Increased TMPRSS2 Expression in Tongue Tissue of Females and Alcohol Drinkers

A Potential Risk Factor for SARS-CoV-2 Infection Identified as Increased TMPRSS2 Expression in Tongue Tissue of Females and Alcohol Drinkers In the present study, the researchers used immunoblot analysis and immunohistochemistry techniques to determine ACE-2 and TMPRSS2 expression in the human and murine tongue tissue. Tongue,  submandibular glands , and kidneys were acquired from euthanized five-week-old male mice. Half the tissues were fixed in phosphate-buffered formalin for immunohistochemical and histological analysis, while the other half was frozen at -80 °C for the immunoblot assay. With informed consent, human tongue samples were acquired from patients with primary tongue cancer who underwent surgery. The non-tumorous regions of the tongue were fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin for the  immunohistochemical tests . Three fresh human tongue samples were used for the immunoblot analysis. Paraffin-fixed tissues were sectioned and mounted on glass slides. Immunostaining wa

SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Human Proteins

T he emergence and rapid outbreak of a novel coronavirus, namely,   severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2   (SARS-CoV-2) in China in 2019, caused a global pandemic, which is popularly known as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (COVID-19). Some of the common symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, loss of taste/smell, and shortness of breath. Additionally, many individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 remain asymptomatic. However, some  COVID-19 patients  experience more severe complications including thrombosis, myocarditis, and thrombocytopenia. Scientists identified molecular mimicry hotspots in the S region. They revealed the presence of molecular mimics with a high autoimmune potential in clusters within the S protein of SARS-CoV-2. Researchers observed that some clusters contained many molecular mimics whose motifs are found in human proteins.  Molecular mimics  present in the α-helices exhibited higher structural similarity based on the normal conformation of the hel

COPD and COVID-19 by Cannabis Use

C annabis  is the most widely used psychotropic substance worldwide and is the second most commonly smoked substance after tobacco. Tobacco use is associated with reduced air flow rate and lung volume; however, this association is not observed with cannabis use. In fact, one 2012 study found no association to exist between occasional and minimal cumulative cannabis usage and poor  pulmonary function . To determine the different effects of cannabis and/or tobacco, it is crucial to know the quantity of how much was smoked. Those who frequently use  tobacco  will typically smoke between ten and twenty cigarettes each day, whereas the average cannabis user will smoke two to three times per month. Many people first try cannabis in their late teens or early twenties, with some continuing to use cannabis for several years at modest doses. Since heavy cannabis users were comparatively uncommon in the study population, accurate estimates of the consequences of excessive usage were not available

SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Nasopharyngeal Microbiota

C anadian researchers investigated how  severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2  (SARS-CoV-2) infection altered the microbiota composition of the host’s nasopharyngeal region. The risk and clinical outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection vary widely among individuals. However, the mechanisms underlying these differences in  coronavirus disease 2019  (COVID-19) progression and pathogenesis remain unclear. Studies have shown that the mucosal microbiome influences host toll-like receptor (TLR) expression, which is involved in virus detection. Studies have also shown the prevalence of bacterial co-infections in COVID-19 patients at 6.9%. Likewise, elevated nasal cytokines have been implicated in adverse clinical outcomes in influenza patients. Therefore, exploring upper respiratory tract microbiota compositional changes following SARS-CoV-2 infection could help evaluate its impact on  infection  severity. Overall, the study results presented a granular picture of the microbiota difference

Long COVID Symptomatology in Children

C hildren are at an increased risk of  COVID 2019  (COVID-19) and post-COVID-19 (long COVID) syndrome due to the lack of authorized vaccines for children, scare recommendations for pediatric vaccinations, low vaccine uptake, and social distancing difficulties among children. Knowledge of long COVID among children is vital to guide the identification and management of COVID-19 and long COVID by setting up multi-disciplinary long COVID clinics. In the present cross-sectional and nationwide Long COVID Kids DK study, researchers investigated the long COVID symptomatology and its impact on quality of life and absence from schools and daycare facilities among  SARS-CoV-2-infected  children aged <14 years in Denmark. The study comprised a 1:4 ratio of SARS-CoV-2 infected Danish children (cases) with diagnoses confirmed by  polymerase chain reaction  (PCR) between 1 January 2020 and 12 July 2021 (cases) and age- and sex-matched controls. The cases were identified from the Danish COVID-19 da

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Prior Spike

I n the current study, researchers investigated the degree to which infection with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron boosts cross-reactive B and T   cell immunity   against itself and other VOCs. The authors recruited a cohort of healthcare workers (HCWs) longitudinally followed from March 2020 to January 2022, who were individuals with different combinations of vaccination and infection histories. HCWs were identified from successive COVID-19 waves, viz., Alpha, Delta, and Omicron, and after partial (first dose), full (double dose), and booster (third dose) vaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine. The nucleocapsid (N) and spike 1 (S1) receptor-binding domain (RBD) serology were longitudinally evaluated. The authors observed that the third exposure to the spike boosted S1 RBD titers in most HCW after two or three weeks of the most recent  vaccination . Moreover, antibody responses were plateaued by the third vaccination. Triple-vaccinated HCWs infected with SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan Hu-1 had significantly reduc

Treating COVID-19 Paxlovid is Shown to be Effective

In a recent Report published on the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) website, researchers described cases of  coronavirus disease 2019  (COVID-19)–related hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits in five to 15 days following Paxlovid (Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir) treatment. Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir, a  severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2  (SARS-CoV-2) main protease (Mpro) inhibitor, is marketed under the brand name Paxlovid. It received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2021 for mild to moderate COVID-19 cases likely at risk for developing severe disease. There are some published reports of recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infections after completion of the Paxlovid treatment. However, there is a lack of real-world evidence to show that early intervention with Paxlovid prevents the progression of mild and moderate COVID-19 cases to severity. The study findings showed that the symptoms expe