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734 Research products, page 1 of 74

  • COVID-19
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  • Other research products
  • 2018-2022
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kailyn J. Wanhella; Carlos Fernandez-Patron;
    Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
    Project: NSERC

    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) - the culprit of an ongoing pandemic responsible for the loss of over 3 million lives worldwide within a year and a half. While the majority of SARS-CoV-2 infected people develop no or mild symptoms, some become severely ill and may die from COVID-19-related complications. In this review, we compile and comment on a number of biomarkers that have been identified and are expected to enhance the detection, protection and treatment of individuals at high risk of developing severe illnesses, as well as enable the monitoring of COVID-19 prognosis and responsiveness to therapeutic interventions. Consistent with the emerging notion that the majority of COVID-19 deaths occur in older and frail individuals, we researched the scientific literature and report the identification of a subset of COVID-19 biomarkers indicative of increased vulnerability to developing severe COVID-19 in older and frail patients. Mechanistically, increased frailty results from reduced disease tolerance, a phenomenon aggravated by ageing and comorbidities. While biomarkers of ageing and frailty may predict COVID-19 severity, biomarkers of disease tolerance may predict resistance to COVID-19 with socio-economic factors such as access to adequate health care remaining as major non-biomolecular influencers of COVID-19 outcomes. Graphical Abstract Figure: Biomarkers of ageing and frailty may predict COVID-19 severity as both conditions are associated with reduced disease tolerance - the host’s defense mechanisms to limit tissue damage or reduce immunopathology induced by the infection with a pathogen. While these biomolecular markers inform about the baseline ground for exacerbated viral infection, inflammaging and pre-existing comorbidities, which are common at advanced ages, as well as socio-economic conditions that affect people in underdeveloped nations and underserved communities of developed nations appear to be strong influencers of COVID-19 trajectory - particularly in older and frail individuals.ga1

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fulian Yin; Xinyu Xia; Nan Song; Lingyao Zhu; Jianhong Wu;
    Publisher: Public Library of Science
    Project: NSERC

    BackgroudEffective communication of accurate information through social media constitutes an important component of public health interventions in modern time, when traditional public health approaches such as contact tracing, quarantine and isolation are among the few options for the containing the disease spread in the population. The success of control of COVID-19 outbreak started from Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province of China relies heavily on the resilience of residents to follow public health interventions which induce substantial interruption of social-economic activities, and evidence shows that opinion leaders have been playing significant roles in the propagation of epidemic information and public health policy and implementations.MethodsWe design a mathematical model to quantify the roles of information superspreaders in single specific information which outbreaks rapidly and usually has a short duration period, and to examine the information propagation dynamics in the Chinese Sina-microblog. Our opinion-leader susceptible-forwarding-immune (OL-SFI) model is formulated to track the temporal evolution of forwarding quantities generated by opinion leaders and normal users.ResultsData fitting from the real data of COVID-19 obtained from Chinese Sina-microblog can identify the different contact rates and forwarding probabilities (and hence calculate the basic information forwarding reproduction number of superspreaders), and can be used to evaluate the roles of opinion leaders in different stages of the information propagation and the outbreak unfolding.ConclusionsThe parameterized model can be used to nearcast the information propagation trend, and the model-based sensitivity analysis can help to explore important factors for the roles of opinion leaders.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Juan Carlos Abrego-Martinez; Maziar Jafari; Siham Chergui; Catalin Pavel; Diping Che; Mohamed Siaj;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Project: NSERC

    Rapid, mass diagnosis of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is critical to stop the ongoing infection spread. The two standard screening methods to confirm the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are polymerase chain reaction (PCR), through the RNA of the virus, and serology by detecting antibodies produced as a response to the viral infection. However, given the detection complexity, cost and relatively long analysis times of these techniques, novel technologies are urgently needed. Here, we report an aptamer-based biosensor developed on a screen-printed carbon electrode platform for rapid, sensitive, and user-friendly detection of SARS-CoV-2. The aptasensor relies on an aptamer targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein (S-protein) of the SARS-CoV-2. The aptamer immobilization on gold nanoparticles, and the presence of S-protein in the aptamer-target complex, investigated for the first time by photo-induced force microscopy mapping between 770 and 1910 cm-1 of the electromagnetic spectrum, revealed abundant S-protein homogeneously distributed on the sensing probe. The detection of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein was achieved by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy after 40 min incubation with several analyte concentrations, yielding a limit of detection of 1.30 pM (66 pg/mL). Moreover, the aptasensor was successfully applied for the detection of a SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, thus suggesting it is a promising tool for the diagnosis of COVID-19.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alissa N. Antle; Christopher Frauenberger;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Project: NSERC

    The increasing presence of interactive technologies in children’s lives poses critical ethical questions for researchers and designers. Discourse specific to these intersecting topics is nascent, spread across communities and largely developed retrospectively. In a series of workshops and panels at the annual ACM Interaction Design for Children (ACM IDC) conference, a small group from the community has aimed to provide a central space and continuity for this discourse. The most recent of these spaces was the ACM IDC 2020 workshop entitled, “Emergent, Situated and Prospective Ethics for Child–Computer Interaction Research” that brought together a small group of researchers interested in sharing and discussing ethical issues arising when researching, designing, and deploying technologies for children [1]. When we, as the two main organizers of the workshop, wrote the workshop proposal we were particularly interested in how the ethical challenges in Child–Computer Interaction (CCI) were changing in the face of a rapidly changing world. At that time, it was completely unknown to us how different the world would be when we conducted the workshop. When the participants eventually met online for this workshop in late June 2020, a global pandemic had changed public life as we knew it and social justice issues, as manifested in the Black Lives Matter movement, were causing widespread unrest. Layered on these immediate challenges was the looming climate crisis that poses one of the most existential threats to humans yet. When we ran the workshop, we decided to focus our discussions on sharing thoughts and experiences of what these monumental shifts might mean for our community. The question, which we put onto the virtual floor was: How is the ethics of your research changing in the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic and recent social justice issues, as manifested in the Black Live Matters movement? What followed was a rich and thoughtful discussion. Every participant was affected by the pandemic in different ways, both personally and professionally. In the 45 min session we had reserved for this part of the workshop, we were all not only connected via video link, but also collaboratively worked on a shared virtual whiteboard at the same time. In a very productive mix of show and tell, we collected sticky notes, online resources, quotes and other bits of information; all the while making connections and categorizations. Later, we, as the two main organizers, discussed our observations from the workshop, and then reviewed the data and our own notes to informally look for themes related to our original question. We wrote up the themes individually, and worked collaboratively to refine, clarify, and contextualize them. From this exercise, four main themes emerged, which all included perceived challenges as well as the participants’ recommendations for how these concerns might be addressed moving forward. The following briefly summarizes these themes.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Frédéric LeTourneux; Thierry Grandmont; Frédéric Dulude-de Broin; Marie-Claude Martin; Josée Lefebvre; Akiko Kato; Joël Bêty; Gilles Gauthier; Pierre Legagneux;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Country: France
    Project: NSERC

    International audience; Overabundant species can have major impacts on their habitat and induce trophic cascades within ecosystems. In North America, the overabundant greater snow goose (Anser caerulescens atlanticus) has been successfully controlled through special spring hunting regulations since 1999. Hunting is a source of mortality but also of disturbance, which affects the behavior and nutrient storage dynamics of staging snow geese. In 2020, the lockdown imposed by the COVID19 pandemic reduced hunting activity during their migratory stopover in Québec by at least 31%. This provided a unique opportunity to assess the effects of a sudden reduction in hunting disturbance on geese. We used long-term data on body mass combined with movement data from GPS-tracked birds in 2019 and 2020 to assess the effects of the 2020 lockdown on the spring body condition and behavior of greater snow geese. Body condition was higher in 2020 than in all years since the inception of spring hunting in 1999, except for 2019. However, in 2020 geese reached maximal body condition earlier during the staging period than in any other year and reduced by half time spent feeding in highly profitable but risky agricultural habitat in late spring compared to 2019. Although our study was not designed to evaluate the effects of the lockdown, the associated reduction in disturbance in 2020 supports the hypothesis that hunting-related disturbance negatively affects foraging efficiency and body condition in geese. Since spring body condition is related to subsequent breeding success, the lockdown could increase productivity in this overabundant population.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Surjith Kumar Kumaran; Euna Oh; Sumin Han; Hyo-Jick Choi;
    Publisher: American Chemical Society
    Project: NSERC

    COVID-19 poses a major threat to global health and socioeconomic structures, and the need for a highly effective, antimicrobial face mask has been considered a major challenge for protection against respiratory diseases. Here, we report the development of a universal, antiviral, and antibacterial material that can be dip-/spray-coated over conventional mask fabrics to exhibit antimicrobial activities. Our data shows that antimicrobial fabrics rapidly inactivated multiple types of viruses, i.e., human (alpha/beta) coronaviruses, the influenza virus, and bacteria, irrespective of their modes of transmission (aerosol or droplet). This research provides an immediate method to contain infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Maryam Marashi; Emma Nicholson; Michelle Ogrodnik; Barbara Fenesi; Jennifer J. Heisz;
    Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    Country: Canada
    Project: NSERC

    AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health, physical activity, and sedentary behavior of citizens worldwide. Using an online survey with 1669 respondents, we sought to understand why and how by querying about perceived barriers and motivators to physical activity that changed because of the pandemic, and how those changes impacted mental health. Consistent with prior reports, our respondents were less physically active (aerobic activity, −11%, p <0.05; strength-based activity, −30%, p<0.01) and more sedentary (+11%, p<0.01) during the pandemic as compared to 6-months before. The pandemic also increased psychological stress (+22%, p <0.01) and brought on moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Respondents’ whose mental health deteriorated the most were also the ones who were least active (depression r = −.21, p<0.01; anxiety r = −.12, p<0.01). The majority of respondents were unmotivated to exercise because they were too anxious (+8%, p <0.01), lacked social support (+6%, p =<0.01), or had limited access to equipment (+23%, p <0.01) or space (+41%, p <0.01). The respondents who were able to stay active reported feeling less motivated by physical health outcomes such as weight loss (−7%, p<0.01) or strength (−14%, p<0.01) and instead more motivated by mental health outcomes such as anxiety relief (+14%, p <0.01). Coupled with previous work demonstrating a direct relationship between mental health and physical activity, these results highlight the potential protective effect of physical activity on mental health and point to the need for psychological support to overcome perceived barriers so that people can continue to be physically active during stressful times like the pandemic.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Bo Pang; Jingyang Xu; Yanming Liu; Hanyong Peng; Wei Feng; Yiren Cao; Jinjun Wu; Huyan Xiao; Kanti Pabbaraju; Graham Tipples; +5 more
    Publisher: American Chemical Society (ACS)
    Project: NSERC , SSHRC , CIHR

    We have developed a single-tube assay for SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples. This assay combined advantages of reverse transcription (RT) loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) with clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and the CRISPR-associated (Cas) enzyme Cas12a. Our assay is able to detect SARS-CoV-2 in a single tube within 40 min, requiring only a single temperature control (62 °C). The RT-LAMP reagents were added to the sample vial, while CRISPR Cas12a reagents were deposited onto the lid of the vial. After a half-hour RT-LAMP amplification, the tube was inverted and flicked to mix the detection reagents with the amplicon. The sequence-specific recognition of the amplicon by the CRISPR guide RNA and Cas12a enzyme improved specificity. Visible green fluorescence generated by the CRISPR Cas12a system was recorded using a smartphone camera. Analysis of 100 human respiratory swab samples for the N and/or E gene of SARS-CoV-2 produced 100% clinical specificity and no false positive. Analysis of 50 samples that were detected positive using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) resulted in an overall clinical sensitivity of 94%. Importantly, this included 20 samples that required 30–39 threshold cycles of RT-qPCR to achieve a positive detection. Integration of the exponential amplification ability of RT-LAMP and the sequence-specific processing by the CRISPR-Cas system into a molecular assay resulted in improvements in both analytical sensitivity and specificity. The single-tube assay is beneficial for future point-of-care applications.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Sabateeshan Mathavarajah; Graham Dellaire;
    Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
    Project: NSERC

    Abstract SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2) has been reported to infect domesticated animals in a species-specific manner, where cats were susceptible but not dogs. Using the recently published crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein complexed with the human host cell receptor ACE2, we characterized the structure and evolution of ACE2 in several of these species and identify a single interacting amino acid residue conserved between human and Felidae ACE2 but not in Canidae that correlates with virus susceptibility. Using computational analyses we describe how this site likely affects ACE2 targeting by the virus. Thus, we highlight how evolution-based approaches can be used to form hypotheses and study animal transmission of such viruses in the future. Lay summary: Recently, the virus that causes COVID-19 was shown to transmit to companion animals. A single genetic change in the host receptor for the virus inherited in cats, but not dogs, correlates with feline susceptibility. With human-to-cat transmission of COVID-19 confirmed, such information can inform public health policy regarding companion animals.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Maedot S. Andargie; Marianne F. Touchie; William O'Brien;
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Project: NSERC

    Trends of urbanization, densification, and telework all point to increasing exposure to ambient noise for workers. With the lockdown policies implemented in response to COVID-19, a research opportunity to study perceived noise exposure for teleworking arose. This paper presents the results of a survey on noise issues in multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) and the consequent effects on occupants' well-being and productivity during the lockdown. Responses were collected from 471 MURB occupants across Canada. The results show that, despite the decrease in environmental noise, many are annoyed by outdoor noise, particularly from traffic and construction activities, and indicated that it affects their ability to work. Effects on ability to work from home were more frequently reported for indoor noise sources particularly airborne and impact noises coming from neighboring suites. Our findings, however, show that noise coming from occupants in the same suite (i.e. roommates and family) present the biggest issue. The findings indicate that existing noise conditions in MURBs might not be suitable for a permanent large-scale implementation of teleworking.

Advanced search in Research products
Research products
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Searching FieldsTerms
Any field
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includes
arrow_drop_down
Include:
The following results are related to COVID-19. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
734 Research products, page 1 of 74
  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kailyn J. Wanhella; Carlos Fernandez-Patron;
    Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
    Project: NSERC

    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) - the culprit of an ongoing pandemic responsible for the loss of over 3 million lives worldwide within a year and a half. While the majority of SARS-CoV-2 infected people develop no or mild symptoms, some become severely ill and may die from COVID-19-related complications. In this review, we compile and comment on a number of biomarkers that have been identified and are expected to enhance the detection, protection and treatment of individuals at high risk of developing severe illnesses, as well as enable the monitoring of COVID-19 prognosis and responsiveness to therapeutic interventions. Consistent with the emerging notion that the majority of COVID-19 deaths occur in older and frail individuals, we researched the scientific literature and report the identification of a subset of COVID-19 biomarkers indicative of increased vulnerability to developing severe COVID-19 in older and frail patients. Mechanistically, increased frailty results from reduced disease tolerance, a phenomenon aggravated by ageing and comorbidities. While biomarkers of ageing and frailty may predict COVID-19 severity, biomarkers of disease tolerance may predict resistance to COVID-19 with socio-economic factors such as access to adequate health care remaining as major non-biomolecular influencers of COVID-19 outcomes. Graphical Abstract Figure: Biomarkers of ageing and frailty may predict COVID-19 severity as both conditions are associated with reduced disease tolerance - the host’s defense mechanisms to limit tissue damage or reduce immunopathology induced by the infection with a pathogen. While these biomolecular markers inform about the baseline ground for exacerbated viral infection, inflammaging and pre-existing comorbidities, which are common at advanced ages, as well as socio-economic conditions that affect people in underdeveloped nations and underserved communities of developed nations appear to be strong influencers of COVID-19 trajectory - particularly in older and frail individuals.ga1

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Fulian Yin; Xinyu Xia; Nan Song; Lingyao Zhu; Jianhong Wu;
    Publisher: Public Library of Science
    Project: NSERC

    BackgroudEffective communication of accurate information through social media constitutes an important component of public health interventions in modern time, when traditional public health approaches such as contact tracing, quarantine and isolation are among the few options for the containing the disease spread in the population. The success of control of COVID-19 outbreak started from Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province of China relies heavily on the resilience of residents to follow public health interventions which induce substantial interruption of social-economic activities, and evidence shows that opinion leaders have been playing significant roles in the propagation of epidemic information and public health policy and implementations.MethodsWe design a mathematical model to quantify the roles of information superspreaders in single specific information which outbreaks rapidly and usually has a short duration period, and to examine the information propagation dynamics in the Chinese Sina-microblog. Our opinion-leader susceptible-forwarding-immune (OL-SFI) model is formulated to track the temporal evolution of forwarding quantities generated by opinion leaders and normal users.ResultsData fitting from the real data of COVID-19 obtained from Chinese Sina-microblog can identify the different contact rates and forwarding probabilities (and hence calculate the basic information forwarding reproduction number of superspreaders), and can be used to evaluate the roles of opinion leaders in different stages of the information propagation and the outbreak unfolding.ConclusionsThe parameterized model can be used to nearcast the information propagation trend, and the model-based sensitivity analysis can help to explore important factors for the roles of opinion leaders.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Juan Carlos Abrego-Martinez; Maziar Jafari; Siham Chergui; Catalin Pavel; Diping Che; Mohamed Siaj;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Project: NSERC

    Rapid, mass diagnosis of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is critical to stop the ongoing infection spread. The two standard screening methods to confirm the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are polymerase chain reaction (PCR), through the RNA of the virus, and serology by detecting antibodies produced as a response to the viral infection. However, given the detection complexity, cost and relatively long analysis times of these techniques, novel technologies are urgently needed. Here, we report an aptamer-based biosensor developed on a screen-printed carbon electrode platform for rapid, sensitive, and user-friendly detection of SARS-CoV-2. The aptasensor relies on an aptamer targeting the receptor-binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein (S-protein) of the SARS-CoV-2. The aptamer immobilization on gold nanoparticles, and the presence of S-protein in the aptamer-target complex, investigated for the first time by photo-induced force microscopy mapping between 770 and 1910 cm-1 of the electromagnetic spectrum, revealed abundant S-protein homogeneously distributed on the sensing probe. The detection of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein was achieved by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy after 40 min incubation with several analyte concentrations, yielding a limit of detection of 1.30 pM (66 pg/mL). Moreover, the aptasensor was successfully applied for the detection of a SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, thus suggesting it is a promising tool for the diagnosis of COVID-19.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alissa N. Antle; Christopher Frauenberger;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Project: NSERC

    The increasing presence of interactive technologies in children’s lives poses critical ethical questions for researchers and designers. Discourse specific to these intersecting topics is nascent, spread across communities and largely developed retrospectively. In a series of workshops and panels at the annual ACM Interaction Design for Children (ACM IDC) conference, a small group from the community has aimed to provide a central space and continuity for this discourse. The most recent of these spaces was the ACM IDC 2020 workshop entitled, “Emergent, Situated and Prospective Ethics for Child–Computer Interaction Research” that brought together a small group of researchers interested in sharing and discussing ethical issues arising when researching, designing, and deploying technologies for children [1]. When we, as the two main organizers of the workshop, wrote the workshop proposal we were particularly interested in how the ethical challenges in Child–Computer Interaction (CCI) were changing in the face of a rapidly changing world. At that time, it was completely unknown to us how different the world would be when we conducted the workshop. When the participants eventually met online for this workshop in late June 2020, a global pandemic had changed public life as we knew it and social justice issues, as manifested in the Black Lives Matter movement, were causing widespread unrest. Layered on these immediate challenges was the looming climate crisis that poses one of the most existential threats to humans yet. When we ran the workshop, we decided to focus our discussions on sharing thoughts and experiences of what these monumental shifts might mean for our community. The question, which we put onto the virtual floor was: How is the ethics of your research changing in the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic and recent social justice issues, as manifested in the Black Live Matters movement? What followed was a rich and thoughtful discussion. Every participant was affected by the pandemic in different ways, both personally and professionally. In the 45 min session we had reserved for this part of the workshop, we were all not only connected via video link, but also collaboratively worked on a shared virtual whiteboard at the same time. In a very productive mix of show and tell, we collected sticky notes, online resources, quotes and other bits of information; all the while making connections and categorizations. Later, we, as the two main organizers, discussed our observations from the workshop, and then reviewed the data and our own notes to informally look for themes related to our original question. We wrote up the themes individually, and worked collaboratively to refine, clarify, and contextualize them. From this exercise, four main themes emerged, which all included perceived challenges as well as the participants’ recommendations for how these concerns might be addressed moving forward. The following briefly summarizes these themes.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Frédéric LeTourneux; Thierry Grandmont; Frédéric Dulude-de Broin; Marie-Claude Martin; Josée Lefebvre; Akiko Kato; Joël Bêty; Gilles Gauthier; Pierre Legagneux;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Country: France
    Project: NSERC

    International audience; Overabundant species can have major impacts on their habitat and induce trophic cascades within ecosystems. In North America, the overabundant greater snow goose (Anser caerulescens atlanticus) has been successfully controlled through special spring hunting regulations since 1999. Hunting is a source of mortality but also of disturbance, which affects the behavior and nutrient storage dynamics of staging snow geese. In 2020, the lockdown imposed by the COVID19 pandemic reduced hunting activity during their migratory stopover in Québec by at least 31%. This provided a unique opportunity to assess the effects of a sudden reduction in hunting disturbance on geese. We used long-term data on body mass combined with movement data from GPS-tracked birds in 2019 and 2020 to assess the effects of the 2020 lockdown on the spring body condition and behavior of greater snow geese. Body condition was higher in 2020 than in all years since the inception of spring hunting in 1999, except for 2019. However, in 2020 geese reached maximal body condition earlier during the staging period than in any other year and reduced by half time spent feeding in highly profitable but risky agricultural habitat in late spring compared to 2019. Although our study was not designed to evaluate the effects of the lockdown, the associated reduction in disturbance in 2020 supports the hypothesis that hunting-related disturbance negatively affects foraging efficiency and body condition in geese. Since spring body condition is related to subsequent breeding success, the lockdown could increase productivity in this overabundant population.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Surjith Kumar Kumaran; Euna Oh; Sumin Han; Hyo-Jick Choi;
    Publisher: American Chemical Society
    Project: NSERC

    COVID-19 poses a major threat to global health and socioeconomic structures, and the need for a highly effective, antimicrobial face mask has been considered a major challenge for protection against respiratory diseases. Here, we report the development of a universal, antiviral, and antibacterial material that can be dip-/spray-coated over conventional mask fabrics to exhibit antimicrobial activities. Our data shows that antimicrobial fabrics rapidly inactivated multiple types of viruses, i.e., human (alpha/beta) coronaviruses, the influenza virus, and bacteria, irrespective of their modes of transmission (aerosol or droplet). This research provides an immediate method to contain infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Maryam Marashi; Emma Nicholson; Michelle Ogrodnik; Barbara Fenesi; Jennifer J. Heisz;
    Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    Country: Canada
    Project: NSERC

    AbstractThe COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health, physical activity, and sedentary behavior of citizens worldwide. Using an online survey with 1669 respondents, we sought to understand why and how by querying about perceived barriers and motivators to physical activity that changed because of the pandemic, and how those changes impacted mental health. Consistent with prior reports, our respondents were less physically active (aerobic activity, −11%, p <0.05; strength-based activity, −30%, p<0.01) and more sedentary (+11%, p<0.01) during the pandemic as compared to 6-months before. The pandemic also increased psychological stress (+22%, p <0.01) and brought on moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Respondents’ whose mental health deteriorated the most were also the ones who were least active (depression r = −.21, p<0.01; anxiety r = −.12, p<0.01). The majority of respondents were unmotivated to exercise because they were too anxious (+8%, p <0.01), lacked social support (+6%, p =<0.01), or had limited access to equipment (+23%, p <0.01) or space (+41%, p <0.01). The respondents who were able to stay active reported feeling less motivated by physical health outcomes such as weight loss (−7%, p<0.01) or strength (−14%, p<0.01) and instead more motivated by mental health outcomes such as anxiety relief (+14%, p <0.01). Coupled with previous work demonstrating a direct relationship between mental health and physical activity, these results highlight the potential protective effect of physical activity on mental health and point to the need for psychological support to overcome perceived barriers so that people can continue to be physically active during stressful times like the pandemic.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Bo Pang; Jingyang Xu; Yanming Liu; Hanyong Peng; Wei Feng; Yiren Cao; Jinjun Wu; Huyan Xiao; Kanti Pabbaraju; Graham Tipples; +5 more
    Publisher: American Chemical Society (ACS)
    Project: NSERC , SSHRC , CIHR

    We have developed a single-tube assay for SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples. This assay combined advantages of reverse transcription (RT) loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) with clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and the CRISPR-associated (Cas) enzyme Cas12a. Our assay is able to detect SARS-CoV-2 in a single tube within 40 min, requiring only a single temperature control (62 °C). The RT-LAMP reagents were added to the sample vial, while CRISPR Cas12a reagents were deposited onto the lid of the vial. After a half-hour RT-LAMP amplification, the tube was inverted and flicked to mix the detection reagents with the amplicon. The sequence-specific recognition of the amplicon by the CRISPR guide RNA and Cas12a enzyme improved specificity. Visible green fluorescence generated by the CRISPR Cas12a system was recorded using a smartphone camera. Analysis of 100 human respiratory swab samples for the N and/or E gene of SARS-CoV-2 produced 100% clinical specificity and no false positive. Analysis of 50 samples that were detected positive using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) resulted in an overall clinical sensitivity of 94%. Importantly, this included 20 samples that required 30–39 threshold cycles of RT-qPCR to achieve a positive detection. Integration of the exponential amplification ability of RT-LAMP and the sequence-specific processing by the CRISPR-Cas system into a molecular assay resulted in improvements in both analytical sensitivity and specificity. The single-tube assay is beneficial for future point-of-care applications.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Sabateeshan Mathavarajah; Graham Dellaire;
    Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
    Project: NSERC

    Abstract SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2) has been reported to infect domesticated animals in a species-specific manner, where cats were susceptible but not dogs. Using the recently published crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein complexed with the human host cell receptor ACE2, we characterized the structure and evolution of ACE2 in several of these species and identify a single interacting amino acid residue conserved between human and Felidae ACE2 but not in Canidae that correlates with virus susceptibility. Using computational analyses we describe how this site likely affects ACE2 targeting by the virus. Thus, we highlight how evolution-based approaches can be used to form hypotheses and study animal transmission of such viruses in the future. Lay summary: Recently, the virus that causes COVID-19 was shown to transmit to companion animals. A single genetic change in the host receptor for the virus inherited in cats, but not dogs, correlates with feline susceptibility. With human-to-cat transmission of COVID-19 confirmed, such information can inform public health policy regarding companion animals.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Maedot S. Andargie; Marianne F. Touchie; William O'Brien;
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Project: NSERC

    Trends of urbanization, densification, and telework all point to increasing exposure to ambient noise for workers. With the lockdown policies implemented in response to COVID-19, a research opportunity to study perceived noise exposure for teleworking arose. This paper presents the results of a survey on noise issues in multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) and the consequent effects on occupants' well-being and productivity during the lockdown. Responses were collected from 471 MURB occupants across Canada. The results show that, despite the decrease in environmental noise, many are annoyed by outdoor noise, particularly from traffic and construction activities, and indicated that it affects their ability to work. Effects on ability to work from home were more frequently reported for indoor noise sources particularly airborne and impact noises coming from neighboring suites. Our findings, however, show that noise coming from occupants in the same suite (i.e. roommates and family) present the biggest issue. The findings indicate that existing noise conditions in MURBs might not be suitable for a permanent large-scale implementation of teleworking.