Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Lineage B.1.1.7 in England: Insights from linking epidemiological and genetic data4 Jan, 2021Abstract The SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, now designated Variant of Concern 202012/01 (VOC) by Public Health England, originated in the UK in late Summer to early Autumn 2020. We examine epidemiological evidence for this VOC having a transmission advantage from several perspectives. First, whole genome sequence data collected from community-based diagnostic testing provides an indication of changing prevalence of different genetic variants through time. Phylodynamic modelling additio...
Increased expression of hypoxia-induced factor 1α mRNA and its related genes in myeloid blood cells from critically ill COVID-19 patients28 Dec, 2020AbstractBackground
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...
The U.K. Coronavirus Mutation Is Worrying but Not Terrifying28 Dec, 2020There 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...0
Afucosylated IgG characterizes enveloped viral responses and correlates with COVID-19 severity28 Dec, 2020Abstract
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...0
Defining the features and duration of antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with disease severity and outcome16 Dec, 2020Abstract
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...
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 manifestations15 Dec, 2020AbstractObjectives: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...
Digital Health Surveillance Strategies for Management of Coronavirus Disease 201915 Dec, 2020AbstractObjective
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...
Therapeutically administered ribonucleoside analogue MK-4482/EIDD-2801 blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets6 Dec, 2020Abstract
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 storm24 Nov, 2020Emerging 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...
New saliva-based antibody test for SARS-COV-2 highly accurate in initial study24 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...
Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China24 Nov, 2020Abstract
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 (...
Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of COVID-19-Infected Cancer Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis10 Nov, 2020Background
Previous studies have indicated Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with cancer have a high fatality rate.
We conducted a systematic review of studies that reported fatalities in COVID-19 patients with cancer. A comprehensive meta-analysis that assessed the overall case fatality rate and associated risk factors was performed. Using individual patient data, univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) for e...