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1.
Curr Opin Immunol ; 72: 126-134, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606183

ABSTRACT

Membrane cofactor protein (MCP; CD46), a ubiquitously expressed complement regulatory protein, serves as a cofactor for serine protease factor I to cleave and inactivate C3b and C4b deposited on host cells. However, CD46 also plays roles in human reproduction, autophagy, modulating T cell activation and effector functions and is a member of the newly identified intracellular complement system (complosome). CD46 also is a receptor for 11 pathogens ('pathogen magnet'). While CD46 deficiencies contribute to inflammatory disorders, its overexpression in cancers and role as a receptor for some adenoviruses has led to its targeting by oncolytic agents and adenoviral-based therapeutic vectors, including coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines. This review focuses on recent advances in identifying disease-causing CD46 variants and its pathogen connections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Membrane Cofactor Protein/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Autophagy , Complement Activation , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation , Membrane Cofactor Protein/genetics , Oncolytic Virotherapy , Polymorphism, Genetic , Reproduction
2.
Hum Reprod ; 36(11): 2883-2890, 2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603626

ABSTRACT

STUDY QUESTION: What is the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on the outcome of a pregnancy after medically assisted reproduction (MAR)? SUMMARY ANSWER: Our results suggest that MAR pregnancies are not differentially affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to spontaneous pregnancies. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Information on the effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on pregnancy after MAR is scarce when women get infected during MAR or early pregnancy, even though such information is vital for informing women seeking pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Data from SARS-CoV-2 affected MAR pregnancies were collected between May 2020 and June 2021 through a voluntary data collection, organised by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: All ESHRE members were invited to participate to an online data collection for SARS-CoV-2-infected MAR pregnancies. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: The dataset includes 80 cases from 32 countries, including 67 live births, 10 miscarriages, 2 stillbirths and 1 maternal death. An additional 25pregnancies were ongoing at the time of writing. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: An international data registry based on voluntary contribution can be subject to selective reporting with possible risks of over- or under-estimation. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The current data can be used to guide clinical decisions in the care of women pregnant after MAR, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): The authors acknowledge the support of ESHRE for the data registry and meetings. J.S.T. reports grants or contracts from Sigrid Juselius Foundation, EU and Helsinki University Hospital Funds, outside the scope of the current work. The other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: N/A.


Subject(s)
Abortion, Spontaneous , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Math Biosci Eng ; 19(1): 537-594, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551672

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak, which started in late December 2019 and rapidly spread around the world, has been accompanied by an unprecedented release of data on reported cases. Our objective is to offer a fresh look at these data by coupling a phenomenological description to the epidemiological dynamics. We use a phenomenological model to describe and regularize the reported cases data. This phenomenological model is combined with an epidemic model having a time-dependent transmission rate. The time-dependent rate of transmission involves changes in social interactions between people as well as changes in host-pathogen interactions. Our method is applied to cumulative data of reported cases for eight different geographic areas. In the eight geographic areas considered, successive epidemic waves are matched with a phenomenological model and are connected to each other. We find a single epidemic model that coincides with the best fit to the data of the phenomenological model. By reconstructing the transmission rate from the data, we can understand the contributions of the changes in social interactions (contacts between individuals) on the one hand and the contributions of the epidemiological dynamics on the other hand. Our study provides a new method to compute the instantaneous reproduction number that turns out to stay below 3.5 from the early beginning of the epidemic. We deduce from the comparison of several instantaneous reproduction numbers that the social effects are the most important factor in understanding the epidemic wave dynamics for COVID-19. The instantaneous reproduction number stays below 3.5, which implies that it is sufficient to vaccinate 71% of the population in each state or country considered in our study. Therefore, assuming the vaccines will remain efficient against the new variants and adjusting for higher confidence, it is sufficient to vaccinate 75-80% to eliminate COVID-19 in each state or country.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2
4.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259911, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518362

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare hospitalized reproductive age women with COVID-19 who were pregnant, puerperal, or neither one nor the other in terms of demographic and clinical characteristics and disease progression using Brazilian epidemiological data. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the records of the Information System of the Epidemiological Surveillance of Influenza of the Health Ministry of Brazil was performed. It included the data of female patients aged 10 to 49 years hospitalized because of severe COVID-19 disease (RT-PCR+ for SARS-CoV-2), from February 17, 2020 to January 02, 2021. They were separated into 3 groups: pregnant, puerperal, and neither pregnant nor puerperal. General comparisons and then adjustments for confounding variables (propensity score matching [PSM]) were made, using demographic and clinical characteristics, disease progression (admission to the intensive care unit [ICU] and invasive or noninvasive ventilatory support), and outcome (cure or death). Deaths were analyzed in each group according to comorbidities, invasive or noninvasive ventilatory support, and admission to the ICU. RESULTS: As many as 40,640 reproductive age women hospitalized for COVID-19 were identified: 3,372 were pregnant, 794 were puerperal, and 36,474 were neither pregnant nor puerperal. Groups were significantly different in terms of demographic data and comorbidities (p<0.0001). Pregnant and puerperal women were less likely to be symptomatic than the women who were neither one nor the other (72.1%, 69.7% and 88.8%, respectively). Pregnant women, however, had a higher frequency of anosmia, and ageusia than the others. After PSM, puerperal women had a worse prognosis than pregnant women with respect to admission to the ICU, invasive ventilatory support, and death, with OR (95% CI) 1.97 (1.55 - 2.50), 2.71 (1.78 - 4.13), and 2.51 (1.79 - 3.52), respectively. CONCLUSION: Puerperal women were at a higher risk for serious outcomes (need for the ICU, need for invasive and noninvasive ventilatory support, and death) than pregnant women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Postpartum Period/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Child , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Young Adult
5.
Acta Biomed ; 92(5): e2021275, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504611

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: The emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19 has overwhelmed health care facilities and required the reorganization of health systems in many nations worldwide. A year after its appearance, measures aimed at further containing disease transmission through massive vaccination campaigns. In pregnancy, vaccination should be administered with caution, in light of the lack of reliable data, since pregnant women have been excluded from experimentation. The pandemic has had a significant impact on assisted reproduction procedures in Italy. Methods: The authors have set out to analyze the measures issued by the Italian government in order to counter the spread of COVID-19, in addition to the national and international guidelines on assisted reproduction. DISCUSSION: The purpose of these documents is precautionary in nature: such measures are based on the principles of responsibility and solidarity, essential to stave off the saturation of health systems, curb contagion, but also to lay out a set of rules to starting a pregnancy while preserving the health of couples, operators and newborns. The authors also expound upon the rights claimed by couples seeking access to MAP (i.e. the right to become a parent, the couple's right to health, interest in demographic development). Conclusions: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a major impact on infertile couples. Since the pandemic broke out, Italy, like most European countries, has interrupted most ordinary activities of the centers operating in the field of assisted fertilization. We believe that access to assisted fertilization techniques by sterile and infertile couples should be part of the right to health rather than of the supposed right to become parents or the increase in the birth rate, also evoked as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. The current system of compensation and reimbursements needs to be reconfigured in order to prevent any form of discrimination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Reproductive Rights , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Italy , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Health Econ ; 31(1): 154-173, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1479404

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the propagation of COVID-19 across the Spanish provinces and assesses the effectiveness of the Spanish lockdown of the population implemented on March 14, 2020 in order to battle this pandemic. To achieve these objectives, a standard spatial econometric model used in economics is adapted to resemble the popular reproduction models employed in the epidemiological literature. In addition, we introduce a counterfactual exercise that allows us to examine the Gross domestic product (GDP) gains of bringing forward the date of the Spanish Lockdown. We find that the number of COVID-19 cases would have been reduced by 70.4% in the absence of spatial propagation between the Spanish provinces. We also determine that the lockdown prevented the propagation of the virus within and between provinces. As such, the Spanish lockdown reduced the number of potential COVID-19 cases by 82.8%. However, the number of coronavirus cases would have been reduced by an additional 11.6% if the lockdown had been brought forward to March 7, 2020. Finally, an earlier lockdown would have saved approximately 26,900,000,000 euros.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2 , Spatial Analysis
7.
BMC Pharmacol Toxicol ; 22(1): 61, 2021 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477468

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence and rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) in thelate 2019 has caused a devastating global pandemic of the severe pneumonia-like disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although vaccines have been and are being developed, they are not accessible to everyone and not everyone can receive these vaccines. Also, it typically takes more than 10 years until a new therapeutic agent is approved for usage. Therefore, repurposing of known drugs can lend itself well as a key approach for significantly expediting the development of new therapies for COVID-19. METHODS: We have incorporated machine learning-based computational tools and in silico models into the drug discovery process to predict Adsorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion, and Toxicity (ADMET) profiles of 90 potential drugs for COVID-19 treatment identified from two independent studies mainly with the purpose of mitigating late-phase failures because of inferior pharmacokinetics and toxicity. RESULTS: Here, we summarize the cardiotoxicity and general toxicity profiles of 90 potential drugs for COVID-19 treatment and outline the risks of repurposing and propose a stratification of patients accordingly. We shortlist a total of five compounds based on their non-toxic properties. CONCLUSION: In summary, this manuscript aims to provide a potentially useful source of essential knowledge on toxicity assessment of 90 compounds for healthcare practitioners and researchers to find off-label alternatives for the treatment for COVID-19. The majority of the molecules discussed in this manuscript have already moved into clinical trials and thus their known pharmacological and human safety profiles are expected to facilitate a fast track preclinical and clinical assessment for treating COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/toxicity , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery , Drug Repositioning , Animals , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Captopril/therapeutic use , Cardiotoxins/toxicity , Catechols/therapeutic use , Computational Biology , Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System/metabolism , Drug Discovery/methods , Humans , Indomethacin/therapeutic use , Linezolid/therapeutic use , Liver/drug effects , Mice , Models, Biological , Nitriles/therapeutic use , Rats , Reproduction/drug effects , Software , Valproic Acid/therapeutic use
8.
Front Public Health ; 9: 729795, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448820

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to evaluate the performance of multiple non-linear regression techniques, such as support-vector regression (SVR), k-nearest neighbor (KNN), Random Forest Regressor, Gradient Boosting, and XGBOOST for COVID-19 reproduction rate prediction and to study the impact of feature selection algorithms and hyperparameter tuning on prediction. Sixteen features (for example, Total_cases_per_million and Total_deaths_per_million) related to significant factors, such as testing, death, positivity rate, active cases, stringency index, and population density are considered for the COVID-19 reproduction rate prediction. These 16 features are ranked using Random Forest, Gradient Boosting, and XGBOOST feature selection algorithms. Seven features are selected from the 16 features according to the ranks assigned by most of the above mentioned feature-selection algorithms. Predictions by historical statistical models are based solely on the predicted feature and the assumption that future instances resemble past occurrences. However, techniques, such as Random Forest, XGBOOST, Gradient Boosting, KNN, and SVR considered the influence of other significant features for predicting the result. The performance of reproduction rate prediction is measured by mean absolute error (MAE), mean squared error (MSE), root mean squared error (RMSE), R-Squared, relative absolute error (RAE), and root relative squared error (RRSE) metrics. The performances of algorithms with and without feature selection are similar, but a remarkable difference is seen with hyperparameter tuning. The results suggest that the reproduction rate is highly dependent on many features, and the prediction should not be based solely upon past values. In the case without hyperparameter tuning, the minimum value of RAE is 0.117315935 with feature selection and 0.0968989 without feature selection, respectively. The KNN attains a low MAE value of 0.0008 and performs well without feature selection and with hyperparameter tuning. The results show that predictions performed using all features and hyperparameter tuning is more accurate than predictions performed using selected features.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Birth Rate , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2
9.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 233, 2021 09 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403237

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Schools were closed in England on 4 January 2021 as part of increased national restrictions to curb transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The UK government reopened schools on 8 March. Although there was evidence of lower individual-level transmission risk amongst children compared to adults, the combined effects of this with increased contact rates in school settings and the resulting impact on the overall transmission rate in the population were not clear. METHODS: We measured social contacts of > 5000 participants weekly from March 2020, including periods when schools were both open and closed, amongst other restrictions. We combined these data with estimates of the susceptibility and infectiousness of children compared with adults to estimate the impact of reopening schools on the reproduction number. RESULTS: Our analysis indicates that reopening all schools under the same measures as previous periods that combined lockdown with face-to-face schooling would be likely to increase the reproduction number substantially. Assuming a baseline of 0.8, we estimated a likely increase to between 1.0 and 1.5 with the reopening of all schools or to between 0.9 and 1.2 reopening primary or secondary schools alone. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that reopening schools would likely halt the fall in cases observed between January and March 2021 and would risk a return to rising infections, but these estimates relied heavily on the latest estimates or reproduction number and the validity of the susceptibility and infectiousness profiles we used at the time of reopening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Communicable Disease Control , England/epidemiology , Humans , Reproduction , Schools
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17649, 2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392886

ABSTRACT

The ubiquitous activity of humans is a fundamental feature of urban environments affecting local wildlife in several ways. Testing the influence of human disturbance would ideally need experimental approach, however, in cities, this is challenging at relevant spatial and temporal scales. Thus, to better understand the ecological effects of human activity, we exploited the opportunity that the city-wide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic provided during the spring of 2020. We assessed changes in reproductive success of great tits (Parus major) at two urban habitats affected strikingly differently by the 'anthropause', and at an unaffected forest site. Our results do not support that urban great tits benefited from reduced human mobility during the lockdown. First, at one of our urban sites, the strongly (- 44%) reduced human disturbance in 2020 (compared to a long-term reference period) did not increase birds' reproductive output relative to the forest habitat where human disturbance was low in all years. Second, in the other urban habitat, recreational human activity considerably increased (+ 40%) during the lockdown and this was associated with strongly reduced nestling body size compared to the pre-COVID reference year. Analyses of other environmental factors (meteorological conditions, lockdown-induced changes in air pollution) suggest that these are not likely to explain our results. Our study supports that intensified human disturbance can have adverse fitness consequences in urban populations. It also highlights that a few months of 'anthropause' is not enough to counterweight the detrimental impacts of urbanization on local wildlife populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ecosystem , Quarantine , Reproduction/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Songbirds/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cities/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16310, 2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354118

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has already been declared a global pandemic. To our knowledge, there is very little information regarding the effects of COVID-19 on women seeking reproductive health services, specifically abortion. This study was aimed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on reproductive and sexual health among women seeking abortion services. We conducted a series of preliminary analyses using data collected from ten maternal and child health hospitals of seven provinces in China before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. The present study showed that a significant decrease was observed in the frequency of sexual intercourse during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, a significant increase in contraceptive use including condom, rhythm method and coitus interruptus whereas a decrease in choosing oral contraceptives were observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the pandemic was associated with increased intention of seeking induced abortion due to social factors. Future research should look into the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual and reproductive health.


Subject(s)
Abortion, Induced , COVID-19/physiopathology , Reproduction , Sexual Health , Adolescent , Adult , Cohort Studies , Contraception/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Sexual Behavior , Young Adult
12.
Front Public Health ; 9: 675065, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337691

ABSTRACT

Policymakers require consistent and accessible tools to monitor the progress of an epidemic and the impact of control measures in real time. One such measure is the Estimated Dissemination Ratio (EDR), a straightforward, easily replicable, and robust measure of the trajectory of an outbreak that has been used for many years in the control of infectious disease in livestock. It is simple to calculate and explain. Its calculation and use are discussed below together with examples from the current COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. These applications illustrate that EDR can demonstrate changes in transmission rate before they may be clear from the epidemic curve. Thus, EDR can provide an early warning that an epidemic is resuming growth, allowing earlier intervention. A conceptual comparison between EDR and the commonly used reproduction number is also provided.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Epidemics , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2
13.
J Insect Physiol ; 132: 104248, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303601

ABSTRACT

Since 2016, the fall armyworm (FAW, Spodoptera frugiperda) has invaded large parts of Africa and Asia, impacting millions of hectares of maize crops and thereby posing a major threat to food security. The rapid geographic spread and outbreak dynamics of S. frugiperda are tied to its unique dispersal ability and long-distance migration capability. Yet, up till present, limited research has been conducted on the physiological determinants of S. frugiperda flight and migration. In this study, we used laboratory experiments to assess whether mating and oviposition affect S. frugiperda flight ability and wingbeat frequency. During 2019-2020, migratory FAW females were trapped in Yunnan (China) and dissected to assess ovarian development. Tethered flight assays showed that gravid S. frugiperda females exhibited strong flight ability at 1-3 days following the onset of oviposition. Flight distance and duration negatively correlated with the number of deposited eggs. Ovarian dissections further showed that over 50% of migrant females were mated and 46-54% had initiated oviposition. Our study shows the complex, yet nuanced effects of reproductive status on flight capacity, with possibly a facultative trade-off between flight and reproduction. These novel insights into S. frugiperda physiology and migration behavior can guide future monitoring and integrated pest management (IPM) programs against this newly-invasive pest in China and abroad.


Subject(s)
Flight, Animal/physiology , Reproduction/physiology , Spodoptera/physiology , Animal Distribution/physiology , Animals , Female , Oviposition , Pest Control
14.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 28(33): 44812-44817, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303355

ABSTRACT

The infectiousness of COVID-19 is high among the susceptible population, making the calculation of the reproduction number (R) an essential step to implement preventive measures. We aim to estimate COVID-19 transmission to determine if the disease is successfully controlled or extra measured should be adopted to attain this goal. The daily incidence data of COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia from March 2nd, 2020, to April 4th, 2021, were obtained from the continuously updated Saudi Ministry of Health COVID-19 repository. To get accurate estimation of the situation over the last 4 months (from December 1st, 2020, to April 4th, 2021), we calculated the weekly (every 7 days) R starting from March 2nd, 2020, and till the last week of the available data. The calculated values of R were represented as median, first quantile (Q1), and third quantile (Q3). As early as the first week of December 2020, the median R was 0.81 (0.80-0.83) which means that each existing infected case would transmit infection to only one person. This was followed by fluctuations over the next few weeks around R value of 1, reaching its highest level of 1.45 (1.42-1.47) between December 31st, 2020, and January 6th, 2021. This was followed by a relatively steady decline over the following weeks, with some till mid-March where the R values started to slightly rise again. Social distancing, protective precautions, avoiding abuse of the partial lifting, expanding the screening process, and other Saudi measures sound to be successful and should be replicated in similar communities. This measure should be continued till the vaccination process is completed, to reduce the number of contacts and to avoid uncontrolled transmission of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia
15.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(1): e215-e223, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291317

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic continues its rapid global spread, quantification of local transmission patterns has been, and will continue to be, critical for guiding the pandemic response. Understanding the accuracy and limitations of statistical methods to estimate the basic reproduction number, R0, in the context of emerging epidemics is therefore vital to ensure appropriate interpretation of results and the subsequent implications for control efforts. METHODS: Using simulated epidemic data, we assess the performance of 7 commonly used statistical methods to estimate R0 as they would be applied in a real-time outbreak analysis scenario: fitting to an increasing number of data points over time and with varying levels of random noise in the data. Method comparison was also conducted on empirical outbreak data, using Zika surveillance data from the 2015-2016 epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. RESULTS: We find that most methods considered here frequently overestimate R0 in the early stages of epidemic growth on simulated data, the magnitude of which decreases when fitted to an increasing number of time points. This trend of decreasing bias over time can easily lead to incorrect conclusions about the course of the epidemic or the need for control efforts. CONCLUSIONS: We show that true changes in pathogen transmissibility can be difficult to disentangle from changes in methodological accuracy and precision in the early stages of epidemic growth, particularly for data with significant over-dispersion. As localized epidemics of SARS-CoV-2 take hold around the globe, awareness of this trend will be important for appropriately cautious interpretation of results and subsequent guidance for control efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , Basic Reproduction Number , Caribbean Region , Humans , Pandemics , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Adv Food Nutr Res ; 96: 251-310, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240122

ABSTRACT

Since the discovery of manifest Zn deficiency in 1961, the increasing number of studies demonstrated the association between altered Zn status and multiple diseases. In this chapter, we provide a review of the most recent advances on the role of Zn in health and disease (2010-20), with a special focus on the role of Zn in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, diabetes and obesity, male and female reproduction, as well as COVID-19. In parallel with the revealed tight association between ASD risk and severity and Zn status, the particular mechanisms linking Zn2+ and ASD pathogenesis like modulation of synaptic plasticity through ProSAP/Shank scaffold, neurotransmitter metabolism, and gut microbiota, have been elucidated. The increasing body of data indicate the potential involvement of Zn2+ metabolism in neurodegeneration. Systemic Zn levels in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease were found to be reduced, whereas its sequestration in brain may result in modulation of amyloid ß and α-synuclein processing with subsequent toxic effects. Zn2+ was shown to possess adipotropic effects through the role of zinc transporters, zinc finger proteins, and Zn-α2-glycoprotein in adipose tissue physiology, underlying its particular role in pathogenesis of obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2. Recent findings also contribute to further understanding of the role of Zn2+ in spermatogenesis and sperm functioning, as well as oocyte development and fertilization. Finally, Zn2+ was shown to be the potential adjuvant therapy in management of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), underlining the perspectives of zinc in management of old and new threats.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/metabolism , Neurodegenerative Diseases/metabolism , Obesity/metabolism , Reproduction , Zinc/metabolism , Alzheimer Disease/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Neurodevelopmental Disorders/metabolism , Nutritional Status , Parkinson Disease/metabolism , Zinc/deficiency , Zinc/therapeutic use
18.
Andrology ; 9(4): 1066-1075, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231076

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which causes serious respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and lung failure, was first reported in mid-December 2019 in China and has spread around the world. In addition to causing serious respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and lung failure, there have been conflicting reports about the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the semen of patients who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and possible implications for the male reproductive tract. OBJECTIVE: The goal for the present study was to review the current status of the literature concerning COVID-19 and male reproduction. MATERIAL AND METHODS: An electronic literature search was done by using PubMed and Google Scholar databases. Relevant papers, concerning SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19 and male reproduction, published between January 2020 and December 2020 were selected, analyzed and eventually included in the present literature review. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 may infect any cell type expressing angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), including reproductive cells. Besides the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, the expression of host proteases, such as transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), is needed to cleave the viral S protein, allowing permanent fusion of the viral and host cell membranes. Here, we aimed to review the current status of the literature concerning COVID-19 and male reproduction. The lack of co-expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the testis suggests that sperm cells may not be at increased risk of viral entry and spread. However, the presence of orchitis in COVID-19-confirmed patients and compromised sex-related hormonal balance among these patients intrigues reproductive medicine. DISCUSSION: SARS-CoV-2 may use alternate receptors to enter certain cell types, or the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 may not be detected in healthy individuals. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 challenges all medical areas, including reproductive medicine. It is not yet clear what effects, if any, the COVID-19 pandemic will have on male reproduction. Further research is needed to understand the long-term impact of SARS-CoV-2 on male reproductive function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Reproduction , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Genitalia, Male/metabolism , Humans , Male
19.
Reprod Fertil Dev ; 33(6): 381-391, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152937

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), was first identified in China, and it has quickly become a global threat to public health due to its rapid rate of transmission and fatalities. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been identified as a receptor that mediates the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human cells, as in the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Several studies have reported that ACE2 expression is higher in Leydig, Sertoli and seminiferous ductal cells of males, as well as in ovarian follicle cells of females, suggesting possible potential pathogenicity of the coronavirus in the reproductive system. Higher ACE2 expression in the human placenta and reports of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among clinical cases have increased the relevance of further studies in this area. This review focuses on the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and the ACE2 receptor and speculates on the mechanistic interplay in association with male and female reproductive physiology. In addition, based on the available literature, we discuss the alleged sex differences in terms of the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, which is claimed greater among males, and further explore the physiological role of ACE2 and 17ß-oestradiol for the same.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Genitalia, Female/virology , Genitalia, Male/virology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Internalization , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Estradiol/metabolism , Female , Fertility , Genitalia, Female/enzymology , Genitalia, Female/physiopathology , Genitalia, Male/enzymology , Genitalia, Male/physiopathology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sex Factors , Signal Transduction
20.
Syst Biol Reprod Med ; 67(1): 3-23, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132358

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a worldwide health emergency that has impacted 188 countries at last count. The rapid community transmission and relatively high mortality rates with COVID-19 in modern times are relatively unique features of this flu pandemic and have resulted in an unparalleled global health crisis. SARS-CoV-2, being a respiratory virus, mainly affects the lungs, but is capable of infecting other vital organs, such as brain, heart and kidney. Emerging evidence suggests that the virus also targets male and female reproductive organs that express its main receptor ACE2, although it is as yet unclear if this has any implications for human fertility. Furthermore, professional bodies have recommended discontinuing fertility services during the pandemic such that reproductive services have also been affected. Although increased safety measures have helped to mitigate the propagation of COVID-19 in a number of countries, it seems that there is no predictable timeline to containment of the virus, a goal likely to remain elusive until an effective vaccine becomes available  and widely distributed across the globe. In parallel, research on reproduction has been postponed for obvious reasons, while diagnostic tests that detect the virus or antibodies against it are of vital importance to support public health policies, such as social distancing and our obligation to wear masks in public spaces. This review aims to provide an overview of critical research and ethics issues that have been continuously emerging in the field of reproductive medicine as the COVID-19 pandemic tragically unfolds.Abbreviations: ACE2: angiotensin- converting enzyme 2; ART: Assisted reproductive technology; ASRM: American Society for Reproductive Medicine; CCR9: C-C Motif Chemokine Receptor 9; CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; COVID-19: Coronavirus disease 2019; Ct: Cycle threshold; CXCR6: C-X-C Motif Chemokine Receptor 6; ELISA: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; ESHRE: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology; ET: Embryo transfer; FSH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone; FFPE: formalin fixed paraffin embedded; FYCO1: FYVE And Coiled-Coil Domain Autophagy Adaptor 1; IFFS: International Federation of Fertility Societies; IUI: Intrauterine insemination; IVF: In vitro fertilization; LH: Luteinizing Hormone; LZTFL1: Leucine Zipper Transcription Factor Like 1; MAR: medically assisted reproduction services; MERS: Middle East Respiratory syndrome; NGS: Next Generation Sequencing; ORF: Open Reading Frame; PPE: personal protective equipment; RE: RNA Element; REDa: RNA Element Discovery algorithm; RT-PCR: Reverse=trascriptase transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; SARS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome; SARS-CoV-2: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2; SLC6A20: Solute Carrier Family 6 Member 20; SMS: Single Molecule Sequencing; T: Testosterone; TMPRSS2: transmembrane serine protease 2; WHO: World Health Organization; XCR1: X-C Motif Chemokine Receptor.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Fertility , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Reproduction , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Biomedical Research , COVID-19 Testing , Genitalia/virology , Humans , Reproductive Medicine/ethics , Reproductive Techniques, Assisted , Spermatogenesis
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