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A comparison of four epidemic waves of COVID-19 in Malawi; an observational cohort study

Anscombe, Catherine; Lissauer, Samantha; Thole, Herbert; Rylance, Jamie; Dula, Dingase; Menyere, Mavis; Kutambe, Belson; ... Ashton, Philip M; + view all (2023) A comparison of four epidemic waves of COVID-19 in Malawi; an observational cohort study. BMC Infectious Diseases , 23 (1) , Article 79. 10.1186/s12879-022-07941-y. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Compared to the abundance of clinical and genomic information available on patients hospitalised with COVID-19 disease from high-income countries, there is a paucity of data from low-income countries. Our aim was to explore the relationship between viral lineage and patient outcome. Methods: We enrolled a prospective observational cohort of adult patients hospitalised with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 disease between July 2020 and March 2022 from Blantyre, Malawi, covering four waves of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Clinical and diagnostic data were collected using an adapted ISARIC clinical characterization protocol for COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 isolates were sequenced using the MinION™ in Blantyre. Results: We enrolled 314 patients, good quality sequencing data was available for 55 patients. The sequencing data showed that 8 of 11 participants recruited in wave one had B.1 infections, 6/6 in wave two had Beta, 25/26 in wave three had Delta and 11/12 in wave four had Omicron. Patients infected during the Delta and Omicron waves reported fewer underlying chronic conditions and a shorter time to presentation. Significantly fewer patients required oxygen (22.7% [17/75] vs. 58.6% [140/239], p < 0.001) and steroids (38.7% [29/75] vs. 70.3% [167/239], p < 0.001) in the Omicron wave compared with the other waves. Multivariable logistic-regression demonstrated a trend toward increased mortality in the Delta wave (OR 4.99 [95% CI 1.0–25.0 p = 0.05) compared to the first wave of infection. Conclusions: Our data show that each wave of patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2 was infected with a distinct viral variant. The clinical data suggests that patients with severe COVID-19 disease were more likely to die during the Delta wave.

Type: Article
Title: A comparison of four epidemic waves of COVID-19 in Malawi; an observational cohort study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12879-022-07941-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-022-07941-y
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Infectious Diseases, COVID, SARS-CoV-2, ISARIC, Delta, Mortality, LMIC, Malawi, Africa, VARIANT
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10189983
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