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1.
J Clin Pathol ; 2022 Jan 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638693

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To compare specific T-cell responses between laboratory employees in South Africa with and without previously diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: Employees at a private pathology laboratory in South Africa were invited to participate in a nationwide cross-sectional study. T-cell proliferation to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N)-proteins and spike (S)-proteins was measured by flow cytometry and compared between participants. RESULTS: Based on classification according to SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription (RT)-PCR results, a total of 81% (42/52) of positive participants demonstrated T-cell proliferation to SARS-CoV-2 N-proteins or S-proteins (95% CI 67.5% to 90.4%), while 62% (68/110) of negative participants also had detectable T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 proteins (95% CI 52.1% to 70.9%). When classified according to SARS-CoV-2 serology results, 92.6% (50/54) of positive participants demonstrated T-cell proliferation to SARS-CoV-2 proteins (95% CI 82.1 to 97,9 %), while 56% (60/108) of negative participants demonstrated T-cell proliferation (95% CI 45.7% to 65.1%). The magnitude of the T-cell responses as determined by a stimulation index, was significantly higher in the group previously infected by SARS-CoV-2 than in the negative group. A statistically significant difference in T-cell proliferation was noted between high risk and low risk groups for exposure to SARS-CoV-2 within the negative group, but no significant difference in magnitude of the response. CONCLUSIONS: A significant proportion of South African laboratory employees who were not previously diagnosed with COVID-19 demonstrated T-cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 N-proteins and S-proteins. The pre-existing T-cell proliferation responses may be attributable to cross-reactive immune responses to other human coronaviruses, or possibly asymptomatic infection.

2.
Science ; 374(6566): 472-478, 2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434867

ABSTRACT

Antibody-based therapeutics and vaccines are essential to combat COVID-19 morbidity and mortality after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Multiple mutations in SARS-CoV-2 that could impair antibody defenses propagated in human-to-human transmission and spillover or spillback events between humans and animals. To develop prevention and therapeutic strategies, we formed an international consortium to map the epitope landscape on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, defining and structurally illustrating seven receptor binding domain (RBD)­directed antibody communities with distinct footprints and competition profiles. Pseudovirion-based neutralization assays reveal spike mutations, individually and clustered together in variants, that affect antibody function among the communities. Key classes of RBD-targeted antibodies maintain neutralization activity against these emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. These results provide a framework for selecting antibody treatment cocktails and understanding how viral variants might affect antibody therapeutic efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Epitope Mapping , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
3.
Health Expect ; 24(3): 978-990, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153493

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Waiting for procedures delayed by COVID-19 may cause anxiety and related adverse consequences. OBJECTIVE: To synthesize research on the mental health impact of waiting and patient-centred mitigation strategies that could be applied in the COVID-19 context. METHODS: Using a scoping review approach, we searched 9 databases for studies on waiting lists and mental health and reported study characteristics, impacts and intervention attributes and outcomes. RESULTS: We included 51 studies that focussed on organ transplant (60.8%), surgery (21.6%) or cancer management (13.7%). Most patients and caregivers reported anxiety, depression and poor quality of life, which deteriorated with increasing wait time. The impact of waiting on mental health was greater among women and new immigrants, and those of younger age, lower socio-economic status, or with less-positive coping ability. Six studies evaluated educational strategies to develop coping skills: 2 reduced depression (2 did not), 1 reduced anxiety (2 did not) and 2 improved quality of life (2 did not). In contrast, patients desired acknowledgement of concerns, peer support, and periodic communication about wait-list position, prioritization criteria and anticipated procedure date. CONCLUSIONS: Findings revealed patient-centred strategies to alleviate the mental health impact of waiting for procedures. Ongoing research should explore how to optimize the impact of those strategies for diverse patients and caregivers, particularly in the COVID-19 context. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: Six patients and four caregivers waiting for COVID-19-delayed procedures helped to establish eligibility criteria, plan data extraction and review a draft and final report.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Caregivers/psychology , Pandemics , Patient-Centered Care , Waiting Lists , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Mental Health , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology ; 33(2):68-73, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-916674

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 virus (SARS-CoV-2). Infections were first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019 and the infection has recently spread worldwide and been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The disease presents with a spectrum of respiratory manifestations that range from asymptomatic cases, to patients with mild and severe symptoms, either with or without pneumonia. Symptoms include fever, upper respiratory tract coryza, cough and acute lower respiratory tract infection. Asthmatics have, thus far, only shown slightly higher risk for hospitalisation but not for mortality. However, this may change in South Africa. Asthmatics are advised to keep their asthma under control and to continue using controller medication. It is critical for all of us, especially asthmatics, to practice 'social distancing', wash hands frequently and practise sneeze and cough etiquette.

6.
S. Afr. Med. J. ; 8(110): 732-733, 20200801.
Article in English | WHO COVID, ELSEVIER | ID: covidwho-742973
7.
S. Afr. Med. J. ; 6(110): 448-449, 2020.
Article in English | WHO COVID, ELSEVIER | ID: covidwho-635657
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