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Specific antibodies may be effective against multiple coronavirus types

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coronavirus antibody

Patients who have been exposed to a coronavirus may produce a versatile, cross-reactive coronavirus antibody; this may be useful for the eventual development of a broad-acting vaccine.

There are seven human coronavirus types, of which, four cause the common cold, named OC43, HKU1, 229E, and NL63. Most people become infected with at least one of these four coronaviruses at some point in their lives. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is another member of the coronavirus family that causes COVID-19. Infection with the cold-causing coronaviruses may lead to immune memory. This could potentially impact on the immune response to COVID-19.

Research published in Nature Communications compared blood samples of patients collected before the pandemic with those who tested positive for COVID-19. By doing this, the researchers were able to find antibody types that cross reacted with other coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

Cross-reactive coronavirus antibody produced during SARS-CoV-2 infection

It was discovered that a cross-reactive coronavirus antibody is triggered as a direct result of a COVID-19 infection. Dr Raiees Andrabi, a senior author of the paper, stated, “We were able to determine that this type of cross-reactive antibody is likely produced by a memory B cell that’s initially exposed to a coronavirus that causes the common cold, and is then recalled during a COVID-19 infection.”

Memory B cells are long-lived, as they can circulate throughout the body for decades in order to recognise and fight pathogens that they have previously encountered. Memory B cells offer protection against reinfection by rapidly producing specific antibodies. Although the study found evidence of pre-existing cross-reactive memory B cells that were triggered during SARS-CoV-2 infection, there was only weak evidence of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive serum antibodies in pre-pandemic patient samples. However, the researchers were able to identify one cross-reactive neutralizing antibody specific to the S2 subunit of the spike (S) protein.

How does this antibody work?

The researchers used electron microscopy to visualise how the cross-reactive antibody had the ability to neutralize a range of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. They found that the antibody typically bound to the S protein of the virus. This area did not seem to vary in different coronavirus strains.

Ge Song, the first author of the paper, stated, “The study highlights how important it is to fully understand the nature of pre-existing immunity, especially in regard to coronaviruses. Earlier exposure to a coronavirus, even a virus that causes mild colds, impacts the nature and level of antibodies produced when more serious coronavirus threats emerge.”

Significance of the study

Since immunological memory forms the basis of vaccination, the findings of this study could potentially lead to the creation of a vaccine or antibody treatment that works against most or all coronaviruses. Pre-existing immunity to endemic coronaviruses should be further investigated to evaluate antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2.

Co-author Dr Dennis Burton explained, “Another deadly coronavirus will likely emerge again in the future – and when it does, we want to be better prepared. Our identification of a cross-reactive antibody against SARS-CoV-2 and the more common coronaviruses is a promising development on the way to a broad-acting vaccine or therapy.”

References:

Song, G., et al. (2021). Cross-reactive serum and memory B-cell responses to spike protein in SARS-CoV-2 and endemic coronavirus infection. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-10. Retrieved from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-23074-3

Versatile coronavirus antibody may be starting point for broader-acting vaccines (2021). EurekAlert! Retrieved from: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-05/sri-vca052721.php

Quast, I. and Tarlinton, D. (2021). B cell memory: understanding COVID-19. Immunity, 54(2), 205-210. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826135/

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Source: https://medicalnewsbulletin.com/specific-antibodies-may-be-effective-against-all-coronavirus-types/

Covid19

The FDA Extends The Expiration Date On Johnson & Johnson’s COVID Vaccine To 6 Months

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Federal regulators have approved a longer shelf life for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Damian Dovarganes/AP hide caption

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Damian Dovarganes/AP

WASHINGTON — Federal health regulators on Wednesday again extended the expiration dates on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, providing health workers with six more weeks to use millions of doses of the shot.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a letter to J&J that the shots remain safe and effective for at least six months when properly stored and refrigerated. It’s the second time the FDA has extended the shelf life on the vaccines since June, when the agency said they could be used for up to 4 1/2 months. When first authorized in February, the FDA said the vaccines could be stored for three months at normal refrigeration levels.

Health authorities in many states had recently warned that they could be forced to throw out thousands of doses of the one-shot vaccine without an extension.

The change gives health providers more time to use remaining shots sitting at pharmacies, hospitals and clinics. After plateauing earlier this summer, vaccination rates have begun climbing again as the contagious delta variant surges across many parts of the country.

Vaccine expiration dates are based on information from drugmakers on how long the shots stay at the right strength. J&J previously stated that it continues to conduct stability testing with the aim of further extending the shelf life of the shots.

The FDA has been reviewing expiration dates on all three U.S.-authorized vaccines as companies have continued to test batches in the months since the shots first rolled out. Vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, authorized in December, have a six-month shelf life.

J&J’s vaccine was highly anticipated because of its one-and-done formulation and easy-to-ship refrigeration.

But rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna, which started shipping shots months earlier, have already supplied more than enough doses to vaccinate all eligible Americans. More than 150 million Americans have been fully vaccinated with the companies’ two-dose shots. By comparison, just 13 million Americans have been vaccinated with the J&J shot.

Use of J&J’s vaccine has been hurt by several rare potential side effects. Earlier this month, U.S. health regulators added a new warning to the vaccine about links to a potentially dangerous neurological reaction called Guillain-Barré syndrome.

That followed a pause in the use of the shot in April after it was linked to a rare blood clot disorder. In both cases, government health advisers said the overall benefits of the shot still greatly outweigh the risks.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021992894/fda-extends-expiration-date-johnson-johnson-covid-vaccine-6-months

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Covid19

The Pentagon Will Require Masks To Be Worn Indoors Even By Those Who Are Vaccinated

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The seal of the Department of Defense. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued directions that require anyone inside its facilities to wear a mask, even if they’re vaccinated.

The updated requirement applies to all service members, federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, and requires masks to be worn in indoor facilities and installations in areas of “substantial or high transmission,” according to a statement from Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Jamal Brown.

The update rescinds a previous mask guidance, which since May had allowed fully vaccinated Department of Defense personnel to not wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

The new requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidance. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with higher COVID-19 transmission, which currently includes military bases in several southern states.

Unvaccinated people within the facility, or those not fully vaccinated, are expected to physically distance themselves.

“All defense personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn. The Department will review and revise all applicable Force Health Protection guidance to address the new CDC guidelines,” Brown wrote in the statement.

As NPR’s Greg Myre reports, “The military has fared relatively well in combating COVID. Fewer than 30 service members have died from the virus out of an active duty and reserve force totaling more than 2 million.”

Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.

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Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021925844/the-pentagon-masks-indoors-even-vaccinated-cdc-covid

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Covid19

The Pentagon Will Require Masks To Be Worn Indoors Even By Those Who Are Vaccinated

Published

on

The seal of the Department of Defense. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Defense has issued directions that require anyone inside its facilities to wear a mask, even if they’re vaccinated.

The updated requirement applies to all service members, federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, and requires masks to be worn in indoor facilities and installations in areas of “substantial or high transmission,” according to a statement from Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Jamal Brown.

The update rescinds a previous mask guidance, which since May had allowed fully vaccinated Department of Defense personnel to not wear a mask indoors or outdoors.

The new requirement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated mask guidance. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with higher COVID-19 transmission, which currently includes military bases in several southern states.

Unvaccinated people within the facility, or those not fully vaccinated, are expected to physically distance themselves.

“All defense personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn. The Department will review and revise all applicable Force Health Protection guidance to address the new CDC guidelines,” Brown wrote in the statement.

As NPR’s Greg Myre reports, “The military has fared relatively well in combating COVID. Fewer than 30 service members have died from the virus out of an active duty and reserve force totaling more than 2 million.”

Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR’s News Desk.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021925844/the-pentagon-masks-indoors-even-vaccinated-cdc-covid

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Covid19

England And Scotland End Their Coronavirus Quarantine For Vaccinated U.S. Travelers

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People stand in the International Arrivals area at Heathrow Airport in London on Jan. 26. The British government said that starting Monday, fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and much of Europe will be able to enter England without the need for quarantining. Matt Dunham/AP hide caption

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Matt Dunham/AP

LONDON — Fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and much of Europe will be able to enter England and Scotland without quarantining starting next week, U.K. officials said Wednesday — a move welcomed by Britain’s ailing travel industry.

The British government said people who have received both doses of a vaccine approved by the FDA in the U.S. or the European Medicines Agency, which regulates drugs for the European Union and several other countries, will be able to take pre- and post-arrival coronavirus tests instead of self-isolating for 10 days after entering England.

The rule change takes effect at 4 a.m. U.K. time (0300 GMT) on Monday.

The Scottish government, which sets its own health policy, made the same decision. Wales and Northern Ireland haven’t announced what they plan to do.

Only people who have been vaccinated in Britain can currently skip 10 days of quarantine when arriving from most of Europe or North America.

There is one exception to the rule change: France, which the U.K. has dubbed a higher risk because of the presence of the beta variant of the coronavirus. Visitors from France will continue to face quarantine.

Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid speaks to reporters during a visit to a pop-up vaccination site in London on Wednesday. Dominic Lipinski/AP hide caption

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Dominic Lipinski/AP

Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the government had made the “right decision.” British Airways also welcomed the moved, but urged the government to go farther and ease restrictions on visitors from more countries.

Claire Walker, co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the announcement was “welcome news.”

“The long-term recovery of our entire economy also depends on reopening the U.K. to the two-way flows of people and trade,” she said.

The change hasn’t been universally reciprocated. Some European countries, including Italy, require British visitors to quarantine on arrival. The U.S. this week announced it is keeping a ban on most international visitors, and has advised Americans against travel to the U.K., citing a surge in infections driven by the more contagious delta variant of the virus.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Shai Weiss urged the U.S. to end its travel ban and for the U.K. to go farther in opening up international travel. Weiss said “a continued overly cautious approach towards international travel will further impact economic recovery and the 500,000 U.K. jobs that are at stake.”

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he expected the U.S. to ease its travel restrictions.

“We can only set the rules at our end,” he said.

“We can’t change that on the other side, but we do expect that in time they will release that executive order, which was actually signed by the previous president, and bans inward travel.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/07/28/1021786057/england-scotland-end-coronavirus-quarantine-vaccinated-us

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