About 6% of people in the UK are wrongly labelled on their medical records as being allergic to penicillin. This figure is concerning because being labelled as allergic to this class of highly effective antibiotics is associated with an extra six deaths per 1,000 patients a year after being treated for an infection. If patients received the right antibiotic for their infection, many lives could be saved.
An under-the-tongue treatment is popular in Europe, Canada, and Latin America. Why don’t U.S. allergists offer it?
. . . but we shouldn’t be too focused on finding out
So how will the pandemic be felt in 2023? This question is in some ways impossible to answer, given a number of unknowns. In early 2020 the scientific community was focused on determining key parameters that could be used to make projections as to the severity and extent of the spread of the virus. Now, the complex interplay of COVID variants, vaccination and natural immunity makes that process far more difficult and less predictable.
Celine Dion’s diagnosis of stiff-person syndrome brought a rare neurological diagnosis into the public eye – two neurologists explain the science behind it
The underlying reasons for the convergence of these viruses and the increase in infections so early in the season are not yet clear. But health experts have some clues about contributing factors and what it could mean for the coming months.
Two immunologists explain how the body responds to everything from stings to vaccination and why it sometimes goes wrong
Recombination occurs when two different variants infect the same cell, in the same person, at the same time. From there, they can combine their genetic material, resulting in a virus that possesses a mix of genes from both infecting “parent” viruses. This recombinant variant may then spread to other people – as has been the case with omicron XE.
We sought out scholars who could take our readers on deep dives into immunology and virology to help demystify these sometimes confusing, conflicting and taxing science-based questions. Here are five stories from The Conversation’s archives that highlight critical insights that we as editors and readers have gained thanks to COVID-19, and that will no doubt continue to be an important part of our pandemic lexicon.
Upon vaccination or infection with COVID-19, your body produces two types of protective immune responses. The first type involves B cells, which produce antibodies, the second involves T cells, your second line of defense.
We’re starting to get a more detailed understanding of COVID immunity across variants. Here’s what we know so far . . .
The two most successful coronavirus vaccines developed in the U.S. – the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – are both mRNA vaccines. The idea of using genetic material to produce an immune response has opened up a world of research and potential medical uses far out of reach of traditional vaccines.
What do the numbers tell us about COVID-19, vaccines and myocarditis?
On Friday, January 7 2022, David Bennett became the world’s first person to successfully receive a transplant of a pig’s heart. The eight-hour-long operation by surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, USA, was no doubt arduous. But it was a short final step in a 60-year-long journey to genetically alter the pig’s heart so that it would not be immediately rejected – a journey that began with a plane crash in Oxford in the summer of 1940.
T cells designed to fight COVID also appear to be much longer lasting in the human body than antibodies.