Understanding the Pathology
· Do childhood vaccines help protect against SARS-CoV-2? A team of Egyptian virologists inoculated mice with common childhood vaccines (BCG, Pneumococcal, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae, Meningococcal, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) and found no evidence of cross-reacting antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in serum up to seven weeks post-vaccination, suggesting that if childhood vaccines provide protection against SARS-CoV-2, it may not be antibody mediated.
Transmission & Prevention
· How often are discharged patients re-testing positive for SARS-CoV-2? A review of 62 studies evaluating recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in discharged COVID-19 patients found that the proportion of patients with re-positive RT-PCR ranged from 2.4% to 69.2% across studies, occurring from 1-38 days after discharge, which was attributed to false-negative tests prior to discharge, false positive tests following discharge, reinfection, reactivation, and intermittent viral shedding.
Adjusting Practice During COVID-19
· What treatment options should physicians consider for patients with psoriasis? Following a literature review, dermatologists from Tehran, Iran recommend not starting immunosuppressive drugs for psoriatic patients due to an increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 and instead encourage initiating and continuing low-risk immunomodulating drugs as a safer modality.
R&D: Diagnosis & Treatments
· Is there a correlation between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 severity? A retrospective study conducted by various medical institutions in Tehran, Iran investigated 73 subjects with confirmed COVID-19 and found mean serum vitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations were significantly lower in the deceased compared to discharged patients, and higher 25(OH)D levels were associated with less extensive lung involvement, suggesting a potential correlation between vitamin D status and clinical course, extent of lung involvement, and patient outcome in COVID-19.
· What are potential therapies to improve immune reconstitution and decreased cytokine storm? A literature review conducted by hematologists in Chongqing, China assessed delayed immune reconstitution (IR) and cytokine storm (CS) as obstacles in COVID-19 recovery due to the delicate balance between strengthening and inhibiting the immune response at appropriate times, while also observing kinetic changes of lymphocytes and cytokines to guide rational therapies. Their findings suggest IR could potentially be improved with Thymosin alpha-1, while adoptive COVID-19-specific T-cells and CS may be suppressed with convalescent plasma, IL-6 blockade, mesenchymal stem cells, and corticosteroids.