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Convalescent plasma shows renewed promise for COVID-19 in outpatient trial

Convalescent plasma shows renewed promise for COVID-19 in outpatient trial

Among the possible treatments for people just developing COVID-19 symptoms, antibody-rich plasma donated by recovered patients has taken a backseat to options such as monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills. But a new clinical trial suggests it may deserve a bigger role. The trial results, posted today as a preprint, showed a transfusion of convalescent plasma … Continued

Robust immune responses are observed after one dose of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine dose in SARS-CoV-2 experienced individuals

The use of COVID-19 vaccines will play the major role in helping to end the pandemic that has killed millions worldwide. COVID-19 vaccines have resulted in robust humoral responses and protective efficacy in human trials, but efficacy trials excluded individuals with a prior diagnosis of COVID-19. As a result, little is known about how immune … Continued

‘This virus is a shape-shifter’

In an effort to predict future evolutionary maneuvers of SARS-CoV-2, a research team led by investigators at Harvard Medical School has identified several likely mutations that would allow the virus to evade immune defenses, including natural immunity acquired through infection or from vaccination, as well as antibody-based treatments.

A prominent virologist warns COVID-19 pill could unleash dangerous mutants. Others see little cause for alarm

The first oral antiviral for treating COVID-19, Merck & Co.’s molnupiravir, received approval from the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on 4 November. But the approval, for people at high risk of severe disease, comes as a prominent virologist has suggested using molnupiravir could do far more harm than good, potentially unleashing new, … Continued

Why is Delta so infectious? New lab tool spotlights little noticed mutation that speeds viral spread

As the world has learned to its cost, the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus is more than twice as infectious as previous strains. Just what drives Delta’s ability to spread so rapidly hasn’t been clear, however. Now, a new lab strategy that makes it possible to quickly and safely study the effects of mutations … Continued

Why is Delta so infectious? New lab tool spotlights little noticed mutation that speeds viral spread

As the world has learned to its cost, the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus is more than twice as infectious as previous strains. Just what drives Delta’s ability to spread so rapidly hasn’t been clear, however. Now, a new lab strategy that makes it possible to quickly and safely study the effects of mutations … Continued

A cancer survivor had the longest documented COVID-19 infection. Here’s what scientists learned

The 47-year-old woman couldn’t shake her cough and shortness of breath, baffling Veronique Nussenblatt, an infectious disease specialist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Her patient had been hospitalized at NIH with COVID-19 in spring 2020; as summer turned to fall and fall to winter, the woman should have mostly recovered. But she continued … Continued

Some COVID-19 Survivors May Be Better Protected From Variants Than Others

Vaccinated individuals and those who recovered from severe COVID-19 may be at lower risk for subsequent severe infections with SARS-CoV-2 variants than people who had milder cases, according to a new study in the September 3 issue of Science Advances. The analysis, which included blood serum samples from 69 COVID-19 patients and 50 fully vaccinated … Continued

The overlooked superpower of mRNA vaccines

Individuals facing the threat of COVID-19 may care most about a vaccine’s ability to forestall grave disease that could lead to a hospital bed or worse. And a number of vaccines perform that vital task well, including those from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which are based on genetically engineered cold viruses, as well as … Continued

Will COVID-19 change science? Past pandemics offer clues

Sixteen pandemic months have felt disorienting and arduous—but along the arc of human history, COVID-19 marks just another inflection point. Epidemics have punctuated humanity’s timeline for centuries, sowing panic and killing millions, whether the culprit was plague, smallpox, or influenza. And when infections abate, their imprints on society can remain, some short-lived and some enduring. In … Continued