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January 19, 2021 | SARS-CoV-2-specific Memory B cells persist up to 8 months post infection | Immunopaedia.org.za

SARS-CoV-2-specific Memory B cells persist up to 8 months post infection

COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 update from Immunopaedia.org.za. In just over year since SARS-CoV-2 emerged, new vaccines approved for emergency use have been developed and are currently being rolled out. Vaccination aims to induce long-lived immunity, however, a very important question is: how long does naturally induced SARS-CoV-2 immunity last? Multiple studies have demonstrated a significant decline in circulating SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies as early as a month post-recovery, however, this only represents one aspect of adaptive immunity. Two recently published studies provide evidence for longer…

January 19, 2021 | Gene editing as a potential sickle cell disease immunotherapy | Immunopaedia.org.za

Gene editing as a potential sickle cell disease immunotherapy

Immunology research update from Immunopaedia.org.za. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disease characterised by severe anaemia. Individuals with sickle cell have a single mutation in the haemoglobin β subunit gene (HBB) which causes deformation of red blood cells (RBCs), specifically RBCs in individuals with SCD have a sickle shape instead of a biconcave shape. These “sickled” RBCs have reduced capacity to carry oxygen compared to normal RBCs, are very “sticky” and tend to cause blockages in small blood vessels and capillaries leading…

January 13, 2021 | Not all SARS-CoV-2 mutations lead to reduced antibody neutralisation capacity | Immunopaedia.org.za

Not all SARS-CoV-2 mutations lead to reduced antibody neutralisation capacity

COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 update from Immunopaedia.org.za. The emergence of rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants in many countries is causing public concern. These variants, such as 501.V2 and B1.1.7, first detected in South Africa and the United Kingdom, contain multiple mutations in various sites of the SARS-CoV-2 genome including in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein. Researchers are currently studying the implication of these variants on SARS-CoV-2 transmission, pathogenesis and immunity. Reports (pre-prints) suggest that variants that contain the N501Y mutation such as…

January 12, 2021 | Development of a serological diagnostic of Johne’s Disease | Immunopaedia.org.za

Development of a serological diagnostic of Johne’s Disease

Immunology research update from Immunopaedia.org.za. Johne’s disease, caused by infection with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), affects domestic and wild ruminants and is responsible for major economic losses in the agricultural sector. Chronic granulomatous enteritis is a characteristic immunological manifestation of the disease, further, the presence of MAP in humans is associated with Crohn’s disease and Type 1 diabetes in humans,  a highlighting a potential public health threat of Johne’s disease as a potential zoonosis. Unfortunately, diagnosis of Johne’s disease is…

January 6, 2021 | Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine | Immunopaedia.org.za

Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine

COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 update from Immunopaedia.org.za. The mRNA-1273 vaccine is a novel lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated mRNA-based vaccine that encodes for a full-length, prefusion stabilized full-length spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine mRNA-1273 candidate is co-developed by Moderna and Vaccine Research Centre based at the US-National Institutes of Health. The Coronavirus Efficacy (COVE) phase 3 trial was launched in late July 2020 to assess the safety and efficacy of the mRNA-1273 vaccine in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection. The…

December 17, 2020 | Lack of interference by type I interferons leads to severe COVID-19 | Immunopaedia.org.za

Lack of interference by type I interferons leads to severe COVID-19

COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 update from Immunopaedia.org.za. Infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-1 (SARS-CoV-2) has lead to diverse outcomes for COVID-19, with about 5-10% progressing to severe or critical disease. People not apparently part of the risk group (men, old age and presence of comorbidity) could however also develop severe COVID-19, but it was unknown what determined their susceptibility to severe disease. Recently, disturbance in type I interferons (IFN-I) has shed some light on why certain individuals may be at increased…

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