Top COVID-19 Research: Timely, Curated and Vetted by Experts

From the Curator-in-Chief's Deskā€”Sept. 24, 2021

Lynn Enquist
Lynn Enquist, Ph.D., Curator-in-Chief
COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Authorized for Older Adults

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized booster doses of the Pfizer & BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine for select groups. The CDC endorsed boosters at least 6 months after vaccination for individuals 65 and older, long-term care residents, individuals with underlying medical conditions and those with high "occupational exposure." These additional doses are intended to "boost" protection against COVID-19. However, there is debate if vaccine boosters are needed for the general population. COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide effective and durable protection against hospitalization for at least 20 weeks across all age groups as reported in a preprint by de Gier, B., et al. Stay updated on the latest science about boosters at the COVID-19 Research Registry’s new section about Vaccine Boosters.

Vaccines Induce Durable Protective Immunity

Recent data indicate vaccines induce enduring immunity. El Sahly, H., et al. showed in The New England Journal of Medicine the Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine remained highly protective against COVID-19 for at least 5 months post full vaccination. In Science, Mateus, J., et al. demonstrated the mRNA-1273 vaccine elicited immune memory SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and antibodies for at least 6 months. For the Janssen Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, Polinski, J., et al. determined the efficacy against infection (79%) and hospitalizations (81%) remained stable over time while the Delta variant became dominate. Dr. Catherine J. Pachuk, Chief Science Officer, Marizyme, Inc., addressed the longevity of protection from this vaccine in this week’s commentary on the article "Durability of antibody responses elicited by a single dose of Ad26.COV2.S and substantial increase following late boosting." Sadoff, J., et al. observed stable neutralizing antibody titers for 8 to 9 months post vaccination with the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, though titers decreased over 2-fold in those 65 and older. The authors also followed a group who received an additional dose 6 months after vaccination, finding a rapid 9-fold increase in antibody levels after the booster. Pachuk notes this rapid response indicates primary vaccination induced "robust immune memory," suggesting vaccinated individuals may be protected against severe COVID-19.

Are Boosters Needed to Overcome Coronavirus Adaptive Evolution?

Published in Nature, Schmidt, F., et al. reported that highly resistant SARS-CoV-2 strains can be neutralized by sera from individuals infected then vaccinated. These data highlight the resilience of the immune response and indicate a high-level of viral evolution is needed for complete immune escape. Thank you to presenter Dr. Jesse Bloom and panelists Drs. Sarah Cobey, Katia Koelle and Dylan Morris for discussing this topic at our COVID-19 Research Registry Virtual Journal Club. And thank you to everyone who joined our robust discussion on the impact of adaption evolution for immune escape and a possible need for boosters. All the panelists stressed that current vaccines are highly effective and vaccinating the global population should be a priority. Vaccine inequity currently exists where only 2.2% of people from low-income countries have received at least one dose, with Cobey stating that "boosters coming at the expense of first vaccinations" may not be the most effective strategy to control the pandemic globally.

Lynn Enquist, Ph.D.
COVID-19 Research Registry Curator-in-Chief

BASIC VIROLOGY

How is the genome of SARS-CoV-2 evolving? What mechanism does the coronavirus use to target human cells? How does the immune system react to SARS-CoV-2?

 

CLINICAL DIAGNOSTICS

Will serology provide the ultimate answer? Does the existence of the antibody equal protection due to antibody neutralization? How often should patients be tested?

TREATMENT

What are the results of the newest treatment? What drugs are in the pipeline? What are the latest outcomes from clinical trials?
 

 

PREVENTION

What are the different kinds of vaccines? Do coronaviruses evolve to escape vaccines? What have we learned from work with Ebola virus and SARS vaccines development?

EPIDEMIOLOGY

How does a pandemic start? How long will this pandemic last: can data models give us some hints? COVID-19 affects people differently depending on their age, how does this affect transmission? How does social distancing influence transmission rates?

 

GENERAL REVIEWS

Scientifically speaking, what is a coronavirus? What are the similarities and differences in structure and activities of SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2? What is the PK/PD of Remdesivir?

Biweekly Commentary Letter

Sept. 24, 2021

By Catherine J. Pachuk, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Marizyme, Inc., Jupiter, Fla. Pachuk is one of the curators of the Registry. 

Educational Resources

Who We Are

Coronavirus experts and ASM staff working together to bring forward the top COVID-19 research studies to the community.


Email
suggestions for research to be highlighted in the COVID-19 Registry.