By Nancy Lapid
Jan 19 (Reuters) – The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review.
Rapid antigen tests may be unreliable in children
When used in children, rapid antigen tests for detecting the coronavirus do not meet accuracy criteria set by the World Health Organization and U.S. and UK device regulators, according to researchers who reviewed 17 studies of the tests.
The trials evaluated six brands of tests in more than 6,300 children and teenagers through May 2021. In all but one study, the tests were administered by trained workers. Overall, compared to PCR tests, the antigen tests failed to detect the virus in 36% of infected children, the researchers reported on Tuesday in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine https://ebm.bmj.com/content/early/2022/01/04/bmjebm-2021-111828. Among children with symptoms, it missed 28% of infections. Among infected kids without symptoms, the tests missed the virus in 44%. Only about 1% of the time did the tests mistakenly diagnose the virus in a child who was not actually infected.
Given that more than 500 antigen tests are available in Europe alone, the authors said, "the performance of most antigen tests under real-life conditions remains unknown." But the new findings "cast doubt on the effectiveness" of rapid antigen tests for widespread testing in schools, they concluded.
Breastmilk transmission of COVID-19 unlikely
A new study appears to confirm smaller, earlier studies that suggested nursing mothers are unlikely to transmit the coronavirus in breastmilk.
Between March and September 2020, researchers obtained multiple breastmilk samples from 110 lactating women, including 65 with positive COVID-19 tests, 36 with symptoms who had not been tested, and a control group of 9 women with negative COVID-19 tests. Seven women (6%) – six with positive tests and one who had not been tested – had non-infectious genetic material (RNA) from the virus in their breastmilk, but none of the samples had any evidence of active virus, according to a report published on Wednesday in Pediatric Research https://www.nature.com/articles/s41390-021-01902-y. Why breastmilk would contain coronavirus RNA but not infectious virus is unclear, said study leader Dr. Paul Krogstad of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, "Breastmilk is known to contain protective factors against infection, including antibodies that reflect both the mother's exposure to viruses and other infectious agents and to vaccines she has received," he noted.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/care-for-breastfeeding-women.html that before breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or expressing milk, women with COVID-19 should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. The CDC also recommends that they wear a mask when within 6 feet (1.8 meters) of the baby.
New technique may speed vaccine, antibody drug development
Researchers are working on a way to speed development of vaccines and monoclonal antibody drugs for COVID-19 and other illnesses, shortening the time from collection of volunteers' blood samples to identification of potentially useful antibodies from months to weeks.
As described in Science Advances https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abk2039 on Wednesday, the new technique employs cryo-electron microscopy, or cryoEM, which involves freezing the biological sample to view it with the least possible distortion. Currently, "generation of monoclonal antibodies involves several steps, is expensive, and typically takes somewhere on the order of two to three months, and at the end of that process you still need to perform structural analysis of the antibodies" to figure out where they attach themselves to their target, and how they actually work, explained Andrew Ward of Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.
In experiments using the new approach to look for antibodies to HIV, "we flipped the process on its head… by starting with structure," Ward said. Because cryoEM affords such high resolution, instead of having to laboriously sort through antibody-producing immune cells one by one to identify promising antibodies, the process of identifying antibodies, mapping their structure and seeing how they are likely to attack viruses and other targets goes much faster, he added. "The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for such robust and rapid technologies," his team concluded.
Click for a Reuters graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) has come a long way in just two years. The biotech company developed one of the leading coronavirus vaccines in about nine months — and has since made billions of dollars in vaccine revenue and profit.
Here’s what you should have on hand in case you test positive
Abbott is a major pharmaceutical company best known for its medical devices, diagnostics, and pediatric and adult nutritional products — think Pedialyte or Similac. This year, it's being crowned as a dividend king — meaning the company has increased its annual dividend for 50 consecutive years. Excluding COVID-testing-related sales, Abbott still boasts a nearly 12% increase over pre-pandemic 2019 sales for the quarter.
The Biden administration aims to make 400 million N95 masks available to all Americans for free at pharmacies and community health centers next week, a White House official said per The Wall Street…
Here's what we know so far about COVID-19 immunity
More than 360 patients took their own lives after being treated by a mental health trust that was warned 15 times to improve care by coroners in the last five years, a Telegraph investigation has found.
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/GettyLast month, a British man launched a site allowing visitors to type in COVID-19 vaccine lot numbers, the codes that identify batches of the safe and effective shots, and call up the number of alleged deaths and injuries associated with them.These figures are drawn from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The safety monitoring database, operated jointly by the CDC and FDA, encourages people to submit reports of anything
Mirati Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: MRTX) has announced data from a Phase 2 cohort of the KRYSTAL-1 study evaluating adagrasib at the 600mg BID dose in pretreated patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and other gastrointestinal (GI) tumors. As of September 10, 2021, the subset of patients with GI cancers harboring a KRASG12C mutation enrolled in the adagrasib monotherapy arm (n=30). Of the evaluable patients (n=27), the objective response rate (ORR) was 41%, and the disease control rate (D
Marin Konstadt, visiting family in Florida, was at the opera in 2020 when she got a call on her cellphone. She called back at intermission. The caller, a genetics specialist at a hospital, had some important news for her. She has a genetic variant that can increase her disease risk. Did she want to know more? Konstadt, 69, a psychiatric nurse practitioner who lives in Salem, Massachusetts, had been thrust like many other Americans into a raging debate on medical ethics and genetics. In 2016, she
A recurring thread of press coverage suggests that American grocery stores are starting to have so many empty shelves that they resemble the despondent Soviet-era world of scarce food.Yes, but: It's not so simple. Overall, product availability is consistent with its levels over the entirety of the pandemic — though there are reasons people may be feeling shortage more acutely.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Why it matters: People want to buy the groceri
HandoutRosie Diven, a mother of three in rural South Carolina, had no idea her 16-year-old son had COVID-19 until a fearsome syndrome nearly killed him.Branson Diven had been vomiting and suffering a loss of appetite when Rosie brought him to an urgent care center near their home in Hartsville on Dec. 10. He did not have classic COVID symptoms such as a sore throat or a cough, and after testing negative for COVID and positive for flu, he was sent home under the assumption he would soon be better
Contactless grocery store Nourish + Bloom Market opened to the public Friday in Trilith’s Town Centre retail district in Atlanta. Husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Jamie and Jilea Hemmings started the grocery store and bistro to offer over 1,000 locally sourced, healthy food products, including produce, meats, baked goods, dairy and prepared meals. The Hemmings began their startup journey years ago when their oldest child was diagnosed with autism at age two.
For nearly two years now, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge to public health and healthcare systems around the world. It has also had a ripple effect on HIV services, rai…
Dr. Owais Durrani, Emergency Medicine Physician, joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss including the booster shot in definitions of being fully vaccinated, monitoring and testing for potential COVID symptoms, transmissibility in hospitals for non-COVID patients, and the outlook on variant case numbers.
There was no shortage of market-moving headlines in Thursday’s session: Netflix’s subscriber growth outlook let down investors, while battered tech stocks struggled to claw their way out of correction territory.
Powecom is one of the only KN95 mask brands authorized by the FDA.
While the vaccine focus has centered around COVID, American teens and adults have missed out on tens of millions of other CDC recommended shots, a new analysis released exclusively to Axios shows. Why it matters: It's yet another example of deferred preventative care during the pandemic — including kidney care and cancer screenings — which could ultimately turn into a major problem across the U.S. later.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.The claims analysi
For many who looked up to these stars for being comfortable in their skin — and for learning to love their own larger bodies as a result — watching the celebs go on to shed weight can feel like the ultimate betrayal.
Delays to a new heritage payments scheme for farmers risk "erasing and damaging history", with monuments including Hadrian’s Wall under threat, the National Trust has warned.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a Friday briefing that the agency is working to "pivot" its language regarding what it means to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
COVID SCIENCE-Study casts doubt on reliability of rapid antigen tests in kids; COVID transmission through breastmilk unlikely – Yahoo Finance
By Nancy Lapid