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medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.07.18.21260555


BackgroundCOVID-19 emerged as a global pandemic in 2020, rapidly spreading to most parts of the world. The proportion of infected individuals in a population can be reliably estimated via sero-surveillance, making it a valuable tool for planning control measures. We conducted a serosurvey study to investigate SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in the urban population of Hyderabad at the end of the first wave of infections. MethodsThe cross-sectional survey conducted in January 2021 included males and females aged 10 years and above, selected by multi-stage random sampling. 9363 samples were collected from 30 wards distributed over 6 zones of Hyderabad and tested for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen. ResultsOverall seropositivity was 54.2%, ranging from 50-60% in most wards. Highest exposure appeared to be among 30-39y and 50-59y olds, with women showing greater seropositivity. Seropositivity increased with family size, with only marginal differences among people with varying levels of education. Seroprevalence was significantly lower among smokers. Only 11% of the survey subjects reported any COVID-19 symptoms, while 17% had appeared for Covid testing. ConclusionOver half the citys population was infected within a year of onset of the pandemic. However, [~]46% people were still susceptible, contributing to subsequent waves of infection. Highlights National level serosurveys under-estimate localised prevalence in dense urban areas SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Hyderabad city was 54.2% after the first wave A large proportion of the population remains at risk over a year into the pandemic

biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.05.13.443721


Background: One of the most perplexing aspects of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been the variable response elicited in its human hosts. Investigating the transcriptional changes in individuals affected by COVID-19 can help understand and predict the degree of illness and guide clinical outcomes in diverse backgrounds. Methods: Analysis of host transcriptome variations via RNA sequencing from naso/oropharyngeal swabs of COVID-19 patients. Results: We report strong upregulation of the innate immune response, especially type I interferon pathway, upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Upregulated genes were subjected to a comparative meta-analysis using global datasets to identify a common network of interferon stimulated and viral response genes that mediate the host response and resolution of infection. A large proportion of mis-regulated genes showed a reduction in expression level, suggesting an overall decrease in host mRNA production. Significantly downregulated genes included those encoding olfactory, taste and neuro-sensory receptors. Many pro-inflammatory markers and cytokines were also downregulated or remained unchanged in the COVID-19 patients. Finally, a large number of non-coding RNAs were identified as down-regulated, with a few of the lncRNAs associated with functional roles in directing the response to viral infection. Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection results in the robust activation of the innate immunity. Reduction of gene expression is well correlated with the clinical manifestations and symptoms of COVID-19 such as the loss of smell and taste, and myocardial and neurological complications. This study provides a critical dataset of genes that will enhance our understanding of the nature and prognosis of COVID-19.

Cardiomyopathies , COVID-19 , Virus Diseases