The latest medical research on COVID-19

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about covid-19 gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Immuno-epidemiology and the predictability of viral evolution.


Understanding viral evolution depends on a synthesis of evolutionary biology and immuno-epidemiology.

Influence on study outcomes of an inpatient study by the behavior of the study staff (PINgPOng): study protocol for a randomized clinical trial.


German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00013586 . Registered on December 22, 2017.

PINgPOng is a single-center, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in a 3-group, 2-sequence, 2-period cross-over design. The study is conducted according to the principles of ICH-GCP and the Declaration of Helsinki on the Phase I-Unit of the University Hospital Bonn. The primary endpoint is the pain intensity in the cold pressor test before and after the administration of 15 mg oxycodone or placebo. The pain intensity is compared between three study conditions: 32 healthy volunteers in each study arm will be treated either by an untrained study team (arm A), by a study team trained to maximize (arm B), or to minimize placebo responses (arm C). Neuroendocrine factors (alpha-amylase activity, salivary cortisol), characteristic traits (anxiety, depression, stress), and somatic reactions are analyzed as covariates of the pain perception.

The PINgPOng study will allow to answer the question whether and to what extent the behavior of a trained study team (neutral vs. maximize vs. minimize placebo responses) will differentially affect placebo responses in a setting of a highly standardized early clinical trial. The results will help to control the placebo effects by education of the clinical study team and to avoid unnecessary high placebo effects in clinical development.

New autopsy technique in COVID-19 positive dead bodies: opening the thoracic cavity with an outlook to reduce aerosol spread.


After the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, most countries have modified some of their health-related regulations. However, this has not been in the case of the postmortem of deceased because it has a legal aspect. Thus, the healthcare providers knowingly or unknowingly faced the threat of COVID-19 exposure from those dead bodies. To introduce an autopsy technique that reduces the droplet spreads, especially in those mortuaries where the biosafety mechanism is not highly equipped.

The validity of the new incision was achieved through the calculation of the Scale Content Validity Index (SCVI) taking inputs from 17 forensic specialists. The subjects for the new technique were selected from the patients who were RTPCR positive for COVID-19 or clinically or radiologically showing features of COVID-19.

The dissection procedure was finalised by achieving the SCVI at 0.92. The chest cavity was approached through the abdominal cavity by opening the diaphragm and dissecting out the contents of the chest using a long blade knife.

The advantage of this approach is that the autopsy surgeon and pathologists do not have to open the chest cavity by dissecting the Sternum, and hence the chance of droplet infection becomes almost nil. This technique is complete, simple, less time-consuming and conducive for sample collection, and even reduces the possibility of body fluid seepage following a postmortem examination.

Factors Associated With a Positive View of Respiratory Care Leadership.


Burnout within health care is prevalent, and its effects are detrimental to patient outcomes, organizations, and individuals. Effects stemming from burnout include anxiety, depression, excessive alcohol and drug use, cardiovascular problems, time off work, and worse patient outcomes. Published data have suggested up to 50% of health care workers experience burnout and 79% of respiratory therapists (RTs) experience burnout. Leadership has been cited as a key driver of burnout among RTs. We aimed to identify factors associated with a positive or negative leadership perception.

A post hoc analysis of an institutional review board-approved survey to evaluate RT burnout, administered via REDCap by convenience sample to 26 health care centers (3,124 potential respondents) from January 17-March 15, 2021, was performed to identify factors associated with a positive view of leadership. Survey questions included validated tools to measure leadership, burnout, staffing, COVID-19 exposure, and demographics. Data analysis was descriptive, and logistic regression was performed to evaluate factors associated with leadership perception.

Of 1,080 respondents, 710 (66%) had a positive view of leadership. Univariate analysis revealed those with a positive view of leadership were more likely to be working with adequate staffing, were rarely unable to complete all work, were less likely to be burned out, disagreed that people in this work environment were burned out, were less likely to miss work for any reason, more likely to be in a leadership position, worked fewer hours in intensive care, worked in a center affiliated with a medical school, worked day shift, were less likely to care for adult patients, and were more likely to be male. Logistic regression revealed providing care to patients with COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR] 5.8-10.5, P < .001-.006) was the only factor associated with a positive view of leadership, whereas working without adequate staffing (OR 0.27-0.28, P = .002-.006), staff RTs (OR 0.33, P < .001), work environment (OR 0.42, P = .003), missing work for any reason (OR 0.69, P = .003), and burnout score (OR 0.98, P < .001) were associated with a negative view of leadership.

Most RTs had a positive view of their leadership. A negative leadership score was associated with higher burnout and missing work. This relationship requires further investigation to evaluate if changes in leadership practices can improve employee well-being and reduce burnout.

Plasma Markers of Neurologic Injury and Inflammation in People With Self-Reported Neurologic Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection.


The biologic mechanisms underlying neurologic postacute sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (PASC) are incompletely understood.

We measured markers of neurologic injury (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], neurofilament light chain [NfL]) and soluble markers of inflammation among a cohort of people with prior confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection at early and late recovery after the initial illness (defined as less than and greater than 90 days, respectively). The primary clinical outcome was the presence of self-reported CNS PASC symptoms during the late recovery time point. We compared fold changes in marker values between those with and without CNS PASC symptoms using linear mixed-effects models and examined relationships between neurologic and immunologic markers using rank linear correlations.

Of 121 individuals, 52 reported CNS PASC symptoms. During early recovery, those who went on to report CNS PASC symptoms had elevations in GFAP (1.3-fold higher mean ratio, 95% CI 1.04-1.63, p = 0.02), but not NfL (1.06-fold higher mean ratio, 95% CI 0.89-1.26, p = 0.54). During late recovery, neither GFAP nor NfL levels were elevated among those with CNS PASC symptoms. Although absolute levels of NfL did not differ, those who reported CNS PASC symptoms demonstrated a stronger downward trend over time in comparison with those who did not report CNS PASC symptoms (p = 0.041). Those who went on to report CNS PASC also exhibited elevations in interleukin 6 (48% higher during early recovery and 38% higher during late recovery), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (19% higher during early recovery), and tumor necrosis factor α (19% higher during early recovery and 13% higher during late recovery). GFAP and NfL correlated with levels of several immune activation markers during early recovery; these correlations were attenuated during late recovery.

Self-reported neurologic symptoms present approximately 4 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection are associated with elevations in markers of neurologic injury and inflammation at earlier time points. Some inflammatory pathways seem to be involved months after acute infection. Additional work will be needed to better characterize these processes and to identify interventions to prevent or treat this condition.

Comparative effectiveness and durability of COVID-19 vaccination against death and severe disease in an ongoing nationwide mass vaccination campaign.


As national COVID-19 mass vaccination campaigns are rolled out, monitoring real-world Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) and its durability is essential. We aimed to estimate COVID-19 VE against severe disease and death in the Greek population, for all vaccines currently in use.

Nationwide active surveillance and vaccination registry data during January-December 2021 were used to estimate VE via quasi-Poisson regression, adjusted for age and calendar time. Interaction terms were included to assess VE by age group, against the "delta" SARS-CoV-2 variant and waning of VE over time.

Two doses of BNT162b2, mRNA-1273 or ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccines offered very high (>90%) VE against both intubation and death across all age groups, similar against both "delta" and previous variants, with one-dose Ad26.COV2.S slightly lower. VE waned over time but remained >80% at six months, and three doses increased VE again to near 100%. Vaccination prevented an estimated 19,691 COVID-19 deaths (95% CI: 18,890-20,788) over the study period.

All approved vaccines offer strong and also durable protection against COVID-19 severe disease and death. Every effort should be made to vaccinate the population with at least two doses, in order to reduce the mortality and morbidity impact of the pandemic. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Unmet need in Sierra Leone: a national oral health survey of schoolchildren.


Sierra Leone (SL), in West Africa, with a population of over 7.5 million people has suffered the effects of a civil war previously, and more recently Ebola & Covid-19. Dental care is very limited, mostly in the capital Freetown and the private sector. No dental education is available in the country. The objective of this research was to investigate the oral health needs of schoolchildren at key ages, to inform future action.

This first national oral health survey of schoolchildren at 6-, 12- and 15-years was conducted in urban and rural settings across all four regions using a multi-stage cluster sampling in line with the WHO guidelines, adapted according to contemporary survey methods to include 'International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS)'. Whilst parents were invited to complete a questionnaire for 6-year-old children, 12- and 15-year-olds self-completed a questionnaire. Data were weighted according to age and regional population and analysed using STATA v.15 and SPSS v.22.

A total of 1174 children participated across 22 schools from all four regions. Dental caries was prevalent (over 80% of all age-groups having clinical decay; ICDAS score ≥ 2) and largely untreated. No children had fillings and only 4% had missing teeth. Amongst 6, 12 and 15-year-olds, average decay levels at ICDAS > 3 threshold was 3.47 (primary teeth), 2.94 and 4.30 respectively. Almost, 10% (n = 119) of all children reported experiencing pain in their teeth with 7% (n = 86) children having PUFA lesions present. At least one in five children required one or more dental extractions. 'Age' was a significant predictor of dental caries experience and the odds of having dental caries experience was higher in rural areas at D3-6MFT (p < 0.05).

The findings demonstrate a vast unmet oral health need in the children of SL. Using ICDAS as an epidemiological tool in a low-income country provides valuable insight to the pattern of oral disease to inform health service planning. Urgent action is required to address this silent epidemic.

An index of access to essential infrastructure to identify where physical distancing is impossible.


To identify areas at highest risk of infectious disease transmission in Africa, we develop a physical distancing index (PDI) based on the share of ...

Bacterial and fungal communities in tracheal aspirates of intubated COVID-19 patients: a pilot study.


Co-infections with bacterial or fungal pathogens could be associated with severity and outcome of disease in COVID-19 patients. We, therefore, used...

A map of bat virus receptors derived from single-cell multiomics.


Bats are considered reservoirs of many lethal zoonotic viruses and have been implicated in several outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, such ...

Sentinel node approach to monitoring online COVID-19 misinformation.


Understanding how different online communities engage with COVID-19 misinformation is critical for public health response. For example, misinformat...

Harmonization and standardization of data for a pan-European cohort on SARS- CoV-2 pandemic.


The European project ORCHESTRA intends to create a new pan-European cohort to rapidly advance the knowledge of the effects and treatment of COVID-1...