Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection
Outcomes of laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection during resurgence driven by Omicron lineages BA.4 and BA.5 compared with previous waves in the Western Cape Province, South AfricaThe Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern has been dominant globally since November 2021, with several sublineages causing surges in infections (Iketani et al., 2022; Tegally et al., 2022; Viana et al., 2022). South Africa experienced an initial large BA.1 infection surge from November 2021 to January 2022. BA.1 was then replaced by BA.2 but with no increase in cases numbers, and this was followed by a BA.4/BA.5 infection surge between April and June 2022 (Tegally et al., 2022; Viana et al., 2022).
SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance in Malaysia: displacement of B.1.617.2 with AY lineages as the dominant Delta variants and the introduction of Omicron during the fourth epidemic waveSince the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, COVID-19 continues to be an important health problem worldwide (Gao et al., 2021). The index case of COVID-19 was detected on December 1, 2019, in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China (Helmy et al., 2020; Valencia, 2020). As of January 2022, there were 380 million COVID-19 cases, with a mortality rate of 1.5% (Worldometer, 2022). COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, an enveloped, nonsegmented, positive-sense RNA β-coronavirus (Zhou et al.
Effectiveness of the neutralizing antibody sotrovimab among high-risk patients with mild-to-moderate SARS-CoV-2 in QatarSeveral monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 have been developed for the treatment of COVID-19 (Miguez-Rey et al., 2022). One of these is sotrovimab, which significantly reduced the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death due to infection with pre-Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants in a randomized clinical trial (Gupta et al., 2021). The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency authorization to permit the use of sotrovimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in patients at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19 (US Food and Drug Administration, 2022).
The first case of meningitis associated with SARS-CoV-2 BA.2 variant infection with persistent viremiaNeurological symptoms of COVID-19 are highly frequent and disabling (Wan et al., 2021). Severe neurological disorders such as encephalitis, meningitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and vascular events have been described in anecdotal reports or in case series. Here, we describe the first case of a female patient infected with the SARS-CoV-2 BA.2 Omicron variant of concern (VoC) meningitis with newly diagnosed central demyelinating disease.
Interleukin-6 affects the severity of olfactory disorder: a cross-sectional survey of 148 patients who recovered from Omicron infection using the Sniffin’ Sticks test in Tianjin, ChinaThe worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has continued for approximately 3 years, imposing severe burdens on global healthcare systems and economic stability. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever and cough (Guan et al., 2020). In addition, an increasing number of studies have found that olfactory disorder (OD), which includes anosmia and hyposmia, is one of the most common clinical symptoms of COVID-19 and may be the first or only symptom in a patient (Eliezer et al., 2020; Heidari et al., 2020). OD occurs in 33-80% of patients with COVID-19 (Mao et al.
Persistence of immunity against Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants following homologous and heterologous COVID-19 booster vaccines in healthy adults after a two-dose AZD1222 vaccinationSince the first emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (BA.1/B.1.1.529) variant in November 2021, it has rapidly spread and become the dominant variant circulating worldwide (World Health Organization, 2022a; World Health Organization HQ, 2022). The Omicron variant harbors mutations within the Spike (S) protein, particularly 15 amino acid substitutions in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) (Viana et al., 2022). Mutations within the RBD of the Omicron variant mediate antibody evasion and greatly increase transmissibility through enhanced affinity for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor (ACE2) (Mannar et al., 2022; McCallum et al., 2022; Tian et al., 2021).
Admissions to a large tertiary care hospital and Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction positivity: primary, contributing, or incidental COVID-19Monitoring national hospitalization rates for COVID-19 has been essential throughout the pandemic to guide public health decision-making and to evaluate vaccine efficacy. However, with the rapid worldwide spread of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern (associated with a decreased severity) and increasing immunity against SARS-CoV-2, interpreting the true impact of these hospitalization rates has been complicated (Viana et al., 2022; World Health Organization, 2021).
Clinical characteristics of the Omicron variant - results from a Nationwide Symptoms Survey in the Faroe IslandsThe Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of SARS-CoV-2 has led to extraordinary rates of COVID-19 worldwide. Omicron hosts a striking number of mutations in its spike gene. Early reports have provided evidence for extensive immune escape and reduced vaccine effectiveness, leading to a higher transmission rate (Cao et al., 2022; Planas et al., 2022; Rössler et al., 2022).
Genomic evidence of co-identification with Omicron and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants: a report of two casesA new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant of concern (VOC) assigned to the lineage B.1.1.529, designated as Omicron, was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South African scientists on November 24, 2021 (World Health Organization, 2021). The first cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection caused by the Omicron variant were reported to originate from Botswana and South Africa (World Health Organization, 2021). In Belgium, the first case of SARS-CoV-2 infection caused by the Omicron variant was identified in late November 2021 (Vanmechelen et al., 2022).
Reduction in the infection fatality rate of Omicron variant compared with previous variants in South AfricaThe COVID-19 pandemic has been in effect for nearly two years since 2019. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been over 260 million cases including more than 5 million deaths reported (https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 2021). The SARS-CoV-2 virus, first identified in late 2019, has mutated multiple times, and its variants have been classified by the WHO into three categories: variants of concern (VOC), variants of interest, and variants under monitoring.
COVID-19 vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant: a light at the end of the tunnel?We read with interest the recent article of Abdullah et al., who concluded that a significantly lower severity of illness associated with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron B.1.1.529 variant-driven epidemic wave had been observed in Tshwane, South Africa (Abdullah et al., 2021). This agrees with evidence recently published in other studies from South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom (Mahase, 2021), which also reported a similar suggestion of decreased pathogenicity associated with this new and highly mutated Omicron lineages (Lippi, Mattiuzzi and Henry, 2021).
Decreased severity of disease during the first global omicron variant covid-19 outbreak in a large hospital in tshwane, south africaThe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) first reported in Wuhan China in December 2019, is a global pandemic that is threatening the health and wellbeing of people worldwide. To date there have been more than 274 million reported cases and 5.3 million deaths (World Health Organisation 2021). South Africa has borne the brunt of COVID-19 on the African continent, registering in excess of 3 million cases and 90 000 officially reported deaths (National Department of Health 2021). The number of deaths could be as high as 275,976 (Bradshaw et al., 2021), putting this country's death toll among the highest in the world with a cumulative excess death rate of 464 per 100,000.