Publications - March 2021

Preprint and peer-reviewed publications from RECOVER’s studies

Interferon antagonism by SARS-CoV-2: a functional study using reverse genetics (Schroeder et al. 2021)

The COVID-19 agent, SARS-CoV-2, is conspecific with SARS-CoV, the causal agent of the severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic in 2002–03. Although the viruses share a completely homologous repertoire of proteins and use the same cellular entry receptor, their transmission efficiencies and pathogenetic traits differ. We aimed to compare interferon antagonism by SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.

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Model-based evaluation of school- and non-school-related measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic (Rozhnova et al. 2021)

The role of school-based contacts in the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 is incompletely understood. We use an age-structured transmission model fitted to age-specific seroprevalence and hospital admission data to assess the effects of school-based measures at different time points during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. Our analyses suggest that the impact of measures reducing school-based contacts depends on the remaining opportunities to reduce non-school-based contacts.

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The B1.351 and P.1 variants extend SARS-CoV-2 host range to mice (Montagutelli et al. 2021)

Receptor recognition is a major determinant of viral host range, as well as infectivity and pathogenesis. Emergences have been associated with serendipitous events of adaptation upon encounters with a novel host, and the high mutation rate of RNA viruses has been proposed to explain their frequent host shifts. SARS-CoV-2 extensive circulation in humans has been associated with the emergence of variants, including variants of concern (VOCs) with diverse mutations in the spike and increased transmissibility or immune escape. Here we show that unlike the initial virus, VOCs are able to infect common laboratory mice, replicating to high titers in the lungs. 

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Prospective SARS-CoV-2 cohort study among general practitioners during the second COVID-19 wave in Flanders, Belgium (Mariën et al. 2021)

Primary health care providers (PHCPs), especially general practitioners (GPs) are essential to organise health care efficiently. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they also keep the pressure off hospitals. PHCPs are assumed to be at high risk of a COVID-19 infection, as they are exposed to a large portion of the population (usually with less personal protective equipment than other frontline health care workers(HCWs)). Nevertheless, previous seroprevalence studies focussed on the general population or HCWs in hospital settings, rather than PHCPs. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of PHCPs after the first and during the second SARS-CoV-2 wave in Flanders (Belgium) and compare it to the seroprevalence in the general population (blood donors).

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Experiences and needs of persons living with a household member infected with SARS-CoV-2: A mixed method study (Verberk et al. 2021)

Households are important sites for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and preventive measures are recommended. This study aimed to 1) investigate the impact of living with a person infected with SARS-CoV-2; 2) understand how household members implemented infection control recommendations in their home; and 3) identify the information and support needs of household members.

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