29 posts

Neutralization Escape by Omicron Variants

Nicole P. Hachmann u. a.: Neutralization Escape by the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variants BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 [Preprint], in: (May 19, 2022), online in: Abstract Multiple lineages of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) have emerged, and BA.1 and BA.2 have demonstrated substantial escape from neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). BA.2.12.1 has now become dominant in the United States, and BA.4 and BA.5 have become dominant in South Africa. The authors’ data show that BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 substantially escape NAbs induced by both vaccination and infection. Moreover, BA.4/BA.5 NAb titers, and to lesser extent BA.2.12.1 NAb titers, were lower than BA.1 and BA.2 […]

Immune Escape of Omicron Sublineages

Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, Yunlong Cao et al: BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 escape antibodies elicited by Omicron infection, in: bioRxiv (June 14, 2022), online in: Abstract SARS-CoV-2 Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility over BA.2. The new variants’ receptor binding and immune evasion capability require immediate investigation. In this study, coupled with Spike structural comparisons, the authors show that BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 exhibit comparable ACE2-binding affinities to BA.2. Importantly, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display stronger neutralization evasion than BA.2 against the plasma from 3-dose vaccination and, most strikingly, from post-vaccination BA.1 infections. To delineate the underlying antibody evasion […]

Omicron & Delta Comparison

Gunadi et al: Comparative analysis of the outcomes of COVID-19 between patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants: a retrospective cohort study [Preprint], in: medRxiv (May 3, 2022), online in: Abstract Background The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has replaced the previously dominant Delta variant because of high transmissibility. It is responsible for the current increase in the COVID-19 infectivity rate worldwide. However, studies on the impact of the Omicron variant on the severity of COVID-19 are still limited in developing countries. In this study, the authors compared the outcomes of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants and […]

Subvariants & Immune Evasion

Gretchen Vogel: New Subvariants are masters of immune evasion, in: Science 376, Issue 6594 (May 13, 2022), pp. 679-680, online in: In her article, Gretchen Vogel highlights the immune invasion of the Omicron sublines. While the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants caused a surge in cases in South Africa, the BA.2.12.1 subvariant is spreading on the East Coast of the United States. All three variants, like earlier Omikron versions, have the remarkable ability to evade immunity acquired through vaccination or infection. However, vaccinations and previous infections at least protect against severe disease in most cases, so while the new strains […]

Hospitalizations Forecast

CDC (ed.): COVID-19 Forecasts: Hospitalizations, online at: (as of June 07, 2022). On its website (, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides reported and projected hospitalization figures for the U.S. and individual U.S. states for the next month on an ongoing basis.

Severity of Omicron

Ana Cecilia Ulloa, Sarah A. Buchan, Nick Daneman, Kevin A. Brown: Early estimates of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant severity based on a matched cohort study, Ontario [Preprint], Canada, in: medRxiv (January 2, 2022), online in: Abstract While it was evident in January 2022 that Omicron is rapidly replacing Delta, largely due to immune escape, it was less clear how the severity of Omicron compares to Delta. In Ontario, the authors sought to examine hospitalization and death associated with Omicron, as compared to cases infected with Delta. The authors conducted a matched cohort study, considering time to hospitalization or death as […]

Omicron Delta Comparison

Lindsey Wang, Nathan A. Berger, David C. Kaelber, Pamela B. Davis, Nora D. Volkow, Rong Xu: Comparison of outcomes from COVID infection in pediatric and adult patients before and after the emergence of Omicron [Preprint], in: medRxiv (January 2, 2022), online in: Abstract Background The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant is rapidly spreading in the US since December 2021 and is more contagious than earlier variants. Currently, data on the severity of the disease caused by the Omicron variant compared with the Delta variant is limited. Here we compared 3-day risks of emergency department (ED) visit, hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) […]

Clinical characteristics of long COVID

The PHOSP-COVID Collaborative Group: Clinical characteristics with inflammation profiling of long COVID and association with 1-year recovery following hospitalisation in the UK: a prospective observational study, in: The Lancet Respiratory Medicine (published online: April 23, 2022), online in: Summary Background No effective pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions exist for patients with long COVID. The authors aimed to describe recovery 1 year after hospital discharge for COVID-19, identify factors associated with patient-perceived recovery, and identify potential therapeutic targets by describing the underlying inflammatory profiles of the previously described recovery clusters at 5 months after hospital discharge. Methods The Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study […]

Effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Sara Y Tartof u. a.: Effectiveness of mRNA BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine up to 6 months in a large integrated health system in the USA: a retrospective cohort study, in: The Lancet 398, Issue 10309 (16.10.2021), pp. 1407-1416, online in: Abstract: Background Vaccine effectiveness studies have not differentiated the effect of the delta (B.1.617.2) variant and potential waning immunity in observed reductions in effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infections. The authors aimed to evaluate overall and variant-specific effectiveness of BNT162b2 (tozinameran, Pfizer–BioNTech) against SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19-related hospital admissions by time since vaccination among members of a large US health-care system. Methods […]

Diabetes and Long Covid

Yan Xie, Ziyad Al-Aly: Risks and burdens of incident diabetes in long COVID: a cohort study, in: The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Vol. 10, Issue 5 (May 2022), pp. 311-321, online in: Summary Background There is growing evidence suggesting that beyond the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection, people with COVID-19 could experience a wide range of post-acute sequelae, including diabetes. However, the risks and burdens of diabetes in the post-acute phase of the disease have not yet been comprehensively characterised. To address this knowledge gap, the authors aimed to examine the post-acute risk and burden of incident diabetes in […]

Effects of Omicron

Christina Menni, Ana M. Valdez, Tim D. Spector u. a.: Symptom prevalence, duration, and risk of hospital admission in individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 during periods of omicron and delta variant dominance: a prospective observational study from the ZOE COVID Study, in: The Lancet Vol. 399, Issue 10335 (April 23, 2022), pp. 1618-1624. Summary Background The SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, omicron, appears to be less severe than delta. The authors aim to quantify the differences in symptom prevalence, risk of hospital admission, and symptom duration among the vaccinated population. Methods In this prospective longitudinal observational study, the authors collected data from […]

T cell response to omicron

Vivek Naranbhai et al.: T cell reactivity to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is preserved in most but not all prior infected and vaccinated individuals, in: medRxiv, online in: Abstract The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) contains mutations that mediate escape from infection- and vaccine-induced antibody responses, although the extent to which these substitutions in spike and non-spike proteins affect T cell recognition is unknown. In their article the authors show that T cell responses in individuals with prior infection, vaccination, both prior infection and vaccination, and boosted vaccination are largely preserved to Omicron spike and non-spike proteins. However, the authors […]

Long-term Cardiovascular Outcomes

Yan Xie, Evan Xu, Benjamin Bowe, Ziyad Al-Aly: Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19, in: Nature Medicine (Februrary 7, 2022), online in: Abstract “The cardiovascular complications of acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are well described, but the post-acute cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19 have not yet been comprehensively characterized. In their study the authors used national healthcare databases from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to build a cohort of 153,760 individuals with COVID-19, as well as two sets of control cohorts with 5,637,647 (contemporary controls) and 5,859,411 (historical controls) individuals, to estimate risks and 1-year burdens of a set of […]

Mid and Long-term Manifestations of Post-COVID-19 Syndrome

Lavienraj Premraj, Nivedha V. Kannapadi, Jack Briggs, Stella M. Seal, Denise Battaglini, Jonathon Fanning, Jacky Suen, Chiara Robba, John Fraser, Sung-Min Cho: Mid and long-term neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of post-COVID-19 syndrome: A meta-analysis, in: Journal of the Neurological Sciences 434 (2022) 120162, 7 pages.   Key points Question: How commonly are neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms reported three months or more after acute COVID-19 onset in adults? Findings: In a meta-analysis of 19 studies encompassing 11,324 patients (hospitalised and non-hospitalised), overall prevalence for neurological symptoms three months after COVID-19 onset was: fatigue (37%), brain fog (32%), memory issues (27%), attention […]

COVID-19 Post-acute Sequelae

Arch G. Mainous III, Benjamin J. Rooks, Velyn Wu, Frank A. Orlando: COVID-19 Post-acute Sequelae Among Adults: 12 Month Mortality Risk, in: Frontiers in Medicine (December 12, 2021), online in: Background: There are concerns regarding post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, but it is unclear whether COVID-19 poses a significant downstream mortality risk. The objective was to determine the relationship between COVID-19 infection and 12-month mortality after recovery from the initial episode of COVID-19 in adult patients.

Predicting the zoonotic capacity of mammals

Ilya R. Fischhoff, Adrian A. Castellanos, João P.G.L.M. Rodrigues, Arvind Varsani, Barbara A. Han: Predicting the zoonotic capacity of mammals to transmit SARS-CoV-2, in: bioRxiv (June 29, 2021), online in: Back and forth transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between humans and animals may lead to wild reservoirs of virus that can endanger efforts toward long-term control of COVID-19 in people, and protecting vulnerable animal populations that are particularly susceptible to lethal disease. Predicting high risk host species is key to targeting field surveillance and lab experiments that validate host zoonotic potential.

Mortality and Adaptation Options

Quentin De Larochelambert, Andy Marc, Juliana Antero, Eric Le Bourg, Jean-François Toussaint: Covid-19 Mortality: A Matter of Vulnerability Among Nations Facing Limited Margins of Adaptation, in: Frontiers in Public Health, Vol. 8, Artikel 604339, November 2020.

Estimate influenza mortality

A. Danielle Iuliano u.a.: Estimates of global seasonal influenza-associated respiratory mortality: a modelling study, in: The Lancet, Issue. 10127 (2018) Vol. 391, pp. 1285-1300.