A Head Full of Coronavirus Research, Part 90

By January 14, 2021Commentary

Here is a good primer on population immunity.  (Bio. Article)   There are errors, however, for example saying that the most likely explanation for the end of the first wave of CV-19 before population immunity was achieved is public health interventions.  The most likely, and accurate, explanation is seasonal factors.  There are other not completely accurate statements too, but still a good primer.

And this is an excellent summary of adaptive immunity to CV-19.  (Cell Article)   The authors describe the action of B  cells and the two primary types of T cells and the role those appear to play in controlling CV-19 infection and the dynamics of development of the adaptive response.  While quite detailed, it is very readable and covers a variety of questions regarding the immune response, including virus mutations, vaccination, and durability of response.

This paper discusses the current hot topic, what is going on with virus mutations.  (Medrxiv Paper)  In essence some of the new spreading mutations appear to me more infectious because they have a stronger capability to bind to the cell receptors, which is about what you would expect.  They are not necessarily more lethal, just more easily infect a cell.  This is exactly what we should have expected from excessive efforts to suppress the virus.  We are forcing faster selection and spread of more transmissible variants.  Interestingly, the authors have the obligatory inclusion of some reference to a possible role of masks, finding that use of poor quality masks may enhance the spread of these more infectious strains, so therefore we need to use better masks, or double or triple ones, or something.  The mask delusion is humorous if it weren’t so stupid.

A study that looks at the effect of school reopenings in England on cases.  (SSRN Study)   The general finding was that infection rates among school-aged children mirrored those in the community, although with time lags.  However, it is pretty clear that trends had nothing to do with actual school attendance, was related to testing levels (and probably inaccurate test results) and the study has absolutely no information about where school-aged children acquired any reported infections.  So useless in terms of determining policy on keeping schools open.

Another article looking at various kinds of CV-19 testing.  (Annals Article)   The authors reviewed studies comparing saliva testing to nasal swabs.  Nasal swabs appear to be more accurate but more expensive than saliva testing.

A brief letter in the British Medical Journal again covers the nature of either pre-existing cross-immunity from seasonal coronavirus infections or the adaptive response to CV-19, finding that it is likely robust and lasting.  A good primer.  (BMJ Letter)

An interesting historical perspective written during the 2009 flu pandemic about the response to the very large 1957 pandemic.  (Flu Article)

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