Delta neutrophil index and C-reactive protein: a potential diagnostic marker of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) with COVID-19.
European journal of pediatrics. 2022;(2):775-781
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a life-threatening hyperinflammation syndrome emerging after COVID-19. The serum delta neutrophil index (DNI) reflects the fraction of circulating immature granulocytes and is evaluated in infection and inflammation. The aim of this study is to evaluate the usefulness of DNI as a diagnostic marker in patients with MIS-C and to assess its role in determining the severity of MIS-C. This retrospective, observational study included 83 patients with MIS-C and 113 patients with COVID-19, and 102 healthy controls. C-reactive protein (CRP), the absolute neutrophil count (ANC), absolute lymphocyte count (ALC), DNI, and the platelet count were recorded. The DNI levels were 4.60 ± 5.70% in the MIS C group, 0.30 ± 0.99% in the COVID group, and 0.20 ± 0.56% in the control group (p < 0.001). According to the severity of MIS-C, the DNI level was found to be 1.22% in mild MIS-C, 4.3% in moderate MIS-C, and 5.7% in severe MIS-C. There was a statistically significant correlation between DNI levels and the severity of MIS-C. The cutoff value of DNI for predicting MIS-C was 0.45%. In the analysis of the diagnostic performance of DNI compared with CRP, ANC, ALC and platelet counts, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were found to be 79.5%, 97.1%, 95.7%, and 85.3%, respectively.Conclusions: The delta neutrophil index was identified as a diagnostic marker for MIS-C such as ANC, ALC, platelet count, and CRP. DNI levels in hemogram analysis may guide clinicians in determining the diagnosis and severity of MIS-C. What is Known: • Although CRP, sedimentation, ALC, ANC, platelet count, sodium, and albumin are used as first step tests, there is no specific laboratory marker used in the diagnosis of MIS C. • The serum delta neutrophil index (DNI) reflects the fraction of circulating immature granulocytes and is elevated in infection and inflammation. What is New: • DNI is a promising and easily accessible marker that can be used with other markers in the diagnosis and determines the severity of MIS C. • DNI is an easily accessible, inexpensive, and dynamic marker and its levels in simple hemogram analysis will guide pediatricians in determining the diagnosis and severity in MIS C.
Nebulized fentanyl for respiratory symptoms in patients with COVID-19 (ventanyl trial).
ABSTRACT Patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) commonly experience distressing and challenging respiratory symptoms. Interventions such as oxygen therapy, oral opiates, and traditional nebulizers like ipratropium bromide and salbutamol are variable in their efficacy, and therapy responses in patients are difficult to predict. The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of nebulized fentanyl citrate on dyspnea, cough, and throat pain in patients with COVID-19 and evaluate the safety with any potential adverse events.In COVID-19, about 59% of patients will exhibit cough, 35% generalized body ache and sore throat, and 31% dyspnea. Some methods such as nebulized lidocaine, magnesium sulfate, and systemic opioids have been used to manage the respiratory symptoms. It has been previously shown that fentanyl nebulizer has beneficial effect in improving shortness of breath in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The proposed theory behind that was that fentanyl decreased the rate of spontaneous respiratory rate, diminished the brain stem chemoreceptor response to hypoxia and hypercarbia, in addition to exhibiting a modulating effect on the brain stem. Therefore, we hypothesize that nebulized fentanyl has superior effect in improving shortness of breath and relieving cough compared to normal saline, in addition to its advantageous throat pain relief, while exhibiting fewer side effects in patients with COVID 19 infection. Therefore, this phase-III, randomized, comparative, parallel assignment, single-blinded clinical trial aims at assessing the efficacy and safety of nebulized fentanyl to suppress cough, improve breathlessness, and relieve throat pain in patients with COVID-19.
Association of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibition with Covid-19 hospitalization and all-cause mortality in the UK biobank.
British journal of clinical pharmacology. 2022;(6):2830-2842
AIMS: With growing evidence on the protective effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), we aimed to thoroughly investigate the association between the use of major classes of antihypertensive medications and Covid-19 outcomes in comparison with the use of ACEIs and ARBs. METHODS We conducted a population-based study in patients with pre-existing hypertension in the UK Biobank with data from the first 2 SARS-CoV-2 waves prior population-based vaccination. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed adjusting for a wide range of confounders. RESULTS The use of either β-blockers (BBs), calcium-channel blockers (CCBs) or diuretics was associated with a higher risk of Covid-19 hospitalization compared to ACEI use (adjusted OR (95%CI): 1.66 [1.43-1.93]) and ARB use (1.53 [1.30-1.81]). The risk of 28-day mortality among Covid-19 patients was also increased among users of BBs, CCBs or diuretics when compared to ACEI users (1.74 [1.30-2.33]) but not when compared to ARB users (1.26 [0.93-1.71]). The association between BB, CCB or diuretic use (compared to ACEI use) and 28-day mortality among hospitalized Covid-19 patients narrowly missed statistical significance (1.47 [0.99-2.18]) but it was statistically significant when the analysis was restricted to patients hospitalized during the second SARS-CoV-2 wave (1.80 [1.15-2.83]). CONCLUSION Our results suggest protective effects of inhibition of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system on Covid-19 hospitalization and mortality, particularly with ACEI, among patients with pharmaceutically treated hypertension. If confirmed by randomized controlled trials, this finding could have high clinical relevance for treating hypertension during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Potential Resistance of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease (Mpro) against Protease Inhibitors: Lessons Learned from HIV-1 Protease.
International journal of molecular sciences. 2022;(7)
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been one of the most devastating pandemics of recent times. The lack of potent novel antivirals had led to global health crises; however, emergence and approval of potent inhibitors of the viral main protease (Mpro), such as Pfizer's newly approved nirmatrelvir, offers hope not only in the therapeutic front but also in the context of prophylaxis against the infection. By their nature, RNA viruses including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have inherently high mutation rates, and lessons learnt from previous and currently ongoing pandemics have taught us that these viruses can easily escape selection pressure through mutation of vital target amino acid residues in monotherapeutic settings. In this paper, we review nirmatrelvir and its binding to SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and draw a comparison to inhibitors of HIV protease that were rendered obsolete by emergence of resistance mutations, emphasizing potential pitfalls in the design of inhibitors that may be of important relevance to the long-term use of novel inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2.
Implication of food insecurity on the gut microbiota and its potential relevance to a multi-ethnic population in Malaysia.
JGH open : an open access journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2022;(2):112-119
Food insecurity (FI) has an impact on food intake, and it can make it difficult for people to eat enough nutritious food at all times to sustain an active and healthy lifestyle. The COVID-19 outbreak has hampered people's capacity to obtain nutritious and affordable food. Although FI has been studied in Malaysia, the extent to which it is linked to gut microbiota has yet to be discovered. This review aimed to compile evidence of the relationship between FI and gut microbial changes and their potential relevance to a multi-ethnic population in Malaysia. FI is typically associated with cheaper and calorie-dense foods because of the high cost of quality food and financial constraints that hinder food-insecure people from adopting healthier dietary choices. As a result, they have started eating low-quality food such as simple carbohydrates, fats, and processed foods. These poor eating habits can reduce microbial diversity and influence changes in the composition and function of the gut microbiota. This review also explores the impact of ethnicity on the variation in composition of gut microbiota. In conclusion, the findings of this review may be utilized to develop and implement diet-related intervention programs to ensure that Malaysians get enough nutritious food to maintain a healthy gut microbiota and improve overall health.
Insights into the modulation of the interferon response and NAD+ in the context of COVID-19.
International reviews of immunology. 2022;(4):464-474
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in dramatic worldwide mortality. Along with developing vaccines, the medical profession is exploring new strategies to curb this pandemic. A better understanding of the molecular consequences of SARS-CoV-2 cellular infection could lead to more effective and safer treatments. This review discusses the potential underlying impact of SARS-CoV-2 in modulating interferon (IFN) secretion and in causing mitochondrial NAD+ depletion that could be directly linked to COVID-19's deadly manifestations. What is known or surmised about an imbalanced innate immune response and mitochondrial dysfunction post-SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the potential benefits of well-timed IFN treatments and NAD+ boosting therapies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed.
Nutrition, Epigenetics, and Major Depressive Disorder: Understanding the Connection.
Frontiers in nutrition. 2022;:867150
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a complex, multifactorial disorder of rising prevalence and incidence worldwide. Nearly, 280 million of people suffer from this leading cause of disability in the world. Moreover, patients with this condition are frequently co-affected by essential nutrient deficiency. The typical scene with stress and hustle in developed countries tends to be accompanied by eating disorders implying overnutrition from high-carbohydrates and high-fat diets with low micronutrients intake. In fact, currently, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has drawn more attention to this underdiagnosed condition, besides the importance of the nutritional status in shaping immunomodulation, in which minerals, vitamins, or omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFA) play an important role. The awareness of nutritional assessment is greater and greater in the patients with depression since antidepressant treatments have such a significant probability of failing. As diet is considered a crucial environmental factor, underlying epigenetic mechanisms that experience an adaptation or consequence on their signaling and expression mechanisms are reviewed. In this study, we included metabolic changes derived from an impairment in cellular processes due to lacking some essential nutrients in diet and therefore in the organism. Finally, aspects related to nutritional interventions and recommendations are also addressed.
Metabolic engineering in food crops to enhance ascorbic acid production: crop biofortification perspectives for human health.
Physiology and molecular biology of plants : an international journal of functional plant biology. 2022;(4):871-884
Ascorbic acid (AsA) also known as vitamin C is considered as an essential micronutrient in the diet of humans. The human body is unable to synthesize AsA, thus solely dependent on exogenous sources to accomplish the nutritional requirement. AsA plays a crucial role in different physiological aspects of human health like bone formation, iron absorption, maintenance and development of connective tissues, conversion of cholesterol to bile acid and production of serotonin. It carries antioxidant properties and is involved in curing various clinical disorders such as scurvy, viral infection, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, anemia, and diabetes. It also plays a significant role in COVID-19 prevention and recovery by improving the oxygen index and enhancing the production of natural killer cells and T-lymphocytes. In plants, AsA plays important role in floral induction, seed germination, senescence, ROS regulation and photosynthesis. AsA is an essential counterpart of the antioxidant system and helps to defend the plants against abiotic and biotic stresses. Surprisingly, the deficiencies of AsA are spreading in both developed and developing countries. The amount of AsA in the major food crops such as wheat, rice, maize, and other raw natural plant foods is inadequate to fulfill its dietary requirements. Hence, the biofortification of AsA in staple crops would be feasible and cost-effective means of delivering AsA to populations that may have limited access to diverse diets and other interventions. In this review, we endeavor to provide information on the role of AsA in plants and human health, and also perused various biotechnological and agronomical approaches for elevating AsA content in food crops.
The Role of Psychobiotics to Ensure Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic-A Current State of Knowledge.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022;(17)
Psychobiotics are defined as probiotics, mainly of the genus Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, that confer mental health benefits to the host when consumed in a particular quantity through the interaction with commensal gut microbiota. The gut microbiota, which means a diverse and dynamic population of microorganisms harboring the gastrointestinal tract, communicates with the brain and vice versa through the brain-gut axis. The mechanisms of action of psychobiotics may be divided into four groups: synthesis of neurotransmitters and neurochemicals, regulation of the HPA axis, influence on the immune system, and synthesis of metabolites. Recent years showed that the COVID-19 pandemic affected not only physical, but also mental health. Social isolation, fear of infection, the lack of adequate vaccine, disinformation, increased number of deaths, financial loss, quarantine, and lockdown are all factors can cause psychiatric problems. The aim of this review was to discuss the potential role of psychobiotic in light of the current problems, based on in vitro and in vivo studies, meta-analyses, clinical trials evidence, and registered studies assessing probiotics' therapeutic administration in the prevention or treatment of symptoms or side effects of COVID-19.
Effectiveness of Curcumin on Outcomes of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials.
Despite the ongoing vaccination efforts, there is still an urgent need for safe and effective treatments to help curb the debilitating effects of COVID-19 disease. This systematic review aimed to investigate the efficacy of supplemental curcumin treatment on clinical outcomes and inflammation-related biomarker profiles in COVID-19 patients. We searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE, ProQuest, and Ovid databases up to 30 June 2021 to find studies that assessed the effects of curcumin-related compounds in mild to severe COVID-19 patients. Six studies were identified which showed that curcumin supplementation led to a significant decrease in common symptoms, duration of hospitalization and deaths. In addition, all of these studies showed that the intervention led to amelioration of cytokine storm effects thought to be a driving force in severe COVID-19 cases. This was seen as a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in proinflammatory cytokines such as IL1β and IL6, with a concomitant significant (p < 0.05) increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-10, IL-35 and TGF-α. Taken together, these findings suggested that curcumin exerts its beneficial effects through at least partial restoration of pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance. In conclusion, curcumin supplementation may offer an efficacious and safe option for improving COVID-19 disease outcomes. We highlight the point that future clinical studies of COVID-19 disease should employ larger cohorts of patients in different clinical settings with standardized preparations of curcumin-related compounds.