New modelling research, published in The Lancet journal, suggests that China's aggressive control measures appear to have halted the first wave of COVID-19 in areas outside Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic. However, given the substantial risk of the virus being reintroduced from abroad, and with economic activity increasing, real-time monitoring of COVID-19 transmissibility and severity is needed to protect against a possible second wave of infection, researchers say.
As COVID-19 ravages the globe, researchers are working tirelessly to develop new diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics. The question on the minds of scientists in many diverse fields is how they can help. Now, some researchers are publishing their thoughts on this topic in the form of editorials, perspectives and viewpoints in various ACS journals.
COVID-19 is not the only public health crisis in the United States. There is a danger that extreme mitigation could result in a disastrous socio-economic situation which could potentially case a greater public health crisis.
No vaccines exist that protect people against infections by coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, or the ones that cause SARS and MERS. As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, many labs around the world have developed a laser-like focus on understanding the virus and finding the best strategy for stopping it.
In a new study, published April 7 in mBio, researchers from the University of Iowa and the University of Georgia demonstrate that a new vaccine fully protects mice against a lethal dose of MERS, a close cousin of COVID-19. Using the same strategy, COVID-19 vaccine candidates have been generated and are also being tested in mice.
As COVID-19 spreads across the globe, a common question is, can infectious diseases be connected to environmental change? Yes, indicates a study published today from the University of California, Davis' One Health Institute. Exploitation of wildlife by humans through hunting, trade, habitat degradation and urbanization facilitates close contact between wildlife and humans, which increases the risk of virus spillover, the study found. Many of these same activities also drive wildlife population declines and the risk of extinction.
The style by which livestock are managed, but not an animal's age, plays an important role in transmission risk of PPRV, which produces a highly infectious and often fatal disease in sheep and goats. These findings have important implications for control of this widespread virus.
'Giant viruses' are many times larger than typical viruses and have more complex genomes. Using publicly available metagenome data, researchers at Virginia Tech assembled genomes for more than 500 giant viruses and found a surprising number of genes for cellular metabolic cycles, including glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and the TCA cycle. Viruses may deploy these genes to rewire their hosts' metabolism upon infection, expanding their ecological influence and blurring the distinction between viruses and cellular life.
In early February, research teams from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, München Klinik Schwabing and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology published initial findings describing the efficient transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The researchers' detailed report on the clinical course and treatment of Germany's first group of COVID-19 patients has now been published in Nature*. Criteria may now be developed to determine the earliest point at which COVID-19 patients treated in hospitals with limited bed capacity can be safely discharged.