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2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908778

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early antiviral therapy was effective in the treatment of COVID-19. We assessed the efficacy and safety of combined interferon beta-1b and remdesivir treatment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We conducted a multicentre, prospective open-label, randomized-controlled trial involving high-risk adults hospitalized for COVID-19. Patients were randomly assigned to a 5-day interferon beta-1b 16 million units daily and remdesivir 200mg loading on day 1 followed by 100mg daily on day 2 to 5 (combination-group), or to remdesivir only of similar regimen (control-group) (1:1). The primary end-point was the time to complete alleviation of symptoms (NEWS2 = 0). RESULTS: Two-hundred and twelve patients were enrolled. The median days of starting treatment from symptom-onset was 3 days. The median age was 65 years and 159 patients (75%) had chronic disease. The baseline demographics were similar. There was no mortality. For the primary-endpoint, the combination-group was significantly quicker to NEWS2 = 0 (4 versus 6.5 days; hazard-ratio [HR],6.59; 95% confidence-interval [CI],6.1-7.09; p < 0.0001) when compared to the control-group. For the secondary endpoints, the combination-group was quicker to negative NPS VL (6 versus 8 days; HR,8.16; 95% CI,7.79-8.52; p < 0.0001) and develop seropositive IgG (8 versus 10 days; HR,10.78; 95% CI,9.98-11.58; p < 0.0001). All adverse events resolved upon follow-up. Combination group (HR,4.1 95%CI,1.9-8.6, p < 0.0001), was the most significant independent factor associated with NEWS2 = 0 on day 4. CONCLUSIONS: Early treatment with interferon beta-1b and remdesivir was safe and better than remdesivir only in alleviating symptoms, shorten viral shedding and hospitalization with earlier seropositivity in high-risk COVID-19 patients.

3.
EBioMedicine ; 79: 103986, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778094

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination and is associated with a greater risk of reinfection among recovered COVID-19 patients. We assessed the serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity against Omicron variant (Omicron NAb) among recovered COVID-19 patients with or without vaccination. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study with 135 recovered COVID-19 patients, we determined the serum NAb titers against ancestral virus or variants using a live virus NAb assay. We used the receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal cutoff for a commercially-available surrogate NAb assay. FINDINGS: Among recovered COVID-19 patients, the serum live virus geometric mean Omicron NAb titer was statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 recipients compared to non-vaccinated individuals (85.4 vs 5.6,P < 0.0001). The Omicron seropositive rates in live virus NAb test (NAb titer ≥10) were statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 (90.6% [29/32];P < 0.0001) or CoronaVac (36.7% [11/30]; P = 0.0115) recipients when compared with non-vaccinated individuals (12.3% [9/73]). Subgroup analysis of CoronaVac recipients showed that the Omicron seropositive rates were higher among individuals with two doses than those with one dose (85.7% vs 21.7%; P = 0.0045). For the surrogate NAb assay, a cutoff of 109.1 AU/ml, which is 7.3-fold higher than the manufacturer's recommended cutoff, could achieve a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 89.8%, respectively, in detecting Omicron NAb. INTERPRETATION: Among individuals with prior COVID-19, one dose of BNT162b2 or two doses of CoronaVac could induce detectable serum Omicron NAb. Our result would be particularly important for guiding vaccine policies in countries with COVID-19 vaccine shortage. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, Richard and Carol Yu, Michael Tong (see acknowledgments for full list).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Blocking , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707925

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages with mutations at the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) have reduced susceptibility to antibody neutralization, and have been classified as Variants of Concern (VOCs) or Variants of Interest (VOIs). Here, we systematically compared the neutralization susceptibility and RBD binding of different VOCs/VOIs, including B.1.617.1 (kappa variant) and P.3 (theta variant) which were first detected in India and the Philippines, respectively. METHODS: The neutralization susceptibility of the VOCs/VOIs (B.1.351, B.1.617.1 and P.3) and a non-VOC/VOI without RBD mutations (B.1.36.27) to convalescent sera from COVID-19 patients or BNT162b2 vaccinees was determined using a live virus microneutralization (MN) assay. Serum IgG binding to wild type and mutant RBDs were determined using an enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: The geometric mean neutralization titers (GMT) of B.1.351, P.3, and B.1.617.1 were significantly lower than that of B.1.36.27 for COVID-19 patients infected with non-VOCs/VOIs (3.4-5.7-fold lower) or individuals who have received 2 doses of BNT162b2 vaccine (4.4-7.3-fold lower). The GMT of B.1.351 or P.3 were lower than that of B.1.671.1. For the 4 patients infected with B.1.351 or B.1.617.1, the MN titer was highest for their respective lineage. RBD with E484K or E484Q mutation, either alone or in combination with other mutations, showed greatest reduction in serum IgG binding. CONCLUSION: P.3 and B.1.617.1 escape serum neutralization induced by natural infection or vaccine. Infection with one variant do not confer cross protection for heterologous lineages. Immunogenicity testing for second generation COVID-19 vaccines should include multiple variant and "non-variant" strains.

6.
SSRN;
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-326165

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant evades immunity from past infection or vaccination and is associated with a greater risk of reinfection among recovered COVID-19 patients. We assessed the serum neutralizing antibody (NAb) activity against Omicron variant (Omicron NAb) among recovered COVID-19 patients with or without vaccination. Methods: In this prospective cohort study with 135 recovered COVID-19 patients, we determined the serum NAb titers against ancestral virus or variants using a live virus NAb assay. We used the receiver operating characteristic analysis to determine the optimal cutoff for a commercially-available surrogate NAb assay. Findings: Among recovered COVID-19 patients, the serum live virus geometric mean Omicron NAb titer was statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 recipients compared to non-vaccinated individuals (85.4 vs 5.6, P<0.0001). The Omicron seropositive rates in live virus NAb test (NAb titer ≥10) were statistically significantly higher among BNT162b2 (93.5% [29/32];P<0.0001) or CoronaVac (36.7% [11/30];P=0.0115) recipients when compared with non-vaccinated individuals (12.3% [9/73]). Subgroup analysis of CoronaVac recipients showed that the Omicron seropositive rates were higher among individuals with two doses than those with one dose (85.7% vs 21.7%;P=0.0045). For the surrogate NAb assay, a cutoff of 109.1 AU/ml, which is 7.3-fold higher than the manufacturer’s recommended cutoff, could achieve a sensitivity and specificity of 89.5% and 89.8%, respectively, in detecting Omicron NAb. Interpretation: Among individuals with prior COVID-19, one dose of BNT162b2 and two doses of CoronaVac could induce detectable serum Omicron NAb. Our result would be particularly important for guiding vaccine policies in countries with COVID-19 vaccine shortage. Funding Information: This work was supported by Health and Medical Research Fund, the Food and Health Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Ref no.: COVID190124 and COVID1903010 [Project 1]), and donations of Richard Yu and Carol Yu, Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Michael Seak-Kan Tong, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, Lee Wan Keung Charity Foundation Limited, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Respiratory Viral Research Foundation Limited, Hui Ming, Hui Hoy and Chow Sin Lan Charity Fund Limited, Chan Yin Chuen Memorial Charitable Foundation, Marina Man-Wai Lee, the Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association South China Microbiology Research Fund, the Jessie & George Ho Charitable Foundation, Kai Chong Tong, Tse Kam Ming Laurence, Foo Oi Foundation Limited, Betty Hing-Chu Lee, and Ping Cham So. Declaration of Interests: KYY and KKWT report collaboration with SinoVac and Sinopharm. Other authors declare no conflict of interest.

7.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(12)2021 Dec 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572402

ABSTRACT

Immunofluorescence is a traditional diagnostic method for respiratory viruses, allowing rapid, simple and accurate diagnosis, with specific benefits of direct visualization of antigens-of-interest and quality assessment. This study aims to evaluate the potential of indirect immunofluorescence as an in-house diagnostic method for SARS-CoV-2 antigens from nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS). Three primary antibodies raised from mice were used for immunofluorescence staining, including monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV nucleocapsid protein, and polyclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein and receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Smears of cells from NPS of 29 COVID-19 patients and 20 non-infected individuals, and cells from viral culture were stained by the three antibodies. Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to identify respiratory epithelial cells with positive signals. Polyclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2 N protein had the highest sensitivity and specificity among the three antibodies tested, detecting 17 out of 29 RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases and demonstrating no cross-reactivity with other tested viruses except SARS-CoV. Detection of virus-infected cells targeting SARS-CoV-2 N protein allow identification of infected individuals, although accuracy is limited by sample quality and number of respiratory epithelial cells. The potential of immunofluorescence as a simple diagnostic method was demonstrated, which could be applied by incorporating antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 into multiplex immunofluorescence panels used clinically, such as for respiratory viruses, thus allowing additional routine testing for diagnosis and surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 even after the epidemic has ended with low prevalence of COVID-19.

8.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(12)2021 Nov 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542450

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) have diminished the effectiveness of vaccines and are associated with a rebound in the number of COVID-19 cases globally. These variants contain mutations at the spike (S) protein receptor binding site (RBD), which affect antibody binding. Current commercially available antibody assays were developed before the VOCs emerged. It is unclear whether the levels of these commercially available antibody assays can predict the neutralizing antibody titers against the VOCs. In this study, we sought to determine the correlation between the binding antibody concentration and microneutralization antibody titer against the beta variant. METHODS: This study included 58 COVID-19 patients. The concentrations of IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD and nucleocapsid (N) protein were measured using the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant assay and the SARS-CoV-2 IgG assay, respectively. The neutralization antibody titer against the wild type lineage A SARS-CoV-2 and against the beta variant (B.1.351) was determined using a conventional live virus neutralization test. RESULTS: The geometric mean MN titer (GMT) against the beta variant was significantly lower than that against the wild type lineage A virus (5.6 vs. 47.3, p < 0.0001). The anti-RBD IgG had a better correlation with the neutralizing antibody titer than that of the anti-N IgG assay against the wild type lineage A virus (Spearman rho, 0.5901 vs. 0.3827). However, the correlation between the anti-RBD or the anti-N IgG and the MN titer against the beta variant was poor. CONCLUSIONS: Currently available commercial antibody assays may not predict the level of neutralizing antibodies against the variants. A new generation of antibody tests specific for variants are required.

9.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438541

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-neutralizing antibody (NAb) production is a crucial humoral response that can reduce re-infection or breakthrough infection. The conventional test used to measure NAb production capacity levels is the live virus-neutralizing assay. However, this test must be conducted under biosafety level-3 containment. Pseudovirus or surrogate NAb tests, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 inhibition tests, can be performed under level-2 containment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of a surrogate SARS-CoV-2 NAb assay (sNAb) using samples from naturally infected individuals and vaccine recipients in comparison with the live virus microneutralization assay (vMN). Three hundred and eighty serum samples which were collected from 197 patients with COVID-19, 96 vaccine recipients and 84 normal individuals were analyzed. Overall, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of the sNAb (iFlash-2019-NAb assay, Shenzhen, China) were 97.9%, 94.9%, 98.2%, and 93.8%, respectively. Agreement for the assay relative to vMN for naturally infected individuals and vaccine recipients were 98.5% and 93.9%, respectively. A correlation analysis between sNAb and the vMN for both of these groups yielded an R2 value of 0.83. The iFlash RBD NAb assay is found to be sensitive and reliable for neutralizing antibody measurement in patients with the 2019 coronavirus disease and those who have been vaccinated against it.

10.
EBioMedicine ; 71: 103544, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363987

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages with spike receptor binding domain (RBD) N501Y mutation have spread globally. We evaluated the impact of N501Y on neutralizing activity of COVID-19 convalescent sera and on anti-RBD IgG assays. METHODS: The susceptibility to neutralization by COVID-19 patients' convalescent sera from Hong Kong were compared between two SARS-CoV-2 isolates (B117-1/B117-2) from the α variant with N501Y and 4 non-N501Y isolates. The effect of N501Y on antibody binding was assessed. The performance of commercially-available IgG assays was determined for patients infected with N501Y variants. FINDINGS: The microneutralization antibody (MN) titers of convalescent sera from 9 recovered COVID-19 patients against B117-1 (geometric mean titer[GMT],80; 95% CI, 47-136) were similar to those against the non-N501Y viruses. However, MN titer of these serum against B117-2 (GMT, 20; 95% CI, 11-36) was statistically significantly reduced when compared with non-N501Y viruses (P < 0.01; one-way ANOVA). The difference between B117-1 and B117-2 was confirmed by testing 60 additional convalescent sera. B117-1 and B117-2 differ by only 3 amino acids (nsp2-S512Y, nsp13-K460R, spike-A1056V). Enzyme immunoassay using 272 convalescent sera showed reduced binding of anti-RBD IgG to N501Y or N501Y-E484K-K417N when compared with that of wild-type RBD (mean difference: 0.1116 and 0.5613, respectively; one-way ANOVA). Of 7 anti-N-IgG positive sera from patients infected with N501Y variants (collected 9-14 days post symptom onset), 6 (85.7%) tested negative for a commercially-available anti-S1-IgG assay. FUNDING: Richard and Carol Yu, Michael Tong, and the Government Consultancy Service (see acknowledgments for full list). INTERPRETATION: We highlighted the importance of using a panel of viruses within the same lineage to determine the impact of virus variants on neutralization. Furthermore, clinicians should be aware of the potential reduced sensitivity of anti-RBD IgG assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/ultrastructure , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation/genetics , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324612

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several SARS-CoV-2 lineages with mutations at the spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) have reduced susceptibility to antibody neutralization, and have been classified as Variants of Concern (VOCs) or Variants of Interest (VOIs). Here, we systematically compared the neutralization susceptibility and RBD binding of different VOCs/VOIs, including B.1.617.1 (kappa variant) and P.3 (theta variant) which were first detected in India and the Philippines, respectively. METHODS: The neutralization susceptibility of the VOCs/VOIs (B.1.351, B.1.617.1 and P.3) and a non-VOC/VOI without RBD mutations (B.1.36.27) to convalescent sera from COVID-19 patients or BNT162b2 vaccinees was determined using a live virus microneutralization (MN) assay. Serum IgG binding to wild type and mutant RBDs were determined using an enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS: The geometric mean neutralization titers (GMT) of B.1.351, P.3, and B.1.617.1 were significantly lower than that of B.1.36.27 for COVID-19 patients infected with non-VOCs/VOIs (3.4-5.7-fold lower) or individuals who have received 2 doses of BNT162b2 vaccine (4.4-7.3-fold lower). The GMT of B.1.351 or P.3 were lower than that of B.1.671.1. For the 4 patients infected with B.1.351 or B.1.617.1, the MN titer was highest for their respective lineage. RBD with E484K or E484Q mutation, either alone or in combination with other mutations, showed greatest reduction in serum IgG binding. CONCLUSION: P.3 and B.1.617.1 escape serum neutralization induced by natural infection or vaccine. Infection with one variant do not confer cross protection for heterologous lineages. Immunogenicity testing for second generation COVID-19 vaccines should include multiple variant and "non-variant" strains.

12.
Circ J ; 84(11): 2027-2031, 2020 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-795948

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with myocardial injury, but there is a paucity of experimental platforms for the condition.Methods and Results:Human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) infected by SARS-CoV-2 for 3 days ceased beating and exhibited cytopathogenic changes with reduced viability. Active viral replication was evidenced by an increase in supernatant SARS-CoV-2 and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocaspid protein within hiPSC-CMs. Expressions of BNP, CXCL1, CXCL2, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α were upregulated, while ACE2 was downregulated. CONCLUSIONS: Our hiPSC-CM-based in-vitro SARS-CoV-2 myocarditis model recapitulated the cytopathogenic effects and cytokine/chemokine response. It could be exploited as a drug screening platform.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , Myocarditis/complications , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Cell Survival , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Cytokines/metabolism , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocarditis/virology , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Phosphoproteins , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication
13.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(9): 1051-1060, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597077

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A cruise ship is a closed-off environment that simulates the basic functioning of a city in terms of living conditions and interpersonal interactions. Thus, the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined because of an onboard outbreak of COVID-19 in February, 2020, provides an opportunity to define the shedding pattern of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and patient antibody responses before and after the onset of symptoms. METHODS: We recruited adult (≥18 years) passengers from Hong Kong who had been on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan in February, 2020. All participants had been found to be negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR 4 days before disembarking and were transferred to further quarantine in a public estate in Hong Kong, where they were recruited. Participants were prospectively screened by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) of nasopharyngeal and throat swabs, and serum IgG and IgM against internal nucleoprotein and the surface spike receptor-binding protein (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 at baseline (upon entering quarantine) and on days 4, 8, and 12 of quarantine. FINDINGS: On Feb 22, 2020, 215 adults were recruited, of whom nine (4%; 95% CI 2-8) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR or serology and were hospitalised. Of these nine patients, nasopharyngeal swab RT-qPCR was positive in eight patients (89%; 57-99) at baseline. All nine patients were positive for anti-RBD IgG by day 8. Eight (89%; 57-99) were simultaneously positive for nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR and anti-RBD IgG. One patient who was positive for anti-RBD IgG and had a negative viral load had multifocal peripheral ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT that were typical of COVID-19. Five patients (56%; 27-81) with ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT were found to have higher anti-nucleoprotein-IgG OD values on day 8 and 12 and anti-RBD IgG OD value on day 12 than patients without ground-glass changes. Six (67%; 35-88) patients remained asymptomatic throughout the 14-day quarantine period. INTERPRETATION: Patients with COVID-19 can develop asymptomatic lung infection with viral shedding and those with evidence of pneumonia on imaging tend to have an increased antibody response. Positive IgG or IgM confirmed infection of COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. A combination of RT-PCR and serology should be implemented for case finding and contact tracing to facilitate early diagnosis, prompt isolation, and treatment. FUNDING: Shaw Foundation Hong Kong; Sanming-Project of Medicine (Shenzhen); High Level-Hospital Program (Guangdong Health Commission).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Seroconversion , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Ships , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Viral Load , Young Adult
14.
Lancet ; 395(10238): 1695-1704, 2020 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-232479

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective antiviral therapy is important for tackling the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We assessed the efficacy and safety of combined interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin for treating patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This was a multicentre, prospective, open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial in adults with COVID-19 who were admitted to six hospitals in Hong Kong. Patients were randomly assigned (2:1) to a 14-day combination of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h, ribavirin 400 mg every 12 h, and three doses of 8 million international units of interferon beta-1b on alternate days (combination group) or to 14 days of lopinavir 400 mg and ritonavir 100 mg every 12 h (control group). The primary endpoint was the time to providing a nasopharyngeal swab negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RT-PCR, and was done in the intention-to-treat population. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04276688. FINDINGS: Between Feb 10 and March 20, 2020, 127 patients were recruited; 86 were randomly assigned to the combination group and 41 were assigned to the control group. The median number of days from symptom onset to start of study treatment was 5 days (IQR 3-7). The combination group had a significantly shorter median time from start of study treatment to negative nasopharyngeal swab (7 days [IQR 5-11]) than the control group (12 days [8-15]; hazard ratio 4·37 [95% CI 1·86-10·24], p=0·0010). Adverse events included self-limited nausea and diarrhoea with no difference between the two groups. One patient in the control group discontinued lopinavir-ritonavir because of biochemical hepatitis. No patients died during the study. INTERPRETATION: Early triple antiviral therapy was safe and superior to lopinavir-ritonavir alone in alleviating symptoms and shortening the duration of viral shedding and hospital stay in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. Future clinical study of a double antiviral therapy with interferon beta-1b as a backbone is warranted. FUNDING: The Shaw-Foundation, Richard and Carol Yu, May Tam Mak Mei Yin, and Sanming Project of Medicine.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon beta-1b/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Ribavirin/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Drug Combinations , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Hong Kong , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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