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Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7251, 2021 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569250


New lineages of SARS-CoV-2 are of potential concern due to higher transmissibility, risk of severe outcomes, and/or escape from neutralizing antibodies. Lineage B.1.1.7 (the Alpha variant) became dominant in early 2021, but the association between transmissibility and risk factors, such as age of primary case and viral load remains poorly understood. Here, we used comprehensive administrative data from Denmark, comprising the full population (January 11 to February 7, 2021), to estimate household transmissibility. This study included 5,241 households with primary cases; 808 were infected with lineage B.1.1.7 and 4,433 with other lineages. Here, we report an attack rate of 38% in households with a primary case infected with B.1.1.7 and 27% in households with other lineages. Primary cases infected with B.1.1.7 had an increased transmissibility of 1.5-1.7 times that of primary cases infected with other lineages. The increased transmissibility of B.1.1.7 was multiplicative across age and viral load.

Age Factors , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
PLoS Pathog ; 17(11): e1010068, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518369


Mink, on a farm with about 15,000 animals, became infected with SARS-CoV-2. Over 75% of tested animals were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in throat swabs and 100% of tested animals were seropositive. The virus responsible had a deletion of nucleotides encoding residues H69 and V70 within the spike protein gene as well as the A22920T mutation, resulting in the Y453F substitution within this protein, seen previously in mink. The infected mink recovered and after free-testing of 300 mink (a level giving 93% confidence of detecting a 1% prevalence), the animals remained seropositive. During further follow-up studies, after a period of more than 2 months without any virus detection, over 75% of tested animals again scored positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Whole genome sequencing showed that the viruses circulating during this re-infection were most closely related to those identified in the first outbreak on this farm but additional sequence changes had occurred. Animals had much higher levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples after the second round of infection than at free-testing or during recovery from initial infection, consistent with a boosted immune response. Thus, it was concluded that following recovery from an initial infection, seropositive mink were readily re-infected by SARS-CoV-2.

COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19/virology , Mink/immunology , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Farms , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Mutation , Pharynx/virology , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral , Reinfection/virology , Whole Genome Sequencing
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(11): 1507-1517, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492844


BACKGROUND: The more infectious SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 rapidly spread in Europe after December, 2020, and a concern that B.1.1.7 could cause more severe disease has been raised. Taking advantage of Denmark's high RT-PCR testing and whole genome sequencing capacities, we used national health register data to assess the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation in individuals infected with B.1.1.7 compared with those with other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. METHODS: We did an observational cohort study of all SARS-CoV-2-positive cases confirmed by RT-PCR in Denmark, sampled between Jan 1 and March 24, 2021, with 14 days of follow-up for COVID-19 hospitalisation. Cases were identified in the national COVID-19 surveillance system database, which includes data from the Danish Microbiology Database (RT-PCR test results), the Danish COVID-19 Genome Consortium, the National Patient Registry, the Civil Registration System, as well as other nationwide registers. Among all cases, COVID-19 hospitalisation was defined as first admission lasting longer than 12 h within 14 days of a sample with a positive RT-PCR result. The study population and main analysis were restricted to the proportion of cases with viral genome data. We calculated the risk ratio (RR) of admission according to infection with B.1.1.7 versus other co-existing lineages with a Poisson regression model with robust SEs, adjusted a priori for sex, age, calendar time, region, and comorbidities. The contribution of each covariate to confounding of the crude RR was evaluated afterwards by a stepwise forward inclusion. FINDINGS: Between Jan 1 and March 24, 2021, 50 958 individuals with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test and at least 14 days of follow-up for hospitalisation were identified; 30 572 (60·0%) had genome data, of whom 10 544 (34·5%) were infected with B.1.1.7. 1944 (6·4%) individuals had a COVID-19 hospitalisation and of these, 571 (29·4%) had a B.1.1.7 infection and 1373 (70·6%) had an infection with other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. Although the overall number of hospitalisations decreased during the study period, the proportion of individuals infected with B.1.1.7 increased from 3·5% to 92·1% per week. B.1.1.7 was associated with a crude RR of hospital admission of 0·79 (95% CI 0·72-0·87; p<0·0001) and an adjusted RR of 1·42 (95% CI 1·25-1·60; p<0·0001). The adjusted RR was increased in all strata of age and calendar period-the two covariates with the largest contribution to confounding of the crude RR. INTERPRETATION: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 was associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation compared with that of other lineages in an analysis adjusted for covariates. The overall effect on hospitalisations in Denmark was lessened due to a strict lockdown, but our findings could support hospital preparedness and modelling of the projected impact of the epidemic in countries with uncontrolled spread of B.1.1.7. FUNDING: None.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Risk Assessment/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Whole Genome Sequencing/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult