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1.
J Glob Health ; 12: 05032, 2022 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924590

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding the disease severity associated with the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is important in determining appropriate management strategies at the individual and population levels. We determined the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in persons infected with the Omicron vs the Delta variant. Methods: We identified individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection with Delta and propensity-score matched controls with Omicron variant infection from the National COVID-19 Database in Qatar. We excluded temporary visitors to Qatar, those with a prior documented infection, those ≤18 years old, and those with <14 days of follow up after the index test positive date. We determined the rates of admission to the hospital, admission to intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, or death among those infected with the Delta or Omicron variants. Results: Among 9763 cases infected with the Delta variant and 11 310 cases infected with the Omicron variant, we identified 3926 propensity-score matched pairs. Among 3926 Delta infected, 3259 (83.0%) had mild, 633 (16.1%) had moderate and 34 (0.9%) had severe/critical disease. Among 3926 Omicron infected, 3866 (98.5%) had mild, 59 (1.5%) had moderate, and only 1 had severe/critical disease (overall P < 0.001). Factors associated with less moderate or severe/critical disease included infection with Omicron variant (aOR = 0.06; confidence interval (CI) = 0.05-0.09) and vaccination including a booster (aOR = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.09-0.99). Conclusions: Omicron variant infection is associated with significantly lower severity of disease compared with the Delta variant. Vaccination continues to offer strong protection against severe/critical disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Humans , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886383

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are limited data assessing COVID-19 disease severity in children/adolescents infected with the Omicron variant. METHODS: We identified children and adolescents <18 years with SARS-CoV-2 infection with Delta and propensity-score matched controls with Omicron variant infection from the National COVID-19 Database in Qatar. Primary outcome was disease severity, determined by hospital admission, admission to ICU, or mechanical ventilation within 14 days of diagnosis, or death within 28 days. RESULTS: Among 1,735 cases with Delta variant infection between June 1 and November 6, 2021 and 32 635 cases with Omicron variant infection between January 1 and January 15, 2022 who did not have prior infection and were not vaccinated, we identified 985 propensity-score matched pairs. Among Delta infected, 84.2% had mild, 15.7% had moderate, and 0.1% had severe/critical disease. Among Omicron infected, 97.8% had mild, 2.2% had moderate, and none had severe/critical disease (P < .001). Omicron variant infection (vs. Delta) was associated with significantly lower odds of moderate or severe/critical disease (adjusted odds ratio, 0.12; 95% CI 0.07-0.18). Those aged 6-11, and 12-<18 years had lower odds of developing moderate or severe/critical disease compared with those younger than six years (aOR, 95% CI 0.47; 0.33-0.66 for 6-11 year old; aOR 0.45, 95% CI 0.21-0.94 for 12-<18 years old). CONCLUSIONS: Omicron variant infection in children/adolescents is associated with less severe disease than Delta variant infection as measured by hospitalization rates and need for ICU care or mechanical ventilation. Those 6 to <18 years also have less severe disease than those <6 years old.

3.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262897, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662441

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the performance of a rapid point-of-care antibody test, the BioMedomics COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test, in comparison with a high-quality, validated, laboratory-based platform, the Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay. Serological testing was conducted on 709 individuals. Concordance metrics were estimated. Logistic regression was used to assess associations with seropositivity. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 63.5% (450/709; 95% CI 59.8%-67.0%) using the BioMedomics assay and 71.9% (510/709; 95% CI 68.5%-75.2%) using the Elecsys assay. There were 60 discordant results between the two assays, all of which were seropositive in the Elecsys assay, but seronegative in the BioMedomics assay. Overall, positive, and negative percent agreements between the two assays were 91.5% (95% CI 89.2%-93.5%), 88.2% (95% CI 85.1%-90.9%), and 100% (95% CI 98.2%-100%), respectively, with a Cohen's kappa of 0.81 (95% CI 0.78-0.84). Excluding specimens with lower (Elecsys) antibody titers, the agreement improved with overall, positive, and negative percent concordance of 94.4% (95% CI 92.3%-96.1%), 91.8% (95% CI 88.8%-94.3%), and 100% (95% CI 98.2%-100%), respectively, and a Cohen's kappa of 0.88 (95% CI 0.85-0.90). Logistic regression confirmed better agreement with higher antibody titers. The BioMedomics COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test demonstrated good performance in measuring detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, supporting the utility of such rapid point-of-care serological testing to guide the public health responses and vaccine prioritization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Point-of-Care Testing , Qatar , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Young Adult
4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 112: 52-54, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654529

ABSTRACT

Complementing whole genome sequencing strategies with high-throughput multiplex RT-qPCR genotyping allows for more comprehensive and real-time tracking of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. During the second and third waves of COVID-19 in Qatar, PCR genotyping, combined with Sanger sequencing of un-typeable samples, was employed to describe the epidemiology of the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants. A total of 9792 nasopharyngeal PCR-positive samples collected between April-June 2021 were successfully genotyped, revealing the importation and transmission dynamics of these three variants in Qatar.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Genotype , Humans , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Qatar/epidemiology
5.
JAMA Intern Med ; 182(2): 197-205, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592009

ABSTRACT

Importance: The Delta variant is now the predominant circulating SARS-CoV-2 strain worldwide. Severity of illness in persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant compared with the Beta variant is not known. Objective: To directly compare clinical outcomes in persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant vs those infected with the Beta variant in Qatar. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study used data from the national COVID-19 database in Qatar, which includes information on all individuals who were ever tested for SARS-CoV-2 using a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test and all individuals who received any SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in Qatar. Among persons with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 22 and July 7, 2021, those infected with the Delta variant were identified and were propensity score matched with control individuals infected with the Beta variant. The variants were ascertained by variant genotyping of the positive samples. Exposures: SARS-CoV-2 infection with the Delta or Beta variant. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcomes were admission to the hospital, admission to the intensive care unit, use of supplemental oxygen, use of high-flow oxygen, receipt of mechanical ventilation, or death among those infected with the Delta or Beta variant overall and stratified by vaccination status. Results: Among 1427 persons infected with the Delta variant (252 [55.9%] male; median age, 34 years [IQR, 17-43 years]) and 5353 persons infected with the Beta variant (233 [51.7%] male; median age, 34 years [IQR, 17-45 years]), 451 propensity score-matched pairs were identified. Persons infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized (27.3% [95% CI, 23.2%-31.6%] vs 20.0% [95% CI, 16.4-24.0]; P = .01) or to have mild-moderate or severe-critical disease outcomes (27.9% [95% CI, 23.8%-32.3%] vs 20.2% [95% CI, 16.6%-24.2%]; P = .01) compared with persons infected with the Beta variant. Infection with the Delta variant was independently associated with higher odds of experiencing any adverse outcome (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.53; 95% CI, 1.72-3.72). Compared with being unvaccinated, being vaccinated with a second dose more than 3 months before infection was associated with lower odds of any adverse outcome among persons infected with the Delta variant (aOR, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.04-0.26) and among those infected with the Beta variant (aOR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.05-0.98). Protection was similar among those who received a second vaccine dose less than 3 months before infection, but having received only a single dose was not associated with a lower odds of any severe outcome among those infected with the Delta variant (aOR, 1.12; 95% CI, 0.41-3.06) or those infected with the Beta variant (aOR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.20-2.72). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of persons with COVID-19 in Qatar, infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant was associated with more severe disease than was infection with the Beta variant. Being unvaccinated was associated with greater odds of severe-critical disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Qatar , Retrospective Studies
6.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 2070, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573686

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is controversy regarding the role of in-person attendance in schools and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Several studies have demonstrated no increase in transmission, while some have reported large outbreaks with in-person attendance. We determined the incidence and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection among school staff after one school term. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and blood for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing were obtained from staff at a large international school in Qatar at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year and repeated at the end of the first term. RESULTS: A total of 376 staff provided samples for testing. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, the PCR positivity for SARS-CoV-2 was 13%, while seropositivity was 30.1%. A majority of those who tested positive either by PCR or serologically, were non-teaching staff. At the end of the first school term four months later, only 3.5% of the initially antibody-negative staff had seroconverted. In multivariable logistic regression analysis, male gender (OR 11.48, 95%CI 4.77-27.64), non-teaching job category (OR 3.09, 95%CI 1.10-8.64), contact with a confirmed case (OR 20.81, 95%CI 2.90-149.18), and presence of symptoms in the preceding 2 weeks [1-2 symptoms OR 4.82, 95%CI 1.79-12.94); ≥3 symptoms OR 42.30, 95%CI 3.76-476.43) independently predicted SARS-CoV-2 infection in school staff before school starting. CONCLUSION: Male gender, non-teaching job, presence of symptoms, and exposure to a confirmed case were associated with higher risk of infection. These data can help policymakers in determining the optimal strategy for school reopening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Schools
7.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 768883, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555159

ABSTRACT

Qatar, a country with a strong health system and a diverse population consisting mainly of expatriate residents, has experienced two large waves of COVID-19 outbreak. In this study, we report on 2634 SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequences from infected patients in Qatar between March-2020 and March-2021, representing 1.5% of all positive cases in this period. Despite the restrictions on international travel, the viruses sampled from the populace of Qatar mirrored nearly the entire global population's genomic diversity with nine predominant viral lineages that were sustained by local transmission chains and the emergence of mutations that are likely to have originated in Qatar. We reported an increased number of mutations and deletions in B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 lineages in a short period. These findings raise the imperative need to continue the ongoing genomic surveillance that has been an integral part of the national response to monitor the SARS-CoV-2 profile and re-emergence in Qatar.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Humans , Qatar/epidemiology
8.
J Clin Invest ; 131(23)2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546629

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications and neonatal respiratory distress and hospitalization. Effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in pregnant women is not known.MethodsAll women with confirmed pregnancy who presented to the national referral hospital in Qatar between December 20, 2020, and May 30, 2021, with at least 1 SARS-CoV-2 test and not testing prior to pregnancy were included. We determined the vaccine effectiveness of mRNA vaccines in preventing confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy using both cohort and test-negative case-control designs. Analyses were adjusted for age group, nationality, and gestational age.ResultsAmong 4534 pregnant women, there were 407 vaccinated and 407 unvaccinated women in the matched cohort analysis. Vaccine effectiveness was 87.6% (95%CI 44.1%-97.2%) at least 14 days after the second dose. There were 386 test-positive and 834 matched women in the test-negative case control analysis. Vaccine effectiveness was 86.8% (95%CI 47.5%-98.5%) at least 14 days after the second dose. Adjustment for age, nationality, and gestational age yielded similar results for both designs. In the test-negative analysis, vaccine effectiveness at least 14 days after the first dose but before the second dose was 40.8% (95% CI 0.0%-80.4%). Of the 386 test-positive pregnant women, 74 cases were Alpha variant, 163 cases were Beta variant, and 156 cases were variants of unknown status. There were 9 severe or critical disease cases and no deaths in the test-positive pregnant women, all of whom were unvaccinated.ConclusionThe mRNA vaccines provide a high level of protection against documented SARS-CoV-2 infection, which supports the inclusion of pregnant women in vaccination campaigns.FUNDINGHamad Medical Corporation, Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar, and the Ministry of Public Health Qatar.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/adverse effects
9.
Int J Infect Dis ; 110: 353-358, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347653

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Breakthrough infections after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination have been reported. Clinical outcomes in these persons are not widely known. METHODS: We evaluated all vaccinated persons with breakthrough infection ≥14 days after the second vaccine dose and unvaccinated controls matched on age, sex, nationality, and reason for testing between December 23, 2020 and March 28, 2021 in Qatar. Our primary outcome was severe disease defined as hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, or death. RESULTS: Among 456 persons cases of breakthrough infection and 456 unvaccinated matched controls with confirmed infection, median age was 45 years, 60.7% were males, and ≥1 comorbid condition was present in 61.2% of the vaccinated and 47.8% of the unvaccinated persons (P=0.009). Severe disease was recorded in 48 (10.5%) of the vaccinated and 121 (26.5%) of the unvaccinated group (P<0.001). Factors associated with severe disease included increasing age (HR vs. <40 years old: >40-60 years, HR 2.32; >60-70 years, HR 4.34; >70 years, HR 5.43); presence of symptoms at baseline (HR 2.42, 95%CI 1.44-4.07); and being unvaccinated (HR 2.84, 95%CI 1.80-4.47). CONCLUSIONS: In persons with breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection, increasing age is associated with a higher risk of severe disease or death, while vaccination is associated with a lower risk. Presence of comorbidities was not associated with severe disease or death among persons with breakthrough infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk , Vaccination
10.
Infect Genet Evol ; 93: 104972, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274364

ABSTRACT

Human influenza viruses are occasionally detected in the stools of influenza patients. OBJECTIVES: Here, we investigated the molecular and biological characteristics of intestinal influenza viruses and their potential role in virus transmission. METHODS: Fecal samples were first screened for the presence of influenza viral RNA using RT-qPCR. Positive fecal samples were subjected to cell culture. Isolated viruses were then sequenced using MiSeq platform. Replication kinetics and receptor binding affinity were also evaluated. RESULTS: Influenza RNA was detected in stool samples of 41% (36/87) of influenza A positive patients. Among the 36 stool samples subjected to viral isolation, 5 showed virus growth. Sequence analysis of isolated viruses revealed two distinct mutation patterns in fecal viruses. Set I viruses was able to replicate to higher titers in cell culture despite the limited number of mutations (6 mutations) compared to set II viruses (>10 mutations). Functional analysis of both sets revealed the ability to replicate efficiently in differentiated human bronchial cells. Receptor binding testing has also demonstrated their ability to bind α 2,3 and α 2,6 sialic acid receptors. CONCLUSION: The ability of fecal influenza viruses to replicate in intestinal cells and human 3D bronchial cells might suggest their possible contribution in virus transmission.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Feces/virology , Humans , Influenza, Human/virology , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Qatar/epidemiology , Young Adult
11.
iScience ; 24(6): 102646, 2021 Jun 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240402

ABSTRACT

The study objective was to the assess level of detectable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in the urban population of Qatar. Antibody testing was performed on residual blood specimens for 112,941 individuals (∼10% of Qatar's urban population) attending for routine/other clinical care between May 12 and September 9, 2020. Seropositivity was 13.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 13.1-13.6%) and was independently associated with sex, age, nationality, clinical care encounter type, and testing date. Median optical density (antibody titer) among antibody-positive persons was 27.0 (range = 1.0-150.0), with higher values associated with age, nationality, clinical care encounter type, and testing date. Seropositivity by nationality was positively correlated with the likelihood of having higher antibody titers (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.47-0.96). Less than two in every 10 individuals in Qatar's urban population had detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, suggesting this population is still far from herd immunity and at risk of subsequent infection waves. Higher antibody titer appears to be a biomarker of repeated exposures to the infection.

12.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1678-1686, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196494

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of convalescent plasma therapy for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unclear. METHODS: We retrospectively compared outcomes in a cohort of critical COVID-19 patients who received standard care (SC Group) and those who, in addition, received convalescent plasma (CP Group). RESULTS: In total, 40 patients were included in each group. The median patient age was 53.5 years (interquartile range [IQR] 42-60.5), and the majority of patients required invasive ventilation (69, 86.2%). Plasma was harvested from donors after a median of 37 days (IQR 31-46) from the first positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) result and 26 days (IQR 21-32) after documented viral clearance; it was administered after a median of 10 days (IQR 9-10) from the onset of symptoms and 2.5 days (IQR 2-4) from admission to intensive care unit. The primary endpoint of improvement in respiratory support status within 28 days was achieved in 26 patients (65%) in the SC Group and 31 patients (77.5%) in the CP Group (p = .32). The 28-day all-cause mortality (12.5% vs. 2.5%; p = .22) and viral clearance (65% vs. 55%; p = .49) were not significantly different between the two groups. Convalescent plasma was not significantly associated with the primary endpoint (adjusted hazard ratio 0.87; 95% confidence interval 0.51-1.49; p = .62). Adverse events were balanced between the two study groups. CONCLUSION: In severe COVID-19, convalescent plasma therapy was not associated with clinical benefits. Randomized trials are required to confirm our findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Plasma/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
13.
EClinicalMedicine ; 29: 100645, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-938899

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hydroxychloroquine (HC) ± azithromycin (AZ) is widely used for Covid-19. The Qatar Prospective RCT of Expediting Coronavirus Tapering (Q-PROTECT) aimed to assess virologic cure rates of HC±AZ in cases of low-acuity Covid-19. METHODS: Q-PROTECT employed a prospective, placebo-controlled design with blinded randomization to three parallel arms: placebo, oral HC (600 mg daily for one week), or oral HC plus oral AZ (500 mg day one, 250 mg daily on days two through five). At enrollment, non-hospitalized participants had mild or no symptoms and were within a day of Covid-19 positivity by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). After six days, intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis of the primary endpoint of virologic cure was assessed using binomial exact 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and χ2 testing. (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04349592, trial status closed to new participants.). FINDINGS: The study enrolled 456 participants (152 in each of three groups: HC+AZ, HC, placebo) between 13 April and 1 August 2020. HC+AZ, HC, and placebo groups had 6 (3·9%), 7 (4·6%), and 9 (5·9%) participants go off study medications before completing the medication course (p = 0·716). Day six PCR results were available for all 152 HC+AZ participants, 149/152 (98·0%) HC participants, and 147/152 (96·7%) placebo participants. Day six ITT analysis found no difference (p = 0·821) in groups' proportions achieving virologic cure: HC+AZ 16/152 (10·5%), HC 19/149 (12·8%), placebo 18/147 (12·2%). Day 14 assessment also showed no association (p = 0·072) between study group and viral cure: HC+AZ 30/149 (20·1%,), HC 42/146 (28·8%), placebo 45/143 (31·5%). There were no serious adverse events. INTERPRETATION: HC±AZ does not facilitate virologic cure in patients with mild or asymptomatic Covid-19. FUNDING: The study was supported by internal institutional funds of the Hamad Medical Corporation (government health service of the State of Qatar).

14.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 10: 575613, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-890331

ABSTRACT

Background: The ongoing pandemic of SARS-COV-2 has already infected more than eight million people worldwide. The majority of COVID-19 patients either are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Yet, about 15% of the cases experience severe complications and require intensive care. Factors determining disease severity are not yet fully characterized. Aim: Here, we investigated the within-host virus diversity in COVID-19 patients with different clinical manifestations. Methods: We compared SARS-COV-2 genetic diversity in 19 mild and 27 severe cases. Viral RNA was extracted from nasopharyngeal samples and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. This was followed by deep-sequencing analyses of SARS-CoV-2 genomes at both consensus and sub-consensus sequence levels. Results: Consensus sequences of all viruses were very similar, showing more than 99.8% sequence identity regardless of the disease severity. However, the sub-consensus analysis revealed significant differences in within-host diversity between mild and severe cases. Patients with severe symptoms exhibited a significantly (p-value 0.001) higher number of variants in coding and non-coding regions compared to mild cases. Analysis also revealed higher prevalence of some variants among severe cases. Most importantly, severe cases exhibited significantly higher within-host diversity (mean = 13) compared to mild cases (mean = 6). Further, higher within-host diversity was observed in patients above the age of 60 compared to the younger age group. Conclusion: These observations provided evidence that within-host diversity might play a role in the development of severe disease outcomes in COVID-19 patients; however, further investigations are required to elucidate this association.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Consensus Sequence/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Young Adult
15.
BMC Infect Dis ; 20(1): 777, 2020 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873955

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are limited data on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes at a national level, and none after 60 days of follow up. The aim of this study was to describe national, 60-day all-cause mortality associated with COVID-19, and to identify risk factors associated with admission to an intensive care unit (ICU). METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study including the first consecutive 5000 patients with COVID-19 in Qatar who completed 60 days of follow up by June 17, 2020. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality at 60 days after COVID-19 diagnosis. In addition, we explored risk factors for admission to ICU. RESULTS: Included patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 between February 28 and April 17, 2020. The majority (4436, 88.7%) were males and the median age was 35 years [interquartile range (IQR) 28-43]. By 60 days after COVID-19 diagnosis, 14 patients (0.28%) had died, 10 (0.2%) were still in hospital, and two (0.04%) were still in ICU. Fatal COVID-19 cases had a median age of 59.5 years (IQR 55.8-68), and were mostly males (13, 92.9%). All included pregnant women (26, 0.5%), children (131, 2.6%), and healthcare workers (135, 2.7%) were alive and not hospitalized at the end of follow up. A total of 1424 patients (28.5%) required hospitalization, out of which 108 (7.6%) were admitted to ICU. Most frequent co-morbidities in hospitalized adults were diabetes (23.2%), and hypertension (20.7%). Multivariable logistic regression showed that older age [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.041, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.022-1.061 per year increase; P < 0.001], male sex (aOR 4.375, 95% CI 1.964-9.744; P < 0.001), diabetes (aOR 1.698, 95% CI 1.050-2.746; P 0.031), chronic kidney disease (aOR 3.590, 95% CI 1.596-8.079, P 0.002), and higher BMI (aOR 1.067, 95% CI 1.027-1.108 per unit increase; P 0.001), were all independently associated with increased risk of ICU admission. CONCLUSIONS: In a relatively younger national cohort with a low co-morbidity burden, COVID-19 was associated with low all-cause mortality. Independent risk factors for ICU admission included older age, male sex, higher BMI, and co-existing diabetes or chronic kidney disease.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Qatar/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
16.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e040428, 2020 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841644

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To define the epidemiological curve of COVID-19 in Qatar and determine factors associated with severe or critical illness. DESIGN: Case series of first 5685 COVID-19 cases in Qatar. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: All confirmed COVID-19 cases in the State of Qatar between 28 February and 18 April 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of total and daily new COVID-19 infections; demographic characteristics and comorbidity burden and severity of infection; factors associated with severe or critical illness. RESULTS: Between 28 February and 18 April 2020, 5685 cases of COVID-19 were identified. Median age was 34 (IQR 28-43) years, 88.9% were male and 8.7% were Qatari nationals. Overall, 83.6% had no concomitant comorbidity, and 3.0% had three or more comorbidities. The overwhelming majority (90.9%) were asymptomatic or with minimal symptoms, with 2.0% having severe or critical illness. Seven deaths were observed during the time interval studied. Presence of hypertension or diabetes was associated with a higher risk of severe or critical illness, but age was not. The epidemiological curve indicated two distinct patterns of infection, a larger cluster among expatriate craft and manual workers and a smaller one among Qatari nationals returning from abroad during the epidemic. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 infections in Qatar started in two distinct clusters, but then became more widespread in the population through community transmission. Infections were mostly asymptomatic or with minimal symptoms and associated with very low mortality. Severe/critical illness was associated with presence of hypertension or diabetes but not with increasing age.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diabetes Mellitus , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Hypertension , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Young Adult
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