DNAIQ is committed to using its resources in support of increased understanding of SARS-CoV-2 host genetic susceptibility, immunity and Covid19 treatment. A curated list of recent research highlights and links follows.
Please note that some articles are sourced from preprint servers and have yet to be peer-reviewed.
Above: electron microscope image of a single coronavirus becoming attached to the surface of a human cell. Note the ‘spike’ glycoproteins on its surface which the virus uses to infect human cells.
The virus uses these glycoproteins to anchor to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors on human cells.
If the transmembrane protease encoded by TMPRS22 is also on the human cell near the site of attachment, the viral membrane and host cell membrane fuse and the virus injects its RNA into the host cell.
AI-driven tools that mine coronavirus literature
characteristics of currently available vaccines
NB all vaccines aim to introduce the SARS CoV2 spike protein to the adaptive immune system
|Pfizer-BioNTech||Moderna||Johnson & Johnson||Oxford-AstraZeneca||Novavax|
|mechanism of SARS CoV-2 virus spike protein exposure||polyethylene glycol lipid nanoparticle mRNA||polyethylene glycol lipid nanoparticle mRNA||primate adenovirus vector||primate adenovirus vector||spike protein nanoparticle|
|dosage||2 doses, 21 days apart; fully effective two weeks after second shot||2 doses, 28 days apart, fully effective two weeks after the second dose.||1 dose. Fully effective two weeks after vaccination.||2 doses, four to 12 weeks apart||2 doses, three weeks apart|
|effectiveness||84% after 6 months||90%||72%||85%||91%|
|rare but high risks||can trigger anaphylaxis (due to polyethylene glycol), treatable with epinephrine||can trigger anaphylaxis (due to polyethylene glycol), treatable with epinephrine||can trigger fatal blood clotting (due to adenovirus carrier)||can trigger fatal blood clotting (due to adenovirus carrier)||no high risk effects reported|
|genomic integration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or Adenoviral genes||speculative SARS-CoV-2 RNA ||speculative SARS-CoV-2 RNA ||speculative SARS-CoV-2 RNA  and Adenoviral ||speculative SARS-CoV-2 RNA  and Adenoviral ||not possible|
|comments||rapid design, cheap manufacture||rapid design, cheap manufacture||may have existing immunity to adenovirus rendering ineffective||may have existing immunity to adenovirus rendering ineffective||safest, may be used in vulnerable people|
|Availability in AU||low||–||–||good (also locally produced at Melbourne CSL)||–|
An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report
Clinical Trials Link
mRNA vaccines introduce an mRNA molecule that encodes an aspect of the virus that becomes expressed from cells as an antigenic determinant – in this case the spike protein of SARS-Cov-2. So far this vaccine has demonstrated the production of higher titres of neutralising antibodies compared to patients recovered from COVID19, however there were significant (but non-lethal) side effects in over 50% of participants.
Longitudinal evaluation and decline of antibody responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection
Antibody levels in confirmed COVID-19 patients decline dramatically within two months. In some cases antibody levels following recovery are undetectable.
Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals
SARS-Cov-2 reactive T cells detected in 40-60% of unexposed individuals due to exposure from common cold coronaviruses
serology test performance
use of dried blood spots in serology
Salivary Glands: Potential Reservoirs for COVID-19 Asymptomatic Infection
Salivary glands express high levels of ACE2 receptor and virus is detected in saliva before it is detectable in throat and lungs
Clearance and persistence of SARS‐CoV‐2 RNA in patients with COVID‐19
Evidence of patients with mild symptoms continuing to test positive via PCR for 40 days or more; based on antibody presence, suggests a weaker immune response results in attenuated disease severity
Platelet‐to‐lymphocyte ratio is associated with prognosis in patients with coronavirus disease‐19
Elevated platelet counts associated with greater disease severity
Platelet Gene Expression and Function in COVID-19 Patients
Platelets do not express the ACE2 receptor but SARS-CoV-2 mRNA is present in platelets of infected patients (suggesting an additional yet unidentified viral receptor); platelets become hyperactive and may contribute to COVID-19 pathology such as the presence of micro clots
prophylaxis & treatment hypotheses
The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neandertals
the genetic region showing the strongest signal for risk of severe COVID-19 is a 50 kb segment of the genome that is inherited from Neaderthals; for 23andme/Ancestry users the SNP that tags this site is rs10490770 (G)
low testosterone in males
genetic susceptibility to covid19 infection
ACE2 and TMPRS22 gene expression
proteins that interact with virus