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1.
J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv ; 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097255

ABSTRACT

Background: As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, numerous variants of SARS-CoV-2 have arisen, with several displaying increased transmissibility. Methods: The present study compared dose-response relationships and disease presentation in nonhuman primates infected with aerosols containing an isolate of the Gamma variant of SARS-CoV-2 to the results of our previous study with the earlier WA-1 isolate of SARS-CoV-2. Results: Disease in Gamma-infected animals was mild, characterized by dose-dependent fever and oronasal shedding of virus. Differences were observed in shedding in the upper respiratory tract between Gamma- and WA-1-infected animals that have the potential to influence disease transmission. Specifically, the estimated median doses for shedding of viral RNA or infectious virus in nasal swabs were approximately 10-fold lower for the Gamma variant than the WA-1 isolate. Given that the median doses for fever were similar, this suggests that there is a greater difference between the median doses for viral shedding and fever for Gamma than for WA-1 and potentially an increased range of doses for Gamma over which asymptomatic shedding and disease transmission are possible. Conclusions: These results complement those of previous studies, which suggested that differences in exposure dose may help to explain the range of clinical disease presentations observed in individuals with COVID-19, highlighting the importance of public health measures designed to limit exposure dose, such as masking and social distancing. The dose-response data provided by this study are important to inform disease transmission and hazard modeling, as well as to inform dose selection in future studies examining the efficacy of therapeutics and vaccines in animal models of inhalational COVID-19.

2.
BMJ Open ; 12(3): e053111, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745693

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This mixed-method process evaluation underpinned by normalisation process theory aims to measure fidelity to the intervention, understand the social and structural context in which the intervention is delivered and identify barriers and facilitators to intervention implementation. SETTING: RETurn to work After stroKE (RETAKE) is a multicentre individual patient randomised controlled trial to determine whether Early Stroke Specialist Vocational Rehabilitation (ESSVR) plus usual care is a clinically and cost-effective therapy to facilitate return to work after stroke, compared with usual care alone. This protocol paper describes the embedded process evaluation. PARTICIPANTS AND OUTCOME MEASURES: Intervention training for therapists will be observed and use of remote mentor support reviewed through documentary analysis. Fidelity will be assessed through participant questionnaires and analysis of therapy records, examining frequency, duration and content of ESSVR sessions. To understand the influence of social and structural contexts, the process evaluation will explore therapists' attitudes towards evidence-based practice, competency to deliver the intervention and evaluate potential sources of contamination. Longitudinal case studies incorporating non-participant observations will be conducted with a proportion of intervention and usual care participants. Semistructured interviews with stroke survivors, carers, occupational therapists, mentors, service managers and employers will explore their experiences as RETAKE participants. Analysis of qualitative data will draw on thematic and framework approaches. Quantitative data analysis will include regression models and descriptive statistics. Qualitative and quantitative data will be independently analysed by process evaluation and Clinical Trials Research Unit teams, respectively. Linked data, for example, fidelity and describing usual care will be synthesised by comparing and integrating quantitative descriptive data with the qualitative findings. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approval obtained through the East Midlands-Nottingham 2 Research Ethics Committee (Ref: 18/EM/0019) and the National Health ServiceResearch Authority. Dissemination via journal publications, stroke conferences, social media and meetings with national Stroke clinical leads. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN12464275.


Subject(s)
Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Caregivers , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Return to Work , Stroke/therapy , Surveys and Questionnaires , Survivors
4.
Transl Res ; 242: 38-55, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550105

ABSTRACT

The remarkable success of SARS CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccines and the ensuing interest in mRNA vaccines and therapeutics have highlighted the need for a scalable clinical-enabling manufacturing process to produce such products, and robust analytical methods to demonstrate safety, potency, and purity. To date, production processes have either not been disclosed or are bench-scale in nature and cannot be readily adapted to clinical and commercial scale production. To address these needs, we have advanced an aqueous-based scalable process that is readily adaptable to GMP-compliant manufacturing, and developed the required analytical methods for product characterization, quality control release, and stability testing. We also have demonstrated the products produced at manufacturing scale under such approaches display good potency and protection in relevant animal models with mRNA products encoding both vaccine immunogens and antibodies. Finally, we discuss continued challenges in raw material identification, sourcing and supply, and the cold chain requirements for mRNA therapeutic and vaccine products. While ultimate solutions have yet to be elucidated, we discuss approaches that can be taken that are aligned with regulatory guidance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(8): e1009865, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443861

ABSTRACT

While evidence exists supporting the potential for aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the infectious dose by inhalation remains unknown. In the present study, the probability of infection following inhalation of SARS-CoV-2 was dose-dependent in a nonhuman primate model of inhalational COVID-19. The median infectious dose, assessed by seroconversion, was 52 TCID50 (95% CI: 23-363 TCID50), and was significantly lower than the median dose for fever (256 TCID50, 95% CI: 102-603 TCID50), resulting in a group of animals that developed an immune response post-exposure but did not develop fever or other clinical signs of infection. In a subset of these animals, virus was detected in nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swabs, suggesting that infected animals without signs of disease are able to shed virus and may be infectious, which is consistent with reports of asymptomatic spread in human cases of COVID-19. These results suggest that differences in exposure dose may be a factor influencing disease presentation in humans, and reinforce the importance of public health measures that limit exposure dose, such as social distancing, masking, and increased ventilation. The dose-response data provided by this study are important to inform disease transmission and hazard modeling, and, ultimately, mitigation strategies. Additionally, these data will be useful to inform dose selection in future studies examining the efficacy of therapeutics and vaccines against inhalational COVID-19, and as a baseline in healthy, young adult animals for assessment of the importance of other factors, such as age, comorbidities, and viral variant, on the infectious dose and disease presentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Macaca fascicularis , Seroconversion , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Fever/virology , Inhalation Exposure , Male , Vero Cells , Viral Load
6.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(9)2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430804

ABSTRACT

A high prevalence of hepatic pathology (in 17 of 19 cases) was reported in post-mortem (PM) examinations of COVID-19 patients, undertaken between March 2020 and February 2021 by a single autopsy pathologist in two English Coronial jurisdictions. The patients in our cohort demonstrated high levels of recognised COVID-19 risk factors, including hypertension (8/16, 50%), type 2 diabetes mellitus (8/16, 50%) and evidence of arteriopathy 6/16 (38%). Hepatic abnormalities included steatosis (12/19; 63%), moderate to severe venous congestion (5/19; 26%) and cirrhosis (4/19; 21%). A subsequent literature review indicated a significantly increased prevalence of steatosis (49%), venous congestion (34%) and cirrhosis (9.3%) in COVID-19 PM cases, compared with a pre-pandemic PM cohort (33%, 16%, and 2.6%, respectively), likely reflecting an increased mortality risk in SARS-CoV-2 infection for patients with pre-existing liver disease. To corroborate this observation, we retrospectively analysed the admission liver function test (LFT) results of 276 consecutive, anonymised COVID-19 hospital patients in our centre, for whom outcome data were available. Of these patients, 236 (85.5%) had significantly reduced albumin levels at the time of admission to hospital, which was likely indicative of pre-existing chronic liver or renal disease. There was a strong correlation between patient outcome (length of hospital admission or death) and abnormal albumin at the time of hospital admission (p = 0.000012). We discuss potential mechanisms by which our observations of hepatic dysfunction are linked to a risk of COVID-19 mortality, speculating on the importance of recently identified anti-interferon antibodies.

7.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(10): 1130-1140, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305334

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties of azithromycin suggest therapeutic potential against COVID-19. Randomised data in mild-to-moderate disease are not available. We assessed whether azithromycin is effective in reducing hospital admission in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. METHODS: This prospective, open-label, randomised superiority trial was done at 19 hospitals in the UK. We enrolled adults aged at least 18 years presenting to hospitals with clinically diagnosed, highly probable or confirmed COVID-19 infection, with fewer than 14 days of symptoms, who were considered suitable for initial ambulatory management. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to azithromycin (500 mg once daily orally for 14 days) plus standard care or to standard care alone. The primary outcome was death or hospital admission from any cause over the 28 days from randomisation. The primary and safety outcomes were assessed according to the intention-to-treat principle. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04381962) and recruitment is closed. FINDINGS: 298 participants were enrolled from June 3, 2020, to Jan 29, 2021. Three participants withdrew consent and requested removal of all data, and three further participants withdrew consent after randomisation, thus, the primary outcome was assessed in 292 participants (145 in the azithromycin group and 147 in the standard care group). The mean age of the participants was 45·9 years (SD 14·9). 15 (10%) participants in the azithromycin group and 17 (12%) in the standard care group were admitted to hospital or died during the study (adjusted OR 0·91 [95% CI 0·43-1·92], p=0·80). No serious adverse events were reported. INTERPRETATION: In patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 managed without hospital admission, adding azithromycin to standard care treatment did not reduce the risk of subsequent hospital admission or death. Our findings do not support the use of azithromycin in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, University of Oxford and Pfizer.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , Azithromycin/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Standard of Care/statistics & numerical data , Treatment Outcome
8.
Br J Sports Med ; 55(21): 1187-1195, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175146

ABSTRACT

Concussion is a frequent injury in many sports and is also common in para athletes. However, there is a paucity of concussion research related to para sport, and prior International Concussion in Sport (CIS) consensus papers have not substantively addressed this population. To remedy this and to improve concussion care provided to para athletes, the concussion in para sport (CIPS) multidisciplinary expert group was created. This group analysed and discussed in-depth para athlete-specific issues within the established key clinical domains of the current (2017) consensus statement on CIS. Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group held all meetings by video conferencing. The existing Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 5 (SCAT5) for the immediate on-field and office-based off-field assessment of concussion was evaluated as part of this process, to identify any para athlete-specific concerns. Regular preparticipation and periodic health examinations are essential to determine a baseline reference point for concussion symptoms but pose additional challenges for the interpreting clinician. Further considerations for concussion management for the para athlete are required within the remove, rest, reconsider and refer consensus statement framework. Considering return to sport (RTS), the 2017 CIS consensus statement has limitations when considering the RTS of the para athlete. Case-by-case decision making related to RTS following concussion is imperative for para athletes. Additional challenges exist for the evaluation and management of concussion in para athletes. There is a need for greater understanding of existing knowledge gaps and attitudes towards concussion among athlete medical staff, coaches and para athletes. Future research should investigate the use and performance of common assessment tools in the para athlete population to better guide their clinical application and inform potential modifications. Concussion prevention strategies and sport-specific rule changes, such as in Para Alpine Skiing and Cerebral Palsy Football, also should be carefully considered to reduce the occurrence of concussion in para athletes.


Subject(s)
Athletes , Athletic Injuries/complications , Brain Concussion , Sports for Persons with Disabilities , Disabled Persons , Humans
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