Collection |

Coronavirus

To support urgent research to combat the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the editorial teams at Nature Research have curated a collection of relevant articles. Our collection includes research into the basic biology of coronavirus infection, its detection, treatment and evolution, research into the epidemiology of emerging viral diseases, and our coverage of current events. The articles will remain free to access for as long as the outbreak remains a public health emergency of international concern.

Latest SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 research

Here the authors use RT-qPCR and mass spectrometry to analyze longitudinal blood samples from intensive care unit (ICU) COVID-19 patients and controls. They find that viral RNA and pentraxin-3 predict 28-day ICU mortality and that galectin-3-binding protein is an interaction partner of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein with antiviral properties.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The urgency of the developing COVID-19 epidemic has led to a large number of novel diagnostic approaches, many of which use machine learning. DeGrave and colleagues use explainable AI techniques to analyse a selection of these approaches and find that the methods frequently learn to identify features unrelated to the actual disease.

Article | | Nature Machine Intelligence

There are currently no drugs available to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. A promising alternative treatment for COVID-19 patients is convalescent plasma. Here, Gharbharan et al. collect covalescent plasma and report no overall clinical benefit for 86 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and treated with 300 mL convalescent plasma.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Here, the authors characterize the antibody response from vaccinated (Pfizer BNT-162b2), infected and uninfected individuals against emerging variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2, finding reduced neutralization of a South African isolate. High IgG titers in the saliva of vaccinees suggest that transmission may be reduced.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Perturbed T cell responses and disturbed cytokine secretion have been shown during SARS-CoV2 infection in patients. Here the authors show reduced polyclonal T cell activity in COVID-19 patients that is caused by plasma factors and linked to poor prognosis and viral persistence.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Rapid extracellular antigen profiling of a cohort of 194 individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 uncovers diverse autoantibody responses that affect COVID-19 disease severity, progression and clinical and immunological characteristics.

Article | | Nature

An analysis of COVID-19 vaccine allocation frameworks in the United States across 64 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention jurisdictions reveals that, as of 31 March 2021, 37 jurisdictions had adopted disadvantage indices to reduce health disparities. The analysis also highlights the importance of vaccine prioritization based on health and place.

Analysis | | Nature Medicine

Heterologous vaccination regimens for COVID-19 could be useful for example if there is a shortage of one vaccine type. Here, Spencer et al. show that heterologous vaccination with a self-amplifying RNA vaccine and an adenoviral vectored vaccine performs at least as well as the homologous vaccinations in mice.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

SARS-CoV-2 orf9b binds to the mitochondrial outer membrane protein TOM70 and has been linked to the suppression of interferon responses. Here, the authors characterize the interactions of SARS-CoV-2 orf9b and human TOM70 biochemically, and they determine the 2.2 Å crystal structure of the TOM70 cytosolic domain with a bound SARS-CoV-2 orf9b peptide.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The S1/S2 junction of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein is emerging as a key factor in virulence and pathogenesis. Here, the authors characterise an attenuated strain of SARS-CoV-2 with deletions in the critical S1/S2 junction and observe enhanced replication, generation of potent adaptive immunity but reduced immunopathology in a hamster model of infection.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Statistical analysis of COVID-19 transmission among users of a smartphone-based digital contact-tracing app suggests that such apps can be an effective measure for reducing disease spread.

Article | | Nature

Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 S protein can provide a treatment strategy for COVID-19. Here, Guo et al. provide the crystal structure of a SARS-CoV2 neutralizing antibody isolated from a convalescent patient and highlight the therapeutic efficacy in a rhesus monkey model of an engineered version with optimized pharmacokinetic and safety profile.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

The SARS-CoV-2 gene set remains unresolved, hindering dissection of COVID-19 biology. Comparing 44 Sarbecovirus genomes provides a high-confidence protein-coding gene set. The study characterizes protein-level and nucleotide-level evolutionary constraints, and prioritizes functional mutations from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

While SARS-CoV-2 S protein targeting monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are well studied, little is known about N protein-targeting mAbs. Here, Kang et al. provide the crystal structure of the N protein RNA binding domain with a mAb derived from a convalescent patient and show that it compromises the N protein-induced complement hyperactivation.

Article | Open Access | | Nature Communications

Immunization of macaques with nanoparticle-conjugated receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 adjuvanted with 3M-052 and alum results in cross-neutralizing antibodies against bat coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 variants, and may provide a platform for developing pan-coronavirus vaccines.

Article | | Nature

News and Comment

Reviews and Perspectives

The evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been characterized by the emergence of mutations and so-called variants of concern that impact virus characteristics, including transmissibility and antigenicity. In this Review, members of the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium and colleagues summarize mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, focusing on their impacts on antigenicity and contextualizing them in the protein structure, and discuss them in the context of observed mutation frequencies in global sequence datasets.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

Examination of the vaccine strategies and technical platforms used for the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of those used for previous emerging and reemerging infectious diseases and pandemics can offer critical lessons to prepare for future public health emergencies.

Review Article | | Nature Medicine

A comprehensive review of the current literature on post-acute COVID-19, also referred to as long COVID, its pathophysiology and its organ-specific sequelae highlights the need for multidisciplinary follow-up and care of COVID-19 survivors.

Review Article | | Nature Medicine

In this Review, Leung provides an overview of the transmissibility and modes of transmission of respiratory viruses, the viral, host and environmental determinants of transmission, and common non-pharmaceutical interventions for mitigating respiratory virus transmission. She also discusses the recent controversies over aerosol transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

All countries worldwide have signed up to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and committed to the objective of achieving universal health coverage. Getting there will require understanding how packages of essential health services can be developed in resource-constrained settings and how experts and the public can make decisions about which health services should be provided free of charge.

Perspective | | Nature Medicine

Recent advances in computational and laboratory sciences are helping researchers to address large-scale sustained emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and constantly adapt to the emergence of new questions, data and findings in order to synthesize real-time evidence that will inform policy decisions.

Perspective | | Nature Medicine

This Review provides mechanistic and clinical insights into COVID-19 in the context of liver disease, discussing the potential underlying biology and clinical features of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with pre-existing liver conditions. The management of these patients is also discussed, including SARS-CoV-2 vaccination strategies.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology