Transmission & Prevention
· mRNA vaccination could boost cross-variant neutralizing antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Infectious disease experts, microbiologists, and immunologists from the United States and Canada examined whether sera collected from naïve and recovered donors before and after immunization with SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines could neutralize Wuhan-Hu-1 and B.1.351 variants. They found that sera from recovered donors pre-vaccination neutralized the variants, but immunization boosted neutralizing antibody titers against all variants by up to 1,000 times. The authors underscore the importance of vaccinating individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 as a means of producing cross-variant neutralizing antibodies.
Adjusting Practice During COVID-19
· Safety and increased screening need to be further considered for lung transplants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pediatricians and infectious disease physicians from Texas, Ohio, Virginia, and Pittsburgh present a case involving a solid lung transplant donor, dying from head trauma, with a negative RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 from upper respiratory tract (URT) sample, as well as negative donor risk assessment interview (UDRAI) determined by organ procurement organizations (OPO). However, shortly after transplant both the recipient and the handling surgeon developed COVID-19, with the recipient ultimately succumbing to disease. As all parties involved had seemingly negative SARS-CoV-2 results prior to surgery, further investigation was performed with a whole genome sequencing from stored bronchoalveolar lavage of lower respiratory tract (LRT) from all three people, revealing a common origin of infection from the donor. The authors suggest, that although an isolated case, this example highlights the need for additional transplant screening during COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the setting of lung transplants.