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1.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; : 1-15, 2022 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956544

ABSTRACT

The Omicron variant has led to a major fifth wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong between January and May 2022. Here, we used seroprevalence to estimate the combined incidence of vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 infection, including subclinical infection which were not diagnosed at the acute stage. The overall seropositive rate of IgG against receptor binding domain (anti-RBD IgG) increased from 52.2% in December 2021 to 89.3% in May 2022. The level of anti-RBD IgG was lowest in the 0-9 and ≥80 year-old age groups in May 2022. The seropositive rate of antibody against ORF8, which reflects the rate of prior infection, was 23.4% in May 2022. Our data suggest that although most individuals were either vaccinated or infected after the fifth wave, children and older adults remain most vulnerable. Public health measures should target these vulnerable age groups in order to ameliorate the healthcare consequences of upcoming waves.

2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3618, 2022 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908176

ABSTRACT

Monitoring population protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants is critical for risk assessment. We hypothesize that Hong Kong's explosive Omicron BA.2 outbreak in early 2022 could be explained by low herd immunity. Our seroprevalence study using sera collected from January to December 2021 shows a very low prevalence of neutralizing antibodies (NAb) against ancestral virus among older adults. The age group-specific prevalence of NAb generally correlates with the vaccination uptake rate, but older adults have a much lower NAb seropositive rate than vaccination uptake rate. For all age groups, the seroprevalence of NAb against Omicron variant is much lower than that against the ancestral virus. Our study suggests that this BA.2 outbreak and the exceptionally high case-fatality rate in the ≥80 year-old age group (9.2%) could be attributed to the lack of protective immunity in the population, especially among the vulnerable older adults, and that ongoing sero-surveillance is essential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies
3.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ; 22(7):4853-4866, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1786221

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 promoted strict restrictions to human activities in China, which led to a dramatic decrease in most air pollutant concentrations (e.g., PM2.5, PM10, NOx, SO2 and CO). However, an obvious increase in ozone (O3) concentrations was found during the lockdown period in most urban areas of China. In this study, we conducted field measurements targeting ozone and its key precursors by utilizing a novel proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) in Changzhou, which is representative of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) city cluster of China. We further applied the integrated methodology including machine learning, an observation-based model (OBM) and sensitivity analysis to obtain insights into the reasons causing the obvious increase in ozone. Major findings include the following: (1) by deweathered calculation, we found changes in precursor emissions contributed 1.46 ppbv to the increase in the observed O3 during the full-lockdown period in 2020, while meteorology constrained 3.0 ppbv of O3 in the full-lockdown period of 2019. (2) By using an OBM, we found that although a significant reduction in O3 precursors was observed during the full-lockdown period, the photochemical formation of O3 was stronger than that during the pre-lockdown period. (3) The NOx/VOC ratio dropped dramatically from 1.84 during the pre-lockdown to 0.79 in the full-lockdown period, which switched O3 formation from a VOC-limited regime to the boundary of a NOx- and VOC-limited regime. Additionally, box model results suggested that the decrease in the NOx/VOC ratio during the full-lockdown period could increase the mean O3 by 2.4 ppbv. Results of this study give insights into the relationship between O3 and its precursors in urban area and demonstrate reasons for the obvious increase in O3 in most urban areas of China during the COVID-19 lockdown period. This study also underlines the necessity of controlling anthropogenic oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs), alkenes and aromatics in the sustained campaign of reducing O3 pollution in China.

4.
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.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332139

ABSTRACT

Monitoring population protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants is critical for risk assessment. In this serosurveillance study, older adults show much lower seropositive rates of neutralizing antibody (NAb) against ancestral virus than the younger population. The increase in NAb seopositive rate generally follows the population vaccination uptake rate, but older adults have a much lower NAb seropositive rate than vaccination uptake rate. For all age groups, the seropositive rates of NAb against Omicron variant are much lower than those against the ancestral virus. During the fifth wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong which is dominated by Omicron sublineage BA.2, the case-fatality rate is exceptionally high in the ≥80 year-old age group (9.2%). Our study suggests that the severe BA.2 outbreak in Hong Kong can be attributed by the lack of protective immunity in the population, especially among the vulnerable older adults, and highlights the importance of continual surveillance of protective immunity against emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2.

6.
Library Philosophy and Practice ; : 1-27, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1766635

ABSTRACT

The increased usage of libraries during the Covid-19 pandemic has been well known to science communicators, but scientific communication has not evaluated the distributions of its published findings. Thus, this study intends to identify and map library services in international publishing, particularly the Scopus database during the pandemic. Sixty-four publications in the Scopus database were assessed using the bibliometric approach and fifty-seven documents are considered. To find documents from January 2020-June 2021, the author utilized keywords such as library services AND covid-19. Microsoft excels and VOSviewer software was used to analyze the result and visualize the knowledge map. The results showed that most of the papers are dealt with favorable and adoptive library services techniques, implementation of different users demands during the pandemic. The study found the most prolific authors. Rafiq, M., Batool, S. H., Ali, A. F., & Ullah, M. received a maximum of 20 citations from a single document and Michalak R., Ortiz-Díaz E.M., Pacheco-Mendoza J., Rysavy M.D.T., Saavedra-Alamillas C. published 2 documents each. The United States of America is ranked top to publish the scholarly publication on the Library Services during the COVID-19 related documents with 21 documents. India is in the 2nd rank with eight papers, followed by Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Peru, and South Korea. As a result, publications concerning this topic have a high likelihood of emerging. The most frequent terms used by authors are COVID-19(22.90%), library services (7.01%), academic libraries (5.61%). The shift towards advanced virtual and digital services offers more than just boosting librarians and library patrons;it serves as a move to keep the library relevant in a tech-centered society.

7.
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.

8.
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.

10.
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.

11.
Sci Total Environ ; 732: 139282, 2020 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-268426

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 has spreaded rapidly across the world. To control the rapid dispersion of the virus, China has imposed national lockdown policies to practise social distancing. This has led to reduced human activities and hence primary air pollutant emissions, which caused improvement of air quality as a side-product. To investigate the air quality changes during the COVID-19 lockdown over the YRD Region, we apply the WRF-CAMx modelling system together with monitoring data to investigate the impact of human activity pattern changes on air quality. Results show that human activities were lowered significantly during the period: industrial operations, VKT, constructions in operation, etc. were significantly reduced, leading to lowered SO2, NOx, PM2.5 and VOCs emissions by approximately 16-26%, 29-47%, 27-46% and 37-57% during the Level I and Level II response periods respectively. These emission reduction has played a significant role in the improvement of air quality. Concentrations of PM2.5, NO2 and SO2 decreased by 31.8%, 45.1% and 20.4% during the Level I period; and 33.2%, 27.2% and 7.6% during the Level II period compared with 2019. However, ozone did not show any reduction and increased greatly. Our results also show that even during the lockdown, with primary emissions reduction of 15%-61%, the daily average PM2.5 concentrations range between 15 and 79 µg m-3, which shows that background and residual pollutions are still high. Source apportionment results indicate that the residual pollution of PM2.5 comes from industry (32.2-61.1%), mobile (3.9-8.1%), dust (2.6-7.7%), residential sources (2.1-28.5%) in YRD and 14.0-28.6% contribution from long-range transport coming from northern China. This indicates that in spite of the extreme reductions in primary emissions, it cannot fully tackle the current air pollution. Re-organisation of the energy and industrial strategy together with trans-regional joint-control for a full long-term air pollution plan need to be further taken into account.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Air Pollutants , COVID-19 , China , Environmental Monitoring , Human Activities , Humans , Particulate Matter , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Nature ; 583(7818): 830-833, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-220333

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has become a public health emergency of international concern1. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the cell-entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)2. Here we infected transgenic mice that express human ACE2 (hereafter, hACE2 mice) with SARS-CoV-2 and studied the pathogenicity of the virus. We observed weight loss as well as virus replication in the lungs of hACE2 mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. The typical histopathology was interstitial pneumonia with infiltration of considerable numbers of macrophages and lymphocytes into the alveolar interstitium, and the accumulation of macrophages in alveolar cavities. We observed viral antigens in bronchial epithelial cells, macrophages and alveolar epithelia. These phenomena were not found in wild-type mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. Notably, we have confirmed the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 in hACE2 mice. This mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection will be valuable for evaluating antiviral therapeutic agents and vaccines, as well as understanding the pathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Lung/pathology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Transgenes , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Lymphocytes/immunology , Macrophages, Alveolar/immunology , Macrophages, Alveolar/virology , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Complement 3d/genetics , Receptors, Complement 3d/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication , Weight Loss
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