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1.
Advanced Therapeutics ; 4(7):2170016, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1323847

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infects human cells by binding its spike protein to the human ACE2 receptor. Using a peptide biopanning strategy, the authors have discovered small anti-ACE2 peptides that can effectively block the SARS-CoV-2/ACE2 interaction. The anti-ACE2 peptides can be potentially used as prophylactic or therapeutic agents for SARS-CoV-2 and other ACE2-mediated viruses. This is reported by Kun Cheng and co-workers in article number 2100087.

2.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254126, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304463

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, incoming travelers were quarantined at specific centers in Nepal and major checkpoints in Nepal-India border. Nepal adopted a generic public health approaches to control and quarantine returnee migrants, with little attention towards the quality of quarantine facilities and its aftermath, such as the poor mental health of the returnee migrants. The main objective of this study was to explore the status of anxiety and depression, and factors affecting them among returnee migrants living in institutional quarantine centers of western Nepal. METHODS: A mixed method approach in this study included a quantitative survey and in-depth interviews (IDIs) among respondents in quarantine centers of Karnali province between 21st April and 15th May 2020. Survey questionnaire utilized Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) tools, which were administered among 441 quarantined returnee migrants. IDIs were conducted among 12 participants which included a mix of six quarantined migrants and healthcare workers each from the quarantine centres. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted on quantitative data; and thematic analysis was utilized for qualitative data. RESULTS: Mild depression (9.1%; 40/441) and anxiety (16.1%; 71/441) was common among respondents followed by moderate depression and anxiety {depression (3.4%; 15/441), anxiety (4.1%; 18/441)} and severe depression and anxiety {depression (1.1%; 5/441), anxiety (0.7%; 3/441)}. Anxiety and depression were independent of their socio-demographic characteristics. Perceived fear of contracting COVID-19, severity and death were prominent among the respondents. Respondents experienced stigma and discrimination in addition to being at the risk of disease and possible loss of employment and financial responsibilities. In addition, poor (quality and access to) health services, and poor living condition at the quarantine centres adversely affected respondents' mental health. CONCLUSION: Depression and anxiety were high among quarantined population and warrants more research. Institutional quarantine centers of Karnali province of Nepal were in poor conditions which adversely impacted mental health of the respondents. Poor resource allocation for health, hygiene and living conditions can be counterproductive to the population quarantined.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Depression/epidemiology , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Depression/etiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nepal/epidemiology
3.
Adv Ther (Weinh) ; 4(7): 2100087, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201415

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which infects host cells by binding its viral spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on host cells. Blocking the SARS-CoV-2-RBD/ACE2 interaction is, therefore, a potential strategy to inhibit viral infections. Using a novel biopanning strategy, a small anti-ACE2 peptide is discovered, which shows high affinity and specificity to human ACE2. It blocks not only the SARS-CoV-2-RBD/ACE2 interaction but also the SARS-CoV-1-RBD/ACE2 interaction. Moreover, it inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero-E6 cells. The peptide shows negligible cytotoxicity in Vero-E6 cells and Huh7 cells. In vivo short-term lung toxicity study also demonstrates a good safety of the peptide after intratracheal administration. The anti-ACE2 peptide can be potentially used as a prophylactic or therapeutic agent for SARS-CoV-2 or other ACE2-mediated viruses. The strategy used in this study also provides a fast-track platform to discover other antiviral peptides, which will prepare the world for future pandemics.

4.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0248684, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1145484

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has been creating a panic and distressing situations among the entire population globally including Nepal. No study has been conducted assessing the psychological impact of this pandemic on the general public in Nepal. The objective of this study is to assess the mental health status during COVID-19 outbreak and explore the potential influencing factors among the population attending the hospital fever clinics with COVID-19 symptoms. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between May-June, 2020 with a sample of 645 participants aged 18 and above in 26 hospitals across Nepal. Telephone interviews were conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire along with a validated psychometric tool, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress (DASS-21) scale. The metrics and scores of symptoms and their severity were created and analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the association of potential covariates with outcome variables. RESULTS: The prevalence of anxiety, depression and stress were 14%, 7% and 5% respectively. In reference to Karnali, participants from Bagmati province reported higher level of anxiety (OR 3.44, 95% CI 1.31-9.06), while stress (OR 4.27, 95% CI 1.09-18.32) and depressive symptoms (OR 3.11, 95% CI 1.05-9.23) observed higher among the participants in Province 1. Women were more at risk of anxiety (OR 3.41, 95% CI 1.83-6.36) than men. Similarly, people currently living in rented houses reported more stress (OR 2.97, 95% CI 1.05-8.43) and those living far from family reported higher rates of depressive symptoms (OR 3.44, 95% CI 1.03-11.46). CONCLUSION: The study identified increased prevalence of stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms during the initial stage of COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. Considering the findings, there is urgent need to develop and implement appropriate community-based mental health programs targeting individuals who have had COVID-19 symptoms and who are prone to develop adverse mental health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Mental Health , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depressive Disorder/epidemiology , Depressive Disorder/etiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nepal/epidemiology , Odds Ratio , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Stress, Psychological , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
5.
Front Public Health ; 8: 589372, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058471

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health emergency requiring an effective public health response including citizen's roles in preventing spread and controlling the pandemic. Little is known about public knowledge, beliefs and behaviors in-relation to the pandemic in Nepal. This study aims to assess knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) toward COVID-19 among the general public and to identify associated factors. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between May-June 2020 with a sample of 645, recruited from 26 hospitals across Nepal. We conducted telephone interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire related to KAP regarding COVID-19. T-test and one-way ANOVA was conducted to determine group differences for socio-demographic variables. Linear regression and correlational analysis were performed to identify associated factors and measure strength and direction of relationships. Results: Overall mean scores for knowledge, attitude and practice were 11.6 (SD 4.5), 2.7 (SD 1.8), and 9.9 (SD 1.93) respectively, but differed by socio-demographic characteristics. Positive but weak linear correlations were observed between knowledge-practice (r = 0.19, p < 0.01) and attitude-practice (r = 0.08, p < 0.05). The relationship between knowledge and education was fairly strong (r = 0.34, p < 0.01). Province, place of residence, ecological area, age, gender and caste/ethnicity were also significantly associated with KAP score of participants. Conclusion: The study found varying degrees of correlation between Knowledge, Attitude and Practice that may increase as the pandemic evolves in Nepal. Knowledge and level of education had positive associations with attitude and adherence to precautionary measures. The findings suggest a need for targeted community awareness interventions for the most vulnerable populations, men, those with no school education, the elderly and people living in rural areas.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Mass Screening/psychology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Participation/psychology , Public Health/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nepal/epidemiology , Patient Participation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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