(Reuters) – The following novel is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on coronovirus and an attempt to treat and vaccine for the virus-causing disease COVID-19.
Neanderthal gene is associated with severe COVID-19
Researchers say that a group of genes passed from extinct human cousins is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19. When he compared the genetic profiles of about 3,200 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and about 900,000 people in the general population, he found that a group of genes on chromosome 3 had been inherited from Neanderthals over 50,000 years. Survived over time, 60% is associated with greater odds. Needs to be hospitalized People with COVID-19 who have inherited this gene cluster are also more likely to support ventilators, Hugo Zeberg, co-scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in a news release said. According to a report published in Nature on Wednesday, the prevalence of these genes varies widely. In South Asia, there are about 30% of people compared to one in six Europeans. They are almost non-existent in Africa and East Asia. Although the study cannot explain why these particular genes confer a high risk, the authors conclude, “In relation to the current epidemic, it is clear that gene flow from Neanderthal has tragic consequences.” (Https://go.nature.com/36lHwnC)
Mosquitoes cannot transmit COVID-19
According to a study by researchers from the US Department of Agriculture and Kansas State University, a mosquito that bites a person with COVID-19 may not give coronovirus infection to its next victim. Mosquitoes are notorious disease carriers, which carry the West Nile virus, zika and many other viruses between individuals and animals. In laboratory experiments, researchers allowed disease-causing mosquitoes of several species to feed blood sputum with the novel coronovirus, SARS-CoV-2, and some other insect bites. The virus was unable to survive and replicate itself in any of the insects, he reported in a paper on Wednesday ahead of peer review on BioRxiv. “Biting insects do not pose a risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans or animals,” the researchers said. (Https://bit.ly/3jgeLMw)
Modern vaccine passes safety test in older patients
Researchers found the results of an early safety study in older adults of Morden Inc’s coronovirus vaccine candidate show that it produces immune responses at the same level seen in young adults, with equal effects with high-dose flu shots, researchers The New England Journal of Medicine reported on Tuesday. The findings are reassuring as immunity weakens with age, Dr. Evan Anderson, co-scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, told Reuters. The trial consisted of 20 adults aged 56 to 70 and 20 others aged 71 and older. Side effects included headaches, fatigue, body aches, chills, and injection site pain. In most cases, these were mild to moderate. “This is similar to older adults experiencing high-dose influenza vaccines,” Anderson said. Modern is already testing the vaccine in a large phase III trial, the final stage before obtaining emergency authorization or approval. (https://bit.ly/3ihdvrp; https://reut.rs/3cL77HN)
Hydroxychloroquine fails to inhibit COVID-19
A gold-standard randomized controlled trial conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, a malaria drug taken by US President Donald Trump to stop COVID-19, did not help prevent coronavirus infection in health workers. New research published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that health workers may not be advised of regular use of the drug for the prevention of COVID-19. The study largely confirms results from a similar test conducted at the University of Minnesota in which hydrochloroquine failed to prevent infection in people exposed to the new coronavirus. (https://bit.ly/3ldgMdd; https://bit.ly/34eErTl; https://reut.rs/3cM7wty)
Immune differences seen in children with inflammatory syndrome after COVID-19
A new study may highlight that some youth develop the rare and dangerous multisystem inflammatory syndrome of MIS-C in children after recovering from COVID-19, while most do not. The syndrome can cause severe inflammation in the blood vessels, heart, lungs, kidneys and other organs. The immune system is highly active in children with MIS-C, with COVID-19, the study co-authored by the University of Pennsylvania Perlman School of Medicine, Dr. John Wherry told Reuters. However, in patients with MIS-C, the active immune system settles down quickly, and symptoms improve, often faster during combat with COVID-19. Cherry noted a possible association with a specific type of active immune cell in children with Mira-C and some vascular complications seen in that condition, as well as in COVID-19. “Identification of an immune cell type associated with vascular symptoms may identify a new (treatment) target if an approach can be developed to target such cells,” he said. The study was published on Medrix before the peer review on Sunday. (Https://bit.ly/3n2KFyp)
Open in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on https://tmsnrt.rs/3a5EyDh Vaccine and Treatment in Development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid and Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Bill Burcott)