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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017799

ABSTRACT

During July-August 2021, a COVID-19 outbreak involving 21 residents (all fully vaccinated) and 10 staff (9 fully vaccinated) occurred in a Connecticut nursing home. The outbreak was likely initiated by a fully vaccinated staff member and propagated by fully vaccinated persons. Prior COVID-19 was protective among vaccinated residents.

2.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 439, 2022 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839575

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants shaped the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the discourse around effective control measures. Evaluating the threat posed by a new variant is essential for adapting response efforts when community transmission is detected. In this study, we compare the dynamics of two variants, Alpha and Iota, by integrating genomic surveillance data to estimate the effective reproduction number (Rt) of the variants. We use Connecticut, United States, in which Alpha and Iota co-circulated in 2021. We find that the Rt of these variants were up to 50% larger than that of other variants. We then use phylogeography to show that while both variants were introduced into Connecticut at comparable frequencies, clades that resulted from introductions of Alpha were larger than those resulting from Iota introductions. By monitoring the dynamics of individual variants throughout our study period, we demonstrate the importance of routine surveillance in the response to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genomics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United States/epidemiology
3.
Nat Med ; 28(3): 481-485, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636460

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is raising concerns because of its increased transmissibility and its numerous spike mutations, which have the potential to evade neutralizing antibodies elicited by COVID-19 vaccines. Here we evaluated the effects of a heterologous BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine booster on the humoral immunity of participants who had received a two-dose regimen of CoronaVac, an inactivated vaccine used globally. We found that a heterologous CoronaVac prime vaccination of two doses followed by a BNT162b2 booster induces elevated virus-specific antibody levels and potent neutralization activity against the ancestral virus and the Delta variant, resembling the titers obtained after two doses of mRNA vaccines. Although neutralization of Omicron was undetectable in participants who had received a two-dose regimen of CoronaVac, the BNT162b2 booster resulted in a 1.4-fold increase in neutralization activity against Omicron compared with the two-dose mRNA vaccine. Despite this increase, neutralizing antibody titers were reduced by 7.1-fold and 3.6-fold for Omicron compared with the ancestral strain and the Delta variant, respectively. These findings have immediate implications for multiple countries that previously used a CoronaVac regimen and reinforce the idea that the Omicron variant is associated with immune escape from vaccines or infection-induced immunity, highlighting the global need for vaccine boosters to combat the impact of emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic
4.
J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open ; 3(1): e12605, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626172

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The BinaxNOW coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Ag Card test (Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough, Inc.) is a lateral flow immunochromatographic point-of-care test for the qualitative detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleocapsid protein antigen. It provides results from nasal swabs in 15 minutes. Our purpose was to determine its sensitivity and specificity for a COVID-19 diagnosis. METHODS: Eligible patients had symptoms of COVID-19 or suspected exposure. After consent, 2 nasal swabs were collected; 1 was tested using the Abbott RealTime SARS-CoV-2 (ie, the gold standard polymerase chain reaction test) and the second run on the BinaxNOW point of care platform by emergency department staff. RESULTS: From July 20 to October 28, 2020, 767 patients were enrolled, of which 735 had evaluable samples. Their mean (SD) age was 46.8 (16.6) years, and 422 (57.4%) were women. A total of 623 (84.8%) patients had COVID-19 symptoms, most commonly shortness of breath (n = 404; 55.0%), cough (n = 314; 42.7%), and fever (n = 253; 34.4%). Although 460 (62.6%) had symptoms ≤7 days, the mean (SD) time since symptom onset was 8.1 (14.0) days. Positive tests occurred in 173 (23.5%) and 141 (19.2%) with the gold standard versus BinaxNOW test, respectively. Those with symptoms >2 weeks had a positive test rate roughly half of those with earlier presentations. In patients with symptoms ≤7 days, the sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive values for the BinaxNOW test were 84.6%, 98.5%, 94.9%, and 95.2%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The BinaxNOW point-of-care test has good sensitivity and excellent specificity for the detection of COVID-19. We recommend using the BinasNOW for patients with symptoms up to 2 weeks.

5.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-7, 2021 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085447

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the personal and professional experiences of physician mothers during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the impact of the pandemic on the lives of physician mothers. METHODS: Using social media to reach a broad range of physicians, a convenience sample of physician mothers completed an on-line survey posted between April 27 and May 11. Members were encouraged to repost on social media and share with personal contacts resulting in a passive snowball sampling effect. RESULTS: A total of 2709 physician mothers from 48 states, Puerto Rico, and 19 countries representing more than 25 medical specialties completed the survey. Most were between 30 and 39 y of age, 67% self-identified as white, 17% as Asian, 4% as African American. Most had been working for 11-16 y. A total of 91% had a spouse/partner of the opposite sex. Over half were practicing in an area they identified as high COVID-19 density, while 50% had personally cared for a person with COVID-19. Physician mothers were most concerned about exposing their children to COVID-19 and about the morale and safety of their staff. CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the first studies to explore the personal and professional challenges facing physician mothers during a pandemic. Physician mothers were most concerned about exposing their families to COVID-19. Mothers continued to work and at times increased their work, despite having domestic, childcare, and schooling responsibilities.

6.
Oxf Open Immunol ; 2(1): iqab002, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083341

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 was initially characterized as a disease primarily of the lungs, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the SARS-CoV2 virus is able to infect many organs and cause a broad pathological response. The primary infection site is likely to be a mucosal surface, mainly the lungs or the intestine, where epithelial cells can be infected with virus. Although it is clear that virus within the lungs can cause severe pathology, driven by an exaggerated immune response, infection within the intestine generally seems to cause minor or no symptoms. In this review, we compare the disease processes between the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and what might drive these different responses. As the microbiome is a key part of mucosal barrier sites, we also consider the effect that microbial species may play on infection and the subsequent immune responses. Because of difficulties obtaining tissue samples, there are currently few studies focused on the local mucosal response rather than the systemic response, but understanding the local immune response will become increasingly important for understanding the mechanisms of disease in order to develop better treatments.

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