Scientists develop effective intranasal mumps-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate

New research has advanced COVID-19 vaccine work in several ways: using a modified live attenuated mumps virus for delivery, showing that a more stable coronavirus spike protein stimulates a stronger immune response, and suggesting a dose up the nose has an advantage over a shot.

Mount Sinai Researchers Develop a Rapid Test to Measure Immunity to COVID-19

Mount Sinai researchers have developed a rapid blood assay that measures the magnitude and duration of someone’s immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This test will allow large-scale monitoring of the population’s immunity and the effectiveness of current vaccines to help design revaccination strategies for vulnerable immunosuppressed individuals, according to a study published in Nature Biotechnology in June.

Study: Obesity raises the risk of gum disease by inflating growth of bone-destroying cells

Chronic inflammation caused by obesity may trigger the development of cells that break down bone tissue, including the bone that holds teeth in place, according to new University at Buffalo research that sought to improve understanding of the connection between obesity and gum disease.

Einstein-Developed Treatment Strategy May Lead to HIV Cure

Armed with a novel strategy they developed for bolstering the body’s immune response, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have successfully suppressed HIV infections in mice—offering a path to a functional cure for HIV and other chronic viral infections. Their findings were published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

LLNL joins Human Vaccines Project to accelerate vaccine development and understanding of immune response

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has joined the international Human Vaccines Project, bringing Lab expertise and computing resources to the consortium to aid development of a universal coronavirus vaccine and improve understanding of immune response.

World-first COVID vaccine booster randomized clinical trial in transplant patients proves third shot is very effective

The study enrolled 120 transplant patients between May 25th and June 3rd. None of them had COVID previously and all of them had received two doses of the Moderna vaccine. Half of the participants received a third shot of the vaccine (at the 2-month mark after their second dose) and the other half received placebo.
The primary outcome was based on antibody level greater than 100 U/ml against the spike protein of the virus. In the placebo group – after three doses (where the third dose was placebo), the response rate was only 18% whereas in the Moderna three-dose group, the response rate was 55%.

Studying how microbiome affects immunity could improve vaccine effectiveness

A new grant will help Iowa State University researchers figure out how the microbiome, or all the microorganisms that live inside and on human systems, affects immunity and the effectiveness of vaccines. Not everyone responds to vaccines in identical ways, and the researchers will search for ways humans can adjust their microbiomes to optimize vaccine response.

For Transplant Recipients, Third Time May Be the Charm for Better COVID Vaccine Protection

In a study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they believe that, for the first time, there is evidence to show that three doses of vaccine increase antibody levels against SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID 19 — more than the standard two-dose regimen for people who have received solid organ transplants.

Organ Transplant Recipients Remain Vulnerable to Covid-19 Even After Second Vaccine Dose

In a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers show that although two doses of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID 19 — confers some protection for people who have received solid organ transplants, it’s still not enough to enable them to dispense with masks, physical distancing and other safety measures.

Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

NEWS STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:

PREGNANT AFTER THE FIRST DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE — NOW WHAT?
STUDY SHOWS VACCINES MAY PROTECT AGAINST NEW COVID-19 STRAINS … AND MAYBE THE COMMON COLD
EXPANDED DASHBOARD TOOL RANKS ACCESSIBILITY OF STATE VACCINE WEBSITES

Apes show dramatically different early immune responses compared to monkeys

A new study out of the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in humans, chimpanzees, rhesus macaques and baboons has found key differences in early gene expression in response to pathogen exposure, highlighting the importance of choosing the right animal model for the right questions.

MAJORITY OF CANCER PATIENTS WITH COVID-19 HAVE SIMILAR IMMUNE RESPONSE TO PEOPLE WITHOUT CANCER

Most people with cancer who are infected by the novel coronavirus produce antibodies at a rate comparable to the rest of the population—but their ability to do so depends on their type of cancer and the treatments they’ve received, according to a new study by researchers at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The findings, published online today in Nature Cancer, may lead to better care for cancer patients, who face a heightened risk of dying from COVID-19, and suggests that cancer patients should respond well to COVID-19 vaccines.

Protecting lungs from ventilator-induced injury

An unfortunate truth about using mechanical ventilation to save lives is that the pressure can cause further lung damage. Scientists are working to boost a natural cellular process in pursuit of a therapy that could lower the chances for lung damage in patients on ventilators.

New Johns Hopkins Center for Research on COVID-19 Immunity

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have been jointly awarded a major grant from the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, to set up a center for research on the human serological immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Study: Turning a coronavirus protein into a nanoparticle could be key to an effective COVID-19 vaccine

One of the proteins on the virus – located on the characteristic COVID spike – has a component called the receptor-binding domain, or RBD, which is its “Achilles heel.” That is, he said, antibodies against this part of the virus have the potential to the neutralize the virus.

Blocking Immune System Pathway May Stop COVID-19 Infection, Prevent Severe Organ Damage

While the world waits eagerly for a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infections from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers also are focusing on better understanding how SARS-CoV-2 attacks the body in the search for other means of stopping its devastating impact. The key to one possibility — blocking a protein that enables the virus to turn the immune system against healthy cells — has been identified in a recent study by a team of Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers.

What looked like COVID-19 wasn’t; Beaumont ER doctor’s instinct, tenacity paid off for local business executive

Gary Corbin, 63, dropped a heavy hurricane window shutter, which gashed his leg before it hit the ground. After wintering in Florida, this resident of Grosse Pointe Farms had been helping his significant other close down her Palm Beach Gardens home before they returned to Michigan in mid-June. He treated the wound and kept it covered on the drive north.

Coronavirus antibodies fall dramatically in first 3 months after mild cases of COVID-19

A study by UCLA researchers shows that in people with mild cases of COVID-19, antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes the disease — drop sharply over the first three months after infection, decreasing by roughly half every 73 days. If sustained at that rate, the antibodies would disappear within about a year.

Arthritis Drug Presents Promise as Treatment for COVID-19 Pneumonia

UC San Diego Health has launched a Phase III clinical trial to assess whether a medication used to treat rheumatoid might also have therapeutic value for patient with COVID-19 who have developed or are at high risk of developing serious lung damage from SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Penn Study Paves Way for New Vaccines to Protect Infants Against Infections

A new Penn Medicine study puts researchers within closer reach of vaccines that can protect infants against infections by overcoming a mother’s antibodies, which are known to shut down immune defenses initiated by conventional vaccines. That hurdle largely explains why vaccinations for infectious diseases like influenza and measles not given until six to 12 months of age. Findings from the preclinical study were published online today in Science Translational Medicine.