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(searched for: doi:10.1177/1756284820974914)
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Eun Lee,
Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology, Volume 21, pp 245-251; doi:10.1097/aci.0000000000000738

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18063075

Abstract:
There is growing literature about the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenetic effects exerted during pregnancy and whether vertical transmission or premature birth is possible. It is not well known whether changes in the immune system of pregnant women may lead to a marked susceptibility to infectious processes and the risk of adverse maternal and neonatal complications such as preterm birth, spontaneous abortion, hospitalization in an intensive care unit, transmission to the fetus or newborns, and fetal mortality are poorly understood. Along with this ongoing debate, it is not well defined whether, during pregnancy, the role of host susceptibility in producing a specific inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 may represent distinctive markers of risk of vertical transmission. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 impact on the vaginal microbiome has not yet been described, despite mounting evidence on its possible effect on the gastrointestinal microbiome and its influence on infectious diseases and preterm labor. This report describes the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on a twin pregnancy diagnosed with infection at the third trimester of gestation including tissue infections, inflammatory response, antibody production, cytokine concentration, and vaginal microbiome composition. We identified a pattern of cytokines including IL1-Ra, IL-9 G-CSF, IL-12, and IL-8 differently expressed, already associated with previously infected patients. We detected a similar concentration of almost all the cytokines tested in both twins, suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine storm is not substantially impaired during the placental passage. The analysis of the vaginal microbiome did not show relevant signs of dysbiosis, similar to other healthy pregnant women and twin healthy pregnancies. The aim of this report was to analyze the immunological response against SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus tissue tropism in a twin pregnancy.
Jayani C Kariyawasam, , Rishdha Riza, Visula Abeysuriya,
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; doi:10.1093/trstmh/trab042

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18031189

Abstract:
The gut-brain axis describes a complex interplay between the central nervous system and organs of the gastrointestinal tract. Sensory neurons of dorsal root and nodose ganglia, neurons of the autonomic nervous system, and immune cells collect and relay information about the status of the gut to the brain. A critical component in this bi-directional communication system is the vagus nerve which is essential for coordinating the immune system’s response to the activities of commensal bacteria in the gut and to pathogenic strains and their toxins. Local control of gut function is provided by networks of neurons in the enteric nervous system also called the ‘gut-brain’. One element common to all of these gut-brain systems is the expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. These ligand-gated ion channels serve myriad roles in the gut-brain axis including mediating fast synaptic transmission between autonomic pre- and postganglionic neurons, modulation of neurotransmitter release from peripheral sensory and enteric neurons, and modulation of cytokine release from immune cells. Here we review the role of nicotinic receptors in the gut-brain axis with a focus on the interplay of these receptors with the gut microbiome and their involvement in dysregulation of gut function and inflammatory bowel diseases.
Published: 22 January 2021
Viruses, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/v13020160

Abstract:
Since the emergence of COVID-19, many publications have reported associations with ABO blood types. Despite between-study discrepancies, an overall consensus has emerged whereby blood group O appears associated with a lower risk of COVID-19, while non-O blood types appear detrimental. Two major hypotheses may explain these findings: First, natural anti-A and anti-B antibodies could be partially protective against SARS-CoV-2 virions carrying blood group antigens originating from non-O individuals. Second, O individuals are less prone to thrombosis and vascular dysfunction than non-O individuals and therefore could be at a lesser risk in case of severe lung dysfunction. Here, we review the literature on the topic in light of these hypotheses. We find that between-study variation may be explained by differences in study settings and that both mechanisms are likely at play. Moreover, as frequencies of ABO phenotypes are highly variable between populations or geographical areas, the ABO coefficient of variation, rather than the frequency of each individual phenotype is expected to determine impact of the ABO system on virus transmission. Accordingly, the ABO coefficient of variation correlates with COVID-19 prevalence. Overall, despite modest apparent risk differences between ABO subtypes, the ABO blood group system might play a major role in the COVID-19 pandemic when considered at the population level.
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