Advanced Biomedical Research on COVID-19

A special issue of Biomedicines (ISSN 2227-9059). This special issue belongs to the section "Immunology and Immunotherapy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 7337

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Azienda USL Toscana Centro, Gynecology and Obstetric Department, Santa Maria Annunziata Hospital, 50012 Florence, Italy
Interests: gynaecologic oncology; endometriosis; minimally invasive surgery
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Dear Colleagues,

SARS-Cov-2 has rapidly spread in the world, with a significant unexplainable difference between different countries. The real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on nasopharyngeal swab was the most widely used test to detect the virus but also antibody testing shows specific IgG/IgM against SARSCoV-2. Although the pathogen SARS‐CoV‐2 is highly contagious, neonates born to women with asymptomatic or symptomatic COVID‐19 are rarely infected by the virus. This special issue aims to implement the present knowledge about diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic novelties, aimed at the best management of the COVID-19. Research on maternal-fetal antibody status and on obstetric outcomes of COVID-19 during pregnancy are encouraged.

Dr. Federica Perelli
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID
  • antibody
  • infection
  • immunity

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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10 pages, 724 KiB  
Article
Surgical Treatment of Active Endocarditis Pre- and Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Onset
by Elisa Mikus, Mariafrancesca Fiorentino, Diego Sangiorgi, Costanza Fiaschini, Elena Tenti, Elena Tremoli, Simone Calvi, Antonino Costantino, Alberto Tripodi, Fabio Zucchetta and Carlo Savini
Biomedicines 2024, 12(1), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines12010233 - 19 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
Background: Despite advanced diagnosis and treatment, infective endocarditis (IE) is a potentially life-threatening condition. The impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis and outcome of the surgical treatment of IE is uncertain. The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence, characteristics, and [...] Read more.
Background: Despite advanced diagnosis and treatment, infective endocarditis (IE) is a potentially life-threatening condition. The impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis and outcome of the surgical treatment of IE is uncertain. The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence, characteristics, and outcomes of surgically treated IE before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed the data of 535 patients who underwent valve surgical procedures for IE between January 2010 and December 2022 in a single cardiac surgery center. Patients were divided into two groups depending on the date of their operation: before (n = 393) and after (n = 142) COVID-19 onset. In order to balance the groups, inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) calculated from the propensity score (PS) was applied. Weighted univariate logistic regressions were reported for outcomes; weights were derived from IPTW. Interrupted time series analysis (ITSA) according to Linden’s method was used to evaluate the changes in the manifestation of IE after 11 March 2020. Results: Patients from the post-COVID-19 cohort (after 11 March 2020) had a greater number of comorbidities such as diabetes (29.6% vs. 16.3% p = 0.001), hypertension (71.1% vs. 59.5% p = 0.015), and preoperative kidney injury requiring dialysis (9.2% vs. 2.5% p = 0.002), but the median additive and logistic EuroSCORE were not statistically different. In the post-COVID-19 group, we observed a greater prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus-related endocarditis (24.5% vs. 15.4% p = 0.026), a consequent reduction in Staphylococcus non aureus-related endocarditis (12.2% vs. 20.1% p = 0.048), and a decrease in aortic valve replacements (43.0% vs. 53.9%), while the number of mitral valve replacements and repair was greater (21.1% vs. 15.0% and 6.3% vs. 4.3%, respectively). No differences were found in the two groups concerning early death, death, or relapse at 1 year after surgery. Data obtained by multivariable analysis identified preoperative renal dysfunction requiring dialysis as the only common risk factor for early mortality via stratifying by time periods in analysis. Conclusions: The incidence of surgically treated IE significantly increases after the COVID-19 pandemic with a higher incidence of mitral valve involvement with respect to the aortic valve. Although a delay in surgical timing occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, data in terms of mortality and outcomes were largely unaffected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomedical Research on COVID-19)
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12 pages, 5365 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Impact on Red Blood Cell Morphology
by Kirill A. Kondratov, Alexander A. Artamonov, Vladimir Yu. Mikhailovskii, Anastasiya A. Velmiskina, Sergey V. Mosenko, Evgeniy A. Grigoryev, Anna Yu. Anisenkova, Yuri V. Nikitin, Svetlana V. Apalko, Natalya N. Sushentseva, Andrey M. Ivanov and Sergey G. Scherbak
Biomedicines 2023, 11(11), 2902; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11112902 - 26 Oct 2023
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Abstract
Severe COVID-19 alters the biochemical and morphological characteristics of blood cells in a wide variety of ways. To date, however, the vast majority of research has been devoted to the study of leukocytes, while erythrocyte morphological changes have received significantly less attention. The [...] Read more.
Severe COVID-19 alters the biochemical and morphological characteristics of blood cells in a wide variety of ways. To date, however, the vast majority of research has been devoted to the study of leukocytes, while erythrocyte morphological changes have received significantly less attention. The aim of this research was to identify erythrocyte morphology abnormalities that occur in COVID-19, compare the number of different poikilocyte types, and measure erythrocyte sizes to provide data on size dispersion. Red blood cells obtained from 6 control donors (800–2200 cells per donor) and 5 COVID-19 patients (800–1900 cells per patient) were examined using low-voltage scanning electron microscopy. We did not discover any forms of erythrocyte morphology abnormalities that would be specific to COVID-19. Among COVID-19 patients, we observed an increase in the number of acanthocytes (p = 0.01) and a decrease in the number of spherocytes (p = 0.03). In addition, our research demonstrates that COVID-19 causes an increase in the median (p = 0.004) and interquartile range (p = 0.009) when assessing erythrocyte size. The limitation of our study is a small number of participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomedical Research on COVID-19)
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11 pages, 470 KiB  
Article
Minimal Clinically Important Differences in EQ-5D-5L Index and VAS after a Respiratory Muscle Training Program in Individuals Experiencing Long-Term Post-COVID-19 Symptoms
by Tamara del Corral, Raúl Fabero-Garrido, Gustavo Plaza-Manzano, Marcos José Navarro-Santana, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas and Ibai López-de-Uralde-Villanueva
Biomedicines 2023, 11(9), 2522; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11092522 - 13 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1820
Abstract
The primary aim of this study was to determine the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for the EuroQol-5D questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) index and visual analogic scale (VAS) in individuals experiencing long-term post-COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, it was pretended to determine which variable discriminates better [...] Read more.
The primary aim of this study was to determine the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) for the EuroQol-5D questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) index and visual analogic scale (VAS) in individuals experiencing long-term post-COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, it was pretended to determine which variable discriminates better and to compare changes between individuals classified by the MCID. Design: Secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial involving 42 individuals who underwent an 8-week intervention in a respiratory muscle training program. Results: A change of at least 0.262 and 7.5 for the EQ-5D-5L index and VAS represented the MCID, respectively. Only the EQ-5D-5L VAS showed acceptable discrimination between individuals who were classified as “improved” and those classified as “stable/not improved” (area under the curve = 0.78), although with a low Youden index (Youden index, 0.39; sensitivity, 46.2%; specificity, 93.1%). Those individuals who exceeded the established MCID for EQ-5D-5L VAS had significantly greater improvements in inspiratory muscle function, exercise tolerance, and peripheral muscle strength compared to participants classified as “stable/not improved”. Conclusions: Only the EQ-5D-5L VAS, especially when MCID was exceeded, showed an acceptable discriminative ability to evaluate the efficacy of an intervention in individuals with long-term post-COVID-19 symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomedical Research on COVID-19)
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16 pages, 654 KiB  
Article
A Pilot Study on Oxidative Stress during the Recovery Phase in Critical COVID-19 Patients in a Rehabilitation Facility: Potential Utility of the PAOT® Technology for Assessing Total Anti-Oxidative Capacity
by Joël Pincemail, Anne-Françoise Rousseau, Jean-François Kaux, Jean-Paul Cheramy-Bien, Christine Bruyère, Jeanine Prick, David Stern, Mouna-Messaouda Kaci, Benoît Maertens De Noordhout, Adelin Albert, Céline Eubelen, Caroline Le Goff, Benoît Misset, Etienne Cavalier, Corinne Charlier and Smail Meziane
Biomedicines 2023, 11(5), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11051308 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
Background: Oxidative stress (OS) could cause various COVID-19 complications. Recently, we have developed the Pouvoir AntiOxydant Total (PAOT®) technology for reflecting the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of biological samples. We aimed to investigate systemic oxidative stress status (OSS) and to evaluate the utility [...] Read more.
Background: Oxidative stress (OS) could cause various COVID-19 complications. Recently, we have developed the Pouvoir AntiOxydant Total (PAOT®) technology for reflecting the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of biological samples. We aimed to investigate systemic oxidative stress status (OSS) and to evaluate the utility of PAOT® for assessing TAC during the recovery phase in critical COVID-19 patients in a rehabilitation facility. Materials and Methods: In a total of 12 critical COVID-19 patients in rehabilitation, 19 plasma OSS biomarkers were measured: antioxidants, TAC, trace elements, oxidative damage to lipids, and inflammatory biomarkers. TAC level was measured in plasma, saliva, skin, and urine, using PAOT and expressed as PAOT-Plasma, -Saliva, -Skin, and -Urine scores, respectively. Plasma OSS biomarker levels were compared with levels from previous studies on hospitalized COVID-19 patients and with the reference population. Correlations between four PAOT scores and plasma OSS biomarker levels were analyzed. Results: During the recovery phase, plasma levels in antioxidants (γ-tocopherol, β-carotene, total glutathione, vitamin C and thiol proteins) were significantly lower than reference intervals, whereas total hydroperoxides and myeloperoxidase (a marker of inflammation) were significantly higher. Copper negatively correlated with total hydroperoxides (r = 0.95, p = 0.001). A similar, deeply modified OSS was already observed in COVID-19 patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit. TAC evaluated in saliva, urine, and skin correlated negatively with copper and with plasma total hydroperoxides. To conclude, the systemic OSS, determined using a large number of biomarkers, was always significantly increased in cured COVID-19 patients during their recovery phase. The less costly evaluation of TAC using an electrochemical method could potentially represent a good alternative to the individual analysis of biomarkers linked to pro-oxidants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomedical Research on COVID-19)
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Brief Report
Discriminative Identification of SARS-CoV-2 Variants Based on Mass-Spectrometry Analysis
by Liron Feldberg, Anat Zvi, Yfat Yahalom-Ronen and Ofir Schuster
Biomedicines 2023, 11(9), 2373; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11092373 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
The spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) is of great importance since genetic changes may increase transmissibility, disease severity and reduce vaccine effectiveness. Moreover, these changes may lead to failure of diagnostic measures. Therefore, variant-specific diagnostic methods are essential. To date, genetic [...] Read more.
The spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) is of great importance since genetic changes may increase transmissibility, disease severity and reduce vaccine effectiveness. Moreover, these changes may lead to failure of diagnostic measures. Therefore, variant-specific diagnostic methods are essential. To date, genetic sequencing is the gold-standard method to discriminate between variants. However, it is time-consuming (taking several days) and expensive. Therefore, the development of rapid diagnostic methods for SARS-CoV-2 in accordance with its genetic modification is of great importance. In this study we introduce a Mass Spectrometry (MS)-based methodology for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in propagated in cell-culture. This methodology enables the universal identification of SARS-CoV-2, as well as variant-specific discrimination. The universal identification of SARS-CoV-2 is based on conserved markers shared by all variants, while the identification of specific variants relies on variant-specific markers. Determining a specific set of peptides for a given variant consists of a multistep procedure, starting with an in-silico search for variant-specific tryptic peptides, followed by a tryptic digest of a cell-cultured SARS-CoV-2 variant, and identification of these markers by HR-LC-MS/MS analysis. As a proof of concept, this approach was demonstrated for four representative VOCs compared to the wild-type Wuhan reference strain. For each variant, at least two unique markers, derived mainly from the spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) viral proteins, were identified. This methodology is specific, rapid, easy to perform and inexpensive. Therefore, it can be applied as a diagnostic tool for pathogenic variants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomedical Research on COVID-19)
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