Publications by authors named "Marc Suchard"

238 Publications

Use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in hospital patients with covid-19: multinational network cohort study.

BMJ 2021 05 11;373:n1038. Epub 2021 May 11.

Department of Biomedical Informatics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, South Korea.

Objective: To investigate the use of repurposed and adjuvant drugs in patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 across three continents.

Design: Multinational network cohort study.

Setting: Hospital electronic health records from the United States, Spain, and China, and nationwide claims data from South Korea.

Participants: 303 264 patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 from January 2020 to December 2020.

Main Outcome Measures: Prescriptions or dispensations of any drug on or 30 days after the date of hospital admission for covid-19.

Results: Of the 303 264 patients included, 290 131 were from the US, 7599 from South Korea, 5230 from Spain, and 304 from China. 3455 drugs were identified. Common repurposed drugs were hydroxychloroquine (used in from <5 (<2%) patients in China to 2165 (85.1%) in Spain), azithromycin (from 15 (4.9%) in China to 1473 (57.9%) in Spain), combined lopinavir and ritonavir (from 156 (<2%) in the VA-OMOP US to 2,652 (34.9%) in South Korea and 1285 (50.5%) in Spain), and umifenovir (0% in the US, South Korea, and Spain and 238 (78.3%) in China). Use of adjunctive drugs varied greatly, with the five most used treatments being enoxaparin, fluoroquinolones, ceftriaxone, vitamin D, and corticosteroids. Hydroxychloroquine use increased rapidly from March to April 2020 but declined steeply in May to June and remained low for the rest of the year. The use of dexamethasone and corticosteroids increased steadily during 2020.

Conclusions: Multiple drugs were used in the first few months of the covid-19 pandemic, with substantial geographical and temporal variation. Hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir-ritonavir, and umifenovir (in China only) were the most prescribed repurposed drugs. Antithrombotics, antibiotics, H2 receptor antagonists, and corticosteroids were often used as adjunctive treatments. Research is needed on the comparative risk and benefit of these treatments in the management of covid-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8111167PMC
May 2021

Male-Female Disparities in Years of Potential Life Lost Attributable to COVID-19 in the United States: A State-by-State Analysis.

medRxiv 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Males are at higher risk relative to females of severe outcomes following COVID-19 infection. Focusing on COVID-19-attributable mortality in the United States (U.S.), we quantify and contrast years of potential life lost (YPLL) attributable to COVID-19 by sex based on data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics as of 31 March 2021, specifically by contrasting male and female percentages of total YPLL with their respective percent population shares and calculating age-adjusted male-to-female YPLL rate ratios both nationally and for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Using YPLL before age 75 to anchor comparisons between males and females and a novel Monte Carlo simulation procedure to perform estimation and uncertainty quantification, our results reveal a near-universal pattern across states of higher COVID-19-attributable YPLL among males compared to females. Furthermore, the disproportionately high COVID-19 mortality burden among males is generally more pronounced when measuring mortality in terms of YPLL compared to age-irrespective death counts, reflecting dual phenomena of males dying from COVID-19 at higher rates and at systematically younger ages relative to females. The U.S. COVID-19 epidemic also offers lessons underscoring the importance of a public health environment that recognizes sex-specific needs as well as different patterns in risk factors, health behaviors, and responses to interventions between men and women. Public health strategies incorporating focused efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccinations among men are particularly urged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.05.02.21256495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8109188PMC
May 2021

Drawing Reproducible Conclusions from Observational Clinical Data with OHDSI.

Yearb Med Inform 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics, New York, New York, USA.

Objective: The current observational research literature shows extensive publication bias and contradiction. The Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) initiative seeks to improve research reproducibility through open science.

Methods: OHDSI has created an international federated data source of electronic health records and administrative claims that covers nearly 10% of the world's population. Using a common data model with a practical schema and extensive vocabulary mappings, data from around the world follow the identical format. OHDSI's research methods emphasize reproducibility, with a large-scale approach to addressing confounding using propensity score adjustment with extensive diagnostics; negative and positive control hypotheses to test for residual systematic error; a variety of data sources to assess consistency and generalizability; a completely open approach including protocol, software, models, parameters, and raw results so that studies can be externally verified; and the study of many hypotheses in parallel so that the operating characteristics of the methods can be assessed.

Results: OHDSI has already produced findings in areas like hypertension treatment that are being incorporated into practice, and it has produced rigorous studies of COVID-19 that have aided government agencies in their treatment decisions, that have characterized the disease extensively, that have estimated the comparative effects of treatments, and that the predict likelihood of advancing to serious complications.

Conclusions: OHDSI practices open science and incorporates a series of methods to address reproducibility. It has produced important results in several areas, including hypertension therapy and COVID-19 research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0041-1726481DOI Listing
April 2021

A phenomapping-derived tool to personalize the selection of anatomical vs. functional testing in evaluating chest pain (ASSIST).

Eur Heart J 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520-8056, USA.

Aims: Coronary artery disease is frequently diagnosed following evaluation of stable chest pain with anatomical or functional testing. A more granular understanding of patient phenotypes that benefit from either strategy may enable personalized testing.

Methods And Results: Using participant-level data from 9572 patients undergoing anatomical (n = 4734) vs. functional (n = 4838) testing in the PROMISE (PROspective Multicenter Imaging Study for Evaluation of Chest Pain) trial, we created a topological representation of the study population based on 57 pre-randomization variables. Within each patient's 5% topological neighbourhood, Cox regression models provided individual patient-centred hazard ratios for major adverse cardiovascular events and revealed marked heterogeneity across the phenomap [median 1.11 (10th to 90th percentile: 0.52-2.61]), suggestive of distinct phenotypic neighbourhoods favouring anatomical or functional testing. Based on this risk phenomap, we employed an extreme gradient boosting algorithm in 80% of the PROMISE population to predict the personalized benefit of anatomical vs. functional testing using 12 model-derived, routinely collected variables and created a decision support tool named ASSIST (Anatomical vs. Stress teSting decIsion Support Tool). In both the remaining 20% of PROMISE and an external validation set consisting of patients from SCOT-HEART (Scottish COmputed Tomography of the HEART Trial) undergoing anatomical-first vs. functional-first assessment, the testing strategy recommended by ASSIST was associated with a significantly lower incidence of each study's primary endpoint (P = 0.0024 and P = 0.0321 for interaction, respectively), as well as a harmonized endpoint of all-cause mortality or non-fatal myocardial infarction (P = 0.0309 and P < 0.0001 for interaction, respectively).

Conclusion: We propose a novel phenomapping-derived decision support tool to standardize the selection of anatomical vs. functional testing in the evaluation of stable chest pain, validated in two large and geographically diverse clinical trial populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehab223DOI Listing
April 2021

Emergence and rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 in the United States.

Cell 2021 May 30;184(10):2587-2594.e7. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Illumina, San Diego, CA 92122, USA.

The highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the United Kingdom, has gained a foothold across the world. Using S gene target failure (SGTF) and SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing, we investigated the prevalence and dynamics of this variant in the United States (US), tracking it back to its early emergence. We found that, while the fraction of B.1.1.7 varied by state, the variant increased at a logistic rate with a roughly weekly doubling rate and an increased transmission of 40%-50%. We revealed several independent introductions of B.1.1.7 into the US as early as late November 2020, with community transmission spreading it to most states within months. We show that the US is on a similar trajectory as other countries where B.1.1.7 became dominant, requiring immediate and decisive action to minimize COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.03.052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8009040PMC
May 2021

Genomics and epidemiology of the P.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil.

Science 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Laboratory of Quantitative Pathology, Center of Pathology, Adolfo Lutz Institute, São Paulo, Brazil.

Cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Manaus, Brazil, resurged in late 2020, despite previously high levels of infection. Genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021 revealed the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern. Lineage P.1, acquired 17 mutations, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 receptor. Molecular clock analysis shows that P.1 emergence occurred around mid-November 2020 and was preceded by a period of faster molecular evolution. Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.7-2.4-fold more transmissible, and that previous (non-P.1) infection provides 54-79% of the protection against infection with P.1 that it provides against non-P.1 lineages. Enhanced global genomic surveillance of variants of concern, which may exhibit increased transmissibility and/or immune evasion, is critical to accelerate pandemic responsiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abh2644DOI Listing
April 2021

Bayesian Phylogeographic Analysis Incorporating Predictors and Individual Travel Histories in BEAST.

Curr Protoc 2021 Apr;1(4):e98

Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, Laboratory of Clinical and Evolutionary Virology, Leuven, Belgium.

Advances in sequencing technologies have tremendously reduced the time and costs associated with sequence generation, making genomic data an important asset for routine public health practices. Within this context, phylogenetic and phylogeographic inference has become a popular method to study disease transmission. In a Bayesian context, these approaches have the benefit of accommodating phylogenetic uncertainty, and popular implementations provide the possibility to parameterize the transition rates between locations as a function of epidemiological and ecological data to reconstruct spatial spread while simultaneously identifying the main factors impacting the spatial spread dynamics. Recent developments enable researchers to make use of travel history data of infected individuals in the reconstruction of pathogen spread, offering increased inference accuracy and mitigating sampling bias. Here, we describe a detailed workflow to reconstruct the spatial spread of a pathogen through Bayesian phylogeographic analysis in discrete space using these novel approaches, implemented in BEAST. The individual protocols focus on how to incorporate molecular data, covariates of spread, and individual travel history data into the analysis. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol 1: Creating a SARS-CoV-2 MSA using sequences from GISAID Basic Protocol 2: Setting up a discrete trait phylogeographic reconstruction in BEAUti Basic Protocol 3: Phylogeographic reconstruction incorporating travel history information Basic Protocol 4: Visualizing ancestral spatial trajectories for specific taxa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpz1.98DOI Listing
April 2021

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Years of Potential Life Lost Attributable to COVID-19 in the United States: An Analysis of 45 States and the District of Columbia.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 12;18(6). Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Biostatistics, Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic in the United States has disproportionately impacted communities of color across the country. Focusing on COVID-19-attributable mortality, we expand upon a national comparative analysis of years of potential life lost (YPLL) attributable to COVID-19 by race/ethnicity (Bassett et al., 2020), estimating percentages of total YPLL for non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics, non-Hispanic Asians, and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives, contrasting them with their respective percent population shares, as well as age-adjusted YPLL rate ratios-anchoring comparisons to non-Hispanic Whites-in each of 45 states and the District of Columbia using data from the National Center for Health Statistics as of 30 December 2020. Using a novel Monte Carlo simulation procedure to perform estimation, our results reveal substantial racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19-attributable YPLL across states, with a prevailing pattern of non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics experiencing disproportionately high and non-Hispanic Whites experiencing disproportionately low COVID-19-attributable YPLL. Furthermore, estimated disparities are generally more pronounced when measuring mortality in terms of YPLL compared to death counts, reflecting the greater intensity of the disparities at younger ages. We also find substantial state-to-state variability in the magnitudes of the estimated racial/ethnic disparities, suggesting that they are driven in large part by social determinants of health whose degree of association with race/ethnicity varies by state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8000338PMC
March 2021

Alpha-1 blockers and susceptibility to COVID-19 in benign prostate hyperplasia patients : an international cohort study.

medRxiv 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Alpha-1 blockers, often used to treat benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), have been hypothesized to prevent COVID-19 complications by minimising cytokine storms release. We conducted a prevalent-user active-comparator cohort study to assess association between alpha-1 blocker use and risks of three COVID-19 outcomes: diagnosis, hospitalization, and hospitalization requiring intensive services. Our study included 2.6 and 0.46 million users of alpha-1 blockers and of alternative BPH therapy during the period between November 2019 and January 2020, found in electronic health records from Spain (SIDIAP) and the United States (Department of Veterans Affairs, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, IQVIA OpenClaims, Optum DOD, Optum EHR). We estimated hazard ratios using state-of-the-art techniques to minimize potential confounding, including large-scale propensity score matching/stratification and negative control calibration. We found no differential risk for any of COVID-19 outcome, pointing to the need for further research on potential COVID-19 therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.18.21253778DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010772PMC
March 2021

Characterizing the incidence of adverse events of special interest for COVID-19 vaccines across eight countries: a multinational network cohort study.

medRxiv 2021 Mar 28. Epub 2021 Mar 28.

Background: As large-scale immunization programs against COVID-19 proceed around the world, safety signals will emerge that need rapid evaluation. We report population-based, age- and sex- specific background incidence rates of potential adverse events of special interest (AESI) in eight countries using thirteen databases.

Methods: This multi-national network cohort study included eight electronic medical record and five administrative claims databases from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, mapped to a common data model. People observed for at least 365 days before 1 January 2017, 2018, or 2019 were included. We based study outcomes on lists published by regulators: acute myocardial infarction, anaphylaxis, appendicitis, Bell's palsy, deep vein thrombosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, encephalomyelitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic stroke, immune thrombocytopenia, myocarditis/pericarditis, narcolepsy, pulmonary embolism, and transverse myelitis. We calculated incidence rates stratified by age, sex, and database. We pooled rates across databases using random effects meta-analyses. We classified meta-analytic estimates into Council of International Organizations of Medical Sciences categories: very common, common, uncommon, rare, or very rare.

Findings: We analysed 126,661,070 people. Rates varied greatly between databases and by age and sex. Some AESI (e.g., myocardial infarction, Guillain-Barre syndrome) increased with age, while others (e.g., anaphylaxis, appendicitis) were more common in young people. As a result, AESI were classified differently according to age. For example, myocardial infarction was very rare in children, rare in women aged 35-54 years, uncommon in men and women aged 55-84 years, and common in those aged ≥85 years.

Interpretation: We report robust baseline rates of prioritised AESI across 13 databases. Age, sex, and variation between databases should be considered if background AESI rates are compared to event rates observed with COVID-19 vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.25.21254315DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010764PMC
March 2021

Ebola Virus Transmission Initiated by Relapse of Systemic Ebola Virus Disease.

N Engl J Med 2021 04;384(13):1240-1247

From the Institut National de Recherche Biomédicale (P.M.-K., A.N.-N., E.K.-L., A.A., D.M., N.B., D.K., B.N., M.A., O.T., S.M, S.A.-M., J.-J.M.T.), the University of Kinshasa (P.M.-K., A.N.-N., F.M., F.E., M.M., J.B.B., S.A.-M., J.-J.M.T.), and Ministère de la Santé (F.B., V.E., E.S.-P., Y.T.T.N.) - all in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha (C.P., B.W., M.R.W.); International Medical Corps (M.M.-R.) and the University of California, Los Angeles (A.W.R., M.A.S.), Los Angeles, and the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla (M.G.P., K.G., E.S., A.T., K.G.A.) - all in California; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle (A.B., J.H., T.B.); the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal (M.F., M.M.D., O.F., A.S.); the Vaccine Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (J.M., A.P., N.J.S.), and the Clinical Monitoring Research Program Directorate, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (I.C.), and the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick, National Institutes of Health (L.H.), Frederick - all in Maryland; the World Health Organization, Geneva (B.D., M.K., M.R.D.B., I.S.F., A.Y.); and the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (A.R.).

During the 2018-2020 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, EVD was diagnosed in a patient who had received the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus-based vaccine expressing a ZEBOV glycoprotein (rVSV-ZEBOV) (Merck). His treatment included an Ebola virus (EBOV)-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb114), and he recovered within 14 days. However, 6 months later, he presented again with severe EVD-like illness and EBOV viremia, and he died. We initiated epidemiologic and genomic investigations that showed that the patient had had a relapse of acute EVD that led to a transmission chain resulting in 91 cases across six health zones over 4 months. (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2024670DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7888312PMC
April 2021

Pandemic velocity: Forecasting COVID-19 in the US with a machine learning & Bayesian time series compartmental model.

PLoS Comput Biol 2021 03 29;17(3):e1008837. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Biostatistics, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.

Predictions of COVID-19 case growth and mortality are critical to the decisions of political leaders, businesses, and individuals grappling with the pandemic. This predictive task is challenging due to the novelty of the virus, limited data, and dynamic political and societal responses. We embed a Bayesian time series model and a random forest algorithm within an epidemiological compartmental model for empirically grounded COVID-19 predictions. The Bayesian case model fits a location-specific curve to the velocity (first derivative) of the log transformed cumulative case count, borrowing strength across geographic locations and incorporating prior information to obtain a posterior distribution for case trajectories. The compartmental model uses this distribution and predicts deaths using a random forest algorithm trained on COVID-19 data and population-level characteristics, yielding daily projections and interval estimates for cases and deaths in U.S. states. We evaluated the model by training it on progressively longer periods of the pandemic and computing its predictive accuracy over 21-day forecasts. The substantial variation in predicted trajectories and associated uncertainty between states is illustrated by comparing three unique locations: New York, Colorado, and West Virginia. The sophistication and accuracy of this COVID-19 model offer reliable predictions and uncertainty estimates for the current trajectory of the pandemic in the U.S. and provide a platform for future predictions as shifting political and societal responses alter its course.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008837DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8031749PMC
March 2021

Comprehensive Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of First-Line β-Blocker Monotherapy in Hypertensive Patients: A Large-Scale Multicenter Observational Study.

Hypertension 2021 May 29;77(5):1528-1538. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Division of Cardiology, Severance Cardiovascular Hospital and Integrated Research Center for Cerebrovascular and Cardiovascular Diseases (S.P.), Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

[Figure: see text].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.16402DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035236PMC
May 2021

COVID-19 in patients with autoimmune diseases: characteristics and outcomes in a multinational network of cohorts across three countries.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Real-World Evidence, Trial, Barcelona, Spain, Form Support.

Objective: Patients with autoimmune diseases were advised to shield to avoid COVID-19, but information on their prognosis is lacking. We characterised 30-day outcomes and mortality after hospitalisation with COVID-19 among patients with prevalent autoimmune diseases, and compared outcomes after hospital admissions among similar patients with seasonal influenza.

Methods: A multinational network cohort study was conducted using electronic health records data from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) (United States [US]), Optum [US], Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (US), Information System for Research in Primary Care-Hospitalisation Linked Data (SIDIAP-H) (Spain), and claims data from IQVIA Open Claims (US) and Health Insurance and Review Assessment (HIRA) (South Korea). All patients with prevalent autoimmune diseases, diagnosed and/or hospitalised between January and June 2020 with COVID-19, and similar patients hospitalised with influenza in 2017-2018 were included. Outcomes were death and complications within 30 days of hospitalisation.

Results: We studied 133 589 patients diagnosed and 48 418 hospitalised with COVID-19 with prevalent autoimmune diseases. Most patients were female, aged ≥50 years with previous comorbidities. The prevalence of hypertension (45.5-93.2%), chronic kidney disease (14.0-52.7%) and heart disease (29.0-83.8%) was higher in hospitalised vs diagnosed patients with COVID-19. Compared with 70 660 hospitalised with influenza, those admitted with COVID-19 had more respiratory complications including pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, and higher 30-day mortality (2.2% to 4.3% vs 6.3% to 24.6%).

Conclusions: Compared with influenza, COVID-19 is a more severe disease, leading to more complications and higher mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keab250DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7989171PMC
March 2021

Genomics and epidemiology of a novel SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil.

medRxiv 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Laboratory of Quantitative Pathology, Center of Pathology, Adolfo Lutz Institute, São Paulo, Brazil.

Cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Manaus, Brazil, resurged in late 2020, despite high levels of previous infection there. Through genome sequencing of viruses sampled in Manaus between November 2020 and January 2021, we identified the emergence and circulation of a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, lineage P.1, that acquired 17 mutations, including a trio in the spike protein (K417T, E484K and N501Y) associated with increased binding to the human ACE2 receptor. Molecular clock analysis shows that P.1 emergence occurred around early November 2020 and was preceded by a period of faster molecular evolution. Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.4-2.2 times more transmissible and 25-61% more likely to evade protective immunity elicited by previous infection with non-P.1 lineages. Enhanced global genomic surveillance of variants of concern, which may exhibit increased transmissibility and/or immune evasion, is critical to accelerate pandemic responsiveness.

One-sentence Summary: We report the evolution and emergence of a SARS-CoV-2 lineage of concern associated with rapid transmission in Manaus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.26.21252554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941639PMC
March 2021

Unraveling COVID-19: a large-scale characterization of 4.5 million COVID-19 cases using CHARYBDIS.

Res Sq 2021 Mar 1. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Routinely collected real world data (RWD) have great utility in aiding the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response [1,2]. Here we present the international Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) [3] Characterizing Health Associated Risks, and Your Baseline Disease In SARS-COV-2 (CHARYBDIS) framework for standardisation and analysis of COVID-19 RWD. We conducted a descriptive cohort study using a federated network of data partners in the United States, Europe (the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Germany, France and Italy) and Asia (South Korea and China). The study protocol and analytical package were released on 11 June 2020 and are iteratively updated via GitHub [4]. We identified three non-mutually exclusive cohorts of 4,537,153 individuals with a clinical 886,193 , and 113,627 . All comorbidities, symptoms, medications, and outcomes are described by cohort in aggregate counts, and are available in an interactive website: https://data.ohdsi.org/Covid19CharacterizationCharybdis/. CHARYBDIS findings provide benchmarks that contribute to our understanding of COVID-19 progression, management and evolution over time. This can enable timely assessment of real-world outcomes of preventative and therapeutic options as they are introduced in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-279400/v1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941629PMC
March 2021

Implementation of the COVID-19 Vulnerability Index Across an International Network of Health Care Data Sets: Collaborative External Validation Study.

JMIR Med Inform 2021 Apr 5;9(4):e21547. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Biomedical Informatics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Republic of Korea.

Background: SARS-CoV-2 is straining health care systems globally. The burden on hospitals during the pandemic could be reduced by implementing prediction models that can discriminate patients who require hospitalization from those who do not. The COVID-19 vulnerability (C-19) index, a model that predicts which patients will be admitted to hospital for treatment of pneumonia or pneumonia proxies, has been developed and proposed as a valuable tool for decision-making during the pandemic. However, the model is at high risk of bias according to the "prediction model risk of bias assessment" criteria, and it has not been externally validated.

Objective: The aim of this study was to externally validate the C-19 index across a range of health care settings to determine how well it broadly predicts hospitalization due to pneumonia in COVID-19 cases.

Methods: We followed the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) framework for external validation to assess the reliability of the C-19 index. We evaluated the model on two different target populations, 41,381 patients who presented with SARS-CoV-2 at an outpatient or emergency department visit and 9,429,285 patients who presented with influenza or related symptoms during an outpatient or emergency department visit, to predict their risk of hospitalization with pneumonia during the following 0-30 days. In total, we validated the model across a network of 14 databases spanning the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Results: The internal validation performance of the C-19 index had a C statistic of 0.73, and the calibration was not reported by the authors. When we externally validated it by transporting it to SARS-CoV-2 data, the model obtained C statistics of 0.36, 0.53 (0.473-0.584) and 0.56 (0.488-0.636) on Spanish, US, and South Korean data sets, respectively. The calibration was poor, with the model underestimating risk. When validated on 12 data sets containing influenza patients across the OHDSI network, the C statistics ranged between 0.40 and 0.68.

Conclusions: Our results show that the discriminative performance of the C-19 index model is low for influenza cohorts and even worse among patients with COVID-19 in the United States, Spain, and South Korea. These results suggest that C-19 should not be used to aid decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings highlight the importance of performing external validation across a range of settings, especially when a prediction model is being extrapolated to a different population. In the field of prediction, extensive validation is required to create appropriate trust in a model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/21547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023380PMC
April 2021

SARS-CoV-2 European resurgence foretold: interplay of introductions and persistence by leveraging genomic and mobility data.

Res Sq 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Following the first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in spring 2020, Europe experienced a resurgence of the virus starting late summer that was deadlier and more difficult to contain. Relaxed intervention measures and summer travel have been implicated as drivers of the second wave. Here, we build a phylogeographic model to evaluate how newly introduced lineages, as opposed to the rekindling of persistent lineages, contributed to the COVID-19 resurgence in Europe. We inform this model using genomic, mobility and epidemiological data from 10 West European countries and estimate that in many countries more than 50% of the lineages circulating in late summer resulted from new introductions since June 15th. The success in onwards transmission of these lineages is predicted by SARS-CoV-2 incidence during this period. Relatively early introductions from Spain into the United Kingdom contributed to the successful spread of the 20A.EU1/B.1.177 variant. The pervasive spread of variants that have not been associated with an advantage in transmissibility highlights the threat of novel variants of concern that emerged more recently and have been disseminated by holiday travel. Our findings indicate that more effective and coordinated measures are required to contain spread through cross-border travel.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-208849/v1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885927PMC
February 2021

Emergence of an early SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in the United States.

medRxiv 2021 Feb 8. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

The emergence of the early COVID-19 epidemic in the United States (U.S.) went largely undetected, due to a lack of adequate testing and mitigation efforts. The city of New Orleans, Louisiana experienced one of the earliest and fastest accelerating outbreaks, coinciding with the annual Mardi Gras festival, which went ahead without precautions. To gain insight into the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S. and how large, crowded events may have accelerated early transmission, we sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in Louisiana. We show that SARS-CoV-2 in Louisiana initially had limited sequence diversity compared to other U.S. states, and that one successful introduction of SARS-CoV-2 led to almost all of the early SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Louisiana. By analyzing mobility and genomic data, we show that SARS-CoV-2 was already present in New Orleans before Mardi Gras and that the festival dramatically accelerated transmission, eventually leading to secondary localized COVID-19 epidemics throughout the Southern U.S.. Our study provides an understanding of how superspreading during large-scale events played a key role during the early outbreak in the U.S. and can greatly accelerate COVID-19 epidemics on a local and regional scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.05.21251235DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7872376PMC
February 2021

Genomic epidemiology identifies emergence and rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 in the United States.

medRxiv 2021 Feb 7. Epub 2021 Feb 7.

As of January of 2021, the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first identified in the United Kingdom (U.K.), has gained a strong foothold across the world. Because of the sudden and rapid rise of B.1.1.7, we investigated the prevalence and growth dynamics of this variant in the United States (U.S.), tracking it back to its early emergence and onward local transmission. We found that the RT-qPCR testing anomaly of S gene target failure (SGTF), first observed in the U.K., was a reliable proxy for B.1.1.7 detection. We sequenced 212 B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected from testing facilities in the U.S. from December 2020 to January 2021. We found that while the fraction of B.1.1.7 among SGTF samples varied by state, detection of the variant increased at a logistic rate similar to those observed elsewhere, with a doubling rate of a little over a week and an increased transmission rate of 35-45%. By performing time-aware Bayesian phylodynamic analyses, we revealed several independent introductions of B.1.1.7 into the U.S. as early as late November 2020, with onward community transmission enabling the variant to spread to at least 30 states as of January 2021. Our study shows that the U.S. is on a similar trajectory as other countries where B.1.1.7 rapidly became the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant, requiring immediate and decisive action to minimize COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.02.06.21251159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7872373PMC
February 2021

Relax, keep walking-a practical guide to continuous phylogeographic inference with BEAST.

Mol Biol Evol 2021 Feb 2. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, Leuven, 3000, Belgium.

Spatially-explicit phylogeographic analyses can be performed with an inference framework that employs relaxed random walks to reconstruct phylogenetic dispersal histories in continuous space. This core model was first implemented ten years ago and has opened up new opportunities in the field of phylodynamics, allowing researchers to map and analyse the spatial dissemination of rapidly evolving pathogens. We here provide a detailed and step-by-step guide on how to set up, run, and interpret continuous phylogeographic analyses using the programs BEAUti, BEAST, Tracer, and TreeAnnotator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msab031DOI Listing
February 2021

Determinants of dengue virus dispersal in the Americas.

Virus Evol 2020 Jul 2;6(2):veaa074. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Dengue viruses (DENVs) are classified into four serotypes, each of which contains multiple genotypes. DENV genotypes introduced into the Americas over the past five decades have exhibited different rates and patterns of spatial dispersal. In order to understand factors underlying these patterns, we utilized a statistical framework that allows for the integration of ecological, socioeconomic, and air transport mobility data as predictors of viral diffusion while inferring the phylogeographic history. Predictors describing spatial diffusion based on several covariates were compared using a generalized linear model approach, where the support for each scenario and its contribution is estimated simultaneously from the data set. Although different predictors were identified for different serotypes, our analysis suggests that overall diffusion of DENV-1, -2, and -3 in the Americas was associated with airline traffic. The other significant predictors included human population size, the geographical distance between countries and between urban centers and the density of people living in urban environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ve/veaa074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772473PMC
July 2020

Determinants of dengue virus dispersal in the Americas.

Virus Evol 2020 Jul 2;6(2):veaa074. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Dengue viruses (DENVs) are classified into four serotypes, each of which contains multiple genotypes. DENV genotypes introduced into the Americas over the past five decades have exhibited different rates and patterns of spatial dispersal. In order to understand factors underlying these patterns, we utilized a statistical framework that allows for the integration of ecological, socioeconomic, and air transport mobility data as predictors of viral diffusion while inferring the phylogeographic history. Predictors describing spatial diffusion based on several covariates were compared using a generalized linear model approach, where the support for each scenario and its contribution is estimated simultaneously from the data set. Although different predictors were identified for different serotypes, our analysis suggests that overall diffusion of DENV-1, -2, and -3 in the Americas was associated with airline traffic. The other significant predictors included human population size, the geographical distance between countries and between urban centers and the density of people living in urban environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ve/veaa074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772473PMC
July 2020

How Confident Are We about Observational Findings in Healthcare: A Benchmark Study.

Harv Data Sci Rev 2020 31;2(1). Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics.

Healthcare professionals increasingly rely on observational healthcare data, such as administrative claims and electronic health records, to estimate the causal effects of interventions. However, limited prior studies raise concerns about the real-world performance of the statistical and epidemiological methods that are used. We present the "OHDSI Methods Benchmark" that aims to evaluate the performance of effect estimation methods on real data. The benchmark comprises a gold standard, a set of metrics, and a set of open source software tools. The gold standard is a collection of real negative controls (drug-outcome pairs where no causal effect appears to exist) and synthetic positive controls (drug-outcome pairs that augment negative controls with simulated causal effects). We apply the benchmark using four large healthcare databases to evaluate methods commonly used in practice: the new-user cohort, self-controlled cohort, case-control, case-crossover, and self-controlled case series designs. The results confirm the concerns about these methods, showing that for most methods the operating characteristics deviate considerably from nominal levels. For example, in most contexts, only half of the 95% confidence intervals we calculated contain the corresponding true effect size. We previously developed an "empirical calibration" procedure to restore these characteristics and we also evaluate this procedure. While no one method dominates, self-controlled methods such as the empirically calibrated self-controlled case series perform well across a wide range of scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/99608f92.147cc28eDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755157PMC
January 2020

Renin-angiotensin system blockers and susceptibility to COVID-19: an international, open science, cohort analysis.

Lancet Digit Health 2021 02 17;3(2):e98-e114. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) have been postulated to affect susceptibility to COVID-19. Observational studies so far have lacked rigorous ascertainment adjustment and international generalisability. We aimed to determine whether use of ACEIs or ARBs is associated with an increased susceptibility to COVID-19 in patients with hypertension.

Methods: In this international, open science, cohort analysis, we used electronic health records from Spain (Information Systems for Research in Primary Care [SIDIAP]) and the USA (Columbia University Irving Medical Center data warehouse [CUIMC] and Department of Veterans Affairs Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership [VA-OMOP]) to identify patients aged 18 years or older with at least one prescription for ACEIs and ARBs (target cohort) or calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and thiazide or thiazide-like diuretics (THZs; comparator cohort) between Nov 1, 2019, and Jan 31, 2020. Users were defined separately as receiving either monotherapy with these four drug classes, or monotherapy or combination therapy (combination use) with other antihypertensive medications. We assessed four outcomes: COVID-19 diagnosis; hospital admission with COVID-19; hospital admission with pneumonia; and hospital admission with pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute kidney injury, or sepsis. We built large-scale propensity score methods derived through a data-driven approach and negative control experiments across ten pairwise comparisons, with results meta-analysed to generate 1280 study effects. For each study effect, we did negative control outcome experiments using a possible 123 controls identified through a data-rich algorithm. This process used a set of predefined baseline patient characteristics to provide the most accurate prediction of treatment and balance among patient cohorts across characteristics. The study is registered with the EU Post-Authorisation Studies register, EUPAS35296.

Findings: Among 1 355 349 antihypertensive users (363 785 ACEI or ARB monotherapy users, 248 915 CCB or THZ monotherapy users, 711 799 ACEI or ARB combination users, and 473 076 CCB or THZ combination users) included in analyses, no association was observed between COVID-19 diagnosis and exposure to ACEI or ARB monotherapy versus CCB or THZ monotherapy (calibrated hazard ratio [HR] 0·98, 95% CI 0·84-1·14) or combination use exposure (1·01, 0·90-1·15). ACEIs alone similarly showed no relative risk difference when compared with CCB or THZ monotherapy (HR 0·91, 95% CI 0·68-1·21; with heterogeneity of >40%) or combination use (0·95, 0·83-1·07). Directly comparing ACEIs with ARBs demonstrated a moderately lower risk with ACEIs, which was significant with combination use (HR 0·88, 95% CI 0·79-0·99) and non-significant for monotherapy (0·85, 0·69-1·05). We observed no significant difference between drug classes for risk of hospital admission with COVID-19, hospital admission with pneumonia, or hospital admission with pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute kidney injury, or sepsis across all comparisons.

Interpretation: No clinically significant increased risk of COVID-19 diagnosis or hospital admission-related outcomes associated with ACEI or ARB use was observed, suggesting users should not discontinue or change their treatment to decrease their risk of COVID-19.

Funding: Wellcome Trust, UK National Institute for Health Research, US National Institutes of Health, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Janssen Research & Development, IQVIA, South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare Republic, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and European Health Data and Evidence Network.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(20)30289-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7834915PMC
February 2021

Use of dialysis, tracheostomy, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation among 240,392 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States.

medRxiv 2020 Nov 27. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Objective: To estimate the proportion of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who undergo dialysis, tracheostomy, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Design: A network cohort study.

Setting: Six databases from the United States containing routinely-collected patient data: HealthVerity, Premier, IQVIA Open Claims, Optum EHR, Optum SES, and VA-OMOP.

Patients: Patients hospitalized with a clinical diagnosis or a positive test result for COVID-19.

Interventions: Dialysis, tracheostomy, and ECMO.

Measurements And Main Results: 240,392 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were included (22,887 from HealthVerity, 139,971 from IQVIA Open Claims, 29,061 from Optum EHR, 4,336 from OPTUM SES, 36,019 from Premier, and 8,118 from VA-OMOP). Across the six databases, 9,703 (4.04% [95% CI: 3.96% to 4.11%]) patients received dialysis, 1,681 (0.70% [0.67% to 0.73%]) had a tracheostomy, and 398 (0.17% [95% CI: 0.15% to 0.18%]) patients underwent ECMO over the 30 days following hospitalization. Use of ECMO was generally concentrated among patients who were younger, male, and with fewer comorbidities except for obesity. Tracheostomy was used for a similar proportion of patients regardless of age, sex, or comorbidity. While dialysis was used for a similar proportion among younger and older patients, it was more frequent among male patients and among those with chronic kidney disease.

Conclusion: Use of dialysis among those hospitalized with COVID-19 is high at around 4%. Although less than one percent of patients undergo tracheostomy and ECMO, the absolute numbers of patients who have undergone these interventions is substantial and can be expected to continue grow given the continuing spread of the COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.25.20229088DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7709172PMC
November 2020

Characteristics, outcomes, and mortality amongst 133,589 patients with prevalent autoimmune diseases diagnosed with, and 48,418 hospitalised for COVID-19: a multinational distributed network cohort analysis.

medRxiv 2020 Nov 27. Epub 2020 Nov 27.

Objective: Patients with autoimmune diseases were advised to shield to avoid COVID-19, but information on their prognosis is lacking. We characterised 30-day outcomes and mortality after hospitalisation with COVID-19 among patients with prevalent autoimmune diseases, and compared outcomes after hospital admissions among similar patients with seasonal influenza.

Design: Multinational network cohort study.

Setting: Electronic health records data from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) (NYC, United States [US]), Optum [US], Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (US), Information System for Research in Primary Care-Hospitalisation Linked Data (SIDIAP-H) (Spain), and claims data from IQVIA Open Claims (US) and Health Insurance and Review Assessment (HIRA) (South Korea).

Participants: All patients with prevalent autoimmune diseases, diagnosed and/or hospitalised between January and June 2020 with COVID-19, and similar patients hospitalised with influenza in 2017-2018 were included.

Main Outcome Measures: 30-day complications during hospitalisation and death.

Results: We studied 133,589 patients diagnosed and 48,418 hospitalised with COVID-19 with prevalent autoimmune diseases. The majority of participants were female (60.5% to 65.9%) and aged ≥50 years. The most prevalent autoimmune conditions were psoriasis (3.5 to 32.5%), rheumatoid arthritis (3.9 to 18.9%), and vasculitis (3.3 to 17.6%). Amongst hospitalised patients, Type 1 diabetes was the most common autoimmune condition (4.8% to 7.5%) in US databases, rheumatoid arthritis in HIRA (18.9%), and psoriasis in SIDIAP-H (26.4%).Compared to 70,660 hospitalised with influenza, those admitted with COVID-19 had more respiratory complications including pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome, and higher 30-day mortality (2.2% to 4.3% versus 6.3% to 24.6%).

Conclusions: Patients with autoimmune diseases had high rates of respiratory complications and 30-day mortality following a hospitalization with COVID-19. Compared to influenza, COVID-19 is a more severe disease, leading to more complications and higher mortality. Future studies should investigate predictors of poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients with autoimmune diseases.

What Is Already Known About This Topic: Patients with autoimmune conditions may be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection andcomplications.There is a paucity of evidence characterising the outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 patients with prevalent autoimmune conditions.

What This Study Adds: Most people with autoimmune diseases who required hospitalisation for COVID-19 were women, aged 50 years or older, and had substantial previous comorbidities.Patients who were hospitalised with COVID-19 and had prevalent autoimmune diseases had higher prevalence of hypertension, chronic kidney disease, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes as compared to those with prevalent autoimmune diseases who were diagnosed with COVID-19.A variable proportion of 6% to 25% across data sources died within one month of hospitalisation with COVID-19 and prevalent autoimmune diseases.For people with autoimmune diseases, COVID-19 hospitalisation was associated with worse outcomes and 30-day mortality compared to admission with influenza in the 2017-2018 season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.24.20236802DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7709171PMC
November 2020

Pseudo-likelihood based logistic regression for estimating COVID-19 infection and case fatality rates by gender, race, and age in California.

Epidemics 2020 12 9;33:100418. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Department of Biostatistics, Jonathan and Karen Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States of America. Electronic address:

In emerging epidemics, early estimates of key epidemiological characteristics of the disease are critical for guiding public policy. In particular, identifying high-risk population subgroups aids policymakers and health officials in combating the epidemic. This has been challenging during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic because governmental agencies typically release aggregate COVID-19 data as summary statistics of patient demographics. These data may identify disparities in COVID-19 outcomes between broad population subgroups, but do not provide comparisons between more granular population subgroups defined by combinations of multiple demographics. We introduce a method that helps to overcome the limitations of aggregated summary statistics and yields estimates of COVID-19 infection and case fatality rates - key quantities for guiding public policy related to the control and prevention of COVID-19 - for population subgroups across combinations of demographic characteristics. Our approach uses pseudo-likelihood based logistic regression to combine aggregate COVID-19 case and fatality data with population-level demographic survey data to estimate infection and case fatality rates for population subgroups across combinations of demographic characteristics. We illustrate our method on California COVID-19 data to estimate test-based infection and case fatality rates for population subgroups defined by gender, age, and race/ethnicity. Our analysis indicates that in California, males have higher test-based infection rates and test-based case fatality rates across age and race/ethnicity groups, with the gender gap widening with increasing age. Although elderly infected with COVID-19 are at an elevated risk of mortality, the test-based infection rates do not increase monotonically with age. The workforce population, especially, has a higher test-based infection rate than children, adolescents, and other elderly people in their 60-80. LatinX and African Americans have higher test-based infection rates than other race/ethnicity groups. The subgroups with the highest 5 test-based case fatality rates are all-male groups with race as African American, Asian, Multi-race, LatinX, and White, followed by African American females, indicating that African Americans are an especially vulnerable California subpopulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epidem.2020.100418DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7837024PMC
December 2020

Epidemiological hypothesis testing using a phylogeographic and phylodynamic framework.

Nat Commun 2020 11 6;11(1):5620. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000, Leuven, Belgium.

Computational analyses of pathogen genomes are increasingly used to unravel the dispersal history and transmission dynamics of epidemics. Here, we show how to go beyond historical reconstructions and use spatially-explicit phylogeographic and phylodynamic approaches to formally test epidemiological hypotheses. We illustrate our approach by focusing on the West Nile virus (WNV) spread in North America that has substantially impacted public, veterinary, and wildlife health. We apply an analytical workflow to a comprehensive WNV genome collection to test the impact of environmental factors on the dispersal of viral lineages and on viral population genetic diversity through time. We find that WNV lineages tend to disperse faster in areas with higher temperatures and we identify temporal variation in temperature as a main predictor of viral genetic diversity through time. By contrasting inference with simulation, we find no evidence for viral lineages to preferentially circulate within the same migratory bird flyway, suggesting a substantial role for non-migratory birds or mosquito dispersal along the longitudinal gradient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19122-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7648063PMC
November 2020

Baseline characteristics, management, and outcomes of 55,270 children and adolescents diagnosed with COVID-19 and 1,952,693 with influenza in France, Germany, Spain, South Korea and the United States: an international network cohort study.

medRxiv 2020 Oct 30. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

To characterize the demographics, comorbidities, symptoms, in-hospital treatments, and health outcomes among children/adolescents diagnosed or hospitalized with COVID-19. Secondly, to describe health outcomes amongst children/adolescents diagnosed with previous seasonal influenza. International network cohort. Real-world data from European primary care records (France/Germany/Spain), South Korean claims and US claims and hospital databases. Diagnosed and/or hospitalized children/adolescents with COVID-19 at age <18 between January and June 2020; diagnosed with influenza in 2017-2018. Baseline demographics and comorbidities, symptoms, 30-day in-hospital treatments and outcomes including hospitalization, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), and death. A total of 55,270 children/adolescents diagnosed and 3,693 hospitalized with COVID-19 and 1,952,693 diagnosed with influenza were studied. Comorbidities including neurodevelopmental disorders, heart disease, and cancer were all more common among those hospitalized vs diagnosed with COVID-19. The most common COVID-19 symptom was fever. Dyspnea, bronchiolitis, anosmia and gastrointestinal symptoms were more common in COVID-19 than influenza. In-hospital treatments for COVID-19 included repurposed medications (<10%), and adjunctive therapies: systemic corticosteroids (6.8% to 37.6%), famotidine (9.0% to 28.1%), and antithrombotics such as aspirin (2.0% to 21.4%), heparin (2.2% to 18.1%), and enoxaparin (2.8% to 14.8%). Hospitalization was observed in 0.3% to 1.3% of the COVID-19 diagnosed cohort, with undetectable (N<5 per database) 30-day fatality. Thirty-day outcomes including pneumonia, ARDS, and MIS-C were more frequent in COVID-19 than influenza. Despite negligible fatality, complications including pneumonia, ARDS and MIS-C were more frequent in children/adolescents with COVID-19 than with influenza. Dyspnea, anosmia and gastrointestinal symptoms could help differential diagnosis. A wide range of medications were used for the inpatient management of pediatric COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.29.20222083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605587PMC
October 2020