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1.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.11.11.22282083

ABSTRACT

Objective The Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative United Kingdom (EDGI UK), part of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Mental Health BioResource, aims to deepen our understanding of the environmental and genetic aetiology of eating disorders. EDGI UK launched in February 2020 and is partnered with the UK eating disorders charity, Beat. There are multiple EDGI branches worldwide. Method EDGI UK recruits via media and clinical services. Anyone living in England, at least 16 years old, with a lifetime probable or clinical eating disorder is eligible to sign up online: edgiuk.org . Participants complete online questionnaires, donate a saliva sample for genetic analysis, and consent to medical record linkage and recontact for future studies. Results As of September 2022, EDGI UK has recruited 8,397 survey participants: 98% female, 93% white, 97.7% cisgender, 67% heterosexual, and 52% have a university degree. Half (51.7%) of participants have returned their saliva kit. The most common diagnoses are anorexia nervosa (42.7%), atypical anorexia nervosa (31.4%), bulimia nervosa (33.2%), binge-eating disorder (14.6%), and purging disorder (33.5%). Conclusion EDGI UK is the largest UK eating disorders study but needs to increase its diversity, and efforts are underway to do so. It also offers a unique opportunity to accelerate eating disorder research, and collaboration between researchers and participants with lived experience, with unparalleled sample size.

2.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.10.13.22281024

ABSTRACT

Age is a major risk factor for hospitalization and death after SARS-CoV-2 infection, even in vaccinees. Suboptimal responses to a primary vaccination course have been reported in the elderly, but there is little information regarding the impact of age on responses to booster third doses. Here we show that individuals 70 or older who received a primary two dose schedule with AZD1222 and booster third dose with mRNA vaccine achieved significantly lower neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped virus compared to those younger than 70. One month after the booster neither the concentration of serum binding anti spike IgG antibody, nor the frequency of spike-specific B cells showed differences by age grouping. However, the impaired neutralization potency and breadth post-third dose in the elderly was associated with enrichment of circulating atypical spike-specific B cells expressing CD11c and FCRL5. Single cell RNA sequencing confirmed an expansion of TBX21-, ITGAX-expressing B cells in the elderly that enriched for B cell activation/receptor signalling pathway genes. Importantly we also observed impaired T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike peptides in the elderly post-booster, both in terms of IFNgamma and IL2 secretion, as well as a decrease in T cell receptor signalling pathway genes. This expansion of atypical B cells and impaired T cell responses may contribute to the generation of less affinity-matured antibodies, with lower neutralizing capacity post-third dose in the elderly. Altogether, our data reveal the extent and potential mechanistic underpinning of the impaired vaccine responses present in the elderly after a booster dose, contributing to their increased susceptibility to COVID-19 infection.

3.
researchsquare; 2022.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-2034285.v2

ABSTRACT

After acute infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), a significant proportion (0.2 – 30%) of patients experience persistent symptoms beyond 12 weeks, termed Long COVID. Understanding the mechanisms which cause this debilitating disease and identifying biomarkers for diagnostic, therapeutic and monitoring purposes is urgently required. Persistently high levels of IFN-γ were detected from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of Long COVID patients using highly sensitive FluoroSpot assays. This IFN-γ release was seen in the absence of ex vivo peptide stimulation and remains persistently elevated in Long Covid patients, unlike the resolution seen in patients recovering from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. IFN-γ release was CD8+ T cell mediated and dependent on MHC-I antigen presentation by CD14+ cells. After vaccination, a significant decrease in IFN-γ correlated with resolution of some Long COVID symptoms. Our study highlights a key mechanism underlying Long COVID, enabling the search for biomarkers and therapeutics in patients with Long COVID.

4.
Acta Facultatis Pharmaceuticae Universitatis Comenianae ; 69:2-2, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1974570

ABSTRACT

The anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects of hydroxychloroquine have not been demonstrated in clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. A possible reason for the failure is low local exposure in the lungs after p.o. or i.v. administration. In the Phase 1 study, the aim was to test the pharmacokinetics and safety of inhaled hydroxychloroquine after nebulization. In 6 healthy volunteers, we determined the pharmacokinetics after a single administration of 10 mg hydroxychloroquine from 19 blood samples collected at the following times: before nebulization and 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 45, and 60 min, and 1:15, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 4:00, 8:00, 12:00, and 24:00 hr after the start of nebulization. On Day 5, we determined the pharmacokinetics after repeated administration of 20 mg once daily from 12 samples taken at the following times: before nebulization and 5, 10, 20, 30, 45, and 60 min, and 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hr after the start of nebulization. Safety was assessed by observing biochemical parameters, blood count, and clinical parameters including ECG and blood pressure. After a single administration, the mean ± SD Cmax, T1/2, and AUC0-24 values were 5633.6 ± 2924.8 pg/ml, 11.7 ± 1.3 hr, and 6588.4 ± 1252.2 pg/ml*hr, respectively. After repeated administration on Day 5 the respective values were 4807.7 ± 1708.7 pg/ml, 14.83 ± 3.41 hr, and 26801.0 ± 8217.8 pg/ml*hr. We found no significant difference between the pretreatment and posttreatment values of safety parameters and they did not deviate outside the physiological range. We observed only minor adverse events related to the bitter taste of hydroxychloroquine. There were no systemic or respiratory adverse reactions. We have demonstrated acceptable safety of the inhaled route of administration of hydroxychloroquine in this dose group. [ FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Acta Facultatis Pharmaceuticae Universitatis Comenianae is the property of Sciendo and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

5.
medrxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.06.18.22276437

ABSTRACT

The biology driving individual patient responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains ill understood. Here, we developed a patient-centric framework leveraging detailed longitudinal phenotyping data, covering a year post disease onset, from 215 SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects with differing disease severities. Our analyses revealed distinct "systemic recovery" profiles with specific progression and resolution of the inflammatory, immune, metabolic and clinical responses, over weeks to several months after infection. In particular, we found a strong intra-patient temporal covariation of innate immune cell numbers, kynurenine- and host lipid-metabolites, which suggested candidate immunometabolic pathways putatively influencing restoration of homeostasis, the risk of death and of long COVID. Based on these data, we identified a composite signature predictive of systemic recovery on the patient level, using a joint model on cellular and molecular parameters measured soon after disease onset. New predictions can be generated using the online tool http://shiny.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/apps/covid-systemic-recovery-prediction-app, designed to test our findings prospectively.

6.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.05.07.491004

ABSTRACT

Over 20 mutations have been identified in the N-Terminal Domain (NTD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike and yet few of them are fully characterised. Here we first examined the contribution of the NTD to infection and cell-cell fusion by constructing different VOC-based chimeric spikes bearing B.1617 lineage (Delta and Kappa variants) NTDs and generating spike pseudotyped lentivirus (PV). We found the Delta NTD on a Kappa or WT background increased spike S1/S2 cleavage efficiency and virus entry, specifically in Calu-3 lung cells and airway organoids, through use of TMPRSS2. Delta was previously shown to have fast cell-cell fusion kinetics and increased fusogenicity that could be conferred to WT and Kappa variant spikes by transfer of the Delta NTD. Moving to contemporary variants, we found that BA.2 had higher entry efficiency in a range of cell types as compared to BA.1. BA.2 showed higher fusogenic activity than BA.1, but the BA.2 NTD could not confer higher fusion to BA.1 spike. There was low efficiency of TMPRSS2 usage by both BA.1 and BA.2, and chimeras of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 spikes with a Delta NTD did not result in more efficient use of TMRPSS2 or cell-cell fusogenicity. We conclude that the NTD allosterically modulates S1/S2 cleavage and spike-mediated functions such as entry and cell-cell fusion in a spike context dependent manner, and allosteric interactions may be lost when combining regions from more distantly related spike proteins. These data may explain the lack of dominant SARS-CoV-2 inter-variant recombinants bearing breakpoints within spike.

7.
researchsquare; 2022.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-1560370.v1

ABSTRACT

BackgroundLong-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) target night-time indoor biting mosquitoes and effectively reduce malaria transmission in rural settings across Africa, but additional vector control tools are needed to interrupt transmission. Attractive targeted sugar baits (ATSBs) attract and kill mosquitoes, including those biting outdoors. Deployment of ATSBs incorporating the insecticide dinotefuran was associated with major reductions in mosquito density and longevity in Mali. The impact of this promising intervention on malaria transmission and morbidity now needs to be determined in a range of transmission settings.Methods/DesignWe will conduct three similar stand-alone, open-label, two-arm, cluster-randomized, controlled trials (cRCTs) in Mali, Kenya, and Zambia to determine the impact of ATSB + universal vector control versus universal vector control alone on clinical malaria. The trials will use a ‘fried-egg’ design, with primary outcomes measured in the core area of each cluster to reduce spill-over effects. All household structures in the ATSB clusters will receive two ATSBs, but the impact will be measured in the core of clusters. Restricted randomization will be used. The primary outcome is clinical malaria incidence among children aged 5-14 years in Mali and 1-14 years in Kenya and Zambia. A key secondary outcome is malaria parasite prevalence across all ages. The trials will include 76 clusters (38 per arm) in Mali and 70 (35 per arm) in each of Kenya and Zambia. The trials are powered to detect a 30% reduction in clinical malaria, requiring a total of 3,850 person-years of follow-up in Mali, 1,260 person-years in Kenya, and 1,610 person-years in Zambia. These sample sizes will be ascertained using two seasonal 8-month cohorts in Mali, and two 6-month seasonal cohorts in Zambia. In Kenya, which has year-round transmission, four 6-month cohorts will be used (total 24 months of follow-up). The design allows for one interim analysis in Mali and Zambia and two in Kenya.DiscussionStrengths of the design include: the use of multiple study sites with different transmission patterns and a range of vectors to improve external validity; a large number of clusters within each trial site; restricted randomization; between-cluster separation to minimize contamination between study arms; and an adaptive trial design. Noted threats to internal validity include: open-label design, risk of contamination between study arms, risk of imbalance of covariates across study arms, variation in durability of ATSB stations and potential disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.Trial registrationZambia: NCT04800055. Registration date: March 15, 2021 - https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04800055Mali: NCT04149119. Registration date: November 4, 2019 -https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/results/NCT04149119Kenya: NCT05219565. Registration date: February 2, 2022 - https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT05219565

8.
ssrn; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3947817

ABSTRACT

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines define Long COVID as signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, that continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. Long COVID is as yet poorly understood and difficult to diagnose. The diagnostic complexity of Long COVID is compounded in many patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 but not tested at acute presentation and are antibody negative. Given the diagnostic conundrum of Long COVID, we set out to design a SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell assay, to follow up a cohort of undifferentiated mostly non-hospitalised patients with Long COVID for up to 13 months. Here, we show that IL-2 release from SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells shows >75% sensitivity and >88% specificity in identifying individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection >6 months after a positive PCR test.Funding: This work was funded by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust grant awarded to N.S. and supported by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.Declaration of Interest: The authors declare no competing interestsEthical Approval: The Long COVID study patients were recruited and consented under the Cambridge COVID-19 NIHR BioResource joint Consent Form (Research Ethics Committee (NRES number (REC)) no. T1gC1) study NBR87.

9.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-989434.v1

ABSTRACT

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines define Long COVID as signs and symptoms that develop during or after an infection consistent with COVID-19, that continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis. Long COVID is as yet poorly understood and difficult to diagnose. The diagnostic complexity of Long COVID is compounded in many patients who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 but not tested at acute presentation and are antibody negative. Given the diagnostic conundrum of Long COVID, we set out to design a SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell assay, to follow up a cohort of undifferentiated mostly non-hospitalised patients with Long COVID for up to 13 months. Here, we show that IL-2 release from SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells shows >75% sensitivity and >88% specificity in identifying individuals with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection >6 months after a positive PCR test.

10.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.07.12.21260360

ABSTRACT

Prominent early features of COVID-19 include severe, often clinically silent, hypoxia and a pronounced reduction in B cells, the latter important in defence against SARS-CoV-2. This brought to mind the phenotype of mice with VHL-deficient B cells, in which Hypoxia-Inducible Factors are constitutively active, suggesting hypoxia might drive B cell abnormalities in COVID-19. We demonstrated the breadth of early and persistent defects in B cell subsets in moderate/severe COVID-19, including reduced marginal zone-like, memory and transitional B cells, changes we also observed in B cell VHL-deficient mice. This was corroborated by hypoxia-related transcriptional changes in COVID-19 patients, and by similar B cell abnormalities in mice kept in hypoxic conditions, including reduced marginal zone and germinal center B cells. Thus hypoxia might contribute to B cell pathology in COVID-19, and in other hypoxic states. Through this mechanism it may impact on COVID-19 outcome, and be remediable through early oxygen therapy.

11.
psyarxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-PSYARXIV | ID: ppzbmed-10.31234.osf.io.sf7b6

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a novel population-level stressor. As such, it is important to examine pandemic-related changes in mental health and to identify which individuals are at greatest risk of worsening symptoms. Methods: Online questionnaires were administered to 34,465 individuals in the UK, recruited from existing cohorts or via social media. Around one third (n = 12,718) with prior diagnoses of depression or anxiety completed pre-pandemic mental health assessments, allowing prospective investigation of symptom change. We examined changes in depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms using prospective, retrospective and global ratings of change assessments. We also examined the effect of key risk factors on changes in symptoms.Outcomes: Prospective analyses showed small decreases in depression (PHQ-9: - .43 points) and anxiety symptoms (GAD-7: -.33 points), and increases in PTSD symptoms (PCL-6: .22 points). Conversely, retrospective analyses demonstrated large significant increases in depression (2.40 points) and anxiety symptoms (1.97 points) and 55% reported worsening mental health since the beginning of the pandemic on a global change rating. Using both prospective and retrospective symptom measures, regression analyses demonstrated that worsening depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms were associated with i) prior mental health diagnoses, ii) female gender; iii) young age, and iv) unemployed or student status.Interpretation: We highlight the effect of prior mental health diagnoses on worsening mental health during the pandemic and confirm previously-reported sociodemographic risk factors. Discrepancies between prospective and retrospective measures of changes in mental health may be related to recall bias underestimating prior symptom severity.

12.
ssrn; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3782450

ABSTRACT

Background: Vaccines remain the cornerstone for containing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. mRNA vaccines provide protection in clinical trials using a two-dose approach, separated by a three to four week gap. UK policy in 2021 is to extend the dosing interval from three to twelve weeks. There is a paucity of data in the elderly, even though these individuals are the first to receive vaccines due to risk of severe disease. Here we assessed real world immune responses following vaccination with mRNA-based vaccine BNT162b2.Methods: We did a prospective cohort study of individuals presenting for first dose vaccination. Following the first and second doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine, we measured IFNγ T cell responses, as well as binding antibody (IgA, IgG and IgG1-4) responses to Spike and Spike RBD. We also measured neutralising antibody responses to Spike in sera using a lentiviral pseudotyping system. We correlated age with immune responses and compared responses after the first and second doses.Findings: Median age was 63.5 years amongst 42 participants. Three weeks after the first dose a lower proportion of participants over 80 years old achieved adequate neutralisation titre of >1:20 for 50% neutralisation as compared to those under 80 (8/17 versus 19/24, p=0.03). Geometric mean neutralisation titres in this age group after the first dose were lower than in younger individuals (p<0.001). Binding IgA and IgG1 and 3 responses developed post vaccination, as observed in natural infection. T- cell responses were not different in those above or below 80 years. Following the second dose, 50% neutralising antibody titres were above 1:20 in all individuals and there was no longer a difference by age grouping.Interpretation: A high proportion of individuals above the age of 80 have suboptimal neutralising antibody responses following first dose vaccination with BNT162b2, cautioning against extending the dosing interval in this high risk population.Funding Statement: RKG is supported by a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship in Clinical Science (WT108082AIA). DAC is supported by a Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Research Fellowship. KGCS is the recipient of a Wellcome Investigator Award (200871/Z/16/Z). This research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit (CCTU), the NIHR BioResource and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. JAGB is supported by the Medical Research Council (MC_UP_1201/16). IATM is funded by a SANTHE award.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: The study was approved by the East of England – Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee (17/EE/0025).

13.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.02.03.21251054

ABSTRACT

Two dose mRNA vaccination provides excellent protection against SARS-CoV-2. However, there are few data on vaccine efficacy in elderly individuals above the age of 801. Additionally, new variants of concern (VOC) with reduced sensitivity to neutralising antibodies have raised fears for vulnerable groups. Here we assessed humoral and cellular immune responses following vaccination with mRNA vaccine BNT162b22 in elderly participants prospectively recruited from the community and younger health care workers. Median age was 72 years and 51% were females amongst 140 participants. Neutralising antibody responses after the first vaccine dose diminished with increasing age, with a marked drop in participants over 80 years old. Sera from participants below and above 80 showed significantly lower neutralisation potency against B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1. variants of concern as compared to wild type. Those over 80 were more likely to lack any neutralisation against VOC compared to younger participants following first dose. The adjusted odds ratio for inadequate neutralisation activity against the B.1.1.7, P.1 and B.1.351 variant in the older versus younger age group was 4.3 (95% CI 2.0-9.3, p<0.001), 6.7 (95% CI 1.7-26.3, p=0.008) and 1.7 (95% CI 0.5-5.7, p=0.41). Binding IgG and IgA antibodies were lower in the elderly, as was the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 Spike specific B-memory cells. We observed a trend towards lower somatic hypermutation in participants with suboptimal neutralisation, and elderly participants demonstrated clear reduction in class switched somatic hypermutation, driven by the IgA1/2 isotype. SARS-CoV-2 Spike specific T-cell IFN{gamma} and IL-2 responses fell with increasing age, and both cytokines were secreted primarily by CD4 T cells. We conclude that the elderly are a high risk population that warrant specific measures in order to mitigate against vaccine failure, particularly where variants of concern are circulating.

14.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-156101.v1

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 transmission is uncontrolled in many parts of the world, compounded in some areas by higher transmission potential of the B1.1.7 variant now seen in 50 countries. It is unclear whether responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines based on the prototypic strain will be impacted by mutations found in B.1.1.7. Here we assessed immune responses following vaccination with mRNA-based vaccine BNT162b2. We measured neutralising antibody responses following a single immunization using pseudoviruses expressing the wild-type Spike protein or the 8 mutations found in the B.1.1.7 Spike protein. The vaccine sera exhibited a broad range of neutralizing titres against the wild-type pseudoviruses (<1:4 to 3449) that were reduced against B.1.1.7 variant by 3.85 fold (IQR 2.68-5.28). This reduction was also evident in sera from some convalescent patients. Decreased B.1.1.7 neutralization was also observed with monoclonal antibodies targeting the N-terminal domain (9 out of 10), the Receptor Binding Motif (RBM) (5 outof 29), but not in neutralizing mAbs binding outside the RBM. Introduction of the E484K mutation in a B.1.1.7 background led to a further loss of neutralizing activity by vaccine-elicited antibodies over that conferred by the B.1.1.7 mutations alone. Further work is needed to establish the impact of these observations on protective vaccine efficacy in the context of the evolving B.1.1.7 lineage that will likely acquire E484K.

15.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.01.19.21249840

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is uncontrolled in many parts of the world, compounded in some areas by higher transmission potential of the B1.1.7 variant now seen in 50 countries. It is unclear whether responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines based on the prototypic strain will be impacted by mutations found in B.1.1.7. Here we assessed immune responses following vaccination with mRNA-based vaccine BNT162b2. We measured neutralising antibody responses following a single immunization using pseudoviruses expressing the wild-type Spike protein or the 8 amino acid mutations found in the B.1.1.7 spike protein. The vaccine sera exhibited a broad range of neutralising titres against the wild-type pseudoviruses that were modestly reduced against B.1.1.7 variant. This reduction was also evident in sera from some convalescent patients. Decreased B.1.1.7 neutralisation was also observed with monoclonal antibodies targeting the N-terminal domain (9 out of 10), the Receptor Binding Motif (RBM) (5 out of 31), but not in neutralising mAbs binding outside the RBM. Introduction of the E484K mutation in a B.1.1.7 background to reflect newly emerging viruses in the UK led to a more substantial loss of neutralising activity by vaccine-elicited antibodies and mAbs (19 out of 31) over that conferred by the B.1.1.7 mutations alone. E484K emergence on a B.1.1.7 background represents a threat to the vaccine BNT162b.

16.
ssrn; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3757074

ABSTRACT

In a study of 207 SARS-CoV2-infected individuals with a range of severities followed over 12 weeks from symptom onset, we demonstrate that an early robust immune response, without systemic inflammation, is characteristic of asymptomatic or mild disease. Those presenting to hospital had delayed adaptive responses and systemic inflammation already evident at around symptom onset. Such early evidence of inflammation suggests immunopathology may be inevitable in some individuals, or that preventative intervention might be needed before symptom onset. Viral load does not correlate with the development of this pathological response, but does with its subsequent severity. Immune recovery is complex, with profound persistent cellular abnormalities correlating with a change in the nature of the inflammatory response, where signatures characteristic of increased oxidative phosphorylation and reactive-oxygen species-associated inflammation replace those driven by TNF and IL-6. These late immunometabolic inflammatory changes and unresolved immune cell defects, if persistent, may contribute to “long COVID”.Funding: We are grateful for the generous support of CVC Capital Partners, the Evelyn Trust (20/75), UKRI COVID Immunology Consortium, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (12/20A) and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre for their financial support. K.G.C.S. is the recipient of a Wellcome Investigator Award (200871/Z/16/Z); M.P.W. is the recipient of Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellowship (108070/Z/15/Z); C.H. was funded by a Wellcome COVID-19 Rapid Response DCF and the Fondation Botnar; N.M. was funded by the MRC (CSF MR/P008801/1) and NHSBT (WPA15-02); I.G.G. is a Wellcome Senior Fellow and was supported by funding from the Wellcome (Ref: 207498/Z/17/Z).Conflict of Interest: The authors declare they have no competing interests.

17.
ssrn; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-SSRN | ID: ppzbmed-10.2139.ssrn.3724855

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population but risk factors for HCW infection are not well described.Methods: We conducted a prospective sero-epidemiological study of HCWs at a UK teaching hospital using a SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay. Risk factors for seropositivity were analysed using multivariate logistic regression.Findings: 410/5,698 (7·2%) staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Seroprevalence was higher in those working in designated COVID-19 areas compared with other areas (9·47% versus 6·16%) Healthcare assistants (aOR 2·06 [95%CI 1·14-3·71]; p =0·016) and domestic and portering staff (aOR 3·45 [95% CI 1·07-11·42]; p =0·039) had significantly higher seroprevalence than other staff groups after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity and COVID-19 working location. Staff working in acute medicine and medical sub-specialities were also at higher risk (aOR 2·07 [95% CI 1·31-3·25]; p <0·002). Staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds had an aOR of 1·65 (95% CI 1·32 – 2·07; p <0·001) compared to white staff; this increased risk was independent of COVID-19 area working. The only symptoms significantly associated with seropositivity in a multivariable model were loss of sense of taste or smell, fever and myalgia; 31% of staff testing positive reported no prior symptoms.Interpretation: Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst HCWs is heterogeneous and influenced by COVID-19 working location, role, age and ethnicity. Increased risk amongst BAME staff cannot be accounted for solely by occupational factors.Funding: Wellcome Trust, Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Academy of Medical Sciences, the Health Foundation and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.Declaration of Interests: None to declare.Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for this study was granted by the East of England – Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee (IRAS ID: 220277).

18.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.03.20220699

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population but risk factors for HCW infection are not well described. Methods We conducted a prospective sero-epidemiological study of HCWs at a UK teaching hospital using a SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay. Risk factors for seropositivity were analysed using multivariate logistic regression. Findings 410/5,698 (7.2%) staff tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Seroprevalence was higher in those working in designated COVID-19 areas compared with other areas (9.47% versus 6.16%) Healthcare assistants (aOR 2.06 [95%CI 1.14-3.71]; p=0.016) and domestic and portering staff (aOR 3.45 [95% CI 1.07-11.42]; p=0.039) had significantly higher seroprevalence than other staff groups after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity and COVID-19 working location. Staff working in acute medicine and medical sub-specialities were also at higher risk (aOR 2.07 [95% CI 1.31-3.25]; p=0.002). Staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds had an aOR of 1.65 (95% CI 1.32-2.07; p<0.0001) compared to white staff; this increased risk was independent of COVID-19 area working. The only symptoms significantly associated with seropositivity in a multivariable model were loss of sense of taste or smell, fever and myalgia; 31% of staff testing positive reported no prior symptoms. Interpretation Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst HCWs is heterogeneous and influenced by COVID-19 working location, role, age and ethnicity. Increased risk amongst BAME staff cannot be accounted for solely by occupational factors. Funding Wellcome Trust, Addenbrookes Charitable Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Academy of Medical Sciences, the Health Foundation and the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre.

19.
researchsquare; 2020.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-79022.v1

ABSTRACT

The response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been hampered by lack of an effective severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antiviral therapy. Here we report the successful use of remdesivir in a patient with COVID-19 and the prototypic genetic antibody deficiency X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (XLA). Despite evidence of complement activation and a robust T cell response, the patient developed persistent SARS-CoV-2 pneumonitis, without progressing to multi-organ involvement. His unusual clinical course identifies a key role for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in both viral clearance and progression to severe disease. In the absence of these confounders, we took an experimental medicine approach to examine the in vivoutility of remdesivir. Over two independent courses of treatment, we observed a dramatic, temporally correlated clinical and virological response, leading to clinical resolution and viral clearance, with no evidence of acquired drug resistance. We therefore provide unambiguous evidence for the antiviral efficacy of remdesivir in vivo, and its potential benefit in selected patients.

20.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.06.16.20133157

ABSTRACT

BackgroundRapid COVID-19 diagnosis in hospital is essential for patient management and identification of infectious patients to limit the potential for nosocomial transmission. The diagnosis of infection is complicated by 30-50% of COVID-19 hospital admissions with nose/throat swabs testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid, frequently after the first week of illness when SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses become detectable. We assessed the diagnostic accuracy of combined rapid antibody point of care (POC) and nucleic acid assays for suspected COVID-19 disease in the emergency department. MethodsWe developed (i) an in vitro neutralization assay using a lentivirus expressing a genome encoding luciferase and pseudotyped with spike (S) protein and (ii) an ELISA test to detect IgG antibodies to nucleocapsid (N) and S proteins from SARS-CoV-2. We tested two lateral flow rapid fingerprick tests with bands for IgG and IgM. We then prospectively recruited participants with suspected moderate to severe COVID-19 and tested for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in a combined nasal/throat swab using the standard laboratory RT-PCR and a validated rapid POC nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) test. Additionally, serum collected at admission was retrospectively tested by in vitro neutralisation, ELISA and the candidate POC antibody tests. We evaluated the performance of the individual and combined rapid POC diagnostic tests against a composite reference standard of neutralisation and standard laboratory based RT-PCR. Results45 participants had specimens tested for nucleic acid in nose/throat swabs as well as stored sera for antibodies. Using the composite reference standard, prevalence of COVID-19 disease was 53.3% (24/45). Median age was 73.5 (IQR 54.0-86.5) years in those with COVID-19 disease by our reference standard and 63.0 (IQR 41.0-72.0) years in those without disease. The overall detection rate by rapid NAAT was 79.2% (95CI 57.8-92.9%), decreasing from 100% (95% CI 65.3-98.6%) in days 1-4 to 50.0% (95% CI 11.8-88.2) for days 9-28 post symptom onset. Correct identification of COVID-19 with combined rapid POC diagnostic tests was 100% (95CI 85.8-100%) with a false positive rate of 5.3-14.3%, driven by POC LFA antibody tests. ConclusionsCombined POC tests have the potential to transform our management of COVID-19, including inflammatory manifestations later in disease where nucleic acid test results are negative. A rapid combined approach will also aid recruitment into clinical trials and in prescribing therapeutics, particularly where potentially harmful immune modulators (including steroids) are used.

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