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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-338362

ABSTRACT

Accurate inference of who infected whom in an infectious disease outbreak is critical for the delivery of effective infection prevention and control. The increased resolution of pathogen whole-genome sequencing has significantly improved our ability to infer transmission events. Despite this, transmission inference often remains limited by the lack of genomic variation between the source case and infected contacts. Although within-host genetic diversity is common among a wide variety of pathogens, conventional whole-genome sequencing phylogenetic approaches to reconstruct outbreaks exclusively use consensus sequences, which consider only the most prevalent nucleotide at each position and therefore fail to capture low frequency variation within samples. We hypothesized that including within-sample variation in a phylogenetic model would help to identify who infected whom in instances in which this was previously impossible. Using whole-genome sequences from SARS-CoV-2 multi-institutional outbreaks as an example, we show how within-sample diversity is stable among repeated serial samples from the same host, is transmitted between those cases with known epidemiological links, and how this improves phylogenetic inference and our understanding of who infected whom. Our technique is applicable to other infectious diseases and has immediate clinical utility in infection prevention and control.

2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Post-vaccination infections challenge the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We matched 119 cases of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection with BNT162b2 mRNA, or ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, to 476 unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 (Sept 2020-March 2021), according to age and sex. Differences in 60-day all-cause mortality, hospital admission, and hospital length of stay were evaluated. Phylogenetic, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and minority variant allele (MVA) full genome sequencing analysis was performed. RESULTS: 116/119 cases developed COVID-19 post first vaccination dose (median 14 days, IQR 9 - 24 days). Overall, 13/119 (10∙9%) cases and 158/476 (33∙2%) controls died (p<0.001), corresponding to 4∙5 number needed to treat (NNT). Multivariably, vaccination was associated with 69∙3% (95%CI 45∙8 - 82∙6) relative risk (RR) reduction in mortality. Similar results were seen in subgroup analysis for patients with infection onset ≥14 days after first vaccination (RR reduction 65∙1%, 95%CI 27∙2 - 83∙2, NNT 4∙5), and across vaccine subgroups (BNT162b2: RR reduction 66%, 95%CI 34∙9 - 82∙2, NNT 4∙7, ChAdOx1: RR reduction 78∙4%, 95%CI 30∙4 - 93∙3, NNT 4∙1). Hospital admissions (OR 0∙80, 95%CI 0∙51 - 1∙28), and length of stay (-1∙89 days, 95%CI -4∙57 - 0∙78) were lower for cases, while Ct values were higher (30∙8 versus 28∙8, p = 0.053). B.1.1.7 was the predominant lineage in cases (100/108, 92.6%) and controls (341/446, 76.5%). Genomic analysis identified one post-vaccination case harboring the E484K vaccine escape mutation (B.1.525 lineage). CONCLUSIONS: Previous vaccination reduces mortality when B.1.1.7 is the predominant lineage. No significant lineage-specific genomic changes during phylogenetic, SNP and MVA analysis were detected.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327612

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Viral sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been used for outbreak investigation, but there is limited evidence supporting routine use for infection prevention and control (IPC) within hospital settings. Methods We conducted a prospective non-randomised trial of sequencing at 14 acute UK hospital trusts. Sites each had a 4-week baseline data-collection period, followed by intervention periods comprising 8 weeks of 'rapid' (<48h) and 4 weeks of 'longer-turnaround' (5-10 day) sequencing using a sequence reporting tool (SRT). Data were collected on all hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs;detected ≥48h from admission). The impact of the sequencing intervention on IPC knowledge and actions, and on incidence of probable/definite hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) was evaluated. Results A total of 2170 HOCI cases were recorded from October 2020-April 2021, with sequence reports returned for 650/1320 (49.2%) during intervention phases. We did not detect a statistically significant change in weekly incidence of HAIs in longer-turnaround (IRR 1.60, 95%CI 0.85-3.01;P=0.14) or rapid (0.85, 0.48-1.50;P=0.54) intervention phases compared to baseline phase. However, IPC practice was changed in 7.8% and 7.4% of all HOCI cases in rapid and longer-turnaround phases, respectively, and 17.2% and 11.6% of cases where the report was returned. In a per-protocol sensitivity analysis there was an impact on IPC actions in 20.7% of HOCI cases when the SRT report was returned within 5 days. Conclusion While we did not demonstrate a direct impact of sequencing on the incidence of nosocomial transmission, our results suggest that sequencing can inform IPC response to HOCIs, particularly when returned within 5 days.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322658

ABSTRACT

Background: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. Little is known about the impact their increased infectivity has on transmission within hospitals.Methods: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences.Findings: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages.Interpretation: Notwithstanding evidence from community studies that the Alpha variant is more transmissible, we find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.Funding Information: COG-UK HOCI funded by COG-UK consortium. The COG-UK consortium is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Genome Research Limited, operating as the Wellcome Sanger Institute.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for the HOCI study was provided by REC 20/EE/0118.

5.
Clinical case reports ; 10(2), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1678629

ABSTRACT

We report a case of new‐onset type 1 diabetes in a girl presenting with severe diabetic ketoacidosis, complicated by profound hypokalemia and hypernatremia. We describe the clinical course, management challenges, and the potential role of the concomitant COVID‐19 infection in the complexity of this case. COVID‐19 infection may have changed the presentation and severity of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in children with type 1 diabetes. Significant electrolyte abnormalities are rare at DKA presentation but can lead to additional challenges to management.

6.
Clin Case Rep ; 10(2): e05406, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669384

ABSTRACT

We report a case of new-onset type 1 diabetes in a girl presenting with severe diabetic ketoacidosis, complicated by profound hypokalemia and hypernatremia. We describe the clinical course, management challenges, and the potential role of the concomitant COVID-19 infection in the complexity of this case.

7.
J Med Virol ; 94(1): 161-172, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1544335

ABSTRACT

Detailed information on intrahost viral evolution in SARS-CoV-2 with and without treatment is limited. Sequential viral loads and deep sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 from the upper respiratory tract of nine hospitalized children, three of whom were treated with remdesivir, revealed that remdesivir treatment suppressed viral load in one patient but not in a second infected with an identical strain without any evidence of drug resistance found. Reduced levels of subgenomic RNA during treatment of the second patient, suggest an additional effect of remdesivir on viral replication. Haplotype reconstruction uncovered persistent SARS-CoV-2 variant genotypes in four patients. These likely arose from within-host evolution, although superinfection cannot be excluded in one case. Although our dataset is small, observed sample-to-sample heterogeneity in variant frequencies across four of nine patients suggests the presence of discrete viral populations in the lung with incomplete population sampling in diagnostic swabs. Such compartmentalization could compromise the penetration of remdesivir into the lung, limiting the drugs in vivo efficacy, as has been observed in other lung infections.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adolescent , Alanine/therapeutic use , Child , Child, Preschool , Drug Resistance, Viral , Female , Haplotypes , Humans , Infant , Lung/virology , Male , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
Lancet ; 398(10318): 2277-2287, 2021 12 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510437

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Concomitant administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines could reduce burden on health-care systems. We aimed to assess the safety of concomitant administration of ChAdOx1 or BNT162b2 plus an age-appropriate influenza vaccine. METHODS: In this multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 4 trial, adults in receipt of a single dose of ChAdOx1 or BNT162b2 were enrolled at 12 UK sites and randomly assigned (1:1) to receive concomitant administration of either an age-appropriate influenza vaccine or placebo alongside their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 3 weeks later the group who received placebo received the influenza vaccine, and vice versa. Participants were followed up for 6 weeks. The influenza vaccines were three seasonal, inactivated vaccines (trivalent, MF59C adjuvanted or a cellular or recombinant quadrivalent vaccine). Participants and investigators were masked to the allocation. The primary endpoint was one or more participant-reported solicited systemic reactions in the 7 days after first trial vaccination(s), with a difference of less than 25% considered non-inferior. Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. Local and unsolicited systemic reactions and humoral responses were also assessed. The trial is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN14391248. FINDINGS: Between April 1 and June 26, 2021, 679 participants were recruited to one of six cohorts, as follows: 129 ChAdOx1 plus cellular quadrivalent influenza vaccine, 139 BNT162b2 plus cellular quadrivalent influenza vaccine, 146 ChAdOx1 plus MF59C adjuvanted, trivalent influenza vaccine, 79 BNT162b2 plus MF59C adjuvanted, trivalent influenza vaccine, 128 ChAdOx1 plus recombinant quadrivalent influenza vaccine, and 58 BNT162b2 plus recombinant quadrivalent influenza vaccine. 340 participants were assigned to concomitant administration of influenza and a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at day 0 followed by placebo at day 21, and 339 participants were randomly assigned to concomitant administration of placebo and a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at day 0 followed by influenza vaccine at day 21. Non-inferiority was indicated in four cohorts, as follows: ChAdOx1 plus cellular quadrivalent influenza vaccine (risk difference for influenza vaccine minus placebos -1·29%, 95% CI -14·7 to 12·1), BNT162b2 plus cellular quadrivalent influenza vaccine (6·17%, -6·27 to 18·6), BNT162b2 plus MF59C adjuvanted, trivalent influenza vaccine (-12·9%, -34·2 to 8·37), and ChAdOx1 plus recombinant quadrivalent influenza vaccine (2·53%, -13·3 to 18·3). In the other two cohorts, the upper limit of the 95% CI exceeded the 0·25 non-inferiority margin (ChAdOx1 plus MF59C adjuvanted, trivalent influenza vaccine 10·3%, -5·44 to 26·0; BNT162b2 plus recombinant quadrivalent influenza vaccine 6·75%, -11·8 to 25·3). Most systemic reactions to vaccination were mild or moderate. Rates of local and unsolicited systemic reactions were similar between the randomly assigned groups. One serious adverse event, hospitalisation with severe headache, was considered related to the trial intervention. Immune responses were not adversely affected. INTERPRETATION: Concomitant vaccination with ChAdOx1 or BNT162b2 plus an age-appropriate influenza vaccine raises no safety concerns and preserves antibody responses to both vaccines. Concomitant vaccination with both COVID-19 and influenza vaccines over the next immunisation season should reduce the burden on health-care services for vaccine delivery, allowing for timely vaccine administration and protection from COVID-19 and influenza for those in need. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Policy Research Programme.


Subject(s)
/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom , Vaccines, Inactivated
10.
J Infect ; 83(6): 693-700, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. We sought to determine whether this also resulted in increased transmission within hospitals. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences. RESULTS: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages. CONCLUSIONS: We find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
11.
EBioMedicine ; 72: 103595, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Favipiravir and Molnupiravir, orally available antivirals, have been reported to exert antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. First efficacy data have been recently reported in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We here report on the combined antiviral effect of both drugs in a SARS-CoV-2 Syrian hamster infection model. The infected hamsters were treated twice daily with the vehicle (the control group) or a suboptimal dose of each compound or a combination of both compounds. FINDINGS: When animals were treated with a combination of suboptimal doses of Molnupiravir and Favipiravir at the time of infection, a marked combined potency at endpoint is observed. Infectious virus titers in the lungs of animals treated with the combination are reduced by ∼5 log10 and infectious virus are no longer detected in the lungs of >60% of treated animals. When start of treatment was delayed with one day a reduction of titers in the lungs of 2.4 log10 was achieved. Moreover, treatment of infected animals nearly completely prevented transmission to co-housed untreated sentinels. Both drugs result in an increased mutation frequency of the remaining viral RNA recovered from the lungs of treated animals. In the combo-treated hamsters, an increased frequency of C-to-T mutations in the viral RNA is observed as compared to the single treatment groups which may explain the pronounced antiviral potency of the combination. INTERPRETATION: Our findings may lay the basis for the design of clinical studies to test the efficacy of the combination of Molnupiravir/Favipiravir in the treatment of COVID-19. FUNDING: stated in the acknowledgment.


Subject(s)
Amides/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Hydroxylamines/therapeutic use , Lung/virology , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Amides/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/transmission , Cytidine/pharmacology , Cytidine/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hydroxylamines/pharmacology , Mesocricetus , Pyrazines/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Treatment Outcome , Viral Load
12.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: 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 November 2020 to 10 January 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. FINDINGS: 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 HR for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.28, p=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75 to 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 to 1.78, p=0.096) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.90, p=0.011) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.10, p=0.177; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.04, p=0.086). INTERPRETATION: 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 with 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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , United Kingdom , Young Adult
13.
Sci Med Footb ; 5(sup1): 32-37, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429146

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent suspension of all football-related activity, caused significant disruption to the daily habits of professional football players and support staff. Even when the most severe restrictions were lifted, strict control measures remained in place which likely continued to impact upon nutrition support and intake of players. Thus, this study aimed to understand how restrictions impacted upon nutrition support within professional football, as well as identify how these experiences could inform future practice. Interviews were conducted with twelve sports nutritionists and twelve male professional football players to explore their perspectives of nutrition provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thematic analysis indicated three common outcomes: (a) Sub-optimal Nutrition Provision; (b) Reduction in Time with or Access to Players, and; (c) Adaption of Nutrition Practice and/or Dietary Habits. In sum, football clubs should consider the immediate and short-term impact of COVID-19 restrictive measures as players' transition back to normality. Specifically, clubs should provide sports nutritionists with greater capacity to control the nutrition provision, including portion size and food quality. Looking ahead, sports nutritionists are encouraged to reflect upon the novel opportunities that have emerged and consider how these may enhance long-term practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Football , Nutritionists , Athletes , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Aug 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364783

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Post-vaccination infections challenge the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We matched 119 cases of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection with BNT162b2 mRNA, or ChAdOx1 nCOV-19, to 476 unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 (Sept 2020-March 2021), according to age and sex. Differences in 60-day all-cause mortality, hospital admission, and hospital length of stay were evaluated. Phylogenetic, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and minority variant allele (MVA) full genome sequencing analysis was performed. RESULTS: 116/119 cases developed COVID-19 post first vaccination dose (median 14 days, IQR 9 - 24 days). Overall, 13/119 (10∙9%) cases and 158/476 (33∙2%) controls died (p<0.001), corresponding to 4∙5 number needed to treat (NNT). Multivariably, vaccination was associated with 69∙3% (95%CI 45∙8 - 82∙6) relative risk (RR) reduction in mortality. Similar results were seen in subgroup analysis for patients with infection onset ≥14 days after first vaccination (RR reduction 65∙1%, 95%CI 27∙2 - 83∙2, NNT 4∙5), and across vaccine subgroups (BNT162b2: RR reduction 66%, 95%CI 34∙9 - 82∙2, NNT 4∙7, ChAdOx1: RR reduction 78∙4%, 95%CI 30∙4 - 93∙3, NNT 4∙1). Hospital admissions (OR 0∙80, 95%CI 0∙51 - 1∙28), and length of stay (-1∙89 days, 95%CI -4∙57 - 0∙78) were lower for cases, while Ct values were higher (30∙8 versus 28∙8, p = 0.053). B.1.1.7 was the predominant lineage in cases (100/108, 92.6%) and controls (341/446, 76.5%). Genomic analysis identified one post-vaccination case harboring the E484K vaccine escape mutation (B.1.525 lineage). CONCLUSIONS: Previous vaccination reduces mortality when B.1.1.7 is the predominant lineage. No significant lineage-specific genomic changes during phylogenetic, SNP and MVA analysis were detected.

15.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 1(3): 100037, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356293

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is the main diagnostic assay used to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in respiratory samples. RT-qPCR is performed by specifically targeting the viral genome using complementary oligonucleotides called primers and probes. This approach relies on prior knowledge of the genetic sequence of the target. Viral genetic variants with changes to the primer/probe binding region may reduce the performance of PCR assays and have the potential to cause assay failure. In this work we demonstrate how two single nucleotide variants (SNVs) altered the amplification curve of a diagnostic PCR targeting the Nucleocapsid (N) gene and illustrate how threshold setting can lead to false-negative results even where the variant sequence is amplified. We also describe how in silico analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences available in the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) and GISAID databases was performed to predict the impact of sequence variation on the performance of 22 published PCR assays. The vast majority of published primer and probe sequences contain sequence mismatches with at least one SARS-CoV-2 lineage. We recommend that visual observation of amplification curves is included as part of laboratory quality procedures, even in high throughput settings where thresholds are set automatically and that in silico analysis is used to monitor the potential impact of new variants on established assays. Ideally comprehensive in silico analysis should be applied to guide selection of highly conserved genomic regions to target with future SARS-CoV-2 PCR assays.

16.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(43): 26955-26965, 2020 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841910

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly spread around the globe after its emergence in Wuhan in December 2019. With no specific therapeutic and prophylactic options available, the virus has infected millions of people of which more than half a million succumbed to the viral disease, COVID-19. The urgent need for an effective treatment together with a lack of small animal infection models has led to clinical trials using repurposed drugs without preclinical evidence of their in vivo efficacy. We established an infection model in Syrian hamsters to evaluate the efficacy of small molecules on both infection and transmission. Treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters with a low dose of favipiravir or hydroxychloroquine with(out) azithromycin resulted in, respectively, a mild or no reduction in virus levels. However, high doses of favipiravir significantly reduced infectious virus titers in the lungs and markedly improved lung histopathology. Moreover, a high dose of favipiravir decreased virus transmission by direct contact, whereas hydroxychloroquine failed as prophylaxis. Pharmacokinetic modeling of hydroxychloroquine suggested that the total lung exposure to the drug did not cause the failure. Our data on hydroxychloroquine (together with previous reports in macaques and ferrets) thus provide no scientific basis for the use of this drug in COVID-19 patients. In contrast, the results with favipiravir demonstrate that an antiviral drug at nontoxic doses exhibits a marked protective effect against SARS-CoV-2 in a small animal model. Clinical studies are required to assess whether a similar antiviral effect is achievable in humans without toxic effects.


Subject(s)
Amides/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Amides/pharmacokinetics , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacokinetics , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Pyrazines/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects
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