[WSMDiscuss] Examining the correlation between long-term effects of pollutants on viral epidemic/pandemic events, and prevalence (ScienceDirect)

Brian K Murphy brian at radicalroad.com
Mon Jun 1 23:02:22 CEST 2020

This is an important research paper just off the presses, that explores the role of environmental pollution in Covid 19. The body of the paper is quite technical, but the abstract, introduction and summary parts reproduced here are pretty easy to get through.  The full essay, which I recommend, is available at the link (ScienceDirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691520303082 <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691520303082>).  

~ Brian

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691520303082 <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691520303082>
COVID-19: an opportunity to re-evaluate the correlation between long-term effects of anthropogenic pollutants on viral epidemic/pandemic events and prevalence

Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 141, July 2020 111418 : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111418 <https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111418>
> by Aristidis Tsatsakisabc1, Demetrious Petrakisa1, Taxiarchis Konstantinos Nikolouzakisa1, Anca OanaDocead, Daniela Calinae, Marco Vincetif, MarinaGoumenoua, Ronald N.Kostoffg, Charalampos Mamoulakish, Michael Aschnerbc, Antonio F.Hernándezi
> Highlights
> • Developmental exposure to environmental factors can disrupt the immune system.
> • Long-term low-dose exposure to chemical mixtures is linked to imunodeficiency
> • Immunodeficiency contributes to chronic diseases and the current Covid-19 pandemics.
> • Environmental chemicals and microorganisms share similar molecular pathomechanisms (AhR pathway).
> • Understanding the underlying pathomechanisms helps to improve public health.
> Abstract
> Occupational, residential, dietary and environmental exposures to mixtures of synthetic anthropogenic chemicals after World War II have a strong relationship with the increase of chronic diseases, health cost and environmental pollution. The link between environment and immunity is particularly intriguing as it is known that chemicals and drugs can cause immunotoxicity (e.g., allergies and autoimmune diseases). In this review, we emphasize the relationship between long-term exposure to xenobiotic mixtures and immune deficiency inherent to chronic diseases and epidemics/pandemics. We also address the immunotoxicologic risk of vulnerable groups, taking into account biochemical and biophysical properties of SARS-CoV-2 and its immunopathological implications. We particularly underline the common mechanisms by which xenobiotics and SARS-CoV-2 act at the cellular and molecular level. We discuss how long-term exposure to thousand chemicals in mixtures, mostly fossil fuel derivatives, exposure toparticle matters, metals, ultraviolet (UV)–B radiation, ionizing radiation and lifestyle contribute to immunodeficiency observed in the contemporary pandemic, such as COVID-19, and thus threaten global public health, human prosperity and achievements, and global economy. Finally, we propose metrics which are needed to address the diverse health effects of anthropogenic COVID-19 crisis at present and those required to prevent similar future pandemics.
> Discussion
> Atmospheric pollutants from power plants, industries, transport, fuel combustion of military missiles and aircrafts, weapon of mass destruction such as chemical, nuclear and biological weapons (Petrakis et al., 2016), spacecrafts, electromagnetic fields (Kostoff and Lau, 2017) and irradiation from nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants and modern technology radiation (Kostoff, 2019; Kostoff et al., 2020) are environmental factors that seriously harm health of humans, and other forms of life (Malagoli et al., 2010). Historically, viruses may have been used in the past as biological weapons. Today, despite the ‘Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention’ that entered into force in 1975, it is known that many countries are still working on and stockpiling biological weapons (Christopher et al., 1997). Chemicals, metals, particulate matter, nanoparticles, anthropogenic climate change, and increased UVB radiation disrupt health, ecosystems and environment. These toxins, along with the toxic modern lifestyle and smoking, constitute an ideal man-made environment for the development, and spread, of modern diseases, including the new viral epidemics/pandemics that occurred during the two last decades (Fig. 5).
> Fig. 5. The common mechanisms through which exposure to different stressors and viruses leads to inhibition of immune system.
> We have described the common intracellular mechanisms that environmental and anthropogenic pollutants, as well as the SARS-CoV-2, use for their immunotoxicity and mechanism-based treatment approaches. Βasic and applied immunotoxicology can enhance public health and provide significant advantages in the prevention and treatment of epidemics/pandemics and chronic diseases.
> While several animal species may harbor SARS-CoV-2, the precise animal reservoir has yet to be confirmed. It seems likely that a spike mutation, which probably occurred in late November 2019, triggered transmission of the virus to humans (Cascella et al., 2020). Τhe current anti- SARS-CoV-2 therapies used in some patients have been unable to counteract disease progression and to save patients’ lives. Since the S2 subunit of SARS-CoV-2 is highly conserved, it could be a target for antiviral (anti-S2) drugs; however, the potential for viral mutations may be responsible for future disease relapses (Cascella et al., 2020). In this study, we emphasize that in addition to the urgent measures that are necessary to interrupt the coronavirus transmission from farming animals to humans, there is also a need to improve the current global strategy for energy management and other factors that may adversely affect the immune system of the human, and thereby increase the risk of both infectious and chronic-degenerative diseases. Exposures to large classes of xenobiotics have a triple impact on the immune system. First, xenobiotics promote immunomodulatory effects in immune cells. Second, xenobiotics increase the range of immunotoxicity of human-associated micro-organisms or new viral and microbial attacks. Third, xenobiotics may reduce vaccine efficacy.
> Global health cost and COVID-19 effects on the world economy, health systems, and production are massive currently, and will be far more massive when a final accounting is performed. We recommend application of massive COVID-19 screening tests as an important step for properly 1) recording the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak and, through evidence-based corrective actions, 2) delaying the spread of the pandemic. Given the guidance of the health authorities to transfer COVID-19 patients into hospitals only when presenting fever and dyspnea, it appears that for all admitted patients, and especially for ICU patients, the inflammosome is already at an advanced stage precluding effective treatment. Accordingly, novel AhR-mediated immunotherapies for a plethora of immune-associated diseases/disorders should be pursued.
> Conclusively, additional common safety factors need to be added when calculating COVID-19 prevalence and infectivity, including the cooperation of healthcare providers and the scientific community experts. The use of a self-managed qualitative and quantitative evaluator for COVID-19 spread is also a realistic suggestion, keeping in mind that the increased incidence in COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, Spain, Iran, Turkey, USA and United Kingdom appears to have a close correlation to probably inadequate and delayed implementation of uniform antivirus measures, despite the socio-economic, racial, demographic, cultural and administrative characteristics of each country. New investigations into both genetic and environmental fields of immunotoxicology will advance our understanding of immune function, provide the foundation for the development of novel immunotherapeutics and, more importantly, decrease the effect of immunological risk factors.
> Conclusion
> This paper highlights that environmental-related diseases (e.g., energy-metabolism-immune mediated obesity, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cancers) and infectious diseases (e.g., parasitic, influenza or coronavirus-related epidemic or pandemic) share the same pathogenic mechanisms at the molecular level, particularly the AhR pathway. Viral epidemics and pandemics, in addition to causing significant morbidity and mortality, can challenge societal structure and healthcare. As novel viruses continue to emerge, novel therapies and preventative measures must be sought. Understanding and optimizing host cell health and viral infectivity parameters are critical steps for any successful cytolytic virology.
> Χenobiotics immunotoxicity, and immune deficiency, deviation or dysregulation affect immunological development, and induce immuno-dependent diseases that are transmitted transgenerationally to offspring. The best long term therapy to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic pollutants related to immune deficiency and fatal viral outbreaks is to introduce much more stringent regulation on the emissions resulting from unabated introduction of modern technologies into our environment, our workplace, and our daily life.
> In addition, integrated chemical management, economic and political measures to reduce industrial pollution, greenhouse gases and the effects of climate change on human and environmental health (the ‘one health’ goal), new technology systems should continue to provide positive outcomes for immune system function and chronic disease prevention, as well as for restriction of viral and bacterial invasion and aggressiveness. Currently, the public health measures based on social distancing, appropriate quarantine, and increase of COVID-19 diagnostic tests globally are the necessary options for our defense against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, although they don't contribute to the potentially protective ‘herd immunity’.

To read the entire paper, including authors' information, and extensive notes and references go to: (ScienceDirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691520303082 <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691520303082> ).  Also available to download as pdf file.

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