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1.
Sustainability ; 14(15):9410, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1969464

ABSTRACT

The past years were marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downfall, the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, and the end of the African Women's Decade. According to the latest projections, African countries will continue to face increasing inequalities, as well as risks to human health, water and food security, due to climate change. African countries are also struggling to reduce gender-related power imbalances in adaptation and mitigation that magnify existing vulnerabilities, particularly those of women. Therefore, any advances made in this narrative are significant. This paper investigates the needs and potential for gender-balanced leadership/empowerment in adaptation and mitigation based on climate change experts' views on the advances made in Africa. This is complemented by a bibliometric analysis of the literature published on the topic between the years 2015 and 2022. The study suggests that although women's influence on climate change related decisions is growing, a series of barriers need to be overcome, among which are lack of knowledge and political will. The COVID-19 pandemic is seen as having both positive and negative potentials for gender-balanced leadership/empowerment. The findings provide a premise for identifying possible directions of further actions towards gender-balanced leadership/empowerment in climate change in African countries.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329582

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had many deep social and economic impacts that go beyond health issues. One consequence is that the pandemic has made it even harder to mobilize the financial resources needed to pursue SDG 13 (Climate Action) as a whole and to fund climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in particular. This is especially acute in respect of the efforts to achieve the targets set by the Paris Agreement and by the recent decisions in Glasgow. This paper looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated poverty and undermined climate change adaptation efforts, as a result of the switches in priorities and funding. Using a review of the recent literature, an analysis of international trends, and a survey among climate scientists, it identifies some of the impacts of the pandemic on climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts and discusses their implications. The findings indicate a decrease in funding to climate change research since the pandemic crisis. The bibliometric analysis reveals that a greater emphasis has been placed on the relationship between COVID-19 and poverty when compared to the interrelations between COVID-19 and climate change. Addressing climate change is as urgent now as it was since the pandemic crisis started, and efforts need to be made to upkeep the levels of funding needed to support research in this field.

3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(2)2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625410

ABSTRACT

Climate change can have a complex impact that also influences human and animal health. For example, climate change alters the conditions for pathogens and vectors of zoonotic diseases. Signs of this are the increasing spread of the West Nile and Usutu viruses and the establishment of new vector species, such as specific mosquito and tick species, in Europe and other parts of the world. With these changes come new challenges for maintaining human and animal health. This paper reports on an analysis of the literature focused on a bibliometric analysis of the Scopus database and VOSviewer software for creating visualization maps which identifies the zoonotic health risks for humans and animals caused by climate change. The sources retained for the analysis totaled 428 and different thresholds (N) were established for each item varying from N 5 to 10. The main findings are as follows: First, published documents increased in 2009-2015 peaking in 2020. Second, the primary sources have changed since 2018, partly attributable to the increase in human health concerns due to human-to-human transmission. Third, the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy, and Germany perform most zoonosis research. For instance, sixty documents and only 17 countries analyzed for co-authorship analysis met the threshold led by the USA; the top four author keywords were "climate change", "zoonosis", "epidemiology", and "one health;" the USA, the UK, Germany, and Spain led the link strength (inter-collaboration); the author keywords showed that 37 out of the 1023 keywords met the threshold, and the authors' keyword's largest node of the bibliometric map contains the following: infectious diseases, emerging diseases, disease ecology, one health, surveillance, transmission, and wildlife. Finally, zoonotic diseases, which were documented in the literature in the past, have evolved, especially during the years 2010-2015, as evidenced by the sharp augmentation of publications addressing ad-hoc events and peaking in 2020 with the COVID-19 outbreak.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Climate Change , Animals , Bibliometrics , Humans , Mosquito Vectors , SARS-CoV-2 , Zoonoses/epidemiology
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7325, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585854

ABSTRACT

Single-domain Variable New Antigen Receptors (VNARs) from the immune system of sharks are the smallest naturally occurring binding domains found in nature. Possessing flexible paratopes that can recognize protein motifs inaccessible to classical antibodies, VNARs have yet to be exploited for the development of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics. Here, we detail the identification of a series of VNARs from a VNAR phage display library screened against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). The ability of the VNARs to neutralize pseudotype and authentic live SARS-CoV-2 virus rivalled or exceeded that of full-length immunoglobulins and other single-domain antibodies. Crystallographic analysis of two VNARs found that they recognized separate epitopes on the RBD and had distinctly different mechanisms of virus neutralization unique to VNARs. Structural and biochemical data suggest that VNARs would be effective therapeutic agents against emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutants, including the Delta variant, and coronaviruses across multiple phylogenetic lineages. This study highlights the utility of VNARs as effective therapeutics against coronaviruses and may serve as a critical milestone for nearing a paradigm shift of the greater biologic landscape.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Receptors, Antigen/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen/immunology , Sharks/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Epitopes , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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