1. SciScore for 10.1101/2022.01.12.476031: (What is this?)

    Please note, not all rigor criteria are appropriate for all manuscripts.

    Table 1: Rigor

    EthicsIRB: Ethical approvals: The animal experiments were approved by the Institutional Review Board of The University of Hong Kong Committee on the Use of Live Animals in Teaching and Research (CULATR) and the use of clinical specimens was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong / Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster.
    Sex as a biological variableBriefly, male and female hamsters, aged 8-10 weeks old, were obtained from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Laboratory Animal Service Centre through the HKU Centre for Comparative Medicine Research.
    RandomizationGender- and age-matched hamsters were randomized into different experimental groups.
    Blindingtiters, cytokine/chemokine gene copies, body weights and clinical scores, no blinding procedures were applied to the experimentalists involved.
    Power AnalysisThe group sizes were chosen based on statistical power analysis and our prior experience in examining virus burdens and cytokine/chemokine profiles in hamsters.
    Cell Line Authenticationnot detected.

    Table 2: Resources

    The plates were then washed 6 times, rabbit anti-hamster horseradish peroxidase antibody (100 μL/well) at the dilution of 1:2000 was added and incubated for 30 min at 37°C.
    suggested: (LSBio (LifeSpan Cat# LS-C61251-2000, RRID:AB_1512928)
    Experimental Models: Cell Lines
    Calu-3 and VeroE6-TMPRSS2 cells were maintained in DMEM culture medium supplemented with 10% heat-inactivated FBS, 50 U/ml penicillin and 50 μg/ml streptomycin.
    suggested: None
    Equal PFUs of two variants (1:1 ratio) were inoculated onto Calu-3 cells at a final MOI of 0.10 for each variant.
    suggested: BCRJ Cat# 0264, RRID:CVCL_0609)
    Cell cytopathic effects (CPE) were monitored to validate complete inactivation using Vero cells.
    suggested: CLS Cat# 605372/p622_VERO, RRID:CVCL_0059)
    Software and Algorithms
    Statistical analysis: All data were analysed with GraphPad Prism software (GraphPad Software, Inc).
    GraphPad Prism
    suggested: (GraphPad Prism, RRID:SCR_002798)
    suggested: (GraphPad Prism, RRID:SCR_002798)
    Illustrations: The hamster illustrations and schematic figures were created with BioRender software (https://biorender.com/).
    suggested: (Biorender, RRID:SCR_018361)

    Results from OddPub: Thank you for sharing your data.

    Results from LimitationRecognizer: We detected the following sentences addressing limitations in the study:
    Our study had limitations. The transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 may vary according to different durations of exposure. In this study, we selected 6 hours of non-contact transmission to simulate the scenarios of staying with an infected index patient within the same facility for a routine business day and on medium-haul flights. It would be worthwhile to further compare the transmissibility of the Omicron and other variants after different durations of exposure in future studies. It would also be important to investigate the pathogenicity and transmissibility of the Omicron variant in additional animal models such as the hACE2-transgenic mouse and non-human primate models, as each of these animal models have their advantages and disadvantages in recapitulating human disease. In summary, the present study shows that despite comparatively lower pathogenicity than the Delta variant, the Omicron variant undoubtedly still causes obvious clinical effects, increased viral burdens and pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines, as well as histopathological damages in infected hosts. Taking into consideration the Omicron variant’s higher transmissibility than the already-highly transmissible Delta variant, our findings highlight the urgent need to find next-generation COVID-19 vaccines and broad-spectrum therapeutics, as well as to tighten non-pharmaceutical measures to reduce acute and chronic disease burden (long COVID) on the public and healthcare facilities.

    Results from TrialIdentifier: No clinical trial numbers were referenced.

    Results from Barzooka: We did not find any issues relating to the usage of bar graphs.

    Results from JetFighter: We did not find any issues relating to colormaps.

    Results from rtransparent:
    • Thank you for including a conflict of interest statement. Authors are encouraged to include this statement when submitting to a journal.
    • Thank you for including a funding statement. Authors are encouraged to include this statement when submitting to a journal.
    • No protocol registration statement was detected.

    Results from scite Reference Check: We found no unreliable references.

    About SciScore

    SciScore is an automated tool that is designed to assist expert reviewers by finding and presenting formulaic information scattered throughout a paper in a standard, easy to digest format. SciScore checks for the presence and correctness of RRIDs (research resource identifiers), and for rigor criteria such as sex and investigator blinding. For details on the theoretical underpinning of rigor criteria and the tools shown here, including references cited, please follow this link.

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