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A szennyvíz alapú epidemiológia jelentősége a COVID–19 járványban és azon túl

The importance of wastewater-based epidemiology in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Scientia et Securitas
Authors: Tamás Pándics, Eszter Róka, Bernadett Khayer, Zoltán Kis, Luca Bella Kovács, Nóra Magyar, Tibor Málnási, Orsolya Oravecz, Bernadett Pályi, Eszter Schuler, and Márta Vargha

Összefoglaló. A szennyvízalapú epidemiológia módszere a jelenlegi világjárványban egyre inkább előtérbe kerül. Mivel a szennyvízhálózatot szinte mindenki használja, ezzel a módszerrel gyorsan és olcsón lehet reprezentatív egészségügyi információhoz jutni, az így keletkező adatok pedig támogatást és visszajelzést nyújthatnak a döntéshozatalban. A Nemzeti Népegészségügyi Központ 2020 júniusa óta működteti a COVID–19 előrejelző rendszert. A mintavételek hetente történnek Budapest három szennyvíztisztítójából, valamint a megyeszékhelyekről. A kapott adatok hazánkban is előrejelzik az esetszám alakulását, az eredmények gyors kommunikációja pedig lehetővé teszi a járványhelyzetre történő felkészülést. A szennyvízalapú epidemiológia alkalmazása a jövőben más területeken is megfontolandó hazánkban is.

Summary. Wastewater based epidemiology (WBE) is an emerging method in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Since almost everyone uses the sewerage system, wastewater is technically a composite sample representing the entire population of the area serviced by a wastewater plant. This community sample contains pathogens and compounds excreted by the human body through feces or urine, and can be used to obtain information on the health status of the community. It was successfully used previously for confirming the eradication of poliovirus and tracking legal and illegal drug consumption.

The etiological agent of COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is an enveloped, single strand RNA coronavirus. Although it is a respiratory virus, it is also shed in feces both in symptomatic and asymptomatic infections. Wastewater therefore can be used to estimate outbreak trends and support outbreak management.

Wastewater monitoring efforts in Hungary started in June 2020, first in Budapest, then gradually extended to a national surveillance system. Weekly samples are collected in the three wastewater treatment plants servicing Budapest, and from every county seat. The analyzed 22 samples represent approximately 40 % of the population. Raw sewage samples are centrifuged to remove the debris and concentrated by membrane ultrafiltration. RNA is extracted from the concentrate and SARS-CoV-2 is quantified by RT-qPCR. Results are normalized to Enterococcus counts to correct for the bias of dilution from precipitation.

The first results in June reflected the decline of the first wave of the outbreak. During the summer, viral RNA concentrations were low, mainly below the limit of detection. The increase of RNA in the sewage preceded the resurge of cases by 2 weeks. Trends of viral concentration followed the same pattern as the number of infections in the second and third wave. SARS-CoV in sewage shows statistically significant association with the number of new cases in the following weeks, thus it can be used as an early warning system.

Results are communicated weekly to the governance board responsible for outbreak management, or more frequently in case of outstanding results or when it is necessary for decision support. Weekly information is also made available to the public. To inform the public, concentration categories (low, medium, elevated and high) were defined, representing orders of magnitude of the viral RNA concentration. Trends (increasing, stagnating or decreasing) are also indicated.

The establishment of a long-term wastewater surveillance system would provide an opportunity for early recognition of future emerging infections, tracking seasonal influenza, drug use or even the detection of certain bioterror attacks. It would be an important addition to maintaining the health and safety of the Hungarian population.

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of the floristical examinations performed in the units of a former secondary sedimentation pond system in Hungary. The outcome of analyses on the chromium content of the plants is discussed. Beside the chemical analyses, observations on the plants, the characterization of the ecological state of plant stands adapted to heavy metal load. Results of the elemental analysis for heavy metals revealed that none of the plants constituting the natural vegetation can be treated as hyperaccumulator plant. A green cover and the detoxification process of Cr(VI) by plants is suggested to be more important than the present extensive phytoextraction procedure. It can be stated that due to the disturbance our investigated area has diverse vegetation, in addition these plants can tolerate a high concentration of heavy metals, and they are able to take up them.

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Nanoparticle Concentration Eff. results max/increase % Comments [ 17 ] Water Al 2 O 3 0.2, 0.25, 0.3%wt 13% Al 2 O 3 , 11% Fe 2 O 3 Variable flow rate [ 18 ] Water Al 2 O 3 3, 1%vol 52.4, 73 Variable incident angles [ 19 ] Water TiO 2 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5%vol 56

Open access
Nanopages
Authors: Elena Burakova, Alexandr Melezhyk, Alyona Gerasimova, Evgeny Galunin, Nariman Memetov, and Alexey Tkachev

In the present research, phenol-formaldehyde resins were used instead of common surfactants for dispersing carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoplatelets in order to develop new composite materials. The use of such resins makes it possible to increase the concentration of nanoparticles in solution by approximately two orders of magnitude. The presence of reactive groups on the surface of the phenol-formaldehyde-resin-modified carbonnanotubes and graphene nanoplatelets promotes synthesis of a variety of composites. According to the experiments performed herein, the modification of the nanomaterials with the phenol-formaldehyde resin significantly improves their compatibility and provides good water-solubility. While dispersing in water, the aggregates of the carbon nanotubes disappear, giving rise to an ordered structure. Besides, they form stable colloidal solutions at slightly alkaline pH values, but coagulate when decreasing the pH. This effect allows for self-assembly of carbon and composite nanostructures from nanoparticles in solution due to pH adjustment. This enables easy synthesis of hybrid composite materials based on carbon nanotubes, graphene nanoplatelets and phenol-formaldehyde resins.

Open access
Resolution and Discovery
Authors: Svetlana Jovanovic, Olaf C. Haenssler, Milica Budimir, Duška Kleut, Jovana Prekodravac, and Biljana Todorovic Markovic

into water (200 mL) and filtrated until the pH was 7. Chemical reduction of both GO and GQDs was conducted using in situ generated hydrogen [ 7 ]. Synthesized GQD and GO were dispersed in water in a concentration of 1 mg/mL and the ccHCl acid (35

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2008 Continuous monitoring of residual chlorine concentrations in response to controlled microbial intrusions in a laboratory-scale distribution system Water Research 42 3162

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bacterial cells were re-suspended in phosphate-buffered saline solution (PBS) and adjusted to the required concentration. Antibacterial activity experiments To assess the ability of K/rGO-CS matrix to capture and kill bacteria, each substrate was immersed in

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). The measurement conditions were an accelerating voltage of 30 kV with a beam diameter of 1 μm for a counting time of 60–120 s and a minimum detectable weight concentration ranging from 0.1 to 1 wt%. Physical separation treatment for Abu Rusheid

Open access

Monoklonális antitestek és egyéb biológiai terápiák a COVID–19 kezelésére

Monoclonal antibodies and other biologics for treatment of COVID-19

Scientia et Securitas
Author: Imre Kacskovics

Összefoglaló. A SARS-CoV-2 koronavírus által kiváltott pandémia az elmúlt mintegy 100 év legsúlyosabb közegészségügyi, gazdasági és társadalmi válságát okozza. Az emberiség soha nem látott tudással, példa nélküli sebességgel állította elő azokat a hatékony védőoltásokat, amelyek a megfelelő átoltottság mellett kontrollálhatják a COVID–19-járványt.

A SARS-CoV-2 fertőzéssel az emberiségnek meg kell tanulnia együtt élni, és mivel a vakcinák nem mindenkinek adhatók, vagy nem mindenkiben váltanak ki immunvédelmet, szükséges a jelenleginél hatékonyabb COVID–19-specifikus terápiák kifejlesztése. Több COVID–19 kezelésére kifejlesztett gyógyszerhatóanyagot is sikerrel tesztelnek, közülük is kiemelkednek a monoklonális antitestek, illetve más biológiai terápiák. Ezek egyfelől olyan gyógyszerek, amelyek a betegség korai fázisában semlegesítik a vírust, azaz megakadályozzák, hogy a sejteket megfertőzze, míg mások a már kialakult súlyos megbetegedésben csökkenthetik a gyulladás mértékét. Biologikumok közé tartozik a SARS-CoV-2-t semlegesítő hACE2-Fc fúziós fehérje is, amely a neutralizáló monoklonális antitestek hatásához hasonlítható; előnye, hogy minden mutáns ellen hatékony lehet.

Virológusok, járványügyi szakemberek szerint fel kell készülnünk arra, hogy a jelenlegihez hasonló járványok rendszeressé válnak. Ökológiai okok miatt egyre nő az állati eredetű kórokozók adaptálódása az emberhez, de nem zárhatók ki az ún. laborszökevény vírusok, sőt a bioterrorizmus veszélye sem. Mindezek hatékony kezelésére erősítenünk kell a hazai biotechnológiai kapacitásokat. A hatóanyagfejlesztésben a már kialakult hazai egyetemi-kutatóintézeti-ipari együttműködésekre számíthatunk, a gyártás során pedig a hazai korszerű biotechnológiai, gyógyszeripari kapacitásra, amelyek növelhetik az önellátásból származó biztonságot.

Summary. The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic is causing the worst public health, economic and social crisis in the last 100 years. New and effective vaccines were developed and produced with the application of unprecedented know how and speed, which can control the COVID-19 epidemic with the right vaccination coverage.

Humanity needs to learn to live with the SARS-CoV-2 infection, and because vaccines cannot be given to everyone or cannot induce immune protection in all vaccinated individuals, it is necessary to develop more effective COVID-19-specific therapies than those presently available. Several drugs developed for the treatment of COVID-19 have been successfully tested, including monoclonal antibodies and other biological therapies. These are, on the one hand, drugs that neutralize the virus in the early stages of the disease, that is, it prevents it from infecting the cells, while others can reduce the rate of inflammation in a severe disease status. This review article provides an update about the current status of monoclonal antibodies that have been developed to treat COVID-19.

In early 2020 Eotvos Lorand University, Pecs University, Gedeon Richter Plc and ImmunoGenes Ltd formed a consortium to develop a molecular trap, the human ACE2-Fc fusion protein that binds to the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and inhibits its binding to the ACE2 receptors on the cell surfaces. We successfully produced this recombinant protein and proved that it neutralizes this virus using VERO E6 cells and protects animals (Syrian hamster) from serious disease when administered before infection. We have also shown that it has a long half-life due to its (IgG) Fc-region component. Based on these proof of concept data, we created mutant versions of this drug candidate that do not have catabolic activity for angiotensin II and thus would not influence blood pressure. This is important since this drug should be administered in log-fold higher concentrations than ACE2 receptors in the body in order to efficiently neutralize the virus. The virus neutralization capacity of these new versions remained intact based on in vitro virus neutralization tests. We believe that after successful animal experiments, these drug candidates can be efficiently used in COVID-19 therapy in mild or moderate disease status. As compared to the COVID-19 specific monoclonal antibodies, we believe that these recombinant, mutant hACE2-Fc drugs can be more effective than the mAbs as they effectively bind and neutralize the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 (if they are able to bind the endogenous ACE2 receptor).

According to virologists and epidemiologists, we need to be prepared for epidemics like the current one becoming more regular. Due to ecological reasons, the adaptation of animal pathogens to humans is increasing, but there are threats due to lab leak viruses and even bioterrorism. To deal with all this effectively, we need to strengthen domestic biotechnology capacities. In the development of drug substances, we can count on the already established Hungarian university-research institute-industry collaborations, which can increase the safety resulting from self-sufficiency.

Open access
Scientia et Securitas
Authors: Mónika Lakatos, Zita Bihari, Beatrix Izsák, and Olivér Szentes

Összefoglaló. A WMO 2021 elején kiadott állapotértékelője szerint a COVID–19 miatti korlátozások ellenére az üvegházhatású gázok légköri koncentrációja tovább emelkedett. A tengerszint emelkedés a közelmúltban gyorsult, rekordmagas volt a jégvesztés Grönlandon, az Antarktisz olvadása is gyorsulni látszik. Szélsőséges időjárás pusztított, élelmiszer-ellátási gondok léptek fel, és 2020-ban a COVID–19 hatásával együtt nőtt a biztonsági kockázat több régióban is. Az éghajlatváltozás felerősíti a meglévő kockázatokat, és újabb kockázatok is fellépnek majd a természeti és az ember által alkotott rendszerekben.

Az éghajlatváltozás hatása a hazai mérési sorokban is megjelenik. Az Országos Meteorológiai Szolgálat (OMSZ) homogenizált, ellenőrzött mérései szerint 1901 óta 1,2 °C-ot nőtt az évi középhőmérséklet. Két normál időszakot vizsgálva egyértelmű a magasabb hőmérsékletek felé tolódás, a csapadék éven belüli eloszlása megváltozott, az őszi másodmaximum eltűnőben van. Nőtt az aszályhajlam, gyakoribbá váltak a hőhullámok, intenzívebb a csapadékhullás, emiatt az éghajlatvédelemi intézkedések mellett a jól megalapozott alkalmazkodás is indokolt. A biztonsági kockázatok csökkenthetők az OMSZ és Országos Katasztrófavédelmi Főigazgatóság közötti együttműködés által.

Summary. The first part of the article gives an overview of the state of the global climate in 2020 based on the report compiled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, 2021) and network of partners from UN. According to this report, the 2020 was one of the three warmest years on record, despite a cooling La Niña event. The global mean temperature for 2020 (January to October) was 1.2 ± 0.1 °C above the 1850–1900 baseline, used as an approximation of pre-industrial levels. The latest six years have been the warmest on record. 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record. The report on the “State of the Global Climate 2020” illustrates the state of the key indicators of the climate system, including greenhouse gas concentrations, increasing land and ocean temperatures, sea level rise, melting ice and glacier and extreme weather. It also highlights impacts on socio-economic development, migration and displacement and food security. All key climate indicators and associated impact information published in this report highlight continuing climate change, an increasing occurrence and intensification of extreme events, and severe losses and damage, affecting people, societies and economies. Extreme weather events triggered an estimated 10 000 000 displacements in 2020. Because of COVID-19 lockdowns, response and recovery operations were leading to delays in providing assistance. After decades of decline, the increase in food insecurity since 2014 is being driven by conflict and economic slowdown as well as climate variability and extreme weather events. Climate change will amplify existing risks and create new risks for natural and human systems. Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development.

The global changes have local effects in Hungary as it is shown in the second part of the article. The climate monitoring at the Hungarian Meteorological Service is based on measurements stored in the Climate data archive. We apply data management tools to produce high quality and representative datasets to prepare climate studies. The data homogenization makes possible to eliminate inhomogeneities due to change in the measuring practice and station movements. Applying spatial interpolation procedure for meteorological data provide the spatial representativeness of the climate data used for monitoring. The surface temperature increase is slightly higher in Hungary than the global change from 1901. The annual precipitation decreased by 3% from 1901, although this change is not significant statistically. The monthly temperatures shifted to warmer monthly averages in the most recent normal period between 1991 and 2020 comparing to the 1961–1990 in each months. The annual course of the monthly precipitations changed, especially autumn. The monthly sum in September and in October increased substantially. The frequency of heatwave days increased by more than two weeks in the Little Plain and in the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain from 1981, which is the most intense warming period globally. The intensification of the precipitation in the recent years is obvious in our region. The cooperation of the Disaster Risk Management and the Hungarian Meteorological Service could expand the adaptive capacity of the society to climate change.

Open access