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Gates Open Research ; 5, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1969796


Background: A potential explanation for the fact that the high rate of infection of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa did not translate into high rates of severe illness and death may be the presence of cross-reactive immunity induced by common cold coronaviruses (CCoV). Methods: We used SARS-CoV-2 peptide pools and whole virus antigen to stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected pre-2020 from South African women. Dual-colour FluoroSpot assay was used to measure interferon gamma (IFNγ) and interleukin 2 (IL2) production. Results: Among the 97 study participants, IFNγ responses were observed in 29.9% of the women and IL2 among 39.2%. Overall, 51.6% of women demonstrated response to at least one stimulant. Conclusion: We demonstrate the presence of cross-reactive immunity to SARS-CoV-2, which might have been induced by past exposure to CCoV.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326929


Background We conducted a seroepidemiological survey from October 22 to December 9, 2021, in Gauteng Province, South Africa, to determine SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) seroprevalence primarily prior to the fourth wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), in which the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant is dominant. We evaluated epidemiological trends in case rates and rates of severe disease through to December 15, 2021, in Gauteng. Methods We contacted households from a previous seroepidemiological survey conducted from November 2020 to January 2021, plus an additional 10% of households using the same sampling framework. Dry blood spot samples were tested for anti-spike and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG using quantitative assays on the Luminex platform. Daily case and death data, weekly excess deaths, and weekly hospital admissions were plotted over time. Results Samples were obtained from 7010 individuals, of whom 1319 (18.8%) had received a Covid-19 vaccine. Overall seroprevalence ranged from 56.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 52.6 to 59.7) in children aged <12 years to 79.7% (95% CI, 77.6 to 81.5) in individuals aged >50 years. Seropositivity was 6.22-fold more likely in vaccinated (93.1%) vs unvaccinated (68.4%) individuals. Epidemiological data showed SARS-CoV-2 infection rates increased more rapidly than in previous waves but have now plateaued. Rates of hospitalizations and excess deaths did not increase proportionately, remaining relatively low. Conclusions We demonstrate widespread underlying SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity in Gauteng Province prior to the current Omicron-dominant wave, with epidemiological data showing an uncoupling of hospitalization and death rates from infection rate during Omicron circulation.

New England Journal of Medicine ; 384(20):1885-1898, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1238048


BACKGROUND: Assessment of the safety and efficacy of vaccines against the severe acute respiradetory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in different populations is essential, as is investigation of the efficacy of the vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants concern, including the B.1.351 (501Y.V2) variant first identified in South Africa. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOxl nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) in people not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in South Africa. Participants 18 to less than 65 years of age were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses of vaccine containing 5x1O10 viral particles or placebo (0.9% sodium chloride solution) 21 to 35 days apart. Serum samples obtained from 25 participants after the second dose were tested by pseudovirus and live-virus neutralization assays against the original D6146 virus and the B.1.351 variant. The primary end points were safety and efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed symptomatic coronavirus 2019 illness (Covid-19) more than 14 days after the second dose. RESULTS: Between June 24 and November 9,2020, we enrolled 2026 HIV-negative adults (median age, 30 years);1010 and 1011 participants received at least one dose of placebo or vaccine, respectively. Both the pseudovirus and the live-virus neutralization assays showed greater resistance to the B.1.351 variant in serum samples obtained from vaccine recipients than in samples from placebo recipients. In the primary end-point analysis, mild-to-moderate Covid49 developed in 23 of 717 placebo recipients (3.296) and in 19 of750 vaccine recipients (2.596), for an efficacy of 21.9% (95% confidence interval ICI], -49.9 to 59.8). Among the 42 participants with Covid49, 39 cases (95.1% of 41 with sequencing data) were caused by the B.1.351 variant;vaccine efficacy against this variant, analyzed as a secondary end point, was 10.4% (95% CI, 76.8 to 54.8). The incidence of serious adverse events was balanced between the vaccine and placebo groups. CONCLUSIONS: A two-dose regimen of the ChAdOxl nCoV-19 vaccine did not show protection against mild-to-moderate Covid49 due to the B.1.351 variant. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of New England Journal of Medicine is the property of New England Journal of Medicine 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 abstract 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 abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)