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  • Genomic characteristics and clinical effect of the emergent SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage in London, UK: a whole-genome sequencing and hospital-based cohort study

    14 Apr, 2021
    SummaryBackgroundEmergence of variants with specific mutations in key epitopes in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 raises concerns pertinent to mass vaccination campaigns and use of monoclonal antibodies. We aimed to describe the emergence of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern (VOC), including virological characteristics and clinical severity in contemporaneous patients with and without the variant.MethodsIn this cohort study, samples positive for SARS-CoV-2 on PCR that were collected from Nov 9, ...
  • Emergence of a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern with mutations in spike glycoprotein

    24 Mar, 2021
    Continued uncontrolled transmission of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in many parts of the world is creating the conditions for significant virus evolution1,2. Here, we describe a new SARS-CoV-2 lineage (501Y.V2) characterised by eight lineage-defining mutations in the spike protein, including three at important residues in the receptor-binding domain (K417N, E484K and N501Y) that may have functional significance3–5. This lineage was ident...
  • SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors with antiviral activity in a transgenic mouse model

    15 Mar, 2021
    The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus continually poses serious threats to global public health. The main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 plays a central role in viral replication. We designed and synthesized 32 new bicycloproline-containing Mpro inhibitors derived from either Boceprevir or Telaprevir, both of which are approved antivirals. All compounds inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro activity in vitro with IC50 values ranging from 7.6 to 748.5 nM. The co-cr...
  • Can COVID vaccines stop transmission? Scientists race to find answers

    15 Mar, 2021

    As countries roll out vaccines that prevent COVID-19, studies are under way to determine whether shots can also stop people from getting infected and passing on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Vaccines that prevent transmission could help to bring the pandemic under control if they are given to enough people.

    Preliminary analyses suggest that at least some vaccines are likely to have a transmission-blocking effect. But confirming that effect — and how strong it will be — is tricky because a ...
  • Predicting endoscopic activity recovery in England after COVID-19: a national analysis

    15 Mar, 2021
    SummaryBackgroundThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial reduction in gastrointestinal endoscopies, creating a backlog of procedures. We aimed to quantify this backlog nationally for England and assess how various interventions might mitigate the backlog.MethodsWe did a national analysis of data for colonoscopies, flexible sigmoidoscopies, and gastroscopies from National Health Service (NHS) trusts in NHS England's Monthly Diagnostic Waiting Times and Activity dataset. Trusts were excl...
  • What you need to know about J&J’s newly authorized one-shot COVID-19 vaccine

    15 Mar, 2021

    And then there were three: A single-shot vaccine is the latest weapon to join the battle against COVID-19 in the United States.

    On February 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. South Africa is the only other country to OK Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine so far, though other countries are poised to follow suit.

    The FDA determined that Johnson &am...
  • Single-dose administration and the influence of the timing of the booster dose on immunogenicity and efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine: a pooled analysis of four randomised trials

    15 Mar, 2021
    SummaryBackgroundThe ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the UK regulatory authority, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, with a regimen of two standard doses given with an interval of 4–12 weeks. The planned roll-out in the UK will involve vaccinating people in high-risk categories with their first dose immediately, and delivering the second dose 12 weeks later. Here, we provide both a further prespecified pooled analysis of trials of ChA...
  • More Than 159 Million Shots Given: Covid-19 Tracker

    12 Feb, 2021

    The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway. More than 159 million doses have been administered across 76 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. The latest rate was roughly 5.80 million doses a day.

    In the U.S., more Americans have now received at least one dose than have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. So far, 48 million doses have been given, according to a state-by-...
  • Chest CT features associated with the clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia

    12 Feb, 2021
    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly swept across the world. This study aimed to explore the relationship between the chest CT findings and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients.
    Patients with COVID-19 confirmed by next-generation sequencing or RT-PCR who had undergone more than 4 serial chest CT procedures were retrospectively enrolled.
    This study included 361 patients – 192 men and 169 women. On initial chest CT, more lesions were...
  • Study on mechanism of matrine in treatment of COVID-19 combined with liver injury by network pharmacology and molecular docking technology

    12 Feb, 2021
    The aim of the present study was to investigate the pharmacological mechanism of matrine in treatment of COVID-19 combined with liver injury. Potential targets related to matrine, COVID-19 and liver injury were identified from several databases. We constructed PPI network and screened the core targets according to the degree value. Then, GO and KEGG enrichment were carried out. Molecular docking technology was used to verify the affinity between matrine and the crystal structure o...
  • 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...
  • Shifts in global bat diversity suggest a possible role of climate change in the emergence of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2

    8 Feb, 2021
    Bats are the likely zoonotic origin of several coronaviruses (CoVs) that infect humans, including SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, both of which have caused large-scale epidemics. The number of CoVs present in an area is strongly correlated with local bat species richness, which in turn is affected by climatic conditions that drive the geographical distributions of species. Here we show that the southern Chinese Yunnan province and neighbouring regions in Myanmar and Laos form a global ...