TWiV provides an update on immunity to Omicron, results of a randomized controlled trial of face masks, and a study of correlates of protection against respiratory syncytial virus infection in the upper and lower respiratory tract of nonhuman primates.
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Rich Condit, and Amy Rosenfeld
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Download TWiV 841 (63 MB .mp3, 105 min)
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Links for this episode
- Omicron escape from serum antibodies (pdf) 3:37
- Pfizer/BioNTech update on Omicron (Pfizer) 15:42
- Randomized trial of masking for COVID-19 (Science) 32:28
- Upper and lower respiratory tract correlates of protection for RS virus (Cell Host Micr) 44:31
- Timestamps by Jolene. Thanks!
Weekly Picks 1:22:29
Dickson – Cities at Night
Amy – I’m an E.R. Doctor in Michigan, Where Unvaccinated People Are Filling Hospital Beds
Rich – International Dark Sky Association
Vincent – SARS-CoV-2 variants
Keith – Ventusky
Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees
Send your virology questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Team Twive
I wanted to thank you for your weekly discussion of virology and immunology. I’ve come to depend on TWIV for in depth and balanced analysis of breaking news coverage. I particularly enjoyed the discussion in this episode where you had some genuine disagreements around the conclusions one can draw from studies should antibody response to Omicron. Educated people , engaging in serious and respectful debate is the foundation of all science and is sorely lacking in the public discourse these days. So, thank you.
One thing that confused me. During the discussion of the Bangladesh mask study, one of the hosts, I think it was Rich Condit but I might be mistaken, said that cloth masks were “a little better than surgical masks.” He didn’t quantify how much better, but I’ve read that study and from what I could see, cloth masks resulted in a small reduction in reported symptoms, but no reduction at all in seropositivity. Since, as was pointed out in the episode, it’s nice to see a study reporting seropositivity as the outcome, isn’t it significant that cloth masks showed no effect there? It looks like nearly all of the 11.9% reduction was coming from surgical masks and from the subgroup analysis, that was only found in mask-wearers over 50. There was no effect for anyone under 50.
Am I misreading the study?
Your podcast has been invaluable over the past couple of years, when newspapers can suffer from the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. Thank you for your efforts.