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3.
Canadian Journal of Economics ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1752509

ABSTRACT

This paper develops an agent-based model to quantify the impact of COVID-19 on household debt and savings. To build a representative cross-section of households that vary by income, debt portfolios and consumption baskets, we merge data from the Survey of Household Spending and the Survey of Financial Security. We construct paths for consumption and employment over the crisis, accounting for heterogeneous risk of unemployment across demographics, government transfers, and substitution between expenditure categories that vary in contact intensity. Our model simulations yield a heterogeneous effect of COVID-19 across the income distribution. Low-income households face the highest risk of unemployment, but transfers provide generous income replacement. Middle-income job losers see the fastest rise in debt because transfers only partially replace lost income. Most unplanned savings are accumulated by high-income households that face lower risk of unemployment and larger declines in hard-to-distance spending. We find the rise in savings could generate a brief jump of nearly 6% of monthly consumption. © 2022 Canadian Economics Association

4.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism ; 132:S258-S259, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1735098

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARSCoV- 2) is a novel virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID- 19). High-throughput sequencing technologies such as whole genome sequencing (WGS) and sequencing of viral genome DNA are being implemented to identify and report on genetic factors that may influence variability in symptom severity and immune response among patients infected by SARS-CoV-2. Genome sequencing has been useful for clinical diagnostic purposes, and can reveal other useful information such as disease risk factors that might lead to disease prevention or patient management strategies. UsingWGS and bioinformatics software tools, we describe a novel pipeline for the analysis of medically relevant genetic results and other findings identified in COVID-19 positive individuals, and the generation of a genome report that can effectively communicate these results to patients and their physicians. Study design: Enrollment will include up to 1500 patients with a positive COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swab. Blood samples will be collected at baseline, 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year after diagnosis. Antibody isotype (IgG, IgA, and IgM), titers, and viral neutralization will be analyzed. DNA will be isolated from blood lymphocytes and host genomes will be sequenced. Whole genomes will be assessed using ACMG criteria for the interpretation of pathogenic sequence variation using in-house and third-party software tools, and publicly available disease and control databases. Comprehensive gene panels will be implemented to allow for patients to receive clinically significant findings, including risk factor and carrier status, from multiple categories of potential genetic conditions including blood and immunology, endocrine, metabolic/mitochondrial, musculoskeletal, hearing loss, neurology, cardiology, ophthalmology, renal, skin, and gastrointestinal disorders. Common disease risk will be assessed using polygenic risk scores calculated for 6 diseases (atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer). Pharmacogenomic gene variants that alter metabolizer phenotype and drug response in individuals will be reported, in addition to patient HLA-type. The genomic predictions fromABO and Rh blood types will be summarized and reported. Largescale continental ancestry estimation will be performed using publicly available reference populations. Finally, using viral genome DNA sequencing, the SARS-CoV-2 viral lineage will be identified and reported. An appointment with the study genetic counsellor will be scheduled to discuss results identified in the genome report and manage appropriate clinical referrals if necessary. Serology results will be reported. Regression models will examine associations between antibody response (titer, antigen target, viral neutralization ability), physiological response (biochemical, hematological and clinical characteristics), patient outcomes, viral lineage and genomic results. Significance: This study will link clinically relevant genomic results, in addition to other biological and serological characteristics, to potential factors that contribute to variability in SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. Results will be shared with family physicians for clinical follow up. This study will establish an efficient workflow using highthroughput genomic sequencing technology coupled with emerging bioinformatics platforms for the generation of comprehensive genome reports to aid in COVID-19 patient management and follow-up.

5.
PLoS ONE ; 16(2), 2021.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1410603

ABSTRACT

Health care workers (HCWs) are at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and may play a role in transmitting the infection to vulnerable patients and members of the community. This is particularly worrisome in the context of asymptomatic infection. We performed a cross-sectional study looking at asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in HCWs. We screened asymptomatic HCWs for SARS-CoV-2 via PCR. Complementary viral genome sequencing was performed on positive swab specimens. A seroprevalence analysis was also performed using multiple assays. Asymptomatic health care worker cohorts had a combined swab positivity rate of 29/5776 (0.50%, 95%CI 0.32-0.75) relative to a comparative cohort of symptomatic HCWs, where 54/1597 (3.4%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (ratio of symptomatic to asymptomatic 6.8:1). SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among 996 asymptomatic HCWs with no prior known exposure to SARS-CoV-2 was 1.4-3.4%, depending on assay. A novel in-house Coronavirus protein microarray showed differing SARS-CoV-2 protein reactivities and helped define likely true positives vs. suspected false positives. Our study demonstrates the utility of routine screening of asymptomatic HCWs, which may help to identify a significant proportion of infections.

7.
Clinical Cancer Research ; 26(18 SUPPL), 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-992058

ABSTRACT

A new type of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was identified in January 2020. Its associated disease, COVID-19, wasannounced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. The Ontario Institute for CancerResearch quickly engaged to support viral sequencing, not only in frontline health care workers but in cancerpatients. A key deliverable was the selection of an extraction methodology that would not impact the supply ofapproved diagnostic testing reagents. This consideration was in response to reports of possible shortages predictedearly in the pandemic and as indicated by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), through their call forreagents in April 2020. Five commercially available kits for automated nucleic acid extraction were compared. TheKingFisher Flex Purification System (ThermoFisher, 5400610) was used for nucleic acid extraction. Four kits wereselected based on availability, system compatibility, and exclusion from PHAC's call for COVID-19 testing reagents.The MagMAX CORE Nucleic Acid Purification Kit (CORE;ThermoFisher, A32702), MagMAX Total Nucleic AcidIsolation Kit (Total NA;ThermoFisher, AM1840), MagMAX Total RNA Isolation Kit (Total RNA;ThermoFisher, AM1830), and Mag-Bind Viral DNA/RNA 96 Kit (Omega;Omega BioTek, M6246-03) were evaluated. The MagMAXViral/Pathogen Kit (MVP;ThermoFisher, A42352), approved by the Food and Drug Administration of Canada fordiagnostic testing, was used as a benchmark. Test samples were prepared using Universal Human RNA (Agilent,740000), lambda DNA solution (Sigma Aldrich, ERMAD442K), SARS-CoV-2 RNA (ATCC, VR1986D) and heat-inactivated virus (ATCC, VR-1986HK). Extractions were performed by two operators on replicate samples. Protocols were assessed on reproducibility, yield, reagent availability, run time, and ease of use. The top two kits were validated with nasopharyngeal swab samples from SARS-CoV-2-positive patients. Four of five kits demonstratedreproducible yields, while yields from the Total RNA kit were inconsistent. The CORE and Omega kits possessedthe best overall extraction efficiencies (both 70%). The MVP kit and Total NA kit were 59% and 44% efficient inrecovery, respectively. The CORE and Omega kits ranked best after overall assessment. Patient samples weresubsequently extracted using both kits and successfully sequenced. Extraction kits do not all perform to the samespecification. In our hands, we found the MVP kit did not perform as well as others, despite being approved fordiagnostic use, and the Total RNA kit showed inconsistent results. Many reagents are commercially available andshould be explored as alternatives to the approved SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic reagents, particularly during a globalcrisis. Interestingly, following our validation testing, supply of the CORE kit became limited with unknown futureavailability. This illustrated the need to validate multiple methods during uncertain times in order to maintain criticaltesting.

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