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medrxiv; 2023.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2023.06.01.23290819


Evaluation of host-response blood transcriptional signatures of viral infection have so far failed to test whether these biomarkers reflect different biological processes that may be leveraged for distinct translational applications. We addressed this question in the SARS-CoV-2 human challenge model. We found differential time profiles for interferon (IFN) stimulated blood transcriptional responses represented by measurement of single genes. MX1 transcripts correlated with a rapid and transient wave of type 1 IFN stimulated genes (ISG) across all cell types, which may precede PCR detection of replicative infection. Another ISG, IFI27, showed a delayed but sustained response restricted to myeloid peripheral blood mononuclear cells, attributable to gene and cell-specific epigenetic regulation. These findings were reproducible in diverse respiratory virus challenges, and in natural infection with SARS-CoV-2 or unselected respiratory viruses. The MX1 response achieved superior diagnostic accuracy in early infection, correlation with viral load and identification of virus culture positivity, with potential to stratify patients for time sensitive antiviral treatment. IFI27 achieved superior diagnostic accuracy across the time course of symptomatic infection. Compared to blood, measurement of these responses in nasal mucosal samples was less sensitive and did not discriminate between early and late phases of infection.

Virus Diseases , Respiratory Tract Infections
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.06.24.21259107


Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (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 16/11/2020 - 10/01/2021, 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. Results 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 hazard ratio (HR) for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared to other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79-1.28, P=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75-1.37, P=0.96). Analysis of sex-specific effects of B.1.1.7 identified increased risk of mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 0.95-1.78) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15-2.90) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61-1.10; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52-1.04). Conclusions 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 to 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.

Coronavirus Infections , COVID-19