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1.
Euro Surveill ; 26(27)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1577032

ABSTRACT

BackgroundInfluenza virus presents a considerable challenge to public health by causing seasonal epidemics and occasional pandemics. Nanopore metagenomic sequencing has the potential to be deployed for near-patient testing, providing rapid infection diagnosis, rationalising antimicrobial therapy, and supporting infection-control interventions.AimTo evaluate the applicability of this sequencing approach as a routine laboratory test for influenza in clinical settings.MethodsWe conducted Oxford Nanopore Technologies (Oxford, United Kingdom (UK)) metagenomic sequencing for 180 respiratory samples from a UK hospital during the 2018/19 influenza season, and compared results to routine molecular diagnostic standards (Xpert Xpress Flu/RSV assay; BioFire FilmArray Respiratory Panel 2 assay). We investigated drug resistance, genetic diversity, and nosocomial transmission using influenza sequence data.ResultsCompared to standard testing, Nanopore metagenomic sequencing was 83% (75/90) sensitive and 93% (84/90) specific for detecting influenza A viruses. Of 59 samples with haemagglutinin subtype determined, 40 were H1 and 19 H3. We identified an influenza A(H3N2) genome encoding the oseltamivir resistance S331R mutation in neuraminidase, potentially associated with an emerging distinct intra-subtype reassortant. Whole genome phylogeny refuted suspicions of a transmission cluster in a ward, but identified two other clusters that likely reflected nosocomial transmission, associated with a predominant community-circulating strain. We also detected other potentially pathogenic viruses and bacteria from the metagenome.ConclusionNanopore metagenomic sequencing can detect the emergence of novel variants and drug resistance, providing timely insights into antimicrobial stewardship and vaccine design. Full genome generation can help investigate and manage nosocomial outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Cross Infection , Influenza, Human , Nanopores , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cross Infection/diagnosis , Cross Infection/drug therapy , Drug Resistance , Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/genetics , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Metagenome , Neuraminidase/genetics , Seasons , United Kingdom
3.
J Biol Rhythms ; : 7487304211059315, 2021 Dec 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551148

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global crisis with unprecedented challenges for public health. Vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2 have slowed the incidence of new infections and reduced disease severity. As the time of day of vaccination has been reported to influence host immune responses to multiple pathogens, we quantified the influence of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination time, vaccine type, participant age, sex, and days post-vaccination on anti-Spike antibody responses in health care workers. The magnitude of the anti-Spike antibody response is associated with the time of day of vaccination, vaccine type, participant age, sex, and days post-vaccination. These results may be relevant for optimising SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy.

4.
Lancet Microbe ; 2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510521

ABSTRACT

Background: Previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 affects the immune response to the first dose of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. We aimed to compare SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell and antibody responses in health-care workers with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection following a single dose of the BNT162b2 (tozinameran; Pfizer-BioNTech) mRNA vaccine. Methods: We sampled health-care workers enrolled in the PITCH study across four hospital sites in the UK (Oxford, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Sheffield). All health-care workers aged 18 years or older consenting to participate in this prospective cohort study were included, with no exclusion criteria applied. Blood samples were collected where possible before vaccination and 28 (±7) days following one or two doses (given 3-4 weeks apart) of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Previous infection was determined by a documented SARS-CoV-2-positive RT-PCR result or the presence of positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibodies. We measured spike-specific IgG antibodies and quantified T-cell responses by interferon-γ enzyme-linked immunospot assay in all participants where samples were available at the time of analysis, comparing SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals to those with previous infection. Findings: Between Dec 9, 2020, and Feb 9, 2021, 119 SARS-CoV-2-naive and 145 previously infected health-care workers received one dose, and 25 SARS-CoV-2-naive health-care workers received two doses, of the BNT162b2 vaccine. In previously infected health-care workers, the median time from previous infection to vaccination was 268 days (IQR 232-285). At 28 days (IQR 27-33) after a single dose, the spike-specific T-cell response measured in fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was higher in previously infected (n=76) than in infection-naive (n=45) health-care workers (median 284 [IQR 150-461] vs 55 [IQR 24-132] spot-forming units [SFUs] per 106 PBMCs; p<0·0001). With cryopreserved PBMCs, the T-cell response in previously infected individuals (n=52) after one vaccine dose was equivalent to that of infection-naive individuals (n=19) after receiving two vaccine doses (median 152 [IQR 119-275] vs 162 [104-258] SFUs/106 PBMCs; p=1·00). Anti-spike IgG antibody responses following a single dose in 142 previously infected health-care workers (median 270 373 [IQR 203 461-535 188] antibody units [AU] per mL) were higher than in 111 infection-naive health-care workers following one dose (35 001 [17 099-55 341] AU/mL; p<0·0001) and higher than in 25 infection-naive individuals given two doses (180 904 [108 221-242 467] AU/mL; p<0·0001). Interpretation: A single dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine is likely to provide greater protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, than in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals, including against variants of concern. Future studies should determine the additional benefit of a second dose on the magnitude and durability of immune responses in individuals vaccinated following infection, alongside evaluation of the impact of extending the interval between vaccine doses. Funding: UK Department of Health and Social Care, and UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506977

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: 'Classic' symptoms (cough, fever, loss of taste/smell) prompt SARS-CoV-2 PCR-testing in the UK. Studies have assessed the ability of different symptoms to identify infection, but few have compared symptoms over time (reflecting variants) and by vaccination status. METHODS: Using the COVID-19 Infection Survey, sampling households across the UK, we compared symptoms in PCR-positives vs. PCR-negatives, evaluating sensitivity of combinations of 12 symptoms (percentage symptomatic PCR-positives reporting specific symptoms) and tests per case (TPC) (PCR-positives or PCR-negatives reporting specific symptoms/ PCR-positives reporting specific symptoms). RESULTS: Between April 2020 and August 2021, 27,869 SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive episodes occurred in 27,692 participants (median 42 years), of whom 13,427 (48%) self-reported symptoms ("symptomatic PCR-positives"). The comparator comprised 3,806,692 test-negative visits (457,215 participants); 130,612 (3%) self-reported symptoms ("symptomatic PCR-negatives"). Symptom reporting in PCR-positives varied by age, sex, and ethnicity, and over time, reflecting changes in prevalence of viral variants, incidental changes (e.g. seasonal pathogens (with sore throat increasing in PCR-positives and PCR-negatives from April 2021), schools re-opening) and vaccination roll-out. After May-2021 when Delta emerged, headache and fever substantially increased in PCR-positives, but not PCR-negatives. Sensitivity of symptom-based detection increased from 74% using 'classic' symptoms, to 81% adding fatigue/weakness, and 90% including all eight additional symptoms. However, this increased TPC from 4.6 to 5.3 to 8.7. CONCLUSIONS: Expanded symptom combinations may provide modest benefits for sensitivity of PCR-based case detection, but this will vary between settings and over time, and increases tests/case. Large-scale changes to targeted PCR-testing approaches require careful evaluation given substantial resource and infrastructure implications.

6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6250, 2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493099

ABSTRACT

Understanding the trajectory, duration, and determinants of antibody responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection can inform subsequent protection and risk of reinfection, however large-scale representative studies are limited. Here we estimated antibody response after SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population using representative data from 7,256 United Kingdom COVID-19 infection survey participants who had positive swab SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests from 26-April-2020 to 14-June-2021. A latent class model classified 24% of participants as 'non-responders' not developing anti-spike antibodies, who were older, had higher SARS-CoV-2 cycle threshold values during infection (i.e. lower viral burden), and less frequently reported any symptoms. Among those who seroconverted, using Bayesian linear mixed models, the estimated anti-spike IgG peak level was 7.3-fold higher than the level previously associated with 50% protection against reinfection, with higher peak levels in older participants and those of non-white ethnicity. The estimated anti-spike IgG half-life was 184 days, being longer in females and those of white ethnicity. We estimated antibody levels associated with protection against reinfection likely last 1.5-2 years on average, with levels associated with protection from severe infection present for several years. These estimates could inform planning for vaccination booster strategies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Antibody Formation/physiology , Bayes Theorem , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
7.
J Infect ; 2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487846

ABSTRACT

Objective To describe the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the incidence of paediatric viral respiratory tract infection in Oxfordshire, UK. Methods Data on paediatric Emergency Department (ED) attendances (0-15 years inclusive), respiratory virus testing, vital signs and mortality at Oxford University Hospitals were summarised using descriptive statistics. Results Between 1-March-2016 and 30-July-2021, 155,056 ED attendances occurred and 7,195 respiratory virus PCRs were performed. Detection of all pathogens was suppressed during the first national lockdown. Rhinovirus and adenovirus rates increased when schools reopened September-December 2020, then fell, before rising in March-May 2021. The usual winter RSV peak did not occur in 2020/21, with an inter-seasonal rise (32/1,000 attendances in 0-3 yr olds) in July 2021. Influenza remained suppressed throughout. A higher paediatric early warning score (PEWS) was seen for attendees with adenovirus during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic (p = 0.04, Mann-Witney U test), no other differences in PEWS were seen. Conclusions SARS-CoV-2 caused major changes in the incidence of paediatric respiratory viral infection in Oxfordshire, with implications for clinical service demand, testing strategies, timing of palivizumab RSV prophylaxis, and highlighting the need to understand which public health interventions are most effective for preventing respiratory virus infections.

8.
Nat Med ; 2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469978

ABSTRACT

The effectiveness of the BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 vaccines against new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections requires continuous re-evaluation, given the increasingly dominant B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of these vaccines in a large, community-based survey of randomly selected households across the United Kingdom. We found that the effectiveness of BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 against infections (new polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive cases) with symptoms or high viral burden is reduced with the B.1.617.2 variant (absolute difference of 10-13% for BNT162b2 and 16% for ChAdOx1) compared to the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant. The effectiveness of two doses remains at least as great as protection afforded by prior natural infection. The dynamics of immunity after second doses differed significantly between BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1, with greater initial effectiveness against new PCR-positive cases but faster declines in protection against high viral burden and symptomatic infection with BNT162b2. There was no evidence that effectiveness varied by dosing interval, but protection was higher in vaccinated individuals after a prior infection and in younger adults. With B.1.617.2, infections occurring after two vaccinations had similar peak viral burden as those in unvaccinated individuals. SARS-CoV-2 vaccination still reduces new infections, but effectiveness and attenuation of peak viral burden are reduced with B.1.617.2.

9.
Cell ; 184(23): 5699-5714.e11, 2021 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466093

ABSTRACT

Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the United Kingdom to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. At this time, trial data were lacking, and we addressed this in a study of United Kingdom healthcare workers. The first vaccine dose induced protection from infection from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant over several weeks. In a substudy of 589 individuals, we show that this single dose induces severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses and a sustained B and T cell response to the spike protein. NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6-14 weeks) compared with the conventional 3- to 4-week regimen, accompanied by enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing interleukin-2 (IL-2). Prior SARS-CoV-2 infection amplified and accelerated the response. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective immunogenic protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Priming/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19579, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447327

ABSTRACT

The increasing risk from viral outbreaks such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the need for rapid, affordable and sensitive methods for virus detection, identification and quantification; however, existing methods for detecting virus particles in biological samples usually depend on multistep protocols that take considerable time to yield a result. Here, we introduce a rapid fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol capable of detecting influenza virus, avian infectious bronchitis virus and SARS-CoV-2 specifically and quantitatively in approximately 20 min, in virus cultures, combined nasal and throat swabs with added virus and likely patient samples without previous purification. This fast and facile workflow can be adapted both as a lab technique and a future diagnostic tool in enveloped viruses with an accessible genome.


Subject(s)
In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence/methods , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Viruses/isolation & purification , Viruses/genetics
11.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 706482, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399150

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6 receptor antagonist, is used in the treatment of severe COVID-19 caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2. However, unintended consequences of TCZ therapy include reactivation of tuberculosis (TB) or hepatitis B virus (HBV), and worsening of hepatitis C virus (HCV). We set out to assimilate existing data for these complications, in order to help inform evidence-based risk assessments for the use of TCZ, and thus to reduce the risk of serious but preventable complications. Methods: We searched the global WHO database of Individual Case Safety Reports (ICSRs) and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) ("VigiBase") and undertook a systematic literature review, in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. We generated mean cumulative incidence estimates for infection complications. Results: Mean cumulative incidence of HBV and TB were 3.3 and 4.3%, respectively, in patients receiving TCZ. Insufficient data were available to generate estimates for HCV. These estimates derive from heterogeneous studies pre-dating SARS-CoV-2, with differing epidemiology and varied approaches to screening and prophylaxis, so formal meta-analysis was not possible. Conclusions: We underline the need for careful individual risk assessment prior to TCZ prescription, and present an algorithm to guide clinical stratification. There is an urgent need for ongoing collation of safety data as TCZ therapy is used in COVID.

12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(3): e699-e709, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody measurements can be used to estimate the proportion of a population exposed or infected and may be informative about the risk of future infection. Previous estimates of the duration of antibody responses vary. METHODS: We present 6 months of data from a longitudinal seroprevalence study of 3276 UK healthcare workers (HCWs). Serial measurements of SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid and anti-spike IgG were obtained. Interval censored survival analysis was used to investigate the duration of detectable responses. Additionally, Bayesian mixed linear models were used to investigate anti-nucleocapsid waning. RESULTS: Anti-spike IgG levels remained stably detected after a positive result, for example, in 94% (95% credibility interval [CrI] 91-96%) of HCWs at 180 days. Anti-nucleocapsid IgG levels rose to a peak at 24 (95% CrI 19-31) days post first polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive test, before beginning to fall. Considering 452 anti-nucleocapsid seropositive HCWs over a median of 121 days from their maximum positive IgG titer, the mean estimated antibody half-life was 85 (95% CrI 81-90) days. Higher maximum observed anti-nucleocapsid titers were associated with longer estimated antibody half-lives. Increasing age, Asian ethnicity, and prior self-reported symptoms were independently associated with higher maximum anti-nucleocapsid levels and increasing age and a positive PCR test undertaken for symptoms with longer anti-nucleocapsid half-lives. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid antibodies wane within months and fall faster in younger adults and those without symptoms. However, anti-spike IgG remains stably detected. Ongoing longitudinal studies are required to track the long-term duration of antibody levels and their association with immunity to SARS-CoV-2 reinfection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Bayes Theorem , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Seroepidemiologic Studies
13.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(7): 763-772, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337037

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multiple early reports of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 showed that patients with chronic respiratory disease were significantly under-represented in these cohorts. We hypothesised that the widespread use of inhaled glucocorticoids among these patients was responsible for this finding, and tested if inhaled glucocorticoids would be an effective treatment for early COVID-19. METHODS: We performed an open-label, parallel-group, phase 2, randomised controlled trial (Steroids in COVID-19; STOIC) of inhaled budesonide, compared with usual care, in adults within 7 days of the onset of mild COVID-19 symptoms. The trial was done in the community in Oxfordshire, UK. Participants were randomly assigned to inhaled budsonide or usual care stratified for age (≤40 years or >40 years), sex (male or female), and number of comorbidities (≤1 and ≥2). Randomisation was done using random sequence generation in block randomisation in a 1:1 ratio. Budesonide dry powder was delivered using a turbohaler at a dose of 400 µg per actuation. Participants were asked to take two inhalations twice a day until symptom resolution. The primary endpoint was COVID-19-related urgent care visit, including emergency department assessment or hospitalisation, analysed for both the per-protocol and intention-to-treat (ITT) populations. The secondary outcomes were self-reported clinical recovery (symptom resolution), viral symptoms measured using the Common Cold Questionnare (CCQ) and the InFLUenza Patient Reported Outcome Questionnaire (FLUPro), body temperature, blood oxygen saturations, and SARS-CoV-2 viral load. The trial was stopped early after independent statistical review concluded that study outcome would not change with further participant enrolment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04416399. FINDINGS: From July 16 to Dec 9, 2020, 167 participants were recruited and assessed for eligibility. 21 did not meet eligibility criteria and were excluded. 146 participants were randomly assigned-73 to usual care and 73 to budesonide. For the per-protocol population (n=139), the primary outcome occurred in ten (14%) of 70 participants in the usual care group and one (1%) of 69 participants in the budesonide group (difference in proportions 0·131, 95% CI 0·043 to 0·218; p=0·004). For the ITT population, the primary outcome occurred in 11 (15%) participants in the usual care group and two (3%) participants in the budesonide group (difference in proportions 0·123, 95% CI 0·033 to 0·213; p=0·009). The number needed to treat with inhaled budesonide to reduce COVID-19 deterioration was eight. Clinical recovery was 1 day shorter in the budesonide group compared with the usual care group (median 7 days [95% CI 6 to 9] in the budesonide group vs 8 days [7 to 11] in the usual care group; log-rank test p=0·007). The mean proportion of days with a fever in the first 14 days was lower in the budesonide group (2%, SD 6) than the usual care group (8%, SD 18; Wilcoxon test p=0·051) and the proportion of participants with at least 1 day of fever was lower in the budesonide group when compared with the usual care group. As-needed antipyretic medication was required for fewer proportion of days in the budesonide group compared with the usual care group (27% [IQR 0-50] vs 50% [15-71]; p=0·025) Fewer participants randomly assigned to budesonide had persistent symptoms at days 14 and 28 compared with participants receiving usual care (difference in proportions 0·204, 95% CI 0·075 to 0·334; p=0·003). The mean total score change in the CCQ and FLUPro over 14 days was significantly better in the budesonide group compared with the usual care group (CCQ mean difference -0·12, 95% CI -0·21 to -0·02 [p=0·016]; FLUPro mean difference -0·10, 95% CI -0·21 to -0·00 [p=0·044]). Blood oxygen saturations and SARS-CoV-2 load, measured by cycle threshold, were not different between the groups. Budesonide was safe, with only five (7%) participants reporting self-limiting adverse events. INTERPRETATION: Early administration of inhaled budesonide reduced the likelihood of needing urgent medical care and reduced time to recovery after early COVID-19. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre and AstraZeneca.


Subject(s)
Budesonide/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Administration, Inhalation , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors , Young Adult
14.
J Infect ; 83(4): 473-482, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330975

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Despite robust efforts, patients and staff acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitals. We investigated whether whole-genome sequencing enhanced the epidemiological investigation of healthcare-associated SARS-CoV-2 acquisition. METHODS: From 17-November-2020 to 5-January-2021, 803 inpatients and 329 staff were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection at four Oxfordshire hospitals. We classified cases using epidemiological definitions, looked for a potential source for each nosocomial infection, and evaluated genomic evidence supporting transmission. RESULTS: Using national epidemiological definitions, 109/803(14%) inpatient infections were classified as definite/probable nosocomial, 615(77%) as community-acquired and 79(10%) as indeterminate. There was strong epidemiological evidence to support definite/probable cases as nosocomial. Many indeterminate cases were likely infected in hospital: 53/79(67%) had a prior-negative PCR and 75(95%) contact with a potential source. 89/615(11% of all 803 patients) with apparent community-onset had a recent hospital exposure. Within 764 samples sequenced 607 genomic clusters were identified (>1 SNP distinct). Only 43/607(7%) clusters contained evidence of onward transmission (subsequent cases within ≤ 1 SNP). 20/21 epidemiologically-identified outbreaks contained multiple genomic introductions. Most (80%) nosocomial acquisition occurred in rapid super-spreading events in settings with a mix of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Current surveillance definitions underestimate nosocomial acquisition. Most nosocomial transmission occurs from a relatively limited number of highly infectious individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Hepatol Commun ; 5(9): 1586-1604, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321690

ABSTRACT

The association of liver biochemistry with clinical outcomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is currently unclear, and the utility of longitudinally measured liver biochemistry as prognostic markers for mortality is unknown. We aimed to determine whether abnormal liver biochemistry, assessed at baseline and at repeat measures over time, was associated with death in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 compared to those without COVID-19, in a United Kingdom population. We extracted routinely collected clinical data from a large teaching hospital in the United Kingdom, matching 585 hospitalized patients who were SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positive to 1,165 hospitalized patients who were RT-PCR negative for age, sex, ethnicity, and preexisting comorbidities. A total of 26.8% (157/585) of patients with COVID-19 died compared to 11.9% (139/1,165) in the group without COVID-19 (P < 0.001). At presentation, a significantly higher proportion of the group with COVID-19 had elevated alanine aminotransferase (20.7% vs. 14.6%, P = 0.004) and hypoalbuminemia (58.7% vs. 35.0%, P < 0.001) compared to the group without COVID-19. Within the group with COVID-19, those with hypoalbuminemia at presentation had 1.83-fold increased hazards of death compared to those with normal albumin (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-2.67), while the hazard of death was ~4-fold higher in those aged ≥75 years (adjusted HR, 3.96; 95% CI, 2.59-6.04) and ~3-fold higher in those with preexisting liver disease (adjusted HR, 3.37; 95% CI, 1.58-7.16). In the group with COVID-19, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) increased (R = 0.192, P < 0.0001) and albumin declined (R = -0.123, P = 0.0004) over time in patients who died. Conclusion: In this United Kingdom population, liver biochemistry is commonly deranged in patients with COVID-19. Baseline hypoalbuminemia and rising ALP over time could be prognostic markers for death, but investigation of larger cohorts is required to develop a better understanding of the relationship between liver biochemistry and disease outcome.

16.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(9): 1140-1149, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320232

ABSTRACT

We report that in a cohort of 45,965 adults, who were receiving either the ChAdOx1 or the BNT162b2 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, in those who had no prior infection with SARS-CoV-2, seroconversion rates and quantitative antibody levels after a single dose were lower in older individuals, especially in those aged >60 years. Two vaccine doses achieved high responses across all ages. Antibody levels increased more slowly and to lower levels with a single dose of ChAdOx1 compared with a single dose of BNT162b2, but waned following a single dose of BNT162b2 in older individuals. In descriptive latent class models, we identified four responder subgroups, including a 'low responder' group that more commonly consisted of people aged >75 years, males and individuals with long-term health conditions. Given our findings, we propose that available vaccines should be prioritized for those not previously infected and that second doses should be prioritized for individuals aged >60 years. Further data are needed to better understand the extent to which quantitative antibody responses are associated with vaccine-mediated protection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Child , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom , Young Adult
17.
Elife ; 102021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305889

ABSTRACT

Background: Information on SARS-CoV-2 in representative community surveillance is limited, particularly cycle threshold (Ct) values (a proxy for viral load). Methods: We included all positive nose and throat swabs 26 April 2020 to 13 March 2021 from the UK's national COVID-19 Infection Survey, tested by RT-PCR for the N, S, and ORF1ab genes. We investigated predictors of median Ct value using quantile regression. Results: Of 3,312,159 nose and throat swabs, 27,902 (0.83%) were RT-PCR-positive, 10,317 (37%), 11,012 (40%), and 6550 (23%) for 3, 2, or 1 of the N, S, and ORF1ab genes, respectively, with median Ct = 29.2 (~215 copies/ml; IQR Ct = 21.9-32.8, 14-56,400 copies/ml). Independent predictors of lower Cts (i.e. higher viral load) included self-reported symptoms and more genes detected, with at most small effects of sex, ethnicity, and age. Single-gene positives almost invariably had Ct > 30, but Cts varied widely in triple-gene positives, including without symptoms. Population-level Cts changed over time, with declining Ct preceding increasing SARS-CoV-2 positivity. Of 6189 participants with IgG S-antibody tests post-first RT-PCR-positive, 4808 (78%) were ever antibody-positive; Cts were significantly higher in those remaining antibody negative. Conclusions: Marked variation in community SARS-CoV-2 Ct values suggests that they could be a useful epidemiological early-warning indicator. Funding: Department of Health and Social Care, National Institutes of Health Research, Huo Family Foundation, Medical Research Council UK; Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Humans
18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jul 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294706

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Natural and vaccine-induced immunity will play a key role in controlling the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 variants have the potential to evade natural and vaccine-induced immunity. METHODS: In a longitudinal cohort study of healthcare workers (HCWs) in Oxfordshire, UK, we investigated the protection from symptomatic and asymptomatic PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection conferred by vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2, Oxford-AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCOV-19) and prior infection (determined using anti-spike antibody status), using Poisson regression adjusted for age, sex, temporal changes in incidence and role. We estimated protection conferred after one versus two vaccinations and from infections with the B.1.1.7 variant identified using whole genome sequencing. RESULTS: 13,109 HCWs participated; 8285 received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (1407 two doses) and 2738 the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (49 two doses). Compared to unvaccinated seronegative HCWs, natural immunity and two vaccination doses provided similar protection against symptomatic infection: no HCW vaccinated twice had symptomatic infection, and incidence was 98% lower in seropositive HCWs (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.02 [95%CI <0.01-0.18]). Two vaccine doses or seropositivity reduced the incidence of any PCR-positive result with or without symptoms by 90% (0.10 [0.02-0.38]) and 85% (0.15 [0.08-0.26]) respectively. Single-dose vaccination reduced the incidence of symptomatic infection by 67% (0.33 [0.21-0.52]) and any PCR-positive result by 64% (0.36 [0.26-0.50]). There was no evidence of differences in immunity induced by natural infection and vaccination for infections with S-gene target failure and B.1.1.7. CONCLUSION: Natural infection resulting in detectable anti-spike antibodies and two vaccine doses both provide robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, including against the B.1.1.7 variant.

20.
Nat Med ; 27(8): 1370-1378, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263502

ABSTRACT

The effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in preventing new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in the general community is still unclear. Here, we used the Office for National Statistics COVID-19 Infection Survey-a large community-based survey of individuals living in randomly selected private households across the United Kingdom-to assess the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca; ChAdOx1) vaccines against any new SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive tests, split according to self-reported symptoms, cycle threshold value (<30 versus ≥30; as a surrogate for viral load) and gene positivity pattern (compatible with B.1.1.7 or not). Using 1,945,071 real-time PCR results from nose and throat swabs taken from 383,812 participants between 1 December 2020 and 8 May 2021, we found that vaccination with the ChAdOx1 or BNT162b2 vaccines already reduced SARS-CoV-2 infections ≥21 d after the first dose (61% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 54-68%) versus 66% (95% CI = 60-71%), respectively), with greater reductions observed after a second dose (79% (95% CI = 65-88%) versus 80% (95% CI = 73-85%), respectively). The largest reductions were observed for symptomatic infections and/or infections with a higher viral burden. Overall, COVID-19 vaccination reduced the number of new SARS-CoV-2 infections, with the largest benefit received after two vaccinations and against symptomatic and high viral burden infections, and with no evidence of a difference between the BNT162b2 and ChAdOx1 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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