COVID-19: Coronavirus immunity without antibodies? The plot thickens (again!)

So do antibodies developed do to prior exposure to other coronaviruses offer protection against SARS-CoV-2? Paper #1: In 40-60% of a group of individuals not exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (samples collected between 2015-18), T helper cells were reactive to SARS-CoV-2; as the authors note, the most plausible explanation is cross-reactivity due to previous infection with endemic,…

COVID-19: Coronavirus immunity without antibodies? The plot thickens

I recently wrote about a paper showing robust T helper cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 in a group of recovered patients as well as the tantalizing finding that 40-60% of unexposed individuals (samples obtained 2015-18) showed cross-reactivity to SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that exposure to circulating coronaviruses responsible for the common cold could be protective against SARS-CoV-2. Meanwhile,…

A Theoretical Model of the Pathophysiology of COVID-19

The latest episode of the EmCrit podcast features a discussion between Scott Weingart and Farid Jalali on the pathophysiology of COVID-19. Dr. Jalali’s wide-ranging insights on this complex, dynamic disease make this an absolute must-listen. EMCrit Wee – A Theoretical Model of the Pathophysiology of COVID-19 with Farid Jalali (Not a Single Thing Verified–Pure Musings)…

COVID-19: Could exposure to ‘common cold’ coronaviruses offer some protection against SARS-CoV-2?

Although not all that surprising in hindsight, the results of a paper recently published in Cell are nevertheless stunning: 40-60% of a group of individuals not exposed to SARS-CoV-2 were found to have T helper cells that were reactive to SARS-CoV-2. The article summary: “Understanding adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is important for vaccine development, interpreting…

Worth reading: COVID-19, a ‘supernova in human history,’ will need multiple perspectives to understand and manage

Another must-read article in STAT by Vinay Prasad and Jeffrey Flier: Covid-19, a ‘supernova in human history,’ will need multiple perspectives to understand and manage Prasad and Flier emphasize a critical point that’s too often ignored; much of the current pandemic’s harmful impact on the world (measured by suffering and death, not soulless abstractions like…

COVID-19: Remdesivir apparently shows “a clear-cut, significant positive effect,” but where’s the evidence?

There have been some bizarre, troubling developments regarding the purported anti-COVID drug, remdesivir. At the end of April, Anthony Fauci told reporters in the oval office that the NIH’s remdesivir trial showed “a clear-cut, significant positive effect.” From now on, remdesivir “will be the standard of care,” meaning that any new potential drugs to treat…

COVID-19: Profile of a killer, new IFR estimate from Germany, and Merkel accelerates reopening

Profile of a killer: the complex biology powering the coronavirus pandemic David Cyranoski, writing in Nature, offers what I think might be the single best summary of what we know about SARS CoV-2. Interestingly, Klaus Stöhr, who was head of the World Health Organization’s SARS research and epidemiology division, offers some perspective that echoes my…

COVID-19: The forgotten victims

I’ve written previously about the massive public health impact of government responses to the pandemic: The United Nations estimates that global poverty trends will be reversed for the first time since 1998, pushing “half a billion people into destitution.” The World Health Organization recently warned that lockdown-induced shortages and disruptions in vaccine distribution (reported in…

COVID-19 is not the “great equalizer”

Maria Abi-Habib writing for NYT, “For the first time since 1998, the World Bank says, global poverty rates are forecast to rise. By the end of the year, half a billion people may be pushed into destitution, largely because of the pandemic, the United Nations estimates. … Since 2000, Bangladesh brought 33 million people —…