Now showing items 21-40 of 5724

    • CURS Connection April 2022

      Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2022-04)
      Table of Contents: Highlights from the 22nd Annual Student Research and Fine Arts Conference; Abby Huebsch; Caleb Hale; Amarvir Parmar; Fabiha Anwar; Rida Naeem; Dhruvi Paladiya; Hailie Hayes & Aziza Griggs; Dominique Lyons; Andrew Zimmerman; Chloe Johnson; Andrew Ensley; Rida Naeem; Dr. Jennifer Bradford receives undergraduate research Mentor Excellence Award; Student Research Series Coming Up; Ashley Keyes; Matthew Zimmerman; Nico Robles; Seeking Faculty & Staff to Host Workshops; Undergraduate Research Opportunity Portal.
    • CURS Connection March 2022

      Davis, Quentin; Knapp, Melissa; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship; Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (Augusta University, 2022-03)
      Table of Contents: Student spotlight: Margaret Wade; Mentor of Excellence award; Undergraduate Research and Fine Arts Conference; Undergraduate Research Week Events; Distinctions in Research.

      Jang, Wonjo; Biomedical Sciences
      G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are 7-transmembrane (TM) proteins that are targets of one-third of approved drugs. In response to agonist binding, GPCRs adopt active-state conformations that promote their association with G protein heterotrimers. The resulting active-state ternary complex (i.e., agonist-GPCR-G protein complex) is the basis for conventional stimulus-response coupling. However multiple studies have also described GPCR-G protein complexes that form prior to agonist binding. While others have previously proposed that this interaction is thought to promote rapid or specific signaling, the role of such “preassociated” complexes is not well understood, and inactive-state receptors are generally considered unable to interact with heterotrimeric G proteins. Here, we show that preassociation of 5-HT7 serotonin receptors with Gs heterotrimers is necessary for agonist-induced signaling. Because inverse agonists and receptor mutations that favor the inactive state of 5-HT7 receptors promote the formation of preassociated complexes, 5-HT7 receptors in their inactive state preassociate with Gs. Upon agonist binding, 5-HT7 receptors adopt conformations that disfavor the formation of inactive-state 5-HT7–Gs complexes, thus permitting the formation of conventional agonist–5-HT7–Gs ternary complexes. Because Gs variants that cannot form inactive-state 5-HT7-Gs complexes are constitutively activated by 5-HT7 receptors, we conclude that this unconventional inactive-state 5-HT7-Gs complex is critical for the dynamic range of agonist-induced signaling. Thus, our findings provide evidence that agonists can initiate signaling via two distinct mechanisms, by promoting the association of conventional ternary complexes and by disrupting inverse-coupled binary complexes.
    • The ethical impact of mandating childhood vaccination: The importance of the clinical encounter

      Williamson, Laura; Institute of Public & Preventive Health (SAGE Publications, 2021-04-23)
      Health ethics can justify the use of vaccination mandates. However, policies that pressurize parents to vaccinate their children can undermine traditional clinical ethics standards (e.g. autonomy and informed consent). The aim of this paper is to argue that the ethical impact of vaccination mandates can only be determined in the context of the clinical encounter. Public debate on the topic tends to be general in nature and, as a result, issues that require clarification to help sustain the trust of service users are underexamined. In addition, ethical debates are hampered by a toxic dichotomy in the public sphere between those (anti-vaccinators) who claim a move away from parental choice is necessarily a serious ethical violation; and others (often health scientists) who neglect serious consideration of ethical issues. This predicament permits flawed ethical claims to be made, and to remain unchallenged. Despite this, ethical concerns – including those relating to trust and individual freedom – are fundamental to sustaining confidence in vaccination. This has recently been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic which made accessing childhood vaccinations harder, leading to a further decline in uptake. The pandemic has also revealed the strength of public feeling towards infection control measures that restrict peoples’ freedoms. In this paper I argue that to minimize the ethical disruption associated with the use of vaccination mandates, it is essential to focus more attention on their impact in the clinic and to accurately identify the drivers of such tensions.
    • A Narrative Review of Factors Historically Influencing Telehealth Use across Six Medical Specialties in the United States

      Rangachari, Pavani; Mushiana, Swapandeep S.; Herbert, Krista; Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences; Department of Family Medicine (MDPI, 2021-05-08)
      Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, studies in the US have identified wide variations in telehealth use across medical specialties. This is an intriguing problem, because the US has historically lacked a standardized set of telehealth coverage and reimbursement policies, which has posed a barrier to telehealth use across all specialties. Although all medical specialties in the US have been affected by these macro (policy-level) barriers, some specialties have been able to integrate telehealth use into mainstream practice, while others are just gaining momentum with telehealth during COVID-19. Although the temporary removal of policy (coverage) restrictions during the pandemic has accelerated telehealth use, uncertainties remain regarding future telehealth sustainability. Since macro (policy-level) factors by themselves do not serve to explain the variation in telehealth use across specialties, it would be important to examine meso (organizational-level) and micro (individual-level) factors historically influencing telehealth use across specialties, to understand underlying reasons for variation and identify implications for widespread sustainability. This paper draws upon the existing literature to develop a conceptual framework on macro-meso-micro factors influencing telehealth use within a medical specialty. The framework is then used to guide a narrative review of the telehealth literature across six medical specialties, including three specialties with lower telehealth use (allergy-immunology, family medicine, gastroenterology) and three with higher telehealth use (psychiatry, cardiology, radiology) in the US, in order to synthesize themes and gain insights into barriers and facilitators to telehealth use. In doing so, this review addresses a gap in the literature and provides a foundation for future research. Importantly, it helps to identify implications for ensuring widespread sustainability of telehealth use in the post-pandemic future.
    • Implementation of a Vaccination Program Based on Epidemic Geospatial Attributes: COVID-19 Pandemic in Ohio as a Case Study and Proof of Concept

      Awad, Susanne F.; Musuka, Godfrey; Mukandavire, Zindoga; Froass, Dillon; MacKinnon, Neil J.; Cuadros, Diego F.; Department of Population Health Sciences (MDPI AG, 2021-10-25)
      Geospatial vaccine uptake is a critical factor in designing strategies that maximize the population-level impact of a vaccination program. This study uses an innovative spatiotemporal model to assess the impact of vaccination distribution strategies based on disease geospatial attributes and population-level risk assessment. For proof of concept, we adapted a spatially explicit COVID-19 model to investigate a hypothetical geospatial targeting of COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ohio, United States, at the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic. The population-level deterministic compartmental model, incorporating spatial-geographic components at the county level, was formulated using a set of differential equations stratifying the population according to vaccination status and disease epidemiological characteristics. Three different hypothetical scenarios focusing on geographical subpopulation targeting (areas with high versus low infection intensity) were investigated. Our results suggest that a vaccine program that distributes vaccines equally across the entire state effectively averts infections and hospitalizations (2954 and 165 cases, respectively). However, in a context with equitable vaccine allocation, the number of COVID-19 cases in high infection intensity areas will remain high; the cumulative number of cases remained >30,000 cases. A vaccine program that initially targets high infection intensity areas has the most significant impact in reducing new COVID-19 cases and infection-related hospitalizations (3756 and 213 infections, respectively). Our approach demonstrates the importance of factoring geospatial attributes to the design and implementation of vaccination programs in a context with limited resources during the early stage of the vaccine rollout.
    • Global effect of COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep among 3- to 5-year-old children: a longitudinal study of 14 countries

      Okely, Anthony D.; Kariippanon, Katharina E.; Guan, Hongyan; Taylor, Ellie K.; Suesse, Thomas; Cross, Penny L.; Chong, Kar Hau; Suherman, Adang; Turab, Ali; Staiano, Amanda E.; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-05-17)
      Background The restrictions associated with the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in changes to young children’s daily routines and habits. The impact on their participation in movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary screen time and sleep) is unknown. This international longitudinal study compared young children’s movement behaviours before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods Parents of children aged 3–5 years, from 14 countries (8 low- and middle-income countries, LMICs) completed surveys to assess changes in movement behaviours and how these changes were associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Surveys were completed in the 12 months up to March 2020 and again between May and June 2020 (at the height of restrictions). Physical activity (PA), sedentary screen time (SST) and sleep were assessed via parent survey. At Time 2, COVID-19 factors including level of restriction, environmental conditions, and parental stress were measured. Compliance with the World Health Organizations (WHO) Global guidelines for PA (180 min/day [≥60 min moderate- vigorous PA]), SST (≤1 h/day) and sleep (10-13 h/day) for children under 5 years of age, was determined. Results Nine hundred- forty-eight parents completed the survey at both time points. Children from LMICs were more likely to meet the PA (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AdjOR] = 2.0, 95%Confidence Interval [CI] 1.0,3.8) and SST (AdjOR = 2.2, 95%CI 1.2,3.9) guidelines than their high-income country (HIC) counterparts. Children who could go outside during COVID-19 were more likely to meet all WHO Global guidelines (AdjOR = 3.3, 95%CI 1.1,9.8) than those who were not. Children of parents with higher compared to lower stress were less likely to meet all three guidelines (AdjOR = 0.5, 95%CI 0.3,0.9). Conclusion PA and SST levels of children from LMICs have been less impacted by COVID-19 than in HICs. Ensuring children can access an outdoor space, and supporting parents’ mental health are important prerequisites for enabling pre-schoolers to practice healthy movement behaviours and meet the Global guidelines.
    • Correlates of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among a Community Sample of African Americans Living in the Southern United States

      Moore, Justin Xavier; Gilbert, Keon L.; Lively, Katie L.; Laurent, Christian; Chawla, Rishab; Li, Cynthia; Johnson, Ryan; Petcu, Robert; Mehra, Mehul; Spooner, Antron; et al. (MDPI, 2021-08-08)
      In the United States, African Americans (AAs) have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 mortality. However, AAs are more likely to be hesitant in receiving COVID-19 vaccinations when compared to non-Hispanic Whites. We examined factors associated with vaccine hesitancy among a predominant AA community sample. We performed a cross-sectional analysis on data collected from a convenience sample of 257 community-dwelling participants in the Central Savannah River Area from 5 December 2020, through 17 April 2021. Vaccine hesitancy was categorized as resistant, hesitant, and acceptant. We estimated relative odds of vaccine resistance and vaccine hesitancy using polytomous logistic regression models. Nearly one-third of the participants were either hesitant (n = 40, 15.6%) or resistant (n = 42, 16.3%) to receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccine-resistant participants were more likely to be younger and were more likely to have experienced housing insecurity due to COVID-19 when compared to both acceptant and hesitant participants, respectively. Age accounted for nearly 25% of the variation in vaccine resistance, with 21-fold increased odds (OR: 21.93, 95% CI: 8.97–5.26–91.43) of vaccine resistance in participants aged 18 to 29 compared to 50 and older adults. Housing insecurity accounted for 8% of the variation in vaccine resistance and was associated with 7-fold increased odds of vaccine resistance (AOR: 7.35, 95% CI: 1.99–27.10). In this sample, AAs under the age of 30 and those experiencing housing insecurity because of the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to be resistant to receiving a free COVID-19 vaccination.
    • The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trauma Presentations in a Level One Trauma Center

      Devarakonda, Aditya K.; Wehrle, Chase J.; Chibane, Fairouz L.; Drevets, Peter D.; Fox, Elizabeth D.; Lawson, Andrew G. (SAGE Publications, 2020-11-24)
      Background: Over 28 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported to date, resulting in over 900 000 deaths. With an increase in awareness regarding the virus, the behavior of general population has changed dramatically. As activities such as driving and hospital presentation patterns have changed, our study aimed to assess the differences in trauma case variables before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Trauma data for the period of March 1st-June 15th were compared for the years 2015-2019 (pre-COVID) and 2020 (COVID). The data were analyzed across the following categories: injury severity score, injury mechanism, motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) vs. other blunt injuries, alcohol involvement, and length of hospital stay. Results: The median injury severity score pre-COVID and during COVID was 9, representing no change. There was no difference in overall distribution of mechanism of injury; however, there was a significant decrease in the percentage of MVCs pre-COVID (36.39%) vs. COVID (29.6%, P < .05). Alcohol was significantly more likely to be involved in trauma during COVID-19 (P < .05). The mean hospital stay increased from 3.87-5.4 days during COVID-19 (P < .05). Discussion: We saw similar results to prior studies in terms of there being no change in trauma severity. Our observation that motor vehicle collisions have decreased is consistent with current data showing decreased use of motor vehicles during the pandemic. We also observed an increase in alcohol-related cases which are consistent with the reported changes in alcohol consumption since the pandemic began.
    • echanisms of ANG(1-7) mediated control of blood pressure in males and females

      Zimmerman, Margaret A.; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2014-07)
    • The Role of cyclic-GMP dependent protein kinase II in homeostasis of the colon mucosa

      Wang, Rui; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2013-09)
    • The Mechanisms underlying VLDL-induced aldosterone production

      Tsai, Ying-Ying; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2014-03)
    • Blood pressure impacts the renal T cell profile of male and female spontaneously hypertensive rats

      Tipton, Ashlee Joy; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2014-03)
    • A Key role for BIM in executing ER positive breast cancer cell death and it's potential regulation by RB

      Takhar, Suchreet; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2013-10)
    • Roles of arginase in oxygen-induced retinopathy

      Suwanpradid, Jutamas; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2014-03)
    • Identification of novel molecular biomarkers for diagnosis of salivary dysfunction

      Suart, Mary S.; Medical College of Georgia (Augusta University, 2013-10)
    • Estimation of epidemiological parameters for COVID-19 cases using a stochastic SEIRS epidemic model with vital dynamics

      Otunuga, Olusegun M.; Department of Mathematics (Elsevier BV, 2021-09)
      We estimate and analyze the time-dependent parameters: transmission rate, symptomatic recovery rate, immunity rate, infection noise intensities, and the effective reproduction number for the United States COVID-19 cases for the period 01/22/2020-02/25/2021 using an innovative generalized method of moments estimation scheme. We assume the disease-dynamic is described by a stochastic susceptible–exposed–infected– recovered–susceptible (SEIRS) epidemic model, where the infected class is divided into the asymptomatic infected, and symptomatic infectious classes. Stochasticity appears in the model due to fluctuations in the disease’s transmission and recovery rates. The disease eradication threshold is derived from the reproduction number. The estimated parameters are used to model the disease outbreak’s possible trajectories. Our analysis reveals that current interventions are having positive effects on the transmission and recovery rates. The analysis is demonstrated using the daily United States COVID-19 infection and recovered cases for the period: 01/22/2020-02/25/2021.
    • Human security as biosecurity

      Albert, Craig; Baez, Amado; Rutland, Joshua; Department of Social Sciences (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2021-01-19)
      Research within security studies has struggled to determine whether infectious disease (ID) represents an existential threat to national and international security. With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), it is imperative to reexamine the relationship between ID and global security. This article addresses the specific threat to security from COVID-19, asking, “Is COVID-19 a threat to national and international security?” To investigate this question, this article uses two theoretical approaches: human security and biosecurity. It argues that COVID-19 is a threat to global security by the ontological crisis posed to individuals through human security theory and through high politics, as evidenced by biosecurity. By viewing security threats through the lens of the individual and the state, it becomes clear that ID should be considered an international security threat. This article examines the relevant literature and applies the theoretical framework to a case study analysis focused on the United States.
    • Low utilisation of bronchoscopy to assess COVID-19 respiratory infection: a multicenter experience

      Mahmood, Kamran; Abbott, Matt; Van Nostrand, Keriann; Bechara, Rabih; Gonzalez, Anne V; Brucker, Amanda; Green, Cynthia L; Polage, Christopher R; Department of Medicine (BMJ, 2021-07-23)
      Objective For the diagnosis of COVID-19, the yield of nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs is unclear, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) is obtained to confirm the diagnosis. We assessed the utilisation of bronchoscopy for COVID-19 diagnosis in a multicenter study and compared the diagnostic yield of BAL versus NP swabs. Methods This retrospective study included all patients who were admitted with clinical presentation concerning for COVID-19 and underwent BAL from 1 March to 31 July 2020 at four tertiary care centres in North America. We also compared concordance of BAL with NP swabs for diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Results Fifty-three patients, with clinical suspicion for COVID-19 and admitted for respiratory failure, underwent bronchoscopy to collect BAL for SARS-CoV-2 testing. During the same period, 2039 bronchoscopies were performed on patients not infected with COVID-19. Of 42 patients with NP swabs and BAL collected within ≤7 days, 1 was NP swab negative but positive by BAL for SARSCoV-2 (n=1/42 (2.4%)). Across a wide array of testing platforms, the overall agreement between NP swabs and BAL results was 97.6% (95% CI: 93.0% to 100%) with Cohen’s k of 0.90 (95% CI: 0.69 to 1.00). The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of NP swabs compared with BAL were 83.3% (95% CI: 53.5% to 100%), 100%, 100% and 97.3% (95% CI: 92.1% to 100%), respectively. Conclusions BAL was used infrequently to assess COVID-19 in busy institutions. NP swabs have a high concordance with BAL for COVID-19 testing, but negative NP swabs should be confirmed with BAL when clinical suspicion is high.
    • Making a Difference: Adaptation of the Clinical Laboratory in Response to the Rapidly Evolving COVID-19 Pandemic

      Sahajpal, Nikhil S.; Mondal, Ashis K.; Ananth, Sudha; Njau, Allan; Fulzele, Sadanand; Ahaluwalia, Pankaj; Chaubey, Alka; Hegde, Madhuri; Rojiani, Amyn M.; Kolhe, Ravindra; et al. (Sage, 2021-06-29)
      The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, led to unprecedented demands assigned to clinical diagnostic laboratories worldwide, forcing them to make significant changes to their regular workflow as they adapted to new diagnostic tests and sample volumes. Herein, we summarize the modifications/adaptation the laboratory had to exercise to cope with rapidly evolving situations in the current pandemic. In the first phase of the pandemic, the laboratory validated 2 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction–based assays to test ∼1000 samples/day and rapidly modified procedures and validated various preanalytical and analytical steps to overcome the supply chain constraints that would have otherwise derailed testing efforts. Further, the pooling strategy was validated for wide-scale population screening using nasopharyngeal swab samples and saliva samples. The translational research arm of the laboratory pursued several initiatives to understand the variable clinical manifestations that this virus presented in the population. The phylogenetic evolution of the virus was investigated using next-generation sequencing technology. The laboratory has initiated the formation of a consortium that includes groups investigating genomes at the level of large structural variants, using genome optical mapping via this collaborative global effort. This article summarizes our journey as the laboratory has sought to adapt and continue to positively contribute to the unprecedented demands and challenges of this rapidly evolving pandemic.