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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334517

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges that have spurred biotechnological research to address specific problems. Diagnostics is one area where biotechnology has been critical. Diagnostic tests play a vital role in managing a viral threat by facilitating the detection of infected and/or recovered individuals. From the perspective of what information is provided, these tests fall into two major categories, molecular and serological. Molecular diagnostic techniques assay whether a virus is present in a biological sample, thus making it possible to identify individuals who are currently infected. Additionally, when the immune system is exposed to a virus, it responds by producing antibodies specific to the virus. Serological tests make it possible to identify individuals who have mounted an immune response to a virus of interest and therefore facilitate the identification of individuals who have previously encountered the virus. These two categories of tests provide different perspectives valuable to understanding the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Within these categories, different biotechnological approaches offer specific advantages and disadvantages. Here we review the categories of tests developed for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus or antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and discuss the role of diagnostics in the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-326334

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in late 2019, has since spread around the world and infected hundreds of millions of people with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While this viral species was unknown prior to January 2020, its similarity to other coronaviruses that infect humans has allowed for rapid insight into the mechanisms that it uses to infect human hosts, as well as the ways in which the human immune system can respond. Here, we contextualize SARS-CoV-2 among other coronaviruses and identify what is known and what can be inferred about its behavior once inside a human host. Because the genomic content of coronaviruses, which specifies the virus's structure, is highly conserved, early genomic analysis provided a significant head start in predicting viral pathogenesis and in understanding potential differences among variants. The pathogenesis of the virus offers insights into symptomatology, transmission, and individual susceptibility. Additionally, prior research into interactions between the human immune system and coronaviruses has identified how these viruses can evade the immune system's protective mechanisms. We also explore systems-level research into the regulatory and proteomic effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the immune response. Understanding the structure and behavior of the virus serves to contextualize the many facets of the COVID-19 pandemic and can influence efforts to control the virus and treat the disease.

4.
Front Public Health ; 9: 751451, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606247

ABSTRACT

During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, providing safe in-person schooling has been a dynamic process balancing evolving community disease burden, scientific information, and local regulatory requirements with the mandate for education. Considerations include the health risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its post-acute sequelae, the impact of remote learning or periods of quarantine on education and well-being of children, and the contribution of schools to viral circulation in the community. The risk for infections that may occur within schools is related to the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infections within the local community. Thus, persistent suppression of viral circulation in the community through effective public health measures including vaccination is critical to in-person schooling. Evidence suggests that the likelihood of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within schools can be minimized if mitigation strategies are rationally combined. This article reviews evidence-based approaches and practices for the continual operation of in-person schooling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
5.
Nutrients ; 14(1)2021 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580549

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the ongoing worldwide pandemic, has cost the lives of almost 5 [...].


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Diet/methods , Dietary Supplements , Health Promotion/methods , Life Style , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
mSystems ; 6(6): e0023321, 2021 Dec 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494991

ABSTRACT

After emerging in China in late 2019, the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread worldwide, and as of mid-2021, it remains a significant threat globally. Only a few coronaviruses are known to infect humans, and only two cause infections similar in severity to SARS-CoV-2: Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, a species closely related to SARS-CoV-2 that emerged in 2002, and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. Unlike the current pandemic, previous epidemics were controlled rapidly through public health measures, but the body of research investigating severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome has proven valuable for identifying approaches to treating and preventing novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Building on this research, the medical and scientific communities have responded rapidly to the COVID-19 crisis and identified many candidate therapeutics. The approaches used to identify candidates fall into four main categories: adaptation of clinical approaches to diseases with related pathologies, adaptation based on virological properties, adaptation based on host response, and data-driven identification (ID) of candidates based on physical properties or on pharmacological compendia. To date, a small number of therapeutics have already been authorized by regulatory agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while most remain under investigation. The scale of the COVID-19 crisis offers a rare opportunity to collect data on the effects of candidate therapeutics. This information provides insight not only into the management of coronavirus diseases but also into the relative success of different approaches to identifying candidate therapeutics against an emerging disease. IMPORTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving crisis. With the worldwide scientific community shifting focus onto the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19, a large number of possible pharmaceutical approaches for treatment and prevention have been proposed. What was known about each of these potential interventions evolved rapidly throughout 2020 and 2021. This fast-paced area of research provides important insight into how the ongoing pandemic can be managed and also demonstrates the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to rapidly understand a virus and match its characteristics with existing or novel pharmaceuticals. As illustrated by the continued threat of viral epidemics during the current millennium, a rapid and strategic response to emerging viral threats can save lives. In this review, we explore how different modes of identifying candidate therapeutics have borne out during COVID-19.

7.
mSystems ; 6(5): e0009521, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483995

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in late 2019, has since spread around the world and infected hundreds of millions of people with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While this viral species was unknown prior to January 2020, its similarity to other coronaviruses that infect humans has allowed for rapid insight into the mechanisms that it uses to infect human hosts, as well as the ways in which the human immune system can respond. Here, we contextualize SARS-CoV-2 among other coronaviruses and identify what is known and what can be inferred about its behavior once inside a human host. Because the genomic content of coronaviruses, which specifies the virus's structure, is highly conserved, early genomic analysis provided a significant head start in predicting viral pathogenesis and in understanding potential differences among variants. The pathogenesis of the virus offers insights into symptomatology, transmission, and individual susceptibility. Additionally, prior research into interactions between the human immune system and coronaviruses has identified how these viruses can evade the immune system's protective mechanisms. We also explore systems-level research into the regulatory and proteomic effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the immune response. Understanding the structure and behavior of the virus serves to contextualize the many facets of the COVID-19 pandemic and can influence efforts to control the virus and treat the disease. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 involves a number of organ systems and can present with a wide range of symptoms. From how the virus infects cells to how it spreads between people, the available research suggests that these patterns are very similar to those seen in the closely related viruses SARS-CoV-1 and possibly Middle East respiratory syndrome-related CoV (MERS-CoV). Understanding the pathogenesis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus also contextualizes how the different biological systems affected by COVID-19 connect. Exploring the structure, phylogeny, and pathogenesis of the virus therefore helps to guide interpretation of the broader impacts of the virus on the human body and on human populations. For this reason, an in-depth exploration of viral mechanisms is critical to a robust understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and, potentially, future emergent human CoVs (HCoVs).

10.
mSystems ; 6(3)2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216783

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused global disruption and a significant loss of life. Existing treatments that can be repurposed as prophylactic and therapeutic agents may reduce the pandemic's devastation. Emerging evidence of potential applications in other therapeutic contexts has led to the investigation of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals for COVID-19. Such products include vitamin C, vitamin D, omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, probiotics, and zinc, all of which are currently under clinical investigation. In this review, we critically appraise the evidence surrounding dietary supplements and nutraceuticals for the prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19. Overall, further study is required before evidence-based recommendations can be formulated, but nutritional status plays a significant role in patient outcomes, and these products may help alleviate deficiencies. For example, evidence indicates that vitamin D deficiency may be associated with a greater incidence of infection and severity of COVID-19, suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may hold prophylactic or therapeutic value. A growing number of scientific organizations are now considering recommending vitamin D supplementation to those at high risk of COVID-19. Because research in vitamin D and other nutraceuticals and supplements is preliminary, here we evaluate the extent to which these nutraceutical and dietary supplements hold potential in the COVID-19 crisis.IMPORTANCE Sales of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals have increased during the pandemic due to their perceived "immune-boosting" effects. However, little is known about the efficacy of these dietary supplements and nutraceuticals against the novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]) or the disease that it causes, CoV disease 2019 (COVID-19). This review provides a critical overview of the potential prophylactic and therapeutic value of various dietary supplements and nutraceuticals from the evidence available to date. These include vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc, which are often perceived by the public as treating respiratory infections or supporting immune health. Consumers need to be aware of misinformation and false promises surrounding some supplements, which may be subject to limited regulation by authorities. However, considerably more research is required to determine whether dietary supplements and nutraceuticals exhibit prophylactic and therapeutic value against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. This review provides perspective on which nutraceuticals and supplements are involved in biological processes that are relevant to recovery from or prevention of COVID-19.

11.
Current Research in Biotechnology ; 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1213124

ABSTRACT

The open innovation hub Digital Health and Patient Safety Platform (DHPSP) was recently established with the purpose to invigorate collaborative scientific research and the development of new digital products and personalized solutions aiming to improve human health and patient safety. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of a Twitter-based campaign centered on using the hashtag #DHPSP to promote the visibility of the DHPSP initiative. Thus, tweets containing #DHPSP were monitored for five weeks for the period 20.10.2020-24.11.2020 and were analyzed with Symplur Signals (social media analytics tool). In the study period, a total of 11,005 tweets containing #DHPSP were posted by 3,020 Twitter users, generating 151,984,378 impressions. Analysis of the healthcare stakeholder-identity of the Twitter users who used #DHPSP revealed that the most of participating user accounts belonged to individuals or doctors, with the top three user locations being the United States (501 users), the United Kingdom (155 users), and India (121 users). Analysis of co-occurring hashtags and the full text of the posted tweets further revealed that the major themes of attention in the #DHPSP Twitter-community were related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), medicine and health, digital health technologies, and science communication in general. Overall, these results indicate that the #DHPSP initiative achieved high visibility and engaged a large body of Twitter users interested in the DHPSP focus area. Moreover, the conducted campaign resulted in an increase of DHPSP member enrollments and website visitors, and new scientific collaborations were formed. Thus, Twitter campaigns centered on a dedicated hashtag prove to be a highly efficient tool for visibility-promotion, which could be successfully utilized by healthcare-related open innovation platforms or initiatives.

12.
Nutrients ; 13(3)2021 Feb 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115431

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel contagion that has infected over 113 million people worldwide. It is responsible for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has cost the lives of 2.5 million people. Ergo, the global scientific community has been scrambling to repurpose or develop therapeutics to treat COVID-19. Dietary supplements and nutraceuticals are among those under consideration due to the link between nutritional status and patient outcomes. Overall, poor vitamin D status seems to be associated with an increased risk of COVID-19. Severely ill COVID-19 patients appear to be deficient or have suboptimal levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a measure of vitamin D status. Consequently, vitamin D is now the subject of several prophylactic and therapeutic clinical trials. In this review, the general status of nutraceuticals and dietary supplements amid the pandemic is appraised, with a particular focus on vitamin D. Consumers should be aware of misinformation and unsubstantiated promises for products marketed for COVID-19 protection. However, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle will likely maintain health including optimum immune function that may affect patient outcomes. Those who are deficient in key nutrients such as vitamin D should consider lifestyle changes and potentially supplementation in consultation with their physician and/or registered dieticians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dietary Supplements , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vitamin D/analogs & derivatives , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Vitamin D/blood , Vitamin D/therapeutic use
13.
Mar Drugs ; 19(1)2021 Jan 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033055

ABSTRACT

Microalgae are at the start of the food chain, and many are known producers of a significant amount of lipids with essential fatty acids. However, the bioactivity of microalgal lipids for anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic activities have rarely been investigated. Therefore, for a sustainable source of the above bioactive lipids, the present study was undertaken. The total lipids of microalga Chlorococcum sp., isolated from the Irish coast, were fractionated into neutral-, glyco-, and phospho-lipids, and were tested in vitro for their anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic activities. All tested lipid fractions showed strong anti-platelet-activating factor (PAF) and antithrombin activities in human platelets (half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging ~25-200 µg of lipid) with the highest activities in glyco- and phospho-lipid fractions. The structural analysis of the bioactive lipid fraction-2 revealed the presence of specific sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerols (SQDG) bioactive molecules and the HexCer-t36:2 (t18:1/18:1 and 18:2/18:0) cerebrosides with a phytosphingosine (4-hydrosphinganine) base, while fraction-3 contained bioactive phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) molecules. These novel bioactive lipids of Chlorococcum sp. with putative health benefits may indicate that marine microalgae can be a sustainable alternative source for bioactive lipids production for food supplements and nutraceutical applications. However, further studies are required towards the commercial technology pathways development and biosafety analysis for the use of the microalga.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/chemistry , Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/pharmacology , Fibrinolytic Agents/chemistry , Fibrinolytic Agents/pharmacology , Lipids/chemistry , Lipids/pharmacology , Microalgae/chemistry , Antithrombins/pharmacology , Blood Platelets/drug effects , Fatty Acids/chemistry , Fatty Acids/pharmacology , Humans , Platelet Activating Factor/antagonists & inhibitors , Platelet Aggregation/drug effects , Water Microbiology
14.
Front Nutr ; 7: 583080, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-878931

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is a contagion that has rapidly spread around the globe. COVID-19 has caused significant loss of life and disrupted global society at a level never before encountered. While the disease was predominantly characterized by respiratory symptoms initially, it became clear that other systems including the cardiovascular and neurological systems were also involved. Several thrombotic complications were reported including venous thrombosis, vasculitis, cardiomyopathy, and stroke. Thrombosis and inflammation are implicated in various non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This is of significant concern as people with pre-existing conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, renal disorders, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection. Consequently, the research surrounding the use of anticoagulants, antiplatelet, and antithrombotic strategies for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 is of critical importance. The adoption of a healthy diet, physical exercise, and lifestyle choices can reduce the risk factors associated with NCDs and the thrombo-inflammatory complications. In this review, these thrombotic complications and potential foods, nutraceuticals, and the antithrombotic constituents within that may prevent the onset of severe thrombotic complications as a result of infection are discussed. While nutrition is not a panacea to tackle COVID-19, it is apparent that a patient's nutritional status may affect patient outcomes. Further intensive research is warranted to reduce to incidence of thrombotic complications.

16.
Nutrients ; 12(5)2020 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-344364

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has engulfed the world, affecting more than 180 countries. As a result, there has been considerable economic distress globally and a significant loss of life. Sadly, the vulnerable and immunocompromised in our societies seem to be more susceptible to severe COVID-19 complications. Global public health bodies and governments have ignited strategies and issued advisories on various handwashing and hygiene guidelines, social distancing strategies, and, in the most extreme cases, some countries have adopted "stay in place" or lockdown protocols to prevent COVID-19 spread. Notably, there are several significant risk factors for severe COVID-19 infection. These include the presence of poor nutritional status and pre-existing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes mellitus, chronic lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), obesity, and various other diseases that render the patient immunocompromised. These diseases are characterized by systemic inflammation, which may be a common feature of these NCDs, affecting patient outcomes against COVID-19. In this review, we discuss some of the anti-inflammatory therapies that are currently under investigation intended to dampen the cytokine storm of severe COVID-19 infections. Furthermore, nutritional status and the role of diet and lifestyle is considered, as it is known to affect patient outcomes in other severe infections and may play a role in COVID-19 infection. This review speculates the importance of nutrition as a mitigation strategy to support immune function amid the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying food groups and key nutrients of importance that may affect the outcomes of respiratory infections.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Inflammation/therapy , Nutrition Therapy/methods , Nutritional Status , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/blood , Diet/methods , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Nutritional Status/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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