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1.
Sci Transl Med ; : eabo7081, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874494

ABSTRACT

Understanding the build-up of immunity with successive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and the epidemiological conditions that favor rapidly expanding epidemics will help facilitate future pandemic control. We analyzed high-resolution infection and serology data from two longitudinal household cohorts in South Africa to reveal high cumulative infection rates and durable cross-protective immunity conferred by prior infection in the pre-Omicron era. Building on the history of past exposures to different SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination in the more representative urban cohort given South Africa's high urbanization rate, we used mathematical models to explore the fitness advantage of the Omicron variant and its epidemic trajectory. Modelling suggests the Omicron wave likely infected a large fraction (44% - 81%) of the population, leaving a complex landscape of population immunity primed and boosted with antigenically distinct variants. We project that future SARS-CoV-2 resurgences are likely under a range of scenarios of viral characteristics, population contacts, and residual cross-protection.

2.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(5): 1055-1058, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760190

ABSTRACT

By November 2021, after the third wave of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections in South Africa, seroprevalence was 60% in a rural community and 70% in an urban community. High seroprevalence before the Omicron variant emerged may have contributed to reduced illness severity observed in the fourth wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , South Africa/epidemiology
3.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(6): 821-834, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740327

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: By August, 2021, South Africa had been affected by three waves of SARS-CoV-2; the second associated with the beta variant and the third with the delta variant. Data on SARS-CoV-2 burden, transmission, and asymptomatic infections from Africa are scarce. We aimed to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 burden and transmission in one rural and one urban community in South Africa. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of households in Agincourt, Mpumalanga province (rural site) and Klerksdorp, North West province (urban site) from July, 2020 to August, 2021. We randomly selected households for the rural site from a health and sociodemographic surveillance system and for the urban site using GPS coordinates. Households with more than two members and where at least 75% of members consented to participate were eligible. Midturbinate nasal swabs were collected twice a week from household members irrespective of symptoms and tested for SARS-CoV-2 using real-time RT-PCR (RT-rtPCR). Serum was collected every 2 months and tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Main outcomes were the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, frequency of reinfection, symptomatic fraction (percent of infected individuals with ≥1 symptom), the duration of viral RNA shedding (number of days of SARS-CoV-2 RT-rtPCR positivity), and the household cumulative infection risk (HCIR; number of infected household contacts divided by the number of susceptible household members). FINDINGS: 222 households (114 at the rural site and 108 at the urban site), and 1200 household members (643 at the rural site and 557 at the urban site) were included in the analysis. For 115 759 nasal specimens from 1200 household members (follow-up 92·5%), 1976 (1·7%) were SARS-CoV-2-positive on RT-rtPCR. By RT-rtPCR and serology combined, 749 of 1200 individuals (62·4% [95% CI 58·1-66·4]) had at least one SARS-CoV-2 infection episode, and 87 of 749 (11·6% [9·4-14·2]) were reinfected. The mean infection episode duration was 11·6 days (SD 9·0; range 4-137). Of 662 RT-rtPCR-confirmed episodes (>14 days after the start of follow-up) with available data, 97 (14·7% [11·9-17·9]) were symptomatic with at least one symptom (in individuals aged <19 years, 28 [7·5%] of 373 episodes symptomatic; in individuals aged ≥19 years, 69 [23·9%] of 289 episodes symptomatic). Among 222 households, 200 (90·1% [85·3-93·7]) had at least one SARS-CoV-2-positive individual on RT-rtPCR or serology. HCIR overall was 23·9% (195 of 817 susceptible household members infected [95% CI 19·8-28·4]). HCIR was 23·3% (20 of 86) for symptomatic index cases and 23·9% (175 of 731) for asymptomatic index cases (univariate odds ratio [OR] 1·0 [95% CI 0·5-2·0]). On multivariable analysis, accounting for age and sex, low minimum cycle threshold value (≤30 vs >30) of the index case (OR 5·3 [2·3-12·4]) and beta and delta variant infection (vs Wuhan-Hu-1, OR 3·3 [1·4-8·2] and 10·4 [4·1-26·7], respectively) were associated with increased HCIR. People living with HIV who were not virally supressed (≥400 viral load copies per mL) were more likely to develop symptomatic illness when infected with SAR-CoV-2 (OR 3·3 [1·3-8·4]), and shed SARS-CoV-2 for longer (hazard ratio 0·4 [95% CI 0·3-0·6]) compared with HIV-uninfected individuals. INTERPRETATION: In this study, 565 (85·3%) SARS-CoV-2 infections were asymptomatic and index case symptom status did not affect HCIR, suggesting a limited role for control measures targeting symptomatic individuals. Increased household transmission of beta and delta variants was likely to have contributed to successive waves of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with more than 60% of individuals infected by the end of follow-up. FUNDING: US CDC, South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Disease Susceptibility , Humans , Incidence , Prospective Studies , Reinfection , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735548

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Seroprevalence studies are important for quantifying the burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections in resource-constrained countries. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional household survey spanning the second pandemic wave (November 2020 - April 2021) in three communities. Blood was collected for SARS-CoV-2 antibody (two ELISA assays targeting spike and nucleocapsid) and HIV testing. An individual was considered seropositive if testing positive on ≥1 assay. Factors associated with infection, and the age-standardised infection to case detection rate (ICR), infection hospitalisation rate (IHR) and infection fatality rate (IFR) were calculated. RESULTS: Overall 7959 participants were enrolled, with a median age of 34 years and HIV prevalence of 22.7%. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 45.2% (95% confidence interval 43.7% - 46.7%), and increased from 26.9% among individuals enrolled in December 2020 to 47.1% among individuals in April 2021. On multivariable analysis, seropositivity was associated with age, sex, race, being overweight/obese, having respiratory symptoms, and low socioeconomic status. Persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) with high viral load were less likely to be seropositive compared to HIV-uninfected individuals. The site-specific ICR, IHR and IFR ranged across sites from 4.4% to 8.2%, 1.2% to 2.5% and 0.3% to 0.6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: South Africa has experienced a large burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with <10% of infections diagnosed. Lower seroprevalence among non-virally suppressed PLWHIV, likely as a result of inadequate antibody production, highlights the need to prioritise this group for intervention.

5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(7): 271-278, 2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1689711

ABSTRACT

The first U.S. case of COVID-19 attributed to the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) was reported on December 1, 2021 (1), and by the week ending December 25, 2021, Omicron was the predominant circulating variant in the United States.* Although COVID-19-associated hospitalizations are more frequent among adults,† COVID-19 can lead to severe outcomes in children and adolescents (2). This report analyzes data from the Coronavirus Disease 19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET)§ to describe COVID-19-associated hospitalizations among U.S. children (aged 0-11 years) and adolescents (aged 12-17 years) during periods of Delta (July 1-December 18, 2021) and Omicron (December 19, 2021-January 22, 2022) predominance. During the Delta- and Omicron-predominant periods, rates of weekly COVID-19-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 children and adolescents peaked during the weeks ending September 11, 2021, and January 8, 2022, respectively. The Omicron variant peak (7.1 per 100,000) was four times that of the Delta variant peak (1.8), with the largest increase observed among children aged 0-4 years.¶ During December 2021, the monthly hospitalization rate among unvaccinated adolescents aged 12-17 years (23.5) was six times that among fully vaccinated adolescents (3.8). Strategies to prevent COVID-19 among children and adolescents, including vaccination of eligible persons, are critical.*.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Population Surveillance , United States/epidemiology
6.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(12): 3020-3029, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556378

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections may be underestimated because of limited access to testing. We measured SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in South Africa every 2 months during July 2020-March 2021 in randomly selected household cohorts in 2 communities. We compared seroprevalence to reported laboratory-confirmed infections, hospitalizations, and deaths to calculate infection-case, infection-hospitalization, and infection-fatality ratios in 2 waves of infection. Post-second wave seroprevalence ranged from 18% in the rural community children <5 years of age, to 59% in urban community adults 35-59 years of age. The second wave saw a shift in age distribution of case-patients in the urban community (from persons 35-59 years of age to persons at the extremes of age), higher attack rates in the rural community, and a higher infection-fatality ratio in the urban community. Approximately 95% of SARS-CoV-2 infections were not reported to national surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Humans , Middle Aged , Rural Population , Seroepidemiologic Studies , South Africa/epidemiology
7.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(47): 1623-1628, 2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534933

ABSTRACT

Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is associated with a broad spectrum of illnesses, including mild to severe acute respiratory illness (ARI) and acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). Enteroviruses, including EV-D68, are typically detected in the United States during late summer through fall, with year-to-year fluctuations. Before 2014, EV-D68 was infrequently reported to CDC (1). However, numbers of EV-D68 detection have increased in recent years, with a biennial pattern observed during 2014-2018 in the United States, after the expansion of surveillance and wider availability of molecular testing. In 2014, a national outbreak of EV-D68 was detected (2). EV-D68 was also reported in 2016 via local (3) and passive national (4) surveillance. EV-D68 detections were limited in 2017, but substantial circulation was observed in 2018 (5). To assess recent levels of circulation, EV-D68 detections in respiratory specimens collected from patients aged <18 years* with ARI evaluated in emergency departments (EDs) or admitted to one of seven U.S. medical centers† within the New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) were summarized. This report provides a provisional description of EV-D68 detections during July-November in 2018, 2019 and 2020, and describes the demographic and clinical characteristics of these patients. In 2018, a total of 382 EV-D68 detections in respiratory specimens obtained from patients aged <18 years with ARI were reported by NVSN; the number decreased to six detections in 2019 and 30 in 2020. Among patients aged <18 years with EV-D68 in 2020, 22 (73%) were non-Hispanic Black (Black) persons. EV-D68 detections in 2020 were lower than anticipated based on the biennial circulation pattern observed since 2014. The circulation of EV-D68 in 2020 might have been limited by widespread COVID-19 mitigation measures; how these changes in behavior might influence the timing and levels of circulation in future years is unknown. Ongoing monitoring of EV-D68 detections is warranted for preparedness for EV-D68-associated ARI and AFM.


Subject(s)
Disease Outbreaks , Enterovirus D, Human/isolation & purification , Enterovirus Infections/epidemiology , Population Surveillance/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Enterovirus D, Human/genetics , Enterovirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , United States/epidemiology
8.
Vaccine ; 38(45): 7007-7014, 2020 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1452423

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data on influenza economic burden in risk groups for severe influenza are important to guide targeted influenza immunization, especially in resource-limited settings. However, this information is limited in low- and middle-income countries. METHODS: We estimated the cost (from a health system and societal perspective) and years of life lost (YLL) for influenza-associated illness in South Africa during 2013-2015 among (i) children aged 6-59 months, (ii) individuals aged 5-64 years with HIV, pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and selected underlying medical conditions (UMC), separately, (iii) pregnant women and (iv) individuals aged ≥65 years, using publicly available data and data collected through laboratory-confirmed influenza surveillance and costing studies. All costs were expressed in 2015 prices using the South Africa all-items Consumer Price Index. RESULTS: During 2013-2015, the mean annual cost of influenza-associated illness among the selected risk groups accounted for 52.1% ($140.9/$270.5 million) of the total influenza-associated illness cost (for the entire population of South Africa), 45.2% ($52.2/$115.5 million) of non-medically attended illness costs, 43.3% ($46.7/$107.9 million) of medically-attended mild illness costs and 89.3% ($42.0/$47.1 million) of medically-attended severe illness costs. The YLL among the selected risk groups accounted for 86.0% (262,069 /304,867 years) of the total YLL due to influenza-associated death. CONCLUSION: In South Africa, individuals in risk groups for severe influenza accounted for approximately half of the total influenza-associated illness cost but most of the cost of influenza-associated medically attended severe illness and YLL. This study provides the foundation for future studies on the cost-effectiveness of influenza immunization among risk groups.


Subject(s)
Cost of Illness , Influenza, Human , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , South Africa/epidemiology , Vaccination , Young Adult
9.
Euro Surveill ; 26(29)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323058

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn South Africa, COVID-19 control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 spread were initiated on 16 March 2020. Such measures may also impact the spread of other pathogens, including influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) with implications for future annual epidemics and expectations for the subsequent northern hemisphere winter.MethodsWe assessed the detection of influenza and RSV through facility-based syndromic surveillance of adults and children with mild or severe respiratory illness in South Africa from January to October 2020, and compared this with surveillance data from 2013 to 2019.ResultsFacility-based surveillance revealed a decline in influenza virus detection during the regular season compared with previous years. This was observed throughout the implementation of COVID-19 control measures. RSV detection decreased soon after the most stringent COVID-19 control measures commenced; however, an increase in RSV detection was observed after the typical season, following the re-opening of schools and the easing of measures.ConclusionCOVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions led to reduced circulation of influenza and RSV in South Africa. This has limited the country's ability to provide influenza virus strains for the selection of the annual influenza vaccine. Delayed increases in RSV case numbers may reflect the easing of COVID-19 control measures. An increase in influenza virus detection was not observed, suggesting that the measures may have impacted the two pathogens differently. The impact that lowered and/or delayed influenza and RSV circulation in 2020 will have on the intensity and severity of subsequent annual epidemics is unknown and warrants close monitoring.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Adult , Child , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
10.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 15(6): 789-803, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322743

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The PHIRST study (Prospective Household cohort study of Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial virus, and other respiratory pathogens community burden and Transmission dynamics in South Africa) aimed to estimate the community burden of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) including the incidence of infection, symptomatic fraction, and to assess household transmission. PARTICIPANTS: We enrolled 1684 individuals in 327 randomly selected households in a rural and an urban site over three consecutive influenza and two RSV seasons. A new cohort of households was enrolled each year. Participants were sampled with nasopharyngeal swabs twice-weekly during the RSV and influenza seasons of the year of enrolment. Serology samples were collected at enrolment and before and after the influenza season annually. FINDINGS TO DATE: There were 122 113 potential individual follow-up visits over the 3 years, and participants were interviewed for 105 783 (87%) of these. Out of 105 683 nasopharyngeal swabs, 1258 (1%) and 1026 (1%) tested positive on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for influenza viruses and RSV, respectively. Over one third of individuals had PCR-confirmed influenza each year. Overall, there was influenza transmission to 10% of household contacts of an index case. FUTURE PLANS: Future planned analyses include analysis of influenza serology results and RSV burden and transmission. Households enrolled in the PHIRST study during 2016-2018 were eligible for inclusion in a study of SARS-CoV-2 transmission initiated in July 2020. This study uses similar testing frequency to assess the community burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the role of asymptomatic infection in virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Cohort Studies , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
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