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Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 30(1 SUPPL):10, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1880370


Background: Botswana has a high prevalence of women living with HIV (WLHIV) and experienced a severe nationwide COVID-19 epidemic in 2021. We evaluated adverse birth outcomes among women routinely tested for COVID-19 by HIV status, during a period when few women had access to COVID-19 vaccination. Methods: The Tsepamo Study performs birth outcomes surveillance at government hospitals throughout Botswana. We analyzed data from 13 Tsepamo sites that performed routine COVID-19 screening at delivery with rapid antigen or PCR testing between Sept 1, 2020 and Sept 30, 2021 (start dates differed by site). This analysis includes singleton deliveries with known HIV status and a COVID-19 screening test between 14 days prior and 3 days after delivery. Outcomes included maternal death, preterm delivery (PTD), very preterm delivery (VPTD), small for gestational age (SGA), very small for gestational age (VSGA), stillbirth, and neonatal death. Differences in outcomes by COVID-19 and HIV status were assessed using log binomial regression adjusted for maternal age. Results: A total of 17,627 deliveries occurred at the included sites during COVID-19 screening, and 11,149 (63.3%) were screened for COVID-19;among 10,090 (99.7%) with a known HIV status, 530 (5.3%) COVID-19 tests were positive, including 141/2129 (6.6%) among WLHIV and 389/7961 (4.9%) among women without HIV (aRR 1.32, 95% CI 1.09, 1.60). Maternal deaths were reported in 19 (3.8%) women with COVID-19 and 11 (0.12%) women without COVID-19 (aRR 30.5, 95% CI 14.6, 63.7), and did not differ by HIV status. Adverse birth outcomes (any) were more common among infants born to women with COVID-19 (34.3% vs. 26.3%;aRR 1.32, 95% CI 1.16,1.49), including PTD (21.2% vs. 13.3%;aRR 1.60, 95% CI 1.34,1.90) and stillbirth (5.5% vs. 2.8%;aRR 1.89, 95% CI 1.30,2.75), and there was a trend for higher neonatal mortality (2.0% vs. 1.4%, aRR 1.5, 95% CI 0.79, 2.85). Most adverse birth outcomes were highest among infants exposed to both COVID-19 and HIV (Figure 1). Conclusion: Infants born to women with COVID-19 experienced more adverse birth outcomes than other infants, including a 2-fold risk for stillbirth. Those exposed to both COVID-19 and HIV had the highest risk for most adverse outcomes. Further research is warranted to understand the biological interaction between COVID-19, HIV infection, and adverse birth outcomes, and whether some associations were impacted by challenges in care delivery during the height of the COVID-19 epidemic in Botswana.

PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333590


OBJECTIVE: Early deficiencies in testing capacity contributed to poor control of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In the context of marked improvement in SARS-CoV-2 testing infrastructure, we sought to examine the alignment of testing with epidemic intensity to mitigate subsequent waves of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. METHODS: We compiled publicly available weekly SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing data for period (May 27 to October 14, 2020) following the initial COVID-19 wave. We defined testing intensity as weekly SARS-CoV-2 tests performed per 100,000 population and used weekly test positivity (percent of tests positive) as a measure of epidemic intensity. We considered optimal alignment of testing resources to be matching community ranks of testing and positivity. In communities with a lower rank of testing than positivity in a given week, the testing gap was calculated as the additional tests required to achieve matching ranks. Multivariable Poisson modeling was utilized to assess for trends and association with community characteristics. RESULTS: During the observation period, 4,262,000 tests were reported in Massachusetts and the misalignment of testing with epidemic intensity increased. The weekly testing gap increased 9.0% per week (adjusted rate ratio [aRR]: 1.090, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-1.10). Increasing levels of community socioeconomic vulnerability (aRR: 1.35 per quartile increase, 95% CI: 1.23-1.50) and the highest quartile of minority and language vulnerability (aRR: 1.46, 95% CI 0.96-1.49) were associated with increased testing gaps, but the latter association was not statistically significant. Presence of large university student population (>10% of population) was associated with a marked decrease in testing gap (aRR 0.21, 95% CI: 0.12-0.38). CONCLUSION: These analyses indicate that despite objectives to promote equity and enhance epidemic control in vulnerable communities, testing resources across Massachusetts have been disproportionally allocated to more affluent communities. Worsening structural inequities in access to SARS-CoV-2 testing increase the risk for another intense wave of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, particularly among vulnerable communities.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326897


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic in southern Africa has been characterised by three distinct waves. The first was associated with a mix of SARS-CoV-2 lineages, whilst the second and third waves were driven by the Beta and Delta variants respectively1–3. In November 2021, genomic surveillance teams in South Africa and Botswana detected a new SARS-CoV-2 variant associated with a rapid resurgence of infections in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Within three days of the first genome being uploaded, it was designated a variant of concern (Omicron) by the World Health Organization and, within three weeks, had been identified in 87 countries. The Omicron variant is exceptional for carrying over 30 mutations in the spike glycoprotein, predicted to influence antibody neutralization and spike function4. Here, we describe the genomic profile and early transmission dynamics of Omicron, highlighting the rapid spread in regions with high levels of population immunity.