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EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330234


The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has demonstrated increased transmissibility and ability to escape natural and vaccine-induced immunity. We aimed to characterize the duration of Omicron’s shedding by comparing viral isolation to rapid antigen test (RAT) and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positivity. Thus, we performed a cross-sectional study of 30 vaccinated individuals with mild COVID-19 to evaluate the ability to infect Vero cells at day 5, 7, 10 and 14 since symptoms onset. Viral growth was observed in 46% and 20% of respiratory samples at day 5 and 7, respectively, while all were negative from day 10. RAT showed 100% of sensitivity during the first 7 days of symptoms compared to viral isolation, being a better infectivity predictor than RT-PCR Ct values. In conclusion, immunocompetent vaccinated individuals with Omicron infection can still transmit the virus on the 7th day of symptoms. This data may impact decisions on end-isolation protocols for mild COVID-19.

EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315929


Background: The Gamma variant has been considered the predominant SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Brazil during the first half of 2021. We aimed to characterise the clinical presentation of COVID-19 caused by the Gamma variant in comparison with strains that are not variants of concern (non-VoC).Method: We performed a prospective cohort study including symptomatic COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers from January 22 to May 15, 2021. Positive samples for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR underwent whole genome sequencing. COVID-19 symptoms, caused by the Gamma variant or non-VoC, and risk factors for Gamma variant infection were evaluated using multiple logistic regression analyses.Findings: We included 423 COVID-19 cases, of which 415 (98%) with mild disease. One hundred and seventy-five (41%) patients had been fully immunised, of which 173/175 (99%) had received CoronaVac. There were 313 (74%) Gamma variant cases and 110 (26%) non-VoC cases. Hyposmia/anosmia and dysgeusia were present in 129 (30%) and 108 (26%) of cases, respectively. Lower frequencies of hyposmia/anosmia (OR=0.304, p <0.001) and dysgeusia (OR=0.385, p =0.011) were the only symptoms significantly associated with Gamma variant infection. COVID-19 immunisation, previous COVID-19 and age were not associated with Gamma variant infection.Interpretation: The increase in Gamma variant cases should raise the awareness that COVID-19 may present more often with cold-like symptoms because of a decreased frequency of hyposmia/anosmia and dysgeusia.Funding: Supported by the Itau Unibanco “Todos pela saúde” program”.Declaration of Interest: None to declare. Ethical Approval: This study was approved by the Hospital’s Ethics Committee (CAAE: 42708721.0.0000.0068).