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1.
Frontiers in public health ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2073841

ABSTRACT

Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has been essential to inform public health response to outbreaks. The high incidence of infection has resulted in a smaller proportion of cases undergoing whole genome sequencing due to finite resources. We present a framework for estimating the impact of reduced depths of genomic surveillance on the resolution of outbreaks, based on a clustering approach using pairwise genetic and temporal distances. We apply the framework to simulated outbreak data to show that outbreaks are detected less frequently when fewer cases are subjected to whole genome sequencing. The impact of sequencing fewer cases depends on the size of the outbreaks, and on the genetic and temporal similarity of the index cases of the outbreaks. We also apply the framework to an outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in New South Wales, Australia. We find that the detection of clusters in the outbreak would have been delayed if fewer cases had been sequenced. Existing recommendations for genomic surveillance estimate the minimum number of cases to sequence in order to detect and monitor new virus variants, assuming representative sampling of cases. Our method instead measures the resolution of clustering, which is important for genomic epidemiology, and accommodates sampling biases.

2.
Viruses ; 14(9)2022 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2033143

ABSTRACT

In late November 2021, the World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.529 the fifth variant of concern, Omicron. This variant has acquired over 30 mutations in the spike protein (with 15 in the receptor-binding domain), raising concerns that Omicron could evade naturally acquired and vaccine-derived immunity. We utilized an authentic virus, multicycle neutralisation assay to demonstrate that sera collected one, three, and six months post-two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 had a limited ability to neutralise SARS-CoV-2. However, four weeks after a third dose, neutralising antibody titres were boosted. Despite this increase, neutralising antibody titres were reduced fourfold for Omicron compared to lineage A.2.2 SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
3.
Intern Med J ; 51 Suppl 7: 143-176, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1961593

ABSTRACT

Invasive aspergillosis (IA) in haematology/oncology patients presents as primary infection or breakthrough infection, which can become refractory to antifungal treatment and has a high associated mortality. Other emerging patient risk groups include patients in the intensive care setting with severe respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19. These guidelines present key diagnostic and treatment recommendations in light of advances in knowledge since the previous guidelines in 2014. Culture and histological-based methods remain central to the diagnosis of IA. There is increasing evidence for the utility of non-culture methods employing fungal biomarkers in pre-emptive screening for infection, as well as for IA diagnosis when used in combination. Although azole resistance appears to be uncommon in Australia, susceptibility testing of clinical Aspergillus fumigatus complex isolates is recommended. Voriconazole remains the preferred first-line antifungal agent for treating primary IA, including for extrapulmonary disease. Recommendations for paediatric treatment broadly follow those for adults. For breakthrough and refractory IA, a change in class of antifungal agent is strongly recommended, and agents under clinical trial may need to be considered. Newer immunological-based imaging modalities warrant further study, while surveillance for IA and antifungal resistance remain essential to informing the relevance of current treatment recommendations.


Subject(s)
Aspergillosis , COVID-19 , Adult , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Aspergillosis/drug therapy , Aspergillus fumigatus , Child , Drug Resistance, Fungal , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Voriconazole/therapeutic use
4.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2745, 2022 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931393

ABSTRACT

Co-infections with different variants of SARS-CoV-2 are a key precursor to recombination events that are likely to drive SARS-CoV-2 evolution. Rapid identification of such co-infections is required to determine their frequency in the community, particularly in populations at-risk of severe COVID-19, which have already been identified as incubators for punctuated evolutionary events. However, limited data and tools are currently available to detect and characterise the SARS-CoV-2 co-infections associated with recognised variants of concern. Here we describe co-infection with the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern Omicron and Delta in two epidemiologically unrelated adult patients with chronic kidney disease requiring maintenance haemodialysis. Both variants were co-circulating in the community at the time of detection. Genomic surveillance based on amplicon- and probe-based sequencing using short- and long-read technologies identified and quantified subpopulations of Delta and Omicron viruses in respiratory samples. These findings highlight the importance of integrated genomic surveillance in vulnerable populations and provide diagnostic pathways to recognise SARS-CoV-2 co-infection using genomic data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Genomics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Transplantation ; 106(9): 1860-1866, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since November 2021, a new variant of concern (VOC), the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineage B.1.1.529 (Omicron) has emerged as the dominant coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection worldwide. We describe the clinical presentation, risk factors, and outcomes in a cohort of kidney and kidney pancreas transplant recipients with COVID-19 caused by Omicron infection. METHODS: We included all kidney and kidney pancreas transplant recipients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron infections between December 26, 2021, and January 14, 2022, in a single transplant center in Australia. Identification of the VOC Omicron was confirmed using phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 sequences. RESULTS: Forty-one patients with kidney (6 living and 33 deceased) and kidney pancreas transplants were diagnosed with the VOC Omicron (lineage B.1.1.529/BA.1) infection during the study period. The mean age (SD) at the time of diagnosis was 52 (11.1) y; 40 (out of 41) (98%) had received at least 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Cough was the most frequent symptom (80.5%), followed by myalgia (70.7%), sore throat (63.4%), and fever (58.5%). After a follow-up time of 30 d, 1 (2.4%) patient died, 2 (4.9%) experienced multiorgan failure, and 5 (12.2%) had respiratory failure; 11 (26.8%) patients developed other superimposed infections. Compared with recipients who did not receive sotrovimab antibody therapy, the odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for hospitalization among patients who received sotrovimab was 0.05 (0.005-0.4). CONCLUSIONS: Despite double or triple dose vaccination, VOC Omicron infections in kidney and kidney pancreas transplant recipients are not necessarily mild. Hospitalization rates remained high (around 56%), and sotrovimab use may prevent hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Kidney , Pancreas , Phylogeny , Risk Factors , Transplant Recipients
7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327656

ABSTRACT

We identified the co-infection of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants in two epidemiologically unrelated patients with chronic kidney disease requiring haemodialysis. Both SARS-CoV-2 variants were co-circulating locally at the time of detection. Amplicon- and probe-based sequencing using short- and long-read technologies identified and quantified Omicron and Delta subpopulations in respiratory samples from the two patients. These findings highlight the importance of genomic surveillance in vulnerable populations.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-305797

ABSTRACT

Objective: To adapt ‘fishplots’ to describe SARS-CoV-2 genomic cluster evolution. Results: : This novel analysis adapted the fishplot to depict the size and duration of circulating genomic clusters over time in New South Wales, Australia. It illuminated the effectiveness of interventions on the emergence, spread and eventual elimination of clusters and distilled genomic data into clear information to inform public health action.

9.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 8(1)2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613854

ABSTRACT

Invasive fungal disease (IFD) associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has focussed predominantly on invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. However, increasingly emergent are non-Aspergillus fungal infections including candidiasis, mucormycosis, pneumocystosis, cryptococcosis, and endemic mycoses. These infections are associated with poor outcomes, and their management is challenged by delayed diagnosis due to similarities of presentation to aspergillosis or to non-specific features in already critically ill patients. There has been a variability in the incidence of different IFDs often related to heterogeneity in patient populations, diagnostic protocols, and definitions used to classify IFD. Here, we summarise and address knowledge gaps related to the epidemiology, risks, diagnosis, and management of COVID-19-associated fungal infections other than aspergillosis.

10.
Open forum infectious diseases ; 8(12), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1563852

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can become complicated by secondary invasive fungal infections (IFIs), stemming primarily from severe lung damage and immunologic deficits associated with the virus or immunomodulatory therapy. Other risk factors include poorly controlled diabetes, structural lung disease and/or other comorbidities, and fungal colonization. Opportunistic IFI following severe respiratory viral illness has been increasingly recognized, most notably with severe influenza. There have been many reports of fungal infections associated with COVID-19, initially predominated by pulmonary aspergillosis, but with recent emergence of mucormycosis, candidiasis, and endemic mycoses. These infections can be challenging to diagnose and are associated with poor outcomes. The reported incidence of IFI has varied, often related to heterogeneity in patient populations, surveillance protocols, and definitions used for classification of fungal infections. Herein, we review IFI complicating COVID-19 and address knowledge gaps related to epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of COVID-19–associated fungal infections.

11.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 415, 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523326

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To adapt 'fishplots' to describe real-time evolution of SARS-CoV-2 genomic clusters. RESULTS: This novel analysis adapted the fishplot to depict the size and duration of circulating genomic clusters over time in New South Wales, Australia. It illuminated the effectiveness of interventions on the emergence, spread and eventual elimination of clusters and distilled genomic data into clear information to inform public health action.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Australia , Genomics , Humans , New South Wales , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Pathology ; 52(7): 743-744, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521455
13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2952-e2959, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501018

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) does not necessarily indicate shedding of infective virions. There are limited data on the correlation between the isolation of SARS-CoV-2, which likely indicates infectivity, and PCR. METHODS: A total of 195 patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 were tested (outpatients, n = 178; inpatients, n = 12; and critically unwell patients admitted to the intensive care unit [ICU] patients, n = 5). SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive samples were cultured in Vero C1008 cells and inspected daily for cytopathic effect (CPE). SARS-CoV-2-induced CPE was confirmed by PCR of culture supernatant. Where no CPE was observed, PCR was performed on day 4 to confirm absence of virus replication. The cycle thresholds (Cts) of the day 4 PCR (Ctculture) and the PCR of the original clinical sample (Ctsample) were compared, and positive cultures were defined where Ctsample - Ctculture was ≥3. RESULTS: Of 234 samples collected, 228 (97%) were from the upper respiratory tract. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from 56 (24%), including in 28 of 181 (15%), 19 of 42 (45%), and 9 of 11 samples (82%) collected from outpatients, inpatients, and ICU patients, respectively. All 56 samples had Ctsample ≤32; CPE was observed in 46 (20%). The mean duration from symptom onset to culture positivity was 4.5 days (range, 0-18). SARS-CoV-2 was significantly more likely to be isolated from samples collected from inpatients (P < .001) and ICU patients (P < .0001) compared with outpatients, and in samples with lower Ctsample. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 culture may be used as a surrogate marker for infectivity and inform de-isolation protocols.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Critical Care , Humans , Immunologic Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells
14.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(6): e149-e162, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-974782

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 causes direct damage to the airway epithelium, enabling aspergillus invasion. Reports of COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis have raised concerns about it worsening the disease course of COVID-19 and increasing mortality. Additionally, the first cases of COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis caused by azole-resistant aspergillus have been reported. This article constitutes a consensus statement on defining and managing COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis, prepared by experts and endorsed by medical mycology societies. COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis is proposed to be defined as possible, probable, or proven on the basis of sample validity and thus diagnostic certainty. Recommended first-line therapy is either voriconazole or isavuconazole. If azole resistance is a concern, then liposomal amphotericin B is the drug of choice. Our aim is to provide definitions for clinical research and up-to-date recommendations for clinical management of the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis.


Subject(s)
Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Coinfection/drug therapy , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/drug therapy , Amphotericin B , Azoles/pharmacology , Humans , Nitriles , Pyridines , SARS-CoV-2 , Triazoles , Voriconazole/therapeutic use
15.
Intern Med J ; 51(1): 42-51, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944728

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization recognised clusters of pneumonia-like cases due to a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 became a pandemic 71 days later. AIM: To report the clinical and epidemiological features, laboratory data and outcomes of the first group of 11 returned travellers with COVID-19 in Australia. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multi-centre case series. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection were admitted to tertiary referral hospitals in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. RESULTS: The median age of the patient cohort was 42 years (interquartile range (IQR), 24-53 years) with six men and five women. Eight (72.7%) patients had returned from Wuhan, one from Shenzhen, one from Japan and one from Europe. Possible human-to-human transmission from close family contacts in gatherings overseas occurred in two cases. Symptoms on admission were fever, cough and sore throat (n = 9, 81.8%). Co-morbidities included hypertension (n = 3, 27.3%) and hypercholesterolaemia (n = 2, 18.2%). No patients developed severe acute respiratory distress nor required intensive care unit admission or mechanical ventilation. After a median hospital stay of 14.5 days (IQR, 6.75-21), all patients were discharged. CONCLUSIONS: This is a historical record of the first COVID-19 cases in Australia during the early biocontainment phase of the national response. These findings were invaluable for establishing early inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 models of care and informing the management of COVID-19 over time as the outbreak evolved. Future research should extend this Australian case series to examine global epidemiological variation of this novel infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
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