Top 10: October 29

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29 October


Gallotti R, Valle F, Castaldo N, et al. Assessing the risks of ‘infodemics’ in response to COVID-19 epidemics. Nat Hum Behav 2020, published 29 October. Full-text:

In pandemic times, lockdown measures might need to be extended to social media (in clear: shutting down Twitter and Facebook). After analyzing more than 100 million Twitter messages posted worldwide during the early spring pandemic (from 22 January to 10 March 2020), the authors found that measurable waves of potentially unreliable information preceded the rise of COVID-19 infections and exposed entire countries to falsehoods that posed a serious threat to public health.



Wajnberg A, Amanat F, Firpo A, et al. Robust neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 infection persist for months. Science 2020, published 28 October. Full-text:

Assessing the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in mild and asymptomatic cases is of high importance since they constitute the majority of infections. Now, Ania Wajnberg, Florian Krammer, Carlos Cordon-Cardo and colleagues show that the vast majority of infected individuals with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 experience had robust IgG antibody responses against the viral spike protein. The authors from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, analyzed a dataset of 30,082 individuals. Titers were relatively stable for at least a period approximating 5 months Anti-spike binding titers correlated with neutralization of authentic SARS-CoV-2. The data suggests that more than 90% of seroconverters make detectible neutralizing antibody responses.



Schwartz JL. Evaluating and Deploying Covid-19 Vaccines — The Importance of Transparency, Scientific Integrity, and Public Trust. N Engl J Med 2020; 383:1703-1705. Full-text:

The situation in the US is dire, public confidence in vaccination is fragile. Jason Schwartz insists that COVID-19 vaccination programs will succeed only if there is widespread belief that available vaccines are safe and effective and that policies for prioritizing their distribution are equitable and evidence-based. He clearly sees that trust in science and expertise are threatened, as the pandemic has shown with catastrophic results. Listen also to the audio interview (12:02).


Lipsitch M, Dean NE. Understanding COVID-19 vaccine efficacy. Science. 2020 Oct 21:eabe5938. PubMed: Full-text:

Marc Lipsitch and Natalie Dean publish the shortest abstract in months: “Vaccine efficacy in high-risk groups and reduced viral shedding are important for protection.” Explore strategic prioritization plans.



Quer G, Radin JM, Gadaleta M, et al. Wearable sensor data and self-reported symptoms for COVID-19 detection. Nat Med 2020, published 29 October. Full-text:

Installing a smartphone app that collects smartwatch and activity tracker data and seeing one day a menu pop up: “You might be positive for COVID-19”? What would have seemed unachievable science-fiction a decade ago might be around the corner. Giorgio Quer and colleagues from Scripps Research Translational Institute would just need to confirm in a larger population that a combination of symptom and sensor can discriminate between symptomatic individuals who were positive or negative for COVID-19.



Chen P, Nirula A, Heller B, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibody LY-CoV555 in Outpatients with Covid-19. N Engl J Med 2020, published 28 October. Full-text:

Bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555)  is a neutralizing IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. In this interim analysis, the patients who received LY-CoV555 had fewer hospitalizations and a lower symptom burden than those who received placebo, with the most pronounced effects observed in high-risk cohorts. Be prepared: the results are not spectacular.


Severe COVID

Beck DB, Aksentijevich I. Susceptibility to severe COVID-19. Science. 2020 Oct 23;370(6515):404-405. PubMed: Full-text:

Identifying the determinants of the clinical spectrum, from people with asymptomatic disease to patients with severe COVID-19 is one of the pressing questions surrounding SARS-CoV-2. The spectrum varies from asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (up to 40%) to severe COVID-19 (fatality near 1%). David Beck and Ivona Aksentijevich discuss two analyses of >1600 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 from >15 countries to identify endogenous factors that determine susceptibility to severe COVID-19. We presented the papers on September 25:

Bastard P, Rosen LB, Zhang Q, et al. Auto-antibodies against type I IFNs in patients with life-threatening COVID-19. Science 2020, published 24 September. Full-text:

Zhang Q, Bastard P, Liu Z, et al: Inborn errors of type I IFN immunity in patients with life-threatening COVID-19. Science 2020, published 24 September. Full-text:



Rubin EJ, Baden LR, Morrissey S. A New Monoclonal Antibody for Covid-19. Audio interview (20:47). N Engl J Med 2020; 383: e117. Access:

The editors discuss the fundamentals of antibody therapy and the results of an early-phase trial of a new monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2.



If you read Spanish, read

Criado MA. Los enfermos por coronavirus que se curan pero no se recuperan. El País 2020, published 29 October. Full-text:

Un número creciente de positivos sufre una versión larga de la covid con síntomas o secuelas que duran semanas o meses.



If you read French, read

Nouchi F. Pourquoi il va falloir apprendre à porter des masques en famille. Le Monde 2020, published 29 October. Full-text:

Nous allons finir par ralentir la vitesse de circulation du virus. Mais après ? Allons-nous une nouvelle fois faire comme si l’affaire était réglée ?


Vaudano M, Breteau P, Dagorn G, Dahyot A. Le reconfinement était-il inévitable ? Le Monde 2020, published 28 October. Full-text :

Comme au printemps, le nouveau confinement décrété à partir de vendredi vise à gagner du temps pour éviter le débordement du système hospitalier.


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