Having been over a year since COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic, we here at ABclonal have had the chance to compile and explore a wide range of information, resources, and breakthroughs related to the novel coronavirus through our blogs. Below, we've organized and selected five recommended pieces of reading related to COVID-19, covering topics including asymptomatic cases, the different detection methods (PCR vs. antibody testing), as well as a one-year-mark review of the impact of COVID-19.
The Impact of COVID-19: A Year in Review
It has now been over a year since March 2020, when the World Health Organization determined that the growing spread of COVID-19 would be officially characterized as a global pandemic. The year that followed challenged humanity with a public health crisis on a scale that few could even imagine, with far-reaching social and economic impacts still being felt across the globe. And yet, this past year also brought out the best in many of us, with medical professionals diligently fighting the pandemic on the front lines and researchers collaborating to progress our global recovery. Owing to the relentless work of researchers making breakthroughs in vaccine research, it appears that the long road to recovery has finally begun. With mitigation and recovery efforts underway, let's take a look back at the past year to see how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world and shaped what we now understand to be a “new normal”:
A Closer Look at Asymptomatic COVID-19 Cases
As we’ve seen over this past year, a SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in widely different manifestations and severities in the subsequent course of the COVID-19 disease that it causes. Many of those infected by SARS-CoV-2 experience a mild to severe illness, with symptoms that include fever, shortness of breath, cough, and fatigue that appear roughly 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. On the other hand, some individuals infected with the virus remain fully asymptomatic, experiencing no symptoms from SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this blog post, we take a closer look at two studies that shed light on asymptomatic patients' capacity for viral transmission.
COVID-19 Detection Methods: Nucleic Acid vs. IgM/IgG Antibody Tests
The two most common detection techniques used in testing for COVID-19 are nucleic acid detection and antibody testing. Nucleic acid detection is based on nucleic acid extraction and an RT-qPCR workflow, while IgM/IgG antibody utilizes a simplified and more efficient procedure. Two of the most frequently asked questions are whether the methods are replaceable for one another, and what the differences are between the two techniques. In this helpful blog post, we discuss the two detection techniques in detail, highlight their differences, and provide you with a better understanding of both in order to maximize your research and clinical success.
Screening of Characteristic Proteins and Metabolites as a Predictor for COVID-19 Severity in Patients
At the time of this blog's publishing in June of 2020, the novel coronavirus has spread rapidly around the world, with confirmed infection cases having reached more than six million by that point. The average mortality rate of those infected was estimated then to be around 6%. The sudden outbreak and particularly rapid spread of the novel coronavirus had required researchers worldwide to double down on investigative efforts against COVID-19 in order to develop a treatment, and eventually a vaccine as soon as possible. This blog covers then-recent findings that, through a mass spectrometry analysis, 105 proteins were observed to be differentially expressed in COVID-19 patients vs. healthy patients. Click the button below to read more about this breakthrough:
A Closer Look at COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccine Development
The goal of this piece was to compile in an organized fashion the troves of information that were coming out daily from various companies in the US developing vaccines and potential treatments for COVID-19. In June of 2020 when this blog was published, it certainly felt overwhelming to keep track of all the new developments being made in the research of COVID-19. This compilation of information should help you navigate some of the key breakthroughs in the fight against COVID-19, including a discussion of Moderna's mRNA-based vaccine that has since been successfully rolled out, as well as a debunking of purported off-label uses of certain drugs for the supposed treatment of COVID-19.