News from the Center for Emerging Viral Threats

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One year Anniversary - March 25, 2021

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Announcement Press Conference - March 25, 2020

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy was instrumental in the receipt of this funding for LSUHS, which will enhance the impact of the Center for Emerging Viral Threats (CEVT) as it is able to expand significantly in the new Center for Medical Education building. Additional medical education and research opportunities will yield enhanced economic impact to the region and the state.

Read More about Senator Bill Cassidy Secures $7M Federal Appropriation for LSU Health Shreveport Center for Medical Education and Emerging Viral Threats

NBC News - Scientists have detected a handful of cases of the delta-omicron hybrid but say it's unlikely to cause a new surge. Dr. Jeremy Kamil, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at LSUHS says, "Delta basically grabbed omicron's spike protein. This is essentially delta trying to hang on by plagiarizing from omicron."

Read More about What is the hybrid 'deltacron' variant of the coronavirus? (opens in new window/tab)

Bloomberg - “No tests can tell you for sure what variant you have without full viral genome sequencing,” says Jeremy Kamil, a microbiologist and immunologist at LSU Health Shreveport. In the U.S., current federal guidance prevents labs from informing patients or their physicians about the specific genome-sequencing results.

Read More about In the U.S., Identifying Your Variant Isn’t So Easy (opens in new window/tab)

New York Times - “Expect the next variant to come out of left field,” said Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at LSU Health Shreveport. He added, “It’d be a hugely foolish thing for anyone to speak with excessive certainty about what’s coming in the next two years.”

Read More about Omicron Offers Hope Pandemic Could Stabilize, W.H.O. Official Says. (opens in new window/tab)

Nature - "Delta has a mutation in the spike gene that reduces some primers’ ability to bind to it, making it harder to sequence this region of the genome. Omicron doesn’t share this mutation, so if any Omicron particles were mixed into the sample owing to contamination, it might make the sequenced spike gene seem to be similar to that in Omicron," says Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at LSUHS.

Read More about Deltacron: the story of the variant that wasn’t (opens in new window/tab)

41NBC - Mercer University School of Medicine, in partnership with the Department of Biomedical Sciences and LSU Health Shreveport, was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The money will help to guide Covid-19 research about possible variants of the virus.

Read More about LSUHS working with Mercer University to track COVID-19 variants (opens in new window/tab)

KTBS3 - The LSUHS COVID-19 Strike team and Emerging Viral Threats lab hit a record high with over 14,000 COVID-19 tests conducted last week. This is quite a feat, considering many areas across the country have had to scale back testing to symptomatic people only because staff members and labs were overrun.

Read More about LSUHS team conducts record number of COVID tests (opens in new window/tab)

KSLA12 - Sequencing is a multi-step process that includes using robotic technology to help make the process faster, more efficient and to reduce human error. "While this new variant has more mutations than others, her team is much more equipped this time around," says Dr. Krista Queen, Director of Viral Genomics and Surveillance for LSUHS.

Read More about LSUHS experts use genomic sequencing to identify Omicron variant in Louisiana (opens in new window/tab)

Shreveport Times - Research Notebook: Since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic scientists around the world have been working together on critical genomic sequencing efforts to better understand how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads and evolves and help guide and evaluate public health response. 

Read More about LSUHS contributes to COVID sequencing milestone for global database (opens in new window/tab)

Roy O. Martin III and Kathy Martin have donated $500,000 to the Center for Medical Education as part of a larger LSU system-wide gift supporting top capital priorities for the Fierce for the Future Campaign. The Martin’s gift will be directed to the Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats (CEVT) to be housed on the top floor of the Center for Medical Education.

Read More about Thanks for the Martin's Gift to support the Center for Medical Education

Financial Times - Labs are scrambling to answer 3 fundamental questions: is it more transmissible, can it evade the vaccination, and does it cause more severe disease? Jeremy Kamil, a virologist studying Sars-Cov-2 evolution at LSUHS, describes his shock when this genome was released. “It was like coming home from vacation and seeing that someone hasn’t just planted a few flowers in your garden. They’ve remodeled the whole landscape.”

Read More about The race to decipher Omicron: will it take days, weeks or months? (opens in new window/tab)

Bloomberg - While the U.S. is sequencing a much higher percentage of Covid samples than earlier, the bigger issue may be that not enough virus testing is done in the first place, said Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

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Read More about Omicron Undetected in U.S. So Far, Testing Biden Sequencing Plan (opens in new window/tab)

News Star - Louisiana Tech University, Grambling State University, LSU Health Shreveport and several health clinics across the region are working together to sequence the COVID-19 virus to learn how it's spreading and if any new variants arise. Research from the three universities is made available for the public online at nla-health.com.

Read More about La. Tech, Grambling, LSU Health Shreveport are partnering to learn how COVID-19 is spreading (opens in new window/tab)

CEVT News