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1.
Lancet Reg Health Am ; : 100369, 2022 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2042001

ABSTRACT

Background: Public health measures designed to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission led to reduced access to care and prevention services for people living with or at risk of acquiring HIV, particularly during the initial introduction of extensive restrictions. This reduction in access may have contributed to increases in HIV transmission not outweighed by decreases in transmission occurring as a result of reduced contact rates promoted by the same public health measures. Methods: We synthesize available province-wide HIV data in British Columbia, Canada, together with public mobility data to phylogenetically investigate the early impacts of SARS-CoV-2 on HIV transmission. Cluster growth, coalescent branching events and lineage-level diversification rates were assessed in "pre-lockdown" (January 22-March 21, 2020), "lockdown" (March 22-May 20, 2020) and "post-lockdown" (May 21-July 19, 2020) to facilitate comparison of transmission trends across key populations. Findings: Results reveal increased HIV transmission in a limited number of clusters in association with reduced access to health services during the initial introduction of SARS-CoV-2-related restrictions. In particular, clusters associated with people who inject drugs (PWID) show rapid growth, extensive branching events in phylogenetic trees during and following the lockdown period, and elevated median change in individuals' viral diversification rates during lockdown compared to clusters associated with men who have sex with men (MSM), consistent with increased transmission rates between PWID. Interpretation: Increased vigilance and innovative targeted solutions are critical to offset potential negative impacts of SARS-CoV-2 or future pandemic-related restrictions on HIV epidemic dynamics. Funding: Funding sources include Genome Canada and Genome BC, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Coronavirus Rapid Response Programme. Student funding includes a NSERC CREATE scholarship and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research graduate fellowship.

2.
Vaccine ; 40(42): 6114-6124, 2022 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031726

ABSTRACT

Two messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines are widely used globally to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Both vaccine formulations contain PEGylated lipids in their composition, in the form of polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol for mRNA-1273, and 2 [(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide for BNT162b2. It is known that some PEGylated drugs and products for human use which contain PEG are capable of eliciting immune responses that lead to to detectable PEG-specific antibodies in serum. In this study, we determined if any of the components of mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2 formulations elicited PEG-specific antibody responses in serum by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We detected an increase in the reactivity to mRNA vaccine formulations in mRNA-1273 but not BNT162b2 vaccinees' sera in a prime-boost dependent manner. Furthermore, we observed the same pattern of reactivity against irrelevant lipid nanoparticles from an influenza virus mRNA formulation and found that the reactivity of such antibodies correlated well with antibody levels against high and low molecular weight PEG. Using sera from participants selected based on the vaccine-associated side effects experienced after vaccination, including delayed onset, injection site or severe allergic reactions, we found no obvious association between PEG antibodies and adverse reactions. Overall, our data shows a differential induction of anti-PEG antibodies by mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2. The clinical relevance of PEG reactive antibodies induced by administration of the mRNA-1273 vaccine, and the potential interaction of these antibodies with other PEGylated drugs remains to be explored.


Subject(s)
2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , COVID-19 , Antibodies , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Glycerol , Humans , Lipids , Liposomes , Nanoparticles , Polyethylene Glycols , Proteins , RNA, Messenger , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
3.
eLife ; 11, 2022.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1969731

ABSTRACT

Tracking the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 lineages using phylogenetics has proven critical to inform the timing and stringency of COVID-19 public health interventions. We investigated the effectiveness of international travel restrictions at reducing SARS-CoV-2 importations and transmission in Canada in the first two waves of 2020 and early 2021. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees were used to infer viruses’ geographic origins, enabling identification of 2263 (95% confidence interval: 2159–2366) introductions, including 680 (658–703) Canadian sublineages, which are international introductions resulting in sampled Canadian descendants, and 1582 (1501–1663) singletons, introductions with no sampled descendants. Of the sublineages seeded during the first wave, 49% (46–52%) originated from the USA and were primarily introduced into Quebec (39%) and Ontario (36%), while in the second wave, the USA was still the predominant source (43%), alongside a larger contribution from India (16%) and the UK (7%). Following implementation of restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals on 21 March 2020, importations declined from 58.5 (50.4–66.5) sublineages per week to 10.3-fold (8.3–15.0) lower within 4 weeks. Despite the drastic reduction in viral importations following travel restrictions, newly seeded sublineages in summer and fall 2020 contributed to the persistence of COVID-19 cases in the second wave, highlighting the importance of sustained interventions to reduce transmission. Importations rebounded further in November, bringing newly emergent variants of concern (VOCs). By the end of February 2021, there had been an estimated 30 (19–41) B.1.1.7 sublineages imported into Canada, which increasingly displaced previously circulating sublineages by the end of the second wave.Although viral importations are nearly inevitable when global prevalence is high, with fewer importations there are fewer opportunities for novel variants to spark outbreaks or outcompete previously circulating lineages.

4.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0270412, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933363

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Individuals with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, are particularly susceptible to adverse health effects associated with higher levels of ambient air pollution and temperature. This study evaluates whether hourly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and dry bulb globe temperature (DBGT) are associated with the lung function of adult participants with asthma. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Global positioning system (GPS) location, respiratory function (measured as forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1)), and self-reports of asthma medication usage and symptoms were collected as part of the Exposure, Location, and Lung Function (ELF) study. Hourly ambient PM2.5 and DBGT exposures were estimated by integrating air quality and temperature public records with time-activity patterns using GPS coordinates for each participant (n = 35). The relationships between acute PM2.5, DBGT, rescue bronchodilator use, and lung function collected in one week periods and over two seasons (summer/winter) were analyzed by multivariate regression, using different exposure time frames. In separate models, increasing levels in PM2.5, but not DBGT, were associated with rescue bronchodilator use. Conversely DBGT, but not PM2.5, had a significant association with FEV1. When DBGT and PM2.5 exposures were placed in the same model, the strongest association between cumulative PM2.5 exposures and the use of rescue bronchodilator was identified at the 0-24 hours (OR = 1.030; 95% CI = 1.012-1.049; p-value = 0.001) and 0-48 hours (OR = 1.030; 95% CI = 1.013-1.057; p-value = 0.001) prior to lung function measure. Conversely, DBGT exposure at 0 hours (ß = 3.257; SE = 0.879; p-value>0.001) and 0-6 hours (ß = 2.885; SE = 0.903; p-value = 0.001) hours before a reading were associated with FEV1. No significant interactions between DBGT and PM2.5 were observed for rescue bronchodilator use or FEV1. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term increases in PM2.5 were associated with increased rescue bronchodilator use, while DBGT was associated with higher lung function (i.e. FEV1). Further studies are needed to continue to elucidate the mechanisms of acute exposure to PM2.5 and DBGT on lung function in asthmatics.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , Asthma , Adult , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Bronchodilator Agents , Environmental Exposure/adverse effects , Humans , Lung , Temperature
5.
Environ Int ; 163: 107226, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773289

ABSTRACT

During events like the COVID-19 pandemic or a disaster, researchers may need to switch from collecting biological samples to personal exposure samplers that are easy and safe to transport and wear, such as silicone wristbands. Previous studies have demonstrated significant correlations between urine biomarker concentrations and chemical levels in wristbands. We build upon those studies and use a novel combination of descriptive statistics and supervised statistical learning to evaluate the relationship between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in silicone wristbands and hydroxy-PAH (OH-PAH) concentrations in urine. In New York City, 109 participants in a longitudinal birth cohort wore one wristband for 48 h and provided a spot urine sample at the end of the 48-hour period during their third trimester of pregnancy. We compared four PAHs with the corresponding seven OH-PAHs using descriptive statistics, a linear regression model, and a linear discriminant analysis model. Five of the seven PAH and OH-PAH pairs had significant correlations (Pearson's r = 0.35-0.64, p ≤ 0.003) and significant chi-square tests of independence for exposure categories (p ≤ 0.009). For these five comparisons, the observed PAH or OH-PAH concentration could predict the other concentration within a factor of 1.47 for 50-80% of the measurements (depending on the pair). Prediction accuracies for high exposure categories were at least 1.5 times higher compared to accuracies based on random chance. These results demonstrate that wristbands and urine provide similar PAH exposure assessment information, which is critical for environmental health researchers looking for the flexibility to switch between biological sample and wristband collection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons/analysis , Pregnancy , Silicones
6.
Pediatrics ; 149(4)2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753235

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The family stress model proposes economic hardship results in caregiver distress and relational problems, which negatively impact youth outcomes. We extend this model to evaluate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic-related family hardships on caregiver and youth stress, and, in turn, youth's psychological well-being. We also investigate how social supports moderate this relationship. METHODS: We used 2 samples of cross-sectional survey data collected between May 2020 and May 2021: children aged 2 to 12 years (n = 977) and adolescents aged 11 to 17 years (n = 669). Variables included pandemic-related family hardships, stress, social support, and youth life satisfaction. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. RESULTS: Experiencing more pandemic-related family hardships was associated with increased caregiver and youth stress (b = 0.04 to 0.21, SE = 0.01-0.02) and, in turn, decreased youth life satisfaction (b = -0.36 to -0.38, SE = 0.04-0.07). Social connectedness (b^ = 0.11-0.17, SE = 0.04) and family engagement (b^ = 0.12-0.18, SE = 0.05-0.06) had direct positive associations with life satisfaction; for children aged 2 to 12 years, greater family engagement was associated with decreased effect of child stress on life satisfaction (b^ = 0.15, SE = 0.05). For adolescents, females had higher levels of stress compared with males (b^ = 0.40, SE = 0.6), and having anxiety and/or depression was associated with decreased life satisfaction (b^ = -0.24, SE = 0.11). CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers and youth who experienced more coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic hardships had higher levels of stress, particularly adolescent females. Although stress negatively impacted life satisfaction across all ages, family engagement was a protective factor for children aged 2 to 12 years, whereas having anxiety and/or depression was a risk factor for adolescents. For all youth, however, being more socially connected and engaged with family promoted life satisfaction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Caregivers/psychology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics
8.
Front Genet ; 12: 706902, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337635

ABSTRACT

A major component of COVID-19 severe respiratory syndrome is the patient's immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the consequential multi-organ inflammatory response. Several studies suggested a potential role of CD4+ T cells in COVID-19 severe respiratory syndrome. We first hypothesized that there is a type 2 helper (Th2)/type 1 helper (Th1) imbalance in older age, male, asthma, smokers, and high ACE2 expression phenotype in the airway of non-infected patients. Next, we hypothesized that a Th2/Th1 imbalance may predict higher mortality in COVID-19 infected hospitalized patients with and without patient reported current asthma. We first analyzed publicly available gene expression from the sputum of 118 moderate-to-severe asthma patients and 21 healthy controls, and from nasal epithelium of 26 healthy current smokers and 21 healthy never smokers. Secondly, we profiled 288 new serum proteomics samples measured at admission from patients hospitalized within the Mount Sinai Health System with positive SARS-CoV-2 infection. We first computed Th1 and Th2 pathway enrichment scores by gene set variation analysis and then compared the differences in Th2 and Th1 pathway scores between patients that died compared to those that survived, by linear regression. The level of Th2/Th1 imbalance, as determined by the enrichment score, was associated with age, sex, and ACE2 expression in sputum, and with active smoking status in nasal epithelium (p < 0.05). Th2/Th1 imbalance at hospital admission in sera of patients was not significantly associated with death from COVID-19 (p = 0.11), unless evaluated in the asthmatic strata (p = 0.01). Using a similar approach we also observed a higher Th17/Th1 cytokine imbalance in all deceased patients compared to those that survived (p < 0.001), as well as in the asthmatic strata only (p < 0.01). Th2/Th1 imbalance is higher in the sera of asthma patients at admission that do not survive COVID-19, suggesting that the Th2/Th1 interplay may affect patient outcomes in SARS-CoV2 infection. In addition, we report that Th17/Th1 imbalance is increased in all patients that die of COVID-19.

9.
J Evol Biol ; 34(6): 924-936, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1130344

ABSTRACT

Natural selection operating on the genomes of viral pathogens in different host species strongly contributes to adaptation facilitating host colonization. Here, we analyse, quantify and compare viral adaptation in genomic sequence data derived from seven zoonotic events in the Coronaviridae family among primary, intermediate and human hosts. Rates of nonsynonymous (dN ) and synonymous (dS ) changes on specific amino acid positions were quantified for each open reading frame (ORF). Purifying selection accounted for 77% of all sites under selection. Diversifying selection was most frequently observed in viruses infecting the primary hosts of each virus and predominantly occurred in the orf1ab genomic region. Within all four intermediate hosts, diversifying selection on the spike gene was observed either solitarily or in combination with orf1ab and other genes. Consistent with previous evidence, pervasive diversifying selection on coronavirus spike genes corroborates the role this protein plays in host cellular entry, adaptation to new hosts and evasion of host cellular immune responses. Structural modelling of spike proteins identified a significantly higher proportion of sites for SARS-CoV-2 under positive selection in close proximity to sites of glycosylation relative to the other coronaviruses. Among human coronaviruses, there was a significant inverse correlation between the number of sites under positive selection and the estimated years since the virus was introduced into the human population. Abundant diversifying selection observed in SARS-CoV-2 suggests the virus remains in the adaptive phase of the host switch, typical of recent host switches. A mechanistic understanding of where, when and how genomic adaptation occurs in coronaviruses following a host shift is crucial for vaccine design, public health responses and predicting future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Biological/genetics , Coronavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Selection, Genetic , Viral Zoonoses/genetics , Animals , Genome, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans
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