Drowning in Coronavirus Research, Part 67

By August 16, 2020 Commentary

Been one of those periods where a ton of research has dropped and some interesting articles.

Another salvo in the ongoing antibody wars.  This study, from Arizona, finds that while strength of antibodies appears to vary with disease severity, even asymptomatic cases developed them.  The authors used multiple assays to increase detection and accuracy.  (Medrxiv Paper)   The study also found that the antibodies were long-lasting.

Now we are apparently going to have conflicting research on cross-reactive adaptive immunity from earlier seasonal coronavirus infections.  (Medrxiv Paper)  This I find hard to understand in light of the very credible sources of the earlier research clearly finding such an effect.  The research was conducted in France and did find that there were cross-reactive antibodies, but claims that they had no neutralizing effect, based on in vitro, or outside the body, testing.  Blood from 76 healthy persons collected in 2015 was used for the study.  Six were reactive to some CV-19 antigens, and were also reactive to all common coronaviruses.  Further study found more widespread cross-reactivity, especially to spike and receptor binding protein areas.  Looking at patients who had severe CV-19 disease, they found that these patients had antibodies that were reactive to one set of the common coronavirus, but not the other.  But they claimed that the cross-reactive seasonal coronavirus antibodies had no actual neutralizing action agains CV-19.  Seems strange. Again, no T cell examination.  Not clear how good the antibody assay was.  And no exploration of B cell activity which might help fight the virus other than through antibodies.  So I would not conclude from this study that people with prior CV infections don’t have an adaptive immune response that helps deter this one.

New Zealand locked down as hard as anyone, but somehow mysteriously cases are appearing.  An epidemiologist from the country, displaying uncommon, at least in New Zealand, common sense, says that this only proves how futile lockdowns are and that doing so repeatedly just does harm to everyone.  (NZ Story)

The anti-schoolers, or as I think of them, the child abusers, are running out of studies to misconstrue to support keeping kids from having a normal educational experience, especially after the South Korea study blew up in their faces with a followup report.  Meanwhile, over in Europe evidence mounts that it is safe to sent children back to school with minimal constraints.  This study from Norway finds that opening schools did not appear to make any significant contribution to transmission.  (Medrxiv Paper)   The study is a little strange in that it tries to model R, the transmission rate, and the effect on R of opening schoools.  Just look at whether there were cases among children, staff or parents and stop with the modeling crap.  For some further bizarre reason, they referred to work on the effect of school closures on the now laughable, if not infamous, Imperial College paper and to work on influenza, which very clearly affects children far more than CV does.  Even with this odd reasoning they find only the most minimal possible effect of sending children back to school on transmission in the country.

One of the biggest tragedies of the school closures and lockdowns is an increase in child abuse, which is going unreported because schools are often where many cases are noticed.  A study from the UK examines trends in child abuse reporting during the epidemic.  (Medrxiv Paper)   Reporting of child abuse was down by 40% in one city and much of the reduction was lesser reporting from schools.  The authors suggest that school attendance must be mandatory or some other alternative to address child abuse is needed.

 

 

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