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1.
SSRN; 2021.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-297180

ABSTRACT

Background: Age and frailty are risk factors for poor clinical outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection. As such, COVID-19 vaccination has been prioritised for this group but there is concern that immune responses may be impaired due to immune senescence and co-morbidity. Methods: We studied antibody and cellular immune responses following COVID-19 vaccination in 202 staff and 286 residents of long-term care facilities (LTCF). Due to the high prevalence of previous infection within this environment 50% and 51% of these two groups respectively had serological evidence of prior natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: In both staff and residents with previous infection the antibody responses following dual vaccination were strong and equivalent across the age course. In contrast, within infection-naïve donors these responses were reduced by 2.4-fold and 8.1-fold respectively such that values within the resident population were 2.6-fold lower than in staff. Impaired neutralisation of delta variant spike binding was also apparent within donors without prior infection. Spike-specific T cell responses were also markedly enhanced by prior infection and within infection-naive donors were 52% lower within residents compared to staff. Post-vaccine spike-specific CD4+ T cell responses displayed single or dual production of IFN-γ+ and IL-2+ whilst previous infection primed for an extended functional profile with TNF-ɑ+ and CXCL10 production. Interpretation: These data reveal suboptimal post-vaccine immune responses within infection-naïve elderly residents of LTCF and indicate the need for further optimization of immune protection through the use of booster vaccination.

2.
J Infect ; 83(6): 693-700, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. We sought to determine whether this also resulted in increased transmission within hospitals. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences. RESULTS: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages. CONCLUSIONS: We find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
3.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: 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 November 2020 to 10 January 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. FINDINGS: 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 HR for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.28, p=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75 to 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 to 1.78, p=0.096) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.90, p=0.011) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.10, p=0.177; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.04, p=0.086). INTERPRETATION: 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 with 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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , United Kingdom , Young Adult
5.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 98, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304875

ABSTRACT

Background: Hand hygiene may mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in community settings; however, empirical evidence is limited. Given reports of similar transmission mechanisms for COVID-19 and seasonal coronaviruses, we investigated whether hand hygiene impacted the risk of acquiring seasonal coronavirus infections. Methods: Data were drawn from three successive winter cohorts (2006-2009) of the England-wide Flu Watch study.  Participants ( n=1633) provided baseline estimates of hand hygiene behaviour. Coronavirus infections were identified from nasal swabs using RT-PCR. Poisson mixed models estimated the effect of hand hygiene on personal risk of coronavirus illness, both unadjusted and adjusted for confounding by age and healthcare worker status. Results: Moderate-frequency handwashing (6-10 times per day) predicted a lower personal risk of coronavirus infection (adjusted incidence rate ratio (aIRR) =0.64, p=0.04). There was no evidence for a dose-response effect of handwashing, with results for higher levels of hand hygiene (>10 times per day) not significant (aIRR =0.83, p=0.42). Conclusions: This is the first empirical evidence that regular handwashing can reduce personal risk of acquiring seasonal coronavirus infection. These findings support clear public health messaging around the protective effects of hand washing in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

6.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 52, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068025

ABSTRACT

Background: There is currently a pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The intensity and duration of this first wave in the UK may be dependent on whether SARS-CoV-2 transmits more effectively in the winter than the summer and the UK Government response is partially built upon the assumption that those infected will develop immunity to reinfection in the short term. In this paper we examine evidence for seasonality and immunity to laboratory-confirmed seasonal coronavirus (HCoV) from a prospective cohort study in England. Methods: In this analysis of the Flu Watch cohort, we examine seasonal trends for PCR-confirmed coronavirus infections (HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, and HCoV-229E) in all participants during winter seasons (2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009) and during the first wave of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic (May-Sep 2009). We also included data from the pandemic and 'post-pandemic' winter seasons (2009-2010 and 2010-2011) to identify individuals with two confirmed HCoV infections and examine evidence for immunity against homologous reinfection. Results: We tested 1,104 swabs taken during respiratory illness and detected HCoV in 199 during the first four seasons. The rate of confirmed HCoV infection across all seasons was 390 (95% CI 338-448) per 100,000 person-weeks; highest in the Nov-Mar 2008/9 season at 674 (95%CI 537-835). The highest rate was in February at 759 (95% CI 580-975). Data collected during May-Sep 2009 showed there was small amounts of ongoing transmission, with four cases detected during this period. Eight participants had two confirmed infections, of which none had the same strain twice. Conclusion: Our results provide evidence that HCoV infection in England is most intense in winter, but that there is a small amount of ongoing transmission during summer periods. We found some evidence of immunity against homologous reinfection.

7.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(4): 324-326, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045087
8.
Eur Heart J ; 41(41): 4011-4020, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933853

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The risk and burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are higher in homeless than in housed individuals but population-based analyses are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate prevalence, incidence and outcomes across a range of specific CVDs among homeless individuals. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using linked UK primary care electronic health records (EHRs) and validated phenotypes, we identified homeless individuals aged ≥16 years between 1998 and 2019, and age- and sex-matched housed controls in a 1:5 ratio. For 12 CVDs (stable angina; unstable angina; myocardial infarction; sudden cardiac death or cardiac arrest; unheralded coronary death; heart failure; transient ischaemic attack; ischaemic stroke; subarachnoid haemorrhage; intracerebral haemorrhage; peripheral arterial disease; abdominal aortic aneurysm), we estimated prevalence, incidence, and 1-year mortality post-diagnosis, comparing homeless and housed groups. We identified 8492 homeless individuals (32 134 matched housed individuals). Comorbidities and risk factors were more prevalent in homeless people, e.g. smoking: 78.1% vs. 48.3% and atrial fibrillation: 9.9% vs. 8.6%, P < 0.001. CVD prevalence (11.6% vs. 6.5%), incidence (14.7 vs. 8.1 per 1000 person-years), and 1-year mortality risk [adjusted hazard ratio 1.64, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29-2.08, P < 0.001] were higher, and onset was earlier (difference 4.6, 95% CI 2.8-6.3 years, P < 0.001), in homeless, compared with housed people. Homeless individuals had higher CVD incidence in all three arterial territories than housed people. CONCLUSION: CVD in homeless individuals has high prevalence, incidence, and 1-year mortality risk post-diagnosis with earlier onset, and high burden of risk factors. Inclusion health and social care strategies should reflect this high preventable and treatable burden, which is increasingly important in the current COVID-19 context.


Subject(s)
Atrial Fibrillation , Brain Ischemia , Cardiovascular Diseases , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stroke , Angiotensins , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records , Humans , Incidence , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology
9.
SSRN; 2020.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-623

ABSTRACT

Background: Respiratory and hand hygiene may mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in community settings;however, empirical evidence is limited. Given reports of sim

10.
ProQuest Central; 2020.
Preprint in English | ProQuest Central | ID: ppcovidwho-2100

ABSTRACT

Background: Social distancing measures may reduce the spread of emerging respiratory infections however, there is little empirical data on how exposure to crowded places affects risk of acute respiratory infection. Methods: We used a case-crossover design nested in a community cohort to compare self-reported measures of activities during the week before infection onset and baseline periods. The design eliminates the effect of non-time-varying confounders. Time-varying confounders were addressed by exclusion of illnesses around the Christmas period and seasonal adjustment. Results: 626 participants had paired data from the week before 1005 illnesses and the week before baseline. Each additional day of undertaking the following activities in the prior week was associated with illness onset: Spending more than five minutes in a room with someone (other than a household member) who has a cold (Seasonally adjusted OR 1·15, p=0·003);use of underground trains (1·31, p=0·036);use of supermarkets (1·32,0·001);attending a theatre, cinema or concert (1·26, p=0·032);eating out at a café, restaurant or canteen (1·25, p=0·003);and attending parties (1·47,0·001). Undertaking the following activities at least once in the previous week was associated with illness onset: using a bus, (aOR 1.48, p=0.049), shopping at small shops (1.9,0.002) attending a place of worshi(1.81, p=0.005). Conclusions: Exposure to potentially crowded places, public transport and to individuals with a cold increases risk of acquiring circulating acute respiratory infections. This suggests social distancing measures can have an important impact on slowing transmission of emerging respiratory infections.

11.
ProQuest Central; 2020.
Preprint in English | ProQuest Central | ID: ppcovidwho-2092

ABSTRACT

Background: Hand hygiene may mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in community settings;however, empirical evidence is limited. Given reports of similar transmission mechanisms for COVID-19 and seasonal coronaviruses, we investigated whether hand hygiene impacted the risk of acquiring seasonal coronavirus infections. Methods: Data were drawn from three successive winter cohorts (2006-2009) of the England-wide Flu Watch study. Participants (n=1633) provided baseline estimates of hand hygiene behaviour. Coronavirus infections were identified from nasal swabs using RT-PCR. Poisson mixed models estimated the effect of hand hygiene on personal risk of coronavirus illness, both unadjusted and adjusted for confounding by age and healthcare worker status. Results: Moderate-frequency handwashing (6-10 times per day) predicted a lower personal risk of coronavirus infection (adjusted incidence rate ratio (aIRR) =0.64, p=0.04). There was no evidence for a dose-response effect of handwashing, with results for higher levels of hand hygiene (10 times per day) not significant (aIRR =0.83, p=0.42). Conclusions: This is the first empirical evidence that regular handwashing can reduce personal risk of acquiring seasonal coronavirus infection. These findings support clear public health messaging around the protective effects of hand washing in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

12.
ProQuest Central; 2020.
Preprint in English | ProQuest Central | ID: ppcovidwho-2089

ABSTRACT

Background: There is currently a pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The intensity and duration of this first wave in the UK may be dependent on whether SARS-CoV-2 transmits more effectively in the winter than the summer and the UK Government response is partially built upon the assumption that those infected will develoimmunity to reinfection in the short term. In this paper we examine evidence for seasonality and immunity to laboratory-confirmed seasonal coronavirus (HCoV) from a prospective cohort study in England. Methods: In this analysis of the Flu Watch cohort, we examine seasonal trends for PCR-confirmed coronavirus infections (HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, and HCoV-229E) in all participants during winter seasons (2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009) and during the first wave of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic (May-Se2009). We also included data from the pandemic and ‘post-pandemic’ winter seasons (2009-2010 and 2010-2011) to identify individuals with two confirmed HCoV infections and examine evidence for immunity against homologous reinfection. Results: We tested 1,104 swabs taken during respiratory illness and detected HCoV in 199 during the first four seasons. The rate of confirmed HCoV infection across all seasons was 390 (95% C338-448) per 100,000 person-weeks;highest in the Nov-Mar 2008/9 season at 674 (95%C537-835). The highest rate was in February at 759 (95% C580-975). Data collected during May-Se2009 showed there was small amounts of ongoing transmission, with four cases detected during this period. Eight participants had two confirmed infections, of which none had the same strain twice. Conclusion: Our results provide evidence that HCoV infection in England is most intense in winter, but that there is a small amount of ongoing transmission during summer periods. We found some evidence of immunity against homologous reinfection.

13.
Lancet Respir Med ; 8(12): 1181-1191, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-786438

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to the risk of transmission in shared accommodation and the high prevalence of comorbidities. In England, as in some other countries, preventive policies have been implemented to protect this population. We aimed to estimate the avoided deaths and health-care use among people experiencing homelessness during the so-called first wave of COVID-19 in England-ie, the peak of infections occurring between February and May, 2020-and the potential impact of COVID-19 on this population in the future. METHODS: We used a discrete-time Markov chain model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection that included compartments for susceptible, exposed, infectious, and removed individuals, to explore the impact of the pandemic on 46 565 individuals experiencing homelessness: 35 817 living in 1065 hostels for homeless people, 3616 sleeping in 143 night shelters, and 7132 sleeping outside. We ran the model under scenarios varying the incidence of infection in the general population and the availability of prevention measures: specialist hotel accommodation, infection control in homeless settings, and mixing with the general population. We divided our scenarios into first wave scenarios (covering Feb 1-May 31, 2020) and future scenarios (covering June 1, 2020-Jan 31, 2021). For each scenario, we ran the model 200 times and reported the median and 95% prediction interval (2·5% and 97·5% quantiles) of the total number of cases, the number of deaths, the number hospital admissions, and the number of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions. FINDINGS: Up to May 31, 2020, we calibrated the model to 4% of the homeless population acquiring SARS-CoV-2, and estimated that 24 deaths (95% prediction interval 16-34) occurred. In this first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in England, we estimated that the preventive measures imposed might have avoided 21 092 infections (19 777-22 147), 266 deaths (226-301), 1164 hospital admissions (1079-1254), and 338 ICU admissions (305-374) among the homeless population. If preventive measures are continued, we projected a small number of additional cases between June 1, 2020, and Jan 31, 2021, with 1754 infections (1543-1960), 31 deaths (21-45), 122 hospital admissions (100-148), and 35 ICU admissions (23-47) with a second wave in the general population. However, if preventive measures are lifted, outbreaks in homeless settings might lead to larger numbers of infections and deaths, even with low incidence in the general population. In a scenario with no second wave and relaxed measures in homeless settings in England, we projected 12 151 infections (10 718-13 349), 184 deaths (151-217), 733 hospital admissions (635-822), and 213 ICU admissions (178-251) between June 1, 2020, and Jan 31, 2021. INTERPRETATION: Outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in homeless settings can lead to a high attack rate among people experiencing homelessness, even if incidence remains low in the general population. Avoidance of deaths depends on prevention of transmission within settings such as hostels and night shelters. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome, and Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , England/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Male , Markov Chains , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Wellcome Open Res ; 5: 54, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-247457

ABSTRACT

Background: Social distancing measures may reduce the spread of emerging respiratory infections however, there is little empirical data on how exposure to crowded places affects risk of acute respiratory infection. Methods: We used a case-crossover design nested in a community cohort to compare self-reported measures of activities during the week before infection onset and baseline periods. The design eliminates the effect of non-time-varying confounders. Time-varying confounders were addressed by exclusion of illnesses around the Christmas period and seasonal adjustment.  Results: 626 participants had paired data from the week before 1005 illnesses and the week before baseline. Each additional day of undertaking the following activities in the prior week was associated with illness onset: Spending more than five minutes in a room with someone (other than a household member) who has a cold (Seasonally adjusted OR 1·15, p=0·003); use of underground trains (1·31, p=0·036); use of supermarkets (1·32, p<0·001); attending a theatre, cinema or concert (1·26, p=0·032); eating out at a café, restaurant or canteen (1·25, p=0·003); and attending parties (1·47, p<0·001). Undertaking the following activities at least once in the previous week was associated with illness onset: using a bus, (aOR 1.48, p=0.049), shopping at small shops (1.9, p<0.002) attending a place of worship (1.81, p=0.005).    Conclusions: Exposure to potentially crowded places, public transport and to individuals with a cold increases risk of acquiring circulating acute respiratory infections. This suggests social distancing measures can have an important impact on slowing transmission of emerging respiratory infections.

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