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1.
Front Microbiol ; 13: 824217, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1952411

ABSTRACT

Background: Low frequency intrahost single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been increasingly recognised as predictive indicators of positive selection. Particularly as growing numbers of SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest (VOI) and concern (VOC) emerge. However, the dynamics of subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) expression and its impact on genomic diversity and infection outcome remain poorly understood. This study aims to investigate and quantify iSNVs and sgRNA expression in single and longitudinally sampled cohorts over the course of mild and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, benchmarked against an in vitro infection model. Methods: Two clinical cohorts of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases in New South Wales, Australia collected between March 2020 and August 2021 were sequenced. Longitudinal samples from cases hospitalised due to SARS-CoV-2 infection (severe) (n = 16) were analysed and compared with cases that presented with SARS-CoV-2 symptoms but were not hospitalised (mild) (n = 23). SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity profiles were also examined from daily sampling of culture experiments for three SARS-CoV-2 variants (Lineage A, B.1.351, and B.1.617.2) cultured in VeroE6 C1008 cells (n = 33). Results: Intrahost single nucleotide variants were detected in 83% (19/23) of the mild cohort cases and 100% (16/16) of the severe cohort cases. SNP profiles remained relatively fixed over time, with an average of 1.66 SNPs gained or lost, and an average of 4.2 and 5.9 low frequency variants per patient were detected in severe and mild infection, respectively. sgRNA was detected in 100% (25/25) of the mild genomes and 92% (24/26) of the severe genomes. Total sgRNA expressed across all genes in the mild cohort was significantly higher than that of the severe cohort. Significantly higher expression levels were detected in the spike and the nucleocapsid genes. There was significantly less sgRNA detected in the culture dilutions than the clinical cohorts. Discussion and Conclusion: The positions and frequencies of iSNVs in the severe and mild infection cohorts were dynamic overtime, highlighting the importance of continual monitoring, particularly during community outbreaks where multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants may co-circulate. sgRNA levels can vary across patients and the overall level of sgRNA reads compared to genomic RNA can be less than 1%. The relative contribution of sgRNA to the severity of illness warrants further investigation given the level of variation between genomes. Further monitoring of sgRNAs will improve the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and the effectiveness of therapeutic and public health containment measures during the pandemic.

2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2745, 2022 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931393

ABSTRACT

Co-infections with different variants of SARS-CoV-2 are a key precursor to recombination events that are likely to drive SARS-CoV-2 evolution. Rapid identification of such co-infections is required to determine their frequency in the community, particularly in populations at-risk of severe COVID-19, which have already been identified as incubators for punctuated evolutionary events. However, limited data and tools are currently available to detect and characterise the SARS-CoV-2 co-infections associated with recognised variants of concern. Here we describe co-infection with the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern Omicron and Delta in two epidemiologically unrelated adult patients with chronic kidney disease requiring maintenance haemodialysis. Both variants were co-circulating in the community at the time of detection. Genomic surveillance based on amplicon- and probe-based sequencing using short- and long-read technologies identified and quantified subpopulations of Delta and Omicron viruses in respiratory samples. These findings highlight the importance of integrated genomic surveillance in vulnerable populations and provide diagnostic pathways to recognise SARS-CoV-2 co-infection using genomic data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Genomics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
Transplantation ; 2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since November 2021, a new variant of concern (VOC), the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineage B.1.1.529 (Omicron) has emerged as the dominant coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection worldwide. We describe the clinical presentation, risk factors, and outcomes in a cohort of kidney and kidney pancreas transplant recipients with COVID-19 caused by Omicron infection. METHODS: We included all kidney and kidney pancreas transplant recipients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron infections between December 26, 2021, and January 14, 2022, in a single transplant center in Australia. Identification of the VOC Omicron was confirmed using phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 sequences. RESULTS: Forty-one patients with kidney (6 living and 33 deceased) and kidney pancreas transplants were diagnosed with the VOC Omicron (lineage B.1.1.529/BA.1) infection during the study period. The mean age (SD) at the time of diagnosis was 52 (11.1) y; 40 (out of 41) (98%) had received at least 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Cough was the most frequent symptom (80.5%), followed by myalgia (70.7%), sore throat (63.4%), and fever (58.5%). After a follow-up time of 30 d, 1 (2.4%) patient died, 2 (4.9%) experienced multiorgan failure, and 5 (12.2%) had respiratory failure; 11 (26.8%) patients developed other superimposed infections. Compared with recipients who did not receive sotrovimab antibody therapy, the odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for hospitalization among patients who received sotrovimab was 0.05 (0.005-0.4). CONCLUSIONS: Despite double or triple dose vaccination, VOC Omicron infections in kidney and kidney pancreas transplant recipients are not necessarily mild. Hospitalization rates remained high (around 56%), and sotrovimab use may prevent hospitalization.

4.
Frontiers in microbiology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1876726

ABSTRACT

Background Low frequency intrahost single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been increasingly recognised as predictive indicators of positive selection. Particularly as growing numbers of SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest (VOI) and concern (VOC) emerge. However, the dynamics of subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) expression and its impact on genomic diversity and infection outcome remain poorly understood. This study aims to investigate and quantify iSNVs and sgRNA expression in single and longitudinally sampled cohorts over the course of mild and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, benchmarked against an in vitro infection model. Methods Two clinical cohorts of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases in New South Wales, Australia collected between March 2020 and August 2021 were sequenced. Longitudinal samples from cases hospitalised due to SARS-CoV-2 infection (severe) (n = 16) were analysed and compared with cases that presented with SARS-CoV-2 symptoms but were not hospitalised (mild) (n = 23). SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity profiles were also examined from daily sampling of culture experiments for three SARS-CoV-2 variants (Lineage A, B.1.351, and B.1.617.2) cultured in VeroE6 C1008 cells (n = 33). Results Intrahost single nucleotide variants were detected in 83% (19/23) of the mild cohort cases and 100% (16/16) of the severe cohort cases. SNP profiles remained relatively fixed over time, with an average of 1.66 SNPs gained or lost, and an average of 4.2 and 5.9 low frequency variants per patient were detected in severe and mild infection, respectively. sgRNA was detected in 100% (25/25) of the mild genomes and 92% (24/26) of the severe genomes. Total sgRNA expressed across all genes in the mild cohort was significantly higher than that of the severe cohort. Significantly higher expression levels were detected in the spike and the nucleocapsid genes. There was significantly less sgRNA detected in the culture dilutions than the clinical cohorts. Discussion and Conclusion The positions and frequencies of iSNVs in the severe and mild infection cohorts were dynamic overtime, highlighting the importance of continual monitoring, particularly during community outbreaks where multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants may co-circulate. sgRNA levels can vary across patients and the overall level of sgRNA reads compared to genomic RNA can be less than 1%. The relative contribution of sgRNA to the severity of illness warrants further investigation given the level of variation between genomes. Further monitoring of sgRNAs will improve the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and the effectiveness of therapeutic and public health containment measures during the pandemic.

5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2884, 2022 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860372

ABSTRACT

Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important cause of acute respiratory infection with the most severe disease in the young and elderly. Non-pharmaceutical interventions and travel restrictions for controlling COVID-19 have impacted the circulation of most respiratory viruses including RSV globally, particularly in Australia, where during 2020 the normal winter epidemics were notably absent. However, in late 2020, unprecedented widespread RSV outbreaks occurred, beginning in spring, and extending into summer across two widely separated regions of the Australian continent, New South Wales (NSW) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in the east, and Western Australia. Through genomic sequencing we reveal a major reduction in RSV genetic diversity following COVID-19 emergence with two genetically distinct RSV-A clades circulating cryptically, likely localised for several months prior to an epidemic surge in cases upon relaxation of COVID-19 control measures. The NSW/ACT clade subsequently spread to the neighbouring state of Victoria and to cause extensive outbreaks and hospitalisations in early 2021. These findings highlight the need for continued surveillance and sequencing of RSV and other respiratory viruses during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as mitigation measures may disrupt seasonal patterns, causing larger or more severe outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Infant , Pandemics/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics , Seasons , Victoria
6.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337287

ABSTRACT

The emergence of resistance to antiviral drugs increasingly used to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections has been recognised as a significant threat to COVID-19 control. In addition, some SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern appear to be intrinsically resistant to several classes of these antiviral agents. Therefore, there is a critical need for rapid recognition of clinically relevant polymorphisms in SARS-CoV-2 genomes associated with significant reduction of drug activity in virus neutralisation experiments. Here we present SABRes, a bioinformatic tool, which leverages on expanding public datasets of SARS-CoV-2 genomes and allows detection of drug resistance mutations in consensus genomes as well as in viral subpopulations. We have applied SABRes to detect resistance-conferring mutations in over 25,000 genomes generated over the course of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Australia.

8.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 462022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1791296

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Influenza is a common cause of acute respiratory infection, and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infection that emerged as a pandemic worldwide before the start of the 2020 Australian influenza season. This report summarises the epidemiology of hospitalisations with laboratory-confirmed influenza and COVID-19 during the 2020 influenza season in a sentinel surveillance system. Methods: The Influenza Complications Alert Network (FluCAN) is a sentinel hospital-based surveillance program that operates at sites in all jurisdictions in Australia. Influenza and COVID-19 cases were defined as patients hospitalised at sentinel hospitals and confirmed by nucleic acid detection. Results: There were 448 patients with COVID-19 admitted between 16 March and 31 December 2020, and only 20 patients with influenza admitted between 1 April and 30 November 2020, to one of 22 FluCAN hospitals. Of the COVID-19 cases, 173 (39%) were > 65 years of age, 36 (8%) were children (< 16 years), 6 (1%) were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, 4 (1%) were pregnant and 289 (65%) had chronic comorbidities. COVID-19 hospital admissions peaked between weeks 13 and 15 (first wave) nationally, and again between weeks 31 and 35 (Victoria), with most admissions represented by those above 40 years of age. Discussion: There was an unusually low number of hospital admissions with laboratory-confirmed influenza in this season, compared to recent seasons. This is likely to be due to effective public health interventions and international border closures as a result of a rise in COVID-19 respiratory infections and associated hospitalisations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Victoria
10.
Interface Focus ; 12(2): 20210079, 2022 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713825

ABSTRACT

Responses to the early (February-July 2020) COVID-19 pandemic varied widely, globally. Reasons for this are multiple but likely relate to the healthcare and financial resources then available, and the degree of trust in, and economic support provided by, national governments. Cultural factors also affected how different populations reacted to the various pandemic restrictions, like masking, social distancing and self-isolation or self-quarantine. The degree of compliance with these measures depended on how much individuals valued their needs and liberties over those of their society. Thus, several themes may be relevant when comparing pandemic responses across different regions. East and Southeast Asian populations tended to be more collectivist and self-sacrificing, responding quickly to early signs of the pandemic and readily complied with most restrictions to control its spread. Australasian, Eastern European, Scandinavian, some Middle Eastern, African and South American countries also responded promptly by imposing restrictions of varying severity, due to concerns for their wider society, including for some, the fragility of their healthcare systems. Western European and North American countries, with well-resourced healthcare systems, initially reacted more slowly, partly in an effort to maintain their economies but also to delay imposing pandemic restrictions that limited the personal freedoms of their citizens.

12.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327656

ABSTRACT

We identified the co-infection of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants in two epidemiologically unrelated patients with chronic kidney disease requiring haemodialysis. Both SARS-CoV-2 variants were co-circulating locally at the time of detection. Amplicon- and probe-based sequencing using short- and long-read technologies identified and quantified Omicron and Delta subpopulations in respiratory samples from the two patients. These findings highlight the importance of genomic surveillance in vulnerable populations.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-305797

ABSTRACT

Objective: To adapt ‘fishplots’ to describe SARS-CoV-2 genomic cluster evolution. Results: : This novel analysis adapted the fishplot to depict the size and duration of circulating genomic clusters over time in New South Wales, Australia. It illuminated the effectiveness of interventions on the emergence, spread and eventual elimination of clusters and distilled genomic data into clear information to inform public health action.

14.
J Fungi (Basel) ; 8(1)2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613854

ABSTRACT

Invasive fungal disease (IFD) associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has focussed predominantly on invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. However, increasingly emergent are non-Aspergillus fungal infections including candidiasis, mucormycosis, pneumocystosis, cryptococcosis, and endemic mycoses. These infections are associated with poor outcomes, and their management is challenged by delayed diagnosis due to similarities of presentation to aspergillosis or to non-specific features in already critically ill patients. There has been a variability in the incidence of different IFDs often related to heterogeneity in patient populations, diagnostic protocols, and definitions used to classify IFD. Here, we summarise and address knowledge gaps related to the epidemiology, risks, diagnosis, and management of COVID-19-associated fungal infections other than aspergillosis.

15.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 452021 Dec 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579238

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: This study explores the implications of unusual presentations of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica ser. Paratyphi (S. Paratyphi) infection for public health management, through a literature review and case study. In 2016, a 36-year-old male presented with a five-day history of right sided painful neck swelling, coryza and a two-day history of fevers after arriving in Australia from India nine weeks earlier. S. Paratyphi A was isolated from a fine needle aspirate sample. A descriptive epidemiological review was performed of confirmed cases of S. Paratyphi notified in New South Wales between 2008 and 2017. S. Paratyphi was isolated in blood and/or faecal samples in 247 cases (98.4%). Only four specimens (1.6%) were from a focal site. A literature review of extraintestinal infections of S. Paratyphi A or B was performed. Of the 41 such cases reported, 16 (39%) had a clear history of a prior gastroenteritis and/or febrile illness, or information suggested this was highly likely. No preceding gastroenteritis or febrile illness occurred in 15 (37%) of the cases. Information was reviewed and presented with a public health lens, valuable for 'evidence-informed' public health risk assessment of contacts and exposures related to these types of S. Paratyphi infection. S. Paratyphi infection usually presents as an enteric fever illness. Our case illustrates the variable nature of infectious diseases and the importance of laboratory testing in obtaining a diagnosis. S. Paratyphi can have unusual presentations, which may require adjustment in the public health management of the case. Public health staff should keep an open mind when investigating possible sources and assessing risk. In Western Sydney, this disease is largely associated with residents travelling to high-incidence countries to visit family and friends, and receiving family visits from these countries. The increasing number of cases of S. Paratyphi (prior to COVID-19) in Western Sydney and the importance of awareness of the risk of enteric fever to travellers to endemic regions is highlighted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Salmonella paratyphi A , Abscess , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296535

ABSTRACT

In late November 2021, the World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.529 the fifth variant of concern, Omicron. This variant has acquired 15 mutations in the receptor binding domain of the spike protein, raising concerns that Omicron could evade naturally acquired and vaccine-derived immunity. We utilized an authentic virus, multicycle neutralisation assay to demonstrate that sera collected 1, 3, and 6 months post-two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 has a limited ability to neutralise SARS-CoV-2. However, four weeks after a third dose, neutralizing antibody titres are boosted. Despite this increase, neutralising antibody titres are reduced 4-fold for Omicron compared to lineage A.2.2 SARS-CoV-2.

17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292984

ABSTRACT

Background: Low frequency intrahost single nucleotide variants (iSNVs) of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been increasingly recognised as predictive indicators of positive selection. Particularly as growing numbers of SARS-CoV-2 variants of interest (VOI) and concern (VOC) emerge. However, the dynamics of subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) expression and its impact on genomic diversity and infection outcome remain poorly understood. This study aims to investigate and quantify iSNVs and sgRNA expression in single and longitudinally sampled cohorts over the course of mild and severe SARS-CoV-2 infection benchmarked against an in-vitro infection model. Methods: Two clinical cohorts of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases in New South Wales, Australia collected between March 2020 and August 2021 were sequenced. Longitudinal samples from cases hospitalised due to SARS-CoV-2 infection (severe) were analysed and compared with cases that presented with SARS-CoV-2 symptoms but were not hospitalised (mild). SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity profiles were also examined from daily sampling of culture experiments for three SARS-CoV-2 variants (Lineage A, B.1.351, and B.1.617.2) cultured in VeroE6 C1008 cells (n = 33). Results: ISNVs were detected in 83% (19/23) of the mild cohort cases and 100% (16/16) of the severe cohort cases. SNP profiles remained relatively fixed over time, with an average of 1.66 SNPs gained or lost and an average of 4.2 and 5.9 low frequency variants per patient were detected in severe and mild infection, respectively. SgRNA was detected in 100% (25/25) of the mild genomes and 92% (24/26) of the severe genomes. Total sgRNA expressed across all genes in the mild cohort was significantly higher than that of the severe cohort. Significantly higher expression levels were detected in the spike and the nucleocapsid genes. There was significantly less sgRNA detected in the culture cohort than the clinical. Discussion and Conclusions: The positions and frequencies of iSNVs in the severe and mild infection cohorts were dynamic overtime, highlighting the importance of continual monitoring, particularly during community outbreaks where multiple SARS-Cov-2 variants may co-circulate. SgRNA levels can vary across patients and the overall level of sgRNA reads compared to genomic RNA can be less than 1%. The relative contribution of sgRNA to the severity of illness warrants further investigation given the level of variation between genomes. Further monitoring of sgRNAs will improve the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 evolution and the effectiveness of therapeutic and public health containment measures during the pandemic.

18.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 415, 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523326

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To adapt 'fishplots' to describe real-time evolution of SARS-CoV-2 genomic clusters. RESULTS: This novel analysis adapted the fishplot to depict the size and duration of circulating genomic clusters over time in New South Wales, Australia. It illuminated the effectiveness of interventions on the emergence, spread and eventual elimination of clusters and distilled genomic data into clear information to inform public health action.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Australia , Genomics , Humans , New South Wales , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2952-e2959, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501018

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) does not necessarily indicate shedding of infective virions. There are limited data on the correlation between the isolation of SARS-CoV-2, which likely indicates infectivity, and PCR. METHODS: A total of 195 patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 were tested (outpatients, n = 178; inpatients, n = 12; and critically unwell patients admitted to the intensive care unit [ICU] patients, n = 5). SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive samples were cultured in Vero C1008 cells and inspected daily for cytopathic effect (CPE). SARS-CoV-2-induced CPE was confirmed by PCR of culture supernatant. Where no CPE was observed, PCR was performed on day 4 to confirm absence of virus replication. The cycle thresholds (Cts) of the day 4 PCR (Ctculture) and the PCR of the original clinical sample (Ctsample) were compared, and positive cultures were defined where Ctsample - Ctculture was ≥3. RESULTS: Of 234 samples collected, 228 (97%) were from the upper respiratory tract. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from 56 (24%), including in 28 of 181 (15%), 19 of 42 (45%), and 9 of 11 samples (82%) collected from outpatients, inpatients, and ICU patients, respectively. All 56 samples had Ctsample ≤32; CPE was observed in 46 (20%). The mean duration from symptom onset to culture positivity was 4.5 days (range, 0-18). SARS-CoV-2 was significantly more likely to be isolated from samples collected from inpatients (P < .001) and ICU patients (P < .0001) compared with outpatients, and in samples with lower Ctsample. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 culture may be used as a surrogate marker for infectivity and inform de-isolation protocols.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Critical Care , Humans , Immunologic Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells
20.
Journal of the American College of Surgeons ; 233(5):S109-S110, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1461246
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