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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-338347

ABSTRACT

Abstract Both infection and vaccination, alone or in combination, generate antibody and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2. However, the maintenance of such responses – and hence protection from disease – requires careful characterisation. In a large prospective study of UK healthcare workers (Protective immunity from T cells in Healthcare workers (PITCH), within the larger SARS-CoV-2 immunity & reinfection evaluation (SIREN) study) we previously observed that prior infection impacted strongly on subsequent cellular and humoral immunity induced after long and short dosing intervals of BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) vaccination. Here, we report longer follow up of 684 HCWs in this cohort over 6-9 months following two doses of BNT162b2 or AZ1222 (Oxford/AstraZeneca) vaccination and following a subsequent BNT162b2 booster vaccination. We make three observations: Firstly, the dynamics of humoral and cellular responses differ;binding and neutralising antibodies declined whereas T and memory B cell responses were maintained after the second vaccine dose. Secondly, vaccine boosting restored IgG levels, broadened neutralising activity against variants of concern including omicron BA.1, and further boosted T cell responses. Thirdly, prior infection maintained its impact driving larger as well as broader T cell responses compared to never-infected people – a feature maintained even after the third dose. In conclusion, broadly cross-reactive T cell responses are well maintained over time – especially in those with “hybrid” vaccine and infection- induced immunity – and may contribute to continued protection against severe disease.

3.
Gigascience ; 112022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873911

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has a complex strategy for the transcription of viral subgenomic mRNAs (sgmRNAs), which are targets for nucleic acid diagnostics. Each of these sgmRNAs has a unique 5' sequence, the leader-transcriptional regulatory sequence gene junction (leader-TRS junction), that can be identified using sequencing. High-resolution sequencing has been used to investigate the biology of SARS-CoV-2 and the host response in cell culture and animal models and from clinical samples. LeTRS, a bioinformatics tool, was developed to identify leader-TRS junctions and can be used as a proxy to quantify sgmRNAs for understanding virus biology. LeTRS is readily adaptable for other coronaviruses such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or a future newly discovered coronavirus. LeTRS was tested on published data sets and novel clinical samples from patients and longitudinal samples from animal models with coronavirus disease 2019. LeTRS identified known leader-TRS junctions and identified putative novel sgmRNAs that were common across different mammalian species. This may be indicative of an evolutionary mechanism where plasticity in transcription generates novel open reading frames, which can then subject to selection pressure. The data indicated multiphasic abundance of sgmRNAs in two different animal models. This recapitulates the relative sgmRNA abundance observed in cells at early points in infection but not at late points. This pattern is reflected in some human nasopharyngeal samples and therefore has implications for transmission models and nucleic acid-based diagnostics. LeTRS provides a quantitative measure of sgmRNA abundance from sequencing data. This can be used to assess the biology of SARS-CoV-2 (or other coronaviruses) in clinical and nonclinical samples, especially to evaluate different variants and medical countermeasures that may influence viral RNA synthesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cell Culture Techniques , Computational Biology , Humans , Mammals/genetics , Models, Animal , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2452: 465-473, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1844280

ABSTRACT

Inactivation methods allow for hazard group 3 (HG3) pathogens to be disposed of and used safely in downstream experiments and assays to be carried out at lower containment levels. Commonly used viral inactivation methods include heat inactivation, fixation methods, ultraviolet (UV) light and detergent inactivation. Here we describe known methods used to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 for safe downstream biological assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Ultraviolet Rays , Vero Cells , Virus Inactivation
5.
mSphere ; : e0091321, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832362

ABSTRACT

New variants of SARS-CoV-2 are continuing to emerge and dominate the global sequence landscapes. Several variants have been labeled variants of concern (VOCs) because they may have a transmission advantage, increased risk of morbidity and/or mortality, or immune evasion upon a background of prior infection or vaccination. Placing the VOCs in context with the underlying variability of SARS-CoV-2 is essential in understanding virus evolution and selection pressures. Dominant genome sequences and the population genetics of SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal swabs from hospitalized patients were characterized. Nonsynonymous changes at a minor variant level were identified. These populations were generally preserved when isolates were amplified in cell culture. To place the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron VOCs in context, their growth was compared to clinical isolates of different lineages from earlier in the pandemic. The data indicated that the growth in cell culture of the Beta variant was more than that of the other variants in Vero E6 cells but not in hACE2-A549 cells. Looking at each time point, Beta grew more than the other VOCs in hACE2-A549 cells at 24 to 48 h postinfection. At 72 h postinfection there was no difference in the growth of any of the variants in either cell line. Overall, this work suggested that exploring the biology of SARS-CoV-2 is complicated by population dynamics and that these need to be considered with new variants. In the context of variation seen in other coronaviruses, the variants currently observed for SARS-CoV-2 are very similar in terms of their clinical spectrum of disease. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of COVID-19. The virus has spread across the planet, causing a global pandemic. In common with other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 genomes can become quite diverse as a consequence of replicating inside cells. This has given rise to multiple variants from the original virus that infected humans. These variants may have different properties and in the context of a widespread vaccination program may render vaccines less effective. Our research confirms the degree of genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in patients. By comparing the growth of previous variants to the pattern seen with four variants of concern (VOCs) (Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron), we show that, at least in cells, Beta variant growth exceeds that of Alpha, Delta, and Omicron VOCs at 24 to 48 h in both Vero E6 and hACE2-A549 cells, but by 72 h postinfection, the amount of virus is not different from that of the other VOCs.

6.
Clin Exp Immunol ; 2022 May 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831028

ABSTRACT

T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 following infection and vaccination are less characterised than antibody responses, due to a more complex experimental pathway.We measured T cell responses in 108 healthcare workers (HCWs) using the commercialised Oxford Immunotec T-SPOT Discovery SARS-CoV-2 assay service (OI T-SPOT) and the PITCH ELISpot protocol established for academic research settings. Both assays detected T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike, membrane and nucleocapsid proteins. Responses were significantly lower when reported by OI T-SPOT than by PITCH ELISpot. Four weeks after two doses of either Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b or ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 AZD1222 vaccine, the responder rate was 63% for OI T-SPOT Panels1 + 2 (peptides representing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein excluding regions present in seasonal coronaviruses), 69% for OI T-SPOT Panel 14 (peptides representing the entire SARS-CoV-2 spike), and 94% for the PITCH ELISpot assay. The two OI T-SPOT panels correlated strongly with each other showing that either readout quantifies spike-specific T cell responses, although the correlation between the OI T-SPOT panels and the PITCH ELISpot was moderate. The standardisation, relative scalability and longer interval between blood acquisition and processing are advantages of the commercial OI T-SPOT assay. However, the OI T-SPOT assay measures T cell responses at a significantly lower magnitude compared to the PITCH ELISpot assay, detecting T cell responses in a lower proportion of vaccinees. This has implications for the reporting of low-level T cell responses that may be observed in patient populations and for the assessment of T cell durability after vaccination.

7.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(5): e2210880, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1825765

ABSTRACT

Importance: SARS-CoV-2 infection has been associated with more severe disease and death in patients with cancer. However, the implications of certain tumor types, treatments, and the age and sex of patients with cancer for the outcomes of COVID-19 remain unclear. Objective: To assess the differences in clinical outcomes between patients with cancer and SARS-CoV-2 infection and patients without cancer but with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to identify patients with cancer at particularly high risk for a poor outcome. Data Sources: PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases were searched for articles published in English until June 14, 2021. References in these articles were reviewed for additional studies. Study Selection: All case-control or cohort studies were included that involved 10 or more patients with malignant disease and SARS-CoV-2 infection with or without a control group (defined as patients without cancer but with SARS-CoV-2 infection). Studies were excluded if they involved fewer than 10 patients, were conference papers or abstracts, were preprint reports, had no full text, or had data that could not be obtained from the corresponding author. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Two investigators independently performed data extraction using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) reporting guideline. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effects model. Main Outcomes and Measures: The difference in mortality between patients with cancer and SARS-CoV-2 infection and control patients as well as the difference in outcomes for various tumor types and cancer treatments. Pooled case fatality rates, a random-effects model, and random-effects meta-regressions were used. Results: A total of 81 studies were included, involving 61 532 patients with cancer. Among 58 849 patients with available data, 30 557 male individuals (52%) were included and median age ranged from 35 to 74 years. The relative risk (RR) of mortality from COVID-19 among patients with vs without cancer when age and sex were matched was 1.69 (95% CI, 1.46-1.95; P < .001; I2 = 51.0%). The RR of mortality in patients with cancer vs control patients was associated with decreasing age (exp [b], 0.96; 95% CI, 0.92-0.99; P = .03). Compared with other cancers, lung cancer (RR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.45-1.94; P < .001; I2 = 32.9%), and hematologic cancer (RR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.31-1.54; P < .001; I2 = 6.8%) were associated with a higher risk of death. Although a higher point estimate was found for genitourinary cancer (RR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.00-1.24; P = .06; I2 = 21.5%), the finding was not statistically significant. Breast cancer (RR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.36-0.71; P < .001; I2 = 86.2%) and gynecological cancer (RR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.62-0.93; P = .009; I2 = 0%) were associated with a lower risk of death. Chemotherapy was associated with the highest overall pooled case fatality rate of 30% (95% CI, 25%-36%; I2 = 86.97%; range, 10%-100%), and endocrine therapy was associated with the lowest at 11% (95% CI, 6%-16%; I2 = 70.68%; range, 0%-27%). Conclusions and Relevance: Results of this study suggest that patients with cancer and SARS-CoV-2 infection had a higher risk of death than patients without cancer. Younger age, lung cancer, and hematologic cancer were also risk factors associated with poor outcomes from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Neoplasms , Neoplasms , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Anal Chem ; 94(19): 6919-6923, 2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829921

ABSTRACT

Normalization to account for variation in urinary dilution is crucial for interpretation of urine metabolic profiles. Probabilistic quotient normalization (PQN) is used routinely in metabolomics but is sensitive to systematic variation shared across a large proportion of the spectral profile (>50%). Where 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is employed, the presence of urinary protein can elevate the spectral baseline and substantially impact the resulting profile. Using 1H NMR profile measurements of spot urine samples collected from hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the ISARIC 4C study, we determined that PQN coefficients are significantly correlated with observed protein levels (r2 = 0.423, p < 2.2 × 10-16). This correlation was significantly reduced (r2 = 0.163, p < 2.2 × 10-16) when using a computational method for suppression of macromolecular signals known as small molecule enhancement spectroscopy (SMolESY) for proteinic baseline removal prior to PQN. These results highlight proteinuria as a common yet overlooked source of bias in 1H NMR metabolic profiling studies which can be effectively mitigated using SMolESY or other macromolecular signal suppression methods before estimation of normalization coefficients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/methods , Metabolome , Metabolomics/methods , Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
9.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(5): ofac179, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821760

ABSTRACT

Admission procalcitonin measurements and microbiology results were available for 1040 hospitalized adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (from 48 902 included in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium World Health Organization Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study). Although procalcitonin was higher in bacterial coinfection, this was neither clinically significant (median [IQR], 0.33 [0.11-1.70] ng/mL vs 0.24 [0.10-0.90] ng/mL) nor diagnostically useful (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.56 [95% confidence interval, .51-.60]).

10.
Pediatr Res ; 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805591

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We hypothesised that the clinical characteristics of hospitalised children and young people (CYP) with SARS-CoV-2 in the UK second wave (W2) would differ from the first wave (W1) due to the alpha variant (B.1.1.7), school reopening and relaxation of shielding. METHODS: Prospective multicentre observational cohort study of patients <19 years hospitalised in the UK with SARS-CoV-2 between 17/01/20 and 31/01/21. Clinical characteristics were compared between W1 and W2 (W1 = 17/01/20-31/07/20,W2 = 01/08/20-31/01/21). RESULTS: 2044 CYP < 19 years from 187 hospitals. 427/2044 (20.6%) with asymptomatic/incidental SARS-CoV-2 were excluded from main analysis. 16.0% (248/1548) of symptomatic CYP were admitted to critical care and 0.8% (12/1504) died. 5.6% (91/1617) of symptomatic CYP had Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). After excluding CYP with MIS-C, patients in W2 had lower Paediatric Early Warning Scores (PEWS, composite vital sign score), lower antibiotic use and less respiratory and cardiovascular support than W1. The proportion of CYP admitted to critical care was unchanged. 58.0% (938/1617) of symptomatic CYP had no reported comorbidity. Patients without co-morbidities were younger (42.4%, 398/938, <1 year), had lower PEWS, shorter length of stay and less respiratory support. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence of increased disease severity in W2 vs W1. A large proportion of hospitalised CYP had no comorbidity. IMPACT: No evidence of increased severity of COVID-19 admissions amongst children and young people (CYP) in the second vs first wave in the UK, despite changes in variant, relaxation of shielding and return to face-to-face schooling. CYP with no comorbidities made up a significant proportion of those admitted. However, they had shorter length of stays and lower treatment requirements than CYP with comorbidities once those with MIS-C were excluded. At least 20% of CYP admitted in this cohort had asymptomatic/incidental SARS-CoV-2 infection. This paper was presented to SAGE to inform CYP vaccination policy in the UK.

11.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332879

ABSTRACT

With the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations across the globe and the limited access in many countries, quick determination of an individual’s antibody status could be beneficial in allocating limited vaccine doses in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Antibody lateral flow tests (LFTs) have potential to address this need as a quick, point of care test, they also have a use case for identifying sero-negative individuals for novel therapeutics, and for epidemiology. Here we present a proof-of-concept evaluation of eight LFT brands using sera from 95 vaccinated individuals to determine sensitivity for detecting vaccination generated antibodies. All 95 (100%) participants tested positive for anti-spike antibodies by the chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay (CMIA) reference standard post-dose two of their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine: BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech, n=60), AZD1222 (AstraZeneca, n=31), mRNA-1273 (Moderna, n=2) and Undeclared Vaccine Brand (n=2). Sensitivity increased from dose one to dose two in six out of eight LFTs with three tests achieving 100% sensitivity at dose two in detecting anti-spike antibodies. These tests are quick, low-cost point-of-care tools that can be used without prior training to establish antibody status and may prove valuable for allocating limited vaccine doses in LMICs to ensure those in at risk groups access the protection they need. Further investigation into their performance in vaccinated peoples is required before more widespread utilisation is considered.

12.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332878

ABSTRACT

Objective To examine if SARS-CoV-2 infections vary by vaccination status, if an individual had previously tested positive and by neighbourhood socioeconomic deprivation across the Delta and Omicron epidemic waves of SARS-CoV-2. Design Cohort study using electronic health records Setting Cheshire and Merseyside, England (3 rd June 2021 to 1 st March 2022) Participants 2.7M residents Main Outcome measure Registered positive test for SARS-CoV-2 Results Social inequalities in registered positive tests were dynamic during the study. Originally higher SARS-CoV-2 rates in the most socioeconomically deprived neighbourhoods changed to being higher in the least deprived neighbourhoods from the 1 st September 2021. While the introduction of Omicron initially reset inequalities, they continued to be dynamic and inconsistent. Individuals who were fully vaccinated (two doses) were associated with fewer registered positive tests (e.g., between 1 st September and 27 th November 2021: (i) individuals engaged in testing – Hazards Ratio (HR) = 0.48, 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) = 0.47-0.50;(ii) individuals engaged with healthcare - HR = 0.34, 95% CIs = 0.33-0.34). Individuals with a previous registered positive test were also less likely to have a registered positive test (e.g., between 1 st September and 27 th November 2021: (i) individuals engaged in testing - HR = 0.16, 95% CIs = 0.15-0.18;(ii) individuals engaged with healthcare - HR = 0.14, 95% CIs = 0.13-0.16). However, Omicron is disrupting these associations due to immune escape resulting in smaller effect sizes for both measures. Conclusions Changing patterns of SARS-CoV-2 infections during the Delta and Omicron waves reveals a dynamic pandemic that continues to affect diverse communities in sometimes unexpected ways.

14.
The Lancet. Digital health ; 4(4):e220-e234, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1755949

ABSTRACT

Background Dexamethasone was the first intervention proven to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital. We aimed to evaluate the adoption of corticosteroids in the treatment of COVID-19 in the UK after the RECOVERY trial publication on June 16, 2020, and to identify discrepancies in care. Methods We did an audit of clinical implementation of corticosteroids in a prospective, observational, cohort study in 237 UK acute care hospitals between March 16, 2020, and April 14, 2021, restricted to patients aged 18 years or older with proven or high likelihood of COVID-19, who received supplementary oxygen. The primary outcome was administration of dexamethasone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone, or methylprednisolone. This study is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN66726260. Findings Between June 17, 2020, and April 14, 2021, 47 795 (75·2%) of 63 525 of patients on supplementary oxygen received corticosteroids, higher among patients requiring critical care than in those who received ward care (11 185 [86·6%] of 12 909 vs 36 415 [72·4%] of 50 278). Patients 50 years or older were significantly less likely to receive corticosteroids than those younger than 50 years (adjusted odds ratio 0·79 [95% CI 0·70–0·89], p=0·0001, for 70–79 years;0·52 [0·46–0·58], p<0·0001, for >80 years), independent of patient demographics and illness severity. 84 (54·2%) of 155 pregnant women received corticosteroids. Rates of corticosteroid administration increased from 27·5% in the week before June 16, 2020, to 75–80% in January, 2021. Interpretation Implementation of corticosteroids into clinical practice in the UK for patients with COVID-19 has been successful, but not universal. Patients older than 70 years, independent of illness severity, chronic neurological disease, and dementia, were less likely to receive corticosteroids than those who were younger, as were pregnant women. This could reflect appropriate clinical decision making, but the possibility of inequitable access to life-saving care should be considered. Funding UK National Institute for Health Research and UK Medical Research Council.

15.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1251, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740439

ABSTRACT

The trajectories of acquired immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection are not fully understood. We present a detailed longitudinal cohort study of UK healthcare workers prior to vaccination, presenting April-June 2020 with asymptomatic or symptomatic infection. Here we show a highly variable range of responses, some of which (T cell interferon-gamma ELISpot, N-specific antibody) wane over time, while others (spike-specific antibody, B cell memory ELISpot) are stable. We use integrative analysis and a machine-learning approach (SIMON - Sequential Iterative Modeling OverNight) to explore this heterogeneity. We identify a subgroup of participants with higher antibody responses and interferon-gamma ELISpot T cell responses, and a robust trajectory for longer term immunity associates with higher levels of neutralising antibodies against the infecting (Victoria) strain and also against variants B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta). These variable trajectories following early priming may define subsequent protection from severe disease from novel variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320392

ABSTRACT

Background: Microbiological characterisation of co-infections and secondary infections in COVID-19 is lacking, while antimicrobial usage is high. We aimed to describe microbiologically-confirmed co-/secondary infections, and antimicrobial usage, in hospitalised patients with COVID-19.Methods: Hospitalised patients in England, Scotland, and Wales with confirmed/high likelihood SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited to the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) prospective cohort study. Patients admitted between 6th February–8th June 2020 with a recorded outcome 28 days after admission were included. Organisms considered clinically insignificant were excluded.Findings: Microbiological investigations were recorded for 8649/48 902 patients, with significant respiratory or bloodstream bacterial/fungal infections recorded for 1107 patients. These were mostly secondary infections diagnosed >2 days after admission (70·6%, 762/1080 with known sample timing). Staphylococcus aureus then Haemophilus influenzae were the most common pathogens causing respiratory co-infections (diagnosed ≤2 days after admission), with Enterobacteriaceae and S. aureus most common in secondary respiratory infections. Bloodstream infections were most frequently caused by Escherichia coli then S. aureus. Among patients with available data, 37·0% (13 390/36 145) received antimicrobials prior to admission and 85·2% (39 258/46 061) in hospital, highest in critical care. We identified frequent use of broad-spectrum agents and use of carbapenems over carbapenem-sparing alternatives.Interpretation: In hospitalised patients with COVID-19, microbiologically-confirmed bacterial/fungal infections are rare, and more likely to be secondary infections. Gram-negative organisms and S. aureus are the predominant pathogens. The frequency and nature of antimicrobial usage is concerning, but tractable targets for stewardship interventions exist.Funding: This work is supported by grants from: the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [award CO-CIN-01], the Medical Research Council [grant MC_PC_19059] and by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU)in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford [award 200907], NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London with PHE [award 200927], Wellcome Trust and Department for International Development [215091/Z/18/Z], and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation[OPP1209135], and Liverpool Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (Grant Reference: C18616/A25153), NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Imperial College London [IS-BRC-1215-20013], EU Platform foR European Preparedness Against (Re-) emerging Epidemics (PREPARE) [FP7 project 602525] and NIHR Clinical Research Network for providing infrastructure support for this research. LT is supported by a Wellcome Trust fellowship [205228/Z/16/Z]. PJMO is supported by a NIHR Senior Investigator Award [award 201385]. This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust. For the purpose of Open Access, the authors have applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the DHSC, DID, NIHR, MRC, Wellcome Trust or PHE.Conflict of Interest: All authors have completed the ICMJE uniform disclosure form at www.icmje.org/coi_disclosure.pdf and declare: support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool, NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at ImperialCollege Lo don, and NIHR Clinical Research Network for the submitted work;ABD reports grants fromDepartment of Health and Social Care (DHSC), during the conduct of the study, grants from Wellcome Trust, outside the submitted work;PJMO reports personal fees from consultancies and from European RespiratorySociety, grants from MRC, MRC Global Challenge Research Fund, EU, NIHR BRC, MRC/GSK, WellcomeTrust, NIHR (Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Respiratory Infection), and is NIHR senior investigator outside the submitted work;his role as President of the British Society for Immunology was unpaid but travel and accommodation at some meetings was provided by the Society;JKB reports grants from MRC UK;MGS reportsgrants from DHSC NIHR UK, grants from MRC UK, grants from HPRU in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections,University of Liverpool, during the conduct of the study, other from Integrum Scientific LLC, Greensboro, NC, USA, outside the submitted work.Ethical Approval: Ethical approval was given by the South Central-Oxford C Research Ethics Committee in England (13/SC/0149), the Scotland A Research Ethics Committee (20/SS/0028), and the WHO Ethics Review Committee (RPC571 and RPC572, April 2013).

17.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318857

ABSTRACT

Extension of the interval between vaccine doses for the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was introduced in the UK to accelerate population coverage with a single dose. In a study of 503 healthcare workers, we show that after priming following the first vaccine there is a marked decline in SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody (NAb) levels, but, in contrast, a sustained T cell response to spike protein. This divergent immune profile was accompanied by robust protection from infection over this period from the circulating alpha (B.1.1.7) variant. Importantly, following the second vaccine dose, NAb levels were higher after the extended dosing interval (6-14 weeks) compared to the conventional 3-4 week regimen, accompanied by a clear enrichment of CD4+ T cells expressing IL2. These data on dynamic cellular and humoral responses indicate that extension of the dosing interval is an effective, immunogenic protocol and that antiviral T cell responses are a potential mechanism of protection.Trial Registration Details: PITCH is a sub-study of the SIREN study which is registered with ISRCTN, number ISRCTN11041050,Funding Information: This work was funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care as part of the PITCH (Protective Immunity from T cells to Covid-19 in Health workers) Consortium, with contributions from UKRI/NIHR through the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UK-CIC), the Huo Family Foundation and The National Institute for Health Research (UKRIDHSC COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call, Grant Reference Number COV19-RECPLAS).EB and PK are NIHR Senior Investigators and PK is funded by WT109965MA. SJD is funded by an NIHR Global Research Professorship (NIHR300791). TdS is funded by a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship (110058/Z/15/Z). RPP is funded by a Career Re-entry Fellowship (204721/Z/16/Z). CJAD is funded by a Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship (211153/Z/18/Z). DS is supported by the NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer programme in Oxford. LT is supported by the Wellcome Trust (grant number 205228/Z/16/Z) and the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (NIHR200907) at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford. DGW is supported by an NIHR Advanced Fellowship in Liverpool. LT and MC are supported by U.S. Food and Drug Administration Medical Countermeasures Initiative contract 75F40120C00085. Declaration of Interests: AJP is Chair of UK Dept. Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) Joint Committee on Vaccination & Immunisation (JCVI), but does not participate in policy decisions on COVID-19 vaccines. He is a member of the WHO’s SAGE. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of DHSC, JCVI, or WHO. AJP is chief investigator on clinical trials of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine funded by NIHR. Oxford University has entered a joint COVID-19 vaccine development partnership with AstraZeneca. Ethics Approval Statement: PITCH is a sub-study of the SIREN study which was approved by the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, Health Research 250 Authority (IRAS ID 284460, REC reference 20/SC/0230), with PITCH recognised as a sub-study on 2 December 2020. SIREN is registered with ISRCTN (Trial ID:252 ISRCTN11041050). Some participants were recruited under aligned study protocols. In Birmingham participants were recruited under the Determining the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in convalescent health care workers (COCO) study (IRAS ID: 282525). In Liverpool some participants were recruited under the “Human immune responses to acute virus infections” Study (16/NW/0170), approved by North West - Liverpool Central Research Ethics Committee on 8 March 2016, and amended on 14th September 2020 and 4th May 2021. In Oxford, participants were recruited under the GI Biobank Study 16/YH/0247, approved by the research ethics committee (REC) t Yorkshire & The Humber - Sheffield Research Ethics Committee on 29 July 2016, which has been amended for this purpose on 8 June 2020. In Sheffield, participants were recruited under the Observational Biobanking study STHObs (18/YH/0441), which was amended for this study on 10 September 2020. The study was conducted in compliance with all relevant ethical regulations for work with human participants, and according to the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki (2008) and the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines. Written informed consent was obtained for all patients enrolled in the study.

18.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313929

ABSTRACT

SARS-COV-2 vaccines have been shown to be efficacious primarily in healthy volunteer populations and population level studies. Immune responses following SARS-CoV-2 vaccination are less well characterised in potentially immune vulnerable patient groups, including those with immune-mediated inflammatory and chronic diseases (inflammatory arthritis [IA] incorporating rheumatoid arthritis [RA] and psoriatic arthritis [PsA];ANCA-Associated Vasculitis [AAV];inflammatory bowel disease [IBD]);hepatic disease (HepD), end stage kidney disease requiring haemodialysis (HD) without or with immunosuppression (HDIS);solid cancers (SC) and haematological malignancies (HM), and those that have undergone haemopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). The OCTAVE trial is a multi-centre, multi-disease, prospective cohort that will comprehensively assess SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses within and between the abovementioned disease cohorts using common analytical platforms in patients recruited across the United Kingdom (UK). The majority of subjects received either COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) or ChAdOx1 Vaccine (AstraZeneca formerly AZD1222) as part of the UK National COVID19 vaccination programme. As of 13 th August 2021;2,583 patients have been recruited. We report herein the humoral and T cell immune response results from the first 600 participants recruited where serology data are available at baseline, pre-second vaccine dose (boost) and/or 4 weeks post second dose. We also include in the analysis, data obtained from 231 healthy individuals from the PITCH (Protective Immunity from T cells in Healthcare workers) study. Overall, in comparison to PITCH where 100% of tested individuals (n=93) generated anti-Spike antibodies after vaccine doses, 89% of patients within OCTAVE seroconverted 4 weeks after second vaccine dose. By corollary, approximately 11% of patients across all disease cohorts fail to generate antibodies that react to SARS-CoV-2 spike 4 weeks after two vaccines. Failure to generate spike reactive antibodies was found at a higher proportion in some specific patient subgroups, particularly AAV (72.4%), HD-IS (16.7%) and HepD (16.7%). Importantly, all recruited AAV patients had received Rituximab;a targeted B cell depletion therapy. Furthermore, even in those who seroconverted, 40% of patients across disease cohorts generate lower levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibody reactivity compared to healthy subjects after two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines;the functional significance of these findings in providing protection from subsequent SARS-CoV-2 exposure is not currently known. In contrast to the observed serological response, evaluation of the Spike-specific T cell response revealed that across all patient sub-groups (including AAV) a response similar to healthy individuals was generated. Our data argue strongly for further vaccination strategies to optimise humoral immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with chronic diseases and/or patients on immune suppressive therapies. Trial Registration: The trial is registered on ISRCTN 12821688.Funding: This work was supported by the Medical Research Council COVID-19 Immunity – National Core Study (IMM-NCS) [grant number MC-PC-20031]. Staff at the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU) are supported by a core funding grant from Cancer Research UK (C22436/A25354). PK and EB are supported by the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centres at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham Biomedical Research Centres. EB and PK are supported by an NIHR Senior Investigator award. PK is funded by WT109965MA. SJD is funded by an NIHR Global Research Professorship (NIHR300791). TdS is funded by a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship (110058/Z/15/Z). DS is supported by the NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer programme in Oxford. LT is supported by the Wellcome Trust (grant number 205228/Z/16/Z), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Medical Countermeasures Initiative contract 75F40120C00085. and the Nation l Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (NIHR200907) at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford. The PITCH (Protective Immunity from T cells to Covid-19 in Health workers) Consortium, is funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care with contributions from UKRI/NIHR through the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium (UKCIC), the Huo Family Foundation and The National Institute for Health Research (UKRIDHSC COVID-19 Rapid Response Rolling Call, Grant Reference Number COV19-RECPLAS).Declaration of Interest: None to declare. Ethical Approval: This study was approved by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency on the 5th February 2021 and the London and Chelsea Research Ethics Committee (REC Ref:21/HRA/0489) on 12th February 2021, with subsequent amendments approved on 3rd March 2021, 19th April 2021 and 26th April 2021).

19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310948

ABSTRACT

Background: Rapid mobilisation from industry and academia following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), led to the development and availability of SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow immunoassays (LFAs). High quality LFAs are urgently needed at the point of care to add to currently available diagnostic tools. In this study, we provide evaluation data for ten LFAs suitable for use at the point of care. Methods: COVID-19 positive patients (N=45), confirmed by reverse transcription – quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), were recruited through the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium - Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC4C) study. Sera collected from patients with influenza A (N=20), tuberculosis (N=5), individuals with previous flavivirus exposure (N=21), and healthy sera (N=4), collected pre-pandemic, were used as negative controls. Ten LFAs manufactured or distributed by ASBT Holdings Ltd, Cellex, Fortress Diagnostics, Nantong Egens Biotechnology, Mologic, NG Biotech, Nal von Minden and Suzhou Herui BioMed Co. were evaluated. Results: Compared to RT-qPCR, sensitivity of LFAs ranged from 87.0-95.7%. Specificity against pre-pandemic controls ranged between 92.0-100%. Compared to IgG ELISA, sensitivity and specificity ranged between 90.5-100% and 93.2-100%, respectively. Percentage agreement between LFAs and IgG ELISA ranged from 89.6-92.7%. Inter-test agreement between LFAs and IgG ELISA ranged between kappa=0.792-0.854. Conclusions: LFAs may serve as a useful tool for rapid confirmation of ongoing or previous infection in conjunction with clinical suspicion of COVID-19 in patients attending hospital. Impartial validation prior to commercial sale provides users with data that can inform best use settings.

20.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-305590

ABSTRACT

Background: Laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) uses PCR to detect viral RNA (vRNA) in respiratory samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other sample types, but there is limited understanding of the clinical or laboratory significance of its detection in blood. Methods: We undertook a systematic literature review to assimilate the evidence for the frequency of vRNA in blood, and to identify associated clinical characteristics. We performed RT-PCR in serum samples from a UK clinical cohort of acute and convalescent COVID-19 cases (n=212), together with convalescent plasma samples collected by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) (n=462 additional samples). To determine whether PCR-positive blood samples could pose an infection risk, we attempted virus isolation from a subset of RNA-positive samples. Results: We identified 28 relevant studies, reporting SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 0-76% of blood samples;pooled estimate 10% (95%CI 5-18%). Among serum samples from our clinical cohort, 27/212 (12.7%) had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected by RT-PCR. RNA detection occurred in samples up to day 20 post symptom onset, and was associated with more severe disease (multivariable odds ratio 7.5). Across all samples collected ≥28 days post symptom onset, 0/494 (0%, 95%CI 0-0.7%) had vRNA detected. Among our PCR-positive samples, cycle threshold (ct) values were high (range 33.5-44.8), suggesting low vRNA copy numbers. PCR-positive sera inoculated into cell culture did not produce any cytopathic effect or yield an increase in detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA. There was a relationship between RT-PCR negativity and the presence of total SARS-CoV-2 antibody (p=0.02). Conclusions: vRNA was detectable at low viral loads in a minority of serum samples collected in acute infection, but was not associated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 (within the limitations of the assays used). This work helps to inform biosafety precautions for handling blood products from patients with current or previous COVID-19.

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