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1.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103485, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322072

ABSTRACT

Background Older age is the most powerful risk factor for adverse coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) outcomes. It is uncertain whether leucocyte telomere length (LTL), previously proposed as a marker of biological age, is also associated with COVID-19 outcomes. Methods We associated LTL values obtained from participants recruited into UK Biobank (UKB) during 2006-2010 with adverse COVID-19 outcomes recorded by 30 November 2020, defined as a composite of any of the following: hospital admission, need for critical care, respiratory support, or mortality. Using information on 130 LTL-associated genetic variants, we conducted exploratory Mendelian randomisation (MR) analyses in UKB to evaluate whether observational associations might reflect cause-and-effect relationships. Findings Of 6775 participants in UKB who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the community, there were 914 (13.5%) with adverse COVID-19 outcomes. The odds ratio (OR) for adverse COVID-19 outcomes was 1·17 (95% CI 1·05-1·30; P = 0·004) per 1-SD shorter usual LTL, after adjustment for age, sex and ethnicity. Similar ORs were observed in analyses that: adjusted for additional risk factors; disaggregated the composite outcome and reduced the scope for selection or collider bias. In MR analyses, the OR for adverse COVID-19 outcomes was directionally concordant but non-significant. Interpretation Shorter LTL is associated with higher risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes, independent of several major risk factors for COVID-19 including age. Further data are needed to determine whether this association reflects causality. Funding UK Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and British Heart Foundation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Leukocytes/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Telomere/genetics , Aged , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/pathology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Mendelian Randomization Analysis , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , United Kingdom
2.
EBioMedicine ; 68: 103414, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are used for population surveillance and might have a future role in individual risk assessment. Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) can deliver results rapidly and at scale, but have widely varying accuracy. METHODS: In a laboratory setting, we performed head-to-head comparisons of four LFIAs: the Rapid Test Consortium's AbC-19TM Rapid Test, OrientGene COVID IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette, SureScreen COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassette, and Biomerica COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test. We analysed blood samples from 2,847 key workers and 1,995 pre-pandemic blood donors with all four devices. FINDINGS: We observed a clear trade-off between sensitivity and specificity: the IgG band of the SureScreen device and the AbC-19TM device had higher specificities but OrientGene and Biomerica higher sensitivities. Based on analysis of pre-pandemic samples, SureScreen IgG band had the highest specificity (98.9%, 95% confidence interval 98.3 to 99.3%), which translated to the highest positive predictive value across any pre-test probability: for example, 95.1% (95% uncertainty interval 92.6, 96.8%) at 20% pre-test probability. All four devices showed higher sensitivity at higher antibody concentrations ("spectrum effects"), but the extent of this varied by device. INTERPRETATION: The estimates of sensitivity and specificity can be used to adjust for test error rates when using these devices to estimate the prevalence of antibody. If tests were used to determine whether an individual has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, in an example scenario in which 20% of individuals have antibodies we estimate around 5% of positive results on the most specific device would be false positives. FUNDING: Public Health England.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Early Diagnosis , Humans , Immunoassay , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Prospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Nat Med ; 27(4): 668-676, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174686

ABSTRACT

Drug repurposing provides a rapid approach to meet the urgent need for therapeutics to address COVID-19. To identify therapeutic targets relevant to COVID-19, we conducted Mendelian randomization analyses, deriving genetic instruments based on transcriptomic and proteomic data for 1,263 actionable proteins that are targeted by approved drugs or in clinical phase of drug development. Using summary statistics from the Host Genetics Initiative and the Million Veteran Program, we studied 7,554 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and >1 million controls. We found significant Mendelian randomization results for three proteins (ACE2, P = 1.6 × 10-6; IFNAR2, P = 9.8 × 10-11 and IL-10RB, P = 2.3 × 10-14) using cis-expression quantitative trait loci genetic instruments that also had strong evidence for colocalization with COVID-19 hospitalization. To disentangle the shared expression quantitative trait loci signal for IL10RB and IFNAR2, we conducted phenome-wide association scans and pathway enrichment analysis, which suggested that IFNAR2 is more likely to play a role in COVID-19 hospitalization. Our findings prioritize trials of drugs targeting IFNAR2 and ACE2 for early management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Drug Repositioning , Mendelian Randomization Analysis/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Interleukin-10 Receptor beta Subunit/genetics , Interleukin-10 Receptor beta Subunit/physiology , Quantitative Trait Loci , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/physiology
4.
R Soc Open Sci ; 7(11): 200958, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1005759

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and serine protease TMPRSS2 have been implicated in cell entry for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the lung epithelium might have implications for the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity of COVID-19. We use human genetic variants that proxy angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor drug effects and cardiovascular risk factors to investigate whether these exposures affect lung ACE2 and TMPRSS2 gene expression and circulating ACE2 levels. We observed no consistent evidence of an association of genetically predicted serum ACE levels with any of our outcomes. There was weak evidence for an association of genetically predicted serum ACE levels with ACE2 gene expression in the Lung eQTL Consortium (p = 0.014), but this finding did not replicate. There was evidence of a positive association of genetic liability to type 2 diabetes mellitus with lung ACE2 gene expression in the Gene-Tissue Expression (GTEx) study (p = 4 × 10-4) and with circulating plasma ACE2 levels in the INTERVAL study (p = 0.03), but not with lung ACE2 expression in the Lung eQTL Consortium study (p = 0.68). There were no associations of genetically proxied liability to the other cardiometabolic traits with any outcome. This study does not provide consistent evidence to support an effect of serum ACE levels (as a proxy for ACE inhibitors) or cardiometabolic risk factors on lung ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression or plasma ACE2 levels.

5.
BMJ ; 371: m4262, 2020 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-919183

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the accuracy of the AbC-19 Rapid Test lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. DESIGN: Test accuracy study. SETTING: Laboratory based evaluation. PARTICIPANTS: 2847 key workers (healthcare staff, fire and rescue officers, and police officers) in England in June 2020 (268 with a previous polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result (median 63 days previously), 2579 with unknown previous infection status); and 1995 pre-pandemic blood donors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: AbC-19 sensitivity and specificity, estimated using known negative (pre-pandemic) and known positive (PCR confirmed) samples as reference standards and secondly using the Roche Elecsys anti-nucleoprotein assay, a highly sensitive laboratory immunoassay, as a reference standard in samples from key workers. RESULTS: Test result bands were often weak, with positive/negative discordance by three trained laboratory staff for 3.9% of devices. Using consensus readings, for known positive and negative samples sensitivity was 92.5% (95% confidence interval 88.8% to 95.1%) and specificity was 97.9% (97.2% to 98.4%). Using an immunoassay reference standard, sensitivity was 94.2% (90.7% to 96.5%) among PCR confirmed cases but 84.7% (80.6% to 88.1%) among other people with antibodies. This is consistent with AbC-19 being more sensitive when antibody concentrations are higher, as people with PCR confirmation tended to have more severe disease whereas only 62% (218/354) of seropositive participants had had symptoms. If 1 million key workers were tested with AbC-19 and 10% had actually been previously infected, 84 700 true positive and 18 900 false positive results would be projected. The probability that a positive result was correct would be 81.7% (76.8% to 85.8%). CONCLUSIONS: AbC-19 sensitivity was lower among unselected populations than among PCR confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the scope for overestimation of assay performance in studies involving only PCR confirmed cases, owing to "spectrum bias." Assuming that 10% of the tested population have had SARS-CoV-2 infection, around one in five key workers testing positive with AbC-19 would be false positives. STUDY REGISTRATION: ISRCTN 56609224.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Immunoassay/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Firefighters , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Police , Predictive Value of Tests , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , United Kingdom
6.
Heart ; 106(24): 1890-1897, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835511

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To monitor hospital activity for presentation, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases during the COVID-19) pandemic to inform on indirect effects. METHODS: Retrospective serial cross-sectional study in nine UK hospitals using hospital activity data from 28 October 2019 (pre-COVID-19) to 10 May 2020 (pre-easing of lockdown) and for the same weeks during 2018-2019. We analysed aggregate data for selected cardiovascular diseases before and during the epidemic. We produced an online visualisation tool to enable near real-time monitoring of trends. RESULTS: Across nine hospitals, total admissions and emergency department (ED) attendances decreased after lockdown (23 March 2020) by 57.9% (57.1%-58.6%) and 52.9% (52.2%-53.5%), respectively, compared with the previous year. Activity for cardiac, cerebrovascular and other vascular conditions started to decline 1-2 weeks before lockdown and fell by 31%-88% after lockdown, with the greatest reductions observed for coronary artery bypass grafts, carotid endarterectomy, aortic aneurysm repair and peripheral arterial disease procedures. Compared with before the first UK COVID-19 (31 January 2020), activity declined across diseases and specialties between the first case and lockdown (total ED attendances relative reduction (RR) 0.94, 0.93-0.95; total hospital admissions RR 0.96, 0.95-0.97) and after lockdown (attendances RR 0.63, 0.62-0.64; admissions RR 0.59, 0.57-0.60). There was limited recovery towards usual levels of some activities from mid-April 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial reductions in total and cardiovascular activities are likely to contribute to a major burden of indirect effects of the pandemic, suggesting they should be monitored and mitigated urgently.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiology Service, Hospital/trends , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/trends , Health Services Needs and Demand/trends , Needs Assessment/trends , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Humans , Patient Admission/trends , Retrospective Studies , Time Factors , United Kingdom
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