VENTURA, Calif., March 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As doctors worldwide work tirelessly in the fight against novel Coronavirus, Progenabiome's Dr. Sabine Hazan describes how empowering and encouraging it is to join forces with other providers around the globe. Facing an unprecedented virus, Hazan explains that physicians share research, resources and best practices through various channels, including a private Facebook group created by Dr. Sharon T. McLaughlin, which has over 5,000 female physician members.
"Uniting as women, physicians, entrepreneurs and mothers through this group, we are empowered by each other to stay the course in this battle against COVID-19," says Dr. McLaughlin.
As a genetic sequencing and microbiome expert, Hazan explains challenges faced in combating this new and unique virus: "Genomic analyses show new dangers of COVID-19, including its propensity to mutate and replicate as it progresses,"(1,2,3) says Dr. Hazan, "Even seemingly slight genetic variations in a virus make it difficult to accurately test, effectively treat, and especially to create a worldwide efficacious vaccine."
Another danger, warns Hazan, is the common misconception that this respiratory virus is transmitted only through cough droplets. She explains that the ACE2 enzymes to which the virus binds itself in a host's body are actually most prevalent in the duodenum, small intestine, and colon, meaning fecal-oral transmission also is possible.
Dr. Hazan has developed COVID-19 clinical trial protocols—for prevention, treatment, and testing—which have been submitted to the New England Independent Review Board. In an effort to expedite results, she will be partnering her genetic sequencing research lab, Progenabiome, with multiple sites from Axis Today Clinical Trials, Atla Pharmaceutical Research Center, and Ventura Clinical Trials. She will also be running a study for a Coronavirus protocol developed by Dr. Thomas Borody (Centre for Digestive Diseases, Sydney, Australia).
Also key in uniting doctors nationwide is Pennsylvania-based pediatrician Dr. Marlene Smith. Her print and online magazine, Physician Outlook, created by doctors for doctors, shares stories of frontline providers, and in recent weeks has disseminated COVID-19 news and updates to physicians nationwide.
"In a war on viruses, doctors and scientists are the soldiers and commanders," says Dr. Hazan. She believes the only way we can return to normal life is by supporting research, protecting doctors on the frontline, and making sure everyone stays home.
(1) Fehr A.R., Perlman S. Coronaviruses: an overview of their replication and pathogenesis. Methods Mol. Biol. 2015;1282:1–23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369385/
(2) Zhou, P., Yang, X., Wang, X. et al. A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin. Nature 579, 270–273 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2012-7
(3) Gralinski LE, Menachery VD. Return of the Coronavirus: 2019-nCoV. Viruses. 2020; 12. https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/12/2/135/htm.