Weekly Review: COVID-19 Data and Surveillance – May 24, 2021

Weekly Review: COVID-19 Data and Surveillance – May 24, 2021

Artificial Intelligence

The authors of this study provide a comprehensive analysis of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) approaches in relation to the public health and the current pandemic.  Various applications of AI are used which involve big data.  These applications for purpose of the pandemic are:  AI-based clinical data analysis and robotic/remote surgery, research and drug discovery, and automatic health care activities, processes, and management.  A large amount of data has to be aggregated and analyzed to elicit useful information for public health purposes and tis has been since March 2020.  The authors state that ML models have been used in health care to construct a strong and accurate prediction tool for COVID-19.  Various models have been able to more accurately identify COVID-19 diagnosis using health-related markers aside from typical symptoms.  Models have also been able to predict outbreaks, forecast current virus predictions and screen patients.  AI has played an essential role in confronting COVID-19 and has supported researchers and medical professionals in developing systems that reduce human interaction in infected places, deliver services, and manage health emergency situations.  The authors conclude by stating the importance and need of AI and ML strategies and models to tackle future challenges related to public health.

Pomegranate Peel Extract

Plant extracts are known to have antiviral properties as they are rich in polyphenols, sesquiterpenes, and triterpenes.  This article discusses the potential of pomegranate peel extract as an innovative and potential therapy for SARS=CoV-2.  Pomegranate peel extract (PPE) was obtained via dried pomegranate peels.  High resolution mass spectrometry analysis was done to identify the total polyphenol count.   Antioxidant activity of the PPE was measured along with the inhibition of the Spike-ACE2 interaction.  The interaction was measured using the SARS-CoV2 Inhibitor Screening Assay kit.  The authors found that the polyphenols contained in an ethanolic extract derived from pomegranate peels inhibited the interaction between Spike and ACE2.   It also reduced the activity of the viral 3CL protease (which is essential for viral reproduction).  This could imply that the use of the extract as an adjuvant in the treatment against SARS-CoV-2 infections could be possible.  The authors also note that the inhibitory effect on Spike/ACE2 binding was confirmed by experiments with a pseudotyped lentivirus.  The results also suggest that PPE might have multiple biological roles in reducing the ability of the virus to anchor cells and get internalized.  Further studies will be needed to further assess the efficacy of the extract.

|2021-05-24T08:19:02-04:00May 24th, 2021|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi

Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi
Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi, DrPH, MPH, MBA is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Director of the undergraduate and graduate programs in public health at the University of Evansville. She serves as the public health expert for local media and has appeared on over 100 televised interviews regarding various public health issues with over 50 of the interviews related to COVID-19. Her research interests include healthcare systems and policies in the comparative perspective related to social epidemiology.

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