Publications - February 2022

Preprint and peer-reviewed publications from RECOVER’s studies

Conditionality of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in European countries (Heyerdahl et al., 2022)

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has offered a powerful preventive measure to help control SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Nevertheless, long-standing public hesitation around vaccines heightened concerns that vaccine coverage would not achieve desired public health impacts, particularly in light of more contagious variants. This cross-sectional survey was conducted online just before the European vaccine rollout in December 2020 among 7000 respondents (aged 18–65) in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine.

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Divergent SARS CoV-2 Omicron-specific T- and B-cell responses in COVID-19 vaccine recipients (Geurts van Kessel et al. 2021)

The severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) is characterized by a high number of mutations in the spike (S) protein that have immune evasive potential. Based on transmission characteristics and immune evasion, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated Omicron as a novel variant of concern (VOC). The Omicron variant has been identified worldwide and models have predicted rapid surges of cases that could surpass earlier peaks. More data are needed to understand the Omicron disease severity profile, and how severity is impacted by vaccination and pre-existing immunity

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The experience of European hospital-based health care workers on following infection prevention and control procedures and their wellbeing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (van Hout et al. 2022)

Working under pandemic conditions exposes health care workers (HCWs) to infection risk and psychological strain. A better understanding of HCWs’ experiences of following local infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures during COVID-19 is urgently needed to inform strategies for protecting the psychical and psychological health of HCWs. The objective of this study was therefore to capture the perceptions of hospital HCWs on local IPC procedures and the impact on their emotional wellbeing during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

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Clinical characteristics, risk factors and outcomes in patients with severe COVID-19 registered in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium WHO clinical characterisation protocol: a prospective, multinational, multicentre, observational study (Reyes et al. 2022)

Due to the large number of patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many were treated outside the traditional walls of the intensive care unit (ICU), and in many cases, by personnel who were not trained in critical care. The clinical characteristics and the relative impact of caring for severe COVID-19 patients outside the ICU is unknown. This study was a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium World Health Organization COVID-19 platform. Severe COVID-19 patients were identified as those admitted to an ICU and/or those treated with one of the following treatments: invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, inotropes or vasopressors. A logistic generalised additive model was used to compare clinical outcomes among patients admitted or not to the ICU.

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Bat coronaviruses related to SARS-CoV-2 and infectious for human cells (Temman et al. 2022)

The animal reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 is unknown despite reports of various SARS-CoV-2-related viruses in Asian Rhinolophus bats, including the closest virus from R. affinis, RaTG13 and in pangolins. SARS-CoV-2 presents a mosaic genome, to which different progenitors contribute. The spike sequence determines the binding affinity and accessibility of its receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the cellular angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and is responsible for host range. SARS-CoV-2 progenitor bat viruses genetically close to SARS-CoV-2 and able to enter human cells through a human ACE2 pathway have not yet been identified, though they would be key in understanding the origin of the epidemics. Here we show that such viruses indeed circulate in cave bats living in the limestone karstic terrain in North Laos, within the Indochinese peninsula.

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From more testing to smart testing: data-guided SARS-CoV-2 testing choices, the Netherlands, May to September 2020 (van Beek et al. 2022)

SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assays are more sensitive than rapid antigen detection assays (RDT)
and can detect viral RNA even after an individual is no longer infectious. RDT can reduce the time to test and the results might better correlate with infectiousness. The aim of this study was to asses the ability of five RDT to identify infectious COVID-19 cases and systematically recorded the turnaround time of RT-PCR testing.

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