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Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20155986


At present, existing evidence about the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and ABO blood group polymorphism is preliminary and controversial. In this meta-analysis we investigate this association and determine SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals odds of having a specific blood group compared to controls. We performed a systematic search on MEDLINE and LitCovid databases for studies published through July 15, 2020. Seven studies met inclusion criteria for meta-analysis, including a total of 13 subgroups of populations (7503 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases and 2962160 controls). We analysed the odds of having each blood group among SARS-CoV-2 positive patients compared with controls. Random-effects models were used to obtain the overall pooled odds ratio (OR). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed in order to explore the source of heterogeneity and results consistency. The results of our meta-analysis indicate that SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals are more likely to have blood group A (pooled OR 1.23, 95%CI: 1.09-1.40) and less likely to have blood group O (pooled OR=0.77, 95%CI: 0.67-0.88). Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms at the basis of this association, which may affect the kinetics of the pandemic according to the blood group distribution within the population.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20080341


BackgroundHealthcare is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic through the fast adoption of digital solutions and advanced technology tools. The aim of this study is to describe which digital solutions have been reported in the scientific literature and to investigate their potential impact in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. MethodsWe conducted a literature review searching PubMed and MedrXiv with terms considered adequate to find relevant literature on the use of digital technologies in response to COVID-19. We developed an impact score to evaluate the potential impact on COVID-19 pandemic of all the digital solutions addressed in the selected papers. ResultsThe search identified 269 articles, of which 145 full-text articles were assessed and 124 included in the review after screening and impact evaluation. Of selected articles, most of them addressed the use of digital technologies for diagnosis, surveillance and prevention. We report that digital solutions and innovative technologies have mainly been proposed for the diagnosis of COVID-19. In particular, within the reviewed articles we identified numerous suggestions on the use of artificial-intelligence-powered tools for the diagnosis and screening of COVID-19. Digital technologies are useful also for prevention and surveillance measures, for example through contact-tracing apps or monitoring of internet searches and social media usage. DiscussionIt is worth taking advantage of the push given by the crisis, and mandatory to keep track of the digital solutions proposed today to implement tomorrows best practices and models of care, and to be ready for any new moments of emergency.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20066183


BackgroundIn the early phases of a new pandemic, identifying the most relevant evidence and quantifying which studies are shared the most can help researchers and policy makers. The aim of this study is to describe and quantify the impact of early scientific production in response to COVID-19 pandemic. MethodsThe study consisted of: 1) review of the scientific literature produced in the first 30 days since the first COVID-19 paper was published; 2) analysis of papers metrics with the construction of a "Computed-Impact-Score" (CIS) that represents a unifying score over heterogeneous bibliometric indicators. In this study we use metrics and alternative metrics collected into five separate categories. On top of those categories we compute the CIS. Highest CIS papers are further analyzed. Results239 papers have been included in the study. The mean of citations, mentions and social media interactions resulted in 1.63, 10 and 1250, respectively. The paper with highest CIS resulted "Clinical features of patients[...]" by Chaolin Huang et al., which rated first also in citations and mentions. This is the first paper describing patients affected by the new disease and reporting data that are clearly of great interest to both the scientific community and the general population. ConclusionsThe early response of scientific literature during an epidemic does not follow a pre-established pattern. Being able to monitor how communications spread from the scientific world toward the general population using both traditional and alternative metric measures is essential, especially in the early stages of a pandemic.

Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20043315


IntroductionRecent events highlight how emerging and re-emerging pathogens are becoming global challenges for public health. In December 2019, a novel coronavirus has emerged. This has suddenly turned out into global health concern. ObjectivesAim of this research is to focus on the bibliometric aspects in order to measure what is published in the first 30-days of a global epidemic outbreak MethodsWe searched PubMed database in order to find all relevant studies in the first 30-days from the first publication. ResultsFrom the initial 442 identified articles, 234 were read in-extenso. The majority of papers come from China, UK and USA. 63.7% of the papers were commentaries, editorials and reported data and only 17.5% of the sources used data directly collected on the field. Topics mainly addressed were "epidemiology", "preparedness" and "generic discussion". NNR showed a reduction for both the objectives assessed from January to February. Conclusions"Diagnosis" and effective preventive and therapeutic measures were the fields in which more research is still needed. The vast majority of scientific literature in the first 30-days of an epidemic outbreak is based on reported data rather than primary data. Nevertheless, the scientific statements and public health decisions rely on these data. Strengths of our studyThis is the first bibliometric research in Pubmed Database on the first 30 days of publications regarding the novel Coronavirus (SARS-nCoV-2) outbreak of 2019. The vast majority of publication in the first 30-days of an epidemic outbreak are reported data or comments, and only a small fraction of the papers have directly collected data. Limitations of our studyOur research is only PubMed based. It ill be auspicable to consult more than one relevant database in future papers. In addition, we excluded non-English publications leading to a potential bias due to the fact that the outbreak started in China.