Hutch News Stories

Science papers you should be reading about the coronavirus

Amid the thousands of research publications on COVID-19, here are the ones we’re reading
A health worker directs motorists at a coronavirus (COVID-19) drive-thru testing location
A health worker directs motorists at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing location in Stamford, Connecticut. Photo by John Moore / Getty Images

Editor’s note: This story was first published on March 20. It has since been updated with more papers, and we will continue to add new papers periodically.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an unprecedented wave of research, data sharing and open science as the scientific world seeks to understand the disease, track its spread and analyze the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

There is also a trove of existing coronavirus datasets and scholarly literature that could be used to inform efforts to stop COVID-19. A group of organizations including the Allen Institute for AI, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Microsoft and the National Library of Medicine  released the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset to mobilize researchers to apply natural language processing and generate new insights. The free dataset has more than 29,000 scholarly articles already while new papers specific to the pandemic are being posted each day.

Experts at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are posting their research related to the disease and tracking the science behind COVID-19. Here are a few of the papers our scientists are reading that you might want to check out, too:

A systematic review of antibody mediated immunity to coronaviruses: antibody kinetics, correlates of protection, and association of antibody responses with severity of disease — medRxiv (Preprint)

This review led by researchers at the University of Florida explores the scientific literature surrounding the immune responses to coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as those that are responsible for SARS, MERS and some types of the common cold.

Communities of color at higher risk for health and economic challenges due to COVID-19 — Kaiser Family Foundation

This policy brief  by the Kaiser Family Foundation provides insight into how the health and financial impacts of COVID-19 may vary across racial and ethnic groups. It analyzes — by race and ethnicity — data on underlying health conditions, health coverage and health care access, and social and economic factors.

Effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in severe COVID-19 patients — Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

This study by teams of researchers in China provided early evidence that COVID-19 patients might benefit from infusions of purified antibody-containing plasma from the blood of patients who had recovered from the disease.

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Epidemiology of COVID-19 in a long-term care facility in King County, Washington — New England Journal of Medicine

Leaders of Public Health — Seattle & King County, along with local physicians and investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, describe the first outbreak in the United States at the Life Care Center of Kirkland (Washington).

First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States — New England Journal of Medicine

The Washington State 2019-nCoV Case Investigation Team and doctors at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, among others, describe the successful treatment of the first known COVID-19 patient in the United States.

A serological assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in humans — medRxiv (preprint)

This research, led by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, outlines efforts to develop blood tests that could be used to screen and identify people for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1 —
New England Journal of Medicine

This research, led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, evaluated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 in aerosols and on various surfaces, and estimated how long they remained viable and infectious in five environmental conditions (as aerosols and on plastic, stainless steel, copper and cardboard).

Impact on nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and health care demand —

Imperial College London

This research models how interventions like social distancing could impact infection rates in the U.K. and U.S. The conclusion: “The effectiveness of any one intervention in isolation is likely to be limited, requiring multiple interventions to be combined to have a substantial impact on transmission.” This paper has been credited with prompting policymakers in the U.S. and the U.K. to take more urgent steps at curbing the pandemic.

Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) — Science

This research, led by Columbia University, analyzes data from China and finds that the epidemic there was driven by “undocumented infections” — sicknesses that were so mild they were not recorded as COVID-19 cases. The researchers found that these undocumented infections were the source in nearly 80% of the recorded cases, which explains the rapid geographic spread of the virus and why it will be hard to contain.

Managing cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic: Agility and collaboration toward a common goal —
JNCCN (Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network)

Experts from Fred Hutch and its clinical-care partner, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, share insights and advice on how to provide cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle area was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 U.S. outbreak.

Estimating clinical severity of COVID-19 from the transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China — Nature Medicine

This research, led by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control, offered one of the first and most robust analyses of data from Wuhan, where the pandemic began. Researchers estimate that the overall symptomatic case-fatality risk of COVID-19 in Wuhan was 1.4%. That is, people with COVID-19 who develop symptoms have a 1.4% chance of dying.

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Last Modified, April 23, 2020