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PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262179, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636037


Comparisons of histopathological features and microbiological findings between decedents with respiratory symptoms due to SARS-CoV-2 infection or other causes, in settings with high prevalence of HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infections have not been reported. Deaths associated with a positive ante-mortem SARS-CoV-2 PCR test and/or respiratory disease symptoms at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, South Africa from 15th April to 2nd November 2020, during the first wave of the South African COVID-19 epidemic, were investigated. Deceased adult patients had post-mortem minimally-invasive tissue sampling (MITS) performed to investigate for SARS-CoV-2 infection and molecular detection of putative pathogens on blood and lung samples, and histopathology examination of lung, liver and heart tissue. During the study period MITS were done in patients displaying symptoms of respiratory disease including 75 COVID-19-related deaths (COVID+) and 42 non-COVID-19-related deaths (COVID-). The prevalence of HIV-infection was lower in COVID+ (27%) than in the COVID- (64%), MTB detection was also less common among COVID+ (3% vs 13%). Lung histopathology findings showed differences between COVID+ and COVID- in the severity of the morphological appearance of Type-II pneumocytes, alveolar injury and repair initiated by SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the liver necrotising granulomatous inflammation was more common among COVID+. No differences were found in heart analyses. The prevalence of bacterial co-infections was higher in COVID+. Most indicators of respiratory distress syndrome were undifferentiated between COVID+ and COVID- except for Type-II pneumocytes. HIV or MTB infection does not appear in these data to have a meaningful correspondence with COVID-related deaths.

Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Hypertension/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Autopsy , Biopsy, Large-Core Needle/methods , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , South Africa/epidemiology
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 40(9): e323-e332, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358506


BACKGROUND: Globally, very few childhood deaths have been attributed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We evaluated clinical, microbiologic and postmortem histopathologic findings in childhood deaths in whom severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified antemortem or postmortem. METHODS: Surveillance of childhood deaths was ongoing during the initial COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa from April 14, 2020, to August 31, 2020. All children hospitalized during this time had a SARS-CoV-2 test done as part of standard of care. Postmortem sampling included minimally invasive tissue sampling (MITS) of lung, liver and heart tissue; blood and lung samples for bacterial culture and molecular detection of viruses (including SARS-CoV-2) and bacteria. The cause of death attribution was undertaken by a multidisciplinary team and reported using World Health Organization framework for cause of death attribution. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 was identified on antemortem and/or postmortem sampling in 11.7% (20/171) of deceased children, including 13.2% (12/91) in whom MITS was done. Eighteen (90%) of 20 deaths with SARS-CoV-2 infection were <12 months age. COVID-19 was attributed in the causal pathway to death in 91.7% (11/12) and 87.5% (7/8) cases with and without MITS, respectively. Lung histopathologic features in COVID-19-related deaths included diffuse alveolar damage (n = 6, 54.5%), type 2 pneumocyte proliferation (n = 6, 54.5%) and hyaline membrane formation (n = 5, 36.4%). Culture-confirmed invasive bacterial disease was evident in 54.5% (6/11) of COVID-19 attributed deaths investigated with MITS. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 was in the causal pathway of 10.5% (18/171) of all childhood deaths under surveillance. The postmortem histopathologic features in fatal COVID-19 cases in children were consistent with reports on COVID-19 deaths in adults; although there was a high prevalence of invasive bacterial disease in the children.

COVID-19/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Gastroenteritis/complications , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Tract Diseases/complications , Seizures/complications , South Africa/epidemiology
N Engl J Med ; 384(20): 1885-1898, 2021 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135713


BACKGROUND: Assessment of the safety and efficacy of vaccines against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in different populations is essential, as is investigation of the efficacy of the vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including the B.1.351 (501Y.V2) variant first identified in South Africa. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) in people not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in South Africa. Participants 18 to less than 65 years of age were assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses of vaccine containing 5×1010 viral particles or placebo (0.9% sodium chloride solution) 21 to 35 days apart. Serum samples obtained from 25 participants after the second dose were tested by pseudovirus and live-virus neutralization assays against the original D614G virus and the B.1.351 variant. The primary end points were safety and efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed symptomatic coronavirus 2019 illness (Covid-19) more than 14 days after the second dose. RESULTS: Between June 24 and November 9, 2020, we enrolled 2026 HIV-negative adults (median age, 30 years); 1010 and 1011 participants received at least one dose of placebo or vaccine, respectively. Both the pseudovirus and the live-virus neutralization assays showed greater resistance to the B.1.351 variant in serum samples obtained from vaccine recipients than in samples from placebo recipients. In the primary end-point analysis, mild-to-moderate Covid-19 developed in 23 of 717 placebo recipients (3.2%) and in 19 of 750 vaccine recipients (2.5%), for an efficacy of 21.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], -49.9 to 59.8). Among the 42 participants with Covid-19, 39 cases (95.1% of 41 with sequencing data) were caused by the B.1.351 variant; vaccine efficacy against this variant, analyzed as a secondary end point, was 10.4% (95% CI, -76.8 to 54.8). The incidence of serious adverse events was balanced between the vaccine and placebo groups. CONCLUSIONS: A two-dose regimen of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine did not show protection against mild-to-moderate Covid-19 due to the B.1.351 variant. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others; number, NCT04444674; Pan African Clinical Trials Registry number, PACTR202006922165132).

Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2 , Adenoviridae , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/physiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Middle Aged , South Africa , T-Lymphocytes/physiology , Treatment Failure , Vaccine Potency , Young Adult