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  • New coronavirus variant: What do we know?

    4 Jan, 2021

    The rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus has been blamed for the introduction of strict tier four mixing rules for millions of people, harsher restrictions on mixing at Christmas in England, Scotland and Wales, and other countries placing the UK on a travel ban.

    So how has it gone from being non-existent to the most common form of the virus in parts of England in a matter of months?

    The government's advisers on new infections now say they have "high" ...
  • Afucosylated IgG characterizes enveloped viral responses and correlates with COVID-19 severity

    28 Dec, 2020
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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
    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.
    We performed scRNAseq from leukocytes from five critically ill COVID-19 patients and characterized the expression of hypoxia-inducibl...
  • Defining the features and duration of antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with disease severity and outcome

    16 Dec, 2020
    SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, particularly those preventing viral spike receptor binding domain (RBD) interaction with host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, can neutralize the virus. It is, however, unknown which features of the serological response may affect clinical outcomes of COVID-19 patients. We analyzed 983 longitudinal plasma samples from 79 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 175 SARS-CoV-2-infected outpatients and asymptomatic individuals. Within this c...
  • Digital Health Surveillance Strategies for Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019

    15 Dec, 2020
    To describe the design, implementation and utilization of Electronic Health Record (EHR) based digital health surveillance strategies used to manage the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and ensure delivery of high quality clinical care such as case identification, remote monitoring, telemedicine services, and recruitment to clinical trials at Mayo Clinic.
    Mayo Clinic, a large multistate integrated health care system with over 1.5 million annual patien...
  • Simultaneous detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2, influenza A virus and influenza B virus by one-step quadruplex real-time RT-PCR in patients with clinical manifestations

    15 Dec, 2020
    AbstractObjectives:In order to develop a novel method based on the quadruplex assay which is a valuable diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, differential diagnosis and detection of coinfections. Methods: A one-step quadruplex real-time reverse transcription-PCR (rRT-PCR) assay was developed for simultaneous detection and differenation of SARS-CoV-2 ORF1ab and N genes, influenza A virus (hIAV) and influenza B virus (hIBV).Results: The results showed tha...
  • Therapeutically administered ribonucleoside analogue MK-4482/EIDD-2801 blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets

    6 Dec, 2020

    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a catastrophic impact on human health1. Widespread community transmission has triggered stringent distancing measures with severe socio-economic consequences. Gaining control of the pandemic will depend on the interruption of transmission chains until vaccine-induced or naturally acquired protective herd immunity arises. However, approved antiviral treatments such as remdesivir and reconvalescent serum cannot b...
  • Focus shifts to antibody cocktails for COVID-19 cytokine storm

    24 Nov, 2020
    Emerging clinical trial data suggest that individual immunomodulatory drugs can dampen the hyperactive immune system in severe COVID-19, but polytherapy is the way forward.
    On June 5 the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation registered Biocad’s Ilsira (levilimab) as a treatment for severe COVID-19. Ilsira is one of several monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) and a host of other inflammatory cytokines currently in clinical testing against coronavirus...
  • Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China

    24 Nov, 2020
    Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Estimates of the prevalence of infection following the release of restrictions could inform post-lockdown pandemic management. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. All city residents aged six years or older were eligible and 9,899,828 (92.9%) participated. No new symptomatic cases and 300 asymptomatic cases (...
  • 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...
  • Telemedicine Usage Among Urologists During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional StudyTelemedicine Usage Among Urologists During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Study

    10 Nov, 2020
    Background: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, urology was one of the specialties with the lowest rates of telemedicine and videoconferencing use. Common barriers to the implementation of telemedicine included a lack of technological literacy, concerns with reimbursement, and resistance to changes in the workplace. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic declared in March 2020, the delivery of urological services globally has quickly shifted to telemedicine to account for the mass ...