How the Pandemic Might Play Out in 2021 and Beyond

Although the forecasts and timelines vary, modellers agree on two things: COVID-19 is here to stay, and the future depends on a lot of unknowns, including whether people develop lasting immunity to the virus, whether seasonality affects its spread, and – perhaps most importantly – the choices made by governments and individuals.
[Nature News]
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Once Praised for Taming the Pandemic, Asian-Pacific Nations Worry about New Onslaught

Many Asian-Pacific countries have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic remarkably well so far, recording some of the lowest case numbers anywhere and earning praise as models of how to handle the virus. But the sheen is coming off their performance
[ScienceInsider]
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Calidi Biotherapeutics Announces FDA Approval for COVID-19 Treatment Manufactured by Partner: Personalized Stem Cells

Calidi Biotherapeutics, Inc., announced that the Investigational New Drug application submitted by its partner, Personalized Stem Cells, Inc. They have received FDA approval for the treatment of COVID-19 and pneumonia patients using stem cell therapy.
[Calidi Biotherapeutics, Inc.]
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Interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and the Type I Interferon Response

Scientists describe our current knowledge of the complex interplay between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the IFN system, highlighting some of the gaps that need to be filled for a better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms.
[PLoS Pathogens]
Ribero, M. S., Jouvenet, N., Dreux, M., & Nisole, S. (2020). Interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and the type I interferon response. PLOS Pathogens, 16(7), e1008737. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008737 Cite
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Targeting HIV Env Immunogens to B Cell Follicles in Nonhuman Primates through Immune Complex or Protein Nanoparticle Formulations

Investigators demonstrated two strategies to concentrate HIV envelope immunogens in follicles, via the formation of immune complexes or by employing self-assembling protein nanoparticles for multivalent display of envelope antigens.
[NPJ Vaccines]
Martin, J. T., Cottrell, C. A., Antanasijevic, A., Carnathan, D. G., Cossette, B. J., Enemuo, C. A., Gebru, E. H., Choe, Y., Viviano, F., Fischinger, S., Tokatlian, T., Cirelli, K. M., Ueda, G., Copps, J., Schiffner, T., Menis, S., Alter, G., Schief, W. R., Crotty, S., … Irvine, D. J. (2020). Targeting HIV Env immunogens to B cell follicles in nonhuman primates through immune complex or protein nanoparticle formulations. Npj Vaccines, 5(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-00223-1 Cite
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COVID-19 Vaccine Guidelines

With multiple COVID-19 vaccines in and approaching Phase III trials, the FDA has released development and licensure guidelines for these products. The 21-page guidelines detail agency recommendations on everything from manufacturing and preclinical data considerations to trial design, efficacy considerations and post-licensure safety.
[Nature Reviews Drug Discovery]
Mullard, A. (2020). COVID-19 vaccine guidelines. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41573-020-00142-9 Cite
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Safety and COVID-19 Symptoms in Individuals Recently Vaccinated with BCG: A Retrospective Cohort Study

To investigate the safety of Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination, scientists retrospectively assessed COVID-19 and related symptoms in three cohorts of healthy volunteers who either received BCG in the last five years or not.
[Cell Reports Medicine]
Moorlag, S. J. C. F. M., Deuren, R. C. van, Werkhoven, C. H. van, Jaeger, M., Debisarun, P., Taks, E., Mourits, V. P., Koeken, V. A. C. M., Bree, L. C. J. de, Doesschate, T. ten, Cleophas, M. C., Smeekens, S., Oosting, M., Veerdonk, F. L. van de, Joosten, L. A. B., Oever, J. ten, Meer, J. W. M. van der, Curtis, N., Aaby, P., … Netea, M. G. (2020). Safety and COVID-19 symptoms in individuals recently vaccinated with BCG: a retrospective cohort study. Cell Reports Medicine, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2020.100073 Cite
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Systems-Level Immunomonitoring from Acute to Recovery Phase of Severe COVID-19

Scientists report on a systems-level blood immunomonitoring study of 37 adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and followed with up to 14 blood samples from acute to recovery phases of the disease.
[Cell Reports Medicine]
Rodriguez, L., Pekkarinen, P. T., Lakshmikanth, T., Tan, Z., Consiglio, C. R., Pou, C., Chen, Y., Mugabo, C. H., Nguyen, N. A., Nowlan, K., Strandin, T., Levanov, L., Mikes, J., Wang, J., Kantele, A., Hepojoki, J., Vapalahti, O., Heinonen, S., Kekäläinen, E., & Brodin, P. (2020). Systems-level immunomonitoring from acute to recovery phase of severe COVID-19. Cell Reports Medicine, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2020.100078 Cite
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Selective and Cross-Reactive SARS-CoV-2 T Cell Epitopes in Unexposed Humans

Using human blood samples derived before the SARS-CoV-2 virus was discovered in 2019, the authors mapped 142 T cell epitopes across the SARS-CoV-2 genome to facilitate precise interrogation of the SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell repertoire.
[Science]
Mateus, J., Grifoni, A., Tarke, A., Sidney, J., Ramirez, S. I., Dan, J. M., Burger, Z. C., Rawlings, S. A., Smith, D. M., Phillips, E., Mallal, S., Lammers, M., Rubiro, P., Quiambao, L., Sutherland, A., Yu, E. D., Antunes, R. da S., Greenbaum, J., Frazier, A., … Weiskopf, D. (2020). Selective and cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes in unexposed humans. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abd3871 Cite
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CD8+ T Cells Are Crucial for Humoral Immunity Establishment by SA14-14-2 Live Attenuated Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine in Mice

In lethal virus challenge, investigators showed that CD4+ T‐cells alone, but not CD8+ T‐cells, were sufficient to confer vaccine‐mediated protection.
[European Journal of Immunology]
Kalia, A., Agrawal, M., & Gupta, N. (n.d.). CD8+ T cells are crucial for humoral immunity establishment by SA14-14-2 live attenuated Japanese encephalitis vaccine in mice. European Journal of Immunology, n/a(n/a). https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.202048745 Cite
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In Vitro Screening of a FDA Approved Chemical Library Reveals Potential Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Replication

Investigators screened the PRESTWICK CHEMICAL LIBRARY composed of 1,520 approved drugs in an infected cell-based assay. The robustness of the screen was assessed by the identification of drugs that already demonstrated in vitro antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2.
[Scientific Reports]
Touret, F., Gilles, M., Barral, K., Nougairède, A., van Helden, J., Decroly, E., de Lamballerie, X., & Coutard, B. (2020). In vitro screening of a FDA approved chemical library reveals potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 13093. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70143-6 Cite
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In Situ Neutrophil Efferocytosis Shapes T Cell Immunity to Influenza Infection

Newly infiltrated inflammatory monocytes became a chief pool of phagocytes and played a key role in the clearance of highly motile apoptotic neutrophils during the resolution phase.
[Nature Immunology]
Lim, K., Kim, T., Trzeciak, A., Amitrano, A. M., Reilly, E. C., Prizant, H., Fowell, D. J., Topham, D. J., & Kim, M. (2020). In situ neutrophil efferocytosis shapes T cell immunity to influenza infection. Nature Immunology, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-020-0746-x Cite
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