CAMBRIDGE, MA - November 10, 2020—Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19) is an open-access overlay journal published by the MIT Press that accelerates peer review of COVID-19-related research preprints. This week, the journal published the first peer reviews of the WHO SOLIDARITY trials that suggest four re-purposed antiviral drugs--Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir, and Interferon-β1a--have no effect on important clinical outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. All four reviewers rate the research as RELIABLE.
In addition, the editors are currently soliciting reviews of the following COVID-19 preprints. These preprints have been selected for review because they have the potential to enhance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 or have been flagged as potentially misleading. Preprints with two finished reviews should be published within 10-14 days. Additional information or early access to these peer-reviews is available upon request.
Highlights from Rapid Reviews editorial team:
- "Sterilizing immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice by a single-shot and modified Imidazoquinoline TLR7/8 Agonist-Adjuvanted Recombinant spike protein vaccine" by Sonia Jangra, et al.
This preprint claims that a novel amphiphilic imidazoquinolinone (IMDQ-PEG-CHOL) TLR7/8 adjuvant targets adjuvant activity to draining lymph nodes, promoting a more robust immune adaptive immune response without promoting off-target systemic inflammation. Functionally, the authors show use of this adjuvant enhances influenza and SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficiency and elicits a balanced neutralizing antibody response.
Why we're excited about it: More potent and targeted adjuvants are important for enhancing vaccine efficacy, decreasing unwanted side effects, and potentially decreasing the amount of antigen needed to elicit a protective immune response. Very little has been reported relative to reports focusing on antigen engineering. The research is both scientifically compelling and translationally relevant.
- "The papain-like protease of coronaviruses cleaves ULK1 to disrupt host autophagy" by Yasir Mohamud, et al.
Post infection of a betacoronavirus, levels of ULK1, an autophagy regulating serine-threonine kinase, drop significantly due to the papain-like protease of SARS-CoV-2. ULK1 transcription is upregulated upon viral infection, which aids in viral replication early in infection, but is cleaved by the protease late infection, preventing autophagy.
Why we're excited about it: Understanding the mechanisms of autophagy increases the chances of designing new antivirals and understanding the mechanism of action for current treatments.
- "Durable SARS-CoV-2 B cell immunity after mild or severe disease" by Clinton O. Ogega, et al.
Analysis of S protein receptor binding domain (S-RBD)-specific memory B cells in patients with mild disease and those hospitalized shows that 13 out of 14 participants have these memory B cells, including 4 of the 5 patients with the lowest plasma level of neutralizing antibodies. This evidence suggests that infected individuals develop an S-RBD-specific memory B cell that could help elicit a robust immune response upon reinfection.
Why we're excited about it: Multiple studies have shown loss of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies over time post-infection, presenting risk of reinfection. However, in 13 out of 14 patients, S-RBD-specific memory B cells were detected, meaning memory B cells could elicit an accelerated and robust response to reinfection after recovery from mild or severe COVID-19.
- "Cost and social distancing dynamics in a mathematical model of COVID-19 with application to Ontario, Canada" by I.R. Moyles, et al.
- "Superspreading events without superspreaders: using high attack rate events to estimate No for airborne transmission of COVID-19" by Mara Prentiss, et al.
- "Detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral particles using direct, reagent-free electrochemical sensing" by Hanie Yousefi, et al.
- "A real-time, selective, and low-cost strategy for detection of trace level spike-protein from SARS-CoV-2 with application to cold-chain food quarantine" by Haochen Qi, et al.
- "Challenges for non-technical implementation of digital proximity tracing: early experiences from Switzerland" by Viktor won Wyl
- "Genome sequencing of sewage detects regionally prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants" by Alexander Crits-Cristoff
- "Viral dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the predictive value of repeat testing" by Stephen M. Kissler, et al.
- "Single-cell analyses reveal SARS-CoV-2 interference with intrinsic immune response in the human gut" by Sergio Triana, et al.
- "Integrated single-cell atlases reveal an oral SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission axis" by Ni Huang, et al.
- "Longitudinal monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on high-touch surfaces in a community setting" by Abigail P. Harvey, et al.
- "COVID-19 cytokines and the hyperactive immune response: Synergism of TNF-α and IFN-γ in triggering inflammation, tissue damage, and death" by Rajendra Karki, et al.
- "SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid protein attenuates stress granule formation and alters gene expression via direct interaction with host mRNAs" by Syed Nabeel-Shah, et al.
- "The effect of eviction moratoriums on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2" by Justin Sheen, et al.
- "Mortality among adults ages 25-44 in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic" by Jeremy Samuel Faust, et al.
- "Effect of park use and landscape structure on COVID-19 transmission rates" by Thomas F. Johnson, et al.
- "Economic benefits of COVID-19 screening tests" by Andrew Atkeson, et al.
- "Household transmission of SARS-COV-2: Insights from a population-based serological survey" by Qifang Bi, et al.
- "Excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic in Aden governorate, Yemen: a geospatial and statistical analysis" by Emilie Koum Besson, et al.
- "Cognitive deficits in people who have recovered from COVID-19 relative to controls: An N=84,285 online study" by Adam Hampshire, et al.
- "Clinically identifiable autoreactivity is common in severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection" by Matthew C. Woodruff, et al.
- "Early use of nitazoxanide in mild Covid-19 disease: randomized, placebo-controlled trial" by Patricia R.M. Rocco, et al.
- "Predictors of severe symptomatic laboratory-confirmed SARS-COV-2 reinfection" by Efrén Murillo-Zamora, et al.
- "Association of COVID-19 RT-qPCR test false-negative rate with patient age, sex and time since diagnosis" by Matan Levine-Tiefenbrun, et al.
- "Genetic association analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 455,838 biobank participants" by J.A. Kosmicki, et al.
- "A hemagglutination test for rapid detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2"
RR:C19 is published by the MIT Press and the editorial offices are located at UC Berkeley, headed by editor-in-chief Stefano M. Bertozzi, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health at University of California Berkeley. The journal is funded by a grant from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and hosted on PubPub, an open-source publishing platform from the Knowledge Futures Group.
To learn more about this project and its editorial board, or to sign up for future news and alerts, visit rapidreviewscovid19.mitpress.mit.edu
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