Imperial College London

ProfessorGrahamCooke

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Professor of Infectious Diseases
 
 
 
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g.cooke

 
 
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Infectious Diseases SectionMedical SchoolSt Mary's Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

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345 results found

Flower B, Du Hong D, Vu Thi Kim H, Pham Minh K, Geskus RB, Day J, Cooke GSet al., 2022, Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B, C and D in Vietnam: A systematic review and meta-analysis, The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific, Vol: 24, Pages: 100468-100468, ISSN: 2666-6065

Journal article

Whitaker M, Elliott J, Chadeau M, Riley S, Darzi A, Cooke G, Ward H, Elliott Pet al., 2022, Persistent COVID-19 symptoms in a community study of 606,434 people in England, Nature Communications, Vol: 13, ISSN: 2041-1723

Long COVID remains a broadly defined syndrome, with estimates of prevalence and duration varying widely. We use data from rounds 3–5 of the REACT-2 study (n=508,707; September 2020 – February 2021), a representative community survey of adults in England, and replication data from round 6 (n=97,717; May 2021) to estimate the prevalence and identify predictors of persistent symptoms lasting 12 weeks or more; and unsupervised learning to cluster individuals by reported symptoms. At 12 weeks in rounds 3–5, 37.7% experienced at least one symptom, falling to 21.6% in round 6. Female sex, increasing age, obesity, smoking, vaping, hospitalisation with COVID-19, deprivation, and being a healthcare worker are associated with higher probability of persistent symptoms in rounds 3–5, and Asian ethnicity with lower probability. Clustering analysis identifies a subset of participants with predominantly respiratory symptoms. Managing the long-term sequelae of COVID-19 will remain a major challenge for affected individuals and their families and for health services.

Journal article

Wong N, Meshkinfamfard S, Turbé V, Whitaker M, Moshe M, Bardanzellu A, Dai T, Pignatelli E, Barclay W, Darzi A, Elliott P, Ward H, Tanaka R, Cooke G, McKendry R, Atchison C, Bharath Aet al., 2022, Machine learning to support visual auditing of home-based lateral flow immunoassay self-test results for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, Communications Medicine, ISSN: 2730-664X

Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) are being used worldwide for COVID-19 mass testing and antibody prevalence studies. Relatively simple to use and low cost, these tests can be self-administered at home but rely on subjective interpretation of a test line by eye, risking false positives and negatives. Here we report the development of ALFA (Automated Lateral Flow Analysis) to improve reported sensitivity and specificity. Our computational pipeline uses machine learning, computer vision techniques and signal processing algorithms to analyse images of the Fortress LFIA SARS-CoV-2 antibody self-test, and subsequently classify results as invalid, IgG negative and IgG positive. A large image library of 595,339 participant-submitted test photographs was created as part of the REACT-2 community SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence study in England, UK. Automated analysis showed substantial agreement with human experts (Kappa 0.90-0.97) and performed consistently better than study participants, particularly for weak positive IgG results. Specificity (98.7-99.4%) and sensitivity (90.1-97.1%) were high compared with visual interpretation by human experts (ranges due to the varying prevalence of weak positive IgG tests in datasets). Alongside ALFA, we developed an analysis toolkit which could also detect device blood leakage issues. Given the potential for LFIAs to be used at scale in the COVID-19 response (for both antibody and antigen testing), even a small improvement in the accuracy of the algorithms could impact the lives of millions of people by reducing the risk of false positive and false negative result read-outs by members of the public. Our findings support the use of machine learning-enabled automated reading of at-home antibody lateral flow tests, to be a tool for improved accuracy for population-level community surveillance.

Journal article

Chadeau M, Eales O, Bodinier B, Wang H, Haw D, Whitaker M, Elliott J, Walters C, Jonnerby LJA, Atchison C, Diggle P, Page A, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Cooke G, Ward H, Darzi A, Donnelly C, Elliott Pet al., 2022, Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in double and triple vaccinated adults and single dose vaccine effectiveness among children in Autumn 2021 in England: REACT-1 study, EClinicalMedicine, ISSN: 2589-5370

Background: Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection with Delta variant was increasing in England in late summer 2021 among children aged 5 to 17 years, and adults who had received two vaccine doses. In September 2021, a third (booster) dose was offered to vaccinated adults aged 50 years and over, vulnerable adults and healthcare/care-home workers, and a single vaccine dose already offered to 16 and 17 year-olds was extended to children aged 12 to 15 years. Methods: SARS-CoV-2 community prevalence in England was available from self-administered throat and nose swabs using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in round 13 (24 June to 12 July 2021, N= 98,233), round 14 (9 to 27 September 2021, N = 100,527) and round 15 (19 October to 5 November 2021, N = 100,112) from the REACT-1 study randomised community surveys. Linking to National Health Service (NHS) vaccination data for consenting participants, we estimated vaccine effectiveness in children aged 12 to 17 years and compared swab-positivity rates in adults who received a third dose with those who received two doses. Findings: Weighted SARS-CoV-2 prevalence was 1.57% (1.48%, 1.66%) in round 15 compared with 0.83% (0.76%, 0.89%) in round 14, and the previously observed link between infections and hospitalisations and deaths had weakened. Vaccine effectiveness against infection in children aged 12 to 17 years was estimated (round 15) at 64.0% (50.9%, 70.6%) and 67.7% (53.8%, 77.5%) for symptomatic infections. Adults who received a third vaccine dose were less likely to test positive compared to those who received two doses, with adjusted odds ratio of 0.36 (0.25, 0.53). Interpretation: Vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 years and third (booster) doses in adults were effective at reducing infection risk. High rates of vaccination, including booster doses, are a key part of the strategy to reduce infection rates in the community.

Journal article

Elliott P, Eales O, Steyn N, Tang D, Bodinier B, Wang H, Elliott J, Whitaker M, Atchison C, Diggle P, Trotter A, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Ward H, Darzi A, Cooke G, Donnelly C, Chadeau-Hyam Met al., 2022, Twin peaks: the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 BA.1 and BA.2 epidemics in England

BACKGROUNDRapid transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has led to record-breaking incidencerates around the world. Sub-lineages have been detected in many countries with BA.1replacing Delta and BA.2 replacing BA.1.METHODSThe REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study has trackedSARS-CoV-2 infection in England using RT-PCR results from self-administered throat and noseswabs from randomly-selected participants aged 5+ years. Rounds of data collection wereapproximately monthly from May 2020 to March 2022.RESULTSIn March 2022, weighted prevalence was 6.37% (N=109,181), more than twice that inFebruary 2022 following an initial Omicron peak in January 2022. Of the lineagesdetermined by viral genome sequencing, 3,382 (99.97%) were Omicron, including 346(10.2%) BA.1, 3035 (89.7%) BA.2 and one (0.03%) BA.3 sub-lineage; the remainder (1, 0.03%)was Delta AY.4. The BA.2 Omicron sub-lineage had a growth rate advantage (compared toBA.1 and sub-lineages) of 0.11 (95% credible interval [CrI], 0.10, 0.11). Prevalence wasincreasing overall (reproduction number R=1.07, 95% CrI, 1.06, 1.09), with the greatestincrease in those aged 55+ years (R=1.12, 95% CrI, 1.09, 1.14) among whom estimatedprevalence on March 31, 2022 was 8.31%, nearly 20-fold the median prevalence since May1, 2020.CONCLUSIONSWe observed unprecedented levels of SARS-CoV-2 infection in England in March 2022 and analmost complete replacement of Omicron BA.1 by BA.2. The high and increasing prevalencein older adults may increase hospitalizations and deaths despite high levels of vaccination.(Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care in England.)

Working paper

Chadeau-Hyam M, Wang H, Eales O, Haw D, Bodinier B, Whitaker M, Walters CE, Ainslie KEC, Atchison C, Fronterre C, Diggle PJ, Page AJ, Trotter AJ, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Cooke G, Ward H, Darzi A, Riley S, Donnelly CA, Elliott Pet al., 2022, SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine effectiveness in England (REACT-1): a series of cross-sectional random community surveys, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 10, Pages: 355-366, ISSN: 2213-2600

SummaryBackground England has experienced a third wave of the COVID-19 epidemic since the end of May, 2021, coincidingwith the rapid spread of the delta (B.1.617.2) variant, despite high levels of vaccination among adults. Vaccinationrates (single dose) in England are lower among children aged 16–17 years and 12–15 years, whose vaccination inEngland commenced in August and September, 2021, respectively. We aimed to analyse the underlying dynamicsdriving patterns in SARS-CoV-2 prevalence during September, 2021, in England.Methods The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study, which commenced datacollection in May, 2020, involves a series of random cross-sectional surveys in the general population of Englandaged 5 years and older. Using RT-PCR swab positivity data from 100 527 participants with valid throat and noseswabs in round 14 of REACT-1 (Sept 9–27, 2021), we estimated community-based prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 andvaccine effectiveness against infection by combining round 14 data with data from round 13 (June 24 to July 12, 2021;n=172 862).Findings During September, 2021, we estimated a mean RT-PCR positivity rate of 0·83% (95% CrI 0·76–0·89), with areproduction number (R) overall of 1·03 (95% CrI 0·94–1·14). Among the 475 (62·2%) of 764 sequenced positiveswabs, all were of the delta variant; 22 (4·63%; 95% CI 3·07–6·91) included the Tyr145His mutation in the spikeprotein associated with the AY.4 sublineage, and there was one Glu484Lys mutation. Age, region, key worker status,and household size jointly contributed to the risk of swab positivity. The highest weighted prevalence was observedamong children aged 5–12 years, at 2·32% (95% CrI 1·96–2·73) and those aged 13–17 years, at 2·55% (2·11–3·08).The SARS-CoV-2 epidemic grew in those aged 5–11 years, with an R of 1&m

Journal article

Alexander JL, Kennedy NA, Ibraheim H, Anandabaskaran S, Saifuddin A, Castro Seoane R, Liu Z, Nice R, Bewshea C, D'Mello A, Constable L, Jones GR, Balarajah S, Fiorentino F, Sebastian S, Irving PM, Hicks LC, Williams HRT, Kent AJ, Linger R, Parkes M, Kok K, Patel KV, Teare JP, Altmann DM, Boyton RJ, Goodhand JR, Hart AL, Lees CW, Ahmad T, Powell N, VIP study investigatorset al., 2022, COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody responses in immunosuppressed patients with inflammatory bowel disease (VIP): a multicentre, prospective, case-control study, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Vol: 7, Pages: 342-352, ISSN: 2468-1253

BACKGROUND: The effects that therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have on immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination are not yet fully known. Therefore, we sought to determine whether COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody responses were altered in patients with IBD on commonly used immunosuppressive drugs. METHODS: In this multicentre, prospective, case-control study (VIP), we recruited adults with IBD treated with one of six different immunosuppressive treatment regimens (thiopurines, infliximab, a thiopurine plus infliximab, ustekinumab, vedolizumab, or tofacitinib) and healthy control participants from nine centres in the UK. Eligible participants were aged 18 years or older and had received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines (either ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 [Oxford-AstraZeneca], BNT162b2 [Pfizer-BioNTech], or mRNA1273 [Moderna]) 6-12 weeks apart (according to scheduling adopted in the UK). We measured antibody responses 53-92 days after a second vaccine dose using the Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. The primary outcome was anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody concentrations in participants without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, adjusted by age and vaccine type, and was analysed by use of multivariable linear regression models. This study is registered in the ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN13495664, and is ongoing. FINDINGS: Between May 31 and Nov 24, 2021, we recruited 483 participants, including patients with IBD being treated with thiopurines (n=78), infliximab (n=63), a thiopurine plus infliximab (n=72), ustekinumab (n=57), vedolizumab (n=62), or tofacitinib (n=30), and 121 healthy controls. We included 370 participants without evidence of previous infection in our primary analysis. Geometric mean anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antibody concentrations were significantly lower in patients treated with infliximab (156·8 U/mL [geometric SD 5·7]; p<0·0001), infliximab plus thiopurine (111·1 U/mL [5·

Journal article

Närhi F, Moonesinghe SR, Shenkin SD, Drake TM, Mulholland RH, Donegan C, Dunning J, Fairfield CJ, Girvan M, Hardwick HE, Ho A, Leeming G, Nguyen-Van-Tam JS, Pius R, Russell CD, Shaw CA, Spencer RG, Turtle L, Openshaw PJM, Baillie JK, Harrison EM, Semple MG, Docherty AB, ISARIC4C investigatorset al., 2022, Implementation of corticosteroids in treatment of COVID-19 in the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK: prospective, cohort study., The Lancet Digital Health, Vol: 4, Pages: e220-e234, ISSN: 2589-7500

BACKGROUND: Dexamethasone was the first intervention proven to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital. We aimed to evaluate the adoption of corticosteroids in the treatment of COVID-19 in the UK after the RECOVERY trial publication on June 16, 2020, and to identify discrepancies in care. METHODS: We did an audit of clinical implementation of corticosteroids in a prospective, observational, cohort study in 237 UK acute care hospitals between March 16, 2020, and April 14, 2021, restricted to patients aged 18 years or older with proven or high likelihood of COVID-19, who received supplementary oxygen. The primary outcome was administration of dexamethasone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone, or methylprednisolone. This study is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN66726260. FINDINGS: Between June 17, 2020, and April 14, 2021, 47 795 (75·2%) of 63 525 of patients on supplementary oxygen received corticosteroids, higher among patients requiring critical care than in those who received ward care (11 185 [86·6%] of 12 909 vs 36 415 [72·4%] of 50 278). Patients 50 years or older were significantly less likely to receive corticosteroids than those younger than 50 years (adjusted odds ratio 0·79 [95% CI 0·70-0·89], p=0·0001, for 70-79 years; 0·52 [0·46-0·58], p<0·0001, for >80 years), independent of patient demographics and illness severity. 84 (54·2%) of 155 pregnant women received corticosteroids. Rates of corticosteroid administration increased from 27·5% in the week before June 16, 2020, to 75-80% in January, 2021. INTERPRETATION: Implementation of corticosteroids into clinical practice in the UK for patients with COVID-19 has been successful, but not universal. Patients older than 70 years, independent of illness severity, chronic neurological disease, and dementia, were less likely to receive corticosteroids than those who were younger, as were pregnant wom

Journal article

Eales O, Walters CE, Wang H, Haw D, Ainslie KEC, Atchison CJ, Page AJ, Prosolek S, Trotter AJ, Le Viet T, Alikhan N-F, Jackson LM, Ludden C, Ashby D, Donnelly CA, Cooke G, Barclay W, Ward H, Darzi A, Elliott P, Riley Set al., 2022, Characterising the persistence of RT-PCR positivity and incidence in a community survey of SARS-CoV-2, Wellcome Open Research, Vol: 7, Pages: 102-102, ISSN: 2398-502X

Background: The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study has provided unbiased estimates of swab-positivity in England approximately monthly since May 2020 using RT-PCR testing of self-administered throat and nose swabs. However, estimating infection incidence requires an understanding of the persistence of RT-PCR swab-positivity in the community.Methods: During round 8 of REACT-1 from 6 January to 22 January 2021, we collected up to two additional swabs from 896 initially RT-PCR positive individuals approximately 6 and 9 days after their initial swab.Results: Test sensitivity and duration of positivity were estimated using an exponential decay model, for all participants and for subsets by initial N-gene cycle threshold (Ct) value, symptom status, lineage and age. A P-spline model was used to estimate infection incidence for the entire duration of the REACT-1 study. REACT-1 test sensitivity was estimated at 0.79 (0.77, 0.81) with median duration of positivity at 9.7 (8.9, 10.6) days. We found greater duration of positivity in those exhibiting symptoms, with low N-gene Ct values, or infected with the Alpha variant. Test sensitivity was found to be higher for those who were pre-symptomatic or with low N-gene Ct values. Compared to swab-positivity, our estimates of infection incidence included sharper features with evident transient increases around the time of changes in social distancing measures.Conclusions: These results validate previous efforts to estimate incidence of SARS-CoV-2 from swab-positivity data and provide a reliable means to obtain community infection estimates to inform policy response.

Journal article

Mehta R, Chekmeneva E, Jackson H, Sands C, Mills E, Arancon D, Li HK, Arkell P, Rawson T, Hammond R, Amran M, Haber A, Cooke G, Noursadeghi M, Kaforou M, Lewis M, Takats Z, Sriskandan Set al., 2022, Antiviral metabolite 3’-Deoxy-3’,4’-didehydro-cytidine is detectable in serum and identifies acute viral infections including COVID-19, Med, Vol: 3, Pages: 204-215.e6, ISSN: 2666-6340

Background:There is a critical need for rapid viral infection diagnostics to enable prompt case identification in pandemic settings and support targeted antimicrobial prescribing.Methods:Using untargeted high-resolution liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry, we compared the admission serum metabolome of emergency department patients with viral infections including COVID-19, bacterial infections, inflammatory conditions, and healthy controls. Sera from an independent cohort of emergency department patients admitted with viral or bacterial infections underwent profiling to validate findings. Associations between whole-blood gene expression and the identified metabolite of interest were examined.Findings:3'-Deoxy-3',4'-didehydro-cytidine (ddhC), a free base of the only known human antiviral small molecule ddhC-triphosphate (ddhCTP), was detected for the first time in serum. When comparing 60 viral to 101 non-viral cases in the discovery cohort, ddhC was the most differentially abundant metabolite, generating an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.954 (95% CI: 0.923-0.986). In the validation cohort, ddhC was again the most significantly differentially abundant metabolite when comparing 40 viral to 40 bacterial cases, generating an AUC of 0.81 (95% CI 0.708-0.915). Transcripts of viperin and CMPK2, enzymes responsible for ddhCTP synthesis, were amongst the five genes most highly correlated to ddhC abundance.Conclusions:The antiviral precursor molecule ddhC is detectable in serum and an accurate marker for acute viral infection. Interferon-inducible genes viperin and CMPK2 are implicated in ddhC production in vivo. These findings highlight a future diagnostic role for ddhC in viral diagnosis, pandemic preparedness, and acute infection management.

Journal article

Chadeau-Hyam M, Tang D, Eales O, Bodinier B, Wang H, Jonnerby J, Whitaker M, Elliott J, Haw D, Walters C, Atchison C, Diggle P, Page A, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Cooke G, Ward H, Darzi A, Donnelly C, Elliott Pet al., 2022, The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in England during February 2022

Background The third wave of COVID-19 in England peaked in January 2022 resulting fromthe rapid transmission of the Omicron variant. However, rates of hospitalisations and deathswere substantially lower than in the first and second wavesMethods In the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study weobtained data from a random sample of 94,950 participants with valid throat and nose swabresults by RT-PCR during round 18 (8 February to 1 March 2022).Findings We estimated a weighted mean SARS-CoV-2 prevalence of 2.88% (95% credibleinterval [CrI] 2.76–3.00), with a within-round reproduction number (R) overall of 0.94 (0·91–0.96). While within-round weighted prevalence fell among children (aged 5 to 17 years) andadults aged 18 to 54 years, we observed a level or increasing weighted prevalence amongthose aged 55 years and older with an R of 1.04 (1.00–1.09). Among 1,195 positive sampleswith sublineages determined, only one (0.1% [0.0–0.5]) corresponded to AY.39 Deltasublineage and the remainder were Omicron: N=390, 32.7% (30.0–35.4) were BA.1; N=473,39.6% (36.8–42.5) were BA.1.1; and N=331, 27.7% (25.2–30.4) were BA.2. We estimated anR additive advantage for BA.2 (vs BA.1 or BA.1.1) of 0.40 (0.36–0.43). The highest proportionof BA.2 among positives was found in London.Interpretation In February 2022, infection prevalence in England remained high with levelor increasing rates of infection in older people and an uptick in hospitalisations. Ongoingsurveillance of both survey and hospitalisations data is required.Funding Department of Health and Social Care, England.

Working paper

Fisher BA, Veenith T, Slade D, Gaskell C, Rowland M, Whitehouse T, Scriven J, Parekh D, Balasubramaniam MS, Cooke G, Morley N, Gabriel Z, Wise MP, Porter J, McShane H, Ho L-P, Newsome PN, Rowe A, Sharpe R, Thickett DR, Bion J, Gates S, Richards D, Kearns P, CATALYST investigatorset al., 2022, Namilumab or infliximab compared with standard of care in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 (CATALYST): a randomised, multicentre, multi-arm, multistage, open-label, adaptive, phase 2, proof-of-concept trial., The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol: 10, Pages: 255-266, ISSN: 2213-2600

BACKGROUND: Dysregulated inflammation is associated with poor outcomes in COVID-19. We aimed to assess the efficacy of namilumab (a granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor inhibitor) and infliximab (a tumour necrosis factor inhibitor) in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, to prioritise agents for phase 3 trials. METHODS: In this randomised, multicentre, multi-arm, multistage, parallel-group, open-label, adaptive, phase 2, proof-of-concept trial (CATALYST), we recruited patients (aged ≥16 years) admitted to hospital with COVID-19 pneumonia and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations of 40 mg/L or greater, at nine hospitals in the UK. Participants were randomly assigned with equal probability to usual care or usual care plus a single intravenous dose of namilumab (150 mg) or infliximab (5 mg/kg). Randomisation was stratified by care location within the hospital (ward vs intensive care unit [ICU]). Patients and investigators were not masked to treatment allocation. The primary endpoint was improvement in inflammation, measured by CRP concentration over time, analysed using Bayesian multilevel models. This trial is now complete and is registered with ISRCTN, 40580903. FINDINGS: Between June 15, 2020, and Feb 18, 2021, we screened 299 patients and 146 were enrolled and randomly assigned to usual care (n=54), namilumab (n=57), or infliximab (n=35). For the primary outcome, 45 patients in the usual care group were compared with 52 in the namilumab group, and 29 in the usual care group were compared with 28 in the infliximab group. The probabilities that the interventions were superior to usual care alone in reducing CRP concentration over time were 97% for namilumab and 15% for infliximab; the point estimates for treatment-time interactions were -0·09 (95% CI -0·19 to 0·00) for namilumab and 0·06 (-0·05 to 0·17) for infliximab. 134 adverse events occurred in 30 (55%) of 55 patients in the namilumab group compared with

Journal article

Lazarus JV, Picchio CA, Byrne C, Crespo J, Colombo M, Cooke G, Dore GJ, Grebely J, Ward JW, Dillon Jet al., 2022, A global systematic review of hepatitis C elimination efforts through micro-elimination., Semin Liver Dis

Micro-elimination targets specific sub-populations and/or geographic settings for hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination. This review reports on global HCV micro-elimination literature published from 2013-2020. Data were extracted from publications to report a score based on the four key components defining micro-elimination. Sustained virologic response (SVR) and treatment initiation proportions were calculated for each manuscript and grouped means of these estimates were compared depending on micro-elimination score and care setting. 83% of the studies were from high-income settings and mainly included people who use drugs or those incarcerated. Among manuscripts, 18 had 'low' micro-elimination scores, 11 had 'high' scores and the differences in mean proportion who initiated treatment and achieved SVR between low and high score groups were statistically significant. Micro-elimination can be a useful complementary strategy for driving engagement in HCV treatment and cure. Our analysis suggests that adhering to more of the core micro-elimination components can improve outcomes.

Journal article

Ward H, Whittaker M, Flower B, Tang S, Atchison C, Darzi A, Donnelly C, Cann A, Diggle P, Ashby D, Riley S, Barclay W, Elliott P, Cooke Get al., 2022, Population antibody responses following COVID-19 vaccination in 212,102 individuals, Nature Communications, Vol: 13, ISSN: 2041-1723

Population antibody surveillance helps track immune responses to COVID-19 vaccinations at scale, and identify host factors that may affect antibody production. We analyse data from 212,102 vaccinated individuals within the REACT-2 programme in England, which uses self-administered lateral flow antibody tests in sequential cross-sectional community samples; 71,923 (33.9%) received at least one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine and 139,067 (65.6%) received ChAdOx1. For both vaccines, antibody positivity peaks 4-5 weeks after first dose and then declines. At least 21 days after second dose of BNT162b2, close to 100% of respondents test positive, while for ChAdOx1, this is significantly reduced, particularly in the oldest age groups (72.7% [70.9–74.4] at ages 75 years and above). For both vaccines, antibody positivity decreases with age, and is higher in females and those with previous infection. Antibody positivity is lower in transplant recipients, obese individuals, smokers and those with specific comorbidities. These groups will benefit from additional vaccine doses.

Journal article

Joshi M, Archer S, Morbi A, Ashrafian H, Arora S, Khan S, Cooke G, Darzi Aet al., 2022, Perceptions on the Use of Wearable Sensors and Continuous Monitoring in Surgical Patients: Interview Study Among Surgical Staff., JMIR Form Res, Vol: 6

BACKGROUND: Continuous vital sign monitoring by using wearable sensors may result in the earlier detection of patient deterioration and sepsis. Few studies have explored the perspectives of surgical team members on the use of such sensors in surgical patients. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to understand the views of surgical team members regarding novel wearable sensors for surgical patients. METHODS: Wearable sensors that monitor vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature) continuously were used by acute surgical patients. The opinions of surgical staff who were treating patients with these sensors were collated through in-depth semistructured interviews to thematic saturation. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed via thematic analysis. RESULTS: A total of 48 interviews were performed with senior and junior surgeons and senior and junior nurses. The main themes of interest that emerged from the interviews were (1) problems with current monitoring, (2) the anticipated impact of wearables on patient safety, (3) the impact on staff, (4) the impact on patients overall, (5) potential new changes, and (6) the future and views on technology. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the feedback from staff who were continuously monitoring surgical patients via wearable sensors was positive, and relatively few concerns were raised. Surgical staff members identify problems with current monitoring and anticipate that sensors will both improve patient safety and be the future of monitoring.

Journal article

Elliott P, Bodinier B, Eales O, Wang H, Haw D, Elliott J, Whitaker M, Jonnerby J, Tang D, Walters CE, Atchison C, Diggle PJ, Page AJ, Trotter AJ, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Ward H, Darzi A, Cooke GS, Chadeau-Hyam M, Donnelly CAet al., 2022, Rapid increase in Omicron infections in England during December 2021: REACT-1 study., Science, Vol: 375, Pages: eabn8347-eabn8347, ISSN: 0036-8075

The unprecedented rise in SARS-CoV-2 infections during December 2021 was concurrent with rapid spread of the Omicron variant in England and globally. We analyzed prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and its dynamics in England from end November to mid-December 2021 among almost 100,000 participants from the REACT-1 study. Prevalence was high with rapid growth nationally and particularly in London during December 2021, and an increasing proportion of infections due to Omicron. We observed large falls in swab positivity among mostly vaccinated older children (12-17 years) compared with unvaccinated younger children (5-11 years), and in adults who received a third (booster) vaccine dose vs. two doses. Our results reinforce the importance of vaccination and booster campaigns, although additional measures have been needed to control the rapid growth of the Omicron variant.

Journal article

Eales O, Ainslie KEC, Walters CE, Wang H, Atchison C, Ashby D, Donnelly CA, Cooke G, Barclay W, Ward H, Darzi A, Elliott P, Riley Set al., 2022, Appropriately smoothing prevalence data to inform estimates of growth rate and reproduction number

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The time-varying reproduction number (<jats:bold><jats:italic>R</jats:italic></jats:bold><jats:sub><jats:bold><jats:italic>t</jats:italic></jats:bold></jats:sub>) can change rapidly over the course of a pandemic due to changing restrictions, behaviours, and levels of population immunity. Many methods exist that allow the estimation of <jats:bold><jats:italic>R</jats:italic></jats:bold><jats:sub><jats:bold><jats:italic>t</jats:italic></jats:bold></jats:sub> from case data. However, these are not easily adapted to point prevalence data nor can they infer <jats:bold><jats:italic>R</jats:italic></jats:bold><jats:sub><jats:bold><jats:italic>t</jats:italic></jats:bold></jats:sub> across periods of missing data. We developed a Bayesian P-spline model suitable for fitting to a wide range of epidemic time-series, including point-prevalence data. We demonstrate the utility of the model by fitting to periodic daily SARS-CoV-2 swab-positivity data in England from the first 7 rounds (May 2020 – December 2020) of the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study. Estimates of <jats:bold><jats:italic>R</jats:italic></jats:bold><jats:sub><jats:bold><jats:italic>t</jats:italic></jats:bold></jats:sub> over the period of two subsequent rounds (6-8 weeks) and single rounds (2-3 weeks) inferred using the Bayesian P-spline model were broadly consistent with estimates from a simple exponential model, with overlapping credible intervals. However, there were sometimes substantial differences in point estimates. The Bayesian P-spline model was further able to infer changes in <jats:bold><jats:italic>R</jats:italic></jats:bold><jats:sub><jats

Journal article

Khan M, Rosadas C, Katsanovskaja K, Weber ID, Shute J, Ijaz S, Marchesin F, McClure E, Elias S, Flower B, Gao H, Quinlan R, Short C, Rosa A, Roustan C, Moshe M, Taylor GP, Elliott P, Cooke GS, Cherepanov P, Parker E, McClure MO, Tedder RSet al., 2022, Simple, sensitive, specific self-sampling assay secures SARS-CoV-2 antibody signals in sero-prevalence and post-vaccine studies, Scientific Reports, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2045-2322

At-home sampling is key to large scale seroprevalence studies. Dried blood spot (DBS) self-sampling removes the need for medical personnel for specimen collection but facilitates specimen referral to an appropriately accredited laboratory for accurate sample analysis. To establish a highly sensitive and specific antibody assay that would facilitate self-sampling for prevalence and vaccine-response studies. Paired sera and DBS eluates collected from 439 sero-positive, 382 sero-negative individuals and DBS from 34 vaccine recipients were assayed by capture ELISAs for IgG and IgM antibody to SARS-CoV-2. IgG and IgM combined on DBS eluates achieved a diagnostic sensitivity of 97.9% (95%CI 96.6 to 99.3) and a specificity of 99.2% (95% CI 98.4 to 100) compared to serum, displaying limits of detection equivalent to 23 and 10 WHO IU/ml, respectively. A strong correlation (r = 0.81) was observed between serum and DBS reactivities. Reactivity remained stable with samples deliberately rendered inadequate, (p = 0.234) and when samples were accidentally damaged or 'invalid'. All vaccine recipients were sero-positive. This assay provides a secure method for self-sampling by DBS with a sensitivity comparable to serum. The feasibility of DBS testing in sero-prevalence studies and in monitoring post-vaccine responses was confirmed, offering a robust and reliable tool for serological monitoring at a population level.

Journal article

Dejnirattisai W, Huo J, Zhou D, Zahradník J, Supasa P, Liu C, Duyvesteyn HME, Ginn HM, Mentzer AJ, Tuekprakhon A, Nutalai R, Wang B, Dijokaite A, Khan S, Avinoam O, Bahar M, Skelly D, Adele S, Johnson SA, Amini A, Ritter TG, Mason C, Dold C, Pan D, Assadi S, Bellass A, Omo-Dare N, Koeckerling D, Flaxman A, Jenkin D, Aley PK, Voysey M, Costa Clemens SA, Naveca FG, Nascimento V, Nascimento F, Fernandes da Costa C, Resende PC, Pauvolid-Correa A, Siqueira MM, Baillie V, Serafin N, Kwatra G, Da Silva K, Madhi SA, Nunes MC, Malik T, Openshaw PJM, Baillie JK, Semple MG, Townsend AR, Huang K-YA, Tan TK, Carroll MW, Klenerman P, Barnes E, Dunachie SJ, Constantinides B, Webster H, Crook D, Pollard AJ, Lambe T, OPTIC Consortium, ISARIC4C Consortium, Paterson NG, Williams MA, Hall DR, Fry EE, Mongkolsapaya J, Ren J, Schreiber G, Stuart DI, Screaton GRet al., 2022, SARS-CoV-2 Omicron-B.1.1.529 leads to widespread escape from neutralizing antibody responses, Cell, Vol: 185, Pages: 467-484.e15, ISSN: 0092-8674

On 24th November 2021, the sequence of a new SARS-CoV-2 viral isolate Omicron-B.1.1.529 was announced, containing far more mutations in Spike (S) than previously reported variants. Neutralization titers of Omicron by sera from vaccinees and convalescent subjects infected with early pandemic Alpha, Beta, Gamma, or Delta are substantially reduced, or the sera failed to neutralize. Titers against Omicron are boosted by third vaccine doses and are high in both vaccinated individuals and those infected by Delta. Mutations in Omicron knock out or substantially reduce neutralization by most of the large panel of potent monoclonal antibodies and antibodies under commercial development. Omicron S has structural changes from earlier viruses and uses mutations that confer tight binding to ACE2 to unleash evolution driven by immune escape. This leads to a large number of mutations in the ACE2 binding site and rebalances receptor affinity to that of earlier pandemic viruses.

Journal article

Piggott T, Nowak A, Brignardello-Petersen R, Cooke GS, Huttner B, Schunemann HJ, Persaud N, Magrini N, Moja Let al., 2022, Global status of essential medicine selection: a systematic comparison of national essential medicine lists with recommendations by WHO, BMJ OPEN, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2044-6055

Journal article

Elliott P, Eales O, Bodinier B, Tang D, Wang H, Jonnerby J, Haw D, Elliott J, Whitaker M, Walters C, Atchison C, Diggle P, Page A, Trotter A, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Ward H, Darzi A, Cooke G, Chadeau-Hyam M, Donnelly Cet al., 2022, Post-peak dynamics of a national Omicron SARS-CoV-2 epidemic during January 2022

Background: Rapid transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has led to the highestever recorded case incidence levels in many countries around the world.Methods: The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study hasbeen characterising the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using RT-PCR test results fromself-administered throat and nose swabs from randomly-selected participants in England atages 5 years and over, approximately monthly since May 2020. Round 17 data were collectedbetween 5 and 20 January 2022 and provide data on the temporal, socio-demographic andgeographical spread of the virus, viral loads and viral genome sequence data for positiveswabs.Results: From 102,174 valid tests in round 17, weighted prevalence of swab positivity was4.41% (95% credible interval [CrI], 4.25% to 4.56%), which is over three-fold higher than inDecember 2021 in England. Of 3,028 sequenced positive swabs, 2,393 lineages weredetermined and 2,374 (99.2%) were Omicron including 19 (0.80% of all Omicron lineages)cases of BA.2 sub-lineage and one BA.3 (0.04% of all Omicron) detected on 17 January 2022,and only 19 (0.79%) were Delta. The growth of the BA.2 Omicron sub-lineage against BA.1and its sub-lineage BA.1.1 indicated a daily growth rate advantage of 0.14 (95% CrI, 0.03,0.28) for BA.2, which corresponds to an additive R advantage of 0.46 (95% CrI, 0.10, 0.92).Within round 17, prevalence was decreasing overall (R=0.95, 95% CrI, 0.93, 0.97) butincreasing in children aged 5 to 17 years (R=1.13, 95% CrI, 1.09, 1.18). Those 75 years andolder had a swab-positivity prevalence of 2.46% (95% CI, 2.16%, 2.80%) reflecting a highlevel of infection among a highly vulnerable group. Among the 3,613 swab-positiveindividuals reporting whether or not they had had previous infection, 2,334 (64.6%)reported previous confirmed COVID-19. Of these, 64.4% reported a positive test from 1 to30 days before their swab date. Risks of infection were increased among essential/keyworkers

Working paper

Rosadas C, Khan M, Parker E, Marchesin F, Katsanovskaja K, Sureda-Vives M, Fernandez N, Randell P, Harvey R, Lilley A, Harris BH, Zuhair M, Fertleman M, Ijaz S, Dicks S, Short C-E, Quinlan R, Taylor GP, Hu K, McKay P, Rosa A, Roustan C, Zuckerman M, El Bouzidi K, Cooke G, Flower B, Moshe M, Elliott P, Spencer AJ, Lambe T, Gilbert SC, Kingston H, Baillie JK, Openshaw PJ, G Semple M, ISARIC4C Investigators, Cherepanov P, O McClure M, S Tedder Ret al., 2022, Detection and quantification of antibody to SARS CoV 2 receptor binding domain provides enhanced sensitivity, specificity and utility, Journal of Virological Methods, Vol: 302, ISSN: 0166-0934

Accurate and sensitive detection of antibody to SARS-CoV-2 remains an essential component of the pandemic response. Measuring antibody that predicts neutralising activity and the vaccine response is an absolute requirement for laboratory-based confirmatory and reference activity. The viral receptor binding domain (RBD) constitutes the prime target antigen for neutralising antibody. A double antigen binding assay (DABA), providing the most sensitive format has been exploited in a novel hybrid manner employing a solid-phase S1 preferentially presenting RBD, coupled with a labelled RBD conjugate, used in a two-step sequential assay for detection and measurement of antibody to RBD (anti-RBD). This class and species neutral assay showed a specificity of 100% on 825 pre COVID-19 samples and a potential sensitivity of 99.6% on 276 recovery samples, predicting quantitatively the presence of neutralising antibody determined by pseudo-type neutralisation and by plaque reduction. Anti-RBD is also measurable in ferrets immunised with ChadOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and in humans immunised with both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. This assay detects anti-RBD at presentation with illness, demonstrates its elevation with disease severity, its sequel to asymptomatic infection and its persistence after the loss of antibody to the nucleoprotein (anti-NP). It also provides serological confirmation of prior infection and offers a secure measure for seroprevalence and studies of vaccine immunisation in human and animal populations. The hybrid DABA also displays the attributes necessary for the detection and quantification of anti-RBD to be used in clinical practice. An absence of detectable anti-RBD by this assay predicates the need for passive immune prophylaxis in at-risk patients.

Journal article

Keeling MJ, Dyson L, Guyver-Fletcher G, Holmes A, Semple MG, Tildesley MJ, Hill EMet al., 2022, Fitting to the UK COVID-19 outbreak, short-term forecasts and estimating the reproductive number, Statistical Methods in Medical Research, ISSN: 0962-2802

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the need for policy makers to receive timely and ongoing scientific guidance in response to this recently emerged human infectious disease. Fitting mathematical models of infectious disease transmission to the available epidemiological data provide a key statistical tool for understanding the many quantities of interest that are not explicit in the underlying epidemiological data streams. Of these, the effective reproduction number, R, has taken on special significance in terms of the general understanding of whether the epidemic is under control (R<1). Unfortunately, none of the epidemiological data streams are designed for modelling, hence assimilating information from multiple (often changing) sources of data is a major challenge that is particularly stark in novel disease outbreaks. Here, focusing on the dynamics of the first wave (March–June 2020), we present in some detail the inference scheme employed for calibrating the Warwick COVID-19 model to the available public health data streams, which span hospitalisations, critical care occupancy, mortality and serological testing. We then perform computational simulations, making use of the acquired parameter posterior distributions, to assess how the accuracy of short-term predictions varied over the time course of the outbreak. To conclude, we compare how refinements to data streams and model structure impact estimates of epidemiological measures, including the estimated growth rate and daily incidence.

Journal article

Nguyen Quoc G, Nguyen Le Thao M, Bao A, Nguyen Anh N, Vu Thi Tuong V, Nguyen Thi Ngoc D, Phan L, Phan Minh T, Lam Ngoc T, Nguyen Thanh A, Nguyen Anh T, Nguyen Nguyen Nhu T, Nguyen Thi L, Nguyen Thuy Thanh V, Nguyen Minh H, Nguyen Minh T, Do Thuy An M, Nguyen Tri T, Tran Thi P, Pham Hong S, Tran Thi N, Hoang Thai A, Duong Thi My H, Cooke GS, Chambers M, Van Nuil JIet al., 2022, Mapping for engagement: setting up a community based participatory research project to reach underserved communities at risk for Hepatitis C in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Frontiers in Public Health, Vol: 10, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 2296-2565

Background: Approximately 1. 07 million people in Vietnam are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). To address this epidemic, the South East Asian Research Collaborative in Hepatitis (SEARCH) launched a 600-patient cohort study and two clinical trials, both investigating shortened treatment strategies for chronic HCV infection with direct-acting antiviral drugs. We conducted ethnographic research with a subset of trial participants and found that the majority were aware of HCV infection and its implications and were motivated to seek treatment. However, people who inject drugs (PWID), and other groups at risk for HCV were under-represented, although injecting drug use is associated with high rates of HCV.Material and Methods: We designed a community-based participatory research (CBPR) study to engage in dialogues surrounding HCV and other community-prioritized health issues with underserved groups at risk for HCV in Ho Chi Minh City. The project consists of three phases: situation analysis, CBPR implementation, and dissemination. In this paper, we describe the results of the first phase (i.e., the situation analysis) in which we conducted desk research and organized stakeholder mapping meetings with representatives from local non-government and community-based organizations where we used participatory research methods to identify and analyze key stakeholders working with underserved populations.Results: Twenty six institutions or groups working with the key underserved populations were identified. Insights about the challenges and dynamics of underserved communities were also gathered. Two working groups made up of representatives from the NGO and CBO level were formed.Discussion: Using the information provided by local key stakeholders to shape the project has helped us to build solid relationships, give the groups a sense of ownership from the early stages, and made the project more context specific. These steps are not only important preliminary steps for partic

Journal article

Cooke GS, Nayagam S, 2021, Liver disease: at the heart of public health challenges for Europe in the 21st century, LANCET, Vol: 399, Pages: 9-10, ISSN: 0140-6736

Journal article

Elliott P, Bodinier B, Eales O, Wang H, Haw D, Elliott J, Whitaker M, Jonnerby J, Tang D, Walters C, Atchison C, Diggle P, Page A, Trotter A, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Ward H, Darzi A, Cooke G, Chadeau-Hyam M, Donnelly Cet al., 2021, Rapid increase in Omicron infections in England during December 2021: REACT-1 study

Background: The highest-ever recorded numbers of daily severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in England has been observed during December 2021 and have coincided with a rapid rise in the highly transmissible Omicron variant despite high levels of vaccination in the population. Although additional COVID-19 measures have beenintroduced in England and internationally to contain the epidemic, there remains uncertainty about the spread and severity of Omicron infections among the general population.Methods: The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission–1 (REACT-1) study has been monitoring the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in England since May 2020.REACT-1 obtains self-administered throat and nose swabs from a random sample of the population of England at ages 5 years and over. Swabs are tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and samples testing positive are sent for viral genome sequencing. To date 16 rounds have been completed, each including~100,000 or more participants with data collected over a period of 2 to 3 weeks per month.Socio-demographic, lifestyle and clinical information (including previous history of COVID-19 and symptoms prior to swabbing) is collected by online or telephone questionnaire. Here we report results from round 14 (9-27 September 2021), round 15 (19 October - 05 November2021) and round 16 (23 November - 14 December 2021) for a total of 297,728 participants with a valid RT-PCR test result, of whom 259,225 (87.1%) consented for linkage to their NHS records including detailed information on vaccination (vaccination status, date). We usedthese data to estimate community prevalence and trends by age and region, to evaluate vaccine effectiveness against infection in children ages 12 to 17 years, and effect of a third (booster) dose in adults, and to monitor the emergence of the Omicron variant in England.Results: We observed a high overall prevalen

Working paper

Cann A, Clarke C, Brown J, Thomson T, Prendecki M, Moshe M, Badhan A, Simmons B, Klaber B, Elliott P, Darzi A, Riley S, Ashby D, Martin P, Gleeson S, Willicombe M, Kelleher P, Ward H, Barclay W, Cooke Get al., 2021, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibody lateral flow assay for antibody prevalence studies following vaccination: a diagnostic accuracy study, Publisher: Wellcome Open Research

Background: Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) are able to achieve affordable, large scale antibody testing and provide rapid results without the support of central laboratories. As part of the development of the REACT programme extensive evaluation of LFIA performance was undertaken with individuals following natural infection. Here we assess the performance of the selected LFIA to detect antibody responses in individuals who have received at least one dose of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine. Methods: This was a prospective diagnostic accuracy study. Sampling was carried out at renal outpatient clinic and healthcare worker testing sites at Imperial College London NHS Trust. Two cohorts of patients were recruited; the first was a cohort of 108 renal transplant patients attending clinic following two doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, the second cohort comprised 40 healthcare workers attending for first SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and subsequent follow up. During the participants visit, finger-prick blood samples were analysed on LFIA device, while paired venous sampling was sent for serological assessment of antibodies to the spike protein (anti-S) antibodies. Anti-S IgG was detected using the Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG Quant II CMIA. A total of 186 paired samples were collected. The accuracy of Fortress LFIA in detecting IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 compared to anti-spike protein detection on Abbott Assay Results: The LFIA had an estimated sensitivity of 92.0% (114/124; 95% confidence interval [CI] 85.7% to 96.1%) and specificity of 93.6% (58/62; 95% CI 84.3% to 98.2%) using the Abbott assay as reference standard (using the threshold for positivity of 7.10 BAU/ml) Conclusions: Fortress LFIA performs well in the detection of antibody responses for intended purpose of population level surveillance but does not meet criteria for individual testing.

Working paper

Eales O, Page AJ, de Oliveira Martins L, Wang H, Bodinier B, Haw D, Jonnerby J, Atchison C, Ashby D, Barclay W, Taylor G, Cooke G, Ward H, Darzi A, Riley S, Chadeau-Hyam M, Donnelly CA, Elliott Pet al., 2021, SARS-CoV-2 lineage dynamics in England from September to November 2021: high diversity of Delta sub-lineages and increased transmissibility of AY.4.2

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, evolutionary pressure has driven large increases in the transmissibility of the virus. However, with increasing levels of immunity through vaccination and natural infection the evolutionary pressure will switch towards immune escape. Here we present phylogenetic relationships and lineage dynamics within England (a country with high levels of immunity), as inferred from a random community sample of individuals who provided a self-administered throat and nose swab for rt-PCR testing as part of the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-1 (REACT-1) study. From 9 to 27 September 2021 (round 14) and 19 October to 5 November 2021 (round 15), all lineages sequenced within REACT-1 were Delta or a Delta sub-lineage with 44 unique lineages identified. The proportion of the original Delta variant (B.1.617.2) was found to be increasing between September and November 2021, which may reflect an increasing number of sub-lineages which have yet to be identified. The proportion of B.1.617.2 was greatest in London, which was further identified as a region with an increased level of genetic diversity. The Delta sub-lineage AY.4.2 was found to be robustly increasing in proportion, with a reproduction number 15% (8%, 23%) greater than its parent and most prevalent lineage, AY.4. Both AY.4.2 and AY.4 were found to be geographically clustered in September but this was no longer the case by late October/early November, with only the lineage AY.6 exhibiting clustering towards the South of England. Though no difference in the viral load based on cycle threshold (Ct) values was identified, a lower proportion of those infected with AY.4.2 had symptoms for which testing is usually recommend (loss or change of sense of taste, loss or change of sense of smell, new persistent cough, fever), compared to AY.4 (p = 0.026). The evolutionary rate of SARS-CoV-2, as measured by the mutation rate, was fou

Journal article

Redd R, Cooper E, Atchison C, Pereira I, Hollings P, Cooper T, Millar C, Ashby D, Riley S, Darzi A, Barclay WS, Cooke GS, Elliott P, Donnelly CA, Ward Het al., 2021, Behavioural responses to SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in England: REACT-2 study, Wellcome Open Research, Vol: 6, Pages: 203-203

<ns4:p><ns4:bold>Background:  </ns4:bold>This study assesses the behavioural responses to SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results as part of the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) research programme, a large community-based surveillance study of antibody prevalence in England.</ns4:p><ns4:p> <ns4:bold>Methods:</ns4:bold> A follow-up survey was conducted six weeks after the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. The follow-up survey included 4500 people with a positive result and 4039 with a negative result. Reported changes in behaviour were assessed using difference-in-differences models. A nested interview study was conducted with 40 people to explore how they thought through their behavioural decisions.</ns4:p><ns4:p> <ns4:bold>Results:</ns4:bold> While respondents reduced their protective behaviours over the six weeks, we did not find evidence that positive test results changed participant behaviour trajectories in relation to the number of contacts the respondents had, for leaving the house to go to work, or for leaving the house to socialise in a personal place. The qualitative findings supported these results. Most people did not think that they had changed their behaviours because of their test results, however they did allude to some changes in their attitudes and perceptions around risk, susceptibility, and potential severity of symptoms.</ns4:p><ns4:p> <ns4:bold>Conclusions: </ns4:bold>We found limited evidence that knowing your antibody status leads to behaviour change in the context of a research study. While this finding should not be generalised to widespread self-testing in other contexts, it is reassuring given the importance of large prevalence studies, and the practicalities of doing these at scale using self-testing with lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA).</ns4:p>

Journal article

Ward H, Flower B, Garcia PJ, Ong SWX, Altmann DM, Delaney B, Smith N, Elliott P, Cooke Get al., 2021, Global surveillance, research, and collaboration needed to improve understanding and management of long COVID, The Lancet, Vol: 398, Pages: 2057-2059, ISSN: 0140-6736

Journal article

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