Top 10: January 31

Copy-editor: Rob Camp


Paper of the Day

Rappazzo CG, Tse LV, Kaku CI, et al. Broad and potent activity against SARS-like viruses by an engineered human monoclonal antibody. Science. 2021 Jan 25:eabf4830. PubMed: Full-text:

Although SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 share 76% amino acid identity in their S proteins, only a limited number of cross-neutralizing antibodies have been described to date. Here, Laura Walker, Garrett Rappazzo and colleagues describe broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) as an attractive opportunity for therapeutic drug engineering to prevent or mitigate future outbreaks of SARS-related CoVs. They demonstrate that bnAbs can provide broad protection in vivo.



Atherstone C, Siegel M, Schmitt-Matzen E, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Associated with High School Wrestling Tournaments — Florida, December 2020–January 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:141–143. DOI:

December 2020? Too soon for news about SARS-CoV-2 to have spread through Florida, USA. A total of 130 wrestlers, coaches, and referees attended the tournaments. The results: 54 (41,5%) of the 130 tournament attendees received testing, and 38 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified. The minimum attack rate was 30,2%.



Mack CD, Wasserman EB, Perrine CG, et al. Implementation and Evolution of Mitigation Measures, Testing, and Contact Tracing in the National Football League, August 9–November 21, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:130–135. DOI:

Prevention works. This CDC paper is broadly applicable throughout society to limit the spread of the virus, including in settings such as long-term care facilities, schools, and high-density environments.


Lewis D. COVID-19 rarely spreads through surfaces. So why are we still deep cleaning? Nature 2021, published 29 January. Full-text:

The coronavirus behind the pandemic can linger on doorknobs and other surfaces, but these aren’t a major source of infection.



Muik A, Wallisch AK, Sänger B, et al. Neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 pseudovirus by BNT162b2 vaccine–elicited human sera. Science 2021, published 29 January. Full-text:

The authors tested SARS-CoV-2-S pseudoviruses bearing either the Wuhan reference strain or the B.1.1.7 lineage spike protein with sera of 40 participants who were vaccinated in a previously reported trial with the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA-based vaccine Comirnaty. The immune sera had slightly reduced but overall largely preserved neutralizing titers against the B.1.1.7 lineage pseudovirus. These data indicate that the B.1.1.7 lineage will not escape BNT162b2-mediated protection.


Richmond P, Hatchuel L, Dong M, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of S-Trimer (SCB-2019), a protein subunit vaccine candidate for COVID-19 in healthy adults: a phase 1, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet 2021, published 29 January. Full-text:

Ralf Clemens, Peter Richmond and colleagues show that the Clover Biopharmaceuticals SCB-2019 vaccine (comprising S-Trimer protein formulated with either AS03 [GSK] or CpG/Alum adjuvants), elicited robust humoral and cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, with high viral neutralizing activity. See also comment by Blakney AK, McKay PF. Next-generation COVID-19 vaccines: here come the proteins. Lancet 2021, published 29 January. Full-text:


Callaway E, Mallapaty S. Novavax offers first evidence that COVID vaccines protect people against variants. Nature 2021, published 29 January. Full-text:

Novavax’s experimental shot is highly effective against the variant identified in Britain — but saw a worrying drop in efficacy against a lineage detected in South Africa.



Scholkmann F, Restin T, Ferrari M, Quaresima V. The Role of Methemoglobin and Carboxyhemoglobin in COVID-19: A Review. J Clin Med. 2020 Dec 25;10(1):50. PubMed: Full-text:

MetHb and COHb can be elevated in COVID-19 patients and should be checked routinely in order to provide adequate medical treatment, as well as to avoid misinterpretation of fingertip pulse oximetry readings, which can be inaccurate and unreliable in case of elevated MetHb and COHb levels in the blood.



If you read Spanish, read Limón  R. Las otras secuelas de la covid. El País 2021, published 30 January. Full-text:

El impacto de la pandemia en la vida cotidiana convierte las rutinas previas en lujos, privilegios y objetos de deseo. La infección genera miedos y altera modelos sociales, laborales y hasta de relaciones sexuales.



If you read French, read Herzberg N. Covid-19 : Johnson & Johnson annonce le succès de son vaccin à une dose. Le Monde 2021, published 29 January. Full-text :

Le produit du groupe américain affiche une bonne protection contre les formes sévères et résiste au variant sud-africain, selon des résultats d’essais cliniques qui n’ont pas encore été détaillés ni analysés par des tiers.



If you read Portugues, read Um guia para as vacinas da covid-19. Público 2020, published 27 December. Full-text:

A campanha de vacinação em massa contra o coronavírus SARS-CoV-2, que provoca a covid-19, começou em várias partes do mundo. O PÚBLICO preparou um guia sobre que é uma vacina, como funcionam estas armas da medicina e as várias estratégias que se estão a usar.


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