1/ We in wealthy nations not only hoard vaccines 💉. We also hoard the genome sequencing 🧬 reagents needed for early detection of dangerous new variants like #Omicron which— coincidentally— emerge much more easily in poorly vaccinated regions …🧵 ft.com/content/4597ed…
2/ This problem stems from short-sighted scientific & political leadership in the West, exemplified by the attitude of @emblebi @embl co-Director Rolf Apfweiler in his May 2021 quote to @amymaxmen. THESE WORDS HAVE NOT AGED WELL IN WAKE OF #Omicron 🤦🏻‍♂️ nature.com/articles/d4158… Fears of exploitation haven...
3/ This quote from Peter Bogner of @GISAID juxtapose hauntingly against Apfweiler’s .. (but please read the whole @FT piece ft.com/content/4597ed…) Screenshot of excerpt from ...
4/ African countries don’t have nearly enough viral genome 🧬 sequencing reagents on hand to analyze their COVID-19 samples,…while wealthy, well vaccinated countries boast of sequencing millions of viral genomes. Screenshot of an excerpt fr...
5/ When it comes to viral genomic surveillance during the coronavirus pandemic, we are gilding the lily in the West while poorer countries are in the dark.
6/ Yet even when scientists in Africa succeed— in spite of these challenges, to warn us of a variant like #Omicron, we don’t give them credit. We ignore their positive contributions to science. Instead, we punish them with travel bans..
7/ PHENOMENAL REPORTING by @donatopmancini @mroliverbarnes in @FT, @OTMBrooke of @WNYCStudios@onthemedia & @amymaxmen of @Nature… Thanks for bringing attention to this critical issue that threatens our health, our jobs & our economies in countries rich & poor alike 🌍 🌎 🙏
Rolf *Apweiler
8/ Addendum below…also, 🙏 thank you, @drSikhulileMoyo (pls follow him)

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More from @macroliter

7 Dec
1/ Did you know @Vir_Biotech's Sotrovimab antibody neutralizes OG 2003 SARS & SARS-CoV-2 variants -- even #Omicron? Since Sotrovimab was cloned from the memory B-cells of someone who recovered from COVID19, many recipients of current vaccines will develop similar antibodies...
2/ The @Vir_Biotech Humabs team found Sotrovimab by looking for antibodies that neutralized both 2003 SARS & SARS-CoV-2... nature.com/articles/s4158…
3/ But what if we could develop vaccines that trained our immune system to produce "broadly neutralizing antibodies" that can inactivate all SARS-like viruses? Not such a new idea.. Similar strategies have been proposed for influenza & even HIV! nature.com/articles/natur…
Read 10 tweets
26 Nov
👋Hi Journalists! Are you interested in covering the new B.1.1.529 #B11529 variant🦠? Here's a link to a TABLE with the names & institutions of THE PEOPLE WHO DISCOVERED THIS VARIANT & SHARED THEIR DATA via the @GISAID community.
PLEASE REACH OUT! 🙏 dropbox.com/s/vb6k9l6ekl24…
In Botswana you have, for example the source of
@GISAID Accession ID: EPI_ISL_6752027, virus sample collected Nov 21, 2021, these authors from the Botswana @Harvard HIV reference laboratory...
Let me tell you their names, Sikhulile Moyo, Wonderful T. Choga, Dorcas Maruapula, Keoratile Ntshambiwa, Sefetogi Ramaologa, Thongbotho Mphoyakgosi, Boitumelo Zuze, Botshelo Radibe, Legodile Kooepile, Ontlametse T. Bareng, Pamela Smith-Lawrence, Kgomotso Moruisi, Roger Shapiro
Read 10 tweets
25 Nov
JOURNALISTS … please! Scientists in Africa absolutely did share these viral genome 🧬 data as part of the GISAID community. That’s how @PeacockFlu was able to see it. Their work is how these variants are known at all. These scientists have names, too. 😠 newsweek.com/b-1-1-529-new-…
FOR EXAMPLE… here’s a thread 🧵 from one of the scientists in Africa who has helped lead this very important work.
Read 8 tweets
23 Nov
Speaking out that “COVID is airborne” was helpful and important. But muckraking on COVID-19’s origins is a bit tawdry, TBH. 🧵
I abhor gatekeeping but there are actual experts and it’s worth listening to them.
Where did COVID-19 come from? If you look at the most careful analyses, the wet market is screaming hot & underscores a very high likelihood of natural emergence.
Read 5 tweets
14 Oct
Some very good "let's-not-make-a-scariant" coverage from @NOLAnews..it was a pleasure to talk to @emily_woodruff_ about the B.1.630 variant.. Also.. it's important to note that I'm speaking of "Collection Dates" NOT "Submission Dates". Backstory 🧵:
Why was this news? Our team recently sequenced some Aug 2021 samples from the Baton Rouge clinic & found 2 that were B.1.630. B.1.630 is a noteworthy variant 👀 with a freaky number of convergent Spike mutations shared by "Variants of Concern".. BUT... outbreak.info/situation-repo…
Even tho B.1.630 shares L452R with Delta, D950N with both Mu & Delta..and its T478K is almost like Delta's T478R, and it has H655Y like Gamma, & its E484Q is analogous to E484K found in many VOC/VOI, .......B.1.630 just can't complete with Delta.
Read 11 tweets
2 Oct
Hey, y'all.. I deleted my earlier tweet relaying a concern that #Molupiravir might also mutagenize our own DNA. Why did I delete it? Because I was wrong. An expert who I absolutely trust DM'd me to say the following: 🧵 (TL;DR: my concern is unfounded)
"People don’t realize how much sequencing & safety studies have been done just to get to this point. And it is far far less mutagenic (if at all) than the deoxy nucleotide analogs that have been used long-term for HIV patients for decades!"
My colleague added: "Molnupiravir is only used temporarily and has a short window of therapeutic efficacy (as for any respiratory pathogen drug). This will be more life saving for flu treatment than oseltamivir when it gets finally approved for flu." #AntiviralsWork
Read 4 tweets

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