University of Missouri Research Team Identifies 46 Mutations Specific to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant That Could lead to Improved Clinical Laboratory Tests, Treatments, and Vaccines

Many of the mutations were found at sites on the spike protein where antibodies bind, which may explain why the Omicron variant is more infectious than previous variants Scientists at the University of Missouri (UM) now have a better understanding of why the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is more infectious than previous variants and that knowledge may lead to improved antivirals and clinical laboratory tests for COVID-19. As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spread across the globe,...

Could Omicron Variant Have Links to HIV? Infectious Disease Experts in South Africa Say ‘Yes’

Given the large number of mutations found in the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, experts in South Africa speculate it likely evolved in someone with a compromised immune system As the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant spreads around the United States and the rest of the world, infectious disease experts in South Africa have been investigating how the variant developed so many mutations. One hypothesis is that it evolved over time in the body of an immunosuppressed person, such as a cancer patient,...

Does the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Teach Us Anything About How and When COVID-19 Will End?

Experts weigh-in on the new Omicron variant, how pandemics conclude, and challenges ahead for clinical laboratories Could studying how the 1918 influenza pandemic ended teach pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals how and when the current COVID-19 pandemic may end as well? And does the new Omicron variant indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has mutated into an endemic form of the disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 1918 influenza...

Researchers Identify Antibodies That Could Be Protective Against Multiple Sarbecoviruses, Including SARS-CoV-2 and Its Variants

The antibodies target portions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that resist mutation, potentially leading to better treatments and vaccines One challenge in the battle against COVID-19 is the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially the Delta variant, which may be more resistant to neutralizing antibodies compared with the original coronavirus. But now, scientists led by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch) in Seattle say they have identified antibodies...

New Star Trek-like Handheld Device under Development That Can Detect SARS-CoV-2 in People and on Surfaces

Intriguing technology may find immediate value in assisting the detection and tracking of COVID-19 worldwide Pathologists and clinical laboratory personnel old enough to have watched Star Trek on television will recall the tricorder, a multi-functional handheld device that could non-invasively detect any disease or medical condition that the science fiction series needed to be revealed. Fiction, yes, but so was the Star Trek communicator before the advent of smartphones. Now, Florida-based...
;