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Virus Evol ; 8(1): veac026, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774422


Many large national and transnational studies have been dedicated to the analysis of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genome, most of which focused on missense and nonsense mutations. However, approximately 30 per cent of the SARS-CoV-2 variants are synonymous, therefore changing the target codon without affecting the corresponding protein sequence. By performing a large-scale analysis of sequencing data generated from almost 400,000 SARS-CoV-2 samples, we show that silent mutations increasing the similarity of viral codons to the human ones tend to fixate in the viral genome overtime. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 codon usage is adapting to the human host, likely improving its effectiveness in using the human aminoacyl-tRNA set through the accumulation of deceitfully neutral silent mutations. One-Sentence Summary. Synonymous SARS-CoV-2 mutations related to the activity of different mutational processes may positively impact viral evolution by increasing its adaptation to the human codon usage.

Blood Cancer J ; 11(6): 115, 2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275905
Front Oncol ; 11: 668261, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211835


INTRODUCTION: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the resulting social distancing, determined a reduction in access to care and limitations of individual freedom, with a consequent strong impact on quality of life (QoL), anxiety levels and medical management of onco-hematological people. In particular, in the case of patients with chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN), concern about SARS-CoV-2 infection added to the burden of symptoms (BS) which already weights on the QoL of these patients. We designed a cross-sectional survey in order to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on status of anxiety, BS and QoL in MPN patients. METHODS: We analyzed the anxiety levels using the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS); BS modifications were studied using the 18 items of the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment Form [MPN-SAF]. RESULTS: 132 people answered to the survey: 27 (20.4%) patients achieved a moderate to marked anxiety index value: this group described a greater worsening of symptoms than the rest of the cohort (p <0.0001). Women showed a higher level of anxiety than men (p = 0.01). A trend for lower level of anxiety was reported by patients who performed habitual physical activity (p = 0.06). A total of 98 (74.2%) patients described worsening of their symptoms during the quarantine period; 94 (71.2%) patients had postponed appointments or visits: they showed a significant worsening of their BS (p =0.01). CONCLUSION: This study first showed that the COVID-19 quarantine had a significant negative impact on the level of anxiety and BS in MPN patients. We identified female gender, absence of physical activity, the need for frequent visit to the hospital and the absence of a direct access to healthcare staff as the main factors associated to a higher anxiety index and worst BS.

Blood Cancer J ; 11(2): 21, 2021 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075184


In a multicenter European retrospective study including 162 patients with COVID-19 occurring in essential thrombocythemia (ET, n = 48), polycythemia vera (PV, n = 42), myelofibrosis (MF, n = 56), and prefibrotic myelofibrosis (pre-PMF, n = 16), 15 major thromboses (3 arterial and 12 venous) were registered in 14 patients, of whom all, but one, were receiving LMW-heparin prophylaxis. After adjustment for the competing risk of death, the cumulative incidence of arterial and venous thromboembolic events (VTE) reached 8.5% after 60 days follow-up. Of note, 8 of 12 VTE were seen in ET. Interestingly, at COVID-19 diagnosis, MPN patients had significantly lower platelet count (p < 0.0001) than in the pre-COVID last follow-up.This decline was remarkably higher in ET (-23.3%, p < 0.0001) than in PV (-16.4%, p = 0.1730) and was associated with higher mortality rate (p = 0.0010) for pneumonia. The effects of possible predictors of thrombosis, selected from those clinically relevant and statistically significant in univariate analysis, were examined in a multivariate model. Independent risk factors were transfer to ICU (SHR = 3.73, p = 0.029), neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (SHR = 1.1, p = 0.001) and ET phenotype (SHR = 4.37, p = 0.006). The enhanced susceptibility to ET-associated VTE and the associated higher mortality for pneumonia may recognize a common biological plausibility and deserve to be delved to tailor new antithrombotic regimens including antiplatelet drugs.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Myeloproliferative Disorders/epidemiology , Thrombocythemia, Essential/epidemiology , Venous Thromboembolism/epidemiology , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bone Marrow Neoplasms/complications , COVID-19/complications , Cohort Studies , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloproliferative Disorders/complications , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thrombocythemia, Essential/complications