A VLP for Validation of the Plasmodium falciparum Circumsporozoite Protein Junctional Epitope for Vaccine Development

Researchers describe the development of a platform to supplement existing tools of pre-clinical malaria vaccine development, by displaying linear peptides on a virus-like particle
[npj Vaccines]
Atcheson, E., Hill, A. V. S., & Reyes-Sandoval, A. (2021). A VLP for validation of the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein junctional epitope for vaccine development. Npj Vaccines, 6(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41541-021-00302-x Cite
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Antibody Responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccine in Individuals Previously Infected with SARS-CoV-2

Researchers observed that spike-specific IgG antibody levels and ACE2 antibody binding inhibition responses elicited by a single vaccine dose in individuals with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection were similar to those seen after two doses of vaccine in individuals without prior infection.
[Nature Medicine]
Ebinger, J. E., Fert-Bober, J., Printsev, I., Wu, M., Sun, N., Prostko, J. C., Frias, E. C., Stewart, J. L., Van Eyk, J. E., Braun, J. G., Cheng, S., & Sobhani, K. (2021). Antibody responses to the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Nature Medicine, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01325-6 Cite
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Detection of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Defective Genomes in Nasal Secretions Is Associated with Distinct Clinical Outcomes

Scientists studied the association between detection of defective viral genomes of the copy-back type and disease severity in three respiratory syncytial virus A-confirmed cohorts.
[Nature Microbiology]
Felt, S. A., Sun, Y., Jozwik, A., Paras, A., Habibi, M. S., Nickle, D., Anderson, L., Achouri, E., Feemster, K. A., Cárdenas, A. M., Turi, K. N., Chang, M., Hartert, T. V., Sengupta, S., Chiu, C., & López, C. B. (2021). Detection of respiratory syncytial virus defective genomes in nasal secretions is associated with distinct clinical outcomes. Nature Microbiology, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-021-00882-3 Cite
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Neutralization Potency of Monoclonal Antibodies Recognizing Dominant and Subdominant Epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 Spike Is Impacted by the B.1.1.7 Variant

To understand how mutations affect Spike antigenicity, researchers isolated and characterized >100 monoclonal antibodies targeting epitopes on RBD, NTD and S2 from SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals.
[Immunity]
Graham, C., Seow, J., Huettner, I., Khan, H., Kouphou, N., Acors, S., Winstone, H., Pickering, S., Galao, R. P., Dupont, L., Lista, M. J., Jimenez-Guardeño, J. M., Laing, A. G., Wu, Y., Joseph, M., Muir, L., Gils, M. J. van, Ng, W. M., Duyvesteyn, H. M. E., … Doores, K. J. (2021). Neutralization potency of monoclonal antibodies recognizing dominant and subdominant epitopes on SARS-CoV-2 Spike is impacted by the B.1.1.7 variant. Immunity, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2021.03.023 Cite
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Structural Basis of Malaria RIFIN Binding by LILRB1-Containing Antibodies

By screening plasma from a cohort of donors from Mali, researchers identified individuals with LILRB1-containing antibodies.
[Nature]
Chen, Y., Xu, K., Piccoli, L., Foglierini, M., Tan, J., Jin, W., Gorman, J., Tsybovsky, Y., Zhang, B., Traore, B., Silacci-Fregni, C., Daubenberger, C., Crompton, P. D., Geiger, R., Sallusto, F., Kwong, P. D., & Lanzavecchia, A. (2021). Structural basis of malaria RIFIN binding by LILRB1-containing antibodies. Nature, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03378-6 Cite
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Clearance of Pegylated Interferon by Kupffer Cells Limits NK Cell Activation and Therapy Response of Patients with HBV Infection

Scientists found that patients with early natural killer cell activation after PEG–IFN-α injection experienced greater liver inflammation, lysis of HBV-infected hepatocytes, and hepatitis B surface antigen decline than those without.
[Science Translational Medicine]
Nishio, A., Bolte, F. J., Takeda, K., Park, N., Yu, Z.-X., Park, H., Valdez, K., Ghany, M. G., & Rehermann, B. (2021). Clearance of pegylated interferon by Kupffer cells limits NK cell activation and therapy response of patients with HBV infection. Science Translational Medicine, 13(587). https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aba6322 Cite
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Clinical Research Forum Presents Moderna and Pfizer with Award for Extraordinary Impact on Health

The Clinical Research Forum announced Moderna and Pfizer as the recipients of the first ever Award for Extraordinary Impact on Health.
[The Clinical Research (CR) Forum (BusinessWire, Inc)]
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Curevo Vaccine Announces the Approval to Conduct a Phase Ib Clinical Trial in South Africa to Evaluate Safety and Immunogenicity of Its Adjuvanted Subunit Investigational Vaccine, CRV-101, Against Varicella (Chickenpox) in HIV-Positive Children

Curevo Vaccine announced that approval was granted to move forward with a Phase Ib pediatric clinical trial in South Africa to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of its non-live investigational vaccine, CRV-101, against varicella in immunocompromised pediatric HIV-infected populations.
[Curevo Vaccine (BusinessWire, Inc)]
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SARS-CoV-2 Mpro Inhibitors with Antiviral Activity in a Transgenic Mouse Model

Researchers designed and synthesized 32 new bicycloproline-containing Mpro inhibitors derived from either boceprevir or telaprevir. All compounds inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro activity in vitro.
[Science]
Qiao, J., Li, Y.-S., Zeng, R., Liu, F.-L., Luo, R.-H., Huang, C., Wang, Y.-F., Zhang, J., Quan, B., Shen, C., Mao, X., Liu, X., Sun, W., Yang, W., Ni, X., Wang, K., Xu, L., Duan, Z.-L., Zou, Q.-C., … Yang, S. (2021). SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors with antiviral activity in a transgenic mouse model. Science, 371(6536), 1374–1378. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abf1611 Cite
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SARS-CoV-2 in Severe COVID-19 Induces a TGF-β-Dominated Chronic Immune Response That Does Not Target Itself

Researchers suggest that, in severe COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 triggers a chronic immune reaction that is instructed by TGF-β, and is distracted from itself.
[Nature Communications]
Ferreira-Gomes, M., Kruglov, A., Durek, P., Heinrich, F., Tizian, C., Heinz, G. A., Pascual-Reguant, A., Du, W., Mothes, R., Fan, C., Frischbutter, S., Habenicht, K., Budzinski, L., Ninnemann, J., Jani, P. K., Guerra, G. M., Lehmann, K., Matz, M., Ostendorf, L., … Mashreghi, M.-F. (2021). SARS-CoV-2 in severe COVID-19 induces a TGF-β-dominated chronic immune response that does not target itself. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1961. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22210-3 Cite
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Initial Report of Decreased SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load after Inoculation with the BNT162b2 Vaccine

Scientists found that the viral load was substantially reduced for infections occurring 12–37 days after the first dose of vaccine.
[Nature Medicine]
Levine-Tiefenbrun, M., Yelin, I., Katz, R., Herzel, E., Golan, Z., Schreiber, L., Wolf, T., Nadler, V., Ben-Tov, A., Kuint, J., Gazit, S., Patalon, T., Chodick, G., & Kishony, R. (2021). Initial report of decreased SARS-CoV-2 viral load after inoculation with the BNT162b2 vaccine. Nature Medicine, 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01316-7 Cite
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