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1.
Med ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2031561

ABSTRACT

Background Universities are vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks, making them ideal environments to study transmission dynamics and evaluate mitigation and surveillance measures. Here, we analyze multimodal COVID-19-associated data collected during the 2020-2021 academic year at Colorado Mesa University and introduce a SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and response framework. Methods We analyzed epidemiological and sociobehavioral data (demographics, contact tracing, and WiFi-based co-location data) alongside pathogen surveillance data (wastewater and diagnostic testing, and viral genomic sequencing of wastewater and clinical specimens) to characterize outbreak dynamics and inform policy. We applied relative risk, multiple linear regression, and social network assortativity to identify attributes or behaviors associated with contracting SARS-CoV-2. To characterize SARS-CoV-2 transmission, we used viral sequencing, phylogenomic tools, and functional assays. Findings Athletes, particularly those on high-contact teams, had the highest risk of testing positive. On average, individuals who tested positive had more contacts and longer interaction durations than individuals who never tested positive. The distribution of contacts per individual was overdispersed, though not as overdispersed as the distribution of phylogenomic descendants. Corroboration via technical replicates was essential for identification of wastewater mutations. Conclusion Based on our findings, we formulate a framework that combines tools into an integrated disease surveillance program, which can be implemented in other congregate settings with limited resources.

2.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(4): 100583, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735052

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant rose to dominance in mid-2021, likely propelled by an estimated 40%-80% increased transmissibility over Alpha. To investigate if this ostensible difference in transmissibility is uniform across populations, we partner with public health programs from all six states in New England in the United States. We compare logistic growth rates during each variant's respective emergence period, finding that Delta emerged 1.37-2.63 times faster than Alpha (range across states). We compute variant-specific effective reproductive numbers, estimating that Delta is 63%-167% more transmissible than Alpha (range across states). Finally, we estimate that Delta infections generate on average 6.2 (95% CI 3.1-10.9) times more viral RNA copies per milliliter than Alpha infections during their respective emergence. Overall, our evidence suggests that Delta's enhanced transmissibility can be attributed to its innate ability to increase infectiousness, but its epidemiological dynamics may vary depending on underlying population attributes and sequencing data availability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , New England/epidemiology , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
Nat Med ; 28(5): 1083-1094, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671607

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has demonstrated a clear need for high-throughput, multiplexed and sensitive assays for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other respiratory viruses and their emerging variants. Here, we present a cost-effective virus and variant detection platform, called microfluidic Combinatorial Arrayed Reactions for Multiplexed Evaluation of Nucleic acids (mCARMEN), which combines CRISPR-based diagnostics and microfluidics with a streamlined workflow for clinical use. We developed the mCARMEN respiratory virus panel to test for up to 21 viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, other coronaviruses and both influenza strains, and demonstrated its diagnostic-grade performance on 525 patient specimens in an academic setting and 166 specimens in a clinical setting. We further developed an mCARMEN panel to enable the identification of 6 SARS-CoV-2 variant lineages, including Delta and Omicron, and evaluated it on 2,088 patient specimens with near-perfect concordance to sequencing-based variant classification. Lastly, we implemented a combined Cas13 and Cas12 approach that enables quantitative measurement of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A viral copies in samples. The mCARMEN platform enables high-throughput surveillance of multiple viruses and variants simultaneously, enabling rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Microfluidics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Cell ; 185(3): 485-492.e10, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588148

ABSTRACT

An outbreak of over 1,000 COVID-19 cases in Provincetown, Massachusetts (MA), in July 2021-the first large outbreak mostly in vaccinated individuals in the US-prompted a comprehensive public health response, motivating changes to national masking recommendations and raising questions about infection and transmission among vaccinated individuals. To address these questions, we combined viral genomic and epidemiological data from 467 individuals, including 40% of outbreak-associated cases. The Delta variant accounted for 99% of cases in this dataset; it was introduced from at least 40 sources, but 83% of cases derived from a single source, likely through transmission across multiple settings over a short time rather than a single event. Genomic and epidemiological data supported multiple transmissions of Delta from and between fully vaccinated individuals. However, despite its magnitude, the outbreak had limited onward impact in MA and the US overall, likely due to high vaccination rates and a robust public health response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing/methods , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Vaccination , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
5.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(1): 108-119, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574813

ABSTRACT

The global spread and continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 has driven an unprecedented surge in viral genomic surveillance. Amplicon-based sequencing methods provide a sensitive, low-cost and rapid approach but suffer a high potential for contamination, which can undermine laboratory processes and results. This challenge will increase with the expanding global production of sequences across a variety of laboratories for epidemiological and clinical interpretation, as well as for genomic surveillance of emerging diseases in future outbreaks. We present SDSI + AmpSeq, an approach that uses 96 synthetic DNA spike-ins (SDSIs) to track samples and detect inter-sample contamination throughout the sequencing workflow. We apply SDSIs to the ARTIC Consortium's amplicon design, demonstrate their utility and efficiency in a real-time investigation of a suspected hospital cluster of SARS-CoV-2 cases and validate them across 6,676 diagnostic samples at multiple laboratories. We establish that SDSI + AmpSeq provides increased confidence in genomic data by detecting and correcting for relatively common, yet previously unobserved modes of error, including spillover and sample swaps, without impacting genome recovery.


Subject(s)
DNA Primers/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA Primers/chemical synthesis , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Quality Control , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Sequence Analysis/methods , Whole Genome Sequencing , Workflow
6.
Science ; 371(6529)2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388436

ABSTRACT

Analysis of 772 complete severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes from early in the Boston-area epidemic revealed numerous introductions of the virus, a small number of which led to most cases. The data revealed two superspreading events. One, in a skilled nursing facility, led to rapid transmission and significant mortality in this vulnerable population but little broader spread, whereas other introductions into the facility had little effect. The second, at an international business conference, produced sustained community transmission and was exported, resulting in extensive regional, national, and international spread. The two events also differed substantially in the genetic variation they generated, suggesting varying transmission dynamics in superspreading events. Our results show how genomic epidemiology can help to understand the link between individual clusters and wider community spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Boston/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(7): 1275-1278, 2022 04 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345718

ABSTRACT

The impact of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination on viral characteristics of breakthrough infections is unknown. In this prospective cohort study, incidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection decreased following vaccination. Although asymptomatic positive tests were observed following vaccination, the higher cycle thresholds, repeat negative tests, and inability to culture virus raise questions about their clinical significance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Personnel , Humans , Incidence , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
8.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(31): 1059-1062, 2021 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344580

ABSTRACT

During July 2021, 469 cases of COVID-19 associated with multiple summer events and large public gatherings in a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, were identified among Massachusetts residents; vaccination coverage among eligible Massachusetts residents was 69%. Approximately three quarters (346; 74%) of cases occurred in fully vaccinated persons (those who had completed a 2-dose course of mRNA vaccine [Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna] or had received a single dose of Janssen [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine ≥14 days before exposure). Genomic sequencing of specimens from 133 patients identified the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in 119 (89%) and the Delta AY.3 sublineage in one (1%). Overall, 274 (79%) vaccinated patients with breakthrough infection were symptomatic. Among five COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized, four were fully vaccinated; no deaths were reported. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) cycle threshold (Ct) values in specimens from 127 vaccinated persons with breakthrough cases were similar to those from 84 persons who were unvaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or whose vaccination status was unknown (median = 22.77 and 21.54, respectively). The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is highly transmissible (1); vaccination is the most important strategy to prevent severe illness and death. On July 27, CDC recommended that all persons, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in indoor public settings in areas where COVID-19 transmission is high or substantial.* Findings from this investigation suggest that even jurisdictions without substantial or high COVID-19 transmission might consider expanding prevention strategies, including masking in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status, given the potential risk of infection during attendance at large public gatherings that include travelers from many areas with differing levels of transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Crowding , Disease Outbreaks , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Young Adult
9.
J Clin Pathol ; 74(8): 496-503, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247388

ABSTRACT

Developing and deploying new diagnostic tests are difficult, but the need to do so in response to a rapidly emerging pandemic such as COVID-19 is crucially important. During a pandemic, laboratories play a key role in helping healthcare providers and public health authorities detect active infection, a task most commonly achieved using nucleic acid-based assays. While the landscape of diagnostics is rapidly evolving, PCR remains the gold-standard of nucleic acid-based diagnostic assays, in part due to its reliability, flexibility and wide deployment. To address a critical local shortage of testing capacity persisting during the COVID-19 outbreak, our hospital set up a molecular-based laboratory developed test (LDT) to accurately and safely diagnose SARS-CoV-2. We describe here the process of developing an emergency-use LDT, in the hope that our experience will be useful to other laboratories in future outbreaks and will help to lower barriers to establishing fast and accurate diagnostic testing in crisis conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergency Service, Hospital , Laboratories, Hospital , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , Reproducibility of Results
10.
Nature ; 595(7865): 107-113, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207148

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2, can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure1-4, but little is known about its pathophysiology. Here we generated single-cell atlases of 24 lung, 16 kidney, 16 liver and 19 heart autopsy tissue samples and spatial atlases of 14 lung samples from donors who died of COVID-19. Integrated computational analysis uncovered substantial remodelling in the lung epithelial, immune and stromal compartments, with evidence of multiple paths of failed tissue regeneration, including defective alveolar type 2 differentiation and expansion of fibroblasts and putative TP63+ intrapulmonary basal-like progenitor cells. Viral RNAs were enriched in mononuclear phagocytic and endothelial lung cells, which induced specific host programs. Spatial analysis in lung distinguished inflammatory host responses in lung regions with and without viral RNA. Analysis of the other tissue atlases showed transcriptional alterations in multiple cell types in heart tissue from donors with COVID-19, and mapped cell types and genes implicated with disease severity based on COVID-19 genome-wide association studies. Our foundational dataset elucidates the biological effect of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection across the body, a key step towards new treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Kidney/pathology , Liver/pathology , Lung/pathology , Myocardium/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Atlases as Topic , Autopsy , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Endothelial Cells , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Fibroblasts , Genome-Wide Association Study , Heart/virology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Kidney/virology , Liver/virology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , Phagocytes , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Regeneration , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Viral Load
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