Monday, August 3, 2020



Dr K Aggarwal
President CMAAO
With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev

1035: Studying primary human lung cells that were infected in the lab with SARS-CoV-2 showed how the cells began to accumulate large amounts of lipid droplets. After infection, the lung proteins downregulate the ability of lung cells to burn carbohydrates and fatty acids. Lung cells are not designed to hold fat, which could explain some of the severe damage to the lungs of patients with COVID-19. The virus is dependent on glucose uptake, cholesterol production, and fatty acid oxidation. More research is needed on the cholesterol drug fenofibrate before clinical trials can begin.

1036: The antihistamine cloperastine, which is mostly sold in Japan, blocks glucose uptake in lung cells and has shown a small effect in fighting COVID-19.

1037: Moderna: a robust immune response and protected against infection in a study on monkeys. The vaccine, MRNA-1273, given to non-human primates protected against infection in the lungs and nose, and prevented pulmonary disease in all animals. Results of the study in rhesus macaque monkeys were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It appeared to be an improvement over results of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in a similar study. In the study Iinvolving 24 monkeys, Moderna tested doses of 10 micrograms or 100 micrograms of the vaccine against no treatment.

Both doses proved effective at protecting against viral replication in the lungs and lung inflammation, with the larger dose also protecting against viral replication in the nose of the animals.

1038: AstraZeneca and Oxford University - among the most advanced in human trials - in a similar animal study also appeared to prevent damage to the lungs and keep the virus from making copies of itself there. But the virus still actively replicated in the nose in that study.

1039: A cohort of 145 patients younger than age 1 month to 65 years separated by age found that the youngest children had significantly lower median cycle threshold (CT) values than older children or adults, suggesting they had equivalent or more viral nucleic acid in their upper respiratory tract than other age groups, reported Taylor Heald-Sargent, MD, PhD, of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, and colleagues. These differences approximated a 10- to 100-fold greater amount of SARS-CoV-2 in the nasopharynx of young children, the authors wrote in a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics. Importantly, the researchers noted that their findings were limited to detection of viral nucleic acid and not infectious virus.

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