ResearchPad - commentaries https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19): What Do We Know About Children? A Systematic Review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12507 Initial reports from China observed low rates of COVID-19 in children compared with adults. Emerging evidence suggests that children may be infected at the same rate as adults but are more likely to experience asymptomatic or mild disease.

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<![CDATA[Unmasking the Actual COVID-19 Case Count]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12484 This report presents a novel approach to estimate the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, including undocumented infections, by combining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza-like illness surveillance data with aggregated prescription data. We estimated that the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the United States by 4 April 2020 was > 2.5 million.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of the Infection Status of Healthcare Workers in Wuhan During the COVID-19 Outbreak: A Cross-sectional Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12472 The present study is the first work to investigate the infection status of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The analysis of the infection status of healthcare workers is essential to gain knowledge and improve protective measures.

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<![CDATA[Smoking Is Associated With COVID-19 Progression: A Meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12333 Smoking depresses pulmonary immune function and is a risk factor contracting other infectious diseases and more serious outcomes among people who become infected. This paper presents a meta-analysis of the association between smoking and progression of the infectious disease COVID-19.MethodsPubMed was searched on April 28, 2020, with search terms “smoking”, “smoker*”, “characteristics”, “risk factors”, “outcomes”, and “COVID-19”, “COVID”, “coronavirus”, “sar cov-2”, “sar cov 2”. Studies reporting smoking behavior of COVID-19 patients and progression of disease were selected for the final analysis. The study outcome was progression of COVID-19 among people who already had the disease. A random effects meta-analysis was applied.ResultsWe identified 19 peer-reviewed papers with a total of 11,590 COVID-19 patients, 2,133 (18.4%) with severe disease and 731 (6.3%) with a history of smoking. A total of 218 patients with a history of smoking (29.8%) experienced disease progression, compared with 17.6% of non-smoking patients. The meta-analysis showed a significant association between smoking and progression of COVID-19 (OR 1.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.42-2.59, p = 0.001). Limitations in the 19 papers suggest that the actual risk of smoking may be higher.ConclusionsSmoking is a risk factor for progression of COVID-19, with smokers having higher odds of COVID-19 progression than never smokers.ImplicationsPhysicians and public health professionals should collect data on smoking as part of clinical management and add smoking cessation to the list of practices to blunt the COVID-19 pandemic. ]]> <![CDATA[In Pursuit of an ‘Ethos of Community’: Postdigital Education in the Age of Covid-19]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11591 <![CDATA[Assessing the Incidence of Symptomatic Respiratory Syncytial Virus Illness Within a Prospective Birth Cohort in Managua, Nicaragua]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10882 Around one-third of medical deaths among Nicaraguan children under 2 years were respiratory syncytial virus–associated, suggesting it’s an important driver of infant mortality in highly vaccinated populations with little human immunodeficiency virus or malaria.

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<![CDATA[The Clinical Picture and Severity of Invasive Meningococcal Disease Serogroup W Compared With Other Serogroups in the Netherlands, 2015–2018]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10880 Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) caused by serogroup W clonal complex 11 is associated with higher proportions of septicemia and pneumonia, and a higher case fatality rate than IMD caused by other meningococcal serogroups, after adjusting for age, gender, and comorbidities.

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<![CDATA[Sources of Airborne Norovirus in Hospital Outbreaks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10878 Molecular analyses of air collected in the proximity of patients with norovirus gastroenteritis indicate vomiting as a likely source of airborne norovirus and suggest a connection to outbreaks. Norovirus RNA found in submicrometre aerosol particles supports airborne transmission and dissemination.

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<![CDATA[A Rare Mutation in <i>SPLUNC1</i> Affects Bacterial Adherence and Invasion in Meningococcal Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10877 Severe meningococcal disease may result from single-gene inborn errors of immunity, affecting bacterial colonization, biofilm formation, and invasion. Our findings demonstrate the host protective role SPLUNC1 plays in maintaining mucosal immunity in the upper respiratory tract, and preventing invasive disease.

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<![CDATA[Impact of the Introduction of Rotavirus Vaccine on Hospital Admissions for Diarrhea Among Children in Kenya: A Controlled Interrupted Time-Series Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10243 Following the national introduction of the rotavirus vaccine in Kenya, our impact evaluation across 2 surveillance sites indicates a substantial reduction in childhood hospitalization due to rotavirus-associated and all-cause severe diarrhea.

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<![CDATA[Projected Number of People With Onchocerciasis–Loiasis Coinfection in Africa, 1995 to 2025]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10242 Onchocerciasis elimination using mass drug administration with ivermectin is jeopardized in areas with Loa loa coendemicity. We estimate the number of people at risk of serious adverse events due to ivermectin in onchocerciasis– loiasis coendemic areas in Africa between 1995 and 2025.

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<![CDATA[Community-acquired Bacterial Meningitis in Adults With Cerebrospinal Fluid Leakage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10241 Bacterial meningitis in patients with Cerebrospinal Fluid leakage has a high recurrence rate, despite surgery to repair the leak or vaccination, and outcome is generally favorable. Leakage should be suspected in patients with liquorrhea, recurrent meningitis, or with Haemophilus influenzae meningitis.

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<![CDATA[Measuring Rotavirus Vaccine Impact in Sub-Saharan Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10240 <![CDATA[Blackwater Fever in Ugandan Children With Severe Anemia is Associated With Poor Postdischarge Outcomes: A Prospective Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10239 There is a high frequency of postdischarge readmissions and deaths in children with severe anemia, especially in severe anemia associated with blackwater fever. Postdischarge malaria prophylaxis should be considered in children with severe anemia.

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<![CDATA[Algorithm in the Diagnosis of Febrile Illness Using Pathogen-specific Rapid Diagnostic Tests]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10236 Exploring various approaches for the use of multiple rapid diagnostic tests in diagnosis of acute undifferentiated febrile illness using a mathematical model, we found geographically explicit sequential testing algorithms accounting the local epidemiology and performance characteristics of available tests to be more efficient in diagnosis.

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<![CDATA[Pre-existing Antineuraminidase Antibodies Are Associated With Shortened Duration of Influenza A(H1N1)pdm Virus Shedding and Illness in Naturally Infected Adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10233 Influenza causes a substantial burden worldwide, and current seasonal influenza vaccine has suboptimal effectiveness. To develop better, more broadly protective vaccines, a more thorough understanding is needed of how antibodies that target the influenza virus surface antigens, hemagglutinin (HA) (including head and stalk regions) and neuraminidase (NA), impact influenza illness and virus transmission.MethodsWe used a case-ascertained, community-based study of household influenza virus transmission set in Managua, Nicaragua. Using data from 170 reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)–confirmed influenza virus A(H1N1)pdm infections and 45 household members with serologically confirmed infection, we examined the association of pre-existing NA, hemagglutination inhibiting, and HA stalk antibody levels and influenza viral shedding and disease duration using accelerated failure time models.ResultsAmong RT-PCR–confirmed infections in adults, pre-existing anti-NA antibody levels ≥40 were associated with a 69% (95% confidence interval [CI], 34–85%) shortened shedding duration (mean, 1.0 vs 3.2 days). Neuraminidase antibody levels ≥80 were associated with further shortened shedding and significantly shortened symptom duration (influenza-like illness, 82%; 95% CI, 39–95%). Among RT-PCR–confirmed infections in children, hemagglutination inhibition titers ≥1:20 were associated with a 32% (95% CI, 13–47%) shortened shedding duration (mean, 3.9 vs 6.0 days).ConclusionsOur results suggest that anti-NA antibodies play a large role in reducing influenza illness duration in adults and may impact transmission, most clearly among adults. Neuraminidase should be considered as an additional target in next-generation influenza virus vaccine development.We found that antibodies against neuraminidase were associated with significantly shortened viral shedding, and among adults they were also associated with shortened symptom duration. These results support neuraminidase as a potential target of next-generation influenza virus vaccines. ]]> <![CDATA[Effectiveness of Monovalent Rotavirus Vaccine Against Hospitalization With Acute Rotavirus Gastroenteritis in Kenyan Children]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10231 Rotavirus remains a leading cause of pediatric diarrheal illness and death worldwide. Data on rotavirus vaccine effectiveness in sub-Saharan Africa are limited. Kenya introduced monovalent rotavirus vaccine (RV1) in July 2014. We assessed RV1 effectiveness against rotavirus-associated hospitalization in Kenyan children.MethodsBetween July 2014 and December 2017, we conducted surveillance for acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in 3 Kenyan hospitals. From children age-eligible for ≥1 RV1 dose, with stool tested for rotavirus and confirmed vaccination history we compared RV1 coverage among rotavirus positive (cases) vs rotavirus negative (controls) using multivariable logistic regression and calculated effectiveness based on adjusted odds ratio.ResultsAmong 677 eligible children, 110 (16%) were rotavirus positive. Vaccination data were available for 91 (83%) cases; 51 (56%) had 2 RV1 doses and 33 (36%) 0 doses. Among 567 controls, 418 (74%) had vaccination data; 308 (74%) had 2 doses and 69 (16%) 0 doses. Overall 2-dose effectiveness was 64% (95% confidence interval [CI], 35%–80%); effectiveness was 67% (95% CI, 30%–84%) for children aged <12 months and 72% (95% CI, 10%–91%) for children aged ≥12 months. Significant effectiveness was seen in children with normal weight for age, length/height for age and weight for length/height; however, no protection was found among underweight, stunted, or wasted children.ConclusionsRV1 in the Kenyan immunization program provides significant protection against rotavirus-associated hospitalization which persisted beyond infancy. Malnutrition appears to diminish vaccine effectiveness. Efforts to improve rotavirus uptake and nutritional status are important to maximize vaccine benefit. ]]> <![CDATA[Dengue Infection Complicated by Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis: Experiences From 180 Patients With Severe Dengue]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10230 Patient with severe dengue (SD) may develop secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), which is potentially fatal but treatable. We report an SD mortality of 22% and dengue-HLH mortality ~40%. Consider prompt HLH-directed therapy in patients with, or at risk of, dengue-HLH.

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<![CDATA[Commentary on: The potency of lncRNA MALAT1/miR-155 in altering asthmatic Th1/Th2 balance by modulation of CTLA4]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9234 Asthma is a common, allergic respiratory disorder affecting over 350 million people worldwide. One of the key features of asthma is skewing of CD4+ cells toward Th2 responses. This promotes the production of cytokines like IL-4 that induce IgE production resulting in the hypersecretion of mucus and airway smooth muscle contraction. Understanding the factors that favor Th2 expansion in asthma would provide important insights into the underlying pathogenesis of this disorder. Asthma research has focused on signaling pathways that control the transcription of key asthma-related genes. However, increasing evidence shows that post-transcriptional factors also determine CD4+ cell fate and the enhancement of allergic airway responses. A recent paper published by Liang et al. (Bioscience Reports (2020) 40, https://doi.org/10.1042/BSR20190397) highlights a novel role for the long non-coding RNA metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) in Th2 development in asthma. MALAT1 modulates several biological processes including alternative splicing, epigenetic modification and gene expression. It is one of the most highly expressed lncRNAs in normal tissues and MALAT1 levels correlate with poor clinical outcomes in cancer. The mechanisms of action of MALAT1 in tumor progression and metastasis remain unclear and even less is known about its effects in inflammatory disease states like asthma. The work of Liang et al. demonstrates heightened MALAT1 expression in asthma and further shows that this lncRNA targets miR-155 to promote Th2 differentiation in this disease. This insight sets the stage for future studies to examine how MALAT1 manipulation could deter allergic immune responses in asthmatic airways.

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<![CDATA[Expanding our understanding of the role polyprotein conformation plays in the coronavirus life cycle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9177 Coronavirus are the causative agents in many globally concerning respiratory disease outbreaks such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). It is therefore important that we improve our understanding of how the molecular components of the virus facilitate the viral life cycle. These details will allow for the design of effective interventions. Krichel and coauthors in their article in the Biochemical Journal provide molecular details of how the viral polyprotein (nsp7–10) produced from the positive single stranded RNA genome, is cleaved to form proteins that are part of the replication/transcription complex. The authors highlight the impact the polyprotein conformation has on the cleavage efficiency of the main protease (Mpro) and hence the order of release of non-structural proteins 7–10 (nsp7–10) of the SARS-CoV. Cleavage order is important in controlling viral processes and seems to have relevance in terms of the protein–protein complexes formed. The authors made use of mass spectrometry to advance our understanding of the mechanism by which coronaviruses control nsp 7, 8, 9 and 10 production in the virus life cycle.

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