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1.
Nature ; 617(7962): 764-768, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325395

ABSTRACT

Critical illness in COVID-19 is an extreme and clinically homogeneous disease phenotype that we have previously shown1 to be highly efficient for discovery of genetic associations2. Despite the advanced stage of illness at presentation, we have shown that host genetics in patients who are critically ill with COVID-19 can identify immunomodulatory therapies with strong beneficial effects in this group3. Here we analyse 24,202 cases of COVID-19 with critical illness comprising a combination of microarray genotype and whole-genome sequencing data from cases of critical illness in the international GenOMICC (11,440 cases) study, combined with other studies recruiting hospitalized patients with a strong focus on severe and critical disease: ISARIC4C (676 cases) and the SCOURGE consortium (5,934 cases). To put these results in the context of existing work, we conduct a meta-analysis of the new GenOMICC genome-wide association study (GWAS) results with previously published data. We find 49 genome-wide significant associations, of which 16 have not been reported previously. To investigate the therapeutic implications of these findings, we infer the structural consequences of protein-coding variants, and combine our GWAS results with gene expression data using a monocyte transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS) model, as well as gene and protein expression using Mendelian randomization. We identify potentially druggable targets in multiple systems, including inflammatory signalling (JAK1), monocyte-macrophage activation and endothelial permeability (PDE4A), immunometabolism (SLC2A5 and AK5), and host factors required for viral entry and replication (TMPRSS2 and RAB2A).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Illness , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genetic Variation , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , COVID-19/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Genotype , Phenotype , Genetic Variation/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing , Transcriptome , Monocytes/metabolism , rab GTP-Binding Proteins/genetics , Genotyping Techniques
2.
Thorax ; 77(6): 606-615, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316148

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To prospectively validate two risk scores to predict mortality (4C Mortality) and in-hospital deterioration (4C Deterioration) among adults hospitalised with COVID-19. METHODS: Prospective observational cohort study of adults (age ≥18 years) with confirmed or highly suspected COVID-19 recruited into the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study in 306 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales. Patients were recruited between 27 August 2020 and 17 February 2021, with at least 4 weeks follow-up before final data extraction. The main outcome measures were discrimination and calibration of models for in-hospital deterioration (defined as any requirement of ventilatory support or critical care, or death) and mortality, incorporating predefined subgroups. RESULTS: 76 588 participants were included, of whom 27 352 (37.4%) deteriorated and 12 581 (17.4%) died. Both the 4C Mortality (0.78 (0.77 to 0.78)) and 4C Deterioration scores (pooled C-statistic 0.76 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.77)) demonstrated consistent discrimination across all nine National Health Service regions, with similar performance metrics to the original validation cohorts. Calibration remained stable (4C Mortality: pooled slope 1.09, pooled calibration-in-the-large 0.12; 4C Deterioration: 1.00, -0.04), with no need for temporal recalibration during the second UK pandemic wave of hospital admissions. CONCLUSION: Both 4C risk stratification models demonstrate consistent performance to predict clinical deterioration and mortality in a large prospective second wave validation cohort of UK patients. Despite recent advances in the treatment and management of adults hospitalised with COVID-19, both scores can continue to inform clinical decision making. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN66726260.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , World Health Organization
3.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1522(1): 60-73, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313313

ABSTRACT

Respiratory viruses are a common cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. Viruses like influenza, RSV, and most recently SARS-CoV-2 can rapidly spread through a population, causing acute infection and, in vulnerable populations, severe or chronic disease. Developing effective treatment and prevention strategies often becomes a race against ever-evolving viruses that develop resistance, leaving therapy efficacy either short-lived or relevant for specific viral strains. On June 29 to July 2, 2022, researchers met for the Keystone symposium "Respiratory Viruses: New Frontiers." Researchers presented new insights into viral biology and virus-host interactions to understand the mechanisms of disease and identify novel treatment and prevention approaches that are effective, durable, and broad.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Humans , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Influenza, Human/pathology , Influenza, Human/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/pathology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology
4.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 2023 Apr 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305546

ABSTRACT

Post-acute cardiac sequelae, following SARS-CoV-2 infection, are well recognised as complications of COVID-19. We have previously shown the persistence of autoantibodies against antigens in skin, muscle, and heart in individuals following severe COVID-19; the most common staining on skin tissue displayed an inter-cellular cement pattern consistent with antibodies against desmosomal proteins. Desmosomes play a critical role in maintaining the structural integrity of tissues. For this reason, we analysed desmosomal protein levels and the presence of anti-desmoglein (DSG) 1, 2 and 3 antibodies in acute and convalescent sera from patients with COVID-19 of differing clinical severity. We find increased levels of DSG2 protein in sera from acute COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, we find that DSG2 autoantibody levels are increased significantly in convalescent sera following severe COVID-19 but not in hospitalised patients recovering from influenza infection or healthy controls. Levels of autoantibody in sera from patients with severe COVID-19 were comparable to levels in patients with non-COVID-19-associated cardiac disease, potentially identifying DSG2 autoantibodies as a novel biomarker for cardiac damage. To determine if there was any association between severe COVID-19 and DSG2, we stained post-mortem cardiac tissue from patients who died from COVID-19 infection. This confirmed DSG2 protein within the intercalated discs and disruption of the intercalated disc between cardiomyocytes in patients who died from COVID-19. Our results reveal the potential for DSG2 protein and autoimmunity to DSG2 to contribute to unexpected pathologies associated with COVID-19 infection.

5.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1146702, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301521

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic enables the analysis of immune responses induced against a novel coronavirus infecting immunologically naïve individuals. This provides an opportunity for analysis of immune responses and associations with age, sex and disease severity. Here we measured an array of solid-phase binding antibody and viral neutralising Ab (nAb) responses in participants (n=337) of the ISARIC4C cohort and characterised their correlation with peak disease severity during acute infection and early convalescence. Overall, the responses in a Double Antigen Binding Assay (DABA) for antibody to the receptor binding domain (anti-RBD) correlated well with IgM as well as IgG responses against viral spike, S1 and nucleocapsid protein (NP) antigens. DABA reactivity also correlated with nAb. As we and others reported previously, there is greater risk of severe disease and death in older men, whilst the sex ratio was found to be equal within each severity grouping in younger people. In older males with severe disease (mean age 68 years), peak antibody levels were found to be delayed by one to two weeks compared with women, and nAb responses were delayed further. Additionally, we demonstrated that solid-phase binding antibody responses reached higher levels in males as measured via DABA and IgM binding against Spike, NP and S1 antigens. In contrast, this was not observed for nAb responses. When measuring SARS-CoV-2 RNA transcripts (as a surrogate for viral shedding) in nasal swabs at recruitment, we saw no significant differences by sex or disease severity status. However, we have shown higher antibody levels associated with low nasal viral RNA indicating a role of antibody responses in controlling viral replication and shedding in the upper airway. In this study, we have shown discernible differences in the humoral immune responses between males and females and these differences associate with age as well as with resultant disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Prospective Studies , Antibody Formation , RNA, Viral , Antibodies, Viral , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Hospitals , Patient Acuity , Immunoglobulin M
6.
Lancet Digit Health ; 4(4): e220-e234, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300736

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dexamethasone was the first intervention proven to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital. We aimed to evaluate the adoption of corticosteroids in the treatment of COVID-19 in the UK after the RECOVERY trial publication on June 16, 2020, and to identify discrepancies in care. METHODS: We did an audit of clinical implementation of corticosteroids in a prospective, observational, cohort study in 237 UK acute care hospitals between March 16, 2020, and April 14, 2021, restricted to patients aged 18 years or older with proven or high likelihood of COVID-19, who received supplementary oxygen. The primary outcome was administration of dexamethasone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone, or methylprednisolone. This study is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN66726260. FINDINGS: Between June 17, 2020, and April 14, 2021, 47 795 (75·2%) of 63 525 of patients on supplementary oxygen received corticosteroids, higher among patients requiring critical care than in those who received ward care (11 185 [86·6%] of 12 909 vs 36 415 [72·4%] of 50 278). Patients 50 years or older were significantly less likely to receive corticosteroids than those younger than 50 years (adjusted odds ratio 0·79 [95% CI 0·70-0·89], p=0·0001, for 70-79 years; 0·52 [0·46-0·58], p<0·0001, for >80 years), independent of patient demographics and illness severity. 84 (54·2%) of 155 pregnant women received corticosteroids. Rates of corticosteroid administration increased from 27·5% in the week before June 16, 2020, to 75-80% in January, 2021. INTERPRETATION: Implementation of corticosteroids into clinical practice in the UK for patients with COVID-19 has been successful, but not universal. Patients older than 70 years, independent of illness severity, chronic neurological disease, and dementia, were less likely to receive corticosteroids than those who were younger, as were pregnant women. This could reflect appropriate clinical decision making, but the possibility of inequitable access to life-saving care should be considered. FUNDING: UK National Institute for Health Research and UK Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Adolescent , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies , United Kingdom , World Health Organization
7.
Genome Biol ; 24(1): 47, 2023 03 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2260859

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mutational landscape of SARS-CoV-2 varies at the dominant viral genome sequence and minor genomic variant population. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an early substitution in the genome was the D614G change in the spike protein, associated with an increase in transmissibility. Genomes with D614G are accompanied by a P323L substitution in the viral polymerase (NSP12). However, P323L is not thought to be under strong selective pressure. RESULTS: Investigation of P323L/D614G substitutions in the population shows rapid emergence during the containment phase and early surge phase during the first wave. These substitutions emerge from minor genomic variants which become dominant viral genome sequence. This is investigated in vivo and in vitro using SARS-CoV-2 with P323 and D614 in the dominant genome sequence and L323 and G614 in the minor variant population. During infection, there is rapid selection of L323 into the dominant viral genome sequence but not G614. Reverse genetics is used to create two viruses (either P323 or L323) with the same genetic background. L323 shows greater abundance of viral RNA and proteins and a smaller plaque morphology than P323. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that P323L is an important contribution in the emergence of variants with transmission advantages. Sequence analysis of viral populations suggests it may be possible to predict the emergence of a new variant based on tracking the frequency of minor variant genomes. The ability to predict an emerging variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the global landscape may aid in the evaluation of medical countermeasures and non-pharmaceutical interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Pandemics , Genetic Background , Genome, Viral , Mutation
8.
Eur Respir J ; 61(5)2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2269046
9.
Immunology ; 2022 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2281411

ABSTRACT

Complement, a critical defence against pathogens, has been implicated as a driver of pathology in COVID-19. Complement activation products are detected in plasma and tissues and complement blockade is considered for therapy. To delineate roles of complement in immunopathogenesis, we undertook the largest comprehensive study of complement in COVID-19 to date, comprehensive profiling of 16 complement biomarkers, including key components, regulators and activation products, in 966 plasma samples from 682 hospitalized COVID-19 patients collected across the hospitalization period as part of the UK ISARIC4C (International Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium) study. Unsupervised clustering of complement biomarkers mapped to disease severity and supervised machine learning identified marker sets in early samples that predicted peak severity. Compared to healthy controls, complement proteins and activation products (Ba, iC3b, terminal complement complex) were significantly altered in COVID-19 admission samples in all severity groups. Elevated alternative pathway activation markers (Ba and iC3b) and decreased alternative pathway regulator (properdin) in admission samples were associated with more severe disease and risk of death. Levels of most complement biomarkers were reduced in severe disease, consistent with consumption and tissue deposition. Latent class mixed modelling and cumulative incidence analysis identified the trajectory of increase of Ba to be a strong predictor of peak COVID-19 disease severity and death. The data demonstrate that early-onset, uncontrolled activation of complement, driven by sustained and progressive amplification through the alternative pathway amplification loop is a ubiquitous feature of COVID-19, further exacerbated in severe disease. These findings provide novel insights into COVID-19 immunopathogenesis and inform strategies for therapeutic intervention.

10.
Cell ; 185(3): 467-484.e15, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256772

ABSTRACT

On 24th November 2021, the sequence of a new SARS-CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titers of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic Alpha, Beta, Gamma, or Delta are substantially reduced, or the sera failed to neutralize. Titers against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in both vaccinated individuals and those infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of the large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses and uses mutations that confer tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape. This leads to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site and rebalances receptor affinity to that of earlier pandemic viruses.

11.
Pediatr Res ; 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2236037

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We hypothesised that the clinical characteristics of hospitalised children and young people (CYP) with SARS-CoV-2 in the UK second wave (W2) would differ from the first wave (W1) due to the alpha variant (B.1.1.7), school reopening and relaxation of shielding. METHODS: Prospective multicentre observational cohort study of patients <19 years hospitalised in the UK with SARS-CoV-2 between 17/01/20 and 31/01/21. Clinical characteristics were compared between W1 and W2 (W1 = 17/01/20-31/07/20,W2 = 01/08/20-31/01/21). RESULTS: 2044 CYP < 19 years from 187 hospitals. 427/2044 (20.6%) with asymptomatic/incidental SARS-CoV-2 were excluded from main analysis. 16.0% (248/1548) of symptomatic CYP were admitted to critical care and 0.8% (12/1504) died. 5.6% (91/1617) of symptomatic CYP had Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). After excluding CYP with MIS-C, patients in W2 had lower Paediatric Early Warning Scores (PEWS, composite vital sign score), lower antibiotic use and less respiratory and cardiovascular support than W1. The proportion of CYP admitted to critical care was unchanged. 58.0% (938/1617) of symptomatic CYP had no reported comorbidity. Patients without co-morbidities were younger (42.4%, 398/938, <1 year), had lower PEWS, shorter length of stay and less respiratory support. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence of increased disease severity in W2 vs W1. A large proportion of hospitalised CYP had no comorbidity. IMPACT: No evidence of increased severity of COVID-19 admissions amongst children and young people (CYP) in the second vs first wave in the UK, despite changes in variant, relaxation of shielding and return to face-to-face schooling. CYP with no comorbidities made up a significant proportion of those admitted. However, they had shorter length of stays and lower treatment requirements than CYP with comorbidities once those with MIS-C were excluded. At least 20% of CYP admitted in this cohort had asymptomatic/incidental SARS-CoV-2 infection. This paper was presented to SAGE to inform CYP vaccination policy in the UK.

12.
Ann Neurol ; 2022 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2230550

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the impact of treatment with dexamethasone, remdesivir or both on neurological complications in acute coronavirus diease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We used observational data from the International Severe Acute and emerging Respiratory Infection Consortium World Health Organization (WHO) Clinical Characterization Protocol, United Kingdom. Hospital inpatients aged ≥18 years with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection admitted between January 31, 2020, and June 29, 2021, were included. Treatment allocation was non-blinded and performed by reporting clinicians. A propensity scoring methodology was used to minimize confounding. Treatment with remdesivir, dexamethasone, or both was assessed against the standard of care. The primary outcome was a neurological complication occurring at the point of death, discharge, or resolution of the COVID-19 clinical episode. RESULTS: Out of 89,297 hospital inpatients, 64,088 had severe COVID-19 and 25,209 had non-hypoxic COVID-19. Neurological complications developed in 4.8% and 4.5%, respectively. In both groups, neurological complications were associated with increased mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, worse self-care on discharge, and time to recovery. In patients with severe COVID-19, treatment with dexamethasone (n = 21,129), remdesivir (n = 1,428), and both combined (n = 10,846) were associated with a lower frequency of neurological complications: OR = 0.76 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.69-0.83), OR = 0.69 (95% CI = 0.51-0.90), and OR = 0.54 (95% CI = 0.47-0.61), respectively. In patients with non-hypoxic COVID-19, dexamethasone (n = 2,580) was associated with less neurological complications (OR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.62-0.97), whereas the dexamethasone/remdesivir combination (n = 460) showed a similar trend (OR = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.31-1.15). INTERPRETATION: Treatment with dexamethasone, remdesivir, or both in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 was associated with a lower frequency of neurological complications in an additive manner, such that the greatest benefit was observed in patients who received both drugs together. ANN NEUROL 2022.

13.
PLoS Med ; 20(1): e1004086, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224410

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunocompromised patients may be at higher risk of mortality if hospitalised with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) compared with immunocompetent patients. However, previous studies have been contradictory. We aimed to determine whether immunocompromised patients were at greater risk of in-hospital death and how this risk changed over the pandemic. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We included patients > = 19 years with symptomatic community-acquired COVID-19 recruited to the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK prospective cohort study. We defined immunocompromise as immunosuppressant medication preadmission, cancer treatment, organ transplant, HIV, or congenital immunodeficiency. We used logistic regression to compare the risk of death in both groups, adjusting for age, sex, deprivation, ethnicity, vaccination, and comorbidities. We used Bayesian logistic regression to explore mortality over time. Between 17 January 2020 and 28 February 2022, we recruited 156,552 eligible patients, of whom 21,954 (14%) were immunocompromised. In total, 29% (n = 6,499) of immunocompromised and 21% (n = 28,608) of immunocompetent patients died in hospital. The odds of in-hospital mortality were elevated for immunocompromised patients (adjusted OR 1.44, 95% CI [1.39, 1.50], p < 0.001). Not all immunocompromising conditions had the same risk, for example, patients on active cancer treatment were less likely to have their care escalated to intensive care (adjusted OR 0.77, 95% CI [0.7, 0.85], p < 0.001) or ventilation (adjusted OR 0.65, 95% CI [0.56, 0.76], p < 0.001). However, cancer patients were more likely to die (adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI [1.87, 2.15], p < 0.001). Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic deprivation, comorbidities, and vaccination status. As the pandemic progressed, in-hospital mortality reduced more slowly for immunocompromised patients than for immunocompetent patients. This was particularly evident with increasing age: the probability of the reduction in hospital mortality being less for immunocompromised patients aged 50 to 69 years was 88% for men and 83% for women, and for those >80 years was 99% for men and 98% for women. The study is limited by a lack of detailed drug data prior to admission, including steroid doses, meaning that we may have incorrectly categorised some immunocompromised patients as immunocompetent. CONCLUSIONS: Immunocompromised patients remain at elevated risk of death from COVID-19. Targeted measures such as additional vaccine doses, monoclonal antibodies, and nonpharmaceutical preventive interventions should be continually encouraged for this patient group. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN 66726260.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , Middle Aged , Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Prospective Studies , Hospital Mortality , Bayes Theorem , Immunocompromised Host , United Kingdom/epidemiology , World Health Organization
14.
EBioMedicine ; 87: 104402, 2023 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2178115

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most studies of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 focus on circulating antibody, giving limited insights into mucosal defences that prevent viral replication and onward transmission. We studied nasal and plasma antibody responses one year after hospitalisation for COVID-19, including a period when SARS-CoV-2 vaccination was introduced. METHODS: In this follow up study, plasma and nasosorption samples were prospectively collected from 446 adults hospitalised for COVID-19 between February 2020 and March 2021 via the ISARIC4C and PHOSP-COVID consortia. IgA and IgG responses to NP and S of ancestral SARS-CoV-2, Delta and Omicron (BA.1) variants were measured by electrochemiluminescence and compared with plasma neutralisation data. FINDINGS: Strong and consistent nasal anti-NP and anti-S IgA responses were demonstrated, which remained elevated for nine months (p < 0.0001). Nasal and plasma anti-S IgG remained elevated for at least 12 months (p < 0.0001) with plasma neutralising titres that were raised against all variants compared to controls (p < 0.0001). Of 323 with complete data, 307 were vaccinated between 6 and 12 months; coinciding with rises in nasal and plasma IgA and IgG anti-S titres for all SARS-CoV-2 variants, although the change in nasal IgA was minimal (1.46-fold change after 10 months, p = 0.011) and the median remained below the positive threshold determined by pre-pandemic controls. Samples 12 months after admission showed no association between nasal IgA and plasma IgG anti-S responses (R = 0.05, p = 0.18), indicating that nasal IgA responses are distinct from those in plasma and minimally boosted by vaccination. INTERPRETATION: The decline in nasal IgA responses 9 months after infection and minimal impact of subsequent vaccination may explain the lack of long-lasting nasal defence against reinfection and the limited effects of vaccination on transmission. These findings highlight the need to develop vaccines that enhance nasal immunity. FUNDING: This study has been supported by ISARIC4C and PHOSP-COVID consortia. ISARIC4C is supported by grants from the National Institute for Health and Care Research and the Medical Research Council. Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre provided infrastructure support for this research. The PHOSP-COVD study is jointly funded by UK Research and Innovation and National Institute of Health and Care Research. The funders were not involved in the study design, interpretation of data or the writing of this manuscript.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Follow-Up Studies , Vaccination , Hospitalization , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Neutralizing
16.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(11): ofac531, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115835

ABSTRACT

Background: We conducted this study to assess the prevalence of viral coinfection in a well characterized cohort of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and to investigate the impact of coinfection on disease severity. Methods: Multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction testing for endemic respiratory viruses was performed on upper respiratory tract samples from 1002 patients with COVID-19, aged <1 year to 102 years old, recruited to the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study. Comprehensive demographic, clinical, and outcome data were collected prospectively up to 28 days post discharge. Results: A coinfecting virus was detected in 20 (2.0%) participants. Multivariable analysis revealed no significant risk factors for coinfection, although this may be due to rarity of coinfection. Likewise, ordinal logistic regression analysis did not demonstrate a significant association between coinfection and increased disease severity. Conclusions: Viral coinfection was rare among hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United Kingdom during the first 18 months of the pandemic. With unbiased prospective sampling, we found no evidence of an association between viral coinfection and disease severity. Public health interventions disrupted normal seasonal transmission of respiratory viruses; relaxation of these measures mean it will be important to monitor the prevalence and impact of respiratory viral coinfections going forward.

18.
Brain ; 145(11): 4097-4107, 2022 11 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017743

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is associated with neurological complications including stroke, delirium and encephalitis. Furthermore, a post-viral syndrome dominated by neuropsychiatric symptoms is common, and is seemingly unrelated to COVID-19 severity. The true frequency and underlying mechanisms of neurological injury are unknown, but exaggerated host inflammatory responses appear to be a key driver of COVID-19 severity. We investigated the dynamics of, and relationship between, serum markers of brain injury [neurofilament light (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and total tau] and markers of dysregulated host response (autoantibody production and cytokine profiles) in 175 patients admitted with COVID-19 and 45 patients with influenza. During hospitalization, sera from patients with COVID-19 demonstrated elevations of NfL and GFAP in a severity-dependent manner, with evidence of ongoing active brain injury at follow-up 4 months later. These biomarkers were associated with elevations of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the presence of autoantibodies to a large number of different antigens. Autoantibodies were commonly seen against lung surfactant proteins but also brain proteins such as myelin associated glycoprotein. Commensurate findings were seen in the influenza cohort. A distinct process characterized by elevation of serum total tau was seen in patients at follow-up, which appeared to be independent of initial disease severity and was not associated with dysregulated immune responses unlike NfL and GFAP. These results demonstrate that brain injury is a common consequence of both COVID-19 and influenza, and is therefore likely to be a feature of severe viral infection more broadly. The brain injury occurs in the context of dysregulation of both innate and adaptive immune responses, with no single pathogenic mechanism clearly responsible.


Subject(s)
Brain Injuries , COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Neurofilament Proteins , COVID-19/complications , Biomarkers , Autoantibodies , Immunity
19.
Epidemics ; 41: 100626, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007685

ABSTRACT

High quality health care research must involve patients and the public. This ensures research is important, relevant and acceptable to those it is designed to benefit. The world's first human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 undertook detailed public involvement to inform study design despite the urgency to review and establish the study. The work was integral to the UK Research Ethics Committee review and approval of the study. Discussion with individuals from ethnic minorities within the UK population supported decision-making around the study exclusion criteria. Public review of study materials for consent processes led to the addition of new information, comparisons and visual aids to help volunteers consider the practicalities and risks involved in participating. A discussion exploring the acceptability of a human challenge study with SARS-CoV-2 taking place in the UK, given the current context of the pandemic, identified overall support for the study. Public concern for the wellbeing of trial participants, as a consequence of isolation, was identified. We outline our approach to public involvement and its impact on study design.

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