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Round-up: COVID-19 March 2021 (Part One)

Another month, another round-up of the latest news and research surrounding COVID-19 from the last fortnight.


At the time of writing, there have been:

  • 116,291,845 cases
  • 2,583,173 deaths
  • 91,947,423 recoveries


  • An international study has found increased COVID-19 morality among adults with Down Syndrome. (Baumer et al, 2021)
  • A new analysis of B cells has shown that they continue to work against SARS-CoV-2 months after infection, yet do not recognise various emerging variants from Brazil and South Africa. (Sakharkar et al, 2021)
  • HSE University researchers have become the first in the world to discover genetic predisposition to severe COVID-19. (Tonevitsky et al, 2021)
  • A new study has explored the real-world effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in a nationwide mass-vaccination setting. (Miron et al, 2021)
  • An international team has demonstrated in both the laboratory and in animal models why the D614G variant was able to compete with the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. (Beer et al, 2021)
  • A nanoparticle-delivered COVID-19 vaccine candidate shows promise in preclinical studies. (Jung et al, 2021)
  • A new modelling study has found that a variant of SARS-CoV-2 – VOC 202012/01 – is more transmissible than pre-existing variants. (Davies et al, 2021)
  • Using a combination of genome sequencing and epidemiological data, researchers have examined the routes of transmission of coronavirus in care homes. (Hamilton et al, 2021)
  • Scientists have shown that SARS-CoV-2 can make itself unrecognisable to the immune response by T-killer cells through mutations. (Agerer et al, 2021)
  • A recent article has explored  why scientists are monitoring pets, livestock and wildlife to work out where SARS-CoV-2 could hide, and whether it could resurge. (Mallapaty, 2021)

Other news

  • Pfizer and BioNTech have begun a study testing whether a third dose of their vaccine would increase its effectiveness against new variants. (Pfizer, 2021)
  • Results of a survey by the Association for Molecular Pathology has found a decline in molecular testing for cancer during the pandemic. (AMP, 2021)

Image credit: By starline – freepik

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