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Pulmonary pathology and COVID-19 : lessons from autopsy : the experience of European pulmonary pathologists
Gregor Gorkiewicz, Sergei Timofeev, Jan von der Thüsen, Angel Panizo, Izidor Kern, Paul Hofman, Francesco Fortarezza, Federica Pezzuto, Fiorella Calabrese, Francesca Lunardi, 2020

Povzetek: Since its initial recognition in December 2019, Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has quickly spread to a pandemic infectious disease. The causative agent has been recognized as a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), primarily affecting the respiratory tract. To date, no vaccines are available nor any specific treatment. To limit the number of infections, strict directives have been issued by governments that have been translated into equally rigorous guidelines notably for post-mortem examinations by international and national scientific societies. The recommendations for biosafety control required during specimen collection and handling have strongly limited the practice of autopsies of the COVID-19 patients to a few adequate laboratories. A full pathological examination has always been considered an important tool to better understand the pathophysiology of diseases, especially when the knowledge of an emerging disorder is limited and the impact on the healthcare system is significant. The first evidence of diffuse alveolar damage in the context of an acute respiratory distress syndrome has now been joined by the latest findings that report a more complex scenario in COVID-19, including a vascular involvement and a wide spectrum of associated pathologies. Ancillary tools such as electron microscopy and molecular biology used on autoptic tissue samples from autopsy are also significantly contributing to confirm and/or identify new aspects useful for a deeper knowledge of the pathogenetic mechanisms. This article will review and summarize the pathological findings described in COVID-19 until now, chiefly focusing on the respiratory tract, highlighting the importance of autopsy towards a better knowledge of this disease.
Ključne besede: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, autopsy, lung, pandemic
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 31.07.2020; Ogledov: 12248; Prenosov: 609
.pdf Celotno besedilo (1,55 MB)

The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management and course of chronic urticaria
Emek Kocatürk, Andaç Salman, Ivan Cherrez-Ojeda, Paulo Ricardo Criado, Jonny Peter, Elif Comert-Ozer, Mohamed Abuzakouk, Rosana Câmara Agondi, Mona Al-Ahmad, Sabine Altrichter, Mojca Bizjak, Mitja Košnik, 2020

Povzetek: Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically disrupts health care around the globe. The impact of the pandemic on chronic urticaria (CU) and its management are largely unknown. Aim: To understand how CU patients are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; how specialists alter CU patient management; and the course of CU in patients with COVID-19. Materials and methods: Our cross-sectional, international, questionnaire-based, multicenter UCARE COVID-CU study assessed the impact of the pandemic on patient consultations, remote treatment, changes in medications, and clinical consequences. Results: The COVID-19 pandemic severely impairs CU patient care, with less than 50% of the weekly numbers of patients treated as compared to before the pandemic. Reduced patient referrals and clinic hours were the major reasons. Almost half of responding UCARE physicians were involved in COVID-19 patient care, which negatively impacted on the care of urticaria patients. The rate of face-to-face consultations decreased by 62%, from 90% to less than half, whereas the rate of remote consultations increased by more than 600%, from one in 10 to more than two thirds. Cyclosporine and systemic corticosteroids, but not antihistamines or omalizumab, are used less during the pandemic. CU does not affect the course of COVID-19, but COVID-19 results in CU exacerbation in one of three patients, with higher rates in patients with severe COVID-19. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic brings major changes and challenges for CU patients and their physicians. The long-term consequences of these changes, especially the increased use of remote consultations, require careful evaluation.
Ključne besede: chronic urticaria, pandemics, omalizumab, cyclosporine, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, UCARE, treatment
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 14.12.2020; Ogledov: 719; Prenosov: 169

Nrf2-interacting nutrients and COVID-19 : time for research to develop adaptation strategies
Jean Bousquet, Jean-Paul Cristol, Wienczyslawa Czarlewski, Josep M. Antò i Boquè, Adrian Martineau, Tari Haahtela, Susana C. Fonseca, Guido Iaccarino, Hubert Blain, Alessandro Fiocchi, Nisera Bajrović, Natalija Edelbaher, Maja Jošt, Peter Kopač, Anja Koren, Mitja Košnik, Karmen Kramer Vrščaj, Samo Kreft, Nika Lalek, Bojan Madjar, Tonka Poplas-Susič, Irma Rozman Sinur, Tanja Soklič, Katja Triller Vadnal, Nadja Triller, Jure Urbančič, Mihaela Zidarn, 2020

Povzetek: There are large between- and within-country variations in COVID-19 death rates. Some very low death rate settings such as Eastern Asia, Central Europe, the Balkans and Africa have a common feature of eating large quantities of fermented foods whose intake is associated with the activation of the Nrf2 (Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2) anti-oxidant transcription factor. There are many Nrf2-interacting nutrients (berberine, curcumin, epigallocatechin gallate, genistein, quercetin, resveratrol, sulforaphane) that all act similarly to reduce insulin resistance, endothelial damage, lung injury and cytokine storm. They also act on the same mechanisms (mTOR: Mammalian target of rapamycin, PPAR[gamma]:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, NF[kappa]B: Nuclear factor kappa B, ERK: Extracellular signal-regulated kinases and eIF2[alpha]:Elongation initiation factor 2[alpha]). They may as a result be important in mitigating the severity of COVID-19, acting through the endoplasmic reticulum stress or ACE-Angiotensin-II-AT1R axis (AT1R) pathway. Many Nrf2-interacting nutrients are also interacting with TRPA1 and/or TRPV1. Interestingly, geographical areas with very low COVID-19 mortality are those with the lowest prevalence of obesity (Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia). It is tempting to propose that Nrf2-interacting foods and nutrients can re-balance insulin resistance and have a significant effect on COVID-19 severity. It is therefore possible that the intake of these foods may restore an optimal natural balance for the Nrf2 pathway and may be of interest in the mitigation of COVID-19 severity.
Ključne besede: Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, food, insulin resistance, obesity, Nrf2, nutrients, TRPA1
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 25.01.2021; Ogledov: 814; Prenosov: 311
.pdf Celotno besedilo (1,61 MB)

Usefulness of rapid antigen testing for SARS-CoV-2 screening of healthcare workers : ǂa ǂpilot study
Anja Šterbenc, Viktorija Tomič, Urška Bidovec, Katja Vrankar, Aleš Rozman, Mihaela Zidarn, 2021

Povzetek: Background. Identification of infected healthcare workers (HCWs) is an important step in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission control. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are considered an important addition to molecular tests in diagnosing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), mainly because of their fast turnaround time, easier analytical procedure and lower price. However, real-life studies on the usefulness of such testing for screening of HCWs are limited. Methods. Physicians, nurses and hospital attendants currently working at the University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases Golnik were invited to participate in the pilot study. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained three times per week for two consecutive weeks and tested with a point-of-care RAT and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Serum samples were obtained at the beginning of the study and 2 weeks after the last swab was collected to evaluate the serological status. Results. A total of 191 nasopharyngeal swabs from 36 HCWs were obtained. None of the samples tested was positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antigen, whereas two HCWs tested positive on RT-PCR. Of these, one HCW had a newly identified SARS-CoV-2 infection, whereas RT-PCR probably detected a previous but recent infection in the other HCW. Conclusio.n Based on the results of this pilot study, it is unlikely that RAT will reliably detect novel SARS-CoV-2 infections among asymptomatic HCWs despite serial sampling. Although RT-PCR-based screening of HCWs may not be feasible due to high sample volume, molecular methods may identify SARS-CoV-2-infected HCWs already during the presymptomatic stage.
Ključne besede: SARS-CoV-2, health personnel, COVID-19 serological testing, real-time polymerase chain reaction, rapid antigen test, screening
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 28.05.2021; Ogledov: 510; Prenosov: 109

Robust saliva-based RNA extraction-free one-step nucleic acid amplification test for mass SARS-CoV-2 monitoring
Mojca Benčina, Roman Jerala, Tatjana Lejko-Zupanc, Gabriele Turel, Viktorija Tomič, Mihaela Zidarn, Žiga Jensterle, Katarina Prosenc, Mojca Milavec, Tina Demšar, Polona Kogovšek, Irena Mlinarič-Raščan, Dunja Urbančič, Alenka Šmid, Petra Sušjan, Arne Praznik, Tina Šket, Eva Rajh, 2021

Povzetek: Early diagnosis with rapid detection of the virus plays a key role in preventing the spread of infection and in treating patients effectively. In order to address the need for a straightforward detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection and assessment of viral spread, we developed rapid, sensitive, extraction-free one-step reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) tests for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in saliva. We analyzed over 700 matched pairs of saliva and nasopharyngeal swab (NSB) specimens from asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. Saliva, as either an oral cavity swab or passive drool, was collected in an RNA stabilization buffer. The stabilized saliva specimens were heat-treated and directly analyzed without RNA extraction. The diagnostic sensitivity of saliva-based RT-qPCR was at least 95% in individuals with subclinical infection and outperformed RT-LAMP, which had at least 70% sensitivity when compared to NSBs analyzed with a clinical RT-qPCR test. The diagnostic sensitivity for passive drool saliva was higher than that of oral cavity swab specimens (95% and 87%, respectively). A rapid, sensitive one-step extraction-free RT-qPCR test for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in passive drool saliva is operationally simple and can be easily implemented using existing testing sites, thus allowing high-throughput, rapid, and repeated testing of large populations. Furthermore, saliva testing is adequate to detect individuals in an asymptomatic screening program and can help improve voluntary screening compliance for those individuals averse to various forms of nasal collections.
Ključne besede: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, COVID-19 serological testing, real-time polymerase chain reaction, saliva, oral cavity swab, passive drool, pooling
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 09.11.2021; Ogledov: 398; Prenosov: 171
URL Celotno besedilo (0,00 KB)

Covid-19 pulmonary pathology : the experience of European pulmonary pathologists throughout the first two waves of the pandemic
Francesco Fortarezza, Federica Pezzuto, Paul Hofman, Izidor Kern, Angel Panizo, Jan von der Thüsen, Sergei Timofeev, Gregor Gorkiewicz, Sabina Berezowska, Laurence de Level, Cristian Ortiz-Villalón, Francesca Lunardi, Fiorella Calabrese, 2022

Povzetek: Autoptic studies of patients who died from COVID-19 constitute an important step forward in improving our knowledge in the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Systematic analyses of lung tissue, the organ primarily targeted by the disease, were mostly performed during the first wave of the pandemic. Analyses of pathological lesions at different times offer a good opportunity to better understand the disease and how its evolution has been influenced mostly by new SARS-CoV-2 variants or the different therapeutic approaches. In this short report we summarize responses collected from a questionnaire survey that investigated important pathological data during the first two pandemic waves (spring-summer 2020; autumn-winter 2020–2021). The survey was submitted to expert lung pathologists from nine European countries involved in autoptic procedures in both pandemic waves. The frequency of each lung lesion was quite heterogeneous among the participants. However, a higher frequency of pulmonary superinfections, both bacterial and especially fungal, was observed in the second wave compared to the first. Obtaining a deeper knowledge of the pathological lesions at the basis of this complex and severe disease, which change over time, is crucial for correct patient management and treatment. Autoptic examination is a useful tool to achieve this goal.
Ključne besede: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, autopsy, lung - pathology, pulmonary aspergillosis
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 13.01.2022; Ogledov: 235; Prenosov: 122
.pdf Celotno besedilo (2,30 MB)

Allergies and COVID-19 vaccines : an ENDA/EAACI position paper
Annick Barbaud, Lene Heise Garvey, Alessandra Arcolaci, Knut Brockow, Francesca Mori, Cristobalina Mayorga, Maja Jošt, Mitja Košnik, Mihaela Zidarn, Maria J Torres, 2022

Povzetek: Anaphylaxis, which is rare, has been reported after COVID 19 vaccination, but its management is not standardized. Method. Members of the European Network for Drug Allergy and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology interested in drug allergy participated in an online questionnaire on pre-vaccination screening and management of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines, and literature was analysed. Results. No death due to anaphylaxis to COVID-19 vaccines has been confirmed in scientific literature. Potential allergens, polyethylene glycol (PEG), polysorbate and tromethamine, are excipients. The authors propose allergy evaluation of persons with the following histories: 1- anaphylaxis to injectable drug or vaccine containing PEG or derivatives; 2- anaphylaxis to oral/topical PEG containing products; 3-recurrent anaphylaxis of unknown cause; 4-suspected or confirmed allergy to any mRNA vaccine, 5-confirmed allergy to PEG or derivatives. We recommend a prick-to-prick skin test with the left over solution in the suspected vaccine vial to avoid waste. Prick test panel should include PEG 4000 or 3500, PEG 2000 and polysorbate 80. The value of in vitro test is arguable. Conclusions. These recommendations will lead to a better knowledge of the management and mechanisms involved in anaphylaxis to COVID-19 vaccines and enable more people with history of allergy to be vaccinated.
Ključne besede: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, allergens, anapylaxis, drug hypersensitivity
DiRROS - Objavljeno: 07.02.2022; Ogledov: 168; Prenosov: 31

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