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1.
N Engl J Med ; 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621313

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), have been used since December 2020 in the United Kingdom. Real-world data have shown the vaccines to be highly effective against Covid-19 and related severe disease and death. Vaccine effectiveness may wane over time since the receipt of the second dose of the ChAdOx1-S (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) and BNT162b2 vaccines. METHODS: We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 and related hospitalization and death in England. Effectiveness of the ChAdOx1-S and BNT162b2 vaccines was assessed according to participant age and status with regard to coexisting conditions and over time since receipt of the second vaccine dose to investigate waning of effectiveness separately for the B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.617.2 (delta) variants. RESULTS: Vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19 with the delta variant peaked in the early weeks after receipt of the second dose and then decreased by 20 weeks to 44.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 43.2 to 45.4) with the ChAdOx1-S vaccine and to 66.3% (95% CI, 65.7 to 66.9) with the BNT162b2 vaccine. Waning of vaccine effectiveness was greater in persons 65 years of age or older than in those 40 to 64 years of age. At 20 weeks or more after vaccination, vaccine effectiveness decreased less against both hospitalization, to 80.0% (95% CI, 76.8 to 82.7) with the ChAdOx1-S vaccine and 91.7% (95% CI, 90.2 to 93.0) with the BNT162b2 vaccine, and death, to 84.8% (95% CI, 76.2 to 90.3) and 91.9% (95% CI, 88.5 to 94.3), respectively. Greater waning in vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization was observed in persons 65 years of age or older in a clinically extremely vulnerable group and in persons 40 to 64 years of age with underlying medical conditions than in healthy adults. CONCLUSIONS: We observed limited waning in vaccine effectiveness against Covid-19-related hospitalization and death at 20 weeks or more after vaccination with two doses of the ChAdOx1-S or BNT162b2 vaccine. Waning was greater in older adults and in those in a clinical risk group.

2.
Microbiol Spectr ; : e0078621, 2022 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605388

ABSTRACT

Seroepidemiological studies to monitor antibody kinetics are important for assessing the extent and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a population. Noninvasive sampling methods are advantageous for reducing the need for venipuncture, which may be a barrier to investigations, particularly in pediatric populations. Oral fluids are obtained by gingiva-crevicular sampling from children and adults and are very well accepted. Enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) based on these samples have acceptable sensitivity and specificity compared to conventional serum-based antibody EIAs and are suitable for population-based surveillance. We describe the development and evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 IgG EIAs using SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleoprotein (NP) and spike (S) proteins in IgG isotype capture format and an indirect receptor-binding-domain (RBD) IgG EIA, intended for use in children as a primary endpoint. All three assays were assessed using a panel of 1,999 paired serum and oral fluids from children and adults participating in school SARS-CoV-2 surveillance studies during and after the first and second pandemic wave in the United Kingdom. The anti-NP IgG capture assay was the best candidate, with an overall sensitivity of 75% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 71 to 79%) and specificity of 99% (95% CI: 78 to 99%) compared with paired serum antibodies. Sensitivity observed in children (80%, 95% CI: 71 to 88%) was higher than that in adults (67%, CI: 60% to 74%). Oral fluid assays (OF) using spike protein and RBD antigens were also 99% specific and achieved reasonable but lower sensitivity in the target population (78%, 95% CI [68% to 86%] and 53%, 95% CI [43% to 64%], respectively). IMPORTANCE We report on the first large-scale assessment of the suitability of oral fluids for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibody obtained from healthy children attending school. The sample type (gingiva-crevicular fluid, which is a transudate of blood but is not saliva) can be self collected. Although detection of antibodies in oral fluids is less sensitive than that in blood, our study suggests an optimal format for operational use. The laboratory methods we have developed can reliably measure antibodies in children, who are able to take their own samples. Our findings are of immediate practical relevance for use in large-scale seroprevalence studies designed to measure exposure to infection, as they typically require venipuncture. Overall, our data indicate that OF assays based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are a tool suitable for population-based seroepidemiology studies in children and highly acceptable in children and adults, as venipuncture is no longer necessary.

3.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598157

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant is highly transmissible and spreading globally, including in populations with high vaccination rates. We aimed to investigate transmission and viral load kinetics in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with mild delta variant infection in the community. METHODS: Between Sept 13, 2020, and Sept 15, 2021, 602 community contacts (identified via the UK contract-tracing system) of 471 UK COVID-19 index cases were recruited to the Assessment of Transmission and Contagiousness of COVID-19 in Contacts cohort study and contributed 8145 upper respiratory tract samples from daily sampling for up to 20 days. Household and non-household exposed contacts aged 5 years or older were eligible for recruitment if they could provide informed consent and agree to self-swabbing of the upper respiratory tract. We analysed transmission risk by vaccination status for 231 contacts exposed to 162 epidemiologically linked delta variant-infected index cases. We compared viral load trajectories from fully vaccinated individuals with delta infection (n=29) with unvaccinated individuals with delta (n=16), alpha (B.1.1.7; n=39), and pre-alpha (n=49) infections. Primary outcomes for the epidemiological analysis were to assess the secondary attack rate (SAR) in household contacts stratified by contact vaccination status and the index cases' vaccination status. Primary outcomes for the viral load kinetics analysis were to detect differences in the peak viral load, viral growth rate, and viral decline rate between participants according to SARS-CoV-2 variant and vaccination status. FINDINGS: The SAR in household contacts exposed to the delta variant was 25% (95% CI 18-33) for fully vaccinated individuals compared with 38% (24-53) in unvaccinated individuals. The median time between second vaccine dose and study recruitment in fully vaccinated contacts was longer for infected individuals (median 101 days [IQR 74-120]) than for uninfected individuals (64 days [32-97], p=0·001). SAR among household contacts exposed to fully vaccinated index cases was similar to household contacts exposed to unvaccinated index cases (25% [95% CI 15-35] for vaccinated vs 23% [15-31] for unvaccinated). 12 (39%) of 31 infections in fully vaccinated household contacts arose from fully vaccinated epidemiologically linked index cases, further confirmed by genomic and virological analysis in three index case-contact pairs. Although peak viral load did not differ by vaccination status or variant type, it increased modestly with age (difference of 0·39 [95% credible interval -0·03 to 0·79] in peak log10 viral load per mL between those aged 10 years and 50 years). Fully vaccinated individuals with delta variant infection had a faster (posterior probability >0·84) mean rate of viral load decline (0·95 log10 copies per mL per day) than did unvaccinated individuals with pre-alpha (0·69), alpha (0·82), or delta (0·79) variant infections. Within individuals, faster viral load growth was correlated with higher peak viral load (correlation 0·42 [95% credible interval 0·13 to 0·65]) and slower decline (-0·44 [-0·67 to -0·18]). INTERPRETATION: Vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts. Host-virus interactions early in infection may shape the entire viral trajectory. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research.

4.
J Infect ; 2022 Jan 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines approved in the UK are highly effective in general population cohorts, however, data on effectiveness among individuals with clinical conditions that place them at increased risk of severe disease are limited. METHODS: We used GP electronic health record data, sentinel virology swabbing and antibody testing within a cohort of 712 general practices across England to estimate vaccine antibody response and vaccine effectiveness against medically attended COVID-19 among individuals in clinical risk groups using cohort and test-negative case control designs. FINDINGS: There was no reduction in S-antibody positivity in most clinical risk groups, however reduced S-antibody positivity and response was significant in the immunosuppressed group. Reduced vaccine effectiveness against clinical disease was also noted in the immunosuppressed group; after a second dose, effectiveness was moderate (Pfizer: 59.6%, 95%CI 18.0-80.1%; AstraZeneca 60.0%, 95%CI -63.6-90.2%). INTERPRETATION: In most clinical risk groups, immune response to primary vaccination was maintained and high levels of vaccine effectiveness were seen. Reduced antibody response and vaccine effectiveness were seen after 1 dose of vaccine among a broad immunosuppressed group, and second dose vaccine effectiveness was moderate. These findings support maximising coverage in immunosuppressed individuals and the policy of prioritisation of this group for third doses.

5.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296775

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background The role of educational settings on SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission remains controversial. We investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection, seroprevalence and seroconversions rates in secondary schools during the 2020/21 academic year, which included the emergence of the more transmissible Alpha and Delta variants, in England. Methods The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) initiated prospective surveillance in 18 urban English secondary schools. Participants had nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and blood sampling for SARS-CoV-2 Nucleoprotein and Spike protein antibodies at the start (Round 1: September-October 2020) and end (Round 2: December 2021) of the autumn term, when schools reopened after national lockdown was imposed in January 2021 (Round 3: March-April) and end of the academic year (Round 4: May-July). Findings We enrolled 2,314 participants (1277 students, 1037 staff). In-school testing identified 31 PCR-positive participants (20 students, 11 staff). Another 247 confirmed cases (112 students, 135 staff) were identified after linkage with national surveillance data, giving an overall positivity rate of 12.0% (278/2313;staff [14.1%, 146/1037] vs students [10.3%, 132/1276;p=0.006). Nucleoprotein-antibody seroprevalence increased for students and staff between Rounds 1-3 but changed little in Round 4, when the Delta variant was the dominant circulating strain. Overall, Nucleoprotein-antibody seroconversion was 18.4% (137/744) in staff and 18.8% (146/778) in students, while Spike-antibody seroconversion was higher in staff (72.8% (525/721) than students (21.3%, 163/764) because of vaccination. Interpretation SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in secondary schools remained low when community infection rates were low because of national lockdown, even after the emergence of the Delta variant Funding DHSC

6.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296519

ABSTRACT

Abstract Background A rapid increase in cases due to the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant in highly vaccinated populations has raised concerns about the effectiveness of current vaccines. Methods We used a test-negative case-control design to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against symptomatic disease caused by the Omicron and Delta variants in England. VE was calculated after primary immunisation with two BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 doses, and at 2+ weeks following a BNT162b2 booster. Results Between 27 November and 06 December 2021, 581 and 56,439 eligible Omicron and Delta cases respectively were identified. There were 130,867 eligible test-negative controls. There was no effect against Omicron from 15 weeks after two ChAdOx1 doses, while VE after two BNT162b2 doses was 88.0% (95%CI: 65.9 to 95.8%) 2-9 weeks after dose 2, dropping to between 34 and 37% from 15 weeks post dose 2.From two weeks after a BNT162b2 booster, VE increased to 71.4% (95%CI: 41.8 to 86.0%) for ChAdOx1 primary course recipients and 75.5% (95%CI: 56.1 to 86.3%) for BNT162b2 primary course recipients. For cases with Delta, VE was 41.8% (95%CI: 39.4-44.1%) at 25+ weeks after two ChAdOx1 doses, increasing to 93.8% (95%CI: 93.2-94.3%) after a BNT162b2 booster. With a BNT162b2 primary course, VE was 63.5% (95%CI: 61.4 to 65.5%) 25+ weeks after dose 2, increasing to 92.6% (95%CI: 92.0-93.1%) two weeks after the booster. Conclusions Primary immunisation with two BNT162b2 or ChAdOx1 doses provided no or limited protection against symptomatic disease with the Omicron variant. Boosting with BNT162b2 following either primary course significantly increased protection.

8.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295014

ABSTRACT

Introduction SARS-CoV-2 serological studies have so far focused mainly on adults. Public Health England initiated prospective, longitudinal SARS-CoV-2 sero-surveillance in schools across England after the first national lockdown, which allowed comparison of child and adult responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection over time. Methods Staff and students had venepuncture for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in school during June, July and December 2020. Blood samples were tested for nucleocapsid (Abbott) and receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies (in-house assay), and student samples were additionally assessed for live virus neutralising activity. Results In June 2020, 1,344 staff and 835 students were tested. Overall, 11.5% (95% CI: 9.4-13.9) and 11.3% (95% CI: 9.2-13.6;p=0.88) of students had nucleoprotein and RBD antibodies, compared to 15.6% (95% CI: 13.7-17.6) and 15.3% (95% CI: 13.4-17.3;p=0.83) of staff. Live virus neutralising activity was detected in 79.8% (n=71/89) of nucleocapsid and 85.5% (71/83) of RBD antibody positive children. RBD antibodies correlated more strongly with neutralising antibodies (r s =0.7527;p<0.0001) than nucleocapsid antibodies (r s =0.3698;p<0.0001). A median of 24.4 weeks later, 58.2% (107/184) participants had nucleocapsid antibody seroreversion, compared to 20.9% (33/158) for RBD (p<0.001). Similar seroreversion rates were observed between staff and students for nucleocapsid (p=0.26) and RBD-antibodies (p=0.43). Nucleocapsid and RBD antibody quantitative results were significantly lower in staff compared to students (p=0.028 and <0.0001 respectively) at baseline, but not at 24 weeks (p=0.16 and p=0.37, respectively). Conclusion RBD antibodies correlated more strongly with live virus neutralising activity. Most seropositive students and staff retained RBD antibodies for >6 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

9.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294661

ABSTRACT

Evaluation of susceptibility to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) requires rapid screening tests for neutralising antibodies which provide protection. We developed a receptor-binding domain specific hemagglutination test (HAT) which correlated with neutralising antibodies (R=0.74-0.82) in two independent cohorts from 798 convalescents. Home-dwelling older individuals (80-99 years, n=89) had significantly lower antibodies after one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine than younger adult vaccinees (n=310) and naturally infected individuals (n=307). The second vaccine dose boosted and broadened the antibody repertoire to VOC in naïve but not previously infected, older and younger adults. >75% of older adults responded after two vaccinations to alpha and delta, but only 59-62% to beta and gamma, compared to 96-97% of younger vaccinees and 68-76% of infected individuals. Overall, the HAT provides a surrogate marker for neutralising antibodies, could be used as a simple inexpensive, rapid test, rapidly adaptable to emerging VOC for large-scale evaluation of potentially diminishing vaccine effectiveness.

10.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293893

ABSTRACT

Background: There are few epidemiological studies of community cases in the current coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We report on the first 500 COVID-19 cases identified through United Kingdom primary care surveillance and describe risk factors for testing COVID-19 positive. <br><br>Methods: The Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC), is a nationally representative primary care sentinel network sharing pseudonymised data, including virological test data for COVID-19. We used multivariable logistic regression models with multiple imputation to identify risk factors for positive COVID-19 tests within this surveillance programme. <br><br>Findings: We identified 3,802 COVID-19 results between 28/01/20 and 04/04/2020, 587 were positive. Greater odds of testing COVID-19 positive included: working-age people (40-64years) and older age, (≥75 years) versus 0-17 year olds (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 5.26, 95%CI:3.26-8.49 and 5.17,95%CI:2.99-8.92, respectively);male gender (aOR 1.56, 95%CI:1.28-1.90);black and mixed ethnicity compared with white (aOR 4.55, 95%CI:2.55-8.10 and 1.84 95%CO:1.1-3.14, respectively));urban compared with rural areas (aOR 4.58, 95%CI:3.57-5.88);people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) (aOR 1.88, 95%CI:1.29-2.75) and increasing body mass index (aOR 1.02, 95%CI:1.00-1.03). People in the least deprived deprivation quintile had lower odds of a positive test (aOR 0.49 95%CI:0.36-0.65) as did current smokers (aOR 0.53, 95%CI:0.38-0.74). <br><br>Interpretation: A positive COVID-19 test result in primary care was associated with similar risk factors for severe outcomes seen in hospital settings, with the exception of smoking. We provide early evidence of potential sociodemographic factors associated with a positive test, including ethnicity, deprivation, population density, and CKD. <br><br>Funding Statement: Public Health England provides the core funding for RCGP RSC, no specific funding was provided for this analysis.<br><br>Declaration of Interests: The authors have no competing interests. SdeL is the Director of the Oxford RCGP RSC, RB, JS, FF, EK and GH are part funded by PHE;and CO and AC by a Wellcome Biomedical resources grant (212763/Z/18/Z). JD is funded by Wellcome Trust (216421/Z/19/Z).<br><br>Ethics Approval Statement: This study was approved by the RCGP RSC study approval committee and was classified as a study of “usual practice”. Therefore, no further ethical approval was required.

11.
J Clin Invest ; 2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541976

ABSTRACT

Memory B cells (MBC) can provide a recall response able to supplement waning antibodies with an affinity-matured response better able to neutralise variant viruses. We studied a cohort of elderly care home residents and younger staff (median age 87yrs and 56yrs respectively) who had survived COVID-19 outbreaks with only mild/asymptomatic infection. The cohort was selected to enrich for a high proportion who had lost neutralising antibodies (nAb), to specifically investigate the reserve immunity from SARS-CoV-2-specific MBC in this setting. Class-switched spike and RBD-tetramer-binding MBC persisted five months post-mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, irrespective of age. The majority of spike/RBD-specific MBC had a classical phenotype but activated memory B cells, that may indicate ongoing antigenic stimulation or inflammation, were expanded in the elderly. Spike/RBD-specific MBC remained detectable in the majority who had lost nAb, although at lower frequencies and with a reduced IgG/IgA isotype ratio. Functional spike/S1/RBD-specific recall was also detectable by ELISpot in some who had lost nAb, but was significantly impaired in the elderly. Our findings demonstrate a reserve of SARS-CoV-2-specific MBC persists beyond loss of nAb, but highlight the need for careful monitoring of functional defects in spike/RBD-specific B cell immunity in the elderly.

12.
Lancet Healthy Longev ; 2(12): e811-e819, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541059

ABSTRACT

Background: Understanding the duration of protection and risk of reinfection after natural infection is crucial to planning COVID-19 vaccination for at-risk groups, including care home residents, particularly with the emergence of more transmissible variants. We report on the duration, neutralising activity, and protection against the alpha variant of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in care home residents and staff infected more than 6 months previously. Methods: We did this prospective observational cohort surveillance in 13 care homes in Greater London, England. All staff and residents were included. Staff and residents had regular nose and throat screening for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR according to national guidelines, with ad hoc testing of symptomatic individuals. From January, 2021, antigen lateral flow devices were also used, but positive tests still required RT-PCR confirmation. Staff members took the swab samples for themselves and the residents. The primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive primary infection or reinfection in previously infected individuals, as determined by previous serological testing and screening or diagnostic RT-PCR results. Poisson regression and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate protective effectiveness of previous exposure. SARS-CoV-2 spike, nucleoprotein, and neutralising antibodies were assessed at multiple timepoints as part of the longitudinal follow-up. Findings: Between April 10 and Aug 3, 2020, we recruited and tested 1625 individuals (933 staff and 692 residents). 248 participants were lost to follow-up (123 staff and 125 residents) and 1377 participants were included in the follow-up period to Jan 31, 2021 (810 staff and 567 residents). There were 23 reinfections (ten confirmed, eight probable, five possible) in 656 previously infected individuals (366 staff and 290 residents), compared with 165 primary infections in 721 susceptible individuals (444 staff and 277 residents). Those with confirmed reinfections had no or low neutralising antibody concentration before reinfection, with boosting of titres after reinfection. Kinetics of binding and neutralising antibodies were similar in older residents and younger staff. Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 reinfections were rare in older residents and younger staff. Protection from SARS-CoV-2 was sustained for longer than 9 months, including against the alpha variant. Reinfection was associated with no or low neutralising antibody before reinfection, but significant boosting occurred on reinfection. Funding: Public Health England.

13.
Eur Respir J ; 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538052

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The success of case isolation and contact tracing for the control of SARS-CoV-2 transmission depends on the accuracy and speed of case identification. We assessed whether inclusion of additional symptoms alongside three canonical symptoms (CS) - fever; cough; loss or change in smell or taste - could improve case definitions and accelerate case identification in SARS-CoV-2 contacts. METHODS: Two prospective longitudinal London-based cohorts of community SARS-CoV-2 contacts, recruited within 5 days of exposure, provided independent training and test datasets. Infected and uninfected contacts completed daily symptom diaries from the earliest possible time-points. Diagnostic information gained by adding symptoms to the CS was quantified using likelihood ratios and AUC-ROC. Improvements in sensitivity and time-to-detection were compared to penalties in terms of specificity and number-needed-to-test. RESULTS: Of 529 contacts within two cohorts, 164 (31%) developed PCR-confirmed infection and 365 (69%) remained uninfected. In the training dataset (n=168), 29% of infected contacts did not report the CS. Four symptoms (sore throat, muscle aches, headache and appetite loss) were identified as early-predictors (EP) which added diagnostic value to the CS. The broadened symptom criterion "≥1 of the CS, or ≥2 of the EP" identified PCR-positive contacts in the test dataset on average 2 days earlier after exposure (p=0.07) than "≥1 of the CS", with only modest reduction in specificity (5.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Broadening symptom criteria to include individuals with at least 2 of muscle aches, headache, appetite loss and sore throat identifies more infections and reduces time-to-detection, providing greater opportunities to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

14.
J Infect ; 83(5): 573-580, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527750

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We assessed SARS-CoV-2 infection, seroprevalence and seroconversion in students and staff when secondary schools reopened in March 2021. METHODS: We initiated SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in 18 secondary schools across six regions in September 2020. Participants provided nasal swabs for RT-PCR and blood samples for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies at the beginning (September 2020) and end (December 2020) of the autumn term and at the start of the spring term (March 2021). FINDINGS: In March 2021, 1895 participants (1100 students:795 staff) were tested; 5.6% (61/1094) students and 4.4% (35/792) staff had laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from December 2020-March 2021. Nucleoprotein-antibody seroprevalence was 36.3% (370/1018) in students and 31.9% (245/769) in staff, while spike-antibody prevalence was 39.5% (402/1018) and 59.8% (459/769), respectively, similar to regional community seroprevalence. Between December 2020 and March 2021, 14.8% (97/656; 95%CI: 12.2-17.7) students and 10.0% (59/590; 95%CI: 7.7-12.7) staff seroconverted. Weekly seroconversion rates were similar from September to December 2020 (8.0/1000) and from December 2020 to March 2021 (7.9/1000; students: 9.3/1,000; staff: 6.3/1,000). INTERPRETATION: By March 2021, a third of secondary school students and staff had evidence of prior infection based on N-antibody seropositivity, and an additional third of staff had evidence of vaccine-induced immunity based on S-antibody seropositivity.

15.
EClinicalMedicine ; 41: 101150, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446584

ABSTRACT

Background: Prospective, longitudinal SARS-CoV-2 sero-surveillance in schools across England was initiated after the first national lockdown, allowing comparison of child and adult antibody responses over time. Methods: Prospective active serological surveillance in 46 primary schools in England tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies during June, July and December 2020. Samples were tested for nucleocapsid (N) and receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies, to estimate antibody persistence at least 6 months after infection, and for the correlation of N, RBD and live virus neutralising activity. Findings: In June 2020, 1,344 staff and 835 students were tested. Overall, 11.5% (95%CI: 9.4-13.9) and 11.3% (95%CI: 9.2-13.6; p = 0.88) of students had nucleoprotein and RBD antibodies, compared to 15.6% (95%CI: 13.7-17.6) and 15.3% (95%CI: 13.4-17.3; p = 0.83) of staff. Live virus neutralising activity was detected in 79.8% (n = 71/89) of nucleocapsid and 85.5% (71/83) of RBD antibody positive children. RBD antibodies correlated more strongly with neutralising antibodies (rs=0.7527; p<0.0001) than nucleocapsid antibodies (rs=0.3698; p<0.0001). A median of 24.4 weeks later, 58.2% (107/184) participants had nucleocapsid antibody seroreversion, compared to 20.9% (33/158) for RBD (p<0.001). Similar seroreversion rates were observed between staff and students for nucleocapsid (p = 0.26) and RBD-antibodies (p = 0.43). Nucleocapsid and RBD antibody quantitative results were significantly lower in staff compared to students (p = 0.028 and <0.0001 respectively) at baseline, but not at 24 weeks (p = 0.16 and p = 0.37, respectively). Interpretation: The immune response in children following SARS-CoV-2 infection was robust and sustained (>6 months) but further work is required to understand the extent to which this protects against reinfection.

16.
Lancet Microbe ; 2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440435

ABSTRACT

We reviewed all genomic epidemiology studies on COVID-19 in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) that had been published to date. We found that staff and residents were usually infected with identical, or near identical, SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Outbreaks usually involved one predominant cluster, and the same lineages persisted in LTCFs despite infection control measures. Outbreaks were most commonly due to single or few introductions followed by a spread rather than a series of seeding events from the community into LTCFs. The sequencing of samples taken consecutively from the same individuals at the same facilities showed the persistence of the same genome sequence, indicating that the sequencing technique was robust over time. When combined with local epidemiology, genomics allowed probable transmission sources to be better characterised. The transmission between LTCFs was detected in multiple studies. The mortality rate among residents was high in all facilities, regardless of the lineage. Bioinformatics methods were inadequate in a third of the studies reviewed, and reproducing the analyses was difficult because sequencing data were not available in many facilities.

18.
Int J Epidemiol ; 50(4): 1124-1133, 2021 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387893

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of SARS-CoV-2 alongside influenza is a major concern in the northern hemisphere as winter approaches. METHODS: Test data for influenza and SARS-CoV-2 from national surveillance systems between 20 January 2020 and 25 April 2020 were used to estimate influenza infection on the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. A test-negative design was used to assess the odds of SARS-CoV-2 in those who tested positive for influenza compared with those who tested negative. The severity of SARS-CoV-2 was also assessed using univariable and multivariable analyses. RESULTS: The risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 was 58% lower among influenza-positive cases and patients with a coinfection had a risk of death of 5.92 (95% confidence interval: 3.21-10.91) times greater than among those with neither influenza nor SARS-CoV-2. The odds of ventilator use or death and intensive care unit admission or death were greatest among coinfected patients. CONCLUSIONS: Coinfection of these viruses could have a significant impact on morbidity, mortality and health-service demand.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Influenza, Human , Coinfection/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
19.
Transfusion ; 61(10): 2837-2843, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360538

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma (CP) therapy for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) provides virus-neutralizing antibodies that may ameliorate the outcome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. The effectiveness of CP likely depends on its antiviral neutralizing potency and is determined using in vitro neutralizing antibody assays. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We evaluated abilities of three immunoassays for anti-spike antibodies (EUROimmun, Ortho, Roche), a pseudotype-based neutralization assay, and two assays that quantify ACE2 binding of spike protein (GenScript and hemagglutination test [HAT]-based assay) to predict neutralizing antibody titers in 113 CP donations. Assay outputs were analyzed through linear regression and calculation of sensitivities and specificities by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis. RESULTS: Median values of plasma samples containing neutralizing antibodies produced conversion factors for assay unitage of ×6.5 (pseudotype), ×19 (GenScript), ×3.4 (HAT assay), ×0.08 (EUROimmun), ×1.64 (Roche), and ×0.10 (Ortho). All selected assays were sufficient in identifying the high titer donations based on ROC analysis; area over curve ranged from 91.7% for HAT and GenScript assay to 95.6% for pseudotype assay. However, their ability to predict the actual neutralizing antibody levels varied substantially as shown by linear regression correlation values (from 0.27 for Ortho to 0.61 for pseudotype assay). DISCUSSION: Overall, the study data demonstrate that all selected assays were effective in identifying donations with high neutralizing antibody levels and are potentially suitable as surrogate assays for donation selection for CP therapy.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Immunoassay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests
20.
J Infect Dis ; 224(3): 389-394, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338710

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Postmortem testing can improve our understanding of the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) if sufficiently sensitive and specific. METHODS: We investigated the postmortem sensitivity and specificity of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing on upper respiratory swabs using a dataset of everyone tested for SARS-CoV-2 before and after death in England, 1 March to 29 October 2020. We analyzed sensitivity in those with a positive test before death by time to postmortem test. We developed a multivariate model and conducted time-to-negativity survival analysis. For specificity, we analyzed those with a negative test in the week before death. RESULTS: Postmortem testing within a week after death had a sensitivity of 96.8% if the person had tested positive within a week before death. There was no effect of age, sex, or specimen type on sensitivity, but individuals with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related codes on their death certificate were 5.65 times more likely to test positive after death (95% confidence interval, 2.31-13.9). Specificity was 94.2%, increasing to 97.5% in individuals without COVID-19 on the death certificate. CONCLUSION: Postmortem testing has high sensitivity (96.8%) and specificity (94.2%) if performed within a week after death and could be a useful diagnostic tool.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Respiratory System/virology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Postmortem Changes , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
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