ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0033.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Nicotine; carcinogenesis; growth; toxicity; Carcinoma; Non-Small-Cell Lung
Online: 4 June 2020 (12:14:49 CEST)
Nicotine exposure may affect NSCLC is associated with lung cancer in humans. Whether nicotine exhibits carcinogenesis promoted activities in tumor growth still unknown. Nicotine is known to have dichotomous effects on cancer biology, acting like a pro- or anti-carcinogenesis agent. There are different functions between adenocarcinoma and squamous NSCLC cancer cells. Excess generation of nicotine may inhibit mitochondrial metabolism, protein modification, and DNA cleavage. Materials and Methods: We used the H520 NSCLC line obtained from human lung epithelial cells to detected nicotine growth and toxicity using MTT assay and western blotting. The concentration of nicotine stimulated cell growth to correspond to low concentration, while high concentration was cytotoxic. Results: According to MTT assay results, at 1.0 μM nicotine has significantly enhanced the H520 cell viability (%). Nicotine induced lung cancer carcinogenesis through mechanisms of α7nAchR, EGFR, HDAC2/4/5, Cyclin D/Cyclin E, Bcl-2, p-Akt, and inflammatory proteins of NF-KappaB and COX2 increases at 1.0 μM. Apoptosis proteins were decreases at 1.0 μM nicotine by p21, p27, c-jun, and p38α using western blotting. Nicotine stimulates tumor growth is mediated through α7nicotinic-acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChR), possibly involving inflammation. On the other hand, at high nicotine concentrations (> 1.0 μM) with consistent cytotoxic effects and appeared to be due to direct cell kill. Nicotine can prevent apoptosis induced by NSCLC. Conclusion: Therefore, the effects on chemotherapeutics by NSCLC malignant cell lines, nicotine in concentrations as low as 1.0 μM decreased. These mechanisms are responsible for the genotoxic effects caused by nicotine. This leads to downstream effects on decreased apoptosis, increased cell proliferation and transformation. The malignant NSCLC cells respond to the treatment with nicotine in lung cancer, the nicotine-mediated induction of growth may provide one of its links to α7nAchR or EGFR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0029.v1
Online: 4 June 2020 (08:03:48 CEST)
On the 9th March 2020, the first patient with COVID-19 was admitted to ICU in the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Wales. We prospectively recorded the rate of ICU admissions of 52 patients with COVID-19 over 60 days, focusing on the epidemiology of ethnicity and deprivation. Patients were 65% (34 of 52) male and had a median (IQR) age of 55 (48-62) years. Prevalent comorbidities included obesity (52%); diabetes (33%), and asthma (23%). COVID-19 hospital and ICU inpatient numbers peaked on days 23 and 39, respectively – a lag of 16 days. The ICU mortality rate was 33% (17 of 52). Black, Asian and Minority Ethnics (BAME) population represented 35% of ICU COVID-19 admissions (18 of 52) and 35% of deaths (6 of 17). Within the BAME group, 72% (13 of 18) were found to reside in geographical areas representing the 20% most deprived in Wales, versus 27% of Caucasians (9 of 33). Less than 5% of the population within the hospital catchment area are of BAME descent, yet they represent a disproportionately high proportion of patients with ICU admission and mortality suffering from COVID-19. The interplay between ethnicity and deprivation, which is complex, may be a factor in our findings. This in turn could be related to an increased prevalence of co-morbidities; higher community exposure; or genetic polymorphisms.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: vitamin C; vitamin C status; vitamin C deficiency; global health; dietary intake; obesity; smoking; communicable disease; infection; non-communicable disease
Online: 4 June 2020 (03:49:42 CEST)
A recent review of global vitamin C status indicated a high prevalence of deficiency, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, as well as in specific subgroups within high-income countries. Here we provide a narrative of potential factors influencing vitamin C status. The in vivo status of vitamin C is primarily affected by dietary intake and supplement use. Dietary intake can be influenced by cultural aspects such as staple foods and traditional cooking practices. Environmental factors can also affect vitamin C intake and status; these include geographic region, season and climate, as well as pollution. Demographic factors such as sex, age, and race are known to affect vitamin C status, as do socioeconomic factors such as deprivation, education and social class, and institutionalization. Various health aspects affect vitamin C status; these include body weight, pregnancy and lactation, genetic variants, smoking, and disease states, including severe infections as well as various non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Some of these factors have changed over time, therefore we also explore if vitamin C status has shown temporal changes. Overall, there are numerous factors that can affect vitamin C status to different extents in various regions of the world. Many of these factors are not taken into consideration during the setting of global recommended dietary intakes for vitamin C.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0020.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Adiposity rebound; Infant; Premature; Pediatric Obesity; Complementary Feeding; Weaning; Body Mass Index
Online: 4 June 2020 (03:24:10 CEST)
Background: Adiposity rebound (AR) refers to the second rise of the BMI curve that usually occurs physiologically between 5 and 7 years of age. AR timing has a great impact on children´s health, being the early adiposity rebound (EAR) associated with the development of metabolic disease later in life. Aim: We aimed to investigate the prevalence of EAR in a cohort of preterm newborns. Secondary outcomes evaluated if some determinants such as (1) gender (male/female), (2) type of delivery (caesarean/vaginal), (3) birth weight (SGA/NGA/LGA), (4) type of feeding (5) duration of breastfeeding, (6) timing of introduction of solid food, (7) parental education and (8) parental pre-pregnancy BMI can influence EAR in this cohort. Tertiary aim was to evaluate the prevalence of obesity or overweight at 7 years of age in children according to early versus timely AR. Methods: This is a perspective, population-based longitudinal study, where infants born preterm were evaluated at birth and at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 months and 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 years of gestational-corrected age. Weight and height data were analyzed, and BMI was calculated. AR was assessed in the growth trajectory in a body mass index (BMI) plot. Results: Of the 250 preterm newborns included, 100 completed the 7 years follow-up and entered in the final analysis. The prevalence of EAR in our cohort of preterm newborns was 54%. EAR was associated with being LGA at birth. No other factors were associated to EAR. Early adiposity rebounders have a significant higher BMI at 7 years compared to children with timely AR (17.2 ±2.7 vs 15.6 ± 2.05, p=0.021). No significant differences were found in the prevalence of obesity or overweight at 7 years of age in children with early or timely AR (29% vs 14% p=0.202). Conclusions: Clinical management of preterm infants should focus on reducing excess weight gain to prevent long-term metabolic risk. Others neonatal factors are not associated to an higher risk of EAR.
Wed, 3 June 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0019.v1
Online: 3 June 2020 (13:49:43 CEST)
Background: ethical issues that arise during the care of a pregnant woman with cancer are challenging to physicians, policymakers, lawyers, and the bioethics community. This article is restricted to a discussion of ethical dilemmas and controversial case reports, mainly focused before the third trimester of pregnancy, when a conflict could exist between cancer and pregnancy outcomes.Methods: published literature was retrieved through searches in PubMed or Medline, CINAHL, the Cochrane and Google Academic in April 2020, using appropriate controlled keywords (cancer, neoplasm, pregnancy, ethics). Results were restricted to review articles, ethical perspectives, clinical practice guidelines and case-based teaching guides.Discussion: when a conflict arises in the maternal-foetus dyad, like the one related with cancer treatment and the risk of foetal demise, a range of ethical frameworks might be useful to consider in the decision-making process. Pragmatic theoretical approaches include case-based analysis, ethics of care, feminist theory, and traditional ethical principlism using the framework of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Also, societal and practitioner values could add value and an ethics consultation may be helpful to mediate conflict resolution. The physician must balance autonomy and beneficence-based obligations to the pregnant woman with cancer, along with beneficence-based obligations to the foetus.Conclusions: ethical challenges have received less attention in the literature, particularly before the third trimester of pregnancy. Best, unbiased and balanced information must be granted both to the patient and to the family, regarding the benefits and harms for the woman herself as well as for the foetal outcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0012.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: psoriasis; osteoporosis; cohort studies; Case-Control Studies; risk factors
Online: 3 June 2020 (05:50:13 CEST)
Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between psoriasis and osteoporosis using two different studies. Methods: Data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening Cohort of participants who were ≥ 40 years old were collected from 2002 to 2013. Psoriasis and osteoporosis were included using ICD-10 codes. In study I (a follow-up study), a total of 25,306 psoriasis participants were matched to 101,224 controls with respect to age group, sex, income group, and region of residence, and the occurrence of osteoporosis was analyzed. Crude (simple) and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were analyzed using a stratified Cox proportional hazard model. In study II (a nested case–control study), a total of 79,212 osteoporosis patients were matched to 79,212 controls, and a previous history of psoriasis was analyzed. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were analyzed using a conditional logistic regression analysis. Subgroup analyses were conducted according to age group and sex. Results: The adjusted HR of osteoporosis was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.07-1.15, P < 0.001) in study I. In the subgroup analysis according to age and sex, the results were consistent except for the ≥ 60-year-old women. The adjusted OR of psoriasis was 1.22 (95% CI = 1.16-1.28, P < 0.001) in study II. All subgroups demonstrated high adjusted ORs of osteoporosis for psoriasis. Conclusions: Psoriasis increased the risk of osteoporosis in the population of participants aged ≥ 40 years in Korea.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0308.v5
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-Cov-2; Mortality rate; Cancer; Cardiovascular disease; Respiratory disease; Diabetes; Kidney diseases; April; May
Online: 3 June 2020 (05:49:12 CEST)
Covid-19 has given a halt to all the activities in the world. Europe was most affected, followed by the United States of America. It has taken more than 350000 lives until now. In this study, we have assessed the severity of Covid-19 by analyzing the mortality rate of Covid-19 and other chronic diseases. The Covid-19 data and “death rate” data caused by other diseases were downloaded from the world health organization (WHO) website. A normalized method was used to see the mortality rate of Covid-19 in comparison to other diseases. The deaths caused by Covid-19 in April 2020 have overtaken the average number of deaths caused by Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases in Belgium, the United Kingdom (UK), Spain, France, and Ireland. Covid-19 was found to be strongly correlated with non-communicable respiratory diseases and Cancer with correlation coefficients 0.73 and 0.67 respectively. The severity of Covid-19 in the United States of America (USA) was moderate. The severity of Covid-19 in Asian countries was found to be low. Europe showed the highest diversity in the mortality rate of Covid-19. On average, except for a few European countries, Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and non-communicable respiratory diseases were still more lethal and caused more deaths than Covid-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0011.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: diabetes mellitus; insulin resistance; inflammation; biomarkers; atherogenicity
Online: 3 June 2020 (05:41:03 CEST)
Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with increased atherogenicity and inflammatory responses, which may be related to increased levels of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) and Dickkopf-related protein 1 (DKK1). Objective: The role of HMGB1 and DKK1 in T2DM is examined in association with lipid and insulin profiles. Methods: Serum HMGB1 and DKK1 were measured in T2DM with and without hypertension and compared with controls. Results: HMGB1 and DKK1 are significantly higher in T2DM irrespective of hypertension. T2DM was also accompanied by increased atherogenicity indices. HMGB1 and DKK1 are significantly correlated with HbA1c, glucose, indices of insulin resistance, β-cell function, and glucose toxicity, and different atherogenic indices. A large part of the variance in the β-cell index (30.5%) and glucose toxicity (34.8%) was explained by the combined effects of HMGB1 and DKK1 and hypertension. We found that 18.3% of the variance of the atherogenic index of plasma was explained by HMGB1 and DKK1 levels and that 31.2% was explained by glucose toxicity, HMGB1 and body weight. Conclusion: The higher serum HMGB1 and DKK1 levels in T2DM patients and the associations with atherogenicity indicate that low grade inflammation and disorders in the Wnt pathways are associated with T2DM and that both HMGB1 and DKK1 may contribute to increased atherogenicity in T2DM. Moreover, both biomarkers may cause more deficits in β-cell function and increase glucose toxicity leading to the development of more inflammation and diabetic complications. HMGB1 and the Wnt pathways are new drug targets in the treatment of T2DM.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0374.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; infectious disease; infection management; PCR test; mortality; kinetic analysis
Online: 3 June 2020 (05:10:05 CEST)
Global differences in changes in the numbers of population-adjusted daily test-positive cases (NPDP) and deaths (NPDD) by COVID-19 were analyzed for 49 countries, including developed and developing countries. The changes as a proportion of national population were compared, adjusting by the beginning of test-positive cases increase (BPI) or deaths increase (BDI). Remarkable regional differences of more than 100 fold in NPDP and NPDD were observed. The trajectories of NPDD after BDI increased exponentially within 20 days in most countries. Machine learning analysis suggested that NPDD on 30 days after BDI was the highest in developed Western countries (1180 persons per hundred million), followed by countries in the Middle East (128), Latin America (97), and Asia (7). Furthermore, in Western countries with positive rates of the PCR test of less than 7.0%, the increase in NPDP was slowing-down two weeks after BPI, and subsequent NPDD was only 15% compared with those with higher positive rates, which suggested that the situation of testing might have affected the velocity of COVID-19 spread. The causes behind remarkable differences between regions possibly include genetic factors of inhabitants because distributions of the race and of the observed infection increasing rates were in good agreement globally.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0008.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D3; depression, anxiety; perceived stress; hostility
Online: 3 June 2020 (04:55:29 CEST)
We aimed to test the hypothesis that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D] concentration is associated with mental health and life stress measures in young adults, and investigate sex and racial disparities in these associations. This study comprised 327 black and white participants. Depression, trait anxiety, perceived stress, and hostility were measured by validated instruments: Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and Cook-Medley Hostility Scale (CMHS). Linear regression was used to estimate correlations between serum 25(OH)D concentration and mental health measurements in total population and in subgroups stratified by sex and race. In this sample (28.2 ± 3.1 years, 48% male, 53% black), serum 25(OH)D concentration was negatively related to BDI, STAI, PSS, total CMHS score and the majority of CMHS subscale scores (p-values < 0.05). Stratified by sex, most of these associations remained significant only in women (p-values < 0.05). Stratified by race, higher 25(OH)D concentrations in the whites were significantly related to lower BDI, STAI, PSS, and CMHS-cynicism subscale (p-values < 0.05); 25(OH)D concentrations in the blacks were only inversely associated with CMHS and most CMHS subscales (p-values < 0.05), but not with BDI, STAI and PSS. We present novel findings of consistent inverse relationships between serum 25(OH)D concentration and various measures of mental health and life stress. Long-term interventional studies are warranted to investigate the roles of vitamin D supplementation in prevention and mitigation of depression, anxiety and psychological stress in young adults.
Tue, 2 June 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0003.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Urology Keywords: antioxidants; oxidative stress; prostate cancer; benign prostatic hyperplasia; biomarkers; pathways
Online: 2 June 2020 (09:27:21 CEST)
Introduction: Lowered thiol or sulfhydryl (-SH) groups and glutathione (GSH) metabolism may be associated with prostate cancer (PCa) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The main objectives of this study were to systematically review and meta-analyze the evidence on the associations among -SH groups, GSH, GSH peroxidase (GPx), GSH reductase (GR) and GSH transferase (GST) and PCa/BPH. Methods: Four electronic databases were searched for studies that reported -SH and GSH variables in PCa/BPH and healthy controls (HC) and the data were meta-analyzed by calculating Hedges’s g with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Twenty studies were included in this meta-analysis including 800 PCa and 791 BPH patients and 592 HC. Total -SH (g=-1.750, -2.341/-1.159), GPx (g=-0.789, -1.234/-0.344), GSH (g=-2.219, -4.132/-0.305), and the combination of -SH, GPx, and GSH (g=-1.271, -1.271/-0.800) were significantly lower in PCa patients than in HC. -SH (g=-1.752, -3.123/-0.381) and the combination of -SH, GPx, and GSH (g=-0.813, -1.298/-0.327) were significantly lower in BPH patients than in HC. GPx was significantly lower in PCa than in BPH patients (g=-0.455, -0.896/-0.014). Heterogeneity levels were very high, but Egger’s test showed that none of the biomarkers showed significant publication bias. Conclusion: Thiol/GPx antioxidant defenses are significantly attenuated in patients with PCa while patients with BPH occupy an intermediate risk group position between PCa patients and HC. Those results suggest that reduced thiol-related antioxidant mechanisms play a crucial role in prostatic disorders, especially in PCa. Future research should examine whether thiols/GPx antioxidants are associated with the onset of PCa/BHP.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0002.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Biostatistics; Data management; Reproducibility; Workflow automation
Online: 2 June 2020 (09:24:25 CEST)
The complexity of analysis pipelines in biomedical sciences poses a severe challenge for the transparency and reproducibility of results. Researchers are increasingly incorporating software development technologies and methods into their analyses, but this is a quickly evolving landscape and teams may lack the capabilities to set up their own complex IT infrastructure to aid reproducibility. Basing a reproducible research strategy on readily available solutions with zero or low set-up costs whilst maintaining technological flexibility to incorporate domain-specific software tools is therefore of key importance. We outline a practical approach for robust reproducibility of analysis results. In our examples, we rely exclusively on established open-source tools and free services. Special emphasis is put on the integration of these tools with best practices from software development and free online services for the biostatistics domain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0001.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Copper; transfusion-dependent thalassemia; zinc; oxidative stress; antioxidants; biomarkers
Online: 2 June 2020 (09:21:13 CEST)
Measurements of copper and zinc in transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT) show contradictory results.Aim of the study: To examine serum levels of these minerals in TDT in relation to iron overload indices and erythron variables. Methods: This study recruited 60 children with TDT and 30 healthy children aged 3-12 years old.Results: Zinc was significantly higher in TDT children than in control children, whilst copper and the copper to zinc ratio were significantly lowered in TDT. Serum zinc was significantly associated with the number of blood transfusions and iron overload variables (including serum iron and TS%) and negatively with erythron variables (including hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin). Serum copper was significantly and negatively associated with the same iron overload and erythron variables. The copper to zinc ratio was significantly correlated with iron, TS%, ferritin, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin. Albumin levels were significantly higher in TDT children than in control children. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the increase in zinc in children with TDT may be explained by iron loading anemia and hemolysis and the consequent shedding of high amounts of intracellular zinc into the plasma. Increased albumin levels and treatment with Desferral may further contribute towards higher zinc levels in TDT. We suggest that the elevations in zinc in TDT are a compensatory mechanism protecting against infection, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Previous proposals for prophylactic use of zinc supplements in TDT may not be warranted.
Mon, 1 June 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0161.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: COVID-19; docking; drug repurposing; natural products; in silico drug design; viral replication inhibition
Online: 1 June 2020 (02:42:54 CEST)
We use state-of-the-art computer-aided drug design (CADD) techniques to identify prospective inhibitors of the main protease enzyme, 3CLpro of the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19. From our screening of over one million compounds including approved drugs, investigational drugs, natural products, and organic compounds, and a rescreening protocol incorporating enzyme dynamics via ensemble docking, we have been able to identify a range of prospective 3CLpro inhibitors. Importantly, some of the identified compounds had previously been reported to exhibit inhibitory activities against the 3CLpro enzyme of the closely related SARS-CoV virus. The top- ranking compounds are characterized by the presence of multiple bi- and monocyclic rings, many of them being heterocycles and aromatic, which are flexibly linked allowing the ligands to adapt to the geometry of the 3CLpro substrate site and involve a high amount of functional groups enabling hydrogen bond formation with surrounding amino acid residues, including the catalytic dyad residues H41 and C145. Among the top binding compounds we identified several tyrosine kinase inhibitors, which include a bioflavonoid, the group of natural products that binds best to 3CLpro. Another class of compounds that decently binds to the SARS-CoV-2 main protease are steroid hormones, which thus may be endogenous inhibitors and might provide an explanation for the age-dependent severity of COVID-19. Many of the compounds identified by our work show a considerably stronger binding than found for reference compounds with in vitro demonstrated 3CLpro inhibition and anticoronavirus activity. The compounds determined in this work thus represent a good starting point for the design of inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication.
Sun, 31 May 2020
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; Public AwareneSs; Public Practice; Social Distancing and Saudi Arabia
Online: 31 May 2020 (21:27:01 CEST)
Objectives: Social distancing measures are currently implemented to control COVID-19 pandemic in many countries, including Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the awareness and adherence of the Saudi population to these measures. Methods: A web-based questionnaire was designed with 16 questions (8 questions related to demographics, 3 in relation to awareness about social distancing and 5 related to overall practice of social distancing). Results: 5105 participants completed the survey [58.4% female, 66.3% young individuals (aged 18-37 years), 55.8% bachelor degree holders, and 51.0% from the western region]. The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) was the main source of information about COVID-19 for most participants (78.2%). High awareness (81.3%) regarding social distancing was observed, associated mainly with female participants, those from the middle region and those with high education and income. Overall implementation of social distancing was satisfactory (score 3.13/5), with 37.8% never leaving home during the home-stay period. Better adherence to social distancing was observed for female participants, higher degree holders and those aged over 38 years. Conclusions: Organised plans by the Saudi MOH have been effective in raising awareness and improving practice of social distancing among public. However, the observed lower practice of social distancing by individuals with lower education and income indicates the need for targeted interventions to achieve better outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0516.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Plant-dominant diet; low-protein diet; dietary protein intake; glomerular hyperfiltration; CKD prevention; uremia
Online: 31 May 2020 (21:22:42 CEST)
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects >10% of the adult population. Each year approximately 120,000 Americans develop end-stage kideny disease and initiate dialysis, which is costly and associated with functional impairments, worse health-related quality of life, and high early-mortality rates exceeding 20% in the first year. Recent declarations by the World Kidney Day and the U.S. Government Executive Order seek to implement strategies that reduce the burden of kidney failure by slowing CKD progression and controlling uremia without dialysis. Pragmatic dietary interventions may have a role in improving CKD outcomes and preventing or delaying dialysis initiation. Evidence suggests that a patient-centered plant-dominant low-protein diet (PLADO) of 0.6-0.8 g/kg/day comprised of >50% plant-based sources, administered by dietitians trained in non-dialysis CKD care, can be promising. The scientific premise of the PLADO is based on the observations that high protein diets with high meat intake are not only associated with higher cardiovascular disease risk but also higher CKD incidence and faster CKD progression due to increased intraglomerular pressure and glomerular hyperfiltration. Meat intake increases production of nitrogenous end-products, worsens uremia, and may increase the risk of hyperkalemia, given constipation from the typical low fiber intake. Plant-dominant, fiber-rich, low-protein diet may lead to favorable alterations in the gut microbiome, which can modulate uremic toxin generation and slow CKD progression, along with reducing cardiovascular risk in CKD patients. PLADO is a heart-healthy, safe, flexible, and feasible diet that could be the centerpiece of a conservative and preservative CKD-management strategy that challenges the prevailing dialysis-centered paradigm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0514.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: AKT; D-Pinitol; ghrelin; insulin; insulin resistance; liver; phosphorylation
Online: 31 May 2020 (21:11:01 CEST)
To characterize the metabolic actions of D-Pinitol, a dietary inositol, in male Wistar rats, we analysed its oral pharmacokinetics and its effects on a) the secretion of hormones regulating metabolism (insulin, glucagon, IGF-1, ghrelin, leptin and adiponectin), b) insulin signaling in the liver and c) the expression of glycolytic and neoglucogenesis enzymes. Oral D-Pinitol administration (100 or 500 mg/Kg) resulted in its rapid absorption and distribution to plasma and liver compartments. Its administration reduced insulinemia and HOMA-IR, while maintaining glycaemia thanks to increased glucagon activity. In the liver, D-Pinitol reduced the key glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase and decreased the phosphorylation of the enzymes AKT and GSK-3. These observations were associate with an increase in ghrelin concentrations, a known inhibitor of insulin secretion. The profile of D-Pinitol suggests its potential use as a pancreatic protector decreasing insulin secretion through ghrelin upregulation while sustaining glycaemia through liver-based mechanisms of glycolysis control.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0510.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: psychedelics; neuroimaging; consciousness
Online: 31 May 2020 (20:53:59 CEST)
Serotonergic psychedelics are known to elicit changes in conscious awareness, including perception of the environment and the self, as well as in mood, emotion and different aspects of cognition (Nichols, 2016). The effect of these compounds is complex and resists a straightforward classification that is useful for other drugs, such as “stimulants” or “sedatives”. While the effects of certain psychedelics do have a stimulant dimension, their defining characteristic is the capacity to temporarily induce a state of altered consciousness. Because of this, the study of psychedelics cannot be based only on animal models, since humans are alone in their capacity to explicitly report the contents of their conscious awareness. Psychedelic research with healthy human subjects necessitates techniques for the non-invasive recording of brain activity or its physiological and metabolic correlates. These techniques are referred to as “neuroimaging”, and here we review their application in the study of the neural correlates of altered consciousness induced by serotonergic psychedelics.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0509.v1
Online: 31 May 2020 (20:50:18 CEST)
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome” (SARS) due to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection is a known cause of death. Sometimes demise can occur unexpectedly in apparently previous healthy individual after a brief period of trivial flue-like symptoms. In this dobtfull cases the forensic pathologist could be requested to define cause of death occurred outside hospital. In this report the authors describe two thorough autopsied cases of SARS-CoV-2 related deaths occurred suddenly at home and not preceded by hospitalization, highlighting associated histopathologic patterns and correlating them to pathophysiology of viral infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0500.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: skin microbiome; skincare; cosmetic products; ecobiology; microbiome friendly
Online: 31 May 2020 (20:12:40 CEST)
Background: Skincare products are used daily to maintain a healthy skin (cleansing, moisturizing, protecting…), but their impact on this first layer, which corresponds to the skin microbiome, is still poorly understood. Preserving natural resources and mechanisms of the skin ecosystem is essential; an original approach based on these premises, called ecobiology, has recently emerged in skincare. Ecobiology considers the skin as an ever-evolving ecosystem which hosts human and microbial cells that interact together with their environment. In this context, we evaluated the impact on the skin microbiome of three types of leave-on face skincare products: a hydrophilic sterile solution, a micellar solution, and an oil-in-water emulsion. Materials and Methods: The individual microbial profiles of 20 Caucasian females were investigated. Samples were obtained twenty-four hours and four days following a daily application of the skincare products versus control area where no product was applied. To analyze the bacterial diversity and abundance of skin microbiome, a 16SrRNA gene sequencing was performed using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Results: Our results confirm the overall diversity of skin microbiome as previously observed and notably reveal the prevalence of Cutibacterium spp. and Staphylococcus spp. on sebaceous site (the back). Bacterial diversity and abundance were not affected by the products either twenty-four hours or four days after application, as indicated by comparison with the control. Moreover, no dissimilarity was observed between the three products versus their control, neither between each product. Conclusions: These preliminary results demonstrated for the first time that three different types of leave-on face skincare products such as a hydrophilic sterile solution, a micellar solution, and an emulsion have no impact on skin microbiome and can be considered as “microbiome friendly”.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0495.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Hedgehog pathway; Smoothened; Promoter; Methylation; Transcription factors
Online: 31 May 2020 (19:14:59 CEST)
Background: The hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway is a key regulator of embryonic patterning, tissue regeneration, stem cell renewal, and cancer growth. The smoothened (SMO) protein regulates the HH signaling pathway and has demonstrated oncogenic activity. Methods: To clarify the role of the HH signaling pathway in tumorigenesis, the expression profile of key HH signaling molecules, including SMO, PTCH1, GLI1, GLI2, and GLI3, were determined in thirty-three cancer cell lines. We performed a computational analysis of the upstream region of the SMO gene to identify the regulatory elements. Results: Three potential CpG islands and several putative SMO promoter elements were identified. Luciferase reporter assays mapped key SMO promoter elements, and functional binding sites for SP1, AP1, CREB, and AP-2a transcription factors in the core SMO promoter region were confirmed. A hypermethylated SMO promoter was identified in several cancer cell lines suggesting an important role for epigenetic silencing of SMO expression in certain cancer cells. Discussion: These results have important implications for our understanding of regulatory mechanisms controlling HH pathway activity and the molecular basis of SMO gene function. Moreover, this study may prove valuable for future research aimed at producing therapeutic downregulation of SMO expression in cancer cells.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0490.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging; multidetector computed tomography; liver; neoplasm metastasis; gadoxetic acid
Online: 31 May 2020 (18:32:40 CEST)
To investigate the impact of radiologic experience on the diagnostic accuracy of computed tomography CT vs. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reporting for liver metastases of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (LM of PDAC). Intra-individual CT and MRI examinations of 112 patients with clinically proven LM of PDAC were included. Four radiologists with varying years of experience (A > 20, B > 5, C > 1 and D < 1) assessed liver segments affected by LM of PDAC, as well as associated metastases occurring in each patient. Their sensitivity and specificity in evaluating the segments were compared. Cohen's Kappa (κ) for diagnosed liver segments and Intra-class Correlation Coefficients (ICC) for the number of metastatic lesions in each patient were calculated. The radiologists’ sensitivity and specificity for the CT vs. MRI were, respectively: Reader A -94.4, 90.3% vs. 96.6, 94.8%; B - 86.7, 79.7% vs. 83.9, 82.0%; C - 78.0, 76.7% vs. 83.3, 78.9% and D - 71.8, 79.2% vs. 64.0, 69.5%. Reviewers A and B achieved greater agreement in assessing results from the MRI (κ = 0.72, p < 0.001; ICC = 0.73, p < 0.001) vs. the CT (κ = 0.58, p < 0.001; ICC = 0.61, p < 0.001), in contrast to readers C and D (MRI: κ = 0.34, p < 0.001; ICC = 0.42, p < 0.001, and CT: κ = 0.48, p < 0.001; ICC = 0.59, p < 0.001). Our results indicate that accurate diagnosis of LM of PDAC depends more on radiologic experience in MRI over CT scans.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0487.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; coronavirus etiology; coronavirus pathogenicity
Online: 31 May 2020 (18:16:48 CEST)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It is considered to be first reported from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. As of present, there are over 3.7 million identified cases worldwide and more than 259,000 deaths have been reported. This disease, its incubation period, course, complications, and the basis of spread remains a potential question due to variation in the pattern of spread around the globe and relatively fewer number of large-scale studies at present. This literature review aims to study the available data on its spread and incubation period. A literature search using PubMed with regular keywords ‘coronavirus’ and ‘COVID-19’, and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) search for their etiology and pathogenicity was done with the search builder. The literature search revealed 26,689 studies among which 14 studies were selected for review. Studies were selected after the application of inclusion criteria and exclusion criteria with the removal of duplicates, and careful review for the outcome of interest ‘incubation period’. Among the 14 studies selected for review, there were eight review articles, five case reports, and one comparative study. The current literature review concludes that the mean incubation period for most of the literature falls between five days to 12 days with minimum reported time from known exposure to the onset of a symptom being one day and the maximum reported time from exposure to the onset of a symptom being 18 days.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0486.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; azithromycin; hydroxychloroquine; primary care
Online: 31 May 2020 (17:51:52 CEST)
The challenge regarding COVID-19 is to prevent complications and fatal evolution. Azithromycin (AZM) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have proven their antiviral effect in vitro. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of AZM alone or combined to HCQ, prescribed, at an early stage, in patients with Covid-19, in a primary care setting. Eighty-eight patients received either no or a symptomatic treatment (NST) (n=34) or AZM alone (n=34) or AZM+HCQ (n=20). The efficacy end point was the time to clinical recovery and the safety end point was the occurrence of cardiovascular events. The mean (SD) times to achieve clinical recovery were respectively 25.8 days (11.1), 12.9 days (13.4) and 9.2 days (9.3), showing a statistically significant difference between NST and AZM alone (p<0.0001) or AZM+HCQ (p<0.0001). To improve the evidence level, a case-control analysis was performed on a sample of 57 patients (19/group) matched for age, sex and BMI. The statistical difference between NST and AZM was confirmed (p=0.0149) as well as the difference with AZM+HCQ (p=0.0002). No cardiac toxicity was recorded in any patient. No statistical difference was shown between AZM and AZM+HCQ groups, although the dual therapy tended to be more effective in patients over 50 years, based on an analysis using the cox model. In conclusion, AZM and AZM+HCQ favourably impacted the course of the disease. We need trials, ideally prospective/double blind, to show if a statistical difference can be evidenced with a broader group, and clarify the indications of each treatment depending on initial clinical presentation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0483.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: Lung CT; imaging; COVID-19; Pneumonia; Heart Failure
Online: 31 May 2020 (16:49:04 CEST)
Background: Lung CT provides an effective modality to evaluate patients with suspected COVID-19. However, overlapping imaging findings with cardiogenic pulmonary oedema have been reported. Reports comparing lung CT features of these diseases have not been elaborated. Thus, we aimed to investigate these gaps in the knowledge regarding low-dose lung CT features of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia with those with acute heart failure (HF). Methods: This retrospective analysis enrolled hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (n=10) and acute heart failure (n=9) that exclusively underwent low-dose lung CT scans within 24-hours of admission. Clinical and lung CT characteristics were collected and analysed. Results: Ground-glass-opacities (GGO) appearance has been recorded in all subjects in HF and COVID-19 group. There was no significant statistical difference between the two groups for rounded morphology, consolidation, crazy paving pattern, lesion distribution, parenchymal band (P> 0.05). However, diffuse lesions were more frequent in HF cases (55.6% vs. 0%) than in COVID-19 pneumonia, which had predominantly multifocal pattern. Notably, CT images in HF patients were more likely to have signs of interstitial tissue thickening such as the interlobular septums, fissures and peribronchovascular interstitium (55.6% vs 0%, 88.9% vs 20% and 44.4% vs 0%,respectively), as well as cardiomegaly (77.8% vs 0%), increased artery to bronchus ratio (55.6% vs 0%), and pleural effusions (77.8% vs 0%). Conclusions: Major overlaps of lung CT imaging features existed between COVID-19 pneumonia and acute HF cases. However, signs of fluid redistribution are clues that favour HF over COVID-19 pneumonia.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0482.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: COVID19; preterm neonate; pneumonia; vertical transmission
Online: 31 May 2020 (16:39:43 CEST)
We report the first case of COVID 19 pneumonia in a preterm neonate in Mayotte, an overseas department of France. The respiratory distress with typical thoracic imaging lesions appears at 14 days of life. This case-report emphasizes the need for a cautious and close up follow-up for asymptomatic neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 infection. Vertical transmission cannot be excluded in this case.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0470.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; facial protection; masks; PAPR
Online: 31 May 2020 (15:02:43 CEST)
We live in extraordinary times, where COVID-19 pandemic has brought the whole world to a screeching halt. Tensions and contradictions that surround the pandemic ridden world include the availability, and the lack thereof, various facial protection measures to mitigate the viral spread. Here, we comprehensively explore the different type of facial protection measures, including masks, needed both for the pubic and the health care workers (HCW). We discuss the anatomy, the critical issues of disinfection and reusability of masks, the alternative equipment available for the protection of the facial region from airborne diseases, such as face shields and powered air purifying respirators (PAPR), and the skin-health impact of prolonged wearing of facial protection by HCW. Clearly, facial protection, either in the form of masks or alternates, appears to have mitigated the pandemic as seen from the minimal COVID-19 spread in countries where public mask wearing is strictly enforced. On the contrary, the healthcare systems, that appear to have been unprepared for emergencies of this nature, should be appropriately geared to handle the imbalance of supply and demand of personal protective equipment including face masks. These are two crucial lessons we can learn from this tragic experience.
Fri, 29 May 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0467.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV; Environmental factors; Air pollution; Smoking; Air temperature
Online: 29 May 2020 (13:02:07 CEST)
The physical environment plays an important role in the transmission of respiratory infections like Covid-19. To find relevant articles on environmental factors influencing respiratory infection outbreaks, we searched Pub med Central on the following topics: 1. Environmental pollution causing coronavirus fatality- 73 results, relevant 1 article, 2. Environmental factors affecting Covid-19, 149 results from which there were 6 relevant articles, 3. Impact of air pollution on Covid-19 fatality, 10 results, relevant 3 articles, 4. Environmental factors affecting respiratory viruses- 10646 results were obtained, 2 relevant articles. We searched Google scholar on environmental factors affecting Covid-19 transmission and found 7 relevant papers. We excluded the duplicates in each of the key words search. Date of search was on 20th April 2020. All articles included in results were scrutinized and relevance of articles was based on their content that discussed meteorological and physical environment factors in the spread and severity of Covid-19. We have discussed factors like air pollution, smoking, air temperature, humidity and air velocity as contributing factors. If meteorological factors are conducive to spread in a particular area, we need protective measures way before a respiratory infection outbreak occurs. Covid-19 is a lesson learnt the hard way, and we must enable people to practice hygienic practices with limited resources but high level of protection that it provides. Air pollution control can prevent priming of respiratory system which shall further protect from pulmonary infections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0457.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Covid-19; desmosine; dp-ucMGP; elastic fibers; factor II; matrix Gla protein; PIVKA-II; protein S; vitamin K; vitamin K antagonist
Online: 29 May 2020 (04:16:20 CEST)
Background: A significant proportion of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients develops respiratory failure. Thromboembolism is also prevalent in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Vitamin K plays a role in coagulation and possibly also in lung diseases. We therefore hypothesized that vitamin K is implicated in Covid-19 pathogenesis. Methods: 134 Covid-19 patients and 184 controls were included. Inactive vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla protein (i.e.dp-ucMGP) and prothrombin (i.e. PIVKA-II) were measured, which are inversely related to respectively extrahepatic and hepatic vitamin K status. Desmosine was measured to quantify elastic fiber degradation. Lung involvement and arterial calcifications severity were assessed by computed tomography. Results Dp-ucMGP was elevated in Covid-19 patients compared to controls (P=0.001). Higher dp-ucMGP was found in Covid-19 patients with poor compared to better outcomes (P=0.002). PIVKA-II was normal in 81.8%, mildly elevated in 14.0% and moderately elevated in 4.1% of Covid-19 patients not using vitamin K antagonists. Dp-ucMGP in Covid-19 patients was correlated with desmosine (P<0.001), thoracic aortic calcification (P<0.001) but not with pneumonia severity. Conclusions: Extrahepatic vitamin K status was severely reduced in Covid-19 patients, as reflected by elevated inactive MGP, and related to poor outcome. Procoagulant prothrombin activity remained preserved in the majority of Covid-19 patients, which is compatible with the increased thrombogenicity that is frequently observed in severe Covid-19. Impaired MGP activation was linked to accelerated elastic fiber degradation and premorbid vascular calcifications. A trial should assess whether increasing MGP and protein S activity by vitamin K administration improves Covid-19 outcomes.
Thu, 28 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0462.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Prostate Cancer; Immunotherapy; Radiation Therapy; Macrophages; RNAseq; tumor immune microenvironment; plasma cells
Online: 28 May 2020 (16:14:57 CEST)
Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) is characterized by significant heterogeneity in its molecular, genomic, and immunologic characteristics. Methods: Whole transcriptome RNAseq data from The Cancer Genome Atlas of prostate adenocarcinomas (n=496) was utilized. The immune microenvironment was characterized using the CIBERSORTX tool to identify immune cell type composition. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering was performed based on immune cell type content. Analyses of progression-free survival (PFS), distant metastases, and overall survival (OS) were performed using Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox-regression multivariable analyses. Results: Four immune clusters were identified, largely defined by plasma cell, CD4+ Memory Resting T Cells (CD4 MR), M0 and M2 macrophage content (CD4 MRHighPlasma CellHighM0LowM2Low, CD4 MRLowPlasma CellHighM0LowM2Low, CD4 MRHighPlasma CellLowM0HighM2Low, and CD4 MRHighPlasma CellLowM0LowM2High). The two macrophage-enriched/plasma cell non-enriched clusters (3&4) demonstrated worse PFS (HR 2.24, 95% CI 1.46–3.45, p=0.0002) than the clusters 1&2. No metastatic events occurred in the non-macrophage-enriched clusters. Comparing clusters 3 vs 4, in patients treated by surgery alone, cluster 3 had zero progression events (p<0.0001). However, cluster 3 patients had worse outcomes after post-operative radiotherapy (p=0.018). Conclusion: Distinct tumor immune clusters with a macrophage-enriched phenotype and reduced plasma cell enrichment independently characterize an aggressive phenotype in localized prostate cancer that may differentially respond to treatment.
Wed, 27 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0449.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: retrospective cohort; predictors; recovery; severe acute malnutrition; Jimma
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:59:02 CEST)
Background: Treatment at stabilization center is an important intervention to avert the huge burden of mortality for children with complicated severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Recent reviews indicated a wide range in recovery rate (34-88%) due to several context-specific factors. This study aimed to estimate time to recovery and to determine predictors of time to recovery among children aged 6-59 month with severe acute malnutrition. Method: Retrospective cohort study was used among 375 children aged 6-59 months admitted in Jimma university medical center, from September 2015 to September 2017. Kaplan Meir estimate and survival curve was used to compare the time to recovery using log-rank test among different characteristics. Cox Proportional Hazard Model was used to identify significant predictors of time to recovery. Results: Median time of recovery for cohort of SAM children’s was 19 days (95%CI: 17.95-20.05). Independent predictors of time to recovery were: Play stimulation, vaccination status, Tuberculosis, malaria, use of amoxicillin, deworming and shock. Conclusion: The findings of this study showed that the average length of stay on treatment and median time for recovery are within the sphere standard. Psychosocial stimulation, appropriate provision of routine medication and management of medical co-morbidity are needed to promote fast recovery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0445.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: oral cancer; cancer-associated fibroblasts; metastasis; cell migration; cell invasion; Akt; EGFR
Online: 27 May 2020 (08:25:20 CEST)
Oral cancer cells (TYS) and the signalling pathways involved in metastasis, in response to cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs, COM) and normal oral mucosal fibroblasts (MM1) was studied. Metastatic cell behaviour was observed by cell-scatter, 3D-collagen gel migration and 3D-spheroid invasion assays. Akt, MAPK, EGFR, TGFβRii and CXCR4 inhibitors were used to identify the signalling pathways involved. Signalling pathway protein expression and activation were assessed by SDS-PAGE and Western Blotting. COM-CM (conditioned medium) and MM1-CM stimulated cancer cell scattering, which was blocked only by the Akt inhibitor. COM-CM induced scattered cancer cells showed higher levels of Akt phosphorylation than the negative control and MM1-CM. Migration and invasion of TYS cells into the collagen gels from the spheroids was stimulated by CM from both sources, compared to the negative control. COM cells stimulated TYS, cancer cell invasion into the collagen more than MM1 and the control. Akt and EGFR inhibitors effectively blocked CM and COM cell-induced invasion. Akt-silenced cancer cells were not stimulated to migrate and invade by fibroblast-CM and did not survive addition of the EGFR inhibitor. This suggests that CAFs stimulate oral cancer cell migration and invasion in an Akt- dependent manner. EGFR and Akt are potential therapy targets in metastatic oral cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0442.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: COVID-19; knowledge; awareness; perceptions; Indian dentists; coronavirus
Online: 27 May 2020 (07:56:19 CEST)
Introduction: COVID-19 is an unprecedented global public health emergency currently impacting India in an unprecedented manner. Aim of this study was to assess knowledge, awareness, perceptions and related factors of Indian dentists on COVID-19. Methodology: A cross-sectional, on-line questionnaire-based study was conducted over one week between 3rd May, 2020 to 10th May, 2020. The sample comprised 403 Indian dentists in solo, group practices and in the academic arena. The self-administered questionnaire assessed 1) knowledge/awareness on factors related to COVID-19 patient identification and symptomatology, 2) knowledge/awareness of COVID-19 transmission and 3) perceptions of COVID-19 history taking procedure. Statistical analyses were conducted using Statistical Package for Social Sciences for Windows, version 21.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY., USA). Frequency distributions and logistic regression analyses were used. Results: Indian dentists demonstrated an overall modest level of knowledge on identification of patients with COVID-19. Moreover, they had a high level of awareness of the COVID-19 transmission means, and the generally accepted procedural perceptions on patient history taking. However, there were some gaps in specific aspects of knowledge and perceptions. Those who were aged ≥ 30-years had a significantly higher level of knowledge of patient identification means than those who were < 30-years (OR=1.78:1.12-2.83); p=0.01. Moreover, specialized dentists were significantly knowledgeable of COVID-19 transmission means than the general dentists (OR=1.89:1.22-2.93; p=0.004). Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate identifiable gaps in knowledge/awareness and perceptions of COVID-19 in Indian dental professionals. These gaps should be fulfilled, at the earliest, due to the rising burden of COVID-19 in India, to ensure safe dental care delivery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0436.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: obesity; meal frequency; hypocaloric diet; energy expenditure; ghrelin; weight loss
Online: 27 May 2020 (04:27:43 CEST)
Dietary approach is essential to obesity control, but the effectiveness of changes in meal frequency (MF) as strategies for loss and maintenance of body mass remain unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of MF on a hypocaloric diet on weight loss, active ghrelin levels and metabolic indicators of women with obesity. This is a randomized, parallel clinical trial, including forty women, randomized in two groups, both following a hypocaloric diet, according to MF (G1 – six meals/day; G2 – three meals/day). Dietary, laboratory, anthropometric and body composition indicators were assessed, as well as energy expenditure (EE), before and after the 90 days of intervention. After intervention, both groups decreased body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, fat mass (FM), insulin and HOMA-IR. G1 increased insulin sensitivity and G2 reduced triglyceride and FM and increased fat-free mass (FFM). MF increased ghrelin levels. There were no differences in EE variables. Hypocaloric diet with different MF promoted a reduction in total weight, BMI, WC and FM and an improvement in glycidic metabolism. However, the accomplishment of the three meals/day increased the FFM and active ghrelin and reduced triglyceride, while six meals/day was more beneficial in increasing insulin sensitivity.
Tue, 26 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0432.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: antisense; HIV-1 nef; stop codon readthrough; selenium; thioredoxin reductase
Online: 26 May 2020 (13:16:09 CEST)
The HIV-1 nef gene terminates in a 3’-UGA stop codon, which is highly conserved in the main group of HIV-1 subtypes, along with a downstream potential coding region that could extend the nef protein by 33 amino acids, if readthrough of the stop codon occurs. Antisense tethering interactions (ATIs) between a viral mRNA and a host selenoprotein mRNA are a potential viral strategy for the capture of a host selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) element (Taylor et al, 2016) . This mRNA hijacking mechanism could enable the expression of virally encoded selenoprotein modules, via translation of in-frame UGA stop codons as selenocysteine (SeC). Here we show that readthrough of the 3’-terminal UGA codon of nef occurs during translation of HIV-1 nef expression constructs in transfected cells. This was accomplished via fluorescence microscopy image analysis and flow cytometry of HEK 293 cells, transfected with engineered GFP reporter gene plasmid constructs, in which GFP can only be expressed by translational recoding of the UGA codon. SiRNA knockdown of thioredoxin reductase 1 (TR1) mRNA resulted in a 67% decrease in GFP expression, presumably due to reduced availability of the components involved in selenocysteine incorporation for the stop codon readthrough, thus supporting the proposed ATI. Addition of 20 nM sodium selenite to the media significantly enhanced stop codon readthrough in the pNefATI1 plasmid construct, by >100%, supporting the hypothesis that selenium is involved in the UGA readthrough mechanism.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0431.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Hip fracture; Casemix; Validation; Discrimination; Risk score; Calibration
Online: 26 May 2020 (11:40:33 CEST)
Objectives: Independent validation of risk scores after hip fracture is uncommon, particularly for evaluation of outcomes other than death. We aimed to assess the Nottingham Hip Fracture Score (NHFS) for prediction of mortality, physical function, length of stay and postoperative complications. Design: Analysis of routinely collected prospective data. Setting and Participants: Consecutive hip fracture patients were identified from the Northumbria hip fracture database between 2014-2018. Patients were excluded if they were not surgically managed or if scores for predictive variables were missing. Methods: C-statistics were calculated to test the discriminant ability of the NHFS, Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS), and ASA grade for in-hospital, 30- and 120-day mortality, functional independence at discharge, 30-days and 120-days, length of stay, and postoperative complications. Results We analysed data from 3208 individuals, mean age 82.6 (SD 8.6). 2192 (70.9%) were female. 194 (6.3%) died during the first 30-days, 1686 (54.5%) were discharged to their own home, 211 (6.8%) had no functional mobility at 120-days, 141 (4.6%) experienced a postoperative complication. The median length of stay was 18 days (IQR 8-28). For mortality, c-statistics for the NHFS ranged from 0.68-0.69, similar to ASA and AMTS. For functional independence, the c-statistics for the NHFS ranged from 0.74-0.83, similar to AMTS (0.61-0.82) and better than the ASA grade (0.68-0.71). Length of stay was significantly correlated with each score (p<0.001 by Jonckheere-Terpstra test); NHFS and AMTS showed inverted U-shaped relationships with length of stay. The best predictor of postoperative complications was ASA grade (0.56-0.64), whilst NHFS (0.49-0.59) and AMTS (0.48-0.57) performed similarly poorly. Conclusions and Implications: The NHFS performed consistently well in predicting functional outcomes, moderately in predicting mortality, but less well in predicting length of stay and complications. There remains room for improvement by adding further predictors such as measures of physical performance in future analyses.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0429.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: mechanical stress; vicious cycle; midkine; ARDS; GTEx
Online: 26 May 2020 (11:26:52 CEST)
The SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes COVID 19, uses the cell surface protein ACE2 as receptor for entry into cells. Critically ill COVID-19 patients often require prolonged mechanical ventilation which can cause mechanical stress to lung tissue. In vitro studies have shown that expression of ACE2 in alveolar cells is increased following mechanical stretch and inflammation. Therefore, we analyzed transcriptome datasets of 480 (non-COVID-19) lung tissues in the GTex tissue gene expression database. We found that mechanical ventilation of the tissue donors increased the expression of ACE2 by more than two-fold (p<10-6). Analyses of transcriptomes of mechanically ventilated mice in the GEO database indicate that this alveolar cell response to stretch and inflammation is mediated by the chemokine midkine. Using a novel big knowledge network approach (SPOKE) we also found in transcriptomes of pharmacological perturbations (LINCS) that corticosteroids down-regulate midkine in pulmonal cells, and confirmed this in GEO transcriptomes of animal studies. Thus, mechanical ventilation of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia may eo ipso facilitate viral propagation in the lung, further accelerating the pulmonal pathology that has necessitated mechanical ventilation in the first place. This vicious cycle presents a rationale for the temporary treatment with corticosteroids to modulate the midkine-ACE2 axis in ventilated COVID19 patients and for gentler ventilation protocols.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0427.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Isolation; Neural Crest-derived Stem Cells; Mechanical Dissociation; Regenerative Periodontology, Enzymatic Digestion
Online: 26 May 2020 (08:37:48 CEST)
Periodontitis is microbial infection affecting periodontium, the tooth supporting structure and affects >743 million people worldwide. Neural crest-derived stem cells (NCSCs) hold the promise to regenerate the damaged periodontium. These cells have been identified within adult adipose tissue, periodontal ligament, and palatal tissue. Typical enzymatic isolation protocols are expensive, time consuming and often not clinically compliant. Enzyme-free, mechanical dissociation has been suggested as an alternative method of generating cell suspensions required for cell separation and subsequent expansion ex vivo. In our study, samples of rat skeletal muscle tissue were used to appraise the suitability of a novel mincing method of mechanical dissociation against enzymatic digestion with collagenase and dispase. Skeletal muscle is readily available and has been shown to contain NCSC populations. We used a Rigenera-Human Brain Wave® prototype mincer to produce a suspension of NCSCs. We have compared the resulting cell cultures produced via mechanical dissociation and enzymatic dissociation, producing single cell suspensions suitable for Magnetic Cell Sorting (MACs) and Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Despite the Countess Automated Cytometry data demonstrating that cell suspensions produced by mechanical dissociation (n=24) contain on average 26.8 times as many viable cells as enzymatic cell suspensions (n=18), enzymatic suspensions produced more successful cell cultures. Spheroids and subsequently adherent cells formed from 4 enzymatic cell suspensions (44.4%) vs. 1 mechanical cell suspension (8.3%). Enzymatic digestion protocols formed spheroids faster and more plentifully than mechanical cell suspensions. Adherent cells and spheroids isolated via both methods appear morphologically similarly to NCSCs from our previous studies.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS‐CoV‐2; CoVID-19; healthcare workers; HCWs protection; Lodi; infection prevention and control strategies
Online: 26 May 2020 (08:25:05 CEST)
The report describes organizational and occupational strategies adopted by Lody Public Hospital (the first epicentre of Covid-19 outbreak in Italy) in order to face pandemic. Occupational Safety System (OSH) introduced infection prevention and control strategies (IPC) for the protection of healthcare workers (HCWs, while a reorganization of whole hospital based on the level of intensity of care for COVID-19 patients was estabilished. Screening on HCWs (N= 248) by nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 and comparison between HCWs and local population (N=1123) are shown. These preliminary data, collected from 25th February till 25th March 2020, confirms that measures adopted mitigate the effects of virus transmission within the hospital and reduced the HCW component of the transmission of the infection. Additional studies in depth are currently underway.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0421.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: dengue; dengue fever; neurology; neuroimmunology
Online: 26 May 2020 (05:43:10 CEST)
Dengue virus an arbovirus is endemic in an area that comprise almost half of the world's population, contrary to past beliefs that dengue virus differentiate from other neuroinvasive arbovirus due to its lack of neurological invasion and disease related neurological complications excluding hemorrhagic and thromboembolic , the body of evidence have grown to demonstrate a series of neurological manifestations linked to dengue virus with possible mechanisms involving direct virus invasion of the nervous system or immune mediated complications. In this review we provide a wide approach to this neglect but not so rare manifestations of a very common disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0420.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: Biodentine, MTA, new bone formation; Osteonectin, furcation perforation
Online: 26 May 2020 (05:34:25 CEST)
This study compared the Biodentine (BD) and MTA in repair of furcation perforation (FP) in a dog model in terms of inflammatory cell count and new hard tissue formation through histological and immunohistochemical evaluations. Ninety six teeth in six adult mongrel dogs were divided according to the time of repair into two groups (48 teeth/3 dogs each); immediate and delayed repair of the induced FP. Each group was divided into three subgroups (16 teeth each) according to the evaluation periods; 1, 2, and 3 months. Each subgroup was further subdivided into four subdivisions according to the material used; MTA (6 teeth), Biodentine (6 teeth), negative control (2 teeth) and positive control (2 teeth). In experimental and positive control samples, the teeth were instrumented and obturated then, a FP was performed. The perforations were sealed according to the groups and subdivisions. Histopathology and immunohistochemical analysis using Osteonectin antibodies were performed for assessment of the inflammatory cell count and new hard tissue formation. In all groups and subgroups, there were no significant differences between MTA and BD in the inflammatory cell count and new hard tissue formation (P>0.05). Biodentine can alternate the MTA as a FP repair material.
Mon, 25 May 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0411.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Clinical Trials; disruption; non-COVID-19 clinical trials; drugs; therapeutic area
Online: 25 May 2020 (11:17:56 CEST)
COVID-19 is causing major turmoil around the globe, and the clinical trial industry is likely to face unprecedented challenges to health and business sectors. In an effort to find a suitable treatment and prevention options for COVID-19, several COVID-19 clinical trials are being planned and initiated, while a large number of clinical trials for non- COVID-19 indications are suffering delays. With over more than 1000 trials being disrupted and more trials being added to this category daily, there is a direct impact on trial site activation and patient enrolment. This analysis deals with the specific impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical trial and pharmaceutical industry. The objective of this study is to provide an updated information of the disrupted clinical trials and its impact on various therapeutic areas and different drugs. Among the severely affected clinical trials, oncology and CNS trials are the hardest hit therapy areas.This article will certainly emphasize the need for advanced and innovative approaches to maintain the health of the clinical trial ecosystem by continuing the existing trials and the start of the new studies. We have to take and follow necessary actions to guarantee that the initiatives will not be locked during the COVID-19 pandemic, both for the treatment of patients and for the researchers to conduct decision-relevant clinical trials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0408.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: drug discovery; machine learning; in silico; pharmacology
Online: 25 May 2020 (04:55:24 CEST)
The vastness of chemical-space constrains traditional drug-discovery methods to the organic laws that are guiding the chemistry involved in filtering through candidates. Leveraging computing with machine-learning to intelligently generate compounds that meet a wide range of objectives can bring significant gains in time and effort needed to filter through a broad range of candidates. This paper details how the use of Generative-Adversarial-Networks, novel machine learning techniques to format the training dataset and the use of quantum computing offer new ways to expedite drug-discovery.
Sun, 24 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0406.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Drospirenone 4mg; breastfeeding; plasma concentration; milk concentration
Online: 24 May 2020 (20:26:11 CEST)
Objective: The primary objective of this trial was to assess the transfer of drospirenone to breast milk after daily administration of an oral test preparation containing 4 mg of drospirenone at the steady state. The secondary objective of the trial was to assess the safety of the preparation based on safety clinical and laboratory measurements (at the beginning and at the end of the trial) and reporting of adverse events and/or adverse drug reactions. Patients and Methods: This was an open label, non-comparative single center study. Drospirenone 4mg per day was the first postpartum contraceptive for the study participants who were no longer breastfeeding yet were still lactating. It was administered for 7 (seven) days to achieve steady-state concentration. All participants were volunteers who planned to use oral contraceptives as their family planning method in the future. Results: A total number of 12 volunteers completed the trial according to the protocol and the samples of all the 12 study completers were analyzed. The average concentration-time curve of drospirenone in plasma 24 h after the administration of the last dose (AUC(0-24h)) was 635.33 ng*h/mL and 120 h after the single repeat dose administration (AUC(0-120h) was 1180.57 ng*h/mL, respectively. The average Cmax was 48.64 ng/mL. The average concentration-time curve of drospirenone in milk 24 h after the administration of the last dose (AUC(0-24h)) was 134.35 ng*h/mL and 120 h after the single repeat dose administration (AUC(0-120h) was 227.17 ng*h/mL respectively. The average Cmax was 10.34 ng/mL. Conclusion: On average 18.13% of plasma drospirenone made it to breast milk and the highest concentration of drospirenone in breast milk was 17.55% of that in plasma. The total quantity of drospirenone passing to breast milk is on average 4478 ng during a 24 h period representing 0.11% of the maternal daily dose. Thus, at the recommended doses, no effects on breastfed newborns/infants are anticipated with drospirenone 4 mg.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0395.v1
Online: 24 May 2020 (18:19:02 CEST)
We present a modification of the logistic model of epidemics that takes into account the possibility that an epidemic can develop from multiple physically-distinct hot spots with a range of starting times. This produces an improved understanding of the time evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic taking place in the United States in the spring of 2020.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: vitamin C status; hypovitaminosis C; vitamin C deficiency; low and middle income countries; LMIC; dietary intake; supplement; non-communicable disease; communicable disease; infection
Online: 24 May 2020 (18:16:25 CEST)
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that must be obtained through the diet in adequate amounts to prevent hypovitaminosis C and the potentially fatal deficiency disease scurvy. Global vitamin C status and prevalence of deficiency has not previously been reported, despite vitamin C’s pleiotropic roles in both non-communicable and communicable disease. This review highlights the global literature on vitamin C status and the prevalence of hypovitaminosis C and deficiency. Related dietary intake is reported if assessed in the studies. We also explore if global vitamin C status has changed over time. Overall, the review illustrates the shortage of high quality epidemiological studies of vitamin C status in many countries, particularly low- and middle-income countries. The available evidence indicates that vitamin C deficiency is common in low- and middle-income countries and not uncommon in high income settings. Further high quality studies are required to confirm these findings, including in the countries not yet represented, and to fully understand associations with a range of disease processes. Our findings suggest a need for interventions to prevent deficiency in a range of at risk groups and regions of the world.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0393.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: activity-based balance index; soccer; accelerometer; performance; skill assessment
Online: 24 May 2020 (18:09:18 CEST)
The aim of this study was to introduce a new activity-based balance index by using accelerometer data. Twenty-seven junior soccer players from the Iranian premier league were selected. Four functional tests, consisting of one leg stance, dynamic Y balance, running and dribbling tests, were conducted to assess the players’ balance, activity and skill. During these four tests, besides their relative scores, the acceleration of their body center was also recorded. Activity-based balance index (ABI) was calculated using these acceleration data. The results showed positive correlations between ABI and both static and dynamic balance scores. Additionally, negative correlations were found between ABI and dribbling scores, which demonstrate the agility required for this skill. It seems that this new index achieves the evaluation of both the balance and the skill level of soccer players. Perhaps this is a new way of talent identification and also a re-development of balance tests from traditional to modern.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0392.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: RAAS inhibitors; COVID-19; coronavirus; angiotensin; clinical outcome; antihypertensive
Online: 24 May 2020 (17:48:42 CEST)
Since the effects of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors on the clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) have been conflicting in different studies, we performed this meta-analysis. A systematic search of published articles was performed in PubMed and EMBASE from January-May 5, 2020. Studies that reported the clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19, stratified by the class of concomitant antihypertensive drug therapy, were included. The Mantel-Haenszel random effects model was used to estimate pooled odds ratio (OR). A total of 6,997 hypertensive patients with COVID-19 were included. The overall risk of poor patient outcomes (severe COVID-19 or death) was lower in patients taking RAAS inhibitors (OR=0.84, 95% CI: [0.73, 0.96]; P=0.017) compared with those receiving non-RAAS inhibitor antihypertensives. Patients taking angiotensin-I-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) were less likely to experience poor clinical outcomes (OR=0.73, 95% CI: [0.58-0.92]; P=0.01) compared with those receiving angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs). Compared to all other antihypertensives, ACEIs decreases the risk poor COVID-19 outcomes (OR=0.77, 95% CI: [0.63-0.93]) while ARBs did not (OR=1.13, 95% CI: [0.95-1.35]). The risk of poor patient outcomes from COVID-19 was lower in patients who received RAAS inhibitors compared with those who took non-RAAS inhibitors. Unlike ARBs, ACEIs might help in decreasing the severity and mortality of COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0385.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Thrombosis; Inflammation; ADAMTS13; Von Willebrand Factor
Online: 24 May 2020 (16:17:00 CEST)
Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) is the clinical manifestation of the respiratory infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Following its origin as a regional outbreak in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 rapidly spread globally and eventually was designated as pandemic by the World Health Organization. Multiple studies describing the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients highlighted the prevalence of abnormal coagulopathy and higher incidence of thrombosis. These studies identified co-morbid inflammatory disorders as risk factors for hospitalization in SARS-CoV-2 infections. While early evidence suggested inflammatory conditions as the leading cause of abnormal coagulopathy in COVID-19 patients, the mechanisms behind progression of inflammation mediated hemostasis dysregulation to thrombotic outcomes in susceptible individuals are not well understood. In addition, a sensitive and temporal assessments of coagulation and fibrinolysis is still lacking. Von Willebrand Factor (VWF) and ADAMTS13 interactions play an important role in the maintenance of hemostasis and prevention of unwanted thrombosis. In inflammatory conditions, VWF-ADAMTS13 imbalance characterized by elevated VWF levels and inhibited and/or reduced activity of ADAMTS13 is reported. Also, an imbalance between ADAMTS13 activity and VWF antigen is associated with organ dysfunction and death in patients with systemic inflammation. Despite the natural antithrombotic activity of ADAMTS13, its role in COVID-19 pathophysiology, specifically thrombotic outcomes has not yet been investigated. A thorough understanding of VWF-ADAMTS13 interactions during early and advanced phases of COVID-19 could help define the pathophysiology, guide thromboprophylaxis and treatment and improve clinical prognosis.
Sat, 23 May 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0378.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: intestinal flora; myasthenia gravis; research progress; autoimmune disease; EAMG
Online: 23 May 2020 (16:40:23 CEST)
Human intestinal flora refers to a large and diverse microbial population present in the digestive tract of the human body, which plays a significant role in the establishment of human immune homeostasis and the normal function of the immune system. Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease of the neuromuscular junction, mainly involved in the anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody, cellular immune dependence, and complement1. At present, studies have found that the intestinal flora of Myasthenia Gravis is different from that of healthy people. Probiotic therapy has been shown effective in the experimental autoimmune Myasthenia Gravis animal models. This article reviews the relationship between intestinal flora and Myasthenia Gravis, to provide new ideas for further study of the pathogenesis and clinical treatment of Myasthenia Gravis.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0373.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Anesthesiology Keywords: COVID-19; proteolytic cascades; thrombosis; viral sepsis
Online: 23 May 2020 (10:42:38 CEST)
Based on Chinese CDCP report on COVID-19, 14% of patients presented severe disease and 5% critical conditions. The average case-fatality rate was 2.3%, but mortality was as high as 49% in patients with critical illness. Serious life threatening thromboembolic complications have been found in 71·4% of non-survivors and micro/macro angiopathic coagulopathy has been found, also at autopsy, with highly increased neutrophil number, fibrinogen, concentrations of D-dimer and FDPs and NETs, ATIII decrease and normal number of platelets. A cytokine storm and interaction between inflammation and coagulation has been advocated as explanation of hypercoagulability. In this paper, it’s hypothesised that SARS-CoV-2 infection of alveolar cells induces recruitment of innate responder neutrophils, which release proteases and NETs inducing endothelial damage/endotheliopathy and imbalance of the four major proteolytic cascades (coagulation, complement, fibrinolysis and kallikrein) with prevalence of activators over inhibitors and consequent thrombotic complications. Platelets adhesion to damaged endothelium and the presence of ULVWF multimers, due to decreased ADAMTS13, contributes to the state of hypercoagulability. Neutrophil innate “unfriendly fire” response can be identified as the trigger of a “proteolytic storm”, responsible for subsequent well known prothrombotic condition and “cytokine storm”. The hypothesis explains also the pathology of recently described systemic “Kawasaki Disease like” vasculitis cases in Covid-19 young ill patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0368.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-CoV2; personal protection devices; snorkel masks; safety test
Online: 23 May 2020 (10:18:39 CEST)
Introduction: The SARS-CoV2 pandemic has led to an worldwide shortage of Personal Protection Devices (PPD) for medical and paramedical personnel. Adaptation of commercially available snorkel masks to serve as full face masks has been proposed. Even not formally approved as PPD, they are publicized on social media as suitable for this use. Concerns about actual protection levels and risk of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulation while wearing them for extended periods made us perform a systematic testing of various brands, in order to verify whether they are as safe and effective as claimed. Methods: A “fit” test was performed, analogous to gas mask testing. Respiratory safety was evaluated by measuring end-tidal CO2 and oxygen saturation while wearing the masks in rest and during physical exercise. Masks were tested with 3D adaptors to mount regular bacterial-viral ventilator filters when available, or with snorkel openings covered with N95/FFP2 cloth. Results: Modified masks performed reasonably well on the fit test, comparable to regular N95/FFP2 masks. Not all ventilator filters are equally protective. For all masks, a small initial increase in end-tidal CO2 was noted, remaining within physiological limits. 3D printed adaptors are safer, have more flexibility and reliability than makeshift adaptations. Conclusions: These masks can offer benefit as a substitute for complete protective gear as they are easier to don and remove and offer full-face protection. They may be more comfortable to wear for extended periods. Proper selection of mask size, fit testing, quality of 3D printed parts and choice of filter are important.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0367.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; viral load; children
Online: 23 May 2020 (10:15:07 CEST)
Background: The question of whether children are less likely to pass on SARS-CoV-2 is important for planning society’s response to the pandemic. A document available on the Charité hospital website has not been formally published but is frequently referred to as supporting the notion that viral loads are similar in children and adults. Methods: The summary data from this document was extracted and used to produce summary statistics for three age groups: younger children (ages up to 11), older children (ages 12 to 19) and adults (ages 20 and above). Viral loads between the two children’s groups and the adult group were compared using Welch’s t test, which only requires group means and standard deviations and which is robust against moderate departures from normality. Findings: Viral loads were significantly lower than in adults for both younger children (p=0.04) and older children (p=0.04). Overall, viral loads were lower in children than adults (p=0.005). Interpretation: For both younger and older children, on average those with detectable SARS-CoV-2 have significantly lower viral loads than adults. Funding: No funding was received for this analysis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0365.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; smoking; nicotine; nicotinic cholinergic system; inflammation; acetylcholine receptors
Online: 23 May 2020 (10:06:14 CEST)
While SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the receptor for cell entry, it is important to examine for other potential interactions between the virus and other cell receptors. Based on the clinical observation of low smoking prevalence among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, we recently identified a “toxin-like” amino acid (aa) sequence on the receptor binding domain of the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 (aa 375-390) with homology to a sequence of a snake venom toxin, which could interact with nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). We now present computational molecular modelling and docking experiments using 3D structures of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and the extracellular domain of the nAChR alpha9 subunit. We identified an interaction between the aa381-386 of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and the aa189-192 of the extracellular domain of the nAChR alpha9 subunit, a region which forms the core of the “toxin-binding site” of the nAChRs. The mode of interaction is very similar to the interaction between the alpha9 nAChR and alpha-bungarotoxin. A similar interaction was observed between the pentameric alpha7 AChR and the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Our findings support the hypothesis that severe COVID-19 may be associated with disruption of the nicotinic cholinergic system which could be caused by an interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and nAChRs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0364.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: COVID-19; gender; transcriptomics; RAS; hydrolase activity; sex-based immunological differences
Online: 23 May 2020 (06:03:25 CEST)
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the end of 2019, the clinical presentation of the disease showed a great heterogeneity with a diverse impact between different subpopulations. Emerging evidence from different parts of the world showed significantly poor outcome among males compared to female patients. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind this difference might be a fundamental step for a more effective and targeted response to the outbreak. For that reason, here we try to investigate the molecular basis of the gender variations in mortality rates related to COVID-19 infection. To achieve this, we used our in-house pipeline to process publicly available lung transcriptomic data from 141 females compared to 286 males. After excluding Y specific genes, our results showed a shortlist of 73 genes that are differentially expressed between the two groups. Our results showed downregulation of a group of genes that are involved in the regulation of hydrolase activity including (AGTR1, CHM, DDX3X, FGFR3, SFRP2, and NLRP2), which is also believed to be essential for lung immune response and antimicrobial activity in the lung tissues in males compared to females. In contrast, our results showed an upregulation of angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AGTR1), a member of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) that plays a role in angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) activity modulation. Interestingly, recent reports and experimental animal models highlight an important role of this receptor in SARS-Coronavirus lung damage as well as pulmonary edema, suggesting a possible role of its blockers like losartan and olmesartan as potential therapeutic options for COVID-19 infection. Finally, our results also showed a differential expression of different genes that are involved in the immune response including the NLRP2 and PTGDR2, further supporting the notion of the sex-based immunological differences. Taken together, our results provide an initial evidence of the molecular mechanisms that might be involved in the differential outcomes observed between both genders during the COVID-19 outbreak. This might be essential for the discovery of new targets and more precise therapeutic options to treat COVID-19 patients from different clinical and epidemiological characteristics with the aim of improving their outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0363.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: Ocular Surface; Tear Film; Albumin; Pharmacology; Animal Models; Translational Research; One Health
Online: 23 May 2020 (05:59:39 CEST)
Preclinical animal studies provide valuable opportunities to better understand human diseases and contribute to major advances in medicine. This review provides a comprehensive overview of ocular parameters in humans and selected animals, with a focus on the ocular surface, detailing species differences in ocular surface anatomy, physiology, tear film dynamics and tear film composition. We describe major pitfalls that tremendously limit the translational potential of traditional laboratory animals (ie., rabbits, mice and rats) in ophthalmic research, and highlight the benefits of integrating companion dogs with clinical analogues to human diseases into preclinical pharmacology studies. This One Health approach can help accelerate and improve the framework in which ophthalmic research is translated to the human clinic. Studies can be conducted in canine subjects with naturally occurring or non-invasively induced ocular surface disorders (eg., dry eye disease, conjunctivitis), reviewed herein, and tear fluid can be easily retrieved from canine eyes for various bioanalytical purposes. In this review, we discuss common tear collection methods, including capillary tubes and Schirmer tear strips, and provide guidelines for tear sampling and extraction to improve the reliability of analyte quantification (drugs, proteins, others).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0362.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: cross-sectional survey; antibiotic use; antimicrobial resistance; knowledge; brunei
Online: 23 May 2020 (05:54:43 CEST)
Background: Public misconception and demand for the indication of antibiotics could lead to inappropriate prescribing and consumption. Successful treatment can only be achieved when the public and industrial users have knowledge on antibiotic use and resistance. This survey is aimed to assess antibiotic usage and knowledge regarding antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among undergraduate students of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), public university located in Brunei Darussalam. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO) Antibiotic Resistance, Multi-country public awareness survey distributed online. Students at UBD were invited to participate in the online survey through internal email. The questionnaire consisted of 5 sections: demographic information, antibiotic usage, knowledge on antibiotics, antibiotic resistance (AMR) and use of antibiotics in agriculture. Data were analyzed descriptively and appropriate inferential statistics was used accordingly. Cronbach’s alpha was also done to determine the internal consistency. The section on antibiotic use and knowledge showed good internal consistency of Cronbach’s alpha 0.66 and 0.86 respectively. Research ethics approval was obtained from the PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). Results: A total of 145 students returned the complete questionnaire. The result of the study found that 50% of the students had good level of knowledge of antibiotic and antimicrobial resistance with a mean total knowledge score of 11.4 out of 14. Respondents reported the use of antibiotic in the past (69%). Many of the students could identify the use of antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infection. However, there were also students who incorrectly thought that antibiotics can be used for cold and flu (43%) and fever (41%). Moreover, 76% of the respondents mistakenly believed that antibiotic resistance is the result of the body becoming resistant to antibiotics. Only 12% of the respondents were found to have poor knowledge in the study. Conclusions: Misconceptions in regards to the use of antibiotics for conditions related to viral illnesses was noticed among the respondents in our study. Thus, improving knowledge on antibiotics is crucial to address those beliefs.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0361.v1
Online: 23 May 2020 (05:40:26 CEST)
Italy suffered heavily with the new pandemic crisis caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Given the low number of tests performed on the early stages of the outbreak, Italy lost track of most of infections. We use a modified SEIR model to reconstruct the most realistic infection curve using the hospitalization curve of the registered data. Using this method we estimated that, by the end of the first infection wave, about 3-4% of the population will have been infected by the virus. Following the same process, the number of deaths is projected to be between 100000 to 115000. We also find a significant correlation between the number of tests performed, the fraction of undocumented infections and the rate of change dI/dt of the real infection curve. We conclude that herd immunity is not enough to contain further spread of the disease inside the country.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0357.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: NLRP3; inflammation; preeclampsia; pregnancy induced hypertension; HELLP syndrome; immunothrombosis
Online: 23 May 2020 (05:15:54 CEST)
Pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia are associated with significant maternal and fetal mortality. A better understanding of those diseases, delineation of molecular pathomechanism, and efficient treatment development are some of the most urgent tasks in obstetrics and gynecology. Recent findings indicate a crucial role of inflammation in the development of hypertension and preeclampsia. Although the mechanism is very complex and needs further explanation, it appears that high levels of cholesterol, urate, and glucose activates NLRP3 inflammasome, which produces IL-1β, IL-18 and gasdermin D. Production of these proinflammatory chemokines is a beginning of local and general inflammation, what results in sympathetic outflow, angiotensin II production, proteinuria, hemolysis, liver damage, immunothrombosis, and coagulopathy. NLRP3 inflammasome is a critical complex in the mediation of inflammatory response, which makes it crucial for the development of pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia, as well as its complications, such as placental abruption and HELLP syndrome. Herein presented the article delineate molecular mechanisms of those processes, indicating directions of future advance.
Fri, 22 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0353.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: metastatic renal cell carcinoma; immune-based combination therapies; network meta-analysis
Online: 22 May 2020 (11:35:36 CEST)
Background: Three drug-combinations, ipilimumab-nivolumab (Ipi-Nivo), pembrolizumab-axitinib (Pembro-Axi) and avelumab-axitinib (Ave-Axi), have received regulatory approvals in USA and Europe for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma with clear cell component (mRCC). However, no head-to-head comparison data are available to identify the best option. Therefore, we aimed to compare these new treatments in the first-line setting. Methods: We conducted a systematic search in Pubmed, the Cochrane library and clinicaltri-al.gov website from January 2015 to October 2019, for any randomized controlled trials of treatment-naïve patients with mRCC. The process was performed according to PRISMA guide-lines. We performed a Bayesian network meta-analysis with two different approaches. The out-comes for analysis were overall survival, progression-free survival, and objective response rate. Results: Our search identified 3 published phase 3 randomized clinical trials (2835 patients). In the contrast-based model, Ave-Axi (SUCRA: 83%) and Pembro-Axi (SUCRA: 80%) exhibited the best ranking probabilities for PFS. For OS, Pembro-Axi (SUCRA: 96%) was the most pref-erable option against Ave-Axi and Ipi-Nivo. Objective response rate analysis showed Ave-Axi as the best (SUCRA= 94%) and Pembro-Axi as second best option. In the parametric models, risk of progression was comparable for Ave-Axi and Ipi-Nivo, whereas Pembro-Axi exhibited a lower risk during the first 6 months of treatment and a higher risk afterward. Furthermore, Pembro-Axi exhibited a net advantage in terms of OS over the two other regimens, while Ave-Axi was the least preferable option. Conclusions: Overall evidences suggested pembrolizumab plus axitinib may be the best option.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0352.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Health record; electronic health record; e-health record; the history of medicine; the economy of the healthcare system
Online: 22 May 2020 (10:48:18 CEST)
The history of health records (later also called medical records), including ones regarding individual patients, is thousands of years old. It finds it roots in the first ancient civilisations. Up until the 19th century the records’ purpose was mainly an educational one. In the 19th and 20th century they started becoming significant in other roles as well, including those not strictly limited to medicine. In particular, to account for medical procedures, insurance proceeds or legal action. Currently we are living in a revolutionary era when it comes to health records, in which their character has changed from a “paper-based” to an electronic one. This paper presents the development of health records from the ancient to modern times, mainly in Europe and North America. Other cultures and civilisations, including China and India, are not discussed. An analysis of available sources was conducted, inter alia digital versions of manuscripts up to hundreds of years old. The analysis was based on PubMed and Google Scholar (several key words, all the available sources). Sources published in non-international languages (e.g. Dutch) were also investigated. Overall, approximately 600 articles were analysed, 158 of which were used and cited in this paper. The conclusions drawn from the analysis are as follows: (1) Health records, priorly used mostly for educational purposes, for about 100 years now have acquired a fully formal status. (2) We are currently facing the most revolutionary changes regarding the transformation of paper-based records into electronic ones. (3) The consequences of this process include systematic applications of solutions within the area of e-health, which allow us to make medical services more flexible, improve the health of individual patients and entire populations and potentially limit expenditure. (4) In the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, introducing electronic health records could be beneficial in terms of limiting the potential sources of contamination (physical copies of health records), saving time and resources, and improving the network of communication between medical centres.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0350.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Medical documentation; medicine; public health; computer networks; artificial intelligence; AI; smart city
Online: 22 May 2020 (10:43:06 CEST)
This work addresses the problem of the application of artificial intelligence to the creation and maintenance of medical documentation and the use of big data in medicine to support efficient patient diagnosis and treatment. This study covers the latest advances in AI and big data, based on literature reviews and interviews with leading experts in these fields. The following conclusions were obtained: (1) Based on the needs of patients and providers of medical services, and given the latest technological advances, all medical documentation should be digital and the processes of its creation, access, sharing, and consistency checking should by supported by suitably designed AI systems. (2) The knowledge contained in medical documentation constitutes a resource of strategic importance for humanity, with almost unlimited potential. (3) All medical documentation should be anonymised and should be made widely available, just like data and research results in the field of experimental physics. (4) This will accelerate development of new treatments, best practice and help to identify new medical emergencies, such as Covid-19. In practice today, unfortunately, the design of medical record systems is fragmented between institutions and countries, often focusing discussions on narrow technical details, and forcing clinicians to waste time on filling up multiple pages of illness history. This leads to many inefficiencies and lost opportunities and necessitates a fundamentally new approach.
Thu, 21 May 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0346.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: mental health; COVID-19; school-going children; lockdown
Online: 21 May 2020 (15:59:25 CEST)
During this epidemic of COVID-19, children are in need of much concentration and profound love of the senior family members. Although the measures taken by the organizations are necessary to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, they may be causing widespread mental health issues, including depression and loneliness. Therefore, it is imperative that parents have to spend the lion-share of time with children while listening to them cordially. Parents can participate in sports with them to help them stay fit so that they can enjoy commemorating moments. However, in this additional time, the parents can also make them habituated to practice the rules of health, so does social distancing.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0342.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: seaweed; metabolites; neuroprotection; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; ischemic stroke; computer-aided drug discovery
Online: 21 May 2020 (09:49:29 CEST)
Beyond their significant contribution to the dietary and industrial supplies, marine algae are considered to be a potential source of some unique metabolites with diverse health benefits. The pharmacological properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol homeostasis, protein clearance and anti-amyloidogenic potentials of algal metabolites endorse their protective efficacy against oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and impaired proteostasis which are known to be implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders and the associated complications after cerebral ischemia and brain injuries. As was evident in various preclinical studies, algal compounds conferred neuroprotection against a wide range of neurotoxic stressors, such as oxygen/glucose deprivation, hydrogen peroxide, glutamate, amyloid β, or 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) and, therefore, hold therapeutic promise for brain disorders. While a significant number of algal compounds with promising neuroprotective capacity have been identified over the last decades, a few of them have had access to clinical trials. However, the recent approval of an algal oligosaccharide, sodium oligomannate, for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease enlightened the future of marine algae-based drug discovery. In this review, we briefly outline the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries for identifying the targets of pharmacological intervention, and then review the literature on the neuroprotective potentials of algal compounds along with the underlying pharmacological mechanism, and present an appraisal on the recent therapeutic advances. We also propose a rational strategy to facilitate algal metabolites-based drug development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0340.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Cannabidiol; Alzheimer's disease; Huntington's disease; Multiple sclerosis; Parkinson’s disease; Prion disease; Proteinopathies
Online: 21 May 2020 (09:43:09 CEST)
Cannabidiol is a well-known non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid from Cannabis sativa, which exerts a broad range of neuropharmacological activities in the central nervous systems. Over the past years, compelling evidence from preclinical and clinical studies support therapeutic potentials of cannabidiol in various neurological disorders, including neurodegenerative diseases. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the accumulation of misfolded or aggregated protein due to the defective protein homeostasis or proteostasis network, termed as proteinopathies. Because of its role in the protein homeostasis network, cannabidiol could be a potent molecule to revert not only age-associated neurodegeneration but also other protein misfolding disorders. In this review, we discuss the potentiality of cannabidiol as a pharmacological modulator of the proteostasis network, highlighting its neuroprotective and aggregates clearing system inducing potentials in the neurodegenerative diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0339.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Urology Keywords: Neobladder-vaginal fistula; Orthotopic urinary diversion; Radical cystectomy; Surgical outcomes; Vaginal approach
Online: 21 May 2020 (09:32:33 CEST)
To present surgical methods and outcomes of neobladder-vaginal fistula (NVF) repair after radical cystectomy (RC) with ileal orthotopic neobladder (IONB). Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 136 women who underwent RC with IONB for bladder cancer between January 2010 and December 2018. The NVF was confirmed by cystoscopy and/or voiding cystography. NVF repair was performed using a transvaginal approach, which included circumferential incision of the fistula tract, creation of a plane between the neobladder serosa and the vaginal epithelium, and multi-layered transvaginal closure. Results: During a median follow-up of 47.9 months, NVF was identified in 12 (8.8%) women. Eight fistulas were located in the proximal anterior vaginal wall and four in the vaginal apex. Median time from RC to NVF repair was 3.4 months. Median NVF size and duration of urethral Foley catheter indwelling was 6.0 mm and 24.0 days, respectively. Initial repair of NVF was successful in ten (83.3%) patients. Two (16.7%) patients who relapsed retained IONB through the subsequent operation. Two (16.7%) patients developed urinary incontinence after NVF repair, requiring anti-incontinence surgery. Conclusions: The transvaginal approach for NVF repair is feasible, yielding successful surgical outcomes. However, women should be counseled about the risks of relapse and urinary incontinence.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0338.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: pharmacy practice; infection control; sanitation; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; pharmacists; public health; workplace safety
Online: 21 May 2020 (08:37:52 CEST)
Background: Australia received its first case of coronavirus on 25 January 2020. Since then the demands of COVID-19 has presented unparalleled levels of strain on the public healthcare systems in the country. In this time of crisis, pharmacists and community pharmacy staff have modified work strategies according to the rapidly changing environment. With a delayed dissemination of resources and guidelines, pharmacist and pharmacies are practicing innovative infection control methods across Australia to protect their staff, patients and the community. This article seeks to explore the current activities undertaken by pharmacists in various community pharmacy settings across Australia in relation to the safety of the workplace environments for staff and patients. Information collected can help inform future decisions in pandemic preparation for pharmacies in response to similar health crisis now and in the future. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey study was conducted in Australia during the COVID-19 outbreak from 1st to 30th April 2020. The questionnaire addressed community pharmacist’s awareness and response to infection and sanitation control. Results: A total of 137 pharmacists took part in the survey, with almost half (45.26%) belonging to the age group of 25 to 34 years. Community pharmacy formed the bulk (89.05%) of the respondent’s primary place of practice. There was a good uptake of safety measures by pharmacists and their pharmacies to protect staff and patients. However the task of reassigning high health risk staff was not heavily practiced (34.31%). Regular cleaning took place in the pharmacy, but the use of gloves while cleaning was not practiced in 48.18% of respondents. In addition, only 46.72% of respondents reported observing script baskets being cleaned and disinfected. About one-third (37.96%) of pharmacists were aware of the two-step cleaning and disinfecting process, but only 18.98% of pharmacists reported observing or performing this sanitation procedure. More than half of surveyed pharmacists reported having difficulty keeping up with infection control changes and pharmacy practice guidelines during the pandemic. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the majority of pharmacists are not fully aware of the infection control measures needed in a community pharmacy setting. The influx of coronavirus updates has made it difficult for pharmacists to implement accurate procedures on some aspects of workplace hygiene, which may have led to some gaps in infection control measures. Pharmacists must aim to uphold their public health ambassador role and aim to keep up-to-date with professional guidance to provide the necessary infection control measures to ensure staff, patient and public health safety.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVI-19; SARS-CoV-2; virus; mutation; polymorphism; genome sequence
Online: 21 May 2020 (04:09:53 CEST)
Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection has spread to over 200 countries since it was first reported in December of 2019. Significant country-specific variations in infection and mortality rate have been noted. Although country-specific differences in public health response have had a large impact on infection rate control, it is currently unclear as to whether evolution of the virus itself has also contributed to variations in infection and mortality rate. Previous studies on SARS-CoV-2 mutations were based on the analysis of ~ 160 SARS-CoV-2 sequences available until mid-February 2020.2, 3, 4, 5 By mid-April, > 550 SARS-CoV-2 sequences had been deposited in GenBank, and over 8,200 in the GISAID database. Methods: We performed a sequence analysis on 474 SARS-CoV-2 genomes submitted to GenBank up to April 11, 2020 by multiple alignment using Map to a Reference Assembly and Variants/SNP identification. The results were verified on a larger scale, 8,126 hCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) sequences from GISAID database. Results: We identified 5 recently emerged mutations in many isolates (up to 40%). Our analysis highlights 5 frequent new mutations that have emerged since late February 2020. These mutations are: one each missense (non-synonymous) mutation in orf1ab (C1059T), orf3 (G25563T) and orf8 (C27964T), one in 5’UTR (C241T), one in a non-coding region (G29553A). The final mutation (G29553A) was found to be almost exclusive to the US isolates. The first 3 mutations are non-synonymous, leading to amino acid substitutions in the viral protein sequence. Except for C241T, all the novel mutations identified are absent in the isolates from Italy and Spain in the SARS-CoV-2 genomes deposited in GenBank and GISAID by April 13, 2020. Conclusion: The results of current study indicate that new mutations are emerging as COVID-19 pandemic are spreading to different countries and that geography specific mutants may exist. The findings of current study lay the foundation for further investigation into the impact of SARS-CoV-2 mutations on disease incidence, severity, and host immune response. In addition, it may also provide insights into vaccine development and serological response detection for the virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0335.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: knowledge; attitude; practice; children’s oral health practice; school going children; rural area
Online: 21 May 2020 (04:01:10 CEST)
Introduction: Oral health knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of parents have a direct influence on their child’s oral health maintenance, dietary habits and encourage healthy behaviors. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, and attitude of parents with regards to the oral health practice of their children and its associated factors. Methods: A self -administered structured questionnaire was administered to parents or guardians of learners aged 5 to 12 years at a low socio-economic rural primary school in the uGu district, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa to collect demographic variables, knowledge of dental health, use of toothbrush, use of toothpaste, dietary practices and dental visits; practice with respect to dental care and attitudes towards oral health. The questionnaire was translated from English to IsiZulu was used. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to assess the association between parent’s sociodemographic factors with their oral health knowledge and practice scores. Results: One hundred and forty four completed survey instruments were received with an eighty percent (118) representation of mothers. Ninety five percent of the parents (136) had a positive attitude towards oral health with 86% (124) of the children brushed their tongue and 89% (128) of the children brushed their teeth happily. The mean knowledge score was 70% with a median of 72%. Children were significantly more likely to brush their tongues (AOR: 3.20 95% CI: 1.06-9.66) and were more likely to be happier when brushing their teeth (AOR: 4.65 95% CI: 1.41-15.38) when the caregivers were their mothers, and when parents had an above average knowledge score (AOR: 1.86 95% CI: 0.72-4.85) and had positive attitudes (AOR: 3.20 95%CI: 0.46-22.00). Conclusion: To reduce the gaps in knowledge, oral health promotion should be integrated into all point of care contact with parents at health facilities, increased community awareness and advertising campaigns as well as a more focused school health oral program that addresses primary prevention, screening and appropriate referrals to health facilities
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0334.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Human Bregs; IL-10; IL-35; TGF- ß; myasthenia gravis; Bregs expansion
Online: 21 May 2020 (03:55:17 CEST)
Regulatory B cells (Bregs) with immunosuppressive function are critical in maintaining immune tolerance. In recent years, Bregs is an essential part of the study due to its therapeutic relevance and function in immune tolerance. The positive and negative regulatory role of human Bregs in immune tolerance is being discussed in several pathologies, including in autoimmune diseases, cancers, chronic infections, strokes in multiple reports. The negative regulatory roles of human Bregs are associated with lesser numbers and functional abnormalities in most of these studies, including myasthenia gravis (MG). In this review, the potential findings regarding human Bregs in MG, and Bregs mediated potential therapeutic strategies with its pros and cons have been discussed based on previous and current reports.
Wed, 20 May 2020
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0327.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: anosmia; ageusia; clinical manifestations; neurological; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Online: 20 May 2020 (10:39:41 CEST)
Over the course of the pandemic due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), multiple new clinical manifestations, as the consequence of the tropism of the virus, have been recognized. That includes now the neurological manifestations and conditions, such as headache, encephalitis, as well as olfactory and taste disorders. We present a series of ten cases of RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected patients diagnosed with viral-associated olfactory and taste loss from four different countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0470.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: non-pharmacological interventions; COVID 19; health policy; mortality; economic; intensive care unit
Online: 20 May 2020 (04:38:52 CEST)
Non-pharmacological interventions in the fight against COVID 19 include: a) suppression, which facilitates its extinction; and b) mitigation, which reduces its speed of spread. Left unmitigated, the intensive care unit bed capacity (ICU) is exceeded over its maximum supply, resulting in increased deaths. Suppression has shown in simulation models the potential for decreasing ICU occupation below its surge limit, effectively decreasing mortality. However, for avoiding a rebound in transmission, suppression must be maintained intermittently until a vaccine is available (which may take up to 2 years). The objective of this paper was to describe the mortality patterns observed in Spain, Italy and South Korea for discussing a hypothetical combined public health policy and socioeconomic model that could potentially reduce mortality while reducing the economic impact of this pandemic in Spain. The plan is based on a progressive-voluntary reinstatement to work of the population exposed to the lowest risks (healthy non-immune family units <50 y/o and immune population) and it depends on having sufficiently available ICU beds for providing adequate support. This model, if proven correct for Spain, could eventually be followed by other countries facing a similar impact of the present pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0317.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: laproscopic cholecystectomy; acute cholecystitis; gall stone; sepsis; surgical site infection
Online: 20 May 2020 (04:16:36 CEST)
Aim: Aim of our study to evaluate various factors responsible for surgical site infection after gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary surgeries. Material and Methods: Patient who underwent gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary surgery in our department were evaluated retrospectively. Various factors associated with surgical site infection were evaluated using univariate and multivariate analysis. Surgical site infection was defined as any culture positive discharge from the wound within 30 days of surgery.Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 23. Results: We evaluated total 331 patients operated between April 2018 to March 2020. 14 patients were lost to follow up after discharge and before completing post operative day 30. 18 patients expired before 30 days without developing SSI and were excluded from the study as per exclusion criteria. 299 patient included in the study. Total 20 patients developed surgical site infection. It showed SSI rate in our study population was 6.68%. On univariate analysis prolonged hospital stay, more blood product used, higher cdc grade of surgery, higher ASA grade, more operative time, open surgeries,colorectal and HPB surgeries were associated with surgical site infections. On multivariate analysis only prolonged hospital stay independently predicted Surgical Site Infectins. (p=0.014,0dds ratio 1.223, 95% confidence interal 1.042-1.435). Conclusion: Prolonged hospital stay independently predicts surgical site infections after gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary surgery.
Tue, 19 May 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0314.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: antiretroviral therapy; differentiated service delivery; retention; suppression; Africa; systematic review
Online: 19 May 2020 (09:53:46 CEST)
Introduction: Differentiated service delivery (DSD) models for antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV are being scaled up in the expectation that they will improve the quality and efficiency of treatment delivery and reduce costs while maintaining at least equivalent clinical outcomes. Even this minimum requirement of equivalent clinical outcomes is poorly documented for most models and settings, however. We reviewed the recent literature on DSD models to describe what is known about clinical outcomes. Methods: We conducted a rapid systematic review of peer-reviewed publications in PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science and major international conference abstracts that reported outcomes of DSD models for the provision of ART in sub-Saharan Africa from January 1, 2016 to September 12, 2019. Sources reporting standard clinical HIV treatment metrics, primarily retention in care and viral load suppression, were reviewed and categorized by DSD model and source quality assessed. Results and Discussion: Twenty-nine papers and abstracts describing 37 DSD models and reporting 52 discrete outcomes met search inclusion criteria. Of the 37 models, 7 (19%) were facility-based individual models, 12 (32%) out-of-facility based individual models, 5 (14%) client-led groups, and 13 (35%) healthcare worker-led groups. Retention was reported for 73% of the models and viral suppression for 57%. Where a comparison with conventional care was provided, retention in most DSD models was within 5% of that for conventional care; where no comparison was provided, retention generally exceeded 80%. For viral suppression, all those with a comparison to conventional care reported a small increase in suppression in the DSD model; reported suppression exceeded 90% in 11/21 models. Analysis was limited by the extensive heterogeneity of study designs, outcomes, models, and populations. Most sources did not provide comparisons with conventional care, and metrics for assessing outcomes varied widely and were in many cases poorly defined. Conclusion: Existing evidence on the clinical outcomes of DSD models for HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa is limited in both quantity and quality but suggests that retention in care and viral suppression are roughly equivalent to those in conventional models of care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0310.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: open hardware; COVID-19; medical hardware; nasopharyngeal swab; nasal swab; UV curing; SLA; RepRap; 3-D printing; additive manufacturing
Online: 19 May 2020 (04:21:41 CEST)
Access to nasopharyngeal swabs for sampling remain a bottleneck in some regions for COVID-19 testing. This study develops a distributed manufacturing solution using only an open source manufacturing tool chain consisting of two types of open source 3-D printing and batch UV curing, and provides a parametric fully free design of a nasopharyngeal swab. The swab was designed using parametric OpenSCAD in two components (a head with engineered break point and various handles), which has several advantages: i) minimizing print time on relatively slow SLA printers, ii) enabling the use of smaller print volume open source SLA printers, iii) reducing the amount of relatively expensive UV resin, and iv) enabling production of handle on more accessible material extrusion 3-D printers. A modular open source UV LED box was designed, fabricated for $45 and tested for batch curing. Swabs can be fabricated for $0.06-$0.12/swab. The results of the mechanical validation tests showed that the swabs could withstand greater forces than would be expected in normal clinical use. The swabs were also able to absorb a significant amounts of synthetic mucus materials and passed abrasion and handling tests. The results show the open source swab are promising candidates for clinical trials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0103.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Coronavirus; SARS-CoV; MERS-CoV; serology; molecular diagnosis; reservoir; public health
Online: 19 May 2020 (04:13:19 CEST)
Introduction: Coronaviruses are zoonotic viruses that include human epidemic pathogens such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus (MERS-CoV), and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus (SARS-CoV), among others (e.g., COVID-19, the recently emerging coronavirus disease). The role of animals as potential reservoirs for such pathogens remains an unanswered question. No systematic reviews have been published on this topic to date. Methods: We performed a systematic literature review with meta-analysis, using three databases to assess MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV infection in animals and its diagnosis by serological and molecular tests. We performed a random-effects model meta-analysis to calculate the pooled prevalence and 95% confidence interval (95%CI). Results: 6,493articles were retrieved (1960-2019). After screening by abstract/title, 50 articles were selected for full-text assessment. Of them, 42 were finally included for qualitative and quantitative analyses. From a total of 34 studies (n=20,896 animals), the pool prevalence by RT-PCR for MERS-CoV was 7.2% (95%CI 5.6-8.7%), with 97.3% occurring in camels, in which pool prevalence was 10.3% (95%CI 8.3-12.3). Qatar was the country with the highest MERS-CoV RT-PCR pool prevalence, 32.6% (95%CI 4.8-60.4%). From 5 studies and 2,618 animals, for SARS-CoV, the RT-PCR pool prevalence was 2.3% (95%CI 1.3-3.3). Of those, 38.35% were reported on bats, in which the pool prevalence was 14.1% (95%CI0.0-44.6%). Discussion: A considerable proportion of infected animals tested positive, particularly by nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). This essential condition highlights the relevance of individual animals as reservoirs of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. In this meta-analysis, camels and bats were found to be positive by RT-PCR in over 10% of the cases for both; thus, suggesting their relevance in the maintenance of wild zoonotic transmission.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0309.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: covid19; sars cov2; fondaparinux; enoxaparin; venous thrpmbpembolism; inflammatory diseases
Online: 19 May 2020 (04:07:50 CEST)
Background: After the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (i.e. SARS COV2) in China and its diffusion around the world, great attentions was reserved to the increased incidence of venous thromboembolism in these patients. A specific antiviral action of heparins toward SARS COV2 has been reported in vitro such as a well know action of heparins to prevent VTE in inpatients with infective disease has already been reported since several years. Yet, because fondaparinux represent the pharmacological antithrombotic active sequence of all heparins and because its clinical indication o prevent VTE in inpatients is similar to heprains, we realized a retrospective analysis in inpatients with SARS COV2 on the incidence of VTE during pharmacological prophylaxis with enoxaparin or fondaparinux. This retrospective analysis was named FONDENOXAVID. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study that used patients with SARS COV2 during the Italian outbreak from February 18, 2020 to April 30, 2020. Our aim was to compare the clinical characteristics, prophylactic treatment and outcomes in inpatients positive to SARS COV2 at risk to develop venous thromboembolism, in particular venous thrombosis with or without pulmonary embolism, during in-hospital primary thromboprophylaxis with enoxaparin (40 mg or 60 mg once daily) or fondaparinux (2.5 mg once daily). Statistical analysis was conducted with using MatLab R2016B and eventually ad hoc functions. Results: There were not significative differences in clinical characteristics between patients that used enoxaparin or fondaparinux as thromboprpophylaxis for SARS COV2. The cumulative incidence of thrombotic events was not different in patients that used enoxaparin or fondaparinux as thromboprpophylaxis. No differences were found also in d-dimer and fibrinogen levels test at the admission and after 3 weeks as markers of prolonged inflammation due to SARS COV2. Discussion: The increased incidence of VTE in vivo has been reported in several studies although prophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin was conducted in some of them. The clinical indication to prevent VTE was similar for heparins and fondaparinux. In our results a non-inferiority to prevent VTE was recorded when inpatients with SARS COV2 were treated with prophylactic doses of enoxaparin or fondaparinux according to international guidelines. The incidence of VTE in this retrospective analysis showed that Fondaparinux at fixed doses of 2.5 mg daily was not inferior to enoxaparin (4000 UI daily). Our results testify that fondaparinux and enoxaparin showed the same efficacy to reduce the incidence of VTE in inpatients with SARS COV2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0308.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Oral health care products; cyclooxygenase; lipoxygenase; periodontal disease; Candida albicans; Candida glabrata; medicinal herbs
Online: 19 May 2020 (03:45:56 CEST)
Background: Given the increasing request for natural pharmacological molecules, this study assessed the antimicrobial capacity of Pistacia lentiscus L. essential oil (PLL-EO) obtained from the leaves of wild plants growing in North Sardinia (Italy), toward a wide range of periodontal bacteria and Candida including laboratory and clinical isolates sp., together with its anti-inflammatory activity and safety; Methods: PLL-EO was screened by gas chromatography / mass spectrometry. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined. The anti-inflammatory activity was measured by cyclooxygenase (COX 1/2) and lipoxygenase (LOX) inhibition while the antioxidant capacity was determined electro-chemically and by the MTT assay. The WST-1 assay was used to ascertain cytotoxicity toward four line of oral cells; Results: According to the concentrations of terpens, PLL-EO is a pharmacologically active phytocomplex. MICs against periodontal bacteria ranged between 3.13 and 12.5 µg/ml, while against Candida sp. were between 6.25 and 12.5 µg/ml. Oxidation by COX 1/2 and LOX was inhibited by 80% and 20% µg/mL of the oil respectively. Antioxidant activity seemed negligible, and no cytotoxicity arose; Conclusions: PLL-EO exhibits a broad-spectrum activity against periodontal bacteria and Candida, with an interesting dual inhibitory capacity toward COX2 and LOX inflammatory enzymes and without side effects against oral cells.
Mon, 18 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0306.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: acute kidney injury; HPB surgery; perioperative care; critical care
Online: 18 May 2020 (17:29:02 CEST)
Aim: Aim of our study was to evaluate incidence and causative factors for acute kidney injury in hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) surgeries. Material and Methods: All the HPB surgeries performed between April 2018 to March 2020, in our institution have been analysed for acute kidney injury. Acute kidney injury defined according to acute kidney injury network classification. Categorical variables were evaluated by chi square test and fisher t test wherever approptiate and continuous variables by Mann Whitney U test. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 23. P< 0.05 was considered significant. Results: We performed 195 HPB surgeries between April 2018 to March 2020, Which included 114 biliary surgeries, 57 liver surgeries and 23 pancreas surgeries. 10 patients developed Acute Kidney Injuries. (AKI) On Univariate analysis AKI was associated with open surgeries, intra operative hypotension and liver surgeries, higher ASA grade, increase operative time, more blood products used, higher CDC grade of surgery and more hospital stay before diagnosis of AKI. However on multivariate analysis only higher ASA score independently predicted Acute Kidney Injury. (p=0.003, odds ratio 15.659, 95% confidence interval 2.54-93.36). AKI was also significantly associated with mortality. (p <0.0001). Conclusion: Pre operative higher ASA grade independently predicted post operative acute kidney injury. Post operative AKI is significantly associated with mortality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0305.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: sickle cell disease; feasibility; regular follow-up; remote area; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 18 May 2020 (17:26:04 CEST)
Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common hemoglobinopathy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and poses a public health problem. If, without clinical follow-up, more than 50% of children with SCD die before their 5th birthday. A regular medical follow-up is the first simple improvement that can be beneficial for SCD patients in a remote city of an African country. Method: A cohort of 143 children with SCD aged 10 years old (IQR [inter quartile range]: 6–15 years) (sex ratio male: female = 1.3) were clinically followed for 12 months without any specific intervention and then 12 months with a monthly medical visit, a biological follow-up and regular prophylaxis. A paired Student test and pairwise Wilcoxon test were used to compare study outcomes. Results: The median age of patients at the diagnosis of SCD was 2 years (IQR: 1–5). Anemia was noted in 100% of patients at inclusion, with severe and normocytic anemia in 80% of cases (n = 115). The implementation of standardized and regular follow-up has shown an increase in the annual mean hemoglobin level from the percentage of the low limit normal for the age from 54 to 77 % (p = 0.001), and a decrease of the lymphocytes count and spleen size (p < 0.001). The implementation of regular follow-up has also shown a significant decrease (p < 0.001) in the average annual number of hospitalizations and episodes with vaso-occlusive crises, blood transfusions, infections, and acute chest syndromes. Conclusions: This study showed that the regular follow-up of children with SCD and the application of SCD management recommendations are possible and applicable in the context of a remote city in a developing country. Simple and accessible measures included in conventional recommendations can reduce the morbimortality of these patients in remote areas if applied rigorously with regular follow-up.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS; CoV-2; COVID-19; vitamins; therapeutic strategy
Online: 18 May 2020 (12:51:05 CEST)
Objectives: In December 2019 a novel human-infecting coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has emerged. The WHO has stated the epidemic as a “public health emergency of international concern”. A dramatic situation has emerged with thousands of deaths, occurring mainly in the aged and very ill people. Epidemiological studies suggest that immune system function is impaired in elderly individuals and these subjects often present a severe deficiency in nutrients as fatsoluble and hydrosoluble vitamins. Design: In this second part of the review about Cov2 in aged people, we searched for studies describing the possible efficacy of vitamins A, D, E and C in improving the immune system function and their possible activities against viruses. Results: Vitamins may shift the proinflammatory Th17 mediated immune-response arising in the autoimmune diseases towards a T-cell regulatory phenotype. These diseases may serve as a paradigm for the study of CRS emerging in the course of SARS CoV-2 infection. Conclusion: This review discusses about the possible activity of Vitamin A, D, E and C in restoring normal antiviral Immune System function or the potential therapeutic role of these micronutrients as a part of a multi-treatment strategy against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: SARS; CoV-2; COVID-19; immune system; cytokine
Online: 18 May 2020 (12:46:48 CEST)
Objectives: In December 2019 a novel human-infecting coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has emerged. The WHO has stated the epidemic as a “public health emergency of international concern”. A drammatic situation has emerged with thousands of deaths, occurring mainly in the aged and very ill people. Epidemiological studies suggest that immune system function is impaired in elderly individuals and these subjects often present a severe deficiency in nutrients as fatsoluble and hydrosoluble vitamins. Design: In this first part of the review about Cov2 in aged people, we searched for reviews describing the characteristics of autoimmune diseases and the available therapeutic protocols for their treatment. We sed them as a paradigm with the purpose to retrieve pathogenetic mechanisms in common among these pathological conditions and SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the alteration induced in immune system function by this virus, or by its homologous SARS-CoV. Results: SARS-CoV-2 infection induces an important immune system dysfunction with the development of an exhuberant proinflammatory response in the host, and with the development of a life-threatening condition defined as Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). This leads to the Acute Respiratory Syndrome (ARDS), mainly in the aged people. High mortality and lethality rates have been observed in the elderly subjects with CoV-2-related infection. Conclusion: These diseases may serve as a paradigm for the study of CRS emerging in the course of SARS CoV-2 infection. This review discusses about the possible activity of Vitamin A, D, E and C in restoring normal antiviral Immune System function or the potential therapeutic role of these micronutrients as a part of a multi-treatment strategy against SARS- CoV-2 infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0299.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: air pollution; particulate matter; nitrogen dioxide; COVID-19; pandemic
Online: 18 May 2020 (09:36:25 CEST)
A new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have determined a pneumonia outbreak in China (Wuhan and Hubei) on December 2019. While pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies are strengthened worldwide, the scientific community has been studying the risk factors associated with SARS-Cov-2, to enrich epidemiological information. For a long time, before the industrialized era, air pollution has been a real and big health concern and it is today a very serious environmental risk for many diseases and anticipated deaths in the world. It has long been known that air pollutants increasing the invasiveness of pathogens for humans by acting as a carrier and making people more sensitive to pathogens through a negative influence on the immune system. Based on scientific evidences, the hypothesis that air pollution, resulting from a combination of factors such as meteorological data, level of industrialization as well as regional topography, can acts both as an infection carrier as a harmful factor of the health outcomes of COVID-19 disease has been raised recently. This hypothesis is turning in scientific evidence, thanks to the numerous studies that have been launched all over the world.With this review, we want to provide a first unique view of all the first epidemiological studies relating the association between air pollution and SARS-CoV-2. The Authors, who first investigated this association, although with great effort and rapidity of analysis dictated by a global emergency, often used different research methods or not all include confounding factors whenever possible. In addition, to date incidence data are underestimated in all countries, and to a lesser extent also mortality data. For this reason, the cases included in the considered studies cannot be considered real. Although it determines important limitations for direct comparison of results, and more studies are needed to strengthen scientific evidences and support firm conclusions, major findings are consistent, highlighting the important contribution of PM2.5 and NO2 on the COVID-19 spread and with a less extent also PM10.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0298.v1
Online: 18 May 2020 (08:01:52 CEST)
COVID-19 Pandemic management has become the top priority of Government Institutions globally, which is justifiable seeing the high mortality of the disease. In India, Lockdowns by National, State and Local level administrations have greatly reduced the spread of the SARS COV-2 Virus. Some areas with a greater proportion of COVID-19 patients have been declared hotspots with increased restrictions on public activities through law enforcement. But quite often delay in identification of these hotspots leads to community transmission of the Virus thus aggravating the problem. A method to identify the areas which are at risk of becoming the next hotspot for the disease is the need of the hour. In this Research document we will find the probable risk factors and make an appropriate scale to measure the vulnerability of an area, identified by its Postal code. To help with this a Pan India survey by the title of “Survey on General Indian population on the level of preparedness for COVID-19 pandemic” was launched and received around 1250 submissions, with the acquired data we will evaluate the risk factors and make appropriate scale to identify ‘pre-hotspots’.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0295.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: coronaviruses; plants metabolites; polyphenols; antiviral-effect
Online: 18 May 2020 (04:09:48 CEST)
Coronaviruses such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), and newly emerged SARS-CoV-2, also called 2019-nCoV and COVID 19, have caused worldwide outbreaks in different time periods. There are many studies about chemical and natural drugs to treat these coronaviruses by inhibiting their proteases or their protein receptors through binding to amino acid residues. Plants secondary and primary metabolites are considered as potential drugs to inhibit various types of coronaviruses. IC50 value (the concentration in which there is 50% loss in enzyme activity) and molecular docking score and binding energy are parameters to understand the metabolites ability to inhibit the specific virus. In this study we did review on more than 110 papers on plant metabolites effect on different coronaviruses. Secondary plant metabolites such as polyphenols (flavonoids, coumarins, stilbenes), alkaloids, terpenoids, organosulfur compounds saponins, saikosaponins, lectins, essential oils, nicotianamine and primary metabolites such as vitamins.
Sun, 17 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0285.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; emergency department; early diagnosis; case-control studies
Online: 17 May 2020 (08:27:12 CEST)
(1) Background: It is unclear whether the reported presenting clinical features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are useful in identifying high-risk patients for early testing and isolation in the emergency department (ED). We aimed to compare the exposure history, clinical, laboratory, and radiographic features of ED patients who tested positive and negative for COVID-19; (2) Methods: We conducted a case-control study in seven EDs during the first five weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong. Thirty-seven laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients were compared with 111 age- and gender-matched controls; (3) Results: There were no significant differences in patient characteristics and reported symptoms between the groups, except patient-reported fever. A positive travel history or contact history was the most significant predictor for COVID-19 infection. After adjustment for age and presumed location of acquiring the infection in Wuhan/Hubei, patient-reported fever (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 6.3), delayed presentation (OR 5.0, 95% CI 2.0 to 12.5), having medical consultation before ED presentation (OR 7.4, 95% 2.9 to19.1), thrombocytopenia (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6 to 9.7), raised lactate dehydrogenase (OR 5.9, 95% CI 1.9 to 18.5), haziness, consolidation or ground-glass opacity on chest radiography (OR 5.6, 95% CI 2.0 to 16.0), and bilateral changes on chest radiography (OR 13.2, 95% CI 4.7 to 37.4) were associated with a higher odds of COVID-19 separately while neutrophilia was associated with a lower odds (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.8); and (4) Conclusions: This study highlights several features that may be useful in identifying high-risk patients for early testing and isolation while waiting for test result. Further studies are warranted to verify the findings.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0282.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: telehealth; telemedicine; NCOVID-19; technology; management; regulations
Online: 17 May 2020 (08:09:18 CEST)
Telehealth has been playing a progressively major role in the management of the NCOVID-19 crisis. The enforcement of social distancing measures has had the consequence of reduced technology distance in almost every walk of life. In this paper, based primarily on the still unfolding experiences of deploying it during the current situation, we argue that telehealth has finally come of age and that it is time to move it from the peripheries to the center of the 21st century healthcare. To provide a live context to the discussion, several instances of how telehealth strengthened our healthcare systems during the NCOVID-19 crisis are presented.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0280.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: coffee; stomach neoplasms; incidence; mortality
Online: 17 May 2020 (03:18:01 CEST)
Background: Coffee is the second most popular drink in the worldwide, and it has different components with antioxidant and antitumor properties. The objective of this study was to explore the relationship between coffee consumption and the incidence and mortality of stomach cancer in the main consuming countries. Methods: An observational study was performed. Dataset of coffee consumption was obtained from WorldAtlas, and incidence and mortality rates from GLOBOCAN database. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was calculated. All statistical analysis were performed using STATA software. Results: A total of 25 countries were included in the study. There was a significant linear correlation between coffee consumption kg per person per year and an estimated age-adjusted incidence (r=0.5984, p=0.0016) and mortality (r=0.5877, p=0.0020). Conclusion: Coffee consumption could potentially have beneficial effects on incidence and mortality by stomach cancer.
Sat, 16 May 2020
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: COVID-19; pandemics; pediatric dentistry; oral health prevention; coronavirus
Online: 16 May 2020 (18:11:49 CEST)
During the period of health emergency linked to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the management of children's oral health presents specific problems related to the infectious spread of the disease. These problems must be faced on the one hand by acting on the oral health prevention methods, and on the other by implementing specific protocols relating both to the conditions of oral pathologies that normally do not represent an emergency, and to those clinical situations that fall into the category of pediatric dental emergencies. In this perspective, in addition to defining rigorous and highly effective infection control protocols in the dental settings, it is of fundamental importance to work on remote communication and education aimed at maintaining the oral health of the children. This article, after an analysis of the risk factors from COVID-19 associated with pediatric dental treatment, presents a series of considerations on potential oral prevention strategies and on the management of emergency and non-emergency dental procedures in a context of disease transmission control, proposing new approaches and models of treatment based also on remote interaction techniques which will then retain their usefulness even at the end of the current emergency period.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0192.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Veterinary Medicine Keywords: animal; COVID-19; intermediate host; SARS-COV-2
Online: 16 May 2020 (18:06:34 CEST)
A novel coronavirus has been reported as the causative pathogen of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak Wuhan city, China in December 2019. Due to the rapid spreading of COVID-19 worldwide, it has been announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Hospitalized patients in Wuhan are associated with the Huanan seafood wholesale market where live animals, such as poultry, bats, snakes, frogs, rabbits, marmots, and hedgehogs are sold in that market which suggests a possible zoonotic infection. Therefore, it is essential to identify the potential animal reservoir, and the possibility of infection for other animal species. This short review aims to provide an overview on the relation between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) infection and animals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0265.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: vitamin D; cathelicidin; antimicrobial peptides; bacteria; mycobacteria; virus; coronavirus; sunshine; UVB phototherapy; tuberculosis; COVID-19; photosynthesis
Online: 16 May 2020 (16:02:26 CEST)
Abstract: A primary action of vitamin D is regulation of gene transcription. Many cell types possess genes that make antimicrobial peptides (AMPS) (endogenous antibiotics), recently discovered to be regulated by vitamin D. Two examples are cathelicidin and beta defensins, both bioactive against many different bacteria, fungi, mycobacteria, parasites and viruses. The signal transduction pathway is triggered by sensing microorganisms via cell surface receptors, causing intracellular production of calcitriol (1,25(OH)2D) and vitamin D receptors, leading to upregulation of AMP production. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations required to sustain adequate AMP production to eradicate infections are unknown. Vitamin D3 is photosynthesized in skin in amounts ranging from 10,000 (250 mcg) to 25,000 (625 mcg) International Units (IU) from 7-dehydrocholesterol after whole-body exposure to one minimal erythemal dose (MED) of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, and is impacted by many factors including geographic localities, seasonal changes and skin pigmentation. We and others have reported extended daily oral dosing with these amounts of vitamin D3 safe. We routinely observe serum 25(OH)D concentrations below 20ng/ml on new admissions, which have been reported insufficient to sustain AMP production. In contrast serum 25(OH)D concentrations above 100ng/ml have been reported after serial UVB treatments for psoriasis. Little vitamin D naturally occurs in food, and insufficient sun exposure may be causing worldwide deficiency. We review evidence suggesting that higher daily intakes of vitamin D3 than the currently recommended 600 (15 mcg) IU/day may be necessary to sustain AMP production in the face of an overwhelming infection, particularly in non-Hispanic blacks, a high risk population suffering the worst outcomes from COVID-19. We propose that increased vitamin D supplementation could provide a safe and cost-effective way to protect all populations from infections, in particular those from pandemic COVID-19.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0262.v1
Online: 16 May 2020 (04:19:07 CEST)
COVID-19 is frequently associated with a coagulopathy with severe consequences. The mechanisms leading to a pro-coagulant state in these patients is multifactorial, including tissue destruction and inflammatory mechanisms. Based on the analysis of publicly available interactomes, we propose that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes a deficiency in C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH), a pathogen-specific mechanism that may help explain the pro-coagulant state in COVID-19 patients.
Fri, 15 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0259.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: cancer immunotherapy; prostate cancer; CAR; PSMA; NK-92 cell line
Online: 15 May 2020 (17:39:20 CEST)
Prostate cancer (PCa) has become the most common tumor among males in Europe and the USA. Adoptive immunotherapy appears as a promising strategy to control the advanced stages of the disease by specific targeting the tumor, in particular through chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy. Despite the advancements of CAR-T technology in the treatment of hematological malignancies, solid tumors still represent a challenge. To overcome current limits, other cellular effectors than T lymphocytes are under study as possible candidates for CAR-engineered cancer immunotherapy. A novel approach involves the NK-92 cell line, which mediates strong cytotoxic responses against a variety of tumor cells but has no effect on non-malignant healthy counterparts. Here, we report a therapeutic approach against PCa based on engineering of NK-92 cells with a CAR recognizing the human prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which is overexpressed in prostatic neoplastic cells. Upon CAR transduction, NK-92/CAR cells acquired high and specific lytic activity against PSMA-expressing prostate cancer cells in vitro, and also underwent degranulation and produced high levels of IFN-γ in response to antigen recognition. Lethal irradiation of the effectors, a safety measure requested for the clinical application of retargeted NK-92 cells, fully abrogated replication but did not impact on phenotype and short-term functionality. PSMA-specific recognition and antitumor activity were retained in vivo, as adoptive transfer of irradiated NK-92/CAR cells in prostate cancer-bearing mice restrained tumor growth and improved survival. Anti-PSMA CAR-modified NK-92 cells represent a universal, off-the-shelf, renewable and cost-effective product endowed with relevant potentialities as a therapeutic approach for PCa immunotherapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0258.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: major depression; oxidative and nitrosative stress; antioxidants; inflammation; neuro-immune; biomarkers
Online: 15 May 2020 (16:52:52 CEST)
Background: Hypertension, atherogenicity and insulin resistance are major risk factors of cardiovascular disorder (CVD), which shows a strong comorbidity with major depression (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD). Activated oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS), inflammatory pathways, and increased atherogenicity are shared pathways underpinning CVD and mood disorders. Methods: The current study examined the effects of lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), nitric oxide metabolites (NOx), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), and malondialdehyde (MDA) on systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure in 96 mood disordered patients and 60 healthy controls. Results: A large part of the variance in SBP (31.6%) was explained by the regression on a z unit-weighted composite score (based on LOOH, AOPP, SOD, NOx) reflecting nitro-oxidative stress toxicity (NOSTOX), coupled with highly sensitive C-reactive protein, body weight and use of antihypertensives. Increased DBP was best predicted (23.8%) by body mass index and NOSTOX. The most important O&NS biomarkers predicting an increased SBP were in descending order of significance: LOOH, AOPP and SOD. Higher levels of the atherogenic index of plasma, HOMA2 insulin resistance index and basal thyroid-stimulating hormone also contributed to increased SBP independently from NOSTOX. Although there were no significant changes in SBP/DBP in mood disorders, the associations between NOSTOX and blood pressure were significant in patients with mood disorders but not in healthy controls. Conclusions: Activated O&NS pathways including increased lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, which indicates hypochlorous stress, are the most important predictors of an increased BP, especially in patients with mood disorders.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0225.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019; COVID-19; children; diabetes; type 1 diabetes; type 2 diabetes; recommendations
Online: 15 May 2020 (04:54:43 CEST)