Blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors was of little profit to sufferers with extreme COVID-19 pneumonia, researchers in Argentina reported on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Drugs. So-called convalescent plasma, which delivers COVID-19 survivors’ antibodies to contaminated individuals, didn’t enhance critically unwell sufferers’ well being standing or cut back their danger of dying from the illness any higher than a placebo. Researchers randomly assigned 333 hospitalized sufferers with extreme COVID-19 pneumonia to obtain convalescent plasma or a placebo. After 30 days, they noticed no important variations in sufferers’ signs or well being. Mortality charges had been almost the identical: 11% within the convalescent plasma group and 11.4% within the placebo group, a distinction not deemed statistically important. It’s nonetheless doable that convalescent plasma may assist less-sick sufferers who get the remedy earlier of their sickness, mentioned examine chief Dr. Ventura Simonovich of the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires. A separate randomized trial from Argentina, posted on Saturday on medRxiv forward of peer overview, discovered that when aged COVID-19 sufferers acquired convalescent plasma inside 72 hours after their signs started as a substitute of a placebo, they had been considerably much less more likely to grow to be severely unwell.
COVID-19 might damage male fertility
Proof of testes injury from COVID-19 has been accumulating in a sequence of small post-mortem research, suggesting that the brand new coronavirus may have an effect on male fertility. Researchers from the College of Miami in Florida in contrast testis tissues from six males who died of COVID-19 and three who died of different causes. Three of the COVID-19 sufferers had testis injury that may impair their skill to provide sperm. A Chinese language analysis staff made related observations earlier this yr and likewise discovered that some COVID-19 sufferers’ immune programs “attacked” the testes, inflicting extreme irritation, or orchitis. A separate Chinese language staff discovered “important injury” to the fundamental mobile tissue of the testicles in 12 males who died of COVID-19. “The likelihood that COVID-19 damages the testes and impacts fertility … warrants gonadal operate analysis in males contaminated with COVID-19, or who’ve recovered from COVID-19, and need fertility,” the Miami staff concluded in a report printed within the World Journal of Males’s Well being.
Mutations don’t seem to assist coronavirus unfold quicker
The novel coronavirus is selecting up genetic modifications because it spreads world wide, however the mutations presently documented don’t seem to assist it unfold quicker, scientists mentioned on Wednesday within the journal Nature Communications. Utilizing a world dataset of virus genomes from 46,723 individuals with COVID-19 from 99 international locations, researchers recognized greater than 12,700 mutations within the genetic materials of the virus. Of these, the scientists centered on 185 mutations that they discovered had occurred at the least thrice independently throughout the course of the pandemic. “Luckily, we discovered that none of those mutations are making COVID-19 unfold extra quickly,” mentioned coauthor Lucy van Dorp of College School London’s Genetics Institute. Different consultants, nevertheless, have recommended that one mutation, referred to as D614G, did improve transmissibility of the virus. Francois Balloux, a UCL professor who labored on the examine, mentioned that its findings, for now, posed no risk to COVID-19 vaccine efficacy. “The virus might effectively purchase vaccine-escape mutations sooner or later, however we’re assured we’ll be capable to flag them up promptly, which might permit updating the vaccines in time if required,” he mentioned.
Most Individuals nonetheless lack COVID-19 antibodies
As of September, the overwhelming majority of U.S. residents nonetheless had not been uncovered to the brand new coronavirus, antibody take a look at outcomes recommend. In all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, researchers seemed for COVID-19 antibodies in almost 178,000 blood samples collected between July and September from sufferers present process exams for non-coronavirus-related causes. In all however a number of states, antibody ranges recommended that lower than 10% of the inhabitants had been contaminated with or recovered from COVID-19. The very best prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies was in New York – the early epicenter of the U.S. outbreak – the place about 25% of blood samples had been constructive by mid-August. In some states, the proportion of individuals with COVID-19 antibodies gave the impression to be under 1%. So-called seroprevalence charges tended to wane over time, researchers discovered, though they rose in some states, together with Georgia and Minnesota. In a report printed on Tuesday in JAMA Inner Drugs, the researchers mentioned extra work is required to know whether or not and the way the presence of antibodies have an effect on individuals’s vulnerability to COVID-19 reinfection.