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1.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 301, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518277

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the increasing number of people infected with and recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the extent of major health consequences of COVID-19 is unclear, including risks of severe secondary infections. METHODS: Based on 445,845 UK Biobank participants registered in England, we conducted a matched cohort study where 5151 individuals with a positive test result or hospitalized with a diagnosis of COVID-19 were included in the exposed group. We then randomly selected up to 10 matched individuals without COVID-19 diagnosis for each exposed individual (n = 51,402). The life-threatening secondary infections were defined as diagnoses of severe secondary infections with high mortality rates (i.e., sepsis, endocarditis, and central nervous system infections) from the UK Biobank inpatient hospital data, or deaths from these infections from mortality data. The follow-up period was limited to 3 months after the initial COVID-19 diagnosis. Using a similar study design, we additionally constructed a matched cohort where exposed individuals were diagnosed with seasonal influenza from either inpatient hospital or primary care data between 2010 and 2019 (6169 exposed and 61,555 unexposed individuals). After controlling for multiple confounders, Cox models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of life-threatening secondary infections after COVID-19 or seasonal influenza. RESULTS: In the matched cohort for COVID-19, 50.22% of participants were male, and the median age at the index date was 66 years. During a median follow-up of 12.71 weeks, the incidence rate of life-threatening secondary infections was 2.23 (123/55.15) and 0.25 (151/600.55) per 1000 person-weeks for all patients with COVID-19 and their matched individuals, respectively, which corresponded to a fully adjusted HR of 8.19 (95% confidence interval [CI] 6.33-10.59). The corresponding HR of life-threatening secondary infections among all patients with seasonal influenza diagnosis was 4.50, 95% CI 3.34-6.08 (p for difference < 0.01). Also, elevated HRs were observed among hospitalized individuals for life-threatening secondary infections following hospital discharge, both in the COVID-19 (HR = 6.28 [95% CI 4.05-9.75]) and seasonal influenza (6.01 [95% CI 3.53-10.26], p for difference = 0.902) cohorts. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 patients have increased subsequent risks of life-threatening secondary infections, to an equal extent or beyond risk elevations observed for patients with seasonal influenza.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
2.
Elife ; 102021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513078

ABSTRACT

A voucher is a permanently preserved specimen that is maintained in an accessible collection. In genomics, vouchers serve as the physical evidence for the taxonomic identification of genome assemblies. Unfortunately, the vast majority of vertebrate genomes stored in the GenBank database do not refer to voucher specimens. Here, we urge researchers generating new genome assemblies to deposit voucher specimens in accessible, permanent research collections, and to link these vouchers to publications, public databases, and repositories. We also encourage scientists to deposit voucher specimens in order to recognize the work of local field biologists and promote a diverse and inclusive knowledge base, and we recommend best practices for voucher deposition to prevent taxonomic errors and ensure reproducibility and legality in genetic studies.


Subject(s)
Biological Specimen Banks , Databases, Genetic , Genomics , Specimen Handling , Animals , Data Accuracy , Humans , Phylogeny , Reproducibility of Results
3.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e055003, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501723

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the associations of physical activity level with COVID-19 mortality risk across body mass index (BMI) categories, and to determine whether any protective association of a higher physical activity level in individuals with obesity may be explained by favourable levels of cardiometabolic and inflammatory biomarkers. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study (baseline data collected between 2006 and 2010). Physical activity level was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (high: ≥3000 Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET)-min/week, moderate: ≥600 MET-min/week, low: not meeting either criteria), and biochemical assays were conducted on blood samples to provide biomarker data. SETTING: UK Biobank. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Logistic regressions adjusted for potential confounders were performed to determine the associations of exposure variables with COVID-19 mortality risk. Mortality from COVID-19 was ascertained by death certificates through linkage with National Health Service (NHS) Digital. RESULTS: Within the 259 397 included participants, 397 COVID-19 deaths occurred between 16 March 2020 and 27 February 2021. Compared with highly active individuals with a normal BMI (reference group), the ORs (95% CIs) for COVID-19 mortality were 1.61 (0.98 to 2.64) for highly active individuals with obesity, 2.85 (1.78 to 4.57) for lowly active individuals with obesity and 1.94 (1.04 to 3.61) for lowly active individuals with a normal BMI. Of the included biomarkers, neutrophil count and monocyte count were significantly positively associated with COVID-19 mortality risk. In a subanalysis restricted to individuals with obesity, adjusting for these biomarkers attenuated the higher COVID-19 mortality risk in lowly versus highly active individuals with obesity by 10%. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides novel evidence suggesting that a high physical activity level may attenuate the COVID-19 mortality risk associated with obesity. Although the protective association may be partly explained by lower neutrophil and monocyte counts, it still remains largely unexplained by the biomarkers included in this analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Biological Specimen Banks , Body Mass Index , Cohort Studies , Exercise , Humans , Inflammation , Obesity/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , United Kingdom/epidemiology
5.
Nat Med ; 27(6): 1012-1024, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472229

ABSTRACT

Age is the dominant risk factor for infectious diseases, but the mechanisms linking age to infectious disease risk are incompletely understood. Age-related mosaic chromosomal alterations (mCAs) detected from genotyping of blood-derived DNA, are structural somatic variants indicative of clonal hematopoiesis, and are associated with aberrant leukocyte cell counts, hematological malignancy, and mortality. Here, we show that mCAs predispose to diverse types of infections. We analyzed mCAs from 768,762 individuals without hematological cancer at the time of DNA acquisition across five biobanks. Expanded autosomal mCAs were associated with diverse incident infections (hazard ratio (HR) 1.25; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.15-1.36; P = 1.8 × 10-7), including sepsis (HR 2.68; 95% CI = 2.25-3.19; P = 3.1 × 10-28), pneumonia (HR 1.76; 95% CI = 1.53-2.03; P = 2.3 × 10-15), digestive system infections (HR 1.51; 95% CI = 1.32-1.73; P = 2.2 × 10-9) and genitourinary infections (HR 1.25; 95% CI = 1.11-1.41; P = 3.7 × 10-4). A genome-wide association study of expanded mCAs identified 63 loci, which were enriched at transcriptional regulatory sites for immune cells. These results suggest that mCAs are a marker of impaired immunity and confer increased predisposition to infections.


Subject(s)
Aging/genetics , Communicable Diseases/genetics , Pneumonia/genetics , Sepsis/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/pathology , Biological Specimen Banks , Chromosome Aberrations , Communicable Diseases/complications , Communicable Diseases/microbiology , Digestive System Diseases/epidemiology , Digestive System Diseases/genetics , Digestive System Diseases/microbiology , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genome-Wide Association Study , Genotype , Hematologic Neoplasms/complications , Hematologic Neoplasms/genetics , Hematologic Neoplasms/microbiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mosaicism , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Pneumonia/microbiology , Risk Factors , Sepsis/epidemiology , Sepsis/microbiology , Urogenital Abnormalities/epidemiology , Urogenital Abnormalities/genetics , Urogenital Abnormalities/microbiology , Young Adult
6.
Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi ; 55(9): 1149-1152, 2021 Sep 06.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463876

ABSTRACT

To investigate whether the laboratory specimens preserved in Beijing Hospital Biobank during a specific period had been contaminated by SARS-Cov-2 through a cross-sectional study, and to establish a retrospective biobank safety screening system. Laboratory specimens were collected from the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and the Fever Clinic of Beijing Hospital from November 1, 2019 to January 22, 2020, nucleic acid and serological antibody testing were performed for SARS-CoV-2 in these specimens (including 79 serum, 20 urine, 42 feces and 21 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid specimens). The safety of the stored samples during this period was defined by negative and positive results. Both the nucleic acid test and serological antibody test showed negative for SARS-CoV-2, indicating that these specimens were safely stored in the biobank. High-risk specimens collected in our hospital during the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak are free of SARS-CoV-2, and a safety screening strategy for the clinical biobank is established to ensure the biosafety of these samples.


Subject(s)
Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Biopreserv Biobank ; 19(5): 394-398, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450357

ABSTRACT

Background: The AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR) is a network of four regional biospecimen repositories and a technical core in the United States and South Africa. Its mission is to acquire, store, and distribute HIV-associated malignancy specimens and related clinical data to support translational research. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that existing ACSR Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were not sufficient to ensure long-term maintenance and integrity of inventories during periods of extended shutdown. The ACSR needed an administrative SOP for situations pertaining to epidemics/pandemics. The ACSR Quality Working Group (QWG), comprised of representatives from each of the five ACSR sites and an external member who directs a large university medical center biorepository, addressed the issue. Methods: To understand the individual problems the sites faced, questions were developed to query each of the six QWG sites' contingency plans to cover this type of emergency, the amount of work allowed onsite and by whom, the challenges sites experienced, and the lessons learned to assist with future similar situations, while remaining consistent with the existing IRB protocols. Results: Reported challenges spanned all activities of classical biobanks and differed within the geographical locations of the sites and the local COVID-19 infection rate. Review of the responses to the questions revealed that the general shutdown of society external to the biorepositories presented them with a homogeneous collection of problems, limitations, and needs. This led to creating an SOP that addresses planning for pandemic emergencies, scaling down of activities, shutting down, and reopening plans. Conclusions: The ACSR QWG sites now have a structured response SOP for their sites, including guidance on how to develop and implement an emergency shutdown and reopening plan. The complete SOP is publicly available on the ACSR website.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Biological Specimen Banks , Emergencies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
8.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e29544, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443972

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a major public health concern. Given the extent of the pandemic, it is urgent to identify risk factors associated with disease severity. More accurate prediction of those at risk of developing severe infections is of high clinical importance. OBJECTIVE: Based on the UK Biobank (UKBB), we aimed to build machine learning models to predict the risk of developing severe or fatal infections, and uncover major risk factors involved. METHODS: We first restricted the analysis to infected individuals (n=7846), then performed analysis at a population level, considering those with no known infection as controls (ncontrols=465,728). Hospitalization was used as a proxy for severity. A total of 97 clinical variables (collected prior to the COVID-19 outbreak) covering demographic variables, comorbidities, blood measurements (eg, hematological/liver/renal function/metabolic parameters), anthropometric measures, and other risk factors (eg, smoking/drinking) were included as predictors. We also constructed a simplified (lite) prediction model using 27 covariates that can be more easily obtained (demographic and comorbidity data). XGboost (gradient-boosted trees) was used for prediction and predictive performance was assessed by cross-validation. Variable importance was quantified by Shapley values (ShapVal), permutation importance (PermImp), and accuracy gain. Shapley dependency and interaction plots were used to evaluate the pattern of relationships between risk factors and outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 2386 severe and 477 fatal cases were identified. For analyses within infected individuals (n=7846), our prediction model achieved area under the receiving-operating characteristic curve (AUC-ROC) of 0.723 (95% CI 0.711-0.736) and 0.814 (95% CI 0.791-0.838) for severe and fatal infections, respectively. The top 5 contributing factors (sorted by ShapVal) for severity were age, number of drugs taken (cnt_tx), cystatin C (reflecting renal function), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and Townsend deprivation index (TDI). For mortality, the top features were age, testosterone, cnt_tx, waist circumference (WC), and red cell distribution width. For analyses involving the whole UKBB population, AUCs for severity and fatality were 0.696 (95% CI 0.684-0.708) and 0.825 (95% CI 0.802-0.848), respectively. The same top 5 risk factors were identified for both outcomes, namely, age, cnt_tx, WC, WHR, and TDI. Apart from the above, age, cystatin C, TDI, and cnt_tx were among the top 10 across all 4 analyses. Other diseases top ranked by ShapVal or PermImp were type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and dementia, among others. For the "lite" models, predictive performances were broadly similar, with estimated AUCs of 0.716, 0.818, 0.696, and 0.830, respectively. The top ranked variables were similar to above, including age, cnt_tx, WC, sex (male), and T2DM. CONCLUSIONS: We identified numerous baseline clinical risk factors for severe/fatal infection by XGboost. For example, age, central obesity, impaired renal function, multiple comorbidities, and cardiometabolic abnormalities may predispose to poorer outcomes. The prediction models may be useful at a population level to identify those susceptible to developing severe/fatal infections, facilitating targeted prevention strategies. A risk-prediction tool is also available online. Further replications in independent cohorts are required to verify our findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Severity of Illness Index , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , United Kingdom/epidemiology
9.
Cells ; 10(10)2021 09 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438525

ABSTRACT

The objective of this review is to describe the evolution of lung tissue-derived diploid progenitor cell applications, ranging from historical biotechnological substrate functions for vaccine production and testing to current investigations around potential therapeutic use in respiratory tract regenerative medicine. Such cell types (e.g., MRC-5 or WI-38 sources) were extensively studied since the 1960s and have been continuously used over five decades as safe and sustainable industrial vaccine substrates. Recent research and development efforts around diploid progenitor lung cells (e.g., FE002-Lu or Walvax-2 sources) consist in qualification for potential use as optimal and renewed vaccine production substrates and, alternatively, for potential therapeutic applications in respiratory tract regenerative medicine. Potentially effective, safe, and sustainable cell therapy approaches for the management of inflammatory lung diseases or affections and related symptoms (e.g., COVID-19 patients and burn patient severe inhalation syndrome) using local homologous allogeneic cell-based or cell-derived product administrations are considered. Overall, lung tissue-derived progenitor cells isolated and produced under good manufacturing practices (GMP) may be used with high versatility. They can either act as key industrial platforms optimally conforming to specific pharmacopoeial requirements or as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for potentially effective promotion of lung tissue repair or regeneration.


Subject(s)
Biotechnology/methods , Diploidy , Lung/cytology , Regenerative Medicine/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/therapy , Animals , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Line , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy , History, 20th Century , History, 21st Century , Humans , Lung/physiology , Regeneration , Regenerative Medicine/history , SARS-CoV-2 , Stem Cell Transplantation , Stem Cells/cytology , Transplantation, Homologous
10.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(8): 1184-1191, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433936

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have been highlighted as important risk factors for COVID-19 mortality. However, insufficient data exist on the wider context of infectious diseases in people with NCDs. We aimed to investigate the association between NCDs and the risk of death from any infection before the COVID-19 pandemic (up to Dec 31, 2019). METHODS: For this observational study, we used data from the UK Biobank observational cohort study to explore factors associated with infection death. We excluded participants if data were missing for comorbidities, body-mass index, smoking status, ethnicity, and socioeconomic deprivation, and if they were lost to follow-up or withdrew consent. Deaths were censored up to Dec 31, 2019. We used Poisson regression models including NCDs present at recruitment to the UK Biobank (obesity [defined by use of body-mass index] and self-reported hypertension, chronic heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver disease, chronic kidney disease, previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack, other neurological disease, psychiatric disorder, and chronic inflammatory and autoimmune rheumatological disease), age, sex, ethnicity, smoking status, and socioeconomic deprivation. Separate models were constructed with individual NCDs replaced by the total number of prevalent NCDs to define associations with multimorbidity. All analyses were repeated with non-infection-related death as an alternate outcome measure to establish differential associations of infection death and non-infection death. Associations are reported as incidence rate ratios (IRR) accompanied by 95% CIs. FINDINGS: After exclusion of 9210 (1·8%) of the 502 505 participants in the UK Biobank cohort, our study sample comprised 493 295 individuals. During 5 273 731 person-years of follow-up (median 10·9 years [IQR 10·1-11·6] per participant), 27 729 deaths occurred, of which 1385 (5%) were related to infection. Advancing age, male sex, smoking, socioeconomic deprivation, and all studied NCDs were independently associated with the rate of both infection death and non-infection death. Compared with White ethnicity, a pooled Black, Asian, and minority ethnicity group was associated with a reduced risk of infection death (IRR 0·64, 95% CI 0·46-0·87) and non-infection death (0·80, 0·75-0·86). Stronger associations with infection death than with non-infection death were observed for advancing age (age 65 years vs 45 years: 7·59, 95% CI 5·92-9·73, for infection death vs 5·21, 4·97-5·48, for non-infection death), current smoking (vs never smoking: 3·69, 3·19-4·26, vs 2·52, 2·44-2·61), socioeconomic deprivation (most vs least deprived quintile: 2·13, 1·78-2·56, vs 1·38, 1·33-1·43), class 3 obesity (vs non-obese: 2·21, 1·74-2·82, vs 1·55, 1·44-1·66), hypertension (1·36, 1·22-1·53, vs 1·15, 1·12-1·18), respiratory disease (2·21, 1·96-2·50, vs 1·28, 1·24-1·32), chronic kidney disease (5·04, 4·28-7·31, vs 2·50, 2·20-2·84), psychiatric disease (1·56, 1·30-1·86, vs 1·23, 1·18-1·29), and chronic inflammatory and autoimmune rheumatological disease (2·45, 1·99-3·02, vs 1·41, 1·32-1·51). Accrual of multimorbidity was also more strongly associated with risk of infection death (five or more comorbidities vs none: 9·53, 6·97-13·03) than of non-infection death (5·26, 4·84-5·72). INTERPRETATION: Several NCDs are associated with an increased risk of infection death, suggesting that some of the reported associations with COVID-19 mortality might be non-specific. Only a subset of NCDs, together with the accrual of multimorbidity, advancing age, smoking, and socioeconomic deprivation, were associated with a greater IRR for infection death than for other causes of death. Further research is needed to define why these risk factors are more strongly associated with infection death, so that more effective preventive strategies can be targeted to high-risk groups. FUNDING: British Heart Foundation.


Subject(s)
Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/etiology , Noncommunicable Diseases , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Socioeconomic Factors
11.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5498, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428814

ABSTRACT

Rapid identification of host genes essential for virus replication may expedite the generation of therapeutic interventions. Genetic screens are often performed in transformed cell lines that poorly represent viral target cells in vivo, leading to discoveries that may not be translated to the clinic. Intestinal organoids are increasingly used to model human disease and are amenable to genetic engineering. To discern which host factors are reliable anti-coronavirus therapeutic targets, we generate mutant clonal IOs for 19 host genes previously implicated in coronavirus biology. We verify ACE2 and DPP4 as entry receptors for SARS-CoV/SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV respectively. SARS-CoV-2 replication in IOs does not require the endosomal Cathepsin B/L proteases, but specifically depends on the cell surface protease TMPRSS2. Other TMPRSS family members were not essential. The newly emerging coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, as well as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV similarly depended on TMPRSS2. These findings underscore the relevance of non-transformed human models for coronavirus research, identify TMPRSS2 as an attractive pan-coronavirus therapeutic target, and demonstrate that an organoid knockout biobank is a valuable tool to investigate the biology of current and future emerging coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Biological Specimen Banks , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Coronavirus , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/genetics , Organoids/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcriptome , Virus Replication
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18262, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410889

ABSTRACT

A growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased susceptibility to viral and bacterial respiratory infections. In this study, we aimed to examine the association between vitamin D and COVID-19 risk and outcomes. We used logistic regression to identify associations between vitamin D variables and COVID-19 (risk of infection, hospitalisation and death) in 417,342 participants from UK Biobank. We subsequently performed a Mendelian Randomisation (MR) study to look for evidence of a causal effect. In total, 1746 COVID-19 cases (399 deaths) were registered between March and June 2020. We found no significant associations between COVID-19 infection risk and measured 25-OHD levels after adjusted for covariates, but this finding is limited by the fact that the vitamin D levels were measured on average 11 years before the pandemic. Ambient UVB was strongly and inversely associated with COVID-19 hospitalization and death overall and consistently after stratification by BMI and ethnicity. We also observed an interaction that suggested greater protective effect of genetically-predicted vitamin D levels when ambient UVB radiation is stronger. The main MR analysis did not show that genetically-predicted vitamin D levels are causally associated with COVID-19 risk (OR = 0.77, 95% CI 0.55-1.11, P = 0.160), but MR sensitivity analyses indicated a potential causal effect (weighted mode MR: OR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.55-0.95, P = 0.021; weighted median MR: OR = 0.61, 95% CI 0.42-0.92, P = 0.016). Analysis of MR-PRESSO did not find outliers for any instrumental variables and suggested a potential causal effect (OR = 0.80, 95% CI 0.66-0.98, p-val = 0.030). In conclusion, the effect of vitamin D levels on the risk or severity of COVID-19 remains controversial, further studies are needed to validate vitamin D supplementation as a means of protecting against worsened COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Calcifediol/blood , Aged , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Mendelian Randomization Analysis , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United Kingdom
13.
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e049376, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408515

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: There is limited knowledge on how the SARS-CoV-2 affects pregnancy outcomes. Studies investigating the impact of COVID-19 in early pregnancy are scarce and information on long-term follow-up is lacking.The purpose of this project is to study the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy outcomes and long-term maternal and child health by: (1) establishing a database and biobank from pregnant women with COVID-19 and presumably non-infected women and their infants and (2) examining how women and their partners experience pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood in the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a national, multicentre, prospective cohort study involving 27 Swedish maternity units accounting for over 86 000 deliveries/year. Pregnant women are included when they: (1) test positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 group) or (2) are non-infected and seek healthcare at one of their routine antenatal visits (screening group). Blood, as well as other biological samples, are collected at different time points during and after pregnancy. Child health up to 4 years of age and parent experience of pregnancy, delivery, early parenthood, healthcare and society in general will be examined using web-based questionnaires based on validated instruments. Short- and long-term health outcomes will be collected from Swedish health registers and the parents' experiences will be studied by performing qualitative interviews. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Confidentiality aspects such as data encryption and storage comply with the General Data Protection Regulation and with ethical committee requirements. This study has been granted national ethical approval by the Swedish Ethical Review Authority (dnr 2020-02189 and amendments 2020-02848, 2020-05016, 2020-06696 and 2021-00870) and national biobank approval by the Biobank Väst (dnr B2000526:970). Results from the project will be published in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04433364.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biological Specimen Banks , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Outcome/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
Yearb Med Inform ; 30(1): 219-225, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392953

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Provide an overview of the emerging themes and notable papers which were published in 2020 in the field of Bioinformatics and Translational Informatics (BTI) for the International Medical Informatics Association Yearbook. METHODS: A team of 16 individuals scanned the literature from the past year. Using a scoring rubric, papers were evaluated on their novelty, importance, and objective quality. 1,224 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms extracted from these papers were used to identify themes and research focuses. The authors then used the scoring results to select notable papers and trends presented in this manuscript. RESULTS: The search phase identified 263 potential papers and central themes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), machine learning, and bioinformatics were examined in greater detail. CONCLUSIONS: When addressing a once in a centruy pandemic, scientists worldwide answered the call, with informaticians playing a critical role. Productivity and innovations reached new heights in both TBI and science, but significant research gaps remain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Computational Biology , Machine Learning , Biological Specimen Banks , Computer Security , Publishing/trends , SARS-CoV-2
16.
BMC Med ; 18(1): 160, 2020 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388759

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding of the role of ethnicity and socioeconomic position in the risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 infection is limited. We investigated this in the UK Biobank study. METHODS: The UK Biobank study recruited 40-70-year-olds in 2006-2010 from the general population, collecting information about self-defined ethnicity and socioeconomic variables (including area-level socioeconomic deprivation and educational attainment). SARS-CoV-2 test results from Public Health England were linked to baseline UK Biobank data. Poisson regression with robust standard errors was used to assess risk ratios (RRs) between the exposures and dichotomous variables for being tested, having a positive test and testing positive in hospital. We also investigated whether ethnicity and socioeconomic position were associated with having a positive test amongst those tested. We adjusted for covariates including age, sex, social variables (including healthcare work and household size), behavioural risk factors and baseline health. RESULTS: Amongst 392,116 participants in England, 2658 had been tested for SARS-CoV-2 and 948 tested positive (726 in hospital) between 16 March and 3 May 2020. Black and south Asian groups were more likely to test positive (RR 3.35 (95% CI 2.48-4.53) and RR 2.42 (95% CI 1.75-3.36) respectively), with Pakistani ethnicity at highest risk within the south Asian group (RR 3.24 (95% CI 1.73-6.07)). These ethnic groups were more likely to be hospital cases compared to the white British. Adjustment for baseline health and behavioural risk factors led to little change, with only modest attenuation when accounting for socioeconomic variables. Socioeconomic deprivation and having no qualifications were consistently associated with a higher risk of confirmed infection (RR 2.19 for most deprived quartile vs least (95% CI 1.80-2.66) and RR 2.00 for no qualifications vs degree (95% CI 1.66-2.42)). CONCLUSIONS: Some minority ethnic groups have a higher risk of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the UK Biobank study, which was not accounted for by differences in socioeconomic conditions, baseline self-reported health or behavioural risk factors. An urgent response to addressing these elevated risks is required.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Biological Specimen Banks , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Ethnic Groups/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS Virus , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16936, 2021 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366827

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for robust, scalable monitoring tools supporting stratification of high-risk patients. This research aims to develop and validate prediction models, using the UK Biobank, to estimate COVID-19 mortality risk in confirmed cases. From the 11,245 participants testing positive for COVID-19, we develop a data-driven random forest classification model with excellent performance (AUC: 0.91), using baseline characteristics, pre-existing conditions, symptoms, and vital signs, such that the score could dynamically assess mortality risk with disease deterioration. We also identify several significant novel predictors of COVID-19 mortality with equivalent or greater predictive value than established high-risk comorbidities, such as detailed anthropometrics and prior acute kidney failure, urinary tract infection, and pneumonias. The model design and feature selection enables utility in outpatient settings. Possible applications include supporting individual-level risk profiling and monitoring disease progression across patients with COVID-19 at-scale, especially in hospital-at-home settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prognosis , Risk Factors , United Kingdom/epidemiology
18.
BMJ Open ; 11(7): e047349, 2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341323

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Research in acute care faces many challenges, including enrolment challenges, legal limitations in data sharing, limited funding and lack of singular ownership of the domain of acute care. To overcome these challenges, the Center of Acute Care of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, has established a de novo data, image and biobank named 'Acutelines'. PARTICIPANTS: Clinical data, imaging data and biomaterials (ie, blood, urine, faeces, hair) are collected from patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with a broad range of acute disease presentations. A deferred consent procedure (by proxy) is in place to allow collecting data and biomaterials prior to obtaining written consent. The digital infrastructure used ensures automated capturing of all bed-side monitoring data (ie, vital parameters, electrophysiological waveforms) and securely importing data from other sources, such as the electronic health records of the hospital, ambulance and general practitioner, municipal registration and pharmacy. Data are collected from all included participants during the first 72 hours of their hospitalisation, while follow-up data are collected at 3 months, 1 year, 2 years and 5 years after their ED visit. FINDINGS TO DATE: Enrolment of the first participant occurred on 1 September 2020. During the first month, 653 participants were screened for eligibility, of which 180 were approached as potential participants. In total, 151 (84%) provided consent for participation of which 89 participants fulfilled criteria for collection of biomaterials. FUTURE PLANS: The main aim of Acutelines is to facilitate research in acute medicine by providing the framework for novel studies and issuing data, images and biomaterials for future research. The protocol will be extended by connecting with central registries to obtain long-term follow-up data, for which we already request permission from the participant. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04615065.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medicine , Biological Specimen Banks , Humans , Netherlands , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
19.
Bioessays ; 43(9): e2100087, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323859

ABSTRACT

Vaccines represent preventative interventions amenable to immunogenetic prediction of how human variability will influence their safety and efficacy. The genetic polymorphism among individuals within any population can render possible that the immunity elicited by a vaccine is variable in length and strength. The same immune challenge (virus and/or vaccine) could provoke partial, complete or even failed protection for some individuals treated under the same conditions. We review genetic variants and mechanistic relationships among chemokines, chemokine receptors, interleukins, interferons, interferon receptors, toll-like receptors, histocompatibility antigens, various immunoglobulins and major histocompatibility complex antigens. These are the targets for variation among macrophages, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, T- and B-lymphocytes, and complement. The technology platforms (mRNA, viral vectors, proteins) utilized to produce vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infections may each trigger genetically distinct immune reactogenic profiles. With DNA biobanking and immunoprofiling of recipients, global COVID-19 vaccinations could launch a new era of personalized healthcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Biological Specimen Banks , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
20.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103485, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322072

ABSTRACT

Background Older age is the most powerful risk factor for adverse coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) outcomes. It is uncertain whether leucocyte telomere length (LTL), previously proposed as a marker of biological age, is also associated with COVID-19 outcomes. Methods We associated LTL values obtained from participants recruited into UK Biobank (UKB) during 2006-2010 with adverse COVID-19 outcomes recorded by 30 November 2020, defined as a composite of any of the following: hospital admission, need for critical care, respiratory support, or mortality. Using information on 130 LTL-associated genetic variants, we conducted exploratory Mendelian randomisation (MR) analyses in UKB to evaluate whether observational associations might reflect cause-and-effect relationships. Findings Of 6775 participants in UKB who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the community, there were 914 (13.5%) with adverse COVID-19 outcomes. The odds ratio (OR) for adverse COVID-19 outcomes was 1·17 (95% CI 1·05-1·30; P = 0·004) per 1-SD shorter usual LTL, after adjustment for age, sex and ethnicity. Similar ORs were observed in analyses that: adjusted for additional risk factors; disaggregated the composite outcome and reduced the scope for selection or collider bias. In MR analyses, the OR for adverse COVID-19 outcomes was directionally concordant but non-significant. Interpretation Shorter LTL is associated with higher risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes, independent of several major risk factors for COVID-19 including age. Further data are needed to determine whether this association reflects causality. Funding UK Medical Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and British Heart Foundation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Leukocytes/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Telomere/genetics , Aged , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/pathology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Mendelian Randomization Analysis , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , United Kingdom
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