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1.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-334727

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant spread rapidly across Brazil, causing substantial infection and death waves. We use individual-level patient records following hospitalisation with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to document the extensive shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed Gamma's spread across 14 state capitals, and in which more than half of hospitalised patients died over sustained time periods. We show that extensive fluctuations in COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates also existed prior to Gamma's detection, and were largely transient after Gamma's detection, subsiding with hospital demand. Using a Bayesian fatality rate model, we find that the geographic and temporal fluctuations in Brazil's COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates are primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity. We project that approximately half of Brazil's COVID-19 deaths in hospitals could have been avoided without pre-pandemic geographic inequities and without pandemic healthcare pressure. Our results suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization, and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries. NOTE: The following manuscript has appeared as 'Report 46 - Factors driving extensive spatial and temporal fluctuations in COVID-19 fatality rates in Brazilian hospitals' at https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8443/handle/10044/1/91875 . ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates fluctuate dramatically in Brazil, and these fluctuations are primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity.

2.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-330706

ABSTRACT

With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants that may increase transmissibility and/or cause escape from immune responses 1-3 , there is an urgent need for the targeted surveillance of circulating lineages. It was found that the B.1.1.7 (also 501Y.V1) variant first detected in the UK 4,5 could be serendipitously detected by the ThermoFisher TaqPath COVID-19 PCR assay because a key deletion in these viruses, spike DELTA69-70, would cause a "spike gene target failure" (SGTF) result. However, a SGTF result is not definitive for B.1.1.7, and this assay cannot detect other variants of concern that lack spike DELTA69-70, such as B.1.351 (also 501Y.V2) detected in South Africa 6 and P.1 (also 501Y.V3) recently detected in Brazil 7 . We identified a deletion in the ORF1a gene (ORF1a DELTA3675-3677) in all three variants, which has not yet been widely detected in other SARS-CoV-2 lineages. Using ORF1a DELTA3675-3677 as the primary target and spike DELTA69-70 to differentiate, we designed and validated an open source PCR assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern 8 . Our assay can be rapidly deployed in laboratories around the world to enhance surveillance for the local emergence spread of B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1.

3.
Science ; 372(6544):815-821, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1735994

ABSTRACT

Cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in Manaus, Brazil, resurged in late 2020 despite previously high levels of infection. Genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021 revealed the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern. Lineage P.1 acquired 17 mutations, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K, and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) receptor. Molecular clock analysis shows that P.1 emergence occurred around mid-November 2020 and was preceded by a period of faster molecular evolution. Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.7- to 2.4-fold more transmissible and that previous (non-P.1) infection provides 54 to 79% of the protection against infection with P.1 that it provides against non-P.1 lineages. Enhanced global genomic surveillance of variants of concern, which may exhibit increased transmissibility and/or immune evasion, is critical to accelerate pandemic responsiveness.

4.
MEDLINE;
Preprint in English | MEDLINE | ID: ppcovidwho-326624

ABSTRACT

Cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Manaus, Brazil, resurged in late 2020, despite high levels of previous infection there. Through genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021, we identified the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, lineage P.1, that acquired 17 mutations, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 receptor. Molecular clock analysis shows that P.1 emergence occurred around early November 2020 and was preceded by a period of faster molecular evolution. Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.4-2.2 times more transmissible and 25-61% more likely to evade protective immunity elicited by previous infection with non-P.1 lineages. Enhanced global genomic surveillance of variants of concern, which may exhibit increased transmissibility and/or immune evasion, is critical to accelerate pandemic responsiveness. One-Sentence Summary: We report the evolution and emergence of a SARS-CoV-2 lineage of concern associated with rapid transmission in Manaus.

5.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-296567

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the importance of virus genome sequencing to guide public health interventions to control virus transmission and understand SARS-CoV-2 evolution. As of July 20th, 2021, >2 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes have been submitted to GISAID, 94% from high income and 6% from low and middle income countries. Here, we analyse the spatial and temporal heterogeneity in SARS-CoV-2 global genomic surveillance efforts. We report a comprehensive analysis of virus lineage diversity and genomic surveillance strategies adopted globally, and investigate their impact on the detection of known SARS-CoV-2 virus lineages and variants of concern. Our study provides a perspective on the global disparities surrounding SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance, their causes and consequences, and possible solutions to maximize the impact of pathogen genome sequencing for efforts on public health.

6.
PUBMED; 2021.
Preprint in English | PUBMED | ID: ppcovidwho-292866

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant spread rapidly across Brazil, causing substantial infection and death waves. We use individual-level patient records following hospitalisation with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to document the extensive shocks in hospital fatality rates that followed Gamma's spread across 14 state capitals, and in which more than half of hospitalised patients died over sustained time periods. We show that extensive fluctuations in COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates also existed prior to Gamma's detection, and were largely transient after Gamma's detection, subsiding with hospital demand. Using a Bayesian fatality rate model, we find that the geographic and temporal fluctuations in Brazil's COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates are primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity. We project that approximately half of Brazil's COVID-19 deaths in hospitals could have been avoided without pre-pandemic geographic inequities and without pandemic healthcare pressure. Our results suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization, and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Note: The following manuscript has appeared as 'Report 46 - Factors driving extensive spatial and temporal fluctuations in COVID-19 fatality rates in Brazilian hospitals' at https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8443/handle/10044/1/91875 . One sentence summary: COVID-19 in-hospital fatality rates fluctuate dramatically in Brazil, and these fluctuations are primarily associated with geographic inequities and shortages in healthcare capacity.

7.
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo ; 63:e74, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443895

ABSTRACT

Mobile phones (MPs) have become an important work tool around the world including in hospitals. We evaluated whether SARS-CoV-2 can remain on the surface of MPs of first-line healthcare workers (HCW) and also the knowledge of HCWs about SARS-CoV-2 cross-transmission and conceptions on the virus survival on the MPs of HCWs. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit of a teaching hospital. An educational campaign was carried out on cross-transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and its permanence in fomites, in addition to the proper use and disinfection of MPs. Herewith an electronic questionnaire was applied including queried conceptions about hand hygiene and care with MP before and after the pandemic. The MPs were swabbed with a nylon FLOQ Swab TM, in an attempt to increase the recovery of SARS-CoV-2. All MP swab samples were subjected to SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR;RT-PCR positive samples were subjected to viral culture in Vero cells (ATCC R CCL-81 TM). Fifty-one MPs were swabbed and a questionnaire on hand hygiene and the use and disinfection of MP was applied after an educational campaign. Most HCWs increased adherence to hand hygiene and MP disinfection during the pandemic. Fifty-one MP swabs were collected and two were positive by RT-PCR (4%), with Cycle threshold (Ct ) values of 34-36, however, the cultures of these samples were negative. Although most HCWs believed in the importance of cross-transmission and increased adherence to hand hygiene and disinfection of MP during the pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in MPs. Our results suggest the need for a universal policy in infection control guidelines on how to care for electronic devices in hospital settings.

8.
Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo ; 62:e44, 2020.
Article in English | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-627888

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease initially reported in China and currently worldwide dispersed caused by a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-nCoV) affecting more than seven million people around the world causing more than 400 thousand deaths (on June 8th, 2020). The diagnosis of COVID-19 is based on the clinical and epidemiological history of the patient. However, the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis is the viral detection through the amplification of nucleic acids. Although the quantitative Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) has been described as the gold standard for diagnosing COVID-19, there are several difficulties involving its use. Here we comment on RT-PCR and describe alternative tests developed for the diagnosis of COVID-19.

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