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Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327209


ABSTRACT Background The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is now overtaking the Delta variant in many countries. Results showing that sera from double vaccinated individuals have minimal neutralizing activity against Omicron may indicate that the higher rate of transmission is due to evasion from vaccine-induced immunity. However, there is little information about activation of recall responses to Omicron in vaccinated individuals. Methods We measured inflammatory mediators, antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins, and spike peptide-induced release of interferon gamma in whole blood in 51 vaccinated individuals infected with Omicron, in 14 infected with Delta, and in 18 healthy controls. The median time points for the first and second samples were 7 and 14 days after symptom onset, respectively. Findings Infection with Omicron or Delta led to a rapid and similar increase in antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins and spike peptide-induced interferon gamma in whole blood. Both the Omicron and the Delta infected patients had a mild and transient increase in inflammatory parameters. Interpretation The results suggest that vaccine-induced immunological memory yields similar coverage for the Omicron and Delta variants.

Ann Intern Med ; 174(9): 1261-1269, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547664


BACKGROUND: New treatment modalities are urgently needed for patients with COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity trial showed no effect of remdesivir or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on mortality, but the antiviral effects of these drugs are not known. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of remdesivir and HCQ on all-cause, in-hospital mortality; the degree of respiratory failure and inflammation; and viral clearance in the oropharynx. DESIGN: NOR-Solidarity is an independent, add-on, randomized controlled trial to the WHO Solidarity trial that included biobanking and 3 months of clinical follow-up ( NCT04321616). SETTING: 23 hospitals in Norway. PATIENTS: Eligible patients were adults hospitalized with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. INTERVENTION: Between 28 March and 4 October 2020, a total of 185 patients were randomly assigned and 181 were included in the full analysis set. Patients received remdesivir (n = 42), HCQ (n = 52), or standard of care (SoC) (n = 87). MEASUREMENTS: In addition to the primary end point of WHO Solidarity, study-specific outcomes were viral clearance in oropharyngeal specimens, the degree of respiratory failure, and inflammatory variables. RESULTS: No significant differences were seen between treatment groups in mortality during hospitalization. There was a marked decrease in SARS-CoV-2 load in the oropharynx during the first week overall, with similar decreases and 10-day viral loads among the remdesivir, HCQ, and SoC groups. Remdesivir and HCQ did not affect the degree of respiratory failure or inflammatory variables in plasma or serum. The lack of antiviral effect was not associated with symptom duration, level of viral load, degree of inflammation, or presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 at hospital admittance. LIMITATION: The trial had no placebo group. CONCLUSION: Neither remdesivir nor HCQ affected viral clearance in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: National Clinical Therapy Research in the Specialist Health Services, Norway.

Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Viral Load/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Inflammation/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Norway/epidemiology , Oropharynx/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Standard of Care , Treatment Outcome