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1.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1162342, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235328

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies (mABs) are safe and effective proteins produced in laboratory that may be used to target a single epitope of a highly conserved protein of a virus or a bacterial pathogen. For this purpose, the epitope is selected among those that play the major role as targets for prevention of infection or tissue damage. In this paper, characteristics of the most important mABs that have been licensed and used or are in advanced stages of development for use in prophylaxis and therapy of infectious diseases are discussed. We showed that a great number of mABs effective against virus or bacterial infections have been developed, although only in a small number of cases these are licensed for use in clinical practice and have reached the market. Although some examples of therapeutic efficacy have been shown, not unlike more traditional antiviral or antibacterial treatments, their efficacy is significantly greater in prophylaxis or early post-exposure treatment. Although in many cases the use of vaccines is more effective and cost-effective than that of mABs, for many infectious diseases no vaccines have yet been developed and licensed. Furthermore, in emergency situations, like in epidemics or pandemics, the availability of mABs can be an attractive adjunct to our armament to reduce the impact. Finally, the availability of mABs against bacteria can be an important alternative, when multidrug-resistant strains are involved.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections , COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Rabies Vaccines , Rabies , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Humans , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , HIV , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Epitopes , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Communicable Diseases/drug therapy
2.
Arch Dis Child ; 2022 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241792

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To understand community seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in children and adolescents. This is vital to understanding the susceptibility of this cohort to COVID-19 and to inform public health policy for disease control such as immunisation. DESIGN: We conducted a community-based cross-sectional seroprevalence study in participants aged 0-18 years old recruiting from seven regions in England between October 2019 and June 2021 and collecting extensive demographic and symptom data. Serum samples were tested for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins using Roche assays processed at UK Health Security Agency laboratories. Prevalence estimates were calculated for six time periods and were standardised by age group, ethnicity and National Health Service region. RESULTS: Post-first wave (June-August 2020), the (anti-spike IgG) adjusted seroprevalence was 5.2%, varying from 0.9% (participants 10-14 years old) to 9.5% (participants 5-9 years old). By April-June 2021, this had increased to 19.9%, varying from 13.9% (participants 0-4 years old) to 32.7% (participants 15-18 years old). Minority ethnic groups had higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity than white participants (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.0), after adjusting for sex, age, region, time period, deprivation and urban/rural geography. In children <10 years, there were no symptoms or symptom clusters that reliably predicted seropositivity. Overall, 48% of seropositive participants with complete questionnaire data recalled no symptoms between February 2020 and their study visit. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately one-third of participants aged 15-18 years old had evidence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 prior to the introduction of widespread vaccination. These data demonstrate that ethnic background is independently associated with risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04061382.

3.
Obstet Med ; 16(1): 40-47, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318588

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 vaccines are protective against disease. Pregnant women benefit from vaccination as they are at higher risk of poor maternal and neonatal outcomes following infection. Methods: Following regulatory approval of two COVID-19 vaccines in the United Kingdom, a rapid national study of vaccination in pregnancy was instituted using three existing safety surveillance platforms: UKOSS, UKTIS and VIP. This preliminary report describes the data collected up to the 15th June 2021. Results: There were 971 reports of COVID-19 vaccination in the UKOSS/UKTIS (n = 493) and VIP (n = 478) monitoring systems describing 908 individual pregnancies. Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccination was most common (n = 501, 55.2%), most women were vaccinated in their second or third trimester (n = 566, 62.3%), and were mainly vaccinated due to occupational infection risk (n = 577, 63.5%). Conclusion: Obstetric outcome data will be obtained by December 2021. However, women should not delay vaccination whilst awaiting further safety data to emerge.

4.
N Engl J Med ; 387(20): 1911, 2022 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309428

Subject(s)
Vaccination , Child , Humans
5.
Obstetric Medicine ; 16(1):40-47, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2302530

ABSTRACT

Background COVID-19 vaccines are protective against disease. Pregnant women benefit from vaccination as they are at higher risk of poor maternal and neonatal outcomes following infection. Methods Following regulatory approval of two COVID-19 vaccines in the United Kingdom, a rapid national study of vaccination in pregnancy was instituted using three existing safety surveillance platforms: UKOSS, UKTIS and VIP. This preliminary report describes the data collected up to the 15th June 2021. Results There were 971 reports of COVID-19 vaccination in the UKOSS/UKTIS (n = 493) and VIP (n = 478) monitoring systems describing 908 individual pregnancies. Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccination was most common (n = 501, 55.2%), most women were vaccinated in their second or third trimester (n = 566, 62.3%), and were mainly vaccinated due to occupational infection risk (n = 577, 63.5%). Conclusion Obstetric outcome data will be obtained by December 2021. However, women should not delay vaccination whilst awaiting further safety data to emerge.

6.
N Engl J Med ; 385(7): 585-594, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2251957

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), has contributed to a surge in cases in India and has now been detected across the globe, including a notable increase in cases in the United Kingdom. The effectiveness of the BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccines against this variant has been unclear. METHODS: We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate the effectiveness of vaccination against symptomatic disease caused by the delta variant or the predominant strain (B.1.1.7, or alpha variant) over the period that the delta variant began circulating. Variants were identified with the use of sequencing and on the basis of the spike (S) gene status. Data on all symptomatic sequenced cases of Covid-19 in England were used to estimate the proportion of cases with either variant according to the patients' vaccination status. RESULTS: Effectiveness after one dose of vaccine (BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) was notably lower among persons with the delta variant (30.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 25.2 to 35.7) than among those with the alpha variant (48.7%; 95% CI, 45.5 to 51.7); the results were similar for both vaccines. With the BNT162b2 vaccine, the effectiveness of two doses was 93.7% (95% CI, 91.6 to 95.3) among persons with the alpha variant and 88.0% (95% CI, 85.3 to 90.1) among those with the delta variant. With the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, the effectiveness of two doses was 74.5% (95% CI, 68.4 to 79.4) among persons with the alpha variant and 67.0% (95% CI, 61.3 to 71.8) among those with the delta variant. CONCLUSIONS: Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the delta variant as compared with the alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses. Absolute differences in vaccine effectiveness were more marked after the receipt of the first dose. This finding would support efforts to maximize vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable populations. (Funded by Public Health England.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccine Potency , Young Adult
7.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 42(6): 496-502, 2023 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2248375

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibodies are a measure of immunity after primary infection, which may help protect against further SARS-CoV-2 infections. They may also provide some cross-protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants. There are limited data on antibody persistence and, especially, cross-reactivity against different SARS-CoV-2 variants after primary infection in children. METHODS: We initiated enhanced surveillance in 18 secondary schools to monitor SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in September 2020. Students and Staff provided longitudinal blood samples to test for variant-specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using in-house receptor binding domain assays. We recruited 1189 students and 1020 staff; 160 (97 students, 63 staff) were SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid-antibody positive at baseline and had sufficient serum for further analysis. RESULTS: Most participants developed sustained antibodies against their infecting [wild-type (WT)] strain as well as cross-reactive antibodies against the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants but at lower titers than WT. Staff had significantly lower antibodies titers against WT as cross-reactive antibodies against the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants than students (all P < 0.01). In participants with sufficient sera, only 2.3% (1/43) students and 17.2% (5/29) staff had cross-reactive antibodies against the Omicron variant; they also had higher antibody titers against WT (3042.5; 95% confidence interval: 769.0-12,036.2) than those who did not have cross-reactive antibodies against the Omicron variant (680.7; 534.2-867.4). CONCLUSIONS: We found very high rates of antibody persistence after primary infection with WT in students and staff. Infection with WT induced cross-reactive antibodies against Alpha, Beta and Delta variants, but not Omicron. Primary infection with WT may not be cross-protective against the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Adolescent , Humans , Prospective Studies , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Neutralizing
8.
BMJ Open ; 13(3): e068611, 2023 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270939

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: While still a ubiquitous disease of childhood, chickenpox has been effectively controlled in many countries through the use of vaccination. Previous health economic assessment of the use of these vaccines in the UK were based on limited quality of life data and only routinely collected epidemiological outcomes. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This two armed study will carry prospective surveillance of hospital admissions and recruit from community settings to measure the acute quality of life loss caused by paediatric chickenpox both in the UK and in Portugal. The quality of life effects on children and their primary and secondary caregivers will be assessed using the EuroQol EQ-5D with the Child Health Utility instrument (CHU-9) in addition for children. Results will be used to derive quality-adjusted life year loss estimates for cases of simple varicella and the secondary complications. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: We have received National Health Service ethical approval (REC ref: 18/ES/0040) for the inpatient arm, university ethical approval (University of Bristol ref: 60721) for the community arm and 10 sites currently are recruiting in the UK and 14 in Portugal. Informed consent is obtained from the parent(s). Results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed publications. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN15017985.


Subject(s)
Chickenpox , Child , Humans , Chickenpox/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , State Medicine , Quality of Life , Hospitalization , Hospitals
9.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(12): e39141, 2022 12 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2198102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) is one of Europe's oldest sentinel systems, working with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and its predecessor bodies for 55 years. Its surveillance report now runs twice weekly, supplemented by online observatories. In addition to conducting sentinel surveillance from a nationally representative group of practices, the RSC is now also providing data for syndromic surveillance. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the cohort profile at the start of the 2021-2022 surveillance season and recent changes to our surveillance practice. METHODS: The RSC's pseudonymized primary care data, linked to hospital and other data, are held in the Oxford-RCGP Clinical Informatics Digital Hub, a Trusted Research Environment. We describe the RSC's cohort profile as of September 2021, divided into a Primary Care Sentinel Cohort (PCSC)-collecting virological and serological specimens-and a larger group of syndromic surveillance general practices (SSGPs). We report changes to our sampling strategy that brings the RSC into alignment with European Centre for Disease Control guidance and then compare our cohort's sociodemographic characteristics with Office for National Statistics data. We further describe influenza and COVID-19 vaccine coverage for the 2020-2021 season (week 40 of 2020 to week 39 of 2021), with the latter differentiated by vaccine brand. Finally, we report COVID-19-related outcomes in terms of hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and death. RESULTS: As a response to COVID-19, the RSC grew from just over 500 PCSC practices in 2019 to 1879 practices in 2021 (PCSC, n=938; SSGP, n=1203). This represents 28.6% of English general practices and 30.59% (17,299,780/56,550,136) of the population. In the reporting period, the PCSC collected >8000 virology and >23,000 serology samples. The RSC population was broadly representative of the national population in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, National Health Service Region, socioeconomic status, obesity, and smoking habit. The RSC captured vaccine coverage data for influenza (n=5.4 million) and COVID-19, reporting dose one (n=11.9 million), two (n=11 million), and three (n=0.4 million) for the latter as well as brand-specific uptake data (AstraZeneca vaccine, n=11.6 million; Pfizer, n=10.8 million; and Moderna, n=0.7 million). The median (IQR) number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions was 1181 (559-1559) and 115 (50-174) per week, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The RSC is broadly representative of the national population; its PCSC is geographically representative and its SSGPs are newly supporting UKHSA syndromic surveillance efforts. The network captures vaccine coverage and has expanded from reporting primary care attendances to providing data on onward hospital outcomes and deaths. The challenge remains to increase virological and serological sampling to monitor the effectiveness and waning of all vaccines available in a timely manner.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , State Medicine , Vaccination , United Kingdom/epidemiology
10.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(8): 1180-1188, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931412

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants may threaten the effectiveness of vaccines and antivirals to mitigate serious COVID-19 disease. This is of most concern in clinically vulnerable groups such as older adults. We analysed 72 sera samples from 37 individuals, aged 70-89 years, vaccinated with two doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) 3 weeks apart, for neutralizing antibody responses to wildtype SARS-CoV-2. Between 3 and 20 weeks after the second vaccine dose, neutralizing antibody titres fell 4.9-fold to a median titre of 21.3 (neutralization dose 80%), with 21.6% of individuals having no detectable neutralizing antibodies at the later time point. Next, we examined neutralization of 21 distinct SARS-CoV-2 variant spike proteins with these sera, and confirmed substantial antigenic escape, especially for the Omicron (B.1.1.529, BA.1/BA.2), Beta (B.1.351), Delta (B.1.617.2), Theta (P.3), C.1.2 and B.1.638 spike variants. By combining pseudotype neutralization with specific receptor-binding domain (RBD) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, we showed that changes to position 484 in the spike RBD were mainly responsible for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody escape. Nineteen sera from the same individuals boosted with a third dose of BNT162b2 contained higher neutralizing antibody titres, providing cross-protection against Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. Despite SARS-CoV-2 immunity waning over time in older adults, booster vaccines can elicit broad neutralizing antibodies against a large number of SARS-CoV-2 variants in this clinically vulnerable cohort.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/chemistry , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/chemistry
11.
Front Immunol ; 13: 882515, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903016

ABSTRACT

Children and adolescents generally experience mild COVID-19. However, those with underlying physical health conditions are at a significantly increased risk of severe disease. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of antibody and cellular responses in adolescents with severe neuro-disabilities who received COVID-19 vaccination with either ChAdOx1 (n=6) or an mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273, n=8, BNT162b2, n=1). Strong immune responses were observed after vaccination and antibody levels and neutralisation titres were both higher after two doses. Both measures were also higher after mRNA vaccination and were further enhanced by prior natural infection where one vaccine dose was sufficient to generate peak antibody response. Robust T-cell responses were generated after dual vaccination and were also higher following mRNA vaccination. Early T-cells were characterised by a dominant effector-memory CD4+ T-cell population with a type-1 cytokine signature with additional production of IL-10. Antibody levels were well-maintained for at least 3 months after vaccination and 3 of 4 donors showed measurable neutralisation titres against the Omicron variant. T-cell responses also remained robust, with generation of a central/stem cell memory pool and showed strong reactivity against Omicron spike. These data demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccines display strong immunogenicity in adolescents and that dual vaccination, or single vaccination following prior infection, generate higher immune responses than seen after natural infection and develop activity against Omicron. Initial evidence suggests that mRNA vaccination elicits stronger immune responses than adenoviral delivery, although the latter is also higher than seen in adult populations. COVID-19 vaccines are therefore highly immunogenic in high-risk adolescents and dual vaccination might be able to provide relative protection against the Omicron variant that is currently globally dominant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Child , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 75(1): e962-e973, 2022 Aug 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852990

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to quantify the unknown losses in health-related quality of life of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases using quality-adjusted lifedays (QALDs) and the recommended EQ-5D instrument in England. METHODS: Prospective cohort study of nonhospitalized, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-positive (SARS-CoV-2-positive) cases aged 12-85 years and followed up for 6 months from 1 December 2020, with cross-sectional comparison to SARS-CoV-2-negative controls. Main outcomes were QALD losses; physical symptoms; and COVID-19-related private expenditures. We analyzed results using multivariable regressions with post hoc weighting by age and sex, and conditional logistic regressions for the association of each symptom and EQ-5D limitation on cases and controls. RESULTS: Of 548 cases (mean age 41.1 years; 61.5% female), 16.8% reported physical symptoms at month 6 (most frequently extreme tiredness, headache, loss of taste and/or smell, and shortness of breath). Cases reported more limitations with doing usual activities than controls. Almost half of cases spent a mean of £18.1 on nonprescription drugs (median: £10.0), and 52.7% missed work or school for a mean of 12 days (median: 10). On average, all cases lost 13.7 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.7, 17.7) QALDs, whereas those reporting symptoms at month 6 lost 32.9 (95% CI: 24.5, 37.6) QALDs. Losses also increased with older age. Cumulatively, the health loss from morbidity contributes at least 18% of the total COVID-19-related disease burden in the England. CONCLUSIONS: One in 6 cases report ongoing symptoms at 6 months, and 10% report prolonged loss of function compared to pre-COVID-19 baselines. A marked health burden was observed among older COVID-19 cases and those with persistent physical symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life
13.
Res Pract Thromb Haemost ; 6(3): e12698, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797756

ABSTRACT

Background: Several studies have found increased risks of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following the ChAdOx1 vaccination. However, case ascertainment is often incomplete in large electronic health record (EHR)-based studies. Objectives: To assess for an association between clinically validated TTS and COVID-19 vaccination. Methods: We used the self-controlled case series method to assess the risks of clinically validated acute TTS after a first COVID-19 vaccine dose (BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1) or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Case ascertainment was performed uninformed of vaccination status via a retrospective clinical review of hospital EHR systems, including active ascertainment of thrombocytopenia. Results: One hundred seventy individuals were admitted to the hospital for a TTS event at the study sites between January 1 and March 31, 2021. A significant increased risk (relative incidence [RI], 5.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-31.38) of TTS 4 to 27 days after ChAdOx1 was observed in the youngest age group (18- to 39-year-olds). No other period had a significant increase, although for ChAdOx1 for all ages combined the RI was >1 in the 4- to 27- and 28- to 41-day periods (RI, 1.52; 95% CI, 0.88-2.63; and (RI, 1.70; 95% CI, 0.73-3.8, respectively). There was no significant increased risk of TTS after BNT162b2 in any period. Increased risks of TTS following a positive SARS-CoV-2 test occurred across all age groups and exposure periods. Conclusions: We demonstrate an increased risk of TTS in the 4 to 27 days following COVID-19 vaccination, particularly for ChAdOx1. These risks were lower than following SARS-CoV-2 infection. An alternative vaccine may be preferable in younger age groups in whom the risk of postvaccine TTS is greatest.

14.
J Infect ; 84(5): 675-683, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788130

ABSTRACT

Background COVID-19 vaccines approved in the UK are highly effective in general population cohorts, however, data on effectiveness amongst individuals with clinical conditions that place them at increased risk of severe disease are limited. Methods We used GP electronic health record data, sentinel virology swabbing and antibody testing within a cohort of 712 general practices across England to estimate vaccine antibody response and vaccine effectiveness against medically attended COVID-19 amongst individuals in clinical risk groups using cohort and test-negative case control designs. Findings There was no reduction in S-antibody positivity in most clinical risk groups, however reduced S-antibody positivity and response was significant in the immunosuppressed group. Reduced vaccine effectiveness against clinical disease was also noted in the immunosuppressed group; after a second dose, effectiveness was moderate (Pfizer: 59.6%, 95%CI 18.0-80.1%; AstraZeneca 60.0%, 95%CI -63.6-90.2%). Interpretation In most clinical risk groups, immune response to primary vaccination was maintained and high levels of vaccine effectiveness were seen. Reduced antibody response and vaccine effectiveness were seen after 1 dose of vaccine amongst a broad immunosuppressed group, and second dose vaccine effectiveness was moderate. These findings support maximising coverage in immunosuppressed individuals and the policy of prioritisation of this group for third doses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Humans , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccine Efficacy
15.
J Infect ; 84(6): 814-824, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778314

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To monitor changes in seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in populations over time and between different demographic groups. METHODS: A subset of practices in the Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) sentinel network provided serum samples, collected when volunteer patients had routine blood tests. We tested these samples for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using Abbott (Chicago, USA), Roche (Basel, Switzerland) and/or Euroimmun (Luebeck, Germany) assays, and linked the results to the patients' primary care computerised medical records. We report seropositivity by region and age group, and additionally examined the effects of gender, ethnicity, deprivation, rurality, shielding recommendation and smoking status. RESULTS: We estimated seropositivity from patients aged 18-100 years old, which ranged from 4.1% (95% CI 3.1-5.3%) to 8.9% (95% CI 7.8-10.2%) across the different assays and time periods. We found higher Euroimmun seropositivity in younger age groups, people of Black and Asian ethnicity (compared to white), major conurbations, and non-smokers. We did not observe any significant effect by region, gender, deprivation, or shielding recommendation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that prior to the vaccination programme, most of the population remained unexposed to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
16.
Immun Ageing ; 18(1): 34, 2021 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759763

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have shown clinical efficacy against Covid-19 infection but there remains uncertainty about the immune responses elicited by different regimens. This is a particularly important question for older people who are at increased clinical risk following infection and in whom immune senescence may limit vaccine responses. The BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 adenovirus vaccines were the first two vaccines deployed in the UK programme using an 8-12 week 'extended interval'. OBJECTIVES: We undertook analysis of the spike-specific antibody and cellular immune response in 131 participants aged 80+ years after the second dose of 'extended interval' dual vaccination with either BNT162b2 mRNA (n = 54) or ChAdOx1 (n = 77) adenovirus vaccine. Blood samples were taken 2-3 weeks after second vaccine and were paired with samples taken at 5-weeks after first vaccine which have been reported previously. Antibody responses were measured using the Elecsys® electrochemiluminescence immunoassay assay and cellular responses were assessed by IFN-γ ELISpot. RESULTS: Antibody responses against spike protein became detectable in all donors following dual vaccination with either vaccine. 4 donors had evidence of previous natural infection which is known to boost vaccine responses. Within the 53 infection-naïve donors the median antibody titre was 4030 U/ml (IQR 1892-8530) following BNT162b2 dual vaccination and 1405 (IQR 469.5-2543) in the 74 patients after the ChAdOx1 vaccine (p = < 0.0001). Spike-specific T cell responses were observed in 30% and 49% of mRNA and ChAdOx1 recipients respectively and median responses were 1.4-times higher in ChAdOx1 vaccinees at 14 vs 20 spots/million respectively (p = 0.022). CONCLUSION: Dual vaccination with BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 induces strong humoral immunity in older people following an extended interval protocol. Antibody responses are 2.9-times higher following the mRNA regimen whilst cellular responses are 1.4-times higher with the adenovirus-based vaccine. Differential patterns of immunogenicity are therefore elicited from the two vaccine platforms. It will be of interest to assess the relative stability of immune responses after these homologous vaccine regimens in order to assess the potential need for vaccine boosting. Furthermore, these findings indicate that heterologous vaccine platforms may offer the opportunity to further optimize vaccine responses.

17.
N Engl J Med ; 386(16): 1532-1546, 2022 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730372

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A rapid increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases due to the omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in highly vaccinated populations has aroused concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines. METHODS: We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease caused by the omicron and delta (B.1.617.2) variants in England. Vaccine effectiveness was calculated after primary immunization with two doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca), or mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine and after a booster dose of BNT162b2, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or mRNA-1273. RESULTS: Between November 27, 2021, and January 12, 2022, a total of 886,774 eligible persons infected with the omicron variant, 204,154 eligible persons infected with the delta variant, and 1,572,621 eligible test-negative controls were identified. At all time points investigated and for all combinations of primary course and booster vaccines, vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease was higher for the delta variant than for the omicron variant. No effect against the omicron variant was noted from 20 weeks after two ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 doses, whereas vaccine effectiveness after two BNT162b2 doses was 65.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 63.9 to 67.0) at 2 to 4 weeks, dropping to 8.8% (95% CI, 7.0 to 10.5) at 25 or more weeks. Among ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 primary course recipients, vaccine effectiveness increased to 62.4% (95% CI, 61.8 to 63.0) at 2 to 4 weeks after a BNT162b2 booster before decreasing to 39.6% (95% CI, 38.0 to 41.1) at 10 or more weeks. Among BNT162b2 primary course recipients, vaccine effectiveness increased to 67.2% (95% CI, 66.5 to 67.8) at 2 to 4 weeks after a BNT162b2 booster before declining to 45.7% (95% CI, 44.7 to 46.7) at 10 or more weeks. Vaccine effectiveness after a ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 primary course increased to 70.1% (95% CI, 69.5 to 70.7) at 2 to 4 weeks after an mRNA-1273 booster and decreased to 60.9% (95% CI, 59.7 to 62.1) at 5 to 9 weeks. After a BNT162b2 primary course, the mRNA-1273 booster increased vaccine effectiveness to 73.9% (95% CI, 73.1 to 74.6) at 2 to 4 weeks; vaccine effectiveness fell to 64.4% (95% CI, 62.6 to 66.1) at 5 to 9 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Primary immunization with two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 vaccine provided limited protection against symptomatic disease caused by the omicron variant. A BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 booster after either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 primary course substantially increased protection, but that protection waned over time. (Funded by the U.K. Health Security Agency.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Vaccine Efficacy , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/therapeutic use , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Case-Control Studies , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunization, Secondary/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
18.
EClinicalMedicine ; 45: 101319, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704577

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of educational settings in SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission remains controversial. We investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection, seroprevalence, and seroconversion rates in secondary schools during the 2020/21 academic year, which included the emergence of the more transmissible alpha and delta variants, in England. METHODS: The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) initiated prospective surveillance in 18 urban English secondary schools. Participants had nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and blood sampling for SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein and spike protein antibodies at the start (Round 1: September-October 2020) and end (Round 2: December 2020) of the autumn term, when schools reopened after national lockdown was imposed in January 2021 (Round 3: March-April 2021), and end of the academic year (Round 4: May-July 2021). FINDINGS: We enrolled 2314 participants (1277 students, 1037 staff; one participant had missing data for PCR testing). In-school testing identified 31 PCR-positive participants (20 students, 11 staff). Another 247 confirmed cases (112 students, 135 staff) were identified after linkage with national surveillance data, giving an overall positivity rate of 12.0% (278/2313; staff: 14.1%, 146/1037 vs students: 10.3%, 132/1276; p = 0.006). Trends were similar to national infection data. Nucleoprotein-antibody seroprevalence increased for students and staff between Rounds 1 and 3 but were similar between Rounds 3 and 4, when the delta variant was the dominant circulating strain. Overall, Nucleoprotein-antibody seroconversion was 18.4% (137/744) in staff and 18.8% (146/778) in students, while Spike-antibody seroconversion was higher in staff (72.8%, 525/721) than students (21.3%, 163/764) because of vaccination. INTERPRETATION: SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in secondary schools remained low when community infection rates were low, even as the delta variant was emerging in England. FUNDING: This study was funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care.

19.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0228921, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702730

ABSTRACT

In March 2020, the Rare and Imported Pathogens Laboratory at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) (formerly Public Health England [PHE]) Porton Down, was tasked by the Department of Health and Social Care with setting up a national surveillance laboratory facility to study SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses and population-level sero-surveillance in response to the growing SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. In the following 12 months, the laboratory tested more than 160,000 samples, facilitating a wide range of research and informing UKHSA, DHSC, and UK government policy. Here we describe the implementation and use of the Euroimmun anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay and provide an extended evaluation of its performance. We present a markedly improved overall sensitivity of 91.39% (≥14 days 92.74%, ≥21 days 93.59%) compared to our small-scale early study, and a specificity of 98.56%. In addition, we detail extended characteristics of the Euroimmun assay: intra- and interassay precision, correlation to neutralization, and assay linearity. IMPORTANCE Serology assays have been useful in determining those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in a wide range of research and serosurveillance projects. However, assays vary in their sensitivity at detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Here, we detail an extended evaluation and characterization of the Euroimmun anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay, one that has been widely used within the United Kingdom on over 160,000 samples to date.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Public Health , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , United Kingdom/epidemiology
20.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 405, 2022 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700444

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In March 2020, England went into its first lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions eased temporarily, followed by second and third waves in October 2020 and January 2021. Recent data showed that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in reduced transmission of some invasive diseases. We assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pertussis incidence and on the immunisation programme in England. METHODS: We assessed trends in pertussis cases from 2012 to 2020 by age group and month. Incidence from the time that England eased its initial lockdown measures in July 2020 through to summer 2021 was calculated and the incidence rate ratios of pertussis cases from five years prior to the pandemic (July 2014 - June 2019) compared to the same time period during the pandemic (July 2020 - June 2021). Vaccine coverage estimates for pertussis containing vaccines were reviewed for the maternal and childhood programmes. RESULTS: A substantial decline in pertussis cases was observed from April 2020 onwards, marking the lowest number of cases in the last decade. Pertussis incidence dropped in all age groups, particularly among infants less than one year old (0.50 / 100,000 during July 2020 to June 2021 compared to 24.49/ 100,000 from July 2014 to June 2019). The incidence rate ratio was 0.02 (95% CI 0.01 to 0.02) for July 2014 to June 2019 (pre-pandemic) compared to the pandemic period of July 2020 to June 2021. None of the cases had a co-infection with SARS-CoV-2. Vaccine coverage for infants born between January to March 2020 with three doses of pertussis vaccine by 12 months of age decreased by 1.1% points compared to infants born between January to March 2019 (91.6% and 92.7%, respectively). Prenatal pertussis coverage for the 2020 to 2021 financial year was 2.7% points lower than the year prior to the pandemic (70.5% and 76.8%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on pertussis transmission. With the easing of restrictions it is important to continue monitoring pertussis cases in England alongside coverage of the maternal and childhood immunisation programmes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Whooping Cough , Bordetella pertussis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Communicable Disease Control , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pertussis Vaccine , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Whooping Cough/epidemiology , Whooping Cough/prevention & control
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