Coronavirus COVID-19
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected 78 million individuals and is responsible for over 1.7 million deaths to date. Infection is associated with development of variable levels of antibodies with neutralizing activity that can protect against infection in animal models1,2. Antibody levels decrease with time, but the nature and quality of the memory B cells that would be called upon to produce antibodies upon re-infection has not been examined. Here we report on the humoral memory response in a cohort of 87 individuals assessed at 1.3 and 6.2 months after infection. We find that IgM, and IgG anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) antibody titres decrease significantly with IgA being less affected. Concurrently, neutralizing activity in plasma decreases by fivefold in pseudotype virus assays. In contrast, the number of RBD-specific memory B cells is unchanged. Memory B cells display clonal turnover after 6.2 months, and the antibodies they express have greater somatic hypermutation, increased potency and resistance to RBD mutations, indicative of continued evolution of the humoral response. Analysis of intestinal biopsies obtained from asymptomatic individuals 4 months after the onset of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), using immunofluorescence, or polymerase chain reaction, revealed persistence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acids and immunoreactivity in the small bowel of 7 out of 14 volunteers. We conclude that the memory B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 evolves between 1.3 and 6.2 months after infection in a manner that is consistent with antigen persistence.
The outbreak of pneumonia caused by 2019 Novel Coronavirus arises significant concern for virus transmission and control. The control of the indoor environment or public-enclosed environment is crucial to reduce the risk of infection. Heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are used to create a healthy, thermal-comfort indoor environments. Thus, the rational use of HVAC systems is of great importance for the environmental control to reduce infection risk and to improve human wellbeing in the pandemic. In order to satisfy the requirement of better healthy environment and more thermal comfort performance of indoor ventilation system, prevention of indoor pollution is essential, especially considering the purpose of disease transmission resistance. This paper investigated the collective contagion events in enclosed spaces as well as engineering control against virus spread with ventilation systems for health-care facilities and public vehicles. Future challenges of HVAC design and control were discussed.
During a pandemic, there are many situations in which the first available vaccines may not have as high of an effectiveness as vaccines that are still under development or are not yet ready for distribution, raising the question of whether it is better to go with what is available now or wait. Methods: In 2020, the team developed a computational model that represents the U.S. population, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread, and vaccines with different possible efficacies (to prevent infection or reduce severe disease) and vaccination timings to estimate the clinical and economic value of vaccination. Results: Except for a limited number of situations, mainly early on in a pandemic and for a vaccine that prevents infection, when an initial vaccine is available, waiting for a vaccine with a higher efficacy results in additional hospitalizations and costs over the course of the pandemic. For example, if a vaccine with a 50% efficacy in preventing infection becomes available when 10% of the population has already been infected, waiting until 40% are infected for a vaccine with 80% efficacy in preventing infection results in 15.6 million additional cases and 1.5 million additional hospitalizations, costing $20.6 billion more in direct medical costs and $12.4 billion more in productivity losses. Conclusions: This study shows that there are relatively few situations in which it is worth foregoing the first COVID-19 vaccine available in favor of a vaccine that becomes available later on in the pandemic, even if the latter vaccine has a substantially higher efficacy.


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