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1.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 2(1): 100062, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616571

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Little is known whether differences exist in virus shedding, immune and inflammatory response related to SARS-CoV-2 in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH). We assessed viral RNA and cytokine profiles of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection in Hong Kong. Methods: PLWH hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Hong Kong were included, compared with age-matched and disease severity-matched SARS-CoV-2 infected controls (ratio of 1:5) from February 1st 2020 to July 31st 2020. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by public health laboratory and virus concentration was quantified by an in-house real-time reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. A panel of cytokines and chemokines were performed. Results: HIV patients had a similar respiratory shedding profile compared to controls. Duration of faecal shedding of patient A, B, C and D were at least 9, 10, 33, and 11 days, respectively. HIV patients had lower plasma levels of IL-10 and NT-pro-BNP. All 4 PLWH cases showed seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 with anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibodies detected in serum collected between day 18 and 30 after symptom onset. Conclusions: PLWH behaves similarly with HIV-negative controls in respiratory viral load, but with decrease in IL-10 and NT-proBNP. PLWH may have a lower risk of immunostimulatory effect due to lower IL-10.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2946-e2951, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500988

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Waning immunity occurs in patients who have recovered from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, it remains unclear whether true re-infection occurs. METHODS: Whole genome sequencing was performed directly on respiratory specimens collected during 2 episodes of COVID-19 in a patient. Comparative genome analysis was conducted to differentiate re-infection from persistent viral shedding. Laboratory results, including RT-PCR Ct values and serum Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG, were analyzed. RESULTS: The second episode of asymptomatic infection occurred 142 days after the first symptomatic episode in an apparently immunocompetent patient. During the second episode, there was evidence of acute infection including elevated C-reactive protein and SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroconversion. Viral genomes from first and second episodes belong to different clades/lineages. The virus genome from the first episode contained a a stop codon at position 64 of ORF8, leading to a truncation of 58 amino acids. Another 23 nucleotide and 13 amino acid differences located in 9 different proteins, including positions of B and T cell epitopes, were found between viruses from the first and second episodes. Compared to viral genomes in GISAID, the first virus genome was phylogenetically closely related to strains collected in March/April 2020, while the second virus genome was closely related to strains collected in July/August 2020. CONCLUSIONS: Epidemiological, clinical, serological, and genomic analyses confirmed that the patient had re-infection instead of persistent viral shedding from first infection. Our results suggest SARS-CoV-2 may continue to circulate among humans despite herd immunity due to natural infection. Further studies of patients with re-infection will shed light on protective immunological correlates for guiding vaccine design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Genome, Viral , Humans , Reinfection , Whole Genome Sequencing
4.
Am J Nephrol ; 52(2): 161-172, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150270

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Renal involvement in COVID-19 is less well characterized in settings with vigilant public health surveillance, including mass screening and early hospitalization. We assessed kidney complications among COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong, including the association with risk factors, length of hospitalization, critical presentation, and mortality. METHODS: Linked electronic records of all patients with confirmed COVID-19 from 5 major designated hospitals were extracted. Duplicated records due to interhospital transferal were removed. Primary outcome was the incidence of in-hospital acute kidney injury (AKI). Secondary outcomes were AKI-associated mortality, incident renal replacement therapy (RRT), intensive care admission, prolonged hospitalization and disease course (defined as >90th percentile of hospitalization duration [35 days] and duration from symptom onset to discharge [43 days], respectively), and change of estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Patients were further stratified into being symptomatic or asymptomatic. RESULTS: Patients were characterized by young age (median: 38.4, IQR: 28.4-55.8 years) and short time (median: 5, IQR: 2-9 days) from symptom onset to admission. Among the 591 patients, 22 (3.72%) developed AKI and 4 (0.68%) required RRT. The median time from symptom onset to in-hospital AKI was 15 days. AKI increased the odds of prolonged hospitalization and disease course by 2.0- and 3.5-folds, respectively. Estimated GFR 24 weeks post-discharge reduced by 7.51 and 1.06 mL/min/1.73 m2 versus baseline (upon admission) in the AKI and non-AKI groups, respectively. The incidence of AKI was comparable between asymptomatic (4.8%, n = 3/62) and symptomatic (3.7%, n = 19/519) patients. CONCLUSION: The overall rate of AKI among COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong is low, which could be attributable to a vigilant screening program and early hospitalization. Among patients who developed in-hospital AKI, the duration of hospitalization is prolonged and kidney function impairment can persist for up to 6 months post-discharge. Mass surveillance for COVID-19 is warranted in identifying asymptomatic subjects for earlier AKI management.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Renal Replacement Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Acute Kidney Injury/diagnosis , Acute Kidney Injury/immunology , Acute Kidney Injury/therapy , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Early Diagnosis , Female , Glomerular Filtration Rate/immunology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Incidence , Length of Stay , Male , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
5.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(1): 196-204, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-993249

ABSTRACT

Initial cases of coronavirus disease in Hong Kong were imported from mainland China. A dramatic increase in case numbers was seen in February 2020. Most case-patients had no recent travel history, suggesting the presence of transmission chains in the local community. We collected demographic, clinical, and epidemiologic data from 50 patients, who accounted for 53.8% of total reported case-patients as of February 28, 2020. We performed whole-genome sequencing to determine phylogenetic relationship and transmission dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections. By using phylogenetic analysis, we attributed the community outbreak to 2 lineages; 1 harbored a common mutation, Orf3a-G251V, and accounted for 88.0% of the cases in our study. The estimated time to the most recent common ancestor of local coronavirus disease outbreak was December 24, 2019, with an evolutionary rate of 3.04 × 10-3 substitutions/site/year. The reproduction number was 1.84, indicating ongoing community spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/transmission , Cluster Analysis , Disease Hotspot , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
6.
Ther Adv Infect Dis ; 7: 2049936120978095, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962358

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has affected millions of individuals since December 2019, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality globally. During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, it was observed that influenza was associated with bacterial co-infections. However, empirical or prophylactic antibiotic use during viral pandemics should be balanced against the associated adverse drug events. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we investigated bacterial co-infections in adults with COVID-19 in Hong Kong. Notably, at the time of writing this report, patients with varying disease severities were isolated in hospitals until confirmatory evidence of virological clearance or immunity was available. The study included adults with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 admitted to a single hospital cluster between 8 January 2020 and 1 May 2020. We obtained data regarding patient demographics, clinical presentations, blood test results, treatment, and outcomes. Bacteriological profiles and risk factors for co-infections were investigated. Antibiotic prescription practices were also reviewed. RESULTS: Of the 147 patients recruited, clinical disease was suspected in 42% (n = 62) of patients who underwent testing for other respiratory infections. Notably, 35% (n = 52) of the patients were prescribed empirical antibiotics, predominantly penicillins or cephalosporins. Of these, 35% (n = 18) received more than one class of antibiotics and 37% (n = 19) received empirical antibiotics for over 1 week. Overall, 8.2% (n = 12) of patients developed bacterial co-infections since the detection of COVID-19 until discharge. Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus was the most common causative pathogen identified. Although 8.2% (n = 12) of patients developed hypoxia and required oxygen therapy, no mortality was observed. Multivariate analysis showed that pneumonic changes on chest radiography at the time of admission predicted bacterial co-infections. CONCLUSION: These findings emphasise the importance of judicious administration of antibiotics throughout the disease course of COVID-19 and highlight the role of antimicrobial stewardship during a pandemic.

7.
Infection ; 49(2): 257-265, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-774008

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in conjunctival secretions from patients without ocular symptoms. METHODS: Conjunctival swabs were prospectively collected from laboratory-confirmed Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients without ocular symptoms for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and viral culture. RESULTS: A total of 158 conjunctival swabs were obtained from 49 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients. The median duration of illness when the first conjunctival swab was obtained was 10 days (range 2-27 days). Four conjunctival swabs from four different patients (4/49, 8.2%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RT-PCR. The Ct values ranged from 32.7 to 37.7 (mean 35.4). Viral cultures were negative for all four RT-PCR-positive conjunctival swabs. CONCLUSION: Conjunctival secretions of a minority of COVID-19 patients without ocular symptoms may contain relatively low levels of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, but their infectiousness remains undetermined. Appropriate infection control measures should be implemented during ophthalmological assessment of COVID-19 patients to prevent potential nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Conjunctiva/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Vero Cells , Virus Shedding , Young Adult
8.
Lancet ; 395(10238): 1695-1704, 2020 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-232479

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective antiviral therapy is important for tackling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We assessed the efficacy and safety of combined interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin for treating patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This was a multicentre, prospective, open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial in adults with COVID-19 who were admitted to six hospitals in Hong Kong. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to a 14-day combination of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h, ribavirin 400 mg every 12 h, and three doses of 8 million international units of interferon beta-1b on alternate days (combination group) or to 14 days of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h (control group). The primary endpoint was the time to providing a nasopharyngeal swab negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RT-PCR, and was done in the intention-to-treat population. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04276688. FINDINGS: Between Feb 10 and March 20, 2020, 127 patients were recruited; 86 were randomly assigned to the combination group and 41 were assigned to the control group. The median number of days from symptom onset to start of study treatment was 5 days (IQR 3-7). The combination group had a significantly shorter median time from start of study treatment to negative nasopharyngeal swab (7 days [IQR 5-11]) than the control group (12 days [8-15]; hazard ratio 4·37 [95% CI 1·86-10·24], p=0·0010). Adverse events included self-limited nausea and diarrhoea with no difference between the two groups. One patient in the control group discontinued lopinavir-ritonavir because of biochemical hepatitis. No patients died during the study. INTERPRETATION: Early triple antiviral therapy was safe and superior to lopinavir-ritonavir alone in alleviating symptoms and shortening the duration of viral shedding and hospital stay in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Future clinical study of a double antiviral therapy with interferon beta-1b as a backbone is warranted. FUNDING: The Shaw-Foundation, Richard and Carol Yu, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, and Sanming Project of Medicine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon beta-1b/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Ribavirin/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Drug Combinations , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hong Kong , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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