Current Virus News and Events

Current Virus News and Events, Virus News Articles.
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Researchers reveal genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19
HSE University researchers have become the first in the world to discover genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19. The results of the study were published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology. http://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.641900 (2021-02-23)

Tool encoded in coronaviruses provides a potential target for COVID-19
Coronaviruses exploit our cells so they can make copies of themselves inside us. (2021-02-23)

Researchers discover potential new therapeutic targets on SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted considerable investigation into how the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein attaches to a human cell during the infection process, as this knowledge is useful in designing vaccines and therapeutics. Now, a team of scientists has discovered additional locations on the Spike protein that may not only help to explain how certain mutations make emerging variants more infectious but also could be used as additional targets for therapeutic intervention. (2021-02-22)

Tricking the novel coronavirus with a fake "handshake"
Fool the novel coronavirus once and it can't cause infection of cells, new research suggests. Scientists have developed protein fragments, called peptides, that bind to the virus's Spike protein, effectively tricking SARS-CoV-2 into ''shaking hands'' with a replica rather than with the receptor that lets the virus into a cell. (2021-02-22)

Researchers learn that pregnant women pass along protective COVID antibodies to their babies
Antibodies that guard against COVID-19 can transfer from mothers to babies while in the womb, according to a new study from Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian researchers published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (2021-02-22)

CovMT: Tracking virus mutations across the world
An interactive platform helps users visualize where SARS-CoV-2 mutations start, how wide they spread and how infectious they are. (2021-02-21)

Data show lower daily temperatures lead to higher transmission of COVID-19
Understanding the impact of seasonal temperature changes on transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is an important factor in reducing the virus's spread in the years to come. Researchers compared daily low temperature data and logged cases of COVID-19 in 50 countries in the Northern Hemisphere between Jan. 22 and April 6, 2020. Their research, published this week in PLOS ONE, showed that as temperatures rose, the rate of new cases of COVID-19 decreased. (2021-02-19)

A new piece of the HIV infection puzzle explored
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Heidelberg University Hospital combine high-resolution imaging to observe the infection process in cell nuclei, opening the door for new therapeutics. (2021-02-18)

Surface testing for SARS-CoV2 in hematology/oncology settings reveals negligible detection
Researchers from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state's only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, evaluated the frequency of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on various environmental surfaces in outpatient and inpatient hematology/oncology settings located within Rutgers Cancer Institute and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health facility. The study revealed extremely low detection of SARS-CoV-2 on environmental surfaces across multiple outpatient and inpatient oncology areas, including an active COVID-19 floor. (2021-02-18)

Asthmatics no higher risk dying from COVID, review of studies on 587,000 people shows
A new study looking at how COVID-19 affects people with asthma provides reassurance that having the condition doesn't increase the risk of severe illness or death from the virus. (2021-02-18)

Radiological images confirm 'COVID-19 can cause the body to attack itself'
Muscle soreness and achy joints are common symptoms among COVID-19 patients. But for some people, symptoms are more severe, long lasting and even bizarre, including rheumatoid arthritis flares, autoimmune myositis or 'COVID toes.' A new Northwestern Medicine study has, for the first time, confirmed and illustrated the causes of these symptoms through radiological imaging. (2021-02-17)

Immune system protects children from severe COVID-19
Children are protected from severe COVID-19 because their innate immune system is quick to attack the virus, a new study has found. (2021-02-17)

A peptide that inhibits virus transmission among ferrets may point to a promising treatment
An engineered peptide given to ferrets two days before they were co-housed with SARS-CoV-2-infected animals prevented virus transmission to the treated ferrets, a new study shows. (2021-02-17)

Mutation in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein renders virus up to eight times more infectious
A mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2--one of several genetic mutations in the concerning variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil -- makes the virus up to eight times more infectious in human cells than the initial virus that originated in China, according to research published in the journal eLife. (2021-02-17)

Evolution's game of rock-paper-scissors
A group of scientists at Lehigh University led by Gregory Lang, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, has recently provided empirical evidence that evolution can be nontransitive. Lang and his team identify a nontransitive evolutionary sequence through a 1,000-generation yeast evolution experiment. In the experiment, an evolved clone outcompetes a recent ancestor but loses in direct competition with a distant ancestor. (2021-02-16)

Targeting Nsp1 protein could be a pathway for COVID-19 therapy
A study that identifies how a coronavirus protein called Nsp1 blocks the activity of genes that promote viral replication provides hope for new COVID-19 treatments. (2021-02-16)

Asthma may heighten flu risk and cause dangerous mutations
A subtype of asthma in adults may cause higher susceptibility to influenza and could result in dangerous flu mutations. University of Queensland-led animal studies have found that paucigranulocytic asthma (PGA) - a non-allergic form of the condition - allows the flu virus to flourish in greater numbers in sufferers. (2021-02-16)

Antibody-based COVID-19 treatments work best in concert with immune cells
Antibody-based drugs have been authorized for emergency use in COVID-19 patients by the Food and Drug Administration. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that the ability to interact with other elements of the immune system is an indispensable part of the effectiveness of such antibodies. The findings could help improve the design of the next generation of antibody-based COVID-19 drugs. (2021-02-16)

Water is a probable vector for mammalian virus transmission
Water is a necessity for all life but its availability can be limited. In geographical areas experiencing dry seasons, animals congregate near the few freshwater sources, often reaching large densities. These sites may be key locations for pathogen transmissions, if viruses remain stable and infectious in water. A team of researchers led by Leibniz-IZW now confirmed this in a study, published in ''Science of the Total Environment''. (2021-02-15)

Let the immune cell see the virus: Scientists discover unique way to target common virus
Scientists at Cardiff University have discovered a unique way to target a common virus that affects one in 200 newborn babies in the UK but for which there is only limited treatments available. (2021-02-15)

Researchers demonstrate self-sterilizing polymers work against SARS-CoV-2
Researchers have demonstrated a family of self-sterilizing polymers that are effective at inactivating coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19. The work opens the door to a suite of applications that could help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases. (2021-02-15)

Biodiversity protects bee communities from disease
A new analysis of thousands of native and nonnative Michigan bees shows that the most diverse bee communities have the lowest levels of three common viral pathogens. (2021-02-12)

NIH experts discuss SARS-CoV-2 viral variants
The rise of significant variants of SARS-CoV-2 has attracted the attention of health and science experts worldwide. In an editorial published in JAMA, experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases outline how these variants have arisen, concerns about whether vaccines currently authorized for use will continue to protect against new variants, and the need for a global approach to fighting SARS-CoV-2 as it spreads and acquires additional mutations. (2021-02-12)

Cold sores: Discovery reveals how stress, illness and even sunburn trigger flareups
The finding could lead to new ways to prevent cold sores and herpes-related eye disease from reoccurring, the researchers report. (2021-02-11)

One dose of COVID-19 vaccine provokes strong immune response in those previously infected
Researchers report preliminary evidence that people previously infected with COVID-19 responded very strongly to one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of when they were infected and whether or not they had detectable antibodies against COVID-19 prior to receiving the vaccine. The response was so effective that it opens the debate as to whether one dose of the vaccine may suffice. The research also provided evidence that immune response was similar across multi-ethnic groups. (2021-02-11)

Ebola is a master of disguise
Ebola is so pernicious because it pulls a fast one on the body, disguising itself as a dying cell. A study published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, identifies a pathway that all filoviruses use to gain entry into our cells--and shows how they can be stopped in their tracks by at least one FDA-approved drug. (2021-02-11)

Scientists uncover four new facts about early SARS-CoV-2 infections
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers studied SARS-CoV-2 infections at individual cellular levels and made four major discoveries about the virus, including one that validates the effectiveness of remdesivir - an FDA-approved antiviral drug - as a form of treatment for severe COVID-19 disease. (2021-02-10)

Definitely not the flu: risk of death from COVID-19 3.5 times higher than from flu
A new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) found that the risk of death from COVID-19 was 3.5 times higher than from influenza. (2021-02-10)

Caution: 1918 influenza provides warning for potential future pandemic reemergence
New research from Michigan State University used health data from the initial 1918 influenza spike to provide insights to what ''pandemic reemergence'' may look like for our future. (2021-02-10)

Porous materials unfavorable for coronavirus survival
As COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets, researchers have become increasingly interested in the drying of droplets on impermeable and porous surfaces; surfaces that accelerate evaporation can decelerate the spread of the virus. In Physics of Fluids, researchers show a droplet remains liquid for a much shorter time on a porous surface, making it less favorable to survival of the virus. On paper and cloth, the virus survived for only three hours and two days, respectively. (2021-02-09)

Bats & pangolins in Southeast Asia harbour SARS-CoV-2-related coronaviruses, reveals new study
A new study led by scientists from Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, and Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, shows that SARS-CoV-2-related coronaviruses (SC2r-CoVs) are circulating in animals as far away as Thailand. The study, published in Nature Communications today, reported that high levels of neutralising antibodies against the virus were present in both bats and pangolins found in the Southeast Asian country. The study further indicates that more SC2r-CoVs are likely to be discovered in the region. (2021-02-09)

Making good decisions about COVID-19
In their article, Rode and Fischbeck note that many of the key decisions facing individuals, corporations and governments all depend on two basic values: the probability a person has the virus and the probability that person transmits the virus. (2021-02-09)

Relaxed precautions, not climate, the biggest factor driving wintertime COVID-19 outbreaks
Wintertime outbreaks of COVID-19 have been largely driven by whether people adhere to control measures such as mask wearing and social distancing, according to a study by researchers affiliated with the Climate Change and Infectious Disease initiative based in Princeton University's High Meadows Environmental Institute. Climate and a lack of population immunity are playing smaller roles during the pandemic phase of the virus, but will become more impactful as infections slow. (2021-02-09)

Scientists urge for investment now in highly potent vaccines to prevent the next pandemic
In an article that appears in the journal Nature, Dennis Burton, PhD, and Eric Topol, MD, of Scripps Research call for governments to provide significant funding support for rational vaccine design based on broadly neutralizing antibodies. Such antibodies provide broad-spectrum potency against viruses, a valuable characteristic that opens the door to vaccines that could provide immunity against the many variants that might evolve from a fast-mutating virus. They could also be used as drugs to prevent and treat infections. (2021-02-09)

Six previously FDA-approved drugs appear promising against SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory testing
A team of investigators from the Republic of China has discovered that six drugs previously approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other indications could be repurposed to treat or prevent COVID-19. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. (2021-02-09)

Breastfeeding mothers produce COVID-19 antibodies capable of neutralizing virus
Breastfeeding women with COVID-19 do not pass along the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their milk but do transfer milk-borne antibodies that are able to neutralize the virus, a multi-institutional team of researchers led by the University of Idaho reported. (2021-02-09)

Richness of plant species reduces the number of viral infections in meadows
A new study indicates that agricultural activity confuses the mechanisms that regulate the occurrence of plant diseases in nature. A wider variety of virus species was found in meadows close to agricultural fields compared to those located in natural surroundings, with the richness of plant species having no effect on the number of virus species. However, maintaining biodiversity is worthwhile, as plant richness did reduce the number of viral infections in the meadows. (2021-02-08)

New clues to how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells
The molecular details of how SARS-CoV-2 enters cells and infects them are still not clear. Researchers at Uppsala University have tested the bioinformatic predictions made by another research group and have identified receptors that could be important players in the process. The results are presented in the journal Science Signaling and at the AAAS Annual Meeting held this week. (2021-02-08)

Some types of coronavirus steal the hosts' genes to elude their immune system
Researchers discovered this while analysing pathogens found in European hedgehogs that present the same strain of Beta-CoV responsible for both COVID-19 and MERS but without evidence of human transmissibility. It is the first time this ability is observed in coronaviruses (2021-02-08)

New drug target for Ebola, Marburg viruses
Researchers have identified a previously unknown site on the filovirus glycoprotein to which small drug molecules can bind and prevent infection -- blocking both sites may be a more effective treatment while reducing the risk of side effects. (2021-02-08)

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