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1.
FEBS J ; 2021 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209887

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is one of the greatest achievements in biomedical research preventing death and morbidity in many infectious diseases through the induction of pathogen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses. Currently, no effective vaccines are available for pathogens with a highly variable antigenic load, such as the human immunodeficiency virus or to induce cellular T-cell immunity in the fight against cancer. The recent SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has reinforced the relevance of designing smart therapeutic vaccine modalities to ensure public health. Indeed, academic and private companies have ongoing joint efforts to develop novel vaccine prototypes for this virus. Many pathogens are covered by a dense glycan-coat, which form an attractive target for vaccine development. Moreover, many tumor types are characterized by altered glycosylation profiles that are known as "tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens". Unfortunately, glycans do not provoke a vigorous immune response and generally serve as T-cell-independent antigens, not eliciting protective immunoglobulin G responses nor inducing immunological memory. A close and continuous crosstalk between glycochemists and glycoimmunologists is essential for the successful development of efficient immune modulators. It is clear that this is a key point for the discovery of novel approaches, which could significantly improve our understanding of the immune system. In this review, we discuss the latest advancements in development of vaccines against glycan epitopes to gain selective immune responses and to provide an overview on the role of different immunogenic constructs in improving glycovaccine efficacy.

2.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 51-59, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068124

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: the Covid-19 pandemic has provoked a huge of clinical and epidemiological research initiatives, especially in the most involved countries. However, this very large effort was characterized by several methodological weaknesses, both in the field of discovering effective treatments (with too many small and uncontrolled trials) and in the field of identifying preventable risks and prognostic factors (with too few large, representative and well-designed cohorts or case-control studies). OBJECTIVES: in response to the fragmented and uncoordinated research production on Covid-19, the   italian Association of Epidemiology (AIE) stimulated the formation of a working group (WG) with the aims of identifying the most important gaps in knowledge and to propose a structured research agenda of clinical and epidemiological studies considered at high priority on Covid-19, including recommendations on the preferable methodology. METHODS: the WG was composed by 25 subjects, mainly epidemiologists, statisticians, and other experts in specific fields, who have voluntarily agreed to the proposal. The agreement on a list of main research questions and on the structure of the specific documents to be produced were defined through few meetings and cycles of document exchanges. RESULTS: twelve main research questions on Covid-19 were identified, covering aetiology, prognosis, interventions, follow-up and impact on general and specific populations (children, pregnant women). For each of them, a two-page form was developed, structured in: background, main topics, methods (with recommendations on preferred study design and warnings for bias prevention) and an essential bibliography. CONCLUSIONS: this research agenda represents an initial contribution to direct clinical and epidemiological research efforts on high priority topics with a focus on methodological aspects. Further development and refinements of this agenda by Public Health Authorities are encouraged.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Pandemics , Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Epidemiology/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Prognosis , Societies, Scientific , Therapeutic Equipoise
3.
Patient Educ Couns ; 104(2): 217-222, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065524

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Communication in healthcare has influenced and been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this position paper, we share observations based on the latest available evidence and experiential knowledge that have emerged during the pandemic, with a specific focus on policy and practice. METHODS: This is a position paper that presents observations relating to policy and practice in communication in healthcare related to COVID-19. RESULTS: Through our critical observations as experts in the field of healthcare communication, we share our stance how healthcare communication has occured during the pandemic and suggest possible ways of improving policy and professional practice. We make recommendations for policy makers, healthcare providers, and communication experts while also highlighting areas that merit further investigation regarding healthcare communication in times of healthcare crises. CONCLUSION: We have witnessed an upheaval of healthcare practice and the development of policy on-the-run. To ensure that policy and practice are evidence-based, person-centred, more inclusive and equitable, we advocate for critical reflection on this symbiotic relationship between COVID-19 and the central role of communication in healthcare. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This paper provides a summary of the key areas for development in communication in healthcare during COVID-19. It offers recommendations for improvement and a call to review policies and practice to build resilience and inclusive and equitable responsiveness in communication in healthcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Communication , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Promotion/methods , Public Health Practice , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Health Literacy , Humans , Pandemics , Uncertainty
4.
Eur J Public Health ; 30(6): 1186-1188, 2020 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915870

ABSTRACT

Despite concern on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on undocumented immigrants, quantitative evidence on the issue is scant. We analyze socioeconomic and health conditions of 1590 undocumented immigrants in Milan, Lombardy, one of the regions with the highest COVID-19 clinical burden in the world that does not guarantee access to primary care for these individuals. We document a sharp reduction in visit number after lockdown, with 16% frequency of acute respiratory infections, compatible with COVID-19. Moreover, housing conditions make it difficult to implement public health measures. Results suggest the need to foster primary care by undocumented immigrants to face COVID-19 emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Undocumented Immigrants/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Age Factors , Health Status , Housing/standards , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Socioeconomic Factors
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