Headline, March 06 2021/ ''' '' VIRUS OBSERVATORY VINES '' '''


 VINES '' '''

DR.MICHAEL MINA - AN EPIDEMIOLOGIST at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, has a half million vials of plasma from human blood coming to his lab from across the country, samples dating back to the carefree days of January 2020.

Serological surveys are often small and difficult to set up as they require drawing blood from volunteers. But Dr. Mina and colleagues have been discussing the idea of a large automated surveillance system using leftover samples from routine lab tests.

As it is to be expected, Scientists have begun envisioning an early warning system for viruses : A costly plan would check blood from across the globe for hundreds of antibodies.


Although this monitoring system would not be able to detect new viruses and variants directly, It could show when large numbers of people start acquiring immunity to a particular kind of virus.

The human immune system keeps a record of pathogens it has met before, in the form of antibodies that fight against them and then stick around for life.

By testing for these antibodies, scientists can get a snapshot of which flu viruses you have had, what that rhinovirus was that breezed through you last fall, even whether you had a respiratory syncytial virus as a child.

Even if an infection never made you sick, it would still be picked up this diagnostic method called serological testing. ''We're like little recorders,'' keeping track of viruses without realizing it, Dr. Mina said.


This type of readout from the immune system is different from a test that looks for an active viral infection.

The immune system starts to produce antibodies one to two weeks after an infection begins, so serology is retrospective, looking back at what you have caught. Also, closely related viruses may produce similar responses, provoking antibodies that bind to the same kinds of viral proteins.

That means carefully designed assays are needed to distinguish between coronaviruses for example.

But serology uncover things that virus testing does not, said Derek Cummings, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida. With a large database of samples and clinical details, scientists can begin to see patterns emerge in how the immune system responds in someone with no symptoms compared with someone struggling to clear the virus.

Serology can also reveal before an outbreak starts whether a population has robust immunity to a given virus, or if it is dangerously low.

''You want to understand what has happened in a population and how prepared the population is for future attacks of a particular pathogen,'' Dr. Cummings said.

The approach could also detect events in the viral ecosystem that otherwise go unnoticed.

For example, the 2015 Zika outbreak was detected by doctors in Brazil who noticed a cluster of babies with abnormally small heads, born seven to nine months after their mothers were infected. ''A serological observatory could conceivably have picked this up before then,'' he said.

Although the observatory would not have been able to identify the new coronavirus, it would have revealed an unusually high high number of infections from the coronavirus family, which includes those that cause common colds.

It might also have shown that the new coronavirus was interacting with patients' immune systems in unexpected ways, resulting in telltale markers in the blood.

That would have been a signal to start genetic sequencing of patient samples to identify the culprit and might have provided grounds to shutdown the city earlier, Dr. Mina said

To sum, the monitoring system could show when large numbers of people start acquiring immunity to a particular kind of virus.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Virus, Vials and Planning, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Veronique Greenwood.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, and then Scientists, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Warning - Weaning '''

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