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2.
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.

4.
Ann Neurol ; 2022 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2074911

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.

5.
Immunology ; 2022 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2052591

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.

6.
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
7.
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.

10.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(5): ofac179, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915843

ABSTRACT

Admission procalcitonin measurements and microbiology results were available for 1040 hospitalized adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (from 48 902 included in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium World Health Organization Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study). Although procalcitonin was higher in bacterial coinfection, this was neither clinically significant (median [IQR], 0.33 [0.11-1.70] ng/mL vs 0.24 [0.10-0.90] ng/mL) nor diagnostically useful (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.56 [95% confidence interval, .51-.60]).

12.
Gigascience ; 112022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873911

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has a complex strategy for the transcription of viral subgenomic mRNAs (sgmRNAs), which are targets for nucleic acid diagnostics. Each of these sgmRNAs has a unique 5' sequence, the leader-transcriptional regulatory sequence gene junction (leader-TRS junction), that can be identified using sequencing. High-resolution sequencing has been used to investigate the biology of SARS-CoV-2 and the host response in cell culture and animal models and from clinical samples. LeTRS, a bioinformatics tool, was developed to identify leader-TRS junctions and can be used as a proxy to quantify sgmRNAs for understanding virus biology. LeTRS is readily adaptable for other coronaviruses such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or a future newly discovered coronavirus. LeTRS was tested on published data sets and novel clinical samples from patients and longitudinal samples from animal models with coronavirus disease 2019. LeTRS identified known leader-TRS junctions and identified putative novel sgmRNAs that were common across different mammalian species. This may be indicative of an evolutionary mechanism where plasticity in transcription generates novel open reading frames, which can then subject to selection pressure. The data indicated multiphasic abundance of sgmRNAs in two different animal models. This recapitulates the relative sgmRNA abundance observed in cells at early points in infection but not at late points. This pattern is reflected in some human nasopharyngeal samples and therefore has implications for transmission models and nucleic acid-based diagnostics. LeTRS provides a quantitative measure of sgmRNA abundance from sequencing data. This can be used to assess the biology of SARS-CoV-2 (or other coronaviruses) in clinical and nonclinical samples, especially to evaluate different variants and medical countermeasures that may influence viral RNA synthesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cell Culture Techniques , Computational Biology , Humans , Mammals/genetics , Models, Animal , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
13.
mSphere ; 7(3): e0091321, 2022 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832362

ABSTRACT

New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are continuing to emerge and dominate the global sequence landscapes. Several variants have been labeled variants of concern (VOCs) because they may have a transmission advantage, increased risk of morbidity and/or mortality, or immune evasion upon a background of prior infection or vaccination. Placing the VOCs in context with the underlying variability of SARS-CoV-2 is essential in understanding virus evolution and selection pressures. Dominant genome sequences and the population genetics of SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal swabs from hospitalized patients were characterized. Nonsynonymous changes at a minor variant level were identified. These populations were generally preserved when isolates were amplified in cell culture. To place the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron VOCs in context, their growth was compared to clinical isolates of different lineages from earlier in the pandemic. The data indicated that the growth in cell culture of the Beta variant was more than that of the other variants in Vero E6 cells but not in hACE2-A549 cells. Looking at each time point, Beta grew more than the other VOCs in hACE2-A549 cells at 24 to 48 h postinfection. At 72 h postinfection there was no difference in the growth of any of the variants in either cell line. Overall, this work suggested that exploring the biology of SARS-CoV-2 is complicated by population dynamics and that these need to be considered with new variants. In the context of variation seen in other coronaviruses, the variants currently observed for SARS-CoV-2 are very similar in terms of their clinical spectrum of disease. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of COVID-19. The virus has spread across the planet, causing a global pandemic. In common with other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 genomes can become quite diverse as a consequence of replicating inside cells. This has given rise to multiple variants from the original virus that infected humans. These variants may have different properties and in the context of a widespread vaccination program may render vaccines less effective. Our research confirms the degree of genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in patients. By comparing the growth of previous variants to the pattern seen with four variants of concern (VOCs) (Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron), we show that, at least in cells, Beta variant growth exceeds that of Alpha, Delta, and Omicron VOCs at 24 to 48 h in both Vero E6 and hACE2-A549 cells, but by 72 h postinfection, the amount of virus is not different from that of the other VOCs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
14.
Anal Chem ; 94(19): 6919-6923, 2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829921

ABSTRACT

Normalization to account for variation in urinary dilution is crucial for interpretation of urine metabolic profiles. Probabilistic quotient normalization (PQN) is used routinely in metabolomics but is sensitive to systematic variation shared across a large proportion of the spectral profile (>50%). Where 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is employed, the presence of urinary protein can elevate the spectral baseline and substantially impact the resulting profile. Using 1H NMR profile measurements of spot urine samples collected from hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the ISARIC 4C study, we determined that PQN coefficients are significantly correlated with observed protein levels (r2 = 0.423, p < 2.2 × 10-16). This correlation was significantly reduced (r2 = 0.163, p < 2.2 × 10-16) when using a computational method for suppression of macromolecular signals known as small molecule enhancement spectroscopy (SMolESY) for proteinic baseline removal prior to PQN. These results highlight proteinuria as a common yet overlooked source of bias in 1H NMR metabolic profiling studies which can be effectively mitigated using SMolESY or other macromolecular signal suppression methods before estimation of normalization coefficients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/methods , Metabolome , Metabolomics/methods , Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
15.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 6843, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815585

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is clinically characterised by fever, cough, and dyspnoea. Symptoms affecting other organ systems have been reported. However, it is the clinical associations of different patterns of symptoms which influence diagnostic and therapeutic decision-making. In this study, we applied clustering techniques to a large prospective cohort of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 to identify clinically meaningful sub-phenotypes. We obtained structured clinical data on 59,011 patients in the UK (the ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium, 4C) and used a principled, unsupervised clustering approach to partition the first 25,477 cases according to symptoms reported at recruitment. We validated our findings in a second group of 33,534 cases recruited to ISARIC-4C, and in 4,445 cases recruited to a separate study of community cases. Unsupervised clustering identified distinct sub-phenotypes. First, a core symptom set of fever, cough, and dyspnoea, which co-occurred with additional symptoms in three further patterns: fatigue and confusion, diarrhoea and vomiting, or productive cough. Presentations with a single reported symptom of dyspnoea or confusion were also identified, alongside a sub-phenotype of patients reporting few or no symptoms. Patients presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms were more commonly female, had a longer duration of symptoms before presentation, and had lower 30-day mortality. Patients presenting with confusion, with or without core symptoms, were older and had a higher unadjusted mortality. Symptom sub-phenotypes were highly consistent in replication analysis within the ISARIC-4C study. Similar patterns were externally verified in patients from a study of self-reported symptoms of mild disease. The large scale of the ISARIC-4C study enabled robust, granular discovery and replication. Clinical interpretation is necessary to determine which of these observations have practical utility. We propose that four sub-phenotypes are usefully distinct from the core symptom group: gastro-intestinal disease, productive cough, confusion, and pauci-symptomatic presentations. Importantly, each is associated with an in-hospital mortality which differs from that of patients with core symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Confusion , Cough , Dyspnea , Fatigue , Female , Fever , Humans , Prospective Studies
16.
Pediatr Res ; 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805591

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.

17.
Diabetes Care ; 45(5): 1132-1140, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742155

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between admission blood glucose levels and risk of in-hospital cardiovascular and renal complications. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In this multicenter prospective study of 36,269 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 between 6 February 2020 and 16 March 2021 (N = 143,266), logistic regression models were used to explore associations between admission glucose level (mmol/L and mg/dL) and odds of in-hospital complications, including heart failure, arrhythmia, cardiac ischemia, cardiac arrest, coagulation complications, stroke, and renal injury. Nonlinearity was investigated using restricted cubic splines. Interaction models explored whether associations between glucose levels and complications were modified by clinically relevant factors. RESULTS: Cardiovascular and renal complications occurred in 10,421 (28.7%) patients; median admission glucose level was 6.7 mmol/L (interquartile range 5.8-8.7) (120.6 mg/dL [104.4-156.6]). While accounting for confounders, for all complications except cardiac ischemia and stroke, there was a nonlinear association between glucose and cardiovascular and renal complications. For example, odds of heart failure, arrhythmia, coagulation complications, and renal injury decreased to a nadir at 6.4 mmol/L (115 mg/dL), 4.9 mmol/L (88.2 mg/dL), 4.7 mmol/L (84.6 mg/dL), and 5.8 mmol/L (104.4 mg/dL), respectively, and increased thereafter until 26.0 mmol/L (468 mg/dL), 50.0 mmol/L (900 mg/dL), 8.5 mmol/L (153 mg/dL), and 32.4 mmol/L (583.2 mg/dL). Compared with 5 mmol/L (90 mg/dL), odds ratios at these glucose levels were 1.28 (95% CI 0.96, 1.69) for heart failure, 2.23 (1.03, 4.81) for arrhythmia, 1.59 (1.36, 1.86) for coagulation complications, and 2.42 (2.01, 2.92) for renal injury. For most complications, a modifying effect of age was observed, with higher odds of complications at higher glucose levels for patients age <69 years. Preexisting diabetes status had a similar modifying effect on odds of complications, but evidence was strongest for renal injury, cardiac ischemia, and any cardiovascular/renal complication. CONCLUSIONS: Increased odds of cardiovascular or renal complications were observed for admission glucose levels indicative of both hypo- and hyperglycemia. Admission glucose could be used as a marker for risk stratification of high-risk patients. Further research should evaluate interventions to optimize admission glucose on improving COVID-19 outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Failure , Stroke , Adult , Aged , Blood Glucose , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Ischemia , Kidney , Prospective Studies , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/etiology
18.
J Virol Methods ; 302: 114475, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1652648

ABSTRACT

Accurate and sensitive detection of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 remains an essential component of the pandemic response. Measuring antibody that predicts neutralising activity and the vaccine response is an absolute requirement for laboratory-based confirmatory and reference activity. The viral receptor binding domain (RBD) constitutes the prime target antigen for neutralising antibody. A double antigen binding assay (DABA), providing the most sensitive format has been exploited in a novel hybrid manner employing a solid-phase S1 preferentially presenting RBD, coupled with a labelled RBD conjugate, used in a two-step sequential assay for detection and measurement of antibody to RBD (anti-RBD). This class and species neutral assay showed a specificity of 100 % on 825 pre COVID-19 samples and a potential sensitivity of 99.6 % on 276 recovery samples, predicting quantitatively the presence of neutralising antibody determined by pseudo-type neutralization and by plaque reduction. Anti-RBD is also measurable in ferrets immunised with ChadOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and in humans immunised with both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. This assay detects anti-RBD at presentation with illness, demonstrates its elevation with disease severity, its sequel to asymptomatic infection and its persistence after the loss of antibody to the nucleoprotein (anti-NP). It also provides serological confirmation of prior infection and offers a secure measure for seroprevalence and studies of vaccine immunisation in human and animal populations. The hybrid DABA also displays the attributes necessary for the detection and quantification of anti-RBD to be used in clinical practice. An absence of detectable anti-RBD by this assay predicates the need for passive immune prophylaxis in at-risk patients.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , Ferrets , Humans , RNA, Viral , Seroepidemiologic Studies
19.
Science ; 375(6576): 22-23, 2022 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636145

ABSTRACT

Correlates and surrogates of desired outcomes are valuable but have limitations.


Subject(s)
Vaccinology
20.
Cell ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1601904

ABSTRACT

On the 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 titres of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta are substantially reduced or fail to neutralize. Titres against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in cases both vaccinated and infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of a large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses, combining mutations conferring tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape, leading to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site which rebalance receptor affinity to that of early pandemic viruses. A comprehensive analysis of sera from vaccinees, convalescent patients infected previously by multiple variants and potent monoclonal antibodies from early in the COVID-19 pandemic reveals a substantial overall reduction the ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which a third vaccine dose seems to ameliorate. Structural analyses of the Omicron RBD suggest a selective pressure enabling the virus bind ACE2 with increased affinity that is offset by other changes in the receptor binding motif that facilitates immune escape.

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