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1.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.06.24.21259107

ABSTRACT

Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineage B.1.1.7 has been associated with an increased rate of transmission and disease severity among subjects testing positive in the community. Its impact on hospitalised patients is less well documented. Methods We collected viral sequences and clinical data of patients admitted with SARS-CoV-2 and hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs), sampled 16/11/2020 - 10/01/2021, from eight hospitals participating in the COG-UK-HOCI study. Associations between the variant and the outcomes of all-cause mortality and intensive therapy unit (ITU) admission were evaluated using mixed effects Cox models adjusted by age, sex, comorbidities, care home residence, pregnancy and ethnicity. Results Sequences were obtained from 2341 inpatients (HOCI cases = 786) and analysis of clinical outcomes was carried out in 2147 inpatients with all data available. The hazard ratio (HR) for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared to other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79-1.28, P=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75-1.37, P=0.96). Analysis of sex-specific effects of B.1.1.7 identified increased risk of mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 0.95-1.78) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15-2.90) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61-1.10; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52-1.04). Conclusions In common with smaller studies of patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2 we did not find an overall increase in mortality or ITU admission associated with B.1.1.7 compared to other lineages. However, women with B.1.1.7 may be at an increased risk of admission to intensive care and at modestly increased risk of mortality.

2.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.04.12.21255084

ABSTRACT

The appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 in the UK in late 2020, associated with faster transmission, sparked the need to find effective ways to monitor its spread. The set of mutations that characterise this lineage include a deletion in position 69 and 70 of the spike protein, which is known to be associated with Spike Gene Target Failure (SGTF) in a commonly used three gene diagnostic qPCR assay. The lower cost and faster turnaround times compared to whole genome sequencing make the use of qPCR for monitoring of the variant spread an attractive proposition. However, there are several potential issues with this approach. Here we use 826 SARS-CoV-2 samples collected in a hospital setting as part of the Hospital Onset COVID Infection (HOCI) study where qPCR was used for viral detection, followed by whole genome sequencing (WGS), to identify the factors to consider when using SGTF to infer lineage B.1.1.7 prevalence in a hospital setting, with potential implications for locations where this variant has recently been introduced.

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