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1.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 3334, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241659

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 patients at risk of severe disease may be treated with neutralising monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). To minimise virus escape from neutralisation these are administered as combinations e.g. casirivimab+imdevimab or, for antibodies targeting relatively conserved regions, individually e.g. sotrovimab. Unprecedented genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK has enabled a genome-first approach to detect emerging drug resistance in Delta and Omicron cases treated with casirivimab+imdevimab and sotrovimab respectively. Mutations occur within the antibody epitopes and for casirivimab+imdevimab multiple mutations are present on contiguous raw reads, simultaneously affecting both components. Using surface plasmon resonance and pseudoviral neutralisation assays we demonstrate these mutations reduce or completely abrogate antibody affinity and neutralising activity, suggesting they are driven by immune evasion. In addition, we show that some mutations also reduce the neutralising activity of vaccine-induced serum.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Mutation , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral
2.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 17(5): e13150, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236565

ABSTRACT

There are concerns that sotrovimab has reduced efficacy at reducing hospitalisation risk against the BA.2 sub-lineage of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant. We performed a retrospective cohort (n = 8850) study of individuals treated with sotrovimab in the community, with the objective of assessing whether there were any differences in risk of hospitalisation of BA.2 cases compared with BA.1. We estimated that the hazard ratio of hospital admission with a length of stay of 2 days or more was 1.17 for BA.2 compared with BA.1 (95%CI 0.74-1.86). These results suggest that the risk of hospital admission was similar between the two sub-lineages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , England/epidemiology
3.
N Engl J Med ; 385(7): 585-594, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2251957

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), has contributed to a surge in cases in India and has now been detected across the globe, including a notable increase in cases in the United Kingdom. The effectiveness of the BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccines against this variant has been unclear. METHODS: We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate the effectiveness of vaccination against symptomatic disease caused by the delta variant or the predominant strain (B.1.1.7, or alpha variant) over the period that the delta variant began circulating. Variants were identified with the use of sequencing and on the basis of the spike (S) gene status. Data on all symptomatic sequenced cases of Covid-19 in England were used to estimate the proportion of cases with either variant according to the patients' vaccination status. RESULTS: Effectiveness after one dose of vaccine (BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) was notably lower among persons with the delta variant (30.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 25.2 to 35.7) than among those with the alpha variant (48.7%; 95% CI, 45.5 to 51.7); the results were similar for both vaccines. With the BNT162b2 vaccine, the effectiveness of two doses was 93.7% (95% CI, 91.6 to 95.3) among persons with the alpha variant and 88.0% (95% CI, 85.3 to 90.1) among those with the delta variant. With the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, the effectiveness of two doses was 74.5% (95% CI, 68.4 to 79.4) among persons with the alpha variant and 67.0% (95% CI, 61.3 to 71.8) among those with the delta variant. CONCLUSIONS: Only modest differences in vaccine effectiveness were noted with the delta variant as compared with the alpha variant after the receipt of two vaccine doses. Absolute differences in vaccine effectiveness were more marked after the receipt of the first dose. This finding would support efforts to maximize vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable populations. (Funded by Public Health England.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccine Potency , Young Adult
4.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 2023 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2258545

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antigen lateral flow devices (LFDs) have been widely used to control SARS-CoV-2. We aimed to improve understanding of LFD performance with changes in variant infections, vaccination, viral load, and LFD use, and in the detection of infectious individuals. METHODS: In this diagnostic study, paired LFD and RT-PCR test results were prospectively collected from asymptomatic and symptomatic participants in the UK between Nov 4, 2020, and March 21, 2022, to support the National Health Service (NHS) England's Test and Trace programme. The LFDs evaluated were the Innova SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test, the Orient Gene Rapid Covid-19 (Antigen) Self-Test, and the Acon Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing). Test results were collected across various community testing settings, including predeployment testing sites, routine testing centres, homes, schools, universities, workplaces, targeted community testing, and from health-care workers. We used multivariable logistic regression to analyse LFD sensitivity and specificity using RT-PCR as a reference standard, adjusting for viral load, LFD manufacturer, test setting, age, sex, test assistance, symptom status, vaccination status, and SARS-CoV-2 variant. National contact tracing data from NHS Test and Trace (Jan 1, 2021, to Jan 11, 2022) were used to estimate the proportion of transmitting index patients (with ≥1 RT-PCR-positive or LFD-positive contact) potentially detectable by LFDs (specifically Innova, as the most widely used LFD) with time, accounting for index viral load, variant, and symptom status. FINDINGS: We assessed 75 382 pairs of LFD and RT-PCR tests. Of these, 4131 (5·5%) were RT-PCR-positive. LFD sensitivity versus RT-PCR was 63·2% (95% CI 61·7-64·6) and specificity was 99·71% (95% CI 99·66-99·74). Increased viral load was independently associated with being LFD positive (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2·85 [95% CI 2·66-3·06] per 1 log10 copies per mL increase; p<0·0001). There was no evidence that LFD sensitivity differed for delta (B.1.617.2) infections versus alpha (B.1.1.7) or pre-alpha (B.1.177) infections (aOR 1·00 [0·69-1·45]; p=0·99), whereas omicron (BA.1 or BA.2) infections appeared more likely to be LFD positive (aOR 1·63 [1·02-2·59]; p=0·042). Sensitivity was higher in symptomatic participants (68·7% [95% CI 66·9-70·4]) than in asymptomatic participants (52·8% [50·1-55·4]). Among 347 374 unique index patients with probable onward transmission, 78·3% (95% CI 75·3-81·2) were estimated to have been detectable with LFDs (Innova), and this proportion was mostly stable with time and for successive variants. Overall, the estimated proportion of infectious index patients detectable by the Innova LFD was lower in asymptomatic patients (57·6% [53·6-61·9]) versus symptomatic patients (79·7% [76·7-82·5]). INTERPRETATION: LFDs remained able to detect most SARS-CoV-2 infections throughout vaccine roll-out and across different viral variants. LFDs can potentially detect most infections that transmit to others and reduce the risk of transmission. However, performance is lower in asymptomatic individuals than in symptomatic individuals. FUNDING: UK Health Security Agency, the UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance, and the University of Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

5.
Med (New York, NY) ; 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2272796

ABSTRACT

Background Both infection and vaccination, alone or in combination, generate antibody and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2. However, the maintenance of such responses – and hence protection from disease – requires careful characterisation. In a large prospective study of UK healthcare workers (Protective immunity from T cells in Healthcare workers (PITCH), within the larger SARS-CoV-2 immunity & reinfection evaluation (SIREN) study) we previously observed that prior infection impacted strongly on subsequent cellular and humoral immunity induced after long and short dosing intervals of BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccination. Methods Here, we report longer follow up of 684 HCWs in this cohort over 6-9 months following two doses of BNT162b2 or AZD1222 (Oxford/AstraZeneca) vaccination and up to 6 months following a subsequent mRNA booster vaccination. Findings We make three observations: Firstly, the dynamics of humoral and cellular responses differ;binding and neutralising antibodies declined whereas T and memory B cell responses were maintained after the second vaccine dose. Secondly, vaccine boosting restored IgG levels, broadened neutralising activity against variants of concern including omicron BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5, and boosted T cell responses above the 6-month level post dose 2. Thirdly, prior infection maintained its impact driving larger and broader T cell responses compared with never-infected people – a feature maintained until 6 months after the third dose. Conclusions Broadly cross-reactive T cell responses are well maintained over time – especially in those with combined vaccine and infection-induced immunity ("hybrid” immunity) – and may contribute to continued protection against severe disease. Funding Department for Health and Social Care, Medical Research Council Graphical abstract Moore et al. studied antibody and cellular responses to COVID-19 vaccines before and after dose 3. Antibody responses waned, but T cell responses were well maintained. T cells recognised Omicron variants better and for longer than antibodies. Differences due to vaccine regimen and previous infection evened out over time.

6.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 29(1)2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2230070

ABSTRACT

Since June 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation (SIREN) study has conducted routine PCR testing in UK healthcare workers and sequenced PCR-positive samples. SIREN detected increases in infections and reinfections during Omicron subvariant waves contemporaneous with national surveillance. SIREN's sentinel surveillance methods can be used for variant surveillance.

7.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(11): 1074-1085, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2184772

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the UK, during the study period (April to July, 2021), all contacts of people with COVID-19 were required to self-isolate for 10 days, which had adverse impacts on individuals and society. Avoiding the need to self-isolate for those who remain uninfected would be beneficial. We investigated whether daily use of lateral flow devices (LFDs) to test for SARS-CoV-2, with removal of self-isolation for 24 h if negative, could be a safe alternative to self-isolation as a means to minimise onward transmission of the virus. METHODS: We conducted a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial in adult contacts identified by COVID-19 contact tracing in England. Consenting participants were randomly assigned to self-isolation (single PCR test, 10-day isolation) or daily contact testing (DCT; seven LFD tests, two PCR tests, no isolation if negative on LFD); participants from a single household were assigned to the same group. Participants were prospectively followed up, with the effect of each intervention on onward transmission established from routinely collected NHS Test and Trace contact tracing data for participants who tested PCR-positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the study period and tertiary cases arising from their contacts (ie, secondary contacts). The primary outcome of the study was the attack rate, the percentage of secondary contacts (close contacts of SARS-CoV-2-positive study participants) who became COVID-19 cases (tertiary cases) in each group. Attack rates were derived from Bernoulli regression models using Huber-White (robust) sandwich estimator clustered standard errors. Attack rates were adjusted for household exposure, vaccination status, and ability to work from home. The non-inferiority margin was 1·9%. The primary analysis was a modified intention-to-treat analysis excluding those who actively withdrew from the study as data from these participants were no longer held. This study is registered with the Research Registry (number 6809). Data collection is complete; analysis is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between April 29 and July 28, 2021, 54 923 eligible individuals were enrolled in the study, with final group allocations (following withdrawals) of 26 123 (52·6%) participants in the DCT group and 23 500 (47·4%) in the self-isolation group. Overall, 4694 participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR (secondary cases), 2364 (10·1%) in the self-isolation group and 2330 (8·9%) in the DCT group. Adjusted attack rates (among secondary contacts) were 7·5% in the self-isolation group and 6·3% in the DCT group (difference of -1·2% [95% CI -2·3 to -0·2]; significantly lower than the non-inferiority margin of 1·9%). INTERPRETATION: DCT with 24 h exemption from self-isolation for essential activities appears to be non-inferior to self-isolation. This study, which provided evidence for the UK Government's daily lateral flow testing policy for vaccinated contacts of COVID-19 cases, indicated that daily testing with LFDs could allow individuals to reduce the risk of onward transmission while minimising the adverse effects of self-isolation. Although contacts in England are no longer required to isolate, the findings will be relevant for future policy decisions around COVID-19 or other communicable infections. FUNDING: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing , Incidence , Family Characteristics
8.
International journal of population data science ; 7(3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2125203
9.
Methods Protoc ; 5(6)2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2123765

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel virus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although COVID-19 is a viral illness, many patients admitted to hospital are prescribed antibiotics, based on concerns that COVID-19 patients may experience secondary bacterial infections, and the assumption that they may respond well to antibiotic therapy. This has led to an increase in antibiotic use for some hospitalised patients at a time when accumulating antibiotic resistance is a major global threat to health. Procalcitonin (PCT) is an inflammatory marker measured in blood samples and widely recommended to help diagnose bacterial infections and guide antibiotic treatment. The PEACH study will compare patient outcomes from English and Welsh hospitals that used PCT testing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with those from hospitals not using PCT. It will help to determine whether, and how, PCT testing should be used in the NHS in future waves of COVID-19 to protect patients from antibiotic overuse. PEACH is a retrospective observational cohort study using patient-level clinical data from acute hospital Trusts and Health Boards in England and Wales. The primary objective is to measure the difference in antibiotic use between COVID-19 patients who did or did not have PCT testing at the time of diagnosis. Secondary objectives include measuring differences in length of stay, mortality, intensive care unit admission, and resistant bacterial infections between these groups.

10.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 11(8)2022 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2023081

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Using the COM-B model as a framework, an EU-wide survey aimed to ascertain multidisciplinary healthcare workers' (HCWs') knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards antibiotics, antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance. The UK findings are presented here. METHODS: A 43-item questionnaire was developed through a two-round modified Delphi consensus process. The UK target quota was 1315 respondents. RESULTS: In total, 2404 participants responded. The highest proportion were nursing and midwifery professionals (42%), pharmacists (23%) and medical doctors (18%). HCWs correctly answered that antibiotics are not effective against viruses (97%), they have associated side effects (97%), unnecessary use makes antibiotics ineffective (97%) and healthy people can carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria (90%). However, fewer than 80% correctly answered that using antibiotics increases a patient's risk of antimicrobial resistant infection or that resistant bacteria can spread from person to person. Whilst the majority of HCWs (81%) agreed there is a connection between their antibiotic prescribing behaviour and the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, only 64% felt that they have a key role in controlling antibiotic resistance. The top three barriers to providing advice or resources were lack of resources (19%), insufficient time (11%) and the patient being uninterested in the information (7%). Approximately 35% of UK respondents who were prescribers prescribed an antibiotic at least once in the previous week to responding to the survey due to a fear of patient deterioration or complications. CONCLUSION: These findings highlight that a multifaceted approach to tackling the barriers to prudent antibiotic use in the UK is required and provides evidence for guiding targeted policy, intervention development and future research. Education and training should focus on patient communication, information on spreading resistant bacteria and increased risk for individuals.

11.
J Infect ; 85(5): 545-556, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007862

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate serological differences between SARS-CoV-2 reinfection cases and contemporary controls, to identify antibody correlates of protection against reinfection. METHODS: We performed a case-control study, comparing reinfection cases with singly infected individuals pre-vaccination, matched by gender, age, region and timing of first infection. Serum samples were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike (anti-S), anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (anti-N), live virus microneutralisation (LV-N) and pseudovirus microneutralisation (PV-N). Results were analysed using fixed effect linear regression and fitted into conditional logistic regression models. RESULTS: We identified 23 cases and 92 controls. First infections occurred before November 2020; reinfections occurred before February 2021, pre-vaccination. Anti-S levels, LV-N and PV-N titres were significantly lower among cases; no difference was found for anti-N levels. Increasing anti-S levels were associated with reduced risk of reinfection (OR 0·63, CI 0·47-0·85), but no association for anti-N levels (OR 0·88, CI 0·73-1·05). Titres >40 were correlated with protection against reinfection for LV-N Wuhan (OR 0·02, CI 0·001-0·31) and LV-N Alpha (OR 0·07, CI 0·009-0·62). For PV-N, titres >100 were associated with protection against Wuhan (OR 0·14, CI 0·03-0·64) and Alpha (0·06, CI 0·008-0·40). CONCLUSIONS: Before vaccination, protection against SARS-CoV-2 reinfection was directly correlated with anti-S levels, PV-N and LV-N titres, but not with anti-N levels. Detectable LV-N titres were sufficient for protection, whilst PV-N titres >100 were required for a protective effect. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN11041050.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Reinfection/prevention & control , Vaccination
12.
J Med Microbiol ; 71(8)2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1985225

ABSTRACT

Introduction. Evidence suggests that although people modify their behaviours, full adherence to self-isolation guidance in England may be suboptimal, which may have a detrimental impact on COVID-19 transmission rates.Hypothesis. Testing asymptomatic contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 could reduce onward transmission by improving case ascertainment and lessen the impact of self-isolation on un-infected individuals.Aim. This study investigated the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a 'test to enable approach' as part of England's tracing strategy.Methodology. Contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases were offered serial testing as an alternative to self-isolation using daily self-performed lateral flow device (LFD) tests for the first 7 days post-exposure. Asymptomatic participants with a negative LFD result were given 24 h of freedom from self-isolation between each test. A self-collected confirmatory PCR test was performed on testing positive or at the end of the LFD testing period.Results. Of 1760 contacts, 882 consented to daily testing, of whom 812 individuals were within 48 h of exposure and were sent LFD testing packs. Of those who declined to participate, 39.1% stated they had already accessed PCR testing. Of the 812 who were sent LFD packs, 570 (70.2%) reported one or more LFD results; 102 (17.9%) tested positive. Concordance between reported LFD result and a supplied LFD image was 97.1%. In total, 82.8% of PCR-positive samples and 99.6% of PCR-negative samples were correctly detected by LFD. The proportion of secondary cases from contacts of those who participated in the study and tested positive (6.3%; 95% CI: 3.4-11.1%) was comparable to a comparator group who self-isolated (7.6%; 95% CI: 7.3-7.8%).Conclusion. This study shows a high acceptability, compliance and positivity rates when using self-administered LFDs among contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Offering routine testing as a structured part of the contact tracing process is likely to be an effective method of case ascertainment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Contact Tracing/methods , England/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
13.
BMJ ; 378: e070379, 2022 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1950079

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the incidence of, risk factors for, and impact of vaccines on primary SARS-CoV-2 infection during the second wave of the covid-19 pandemic in susceptible hospital healthcare workers in England. DESIGN: Multicentre prospective cohort study. SETTING: National Health Service secondary care health organisations (trusts) in England between 1 September 2020 and 30 April 2021. PARTICIPANTS: Clinical, support, and administrative staff enrolled in the SARS-CoV-2 Immunity and Reinfection Evaluation (SIREN) study with no evidence of previous infection. Vaccination status was obtained from national covid-19 vaccination registries and self-reported. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Mixed effects logistic regression was conducted to determine demographic and occupational risk factors for infection, and an individual based mathematical model was used to predict how large the burden could have been if vaccines had not been available from 8 December 2020 . RESULTS: During England's second wave, 12.9% (2353/18 284) of susceptible SIREN participants became infected with SARS-CoV-2. Infections peaked in late December 2020 and decreased from January 2021, concurrent with the cohort's rapid vaccination coverage and a national lockdown. In multivariable analysis, factors increasing the likelihood of infection in the second wave were being under 25 years old (20.3% (132/651); adjusted odds ratio 1.35, 95% confidence interval 1.07 to 1.69), living in a large household (15.8% (282/1781); 1.54, 1.23 to 1.94, for participants from households of five or more people), having frequent exposure to patients with covid-19 (19.2% (723/3762); 1.79, 1.56 to 2.06, for participants with exposure every shift), working in an emergency department or inpatient ward setting (20.8% (386/1855); 1.76, 1.45 to 2.14), and being a healthcare assistant (18.1% (267/1479); 1.43, 1.16 to 1.77). Time to first vaccination emerged as being strongly associated with infection (P<0.001), with each additional day multiplying a participant's adjusted odds ratio by 1.02. Mathematical model simulations indicated that an additional 9.9% of all patient facing hospital healthcare workers would have been infected were it not for the rapid vaccination coverage. CONCLUSIONS: The rapid covid-19 vaccine rollout from December 2020 averted infection in a large proportion of hospital healthcare workers in England: without vaccines, second wave infections could have been 69% higher. With booster vaccinations being needed for adequate protection from the omicron variant, and perhaps the need for further boosters for future variants, ensuring equitable delivery to healthcare workers is essential. The findings also highlight occupational risk factors that persisted in healthcare workers despite vaccine rollout; a greater understanding of the transmission dynamics responsible for these is needed to help to optimise the infection prevention and control policies that protect healthcare workers from infection and therefore to support staffing levels and maintain healthcare provision. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN registry ISRCTN11041050.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communicable Disease Control , Health Personnel , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine
14.
Lancet Microbe ; 3(1): e21-e31, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915218

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 affects the immune response to the first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We aimed to compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell and antibody responses in health-care workers with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection following a single dose of the BNT162b2 (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine. METHODS: We sampled health-care workers enrolled in the PITCH study across four hospital sites in the UK (Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield). All health-care workers aged 18 years or older consenting to participate in this prospective cohort study were included, with no exclusion criteria applied. Blood samples were collected where possible before vaccination and 28 (±7) days following one or two doses (given 3-4 weeks apart) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Previous infection was determined by a documented SARS-CoV-2-positive RT-PCR result or the presence of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies. We measured spike-specific IgG antibodies and quantified T-cell responses by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay in all participants where samples were available at the time of analysis, comparing SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals to those with previous infection. FINDINGS: Between Dec 9, 2020, and Feb 9, 2021, 119 SARS-CoV-2-naive and 145 previously infected health-care workers received one dose, and 25 SARS-CoV-2-naive health-care workers received two doses, of the BNT162b2 vaccine. In previously infected health-care workers, the median time from previous infection to vaccination was 268 days (IQR 232-285). At 28 days (IQR 27-33) after a single dose, the spike-specific T-cell response measured in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was higher in previously infected (n=76) than in infection-naive (n=45) health-care workers (median 284 [IQR 150-461] vs 55 [IQR 24-132] spot-forming units [SFUs] per 106 PBMCs; p<0·0001). With cryopreserved PBMCs, the T-cell response in previously infected individuals (n=52) after one vaccine dose was equivalent to that of infection-naive individuals (n=19) after receiving two vaccine doses (median 152 [IQR 119-275] vs 162 [104-258] SFUs/106 PBMCs; p=1·00). Anti-spike IgG antibody responses following a single dose in 142 previously infected health-care workers (median 270 373 [IQR 203 461-535 188] antibody units [AU] per mL) were higher than in 111 infection-naive health-care workers following one dose (35 001 [17 099-55 341] AU/mL; p<0·0001) and higher than in 25 infection-naive individuals given two doses (180 904 [108 221-242 467] AU/mL; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: A single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is likely to provide greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, than in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals, including against variants of concern. Future studies should determine the additional benefit of a second dose on the magnitude and durability of immune responses in individuals vaccinated following infection, alongside evaluation of the impact of extending the interval between vaccine doses. FUNDING: UK Department of Health and Social Care, and UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Prospective Studies , T-Lymphocytes , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
15.
BMJ Open ; 12(6): e054336, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909750

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Understanding the effectiveness and durability of protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection conferred by previous infection and COVID-19 is essential to inform ongoing management of the pandemic. This study aims to determine whether prior SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 vaccination in healthcare workers protects against future infection. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a prospective cohort study design in staff members working in hospitals in the UK. At enrolment, participants are allocated into cohorts, positive or naïve, dependent on their prior SARS-CoV-2 infection status, as measured by standardised SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing on all baseline serum samples and previous SARS-CoV-2 test results. Participants undergo monthly antibody testing and fortnightly viral RNA testing during follow-up and based on these results may move between cohorts. Any results from testing undertaken for other reasons (eg, symptoms, contact tracing) or prior to study entry will also be captured. Individuals complete enrolment and fortnightly questionnaires on exposures, symptoms and vaccination. Follow-up is 12 months from study entry, with an option to extend follow-up to 24 months.The primary outcome of interest is infection with SARS-CoV-2 after previous SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 vaccination during the study period. Secondary outcomes include incidence and prevalence (both RNA and antibody) of SARS-CoV-2, viral genomics, viral culture, symptom history and antibody/neutralising antibody titres. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was approved by the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, Health Research Authority (IRAS ID 284460, REC reference 20/SC/0230) on 22 May 2020; the vaccine amendment was approved on 12 January 2021. Participants gave informed consent before taking part in the study.Regular reports to national and international expert advisory groups and peer-reviewed publications ensure timely dissemination of findings to inform decision making. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN11041050.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Personnel , Humans , Incidence , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral , Reinfection , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccination
16.
Euro Surveill ; 27(20)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862539

ABSTRACT

BackgroundThe emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant in England coincided with a rapid increase in the number of PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases in areas where the variant was concentrated.AimOur aim was to assess whether infection with Alpha was associated with more severe clinical outcomes than the wild type.MethodsLaboratory-confirmed infections with genomically sequenced SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and wild type between October and December 2020 were linked to routine healthcare and surveillance datasets. We conducted two statistical analyses to compare the risk of hospital admission and death within 28 days of testing between Alpha and wild-type infections: a matched cohort study and an adjusted Cox proportional hazards model. We assessed differences in disease severity by comparing hospital admission and mortality, including length of hospitalisation and time to death.ResultsOf 63,609 COVID-19 cases sequenced in England between October and December 2020, 6,038 had the Alpha variant. In the matched cohort analysis, we matched 2,821 cases with Alpha to 2,821 to cases with wild type. In the time-to-event analysis, we observed a 34% increased risk in hospitalisation associated with Alpha compared with wild type, but no significant difference in the risk of mortality.ConclusionWe found evidence of increased risk of hospitalisation after adjusting for key confounders, suggesting increased infection severity associated with the Alpha variant. Rapid assessments of the relative morbidity in terms of clinical outcomes and mortality associated with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants compared with dominant variants are required to assess overall impact of SARS-CoV-2 mutations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
17.
JAC-antimicrobial resistance ; 4(Suppl 1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1823913

ABSTRACT

Background A minority of patients presenting to hospital with COVID-19 have bacterial coinfection. Procalcitonin testing may help identify patients for whom antibiotics should be prescribed or withheld. The PEACH study describes the use of procalcitonin in English and Welsh hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to help diagnose bacterial infections and guide antibiotic treatment. There is a lack of clear evidence to support its use in lung infections, which means in some hospitals, clinicians have used the procalcitonin test to guide antibiotic decisions in COVID-19, whilst in other hospitals, they have not. Our study is analysing data from hospitals that did and did not use procalcitonin testing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will determine whether and how procalcitonin testing should be used in the NHS in future waves of COVID-19 to protect patients from antibiotic overuse. Methods To assess whether the use of PCT testing, to guide antibiotic prescribing, safely reduced antibiotic use among patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, we are answering this question through three different, and complimentary, work streams (WS), each with discrete work packages (WP): (i) Work Stream 1: utilization of PCT testing to guide antibiotic prescribing during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic;(ii) Work Stream 2: patient-level impact of PCT testing on antibiotic exposure and clinical outcome (main work stream currently in analysis);and (iii) Work Stream 3: health economics analysis of PCT testing to guide antibiotics in COVID-19. Results Our first publication from Work Stream 1 (Antibiotics 2021, 10: 516) used a web-based survey to gather data from antimicrobial leads about the use of procalcitonin testing. Responses were received from 148/151 (98%) eligible hospitals. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was widespread introduction and expansion of PCT use in NHS hospitals. The number of hospitals using PCT in emergency/acute admissions rose from 17 (11%) to 74/146 (50.7%) and use in ICU increased from 70 (47.6%) to 124/147 (84.4%). This increase happened predominantly in March and April 2020, preceding NICE guidance. Approximately half of hospitals used PCT as a single test to guide decisions to discontinue antibiotics and half used repeated measurements. There was marked variation in the thresholds used for empirical antibiotic cessation and guidance about interpretation of values. Conclusions Procalcitonin testing has been widely adopted in the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic in an unevidenced, heterogeneous way and in conflict with relevant NICE guidance. Further research is needed urgently that assesses the impact of this change on antibiotic prescribing and patient safety. Work Stream 2 is ongoing, and results will be published once available.

18.
N Engl J Med ; 386(16): 1532-1546, 2022 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730372

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A rapid increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases due to the omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in highly vaccinated populations has aroused concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines. METHODS: We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease caused by the omicron and delta (B.1.617.2) variants in England. Vaccine effectiveness was calculated after primary immunization with two doses of BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech), ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca), or mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine and after a booster dose of BNT162b2, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, or mRNA-1273. RESULTS: Between November 27, 2021, and January 12, 2022, a total of 886,774 eligible persons infected with the omicron variant, 204,154 eligible persons infected with the delta variant, and 1,572,621 eligible test-negative controls were identified. At all time points investigated and for all combinations of primary course and booster vaccines, vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease was higher for the delta variant than for the omicron variant. No effect against the omicron variant was noted from 20 weeks after two ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 doses, whereas vaccine effectiveness after two BNT162b2 doses was 65.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 63.9 to 67.0) at 2 to 4 weeks, dropping to 8.8% (95% CI, 7.0 to 10.5) at 25 or more weeks. Among ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 primary course recipients, vaccine effectiveness increased to 62.4% (95% CI, 61.8 to 63.0) at 2 to 4 weeks after a BNT162b2 booster before decreasing to 39.6% (95% CI, 38.0 to 41.1) at 10 or more weeks. Among BNT162b2 primary course recipients, vaccine effectiveness increased to 67.2% (95% CI, 66.5 to 67.8) at 2 to 4 weeks after a BNT162b2 booster before declining to 45.7% (95% CI, 44.7 to 46.7) at 10 or more weeks. Vaccine effectiveness after a ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 primary course increased to 70.1% (95% CI, 69.5 to 70.7) at 2 to 4 weeks after an mRNA-1273 booster and decreased to 60.9% (95% CI, 59.7 to 62.1) at 5 to 9 weeks. After a BNT162b2 primary course, the mRNA-1273 booster increased vaccine effectiveness to 73.9% (95% CI, 73.1 to 74.6) at 2 to 4 weeks; vaccine effectiveness fell to 64.4% (95% CI, 62.6 to 66.1) at 5 to 9 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Primary immunization with two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 vaccine provided limited protection against symptomatic disease caused by the omicron variant. A BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 booster after either the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 primary course substantially increased protection, but that protection waned over time. (Funded by the U.K. Health Security Agency.).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Vaccine Efficacy , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/therapeutic use , BNT162 Vaccine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Case-Control Studies , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunization, Secondary/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
19.
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e42, 2022 01 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721341

ABSTRACT

A subset of events within the UK Government Events Research Programme (ERP), developed to examine the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from attendance at events, was examined to explore the public health impact of holding mass sporting events. We used contact tracing data routinely collected through telephone interviews and online questionnaires, to describe the potential public health impact of the large sporting and cultural events on potential transmission and incidence of COVID-19. Data from the EURO 2020 matches hosted at Wembley identified very high numbers of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and were traced through NHS Test & Trace. This included both individuals who were potentially infectious (3036) and those who acquired their infection during the time of the Final (6376). This is in contrast with the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, where there were similar number of spectators and venue capacity but there were lower total numbers of potentially infectious cases (299) and potentially acquired cases (582). While the infections associated with the EURO 2020 event may be attributed to a set of socio-cultural circumstances which are unlikely to be replicated for the forthcoming sporting season, other aspects may be important to consider including mitigations for spectators to consider such as face coverings when travelling to and from events, minimising crowding in poorly ventilated indoor spaces such as bars and pubs where people may congregate to watch events, and reducing the risk of aerosol exposure through requesting that individuals avoid shouting and chanting in large groups in enclosed spaces.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mass Gatherings , Public Health , Sports , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing , England/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(7): 1208-1219, 2022 04 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704072

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Natural and vaccine-induced immunity will play a key role in controlling the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 variants have the potential to evade natural and vaccine-induced immunity. METHODS: In a longitudinal cohort study of healthcare workers (HCWs) in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, we investigated the protection from symptomatic and asymptomatic polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection conferred by vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2, Oxford-AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCOV-19) and prior infection (determined using anti-spike antibody status), using Poisson regression adjusted for age, sex, temporal changes in incidence and role. We estimated protection conferred after 1 versus 2 vaccinations and from infections with the B.1.1.7 variant identified using whole genome sequencing. RESULTS: In total, 13 109 HCWs participated; 8285 received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (1407 two doses), and 2738 the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (49 two doses). Compared to unvaccinated seronegative HCWs, natural immunity and 2 vaccination doses provided similar protection against symptomatic infection: no HCW vaccinated twice had symptomatic infection, and incidence was 98% lower in seropositive HCWs (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.02 [95% confidence interval {CI} < .01-.18]). Two vaccine doses or seropositivity reduced the incidence of any PCR-positive result with or without symptoms by 90% (0.10 [95% CI .02-.38]) and 85% (0.15 [95% CI .08-.26]), respectively. Single-dose vaccination reduced the incidence of symptomatic infection by 67% (0.33 [95% CI .21-.52]) and any PCR-positive result by 64% (0.36 [95% CI .26-.50]). There was no evidence of differences in immunity induced by natural infection and vaccination for infections with S-gene target failure and B.1.1.7. CONCLUSIONS: Natural infection resulting in detectable anti-spike antibodies and 2 vaccine doses both provide robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, including against the B.1.1.7 variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , Cohort Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulins , Incidence , Longitudinal Studies , Vaccination
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