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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Post-vaccination infections challenge the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We matched 119 cases of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection with BNT162b2 mRNA, or ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, to 476 unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 (Sept 2020-March 2021), according to age and sex. Differences in 60-day all-cause mortality, hospital admission, and hospital length of stay were evaluated. Phylogenetic, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and minority variant allele (MVA) full genome sequencing analysis was performed. RESULTS: 116/119 cases developed COVID-19 post first vaccination dose (median 14 days, IQR 9 - 24 days). Overall, 13/119 (10∙9%) cases and 158/476 (33∙2%) controls died (p<0.001), corresponding to 4∙5 number needed to treat (NNT). Multivariably, vaccination was associated with 69∙3% (95%CI 45∙8 - 82∙6) relative risk (RR) reduction in mortality. Similar results were seen in subgroup analysis for patients with infection onset ≥14 days after first vaccination (RR reduction 65∙1%, 95%CI 27∙2 - 83∙2, NNT 4∙5), and across vaccine subgroups (BNT162b2: RR reduction 66%, 95%CI 34∙9 - 82∙2, NNT 4∙7, ChAdOx1: RR reduction 78∙4%, 95%CI 30∙4 - 93∙3, NNT 4∙1). Hospital admissions (OR 0∙80, 95%CI 0∙51 - 1∙28), and length of stay (-1∙89 days, 95%CI -4∙57 - 0∙78) were lower for cases, while Ct values were higher (30∙8 versus 28∙8, p = 0.053). B.1.1.7 was the predominant lineage in cases (100/108, 92.6%) and controls (341/446, 76.5%). Genomic analysis identified one post-vaccination case harboring the E484K vaccine escape mutation (B.1.525 lineage). CONCLUSIONS: Previous vaccination reduces mortality when B.1.1.7 is the predominant lineage. No significant lineage-specific genomic changes during phylogenetic, SNP and MVA analysis were detected.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317606

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To assess whether a commercially available CE-IVD, ELISA-based surrogate neutralisation assay (cPass, Genscript) provides a genuine measure of SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation by human sera, and further to establish whether measuring responses against the RBD of S was a diagnostically useful proxy for responses against the whole S protein. Methods: Serum samples from 30 patients were assayed for anti-NP responses, for ‘neutralisation’ by the surrogate neutralisation assay and for neutralisation by SARS-CoV-2 S pseudotyped virus assays utilising two target cell lines. Correlation between assays was measured using linear regression. Results: The responses observed within the surrogate neutralisation assay demonstrated an extremely strong, highly significant positive correlation with those observed in both pseudotyped virus assays. Conclusions: The tested ELISA-based surrogate assay provides an immunologically useful measure of functional immune responses in a much quicker and highly automatable fashion. It also reinforces that detection of anti-RBD neutralising antibodies alone is a powerful measure of the capacity to neutralise viral infection.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327612

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Viral sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been used for outbreak investigation, but there is limited evidence supporting routine use for infection prevention and control (IPC) within hospital settings. Methods We conducted a prospective non-randomised trial of sequencing at 14 acute UK hospital trusts. Sites each had a 4-week baseline data-collection period, followed by intervention periods comprising 8 weeks of 'rapid' (<48h) and 4 weeks of 'longer-turnaround' (5-10 day) sequencing using a sequence reporting tool (SRT). Data were collected on all hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs;detected ≥48h from admission). The impact of the sequencing intervention on IPC knowledge and actions, and on incidence of probable/definite hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) was evaluated. Results A total of 2170 HOCI cases were recorded from October 2020-April 2021, with sequence reports returned for 650/1320 (49.2%) during intervention phases. We did not detect a statistically significant change in weekly incidence of HAIs in longer-turnaround (IRR 1.60, 95%CI 0.85-3.01;P=0.14) or rapid (0.85, 0.48-1.50;P=0.54) intervention phases compared to baseline phase. However, IPC practice was changed in 7.8% and 7.4% of all HOCI cases in rapid and longer-turnaround phases, respectively, and 17.2% and 11.6% of cases where the report was returned. In a per-protocol sensitivity analysis there was an impact on IPC actions in 20.7% of HOCI cases when the SRT report was returned within 5 days. Conclusion While we did not demonstrate a direct impact of sequencing on the incidence of nosocomial transmission, our results suggest that sequencing can inform IPC response to HOCIs, particularly when returned within 5 days.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322658

ABSTRACT

Background: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. Little is known about the impact their increased infectivity has on transmission within hospitals.Methods: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences.Findings: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages.Interpretation: Notwithstanding evidence from community studies that the Alpha variant is more transmissible, we find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.Funding Information: COG-UK HOCI funded by COG-UK consortium. The COG-UK consortium is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Genome Research Limited, operating as the Wellcome Sanger Institute.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for the HOCI study was provided by REC 20/EE/0118.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3110-e3112, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501010

ABSTRACT

The clinical manifestation of moderate to severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has parallels to secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) both clinically and based on molecular inflammatory response. We found no evidence to support the utility of risk-stratifying COVID-19 patients using risk scoring methodology designed for HLH.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic , Humans , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/diagnosis , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Infect ; 83(6): 693-700, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. We sought to determine whether this also resulted in increased transmission within hospitals. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences. RESULTS: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages. CONCLUSIONS: We find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
7.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 has been associated with an increased rate of transmission and disease severity among subjects testing positive in the community. Its impact on hospitalised patients is less well documented. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and clinical data of patients admitted with SARS-CoV-2 and hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs), sampled 16 November 2020 to 10 January 2021, from eight hospitals participating in the COG-UK-HOCI study. Associations between the variant and the outcomes of all-cause mortality and intensive therapy unit (ITU) admission were evaluated using mixed effects Cox models adjusted by age, sex, comorbidities, care home residence, pregnancy and ethnicity. FINDINGS: Sequences were obtained from 2341 inpatients (HOCI cases=786) and analysis of clinical outcomes was carried out in 2147 inpatients with all data available. The HR for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.28, p=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75 to 1.37, p=0.96). Analysis of sex-specific effects of B.1.1.7 identified increased risk of mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.78, p=0.096) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.90, p=0.011) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.10, p=0.177; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.04, p=0.086). INTERPRETATION: In common with smaller studies of patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2, we did not find an overall increase in mortality or ITU admission associated with B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages. However, women with B.1.1.7 may be at an increased risk of admission to intensive care and at modestly increased risk of mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , United Kingdom , Young Adult
8.
J Infect ; 82(5): 170-177, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386032

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess whether a commercially available CE-IVD, ELISA-based surrogate neutralisation assay (cPass, Genscript) provides a genuine measure of SARS-CoV-2 neutralisation by human sera, and further to establish whether measuring responses against the RBD of S was a diagnostically useful proxy for responses against the whole S protein. METHODS: Serum samples from 30 patients were assayed for anti-NP responses, for 'neutralisation' by the surrogate neutralisation assay and for neutralisation by SARS-CoV-2 S pseudotyped virus assays utilising two target cell lines. Correlation between assays was measured using linear regression. RESULTS: The responses observed within the surrogate neutralisation assay demonstrated an extremely strong, highly significant positive correlation with those observed in both pseudotyped virus assays. CONCLUSIONS: The tested ELISA-based surrogate assay provides an immunologically useful measure of functional immune responses in a much quicker and highly automatable fashion. It also reinforces that detection of anti-RBD neutralising antibodies alone is a powerful measure of the capacity to neutralise viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans
9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364783

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Post-vaccination infections challenge the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We matched 119 cases of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection with BNT162b2 mRNA, or ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, to 476 unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 (Sept 2020-March 2021), according to age and sex. Differences in 60-day all-cause mortality, hospital admission, and hospital length of stay were evaluated. Phylogenetic, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and minority variant allele (MVA) full genome sequencing analysis was performed. RESULTS: 116/119 cases developed COVID-19 post first vaccination dose (median 14 days, IQR 9 - 24 days). Overall, 13/119 (10∙9%) cases and 158/476 (33∙2%) controls died (p<0.001), corresponding to 4∙5 number needed to treat (NNT). Multivariably, vaccination was associated with 69∙3% (95%CI 45∙8 - 82∙6) relative risk (RR) reduction in mortality. Similar results were seen in subgroup analysis for patients with infection onset ≥14 days after first vaccination (RR reduction 65∙1%, 95%CI 27∙2 - 83∙2, NNT 4∙5), and across vaccine subgroups (BNT162b2: RR reduction 66%, 95%CI 34∙9 - 82∙2, NNT 4∙7, ChAdOx1: RR reduction 78∙4%, 95%CI 30∙4 - 93∙3, NNT 4∙1). Hospital admissions (OR 0∙80, 95%CI 0∙51 - 1∙28), and length of stay (-1∙89 days, 95%CI -4∙57 - 0∙78) were lower for cases, while Ct values were higher (30∙8 versus 28∙8, p = 0.053). B.1.1.7 was the predominant lineage in cases (100/108, 92.6%) and controls (341/446, 76.5%). Genomic analysis identified one post-vaccination case harboring the E484K vaccine escape mutation (B.1.525 lineage). CONCLUSIONS: Previous vaccination reduces mortality when B.1.1.7 is the predominant lineage. No significant lineage-specific genomic changes during phylogenetic, SNP and MVA analysis were detected.

11.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(4): 1155-1158, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140631

ABSTRACT

Prospective serosurveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in 1,069 healthcare workers in London, UK, demonstrated that nucleocapsid antibody titers were stable and sustained for <12 weeks in 312 seropositive participants. This finding was consistent across demographic and clinical variables and contrasts with reports of short-term antibody waning.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , London/epidemiology , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroconversion , Seroepidemiologic Studies
12.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 76(5): 1323-1331, 2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035641

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is infrequently complicated by bacterial co-infection, but antibiotic prescriptions are common. We used community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) as a benchmark to define the processes that occur in bacterial pulmonary infections, testing the hypothesis that baseline inflammatory markers and their response to antibiotic therapy could distinguish bacterial co-infection from COVID-19. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of CAP (lobar consolidation on chest radiograph) and COVID-19 (PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2) patients admitted to Royal Free Hospital (RFH) and Barnet Hospital (BH), serving as independent discovery and validation cohorts. All CAP and >90% COVID-19 patients received antibiotics on hospital admission. RESULTS: We identified 106 CAP and 619 COVID-19 patients at RFH. Compared with COVID-19, CAP was characterized by elevated baseline white cell count (WCC) [median 12.48 (IQR 8.2-15.3) versus 6.78 (IQR 5.2-9.5) ×106 cells/mL, P < 0.0001], C-reactive protein (CRP) [median 133.5 (IQR 65-221) versus 86.0 (IQR 42-160) mg/L, P < 0.0001], and greater reduction in CRP 48-72 h into admission [median ΔCRP -33 (IQR -112 to +3.5) versus +14 (IQR -15.5 to +70.5) mg/L, P < 0.0001]. These observations were recapitulated in the independent validation cohort at BH (169 CAP and 181 COVID-19 patients). A multivariate logistic regression model incorporating WCC and ΔCRP discriminated CAP from COVID-19 with AUC 0.88 (95% CI 0.83-0.94). Baseline WCC >8.2 × 106 cells/mL or falling CRP identified 94% of CAP cases, and excluded bacterial co-infection in 46% of COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that in COVID-19, absence of both elevated baseline WCC and antibiotic-related decrease in CRP can exclude bacterial co-infection and facilitate antibiotic stewardship efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Coinfection/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Bacterial/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Community-Acquired Infections/diagnosis , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Leukocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
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