TWiV Special: Coronavirus update with Mark Denison, MD

March 26, 2020

Pediatric infectious disease physician and coronavirologist Mark Denison joins Vincent for a discussion of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 with an emphasis on antiviral therapeutics.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello

Guest: Mark Denison

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Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees.

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13 comments on “TWiV Special: Coronavirus update with Mark Denison, MD

  1. Thank you Vincent and Mark!

  2. Cameron Rogers Mar 26, 2020

    Thanks Vincent and Mark,
    Really interesting discussion, I found the point on the need to use Remdesivir early in cases of COVID-19, particularly interesting. IMHO the trial of drugs in a crisis seem to often be employed in late stage disease, almost as an act of desperation. This really highlights the need for properly constructed double blind, controlled clinical trials. To know how to employ a drug, whether it is effective and how to use a drug most effectively. It also demonstrates the need for extensive testing for SARS-CoV-2 in the wider community to aid early detection of cases, rather than waiting for patients to present with severe symptoms at the hospital.

    Great discussion guys, love your work. Thanks for taking the time to record this.

  3. Update Snake Oil Salesman now Detained for fake COVID-19 cure.

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The FBI has arrested a Southern California man who officials said falsely claimed to have developed a cure for the coronavirus and solicited investments in a company he said would market the medication, federal prosecutors said.

    Keith Lawrence Middlebrook told his 2.4 million Instagram followers that his company would return hundreds of millions of dollars in profit, the U.S Department of Justice said in a statement Wednesday.

    Middlebrook claimed he had developed pills that would prevent COVID-19 infections and an injectable drug that would cure those already suffering from the virus, prosecutors said.


    There are no known cures or vaccinations for the coronavirus. The federal case is believed to be one of the first in the U.S. connected to an alleged coronavirus cure scam, prosecutors said.

    Middlebrook, 53, could face one felony count of attempted wire fraud. It wasn’t known Thursday if he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

    He was arrested during a meeting in which he delivered pills to an undercover FBI agent posing as an investor, officials said.

    Middlebrook claimed former basketball superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson was one of the investors in his company, Quantum Prevention CV Inc., the Justice Department statement said. Johnson told investigators that he knew nothing about Middlebrook’s firm, the statement said.

    In text messages Middlebrook wrote that a Los Angeles patient who was being treated for the virus “got up and walked out 51 hours after my injection,” according to an affidavit from investigators.

    In the same text, Middlebrook also wrote that investors who spend $1 million could see returns of ”$200M – $300M… conservative minimum,” the affadivit said.

    “During these difficult days, scams like this are using blatant lies to prey upon our fears and weaknesses,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said.

    Middlebrook, an actor with several uncredited film and television parts, had a federal court appearance Thursday, where a judge set his arraignment for April 16. If convicted as charged he could face up to 20 years in prison.

  4. Joseph Mar 27, 2020

    Hi. I’ve been thinking about the denominator problem with the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic as well as the challenges for epidemiology in the absence of adequate testing.

    Does anyone have the capability to create an app that asks the user for a daily check in on how they’re feeling? Most of us will check “I’m well”. Some of us won’t. The app can then prompt for symptoms. The responses can be associated with their location.

    The implications of having access to such data should be obvious.

  5. Thanks so much for presenting such great information in your series.
    The current epidemic has me tuned in and learning!! Being in the heart of Santa Clara County, CA we are on our toes paying attention.

  6. Rob Mitchell Mar 28, 2020

    Had some thoughts about the podcast.
    Has anyone considered chemically attenuated immunisation with live virus? We know live attenuated vaccines have greater efficacy and produce lasting immunity, and so theoretically you could create a limited infection by giving antivirals before inoculation? Also use a exonuclease knockout stain would open up the chemical attenuation options.
    Probably a bit beyond the ethics committees!

  7. Youth have an easier time with sars-cov-2. Reminds me of Prof. Racaniello’s comments about polio.

  8. Rosa Romigosa Mar 31, 2020

    I would think, the research with remdesiver should be done in moderately severe patients, not yet on a Ventilator, although may be use in compassionate basis for intubated patients.

  9. This was fascinating! Thank you for it. I am not a virologist but I teach microbiology. I’m concerned about the potential for MERS to emerge in a more transmissible but highly lethal form. As I understand it, all outbreaks thus far have started as zoonotic introductions with short transmission chains. Do you have thoughts on the likelihood that a mutant adapted for easy transmission in humans will emerge? Are public health systems in the region taking adequate measures to prevent it?
    Thanks, again.