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Britton T, Ball F, Trapman P. A mathematical model reveals the influence of population heterogeneity on herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2. Science 23 Jun 2020. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abc6810
43%, not 60%: Disease-induced herd immunity may be achieved at a substantially lower percentage than the classical herd immunity level derived from mathematical models assuming homogeneous immunization. The model indicates a reduction of herd immunity from 60% under homogeneous immunization down to 43% (assuming R0 = 2.5) in a structured population, but this should be interpreted as an illustration, rather than an exact value or even a best estimate.
Barnes CO, West Jr AP, Huey-Tubman KE. Structures of human antibodies bound to SARS-CoV-2 spike reveal common epitopes and recurrent features of antibodies. Cell June 23, 2020. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.06.025
Incredible work, providing a glimpse (67 pages!) into diverse antibody responses in neutralizing plasmas from donors who recovered from COVID-19. Polyclonal plasma IgGs exhibited different degrees of cross-reactive binding between S proteins from SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV and showed that the plasma IgGs also included non-cross-reactive antibodies against common cold virus RBDs. By mapping SARS-CoV-2 S epitopes targeted by convalescent plasma IgGs, the authors not only observed the expected targeting of the S protein RBD, but also discovered an S1A epitope outside of the RBD, which may represent an alternative binding site for neutralizing antibodies.
Jayaweera M, Perera H, Gunawardana B, Manatunge J. Transmission of COVID-19 virus by droplets and aerosols: A critical review on the unresolved dichotomy. Environ Res. 2020 Jun 13;188:109819. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32569870. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.109819
This review paper “intends to outline the literature” (no doubt they‘ve done it, 139 references!) concerning the transmission of virus-laden droplets and aerosols in different environmental settings. Nice pictures, demonstrating the behavior of droplets and aerosols resulting from a cough-jet of an infected person in various confined spaces.
Rafferty M, Nihtianova S, Amirian ES. COVID-19 Safety Grades for Businesses—A Possible Mitigation Tool. JAMA Health Forum June 22, 2020. Full-text: https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2767689
The average customer has no reliable way of knowing whether those in a restaurant kitchen or in employee-only areas are following good hygiene, wearing facial coverings, and observing social distancing. Many jurisdictions are relying on public health recommendations for businesses, which depend on cooperation and are legally unenforceable. The authors propose a tactic that could provide some of the requisite knowledge individuals need to make more informed decisions.
Carraturo F, Del Giudice C, Morelli M, et al. Persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in the environment and COVID-19 transmission risk from environmental matrices and surfaces. Environ Pollut. 2020 Jun 9;265(Pt B):115010. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32570023. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115010
Reviewing the current literature, these authors come to the conclusion that COVID-19 airborne spread via particulates is not a major transmission route. Virus persistance in water, wastewater, and sludge is very low at more than 20 °C.
Wang Y, Wu W, Cheng Z, et al. Super-factors associated with transmission of occupational COVID-2019 infection among healthcare staff in Wuhan , China. J Hosp Infect. 2020 Jun 20:S0195-6701(20)30308-X. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32574702. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2020.06.023
Don’t touch your nose: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 92 frontline members of medical staff. The main factor that contributed to COVID-19 infections was touching the cheek, nose and mouth while working, emphasizing the need to strengthen hand, oral and nasal hygiene practices. Wearing the right type or size of PPE every time as required and following the operation specifications and operation instructions improved self-protection.
Lerner AM, Eisinger RW, Lowy DR et al. The COVID-19 Serology Studies Workshop: Recommendations and Challenges. Immunity June 23, 2020. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2020.06.012
Summary of a virtual workshop convened on May 7, 2020 by leading US experts (from NIAID and CDC) in the field. Recommendations for advancing serology assays and conducting crucial serology field studies to advance our understanding of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 will lead to protection and duration of protection, including the correlation between serological test results and risk of reinfection.
Hu X, Zhang R, An T, et al. Impact of Heat-Inactivation on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG Antibody by ELISA. Clin Chim Acta. 2020 Jun 19:S0009-8981(20)30294-1. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32569631. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2020.06.032
Sera inactivated by heating may minimize the risk of virus contamination of laboratory staff. In this study in 62 patients, heat-activation at 56℃ for 30 minutes did not impair the diagnostic efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 IgM or IgG antibodies (ELISA-immunoassay).
Grant MC, Geoghegan L, Arbyn M, et al. The prevalence of symptoms in 24,410 adults infected by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19): A systematic review and meta-analysis of 148 studies from 9 countries. PLoS One. 2020 Jun 23;15(6. PubMed: https://pubmed.gov/32574165. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0234765
What hard work. Of 851 unique citations, 148 articles were included which comprised 24,410 adults with confirmed COVID-19 from 9 countries. The most prevalent symptoms were fever (78%), cough (57%) and fatigue (31%). Overall, 19% of hospitalized patients required non-invasive ventilation (44 studies, 6,513 patients), 17% required intensive care (33 studies, 7504 patients), 9% required invasive ventilation (45 studies, 6933 patients) and 2% required ECMO (12 studies, 1,486 patients).
Kent DG, Knapp DJ, Kannan N. Survey Says: “COVID-19 Lockdown Hits Young Faculty and Clinical Trials“. Stem Cells Rep June 22, 2020. Full-text: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.06.010
The survey was conducted from 6 to 15 April, 2020 and filled out by 762 researchers from 52 countries. It captured opinions from across all career stages on how COVID-19 has severely impacted laboratory research (i.e., 65% of laboratories were mostly or completely shut). From the crippling of ongoing and planned clinical trials across the full breadth of stem cell research to the devastating loss of productivity for those researchers near career transitions, the survey revealed some of the bleak truths on the impact of COVID-19 in the stem cell community.