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1.
Singapore Med J ; 63(2): 61-67, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1811330

ABSTRACT

The complete picture regarding transmission modes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is unknown. This review summarises the available evidence on its transmission modes, our preliminary research findings and implications for infection control policy, and outlines future research directions. Environmental contamination has been reported in hospital settings occupied by infected patients, and is higher in the first week of illness. Transmission via environmental surfaces or fomites is likely, but decontamination protocols are effective in minimising this risk. The extent of airborne transmission is also unclear. While several studies have detected SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid in air samples, none has isolated viable virus in culture. Transmission likely lies on a spectrum between droplet and airborne transmission, depending on the patient, disease and environmental factors. Singapore's current personal protective equipment and isolation protocols are sufficient to manage this risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Personal Protective Equipment
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784328

ABSTRACT

Compared to individuals vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, recipients of Sinovac-CoronaVac and Sinopharm were 2.37 (95% CI 2.29-2.46) and 1.62 (95% CI 1.43-1.85) times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 respectively, while individuals vaccinated with Moderna were 0.42 (95% CI 0.25-0.70) times less likely to develop severe disease.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination status and paediatric age on transmission of the Delta variant is key to preventing COVID-19 spread. In Singapore, quarantine of all close-contacts, and quarantine-entry and exit PCR testing, enabled evaluation of these factors. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included all household close-contacts between March 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021. Logistic regression using generalized estimating equations was used to determine risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 acquisition and symptomatic disease. FINDINGS: Among 8470 Delta variant-exposed household close-contacts linked to 2583 indices, full-vaccination of the index with BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 was associated with significant reduction in SARS-CoV-2 acquisition by contacts (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]:0.56, 95% robust confidence interval [RCI]:0.44-0.71 and aOR:0.51, 95%RCI:0.27-0.96 respectively).Compared to young adults (18-29y), children (0-11y) were significantly more likely to transmit (aOR:2.37 [95%RCI:1.57-3.60]) and acquire (aOR:1.43 [95%RCI:1.07-1.93]) infection, taking into account vaccination status.Longer duration from completion of vaccination among contacts was associated with decline in protection against acquisition (first-month aOR:0.42, 95%RCI:0.33-0.55; fifth-month aOR:0.84, 95%RCI:0.55-0.98; p<0.0001 for trend) and symptomatic disease (first-month aOR:0.30, 95%RCI:0.23-0.41; fifth-month aOR;0.62, 95%RCI:0.38-1.02; p<0.0001 for trend). Contacts immunized with mRNA-1273 had significant reduction in acquisition (aOR:0.73, 95%RCI:0.58-0.91) compared to BNT162b2. CONCLUSIONS: Among household close-contacts, vaccination prevented onward SARS-CoV-2 transmission and there was increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition and transmission among children compared with young adults. Time after completion of vaccination and vaccine type affected SARS-CoV-2 acquisition.

4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702780

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: he impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) on disease severity is unclear. In this retrospective study, we compared outcomes of patients infected with B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.1.617.2 with those with wild-type strains from early 2020. METHODS: National surveillance data from 1-January-2021 to 22-May-2021 were obtained from the Ministry of Health, and outcomes in relation to VOC were explored. Detailed patient level data from all patients with VOC infection admitted to our center between 20-December-2020 and 12-May-2021 were analyzed. Clinical outcomes were compared with a cohort of 846 patients admitted from January-April 2020. RESULTS: 829 patients in Singapore in the study period were infected with these 3 VOCs. After adjusting for age and sex, B.1.617.2 was associated with higher odds of oxygen requirement, ICU admission, or death (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4.90, [95% CI 1.43-30.78]). 157 of these patients were admitted to our center. After adjusting for age, sex, comorbidities, and vaccination, aOR for pneumonia with B.1.617.2 was 1.88 [95% CI 0.95-3.76]) compared with wild-type. These differences were not seen with B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. Vaccination status was associated with decreased severity. B.1.617.2 was associated with significantly lower PCR Ct values and longer duration of Ct value ≤30 (median duration 18 days for B.1.617.2, 13 days for wild-type). CONCLUSIONS: There was a signal toward increased severity associated with B.1.617.2. The association of B.1.617.2 with lower Ct value and longer viral shedding provides a potential mechanism for increased transmissibility. These findings provide an impetus for the rapid implementation of vaccination programs.

5.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 239, 2022 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690936

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a novel pandemic affecting almost all countries leading to lockdowns worldwide. In Singapore, locally-acquired cases emerged after the first wave of imported cases, and these two groups of cases may have different health-seeking behavior affecting disease transmission. We investigated differences in health-seeking behavior between locally-acquired cases and imported cases, and within the locally-acquired cases, those who saw single versus multiple healthcare providers. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 258 patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 from 23 January to 17 March 2020. Variables related to health-seeking behavior included number of visits prior to hospitalization, timing of the first visit, duration from symptom onset to admission, and places where the cases had at least one visit. RESULTS: Locally-acquired cases had longer duration from onset of symptoms to hospital admission (median 6 days, interquartile range [IQR] 4-9) than imported cases (median 4 days, IQR 2-7) (p < 0.001). Singapore residents were more likely to have at least one visit to private clinics and/or government-subsidized public clinics than non-residents (84.0% vs. 58.7%, p < 0.001). Among locally-acquired cases, those who sought care from a single healthcare provider had fewer visits before their hospital admissions compared with those who went to multiple providers (median 2 vs. 3, p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Our study indicates the need to encourage individuals to seek medical attention early on in their patient journey, particularly from the same healthcare provider. This in turn, would facilitate early detection and isolation, hence limiting local transmission and enabling better control of the COVID-19 outbreak.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology
6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328680

ABSTRACT

Background: On 26 November 2021, the World Health Organization designated the B.1.1.529 lineage of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as the fifth variant of concern, Omicron. Infections have quickly spread worldwide, but understanding of the viral dynamics and the cytokine and cellular immunological response during infection remain limited. Methods: Detailed patient-level data from 174 age-matched patients with sequence confirmed Omicron or Delta infection admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore were analyzed in an observational cohort study. Peripheral blood samples for measurement of SARS-CoV-2 immunological parameters were obtained from a subset. Respiratory samples were collected for viral cultures and correlated to corresponding PCR cycle threshold (Ct) values. Results: Omicron and Delta variant infections in this hospitalized cohort were mild with only 3 (3%) and 14 (16%) developing pneumonia respectively. Omicron infections were more likely to present with sore throat (46.0 vs x23.0%, p=0.005). Neutrophil counts and C-reactive protein (CRP) were significantly lower among the Omicron cohort (Median neutrophil 2.95 [IQR 2.16 – 3.96] vs 4.60 [IQR 3.76 – 6.10] x 10 9 /L , p<0.001;Median CRP 5.7 [IQR 2.0 – 10.0] vs 12.0 [IQR 6.1 – 22.0] mg/L, p<0.001). Trough polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) values were significantly higher with Omicron infection (17.6 [IQR 16.3 – 19.3] vs 14.9 [IQR 13.9 – 19.0], p=0.001). The pattern and rate of rise in Ct values was similar between Omicron and Delta. At the time of infection, Omicron infected patients had lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines Vaccine breakthrough infections with the Omicron variant had a low concentration of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors at the acute phase of infection, but a more robust IFN-γ response. Less dysregulated immune cell profiles were also observed, including a lower immature neutrophil cell count in Omicron breakthrough cases Conclusions: Omicron infections resulted in mild vaccine breakthrough illness in the majority of patients. Compared with Delta, Omicron infections were more frequently associated with upper respiratory tract infections, had lower viral loads, lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and less dysregulated immune cell profiles.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324729

ABSTRACT

Background: Host determinants of severe coronavirus disease 2019 include advanced age, comorbidities and male sex. Virologic factors may also be important in determining clinical outcome and transmission rates, but limited patient-level data is available. Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study at seven public hospitals in Singapore. Clinical and laboratory data were collected and compared between individuals infected with different SARS-CoV-2 clades. Firth’s logistic regression was used to examine the association between SARS-CoV-2 clade and development of hypoxia, and quasi-Poisson regression to compare transmission rates. Plasma samples were tested for immune mediator levels and the kinetics of viral replication in cell culture were compared. Findings: 319 patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection had clinical and virologic data available for analysis. 29 (9%) were infected with clade S, 90 (28%) with clade L/V, 96 (30%) with clade G (containing D614G variant), and 104 (33%) with other clades ‘O’ were assigned to lineage B.6. After adjusting for age and other covariates, infections with clade S (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0·030 (95% confidence intervals (CI): 0·0002-0·29)) or clade O (B·6) (aOR 0·26 (95% CI 0·064-0·93)) were associated with lower odds of developing hypoxia requiring supplemental oxygen compared with clade L/V. Patients infected with clade L/V had more pronounced systemic inflammation with higher concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. No significant difference in the severity of clade G infections was observed (aOR 0·95 (95% CI: 0·35-2·52). Though viral loads were significantly higher, there was no evidence of increased transmissibility of clade G, and replicative fitness in cell culture was similar for all clades. Interpretation: Infection with clades L/V was associated with increased severity and more systemic release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Infection with clade G was not associated with changes in severity, and despite higher viral loads there was no evidence of increased transmissibility.Funding Statement: This study was funded by grants from the Singapore National Medical Research Council (COVID19RF- 001, COVID19RF2-0001, COVID19RF-007, and COVID19RF-60) and Biomedical Research Council (project number H20/04/g1/006).Declaration of Interests: No conflicts of interest declared.Ethics Approval Statement: The epidemiological investigation was conducted under the Infectious Diseases Act (Singapore). Study protocols were approved by ethics committees of the National Healthcare Group and SingHealth. Written informed consent was obtained from participants for clinical data and biological sample collection as part of the PROTECT study (2012/00917;2018/3045). A waiver of informed consent for retrospective data collection only was granted for individuals admitted to the National Centre of Infectious Diseases (2020/01122). Healthy donor samples were collected under study numbers 2017/2806 and NUS IRB 04-140.

8.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322689

ABSTRACT

Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) presents with non-specific clinical features. This may result in misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, and lead to further transmission in the community. We aimed to derive early predictors to differentiate COVID-19 from influenza and dengue. Methods: : The study comprised 126 patients with COVID-19, 171 with influenza and 180 with dengue, who presented within 5 days of symptom onset. All cases were confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction tests. We used logistic regression models to identify clinical characteristics and laboratory markers in classifying COVID-19 versus influenza, and COVID-19 versus dengue. The performance of the models were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC). Results: : Shortness of breath was the strongest predictor in the models for differentiating between COVID-19 and influenza, followed by diarrhoea. Higher lymphocyte count was predictive of COVID-19 versus influenza and versus dengue. In the model for differentiating between COVID-19 and dengue, patients with cough and higher platelet count were at increased odds of COVID-19, while headache, joint pain, skin rash and vomiting/nausea were indicative of dengue. The area under the ROC was 0.92 for flu model and 0.99 for dengue model. Conclusion: Models based on clinical features and simple laboratory markers for differentiating COVID-19 from influenza and dengue, which possess good predictive performance, can serve as a useful tool for primary care physicians to determine if further investigations or referrals would be required.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322578

ABSTRACT

Background: COVID-19 is a novel pandemic affecting almost all countries leading to lockdowns worldwide. In Singapore, locally-acquired cases emerged after the first wave of imported cases, and these two groups may have different health-seeking behaviour affecting disease transmission. Objective: We investigated differences in health-seeking behaviour between locally-acquired cases and imported cases, and within the locally-acquired cases, those who saw single versus multiple healthcare providers. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 258 patients who were diagnosed with COVID-19 from 23 January to 17 March 2020. Variables related to health-seeking behaviour included number of visits prior to hospitalisation, timing of the first visit, duration from symptom onset to admission, and places where the cases had at least one visit. Results: Locally-acquired cases had longer duration from symptoms onset to hospital admission (median 6 days, range 1-30) than imported cases (median 4 days, range 1-13) (p<0.0005). Singapore residents were more likely to have at least one visit to private clinics and/or government-subsidised public clinics than non-residents (84.0% vs. 58.7%, p<0.0005). Among locally-acquired cases, those who sought care from a single provider had fewer visits before their hospital admissions compared with those who went to multiple care providers (median 2 vs. 3, p=0.001). Conclusion: Our study indicates the need to encourage individuals to seek medical attention early on in their patient journey, particularly from their family physician or the same doctor. This in turn, would facilitate early detection and isolation, hence limiting local transmission and enabling better control of the pandemic.

10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318385

ABSTRACT

Background: The impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) on disease severity is unclear. In this retrospective cohort study, we compared outcomes of patients infected with B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.1.617.2 with those with wild-type strains from early 2020.Methods: National surveillance data from 1-January-2021 to 22-May-2021 were obtained from the Ministry of Health, and outcomes in relation to VOC were explored. Detailed patient level data from all SARS-CoV-2 patients with VOC infection admitted to our centre between 20-December-2020 and 12-May-2021 were analysed. Outcomes were compared with a cohort of 846 patients admitted January-April 2020.Findings: There were 838 VOC infections in Singapore in the study period. After adjusting for age and gender, B.1.617.2 infection was associated with higher odds of oxygen requirement, ICU admission, or death (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4·90, [95% CI 1·43-30·78]. 157 patients with VOCs were admitted to our centre. After adjusting for age, gender, comorbidities, and vaccination, aOR for pneumonia with B.1.617.2 was 1·88 [95% CI 0·95-3·76]) compared with wild-type. B.1.617.2 was associated with significantly lower PCR Ct values and significantly longer duration of Ct value ≤30 (estimated median duration 18 days for B.1.617.2, 13 days for wild-type). Vaccine breakthrough cases were less severe.Interpretation: There was a signal toward increased severity associated with B.1.617.2. The association of B.1.617.2 with lower Ct value and longer viral shedding provides a potential mechanism for increased transmissibility. These findings provide a strong impetus for the rapid implementation of vaccination programmes.Funding Information: National Medical Research Council grants COVID19RF-001 and COVID19RF-008.Declaration of Interests: BEY reports personal fees from Roche and Sanofi, outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests.Ethics Approval Statement: Informed consent for retrospective data collection was waived as approved by the institutional review board (NHG-DSRB reference number 2020/01122).

11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318383

ABSTRACT

Surveillance of nosocomial infections, like catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP) and secondary bloodstream infections were observed to study the impact of COVID-19 outbreak in ICUs from Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Singapore between February and June 2020. Higher nosocomial infection rates were observed in COVID-19 patients, although it was not statistically significant. Moreover, COVID-19 patients seem to be more predisposed to CAUTI despite a higher proportion of non-COVID-19 patients having urinary catheters. Thus, continued vigilance to ensure adherence to IPC measures is needed.

12.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312783

ABSTRACT

Background: To determine the utility of chest radiography (CXR) for assessing and prognosticating COVID-19 disease with an objective radiographic scoring system. Methods: A multicenter, prospective study was conducted, forty patients were included. Seventy-eight CXR’s were performed on the first derivation cohort of twenty patients with COVID-19 (median age 47.5 years, 10 females and four with comorbidities) admitted between 22 January 2020 and 1 February 2020. Each CXR was scored by three radiologists in consensus and graded on a 72-point COVID-19 Radiographic Score (CRS). This was correlated with supplemental oxygen requirement, C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and lymphocyte count. To validate our findings, the parameters of another validation cohort of twenty patients with 65 CXRs were analysed. Results: In the derivation cohort, seven patients needed supplemental oxygen and one was intubated for mechanical ventilation with no death. The maximum CRS was significantly different between patients on and not on supplemental oxygen (p=<.001). There was strong correlation between maximum CRS and lowest oxygen saturation (r= -.849), maximum CRP (r= .832) and maximum LDH (r= .873). These findings were consistent in the validation cohort. An increment of 2 points in CRS had an accuracy of 0.938 with 100.0% sensitivity (95% CI 100.0-100.0) and 83.3% (95% CI 65.1-100.0) specificity in predicting supplemental oxygen requirement. Conclusion: Using an objective scoring system (CRS), the degree of abnormalities on CXR correlates closely with known markers of disease severity. CRS may further be applied to predict patients who require oxygen supplementation during the course of their disease.

13.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311276

ABSTRACT

Purpose: COVID-19, caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has a wide disease spectrum ranging from asymptomatic to severe. While it is widely accepted that specific humoral immune responses are critical in controlling the infection, the relationship between the humoral immune response and disease severity is currently unclear.MethodsUsing a flow cytometry-based assay to detect specific antibodies against full length S protein, we compared the antibody levels between patients from different severity groups. We also analysed the cytokine profiles of patients from different severity groups by multiplex microbead-based immunoassay . ResultsWe found an association between specific IgM, IgA and IgG against the spike protein and disease severity. By comparing the ratio of Th1 IgG1 and IgG3 to Th2 IgG2 and IgG4, we observed that all severity groups exhibited a ratio that was skewed towards a stronger Th1 response over Th2 response. In addition to the strong Th1 response, patients with severe disease also developed a Th2 response, as exemplified by the smaller ratio of IgG1 and IgG3 over IgG2 and IgG4 and the smaller Th1/Th2 cytokine ratios, compared to patients with mild disease severity. ConclusionThe results suggest that acute severity or disease resolution is associated with a specific immunological phenotype. A smaller skew towards a Th1 response over Th2 response, during infection, may contribute to disease progression, while a greater skew towards a Th1 response over Th2 response may contribute to a better disease outcome. This may suggest potential therapeutic approaches to COVID-19 disease management.

14.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311275

ABSTRACT

Early detection of infections is crucial to limit the spread of coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19). Here, we developed a flow cytometry-based assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein (S protein) antibodies in COVID-19 patients. The assay detected specific IgM and IgG in COVID-19 patients and also the acquisition of all IgG subclasses, with IgG1 being the most dominant. The antibody response was significantly higher at a later stage of the infection. Furthermore, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients also developed specific IgM and IgG, with IgG1 as the most dominant subclass. Although the antibody levels were lower in asymptomatic infections, the assay was highly sensitive and detected 97% of asymptomatic infections. These findings demonstrated that the assay could be used for serological analysis of symptomatic patients, and also as a sensitive tool to detect asymptomatic infections, which may go undetected.Funding: Biomedical Research Council (BMRC), the A*ccelerate GAP-funded project (ACCL/19-GAP064-R20H-H) from Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and National Medical Research Council (NMRC) COVID-19 Research fund (COVID19RF-001, COVID-19RF-007, COVID-19RF-60).Conflict of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.Ethical Approval: The study design and protocols for COVID-19, recovered SARS and seasonal human CoV patient cohorts were approved by National Healthcare Group (NHG) Domain Specific Review Board (DSRB) and performed, following ethical guidelines in the approved studies 2012/00917, 2020/00091 and 2020/00076 respectively. Healthy donor samples were collected in accordance with approved studies 2017/2806 and NUS IRB 04-140. Written informed consent was obtained from participants in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki for Human Research.

16.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(3): e15227, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643965

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) variant is capable of infecting vaccinated persons. An open question remains as to whether deficiencies in specific vaccine-elicited immune responses result in susceptibility to vaccine breakthrough infection. We investigated 55 vaccine breakthrough infection cases (mostly Delta) in Singapore, comparing them against 86 vaccinated close contacts who did not contract infection. Vaccine breakthrough cases showed lower memory B cell frequencies against SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). Compared to plasma antibodies, antibodies secreted by memory B cells retained a higher fraction of neutralizing properties against the Delta variant. Inflammatory cytokines including IL-1ß and TNF were lower in vaccine breakthrough infections than primary infection of similar disease severity, underscoring the usefulness of vaccination in preventing inflammation. This report highlights the importance of memory B cells against vaccine breakthrough and suggests that lower memory B cell levels may be a correlate of risk for Delta vaccine breakthrough infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(4): 612.e1-612.e7, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604269

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Highly effective vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been developed but variants of concerns are worrisome, especially B.1.617.2 (Delta) which has rapidly spread across the world. We aim to study if vaccination alters virological and serological kinetics in breakthrough infections. METHODS: We conducted a multicentre retrospective cohort study of patients in Singapore who had received a licensed mRNA vaccine and been admitted to hospital with B.1.617.2 SARS-CoV-2 infection. We compared clinical features, virological and serological kinetics (anti-nucleocapsid, anti-spike and surrogate virus neutralization titres) between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. RESULTS: Out of 218 individuals with B.1.617.2 infection, 84 received an mRNA vaccine of which 71 were fully vaccinated, 130 were unvaccinated and four received a non-mRNA vaccine. Despite significantly older age in the vaccine breakthrough group, only 2.8% (2/71) developed severe COVID-19 requiring oxygen supplementation compared with 53.1% (69/130) in the unvaccinated group (p < 0.001). Odds of severe COVID-19 following vaccination were significantly lower (adjusted odds ratio 0.07 95% CI 0.015-0.335, p 0.001). PCR cycle threshold values were similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups at diagnosis, but viral loads decreased faster in vaccinated individuals. Early, robust boosting of anti-spike protein antibodies was observed in vaccinated patients; however, these titres were significantly lower against B.1.617.2 than the wildtype vaccine strain. DISCUSSION: The mRNA vaccines are highly effective at preventing symptomatic and severe COVID-19 associated with B.1.617.2 infection. Vaccination is associated with faster decline in viral RNA load and a robust serological response. Vaccination remains a key strategy for control of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cohort Studies , Humans , Kinetics , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296939

ABSTRACT

Efficient COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in record time. Here, we present findings from a comprehensive and integrated analysis of multiple compartments of the memory immune response in 312 individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Two vaccine doses induced high antibody and T cell responses in most individuals. However, antibody recognition of the Spike protein of delta variant was less efficient than that of the Wuhan strain. Age stratified analyses identified a group of low antibody responders where individuals ≥ 60 years were overrepresented. Waning of the antibody and cellular responses was observed in 30% of the vaccinees after six months. However, age did not influence the waning of these responses. Taken together, while individuals ≥ 60 years old took longer to acquire vaccine-induced immunity, they develop more sustained acquired immunity at six months post-vaccination. However, the higher proportion of older individuals in the group of antibody low responders and the lower antibody reactivity the Delta variant call for a booster immunization to increase immune responses and protection.

20.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(11): 1327-1332, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575207

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the extent of aerosol-based transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is important for tailoring interventions for control of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Multiple studies have reported the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in air samples, but only one study has successfully recovered viable virus, although it is limited by its small sample size. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the extent of shedding of viable SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory aerosols from COVID-19 patients. METHODS: In this observational air sampling study, air samples from airborne-infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) and a community isolation facility (CIF) housing COVID-19 patients were collected using a water vapor condensation method into liquid collection media. Samples were tested for presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and qRT-PCR-positive samples were tested for viability using viral culture. RESULTS: Samples from 6 (50%) of the 12 sampling cycles in hospital rooms were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, including aerosols ranging from <1 µm to >4 µm in diameter. Of 9 samples from the CIF, 1 was positive via qRT-PCR. Viral RNA concentrations ranged from 179 to 2,738 ORF1ab gene copies per cubic meter of air. Virus cultures were negative after 4 blind passages. CONCLUSION: Although SARS-CoV-2 is readily captured in aerosols, virus culture remains challenging despite optimized sampling methodologies to preserve virus viability. Further studies on aerosol-based transmission and control of SARS-CoV-2 are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Hospitals , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
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