Omicron reduces host antibody response due to lower B cell antigenicity

Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), numerous viral variants have emerged. These variants have shown improved transmissibility, virulence and immune evasion capacity. The most recent of these variants of concern (VOCs) detected is the Omicron B.1.1.529 variant, which contains the most … Read more

A case for updating COVID vaccines with beta variant spike sequences

To date, COVID-19 vaccines have been designed to protect against the ancestral strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Recently, health authorities have advised changes to the design of the COVID-19 vaccine, i.e. replacement of the ancestral strain with other strains, to more efficiently fight the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The main goal is to … Read more

COVID-19 vaccination provides sustained and potent neutralizing protection against variants compared to natural infection

In a recent study posted to the medRxiv* preprint server, investigators assessed immunoglobulin (Ig)-G responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) after natural infection or vaccination. Study: Binding and neutralizing IgG responses to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection or vaccination. Image credit: Fotomay/Shutterstock The widespread use of vaccination has been encouraged during the 2019 … Read more

Broad neutralizing antibodies are the blueprint for variant-resistant pansarbecovirus vaccines

A recent Nature Reviews Immunology study summarized the efficacy of neutralizing antibodies targeting four main regions of the spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), namely the receptor binding domain (RBD) in the S1 subunit , the fusion peptide region in the S2 subunit, the stem helix region and the N-terminal … Read more

Monkeypox virus structural analysis to guide broad antiviral drug development

In a recent study posted to the bioRxiv* preprint server, researchers investigated the crystalline structure of monkeypox (MPX) virus (MPXV) and the complex of VP39, a 2′-O-RNA methyltransferase (MTase) and sinefungin, a pan-MTase inhibitor. Study: The structure of the monkeypox virus 2′-O-ribose methyltransferase VP39 in complex with sinefungin provides the basis for the design of … Read more

Bioactive compounds derived from Ganoderma lucidum exhibit anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity

Scientists have identified lucidic acid A, one of the bioactive compounds of Ganoderma lucidum, as a potential inhibitor of host cell entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The study was recently published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology. Study: Lucidic acid A inhibits binding of the hACE2 receptor with spike protein … Read more

Wastewater epidemiology can guide local clinical decisions about circulating viruses

The findings of a new study posted to the medRxiv* preprint server depicted that wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) can provide information about the circulating respiratory viruses in a community. This method not only saves time and money, but can also aid in appropriate clinical decision-making, behavioral change, and public health interventions. Research: Wastewater monitoring of human … Read more

Differences in protection against previous infection or vaccination against infection with Omicron BA.4/5 or BA.2

In a recent study posted to the medRxiv* preprint server, researchers examined the differences in vaccination- and prior infection-induced immunities against the Omicron BA.2 and BA.4/5 subvariants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Study: Higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.4/5 infection than BA.2 infection after previous BA.1 infection, The Netherlands, May 2 to … Read more

Association of self-reported chronic fatigue and retinal microcirculation in patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome

In a recent study posted to the medRxiv* preprint server, researchers examined the possible association between self-reported chronic fatigue (CF) and retinal microcirculation in patients with post-COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) syndrome (PCS). Study: Post-COVID-19 syndrome: retinal microcirculation as a potential marker of chronic fatigue. Image credit: Monet_3k/Shutterstock Background PCS refers to persistent (>12 weeks) sequelae … Read more

Rational treatment strategies for SARS-CoV-2 derived from human pluripotent stem cell models

In a recent study posted to the bioRxiv* preprint server, researchers in Australia investigated the molecular mechanisms of the pulmonary and cardiac complications caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) using human stem cell-derived heart and lung cells. Study: Parallel use of pluripotent lung and heart models of human stem cells … Read more