Episode 14

Antibodies, Mutations, and Sewage... Oh My!

Do declining antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 mean long-lasting immunity is impossible? What do mutations in the virus mean for vaccine effectiveness? Can we use sewage water to monitor the pandemic? On this episode of Beyond the Abstract, Derek and Ellen talk about three recent papers related to these important COVID-19 issues.

Note: Since recording this episode, there have been more documented cases of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine. However, the number of cases relative to the number of vaccinations is still extremely low indicating the vaccine is generally safe. Currently, it is thought that polyethylene glycol (a chemical ingredient in the vaccine) is the culprit behind the reactions, but this has not been confirmed. You can read more about this in Science and on the CDC Website. Please consult your physician if you have concerns about getting the vaccine.

On January 10th, the day prior to publication of this episode, COVID-19 cases in the US crossed 22 million with over 200,000 new cases that day.

Ward et al. Declining prevalence of antibody positive to SARS-CoV-2: a community study of 365,000 adults. medRxiv, October 2020. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.26.20219725v1

Plante et al. Spike mutation D614G alters SARS-CoV-2 fitness. Nature, 2020. PMID: 33106671

Peccia et al. Measurement of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater tracks community infection dynamics. Nature Biotechnology, 2020. PMID: 32948856

The information presented here is not medical advice. Please follow all guidelines from the CDC in regards to social distancing. Consult your physician on any questions regarding your personal health.

About the Podcast

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Beyond the Abstract
Science and research for everyone

About your hosts

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Derek Sung

Derek is a 4th year MD/PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania interested in developmental and vascular biology with plans to apply into Obstetrics & Gynecology. He is the founder, co-developer, and co-host of Beyond the Abstract.

In his spare time, he likes to listen to All Star by Smash Mouth on repeat, smile too big for photos, pretend to be a sommelier, and throw epic Halloween parties with his roommate.
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Ellen White

Ellen is a 3rd year MD/PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania interested in microbiome research with the hopes of specializing in GI medicine. She is a co-developer and co-host of Beyond the Abstract. You can find her listening to Work by Rihanna (feat. Drake) on repeat, getting too invested in college basketball games, or shamelessly watching Real Housewives.