Using new technology to study antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals

Using a technology called VirScan to study coronavirus antibody responses in a large cohort of SARS-CoV-2-infected and control individuals, researchers identified epitopes recognized by a large fraction of COVID-19 patients, epitopes cross-reactive with antibodies developed in response to other human coronaviruses, and 10 epitopes likely recognized by neutralizing antibodies.

They used this VirScan data to design a tool for rapid SARS-CoV-2 antibody detection. The clinical course of COVID-19 is notable for its extreme variability. Understanding the factors influencing this spectrum of outcomes – including the variable human immune – is an area of focus.

Ellen Shrock and colleagues used a technology known as VirScan – a tool members of the same group developed previously – to explore the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 and other human coronaviruses in more than 200 COVID-19 patients and nearly 200 pre-COVID-19 era controls.

Blood serum from COVID-19

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COVID-19 disinfectants, wildfire smoke and mold endanger chemically susceptible individuals; new brief inventory can help identify those at risk — ScienceDaily

Intolerances to chemicals, foods and drugs impact 8%-33% of individuals, studies suggest, yet few people are screened for it at their doctors’ offices.

To address this and increase awareness of chemical intolerance, researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) developed and validated a three-question, yes-or-no survey that primary care providers, allergists, dermatologists and other specialists can incorporate into patient visits. The survey, called the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory, or BREESI, can also be used by researchers and patient groups, and for epidemiological studies in exposed populations.

Sept. 16 in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers reported that the BREESI accurately predicts scores on a comprehensive 50-question survey called the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI). The QEESI, which the UT Health San Antonio group introduced online in 2014, is available at no charge to patients and clinicians.

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