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

ASM is keeping the pulse of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In the eye of a pandemic, the need for a trusted, up-to-date resource of coronavirus research plays a crucial role in supporting the scientific community on the frontlines fighting the virus.

This registry includes top-ranked, COVID-19 research articles curated by experts and serves as a resource for scientists working together to address fundamental science and accelerate scientific research on SARS-CoV-2.

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?

COVID-19 Research Registry - Editorial Volume 2

July 20, 2020

Lynn Enquist, Ph.D., Curator-in-Chief
Lynn Enquist, Ph.D., Curator-in-Chief
Three months have passed since the COVID-19 Research Registry was launched. As of today, over 30,000 users have visited the registry. The strong support from the many users of the registry is gratifying. Designed for the scientific research community, the registry will continue to be a trusted source for credible science about COVID-19 in specific, and coronaviruses, in general.

The number of published and pre-print articles continues to accelerate over the past 3 months, which has presented some significant challenges. We screened over 2,500 articles each week to select relevant and high-quality papers to populate the registry. This effort is a partnership between ASM staff and my colleagues in the curatorial board and curators team. I cannot thank them enough for their hard work and contributions!

Besides the sheer volume of papers, another challenge is to balance different viewpoints and to present objective and credible science to the scientific community. It is not easy when new findings come out every week and conflicting results appear. Our goal is to collect the best papers and resolve conflicts by keeping ourselves updated with the rapid development of the field. Your suggestions and opinions are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Starting in Aug., we will add a new activity to the registry.  The curatorial board will host a monthly COVID-19 Registry Virtual Journal Club on the third Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. EST.  The inaugural event will take place on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m. EST. We envision this will be a robust forum to engage the research community and interested learners in scientific discussions, collaborative networking and information sharing on the topic of research and discoveries on SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. Please mark your calendar. Registration information will be available at the beginning of Aug.

Sincerely,


 

Bi-weekly Commentary Letter

Oct. 23, 2020


By Yi-Wei Tang, M.D., Ph.D., F(AAM), FIDSA, Chief Medical Officer, Danaher Diagnostic Platform and Cepheid (China), Shanghai. Dr. Tang is one of the curators of the Registry.
 
Saliva as a Candidate for COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing: A Meta-Analysis by Czumbel, L. M. et al. from Frontiers in Medicine.
 
Although the use of nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) specimens remains the “gold standard” for upper respiratory system sampling, the use of alternative specimens has been widely explored to overcome the supply shortages and to avoid clinician exposure. Saliva, which can be tracked back to 2003 in Hong Kong, when the SARS outbreak occurred, has been proposed as a promising alternative that could simplify and accelerate COVID-19 diagnosis.
 
The article by Czumbel and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis on the reliability and consistency of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA detection in saliva specimens. The systematic search revealed 96 records after removal of duplicates. Twenty-six records were eventually included for analysis. Overall the sensitivity was 91% (CI 80–99%) for saliva tests and 98% (CI 89–100%) for NPS tests in previously confirmed COVID-19 patients, with moderate heterogeneity among the studies. Additionally, 18 registered, ongoing clinical trials of saliva-based tests were also identified for detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The authors concluded that saliva tests offer a promising alternative to NPS for COVID-19 diagnosis; however, further diagnostic accuracy studies are needed to improve their specificity and sensitivity.
 
Due to the nature of the metanalysis, the authors were not able to address the definition and quality control of the saliva. Instead of a simple spit, the ideal “saliva” specimen covering upper respiratory tract for SARS-CoV-2 testing should be a “hock a loggie” specimen, i.e., to cough up and spit out phlegm or saliva. To set up a standard of procedure for collecting the ideal saliva is difficult, especially for patient self collection (Accessed Oct. 7, 2020). In addition, determination and standardization of saliva quality remains an unmet issue in quality assurance and quality control. Regulatory bodies need to catch up to address this deficiency. Until April 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to two devices for use of saliva specimens for COVID-19 infection. Saliva testing on other EUA SARS-CoV-2 devices has been reported and we are looking forward to more independent, scientific analyses to establish their effectiveness.
 
The authors acknowledged a limitation of their paper is the relatively small number of studies and small sample sizes available regarding this topic. Several relevant studies have been published after April 25, 2020 and we are looking forward to next version of metanalysis and literature review covering larger study numbers and sample sizes.

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