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Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 10: CD013717, 2020 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557155


BACKGROUND: In late 2019, first cases of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, were reported in Wuhan, China. Subsequently COVID-19 spread rapidly around the world. To contain the ensuing pandemic, numerous countries have implemented control measures related to international travel, including border closures, partial travel restrictions, entry or exit screening, and quarantine of travellers. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of travel-related control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic on infectious disease and screening-related outcomes. SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase and COVID-19-specific databases, including the WHO Global Database on COVID-19 Research, the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, and the CDC COVID-19 Research Database on 26 June 2020. We also conducted backward-citation searches with existing reviews. SELECTION CRITERIA: We considered experimental, quasi-experimental, observational and modelling studies assessing the effects of travel-related control measures affecting human travel across national borders during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also included studies concerned with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) as indirect evidence. Primary outcomes were cases avoided, cases detected and a shift in epidemic development due to the measures. Secondary outcomes were other infectious disease transmission outcomes, healthcare utilisation, resource requirements and adverse effects if identified in studies assessing at least one primary outcome. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: One review author screened titles and abstracts; all excluded abstracts were screened in duplicate. Two review authors independently screened full texts. One review author extracted data, assessed risk of bias and appraised study quality. At least one additional review author checked for correctness of all data reported in the 'Risk of bias' assessment, quality appraisal and data synthesis. For assessing the risk of bias and quality of included studies, we used the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool for observational studies concerned with screening, ROBINS-I for observational ecological studies and a bespoke tool for modelling studies. We synthesised findings narratively. One review author assessed certainty of evidence with GRADE, and the review author team discussed ratings. MAIN RESULTS: We included 40 records reporting on 36 unique studies. We found 17 modelling studies, 7 observational screening studies and one observational ecological study on COVID-19, four modelling and six observational studies on SARS, and one modelling study on SARS and MERS, covering a variety of settings and epidemic stages. Most studies compared travel-related control measures against a counterfactual scenario in which the intervention measure was not implemented. However, some modelling studies described additional comparator scenarios, such as different levels of travel restrictions, or a combination of measures. There were concerns with the quality of many modelling studies and the risk of bias of observational studies. Many modelling studies used potentially inappropriate assumptions about the structure and input parameters of models, and failed to adequately assess uncertainty. Concerns with observational screening studies commonly related to the reference test and the flow of the screening process. Studies on COVID-19 Travel restrictions reducing cross-border travel Eleven studies employed models to simulate a reduction in travel volume; one observational ecological study assessed travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Very low-certainty evidence from modelling studies suggests that when implemented at the beginning of the outbreak, cross-border travel restrictions may lead to a reduction in the number of new cases of between 26% to 90% (4 studies), the number of deaths (1 study), the time to outbreak of between 2 and 26 days (2 studies), the risk of outbreak of between 1% to 37% (2 studies), and the effective reproduction number (1 modelling and 1 observational ecological study). Low-certainty evidence from modelling studies suggests a reduction in the number of imported or exported cases of between 70% to 81% (5 studies), and in the growth acceleration of epidemic progression (1 study). Screening at borders with or without quarantine Evidence from three modelling studies of entry and exit symptom screening without quarantine suggests delays in the time to outbreak of between 1 to 183 days (very low-certainty evidence) and a detection rate of infected travellers of between 10% to 53% (low-certainty evidence). Six observational studies of entry and exit screening were conducted in specific settings such as evacuation flights and cruise ship outbreaks. Screening approaches varied but followed a similar structure, involving symptom screening of all individuals at departure or upon arrival, followed by quarantine, and different procedures for observation and PCR testing over a period of at least 14 days. The proportion of cases detected ranged from 0% to 91% (depending on the screening approach), and the positive predictive value ranged from 0% to 100% (very low-certainty evidence). The outcomes, however, should be interpreted in relation to both the screening approach used and the prevalence of infection among the travellers screened; for example, symptom-based screening alone generally performed worse than a combination of symptom-based and PCR screening with subsequent observation during quarantine. Quarantine of travellers Evidence from one modelling study simulating a 14-day quarantine suggests a reduction in the number of cases seeded by imported cases; larger reductions were seen with increasing levels of quarantine compliance ranging from 277 to 19 cases with rates of compliance modelled between 70% to 100% (very low-certainty evidence). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: With much of the evidence deriving from modelling studies, notably for travel restrictions reducing cross-border travel and quarantine of travellers, there is a lack of 'real-life' evidence for many of these measures. The certainty of the evidence for most travel-related control measures is very low and the true effects may be substantially different from those reported here. Nevertheless, some travel-related control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic may have a positive impact on infectious disease outcomes. Broadly, travel restrictions may limit the spread of disease across national borders. Entry and exit symptom screening measures on their own are not likely to be effective in detecting a meaningful proportion of cases to prevent seeding new cases within the protected region; combined with subsequent quarantine, observation and PCR testing, the effectiveness is likely to improve. There was insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of travel-related quarantine on its own. Some of the included studies suggest that effects are likely to depend on factors such as the stage of the epidemic, the interconnectedness of countries, local measures undertaken to contain community transmission, and the extent of implementation and adherence.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel-Related Illness , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Observational Studies as Topic , Quarantine , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/prevention & control
Int J Med Sci ; 18(3): 763-767, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524479


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and is an emerging disease. There has been a rapid increase in cases and deaths since it was identified in Wuhan, China, in early December 2019, with over 4,000,000 cases of COVID-19 including at least 250,000 deaths worldwide as of May 2020. However, limited data about the clinical characteristics of pregnant women with COVID-19 have been reported. Given the maternal physiologic and immune function changes during pregnancy, pregnant women may be at a higher risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 and developing more complicated clinical events. Information on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) may provide insights into the effects of COVID-19's during pregnancy. Even though SARS and MERS have been associated with miscarriage, intrauterine death, fetal growth restriction and high case fatality rates, the clinical course of COVID-19 pneumonia in pregnant women has been reported to be similar to that in non-pregnant women. In addition, pregnant women do not appear to be at a higher risk of catching COVID-19 or suffering from more severe disease than other adults of similar age. Moreover, there is currently no evidence that the virus can be transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy or during childbirth. Babies and young children are also known to only experience mild forms of COVID-19. The aims of this systematic review were to summarize the possible symptoms, treatments, and pregnancy outcomes of women infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Outcome , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Maternal Exposure , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/therapy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Severity of Illness Index
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(7): e27621, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505428


BACKGROUND: The national severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) surveillance system in Yemen was established in 2010 to monitor SARI occurrence in humans and provide a foundation for detecting SARI outbreaks. OBJECTIVE: To ensure that the objectives of national surveillance are being met, this study aimed to examine the level of usefulness and the performance of the SARI surveillance system in Yemen. METHODS: The updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines were used for the purposes of our evaluation. Related documents and reports were reviewed. Data were collected from 4 central-level managers and stakeholders and from 10 focal points at 4 sentinel sites by using a semistructured questionnaire. For each attribute, percent scores were calculated and ranked as follows: very poor (≤20%), poor (20%-40%), average (40%-60%), good (60%-80%), and excellent (>80%). RESULTS: As rated by the evaluators, the SARI surveillance system achieved its objectives. The system's flexibility (percent score: 86%) and acceptability (percent score: 82%) were rated as "excellent," and simplicity (percent score: 74%) and stability (percent score: 75%) were rated as "good." The percent score for timeliness was 23% in 2018, which indicated poor timeliness. The overall data quality percent score of the SARI system was 98.5%. Despite its many strengths, the SARI system has some weaknesses. For example, it depends on irregular external financial support. CONCLUSIONS: The SARI surveillance system was useful in estimating morbidity and mortality, monitoring the trends of the disease, and promoting research for informing prevention and control measures. The overall performance of the SARI surveillance system was good. We recommend expanding the system by promoting private health facilities' (eg, private hospitals and private health centers) engagement in SARI surveillance, establishing an electronic database at central and peripheral sites, and providing the National Central Public Health Laboratory with the reagents needed for disease confirmation.

Sentinel Surveillance , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , United States , Yemen/epidemiology
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0258893, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511820


OBJECTIVE: Explore how previous work during the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak affects the psychological response of clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers (HCWs) to the current COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional, multi-centered hospital online survey of HCWs in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Mental health outcomes of HCWs who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic and the SARS outbreak were assessed using Impact of Events-Revised scale (IES-R), Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7), and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). RESULTS: Among 3852 participants, moderate/severe scores for symptoms of post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (50.2%), anxiety (24.6%), and depression (31.5%) were observed among HCWs. Work during the 2003 SARS outbreak was reported by 1116 respondents (29.1%), who had lower scores for symptoms of PTSD (P = .002), anxiety (P < .001), and depression (P < .001) compared to those who had not worked during the SARS outbreak. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed non-clinical HCWs during this pandemic were at higher risk of anxiety (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.19-2.15, P = .01) and depressive symptoms (OR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.34-3.07, P < .001). HCWs using sedatives (OR, 2.55; 95% CI, 1.61-4.03, P < .001), those who cared for only 2-5 patients with COVID-19 (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.06-2.38, P = .01), and those who had been in isolation for COVID-19 (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 0.96-1.93, P = .05), were at higher risk of moderate/severe symptoms of PTSD. In addition, deterioration in sleep was associated with symptoms of PTSD (OR, 4.68, 95% CI, 3.74-6.30, P < .001), anxiety (OR, 3.09, 95% CI, 2.11-4.53, P < .001), and depression (OR 5.07, 95% CI, 3.48-7.39, P < .001). CONCLUSION: Psychological distress was observed in both clinical and non-clinical HCWs, with no impact from previous SARS work experience. As the pandemic continues, increasing psychological and team support may decrease the mental health impacts.

COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/psychology , Adaptation, Psychological/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , Allied Health Personnel , Anxiety/psychology , Anxiety/virology , Anxiety Disorders/psychology , Anxiety Disorders/virology , COVID-19/virology , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/psychology , Depression/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Health Questionnaire , Psychological Distress , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/virology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
Front Public Health ; 9: 717941, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477889


Coronaviruses cause respiratory and digestive diseases in vertebrates. The recent pandemic, caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2, is taking a heavy toll on society and planetary health, and illustrates the threat emerging coronaviruses can pose to the well-being of humans and other animals. Coronaviruses are constantly evolving, crossing host species barriers, and expanding their host range. In the last few decades, several novel coronaviruses have emerged in humans and domestic animals. Novel coronaviruses have also been discovered in captive wildlife or wild populations, raising conservation concerns. The evolution and emergence of novel viruses is enabled by frequent cross-species transmission. It is thus crucial to determine emerging coronaviruses' potential for infecting different host species, and to identify the circumstances under which cross-species transmission occurs in order to mitigate the rate of disease emergence. Here, I review (broadly across several mammalian host species) up-to-date knowledge of host range and circumstances concerning reported cross-species transmission events of emerging coronaviruses in humans and common domestic mammals. All of these coronaviruses had similar host ranges, were closely related (indicative of rapid diversification and spread), and their emergence was likely associated with high-host-density environments facilitating multi-species interactions (e.g., shelters, farms, and markets) and the health or well-being of animals as end- and/or intermediate spillover hosts. Further research is needed to identify mechanisms of the cross-species transmission events that have ultimately led to a surge of emerging coronaviruses in multiple species in a relatively short period of time in a world undergoing rapid environmental change.

COVID-19 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Animals , Humans , Mammals , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology
Nurs Ethics ; 27(4): 924-934, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453014


BACKGROUND: Fifteen years have passed since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in Hong Kong. At that time, there were reports of heroic acts among professionals who cared for these patients, whose bravery and professionalism were highly praised. However, there are concerns about changes in new generation of nursing professionals. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the attitude of nursing students, should they be faced with severe acute respiratory syndrome patients during their future work. RESEARCH DESIGN: A questionnaire survey was carried out to examine the attitude among final-year nursing students to three ethical areas, namely, duty of care, resource allocation, and collateral damage. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: This study was carried out in accordance with the requirements and recommendations of the Central Research and Ethics Committee, School of Health Sciences at Caritas Institute of Higher Education. FINDINGS: Complete responses from 102 subjects were analyzed. The overwhelming majority (96.1%) did not agree to participate in the intubation of severe acute respiratory syndrome patients if protective measures, that is, N95 mask and gown, were not available. If there were insufficient N95 masks for all the medical, nursing, and allied health workers in the hospital (resource allocation), 37.3% felt that the distribution of N95 masks should be by casting lot, while the rest disagreed. When asked about collateral damage, more than three-quarters (77.5%) said that severe acute respiratory syndrome patients should be admitted to intensive care unit. There was sex difference in nursing students' attitude toward severe acute respiratory syndrome care during pregnancy and influence of age in understanding intensive care unit care for these patients. Interestingly, 94.1% felt that there should be a separate intensive care unit for severe acute respiratory syndrome patients. CONCLUSION: As infection control practice and isolation facilities improved over the years, relevant knowledge and nursing ethical issues related to infectious diseases should become part of nursing education and training programs, especially in preparation for outbreaks of infectious diseases or distress.

Attitude of Health Personnel , Disease Outbreaks , Ethics, Nursing , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Students, Nursing/psychology , Adult , Female , Health Care Rationing , Hong Kong , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Patient Admission , Standard of Care , Surveys and Questionnaires
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257965, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443851


Many important questions remain regarding severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the viral pathogen responsible for COVID-19. These questions include the mechanisms explaining the high percentage of asymptomatic but highly infectious individuals, the wide variability in disease susceptibility, and the mechanisms of long-lasting debilitating effects. Bioinformatic analysis of four coronavirus datasets representing previous outbreaks (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV), as well as SARS-CoV-2, revealed evidence of diverse host factors that appear to be coopted to facilitate virus-induced suppression of interferon-induced innate immunity, promotion of viral replication and subversion and/or evasion of antiviral immune surveillance. These host factors merit further study given their postulated roles in COVID-19-induced loss of smell and brain, heart, vascular, lung, liver, and gut dysfunction.

COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Databases, Factual , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
Epidemiol. serv. saúde ; 29(3): e2020066, 2020. tab, graf
Article in English, Portuguese | LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1406041


Objetivo: avaliar os atributos do sistema de vigilância da síndrome respiratória aguda grave (SRAG) no Brasil, no período 2014-2016. Métodos: estudo de avaliação segundo o guia do Centro de Controle de Doenças (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC) dos Estados Unidos; utilizaram-se dados do sistema de informação Influenza Web, notificados entre 2014 e 2016; avaliaram-se os atributos simplicidade, completude, inconsistência, oportunidade, aceitabilidade, representatividade, valor preditivo positivo (VPP) da definição de caso de SRAG e utilidade. Resultados: observou-se estrutura simples; boa completude (100% nas variáveis obrigatórias; >95% nas não obrigatórias); baixa inconsistência (3,2%); não oportunidade (68,2%); aceitabilidade baixa (média de 70,4%); representatividade do território (capaz de análises de grupos de risco); alto VPP (29,1%); e utilidade (por cumprir objetivos do sistema). Conclusão: os atributos avaliados indicam que o sistema é capaz de fornecer informações completas, representativas e úteis sobre influenza, adequadas para balizar respostas do sistema de saúde.

Objetivo: evaluar los atributos del sistema del sistema de vigilancia del Síndrome Agudo Respiratorio Severo (SARS) en Brasil, entre 2014-2016. Método: estudio de evaluación según la guía del Centro para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC) dos Estados Unidos. Se utilizaron datos del sistema de información Influenza Web, notificados entre 2014-2016. Se evaluaron los atributos simplicidad, completitud, inconsistencia, oportunidad, aceptabilidad, representatividad, valor predictivo positivo (VPP) de definición de caso de SARS y utilidad. Resultados: se observó estructura simple; buena completitud (100% en variables obligatorias; >95% en variables no obligatorias); baja inconsistencia (3.2%); no oportunidad (68,2%); baja aceptabilidad (promedio de 70.4%); representatividad de territorio (capaz de analizar grupos de riesgo); VPP alto (29.1%); y utilidad (por cumplir los objetivos del sistema). Conclusión: los atributos evaluados indican que el sistema es capaz de suministrar informaciones completas, representativas y útiles sobre la influenza en Brasil, adecuadas para orientar respuestas del sistema de salud.

Objective: to evaluate attributes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) surveillance system in Brazil, 2014-2016. Method: this was an evaluation study conducted according to United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Data from the Influenza Web information system notified for the period 2014-2016 were used. The simplicity, completeness, inconsistency, timeliness, acceptability, representativeness, positive predictive value (PPV) of the SARS case definition attributes and usefulness were evaluated. Results: a simple structure was found with good completeness (100% for required variables; >95% for optional variables); low inconsistency (3.2%); lack of timeliness (68.2%); low acceptability (average of 70.4%); representative of the territory (capable of analyzing risk groups); high PPV (29.1%); useful (fulfils system objectives). Conclusion: the attributes evaluated indicate that the system is capable of providing complete, representative and useful information about influenza, adequate for guiding national health responses.

Humans , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Surveillance Services , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Brazil/epidemiology , Program Evaluation , Evaluation Study
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(5)2020 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389345


Within last 17 years two widespread epidemics of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred in China, which were caused by related coronaviruses (CoVs): SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Although the origin(s) of these viruses are still unknown and their occurrences in nature are mysterious, some general patterns of their pathogenesis and epidemics are noticeable. Both viruses utilize the same receptor-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-for invading human bodies. Both epidemics occurred in cold dry winter seasons celebrated with major holidays, and started in regions where dietary consumption of wildlife is a fashion. Thus, if bats were the natural hosts of SARS-CoVs, cold temperature and low humidity in these times might provide conducive environmental conditions for prolonged viral survival in these regions concentrated with bats. The widespread existence of these bat-carried or -released viruses might have an easier time in breaking through human defenses when harsh winter makes human bodies more vulnerable. Once succeeding in making some initial human infections, spreading of the disease was made convenient with increased social gathering and holiday travel. These natural and social factors influenced the general progression and trajectory of the SARS epidemiology. However, some unique factors might also contribute to the origination of SARS in Wuhan. These factors are discussed in different scenarios in order to promote more research for achieving final validation.

Coronavirus Infections , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Pneumonia, Viral , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Chiroptera , Coronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Seasons , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/transmission , Social Conditions , Travel , Zoonoses
BMC Med ; 18(1): 160, 2020 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388759


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.

Betacoronavirus , Biological Specimen Banks , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , 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
HLA ; 96(3): 277-298, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388402


We report detailed peptide-binding affinities between 438 HLA Class I and Class II proteins and complete proteomes of seven pandemic human viruses, including coronaviruses, influenza viruses and HIV-1. We contrast these affinities with HLA allele frequencies across hundreds of human populations worldwide. Statistical modelling shows that peptide-binding affinities classified into four distinct categories depend on the HLA locus but that the type of virus is only a weak predictor, except in the case of HIV-1. Among the strong HLA binders (IC50 ≤ 50), we uncovered 16 alleles (the top ones being A*02:02, B*15:03 and DRB1*01:02) binding more than 1% of peptides derived from all viruses, 9 (top ones including HLA-A*68:01, B*15:25, C*03:02 and DRB1*07:01) binding all viruses except HIV-1, and 15 (top ones A*02:01 and C*14:02) only binding coronaviruses. The frequencies of strongest and weakest HLA peptide binders differ significantly among populations from different geographic regions. In particular, Indigenous peoples of America show both higher frequencies of strongest and lower frequencies of weakest HLA binders. As many HLA proteins are found to be strong binders of peptides derived from distinct viral families, and are hence promiscuous (or generalist), we discuss this result in relation to possible signatures of natural selection on HLA promiscuous alleles due to past pathogenic infections. Our findings are highly relevant for both evolutionary genetics and the development of vaccine therapies. However they should not lead to forget that individual resistance and vulnerability to diseases go beyond the sole HLA allelic affinity and depend on multiple, complex and often unknown biological, environmental and other variables.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HLA Antigens/chemistry , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Peptides/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Africa/epidemiology , Americas/epidemiology , Amino Acid Sequence , Asia/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe/epidemiology , HIV Infections/immunology , HIV Infections/virology , HIV-1/genetics , HIV-1/immunology , HLA Antigens/classification , HLA Antigens/genetics , HLA Antigens/immunology , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/immunology , Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H7N9 Subtype/immunology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/virology , Kinetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Peptides/genetics , Peptides/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
Respir Res ; 21(1): 154, 2020 Jun 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331943


Electronic cigarette (e-cig) vaping is increasing rapidly in the United States, as e-cigs are considered less harmful than combustible cigarettes. However, limited research has been conducted to understand the possible mechanisms that mediate toxicity and pulmonary health effects of e-cigs. We hypothesized that sub-chronic e-cig exposure induces inflammatory response and dysregulated repair/extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, which occur through the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChRα7). Adult wild-type (WT), nAChRα7 knockout (KO), and lung epithelial cell-specific KO (nAChRα7 CreCC10) mice were exposed to e-cig aerosol containing propylene glycol (PG) with or without nicotine. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) and lung tissues were collected to determine e-cig induced inflammatory response and ECM remodeling, respectively. Sub-chronic e-cig exposure with nicotine increased inflammatory cellular influx of macrophages and T-lymphocytes including increased pro-inflammatory cytokines in BALF and increased SARS-Cov-2 Covid-19 ACE2 receptor, whereas nAChRα7 KO mice show reduced inflammatory responses associated with decreased ACE2 receptor. Interestingly, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), such as MMP2, MMP8 and MMP9, were altered both at the protein and mRNA transcript levels in female and male KO mice, but WT mice exposed to PG alone showed a sex-dependent phenotype. Moreover, MMP12 was increased significantly in male mice exposed to PG with or without nicotine in a nAChRα7-dependent manner. Additionally, sub-chronic e-cig exposure with or without nicotine altered the abundance of ECM proteins, such as collagen and fibronectin, significantly in a sex-dependent manner, but without the direct role of nAChRα7 gene. Overall, sub-chronic e-cig exposure with or without nicotine affected lung inflammation and repair responses/ECM remodeling, which were mediated by nAChRα7 in a sex-dependent manner.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia/metabolism , Vaping/adverse effects , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Blood Gas Analysis , Blotting, Western , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19 , Cytokines/analysis , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Pandemics , Pneumonia/physiopathology , Random Allocation , Reference Values , Role , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Signal Transduction/genetics