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1.
Viruses ; 14(9)2022 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2055386

ABSTRACT

Among the Poxviridae family, orthopoxvirus is the most notorious genus. Several DNA viruses belonging to this group are known to produce human disease from the life-threatening variola virus (VARV) (the causative agent of smallpox), monkeypox virus (MPXV), cowpox virus (CPXV), and vaccinia virus (VACV). These orthopoxviruses still remain a public health concern as VACV or CPXV still cause emerging endemic threads, especially in developing countries. MPXV is able to cause sporadic human outbreaks of a smallpox-like zoonotic disease and, in May 2022, hundreds of cases related to MPXV have been reported from more than 30 countries around the globe. At the end of July, monkeypox (MPX) outbreak was even declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). Many aspects remain unclear regarding this outbreak and a deep understanding of orthopoxvirus might have crucial and evident implications. During the era in which people under 45 years old are not protected against VACV, the potential use of orthopoxviruses as a biological weapon raises global concern considering the rapid spreading of the current MPX outbreak in vulnerable populations. Hence, we review the most recent evidence about phylogenesis, pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment for this concerning disease.


Subject(s)
Monkeypox , Orthopoxvirus , Smallpox , Variola virus , Biological Warfare Agents , Cowpox virus , Humans , Middle Aged , Monkeypox/epidemiology , Monkeypox virus/genetics , Orthopoxvirus/genetics , Vaccinia virus , Variola virus/genetics
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(13)2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917521

ABSTRACT

The epidemic curve of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is silently rising again. Worldwide, the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern (VOC) is Omicron, and its virological characteristics, such as transmissibility, pathogenicity, and resistance to both vaccine- and infection-induced immunity as well as antiviral drugs, are an urgent public health concern. The Omicron variant has five major sub-lineages; as of February 2022, the BA.2 lineage has been detected in several European and Asian countries, becoming the predominant variant and the real antagonist of the ongoing surge. Hence, although global attention is currently focused on dramatic, historically significant events and the multi-country monkeypox outbreak, this new epidemic is unlikely to fade away in silence. Many aspects of this lineage are still unclear and controversial, but its apparent replication advantage and higher transmissibility, as well as its ability to escape neutralizing antibodies induced by vaccination and previous infection, are rising global concerns. Herein, we review the latest publications and the most recent available literature on the BA.2 lineage of the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(5): 2046434, 2022 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769068

ABSTRACT

There are scarce data regarding influenza vaccination among people with HIV infection (PWHIV). The goal of this explorative study is to assess hesitancy toward influenza vaccination in a group of PWHIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. A questionnaire was administered to 219 patients vaccinated at our clinic during the 2020-2021 campaign. It evaluated subjects' adherence to influenza vaccine over the last three seasonal vaccination campaigns, vaccine confidence, complacency and convenience, and the effect of the pandemic on the choice to become vaccinated. The population was divided into two groups: fully adherent to influenza vaccine (all three campaigns, 117 patients) and non-fully adherent (one or two campaigns, 102 patients). Adherence increased in the non-fully adherent group in 2020-2021, but the pandemic did not affect the choice. Misbeliefs emerged: the influenza vaccine was considered protective against SARS-CoV-2 (22.8% of the total population); almost half of all patients thought the influenza vaccine could improve their CD4 T cell level (57.3% in fully adherent, 40.2% in non-fully adherent, p < .05). In 2020-2021 campaign, three quarters of the non-fully adherent group would not have been vaccinated in a location other than our clinic (75.5% vs. 88.9% in the fully adherent group, p < .05). Conclusively, offering a secure and private space for vaccination against influenza seems to encourage vaccination; healthcare professionals should improve counseling to increase adherence and correct misbeliefs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccination Hesitancy
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686817

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses a great threat to global public health. The original wild-type strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has genetically evolved, and several variants of concern (VOC) have emerged. On 26 November 2021, a new variant named Omicron (B.1.1.529) was designated as the fifth VOC, revealing that SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to go beyond the available therapies. The high number of mutations harboured on the spike protein make Omicron highly transmissible, less responsive to several of the currently used drugs, as well as potentially able to escape immune protection elicited by both vaccines and previous infection. We reviewed the latest publication and the most recent available literature on the Omicron variant, enlightening both reasons for concern and high hopes for new therapeutic strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
5.
Infez Med ; 29(4): 614-617, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579081

ABSTRACT

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is one of the most common HIV-related opportunistic infection. Apart from HIV patients, subjects treated with an associated therapy of high doses glucocorticoids and immunosuppressive drugs should be considered at risk. SARS-CoV-2 has become worldly known as the responsible of the pandemic that hit the world in late 2019 and that is still ongoing. Italy, and especially Brescia, was one of the area most struck by the pandemic, with a significant number of cases being reported (more than 112,648 as of October 2021). The diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 is mainly based on RT-PCR assays performed on nasopharyngeal swab, X-ray of the chest and clinical manifestations. We describe two cases of PJP in two immunocompromised patients with breast cancer who were admitted at Spedali Civili of Brescia hospital, Italy, with an initial diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, despite testing negative to RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs. We also retrospectively reassessed all cases of pneumonia deemed as SARS-CoV-2-related upon admission and then converted to PJP as the final diagnosis. We describe the two following cases to emphasize that clinicians should always be alert about PJP, even during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and avoid focusing on COVID-19 exclusively. PJP should always be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients, particularly if immunosuppressed, with an X-ray or TC of the chest suggestive of interstitial pneumonia and a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs.

6.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 14(12)2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554966

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been known since the 1970s. However, their therapeutic potential in the medical field has recently emerged, with the advancement of manufacturing techniques. Initially exploited mainly in the oncology field, mAbs have become increasingly relevant in Infectious Diseases. Numerous mAbs have been developed against SARS-CoV 2 and have proven their effectiveness, especially in the management of the mild-to-moderate disease. In this review, we describe the monoclonal antibodies currently authorized for the treatment of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and offer an insight into the clinical trials that led to their approval. We discuss the mechanisms of action and methods of administration as well as the prophylactic and therapeutic labelled indications (both in outpatient and hospital settings). Furthermore, we address the critical issues regarding mAbs, focusing on their effectiveness against the variants of concern (VoC) and their role now that a large part of the population has been vaccinated. The purpose is to offer the clinician an up-to-date overview of a therapeutic tool that could prove decisive in treating patients at high risk of progression to severe disease.

7.
Pathogens ; 10(11)2021 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480903

ABSTRACT

In 2021 the scientific community's efforts have been focused on solving the back-breaking challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, but sexually transmitted infections (STI) are still one of the most common global health problems. Syphilis is a systemic disease caused by the spirochaete Treponema pallidum (TP) and is one of the oldest known diseases. Its incidence has increased in the last few years and syphilis still remains a contemporary plague that continues to afflict millions of people worldwide. Despite research improvements, syphilis pathogenesis is not completely clear; clinical presentation is very heterogeneous and the diagnosis can sometimes be difficult. Furthermore, few therapeutic options are available, and a vaccine has not been found yet. In this review, we describe the most recent evidence concerning the clinical manifestation, diagnosis, treatment and vaccine prospectives for this disease.

8.
J Public Health Res ; 11(1)2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438789

ABSTRACT

The emergence SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019 and early 2020 has caused a pandemic of unprecedented proportions. Management of COVID-19 became emergent public health priorities, and the impact on other public health initiatives, such as expanded HIV screening and linkage to care, remain largely unknown. In this Single-Center retrospective observational study, we describe the characteristics and circumstance of the new HIV cases during 2020 compared to 2019. We observed a decrease of HIV diagnosis during this period. Interestingly, median age at HIV diagnosis decreased of one decade and percentage of female patients was higher. In addition, more patients received diagnosis during hospitalization and more AIDS-defining conditions, such as Pneumocystis pneumonia, were detected. We express our concern that HIV new diagnoses will increase as a result of people's inability to get tested or treated in this period. More efforts are needed to improve local screening programs both during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

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