Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection
- Nearly two years since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, which has caused over 5 million deaths, the world continues to be on high COVID-19 alert. The World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with national authorities, public health institutions and scientists have been closely monitoring and assessing the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 since January 2020 (WHO 2021a; WHO 2021b). The emergence of specific SARS-CoV-2 variants were characterised as Variant of Interest (VOI) and Variant of Concern (VOC), to prioritise global monitoring and research, and to inform the ongoing global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO and its international sequencing networks continuously monitor SARS-CoV-2 mutations and inform countries about any changes that may be needed to respond to the variant, and prevent its spread where feasible.
- Significant time has passed since the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak, which led to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) infection in hundreds of millions of individuals all around the globe. An accumulation of evidence during the pandemic raised awareness of an association between the SARS-CoV-2 and autoimmunity (Dotan et al., 2021 Apr). SARS-CoV-2 infected patients have a high presence of various autoantibodies (Dotan et al., 2021 Apr). Moreover, numerous cases of new-onset of autoimmune-related disorders have been documented following infection, including both organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases (Dotan et al., 2021 Apr).
- Despite the enormity of COVID-19 pandemic and the many hundreds of clinical trials evaluating putative therapeutics, there have been very few randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylaxis. RCTs provide the strongest evidence in this setting (Collins et al., 2020). This is particularly important in the politicised and febrile arena of COVID-19 medicines where claims and counter claims abound, and good clinical science has suffered. In this edition of IJID Seet et al. report a detailed and well conducted open cluster randomised trial of five different pre-exposure interventions in male migrant workers quarantined in isolated dormitories in Singapore (Seet et al., 2021).
- The numbers of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases are increasing steadily in many parts of the world, and the global and devastating impact of the current pandemic on all aspects of our life is evident. The number of positive molecular diagnostic tests, which are largely based on real-time (RT) PCR assays that detect genetic material of the causative agent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), still forms the basis for reporting both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases worldwide.