• Essential requirement for JPT2 in NAADP-evoked Ca2+ signaling

      Center for Substance Abuse Research (Temple University) (2021-03-23)
      Nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP) is a second messenger that releases Ca2+ from acidic organelles through the activation of two-pore channels (TPCs) to regulate endolysosomal trafficking events. NAADP action is mediated by NAADP-binding protein(s) of unknown identity that confer NAADP sensitivity to TPCs. Here, we used a “clickable” NAADP-based photoprobe to isolate human NAADP-binding proteins and identified Jupiter microtubule-associated homolog 2 (JPT2) as a TPC accessory protein required for endogenous NAADP-evoked Ca2+ signaling. JPT2 was also required for the translocation of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pseudovirus through the endolysosomal system. Thus, JPT2 is a component of the NAADP receptor complex that is essential for TPC-dependent Ca2+ signaling and control of coronaviral entry.
    • Etoposide as Salvage Therapy for Cytokine Storm due to COVID-19

      COVID-19 Research Group (Temple University) (2020-09-12)
      Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality because of a lack of effective therapies. Therapeutic strategies under investigation target the overactive cytokine response with anti-cytokine or immunomodulators therapies. We present a unique case of severe cytokine storm resistant to multiple anti-cytokine therapies, but eventually responsive to etoposide. Thus, etoposide may have a role as salvage therapy in treatment of cytokine storm in COVID-19. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of use of etoposide in COVID-19.
    • Evaluating the neutralizing ability of a CpG-adjuvanted S-2P subunit vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern

      Lien, Chia-En; Kuo, Tsun-Yung; Lin, Yi-Jiun; Lian, Wei-Cheng; Lin, Meei-Yun; Liu, Luke Tzu-Chi; Chou, Yu-Chi; Chen, Charles (2021-03-22)
      Vaccination is currently the best weapon to control the COVID-19 pandemic. However, an alarming number of novel variants termed Variants of Concern (VoC) were found to harbor mutations that diminished the neutralizing capacity of antibodies elicited by the vaccines. We have investigated the neutralizing titers of antibodies from sera of humans and rats immunized with the MVC-COV1901 vaccine against pseudoviruses coated with the wildtype, D614G, B.1.1.7, or B.1.351 spike proteins. Rats vaccinated with two doses of adjuvanted S-2P retained neutralization activities against the B.1.351 variant, albeit with a slight reduction compared to wildtype. Phase 1 vaccinated subjects showed more reduced neutralization abilities against the B.1.351 variant. The study is among the first, to our knowledge, to demonstrate dose-dependent neutralizing responses against VoCs, particularly against B.1.351, from different doses of antigen in a clinical trial for a subunit protein COVID-19 vaccine. The appearance of vaccine escape variants is a growing concern facing many current COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. Strategies should be adopted against the ever-changing nature of these variants. The observations of this study grant us valuable insight into preemptive strikes against current and future variants.
    • Evaluation of Albumin Kinetics in Critically Ill Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 Compared to Those With Sepsis-Induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

      Su, Chang; Hoffman, Katherine L.; Xu, Zhenxing; Sanchez, Elizabeth; Siempos, Ilias I.; Harrington, John S.; Racanelli, Alexandra C.; Plataki, Maria; Wang, Fei; Schenck, Edward J.; Su|0000-0003-4019-6389 (2021-12)
      OBJECTIVES: This report aims to characterize the kinetics of serum albumin in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 compared with critically ill patients with sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis. SETTING: We analyzed two critically ill cohorts, one with coronavirus disease 2019 and another with sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, treated in the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. PATIENTS: Adult patients in the coronavirus disease 2019 cohort, diagnosed through reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assays performed on nasopharyngeal swabs, were admitted from March 3, 2020, to July 10, 2020. Adult patients in the sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome cohort, defined by Sepsis III criteria receipt of invasive mechanical ventilation and a Pao2/Fio2 ratio less than 300 were admitted from December 12, 2006, to February 26, 2019. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We evaluated serial serum albumin levels within 30 days after ICU admission in each cohort. We then examined the albumin progression trajectories, aligned at ICU admission time to test the relationship at a similar point in disease progression, in survivors and nonsurvivors. Albumin trajectory in all critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 patients show two distinct phases: phase I (deterioration) showing rapid albumin loss and phase II (recovery) showing albumin stabilization or improvement. Meanwhile, albumin recovery predicted clinical improvement in critical coronavirus disease 2019. In addition, we found a deterioration and recovery trends in survivors in the sepsis-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome cohort but did not find such two-phase trend in nonsurvivors. CONCLUSIONS: The changes in albumin associated with coronavirus disease 2019 associated respiratory failure are transient compared with sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome and highlight the potential for recovery following a protracted course of severe coronavirus disease 2019.
    • Evidence of significant natural selection in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in bats, not humans

      Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (Temple University) (2020-05-29)
      RNA viruses are proficient at switching to novel host species due to their fast mutation rates. Implicit in this assumption is the need to evolve adaptations in the new host species to exploit their cells efficiently. However, SARS-CoV-2 has required no significant adaptation to humans since the pandemic began, with no observed selective sweeps to date. Here we contrast the role of positive selection and recombination in the Sarbecoviruses in horseshoe bats to SARS-CoV-2 evolution in humans. While methods can detect some evidence for positive selection in SARS-CoV-2, we demonstrate these are mostly due to recombination and sequencing artefacts. Purifying selection is also substantially weaker in SARS-CoV-2 than in the related bat Sarbecoviruses. In comparison, our results show evidence for positive, specifically episodic selection, acting on the bat virus lineage SARS-CoV-2 emerged from. This signature of selection can also be observed among synonymous substitutions, for example, linked to ancestral CpG depletion on this bat lineage. We show the bat virus RmYN02 has recombinant CpG content in Spike pointing to coinfection and evolution in bats without involvement of other species. Our results suggest the non-human progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 was capable of human-human transmission as a consequence of its natural evolution in bats.
    • Exploiting real-world data to monitor physical activity in patients with osteoarthritis: the opportunity of digital epidemiology

      Ravalli, Silvia; Roggio, Federico; Lauretta, Giovanni; Di Rosa, Michelino; D'Amico, Agata Grazia; D'agata, Velia; Maugeri, Grazia; Musumeci, Giuseppe (2022-02-22)
      Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Current guidelines emphasize the importance of regular physical activity as a preventive measure against disease progression and as a valuable strategy for pain and functionality management. Despite this, most patients with osteoarthritis are inactive. Modern technological advances have led to the implementation of digital devices, such as wearables and smartphones, showing new opportunities for healthcare professionals and researchers to monitor physical activity and therefore engage patients in daily exercising. Additionally, digital devices have emerged as a promising tool for improving frequent health data collection, disease monitoring, and supporting public health surveillance. The leveraging of digital data has laid the foundation for developing a new concept of epidemiological study, known as "Digital Epidemiology". Analyzing real-world data can change the way we observe human behavior and suggest health interventions, as in the case of physical exercise and osteoarthritic patients. Furthermore, large-scale data could contribute to personalized and precision medicine in the future. Herein, an overview of recent clinical applications of wearables for monitoring physical activity in patients with osteoarthritis and the benefits of exploiting real-world data in the context of digital epidemiology are discussed.
    • Exploring factors associated with pregnant women’s experiences of material hardship during COVID-19: a cross-sectional Qualtrics survey in the United States

      Johnson, Laura; Johnson|0000-0002-1882-8186 (2021-11-08)
      Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the financial insecurity of women and their families globally. Some studies have explored the impact of financial strain among pregnant women, in particular, during the pandemic. However, less is known about the factors associated with pregnant women’s experiences of material hardship. Methods: This cross-sectional study used a non-probability sample to examine the factors associated with pregnant women’s experiences of material hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2021, 183 pregnant women living in the United States participated in an online Qualtrics panel survey. In addition to socio-demographic characteristics, individuals were asked about their finances and predictors of financial well-being, mental health symptoms, and intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences. Chi-square analysis and one-way ANOVA were used to examine whether women’s experiences with material hardship and associated factors differed by income level (i.e., less than $20,000; $20,000 to $60,000; more than $60,000). Ordinary least squares regression was used to calculate unadjusted and adjusted estimates. Results: Study findings showed that the majority of women in the sample experienced at least one form of material hardship in the past year. Individuals with an annual household income less than $20,000 reported the highest average number of material hardships experienced (M = 3.7, SD = 2.8). Compared to women with household incomes less than $20,000, women with incomes of more than $60,000 reported significantly fewer material hardships, less financial strain, and higher levels of financial support, economic self-efficacy, and economic-self-sufficiency. Women with incomes of $60,000 or more also reported significantly lower levels of psychological abuse, and a smaller percentage met the cut-off for anxiety. Economic self-sufficiency, financial strain, posttraumatic stress disorder, and economic abuse were all significantly associated with material hardship. Conclusions: A contribution of this study is that it highlights the significant, positive association between economic abuse, a unique form of IPV, and material hardship among pregnant women during the pandemic. These findings suggest the need for policy and practice interventions that help to ameliorate the financial insecurity experienced by some pregnant women, as well as respond to associated bidirectional vulnerabilities (e.g., mental health symptoms, experiences of IPV).
    • Exploring the natural origins of SARS-CoV-2 in the light of recombination

      Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (iGEM) (Temple University) (2021-05-27)
      The lack of an identifiable intermediate host species for the proximal animal ancestor of SARS-CoV-2, and the large geographical distance between Wuhan and where the closest evolutionary related coronaviruses circulating in horseshoe bats (Sarbecoviruses) have been identified, is fuelling speculation on the natural origins of SARS-CoV-2. We have comprehensively analysed phylogenetic relations between SARS-CoV-2, and the related bat and pangolin Sarbecoviruses sampled so far. Determining the likely recombination events reveals a highly reticulate evolutionary history within this group of coronaviruses. Clustering of the inferred recombination events is non-random with evidence that Spike, the main target for humoral immunity, is beside a recombination hotspot likely driving antigenic shift in the ancestry of bat Sarbecoviruses. Coupled with the geographic ranges of their hosts and the sampling locations, across southern China, and into Southeast Asia, we confirm horseshoe bats, Rhinolophus, are the likely SARS-CoV-2 progenitor reservoir species. By tracing the recombinant sequence patterns, we conclude that there has been relatively recent geographic movement and co-circulation of these viruses’ ancestors, extending across their bat host ranges in China and Southeast Asia over the last 100 years or so. We confirm that a direct proximal ancestor to SARS-CoV-2 is yet to be sampled, since the closest relative shared a common ancestor with SARS-CoV-2 approximately 40 years ago. Our analysis highlights the need for more wildlife sampling to (i) pinpoint the exact origins of SARS-CoV-2’s animal progenitor, and (ii) survey the extent of the diversity in the related Sarbecoviruses’ phylogeny that present high risk for future spillover.
    • Exploring the Natural Origins of SARS-CoV-2 in the Light of Recombination

      Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (Temple University) (2022-02-08)
      The lack of an identifiable intermediate host species for the proximal animal ancestor of SARS-CoV-2, and the large geographical distance between Wuhan and where the closest evolutionary related coronaviruses circulating in horseshoe bats (members of the Sarbecovirus subgenus) have been identified, is fueling speculation on the natural origins of SARS-CoV-2. We performed a comprehensive phylogenetic study on SARS-CoV-2 and all the related bat and pangolin sarbecoviruses sampled so far. Determining the likely recombination events reveals a highly reticulate evolutionary history within this group of coronaviruses. Distribution of the inferred recombination events is nonrandom with evidence that Spike, the main target for humoral immunity, is beside a recombination hotspot likely driving antigenic shift events in the ancestry of bat sarbecoviruses. Coupled with the geographic ranges of their hosts and the sampling locations, across southern China, and into Southeast Asia, we confirm that horseshoe bats, Rhinolophus, are the likely reservoir species for the SARS-CoV-2 progenitor. By tracing the recombinant sequence patterns, we conclude that there has been relatively recent geographic movement and cocirculation of these viruses’ ancestors, extending across their bat host ranges in China and Southeast Asia over the last 100 years. We confirm that a direct proximal ancestor to SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been sampled, since the closest known relatives collected in Yunnan shared a common ancestor with SARS-CoV-2 approximately 40 years ago. Our analysis highlights the need for dramatically more wildlife sampling to: 1) pinpoint the exact origins of SARS-CoV-2’s animal progenitor, 2) the intermediate species that facilitated transmission from bats to humans (if there is one), and 3) survey the extent of the diversity in the related sarbecoviruses’ phylogeny that present high risk for future spillovers.
    • Expression of SARS-CoV-2 Entry Factors in Human Alveolar Type II Cells in Aging and Emphysema

      Center for Inflammation, Translational and Clinical Lung Research (Temple University) (2021-07-06)
      Alveolar type II (ATII) cells proliferate and restore the injured epithelium. It has been described that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes diffuse alveolar damage in the lungs. However, host factors facilitating virus infection in ATII cells are not well known. We determined the SARS-CoV-2-related genes and protein expression using RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively, in ATII cells isolated from young and elderly non-smokers, smokers, and ex-smokers. Cells were also obtained from lung transplants of emphysema patients. ACE2 has been identified as the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, and we found significantly increased levels in young and elderly smokers and emphysema patients. The viral entry depends on TMPRSS2 protease activity, and a higher expression was detected in elderly smokers and ex-smokers and emphysema patients. Both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 mRNA levels were higher in this disease in comparison with non-smokers. CD209L serves as a receptor for SARS-CoV-2, and we found increased levels in ATII cells obtained from smokers and in emphysema patients. Also, our data suggest CD209L regulation by miR142. Endoplasmic reticulum stress was detected in ATII cells in this disease. Our results suggest that upregulation of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors in ATII cells in aging, smokers, and emphysema patients may facilitate infection.
    • Extended Reality Technologies in Nutrition Education and Behavior: Comprehensive Scoping Review and Future Directions

      Center for Obesity Research and Education (Temple University) (2020-09-22)
      The use of Extended Reality (XR) (i.e. Virtual and Augmented Reality) for nutrition education and behavior change has not been comprehensively reviewed. This paper presents findings from a scoping review of current published research. Articles (n = 92) were extracted from PubMed and Scopus using a structured search strategy and selection approach. Pertinent study information was extracted using a standardized data collection form. Each article was independently reviewed and coded by two members of the research team, who then met to resolve any coding discrepancies. There is an increasing trend in publication in this area, mostly regarding Virtual Reality. Most studies used developmental testing in a lab setting, employed descriptive or observational methods, and focused on momentary behavior change like food selection rather than education. The growth and diversity of XR studies suggest the potential of this approach. There is a need and opportunity for more XR technology focused on children and other foundational theoretical determinants of behavior change to be addressed within nutrition education. Our findings suggest that XR technology is a burgeoning approach in the field of nutrition, but important gaps remain, including inadequate methodological rigor, community application, and assessment of the impact on dietary behaviors.
    • Face masks influence emotion judgments of facial expressions: A drift-diffusion model

      Center for Applied Research in Decision Making (2021-11-12)
      Face masks slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but it has been unknown how masks might reshape social interaction. One important possibility is that masks may influence how individuals communicate emotion through facial expressions. Here, we clarify to what extent—and how— masks influence facial emotion communication, through drift-diffusion modeling (DDM). Over two independent pre-registered studies, conducted three and six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, online participants judged expressions of 6 emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise) with the lower or upper face “masked” or unmasked. Participants in Study 1 (N = 228) correctly identified expressions above chance with lower face masks. However, they were less likely—and slower—to correctly identify these expressions relative to without masks, and they accumulated evidence for emotion more slowly—via decreased drift rate in DDM. This pattern replicated and intensified three months later in Study 2 (N = 264). These data could inform critical interventions to promote continued mask wearing by addressing concerns about how masks impact communication.
    • Fast and accurate genome-wide predictions and structural modeling of protein-protein interactions using Galaxy

      Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine (iGEM) (Temple University) (2021-04-14)
      Protein-protein interactions play a crucial role in almost all cellular processes. Identifying interacting proteins reveals insight into living organisms and yields novel drug targets for disease treatment. Here, we present a publicly available, automated pipeline to predict genome-wide protein-protein interactions and produce high-quality multimeric structural models. Application of our method to the Human and Yeast genomes yield protein-protein interaction networks similar in quality to common experimental methods. We identified and modeled Human proteins likely to interact with the papain-like protease of SARS-CoV2’s non-structural protein 3 (Nsp3). We also produced models of SARS-CoV2’s spike protein (S) interacting with myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein receptor (MOG) and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4). The presented method is capable of confidently identifying interactions while providing high-quality multimeric structural models for experimental validation. The interactome modeling pipeline is available at usegalaxy.org and usegalaxy.eu.
    • First-in-Human Trial of a Recombinant Stabilized Prefusion SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Vaccine with Adjuvant of Aluminum Hydroxide and CpG 1018

      Hsieh, Szu-Min; Liu, Wang-Da; Huang, Yu-Shan; Lin, Yi-Jiun; Hsieh, Erh-Fang; Lian, Wei-Cheng; Chen, Charles; Tai, I-Chen; Chang, Shan-Chwen (2021-04-06)
      Design: This is a phase 1, dose-escalation open-label trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of MVC-COV1901, a recombinant stabilized prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike (S-2P) protein vaccine with adjuvant of aluminum hydroxide and CpG 1018. Methods: We enrolled 45 healthy adults from 20 to 49 years of age to be administered with two vaccinations of MVC-COV1901 in a low dose (LD), middle dose (MD), and high dose (HD) of spike protein at 28 days apart. There were 15 participants in each dose group, and all of them were followed up for 28 days after the second vaccination at the time of interim analysis. Adverse events (AEs) and laboratory data were recorded for safety evaluation. Blood samples were collected for wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and pseudovirus neutralization assays as well as SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) at various times. Overall, the study duration will be 7 months. Results: Solicited events were mostly mild and similar in the participants of all three dose groups. No subject experienced fever. There were no serious nor adverse events of special interest at the time point of this interim report. After the second vaccination, the SARS-CoV-2 spike specific IgG titers increased with peak geometric mean titers at 7178.245 (LD), 7746.086 (MD), and 11220.58 (HD), respectively. Serum neutralizing activity was detected by two methods in all participants of MD and HD groups, with geometric mean values generally comparable to those of a panel of control convalescent serum specimens. All of the participants in the MD and HD groups were seroconverted after the second vaccination. Conclusions: The MVC-COV1901 vaccine is safe and elicits remarkable immune responses especially in the MD and HD groups.
    • Fondaparinux: Should It Be Studied in Patients with COVID-19 Disease?

      Center for Biotechnology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine (Temple University) (2020-10-01)
      We have read with interest the review article by Bikdeli et al recently published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis on the priority in planning studies on the different anticoagulants in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection.[1] The authors describe the characteristics of both the anticoagulants available today and in the future. Antiplatelets drugs have been also considered. Surprisingly, fondaparinux (FPX) has reached a lower priority research mean (4.89) than unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH) at intermediate (7.82) or therapeutic (7.53) dosage for hospitalized ward and intensive care unit patients. We believe that properties of these drugs have been overlooked by the scientific panel of the Global COVID-19 Thrombosis Collaborative Group.
    • Freely accessible ready to use global infrastructure for SARS-CoV-2 monitoring

      Maier, Wolfgang; Bray, Simon; van den Beek, Marius; Bouvier, Dave; Coraor, Nathaniel; Miladi, Milad; Singh, Babita; Rambla De Argila, Jordi; Baker, Dannon; Roach, Nathan; Gladman, Simon; Coppens, Frederik; Martin, Darren P.; Lonie, Andrew; Grüning, Björn; Pond, Sergei; Nekrutenko, Anton; Pond|0000-0003-4817-4029 (2021-03-25)
      The COVID-19 pandemic is the first global health crisis to occur in the age of big genomic data. Although data generation capacity is well established and sufficiently standardized, analytical capacity is not. To establish analytical capacity it is necessary to pull together global computational resources and deliver the best open source tools and analysis workflows within a ready to use, universally accessible resource. Such a resource should not be controlled by a single research group, institution, or country. Instead it should be maintained by a community of users and developers who ensure that the system remains operational and populated with current tools. A community is also essential for facilitating the types of discourse needed to establish best analytical practices. Bringing together public computational research infrastructure from the USA, Europe, and Australia, we developed a distributed data analysis platform that accomplishes these goals. It is immediately accessible to anyone in the world and is designed for the analysis of rapidly growing collections of deep sequencing datasets. We demonstrate its utility by detecting allelic variants in high-quality existing SARS-CoV-2 sequencing datasets and by continuous reanalysis of COG-UK data. All workflows, data, and documentation is available at https://covid19.galaxyproject.org.
    • From examining the relationship between (corona)viral adhesins and galectins to glyco-perspectives

      Institute of Computational Molecular Science (Temple University) (2021-03-16)
      Glycan-lectin recognition is vital to processes that impact human health, including viral infections. Proceeding from crystallographical evidence of case studies on adeno-, corona-, and rotaviral spike proteins, the relationship of these adhesins to mammalian galectins was examined by computational similarity assessments. Intrafamily diversity among human galectins was in the range of that to these viral surface proteins. Our findings are offered to inspire the consideration of lectin-based approaches to thwart infection by present and future viral threats, also mentioning possible implications for vaccine development.
    • From loss to recovery: how to effectively assess chemosensory impairments during COVID-19 pandemic

      Cecchetto, Cinzia; Di Pizio, Antonella; Genovese, Federica; Calcinoni, Orietta; Macchi, Alberto; Dunkel, Andreas; Ohla, Kathrin; Spinelli, Sara; Farruggia, Michael C.; Joseph, Paule V.; Menini, Anna; Cantone, Elena; Dinnella, Caterina; Cecchini, Maria Paola; D’Errico, Anna; Mucignat-Caretta, Carla; Parma, Valentina; Dibattista, Michele; Parma|0000-0003-0276-7072 (2021-03-26)
      Chemosensory impairments have been established as a specific indicator of COVID-19. They affect most patients and may persist long past the resolution of respiratory symptoms, representing an unprecedented medical challenge. Since the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic started, we now know much more about smell, taste, and chemesthesis loss associated with COVID-19. However, the temporal dynamics and characteristics of recovery are still unknown. Here, capitalizing on data from the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR) crowdsourced survey, we assessed chemosensory abilities after the resolution of respiratory symptoms in participants diagnosed with COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in Italy. This analysis led to the identification of two patterns of chemosensory recovery, limited (partial) and substantial, which were found to be associated with differential age, degrees of chemosensory loss, and regional patterns. Uncovering the self-reported phenomenology of recovery from smell, taste, and chemesthetic disorders is the first, yet essential step, to provide healthcare professionals with the tools to take purposeful and targeted action to address chemosensory disorders and its severe discomfort.
    • Genetic and Cell biology Discriminants of Sars-CoV2 Infection and Susceptibility to Covid-19 pulmonary complication

      Center for Biotechnology, Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine (Temple University) (2020-05-04)
      The agent of Covid19, Sars-CoV-2 has caused thousands of fatalities worldwide and overshadowed the number of deaths of other previous coronavirus outbreaks (Sars-CoV1 2002 and MERS-CoV 2012). Although the new coronavirus pathogenicity is actively under investigation, part of its infectious behavior can be linked to its higher binding affinity to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the respiratory tracts. However, the expression of ACE2 per se may not be sufficient to justify the individual variability observed among affected patients in terms of clinical outcome in apparently non-immune depressed, non-elders subjects. The present update provides an overview of the most recent scientific findings related to genetic factors involved in the Sars-CoV-2 infectious process and their potential role in affecting the virus pathogenicity. The present update can provide valuable hints towards developing a predictive screening/susceptibility profile testing on individuals not yet infected and/or in non symptomatic positive subjects towards managing the current morbidity and mortality risk and establishing personalized intervention protocols for the early treatment of the Sars-CoV-2-associated life-threatening pulmonary complication.