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1.
World J Pediatr ; 18(8): 545-552, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1943236

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Human adenovirus (HAdV) infection can cause a variety of diseases. It is a major pathogen of pediatric acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) and can be life-threatening in younger children. We described the epidemiology and subtypes shifting of HAdV among children with ARI in Guangzhou, China. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 161,079 children diagnosed with acute respiratory illness at the Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center between 2010 and 2021. HAdV specimens were detected by real-time PCR and the hexon gene was used for phylogenetic analysis. RESULTS: Before the COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou, the annual frequency of adenovirus infection detected during this period ranged from 3.92% to 13.58%, with an epidemic peak every four to five years. HAdV demonstrated a clear seasonal distribution, with the lowest positivity in March and peaking during summer (July or August) every year. A significant increase in HAdV cases was recorded for 2018 and 2019, which coincided with a shift in the dominant HAdV subtype from HAdV-3 to HAdV-7. The latter was associated with a more severe disease compared to HAdV-3. The average mortality proportion for children infected with HAdV from 2016 to 2019 was 0.38% but increased to 20% in severe cases. After COVID-19 emerged, HAdV cases dropped to 2.68%, suggesting that non-pharmaceutical interventions probably reduced the transmission of HAdV in the community. CONCLUSION: Our study provides the foundation for the understanding of the epidemiology of HAdV and its associated risks in children in Southern China.


Subject(s)
Adenovirus Infections, Human , Adenoviruses, Human , COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adenovirus Infections, Human/diagnosis , Adenovirus Infections, Human/epidemiology , Adenoviruses, Human/genetics , Child , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Molecular Epidemiology , Phylogeny , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Retrospective Studies
2.
J Thorac Dis ; 14(6): 1794-1801, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934830

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has placed enormous diagnostic burden on hospitals and testing laboratories. It is thus critical for such facilities to optimize the diagnostic process to enable maximum testing on minimum resources. The current standard of diagnosis is the detection of the viral nucleic acid in clinical specimens. Methods: In order to optimize the laboratory's nucleic acid testing system for COVID-19, we performed a Discrete-Event-Simulation using the Arena Simulation Software to model the detection process based on the data obtained from the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University (FAHGMU). The maximum of total time that specimens spent and the equipment consumption was compared under different scenarios in the model. Results: Seven scenarios were performed to simulate actual situation and improved situations. We analyzed conditions that adding a new nucleic acid extraction system (NAES), shifting a member from night duty to morning duty, using specimen tubes containing guanidine isothiocyanate (GITC), then tested the maximum testing capacity in the current number of technicians. In addition, the costs including personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits was calculated. Conclusions: A work schedule based on specimen-load improves efficiency without incurring additional costs, while using the specimen tubes containing GITC could reduce testing time by 30 min. In contrast, adding new NAESs or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instruments has minimal impact on testing efficiency.

3.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879106

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and its overlap with the influenza season lead to concerns over severe disease caused by the influenza virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) co-infections. Using a Syrian hamster co-infection model with SARS-CoV-2 and the pandemic influenza virus A/California/04/2009 (H1N1), we found (a) more severe disease in co-infected animals, compared to those infected with influenza virus alone but not SARS-CoV-2 infection alone; (b) altered haematological changes in only co-infected animals and (c) altered influenza virus tropism in the respiratory tracts of co-infected animals. Overall, our study revealed that co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus is associated with altered disease severity and tissue tropism, as well as haematological changes, compared to infection with either virus alone.

4.
Arch Virol ; 167(3): 871-879, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1680885

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Other coronaviruses (CoVs) can also infect humans, although the majority cause only mild respiratory symptoms. Because early diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for preventing further transmission events and improving clinical outcomes, it is important to be able to distinguish SARS-CoV-2 from other SARS-related CoVs in respiratory samples. Therefore, we developed and evaluated a novel reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) assay targeting the genes encoding the spike (S) and membrane (M) proteins to enable the rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2, including several new circulating variants and other emerging SARS-like CoVs. By analysis of in vitro-transcribed mRNA, we established multiplex RT-qPCR assays capable of detecting 5 × 10° copies/reaction. Using RNA extracted from cell culture supernatants, our multiple simultaneous SARS-CoV-2 assays had a limit of detection of 1 × 10° TCID50/mL and showed no cross-reaction with human CoVs or other respiratory viruses. We also validated our method using human clinical samples from patients with COVID-19 and healthy individuals, including nasal swab and sputum samples. This novel one-step multiplex RT-qPCR assay can be used to improve the laboratory diagnosis of human-pathogenic CoVs, including SARS-CoV-2, and may be useful for the identification of other SARS-like CoVs of zoonotic origin.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
5.
Vaccines ; 10(1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1639960

ABSTRACT

Subtype H3N2 influenza A viruses (A(H3N2)) have been the dominant strain in some countries in the Western Pacific region since the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza;however, low vaccine effectiveness has been reported in some influenza seasons, especially for A(H3N2). Antigenic mismatch introduced by egg-adaptation during vaccine production between the vaccine and circulating viral stains is one of the reasons for low vaccine effectiveness. Here we review the extent of this phenomenon, the underlying molecular mechanisms and discuss recent strategies to ameliorate this, including new vaccine platforms that may provide better protection and should be considered to reduce the impact of A(H3N2) in the Western Pacific region.

6.
Pathogens ; 10(11)2021 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524101

ABSTRACT

Guangdong province, located in South China, is an important economic hub with a large domestic migrant population and was among the earliest areas to report COVID-19 cases outside of Wuhan. We conducted a cross-sectional, age-stratified serosurvey to determine the seroprevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 after the emergence of COVID-19 in Guangdong. We tested 14,629 residual serum samples that were submitted for clinical testing from 21 prefectures between March and June 2020 for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using a magnetic particle based chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay and validated the results using a pseudovirus neutralization assay. We found 21 samples positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG, resulting in an estimated age- and sex-weighted seroprevalence of 0.15% (95% CI: 0.06-0.24%). The overall age-specific seroprevalence was 0.07% (95% CI: 0.01-0.24%) in persons up to 9 years old, 0.22% (95% CI: 0.03-0.79%) in persons aged 10-19, 0.16% (95% CI: 0.07-0.33%) in persons aged 20-39, 0.13% (95% CI: 0.03-0.33%) in persons aged 40-59 and 0.18% (95% CI: 0.07-0.40%) in persons ≥60 years old. Fourteen (67%) samples had pseudovirus neutralization titers to S-protein, suggesting most of the IgG-positive samples were true-positives. Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 was low, indicating that there were no hidden epidemics during this period. Vaccination is urgently needed to increase population immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292354

ABSTRACT

The pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized as an acute respiratory infection in the majority of cases and is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, other coronaviruses (CoVs) can infect humans, although the majority only cause mild respiratory symptoms. As early diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 is critical to prevent further transmission events and to improve clinical outcomes, it is important to be able to distinguish SARS-CoV-2 from other CoVs in respiratory samples. Therefore, we developed and evaluated a novel quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) assay, targeting the spike (S) and membrane (M) genes, to enable the rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2 including several new circulating variants, and other emerging pan-SARS-like CoVs. Using RNA extracted from cell culture supernatants, our multiple simultaneous SARS-CoV-2 assays confirmed a limit of detection of 1 × 10 0 TCID 50 /ml and no cross-reaction with human coronaviruses or other respiratory viruses. We also validated our method using human clinical samples from COVID-19 patients and healthy individuals, including nasal swab and sputum samples. This novel one-step multiplex RT-qPCR assay can be used to improve the laboratory diagnosis of human-pathogenic coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and may be useful for the identification of other pan-SARS-like CoVs of zoonotic origin.

8.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 30, 2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1097198

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since early February 2021, the causative agent of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, has infected over 104 million people with more than 2 million deaths according to official reports. The key to understanding the biology and virus-host interactions of SARS-CoV-2 requires the knowledge of mutation and evolution of this virus at both inter- and intra-host levels. However, despite quite a few polymorphic sites identified among SARS-CoV-2 populations, intra-host variant spectra and their evolutionary dynamics remain mostly unknown. METHODS: Using high-throughput sequencing of metatranscriptomic and hybrid captured libraries, we characterized consensus genomes and intra-host single nucleotide variations (iSNVs) of serial samples collected from eight patients with COVID-19. The distribution of iSNVs along the SARS-CoV-2 genome was analyzed and co-occurring iSNVs among COVID-19 patients were identified. We also compared the evolutionary dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 population in the respiratory tract (RT) and gastrointestinal tract (GIT). RESULTS: The 32 consensus genomes revealed the co-existence of different genotypes within the same patient. We further identified 40 intra-host single nucleotide variants (iSNVs). Most (30/40) iSNVs presented in a single patient, while ten iSNVs were found in at least two patients or identical to consensus variants. Comparing allele frequencies of the iSNVs revealed a clear genetic differentiation between intra-host populations from the respiratory tract (RT) and gastrointestinal tract (GIT), mostly driven by bottleneck events during intra-host migrations. Compared to RT populations, the GIT populations showed a better maintenance and rapid development of viral genetic diversity following the suspected intra-host bottlenecks. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings here illustrate the intra-host bottlenecks and evolutionary dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in different anatomic sites and may provide new insights to understand the virus-host interactions of coronaviruses and other RNA viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Genome, Viral/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Gene Frequency , Genotype , Haplotypes , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
9.
J Thorac Dis ; 12(8): 4434-4449, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-782595

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused nations to adopt unprecedented control measures in order to curb its spread. As the first nation to respond, China's aggressive control measures appeared to have been effective in suppressing the first wave and keeping new cases under control. Here, we provide the historical context and details of China's public health response to COVID-19. We highlight the lessons and impact of the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, which demonstrated the importance of transparency, surveillance and testing laboratories during an outbreak. We provide an overview of China's response strategy that was based on the principles of early detection, isolation, management and treatment and involved not only the large-scale coordination of multiple governmental bodies but also grass-root community participation throughout the country. These community-based organizations conducted active surveillance for febrile cases and provided support for those in quarantine and communities in lockdown. Importantly, these broader measures were supported by digital technology, including the extensive use of internet-based platforms and mobile applications (APPs). While there have been no significant increases in case numbers since April, there is still much concern over a second wave, considering the resumption of work and school, the lifting of travel restrictions and the outbreaks occurring globally. Control measures has since been implemented by provincial authorities, which includes continued surveillance and rapid testing. Although China's strict control measures may not suit every nation, the principles of early detection and isolation continue to hold true and have been a cornerstone of the initial and ongoing response to the COVID-19.

10.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 15(1): 7-12, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-735924

ABSTRACT

To inform seroepidemiological studies, we characterized the IgG- responses in COVID-19 patients against the two major SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins, spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N). We tested 70 COVID-19 sera collected up to 85 days post-symptom onset and 230 non-COVID-19 sera, including 27 SARS sera from 2003. Although the average SARS-CoV-2 S and N-IgG titers were comparable, N-responses were more variable among individuals. S- and N-assay specificity tested with non-COVID-19 sera were comparable at 97.5% and 97.0%, respectively. Therefore, S will make a better target due to its lower cross-reactive potential and its' more consistent frequency of detection compared to N.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross Reactions , Humans , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology
12.
Eur Respir J ; 55(6)2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-622479

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), consistent and considerable differences in disease severity and mortality rate of patients treated in Hubei province compared to those in other parts of China have been observed. We sought to compare the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients being treated inside and outside Hubei province, and explore the factors underlying these differences. METHODS: Collaborating with the National Health Commission, we established a retrospective cohort to study hospitalised COVID-19 cases in China. Clinical characteristics, the rate of severe events and deaths, and the time to critical illness (invasive ventilation or intensive care unit admission or death) were compared between patients within and outside Hubei. The impact of Wuhan-related exposure (a presumed key factor that drove the severe situation in Hubei, as Wuhan is the epicentre as well the administrative centre of Hubei province) and the duration between symptom onset and admission on prognosis were also determined. RESULTS: At the data cut-off (31 January 2020), 1590 cases from 575 hospitals in 31 provincial administrative regions were collected (core cohort). The overall rate of severe cases and mortality was 16.0% and 3.2%, respectively. Patients in Hubei (predominantly with Wuhan-related exposure, 597 (92.3%) out of 647) were older (mean age 49.7 versus 44.9 years), had more cases with comorbidity (32.9% versus 19.7%), higher symptomatic burden, abnormal radiologic manifestations and, especially, a longer waiting time between symptom onset and admission (5.7 versus 4.5 days) compared with patients outside Hubei. Patients in Hubei (severe event rate 23.0% versus 11.1%, death rate 7.3% versus 0.3%, HR (95% CI) for critical illness 1.59 (1.05-2.41)) have a poorer prognosis compared with patients outside Hubei after adjusting for age and comorbidity. However, among patients outside Hubei, the duration from symptom onset to hospitalisation (mean 4.4 versus 4.7 days) and prognosis (HR (95%) 0.84 (0.40-1.80)) were similar between patients with or without Wuhan-related exposure. In the overall population, the waiting time, but neither treated in Hubei nor Wuhan-related exposure, remained an independent prognostic factor (HR (95%) 1.05 (1.01-1.08)). CONCLUSION: There were more severe cases and poorer outcomes for COVID-19 patients treated in Hubei, which might be attributed to the prolonged duration of symptom onset to hospitalisation in the epicentre. Future studies to determine the reason for delaying hospitalisation are warranted.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Hospitalization , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , China , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Cough/etiology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Dyspnea/etiology , Fatigue/etiology , Female , Fever/etiology , Geography , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pharyngitis/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Prognosis , Proportional Hazards Models , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
13.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 14(6): 688-699, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612437

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe COVID-19 patients typically test positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA for extended periods of time, even after recovery from severe disease. Due to the timeframe involved, these patients may have developed humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 while still testing positive for viral RNA in swabs. Data are lacking on exposure risks in these situations. Here, we studied SARS-CoV-2 environmental contamination in an ICU and an isolation ward caring for such COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We collected air and surface samples in a hospital caring for critical and severe COVID-19 cases from common areas and areas proximal to patients. RESULTS: Of the 218 ICU samples, an air sample contained SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Of the 182 isolation ward samples, nine contained SARS-CoV-2 RNA. These were collected from a facemask, the floor, mobile phones, and the air in the patient room and bathroom. Serum antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in these patients at the beginning of the study. CONCLUSIONS: While there is a perception of increased risk in the ICU, our study demonstrates that isolation wards may pose greater risks to healthcare workers and exposure risks remain with clinically improved patients, weeks after their initial diagnoses. As these patients had serum antibodies, further studies may be warranted to study the utility of serum antibodies as a surrogate of viral clearance in allowing people to return to work. We recommend continued vigilance even with patients who appear to have recovered from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Environmental Microbiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Adult , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Isolation , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
14.
J Thorac Dis ; 12(3): 165-174, 2020 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-48351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak originating in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, coincided with chunyun, the period of mass migration for the annual Spring Festival. To contain its spread, China adopted unprecedented nationwide interventions on January 23 2020. These policies included large-scale quarantine, strict controls on travel and extensive monitoring of suspected cases. However, it is unknown whether these policies have had an impact on the epidemic. We sought to show how these control measures impacted the containment of the epidemic. METHODS: We integrated population migration data before and after January 23 and most updated COVID-19 epidemiological data into the Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) model to derive the epidemic curve. We also used an artificial intelligence (AI) approach, trained on the 2003 SARS data, to predict the epidemic. RESULTS: We found that the epidemic of China should peak by late February, showing gradual decline by end of April. A five-day delay in implementation would have increased epidemic size in mainland China three-fold. Lifting the Hubei quarantine would lead to a second epidemic peak in Hubei province in mid-March and extend the epidemic to late April, a result corroborated by the machine learning prediction. CONCLUSIONS: Our dynamic SEIR model was effective in predicting the COVID-19 epidemic peaks and sizes. The implementation of control measures on January 23 2020 was indispensable in reducing the eventual COVID-19 epidemic size.

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