Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread rapidly in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state in northern Brazil. The attack rate there is an estimate of the final size of the largely unmitigated epidemic that occurred in Manaus. We use a convenience sample of blood donors to show that by June 2020, 1 month after the epidemic peak in Manaus, 44% of the population had detectable immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. Correcting for cases without a detectable antibody response and for antibody waning, we estimate a 66% attack rate in June, rising to 76% in October. This is higher than in São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil, where the estimated attack rate in October was 29%. These results confirm that when poorly controlled, COVID-19 can infect a large proportion of the population, causing high mortality.
The association between GBV-C replication and lower T-cell activation may be a key mechanism involved in the protection conferred by this virus against HIV-1 disease progression to immunodeficiency in HIV-1-infected patients.
The herd immunity threshold is the proportion of a population that must be immune to an infectious disease, either by natural infection or vaccination such that, in the absence of additional preventative measures, new cases decline and the effective reproduction number falls below unity. This fundamental epidemiological parameter is still unknown for the recently-emerged COVID-19, and mathematical models have predicted very divergent results. Population studies using antibody testing to infer total cumulative infections can provide empirical evidence of the level of population immunity in severely affected areas. Here we show that the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Manaus, located in the Brazilian Amazon, increased quickly during March and April and declined more slowly from May to September. In June, one month following the epidemic peak, 44% of the population was seropositive for SARS-CoV-2, equating to a cumulative incidence of 52%, after correcting for the false-negative rate of the antibody test. The seroprevalence fell in July and August due to antibody waning. After correcting for this, we estimate a final epidemic size of 66%. Although non-pharmaceutical interventions, plus a change in population behavior, may have helped to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Manaus, the unusually high infection rate suggests that herd immunity played a significant role in determining the size of the epidemic.
BackgroundThe results of previous studies elsewhere have indicated that GB virus C (GBV-C) infection is frequent in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) due to similar transmission routes of both viruses. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, incidence density and genotypic characteristics of GBV-C in this population.Methodology/Principal FindingsThe study population included 233 patients from a cohort primarily comprised of homosexual men recently infected with HIV-1 in São Paulo, Brazil. The presence of GBV-C RNA was determined in plasma samples by reverse transcriptase-nested polymerase chain reaction and quantified by real-time PCR. GBV-C genotypes were determined by direct sequencing. HIV viral load, CD4+ T lymphocyte and CD8+ T lymphocyte count were also tested in all patients. The overall prevalence of GBV-C infection was 0.23 (95% CI: 0.18 to 0.29) in the study group. There was no significant difference between patients with and without GBV-C infection and Glycoprotein E2 antibody presence regarding age, sex, HIV-1 viral load, CD4+ and CD8+T cell counts and treatment with antiretroviral drugs. An inverse correlation was observed between GBV-C and HIV-1 loads at enrollment and after one year. Also, a positive but not significant correlation was observed between GBV-C load and CD4+ T lymphocyte. Phylogenetic analysis of the GBV-C isolates revealed the presence of genotype 1 and genotype 2, these sub classified into subtype 2a and 2b.Conclusion/SignificanceGBV-C infection is common in recently HIV -1 infected patients in Sao Paulo, Brazil and the predominant genotype is 2b. This study provides the first report of the GBV-C prevalence at the time of diagnosis of HIV-1 and the incidence density of GBV-C infection in one year.
BackgroundHIV-infected individuals have deficient responses to Yellow Fever vaccine (YFV) and may be at higher risk for adverse events (AE). Chronic immune activation–characterized by low CD4/CD8 ratio or high indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO) activity—may influence vaccine response in this population.MethodsWe prospectively assessed AE, viremia by the YFV virus and YF-specific neutralizing antibodies (NAb) in HIV-infected (CD4>350) and -uninfected adults through 1 year after vaccination. The effect of HIV status on initial antibody response to YFV was measured during the first 3 months following vaccination, while the effect on persistence of antibody response was measured one year following vaccination. We explored CD4/CD8 ratio, IDO activity (plasma kynurenine/tryptophan [KT] ratio) and viremia by Human Pegivirus as potential predictors of NAb response to YFV among HIV-infected participants with linear mixed models.Results12 HIV-infected and 45-uninfected participants were included in the final analysis. HIV was not significantly associated with AE, YFV viremia or NAb titers through the first 3 months following vaccination. However, HIV–infected participants had 0.32 times the NAb titers observed for HIV-uninfected participants at 1 year following YFV (95% CI 0.13 to 0.83, p = 0.021), independent of sex, age and prior vaccination. In HIV-infected participants, each 10% increase in CD4/CD8 ratio predicted a mean 21% higher post-baseline YFV Nab titer (p = 0.024). Similarly, each 10% increase in KT ratio predicted a mean 21% lower post-baseline YFV Nab titer (p = 0.009). Viremia by Human Pegivirus was not significantly associated with NAb titers.ConclusionsHIV infection appears to decrease the durability of NAb responses to YFV, an effect that may be predicted by lower CD4/CD8 ratio or higher KT ratio.
BackgroundHepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global health problem estimated to affect almost 200 million people worldwide. The aim of this study is to analyze the subtypes and existence of variants resistant to protease inhibitors and their association with potential HCV risk factors among blood donors in Brazil.MethodsRepeat anti-HCV reactive blood donors are systematically asked to return for retest, notification, and counseling in which they are interviewed for risk factors for transfusion-transmitted diseases. We analyzed 202 donors who returned for counseling from 2007 to 2010 and presented enzyme immunoassay- and immunoblot-reactive results. The HCV genotypes and resistance mutation analyses were determined by the direct sequencing of the NS5b and NS3 regions, respectively. The HCV viral load was determined using an in-house real-time PCR assay targeting the 5′-NCR.ResultsHCV subtypes 1b, 1a, and 3a were found in 45.5%, 32.0%, and 18.0% of the donors, respectively. The mean viral load of genotype 1 was significantly higher than that of the genotype 3 isolates. Subtype 1a was more frequent among young donors and 3a was more frequent among older donors. Protease inhibitor-resistant variants were detected in 12.8% of the sequenced samples belonging to genotype 1, and a higher frequency was observed among subtype 1a (20%) in comparison to 1b (8%). There was no difference in the prevalence of HCV risk factors among the genotypes or drug-resistant variants.ConclusionsWe found a predominance of subtype 1b, with an increase in the frequency of subtype 1a, in young subjects. Mutations conferring resistance to NS3 inhibitors were frequent in treatment-naïve blood donors, particularly those infected with subtype 1a. These variants were detected in the major viral population of HCV quasispecies, have replicative capacities comparable to nonresistant strains, and could be important for predicting the response to antiviral triple therapy.
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