Top 10: July 13

Home | TOP 10 | Press Room | DEU | ENG | ESP | FRA | ITA | POR | TUR | VNM

By Christian Hoffmann &
Bernd S. Kamps

13 July

Deutsch | Español | Français | Italiano | Português | Tiếng Việt | Turkish | Pусский | عربى | 中文
Google Translate
has an excellent reputation for accuracy, but it isn’t perfect and does make mistakes. So use it with caution. In particular, be careful in relying on Google Translate for any important matter (health, treatment, etc.). In case of doubt, ask your friends.



Chan KH, Sridhar S, Zhang RR, et al. Factors affecting stability and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2. J Hosp Infect. 2020 Jul 8. PubMed: Full-text:

Dry heat is bad, damp cold is good (for the virus). Dried SARS-CoV-2 virus on glass retained viability for over 3-4 days at room temperature and for 14 days at 4°C, but lost viability rapidly (within one day) at 37°C. SARS-CoV-2 in solution remained viable for much longer under the same different temperature conditions. Commonly used fixatives, nucleic acid extraction methods and heat inactivation were found to significantly reduce viral infectivity.


Wang, X., Xu, W., Hu, G. et al. Retraction Note to: SARS-CoV-2 infects T lymphocytes through its spike protein-mediated membrane fusion. Cell Mol Immunol (2020). Full-text:

The authors have retracted this article (which has been discussed in the Virology chapter of the 4th issue of after it came to the authors’ attention that in order to support the conclusions of the study, the authors should have used primary T cells instead of T cell lines. In addition, there were concerns that the flow cytometry methodology applied here was flawed. These points resulted in the conclusions being considered invalid. The question remains why the reviewers (a highly ranked Cell journal would have at least 2-4 for each paper) did not see this. But again, good news: bad science will not stand the test of time.


Abritis A, Marcus A, Oransky I. An ‘alarming’ and ‘exceptionally high’ rate of COVID-19 retractions? Account Res. 2020 Jul 7. PubMed: Full-text:

While we’re at it: See the title. The authors say no. It should also be noted that COVID-19 papers are being subjected to a high rate of scrutiny, which means that flaws are being detected more frequently than they might otherwise.



Xie W, Campbell S, Zhang W. Working memory capacity predicts individual differences in social-distancing compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jul 10:202008868. PubMed: Full-text:

Among 850 US residents participating in a survey, the authors found that social distancing compliance could be predicted by individual differences in working memory (WM) capacity. WM retains a limited amount of information over a short period of time at the service of other ongoing mental activities. Its limited capacity constrains our mental functions, such that higher WM capacity is often associated with better cognitive and affective outcomes. Of note, the unique contribution of WM capacity to the individual differences in social distancing compliance could not be explained by other psychological and socioeconomic factors (e.g., moods, personality, education, and income levels). The message that the authors hide using scientific language can be said more clearly: if you see a guy sitting in the bus not wearing a mask: poor idiot, don’t get closer. His WM capacity is poor.



Smithgall MC, Dowlatshahi M, Spitalnik SL. Types of Assays for SARS-CoV-2 Testing: A Review Laboratory Medicine, 2020, Jul 13. Full-text:

Comprehensive review of multiple novel assays for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, including molecular and serologic-based tests, some with point-of-care testing capabilities.



Rodriguez-Martinez CE, Sossa-Briceño MP, Cortés-Luna JA. Decontamination and reuse of N95 filtering facemask respirators: a systematic review of the literature. Am J Infect Control. 2020 Jul 8:S0196-6553(20)30690-8. PubMed: Full-text:

Again, put your masks in the sun. But not too often as at higher UV dosages and cycles, strengths of the material can be reduced. The maximum number of cycles under different conditions is still unclear. However, among 14 studies reporting on the different decontamination methods that might allow disposable N95 FFRs to be reused, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) and vaporized hydrogen peroxide (VHP) seem to be the most promising decontamination methods for N95 FFRs. This is based on their biocidal efficacy, filtration performance, fitting characteristics, and residual chemical toxicity, as well as other practical aspects such as the equipment required for their implementation and the maximum number of decontamination cycles.



Shafi AMA, Shaikh SA, Shirke MM, Iddawela S, Harky A. Cardiac manifestations in COVID-19 patients-A systematic review. J Card Surg. 2020 Jul 11. PubMed: Full-text:

This literature review includes 61 articles on a wide array of cardiovascular manifestations (including heart failure, cardiogenic shock, arrhythmia, and myocarditis among others) and cardiac-specific biomarkers (including CK-MB, CK, myoglobin, troponin, and NT-proBNP) as prognostic tools. But who did review this review? In the methods, there is no date re: when this analysis was performed.


Naeini AS, Karimi-Galougahi M, Raad N, et al. Paranasal sinuses computed tomography findings in anosmia of COVID-19. Am J Otolaryngol. 2020 Jul 3;41(6):102636. PubMed: Full-text:

Interesting finding: among 49 confirmed COVID-19 patients with anosmia, there were no significant pathological changes in the paranasal sinuses on CT scans. Olfactory cleft and ethmoid sinuses appeared normal while in other sinuses, partial opacification was detected only in some cases. Conductive causes of anosmia (i.e., mucosal disease) do not seem play a significant role.


Nemati M, Ansary J, Nemati N. Machine Learning Approaches in COVID-19 Survival Analysis and Discharge Time Likelihood Prediction using Clinical Data. Pattern  July 10, 2020. Full-text:

How many patients stay how long in which hospital unit? This work introduces statistical models and machine learning (ML)-based approaches that can be directly applied to real-world COVID-19 data to predict the patient discharge time from hospital and evaluate how the patient clinical information could have an impact on the length of stay in hospital. These estimations are important for decision-makers for efficient allocation of equipment and managing hospital overload.



Davis MR, McCreary EK, Pogue JM. That Escalated Quickly: Remdesivir’s Place in Therapy for COVID-19. Infect Dis Ther. 2020 Jul 10. PubMed: Full-text:

After reviewing all remdesivir studies until May 31, the authors make some recommendations on use. Remdesivir (5 days) should be prioritized for hospitalized patients requiring low-flow supplemental oxygen as it appears these patients derive the most benefit. The data also support some benefit in hospitalized patients breathing ambient air (if there is adequate drug supply)­. Current data do NOT suggest benefit for those requiring high-flow oxygen or either non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation. While it appears that progression of disease plays an important role in the efficacy of remdesivir, the amount of time from onset of symptoms does not.