COVID-19 Academic Resources Center

MDPI Comment on the COVID-19 Virus

Since 1996, MDPI has been committed to supporting the research community by providing the latest research freely available and making relevant and useful research available as quickly as possible. The world is current experiencing a pandemic of COVID-19, and researchers are working extremely hard to understand it and find a cure.

The values MDPI holds strongly are particularly important at the moment, and we will continue to publish relevant, peer-reviewed research as quickly as possible in open access format. This means that it will immediately be available for researchers, health professionals, and the general public to read, distribute, and reuse. We believe that scientific advancements will be crucial to overcoming this pandemic, and will do everything we can to support researchers working looking for solutions.

This page contains a variety of information related to COVID-19 available from MDPI, including journal articles, special issues, and preprints, among others.

Recent Publications

Open AccessReview
Sound Environments in Large Public Buildings for Crowd Transit: A Systematic Review
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3728; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11093728 (registering DOI) - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Sound environments in large public buildings are likely to be different from those of performance spaces, as well as those not specifically designed for acoustic “performance”, but where sounds still play an important role because of the function they can promote (or disrupt). [...] Read more.
Sound environments in large public buildings are likely to be different from those of performance spaces, as well as those not specifically designed for acoustic “performance”, but where sounds still play an important role because of the function they can promote (or disrupt). The aim of this study was identifying common strategies and empirical approaches researchers have been implementing for these acoustically complex enclosures and to provide some methodological indications for future studies on the topic. Studies conducted in three building types for crowd transit, such as museums/exhibition spaces, shopping malls, and transportation hubs/stations, which were collecting data about either physical outcomes or individual responses for such sound environments, were selected. The Scopus databases were searched for peer-reviewed journal papers published in English without time limitations. An additional manual search was performed on the reference lists of the retrieved items. The general consideration on inclusion was to meet the requirement that the case belonged to the three building types, and then the specific inclusion criteria were: (1) including at least an objective acoustic measure of the space; or (2) including at least a subjective measure of the space. The search returned 1060 results; after removing duplicates, two authors screened titles and abstracts and selected 117 papers for further analysis. Twenty-six studies were eventually included. Due to the limited number of items and differences in measures across studies, a quantitative meta-analysis could not be performed, and a qualitative approach was adopted instead. The most commonly used objective measures were SPL, and more specifically often considered as LAeq, and T. The intervals across studies were currently of inconsistency, and the selection is recommended to take space scale factor into account. The used subjective measures can be classified into four categories as annoyance, affective quality, room-acoustic quality, and acoustic spatiality. Four basic perceptual assessments concerning dynamic contents are accordingly suggested as “annoying-not annoying”, “crowded-uncrowded”, “long-short (reverberation)”, and “far away-nearby”. The other descriptors can be project-specific. The methodologies involve measurement, questionnaire/interview, listening test, and software simulation. It is necessary for the former two to consider temporal and spatial features of such spaces, and the adoption of the latter two will lead to better understanding of users’ exposure in such spaces, e.g., acoustic sequences and user amount. The outputs of investigations inform that background noise level, e.g., 90 dB in museum/exhibition spaces, and sound reverberation, e.g., 4.0 to 5.0 s in shopping malls and transportation hubs/station, are of fundamental importance to the design of such spaces. Sufficient acoustic comfort can be achieved with integrated design of indoor soundscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Room Acoustics of Non-performing Public Spaces)
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Open AccessOpinion
Obese Animals as Models for Numerous Diseases: Advantages and Applications
Medicina 2021, 57(5), 399; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57050399 (registering DOI) - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 130
Abstract
With the advances in obesity research, a variety of animal models have been developed to investigate obesity pathogenesis, development, therapies and complications. Such obese animals would not only allow us to explore obesity but would also represent models to study diseases and conditions [...] Read more.
With the advances in obesity research, a variety of animal models have been developed to investigate obesity pathogenesis, development, therapies and complications. Such obese animals would not only allow us to explore obesity but would also represent models to study diseases and conditions that develop with obesity or where obesity represents a risk factor. Indeed, obese subjects, as well as animal models of obesity, develop pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, inflammation and metabolic disorders. Therefore, obese animals would represent models for numerous diseases. Although those diseases can be induced in animals by chemicals or drugs without obesity development, having them developed as consequences of obesity has numerous advantages. These advantages include mimicking natural pathogenesis processes, using diversity in obesity models (diet, animal species) to study the related variabilities and exploring disease intensity and reversibility depending on obesity development and treatments. Importantly, therapeutic implications and pharmacological tests represent key advantages too. On the other hand, obesity prevalence is continuously increasing, and, therefore, the likelihood of having a patient suffering simultaneously from obesity and a particular disease is increasing. Thus, studying diverse diseases in obese animals (either induced naturally or developed) would allow researchers to build a library of data related to the patterns or specificities of obese patients within the context of pathologies. This may lead to a new branch of medicine specifically dedicated to the diseases and care of obese patients, similar to geriatric medicine, which focuses on the elderly population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Muscles, Exercise, and Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiscale Integral Assessment of Habitability in the Case of El Raval in Barcelona
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4598; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13094598 (registering DOI) - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 156
Abstract
The understanding of habitability conditions of existing housing stock plays a central role in the quantification and qualification of sustainability from the architectural field. This research assessed habitability as a fundamental social benefit by means of a multiscale approach to the case study [...] Read more.
The understanding of habitability conditions of existing housing stock plays a central role in the quantification and qualification of sustainability from the architectural field. This research assessed habitability as a fundamental social benefit by means of a multiscale approach to the case study of the Raval neighborhood that can be replicated in other settings. We described a sample of six hundred dwellings located in two urban blocks spatially and typologically. This analysis of architectural features incorporated information on the current occupancy and use of spaces and the assessment of the state of conservation and maintenance of building envelopes and common elements. Although the scale of most analyzed aspects was larger (building, urban block or urban fabric), the discussion of results by housing unit provided a close picture of the existing diversity and heterogeneity of socio-spatial and architectural realities within buildings and urban blocks. Results from this paper allow for the valuation and discussion of substandard housing cases that call for an immediate improvement and adaptation, while providing evidence that most dwellings fail to fulfill residents’ right to adequate housing. In conclusion, the results obtained highlight the importance of designing rehabilitation programs and instruments to improve existing spaces with a focus on current use, occupancy, and residents’ needs. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Iron Deficiency in Obesity and after Bariatric Surgery
Biomolecules 2021, 11(5), 613; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/biom11050613 (registering DOI) - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 144
Abstract
Iron deficiency (ID) is particularly frequent in obese patients due to increased circulating levels of acute-phase reactant hepcidin and adiposity-associated inflammation. Inflammation in obese subjects is closely related to ID. It induces reduced iron absorption correlated to the inhibition of duodenal ferroportin expression, [...] Read more.
Iron deficiency (ID) is particularly frequent in obese patients due to increased circulating levels of acute-phase reactant hepcidin and adiposity-associated inflammation. Inflammation in obese subjects is closely related to ID. It induces reduced iron absorption correlated to the inhibition of duodenal ferroportin expression, parallel to the increased concentrations of hepcidin. Obese subjects often get decreased inflammatory response after bariatric surgery, accompanied by decreased serum hepcidin and therefore improved iron absorption. Bariatric surgery can induce the mitigation or resolution of obesity-associated complications, such as hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia, adjusting many parameters in the metabolism. However, gastric bypass surgery and sleeve gastrectomy can induce malabsorption and may accentuate ID. The present review explores the burden and characteristics of ID and anemia in obese patients after bariatric surgery, accounting for gastric bypass technique (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass—RYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG). After bariatric surgery, obese subjects’ iron status should be monitored, and they should be motivated to use adequate and recommended iron supplementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic and Essential Metals in Human Health and Disease 2021)
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Open AccessConference Report
Alternatives to Antibiotics: A Symposium on the Challenges and Solutions for Animal Health and Production
Antibiotics 2021, 10(5), 471; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics10050471 (registering DOI) - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 145
Abstract
Antibiotics have improved the length and quality of life of people worldwide and have had an immeasurable influence on agricultural animal health and the efficiency of animal production over the last 60 years. The increased affordability of animal protein for a greater proportion [...] Read more.
Antibiotics have improved the length and quality of life of people worldwide and have had an immeasurable influence on agricultural animal health and the efficiency of animal production over the last 60 years. The increased affordability of animal protein for a greater proportion of the global population, in which antibiotic use has played a crucial part, has resulted in a substantial improvement in human quality of life. However, these benefits have come with major unintended consequences, including antibiotic resistance. Despite the inherent benefits of restricting antibiotic use in animal production, antibiotics remain essential to ensuring animal health, necessitating the development of novel approaches to replace the prophylactic and growth-promoting benefits of antibiotics. The third International Symposium on “Alternatives to Antibiotics: Challenges and Solutions in Animal Health and Production” in Bangkok, Thailand was organized by the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University and Department of Livestock Development-Thailand Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative; supported by OIE World Organization for Animal Health; and attended by more than 500 scientists from academia, industry, and government from 32 nations across 6 continents. The focus of the symposium was on ensuring human and animal health, food safety, and improving food animal production efficiency as well as quality. Attendees explored six subject areas in detail through scientific presentations and panel discussions with experts, and the major conclusions were as follows: (1) defining the mechanisms of action of antibiotic alternatives is paramount to enable their effective use, whether they are used for prevention, treatment, or to enhance health and production; (2) there is a need to integrate nutrition, health, and disease research, and host genetics needs to be considered in this regard; (3) a combination of alternatives to antibiotics may need to be considered to achieve optimum health and disease management in different animal production systems; (4) hypothesis-driven field trials with proper controls are needed to validate the safety, efficacy, and return of investment (ROI) of antibiotic alternatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Medicine)
Open AccessCommunication
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Total Mortality in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4388; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18084388 (registering DOI) - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 214
Abstract
Background: According to published data the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is underestimated between 30 and 80%. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the impact of COVID-19 on total mortality of Poland and the Silesian voivodship. Methods: Secondary epidemiological [...] Read more.
Background: According to published data the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is underestimated between 30 and 80%. Aim: The aim of this study is to assess the impact of COVID-19 on total mortality of Poland and the Silesian voivodship. Methods: Secondary epidemiological data on COVID-19 deaths were obtained from the Ministry of Health registry and data on total mortality were gathered from the National Statistical Office and Registry Office in Poland. Three scenarios were used to estimated COVID-19 deaths: real number + an extra 30%, 60%, and 70% excess total deaths. Results: In 2020, there were 73,254, 64,584, and 67,677 excess deaths in comparison to 2017–2019, respectively. For the Silesian voivodship, it was 8339, 7946, and 8701, respectively. The total mean increase in deaths was 16% for the whole country and the Silesian voivodship. The simulation for 30% extra COVID-19 deaths gave COVID-19 mortality equal to 12.5%; n = 50,708 deaths, for extra 60%; 17.9% n = 72,866 and for extra 70%; 19.7% n = 80,251 for Poland; and 11.9% (n = 6072), 17.2% (n = 8740), 24.2% (n = 12,297), respectively, for the Silesian voivodship. Conclusions: The participation of COVID-19 in total deaths should not exceed 20% for Poland and 24% for the Silesian voivodship in 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
Sequencing Techniques and Genomics Technologies to Help with Diagnostics and Virus Characterization – Focus on COVID 19
edited by Miten Jain, Hugh E. Olsen, and
submission deadline 15 Apr 2021 | 8 articles
(This special issue belongs to the Section Technologies and Resources for Genetics)
Bioengineering Techniques and Applications Against COVID-19
edited by Dimitrios Glotsos, and Sara Reis
submission deadline 30 Apr 2021
SARS-CoV-2 Infections in the Elderly
edited by and Jonathan Hewitt
submission deadline 30 Apr 2021 | 8 articles

State-of-the-Art Webinars on COVID-19


WEBINAR 1: How to Avoid a New Lockdown?

The first webinar in the series, held on 17 April 2020, saw both Prof. Dr. Antoine Flahault, Director of the Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland, and Prof. Dr. Evelyne Bischof, Associate Professor, Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China and Research physician, University Hospital of Basel, Basel, Switzerland speak on this topic.

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 2: Coronaviruses: History, Replication, Innate Immune Antagonism

The second webinar in the series, entitled “Coronaviruses: history, replication, innate immune antagonism”, saw Prof. Dr. Susan R. Weiss, Professor of Microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania speak on this topic.

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 3: Could the COVID-19 Crisis be the Opportunity to Make Cities Carbon Neutral, Liveable and Healthy

The third webinar in this series was presented by Prof. Dr. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, a world leading expert in environmental exposure assessment, epidemiology, and health risk/impact assessment with a strong focus and interest on healthy urban living. 

The recording can be found here

WEBINAR 4: COVID-19 - Global Supply Chains and the SDGs

For the fourth webinar of this series, Prof. Dr. Max Bergman, Dr. Dorothea Schostok and Prof. Dr. Patrick Paul Walsh gave a presentation on Global Supply Chains and the SDGs. 

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 5: The New Role of Family Physicians in Times of COVID-19

The fifth webinar of the COVID-19 Series saw Prof. Dr. Christos Lionis discuss the new role of family physicians that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 6: Survey on Symptoms/Signs, Protective Measures, Level of Awareness and Perception Regarding COVID-19 Outbreak among Dentists

In the sixth webinar of this series, Prof. Dr. Guglielmo Campus and Prof. Dr. Maria Grazia present and discuss the risk and the preventions that can and should be taken by dentists during this pandemic.

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 7: Living with COVID-19: An Early Intervention Therapeutic Strategy to Control the Pandemic

The seventh webinar of the COVID-19 series, Dr. Hamid Merchant discussed the different therapeutic strategies that can be adopted in the early stages of the infection.

The recording can be found here.

WEBINAR 8: Impact of COVID-19 on Routine Immunization, Reproduction and Pregnancy Outcome

For the eighth COVID-19 webinar, Prof. Dr. Jon Øyvind Odland will discuss the effect that COVID-19 seems to have on pregnant women; whereas Prof. Dr. Giovanni Gabutti will discuss the role of routine immunization as a way of fighting COVID-19.

Date and Time: 30 June 2020 at 3.00pm (CEST) | 9.00am (EDT) | 9.00pm (CST Asia)

Register now.

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