\ 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
201Dealing with a mucosal viral pandemic: lessons from COVID-19 vaccines  

The development and deployment of vaccines against COVID-19 demonstrated major successes in providing immunity and preventing severe disease and death. Yet SARS-CoV-2 evolves and vaccine-induced protection wanes, meaning progress in vaccination strategies is of upmost importance. New vaccines directed at emerging viral strains are being developed while vaccination schemes with booster doses and combinations of different platform-based vaccines are being tested in trials and real-world settings. Despite these diverse approaches, COVID-19 vaccines are only delivered intramuscularly, whereas the nasal mucosa is the primary site of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Preclinical mucosal vaccines with intranasal or oral administration demonstrate promising results regarding mucosal IgA generation and tissue-resident lymphocyte responses against SARS-CoV-2. By mounting an improved local humoral and cell-mediated response, mucosal vaccination could be a safe and effective way to prevent infection, block transmission and contribute to reduce SARS-CoV-2 spread. However, questions and limitations remain: how effectively and reproducibly will vaccines penetrate mucosal barriers? Will vaccine-induced mucosal IgA responses provide sustained protection against infection?

Mucosal Immunol2022       LitCov and CORD-19
202Multiple attacks of transient monocular visual loss in a previously healthy man: a possible complication after COVID-19 vaccination?  


Int J Retina Vitreous2022       LitCov
203Herpesvirus reactivation during severe COVID-19 and high rate of immune defect  

Objective: We assessed herpesvirus reactivation in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: Retrospective study including consecutive patients admitted to an onco-hematology intensive care unit (ICU) for severe COVID-19. Replication of EBV, CMV, and HSV was evaluated. Competing risk analyses were used to assess the cumulative risk of viral reactivation, and time-dependent Cox and Fine and Gray models to assess risk factors for viral reactivation. Results: Among 100 patients, 38 were immunocompromised. Sixty-three patients presented viral reactivation (12% for HSV, 58% EBV and 19% CMV). Symptomatic patients received treatment. Overall cumulative incidence of viral reactivation was 56.1% [55.9-56.4] at 10 days. After adjustment, a preexisting hematological malignancy (sHR [95%CI]=0.31 [0.11-0.85]) and solid organ transplantation (sHR [95% CI]=2.09 [1.13-3.87]) remained independently associated with viral reactivation. Viral reactivation (P=0.34) was not associated with mortality. Conclusions: Incidence of herpesvirus reactivation in patients admitted to the ICU for severe COVID-19 was high, but rarely required antiviral treatment.

Infect Dis Now2021       LitCov and CORD-19
204Inflammasome activation in infected macrophages drives COVID-19 pathology  


Nature2022       LitCov and CORD-19
205Cannabidiol Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication and Promotes the Host Innate Immune Response  

The rapid spread of COVID-19 underscores the need for new treatments. Here we report that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound produced by the cannabis plant, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection. CBD and its metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, but not congeneric cannabinoids, potently block SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells. CBD acts after cellular infection, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. CBD induces interferon expression and up-regulates its antiviral signaling pathway. A cohort of human patients previously taking CBD had significantly lower SARSCoV-2 infection incidence of up to an order of magnitude relative to matched pairs or the general population. This study highlights CBD, and its active metabolite, 7-OH-CBD, as potential preventative agents and therapeutic treatments for SARS-CoV-2 at early stages of infection.

bioRxiv2021       CORD-19
206Effectiveness of heterologous and homologous covid-19 vaccine regimens: living systematic review with network meta-analysis  


BMJ2022       LitCov
207Rapid Progression of Angioimmunoblastic T Cell Lymphoma Following BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine Booster Shot: A Case Report  

Since nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccines strongly activate T follicular helper cells, it is important to explore the possible impact of approved SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines on neoplasms affecting this cell type. Herein, we report and discuss unexpected rapid progression of lymphomatous lesions after administration of a BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine booster in a man recently diagnosed with AITL.

Front Med (Lausanne)2021       LitCov and CORD-19
208Effectiveness of a second BNT162b2 booster vaccine against hospitalization and death from COVID-19 in adults aged over 60 years  


Nat Med2022       LitCov and CORD-19
209Clinical efficacy of nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS) for the treatment of mild COVID-19 infection  

Baek et al(1) investigated the duration of COVID-19 virus shedding in infected patients and demonstrated that even in patients demonstrating prolonged viral clearance, the virus was no longer viable after 15 days post onset of symptoms. Our study aimed to measure whether nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS) further accelerates this reduction in SARS-CoV-2 RNA load versus a control arm with saline spray. Our study recruited 80 participants who were divided into a NONS treatment arm or a placebo arm to test the efficacy of NONS as a treatment for mild COVID-19 infection.

J Infect2021       LitCov and CORD-19
210Infection-enhancing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies recognize both the original Wuhan/D614G strain and Delta variants. A potential risk for mass vaccination?  

Antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection is a safety concern for vaccine strategies. In a recent publication, Li et al. (Cell 184 :1-17, 2021) have reported that infection-enhancing antibodies directed against the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein facilitate virus infection in vitro, but not in vivo. However, this study was performed with the original Wuhan/D614G strain. Since the Covid-19 pandemic is now dominated with Delta variants, we analyzed the interaction of facilitating antibodies with the NTD of these variants. Using molecular modelling approaches, we show that enhancing antibodies have a higher affinity for Delta variants than for Wuhan/D614G NTDs. We show that enhancing antibodies reinforce the binding of the spike trimer to the host cell membrane by clamping the NTD to lipid raft microdomains. This stabilizing mechanism may facilitate the conformational change that induces the demasking of the receptor binding domain. As the NTD is also targeted by neutralizing antibodies, our data suggest that the balance between neutralizing and facilitating antibodies in vaccinated individuals is in favor of neutralization for the original Wuhan/D614G strain. However, in the case of the Delta variant, neutralizing antibodies have a decreased affinity for the spike protein, whereas facilitating antibodies display a strikingly increased affinity. Thus, ADE may be a concern for people receiving vaccines based on the original Wuhan strain spike sequence (either mRNA or viral vectors). Under these circumstances, second generation vaccines with spike protein formulations lacking structurally-conserved ADE-related epitopes should be considered.

J Infect2021       LitCov and CORD-19
211Alopecia areata after COVID-19 vaccination  

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines are authorized for use in numerous countries worldwide. Several cutaneous findings are reported after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) vaccination. Here, we report the case of a patient with a rapid onset of alopecia areata immediately after receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease leading to non-scarring hair loss. Among the many cutaneous adverse effects reported after the anti-SARS-COV2 vaccination, no episodes of alopecia areata have been described to date. In this paper, we report the first case of alopecia areata after COVID-19 vaccination described in the literature with a revision of cases of alopecia areata reported after other types of vaccination. Although the significance of these skin reactions is not yet known, further studies will certainly clarify whether the development of alopecia areata or other forms of immune-mediated reactions could represent a positive prognostic factor regarding immune protection from SARS-CoV-2.

Clin Exp Vaccine Res2022       LitCov and CORD-19
212Colchicine use in patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis  

INTRODUCTION: Colchicine may inhibit inflammasome signaling and reduce proinflammatory cytokines, a purported mechanism of COVID-19 pneumonia. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to report on the state of the current literature on the use of colchicine in COVID-19 and to investigate the reported clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients by colchicine usage. METHODS: The literature was searched from January 2019 through January 28, 2021. References were screened to identify studies that reported the effect of colchicine usage on COVID-19 outcomes including mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, or mechanical ventilation. Studies were meta-analyzed for mortality by the subgroup of trial design (RCT vs observational) and ICU status. Studies reporting an risk ratio (RR), odds ratio (OR) and hazard ratio (HR) were analyzed separately. RESULTS: Eight studies, reporting on 16,248 patients, were included in this review. The Recovery trial reported equivalent mortality between colchicine and non-colchicine users. Across the other studies, patients who received colchicine had a lower risk of mortality—HR of 0.25 (95% CI: 0.09, 0.66) and OR of 0.22 (95% CI: 0.09, 0.57). There was no statistical difference in risk of ICU admissions between patients with COVID-19 who received colchicine and those who did not–OR of 0.26 (95% CI: 0.06, 1.09). CONCLUSION: Colchicine may reduce the risk of mortality in individuals with COVID-19. Further prospective investigation may further determine the efficacy of colchicine as treatment in COVID-19 patients in various care settings of the disease, including post-hospitalization and long-term care.

PLoS One2021       LitCov and CORD-19
213Limited cross-variant immunity from SARS-CoV-2 Omicron without vaccination  


Nature2022       LitCov and CORD-19
214Investigating the current status of COVID-19 related plastics and their potential impact on human health  

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden global increase in the production, consumption, and mismanagement of personal protective equipment (PPE). As plastic-based PPE such as disposable face masks and gloves have become widely used, human exposure to PPE-derived pollutants may occur through indirect and direct pathways. This review explores the potential health impacts related to plastic-based PPE through these pathways. Face masks release microplastics, which are directly inhaled during use or transported through the environment. The latter can adsorb chemical contaminants and harbor pathogenic microbiota, and once consumed by organisms, they can translocate to multiple organs upon intake, potentially causing detrimental and cytotoxic effects. However, more research is required to have a comprehensive overview of the human health effects.

Curr Opin Toxicol2021       LitCov and CORD-19
215Waning effectiveness of the third dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine  


Nat Commun2022       LitCov
216Mortality Rate and Characteristics of Deaths Following COVID-19 Vaccination  

Background: The emergency use authorization for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines brought both hopes and concerns to the Americans and others. We aimed to estimate the mortality rate of COVID-19 vaccination and presented characteristics of deaths following COVID-19 vaccination. Methods: Data on deaths following COVID-19 vaccination were obtained from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) from December 11, 2020 through January 8, 2021. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker was used to identify the total number of people receiving COVID-19 vaccines during the same period to estimate the mortality rate. Stratified analysis was conducted by the location of vaccination. Results: As of January 8, 2021, 55 deaths were reported, and the mortality rate of COVID-19 vaccination was 8.2 per million population. A total of 37 deaths were reported among long-term care facility residents, and the mortality rate was 53.4 per million population. Top reported comorbidities associated with deaths included hypertension, dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, and heart failure. In addition, dementia was more likely to be associated with deaths vaccinated at long-term care facilities than at other locations. Conclusion: The benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the potential risks in older frail populations, and our findings do not support actions to exclude older adults from being vaccinated. However, continued monitoring of COVID-19 vaccination is still warranted.

Front Med (Lausanne)2021       LitCov and CORD-19
217Vaccination with BNT162b2 reduces transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to household contacts in Israel  

The individual-level effectiveness of vaccines against clinical disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is well-established. However, few studies have directly examined the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on transmission. We quantified the effectiveness of vaccination with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA-based vaccine) against household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Israel. We fit two time-to-event models – a mechanistic transmission model and a regression model – to estimate vaccine effectiveness against susceptibility to infection and infectiousness given infection in household settings. Vaccine effectiveness against susceptibility to infection was 80–88%. For breakthrough infections among vaccinated individuals, the vaccine effectiveness against infectiousness was 41–79%. The overall vaccine effectiveness against transmission was 88.5%. Vaccination provides substantial protection against susceptibility to infection and slightly lower protection against infectiousness given infection, thereby reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to household contacts.

medRxiv2021       CORD-19
218Immunological dysfunction persists for 8 months following initial mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 infection  


Nat Immunol2022       LitCov and CORD-19
219Pancreatic Injury after COVID-19 Vaccine-A Case Report  

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 3 million deaths worldwide. Recently developed genetically engineered vaccines are the most critical solution for controlling the pandemic. Clinical trials on a large number of participants confirmed their safety and efficacy. However, with the growing number of vaccinated people, new infrequent adverse effects have been reported, not described in the medicinal product characteristics. We would like to report a case of acute pancreatic injury that occurred shortly after administering Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (Comirnaty). The report points out the potential need for close monitoring of patients reporting abdominal pain after vaccination (unresponsive to standard oral painkillers) because such symptom can be associated with acute pancreatitis.

Vaccines (Basel)2021       LitCov and CORD-19
220Systemic lupus erythematosus with acute pancreatitis and vasculitic rash following COVID-19 vaccine: a case report and literature review  

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that is caused by COVID-19 virus, which was initially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Vaccination is one of the most effective public health interventions, and soon after the Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine became available late in 2020, it began to be actively used to fight against COVID-19. Since then, cases of vaccine-associated immune-mediated diseases (IMDs) have been reported. There have been few cases of IMD flare-ups or onset after COVID-19 vaccine administration, and emerging IMDs may be identified over next few years after high use of this vaccine. To this day, few cases of newly diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) following COVID-19 vaccine exposure were reported. Herein, we present the case of a patient diagnosed with SLE, acute pancreatitis, and vasculitic skin rash on the extremities 1 week after the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Clin Rheumatol2022       LitCov and CORD-19
221No evidence that mask-wearing in public places elicits risk compensation behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic  

Face masks have been widely employed as a personal protective measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, concerns remain that masks create a false sense of security that reduces adherence to other public health measures, including social distancing. This paper tested whether mask-wearing was negatively associated with social distancing compliance. In two studies, we combined video-observational records of public mask-wearing in two Dutch cities with a natural-experimental approach to evaluate the effect of an area-based mask mandate. We found no observational evidence of an association between mask-wearing and social distancing but found a positive link between crowding and social distancing violations. Our natural-experimental analysis showed that an area-based mask mandate did not significantly affect social distancing or crowding levels. Our results alleviate the concern that mask use reduces social distancing compliance or increases crowding levels. On the other hand, crowding reduction may be a viable strategy to mitigate social distancing violations.

Sci Rep2022       LitCov and CORD-19
222Communication and visiting policies in Italian intensive care units during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave and lockdown: a nationwide survey  


BMC Anesthesiol2022       LitCov
223Acute pancreatitis soon after COVID-19 vaccination: A case report  

RATIONALE: In response to the global coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, several vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 have been developed. Although many infrequent side effects of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine have been reported, only a few cases of pancreatitis have been reported. PATIENT CONCERNS: A 71-year-old woman was presented to the hospital with upper abdominal pain and vomiting. She had no history of alcohol consumption, pancreatitis, or allergic reactions to vaccines. She had received the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine 2 days prior to her current presentation. Laboratory tests revealed elevated serum pancreatic enzymes. An abdominal computed tomography scan showed diffuse enlargement of the pancreas with fat stranding extending to below the kidneys bilaterally. DIAGNOSIS: The patient was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. INTERVENTIONS: The patient was treated with the administration of intravenous antimicrobials, proteolytic enzyme inhibitors, and proton pump inhibitors. OUTCOMES: The patient had an uneventful recovery with no complications. LESSONS: Acute pancreatitis can develop shortly after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. Therefore, of great importance to differentiate acute pancreatitis when abdominal pain occurs after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.

Medicine (Baltimore)2022       LitCov and CORD-19
224Children develop robust and sustained cross-reactive spike-specific immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection  

SARS-CoV-2 infection is generally mild or asymptomatic in children but a biological basis for this outcome is unclear. Here we compare antibody and cellular immunity in children (aged 3–11 years) and adults. Antibody responses against spike protein were high in children and seroconversion boosted responses against seasonal Beta-coronaviruses through cross-recognition of the S2 domain. Neutralization of viral variants was comparable between children and adults. Spike-specific T cell responses were more than twice as high in children and were also detected in many seronegative children, indicating pre-existing cross-reactive responses to seasonal coronaviruses. Importantly, children retained antibody and cellular responses 6 months after infection, whereas relative waning occurred in adults. Spike-specific responses were also broadly stable beyond 12 months. Therefore, children generate robust, cross-reactive and sustained immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with focused specificity for the spike protein. These findings provide insight into the relative clinical protection that occurs in most children and might help to guide the design of pediatric vaccination regimens.

Nat Immunol2021       LitCov and CORD-19
225Political polarization on COVID-19 pandemic response in the United States  

Despite calls for political consensus, there is growing evidence that the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been politicized in the US. We examined the extent to which this polarization exists among the US public across two national studies. In a representative US sample (N = 699, March 2020) we find that liberals (compared to conservatives) perceive higher risk, place less trust in politicians to handle the pandemic, are more trusting of medical experts such as the WHO, and are more critical of the government response. We replicate these results in a second, pre-registered study (N = 1000; April 2020), and find that results are similar when considering partisanship, rather than political ideology. In both studies we also find evidence that political polarization extends beyond attitudes, with liberals consistently reporting engaging in a significantly greater number of health protective behaviors (e.g., wearing face masks) than conservatives. We discuss the possible drivers of polarization on COVID-19 attitudes and behaviors, and reiterate the need for fostering bipartisan consensus to effectively address and manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pers Individ Dif2021       LitCov and CORD-19
226Covid-19: Do many people have pre-existing immunity?  


BMJ2020       LitCov and CORD-19
227Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19: Potential Mechanism of Action Against SARS-CoV-2  

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The rapid spread of virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has turned out to be a global emergency. Symptoms of this viral infection, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), include mild infections of the upper respiratory tract, viral pneumonia, respiratory failure, multiple organ failure and death. Till date, no drugs have been discovered to treat COVID-19 patients, and therefore, a considerable amount of interest has been shown in repurposing the existing drugs. RECENT FINDINGS: Out of these drugs, chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have demonstrated positive results indicating a potential antiviral role against SARS-CoV-2. Its mechanism of action (MOA) includes the interference in the endocytic pathway, blockade of sialic acid receptors, restriction of pH mediated spike (S) protein cleavage at the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) binding site and prevention of cytokine storm. Unfortunately, its adverse effects like gastrointestinal complications, retinopathy and QT interval prolongation are evident in treated COVID-19 patients. Yet, multiple clinical trials have been employed in several countries to evaluate its ability in turning into a needed drug in this pandemic. SUMMARY: This review attempts to summarize the MOA of CQ/HCQ and its side effects. The existing literature hints that till date, the role of CQ/HCQ in COVID-19 may be sceptical, and further studies are warranted for obtaining a therapeutic option that could be effectively used across the world to rise out from this pandemic.

Curr Pharmacol Rep2020       LitCov and CORD-19
228Short term, relative effectiveness of four doses vs three doses of BNT162b2 vaccine in people aged 60 years and older in Israel: retrospective, test negative, case-control study  

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relative effectiveness of a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA (BNT162b2) vaccine compared with three vaccine doses over the span of 10 weeks. DESIGN: Retrospective, test negative, case-control study, with a matched analysis and an unmatched multiple tests analysis. SETTING: Nationally centralised database of Maccabi Healthcare Services, an Israeli national health fund for 2.5 million people; from 10 January 2022 (seven days after the fourth dose was first given to eligible individuals) to 13 March 2022, an omicron dominant period in Israel. PARTICIPANTS: 97 499 Maccabi Healthcare Services members aged 60 years and older, who were eligible to receive a fourth vaccine dose and obtained at least one polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test during the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection, defined as a positive PCR test performed seven or more days after inoculation with the BNT162b2 vaccine; and breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection resulting in severe covid-19 disease, defined as hospital admission or death related to covid-19. RESULTS: 27 876 participants received the fourth BNT162b2 vaccine dose and 69 623 received three doses only. Of 106 participants who died during the follow-up period, 77 had had their third doses only and 23 had had their fourth doses during the first three weeks after inoculation. In the first three weeks, a fourth dose provided additional protection against both SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe disease relative to three doses of the vaccine. However, relative vaccine effectiveness against infection quickly decreased over time, peaking during the third week at 65.1% (95% confidence interval 63.0% to 67.1%) and falling to 22.0% (4.9% to 36.1%) by the end of the 10 week follow-up period. Unlike relative effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection, the relative effectiveness of a fourth dose against severe covid-19 was maintained at a high level (>72%) throughout follow-up. However, severe disease was a relatively rare event, occurring in <1% of study participants who received four doses or three doses only. CONCLUSIONS: A fourth dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine appears to have provided additional protection against both SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe covid-19 disease relative to three vaccine doses. However, relative effectiveness of the fourth dose against infection appears to wane sooner than that of the third dose.

BMJ2022       LitCov and CORD-19
229Menstrual changes after covid-19 vaccination  


BMJ2021       LitCov and CORD-19
230Immunodominant T-cell epitopes from the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen reveal robust pre-existing T-cell immunity in unexposed individuals  

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a range of disease phenotypes in infected patients with asymptomatic, mild, or severe clinical outcomes, but the mechanisms that determine such variable outcomes remain unresolved. In this study, we identified immunodominant CD8 T-cell epitopes in the spike antigen using a novel TCR-binding algorithm. The predicted epitopes induced robust T-cell activation in unexposed donors demonstrating pre-existing CD4 and CD8 T-cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 antigen. The T-cell reactivity to the predicted epitopes was higher than the Spike-S1 and S2 peptide pools in the unexposed donors. A key finding of our study is that pre-existing T-cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is contributed by TCRs that recognize common viral antigens such as Influenza and CMV, even though the viral epitopes lack sequence identity to the SARS-CoV-2 epitopes. This finding is in contrast to multiple published studies in which pre-existing T-cell immunity is suggested to arise from shared epitopes between SARS-CoV-2 and other common cold-causing coronaviruses. However, our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 reactive T-cells are likely to be present in many individuals because of prior exposure to flu and CMV viruses.

Sci Rep2021       LitCov and CORD-19
231Infection with human coronavirus NL63 enhances streptococcal adherence to epithelial cells  


J Gen Virol2011       CORD-19
232Underlying Medical Conditions and Severe Illness Among 540,667 Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19, March 2020-March 2021  

INTRODUCTION: Severe COVID-19 illness in adults has been linked to underlying medical conditions. This study identified frequent underlying conditions and their attributable risk of severe COVID-19 illness. METHODS: We used data from more than 800 US hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database Special COVID-19 Release (PHD-SR) to describe hospitalized patients aged 18 years or older with COVID-19 from March 2020 through March 2021. We used multivariable generalized linear models to estimate adjusted risk of intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, and death associated with frequent conditions and total number of conditions. RESULTS: Among 4,899,447 hospitalized adults in PHD-SR, 540,667 (11.0%) were patients with COVID-19, of whom 94.9% had at least 1 underlying medical condition. Essential hypertension (50.4%), disorders of lipid metabolism (49.4%), and obesity (33.0%) were the most common. The strongest risk factors for death were obesity (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.27–1.33), anxiety and fear-related disorders (aRR = 1.28; 95% CI, 1.25–1.31), and diabetes with complication (aRR = 1.26; 95% CI, 1.24–1.28), as well as the total number of conditions, with aRRs of death ranging from 1.53 (95% CI, 1.41–1.67) for patients with 1 condition to 3.82 (95% CI, 3.45–4.23) for patients with more than 10 conditions (compared with patients with no conditions). CONCLUSION: Certain underlying conditions and the number of conditions were associated with severe COVID-19 illness. Hypertension and disorders of lipid metabolism were the most frequent, whereas obesity, diabetes with complication, and anxiety disorders were the strongest risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness. Careful evaluation and management of underlying conditions among patients with COVID-19 can help stratify risk for severe illness.

Prev Chronic Dis2021       LitCov and CORD-19
233Review of the Emerging Evidence Demonstrating the Efficacy of Ivermectin in the Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19  

After COVID-19 emerged on U.S shores, providers began reviewing the emerging basic science, translational, and clinical data to identify potentially effective treatment options. In addition, a multitude of both novel and repurposed therapeutic agents were used empirically and studied within clinical trials. AREAS OF UNCERTAINTY: The majority of trialed agents have failed to provide reproducible, definitive proof of efficacy in reducing the mortality of COVID-19 with the exception of corticosteroids in moderate to severe disease. Recently, evidence has emerged that the oral antiparasitic agent ivermectin exhibits numerous antiviral and anti-inflammatory mechanisms with trial results reporting significant outcome benefits. Given some have not passed peer review, several expert groups including Unitaid/World Health Organization have undertaken a systematic global effort to contact all active trial investigators to rapidly gather the data needed to grade and perform meta-analyses. DATA SOURCES: Data were sourced from published peer-reviewed studies, manuscripts posted to preprint servers, expert meta-analyses, and numerous epidemiological analyses of regions with ivermectin distribution campaigns. THERAPEUTIC ADVANCES: A large majority of randomized and observational controlled trials of ivermectin are reporting repeated, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes. Numerous prophylaxis trials demonstrate that regular ivermectin use leads to large reductions in transmission. Multiple, large “natural experiments” occurred in regions that initiated “ivermectin distribution” campaigns followed by tight, reproducible, temporally associated decreases in case counts and case fatality rates compared with nearby regions without such campaigns. CONCLUSIONS: Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance. Furthermore, results from numerous controlled prophylaxis trials report significantly reduced risks of contracting COVID-19 with the regular use of ivermectin. Finally, the many examples of ivermectin distribution campaigns leading to rapid population-wide decreases in morbidity and mortality indicate that an oral agent effective in all phases of COVID-19 has been identified.

Am J Ther2021       LitCov and CORD-19
234A Case of COVID-19 Vaccine Causing a Myasthenia Gravis Crisis  

Myasthenia gravis is a rare disease of the neuromuscular junction subsequently affecting the bulbar, respiratory, and extremity skeletal muscles. It is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies target the acetylcholine receptor (AChR), preventing transmission of the excitatory cascade during muscle contraction. Myasthenia gravis is typically well controlled using acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, steroids, immunosuppressant agents, and/or thymectomies. However, exacerbations can be induced by infection or medications. This is particularly important during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in which myasthenia gravis patients have been known to have poorer outcomes. We report a very rare presentation of a myasthenia gravis crisis induced by the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Cureus2021       LitCov and CORD-19
235COVID-19 vaccines: their effectiveness against the SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants  

BACKGROUND: The world has been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic (officially declared by WHO in March 2020), caused by the severe acute respiratory β-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) since the last week of December 2019. The disease was initially designated as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020. In order to protect the health of mass public, an array of research on drugs and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 has been conducted globally. However, the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2, i.e., Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants which evolved in late 2020 and the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) which emerged in November 2021 along with its subvariant BA.2 which was first identified in India and South Africa in late December 2021, have raised the doubt about the efficiency of the currently used vaccines especially in terms of the consistent potential to produce neutralizing antibodies targeting the viral spike (S) protein. MAIN BODY OF THE ABSTRACT: The present review discussed the functional details of major vaccines regarding their efficiency against such variants during the pandemic. Overall, the mRNA vaccines have shown around 94% effectiveness; the adenovector vaccine showed approximately 70% efficacy, whereas Sputnik V vaccines showed around 92% effectiveness; the inactivated whole-virus vaccine CoronaVac/PiCoVacc and BBIBP-CorV showed a varying effectiveness of 65–86% according to the geographic locations; the subunit vaccine NVX-CoV2373 has shown 60–89% effectiveness along with the global regions against the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 strain. However, reduced effectiveness of these vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 variants was noticed which is suggestive for the further administration of booster dose. SHORT CONCLUSION: Maximum variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerged during the second wave of COVID-19; and extensive studies on the viral genomic sequences from all geographical locations around the world have been conducted by an array of groups to assess the possible occurrence of mutations(s) specially within the receptor binding domain of the viral spike (S) protein. Mutational similarities and the new or critical mutations within all variants have been clearly identified so far. The study of effectiveness of the currently used vaccines is also ongoing. The persistence of memory B cell action and the other immune components as well as the administration of booster dose is expected to mitigate the disease.

Bull Natl Res Cent2022       LitCov and CORD-19
236Risk of rapid evolutionary escape from biomedical interventions targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein  

The spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 is the molecular target for many vaccines and antibody-based prophylactics aimed at bringing COVID-19 under control. Such a narrow molecular focus raises the specter of viral immune evasion as a potential failure mode for these biomedical interventions. With the emergence of new strains of SARS-CoV-2 with altered transmissibility and immune evasion potential, a critical question is this: how easily can the virus escape neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) targeting the spike RBD? To answer this question, we combined an analysis of the RBD structure-function with an evolutionary modeling framework. Our structure-function analysis revealed that epitopes for RBD-targeting nAbs overlap one another substantially and can be evaded by escape mutants with ACE2 affinities comparable to the wild type, that are observed in sequence surveillance data and infect cells in vitro. This suggests that the fitness cost of nAb-evading mutations is low. We then used evolutionary modeling to predict the frequency of immune escape before and after the widespread presence of nAbs due to vaccines, passive immunization or natural immunity. Our modeling suggests that SARS-CoV-2 mutants with one or two mildly deleterious mutations are expected to exist in high numbers due to neutral genetic variation, and consequently resistance to vaccines or other prophylactics that rely on one or two antibodies for protection can develop quickly -and repeatedly- under positive selection. Predicted resistance timelines are comparable to those of the decay kinetics of nAbs raised against vaccinal or natural antigens, raising a second potential mechanism for loss of immunity in the population. Strategies for viral elimination should therefore be diversified across molecular targets and therapeutic modalities.

PLoS One2021       LitCov and CORD-19
237A Review of Persistent Post-COVID Syndrome (PPCS)  

Persistent post-COVID syndrome, also referred to as long COVID, is a pathologic entity, which involves persistent physical, medical, and cognitive sequelae following COVID-19, including persistent immunosuppression as well as pulmonary, cardiac, and vascular fibrosis. Pathologic fibrosis of organs and vasculature leads to increased mortality and severely worsened quality of life. Inhibiting transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β), an immuno- and a fibrosis modulator, may attenuate these post-COVID sequelae. Current preclinical and clinical efforts are centered on the mechanisms and manifestations of COVID-19 and its presymptomatic and prodromal periods; by comparison, the postdrome, which occurs in the aftermath of COVID-19, which we refer to as persistent post-COVID-syndrome, has received little attention. Potential long-term effects from post-COVID syndrome will assume increasing importance as a surge of treated patients are discharged from the hospital, placing a burden on healthcare systems, patients’ families, and society in general to care for these medically devastated COVID-19 survivors. This review explores underlying mechanisms and possible manifestations of persistent post-COVID syndrome, and presents a framework of strategies for the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected or confirmed persistent post-COVID syndrome.

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol2021       LitCov and CORD-19
238Bell's palsy following COVID-19 vaccination  

J Neurol2021       LitCov and CORD-19
239Subepidermal blistering eruptions, including bullous pemphigoid, following COVID-19 vaccination  

J Allergy Clin Immunol2021       LitCov and CORD-19
240Gender gap in journal submissions and peer review during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. A study on 2329 Elsevier journals  

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an unusually high submission rate of scholarly articles. Given that most academics were forced to work from home, the competing demands for familial duties may have penalized the scientific productivity of women. To test this hypothesis, we looked at submitted manuscripts and peer review activities for all Elsevier journals between February and May 2018-2020, including data on over 5 million authors and referees. Results showed that during the first wave of the pandemic, women submitted proportionally fewer manuscripts than men. This deficit was especially pronounced among more junior cohorts of women academics. The rate of the peer-review invitation acceptance showed a less pronounced gender pattern with women taking on a greater service responsibility for journals, except for health & medicine, the field where the impact of COVID-19 research has been more prominent. Our findings suggest that the first wave of the pandemic has created potentially cumulative advantages for men.

PLoS One2021       LitCov and CORD-19
241Effects of covid-19 pandemic on life expectancy and premature mortality in 2020: time series analysis in 37 countries  

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the changes in life expectancy and years of life lost in 2020 associated with the covid-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Time series analysis. SETTING: 37 upper-middle and high income countries or regions with reliable and complete mortality data. PARTICIPANTS: Annual all cause mortality data from the Human Mortality Database for 2005-20, harmonised and disaggregated by age and sex. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reduction in life expectancy was estimated as the difference between observed and expected life expectancy in 2020 using the Lee-Carter model. Excess years of life lost were estimated as the difference between the observed and expected years of life lost in 2020 using the World Health Organization standard life table. RESULTS: Reduction in life expectancy in men and women was observed in all the countries studied except New Zealand, Taiwan, and Norway, where there was a gain in life expectancy in 2020. No evidence was found of a change in life expectancy in Denmark, Iceland, and South Korea. The highest reduction in life expectancy was observed in Russia (men: −2.33, 95% confidence interval −2.50 to −2.17; women: −2.14, −2.25 to −2.03), the United States (men: −2.27, −2.39 to −2.15; women: −1.61, −1.70 to −1.51), Bulgaria (men: −1.96, −2.11 to −1.81; women: −1.37, −1.74 to −1.01), Lithuania (men: −1.83, −2.07 to −1.59; women: −1.21, −1.36 to −1.05), Chile (men: −1.64, −1.97 to −1.32; women: −0.88, −1.28 to −0.50), and Spain (men: −1.35, −1.53 to −1.18; women: −1.13, −1.37 to −0.90). Years of life lost in 2020 were higher than expected in all countries except Taiwan, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and South Korea. In the remaining 31 countries, more than 222 million years of life were lost in 2020, which is 28.1 million (95% confidence interval 26.8m to 29.5m) years of life lost more than expected (17.3 million (16.8m to 17.8m) in men and 10.8 million (10.4m to 11.3m) in women). The highest excess years of life lost per 100 000 population were observed in Bulgaria (men: 7260, 95% confidence interval 6820 to 7710; women: 3730, 2740 to 4730), Russia (men: 7020, 6550 to 7480; women: 4760, 4530 to 4990), Lithuania (men: 5430, 4750 to 6070; women: 2640, 2310 to 2980), the US (men: 4350, 4170 to 4530; women: 2430, 2320 to 2550), Poland (men: 3830, 3540 to 4120; women: 1830, 1630 to 2040), and Hungary (men: 2770, 2490 to 3040; women: 1920, 1590 to 2240). The excess years of life lost were relatively low in people younger than 65 years, except in Russia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and the US where the excess years of life lost was >2000 per 100 000. CONCLUSION: More than 28 million excess years of life were lost in 2020 in 31 countries, with a higher rate in men than women. Excess years of life lost associated with the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 were more than five times higher than those associated with the seasonal influenza epidemic in 2015.

BMJ2021       LitCov and CORD-19
242The reproduction number of COVID-19 and its correlation with public health interventions  

Throughout the past six months, no number has dominated the public media more persistently than the reproduction number of COVID-19. This powerful but simple concept is widely used by the public media, scientists, and political decision makers to explain and justify political strategies to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we explore the effectiveness of political interventions using the reproduction number of COVID-19 across Europe. We propose a dynamic SEIR epidemiology model with a time-varying reproduction number, which we identify using machine learning. During the early outbreak, the basic reproduction number was 4.22 ± 1.69, with maximum values of 6.33 and 5.88 in Germany and the Netherlands. By May 10, 2020, it dropped to 0.67 ± 0.18, with minimum values of 0.37 and 0.28 in Hungary and Slovakia. We found a strong correlation between passenger air travel, driving, walking, and transit mobility and the effective reproduction number with a time delay of 17.24 ± 2.00 days. Our new dynamic SEIR model provides the flexibility to simulate various outbreak control and exit strategies to inform political decision making and identify safe solutions in the benefit of global health.

Comput Mech2020       LitCov and CORD-19
243Online misinformation is linked to early COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and refusal  

Widespread uptake of vaccines is necessary to achieve herd immunity. However, uptake rates have varied across U.S. states during the first six months of the COVID-19 vaccination program. Misbeliefs may play an important role in vaccine hesitancy, and there is a need to understand relationships between misinformation, beliefs, behaviors, and health outcomes. Here we investigate the extent to which COVID-19 vaccination rates and vaccine hesitancy are associated with levels of online misinformation about vaccines. We also look for evidence of directionality from online misinformation to vaccine hesitancy. We find a negative relationship between misinformation and vaccination uptake rates. Online misinformation is also correlated with vaccine hesitancy rates taken from survey data. Associations between vaccine outcomes and misinformation remain significant when accounting for political as well as demographic and socioeconomic factors. While vaccine hesitancy is strongly associated with Republican vote share, we observe that the effect of online misinformation on hesitancy is strongest across Democratic rather than Republican counties. Granger causality analysis shows evidence for a directional relationship from online misinformation to vaccine hesitancy. Our results support a need for interventions that address misbeliefs, allowing individuals to make better-informed health decisions.

Sci Rep2022       LitCov and CORD-19
244Three exposures to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 by either infection or vaccination elicit superior neutralizing immunity to all variants of concern  


Nat Med2022       LitCov and CORD-19
245Forecasting for COVID-19 has failed  

Epidemic forecasting has a dubious track-record, and its failures became more prominent with COVID-19. Poor data input, wrong modeling assumptions, high sensitivity of estimates, lack of incorporation of epidemiological features, poor past evidence on effects of available interventions, lack of transparency, errors, lack of determinacy, looking at only one or a few dimensions of the problem at hand, lack of expertise in crucial disciplines, groupthink and bandwagon effects and selective reporting are some of the causes of these failures. Nevertheless, epidemic forecasting is unlikely to be abandoned. Some (but not all) of these problems can be fixed. Careful modeling of predictive distributions rather than focusing on point estimates, considering multiple dimensions of impact, and continuously reappraising models based on their validated performance may help. If extreme values are considered, extremes should be considered for the consequences of multiple dimensions of impact so as to continuously calibrate predictive insights and decision-making. When major decisions (e.g. draconian lockdowns) are based on forecasts, the harms (in terms of health, economy, and society at large) and the asymmetry of risks need to be approached in a holistic fashion, considering the totality of the evidence.

Int J Forecast2020       LitCov and CORD-19
246Ultrastructural analysis of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with the host cell via high resolution scanning electron microscopy  

SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we investigated the interaction of this new coronavirus with Vero cells using high resolution scanning electron microscopy. Surface morphology, the interior of infected cells and the distribution of viral particles in both environments were observed 2 and 48 h after infection. We showed areas of viral processing, details of vacuole contents, and viral interactions with the cell surface. Intercellular connections were also approached, and viral particles were adhered to these extensions suggesting direct cell-to-cell transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Sci Rep2020       LitCov and CORD-19
247Comparative evaluation of clinical manifestations and risk of death in patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 and seasonal influenza: cohort study  

BMJ2020       LitCov and CORD-19
248Be well: A potential role for vitamin B in COVID-19  

Maturitas2020       LitCov and CORD-19
249Varicella Zoster Virus Reactivation Following COVID-19 Vaccination: A Systematic Review of Case Reports  

The newly developed COVID-19 vaccines have established a safe profile, yet some individuals experience a wide range of adverse events. Recently, reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV) has been observed after administration of different COVID-19 vaccines, although causality remains a matter of debate. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the available literature and provide an overview of reported cases of VZV reactivation following COVID-19 vaccination. We identified 12 eligible articles which included 91 patients with herpes zoster (HZ) following COVID-19 vaccination. Hypertension was the main comorbidity present in 18% of patients (16/91). Additionally, 13% of patients (12/91) had an autoimmune condition with rheumatoid arthritis being the most common (4/12). Moreover, 10% of patients (9/91) were receiving immunosuppressants. The dermatomal distribution of skin lesions varied among patients, with the mammary region being most affected. On average, symptoms developed 5.8 days post-vaccination irrespective of dose and treatment with oral valacyclovir as a monotherapy was employed in most patients (23/91). HZ is possibly a condition clinicians may expect to encounter in patients receiving COVID-19 vaccines. While causality has not yet been established increased awareness and early recognition of the disorder would be crucial for the optimal management of these patients.

Vaccines (Basel)2021       LitCov and CORD-19
250Years of life lost due to the psychosocial consequences of COVID-19 mitigation strategies based on Swiss data  

BACKGROUND. The pandemic caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced governments to implement strict social mitigation strategies to reduce the morbidity and mortality from acute infections. These strategies, however, carry a significant risk for mental health, which can lead to increased short-term and long-term mortality and is currently not included in modeling the impact of the pandemic. METHODS. We used years of life lost (YLL) as the main outcome measure, applied to Switzerland as an example. We focused on suicide, depression, alcohol use disorder, childhood trauma due to domestic violence, changes in marital status, and social isolation, as these are known to increase YLL in the context of imposed restriction in social contact and freedom of movement. We stipulated a minimum duration of mitigation of 3 months based on current public health plans. RESULTS. The study projects that the average person would suffer 0.205 YLL due to psychosocial consequence of COVID-19 mitigation measures. However, this loss would be entirely borne by 2.1% of the population, who will suffer an average of 9.79 YLL. CONCLUSIONS. The results presented here are likely to underestimate the true impact of the mitigation strategies on YLL. However, they highlight the need for public health models to expand their scope in order to provide better estimates of the risks and benefits of mitigation.

Eur Psychiatry2020       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.

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