Basic Science and COVID-19

Computer-generated image of an antibody with fork on top and base on bottom.Through NICHD’s intramural program, NICHD researchers who lead their own laboratories and research programs at NIH are also leveraging their areas of expertise to address the pandemic.

Some of this research focuses on understanding the biology of SARS-CoV-2, its effects on the placenta and on lung tissue, and what mechanisms lead to severe symptoms and death among older people and those with underlying health conditions. Other NICHD researchers are studying possible targets for prevention and treatment measures.

NICHD researchers are also working to develop and improve technologies and resources to help advance COVID-19 research. These activities include creating materials that protect surfaces from viral particles and improving methods of testing possible vaccines and treatments. Some recent papers on COVID-19 from NICHD intramural researchers include the following:

  • DNA Methylation Architecture of the ACE2 Gene in Nasal Cells of Children (PMID: 33782449)
  • COVID vaccines in pregnancy boost maternal and newborn immunity, NIH-funded study suggests / COVID-19 Vaccine Response in Pregnant and Lactating Women: A Cohort Study (PMID: 33775692)
  • The SARS-Cov-2 Receptor and Other Key Components of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Related to COVID-19 Are Expressed in Enterocytes in Larval Zebrafish (PMID: 33757938)
  • Comparative Analysis of ACE2 Protein Expression in Rodent, Non-Human Primate, and Human Respiratory Tract at Baseline and After Injury: A Conundrum for COVID-19 Pathogenesis (PMID: 33626084)
  • Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, Antibodies, and Neutralizing Capacity in Milk Produced by Women with COVID-19 (PMID: 33563823)
  • COVID-19 in third trimester may reduce level of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies transferred across the placenta / Compromised SARS-CoV-2-specific Placental Antibody Transfer (PMID: 33476549)
  • Rapid and Extraction-Free Detection of SARS-CoV-2 from Saliva by Colorimetric Reverse-Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (PMID: 33098427)
  • Prevalence of Diabetes and Hypertension and Their Associated Risks for Poor Outcomes in COVID-19 Patients (PMID: 32885126)
  • Endocrine Conditions and COVID-19 (PMID: 32512611)
  • Hookah Smoking and COVID-19: Call for Action (PMID: 32392495)
  • Does the Human Placenta Express the Canonical Cell Entry Mediators for SARS-CoV-2? (PMID: 32662421)
  • Nonparametric Estimation of Distributions and Diagnostic Accuracy Based on Group-tested Results with Differential Misclassification (PMID: 32083733)
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