TWiV discusses whether or not Omicron should be designated a new serotype of SARS-CoV-2, and the finding that amino acid changes that adapt SARS-CoV-2 to mink or ferret do not increase fitness in the human airway.
TWiV reveals all that we know so far about the variant of concern B.1.1.529, also called Omicron, and describes a study on the ability of the alpha, beta, and delta variants to reproduce in cells in culture and induce membrane fusion.
TWiV explains that a recent report suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein inhibits V(D)J recombination in vitro would not impact immunity after infection or vaccination, and describes the isolation of remdesivir resistant mutants in cells in culture, and the emergence of amino acid changes in the spike protein identical to those in variants of concern, in the absence of immune selection.
Moshe and Ivet join TWiV to discuss their finding that MIS-C is a consequence of a superantigen in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that causes activation of a skewed population of T cell receptor bearing lymphocytes, leading to hyperinflammation.
Paul and Theodora return to TWiV to explain their research on determining the number of neutralizing epitopes on the SARS-CoV-2 spike that are recognized by antibodies, and engineering of a polymutant spike with twenty amino acid changes that demonstrates the high genetic barrier to escape from convalescent serum.
TWiV notes the passing of Mavis Agbandje-McKenna, and reviews data on maximizing fit for cloth and medical procedure masks, SARS-CoV-2 total and subgenomic viral load in hospitalized patients, and effect of changes in spike protein on efficacy in a mouse model of infection.
TWiV reviews the latest data on the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, including some properties of the variant and why it is being closely studied, development of liver cancer in a participant in a adenovirus-associated virus gene therapy trial, and answers to listener questions.
The TWiVers analyze efficacy of the AstraZeneca/Oxford adenovirus vectored vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 did not infect miners who became ill 8 years ago after cleaning bat guano from a cave in Yunnan Province, and induction of antigen-specific germinal center responses and production of neutralizing antibody by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine but not purified protein.
Lisa joins TWiV to discuss her research on the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, including work on vaccines and an antiviral, then we review the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as a potential analgesic, and listener questions.