Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 30
Filter
2.
Nat Med ; 2022 Jun 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908212

ABSTRACT

Three lineages (BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3) of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant of concern predominantly drove South Africa's fourth Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) wave. We have now identified two new lineages, BA.4 and BA.5, responsible for a fifth wave of infections. The spike proteins of BA.4 and BA.5 are identical, and similar to BA.2 except for the addition of 69-70 deletion (present in the Alpha variant and the BA.1 lineage), L452R (present in the Delta variant), F486V and the wild-type amino acid at Q493. The two lineages differ only outside of the spike region. The 69-70 deletion in spike allows these lineages to be identified by the proxy marker of S-gene target failure, on the background of variants not possessing this feature. BA.4 and BA.5 have rapidly replaced BA.2, reaching more than 50% of sequenced cases in South Africa by the first week of April 2022. Using a multinomial logistic regression model, we estimated growth advantages for BA.4 and BA.5 of 0.08 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.08-0.09) and 0.10 (95% CI: 0.09-0.11) per day, respectively, over BA.2 in South Africa. The continued discovery of genetically diverse Omicron lineages points to the hypothesis that a discrete reservoir, such as human chronic infections and/or animal hosts, is potentially contributing to further evolution and dispersal of the virus.

3.
Sci Transl Med ; : eabo7081, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874494

ABSTRACT

Understanding the build-up of immunity with successive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and the epidemiological conditions that favor rapidly expanding epidemics will help facilitate future pandemic control. We analyzed high-resolution infection and serology data from two longitudinal household cohorts in South Africa to reveal high cumulative infection rates and durable cross-protective immunity conferred by prior infection in the pre-Omicron era. Building on the history of past exposures to different SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination in the more representative urban cohort given South Africa's high urbanization rate, we used mathematical models to explore the fitness advantage of the Omicron variant and its epidemic trajectory. Modelling suggests the Omicron wave likely infected a large fraction (44% - 81%) of the population, leaving a complex landscape of population immunity primed and boosted with antigenically distinct variants. We project that future SARS-CoV-2 resurgences are likely under a range of scenarios of viral characteristics, population contacts, and residual cross-protection.

4.
Lancet Glob Health ; 10(7): e961-e969, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852287

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Up to the end of January, 2022, South Africa has had four recognisable COVID-19 pandemic waves, each predominantly dominated by one variant of concern: the ancestral strain with an Asp614Gly mutation during the first wave, the beta variant (B.1.351) during the second wave, the delta variant (B.1.617.2) during the third wave, and lastly, the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) during the fourth wave. We aimed to assess the clinical disease severity of patients admitted to hospital with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the omicron wave and compare the findings with those of the preceding three pandemic waves in South Africa. METHODS: We defined the start and end of each pandemic wave as the crossing of the threshold of weekly incidence of 30 laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases per 100 000 population. Hospital admission data were collected through an active national COVID-19-specific surveillance programme. We compared disease severity across waves by post-imputation random effect multivariable logistic regression models. Severe disease was defined as one or more of the following: acute respiratory distress, receipt of supplemental oxygen or mechanical ventilation, admission to intensive care, or death. FINDINGS: We analysed 335 219 laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 hospital admissions with a known outcome, constituting 10·4% of 3 216 179 cases recorded during the four waves. During the omicron wave, 52 038 (8·3%) of 629 617 cases were admitted to hospital, compared with 71 411 (12·9%) of 553 530 in the Asp614Gly wave, 91 843 (12·6%) of 726 772 in the beta wave, and 131 083 (10·0%) of 1 306 260 in the delta wave (p<0·0001). During the omicron wave, 15 421 (33·6%) of 45 927 patients admitted to hospital had severe disease, compared with 36 837 (52·3%) of 70 424 in the Asp614Gly wave, 57 247 (63·4%) of 90 310 in the beta wave, and 81 040 (63·0%) of 128 558 in the delta wave (p<0·0001). The in-hospital case-fatality ratio during the omicron wave was 10·7%, compared with 21·5% during the Asp614Gly wave, 28·8% during the beta wave, and 26·4% during the delta wave (p<0·0001). Compared with those admitted to hospital during the omicron wave, patients admitted during the other three waves had more severe clinical presentations (adjusted odds ratio 2·07 [95% CI 2·01-2·13] in the Asp614Gly wave, 3·59 [3·49-3·70] in the beta wave, and 3·47 [3·38-3·57] in the delta wave). INTERPRETATION: The trend of increasing cases and admissions across South Africa's first three waves shifted in the omicron wave, with a higher and quicker peak but fewer patients admitted to hospital, less clinically severe illness, and a lower case-fatality ratio compared with the preceding three waves. Omicron marked a change in the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic curve, clinical profile, and deaths in South Africa. Extrapolations to other populations should factor in differing vaccination and previous infection levels. FUNDING: National Institute for Communicable Diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
5.
Int J Infect Dis ; 118: 150-154, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838855

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: At present, it is unclear whether the extent of reduced risk of severe disease seen with SARS-Cov-2 Omicron variant infection is caused by a decrease in variant virulence or by higher levels of population immunity. METHODS: RdRp target delay (RTD) in the Seegene AllplexTM 2019-nCoV PCR assay is a proxy marker for the Delta variant. The absence of this proxy marker in the transition period was used to identify suspected Omicron infections. Cox regression was performed for the outcome of hospital admission in those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on the Seegene AllplexTM assay from November 1 to December 14, 2021 in the Western Cape Province, South Africa, in the public sector. Adjustments were made for vaccination status and prior diagnosis of infection. RESULTS: A total of 150 cases with RTD and 1486 cases without RTD were included. Cases without RTD had a lower hazard of admission (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.34-0.91). Complete vaccination was protective against admission, with an aHR of 0.45 (95% CI, 0.26-0.77). CONCLUSION: Omicron has resulted in a lower risk of hospital admission compared with contemporaneous Delta infection, when using the proxy marker of RTD. Under-ascertainment of reinfections with an immune escape variant remains a challenge to accurately assessing variant virulence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hepatitis D , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , South Africa/epidemiology , Survival Analysis
6.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335264

ABSTRACT

South Africa’s fourth COVID-19 wave was driven predominantly by three lineages (BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3) of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern. We have now identified two new lineages, BA.4 and BA.5. The spike proteins of BA.4 and BA.5 are identical, and comparable to BA.2 except for the addition of 69-70del, L452R, F486V and the wild type amino acid at Q493. The 69-70 deletion in spike allows these lineages to be identified by the proxy marker of S-gene target failure with the TaqPath™ COVID-19 qPCR assay. BA.4 and BA.5 have rapidly replaced BA.2, reaching more than 50% of sequenced cases in South Africa from the first week of April 2022 onwards. Using a multinomial logistic regression model, we estimate growth advantages for BA.4 and BA.5 of 0.08 (95% CI: 0.07 - 0.09) and 0.12 (95% CI: 0.09 - 0.15) per day respectively over BA.2 in South Africa.

7.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-335252

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant first emerged as the BA.1 sub-lineage, with extensive escape from neutralizing immunity elicited by previous infection with other variants, vaccines, or combinations of both 1,2 . Two new sub-lineages, BA.4 and BA.5, are now emerging in South Africa with changes relative to BA.1, including L452R and F486V mutations in the spike receptor binding domain. We isolated live BA.4 and BA.5 viruses and tested them against neutralizing immunity elicited to BA.1 infection in participants who were Omicron/BA.1 infected but unvaccinated (n=24) and participants vaccinated with Pfizer BNT162b2 or Johnson and Johnson Ad26.CoV.2S with breakthrough Omicron/BA.1 infection (n=15). In unvaccinated individuals, FRNT 50 , the inverse of the dilution for 50% neutralization, declined from 275 for BA.1 to 36 for BA.4 and 37 for BA.5, a 7.6 and 7.5-fold drop, respectively. In vaccinated BA.1 breakthroughs, FRNT 50 declined from 507 for BA.1 to 158 for BA.4 (3.2-fold) and 198 for BA.5 (2.6-fold). Absolute BA.4 and BA.5 neutralization levels were about 5-fold higher in this group versus unvaccinated BA.1 infected participants. The observed escape of BA.4 and BA.5 from BA.1 elicited immunity is more moderate than of BA.1 against previous immunity 1,3 . However, the low absolute neutralization levels for BA.4 and BA.5, particularly in the unvaccinated group, are unlikely to protect well against symptomatic infection 4 .This may indicate that, based on neutralization escape, BA.4 and BA.5 have potential to result in a new infection wave.

8.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We assessed SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding duration and magnitude amongst persons living with HIV (PLHIV). METHODS: From May through December 2020, we conducted a prospective cohort study at 20 hospitals in South Africa. Adults hospitalised with symptomatic COVID-19 were enrolled and followed every two days with nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal (NP/OP) swabs until documentation of cessation of SARS-CoV-2 shedding (two consecutive negative NP/OP swabs). Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing for SARS-CoV-2 was performed and Cycle-threshold (Ct) values <30 were considered a proxy for high SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Factors associated with prolonged shedding were assessed using accelerated time-failure Weibull regression models. RESULTS: Of 2,175 COVID-19 patients screened, 300 were enrolled and 257 individuals (155 HIV-uninfected and 102 PLHIV) had >1 swabbing visit (median 5 visits (range2-21)). Median time to cessation of shedding was 13 days (inter-quartile range (IQR)6-25) and did not differ significantly by HIV-infection. DISCUSSION: Amongst a subset of 94 patients (41 PLHIV and 53 HIV-uninfected) with initial respiratory sample Ct-value <30, median time of shedding at high SARS-CoV-2 viral load was 8 days (IQR4-17). This was significantly longer in PLHIV with CD4 count<200cells/µl, compared to HIV-uninfected persons (median 27 days (IQR8-43) versus 7 days (IQR 4-13); aHR 0.14, 95%CI 0.07-0.28, p<0.001), with similar results in unsuppressed-HIV versus HIV-uninfected persons. CONCLUSION: Although SARS-CoV-2 shedding duration did not differ significantly by HIV-infection, amongst a subset with high initial SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, immunocompromised PLHIV shed SARS-CoV-2 at high viral loads for longer than HIV-uninfected persons. Better HIV control may potentially decrease transmission time of SARS-CoV-2.

9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-334144

ABSTRACT

Background In South Africa 19% of the adult population aged 15-49 years are living with HIV (LWH). Few data on the influence of HIV on SARS-CoV-2 household transmission are available. Methods We performed a case-ascertained, prospective household transmission study of symptomatic index SARS-CoV-2 cases LWH and HIV-uninfected adults and their contacts in South Africa. Households were followed up thrice weekly for 6 weeks to collect nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 testing. We estimated household cumulative infection risk (HCIR), duration of SARS-CoV-2 positivity (at cycle threshold value<30 as proxy for high viral load), and assessed associated factors. Results We recruited 131 index cases and 457 household contacts. HCIR was 59% (220/373);not differing by index HIV status (60% [50/83] in cases LWH vs 58% [173/293] in HIV-uninfected cases, OR 1.0, 95%CI 0.4-2.3). HCIR increased with index case age (35-59 years: aOR 3.4 95%CI 1.5-7.8 and ≥60 years: aOR 3.1, 95%CI 1.0-10.1) compared to 18-34 years, and contacts’ age, 13-17 years (aOR 7.1, 95%CI 1.5-33.9) and 18-34 years (aOR 4.4, 95%CI 1.0-18.4) compared to <5 years. Mean positivity duration at high viral load was 7 days (range 2-28), with longer positivity in cases LWH (aHR 0.3, 95%CI 0.1-0.7). Conclusions HIV-infection was not associated with higher HCIR, but cases LWH had longer positivity duration at high viral load. Adults aged >35 years were more likely to transmit, and individuals aged 13-34 to acquire SARS-CoV-2 in the household. Health services must maintain HIV testing with initiation of antiretroviral therapy for those HIV-infected. Summary In this case-ascertained, prospective household transmission study, household cumulative infection risk was 59% from symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 index cases, not differing based on index HIV status. Index cases living with HIV were positive for SARS-CoV-2 for longer at higher viral loads.

10.
Trop Med Int Health ; 27(6): 564-573, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784751

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The objective was to compare COVID-19 outcomes in the Omicron-driven fourth wave with prior waves in the Western Cape, assess the contribution of undiagnosed prior infection to differences in outcomes in a context of high seroprevalence due to prior infection and determine whether protection against severe disease conferred by prior infection and/or vaccination was maintained. METHODS: In this cohort study, we included public sector patients aged ≥20 years with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis between 14 November and 11 December 2021 (wave four) and equivalent prior wave periods. We compared the risk between waves of the following outcomes using Cox regression: death, severe hospitalisation or death and any hospitalisation or death (all ≤14 days after diagnosis) adjusted for age, sex, comorbidities, geography, vaccination and prior infection. RESULTS: We included 5144 patients from wave four and 11,609 from prior waves. The risk of all outcomes was lower in wave four compared to the Delta-driven wave three (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] for death 0.27 [0.19; 0.38]. Risk reduction was lower when adjusting for vaccination and prior diagnosed infection (aHR: 0.41, 95% CI: 0.29; 0.59) and reduced further when accounting for unascertained prior infections (aHR: 0.72). Vaccine protection was maintained in wave four (aHR for outcome of death: 0.24; 95% CI: 0.10; 0.58). CONCLUSIONS: In the Omicron-driven wave, severe COVID-19 outcomes were reduced mostly due to protection conferred by prior infection and/or vaccination, but intrinsically reduced virulence may account for a modest reduction in risk of severe hospitalisation or death compared to the Delta-driven wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , South Africa/epidemiology , Young Adult
11.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1976, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783980

ABSTRACT

Global genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 has identified variants associated with increased transmissibility, neutralization resistance and disease severity. Here we report the emergence of the PANGO lineage C.1.2, detected at low prevalence in South Africa and eleven other countries. The initial C.1.2 detection is associated with a high substitution rate, and includes changes within the spike protein that have been associated with increased transmissibility or reduced neutralization sensitivity in SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern or variants of interest. Like Beta and Delta, C.1.2 shows significantly reduced neutralization sensitivity to plasma from vaccinees and individuals infected with the ancestral D614G virus. In contrast, convalescent donors infected with either Beta or Delta show high plasma neutralization against C.1.2. These functional data suggest that vaccine efficacy against C.1.2 will be equivalent to Beta and Delta, and that prior infection with either Beta or Delta will likely offer protection against C.1.2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
12.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(5): 1055-1058, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760190

ABSTRACT

By November 2021, after the third wave of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections in South Africa, seroprevalence was 60% in a rural community and 70% in an urban community. High seroprevalence before the Omicron variant emerged may have contributed to reduced illness severity observed in the fourth wave.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , South Africa/epidemiology
13.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(6): 821-834, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740327

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: By August, 2021, South Africa had been affected by three waves of SARS-CoV-2; the second associated with the beta variant and the third with the delta variant. Data on SARS-CoV-2 burden, transmission, and asymptomatic infections from Africa are scarce. We aimed to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 burden and transmission in one rural and one urban community in South Africa. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study of households in Agincourt, Mpumalanga province (rural site) and Klerksdorp, North West province (urban site) from July, 2020 to August, 2021. We randomly selected households for the rural site from a health and sociodemographic surveillance system and for the urban site using GPS coordinates. Households with more than two members and where at least 75% of members consented to participate were eligible. Midturbinate nasal swabs were collected twice a week from household members irrespective of symptoms and tested for SARS-CoV-2 using real-time RT-PCR (RT-rtPCR). Serum was collected every 2 months and tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Main outcomes were the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, frequency of reinfection, symptomatic fraction (percent of infected individuals with ≥1 symptom), the duration of viral RNA shedding (number of days of SARS-CoV-2 RT-rtPCR positivity), and the household cumulative infection risk (HCIR; number of infected household contacts divided by the number of susceptible household members). FINDINGS: 222 households (114 at the rural site and 108 at the urban site), and 1200 household members (643 at the rural site and 557 at the urban site) were included in the analysis. For 115 759 nasal specimens from 1200 household members (follow-up 92·5%), 1976 (1·7%) were SARS-CoV-2-positive on RT-rtPCR. By RT-rtPCR and serology combined, 749 of 1200 individuals (62·4% [95% CI 58·1-66·4]) had at least one SARS-CoV-2 infection episode, and 87 of 749 (11·6% [9·4-14·2]) were reinfected. The mean infection episode duration was 11·6 days (SD 9·0; range 4-137). Of 662 RT-rtPCR-confirmed episodes (>14 days after the start of follow-up) with available data, 97 (14·7% [11·9-17·9]) were symptomatic with at least one symptom (in individuals aged <19 years, 28 [7·5%] of 373 episodes symptomatic; in individuals aged ≥19 years, 69 [23·9%] of 289 episodes symptomatic). Among 222 households, 200 (90·1% [85·3-93·7]) had at least one SARS-CoV-2-positive individual on RT-rtPCR or serology. HCIR overall was 23·9% (195 of 817 susceptible household members infected [95% CI 19·8-28·4]). HCIR was 23·3% (20 of 86) for symptomatic index cases and 23·9% (175 of 731) for asymptomatic index cases (univariate odds ratio [OR] 1·0 [95% CI 0·5-2·0]). On multivariable analysis, accounting for age and sex, low minimum cycle threshold value (≤30 vs >30) of the index case (OR 5·3 [2·3-12·4]) and beta and delta variant infection (vs Wuhan-Hu-1, OR 3·3 [1·4-8·2] and 10·4 [4·1-26·7], respectively) were associated with increased HCIR. People living with HIV who were not virally supressed (≥400 viral load copies per mL) were more likely to develop symptomatic illness when infected with SAR-CoV-2 (OR 3·3 [1·3-8·4]), and shed SARS-CoV-2 for longer (hazard ratio 0·4 [95% CI 0·3-0·6]) compared with HIV-uninfected individuals. INTERPRETATION: In this study, 565 (85·3%) SARS-CoV-2 infections were asymptomatic and index case symptom status did not affect HCIR, suggesting a limited role for control measures targeting symptomatic individuals. Increased household transmission of beta and delta variants was likely to have contributed to successive waves of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with more than 60% of individuals infected by the end of follow-up. FUNDING: US CDC, South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Disease Susceptibility , Humans , Incidence , Prospective Studies , Reinfection , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa/epidemiology
14.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735548

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Seroprevalence studies are important for quantifying the burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections in resource-constrained countries. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional household survey spanning the second pandemic wave (November 2020 - April 2021) in three communities. Blood was collected for SARS-CoV-2 antibody (two ELISA assays targeting spike and nucleocapsid) and HIV testing. An individual was considered seropositive if testing positive on ≥1 assay. Factors associated with infection, and the age-standardised infection to case detection rate (ICR), infection hospitalisation rate (IHR) and infection fatality rate (IFR) were calculated. RESULTS: Overall 7959 participants were enrolled, with a median age of 34 years and HIV prevalence of 22.7%. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence was 45.2% (95% confidence interval 43.7% - 46.7%), and increased from 26.9% among individuals enrolled in December 2020 to 47.1% among individuals in April 2021. On multivariable analysis, seropositivity was associated with age, sex, race, being overweight/obese, having respiratory symptoms, and low socioeconomic status. Persons living with HIV (PLWHIV) with high viral load were less likely to be seropositive compared to HIV-uninfected individuals. The site-specific ICR, IHR and IFR ranged across sites from 4.4% to 8.2%, 1.2% to 2.5% and 0.3% to 0.6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: South Africa has experienced a large burden of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with <10% of infections diagnosed. Lower seroprevalence among non-virally suppressed PLWHIV, likely as a result of inadequate antibody production, highlights the need to prioritise this group for intervention.

15.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-329097

ABSTRACT

Background: Clinical severity of patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the Omicron (fourth) wave was assessed and compared to trends in the D614G (first), Beta (second), and Delta (third) waves in South Africa. Methods: Weekly incidence of 30 laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases/100,000 population defined the start and end of each wave. Hospital admission data were collected through an active national COVID-19-specific surveillance programme. Disease severity was compared across waves by post-imputation random effect multivariable logistic regression models. Severe disease was defined as one or more of acute respiratory distress, supplemental oxygen, mechanical ventilation, intensive-care admission or death. Results: 335,219 laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 admissions were analysed, constituting 10.4% of 3,216,179 cases recorded during the 4 waves. In the Omicron wave, 8.3% of cases were admitted to hospital (52,038/629,617) compared to 12.9% (71,411/553,530) in the D614G, 12.6% (91,843/726,772) in the Beta and 10.0% (131,083/1,306,260) in the Delta waves (p<0.001). During the Omicron wave, 33.6% of admissions experienced severe disease compared to 52.3%, 63.4% and 63.0% in the D614G, Beta and Delta waves (p<0.001). The in-hospital case fatality ratio during the Omicron wave was 10.7%, compared to 21.5%, 28.8% and 26.4% in the D614G, Beta and Delta waves (p<0.001). Compared to the Omicron wave, patients had more severe clinical presentations in the D614G (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.07;95% confidence interval [CI] 2.01-2.13), Beta (aOR 3.59;CI: 3.49-3.70) and Delta (aOR 3.47: CI: 3.38-3.57) waves. Conclusion: The trend of increasing cases and admissions across South Africa's first three waves shifted in Omicron fourth wave, with a higher and quicker peak but fewer admitted patients, who experienced less clinically severe illness and had a lower case-fatality ratio. Omicron marked a change in the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic curve, clinical profile and deaths in South Africa. Extrapolations to other populations should factor in differing vaccination and prior infection levels.

16.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327744

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Early data indicated that infection with Omicron BA.1 sub-lineage was associated with a lower risk of hospitalisation and severe illness, compared to Delta infection. Recently, the BA.2 sub-lineage has increased in many areas globally. We aimed to assess the severity of BA.2 infections compared to BA.1 in South Africa. We performed data linkages for (i) national COVID-19 case data, (ii) SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test data, and (iii) COVID-19 hospitalisations data, nationally. For cases identified using TaqPath COVID-19 PCR, infections were designated as S-gene target failure (SGTF, proxy for BA.1) or S-gene positive (proxy for BA.2). Disease severity was assessed using multivariable logistic regression models comparing individuals with S-gene positive infection to SGTF-infected individuals diagnosed between 1 December 2021 to 20 January 2022. From week 49 (starting 5 December 2021) through week 4 (ending 29 January 2022), the proportion of S-gene positive infections increased from 3% (931/31,271) to 80% (2,425/3,031). The odds of being admitted to hospital did not differ between individuals with S-gene positive (BA.2 proxy) infection compared to SGTF (BA.1 proxy) infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-1.09). Among hospitalised individuals, after controlling for factors associated with severe disease, the odds of severe disease did not differ for individuals with S-gene positive infection compared to SGTF infection (aOR 0.91, 95%CI 0.68-1.22). These data suggest that while BA.2 may have a competitive advantage over BA.1 in some settings, the clinical profile of illness remains similar.

17.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327638

ABSTRACT

Understanding the build-up of immunity with successive SARS-CoV-2 variants and the epidemiological conditions that favor rapidly expanding epidemics will facilitate future pandemic control. High-resolution infection and serology data from longitudinal household cohorts in South Africa reveal high cumulative infection rates and durable cross-protective immunity conferred by prior infection in the pre-Omicron era. Building on the cohort's history of past exposures to different SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccination, we use mathematical models to explore the fitness advantage of the Omicron variant and its epidemic trajectory. Modelling suggests the Omicron wave infected a large fraction of the population, leaving a complex landscape of population immunity primed and boosted with antigenically distinct variants. Future SARS-CoV-2 resurgences are likely under a range of scenarios of viral characteristics, population contacts, and residual cross-protection.

18.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327607

ABSTRACT

By November 2021, after the third SARS-CoV-2 wave in South Africa, seroprevalence was 60% (95%CrI 56%-64%) in a rural and 70% (95%CrI 56%-64%) in an urban community;highest in individuals aged 13-18 years. High seroprevalence prior to Omicron emergence may have contributed to reduced severity observed in the 4th wave.

19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314594

ABSTRACT

Introduction: We describe epidemiology and outcomes of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and admissions among children <18 years in South Africa, an upper-middle income setting with high inequality. Methods: Laboratory and hospital COVID-19 surveillance data, 28 January - 19 September 2020 was used. Testing rates were calculated as number of tested for SARS-CoV-2 divided by population at risk;test positivity rates were calculated as positive tests divided by total number of tests. In-hospital case fatality ratio (CFR) was calculated based on hospitalized positive admissions with outcome data who died in-hospital and death was judged SARS-CoV-2 related by attending physician. Findings: 315,570 children aged <18 years were tested for SARS-CoV-2;representing 8.9% of all 3,548,738 tests and 1.6% of all children in the country. Of children tested, 46,137 (14.6%) were positive. Children made up 2.9% (n=2,007) of all SARS-CoV-2 positive admissions to sentinel hospitals. Among children, 47 died (2.6% case-fatality). In-hospital deaths were associated with male sex [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.18 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.08 - 4.40)] vs female;age <1 year [aOR 4.11 (95% CI 1.08-15.54)], age 10-14 years [aOR 4.20 (95% CI1.07-16.44)], age 15-17 years [aOR 4.86 (95% 1.28 -18.51)] vs age 1-4 years;admission to a public hospital [aOR 5.07(95% 2.01 -12.76)] vs private hospital and ≥1 underlying conditions [aOR 12.09 (95% CI 4.19-34.89)] vs none Conclusions: Children with underlying conditions were at greater risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. Children > 10 years and those with underlying conditions should be considered for increased testing and vaccination.

20.
Lancet ; 399(10323): 437-446, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641746

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant of concern was identified in South Africa in November, 2021, and was associated with an increase in COVID-19 cases. We aimed to assess the clinical severity of infections with the omicron variant using S gene target failure (SGTF) on the Thermo Fisher Scientific TaqPath COVID-19 PCR test as a proxy. METHODS: We did data linkages for national, South African COVID-19 case data, SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test data, SARS-CoV-2 genome data, and COVID-19 hospital admissions data. For individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 via TaqPath PCR tests, infections were designated as either SGTF or non-SGTF. The delta variant was identified by genome sequencing. Using multivariable logistic regression models, we assessed disease severity and hospitalisations by comparing individuals with SGTF versus non-SGTF infections diagnosed between Oct 1 and Nov 30, 2021, and we further assessed disease severity by comparing SGTF-infected individuals diagnosed between Oct 1 and Nov 30, 2021, with delta variant-infected individuals diagnosed between April 1 and Nov 9, 2021. FINDINGS: From Oct 1 (week 39), 2021, to Dec 6 (week 49), 2021, 161 328 cases of COVID-19 were reported in South Africa. 38 282 people were diagnosed via TaqPath PCR tests and 29 721 SGTF infections and 1412 non-SGTF infections were identified. The proportion of SGTF infections increased from two (3·2%) of 63 in week 39 to 21 978 (97·9%) of 22 455 in week 48. After controlling for factors associated with hospitalisation, individuals with SGTF infections had significantly lower odds of admission than did those with non-SGTF infections (256 [2·4%] of 10 547 vs 121 [12·8%] of 948; adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·2, 95% CI 0·1-0·3). After controlling for factors associated with disease severity, the odds of severe disease were similar between hospitalised individuals with SGTF versus non-SGTF infections (42 [21%] of 204 vs 45 [40%] of 113; aOR 0·7, 95% CI 0·3-1·4). Compared with individuals with earlier delta variant infections, SGTF-infected individuals had a significantly lower odds of severe disease (496 [62·5%] of 793 vs 57 [23·4%] of 244; aOR 0·3, 95% CI 0·2-0·5), after controlling for factors associated with disease severity. INTERPRETATION: Our early analyses suggest a significantly reduced odds of hospitalisation among individuals with SGTF versus non-SGTF infections diagnosed during the same time period. SGTF-infected individuals had a significantly reduced odds of severe disease compared with individuals infected earlier with the delta variant. Some of this reduced severity is probably a result of previous immunity. FUNDING: The South African Medical Research Council, the South African National Department of Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the African Society of Laboratory Medicine, Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Fleming Fund.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Information Storage and Retrieval , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Odds Ratio , South Africa/epidemiology , Young Adult
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL