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Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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Infection of the oral cavity with SARS-CoV-2 variants: Scope of salivary diagnostics

Coronaviruses, including #SARSCoV2, have caused pandemics in the past two decades. The most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern can re-infect individuals who have been previously infected with other variants or had protection from vaccines targeting the original SARS-CoV-2 variant. Given the high risk of transmission of #coronavirus via aerosols produced during dental procedures, it is important to understand the future risk of coronavirus infection for oral health profe

Fasting as key tone for COVID immunity

#SARSCoV2-induced #anorexia triggers systemic metabolic alterations. A new study shows that the ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) improves COVID19 disease outcomes. Further, BHB metabolically and functionally reprograms CD4+ T cells, highlighting immunometabolic tuning of immunity in #COVID19. #Fasting #diet #nutrition #immunology Infection-induced anorexia is an evolutionarily conserved sickness behaviour that can mediate protective or detrimental immune functions1. Fastin

Operation Nasal Vaccine—Lightning speed to counter COVID-19

Just 10 months after the initial genome sequencing of the #SARSCoV2 virus, two mRNA vaccines were demonstrated to provide 95% efficacy against symptomatic infections via randomized, placebo-controlled trials of more than 74,000 participants (1). That unprecedented success was, in part, fueled by the $10 billion governmental investment in Operation Warp Speed (OWS) in March 2020 to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of #COVID19 vaccines. We urgently ne

COVID and smell loss: answers begin to emerge

Smell disruption from #COVID19 is becoming less-common, but millions of people still have problems with their sense of #smell. The #coronavirus seems to cause damage to the olfactory neurons in the nose, scrambling their nuclei. Researchers are finally making headway in understanding how the #SARSCoV2 coronavirus causes loss of smell. And a multitude of potential treatments to tackle the condition are undergoing clinical trials, including steroids and blood plasma. Once a tel

Food allergy is associated with lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection

A study found that people with food #allergies are less likely to become infected with the #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus. The study also found that #obesity & high body mass index (BMI) are associated with increased risk of infection, while having asthma does not increase risk. Read more at:

What triggers severe COVID? Infected immune cells hold clues

Two studies show that immune cells infected with #SARSCoV2 can stimulate a large inflammatory response via #inflammasome activation. In mice, drugs that inhibit inflammasomes save mice from severe #COVID19 pathology. #inflammation #immunology #coronavirus Immune cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 can trigger a massive inflammatory response that contributes to severe COVID-19, suggest two papers — one published today in Nature, and a preprint posted online on 1 April. Since the ea

Scientists struggle to probe COVID’s origins amid sparse data from China

3 recent preprints offer further evidence supporting the hypothesis that the #coronavirus spread from animals to people. A next step in the hunt for #SARSCoV2’s origin should be studying wildlife, such as foxes and raccoon dogs, on farms in China. Scientists are anxious to obtain more data on the earliest days of the pandemic, following three tantalizing reports posted online in the past few weeks1,2,3. Although not yet published in peer-reviewed journals, the preprints provi

Covid Cases Linked to Brain Shrinkage, Cognitive Decline Months Later

Even a mild case of #COVID19 can damage the brain, leading to shrinkage equivalent to up to a decade of #aging, according to a new study. The findings represent more evidence of the #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus' impact on the central nervous system. Read more at:

First Possible Case of Covid-19 Spreading From Deer to Humans

Scientists in Canada discovered the 1st potential case of deer passing #coronavirus to a human, according to a preprint. The discovery underscores importance of monitoring wildlife for diseases that could jump to humans but isn’t yet cause for panic. #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 #COVID #zoonosis #zoonoses Scientists in Canada have discovered the first potential case of deer passing coronavirus to a human, according to the new research that hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed. The event has

In New York City Sewage, a Mysterious Coronavirus Signal

New York City’s #wastewater contains #coronavirus sequences with unique mutations that have not been reported in human patients. There is no evidence that the "cryptic lineages" pose a health risk to humans, but researchers don't know where they came from. #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 By Emily Anthes Last January, a team of researchers searching for the coronavirus in New York City’s wastewater spotted something strange in their samples. The viral fragments they found had a unique con

Long-COVID symptoms less likely in vaccinated people, Israeli data say

#LongCovid symptoms less likely in vaccinated people, Israeli data say. People who have had both #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus infection & doses of Pfizer vaccine were much less likely to report Long Covid symptoms than people who were unvaccinated when infected. Data from people infected with SARS-CoV-2 early in the pandemic add to growing evidence suggesting that vaccination can help to reduce the risk of long COVID. Researchers in Israel report that people who have had both SARS

Evolution of enhanced innate immune evasion by SARS-CoV-2

Evolution of enhanced innate immune evasion by the #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus. "Importance of mutations outside Spike in adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 to humans is underscored by the observation that similar mutations exist in the #Delta & #Omicron N/Orf9b regulatory regions." Abstract Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) suggests viral adaptation to enhance human-to-human transmission1,2. Although much effort has focused on characterisation of spike changes in VOCs, mut

Making it easier to be a patient in times of a pandemic

by David Chambers, Michelle Brady, David Ojcius, Evelyn Cuny #COVID19 #COVID #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus #dentistry #dental 1 PROBLEM What responses are needed when a public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupts continuity of care in a dental school clinic? To what extent do fears regarding safety during treatment deter patients from attending appointments in dental school clinics and can the school control these factors to ensure educational experiences? Much attention h

Signs of the Omicron variant are being found in California wastewater systems

In the effort to track the spread of #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus, researchers are monitoring #wastewater in many locations around the state of California. The approach has found the virus in wastewater in Sacramento area, the Central Valley & the Bay Area. In the effort to track the spread of the #Omicron variant of the coronavirus, researchers in California are monitoring the wastewater in many locations around the state. The approach has already uncovered signs of the variant in

How SARS-CoV-2 in American deer could alter the course of the global Covid pandemic

A new study (not peer-reviewed yet) shows evidence that the #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus spreads widely in white-tailed deer, & the virus is widespread in this deer population across the US. Scientists have evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads explosively in white-tailed deer and that the virus is widespread in this deer population across the United States. Researchers say the findings are quite concerning and could have vast implications for the long-term course of the coronavirus pan

COVID's endgame: Scientists have a clue about where SARS-CoV-2 is headed

#coronavirus #COVID #COVID19 #SARSCoV2 Back in the 1980s, scientists in the U.K. performed an experiment that — at first glance — sounds unethical. "Volunteers came into the lab, and someone squirted virus up their nose," says computational biologist Jennie Lavine. The researchers took a liquid packed with coronavirus particles and intentionally tried to make 15 volunteers sick. Ten people got infected. The other five fought off the virus, says Lavine, who's now at the biotec

Accept It: COVID19 Will Become Endemic

Because of multiple animal reservoirs, because vaccinated people can still experience breakthrough infections & because billions of people globally have yet to be vaccinated, the truth is clear: #SARSCoV2 is an endemic #coronavirus. — Everyone will meet with the virus eventually, but doing so safely (while vaccinated) is key Each day we inch toward the end of COVID-19. The end is not when cases go to zero, but rather when we accept what has been true all along. Because of mul

Did the coronavirus jump from animals to people twice?

The #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus could have spilled from animals to people multiple times, according to preliminary analysis of viral genomes sampled from people infected in China & elsewhere early in the #COVID19 pandemic. But the findings still have to be peer reviewed. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could have spilled from animals to people multiple times, according to a preliminary analysis of viral genomes sampled from people infected in China and elsewhere early

3D culture models to study SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and antiviral candidates

3D culture models to study #SARSCoV2 infectivity and antiviral candidates: From spheroids to bioprinting Abstract The pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome #Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is receiving worldwide attention, due to the severity of the disease (#COVID19) that resulted in more than a million global deaths so far. The urgent need for vaccines and antiviral drugs is mobilizing the scientific community to develop strategies for studying the mechanisms of S

The Moderna vaccine makes more antibodies than Pfizer's. Does it matter?

#coronavirus #SARSCoV2 #immunity #immunology #COVID19 The Moderna vaccine makes more antibodies than Pfizer's. Does it matter? Antibodies are just one component of immunity. Along with shorter-lasting antibodies, COVID-19 vaccines also trigger long-term memory in the immune system. Ten months ago, the results of large clinical trials appeared almost too good to be true: Two messenger RNA vaccines reduced symptomatic COVID-19 cases by more than 90% in almost every group that g

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