Variants of Interest and of Concern with Judd Hultquist, PhD
"We think some of these new variants of interest and variants of concern are originating from people with long COVID, who give the virus the opportunity to evolve and adapt to the immune system and then escape outside that person to cause a larger epidemic."
- Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases
- Associate Director of the Center for Pathogen Genomics and Microbial Evolution
- Member of Robert J. Havey, MD Institute for Global Health
- Member of Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS)
- Hultquist's lab shifted gears in spring 2020 to begin gathering samples from COVID-19 patients at Northwestern Medicine to conduct whole genome sequencing.
- To date, his team has run sequencing on 2,500 independent isolates. Based on the mutations present in those isolates, they can assign it a designation to a specific variant, such as Delta.
- Through the Robert J. Havey, MD Institute for Global Health, Hultquist's team is working with partners across equatorial Africa to do sequencing in several countries there, including Mali, Nigeria and Tanzania. They found in Nigeria more cases of a particular virus mutation set not seen elsewhere in the world, eventually leading to the new classification of the "Eta" variant.
- Hultquist is investigating variants in patients with "long COVID" at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, who have been in the intensive care unit for an extended time. These are people who are immunosuppressed, who can't clear the virus, and so the virus continues to replicate, according to results of recent investigations.
- Hultquist thinks some new variants of interest and variants of concern are originating from people with long COVID, who give the virus the opportunity to evolve and adapt to the immune system and then escape outside that person to cause a larger epidemic.
- Coincident rapid expansion of two SARS-CoV-2 lineages with enhanced infectivity in Nigeria
- Patterns and persistence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in Chicago to monitor COVID-19 exposure
- The global epidemic of SARS-CoV-2 variants and their mutational immune escape
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Recorded Sept. 23, 2021
Continuing Medical Education Credit
Physicians who listen to this podcast may claim continuing medical education credit after listening to an episode of this program.
Academic/Research, Multiple specialties
At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:
- Identify the research interests and initiatives of Feinberg faculty.
- Discuss new updates in clinical and translational research.
The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Credit Designation Statement
The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine designates this Enduring Material for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Judd Hultquist, PhD, is a board member of Blue Cat Bio, Inc. and had contracted research with Gilead. Course director, Robert Rosa, MD, has nothing to disclose. Planning committee member, Erin Spain, has nothing to disclose. Feinberg School of Medicine's CME Leadership and Staff have nothing to disclose: Clara J. Schroedl, MD, Medical Director of CME, Sheryl Corey, Manager of CME, Allison McCollum, Senior Program Coordinator, Katie Daley, Senior Program Coordinator, and Rhea Alexis Banks, Administrative Assistant 2.