Research Insights About Covid-19

We attempt to provide selected highlights in recent research findings

Last Update on 1 February 2021

A. Medicine and Health 

November 2020

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A. Medicine and Health 

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January 22, 2021 (The Lancet Resp. Med.)

Effect of anakinra versus usual care in adults in hospital with COVID-19 and mild-to-moderate pneumonia (CORIMUNO-ANA-1): a randomised controlled trial

The CORIMUNO-19 Collaborative Group


In this French multicentre, open-label, Bayesian randomised clinical trial (CORIMUNO-ANA-1), the authors aimed to determine whether anakinra, a recombinant human IL-1 receptor antagonist, could improve outcomes in patients in hospital with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 pneumonia.



January 21, 2021 (JAMA)

Effect of Bamlanivimab as Monotherapy or in Combination With Etesevimab on Viral Load in Patients With Mild to Moderate COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Robert L. Gottlieb, Ajay Nirula, Peter Chen et al.

This randomized clinical trial compares the effects of 3 doses of bamlanivimab monotherapy (700 vs 2800 vs 7000 mg) vs combination bamlanivimab and etesevimab vs placebo on change in day 11 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 viral load in patients with mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).



January 21, 2020 (JAMA Ophthal.)

Presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the Cornea of Viremic Patients With COVID-19

Maria Casagrande, Antonia Fitzek, Martin S. Spitzer et al.

In this case series carried out in a tertiary care facility, SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA was detected in the cornea of 6 of 11 eyes of patients with viraemic coronavirus disease 2019. Although infectivity or the presence of viral structural proteins could not be confirmed in any eye, this report demonstrates the presence of viral genomic and subgenomic RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in the human cornea.


January 19, 2021 (PNAS)

In silico dynamics of COVID-19 phenotypes for optimizing clinical management

Chrysovalantis Voutouri, Mohammad Reza Nikmaneshi, C. Corey Hardin et al.

The SARS-CoV2 virus can result in asymptomatic disease right up to severe disease. There are many factors – both viral and host that can influence this. To better understand clinical heterogeneity and optimal treatment, the authors developed a comprehensive mathematical model incorporating elements of the innate and adaptive immune responses, the renin−angiotensin system (which the virus exploits for cellular entry), rates of viral replication, inflammatory cytokines, and the coagulation cascade. They describe their model in this paper.



January 19, 2021 (JAMA)

Readmission and Death after Initial Hospital Discharge among Patients With COVID-19 in a Large Multihospital System

John P. Donnelly, Xiao Qing Wang, Theodore J. Iwashyna et al.


Although more patients are surviving severe COVID-19, there are limited data on outcomes after initial hospitalization. This study describes reasons for readmission, the use of ICU interventions during readmission, and proportions of death after initial hospital discharge of COVID-19 patients from US Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in March-June 2020.


January 15, 2021 (JAMA Int Med)

Comparison of Saliva and Nasopharyngeal Swab Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing for Detection of SARS-CoV-2: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Guillaume Butler-Laporte, Alexander Lawandi, Ian Schiller et al.

This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the diagnostic accuracy of saliva nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) for diagnosis of COVID-19. The authors found that saliva NAAT had a similar sensitivity and specificity to that of nasopharyngeal NAAT, suggesting that saliva NAAT represents an appealing alternative to nasopharyngeal swab NAAT and may strengthen massive testing efforts.



January 14, 2021 (JAMA Ophthalmol.)

Progression of Myopia in School-Aged Children After COVID-19 Home Confinement

Jiaxing Wang, Ying Li, David C. Musch et al.

This cross-sectional study compares the prevalence of myopia in school-aged children 5 years before the COVID-19 pandemic with the prevalence during home confinement due to the pandemic. They found that home confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a substantial myopic shift in children.



January 14, 2021 (JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg)

Socioeconomic Disparities in Patient Use of Telehealth During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Surge

Ilaaf Darrat, Samantha Tam, Marwan Boulis

This cohort study assesses demographic and socioeconomic factors associated with patient participation in telehealth visits during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.



January 13, 2021 (The NEJM)

Convalescent Plasma Antibody Levels and the Risk of Death from Covid-19

Michael J. Joyner, Rickey E. Carter, Jonathon W. Senefeld et al.

Among more than 3000 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, recipients of high-titre convalescent plasma had lower mortality at 30 days than recipients of low-titre plasma. The effect of high-titre plasma was greatest in the subgroup of patients who were not receiving mechanical ventilation.



January 11, 2021 (Nat Commun)

Antibody neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 through ACE2 receptor mimicry

Ge, J., Wang, R., Ju, B. et al.

The authors perform in-depth structural and functional analysis of three potent yet variable neutralizing antibodies of SARS-CoV-2. They describe their results and identified one antibody, P2C-1F11 that most closely mimics the binding of receptor ACE2, displays the most potent neutralizing activity in vitro and conferred strong protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in Ad5-hACE2-sensitized mice. Their results offer a structural and functional basis for potent neutralization via disruption of the very first and critical steps for SARS-CoV-2 cell entry.


January 11, 2021 (The Lancet Resp Medicine)

Development and validation of the ISARIC 4C Deterioration model for adults hospitalised with COVID-19: a prospective cohort study

Rishi K Gupta, Ewen M Harrison, Antonia Ho et al.


Gupta et al. developed and validated a multivariable logistic regression model for in-hospital clinical deterioration for inpatients with highly suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The 4C Deterioration model was found to have strong potential for clinical utility and generalisability to predict clinical deterioration and inform decision making among adults hospitalised with COVID-19.



January 8, 2021 (Genet Med)

“It seems like COVID-19 now is the only disease present on Earth”: living with a rare or undiagnosed disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Halley, M.C., Stanley, T., Maturi, J. et al.


This study aims to identify specific impacts of the pandemic on patients with rare and undiagnosed diseases (RUD) and targets for improving support and health-care access. Using an online survey, they identified specific, serious challenges affecting RUD patients and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling attention to develop approaches to mitigate these challenges both during and beyond the pandemic.

January 7, 2021 (Nat Commun)

Optimal COVID-19 quarantine and testing strategies. 

Wells, C.R., Townsend, J.P., Pandey, A. et al.

The authors develop a mathematical model that quantifies the probability of post-quarantine transmission incorporating testing into travel quarantine, quarantine of traced contacts with an unknown time of infection, and quarantine of cases with a known time of exposure. They show that appropriately timed testing can make shorter quarantines effective.


January 1, 2021 (JAMA Int. Med)

Effect of Recombinant Human Granulocyte Colony–Stimulating Factor for Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Lymphopenia: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Lin-ling Cheng, Wei-jie Guan, Chong-yang Duan et al.


This randomized clinical trial examines the effect of recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor on peripheral blood leukocyte and lymphocyte cell counts and clinical improvement in Chinese patients with COVID-19. The authors found that rhG-CSF treatment did not accelerate clinical improvement, however the number of patients progressing to critical illness or death may have been reduced, without an increased risk of serious adverse events suggesting that this treatment should be studied in larger trials.



January 1, 2021 (JAMA Int. Med)

Association Between Early Treatment With Tocilizumab and Mortality Among Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19

Shruti Gupta, Wei Wang, Salim S. Hayek et al.


This multi-centre cohort study assesses mortality rates among patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care who were treated with tocilizumab. The risk of in-hospital death was estimated to be lower with tocilizumab treatment in the first 2 days of intensive care unit admission compared with no early use of tocilizumab.

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