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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908778

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early antiviral therapy was effective in the treatment of COVID-19. We assessed the efficacy and safety of combined interferon beta-1b and remdesivir treatment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We conducted a multicentre, prospective open-label, randomized-controlled trial involving high-risk adults hospitalized for COVID-19. Patients were randomly assigned to a 5-day interferon beta-1b 16 million units daily and remdesivir 200mg loading on day 1 followed by 100mg daily on day 2 to 5 (combination-group), or to remdesivir only of similar regimen (control-group) (1:1). The primary end-point was the time to complete alleviation of symptoms (NEWS2 = 0). RESULTS: Two-hundred and twelve patients were enrolled. The median days of starting treatment from symptom-onset was 3 days. The median age was 65 years and 159 patients (75%) had chronic disease. The baseline demographics were similar. There was no mortality. For the primary-endpoint, the combination-group was significantly quicker to NEWS2 = 0 (4 versus 6.5 days; hazard-ratio [HR],6.59; 95% confidence-interval [CI],6.1-7.09; p < 0.0001) when compared to the control-group. For the secondary endpoints, the combination-group was quicker to negative NPS VL (6 versus 8 days; HR,8.16; 95% CI,7.79-8.52; p < 0.0001) and develop seropositive IgG (8 versus 10 days; HR,10.78; 95% CI,9.98-11.58; p < 0.0001). All adverse events resolved upon follow-up. Combination group (HR,4.1 95%CI,1.9-8.6, p < 0.0001), was the most significant independent factor associated with NEWS2 = 0 on day 4. CONCLUSIONS: Early treatment with interferon beta-1b and remdesivir was safe and better than remdesivir only in alleviating symptoms, shorten viral shedding and hospitalization with earlier seropositivity in high-risk COVID-19 patients.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852988

ABSTRACT

This retrospective study of incoming travelers with COVID-19 showed that individuals immunized by mRNA vaccines had significantly longer post-vaccination interval (median: 30.5 days) to breakthrough infection, lower WBC and LDH on admission, and less radiographic abnormalities than those immunized by inactivated virus vaccine who paradoxically had lower respiratory viral load.

4.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(6): ofaa210, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387982

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Posterior oropharyngeal saliva is increasingly recognized as a valid respiratory specimen for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. It is easy to collect and suitable for community-wide screening. The optimal timing of collection is currently unknown, and we speculate that an early-morning specimen before oral hygiene and breakfast would increase the diagnostic yield. METHODS: Posterior oropharyngeal saliva was collected at 5 different time points within the same day from 18 patients with previously confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection by molecular testing. Cycle threshold (Ct) values were compared. RESULTS: There was an overall trend of lower Ct values from specimens collected in the early morning, with a gradual decrease of viral load towards nighttime, but reaching statistical significance only when compared with the specimens collected at bedtime. Eight out of 13 subjects had a higher viral load in the early morning than the rest of the 4 time points (before lunch, before teatime at 3 pm, before dinner, before bedtime). CONCLUSIONS: The result suggests a diurnal variation of viral shedding from the upper respiratory tract with a trend showing higher viral load in the early morning. For community screening purposes, posterior oropharyngeal saliva could be taken throughout the day, but preferably in the early morning to maximize the yield.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(1): 137-142, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291923

ABSTRACT

After 2 months of relative quiescence, a large coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak occurred in Hong Kong in July 2020 after gradual relaxation of social distancing policy. Unique severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) phylogenetic clusters have been identified among locally acquired cases, with most genomes belonging to cluster HK1, which is phylogenetically related to SARS-CoV-2 reported overseas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks , Hong Kong , Humans , Phylogeny
6.
Am J Nephrol ; 52(2): 161-172, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150270

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Renal involvement in COVID-19 is less well characterized in settings with vigilant public health surveillance, including mass screening and early hospitalization. We assessed kidney complications among COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong, including the association with risk factors, length of hospitalization, critical presentation, and mortality. METHODS: Linked electronic records of all patients with confirmed COVID-19 from 5 major designated hospitals were extracted. Duplicated records due to interhospital transferal were removed. Primary outcome was the incidence of in-hospital acute kidney injury (AKI). Secondary outcomes were AKI-associated mortality, incident renal replacement therapy (RRT), intensive care admission, prolonged hospitalization and disease course (defined as >90th percentile of hospitalization duration [35 days] and duration from symptom onset to discharge [43 days], respectively), and change of estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Patients were further stratified into being symptomatic or asymptomatic. RESULTS: Patients were characterized by young age (median: 38.4, IQR: 28.4-55.8 years) and short time (median: 5, IQR: 2-9 days) from symptom onset to admission. Among the 591 patients, 22 (3.72%) developed AKI and 4 (0.68%) required RRT. The median time from symptom onset to in-hospital AKI was 15 days. AKI increased the odds of prolonged hospitalization and disease course by 2.0- and 3.5-folds, respectively. Estimated GFR 24 weeks post-discharge reduced by 7.51 and 1.06 mL/min/1.73 m2 versus baseline (upon admission) in the AKI and non-AKI groups, respectively. The incidence of AKI was comparable between asymptomatic (4.8%, n = 3/62) and symptomatic (3.7%, n = 19/519) patients. CONCLUSION: The overall rate of AKI among COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong is low, which could be attributable to a vigilant screening program and early hospitalization. Among patients who developed in-hospital AKI, the duration of hospitalization is prolonged and kidney function impairment can persist for up to 6 months post-discharge. Mass surveillance for COVID-19 is warranted in identifying asymptomatic subjects for earlier AKI management.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Renal Replacement Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Acute Kidney Injury/diagnosis , Acute Kidney Injury/immunology , Acute Kidney Injury/therapy , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Early Diagnosis , Female , Glomerular Filtration Rate/immunology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Incidence , Length of Stay , Male , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(1): 196-204, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-993249

ABSTRACT

Initial cases of coronavirus disease in Hong Kong were imported from mainland China. A dramatic increase in case numbers was seen in February 2020. Most case-patients had no recent travel history, suggesting the presence of transmission chains in the local community. We collected demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic data from 50 patients, who accounted for 53.8% of total reported case-patients as of February 28, 2020. We performed whole-genome sequencing to determine phylogenetic relationship and transmission dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections. By using phylogenetic analysis, we attributed the community outbreak to 2 lineages; 1 harbored a common mutation, Orf3a-G251V, and accounted for 88.0% of the cases in our study. The estimated time to the most recent common ancestor of local coronavirus disease outbreak was December 24, 2019, with an evolutionary rate of 3.04 × 10-3 substitutions/site/year. The reproduction number was 1.84, indicating ongoing community spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/transmission , Cluster Analysis , Disease Hotspot , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
10.
Infection ; 49(2): 257-265, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-774008

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in conjunctival secretions from patients without ocular symptoms. METHODS: Conjunctival swabs were prospectively collected from laboratory-confirmed Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients without ocular symptoms for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and viral culture. RESULTS: A total of 158 conjunctival swabs were obtained from 49 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients. The median duration of illness when the first conjunctival swab was obtained was 10 days (range 2-27 days). Four conjunctival swabs from four different patients (4/49, 8.2%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. The Ct values ranged from 32.7 to 37.7 (mean 35.4). Viral cultures were negative for all four RT-PCR-positive conjunctival swabs. CONCLUSION: Conjunctival secretions of a minority of COVID-19 patients without ocular symptoms may contain relatively low levels of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, but their infectiousness remains undetermined. Appropriate infection control measures should be implemented during ophthalmological assessment of COVID-19 patients to prevent potential nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Conjunctiva/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Vero Cells , Virus Shedding , Young Adult
11.
Int J Infect Dis ; 101: 74-82, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-758909

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To develop: (1) two validated risk prediction models for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) positivity using readily available parameters in a general hospital setting; (2) nomograms and probabilities to allow clinical utilisation. METHODS: Patients with and without COVID-19 were included from 4 Hong Kong hospitals. The database was randomly split into 2:1: for model development database (n = 895) and validation database (n = 435). Multivariable logistic regression was utilised for model creation and validated with the Hosmer-Lemeshow (H-L) test and calibration plot. Nomograms and probabilities set at 0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.6 were calculated to determine sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV). RESULTS: A total of 1330 patients (mean age 58.2 ± 24.5 years; 50.7% males; 296 COVID-19 positive) were recruited. The first prediction model developed had age, total white blood cell count, chest x-ray appearances and contact history as significant predictors (AUC = 0.911 [CI = 0.880-0.941]). The second model developed has the same variables except contact history (AUC = 0.880 [CI = 0.844-0.916]). Both were externally validated on the H-L test (p = 0.781 and 0.155, respectively) and calibration plot. Models were converted to nomograms. Lower probabilities give higher sensitivity and NPV; higher probabilities give higher specificity and PPV. CONCLUSION: Two simple-to-use validated nomograms were developed with excellent AUCs based on readily available parameters and can be considered for clinical utilisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/etiology , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Nomograms , Probability
12.
Immunity ; 53(4): 864-877.e5, 2020 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693493

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in millions of infections, yet the role of host immune responses in early COVID-19 pathogenesis remains unclear. By investigating 17 acute and 24 convalescent patients, we found that acute SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in broad immune cell reduction including T, natural killer, monocyte, and dendritic cells (DCs). DCs were significantly reduced with functional impairment, and ratios of conventional DCs to plasmacytoid DCs were increased among acute severe patients. Besides lymphocytopenia, although neutralizing antibodies were rapidly and abundantly generated in patients, there were delayed receptor binding domain (RBD)- and nucleocapsid protein (NP)-specific T cell responses during the first 3 weeks after symptoms onset. Moreover, acute RBD- and NP-specific T cell responses included relatively more CD4 T cells than CD8 T cells. Our findings provided evidence that impaired DCs, together with timely inverted strong antibody but weak CD8 T cell responses, could contribute to acute COVID-19 pathogenesis and have implications for vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Diabetes Mellitus/immunology , Hypertension/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19 , Convalescence , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dendritic Cells/pathology , Dendritic Cells/virology , Diabetes Complications , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/diagnosis , Hypertension/virology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/pathology , Monocytes/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
13.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(6): ofaa199, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592170

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Olfactory dysfunction (OD) has been reported in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, there are knowledge gaps about the severity, prevalence, etiology, and duration of OD in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Olfactory function was assessed in all participants using questionnaires and the butanol threshold test (BTT). Patients with COVID-19 and abnormal olfaction were further evaluated using the smell identification test (SIT), sinus imaging, and nasoendoscopy. Selected patients received nasal biopsies. Systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines. PubMed items from January 1, 2020 to April 23, 2020 were searched. Studies that reported clinical data on olfactory disturbances in COVID-19 patients were analyzed. RESULTS: We included 18 COVID-19 patients and 18 controls. Among COVID-19 patients, 12 of 18 (67%) reported olfactory symptoms and OD was confirmed in 6 patients by BTT and SIT. Olfactory dysfunction was the only symptom in 2 patients. Mean BTT score of patients was worse than controls (P = .004, difference in means = 1.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.6-2.9). Sinusitis and olfactory cleft obstruction were absent in most patients. Immunohistochemical analysis of nasal biopsy revealed the presence of infiltrative CD68+ macrophages harboring severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antigen in the stroma. Olfactory dysfunction persisted in 2 patients despite clinical recovery. Systematic review showed that the prevalence of olfactory disturbances in COVID-19 ranged from 5% to 98%. Most studies did not assess olfaction quantitatively. CONCLUSIONS: Olfactory dysfunction is common in COVID-19 and may be the only symptom. Coronavirus disease 2019-related OD can be severe and prolonged. Mucosal infiltration by CD68+ macrophages expressing SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen may contribute to COVID-19-related OD.

14.
Lancet ; 395(10238): 1695-1704, 2020 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-232479

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective antiviral therapy is important for tackling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We assessed the efficacy and safety of combined interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin for treating patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This was a multicentre, prospective, open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial in adults with COVID-19 who were admitted to six hospitals in Hong Kong. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to a 14-day combination of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h, ribavirin 400 mg every 12 h, and three doses of 8 million international units of interferon beta-1b on alternate days (combination group) or to 14 days of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h (control group). The primary endpoint was the time to providing a nasopharyngeal swab negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RT-PCR, and was done in the intention-to-treat population. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04276688. FINDINGS: Between Feb 10 and March 20, 2020, 127 patients were recruited; 86 were randomly assigned to the combination group and 41 were assigned to the control group. The median number of days from symptom onset to start of study treatment was 5 days (IQR 3-7). The combination group had a significantly shorter median time from start of study treatment to negative nasopharyngeal swab (7 days [IQR 5-11]) than the control group (12 days [8-15]; hazard ratio 4·37 [95% CI 1·86-10·24], p=0·0010). Adverse events included self-limited nausea and diarrhoea with no difference between the two groups. One patient in the control group discontinued lopinavir-ritonavir because of biochemical hepatitis. No patients died during the study. INTERPRETATION: Early triple antiviral therapy was safe and superior to lopinavir-ritonavir alone in alleviating symptoms and shortening the duration of viral shedding and hospital stay in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Future clinical study of a double antiviral therapy with interferon beta-1b as a backbone is warranted. FUNDING: The Shaw-Foundation, Richard and Carol Yu, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, and Sanming Project of Medicine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon beta-1b/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Ribavirin/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Drug Combinations , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hong Kong , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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