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 Medicine. So-called convalescent plasma, which delivers COVID-19 survivors’ antibodies to contaminated individuals, didn’t enhance critically sick sufferers’ well being standing or cut back their threat 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 have been practically the identical: 11% within the convalescent plasma group and 11.4% within the placebo group, a distinction not deemed statistically important. It continues to be potential that convalescent plasma may assist less-sick sufferers who get the therapy earlier of their sickness, stated research 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 assessment, discovered that when aged COVID-19 sufferers acquired convalescent plasma inside 72 hours after their signs started as a substitute of a placebo, they have been considerably much less prone to turn into severely sick.
COVID-19 could damage male fertility
Evidence of testes injury from COVID-19 has been accumulating in a collection of small post-mortem research, suggesting that the brand new coronavirus might have an effect on male fertility. Researchers from the University 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 will impair their skill to provide sperm. A Chinese analysis group made comparable observations earlier this 12 months and in addition discovered that some COVID-19 sufferers’ immune methods “attacked” the testes, inflicting extreme irritation, or orchitis. A separate Chinese group discovered “significant damage” to the fundamental mobile tissue of the testicles in 12 males who died of COVID-19. “The possibility that COVID-19 damages the testes and impacts fertility … warrants gonadal function evaluation in men infected with COVID-19, or who have recovered from COVID-19, and desire fertility,” the Miami group concluded in a report revealed within the World Journal of Men’s Health.
Mutations don’t seem to assist coronavirus unfold sooner
The novel coronavirus is choosing up genetic modifications because it spreads world wide, however the mutations at the moment documented don’t seem to assist it unfold sooner, scientists stated on Wednesday within the journal Nature Communications. Using 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 not less than thrice independently through the course of the pandemic. “Fortunately, we found that none of these mutations are making COVID-19 spread more rapidly,” stated coauthor Lucy van Dorp of University College London’s Genetics Institute. Other specialists, nevertheless, have urged that one mutation, often called D614G, did enhance transmissibility of the virus. Francois Balloux, a UCL professor who labored on the research, stated that its findings, for now, posed no menace to COVID-19 vaccine efficacy. “The virus may well acquire vaccine-escape mutations in the future, but we’re confident we’ll be able to flag them up promptly, which would allow updating the vaccines in time if required,” he stated.
Most Americans 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 check outcomes counsel. In all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, researchers appeared for COVID-19 antibodies in practically 178,000 blood samples collected between July and September from sufferers present process exams for non-coronavirus-related causes. In all however just a few states, antibody ranges urged that lower than 10% of the inhabitants had been contaminated with or recovered from COVID-19. The highest prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies was in New York – the early epicenter of the U.S. outbreak – the place about 25% of blood samples have been constructive by mid-August. In some states, the proportion of individuals with COVID-19 antibodies gave the impression to be beneath 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 revealed on Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers stated 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.