Top 10: January 10

Copy-editor: Rob Camp


Brainard J, Jones NR, Lake IR, Hooper L, Hunter PR. Community use of face masks and similar barriers to prevent respiratory illness such as COVID-19: a rapid scoping review. Euro Surveill. 2020 Dec;25(49):2000725. PubMed: Full-text:

Does wearing face masks reduce primary respiratory infection risk by only 6–15%? See also the comment by Cowling BJ, Leung GM. Face masks and COVID-19: don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Euro Surveill. 2020 Dec;25(49):2001998. PubMed: Full-text:



Wei C, Wan L, Yan Q, et al. HDL-scavenger receptor B type 1 facilitates SARS-CoV-2 entry. Nat Metab. 2020 Dec;2(12):1391-1400. PubMed: Full-text:

Could high-density lipoprotein (HDL) scavenger receptor B type 1 (SR-B1) facilitate ACE2-dependent entry of SARS-CoV-2? That is the statement by Hui Zhong, Congwen Wei, finding that the S1 subunit of SARS-2-S binds to cholesterol and possibly to HDL components and facilitates SARS-CoV-2 cellular attachment, entry and infection. SARS-CoV-2 entry is inhibited by silencing SR-B1 expression and by SR-B1 antagonists. Blockade of the cholesterol-binding site on SARS-2-S1 with a monoclonal antibody inhibited HDL-enhanced SARS-CoV-2 infection.

See also the comment by Di Guardo G. SARS-CoV-2-Cholesterol Interaction: A Lot of Food for Thought. Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 32- Full-text:



Wood S, Schulman K. Beyond Politics — Promoting Covid-19 Vaccination in the United States. N Engl J Med 2021, published 6 January. Full-text:

In France, some 60% of the population is skeptic about getting vaccinated. In search of inspiration, French authorities should take a look at this paper by Stacy Wood & Kevin Schulman. They should be ready to revise their marketing skills. Communication needs to become more a part of regular science.


EMA 20201221. Comirnaty. European Medicines Agency 2020, published 23 December. Full-text:

Find the 32-page product information of the EMA.


EMA 20210106. COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna. European Medicines Agency 2021, published 6 January. Full-text:

Find the product information as approved by the CHMP on 6 January 2021, pending endorsement by the European Commission.


Garde D. ‘I haven’t even told my wife’. Stat 2020. Full-text:

Naming a vaccine is almost always a matter of threading semantic needles, branding experts said, where the goal is to evoke positive vibes without irking the world’s more conservative regulatory bodies. And it takes time.



Huang C, Huang L, Wang Y, et al. 6-month consequences of COVID-19 in patients discharged from hospital: a cohort study. Lancet 2021, 8 January. Full-text:

At 6 months after acute infection, more than 70% of COVID-19 survivors in Wuhan, China, were troubled with fatigue or muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, and anxiety or depression. This is the result of a cohort study of discharges from Jin Yin-tan Hospital between 7 January and 29 May 2020. Bin Cao, Chaolin Huang and colleagues enrolled 1733 of 2469 discharged patients with COVID-19 (median age 57 years, 52% men). Fatigue or muscle weakness (63%) and sleep difficulties (26%) were the most common symptoms. Anxiety or depression was reported among 23% of patients. 13% of patients without acute kidney injury and with normal eGFR at the acute phase had decreased eGFR at follow-up. Patients who were more severely ill during their hospital stay had more severe impaired pulmonary diffusion capacities and abnormal chest imaging manifestations. See also the comment by Cortinovis M, Perico N, Remuzzi G. Long-term follow-up of recovered patients with COVID-19. Lancet 2021, published 8 January. Full-text:



Hashimoto K. Repurposing of CNS drugs to treat COVID-19 infection: targeting the sigma-1 receptor. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2021 Jan 5. PubMed: Full-text:

Traditional central nervous system (CNS) drugs that have a high affinity at the sigma-1 receptor (i.e., fluvoxamine, donepezil, ifenprodil) for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients? In this review, Kenji Hashimoto discusses the brief history of the sigma-1 receptor and its role in SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells.


Collateral Effects

Adeniji N, Carr RM, Aby ES, Catana AM, Wegermann K, Dhanasekaran R. Socioeconomic Factors Contribute to the Higher Risk of COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minorities with Chronic Liver Diseases (CLD). Gastroenterology. 2020 Nov 20:S0016-5085(20)35438-X. PubMed: Full-text:

Recent studies have shown that patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) in general, and especially those with decompensated cirrhosis and alcohol-related liver disease, are at higher risk COVID-19-related mortality. In this multi-center US cohort study, Renumathy Dhanasekaran, Nia Adeniji and colleagues included 909 patients with CLD and COVID-19 from 21 US centers. They show that non-Hispanic Blacks (NHB) and Hispanics are disproportionately represented in patients with CLD who acquire COVID-19. Both non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics had lower household income, lower rates of private insurance, and Hispanics had higher rates of being uninsured. Additionally, the authors show that both NHB and Hispanics had a higher likelihood of living in multifamily housing and in neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty and overcrowding than non-Hispanic Whites.


Journal Feature

Glausiusz J. Rethinking travel in a post-pandemic world. Nature 2021, published 5 January. Full-text:

Climate scientists recommend ways to boost the value of virtual conferences and reduce carbon footprints even when travel curbs ease.



If you read French, read Santi P. Covid-19 : après leur hospitalisation, trois patients sur quatre présenteraient des symptômes durables, selon une étude chinoise. Le Monde 2021, published 9 January. Full-text :

« The Lancet  » a publié samedi une étude portant sur une cohorte de plus de 1 700 patients chinois hospitalisés au printemps 2020, qui montre que 76 % d’entre eux souffraient encore, six mois plus tard, d’au moins un symptôme.

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