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    Variant-proof vaccines — invest now for the next pandemic

    12 Feb, 2021
    COVID’s evolution signals the importance of rational vaccine design based on broadly neutralizing antibodies.

    The rapid development and delivery of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines less than a year after the emergence of the disease is a huge success story. This was possible, in part, because of certain properties of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that favour vaccine design — in particular, the spike protein on the virus’s surface. This prompts the body to make protective neutralizing an...
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    Vaccinemakers ponder how to adapt to virus variants

    2 Feb, 2021

    News from U.S. manufacturer Moderna that its COVID-19 vaccine is still “expected to be protective” against a virus variant first detected in South Africa came as a relief to scientists and the public. But the 25 January announcement included a caveat: Antibodies triggered by the vaccine appear to be a little less potent against the new variant, named B.1.351, than the one the vaccine was developed for. So researchers were perhaps even more relieved to hear the company will start developme...
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    J&J COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Europe in April: source

    18 Jan, 2021
    Johnson & Johnson could deliver the first doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Europe in April, an EU official told Reuters on Wednesday after a top lawmaker said the U.S. healthcare company was likely to seek EU regulatory approval in February.
    Clinical data on the vaccine has been assessed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since Dec. 1 under a rolling review to speed up possible approval.

    A senior EU official, who is involved in negotiations with vaccine makers and spoke on c...
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    Immunological characteristics govern the transition of COVID-19 to endemicity

    18 Jan, 2021
    Abstract
    We are currently faced with the question of how the CoV-2 severity may change in the years ahead. Our analysis of immunological and epidemiological data on endemic human coronaviruses (HCoVs) shows that infection-blocking immunity wanes rapidly, but disease-reducing immunity is long-lived. Our model, incorporating these components of immunity, recapitulates both the current severity of CoV-2 and the benign nature of HCoVs, suggesting that once the endemic phase is reached and prim...
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    Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker

    18 Jan, 2021








    Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the clinic, but in 2020, scientists embarked on a race to produce safe and effective coronavirus vaccines in record time. Researchers are currently testing 68 vaccines in clinical trials on humans, and 20 have reached the final stages of testing. At least 90 preclinical vaccines are under active investigation in animals.
    New additions and recent updatesJan. 14The Isr...
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    Covid-19: Breastfeeding women can have vaccine after guidance turnaround

    11 Jan, 2021

    The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has revised its guidance so that pregnant and breastfeeding women can receive the covid-19 vaccine.

    Writing in BMJ Opinion, Helen Hare, an acute medicine trainee, and Kate Womersley, an academic foundation trainee, said that the change had come after strong pressure from campaigners, clinicians, and some of the women affected.1

    The MHRA had previously recommended that breastfeeding women should not be g...
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    Increased expression of hypoxia-induced factor 1α mRNA and its related genes in myeloid blood cells from critically ill COVID-19 patients

    28 Dec, 2020
    AbstractBackground
    COVID-19 counts 46 million people infected and killed more than 1.2 million. Hypoxaemia is one of the main clinical manifestations, especially in severe cases. HIF1α is a master transcription factor involved in the cellular response to oxygen levels. The immunopathogenesis of this severe form of COVID-19 is poorly understood.
    Methods
    We performed scRNAseq from leukocytes from five critically ill COVID-19 patients and characterized the expression of hypoxia-inducibl...
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    The U.K. Coronavirus Mutation Is Worrying but Not Terrifying

    28 Dec, 2020
    There is evidence the new variant could be more transmissible, yet vaccines work very well against it
    A new mutated form of the novel coronavirus that appears more transmissible than the original has raised alarm in the U.K. and around the world. It does not appear to cause more severe disease, and the newly available vaccines do seem to protect people against it. Yet on December 19—after an announcement that the variant, dubbed B.1.1.7, had suddenly accumulated 17mutations and was spreadi...
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    Afucosylated IgG characterizes enveloped viral responses and correlates with COVID-19 severity

    28 Dec, 2020
    Abstract
    IgG antibodies are crucial for protection against invading pathogens. A highly conserved N-linked glycan within the IgG-Fc tail, essential for IgG function, shows variable composition in humans. Afucosylated IgG variants are already used in anti-cancer therapeutic antibodies for their elevated activity through Fc receptors (FcγRIIIa). Here, we report that afucosylated IgG (~6% of total IgG in humans) are specifically formed against enveloped viruses but generally not against other...
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    New saliva-based antibody test for SARS-COV-2 highly accurate in initial study

    24 Nov, 2020


    The test could prove useful for large-scale screening and epidemiological surveys and cuts down on reliance on blood draws


    A new saliva-based test developed by a team at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been found to accurately detect the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from small samples of saliva. Such tests, the results of which can be obtained in a matter of hours, are seen as potential alternatives to blood-sampl...
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    Face masks: what the data say

    10 Oct, 2020
    The science supports that face coverings are saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic, and yet the debate trundles on. How much evidence is enough?



    When her Danish colleagues first suggested distributing protective cloth face masks to people in Guinea-Bissau to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Christine Benn wasn’t so sure.

    “I said, ‘Yeah, that might be good, but there’s limited data on whether face masks are actually effective,’” says Benn, a global-health resear...
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    Do some people have protection against the coronavirus?

    4 Aug, 2020

    We're now more than seven months into the coronavirus pandemic that has upended the lives of most of Earth's inhabitants. And while it is true that the scientific community has learned many things about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, Covid-19, there are also many gaps in our understanding.
    One big mystery: Why do some people get very sick and even die from their illness, while other similar people show no symptoms and may not realize they've been infected at all?We kno...