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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14232, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303793


COVID-19 pandemic exerts a health care emergency around the world. The illness severity is heterogeneous. It is mostly unknown why some individuals who are positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies stay asymptomatic while others show moderate to severe disease symptoms. Reliable biomarkers for early detection of the disease are urgently needed to attenuate the virus's spread and help make early treatment decisions. Bioactive sphingolipids play a crucial role in the regulation of viral infections and pro-inflammatory responses involved in the severity of COVID-19. However, any roles of sphingolipids in COVID-19 development or detection remain unknown. In this study, lipidomics measurement of serum sphingolipids demonstrated that reduced sphingosine levels are highly associated with the development of symptomatic COVID-19 in the majority (99.24%) SARS-CoV-2-infected patients compared to asymptomatic counterparts. The majority of asymptomatic individuals (73%) exhibited increased acid ceramidase (AC) in their serum, measured by Western blotting, consistent with elevated sphingosine levels compared to SARS-CoV-2 antibody negative controls. AC protein was also reduced in almost all of the symptomatic patients' serum, linked to reduced sphingosine levels, measured in longitudinal acute or convalescent COVID-19 samples. Thus, reduced sphingosine levels provide a sensitive and selective serologic biomarker for the early identification of asymptomatic versus symptomatic COVID-19 patients.

Acid Ceramidase/blood , COVID-19 , Carrier State , Lipid Metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sphingolipids/blood , Sphingosine/blood , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Carrier State/blood , Carrier State/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(6)2020 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268328


Cancers that arise in the head and neck region are comprised of a heterogeneous group of malignancies that include carcinogen- and human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven mucosal squamous cell carcinoma as well as skin cancers such as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma. These malignancies develop in critical areas for eating, talking, and breathing and are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality despite advances in treatment. Understanding of advances in the management of these various cancers is important for all multidisciplinary providers who care for patients across the cancer care continuum. Additionally, the recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has necessitated adaptations to head and neck cancer care to accommodate the mitigation of COVID-19 risk and ensure timely treatment. This review explores advances in diagnostic criteria, prognostic factors, and management for subsites including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and the various forms of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and melanoma). Then, this review summarizes emerging developments in immunotherapy, radiation therapy, cancer survivorship, and the delivery of care during the COVID-19 era.

iScience ; 24(6): 102489, 2021 Jun 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213295


The SARS-CoV-2 viral pandemic has induced a global health crisis, which requires more in-depth investigation into immunological responses to develop effective treatments and vaccines. To understand protective immunity against COVID-19, we screened over 60,000 asymptomatic individuals in the Southeastern United States for IgG antibody positivity against the viral Spike protein, and approximately 3% were positive. Of these 3%, individuals with the highest anti-S or anti-RBD IgG level showed a strong correlation with inhibition of ACE2 binding and cross-reactivity against non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus S-proteins. We also analyzed samples from 94 SARS-CoV-2 patients and compared them with those of asymptomatic individuals. SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic patients had decreased antibody responses, ACE2 binding inhibition, and antibody cross-reactivity. Our study shows that healthy individuals can mount robust immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 without symptoms. Furthermore, IgG antibody responses against S and RBD may correlate with high inhibition of ACE2 binding in individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection or post vaccination.