Recent Submissions

  • Immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants after two and three doses of vaccine in B-cell malignancies: UK PROSECO study

    Ahearne, Matthew (2022-05)
    Patients with hematological malignancies are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes due to compromised immune responses, but the insights of these studies have been compromised due to intrinsic limitations in study design. Here we present the PROSECO prospective observational study ( NCT04858568 ) on 457 patients with lymphoma that received two or three COVID-19 vaccine doses. We show undetectable humoral responses following two vaccine doses in 52% of patients undergoing active anticancer treatment. Moreover, 60% of patients on anti-CD20 therapy had undetectable antibodies following full vaccination within 12 months of receiving their anticancer therapy. However, 70% of individuals with indolent B-cell lymphoma displayed improved antibody responses following booster vaccination. Notably, 63% of all patients displayed antigen-specific T-cell responses, which increased after a third dose irrespective of their cancer treatment status. Our results emphasize the urgency of careful monitoring of COVID-19-specific immune responses to guide vaccination schemes in these vulnerable populations.
  • Safety, immunogenicity, and reactogenicity of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccines given as fourth-dose boosters following two doses of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or BNT162b2 and a third dose of BNT162b2 (COV-BOOST): a multicentre, blinded, phase 2, randomised trial

    Palfreeman, Adrian; Pan, Daniel
    Background: Some high-income countries have deployed fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines, but the clinical need, effectiveness, timing, and dose of a fourth dose remain uncertain. We aimed to investigate the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of fourth-dose boosters against COVID-19. Methods: The COV-BOOST trial is a multicentre, blinded, phase 2, randomised controlled trial of seven COVID-19 vaccines given as third-dose boosters at 18 sites in the UK. This sub-study enrolled participants who had received BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) as their third dose in COV-BOOST and randomly assigned them (1:1) to receive a fourth dose of either BNT162b2 (30 μg in 0·30 mL; full dose) or mRNA-1273 (Moderna; 50 μg in 0·25 mL; half dose) via intramuscular injection into the upper arm. The computer-generated randomisation list was created by the study statisticians with random block sizes of two or four. Participants and all study staff not delivering the vaccines were masked to treatment allocation. The coprimary outcomes were safety and reactogenicity, and immunogenicity (anti-spike protein IgG titres by ELISA and cellular immune response by ELISpot). We compared immunogenicity at 28 days after the third dose versus 14 days after the fourth dose and at day 0 versus day 14 relative to the fourth dose. Safety and reactogenicity were assessed in the per-protocol population, which comprised all participants who received a fourth-dose booster regardless of their SARS-CoV-2 serostatus. Immunogenicity was primarily analysed in a modified intention-to-treat population comprising seronegative participants who had received a fourth-dose booster and had available endpoint data. This trial is registered with ISRCTN, 73765130, and is ongoing. Findings: Between Jan 11 and Jan 25, 2022, 166 participants were screened, randomly assigned, and received either full-dose BNT162b2 (n=83) or half-dose mRNA-1273 (n=83) as a fourth dose. The median age of these participants was 70·1 years (IQR 51·6-77·5) and 86 (52%) of 166 participants were female and 80 (48%) were male. The median interval between the third and fourth doses was 208·5 days (IQR 203·3-214·8). Pain was the most common local solicited adverse event and fatigue was the most common systemic solicited adverse event after BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 booster doses. None of three serious adverse events reported after a fourth dose with BNT162b2 were related to the study vaccine. In the BNT162b2 group, geometric mean anti-spike protein IgG concentration at day 28 after the third dose was 23 325 ELISA laboratory units (ELU)/mL (95% CI 20 030-27 162), which increased to 37 460 ELU/mL (31 996-43 857) at day 14 after the fourth dose, representing a significant fold change (geometric mean 1·59, 95% CI 1·41-1·78). There was a significant increase in geometric mean anti-spike protein IgG concentration from 28 days after the third dose (25 317 ELU/mL, 95% CI 20 996-30 528) to 14 days after a fourth dose of mRNA-1273 (54 936 ELU/mL, 46 826-64 452), with a geometric mean fold change of 2·19 (1·90-2·52). The fold changes in anti-spike protein IgG titres from before (day 0) to after (day 14) the fourth dose were 12·19 (95% CI 10·37-14·32) and 15·90 (12·92-19·58) in the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 groups, respectively. T-cell responses were also boosted after the fourth dose (eg, the fold changes for the wild-type variant from before to after the fourth dose were 7·32 [95% CI 3·24-16·54] in the BNT162b2 group and 6·22 [3·90-9·92] in the mRNA-1273 group). Interpretation: Fourth-dose COVID-19 mRNA booster vaccines are well tolerated and boost cellular and humoral immunity. Peak responses after the fourth dose were similar to, and possibly better than, peak responses after the third dose.
  • Risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in a multiethnic cohort of United Kingdom healthcare workers (UK-REACH): A cross-sectional analysis

    Martin, Christopher; Pan, Daniel; Carr, Sue; Nazareth, Joshua; Pareek, Manish; Simpson, Sandra
    Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs), particularly those from ethnic minority groups, have been shown to be at disproportionately higher risk of infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to the general population. However, there is insufficient evidence on how demographic and occupational factors influence infection risk among ethnic minority HCWs. Methods and findings: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data from the baseline questionnaire of the United Kingdom Research study into Ethnicity and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outcomes in Healthcare workers (UK-REACH) cohort study, administered between December 2020 and March 2021. We used logistic regression to examine associations of demographic, household, and occupational risk factors with SARS-CoV-2 infection (defined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), serology, or suspected COVID-19) in a diverse group of HCWs. The primary exposure of interest was self-reported ethnicity. Among 10,772 HCWs who worked during the first UK national lockdown in March 2020, the median age was 45 (interquartile range [IQR] 35 to 54), 75.1% were female and 29.6% were from ethnic minority groups. A total of 2,496 (23.2%) reported previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. The fully adjusted model contained the following dependent variables: demographic factors (age, sex, ethnicity, migration status, deprivation, religiosity), household factors (living with key workers, shared spaces in accommodation, number of people in household), health factors (presence/absence of diabetes or immunosuppression, smoking history, shielding status, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination status), the extent of social mixing outside of the household, and occupational factors (job role, the area in which a participant worked, use of public transport to work, exposure to confirmed suspected COVID-19 patients, personal protective equipment [PPE] access, aerosol generating procedure exposure, night shift pattern, and the UK region of workplace). After adjustment, demographic and household factors associated with increased odds of infection included younger age, living with other key workers, and higher religiosity. Important occupational risk factors associated with increased odds of infection included attending to a higher number of COVID-19 positive patients (aOR 2.59, 95% CI 2.11 to 3.18 for ≥21 patients per week versus none), working in a nursing or midwifery role (1.30, 1.11 to 1.53, compared to doctors), reporting a lack of access to PPE (1.29, 1.17 to 1.43), and working in an ambulance (2.00, 1.56 to 2.58) or hospital inpatient setting (1.55, 1.38 to 1.75). Those who worked in intensive care units were less likely to have been infected (0.76, 0.64 to 0.92) than those who did not. Black HCWs were more likely to have been infected than their White colleagues, an effect which attenuated after adjustment for other known risk factors. This study is limited by self-selection bias and the cross sectional nature of the study means we cannot infer the direction of causality. Conclusions: We identified key sociodemographic and occupational risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection among UK HCWs, and have determined factors that might contribute to a disproportionate odds of infection in HCWs from Black ethnic groups. These findings demonstrate the importance of social and occupational factors in driving ethnic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes, and should inform policies, including targeted vaccination strategies and risk assessments aimed at protecting HCWs in future waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Persistence of immunogenicity after seven COVID-19 vaccines given as third dose boosters following two doses of ChAdOx1 nCov-19 or BNT162b2 in the UK: Three month analyses of the COV-BOOST trial

    Palfreeman, Adrian; Pan, Daniel (2022-06)
    Objectives: To evaluate the persistence of immunogenicity three months after third dose boosters. Methods: COV-BOOST is a multicentre, randomised, controlled, phase 2 trial of seven COVID-19 vaccines used as a third booster dose. The analysis was conducted using all randomised participants who were SARS-CoV-2 naïve during the study. Results: Amongst the 2883 participants randomised, there were 2422 SARS-CoV-2 naïve participants until D84 visit included in the analysis with median age of 70 (IQR: 30-94) years. In the participants who had two initial doses of ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (Oxford-AstraZeneca; hereafter referred to as ChAd), schedules using mRNA vaccines as third dose have the highest anti-spike IgG at D84 (e.g. geometric mean concentration of 8674 ELU/ml (95% CI: 7461-10,085) following ChAd/ChAd/BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNtech, hearafter referred to as BNT)). However, in people who had two initial doses of BNT there was no significant difference at D84 in people given ChAd versus BNT (geometric mean ratio (GMR) of 0.95 (95%CI: 0.78, 1.15). Also, people given Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen; hereafter referred to as Ad26) as a third dose had significantly higher anti-spike IgG at D84 than BNT (GMR of 1.20, 95%CI: 1.01,1.43). Responses at D84 between people who received BNT (15 μg) or BNT (30 μg) after ChAd/ChAd or BNT/BNT were similar, with anti-spike IgG GMRs of half-BNT (15 μg) versus BNT (30 μg) ranging between 0.74-0.86. The decay rate of cellular responses were similar between all the vaccine schedules and doses. Conclusions: 84 days after a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine the decay rates of humoral response were different between vaccines. Adenoviral vector vaccine anti-spike IgG concentrations at D84 following BNT/BNT initial doses were similar to or even higher than for a three dose (BNT/BNT/BNT) schedule. Half dose BNT immune responses were similar to full dose responses. While high antibody tires are desirable in situations of high transmission of new variants of concern, the maintenance of immune responses that confer long-lasting protection against severe disease or death is also of critical importance. Policymakers may also consider adenoviral vector, fractional dose of mRNA, or other non-mRNA vaccines as third doses.
  • Tuberculosis incidence in country of origin is a key determinant of the risk of active tuberculosis in people living with HIV: Data from a 30-year observational cohort study

    Dillon, Helen; White, Helena; Hefford, Phillip; Wiselka, Martin; Pareek, Manish
    Introduction: People living with HIV (PLWH) are at high risk of active tuberculosis (TB) but this risk in the era of antiretroviral treatment (ART) remains unclear. It is critical to identify the groups who should be prioritised for latent TB (LTBI) screening. In this study we identified the risk factors associated with developing incident TB disease, by analysing a 30-year observational cohort. Methods: We evaluated PLWH in Leicester, UK, between 1983 and 2017 to ascertain those who developed active TB and the timing of this in relation to HIV diagnosis; whether before, concurrently with, or more than 3 months after the diagnosis of HIV (incident TB). Predictors of incident TB were ascertained using Cox proportional hazards models. Results: In all, 325 out of 2158 (15.1%) PLWH under care had had active TB; 64/325 (19.7%) prior to HIV diagnosis, 161/325 (49.5%) concurrently with/within 3 months of HIV diagnosis and 100/325 (30.8%) had incident TB. Incident TB risk was 4.57/1000 person-years. Increased TB incidence in the country of birth was associated with an increased risk of developing incident TB [50-149/100 000 population, adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 3.10, 95% CI: 0.94-10.20; 150-249/100 000 population, AHR = 7.14, 95% CI: 3.46-14.74; 250-349/100 000 population, AHR = 5.90, 95% CI: 2.32-14.99; ≥ 350/100 000 population, AHR = 3.96, 95% CI: 1.39-11.26]. Conclusions: Tuberculosis risk remains high among PLWH and is related to TB incidence in the country of birth. Further work is required to determine whether specific groups of PLWH should be targeted for programmatic LTBI screening, and whether it will result in high uptake and completion of chemoprophylaxis and is cost-effective for widespread implementation.
  • Access to personal protective equipment in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom: results from a nationwide cohort study (UK-REACH)

    Martin, Christopher; Pan, Daniel; Nazareth, Joshua; Carr, Sue; Pareek, Manish; Simpson, Sandra
    Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Effective use of personal protective equipment (PPE) reduces this risk. We sought to determine the prevalence and predictors of self-reported access to appropriate PPE (aPPE) for HCWs in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We conducted cross sectional analyses using data from a nationwide questionnaire-based cohort study administered between December 2020-February 2021. The outcome was a binary measure of self-reported aPPE (access all of the time vs access most of the time or less frequently) at two timepoints: the first national lockdown in the UK in March 2020 (primary analysis) and at the time of questionnaire response (secondary analysis). Results: Ten thousand five hundred eight HCWs were included in the primary analysis, and 12,252 in the secondary analysis. 35.2% of HCWs reported aPPE at all times in the primary analysis; 83.9% reported aPPE at all times in the secondary analysis. In the primary analysis, after adjustment (for age, sex, ethnicity, migration status, occupation, aerosol generating procedure exposure, work sector and region, working hours, night shift frequency and trust in employing organisation), older HCWs and those working in Intensive Care Units were more likely to report aPPE at all times. Asian HCWs (aOR:0.77, 95%CI 0.67-0.89 [vs White]), those in allied health professional and dental roles (vs those in medical roles), and those who saw a higher number of COVID-19 patients compared to those who saw none (≥ 21 patients/week 0.74, 0.61-0.90) were less likely to report aPPE at all times. Those who trusted their employing organisation to deal with concerns about unsafe clinical practice, compared to those who did not, were twice as likely to report aPPE at all times. Significant predictors were largely unchanged in the secondary analysis. Conclusions: Only a third of HCWs in the UK reported aPPE at all times during the first lockdown and that aPPE had improved later in the pandemic. We also identified key determinants of aPPE during the first UK lockdown, which have mostly persisted since lockdown was eased. These findings have important implications for the safe delivery of healthcare during the pandemic.
  • BSACI 2021 guideline for the management of egg allergy

    Ball, Heidi
    This guideline advises on the management of patients with egg allergy. Most commonly egg allergy presents in infancy, with a prevalence of approximately 2% in children and 0.1% in adults. A clear clinical history will confirm the diagnosis in most cases. Investigation by measuring egg-specific IgE (by skin prick testing or specific IgE assay) is useful in moderate-severe cases or where there is diagnostic uncertainty. Following an acute allergic reaction, egg avoidance advice should be provided. Egg allergy usually resolves, and reintroduction can be achieved at home if reactions have been mild and there is no asthma. Patients with a history of severe reactions or asthma should have reintroduction guided by a specialist. All children with egg allergy should receive the MMR vaccine. Most adults and children with egg allergy can receive the influenza vaccine in primary care, unless they have had anaphylaxis to egg requiring intensive care support. Yellow Fever vaccines should only be considered in egg-allergic patients under the guidance of an allergy specialist. This guideline was prepared by the Standards of Care Committee (SOCC) of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) and is intended for allergists and others with a special interest in allergy. The recommendations are evidence based. Where evidence was lacking, consensus was reached by the panel of specialists on the committee. The document encompasses epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and co-morbid associations.
  • No cases of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare staff in a city under lockdown restrictions: lessons to inform 'Operation Moonshot'

    Martin, Christopher; Jenkins, David; Patel, Prashanth; Goss, Charles; Price, Arthur; Barton, Linda; Gupta, Pankaj; Zaccardi, Francesco; Brunskill, Nigel; Haldar, Pranab; et al.
    Background Leicester was the first city in the UK to have ‘local lockdown’ measures imposed in response to high community rates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. As part of this response, a directive was issued by NHS England to offer testing of asymptomatic healthcare workers (HCWs) at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods Between 20 July and 14 August 2020, we invited all HCWs at UHL to attend for SARS-CoV-2 testing by nucleic acid amplification (NAAT). We combined the result of this assay with demographic information from the electronic staff record. Results A total of 1150 staff (~8% of the workforce) volunteered. The median age was 46 years (IQR 34–55), 972 (84.5%) were female; 234 (20.4%) were of South Asian and 58 (5.0%) of Black ethnicity; 564 (49.0%) were nurses/healthcare assistants. We found no cases of asymptomatic infection. In comparison, average community test positivity rate in Leicester city was 2.6%. Conclusions Within the context of local lockdowns due to high community transmission rates, voluntary testing of asymptomatic staff has low uptake and low yield and thus its premise and cost-effectiveness should be re-considered.
  • Demographic and occupational determinants of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG seropositivity in hospital staff

    Martin, Christopher; Patel, Prashanth; Goss, Charles; Jenkins, David; Price, Arthur; Barton, Linda; Gupta, Pankaj; Zaccardi, Francesco; Jerina, Helen; Duraisingham, Sai; et al.
    Background Although evidence suggests that demographic characteristics including minority ethnicity increase the risk of infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), it is unclear whether these characteristics, together with occupational factors, influence anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroprevalence in hospital staff. Methods We conducted cross-sectional surveillance examining seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG amongst staff at University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust. We quantified seroprevalence stratified by ethnicity, occupation and seniority of practitioner and used logistic regression to examine demographic and occupational factors associated with seropositivity. Results A total of 1148/10662 (10.8%) hospital staff members were seropositive. Compared to White staff (seroprevalence 9.1%), seroprevalence was higher in South Asian (12.3%) and Black (21.2%) staff. The occupations and department with the highest seroprevalence were nurses/healthcare assistants (13.7%) and the Emergency Department (ED)/Acute Medicine (17.5%), respectively. Seroprevalence decreased with seniority in medical/nursing practitioners. Minority ethnicity was associated with seropositivity on an adjusted analysis (South Asian: aOR 1.26; 95%CI: 1.07–1.49 and Black: 2.42; 1.90–3.09). Anaesthetics/ICU staff members were less likely to be seropositive than ED/Acute medicine staff (0.41; 0.27–0.61). Conclusions Ethnicity and occupational factors, including specialty and seniority, are associated with seropositivity for anti-SARS-Cov-2 IgG. These findings could be used to inform occupational risk assessments for front-line healthcare workers.
  • Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 at a hospice: terminated after the implementation of enhanced aerosol infection control measures

    Feathers, Luke; Bird, Paul; Holmes, Christopher; Tang, Julian (2022)
    Outbreaks of COVID-19 in hospices for palliative care patients pose a unique and difficult situation. Staff, relatives and patients may be possible sources and recipients of infection. We present an outbreak of COVID-19 in a hospice setting, during the UK's first pandemic wave. During the outbreak period, 26 patients and 30 staff tested SARS-CoV-2 positive by laboratory-based RT-PCR testing. Most infected staff exhibited some mild, non-specific symptoms so affected staff members may not have voluntarily self-isolated or had themselves tested on this basis. Similarly, for infected patients, most became symptomatic and were then isolated. Additional, enhanced aerosol infection control measures were implemented, including opening of all windows where available; universal masking for all staff, including in non-clinical areas and taking breaks separately; screening for asymptomatic infection among staff and patients, with appropriate isolation (at home for staff) if infected; performing a ventilation survey of the hospice facility. After these measures were instigated, the numbers of COVID-19 cases decreased to zero over the following three weeks. This outbreak study demonstrated that an accurate understanding of the routes of infection for a new pathogen, as well as the nature of symptomatic versus asymptomatic infection and transmission, is crucial for controlling its spread.
  • Predictors of adverse outcome in the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a UK centre

    Martin, Christopher; Pan, Daniel; Hills, George; Modha, Deborah; Patel, Prashanth; Jenkins, David; Barton, Linda; Jones, William; Brunskill, Nigel; Haldar, Pranab; et al. (2022)
    Background/aims: Data concerning differences in demographics/disease severity between the first and second waves of COVID-19 are limited. We aimed to examine prognosis in patients presenting to hospital with COVID-19 amongst different ethnic groups between the first and second waves in the UK. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we included 1763 patients presenting to a regional hospital centre in Leicester (UK) and compared those in the first (n = 956) and second (n = 807) waves. Admission National Early Warning Scores, mechanical ventilation and mortality rate were lower in the second wave compared with the first. Results: Thirty-day mortality risk in second wave patients was approximately half that of first wave patients [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40-0.75]. In the second wave, Black patients were at higher risk of 30-day mortality than White patients (4.73, 1.56-14.3). Conclusion: We found that disporportionately higher risks of death in patients from ethnic minority groups were not equivalent across consecutive waves of the pandemic. This suggests that risk factors for death in those from ethnic minority groups are malleable and potentially reversible. Our findings need urgent investigation in larger studies.
  • Patient and staff experiences of remote kidney healthcare: lessons learnt from COVID-19

    Lightfoot, Courtney; Wilkinson, Thomas; Palmer, Jared; Smith, Alice; Kanavaki, Archontissa (2022)
    No abstract available.
  • Physical and mental health 3 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection (long COVID) among adolescents in England (CLoCk): a national matched cohort study

    O'Mahoney, Lauren
    Background: We describe post-COVID symptomatology in a non-hospitalised, national sample of adolescents aged 11-17 years with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with matched adolescents with negative PCR status. Methods: In this national cohort study, adolescents aged 11-17 years from the Public Health England database who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between January and March, 2021, were matched by month of test, age, sex, and geographical region to adolescents who tested negative. 3 months after testing, a subsample of adolescents were contacted to complete a detailed questionnaire, which collected data on demographics and their physical and mental health at the time of PCR testing (retrospectively) and at the time of completing the questionnaire (prospectively). We compared symptoms between the test-postive and test-negative groups, and used latent class analysis to assess whether and how physical symptoms at baseline and at 3 months clustered among participants. This study is registered with the ISRCTN registry (ISRCTN 34804192). Findings: 23 048 adolescents who tested positive and 27 798 adolescents who tested negative between Jan 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021, were contacted, and 6804 adolescents (3065 who tested positive and 3739 who tested negative) completed the questionnaire (response rate 13·4%). At PCR testing, 1084 (35·4%) who tested positive and 309 (8·3%) who tested negative were symptomatic and 936 (30·5%) from the test-positive group and 231 (6·2%) from the test-negative group had three or more symptoms. 3 months after testing, 2038 (66·5%) who tested positive and 1993 (53·3%) who tested negative had any symptoms, and 928 (30·3%) from the test-positive group and 603 (16·2%) from the test-negative group had three or more symptoms. At 3 months after testing, the most common symptoms among the test-positive group were tiredness (1196 [39·0%]), headache (710 [23·2%]), and shortness of breath (717 [23·4%]), and among the test-negative group were tiredness (911 [24·4%]), headache (530 [14·2%]), and other (unspecified; 590 [15·8%]). Latent class analysis identified two classes, characterised by few or multiple symptoms. The estimated probability of being in the multiple symptom class was 29·6% (95% CI 27·4-31·7) for the test-positive group and 19·3% (17·7-21·0) for the test-negative group (risk ratio 1·53; 95% CI 1·35-1·70). The multiple symptoms class was more frequent among those with positive PCR results than negative results, in girls than boys, in adolescents aged 15-17 years than those aged 11-14 years, and in those with lower pretest physical and mental health. Interpretation: Adolescents who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 had similar symptoms to those who tested negative, but had a higher prevalence of single and, particularly, multiple symptoms at the time of PCR testing and 3 months later. Clinicians should consider multiple symptoms that affect functioning and recognise different clusters of symptoms. The multiple and varied symptoms show that a multicomponent intervention will be required, and that mental and physical health symptoms occur concurrently, reflecting their close relationship.
  • COVID-19 vaccination uptake amongst ethnic minority communities in England: a linked study exploring the drivers of differential vaccination rates

    Davies, Melanie; Zaccardi, Francesco
    BACKGROUND: Despite generally high coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination rates in the UK, vaccination hesitancy and lower take-up rates have been reported in certain ethnic minority communities. METHODS: We used vaccination data from the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) linked to the 2011 Census and individual health records for subjects aged ≥40 years (n = 24 094 186). We estimated age-standardized vaccination rates, stratified by ethnic group and key sociodemographic characteristics, such as religious affiliation, deprivation, educational attainment, geography, living conditions, country of birth, language skills and health status. To understand the association of ethnicity with lower vaccination rates, we conducted a logistic regression model adjusting for differences in geographic, sociodemographic and health characteristics. ResultsAll ethnic groups had lower age-standardized rates of vaccination compared with the white British population, whose vaccination rate of at least one dose was 94% (95% CI: 94%-94%). Black communities had the lowest rates, with 75% (74-75%) of black African and 66% (66-67%) of black Caribbean individuals having received at least one dose. The drivers of these lower rates were partly explained by accounting for sociodemographic differences. However, modelled estimates showed significant differences remained for all minority ethnic groups, compared with white British individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Lower COVID-19 vaccination rates are consistently observed amongst all ethnic minorities.
  • Impact of major bleeding and thrombosis on 180-day survival in patients with severe COVID-19 supported with veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the United Kingdom: a multicentre observational study

    Isgro, Graziella; Yusuff, Hakeem (2022-02)
    Bleeding and thrombosis are major complications in patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In this multicentre observational study of 152 consecutive patients (≥18 years) with severe COVID-19 supported by veno-venous (VV) ECMO in four UK commissioned centres during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (1 March to 31 May 2020), we assessed the incidence of major bleeding and thrombosis and their association with 180-day mortality. Median age (range) was 47 years (23-65) and 75% were male. Overall, the 180-day survival was 70·4% (107/152). The rate of major bleeding was 30·9% (47/152), of which intracranial bleeding (ICH) was 34% (16/47). There were 96 thrombotic events (63·1%) consisting of venous 44·7% [68/152 of which 66·2% were pulmonary embolism (PE)], arterial 18·6% (13/152) and ECMO circuit thrombosis 9·9% (15/152). In multivariate analysis, only raised lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) at the initiation of VV ECMO was associated with an increased risk of thrombosis [hazard ratio (HR) 1·92, 95% CI 1·21-3·03]. Major bleeding and ICH were associated with 3·87-fold (95% CI 2·10-7·23) and 5·97-fold [95% confidence interval (CI) 2·36-15·04] increased risk of mortality and PE with a 2·00-fold (95% CI1·09-3·56) risk of mortality. This highlights the difficult balancing act often encountered when managing coagulopathy in COVID-19 patients supported with ECMO.
  • Clinical outcomes of patients with and without HIV hospitalized with COVID-19 in England during the early stages of the pandemic: a matched retrospective multi-centre analysis (RECEDE-C19 study)

    Wiselka, Martin; Pareek, Manish; Palfreeman, Adrian (2022-01-06)
    Background: The contribution of HIV to COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized inpatients remains unclear. We conducted a multi-centre, retrospective matched cohort study of SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive hospital inpatients analysed by HIV status. Methods: HIV-negative patients were matched to people living with HIV (PLWH) admitted from 1 February 2020 to 31 May 2020 up to a 3:1 ratio by the following: hospital site, SARS-CoV-2 test date ± 7 days, age ± 5 years, gender, and index of multiple deprivation decile ± 1. The primary objective was clinical improvement (two-point improvement or better on a seven-point ordinal scale) or hospital discharge by day 28, whichever was earlier. Results: A total of 68 PLWH and 181 HIV-negative comparators were included. In unadjusted analyses, PLWH had a reduced hazard of achieving clinical improvement or discharge [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.39-0.85, p = 0.005], but this association was ameliorated (aHR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.43-1.17, p = 0.18) after additional adjustment for ethnicity, frailty, baseline hypoxaemia, duration of symptoms prior to baseline, body mass index (BMI) categories and comorbidities. Baseline frailty (aHR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.65-0.95, p = 0.011), malignancy (aHR = 0.37, 95% CI 0.17, 0.82, p = 0.014) remained associated with poorer outcomes. The PLWH were more likely to be of black, Asian and minority ethnic background (75.0% vs 48.6%, p = 0.0002), higher median clinical frailty score [3 × interquartile range (IQR): 2-5 vs, 2 × IQR: 1-4, p = 0.0069), and to have a non-significantly higher proportion of active malignancy (14.4% vs 9.9%, p = 0.29). Conclusions: Adjusting for confounding comorbidities and demographics in a matched cohort ameliorated differences in outcomes of PLWH hospitalized with COVID-19, highlighting the importance of an appropriate comparison group when assessing outcomes of PLWH hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • Omicron neutralising antibodies after COVID-19 vaccination in haemodialysis patients

    Billany, Roseanne; Graham-Brown, Matthew (2022)
    No abstract available.
  • Variation in human herpesvirus 6B telomeric integration, excision, and transmission between tissues and individuals

    Romaine, Simon; Samani, Nilesh (2021)
    Human herpesviruses 6A and 6B (HHV-6A/6B) are ubiquitous pathogens that persist lifelong in latent form and can cause severe conditions upon reactivation. They are spread by community-acquired infection of free virus (acqHHV6A/6B) and by germline transmission of inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A/6B (iciHHV-6A/6B) in telomeres. We exploited a hypervariable region of the HHV-6B genome to investigate the relationship between acquired and inherited virus and revealed predominantly maternal transmission of acqHHV-6B in families. Remarkably, we demonstrate that some copies of acqHHV-6B in saliva from healthy adults gained a telomere, indicative of integration and latency, and that the frequency of viral genome excision from telomeres in iciHHV-6B carriers is surprisingly high and varies between tissues. In addition, newly formed short telomeres generated by partial viral genome release are frequently lengthened, particularly in telomerase-expressing pluripotent cells. Consequently, iciHHV-6B carriers are mosaic for different iciHHV-6B structures, including circular extra-chromosomal forms that have the potential to reactivate. Finally, we show transmission of an HHV-6B strain from an iciHHV-6B mother to her non-iciHHV-6B son. Altogether, we demonstrate that iciHHV-6B can readily transition between telomere-integrated and free virus forms.
  • Persistent hesitancy for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines among healthcare workers in the United Kingdom: analysis of longitudinal data from the UK-REACH cohort study

    Martin, Christopher; Carr, Sue; Nazareth, Joshua; Tobin, Martin; Pan, Daniel; Pareek, Manish (2022)
    No abstract available.

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