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2.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(1)2021 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599343

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Delta variant epidemiology in Africa is unknown. We found Delta variant was introduced in Benin during April-May 2021 and became predominant within 2 months, after which a steep increase in reported coronavirus disease incidence occurred. Benin might require increased nonpharmaceutical interventions and vaccination coverage.

3.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(11): 1255-1265, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594095

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Heterologous vaccine regimens have been widely discussed as a way to mitigate intermittent supply shortages and to improve immunogenicity and safety of COVID-19 vaccines. We aimed to assess the reactogenicity and immunogenicity of heterologous immunisations with ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) and BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNtech, Mainz, Germany) compared with homologous BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 nCov-19 immunisation. METHODS: This is an interim analysis of a prospective observational cohort study enrolling health-care workers in Berlin (Germany) who received either homologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19 or heterologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19-BNT162b2 vaccination with a 10-12-week vaccine interval or homologous BNT162b2 vaccination with a 3-week vaccine interval. We assessed reactogenicity after the first and second vaccination by use of electronic questionnaires on days 1, 3, 5, and 7. Immunogenicity was measured by the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies (full spike-IgG, S1-IgG, and RBD-IgG), by an RBD-ACE2 binding inhibition assay (surrogate SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralisation test), a pseudovirus neutralisation assay against two variants of concerns (alpha [B.1.1.7] and beta [B.1.351]), and anti-S1-IgG avidity. T-cell reactivity was measured by IFN-γ release assay. FINDINGS: Between Dec 27, 2020, and June 14, 2021, 380 participants were enrolled in the study, with 174 receiving homologous BNT162b2 vaccination, 38 receiving homologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccination, and 104 receiving ChAdOx1 nCov-19-BNT162b2 vaccination. Systemic symptoms were reported by 103 (65%, 95% CI 57·1-71·8) of 159 recipients of homologous BNT162b2, 14 (39%, 24·8-55·1) of 36 recipients of homologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19, and 51 (49%, 39·6-58·5) of 104 recipients of ChAdOx1 nCov-19-BNT162b2 after the booster immunisation. Median anti-RBD IgG levels 3 weeks after boost immunisation were 5·4 signal to cutoff ratio (S/co; IQR 4·8-5·9) in recipients of homologous BNT162b2, 4·9 S/co (4·3-5·6) in recipients of homologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19, and 5·6 S/co (5·1-6·1) in recipients of ChAdOx1 nCov-19- BNT162b2. Geometric mean of 50% inhibitory dose against alpha and beta variants were highest in recipients of ChAdOx1 nCov-19-BNT162b2 (956·6, 95% CI 835·6-1095, against alpha and 417·1, 349·3-498·2, against beta) compared with those in recipients of homologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (212·5, 131·2-344·4, against alpha and 48·5, 28·4-82·8, against beta; both p<0·0001) or homologous BNT162b2 (369·2, 310·7-438·6, against alpha and 72·4, 60·5-86·5, against beta; both p<0·0001). SARS-CoV-2 S1 T-cell reactivity 3 weeks after boost immunisation was highest in recipients of ChAdOx1 nCov-19-BNT162b2 (median IFN-γ concentration 4762 mIU/mL, IQR 2723-8403) compared with that in recipients of homologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (1061 mIU/mL, 599-2274, p<0·0001) and homologous BNT162b2 (2026 mIU/mL, 1459-4621, p=0·0008) vaccination. INTERPRETATION: The heterologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19-BNT162b2 immunisation with 10-12-week interval, recommended in Germany, is well tolerated and improves immunogenicity compared with homologous ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccination with 10-12-week interval and BNT162b2 vaccination with 3-week interval. Heterologous prime-boost immunisation strategies for COVID-19 might be generally applicable. FUNDING: Forschungsnetzwerk der Universitätsmedizin zu COVID-19, the German Ministry of Education and Research, Zalando SE.

4.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103774, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587927

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) for SARS-CoV-2 are important diagnostic tools. We assessed clinical performance and ease-of-use of seven Ag-RDTs in a prospective, manufacturer-independent, multi-centre cross-sectional diagnostic accuracy study to inform global decision makers. METHODS: Unvaccinated participants suspected of a first SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited at six sites (Germany, Brazil). Ag-RDTs were evaluated sequentially, with collection of paired swabs for routine reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and Ag-RDT testing. Performance was compared to RT-PCR overall and in sub-group analyses (viral load, symptoms, symptoms duration). To understandusability a System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire and ease-of-use (EoU) assessment were performed. FINDINGS: 7471 participants were included in the analysis. Sensitivities across Ag-RDTs ranged from 70·4%-90·1%, specificities were above 97·2% for all Ag-RDTs but one (93·1%).Ag-RDTs, Mologic, Bionote, Standard Q, showed diagnostic accuracy in line with WHO targets (> 80% sensitivity, > 97% specificity). All tests showed high sensitivity in the first three days after symptom onset (≥87·1%) and in individuals with viral loads≥ 6 log10SARS-CoV2 RNA copies/mL (≥ 88·7%). Usability varied, with Rapigen, Bionote and Standard Q reaching very good scores; 90, 88 and 84/100, respectively. INTERPRETATION: Variability in test performance is partially explained by variable viral loads in population evaluated over the course of the pandemic. All Ag-RDTs reach high sensitivity early in the disease and in individuals with high viral loads, supporting their role in identifying transmission relevant infections. For easy-to-use tests, performance shown will likely be maintained in routine implementation. FUNDING: Ministry of Science, Research and Arts, State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, internal funds from Heidelberg University Hospital, University Hospital Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, UK Department of International Development, WHO, Unitaid.

5.
Nature ; 2021 Dec 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585832

ABSTRACT

Emerging variants of concern (VOC) drive the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic1,2. Experimental assessment of replication and transmission of major VOC compared to progenitors are needed to understand successful emerging mechanisms of VOC3. Here, we show that Alpha and Beta spike (S) proteins have a greater affinity to human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) receptor over the progenitor variant (wt-S614G) in vitro. Yet Alpha and wt-S614G had similar replication kinetics in human nasal airway epithelial cultures, whereas Beta was outcompeted by both. In vivo, competition experiments showed a clear fitness advantage of Alpha over the progenitor variant (wt-S614G) in ferrets and two mouse models, where the substitutions in S were major drivers for fitness advantage. In hamsters, supporting high replication levels, Alpha and wt-S614G had comparable fitness. In contrast, Beta was outcompeted by Alpha and wt-S614G in hamsters and hACE2-expressing mice. Our study highlights the importance of using multiple models for complete fitness characterization of VOC and demonstrates adaptation of Alpha towards increased upper respiratory tract replication and enhanced transmission in vivo in restrictive models, whereas Beta fails to overcome contemporary strains in naïve animals.

6.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296961

ABSTRACT

The furin cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 is unique within the Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SrC) species. We re-assessed diverse SrC from European horseshoe bats and reveal molecular determinants such as purine richness, RNA secondary structures and viral quasispecies potentially enabling furin cleavage. Furin cleavage thus likely emerged from the SrC bat reservoir via molecular mechanisms conserved across reservoir-bound RNA viruses, supporting a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2.

7.
J Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575544

ABSTRACT

The upper respiratory tract (URT) is the primary entry site for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses, but its involvement in viral amplification and pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. Here we investigated primary nasal epithelial cultures, as well as vital explanted tissues to scrutinize the tropism of wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and the recently emerged B.1.1.7 variant. Our analyses revealed a widespread replication competence of SARS-CoV-2 in polarized nasal epithelium as well as in the examined URT and salivary gland tissues, which was also shared by the B.1.1.7 virus thereby highlighting the active role of these anatomic sites in COVID-19.

8.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295951

ABSTRACT

Objective To analyze humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations and infections in anti-CD20 treated patients with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). Methods 181 pwMS on anti-CD20 therapy and 41 pwMS who began anti-CD20 therapy were included in a prospective, observational, single-center cohort study between March 2020 and August 2021. 51 pwMS under anti-CD20 treatment, 14 anti-CD20 therapy-naïve pwMS and 19 healthy controls (HC) were vaccinated twice against SARS-CoV-2. We measured SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (full-length, S1 domain and receptor binding domain) immunoglobulin (Ig)G and S1 IgA and virus neutralizing capacity and avidity of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells were determined by interferon-γ release assays. Results Following two SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations, levels of IgG and IgA antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as well as neutralizing capacity and avidity of SARS-CoV-2 IgG were lower in anti-CD20 treated pwMS than in anti-CD20 therapy-naïve pwMS and in HC ( p <0.003 for all pairwise comparisons). However, in all anti-CD20 treated pwMS vaccinated twice (n=26) or infected with SARS-CoV-2 (n=2), in whom SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells could be measured, SARS-CoV-2 specific T cells were detectable, at levels similar to those of twice-vaccinated anti-CD20 therapy-naïve pwMS (n=7) and HC (n=19). SARS-CoV-2 S1 IgG levels ( r =0.42, p =0.002), antibody avidity ( r =0.7, p <0.001) and neutralizing capacity ( r =0.44, p =0.03) increased with time between anti-CD20 infusion and second vaccination. Based on detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred in 4/175 (2.3%) anti-CD20 treated pwMS, all of whom recovered fully. Interpretation These findings should inform treatment decisions and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination management in pwMS.

10.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294933

ABSTRACT

Objective to assess reactogenicity and immunogenicity of heterologous prime-boost immunisations of ChAdOx1-nCoV19 (Vaxzevria, ChAdOx) followed by BNT162b2 (Comirnaty, BNT) compared to homologous BNT/BNT immunisation. Design prospective, observational cohort study. Setting unicenter study in a cohort of health care workers at a tertiary care center in Berlin, Germany. Participants 340 health care workers immunised between 27 December 2020 and 21 May 2021 at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany Main outcome measures the main outcomes were reactogenicity assessed on days one, three, five and seven post prime and boost vaccination, and immunogenicity measured by serum SARS-CoV-2 full spike-, spike S1-, and spike RBD-IgG, virus neutralisation capacity, anti-S1-IgG avidity, and T cell reactivity measured by Interferon gamma release assay at 3-4 weeks post prime and boost immunisation. Results Heterologous ChAdOx/BNT booster vaccination was overall well-tolerated and reactogenicity was largely comparable to homologous BNT/BNT vaccination. Systemic reactions were most frequent after prime immunisation with ChAdOx (86%, 95CI: 79-91), and less frequent after homologous BNT/BNT (65%, 95CI: 56-72), or heterologous ChAdOx/BNT booster vaccination (48%, 95CI: 36-59). Serum antibody responses and T cell reactivity were strongly increased after both homologous and heterologous boost, and immunogenicity was overall robust, and comparable between both regimens in this cohort, with slightly increased S1-IgG avidity and T cell responses following heterologous booster immunisation. Conclusions Evidence of rare thrombotic events associated with ChAdOx has led to recommendation of a heterologous booster with mRNA vaccines for certain age groups in several European countries, despite a lack of robust safety and immunogenicity data for this vaccine regimen. This interim analysis provides evidence that the currently recommended heterologous ChAdOx/BNT immunisation regimen with 10-12 week vaccine intervals is well tolerated and slightly more immunogenic compared to homologous BNT/BNT vaccination with three week vaccine intervals. Heterologous prime-boost immunisation for COVID-19 may be generally applicable to optimise logistics and improve immunogenicity and to mitigate potential intermittent supply shortages for individual vaccines.

11.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 2021 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546411

ABSTRACT

West Nile Virus (WNV) infections are increasingly detected in birds and horses in central Europe, with a first mosquito-borne autochthonous human infection detected in Germany in 2019. Human infections are typically asymptomatic, with occasional severe neurological disease. Because of a low number of cases in central Europe, awareness regarding potential cases is low and WNV diagnostic is neglected. We tested cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from unsolved encephalitis and meningitis cases from Berlin from 2019 and 2020, and describe a WNV-encephalitis case in a 33-year old kidney transplant recipient. The infectious course was resolved by serology, RT-PCR, and sequencing of stored samples. Phylogenetic sequence analysis revealed a close relationship of the patient's WNV strain to German sequences from 2019 and 2020. A lack of travel history and patient self-isolation during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic suggest the infection was acquired in the patient's home or garden. Serological tests of four people sharing the living space were negative. Retrospective RT-PCR and WNV-IgM testing of 671 CSF samples from unsolved encephalitis and meningitis cases from Berlin detected no additional infections. The recent increase of WNV cases illustrates the importance of considering WNV in cases of meningoencephalitis, especially in immunocompromised patients, as described here. Proper education and communication and a revised diagnostic strategy will help to raise awareness and to detect future WNV infections. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

12.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(12)2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542842

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 remains an issue in transplantation medicine, a successful vaccination can prevent infections and life-threatening courses. The probability of poor immune response in liver transplant recipients gained attention and insecurity among those patients, leading us to investigate the humoral immune response alongside the influence of underlying diseases and immunosuppressive regimen on seroconversion rates. We included 118 patients undergoing anti-spike-protein-IgG testing at least 21 days after completed SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Ninety-seven patients also underwent anti-spike-protein-IgA testing. The influence of baseline demographics, immunosuppressive regimen and underlying disease on seroconversion was analyzed, and 92 of 118 patients (78.0%) developed anti-spike-protein-IgG antibodies. Patients with a history of alcoholic liver disease before transplantation showed significantly lower seroconversion rates (p = 0.006). Immunosuppression also significantly influenced antibody development (p < 0.001). Patients run on a mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)-based regimen were more likely not to develop antibodies compared to patients run on a non-MMF regimen (p < 0.001). All patients weaned off immunosuppression were seropositive. The seroconversion rate of 78.0% in our cohort of liver transplant recipients is promising. The identification of alcohol-induced cirrhosis as underlying disease and MMF for immunosuppression as risk factors for seronegativity may serve to identify vaccination non-responder after liver transplantation.

13.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292822

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Six-19% of critically ill COVID-19 patients display circulating auto-antibodies against type I interferons (IFN-AABs). Here, we establish a clinically applicable strategy for early identification of IFN-AAB-positive patients for potential subsequent clinical interventions. Methods We analysed sera of 430 COVID-19 patients with severe and critical disease from four hospitals for presence of IFN-AABs by ELISA. Binding specificity and neutralizing activity were evaluated via competition assay and virus-infection-based neutralization assay. We defined clinical parameters associated with IFN-AAB positivity. In a subgroup of critically ill patients, we analyzed effects of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) on the levels of IFN-AABs, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and clinical outcome. Results The prevalence of neutralizing AABs to IFN-α and IFN-ω in COVID-19 patients was 4.2% (18/430), while being undetectable in an uninfected control cohort. Neutralizing IFN-AABs were detectable exclusively in critically affected, predominantly male (83%) patients (7.6% IFN-α and 4.6% IFN-ω in 207 patients with critical COVID-19). IFN-AABs were present early post-symptom onset and at the peak of disease. Fever and oxygen requirement at hospital admission co-presented with neutralizing IFN-AAB positivity. IFN-AABs were associated with higher mortality (92.3% versus 19.1 % in patients without IFN-AABs). TPE reduced levels of IFN-AABs in three of five patients and may increase survival of IFN-AAB-positive patients compared to those not undergoing TPE. Conclusion IFN-AABs may serve as early biomarker for development of severe COVID-19. We propose to implement routine screening of hospitalized COVID-19 patients according to our algorithm for rapid identification of patients with IFN-AABs who most likely benefit from specific therapies.

15.
Cell ; 184(26): 6243-6261.e27, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536467

ABSTRACT

COVID-19-induced "acute respiratory distress syndrome" (ARDS) is associated with prolonged respiratory failure and high mortality, but the mechanistic basis of lung injury remains incompletely understood. Here, we analyze pulmonary immune responses and lung pathology in two cohorts of patients with COVID-19 ARDS using functional single-cell genomics, immunohistology, and electron microscopy. We describe an accumulation of CD163-expressing monocyte-derived macrophages that acquired a profibrotic transcriptional phenotype during COVID-19 ARDS. Gene set enrichment and computational data integration revealed a significant similarity between COVID-19-associated macrophages and profibrotic macrophage populations identified in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. COVID-19 ARDS was associated with clinical, radiographic, histopathological, and ultrastructural hallmarks of pulmonary fibrosis. Exposure of human monocytes to SARS-CoV-2, but not influenza A virus or viral RNA analogs, was sufficient to induce a similar profibrotic phenotype in vitro. In conclusion, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 triggers profibrotic macrophage responses and pronounced fibroproliferative ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Macrophages/pathology , Macrophages/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Cell Communication , Cohort Studies , Fibroblasts/pathology , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/diagnostic imaging , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/pathology , Phenotype , Proteome/metabolism , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Transcription, Genetic
16.
mSphere ; : e0068521, 2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532975

ABSTRACT

Latin America has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 burden in rural settings in Latin America is unclear. We performed a cross-sectional, population-based, random-selection SARS-CoV-2 serologic study during March 2021 in the rural population of San Martin region, northern Peru. In total, 563 persons from 288 houses across 10 provinces were enrolled, reaching 0.2% of the total rural population of San Martin. Screening for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies was done using a chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA), and reactive sera were confirmed using a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT). Validation of the testing algorithm using prepandemic sera from two regions of Peru showed false-positive results in the CLIA (23/84 sera; 27%) but not in the sVNT, highlighting the pitfalls of SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in tropical regions and the high specificity of the two-step algorithm used in this study. An overall 59.0% seroprevalence (95% confidence interval [CI], 55 to 63%) corroborated intense SARS-CoV-2 spread in San Martin. Seroprevalence rates between the 10 provinces varied from 41.3 to 74.0% (95% CI, 30 to 84%). Higher seroprevalence was not associated with population size, population density, surface area, mean altitude, or poverty index in Spearman correlations. Seroprevalence and reported incidence diverged substantially between provinces, suggesting regional biases of COVID-19 surveillance data. Potentially, limited health care access due to environmental, economic, and cultural factors might lead to undetected infections in rural populations. Additionally, test avoidance to evade mandatory quarantine might affect rural regions more than urban regions. Serologic diagnostics should be pursued in resource-limited settings to inform country-level surveillance and vaccination strategies and to support control measures for COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Latin America is a global hot spot of the COVID-19 pandemic. Serologic studies in Latin America have been mostly performed in urban settings. Rural populations comprise 20% of the total Latin American population. Nevertheless, information on COVID-19 spread in rural settings is scarce. Using a representative population-based seroprevalence study, we detected a high seroprevalence in rural populations in San Martin, northern Peru, in 2021, reaching 41 to 74%. However, seroprevalence and reported incidence diverged substantially between regions, potentially due to limited health care access or test avoidance due to mandatory quarantine. Our results suggest that rural populations are highly affected by SARS-CoV-2 even though they are sociodemographically distinct from urban populations and that highly specific serological diagnostics should be performed in resource-limited settings to support public health strategies of COVID-19 control.

17.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(1)2021 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528804

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Delta variant epidemiology in Africa is unknown. We found Delta variant was introduced in Benin during April-May 2021 and became predominant within 2 months, after which a steep increase in reported coronavirus disease incidence occurred. Benin might require increased nonpharmaceutical interventions and vaccination coverage.

18.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-292706

ABSTRACT

Abstract Background: Investigating the role of children in the COVID-19 pandemic is pivotal to prevent the virus spreading. In most cases, children infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) develop non-specific symptoms or are asymptomatic. Therefore, the infection rate among this age group remains unclear. Seroprevalence studies, including clinical questionnaires, may contribute to our understanding of the time course and clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Methods: SARS-CoV-2-KIDS is a longitudinal, hospital-based, multicentre study in Germany on the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G, as determined by an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay in children (aged ≤17 years). A study-specific questionnaire provided additional information on clinical aspects. Findings: This analysis included 10,358 participants recruited from June 2020 to May 2021. The estimated anti-SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence increased from 2·0% (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1·6, 2·5) to 10·8% (95% CI 8·7, 12·9) in March 2021, without major change afterwards and was higher in children with migrant background (on average 6·6% vs. 2·8%). In the pandemic early stages, children under three years were 3·5 (95% CI 2·2, 5·6) times more likely to be seropositive than older children, with the levels equalising in later observations. History of self-reported respiratory tract infections or pneumonia was associated with seropositivity (OR 1·8 (95% CI 1·4, 2·3);2·7 (95% CI 1·7, 4·1)). Interpretation: The majority of children in Germany do not have detectable SARS-CoV-2 IgG. To some extent, this may reflect the effect of differing containment measures implemented in the federal states. Detection levels might have been greater in certain age groups or migrant background. Lifting containment measurements is likely to cause a general increase in respiratory tract infections, which already pose a challenge to paediatric medical care during regular winter seasons. This challenge might become critical with additional infections caused by SARS-CoV-2.

19.
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504717

ABSTRACT

IntroductionNumerous CE-marked SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag RDT) are offered in Europe, several of them with unconfirmed quality claims.AimWe performed an independent head-to-head evaluation of the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT offered in Germany.MethodsWe addressed the sensitivity of 122 Ag RDT in direct comparison using a common evaluation panel comprised of 50 specimens. Minimum sensitivity of 75% for panel specimens with a PCR quantification cycle (Cq) ≤ 25 was used to identify Ag RDT eligible for reimbursement in the German healthcare system.ResultsThe sensitivity of different SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT varied over a wide range. The sensitivity limit of 75% for panel members with Cq ≤ 25 was met by 96 of the 122 tests evaluated; 26 tests exhibited lower sensitivity, few of which failed completely. Some RDT exhibited high sensitivity, e.g. 97.5 % for Cq < 30.ConclusionsThis comparative evaluation succeeded in distinguishing less sensitive from better performing Ag RDT. Most of the evaluated Ag RDT appeared to be suitable for fast identification of acute infections associated with high viral loads. Market access of SARS-CoV-2 Ag RDT should be based on minimal requirements for sensitivity and specificity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Germany , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Euro Surveill ; 26(44)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504591

ABSTRACT

IntroductionThe detection of SARS-CoV-2 with rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) has become an important tool to identify infected people and break infection chains. These RDT are usually based on antigen detection in a lateral flow approach.AimWe aimed to establish a comprehensive specimen panel for the decentralised technical evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic tests.MethodsWhile for PCR diagnostics the validation of a PCR assay is well established, there is no common validation strategy for antigen tests, including RDT. In this proof-of-principle study we present the establishment of a panel of 50 pooled clinical specimens that cover a SARS-CoV-2 concentration range from 1.1 × 109 to 420 genome copies per mL of specimen. The panel was used to evaluate 31 RDT in up to six laboratories.ResultsOur results show that there is considerable variation in the detection limits and the clinical sensitivity of different RDT. We show that the best RDT can be applied to reliably identify infectious individuals who present with SARS-CoV-2 loads down to 106 genome copies per mL of specimen. For the identification of infected individuals with SARS-CoV-2 loads corresponding to less than 106 genome copies per mL, only three RDT showed a clinical sensitivity of more than 60%.ConclusionsSensitive RDT can be applied to identify infectious individuals with high viral loads but not to identify all infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests
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