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1.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e052514, 2022 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799219

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been a significant cause of mortality in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COG-UK Consortium Hospital-Onset COVID-19 Infections (COG-UK HOCI) study aims to evaluate whether the use of rapid whole-genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, supported by a novel probabilistic reporting methodology, can inform infection prevention and control (IPC) practice within NHS hospital settings. DESIGN: Multicentre, prospective, interventional, superiority study. SETTING: 14 participating NHS hospitals over winter-spring 2020/2021 in the UK. PARTICIPANTS: Eligible patients must be admitted to hospital with first-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive test result >48 hour from time of admission, where COVID-19 diagnosis not suspected on admission. The projected sample size is 2380 patients. INTERVENTION: The intervention is the return of a sequence report, within 48 hours in one phase (rapid local lab processing) and within 5-10 days in a second phase (mimicking central lab), comparing the viral genome from an eligible study participant with others within and outside the hospital site. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcomes are incidence of Public Health England (PHE)/IPC-defined SARS-CoV-2 hospital-acquired infection during the baseline and two interventional phases, and proportion of hospital-onset cases with genomic evidence of transmission linkage following implementation of the intervention where such linkage was not suspected by initial IPC investigation. Secondary outcomes include incidence of hospital outbreaks, with and without sequencing data; actual and desirable changes to IPC actions; periods of healthcare worker (HCW) absence. Health economic analysis will be conducted to determine cost benefit of the intervention. A process evaluation using qualitative interviews with HCWs will be conducted alongside the study. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN50212645. Pre-results stage. This manuscript is based on protocol V.6.0. 2 September 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Hospitals , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , State Medicine , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom/epidemiology
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Post-vaccination infections challenge the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We matched 119 cases of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection with BNT162b2 mRNA, or ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, to 476 unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 (Sept 2020-March 2021), according to age and sex. Differences in 60-day all-cause mortality, hospital admission, and hospital length of stay were evaluated. Phylogenetic, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and minority variant allele (MVA) full genome sequencing analysis was performed. RESULTS: 116/119 cases developed COVID-19 post first vaccination dose (median 14 days, IQR 9 - 24 days). Overall, 13/119 (10∙9%) cases and 158/476 (33∙2%) controls died (p<0.001), corresponding to 4∙5 number needed to treat (NNT). Multivariably, vaccination was associated with 69∙3% (95%CI 45∙8 - 82∙6) relative risk (RR) reduction in mortality. Similar results were seen in subgroup analysis for patients with infection onset ≥14 days after first vaccination (RR reduction 65∙1%, 95%CI 27∙2 - 83∙2, NNT 4∙5), and across vaccine subgroups (BNT162b2: RR reduction 66%, 95%CI 34∙9 - 82∙2, NNT 4∙7, ChAdOx1: RR reduction 78∙4%, 95%CI 30∙4 - 93∙3, NNT 4∙1). Hospital admissions (OR 0∙80, 95%CI 0∙51 - 1∙28), and length of stay (-1∙89 days, 95%CI -4∙57 - 0∙78) were lower for cases, while Ct values were higher (30∙8 versus 28∙8, p = 0.053). B.1.1.7 was the predominant lineage in cases (100/108, 92.6%) and controls (341/446, 76.5%). Genomic analysis identified one post-vaccination case harboring the E484K vaccine escape mutation (B.1.525 lineage). CONCLUSIONS: Previous vaccination reduces mortality when B.1.1.7 is the predominant lineage. No significant lineage-specific genomic changes during phylogenetic, SNP and MVA analysis were detected.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(7): 1220-1229, 2022 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706235

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been shown to neutralize the virus in vitro and prevent disease in animal challenge models on reexposure. However, the current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 humoral dynamics and longevity is conflicting. METHODS: The COVID-19 Staff Testing of Antibody Responses Study (Co-Stars) prospectively enrolled 3679 healthcare workers to comprehensively characterize the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S), receptor-binding domain, and nucleoprotein (N) antibodies in parallel. Participants screening seropositive had serial monthly serological testing for a maximum of 7 months with the Meso Scale Discovery Assay. Survival analysis determined the proportion of seroreversion, while 2 hierarchical gamma models predicted the upper and lower bounds of long-term antibody trajectory. RESULTS: A total of 1163 monthly samples were provided from 349 seropositive participants. At 200 days after symptoms, >95% of participants had detectable S antibodies, compared with 75% with detectable N antibodies. S antibody was predicted to remain detectable in 95% of participants until 465 days (95% confidence interval, 370-575 days) using a "continuous-decay" model and indefinitely using a "decay-to-plateau" model to account for antibody secretion by long-lived plasma cells. S-antibody titers were correlated strongly with surrogate neutralization in vitro (R2 = 0.72). N antibodies, however, decayed rapidly with a half-life of 60 days (95% confidence interval, 52-68 days). CONCLUSIONS: The Co-Stars data presented here provide evidence for long-term persistence of neutralizing S antibodies. This has important implications for the duration of functional immunity after SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, the rapid decay of N antibodies must be considered in future seroprevalence studies and public health decision-making. This is the first study to establish a mathematical framework capable of predicting long-term humoral dynamics after SARS-CoV-2 infection. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT04380896.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322658

ABSTRACT

Background: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. Little is known about the impact their increased infectivity has on transmission within hospitals.Methods: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences.Findings: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages.Interpretation: Notwithstanding evidence from community studies that the Alpha variant is more transmissible, we find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.Funding Information: COG-UK HOCI funded by COG-UK consortium. The COG-UK consortium is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Genome Research Limited, operating as the Wellcome Sanger Institute.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for the HOCI study was provided by REC 20/EE/0118.

5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327629

ABSTRACT

Background: Early antiviral treatment is effective for COVID-19 but currently available agents are expensive. Favipiravir is routinely used in many countries, but efficacy is unproven. Antiviral combinations have not been systematically studied. We aimed to evaluate the effect of favipiravir, lopinavir-ritonavir or the combination of both agents on SARS-CoV-2 viral load trajectory when administered early. Methods: We conducted a Phase 2, proof of principle, randomised, placebo-controlled, 2x2 factorial, double-blind trial of outpatients with early COVID-19 (within 7 days of symptom onset) at two sites in the United Kingdom. Participants were randomised using a centralised online process to receive: favipiravir (1800mg twice daily on Day 1 followed by 400mg four times daily on Days 2-7) plus lopinavir-ritonavir (400mg/100mg twice daily on Day 1, followed by 200mg/50mg four times daily on Days 2-7);favipiravir plus lopinavir-ritonavir placebo;lopinavir-ritonavir plus favipiravir placebo;or both placebos. The primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 viral load at Day 5, accounting for baseline viral load. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04499677 . Findings: Between 6 October 2020 and 4 November 2021, we recruited 240 participants. For the favipiravir+lopinavir-ritonavir, favipiravir+placebo, lopinavir-ritonavir+placebo and placebo-only arms, we recruited 61, 59, 60 and 60 participants and analysed 55, 56, 55 and 58 participants respectively who provided viral load measures at Day 1 and Day 5. In the primary analysis, the mean viral load in the favipiravir+placebo arm had decreased by 0.57 log10 (95% CI -1.21 to 0.07, p=0.08) and in the lopinavir-ritonavir+placebo arm by 0.18 log10 (95% CI -0.82 to 0.46, p=0.58) more than in the placebo arm at Day 5. There was no significant interaction between favipiravir and lopinavir-ritonavir (interaction coefficient term: 0.59 log10, 95% CI -0.32 to 1.50, p=0.20). More participants had undetectable virus at Day 5 in the favipiravir+placebo arm compared to placebo only (46.3% vs 26.9%, odds ratio (OR): 2.47, 95% CI 1.08 to 5.65;p=0.03). Adverse events were observed more frequently with lopinavir-ritonavir, mainly gastrointestinal disturbance. Favipiravir drug levels were lower in the combination arm than the favipiravir monotherapy arm. Interpretation: At the current doses, no treatment significantly reduced viral load in the primary analysis. Favipiravir requires further evaluation with consideration of dose escalation. Lopinavir-ritonavir administration was associated with lower plasma favipiravir concentrations.

6.
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.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295902

ABSTRACT

Paediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection rarely results in a critical respiratory presentation. It is not yet known which children are at particular risk of adverse outcomes. We describe a paediatric case of critical SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), who made a full recovery after receiving a dual antiviral therapy of remdesivir and nitazoxanide.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293497

ABSTRACT

Paediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection rarely results in a critical respiratory presentation. It is not yet known which children are at particular risk of adverse outcomes. We describe a paediatric case of critical SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), who made a full recovery after receiving a dual antiviral therapy of remdesivir and nitazoxanide.

9.
J Med Virol ; 94(1): 161-172, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544335

ABSTRACT

Detailed information on intrahost viral evolution in SARS-CoV-2 with and without treatment is limited. Sequential viral loads and deep sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 from the upper respiratory tract of nine hospitalized children, three of whom were treated with remdesivir, revealed that remdesivir treatment suppressed viral load in one patient but not in a second infected with an identical strain without any evidence of drug resistance found. Reduced levels of subgenomic RNA during treatment of the second patient, suggest an additional effect of remdesivir on viral replication. Haplotype reconstruction uncovered persistent SARS-CoV-2 variant genotypes in four patients. These likely arose from within-host evolution, although superinfection cannot be excluded in one case. Although our dataset is small, observed sample-to-sample heterogeneity in variant frequencies across four of nine patients suggests the presence of discrete viral populations in the lung with incomplete population sampling in diagnostic swabs. Such compartmentalization could compromise the penetration of remdesivir into the lung, limiting the drugs in vivo efficacy, as has been observed in other lung infections.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adolescent , Alanine/therapeutic use , Child , Child, Preschool , Drug Resistance, Viral , Female , Haplotypes , Humans , Infant , Lung/virology , Male , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load , Virus Replication/drug effects
10.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 299, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511749

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To reduce the coronavirus disease burden in England, along with many other countries, the government implemented a package of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that have also impacted other transmissible infectious diseases such as norovirus. It is unclear what future norovirus disease incidence is likely to look like upon lifting these restrictions. METHODS: Here we use a mathematical model of norovirus fitted to community incidence data in England to project forward expected incidence based on contact surveys that have been collected throughout 2020-2021. RESULTS: We report that susceptibility to norovirus infection has likely increased between March 2020 and mid-2021. Depending upon assumptions of future contact patterns incidence of norovirus that is similar to pre-pandemic levels or an increase beyond what has been previously reported is likely to occur once restrictions are lifted. Should adult contact patterns return to 80% of pre-pandemic levels, the incidence of norovirus will be similar to previous years. If contact patterns return to pre-pandemic levels, there is a potential for the expected annual incidence to be up to 2-fold larger than in a typical year. The age-specific incidence is similar across all ages. CONCLUSIONS: Continued national surveillance for endemic diseases such as norovirus will be essential after NPIs are lifted to allow healthcare services to adequately prepare for a potential increase in cases and hospital pressures beyond what is typically experienced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Norovirus , England/epidemiology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2
12.
J Infect ; 83(6): 693-700, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. We sought to determine whether this also resulted in increased transmission within hospitals. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences. RESULTS: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages. CONCLUSIONS: We find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
13.
EBioMedicine ; 72: 103595, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Favipiravir and Molnupiravir, orally available antivirals, have been reported to exert antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. First efficacy data have been recently reported in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We here report on the combined antiviral effect of both drugs in a SARS-CoV-2 Syrian hamster infection model. The infected hamsters were treated twice daily with the vehicle (the control group) or a suboptimal dose of each compound or a combination of both compounds. FINDINGS: When animals were treated with a combination of suboptimal doses of Molnupiravir and Favipiravir at the time of infection, a marked combined potency at endpoint is observed. Infectious virus titers in the lungs of animals treated with the combination are reduced by ∼5 log10 and infectious virus are no longer detected in the lungs of >60% of treated animals. When start of treatment was delayed with one day a reduction of titers in the lungs of 2.4 log10 was achieved. Moreover, treatment of infected animals nearly completely prevented transmission to co-housed untreated sentinels. Both drugs result in an increased mutation frequency of the remaining viral RNA recovered from the lungs of treated animals. In the combo-treated hamsters, an increased frequency of C-to-T mutations in the viral RNA is observed as compared to the single treatment groups which may explain the pronounced antiviral potency of the combination. INTERPRETATION: Our findings may lay the basis for the design of clinical studies to test the efficacy of the combination of Molnupiravir/Favipiravir in the treatment of COVID-19. FUNDING: stated in the acknowledgment.


Subject(s)
Amides/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Hydroxylamines/therapeutic use , Lung/virology , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Amides/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/transmission , Cytidine/pharmacology , Cytidine/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hydroxylamines/pharmacology , Mesocricetus , Pyrazines/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load
14.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 has been associated with an increased rate of transmission and disease severity among subjects testing positive in the community. Its impact on hospitalised patients is less well documented. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and clinical data of patients admitted with SARS-CoV-2 and hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs), sampled 16 November 2020 to 10 January 2021, from eight hospitals participating in the COG-UK-HOCI study. Associations between the variant and the outcomes of all-cause mortality and intensive therapy unit (ITU) admission were evaluated using mixed effects Cox models adjusted by age, sex, comorbidities, care home residence, pregnancy and ethnicity. FINDINGS: Sequences were obtained from 2341 inpatients (HOCI cases=786) and analysis of clinical outcomes was carried out in 2147 inpatients with all data available. The HR for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.28, p=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75 to 1.37, p=0.96). Analysis of sex-specific effects of B.1.1.7 identified increased risk of mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.78, p=0.096) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.90, p=0.011) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.10, p=0.177; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.04, p=0.086). INTERPRETATION: In common with smaller studies of patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2, we did not find an overall increase in mortality or ITU admission associated with B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages. However, women with B.1.1.7 may be at an increased risk of admission to intensive care and at modestly increased risk of mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , United Kingdom , Young Adult
15.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364783

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Post-vaccination infections challenge the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We matched 119 cases of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection with BNT162b2 mRNA, or ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, to 476 unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 (Sept 2020-March 2021), according to age and sex. Differences in 60-day all-cause mortality, hospital admission, and hospital length of stay were evaluated. Phylogenetic, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and minority variant allele (MVA) full genome sequencing analysis was performed. RESULTS: 116/119 cases developed COVID-19 post first vaccination dose (median 14 days, IQR 9 - 24 days). Overall, 13/119 (10∙9%) cases and 158/476 (33∙2%) controls died (p<0.001), corresponding to 4∙5 number needed to treat (NNT). Multivariably, vaccination was associated with 69∙3% (95%CI 45∙8 - 82∙6) relative risk (RR) reduction in mortality. Similar results were seen in subgroup analysis for patients with infection onset ≥14 days after first vaccination (RR reduction 65∙1%, 95%CI 27∙2 - 83∙2, NNT 4∙5), and across vaccine subgroups (BNT162b2: RR reduction 66%, 95%CI 34∙9 - 82∙2, NNT 4∙7, ChAdOx1: RR reduction 78∙4%, 95%CI 30∙4 - 93∙3, NNT 4∙1). Hospital admissions (OR 0∙80, 95%CI 0∙51 - 1∙28), and length of stay (-1∙89 days, 95%CI -4∙57 - 0∙78) were lower for cases, while Ct values were higher (30∙8 versus 28∙8, p = 0.053). B.1.1.7 was the predominant lineage in cases (100/108, 92.6%) and controls (341/446, 76.5%). Genomic analysis identified one post-vaccination case harboring the E484K vaccine escape mutation (B.1.525 lineage). CONCLUSIONS: Previous vaccination reduces mortality when B.1.1.7 is the predominant lineage. No significant lineage-specific genomic changes during phylogenetic, SNP and MVA analysis were detected.

17.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 1(3): 100037, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356293

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is the main diagnostic assay used to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in respiratory samples. RT-qPCR is performed by specifically targeting the viral genome using complementary oligonucleotides called primers and probes. This approach relies on prior knowledge of the genetic sequence of the target. Viral genetic variants with changes to the primer/probe binding region may reduce the performance of PCR assays and have the potential to cause assay failure. In this work we demonstrate how two single nucleotide variants (SNVs) altered the amplification curve of a diagnostic PCR targeting the Nucleocapsid (N) gene and illustrate how threshold setting can lead to false-negative results even where the variant sequence is amplified. We also describe how in silico analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences available in the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) and GISAID databases was performed to predict the impact of sequence variation on the performance of 22 published PCR assays. The vast majority of published primer and probe sequences contain sequence mismatches with at least one SARS-CoV-2 lineage. We recommend that visual observation of amplification curves is included as part of laboratory quality procedures, even in high throughput settings where thresholds are set automatically and that in silico analysis is used to monitor the potential impact of new variants on established assays. Ideally comprehensive in silico analysis should be applied to guide selection of highly conserved genomic regions to target with future SARS-CoV-2 PCR assays.

18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(7): 1220-1229, 2022 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294705

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been shown to neutralize the virus in vitro and prevent disease in animal challenge models on reexposure. However, the current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 humoral dynamics and longevity is conflicting. METHODS: The COVID-19 Staff Testing of Antibody Responses Study (Co-Stars) prospectively enrolled 3679 healthcare workers to comprehensively characterize the kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S), receptor-binding domain, and nucleoprotein (N) antibodies in parallel. Participants screening seropositive had serial monthly serological testing for a maximum of 7 months with the Meso Scale Discovery Assay. Survival analysis determined the proportion of seroreversion, while 2 hierarchical gamma models predicted the upper and lower bounds of long-term antibody trajectory. RESULTS: A total of 1163 monthly samples were provided from 349 seropositive participants. At 200 days after symptoms, >95% of participants had detectable S antibodies, compared with 75% with detectable N antibodies. S antibody was predicted to remain detectable in 95% of participants until 465 days (95% confidence interval, 370-575 days) using a "continuous-decay" model and indefinitely using a "decay-to-plateau" model to account for antibody secretion by long-lived plasma cells. S-antibody titers were correlated strongly with surrogate neutralization in vitro (R2 = 0.72). N antibodies, however, decayed rapidly with a half-life of 60 days (95% confidence interval, 52-68 days). CONCLUSIONS: The Co-Stars data presented here provide evidence for long-term persistence of neutralizing S antibodies. This has important implications for the duration of functional immunity after SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, the rapid decay of N antibodies must be considered in future seroprevalence studies and public health decision-making. This is the first study to establish a mathematical framework capable of predicting long-term humoral dynamics after SARS-CoV-2 infection. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT04380896.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
19.
Elife ; 102021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287004

ABSTRACT

Background: Rapid identification and investigation of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) is important for suppression of SARS-CoV-2, but the infection source for hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs) cannot always be readily identified based only on epidemiological data. Viral sequencing data provides additional information regarding potential transmission clusters, but the low mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 can make interpretation using standard phylogenetic methods difficult. Methods: We developed a novel statistical method and sequence reporting tool (SRT) that combines epidemiological and sequence data in order to provide a rapid assessment of the probability of HCAI among HOCI cases (defined as first positive test >48 hr following admission) and to identify infections that could plausibly constitute outbreak events. The method is designed for prospective use, but was validated using retrospective datasets from hospitals in Glasgow and Sheffield collected February-May 2020. Results: We analysed data from 326 HOCIs. Among HOCIs with time from admission ≥8 days, the SRT algorithm identified close sequence matches from the same ward for 160/244 (65.6%) and in the remainder 68/84 (81.0%) had at least one similar sequence elsewhere in the hospital, resulting in high estimated probabilities of within-ward and within-hospital transmission. For HOCIs with time from admission 3-7 days, the SRT probability of healthcare acquisition was >0.5 in 33/82 (40.2%). Conclusions: The methodology developed can provide rapid feedback on HOCIs that could be useful for infection prevention and control teams, and warrants further prospective evaluation. The integration of epidemiological and sequence data is important given the low mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 and its variable incubation period. Funding: COG-UK HOCI funded by COG-UK consortium, supported by funding from UK Research and Innovation, National Institute of Health Research and Wellcome Sanger Institute.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Population Surveillance/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Genome, Viral , Hospitals/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Probability , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Whole Genome Sequencing
20.
J Infect ; 83(1): 96-103, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198895

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Patients requiring haemodialysis are at increased risk of serious illness with SARS-CoV-2 infection. To improve the understanding of transmission risks in six Scottish renal dialysis units, we utilised the rapid whole-genome sequencing data generated by the COG-UK consortium. METHODS: We combined geographical, temporal and genomic sequence data from the community and hospital to estimate the probability of infection originating from within the dialysis unit, the hospital or the community using Bayesian statistical modelling and compared these results to the details of epidemiological investigations. RESULTS: Of 671 patients, 60 (8.9%) became infected with SARS-CoV-2, of whom 16 (27%) died. Within-unit and community transmission were both evident and an instance of transmission from the wider hospital setting was also demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Near-real-time SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data can facilitate tailored infection prevention and control measures, which can be targeted at reducing risk in these settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Bayes Theorem , Hospitals , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects
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