With Time and Without Masks, COVID-19 Vaccines Wane in Protection

A study measured effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines among health workers, most notably during the emergence of delta virus variant and coincident with end of state’s mask mandate, finding protection waned over time, dropping sharply 6-8 months after full vaccination.

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%.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Researchers Identify Approach for Potential Nontypeable Haemophilus Influenzae Vaccine

Scientists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have identified two proteins that could be used for a potential vaccine against nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi). Working in a mouse model, the investigators found that administering two bacterial adhesive proteins that play a key role in helping the bacteria to latch on to respiratory cells and initiate respiratory tract infection stimulated protective immunity against diverse NTHi strains, highlighting the vaccine potential.

UCI-led study finds that cancer immunotherapy may self-limit its efficacy

Irvine, Calif., June 21, 2021 — Cancer immunotherapy involving drugs that inhibit CTLA-4 also activates an unwanted response that may self-limit its efficacy in fighting tumors, according to a new study led by Francesco Marangoni, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology & biophysics and member of the Institute for Immunology at the University of California, Irvine.

Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19

NEWS STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:

-Physician and Musician: Johns Hopkins Doctor Brings Passion for Music to Medicine During Pandemic
-Rapid, At-Home Blood Test Could Confirm COVID-19 Vaccination in Minutes
-What to Expect and Prepare for As You Return to Regular Health Care Appointments
-Study Suggests Sudden Hearing Loss Not Associated with COVID-19 Vaccination
-Vaccination May Not Rid COVID-19 Risk for Those with Rheumatic, Musculoskeletal Diseases

Low on Antibodies, Blood Cancer Patients Can Fight off COVID-19 with T Cells

Antibodies aren’t the only immune cells needed to fight off COVID-19 — T cells are equally important and can step up to do the job when antibodies are depleted, suggests a new Penn Medicine study of blood cancer patients with COVID-19 published in Nature Medicine.

Higher Pollen Levels Correlated With Increased Coronavirus Infection Rates

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 9, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick allergy specialist Leonard Bielory is available for interviews on a study he co-authored that correlates higher airborne pollen concentrations with increased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates. High-risk individuals should wear particle filter…

New study finds reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 in healthy young adults is common

MEDIA ADVISORY Paper title: SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity and subsequent infection risk in healthy young adults: a prospective cohort study Corresponding Author:  Stuart C. Sealfon, MD, Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience and Pharmacological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Bottom Line: Although…

Antibiotics for C-sections Effective After Umbilical Cord Clamped

Antibiotics for cesarean section births are just as effective when they’re given after the umbilical cord is clamped as before clamping – the current practice – and could benefit newborns’ developing microbiomes, according to Rutgers co-authored research. The study, by far the largest of its kind and published in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, challenges current recommendations for antibiotic use. Administering antibiotics after clamping does not increase the risk of infection at the site of C-section incisions, the study concludes.

Pre-existing influenza immunity impacts antibody quality following seasonal infection and vaccination

New research by scientists at the University of Chicago suggests a person’s antibody response to influenza viruses is dramatically shaped by their pre-existing immunity, and that the quality of this response differs in individuals who are vaccinated or naturally infected. Their results highlight the importance of receiving the annual flu vaccine to induce the most protective immune response.

Study takes us a step closer to a universal antibody test for COVID-19

A study released by Houston Methodist Sept. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation takes researchers closer to developing a uniform, universal COVID-19 antibody test. The multicenter collaboration tested alternative ways to measure COVID-19 antibody levels that’s faster, easier and can inexpensively be used on a larger scale to accurately identify potential donors for plasma therapy with the best chance of helping patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Pregnant mother’s immunity tied to behavioral, emotional challenges for kids with autism

Children with autism born to mothers who had immune conditions during their pregnancy are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems, a UC Davis Health study has found. Offspring sex may also interact with maternal immune conditions to influence outcomes, particularly in terms of a child’s cognition.

Mount Sinai Researchers Discover Treatment Option for Rare Genetic Disorder

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine used a novel genetic sequencing technology to identify the genetic cause of—and a treatment for—a previously unknown severe auto inflammatory syndrome affecting an 18-year-old girl since infancy.

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.

Scientists May Have a Way to Let Preemies Breathe Easier

The continuing epidemic of pre-term birth includes this stark reality: tiny, fragile babies are born with underdeveloped lungs and prone to lifelong respiratory infections and related chronic illnesses. Cincinnati Children’s researchers report in Immunology the discovery of a complex biological process could in the development of cost effective treatments to help babies develop lifelong pulmonary resistance to respiratory infections.

A MOTHER’S BUGS

-Newborn mice derive protective antibodies from their mothers’ microbiota
-Antibodies derived from mothers’ microbiota ward off both localized and widespread systemic infections by the bacterium E. coli
-Study points to the role of maternal microbes in offspring protection and neonatal immunity
-Findings can inform development of microbe-based therapies against infectious diarrhea in infants

MORE THAN A WATCHDOG

Study in mice shows the nervous system not only detects the presence of Salmonella in the gut but actively stops the organism from infecting the body
Nerves in the gut prevent Salmonella infection by shutting the cellular gates that allow bacteria to invade the intestine and spread beyond it
As a second line of defense, gut neurons help avert Salmonella invasion by maintaining the levels of key protective microbes in the gut
Findings reveal prominent role for nervous system in infection protection and regulation of immunity

HOW MEASLES WIPES OUT THE BODY’S IMMUNE MEMORY

Study shows measles wipes out 20 to 50 percent of antibodies against an array of viruses and bacteria, depleting a child’s previous immunity
Measles-ravaged immune system must “relearn” how to protect the body against infections
Study details mechanism and scope of this measles-induced “immune amnesia”
Findings underscore importance of measles vaccination, suggesting those infected with measles may benefit from booster shots of all previous childhood vaccines

Blocking a Hormone’s Action in Immune Cells May Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Blocking the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR)—a protein that helps maintain normal levels of salt and water in the body—in immune cells may help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by improving blood vessel health. The study will be presented today at the American Physiological Society (APS) Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference in Estes Park, Colo.

Baking Soda Boosts Immunity, Impairs Insulin Response in Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers learn insulin response connected to alkaline load, not inflammation Charlottesville, Va. (June 24, 2019)—Early research suggests that the common pantry staple baking soda affects inflammation and insulin handling in type 2 diabetes. The findings will be presented today at…