In the rapidly shifting context of a pandemic, public health officials need a way to quickly assess how vaccinations perform in changing situations. One approach is to identify correlates of protection, or biological markers that correlate with a certain level of protection from disease. This tool is used to assess the design and formulation of annual influenza vaccines, as immune system markers that correlate with protection from flu can give developers a sense of how effective the vaccine might be for different population groups. Though they are not a replacement for rigorous clinical trials, correlates of protection can provide meaningful and predictive data for vaccine developers with smaller trial sizes and less time.
A study published in November 2021 indicated that levels of binding antibodies and neutralizing antibodies for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in blood serum are correlates of protection for Moderna, Inc.’s COVE phase 3 clinical trial of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
If you are the “family scientist” you may find yourself answering questions about things like antibodies, immunity and serology from friends and family curious about the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the news they are seeing. Whether you are an oceanographic cartographer or a seasoned immunologist, we hope that this infographic about antibody testing helps.
You’ve probably been there. You’ve got a new antibody or you’re testing out one you’ve made yourself. After weeks or months of work, your antibody is going to help move your research project forward. As you excitedly head to the dark room to develop your film, your mood is crushed when you see…bands, more bands, and smears. Alas, science has played one more cruel joke on you as you experience what so many of your fellow scientists have before. Despite such a dismal beginning, you often can still get good western blots by changing steps in your protocol.
You and I know that bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a serious and growing problem. As the Center for Disease Control notes, the problem is not only one of industrial nations, but is found worldwide:
For instance, we hear frequently of cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. Methicillin was widely regarded as an antibiotic of last resort in fighting serious S. aureus infections and, well, S. aureus has now done an end-run around methicillin.
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