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Hao Lin, Ling-Jie Wu, Shun-Qi Guo, Rui-Lie Chen, Jing-Ru Fan, Bin Ke, Ze-Qun Pan
World Journal of Clinical Cases, Volume 9, pp 1554-1562; doi:10.12998/wjcc.v9.i7.1554

Abstract:
Some patients with the novel 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) display elevated liver enzymes. Some antiviral drugs that can be used against COVID-19 are associated with a risk of hepatotoxicity. To analyze the clinical significance of the dynamic monitoring of the liver function of patients with COVID-19. This was a retrospective study of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in January and February 2020 at the Department of Infection, Shantou Central Hospital. The exclusion criteria for all patients were: (1) History of chronic liver disease; (2) History of kidney disease; (3) History of coronary heart disease; (4) History of malignancy; or (5) History of diabetes. The serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), γ-glutamyltransferase, and total bilirubin of patients with COVID-19 were measured on days 1, 3, 7 and 14 after admission, and compared to non-COVID-19 patents. Twelve patients with COVID-19 (seven men and five women) and twelve controls (eight men and four women) were included. There were one, two, and nine patients with severe, mild, and moderate COVID-19, respectively. There were no differences in age and sex between the two groups (both P > 0.05). No significant differences were found in albumin, ALT, AST, γ-glutamyltransferase, or total bilirubin between the controls and the patients with COVID-19 on day 1 of hospitalization (all P > 0.05). Serum albumin showed a decreasing trend from days 0 to 7 of hospitalization, reaching the lowest level on day 7. Total bilirubin was higher on day 3 than on day 7. ALT, AST, and γ-glutamyltransferase did not change significantly over time. The severe patient was observed to have ALT levels of 67 U/L and AST levels of 75 U/L on day 7, ALT of 71 U/L and AST of 35 U/L on day 14, and ALT of 210 U/L and AST of 123 U/L on day 21. Changes in serum liver function indicators are not obvious in the early stage of COVID-19, but clinically significant changes might be observed in severe COVID-19.
Xiang-Ning Zhang, Long-Ji Wu, Xia Kong, Bi-Ying Zheng, Zhe Zhang, Zhi-Wei He
World Journal of Clinical Cases, Volume 9, pp 1513-1523; doi:10.12998/wjcc.v9.i7.1513

Abstract:
An outbreak of a novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. It has spread rapidly through China and many other countries, causing a global pandemic. Since February 2020, over 28 countries/regions have reported confirmed cases. Individuals with the infection known as coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) have similar clinical features as severe acute respiratory syndrome first encountered 17 years ago, with fever, cough, and upper airway congestion, along with high production of proinflammatory cytokines (PICs), which form a cytokine storm. PICs induced by COVID-19 include interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. The production of cytokines is regulated by activated nuclear factor-kB and involves downstream pathways such as Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators transcription. Protein expression is also regulated by post-translational modification of chromosomal markers. Lysine residues in the peptide tails stretching out from the core of histones bind the sequence upstream of the coding portion of genomic DNA. Covalent modification, particularly methylation, activates or represses gene transcription. PICs have been reported to be induced by histone modification and stimulate exudation of hyaluronic acid, which is implicated in the occurrence of COVID-19. These findings indicate the impact of the expression of PICs on the pathogenesis and therapeutic targeting of COVID-19.
Juan Lu, Zhong-Yang Xie, Dan-Hua Zhu,
World Journal of Clinical Cases, Volume 9, pp 1705-1713; doi:10.12998/wjcc.v9.i7.1705

Abstract:
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by novel coronavirus 2019 in December 2019 has spread all around the globe and has caused a pandemic. There is still no current effective guidance on the clinical management of COVID-19. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy has been shown to be one of the therapeutic approaches to alleviate pneumonia and symptoms through their immunomo-dulatory effect in COVID-19 patients. We describe the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Hangzhou to explore the role of human menstrual blood-derived stem cells (MenSCs) in the treatment of COVID-19. Moreover, we review the immunomodulation effect including non-specific and specific immune functions of MenSCs for the therapy of COVID-19. MenSCs can be helpful to find a promising therapeutic approach for COVID-19.
Xia Li, Wei-Yi Xia, Fang Jiang, Dan-Yong Liu, Shao-Qing Lei, Zheng-Yuan Xia, Qing-Ping Wu
World Journal of Clinical Cases, Volume 9, pp 1499-1512; doi:10.12998/wjcc.v9.i7.1499

Abstract:
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, which has lasted for nearly a year, has made people deeply aware of the strong transmissibility and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 since its outbreak in December 2019. By December 2020, SARS-CoV-2 had infected over 65 million people globally, resulting in more than 1 million deaths. At present, the exact animal origin of SARS-CoV-2 remains unclear and antiviral vaccines are now undergoing clinical trials. Although the social order of human life is gradually returning to normal, new confirmed cases continue to appear worldwide, and the majority of cases are sporadic due to environmental factors and lax self-protective consciousness. This article provides the latest understanding of the epidemiology and risk factors of nosocomial and community transmission of SARS-CoV-2, as well as strategies to diminish the risk of transmission. We believe that our review will help the public correctly understand and cope with SARS-CoV-2.
, Elena von der Lippe, Dietrich Plaß, Thomas Ziese, Michaela Diercke, Matthias An der Heiden, Sebastian Haller, Annelene Wengler
Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online; doi:10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0147

Lindsey Nolen
Oncology Times, Volume 43, pp 3-3; doi:10.1097/01.cot.0000737676.87435.58

Michael Klaczko, Baturay Ozgurun, Brian Ward, Jonathan Flax, James McGrath
Photonic Diagnosis, Monitoring, Prevention, and Treatment of Infections and Inflammatory Diseases 2021; doi:10.1117/12.2579733

, Laura Cebrian, Israel John Thuissard, Martina Steiner, Cristina García-Yubero, Ana Victoria Esteban, Fernando Sánchez, Alejandro Gómez, Maria Angeles Matías, Tatiana Cobo-Ibáñez, et al.
JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology; doi:10.1097/rhu.0000000000001716

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Herculano S. da Silva Martinho, Carla C. Bandeira, Janete D. Almeida, Paulo Henrique Braz da Silva, Jose Angelo Lauletta Lindoso
Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XXI: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics; doi:10.1117/12.2583316

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18052593

Abstract:
The current Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the entire world population, and in particular the medical-health field, especially dentistry
Published: 5 March 2021
Viruses, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13030414

Abstract:
The year 2020 was profoundly marked by the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2, causing COVID-19, which represents the greatest pandemic of the 21st century until now, and a major challenge for virologists in the scientific and medical communities. Increased numbers of SARS-CoV-2 infection all over the world imposed social and travel restrictions, including avoidance of face-to-face scientific meetings. Therefore, for the first time in history, the 2020 edition of the Brazilian Society of Virology (SBV) congress was totally online. Despite the challenge of the new format, the Brazilian society board and collaborators were successful in virtually congregating more than 921 attendees, which was the greatest SBV participant number ever reached. Seminal talks from prominent national and international researchers were presented every night, during a week, and included discussions about environmental, basic, animal, human, plant and invertebrate virology. A special roundtable debated exclusively new data and perspectives regarding COVID-19 by some of the greatest Brazilian virologists. Women scientists were very well represented in another special roundtable called “Young Women Inspiring Research”, which was one of the most viewed and commented section during the meeting, given the extraordinary quality of the presented work. Finally, SBV offered the Helio Gelli Pereira award for one graduate and one undergraduate student, which has also been a fruitful collaboration between the society and Viruses journal. The annual SBV meeting has, therefore, reached its goals to inspire young scientists, stimulate high-quality scientific discussion and to encourage global collaboration between virologists.
, D. Bojkova, H. Held, A. Berger, F. Holz, J. Cinatl, E. Gradhand, M. Kettner, A. Pfeiffer, M. A. Verhoff, et al.
International Journal of Legal Medicine pp 1-6; doi:10.1007/s00414-021-02546-7

Abstract:
The duration of infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) in living patients has been demarcated. In contrast, a possible SARS-CoV-2 infectivity of corpses and subsequently its duration under post mortem circumstances remain to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the infectivity and its duration of deceased COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) patients. Four SARS-CoV-2 infected deceased patients were subjected to medicolegal autopsy. Post mortem intervals (PMI) of 1, 4, 9 and 17 days, respectively, were documented. During autopsy, swabs and organ samples were taken and examined by RT-qPCR (real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA). Determination of infectivity was performed by means of virus isolation in cell culture. In two cases, virus isolation was successful for swabs and tissue samples of the respiratory tract (PMI 4 and 17 days). The two infectious cases showed a shorter duration of COVID-19 until death than the two non-infectious cases (2 and 11 days, respectively, compared to > 19 days), which correlates with studies of living patients, in which infectivity could be narrowed to about 6 days before to 12 days after symptom onset. Most notably, infectivity was still present in one of the COVID-19 corpses after a post-mortem interval of 17 days and despite already visible signs of decomposition. To prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections in all professional groups involved in the handling and examination of COVID-19 corpses, adequate personal safety standards (reducing or avoiding aerosol formation and wearing FFP3 [filtering face piece class 3] masks) have to be enforced for routine procedures.
Published: 5 March 2021
Applied Sciences, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/app11052311

Abstract:
The World Health Organization has called for new effective and affordable alternative antimicrobial materials for the prevention and treatment of microbial infections. In this regard, calcium alginate has previously been shown to possess antiviral activity against the enveloped double-stranded DNA herpes simplex virus type 1. However, non-enveloped viruses are more resistant to inactivation than enveloped ones. Thus, the viral inhibition capacity of calcium alginate and the effect of adding a low amount of carbon nanofibers (0.1% w/w) were explored here against a non-enveloped double-stranded DNA virus model for the first time. The results of this study showed that neat calcium alginate films partly inactivated this type of non-enveloped virus and that including that extremely low percentage of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) significantly enhanced its antiviral activity. These calcium alginate/CNFs composite materials also showed antibacterial properties against the Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus bacterial model and no cytotoxic effects in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. Since alginate-based materials have also shown antiviral activity against four types of enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 in previous studies, these novel calcium alginate/carbon nanofibers composites are promising as broad-spectrum antimicrobial biomaterials for the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: 5 March 2021
Pathogens, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/pathogens10030302

Abstract:
The rapid evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is manifested by the emergence of an ever-growing pool of genetic lineages. The aim of this study was to analyze the genetic variability of SARS-CoV-2 in Jordan, with a special focus on the UK variant of concern. A total of 579 SARS-CoV-2 sequences collected in Jordan were subjected to maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis. Genetic lineage assignment was undertaken using the Pango system. Amino acid substitutions were investigated using the Protein Variation Effect Analyzer (PROVEAN) tool. A total of 19 different SARS-CoV-2 genetic lineages were detected, with the most frequent being the first Jordan lineage (B.1.1.312), first detected in August 2020 (n = 424, 73.2%). This was followed by the second Jordan lineage (B.1.36.10), first detected in September 2020 (n = 62, 10.7%), and the UK variant of concern (B.1.1.7; n = 36, 6.2%). In the spike gene region, the molecular signature for B.1.1.312 was the non-synonymous mutation A24432T resulting in a deleterious amino acid substitution (Q957L), while the molecular signature for B.1.36.10 was the synonymous mutation C22444T. Bayesian analysis revealed that the UK variant of concern (B.1.1.7) was introduced into Jordan in late November 2020 (mean estimate); four weeks earlier than its official reporting in the country. In Jordan, an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases due to B.1.1.7 lineage coincided with the new year 2021. The highest proportion of phylogenetic clustering was detected for the B.1.1.7 lineage. The amino acid substitution D614G in the spike glycoprotein was exclusively present in the country from July 2020 onwards. Two Jordanian lineages dominated infections in the country, with continuous introduction/emergence of new lineages. In Jordan, the rapid spread of the UK variant of concern should be monitored closely. The spread of SARS-CoV-2 mutants appeared to be related to the founder effect; nevertheless, the biological impact of certain mutations should be further investigated.
Published: 5 March 2021
Risks, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/risks9030048

Abstract:
In the context of current crises following COVID-19 and growing global economic uncertainties, the issues regarding financial transactions with FINTECH are increasingly apparent. Consequently, in our opinion, the utilization of FINTECH financial transactions leads to а risk-reduction approach when in contact with other people. Moreover, financial transactions with FINTECH can save up customers’ pecuniary funds. Therefore, during crises, FINTECH applications can be perceived as more competitive than the traditional banking system. All the above have provoked us to conduct research related to the utilization of financial transactions with FINTECH before and after the COVID-19 crisis outbreak. The aim of the article is to present a survey analysis of FINTECH utilization of individual customers before and after the crisis in Bulgaria. The methodology includes a questionnaire survey of 242 individual respondents. For the data processing, we implemented statistical measures and quantitative methods, including two-sample paired t-tests, Levene’s test, and ANOVAs performed through the computer language Python in a web-based interactive computing environment for creating documents, Jupyter Notebook. The findings bring out the main issues related to the implementation of financial transactions with FINTECH under the conditions of the crisis. The findings include the identification of problems related to FINTECH transactions during the COVID-19 crisis in Bulgaria.
Published: 5 March 2021
Healthcare, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/healthcare9030285

Abstract:
Telemedicine has become an increasingly important part of the modern healthcare infrastructure, especially in the present situation with the COVID19 pandemics. Many cloud platforms have been used intensively for Telemedicine. The most popular ones include PubNub, Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. One of the crucial challenges of telemedicine is the real-time application monitoring for the vital sign. The commercial platform is, by far, not suitable for real-time applications. The alternative is to design a web-based application exploiting Web Socket. This research paper concerns the real-time six-parameter vital-sign monitoring using a web-based application. The six vital-sign parameters are electrocardiogram, temperature, plethysmogram, percent saturation oxygen, blood pressure and heart rate. The six vital-sign parameters were encoded in a web server site and sent to a client site upon logging on. The encoded parameters were then decoded into six vital sign signals. Our proposed multi-parameter vital-sign telemedicine system using Web Socket has successfully remotely monitored the six-parameter vital signs on 4G mobile network with a latency of less than 5 milliseconds.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18052583

Abstract:
Physical activity is essential for children’s healthy development, yet COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions such as school closures and staying at home, playground closures, and the cancelling of organised community sport have dramatically altered children’s opportunities to be physically active. This study describes changes in levels of physical activity and screen time from February 2020 (i.e., before COVID-19 restrictions were introduced in Western Australia) to May 2020 (i.e., when COVID-19 restrictions were in place). Parents of children aged 5 to 9 years from Western Australia were eligible to participate and recruited through convenience sampling. An online survey instrument that included validated measures of their children’s physical activity (unstructured, organized, home-based, indoor/outdoor active play, dog play/walking), sociodemographic, and other potential confounders was administered to parents. Paired t-tests and mixed ANOVA models assessed changes in physical activity outcomes. The analytic sample comprised parents of 157 children who were 6.9 years of age (SD = 1.7) on average. Overall, weekly minutes of total physical activity (PA) did not change from before to during COVID-19. However, frequency and duration (total and home-based) of unstructured physical activity significantly increased. Outdoor play in the yard or street around the house, outdoor play in the park or playground or outdoor recreation area, and active indoor play at home all significantly increased. Frequency and total duration of organised physical activity significantly declined during COVID-19 distancing. During Western Australian COVID-19 restrictions, there was an increase in young children’s unstructured physical activity and outdoor play and a decrease in organised physical activity. It remains to be seen whether children’s increased physical activity has been sustained with the easing of physical distancing restrictions.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18052601

Abstract:
Increasing research shows that migrants are disproportionately exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, little is known about their lived experience and related meaning-making. This qualitative study maps COVID-19-related experiences among respondents from three migrant groups living in Finland: Somali-, Arabic- and Russian-speakers (N = 209). The data were collected by telephone interviews over four weeks in March and April 2020. Using inductive thematic analysis, we identified seven themes that illustrate respondents’ multifaceted lived experiences during the first phase of pandemic. The themes depict respondents’ difficulties and fears, but also their resilience and resources to cope, both individually and collectively. Experiences varied greatly between individuals and migrant groups. The main conclusion is that although the COVID-19 pandemic may be an especially stressful experience for migrant populations, it may also provide opportunities to deepen cooperation and trust within migrant communities, and between migrants and their country of settlement. Our analysis suggests that cooperation between local authorities and migrants, trust-building and effective information-sharing can foster positive and functional adaptations to disease-related threats and changing social environments.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 22; doi:10.3390/ijms22052630

Abstract:
We observed substantial differences in predicted Major Histocompatibility Complex II (MHCII) epitope presentation of SARS-CoV-2 proteins for different populations but only minor differences in predicted MHCI epitope presentation. A comparison of this predicted epitope MHC-coverage revealed for the early phase of infection spread (till day 15 after reaching 128 observed infection cases) highly significant negative correlations with the case fatality rate. Specifically, this was observed in different populations for MHC class II presentation of the viral spike protein (p-value: 0.0733 for linear regression), the envelope protein (p-value: 0.023), and the membrane protein (p-value: 0.00053), indicating that the high case fatality rates of COVID-19 observed in some countries seem to be related with poor MHC class II presentation and hence weak adaptive immune response against these viral envelope proteins. Our results highlight the general importance of the SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins in immunological control in early infection spread looking at a global census in various countries and taking case fatality rate into account. Other factors such as health system and control measures become more important after the early spread. Our study should encourage further studies on MHCII alleles as potential risk factors in COVID-19 including assessment of local populations and specific allele distributions.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 22; doi:10.3390/ijms22052596

Abstract:
While there are various kinds of drugs for type 2 diabetes mellitus at present, in this review article, we focus on metformin which is an insulin sensitizer and is often used as a first-choice drug worldwide. Metformin mainly activates adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in the liver which leads to suppression of fatty acid synthesis and gluconeogenesis. Metformin activates AMPK in skeletal muscle as well, which increases translocation of glucose transporter 4 to the cell membrane and thereby increases glucose uptake. Further, metformin suppresses glucagon signaling in the liver by suppressing adenylate cyclase which leads to suppression of gluconeogenesis. In addition, metformin reduces autophagy failure observed in pancreatic β-cells under diabetic conditions. Furthermore, it is known that metformin alters the gut microbiome and facilitates the transport of glucose from the circulation into excrement. It is also known that metformin reduces food intake and lowers body weight by increasing circulating levels of the peptide hormone growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF15). Furthermore, much attention has been drawn to the fact that the frequency of various cancers is lower in subjects taking metformin. Metformin suppresses the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) by activating AMPK in pre-neoplastic cells, which leads to suppression of cell growth and an increase in apoptosis in pre-neoplastic cells. It has been shown recently that metformin consumption potentially influences the mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19). Taken together, metformin is an old drug, but multifaceted mechanisms of action of metformin have been unraveled one after another in its long history.
Published: 5 March 2021
Journal of Clinical Medicine, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/jcm10051075

Abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatical changes in elective medical care. We analysed its impact on patients with female pelvic floor dysfunction during the 6 weeks of lockdown in Austria. A cross-sectional study was conducted: All 99 women who presented at the urogynaecologic outpatient clinic of the Medical University of Vienna with pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or urinary incontinence (UI) from December 2019 up to the lockdown in March 2020 were included and contacted. 97% of these women (96 participants) agreed to participate in the survey conducted to asses pelvic floor related quality of life (QoL) through telephone- interrogation. The mean age was 59 ± 14.8 years, the POP group consisted of 42 women while the UI group included 54 women. Most participants (83% of POP and 81% of UI cases) stated that their female pelvic floor dysfunction had remained equally relevant or had become even more significant during the lockdown. Associated symptoms and psychological strain also maintained their relevance during the lockdown (UI: p = 0.229; POP: p = 0.234). Furthermore, 97% of all interviewed women indicated to be strongly willing to continue their treatment. A generalised linear model regression revealed no clinical or demographic risk factors for psychological strain during the lockdown (p > 0.05). Our results demonstrate that women’s QoL remains significantly impaired by their pelvic-floor disorders even during a worldwide crisis such as COVID-19. Therefore, elective disciplines such as urogynaecology urgently require novel and innovative strategies for continued patient care even in times of a lockdown.
Journal of Risk and Financial Management, Volume 14; doi:10.3390/jrfm14030107

Abstract:
This paper explores the impacts of health pandemics on foreign direct investment (FDI) using the new world pandemic uncertainty index (WPUI). We investigate the effects of pandemics, including COVID-19, on FDI based on a sample of 142 economies and sub-samples (incomes and regions) from 1996 to 2019. The two-step system Generalised Method of Moments estimation of linear dynamic panel-data model (DPDGMM) is used in this study. The estimation results are robust with the results of the two-step sequential (two-stage) estimation of linear panel-data models (SELPDM) and the two-step system Generalised Method of Moments estimation (BBGMM). The results show that health pandemics have negative impacts on FDI. Significantly, the uncertainty caused by pandemics creates adverse shocks on FDI net inflows in Asia-Pacific countries and emerging economies.
Published: 5 March 2021
Sustainability, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/su13052798

Abstract:
Tourism in protected areas was a fast-growing segment within the global travel and tourism industry prior to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a development pathway, tourism generated foreign exchange for countries endowed with natural assets (protected areas, pristine landscapes, forests, oceans, wildlife), contributed to conservation revenues, and provided local development benefits for communities. However, the spread of COVID-19 and its associated travel restrictions severely impacted this sector. In this review, we describe the main challenges preventing the sector from achieving its development potential. We propose a framework to steer tourism in protected areas as a green recovery initiative, so that it may rebound sustainably and continue to support biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development.
Published: 5 March 2021
Vaccines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/vaccines9030226

Abstract:
To investigate the associated factors underlying vaccination intentions for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), an online cross-sectional survey was conducted among adults 18 years or over in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Data were collected between 8 and 14 December 2020. A logistic regression analysis was employed to examine and identify the variables associated with vaccination intentions for COVID-19, with the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) also calculated. A total of 2137 respondents completed the questionnaire. Overall, about 48% of Saudi adults were willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Participants had stronger intentions to receive a vaccination if they resided in the southern region (OR: 1.95; 95% CI: 1.21–3.14), received the seasonal influenza vaccination in the past (OR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.17–1.97), believed in mandatory COVID-19 vaccination (OR: 45.07; 95% CI: 31.91–63.65), or reported high levels of concern about contracting COVID-19 (OR: 1.91; 95% CI: 1.29–2.81). Participants were less likely to have an intention to be vaccinated if they had a history of vaccine refusal (OR: 0.28; 95% CI: 0.19–0.40). The low acceptance rate among the Saudi population should be targeted with multifaceted interventions aimed at raising awareness and emphasizing the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Published: 5 March 2021
Vaccines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/vaccines9030223

Abstract:
This study forecasts Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination impact in two countries at different epidemic phases, the United States (US) and China. We assessed the impact of both a vaccine that prevents infection (VE S of 95%) and a vaccine that prevents only disease (VE P of 95%) through mathematical modeling. For VE S of 95% and gradual easing of restrictions, vaccination in the US reduced the peak incidence of infection, disease, and death by >55% and cumulative incidence by >32% and in China by >77% and >65%, respectively. Nearly three vaccinations were needed to avert one infection in the US, but only one was needed in China. For VE P of 95%, vaccination benefits were half those for VE S of 95%. In both countries, impact of vaccination was substantially enhanced with rapid scale-up, vaccine coverage >50%, and slower or no easing of restrictions, particularly in the US. COVID-19 vaccination can flatten, delay, and/or prevent future epidemic waves. However, vaccine impact is destined to be heterogeneous across countries because of an underlying “epidemiologic inequity” that reduces benefits for countries already at high incidence, such as the US. Despite 95% efficacy, actual vaccine impact could be meager in such countries if vaccine scale-up is slow, acceptance is poor, or restrictions are eased prematurely.
Published: 5 March 2021
Viruses, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13030422

Abstract:
Although antibody levels progressively decrease following SARS-CoV-2 infection, the immune memory persists for months. Thus, individuals who naturally contracted SARS-CoV-2 are expected to develop a more rapid and sustained response to COVID-19 vaccines than naïve individuals. In this study, we analyzed the dynamics of the antibody response to the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in six healthcare workers who contracted SARS-CoV-2 in March 2020, in comparison to nine control subjects without a previous infection. The vaccine was well tolerated by both groups, with no significant difference in the frequency of vaccine-associated side effects, with the exception of local pain, which was more common in previously infected subjects. Overall, the titers of neutralizing antibodies were markedly higher in response to the vaccine than after natural infection. In all subjects with pre-existing immunity, a rapid increase in anti-spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG antibodies and neutralizing antibody titers was observed one week after the first dose, which seemed to act as a booster. Notably, in previously infected individuals, neutralizing antibody titers 7 days after the first vaccine dose were not significantly different from those observed in naïve subjects 7 days after the second vaccine dose. These results suggest that, in previously infected people, a single dose of the vaccine might be sufficient to induce an effective response.
Published: 5 March 2021
Viruses, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13030418

Abstract:
The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected more than 100 million people globally and caused over 2.5 million deaths in just over one year since its discovery in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The pandemic has evoked widespread collateral damage to societies and economies, and has destabilized mental health and well-being. Early in 2020, unprecedented efforts went into the development of vaccines that generate effective antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Teams developing twelve candidate vaccines, based on four platforms (messenger RNA, non-replicating viral vector, protein/virus-like particle, and inactivated virus) had initiated or announced the Phase III clinical trial stage by early November 2020, with several having received emergency use authorization in less than a year. Vaccine rollout has proceeded around the globe. Previously, we and others had proposed a target product profile (TPP) for ideal/optimal and acceptable/minimal COVID-19 vaccines. How well do these candidate vaccines stack up to a harmonized TPP? Here, we perform a comparative analysis in several categories of these candidate vaccines based on the latest available trial data and highlight the early successes as well as the hurdles and barriers yet to be overcome for ending the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: 5 March 2021
Viruses, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13030415

Abstract:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has become a severe threat to global public health. There are currently no antiviral therapies approved for the treatment or prevention of mild to moderate COVID-19 as remdesivir is only approved for severe COVID-19 cases. Here, we evaluated the antiviral potential of a Propylamylatin formula, which is a mixture of propionic acid and isoamyl hexanoates. The Propylamylatin formula was investigated in gaseous and liquid phases against 1 mL viral suspensions containing 105 PFU of SARS-CoV-2. Viral suspensions were sampled at various times post-exposure and infectious virus was quantified by plaque assay on Vero E6 cells. Propylamylatin formula vapors were effective at inactivating infectious SARS-CoV-2 to undetectable levels at room temperature and body temperature, but the decline in virus was substantially faster at the higher temperature (15 min versus 24 h). The direct injection of liquid Propylamylatin formula into viral suspensions also completely inactivated SARS-CoV-2 and the rapidity of inactivation occurred in an exposure dependent manner. The overall volume that resulted in 90% viral inactivation over the course of the direct injection experiment (EC90) was 4.28 µls. Further investigation revealed that the majority of the antiviral effect was attributed to the propionic acid which yielded an overall EC90 value of 11.50 µls whereas the isoamyl hexanoates provided at most a 10-fold reduction in infectious virus. The combination of propionic acid and isoamyl hexanoates was much more potent than the individual components alone, suggesting synergy between these components. These findings illustrate the therapeutic promise of the Propylamylatin formula as a potential treatment strategy for COVID-19 and future studies are warranted.
Justin Presseau, Laura Desveaux, Upton Allen, Trevor Arnason, Judy L. Buchan, Kimberly M. Corace, Vinita Dubey, Gerald A. Evans, Leandre R. Fabrigar, Jeremy M. Grimshaw, et al.
Behavioural Science Principles for Supporting COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence and Uptake Among Ontario Health Care Workers; doi:10.47326/ocsat.2021.02.12.1.0

Abstract:
Health Care Workers (HCWs) are the backbone of Ontario’s COVID-19 pandemic response and are a key vaccination priority group. About 80% of Ontario HCWs intend to receive COVID-19 vaccine.1 Challenges include the logistics of delivering the vaccine to this mobile and diverse group and improving vaccine confidence in the remaining 20%. These challenges can be overcome by allaying safety concerns and highlighting personal benefits; tailoring messages to factors associated with lower intention (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity and work setting); employing trusted leaders to set the tone and peers to build social norms; and leveraging public health organizations and health institutions as existing channels of influence.
TBV – Tijdschrift voor Bedrijfs- en Verzekeringsgeneeskunde, Volume 29, pp 15-15; doi:10.1007/s12498-020-1331-9

TBV – Tijdschrift voor Bedrijfs- en Verzekeringsgeneeskunde, Volume 29, pp 31-31; doi:10.1007/s12498-021-1346-x

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, , Nishu Gupta, Nishu Gupta, Sakshi, Sakshi
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Ahmed El-Baz, Ahmed El-Baz, Walaa Saber, Walaa Saber, ,
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Bader A. Alyoubi, Bader A. Alyoubi, Alaa A. Qaffas, Alaa A. Qaffas, Abed S. Alsahli, Abed S. Alsahli, Ibrahim Alhassan, Ibrahim Alhassan, ,
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Li Liu, Michael Dubrovsky, Sarat Gundavarapu, Diedrik Vermeulen, Ke Du
Frontiers in Biological Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems XIII, Volume 11662; doi:10.1117/12.2580053

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Janice Chen
Frontiers in Biological Detection: From Nanosensors to Systems XIII, Volume 11662; doi:10.1117/12.2589026

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Kuo-Chi Chang, Kuo-Chi Chang, , , Yuh-Chung Lin, Yuh-Chung Lin, Fu-Hsiang Chang, Fu-Hsiang Chang, Hsiao-Chuan Wang, Hsiao-Chuan Wang, et al.
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing pp 1083-1091; doi:10.1007/978-3-030-69717-4_102

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International Journal of Advanced Studies in Sexology, Volume 3; doi:10.46388/10.46388/ijass.2020.13.33

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International Journal of Advanced Studies in Sexology, Volume 3; doi:10.46388/ijass.2020.13.34

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Hah Min Lew, Sewoong Kim, Thiago Coutinho Cavalcanti, Hong Keun Hyun, Jae Youn Hwang
Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XIX, Volume 11647; doi:10.1117/12.2579118

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Die Entscheidungs-Matrix pp 205-209; doi:10.1007/978-3-662-62375-6_7

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, Matthew A. Barish, Mark Goldin, Stuart L. Cohen, Nina Kohn, Eugenia Gianos, Saurav Chatterjee, Martin Lesser, Kevin Coppa, Jamie S. Hirsch, et al.
Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis pp 1-5; doi:10.1007/s11239-021-02413-7

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