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Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326742


The new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern "Omicron" was recently (Nov. 24th. 2021) spotted in South Africa and already spread around the world due to its enhanced transmissibility. The variant became conspicuous as it harbors more than thirty mutations in the spike protein with 15 mutations in the RBD region alone, potentially dampening the potency of therapeutic antibodies and enhancing the ACE2 binding. More worrying, Omicron infections have been reported in individuals who have received vaccines jabs in South Africa and Hong Kong. Here, we investigated the binding strength of Omicron with ACE2 and seven monoclonal antibodies that are either approved by FDA for COVID-19 therapy or undergoing phase III clinical trials. Computational mutagenesis and binding free energies could confirm that Omicron Spike binds ACE2 stronger than prototype SARS-CoV-2. Notably, three substitutions, i.e., T478K, Q493K, and Q498R, significantly contribute to the binding energies and doubled electrostatic potential of the RBDOmic-ACE2 complex. Instead of E484K substitution that helped neutralization escape of Beta, Gamma, and Mu variants, Omicron harbors E484A substitution. Together, T478K, Q493K, Q498R, and E484A substitutions contribute to a significant drop in the electrostatic potential energies between RBDOmic-mAbs, particularly in Etesevimab, Bamlanivimab, and CTp59. CDR diversification could help regain the neutralization strength of these antibodies;however, we could not conduct this analysis to this end. Conclusively, our findings suggest that Omicron binds ACE2 with greater affinity, enhancing its infectivity and transmissibility. Mutations in the Spike are prudently devised by the virus that enhances the receptor binding and weakens the mAbs binding to escape the immune response.

Journal of Technical Education and Training ; 13(2):10-24, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1342135


The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the TVET professional development training, which was planned to be carried out in a face-to-face manner. This study aims to examine TVET professional development training based on the ADDIE model and provide implications for ODA and TVET professional development training in the post-COVID era. In this case study, a TVET training program for Botswana was developed based on the ADDIE model in an untact environment. Accordingly, the performance activities for each phase of analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation were analyzed, and based on this, implications for ODA and TVET were provided. This study identified the applicability of non-face-to-face education in the ODA project. Also, this study explored how to develop systematic and dimensional programs based on the ADDIE model in a non-face-to-face manner. In addition, sustainability could be secured through cooperative partnerships between donor and beneficiary countries from the perspective of SDGs Goal. © Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia Publisher’s Office.

Infection & Chemotherapy ; (2093-2340 (Print))2020.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-854256


Background: From May to July 2015, the Republic of Korea experienced the largest outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outside the Arabian Peninsula. A total of 186 patients, including 36 deaths, had been diagnosed with MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection as of September 30th, 2015. Materials and Methods: We obtained information of patients who were confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection. MERS-CoV infection was diagnosed using real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay. Results: The median age of the patients was 55 years (range, 16 to 86). A total of 55.4% of the patients had one or more coexisting medical conditions. The most common symptom was fever (95.2%). At admission, leukopenia (42.6%), thrombocytopenia (46.6%), and elevation of aspartate aminotransferase (42.7%) were observed. Pneumonia was detected in 68.3% of patients at admission and developed in 80.8% during the disease course. Antiviral agents were used for 74.7% of patients. Mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and convalescent serum were employed for 24.5%, 7.1%, and 3.8% of patients, respectively. Older age, presence of coexisting medical conditions including diabetes or chronic lung disease, presence of dyspnea, hypotension, and leukocytosis at admission, and the use of mechanical ventilation were revealed to be independent predictors of death. Conclusion: The clinical features of MERS-CoV infection in the Republic of Korea were similar to those of previous outbreaks in the Middle East. However, the overall mortality rate (20.4%) was lower than that in previous reports. Enhanced surveillance and active management of patients during the outbreak may have resulted in improved outcomes. FAU - Choi, Won Suk