Nov. 10 (Reuters) – The following is a summary of some recent studies of COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to confirm the findings and has yet to be certified by peer review.
Severe sleep apnea linked to severe COVID-19
The risk of serious illness from COVID-19 is higher in people with obstructive sleep apnea and other breathing problems that cause oxygen levels to drop during sleep, researchers say. They followed 5,402 adults with these problems and found that about a third of them ended up being tested for the coronavirus. While the odds of getting infected didn’t increase with the severity of their problems, people with higher scores on the “apnea-hypopnia index” — a measure of the severity of their sleep-related breathing problems — were more likely to be hospitalized. hospitalized or dying from COVID-19, Drs. Cinthya Pena Orbea and Reena Mehra of the Cleveland Clinic and colleagues reported in JAMA Network Open Wednesday. It’s not clear whether treatments that improve sleep apnea, such as CPAP machines that push air into patients’ airways during sleep, would also reduce the risk of severe COVID-19, Pene Orbea and Mehra said.
The body’s coronavirus memory can break down new infections
Health professionals who did not test positive for COVID-19, despite heavy exposure to infected patients, had T cells attacking part of the virus that allowed it to make copies of itself, according to a report published Wednesday in Nature. Researchers studying the 58 health professionals found that their T cells responded more strongly to a part of the virus called the RTC, which is very similar to all human and animal coronaviruses, including all variants of SARS-CoV-2. They suspect the T cells recognized the RTC because they had “seen” it on other viruses during other infections. That makes the RTC a potentially good target for vaccines if more research confirms these findings, study leaders Mala Maini and Leo Swadling, both of University College London, said in a joint email to Reuters. This data was collected during the first wave of the pandemic, she added. “We don’t know if this kind of control is happening for more infectious variants that are currently circulating.”
Vaccines induce neutralizing antibodies in breast milk
Infants may benefit from COVID-19 antibodies in breast milk, whether mothers acquired the antibodies through infection with SARS-CoV-2 or through vaccines, according to new findings reported Wednesday in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers studied antibodies in breast milk samples from 47 mothers infected with the virus and 30 healthy mothers who had received the vaccines from Moderna(MRNA.O) or Pfizer/BioNTech(PFE.N)(22UAy.DE). Antibodies from both groups were able to neutralize active SARS-CoV-2 virus, and although antibodies from infection were visible in milk for extended periods, antibody levels from vaccination were “much more uniform,” said study leader Bridget Young of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York. So there’s likely benefits to getting vaccinated, even after a COVID-19 infection, because breast milk would then contain a wide variety of antibodies, she said. The researchers did not look at the effect of the antibodies on the babies who consumed the milk.
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Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Tiffany Wu
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