\ BIP! Finder for COVID-19 - Impact-based ranking

BIP! Finder for COVID-19

This version of BIP! Finder aims to ease the exploration of COVID-19-related literature by enabling ranking articles based on various impact metrics.

Last Update: 18 - 01 - 2023 (628506 entries)

Provided impact measures:
Popularity: Citation-based measure reflecting the current impact.
Influence: Citation-based measure reflecting the total impact.
Reader Attention: The current number of Mendeley readers.
Social Media Attention: The number of recent tweets related to this article.
*More details on these impact measures can be found here.
Score interpretations:
Exceptional score (in top 0.01%).
Substantial score (in top 1%).
Average score (in bottom 99%).
Score not available.
Main data sources:
CORD-19 dataset(1) (list of papers)
LitCovid hub(2) (list of papers)
PMC & PubMed (citations)
Mendeley (number of readers)
COVID-19-TweetIDs(3) (tweets)

Use:  Impact  Relevance & Impact
201Cardiovascular Implications of Fatal Outcomes of Patients With COVID-19  

IMPORTANCE: Increasing numbers of confirmed cases and mortality rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are occurring in several countries and continents. Information regarding the impact of cardiovascular complication on fatal outcome is scarce. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association of underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD) and myocardial injury with fatal outcomes in patients with COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This retrospective single-center case series analyzed patients with COVID-19 at the Seventh Hospital of Wuhan City, China, from January 23, 2020, to February 23, 2020. Analysis began February 25, 2020. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Demographic data, laboratory findings, comorbidities, and treatments were collected and analyzed in patients with and without elevation of troponin T (TnT) levels. RESULT: Among 187 patients with confirmed COVID-19, 144 patients (77%) were discharged and 43 patients (23%) died. The mean (SD) age was 58.50 (14.66) years. Overall, 66 (35.3%) had underlying CVD including hypertension, coronary heart disease, and cardiomyopathy, and 52 (27.8%) exhibited myocardial injury as indicated by elevated TnT levels. The mortality during hospitalization was 7.62% (8 of 105) for patients without underlying CVD and normal TnT levels, 13.33% (4 of 30) for those with underlying CVD and normal TnT levels, 37.50% (6 of 16) for those without underlying CVD but elevated TnT levels, and 69.44% (25 of 36) for those with underlying CVD and elevated TnTs. Patients with underlying CVD were more likely to exhibit elevation of TnT levels compared with the patients without CVD (36 [54.5%] vs 16 [13.2%]). Plasma TnT levels demonstrated a high and significantly positive linear correlation with plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels (β = 0.530, P < .001) and N-terminal pro–brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels (β = 0.613, P < .001). Plasma TnT and NT-proBNP levels during hospitalization (median [interquartile range (IQR)], 0.307 [0.094-0.600]; 1902.00 [728.35-8100.00]) and impending death (median [IQR], 0.141 [0.058-0.860]; 5375 [1179.50-25695.25]) increased significantly compared with admission values (median [IQR], 0.0355 [0.015-0.102]; 796.90 [401.93-1742.25]) in patients who died (P = .001; P < .001), while no significant dynamic changes of TnT (median [IQR], 0.010 [0.007-0.019]; 0.013 [0.007-0.022]; 0.011 [0.007-0.016]) and NT-proBNP (median [IQR], 352.20 [174.70-636.70]; 433.80 [155.80-1272.60]; 145.40 [63.4-526.50]) was observed in survivors (P = .96; P = .16). During hospitalization, patients with elevated TnT levels had more frequent malignant arrhythmias, and the use of glucocorticoid therapy (37 [71.2%] vs 69 [51.1%]) and mechanical ventilation (41 [59.6%] vs 14 [10.4%]) were higher compared with patients with normal TnT levels. The mortality rates of patients with and without use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers was 36.8% (7 of 19) and 25.6% (43 of 168). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Myocardial injury is significantly associated with fatal outcome of COVID-19, while the prognosis of patients with underlying CVD but without myocardial injury is relatively favorable. Myocardial injury is associated with cardiac dysfunction and arrhythmias. Inflammation may be a potential mechanism for myocardial injury. Aggressive treatment may be considered for patients at high risk of myocardial injury.

JAMA Cardiol2020       LitCov and CORD-19
202Tripartite Combination of Candidate Pandemic Mitigation Agents: Vitamin D, Quercetin and Estradiol Manifest Properties of Medicinal Agents for Targeted Mitigation of the COVID-19 Pandemic Defined by Genomics-Guided Tracing of SARS-CoV-2 Targets in Human Cells  

Genes required for SARS-CoV-2 entry into human cells, ACE2 and FURIN, were employed as baits to build genomic-guided molecular maps of upstream regulatory elements, their expression and functions in the human body, and pathophysiologically relevant cell types. Repressors and activators of the ACE2 and FURIN genes were identified based on the analyses of gene silencing and overexpression experiments as well as relevant transgenic mouse models. Panels of repressors (VDR; GATA5; SFTPC; HIF1a) and activators (HMGA2; INSIG1; RUNX1; HNF4a; JNK1/c-FOS) were then employed to identify existing drugs manifesting in their effects on gene expression signatures of potential coronavirus infection mitigation agents. Using this strategy, vitamin D and quercetin have been identified as putative 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) mitigation agents. Quercetin has been identified as one of top-scoring candidate therapeutics in the supercomputer SUMMIT drug-docking screen and Gene Set Enrichment Analyses (GSEA) of expression profiling experiments (EPEs), indicating that highly structurally similar quercetin, luteolin, and eriodictyol could serve as scaffolds for the development of efficient inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In agreement with this notion, quercetin alters the expression of 98 of 332 (30%) of human genes encoding protein targets of SARS-CoV-2, thus potentially interfering with functions of 23 of 27 (85%) of the SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins in human cells. Similarly, Vitamin D may interfere with functions of 19 of 27 (70%) of the SARS-CoV-2 proteins by altering expression of 84 of 332 (25%) of human genes encoding protein targets of SARS-CoV-2. Considering the potential effects of both quercetin and vitamin D, the inference could be made that functions of 25 of 27 (93%) of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in human cells may be altered. GSEA and EPEs identify multiple drugs, smoking, and many disease conditions that appear to act as putative coronavirus infection-promoting agents. Discordant patterns of testosterone versus estradiol impacts on SARS-CoV-2 targets suggest a plausible molecular explanation of the apparently higher male mortality during the coronavirus pandemic. Estradiol, in contrast with testosterone, affects the expression of the majority of human genes (203 of 332; 61%) encoding SARS-CoV-2 targets, thus potentially interfering with functions of 26 of 27 SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. A hypothetical tripartite combination consisting of quercetin/vitamin D/estradiol may affect expression of 244 of 332 (73%) human genes encoding SARS-CoV-2 targets. Of major concern is the ACE2 and FURIN expression in many human cells and tissues, including immune cells, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 may infect a broad range of cellular targets in the human body. Infection of immune cells may cause immunosuppression, long-term persistence of the virus, and spread of the virus to secondary targets. Present analyses and numerous observational studies indicate that age-associated vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the high mortality of older adults and the elderly. Immediate availability for targeted experimental and clinical interrogations of potential COVID-19 pandemic mitigation agents, namely vitamin D and quercetin, as well as of the highly selective (Ki, 600 pm) intrinsically specific FURIN inhibitor (a1-antitrypsin Portland (a1-PDX), is considered an encouraging factor. Observations reported in this contribution are intended to facilitate follow-up targeted experimental studies and, if warranted, randomized clinical trials to identify and validate therapeutically viable interventions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, gene expression profiles of vitamin D and quercetin activities and their established safety records as over-the-counter medicinal substances strongly argue that they may represent viable candidates for further considerations of their potential utility as COVID-19 pandemic mitigation agents. In line with the results of present analyses, a randomized interventional clinical trial evaluating effects of estradiol on severity of the coronavirus infection in COVID19+ and presumptive COVID19+ patients and two interventional randomized clinical trials evaluating effects of vitamin D on prevention and treatment of COVID-19 were listed on the ClinicalTrials.gov website.

Biomedicines2020       LitCov and CORD-19
203The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health & wellbeing among home-quarantined Bangladeshi students: A cross-sectional pilot study  

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is imposing threat both on physical and mental health since its outbreak. Bangladesh adopted lockdown strategy with potential consequences on day to day life, mental and physical health and this study aims to explore the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing among Bangladeshi students. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted between 9th and 23rd April 2020 among 505 college and university students. Data was collected by using online questionnaire including DASS 21 and IES. Descriptive analysis and bivariate linear regression were performed to examine the association of variables. RESULTS: 28.5 % of the respondents had stress, 33.3% anxiety, 46.92% depression from mild to extremely severe, according to DASS 21 and 69.31% had event-specific distress from mild to severe in terms of severity according to IES. Perceiving physical symptoms as COVID-19 was significantly associated with DASS stress subscale (B=3.71, 95% CI: 1.01 to 6.40), DASS anxiety subscale (B= 3.95, 95% CI: 1.95 to 5.96), DASS depression subscale (B=3.82, 95% CI: 0.97 to 6.67) and IES scale (B=7.52, 95% CI: 3.58 to 11.45). Additionally, fear of infection, financial uncertainty, inadequate food supply, absence of physical exercise and limited or no recreational activity had significant association with stress, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic symptoms. CONCLUSION: This COVID-19 outbreak imposes psychological consequences on people to a great extent which requires attention from the concerned authorities to cope with this situation mentally. The perception about the outbreak can also play a big role in psychological impact.

J Affect Disord2020       LitCov and CORD-19
204Did social isolation during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic have an impact on the lifestyles of citizens?  


Epidemiol Prev2020       LitCov and CORD-19
205Clinical and immunological features of severe and moderate COVID-19  


J Clin Invest2020       LitCov and CORD-19
206Epidemiology, clinical course and outcomes of critically ill adults with COVID-19 in New York City: a prospective cohort study  

BACKGROUND: Over 40 000 patients with COVID-19 have been hospitalised in New York City (NY, USA) as of April 28, 2020. Data on the epidemiology, clinical course, and outcomes of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in this setting are needed. METHODS: This prospective observational cohort study took place at two NewYork-Presbyterian hospitals affiliated with Columbia University Irving Medical Center in northern Manhattan. We prospectively identified adult patients (aged ≥18 years) admitted to both hospitals from March 2 to April 1, 2020, who were diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and were critically ill with acute hypoxaemic respiratory failure, and collected clinical, biomarker, and treatment data. The primary outcome was the rate of in-hospital death. Secondary outcomes included frequency and duration of invasive mechanical ventilation, frequency of vasopressor use and renal replacement therapy, and time to in-hospital clinical deterioration following admission. The relation between clinical risk factors, biomarkers, and in-hospital mortality was modelled using Cox proportional hazards regression. Follow-up time was right-censored on April 28, 2020 so that each patient had at least 28 days of observation. FINDINGS: Between March 2 and April 1, 2020, 1150 adults were admitted to both hospitals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, of which 257 (22%) were critically ill. The median age of patients was 62 years (IQR 51–72), 171 (67%) were men. 212 (82%) patients had at least one chronic illness, the most common of which were hypertension (162 [63%]) and diabetes (92 [36%]). 119 (46%) patients had obesity. As of April 28, 2020, 101 (39%) patients had died and 94 (37%) remained hospitalised. 203 (79%) patients received invasive mechanical ventilation for a median of 18 days (IQR 9–28), 170 (66%) of 257 patients received vasopressors and 79 (31%) received renal replacement therapy. The median time to in-hospital deterioration was 3 days (IQR 1–6). In the multivariable Cox model, older age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1·31 [1·09–1·57] per 10-year increase), chronic cardiac disease (aHR 1·76 [1·08–2·86]), chronic pulmonary disease (aHR 2·94 [1·48–5·84]), higher concentrations of interleukin-6 (aHR 1·11 [95%CI 1·02–1·20] per decile increase), and higher concentrations of D-dimer (aHR 1·10 [1·01–1·19] per decile increase) were independently associated with in-hospital mortality. INTERPRETATION: Critical illness among patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in New York City is common and associated with a high frequency of invasive mechanical ventilation, extrapulmonary organ dysfunction, and substantial in-hospital mortality. FUNDING: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and the Columbia University Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

Lancet2020       LitCov and CORD-19
207Are we ready for pandemic influenza?  


Science2003       CORD-19
208SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients  

N Engl J Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
209Associations of Mental Health and Personal Preventive Measure Compliance With Exposure to COVID-19 Information During Work Resumption Following the COVID-19 Outbreak in China: Cross-Sectional Survey Study  

BACKGROUND: Risk and crisis communication plays an essential role in public health emergency responses. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered spontaneous and intensive media attention, which has affected people’s adoption of personal preventive measures and their mental health. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between exposure to COVID-19–specific information and mental health (depression and sleep quality) and self-reported compliance with personal preventive measures (face mask wearing and hand sanitizing). We also tested whether these associations were moderated by thoughtful consideration of the veracity of the information to which people were exposed. METHODS: A cross-sectional, closed web-based survey was conducted among a sample of 3035 factory workers at the beginning of work resumption following the COVID-19 outbreak in Shenzhen, China. A stratified two-stage cluster sampling design was used for recruitment. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used for the analyses. RESULTS: The prevalence of probable moderate-to-severe depression was 170/3035 (5.6%), while that of good or excellent sleep quality was 2110/3035 (69.5%). The prevalence of self-reported consistent face mask wearing in public places was 2903/3035 (95.7%), while that of sanitizing hands every time after returning from public spaces or touching public installations was 2151/3035 (70.9%). Of the 3035 respondents, 1013 to 1638 (33.3% to 54.0%) reported >1 hour of daily exposure to COVID-19–specific information through web-based media and television. After controlling for significant background variables, higher information exposure via television and via newspapers and magazines was associated with better sleep quality and higher compliance with hand sanitizing. Higher exposure via unofficial web-based media was associated with higher compliance with hand sanitizing but was also associated with higher depressive symptoms. In contrast, higher exposure through face-to-face communication was associated with higher depressive symptoms, worse sleep quality, and lower compliance with hand sanitizing. Exposure to information about positive outcomes for patients with COVID-19, development of vaccines and effective treatments, and heroic stories about frontline health care workers were associated with both better mental health and higher compliance with preventive measures. Higher overall information exposure was associated with higher depressive symptoms among participants who were less likely to carefully consider the veracity of the information to which they were exposed; it was also associated with better sleep quality among people who reported more thoughtful consideration of information veracity. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides empirical evidence of how the amount, sources, and contents of information to which people were exposed influenced their mental health and compliance with personal preventive measures at the initial phase of work resumption in China. Thoughtful consideration of information quality was found to play an important moderating role. Our findings may inform strategic risk communication by government and public health authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

J Med Internet Res2020       LitCov and CORD-19
210Clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in Gansu province, China  


Ann Palliat Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
211Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 protects from severe acute lung failure  

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the most severe form of acute lung injury, is a devastating clinical syndrome with a high mortality rate (30–60%) (refs 1–3). Predisposing factors for ARDS are diverse(1,3) and include sepsis, aspiration, pneumonias and infections with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus(4,5). At present, there are no effective drugs for improving the clinical outcome of ARDS(1,2,3). Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2 are homologues with different key functions in the renin–angiotensin system(6,7,8). ACE cleaves angiotensin I to generate angiotensin II, whereas ACE2 inactivates angiotensin II and is a negative regulator of the system. ACE2 has also recently been identified as a potential SARS virus receptor and is expressed in lungs(9,10). Here we report that ACE2 and the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT(2)) protect mice from severe acute lung injury induced by acid aspiration or sepsis. However, other components of the renin–angiotensin system, including ACE, angiotensin II and the angiotensin II type 1a receptor (AT(1)a), promote disease pathogenesis, induce lung oedemas and impair lung function. We show that mice deficient for Ace show markedly improved disease, and also that recombinant ACE2 can protect mice from severe acute lung injury. Our data identify a critical function for ACE2 in acute lung injury, pointing to a possible therapy for a syndrome affecting millions of people worldwide every year. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version of this article (doi:10.1038/nature03712) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Nature2005       CORD-19
212Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population: A systematic review  

Background: As a major virus outbreak in the 21(st) century, the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to unprecedented hazards to mental health globally. While psychological support is being provided to patients and healthcare workers, the general public's mental health requires significant attention as well. This systematic review aims to synthesize extant literature that reports on the effects of COVID-19 on psychological outcomes of the general population and its associated risk factors. Methods: A systematic search was conducted on PubMed, Embase, Medline, Web of Science, and Scopus from inception to 17 May 2020 following the PRISMA guidelines. A manual search on Google Scholar was performed to identify additional relevant studies. Articles were selected based on the predetermined eligibility criteria. Results: Relatively high rates of symptoms of anxiety (6.33% to 50.9%), depression (14.6% to 48.3%), post-traumatic stress disorder (7% to 53.8%), psychological distress (34.43% to 38%), and stress (8.1% to 81.9%) are reported in the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic in China, Spain, Italy, Iran, the US, Turkey, Nepal, and Denmark. Risk factors associated with distress measures include female gender, younger age group (≤40 years), presence of chronic/psychiatric illnesses, unemployment, student status, and frequent exposure to social media/news concerning COVID-19. Limitations: A significant degree of heterogeneity was noted across studies. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic is associated with highly significant levels of psychological distress that, in many cases, would meet the threshold for clinical relevance. Mitigating the hazardous effects of COVID-19 on mental health is an international public health priority.

J Affect Disord2020       LitCov and CORD-19
213Critically ill patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome  


JAMA2003       CORD-19
214COVID-19 Outbreak in an Urban Hemodialysis Unit  

RATIONALE & OBJECTIVE: Hemodialysis patients are at increased risk for COVID-19 transmission due, in part, to difficulty maintaining physical distancing. Our hemodialysis unit experienced a COVID-19 outbreak despite following symptom-based screening guidelines. We describe the course of the COVID-19 outbreak and the infection control measures taken for mitigation. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: 237 maintenance hemodialysis patients and 93 hemodialysis staff at a single hemodialysis centre in Toronto, Canada. EXPOSURE: Universal screening of patients and staff with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). OUTCOMES: The primary outcome was detection of SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal samples from patients and staff using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) . ANALYTICAL APPROACH: Descriptive statistics were used for clinical characteristics and the primary outcome. RESULTS: Eleven (4.6%) of 237 hemodialysis patients and 11 of 93 (12%) staff members had a positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2. Among individuals testing positive, 12 of 22 (55%) were asymptomatic at time of testing, and 7 of 22 (32%) were asymptomatic for the duration of follow-up. One patient was hospitalized at the time of SARS-CoV-2 infection and four additional patients with positive tests were subsequently hospitalized. Two patients (18%) required admission to the intensive care unit. After 30 days follow-up no patients had died or required mechanical ventilation. No hemodialysis staff required hospitalization. Universal droplet and contact precautions were implemented during the outbreak. Hemodialysis staff with SARS-CoV-2 infection were placed on home quarantine regardless of symptom status. Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection including asymptomatic individuals were treated with droplet and contact precautions until confirmation of negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing. Analysis of the outbreak identified two index cases with subsequent nosocomial transmission within the dialysis unit and in shared shuttle buses to the hemodialysis unit. LIMITATIONS: Single centre study. CONCLUSIONS: Universal SARS-CoV-2 testing and universal droplet and contact precautions in the setting of an outbreak appeared to be effective in preventing further transmission.

Am J Kidney Dis2020       LitCov and CORD-19
215Anticoagulant treatment is associated with decreased mortality in severe COVID-19 patients with coagulopathy  


J Thromb Haemost2020       LitCov and CORD-19
216Telehealth in school-based practice: Perceived viability to bridge global OT practitioner shortages prior to COVID-19 global health emergency  


Work2020       LitCov and CORD-19
217Adoption of Digital Technologies in Healthcare During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Systematic Review of Early Scientific Literature  

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is favoring digital transitions in many industries and in society as a whole. Health care organizations have responded to the first phase of the pandemic by rapidly adopting digital solutions and advanced technology tools. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this review is to describe the digital solutions that have been reported in the early scientific literature to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and health systems. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of early COVID-19–related literature (from January 1 to April 30, 2020) by searching MEDLINE and medRxiv with appropriate terms to find relevant literature on the use of digital technologies in response to the pandemic. We extracted study characteristics such as the paper title, journal, and publication date, and we categorized the retrieved papers by the type of technology and patient needs addressed. We built a scoring rubric by cross-classifying the patient needs with the type of technology. We also extracted information and classified each technology reported by the selected articles according to health care system target, grade of innovation, and scalability to other geographical areas. RESULTS: The search identified 269 articles, of which 124 full-text articles were assessed and included in the review after screening. Most of the selected articles addressed the use of digital technologies for diagnosis, surveillance, and prevention. We report that most of these digital solutions and innovative technologies have been proposed for the diagnosis of COVID-19. In particular, within the reviewed articles, we identified numerous suggestions on the use of artificial intelligence (AI)–powered tools for the diagnosis and screening of COVID-19. Digital technologies are also useful for prevention and surveillance measures, such as contact-tracing apps and monitoring of internet searches and social media usage. Fewer scientific contributions address the use of digital technologies for lifestyle empowerment or patient engagement. CONCLUSIONS: In the field of diagnosis, digital solutions that integrate with traditional methods, such as AI-based diagnostic algorithms based both on imaging and clinical data, appear to be promising. For surveillance, digital apps have already proven their effectiveness; however, problems related to privacy and usability remain. For other patient needs, several solutions have been proposed, such as telemedicine or telehealth tools. These tools have long been available, but this historical moment may actually be favoring their definitive large-scale adoption. It is worth taking advantage of the impetus provided by the crisis; it is also important to keep track of the digital solutions currently being proposed to implement best practices and models of care in future and to adopt at least some of the solutions proposed in the scientific literature, especially in national health systems, which have proved to be particularly resistant to the digital transition in recent years.

J Med Internet Res2020       LitCov and CORD-19
218The severe acute respiratory syndrome  


N Engl J Med2003       CORD-19
219WHO Declares COVID-19 a Pandemic  

The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, has declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic (1). At a news briefing , WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted that over the past 2 weeks, the number of cases outside China increased 13-fold and the number of countries with cases increased threefold. Further increases are expected. He said that the WHO is deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction, and he called on countries to take action now to contain the virus. We should double down, he said. We should be more aggressive. [...].

Acta Biomed2020       LitCov and CORD-19
220Factors associated with COVID-19-related death using OpenSAFELY  

COVID-19 has rapidly impacted on mortality worldwide.(1) There is unprecedented urgency to understand who is most at risk of severe outcomes, requiring new approaches for timely analysis of large datasets. Working on behalf of NHS England we created OpenSAFELY: a secure health analytics platform covering 40% of all patients in England, holding patient data within the existing data centre of a major primary care electronic health records vendor. Primary care records of 17,278,392 adults were pseudonymously linked to 10,926 COVID-19 related deaths. COVID-19 related death was associated with: being male (hazard ratio 1.59, 95%CI 1.53-1.65); older age and deprivation (both with a strong gradient); diabetes; severe asthma; and various other medical conditions. Compared to people with white ethnicity, black and South Asian people were at higher risk even after adjustment for other factors (HR 1.48, 1.29-1.69 and 1.45, 1.32-1.58 respectively). We have quantified a range of clinical risk factors for COVID-19 related death in the largest cohort study conducted by any country to date. OpenSAFELY is rapidly adding further patients’ records; we will update and extend results regularly.

Nature2020       LitCov and CORD-19
221Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China: a modelling study  

Summary Background Since Dec 31, 2019, the Chinese city of Wuhan has reported an outbreak of atypical pneumonia caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Cases have been exported to other Chinese cities, as well as internationally, threatening to trigger a global outbreak. Here, we provide an estimate of the size of the epidemic in Wuhan on the basis of the number of cases exported from Wuhan to cities outside mainland China and forecast the extent of the domestic and global public health risks of epidemics, accounting for social and non-pharmaceutical prevention interventions. Methods We used data from Dec 31, 2019, to Jan 28, 2020, on the number of cases exported from Wuhan internationally (known days of symptom onset from Dec 25, 2019, to Jan 19, 2020) to infer the number of infections in Wuhan from Dec 1, 2019, to Jan 25, 2020. Cases exported domestically were then estimated. We forecasted the national and global spread of 2019-nCoV, accounting for the effect of the metropolitan-wide quarantine of Wuhan and surrounding cities, which began Jan 23–24, 2020. We used data on monthly flight bookings from the Official Aviation Guide and data on human mobility across more than 300 prefecture-level cities in mainland China from the Tencent database. Data on confirmed cases were obtained from the reports published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Serial interval estimates were based on previous studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). A susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered metapopulation model was used to simulate the epidemics across all major cities in China. The basic reproductive number was estimated using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods and presented using the resulting posterior mean and 95% credibile interval (CrI). Findings In our baseline scenario, we estimated that the basic reproductive number for 2019-nCoV was 2·68 (95% CrI 2·47–2·86) and that 75 815 individuals (95% CrI 37 304–130 330) have been infected in Wuhan as of Jan 25, 2020. The epidemic doubling time was 6·4 days (95% CrI 5·8–7·1). We estimated that in the baseline scenario, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen had imported 461 (95% CrI 227–805), 113 (57–193), 98 (49–168), 111 (56–191), and 80 (40–139) infections from Wuhan, respectively. If the transmissibility of 2019-nCoV were similar everywhere domestically and over time, we inferred that epidemics are already growing exponentially in multiple major cities of China with a lag time behind the Wuhan outbreak of about 1–2 weeks. Interpretation Given that 2019-nCoV is no longer contained within Wuhan, other major Chinese cities are probably sustaining localised outbreaks. Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could also become outbreak epicentres, unless substantial public health interventions at both the population and personal levels are implemented immediately. Independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable because of substantial exportation of presymptomatic cases and in the absence of large-scale public health interventions. Preparedness plans and mitigation interventions should be readied for quick deployment globally. Funding Health and Medical Research Fund (Hong Kong, China).

Lancet2020       LitCov and CORD-19
222Dysregulation of Immune Response in Patients With Coronavirus 2019 in Wuhan, China  

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan and rapidly spread throughout China. METHODS: Demographic and clinical data of all confirmed cases with COVID-19 on admission at Tongji Hospital from January 10 to February 12, 2020, were collected and analyzed. The data of laboratory examinations, including peripheral lymphocyte subsets, were analyzed and compared between severe and non-severe patients. RESULTS: Of the 452 patients with COVID-19 recruited, 286 were diagnosed as severe infection. The median age was 58 years and 235 were male. The most common symptoms were fever, shortness of breath, expectoration, fatigue, dry cough and myalgia. Severe cases tend to have lower lymphocytes counts, higher leukocytes counts and neutrophil-lymphocyte-ratio (NLR), as well as lower percentages of monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils. Most of severe cases demonstrated elevated levels of infection-related biomarkers and inflammatory cytokines. The number of T cells significantly decreased, and more hampered in severe cases. Both helper T cells and suppressor T cells in patients with COVID-19 were below normal levels, and lower level of helper T cells in severe group. The percentage of naïve helper T cells increased and memory helper T cells decreased in severe cases. Patients with COVID-19 also have lower level of regulatory T cells, and more obviously damaged in severe cases. CONCLUSIONS: The novel coronavirus might mainly act on lymphocytes, especially T lymphocytes. Surveillance of NLR and lymphocyte subsets is helpful in the early screening of critical illness, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

Clin Infect Dis2020       LitCov and CORD-19
223Concerns Expressed by Chinese Social Media Users During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Content Analysis of Sina Weibo Microblogging Data  

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health crisis that is affecting economies and societies worldwide. During times of uncertainty and unexpected change, people have turned to social media platforms as communication tools and primary information sources. Platforms such as Twitter and Sina Weibo have allowed communities to share discussion and emotional support; they also play important roles for individuals, governments, and organizations in exchanging information and expressing opinions. However, research that studies the main concerns expressed by social media users during the pandemic is limited. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the main concerns raised and discussed by citizens on Sina Weibo, the largest social media platform in China, during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We used a web crawler tool and a set of predefined search terms (New Coronavirus Pneumonia, New Coronavirus, and COVID-19) to investigate concerns raised by Sina Weibo users. Textual information and metadata (number of likes, comments, retweets, publishing time, and publishing location) of microblog posts published between December 1, 2019, and July 32, 2020, were collected. After segmenting the words of the collected text, we used a topic modeling technique, latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), to identify the most common topics posted by users. We analyzed the emotional tendencies of the topics, calculated the proportional distribution of the topics, performed user behavior analysis on the topics using data collected from the number of likes, comments, and retweets, and studied the changes in user concerns and differences in participation between citizens living in different regions of mainland China. RESULTS: Based on the 203,191 eligible microblog posts collected, we identified 17 topics and grouped them into 8 themes. These topics were pandemic statistics, domestic epidemic, epidemics in other countries worldwide, COVID-19 treatments, medical resources, economic shock, quarantine and investigation, patients’ outcry for help, work and production resumption, psychological influence, joint prevention and control, material donation, epidemics in neighboring countries, vaccine development, fueling and saluting antiepidemic action, detection, and study resumption. The mean sentiment was positive for 11 topics and negative for 6 topics. The topic with the highest mean of retweets was domestic epidemic, while the topic with the highest mean of likes was quarantine and investigation. CONCLUSIONS: Concerns expressed by social media users are highly correlated with the evolution of the global pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media has provided a platform for Chinese government departments and organizations to better understand public concerns and demands. Similarly, social media has provided channels to disseminate information about epidemic prevention and has influenced public attitudes and behaviors. Government departments, especially those related to health, can create appropriate policies in a timely manner through monitoring social media platforms to guide public opinion and behavior during epidemics.

J Med Internet Res2020       LitCov and CORD-19
224Surviving sepsis campaign: international guidelines for management of severe sepsis and septic shock: 2012  


Crit Care Med2013       CORD-19
225Factors Associated With US Adults' Likelihood of Accepting COVID-19 Vaccination  

IMPORTANCE: The development of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine has progressed at unprecedented speed. Widespread public uptake of the vaccine is crucial to stem the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To examine the factors associated with survey participants’ self-reported likelihood of selecting and receiving a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A survey study of a nonprobability convenience sample of 2000 recruited participants including a choice-based conjoint analysis was conducted to estimate respondents’ probability of choosing a vaccine and willingness to receive vaccination. Participants were asked to evaluate their willingness to receive each hypothetical vaccine individually. The survey presented respondents with 5 choice tasks. In each, participants evaluated 2 hypothetical COVID-19 vaccines and were asked whether they would choose vaccine A, vaccine B, or neither vaccine. Vaccine attributes included efficacy, protection duration, major adverse effects, minor adverse effects, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process, national origin of vaccine, and endorsement. Levels of each attribute for each vaccine were randomly assigned, and attribute order was randomized across participants. Survey data were collected on July 9, 2020. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Average marginal component effect sizes and marginal means were calculated to estimate the relationship between each vaccine attribute level and the probability of the respondent choosing a vaccine and self-reported willingness to receive vaccination. RESULTS: A total of 1971 US adults responded to the survey (median age, 43 [interquartile range, 30-58] years); 999 (51%) were women, 1432 (73%) White, 277 (14%) were Black, and 190 (10%) were Latinx. An increase in efficacy from 50% to 70% was associated with a higher probability of choosing a vaccine (coefficient, 0.07; 95% CI, 0.06-0.09), and an increase from 50% to 90% was associated with a higher probability of choosing a vaccine (coefficient, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.15-0.18). An increase in protection duration from 1 to 5 years was associated with a higher probability of choosing a vaccine (coefficient, 0.05 95% CI, 0.04-0.07). A decrease in the incidence of major adverse effects from 1 in 10 000 to 1 in 1 000 000 was associated with a higher probability of choosing a vaccine (coefficient, 0.07; 95% CI, 0.05-0.08). An FDA emergency use authorization was associated with a lower probability of choosing a vaccine (coefficient, −0.03; 95% CI, −0.04 to −0.01) compared with full FDA approval. A vaccine that originated from a non-US country was associated with a lower probability of choosing a vaccine (China: −0.13 [95% CI, −0.15 to −0.11]; UK: −0.04 [95% CI, −0.06 to −0.02]). Endorsements from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (coefficient, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.07-0.11) and the World Health Organization (coefficient, 0.06; 95% CI, 0.04-0.08), compared with an endorsement from President Trump were associated with higher probabilities of choosing a vaccine. Analyses of participants’ willingness to receive each vaccine when assessed individually yielded similar results. An increase in efficacy from 50% to 90% was associated with a 10% higher marginal mean willingness to receive a vaccine (from 0.51 to 0.61). A reduction in the incidence of major side effects was associated with a 4% higher marginal mean willingness to receive a vaccine (from 0.54 to 0.58). A vaccine originating in China was associated with a 10% lower willingness to receive a vaccine vs one developed in the US (from 0.60 to 0.50) Endorsements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization were associated with increases in willingness to receive a vaccine (7% and 6%, respectively) from a baseline endorsement by President Trump (from 0.52 to 0.59 and from 0.52 to 0.58, respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this survey study of US adults, vaccine-related attributes and political characteristics were associated with self-reported preferences for choosing a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine and self-reported willingness to receive vaccination. These results may help inform public health campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

JAMA Netw Open2020       LitCov and CORD-19
226The Potential Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Patients with Negative RT-PCR Swab Tests to Others: Two Related Clusters of COVID-19 Outbreak  


Jpn J Infect Dis2020       LitCov and CORD-19
227Eating habits and lifestyle changes during COVID-19 lockdown: an Italian survey  

BACKGROUND: On December 12th 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-Cov2) emerged in Wuhan, China, sparking a pandemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans (COVID-19). On the 24th of April 2020, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, according to the COVID-Case Tracker by Johns Hopkins University, was 195,313, and the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases was 2,783,512. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive impact on human health, causing sudden lifestyle changes, through social distancing and isolation at home, with social and economic consequences. Optimizing public health during this pandemic requires not only knowledge from the medical and biological sciences, but also of all human sciences related to lifestyle, social and behavioural studies, including dietary habits and lifestyle. METHODS: Our study aimed to investigate the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on eating habits and lifestyle changes among the Italian population aged ≥ 12 years. The study comprised a structured questionnaire packet that inquired demographic information (age, gender, place of residence, current employment); anthropometric data (reported weight and height); dietary habits information (adherence to the Mediterranean diet, daily intake of certain foods, food frequency, and number of meals/day); lifestyle habits information (grocery shopping, habit of smoking, sleep quality and physical activity). The survey was conducted from the 5th to the 24th of April 2020. RESULTS: A total of 3533 respondents have been included in the study, aged between 12 and 86 years (76.1% females). The perception of weight gain was observed in 48.6% of the population; 3.3% of smokers decided to quit smoking; a slight increased physical activity has been reported, especially for bodyweight training, in 38.3% of respondents; the population group aged 18–30 years resulted in having a higher adherence to the Mediterranean diet when compared to the younger and the elderly population (p < 0.001; p < 0.001, respectively); 15% of respondents turned to farmers or organic, purchasing fruits and vegetables, especially in the North and Center of Italy, where BMI values were lower. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we have provided for the first time data on the Italian population lifestyle, eating habits and adherence to the Mediterranean Diet pattern during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, our data need to be confirmed and investigated in future more extensive population studies.

J Transl Med2020       LitCov and CORD-19
228S Protein-Reactive IgG and Memory B Cell Production after Human SARS-CoV-2 Infection Includes Broad Reactivity to the S2 Subunit  

The high susceptibility of humans to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), reflects the novelty of the virus and limited preexisting B cell immunity. IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, which carries the novel receptor binding domain (RBD), is absent or at low levels in unexposed individuals. To better understand the B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we asked whether virus-reactive memory B cells (MBCs) were present in unexposed subjects and whether MBC generation accompanied virus-specific IgG production in infected subjects. We analyzed sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from non-SARS-CoV-2-exposed healthy donors and COVID-19 convalescent subjects. Serum IgG levels specific for SARS-CoV-2 proteins (S, including the RBD and S2 subunit, and nucleocapsid [N]) and non-SARS-CoV-2 proteins were related to measurements of circulating IgG MBC levels. Anti-RBD IgG was absent in unexposed subjects. Most unexposed subjects had anti-S2 IgG, and a minority had anti-N IgG, but IgG MBCs with these specificities were not detected, perhaps reflecting low frequencies. Convalescent subjects had high levels of IgG against the RBD, S2, and N, together with large populations of RBD- and S2-reactive IgG MBCs. Notably, IgG titers against the S protein of the human coronavirus OC43 were higher in convalescent subjects than in unexposed subjects and correlated strongly with anti-S2 titers. Our findings indicate cross-reactive B cell responses against the S2 subunit that might enhance broad coronavirus protection. Importantly, our demonstration of MBC induction by SARS-CoV-2 infection suggests that a durable form of B cell immunity is maintained even if circulating antibody levels wane.

mBio2020       LitCov and CORD-19
229Systematic Review of Clinical Insights into Novel Coronavirus Pandemic: Persisting Challenges in US Rural Population  

(1) Introduction. A recent viral outbreak of novel coronavirus (CoVID-19) was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its global public health concern. There has been an aggressive growth in the number of emerging cases suggesting rapid spread of the virus. Since the first reported case of CoVID-19, there has been vast progress in understanding the dynamics of CoVID-19. However, there is an increasing evidence of epidemiological disparity in disease burden between urban and rural areas, with rural areas having minimal pandemic preparedness and their own healthcare challenges. Therefore, this review aims to provide insight on the pathogenesis and the transmission dynamics of CoVID-19 along with pharmacological and non-pharmacological intervention strategies to mitigate the clinical manifestation of this virus. This review also aims to assess existing challenges of the CoVID-19 pandemic in rural areas based on past pandemic experiences and the effect on rural population. (2) Methods. A literature review was conducted using databases such as PubMed, Science Direct, Academic Search Premier, ProQuest, and Google Scholar, along with information from governmental organizations such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). (3) Results. The causative virus, with its likely zoonotic origin, has demonstrated high pathogenicity in humans through increasing human-to-human transmission leading to extensive mitigation strategies, including patient quarantine and mass “social distancing” measures. Although the clinical manifestation of symptoms is mild in majority of the virus-inflicted population, critical patients may present with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, exacerbated by pre-existing comorbidities, eventually leading to death. While effective coronavirus disease (CoVID-19)-specific vaccines and drugs are under clinical trials, several pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions have been adapted to manage symptoms and curtail the effect of the virus to prevent increasing morbidity and mortality. Several persisting challenges have been noted for mitigating CoVID-19 in rural areas, including the poor healthcare infrastructure, health literacy, pandemic preparedness along with the fact that majority of rural population are frail subjects with pre-existing comorbidities. (4) Discussion. The increasing rate of incidence of CoVID-19 presents its own challenges, burdening healthcare institutions and the global economy, and impacting the physical and mental health of people worldwide. Given the clinical insights into CoVID-19 and the challenges presented in this review for the U.S. rural population, mitigation strategies should be designed accordingly to minimize the morbidity and mortality of this contagion.

Int J Environ Res Public Healt2020       LitCov and CORD-19
230The propagation of "coronaviruses" in tissue-culture  

The conditions for the cultivation of the 229-E respiratory virus in tissue culture are described. The virus multiplies only in human tissue culture systems, but a variety of cell types are sensitive to it. The virus has been isolated in three continuous cell lines and a plaque assay has been developed in one of these. This cell line (L 132) derived from human embryo lung, was also used to isolate three other viruses of similar morphology which had previously been cultivated only in organ cultures of human respiratory epithelium. High rates of isolation of these viruses were made in L 132 cells using nasal washings from experimentally inoculated volunteers. It is concluded that this cell line is a valuable tool in the study of viruses of this group.

Arch Gesamte Virusforsch1969       CORD-19
231Radiological findings from 81 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study  

Summary Background A cluster of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were successively reported in Wuhan, China. We aimed to describe the CT findings across different timepoints throughout the disease course. Methods Patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (confirmed by next-generation sequencing or RT-PCR) who were admitted to one of two hospitals in Wuhan and who underwent serial chest CT scans were retrospectively enrolled. Patients were grouped on the basis of the interval between symptom onset and the first CT scan: group 1 (subclinical patients; scans done before symptom onset), group 2 (scans done ≤1 week after symptom onset), group 3 (>1 week to 2 weeks), and group 4 (>2 weeks to 3 weeks). Imaging features and their distribution were analysed and compared across the four groups. Findings 81 patients admitted to hospital between Dec 20, 2019, and Jan 23, 2020, were retrospectively enrolled. The cohort included 42 (52%) men and 39 (48%) women, and the mean age was 49·5 years (SD 11·0). The mean number of involved lung segments was 10·5 (SD 6·4) overall, 2·8 (3·3) in group 1, 11·1 (5·4) in group 2, 13·0 (5·7) in group 3, and 12·1 (5·9) in group 4. The predominant pattern of abnormality observed was bilateral (64 [79%] patients), peripheral (44 [54%]), ill-defined (66 [81%]), and ground-glass opacification (53 [65%]), mainly involving the right lower lobes (225 [27%] of 849 affected segments). In group 1 (n=15), the predominant pattern was unilateral (nine [60%]) and multifocal (eight [53%]) ground-glass opacities (14 [93%]). Lesions quickly evolved to bilateral (19 [90%]), diffuse (11 [52%]) ground-glass opacity predominance (17 [81%]) in group 2 (n=21). Thereafter, the prevalence of ground-glass opacities continued to decrease (17 [57%] of 30 patients in group 3, and five [33%] of 15 in group 4), and consolidation and mixed patterns became more frequent (12 [40%] in group 3, eight [53%] in group 4). Interpretation COVID-19 pneumonia manifests with chest CT imaging abnormalities, even in asymptomatic patients, with rapid evolution from focal unilateral to diffuse bilateral ground-glass opacities that progressed to or co-existed with consolidations within 1–3 weeks. Combining assessment of imaging features with clinical and laboratory findings could facilitate early diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia. Funding None.

Lancet Infect Dis2020       LitCov and CORD-19
232The origin, transmission and clinical therapies on COVID-19 outbreak-an update on the status  

An acute respiratory disease, caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, previously known as 2019-nCoV), the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread throughout China and received worldwide attention. On 30 January 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the COVID-19 epidemic as a public health emergency of international concern. The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, since the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, marked the third introduction of a highly pathogenic and large-scale epidemic coronavirus into the human population in the twenty-first century. As of 1 March 2020, a total of 87,137 confirmed cases globally, 79,968 confirmed in China and 7169 outside of China, with 2977 deaths (3.4%) had been reported by WHO. Meanwhile, several independent research groups have identified that SARS-CoV-2 belongs to β-coronavirus, with highly identical genome to bat coronavirus, pointing to bat as the natural host. The novel coronavirus uses the same receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as that for SARS-CoV, and mainly spreads through the respiratory tract. Importantly, increasingly evidence showed sustained human-to-human transmission, along with many exported cases across the globe. The clinical symptoms of COVID-19 patients include fever, cough, fatigue and a small population of patients appeared gastrointestinal infection symptoms. The elderly and people with underlying diseases are susceptible to infection and prone to serious outcomes, which may be associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and cytokine storm. Currently, there are few specific antiviral strategies, but several potent candidates of antivirals and repurposed drugs are under urgent investigation. In this review, we summarized the latest research progress of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and clinical characteristics of COVID-19, and discussed the current treatment and scientific advancements to combat the epidemic novel coronavirus.

Mil Med Res2020       LitCov and CORD-19
233The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic: A review  

Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over 1.4 million confirmed cases and over 83,000 deaths globally. It has also sparked fears of an impending economic crisis and recession. Social distancing, self-isolation and travel restrictions forced a decrease in the workforce across all economic sectors and caused many jobs to be lost. Schools have closed down, and the need of commodities and manufactured products has decreased. In contrast, the need for medical supplies has significantly increased. The food sector has also seen a great demand due to panic-buying and stockpiling of food products. In response to this global outbreak, we summarise the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 on individual aspects of the world economy.

Int J Surg2020       LitCov and CORD-19
234The Long Road Towards COVID-19 Herd Immunity: Vaccine Platform Technologies and Mass Immunization Strategies  

There is an urgent need for effective countermeasures against the current emergence and accelerating expansion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Induction of herd immunity by mass vaccination has been a very successful strategy for preventing the spread of many infectious diseases, hence protecting the most vulnerable population groups unable to develop immunity, for example individuals with immunodeficiencies or a weakened immune system due to underlying medical or debilitating conditions. Therefore, vaccination represents one of the most promising counter-pandemic measures to COVID-19. However, to date, no licensed vaccine exists, neither for SARS-CoV-2 nor for the closely related SARS-CoV or Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV. In addition, a few vaccine candidates have only recently entered human clinical trials, which hampers the progress in tackling COVID-19 infection. Here, we discuss potential prophylactic interventions for SARS-CoV-2 with a focus on the challenges existing for vaccine development, and we review pre-clinical progress and ongoing human clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Although COVID-19 vaccine development is currently accelerated via so-called fast-track programs, vaccines may not be timely available to have an impact on the first wave of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, COVID-19 vaccines will be essential in the future for reducing morbidity and mortality and inducing herd immunity, if SARS-CoV-2 becomes established in the population like for example influenza virus.

Front Immunol2020       LitCov and CORD-19
235Mathematical assessment of the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions on curtailing the 2019 novel Coronavirus  

A pandemic of a novel Coronavirus emerged in December of 2019 (COVID-19), causing devastating public health impact across the world. In the absence of a safe and effective vaccine or antivirals, strategies for controlling and mitigating the burden of the pandemic are focused on non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as social-distancing, contact-tracing, quarantine, isolation, and the use of face-masks in public. We develop a new mathematical model for assessing the population-level impact of the aforementioned control and mitigation strategies. Rigorous analysis of the model shows that the disease-free equilibrium is locally-asymptotically stable if a certain epidemiological threshold, known as the reproduction number (denoted by [Formula: see text]), is less than unity. Simulations of the model, using data relevant to COVID-19 transmission dynamics in the US state of New York and the entire US, show that the pandemic burden will peak in mid and late April, respectively. The worst-case scenario projections for cumulative mortality (based on the baseline levels of anti-COVID non-pharmaceutical interventions considered in the study) decrease dramatically by 80% and 64%, respectively, if the strict social-distancing measures implemented are maintained until the end of May or June, 2020. The duration and timing of the relaxation or termination of the strict social-distancing measures are crucially-important in determining the future trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study shows that early termination of the strict social-distancing measures could trigger a devastating second wave with burden similar to those projected before the onset of the strict social-distancing measures were implemented. The use of efficacious face-masks (such as surgical masks, with estimated efficacy [Formula: see text] 70%) in public could lead to the elimination of the pandemic if at least 70% of the residents of New York state use such masks in public consistently (nationwide, a compliance of at least 80% will be required using such masks). The use of low efficacy masks, such as cloth masks (of estimated efficacy less than 30%), could also lead to significant reduction of COVID-19 burden (albeit, they are not able to lead to elimination). Combining low efficacy masks with improved levels of the other anti-COVID-19 intervention strategies can lead to the elimination of the pandemic. This study emphasizes the important role social-distancing plays in curtailing the burden of COVID-19. Increases in the adherence level of social-distancing protocols result in dramatic reduction of the burden of the pandemic, and the timely implementation of social-distancing measures in numerous states of the US may have averted a catastrophic outcome with respect to the burden of COVID-19. Using face-masks in public (including the low efficacy cloth masks) is very useful in minimizing community transmission and burden of COVID-19, provided their coverage level is high. The masks coverage needed to eliminate COVID-19 decreases if the masks-based intervention is combined with the strict social-distancing strategy.

Math Biosci2020       LitCov and CORD-19
236Human Health and Ocean Pollution  

BACKGROUND: Pollution – unwanted waste released to air, water, and land by human activity – is the largest environmental cause of disease in the world today. It is responsible for an estimated nine million premature deaths per year, enormous economic losses, erosion of human capital, and degradation of ecosystems. Ocean pollution is an important, but insufficiently recognized and inadequately controlled component of global pollution. It poses serious threats to human health and well-being. The nature and magnitude of these impacts are only beginning to be understood. GOALS: (1) Broadly examine the known and potential impacts of ocean pollution on human health. (2) Inform policy makers, government leaders, international organizations, civil society, and the global public of these threats. (3) Propose priorities for interventions to control and prevent pollution of the seas and safeguard human health. METHODS: Topic-focused reviews that examine the effects of ocean pollution on human health, identify gaps in knowledge, project future trends, and offer evidence-based guidance for effective intervention. ENVIRONMENTAL FINDINGS: Pollution of the oceans is widespread, worsening, and in most countries poorly controlled. It is a complex mixture of toxic metals, plastics, manufactured chemicals, petroleum, urban and industrial wastes, pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceutical chemicals, agricultural runoff, and sewage. More than 80% arises from land-based sources. It reaches the oceans through rivers, runoff, atmospheric deposition and direct discharges. It is often heaviest near the coasts and most highly concentrated along the coasts of low- and middle-income countries. Plastic is a rapidly increasing and highly visible component of ocean pollution, and an estimated 10 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the seas each year. Mercury is the metal pollutant of greatest concern in the oceans; it is released from two main sources – coal combustion and small-scale gold mining. Global spread of industrialized agriculture with increasing use of chemical fertilizer leads to extension of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) to previously unaffected regions. Chemical pollutants are ubiquitous and contaminate seas and marine organisms from the high Arctic to the abyssal depths. ECOSYSTEM FINDINGS: Ocean pollution has multiple negative impacts on marine ecosystems, and these impacts are exacerbated by global climate change. Petroleum-based pollutants reduce photosynthesis in marine microorganisms that generate oxygen. Increasing absorption of carbon dioxide into the seas causes ocean acidification, which destroys coral reefs, impairs shellfish development, dissolves calcium-containing microorganisms at the base of the marine food web, and increases the toxicity of some pollutants. Plastic pollution threatens marine mammals, fish, and seabirds and accumulates in large mid-ocean gyres. It breaks down into microplastic and nanoplastic particles containing multiple manufactured chemicals that can enter the tissues of marine organisms, including species consumed by humans. Industrial releases, runoff, and sewage increase frequency and severity of HABs, bacterial pollution, and anti-microbial resistance. Pollution and sea surface warming are triggering poleward migration of dangerous pathogens such as the Vibrio species. Industrial discharges, pharmaceutical wastes, pesticides, and sewage contribute to global declines in fish stocks. HUMAN HEALTH FINDINGS: Methylmercury and PCBs are the ocean pollutants whose human health effects are best understood. Exposures of infants in utero to these pollutants through maternal consumption of contaminated seafood can damage developing brains, reduce IQ and increase children’s risks for autism, ADHD and learning disorders. Adult exposures to methylmercury increase risks for cardiovascular disease and dementia. Manufactured chemicals – phthalates, bisphenol A, flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals, many of them released into the seas from plastic waste – can disrupt endocrine signaling, reduce male fertility, damage the nervous system, and increase risk of cancer. HABs produce potent toxins that accumulate in fish and shellfish. When ingested, these toxins can cause severe neurological impairment and rapid death. HAB toxins can also become airborne and cause respiratory disease. Pathogenic marine bacteria cause gastrointestinal diseases and deep wound infections. With climate change and increasing pollution, risk is high that Vibrio infections, including cholera, will increase in frequency and extend to new areas. All of the health impacts of ocean pollution fall disproportionately on vulnerable populations in the Global South – environmental injustice on a planetary scale. CONCLUSIONS: Ocean pollution is a global problem. It arises from multiple sources and crosses national boundaries. It is the consequence of reckless, shortsighted, and unsustainable exploitation of the earth’s resources. It endangers marine ecosystems. It impedes the production of atmospheric oxygen. Its threats to human health are great and growing, but still incompletely understood. Its economic costs are only beginning to be counted. Ocean pollution can be prevented. Like all forms of pollution, ocean pollution can be controlled by deploying data-driven strategies based on law, policy, technology, and enforcement that target priority pollution sources. Many countries have used these tools to control air and water pollution and are now applying them to ocean pollution. Successes achieved to date demonstrate that broader control is feasible. Heavily polluted harbors have been cleaned, estuaries rejuvenated, and coral reefs restored. Prevention of ocean pollution creates many benefits. It boosts economies, increases tourism, helps restore fisheries, and improves human health and well-being. It advances the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). These benefits will last for centuries. RECOMMENDATIONS: World leaders who recognize the gravity of ocean pollution, acknowledge its growing dangers, engage civil society and the global public, and take bold, evidence-based action to stop pollution at source will be critical to preventing ocean pollution and safeguarding human health. Prevention of pollution from land-based sources is key. Eliminating coal combustion and banning all uses of mercury will reduce mercury pollution. Bans on single-use plastic and better management of plastic waste reduce plastic pollution. Bans on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have reduced pollution by PCBs and DDT. Control of industrial discharges, treatment of sewage, and reduced applications of fertilizers have mitigated coastal pollution and are reducing frequency of HABs. National, regional and international marine pollution control programs that are adequately funded and backed by strong enforcement have been shown to be effective. Robust monitoring is essential to track progress. Further interventions that hold great promise include wide-scale transition to renewable fuels; transition to a circular economy that creates little waste and focuses on equity rather than on endless growth; embracing the principles of green chemistry; and building scientific capacity in all countries. Designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) will safeguard critical ecosystems, protect vulnerable fish stocks, and enhance human health and well-being. Creation of MPAs is an important manifestation of national and international commitment to protecting the health of the seas.

Ann Glob Health2020       CORD-19
237Organ-protective effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and its effect on the prognosis of COVID-19  

This article reviews the correlation between angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and severe risk factors for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) and the possible mechanisms. ACE2 is a crucial component of the renin‐angiotensin system (RAS). The classical RAS ACE‐Ang II‐AT1R regulatory axis and the ACE2‐Ang 1‐7‐MasR counter‐regulatory axis play an essential role in maintaining homeostasis in humans. ACE2 is widely distributed in the heart, kidneys, lungs, and testes. ACE2 antagonizes the activation of the classical RAS system and protects against organ damage, protecting against hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Similar to SARS‐CoV, SARS‐CoV‐2 also uses the ACE2 receptor to invade human alveolar epithelial cells. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a clinical high‐mortality disease, and ACE2 has a protective effect on this type of acute lung injury. Current research shows that the poor prognosis of patients with COVID‐19 is related to factors such as sex (male), age (>60 years), underlying diseases (hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease), secondary ARDS, and other relevant factors. Because of these protective effects of ACE2 on chronic underlying diseases and ARDS, the development of spike protein‐based vaccine and drugs enhancing ACE2 activity may become one of the most promising approaches for the treatment of COVID‐19 in the future.

J Med Virol2020       LitCov and CORD-19
238Bats: important reservoir hosts of emerging viruses  


Clin Microbiol Rev2006       CORD-19
239Pathology of neonatal calf diarrhea induced by a coronavirus-like agent  


Vet Pathol1973       CORD-19
240A longitudinal study on the mental health of general population during the COVID-19 epidemic in China  

Abstract In addition to being a public physical health emergency, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affected global mental health, as evidenced by panic-buying worldwide as cases soared. Little is known about changes in levels of psychological impact, stress, anxiety and depression during this pandemic. This longitudinal study surveyed the general population twice - during the initial outbreak, and the epidemic's peak four weeks later, surveying demographics, symptoms, knowledge, concerns, and precautionary measures against COVID-19. There were 1738 respondents from 190 Chinese cities (1210 first-survey respondents, 861 second-survey respondents; 333 respondents participated in both). Psychological impact and mental health status were assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21), respectively. IES-R measures PTSD symptoms in survivorship after an event. DASS -21 is based on tripartite model of psychopathology that comprise a general distress construct with distinct characteristics. This study found that there was a statistically significant longitudinal reduction in mean IES-R scores (from 32.98 to 30.76, p<0.01) after 4 weeks. Nevertheless, the mean IES-R score of the first- and second-survey respondents were above the cut-off scores (>24) for PTSD symptoms, suggesting that the reduction in scores was not clinically significant. During the initial evaluation, moderate-to-severe stress, anxiety and depression were noted in 8.1%, 28.8% and 16.5%, respectively and there were no significant longitudinal changes in stress, anxiety and depression levels (p>0.05). Protective factors included high level of confidence in doctors, perceived survival likelihood and low risk of contracting COVID-19, satisfaction with health information, personal precautionary measures. As countries around the world brace for an escalation in cases, Governments should focus on effective methods of disseminating unbiased COVID-19 knowledge, teaching correct containment methods, ensuring availability of essential services/commodities, and providing sufficient financial support.

Brain Behav Immun2020       LitCov and CORD-19
241Optimized Pseudotyping Conditions for the SARS-COV-2 Spike Glycoprotein  

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) Spike glycoprotein is solely responsible for binding to the host cell receptor and facilitating fusion between the viral and host membranes. The ability to generate viral particles pseudotyped with SARS-COV-2 Spike is useful for many types of studies, such as characterization of neutralizing antibodies or development of fusion-inhibiting small molecules. Here, we characterized the use of a codon-optimized SARS-COV-2 Spike glycoprotein for the generation of pseudotyped HIV-1, murine leukemia virus (MLV), and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) particles. The full-length Spike protein functioned inefficiently with all three systems but was enhanced over 10-fold by deleting the last 19 amino acids of the cytoplasmic tail. Infection of 293FT target cells was possible only if the cells were engineered to stably express the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, but stably introducing an additional copy of this receptor did not further enhance susceptibility. Stable introduction of the Spike-activating protease TMPRSS2 further enhanced susceptibility to infection by 5- to 10-fold. Replacement of the signal peptide of the Spike protein with an optimal signal peptide did not enhance or reduce infectious particle production. However, modifications D614G and R682Q further enhanced infectious particle production. With all enhancing elements combined, the titer of pseudotyped HIV-1 particles reached almost 10(6) infectious particles/ml. Finally, HIV-1 particles pseudotyped with SARS-COV-2 Spike were successfully used to detect neutralizing antibodies in plasma from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, but not in plasma from uninfected individuals. IMPORTANCE In work with pathogenic viruses, it is useful to have rapid quantitative tests for viral infectivity that can be performed without strict biocontainment restrictions. A common way of accomplishing this is to generate viral pseudoparticles that contain the surface glycoprotein from the pathogenic virus incorporated into a replication-defective viral particle that contains a sensitive reporter system. These pseudoparticles enter cells using the glycoprotein from the pathogenic virus, leading to a readout for infection. Conditions that block entry of the pathogenic virus, such as neutralizing antibodies, will also block entry of the viral pseudoparticles. However, viral glycoproteins often are not readily suited for generating pseudoparticles. Here, we describe a series of modifications that result in the production of relatively high-titer SARS-COV-2 pseudoparticles that are suitable for the detection of neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients.

J Virol2020       LitCov and CORD-19
242SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunocompromised patients: humoral vs cell-mediated immunity  

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic placed unprecedented pressure on various healthcare systems, including departments that use immunotherapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy and immunosuppression therapy in organ transplantation units. The true impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on immunocompromised CAR T-cell therapy recipients and kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) has not yet been established. CASE PRESENTATION: In this report, we compare two patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia in either the humoral or cell-mediated immunodeficient states. The first patient was a man in his early 30s who was diagnosed with refractory multiple myeloma. He received fully humanized, anti-B-cell maturation antigen, CAR T-cell therapy before 4 months and achieved strict complete remission. He was infected with SARS-CoV-2 starting on January 26, 2019 and gradually progressed to severe pneumonia. Throughout the clinical progression of the disease, SARS-CoV-2 could not be cleared due to his humoral immunodeficient state. During this period of his severe COVID-19 pneumonia, elevated cytotoxic T-cells were observed in this patient’s peripheral blood while elevated plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-2R, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor α, and ferritin were observed in his cytokine profiles. This patient eventually progressed into acute respiratory distress syndrome and recieved non-invasive ventilatory support. He failed to generate specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and died of respiratory failure on day 33 (d33). The second patient was a 52-year-old kidney transplant recipient (KTR) who took ciclosporin after renal transplantation for more than 7 years. He confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection on January 20, 2019 and gradually progressed into severe pneumonia on d16 with a slightly elevated B-cell percentage and normal T-lymphocyte subsets. Viral clearance occurred together with the generation of specific anti-immunoglobulin G-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after 2 weeks of treatment. He was symptom-free and discharged from the hospital on d42. CONCLUSION: We report a CAR T-cell therapy recipient diagnosed with COVID-19 for the first time. His virus clearance failure and life-threating cytokine storm during SARS-CoV-2 infection suggested that any decision to proceed CAR T-cell therapy during COVID-19 pandemics will require extensive discussion of potential risks and benefits. Immunosuppressant treatment based on ciclosporin could be relatively safe for KTRs diagnosed with COVID-19. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ChiCTR-OPN-1800018137.

J Immunother Cancer2020       LitCov and CORD-19
243Evaluation of performance of two SARS-CoV-2 Rapid IgM-IgG combined antibody tests on capillary whole blood samples from the fingertip  

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2) is responsible for the infectious respiratory disease called COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019). In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, point-of-care (POC) tests have been developed to detect specific antibodies, IgG and IgM, to SARS-CoV-2 virus in human whole blood. We conducted a prospective observational study to evaluate the performance of two POC tests, COVID-PRESTO(®) and COVID-DUO(®), compared to the gold standard, RT-PCR (real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction). METHODS: RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2 was performed from nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected in adult patients visiting the infectious disease department at the hospital (Orléans, France). Capillary whole blood (CWB) samples from the fingertip taken at different time points after onset of the disease were tested with POC tests. The specificity and sensitivity of the rapid test kits compared to test of reference (RT-PCR) were calculated. RESULTS: Among 381 patients with symptoms of COVID-19 who went to the hospital for a diagnostic, 143 patients were RT-PCR negative. Results of test with POC tests were all negative for these patients, indicating a specificity of 100% for both POC tests. In the RT-PCR positive subgroup (n = 238), 133 patients were tested with COVID-PRESTO(®) and 129 patients were tested with COVID-DUO(®) (24 patients tested with both). The further the onset of symptoms was from the date of collection, the greater the sensitivity. The sensitivity of COVID-PRESTO(®) test ranged from 10.00% for patients having experienced their 1(st) symptoms from 0 to 5 days ago to 100% in patients where symptoms had occurred more than 15 days before the date of tests. For COVID-DUO(®) test, the sensitivity ranged from 35.71% [0–5 days] to 100% (> 15 days). CONCLUSION: COVID-PRESTO(®) and DUO(®) POC tests turned out to be very specific (none false positive) and to be sensitive enough after 15 days from onset of symptom. These easy to use IgG/IgM combined test kits are the first ones allowing a screening with CWB sample, by typing from a finger prick. These rapid tests are particularly interesting for screening in low resource settings.

PLoS One2020       LitCov and CORD-19
244Clinical Characteristics of Patients with Severe Pneumonia Caused by the SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China  

BACKGROUND: A new virus broke out in Wuhan, Hubei, China, that was later named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The clinical characteristics of severe pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 are still not clear. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore the clinical characteristics and risk factors of severe pneumonia caused by the SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China. METHODS: The study included patients hospitalized at the Central Hospital of Wuhan who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Clinical features, chronic comorbidities, demographic data, laboratory examinations, and chest computed tomography (CT) scans were reviewed through electronic medical records. SPSS was used for data analysis to explore the clinical characteristics and risk factors of patients with severe pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: A total of 110 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were included in the study, including 38 with severe pneumonia and 72 with nonsevere pneumonia. Statistical analysis showed that advanced age, increased D-Dimer, and decreased lymphocytes were characteristics of the patients with severe pneumonia. Moreover, in the early stage of the disease, chest CT scans of patients with severe pneumonia showed that the illness can progress rapidly. CONCLUSIONS: Advanced age, decreased lymphocytes, and D-Dimer elevation are important characteristics of patients with severe COVID-19. Clinicians should focus on these characteristics to identify high-risk patients at an early stage.

Respiration2020       LitCov and CORD-19
245The Coronavirus Pandemic: What Does the Evidence Show?  


J Nepal Health Res Counc2020       LitCov and CORD-19
246mRNA vaccine induced T cells respond identically to SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern but differ in longevity and homing properties depending on prior infection status  

While mRNA vaccines are proving highly efficacious against SARS-CoV-2, it is important to determine how booster doses and prior infection influence the immune defense they elicit, and whether they protect against variants. Focusing on the T cell response, we conducted a longitudinal study of infection-naïve and COVID-19 convalescent donors before vaccination and after their first and second vaccine doses, using a high-parameter CyTOF analysis to phenotype their SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells. Vaccine-elicited spike-specific T cells responded similarly to stimulation by spike epitopes from the ancestral, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variant strains, both in terms of cell numbers and phenotypes. In infection-naïve individuals, the second dose boosted the quantity and altered the phenotypic properties of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells, while in convalescents the second dose changed neither. Spike-specific T cells from convalescent vaccinees differed strikingly from those of infection-naïve vaccinees, with phenotypic features suggesting superior long-term persistence and ability to home to the respiratory tract including the nasopharynx. These results provide reassurance that vaccine-elicited T cells respond robustly to emerging viral variants, confirm that convalescents may not need a second vaccine dose, and suggest that vaccinated convalescents may have more persistent nasopharynx-homing SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells compared to their infection-naïve counterparts.

Elife2021       LitCov and CORD-19
247Update: Outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome-worldwide, 2003  


MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep2003       CORD-19
248Multi-centre, three arm, randomized controlled trial on the use of methylprednisolone and unfractionated heparin in critically ill ventilated patients with pneumonia from SARS-CoV-2 infection: A structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial  

OBJECTIVES: To assess the hypothesis that an adjunctive therapy with methylprednisolone and unfractionated heparin (UFH) or with methylprednisolone and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) are more effective in reducing any-cause mortality in critically-ill ventilated patients with pneumonia from SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to LMWH alone. TRIAL DESIGN: The study is designed as a multi-centre, interventional, parallel group, superiority, randomized, investigator sponsored, three arms study. Patients, who satisfy all inclusion criteria and no exclusion criteria, will be randomly assigned to one of the three treatment groups in a ratio 1:1:1. PARTICIPANTS: Inpatients will be recruited from 8 Italian Academic and non-Academic Intensive Care Units INCLUSION CRITERIA (ALL REQUIRED): 1. Positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic (on pharyngeal swab of deep airways material) 2. Positive pressure ventilation (either non-invasive or invasive) from > 24 hours 3. Invasive mechanical ventilation from < 96 hours 4. PaO(2)/FiO(2) ratio lower than 150 mmHg 5. D-dimer level > 6 times the upper limit of normal reference range 6. C-reactive Protein > 6-fold upper the limit of normal reference range EXCLUSION CRITERIA: 1. Age < 18 years 2. On-going treatment with anticoagulant drugs 3. Platelet count < 100.000/mm(3) 4. History of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia 5. Allergy to sodium enoxaparin or other LMWH, UFH or methylprednisolone 6. Active bleeding or on-going clinical condition deemed at high risk of bleeding contraindicating anticoagulant treatment 7. Recent (in the last 1 month prior to randomization) brain, spinal or ophthalmic surgery 8. Chronic assumption or oral corticosteroids 9. Pregnancy or breastfeeding or positive pregnancy test. In childbearing age women, before inclusion, a pregnancy test will be performed if not available 10. Clinical decision to withhold life-sustaining treatment or “too sick to benefit” 11. Presence of other severe diseases impairing life expectancy (e.g. patients are not expected to survive 28 days given their pre-existing medical condition) 12. Lack or withdrawal of informed consent INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: • LMWH group: patients in this group will be administered enoxaparin at standard prophylactic dosage. • LMWH + steroid group: patients in this group will receive enoxaparin at standard prophylactic dosage and methylprednisolone. • UFH + steroid group: patients in this group will receive UFH at therapeutic dosages and methylprednisolone. UFH will be administered intravenously in UFH + steroid group at therapeutic doses. The infusion will be started at an infusion rate of 18 UI/kg/hour and then modified to obtain aPTT Ratio in between the range of 1.5-2.0. aPTT will be periodically checked at intervals no longer than 12 hours. The treatment with UFH will be administered up to ICU discharge. After ICU discharge anticoagulant therapy may be interrupted or switched to prophylaxis with LMWH in the destination ward up to clinical judgement of the attending physician. Enoxaparin will be administered in both LMWH group and LMWH + steroid group at standard prophylactic dose (i.e., 4000 UI once day, increased to 6000 UI once day for patients weighting more than 90 kg). The treatment will be administered subcutaneously once a day up to ICU discharge. After ICU discharge it may be continued or interrupted in the destination ward up to clinical judgement of the attending physician. Methylprednisolone will be administered in both LMWH + steroid group and UHF + steroid group intravenously with an initial bolus of 0,5 mg/kg followed by administration of 0,5 mg/kg 4 times daily for 7 days, 0,5 mg/kg 3 times daily from day 8 to day 10, 0,5 mg/kg 2 times daily at days 11 and 12 and 0,5 mg/kg once daily at days 13 and 14. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary Efficacy Endpoint: All-cause mortality at day 28 Secondary Efficacy Endpoints: - Ventilation free days (VFDs) at day 28, defined as the total number of days that patient is alive and free of ventilation (either invasive or non-invasive) between randomization and day 28 (censored at hospital discharge). - Need of rescue administration of high-dose steroids or immune-modulatory drugs; - Occurrence of switch from non-invasive to invasive mechanical ventilation during ICU stay; - Delay from start of non-invasive ventilation to switch to invasive ventilation; - All-cause mortality at ICU discharge and hospital discharge; - ICU free days (IFDs) at day 28, defined as the total number of days between ICU discharge and day 28. - Occurrence of new infections from randomization to day 28; including infections by Candida, Aspergillus, Adenovirus, Herpes Virus e Cytomegalovirus - Occurrence of new organ dysfunction and grade of dysfunction during ICU stay. - Objectively confirmed venous thromboembolism, stroke or myocardial infarction; Safety endpoints: - Occurrence of major bleeding, defined as transfusion of 2 or more units of packed red blood cells in a day, bleeding that occurs in at least one of the following critical sites [intracranial, intra-spinal, intraocular (within the corpus of the eye; thus, a conjunctival bleed is not an intraocular bleed), pericardial, intra-articular, intramuscular with compartment syndrome, or retroperitoneal], bleeding that necessitates surgical intervention and bleeding that is fatal (defined as a bleeding event that was the primary cause of death or contributed directly to death); - Occurrence of clinically relevant non-major bleeding, defined ad acute clinically overt bleeding that does not meet the criteria for major and consists of any bleeding compromising hemodynamic; spontaneous hematoma larger than 25 cm(2), intramuscular hematoma documented by ultrasonography, haematuria that was macroscopic and was spontaneous or lasted for more than 24 hours after invasive procedures; haemoptysis, hematemesis or spontaneous rectal bleeding requiring endoscopy or other medical intervention or any other bleeding requiring temporary cessation of a study drug. RANDOMIZATION: A block randomisation will be used with variable block sizes (block size 4-6-8), stratified by 3 factors: Centre, BMI (<30/≥30) and Age (<75/≥75). Central randomisation will be performed using a secure, web-based, randomisation system with an allocation ratio of 1:1:1. The allocation sequence will be generated by the study statistician using computer generated random numbers. BLINDING (MASKING): Participants to the study will be blinded to group assignment. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The target sample size is based on the hypothesis that the combined use of UHF and steroid versus the LMWH group will significantly reduce the risk of death at day 28. The overall sample size in this study is expected to be 210 with a randomization 1:1:1 and seventy patients in each group. Assuming an alpha of 2.5% (two tailed) and mortality rate in LMWH group of 50%, as indicated from initial studies of ICU patients, the study will have an 80% power to detect at least a 25 % absolute reduction in the risk of death between: a) LMHW + steroid group and LMWH group or b) UHF + steroid group and LMWH group. The study has not been sized to assess the difference between LMHW + steroid group and UHF + steroid group, therefore the results obtained from this comparison will need to be interpreted with caution and will need further adequately sized studies confirm the effect. On the basis of a conservative estimation, that 8 participating sites admit an average of 3 eligible patients per month per centre (24 patients/month). Assuming that 80 % of eligible patients are enrolled, recruitment of 210 participants will be completed in approximately 10 months. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version 1.1 of April 26(th), 2020. Recruitment start (expected): September 1(st), 2020 Recruitment finish (expected): June 30(th), 2021 TRIAL REGISTRATION: EudraCT number 2020-001921-30, registered on April 15(th), 2020 AIFA approval on May 4(th), 2020 FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.

Trials2020       LitCov and CORD-19
249Clinical characteristics and intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in nine pregnant women: a retrospective review of medical records  

Summary Background Previous studies on the pneumonia outbreak caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were based on information from the general population. Limited data are available for pregnant women with COVID-19 pneumonia. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in pregnancy and the intrauterine vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection. Methods Clinical records, laboratory results, and chest CT scans were retrospectively reviewed for nine pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia (ie, with maternal throat swab samples that were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]) who were admitted to Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, from Jan 20 to Jan 31, 2020. Evidence of intrauterine vertical transmission was assessed by testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in amniotic fluid, cord blood, and neonatal throat swab samples. Breastmilk samples were also collected and tested from patients after the first lactation. Findings All nine patients had a caesarean section in their third trimester. Seven patients presented with a fever. Other symptoms, including cough (in four of nine patients), myalgia (in three), sore throat (in two), and malaise (in two), were also observed. Fetal distress was monitored in two cases. Five of nine patients had lymphopenia (<1·0 × 10⁹ cells per L). Three patients had increased aminotransferase concentrations. None of the patients developed severe COVID-19 pneumonia or died, as of Feb 4, 2020. Nine livebirths were recorded. No neonatal asphyxia was observed in newborn babies. All nine livebirths had a 1-min Apgar score of 8–9 and a 5-min Apgar score of 9–10. Amniotic fluid, cord blood, neonatal throat swab, and breastmilk samples from six patients were tested for SARS-CoV-2, and all samples tested negative for the virus. Interpretation The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia in pregnant women were similar to those reported for non-pregnant adult patients who developed COVID-19 pneumonia. Findings from this small group of cases suggest that there is currently no evidence for intrauterine infection caused by vertical transmission in women who develop COVID-19 pneumonia in late pregnancy. Funding Hubei Science and Technology Plan, Wuhan University Medical Development Plan.

Lancet2020       LitCov and CORD-19
250The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease outbreak  

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-COV2 and represents the causative agent of a potentially fatal disease that is of great global public health concern. Based on the large number of infected people that were exposed to the wet animal market in Wuhan City, China, it is suggested that this is likely the zoonotic origin of COVID-19. Person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 infection led to the isolation of patients that were subsequently administered a variety of treatments. Extensive measures to reduce person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 have been implemented to control the current outbreak. Special attention and efforts to protect or reduce transmission should be applied in susceptible populations including children, health care providers, and elderly people. In this review, we highlights the symptoms, epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis, phylogenetic analysis and future directions to control the spread of this fatal disease.

J Autoimmun2020       LitCov and CORD-19

(1) COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). 2020. Version 2022-06-02. Retrieved from https://ai2-semanticscholar-cord-19.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/historical_releases.html. Accessed 2022-06-05. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3715506
(2) Chen Q, Allot A, & Lu Z. (2020) Keep up with the latest coronavirus research, Nature 579:193 and Chen Q, Allot A, Lu Z. LitCovid: an open database of COVID-19 literature. Nucleic Acids Research. 2020. (version 2023-01-10)
(3) Currently tweets of June 23rd to June 29th 2022 have been considered.

This service is provided "as is", without any warranties of any kind.