READ | Researchers discover a second “key” that makes the new coronavirus infectious
With the number of confirmed global SARS-CoV-2 infections nearing 44 million, scientists are still struggling to understand what makes the virus so effective and transmissible.
However, a new study might have the answer: the virus uses a second protein called Neuropilin-1 to make it easier to enter human cells.
The first receptor, angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), was discovered in the early stages of the pandemic, and scientists understood how the virus used it to attach to the surface of cells. An enzyme called type II transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) was also found to be critical for entry.
The results of the researchers at the Technical University of Munich in Germany and the University of Helsinki in Finland were published in Science.
“To efficiently infect human cells, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, can use a receptor called Neuropilin-1, which is very common in many human tissues, including the airways, blood vessels and neurons”, according to a press release from the University of Helsinki.
“The starting point of our study was the question of why SARS-CoV, a coronavirus that led to a much smaller outbreak in 2003, and SARS-CoV-2 spread so differently, even if they use the same main ACE2 receptor. “Said the virologist Ravi Ojha from the University of Helsinki.
READ | ‘Long Covid’: These factors can tell you whether you will suffer in the long term
According to a new study, one in 20 people infected with Covid-19 stays sick for at least eight weeks.
Known by the unofficial medical term “Long Covid” (also known as “Long Haul”), these are cases where patients have symptoms of illness for longer than the two-week period approved by the official World Health Organization.
Researchers from King’s College London (KCL), whose study was published in medRxiv and is still awaiting peer review, analyzed more than 4,000 Covid-19 patients in Sweden, Great Britain and the USA. They were asked to record their symptoms on a Covid Symptom Study app.
They found that the elderly, women, and those who experienced more than five symptoms in the first week of illness were more likely to develop long-term Covid.
The following five symptoms were identified as predictors of long-term Covid: fatigue, headache, difficulty breathing, a hoarse voice, and muscle or body pain.
These results could serve as a warning and identify Covid-19 patients in need of additional care.
READ | Coronavirus: Symptomatic children carry more viruses than those without symptoms, according to the study
Children who test positive for the new coronavirus but are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) have significantly lower levels of the virus compared to children who experience symptoms.
This was found in a new study based on an analysis of 817 children from nine hospitals in the United States and Canada who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
Although the study was the first large and comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2 viral load in asymptomatic children, the authors warned that the reason for their finding was still unclear and further investigation was needed.
“While these findings provide some assurance about the safety of asymptomatically infected children going to school, these unanswered questions suggest that risk reduction measures in day care, schools and in the community remain critical to the spread of To reduce Covid-19, “said the lead author and epidemiologist. Larry Kociolek from Northwestern University in Illinois.
The study included 339 asymptomatic and 478 symptomatic children (ages 0-17 years). All children in the study tested positive for the virus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Asymptomatic children who either had diabetes or who recently had contact with a known Covid-19 case were more likely to have had high viral loads.
READ | Some Covid-19 patients are attacked by their own immune systems – new study explains why
Some people are at higher risk of severe Covid-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. According to a recent study, auto-reactive antibody production could explain why this happens.
The study, which was published on the preprint server medRxiv and is waiting for peer review, explains that these immune proteins, so-called autoantibodies, do not target disease-causing microbes, but rather the tissue of patients with severe Covid-19.
The researchers stated that their results have a potential impact on acute patient care and recovery from infection.
Harvard Health explains that autoantibodies attack different parts of the body, causing inflammation and tissue damage in joints, skin, kidneys, nervous system (brain and spinal cord), blood and heart, among other things.
In addition, they can bind to body chemicals and form abnormal molecules (called “immune complexes”) that cause additional inflammation when they are deposited in the organs and tissues of the body.
Previous studies in earlier stages of the pandemic found that abnormal blood clotting in Covid-19 patients was more likely to lead to complications and ICU admissions.
READ | Dementia and other cognitive disorders related to severe Covid-19, the study said
New research from the University of Georgia suggests that cognitive disorders, including dementia, may be risk factors for developing severe Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Georgia, was published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
The researchers used data from the UK biobank, which was attended by over 500,000 participants. Data from participants with Covid-19 was collected in March of this year at the start of the pandemic in the United States.
According to the researchers, their results underscore the need for special care for people with pre-existing cognitive disorders during the pandemic.
In their study, the team analyzed data from an extensive list of 974 diseases and 30 blood biomarkers and their association with Covid-19.
In addition, they tested the association of genetic variants in two key genes associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection – angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) – with Covid-19 or other phenotypes.
CORONAVIRUS FALLS LATEST
Update of the SA cases:
The last number of confirmed cases is 726,823.
According to the latest update, 19,411 deaths have been recorded in the country.
There were 655,330 restores.
More than 4.84 million tests have been performed to date, with 19,543 new tests reported.
For the latest global data, check out this interactive map from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.
As of late Sunday evening, there were more than 46.36 million positive cases and more than 1.19 million deaths worldwide.
The United States had the most cases in the world – more than 9.17 million and the most deaths – more than 230,000.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE REST OF THE WORLD?
HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by NICD and WHO)
• Maintain physical distance – stay at least three feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing
• Practice frequent hand washing, especially after direct contact with sick people or their surroundings
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as your hands touch many surfaces and can potentially transmit the virus
• Practice breathing hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose of the tissue immediately after use.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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