Two variants of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), called G614 and D614, were circulating in mid-March. A new study shows that the G version of the virus has come to dominate cases around the world. They report that this mutation does not make the virus more deadly, but it does help the virus copy itself, resulting in a higher viral load, or "titer," in patients.
On May 5, 2020, news broke about a reportedly more contagious variant of SARS-CoV-2 based on a preprint posted to bioRxiv. On July 2, the journal Cell published a peer-reviewed version of the paper that offers additional experimental and clinical data about the D614G variant suggesting that it may be more infectious, but concludes that we still cannot be certain about whether the variant makes SARS-CoV-2 more transmissible or leads to more severe disease.
A collaboration between the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry and the National Jewish Health in Denver -- the top-ranked respiratory research hospital in the US -- has yielded a new drug discovery that could be useful to combat inflammation of all varieties and shows promise in fighting acute respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.
In a pair of new studies, Rolf Halden, director of the ASU Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering and author for the 2020 Book Environment, describes the process and highlights important new findings extracted from the municipal wastewater most of us contribute to on a daily basis. Halden is also a professor at ASU's School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment.
Changes in blood platelets triggered by COVID-19 could contribute to the onset of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious complications in some patients who have the disease, according to University of Utah Health scientists. The researchers found that inflammatory proteins produced during infection significantly alter the function of platelets, making them "hyperactive" and more prone to form dangerous and potentially deadly blood clots.
Parents and clinicians need to be aware in looking for symptoms of multiple inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children who have been diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19.
It is well established the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via respiratory droplets. Consequently, much research targets better understanding droplet motion and evaporation. In Physics of Fluids, researchers developed a mathematical model for the early phases of a COVID-19-like pandemic using the aerodynamics and evaporation characteristics of respiratory droplets. The researchers modeled the pandemic dynamics with a reaction mechanism and then compared the droplet cloud ejected by an infected person versus one by a healthy person.
While the use of face masks in public has been widely recommended by health officials during the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are relatively few specific guidelines pertaining to mask materials and designs. A recent study looks to better understand which types are best for controlling respiratory droplets that could contain viruses. The team experimented with different choices in material and design to determine how well face masks block droplets as they exit the mouth.
A new study from researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) and Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC) shows that even the sickest COVID-19 patients produce T cells that help fight the virus. The study offers further evidence that a COVID-19 vaccine will need to elicit T cells to work alongside antibodies.
An international research team has analysed how the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, modifies the proteins of its host to promote viral transmission. The study shows how the virus hijacks the cell machinery and what active compounds may be effective to counter viral activity. The researchers identified seven additional drugs with antiviral activity, some already FDA approved, that could be tested in clinical trials as COVID-19 treatments.