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

Boshier, FAT; Venturini, C; Stirrup, O; Guerra-Assunção, JA; Alcolea-Medina, A; Becket, AH; Byott, M; ... COG-UK HOCI Variant Substudy consortium*, The COVID-19 Genomics; + view all (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. 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.09.022. Green open access

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Abstract

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. 40 word summary: This UK multicentre study found no evidence to support the Alpha variant as having caused more nosocomial transmission that previous SARS-CoV-2 variants. This provides some reassurance that currently implemented IPC measures may be as effective against more transmissible variants.

Type: Article
Title: The Alpha variant was not associated with excess nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection in a multi-centre UK hospital study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.09.022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2021.09.022
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Alpha variant, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, lineage B.1.1.7, nosocomial outbreaks, transmissibility, variants of concern
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology > Comprehensive CTU at UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135972
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