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1.
Health Secur ; 20(S1): S4-S12, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097251

ABSTRACT

The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) was established in 2015 to improve the capabilities of healthcare facilities to provide safe and effective care to patients with Ebola and other special pathogens in the United States. Through NETEC, a collaborative network of 10 Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Centers (RESPTCs) undertook readiness activities that included potential respiratory pathogens. These preparations, which took place before the COVID-19 pandemic, established a foundation of readiness that enabled RESPTCs to play a pivotal role in the US COVID-19 pandemic response. As initial COVID-19 cases were detected in the United States, RESPTCs provided essential isolation capacity, supplies, and subject matter expertise that allowed for additional time for healthcare systems to prepare. Through the Special Pathogen Research Network, RESPTCs rapidly enrolled patients into early clinical trials. During periods of high community transmission, RESPTCs provided educational, clinical, and logistical support to a wide range of healthcare and nonhealthcare settings. In this article, we describe how NETEC and the RESPTC network leveraged this foundation of special pathogen readiness to strengthen the national healthcare system's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. NETEC and the RESPTC network have proven to be an effective model that can support the national response to future emerging special pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Humans , Infection Control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Isolation , United States/epidemiology
2.
Health Secur ; 20(S1): S20-S30, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097246

ABSTRACT

The need for well-controlled clinical trials is fundamental to advancing medicine. Care should be taken to maintain high standards in trial design and conduct even during emergency medical events such as an infectious disease outbreak. In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 emerged and rapidly impacted populations around the globe. The need for effective therapeutics was immediately evident, prompting the National Institutes of Health to initiate the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial. The Special Pathogens Research Network, made up of 10 Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Centers, was approached to participate in this trial and readily joined the trial on short notice. By trial closure, the Special Pathogens Research Network sites, making up 19% of all study sites, enrolled 26% of the total participants. The initial resources available and experience in running clinical trials at each treatment center varied from minimal experience and few staff to extensive experience and a large staff. Based on experiences during the first phase of this trial, the Special Pathogens Research Network members provided feedback regarding operational lessons learned and recommendations for conducting future studies during a pandemic. Communication, collaboration, information technology, regulatory processes, and access to resources were identified as important topics to address. Key stakeholders including institutions, institutional review boards, and study personnel must maintain routine communication to efficiently and effectively activate when future research needs arise. Regular and standardized training for new personnel will aid in transitions and project continuity, especially in a rapidly evolving environment. Trainings should include local just-in-time training for new staff and sponsor-designed modules to refresh current staff knowledge. We offer recommendations that can be used by institutions and sponsors to determine goals and needs when preparing to set up this type of trial for critical, short-notice needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U.S.) , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
3.
Viruses ; 14(9)2022 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043979

ABSTRACT

The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has caused many breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated individuals. While vaccine status did not generally impact the number of viral RNA genome copies in nasopharyngeal swabs of breakthrough patients, as measured by Ct values, it has been previously found to decrease the infectious viral load in symptomatic patients. We quantified the viral RNA, infectious virus, and anti-spike IgA in nasopharyngeal swabs collected from individuals asymptomatically infected with the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. Vaccination decreased the infectious viral load, but not the amount of viral RNA. Furthermore, vaccinees with asymptomatic infections had significantly higher levels of anti-spike IgA in their nasal secretions compared to unvaccinated individuals with asymptomatic infections. Thus, vaccination may decrease the transmission risk of Delta, and perhaps other variants, despite not affecting the amount of viral RNA measured in nasopharyngeal swabs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Viral Load
4.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(7): ofac219, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931882

ABSTRACT

Background: The Adaptive COVID Treatment Trial-2 (ACTT-2) found that baricitinib in combination with remdesivir therapy (BCT) sped recovery in hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients vs remdesivir monotherapy (RMT). We examined how BCT affected progression throughout hospitalization and utilization of intensive respiratory therapies. Methods: We characterized the clinical trajectories of 891 ACTT-2 participants requiring supplemental oxygen or higher levels of respiratory support at enrollment. We estimated the effect of BCT on cumulative incidence of clinical improvement and deterioration using competing risks models. We developed multistate models to estimate the effect of BCT on clinical improvement and deterioration and on utilization of respiratory therapies. Results: BCT resulted in more linear improvement and lower incidence of clinical deterioration compared with RMT (hazard ratio [HR], 0.74; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.95). The benefit was pronounced among participants enrolled on high-flow oxygen or noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation. In this group, BCT sped clinical improvement (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.51) while slowing clinical deterioration (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.48 to 1.02), which reduced the expected days in ordinal score (OS) 6 per 100 patients by 74 days (95% CI, -8 to 154 days) and the expected days in OS 7 per 100 patients by 161 days (95% CI, 46 to 291 days) compared with RMT. BCT did not benefit participants who were mechanically ventilated at enrollment. Conclusions: Compared with RMT, BCT reduces the clinical burden and utilization of intensive respiratory therapies for patients requiring low-flow oxygen or noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation compared with RMT and may thereby improve care for this patient population.

5.
Peptides ; 143: 170583, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258480

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for inexpensive, rapid and specific antigen-based assays to test for vaccine efficacy and detect infection with SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. We have identified a small, synthetic protein (JS7), representing a region of maximum variability within the receptor binding domain (RBD), which binds antibodies in sera from nine patients with PCR-verified COVID-19 of varying severity. Antibodies binding to either JS7 or the SARS-CoV-2 recombinant RBD, as well as those that disrupt binding between a fragment of the ACE2 receptor and the RBD, are proportional to disease severity and clinical outcome. Binding to JS7 was inhibited by linear peptides from the RBD interface with ACE2. Variants of JS7, such as E484K or N501Y, can be quickly synthesized in pure form in large quantities by automated methods. JS7 and related synthetic antigens can provide a basis for specific diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Peptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Humans , Protein Domains
6.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 86-98, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065906

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for an unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19. Animal models are urgently needed to study the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and to screen vaccines and treatments. We show that African green monkeys (AGMs) support robust SARS-CoV-2 replication and develop pronounced respiratory disease, which may more accurately reflect human COVID-19 cases than other nonhuman primate species. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in mucosal samples, including rectal swabs, as late as 15 days after exposure. Marked inflammation and coagulopathy in blood and tissues were prominent features. Transcriptome analysis demonstrated stimulation of interferon and interleukin-6 pathways in bronchoalveolar lavage samples and repression of natural killer cell- and T cell-associated transcripts in peripheral blood. Despite a slight waning in antibody titers after primary challenge, enhanced antibody and cellular responses contributed to rapid clearance after re-challenge with an identical strain. These data support the utility of AGM for studying COVID-19 pathogenesis and testing medical countermeasures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Reinfection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epidemics/prevention & control , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Interferons/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/virology
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