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No Benefit Seen From Plasma Treatment In Severe COVID-19; Virus May Hurt Male Fertility

The following is a roundup of a few of the newest scientific research on the novel coronavirus and efforts to seek out therapies and vaccines for COVID-19, the sickness attributable to the virus.

Plasma therapy reveals no profit in extreme COVID-19

Blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors was of little profit to sufferers with extreme COVID-19 pneumonia, researchers in Argentina reported on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. So-called convalescent plasma, which delivers COVID-19 survivors’ antibodies to contaminated individuals, didn’t enhance critically ailing sufferers’ well being standing or cut back their threat of dying from the illness any higher than a placebo. Researchers randomly assigned 333 hospitalized sufferers with extreme COVID-19 pneumonia to obtain convalescent plasma or a placebo. After 30 days, they noticed no vital variations in sufferers’ signs or well being. Mortality charges have been practically the identical: 11% within the convalescent plasma group and 11.4% within the placebo group, a distinction not deemed statistically vital. It remains to be potential that convalescent plasma would possibly assist less-sick sufferers who get the therapy earlier of their sickness, mentioned examine chief Dr. Ventura Simonovich of the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires. A separate randomized trial from Argentina, posted on Saturday on medRxiv forward of peer assessment, discovered that when aged COVID-19 sufferers obtained convalescent plasma inside 72 hours after their signs started as an alternative of a placebo, they have been considerably much less prone to change into severely ailing. (;;

COVID-19 might harm male fertility

Evidence of testes harm from COVID-19 has been accumulating in a sequence of small post-mortem research, suggesting that the brand new coronavirus might have an effect on male fertility. Researchers from the University of Miami in Florida in contrast testis tissues from six males who died of COVID-19 and three who died of different causes. Three of the COVID-19 sufferers had testis harm that will impair their skill to provide sperm. A Chinese analysis staff made comparable observations earlier this 12 months and in addition discovered that some COVID-19 sufferers’ immune programs “attacked” the testes, inflicting extreme irritation, or orchitis. A separate Chinese staff discovered “significant damage” to the essential mobile tissue of the testicles in 12 males who died of COVID-19. “The chance that COVID-19 damages the testes and impacts fertility … warrants gonadal perform analysis in males contaminated with COVID-19, or who’ve recovered from COVID-19, and need fertility,” the Miami staff concluded in a report revealed within the World Journal of Men’s Health. (;;

Mutations don’t seem to assist coronavirus unfold quicker

The novel coronavirus is selecting up genetic adjustments because it spreads around the globe, however the mutations at the moment documented don’t seem to assist it unfold quicker, scientists mentioned on Wednesday within the journal Nature Communications. Using a worldwide dataset of virus genomes from 46,723 individuals with COVID-19 from 99 nations, researchers recognized greater than 12,700 mutations within the genetic materials of the virus. Of these, the scientists centered on 185 mutations that they discovered had occurred not less than 3 times independently in the course of the course of the pandemic. “Fortunately, we discovered that none of those mutations are making COVID-19 unfold extra quickly,” mentioned coauthor Lucy van Dorp of University College London’s Genetics Institute. Other specialists, nonetheless, have prompt that one mutation, often known as D614G, did enhance transmissibility of the virus. Francois Balloux, a UCL professor who labored on the examine, mentioned that its findings, for now, posed no menace to COVID-19 vaccine efficacy. “The virus may well acquire vaccine-escape mutations in the future, but we’re confident we’ll be able to flag them up promptly, which would allow updating the vaccines in time if required,” he mentioned. (;

Most Americans nonetheless lack COVID-19 antibodies

As of September, the overwhelming majority of U.S. residents nonetheless had not been uncovered to the brand new coronavirus, antibody take a look at outcomes counsel. In all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, researchers seemed for COVID-19 antibodies in practically 178,000 blood samples collected between July and September from sufferers present process exams for non-coronavirus-related causes. In all however just a few states, antibody ranges prompt that lower than 10% of the inhabitants had been contaminated with or recovered from COVID-19. The highest prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies was in New York – the early epicenter of the U.S. outbreak – the place about 25% of blood samples have been constructive by mid-August. In some states, the proportion of individuals with COVID-19 antibodies seemed to be under 1%. So-called seroprevalence charges tended to wane over time, researchers discovered, though they rose in some states, together with Georgia and Minnesota. In a report revealed on Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers mentioned extra work is required to know whether or not and the way the presence of antibodies have an effect on individuals’s vulnerability to COVID-19 reinfection. (;

Open in an exterior browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines and coverings in improvement.

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