Inequitable access to the fruits of research during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgency — and feasibility — of overhauling the R&D system.

8th March 2022 • comment

Español/English/Português Esta Hoja de ruta de investigación de las Naciones Unidas para la recuperación de COVID-19 proporciona un marco para aprovechar el potencial de la Ciencia en apoyo de una recuperación socioeconómica más afectiva, y un futuro más equitativo, resiliente y sostenible. Diseñado para complementar el Marco de la ONU para la respuesta socioeconómica inmediata ante COVID-19 (abril de 2020), esta Hoja de Ruta en Investigación se desarrolló rápidamente, en diez semanas, a través de un proceso participativo global que se basó en los conocimientos de investigadores/as, fuentes de financiación de investigación, legisladores/as gubernamentales, sociedad civil, y personas líderes y/o funcionarios/as de la ONU de todo el mundo. Vea el Diálogo abierto con el Secretario General Adjunto de la ONU sobre Ciencia para el Desarrollo en el contexto de COVID-11 (disponible en inglés). El diálogo fue copatrocinado por los Institutos Canadienses de Investigación en Salud y la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas para las Asociaciones de Colaboración. ¿Cómo puede la Ciencia contribuir a una recuperación más equitativa, resiliente y sostenible de la pandemia de COVID-19? Estrategias para mejorar la colaboración entre los organismos de financiación de la investigación, las instituciones de investigación y las Naciones Unidas del mundo.

4th March 2022 • comment

Both  vaccines  demonstrated  overall  effectiveness  against  severe  COVID-19  up  to  80  years  of age.  Our  results  suggest  that  individuals  aged  90  years or  older  may  benefit from  an expedited  third  booster  dose.  Ongoing  evaluations, including  any  additional  vaccines authorized,  are  crucial  to  monitoring  long-term vaccine  effectiveness.

26th January 2022 • comment

A complete regimen of CoronaVac in pregnant women was effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19, and highly effective against severe illness in a setting that combines high disease burden and elevated Covid-19 related maternal deaths.

26th January 2022 • comment

We found waning vaccine protection of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths in both Scotland and Brazil, this becoming evident within three months of the second vaccine dose. Consideration needs to be given to providing booster vaccine doses for people who have received ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.  

26th January 2022 • comment

Global coalition to accelerate COVID-19 clinical research in resource-limited settings

by Global coalition to accelerate COVID-19 clinical research in resource-limited settings

To address challenges posed by the pandemic and accelerate the research needed in resource-limited settings, we propose an international research coalition that brings together existing multinational, multidisciplinary expertise and clinical trial capacity. The coalition will synergise with existing initiatives, such as the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Pipeline. Our objective is to use our existing research capabilities to support, promote, and accelerate multicentre trials of the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of interventions against COVID-19 in resource-limited settings. For therapeutics, research in such settings should focus primarily on evaluation of affordable repurposed medicines—ie, those already developed and approved for other indications—and implementable supportive measures. If applicable, testing of new diagnostic tools, vaccines, and other potentially beneficial strategies will be added to the trials.

26th January 2022 • comment

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Global Asymmetries and Challenges for the Future of Health

by Nísia Trindade Lima, Carlos Grabois Gadelha

Social  and  economic  inequality  between  countries, territories,  and  population  groups  has  increased  during the  pandemic.  Its  impacts  are  unevenly  distributed, revealing  the  interface  between  the  biological, economic,  and  social  worlds.  There  is  a  threat  of  a humanitarian  crisis  due  to  the  concrete  differences between  those  who  have  full  access  to  products, services,  and  health  and  those  who  can  be  left  behind.

26th January 2022 • comment

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. The pandemic not only induced a public health crisis, but has led to severe economic, social, and educational crises. Across economies and societies, the distributional consequences of the pandemic have been uneven. Among groups living in vulnerable conditions, the pandemic substantially magnified the inequality gaps, with possible negative implications for these individuals' long-term physical, socioeconomic, and mental wellbeing. This Viewpoint proposes priority, programmatic, and policy recommendations that governments, resource partners, and relevant stakeholders should consider in formulating medium-term to long-term strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19, addressing the virus's impacts, and decreasing health inequalities.

26th January 2022 • comment

Background High rates of virus transmission and the presence of variants of concern can affect vaccine effectiveness (VE). Both conditions occur in low-income countries, which primarily use viral vector or inactivated virus vaccine technologies. Such countries conducted few VE analyses, and most lack the power to evaluate effectiveness in subgroups.

3rd September 2021 • comment

By the first week of June, Brazil had reached almost 17 million cases and a little more than 472,000 deaths. A notable demographic change has been observed within this period, in which young and middle-aged adults representing an increasing share of patients in wards and intensive care units (ICU).

22nd July 2021 • comment

The Amazon biome is under severe threat due to increasing deforestation rates and loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services while sustaining a high burden of neglected tropical diseases. Approximately two thirds of this biome are located within Brazilian territory. There, socio-economic and environmental landscape transformations are linked to the regional agrarian economy dynamics, which has developed into six techno-productive trajectories (TTs).

16th July 2021 • comment

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic triggered substantial economic and social disruptions. Mitigation policies varied across countries based on resources, political conditions, and human behavior. In the absence of widespread vaccination able to induce herd immunity, strategies to coexist with the virus while minimizing risks of surges are paramount, which should work in parallel with reopening societies. 

7th July 2021 • comment

The notion that health crises unfairly and disproportionately affect vulnerable populations was observed and documented during the greatest health crisis of this century. Furthermore, studies have shown that the distribution of COVID-19 is unequal among different ethnic and socioeconomic groups (Horta, 2020 and Wang, 2020). 

30th June 2021 • comment

SARS-CoV-2 has undergone progressive change with variants conferring advantage rapidly becoming dominant lineages e.g. B.1.617. With apparent increased transmissibility variant B.1.617.2 has contributed to the current wave of infection ravaging the Indian subcontinent and has been designated a variant of concern in the UK. 

29th June 2021 • comment

This paper examines the predictability of COVID-19 worldwide lethality considering 43 countries. Based on the values inherent to Permutation entropy (Hs) and Fisher information measure (Fs), we apply the Shannon-Fisher causality plane (SFCP), which allows us to quantify the disorder an evaluate randomness present in the time series of daily death cases related to COVID-19 in each country.

25th June 2021 • comment

In this study, we analyze the perception of Brazilians about COVID-19 in 12 cities in the country. Issues about the severity and dangers of the disease, sources of information and reliability, checking information, attitudes, precautions and priorities for coping and trusting relationships in science were addressed. 

18th June 2021 • comment

We recently reported vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates against symptomatic disease with the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant.(1) After a full course, VE reached 88% with the Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine and 67% with the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 AZD1222 vaccine. This provided important evidence that despite modest reductions in protection, vaccines remain effective against Delta. However, the very recent emergence of the variant and the relatively low case numbers meant that it was not possible to estimate VE against severe disease.

14th June 2021 • comment

The emergence of COVID-19 in Brazil further explained the massive discrepancy between different social realities coexisting in the country, rekindling the discussions about food and nutrition security, similarly to what has been happening in other countries facing the same pandemic situation. In this paper, we argue that the risks to hunger and food security in Brazil have been present since 2016 and are now being exacerbated due to the emergence of the COVID-19 epidemic. 

10th June 2021 • comment

The northern state of Amazonas is among the regions in Brazil most heavily affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and has experienced two exponentially growing waves, in early and late 2020. Through a genomic epidemiology study based on 250 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes from different Amazonas municipalities sampled between March 2020 and January 2021, we reveal that the first exponential growth phase was driven mostly by the dissemination of lineage B.1.195, which was gradually replaced by lineage B.1.1.28 between May and June 2020. 

25th May 2021 • comment

Critically ill 2019 coronavirus disease patients (COVID-19) under invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) are 10- to 40-times more likely to die than the general population. Although progression from mild to severe COVID-19 has been associated with hypoxia, uncontrolled inflammation and coagulopathy, the mechanisms involved in progression to severity are poorly understood. By analyzing the virome from tracheal aspirates (TA) of 25 COVID-19 patients under IMV, we found higher levels and differential expression of human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) genes compared to nasopharyngeal swabs from mild cases and TA from non-COVID patients. Proteomic analysis and RT-PCR confirmed the presence of HERV-K in these patients.   

21st May 2021 • comment

Abstract SARS-CoV-2 VOCs immune evasion is mainly due to lower cross-reactivity from previously elicited class I/II neutralizing antibodies, while increased affinity to hACE2 plays a minor role. The affinity between antibodies and VOC is impacted by remodeling of the electrostatic surface potential of the Spike RBDs. P.3 variant is a putative VOC.

14th May 2021 • comment

Current approaches of drug repurposing against COVID-19 have not proven overwhelmingly successful and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to cause major global mortality. SARS-CoV-2 nsp12, its RNA polymerase, shares homology in the nucleotide uptake channel with the HCV orthologue enzyme NS5B. Besides, HCV enzyme NS5A has pleiotropic activities, such as RNA binding, that are shared with various SARS-CoV-2 proteins. 

21st April 2021 • comment

Coronaviruses can cause a diverse array of clinical manifestations, from fever with symptoms of the common cold to highly lethal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus discovered in Hubei province, China, at the end of 2019, became known worldwide for causing COVID-19.

1st April 2021 • comment

The dynamics underlying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reinfection remain poorly understood. We identified a small cluster of patients in Brazil who experienced 2 episodes of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in March and late May 2020. In the first episode, patients manifested an enhanced innate response compared with healthy persons, but neutralizing humoral immunity was not fully achieved. The second episode was associated with different SARS-CoV-2 strains, higher viral loads, and clinical symptoms. Our finding that persons with mild COVID-19 may have controlled SARS-CoV-2 replication without developing detectable humoral immunity suggests that reinfection is more frequent than supposed, but this hypothesis is not well documented.

1st April 2021 • comment

The global spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern underscore an urgent need of simple deployed molecular tools that can differentiate these lineages. Several tools and protocols have been shared since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they need to be timely adapted to cope with SARS-CoV-2 evolution. 

25th March 2021 • comment
24th March 2021 • comment

The Global Health Network ( established in January 2020 a community of practice to address research on COVID-19 in low/middle-income countries.

9th February 2021 • comment

The SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.28 has been evolving in Brazil since February 2020, but the recent emergence of sub-lineages with convergent mutations in the spike (S) protein raises concern about the potential impact on viral infectivity and immune escape. The lineage P.1 (alias of B. is an emerging variant that harbours several amino acid mutations including S:K417T, S:E484K, and S:N501Y. This report describes the first confirmed case of reinfection with the P.1 lineage in a 29-years-old female resident in the Amazonas state, Brazil, previously infected with a B.1 lineage virus.

9th February 2021 • comment

Here we report a preliminary genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.28 lineage circulating in the Brazilian Amazon region and their evolutionary relationship with emerging and potential emerging SARS-CoV-2 Brazilian variants harboring mutations in the RBD of Spike (S) protein. Phylogenetic analysis of 69 B.1.1.28 sequences isolated in the Amazonas state revealed the existence of two major clades that have evolved locally without unusual mutations in the S protein from April to November 2020. 

9th February 2021 • comment

The dynamics underlying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reinfection remains poorly understood. We added to the registered case reports of reinfection in USA, Belgium/Netherlands, Ecuador and Hong Kong, a small cluster of individuals with two episodes of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Virus genomic analysis and the host immune response were used to characterize this group.

8th February 2021 • comment

  In this article, we explore elements that highlight the interdependent nature of demands for knowledge production and decision-making related to the appearance of emerging diseases. To this end, we refer to scientific production and current contextual evidence to verify situations mainly related to the Brazilian Amazon, which suffers systematic disturbances and is characterized as a possible source of pathogenic microorganisms. 

1st February 2021 • comment

Essential workers have been shown to present a higher prevalence of positive screenings for anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals from countries with socioeconomic inequalities may be at increased risk for mental health disorders.

14th December 2020 • comment

Confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic can influence dietary profiles, especially those of adolescents, who are highly susceptible to acquiring bad eating habits. Adolescents’ poor dietary habits increase their subsequent risk of degenerative diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular pathologies, etc. Our aim was to study nutritional modifications during COVID-19 confinement in adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, compare them with their usual diet and dietary guidelines, and identify variables that may have influenced changes. 

14th December 2020 • comment

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was initially described as a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is now known, however, that many other biological systems are affected, including the central nervous system (CNS). Neurological manifestations such as stroke, encephalitis, and psychiatric conditions have been reported in COVID-19 patients, but its neurotropic potential is still debated. Here, we investigate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the brain from an infant patient deceased from COVID-19.  FULL TEXT

2nd October 2020 • comment

Psycho-Neuroendocrine-Immune Interactions in COVID-19: Potential Impacts on Mental Health

by Ícaro Raony, Camila Saggioro de Figueiredo, Pablo Pandolfo, Elizabeth Giestal-de-Araujo, Priscilla Oliveira-Silva Bomfim, Wilson Savino

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The impacts of the disease may be beyond the respiratory system, also affecting mental health. Several factors may be involved in the association between COVID-19 and psychiatric outcomes, such as fear inherent in the pandemic, adverse effects of treatments, as well as financial stress, and social isolation. 

4th July 2020 • comment

The COVID‐19 epidemic through a gender lens: what if a gender approach had been applied to inform public health measures to fight the COVID‐19 pandemic?

by Cristina Enguita‐Fernàndez, Elena Marbán-Castro, Olivia Manders, Lauren Maxwell, Gustavo Correa Matta
14th June 2020 • comment

Personal data usage and privacy considerations in the COVID-19 global pandemic

by Bethania Almeida, Danilo Doneda, Maria Yury Ichihara, Manoel Barral-Netto, Gustavo Correa Matta, Elaine Teixeira Rabello, Fabio Castro Gouveia, Mauricio Barreto

Data is becoming ever more critical and valuable for both scientists and health authorities searching for answers to the COVID-19 crisis. Due to difficulties in diagnosing this infection in populations around the world, initiatives supported by digital technologies have been developed by governments or private companies which enable the tracking of the public’s symptoms, contacts and movements. 

28th May 2020 • comment
14th April 2020 • comment

The global spread of 2019-nCoV: a molecular evolutionary analysis

by Domenico Benvenuto, Marta Giovanetti, Marco Salemi, Mattia Prosperi, Cecilia De Flora, Luiz Carlos J

The global spread of the 2019-nCoV is continuing and is fast moving, as indicated by the WHO raising the risk assessment to high. In this article, we provide a preliminary phylodynamic and phylogeographic analysis of this new virus. A Maximum Clade Credibility tree has been built using the 29 available whole genome sequences of 2019-nCoV and two whole genome sequences that are highly similar sequences from Bat SARS-like Coronavirus available in GeneBank. 

27th February 2020 • comment