· A study of 47 COVID-19 patients in JiangXi Province, China found that patients whose SARS-CoV-2 oropharyngeal nucleic acid tests turned negative slowly (over more than one week) were significantly more fatigued than patients whose tests turned negative rapidly (within one week), suggesting fatigue may be a clinical sign of persistent active SARS-CoV-2 infection.
· A case series found that out of 3,375 patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), 3 were infected with COVID-19. All 3 were treated with various immunosuppressive therapies (including hydroxychloroquine) and needed escalating treatment regimens in conjunction with COVID-19 infection treatment. However, the low number of total infections among SLE patients suggests there is not a major burden of COVID-19 infection among the SLE patient population.
· Cardiologists and Infectious Disease physicians analyzed the effect of hydroxychloroquine + moxifloxacin (HCQ + MOX) on corrected QT interval (QTc) in 76 COVID-19 pneumonia patients and found that QTc increased from a mean baseline of 424 ms to 442 ms after 5 days; however, there were no incidences of atrial or ventricular arrhythmia during the short, 5 day study.
· Obstetricians at Johns Hopkins reviewed 20 studies of COVID-19 positive pregnant women in the UK (n=618) and France (n=413) and found that severe COVID-19 is more likely in pregnant women than non-pregnant women and trans-placental infection of SARS-CoV-2 is rare but possible. Overall, however, the effects of fetal SARS-CoV-2 infection are poorly understood at this time and warrant further study.
R&D: Diagnosis & Treatments
· This review conducted by nanophotonic scientists from Spain provides an overview of current COVID-19 diagnostic techniques, while discussing optical biosensors and their potential as new COVID-19 diagnostic tools for intact virus detection, nucleic acid detection, and serological tests. The researchers argue that the application of nanophotonic biosensors for rapid point-of-care diagnosis and large-scale screening could support more efficient patient isolation and control of COVID-19 transmission.
· Italian immunologists conducted an observational longitudinal study of 20 admitted COVID-19-positive patients treated with baricitinib compared to a control group of 56 patients. They found that baricitinib modulates the immune system by inhibiting the over-tuned inflammatory response in COVID-19, including IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha. The authors believe this trial of baricitinib exhibits promising results toward dampening the progression of COVID-19 infection to severe disease.