Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Prevalence and Risk Factors of CoronaVac Side Effects: An Independent Cross-Sectional Study among Healthcare Workers in Turkey
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(12), 2629; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10122629 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 3455
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a serious threat to mass vaccination strategies that need to be accelerated currently in order to achieve a substantial level of community immunity. Independent (non-sponsored) studies have a great potential to enhance public confidence in vaccines and accelerate [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is a serious threat to mass vaccination strategies that need to be accelerated currently in order to achieve a substantial level of community immunity. Independent (non-sponsored) studies have a great potential to enhance public confidence in vaccines and accelerate their uptake process. Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional study for the side effects (SE) of CoronaVac was carried out in February 2021 among Turkish healthcare workers who were recently vaccinated. The questionnaire inquired about local and systemic SEs that occurred in the short-term, within four weeks, following vaccination. Results: A total of 780 healthcare workers were included in this study; 62.5% of them experienced at least one SE. Injection site pain (41.5%) was the most common local SE, while fatigue (23.6%), headache (18.7%), muscle pain (11.2%) and joint pain (5.9%) were the common systemic SEs. Female healthcare workers (67.9%) were significantly more affected by local and systemic SEs than male colleagues (51.4%). Younger age, previous infection, and compromised health status (chronic illnesses and regular medicines uptake) can be associated with an increased risk of CoronaVac SEs; Conclusions: The independent research shows a higher prevalence of CoronaVac SEs than what is reported by phase I–III clinical trials. In general, the results of this study confirm the overall safety of CoronaVac and suggest potential risk factors for its SEs. Gender-based differences and SEs distribution among age groups are worth further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
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Thrombocytopenia and Intracranial Venous Sinus Thrombosis after “COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca” Exposure
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(8), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10081599 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 81 | Viewed by 9994
Abstract
Background: As of 8 April 2021, a total of 2.9 million people have died with or from the coronavirus infection causing COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019). On 29 January 2021, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University [...] Read more.
Background: As of 8 April 2021, a total of 2.9 million people have died with or from the coronavirus infection causing COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019). On 29 January 2021, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca (AZD1222, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca, Vaxzevria, Covishield). While the vaccine prevents severe course of and death from COVID-19, the observation of pulmonary, abdominal, and intracranial venous thromboembolic events has raised concerns. Objective: To describe the clinical manifestations and the concerning management of patients with cranial venous sinus thrombosis following first exposure to the “COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca”. Methods: Patient files, laboratory findings, and diagnostic imaging results, and endovascular interventions of three concerning patients were evaluated in retrospect. Results: Three women with intracranial venous sinus thrombosis after their first vaccination with “COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca” were encountered. Patient #1 was 22 years old and developed headaches four days after the vaccination. On day 7, she experienced a generalized epileptic seizure. Patient #2 was 46 years old. She presented with severe headaches, hemianopia to the right, and mild aphasia 13 days after the vaccination. MRI showed a left occipital intracerebral hemorrhage. Patient #3 was 36 years old and presented 17 days after the vaccination with acute somnolence and right-hand hemiparesis. The three patients were diagnosed with extensive venous sinus thrombosis. They were managed by heparinization and endovascular recanalization of their venous sinuses. They shared similar findings: elevated levels of D-dimers, platelet factor 4 antiplatelet antibodies, corona spike protein antibodies, combined with thrombocytopenia. Under treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin, platelet counts normalized within several days. Conclusion: Early observations insinuate that the exposure to the “COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca” might trigger the expression of antiplatelet antibodies, resulting in a condition with thrombocytopenia and venous thrombotic events (e.g., intracranial venous sinus thrombosis). These patients’ treatment should address the thrombo-embolic manifestations, the coagulation disorder, and the underlying immunological phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stroke Management - Diagnostic and Therapy)
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Article
Prevalence of COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects among Healthcare Workers in the Czech Republic
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(7), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10071428 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 117 | Viewed by 14409
Abstract
Background: COVID-19 vaccine side effects have a fundamental role in public confidence in the vaccine and its uptake process. Thus far, the evidence on vaccine safety has exclusively been obtained from the manufacturer-sponsored studies; therefore, this study was designed to provide independent evidence [...] Read more.
Background: COVID-19 vaccine side effects have a fundamental role in public confidence in the vaccine and its uptake process. Thus far, the evidence on vaccine safety has exclusively been obtained from the manufacturer-sponsored studies; therefore, this study was designed to provide independent evidence on Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine side effects. Methods: A cross-sectional survey-based study was carried out between January and February 2021 to collect data on the side effects following the COVID-19 vaccine among healthcare workers in the Czech Republic. The study used a validated questionnaire with twenty-eight multiple-choice items covering the participants’ demographic data, medical anamneses, COVID-19-related anamneses, general, oral, and skin-related side effects. Results: Injection site pain (89.8%), fatigue (62.2%), headache (45.6%), muscle pain (37.1%), and chills (33.9%) were the most commonly reported side effects. All the general side effects were more prevalent among the ≤43-year-old group, and their duration was mainly one day (45.1%) or three days (35.8%) following the vaccine. Antihistamines were the most common drugs associated with side effects, thus requiring further investigation. The people with two doses were generally associated with a higher frequency of side effects. Conclusions: The distribution of side effects among Czech healthcare workers was highly consistent with the manufacturer’s data, especially in terms of their association with the younger age group and the second dose. The overall prevalence of some local and systemic side effects was higher than the manufacturer’s report. Further independent studies on vaccine safety are strongly required to strengthen public confidence in the vaccine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Impact of COVID-19 on the Dental Community)
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Skin Barrier Function in Psoriasis and Atopic Dermatitis: Transepidermal Water Loss and Temperature as Useful Tools to Assess Disease Severity
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(2), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10020359 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 2001
Abstract
Multiple diagnostic tools are used to evaluate psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD) severity, but most of them are based on subjective components. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and temperature are skin barrier function parameters that can be objectively measured and could help clinicians to [...] Read more.
Multiple diagnostic tools are used to evaluate psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD) severity, but most of them are based on subjective components. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and temperature are skin barrier function parameters that can be objectively measured and could help clinicians to evaluate disease severity accurately. Thus, the aims of this study are: (1) to compare skin barrier function between healthy skin, psoriatic skin and AD skin; and (2) to assess if skin barrier function parameters could predict disease severity. A cross-sectional study was designed, and epidermal barrier function parameters were measured. The study included 314 participants: 157 healthy individuals, 92 psoriatic patients, and 65 atopic dermatitis patients. TEWL was significantly higher, while stratum corneum hydration (SCH) (8.71 vs. 38.43 vs. 44.39 Arbitrary Units (AU)) was lower at psoriatic plaques than at uninvolved psoriatic skin and healthy controls. Patients with both TEWL > 13.85 g·m−2h−1 and temperature > 30.85 °C presented a moderate/severe psoriasis (psoriasis area severity index (PASI) ≥ 7), with a specificity of 76.3%. TEWL (28.68 vs. 13.15 vs. 11.60 g·m−2 h−1) and temperature were significantly higher, while SCH (25.20 vs. 40.95 vs. 50.73 AU) was lower at AD eczematous lesions than uninvolved AD skin and healthy controls. Patients with a temperature > 31.75 °C presented a moderate/severe AD (SCORing Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) ≥ 37) with a sensitivity of 81.8%. In conclusion, temperature and TEWL values may help clinicians to determine disease severity and select patients who need intensive treatment. Full article
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The Comparative Clinical Performance of Four SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Tests and Their Correlation to Infectivity In Vitro
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10020328 - 17 Jan 2021
Cited by 85 | Viewed by 12485
Abstract
Due to globally rising numbers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, resources for real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR)-based testing have been exhausted. In order to meet the demands of testing and reduce transmission, SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) [...] Read more.
Due to globally rising numbers of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, resources for real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR)-based testing have been exhausted. In order to meet the demands of testing and reduce transmission, SARS-CoV-2 antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) are being considered. These tests are fast, inexpensive, and simple to use, but whether they detect potentially infectious cases has not been well studied. We evaluated three lateral flow assays (RIDA®QUICK SARS-CoV-2 Antigen (R-Biopharm), SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test (Roche)), and NADAL® COVID-19 Ag Test (Nal von Minden GmbH, Regensburg, Germany) and one microfluidic immunofluorescence assay (SARS-CoV-2 Ag Test (LumiraDx GmbH, Cologne, Germany)) using 100 clinical samples. Diagnostic rRT-PCR and cell culture testing as a marker for infectivity were performed in parallel. The overall Ag-RDT sensitivity for rRT-PCR-positive samples ranged from 24.3% to 50%. However, for samples with a viral load of more than 6 log10 RNA copies/mL (22/100), typically seen in infectious individuals, Ag-RDT positivity was between 81.8% and 100%. Only 51.6% (33/64) of the rRT-PCR-positive samples were infectious in cell culture. In contrast, three Ag-RDTs demonstrated a more significant correlation with cell culture infectivity (61.8–82.4%). Our findings suggest that large-scale SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDT-based testing can be considered for detecting potentially infective individuals and reducing the virus spread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Characterization of a Pan-Immunoglobulin Assay Quantifying Antibodies Directed against the Receptor Binding Domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S1-Subunit of the Spike Protein: A Population-Based Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(12), 3989; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9123989 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2694
Abstract
Pan-immunoglobulin assays can simultaneously detect IgG, IgM and IgA directed against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S1 subunit of the spike protein (S) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 S1-RBD Ig). In this work, we aim to evaluate a [...] Read more.
Pan-immunoglobulin assays can simultaneously detect IgG, IgM and IgA directed against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S1 subunit of the spike protein (S) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 S1-RBD Ig). In this work, we aim to evaluate a quantitative SARS-CoV-2 S1-RBD Ig electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) regarding analytical, diagnostic, operational and clinical characteristics. Our work takes the form of a population-based study in the principality of Liechtenstein, including 125 cases with clinically well-described and laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and 1159 individuals without evidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 cases were tested for antibodies in sera taken with a median of 48 days (interquartile range, IQR, 43–52) and 139 days (IQR, 129–144) after symptom onset. Sera were also tested with other assays targeting antibodies against non-RBD-S1 and -S1/S2 epitopes. Sensitivity was 97.6% (95% confidence interval, CI, 93.2–99.1), whereas specificity was 99.8% (95% CI, 99.4–99.9). Antibody levels linearly decreased from hospitalized patients to symptomatic outpatients and SARS-CoV-2 infection without symptoms (p < 0.001). Among cases with SARS-CoV-2 infection, smokers had lower antibody levels than non-smokers (p = 0.04), and patients with fever had higher antibody levels than patients without fever (p = 0.001). Pan-SARS-CoV-2 S1-RBD Ig in SARS-CoV-2 infection cases significantly increased from first to second follow-up (p < 0.001). A substantial proportion of individuals without evidence of past SARS-CoV-2 infection displayed non-S1-RBD antibody reactivities (248/1159, i.e., 21.4%, 95% CI, 19.1–23.4). In conclusion, a quantitative SARS-CoV-2 S1-RBD Ig assay offers favorable and sustained assay characteristics allowing the determination of quantitative associations between clinical characteristics (e.g., disease severity, smoking or fever) and antibody levels. The assay could also help to identify individuals with antibodies of non-S1-RBD specificity with potential clinical cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
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Article
ACE2 Interaction Networks in COVID-19: A Physiological Framework for Prediction of Outcome in Patients with Cardiovascular Risk Factors
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(11), 3743; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113743 - 21 Nov 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 3203
Abstract
Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (coronavirus disease 2019; COVID-19) is associated with adverse outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of the study was to characterize the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) functional networks [...] Read more.
Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (coronavirus disease 2019; COVID-19) is associated with adverse outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of the study was to characterize the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) functional networks with a focus on CVD. Methods: Using the network medicine approach and publicly available datasets, we investigated ACE2 tissue expression and described ACE2 interaction networks that could be affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection in the heart, lungs and nervous system. We compared them with changes in ACE-2 networks following SARS-CoV-2 infection by analyzing public data of human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). This analysis was performed using the Network by Relative Importance (NERI) algorithm, which integrates protein-protein interaction with co-expression networks. We also performed miRNA-target predictions to identify which miRNAs regulate ACE2-related networks and could play a role in the COVID19 outcome. Finally, we performed enrichment analysis for identifying the main COVID-19 risk groups. Results: We found similar ACE2 expression confidence levels in respiratory and cardiovascular systems, supporting that heart tissue is a potential target of SARS-CoV-2. Analysis of ACE2 interaction networks in infected hiPSC-CMs identified multiple hub genes with corrupted signaling which can be responsible for cardiovascular symptoms. The most affected genes were EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor), FN1 (Fibronectin 1), TP53, HSP90AA1, and APP (Amyloid Beta Precursor Protein), while the most affected interactions were associated with MAST2 and CALM1 (Calmodulin 1). Enrichment analysis revealed multiple diseases associated with the interaction networks of ACE2, especially cancerous diseases, obesity, hypertensive disease, Alzheimer’s disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, and congestive heart failure. Among affected ACE2-network components connected with the SARS-Cov-2 interactome, we identified AGT (Angiotensinogen), CAT (Catalase), DPP4 (Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4), CCL2 (C-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 2), TFRC (Transferrin Receptor) and CAV1 (Caveolin-1), associated with cardiovascular risk factors. We described for the first time miRNAs which were common regulators of ACE2 networks and virus-related proteins in all analyzed datasets. The top miRNAs regulating ACE2 networks were miR-27a-3p, miR-26b-5p, miR-10b-5p, miR-302c-5p, hsa-miR-587, hsa-miR-1305, hsa-miR-200b-3p, hsa-miR-124-3p, and hsa-miR-16-5p. Conclusion: Our study provides a complete mechanistic framework for investigating the ACE2 network which was validated by expression data. This framework predicted risk groups, including the established ones, thus providing reliable novel information regarding the complexity of signaling pathways affected by SARS-CoV-2. It also identified miRNAs that could be used in personalized diagnosis in COVID-19. Full article
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Does Physical Activity Matter for the Mental Health of University Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(11), 3494; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113494 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 5750
Abstract
Research indicates that university and college students are at higher risk of experiencing mental health problems than other populations. This study aims to examine the relationship between Physical Activity (PA) and the mental health of Ukrainian university students during the Corona Virus Disease [...] Read more.
Research indicates that university and college students are at higher risk of experiencing mental health problems than other populations. This study aims to examine the relationship between Physical Activity (PA) and the mental health of Ukrainian university students during the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown. The conventional sample consisted of 1512 students from 11 Ukrainian universities, with a mean age of 20 years (M = 20.06, SD = 3.05) and 69% of whom were female. The cross-sectional online survey was disseminated through the most popular social media channels in Ukraine (i.e., Facebook, Viber, Telegram) and included the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) scale to measure anxiety and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess depression. Data were collected from 14 May to 4 June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Ukraine. Among university students, 43% were engaged in PA ≥ 150 min weekly, 24% met the criteria of GAD, and 32% met the criteria of depression. More students were involved in PA before the COVID-19 outbreak than during the national lockdown. Students with anxiety and depression were almost two times less likely to engage in PA than their counterparts without mental health disorders. The inactive group had higher scores of anxiety and depression than the physically active group. The relationship of PA with anxiety and depression was statistically significant but weak during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
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Article
Predicting Clinical Outcome with Phenotypic Clusters in COVID-19 Pneumonia: An Analysis of 12,066 Hospitalized Patients from the Spanish Registry SEMI-COVID-19
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(11), 3488; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113488 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 14498
Abstract
(1) Background: Different clinical presentations in COVID-19 are described to date, from mild to severe cases. This study aims to identify different clinical phenotypes in COVID-19 pneumonia using cluster analysis and to assess the prognostic impact among identified clusters in such patients. (2) [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Different clinical presentations in COVID-19 are described to date, from mild to severe cases. This study aims to identify different clinical phenotypes in COVID-19 pneumonia using cluster analysis and to assess the prognostic impact among identified clusters in such patients. (2) Methods: Cluster analysis including 11 phenotypic variables was performed in a large cohort of 12,066 COVID-19 patients, collected and followed-up from 1 March to 31 July 2020, from the nationwide Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI)-COVID-19 Registry. (3) Results: Of the total of 12,066 patients included in the study, most were males (7052, 58.5%) and Caucasian (10,635, 89.5%), with a mean age at diagnosis of 67 years (standard deviation (SD) 16). The main pre-admission comorbidities were arterial hypertension (6030, 50%), hyperlipidemia (4741, 39.4%) and diabetes mellitus (2309, 19.2%). The average number of days from COVID-19 symptom onset to hospital admission was 6.7 (SD 7). The triad of fever, cough, and dyspnea was present almost uniformly in all 4 clinical phenotypes identified by clustering. Cluster C1 (8737 patients, 72.4%) was the largest, and comprised patients with the triad alone. Cluster C2 (1196 patients, 9.9%) also presented with ageusia and anosmia; cluster C3 (880 patients, 7.3%) also had arthromyalgia, headache, and sore throat; and cluster C4 (1253 patients, 10.4%) also manifested with diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Compared to each other, cluster C1 presented the highest in-hospital mortality (24.1% vs. 4.3% vs. 14.7% vs. 18.6%; p < 0.001). The multivariate study identified age, gender (male), body mass index (BMI), arterial hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ischemic cardiopathy, chronic heart failure, chronic hepatopathy, Charlson’s index, heart rate and respiratory rate upon admission >20 bpm, lower PaO2/FiO2 at admission, higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and the phenotypic cluster as independent factors for in-hospital death. (4) Conclusions: The present study identified 4 phenotypic clusters in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, which predicted the in-hospital prognosis of clinical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Practice)
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Article
Covid-19-Associated Coagulopathy: Biomarkers of Thrombin Generation and Fibrinolysis Leading the Outcome
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(11), 3487; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9113487 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 1979
Abstract
Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated coagulopathy is characterized by a prothrombotic state not yet comprehensively studied. We investigated the coagulation pattern of patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), comparing patients who survived to those who did not. Methods: In this prospective [...] Read more.
Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated coagulopathy is characterized by a prothrombotic state not yet comprehensively studied. We investigated the coagulation pattern of patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), comparing patients who survived to those who did not. Methods: In this prospective cohort study on 20 COVID-19 ARDS patients, the following biomarkers were measured: thrombin generation (prothrombin fragment 1 + 2 (PF 1 + 2)), fibrinolysis activation (tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)) and inhibition (plasminogen activator inhibitor 2 (PAI-2)), fibrin synthesis (fibrinopeptide A) and fibrinolysis magnitude (plasmin–antiplasmin complex (PAP) and D-dimers). Measurements were done upon intensive care unit (ICU) admission and after 10–14 days. Results: There was increased thrombin generation; modest or null release of t-PA; and increased levels of PAI-2, fibrinopeptide A, PAP and D-dimers. At baseline, nonsurvivors had a significantly (p = 0.014) higher PAI-2/PAP ratio than survivors (109, interquartile range (IQR) 18.1–216, vs. 8.7, IQR 2.9–12.6). At follow-up, thrombin generation was significantly (p = 0.025) reduced in survivors (PF 1 + 2 from 396 pg/mL, IQR 185–585 to 237 pg/mL, IQR 120–393), whereas it increased in nonsurvivors. Fibrinolysis inhibition at follow-up remained stable in survivors and increased in nonsurvivors, leading to a significant (p = 0.026) difference in PAI-2 levels (161 pg/mL, IQR 50–334, vs. 1088 pg/mL, IQR 177–1565). Conclusion: Severe patterns of COVID-19 ARDS are characterized by a thrombin burst and the consequent coagulation activation. Mechanisms of fibrinolysis regulation appear unbalanced toward fibrinolysis inhibition. This pattern ameliorates in survivors, whereas it worsens in nonsurvivors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hematology)
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Article
Predicting Perceived Stress Related to the Covid-19 Outbreak through Stable Psychological Traits and Machine Learning Models
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(10), 3350; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103350 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 93 | Viewed by 6708
Abstract
The global SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and subsequent lockdown had a significant impact on people’s daily lives, with strong implications for stress levels due to the threat of contagion and restrictions to freedom. Given the link between high stress levels and adverse physical and mental [...] Read more.
The global SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and subsequent lockdown had a significant impact on people’s daily lives, with strong implications for stress levels due to the threat of contagion and restrictions to freedom. Given the link between high stress levels and adverse physical and mental consequences, the COVID-19 pandemic is certainly a global public health issue. In the present study, we assessed the effect of the pandemic on stress levels in N = 2053 Italian adults, and characterized more vulnerable individuals on the basis of sociodemographic features and stable psychological traits. A set of 18 psycho-social variables, generalized regressions, and predictive machine learning approaches were leveraged. We identified higher levels of perceived stress in the study sample relative to Italian normative values. Higher levels of distress were found in women, participants with lower income, and participants living with others. Higher rates of emotional stability and self-control, as well as a positive coping style and internal locus of control, emerged as protective factors. Predictive learning models identified participants with high perceived stress, with a sensitivity greater than 76%. The results suggest a characterization of people who are more vulnerable to experiencing high levels of stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. This characterization may contribute to early and targeted intervention strategies. Full article
Article
Presentation, Treatment Response and Short-Term Outcomes in Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Temporally Associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS)
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(10), 3293; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103293 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3457
Abstract
The novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the pathogen responsible for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Whilst most children and young people develop mild symptoms, recent reports suggest a novel paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS). Case definition [...] Read more.
The novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the pathogen responsible for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Whilst most children and young people develop mild symptoms, recent reports suggest a novel paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 (PIMS-TS). Case definition and classification are preliminary, treatment is empiric and disease-associated outcomes are unclear. Here, we report 29 patients with PIMS-TS who were diagnosed, admitted and treated in the English North West between March and June 2020. Consistent with patterns observed internationally, cases peaked approximately 4 weeks after the initial surge of COVID-19-like symptoms in the UK population. Clinical symptoms included fever (100%), skin rashes (72%), cardiovascular involvement (86%), conjunctivitis (62%) and respiratory involvement (21%). Some patients had clinical features partially resembling Kawasaki disease (KD), toxic shock syndrome and cytokine storm syndrome. Male gender (69%), black, Asian and other minority ethnicities (BAME, 59%) were over-represented. Immune modulating treatment was used in all, including intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), corticosteroids and cytokine blockers. Notably, 32% of patients treated with IVIG alone went into remission. The rest required additional treatment, usually corticosteroids, with the exception of two patients who were treated with TNF inhibition and IL-1 blockade, respectively. Another patient received IL-1 inhibition as primary therapy, with associated rapid and sustained remission. Randomized and prospective studies are needed to investigate efficacy and safety of treatment, especially as resources of IVIG may be depleted secondary to high demand during future waves of COVID-19. Full article
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Risk Perception of COVID-19, Meaning-Based Resources and Psychological Well-Being amongst Healthcare Personnel: The Mediating Role of Coping
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(10), 3225; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9103225 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3088
Abstract
The well-being of healthcare personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic depends on the ways in which they perceive the threat posed by the virus, personal resources, and coping abilities. The current study aims to examine the mediating role of coping strategies in the relationship [...] Read more.
The well-being of healthcare personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic depends on the ways in which they perceive the threat posed by the virus, personal resources, and coping abilities. The current study aims to examine the mediating role of coping strategies in the relationship between risk perception of COVID-19 and psychological well-being, as well as the relationship between meaning-based resources and psychological well-being amongst healthcare personnel in southern Poland. Two hundred and twenty-six healthcare personnel who worked in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and medical laboratories during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic (March–May 2020) filled in questionnaires measuring risk perception of COVID-19, meaning-based resources, coping, and psychological well-being. The results demonstrate that risk perception was negatively related to psychological well-being, whereas meaning-based resources were positively associated with well-being. Two coping strategies—problem-focused and meaning-focused coping—mediated the relationship between risk perception and psychological well-being as well as the relationship between meaning-based resources and psychological well-being. This indicates that perception processes and personal factors do not directly influence healthcare personnel’s psychological well-being, but rather they do indirectly through coping processes. Full article
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Early Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazil: A National Survey
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(9), 2976; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092976 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3309
Abstract
Background: Isolation measures used to contain epidemics generate social interaction restrictions and impose changes in routines of the public that increase negative psychological outcomes. Anxiety and depression are the most common symptoms. Objective: To evaluate the mental health of the Brazilian population during [...] Read more.
Background: Isolation measures used to contain epidemics generate social interaction restrictions and impose changes in routines of the public that increase negative psychological outcomes. Anxiety and depression are the most common symptoms. Objective: To evaluate the mental health of the Brazilian population during the SARs-CoV-2 pandemic and its relationship with demographic and health characteristics. Methods: Adults from all Brazilian States participated (n = 12,196; women: 69.8%, mean age = 35.2 years). The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, and the Impact of Event Scale–revised were used (online survey). Data validity and reliability were verified by confirmatory factor analysis and ordinal alpha coefficient. The probability of presenting psychological symptoms was calculated by multiple logistic regression and odds ratio (OR) (0 = without symptoms, 1 = with mild, moderate, and severe levels of symptoms). Results: High prevalence of depression (61.3%), anxiety (44.2%), stress (50.8%), and psychological impact (54.9%) due to the isolation experienced from the pandemic was found. Younger individuals (OR = 1.58–3.58), those that felt unsafe (OR = 1.75–2.92), with a previous diagnosis of mental health (OR = 1.72–2.64) and/or had general health problems before the pandemic (OR = 1.17–1.51), who noticed changes in their mental state due to the pandemic context (OR = 2.53–9.07), and excessively exposed to the news (OR = 1.19–2.18) were at increased risk of developing symptoms. Women (OR = 1.35–1.65) and those with lower economic status (OR = 1.38–2.69) were more likely to develop psychological symptoms. Lower educational levels increased the likelihood of depressive (OR = 1.03–1.34) and intrusive symptoms (OR = 1.09–1.51). Conclusions: The pandemic and related factors can have a high impact on the mental health of the population. Demographic characteristics can influence the occurrence of psychological symptoms. Full article
Article
Care Dependency in Non-Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(9), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092946 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 7119
Abstract
Background: A large sample of “mild” COVID-19 patients still experience multiple symptoms months after being infected. These persistent symptoms are associated with many clinically relevant outcomes, including poor health status and impaired functional status. To date, no information is available about care dependency. [...] Read more.
Background: A large sample of “mild” COVID-19 patients still experience multiple symptoms months after being infected. These persistent symptoms are associated with many clinically relevant outcomes, including poor health status and impaired functional status. To date, no information is available about care dependency. Therefore, we aimed to explore the level of care dependency and the need for assistance with personal care in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: Members of two Facebook groups for COVID-19 patients with persistent complaints in The Netherlands and Belgium, and from a panel of people who registered at a website of the Lung Foundation Netherlands, were assessed for demographics, pre-existing comorbidities, health status, and symptoms. In addition, patients were asked about their dependence on others for personal care before and after the infection. The level of care dependency was assessed with the Care Dependency Scale (CDS) in members of the Belgian Facebook group (n = 210). Results: The data of 1837 non-hospitalized patients (86% women; median (IQR) age: 47 (38–54)) were analyzed. Only a small proportion of patients needed help with personal care before COVID-19, but the care need increased significantly after the infection (on average 79 ± 17 days after the onset of symptoms; 7.7% versus 52.4%, respectively; p < 0.05). The patients had a median (IQR) CDS score of 72 (67–75) points, and 31% of the patients were considered as care-dependent (CDS score ≤ 68 points). Conclusions: COVID-19 has an important impact on care dependency in non-hospitalized patients. About three months after the onset of symptoms, a considerable proportion of non-hospitalized patients were to some degree dependent on others for personal care. This indicates that the impact of COVID-19 on patients’ daily lives is tremendous, and more attention is needed to identify optimal treatment strategies to restore patients’ independency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
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Article
Assessing Viral Shedding and Infectivity of Asymptomatic or Mildly Symptomatic Patients with COVID-19 in a Later Phase
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(9), 2924; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092924 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3471
Abstract
Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a major global public health issue. SARS-CoV-2 infection is confirmed by the detection of viral RNA using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Prolonged viral shedding [...] Read more.
Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a major global public health issue. SARS-CoV-2 infection is confirmed by the detection of viral RNA using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Prolonged viral shedding has been reported in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, but the presence of viral RNA does not always correlate with infectivity. Therefore, the present study aimed to confirm the presence of viable virus in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients in the later phase of the disease, more than two weeks after diagnosis. Method: Asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients who had been diagnosed with the disease at least two weeks previously and admitted to a community treatment center (CTC) from 15 March to 10 April 2020 were enrolled in this study. Nasopharyngeal and salivary swab specimens were collected from each patient. Using these specimens, RT-PCR assay and viral culture were performed. Result: In total, 48 patients were enrolled in this study. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic patient groups. RT-PCR assay and viral culture of SARS-CoV-2 were performed using nasopharyngeal and salivary swabs. The results of RT-PCR performed using salivary swab specimens, in terms of cycle threshold (Ct) values, were similar to those of RT-PCR using nasopharyngeal swab specimens. In addition, no viable virus could be cultured from swab specimens collected from the late-phase COVID-19 patients with prolonged viral RNA shedding. Conclusions: In conclusion, our study suggests that even if viral shedding is sustained in asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients with later phase of COVID-19, it can be expected that the transmission risk of the virus is low. In addition, saliva can be used as a reliable specimen for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
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Article
Peripapillary Retinal Vascular Involvement in Early Post-COVID-19 Patients
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(9), 2895; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092895 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 2485
Abstract
The ability of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2′s) to cause multi-organ ischemia and coronavirus-induced posterior segment eye diseases in mammals gave concern about potential sight-threatening ischemia in post coronavirus disease 2019 patients. The radial peripapillary capillary plexus (RPCP) is a sensitive [...] Read more.
The ability of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2′s) to cause multi-organ ischemia and coronavirus-induced posterior segment eye diseases in mammals gave concern about potential sight-threatening ischemia in post coronavirus disease 2019 patients. The radial peripapillary capillary plexus (RPCP) is a sensitive target due to the important role in the vascular supply of the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL). Eighty patients one month after SARS-CoV-2 infection and 30 healthy patients were selected to undergo structural OCT (optical coherence tomography) and OCTA (optical coherence tomography angiography) exams. Primary outcome was a difference in RPCP perfusion density (RPCP-PD) and RPCP flow index (RPCP-FI). No significant difference was observed in age, sex, intraocular pressure (IOP) and prevalence of myopia. RPCP-PD was lower in post SARS-CoV-2 patients compared to controls. Within the post-COVID-19 group, patients with systemic arterial hypertension had lower RPCP-FI and age was inversely correlated to both RPCP-FI and RPCP-PD. Patients treated with lopinavir + ritonavir or antiplatelet therapy during admission had lower RPCP-FI and RPCP-PD. RNFL average thickness was linearly correlated to RPCP-FI and RPCP-PD within post-COVID-19 group. Future studies will be needed to address the hypothesis of a microvascular retinal impairment in individuals who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Retinal Research)
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Article
Prevalence and Predictive Value of Anemia and Dysregulated Iron Homeostasis in Patients with COVID-19 Infection
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(8), 2429; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9082429 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 82 | Viewed by 5465
Abstract
Infections with SARS-CoV-2 can result in severe clinical manifestations. As such patients present with systemic inflammation, we studied the prevalence and predictive value of anemia of inflammation (AI) or functional iron deficiency (FID), originating from immune-mediated alterations of iron homeostasis. Within this retrospective [...] Read more.
Infections with SARS-CoV-2 can result in severe clinical manifestations. As such patients present with systemic inflammation, we studied the prevalence and predictive value of anemia of inflammation (AI) or functional iron deficiency (FID), originating from immune-mediated alterations of iron homeostasis. Within this retrospective analysis of 259 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, we found that, upon admission, 24.7% were anemic, with the majority suffering from AI (68.8%). Anemia was associated with a significantly higher in-hospital mortality (OR 3.729 (95%CI 1.739–7.995), p = 0.001) but not an increased frequency of intensive care unit (ICU) admission or need for mechanical ventilation. FID was present in 80.0% of patients upon admission, linked to more advanced inflammation and associated with significantly longer hospital stay. Notably, a ferritin/transferrin ratio > 10 predicted a five-fold higher risk of ICU admission and an eight-fold higher risk of the need for mechanical ventilation. Anemia and alterations of iron homeostasis are highly prevalent in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Iron metabolism biomarkers and hemoglobin can contribute to risk stratification of patients, as initial anemia is associated with increased mortality, whereas alterations of iron homeostasis with a higher ferritin/transferrin ratio reflect more advanced inflammation and predicts subsequent insufficient pulmonary oxygenation with the need for ICU admission and mechanical ventilation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Practice)
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Article
Neutralizing Antibody Production in Asymptomatic and Mild COVID-19 Patients, in Comparison with Pneumonic COVID-19 Patients
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2268; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072268 - 17 Jul 2020
Cited by 67 | Viewed by 4025
Abstract
Objectives: To investigate antibody production in asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients. Methods: Sera from asymptomatic to severe COVID-19 patients were collected. Microneutralization (MN), fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were performed. Results: A total of 70 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients were evaluated, [...] Read more.
Objectives: To investigate antibody production in asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients. Methods: Sera from asymptomatic to severe COVID-19 patients were collected. Microneutralization (MN), fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were performed. Results: A total of 70 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients were evaluated, including 15 asymptomatic/anosmia, 49 mild symptomatic, and 6 pneumonia patients. The production of the neutralizing antibody was observed in 100% of pneumonia, 93.9% of mild symptomatic, and 80.0% of asymptomatic/anosmia groups. All the patients in the pneumonia group showed high MN titer (≥1:80), while 36.7% of mild symptomatic and 20.0% of asymptomatic/anosmia groups showed high titer (p < 0.001). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies could be more sensitively detected by FIA IgG (98.8%) and ELISA (97.6%) in overall. For the FIA IgG test, all patients in the pneumonia group exhibited a high COI value (≥15.0), while 89.8% of mild symptomatic and 73.3% of asymptomatic/anosmia groups showed a high value (p = 0.049). For the ELISA test, all patients in the pneumonia group showed a high optical density (OD) ratio (≥3.0), while 65.3% of mild symptomatic and 53.3% of asymptomatic/anosmia groups showed a high ratio (p = 0.006). Conclusions: Most asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients produced the neutralizing antibody, although the titers were lower than pneumonia patients. ELISA and FIA sensitively detected anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Practice)
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Article
HLA-Matched Allogeneic iPS Cells-Derived RPE Transplantation for Macular Degeneration
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2217; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072217 - 13 Jul 2020
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 3588
Abstract
Immune attacks are key issues for cell transplantation. To assess the safety and the immune reactions after iPS cells-derived retinal pigment epithelium (iPS-RPE) transplantation, we transplanted HLA homozygote iPS-RPE cells established at an iPS bank in HLA-matched patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration. [...] Read more.
Immune attacks are key issues for cell transplantation. To assess the safety and the immune reactions after iPS cells-derived retinal pigment epithelium (iPS-RPE) transplantation, we transplanted HLA homozygote iPS-RPE cells established at an iPS bank in HLA-matched patients with exudative age-related macular degeneration. In addition, local steroids without immunosuppressive medications were administered. We monitored immune rejections by routine ocular examinations as well as by lymphocytes-graft cells immune reaction (LGIR) tests using graft RPE and the patient’s blood cells. In all five of the cases that underwent iPS-RPE transplantation, the presence of graft cells was indicated by clumps or an area of increased pigmentation at 6 months, which became stable with no further abnormal growth in the graft during the 1-year observation period. Adverse events observed included corneal erosion, epiretinal membrane, retinal edema due to epiretinal membrane, elevated intraocular pressure, endophthalmitis, and mild immune rejection in the eye. In the one case exhibiting positive LGIR tests along with a slight fluid recurrence, we administrated local steroid therapy that subsequently resolved the suspected immune attacks. Although the cell delivery strategy must be further optimized, the present results suggest that it is possible to achieve stable survival and safety of iPS-RPE cell transplantation for a year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Retinal Research)
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Retrospective Study of Dupilumab Treatment for Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis in Korea: Efficacy and Safety of Dupilumab in Real-World Practice
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(6), 1982; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9061982 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2287
Abstract
Among biological agents for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD), dupilumab is a front-runner. Although many studies have been conducted on the real-world use of dupilumab, the sample size is often small and data is primarily on Western people. Therefore, we investigated the [...] Read more.
Among biological agents for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD), dupilumab is a front-runner. Although many studies have been conducted on the real-world use of dupilumab, the sample size is often small and data is primarily on Western people. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy and safety of dupilumab in patients with moderate-to-severe AD in Korea. All patients with moderate-to-severe AD treated with dupilumab from September 2018 to June 2019 in this institution were included and analyzed by medical records. They were evaluated using the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI), Numerical Rating Scale (NRS), Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), and Dermatology Quality of Life Index (DLQI), respectively on admission, after two weeks (only EASI and NRS) and after 16 weeks. Laboratory tests were measured before and 16 weeks after treatment. A total of 101 patients were included. All efficacy tools showed a significant decrease after 16 weeks; EASI 77.4%, NRS 70.0%, POEM 60.7%, and DLQI 65.0%. EASI was characterized by a marked improvement of 51.5% in just two weeks. The treatment response was not significantly different according to the interval of treatment. Elevated Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) at 16 weeks was associated with poor treatment response. Moreover, a high eosinophil count was related to a lower change in EASI and POEM. In the correlation analysis, EASI was not correlated to DLQI before treatment. For changes after 16 weeks, POEM showed the highest correlation with DLQI. (R = 0.66, p < 0.001) In the additional analysis for factors affecting treatment response, the female gender was associated with good treatment response. (odds ratio = 5.4, p = 0.04) Adverse events from treatment included facial erythema (9.9%) and conjunctivitis (5.0%). Overall, it was confirmed that the efficacy of dupilumab in the real-world is similar to that of the existing clinical trials. We suggest that POEM is a useful tool for identifying the quality of life. The female gender was associated with a good treatment response. Both an elevated LDH and a high eosinophil count could be a therapeutic biomarker. Further research will be needed for a long-term period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Atopic Dermatitis)
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The Enemy Which Sealed the World: Effects of COVID-19 Diffusion on the Psychological State of the Italian Population
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(6), 1802; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9061802 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 94 | Viewed by 3432
Abstract
Background: Starting from the first months of 2020, worldwide population has been facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nations, including Italy, took extreme actions to reduce the diffusion of the virus, profoundly changing lifestyles. The Italians have been faced with both the fear of [...] Read more.
Background: Starting from the first months of 2020, worldwide population has been facing the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nations, including Italy, took extreme actions to reduce the diffusion of the virus, profoundly changing lifestyles. The Italians have been faced with both the fear of contracting the infection and the consequences of enforcing social distancing. This study was aimed to understand the psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the psychopathological outcomes related to the first phase of this emergency. Methods: The study included 2291 respondents. An online survey collected information on socio-demographic variables, history of direct or indirect contact with COVID-19, and additional information concerning the COVID-19 emergency. Moreover, psychopathological symptoms such as anxiety, mood alterations and post-traumatic symptomatology were assessed. Results: The results revealed that respectively 31.38%, 37.19% and 27.72% of respondents reported levels of general psychopathological symptomatology, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms over the cut-off scores. Furthermore, a significant worsening of mood has emerged. Being a female or under the age of 50 years, having had direct contact with people infected by the COVID-19, and experiencing uncertainty about the risk of contagion represent risk factors for psychological distress. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic appear to impact not only on physical health but also on psychological well-being. Although these results need to be considered with caution being based on self-reported data collected at the beginning of this emergency, they should be used as a starting point for further studies aimed to develop interventions to minimize both the brief and long-term psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
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Bariatric Surgery during COVID-19 Pandemic from Patients’ Point of View—The Results of a National Survey
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(6), 1697; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9061697 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2002
Abstract
Introduction: The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on bariatric care from the patients’ point of view. The COVID-19 pandemic has perturbed the functioning of healthcare systems around the world and led to changes in elective [...] Read more.
Introduction: The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on bariatric care from the patients’ point of view. The COVID-19 pandemic has perturbed the functioning of healthcare systems around the world and led to changes in elective surgical care, with bariatric procedures being postponed until the end of pandemic. There is no data in the literature about the effect of a new epidemiological situation on bariatric patients. Methods: The study was designed as an online survey containing multiple open questions about bariatric care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted among pre- and postoperative bariatric patients. Results: Out of 800 respondents, 74.53% felt anxiety about their health in regard to the present epidemiologic state. Some (72.25%) were aware of the fact that obesity was an important risk factor that could impair the course of the COVID-19 disease. Almost 30% of respondents admitted having put on weight, significantly more in the group of preoperative patients (43.8% vs. 22.69%; p < 0.001). Only 20.92% of patients had a possibility of continuing direct bariatric care; 67.3% of patients had an opportunity of remote contact with a bariatric specialist, including online consultations, teleconsultations and social media meetings. Conclusions: Limited access to medical care and quarantine lockdown may result in a deterioration of long-time operation outcomes and lower weight losses. Patients should be encouraged to profit from online consultations with specialists and telemedicine to reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on their health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Bariatric Surgery: Latest Advances and Prospects)
Communication
Relationship between HIF-1 and Circadian Clock Proteins in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients—Preliminary Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051599 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 1746
Abstract
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by intermittent hypoxia and associated with the disruption of circadian rhythm. The study aimed to assess the relationship between hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) subunits, circadian clock proteins, and polysomnography (PSG) variables, in healthy individuals and severe OSA patients. [...] Read more.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by intermittent hypoxia and associated with the disruption of circadian rhythm. The study aimed to assess the relationship between hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) subunits, circadian clock proteins, and polysomnography (PSG) variables, in healthy individuals and severe OSA patients. The study included 20 individuals, who underwent PSG and were divided into severe OSA group (n = 10; AHI ≥ 30) and healthy control (n = 10; AHI < 5) based on apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). All participants had their peripheral blood collected in the evening before and the morning after the PSG. HIF-1α, HIF-1β, BMAL1, CLOCK, CRY1, and PER1 protein concertation measurements were performed using ELISA. In a multivariate general linear model with the concentration of all circadian clock proteins as dependent variables, evening HIF-1α protein level was the only significant covariant (p = 0.025). Corrected models were significant for morning and evening PER1 (p = 0.008 and p = 0.006, respectively), evening (p = 0.043), and evening BMAL protein level (p = 0.046). In corrected models, evening HIF-1α protein level had an influence only on the evening PER1 protein level. Results suggest that OSA patients are at risk for developing circadian clock disruption. This process might be mediated by subunit α of HIF-1, as its increased protein level is associated with overexpression of circadian clock proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA))
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Characteristics and Injury Patterns in Electric-Scooter Related Accidents—A Prospective Two-Center Report from Germany
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051569 - 22 May 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 2383
Abstract
Since the introduction of rental E-scooters in Germany in mid-June 2019, the safety of this new means of transport has been the subject of extensive public debate. However, valid data on injuries and usage habits are not yet available. This retrospective two-center study [...] Read more.
Since the introduction of rental E-scooters in Germany in mid-June 2019, the safety of this new means of transport has been the subject of extensive public debate. However, valid data on injuries and usage habits are not yet available. This retrospective two-center study included a total of 76 patients who presented to the emergency department following E-scooter-related accidents. The mean age was 34.3 ± 12.4 years and 69.7% of the patients were male. About half of the patients were admitted by ambulance (42.1%). Fractures were found in 48.6% of patients, and 27.6% required surgical treatment due to a fracture. The upper extremities were the most commonly affected body region, followed by injuries to the lower extremity and to the head and face. Only one patient had worn a helmet. In-hospital treatment was necessary for 26.3% of the cases. Patients presented to the emergency department mainly during the weekend and on-call times. This is the first report on E-scooter-related injuries in Germany. Accidents with E-scooters can cause serious injuries and, therefore, represent a further burden to emergency departments. The use of E-scooters appears to be mostly recreational, and the rate of use of protective gear is low. Full article
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Article
Early Predictors of Clinical Deterioration in a Cohort of 239 Patients Hospitalized for Covid-19 Infection in Lombardy, Italy
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1548; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051548 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 87 | Viewed by 6570
Abstract
We described features of hospitalized Covid-19 patients and identified predictors of clinical deterioration. We included patients consecutively admitted at Humanitas Research Hospital (Rozzano, Milan, Italy); retrospectively extracted demographic; clinical; laboratory and imaging findings at admission; used survival methods to identify factors associated with [...] Read more.
We described features of hospitalized Covid-19 patients and identified predictors of clinical deterioration. We included patients consecutively admitted at Humanitas Research Hospital (Rozzano, Milan, Italy); retrospectively extracted demographic; clinical; laboratory and imaging findings at admission; used survival methods to identify factors associated with clinical deterioration (defined as intensive care unit (ICU) transfer or death), and developed a prognostic index. Overall; we analyzed 239 patients (29.3% females) with a mean age of 63.9 (standard deviation [SD]; 14.0) years. Clinical deterioration occurred in 70 patients (29.3%), including 41 (17.2%) ICU transfers and 36 (15.1%) deaths. The most common symptoms and signs at admission were cough (77.8%) and elevated respiratory rate (34.1%), while 66.5% of patients had at least one coexisting medical condition. Imaging frequently revealed ground-glass opacity (68.9%) and consolidation (23.8%). Age; increased respiratory rate; abnormal blood gas parameters and imaging findings; coexisting coronary heart disease; leukocytosis; lymphocytopenia; and several laboratory parameters (elevated procalcitonin; interleukin-6; serum ferritin; C-reactive protein; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenase; creatinine; fibrinogen; troponin-I; and D-dimer) were significant predictors of clinical deterioration. We suggested a prognostic index to assist risk-stratification (C-statistic; 0.845; 95% CI; 0.802–0.887). These results could aid early identification and management of patients at risk, who should therefore receive additional monitoring and aggressive supportive care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Practice)
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Article
Highly Conserved Homotrimer Cavity Formed by the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein: A Novel Binding Site
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1473; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051473 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 51 | Viewed by 5237
Abstract
An important stage in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) life cycle is the binding of the spike (S) protein to the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) host cell receptor. Therefore, to explore conserved features in spike protein dynamics and to identify potentially [...] Read more.
An important stage in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) life cycle is the binding of the spike (S) protein to the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) host cell receptor. Therefore, to explore conserved features in spike protein dynamics and to identify potentially novel regions for drugging, we measured spike protein variability derived from 791 viral genomes and studied its properties by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The findings indicated that S2 subunit (heptad-repeat 1 (HR1), central helix (CH), and connector domain (CD) domains) showed low variability, low fluctuations in MD, and displayed a trimer cavity. By contrast, the receptor binding domain (RBD) domain, which is typically targeted in drug discovery programs, exhibits more sequence variability and flexibility. Interpretations from MD simulations suggest that the monomer form of spike protein is in constant motion showing transitions between an “up” and “down” state. In addition, the trimer cavity may function as a “bouncing spring” that may facilitate the homotrimer spike protein interactions with the ACE2 receptor. The feasibility of the trimer cavity as a potential drug target was examined by structure based virtual screening. Several hits were identified that have already been validated or suggested to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus in published cell models. In particular, the data suggest an action mechanism for molecules including Chitosan and macrolides such as the mTOR (mammalian target of Rapamycin) pathway inhibitor Rapamycin. These findings identify a novel small molecule binding-site formed by the spike protein oligomer, that might assist in future drug discovery programs aimed at targeting the coronavirus (CoV) family of viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
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The Needs and Experiences of Post-Treatment Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1444; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051444 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2946
Abstract
(1) Background: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) who have been diagnosed with and treated for cancer have unique healthcare needs, but more research is needed to inform developmentally targeted cancer care for this population. The purpose of the current analyses was to describe [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) who have been diagnosed with and treated for cancer have unique healthcare needs, but more research is needed to inform developmentally targeted cancer care for this population. The purpose of the current analyses was to describe the physical and psychosocial concerns and experiences of AYA cancer survivors during the post-treatment phase. (2) Methods: A national survey was conducted by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to evaluate the experiences and unmet needs of cancer survivors (≥18 years) within the first 5 years following cancer treatment. The current analyses were conducted on the AYA survivor population (18–34 years). (3) Results: A total of 575 surveys were completed by AYAs. Of these, 61% were female, 51% were married/partnered, and 52% were 1–3 years post treatment. Approximately three-quarters report their physical or emotional health as good/very good. Overall, 88% reported at least one physical concern [mean of 3.98+2.11 physical concerns (range 0–9)], 90% reported at least one emotional concern [mean of 3.77+1.75 emotional concern (range 0–6)], and 79% reported at least one practical challenge [mean of 2.39+1.28 practical concerns (range 0–5)]. The most common concerns were anxiety/worry about cancer returning (83%), fatigue/tiredness (78%), and depression/loss of interest in daily activities (66%). On average, 43% of those reporting a concern sought help. Common reasons for not seeking help included not wanting to ask, being told that it was normal to feel the way they did, or embarrassment. Of those who did seek help, 37% encountered difficulty obtaining assistance. (4) Conclusions: These results suggest that post-treatment AYA cancer survivors have a high rate and number of physical, psychosocial, and practical concerns and are often not seeking or receiving help to address these. Proactive approaches to characterizing and eliminating barriers to obtaining appropriate care are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship)
Article
Clinical Characteristics and Disability Progression of Early- and Late-Onset Multiple Sclerosis Compared to Adult-Onset Multiple Sclerosis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051326 - 02 May 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Background: Compared to the adult onset of multiple sclerosis (AOMS), both early-onset (EOMS) and late-onset (LOMS) are much less frequent, but are often under- or misdiagnosed. The aims of the present study were: 1. To compare demographic and clinical features of individuals with [...] Read more.
Background: Compared to the adult onset of multiple sclerosis (AOMS), both early-onset (EOMS) and late-onset (LOMS) are much less frequent, but are often under- or misdiagnosed. The aims of the present study were: 1. To compare demographic and clinical features of individuals with EOMS, AOMS and LOMS, and 2. To identify predictors for disability progression from relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) to secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Method: Data were taken from the Isfahan Hakim MS database. Cases were classified as EOMS (MS onset 18 years), LOMS (MS onset >50 years) and AOMS (MS >18 and 50 years). Patients’ demographic and clinical (initial symptoms; course of disease; disease patterns from MRI; disease progress) information were gathered and assessed. Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazard regressions were conducted to determine differences between the three groups in the time lapse in conversion from relapsing remitting MS to secondary progressive MS. Results: A total of 2627 MS cases were assessed; of these 127 were EOMS, 84 LOMS and 2416 AOMS. The mean age of those with EOMS was 14.5 years; key symptoms were visual impairments, brain stem dysfunction, sensory disturbances and motor dysfunctions. On average, 24.6 years after disease onset, 14.2% with relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) were diagnosed with secondary progressive MS (SPMS). The key predictor variable was a higher Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score at disease onset. Compared to individuals with AOMS and LOMS, those with EOMS more often had one or two relapses in the first two years, and more often gadolinium-enhancing brain lesions. For individuals with AOMS, mean age was 29.4 years; key symptoms were sensory disturbances, motor dysfunctions and visual impairments. On average, 20.5 years after disease onset, 15.6% with RRMS progressed to SPMS. The key predictors at disease onset were: a higher EDSS score, younger age, a shorter inter-attack interval and spinal lesions. Compared to individuals with EOMS and LOMS, individuals with AOMS more often had either no or three and more relapses in the first two years. For individuals with LOMS, mean age was 53.8 years; key symptoms were motor dysfunctions, sensory disturbances and visual impairments. On average, 14 years after disease onset, 25.3% with RRMS switched to an SPMS. The key predictors at disease onset were: occurrence of spinal lesions and spinal gadolinium-enhancement. Compared to individuals with EOMS and AOMS, individuals with LOMS more often had no relapses in the first two years, and higher EDSS scores at disease onset and at follow-up. Conclusion: Among a large sample of MS sufferers, cases with early onset and late onset are observable. Individuals with early, adult and late onset MS each display distinct features which should be taken in consideration in their treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Neurology)
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The Effect of a Virtual Reality-Based Intervention Program on Cognition in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Control Trial
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(5), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9051283 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 3987
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the association between a virtual reality (VR) intervention program and cognitive, brain and physical functions in high-risk older adults. In a randomized controlled trial, we enrolled 68 individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The MCI diagnosis was based [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the association between a virtual reality (VR) intervention program and cognitive, brain and physical functions in high-risk older adults. In a randomized controlled trial, we enrolled 68 individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The MCI diagnosis was based on medical evaluations through a clinical interview conducted by a dementia specialist. Cognitive assessments were performed by neuropsychologists according to standardized methods, including the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and frontal cognitive function: trail making test (TMT) A & B, and symbol digit substitute test (SDST). Resting state electroencephalogram (EEG) was measured in eyes open and eyes closed conditions for 5 minutes each, with a 19-channel wireless EEG device. The VR intervention program (3 times/week, 100 min each session) comprised four types of VR game-based content to improve the attention, memory and processing speed. Analysis of the subjects for group–time interactions revealed that the intervention group exhibited a significantly improved executive function and brain function at the resting state. Additionally, gait speed and mobility were also significantly improved between and after the follow-up. The VR-based training program improved cognitive and physical function in patients with MCI relative to controls. Encouraging patients to perform VR and game-based training may be beneficial to prevent cognitive decline. Full article
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Article
Effects on the Facial Growth of Rapid Palatal Expansion in Growing Patients Affected by Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis with Monolateral Involvement of the Temporomandibular Joints: A Case-Control Study on Posteroanterior and Lateral Cephalograms
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041159 - 18 Apr 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 1326
Abstract
Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) affecting temporomandibular joints (TMJ) in growing patients results in maxillofacial deformities, especially if only one condyle has been affected by the rheumatic disease. Mandibular hypoplasia is the most common issue and it may be associated with maxillary hypoplasia. [...] Read more.
Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) affecting temporomandibular joints (TMJ) in growing patients results in maxillofacial deformities, especially if only one condyle has been affected by the rheumatic disease. Mandibular hypoplasia is the most common issue and it may be associated with maxillary hypoplasia. The aim of this retrospective case-control study is to evaluate the effects of rapid maxillary expansion (RME) in these patients. Methods: 25 growing patients affected by maxillary hypoplasia, currently in a quiescent phase of JIA for at least one year and monolateral involvement of the TMJs, were treated with RME. Data gathered from posteroanterior and lateral cephalograms before and after 1 year from RME were compared to those of 25 non-JIA controls. Results: Nasal cavity width, maxillary width and upper and lower intermolar width statistically increased. Maxillary and mandibular symmetry indexes presented a statistically significant increase, so did the skeletal class. No signs or symptoms of TMJ activity of JIA occurred according to Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD) criteria. No difference was found when comparing JIA and non-JIA patients apart from the better improvement of several mandibular symmetry indexes in the affected TMJ side of JIA patients. This event is allegedly due to a worse baseline asymmetry in JIA patients that underwent a bigger relative improvement after treatment. Conclusions: Results suggest that solving maxillary hypoplasia and, therefore, premature contacts are likely to have allowed mandibular repositioning and condylar growth. RME is a safe and effective solution that can substantially improve maxillary and mandibular symmetry in growing patients affected by JIA with TMJ involvement. Full article
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Article
The Medium-Chain Fatty Acid Receptor GPR84 Mediates Myeloid Cell Infiltration Promoting Steatohepatitis and Fibrosis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041140 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 1992
Abstract
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) have been associated with anti-steatotic effects in hepatocytes. Expression of the MCFA receptor GPR84 (G protein-coupled receptor 84) is induced in immune cells under inflammatory conditions and can promote fibrogenesis. We aimed at deciphering the role of GPR84 in [...] Read more.
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) have been associated with anti-steatotic effects in hepatocytes. Expression of the MCFA receptor GPR84 (G protein-coupled receptor 84) is induced in immune cells under inflammatory conditions and can promote fibrogenesis. We aimed at deciphering the role of GPR84 in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), exploring its potential as a therapeutic target. GPR84 expression is upregulated in liver from patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), correlating with the histological degree of inflammation and fibrosis. In mouse and human, activated monocytes and neutrophils upregulate GPR84 expression. Chemotaxis of these myeloid cells by GPR84 stimulation is inhibited by two novel, small molecule GPR84 antagonists. Upon acute liver injury in mice, treatment with GPR84 antagonists significantly reduced the hepatic recruitment of neutrophils, monocytes, and monocyte-derived macrophages (MoMF). We, therefore, evaluated the therapeutic inhibition of GPR84 by these two novel antagonists in comparison to selonsertib, an apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) inhibitor, in three NASH mouse models. Pharmacological inhibition of GPR84 significantly reduced macrophage accumulation and ameliorated inflammation and fibrosis, to an extent similar to selonsertib. In conclusion, our findings support that GPR84 mediates myeloid cell infiltration in liver injury and is a promising therapeutic target in steatohepatitis and fibrosis. Full article
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Article
People with Suspected COVID-19 Symptoms Were More Likely Depressed and Had Lower Health-Related Quality of Life: The Potential Benefit of Health Literacy
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9040965 - 31 Mar 2020
Cited by 233 | Viewed by 18589
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic affects people’s health and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), especially in those who have suspected COVID-19 symptoms (S-COVID-19-S). We examined the effect of modifications of health literacy (HL) on depression and HRQoL. A cross-sectional study was conducted [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic affects people’s health and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), especially in those who have suspected COVID-19 symptoms (S-COVID-19-S). We examined the effect of modifications of health literacy (HL) on depression and HRQoL. A cross-sectional study was conducted from 14 February to 2 March 2020. 3947 participants were recruited from outpatient departments of nine hospitals and health centers across Vietnam. The interviews were conducted using printed questionnaires including participants’ characteristics, clinical parameters, health behaviors, HL, depression, and HRQoL. People with S-COVID-19-S had a higher depression likelihood (OR, 2.88; p < 0.001), lower HRQoL-score (B, −7.92; p < 0.001). In comparison to people without S-COVID-19-S and low HL, those with S-COVID-19-S and low HL had 9.70 times higher depression likelihood (p < 0.001), 20.62 lower HRQoL-score (p < 0.001), for the people without S-COVID-19-S, 1 score increment of HL resulted in 5% lower depression likelihood (p < 0.001) and 0.45 higher HRQoL-score (p < 0.001), while for those people with S-COVID-19-S, 1 score increment of HL resulted in a 4% lower depression likelihood (p = 0.004) and 0.43 higher HRQoL-score (p < 0.001). People with S-COVID-19-S had a higher depression likelihood and lower HRQoL than those without. HL shows a protective effect on depression and HRQoL during the epidemic. Full article
Article
A Simulation on Potential Secondary Spread of Novel Coronavirus in an Exported Country Using a Stochastic Epidemic SEIR Model
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9040944 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 11642
Abstract
Ongoing outbreak of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) began in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and the number of new patients continues to increase. Even though it began to spread to many other parts of the world, such as other Asian countries, [...] Read more.
Ongoing outbreak of pneumonia caused by novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) began in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and the number of new patients continues to increase. Even though it began to spread to many other parts of the world, such as other Asian countries, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East, the impact of secondary outbreaks caused by exported cases outside China remains unclear. We conducted simulations to estimate the impact of potential secondary outbreaks in a community outside China. Simulations using stochastic SEIR model were conducted, assuming one patient was imported to a community. Among 45 possible scenarios we prepared, the worst scenario resulted in the total number of persons recovered or removed to be 997 (95% CrI 990–1000) at day 100 and a maximum number of symptomatic infectious patients per day of 335 (95% CrI 232–478). Calculated mean basic reproductive number (R0) was 6.5 (Interquartile range, IQR 5.6–7.2). However, better case scenarios with different parameters led to no secondary cases. Altering parameters, especially time to hospital visit. could change the impact of a secondary outbreak. With these multiple scenarios with different parameters, healthcare professionals might be able to better prepare for this viral infection. Full article
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Article
A Case-Control Study of Salivary Redox Homeostasis in Hypertensive Children. Can Salivary Uric Acid be a Marker of Hypertension?
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 837; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030837 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 1413
Abstract
Oxidative stress plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of hypertension; however, there are no data on salivary redox homeostasis and salivary gland function in children with hypertension. A total of 53 children with hypertension and age- and sex-matched controls were classified for [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of hypertension; however, there are no data on salivary redox homeostasis and salivary gland function in children with hypertension. A total of 53 children with hypertension and age- and sex-matched controls were classified for the study. The antioxidant barrier and oxidative/nitrosative stress were evaluated in non-stimulated (NWS) and stimulated (SWS) whole saliva, plasma, and erythrocytes, with Student’s t-test and Mann–Whitney U-test used for statistical analysis. We demonstrated that the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase were significantly higher in NWS, SWS, and erythrocytes of children with hypertension, similar to oxidative damage in proteins (advanced glycation end products) and lipids (malondialdehyde) as well as nitrosative stress markers (peroxynitrite and nitrotyrosine). The level of uric acid (UA) was significantly higher in NWS, SWS, and plasma of children with hypertension. UA concentration in SWS correlated positively with systolic and diastolic blood pressure and UA content in plasma. This parameter differentiates children with hypertension from healthy controls (AUC = 0.98) with a high degree of sensitivity (94%) and specificity (94%). Stimulated salivary flow was significantly lower in the hypertension group, similar to total protein content and salivary amylase activity. In summary, childhood hypertension is associated with hyposalivation as well as disturbances in antioxidant defense and enhanced oxidative/nitrosative damage both in the plasma/erythrocytes as well as saliva. Salivary UA may be a potential biomarker of hypertension in children. Full article
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Article
Intraoperative Autofluorescence and Indocyanine Green Angiography for the Detection and Preservation of Parathyroid Glands
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030830 - 18 Mar 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Fluorescence imaging is a well-known method for both the in vivo and in vitro identification of specific cells or tissues. This imaging tool is gaining importance in the intraoperative detection and preservation of parathyroid glands during endocrine surgery owing to the intrinsic properties [...] Read more.
Fluorescence imaging is a well-known method for both the in vivo and in vitro identification of specific cells or tissues. This imaging tool is gaining importance in the intraoperative detection and preservation of parathyroid glands during endocrine surgery owing to the intrinsic properties of parathyroid tissue. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the basics of the technology, its history, and the recent surgical intraoperative applications of near-infrared imaging methods. Moreover, a literature review of the utilization of fluorescence devices in thyroid surgery suggests that the use of near-infrared imaging seems to be beneficial in reducing postoperative hypoparathyroidism, which is one of the most frequent complications of thyroid surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging and Imaging-Based Management of Thyroid Nodules)
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Article
Evaluation of the Dimensional Accuracy of 3D-Printed Anatomical Mandibular Models Using FFF, SLA, SLS, MJ, and BJ Printing Technology
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030817 - 17 Mar 2020
Cited by 72 | Viewed by 4710
Abstract
With the rapid progression of additive manufacturing and the emergence of new 3D printing technologies, accuracy assessment is mostly being performed on isosymmetric-shaped test bodies. However, the accuracy of anatomic models can vary. The dimensional accuracy of root mean square values in terms [...] Read more.
With the rapid progression of additive manufacturing and the emergence of new 3D printing technologies, accuracy assessment is mostly being performed on isosymmetric-shaped test bodies. However, the accuracy of anatomic models can vary. The dimensional accuracy of root mean square values in terms of trueness and precision of 50 mandibular replicas, printed with five common printing technologies, were evaluated. The highest trueness was found for the selective laser sintering printer (0.11 ± 0.016 mm), followed by a binder jetting printer (0.14 ± 0.02 mm), and a fused filament fabrication printer (0.16 ± 0.009 mm). However, highest precision was identified for the fused filament fabrication printer (0.05 ± 0.005 mm) whereas other printers had marginally lower values. Despite the statistically significance (p < 0.001), these differences can be considered clinically insignificant. These findings demonstrate that all 3D printing technologies create models with satisfactory dimensional accuracy for surgical use. Since satisfactory results in terms of accuracy can be reached with most technologies, the choice should be more strongly based on the printing materials, the intended use, and the overall budget. The simplest printing technology (fused filament fabrication) always scored high and thus is a reliable choice for most purposes. Full article
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Article
Enhanced Inflammation and Nitrosative Stress in the Saliva and Plasma of Patients with Plaque Psoriasis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 745; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030745 - 10 Mar 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
Psoriasis is the most common inflammatory skin disease, characterized by the release of proinflammatory cytokines from lymphocytes, keratinocytes, and dendritic cells. Although psoriasis is considered an immune-mediated inflammatory disease, its effect on secretory activity of salivary glands and quantitative composition of saliva is [...] Read more.
Psoriasis is the most common inflammatory skin disease, characterized by the release of proinflammatory cytokines from lymphocytes, keratinocytes, and dendritic cells. Although psoriasis is considered an immune-mediated inflammatory disease, its effect on secretory activity of salivary glands and quantitative composition of saliva is still unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the secretion of saliva as well as several selected inflammation and nitrosative stress biomarkers in unstimulated and stimulated saliva as well as plasma of psoriasis patients. We demonstrated that, with progressing severity and duration of the disease, the secretory function of the parotid and submandibular salivary glands is lost, which is manifested as decreased unstimulated and stimulated saliva secretion and reduced salivary amylase activity and total protein concentration. The levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and interferon-gamma (INF-γ) were significantly higher, whereas interleukin-10 (IL-10) content was considerably lower in unstimulated and stimulated saliva of patients with psoriasis compared to the controls, and the changes increased with the disease duration. Similarly, we observed that the intensity of nitrosative stress in the salivary glands of psoriasis patients depended on the duration of the disease. By means of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, we showed that the evaluation of nitric oxide (NO), nitrotyrosine, and IL-2 concentration in non-stimulated saliva with high sensitivity and specificity differentiated psoriasis patients on the basis of the rate of saliva secretion (normal salivation vs. hyposalivation). In summary, the dysfunction of salivary glands in psoriasis patients is caused by inflammation and nitrosative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saliva and Oral Diseases)
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Article
Accuracy of Digital and Conventional Full-Arch Impressions in Patients: An Update
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030688 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 2864
Abstract
The aim of this clinical study was to update the available data in the literature regarding the transfer accuracy (trueness/precision) of four current intraoral scanners (IOS) equipped with the latest software versions and to compare these data with conventional impressions (CVI). A metallic [...] Read more.
The aim of this clinical study was to update the available data in the literature regarding the transfer accuracy (trueness/precision) of four current intraoral scanners (IOS) equipped with the latest software versions and to compare these data with conventional impressions (CVI). A metallic reference aid served as a reference dataset. Four digital impressions (Trios3Cart, Trios3Pod, Trios4Pod, and Primescan) and one CVI were investigated in five patients. Scan data were analyzed using three-dimensional analysis software and conventional models using a coordinate measurement machine. The transfer accuracy between the reference aid and the impression methods were compared. Differences with p < 0.05 were considered to be statistically significant. Overall, mean ± standard deviation (SD) transfer accuracy ranged from 24.6 ± 17.7 µm (CVI) to 204.5 ± 182.1 µm (Trios3Pod). The Primescan yielded the lowest deviation for digital impressions (33.8 ± 31.5 µm), followed by Trios4Pod (65.2 ± 52.9 µm), Trios3Cart (84.7 ± 120.3 µm), and Trios3Pod. Within the limitations of this study, current IOS equipped with the latest software versions demonstrated less deviation for short-span distances compared with the conventional impression technique. However, for long-span distances, the conventional impression technique provided the lowest deviation. Overall, currently available IOS systems demonstrated improvement regarding transfer accuracy of full-arch scans in patients. Full article
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Article
Optimization Method for Forecasting Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in China
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030674 - 02 Mar 2020
Cited by 181 | Viewed by 11825
Abstract
In December 2019, a novel coronavirus, called COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, and has spread to different cities in China as well as to 24 other countries. The number of confirmed cases is increasing daily and reached 34,598 on 8 February 2020. [...] Read more.
In December 2019, a novel coronavirus, called COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, and has spread to different cities in China as well as to 24 other countries. The number of confirmed cases is increasing daily and reached 34,598 on 8 February 2020. In the current study, we present a new forecasting model to estimate and forecast the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the upcoming ten days based on the previously confirmed cases recorded in China. The proposed model is an improved adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) using an enhanced flower pollination algorithm (FPA) by using the salp swarm algorithm (SSA). In general, SSA is employed to improve FPA to avoid its drawbacks (i.e., getting trapped at the local optima). The main idea of the proposed model, called FPASSA-ANFIS, is to improve the performance of ANFIS by determining the parameters of ANFIS using FPASSA. The FPASSA-ANFIS model is evaluated using the World Health Organization (WHO) official data of the outbreak of the COVID-19 to forecast the confirmed cases of the upcoming ten days. More so, the FPASSA-ANFIS model is compared to several existing models, and it showed better performance in terms of Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE), Root Mean Squared Relative Error (RMSRE), Root Mean Squared Relative Error (RMSRE), coefficient of determination ( R 2 ), and computing time. Furthermore, we tested the proposed model using two different datasets of weekly influenza confirmed cases in two countries, namely the USA and China. The outcomes also showed good performances. Full article
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Article
Assessing the Impact of Reduced Travel on Exportation Dynamics of Novel Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19)
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020601 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 106 | Viewed by 13473
Abstract
The impact of the drastic reduction in travel volume within mainland China in January and February 2020 was quantified with respect to reports of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections outside China. Data on confirmed cases diagnosed outside China were analyzed using statistical models to [...] Read more.
The impact of the drastic reduction in travel volume within mainland China in January and February 2020 was quantified with respect to reports of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections outside China. Data on confirmed cases diagnosed outside China were analyzed using statistical models to estimate the impact of travel reduction on three epidemiological outcome measures: (i) the number of exported cases, (ii) the probability of a major epidemic, and (iii) the time delay to a major epidemic. From 28 January to 7 February 2020, we estimated that 226 exported cases (95% confidence interval: 86,449) were prevented, corresponding to a 70.4% reduction in incidence compared to the counterfactual scenario. The reduced probability of a major epidemic ranged from 7% to 20% in Japan, which resulted in a median time delay to a major epidemic of two days. Depending on the scenario, the estimated delay may be less than one day. As the delay is small, the decision to control travel volume through restrictions on freedom of movement should be balanced between the resulting estimated epidemiological impact and predicted economic fallout. Full article
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Article
Incubation Period and Other Epidemiological Characteristics of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infections with Right Truncation: A Statistical Analysis of Publicly Available Case Data
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020538 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 639 | Viewed by 48513
Abstract
The geographic spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections from the epicenter of Wuhan, China, has provided an opportunity to study the natural history of the recently emerged virus. Using publicly available event-date data from the ongoing epidemic, the present study investigated the [...] Read more.
The geographic spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections from the epicenter of Wuhan, China, has provided an opportunity to study the natural history of the recently emerged virus. Using publicly available event-date data from the ongoing epidemic, the present study investigated the incubation period and other time intervals that govern the epidemiological dynamics of COVID-19 infections. Our results show that the incubation period falls within the range of 2–14 days with 95% confidence and has a mean of around 5 days when approximated using the best-fit lognormal distribution. The mean time from illness onset to hospital admission (for treatment and/or isolation) was estimated at 3–4 days without truncation and at 5–9 days when right truncated. Based on the 95th percentile estimate of the incubation period, we recommend that the length of quarantine should be at least 14 days. The median time delay of 13 days from illness onset to death (17 days with right truncation) should be considered when estimating the COVID-19 case fatality risk. Full article
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Article
Dysfunction of Salivary Glands, Disturbances in Salivary Antioxidants and Increased Oxidative Damage in Saliva of Overweight and Obese Adolescents
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020548 - 17 Feb 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 1508
Abstract
Obesity is inseparably connected with oxidative stress. This process may disturb the functioning of the oral cavity, although the effect of oxidative stress on salivary gland function and changes in the qualitative composition of saliva are still unknown. Our study is the first [...] Read more.
Obesity is inseparably connected with oxidative stress. This process may disturb the functioning of the oral cavity, although the effect of oxidative stress on salivary gland function and changes in the qualitative composition of saliva are still unknown. Our study is the first to evaluate salivary redox homeostasis in 40 overweight and obese adolescents and in the age- and gender-matched control group. We demonstrated strengthening of the antioxidant barrier (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, uric acid, total antioxidant capacity (TAC)) with a simultaneous decrease in reduced glutathione concentration in saliva (non-stimulated/stimulated) in overweight and obese teenagers compared to the controls. The concentration of the products of oxidative damage to proteins (advanced glycation end products), lipids (malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxynonenal) and DNA (8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine) as well as total oxidative status were significantly higher in both non-stimulated and stimulated saliva as well as plasma of overweight and obese adolescents. Importantly, we observed more severe salivary and plasma redox alterations in obese adolescents compared to overweight individuals. In the study group, we also noted a drop in stimulated salivary secretion and a decrease in total protein content. Interestingly, dysfunction of parotid glands in overweight and obese teenagers intensified with the increase of BMI. We also showed that the measurement of salivary catalase and TAC could be used to assess the central antioxidant status of overweight and obese adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saliva and Oral Diseases)
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Article
Novel Coronavirus Outbreak in Wuhan, China, 2020: Intense Surveillance Is Vital for Preventing Sustained Transmission in New Locations
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020498 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 106 | Viewed by 11120
Abstract
The outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China, has generated 24,500 confirmed cases, including 492 deaths, as of 5 February 2020. The virus (2019-nCoV) has spread elsewhere in China and to 24 countries, including South Korea, Thailand, Japan and USA. Fortunately, there has [...] Read more.
The outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China, has generated 24,500 confirmed cases, including 492 deaths, as of 5 February 2020. The virus (2019-nCoV) has spread elsewhere in China and to 24 countries, including South Korea, Thailand, Japan and USA. Fortunately, there has only been limited human-to-human transmission outside of China. Here, we assess the risk of sustained transmission whenever the coronavirus arrives in other countries. Data describing the times from symptom onset to hospitalisation for 47 patients infected early in the current outbreak are used to generate an estimate for the probability that an imported case is followed by sustained human-to-human transmission. Under the assumptions that the imported case is representative of the patients in China, and that the 2019-nCoV is similarly transmissible to the SARS coronavirus, the probability that an imported case is followed by sustained human-to-human transmission is 0.41 (credible interval [0.27, 0.55]). However, if the mean time from symptom onset to hospitalisation can be halved by intense surveillance, then the probability that an imported case leads to sustained transmission is only 0.012 (credible interval [0, 0.099]). This emphasises the importance of current surveillance efforts in countries around the world, to ensure that the ongoing outbreak will not become a global pandemic. Full article
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Article
Photodynamic Therapy in Primary Breast Cancer
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020483 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 1944
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a technique for producing localized necrosis with light after prior administration of a photosensitizing agent. This study investigates the nature, safety, and efficacy of PDT for image-guided treatment of primary breast cancer. We performed a phase I/IIa dose escalation [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a technique for producing localized necrosis with light after prior administration of a photosensitizing agent. This study investigates the nature, safety, and efficacy of PDT for image-guided treatment of primary breast cancer. We performed a phase I/IIa dose escalation study in 12 female patients with a new diagnosis of invasive ductal breast cancer and scheduled to undergo mastectomy as a first treatment. The photosensitizer verteporfin (0.4 mg/kg) was administered intravenously followed by exposure to escalating light doses (20, 30, 40, 50 J; 3 patients per dose) delivered via a laser fiber positioned interstitially under ultrasound guidance. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans were performed prior to and 4 days after PDT. Histological examination of the excised tissue was performed. PDT was well tolerated, with no adverse events. PDT effects were detected by MRI in 7 patients and histology in 8 patients, increasing in extent with the delivered light dose, with good correlation between the 2 modalities. Histologically, there were distinctive features of PDT necrosis, in contrast to spontaneous necrosis. Apoptosis was detected in adjacent normal tissue. Median follow-up of 50 months revealed no adverse effects and outcomes no worse than a comparable control population. This study confirms a potential role for PDT in the management of early breast cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past, Present and Future of Photodynamic Therapy for Cancers)
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Article
Estimation of the Transmission Risk of the 2019-nCoV and Its Implication for Public Health Interventions
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020462 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 763 | Viewed by 24630
Abstract
Since the emergence of the first cases in Wuhan, China, the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection has been quickly spreading out to other provinces and neighboring countries. Estimation of the basic reproduction number by means of mathematical modeling can be helpful for determining the [...] Read more.
Since the emergence of the first cases in Wuhan, China, the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection has been quickly spreading out to other provinces and neighboring countries. Estimation of the basic reproduction number by means of mathematical modeling can be helpful for determining the potential and severity of an outbreak and providing critical information for identifying the type of disease interventions and intensity. A deterministic compartmental model was devised based on the clinical progression of the disease, epidemiological status of the individuals, and intervention measures. The estimations based on likelihood and model analysis show that the control reproduction number may be as high as 6.47 (95% CI 5.71–7.23). Sensitivity analyses show that interventions, such as intensive contact tracing followed by quarantine and isolation, can effectively reduce the control reproduction number and transmission risk, with the effect of travel restriction adopted by Wuhan on 2019-nCoV infection in Beijing being almost equivalent to increasing quarantine by a 100 thousand baseline value. It is essential to assess how the expensive, resource-intensive measures implemented by the Chinese authorities can contribute to the prevention and control of the 2019-nCoV infection, and how long they should be maintained. Under the most restrictive measures, the outbreak is expected to peak within two weeks (since 23 January 2020) with a significant low peak value. With travel restriction (no imported exposed individuals to Beijing), the number of infected individuals in seven days will decrease by 91.14% in Beijing, compared with the scenario of no travel restriction. Full article
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Article
Estimating the Unreported Number of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Cases in China in the First Half of January 2020: A Data-Driven Modelling Analysis of the Early Outbreak
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020388 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 265 | Viewed by 24214
Abstract
Background: In December 2019, an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in Wuhan, China and has swiftly spread to other parts of China and a number of foreign countries. The 2019-nCoV cases might have been under-reported roughly from [...] Read more.
Background: In December 2019, an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in Wuhan, China and has swiftly spread to other parts of China and a number of foreign countries. The 2019-nCoV cases might have been under-reported roughly from 1 to 15 January 2020, and thus we estimated the number of unreported cases and the basic reproduction number, R0, of 2019-nCoV. Methods: We modelled the epidemic curve of 2019-nCoV cases, in mainland China from 1 December 2019 to 24 January 2020 through the exponential growth. The number of unreported cases was determined by the maximum likelihood estimation. We used the serial intervals (SI) of infection caused by two other well-known coronaviruses (CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) CoVs, as approximations of the unknown SI for 2019-nCoV to estimate R0. Results: We confirmed that the initial growth phase followed an exponential growth pattern. The under-reporting was likely to have resulted in 469 (95% CI: 403–540) unreported cases from 1 to 15 January 2020. The reporting rate after 17 January 2020 was likely to have increased 21-fold (95% CI: 18–25) in comparison to the situation from 1 to 17 January 2020 on average. We estimated the R0 of 2019-nCoV at 2.56 (95% CI: 2.49–2.63). Conclusion: The under-reporting was likely to have occurred during the first half of January 2020 and should be considered in future investigation. Full article
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Article
Characteristics and Dysbiosis of the Gut Microbiome in Renal Transplant Recipients
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020386 - 01 Feb 2020
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2596
Abstract
Renal transplantation is life-changing in many aspects. This includes changes to the gut microbiome likely due to exposure to immunosuppressive drugs and antibiotics. As a consequence, renal transplant recipients (RTRs) might suffer from intestinal dysbiosis. We aimed to investigate the gut microbiome of [...] Read more.
Renal transplantation is life-changing in many aspects. This includes changes to the gut microbiome likely due to exposure to immunosuppressive drugs and antibiotics. As a consequence, renal transplant recipients (RTRs) might suffer from intestinal dysbiosis. We aimed to investigate the gut microbiome of RTRs and compare it with healthy controls and to identify determinants of the gut microbiome of RTRs. Therefore, RTRs and healthy controls participating in the TransplantLines Biobank and Cohort Study (NCT03272841) were included. We analyzed the gut microbiome using 16S rRNA sequencing and compared the composition of the gut microbiome of RTRs to healthy controls using multivariate association with linear models (MaAsLin). Fecal samples of 139 RTRs (50% male, mean age: 58.3 ± 12.8 years) and 105 healthy controls (57% male, mean age: 59.2 ± 10.6 years) were collected. Median time after transplantation of RTRs was 6.0 (1.5–12.5)years. The microbiome composition of RTRs was significantly different from that of healthy controls, and RTRs had a lower diversity of the gut microbiome (p < 0.01). Proton-pump inhibitors, mycophenolate mofetil, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) are significant determinants of the gut microbiome of RTRs (p < 0.05). Use of mycophenolate mofetil correlated to a lower diversity (p < 0.01). Moreover, significant alterations were found in multiple bacterial taxa between RTRs and healthy controls. The gut microbiome of RTRs contained more Proteobacteria and less Actinobacteria, and there was a loss of butyrate-producing bacteria in the gut microbiome of RTRs. By comparing the gut microbiome of RTRs to healthy controls we have shown that RTRs suffer from dysbiosis, a disruption in the balance of the gut microbiome. Full article
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Article
Porphyromonas Gingivalis Load is Balanced by 0.20% Chlorhexidine Gel. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled, Microbiological and Immunohistochemical Human Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(1), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9010284 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 1541
Abstract
Microbial contamination could compromise the stability of dental implants increasing the risk of inflammatory reactions in the surrounding soft tissues. In this human, randomized, double-blind, clinical study, the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis on the healing abutment and the inflammatory infiltrate surrounding peri-implant soft [...] Read more.
Microbial contamination could compromise the stability of dental implants increasing the risk of inflammatory reactions in the surrounding soft tissues. In this human, randomized, double-blind, clinical study, the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis on the healing abutment and the inflammatory infiltrate surrounding peri-implant soft tissues were investigated. Experiments were done in order to clarify the effect of 0.20% chlorhexidine (CHX) versus placebo, applied during each rehabilitation stage. Thirty patients (15 per group) were included. The load of adhering P. gingivalis on the healing screw were quantified by quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) Taq-Man. Immunohistochemical analysis was carried out on the gingival biopsy. Moreover, clinical data were recorded. Analysis of variance and the Holm–Sidak test was used to evaluate differences between groups. The results showed a significant low presence of P. gingivalis load in healing abutments belonging to the 0.20% CHX group. Overall, the differences in terms of P. gingivalis DNA copy number between two groups were statistically significant (p < 0.01). All implants showed very low plaque and bleeding scores, but the placebo group appeared to have the highest expression of inflammation markers for T Lymphocytes, B Lymphocytes and macrophages Cluster definitions (CD3, CD20 and CD68). The use of 0.20% CHX could be recommended in all clinical procedures as it reduces significantly P. gingivalis load and host inflammatory response around implants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials and Implants in Development Osteointegration)
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Article
Safety of Abatacept in Italian Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Interstitial Lung Disease: A Multicenter Retrospective Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(1), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9010277 - 19 Jan 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2466
Abstract
Background: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-related interstitial lung disease (ILD) is challenging, and many conventional and biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been associated with ILD development or progression. The aim of this multicentric retrospective study was to analyze the evolution of ILD [...] Read more.
Background: Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-related interstitial lung disease (ILD) is challenging, and many conventional and biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) have been associated with ILD development or progression. The aim of this multicentric retrospective study was to analyze the evolution of ILD in Italian RA-ILD patients treated with abatacept (ABA). Methods: All RA-ILD patients treated with ABA for at least six months were retrospectively evaluated. Serology, previous and concurrent therapies, chest high-resolution computer tomography (HRCT), forced vital capacity (FVC), and lung diffusion of carbon monoxide (CO, DLCO) were collected. Results: Forty-four patients were included; HRCT, FVC, and DLCO were analyzed at baseline, at one year, and at the end of follow-up. A remission or a low disease activity of RA was reached in 41/44 patients. Overall, FVC and DLCO remained stable or increased in 86.1% and 91.7% of patients, respectively, while HRCT was stable or improved in 81.4% of them. Previous and concurrent treatments, in particular, methotrexate, serology, age, sex, joint and lung disease duration were not associated with the outcome at univariate analysis. Conclusion: The management of RA-ILD patients remains a critical unmet medical need. Waiting for prospective controlled studies, ABA has shown a good safety profile in our cohort of Italian RA-ILD patients. Full article
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