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Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 31(2):287-288, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2316560


Background: Immunocompromised persons are disproportionately affected by severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, but immune compromise is heterogenous, which may impact viral dynamics. We hypothesized that higher degrees of compromised immunity are associated with higher viral shedding and slower viral clearance in the absence of COVID-19 therapeutics. Method(s): Participants enrolled in ACTIV-2/A5401, a platform trial for COVID-19 therapeutics in non-hospitalized adults within 10 days of symptom onset, received either an active treatment or placebo between 8/2020 and 7/2021. Participants were categorized based on the extent of immunosuppression into none, mild, moderate and severe categories at enrollment (day 0). Longitudinal anterior nasal (AN) and plasma SARS-CoV-2 levels were measured with a quantitative PCR assay. Regression models assessed associations between immunocompromise severity and viral levels (VL) at day 0, and longitudinally among those on placebo with quantifiable RNA at day 0. Multivariate analyses adjusted for demographics and symptom duration and vaccination status at day 0. Result(s): Immunocompromised (mild 383, moderate 159, severe 35) and immunocompetent (1956) participants had comparable symptom durations at day 0 (median 6 days) and most were unvaccinated (~95%). AN VL at day 0 was higher in the moderate/severe group compared to the immunocompetent group (adjusted difference in means: 0.47 log10 copies/mL, 95% CI 0.12, 0.83). While AN VL decayed at similar rates among all groups from day 0 to 3, there was a trend towards higher cumulative AN VLs across the 28-day follow-up in the moderate/severe group compared to immunocompetent group (adjusted fold difference in VL AUC 1.63, 95%CI 0.95, 2.77). The mild group showed no differences in day 0 VL or AUC compared to the immunocompetent group. The frequency of detectable plasma SARS-CoV-2 RNA was similar at day 0 across all groups (overall 21%), but there appeared to be a higher proportion of immunocompromised participants with detectable plasma viral RNA at day 7 (moderate/severe 2/23 [9%], mild 5/44 [11%]) compared to the immunocompetent group (8/282, 3%). Conclusion(s): Before emergence of Omicron and widespread vaccination, moderate/severe immunocompromised status was associated with higher nasal viral levels at study enrollment and showed a trend towards higher cumulative AN viral load, and all immunocompromised groups appeared to have more persistent plasma viremia during follow-up.

Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 9(Supplement 2):S449, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2189718


Background. Predictors of SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels and changes over time during early COVID-19 are not well characterized. Methods. ACTIV-2 is a phase II/III randomized, placebo-controlled, platform trial to evaluate investigational agents for treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults. Participants enrolled within 10 days of symptom onset. Nasopharyngeal samples were collected for SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing on Days 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28;RNA was quantified with qPCR assay. SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity was defined as detectable IgG to any of nucleocapsid, receptor binding domain, S1 and S2 antigens by Bio-Plex multiplex assay. Censored linear regression and repeated measures Poisson models evaluated predictors of RNA including age, sex, race, ethnicity, risk of severe COVID-19, diabetes, BMI, obesity (BMI > 35 kg/m2) and serostatus. Results. The study enrolled 537 participants from Aug 2020 to July 2021 at US sites. Median age was 48 years;49% were female sex, >99% cis-gender, 83% white, 29% Hispanic/Latino, and 21% had BMI > 35 kg/m2. At Day 0, median symptom duration was 6 days, 50% were seropositive (2 were vaccinated) and 17% had RNA below the lower limit of quantification (LLoQ). Higher Day 0 RNA was associated with shorter symptom duration (Spearman correlation = -0.40, p< 0.001), as well as older age, white race, lower BMI and seronegativity, even when adjusting for symptom duration (all p< 0.03). Among the 203 on placebo with Day 0 RNA >= LLoQ, female sex had larger decreases in RNA at Day 3 vs male sex (difference in mean change: -0.8 log10 copies/mL (95% CI: -1.2, -0.4), p< 0.001) when adjusted for symptom duration and Day 0 RNA;this difference was also observed when evaluating the proportion with RNA < LLoQ at Day 3 (Risk Ratio (95% CI): 2.38 (1.11, 5.09)). Seropositivity at Day 0 was associated with higher probability of RNA < LLoQ at Days 3 and 7 (p< 0.001) in adjusted models. Seropositivity at Day 0 did not differ by sex. Conclusion. In this well characterized clinical trial cohort, shorter symptom duration, older age, white race, lower BMI and seronegativity were associated with higher RNA in early infection. Female sex and seropositivity were associated with earlier viral clearance. Further research is needed to determine if viral decay differences mediated by these host factors influence clinical outcomes.

Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 9(Supplement 2):S46, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2189513


Background. Symptoms during acute COVID-19 can limit daily activities and delay return to work and school. Little is known about the association between SARS-CoV-2 burden in either the upper airway or plasma and the duration of COVID-19 symptoms. Methods. ACTIV-2/A5401 is a platform trial for COVID-19 treatments in nonhospitalized symptomatic adults enrolled within 10 days of symptom onset. We included participants randomized to placebo from August 2020 to July 2021. Participants self-reported severity of 13 symptoms daily from day 0 (baseline) to 28 as Absent 0, Mild 1, Moderate 2, Severe 3;total symptom score was calculated as the sum of all scores. Anterior nasal (AN) and plasma SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels at day 0 were measured with a quantitative qPCR assay. The relationship between day 0 RNA and time to symptom improvement or resolution (first of 2 consecutive days of all symptoms improved or resolved from day 0, respectively) was evaluated using proportional hazards regression adjusted for time from symptom onset. Time to resolution of distinct symptoms was also assessed. Results. Among 570 participants randomized to placebo, median age was 48 years, 51% were female, and median time since symptom onset at baseline was 6 days;7% had prior COVID-19 vaccination. At day 0, AN RNA was detectable in 80% with a median of 4.1 log10 copies/ml (n=533, quartiles: 1.7, 6.0) and plasma RNA was detectable in 19% (91/476). Detectable plasma RNA at day 0, but not AN RNA, was associated with more severe symptoms at day 0 (2.4-point higher mean total symptom score, P=0.001). Both high AN (>=6 vs < 2 log10 copies/ml, adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.63, P=0.001) and detectable plasma RNA (aHR 0.74, P=0.03) at day 0 predicted delayed symptom improvement. High AN RNA at day 0 also predicted a delay in symptom resolution (aHR 0.59, P=0.001). Both high AN RNA and detectable plasma RNA levels predicted delays in the resolution of cough and shortness of breath. Detectable plasma RNA also predicted delayed body pain resolution.

Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 9(Supplement 2):S44, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2189512


Background. Data are currently limited on the performance of SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels as predictors or surrogate markers for clinical outcomes in outpatients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Methods. This exploratory analysis used data from 2205 non-hospitalized adults who enrolled between August 2020 and July 2021 and participated in placebocontrolled evaluations of two monoclonal antibody (mAb) agents (bamlanivimab [n=317] or amubarvimab/romlusevimab [n=837]), and an open-label cohort of bamlanivimab recipients [n=1051] as part of the ACTIV-2/A5401 platform trial. SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels were measured in anterior nasal (AN) swabs and plasma at day 0 (pre-treatment) and AN at day 3. We fit regression models to estimate the association between RNA level or detection and subsequent hospitalization/death within 28 days of enrollment. Results. One-hundred four participants (53/571 [9%] on placebo and 51/ 1634 [3%] on mAb) died or were hospitalized through day 28. Median AN RNA levels were lower at day 3 compared to day 0 in both placebo (2.5 vs 4.0 log10 copies/mL [cp/mL]) and mAb (2.3 vs 4.9) groups. For placebo recipients, higher Day 0 AN RNA was associated with an increasing risk of hospitalization/ death, ranging from 3% to 16% for < 2 and >= 6 log10 cp/mL, respectively. Although only 1% had quantifiable plasma SARS-CoV-2 RNA, there was a similar trend for day 0 plasma RNA: 5% hospitalizations/death for undetectable RNA, 16% for detectable but not quantifiable RNA, and 80% for >= 2 log10 cp/mL. Among 485 placebo recipients with days 0 and 3 ANRNA results, the risk of subsequent hospitalization/death was highest among those with >= 5.0 log10 cp/mL at both days [8/78;10%] and lowest for those with unquantifiable levels at both days [0/124;0%]. Higher AN RNA at day 3 (adjusted for day 0 RNA) was associated with subsequent hospitalization/death among placebo recipients (relative risk (RR): 1.4 per log10 cp/mL;95%CI: 1.0, 2.1), but not mAb recipients (RR: 1.0;95%CI: 0.7, 1.6). Conclusion. These findings suggest that AN and plasma SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels are predictive of hospitalization/death in the natural history setting. However, different associations for mAb and placebo recipients raises concerns for using AN RNA as a surrogate for clinical outcomes in mAb trials. (Table Presented).

Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):304-305, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250563


Background: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 viral variants threatens current anti-viral and preventative strategies, including monoclonal antibodies and vaccines. Critically, the limited supply of vaccines and the complex logistics surrounding the delivery of infusion-based therapies herald the need for an easily produced, distributed, and specific direct-acting antiviral for COVID-19 that limits progression of illness and ideally prevents transmission. Methods: The efficacy of molnupiravir was evaluated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase 2 dose-range finding study using realtime polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and virus isolation was conducted at 11 study sites in the U.S. Participants were randomized if they had signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within 7 days, and a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR within 4 days of enrollment. Initially, participants were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive 200 mg molnupiravir or placebo twice daily for 5 days. Subsequently, in the dose-range finding portion of the study, participants were randomized in a 3:1 ratio to receive 200, 400, or 800 mg molnupiravir or placebo twice daily for 5 days. Nasopharyngeal swabs were analyzed from 175 subjects at enrollment, Day 3, and Day 5 for SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Samples were stored at 4°C for up to 72 hours, shipped refrigerated, aliquoted, and stored at -80°C until testing. Vero E6 cell monolayers were infected with the sample for 1 hour. Culture medium was analyzed for viral load at 2 and 5 days post-infection by RT-PCR. Results: Seventy-eight (45%) participants, median 4.62 days (min. 1.40, max. 7.54) from symptom onset, had a positive SARS-CoV-2 culture at enrollment (52 on active and 26 on placebo). The percentage of participants with a positive viral culture at enrollment who were positive on Day 3 was 20.4% on active and 28% on placebo (p = 0.56). At day 5, 24% of placebo participants were culturethe positive compared to none treated with molnupiravir (p = 0.001). Between treatment, comparisons were performed using Fisher's exact test. Conclusion: This is the first demonstration of reduced infectiousness by antiviral therapy in people with SARS-2 infection. This simple, short-course oral therapy may benefit individuals and public health and is unlikely to be impacted by spike-protein variants.

Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):210-211, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250023


Background: The relationship between nasopharyngeal (NP) SARS-CoV-2 RNA, demographics and symptom characteristics in non-hospitalized persons with COVID-19 is not well described. Methods: ACTIV-2 is a phase 2/3 adaptive platform trial testing antivirals for SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic non-hospitalized adults. We analyzed associations between NP quantitative SARS-CoV-2 RNA (Abbott m2000sp/rt) and COVID-19 symptomatology in 284 participants with both a NP swab and symptom diary prior to study intervention. The diary included 13 targeted symptoms and questions about overall severity of COVID-19 symptoms, each scored as none, mild, moderate, or severe (and very severe for overall severity) and general physical health (scored as poor, fair, good, very good, excellent). Wilcoxon tests were used to compare NP RNA levels between pre-defined groups. Spearman correlations, Jonchkeere-Terpstra trend tests, and linear regressions evaluated associations between symptom measures and NP RNA. Results: Participants were 49% female, 82% white, 9% black, and 27% Latinx. Median age was 46 years and 50% met the protocol definition of higher risk for COVID-19 progression (age ≥55 years and/or protocol-defined comorbidities);32% reported moderate and 5% severe symptoms. Median (Q1, Q3) time from onset of symptoms to NP swab/symptom assessment was 6 (4, 8) days. NP RNA was above the lower limit of quantification in 85%;median (Q1, Q3) was 5.4 (3.5, 6.8) log10 copies/mL. Higher RNA levels were associated with shorter symptom duration (median 6.5 vs 4.7 log10 copies/mL for ≤5 vs >5 days) but not total symptom score (Figure). Controlling for symptom duration, higher NP RNA levels were associated with better general physical health (p=0.02) and more severe body/muscle pain (p=0.04). No associations were observed with symptom severity (sum of scores or overall severity) or any other symptoms. There was no association between NP RNA and age or risk category for COVID-19 progression. Conclusion: In symptomatic outpatients, NP SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels were higher in persons with more recent symptom onset, but were not associated with symptom severity or risk for disease progression. The range of viral RNA shedding was remarkably similar across the range of symptom severity, suggesting symptom severity may not correlate with transmission risk or the potential to respond to antiviral therapy. Outpatient trials aimed at evaluating antiviral activity of new agents should focus enrollment on participants with recent onset of symptoms. (Figure Presented).