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1.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 9: 830942, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686500

ABSTRACT

Background: Asymptomatic transmission is a major concern for SARS-CoV-2 community spread; however, little information is available on demographic, virological characteristics and prognosis of asymptomatic cases. Methods: All COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Guangdong Province from September 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021, were included and were divided into asymptomatic and symptomaticgroup. The source country of all patients, clinical laboratory test results, the genotype of virus and the time of SARS-CoV-2 RNA turning negative or hospitalization were confirmed. Results: Total 233 patients from 57 different countries or regions were included, with 83 (35.6%) asymptomatic and 150 (64.4%) symptomatic patients. Asymptomatic cases were younger (P = 0.019), lower rate in comorbidities (P = 0.021) such as hypertension (P = 0.083) and chronic liver disease (P = 0.045), lower PCT (P = 0.021), DDI (P < 0.001) and ALT (P = 0.029), but higher WBC count (P = 0.002) and lymphocyte (P = 0.011) than symptomatic patients. As for SARS-CoV-2 subtypes, patients infected with B.1.1 (53.8%), B.1.351 (81.8%) and B.1.524 (60%) are mainly asymptomatic, while infected with B, B.1, B.1.1.63, B.1.1.7, B.1.36, B.1.36.1, B.1.36.16, B.1.5 and B.6 were inclined to be symptomatic. Patients infected with variant B.1.351 and B.1.524 spent longer time in SARS-CoV-2 RNA turn negative (26 days, P = 0.085; 41 days, P = 0.007) and hospitalization (28 days, P = 0.085; 43 days, P = 0.004). Conclusions: The asymptomatic cases are prone to develop in patients with younger age, less comorbidities andinfected with B.1.1 and B.1.524 variants. More attention should be paid for lineage B.1.524 because it can significantly prolong the SARS-CoV-2 RNA negative conversion time and hospitalization in infected cases.

2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0101721, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522923

ABSTRACT

A big challenge for the control of COVID-19 pandemic is the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) or variants of interest (VOIs) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which may be more transmissible and/or more virulent and could escape immunity obtained through infection or vaccination. A simple and rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 variants is an unmet need and is of great public health importance. In this study, we designed and analytically validated a CRISPR-Cas12a system for direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 VOCs. We further evaluated the combination of ordinary reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and CRISPR-Cas12a to improve the detection sensitivity and developed a universal system by introducing a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) near the target mutation sites through PCR primer design to detect mutations without PAM. Our results indicated that the CRISPR-Cas12a assay could readily detect the signature spike protein mutations (K417N/T, L452R/Q, T478K, E484K/Q, N501Y, and D614G) to distinguish alpha, beta, gamma, delta, kappa, lambda, and epsilon variants of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the open reading frame 8 (ORF8) mutations (T/C substitution at nt28144 and the corresponding change of amino acid L/S) could differentiate L and S lineages of SARS-CoV-2. The low limit of detection could reach 10 copies/reaction. Our assay successfully distinguished 4 SARS-CoV-2 strains of wild type and alpha (B.1.1.7), beta (B.1.351), and delta (B.1.617.2) variants. By testing 32 SARS-CoV-2-positive clinical samples infected with the wild type (n = 5) and alpha (n = 11), beta (n = 8), and delta variants (n = 8), the concordance between our assay and sequencing was 100%. The CRISPR-based approach is rapid and robust and can be adapted for screening the emerging mutations and immediately implemented in laboratories already performing nucleic acid amplification tests or in resource-limited settings. IMPORTANCE We described CRISPR-Cas12-based multiplex allele-specific assay for rapid SARS-CoV-2 variant genotyping. The new system has the potential to be quickly developed, continuously updated, and easily implemented for screening of SARS-CoV-2 variants in resource-limited settings. This approach can be adapted for emerging mutations and implemented in laboratories already conducting SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification tests using existing resources and extracted nucleic acid.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/virology , CRISPR-Cas Systems , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Alleles , COVID-19/diagnosis , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Humans , Mass Screening , Mutation , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Public Health , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
3.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 655231, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285310

ABSTRACT

Background: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges to health system and consumed a lot of health resources. However, evidence on the hospitalization costs and their associated factors in COVID-19 cases is scarce. Objectives: To describe the total and components of hospitalization costs of COVID-19 cases, and investigate the associated factors of costs. Methods: We included 876 confirmed COVID-19 cases admitted to 33 designated hospitals from January 15th to April 27th, 2020 in Guangdong, China, and collected their demographic and clinical information. A multiple linear regression model was performed to estimate the associations of hospitalization costs with potential associated factors. Results: The median of total hospitalization costs of COVID-19 cases was $2,869.4 (IQR: $3,916.8). We found higher total costs in male (% difference: 29.7, 95% CI: 15.5, 45.6) than in female cases, in older cases than in younger ones, in severe cases (% difference: 344.8, 95% CI: 222.5, 513.6) than in mild ones, in cases with clinical aggravation than those without, in cases with clinical symptoms (% difference: 47.7, 95% CI: 26.2, 72.9) than those without, and in cases with comorbidities (% difference: 21.1%, 21.1, 95% CI: 4.4, 40.6) than those without. We also found lower non-pharmacologic therapy costs in cases treated with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapy (% difference: -47.4, 95% CI: -64.5 to -22.0) than cases without. Conclusion: The hospitalization costs of COVID-19 cases in Guangdong were comparable to the national level. Factors associated with higher hospitalization costs included sex, older age, clinical severity and aggravation, clinical symptoms and comorbidities at admission. TCM therapy was found to be associated with lower costs for some non-pharmacologic therapies.

4.
Environ Res ; 200: 111457, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258365

ABSTRACT

Although strict lockdown measurements implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically reduced the anthropogenic-based emissions, changes in air quality and its health impacts remain unclear in China. We comprehensively described air pollution during and after the lockdown periods in 2020 compared with 2018-2019, and estimated the mortality burden indicated by the number of deaths and years of life lost (YLL) related to the air pollution changes. The mean air quality index (AQI), PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2 and CO concentrations during the lockdown across China declined by 18.2 (21.2%), 27.0 µg/m3 (28.9%), 10.5 µg/m3 (18.3%), 8.4 µg/m3 (44.2%), 13.1 µg/m3 (38.8%), and 0.3 mg/m3 (27.3%) respectively, when compared to the same periods during 2018-2019. We observed an increase in O3 concentration during the lockdown by 5.5 µg/m3 (10.4%), and a slight decrease after the lockdown by 3.4 µg/m3 (4.4%). As a result, there were 51.3 (95%CI: 32.2, 70.1) thousand fewer premature deaths (16.2 thousand during and 35.1 thousand after the lockdown), and 1066.8 (95%CI: 668.7, 1456.8) thousand fewer YLLs (343.3 thousand during and 723.5 thousand after the lockdown) than these in 2018-2019. Our findings suggest that the COVID-19 lockdown has caused substantial decreases in air pollutants except for O3, and that substantial human health benefits can be achieved when strict control measures for air pollution are taken to reduce emissions from vehicles and industries. Stricter tailored policy solutions of air pollution are urgently needed in China and other countries, especially in well-developed industrial regions, such as upgrading industry structure and promoting green transportation.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , China/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/analysis , Particulate Matter/toxicity , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 26(12): 1690.e1-1690.e4, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1018998

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to understand persistence of the virus in body fluids the and immune response of an infected host to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), an agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We determined the kinetics of viral load in several body fluids through real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, serum antibodies of IgA, IgG and IgM by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and neutralizing antibodies by microneutralization assay in 35 COVID-19 cases from two hospitals in Guangdong, China. RESULTS: We found higher viral loads and prolonged shedding of virus RNA in severe cases of COVID-19 in nasopharyngeal (1.3 × 106 vs 6.4 × 104, p < 0.05; 7∼8 weeks) and throat (6.9 × 106 vs 2.9 × 105, p < 0.05; 4∼5 weeks), but similar in sputum samples (5.5 × 106 vs 0.9 × 106, p < 0.05; 4∼5 weeks). Viraemia was rarely detected (2.8%, n = 1/35). We detected early seroconversion of IgA and IgG at the first week after illness onset (day 5, 5.7%, n = 2/35). Neutralizing antibodies were produced in the second week, and observed in all 35 included cases after the third week illness onset. The levels of neutralizing antibodies correlated with IgG (rs = 0.85, p < 0.05; kappa = 0.85) and IgA (rs = 0.64, p < 0.05; kappa = 0.61) in severe, but not mild cases (IgG, rs = 0.42, kappa = 0.33; IgA, rs = 0.32, kappa = 0.22). No correlation with IgM in either severe (rs = 0.17, kappa = 0.06) or mild cases (rs = 0.27, kappa = 0.15) was found. DISCUSSION: We revealed a prolonged shedding of virus RNA in the upper respiratory tract, and evaluated the consistency of production of IgG, IgA, IgM and neutralizing antibodies in COVID-19 cases.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Body Fluids/virology , COVID-19/immunology , Viral Load , Virus Shedding , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , China , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Kinetics , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sputum/virology
6.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 567296, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-993366

ABSTRACT

Background: Around the globe, moderate cases account for the largest proportion of all coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, and deteriorated moderate patients contribute the most in mortality. However, published articles failed to address the deterioration details of moderate cases, especially on when and how they deteriorated. Methods: All moderate COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Guangdong Province from January 14 to March 16, 2020, were included in this multicenter retrospective cohort study and were divided into deteriorated and non-deteriorated groups according to clinical status. Symptoms and demographic, therapeutic, and laboratory test result characteristics were collected to explore the features of disease deterioration. Results: Of 1,168 moderate patients included, 148 (13%) deteriorated to severe (130 cases) or critical (18 cases) status. Over 20% of the older subgroup (>50 years old) showed deterioration. The median time for deterioration was 11 days after onset [interquartile range (IQR) 9-14 days]. In addition, 12.2% severe cases could further develop to critical status after 3 days (IQR 2-6.5 days) of having a severe condition. Respiratory dysfunction and hypoxia were the major manifestations as disease deterioration, while 76 cases (52.1%) showed respiratory rate >30 breaths/min, 119 cases (80.4%) showed SaO2 <93%, 100 cases (67.5%) had 201 < PaO2/FiO2 < 300, and 27 cases (18.9%) had blood lactic acid >2.0 mmol/L. In view of multiple organ dysfunction, 87.8% of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), 20.2% of acute kidney injury (AKI), 6.8% of coagulopathy, 4% of acute heart failure (AHF), 3.4% of acute hepatic injury (AHI), and 5.4% of shock occurred in deteriorated patients, while organ injury occurred in the following sequence: ARDS, AKI, AHF, coagulopathy, AHI, and shock. Conclusions: The deteriorated pattern of moderate COVID-19 patients is characterized as the 11th day from onset (IQR 9-14 days) being an important time point of disease deterioration with further exacerbation to critical condition in 3 days (IQR 2-6.5 days), A RDS followed by AKI being the typical modes of sequential organ damage.

7.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(10): ofaa432, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894631

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Short-term recurrence of positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in discharged coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients attracts the public's concern. This study aimed to determine the clinical and epidemiological results of such patients. METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted on 32 designated hospitals for COVID-19 patients discharged from January 14 to March 10, 2020. After 28-day followed-up, patients who tested positive again for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and confirmed by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction were re-admitted to hospital for further treatments. All of the close contacts of patients who tested positive again were asked to self-segregate for 14 days. Data of epidemiology, symptoms, laboratory tests, and treatments were analyzed in those patients, and their close contacts were investigated. RESULTS: Of 1282 discharged patients, 189 (14.74%) tested positive again for SARS-CoV-2 RNA during 28-day follow-up. The median time from discharge to the next positive test was 8 days (interquartile range [IQR], 5-13). Patients in the group that tested positive again were younger (34 vs 45 years, P < .001) with a higher proportion of moderate symptoms (95.77% vs 84.35%, P < .001) in the first hospitalization than in the negative group. During the second hospitalization, all patients who tested positive again showed normal peripheral white blood cells and lymphocytes and no new symptoms of COVID-19; 78.31% further improved on chest computed tomography scan compared with the first discharge, yet 25.93% accepted antiviral therapy. The median time of re-positive to negative test was 8 days (IQR, 4-15). None of the close contacts developed COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the short-term recurrence of positive SARS-CoV-2 RNA in discharged patients is not a relapse of COVID-19, and the risk of onward transmission is very low. This provides important information for managing COVID-19 patients.

9.
10.
SSRN; 2020.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-1679

ABSTRACT

Background: Around the globe, moderate cases account for the largest proportion of all COVID-19 patients, and deteriorated moderate patients contribute the most

11.
J Virol ; 94(17)2020 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740271

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus first identified in December 2019. Notable features that make SARS-CoV-2 distinct from most other previously identified betacoronaviruses include a receptor binding domain and a unique insertion of 12 nucleotides or 4 amino acids (PRRA) at the S1/S2 boundary. In this study, we identified two deletion variants of SARS-CoV-2 that either directly affect the polybasic cleavage site itself (NSPRRAR) or a flanking sequence (QTQTN). These deletions were verified by multiple sequencing methods. In vitro results showed that the deletion of NSPRRAR likely does not affect virus replication in Vero and Vero-E6 cells; however, the deletion of QTQTN may restrict late-phase viral replication. The deletion of QTQTN was detected in 3 of 68 clinical samples and 12 of 24 in vitro-isolated viruses, while the deletion of NSPRRAR was identified in 3 in vitro-isolated viruses. Our data indicate that (i) there may be distinct selection pressures on SARS-CoV-2 replication or infection in vitro and in vivo; (ii) an efficient mechanism for deleting this region from the viral genome may exist, given that the deletion variant is commonly detected after two rounds of cell passage; and (iii) the PRRA insertion, which is unique to SARS-CoV-2, is not fixed during virus replication in vitro These findings provide information to aid further investigation of SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and a better understanding of the NSPRRAR deletion variant observed here.IMPORTANCE The spike protein determines the infectivity and host range of coronaviruses. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has two unique features in its spike protein, the receptor binding domain and an insertion of 12 nucleotides at the S1/S2 boundary resulting in a furin-like cleavage site. Here, we identified two deletion variants of SARS-CoV-2 that either directly affect the furin-like cleavage site itself (NSPRRAR) or a flanking sequence (QTQTN), and we investigated these deletions in cell isolates and clinical samples. The absence of the polybasic cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 did not affect virus replication in Vero or Vero-E6 cells. Our data indicate the PRRAR sequence and the flanking QTQTN sequence are not fixed in vitro; thus, there appears to be distinct selection pressures on SARS-CoV-2 sequences in vitro and in vivo Further investigation of the mechanism of generating these deletion variants and their infectivity in different animal models would improve our understanding of the origin and evolution of this virus.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Base Sequence , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Furin/metabolism , Genome, Viral , Host Specificity , Kinetics , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
12.
EBioMedicine ; 59: 102960, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-726497

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Some COVID-19 cases test positive again for SARS-CoV-2 RNA following negative test results and discharge, raising questions about the meaning of virus detection. Better characterization of re-positive cases is urgently needed. METHODS: Clinical data were obtained through Guangdong's COVID-19 surveillance network. Neutralization antibody titre was determined using microneutralization assays. Potential infectivity of clinical samples was evaluated by cell inoculation. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected using three different RT-PCR kits and multiplex PCR with nanopore sequencing. FINDINGS: Among 619 discharged COVID-19 cases, 87 re-tested as SARS-CoV-2 positive in circumstances of social isolation. All re-positive cases had mild or moderate symptoms at initial diagnosis and were younger on average (median, 28). Re-positive cases (n = 59) exhibited similar neutralization antibodies (NAbs) titre distributions to other COVID-19 cases (n = 218) tested here. No infectious strain could be obtained by culture and no full-length viral genomes could be sequenced from re-positive cases. INTERPRETATION: Re-positive SARS-CoV-2 cases do not appear to be caused by active reinfection and were identified in ~14% of discharged cases. A robust NAb response and potential virus genome degradation were detected in almost all re-positive cases, suggesting a substantially lower transmission risk, especially through respiratory routes.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
13.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(8): 1834-1838, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-209889

ABSTRACT

We prospectively assessed 49 coronavirus disease cases in Guangdong, China, to estimate the frequency and duration of detectable severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA in human body fluids. The prolonged persistence of virus RNA in various body fluids may guide the clinical diagnosis and prevention of onward virus transmission.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , RNA, Viral/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Feces/virology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Sputum/virology , Time Factors
14.
Cell ; 181(5): 997-1003.e9, 2020 05 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-60418

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection and was first reported in central China in December 2019. Extensive molecular surveillance in Guangdong, China's most populous province, during early 2020 resulted in 1,388 reported RNA-positive cases from 1.6 million tests. In order to understand the molecular epidemiology and genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in China, we generated 53 genomes from infected individuals in Guangdong using a combination of metagenomic sequencing and tiling amplicon approaches. Combined epidemiological and phylogenetic analyses indicate multiple independent introductions to Guangdong, although phylogenetic clustering is uncertain because of low virus genetic variation early in the pandemic. Our results illustrate how the timing, size, and duration of putative local transmission chains were constrained by national travel restrictions and by the province's large-scale intensive surveillance and intervention measures. Despite these successes, COVID-19 surveillance in Guangdong is still required, because the number of cases imported from other countries has increased.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans , Likelihood Functions , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel
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