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1.
Intern Emerg Med ; 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1787875

ABSTRACT

Previous research yielded conflicting results on the association between cigarette smoking and risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since the prevalence of smoking is high globally, the study of its impact on COVID-19 pandemic may have considerable implications for public health. This study is the first to investigate the association between the SARS-CoV-2 antibody sero-positivity and biochemically verified smoking status, to refine current estimates on this association. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and serum cotinine levels (a well-known marker of tobacco exposure) were assessed in a large sero-epidemiological survey conducted in the town of Troina (Sicily, Italy). A propensity score matching was carried out to reduce the effect of possible factors on SARS-CoV-2 infection risk among study participants. Of the 1785 subjects included in our study, one-third was classified as current smokers, based on serum cotinine levels. The overall proportion of subjects with positive serology for SARS-CoV-2 IgG was 5.4%. The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity and previous COVID-19 diagnosis were reduced in smokers. This reduced prevalence persisted after adjusting for possible confounders (such as sex, age, previous infection, chronic conditions, and risk group) at regression analyses, and the point estimates based on the PS-matched models resulted consistent with those for the unmatched population. This study found a lower proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 serology among current smokers, using direct laboratory measures of tobacco exposure and thus avoiding possible bias associated with self-reported smoking status. Results may also serve as a reference for future clinical research on potential pharmaceutical role of nicotine or nicotinic-cholinergic agonists against COVID-19.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308758

ABSTRACT

A new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) have determined a pneumonia outbreak in China (Wuhan and Hubei) on December 2019. While pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies are strengthened worldwide, the scientific community has been studying the risk factors associated with SARS-Cov-2, to enrich epidemiological information. For a long time, before the industrialized era, air pollution has been a real and big health concern and it is today a very serious environmental risk for many diseases and anticipated deaths in the world. It has long been known that air pollutants increasing the invasiveness of pathogens for humans by acting as a carrier and making people more sensitive to pathogens through a negative influence on the immune system. Based on scientific evidences, the hypothesis that air pollution, resulting from a combination of factors such as meteorological data, level of industrialization as well as regional topography, can acts both as an infection carrier as a harmful factor of the health outcomes of COVID-19 disease has been raised recently. This hypothesis is turning in scientific evidence, thanks to the numerous studies that have been launched all over the world.With this review, we want to provide a first unique view of all the first epidemiological studies relating the association between air pollution and SARS-CoV-2. The Authors, who first investigated this association, although with great effort and rapidity of analysis dictated by a global emergency, often used different research methods or not all include confounding factors whenever possible. In addition, to date incidence data are underestimated in all countries, and to a lesser extent also mortality data. For this reason, the cases included in the considered studies cannot be considered real. Although it determines important limitations for direct comparison of results, and more studies are needed to strengthen scientific evidences and support firm conclusions, major findings are consistent, highlighting the important contribution of PM2.5 and NO2 on the COVID-19 spread and with a less extent also PM10.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307818

ABSTRACT

Prevalence studies of current smoking among hospitalized COVID-19 patients demonstrated an unexpectedly low prevalence of current smoking among patients with COVID-19. The aim of the present proposal was to evaluate the effect of smoke from cigarettes on ACE-2 in bronchial epithelial cells. Normal bronchial epithelial cells (H292) were exposed to smoke by an air-liquid-interface (ALI) system and ACE-2 membrane protein expression was evaluated after 24 hours from exposure. Our transcriptomics data analysis showed a significant selective reduction of membrane ACE-2 expression (about 25%) following smoking exposure. Interestingly, we observed a positive direct correlation between ACE-2 reduction and nicotine delivery. Furthermore, by stratifying GSE52237 as a function of ACE-2 gene expression levels, we highlighted 1012 genes related to ACE-2 in smokers and 855 in non-smokers. Furthermore, we showed that 161 genes involved in the endocytosis process were highlighted using the online pathway tool KEGG. Finally, 11 genes were in common between the ACE-2 pathway in smokers and the genes regulated during endocytosis, while 12 genes with non-smokers. Interestingly, six in non-smokers and four genes in smokers were closely involved during the viral internalization process. Our data may offer a pharmaceutical role of nicotine as potential treatment option in COVID-19.

4.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 10(11): e32285, 2021 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533576

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After the global spread of SARS-CoV-2, research has highlighted several aspects of the pandemic, focusing on clinical features and risk factors associated with infection and disease severity. However, emerging results on the role of smoking in SARS-CoV-2 infection susceptibility or COVID-19 outcomes are conflicting, and their robustness remains uncertain. OBJECTIVE: In this context, this study aims at quantifying the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence, studying the changes in antibody levels over time, and analyzing the association between the biochemically verified smoking status and SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: The research design involves a 6-month prospective cohort study with a serial sampling of the same individuals. Each participant will be surveyed about their demographics and COVID-19-related information, and blood sampling will be collected upon recruitment and at specified follow-up time points (ie, after 8 and 24 weeks). Blood samples will be screened for the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and serum cotinine, being the latter of the principal metabolite of nicotine, which will be used to assess participants' smoking status. RESULTS: The study is ongoing. It aims to find a higher antibody prevalence in individuals at high risk for viral exposure (ie, health care personnel) and to refine current estimates on the association between smoking status and SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The added value of this research is that the current smoking status of the population to be studied will be biochemically verified to avoid the bias associated with self-reported smoking status. As such, the results from this survey may provide an actionable metric to study the role of smoking in SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 outcomes, and therefore to implement the most appropriate public health measures to control the pandemic. Results may also serve as a reference for future clinical research, and the methodology could be exploited in public health sectors and policies. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/32285.

5.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 10(11): e32285, 2021 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484966

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After the global spread of SARS-CoV-2, research has highlighted several aspects of the pandemic, focusing on clinical features and risk factors associated with infection and disease severity. However, emerging results on the role of smoking in SARS-CoV-2 infection susceptibility or COVID-19 outcomes are conflicting, and their robustness remains uncertain. OBJECTIVE: In this context, this study aims at quantifying the proportion of SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence, studying the changes in antibody levels over time, and analyzing the association between the biochemically verified smoking status and SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: The research design involves a 6-month prospective cohort study with a serial sampling of the same individuals. Each participant will be surveyed about their demographics and COVID-19-related information, and blood sampling will be collected upon recruitment and at specified follow-up time points (ie, after 8 and 24 weeks). Blood samples will be screened for the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and serum cotinine, being the latter of the principal metabolite of nicotine, which will be used to assess participants' smoking status. RESULTS: The study is ongoing. It aims to find a higher antibody prevalence in individuals at high risk for viral exposure (ie, health care personnel) and to refine current estimates on the association between smoking status and SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The added value of this research is that the current smoking status of the population to be studied will be biochemically verified to avoid the bias associated with self-reported smoking status. As such, the results from this survey may provide an actionable metric to study the role of smoking in SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 outcomes, and therefore to implement the most appropriate public health measures to control the pandemic. Results may also serve as a reference for future clinical research, and the methodology could be exploited in public health sectors and policies. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/32285.

6.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 652102, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190331

ABSTRACT

Prevalence studies of current smoking, among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, demonstrated an unexpectedly low prevalence among patients with COVID-19. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of smoke from cigarettes on ACE-2 in bronchial epithelial cells. Normal bronchial epithelial cells (H292) were exposed to smoke by an air-liquid-interface (ALI) system and ACE-2 membrane protein expression was evaluated after 24 h from exposure. Our transcriptomics data analysis showed a significant selective reduction of membrane ACE-2 expression (about 25%) following smoking exposure. Interestingly, we observed a positive direct correlation between ACE-2 reduction and nicotine delivery. Furthermore, by stratifying GSE52237 as a function of ACE-2 gene expression levels, we highlighted 1,012 genes related to ACE-2 in smokers and 855 in non-smokers. Furthermore, we showed that 161 genes involved in the endocytosis process were highlighted using the online pathway tool KEGG. Finally, 11 genes were in common between the ACE-2 pathway in smokers and the genes regulated during endocytosis, while 12 genes with non-smokers. Interestingly, six in non-smokers and four genes in smokers were closely involved during the viral internalization process. Our data may offer a pharmaceutical role of nicotine as potential treatment option in COVID-19.

7.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(3)2021 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160481

ABSTRACT

To date, there is poor evidence on the transmission of infection in individuals handling the bodies of deceased persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 and in particular, during autopsies. The aim of this study was to demonstrate that when appropriate strategies are adopted autopsy is a safe procedure with a minimal infection risk for all subjects involved (pathologists, technical personnel, and others) when proper strategies are adopted. We performed 16 autopsies on cadavers of persons who had died with confirmed COVID-19 with different post-mortem intervals (PMI). To confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, for each autopsy, 2 swabs were sampled from lungs, while to evaluate environmental contamination, 11 swabs were taken at three different times: T0 (before autopsy), T1 (at the end of the autopsy, without removing the corpse), and T2 (after cleaning and disinfecting the autopsy room). Specifically, 2 swabs were sampled on face shields used by each pathologist, and 4 swabs were collected on the autopsy table; 4 swabs were also collected from walls and 1 from floor. Lung swabs confirmed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in all cases. Environmental swabs, collected at T0 and T2 were all negative, while swabs sampled at T1 were shown to be positive. Interestingly, no association was shown between PMI length and environmental contamination. Infection control strategies for safe management of clinical forensic autopsies of bodies with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are also described.

8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090334

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to assess the awareness and performance of Qom citizens towards using disinfectants and compared its relationship with geographical distribution of COVID-19 outbreak in Qom, Iran. The study was conducted by a researcher-made questionnaire during April and May, 2020. COVID-19 incidence data for each district of city was obtained from health department of Qom province. Data were analyzed using Excel, SPSS and ArcView (GIS) softwares. It was found that the highest level of citizens' awareness (52%) was in the weak range while their performance (56%) was in the good range. According to Spearman's correlation analysis, there was a strong correlation (rho 0.95) between the total mean of awareness and performance (p < 0.01). The highest incidence rate of COVID-19 was in district 7 which had the lowest mean score in both awareness and performance. In addition, the results of ANOVA (LSD-least significant difference) showed that there was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between district 7-with lower mean scores in awareness and performance-and other districts. Overall, it is concluded that citizens' awareness level was lower than that of their performance. This conclusion not only calls for more training programs to be implemented in public places, schools, universities and governmental offices, but it also necessitates maintaining a proper and timely training about using disinfectants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Disinfectants , Adult , Female , Humans , Iran , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
9.
Environ Res ; 191: 110129, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-935597

ABSTRACT

A new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has determined a pneumonia outbreak in China (Wuhan, Hubei Province) in December 2019, called COVID-19 disease. In addition to the person-to person transmission dynamic of the novel respiratory virus, it has been recently studied the role of environmental factors in accelerate SARS-CoV-2 spread and its lethality. The time being, air pollution has been identified as the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world. It affects body's immunity, making people more vulnerable to pathogens. The hypothesis that air pollution, resulting from a combination of factors such as meteorological data, level of industrialization as well as regional topography, can acts both as a carrier of the infection and as a worsening factor of the health impact of COVID-19 disease, has been raised recently. With this review, we want to provide an update state of art relating the role of air pollution, in particular PM2.5, PM10 and NO2, in COVID-19 spread and lethality. The Authors, who first investigated this association, often used different research methods or not all include confounding factors whenever possible. In addition, to date incidence data are underestimated in all countries and to a lesser extent also mortality data. For this reason, the cases included in the reviewed studies cannot be considered conclusive. Although it determines important limitations for direct comparison of results, and more studies are needed to strengthen scientific evidences and support firm conclusions, major findings are consistent, highlighting the important contribution of PM2.5 and NO2 as triggering of the COVID-19 spread and lethality, and with a less extent also PM10, although the potential effect of airborne virus exposure it has not been still demonstrated.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollutants/toxicity , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Humans , Nitrogen Dioxide , Particulate Matter/analysis , Particulate Matter/toxicity , SARS-CoV-2
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