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2.
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.

3.
Wellcome open research ; 5, 2020.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1679256

ABSTRACT

Background: This study aimed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) testing of upper respiratory tract samples from hospitalised patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), compared to the gold standard of a clinical diagnosis. Methods: All RT-PCR testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in NHS Lothian, Scotland, United Kingdom between the 7 th of February and 19 th April 2020 (inclusive) was reviewed, and hospitalised patients were identified. All upper respiratory tract RT-PCR tests were analysed for each patient to determine the sequence of negative and positive results. For those who were tested twice or more but never received a positive result, case records were reviewed, and a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 allocated based on clinical features, discharge diagnosis, and radiology and haematology results. For those who had a negative RT-PCR test but a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, respiratory samples were retested using a multiplex respiratory panel, a second SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay, and a human RNase P control. Results: Compared to the gold standard of a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19, the sensitivity of a single upper respiratory tract RT-PCR for COVID-19 was 82.2% (95% confidence interval 79.0-85.1%).   The sensitivity of two upper respiratory tract RT-PCR tests increased sensitivity to 90.6% (CI 88.0-92.7%). A further 2.2% and 0.9% of patients who received a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 were positive on a third and fourth test;this may be an underestimate of the value of further testing as the majority of patients 93.0% (2999/3226) only had one or two RT-PCR tests. Conclusions: The sensitivity of a single RT-PCR test of upper respiratory tract samples in hospitalised patients is 82.2%. Sensitivity increases to 90.6% when patients are tested twice.  A proportion of cases with clinically defined COVID-19 never test positive on RT-PCR despite repeat testing.

5.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 120, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378499

ABSTRACT

Background: Bronchiolitis (most frequently caused by respiratory syncytial virus; RSV) is a common winter disease predominantly affecting children under one year of age. It is a common reason for presentations to an emergency department (ED) and frequently results in hospital admission, contributing to paediatric units approaching or exceeding capacity each winter. During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the circulation of RSV was dramatically reduced in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Evidence from the Southern Hemisphere and other European countries suggests that as social distancing restrictions for SARS-CoV-2 are relaxed, RSV infection returns, causing delayed or even summer epidemics, with different age distributions. Study question: The ability to track, anticipate and respond to a surge in RSV cases is critical for planning acute care delivery. There is an urgent need to understand the onset of RSV spread at the earliest opportunity. This will influence service planning, to inform clinicians whether the population at risk is a wider age range than normal, and whether there are changes in disease severity. This information is also needed to inform decision on the timing of passive immunisation of children at higher risk of hospitalisation, intensive care admission or death with RSV infection, which is a public health priority. Methods and likely impact: This multi-centre prospective observational cohort study will use a well-established research network (Paediatric Emergency Research in the UK and Ireland, PERUKI) to report in real time cases of RSV infection in children aged under two years, through the collection of  essential, but non-identifying patient information. Forty-five centres will gather initial data on age, index of multiple deprivation quintile, clinical features on presentation, and co-morbidities. Each case will be followed up at seven days to identify treatment, viral diagnosis and outcome.  Information be released on a weekly basis and used to support clinical decision making.

6.
Euro Surveill ; 26(29)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323059

ABSTRACT

The non-pharmaceutical interventions implemented to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have had consequences on the transmission of other respiratory viruses, most notably paediatric respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza. At the beginning of 2020, lockdown measures in the southern hemisphere led to a winter season with a marked reduction in both infections. Intermittent lockdowns in the northern hemisphere also appeared to interrupt transmission during winter 2020/21. However, a number of southern and northern hemisphere countries have now seen delayed RSV peaks. We examine the implications of these unpredictable disease dynamics for health service delivery in Europe, such as paediatric hospital and intensive care bed space planning, or palivizumab prophylaxis. We discuss the challenges for RSV vaccine trials and influenza immunisation campaigns, and highlight the considerable research opportunities that have arisen with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We argue that the rapid advances in viral whole genome sequencing, phylogenetic analysis, and open data sharing during the pandemic are applicable to the ongoing surveillance of RSV and influenza. Lastly, we outline actions to prepare for forthcoming influenza seasons and for future implementation of RSV vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Europe , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Phylogeny , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(6): 1-9, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304577

ABSTRACT

Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the leading viral cause of serious pediatric respiratory disease, and lifelong reinfections are common. Its 2 major subgroups, A and B, exhibit some antigenic variability, enabling HRSV to circulate annually. Globally, research has increased the number of HRSV genomic sequences available. To ensure accurate molecular epidemiology analyses, we propose a uniform nomenclature for HRSV-positive samples and isolates, and HRSV sequences, namely: HRSV/subgroup identifier/geographic identifier/unique sequence identifier/year of sampling. We also propose a template for submitting associated metadata. Universal nomenclature would help researchers retrieve and analyze sequence data to better understand the evolution of this virus.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Child , Genetic Variation , Genotype , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics
8.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 388, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213927

ABSTRACT

The practices of synthetic biology are being integrated into 'multiscale' designs enabling two-way communication across organic and inorganic information substrates in biological, digital and cyber-physical system integrations. Novel applications of 'bio-informational' engineering will arise in environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, precision medicine and next-generation biomanufacturing. Potential developments include sentinel plants for environmental monitoring and autonomous bioreactors that respond to biosensor signaling. As bio-informational understanding progresses, both natural and engineered biological systems will need to be reimagined as cyber-physical architectures. We propose that a multiple length scale taxonomy will assist in rationalizing and enabling this transformative development in engineering biology.


Subject(s)
Bioengineering/trends , Forecasting , Synthetic Biology/trends , Bioengineering/methods , Synthetic Biology/methods
9.
Vaccine ; 39(21): 2811-2820, 2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199115

ABSTRACT

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of serious lower respiratory tract illness in infants and children and causes significant disease in the elderly and immunocompromised. Recently there has been an acceleration in the development of candidate RSV vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and therapeutics. However, the effects of RSV genomic variability on the implementation of vaccines and therapeutics remain poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Fogarty International Center held a workshop to summarize what is known about the global burden and transmission of RSV disease, the phylogeographic dynamics and genomics of the virus, and the networks that exist to improve the understanding of RSV disease. Discussion at the workshop focused on the implications of viral evolution and genomic variability for vaccine and therapeutics development in the context of various immunization strategies. This paper summarizes the meeting, highlights research gaps and future priorities, and outlines what has been achieved since the meeting took place. It concludes with an examination of what the RSV community can learn from our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 genomics and what insights over sixty years of RSV research can offer the rapidly evolving field of COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccines , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Genomics , Humans , Infant , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Arch Dis Child ; 106(9): 911-917, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033181

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine the indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on paediatric healthcare utilisation and severe disease at a national level following lockdown on 23 March 2020. DESIGN: National retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Emergency childhood primary and secondary care providers across Scotland; two national paediatric intensive care units (PICUs); statutory death records. PARTICIPANTS: 273 455 unscheduled primary care attendances; 462 437 emergency department attendances; 54 076 emergency hospital admissions; 413 PICU unplanned emergency admissions requiring invasive mechanical ventilation; and 415 deaths during the lockdown study period and equivalent dates in previous years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rates of emergency care consultations, attendances and admissions; clinical severity scores on presentation to PICU; rates and causes of childhood death. For all data sets, rates during the lockdown period were compared with mean or aggregated rates for the equivalent dates in 2016-2019. RESULTS: The rates of emergency presentations to primary and secondary care fell during lockdown in comparison to previous years. Emergency PICU admissions for children requiring invasive mechanical ventilation also fell as a proportion of cases for the entire population, with an OR of 0.52 for likelihood of admission during lockdown (95% CI 0.37 to 0.73), compared with the equivalent period in previous years. Clinical severity scores did not suggest children were presenting with more advanced disease. The greatest reduction in PICU admissions was for diseases of the respiratory system; those for injury, poisoning or other external causes were equivalent to previous years. Mortality during lockdown did not change significantly compared with 2016-2019. CONCLUSIONS: National lockdown led to a reduction in paediatric emergency care utilisation, without associated evidence of severe harm.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Hospitalization/trends , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Adolescent , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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