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1.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1343-1345, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819758

ABSTRACT

Given emerging evidence of immune escape in the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron viral variant, and its dominance, effectiveness of heterologous and homologous boosting schedules commonly used in low-to-middle income countries needs to be re-evaluated. We conducted a test-negative design using consolidated national administrative data in Malaysia to compare the effectiveness of homologous and heterologous BNT162b2, CoronaVac, and AZD1222 booster vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection in predominant-Delta and predominant-Omicron periods. Across both periods, homologous CoronaVac and AZD1222 boosting demonstrated lower effectiveness than heterologous boosting for CoronaVac and AZD1222 primary vaccination recipients and homologous BNT162b2 boosting. Broadly, marginal effectiveness was smaller by 40-50 percentage points in the Omicron period than the Delta period. Without effective and accessible second-generation vaccines, heterologous boosting using BNT162b2 for inactivated and vectored primary vaccination recipients is preferred.

2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 121: 55-57, 2022 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814523

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In this study, we aimed to investigate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against SARS-CoV-2 infections among adolescents aged 12 to 17 years in Malaysia and examine potential VE differences after full vaccination. METHODS: We consolidated data on COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and outcomes for all public school-going adolescents in Malaysia from September 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, and estimated the VE against SARS-CoV-2 infections during this period. Cases were defined as positive tests, either by reverse transcriptase- PCR (RT-PCR) or rapid antigen (RTK-Ag) testing, while controls were negative tests. Secondarily, we restricted the analysis to all tests performed in December 2021 and compared VE by month of full vaccination. RESULTS: A total of 175,880 eligible tests (53.4% or 93,995 RT-PCR tests) were included. After full vaccination with BNT162b2, VE against SARS-CoV-2 infections was 65.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 64.4, 66.9) over the study period. When restricted to tests in December 2021, VEs for those fully vaccinated in September 2021, October 2021, and November 2021 were comparable (60.6% [95% CI 23.7, 81.5], 56.9% [95% CI 51.1, 62.0], and 65.7% [95% CI 59.8, 70.7] respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Among adolescents, full vaccination with BNT162b2 offered considerable protection against SARS-CoV-2 infections over at least three months without substantial evidence of waning.

3.
Int J Infect Dis ; 119: 69-76, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814520

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate and compare waning vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 related ICU admission, and COVID-19-related death for BNT162b2 and CoronaVac vaccines. METHODS: We consolidated national data on COVID-19 vaccination and outcomes, and used cases from September 1st-30th, 2021 to compare VE between the 'early' (fully vaccinated in April-June 2021) and 'late' (July-August 2021) groups. We estimated VE against COVID-19 infection with a negative binomial regression and VE against ICU admission and death among confirmed COVID-19 cases with a logistic regression. RESULTS: For BNT162b2, VE against COVID-19 infections declined from 90.8% (95% CI 89.4, 92.1) in the 'late' group to 79.3% (95% CI 76.1, 82.1) in the 'early' group. VE for BNT162b2 against ICU admission and death were stable. For CoronaVac, VE waned against COVID-19 infections from 74.5% (95% CI 70.6, 78.0) to 30.4% (95% CI 18.8, 40.3). Effectiveness against ICU admission waned from 56.0% (95% CI 51.2, 60.2) to 28.7% (95% CI 12.2, 42.1). CoronaVac's effectiveness against death remained stable. CONCLUSION: VE against COVID-19 infection waned after 3-5 months of full vaccination for both BNT162b2 and CoronaVac vaccines in Malaysia. For CoronaVac, protection against ICU admission also declined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 120: 132-134, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1804266

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Preventing reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) carryover contamination could be solved by adding deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) and uracil-DNA glycosylase (UDG) into the reaction master mix. METHODS: RNA was extracted from nasopharyngeal swab samples by a simple RNA extraction method. RESULTS: Testing of 77 samples demonstrated 91.2% sensitivity (95% confidence interval [CI]: 78-98.2%) and 100% specificity (95% confidence interval: 92-100%) using UDG RT-LAMP. CONCLUSION: This colorimetric UDG RT-LAMP is a simple-to-use, fast, and easy-to-interpret method, which could serve as an alternative for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially in remote hospitals and laboratories with under-equipped medical facilities.

5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1262-1271, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784268

ABSTRACT

The evaluation of breakthrough infection and humoral immunity responses are important outcomes for vaccination policy for healthcare staff. This prospective cohort study collected blood samples at 5-time points; before primary vaccine doses, and at 2, 10 and 24 weeks after BNT162b2 vaccination from 551 HCWs, between March and October 2021. We investigated the association between anti-spike-1 protein receptor-binding domain (anti-S1-RBD) antibody geometric mean titre (GMT) and breakthrough infections. Two weeks post-vaccination, the GMT of anti-S1-RBD antibodies was measured at almost maximum detectable value (3115 BAU/ml [95% CI, 3051-3180]); it decreased to 1486 BAU/ml (95% CI, 1371-1610) at 10 weeks; and to 315 BAU/ml (95% CI, 283-349) at 24 weeks. Prior COVID-19 infection and age significantly affected the antibody titres. Fifty-six participants, none of whom were COVID-19 convalescents, had breakthrough infections between 10 and 24 weeks post-vaccination. Before breakthrough infections, the GMT was not different between the breakthrough and non-breakthrough individuals. After infection, the GMT was significantly higher in individuals with breakthrough infections (2038 BAU/ml [95%CI, 1547-2685]), specifically in symptomatic breakthroughs, compared to those without infection (254 BAU/ml [95%CI, 233-278]). A notable surge in breakthrough infections among healthcare workers coincided with the emergence of the Delta variant and when BNT162b2-elicited antibody responses waned in 10-24 weeks (i.e. approximately 3-6 months). Post-breakthrough, the antibody response was boosted in individuals with symptomatic presentations, but not asymptomatic individuals. The study finding supports administering booster vaccination for healthcare staff, including those who recovered from asymptomatic breakthrough infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Malaysia/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1756086

ABSTRACT

Objectives : We aimed to investigate and compare waning vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19 infection, COVID-19 related ICU admission and COVID-19 related death for BNT162b2 and CoronaVac vaccines. Methods : We consolidated national data on COVID-19 vaccination and outcomes, and used cases from 1 to 30 September 2021 to compare VE between the ‘early’ (fully vaccinated in April to June 2021) and ‘late’ (July to August 2021) groups. We estimated VE against COVID-19 infection with a negative binomial regression, and VE against ICU admission and death among confirmed COVID-19 cases with a logistic regression. Results : For BNT162b2, VE against COVID-19 infections declined from 90•8% (95% CI 89•4, 92•1) in the ‘late’ group to 79•3% (95% CI 76•1, 82•1) in the ‘early’ group. VE for BNT162b2 against ICU admission and death were stable. For CoronaVac, VE waned against COVID-19 infections from 74•5% (95% CI 70•6, 78•0) to 30•4% (95% CI 18•8, 40•3). Effectiveness against ICU admission waned from 56•0% (95% CI 51•2, 60•2) to 28•7% (95% CI 12•2, 42•1). CoronaVac's effectiveness against death remained stable. Conclusion : VE against COVID-19 infection waned after three to five months of full vaccination for both BNT162b2 and CoronaVac vaccines in Malaysia. For CoronaVac, protection against ICU admission also declined.

7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(12)2021 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1744917

ABSTRACT

Malaysia rolled out a diverse portfolio of predominantly three COVID-19 vaccines (AZD1222, BNT162b2, and CoronaVac) beginning 24 February 2021. We evaluated vaccine effectiveness with two methods, covering 1 April to 15 September 2021: (1) the screening method for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and symptomatic COVID-19; and (2) a retrospective cohort of confirmed COVID-19 cases for COVID-19 related ICU admission and death using logistic regression. The screening method estimated partial vaccination to be 48.8% effective (95% CI: 46.8, 50.7) against COVID-19 infection and 33.5% effective (95% CI: 31.6, 35.5) against symptomatic COVID-19. Full vaccination is estimated at 87.8% effective (95% CI: 85.8, 89.7) against COVID-19 infection and 85.4% effective (95% CI: 83.4, 87.3) against symptomatic COVID-19. Among the cohort of confirmed COVID-19 cases, partial vaccination with any of the three vaccines is estimated at 31.3% effective (95% CI: 28.5, 34.1) in preventing ICU admission, and 45.1% effective (95% CI: 42.6, 47.5) in preventing death. Full vaccination with any of the three vaccines is estimated at 79.1% effective (95% CI: 77.7, 80.4) in preventing ICU admission and 86.7% effective (95% CI: 85.7, 87.6) in preventing deaths. Our findings suggest that full vaccination with any of the three predominant vaccines (AZD1222, BNT162b2, and CoronaVac) in Malaysia has been highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, symptomatic COVID-19, COVID-19-related ICU admission, and death.

8.
JAMA Intern Med ; 182(4): 426-435, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704290

ABSTRACT

Importance: Ivermectin, an inexpensive and widely available antiparasitic drug, is prescribed to treat COVID-19. Evidence-based data to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin are needed. Objective: To determine the efficacy of ivermectin in preventing progression to severe disease among high-risk patients with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: The Ivermectin Treatment Efficacy in COVID-19 High-Risk Patients (I-TECH) study was an open-label randomized clinical trial conducted at 20 public hospitals and a COVID-19 quarantine center in Malaysia between May 31 and October 25, 2021. Within the first week of patients' symptom onset, the study enrolled patients 50 years and older with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, comorbidities, and mild to moderate disease. Interventions: Patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either oral ivermectin, 0.4 mg/kg body weight daily for 5 days, plus standard of care (n = 241) or standard of care alone (n = 249). The standard of care consisted of symptomatic therapy and monitoring for signs of early deterioration based on clinical findings, laboratory test results, and chest imaging. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who progressed to severe disease, defined as the hypoxic stage requiring supplemental oxygen to maintain pulse oximetry oxygen saturation of 95% or higher. Secondary outcomes of the trial included the rates of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit admission, 28-day in-hospital mortality, and adverse events. Results: Among 490 patients included in the primary analysis (mean [SD] age, 62.5 [8.7] years; 267 women [54.5%]), 52 of 241 patients (21.6%) in the ivermectin group and 43 of 249 patients (17.3%) in the control group progressed to severe disease (relative risk [RR], 1.25; 95% CI, 0.87-1.80; P = .25). For all prespecified secondary outcomes, there were no significant differences between groups. Mechanical ventilation occurred in 4 (1.7%) vs 10 (4.0%) (RR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.13-1.30; P = .17), intensive care unit admission in 6 (2.4%) vs 8 (3.2%) (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.27-2.20; P = .79), and 28-day in-hospital death in 3 (1.2%) vs 10 (4.0%) (RR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.09-1.11; P = .09). The most common adverse event reported was diarrhea (14 [5.8%] in the ivermectin group and 4 [1.6%] in the control group). Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial of high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, ivermectin treatment during early illness did not prevent progression to severe disease. The study findings do not support the use of ivermectin for patients with COVID-19. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04920942.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ivermectin , Adult , Disease Progression , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Ivermectin/adverse effects , Ivermectin/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(4)2022 02 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686778

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 dispersion occurs at different levels of gradients across geographies, the application of spatiotemporal science via computational methods can provide valuable insights to direct available resources and targeted interventions for transmission control. This ecological-correlation study evaluates the spatial dispersion of COVID-19 and its temporal relationships with crucial demographic and socioeconomic determinants in Malaysia, utilizing secondary data sources from public domains. By aggregating 51,476 real-time active COVID-19 case-data between 22 January 2021 and 4 February 2021 to district-level administrative units, the incidence, global and local Moran indexes were calculated. Spatial autoregressive models (SAR) complemented with geographical weighted regression (GWR) analyses were executed to determine potential demographic and socioeconomic indicators for COVID-19 spread in Malaysia. Highest active case counts were based in the Central, Southern and parts of East Malaysia regions of Malaysia. Countrywide global Moran index was 0.431 (p = 0.001), indicated a positive spatial autocorrelation of high standards within districts. The local Moran index identified spatial clusters of the main high-high patterns in the Central and Southern regions, and the main low-low clusters in the East Coast and East Malaysia regions. The GWR model, the best fit model, affirmed that COVID-19 spread in Malaysia was likely to be caused by population density (ß coefficient weights = 0.269), followed by average household income per capita (ß coefficient weights = 0.254) and GINI coefficient (ß coefficient weights = 0.207). The current study concluded that the spread of COVID-19 was concentrated mostly in the Central and Southern regions of Malaysia. Population's average household income per capita, GINI coefficient and population density were important indicators likely to cause the spread amongst communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Spatial Analysis
10.
Trop Med Health ; 50(1): 2, 2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605996

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Current diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection relies on RNA purification prior to amplification. Typical extraction methods limit the processing speed and turnaround time for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing. METHODS: Here, we applied reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification directly onto human clinical swabs samples to amplify the RNA from SARS-CoV-2 swab samples after processing with chelating resin. RESULTS: By testing our method on 64 samples, we managed to develop an RT-LAMP assay with 95.9% sensitivity (95% CI 86 to 99.5%) and 100% specificity (95% CI 78.2-100%). CONCLUSION: The entire process including sample processing can be completed in approximately 50 min. This method has promising potential to be applied as a fast, simple and inexpensive diagnostic tool for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.

11.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 17: 100314, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531638
12.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1162, 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523285

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Current assays for detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rely on time consuming, costly and laboratory based methods for virus isolation, purification and removing inhibitors. To address this limitation, we propose a simple method for testing RNA from nasopharyngeal swab samples that bypasses the RNA purification step. METHODS: In the current project, we have described two extraction-free reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by using E gene and RdRp gene as the targets. RESULTS: Here, results showed that reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays with 88.4% sensitive (95% CI: 74.9-96.1%) and 67.4% sensitive (95% CI: 51.5-80.9%) for E gene and RdRp gene, respectively. CONCLUSION: Without the need of RNA purification, our developed RT-LAMP assays for direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal swab samples could be turned into alternatives to qRT-PCR for rapid screening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcription , Sensitivity and Specificity
13.
Epidemics ; 37: 100517, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482585

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: As of 3rd June 2021, Malaysia is experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. In response, the federal government has implemented various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) under a series of Movement Control Orders and, more recently, a vaccination campaign to regain epidemic control. In this study, we assessed the potential for the vaccination campaign to control the epidemic in Malaysia and four high-burden regions of interest, under various public health response scenarios. METHODS: A modified susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered compartmental model was developed that included two sequential incubation and infectious periods, with stratification by clinical state. The model was further stratified by age and incorporated population mobility to capture NPIs and micro-distancing (behaviour changes not captured through population mobility). Emerging variants of concern (VoC) were included as an additional strain competing with the existing wild-type strain. Several scenarios that included different vaccination strategies (i.e. vaccines that reduce disease severity and/or prevent infection, vaccination coverage) and mobility restrictions were implemented. RESULTS: The national model and the regional models all fit well to notification data but underestimated ICU occupancy and deaths in recent weeks, which may be attributable to increased severity of VoC or saturation of case detection. However, the true case detection proportion showed wide credible intervals, highlighting incomplete understanding of the true epidemic size. The scenario projections suggested that under current vaccination rates complete relaxation of all NPIs would trigger a major epidemic. The results emphasise the importance of micro-distancing, maintaining mobility restrictions during vaccination roll-out and accelerating the pace of vaccination for future control. Malaysia is particularly susceptible to a major COVID-19 resurgence resulting from its limited population immunity due to the country's historical success in maintaining control throughout much of 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430869

ABSTRACT

The rapid transmission of highly contagious infectious diseases within communities can yield potential hotspots or clusters across geographies. For COVID-19, the impact of population density on transmission models demonstrates mixed findings. This study aims to determine the correlations between population density, clusters, and COVID-19 incidence across districts and regions in Malaysia. This countrywide ecological study was conducted between 22 January 2021 and 4 February 2021 involving 51,476 active COVID-19 cases during Malaysia's third wave of the pandemic, prior to the reimplementation of lockdowns. Population data from multiple sources was aggregated and spatial analytics were performed to visualize distributional choropleths of COVID-19 cases in relation to population density. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to synthesize dendrograms to demarcate potential clusters against population density. Region-wise correlations and simple linear regression models were deduced to observe the strength of the correlations and the propagation effects of COVID-19 infections relative to population density. Distributional heats in choropleths and cluster analysis showed that districts with a high number of inhabitants and a high population density had a greater number of cases in proportion to the population in that area. The Central region had the strongest correlation between COVID-19 cases and population density (r = 0.912; 95% CI 0.911, 0.913; p < 0.001). The propagation effect and the spread of disease was greater in urbanized districts or cities. Population density is an important factor for the spread of COVID-19 in Malaysia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Population Density , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Travel Med Infect Dis ; 43: 102144, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The standard for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis is RT-PCR from nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs. Major airports require COVID-19 screening, and saliva has the potential as a substitute specimen for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. We investigated the utility of fresh drooled saliva against NPS for COVID-19 screening of travelers. METHODS: We recruited 81 travelers and 15 non-travelers (including ten controls) prospectively within a mean of 3·22 days of RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19. Each study participant provided 2 mls of early morning fresh drooled whole saliva separately into a sterile plastic container and GeneFiX™ saliva collection kit. The saliva specimens were processed within 4 h and tested for SARS-CoV-2 genes (E, RdRP, and N2) and the results compared to paired NPS RT-PCR for diagnostic accuracy. RESULTS: Majority of travellers were asymptomatic (75·0%) with a mean age of 34·26 years. 77 travelers were RT-PCR positive at the time of hospitalization whilst three travelers had positive contacts. In this group, the detection rate for SARS-CoV-2 with NPS, whole saliva, and GeneFiX™ were comparable (89·3%, 50/56; 87·8%, 43/49; 89·6%, 43/48). Both saliva collection methods were in good agreement (Kappa = 0·69). There was no statistical difference between the detection rates of saliva and NPS (p > 0·05). Detection was highest for the N2 gene whilst the E gene provided the highest viral load (mean = 27·96 to 30·10, SD = 3·14 to 3·85). Saliva specimens have high sensitivity (80·4%) and specificity (90·0%) with a high positive predictive value of 91·8% for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Saliva for SARS-CoV-2 screening is a simple accurate technique comparable with NPS RT-PCR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Nasopharynx , Saliva , Specimen Handling
17.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 9: 100123, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142118

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections are well documented. Healthcare workers (HCW) are at increased risk of infection due to occupational exposure to infected patients. We aim to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among HCW who did not come to medical attention. METHODS: We prospectively recruited 400 HCW from the National Public Health Laboratory and two COVID-19 designated public hospitals in Klang Valley, Malaysia between 13/4/2020 and 12/5/2020. Quota sampling was used to ensure representativeness of HCW involved in direct and indirect patient care. All participants answered a self-administered questionnaire and blood samples were taken to test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by surrogate virus neutralization test. FINDINGS: The study population comprised 154 (38.5%) nurses, 103 (25.8%) medical doctors, 47 (11.8%) laboratory technologists and others (23.9%). A majority (68.9%) reported exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the past month within their respective workplaces. Adherence to personal protection equipment (PPE) guidelines and hand hygiene were good, ranging from 91-100% compliance. None (95% CI: 0, 0.0095) of the participants had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies detected, despite 182 (45.5%) reporting some symptoms one month prior to study recruitment. One hundred and fifteen (29%) of participants claimed to have had contact with known COVID-19 persons outside of their workplace. INTERPRETATION: Zero seroprevalence among HCW suggests a low incidence of undiagnosed COVID-19 infection in our healthcare setting during the first local wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The occupational risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission within healthcare facilities can be prevented by adherence to infection control measures and appropriate use of PPE.

18.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 4: 100055, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1057014

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 emerged as a major public health outbreak in late 2019. Malaysia reported its first imported case on 25th January 2020, and adopted a policy of extensive contact tracing and hospitalising of all cases. We describe the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 cases nationwide and determine the risk factors associated with disease severity. METHOD: Clinical records of all RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19 cases aged ≥12 years admitted to 18 designated hospitals in Malaysia between 1st February and 30th May 2020 with complete outcomes were retrieved. Epidemiological history, co-morbidities, clinical features, investigations, management and complications were captured using REDCap database. Variables were compared between mild and severe diseases. Univariate and multivariate regression were used to identify determinants for disease severity. FINDINGS: The sample comprised of 5889 cases (median age 34 years, male 71.7%). Majority were mild (92%), and 3.3% required intensive care, with 80% admitted within the first five days. Older age (≥51 years), underlying chronic kidney disease and chronic pulmonary disease, fever, cough, diarrhoea, breathlessness, tachypnoea, abnormal chest radiographs and high serum CRP (≥5 mg/dL) on admission were significant determinants for severity (p<0.05). The case fatality rate was 1.2%, and the three commonest complications were liver injuries (6.7%), kidney injuries (4%), and acute respiratory distress syndrome (2.3%). INTERPRETATIONS: Lower case fatality rate was possibly contributed by young cases with mild diseases and early hospitalisation. Abnormal chest radiographic findings in elderly with tachypnoea require close monitoring in the first five days to detect early deterioration.

19.
PLoS One ; 16(1): e0245164, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013227

ABSTRACT

Rapid diagnosis is an important intervention in managing the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak. Real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) remains the primary means for diagnosing the new virus strain but it is time consuming and costly. Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) is an isothermal amplification assay that does not require a PCR machine. It is an affordable, rapid, and simple assay. In this study, we developed and optimized a sensitive reverse transcription (RT)-RPA assay for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 using SYBR Green I and/or lateral flow (LF) strip. The analytical sensitivity and specificity of the RT-RPA assay were tested by using 10-fold serial diluted synthetic RNA and genomic RNA of similar viruses, respectively. Clinical sensitivity and specificity of the RT-RPA assay were carried out using 78 positive and 35 negative nasopharyngeal samples. The detection limit of both RPA and RT-qPCR assays was 7.659 and 5 copies/µL RNA, respectively with no cross reactivity with other viruses. The clinical sensitivity and specificity of RT-RPA were 98% and 100%, respectively. Our study showed that RT-RPA represents a viable alternative to RT-qPCR for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, especially in areas with limited infrastructure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Recombinases/genetics , Recombinases/metabolism , Reverse Transcription/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity
20.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 21721, 2020 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970770

ABSTRACT

The susceptible-infectious-removed (SIR) model offers the simplest framework to study transmission dynamics of COVID-19, however, it does not factor in its early depleting trend observed during a lockdown. We modified the SIR model to specifically simulate the early depleting transmission dynamics of COVID-19 to better predict its temporal trend in Malaysia. The classical SIR model was fitted to observed total (I total), active (I) and removed (R) cases of COVID-19 before lockdown to estimate the basic reproduction number. Next, the model was modified with a partial time-varying force of infection, given by a proportionally depleting transmission coefficient, [Formula: see text] and a fractional term, z. The modified SIR model was then fitted to observed data over 6 weeks during the lockdown. Model fitting and projection were validated using the mean absolute percent error (MAPE). The transmission dynamics of COVID-19 was interrupted immediately by the lockdown. The modified SIR model projected the depleting temporal trends with lowest MAPE for I total, followed by I, I daily and R. During lockdown, the dynamics of COVID-19 depleted at a rate of 4.7% each day with a decreased capacity of 40%. For 7-day and 14-day projections, the modified SIR model accurately predicted I total, I and R. The depleting transmission dynamics for COVID-19 during lockdown can be accurately captured by time-varying SIR model. Projection generated based on observed data is useful for future planning and control of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Models, Biological , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology
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