The Alpha variant was not associated with excess nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection in a multi-centre UK hospital study

Boshier, F. A.T. et al. (2021) The Alpha variant was not associated with excess nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection in a multi-centre UK hospital study. Journal of Infection, 83(6), pp. 693-700. (doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.09.022) (PMID:34610391) (PMCID:PMC8487101)

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Objectives: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. We sought to determine whether this also resulted in increased transmission within hospitals. Methods: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences. Results: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages. Conclusions: We find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:COVID-19, transmissibility, nosocomial outbreaks, lineage B.1.1.7, Alpha variant, SARS-CoV-2, variants of concern.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thomson, Professor Emma and Hughes, Dr Joseph and Mollett, Mr Guy and Da Silva Filipe, Dr Ana
Authors: Boshier, F. A.T., Venturini, C., Stirrup, O., Guerra-Assunção, J. A., Alcolea-Medina, A., Becket, A. H., Byott, M., Charalampous, T., da Silva Filipe, A., Frampton, D., Glaysher, S., Khan, T., Kulasegara-Shylini, R., Kele, B., Monahan, I. M., Mollett, G., Parker, M., Pelosi, E., Randell, P., Roy, S., Taylor, J. F., Weller, S. J., Wilson-Davies, E., Wade, P., Williams, R., Copas, A. J., Cutino-Moguel, T., Freemantle, N., Hayward, A. C., Holmes, A., Hughes, J., Mahungu, T. W., Nebbia, G., Nastouli, E., Partridge, D. G., Pope, C. F., Price, J. R., Robson, S. C., Saeed, K., Shin, G. Y., de Silva, T. I., Snell, L. B., Thomson, E. C., Witney, A. A., and Breuer, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:Journal of Infection
ISSN (Online):1532-2742
Published Online:02 October 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Infection 83(6): 693-700
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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