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medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.07.28.21261285


Background We aimed to assess the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine against B.1.351 (beta) variant among residents of long-term care facilities (LCTFs) in eastern France. Methods We used routinely collected surveillance and COVID-19 vaccination data to conduct a retrospective cohort study of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 infection incidence and vaccine effectiveness among LCTFs residents in eastern France between 15 January and 19 May 2021. Data from secondary RT-PCR screening were used to identify B.1.351 variants. Findings Included in our analysis were 378 residents from five LCTFs: 287 (76%) females, with median (IQR) age of 89 (83-92) years. Two B.1.351 outbreaks took place in LTCFs in which more than 70% of residents had received two doses of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, which included 11 cases of severe disease and six deaths among those who had received two doses. Vaccine effectiveness (95% CI) seven days after the second dose of vaccine was 49% (14-69) against any infection with B.1.351 and 86% (67-94) against severe forms of COVID-19. In multivariable analysis, females were less likely to develop severe forms of disease (IRR = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.20-0.63). Interpretation We observed reduced vaccine effectiveness associated with B.1.351, as well as B.1.351 outbreaks in two LTCFs among individuals who had received two doses of vaccine. Our findings highlight the need to maintain SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in these high-risk settings beyond the current COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign, and advocate for a booster vaccine dose prior to the next winter season.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.06.25.20140178


Background: The extent of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among pupils in primary schools and their families is unknown. Methods: Between 28-30 April 2020, a retrospective cohort study was conducted among pupils, their parents and relatives, and staff of primary schools exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in February and March 2020 in a city north of Paris, France. Participants completed a questionnaire that covered sociodemographic information and history of recent symptoms. A blood sample was tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using a flow-cytometry-based assay. Results: The infection attack rate (IAR) was 45/510 (8.8%), 3/42 (7.1%), 1/28 (3.6%), 76/641 (11.9%) and 14/119 (11.8%) among primary school pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents, and relatives, respectively (P = 0.29). Prior to school closure on February 14, three SARS-CoV-2 infected pupils attended three separate schools with no secondary cases in the following 14 days among pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff of the same schools. Familial clustering of cases was documented by the high proportion of antibodies among parents and relatives of infected pupils (36/59 = 61.0% and 4/9 = 44.4%, respectively). In children, disease manifestations were mild, and 24/58 (41.4%) of infected children were asymptomatic. Interpretation: In young children, SARS-CoV-2 infection was largely mild or asymptomatic and there was no evidence of onwards transmission from children in the school setting.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.19.20101832


Background: The serologic response of individuals with mild forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection is poorly characterized. Methods: Hospital staff who had recovered from mild forms of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using two assays: a rapid immunodiagnostic test (99.4% specificity) and the S-Flow assay (~99% specificity).The neutralizing activity of the sera was tested with a pseudovirus-based assay. Results: Of 162 hospital staff who participated in the investigation, 160 reported SARS-CoV- 2 infection that had not required hospital admission and were included in these analyses. The median time from symptom onset to blood sample collection was 24 days (IQR: 21-28, range 13-39). The rapid immunodiagnostic test detected antibodies in 153 (95.6%) of the samples and the S-Flow assay in 159 (99.4%), failing to detect antibodies in one sample collected 18 days after symptom onset (the rapid test did not detect antibodies in that patient). Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) were detected in 79%, 92% and 98% of samples collected 13-20, 21-27 and 28-41 days after symptom onset, respectively (P=0.02). Conclusion: Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in virtually all hospital staff sampled from 13 days after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. This finding supports the use of serologic testing for the diagnosis of individuals who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. The neutralizing activity of the antibodies increased overtime. Future studies will help assess the persistence of the humoral response and its associated neutralization capacity in recovered patients.

medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.18.20071134


Background: The Oise department in France has been heavily affected by COVID-19 in early 2020. Methods: Between 30 March and 4 April 2020, we conducted a retrospective closed cohort study among pupils, their parents and siblings, as well as teachers and non-teaching staff of a high-school located in Oise. Participants completed a questionnaire that covered history of fever and/or respiratory symptoms since 13 January 2020 and had blood tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The infection attack rate (IAR) was defined as the proportion of participants with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection based on antibody detection. Blood samples from two blood donor centres collected between 23 and 27 March 2020 in the Oise department were also tested for presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Findings: Of the 661 participants (median age: 37 years), 171 participants had anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The overall IAR was 25.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 22.6-29.4), and the infection fatality rate was 0% (one-sided 97.5% CI = 0-2.1). Nine of the ten participants hospitalised since mid-January were in the infected group, giving a hospitalisation rate of 5.3% (95% CI = 2.4-9.8). Anosmia and ageusia had high positive predictive values for SARS-CoV-2 infection (84.7% and 88.1%, respectively). Smokers had a lower IAR compared to non-smokers (7.2% versus 28.0%, P <0.001). The proportion of infected individuals who had no symptoms during the study period was 17.0% (95% CI = 11.2-23.4). The proportion of donors with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in two nearby blood banks of the Oise department was 3.0% (95% CI = 1.1-6.4). Interpretation: The relatively low IAR observed in an area where SARS-CoV-2 actively circulated weeks before confinement measures indicates that establishing herd immunity will take time, and that lifting these measures in France will be long and complex.