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1.
Immunobiology ; 227(6): 152287, 2022 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2105123

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Epitope selection is the key to peptide vaccines development. Bioinformatics tools can efficiently improve the screening of antigenic epitopes and help to choose the right ones. OBJECTIVE: To predict, synthesize and testify peptide epitopes at spike protein, assess the effect of mutations on epitope humoral immunity, thus provide clues for the design and development of epitope peptide vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Bioinformatics servers and immunological tools were used to identify the helper T lymphocyte, cytotoxic T lymphocyte, and linear B lymphocyte epitopes on the S protein of SARS-CoV-2. Physicochemical properties of candidate epitopes were analyzed using IEDB, VaxiJen, and AllerTOP online software. Three candidate epitopes were synthesized and their antigenic responses were evaluated by binding antibody detection. RESULTS: A total of 20 antigenic, non-toxic and non-allergenic candidate epitopes were identified from 1502 epitopes, including 6 helper T-cell epitopes, 13 cytotoxic T-cell epitopes, and 1 linear B cell epitope. After immunization with antigen containing candidate epitopes S206-221, S403-425, and S1157-1170 in rabbits, the binding titers of serum antibody to the corresponding peptide, S protein, receptor-binding domain protein were (415044, 2582, 209.3), (852819, 45238, 457767) and (357897, 10528, 13.79), respectively. The binding titers to Omicron S protein were 642, 12,878 and 7750, respectively, showing that N211L, DEL212 and K417N mutations cause the reduction of the antibody binding activity. CONCLUSIONS: Bioinformatic methods are effective in peptide epitopes design. Certain mutations of the Omicron would lead to the loss of antibody affinity to Omicron S protein.

2.
Immunobiology ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2046823

ABSTRACT

Graphical Background Epitope selection is the key to peptide vaccines development. Bioinformatics tools can efficiently improve the screening of antigenic epitopes and help to choose the right ones. Objective To predict, synthesize and testify peptide epitopes at spike protein, assess the effect of mutations on epitope humoral immunity, thus provide clues for the design and development of epitope peptide vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Methods Bioinformatics servers and immunological tools were used to identify the helper T lymphocyte, cytotoxic T lymphocyte, and linear B lymphocyte epitopes on the S protein of SARS-CoV-2. Physicochemical properties of candidate epitopes were analyzed using IEDB, VaxiJen, and AllerTOP online software. Three candidate epitopes were synthesized and their antigenic responses were evaluated by binding antibody detection. Results A total of 20 antigenic, non-toxic and non-allergenic candidate epitopes were identified from 1502 epitopes, including 6 helper T-cell epitopes, 13 cytotoxic T-cell epitopes, and 1 linear B cell epitope. After immunization with antigen containing candidate epitopes S206-221, S403-425, and S1157-1170 in rabbits, the binding titers of serum antibody to the corresponding peptide, S protein, receptor-binding domain protein were (415044, 2582, 209.3), (852819, 45238, 457767) and (357897, 10528, 13.79), respectively. The binding titers to Omicron S protein were 642, 12878 and 7750, respectively, showing that N211L, DEL212 and K417N mutations cause the reduction of the antibody binding activity. Conclusions Bioinformatic methods are effective in peptide epitopes design. Certain mutations of the Omicron would lead to the loss of antibody affinity to Omicron S protein.

3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(34): e2204256119, 2022 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991767

ABSTRACT

Antibody therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 have been highly successful. However, the recent emergence of the Omicron variant has posed a challenge, as it evades detection by most existing SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Here, we successfully generated a panel of SARS-CoV-2/SARS-CoV cross-neutralizing antibodies by sequential immunization of the two pseudoviruses. Of the potential candidates, we found that nAbs X01, X10, and X17 offer broad neutralizing potential against most variants of concern, with X17 further identified as a Class 5 nAb with undiminished neutralization against the Omicron variant. Cryo-electron microscopy structures of the three antibodies together in complex with each of the spike proteins of the prototypical SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 defined three nonoverlapping conserved epitopes on the receptor-binding domain. The triple-antibody mixture exhibited enhanced resistance to viral evasion and effective protection against infection of the Beta variant in hamsters. Our findings will aid the development of antibody therapeutics and broad vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Conserved Sequence , Cricetinae , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Mice , Neutralization Tests , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
Eur J Nutr ; 2022 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1990622

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Nutrition plays a key role in supporting the human immune system and reducing the risk of infections. However, there is limited evidence exploring the relationship between diet and the risk of COVID-19. This study aimed to assess the associations between consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) and COVID-19 risk. METHODS: In total, 41,012 participants from the UK Biobank study with at least 2 of up to 5 times 24-h dietary assessments were included in this study. Dietary intakes were collected using an online 24-h dietary recall questionnaire and food items were categorized according to their degree of processing by the NOVA classification. COVID-19 infection was defined as individuals tested COVID-19 positive or dead of COVID-19. Association between average UPF consumption (% daily gram intake) and COVID-19 infection was assessed by multivariable logistic regression adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS: Compared to participants in the lowest quartile of UPF proportion (% daily gram intake) in the diet, participants in the 2nd, 3rd, and highest quartiles were associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 with the odds ratio (OR) value of 1.03 (95% CI: 0.94-1.13), 1.24 (95% CI: 1.13-1.36), and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.12-1.34), respectively (P for trend < 0.001), after adjusting for potential confounders. The results were robust in a series of sensitivity analyses. No interaction effect was identified between the UPF proportions and age groups, education level, body mass index, and comorbidity status. BMI mediated 13.2% of this association. CONCLUSION: Higher consumption of UPF was associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 infection. Further studies are needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms in such association.

5.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0267001, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968855

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic increasingly threatens the public health security worldwide. We aimed to identify high-risk areas of COVID-19 and understand how socioeconomic factors are associated with the spatial distribution of COVID-19 in China, which may help other countries control the epidemic. METHODS: We analyzed the data of COVID-19 cases from 30 provinces in mainland China (outside of Hubei) from 16 January 2020 to 31 March 2020, considering the data of demographic, economic, health, and transportation factors. Global autocorrelation analysis and Bayesian spatial models were used to present the spatial pattern of COVID-19 and explore the relationship between COVID-19 risk and various factors. RESULTS: Global Moran's I statistics of COVID-19 incidences was 0.31 (P<0.05). The areas with a high risk of COVID-19 were mainly located in the provinces around Hubei and the provinces with a high level of economic development. The relative risk of two socioeconomic factors, the per capita consumption expenditure of households and the proportion of the migrating population from Hubei, were 1.887 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.469~2.399] and 1.099 (95% CI: 1.053~1.148), respectively. The two factors explained up to 78.2% out of 99.7% of structured spatial variations. CONCLUSION: Our results suggested that COVID-19 risk was positively associated with the level of economic development and population movements. Blocking population movement and reducing local exposures are effective in preventing the local transmission of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spatial Analysis
6.
Frontiers in physiology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1958165

ABSTRACT

Climate change, environmental pollution, and virus epidemics have sharply increased the number of patients suffering from respiratory diseases in recent years. Prolonged periods of illness and drug use increase the occurrence of complications in these patients. Osteoporosis is the common bone metabolism disease with respiratory disturbance, which affects prognosis and increases mortality of patients. The problem of osteoporosis in patients with respiratory diseases needs more attention. In this review, we concluded the characteristics of osteoporosis in some respiratory diseases including COPD, asthma, COVID-19, tuberculosis, and lung cancer. We revealed that hypoxia was the common pathogenesis of osteoporosis secondary to respiratory diseases, with malnutrition and corticosteroid abuse driving the progression of osteoporosis. Hypoxia-induced ROS accumulation and activated HIF-1α lead to attenuated osteogenesis and enhanced osteoclastogenesis in patients with respiratory diseases. Tuberculosis and cancer also invaded bone tissue and reduced bone strength by direct infiltration. For the treatment of osteoporosis in respiratory patients, oral-optimized bisphosphonates were the best treatment modality. Vitamin D was a necessary supplement, both for calcium absorption in osteogenesis and for improvement of respiratory lesions. Reasonable adjustment of the dose and course of corticosteroids according to the etiology and condition of patients is beneficial to prevent the occurrence and development of osteoporosis. Additionally, HIF-1α was a potential target for the treatment of osteoporosis in respiratory patients, which could be activated under hypoxia condition and involved in the process of bone remodeling.

7.
Int J Biol Sci ; 18(12): 4731-4743, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1954688

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is caused by an RNA virus, SARS-CoV-2. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 lacks a nuclear phase in its life cycle and is replicated in the cytoplasm. However, interfering with nuclear trafficking using pharmacological inhibitors greatly reduces virus infection and virus replication of other coronaviruses is blocked in enucleated cells, suggesting a critical role of the nucleus in virus infection. Here, we summarize the alternations of nuclear pathways caused by SARS-CoV-2, including nuclear translocation pathways, innate immune responses, mRNA metabolism, epigenetic mechanisms, DNA damage response, cytoskeleton regulation, and nuclear rupture. We consider how these alternations contribute to virus replication and discuss therapeutic treatments that target these pathways, focusing on small molecule drugs that are being used in clinical studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Pandemics , Virus Replication/genetics
8.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329405

ABSTRACT

Antibody therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 has been highly successful while faces a challenge of the recent emergence of the Omicron variant which escapes the majority of existing SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs). Here, we successfully generated a panel of SARS-CoV-2/SARS-CoV cross-neutralizing antibodies by sequential immunization of the two pseudoviruses. Of which, nAbs X01, X10 and X17 showed broadly neutralizing breadths against most variants of concern (VOCs) and X17 was further identified as a Class 5 nAb with undiminished neutralization against the Omicron variant. Cryo-EM structures of three-antibody in complex with the spike proteins of prototyped SARS-CoV-2, Delta, Omicron and SARS-CoV defined three non-overlapping conserved epitopes on the receptor-binding domain (RBD). The triple antibody cocktail exhibited enhanced resistance to viral escape and effective protection against the infection of Beta variant in hamsters. Our finding will aid the development of both antibody therapeutics and broad vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants.

9.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322547

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first detected in Hubei Province and spread rapidly around the world. Summarizing the development of COVID-19 and assessing the effect of control measures are very critical to China and other countries. A heatmap was used to find the highest concentration of the COVID-19 outbreak and the areas with initial imported cases. A logistic growth curve model was employed to compare the development of COVID-19 before and after the emergency response took effect. We found that the number of confirmed cases peaked 9-14 days after the first detection of an imported case, but there was a peak lag in the province where the outbreak was concentrated. The average growth rate of cumulative confirmed cases decreased by approximately 50% after the emergency response began. Areas with frequent population migration have a high risk of outbreak. The emergency response taken by the Chinese government was able to effectively control the COVID-19 outbreak. Our study provides references for other countries and regions to control the COVID-19 outbreak.

10.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315935

ABSTRACT

The WHO described coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic due to the speed and scale of its transmission. Without effective interventions, the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases would greatly increase the burden of clinical treatments. Identifying the transmission sources and pathways is of vital importance to block transmission and allocate limited public health resources. According to the relationships among cases, we constructed disease transmission network graphs for the COVID-19 epidemic through a visualization technique based on individual reports of epidemiological data. We proposed an analysis strategy of the transmission network with the epidemiological data in Tianjin and Chengdu. The transmission networks showed different transmission characteristics. In Tianjin, an imported case can produce an average of 2.9 secondary infections and ultimately produce up to 4 generations of infections, with a maximum of 6 cases generated before being identified. In Chengdu, 45 noninformative cases and 24 cases with vague exposure information made it difficult to provide accurate information by the transmission network. The proposed analysis framework of visualized transmission networks can trace the transmission source and contacts, assess the current situation of transmission and prevention, and provide evidence for the global response and control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

11.
Alzheimer's & Dementia ; 17(S10):e050539, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1589254

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has posed substantial impact on people?s life and wellbeing, especially for the aging population who are at greater risk. This study compared the difference in the impact between older adults from underrepresented racial/ethnic groups (URGs) versus non-URGs. Method The National Alzheimer?s Coordinating Center COVID-19 Impact Survey was self-reported by 221 participants aged 49-99 years from the Wisconsin Alzheimer?s Disease Research Center clinical core between August and December, 2020. 43 participants who reported ?Black or African American? or ?American Indian or Alaska Native? in primary or secondary race or reported ?Yes? to Hispanic? ethnicity were classified as URGs. The remaining 178 participants who reported only ?White? or ?Asian? in the primary and secondary races and ?No? to ?Hispanic? ethnicity were classified as non-URGs. The survey inquired on (1) COVID-19 symptoms, testing, diagnosis, and hospitalization;(2) worrying, social isolation, and disruption on everyday life associated with the pandemic;(3) related cognitive, psychiatric, and behavioral changes;and (4) change of willingness in research participation. Group differences on survey responses were tested using Fisher?s exact test, non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test, and binary or ordinal logistic regressions. Result No significant group difference was found in sex, age, and clinical diagnosis. However, URG participants had lower education and higher Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scores (Table 1). URGs were approximately doubled non-URGs in the percentages of experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, having a positive diagnosis, and reporting ?very much? or ?extremely? worrying about getting COVID-19 and changing willingness to participate in clinical research. Controlling for sex, age, education, and CDR score, URGs were more likely to be tested for COVID-19 (Odds Ratio = 2.37), have significantly reduced income (OR=4.74), experience change in memory or thinking (OR=2.97), and report a greater total number of psychiatric or behavioral changes (OR=2.04). However, URGs felt less isolated from family or friends (OR=0.55). Conclusion URGs had greater medical, psychological, and economical consequences than non-URGs, which implied racial/ethnic disparities associated with the pandemic. Future research is needed to identify inequities in the social determinants and understand their association with disparities, which would help inform policies and strategies to achieve health equity.

12.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293895

ABSTRACT

EdTech which includes online education, computer assisted learning (CAL), and remote instruction was expanding rapidly even before the current full-scale substitution for in-person learning at all levels of education around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. Studies of CAL interventions have consistently found large positive effects, bolstering arguments for the widespread use of EdTech. However CAL programs, often held after school, provide not only computer-based instruction, but often additional non-technology based inputs such as more time on learning and instructional support by facilitators. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model to carefully explore the possible channels by which CAL programs might affect academic outcomes among schoolchildren. We isolate and test the technology-based effects of CAL and additional parameters from the theoretical model, by designing a novel multi-treatment field experiment with more than four thousand schoolchildren in rural China. Although we find evidence of positive overall CAL program effects on academic outcomes, when we isolate the technology-based effect of CAL (over and above traditional pencil-and-paper learning) we generally find small to null effects. Our empirical results suggest that, at times, the "Tech" in EdTech may have relatively small effects on academic outcomes, which has important implications for the continued, rapid expansion of technologies such as CAL throughout the world.

13.
China CDC Wkly ; 3(46): 967-972, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513532

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a recently emergent coronavirus of natural origin and caused the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The study of its natural origin and host range is of particular importance for source tracing, monitoring of this virus, and prevention of recurrent infections. One major approach is to test the binding ability of the viral receptor gene ACE2 from various hosts to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, but it is time-consuming and labor-intensive to cover a large collection of species. METHODS: In this paper, we applied state-of-the-art machine learning approaches and created a pipeline reaching >87% accuracy in predicting binding between different ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 spike. RESULTS: We further validated our prediction pipeline using 2 independent test sets involving >50 bat species and achieved >78% accuracy. A large-scale screening of 204 mammal species revealed 144 species (or 61%) were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infections, highlighting the importance of intensive monitoring and studies in mammalian species. DISCUSSION: In short, our study employed machine learning models to create an important tool for predicting potential hosts of SARS-CoV-2 and achieved the highest precision to our knowledge in experimental validation. This study also predicted that a wide range of mammals were capable of being infected by SARS-CoV-2.

14.
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series ; No. 26953, 2020.
Article in English | NBER, Grey literature | ID: grc-748440

ABSTRACT

EdTech which includes online education, computer assisted learning (CAL), and remote instruction was expanding rapidly even before the current full-scale substitution for in-person learning at all levels of education around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. Studies of CAL interventions have consistently found large positive effects, bolstering arguments for the widespread use of EdTech. However CAL programs, often held after school, provide not only computer-based instruction, but often additional non-technology based inputs such as more time on learning and instructional support by facilitators. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model to carefully explore the possible channels by which CAL programs might affect academic outcomes among schoolchildren. We isolate and test the technology-based effects of CAL and additional parameters from the theoretical model, by designing a novel multi-treatment field experiment with more than four thousand schoolchildren in rural China. Although we find evidence of positive overall CAL program effects on academic outcomes, when we isolate the technology-based effect of CAL (over and above traditional pencil-and-paper learning) we generally find small to null effects. Our empirical results suggest that, at times, the “Tech” in EdTech may have relatively small effects on academic outcomes, which has important implications for the continued, rapid expansion of technologies such as CAL throughout the world.

15.
Atmos Environ (1994) ; 264: 118715, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415204

ABSTRACT

In recent years, nitrate plays an increasingly important role in haze pollution and strict emission control seems ineffective in reducing nitrate pollution in China. In this study, observations of gaseous and particulate pollutants during the COVID-19 lockdown, as well as numerical modelling were integrated to explore the underlying causes of the nonlinear response of nitrate mitigation to nitric oxides (NOx) reduction. We found that, due to less NOx titration effect and the transition of ozone (O3) formation regime caused by NOx emissions reduction, a significant increase of O3 (by ∼ 69%) was observed during the lockdown period, leading to higher atmospheric oxidizing capacity and facilitating the conversion from NOx to oxidation products like nitric acid (HNO3). It is proven by the fact that 26-61% reduction of NOx emissions only lowered surface HNO3 by 2-3% in Hebi and Nanjing, eastern China. In addition, ammonia concentration in Hebi and Nanjing increased by 10% and 40% during the lockdown, respectively. Model results suggested that the increasing ammonia can promote the gas-particle partition and thus enhance the nitrate formation by up to 20%. The enhanced atmospheric oxidizing capacity together with increasing ammonia availability jointly promotes the nitrate formation, thereby partly offsetting the drop of NOx. This work sheds more lights on the side effects of a sharp NOx reduction and highlights the importance of a coordinated control strategy.

16.
Practical Oncology Journal ; 34(2):103-106, 2020.
Article in Chinese | GIM | ID: covidwho-1410741

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, the number of corona virus disease 2019 cases has continued to increase. With the spread of the epidemic, clinical trials of anticancer drugs are facing great challenge. Cancer patients are suffering from the tumor itself, surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy under special immune status, they are susceptible to the new coronavirus, and are more susceptible to infection with the coronavirus than the normal population. Therefore, this article will elaborate on the particularity of subjects in clinical trials of anticancer drugs in the context of the corona virus disease 2019, management of clinical trials, existing problems and countermeasures to expect optimizing processes and reasonable arrangements, and to ensure the safety of patients so that the smooth progress of the clinical trial is guaranteed.

17.
Front Neurol ; 12: 717111, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369685

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccination is an important method by which to stop the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a population. Patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) have unstable immune function and receive immunosuppressive therapy frequently, so they are hardly to make a decision to receive vaccination. Our study investigated the vaccine hesitancy and coping styles in patients with NMOSD to analyze the relationship between vaccine hesitancy and coping styles, and elucidate the factors influencing vaccine hesitancy. Methods: A convenient sampling method was used to recruit participants. The Adult Vaccine Hesitancy Scale and Medical Coping Modes Questionnaire were used to measure the vaccine hesitancy and coping style of the participants. Pearson correlation, multiple stepwise, linear regression, and one-way analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. Results: A total of 262 NMOSD patients were investigated. The score of vaccine hesitancy in NMOSD patients is lower (21.13 ± 4.355) than 25 points which indicated the patient is not considered to have vaccine hesitancy. The score for vaccine hesitancy was negatively correlated with the confrontation and avoidance coping styles (r = -0.481 and r = 0.423). That adoption of the coping styles of confrontation and avoidance as well as the residence of the patient were predictors of vaccine hesitation in NMOSD patients (R 2(adj) = 0.29, P < 0.001). In addition, the vaccine hesitancy scores of NMOSD patients residing in rural areas were significantly higher than those of patients living in urban areas (P < 0.01). Comparing with each level of education, the scores were not statistically significant in vaccine hesitancy and coping styles (P > 0.05). Conclusions: This study reveals that the NMOSD patients is not considered to have vaccine hesitancy, Patients who tend to adopt confrontation and avoidance coping styles have less vaccine hesitancy. Health authorities and medical specialist teams should strengthen effective vaccination information for patients with NMOSD, such as expert consensus or guidelines through various media to help them with decision-making. The significance of vaccination, the safety and side effects of COVID-19 vaccination and predicting of epidemiological trends of COVID-19 should be emphasized. More attention should be paid to NMOSD patients who living in rural areas.

18.
Drugs Aging ; 38(10): 921-930, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361350

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is ongoing debate about the associations between drug therapies targeting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and adverse outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine the associations between using medications for the cardiovascular system and the risks associated with COVID-19 in middle-aged and older adults. METHODS: A total of 77,221 participants (aged 50-86 years) from UK Biobank were tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. The medications included angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARB), ß-blockers, calcium channel blockers (CCB), statins, and aspirin. COVID-19 outcomes comprised a positive test result and severity of COVID-19 (defined as mild, hospitalization or death). We evaluated the risk among total participants and for sub-groups based on sex. Propensity score matching was performed 1:1 and logistic regression models were used. RESULTS: Among the middle- and older aged participants, no significant associations between any class of medications and the likelihood of COVID-19 infection were observed. ACEI were associated with a higher mortality risk from COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR] 1.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.32) and CCB were associated with a lower hospitalization risk for COVID-19 (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.79-0.96) among the male patients with COVID-19, while a lower mortality risk from COVID-19 (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.47-0.96) was observed with ARB among the female patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggested sex differences in the risk of death from COVID-19 with the use of ACEI and ARB among middle-aged and older adults. Sex differences in the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 with the use of CCB was observed as well. It is of clinical importance that clinicians adopt different CVD treatment approaches for female and male patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypertension , Aged , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/adverse effects , Antihypertensive Agents/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Hypertension/drug therapy , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Characteristics
19.
Electronics ; 10(9):1024, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1231444

ABSTRACT

The authenticity and integrity of medical images in telemedicine has to be protected. Robust reversible watermarking (RRW) algorithms provide copyright protection and the original images can be recovered at the receiver’s end. However, the existing algorithms have limitations in their ability to balance the tradeoff among robustness, imperceptibility, and embedded capacity. Some of them are even not completely reversible. Besides, most medical image watermarking algorithms are not designed for color images. To improve their performance in protecting medical color image information, we propose a novel RRW scheme based on the discrete wavelet transform (DWT). First, the DWT provides a robust solution. Second, the modification of the wavelet domain coefficient guarantees the changes of integer values in the spatial domain and ensures the reversibility of the watermarking scheme. Third, the embedding scheme makes full use of the characteristics of the original image and watermarking. This reduces the modification of the original image and ensures better imperceptibility. Lastly, the selection of the Zernike moments order for geometric correction is optimized to predict attack parameters more accurately by using less information. This enhances the robustness of the proposed scheme against geometric attacks such as rotation and scaling. The proposed scheme is robust against common and geometric attacks and has a high embedding capacity without obvious distortion of the image. The paper contributes towards improving the security of medical images in remote healthcare.

20.
Agric Econ ; 52(3): 495-504, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223440

ABSTRACT

This study examines the effects of local and nationwide COVID-19 disease control measures on the health and economy of China's rural population. We conducted phone surveys with 726 randomly selected village informants across seven rural Chinese provinces in February 2020. Four villages (0.55%) reported infections, and none reported deaths. Disease control measures had been universally implemented in all sample villages. About 74% of informants reported that villagers with wage-earning jobs outside the village had stopped working due to workplace closures. A higher percentage of rural individuals could not work due to transportation, housing, and other constraints. Local governments had taken measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19. Although schools in all surveyed villages were closed, 71% of village informants reported that students were attending classes online. Overall, measures to control COVID-19 appear to have been successful in limiting disease transmission in rural communities outside the main epidemic area. Rural Chinese citizens, however, have experienced significant economic consequences from the disease control measures.

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