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 antibodies persist up to 12 months after natural infection in healthy employees working in non-medical contact-intensive professionsSince the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, over 564 million confirmed cases and over 6 million deaths have been reported globally (July 22, 2022) . In the Netherlands (total population: 17.6 million), 8.3 million inhabitants have officially been diagnosed with COVID-19 . This number is an underestimation of the actual number of cases because not all people were tested for severe SARS-CoV-2 infections. Hence, a significant percentage of the population has developed natural immunity against SARS-CoV-2 at some point during the pandemic .
Safety and immunogenicity of a third dose of COVID-19 protein subunit vaccine (CovovaxTM) after homologous and heterologous two-dose regimensThe Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) of SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in November 2021 (Viana et al., 2022) and has dramatically increased the transmission of COVID-19 worldwide. The COVID-19 vaccine protects against serious disease, hospitalization, and death. However, vaccination does not entirely prevent infection and transmission to others. Massive two-dose vaccination campaigns cannot prevent breakthrough infections caused by the variants (Cele et al., 2022; Kuhlmann et al., 2022). A third dose is recommended to obtain high immunity against the Omicron variant and its subvariants.
Open-label phase I/II clinical trial of SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (FINLAY-FR-2) in combination with receptor binding domain-protein vaccine (FINLAY-FR-1A) in childrenProtecting children against COVID-19 is pivotal for controlling virus dissemination and reducing disease incidence. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among children and adolescents, firstly driven by the Delta variant and recently by Omicron, have risen sharply, even in countries with high adult vaccination coverage (Delahoy et al., 2021; Elliott et al., 2022). This context has accelerated the clinical trials of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for children (Ali et al., 2021; Frenck et al., 2021; Han et al., 2021; Wallace et al., 2021; Walter et al., 2021; Xia et al., 2022).
Anakinra or high-dose corticosteroids in COVID-19 pneumonia patients who deteriorate on low-dose dexamethasone: an observational study of comparative effectivenessSome patients with COVID-19 pneumonia display clinical and laboratory signs of a hyperinflammatory response, including markedly elevated serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and ferritin levels, followed by rapid respiratory status decompensation and progression to multisystem organ failure. These observations led to the use of varying doses of corticosteroids and targeted anti-cytokine agents, including anakinra, an anti-interleukin (IL)-1 treatment, early in the pandemic.
A comprehensive characterization of patients diagnosed with post-COVID-19 condition in Sweden 16 months after the introduction of the International Classification of Diseases Tenth Revision diagnosis code (U09.9): a population-based cohort studyTwo years into the COVID-19 pandemic, many questions remain regarding patients with prolonged symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although several studies have described post-COVID-19 complications and symptoms in different settings and populations (Ayoubkhani et al., 2021; Blomberg et al., 2021; Havervall et al., 2021; Tran et al., 2022; Westerlind et al., 2021), it is difficult to compare results and draw conclusions due to the substantial heterogeneity between studies (Michelen et al., 2021).
COVID-19 and diarrhea: putative mechanisms and managementSince December 2019, COVID-19 has become a global threat to public health and the economy. The main causative agent of this disease, SARS-CoV-2, first appeared in Wuhan city of China and the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic on March 2020 (Huang et al., 2020). Along with a great toll on economic growth and interruption of the general lifestyle of people, COVID-19 has become one of the major public health crises infecting around 533 million people till June 12, 2022, taking more than 6.3 million lives reported from 226 countries (World Health Organization, 2022).
Post-acute symptoms 3-15 months after COVID-19 among unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals with a breakthrough infectionVaccination represents the most important strategy to prevent infection, severe complications, and death caused by SARS-CoV-2 (Feikin et al., 2022). SARS-CoV-2 vaccination may also reduce the risk of post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) (Antonelli et al., 2022; Azzolini et al., 2022; Kuodi et al., 2022), but conflicting results have been presented (Taquet et al., 2022). We aimed to describe self-reported PASC symptoms, including memory and concentration problems, changes in smell and taste, fatigue, and dyspnea, persisting 3-15 months after a positive test in SARS-CoV-2 unvaccinated and vaccinated participants with a breakthrough infection.
Reduction in severity and mortality in COVID-19 patients owing to heterologous third and fourth-dose vaccines during the periods of delta and omicron predominance in ThailandAs of July 30, 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has led to more than 582 million confirmed cases globally with more than 170 million in Asia and almost 5 million in Thailand alone (Mathieu et al., 2022). This has unfortunately resulted in almost 6.4 million deaths worldwide, 1.5 million deaths across Asia, and over 31,000 deaths in Thailand (Mathieu et al., 2022). While public health measures like wearing masks, social distancing, and appropriate hygiene measures were able to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the rapid development and deployment of vaccines were responsible for reducing the clinical impact of COVID-19 substantially (Doroshenko, 2021; Moore et al.
Comparative analysis of elderly hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or influenza A H1N1 virus infectionsThe SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and influenza A viruses are major pathogens that damage the respiratory system and can produce outbreaks of SARS, MERS, COVID‐19, and influenza A H1N1 virus pneumonia, respectively. SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus are from the same genus and share many virological and epidemiological similarities. However, COVID-19 shows more similarities with influenza A H1N1 virus infections in the pattern and scale of spread than with SARS or MERS.
A large series of molecular and serological specimens to evaluate mother-to-child SARS-CoV-2 transmission: a prospective study from the Italian Obstetric Surveillance SystemThe ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is characterized by multiple epidemic waves associated with different viral strains with diverse transmissibility and lethality. The previous highly pathogenic SARS-CoV-1 and middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus were associated with poor obstetric outcomes (Schwartz and Graham, 2020). Given the importance of understanding COVID-19’s impact on pregnant women, fetuses, and newborns, the Italian Obstetric Surveillance System (ItOSS), coordinated by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health-ISS), launched a nationwide population-based, prospective cohort study aimed at analyzing cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women with the purpose to provide useful indications to guide decision makers and support clinical practice (Donati et al.
Viable SARS-CoV-2 detected in the air of hospital rooms of patients with COVID-19 with an early infectionCOVID-19 is caused by the highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2. Understanding the role of surface and air contamination near patients with COVID-19 in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to ensure the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been detected on surfaces and in the air in hospitals (Dinoi et al., 2022; Gonçalves et al., 2021). However, only a few studies have recovered viable SARS-CoV-2 from the air collected near the patients with COVID-19 (Lednicky et al., 2020, 2021; Vass et al.
High prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in pregnant women after the second wave of infections in the inner-city of Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South AfricaIn South Africa, by the end of the second COVID-19 wave in early February 2021, which driven largely by the Beta variant (501Y.V2), almost 1.5 million COVID-19 cases and 47,000 deaths were recorded (National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD], 2021). By the end of September 2021, as South Africa exited the third wave, which was dominated by the Delta variant, just over 2.9 million diagnosed cases and more than 87,000 COVID-19-related deaths were reported (NDoH, 2021). Of these, more than one-third of cases and a quarter of deaths were from the Gauteng Province, the most densely populated province in South Africa, with the City of Johannesburg accounting for almost one-third of diagnosed cases (NDoH, 2021, NICD, 2021).
Could nucleocapsid be a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate – author's replyThis is in response to a letter to the editor by Saldivar-Espinoza et al. (2022) commenting on a short perspective that we wrote in the September 2022 issue of the International Journal of Infectious Disease entitled, “Nucleocapsid as a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate” (Oronsky et al., 2022). The main point of this perspective was that nucleocapsid (N), being highly conserved among coronaviruses (CoVs), less mutable than spike (S), and strongly immunogenic, especially for T cells (Lineburg et al.
Could nucleocapsid be a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate?We have read with interest the article by Oronsky et al. (2022) about including the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein in future COVID-19 vaccines. One of the main reasons for this suggestion is that the N gene is much less vulnerable to mutation and may provide stronger immunity to novel viral variants. Although when the proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are compared, the N protein is more conserved than the spike (S) protein (Dutta et al., 2020); the current data we have analyzed about SARS-CoV-2 mutations show that the N gene is one of the most mutated genes (Figure 1).
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.
Clinical outcomes associated with Mu variant infection during the third epidemic peak of COVID-19 in ColombiaBy July 2022, four COVID-19 epidemic peaks and 210 lineages have been registered in Colombia, including several variants of interest and concern (INS, 2022). However, a higher number of cases and deaths occurred during the third epidemic peak, when the B.1.621 (Mu) variant was associated with 50% of the cases in the country (Álvarez-Díaz et al., 2022a). Although several factors in the clinical history of patients with COVID-19 have been associated with a severe or fatal outcome, including comorbidities, age, and smoking history (Zhang et al.
Booster dose of SARS-CoV-2 messenger RNA vaccines strengthens the specific immune response of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: A prospective multicenter longitudinal studySince the COVID-19 pandemic appearance, a global effort has been made to develop effective vaccines to stem SARS-CoV-2 infection through the induction of a coordinated B and T cell immune response (Agrati et al., 2021; Aiello et al., 2022a; Sette and Crotty, 2021, 2022). Humoral immunity consists of antibodies binding the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein that neutralizes the virus, whereas cellular immunity includes virus-specific B and T cells, which provide long-term memory and promptly expand following re-exposure to antigens (Sette and Crotty, 2021, 2022).
Baricitinib vs tocilizumab treatment for hospitalized adult patients with severe COVID-19 and associated cytokine storm: a prospective, investigational, real-world studyThe ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has devastated countries. The race to find adequate therapies is ongoing, but significant progress has been made since 2019. Our understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis revealed the need for targeting the dysregulated immune response. The term cytokine storm first appeared 30 years ago, describing a potentially life-threatening condition triggered by various pathogens, hematologic and immunological disorders, and is characterized by peripheral hyperactivation of T-lymphocytes, resulting in elevated cytokines levels, systemic inflammation, and end-organ damage (Chatenoud et al.
High-dose corticosteroids in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia: an observational study of comparative effectivenessThe optimal dose of corticosteroids in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection is uncertain, particularly among patients with severe respiratory impairment (The WHO Rapid Evidence Appraisal for COVID-19 Therapies [REACT] Working Group, 2020), and practice remains varied. Recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared high (12 mg) to low (6 mg) doses of dexamethasone in patients hospitalized for severe COVID-19 pneumonia found no difference in mortality (Bouadma et al., 2022) or were inconclusive (COVID STEROID 2 Trial Group et al.
Enhanced vitamin K expenditure as a major contributor to vitamin K deficiency in COVID-19In December 2019, the acute respiratory disease COVID-19, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), made its appearance in Wuhan, China (Huang et al., 2020). Several studies trying to clarify the COVID-19 pathogenesis or investigating different remedies have been conducted and reviewed (Oliaei et al., 2021; SeyedAlinaghi et al., 2021); however, the need to elucidate the disease pathways of this poignant disease remains. Severe vitamin K deficiency has been demonstrated in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and consistently been associated with worse clinical outcome (Desai et al.
Transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant infections in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, January-February 2022From the end of 2020, multiple variants of concern have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, the Omicron variant has become dominant worldwide over other strains, with the potential for the emergence of other new variants or subvariants in the future. The Omicron variants have demonstrated increasing transmissibility and therefore are more challenging to control (Kraemer et al., 2021; World Health Organization, 2022). In general, increased transmissibility for a variant indicates an increased transmission strength, a higher transmission speed, or both.
Workup of cerebral involvement in patients with COVID-19 – authors’ replyWe thank Scorza et al. for their comments on our article (Chen et al., 2022) discussing the new S protein mutation of SARS-CoV-2 and its potential effects on immune regulation, associated with the apparent increase in the incidence of severe neurological symptoms in Taiwanese pediatric patients.
Workup for cerebral involvement in COVID-19 requires cerebral imaging, electroencephalography, and cerebrospinal fluid studiesWe read with interest the article by Chen et al. (2022) concerning five pediatric patients with severe neurological complications of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. It was concluded that a new mutation in the spike protein of the Omicron BA.2.3.7 variant may be responsible for the sudden increase in neurological complications of COVID-19 (Chen et al., 2022). The study is appealing but raises concerns.
Effect of corticosteroids in patients with COVID-19: a Bayesian network meta-analysisAs of August 5, 2022, nearly 600 million persons have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 6 million individuals have died because of this disease (World Health Organization, 2022). Evidence has shown that a severely dysregulated immune response plays a critical role in patients with COVID-19 (Prete et al., 2020; Vabret et al., 2020).