This is the type of Covid-19 research I like to pass along . . .
Being previously infected with coronaviruses that cause the “common cold” may decrease the severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus infections.
This is according to the results of a new study from the Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine.
The study findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, provide important insight into the body’s immune response against Covid-19 infection.
This could have significant implications on COVID-19 vaccine development.
SARS-CoV-2 is a relatively new pathogen.
But there are a number of other coronaviruses that are endemic in humans, such as those that cause the “common cold” and pneumonia.
These coronaviruses do share some genetic sequences with SARS-CoV-2. So, the immune responses from these coronaviruses can cross-react against SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers looked at Covid-19 hospitalized patients who had a previous positive test result for a coronavirus. They found these patients had significantly lower odds of being admitted to the ICU and lower odds of requiring mechanical ventilation during COVID.
The probability of survival was also significantly higher in COVID-19 hospitalized patients with a previous positive test result for a “common cold” coronavirus.
However, a previous positive test result for a coronavirus did not prevent someone from actually getting the new Covid-19 infection.
Here is the takeaway: People are routinely infected with coronaviruses that are different from this novel coronavirus.
The results from this study should help identify patients at lower and greater risk of developing complications after Covid-19 infection.
Joseph Mizgerd, ScD, professor of medicine, microbiology, and biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine (the study’s co-author) said this: “We hope that this study can be the springboard for identifying the types of immune responses for not necessarily preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, but rather limiting the damage from COVID-19.”
The Big News
Lilly Pauses Trial of Antibody Treatment
Eli Lilly said on Tuesday that the clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatment has been paused because of a safety concern. A Lilly spokesperson said, “Out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended a pause in enrollment.” The trial compares patients who receive its antibody drug plus remdesivir with those who receive only remdesivir.
Common Ulcer Drug May Stop Covid
Interesting news from Hong Kong researchers: A drug commonly used to treat stomach ulcers has shown promise in preventing the coronavirus from replicating in an animal model. The drug, ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC), could achieve similar outcomes to remdesivir, but at a lower cost. RBC contains a metal called bismuth, which researchers said could reduce viral loads in infected human and animal cells to less than a thousandth of their previous levels.
Aging Immune Systems and Covid
Scientists are studying aging’s impact on the immune system. That’s because it can leave people more prone to infection and less responsive to vaccines. Some researchers are tackling this by tweaking vaccines to elicit a stronger response in older people. However, other scientists are taking a different tack entirely. They are working with the limitations of the aging immune system, devising plans to partially rejuvenate it..
Covid-19 Infection and Reinfection: Questions About Covid Immunity
In very rare cases, a person has caught Covid-19 twice. This raises questions about how immunity might work for the disease. A new research paper highlights one such incident in a 25-year-old man in Nevada. Genetic analysis showed that he was infected with two different variations of the virus. Four other reinfections have been recorded in Hong Kong, Belgium, Ecuador and the Netherlands.
The Economy Is Still Bad
The U.S. economy is still in bad shape. The IMF’s (International Monetary Fund) latest forecast is for our economy to contract 4.3% this year. There is still lots of uncertainty though about the path of the pandemic. Here is another negative take on the pandemic. Harvard’s David Cutler and Larry Summers estimated that Covid-19 will ultimately cost $16 trillion in lost output. And people will have a “shorter and less healthy life.”
The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 38,215,510 Infected Worldwide
- 1,087,600 Deaths
- 7,860,452 Infected in the U.S.
- 215,971 Deaths in the U.S.
There are two stories out there today – Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and vaccine headlines.
Apple left investors a little underwhelmed with its leap into 5G territory. Its shares fell on Tuesday and early Wednesday.
Apple is launching four iPhone 12 devices ranging from $399 to more than $1,000.
A broad range of sizes, displays and prices, as well as 5G “future-proof” capability, should encourage consumers to replace their existing devices.
Keep in mind that about 350 million people are due for an upgrade globally.
I’m looking at this a bit differently than Wall Street.
The question is not whether 5G will drive an iPhone upgrade “super cycle” . . . but whether 5G-capable iPhones will drive 5G penetration rates and encourage network providers to roll out 5G networks faster.
There was also vaccine headline risk.
Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) halted its Phase III trial of its coronavirus antibody treatment. That was due to safety concerns as one participant fell ill.
Earlier, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) said it had paused its Phase III vaccine trial after a participant reported an “adverse event.”
Markets don’t like negative vaccine headlines. However, these sorts of pauses are to be expected along the road to a vaccine, especially considering the sheer pace of development.
Any negative headline just gives us an opportunity to buy healthcare stocks a bit cheaper.
Meanwhile, new biotech stocks are soaring. IPO investors are pulling in 166% . . . 237% . . . and even 440% profits in a few weeks. Go here for urgent pre-IPO instructions.
Yours in Health & Wealth,