Conflicting signals from drug regulator, COVID-19 national task force

There have been at least three instances where the drug regulator has approved a drug or vaccine but the COVID-19 National Task Force has taken a diametrically opposite stand and not included the drug/vaccine in the national treatment protocol. But the task force was quick to accept the and include the approval given to repurposed … Continue reading Conflicting signals from drug regulator, COVID-19 national task force

Preliminary study shows Covishield protects against double mutant variant

Preliminary studies carried out at CCMB show that people who have been vaccinated with Covishield have protection against the double mutant variant (B.1.617) first found in India. Protection against the variant was also seen in people who have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. Preliminary studies show that people who have been vaccinated with Covishield … Continue reading Preliminary study shows Covishield protects against double mutant variant

India ill prepared despite lessons learnt in the first wave

After painfully negotiating numerous hurdles during the first wave that peaked in mid-September last year, India appears to have learnt little as more ferocious second wave is ravaging the country. After painfully negotiating numerous hurdles during the first wave that peaked in mid-September last year, India appears to have learnt little as more ferocious second … Continue reading India ill prepared despite lessons learnt in the first wave

How the new coronavirus variant quickly accumulated 17 mutations

Immunocompromised patients experiencing prolonged infection with novel coronavirus when treated with convalescent plasma might trigger a strong selective pressure on the virus due to high concentration of antibodies. This might lead to the generation of large number of mutations. The new SARS-CoV-2 variant — B.1.1.7 — that was first seen in Kent and Greater London … Continue reading How the new coronavirus variant quickly accumulated 17 mutations

FDA grants emergency use authorisation for convalescent plasma, experts express concern

FDA grants emergency use authorisation for convalescent plasma even in the absence of evidence from randomised, controlled trial. Mr. Trump, FDA Commissioner and Secretary of Health and Human Services made a false claim that convalescent plasma reduces mortality by 35%., while the preprint does not make any such claim. First it was with hydroxychloroquine, and … Continue reading FDA grants emergency use authorisation for convalescent plasma, experts express concern

SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity prevents recurrent severe COVID-19 disease

The immune system elicits robust, broad and highly functional memory T cell responses once a person is infected with novel coronavirus. T cells were found even in the absence of detectable antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2. This indicates a previously unanticipated degree of population-level immunity against COVID-19. Natural exposure or infection with the novel coronavirus may … Continue reading SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell immunity prevents recurrent severe COVID-19 disease

Antibodies from convalescent plasma protects against COVID-19

The researchers found passive transfer of neutralising antibodies isolated from convalescent plasma into Syrian hamsters protect the animals against the disease when exposed to the virus and also protects hamsters against heavy viral exposure. A team of scientists led by Dennis R. Burton from the Scripps Research Institute has discovered neutralising antibodies present in the … Continue reading Antibodies from convalescent plasma protects against COVID-19

Plasma therapy: In a welcome change, ICMR insists on evidence-based approach

ICMR’s insistence on an evidence-based approach to plasma therapy is a welcome change and is in stark contrast to the cavalier manner in which it approved hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis for coronavirus without carrying out any trial and relying on evidence which was slim and dodgy and that too only for treatment, and also when … Continue reading Plasma therapy: In a welcome change, ICMR insists on evidence-based approach

COVID-19: Younger patients develop less neutralising antibodies

About 30% of patients with mild symptoms failed to develop high amounts of neutralising antibodies even after recovering from COVID-19 disease. If natural infection with novel coronavirus does not elicit strong immune response, how much will vaccines be able to achieve. Analysis of blood samples from 175 patients with mild COVID-19 disease who were discharged … Continue reading COVID-19: Younger patients develop less neutralising antibodies

Convalescent plasma therapy tested on critically ill COVID-19 patients

A pharma company in China is testing convalescent plasma therapy to treat critically sick COVID-19 patients. So far, 13 patients have been treated and some improvements in clinical symptoms have been seen. In the absence of any preventive vaccine or specific antivirals for treating COVID-19 patients infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pharmaceutical company … Continue reading Convalescent plasma therapy tested on critically ill COVID-19 patients