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1.
California Journal of Politics and Policy ; 14(1):1-16, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1871630

ABSTRACT

Threatening economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on Utah's economy proved to be short-lived, due in part to early budget cuts, federal economic relief, and an expanding economy that out-performed expectations. Subsequently, FY22 provided the Utah Legislature opportunities to invest in education, infrastructure, and social services. Legislators also used this opportunity to cut taxes for veterans, the elderly population, and families. As the state's population continues to grow at record rates, Utah decisionmakers must grapple with rising housing prices and record-high rental rates. This report highlights specific challenges and opportunities Utah faced through negotiating a record-high budget of $25.6 billion and provides an overview of Utah's economy and changing demographic makeup.

2.
JCI Insight ; 2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861743

ABSTRACT

The role of immune responses to previously seen endemic coronavirus epitopes in severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and disease progression has not yet been determined. Here, we show that a key characteristic of fatal coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outcomes is that the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is enriched for antibodies directed against epitopes shared with endemic beta-coronaviruses, and has a lower proportion of antibodies targeting the more protective variable regions of the spike. The magnitude of antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein, its domains and subunits, and the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid also correlated strongly with responses to the endemic beta-coronavirus spike proteins in individuals admitted to intensive care units (ICU) with fatal COVID-19 outcomes, but not in individuals with non-fatal outcomes. This correlation was found to be due to the antibody response directed at the S2 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which has the highest degree of conservation between the beta-coronavirus spike proteins. Intriguingly, antibody responses to the less cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid were not significantly different in individuals who were admitted to ICU with fatal and non-fatal outcomes, suggesting an antibody profile in individuals with fatal outcomes consistent with an original antigenic sin type-response.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307040

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 highlights the global need for platform technologies to enable rapid development of diagnostics, vaccines, treatments, and personal protective equipment (PPE). However, many current technologies require the detailed mechanistic knowledge of specific material-virion interactions before they can be employed, for example to aid in the purification of vaccine components, or in design of more effective PPE. Here we show that an adaption of polymer micro array method for screening bacterial-surface interactions allows for screening of polymers for desirable material-viron interactions. Non-pathogenic virus like particlesincluding fluorophores are exposed to the arrays in aqueous buffer as a simple model of virons carried to the surface in saliva/sputum. Competitive binding of Lassa and Rubella particles is measured to probe the relative binding properties of a selection of copolymers. This provides the first step in the development of a method for discovery of novel materials with promise for viral binding, with the next being development of this method to assess absolute viral adsorption and assessment of the attenuation of the activity of live virus which we propose would be part of a material scale up step carried out in biological laboratory safety level 4 facilities and the use of more complex media to represent biological fluids.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307004

ABSTRACT

We aimed to explore university students’perceptions and experiences of SARS-CoV-2 mass asymptomatic testing, social distancing and self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. This qualitative study comprised of four rapid online focus groups conducted at a higher education institution in England during high alert (tier 2) national COVID-19 restrictions. Data were analysed thematically. Participants were purposively sampled university students (n = 25) representing a range of gender, age, living circumstances (on/off campus) and SARS-CoV-2 testing/self-isolation experiences. Six themes with 16 sub-themes emerged from the analysis of the qualitative data: ‘Term-time Experiences’, ‘Risk Perception and Worry’, ‘Engagement in Protective Behaviours’, ‘Openness to Testing’, ‘Barriers to Testing’and ‘General Wellbeing’. Students described feeling safe on campus, believed most of their peers are adherent to protective behaviours and were positive towards asymptomatic testing in university settings. University communications about COVID-19 testing and social behaviours need to be timely and presented in a more inclusive way to reach groups of students who currently feel marginalised. Barriers to engagement with SARS-CoV-2 testing, social distancing and self-isolation were primarily associated with fear of the mental health impacts of self-isolation, including worry about how they will cope, high anxiety, low mood, guilt relating to impact on others and loneliness. Loneliness in students could be mitigated through increased intra-university communications and a focus on establishment of low COVID-risk social activities to help students build and enhance their social support networks. These findings are particularly pertinent in the context of mass asymptomatic testing programmes being implemented in educational settings and high numbers of students being required to self-isolate. Universities need to determine the support needs of students during self-isolation and prepare for the long-term impacts of the pandemic on student mental health and welfare support services.

5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307002

ABSTRACT

We aimed to explore student and staff perceptions and experiences of a pilot COVID-19 asymptomatic testing service (P-ATS) in a UK university campus setting. This was a mixed-method study comprised of an online survey, and thematic analysis of qualitative data from interviews and focus groups conducted at the end of the 12-week P-ATS programme. Ninety-nine students (84.8% female, 70% first year;93.9% P-ATS participants) completed an online survey, 41 individuals attended interviews or focus groups, including 31 students (21 first year;10 final year) and 10 staff. All types of testing and logistics were highly acceptable (virus: swab, saliva;antibody: finger prick) and 94.9% would participate again. Reported adherence to weekly virus testing was high (92.4% completed ≥6 tests;70.8% submitted all 10 swabs;89.2% completed ≥1 saliva sample) and 76.9% submitted ≥3 blood samples. Students tested to ‘keep campus safe’, ‘contribute to national efforts to control COVID-19’, and ‘protect others’. 31.3% had high anxiety as measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) (27.1% of first year). Students with lower levels of anxiety and greater satisfaction with university communications around P-ATS were more likely to adhere to virus and antibody tests. Increased adherence to testing was associated with higher perceived risk of COVID-19 to self (virus) and others (antibody). Qualitative findings revealed 5 themes and 13 sub-themes: ‘emotional responses to COVID-19’, ‘university life during COVID-19’, ‘influences on testing participation’, ‘testing physical and logistical factors’and ‘testing effects on mental wellbeing’. Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing (virus/antibodies) is highly acceptable to students and staff in a university campus setting. Clear communications and support for mental wellbeing is likely to be important for testing uptake and adherence. Strategies are needed to facilitate social connections and mitigate the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and self-isolation.

6.
J Infect Dis ; 225(12): 2137-2141, 2022 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621619

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Psychological factors can influence susceptibility to viral infections. We examined whether such influences are evident in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS: Participants (n = 102) completed measures of anxiety, depression, positive mood, and loneliness and provided a blood sample for the measurement of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 was significantly negatively associated with anxiety and depression. The model remained significant after adjustment for age and gender, although anxiety and depression were no longer significant independent predictors. CONCLUSIONS: These findings offer early support for the hypothesis that psychological factors may influence susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Anxiety , Depression , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463692

ABSTRACT

This qualitative study explored the impact of COVID-19 self-isolation and social restriction measures on university students, through the perspectives of both students and the staff supporting them. The study comprised 11 focus groups (students) and 26 individual interviews (staff) at a higher education institution in England during a period of national lockdown (January-March 2021). Participants were university students (n = 52) with self-isolation experiences and university staff (n = 26) with student-facing support roles. Focus group and interview data were combined and analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Four themes emerged: 'Adaptation during the pandemic', 'Practical, environmental, and emotional challenges of self-isolating', 'Social factors and their impact on COVID-19 testing and self-isolation adherence', and 'Supporting self-isolation'. Students and staff struggled with the imposed restrictions and shift to online education. Students found it difficult to adapt to new expectations for university life and reported missing out on professional and social experiences. Students and staff noted concerns about the impact of online teaching on educational outcomes. Students endorsed varied emotional responses to self-isolation; some felt unaffected whilst others experienced lowered mood and loneliness. Students were motivated by pro-social attitudes; campaigns targeting these factors may encourage continued engagement in protective behaviours. Staff struggled to manage their increased workloads delivering support for self-isolating students. Universities must consider the support needs of students during self-isolation and prepare for the long-term impacts of the pandemic on student wellbeing and educational attainment. Greater support should be provided for staff during transitional periods, with ongoing monitoring of workforce stress levels warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19 Testing , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Students
9.
J Infect Dis ; 225(1): 10-18, 2022 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434406

ABSTRACT

Nosocomial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have severely affected bed capacity and patient flow. We utilized whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to identify outbreaks and focus infection control resources and intervention during the United Kingdom's second pandemic wave in late 2020. Phylogenetic analysis of WGS and epidemiological data pinpointed an initial transmission event to an admission ward, with immediate prior community infection linkage documented. High incidence of asymptomatic staff infection with genetically identical viral sequences was also observed, which may have contributed to the propagation of the outbreak. WGS allowed timely nosocomial transmission intervention measures, including admissions ward point-of-care testing and introduction of portable HEPA14 filters. Conversely, WGS excluded nosocomial transmission in 2 instances with temporospatial linkage, conserving time and resources. In summary, WGS significantly enhanced understanding of SARS-CoV-2 clusters in a hospital setting, both identifying high-risk areas and conversely validating existing control measures in other units, maintaining clinical service overall.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing , Asymptomatic Infections , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
10.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009804, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416909

ABSTRACT

Prior studies have demonstrated that immunologic dysfunction underpins severe illness in COVID-19 patients, but have lacked an in-depth analysis of the immunologic drivers of death in the most critically ill patients. We performed immunophenotyping of viral antigen-specific and unconventional T cell responses, neutralizing antibodies, and serum proteins in critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, using influenza infection, SARS-CoV-2-convalescent health care workers, and healthy adults as controls. We identify mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell activation as an independent and significant predictor of death in COVID-19 (HR = 5.92, 95% CI = 2.49-14.1). MAIT cell activation correlates with several other mortality-associated immunologic measures including broad activation of CD8+ T cells and non-Vδ2 γδT cells, and elevated levels of cytokines and chemokines, including GM-CSF, CXCL10, CCL2, and IL-6. MAIT cell activation is also a predictor of disease severity in influenza (ECMO/death HR = 4.43, 95% CI = 1.08-18.2). Single-cell RNA-sequencing reveals a shift from focused IFNα-driven signals in COVID-19 ICU patients who survive to broad pro-inflammatory responses in fatal COVID-19 -a feature not observed in severe influenza. We conclude that fatal COVID-19 infection is driven by uncoordinated inflammatory responses that drive a hierarchy of T cell activation, elements of which can serve as prognostic indicators and potential targets for immune intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, CD/immunology , Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness/mortality , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Influenza, Human/immunology , Lectins, C-Type/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Patient Acuity
11.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(609): eabj0847, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406600

ABSTRACT

Understanding the impact of prior infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on the response to vaccination is a priority for responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In particular, it is necessary to understand how prior infection plus vaccination can modulate immune responses against variants of concern. To address this, we sampled 20 individuals with and 25 individuals without confirmed previous SARS-CoV-2 infection from a large cohort of health care workers followed serologically since April 2020. All 45 individuals had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine with a delayed booster at 10 weeks. Absolute and neutralizing antibody titers against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and variants were measured using enzyme immunoassays and pseudotype neutralization assays. We observed antibody reactivity against lineage A, B.1.351, and P.1 variants with increasing antigenic exposure, through either vaccination or natural infection. This improvement was further confirmed in neutralization assays using fixed dilutions of serum samples. The impact of antigenic exposure was more evident in enzyme immunoassays measuring SARS-CoV-2 spike protein­specific IgG antibody concentrations. Our data show that multiple exposures to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the context of a delayed booster expand the neutralizing breadth of the antibody response to neutralization-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants. This suggests that additional vaccine boosts may be beneficial in improving immune responses against future SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans
12.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(609): eabj0847, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352520

ABSTRACT

Understanding the impact of prior infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on the response to vaccination is a priority for responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In particular, it is necessary to understand how prior infection plus vaccination can modulate immune responses against variants of concern. To address this, we sampled 20 individuals with and 25 individuals without confirmed previous SARS-CoV-2 infection from a large cohort of health care workers followed serologically since April 2020. All 45 individuals had received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine with a delayed booster at 10 weeks. Absolute and neutralizing antibody titers against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and variants were measured using enzyme immunoassays and pseudotype neutralization assays. We observed antibody reactivity against lineage A, B.1.351, and P.1 variants with increasing antigenic exposure, through either vaccination or natural infection. This improvement was further confirmed in neutralization assays using fixed dilutions of serum samples. The impact of antigenic exposure was more evident in enzyme immunoassays measuring SARS-CoV-2 spike protein­specific IgG antibody concentrations. Our data show that multiple exposures to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the context of a delayed booster expand the neutralizing breadth of the antibody response to neutralization-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variants. This suggests that additional vaccine boosts may be beneficial in improving immune responses against future SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans
13.
J Gen Virol ; 102(6)2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270774

ABSTRACT

In the early phases of the SARS coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, testing focused on individuals fitting a strict case definition involving a limited set of symptoms together with an identified epidemiological risk, such as contact with an infected individual or travel to a high-risk area. To assess whether this impaired our ability to detect and control early introductions of the virus into the UK, we PCR-tested archival specimens collected on admission to a large UK teaching hospital who retrospectively were identified as having a clinical presentation compatible with COVID-19. In addition, we screened available archival specimens submitted for respiratory virus diagnosis, and dating back to early January 2020, for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Our data provides evidence for widespread community circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in early February 2020 and into March that was undetected at the time due to restrictive case definitions informing testing policy. Genome sequence data showed that many of these early cases were infected with a distinct lineage of the virus. Sequences obtained from the first officially recorded case in Nottinghamshire - a traveller returning from Daegu, South Korea - also clustered with these early UK sequences suggesting acquisition of the virus occurred in the UK and not Daegu. Analysis of a larger sample of sequences obtained in the Nottinghamshire area revealed multiple viral introductions, mainly in late February and through March. These data highlight the importance of timely and extensive community testing to prevent future widespread transmission of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/genetics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
14.
Mol Ther ; 29(8): 2412-2423, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199134

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the emergent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) threatens global public health, and there is an urgent need to develop safe and effective vaccines. Here, we report the generation and the preclinical evaluation of a novel replication-defective gorilla adenovirus-vectored vaccine encoding the pre-fusion stabilized Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. We show that our vaccine candidate, GRAd-COV2, is highly immunogenic both in mice and macaques, eliciting both functional antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infection and block Spike protein binding to the ACE2 receptor, and a robust, T helper (Th)1-dominated cellular response. We show here that the pre-fusion stabilized Spike antigen is superior to the wild type in inducing ACE2-interfering, SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies. To face the unprecedented need for vaccine manufacturing at a massive scale, different GRAd genome deletions were compared to select the vector backbone showing the highest productivity in stirred tank bioreactors. This preliminary dataset identified GRAd-COV2 as a potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate, supporting the translation of the GRAd-COV2 vaccine in a currently ongoing phase I clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04528641).


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/immunology , Adenovirus Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Gorilla gorilla/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Female , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Gorilla gorilla/virology , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Macaca , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Young Adult
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186954

ABSTRACT

We aimed to explore university students' perceptions and experiences of SARS-CoV-2 mass asymptomatic testing, social distancing and self-isolation, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This qualitative study comprised of four rapid online focus groups conducted at a higher education institution in England, during high alert (tier 2) national COVID-19 restrictions. Participants were purposively sampled university students (n = 25) representing a range of gender, age, living circumstances (on/off campus), and SARS-CoV-2 testing/self-isolation experiences. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic approach. Six themes with 16 sub-themes emerged from the analysis of the qualitative data: 'Term-time Experiences', 'Risk Perception and Worry', 'Engagement in Protective Behaviours', 'Openness to Testing', 'Barriers to Testing' and 'General Wellbeing'. Students described feeling safe on campus, believed most of their peers are adherent to protective behaviours and were positive towards asymptomatic testing in university settings. University communications about COVID-19 testing and social behaviours need to be timely and presented in a more inclusive way to reach groups of students who currently feel marginalised. Barriers to engagement with SARS-CoV-2 testing, social distancing and self-isolation were primarily associated with fear of the mental health impacts of self-isolation, including worry about how they will cope, high anxiety, low mood, guilt relating to impact on others and loneliness. Loneliness in students could be mitigated through increased intra-university communications and a focus on establishment of low COVID-risk social activities to help students build and enhance their social support networks. These findings are particularly pertinent in the context of mass asymptomatic testing programmes being implemented in educational settings and high numbers of students being required to self-isolate. Universities need to determine the support needs of students during self-isolation and prepare for the long-term impacts of the pandemic on student mental health and welfare support services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19 Testing , England , Humans , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Universities
17.
Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 278(6): 2107-2114, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1014131

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic placed an unprecedented demand on critical care services for the provision of mechanical ventilation. Tracheostomy formation facilitates liberation from mechanical ventilation with advantages for both the patient and wider critical care resource, and can be performed using both percutaneous dilatational and surgical techniques. We compared outcomes in those patients undergoing percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy to those undergoing surgical tracheostomy and make recommendations for provision of tracheostomy services in any future surge. METHODS: Multicentre multidisciplinary retrospective observational cohort study including 201 patients with COVID-19 pneumonitis admitted to an ICU in one of five NHS Trusts within the South London Adult Critical Care Network who required mechanical ventilation and subsequent tracheostomy. RESULTS: Percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy was performed in 124 (62%) of patients, and surgical tracheostomy in 77 (38%) of patients. There was no difference between percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy and surgical tracheostomy in either the rate of peri-operative complications (16.9 vs. 22.1%, p = 0.46), median [IQR(range)] time to decannulation [19.0 (15.0-30.2 (5.0-65.0)] vs. 21.0 [15.5-36.0 (5.0-70.0) days] or mortality (13.7% vs. 15.6%, p = 0.84). Of the 172 patients that were alive at follow-up, two remained ventilated and 163 were decannulated. CONCLUSION: In patients with COVID-19 pneumonitis that require tracheostomy to facilitate weaning from mechanical ventilation, there was no difference in outcomes between those patients that had percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy compared with those that had surgical tracheostomy. Planning for future surges in COVID-19-related critical care demands should utilise all available resource and expertise.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tracheostomy , Adult , Humans , London , Pandemics , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(1)2020 12 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004731

ABSTRACT

We aimed to explore student and staff perceptions and experiences of a pilot SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic testing service (P-ATS) in a UK university campus setting. This was a mixed-method study comprised of an online survey, and thematic analysis of qualitative data from interviews and focus groups conducted at the mid-point and end of the 12-week P-ATS programme. Ninety-nine students (84.8% female, 70% first year; 93.9% P-ATS participants) completed an online survey, 41 individuals attended interviews or focus groups, including 31 students (21 first year; 10 final year) and 10 staff. All types of testing and logistics were highly acceptable (virus: swab, saliva; antibody: finger prick) and 94.9% would participate again. Reported adherence to weekly virus testing was high (92.4% completed ≥6 tests; 70.8% submitted all 10 swabs; 89.2% completed ≥1 saliva sample) and 76.9% submitted ≥3 blood samples. Students tested to "keep campus safe", "contribute to national efforts to control COVID-19", and "protect others". In total, 31.3% had high anxiety as measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) (27.1% of first year). Students with lower levels of anxiety and greater satisfaction with university communications around P-ATS were more likely to adhere to virus and antibody tests. Increased adherence to testing was associated with higher perceived risk of COVID-19 to self and others. Qualitative findings revealed 5 themes and 13 sub-themes: "emotional responses to COVID-19", "university life during COVID-19", "influences on testing participation", "testing physical and logistical factors" and "testing effects on mental wellbeing". Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing (SARS-CoV-2 virus/antibodies) is highly acceptable to students and staff in a university campus setting. Clear communications and strategies to reduce anxiety are likely to be important for testing uptake and adherence. Strategies are needed to facilitate social connections and mitigate the mental health impacts of COVID-19 and self-isolation.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Specimen Handling , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom , Universities , Young Adult
19.
Biointerphases ; 15(6): 061005, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-934052

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 highlights the global need for platform technologies to enable the rapid development of diagnostics, vaccines, treatments, and personal protective equipment (PPE). However, many current technologies require the detailed mechanistic knowledge of specific material-virion interactions before they can be employed, for example, to aid in the purification of vaccine components or in the design of a more effective PPE. Here, we show that an adaption of a polymer microarray method for screening bacterial-surface interactions allows for the screening of polymers for desirable material-virion interactions. Nonpathogenic virus-like particles including fluorophores are exposed to the arrays in an aqueous buffer as a simple model of virions carried to the surface in saliva/sputum. Competitive binding of Lassa and Rubella virus-like particles is measured to probe the relative binding properties of a selection of copolymers. This provides the first step in the development of a method for the discovery of novel materials with promise for viral binding, with the next being development of this method to assess absolute viral adsorption and assessment of the attenuation of the activity of live virus, which we propose would be part of a material scale up step carried out in high containment facilities, alongside the use of more complex media to represent biological fluids.


Subject(s)
Microarray Analysis , Polymers/chemistry , Virion/isolation & purification , Adsorption , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Ultraviolet Rays
20.
BMJ ; 371: m4312, 2020 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917785
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