Category Archives: SARS-CoV-2 variants

“The mutating H5N8 strain of avian flu has a high risk of human-to-human transmission” Russian authorities warn March 12.   

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Feb. 20, 2021 Russia reported the first-ever human infections with H5N8 avian influenza involving seven poultry farm workers in the southern region of Astrakhan Oblast.  They were infected after a Dec. 3-11, 2020 outbreak of H5N8 on a poultry farm. Although Russia reported a government lab was […]

Will survivors of variant P.1 have antibodies that also neutralize B.1.351 — and vice versa?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The SARS-CoV-2 variants first described in Manaus, Brazil “P.1.” and in South Africa “B.1.351” share at least five mutations including the antibody-evading changes at amino acids 484 and 417 in the spike protein. Potential cross-protection against the P.1 variant by the new Moderna-NIH B1.351 variant vaccine has been […]

The new Moderna/NIH B.1.351-specific vaccine study should add the P.1 variant

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Two manuscripts from Brazil, newly posted by accomplished researchers on preprint servers, report that the P.1 variant “associated with rapid transmission in Manaus” (by Faria N.  et al.) and reported in the U.S. and 28 other nations, “may escape from neutralizing antibodies generated in response to polyclonal stimulation […]

In March NIH will start the first variant-specific COVID vaccine study: Will this B.1.351-variant vaccine also induce some immunity to the P.1 variant?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Friday (Feb. 26) National Institute of Allergy and Intections Diseases Director /NIH Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced plans to start vaccine studies for the first time using the variant B.1.351, now dominant in South Africa and present in the United States. It contains the E484K mutation and also […]

WHO posts global maps of three SARS-CoV-2 variants in 88, 37, and 17 nations: Juxtaposition with a vaccine in South Africa?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the World Health Organization posted its weekly epidemiological update, with a special focus on SARS-CoV-2 variants, that contains a world map (below) showing the 37 nations verified to have the 501Y.V2 variant already dominant in South Africa and some neighboring nations. “Local transmission has been reported in […]

COVID vaccines in HIV-Positive recipients: Need for more data from the Novavax South Africa study and with other vaccine platforms

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The Jan. 28 Novavax press release that included preliminary results from its COVID-19 vaccine Phase 2b trial in South Africa appears to contain a significant difference in efficacy between volunteers who were HIV-positive and HIV-negative. If verified, then the implications warrant sustained attention for this protein-based adjuvanted COVID-19 […]

COVID “Mega-variant” and eight criteria for a template to assess all variants

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Building on the Dec. 22 South African variant may be worse than UK variant: A template is needed for the variants to come post here, the following eight criteria are proposed to help create a template to assess the many variant SARS-CoV-2 viruses already found and those to come. […]

COVID Multivalent vaccines for multivariant viruses

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Preventing re-infections, more variants, and a prolonged pandemic By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Emerging data since mid-January from South Africa and northern Brazil signal it is imperative to develop multivalent COVID vaccines (bivalent, trivalent, quadrivalent) for international use. An alternative strategy that is unlikely to succeed internationally is monovalent “booster” vaccines containing either […]

P.1 variant in Manaus, Brazil linked with COVID resurgence now despite reportedly crossing “theoretical herd immunity threshold” in October

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When will new vaccines include the P.1. variant? By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The resurging epidemic in the northern Brazil city of Manaus, Amazonas state, is another of the many cautionary lessons in humility this pandemic has shown the world over the past 13+ months.  On Jan. 26 the Pan American Health Organization […]

South Africa COVID vaccine results cause Novavax to begin work immediately on ”a booster and/or combination bivalent vaccine”

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the U.S.-based Novavax announced the results in a press release that its COVID-19 vaccine had 49.4% vaccine efficacy (95% Confidence Interval: 6.1 – 72.8) in its overall trial population in a Phase 2b trial in South Africa. Novavax stated that “approximately 90% of COVID-19 cases attributed to […]