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1.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327612

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Viral sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been used for outbreak investigation, but there is limited evidence supporting routine use for infection prevention and control (IPC) within hospital settings. Methods We conducted a prospective non-randomised trial of sequencing at 14 acute UK hospital trusts. Sites each had a 4-week baseline data-collection period, followed by intervention periods comprising 8 weeks of 'rapid' (<48h) and 4 weeks of 'longer-turnaround' (5-10 day) sequencing using a sequence reporting tool (SRT). Data were collected on all hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs;detected ≥48h from admission). The impact of the sequencing intervention on IPC knowledge and actions, and on incidence of probable/definite hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) was evaluated. Results A total of 2170 HOCI cases were recorded from October 2020-April 2021, with sequence reports returned for 650/1320 (49.2%) during intervention phases. We did not detect a statistically significant change in weekly incidence of HAIs in longer-turnaround (IRR 1.60, 95%CI 0.85-3.01;P=0.14) or rapid (0.85, 0.48-1.50;P=0.54) intervention phases compared to baseline phase. However, IPC practice was changed in 7.8% and 7.4% of all HOCI cases in rapid and longer-turnaround phases, respectively, and 17.2% and 11.6% of cases where the report was returned. In a per-protocol sensitivity analysis there was an impact on IPC actions in 20.7% of HOCI cases when the SRT report was returned within 5 days. Conclusion While we did not demonstrate a direct impact of sequencing on the incidence of nosocomial transmission, our results suggest that sequencing can inform IPC response to HOCIs, particularly when returned within 5 days.

2.
Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob ; 20(1): 85, 2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598520

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is growing evidence that antibody responses play a role in the resolution of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients with primary or secondary antibody deficiency are at increased risk of persistent infection. This challenging clinical scenario is associated with adverse patient outcome and potentially creates an ecological niche for the evolution of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants with immune evasion capacity. Case reports and/or series have implied a therapeutic role for convalescent plasma (CP) to secure virological clearance, although concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of CP and its potential to drive viral evolution, and it has largely been withdrawn from clinical use in the UK. CASE PRESENTATION: We report two cases in which persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection was cleared following administration of the monoclonal antibody combination casirivimab and imdevimab (REGN-COV2, Ronapreve). A 55-year-old male with follicular lymphoma, treated with B cell depleting therapy, developed SARS-CoV-2 infection in September 2020 which then persisted for over 200 days. He was hospitalised on four occasions with COVID-19 and suffered debilitating fatigue and malaise throughout. There was no clinical response to antiviral therapy with remdesivir or CP, and SARS-CoV-2 was consistently detected in nasopharyngeal swabs. Intrahost evolution of several spike variants of uncertain significance was identified by viral sequence analysis. Delivery of REGN-COV2, in combination with remdesivir, was associated with clinical improvement and viral clearance within 6 days, which was sustained for over 150 days despite immunotherapy for relapsed follicular lymphoma. The second case, a 68-year-old female with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia on ibrutinib, also developed persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Despite a lack of response to remdesivir, infection promptly cleared following REGN-COV2 in combination with remdesivir, accompanied by resolution of inflammation and full clinical recovery that has been maintained for over 290 days. CONCLUSIONS: These cases highlight the potential benefit of REGN-COV2 as therapy for persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection in antibody deficient individuals, including after failure of CP treatment. Formal clinical studies are warranted to assess the effectiveness of REGN-COV2 in antibody-deficient patients, especially in light of the emergence of variants of concern, such as Omicron, that appear to evade REGN-COV2 neutralisation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , /virology , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/therapy , Drug Combinations , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Lymphoma, Follicular , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-297023

ABSTRACT

The recently reported Omicron (B.1.1.529) SARS-CoV-2 variant has a large number of mutations in the Spike (S) protein compared to previous variants. Here we evaluate the potential effect of Omicron S mutations on S protein dynamics and ACE2 binding as contributing factors to infectivity as well as propensity for immune escape. We define a consensus set of mutations from 77 sequences assigned as Omicron in GISAID as of November 25. We create structural models of the Omicron S protein in the open and closed states, as part of a complex with ACE2 and for each of 77 complexes of S bound to different antibodies with known structures. We have previously utilized Dynamical Signatures (DS) and the Vibrational Entropy Score (VDS) to evaluate the propensity of S variants to favour the open state. Here, we introduce the Binding Influence Score (BIS) to evaluate the influence of mutations on binding affinity based on the net gain or loss of interactions within the protein-protein interface. BIS shows excellent correlation with experimental data (Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.87) on individual mutations in the ACE2 interface for the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron variants combined. On the one hand, the DS of Omicron highly favours a more rigid open state and a more flexible closed state with the largest VDS of all variants to date, suggesting a large increase in the chances to interact with ACE2. On the other hand, the BIS shows that apart from N501Y, all other mutations in the interface reduce ACE2 binding affinity. VDS and BIS show opposing effects on the overall effectiveness of Omicron mutations to promote binding to ACE2 and therefore initiate infection. To evaluate the propensity for immune escape we calculated the net change of favourable and unfavourable interactions within each S-antibody interface. The net change of interactions shows a positive score (a net increase of favourable interactions and decrease of unfavourable ones) for 41 out of 77 antibodies, a nil score for 15 and a negative score for 21 antibodies. Therefore, in only 28% of S-antibody complexes (21/77) we predict some level of immune escape due to a weakening of the interactions with Omicron S. Considering that most antibody epitopes and the mutations are within the S-ACE2 interface our results suggest that mutations within the RBD of Omicron may give rise to only partial immune escape, which comes at the expense of reduced ACE2 binding affinity. However, this reduced ACE2 affinity appears to have been offset by increasing the occupancy of the open state of the Spike protein.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292287

ABSTRACT

Background: There is growing evidence that antibody responses play a role in the resolution of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Patients with primary or secondary antibody deficiency are at increased risk of persistent infection. This challenging clinical scenario is associated with adverse patient outcome and potentially creates an ecological niche for the evolution of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants with immune evasion capacity. Case reports and/or series have implied a therapeutic role for passive immunisation with convalescent plasma (CP) to secure virological clearance, although concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of CP and its potential to drive viral evolution, and it has largely been withdrawn from clinical use in the UK. Case presentation: We report two cases in which persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection was cleared following administration of the monoclonal antibody combination casirivimab and imdevimab (REGN-COV2, Ronapreve). A 55-year-old male with follicular lymphoma, treated with B cell depleting therapy, developed SARS-CoV-2 infection in September 2020 which then persisted for over 200 days. He was hospitalised on four occasions with COVID-19 and suffered debilitating fatigue and malaise throughout. There was no clinical response to antiviral therapy with remdesivir or CP, and SARS-CoV-2 was consistently detected in nasopharyngeal swabs. Intrahost evolution of several spike variants of uncertain significance was identified by viral sequence analysis. Delivery of REGN-COV2, in combination with remdesivir, was associated with clinical improvement and viral clearance within 6 days, which was sustained for over 150 days despite immunotherapy for relapsed follicular lymphoma. The second case, a 68-year-old female with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia on ibrutinib, also developed persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Despite a lack of response to remdesivir, infection promptly cleared following REGN-COV2 in combination with remdesivir, accompanied by resolution of inflammation and full clinical recovery that has been maintained for over 290 days. Conclusions These cases highlight the potential benefit of REGN-COV2 as therapy for persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection in antibody deficient individuals, including after failure of CP treatment. Formal clinical studies are warranted to assess the effectiveness of REGN-COV2 in antibody-deficient patients.

5.
Lancet Microbe ; 3(2): e151-e158, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440435

ABSTRACT

We reviewed all genomic epidemiology studies on COVID-19 in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) that had been published to date. We found that staff and residents were usually infected with identical, or near identical, SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Outbreaks usually involved one predominant cluster, and the same lineages persisted in LTCFs despite infection control measures. Outbreaks were most commonly due to single or few introductions followed by a spread rather than a series of seeding events from the community into LTCFs. The sequencing of samples taken consecutively from the same individuals at the same facilities showed the persistence of the same genome sequence, indicating that the sequencing technique was robust over time. When combined with local epidemiology, genomics allowed probable transmission sources to be better characterised. The transmission between LTCFs was detected in multiple studies. The mortality rate among residents was high in all facilities, regardless of the lineage. Bioinformatics methods were inadequate in a third of the studies reviewed, and reproducing the analyses was difficult because sequencing data were not available in many facilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Humans , Long-Term Care , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
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