Covid-19 assaults the pancreas
The brand new coronavirus instantly targets the pancreas, infecting and damaging its insulin-producing cells, in line with a brand new examine. The findings could assist clarify why blood sugar issues develop in lots of Covid-19 sufferers, and why there have been experiences of diabetes growing on account of the virus.
The pancreas has two jobs: the manufacturing of enzymes essential to digestion, and the creation and launch of the hormones insulin and glucagon that regulate blood sugar ranges.
In a paper printed on Wednesday in Nature Metabolism, researchers report that lab and post-mortem research present the brand new coronavirus infects pancreas cells concerned in these processes and modifications their form, disturbs their genes, and impairs their perform.
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The brand new knowledge “identify the human pancreas as a target of SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggest that beta-cell infection could contribute to the metabolic dysregulation observed in patients with Covid-19,” the authors conclude.
One vaccine dose is likely to be sufficient for Covid-19 survivors
Covid-19 survivors may solely want one shot of the brand new vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, as an alternative of the same old two doses, as a result of their immune methods have gotten a head begin on studying to acknowledge the virus, in line with two separate experiences posted this week on medRxiv forward of peer evaluation.
In a single examine of 59 healthcare staff who recovered from Covid-19 and acquired one of many vaccines, antibody ranges after the primary shot have been greater than ranges often seen after two doses in individuals and not using a historical past of Covid-19. In a separate examine, researchers discovered that 41 Covid-19 survivors developed “high antibody titers within days of vaccination,” and people ranges have been 10 to twenty instances greater than in uninfected, unvaccinated volunteers after only one vaccine dose.
“The antibody response to the first vaccine dose in individuals with pre-existing immunity is equal to or even exceeds” ranges present in uninfected people after the second vaccine dose, the authors of that paper mentioned.
“Changing the policy to give these individuals only one dose of vaccine would not negatively impact on their antibody titers, spare them from unnecessary pain and free up many urgently needed vaccine doses,” they mentioned.
Gout drug exhibits promise for mildly ailing Covid-19 sufferers
Colchicine, an anti-inflammatory drug used to deal with gout and different rheumatic ailments, decreased hospitalizations and deaths by greater than 20% in Covid-19 sufferers in a big worldwide trial. Covid-19 sufferers with gentle sickness and at the least one situation that put them at excessive danger for problems, akin to diabetes or coronary heart illness, acquired both colchicine or a placebo for 30 days.
General, the danger of hospitalization or loss of life was statistically comparable within the two teams. However among the many 4,159 sufferers whose coronavirus infections had been recognized with a gold-standard PCR check, loss of life or hospital admission occurred in 4.6% of these on colchicine versus 60% of those that obtained a placebo.
After taking sufferers’ different danger elements into consideration, colchicine was related to a statistically important 25% danger discount, the researchers reported on medRxiv forward of peer evaluation. Sufferers taking colchicine additionally had fewer instances of pneumonia.
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“Given that colchicine is inexpensive, taken by mouth, was generally safe in this study, and does not generally need lab monitoring during use, it shows potential as the first oral drug to treat Covid-19 in the outpatient setting,” the researchers mentioned.
Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine may work higher with doses months aside
Amongst recipients of the Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford College and AstraZeneca, prolonging the interval between the primary and second doses led to raised outcomes, researchers mentioned in a paper posted on Monday forward of peer-review by The Lancet on its preprint website.
For volunteers aged 18 to 55, vaccine efficacy was 82.4% with 12 or extra weeks between doses, in comparison with 54.9% when the booster was given inside 6 weeks after the primary dose. The longest interval between doses given to older volunteers was 8 weeks, so there have been no knowledge for the efficacy of a 12-week dosing hole in that group.
Europe’s drugs regulator has mentioned there’s not sufficient knowledge to find out how nicely the vaccine will work in individuals over 55. Given their findings, the authors say “a second dose given after a three-month period is an effective strategy … and maybe the optimal for rollout of a pandemic vaccine when supplies are limited in the short term.”