COVID-19 Academic Resources Center

MDPI Comment on the COVID-19 Virus

Since 1996, MDPI has been committed to supporting the research community by providing the latest research freely available and making relevant and useful research available as quickly as possible. The world is current experiencing a pandemic of COVID-19, and researchers are working extremely hard to understand it and find a cure.

The values MDPI holds strongly are particularly important at the moment, and we will continue to publish relevant, peer-reviewed research as quickly as possible in open access format. This means that it will immediately be available for researchers, health professionals, and the general public to read, distribute, and reuse. We believe that scientific advancements will be crucial to overcoming this pandemic, and will do everything we can to support researchers working looking for solutions.

This page contains a variety of information related to COVID-19 available from MDPI, including journal articles, special issues, and preprints, among others.

Recent Publications

Open AccessReview
Reporter Replicons for Antiviral Drug Discovery against Positive Single-Stranded RNA Viruses
Viruses 2020, 12(6), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12060598 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 151
Abstract
Single-stranded positive RNA ((+) ssRNA) viruses include several important human pathogens. Some members are responsible for large outbreaks, such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, while others are endemic, causing an enormous global health burden. Since vaccines or specific treatments [...] Read more.
Single-stranded positive RNA ((+) ssRNA) viruses include several important human pathogens. Some members are responsible for large outbreaks, such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, while others are endemic, causing an enormous global health burden. Since vaccines or specific treatments are not available for most viral infections, the discovery of direct-acting antivirals (DAA) is an urgent need. Still, the low-throughput nature of and biosafety concerns related to traditional antiviral assays hinders the discovery of new inhibitors. With the advances of reverse genetics, reporter replicon systems have become an alternative tool for the screening of DAAs. Herein, we review decades of the use of (+) ssRNA viruses replicon systems for the discovery of antiviral agents. We summarize different strategies used to develop those systems, as well as highlight some of the most promising inhibitors identified by the method. Despite the genetic alterations introduced, reporter replicons have been shown to be reliable systems for screening and identification of viral replication inhibitors and, therefore, an important tool for the discovery of new DAAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Some Antiviral N-Heterocycles as COVID 19 Drug: Molecular Docking and DFT Calculations
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3922; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113922 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 107
Abstract
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a global health pandemic that started in December 2019. The effective drug target among coronaviruses is the main protease Mpro, because of its essential role in processing the polyproteins that are translated from [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a global health pandemic that started in December 2019. The effective drug target among coronaviruses is the main protease Mpro, because of its essential role in processing the polyproteins that are translated from the viral RNA. In this study, the bioactivity of some selected heterocyclic drugs named Favipiravir (1), Amodiaquine (2), 2′-Fluoro-2′-deoxycytidine (3), and Ribavirin (4) was evaluated as inhibitors and nucleotide analogues for COVID-19 using computational modeling strategies. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations were performed to estimate the thermal parameters, dipole moment, polarizability, and molecular electrostatic potential of the present drugs; additionally, Mulliken atomic charges of the drugs as well as the chemical reactivity descriptors were investigated. The nominated drugs were docked on SARS-CoV-2 main protease (PDB: 6LU7) to evaluate the binding affinity of these drugs. Besides, the computations data of DFT the docking simulation studies was predicted that the Amodiaquine (2) has the least binding energy (−7.77 Kcal/mol) and might serve as a good inhibitor to SARS-CoV-2 comparable with the approved medicines, hydroxychloroquine, and remdesivir which have binding affinity −6.06 and −4.96 Kcal/mol, respectively. The high binding affinity of 2 was attributed to the presence of three hydrogen bonds along with different hydrophobic interactions between the drug and the critical amino acids residues of the receptor. Finally, the estimated molecular electrostatic potential results by DFT were used to illustrate the molecular docking findings. The DFT calculations showed that drug 2 has the highest of lying HOMO, electrophilicity index, basicity, and dipole moment. All these parameters could share with different extent to significantly affect the binding affinity of these drugs with the active protein sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Avenues in Molecular Docking for Drug Design 2020)
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Open AccessReview
Engineered Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides (eCAPs) to Combat Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(6), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12060501 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 104
Abstract
The increasing rate of antibiotic resistance constitutes a global health crisis. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have the property to selectively kill bacteria regardless of resistance to traditional antibiotics. However, several challenges (e.g., reduced activity in the presence of serum and lack of efficacy in [...] Read more.
The increasing rate of antibiotic resistance constitutes a global health crisis. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have the property to selectively kill bacteria regardless of resistance to traditional antibiotics. However, several challenges (e.g., reduced activity in the presence of serum and lack of efficacy in vivo) to clinical development need to be overcome. In the last two decades, we have addressed many of those challenges by engineering cationic AMPs de novo for optimization under test conditions that typically inhibit the activities of natural AMPs, including systemic efficacy. We reviewed some of the most promising data of the last two decades in the context of the advancement of the field of helical AMPs toward clinical development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Delivery for Anti-Infective Agents)
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Open AccessReview
Cerebrovascular and Neurological Dysfunction under the Threat of COVID-19: Is There a Comorbid Role for Smoking and Vaping?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(11), 3916; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21113916 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 266
Abstract
The recently discovered novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus), has brought the whole world to standstill with critical challenges, affecting both health and economic sectors worldwide. Although initially, this pandemic was associated with causing severe pulmonary and respiratory disorders, recent case studies reported the [...] Read more.
The recently discovered novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus), has brought the whole world to standstill with critical challenges, affecting both health and economic sectors worldwide. Although initially, this pandemic was associated with causing severe pulmonary and respiratory disorders, recent case studies reported the association of cerebrovascular-neurological dysfunction in COVID-19 patients, which is also life-threatening. Several SARS-CoV-2 positive case studies have been reported where there are mild or no symptoms of this virus. However, a selection of patients are suffering from large artery ischemic strokes. Although the pathophysiology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus affecting the cerebrovascular system has not been elucidated yet, researchers have identified several pathogenic mechanisms, including a role for the ACE2 receptor. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to identify the risk factors related to the progression and adverse outcome of cerebrovascular-neurological dysfunction in COVID-19 patients. Since many articles have reported the effect of smoking (tobacco and cannabis) and vaping in cerebrovascular and neurological systems, and considering that smokers are more prone to viral and bacterial infection compared to non-smokers, it is high time to explore the probable correlation of smoking in COVID-19 patients. Herein, we have reviewed the possible role of smoking and vaping on cerebrovascular and neurological dysfunction in COVID-19 patients, along with potential pathogenic mechanisms associated with it. Full article
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Open AccessReview
SARS-CoV-2 Infection and the Liver
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060430 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 149
Abstract
A novel strain of coronoviridae (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in Wuhan China in December 2019. Initially, infection presented with a broad spectrum of symptoms which typically included muscle aches, fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. SARS-CoV-2 enters cells via ACE2 receptors which are [...] Read more.
A novel strain of coronoviridae (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in Wuhan China in December 2019. Initially, infection presented with a broad spectrum of symptoms which typically included muscle aches, fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. SARS-CoV-2 enters cells via ACE2 receptors which are abundant throughout the respiratory tract. However, there is evidence that these receptors are abundant throughout the body, and just as abundant in cholangiocytes as alveolar cells, posing the question of possible direct liver injury. While liver enzymes and function tests do seem to be deranged in some patients, it is questionable if the injury is due to direct viral damage, drug-induced liver injury, hypoxia, or microthromboses. Likely, the injury is multifactoral, and management of infected patients with pre-existing liver disease should be taken into consideration. Ultimately, a vaccine is needed to aid in reducing cases of SARS-CoV-2 and providing immunity to the general population. However, while considering the types of vaccines available, safety concerns, particularly of RNA- or DNA-based vaccines, need to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle
Application of a Gray-Based Decision Support Framework for Location Selection of a Temporary Hospital during COVID-19 Pandemic
Symmetry 2020, 12(6), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12060886 (registering DOI) - 30 May 2020
Viewed by 128
Abstract
The hospital location selection problem is one of the most important decisions in the healthcare sector in big cities due to population growth and the possibility of a high number of daily referred patients. A poor location selection process can lead to many [...] Read more.
The hospital location selection problem is one of the most important decisions in the healthcare sector in big cities due to population growth and the possibility of a high number of daily referred patients. A poor location selection process can lead to many issues for the health workforce and patients, and it can result in many unnecessary costs for the healthcare systems. The COVID-19 outbreak had a noticeable effect on people’s lives and the service quality of hospitals during recent months. The hospital location selection problem for infected patients with COVID-19 turned out to be one of the most significant and complicated decisions with many uncertain involved parameters for healthcare sectors in countries with high cases. In this study, a gray-based decision support framework using criteria importance through inter-criteria correlation (CRITIC) and combined compromise solution (CoCoSo) methods is proposed for location selection of a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients. A case study is performed for Istanbul using the proposed decision-making framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetric and Asymmetric Data in Solution Models)
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Sequencing Techniques and Genomics Technologies to Help with Diagnostics and Virus Characterization – Focus on COVID 19
edited by Miten Jain, Hugh E. Olsen, Ana Conesa and Adam Ameur
submission deadline 15 Apr 2021
(This special issues belongs to the Section Technologies and Resources for Genetics)
Augmented Intelligence for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
edited by KC Santosh
submission deadline 1 Jun 2020
Fungal Infections Complicating COVID-19
edited by Martin Hoenigl and Alida Fe Talento
submission deadline 15 Jun 2020
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection
edited by Richard A. Bowen
submission deadline 30 Jun 2020 | 1 articles
Detection and Diagnosis of the New Coronavirus
edited by Ajeet Kaushik and Hai-Feng (Frank) Ji
submission deadline 30 Jun 2020
(This special issues belongs to the Section Biosensors)
SARS-CoV-2 in Waters: Rational
edited by Philippe Hartemann
submission deadline 31 Aug 2020
(This special issues belongs to the Section Water and One Health)

State-of-the-Art Webinars on COVID-19


WEBINAR 1: How to Avoid a New Lockdown?

The first webinar in the series, held on 17 April 2020, saw both Prof. Dr. Antoine Flahault, Director of the Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland, and Prof. Dr. Evelyne Bischof, Associate Professor, Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China and Research physician, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland speak on this topic.

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 2: Coronaviruses: History, Replication, Innate Immune Antagonism

The second webinar in the series, entitled “Coronaviruses: history, replication, innate immune antagonism”, saw Prof. Dr. Susan R. Weiss, Professor of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania speak on this topic.

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 3: Could the COVID-19 Crisis be the Opportunity to Make Cities Carbon Neutral, Liveable and Healthy

The third webinar in this series was presented by Prof. Dr. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, a world leading expert in environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, and health risk/impact assessment with a strong focus and interest on healthy urban living. 

The recording can be found here

WEBINAR 4: COVID-19 - Global Supply Chains and the SDGs

For the fourth webinar of this series, Prof. Dr. Max Bergman, Dr. Dorothea Schostok and Prof. Dr. Patrick Paul Walsh gave a presentation on Global Supply Chains and the SDGs. 

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 5: The New Role of Family Physicians in Times of COVID-19

Prof. Dr. Christos Lionis, from the University of Crete, will talk about several potentially challenging issues for family practice and primary health care in times of COVID-19. 

Date & Time: 5 June 2020 3:00pm (CEST)

Register now here.

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