Immunology Sponsored by Beckman Coulter
New evidence shows SARS-CoV-2 mutations are not more transmissible
In direct contrast to previous research, researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 mutations are not tied to increased transmissibility in humans. The findings, published in Nature Communications on November 25 suggest that mutations such as D614G, while common, are neutral to viral evolution.  Discuss
Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine strongly efficacious in older adults
Similar safety and immunogenicity profiles were observed in adults and older adults who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, according to data from the phase II clinical trial. The findings were published in the Lancet on November 18.  Discuss
Pfizer, BioNTech just days away from applying for EUA for COVID-19 vaccine
Pfizer and BioNTech have passed another milestone in their effort to deliver a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The companies on November 18 reported that their BNT162b2 vaccine candidate has met safety milestones and that they plan to apply for an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the product in the coming days.  Discuss
What are the unresolved questions about SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses?
Researchers have shed light on the "known unknowns" of preexisting and acquired T-cell responses in relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In a perspective piece, published in Science Immunology on November 18, scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden discuss the role and durability of T-cell responses in COVID-19.  Discuss
Metabolic control of Tregs is critical for immune tolerance
A new study identifies how metabolism exerts control over regulatory T (Treg) cells, which play a key role in the recognition of foreign and self-produced molecules. The findings, published in Cell Metabolism on November 17, may help scientists identify new drug targets for autoimmune diseases and cancers.  Discuss
Why are children more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection?
Why do children seem to be more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults? The answer may lie in the age-dependent presence of a key viral enzyme, transmembrane protease serine 2, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation on November 12.  Discuss
Moderna reports 94.5% efficacy for COVID-19 vaccine
A COVID-19 vaccine under development by Moderna had 94.5% efficacy in a phase III clinical trial, according to an independent data safety monitoring board that notified the company of the results. The news builds on positive sentiment that a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic could be around the corner.  Discuss
Why the most common SARS-CoV-2 strain spreads so easily
A new study confirms that the D614G mutant SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is now the most common form of the virus, is more easily transmitted among hosts but does not cause more severe disease than the original virus. The findings were published in Science on November 12.  Discuss
Can vaccine resistance be predicted with test samples?
The likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 developing resistance to COVID-19 vaccines currently under development can be determined using repurposed blood and nasal test samples that are already being collected as part of clinical trials, according to Pennsylvania State University researchers. The perspective piece was published in PLOS Biology on November 9.  Discuss
If successful, COVID-19 vaccines could be worth $27B
Vaccines are considered one of the most effective public health measures preventing diseases in the modern world. They could also be very profitable endeavors, according to a new report from Kalorama Information, which estimates the market for COVID-19 vaccines could be as high as $27 billion.  Discuss
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