SARS-CoV-2 variants, spike mutations and immune escape
nature.com/articles/s4157…
Recent studies have shown the potential selective pressure exerted by convalescent plasma and mAb treatments on SARS-CoV-2 evolution in immunocompromised individuals
Such circumstances, involving long-term virus shedders, may have contributed to the sporadic emergence of the more heavily mutated variants (for example, seen in the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 lineages)
Given that therapeutics (vaccines and antibody-based therapies) target mainly the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, the selection pressures that favour the emergence of new variants carrying immune escape mutations generated in chronic infections
will be similar to those selecting for mutations that allow reinfections within the wider population.
An important part of this process will be the preparation of updated vaccines tailored to emerging antigenic variants that are maximally cross-reactive against all circulating variants.

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23 Jul
Israel says Pfizer vaccine efficacy in preventing infection drops to 39% ynetnews.com/health_science…
Health Ministry report shows vaccine's efficacy is also down when it comes to preventing serious illness, 91%, and hospitalizations, 88%; recently 5,770 fully vaccinated people were diagnosed with COVID, 495 were hospitalized, 123 died
Pfizer Vaccine Efficacy Drop in Israel - Health Ministry Data among 20-49 years old Image
Read 7 tweets
22 Jul
BNT162b2 vaccine (Pfizer) breakthrough: clinical characteristics of 152 fully vaccinated hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Israel

clinicalmicrobiologyandinfection.com/article/S1198-…
A total of 152 patients were included, accounting for half of hospitalized fully vaccinated patients in Israel. Poor outcome was noted in 38 patients and mortality rate reached 22% (34/152).
Higher viral load was associated with a significant risk for poor outcome. Risk also appeared higher in patients receiving anti-CD20 treatment and in patients with low titres of anti-Spike IgG, but these differences did not reach statistical significance.
Read 5 tweets
21 Jul
Covaxin output to increase to 58mn doses per month, RS told hindustantimes.com/india-news/cov…
Bharat Biotech aims to increase the production capacity of Covaxin, its anti Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine, to 58 million (5.8 crore) from the existing 25 (2.5 crore) million doses per month, replied minister of state (health) to Rajya Sabha
The figures fall short of what the government announced earlier as part of Covaxin production scale up which was expected to touch 7.5 Crores by July-August.
Read 30 tweets
21 Jul
Facebook Wanted NSO Spyware Pegasus to Monitor Users, NSO CEO Claims - vice.com/en/article/pke…
According to a declaration from NSO CEO Shalev Hulio, two Facebook representatives approached NSO in October 2017 and asked to purchase the right to use certain capabilities of Pegasus.
At the time, Facebook was in the early stages of deploying a VPN product called Onavo Protect, which, unbeknownst to some users, analyzed the web traffic of users who downloaded it to see what other apps they were using.
Read 17 tweets
20 Jul
Spike-antibody waning after second dose of BNT162b2 (Pfizer) or ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca) thelancet.com/journals/lance…
A significant trend of declining S-antibody levels was seen with time for both ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca) and BNT162b2 (Pfizer) with levels reducing by about five-fold for ChAdOx1, and by about two-fold for BNT162b2, between 21–41 days and 70 days or more after the second dose.
This trend remained consistent when results were stratified by sex, age, and clinical vulnerability. For BNT162b2, S-antibody levels reduced from a median of 7506 U/mL (IQR 4925–11 950) at 21–41 days, to 3320 U/mL (1566–4433) at 70 or more days.
Read 10 tweets
19 Jul
#CIAFiles

Declassified CIA documents show that the agency had started gathering intelligence at least seven months before Copenhagen. Ahead of the summit, the CIA’s Office of the Chief Scientist ìsupported
and fundedî an extensive study on  “India -The impact of climate change to 2030: Geopolitical implications.”
The study suggested that the US pre-negotiate with India about the climate change issues and find a common ground outside the public and international eye.
Read 10 tweets

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