(searched for: doi:10.2807/1560-7917.es.2022.27.45.2200125)
Published: 23 February 2023
Biomedicines, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11030687
Data on the risk of adverse events (AEs) and disease flares in autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs) after the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine are scarce. The aim of this multicenter, prospective study is to analyze the clinical and immunological safety of BNT162b2 vaccine in a cohort of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients followed-up from the first vaccine cycle to the third dose. The vaccine showed an overall good safety profile with no patient reporting serious AEs, and a low percentage of total AEs at both doses (40/78 (51.3%) and 13/47 (27.7%) patients after the second and third dose, respectively (p < 0.002). Flares were observed in 10.3% of patients after the end of the vaccination cycle and 12.8% after the third dose. Being vaccinated for influenza was inversely associated with the onset of AEs after the second dose, at both univariable (p = 0.013) and multivariable analysis (p = 0.027). This result could allow identification of a predictive factor of vaccine tolerance, if confirmed in larger patient populations. A higher disease activity at baseline was not associated with a higher incidence of AEs or disease flares. Effectiveness was excellent after the second dose, with only 1/78 (1.3%) mild breakthrough infection (BI) and worsened after the third dose, with 9/47 (19.2%) BI (p < 0.002), as a probable expression of the higher capacity of the Omicron variants to escape vaccine recognition.
Viruses, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15020408
We investigated the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 spread in Calabria, Southern Italy, in 2022. A total of 272 RNA isolates from nasopharyngeal swabs of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 were sequenced by whole genome sequencing (N = 172) and/or Sanger sequencing (N = 100). Analysis of diffusion of Omicron variants in Calabria revealed the prevalence of 10 different sub-lineages (recombinant BA.1/BA.2, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.9, BA.2.10, BA.2.12.1, BA.4, BA.5, BE.1). We observed that Omicron spread in Calabria presented a similar trend as in Italy, with some notable exceptions: BA.1 disappeared in April in Calabria but not in the rest of Italy; recombinant BA.1/BA.2 showed higher frequency in Calabria (13%) than in the rest of Italy (0.02%); BA.2.9, BA.4 and BA.5 emerged in Calabria later than in other Italian regions. In addition, Calabria Omicron presented 16 non-canonical mutations in the S protein and 151 non-canonical mutations in non-structural proteins. Most non-canonical mutations in the S protein occurred mainly in BA.5 whereas non-canonical mutations in non-structural or accessory proteins (ORF1ab, ORF3a, ORF8 and N) were identified in BA.2 and BA.5 sub-lineages. In conclusion, the data reported here underscore the importance of monitoring the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome.
Viruses, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15010243
Purpose: The Omicron subvariant BA.1 of SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in November 2021 and quickly spread worldwide, displacing the Delta variant. In this work, a characterization of the spread of this variant in Mexico is presented. Methods: The time to fixation of BA.1, the diversity of Delta sublineages, the population density, and the level of virus circulation during the inter-wave interval were determined to analyze differences in BA.1 spread. Results: BA.1 began spreading during the first week of December 2021 and became dominant in the next three weeks, causing the fourth COVID-19 epidemiological surge in Mexico. Unlike previous variants, BA.1 did not exhibit a geographically distinct circulation pattern. However, a regional difference in the speed of the replacement of the Delta variant was observed. Conclusions: Viral diversity and the relative abundance of the virus in a particular area around the time of the introduction of a new lineage seem to have influenced the spread dynamics, in addition to population density. Nonetheless, if there is a significant difference in the fitness of the variants, or if the time allowed for the competition is sufficiently long, it seems the fitter virus will eventually become dominant, as observed in the eventual dominance of the BA.1.x variant in Mexico.