31 projects

Pocket Rehab - mHealth-based Rehabilitation Program for patients with cardiovascular disease as p...

Cardiovascular diseases remain the major cause of mortality with an estimated prevalence of 422.7 million cases worldwide at high cost for the public health. Recently, the pathophysiological mechanism of the coronavirus uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a functional receptor, increasing the risk of contamination and the mortality rate in this population, aggravating this scenario. According to the epidemiological bulletin of COE-COVID19 of the Ministry of Health of Brazil, among the 1124 deaths recorded until 11 April 2020, in those under the age of 60, 82.5% had illness a...

COVI-NUTRI-METABOLOMICS

Background: A poor nutrient status due to sub-optimal dietary habits increases risk of viral infections. In particular, individuals with low vitamin D, A and E, as well as zinc plasma levels are less likely to develop immune-responses against influenza vaccines. Vitamin C supplementation improves conditions in individuals with acute respiratory infections in some studies. Dietary fiber is inversely correlated with mortality from respiratory/infectious disease. These nutrients are paramount for optimal immune-response, are implicated in oxidative stress, inflammatory processes, and viral rep...

Impact of hypoxia on COVID-19 infection in lung epithelial cells

The international spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has recently caused over 120.000 deaths in Europe and 200.000 worldwide. The clinical picture goes from the absence of symptoms to critical conditions requiring admission to resuscitation units. The molecular pathways involved in COVID-19 infection and pathogenesis are still being explored. 'Silent hypoxia' is considered by some physicians as an early indicator of COVID-19 viral infection in patients. A key step in COVID-19 infection is the viral entry into pulmonary alveoli epithelial cells, leading to the disruption of surf...

Covid-19 related LOckdown: Shift in Exposures to neighbourhood environments and changes in Physic...

A lockdown state implies radical changes in our lifestyle, especially physical activity (PA), while PA plays a central role in maintaining an adequate health status, counteracting the negative consequences of numerous diseases. We aim to investigate the impact of lockdown (and quarantine) on PA patterns based on retrospective data. We will analyse the intra-individual changes in PA patterns of participants stratified in two specific subgroups of interest, namely positive cases and their household members as a result of the lockdown/quarantine measures in place, with respect to the partici...

Comparative antiviral efficacy of different autophagy inhibitors against COVID-19 infection

As of April 28, 2020, worldwide, over 3 million people have been diagnosed and over 211,000 deaths with ongoing deadly coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) also known as SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2/2019-nCoV). Currently, there is no approved treatment against COVID-19. Vaccines are under development, but they will take at least one year before reaching to the population. A fast track approach would be to reuse already approved drugs that have been broadly tested through multiple clinical trials. Virophagy is a catabolic autophagic pathway used by mammalian cells to destroy viruses. Viruses ...

Leveraging Systems Biology to Target Hyperinflammation in COVID-19

The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic implies new challenges for the Health Systems worldwide. A small percentage of the patients require hospitalisation and specialised attention in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Furthermore, accumulating evidence suggests that a subgroup of patients with severe COVID-19 might have a cytokine storm syndrome. Therefore, the main goal of the proposal is to elucidate the potential role of cytokine storm in COVID-19 disease severity, and to propose novel strategies for counteracting this hyperinflammatory response. In this context, we propose to develop a single...

Cytokines as biomarkers and therapeutic targets in COVID-19 infection

Cytokines play an important role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 infection. A subgroup of patients develops a cytokine storm syndrome, correlating with a bad clinical outcome. For example, the concentration of the inflammatory cytokine Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been recognized as a risk factor for mortality and for respiratory failure in Chinese and German patient cohorts, respectively. Tocilizumab, an antibody directed against the IL-6 receptor alpha chain, is used in clinical trials as well as an FDA-approved inhibitor of Jaks, tyrosine kinases which mediate the signal transduction of mult...

Virus-Surface Interactions in Dynamic Environments (V-SIDE)

Since the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing body of scientific literature has reported on the pre-infection viability and stability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, qualitatively indicating the role of physical surfaces in transmission of the virus. The nature of the surfaces (e.g., paper v/s plastic v/s metals) and their properties (smooth v/s rough), are believed to play a critical role in determining the stability and viability during the pre-infection phase. Virus-surface interactions are inherently biophysical in nature wherein the dynamics of the environmental parameters (va...

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