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Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22280957


BackgroundMany serological assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Differences in the detection mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 serological assays limited the comparability of seroprevalence estimates for populations being tested. MethodsWe conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of serological assays used in SARS-CoV-2 population seroprevalence surveys, searching for published articles, preprints, institutional sources, and grey literature between January 1, 2020, and November 19, 2021. We described features of all identified assays and mapped performance metrics by the manufacturers, third-party head-to-head, and independent group evaluations. We compared the reported assay performance by evaluation source with a mixed-effect beta regression model. A simulation was run to quantify how biased assay performance affects population seroprevalence estimates with test adjustment. ResultsAmong 1807 included serosurveys, 192 distinctive commercial assays and 380 self-developed assays were identified. According to manufacturers, 28.6% of all commercial assays met WHO criteria for emergency use (sensitivity [Sn.] >= 90.0%, specificity [Sp.] >= 97.0%). However, manufacturers overstated the absolute values of Sn. of commercial assays by 1.0% [0.1, 1.4%] and 3.3% [2.7, 3.4%], and Sp. by 0.9% [0.9, 0.9%] and 0.2% [-0.1, 0.4%] compared to third-party and independent evaluations, respectively. Reported performance data was not sufficient to support a similar analysis for self-developed assays. Simulations indicate that inaccurate Sn. and Sp. can bias seroprevalence estimates adjusted for assay performance; the error level changes with the background seroprevalence. ConclusionsThe Sn. and Sp. of the serological assay are not fixed properties, but varying features depending on the testing population. To achieve precise population estimates and to ensure the comparability of seroprevalence, serosurveys should select assays with high performance validated not only by their manufacturers and adjust seroprevalence estimates based on assured performance data. More investigation should be directed to consolidating the performance of self-developed assays.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22280610


BackgroundWe aimed to systematically review the magnitude and duration of the protective effectiveness of prior infection (PE) and hybrid immunity (HE) against Omicron infection and severe disease. MethodsWe searched pre-print and peer-reviewed electronic databases for controlled studies from January 1, 2020, to June 1, 2022. Risk of bias (RoB) was assessed using the Risk of Bias In Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBINS-I)-Tool. We used random-effects meta-regression to estimate the magnitude of protection at 1-month intervals and the average change in protection since the last vaccine dose or infection from 3 months to 6 or 12 months. We compared our estimates of PE and HE to previously published estimates of the magnitude and durability of vaccine effectiveness (VE) against Omicron. FindingsEleven studies of prior infection and 15 studies of hybrid immunity were included. For prior infection, there were 97 estimates (27 at moderate RoB and 70 at serious RoB), with the longest follow up at 15 months. PE against hospitalization or severe disease was 82{middle dot}5% [71{middle dot}8-89{middle dot}7%] at 3 months, and 74{middle dot}6% [63{middle dot}1-83{middle dot}5%] at 12 months. PE against reinfection was 65{middle dot}2% [52{middle dot}9-75{middle dot}9%] at 3 months, and 24{middle dot}7% [16{middle dot}4-35{middle dot}5%] at 12 months. For HE, there were 153 estimates (78 at moderate RoB and 75 at serious RoB), with the longest follow up at 11 months for primary series vaccination and 4 months for first booster vaccination. Against hospitalization or severe disease, HE involving either primary series vaccination or first booster vaccination was consistently >95% for the available follow up. Against reinfection, HE involving primary series vaccination was 69{middle dot}0% [58{middle dot}9-77{middle dot}5%] at 3 months after the most recent infection or vaccination, and 41{middle dot}8% [31{middle dot}5-52{middle dot}8%] at 12 months, while HE involving first booster vaccination was 68{middle dot}6% [58{middle dot}8-76{middle dot}9%] at 3 months, and 46{middle dot}5% [36{middle dot}0-57{middle dot}3%] at 6 months. Against hospitalization or severe disease at 6 months, hybrid immunity with first booster vaccination (effectiveness 95{middle dot}3% [81{middle dot}9-98{middle dot}9%]) or with primary series alone (96{middle dot}5% [90{middle dot}2-98{middle dot}8%]) provided significantly greater protection than prior infection alone (80{middle dot}1% [70{middle dot}3-87{middle dot}2%]), first booster vaccination alone (76{middle dot}7% [72{middle dot}5-80{middle dot}4%]), or primary series alone (64{middle dot}6% [54{middle dot}5-73{middle dot}6%]). Results for protection against reinfection were similar. InterpretationPrior infection and hybrid immunity both provided greater and more sustained protection against Omicron than vaccination alone. All protection estimates waned quickly against infection but remained high for hospitalisation or severe disease. Individuals with hybrid immunity had the highest magnitude and durability of protection against all outcomes, reinforcing the global imperative for vaccination. FundingWHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Research in contextO_ST_ABSEvidence before this studyC_ST_ABSThe global emergence and rapid spread of Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of concern, characterized by their ability to escape immunity, has required scientists and policymakers to reassess the population protection against Omicron infection and severe disease. So far, few systematic reviews have incorporated data on Omicron, and none have examined the protection against Omicron conferred by hybrid immunity (i.e. the immunity gained from the combination of vaccination and prior infection) which is now widespread globally. While one preprint has recently reported protection from prior infection over time, no systematic review has systematically compared the magnitude and duration of vaccination, prior infection, and hybrid immunity. A large single-country study has reported that protection from either infection or hybrid immunity against Omicron infection wanes to low levels at 15 months, but is relatively stable against severe disease. Added value of this studyPrior infection and hybrid immunity both provided greater and more sustained protection against Omicron than vaccination alone. Individuals with hybrid immunity had the highest magnitude and durability of protection against all outcomes; protection against severe disease remained above 95% until the end of available follow-up at 11 months after hybrid immunity with primary series and 4 months after hybrid immunity with booster vaccination, and was sustained at these high levels of protection in projections to 12 months and 6 months, respectively. Implications of all the available evidenceThese results may serve to tailor guidance on the optimal number and timing of vaccinations. At the public health level, these findings can be combined with data on local infection prevalence, vaccination rates, and their timing. In settings with high seroprevalence, limited resources, and competing health priorities, it may be reasonable to focus on achieving high coverage rates with primary series among individuals who are at higher risk of poor outcome, as this will provide a high level of protection against severe disease for at least one year among those with prior infection. Furthermore, given the waning protection for both infection-and vaccine induced immunity against infection or reinfection, mass vaccination could be timed for roll-out prior to periods of expected increased incidence, such as the winter season. At the individual level, these results can be combined with knowledge of a persons infection and vaccination history. A six-month delay in booster may be justified after the last infection or vaccination for individuals with a known prior infection and full primary series vaccination. Further follow-up of the protective effectiveness of hybrid immunity against hospitalization or severe disease for all vaccines is needed to clarify how much waning of protection might occur with longer duration since the last infection or vaccination. Producing estimates of protection for new variant-containing vaccines will be crucial for COVID-19 vaccine policy and decision-making bodies. Policy makers considering the use and timing of vaccinations should include the local extent of past infection, the protection conferred by prior infection or hybrid immunity, and the duration of this protection as key considerations to inform their decision-making.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-22270934


IntroductionEstimating COVID-19 cumulative incidence in Africa remains problematic due to challenges in contact tracing, routine surveillance systems and laboratory testing capacities and strategies. We undertook a meta-analysis of population-based seroprevalence studies to estimate SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in Africa to inform evidence-based decision making on Public Health and Social Measures (PHSM) and vaccine strategy. MethodsWe searched for seroprevalence studies conducted in Africa published 01-01-2020 to 30-12-2021 in Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and Europe PMC (preprints), grey literature, media releases and early results from WHO Unity studies. All studies were screened, extracted, assessed for risk of bias and evaluated for alignment with the WHO Unity protocol for seroepidemiological investigations. We conducted descriptive analyses of seroprevalence and meta-analysed seroprevalence differences by demographic groups, place and time. We estimated the extent of undetected infections by comparing seroprevalence and cumulative incidence of confirmed cases reported to WHO. PROSPERO: CRD42020183634. ResultsWe identified 54 full texts or early results, reporting 151 distinct seroprevalence studies in Africa Of these, 95 (63%) were low/moderate risk of bias studies. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rose from 3.0% [95% CI: 1.0-9.2%] in Q2 2020 to 65.1% [95% CI: 56.3-73.0%] in Q3 2021. The ratios of seroprevalence from infection to cumulative incidence of confirmed cases was large (overall: 97:1, ranging from 10:1 to 958:1) and steady over time. Seroprevalence was highly heterogeneous both within countries - urban vs. rural (lower seroprevalence for rural geographic areas), children vs. adults (children aged 0-9 years had the lowest seroprevalence) - and between countries and African sub-regions (Middle, Western and Eastern Africa associated with higher seroprevalence). ConclusionWe report high seroprevalence in Africa suggesting greater population exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and protection against COVID-19 disease than indicated by surveillance data. As seroprevalence was heterogeneous, targeted PHSM and vaccination strategies need to be tailored to local epidemiological situations.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21267791


BackgroundOur understanding of the global scale of SARS-CoV-2 infection remains incomplete: routine surveillance data underestimates infection and cannot infer on population immunity, there is a predominance of asymptomatic infections, and uneven access to diagnostics. We meta-analyzed SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence studies, standardized to those described in WHOs Unity protocol for general population seroepidemiological studies, two years into the pandemic, to estimate the extent of population infection and remaining susceptibility. Methods and FindingsWe conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis, searching MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, preprints, and grey literature for SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence published between 2020-01-01 and 2022-05-20. The review protocol is registered with PROSPERO, (CRD42020183634). We included general population cross-sectional and cohort studies meeting an assay quality threshold (90% sensitivity, 97% specificity; exceptions for humanitarian settings). We excluded studies with an unclear or closed population sample frame. Eligible studies - those aligned with the WHO Unity protocol - were extracted and critically appraised in duplicate, with Risk of Bias evaluated using a modified Joanna Briggs Institute checklist. We meta-analyzed seroprevalence by country and month, pooling to estimate regional and global seroprevalence over time; compared seroprevalence from infection to confirmed cases to estimate under-ascertainment; meta-analyzed differences in seroprevalence between demographic subgroups such as age and sex; and identified national factors associated with seroprevalence using meta-regression. The main limitations of our methodology include that some estimates were driven by certain countries or populations being over-represented. We identified 513 full texts reporting 965 distinct seroprevalence studies (41% LMIC) sampling 5,346,069 participants between January 2020 and April 2022, including 459 low/moderate risk of bias studies with national/sub-national scope in further analysis. By September 2021, global SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence from infection or vaccination was 59.2%, 95% CI [56.1-62.2%]. Overall seroprevalence rose steeply in 2021 due to infection in some regions (e.g., 26.6% [24.6-28.8] to 86.7% [84.6-88.5%] in Africa in December 2021) and vaccination and infection in others (e.g., 9.6% [8.3-11.0%] to 95.9% [92.6-97.8%] in Europe high-income countries in December 2021). After the emergence of Omicron, infection-induced seroprevalence rose to 47.9% [41.0-54.9%] in EUR HIC and 33.7% [31.6-36.0%] in AMR HIC in March 2022. In 2021 Quarter Three (July to September), median seroprevalence to cumulative incidence ratios ranged from around 2:1 in the Americas and Europe HICs to over 100:1 in Africa (LMICs). Children 0-9 years and adults 60+ were at lower risk of seropositivity than adults 20-29 (p<0.0001 and p=0.005, respectively). In a multivariable model using pre-vaccination data, stringent public health and social measures were associated with lower seroprevalence (p=0.02). ConclusionsIn this study, we observed that global seroprevalence has risen considerably over time and with regional variation, however around 40 % of the global population remains susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our estimates of infections based on seroprevalence far exceed reported COVID-19 cases. Quality and standardized seroprevalence studies are essential to inform COVID-19 response, particularly in resource-limited regions.

Preprint Dans Anglais | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20042374


BackgroundThe Chinese government implemented a metropolitan-wide quarantine of Wuhan city on 23rd January 2020 to curb the epidemic of the coronavirus COVID-19. Lifting of this quarantine is imminent. We modelled the effects of two key health interventions on the epidemic when the quarantine is lifted. MethodWe constructed a compartmental dynamic model to forecast the trend of the COVID-19 epidemic at different quarantine lifting dates and investigated the impact of different rates of public contact and facial mask usage on the epidemic. ResultsWe estimated that at the end of the epidemic, a total of 65,572 (46,156-95,264) individuals would be infected by the virus, among which 16,144 (14,422-23,447, 24.6%) would be infected through public contacts, 45,795 (32,390-66,395, 69.7%) through household contact, 3,633 (2,344-5,865, 5.5%) through hospital contacts (including 783 (553-1,134) non-COVID-19 patients and 2,850 (1,801-4,981) medical staff members). A total of 3,262 (1,592-6,470) would die of COVID-19 related pneumonia in Wuhan. For an early lifting date (21st March), facial mask needed to be sustained at a relatively high rate ([≥]85%) if public contacts were to recover to 100% of the pre-quarantine level. In contrast, lifting the quarantine on 18th April allowed public person-to-person contact adjusted back to the pre-quarantine level with a substantially lower level of facial mask usage (75%). However, a low facial mask usage (<50%) combined with an increased public contact (>100%) would always lead a significant second outbreak in most quarantine lifting scenarios. Lifting the quarantine on 25th April would ensure a smooth decline of the epidemics regardless of the combinations of public contact rates and facial mask usage. ConclusionThe prevention of a second epidemic is viable after the metropolitan-wide quarantine is lifted but requires a sustaining high facial mask usage and a low public contact rate.

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