Chikungunya, and other mosquito-borne alphaviruses are known to trigger brain infections and arthritis in those who contract the infections. Researchers have identified two antibodies that protect animals from diseases caused by alphaviruses. The findings could pave the way to new treatments and a universal vaccine for alphaviruses.
Chronic viral infections have a profound and lasting impact on the immune system in a similar way to aging. Chronic inflammation that occurs as a result of immune system dysregulation is often seen in diseases associated with aging.
Study reveals mutations of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may not be a random process, but instead, humans are mutating it as part of a defense mechanism to degrade the virus. The findings may help in the creation of a vaccine for coronavirus.
Using computational methods, researchers created artificial proteins that triggered immune responses and produced infection specific antibodies. The findings indicate it will be possible to design vaccines that contain artificial antibodies, expediting the process of vaccine development.
Examining wastewater is helping researchers track coronavirus infection trends. The waste reflects the viral load excreted by a population within a few hours and can help establish COVID-19 community hot spots. While researchers will not be able to calculate the exact number of community cases of coronavirus by examining wastewater, they can trace the increase of SARS-CoV-2 concentration and track the level of infection rate.
Aerosolized particles produced while speaking may be enough to transmit coronavirus infection by those who are asymptomatic.
In addition to physical distancing and improved personal hygiene practices, the seasonal moderation of relative humidity indoors could help slow rates of transmission for COVID-19. However, the virus can still be transmitted via contact and close proximity to those infected, regardless of the season, researchers warn.
VirScan, a new antibody detection tool, can analyze blood samples collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to learn about how the virus affects the immune system and the epidemiology of the infection.
A new mathematical model shows the current COVID-19 pandemic could decline during the summer months, but return in the fall, with a major resurgence next winter. The model takes into account the seasonal variations of other closely related respiratory coronaviruses. Based on other coronavirus data, the model reveals infections were ten times more common between December and April in the northern hemisphere than between July and September. Researchers emphasize this model only attempts to examine possible scenarios, as we are currently unsure how warmer temperatures will affect SARS-CoV-2.
VPM1002, a vaccine candidate based on the tuberculosis BCG vaccine, may be effective in protecting against COVID-19. Previous studies in mice have shown the BCG vaccine is effective at protecting against several respiratory viral infections. If effective against coronavirus, researchers hope the vaccine can bridge the time gap until a specific SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available.
A team of Canadian researchers has isolated SARS-CoV-2, the viral agent responsible for COVID-19. Isolating the virus will help researchers worldwide to develop better diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines for the pandemic virus. It will also help researchers to better understand the virus biology, evolution, and viral shedding.