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1.
J Infect ; 87(2): 128-135, 2023 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20230807

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine how the intrinsic severity of successively dominant SARS-CoV-2 variants changed over the course of the pandemic. METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHS GGC) Health Board. All sequenced non-nosocomial adult COVID-19 cases in NHS GGC with relevant SARS-CoV-2 lineages (B.1.177/Alpha, Alpha/Delta, AY.4.2 Delta/non-AY.4.2 Delta, non-AY.4.2 Delta/Omicron, and BA.1 Omicron/BA.2 Omicron) during analysis periods were included. Outcome measures were hospital admission, ICU admission, or death within 28 days of positive COVID-19 test. We report the cumulative odds ratio; the ratio of the odds that an individual experiences a severity event of a given level vs all lower severity levels for the resident and the replacement variant after adjustment. RESULTS: After adjustment for covariates, the cumulative odds ratio was 1.51 (95% CI: 1.08-2.11) for Alpha versus B.1.177, 2.09 (95% CI: 1.42-3.08) for Delta versus Alpha, 0.99 (95% CI: 0.76-1.27) for AY.4.2 Delta versus non-AY.4.2 Delta, 0.49 (95% CI: 0.22-1.06) for Omicron versus non-AY.4.2 Delta, and 0.86 (95% CI: 0.68-1.09) for BA.2 Omicron versus BA.1 Omicron. CONCLUSIONS: The direction of change in intrinsic severity between successively emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants was inconsistent, reminding us that the intrinsic severity of future SARS-CoV-2 variants remains uncertain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Retrospective Studies , Hospitalization
2.
Nature ; 617(7961): 555-563, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323608

ABSTRACT

An outbreak of acute hepatitis of unknown aetiology in children was reported in Scotland1 in April 2022 and has now been identified in 35 countries2. Several recent studies have suggested an association with human adenovirus with this outbreak, a virus not commonly associated with hepatitis. Here we report a detailed case-control investigation and find an association between adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) infection and host genetics in disease susceptibility. Using next-generation sequencing, PCR with reverse transcription, serology and in situ hybridization, we detected recent infection with AAV2 in plasma and liver samples in 26 out of 32 (81%) cases of hepatitis compared with 5 out of 74 (7%) of samples from unaffected individuals. Furthermore, AAV2 was detected within ballooned hepatocytes alongside a prominent T cell infiltrate in liver biopsy samples. In keeping with a CD4+ T-cell-mediated immune pathology, the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II HLA-DRB1*04:01 allele was identified in 25 out of 27 cases (93%) compared with a background frequency of 10 out of 64 (16%; P = 5.49 × 10-12). In summary, we report an outbreak of acute paediatric hepatitis associated with AAV2 infection (most likely acquired as a co-infection with human adenovirus that is usually required as a 'helper virus' to support AAV2 replication) and disease susceptibility related to HLA class II status.


Subject(s)
Adenovirus Infections, Human , Dependovirus , Hepatitis , Child , Humans , Acute Disease/epidemiology , Adenovirus Infections, Human/epidemiology , Adenovirus Infections, Human/genetics , Adenovirus Infections, Human/virology , Alleles , Case-Control Studies , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coinfection/epidemiology , Coinfection/virology , Dependovirus/isolation & purification , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Helper Viruses/isolation & purification , Hepatitis/epidemiology , Hepatitis/genetics , Hepatitis/virology , Hepatocytes/virology , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , HLA-DRB1 Chains/immunology , Liver/virology
3.
PLoS One ; 18(4): e0284187, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301548

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant was associated with increased transmission relative to other variants present at the time of its emergence and several studies have shown an association between Alpha variant infection and increased hospitalisation and 28-day mortality. However, none have addressed the impact on maximum severity of illness in the general population classified by the level of respiratory support required, or death. We aimed to do this. METHODS: In this retrospective multi-centre clinical cohort sub-study of the COG-UK consortium, 1475 samples from Scottish hospitalised and community cases collected between 1st November 2020 and 30th January 2021 were sequenced. We matched sequence data to clinical outcomes as the Alpha variant became dominant in Scotland and modelled the association between Alpha variant infection and severe disease using a 4-point scale of maximum severity by 28 days: 1. no respiratory support, 2. supplemental oxygen, 3. ventilation and 4. death. RESULTS: Our cumulative generalised linear mixed model analyses found evidence (cumulative odds ratio: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.93) of a positive association between increased clinical severity and lineage (Alpha variant versus pre-Alpha variants). CONCLUSIONS: The Alpha variant was associated with more severe clinical disease in the Scottish population than co-circulating lineages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Retrospective Studies , Scotland/epidemiology , Genomics
5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 11735, 2022 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947493

ABSTRACT

Whole genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has occurred at an unprecedented scale, and can be exploited for characterising outbreak risks at the fine-scale needed to inform control strategies. One setting at continued risk of COVID-19 outbreaks are higher education institutions, associated with student movements at the start of term, close living conditions within residential halls, and high social contact rates. Here we analysed SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences in combination with epidemiological data to investigate a large cluster of student cases associated with University of Glasgow accommodation in autumn 2020, Scotland. We identified 519 student cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection associated with this large cluster through contact tracing data, with 30% sequencing coverage for further analysis. We estimated at least 11 independent introductions of SARS-CoV-2 into the student population, with four comprising the majority of detected cases and consistent with separate outbreaks. These four outbreaks were curtailed within a week following implementation of control measures. The impact of student infections on the local community was short-term despite an underlying increase in community infections. Our study highlights the need for context-specific information in the formation of public health policy for higher educational settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Genomics , Health Planning , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United States , Universities
6.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(8): 1161-1179, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921616

ABSTRACT

Vaccines based on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 are a cornerstone of the public health response to COVID-19. The emergence of hypermutated, increasingly transmissible variants of concern (VOCs) threaten this strategy. Omicron (B.1.1.529), the fifth VOC to be described, harbours multiple amino acid mutations in spike, half of which lie within the receptor-binding domain. Here we demonstrate substantial evasion of neutralization by Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants in vitro using sera from individuals vaccinated with ChAdOx1, BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273. These data were mirrored by a substantial reduction in real-world vaccine effectiveness that was partially restored by booster vaccination. The Omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2 did not induce cell syncytia in vitro and favoured a TMPRSS2-independent endosomal entry pathway, these phenotypes mapping to distinct regions of the spike protein. Impaired cell fusion was determined by the receptor-binding domain, while endosomal entry mapped to the S2 domain. Such marked changes in antigenicity and replicative biology may underlie the rapid global spread and altered pathogenicity of the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization
9.
J Infect ; 83(1): 96-103, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198895

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Patients requiring haemodialysis are at increased risk of serious illness with SARS-CoV-2 infection. To improve the understanding of transmission risks in six Scottish renal dialysis units, we utilised the rapid whole-genome sequencing data generated by the COG-UK consortium. METHODS: We combined geographical, temporal and genomic sequence data from the community and hospital to estimate the probability of infection originating from within the dialysis unit, the hospital or the community using Bayesian statistical modelling and compared these results to the details of epidemiological investigations. RESULTS: Of 671 patients, 60 (8.9%) became infected with SARS-CoV-2, of whom 16 (27%) died. Within-unit and community transmission were both evident and an instance of transmission from the wider hospital setting was also demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: Near-real-time SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data can facilitate tailored infection prevention and control measures, which can be targeted at reducing risk in these settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Bayes Theorem , Hospitals , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects
10.
Cell ; 184(5): 1171-1187.e20, 2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051523

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 can mutate and evade immunity, with consequences for efficacy of emerging vaccines and antibody therapeutics. Here, we demonstrate that the immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) receptor binding motif (RBM) is a highly variable region of S and provide epidemiological, clinical, and molecular characterization of a prevalent, sentinel RBM mutation, N439K. We demonstrate N439K S protein has enhanced binding affinity to the hACE2 receptor, and N439K viruses have similar in vitro replication fitness and cause infections with similar clinical outcomes as compared to wild type. We show the N439K mutation confers resistance against several neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, including one authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and reduces the activity of some polyclonal sera from persons recovered from infection. Immune evasion mutations that maintain virulence and fitness such as N439K can emerge within SARS-CoV-2 S, highlighting the need for ongoing molecular surveillance to guide development and usage of vaccines and therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Genetic Fitness , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virulence
11.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(1): 112-122, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989837

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first diagnosed in Scotland on 1 March 2020. During the first month of the outbreak, 2,641 cases of COVID-19 led to 1,832 hospital admissions, 207 intensive care admissions and 126 deaths. We aimed to identify the source and number of introductions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into Scotland using a combined phylogenetic and epidemiological approach. Sequencing of 1,314 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from available patient samples enabled us to estimate that SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to Scotland on at least 283 occasions during February and March 2020. Epidemiological analysis confirmed that early introductions of SARS-CoV-2 originated from mainland Europe (the majority from Italy and Spain). We identified subsequent early outbreaks in the community, within healthcare facilities and at an international conference. Community transmission occurred after 2 March, 3 weeks before control measures were introduced. Earlier travel restrictions or quarantine measures, both locally and internationally, would have reduced the number of COVID-19 cases in Scotland. The risk of multiple reintroduction events in future waves of infection remains high in the absence of population immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spain/epidemiology , Travel/statistics & numerical data
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