Health care

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Low-resource settings can face additional challenges in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, the authors use mathematical modelling to investigate transmission in the state of Bahia, Brazil, and quantify control measures needed to prevent the hospital system becoming overwhelmed.

    • Juliane F. Oliveira
    • , Daniel C. P. Jorge
    •  & Roberto F. S. Andrade
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Contact tracing is critical to controlling COVID-19, but most protocols only “forward-trace” to notify people who were recently exposed. Using a stochastic branching-process model, the authors show that “bidirectional” tracing to identify infector individuals and their other infectees robustly improves outbreak control.

    • William J. Bradshaw
    • , Ethan C. Alley
    •  & Kevin M. Esvelt
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Safely reducing the necessary duration of quarantine for COVID-19 could lessen the economic impacts of the pandemic. Here, the authors demonstrate that testing on exit from quarantine is more effective than testing on entry, and can enable quarantine to be reduced from fourteen to seven days.

    • Chad R. Wells
    • , Jeffrey P. Townsend
    •  & Alison P. Galvani
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding the infection parameters and host responses against SARS-CoV-2 require data from large cohorts using standardized methods. Here, the authors optimize a serum ELISA protocol that has minimal cross-reactivity and flexible sample collection workflow in an attempt to standardize data generation and help inform on COVID-19 pandemic and immunity.

    • Carleen Klumpp-Thomas
    • , Heather Kalish
    •  & Kaitlyn Sadtler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Although many COVID-19 cases are mild, most information about symptoms is derived from hospitalized patients. Here, the authors link self-reported symptom surveys to primary care data to describe the longitudinal dynamics of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized individuals.

    • Barak Mizrahi
    • , Smadar Shilo
    •  & Eran Segal
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Yellow fever is absent from the Asia/Pacific region, despite presence of the mosquito vector. Here, the authors demonstrate that mosquitoes collected from field sites across the region are capable of transmitting yellow fever virus, indicating that vector competence is not a barrier to disease spread.

    • Lucy de Guilhem de Lataillade
    • , Marie Vazeille
    •  & Pei-Shi Yen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The Netherlands is a country highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, Slot, Hogema and colleagues report a low SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence one month into the outbreak and provide insights into virus exposure by region and age group when widespread non-pharmaceutical interventions are in place.

    • Ed Slot
    • , Boris M. Hogema
    •  & Hans L. Zaaijer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Children with SARS-CoV-2 infection are more likely to have mild symptoms and may be asymptomatic, but underlying reasons remain unclear. Here, the authors show cellular, cytokine and antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in three children who repeatedly tested negative for the virus by PCR, despite high exposure in the household.

    • Shidan Tosif
    • , Melanie R. Neeland
    •  & Nigel W. Crawford
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Current wearable motion capture technologies are unable to accurately detect dynamic motion of human limbs due to drift and instability problems. Here, the authors report a wearable motion capture device combining tri-axis velocity sensor and inertial sensors for accurate 3D limb motion capture.

    • Shiqiang Liu
    • , Junchang Zhang
    •  & Rong Zhu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In this study, Adi Stern and colleagues use full genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 to look at the rate of infections in Israel. They report that social distancing had a significant effect on minimising the rate of transmission, and find evidence for transmission heterogeneity (superspreading events).

    • Danielle Miller
    • , Michael A. Martin
    •  & Adi Stern
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Healthcare workers may be at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population. Here, the authors report 19% seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among 2,149 employees in a Swedish hospital. Seroprevalence was associated with patient contact and higher than the seroprevalence in the community in same time period.

    • Ann-Sofie Rudberg
    • , Sebastian Havervall
    •  & Charlotte Thålin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Early identification of COVID-19 patients at risk of progression may facilitate more individually aligned treatment plans. Here the authors develop an online nomogram incorporating CT severity score and clinical characteristics for early predicting the disease progression risk among COVID-19 pneumonia patients.

    • Zhichao Feng
    • , Qizhi Yu
    •  & Wei Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    SARS-CoV-2 infection is widely diagnosed by RT-PCR, but RNA extraction is a bottleneck for fast and cheap diagnosis. Here, the authors develop protocols to perform RT-PCR directly on heat-inactivated subject samples or samples lysed with readily available detergents and benchmark performance against 597 clinically diagnosed patient samples.

    • Ioanna Smyrlaki
    • , Martin Ekman
    •  & Björn Reinius
  • Article
    | Open Access

    New York City is one of the areas most affected by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in the United States, and there has been large variation in rates of hospitalisation and death by city borough. Here, the authors show that boroughs with the largest reduction in daily commutes also had the lowest SARS-CoV-2 prevalence.

    • Stephen M. Kissler
    • , Nishant Kishore
    •  & Yonatan H. Grad
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Identification of individuals at risk of severe COVID-19 disease could inform treatment and public health planning. Here, the authors develop and validate a risk prediction model for COVID-19 mortality in Israel by building a model for severe respiratory infection and recalibrating it using COVID-19 case fatality rates.

    • Noam Barda
    • , Dan Riesel
    •  & Noa Dagan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deep tissue infections can be difficult to treat due to limited light penetration associated with phototherapies. Here, the authors report on a bacterial capture system for antibiotic delivery and microwave-assisted killing of MRSA in osteomyelitis and demonstrate application in vivo.

    • Yuqian Qiao
    • , Xiangmei Liu
    •  & Shuilin Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    COVID-19 disease is less common in children than adults, but the extent to which SARS-CoV-2 infections are missed through symptom-driven testing is not well understood. In this study, the authors show that approximately 1% of children seeking care for reasons other than COVID-19 at a Seattle hospital in March/April 2020 were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2.

    • Adam S. Dingens
    • , Katharine H. D. Crawford
    •  & Jesse D. Bloom
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Hospital systems are critical, especially in providing healthcare services after disasters. Here, the authors revealed that in Lima the spatial distribution of health service demands mismatches the capacities of hospitals after earthquakes, leaving large zones on the periphery significantly underserved.

    • Luis Ceferino
    • , Judith Mitrani-Reiser
    •  & Celso Bambarén
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In medical diagnosis a doctor aims to explain a patient’s symptoms by determining the diseases causing them, while existing diagnostic algorithms are purely associative. Here, the authors reformulate diagnosis as a counterfactual inference task and derive new counterfactual diagnostic algorithms.

    • Jonathan G. Richens
    • , Ciarán M. Lee
    •  & Saurabh Johri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Surfactant protein B (SP-B) deficiency is a genetic lung disease that results in lethal respiratory distress within months of birth. Here, the authors describe a gene therapy strategy using a rationally designed AAV6 capsid that restores surfactant homeostasis, prevents lung injury, and improves survival in a mouse model of SP-B deficiency.

    • Martin H. Kang
    • , Laura P. van Lieshout
    •  & Bernard Thébaud
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors present a concept for targeted clinical magnetic resonance imaging for relatively small targets in the body. They use an artificial resonator for spatial redistribution and passive focusing of the radiofrequency magnetic flux and demonstrate feasibility for targeted breast imaging.

    • Alena Shchelokova
    • , Viacheslav Ivanov
    •  & Anna Andreychenko
  • Article
    | Open Access

    High resolution intravascular imaging in the brain is limited by the high tortuosity of the vasculature. Here the authors present a fiber optic imaging technology using high-frequency optical coherence tomography (HF-OCT) to provide volumetric high resolution images in the highly tortuous cerebral vasculature.

    • Giovanni J. Ughi
    • , Miklos G. Marosfoi
    •  & Ajit S. Puri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Congenital infection of SARS-CoV-2 has been described, but the transmission routes remain unclear. Here, the authors report evidence of transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a neonate born to a mother infected in the last trimester and presenting with neurological compromise.

    • Alexandre J. Vivanti
    • , Christelle Vauloup-Fellous
    •  & Daniele De Luca
  • Article
    | Open Access

    SARS-CoV-2 is causing a global pandemic in which the implementation of serology can support decision making in different scenarios. Here, the authors compare the outcome of eight commercially available assays to virus neutralization and discuss their use in diagnostics and exposure assessment of SARS-CoV-2.

    • Corine H. GeurtsvanKessel
    • , Nisreen M. A. Okba
    •  & Marion Koopmans
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors implement a mathematical model that describes how Baloxavir antiviral-induced inhibition of influenza virus replication in infected individuals affects the spread of the virus during epidemics, suggesting that both the scaling up and acceleration of treatment would avert substantial influenza morbidity and mortality every year.

    • Zhanwei Du
    • , Ciara Nugent
    •  & Lauren Ancel Meyers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Electronic Health Records (EHR) are subject to noise, biases and missing data. Here, the authors present MixEHR, a multi-view Bayesian framework related to collaborative filtering and latent topic models for EHR data integration and modeling.

    • Yue Li
    • , Pratheeksha Nair
    •  & Manolis Kellis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Senolytics have the potential to extend healthspan by selectively killing senescent cells (SCs), but senolytics that target Bcl-xl may cause platelet toxicity. Here, the authors generated a Bcl-xl proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) senolytic, which effectively clears SCs and rejuvenates tissue stem and progenitor cells in naturally aged mice without causing severe thrombocytopenia.

    • Yonghan He
    • , Xuan Zhang
    •  & Daohong Zhou
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The role of automatic electrocardiogram (ECG) analysis in clinical practice is limited by the accuracy of existing models. In that context, the authors present a Deep Neural Network (DNN) that recognizes different abnormalities in ECG recordings which matches or outperform cardiology and emergency resident medical doctors.

    • Antônio H. Ribeiro
    • , Manoel Horta Ribeiro
    •  & Antonio Luiz P. Ribeiro
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The choice of food intake is at least partially influenced by genetics, even though the effect sizes appear rather modest. Here, Cole et al. perform GWAS for food intake (85 individual food items and 85 derived dietary patterns) and test potential causal relationships with cardiometabolic traits using Mendelian randomization.

    • Joanne B. Cole
    • , Jose C. Florez
    •  & Joel N. Hirschhorn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Tooth whitening has attracted significant interest; however, most techniques are potentially destructive. Here, the authors model the replacement of standard abrasives in toothpaste with piezoelectric particles for catalytic degradation of organic stains and report less damage than hydrogen peroxide treatment.

    • Yang Wang
    • , Xinrong Wen
    •  & Yaojin Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some exercises exacerbate chronic inflammation and muscle fibrosis in chronic myopathy. Here, the authors show that senescence of fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) in response to exercise induces muscle regeneration, and impaired FAP senescence worsens inflammation and fibrosis in chronic myopathy in mice.

    • Yuki Saito
    • , Takako S. Chikenji
    •  & Mineko Fujimiya
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Reconstructive microsurgery is limited by the precision that human hands can achieve. Here, the authors demonstrate in a randomized clinical pilot trial the feasibility of robot-assisted supermicrosurgery using a dedicated microsurgical robot for the completion of lymphatico-venous anastomosis in the treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema

    • Tom J. M. van Mulken
    • , Rutger M. Schols
    •  & Maud E. P. Rijkx
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Restoration of blood flow to damaged sites has commonly involved treatment with pro-angiogenic molecules but these have undesired side effects. Here the authors present a microchannel-patterned gelatin hydrogel that is able to rescue mouse and porcine models of hindlimb ischemia.

    • Jung Bok Lee
    • , Dae-Hyun Kim
    •  & Hak-Joon Sung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Biodegradable implants are of great interest in orthopaedic applications but have been limited by low mechanical strength. Here, the authors examine systematically in detail the strengthening of biodegradable zinc by alloying with beneficial elements using mechanical, biodegradability and biocompatibility testing.

    • Hongtao Yang
    • , Bo Jia
    •  & Yufeng Zheng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spread of antimicrobial-resistant (AR) bacteria is a global concern, but contributing factors remain unclear. Here, authors analyze distribution of AR bacteria in households from three ethnic groups in Tanzania and find that livelihood factors are more strongly associated with AR prevalence than antibiotic use.

    • Murugan Subbiah
    • , Mark A. Caudell
    •  & Douglas R. Call