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Latest Physician News2019-02-15T12:10:02+00:00

Latest in Sleep Medicine News

Mutation of Coronavirus Is Significantly Increasing Its Ability To Infect

Following the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in China in late 2019, and the rapid expansion of the COVID19 pandemic in 2020, questions about viral evolution have come tumbling after. Did SARS-CoV-2 evolve to become better adapted to humans? More infectious or transmissible? More deadly? Virus mutations can rise in frequency due to natural selection, random genetic drift, or features of recent epidemiology. As these forces can work in tandem, it’s often hard to differentiate when a virus mutation becomes common through fitness or by chance. It is even harder to determine if a single mutation will change the outcome of an infection, or a pandemic.

Korber et al. found that a SARS-CoV-2 variant in the spike protein, D614G, rapidly became dominant around the world. While clinical and in vitro data suggest that D614G changes the virus phenotype, the impact of the mutation on transmission, disease, and vaccine and therapeutic development are largely unknown.

source : https://www.cell.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0092-8674%2820%2930820-5

What you need to know about antibody mediated immunity to corona viruses

The duration and nature of immunity generated in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is unknown. Many public health responses and modeled scenarios for COVID-19 outbreaks caused by SARSCoV-2 assume that infection results in an immune response that protects individuals from future infections or illness for some amount of time. The timescale of protection is a critical determinant
of the future impact of the pathogen. The presence or absence of protective immunity due to infection or vaccination (when available) will affect future transmission and illness severity. The dynamics of immunity and nature of protection are relevant to discussions surrounding therapeutic use of convalescent sera as well as efforts to identify individuals with protective immunity. Here, we review the scientific literature on antibody immunity to coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 as well as the related SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV and human endemic coronaviruses (HCoVs).
We reviewed 1281 abstracts and identified 322 manuscripts relevant to 5 areas of focus: 1) antibody kinetics, 2) correlates of protection, 3) immunopathogenesis, 4) antigenic diversity and cross-reactivity, and 5) population seroprevalence. While studies of SARS-CoV-2 are necessary to determine immune responses to it, evidence from other coronaviruses can provide clues and guide future research.

Source : https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.20065771v1.full.pdf

Major study finds common steroid reduces deaths among patients with severe Covid-19

In March 2020, the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) trial was established as a randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for COVID-19, including low-dose dexamethasone (a steroid treatment). Over 11,500 patients have been enrolled from over 175 NHS hospitals in the UK. On 8 June, recruitment to the dexamethasone arm was halted since, in the view of the trial Steering Committee, sufficient patients had been enrolled to establish whether or not the drug had a meaningful benefit. A total of 2104 patients were randomised to receive dexamethasone 6 mg once per day (either by mouth or by intravenous injection) for ten days and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone. Among the patients who received usual care alone, 28-day mortality was highest in those who required ventilation (41%), intermediate in those patients who required oxygen only (25%), and lowest among those who did not require any respiratory intervention (13%). Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in ventilated patients (rate ratio 0.65 [95% confidence interval 0.48 to 0.88]; p=0.0003) and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only (0.80 [0.67 to 0.96]; p=0.0021). There was no benefit among those patients who did not require respiratory support (1.22 [0.86 to 1.75]; p=0.14).

Source: https://www.recoverytrial.net/files/recovery_dexamethasone_statement_160620_v2final.pdf

Latest in Sleep Medicine Research

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