Popularization of research advances on COVID-19


The Brazilian variant evolved in Manaus

Brazil is one of the countries most severely affected by the health crisis caused by COVID-19 and had registered more than 13 million cases and 300 000 deaths by March 2021. Amazonas, with its capital Manaus, is among the most affected states; two thirds of its inhabitants had been infected by October 2020. But this […]


The impact of the D614G mutation

SARS-CoV-2 has a genome made up of a single-strand RNA molecule. When it is replicated by the polymerase enzyme to make new virions, copying errors can arise in the sequence. These errors, if they are selectively advantageous, can become dominant. Early in the pandemic, the D614G mutation appeared from the Wuhan strain and quickly became […]


Could the Californian variant be dangerous?

Although SARS-CoV-2 mutates little in comparison to other RNA viruses, the relentless course of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact of its high transmissibility means that the original Wuhan strain has already acquired a certain genetic diversity. This is shown in the regular discovery of new variants, modifying their transmission, their virulence and their capacities […]


Large-scale vaccination: the best protection against the UK variant

The UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, detected for the first time in the south of England in September 2020, spread rapidly through the country and became the dominant strain. It has now been detected in more than 114 countries across the globe. This variant is characterized by 14 mutations and 3 deletions, of which 8 are […]


The South African variant is more resistant to vaccines

The South African variant is more resistant to vaccines Development of current vaccines against COVID-19 has required a huge amount of investment. There are now four available in Europe: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Janssen. All are designed to prompt antibody and lymphocyte T responses against the surface spike (S) protein that was present in the […]


The UK variant could spread to the whole of the United States

More transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged from the original Wuhan strain. Amongst these, the UK variant, discovered in Great Britain in the 3rd quarter of 2020, quickly became the dominant strain in the country. This variant carries a number of mutations, notably within the spike (S) protein, such as for example the N501Y mutation […]


Young people could be more vulnerable to the UK variant

The UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, which appeared at the end of the summer of 2020, spread rapidly across the country between November 2020 and January 2021. It includes numerous mutations and deletions (or losses), notably in the spike (S) surface protein, the protein in contact with the ACE2 cellular receptor which enables entry of the […]


How do we block the different variants of the virus?

SARS-CoV-2 is able to enter cells through its interaction with the spike (S) surface protein and the ACE2 cellular receptor. Soluble ACE2 proteins (sACE2), to act as lures for the virus (see letter 4-10 January 2021), and protease inhibitors are treatments currently undergoing clinical trials. But for the moment, only neutralizing antibodies constitute an […]


The UK variant may increase mortality rates

The UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 was discovered in the United Kingdom in September 2020. It carries numerous mutations, notably in the spike (S) surface protein, and seems much more infectious than other variants. Initial studies did not indicate changes in the illness’ severity. However, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have […]


Could the UK and South African variants be more dangerous?

COVID-19 has already caused the deaths of more than 2,6 million people across the world. Ending the pandemic means developing effective vaccines and drugs. Therapeutic antibodies are currently used to treat patients and there is a worldwide race to vaccinate people after the rapid development of different vaccines. The therapeutic antibodies and the vaccines approved […]

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