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1.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(10): e508-e517, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475189

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We hypothesised that host-response biomarkers of viral infections might contribute to early identification of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is critical to breaking the chains of transmission. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of existing candidate whole-blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection to predict positivity of nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. METHODS: We did a nested case-control diagnostic accuracy study among a prospective cohort of health-care workers (aged ≥18 years) at St Bartholomew's Hospital (London, UK) undergoing weekly blood and nasopharyngeal swab sampling for whole-blood RNA sequencing and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, when fit to attend work. We identified candidate blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection through a systematic literature search. We searched MEDLINE for articles published between database inception and Oct 12, 2020, using comprehensive MeSH and keyword terms for "viral infection", "transcriptome", "biomarker", and "blood". We reconstructed signature scores in blood RNA sequencing data and evaluated their diagnostic accuracy for contemporaneous SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared with the gold standard of SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, by quantifying the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), sensitivities, and specificities at a standardised Z score of at least 2 based on the distribution of signature scores in test-negative controls. We used pairwise DeLong tests compared with the most discriminating signature to identify the subset of best performing biomarkers. We evaluated associations between signature expression, viral load (using PCR cycle thresholds), and symptom status visually and using Spearman rank correlation. The primary outcome was the AUROC for discriminating between samples from participants who tested negative throughout the study (test-negative controls) and samples from participants with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (test-positive participants) during their first week of PCR positivity. FINDINGS: We identified 20 candidate blood transcriptomic signatures of viral infection from 18 studies and evaluated their accuracy among 169 blood RNA samples from 96 participants over 24 weeks. Participants were recruited between March 23 and March 31, 2020. 114 samples were from 41 participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 55 samples were from 55 test-negative controls. The median age of participants was 36 years (IQR 27-47) and 69 (72%) of 96 were women. Signatures had little overlap of component genes, but were mostly correlated as components of type I interferon responses. A single blood transcript for IFI27 provided the highest accuracy for discriminating between test-negative controls and test-positive individuals at the time of their first positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result, with AUROC of 0·95 (95% CI 0·91-0·99), sensitivity 0·84 (0·70-0·93), and specificity 0·95 (0·85-0·98) at a predefined threshold (Z score >2). The transcript performed equally well in individuals with and without symptoms. Three other candidate signatures (including two to 48 transcripts) had statistically equivalent discrimination to IFI27 (AUROCs 0·91-0·95). INTERPRETATION: Our findings support further urgent evaluation and development of blood IFI27 transcripts as a biomarker for early phase SARS-CoV-2 infection for screening individuals at high risk of infection, such as contacts of index cases, to facilitate early case isolation and early use of antiviral treatments as they emerge. FUNDING: Barts Charity, Wellcome Trust, and National Institute of Health Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Lancet Microbe ; 2(10): e508-e517, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305340

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We hypothesised that host-response biomarkers of viral infections might contribute to early identification of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is critical to breaking the chains of transmission. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of existing candidate whole-blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection to predict positivity of nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing. METHODS: We did a nested case-control diagnostic accuracy study among a prospective cohort of health-care workers (aged ≥18 years) at St Bartholomew's Hospital (London, UK) undergoing weekly blood and nasopharyngeal swab sampling for whole-blood RNA sequencing and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, when fit to attend work. We identified candidate blood transcriptomic signatures for viral infection through a systematic literature search. We searched MEDLINE for articles published between database inception and Oct 12, 2020, using comprehensive MeSH and keyword terms for "viral infection", "transcriptome", "biomarker", and "blood". We reconstructed signature scores in blood RNA sequencing data and evaluated their diagnostic accuracy for contemporaneous SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared with the gold standard of SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing, by quantifying the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), sensitivities, and specificities at a standardised Z score of at least 2 based on the distribution of signature scores in test-negative controls. We used pairwise DeLong tests compared with the most discriminating signature to identify the subset of best performing biomarkers. We evaluated associations between signature expression, viral load (using PCR cycle thresholds), and symptom status visually and using Spearman rank correlation. The primary outcome was the AUROC for discriminating between samples from participants who tested negative throughout the study (test-negative controls) and samples from participants with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (test-positive participants) during their first week of PCR positivity. FINDINGS: We identified 20 candidate blood transcriptomic signatures of viral infection from 18 studies and evaluated their accuracy among 169 blood RNA samples from 96 participants over 24 weeks. Participants were recruited between March 23 and March 31, 2020. 114 samples were from 41 participants with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and 55 samples were from 55 test-negative controls. The median age of participants was 36 years (IQR 27-47) and 69 (72%) of 96 were women. Signatures had little overlap of component genes, but were mostly correlated as components of type I interferon responses. A single blood transcript for IFI27 provided the highest accuracy for discriminating between test-negative controls and test-positive individuals at the time of their first positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result, with AUROC of 0·95 (95% CI 0·91-0·99), sensitivity 0·84 (0·70-0·93), and specificity 0·95 (0·85-0·98) at a predefined threshold (Z score >2). The transcript performed equally well in individuals with and without symptoms. Three other candidate signatures (including two to 48 transcripts) had statistically equivalent discrimination to IFI27 (AUROCs 0·91-0·95). INTERPRETATION: Our findings support further urgent evaluation and development of blood IFI27 transcripts as a biomarker for early phase SARS-CoV-2 infection for screening individuals at high risk of infection, such as contacts of index cases, to facilitate early case isolation and early use of antiviral treatments as they emerge. FUNDING: Barts Charity, Wellcome Trust, and National Institute of Health Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
Open Heart ; 8(1)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195855

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The response to COVID-19 has required cancellation of all but the most urgent procedures; there is therefore a need for the reintroduction of a safe elective pathway. METHODS: This was a study of a pilot pathway performed at Barts Heart Centre for the admission of patients requiring elective coronary and structural procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic (April-June 2020). All patients on coronary and structural waiting lists were screened for procedural indications, urgency and adverse features for COVID-19 prognosis and discussed at dedicated multidisciplinary teams. Dedicated admission pathways involving preadmission isolation, additional consent, COVID-19 PCR testing and dedicated clean areas were used. RESULTS: 143 patients (101 coronary and 42 structural) underwent procedures (coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention, transcatheter aortic valve intervention and MitralClip) during the study period. The average age was 68.2; 74% were male; and over 93% had one or more moderate COVID-19 risk factors. All patients were COVID-19 PCR negative on admission with (8.1%) COVID-19 antibody positive (swab negative). All procedures were performed successfully with low rates of procedural complications (9.8%). At 2-week follow-up, no patients had symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 infection with significant improvements in quality if life and symptoms. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that patients undergoing coronary and structural procedures can be safely admitted during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no patients contracting COVID-19 during their admission. Reassuringly, patients reflective of typical practice, that is, those at moderate or higher risk, were treated successfully. This pilot provides important information applicable to other settings, specialties and areas to reintroduce services safely.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiology Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Coronary Angiography/methods , Elective Surgical Procedures , Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation/methods , Infection Control , Percutaneous Coronary Intervention/methods , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Elective Surgical Procedures/methods , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Elective Surgical Procedures/trends , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Male , Organizational Innovation , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Risk Adjustment/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety Management/organization & administration , United Kingdom/epidemiology
5.
EBioMedicine ; 65: 103259, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116568

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 serology is used to identify prior infection at individual and at population level. Extended longitudinal studies with multi-timepoint sampling to evaluate dynamic changes in antibody levels are required to identify the time horizon in which these applications of serology are valid, and to explore the longevity of protective humoral immunity. METHODS: Healthcare workers were recruited to a prospective cohort study from the first SARS-CoV-2 epidemic peak in London, undergoing weekly symptom screen, viral PCR and blood sampling over 16-21 weeks. Serological analysis (n =12,990) was performed using semi-quantitative Euroimmun IgG to viral spike S1 domain and Roche total antibody to viral nucleocapsid protein (NP) assays. Comparisons were made to pseudovirus neutralizing antibody measurements. FINDINGS: A total of 157/729 (21.5%) participants developed positive SARS-CoV-2 serology by one or other assay, of whom 31.0% were asymptomatic and there were no deaths. Peak Euroimmun anti-S1 and Roche anti-NP measurements correlated (r = 0.57, p<0.0001) but only anti-S1 measurements correlated with near-contemporary pseudovirus neutralising antibody titres (measured at 16-18 weeks, r = 0.57, p<0.0001). By 21 weeks' follow-up, 31/143 (21.7%) anti-S1 and 6/150 (4.0%) anti-NP measurements reverted to negative. Mathematical modelling revealed faster clearance of anti-S1 compared to anti-NP (median half-life of 2.5 weeks versus 4.0 weeks), earlier transition to lower levels of antibody production (median of 8 versus 13 weeks), and greater reductions in relative antibody production rate after the transition (median of 35% versus 50%). INTERPRETATION: Mild SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with heterogeneous serological responses in Euroimmun anti-S1 and Roche anti-NP assays. Anti-S1 responses showed faster rates of clearance, more rapid transition from high to low level production rate and greater reduction in production rate after this transition. In mild infection, anti-S1 serology alone may underestimate incident infections. The mechanisms that underpin faster clearance and lower rates of sustained anti-S1 production may impact on the longevity of humoral immunity. FUNDING: Charitable donations via Barts Charity, Wellcome Trust, NIHR.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains/immunology
6.
Sci Immunol ; 5(54)2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999191

ABSTRACT

Understanding the nature of immunity following mild/asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to controlling the pandemic. We analyzed T cell and neutralizing antibody responses in 136 healthcare workers (HCW) 16-18 weeks after United Kingdom lockdown, 76 of whom had mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection captured by serial sampling. Neutralizing antibodies (nAb) were present in 89% of previously infected HCW. T cell responses tended to be lower following asymptomatic infection than in those reporting case-definition symptoms of COVID-19, while nAb titers were maintained irrespective of symptoms. T cell and antibody responses were sometimes discordant. Eleven percent lacked nAb and had undetectable T cell responses to spike protein but had T cells reactive with other SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our findings suggest that the majority of individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection carry nAb complemented by multispecific T cell responses at 16-18 weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
7.
J Card Surg ; 35(7): 1563-1569, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-619617

ABSTRACT

Over the last 4 months, the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a significant economic, political, and public health impact on a global scale. The natural history of the disease and surge in the need for invasive ventilation has required the provision of intensive care beds in London to be reallocated. NHS England have proposed the formation of a Pan-London Emergency Cardiac surgery (PLECS) service to provide urgent and emergency cardiac surgery for the whole of London. In this initial report, we outline our experience of setting up and delivering a pan-regional service for the delivery of urgent and emergency cardiac surgery with a focus on maintaining a COVID-free in-hospital environment. In doing so, we hope that other regions can use this as a starting point in developing their own region-specific pathways if the spread of coronavirus necessitates similar measures be put in place across the United Kingdom.


Subject(s)
Cardiac Surgical Procedures/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Emergencies , Female , Humans , London , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Program Evaluation , Risk Assessment , Safety Management/methods , Treatment Outcome , United Kingdom
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