COVID-19 and Life

A topical collection in Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This collection belongs to the section "Epidemiology".

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Collection Editor
Department of Mental Health and Public Medicine, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, 80138 Naples, Italy
Interests: infectious diseases; epidemiological, virological, and clinical characteristics of hepatitis viruses (A, B, Delta, and C) infection; HIV infection; AIDS; hospitalization-associated infections; SARS-CoV-2 infection
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Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Highly pathogenic coronavirus SARS-CoV2 infection is spreading worldwide, causing the COVID-19 disease. The wide spread of COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on many important diseases and human on wellbeing.

Life is committed to the rapid review and publication of research findings and data that could inform the public health response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This collection proposes to encompass translational approaches in COVID-19 pathology, diagnostics, clinical presentation, risk factors for severe desease, therapeutic target identification and drug development towards patient treatment.

Prof. Dr. Nicola Coppola
Collection Editor

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Keywords

  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • detection
  • pathophysiology
  • molecular mechanism
  • clinical presentation
  • treatment
  • drugs
  • therapies
  • susceptibility
  • critical
  • patient
  • data
  • pandemic

Published Papers (29 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021

13 pages, 992 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 and Surgical Practice in Slovenia: Managing the Crisis in Neurosurgery during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Matic Munda, Tomaz Velnar, Roman Bosnjak, Tilen Zele, Lidija Gradisnik, Peter Spazzapan, Natasa Kos, Nina Kocivnik, Mitja Benedicic and Borut Prestor
Life 2023, 13(10), 2095; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13102095 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a significant threat to global health. Worldwide, COVID-19 has affected the health service also in Slovenia. During this time, neurosurgery is facing difficulties in its service, both in emergency and elective surgeries. In the [...] Read more.
Worldwide, the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a significant threat to global health. Worldwide, COVID-19 has affected the health service also in Slovenia. During this time, neurosurgery is facing difficulties in its service, both in emergency and elective surgeries. In the article, we describe the anti-COVID-19 measures taken at our neurosurgical department in a medical centre in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and analysed and compared the number of emergency and elective neurosurgical procedures during the time of the pandemic. Full article
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8 pages, 2334 KiB  
Communication
Genomic Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Malaysia during the Era of Endemic COVID-19
by Tze Yan Lee, Wai Feng Lim, Geik Yong Ang and Choo Yee Yu
Life 2023, 13(8), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13081644 - 28 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
On 5 May 2023, WHO declared the end of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a public health emergency of international concern. However, the risk of new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants causing rapid and high surges in cases and deaths [...] Read more.
On 5 May 2023, WHO declared the end of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a public health emergency of international concern. However, the risk of new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants causing rapid and high surges in cases and deaths remained. In Malaysia, five COVID-19 waves during the pandemic phase were well characterized, but similar studies focusing on the endemic phase were lacking. Hence, we retrieved 14,965 SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences from the GISAID EpiCoV database for clade, lineage, and phylogenetic analysis in order to provide an insight into the population dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 that circulated in Malaysia from June 2022 to April 2023. The dominance of the Omicron variants was observed, and two new waves of infections driven by BA.5.2 and XBB.1, respectively, were detected. Data as of April 2023 also pointed to a possible eighth wave driven by XBB.1.9. Although new variants associated with higher transmissibility were behind the multiple surges, these subsequent waves had lower intensities as compared to the fourth and fifth waves. The on-going circulation and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 mean that COVID-19 still poses a serious threat, necessitating active genomic surveillance for early warning of potential new variants of concern. Full article
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12 pages, 997 KiB  
Review
The Dark Side of Nosocomial Infections in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients
by Carmelo Biondo, Elena Ponzo, Angelina Midiri, Giuseppe Bernardo Ostone and Giuseppe Mancuso
Life 2023, 13(6), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13061408 - 17 Jun 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially serious acute respiratory infection caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the virus has spread to more than 200 countries with more than [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially serious acute respiratory infection caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the virus has spread to more than 200 countries with more than 500 million cases and more than 6 million deaths reported globally. It has long been known that viral respiratory tract infections predispose patients to bacterial infections and that these co-infections often have an unfavourable clinical outcome. Moreover, nosocomial infections, also known as healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), are those infections that are absent at the time of admission and acquired after hospitalization. However, the impact of coinfections or secondary infections on the progression of COVID-19 disease and its lethal outcome is still debated. The aim of this review was to assess the literature on the incidence of bacterial co-infections and superinfections in patients with COVID-19. The review also highlights the importance of the rational use of antibiotics in patients with COVID-19 and the need to implement antimicrobial stewardship principles to prevent the transmission of drug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings. Finally, alternative antimicrobial agents to counter the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections in COVID-19 patients will also be discussed. Full article
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9 pages, 3066 KiB  
Communication
Dermatology Publications on COVID-19 during the First Pandemic Year: Creativity or Opportunism?
by Paolo Amerio, Federica Giuliani, Marco Coppola, Fabio Lobefaro and Giulio Gualdi
Life 2023, 13(4), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13040953 - 5 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1085
Abstract
Introduction: Dermatologists had to face several challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this scenario, a large amount of data has been produced and published. Objectives: We present a literature analysis of publications on COVID-19 in the dermatology field in the first year of [...] Read more.
Introduction: Dermatologists had to face several challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this scenario, a large amount of data has been produced and published. Objectives: We present a literature analysis of publications on COVID-19 in the dermatology field in the first year of the pandemic. Methods: The research was carried out by searching the PubMed database using keywords related to “COVID-19” combined with the keyword “Dermatology” in the “affiliation” search field and collecting articles published from February 2020 to December 2020. Results: A total of 816 publications from 57 countries were retrieved. Overall, publications increased notably along the timespan considered in this study and appeared to be closely linked to pandemic progression in different countries. In addition, article types (i.e., commentaries, case reports, original research) appeared to be strictly influenced by the pandemic’s progression. However, the number and category of these publications may raise questions regarding the scientific relevance of the messages reported. Conclusions: Our analysis provides a descriptive quantitative analysis and suggests that publications do not always respond to real scientific needs but are sometimes linked to a need/opportunity for publication. Full article
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15 pages, 3239 KiB  
Systematic Review
Dose–Response Meta-Analysis of Corticosteroid Effects in SARS Outbreak: A Model for Risk Stratification and Screening Strategy for Osteonecrosis of Femoral Head Post-Corticosteroid Therapy for COVID-19
by Sathish Muthu, Madhan Jeyaraman, Preethi Selvaraj, Naveen Jeyaraman, Anish G. Potty and Ashim Gupta
Life 2023, 13(4), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13040907 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1520
Abstract
Corticosteroids (CS) have been used in the management regimens for COVID-19 disease to mitigate the cytokine storm and ill effects of the pulmonary inflammatory cascade. With the rampant use of CS, clinicians started reporting the occurrence of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (OFH). [...] Read more.
Corticosteroids (CS) have been used in the management regimens for COVID-19 disease to mitigate the cytokine storm and ill effects of the pulmonary inflammatory cascade. With the rampant use of CS, clinicians started reporting the occurrence of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (OFH). In this systematic review, we aim to analyze the literature and identify the definitive cumulative dose and duration of CS needed for the development of OFH based on the SARS model and generate a risk-based screening recommendation for OFH in convalescent COVID-19 patients to facilitate early identification and management. An electronic database search was conducted until December 2022 in PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and CNKI (China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database). Studies involving CS therapy and osteonecrosis data in SARS patients were included. Three authors independently extracted the data from the included studies and a dose–response meta-analysis was performed for various doses and duration of CS utilized in the included studies. We selected 12 articles with 1728 patients in the analysis. The mean age was 33.41 (±4.93) years. The mean dosage of CS administered was 4.64 (±4.7) g which was administered for a mean duration of 29.91 (±12.3) days. The risk of osteonecrosis increases at pooled OR of 1.16 (95% CI 1.09–1.23, p < 0.001) per 2.0 g increase in the cumulative dose of CS usage. Similarly, the risk increases at pooled OR of 1.02 (95% CI 1.01–1.03, p < 0.001) per 5 days of increase in the cumulative duration of CS usage. A cumulative dosage of 4 g and a duration of 15 days were determined as the critical cut-off for the non-linear dose–response relationship observed. Appropriate and frequent screening of these individuals at regular intervals would help in the identification of the disease at an early stage in order to treat them appropriately. Full article
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9 pages, 1008 KiB  
Communication
Green Tea Consumption and the COVID-19 Omicron Pandemic Era: Pharmacology and Epidemiology
by Maksim Storozhuk, Siyun Lee, Jin I. Lee and Junsoo Park
Life 2023, 13(3), 852; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030852 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5761
Abstract
In spite of the development of numerous vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19 and the approval of several drugs for its treatment, there is still a great need for effective and inexpensive therapies against this disease. Previously, we showed that green tea and [...] Read more.
In spite of the development of numerous vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19 and the approval of several drugs for its treatment, there is still a great need for effective and inexpensive therapies against this disease. Previously, we showed that green tea and tea catechins interfere with coronavirus replication as well as coronavirus 3CL protease activity, and also showed lower COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in countries with higher green tea consumption. However, it is not clear whether green tea is still effective against the newer SARS-CoV-2 variants including omicron. It is also not known whether higher green tea consumption continues to contribute to lower COVID-19 morbidity and mortality now that vaccination rates in many countries are high. Here, we attempted to update the information regarding green tea in relation to COVID-19. Using pharmacological and ecological approaches, we found that EGCG as well as green tea inhibit the activity of the omicron variant 3CL protease efficiently, and there continues to be pronounced differences in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality between groups of countries with high and low green tea consumption as of December 6, 2022. These results collectively suggest that green tea continues to be effective against COVID-19 despite the new omicron variants and increased vaccination. Full article
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12 pages, 794 KiB  
Article
The Impact of a Lockdown for the COVID-19 Pandemic on Seasonal HbA1c Variation in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
by Yu-Cheng Cheng, Yu-Hsuan Li, Hsiu-Chen Liu, Chiann-Yi Hsu, Wan-Jen Chang, I-Te Lee and Chin-Li Lu
Life 2023, 13(3), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030763 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
Glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes may be disrupted due to restricted medical service access and lifestyle changes during COVID-19 lockdown period. This retrospective cohort study examined changes of HbA1c levels in adults with type 2 diabetes 12 weeks before and [...] Read more.
Glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes may be disrupted due to restricted medical service access and lifestyle changes during COVID-19 lockdown period. This retrospective cohort study examined changes of HbA1c levels in adults with type 2 diabetes 12 weeks before and after May 19 in 2021, the date that COVID-19 lockdown began in Taiwan. The mean levels of HbA1c-after were significantly lower than HbA1c-before in 2019 (7.27 ± 1.27% vs 7.43 ± 1.38%, p < 0.001), 2020 (7.27 ± 1.28% vs 7.37 ± 1.34%, p < 0.001), and 2021 (7.03 ± 1.22% vs 7.17 ± 1.29%, p < 0.001). Considering the seasonal variation of HbA1c, ΔHbA1c values (HbA1c-after minus HbA1c-before) in 2020 (with sporadic COVID-19 cases and no lockdown) were not significantly different from 2021 (regression coefficient [95% CI] = 0.01% [−0.02%, 0.03%]), while seasonal HbA1c variation in 2019 (no COVID-19) was significantly more obvious than in 2021 (−0.05% [−0.07, −0.02%]). In conclusion, HbA1c level did not deteriorate after a lockdown measure during the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan. However, the absolute seasonal reduction in HbA1c was slightly less during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the year without COVID-19. Full article
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13 pages, 1067 KiB  
Review
Assessment of Exercise Capacity in Post-COVID-19 Patients: How Is the Appropriate Test Chosen?
by Rodrigo Torres-Castro, Rodrigo Núñez-Cortés, Santiago Larrateguy, Xavier Alsina-Restoy, Joan Albert Barberà, Elena Gimeno-Santos, Agustin Roberto García, Oriol Sibila and Isabel Blanco
Life 2023, 13(3), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030621 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4155
Abstract
There is a wide range of sequelae affecting COVID-19 survivors, including impaired physical capacity. These sequelae can affect the quality of life and return to work of the active population. Therefore, one of the pillars of following-up is the evaluation of physical capacity, [...] Read more.
There is a wide range of sequelae affecting COVID-19 survivors, including impaired physical capacity. These sequelae can affect the quality of life and return to work of the active population. Therefore, one of the pillars of following-up is the evaluation of physical capacity, which can be assessed with field tests (such as the six-minute walk test, the one-minute standing test, the Chester step test, and the shuttle walking test) or laboratory tests (such as the cardiopulmonary exercise test). These tests can be performed in different contexts and have amply demonstrated their usefulness in the assessment of physical capacity both in post-COVID-19 patients and in other chronic respiratory, metabolic, cardiologic, or neurologic diseases. However, when traditional tests cannot be performed, physical function can be a good substitute, especially for assessing the effects of an intervention. For example, the Short Physical Performance Battery assessment and the Timed Up and Go assessment are widely accepted in older adults. Thus, the test should be chosen according to the characteristics of each subject. Full article
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11 pages, 787 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2 Infection and the Male Reproductive System: A Brief Review
by Vittoria Rago and Anna Perri
Life 2023, 13(2), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020586 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2794
Abstract
Many studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2, directly or indirectly, can affect the male reproductive system, although the underlined mechanisms have not been completely elucidated yet. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the current data concerning the impact of [...] Read more.
Many studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2, directly or indirectly, can affect the male reproductive system, although the underlined mechanisms have not been completely elucidated yet. The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the current data concerning the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the male urogenital tract, with a particular emphasis on the testes and male fertility. The main data regarding the morphological alterations in the testes emerged from autoptic studies that revealed interstitial congestion, micro thrombosis, reduction of Sertoli, Leydig, and germinal cells, infiltrated immune cells, and atrophic seminiferous tubules consistent with orchitis. Furthermore, men with severe infection exhibit sperm parameter alterations, together with abnormalities of the hypothalamic–pituitary–testis axis, strongly suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 could increase the risk of male infertility. However, despite the inadequate number of longitudinal studies, spermatogenesis and sex hormone imbalance seem to improve after infection resolution. The yet unresolved question is whether the virus acts in a direct or/and indirect manner, as discordant data related to its presence in the testis and semen have been reported. Regardless of the direct effect, it has been postulated that the cytokine storm and the related local and systemic inflammation could strongly contribute to the onset of testis dysfunction, leading to male infertility. Therefore, multicentric and longitudinal studies involving a large number of patients are needed to understand the real impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on male reproduction. Full article
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13 pages, 429 KiB  
Article
Filamentous Fungi Infections: Yet Another Victim of COVID-19?
by Anca Cighir, Anca Delia Mare, Teodora Cighir, Răzvan Lucian Coșeriu, Camelia Vintilă and Adrian Man
Life 2023, 13(2), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020546 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1540
Abstract
Filamentous fungi have always been a matter of concern in the medical field, but nowadays, due to an increase in the risk factors and the added infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they are slowly but surely emerging as a dangerous health threat worldwide. [...] Read more.
Filamentous fungi have always been a matter of concern in the medical field, but nowadays, due to an increase in the risk factors and the added infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they are slowly but surely emerging as a dangerous health threat worldwide. Our study aims to estimate the incidence of mold infections in central Romania, as well as assess the impact the pandemic had on them while evaluating other parameters such as age, associated bacterial and fungal infections and comorbidities. Purulent discharge and respiratory secretion specimens were collected and analyzed over a period of 10 years. A total of 68 samples tested positive for molds, with an increased number of positive samples during the pandemic. The highest number of specimens came from the outpatient department, followed by medical wards, with the most common filamentous fungus being Aspergillus section Flavi. Associated diseases included affections of the respiratory system, followed by the cardiovascular system and people who suffered from a viral infection with SARS-CoV-2, and they were mostly present in seniors. The most common associated infections were with Staphylococcus aureus and Candida nonalbicans. A statistically significant correlation was found between the association of mold infection and SARS-CoV-2 and an increase in mortality. Full article
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18 pages, 1345 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Role of ACE2 as a Connecting Link between COVID-19 and Parkinson’s Disease
by Efthalia Angelopoulou, Eleni Karlafti, Vasiliki E. Georgakopoulou, Petros Papalexis, Sokratis G. Papageorgiou, Thomas Tegos and Christos Savopoulos
Life 2023, 13(2), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020536 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2881
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is frequently accompanied by neurological manifestations such as headache, delirium, and epileptic seizures, whereas ageusia and anosmia may appear before respiratory symptoms. Among the various neurological COVID-19-related comorbidities, Parkinson’s disease (PD) has gained increasing attention. Some cases of PD [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is frequently accompanied by neurological manifestations such as headache, delirium, and epileptic seizures, whereas ageusia and anosmia may appear before respiratory symptoms. Among the various neurological COVID-19-related comorbidities, Parkinson’s disease (PD) has gained increasing attention. Some cases of PD disease have been linked to COVID-19, and both motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease patients frequently worsen following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although it is still unclear whether PD increases the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or whether COVID-19 increases the risk of or unmasks future cases of PD, emerging evidence sheds more light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the relationship between these two diseases. Among them, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a significant component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), seems to play a pivotal role. ACE2 is required for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 to the human host cells, and ACE2 dysregulation is implicated in the severity of COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ACE2 imbalance is implicated in core shared pathophysiological mechanisms between PD and COVID-19, including aberrant inflammatory responses, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and immune dysregulation. ACE2 may also be implicated in alpha-synuclein-induced dopaminergic degeneration, gut–brain axis dysregulation, blood–brain axis disruption, autonomic dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and hyposmia, which are key features of PD. Full article
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18 pages, 2658 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Diagnostic Accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 Nasal Rapid Antigen Self-Test: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Eleni Karlafti, Dimitrios Tsavdaris, Evangelia Kotzakioulafi, Georgia Kaiafa, Christos Savopoulos, Smaro Netta, Antonios Michalopoulos and Daniel Paramythiotis
Life 2023, 13(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020281 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a disease that quickly spread into a pandemic. As such, management of the COVID-19 pandemic is deemed necessary, and it can be achieved by using reliable diagnostic [...] Read more.
Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a disease that quickly spread into a pandemic. As such, management of the COVID-19 pandemic is deemed necessary, and it can be achieved by using reliable diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. The gold standard for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 is a molecular detection test using the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction technique (rt-PCR), which is characterized by various disadvantages in contrast with the self-taken nasal rapid antigen tests that produce results faster, have lower costs and do not require specialized personnel. Therefore, the usefulness of self-taken rapid antigen tests is indisputable in disease management, facilitating both the health system and the examinees. Our systematic review aims to access the diagnostic accuracy of the self-taken nasal rapid antigen tests. Methods: This systematic review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, and the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2) tool was used to assess the risk of bias in the included studies. All the studies included in this systematic review were found after searching the two databases, Scopus and PubΜed. All but original articles were excluded from this systematic review, while all the studies concerning self-taken rapid antigen tests with a nasal sample and using rt-PCR as a reference test were included. Meta-analysis results and plots were obtained using RevMan software and the MetaDTA website. Results: All 22 studies included in this meta-analysis demonstrated a specificity of self-taken rapid antigen tests greater than 98%, which exceeds the minimum required yield for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, according to the WHO. Notwithstanding, the sensitivity varies (from 40% to 98.7%), which makes them in some cases unsuitable for the diagnosis of positive cases. In the majority of the studies, the minimum required performance set by the WHO was achieved, which is 80% compared with rt-PCR tests. The pooled sensitivity of self-taken nasal rapid antigen tests was calculated as 91.1% and the pooled specificity was 99.5%. Conclusions: In conclusion, self-taken nasal rapid antigen tests have many advantages over rt-PCR tests, such as those related to the rapid reading of the results and their low cost. They also have considerable specificity and some self-taken rapid antigen test kits also have remarkable sensitivity. Consequently, self-taken rapid antigen tests have a wide range of utility but are not able to completely replace rt-PCR tests. Full article
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9 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Thrombectomy in Acute Ischemic Stroke COVID-19 and Non-COVID-19 Patients: A Single Comprehensive Stroke Center Study
by Sanja Lovrić Kojundžić, Sara Sablić, Danijela Budimir Mršić, Maja Marinović Guić, Ivan Kraljević, Benjamin Benzon and Dragan Dragičević
Life 2023, 13(1), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010186 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases the risk for thromboembolic events, such as acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is a therapy of choice in early diagnosed AIS; however, its success and outcomes in COVID-19 patients are contradictory. This study presented our experience [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases the risk for thromboembolic events, such as acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is a therapy of choice in early diagnosed AIS; however, its success and outcomes in COVID-19 patients are contradictory. This study presented our experience with MT performed in COVID-19 patients compared to a control group. The retrospective analysis included patients with AIS who underwent MT from April 2021 to April 2022 at our institution. There were 13 COVID-19-related patients (with active or past COVID-19 infection) and 55 non-COVID-19 patients (negative COVID-19 status). We analyzed patients’ baseline clinical and laboratory data, modified Thrombolysis in Cerebral Infarction (mTICI) scale, used 24 h follow-up CT findings, and modified the Rankin scale. The COVID-19 group had higher values of leukocytes, neutrophils, neutrophil/leukocyte ratios, ASL, ALT, LDH and CRP, and lower values of lymphocytes compared to the control group. The AIS mostly occurred in posterior circulation in the COVID-19 group, while anterior circulation was more affected in the control group. Treatment approach and successful reperfusion did not differ between groups. In conclusion, although differences in some clinical and laboratory parameters between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 groups were found, the outcomes of mechanical thrombectomy were equal. Full article

2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021

20 pages, 1169 KiB  
Article
Persistence of Symptoms 15 Months since COVID-19 Diagnosis: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Residual Work Ability
by Donatella Sansone, Alice Tassinari, Romina Valentinotti, Dimitra Kontogiannis, Federico Ronchese, Sandro Centonze, Adele Maggiore, Luca Cegolon and Francesca Larese Filon
Life 2023, 13(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010097 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3602
Abstract
Background: A proportion of patients’ ailments may last after recovering from acute COVID-19, with episodic and systemic symptoms of unclear etiology potentially involving different organs. Study aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the persistence of symptoms 15 months since COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Background: A proportion of patients’ ailments may last after recovering from acute COVID-19, with episodic and systemic symptoms of unclear etiology potentially involving different organs. Study aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the persistence of symptoms 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis in patients referring to the post-COVID-19 clinic in Trieste (north-eastern Italy). Methods: Two-hundred-forty-seven patients were medically examined between 8 December 2020–6 April 2021, after a median time of 49 days since first positive swab test for SARS-CoV-2. After a median time of 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis, the same patients were contacted over the phone and investigated by standardized questionnaire collecting information on any persisting symptoms and work ability index (WAI). Four multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to investigate factors associated with persistence of any respiratory, neurological, dysautonomic, or psychiatric symptoms at first (median time 49 days since COVID-19 diagnosis) as well as second (median 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis) follow up. A multiple linear regression was also employed to investigate factors associated with higher mean WAI, assessed only at second follow up. Additionally, factors associated with persistence of symptoms 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis between first and second follow-up were investigated by multivariable Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE). Results: At first follow up (median time of 49 days since COVID-19 diagnosis) symptoms more frequently reported were fatigue (80.2%), shortness of breath (69.6%), concentration deficit (44.9%), headache (44.9%), myalgia (44.1%), arthralgia (43.3%), and anosmia (42.1%). At second follow-up (median time of 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis) 75% patients returned to their baseline status preceding COVID-19. At first follow up males were less likely to experience neurological (OR = 0.16; 95% CI: 0.08; 0.35) as well as psychiatric (OR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.23; 0.80) symptoms as compared to females. At first follow up, the risk of neurological symptoms increased also linearly with age (OR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.01; 1.08) and pre-existing depression was a major risk factor for persisting dysautonomic (aOR = 6.35; 95% CI: 2.01; 20.11) as well as psychiatric symptoms (omitted estimate). Consistently, at second follow up only females experience psychiatric symptoms, whereas males exhibited significantly higher mean WAI (RC = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.11; 0.88). Additionally, neurological symptoms at second follow up were more likely in patients with pre-existing comorbidities (OR = 4.31; 95% CI: 1.27; 14.7). Finally, persistence of symptoms lasting 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis increased linearly with age (OR = 1.03; 95% CI 1.01–1.05) and were more likely in patients affected by pre-existing depression (OR = 2.68; 95% CI 1.60; 4.49). Conclusions: Following a median time of 15 months since first positive swab test, 75% patients with symptoms returned to their baseline health status preceding COVID-19. Females had a significantly lower WAI and were more likely to experience psychiatric symptoms at second follow up (15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis). Furthermore, the risk of symptoms persisting 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis increased with history of depression, endorsing the hypothesis that long-COVID-19 symptoms may be at least partially explained by pre-existing psychological conditions. Patient rehabilitation and psychological support may therefore play a key role in caring patients with the so called long COVID-19 syndrome. Full article
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13 pages, 10511 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Inflammatory Markers and Vitamin D Relationship in Pediatric Patients
by Iulia Cristina Bagiu, Ileana Luminita Scurtu, Delia Ioana Horhat, Ion Cristian Mot, Razvan Mihai Horhat, Radu Vasile Bagiu, Ionut Dragos Capraru, Mircea Mihai Diaconu, Ovidiu Adam, Bogdan Ciornei, Dan Dumitru Vulcanescu, Iulius Juganaru, Andrei-Cristian Bondar and Florin George Horhat
Life 2023, 13(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010091 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2233
Abstract
Background: Biomarkers play an important role in COVID-19, and more research in this regard is needed, especially in the case of children. This study aimed to look for a link between the C reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), vitamin [...] Read more.
Background: Biomarkers play an important role in COVID-19, and more research in this regard is needed, especially in the case of children. This study aimed to look for a link between the C reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine kinase (CK), vitamin D and COVID-19 in pediatric patients. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study, performed on children diagnosed positively with COVID-19 at a children’s hospital in western Romania. Available CRP, LDH, CK vitamin D and clinical severity were recorded. For each biomarker, groups were formed by patients’ age. Mean/median group differences were assessed using Student’s t test or Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis with Dunn’s post hoc tests. Association was assessed using the chi2 test, while correlation was assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation. Results: 181 positive children were studied between 1 August 2021 and 1 February 2022. Average age was 8.76 years (SD = 3.93). There were 94 (51.93%) males and 87 (48.07%) females. The cases were: 62 asymptomatic (34.25%), 107 mild (59.12%), 9 moderate (4.97%), 3 severe (1.66%). Regarding CRP, a significant difference between older and younger patients was observed (p = 0.0034). Clinical severity was associated with CRP (p = 0.0281), LDH (p = 0.0410) and vitamin D (p = 0.0444). Regarding CK, no differences or associations proved significant. Correlation testing was conducted for CRP, LDH, vitamin D and clinical signs. With the exception of LDH-CRP and LDH-vitamin D, all relationships proved statistically significant. Conclusions: CRP, LDH and vitamin D levels are important biomarkers for COVID-19-positive pediatric patients, while CK was mostly within normal ranges. Full article
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19 pages, 1511 KiB  
Review
Therapeutic Effects of Cannabinoids and Their Applications in COVID-19 Treatment
by Rebeca Pérez, Talita Glaser, Cecilia Villegas, Viviana Burgos, Henning Ulrich and Cristian Paz
Life 2022, 12(12), 2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122117 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 26692
Abstract
Cannabis sativa is one of the first medicinal plants used by humans. Its medical use remains controversial because it is a psychotropic drug whose use has been banned. Recently, however, some countries have approved its use, including for recreational and medical purposes, and [...] Read more.
Cannabis sativa is one of the first medicinal plants used by humans. Its medical use remains controversial because it is a psychotropic drug whose use has been banned. Recently, however, some countries have approved its use, including for recreational and medical purposes, and have allowed the scientific study of its compounds. Cannabis is characterized by the production of special types of natural products called phytocannabinoids that are synthesized exclusively by this genus. Phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids are chemically different, but both pharmacologically modulate CB1, CB2, GRP55, GRP119 and TRPV1 receptor activities, involving activities such as memory, sleep, mood, appetite and motor regulation, pain sensation, neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and apoptosis. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are phytocannabinoids with greater pharmacological potential, including anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and anticonvulsant activities. Cannabidiol is showing promising results for the treatment of COVID-19, due to its capability of acting on the unleashed cytokine storm, on the proteins necessary for both virus entry and replication and on the neurological consequences of patients who have been infected by the virus. Here, we summarize the latest knowledge regarding the advantages of using cannabinoids in the treatment of COVID-19. Full article
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13 pages, 1061 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis: What We Know So Far
by Carmelo Biondo, Angelina Midiri, Elisabetta Gerace, Sebastiana Zummo and Giuseppe Mancuso
Life 2022, 12(12), 2087; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122087 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2438
Abstract
Respiratory infections are the most common and most frequent diseases, especially in children and the elderly, characterized by a clear seasonality and with an incidence that usually tends to decrease with increasing age. These infections often resolve spontaneously, usually without the need for [...] Read more.
Respiratory infections are the most common and most frequent diseases, especially in children and the elderly, characterized by a clear seasonality and with an incidence that usually tends to decrease with increasing age. These infections often resolve spontaneously, usually without the need for antibiotic treatment and/or with the possible use of symptomatic treatments aimed at reducing overproduction of mucus and decreasing coughing. However, when these infections occur in patients with weakened immune systems and/or underlying health conditions, their impact can become dramatic and in some cases life threatening. The rapid worldwide spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has caused concern for everyone, becoming especially important for individuals with underlying lung diseases, such as CF patients, who have always paid close attention to implementing protective strategies to avoid infection. However, adult and pediatric CF patients contract coronavirus infection like everyone else. In addition, although numerous studies were published during the first wave of the pandemic on the risk for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) to develop severe manifestations when infected with SARS-CoV-2, to date, a high risk has been found only for patients with poorer lung function and post-transplant status. In terms of preventive measures, vaccination remains key. The best protection for these patients is to strengthen preventive measures, such as social distancing and the use of masks. In this review, we aim to summarize and discuss recent advances in understanding the susceptibility of CF individuals to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
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12 pages, 1242 KiB  
Article
Epidemiology, Evolution of Antimicrobial Profile and Genomic Fingerprints of Pseudomonas aeruginosa before and during COVID-19: Transition from Resistance to Susceptibility
by Răzvan Lucian Coșeriu, Camelia Vintilă, Anca Delia Mare, Cristina Nicoleta Ciurea, Radu Ovidiu Togănel, Anca Cighir, Anastasia Simion and Adrian Man
Life 2022, 12(12), 2049; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122049 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1960
Abstract
Background: The purpose of the study was to describe the epidemiological implication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa between 2017–2022 in a tertiary hospital from Romania, including the molecular fingerprinting of similar phenotypic strains (multidrug-resistant isolates), which would have an important health impact. The study also [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of the study was to describe the epidemiological implication of Pseudomonas aeruginosa between 2017–2022 in a tertiary hospital from Romania, including the molecular fingerprinting of similar phenotypic strains (multidrug-resistant isolates), which would have an important health impact. The study also describes the resistance profile of P. aeruginosa before and during COVID-19, which might bring new information regarding the management of antibiotic treatments. Materials and methods: Information regarding wards, specimen types, species, and antibiotic resistance profile of 1994 strains of Pseudomonas spp. Isolated over a period of 6 years in Mures Clinical County Hospital, Romania, was collected from the WHONET database. From 50 multidrug-resistant isolates, molecular fingerprinting was performed by Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus Polymerase Chain Reaction (ERIC-PCR) to prove the potential clonal distribution. Results: A number of 1994 Pseudomonas spp. were isolated between 2017–2022, from which P. aeruginosa was the most frequent species, 97.39% (n = 1942). P. aeruginosa was most frequently isolated in 2017 (n = 538), with the dermatology department as the main source, mainly from pus secretion. A drop in the harvesting rate was noted in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Regarding the resistance profile, there are a few modifications. The susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to carbapenems, piperacillin-tazobactam, and amikacin suffered alterations before and during COVID-19. The molecular fingerprinting showed three P. aeruginosa clusters, including strains with 80–99% similarity. Full article
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16 pages, 2306 KiB  
Article
Signs, Symptoms, and Side-Effects Presented by Different Types of COVID-19 Vaccines: A Prospective Cohort Study
by Zahra Zare, Abdolghader Assarroudi, Mohammad Reza Armat, Mojtaba Laal Ahangar, Mahdie Estaji, Vahideh MoghaddamHosseini and Mostafa Dianatinasab
Life 2022, 12(12), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122046 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1637
Abstract
The concern about post-COVID-19 vaccine complications still remains. In addition, the evidence on Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Covaxin, and, in particular, COVIran Barekat, as well as comparisons between them by dosage after post-vaccination, is scarce. This study aimed to investigate and compare the prevalence [...] Read more.
The concern about post-COVID-19 vaccine complications still remains. In addition, the evidence on Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Covaxin, and, in particular, COVIran Barekat, as well as comparisons between them by dosage after post-vaccination, is scarce. This study aimed to investigate and compare the prevalence of self-reported post-vaccination signs and symptoms following the first and second doses of different types of COVID-19 vaccines. Research design and methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted on more than 1500 health professionals who had received at least one dose of any type of Sputnik V, Sinopharm, Oxford AstraZeneca, Covaxin, and COVIran Barekat vaccines in Iran. The survey questionnaire was sent to participants online, 28 days after receiving each dose of the vaccine. Results: About 73% of health professionals reported at least one post-vaccination sign or symptom, developing mostly within the first 12 h (69.9%) and lasting up to 12 h (59.0%). Pain and tenderness at the injection site, fever, and muscle pain were the most common post-vaccination signs and symptoms in all vaccines, which were significantly higher in the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine (p < 0.001) for both the first and second doses. The incidence rate of all post-vaccination signs and symptoms was significantly higher in the first dose than in the second dose (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine showed the highest incidence rate, onset, and lasting time of signs and symptoms in both doses; however, they were not life-threatening. The onset time of signs and symptoms was significantly higher for the COVIran Barekat and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines in both the first and second doses. Full article
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11 pages, 1227 KiB  
Article
Thyrotropin Levels in Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019: Assessment during Hospitalization and in the Medium Term after Discharge
by Abdallah Al-Salameh, Noémie Scherman, Imane Adda, Juliette André, Yoann Zerbib, Julien Maizel, Jean-Daniel Lalau, Etienne Brochot, Claire Andrejak and Rachel Desailloud
Life 2022, 12(12), 2014; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122014 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1528
Abstract
Background: The objectives of this study were (1) to compare TSH levels between inpatients with critical versus non-critical coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), and (2) to describe the status of TSH levels three months after hospitalization. Methods: We collected data on adult patients hospitalized [...] Read more.
Background: The objectives of this study were (1) to compare TSH levels between inpatients with critical versus non-critical coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), and (2) to describe the status of TSH levels three months after hospitalization. Methods: We collected data on adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Amiens University Hospital. We compared TSH levels between inpatients with critical (intensive care unit admission and/or death) versus non-critical COVID-19. Thereafter, survivors were invited to return for a three-month post-discharge visit where thyroid function tests were performed, regardless of the availability of TSH measurement during hospitalization. Results: Among 448 inpatients with COVID-19, TSH assay data during hospitalization were available for 139 patients without prior thyroid disease. Patients with critical and non-critical forms of COVID-19 did not differ significantly with regard to the median (interquartile range) TSH level (0.96 (0.68–1.71) vs. 1.27 mIU/L (0.75–1.79), p = 0.40). Abnormal TSH level was encountered in 17 patients (12.2%); most of them had subclinical thyroid disease. TSH assay data at the three-month post-discharge visit were available for 151 patients without prior thyroid disease. Only seven of them (4.6%) had abnormal TSH levels. Median TSH level at the post-discharge visit was significantly higher than median TSH level during hospitalization. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that COVID-19 is associated with a transient suppression of TSH in a minority of patients regardless of the clinical form. The higher TSH levels three months after COVID-19 might suggest recovery from non-thyroidal illness syndrome. Full article
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17 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Proper Dietary and Supplementation Patterns as a COVID-19 Protective Factor (Cross-Sectional Study-Silesia, Poland)
by Karolina Krupa-Kotara, Mateusz Grajek, Anna Murzyn, Małgorzata Słoma-Krześlak, Karolina Sobczyk, Agnieszka Białek-Dratwa and Oskar Kowalski
Life 2022, 12(12), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12121976 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
Background. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenge for the world today, so it is very important to create healthy eating habits in society to support immunity and raise awareness of the benefits of supplementation. Objective. The purpose of this study is to [...] Read more.
Background. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a challenge for the world today, so it is very important to create healthy eating habits in society to support immunity and raise awareness of the benefits of supplementation. Objective. The purpose of this study is to evaluate diet and dietary supplementation, since previous studies indicate the protective nature of these in building immunity during the pandemic and post-pandemic period (COVID-19). The hypothesis of the study is whether the dietary regimen presented by the COVID-19 respondents can be considered protective in building immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Material and methods. The study included 304 subjects, with an average age of 39.04 ± 23.59. The main criteria for inclusion in the study were that the respondent was ≥18 years old and participated voluntarily. The study was conducted using an original questionnaire. Results. In the study group, no change was noticed in the previous diet during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the level of physical activity among the respondents decreased. Too low a percentage of people regularly consumed, among other foods. legume seeds—only 10.5% of respondents consumed them several times a week—and citrus fruits—the largest number of respondents, as many as 39.8%, only consumed them several times a month. The largest percentage of respondents with mild/scanty COVID-19 disease regularly took vitamin C-containing preparations (n = 61; 59.80%). Statistical analysis showed that there was a correlation between the incidence of mild/scanty COVID-19 and the regularity of taking vitamin C-containing preparations (T = 11.374; r = 0.611; p = 0.04603). A statistical significance level was also obtained for the regularity of supplementation of multivitamin preparations, which were taken by 68% (34) of respondents affected by mild/scanty COVID-19 (T = 13.456; r = 0.711; p = 0.02191). Conclusions. The study’s hypothesis was supported. Respondents characterized by a normal dietary pattern and taking supplements commonly recognized as immune “boosters” were more likely to mildly survive COVID-19. Moreover, it was shown that the pandemic in most of the respondents did not significantly affect their dietary strategy. It is reasonable to conclude that the dietary patterns adopted may be a common way to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections and their possible complications. Full article
12 pages, 1036 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Performance of Lateral Flow Tests in the Age of the Omicron: A Rapid Systematic Review
by Qin Xiang Ng, Yu Liang Lim, Ming Xuan Han, Seth En Teoh, Julian Thumboo and Ban Hock Tan
Life 2022, 12(11), 1941; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111941 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3899
Abstract
Prompt detection and isolation of COVID-19 cases is vital for preventing further viral transmission, and lateral flow or rapid antigen tests have been an important diagnostic tool in this pandemic. However, concerns have emerged regarding the sensitivity of these devices for the new [...] Read more.
Prompt detection and isolation of COVID-19 cases is vital for preventing further viral transmission, and lateral flow or rapid antigen tests have been an important diagnostic tool in this pandemic. However, concerns have emerged regarding the sensitivity of these devices for the new BA.1, BA.2, and BA.4/5 omicron variants, which have greater transmissibility and extensive mutations in its spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins. N protein is an important target protein for existing lateral flow devices. This paper therefore aimed to provide a rapid review of available literature on the performance of the lateral flow tests for detecting the omicron coronavirus variant. A systematic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, OVID Medline, and Google Scholar found six published studies and four preprints investigating the performance of existing lateral flow devices for the omicron variant, as compared to the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant. Overall, it appears that the devices have poorer performance for the omicron variant and when testing samples with cycle threshold (Ct) values greater than 25 and in asymptomatic individuals. As most available data were preliminary and had small sample sizes, it is recommended that these data be further studied to better inform and adapt our public health responses. Full article
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19 pages, 1295 KiB  
Review
Ivermectin: A Controversial Focal Point during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Manuel Castillejos-López, Luz Maria Torres-Espíndola, Juan Carlos Huerta-Cruz, Edgar Flores-Soto, Bianca S. Romero-Martinez, Rafael Velázquez-Cruz, Anjarath Higuera-Iglesias, Ángel Camarena, Ana Karen Torres-Soria, Citlaltepetl Salinas-Lara, Rosario Fernández-Plata, Noé Alvarado-Vásquez, Héctor Solís-Chagoyán, Víctor Ruiz and Arnoldo Aquino-Gálvez
Life 2022, 12(9), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12091384 - 6 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4231
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has confirmed the apocalyptic predictions that virologists have been making for several decades. The challenge the world is facing is that of trying to find a possible treatment, and a viable and expedient option for addressing this challenge is the [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has confirmed the apocalyptic predictions that virologists have been making for several decades. The challenge the world is facing is that of trying to find a possible treatment, and a viable and expedient option for addressing this challenge is the repurposing of drugs. However, in some cases, although these drugs are approved for use in humans, the mechanisms of action involved are unknown. In this sense, to justify its therapeutic application to a new disease, it is ideal, but not necessary, to know the basic mechanisms of action involved in a drug’s biological effects. This review compiled the available information regarding the various effects attributed to Ivermectin. The controversy over its use for the treatment of COVID-19 is demonstrated by this report that considers the proposal unfeasible because the therapeutic doses proposed to achieve this effect cannot be achieved. However, due to the urgent need to find a treatment, an exhaustive and impartial review is necessary in order to integrate the knowledge that exists, to date, of the possible mechanisms through which the treatment may be helpful in defining safe doses and schedules of Ivermectin. Full article
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17 pages, 676 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Germany and the United Kingdom Indicates That More SARS-CoV-2 Circulation and Less Restrictions in the Warm Season Might Reduce Overall COVID-19 Burden
by David Meintrup, Martina Nowak-Machen and Stefan Borgmann
Life 2022, 12(7), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12070953 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2516
Abstract
(1) Background: Between March 2020 and January 2022 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused five infection waves in Europe. The first and the second wave was caused by wildtype SARS-CoV-2, while the following waves were caused by the variants of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Between March 2020 and January 2022 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused five infection waves in Europe. The first and the second wave was caused by wildtype SARS-CoV-2, while the following waves were caused by the variants of concern Alpha, Delta, and Omicron respectively. (2) Methods: In the present analysis, the first four waves were compared in Germany and the UK, in order to examine the COVID-19 epidemiology and its modulation by non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI). (3) Results: The number of COVID-19 patients on intensive care units and the case fatality rate were used to estimate disease burden, the excess mortality to assess the net effect of NPI and other measures on the population. The UK was more severely affected by the first and the third wave while Germany was more affected by the second wave. The UK had a higher excess mortality during the first wave, afterwards the excess mortality in both countries was nearly identical. While most NPI were lifted in the UK in July 2021, the measures were kept and even aggravated in Germany. Nevertheless, in autumn 2021 Germany was much more affected, nearly resulting in a balanced sum of infections and deaths compared to the UK. Within the whole observation period, in Germany the number of COVID-19 patients on ICUs was up to four times higher than in the UK. Our results show that NPI have a limited effect on COVID-19 burden, seasonality plays a crucial role, and a higher virus circulation in a pre-wave situation could be beneficial. (4) Conclusions: Although Germany put much more effort and resources to fight the pandemic, the net balance of both countries was nearly identical, questioning the benefit of excessive ICU treatments and of the implementation of NPI, especially during the warm season. Full article
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14 pages, 290 KiB  
Article
Occupational Risk Factors for SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Hospital Health Care Workers: A Prospective Nested Case-Control Study
by Alex Dusefante, Corrado Negro, Pierlanfranco D’Agaro, Ludovica Segat, Antonio Purpuri, Luca Cegolon and Francesca Larese Filon
Life 2022, 12(2), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020263 - 9 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2147
Abstract
Introduction: Health Care Workers (HCWs) are at a particular high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to direct and indirect exposure to COVID-19 patients and Aerosol-Generating Procedures (AGPs). The aim of the study was to assess the risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection in [...] Read more.
Introduction: Health Care Workers (HCWs) are at a particular high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to direct and indirect exposure to COVID-19 patients and Aerosol-Generating Procedures (AGPs). The aim of the study was to assess the risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCWs exposed to COVID-19 patients, to evaluate the adherence and effectiveness of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, to describe the clinical presentation for SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCWs and to determine serological responses in HCWs. Methods: HCWs exposed to COVID-19 patients during the previous 14 days with a confirmed case status were recruited as cases; HCWs exposed to COVID-19 patients during the previous 14 days in the same ward without a suspected/probable/confirmed case status were recruited as controls. Serum samples were collected as soon as possible and after 21–28 days from all participants. Data were collected with a WHO standardized questionnaire as soon as possible and after 21–28 days. Results: All social, occupational and personal variables considered were not associated with an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusions: Our study showed a high knowledge of IPC measures and very high PPE use among HCWs. Full article
14 pages, 9781 KiB  
Article
Using Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions and High Isolation of Asymptomatic Carriers to Contain the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Nursing Homes
by Alec J. Schmidt, Yury García, Diego Pinheiro, Thomas A. Reichert and Miriam Nuño
Life 2022, 12(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020180 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2797
Abstract
More than 40% of the deaths recorded in the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic were linked to nursing homes. Not only are the residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) typically older and more susceptible to endemic infections, the facilities’ high degree of [...] Read more.
More than 40% of the deaths recorded in the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic were linked to nursing homes. Not only are the residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) typically older and more susceptible to endemic infections, the facilities’ high degree of connection to wider communities makes them especially vulnerable to local COVID-19 outbreaks. In 2008, in the wake of the SARS-CoV-1 and MERS epidemics and anticipating an influenza pandemic, we created a stochastic compartmental model to evaluate the deployment of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) in LTCFs during influenza epidemics. In that model, the most effective NPI by far was a staff schedule consisting of 5-day duty periods with onsite residence, followed by an 4-to-5 day off-duty period with a 3-day quarantine period just prior to the return to work. Unlike influenza, COVID-19 appears to have significant rates of pre-symptomatic transmission. In this study, we modified our prior modeling framework to include new parameters and a set of NPIs to identify and control the degree of pre-symptomatic transmission. We found that infections, deaths, hospitalizations, and ICU utilization were projected to be high and largely irreducible, even with rigorous application of all defined NPIs, unless pre-symptomatic carriers can be identified and isolated at high rates. We found that increasingly rigorous application of NPIs is likely to significantly decrease the peak of infections; but even with complete isolation of symptomatic persons, and a 50% reduction in silent transmission, the attack rate is projected to be nearly 95%. Full article
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2021

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14 pages, 4151 KiB  
Article
The Role of SARS-CoV-2 Testing on Hospitalizations in California
by José Cricelio Montesinos-López, Maria L. Daza-Torres, Yury E. García, Luis A. Barboza, Fabio Sanchez, Alec J. Schmidt, Brad H. Pollock and Miriam Nuño
Life 2021, 11(12), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11121336 - 3 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2669
Abstract
The rapid spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus triggered a global health crisis, disproportionately impacting people with pre-existing health conditions and particular demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. One of the main concerns of governments has been to avoid health systems becoming overwhelmed. For this [...] Read more.
The rapid spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus triggered a global health crisis, disproportionately impacting people with pre-existing health conditions and particular demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. One of the main concerns of governments has been to avoid health systems becoming overwhelmed. For this reason, they have implemented a series of non-pharmaceutical measures to control the spread of the virus, with mass tests being one of the most effective controls. To date, public health officials continue to promote some of these measures, mainly due to delays in mass vaccination and the emergence of new virus strains. In this research, we studied the association between COVID-19 positivity rate and hospitalization rates at the county level in California using a mixed linear model. The analysis was performed in the three waves of confirmed COVID-19 cases registered in the state to September 2021. Our findings suggest that test positivity rate is consistently associated with hospitalization rates at the county level for all study waves. Demographic factors that seem to be related to higher hospitalization rates changed over time, as the profile of the pandemic impacted different fractions of the population in counties across California. Full article
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14 pages, 764 KiB  
Article
Cardiovascular Surgical Emergencies in France, before, during and after the First Lockdown for COVID-19 in 2020: A Comparative Nationwide Retrospective Cohort Study
by Anna Baudry, Anne-Sophie Mariet, Eric Benzenine, Valentin Crespy, Chloé Bernard, Marie-Catherine Morgant, Yannick Bejot, Maurice Giroud, Olivier Bouchot, Eric Steinmetz and Catherine Quantin
Life 2021, 11(11), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11111245 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1711
Abstract
Background: There are still gaps regarding the impact of the nationwide lockdown on non-COVID-19 emergency hospitalizations. This study aims to describe the trends in hospitalizations for cardiovascular surgical emergencies in France, before, during and after the first lockdown. Materials and Methods: All adults [...] Read more.
Background: There are still gaps regarding the impact of the nationwide lockdown on non-COVID-19 emergency hospitalizations. This study aims to describe the trends in hospitalizations for cardiovascular surgical emergencies in France, before, during and after the first lockdown. Materials and Methods: All adults admitted for mechanical complications of myocardial infarction (MI), aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm rupture, acute and critical limb ischemia, circulatory assistance, heart transplantation and major amputation were included. This retrospective cohort study used the French National Hospital Discharge database. The numbers of hospitalizations per month in 2020 were compared to the previous three years. Results: From January to September 2020, 94,408 cases of the studied conditions were reported versus 103,126 in the same period in 2019 (−8.5%). There was a deep drop in most conditions during the lockdown, except for circulatory assistance, which increased. After the lockdown, mechanical complications of MI and aortic aneurysm rupture increased, and cardiac transplantations declined compared with previous years. Conclusion: We confirmed a deep drop in most cardiovascular surgical emergencies during the lockdown. The post-lockdown period was characterized by a small over-recovery for mechanical complications of MI and aortic aneurysm rupture, suggesting that many patients were able to access surgery after the lockdown. Full article
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9 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Changes in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: Clinical Data and Molecular Hypothesis to Explain Alterations of Lipid Profile and Thyroid Function Observed in COVID-19 Patients
by Damiano D’Ardes, Ilaria Rossi, Benedetta Bucciarelli, Marco Allegra, Francesco Bianco, Bruna Sinjari, Michele Marchioni, Marta Di Nicola, Francesca Santilli, Maria Teresa Guagnano, Francesco Cipollone and Marco Bucci
Life 2021, 11(8), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11080860 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2659
Abstract
It seems that during SARS-CoV-2 infection, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and HDL-C values decrease and lipids could play a fundamental role in viral replication. Moreover, it has been shown that SARS-CoV-2 infection could influence thyroid function. We performed a retrospective analysis of 118 hospitalized [...] Read more.
It seems that during SARS-CoV-2 infection, total cholesterol, LDL-C, and HDL-C values decrease and lipids could play a fundamental role in viral replication. Moreover, it has been shown that SARS-CoV-2 infection could influence thyroid function. We performed a retrospective analysis of 118 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, comparing pre-infection lipid profile (53 patients) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) values (45 patients) to those measured on admission. Our aim was to evaluate whether SARS-CoV-2 infection could be involved in thyroid and lipid profile alterations and study possible correlations with disease severity and clinical outcome. Median baseline values at the admission time were: total cholesterol at 136.89 ± 42.73 mg/dL, LDL-C 81.53 ± 30.35 mg/dL, and HDL-C 32.36 ± 15.13 mg/dL; and triglycerides at 115.00 ± 40.45 mg/dL, non-HDL-C 104.53 ± 32.63 md/dL, and TSH 1.15 ± 1.08 μUI/mL. Median values of pre-infection total cholesterol, HDL-C, and TSH were significantly higher than those measured at the admission time (p value < 0.05). The C-reactive protein (CRP) negatively correlated with LDL-C (p = 0.013) and HDL-C (p = 0.05). Our data underline a possible impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on thyroid function. Moreover it suggests a possible relation between COVID-19 and the lipid profile with a negative correlation between CRP, LDL-C, and HDL-C values, proposing the hypothesis that lipid lowering could follow the rising of the COVID-19 inflammatory state. Full article
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