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JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(6): e35343, 2022 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910886


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 was first reported in 2019, and the Chinese government immediately carried out stringent and effective control measures in response to the epidemic. OBJECTIVE: Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) may have impacted incidences of other infectious diseases as well. Potential explanations underlying this reduction, however, are not clear. Hence, in this study, we aim to study the influence of the COVID-19 prevention policies on other infectious diseases (mainly class B infectious diseases) in China. METHODS: Time series data sets between 2017 and 2021 for 23 notifiable infectious diseases were extracted from public data sets from the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China. Several indices (peak and trough amplitudes, infection selectivity, preferred time to outbreak, oscillatory strength) of each infectious disease were calculated before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. RESULTS: We found that the prevention and control policies for COVID-19 had a strong, significant reduction effect on outbreaks of other infectious diseases. A clear event-related trough (ERT) was observed after the outbreak of COVID-19 under the strict control policies, and its decreasing amplitude is related to the infection selectivity and preferred outbreak time of the disease before COVID-19. We also calculated the oscillatory strength before and after the COVID-19 outbreak and found that it was significantly stronger before the COVID-19 outbreak and does not correlate with the trough amplitude. CONCLUSIONS: Our results directly demonstrate that prevention policies for COVID-19 have immediate additional benefits for controlling most class B infectious diseases, and several factors (infection selectivity, preferred outbreak time) may have contributed to the reduction in outbreaks. This study may guide the implementation of nonpharmaceutical interventions to control a wider range of infectious diseases.

COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(4): e0255921, 2022 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909620


The 3C-like protease (3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is an attractive drug target for developing antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. A few small molecule inhibitors of 3CLpro are in clinical trials for COVID-19 treatments, and more inhibitors are under development. One limiting factor for 3CLpro inhibitors development is that the cellular activities of such inhibitors should be evaluated in Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories. Here, we design DNA-coded biosensors that can be used in BSL-2 laboratories to set up cell-based assays for 3CLpro inhibitor discovery. The biosensors were constructed by linking a green fluorescent protein (GFP2) to the N-terminus and a Renilla luciferase (RLuc8) to the C-terminus of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro, with the linkers derived from the cleavage sequences of 3CLpro. After overexpression of the biosensors in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293T cells, 3CLpro can be released from GFP2 and RLuc by self-cleavage, resulting in a decrease of the bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) signal. Using one of these biosensors, pBRET-10, we evaluated the cellular activities of several 3CLpro inhibitors. These inhibitors restored the BRET signal by blocking the proteolysis of pBRET-10, and their relative activities measured using pBRET-10 were consistent with their previously reported anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities. We conclude that the biosensor pBRET-10 is a useful tool for SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitor discovery. IMPORTANCE The virus proteases 3CLpro are validated drug targets for developing antivirals to treat coronavirus diseases, such as COVID-19. However, the development of 3CLpro inhibitors relies heavily on BSL-3 laboratories. Here, we report a series of BRET-based self-cleaving biosensors that can be used to set up cell-based assays to evaluate the cell permeability and cellular activity of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitors in BSL-2 laboratories. The cell-based assay is suitable for high-throughput screening for 3CLpro inhibitors because of the simplicity and good reproducibility of our biosensors. The design strategy can also be used to design biosensors for other viral proteases for which the activation processes involve the self-cleavage of polyproteins.

Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Energy Transfer , Humans , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
Front Public Health ; 9: 740800, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775894


Background: Exposure to ambient particulate matter pollution (APMP) is a global health issue that directly affects the human respiratory system. Thus, we estimated the spatiotemporal trends in the burden of APMP-related respiratory diseases from 1990 to 2019. Methods: Based on the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019, data on the burden of APMP-related respiratory diseases were analyzed by age, sex, cause, and location. Joinpoint regression analysis was used to analyze the temporal trends in the burden of different respiratory diseases over the 30 years. Results: Globally, in 2019, APMP contributed the most to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), with 695.1 thousand deaths and 15.4 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs); however, the corresponding age-standardized death and DALY rates declined from 1990 to 2019. Similarly, although age-standardized death and DALY rates since 1990 decreased by 24% and 40%, respectively, lower respiratory infections (LRIs) still had the second highest number of deaths and DALYs attributable to APMP. This was followed by tracheal, bronchus, and lung (TBL) cancer, which showed increased age-standardized death and DALY rates during the past 30 years and reached 3.78 deaths per 100,000 persons and 84.22 DALYs per 100,000 persons in 2019. Among children aged < 5 years, LRIs had a huge burden attributable to APMP, whereas for older people, COPD was the leading cause of death and DALYs attributable to APMP. The APMP-related burdens of LRIs and COPD were relatively higher among countries with low and low-middle socio-demographic index (SDI), while countries with high-middle SDI showed the highest burden of TBL cancer attributable to APMP. Conclusions: APMP contributed substantially to the global burden of respiratory diseases, posing a significant threat to human health. Effective actions aimed at air pollution can potentially avoid an increase in the PM2.5-associated disease burden, especially in highly polluted areas.

Air Pollution , Respiratory Tract Diseases , Adult , Aged , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Child , Child, Preschool , Global Burden of Disease , Humans , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , Quality-Adjusted Life Years , Respiratory Tract Diseases/epidemiology