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1.
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-337959

ABSTRACT

Background: Well tolerated antivirals administered early in the course of COVID-19 infection when the viremia is highest could prevent progression to severe disease. Favipiravir inhibits SARS-CoV-2 viral replication in vitro with evidence of clinical benefit in open label trials. Placebo controlled studies of people with early symptomatic COVID-19 with regular assessments of SARS-CoV-2 viral load can determine if it has an antiviral effect and improves clinical outcomes. Methods: People with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 and 5 days or less of symptoms were randomised 1:1 to favipiravir 1800 mg on day 1, then 800 mg twice daily or matched placebo for 14 days. SARS-CoV-2 viral load was quantitated from second daily self-collected nose-throat swabs while receiving study drug. The primary endpoint was time to virological cure defined as 2 successive swabs negative for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR and secondary outcomes were progression of disease severity, symptom resolution and safety. Findings: Between 31 July 2020 and 19 September 2021, 200 people were enrolled (199 in the community, 1 in hospital) with 190 receiving one or more doses of drug (modified intention to treat [mITT] population). There was no difference in time to virological cure (Log-rank p=0.6 comparing Kaplan Meier curves), progression to hospitalisation (14 favipiravir, 9 placebo;p=0.38), time to symptom resolution (cough, fever, sore throat) and there were no deaths. 51 people related an adverse event that was possibly drug related, but these were evenly distributed (n=24 favipiravir, n=27 placebo). Sensitivity analyses where the definition of virological cure was changed to: a single negative PCR, exclude datapoints based on the presence or absence of human DNA in the swab, a SARS-CoV-2 viral load < 300 copies/mL being considered negative all demonstrated no difference between arms. Interpretation: Favipiravir does not improve the time to virological cure or clinical outcomes and shows no evidence of an antiviral effect when treating early symptomatic COVID-19 infection. Trial Registration Details: This trial was registered under (NCT04445467). Funding Information: The study was supported in part by grants from the Commonwealth Bank and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation. JHM is supported by the Medical Research Future Fund, AYP, JT are supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: The study was approved by the Alfred Ethics Committee (No 406/20) and all participants provided informed consent.

2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2774, 2022 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852413

ABSTRACT

Respiratory tract infection with SARS-CoV-2 results in varying immunopathology underlying COVID-19. We examine cellular, humoral and cytokine responses covering 382 immune components in longitudinal blood and respiratory samples from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM, IgG, IgA are detected in respiratory tract and blood, however, receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific IgM and IgG seroconversion is enhanced in respiratory specimens. SARS-CoV-2 neutralization activity in respiratory samples correlates with RBD-specific IgM and IgG levels. Cytokines/chemokines vary between respiratory samples and plasma, indicating that inflammation should be assessed in respiratory specimens to understand immunopathology. IFN-α2 and IL-12p70 in endotracheal aspirate and neutralization in sputum negatively correlate with duration of hospital stay. Diverse immune subsets are detected in respiratory samples, dominated by neutrophils. Importantly, dexamethasone treatment does not affect humoral responses in blood of COVID-19 patients. Our study unveils differential immune responses between respiratory samples and blood, and shows how drug therapy affects immune responses during COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
5.
Digital health ; 7, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1564071

ABSTRACT

Introduction The coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and restrictions placed on movement to prevent its transmission have led to a surge in demand for remote medical care. We investigated whether COVID-Care, a patient-reported, telehealth, symptom monitoring system, was successful at delivering safe monitoring and care for these patients leading to decreased hospital presentations. Methods We performed a single centre, prospective, interventional cohort study with symptomatic outpatients who presented for COVID-19 screening at Austin Health, Australia. Participants were invited to take part in the COVID-Care programme, entering common COVID-19 symptoms on a purpose-built, online survey monitored by infectious diseases physicians, and matched with clinical data including date of symptom onset, hospital admission, and screening clinic presentations. Results 42,158 COVID-19 swabs were performed in 31,626 patients from March to October 2020, with 414 positive cases. 20,768 people used the COVID-Care survey at least once. COVID-Care users were significantly younger than non-users. Of the 414 positive cases, 254 (61.3%) used COVID-Care, with 160 (38.6%) non-users. Excluding presentations on the same day or prior to the COVID-19 swab, of the positive cases there were 56 hospital presentations. 4.3% (11) of COVID-Care users and 28.1% (45) non-users were admitted to hospital or the emergency department (p < 0.001), with 3.9% (10) versus 22.5% (36) requiring inpatient admission (p < 0.001). There were no deaths in COVID-Care users versus 2 deaths in non-users. Conclusion COVID-Care, a digitally integrated, outpatient, symptom tracking and telemedical service for patients with COVID-19, was safe and successful at reducing hospital and emergency department admissions, suggesting a strong role for telemedicine for future healthcare delivery in this logistically challenging setting.

6.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(9): ofab359, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405048

ABSTRACT

We describe severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific immune responses in a patient with lymphoma and recent programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitor therapy with late onset of severe coronavirus disease 2019 disease and prolonged SARS-CoV-2 replication, in comparison to age-matched and immunocompromised controls. High levels of HLA-DR+/CD38+ activation, interleukin 6, and interleukin 18 in the absence of B cells and PD-1 expression was observed. SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses were absent and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were minimally detected. This case highlights challenges in managing immunocompromised hosts who may fail to mount effective virus-specific immune responses.

8.
Infect Dis Health ; 26(4): 276-283, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313145

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: High rates of healthcare worker (HCW) infections due to COVID-19 have been attributed to several factors, including inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), exposure to a high density of patients with COVID-19, and poor building ventilation. We investigated an increase in the number of staff COVID-19 infections at our hospital to determine the factors contributing to infection and to implement the interventions required to prevent subsequent infections. METHODS: We conducted a single-centre retrospective cohort study of staff working at a tertiary referral hospital who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between 25 January 2020 and 25 November 2020. The primary outcome was the source of COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: Of 45 staff who returned a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2, 19 were determined to be acquired at our hospital. Fifteen (15/19; 79% [95% CI: 54-94%]) of these were identified through contact tracing and testing following exposures to other infected staff and were presumed to be staff-to-staff transmission, including an outbreak in 10 healthcare workers (HCWs) linked to a single ward that cared for COVID-19 patients. The staff tearoom was identified as the likely location for transmission, with subsequent reduction in HCW infections and resolution of the outbreak following implementation of enhanced control measures in tearoom facilities. No HCW contacts (0/204; 0% [95% CI: 0-2%]) developed COVID-19 infection following exposure to unrecognised patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Unrecognised infections among staff may be a significant driver of HCW infections in healthcare settings. Control measures should be implemented to prevent acquisition from other staff as well as patient-staff transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers
9.
Intern Med J ; 51(6): 868-872, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Countries with a high prevalence of COVID-19 have identified a reduction in crude hospital admission rates for non-COVID-19 conditions during the pandemic. There remains a paucity of such data from lower prevalence countries, including Australia. AIMS: To describe the patterns of unplanned hospital daily admission rates during the COVID-19 pandemic in a major Australian metropolitan hospital, with a focus on acute medical presentations including acute coronary syndrome (ACS), stroke and falls. METHODS: This single-centre retrospective analysis analysed hospital admission episodes between 1 March and 30 April 2020 (COVID-19-era) and compared this to a historical cohort during the same period between 2017 and 2019 (pre-COVID-19). Information collected included total admission rates and patient characteristics for ACS, stroke and falls patients. RESULTS: A total of 12 278 unplanned admissions was identified across the study period. The daily admission rate was lower in the COVID-19-era compared with pre-COVID-19 (46.59 vs 51.56 days, P < 0.001). There was also a reduced average daily admission rate for falls (7.79 vs 9.95 days, P < 0.001); however, similar admission rates for ACS (1.52 vs 1.49 days, P = 0.83) and stroke (1.56 vs 1.76 days, P = 0.33). CONCLUSIONS: Public health interventions have been effective in reducing domestic cases of COVID-19 in Australia. At our tertiary metropolitan hospital, we have observed a significant reduction in unplanned hospital admission rates during the COVID-19-era, particularly for falls. Public health messaging needs to focus on educating the public how to seek medical care safely and promptly in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Australia/epidemiology , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tertiary Care Centers
11.
Immunity ; 54(5): 1066-1082.e5, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216346

ABSTRACT

To better understand primary and recall T cell responses during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it is important to examine unmanipulated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific T cells. By using peptide-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tetramers for direct ex vivo analysis, we characterized CD8+ T cells specific for SARS-CoV-2 epitopes in COVID-19 patients and unexposed individuals. Unlike CD8+ T cells directed toward subdominant epitopes (B7/N257, A2/S269, and A24/S1,208) CD8+ T cells specific for the immunodominant B7/N105 epitope were detected at high frequencies in pre-pandemic samples and at increased frequencies during acute COVID-19 and convalescence. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells in pre-pandemic samples from children, adults, and elderly individuals predominantly displayed a naive phenotype, indicating a lack of previous cross-reactive exposures. T cell receptor (TCR) analyses revealed diverse TCRαß repertoires and promiscuous αß-TCR pairing within B7/N105+CD8+ T cells. Our study demonstrates high naive precursor frequency and TCRαß diversity within immunodominant B7/N105-specific CD8+ T cells and provides insight into SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell origins and subsequent responses.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Amino Acid Motifs , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Child , Convalescence , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/chemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 646095, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170086

ABSTRACT

Background: The association of pro-inflammatory markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other biomarkers with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is of increasing interest, however their kinetics, response to current COVID-related treatments, association with disease severity and comparison with other disease states associated with potential cytokine storm (CS) such as Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) are ill-defined. Methods: A cohort of 55 hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 positive patients was prospectively recruited - blood sampling was performed at baseline, post-treatment and hospital discharge. Serum IL-6, C-reactive protein (CRP) and other laboratory investigations were compared between treatment groups and across timepoints. Acute serum IL-6 and CRP levels were then compared to those with suspected COVID-19 (SCOVID) and age and sex matched patients with SAB and patients hospitalized for any non-infectious condition (NIC). Results: IL-6 was elevated at admission in the SARS-CoV-2 cohort but at lower levels compared to matched SAB patients. Median (IQR) IL-6 at admission was 73.89 pg/mL (30.9, 126.39) in SARS-CoV-2 compared to 92.76 pg/mL (21.75, 246.55) in SAB (p=0.017); 12.50 pg/mL (3.06, 35.77) in patients with NIC; and 95.51 pg/mL (52.17, 756.67) in SCOVID. Median IL-6 and CRP levels decreased between admission and discharge timepoints. This reduction was amplified in patients treated with remdesivir and/or dexamethasone. CRP and bedside vital signs were the strongest predictors of COVID-19 severity. Conclusions: Knowledge of the kinetics of IL-6 did not offer enhanced predictive value for disease severity in COVID-19 over common investigations such as CRP and vital signs.


Subject(s)
Bacteremia/blood , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , Interleukin-6/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Staphylococcal Infections/blood , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/complications , Severity of Illness Index
13.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 9: 100115, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117260

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Australia, COVID-19 diagnosis relies on RT-PCR testing which is relatively costly and time-consuming. To date, few studies have assessed the performance and implementation of rapid antigen-based SARS-CoV-2 testing in a setting with a low prevalence of COVID-19 infections, such as Australia. METHODS: This study recruited participants presenting for COVID-19 testing at three Melbourne metropolitan hospitals during a period of low COVID-19 prevalence. The Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Ag point-of-care test was performed alongside RT-PCR. In addition, participants with COVID-19 notified to the Victorian Government were invited to provide additional swabs to aid validation. Implementation challenges were also documented. FINDINGS: The specificity of the Abbott PanBioTM COVID-19 Ag test was 99.96% (95% CI 99.73 - 100%). Sensitivity amongst participants with RT-PCR-confirmed infection was dependent upon the duration of symptoms reported, ranging from 77.3% (duration 1 to 33 days) to 100% in those within seven days of symptom onset. A range of implementation challenges were identified which may inform future COVID-19 testing strategies in a low prevalence setting. INTERPRETATION: Given the high specificity, antigen-based tests may be most useful in rapidly triaging public health and hospital resources while expediting confirmatory RT-PCR testing. Considering the limitations in test sensitivity and the potential for rapid transmission in susceptible populations, particularly in hospital settings, careful consideration is required for implementation of antigen testing in a low prevalence setting. FUNDING: This work was funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The funder was not involved in data analysis or manuscript preparation.

15.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(3): 100208, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065663

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 causes a spectrum of COVID-19 disease, the immunological basis of which remains ill defined. We analyzed 85 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals at acute and/or convalescent time points, up to 102 days after symptom onset, quantifying 184 immunological parameters. Acute COVID-19 presented with high levels of IL-6, IL-18, and IL-10 and broad activation marked by the upregulation of CD38 on innate and adaptive lymphocytes and myeloid cells. Importantly, activated CXCR3+cTFH1 cells in acute COVID-19 significantly correlate with and predict antibody levels and their avidity at convalescence as well as acute neutralization activity. Strikingly, intensive care unit (ICU) patients with severe COVID-19 display higher levels of soluble IL-6, IL-6R, and IL-18, and hyperactivation of innate, adaptive, and myeloid compartments than patients with moderate disease. Our analyses provide a comprehensive map of longitudinal immunological responses in COVID-19 patients and integrate key cellular pathways of complex immune networks underpinning severe COVID-19, providing important insights into potential biomarkers and immunotherapies.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , Adaptive Immunity , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, CXCR3/metabolism , Receptors, Interleukin-6/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Th1 Cells/cytology , Th1 Cells/metabolism , Young Adult
17.
Pathology ; 52(7): 778-782, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1041541

ABSTRACT

A comparison of the clinical performance of the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2, Liaison SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG, Access SARS-CoV-2 IgG and Vitros Immunodiagnostic Products Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG immunoassays for the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection was performed. Patient sera were collected at least 6 weeks following onset of COVID-19 infection symptoms. Negative control specimens were stored specimens from those without COVID-19, collected in April-May 2019. Sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Linear regression was used to examine the relationship between the magnitude of serological response and clinical characteristics. There were 80 patients from whom 86 sera specimens were collected; six patients had duplicate specimens. There were 95 negative control specimens from 95 patients. The clinical sensitivity of the Elecsys assay was 98.84% (95% CI 93.69-99.97), specificity was 100% (95% CI 96.19-100.00); the Liaison assay clinical sensitivity was 96.51% (95% CI 90.14-99.27), specificity was 97.89% (95% CI 92.60-99.74); the Access assay clinical sensitivity was 84.88% (95% CI 75.54-91.70), specificity was 98.95% (95% CI 94.27-99.97); and the Vitros assay clinical sensitivity was 97.67% (95% CI 91.85-99.72), specificity was 100% (95% CI 96.15-100.00). A requirement for hospitalisation for COVID-19 infection was associated with a larger Vitros, Liaison and Access IgG response whilst fever was associated with a larger Elecsys response. All assays evaluated with the exception of the Access assay demonstrated similar performance. The Elecsys assay demonstrated the highest sensitivity and specificity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , Adult , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
18.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0243414, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-969724

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We report on the key clinical predictors of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and present a clinical decision rule that can risk stratify patients for COVID-19. DESIGN, PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: A prospective cohort of patients assessed for COVID-19 at a screening clinic in Melbourne, Australia. The primary outcome was a positive COVID-19 test from nasopharyngeal swab. A backwards stepwise logistic regression was used to derive a model of clinical variables predictive of a positive COVID-19 test. Internal validation of the final model was performed using bootstrapped samples and the model scoring derived from the coefficients, with modelling performed for increasing prevalence. RESULTS: Of 4226 patients with suspected COVID-19 who were assessed, 2976 patients underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing (n = 108 SARS-CoV-2 positive) and were used to determine factors associated with a positive COVID-19 test. The 7 features associated with a positive COVID-19 test on multivariable analysis were: COVID-19 patient exposure or international travel, Myalgia/malaise, Anosmia or ageusia, Temperature, Coryza/sore throat, Hypoxia-oxygen saturation < 97%, 65 years or older-summarized in the mnemonic COVID-MATCH65. Internal validation showed an AUC of 0.836. A cut-off of ≥ 1.5 points was associated with a 92.6% sensitivity and 99.5% negative predictive value (NPV) for COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: From the largest prospective outpatient cohort of suspected COVID-19 we define the clinical factors predictive of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. The subsequent clinical decision rule, COVID-MATCH65, has a high sensitivity and NPV for SARS-CoV-2 and can be employed in the pandemic, adjusted for disease prevalence, to aid COVID-19 risk-assessment and vital testing resource allocation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 , Clinical Decision-Making , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies
19.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 146(3): 518-534.e1, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-737831

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations from asymptomatic or mild, self-limited constitutional symptoms to a hyperinflammatory state ("cytokine storm") followed by acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. The objective of this study was to provide an evidence-based review of the associated pathways and potential treatment of the hyperinflammatory state associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Dysregulated immune responses have been reported to occur in a smaller subset of those infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, leading to clinical deterioration 7 to 10 days after initial presentation. A hyperinflammatory state referred to as cytokine storm in its severest form has been marked by elevation of IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and other cytokines and severe CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell lymphopenia and coagulopathy. Recognition of at-risk patients could permit early institution of aggressive intensive care and antiviral and immune treatment to reduce the complications related to this proinflammatory state. Several reports and ongoing clinical trials provide hope that available immunomodulatory therapies could have therapeutic potential in these severe cases. This review highlights our current state of knowledge of immune mechanisms and targeted immunomodulatory treatment options for the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Immunomodulation , Interleukin-6/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sepsis/immunology
20.
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