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1.
N Engl J Med ; 386(13): 1207-1220, 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692473

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The duration and effectiveness of immunity from infection with and vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are relevant to pandemic policy interventions, including the timing of vaccine boosters. METHODS: We investigated the duration and effectiveness of immunity in a prospective cohort of asymptomatic health care workers in the United Kingdom who underwent routine polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) testing. Vaccine effectiveness (≤10 months after the first dose of vaccine) and infection-acquired immunity were assessed by comparing the time to PCR-confirmed infection in vaccinated persons with that in unvaccinated persons, stratified according to previous infection status. We used a Cox regression model with adjustment for previous SARS-CoV-2 infection status, vaccine type and dosing interval, demographic characteristics, and workplace exposure to SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Of 35,768 participants, 27% (9488) had a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccine coverage was high: 95% of the participants had received two doses (78% had received BNT162b2 vaccine [Pfizer-BioNTech] with a long interval between doses, 9% BNT162b2 vaccine with a short interval between doses, and 8% ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine [AstraZeneca]). Between December 7, 2020, and September 21, 2021, a total of 2747 primary infections and 210 reinfections were observed. Among previously uninfected participants who received long-interval BNT162b2 vaccine, adjusted vaccine effectiveness decreased from 85% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72 to 92) 14 to 73 days after the second dose to 51% (95% CI, 22 to 69) at a median of 201 days (interquartile range, 197 to 205) after the second dose; this effectiveness did not differ significantly between the long-interval and short-interval BNT162b2 vaccine recipients. At 14 to 73 days after the second dose, adjusted vaccine effectiveness among ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine recipients was 58% (95% CI, 23 to 77) - considerably lower than that among BNT162b2 vaccine recipients. Infection-acquired immunity waned after 1 year in unvaccinated participants but remained consistently higher than 90% in those who were subsequently vaccinated, even in persons infected more than 18 months previously. CONCLUSIONS: Two doses of BNT162b2 vaccine were associated with high short-term protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection; this protection waned considerably after 6 months. Infection-acquired immunity boosted with vaccination remained high more than 1 year after infection. (Funded by the U.K. Health Security Agency and others; ISRCTN Registry number, ISRCTN11041050.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Prospective Studies , Vaccination
3.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 77(3): 799-802, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569708

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibacterial prescribing for respiratory tract infections (RTIs) accounts for almost half of all prescribing in primary care. Nearly a quarter of antibacterial prescribing in primary care is estimated to be inappropriate, the greatest being for RTIs. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the provision of healthcare services and impacted the levels of antibacterials prescribed. OBJECTIVES: To describe the changes in community antibacterial prescribing for RTIs in winter 2020-21 in England. METHODS: RTI antibacterial prescribing was measured in prescription items/1000 population for primary care from January 2014 and in DDDs/1000 population/day for the totality of RTI prescribing [combined with Accident & Emergency (A&E) in secondary care], from January 2016 to February 2021. Trends were assessed using negative binomial regression and seasonally adjusted interrupted time-series analysis. RESULTS: Antibacterials prescribed for RTIs reduced by a further 12.4% per season compared with pre-COVID (P < 0.001). In winter 2020-21, RTI prescriptions almost halved compared with the previous winter in 2019-20 (P < 0.001). The trend observed for total RTI prescribing (primary care with A&E) was similar to that observed in the community alone. CONCLUSIONS: During COVID-19, RTI prescribing reduced in the community and the expected rise in winter was not seen in 2020-21. We found no evidence that RTI prescribing shifted from primary care to A&E in secondary care. The most likely explanation is a decrease in RTIs and presentations to primary care associated with national prevention measures for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , England/epidemiology , Humans , Inappropriate Prescribing/prevention & control , Pandemics , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Primary Health Care , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons
5.
Int J STD AIDS ; 33(2): 209-211, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542033

ABSTRACT

We describe the case of a 30-year-old care home employee diagnosed with COVID-19 and acute untreated HIV-1. He was unable to return to work for 119 days due to concerns over transmission risk as his SARS-CoV-2 PCR remained detectable. This highlights the uncertainty in interpreting SARS-CoV-2 PCR results post-infection in acute untreated HIV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV-1 , Adult , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Male , Return to Work , SARS-CoV-2
6.
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
7.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(11): 1658-1665, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392218

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The impact of bacterial/fungal infections on the morbidity and mortality of persons with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains unclear. We have investigated the incidence and impact of key bacterial/fungal infections in persons with COVID-19 in England. METHODS: We extracted laboratory-confirmed cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (1st January 2020 to 2nd June 2020) and blood and lower-respiratory specimens positive for 24 genera/species of clinical relevance (1st January 2020 to 30th June 2020) from Public Health England's national laboratory surveillance system. We defined coinfection and secondary infection as a culture-positive key organism isolated within 1 day or 2-27 days, respectively, of the SARS-CoV-2-positive date. We described the incidence and timing of bacterial/fungal infections and compared characteristics of COVID-19 patients with and without bacterial/fungal infection. RESULTS: 1% of persons with COVID-19 (2279/223413) in England had coinfection/secondary infection, of which >65% were bloodstream infections. The most common causative organisms were Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Cases with coinfection/secondary infections were older than those without (median 70 years (IQR 58-81) versus 55 years (IQR 38-77)), and a higher percentage of cases with secondary infection were of Black or Asian ethnicity than cases without (6.7% versus 4.1%, and 9.9% versus 8.2%, respectively, p < 0.001). Age-sex-adjusted case fatality rates were higher in COVID-19 cases with a coinfection (23.0% (95%CI 18.8-27.6%)) or secondary infection (26.5% (95%CI 14.5-39.4%)) than in those without (7.6% (95%CI 7.5-7.7%)) (p < 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Coinfection/secondary bacterial/fungal infections were rare in non-hospitalized and hospitalized persons with COVID-19, varied by ethnicity and age, and were associated with higher mortality. However, the inclusion of non-hospitalized persons with asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 likely underestimated the rate of secondary bacterial/fungal infections. This should inform diagnostic testing and antibiotic prescribing strategy.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections , COVID-19 , Coinfection , Mycoses , Adult , Aged , Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Mycoses/epidemiology
9.
Microb Genom ; 7(6)2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349846

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly throughout the world. In the UK, the initial peak was in April 2020; in the county of Norfolk (UK) and surrounding areas, which has a stable, low-density population, over 3200 cases were reported between March and August 2020. As part of the activities of the national COVID-19 Genomics Consortium (COG-UK) we undertook whole genome sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genomes present in positive clinical samples from the Norfolk region. These samples were collected by four major hospitals, multiple minor hospitals, care facilities and community organizations within Norfolk and surrounding areas. We combined clinical metadata with the sequencing data from regional SARS-CoV-2 genomes to understand the origins, genetic variation, transmission and expansion (spread) of the virus within the region and provide context nationally. Data were fed back into the national effort for pandemic management, whilst simultaneously being used to assist local outbreak analyses. Overall, 1565 positive samples (172 per 100 000 population) from 1376 cases were evaluated; for 140 cases between two and six samples were available providing longitudinal data. This represented 42.6 % of all positive samples identified by hospital testing in the region and encompassed those with clinical need, and health and care workers and their families. In total, 1035 cases had genome sequences of sufficient quality to provide phylogenetic lineages. These genomes belonged to 26 distinct global lineages, indicating that there were multiple separate introductions into the region. Furthermore, 100 genetically distinct UK lineages were detected demonstrating local evolution, at a rate of ~2 SNPs per month, and multiple co-occurring lineages as the pandemic progressed. Our analysis: identified a discrete sublineage associated with six care facilities; found no evidence of reinfection in longitudinal samples; ruled out a nosocomial outbreak; identified 16 lineages in key workers which were not in patients, indicating infection control measures were effective; and found the D614G spike protein mutation which is linked to increased transmissibility dominates the samples and rapidly confirmed relatedness of cases in an outbreak at a food processing facility. The large-scale genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2-positive samples has provided valuable additional data for public health epidemiology in the Norfolk region, and will continue to help identify and untangle hidden transmission chains as the pandemic evolves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cluster Analysis , Disease Outbreaks , Genetic Linkage , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Whole Genome Sequencing
10.
Lancet ; 397(10286): 1725-1735, 2021 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201329

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: BNT162b2 mRNA and ChAdOx1 nCOV-19 adenoviral vector vaccines have been rapidly rolled out in the UK from December, 2020. We aimed to determine the factors associated with vaccine coverage for both vaccines and documented the vaccine effectiveness of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in a cohort of health-care workers undergoing regular asymptomatic testing. METHODS: The SIREN study is a prospective cohort study among staff (aged ≥18 years) working in publicly-funded hospitals in the UK. Participants were assigned into either the positive cohort (antibody positive or history of infection [indicated by previous positivity of antibody or PCR tests]) or the negative cohort (antibody negative with no previous positive test) at the beginning of the follow-up period. Baseline risk factors were collected at enrolment, symptom status was collected every 2 weeks, and vaccination status was collected through linkage to the National Immunisations Management System and questionnaires. Participants had fortnightly asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing and monthly antibody testing, and all tests (including symptomatic testing) outside SIREN were captured. Data cutoff for this analysis was Feb 5, 2021. The follow-up period was Dec 7, 2020, to Feb 5, 2021. The primary outcomes were vaccinated participants (binary ever vacinated variable; indicated by at least one vaccine dose recorded by at least one of the two vaccination data sources) for the vaccine coverage analysis and SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by a PCR test for the vaccine effectiveness analysis. We did a mixed-effect logistic regression analysis to identify factors associated with vaccine coverage. We used a piecewise exponential hazard mixed-effects model (shared frailty-type model) using a Poisson distribution to calculate hazard ratios to compare time-to-infection in unvaccinated and vaccinated participants and estimate the impact of the BNT162b2 vaccine on all PCR-positive infections (asymptomatic and symptomatic). This study is registered with ISRCTN, number ISRCTN11041050, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: 23 324 participants from 104 sites (all in England) met the inclusion criteria for this analysis and were enrolled. Included participants had a median age of 46·1 years (IQR 36·0-54·1) and 19 692 (84%) were female; 8203 (35%) were assigned to the positive cohort at the start of the analysis period, and 15 121 (65%) assigned to the negative cohort. Total follow-up time was 2 calendar months and 1 106 905 person-days (396 318 vaccinated and 710 587 unvaccinated). Vaccine coverage was 89% on Feb 5, 2021, 94% of whom had BNT162b2 vaccine. Significantly lower coverage was associated with previous infection, gender, age, ethnicity, job role, and Index of Multiple Deprivation score. During follow-up, there were 977 new infections in the unvaccinated cohort, an incidence density of 14 infections per 10 000 person-days; the vaccinated cohort had 71 new infections 21 days or more after their first dose (incidence density of eight infections per 10 000 person-days) and nine infections 7 days after the second dose (incidence density four infections per 10 000 person-days). In the unvaccinated cohort, 543 (56%) participants had typical COVID-19 symptoms and 140 (14%) were asymptomatic on or 14 days before their PCR positive test date, compared with 29 (36%) with typical COVID-19 symptoms and 15 (19%) asymptomatic in the vaccinated cohort. A single dose of BNT162b2 vaccine showed vaccine effectiveness of 70% (95% CI 55-85) 21 days after first dose and 85% (74-96) 7 days after two doses in the study population. INTERPRETATION: Our findings show that the BNT162b2 vaccine can prevent both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection in working-age adults. This cohort was vaccinated when the dominant variant in circulation was B1.1.7 and shows effectiveness against this variant. FUNDING: Public Health England, UK Department of Health and Social Care, and the National Institute for Health Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Health Personnel , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Prospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
11.
Lancet ; 397(10283): 1459-1469, 2021 04 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174548

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased understanding of whether individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are protected from future SARS-CoV-2 infection is an urgent requirement. We aimed to investigate whether antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were associated with a decreased risk of symptomatic and asymptomatic reinfection. METHODS: A large, multicentre, prospective cohort study was done, with participants recruited from publicly funded hospitals in all regions of England. All health-care workers, support staff, and administrative staff working at hospitals who could remain engaged in follow-up for 12 months were eligible to join The SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation study. Participants were excluded if they had no PCR tests after enrolment, enrolled after Dec 31, 2020, or had insufficient PCR and antibody data for cohort assignment. Participants attended regular SARS-CoV-2 PCR and antibody testing (every 2-4 weeks) and completed questionnaires every 2 weeks on symptoms and exposures. At enrolment, participants were assigned to either the positive cohort (antibody positive, or previous positive PCR or antibody test) or negative cohort (antibody negative, no previous positive PCR or antibody test). The primary outcome was a reinfection in the positive cohort or a primary infection in the negative cohort, determined by PCR tests. Potential reinfections were clinically reviewed and classified according to case definitions (confirmed, probable, or possible) and symptom-status, depending on the hierarchy of evidence. Primary infections in the negative cohort were defined as a first positive PCR test and seroconversions were excluded when not associated with a positive PCR test. A proportional hazards frailty model using a Poisson distribution was used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRR) to compare infection rates in the two cohorts. FINDINGS: From June 18, 2020, to Dec 31, 2020, 30 625 participants were enrolled into the study. 51 participants withdrew from the study, 4913 were excluded, and 25 661 participants (with linked data on antibody and PCR testing) were included in the analysis. Data were extracted from all sources on Feb 5, 2021, and include data up to and including Jan 11, 2021. 155 infections were detected in the baseline positive cohort of 8278 participants, collectively contributing 2 047 113 person-days of follow-up. This compares with 1704 new PCR positive infections in the negative cohort of 17 383 participants, contributing 2 971 436 person-days of follow-up. The incidence density was 7·6 reinfections per 100 000 person-days in the positive cohort, compared with 57·3 primary infections per 100 000 person-days in the negative cohort, between June, 2020, and January, 2021. The adjusted IRR was 0·159 for all reinfections (95% CI 0·13-0·19) compared with PCR-confirmed primary infections. The median interval between primary infection and reinfection was more than 200 days. INTERPRETATION: A previous history of SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with an 84% lower risk of infection, with median protective effect observed 7 months following primary infection. This time period is the minimum probable effect because seroconversions were not included. This study shows that previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces effective immunity to future infections in most individuals. FUNDING: Department of Health and Social Care of the UK Government, Public Health England, The National Institute for Health Research, with contributions from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , England , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Reinfection , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(4): 1155-1158, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140631

ABSTRACT

Prospective serosurveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in 1,069 healthcare workers in London, UK, demonstrated that nucleocapsid antibody titers were stable and sustained for <12 weeks in 312 seropositive participants. This finding was consistent across demographic and clinical variables and contrasts with reports of short-term antibody waning.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , London/epidemiology , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroconversion , Seroepidemiologic Studies
13.
Elife ; 102021 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112865

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 poses a major challenge to care homes, as SARS-CoV-2 is readily transmitted and causes disproportionately severe disease in older people. Here, 1167 residents from 337 care homes were identified from a dataset of 6600 COVID-19 cases from the East of England. Older age and being a care home resident were associated with increased mortality. SARS-CoV-2 genomes were available for 700 residents from 292 care homes. By integrating genomic and temporal data, 409 viral clusters within the 292 homes were identified, indicating two different patterns - outbreaks among care home residents and independent introductions with limited onward transmission. Approximately 70% of residents in the genomic analysis were admitted to hospital during the study, providing extensive opportunities for transmission between care homes and hospitals. Limiting viral transmission within care homes should be a key target for infection control to reduce COVID-19 mortality in this population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional , Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient , Male , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Sequence Analysis , Time Factors
14.
J Infect ; 81(3): 427-434, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-628179

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Significant nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been demonstrated. Understanding the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 carriage amongst HCWs at work is necessary to inform the development of HCW screening programmes to control nosocomial spread. METHODS: Cross-sectional 'snapshot' survey from April-May 2020; HCWs recruited from six UK hospitals. Participants self-completed a health questionnaire and underwent a combined viral nose and throat swab, tested by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for SARS-CoV-2 with viral culture on majority of positive samples. FINDINGS: Point prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 carriage across the sites was 2.0% (23/1152 participants), median cycle threshold value 35.70 (IQR:32.42-37.57). 17 were previously symptomatic, two currently symptomatic (isolated anosmia and sore throat); the remainder declared no prior or current symptoms. Symptoms in the past month were associated with threefold increased odds of testing positive (aOR 3.46, 95%CI 1.38-8.67; p = 0.008). SARS-CoV-2 virus was isolated from only one (5%) of nineteen cultured samples. A large proportion (39%) of participants reported symptoms in the past month. INTERPRETATION: The point-prevalence is similar to previous estimates for HCWs in April 2020, though a magnitude higher than in the general population. Based upon interpretation of symptom history and testing results including viral culture, the majority of those testing positive were unlikely to be infectious at time of sampling. Development of screening programmes must balance the potential to identify additional cases based upon likely prevalence, expanding the symptoms list to encourage HCW testing, with resource implications and risks of excluding those unlikely to be infectious with positive tests. FUNDING: Public Health England.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross-Sectional Studies , England , Female , Humans , Male , Medical Staff, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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