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2022 ◽  
John P.A. Ioannidis

Importance. COVID-19 has resulted in massive production, publication and wide dissemination of clinical studies trying to identify effective treatments. However, several widely touted treatments failed to show effectiveness in large well-done randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Objective. To evaluate for COVID-19 treatments that showed no benefits in subsequent large RCTs how many of their most-cited clinical studies had declared favorable results for these interventions. Methods. Scopus (last update December 23, 2021) identified articles on lopinavir-ritonavir, hydroxycholoroquine/azithromycin, remdesivir, convalescent plasma, colchicine or interferon (index interventions) that represented clinical trials and that had received >150 citations. Their conclusions were assessed and correlated with study design features. The ten most recent citations for the most-cited article on each index intervention were examined on whether they were critical to the highly-cited study. Altmetric scores were also obtained. Findings. 40 articles of clinical studies on these index interventions had received >150 citations (7 exceeded 1,000 citations). 20/40 (50%) had favorable conclusions and 4 were equivocal. Highly-cited articles with favorable conclusions were rarely RCTs while those without favorable conclusions were mostly RCTs (3/20 vs 15/20, p=0.0003). Only 1 RCT with favorable conclusions had sample size >160. Citation counts correlated strongly with Altmetric scores, in particular news items. Only 9 (15%) of 60 recent citations to the most highly-cited studies with favorable or equivocal conclusions were critical to the highly-cited study. Conclusion. Many clinical studies with favorable conclusions for largely ineffective COVID-19 treatments are uncritically heavily cited and disseminated. Early observational studies and small randomized trials may cause spurious claims of effectiveness that get perpetuated.

2021 ◽  
Vol 24 ◽  
pp. S7
G. Dos Santos ◽  
P. Estabrooks ◽  
S. Kennedy ◽  
D. Lubans ◽  
P. Morgan ◽  

2021 ◽  
Philippe Van Parijs

In today’s Europe, internationalization is driven by three mutually reinforcing mechanisms: EU funding, rankings, and commodification. And it calls for Englishization because in most cases the learning of the local language by foreign students is too much to expect, whereas a powerful bottom-up ‘maximin’ dynamics generates such a wide dissemination of English that prior knowledge of it can be taken for granted. Is Englishization a problem? Of course it is, for several reasons. Yet there is no responsible path away from internationalization, nor any reasonable hope of achieving it without Englishization. We must therefore aim at a fragile balance between giving enough place to English not to fall behind and protecting local languages against slow agony.

10.31022/b224 ◽  
2021 ◽  
Lelio Colista

Lelio Colista (1629–80) is considered the foremost composer of Italian trio sonatas in Rome before Corelli. In the Papal City, where he lived for most of his life, he was an acclaimed lutenist, composer, and teacher. He was part of a closely-knit professional milieu including the most appreciated instrumentalists of his generation, such as Alessandro Stradella, Carlo Ambrogio Lonati, and Carlo Mannelli. However, Colista's trio sonatas were not published during his lifetime. No autograph has survived, and the many manuscript sources are today scattered throughout various European libraries. Their wide dissemination bears witness to the significant circulation of Colista's trio sonatas in the last decades of the seventeenth century, particularly in England.

2021 ◽  
pp. 255-267
Igor Mokrousov

Dissemination of epidemic Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains is a global concern, and any world region may be at risk of their introduction. This is a well-known cliché, but the reality is more nuanced. Based on the analysis of East-Asian and Euro-American lineages of M. tuberculosis, three conclusions can be drawn. First, an ordinary human exchange is not sufficient for wide dissemination of an M. tuberculosis strain in a new location. In contrast, a massive influx of migrants dramatically changes the population structure (both human and the pathogen’s). Second, an emerging strain can emerge in its area of origin, but it will not necessarily be successful elsewhere. Third, a strain should be sufficiently prevalent in its country of origin to be efficiently imported to a new location. Summing up, the virulence of M. tuberculosis strains is conditional, but it is not an absolute feature, and the role of human migration in their spread is crucial.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (9) ◽  
pp. 1898
Sammy Frenk ◽  
Nadya Rakovitsky ◽  
Hadas Kon ◽  
Reut Rov ◽  
Shirin Abramov ◽  

Using whole-genome sequencing and cloning of the target gene, we identified blaOXA-900 carbapenemase, a novel blaOXA belonging to a distant and distinct sub-family of blaOXA-48-like. The plasmid-mediated gene was identified in a C. freundii isolate with elevated carbapenem MICs that evaded detection by commercial DNA-based methods. The novel gene, an OXA-48 family carbapenem-hydrolyzing class D β-lactamase, OXA-900, likely originates from marine environmental Shewanella. Since this plasmid-mediated gene has entered a member of the Enterobacterales and evades detection by commonly used tests, it may gain wide dissemination among Enterobacterales.

2021 ◽  
pp. 154041532110204
Zainab Toteh Osakwe ◽  
Yamnia I. Cortés

Background: Latino communities in the United States and Latin America are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed information shared on Twitter in Spanish language for insights into the public’s communication and information needs about the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We performed a mixed-methods analysis using a text mining approach. We used SAS Text Miner, an algorithmic-driven statistical program to capture 10,000 tweets posted between June 3, 2020, and June 10, 2020. We used the following search terms to capture relevant Twitter messages in Spanish language: “coronavirus,” “covid-19,” “corona,” and the hash tags “#COVID19” and “#Coronavirus.” Key text topics were identified and categorized into themes using an emergent content analysis. Results: We identified 12 text topics and six themes: (1) prevention measures, (2) epidemiology/surveillance, (3) economic impact, (4) optimizing nursing workforce, (5) access to reliable information, and (6) call for a response from the local government. Top trending hashtags from our search included #COVID19 ( n = 7,098), #Coronavirus ( n = 6,394), and #SNTESALUD ( n = 2,598). Conclusions: Spanish-language Tweets related to the COVID-19 pandemic contained information from health departments and labor unions on the surveillance, prevention, and impact of COVID-19. Public health officials should consider increasing their use of Twitter to ensure a wide dissemination of messages about COVID-19 in Spanish outlets.

2021 ◽  
Athanasios Damialis

<p>Pollen exposure weakens the immunity against certain seasonal respiratory viruses by diminishing the antiviral interferon response. Here we investigate whether the same applies to the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is sensitive to antiviral interferons, if infection waves coincide with high airborne pollen concentrations. Our original hypothesis was that more airborne pollen would lead to increases in infection rates. To examine this, we performed a cross-sectional and longitudinal data analysis on SARS-CoV-2 infection, airborne pollen, and meteorological factors. Our dataset is the most comprehensive, largest possible worldwide from 130 stations, across 31 countries and five continents. To explicitly investigate the effects of social contact, we additionally considered population density of each study area, as well as lockdown effects, in all possible combinations: without any lockdown, with mixed lockdown−no lockdown regime, and under complete lockdown. We found that airborne pollen, sometimes in synergy with humidity and temperature, explained, on average, 44% of the infection rate variability. Infection rates increased after higher pollen concentrations most frequently during the four previous days. Without lockdown, an increase of pollen abundance by 100 pollen/m3 resulted in a 4% average increase of infection rates. Lockdown halved infection rates under similar pollen concentrations. As there can be no preventive measures against airborne pollen exposure, we suggest wide dissemination of pollen−virus co-exposure dire effect information to encourage high-risk individuals to wear particle filter masks during high springtime pollen concentrations.</p>

Weed Science ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. 1-61
Ezekiel Ahn ◽  
Louis K. Prom ◽  
Clint Magill

Abstract Johnsongrass [Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.] is one of the most noxious weeds distributed around the world. Due to rapid growth, wide dissemination, seeds that can germinate after years in the soil and ability to spread via rhizomes, S. halepense is difficult to control. From a perspective of plant pathology, Johnsongrass is also a potential reservoir of pathogens that can eventually jump to other crops, especially corn (Zea mays L.) and sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]. As one of the most problematic weeds, understanding S. halepense and its diseases can provide useful information concerning its role in diseases of agronomically important crops. An alternative consideration is that S. halepense may provide a source of genes for resistance to pathogens. While some studies have verified that pathogens isolated from S. halepense actually cause disease on host crops through cross inoculation, similarity of disease symptoms and pathogen morphology have been used for identity of the disease agent in most studies. Availability of DNA sequence information has greatly altered and improved pathogen identification, leading to significant changes in phylogenetic assignments. Reclassification of pathogens, especially fungi, raises new questions concerning the role of S. halepense as a disease reservoir. Our goals in this review are to pinpoint, where possible, diseases where S. halepense acts as a significant pathogen reservoir and to point out problem areas where further research is needed.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Hiba Al-Mir ◽  
Marwan Osman ◽  
Antoine Drapeau ◽  
Monzer Hamze ◽  
Jean-Yves Madec ◽  

Poultry and poultry meat are important contributors to the global antimicrobial burden. Unregulated and illegal use of extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESC) in this sector has long been identified as a major cause of massive spread of ESC-resistant Escherichia coli, and colistin usage is considered a main driver of plasmid-mediated mcr genes dissemination. In Lebanon, the first mcr-1-positive E. coli found in poultry dates back to 2015, followed by a few reports of mcr-1-positive E. coli in poultry, swine, humans, and the environment. On the contrary, a comprehensive picture of the population structure of mcr-1-positive E. coli and mcr-1-bearing plasmids carrying the mcr-1 gene using whole-genome analysis is largely lacking. This study reports the prevalence of mcr-1-positive E. coli in poultry originating from 32 farms across three Lebanese governorates and slaughtered in the same place. We report 27/32 (84.4%) mcr-1 positive farms, leading to a total of 84 non-duplicate E. coli collected, of which 62 presented the mcr-1 gene. Numerous associated resistances were identified, including to ESC through the presence of blaCTX–M or blaCMY genes. The mcr-1 gene was mostly carried by IncX4 (n = 36) and IncI2 (n = 24) plasmids, which are both known for their efficient transfer capacities. A high genetic diversity was detected, arguing for the lack of contamination during the slaughter process. ST744 and ST1011 were the most widely identified clones, which have been both regularly associated to mcr-1-carrying E. coli and to the poultry sector. The wide dissemination of colistin-resistance, coupled to resistances to ESC and numerous other molecules, should urge authorities to implement efficient guidelines for the use of antibiotics in the poultry sector in Lebanon.

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