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Archive - Apr 26, 2020

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The Most Promising Strategies for Defeating Corona Viruses: A Review Study

In an unprecedented effort, hundreds of thousands of researchers and clinicians worldwide are locked in a race against time to develop cures, vaccines, and better diagnostic tests for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Over 1,650 articles on COVID-19 are already listed in databases such as Google Scholar, while dozens more are added daily. The register (htttp://www.ClinicalTrials.gov) lists over 460 ongoing clinical trials on COVID-19, although the majority are still in the earliest stages. Given the diversity of experimental approaches among these studies, a systematic review of possible clinical strategies is timely and welcome. In a new study, aimed at the research community but also comprehensible for non-specialists, experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) review possible strategies against dangerous coronaviruses--not only SARS-CoV-2 and its relatives such as SARS-Cov (causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS) and MERS-Cov (causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS), but also as yet unknown strains that will inevitably emerge in the future. The open-accessreview was published online on April 24, 2020 in Frontiers in Microbiology and is titled “The Current and Future State of Vaccines, Antivirals and Gene Therapies Against Emerging Coronaviruses.” The authors propose that the most promising approaches for fast progress are selected antivirals such as remdesivir, and gene therapy. "Coronaviruses represent a true threat to human health and the global economy. We must first consider novel counter-measures to control the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic virus and then the vast array of high-threat zoonotic viruses that are poised for human emergence in the future," says Dr. Ralph Baric, William R. Kenan, Jr.

Convalescent Plasma Treatment for COVID-19 Shows Early Promising Results in U Wisconsin (UW) Hospital Study; Asthma & Respiratory Allergies Associated with Reduced Expression of COVID-19 Cell Receptor (ACE2), According to Results of Second UW-Led Study

Two weeks after the first Madison, Wisconsin-area donor contributed convalescent plasma (https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/health-med-fit/first-uw-hospital-covi...) to treat COVID-19 patients at University of Wisconsin (UW) Hospital, 14 patients have been treated, with some showing significant improvement, a doctor said Friday. Plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 that presumably contains anti-COVID-14 antibodies, are being transfused into patients struggling with complications of the disease at UW Hospital and some 40 centers around the country (https://ccpp19.org/). The treatment is experimental, but the approach is hardly new, with so-called convalescent plasma used for more than a century to combat ailments such as the 1918 influenza epidemic, the Ebola virus outbreak, and diseases such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) caused by other coronaviruses. Approximately 45 recovered patients from Dane County (in which the state capital of Madison is located) have donated plasma, the liquid portion of blood that contains antibodies to fight infections, and others have begun the process to donate, said Dr. William Hartman, a UW Health anesthesiologist heading up UW Hospital’s study. Each donor can help treat two or three patients, and plasma donated locally may be used at UW Hospital or other centers, Dr. Hartman said. People who would like to donate their plasma can learn more by calling 608-262-8300 or emailing uwcovid19project@hslc.wisc.edu.