Virologist, Associate Professor @LSUHS. I study cytomegalovirus. SARS-CoV-2 dilettante. (he, him). Opinions my own, not my employer's. #LoveVirology
5 added to My Authors
Apr 26 • 17 tweets • 5 min read
A 23-year-old S. African man presented to emergency department w/ 2-day history of fever, mild dyspnea, headache, nausea & myalgias. Symptoms began 5 days after he had traveled to Colorado to ski with friends. TL;DR: he died of herpes simplex in🧠. 🧵 nejm.org/doi/full/10.10…
It's important that people be aware of the risk of #LongCovid, but context matters. If folks who work in hospital emergency departments want to freak everyone out, it's easy to do. There are dozens of protozoa, viruses, fungi & bacteria that can cause awfully frightening outcomes
Apr 26 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
In a 100% vaccinated population, 100% of COVID deaths will be in vaccinated people. 🚨🚨🚨 statements like the one below might drive thousands of visitors to your Patreon/Substack, but on their own they tell you magnificently little about vaccine efficacy.
Many countries prioritize vaccination & boosters for the most susceptible citizens. The lives of the elderly, infirm, & immune suppressed are as precious as anyone else’s. But sadly, more of them will die of breakthrough infections. We must to do more to protect them. But …
Mar 22 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Much chatter regarding BA.2, and also: “What about the next big variant? When will it come?”… in context of USA and other governments curtailing restrictions.. “Is the pandemic over? What’s next?” Thread 🧵 1/6
First, sorry to disappoint but BA.2 is not gonna drive an explosive new wave in USA.. it is slowly replacing BA.1 & BA.1.1.. But this is happening as overall cases are declining. BA.2 will drag out the tail of the Omicron wave here (yes, BA.2 is still Omicron).. 2/6
Mar 21 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
It’s almost as if empiricism, objective reality and even mother nature herself have conspired against lab leak theory..
I mean it’s so f**king weird that absolute experts in viral evolutionary origins keep coming up w/ more & more evidence that SARSCoV2 emerged from nature & made it to the Huanan “seafood” ..cough cough— “wildlife” market via [big reveal] live animal trade academic.oup.com/gbe/article/14…
Mar 8 • 5 tweets • 4 min read
First solid evidence for a Delta #Omicron recombinant virus 🦠 has been shared by @institutpasteur via @GISAID; Accession: EPI_ISL_10819657 -- includes the raw sequencing reads! @WHO@doctorsoumya@RickABright@DrTedros@g20org 🧵
2/ These data + analysis provide a definitive confirmation of an authentic recombinant virus derived from the GK/AY.4 + GRA/BA.1 lineages. The recombinant virus was identified in several regions of France by the EMERGEN consortium & has been circulating since early January 2022
Mar 8 • 8 tweets • 6 min read
Excited to see our minireview live @mbiojournal! @renegadenarwhal, Jason Kwan & I wrote about SARS-CoV-2 Spike evolution 🧵 journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/mb…2/ Hauntingly, in the very last line of our original submission (Oct 20, 2021), we predicted that even though Spike’s RBD’s had been getting more & more “open,” that eventually it would become more “closed” as seroprevalence increased. This is exactly what happened with #Omicron!
USA & Western Europe’s insistence on Public Domain sharing of pathogen genome 🧬 data harms our ability to track viral evolution in real time & to suss out origins of SARS-CoV-2. Incentives matter! #EquitableGenomicSurveillance 🧵
I believe that NCBI /INSDC are critically important resources. But they aren’t built for equitable data sharing. The little people are asked to rapidly share their data via public domain while for profit corporations get to mine these data & sell insights to others in market.
Jan 28 • 11 tweets • 3 min read
Yes.. BA.2 is increasing in USA.. but total is still only 180 entries in GISAID from all of USA, while BA.1 is at 132,497..
If we filter to only samples collected since Jan 10, it's: 127 BA.2 in USA versus 16,407 BA.1
If BA.2 takes over as % of new U.S. cases, as seems plausible, this will happen much more slowly than Omicron displacing Delta... Not maybe as slow as AY4.2 (LOL!) but I'd guess it'll take at least another month.. & will coincide w/ overall waning of the Omicron (BA.1+BA.2) wave
Jan 28 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Sad to learn that Dr. Mia Brytting has died. She contributed hugely to surveillance of RNA viruses: IAV, RSV, echovirus, norovirus, SARSCoV2, etc, studying their epidemiology & evolution & evaluating real-world vaccine efficacy. An incalculable loss! 😢scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&…
So much important work ... eurosurveillance.org/content/10.280…
Jan 27 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
"Learning immunology without the pathogen is like watching a football match without seeing the ball-- you're just seeing players run around and have no idea what's going on.. you'd probably think they are just going mad.." - @askia_tm... 1/5 🧵
.. @askia_tm is a phenomenally intelligent young viral immunologist from Liberia.. He's now studying virology in West Java, Indonesia. The guy is not only smart at science, but is also a blossoming advocate for global public health & for decentralizing competence.. 2/5
Jan 27 • 5 tweets • 4 min read
SARSCoV2 trajectory toward #Omicron is AFAIK 1st 🥇 example of science watching trajectory of viral evolution to fulfill #CanyonHypothesis (more closed entry protein that hides receptor binding domain from antibodies). Beginning of pandemic was opposite: S became more “open” 👇👇
“Mr. Moreau caught the coronavirus during its second wave in 2020 & suffered a stroke while working at his desk. A friend of his died just last weekend. But vaccination has plateaued at 39%, ~24 percentage points lower than the U.S. over all” #VaccinesWorktheglobeandmail.com/world/us-polit…
“It is places such as East Feliciana that are increasingly suffering the consequences. The parish has seen 154 deaths in a population of 19,500, a per-capita rate more than double those of Los Angeles & Chicago, and triple that of New Orleans.”
Jan 21 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
When it comes to #wastewater (ww) detection, all COVID-19 variants — and more broadly, all respiratory viruses, are not created equal. 🧵
Going forward, we need combined approaches to track all sorts of viruses & microbes that threaten our health & our economies: air samplers, ww, and yes: direct samples from people, too (saliva, nasal swabs) & even animals #OneHealth. 2/
Sadly— as highly important as such work is, I’m concerned about the inevitable sound bytes & memetic take away tweets & headlines about how “mild COVID will give you brain damage”... /2
Jan 14 • 14 tweets • 2 min read
You’ll never believe it, but morbid fascination Twitter has tribes… 🧵
..an infodemic of dueling social media pundits pushing warring doomsday scenarios, while others falsely insist the virus is harmless. /2
Vivek's piece in the WSJ argues that policy makers must tolerate the spread of "milder" variants like #Omicron. @angie_rasmussen & others rightfully criticized this Very Bad Idea. There are many things wrong with Vivek's arguments. 🧵 1/n
Firstly, he is just gloriously wrong on the facts. Yes, variants can emerge in the U.S., there are immune compromised (IC) people here & #Omicron and other variants can and do find their way to replicate in IC hosts in USA. (There's also endemic SARS-CoV-2 in Deer). 2/
Jan 11 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
💥 Very important finding: Airborne infectivity of SARS2 🦠 decreases by ~90% within 20 min. The group hasn’t yet tested #Omicron —but overall, this work underscores that crowding indoors drives the pandemic. 🧵 #COVIDisAirborne cc: @EricTopolmedrxiv.org/content/10.110…
“We report changes in the infectivity of the airborne virus over timescales spanning from 5 s to 20 minutes and demonstrate the role of two microphysical processes in this infectivity loss: particle crystallisation and aerosol droplet pH change.”
Dec 10, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Friday afternoon epiphany. Team LabLeak are not "like creationists." They ARE creationists: (1) They claim humans 'created' the coronavirus. (2) They ignore evidence & move goal posts. (3) They come up with stats-based arguments that evince a total misunderstanding of evolution.
Listen to Susan Weiss. It’d be incredibly, incredibly hard to engineer a virus that has a presymptomatic infectious stage like SARS2 does. We don’t know how to do that. COVID-19 isn’t a human creation.
Dec 7, 2021 • 10 tweets • 6 min read
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...