COVID-19: Reducing the risk via diet and lifestyle.
Journal of integrative medicine. 2023;(1):1-16
This review shows that relatively simple changes to diet and lifestyle can significantly, and rapidly, reduce the risks associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in terms of infection risk, severity of disease, and even disease-related mortality. A wide range of interventions including regular exercise, adequate sleep, plant-based diets, maintenance of healthy weight, dietary supplementation, and time in nature have each been shown to have beneficial effects for supporting more positive health outcomes with COVID-19, in addition to promoting better overall health. This paper brings together literature from these areas and presents the argument that non-pharmaceutical approaches should not be overlooked in our response to COVID-19. It is noted that, in several cases, interventions discussed result in risk reductions equivalent to, or even greater than, those associated with currently available vaccines. Where the balance of evidence suggests benefits, and the risk is minimal to none, it is suggested that communicating the power of individual actions to the public becomes morally imperative. Further, many lives could be saved, and many harms from the vaccine mandates avoided, if we were willing to embrace this lifestyle-centred approach in our efforts to deal with COVID-19.
Effect of tocilizumab, sarilumab, and baricitinib on mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2023;(1):13-21
BACKGROUND Randomized controlled trials (RCT) established the mortality reduction by tocilizumab (Actemra), baricitinib (Olumiant), and sarilumab (Kevzara) in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. However, uncertainty remains about which treatment performs best in patients receiving corticosteroids. OBJECTIVES To estimate probabilities of noninferiority between baricitinib and sarilumab compared to tocilizumab in patients treated with corticosteroids. DATA SOURCES PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and MedRxiv. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA Eligible RCTs assigning hospitalized adults with COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids to tocilizumab or baricitinib or sarilumab versus standard of care or placebo (control). METHODS Reviewers independently abstracted published data and assessed study quality with the Risk of Bias 2 tool. Unpublished data, if required, were requested from authors of included studies. The outcome of interest was all-cause mortality at 28 days. PARTICIPANTS Twenty-seven RCTs with 13 549 patients were included. Overall, the risk of bias was low. Bayesian pairwise meta-analyses were used to aggregate results of each treatment versus control. The average odds ratio for mortality was 0.78 (95% credible interval [CrI]: 0.65, 0.94) for tocilizumab; 0.78 (95% CrI: 0.56, 1.03) for baricitinib; and 0.91 (95% CrI: 0.60, 1.40) for sarilumab. The certainty of evidence (GRADE) ranged from moderate to low. Bayesian meta-regressions with multiple priors were used to estimate probabilities of noninferiority (margin of 13% greater effect by tocilizumab). Compared to tocilizumab, there were ≤94% and 90% probabilities of noninferiority with baricitinib and sarilumab, respectively. RESULTS All but two studies included data with only indirect evidence for the comparison of interest. CONCLUSIONS Among hospitalized COVID-19 treated with corticosteroids, there are high probabilities that both baricitinib and sarilumab are associated with similar mortality reductions in comparison to tocilizumab.
A review of poisonings originating from self-administration of common preventative substances during COVID-19 pandemic.
The American journal of emergency medicine. 2023;:147-148
The many facets of CD26/dipeptidyl peptidase 4 and its inhibitors in disorders of the CNS - a critical overview.
Reviews in the neurosciences. 2023;(1):1-24
Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 is a serine protease that cleaves X-proline or X-alanine in the penultimate position. Natural substrates of the enzyme are glucagon-like peptide-1, glucagon inhibiting peptide, glucagon, neuropeptide Y, secretin, substance P, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide, endorphins, endomorphins, brain natriuretic peptide, beta-melanocyte stimulating hormone and amyloid peptides as well as some cytokines and chemokines. The enzyme is involved in the maintenance of blood glucose homeostasis and regulation of the immune system. It is expressed in many organs including the brain. DPP4 activity may be effectively depressed by DPP4 inhibitors. Apart from enzyme activity, DPP4 acts as a cell surface (co)receptor, associates with adeosine deaminase, interacts with extracellular matrix, and controls cell migration and differentiation. This review aims at revealing the impact of DPP4 and DPP4 inhibitors for several brain diseases (virus infections affecting the brain, tumours of the CNS, neurological and psychiatric disorders). Special emphasis is given to a possible involvement of DPP4 expressed in the brain.While prominent contributions of extracerebral DPP4 are evident for a majority of diseases discussed herein; a possible role of "brain" DPP4 is restricted to brain cancers and Alzheimer disease. For a number of diseases (Covid-19 infection, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson disease, Huntington disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and epilepsy), use of DPP4 inhibitors has been shown to have a disease-mitigating effect. However, these beneficial effects should mostly be attributed to the depression of "peripheral" DPP4, since currently used DPP4 inhibitors are not able to pass through the intact blood-brain barrier.
SARS-CoV-2 variant evasion of monoclonal antibodies based on in vitro studies.
Nature reviews. Microbiology. 2023;(2):112-124
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) offer a treatment option for individuals with severe COVID-19 and are especially important in high-risk individuals where vaccination is not an option. Given the importance of understanding the evolution of resistance to mAbs by SARS-CoV-2, we reviewed the available in vitro neutralization data for mAbs against live variants and viral constructs containing spike mutations of interest. Unfortunately, evasion of mAb-induced protection is being reported with new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The magnitude of neutralization reduction varied greatly among mAb-variant pairs. For example, sotrovimab retained its neutralization capacity against Omicron BA.1 but showed reduced efficacy against BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5, and BA.2.12.1. At present, only bebtelovimab has been reported to retain its efficacy against all SARS-CoV-2 variants considered here. Resistance to mAb neutralization was dominated by the action of epitope single amino acid substitutions in the spike protein. Although not all observed epitope mutations result in increased mAb evasion, amino acid substitutions at non-epitope positions and combinations of mutations also contribute to evasion of neutralization. This Review highlights the implications for the rational design of viral genomic surveillance and factors to consider for the development of novel mAb therapies.
Development and evaluation of a fluidic facemask for airborne transmission mitigation.
Experimental thermal and fluid science. 2023;:110777
Recently, a fluidic facemask concept was proposed to mitigate the transmission of virus-laden aerosol and droplet infections, such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). This paper describes an experimental investigation of the first practical fluidic facemask prototype, or "Air-Screen". It employs a small, high-aspect-ratio, crossflow fan mounted on the visor of a filter-covered cap to produce a rectangular air jet, or screen, in front of the wearer's face. The entire assembly weighs less than 200 g. Qualitative flow visualization experiments using a mannequin clearly illustrated the Air-Screen's ability to effectively block airborne droplets (∼100 µm) from the wearer's face. Quantitative experiments to simulate droplets produced during sneezing or a wet cough (∼102 µm) were propelled (via a transmitter) at an average velocity of 50 m/s at 1 m from the mannequin or a target. The Air-Screen blocked 62% of all droplets with a diameter of less than 150 µm. With an Air-Screen active on the transmitter, 99% of all droplets were blocked. When both mannequin and transmitter Air-Screens were active, 99.8% of all droplets were blocked. A mathematical model, based on a weakly-advected jet in a crossflow, was employed to gain greater insight into the experimental results. This investigation highlighted the remarkable blocking effect of the Air-Screen and serves as a basis for a more detailed and comprehensive experimental evaluation.
Epidemiology and Disease Burden of Alcohol Associated Liver Disease.
Journal of clinical and experimental hepatology. 2023;(1):88-102
Consumption of alcohol in excess leads to substantial medical, economic, and societal burdens. Approximately 5.3% of all global deaths may be attributed to alcohol consumption. Moreover, the burden of alcohol associated liver disease (ALD) accounts for 5.1% of all disease and injury worldwide. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects men more than women globally with significant years of life loss to disability in low, middle and well-developed countries. Precise data on global estimates of alcohol related steatosis, alcohol related hepatitis, and alcohol related cirrhosis have been challenging to obtain. In the United States (US), alcohol related steatosis has been estimated at 4.3% based on NHANES data which has remained stable over 14 years. However, alcohol-related fibrotic liver disease has increased over the same period. In those with AUD, the prevalence of alcohol related hepatitis has been estimated at 10-35%. Globally, the prevalence of alcohol-associated cirrhosis has been estimated at 23.6 million individuals for compensated cirrhosis and 2.46 million for those with decompensated cirrhosis. The contribution of ALD to global mortality and disease burden of liver related deaths is substantial. In 2016 liver disease related to AUD contributed to 50% of the estimated liver disease deaths for age groups 15 years and above. Data from the US report high cost burdens associated with those admitted with alcohol-related liver complications. Finally, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with marked increase in alcohol consumption worldwide and will likely increase the burden of ALD.
Selenium in the Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Viruses.
Biological trace element research. 2023;(2):655-662
The rapid spread of new pathogens (SARS-CoV-2 virus) that negatively affect the human body has huge consequences for the global public health system and the development of the global economy. Appropriate implementation of new safety regulations will improve the functioning of the current model supervising the inhibition of the spread of COVID-19 disease. Compliance with all these standards will have a key impact on the health behavior of individual social groups. There have been demonstrably effective treatments that proved to be effective but were rapidly dismissed for unknown reasons, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Various measures are used in the world to help inhibit its development. The properties of this element provide hope in preventing the development of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The aim of this review is to synthesize the latest literature data and to present the effect of sodium selenite in reducing the incidence of COVID-19 disease.
Update on the omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.
Reviews in medical virology. 2023;(1):e2391
Several nations have recently begun to relax their public health protocols, particularly regarding the use of face masks when engaging in outdoor activities. This is because there has been a general trend towards fewer cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, new Omicron sub-variants (designated BA.4 and BA.5) have recently emerged. These two subvariants are thought to be the cause of an increase in COVID-19 cases in South Africa, the United States, and Europe. They have also begun to spread throughout Asia. They evolved from the Omicron lineage with characteristics that make them even more contagious and which allow them to circumvent immunity from a previous infection or vaccination. This article reviews a number of scientific considerations about these new variants, including their apparently reduced clinical severity.
Ferritin nanocages as efficient nanocarriers and promising platforms for COVID-19 and other vaccines development.
Biochimica et biophysica acta. General subjects. 2023;(3):130288
BACKGROUND The development of safe and effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses with high antigenic drift is of crucial importance to public health. Ferritin is a well characterized and ubiquitous iron storage protein that has emerged not only as a useful nanoreactor and nanocarrier, but more recently as an efficient platform for vaccine development. SCOPE OF REVIEW This review discusses ferritin structure-function properties, self-assembly, and novel bioengineering strategies such as interior cavity and exterior surface modifications for cargo encapsulation and delivery. It also discusses the use of ferritin as a scaffold for biomedical applications, especially for vaccine development against influenza, Epstein-Barr, HIV, hepatitis-C, Lyme disease, and respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. The use of ferritin for the synthesis of mosaic vaccines to deliver a cocktail of antigens that elicit broad immune protection against different viral variants is also explored. MAJOR CONCLUSIONS The remarkable stability, biocompatibility, surface functionalization, and self-assembly properties of ferritin nanoparticles make them very attractive platforms for a wide range of biomedical applications, including the development of vaccines. Strong immune responses have been observed in pre-clinical studies against a wide range of pathogens and have led to the exploration of ferritin nanoparticles-based vaccines in multiple phase I clinical trials. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE The broad protective antibody response of ferritin nanoparticles-based vaccines demonstrates the usefulness of ferritin as a highly promising and effective approaches for vaccine development.