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1.
mBio ; 13(2): e0379821, 2022 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745822

ABSTRACT

Numerous studies have shown that a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection can greatly enhance the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination, with this so called "hybrid immunity" leading to greater neutralization breadth against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. However, little is known about how breakthrough infection (BTI) in COVID-19-vaccinated individuals will impact the magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response. Here, we compared neutralizing antibody responses between unvaccinated and COVID-19-double-vaccinated individuals (including both AZD1222 and BNT162b2 vaccinees) who have been infected with the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Rapid production of spike-reactive IgG was observed in the vaccinated group, providing evidence of effective vaccine priming. Overall, potent cross-neutralizing activity against current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern was observed in the BTI group compared to the infection group, including neutralization of the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant. This study provides important insights into population immunity where transmission levels remain high and in the context of new or emerging variants of concern. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 vaccines have been vital in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infections and reducing hospitalizations. However, breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections (BTI) occur in some vaccinated individuals. Here, we study how BTI impacts on the potency and the breadth of the neutralizing antibody response. We show that a Delta infection in COVID-19-vaccinated individuals provides potent neutralization against the current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e055474, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691309

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Alpha variant (B.1.1.7 lineage) of SARS-CoV-2 emerged and became the dominant circulating variant in the UK in late 2020. Current literature is unclear on whether the Alpha variant is associated with increased severity. We linked clinical data with viral genome sequence data to compare admitted cases between SARS-CoV-2 waves in London and to investigate the association between the Alpha variant and the severity of disease. METHODS: Clinical, demographic, laboratory and viral sequence data from electronic health record systems were collected for all cases with a positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA test between 13 March 2020 and 17 February 2021 in a multisite London healthcare institution. Multivariate analysis using logistic regression assessed risk factors for severity as defined by hypoxia at admission. RESULTS: There were 5810 SARS-CoV-2 RNA-positive cases of which 2341 were admitted (838 in wave 1 and 1503 in wave 2). Both waves had a temporally aligned rise in nosocomial cases (96 in wave 1 and 137 in wave 2). The Alpha variant was first identified on 15 November 2020 and increased rapidly to comprise 400/472 (85%) of sequenced isolates from admitted cases in wave 2. A multivariate analysis identified risk factors for severity on admission, such as age (OR 1.02, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.03, for every year older; p<0.001), obesity (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.28 to 2.26; p<0.001) and infection with the Alpha variant (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.26 to 2.24; p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis is the first in hospitalised cohorts to show increased severity of disease associated with the Alpha variant. The number of nosocomial cases was similar in both waves despite the introduction of many infection control interventions before wave 2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , London/epidemiology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
3.
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.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321804

ABSTRACT

Background: Reports indicate that COVID-19 patients have more bloodstream infections (BSI) on the intensive care unit (ICU) potentially due to lapses in infection control practice or other factors.Methods: Retrospective single-site study of ICU-BSIs in mechanically ventilated (MV) COVID-19 patients during the first pandemic year. Clinical, demographic and laboratory data including targeted pathogen genome sequencing was analysed during first (March 13th - May 31st 2020) and second (October 1st 2020 - March 15th 2021) pandemic waves.Findings: There were 305 MV-ICU patients in wave one and 440 in wave two with peak occupancy of 113 and 155 patients, respectively. The BSI rate was higher during both waves than pre-pandemic, but more in wave-two than wave-one, particularly during the first 28 days on ICU (14.1 vs. 9.4/1000 bed days;p=0.03) and with E. faecium (3.57 vs. 0.47/1000 bed days;p=0.0067). 22/28 (77%) of E. faecium BSIs had no microbiologically definable focus and the high wave-two rate could not be explained by transmission. Wave-two BSI-patients received more corticosteroids and tocilizumab and had higher crude hospital mortality compared with non-BSI patients (41% vs. 21% p<0.0001), a phenomenon not seen in wave one (32% vs. 27% p=0.551). Interpretation: MV-COVID-19 patients had a greater BSI-burden in wave two associated with the emergence of primary endogenous E. faecium. Identifying mechanisms and causal links between admission COVID-19 disease severity, immunomodulation, BSI and death could help identify new approaches to improving outcomes for COVID-19 patients.

5.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295726

ABSTRACT

Background Rapid antigen lateral flow devices (LFDs) are set to become a cornerstone of SARS-CoV-2 mass community testing. However, their reduced sensitivity compared to PCR has raised questions of how well they identify infectious cases. Understanding their capabilities and limitations is therefore essential for successful implementation. To address this, we evaluated six commercial LFDs on the same collection of clinical samples and assessed their correlation with infectious virus culture and cycle threshold (Ct) values. Methods A head-to-head comparison of specificities and sensitivities was performed on six commercial rapid antigen tests using combined nasal/oropharyngeal swabs, and their limits of detection determined using viral plaque forming units (PFU). Three of the LFDs were selected for a further study, correlating antigen test result with RT-PCR Ct values and positive viral culture in Vero-E6 cells. This included sequential swabs and matched serum samples obtained from four infected individuals with varying disease severities. Detection of antibodies was performed using an IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette, and neutralising antibodies by infectious virus assay. Finally, the sensitivities of selected rapid antigen LFTs were assessed in swabs with confirmed B.1.1.7 variant, currently the dominant genotype in the UK. Findings Most of the rapid antigen LFDs showed a high specificity (>98%), and accurately detected 50 PFU/test (equivalent N1 Ct of 23.7 or RNA copy number of 3×10 6 /ml). Sensitivities of the LFDs performed on clinical samples ranged from 65 to 89%. These sensitivities increased in most tests to over 90% for samples with Cts lower than 25. Positive virus culture was achieved for 57 out of 141 samples, with 80% of the positive cultures from swabs with Cts lower than 23. Importantly, sensitivity of the LFDs increased to over 95% when compared with the detection of infectious virus alone, irrespective of Ct. Longitudinal studies of PCR-positive samples showed that most of the tests identified all infectious samples as positive, but differences in test sensitivities can lead to missed cases in the absence of repeated testing. Finally, test performance was not impacted when re-assessed against swabs positive for the dominant UK variant B.1.1.7. Interpretation In this comprehensive comparison of antigen LFD and virus infectivity, we demonstrate a clear relationship between Ct values, quantitative culture of infectious virus and antigen LFD positivity in clinical samples. Our data support regular testing of target groups using LFDs to supplement the current PCR testing capacity, to rapidly identify infected individuals in situations where they would otherwise go undetected. Funding King’s Together Rapid COVID-19, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Huo Family Foundation.

6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295262

ABSTRACT

Numerous studies have shown that a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection can greatly enhance the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination, with this so called “hybrid immunity” leading to greater neutralization breadth against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. However, little is known about how breakthrough infection (BTI) in COVID-19 vaccinated individuals will impact the magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response. Here, we compared neutralizing antibody responses between unvaccinated and COVID-19 vaccinated individuals (including both AZD1222 and BNT162b2 vaccinees) who have been infected with the delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Rapid production of Spike-reactive IgG was observed in the vaccinated group providing evidence of effective vaccine priming. Overall, potent cross-neutralizing activity against current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern was observed in the BTI group compared to the infection group. This study provides important insights into population immunity where transmission levels remain high.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293353

ABSTRACT

Numerous studies have shown that a prior SARS–CoV–2 infection can greatly enhance the antibody response to COVID–19 vaccination, with this so called ′hybrid immunity′ leading to greater neutralization breadth against SARS–CoV–2 variants of concern. However, little is known about how breakthrough infection (BTI) in COVID–19 vaccinated individuals will impact the magnitude and breadth of the neutralizing antibody response. Here, we compared neutralizing antibody responses between unvaccinated and COVID–19 vaccinated individuals (including both AZD1222 and BNT162b2 vaccinees) who have been infected with the delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Rapid production of Spike-reactive IgG was observed in the vaccinated group providing evidence of effective vaccine priming. Overall, potent cross-neutralizing activity against current SARS–CoV–2 variants of concern was observed in the BTI group compared to the infection group. This study provides important insights into population immunity where transmission levels remain high.

8.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 182, 2021 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Clinical metagenomics (CMg) has the potential to be translated from a research tool into routine service to improve antimicrobial treatment and infection control decisions. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic provides added impetus to realise these benefits, given the increased risk of secondary infection and nosocomial transmission of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) pathogens linked with the expansion of critical care capacity. METHODS: CMg using nanopore sequencing was evaluated in a proof-of-concept study on 43 respiratory samples from 34 intubated patients across seven intensive care units (ICUs) over a 9-week period during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave. RESULTS: An 8-h CMg workflow was 92% sensitive (95% CI, 75-99%) and 82% specific (95% CI, 57-96%) for bacterial identification based on culture-positive and culture-negative samples, respectively. CMg sequencing reported the presence or absence of ß-lactam-resistant genes carried by Enterobacterales that would modify the initial guideline-recommended antibiotics in every case. CMg was also 100% concordant with quantitative PCR for detecting Aspergillus fumigatus from 4 positive and 39 negative samples. Molecular typing using 24-h sequencing data identified an MDR-K. pneumoniae ST307 outbreak involving 4 patients and an MDR-C. striatum outbreak involving 14 patients across three ICUs. CONCLUSION: CMg testing provides accurate pathogen detection and antibiotic resistance prediction in a same-day laboratory workflow, with assembled genomes available the next day for genomic surveillance. The provision of this technology in a service setting could fundamentally change the multi-disciplinary team approach to managing ICU infections. The potential to improve the initial targeted treatment and rapidly detect unsuspected outbreaks of MDR-pathogens justifies further expedited clinical assessment of CMg.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cross Infection/transmission , Metagenomics , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection/drug therapy , Coinfection/microbiology , Corynebacterium/genetics , Corynebacterium/isolation & purification , Cross Infection/microbiology , DNA, Bacterial/chemistry , DNA, Bacterial/metabolism , Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial/genetics , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Klebsiella pneumoniae/genetics , Klebsiella pneumoniae/isolation & purification , Male , Middle Aged , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, DNA , beta-Lactamases/genetics
9.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(11): 1433-1442, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469971

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccine design and vaccination rollout need to take into account a detailed understanding of antibody durability and cross-neutralizing potential against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants of concern (VOCs). Analyses of convalescent sera provide unique insights into antibody longevity and cross-neutralizing activity induced by variant spike proteins, which are putative vaccine candidates. Using sera from 38 individuals infected in wave 1, we show that cross-neutralizing activity can be detected up to 305 days pos onset of symptoms, although sera were less potent against B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B1.351 (Beta). Over time, despite a reduction in overall neutralization activity, differences in sera neutralization potency against SARS-CoV-2 and the Alpha and Beta variants decreased, which suggests that continued antibody maturation improves tolerance to spike mutations. We also compared the cross-neutralizing activity of wave 1 sera with sera from individuals infected with the Alpha, the Beta or the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants up to 79 days post onset of symptoms. While these sera neutralize the infecting VOC and parental virus to similar levels, cross-neutralization of different SARS-CoV-2 VOC lineages is reduced. These findings will inform the optimization of vaccines to protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Young Adult
10.
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
11.
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
14.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(1): 93-100, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356178

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To analyse nosocomial transmission in the early stages of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic at a large multisite healthcare institution. Nosocomial incidence is linked with infection control interventions. METHODS: Viral genome sequence and epidemiological data were analysed for 574 consecutive patients, including 86 nosocomial cases, with a positive PCR test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) during the first 19 days of the pandemic. RESULTS: Forty-four putative transmission clusters were found through epidemiological analysis; these included 234 cases and all 86 nosocomial cases. SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences were obtained from 168/234 (72%) of these cases in epidemiological clusters, including 77/86 nosocomial cases (90%). Only 75/168 (45%) of epidemiologically linked, sequenced cases were not refuted by applying genomic data, creating 14 final clusters accounting for 59/77 sequenced nosocomial cases (77%). Viral haplotypes from these clusters were enriched 1-14x (median 4x) compared to the community. Three factors implicated unidentified cases in transmission: (a) community-onset or indeterminate cases were absent in 7/14 clusters (50%), (b) four clusters (29%) had additional evidence of cryptic transmission, and (c) in three clusters (21%) diagnosis of the earliest case was delayed, which may have facilitated transmission. Nosocomial cases decreased to low levels (0-2 per day) despite continuing high numbers of admissions of community-onset SARS-CoV-2 cases (40-50 per day) and before the impact of introducing universal face masks and banning hospital visitors. CONCLUSION: Genomics was necessary to accurately resolve transmission clusters. Our data support unidentified cases-such as healthcare workers or asymptomatic patients-as important vectors of transmission. Evidence is needed to ascertain whether routine screening increases case ascertainment and limits nosocomial transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics
15.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(9): e461-e471, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lateral flow devices (LFDs) for rapid antigen testing are set to become a cornerstone of SARS-CoV-2 mass community testing, although their reduced sensitivity compared with PCR has raised questions of how well they identify infectious cases. Understanding their capabilities and limitations is, therefore, essential for successful implementation. We evaluated six commercial LFDs and assessed their correlation with infectious virus culture and PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values. METHODS: In a single-centre, laboratory evaluation study, we did a head-to-head comparison of six LFDs commercially available in the UK: Innova Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, Spring Healthcare SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test Cassette, E25Bio Rapid Diagnostic Test, Encode SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test Device, SureScreen COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Cassette, and SureScreen COVID-19 Rapid Fluorescence Antigen Test. We estimated the specificities and sensitivities of the LFDs using stored naso-oropharyngeal swabs collected at St Thomas' Hospital (London, UK) for routine diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 testing by real-time RT-PCR (RT-rtPCR). Swabs were from inpatients and outpatients from all departments of St Thomas' Hospital, and from health-care staff (all departments) and their household contacts. SARS-CoV-2-negative swabs from the same population (confirmed by RT-rtPCR) were used for comparative specificity determinations. All samples were collected between March 23 and Oct 27, 2020. We determined the limit of detection (LOD) for each test using viral plaque-forming units (PFUs) and viral RNA copy numbers of laboratory-grown SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, LFDs were selected to assess the correlation of antigen test result with RT-rtPCR Ct values and positive viral culture in Vero E6 cells. This analysis included longitudinal swabs from five infected inpatients with varying disease severities. Furthermore, the sensitivities of available LFDs were assessed in swabs (n=23; collected from Dec 4, 2020, to Jan 12, 2021) confirmed to be positive (RT-rtPCR and whole-genome sequencing) for the B.1.1.7 variant, which was the dominant genotype in the UK at the time of study completion. FINDINGS: All LFDs showed high specificity (≥98·0%), except for the E25Bio test (86·0% [95% CI 77·9-99·9]), and most tests reliably detected 50 PFU/test (equivalent SARS-CoV-2 N gene Ct value of 23·7, or RNA copy number of 3 × 106/mL). Sensitivities of the LFDs on clinical samples ranged from 65·0% (55·2-73·6) to 89·0% (81·4-93·8). These sensitivities increased to greater than 90% for samples with Ct values of lower than 25 for all tests except the SureScreen fluorescence (SureScreen-F) test. Positive virus culture was identified in 57 (40·4%) of 141 samples; 54 (94·7%) of the positive cultures were from swabs with Ct values lower than 25. Among the three LFDs selected for detailed comparisons (the tests with highest sensitivity [Innova], highest specificity [Encode], and alternative technology [SureScreen-F]), sensitivity of the LFDs increased to at least 94·7% when only including samples with detected viral growth. Longitudinal studies of RT-rtPCR-positive samples (tested with Innova, Encode, and both SureScreen-F and the SureScreen visual [SureScreen-V] test) showed that most of the tests identified all infectious samples as positive. Test performance (assessed for Innova and SureScreen-V) was not affected when reassessed on swabs positive for the UK variant B.1.1.7. INTERPRETATION: In this comprehensive comparison of antigen LFDs and virus infectivity, we found a clear relationship between Ct values, quantitative culture of infectious virus, and antigen LFD positivity in clinical samples. Our data support regular testing of target groups with LFDs to supplement the current PCR testing capacity, which would help to rapidly identify infected individuals in situations in which they would otherwise go undetected. FUNDING: King's Together Rapid COVID-19, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Huo Family Foundation, UK Department of Health, National Institute for Health Research Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics
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