We constructed a Markov model based on clinical trial data and published literature. We used a payer perspective, monthly cycle length, a lifetime horizon, and a 3% discount rate. We assumed a price of $500 per HIV vaccine series in the base case. HIV vaccines dominated standard care and PrEP. At current prices,PrEP was not cost-effective alone or in combination. A combination strategy had the greatest health benefit but was not cost-effective (ICER=$463,448/QALY) as compared to vaccination alone. Sensitivity analyses suggest a combination may be valuable for higher-risk men with good adherence. Vaccine durability and PrEP drug prices were key drivers of cost-effectiveness. Results suggest that boosting potential may be key to HIV vaccine value.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Arterial and Venous Thrombosis; COVID-19 disease; SARS-CoV-2 infection; vaccines
Online: 4 June 2021 (10:46:33 CEST)
The Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a global pandemic that has affected millions of people worldwide. The advent of vaccines, however, has permitted some restitution. Aside from the respiratory complications of the infection, there is also a thrombotic risk attributed to both the disease alongside the vaccine. There are no reliable data for the risk of thromboembolism in SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients managed out with the hospital setting. A literature review was performed to identify the pathophysiological mechanism of thrombosis from the SARS-CoV-2 infection including the role of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme receptors. The impact of the vaccine and likely mechanisms from thrombosis following vaccination was also clarified. Finally, the utility of the vaccines available against the multiple variants is also highlighted. The systemic response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is still relatively poorly understood, but several risk factors have been identified. The roll-out of the vaccines worldwide has also allowed the lifting of lockdown measures and a reduction in the spread of the disease. The experience of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, has highlighted the crucial role of epidemiological research and the need for ongoing studies within this field.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0354.v1
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Genetics; Epidemiology; Theranostics; Vaccines and Preventive Infectiology
Online: 13 April 2021 (13:00:35 CEST)
Four new zoonotic coronaviruses outbreak occurred in the past two decades. The first coronavirus outbreak happened in 2003 and was named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-1 (SARS-CoV-1), followed by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2013, and by Swine Acute Diarrhoea Syndrome (SADS) in 2017. In late December 2019, a patient from Wuhan Seafood Wholesale Market, China, was admitted to Huang's hospital with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) of apparently unknown etiology, which later was diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2-induced coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 was identified from another clade within the subgenus Sarbecovirus of the genus Betacoronavirus. This new CoV variant showed 96.2% similarity at whole-genome level to bat coronavirus. Based on genetic studies, pangolin, bats, and snakes are suspected to be a possible intermediate host of this virus, but further research is in progress to determine how this virus appeared and what is the exact source of infection. The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has higher transmissibility, contagiosity and pathogenicity compared to that of SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 swiftly spread from continent to continent and is persistently causing a shocking global public health concern albeit the rate of infected cases and mortality is relatively decreasing over time. In this review, we provide an update on the origin, transmissibility, etiology, epidemiology, and evolution of COVID-19. We also highlight the current diagnostics, therapies, and prognostics for SARS-CoV-2. Eventually, we report and provide our humble opinion about the preventive strategies to control the ongoing related pandemic situation at global and individual levels, considering the international public health emergency and possible future epidemics and pandemics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0365.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Salmonella; Campylobacter; poultry; review; vaccines; processing; farm-to-fork; broilers; meat birds; production
Online: 25 July 2022 (09:24:22 CEST)
Enteropathogens, namely Salmonella and Campylobacter, are a concern in global public health and have been attributed in numerous risk assessments to a poultry source. During the last decade a large body of research addressing this problem has been published. The literature reviewed contains review articles on certain aspects of poultry production chain, however in the past decade there hasn’t been a review on the through production chain, farm to fork, production of poultry. This review, a pool of 514 articles were selected for relevance via a systematic screening process (from >7500 original search articles). These studies identified a diversity of management and intervention strategies for the elimination or reduction of enteropathogens in poultry production. Many studies were laboratory or limited field trials with implementation in true commercial operations being problematic. Entities considering using commercial anti-enteropathogen products and interventions are advised to perform an internal validation and fit for purpose trial as Salmonella and Campylobacter serovars and biovars may have regional diversity. Future research should focus on non-chemical application within the processing plant and how synergistic through chain intervention may contribute to reducing the overall carcass burden of enteropathogen, coupled with increased consumer education on safe handling and cooking of poultry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0498.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: Secretory IgA; IgA class switching; SARS-CoV-2; respiratory pathogens; nasal vaccines; vaccine adjuvants
Online: 30 August 2022 (02:33:19 CEST)
Nasal cavity is a primary checkpoint for the invasion of several respiratory pathogens. Numerous pathogens including SARS-CoV-2, S. pneumonia, S. aureus, etc., adhere to the nasal epithelium or mucus to invade and trigger an infection. IgA serves as the first line of defense against foreign antigens and pathogens. They exhibit cross-reactivity against a diverse variety of antigens through immune exclusion, which intercepts the invasion of pathogens through the mucosal lining. Advances in intranasal immunization technology underscore the elevated neutralizing IgA levels at local and distal mucosa in contrast to the parenteral vaccines. This review highlights the adjuvants that induce IgA class switching and the challenges of maintaining nominal IgA levels at the mucosal surface. Finally, the review features the paradigm-shifting of conventional immunization techniques to IgA-inducing vaccines to enhance protection against homologous and heterologous pathogens.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0261.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: self-replicating RNA viruses; vaccines; infectious diseases; cancer; immune response; tumor regression; protection; approval
Online: 12 July 2021 (12:38:49 CEST)
Alphaviruses, flaviviruses, measles viruses and rhabdoviruses are enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses, which have been engineered as expression vector systems for recombinant protein expression and vaccine development. Due to the presence of non-structural genes encoding the replicase complex, a 200,000-fold amplification of viral RNA occurs in the cytoplasm of infected cells providing extreme transgene expression levels, which is why they are named self-replicating RNA viruses. Expression of surface proteins of pathogens causing infectious disease and tumor antigens provide the basis for vaccine development against infectious diseases and cancer. The self-replicating RNA viral vectors can be administered as replicon RNA, recombinant viral particles, or layered DNA/RNA replicons. Self-replicating RNA viral vectors have been applied for vaccine development against influenza virus, HIV, hepatitis B virus, human papilloma virus, Ebola virus and recently coronaviruses, especially SARS-CoV-2 the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measles virus and rhabdovirus vector-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates have been subjected to clinical trials. Moreover, RNA vaccine candidates based on self-amplifying alphaviruses have also been evaluated in clinical settings. Various cancers such as brain, breast, lung, ovarian, prostate cancer and melanoma have also been targeted for vaccine development. Robust immune responses and protection have been demonstrated in animal models. Clinical trials have shown good safety and target-specific immune responses. Ervebo, the VSV-based vaccine against Ebola virus disease has been approved for human use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0094.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: vaccination, the first 30 days; COVID-19 vaccines introduction; Cameroon; achievements; challenges; lessons learned
Online: 3 June 2021 (09:53:49 CEST)
Cameroon's national vaccination campaign was launched on April 12, 2021, amid a nationwide outbreak of COVID-19 with two types of vaccines. This study provides preliminary evidence of the level of coverage of the population and gives an early overview of the challenges, the achievements and the lessons learned. COVID-19 vaccine administration data were obtained from data of the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health. Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted. Thirty days after the introduction of COVID 19 vaccines, five percent of the target population was vaccinated. Women represented one third of the people vaccinated regardless of age and health conditions. Although AEFI reported were minor and scanty with both vaccines, the majority of the vaccinated did not come back for their second dose. There is a need to build confidence among eligible beneficiaries in order to expand the benefits of vaccination to control the current pandemic. The country is still far below the target which could be worrisome given that the uptake is slow and, the 391 200 doses of the AstraZeneca are going to expire in August 2021. This study offers insights into those early efforts as a contribution to significant discussions about upcoming approach to improve service delivery and uptake.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0001.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: emerging coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; diagnosis; vaccines; therapy; one health
Online: 13 April 2020 (02:29:00 CEST)
In the past decades, several new diseases have emerged in new geographical areas, with pathogens including Ebola, Zika, Nipah, and coronaviruses (CoVs). Recently, a new type of viral infection has emerged in Wuhan City, China, and initial genomic sequencing data of this virus does not match with previously sequenced CoVs, suggesting a novel CoV strain (2019-nCoV), which has now been termed as severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is suspected to originate from an animal host (zoonotic origin) followed by human-to-human transmission, the possibility of other routes such as food-borne transmission should not be ruled out. Compared to diseases caused by previously known human CoVs, COVID-19 shows less severe pathogenesis but higher transmission competence, as is evident from the continuously increasing number of confirmed cases globally. Compared to other emerging viruses such as Ebola virus, avian H7N9, SARS-CoV, or MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 has shown relatively low pathogenicity and moderate transmissibility. Codon usage studies suggest that this novel virus may have been transferred from an animal source such as bats. Early diagnosis by real-time PCR and next-generation sequencing has facilitated the identification of the pathogen at an early stage. Since, no antiviral drug or vaccine exists to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2, potential therapeutic strategies that are currently being evaluated predominantly stem from previous experience with treating SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and other emerging viral diseases. In this review, we address epidemiological, diagnostic, clinical, and therapeutic aspects, including perspectives of vaccines and preventive measures that have already been globally recommended.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0065.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: acute HIV infection; vaccines; CD8$^+$ T cells; immune response; multiple epitopes; competition; mathematical model
Online: 8 January 2019 (11:22:41 CET)
Multiple lines of evidence indicate that CD8$^+$ T cells are important in the control of HIV-1 (HIV) replication. However, CD8$^+$ T cells induced by natural infection cannot eliminate the virus or reduce viral loads to acceptably low levels in most infected individuals. Understanding the basic quantitative features of CD8$^+$ T-cell responses induced during the course of HIV infection may therefore inform us about the limits that HIV vaccines, which aim to induce protective CD8$^+$ T-cell responses, must exceed. Using previously published experimental data from a cohort of HIV-infected individuals with sampling times from acute to chronic infection we defined the quantitative properties of CD8$^+$ T-cell responses to the whole HIV proteome. In contrast with a commonly held view, we found that the relative number of HIV-specific CD8$^+$ T-cell responses (response breadth) changed little over the course of infection (first 400 days post-infection), with moderate but statistically significant changes occurring only during the first 35 symptomatic days. This challenges the idea that a change in the T-cell response breadth over time is responsible for the slow speed of viral escape from CD8$^+$ T cells in the chronic infection. The breadth of HIV-specific CD8$^+$ T-cell responses was not correlated with the average viral load for our small cohort of patients. Metrics of relative immunodominance of HIV-specific CD8$^+$ T-cell responses such as Shannon entropy or the Evenness index were also not significantly correlated with the average viral load. Our mathematical-model-driven analysis suggested extremely slow expansion kinetics for the majority of HIV-specific CD8$^+$ T-cell responses and the presence of intra- and interclonal competition between multiple CD8$^+$ T-cell responses; such competition may limit the magnitude of CD8$^+$ T-cell responses, specific to different epitopes, and the overall number of T-cell responses induced by vaccination. Further understanding of mechanisms underlying interactions between the virus and virus-specific CD8$^+$ T-cell response will be instrumental in determining which T-cell-based vaccines will induce T-cell responses providing durable protection against HIV infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0060.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; variants; vaccines; immune dysregulated; comorbidities; antibody; Spike protein; biomolecules; coronavirus
Online: 2 June 2021 (09:56:14 CEST)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiological agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which has been a topic of major concern to global human health. The challenge to restrain the COVID-19 pandemic is further compounded by the emergence of several SARS-CoV-2 variants viz. B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P1 and, B.1.617., which show in-creased transmissibility and resistance towards vaccines and therapies. Importantly, the likelihood of susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection among individuals with dysregulated immune response or comorbidities needs greater attention. Herein, we provide a comprehensive perspective regarding ongoing vaccine (mRNA, protein-based, viral vector based etc.) and therapeutic (mono-clonal antibodies, small molecules, plasma therapy, etc.) modalities designed to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. We also discuss in detail the challenges posed by different SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) identified across the globe and their effects on therapeutic and prophylactic interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0315.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Tick-borne encephalitis virus; Yellow fever virus; vaccine strain; chimeric virus; infectious subgenomic amplicons; candidate vaccines
Online: 16 November 2022 (16:35:12 CET)
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is one of the most threatening pathogens which affects the human central nervous system (CNS). TBEV circulates widely in Northern Eurasia. According to ECDC the number of TBE cases increase annually. There is no specific treatment for the TBEV infection, thus vaccination is the main preventive measure. Despite the existence of several inactivated vaccines currently being licensed, the development of new TBEV vaccines remains a leading priority in countries endemic to this pathogen. Here we report new recombinant virus made by infectious subgenomic amplicon (ISA) approach using TBEV and yellow fever virus vaccine strain (YF17DD-UN) as a genetic backbone. The recombinant virus is capable of effective replication in mammalian cells and induce TBEV-neutralizing antibodies in mice. Unlike the original vector based on the yellow fever vaccine strain chimeric virus became neuroinvasive in doses of 107-106 PFU and can be used as a model of Flavivirus neuroinvasiveness, neurotropism and neurovirulence. These properties of hybrid structures are the main factors limiting their practical use as vaccines platforms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0240.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: artifacts; confounders; infant mortality rate; linear regression analysis; vaccination rates; vaccines; vaccine doses; hepatitis B vaccine
Online: 16 June 2022 (11:00:46 CEST)
Background—In 2011, Miller and Goldman published a study in Human and Experimental Toxicology that found a counterintuitive, positive correlation, r = 0.70 (r2 = 0.49, p < .0001), demonstrating that as nations require more vaccine doses for their infants, infant mortality rates (IMRs) tend to increase (worsen). The dataset (n = 30) included the United States, a nation that required the most vaccines for their infants, and all nations with better IMRs than the United States. Dr. E. Bailey, a professor at BYU, and her students, recently read the Miller-Goldman study and found it "troublesome that this manuscript is in the top 5% of all research outputs" and falsely claimed that its findings were due to "inappropriate data exclusion," i.e., failure to analyze the "full dataset" of all 185 nations. The "Bailey reanalysis," titled Infant vaccination does not predict increased infant mortality rate: correcting past misinformation, was posted to the medRxiv preprint server on September 10, 2021 (version 1) and October 5, 2021 (version 3) and Europe PMC preprint server on September 10, 2021. Objective—This present study examines the various claims postulated by the Bailey reanalysis and assesses the robustness of their methodology, analyses, and reported results and conclusions. Methods—Data discussed in this paper are based on the previously mentioned study by Miller and Goldman and the Bailey reanalysis. Results—Linear regression analysis of IMR and the number of vaccine doses for each country yield a statistically significant positive correlation of r = 0.70 (p < .0001) for the top nations (n = 30) chosen by Miller-Goldman and r = 0.16 (p < .04) for the "entire dataset" chosen by Bailey et al (n = 185). Bailey also conducted linear regression analyses (for the year 2019) of IMRs as a function of vaccination rates for each of eight different vaccines and reported statistically significant inverse correlations for 7 of 8 vaccines over the entire range of vaccination rates. However, Miller and Goldman reanalyzed the Bailey analyses for nations with vaccination rates below 60% and found no statistically significant correlation for six vaccines (DPT, Hib, hepatitis B, polio, rotavirus, and measles) and statistically significant positive correlations for tuberculosis (r = 0.8, p < .005) and pneumococcal (r = 0.6 p < .023) vaccines. Conclusions—Bailey’s reanalysis corroborates a statistically significant positive correlation originally reported by Miller and Goldman. However, Bailey’s reported correlation (r = +0.16, p < .04) is small, likely due to poor methodology (failing to account for covariates, i.e., disparities among numerous socioeconomic factors that add uncertainty to their conclusion). The r-value reported by the Bailey reanalysis demonstrates an effect size that is about one-fourth (0.16/0.70) that reported by Miller-Goldman—underscoring how critically important it is for Bailey's reanalysis to eliminate confounding variables. Moreover, Bailey’s linear regression analyses of IMR as a function of vaccination rates for each of eight different vaccines demonstrate that some countries with low vaccination rates have low IMRs, while other countries with high vaccination rates have high IMRs. Rather than supporting a strong inverse correlation, the Bailey reanalysis demonstrates high vaccination rates are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause low IMR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0709.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; covid 19; pregnancy; passive immunization; maternal immunization; influenza vaccines; diphtheria tetanus pertussis vaccine
Online: 28 December 2020 (16:54:31 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about the possible cross immunity resulting from common vaccination programs and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, the Spanish Obstetric Emergency group performed a multicenter prospective study on the vaccination status of Influenza and Tdap (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine boost administered in adulthood) in consecutive cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a pregnancy cohort, in order to assess its possible association with the clinical presentation and severity of symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as to determine the factors that may affect vaccination adherence. 1,150 SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant women from 78 Spanish hospitals were analyzed: 183 had not received either vaccine, 23 had been vaccinated for Influenza only, 529 for Tdap only and 415 received both vaccines. No association was observed between the vaccination status and the clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or the severity of symptoms. However, a lower adherence to the administration of both vaccines was observed in the Latin-American subgroup. Based on the results above, we reinforce the importance of maternal vaccination programs in the actual pandemic. Health education campaigns should be specially targeted to groups less likely to participate in these programs, as well as for a future SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0393.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Urology Keywords: metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer; cancer vaccines; immunotherapy; focal therapy; combination immunotherapy; tumor immune microenvironment; in vivo vaccination
Online: 26 July 2022 (08:01:20 CEST)
Due to slow progression and susceptibility to radical forms of treatment low-grade PC is associ-ated with high overall survival (OS). With the clinical progression of PC the therapy is getting more complex. The immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) makes PC a difficult target for most immunotherapeutics. Its general immune resistance is established by i.e. immune evasion through Treg cells, synthesis of immunosuppressive mediators, and defective expression of surface neoantigens. The success of sipuleucel-T in clinical trials initiated several other clinical studies that specifically target the immune escape of the tumor and eliminate the immunosuppres-sive properties of TME. In the settings of PC treatment, this can be commonly achieved with radi-ation therapy (RT). Also, focal therapies usually applied for localized PC, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy, cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), or irreversible electroporation (IRE) were shown to boost anti-cancer response. Nevertheless, the present guide-lines restrict their application to localized and low-grade PC. This review explains how RT and focal therapies enhance the immune response. We also provide data supporting the combination of RT and focal treatments with immune therapies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0245.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy Keywords: Disease; Diffusion; Health; Health Impact Fund; Impact Rewards; Incentives; Innovation; Monop-oly Rewards; Pandemic; Patents; Pharmaceuticals; Poverty; Vaccines
Online: 19 May 2022 (03:19:21 CEST)
Globalized in 1995 through the TRIPs Agreement, humanity’s dominant mechanism for encouraging innovations involves 20-year product patents, whose monopoly features enable innovators to reap large markups or licensing fees from early users. Exclusive reliance on this reward mechanism in the pharmaceutical sector is morally problematic for two main reasons. First, it imposes a great burden on poor people who cannot afford to buy patented treatments at monopoly prices and whose specific health problems are therefore neglected by pharmacological research. Second, it discourages pharmaceutical firms from fighting diseases at the population level with the aim of slashing their incidence. These problems can be much alleviated by establishing a supplementary alternative reward mechanism that would enable pharmaceutical innovators to exchange their monopoly privileges on a patented product for impact rewards based on the actual health gains achieved with this product. Such an international Health Impact Fund (HIF) would create powerful new incentives to develop remedies against diseases concentrated among the poor, rapidly to provide such remedies with ample care at very low prices, and to deploy them strategically to contain, suppress, and ideally to eradicate the target disease. By promoting innovations and their diffusion together, the HIF would greatly enlarge the benefits, and thereby also the cost-effectiveness, of the pharmaceutical sector, in favor of the world’s poor especially.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0469.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2; COVID-2019; epidemiology; pathobiology; clinical profile; phyloanalysis; artificial intelligence; diagnosis; vaccines; therapeutics
Online: 26 April 2020 (08:15:23 CEST)
The technology-driven world of the 21st century is currently confronted with a major threat to humankind in the form of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of April 22, 2020, COVID-19 has claimed 169, 006 human lives and had spread to over 200 countries with more than 2,471,136 confirmed cases. The perpetually increasing figures associated with COVID-19 are disrupting the social and economic systems globally. The losses are unmatched and significantly higher compared to those from previously encountered pathogenic infections. Previously, two CoVs (SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV) affected the human population in 2002 and 2012 in China and Saudi Arabia, respectively. Based on genomic similarities, animal-origin CoVs, primarily those infecting bats, civet cats, and pangolins, were presumed to be the source of emerging human CoVs, including the SARS-CoV-2. The cohesive approach amongst virologists, bioinformaticians, big data analysts, epidemiologists, and public health researchers across the globe has delivered high-end viral diagnostics. Similarly, vaccines and therapeutics against COVID-19 are currently in the pipeline for clinical trials. The rapidly evolving and popular technology of artificial intelligence played a major role in confirming and countering the COVID-19 pandemic using digital technologies and mathematical algorithms. In this review, we discuss the noteworthy advancements in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the etiological viral agent, comparative genomic analysis, population susceptibility, disease epidemiology, animal reservoirs, laboratory animal models, disease transmission, diagnosis using artificial intelligence interventions, therapeutics and vaccines, and disease mitigation measures to combat disease dissemination.
Subject: Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; S-protein; RBD; COVID-19; neutralizing antibodies; serology; T-cells; vaccines; animal models; Operation Warp Speed
Online: 27 October 2020 (11:25:32 CET)
Multiple preventive vaccines are being developed to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. The leading candidates have now been evaluated in non-human primates (NHPs) and human Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 clinical trials. Several vaccines have already advanced into Phase 3 efficacy trials, while others will do so before the end of 2020. Here, we summarize what is known of the antibody and T-cell immunogenicity of these vaccines in NHPs and humans. To the extent possible, we compare how the vaccines have performed, taking into account the use of different assays to assess immunogenicity and inconsistencies in how the resulting data are presented. We also summarize the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 challenge experiments in immunized macaques, while noting variations in the protocols used, including but not limited to the virus challenge doses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0480.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19 death rates; COVID-19 vaccines; hydroxychloroquine; ivermectin; rates of COVID-19 testing; containment measures; social distancing; travel restriction,
Online: 25 November 2022 (10:16:41 CET)
Objectives to assess COVID-19 mortality rates per country population. To determine what if any independent country-specific variables from 9 different databases were correlated. Design population based retrospective cohort study. Setting analysis of global COVID-19 treatment and containment strategies using data from 9 worldwide websites. Participants 108 countries worldwide. Interventions none. Main Outcome Measures were COVID-19 death rates per country population analyzed by univariate and multivariate analysis. The main outcome parameters were to determine if there are any correlations between the percentage of countrywide COVID-19 deaths/population by the countries’ percent vaccinated. Secondary outcome measures include the effect of other independent variables on COVID-19 death rates per country population including: health expenditures per capita, annual income per capita, COVID-19 tests per 1000 people, stringency index (a measure of each countries containment strategies), hydroxychloroquine score (a measure of each countries use), ivermectin score (a measure of each countries use), hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and specific countries and geographic locations. Results COVID-19 vaccination rates ranged from 0-99% in 108 countries. Univariate analysis demonstrates the following independent variables to correlate with COVID-19 deaths/population (correlation coefficient, p value): countrywide COVID-19 vaccination rates (+0.2936, p=0.002); healthcare costs per capita (+0.3212, p=0.0007), income per capita (+0.3051, p=0.0013), COVID-19 tests per 1000 population (+0.6981 p=0.0307); stringency index (+0.3098, p=0.0011); hydroxychloroquine index (-0.1337, p=0.0678); and ivermectin index (-0.1383, p=0.1535). Conclusions Increasing rates of COVID-19 vaccination are associated with increase COVID-19 death rates per country population (p=0.002). Other variables associated include healthcare costs per capita (+0.3212, p=0.0007), income per capita (+0.3051, p=0.0013), COVID-19 tests per 1000 population (+0.6981 p=0.0307); and stringency index (+0.3098, p=0.0011).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0525.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: colorectal cancer; immunotherapy; checkpoint blockade; adoptive cell therapy; monoclonal antibodies; oncolytic viruses; anti-cancer vaccines; cytokine; T cell; NK cell
Online: 31 December 2021 (15:14:39 CET)
Though early-stage colorectal cancer has a high 5-year survival rate of 65-92% depending on the specific stage, this probability drops to 13% after the cancer metastasizes. Frontline treatments for colorectal cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation often produce dose-limiting toxicities in patients and acquired resistance in cancer cells. Additional targeted treatments are needed to improve patient outcomes and quality of life. Immunotherapy involves treatment with peptides, cells, antibodies, viruses, or small molecules to engage or train the immune system to kill cancer cells. Preclinical and clinical investigations of immunotherapy for treatment of colorectal cancer including immune checkpoint blockade, adoptive cell therapy, monoclonal antibodies, oncolytic viruses, anti-cancer vaccines, and immune system modulators have been promising, but demonstrate limitations for patients with proficient mismatch repair enzymes. In this review, we discuss preclinical and clinical studies investigating immunotherapy for treatment of colorectal cancer and predictive biomarkers for response to these treatments. We also consider open questions including optimal combination treatments to maximize efficacy, minimize toxicity, and prevent acquired resistance and approaches to sensitize mismatch repair proficient patients to immunotherapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0144.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: mucosal immunization; mucosal vaccine; vaccine delivery; administration volume; targeted vaccines; M cell targeting; dendritic cell targeting; C5aR1; C5a1R; CD88; EP54; EP67
Online: 8 August 2022 (10:17:30 CEST)
Generating long-lived mucosal and systemic antibodies through respiratory immunization with protective antigens encapsulated in nanoscale biodegradable particles could potentially decrease or eliminate the incidence of many infectious diseases but requires incorporation of a suitable mucosal immunostimulant. We previously found that respiratory immunization with a model protein antigen (LPS-free OVA) encapsulated in PLGA 50:50 nanoparticles (~380 nm diameter) surface modified with complement peptide-derived immunostimulant 02 (CPDI-02; formerly EP67) through 2kDa PEG linkers increases mucosal and systemic OVA-specific memory T-cells with long-lived surface phenotypes in young, naïve female C57BL/6 mice. Here, we determined if respiratory immunization with LPS-free OVA encapsulated in similar PLGA 50:50 microparticles (~1 μm diameter) surface modified with CPDI-02 (CPDI-02-MP) increases long-term OVA-specific mucosal and systemic antibodies. We found that, compared to MP surface modified with inactive, scrambled scCPDI-02 (scCPDI-02-MP), intranasal administration of CPDI-02-MP in 50 μL sterile PBS greatly increased titers of short-term (14 days post-immunization) and long-term (90 days post-immunization) antibodies against encapsulated LPS-free OVA in nasal lavage fluids, bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, and sera of young, naïve female C57BL/6 mice. Thus, surface modification of biodegradable microparticles with CPDI-02 is likely to increase long-term mucosal and systemic antibodies against encapsulated protein antigen after respiratory and possibly other routes of mucosal immunization.
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.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0125.v2
Subject: Keywords: cell fusion; syncytia; cell hybrids; viruses; coronaviruses; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; fusogens; blood coagulation cascade; thrombosis, cancer; vaccines; neurological complications
Online: 9 September 2021 (10:54:14 CEST)
A distinctive feature of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is its ability to efficiently fuse cells, thus producing syncytia found in COVID-19 patients. This commentary proposes how this ability enables spike to cause COVID-19 complications as well as side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, and suggests how these effects can be prevented..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0463.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19 vaccines; vaccine effectiveness; BNT162b2 vaccine; mRNA-1273 vaccine; ChAdOx1 vaccine; 19 Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S assay; reactogenicity; vaccine-associated symptoms
Online: 26 August 2022 (14:14:39 CEST)
This prospective study provides data on long-term humoral immunogenicity of a heterologous off-label vaccine regimen combining the adenoviral vectored ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 from Astra-Zeneca (ChAd) with the mRNA-1273 vaccine from Moderna (m1273) in comparison to two different homologous mRNA vaccine schedules. Of the 316 COVID-19 naïve adult health care workers (HCW) included to complete a survey on vaccine-associated symptoms (VAS), 197 had received the homologous BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT/BNT), 76 the homologous m1273/m1273, and 43 the heterologous ChAd/m1273 vaccine regimen. Concentration of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in plasma 5-7 months after the second vaccine dose was higher in the m1273/m1273 and ChAd/m1273 than the BNT/BNT vaccine group. The frequency of systemic VAS after first vaccine dose was 86% after ChAd compared to 35% and 39% after BNT and m1273, respectively (p < 0.0001), and after second vaccine dose highest (89%) in the m1273/m1273 group (p < 0.001). Individuals with systemic VAS achieved higher levels of antibodies irrespective of vaccine regimen. In conclusion, VAS serve as a strong predictor of long-term humoral immune response, and the heterologous ChAd/m1273 vaccine regimen provides an at least equal long-term humoral immune response compared with the standard vaccine regimens used in Denmark.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0411.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccines; anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike total antibodies; Surrogate viral neutralizing antibody; T-cell immune response; CoronaVac; ChAdOx1; BNT162b2; booster
Online: 31 March 2022 (14:28:11 CEST)
Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (CoronaVac) is commonly used in national immunization programs. However, the immune response significantly declined within a few months. Our study assessed the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 after receiving booster shots of BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 among health care workers who previously received CoronaVac as their primary immunization. Fifty-six participants received ChAdOx1 and forty-two participants received BNT162b2 were enrolled into this study which evaluated the immune responses including anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike total antibodies (Elecsys®), surrogated viral neutralization test (sVNT) to ancestral strain (cPass™; GenScript) and five variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron) (Luminex; multiplex sVNT) and the ELISpot with spike (S1 and S2) peptide pool against the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain. The samples were analyzed at baseline, 4, and 12 weeks after primary immunization as well as 4 and 12 weeks after receiving the booster. This study showed a significantly higher B-cell response among the BNT162b2 than the ChAdOx1 booster group, particularly against the Omicron variant, as well as a trend of good T-cell immune response in the BNT162b2 group. Moreover, the immune response rapidly declined at 12 weeks after the booster. A fourth dose or a second booster should be recommended, especially for reducing Omicron severity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0791.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19 Vaccines; Cross-Sectional Studies; Decision Making; Dental Education; Dental Students; International Association of Dental Students; Mass Vaccination; Multicenter Study; Social Determinants of Health
Online: 30 April 2021 (15:26:07 CEST)
Background: Acceleration of mass vaccination strategies is the only pathway to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare professionals and students have a key role in shaping public opinion about vaccines. This study aimed to evaluate the attitudes of dental students globally towards COVID-19 vaccines and explore the potential drivers for students' acceptance levels; Methods: A global cross-sectional study was carried out in February 2021 using an online ques-tionnaire. The study was liaised by the scientific committee of the International Association of Dental Students (IADS), and data was collected through the national and local coordinators of IADS member organizations. The dependent variable was the willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine, and the independent variables included demographic characteristics, COVID-19-related experi-ence, and the drivers of COVID-19 vaccine-related attitude suggested by the WHO-SAGE; Results: A total of 6639 students from 22 countries representing all world regions responded to the ques-tionnaire properly. Their mean age was 22.06 ± 2.79 (17-40) years, and the majority were females (70.5%), in clinical years (66.8%), and from upper-middle-income economies (45.7%). In general, 22.5% of dental students worldwide were hesitant, and 13.9% rejected COVID-19 vaccines. The students in low- and lower-middle-income (LLMI) economies had significantly higher levels of vaccine hesitancy compared to their peers in upper-middle- and high-income (UMHI) economies (30.4% vs 19.8%; p < 0.001); Conclusions: The global acceptance level of dental students for COVID-19 vaccines was suboptimal, and their worrisome level of vaccine hesitancy was influenced by the socioeconomic context where the dental students live and study. The media and social media, public figures, insufficient knowledge about vaccines, and mistrust of governments and the pharmaceutical industry were barriers to vaccination. The findings of this study call for further implementation of epidemiology (infectious diseases) education within undergraduate dental curricula.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0078.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; vaccine; vaccine development; vaccine discovery; systems biology; machine learning; platform technologies; adjuvants; smart clinical trials; human genetics; regulatory convergence; real world evidence; vaccines safety
Online: 7 June 2020 (10:11:02 CEST)
The urgency to develop vaccines against Covid-19 is putting pressure on the long and expensive development timelines which are normally required for development of lifesaving vaccines. There is a unique opportunity to take advantage of new technologies, smart and flexible design of clinical trials, and evolving regulatory science to speed up vaccine development against Covid-19 and transform vaccine development altogether.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0499.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Acute and Chronic Inflammation; Bioenergetics; Constituent and Inducible Receptors; Fetus; Genomics; Glycolysis; Immunity; Immune compromised; Immune disorders; Infant; Inheritance; Mitochondrial; Newborn; Placenta; Power within; Power without; Sovereignty; Throphoblast; Tumorigenesis; Tumoricidal; Vaccines; Yin-Yang
Online: 23 February 2021 (07:59:36 CET)
A parallel between defense powers of sovereign nations and effective immunity that guards health is relevant to demonstrate vulnerability of immune system under external forces (vaccines, drugs). History demonstrated that sovereignty (power within) of small nations often threatened or destroyed by military might of powerful nations (power without) who use false-flags and propaganda for motives that are financial-control-driven. Similarly, we propose that body’s complex immune neuroplasticity (power within, adaptive, horizontal) is stretched-thin and weakened by the external forces, particularly by vaccination of the unborn/newborn or immune-compromised individuals. Validity of genomics (innate, perpendicular) as origins of ‘hereditary’ diseases (eg, allergies, diabetes, cancers) that for a century dominated research and treatment is also challenged. In conclusion, we propose that the pressure/power from within creates life with potential to sustain health, while the pressure/power from without, weaken and destroy life.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0377.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: aa = amino acids; ACE-2 = receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; cDNA = complementary DNA; mRNA = messenger RNA; orf = open reading frame; RBD = receptor binding protein; S-protein = Spike protein; SARS-CoV-2 = severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; Vaccines.
Online: 22 June 2021 (11:53:34 CEST)
The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)-CoV (Coronavirus)-2 S(spike)-protein mRNA/cDNA currently being used as vaccines are antigenic but not antigens against SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID (Coronavirus Disease) -19. Furthermore, the mRNA and cDNA antigenic vaccines also have potentials for homologous as well as heterologous recombination, primarily into the somatic cell DNA of the vaccine recipients. On the contrary, a SARS-CoV-2 RBD-protein antigen, a part of the S-protein, will directly stimulate antibody production against SARS-CoV-2. Hence, a vaccine composed of SARS-CoV-2 RBD-protein as a safer, fast acting, and effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and thus against COVID-19. This is also useful for some immune compromised individuals.
REVIEW | doi:10.3390/sci2030068
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; pooling clinical trials; hyperinfection; steroids; treatment; targeted healthcare; population health management; cancer treatment; clinical research; clinical trials; developing vaccines; ranking and rating hospital quality; school closures; interventions for delirium; assessments of COVID-19 death inequities; regulatory safeguards; preventing child abuse and maltreatment; prevalence of health care worker burnout; nursing home ratings; challenging oncology practice; addressing racial; ethnic; social and economic divides; violence against sexual minority adolescents; primary tumors; metastasis; stages of cancer; reforming cancer clinical trials; supporting carers; protection and prevention; benign and malignant tumors; reforming cancer clinical trials; protection of healthcare personnel; comparing excess deaths in NYC; 1918 influenza pandemic; the possibility of full recovery from COVID-19; mental health impact of COVID-19 on young adults; ranking and rating nursing home quali
Online: 21 August 2020 (00:00:00 CEST)
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease has wreaked havoc on the world community in terms of every imaginable parameter. The research output on COVID-19 has been nothing short of phenomenal, especially in the medical and biomedical sciences, where the search for a potential vaccine is being conducted in earnest. Much of the advanced research has been distributed in the leading medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), where the latest research is distributed on a daily basis. The purpose of this paper is to provide some perspectives on 44 interesting and highly topical research papers that have been published in JAMA, at the time of writing, within the past two weeks. The diverse topics include public health, general medicine, internal medicine, oncology, paediatrics, geriatrics, and biostatistics.