Top 10: March 9

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Copy-editor: Rob Camp


Paper of the Day

Huang L, Shi Y, Gong B, et al. Dynamic blood single-cell immune responses in patients with COVID-19. Sig Transduct Target Ther March 6, 2021, 6, 110.

More details on pathogenesis, mainly the host immune process, imbalances and pathways. In this incredible work, Lulin Huang and colleagues obtained single-cell mRNA sequencing data of 341,420 (!) peripheral blood mononuclear cells and 185,430 clonotypic T cells and 28,802 clonotypic B cells from 25 samples of 16 patients with COVID-19 for dynamic studies.


Gao L, Zhou J, Yang S, et al. The dichotomous and incomplete adaptive immunity in COVID-19 patients with different disease severity. Sig Transduct Target Ther 6, 113 (2021).

Specific B-cell and T-cell responses in 74 symptomatic patients with various disease severity: B cell responses were only transiently induced in early infection phase in asymptomatic or mild patients. In keeping with this, sustained GC responses that give rise to long-term memory B cells and IgG-secreting plasma cells were almost absent in these patients. This may explain that asymptomatic patients often fail to generate long-term SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG response. in contrast to humoral immunity, the virus-specific TH1 and CD8+ T cell immune responses were rapidly induced and sustained in asymptomatic or mild symptomatic patients as compared to patients with moderate or severe disease.


Casado JL, Häemmerle J, Vizcarra P, et al. SARS CoV-2 infections in health care workers with pre-existing T cell response: a prospective cohort study. March 02, 2021.

José L. Casado and colleagues from Madrid looked at pre-existing T-cell responses. Twenty of 38 HCWs included (53%) had a previous specific CD8+ T cell response that does not seems to reduce incident SARS-CoV-2 infections, but may contribute to asymptomatic or mild disease, rapid viral clearance and differences in seroconversion.



Guy GP Jr., Lee FC, Sunshine G, et al. Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 5 March 2021.

Mask mandates were associated with statistically significant decreases in county-level daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation. Allowing on-premises restaurant dining was associated with increases in county-level case and death growth rates within 41–80 days after reopening. It will be a while until we can finally go to the restaurant again (does anyone else know how to order a dish?)



Liu Y, Hu G, Wang Y, et al. Functional and genetic analysis of viral receptor ACE2 orthologs reveals a broad potential host range of SARS-CoV-2. PNAS March 23, 2021 118 (12) e2025373118;

SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to infect a broad range of mammalian hosts, including domestic animals, pets, livestock, and animals commonly found in zoos and aquaria.



Alexandre G, Bosetti P, Feri A, et al. Early assessment of diffusion and possible expansion of SARS-CoV-2 Lineage 20I/501Y.V1 (B.1.1.7, variant of concern 202012/01) in France, January to March 2021. Euro Surveill. 2021;26(9):pii=2100133.

Spread of B.1.1.7. in France, in January. The authors estimate the population-level effective reproduction number will be respectively 39% (95%: 33–45%) and 56% (95%: 50–62%) higher on 1 March and 1 April 2021 than what would be expected if only the classical lineages were circulating.



Nawwar AA, Searle J, Singh R, Lyburn ID. Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination induced lymphadenopathy on [18F]Choline PET/CT-not only an FDG finding. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2021 Mar 4:1-2. PubMed: Full-text:

Lymphadenopathy is seen in some people after vaccination. In this case report of a cancer patient who underwent PET/CT 3 days after vaccination, nodal uptake was reactive in the axilla. Nice pictures.



Wongvibulsin S, Garibaldi BT, Antar AAR, et al. Development of Severe COVID-19 Adaptive Risk Predictor (SCARP), a Calculator to Predict Severe Disease or Death in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19. Ann Intern Med. 2021 Mar 2. PubMed: Full-text:

Using longitudinal data from more than 3000 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the authors have developed a novel tool that can provide dynamic risk predictions for progression from moderate disease to severe illness or death in patients with COVID-19 at any time within the first 14 days of their hospitalization – on the basis of readily available clinical information. Check this out:



Ardestani A, Azizi Z. Targeting glucose metabolism for treatment of COVID-19. Sig Transduct Target Ther March 6, 2021, 6, 112.

Some thoughts on how dysregulated glucose metabolism in people with diabetes may explain the increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and why uncontrolled diabetes can lead to excessive adaptive immune reactions in patients with critical COVID-19 symptoms.



Subbaraman N. US health agency will invest $1 billion to investigate ‘long COVID’. Nature News 04 March 2021.

Nidhi Subbaraman reports that the US will spend big on research into ‘long COVID’ — the long-lasting health effects of a SARS-CoV-2 infection (see our recent review) for which experts have coined a new term: post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).



Vimaleswaran KS, Frouhi NG, Khunti K. Vitamin D and covid-19. BMJ 04 March 2021; 372 doi:

Is there a role of vitamin D in prevention and management of COVID-19? The authors of this editorial believe that “existing evidence supports a compelling case for further research”.



If you read French, read Les hôpitaux et cliniques d’Ile-de-France vont déprogrammer 40 % de leurs activités. Le Monde 2021, published 8 March. Full-text :

L’agence régionale de santé d’Ile-de-France a donné « l’ordre ferme » aux hôpitaux franciliens de déprogrammer 40 % de leurs activités, afin d’augmenter le nombre de lits de réanimation réservés aux personnes atteintes du Covid-19.

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