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1.
Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis ; 14: 1759720X221089586, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799155

ABSTRACT

Objective: To evaluate the effects and side effects of both inactivated and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: This was a prospective, single-center, observational study. Patients with SLE planning to receive COVID-19 vaccines were recruited and matched 1:1 with healthy controls. The immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccines was assessed by a surrogate neutralization assay at 28 days after the second dose. The main outcome was the antibody response comparing SLE patients and controls. Other outcomes included reactogenicity, disease activity and predictors of antibody responses in patients with SLE. Results: Sixty-five SLE patients received 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines (Comirnaty: 38; CoronaVac: 27) were recruited. Many of them were on systemic glucocorticoids (76%) and immunosuppressants (55%). At day 28 after the second dose of vaccines, 92% (Comirnaty: 100% vs CoronaVac: 82%, p = 0.01) of the patients had positive neutralizing antibody. However, compared to the age, gender, vaccine type matched controls, the level of neutralizing antibody was significantly lower (p < 0.001). The self-reported adverse reactions after vaccines in lupus patients were common but mild, and were more frequent in the Comirnaty group. There was no significant change in lupus disease activity up to 28 days after vaccination. The independent predictors of neutralizing antibody level included the dosage of systemic glucocorticoids, use of mycophenolate and type of vaccines. Conclusions: COVID-19 vaccines produced satisfactory but impaired humoral response in SLE patients compared to controls which was dependent on the immunosuppressive medications use and type of vaccines received. There was no new short-term safety signal noted. Booster dose is encouraged.

2.
J Infect Public Health ; 15(3): 338-342, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665197

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a major public health threat. This study aims to evaluate the effect of virus mutation activities and policy interventions on COVID-19 transmissibility in Hong Kong. METHODS: In this study, we integrated the genetic activities of multiple proteins, and quantified the effect of government interventions and mutation activities against the time-varying effective reproduction number Rt. FINDINGS: We found a significantly positive relationship between Rt and mutation activities and a significantly negative relationship between Rt and government interventions. The results showed that the mutations that contributed most to the increase of Rt were from the spike, nucleocapsid and ORF1b genes. Policy of prohibition on group gathering was estimated to have the largest impact on mitigating virus transmissibility. The model explained 63.2% of the Rt variability with the R2. CONCLUSION: Our study provided a convenient framework to estimate the effect of genetic contribution and government interventions on pathogen transmissibility. We showed that the S, N and ORF1b protein had significant contribution to the increase of transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 in Hong Kong, while restrictions of public gathering and suspension of face-to-face class are the most effective government interventions strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Government , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Gut ; 70(4): 698-706, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024254

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Although COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, there is mounting evidence suggesting that the GI tract is involved in this disease. We investigated whether the gut microbiome is linked to disease severity in patients with COVID-19, and whether perturbations in microbiome composition, if any, resolve with clearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. METHODS: In this two-hospital cohort study, we obtained blood, stool and patient records from 100 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Serial stool samples were collected from 27 of the 100 patients up to 30 days after clearance of SARS-CoV-2. Gut microbiome compositions were characterised by shotgun sequencing total DNA extracted from stools. Concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and blood markers were measured from plasma. RESULTS: Gut microbiome composition was significantly altered in patients with COVID-19 compared with non-COVID-19 individuals irrespective of whether patients had received medication (p<0.01). Several gut commensals with known immunomodulatory potential such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Eubacterium rectale and bifidobacteria were underrepresented in patients and remained low in samples collected up to 30 days after disease resolution. Moreover, this perturbed composition exhibited stratification with disease severity concordant with elevated concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and blood markers such as C reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase. CONCLUSION: Associations between gut microbiota composition, levels of cytokines and inflammatory markers in patients with COVID-19 suggest that the gut microbiome is involved in the magnitude of COVID-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses. Furthermore, the gut microbiota dysbiosis after disease resolution could contribute to persistent symptoms, highlighting a need to understand how gut microorganisms are involved in inflammation and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Bacteria , COVID-19 , Dysbiosis , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/immunology , Bacteria/isolation & purification , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/analysis , DNA, Bacterial/isolation & purification , Dysbiosis/epidemiology , Dysbiosis/etiology , Dysbiosis/immunology , Dysbiosis/virology , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Transferases/analysis
5.
Gut ; 70(2): 276-284, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656013

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA was detected in faeces of patients with COVID-19, the activity and infectivity of the virus in the GI tract during disease course is largely unknown. We investigated temporal transcriptional activity of SARS-CoV-2 and its association with longitudinal faecal microbiome alterations in patients with COVID-19. DESIGN: We performed RNA shotgun metagenomics sequencing on serial faecal viral extractions from 15 hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Sequencing coverage of the SARS-CoV-2 genome was quantified. We assessed faecal microbiome composition and microbiome functionality in association with signatures of faecal SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. RESULTS: Seven (46.7%) of 15 patients with COVID-19 had stool positivity for SARS-CoV-2 by viral RNA metagenomic sequencing. Even in the absence of GI manifestations, all seven patients showed strikingly higher coverage (p=0.0261) and density (p=0.0094) of the 3' vs 5' end of SARS-CoV-2 genome in their faecal viral metagenome profile. Faecal viral metagenome of three patients continued to display active viral infection signature (higher 3' vs 5' end coverage) up to 6 days after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 from respiratory samples. Faecal samples with signature of high SARS-CoV-2 infectivity had higher abundances of bacterial species Collinsella aerofaciens, Collinsella tanakaei, Streptococcus infantis, Morganella morganii, and higher functional capacity for nucleotide de novo biosynthesis, amino acid biosynthesis and glycolysis, whereas faecal samples with signature of low-to-none SARS-CoV-2 infectivity had higher abundances of short-chain fatty acid producing bacteria, Parabacteroides merdae, Bacteroides stercoris, Alistipes onderdonkii and Lachnospiraceae bacterium 1_1_57FAA. CONCLUSION: This pilot study provides evidence for active and prolonged 'quiescent' GI infection even in the absence of GI manifestations and after recovery from respiratory infection of SARS-CoV-2. Gut microbiota of patients with active SARS-CoV-2 GI infection was characterised by enrichment of opportunistic pathogens, loss of salutary bacteria and increased functional capacity for nucleotide and amino acid biosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Feces/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Hospitalization , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , Young Adult
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