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Raviteja Chemboli, Ravikumar Kapavarapu, K. Deepti, K.R.S. Prasad, Alugubelli Gopi Reddy, A. V. D. Nagendra Kumar, ,
Published: 15 April 2021
Journal of Molecular Structure, Volume 1230, pp 129868-129868; doi:10.1016/j.molstruc.2020.129868

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Antonio Doménech-Carbó, Clara Doménech-Casasús
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Volume 568, pp 125752-125752; doi:10.1016/j.physa.2021.125752

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Jijo Lukose, Santhosh Chidangil,
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 178, pp 113004-113004; doi:10.1016/j.bios.2021.113004

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Reza Nouri, Zifan Tang, Ming Dong, Tianyi Liu, Aneesh Kshirsagar,
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 178, pp 113012-113012; doi:10.1016/j.bios.2021.113012

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Abdul Raziq, Anna Kidakova, Roman Boroznjak, , Andres Öpik,
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 178, pp 113029-113029; doi:10.1016/j.bios.2021.113029

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 15 April 2021
Applied Sciences, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/app11083561

Abstract:
Across the world, healthcare systems are under stress and this has been hugely exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), usually in the form of time-series data, are used to help manage that stress. Making reliable predictions of these indicators, particularly for emergency departments (ED), can facilitate acute unit planning, enhance quality of care and optimise resources. This motivates models that can forecast relevant KPIs and this paper addresses that need by comparing the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) method, a purely statistical model, to Prophet, a decomposable forecasting model based on trend, seasonality and holidays variables, and to the General Regression Neural Network (GRNN), a machine learning model. The dataset analysed is formed of four hourly valued indicators from a UK hospital: Patients in Department; Number of Attendances; Unallocated Patients with a DTA (Decision to Admit); Medically Fit for Discharge. Typically, the data exhibit regular patterns and seasonal trends and can be impacted by external factors such as the weather or major incidents. The COVID pandemic is an extreme instance of the latter and the behaviour of sample data changed dramatically. The capacity to quickly adapt to these changes is crucial and is a factor that shows better results for GRNN in both accuracy and reliability.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084183

Abstract:
The subject matter of the article relates to the assessment of the perception of selected types of risk in economic activities of the SME sector, which change their intensity as a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current economic downturn is unprecedented and involves many companies and industries that have faced new, previously unknown challenges and threats. The objective of the article is to identify the most important risks and their resources based on the empirical research carried out in small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland. The formulated objective was accomplished using the data collection method, i.e., the survey and reports on the condition of the SME sector in Poland as well as statistical data analysis methods, i.e., structure index and the analysis of variance, using the SPSS system. The process of primary data collection was carried out by means of an electronic survey among selected enterprises of the SME sector, conducting business activities in Poland. In the study, the employment factor was taken into account as a determinant of the perception and assessment of the intensity of selected risks arising from the economic activity in the Polish market in the conditions of the current economic downturn. On the basis of the obtained results, the impact of market, economic, financial and operational risks, depending on their intensity, on the functioning of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises was identified. Based on the analysis of variance, the effect of the size of the company on the level of individual risks was also examined. As a result of the observations made, it was established that, during the pandemic, the level and type of risk is similar in all the surveyed enterprises. They are most often threatened by strong competition in the industry, an increase in energy prices and insufficient profit. The overall results of the empirical research indicate the importance and the need to manage the key threats to the Polish SME sector.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084188

Abstract:
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions on the change in muscle mass in older patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), who were not infected with COVID-19. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, data were obtained from outpatients who underwent bioelectrical impedance analysis at least twice before April 2020 and at least once thereafter. Skeletal muscle mass index (SMI, kg/m2) was calculated as appendicular muscle mass (kg) divided by height squared (m2). Change in SMI (kg/m2/year) was calculated as (follow-up SMI—baseline SMI/follow-up period). The differences between the changes in SMI before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic were evaluated using paired t test. Results: This study recruited 56 patients, with a mean (SD) age of 75.2 (7.1) years. SMI changed from 6.7 (0.9) to 6.8 (0.9) kg/m2 before the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas SMI changed from 6.8 (0.9) to 6.6 (0.9) kg/m2 after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. SMI decreased after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with before the pandemic (−0.117 (0.240) vs. 0.005 (0.289) kg/m2/year, p = 0.049). This decrease was observed in men (−0.159 (0.257) vs. 0.031 (0.325) kg/m2/year, p = 0.038), patients with poor glycemic control (−0.170 (0.264) vs. 0.031 (0.285) kg/m2/year, p = 0.042), and those with a long diabetes duration (−0.153 (0.229) vs. 0.082 (0.291) kg/m2, p = 0.049). Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions caused muscle mass loss in older patents with T2D. Actions, including recommendation of exercise and adequate diet intake, are needed to prevent loss of muscle mass.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 22; doi:10.3390/ijms22084092

Abstract:
Amyloidoses are a group of diseases associated with the formation of pathological protein fibrils with cross-β structures. Approximately 5–10% of the cases of these diseases are determined by amyloidogenic mutations, as well as by transmission of infectious amyloids (prions) between organisms. The most common group of so-called sporadic amyloidoses is associated with abnormal aggregation of wild-type proteins. Some sporadic amyloidoses are known to be induced only against the background of certain pathologies, but in some cases the cause of amyloidosis is unclear. It is assumed that these diseases often occur by accident. Here we present facts and hypotheses about the association of sporadic amyloidoses with vascular pathologies, trauma, oxidative stress, cancer, metabolic diseases, chronic infections and COVID-19. Generalization of current data shows that all sporadic amyloidoses can be regarded as a secondary event occurring against the background of diseases provoking a cellular stress response. Various factors causing the stress response provoke protein overproduction, a local increase in the concentration or modifications, which contributes to amyloidogenesis. Progress in the treatment of vascular, metabolic and infectious diseases, as well as cancers, should lead to a significant reduction in the risk of sporadic amyloidoses.
Published: 15 April 2021
Economies, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/economies9020059

Abstract:
The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused a transformation of virtually all aspects of the world order today. Due to the introduction of the world quarantine, a considerable share of professional communications has been transformed into a format of distance interaction. As a result, the specific weight of traditional components of the investment attractiveness of a region is steadily going down, because modern business can be built without the need for territorial unity. It should be stated that now the criteria according to which investors decide if they are ready to invest in a region are dynamically transforming. The significance of the following characteristics is increasingly growing: the sustainable development of a region, qualities of the social environment, and consistency of the social infrastructure. Thus, the approaches to evaluating the region’s investment attractiveness must be transformed. Moreover, the investment process at the federal level involves the determination of target areas of regional development. Despite the universal significance of innovative development, the region can develop much more dynamically when a complex external environment is formed that complements its development model. Interregional interaction, as well as an integrated approach to innovative development, taking into account not only the momentary effect, but also the qualitative long-term transformation of the region, will significantly increase the return on investment. At the same time, the currently existing methods for assessing the investment attractiveness of the region are usually heuristic in nature and are not universal. The heuristic nature of the existing methods does not allow to completely abstract from the subjectivity of the researcher. Moreover, the existing methods do not take into account the cyclical properties of the innovative development of the region, which lead to the formation of a long-term effect from the transformation of the regional environment. This study is aimed at forming a comprehensive methodology that can be used to evaluate the investment attractiveness of a certain region and conclude about the lines of business that should be developed in it as well as to find ways to increase the region’s investment attractiveness. According to the results of the study, a comprehensive methodology was formed to evaluate the region’s investment attractiveness. It consists of three key indicators, namely, the level of the region’s investment attractiveness, the projected level of the region’s investment attractiveness, and the development vector of the region’s investment attractiveness. This methodology is based on a set of indicators that consider the status of the economic and social environment of the region, as well as the status of the innovative and ecological environment. The methodology can be used to make multi-dimensional conclusions both about the growth areas responsible for increasing the region’s innovative attractiveness and the lines of business that should be developed in the region.
Published: 15 April 2021
Environments, Volume 8; doi:10.3390/environments8040033

Abstract:
The diffusion of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) impacted the whole world, changing the life habits of billions of people. These changes caused an abundant increase in personal protective equipment (PPE, e.g., masks and gloves) use by the general population, which can become a concerning issue of plastic pollution. This study aims to evaluate the negative effects of the abundant PPE use following the COVID-19 diffusion using the test site of the Lombardy region, an area highly affected by the pandemic. Population data were retrieved from national databases, and the COVID-19 national guidelines were considered to estimate the total use of PPEs during 2020. Then, the quantity of waste derived from their use was evaluated based on the weight of PPEs. As well, possible scenarios for 2021 were proposed based on 2020 estimations. The results suggested different negative effects of the diffusion of PPEs both on waste management and on the environment: The abundant increase in PPEs-derived waste caused an increase in terms of costs for management, and the potential direct spreading in the environment of these materials (especially masks) poses a serious threat for an increase in microplastics in water bodies. Following this evaluation, a careful choice regarding COVID-19 measures of containment should be performed especially by the general population, avoiding contagion diffusion and reducing the possible environmental impact derived from disposable PPE use.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084189

Abstract:
The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in a large number of people suffering from emotional problems. However, the mechanisms by which intolerance of uncertainty (IU) affects negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic remain unclear. This study aimed to explore the mediating role of pandemic-focused time and the moderating role of perceived efficacy in the association between IU and negative emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic based on the uncertainty-time-efficacy-emotion model (UTEE). 1131 participants were recruited to complete measures of COVID-19 IU, pandemic-focused time, perceived efficacy, negative emotions and demographic variables during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that COVID-19 IU was significantly and positively associated with negative emotions, and this link could be mediated by pandemic-focused time. Moreover, the direct effect of COVID-19 IU on negative emotions was moderated by perceived efficacy. Specifically, the direct effect of COVID-19 IU on negative emotions was much stronger for individuals with lower levels of perceived efficacy. The current study further extended the previous integrative uncertainty tolerance model. Furthermore, the study suggested that policy makers and mental health professionals should reduce the general public’s negative emotions during the pandemic through effective interventions such as adjusting COVID-19 IU, shortening pandemic-focused time and enhancing perceived efficacy.
Published: 15 April 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13084406

Abstract:
Innovation ability has become an important factor affecting the global competitiveness and sustainable development of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in China, particularly during the COVID-19 period. This study examined the association between heterogeneous shareholders and SOE innovation, in addition to the moderating impact of corporate governance characteristics and the COVID-19 pandemic on this association. Using data from Chinese A-share listed mixed ownership enterprises (MOEs), we found that the mixed ownership reform of SOEs positively affected firm innovation compared to other MOEs by reducing agency costs, indicating that the manager view channel was proven. We also found that heterogeneous shareholders resulted in more innovation output in state-owned holding mixed ownership enterprises (SHMOEs) with affiliated managers, in those audited by lower reputation accounting firms or that had a lower external marketization, or during the COVID-19 period. The implications of this study are of importance for improving heterogeneous shareholders’ active participation in the mixed ownership reform of SOEs.
Published: 15 April 2021
Vaccines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/vaccines9040389

Abstract:
COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic caused by the highly infectious coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that is engaging worldwide scientific research to find a timely and effective eradication strategy. Great efforts have been put into anti-COVID-19 vaccine generation in an effort to protect the world population and block SARS-CoV-2 spread. To validate the protective efficacy of the vaccination campaign and effectively control the pandemic, it is necessary to quantify the induction of neutralizing antibodies by vaccination, as they have been established to be a correlate of protection. In this work, a SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus neutralization assay, based on a replication-incompetent lentivirus expressing an adapted form of CoV-2 S protein and an ACE2/TMPRSS2 stably expressing cell line, has been minimized in terms of protocol steps without loss of accuracy. The goal of the present simplified neutralization system is to improve SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign by means of an easy and accessible approach to be performed in any medical laboratory, maintaining the sensitivity and quantitative reliability of classical serum neutralization assays. Further, this assay can be easily adapted to different coronavirus variants by simply modifying the pseudotyping vector.
Published: 15 April 2021
Vaccines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/vaccines9040391

Abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and we are still compiling new findings to decipher and understand SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. No reports encompass any conclusive confirmation of vertical transmission. Nevertheless, cases of fetal distress and multiple organ failure have been reported, as well as rare cases of fetal demise. While clinicians and scientists continue to seek proof of vertical transmission, they miss the greater point, namely the cause of preterm delivery. In this review, we suggest that the cause might not be due to the viral infection but the fetal exposure to maternal inflammation or cytokine storm that translates into a complication of COVID-19. This statement is extrapolated from previous experience with infections and inflammation which were reported to be fatal by increasing the risk of preterm delivery and causing abnormal neonatal brain development and resulting in neurological disorders like atypical behavioral phenotype or autistic syndrome. Given the potentially fatal consequences on neonate health, we highlight the urgent need for an animal model to study vertical transmission. The preclinical model will allow us to make the link between SARS-COV-2 infection, inflammation and long-term follow-up of child brain development.
Published: 15 April 2021
Viruses, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13040676

Abstract:
Coronaviruses (CoV) are widely distributed pathogens of human and animals and can cause mild or severe respiratory and gastrointestinal disease. Antigenic and genetic similarity of some CoVs within the Betacoronavirus genus is evident. Therefore, for the first time in Slovenia, we investigated the genetic diversity of partial 390-nucleotides of RNA-dependent-RNA polymerase gene (RdRp) for 66 human (HCoV) and 24 bovine CoV (BCoV) positive samples, collected between 2010 and 2016 from human patients and cattle with respiratory disease. The characterized CoV strains belong to four different clusters, in three separate human clusters HCoV-HKU1 (n = 34), HCoV-OC43 (n = 31) and HCoV 229E (n = 1) and bovine grouping only as BCoVs (n = 24). BCoVs from cattle and HCoV-OC43 were genetically the most closely related and share 96.4–97.1% nucleotide and 96.9–98.5% amino acid identity.
Published: 15 April 2021
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57040381

Abstract:
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is recognized as one of the most common medical complications of pregnancy that can lead to significant short-term and long-term risks for the mother and the fetus if not detected early and treated appropriately. Current evidence suggests that, with the use of appropriate screening programs for GDM, those women diagnosed and treated have reduced perinatal morbidity. It has been implied that, when screening for GDM, there should be uniformity in the testing used and in further management. This paper summarizes and compares current screening strategies proposed by international bodies and discusses application in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: 15 April 2021
Microorganisms, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/microorganisms9040850

Abstract:
Until recently, the incidence of COVID-19 was primarily estimated using molecular diagnostic methods. However, the number of cases is vastly underreported using these methods. Seroprevalence studies estimate cumulative infection incidences and allow monitoring of transmission dynamics, and the presence of neutralizing antibodies in the population. In February 2020, the Mexican Social Security Institute began conducting anonymous unrelated sampling of residual sera from specimens across the country, excluding patients with fever within the previous two weeks and/or patients with an acute respiratory infection. Sampling was carried out weekly and began 17 days before Mexico’s first officially confirmed case. The 24,273 sera obtained were analyzed by chemiluminescent-linked immunosorbent assay (CLIA) IgG S1/S2 and, later, positive cases using this technique were also analyzed to determine the rate of neutralization using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We identified 40 CLIA IgG positive cases before the first official report of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Mexico. The national seroprevalence was 3.5% in February and 33.5% in December. Neutralizing activity among IgG positives patients during overall study period was 86.1%. The extent of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in Mexico is 21 times higher than that reported by molecular techniques. Although the general population is still far from achieving herd immunity, epidemiological indicators should be re-estimated based on serological studies of this type.
Jii Bum Lee, Minkyu Jung, June Hyuk Kim, Bo Hyun Kim, Yeol Kim, Young Seok Kim, Byung Chang Kim, Jin Kim, Sung Ho Moon, Keon-Uk Park, et al.
Cancer Research and Treatment, Volume 53, pp 323-329; doi:10.4143/crt.2020.1256

Abstract:
At the end of 2019, the cause of pneumonia outbreaks in Wuhan, China, was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In February 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease cause by SARS-CoV-2 as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In response to the pandemic, the Korean Cancer Association formed the COVID-19 task force to develop practice guidelines. This special article introduces the clinical practice guidelines for cancer patients which will help oncologists best manage cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milka Elena, Josefina C.,
European Journal of Educational Research, Volume 10, pp 855-864; doi:10.12973/eu-jer.10.2.855

Junmin Li, Xuejiao Hu, XiaoMing Wang, Jianing Yang, Lei Zhang, Qianyun Deng, Xiqin Zhang, Zixia Wang, ,
Published: 15 April 2021
Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 1154, pp 338310-338310; doi:10.1016/j.aca.2021.338310

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, , Carlos Henrique De Azeredo Lima, Paulo Niemeyer Filho, Mônica R. Gadelha
Published: 15 April 2021
Virus Research, Volume 296, pp 198340-198340; doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2021.198340

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, Peng-Fei Huang, , Wen-Jian Xu, Wen Li, Bin Zhou
Published: 15 April 2021
Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 285, pp 97-104; doi:10.1016/j.jad.2021.02.040

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Yuanhang Zheng, , Yue He, Yuhang Tian
Published: 15 April 2021
Expert Systems with Applications, Volume 168; doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2020.114355

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Yi-Hao Luo, , Chenwei Zheng, Zehra Esra Ilhan, Aura Ontiveros-Valencia, Xiangxing Long, Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, Bruce E. Rittmann
Published: 15 April 2021
Science of The Total Environment, Volume 765; doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144264

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, Anna Uryga, Krystyna Michalak
Published: 15 April 2021
Journal of Molecular Structure, Volume 1230, pp 129905-129905; doi:10.1016/j.molstruc.2021.129905

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Update
He S. Yang, Sabrina E. Racine-Brzostek, Mohsen Karbaschi, Jim Yee, Alicia Dillard, Peter A.D. Steel, William T. Lee, Kathleen A. McDonough, Yuqing Qiu, Thomas J. Ketas, et al.
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 178, pp 113008-113008; doi:10.1016/j.bios.2021.113008

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Tucker Stuart, Le Cai, Alex Burton,
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 178; doi:10.1016/j.bios.2021.113007

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, , Feng Xie, Mei-Yi Fan, Xiaoyan Liu
Published: 15 April 2021
Environmental Pollution, Volume 275, pp 116615-116615; doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116615

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Chang Yeol Lee, Ismail Degani, Jiyong Cheong, Jae-Hyun Lee, , ,
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 178, pp 113049-113049; doi:10.1016/j.bios.2021.113049

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 15 April 2021
Aquaculture, Volume 536, pp 736460-736460; doi:10.1016/j.aquaculture.2021.736460

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Afra Rezagholizadeh, Sajad Khiali, Parvin Sarbakhsh,
Published: 15 April 2021
European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 897, pp 173926-173926; doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2021.173926

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 15 April 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13084409

Abstract:
Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) has been attracting extensive attention from both practitioners and scholars. The main objective of this paper is to visualize and conduct a systematic scientometric review on 9151 articles and reviews published from 2007 to 2021. Research techniques of co-author analysis, co-word analysis, and co-citation analysis are applied to reveal the social structure, conceptual structure, and intellectual structure of the SSCM field, identify main concepts and research hotspots, and illuminate major specialties and emerging trends. The results of this work show that: (1) the top five most productive scholars are Joseph Sarkis, Kannan Govindan, Minglang Tseng, Angappa Gunasekaran, and Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour. The top five most productive institutions are Hong Kong Polytech University, Islamic Azad University, University of Southern Denmark, Dalian University of Technology, and University of Tehran. (2) The main concepts include sustainable supply chain management, green supply chain management, circular economy, corporate social responsibility, and reverse logistics. The research hotspots of the SSCM field, currently, are game theory and circular economy related topics. (3) The leading researchers and influential journals are also identified. The emerging trends include sustainable supplier selection, circular economy, cap-and-trade regulation, blockchain technology, big data analytics, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the best-worst method and logistics performance. Finally, limitations and future researches are discussed. We expect this paper will show a big picture of the SSCM field for researchers as well as practitioners.
Published: 15 April 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13084440

Abstract:
Cultural heritage can play a strategic role in developing a sustainable built environment, contributing to the improvement of the economic, social, and environmental productivity of a city. Human activities are constantly affecting the quality of the environment and altering the ecosystems, which produce negative consequences also on human wellbeing. Within this context, it has been much discussed how cities and the built environment can counteract this process by supporting more sustainable development. Adaptive reuse is defined as “a process that changes a disused or ineffective item into a new item that can be used for a different purpose”, which strongly triggers the sustainable development of cities. It can be recognized as a promoter of economic growth, social wellbeing, and environmental preservation, given its capability of both preserving past values and creating new ones. The adaptive reuse matches the main points of the circular economy, seen as the sustainable economy, which is aimed at the reduction of natural resource extraction and environmental impact by extending the useful life of materials and promoting recovery, reuse, and regeneration processes. Given these premises, the current contribution aimed to evaluate alternative scenarios for reuse in Castello Visconteo in Cusago, located in the Lombardy region (Italy), and understanding how adaptive reuse could contribute to generating new values within a circular economy perspective. In detail, four alternative scenarios were proposed to face the new needs born during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Since both intangible and tangible values must be considered, a multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) has been applied by combining economic and qualitative indicators to define the most suitable function for its adaptive reuse. In detail, the Novel Approach to Imprecise Assessment and Decision Environments (NAIADE) was used to identify the best alternative solution based on the opinions of conflicting stakeholders. The innovativeness of the contribution is given by the combination of different methodologies, the preservation of the memory and the generation of new values, and the consideration of adaptive reuse as a strategy for the achievement of sustainable development within a circular economy perspective.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084182

Abstract:
We aimed to explore university students’ perceptions and experiences of SARS-CoV-2 mass asymptomatic testing, social distancing and self-isolation, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This qualitative study comprised of four rapid online focus groups conducted at a higher education institution in England, during high alert (tier 2) national COVID-19 restrictions. Participants were purposively sampled university students (n = 25) representing a range of gender, age, living circumstances (on/off campus), and SARS-CoV-2 testing/self-isolation experiences. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Six themes with 16 sub-themes emerged from the analysis of the qualitative data: ‘Term-time Experiences’, ‘Risk Perception and Worry’, ‘Engagement in Protective Behaviours’, ‘Openness to Testing’, ‘Barriers to Testing’ and ‘General Wellbeing’. Students described feeling safe on campus, believed most of their peers are adherent to protective behaviours and were positive towards asymptomatic testing in university settings. University communications about COVID-19 testing and social behaviours need to be timely and presented in a more inclusive way to reach groups of students who currently feel marginalised. Barriers to engagement with SARS-CoV-2 testing, social distancing and self-isolation were primarily associated with fear of the mental health impacts of self-isolation, including worry about how they will cope, high anxiety, low mood, guilt relating to impact on others and loneliness. Loneliness in students could be mitigated through increased intra-university communications and a focus on establishment of low COVID-risk social activities to help students build and enhance their social support networks. These findings are particularly pertinent in the context of mass asymptomatic testing programmes being implemented in educational settings and high numbers of students being required to self-isolate. Universities need to determine the support needs of students during self-isolation and prepare for the long-term impacts of the pandemic on student mental health and welfare support services.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084178

Abstract:
The outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019 has had a huge impact on people’s daily life. Many restaurant businesses have been greatly affected by it. Consumers’ preferences for catering industry in China have changed, such as environmental hygiene, variety of dishes, and service methods. Therefore, the analysis of consumer preference differences and changes before and after the epidemic can not only provide emergency strategies for the catering industry but further improve the catering industry’s ability to deal with public health emergencies. This paper takes five cities in China as representatives to explore the impact of COVID-19 on China’s catering industry. Based on catering review data from August 2019 to April 2020, this paper first carries out Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic analysis and SNOWNLP (A Python library for processing Chinese text) sentiment analysis. Then this paper compares the results of topic classification and sentiment analysis before and after the epidemic. Furthermore, differences and changes of consumer preferences are obtained and preferences of consumers under COVID-19 are analyzed and forecasted. The results of LDA thematic analysis before the outbreak of COVID-19 show that consumers tend to punch in cyber celebrity restaurants and pay more attention to the taste of dishes, whereas after it consumers pay more attention to the changes of dishes, dining environment as well as epidemic prevention. The number of packages and takeout was also increasing. However, the waiting time is constantly considered by consumers before and after COVID-19. Firstly, to our surprise, final outcome of emotional analysis showed that consumers’ emotional state was more positive after the epidemic than before. COVID-19 has changed the lifestyle of consumers, consumption concepts, and consumption habits. Therefore, businesses also need to take positive and flexible measures to actively get feedback from consumers to adjust dishes and business methods. Secondly, the psychological attitude of catering consumers is relatively positive during the epidemic period, which indicates that consumers have great confidence in the recovery and development of the catering industry. Businesses can comply with consumers’ psychology and combine consumption vouchers with restaurant discounts to promote consumers’ consumption. Finally, the environment and service play more and more important effect on consumers’ emotional scores at present, which indicates that dining state and comfortable mealtime environment are becoming increasingly valuable. Therefore, businesses need to improve service standards.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084210

Abstract:
At the beginning of 2020, the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 posed a huge challenge to the governance capabilities of public health in various countries. In this paper, the SEIR model is used to fit the number of confirmed cases in each province in China, and the reduction rate of the basic reproduction number is used to measure the actual score of the control effect of COVID-19. The potential capacity of prevention and control of epidemics, in theory, is constructed, and we use the difference between theoretical ability and actual score to measure the ability of governance of public health. We found that there were significant differences between actual effect and theoretical ability in various regions, and governance capabilities were an important reason leading to this difference, which was not consistent with the level of economic development. The balance of multiple objectives, the guiding ideology of emphasizing medical treatment over prevention, the fragmentation of the public health system, and the insufficiency of prevention and control ability in primary public health systems seriously affected the government’s ability to respond to public health emergencies.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084204

Abstract:
While adolescents and adults should limit high levels of sedentary behavior, university students spend large amounts of time on sedentary activities. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of this prolonged sitting on students’ self-perceived physical, mental, and cognitive condition and to answer the question of whether simple standing breaks in lectures can help students improve these conditions and for example feel more concentrated, motivated, or less tense in class. A five-minute standing break was introduced using a designed presentation slide for one semester in five different 90-min lectures. In addition, an active break as well as an open break with no trigger were implemented in two further lectures to explicitly investigate the effects of a standing break. Before, during, and after the semester, the students were surveyed about their physical, mental, and cognitive condition (836 respondents at start, 634 during semester, and 528 at the end). To evaluate the practicality and acceptance of the standing break, lecturers were interviewed about their experience. At all survey time points, the standing break was highly accepted by the university students. About three quarters of the students felt a relaxation of the muscles in the neck and shoulder as well as in the back and the legs. More than three quarters perceived an increase in concentration, receptiveness and retentiveness, motivation, and well-being. Results of the statistical analysis indicate that a standing break as well as an active break are more effective than an open break to improve the self-perceived physical and psychological well-being of the university students. The increase in cognitive skills is reported by all groups, including the group who were offered open breaks. Hence, standing breaks in university lectures receive a high level of acceptance and practicability and have the potential to increase students’ physical, mental, and cognitive condition and contribute to students’ physical activity and health. While field research provides opportunities such as the testing of measures in the natural environment and producing real-life results relevant to the students and lecturers, it also imposes limitations as lecture settings differed, not all disturbances could be controlled, and the participation in the study might have led to social-desirability bias. For a sustainable development of a standing-friendly teaching and learning culture at universities, further interventions as well as the consideration of the topic in all processes and decisions within the universities are necessary. Since this study has taken place, student-life has changed drastically with COVID-19 measures. While this current paper is based on research conducted in 2019 and has only tested live lectures on campus, the tools tested could also be used for online lectures.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 22; doi:10.3390/ijms22084067

Abstract:
The family of coronaviruses (CoVs) uses the autophagy machinery of host cells to promote their growth and replication; thus, this process stands out as a potential target to combat COVID-19. Considering the different roles of autophagy during viral infection, including SARS-CoV-2 infection, in this review, we discuss several clinically used drugs that have effects at different stages of autophagy. Among them, we mention (1) lysosomotropic agents, which can prevent CoVs infection by alkalinizing the acid pH in the endolysosomal system, such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, artemisinins, two-pore channel modulators and imatinib; (2) protease inhibitors that can inhibit the proteolytic cleavage of the spike CoVs protein, which is necessary for viral entry into host cells, such as camostat mesylate, lopinavir, umifenovir and teicoplanin and (3) modulators of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways, such as rapamycin, heparin, glucocorticoids, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (IECAs) and cannabidiol. Thus, this review aims to highlight and discuss autophagy-related drugs for COVID-19, from in vitro to in vivo studies. We identified specific compounds that may modulate autophagy and exhibit antiviral properties. We hope that research initiatives and efforts will identify novel or “off-label” drugs that can be used to effectively treat patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, reducing the risk of mortality.
Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, Volume 16, pp 1332-1352; doi:10.3390/jtaer16050075

Abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic has entailed an unprecedented health crisis with significant economic impacts in many sectors worldwide. The tourism sector has been one of the most affected, with significant impacts on the number of cancelled reservations, a decrease in international travel and changes in consumption behaviour. This study aims to analyse the main changes in promotion and marketing in the tourism sector in Spain after the pandemic. To this end, a qualitative analysis was carried out via questionnaire-based interviews with 65 experts in the areas of marketing, consumer behaviour and tourism. The main findings show that online information sources gained weight over consulting friends and relatives, and a great advance in digitization is expected, where physical travel agencies will be displaced by online platforms, except for specialized and advisory services. Additionally, technologies such as virtual reality (VR) or artificial intelligence (AI) may play an increasingly important role in the medium term.
Published: 15 April 2021
Social Sciences, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/socsci10040141

Abstract:
From March 2020 until July 2020, the UAE implemented mandatory distance learning due to COVID-19, which meant that children had to continue their learning remotely at home. Though schools concerted exemplary efforts to ensure that children received all that was necessary through advanced technology platforms and interfaces, the duty of ensuring that children continued to engage in successful learning fell solely on parents. This paper is based on a self-report study conducted during this first period of distance learning where parents were invited to anonymously complete a survey and then be interviewed. The paper relies on interviews as its main data source. Interview transcripts once transcribed were thematically analysed. One recurring theme in the data was gender differences in domestic and other duties as well as attending to the educational needs of children. Mothers, irrespective of cultural or educational background, disproportionately seemed to be the caretakers of the home and of children’s educational needs. Mothers spoke of their mental health concerns, pressures of time management, and negative effects on their own work. This paper makes an original contribution by exploring parental experiences of emergency remote learning and what these reflect about parental ethnotheories in the UAE.
Published: 15 April 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13084442

Abstract:
The global public health crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that digital competence in education is no longer an option, but a necessity. Online communication with friends using social networks is an activity in which young people very frequently and at increasingly early ages engage. This article presents the results of a study analyses digital-competence levels in the area of communication of Spanish basic-education students (aged 12–16) and establishes whether online communication with friends and the use of social media impact it. A quantitative methodology with a descriptive and cross-sectional design was used. The sample comprised 807 students, and data collection was based on a problem-solving test. Findings show that students who use online communication with their friends very often and that those who use social networks a lot have lower levels of digital competence. Education centres should reflect on this in order to implement curricular programs that may strengthen this type of competence.
Published: 15 April 2021
Animals, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/ani11041133

Abstract:
: Several by-products, such as whole cull dates, date stones (also called pits, seeds, kernels), sugar-extracted date pulp, are produced from date fruit processing industries. These by-products, particularly date stone meal represent 10 to 20% of the whole dates are wasted, causing environmental issues. However, the date stone is rich in various nutrients, such as nitrogen-free extract, fiber, fat, and minerals, which could be used as an alternative feed source in poultry nutrition. However, the high fiber content in date stone meal restricts its use in poultry diets. Whole date wastes and date pulp have lower protein, fiber and fat content than those in date stone meal. Several studies have investigated the use of date stone meal and other by-products as a replacement of dietary corn and barley on feed intake, growth, feed efficiency, and nutrient utilization in poultry. The compilation of results obtained from different studies indicates that date fruit by-products, particularly date stone meal, could be incorporated up to 10% levels, replacing corn or barley grains without hampering production performance, and this could reduce the production cost. Moreover, the use of date stone meal at lower levels (5–10%) sometimes shows better growth performance, probably due to the presence of bioactive principles such as antioxidants and phenolic compounds. The use of date stone meal in poultry diets may be practically important under certain circumstances not only under the COVID-19 crisis due to the lockdown of airports, dry ports, ports and traffic restrictions, but also in countries with a limited supply of classical feed resources and which depend on imported ones. Finally, it can recommend that using date stone meal (DSM) up to 5–10% in poultry diets positively affect the productive performance. Due to the variability in the nutritive value of the DSM, developing a formula for metabolizable energy (ME) of DSM = a (intercept) − b (slope) × crude fiber (CF) content should be considered to improve the precision of feed formula for poultry. However, the nutritional value of DSM might not only depend on crude fiber but also on other compounds.
Published: 15 April 2021
Behavioral Sciences, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/bs11040053

Abstract:
The aim of the study was to assess adherence to hand washing by healthcare workers (HCWs) and its variations over time in hospital wards. We wanted to check whether the pandemic had changed the behavior of HCWs. The study was conducted between 1 January 2015, and 31 December 2020. The HCWs were observed to assess their compliance with the Five Moments for Hand Hygiene. We described the percentage of adherence to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines stratified per year, per specialty areas, per different types of HCWs. We also observed the use of gloves. Descriptive data were reported as frequencies and percentages. We observed 13,494 hand hygiene opportunities. The majority of observations concerned nurses who were confirmed as the category most frequently involved with patients. Hospital’s global adherence to WHO guidelines did not change in the last six years. During the pandemic, the rate of adherence to the procedure increased significantly only in Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In 2020, the use of gloves increased in pre-patient contact. The hand-washing permanent monitoring confirmed that it is very difficult to obtain the respect of correct hand hygiene in all opportunities, despite the ongoing pandemic and the fear of contagion.
Published: 15 April 2021
Biomolecules, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/biom11040578

Abstract:
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) cleave extracellular matrix proteins, growth factors, cytokines, and receptors to influence organ development, architecture, function, and the systemic and cell-specific responses to diseases and pharmacological drugs. Conversely, many diseases (such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, bacterial infections (tuberculosis), viral infections (COVID-19), and cancer), cholesterol-lowering drugs (such as statins), and tetracycline-class antibiotics (such as doxycycline) alter MMP activity through transcriptional, translational, and post-translational mechanisms. In this review, we summarize evidence that the aforementioned diseases and drugs exert significant epigenetic pressure on genes encoding MMPs, tissue inhibitors of MMPs, and factors that transcriptionally regulate the expression of MMPs. Our understanding of human pathologies associated with alterations in the proteolytic activity of MMPs must consider that these pathologies and their medicinal treatments may impose epigenetic pressure on the expression of MMP genes. Whether the epigenetic mechanisms affecting the activity of MMPs can be therapeutically targeted warrants further research.
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/bios11040123

Abstract:
The rapid spread of epidemic diseases (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)) has contributed to focus global attention on the diagnosis of medical conditions by ultrasensitive detection methods. To overcome this challenge, increasing efforts have been driven towards the development of single-molecule analytical platforms. In this context, recent progress in plasmonic biosensing has enabled the design of novel detection strategies capable of targeting individual molecules while evaluating their binding affinity and biological interactions. This review compiles the latest advances in plasmonic technologies for monitoring clinically relevant biomarkers at the single-molecule level. Functional applications are discussed according to plasmonic sensing modes based on either nanoapertures or nanoparticle approaches. A special focus was devoted to new analytical developments involving a wide variety of analytes (e.g., proteins, living cells, nucleic acids and viruses). The utility of plasmonic-based single-molecule analysis for personalized medicine, considering technological limitations and future prospects, is also overviewed.
Published: 15 April 2021
Biosensors, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/bios11040125

Abstract:
Given the fatal health conditions caused by emerging infectious pathogens, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, their rapid diagnosis is required for preventing secondary infections and guiding correct treatments. Although various molecular diagnostic methods based on nucleic acid amplification have been suggested as gold standards for identifying different species, these methods are not suitable for the rapid diagnosis of pathogens owing to their long result acquisition times and complexity. In this study, we developed a rapid bio-optical sensor that uses a ball-lensed optical fiber (BLOF) probe and an automatic analysis platform to precisely diagnose infectious pathogens. The BLOF probe is easy to align and has a high optical sensing sensitivity (1.5-fold) and a large detection range (1.2-fold) for an automatic optical sensing system. Automatic signal processing of up to 250 copies/reaction of DNA of Q-fever-causing Coxiella burnetii was achieved within 8 min. The clinical utility of this system was demonstrated with 18 clinical specimens (9 Q-fever and 9 other febrile disease samples) by measuring the resonant wavelength shift of positive or negative samples for Coxiella burnetii DNA. The results from the system revealed the stable and automatic optical signal measurement of DNA with 100% accuracy. We envision that this BLOF probe-based sensor would be a practical tool for the rapid, simple, and sensitive diagnosis of emerging infectious pathogens.
Published: 15 April 2021
Healthcare, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/healthcare9040467

Abstract:
Constant accumulation of data results in continuous updates of guidelines and recommendations on the proper management of pregnant women with COVID-19. This study aims to summarize the up-to-date information about the prevention and management of suspected/confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in obstetric patients and obstetric care during prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum periods. We conducted a comprehensive literature search in PubMed for relevant English-written full-text reviews. We also included relevant guidelines and recommendations. In women with a low risk for infection and uncomplicated pregnancy, elective and non-urgent appointments should be postponed or completed through telehealth. Vaccination should be discussed and distance and personal hygiene preventive measures should be recommended. Routine ultrasound examinations should be adjusted in order to minimize exposure to the virus. Standardized criteria should evaluate the need for admission. Women with moderate/high-risk for infection should be isolated and tested with RT-PCR. The mode and timing of delivery should follow routine obstetric indications. In case of infection, glucocorticoids are recommended in critically ill pregnant women, after individualized evaluation. During labor and concomitant infection, the duration of the first two stages should be reduced as possible to decrease aerosolization, while minimization of hemorrhage is essential during the third stage. Close maternal monitoring and adequate oxygenation when necessary always remain a prerequisite. Discharge should be considered on the first or second day postpartum, also depending on delivery mode. Breastfeeding with protective equipment is recommended, as its benefits outweigh the risks of neonatal infection. Recommendations are currently based on limited available data. More original studies on infected pregnant women are needed to establish totally evidence-based protocols of care for these patients.
Published: 15 April 2021
Cancers, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/cancers13081906

Abstract:
Since the start of the global spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, cancer patients were identified as a specifically susceptible subgroup of the patient population. Several reports have shown that cancer patients have an increased risk of both contracting the infection and of experiencing a more severe disease course, with a rapidly evolving picture associated with higher mortality. The assumption of cancer patients as “COVID-19 vulnerable” has led, irretrievably, to profound changes in the decision making of oncological treatments. Potential justifications for such concerns encompass the cancer-dependent suppression of the immune response, as well as the influence of administration of systemic anticancer treatments, including chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Nevertheless, to date, it is not clear whether the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in cancer patients is safe, given their modulating effects on the immune system, or that they may rather conceal detrimental consequences. Theoretically, on the one hand, ICIs may enhance the immunological control of viral infections through their immunostimulating mechanisms; on the other hand, they could contribute to the hyper-inflammatory phase of COVID-19, worsening its clinical outcomes. In this study, we report the foremost clinical observations on the safety of ICI administration in cancer patients affected by COVID-19.
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