COVID-19: Transmission and Therapeutics

Experimental Biology and Medicine (EBM), a multidisciplinary biomedical research journal, is working to advance our understanding of COVID-19. The Editor-in-Chief is currently handling manuscripts that focus on COVID to ensure that each paper undergoes a rapid yet thorough review. EBM’s publisher, SAGE, is committed to assisting in spreading our research on COVID by ensuring all accepted manuscripts covering the virus are processed and published online as quickly as possible and are available via open access.
Experimental Biology and Medicine recently published four articles focused on COVID-19.  Hurwitz et al. (in press) examine the spread of COVID-19 at university hospitals. Kinzel et al. (in press) review the impact of COVID-19 on dental offices, infection mitigation strategies. Kuypers et al. (in press) report a new biomarker and its impact on those diagnosed with COVID-19. Finally, Seman et al. (in press) review physical exercise as a possible strategy treating COVID-19 infections.
Dr. Ivy Hurwitz in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA), and corresponding author for “COVID-19 Global Pandemic Planning: Presence of SARS-CoV-2 Fomites in a University Hospital Setting” highlighted the impact of their study by saying, “Contamination of high-touch surfaces by SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to cause indirect nosocomial spread. We tested samples collected from surfaces outside of COVID-19 patient rooms and on health care provider workstations for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 using two PCR-based assays. While our study suggests that SARS-CoV-2 RNA were not widely present on exposed skin flora or high-touch surfaces in areas in the hospital locations tested, these results do not rule out the possibility of viral transmission through fomites.”
Dental offices have been greatly impacted by the spread of COVID-19 throughout the world. Dr. Michael Kinzel in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida (USA), and corresponding author for “Stopping the Spread of COVID-19 Pandemic in Dental Offices: A Review of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission and Cross-Infection Prevention” said, “Our other work is studying aerosol transmission in classrooms. With respect to dental settings, classrooms are relatively simple as we generally understand aerosol and viral emission for people speaking, breathing, and for various ages. There is just not enough insight on how dental procedures affect the emissions of aerosols and viral particles, which demands dental practices to be very careful.”
The rapid spread of COVID-19 also greatly enhances the need for novel interventions and therapeutics. Dr. Frans Kuypers in the Division of Hematology in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California in San Francisco, California (USA), and corresponding author for “Secretory phospholipase A2 in SARS-CoV-2 infection and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)” said, “A unique collaboration between Emory University School of Medicine, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Benioff Children’s Hospital at Oakland enabled us to show that levels of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2), a biomarker of inflammation, correlated with COVID-19 severity and acute multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children. These data align with earlier data in sickle cell disease and sepsis which showed that sPLA2 can be a harbinger of severe organ damage. Regular measurement of sPLA2 can provide an easy and useful biomarker to stratify risk and guide patient management for children with acute COVID-19 and MIS-C. This important proof-of-concept study provides new insights into inflammatory mechanisms involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection and may lead to novel therapies to modulate tissue damage in patients.”
Finally, Dr. Stefan Seman, a member of the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education at the University of Belgrade (Serbia) and corresponding author of “Physical Activity and Exercise as an Essential Medical Strategy for the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond” said, “Our paper approaches the current pandemic situation by analyzing and suggesting simple preventive measures that are widely accessible. Physical activity is low cost when it comes to economy, which is important due to difference in countries’ finances, and can be utilized by a wide variety of populations. Most importantly, it can significantly reduce the amount of stress that health system sustains. On the other hand, this situation is a problem that the whole population faces and is the responsibility of all individuals. Preventives such as physical activity that can be utilized by many should not be ignored.”
While discussing the importance of these studies, Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology and Medicine, said, “Our journal wants to play an important role in providing information concerning COVID-19 that is useful to the scientific and clinical community as well as the public. With these four most recent Experimental Biology and Medicine articles, our authors provide valuable information on the control of SARS-CoV-2 spread in hospitals and dental offices; the potential role of exercise in attenuating the severity of COVID-19; and identification of a candidate biomarker for COVID-19 severity and acute multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children.”
Experimental Biology and Medicine, first established in 1903, is the journal of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine and is dedicated to the publication of multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary research in the biomedical sciences. To learn more about the Society and how to become a member, visit www.sebm.org. For anyone interested in submitting a manuscript for consideration or viewing other articles published in the journal, please visit http://ebm.sagepub.com.
Source: Experimental Biology and Medicine