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J Infect Prev ; 23(6): 278-284, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029658


Introduction: Through routine respiratory samples surveillance among COVID-19 patients in the intensive care, three patients with aspergillus were identified in a newly opened general intensive care unit during the second wave of the pandemic. Methodology: As no previous cases of aspergillus had occurred since the unit had opened. An urgent multidisciplinary outbreak meeting was held. The possible sources of aspergillus infection were explored. The multidisciplinary approach enabled stakeholders from different skills to discuss possible sources and management strategies. Environmental precipitants like air handling units were considered and the overall clinical practice was reviewed. Settle plates were placed around the unit to identify the source. Reports of recent water leaks were also investigated. Results: Growth of aspergillus on a settle plate was identified the potential source above a nurse's station. This was the site of a historic water leak from the ceiling above, that resolved promptly and was not investigated further. Subsequent investigation above the ceiling tiles found pooling of water and mould due to a slow water leak from a pipe. Conclusion: Water leaks in patient areas should be promptly notified to infection prevention. Detailed investigation to ascertain the actual cause of the leak and ensure any remedial work could be carried out swiftly. Outbreak meetings that include diverse people with various expertises (clinical and non-clinical) can enable prompt identification and resolution of contaminated areas to minimise risk to patients and staff. During challenging pandemic periods hospitals must not lose focus on other clusters and outbreaks occurring simultaneously.

Lancet Microbe ; 3(1): e21-e31, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915218


BACKGROUND: Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 affects the immune response to the first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We aimed to compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell and antibody responses in health-care workers with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection following a single dose of the BNT162b2 (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine. METHODS: We sampled health-care workers enrolled in the PITCH study across four hospital sites in the UK (Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield). All health-care workers aged 18 years or older consenting to participate in this prospective cohort study were included, with no exclusion criteria applied. Blood samples were collected where possible before vaccination and 28 (±7) days following one or two doses (given 3-4 weeks apart) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Previous infection was determined by a documented SARS-CoV-2-positive RT-PCR result or the presence of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies. We measured spike-specific IgG antibodies and quantified T-cell responses by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay in all participants where samples were available at the time of analysis, comparing SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals to those with previous infection. FINDINGS: Between Dec 9, 2020, and Feb 9, 2021, 119 SARS-CoV-2-naive and 145 previously infected health-care workers received one dose, and 25 SARS-CoV-2-naive health-care workers received two doses, of the BNT162b2 vaccine. In previously infected health-care workers, the median time from previous infection to vaccination was 268 days (IQR 232-285). At 28 days (IQR 27-33) after a single dose, the spike-specific T-cell response measured in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was higher in previously infected (n=76) than in infection-naive (n=45) health-care workers (median 284 [IQR 150-461] vs 55 [IQR 24-132] spot-forming units [SFUs] per 106 PBMCs; p<0·0001). With cryopreserved PBMCs, the T-cell response in previously infected individuals (n=52) after one vaccine dose was equivalent to that of infection-naive individuals (n=19) after receiving two vaccine doses (median 152 [IQR 119-275] vs 162 [104-258] SFUs/106 PBMCs; p=1·00). Anti-spike IgG antibody responses following a single dose in 142 previously infected health-care workers (median 270 373 [IQR 203 461-535 188] antibody units [AU] per mL) were higher than in 111 infection-naive health-care workers following one dose (35 001 [17 099-55 341] AU/mL; p<0·0001) and higher than in 25 infection-naive individuals given two doses (180 904 [108 221-242 467] AU/mL; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: A single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is likely to provide greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, than in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals, including against variants of concern. Future studies should determine the additional benefit of a second dose on the magnitude and durability of immune responses in individuals vaccinated following infection, alongside evaluation of the impact of extending the interval between vaccine doses. FUNDING: UK Department of Health and Social Care, and UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Prospective Studies , T-Lymphocytes , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
Cell ; 184(23): 5699-5714.e11, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466093


Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the United Kingdom to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. At this time, trial data were lacking, and we addressed this in a study of United Kingdom healthcare workers. The first vaccine dose induced protection from infection from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant over several weeks. In a substudy of 589 individuals, we show that this single dose induces severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses and a sustained B and T cell response to the spike protein. NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6-14 weeks) compared with the conventional 3- to 4-week regimen, accompanied by enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing interleukin-2 (IL-2). Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection amplified and accelerated the response. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective immunogenic protocol.

COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Priming/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Ethnicity , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult