Community-acquired viral respiratory infections amongst hospitalized inpatients during a COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore: co-infection and clinical outcomes.
ABSTRACT: AIMS:During the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, co-circulation of other common respiratory viruses can potentially result in co-infections; however, reported rates of co-infections for SARS-CoV-2 vary. We sought to evaluate the prevalence and etiology of all community acquired viral respiratory infections requiring hospitalization during an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, with a focus on co-infection rates and clinical outcomes. METHODS:Over a 10-week period, all admissions to our institution, the largest tertiary hospital in Singapore, were screened for respiratory symptoms, and COVID-19 as well as a panel of common respiratory viral pathogens were systematically tested for. Information was collated on clinical outcomes, including requirement for mechanical ventilation and in hospital mortality. RESULTS:One-fifth (19.3%, 736/3807) of hospitalized inpatients with respiratory symptoms had a PCR-proven viral respiratory infection; of which 58.5% (431/736) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 42.2% (311/736) tested positive for other common respiratory viruses. The rate of co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 was 1.4% (6/431); all patients with co-infection had mild disease and stayed in communal settings. The in-hospital mortality rate and proportion of COVID-19 patients requiring invasive ventilation was low, at around 1% of patients; these rates were lower than patients with other community-acquired respiratory viruses admitted over the same period (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION:Even amidst an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, common respiratory viruses still accounted for a substantial proportion of hospitalizations. Coinfections with SARS-CoV-2 were rare, with no observed increase in morbidity or mortality.
Project description:The ongoing global novel coronavirus pneumonia COVID-19 outbreak has engendered numerous cases of infection and death. COVID-19 diagnosis relies upon nucleic acid detection; however, currently recommended methods exhibit high false-negative rates and are unable to identify other respiratory virus infections, thereby resulting in patient misdiagnosis and impeding epidemic containment. Combining the advantages of targeted amplification and long-read, real-time nanopore sequencing, herein, nanopore targeted sequencing (NTS) is developed to detect SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses simultaneously within 6-10 h, with a limit of detection of ten standard plasmid copies per reaction. Compared with its specificity for five common respiratory viruses, the specificity of NTS for SARS-CoV-2 reaches 100%. Parallel testing with approved real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction kits for SARS-CoV-2 and NTS using 61 nucleic acid samples from suspected COVID-19 cases show that NTS identifies more infected patients (22/61) as positive, while also effectively monitoring for mutated nucleic acid sequences, categorizing types of SARS-CoV-2, and detecting other respiratory viruses in the test sample. NTS is thus suitable for COVID-19 diagnosis; moreover, this platform can be further extended for diagnosing other viruses and pathogens.
Project description:The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed global inadequacies in therapeutic options against both the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus and other newly emerged respiratory viruses. In this study, we present the VirusSi computational pipeline, which facilitates the rational design of siRNAs to target existing and future respiratory viruses. Mode A of VirusSi designs siRNAs against an existing virus, incorporating considerations on siRNA properties, off-target effects, viral RNA structure and viral mutations. It designs multiple siRNAs out of which the top candidate targets >99% of SARS-CoV-2 strains, and the combination of the top four siRNAs is predicted to target all SARS-CoV-2 strains. Additionally, we develop Greedy Algorithm with Redundancy (GAR) and Similarity-weighted Greedy Algorithm with Redundancy (SGAR) to support the Mode B of VirusSi, which pre-designs siRNAs against future emerging viruses based on existing viral sequences. Time-simulations using known coronavirus genomes as early as 10 years prior to the COVID-19 outbreak show that at least three SARS-CoV-2-targeting siRNAs are among the top 30 pre-designed siRNAs. Before-the-outbreak pre-design is also possible against the MERS-CoV virus and the 2009-H1N1 swine flu virus. Our data support the feasibility of pre-designing anti-viral siRNA therapeutics prior to viral outbreaks. We propose the development of a collection of pre-designed, safety-tested, and off-the-shelf siRNAs that could accelerate responses toward future viral diseases.
Project description:We studied the host transcriptional response to SARS-CoV-2 by performing metagenomic sequencing of upper airway samples in 234 patients with COVID-19 (n=93), other viral (n=100) or non-viral (n=41) acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs). Compared to other viral ARIs, COVID-19 was characterized by a diminished innate immune response, with reduced expression of genes involved in toll-like receptor and interleukin signaling, chemokine binding, neutrophil degranulation and interactions with lymphoid cells. Patients with COVID-19 also exhibited significantly reduced proportions of neutrophils, macrophages, and increased proportions of goblet, dendritic and B-cells, compared to other viral ARIs. Using machine learning, we built 27-, 10- and 3-gene classifiers that differentiated COVID-19 from other acute respiratory illnesses with AUCs of 0.981, 0.954 and 0.885, respectively. Classifier performance was stable at low viral loads, suggesting utility in settings where direct detection of viral nucleic acid may be unsuccessful. Taken together, our results illuminate unique aspects of the host transcriptional response to SARS-CoV-2 in comparison to other respiratory viruses and demonstrate the feasibility of COVID-19 diagnostics based on patient gene expression. Overall design: Comparing host transcriptional response to SARS-CoV-2 infection versus response to other respiratory viral infection or non-viral acute respiratory infection. > Submitter declares that the raw data are unavailable due to patient privacy concerns. The raw data may be submited to dbGAP if feasible. <
Project description:The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has caused a global health emergency. The outbreak of this virus has raised a number of questions: What is SARS-CoV-2? How transmissible is SARS-CoV-2? How severely affected are patients infected with SARS-CoV-2? What are the risk factors for viral infection? What are the differences between this novel coronavirus and other coronaviruses? To answer these questions, we performed a comparative study of four pathogenic viruses that primarily attack the respiratory system and may cause death, namely, SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), and influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2 strains). This comparative study provides a critical evaluation of the origin, genomic features, transmission, and pathogenicity of these viruses. Because the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is ongoing, this evaluation may inform public health administrators and medical experts to aid in curbing the pandemic's progression.
Project description:After the outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the world in 2003, human coronaviruses (HCoVs) have been reported as pathogens that cause severe symptoms in respiratory tract infections. Recently, a new emerged HCoV isolated from the respiratory epithelium of unexplained pneumonia patients in the Wuhan seafood market caused a major disease outbreak and has been named the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This virus causes acute lung symptoms, leading to a condition that has been named as "coronavirus disease 2019" (COVID-19). The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and of SARS-CoV caused widespread fear and concern and has threatened global health security. There are some similarities and differences in the epidemiology and clinical features between these two viruses and diseases that are caused by these viruses. The goal of this work is to systematically review and compare between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in the context of their virus incubation, originations, diagnosis and treatment methods, genomic and proteomic sequences, and pathogenic mechanisms.
Project description:Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a group of RNA viruses that are associated with different diseases in animals, birds, and humans. Human CoVs (HCoVs) have long been known to be the causative agents of mild respiratory illnesses. However, two HCoVs associated with severe respiratory diseases are Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoV (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-CoV (MERS-CoV). Both viruses resulted in hundreds of deaths after spreading to several countries. Most recently, SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as the third HCoV causing severe respiratory distress syndrome and viral pneumonia (known as COVID-19) in patients from Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Soon after its discovery, SARS-CoV-2 spread to all countries, resulting in millions of cases and thousands of deaths. Since the emergence of SARS-CoV, many research groups have dedicated their resources to discovering effective antivirals that can treat such life-threatening infections. The rapid spread and high fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 necessitate the quick discovery of effective antivirals to control this outbreak. Since SARS-CoV-2 shares 79% sequence identity with SARS-CoV, several anti-SARS-CoV drugs have shown promise in limiting SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we discuss antivirals described for SARS-CoV and provide an update on therapeutic strategies and antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. The control of the current outbreak will strongly depend on the discovery of effective and safe anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs.
Project description:The outbreak of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has caused a worldwide threat to public health. COVID-19 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop clinical symptoms that are often confused with the infections of other respiratory pathogens. Sensitive and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 with the ability to discriminate from other viruses is urgently needed for COVID-19 diagnosis. Herein, we streamlined a highly efficient CRISPR-Cas12a-based nucleic acid detection platform, termed <b>Ca</b>s12a-<b>li</b>nked <b>b</b>eam <b>u</b>nlocking <b>r</b>eactio<b>n</b> (CALIBURN). We show that CALIBURN could detect SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses and influenza viruses with little cross-reactivity. Importantly, CALIBURN allowed accurate diagnosis of clinical samples with extremely low viral loads, which is a major obstacle for the clinical applications of existing CRISPR diagnostic platforms. When tested on the specimens from SARS-CoV-2-positive and negative donors, CALIBURN exhibited 73.0% positive and 19.0% presumptive positive rates and 100% specificity. Moreover, unlike existing CRISPR detection methods that were mainly restricted to respiratory specimens, CALIBURN displayed consistent performance across both respiratory and nonrespiratory specimens, suggesting its broad specimen compatibility. Finally, using a mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we demonstrated that CALIBURN allowed detection of coexisting pathogens without cross-reactivity from a single tissue specimen. Our results suggest that CALIBURN can serve as a versatile platform for the diagnosis of COVID-19 and other respiratory infectious diseases.
Project description:Since a novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in late December 2019, coronavirus disease -19 (COVID-19) epidemic has gradually spread worldwide, becoming a major public health event. No specific antivirals are currently available for COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The treatments for COVID-19 are mainly based on the experiences of similar virus such SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, HIV and influenza viruses. Scientists have taken great efforts to investigate the effective methods for the treatment of COVID-19. Up to now, there are over 1000 clinical studies for COVID-19 all over the world. In this article, we reviewed the current options for COVID-19 therapy including small molecules such as Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir etc, peptide inhibitors of ACE2, Traditional Chinese Medicines and Biologics such as SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies, mesenchymal stem cells and vaccines etc. Meanwhile, we systematically reviewed their clinical safety, clinical applications and progress of antiviral researches. The therapeutic effect of these antiviral drugs is summarized and compared, hoping to provide some ideas for clinical options of COVID-19 treatment and also provide experiences for the life-threatening virus diseases in the future.
Project description:Clinical strategies focusing on pathogen elimination are expected in an infectious-disease outbreak, such as the severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to avoid organ dysfunction. However, understanding the host response to viral infection is crucial to develop an effective treatment to optimize the patient's conditions. The pathogenic viruses can promote metabolic changes during viral infection, favoring its survival, altering cell phenotype and function, and causing sustained inflammation and tissue injury. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of COVID-19, provokes systemic and cell metabolic changes and possibly altering lipid and glucose metabolism. Besides severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), SARS-CoV-2 can cause acute kidney injury, which has been associated with the severity of the disease. Although it is not clear the mechanisms whereby SARS-CoV-2 induces kidney dysfunction, it is known that the virus presents kidney tropism, namely, podocytes and proximal tubular epithelial cells. Changes in renal cell metabolism and systemic metabolic disorders are important events in kidney injury progression. Here, we explored the metabolism and its interface with SARS-CoV-2 infection and raised the perspective on metabolism disturbances as a critical event to kidney dysfunction in COVID-19.
Project description:Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome infecting animals and humans. Coronaviruses have been described more than 70 years ago and contain many species. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are lethal species caused by human coronaviruses (HCoVs). Currently, a novel strain of HCoVs, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital city of the Hubei province of China, and has since spread worldwide causing an outbreak in more than 200 countries. The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11th, 2020 and a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in late January 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). SARS-CoV-2 infects the respiratory tract causing flu-like symptoms and, in some, may cause severe illness like pneumonia and multi-organ failure leading to death. Today, Covid-19 cases almost reaching 9 million, with more than 450 thousand deaths. There is an urgent demand for developing a vaccine since no effective therapies or vaccines have been approved to this day to prevent or minimize the spread of the infection. In this review, we summarized the furthest vaccines in the clinical pipeline.