B.1.1.7 variant more transmissible but does not increase disease severity, two new studies suggest

The findings conflict with separate analysis that beforehand urged the variant could also be tied to a better danger of dying from Covid-19.

One of the studies, revealed on Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, discovered no proof in a pattern of hospitalized sufferers that the B.1.1.7 variant is related to extreme Covid-19. However, the variant was related to elevated viral load, which helps the rising proof that it’s more simply transmitted.
The different research, additionally revealed Monday in The Lancet Public Health, discovered no statistically vital affiliation between the B.1.1.7 variant and the kinds or length of Covid-19 signs individuals mentioned that they skilled.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases research included knowledge on 496 individuals who had been admitted to hospitals in London and examined optimistic for coronavirus an infection.

“Our data, within the context and limitations of a real-world study, provide initial reassurance that severity in hospitalised patients with B.1.1.7 is not markedly different from severity in those without, and this study provides a model to answer the same question again as we move into an era of emerging variants,” the researchers, primarily based within the United Kingdom, wrote within the research.

Nose and throat swab samples had been collected from the sufferers between November 9 and December 20. Among these samples, 341 underwent genome sequencing. The sequence knowledge confirmed that 198 of the sufferers, or 58%, had infections attributable to the B.1.1.7 variant whereas the others had been attributable to different strains of the coronavirus.

The researchers discovered no distinction within the end result of extreme disease or loss of life between the variant and different lineages.

For occasion, the information confirmed that 36% of sufferers within the research with the B.1.1.7 variant an infection skilled extreme sickness or loss of life in contrast with 38% of these with non-B.1.1.7 infections. When it got here to loss of life particularly, 16% of with the B.1.1.7 variant an infection died inside 28 days in contrast with 17% of these with non-B.1.1.7 infections, the researchers discovered.

But the researchers recognized elevated viral load among the many B.1.1.7 sufferers.

Overall, “patients with B.1.1.7 were younger and had fewer comorbidities than those with non-B.1.1.7 infection, possibly representing the widespread and potential increased transmission of this variant in the community or differences in probability of hospital admission, which we were not able to explore in this hospital-based cohort,” the researchers wrote.

“Finding B.1.1.7 more commonly in younger versus older individuals gives a subtle hint of more severe disease if patients with B.1.1.7 are hospitalised more often compared with patients with other lineages, although difference in disease severity by B.1.1.7 was not found in this hospitalised cohort in the main analysis.”

‘This research provides to the consensus that B.1.1.7 has elevated transmissibility’

The Lancet Public Health research included knowledge on 36,920 individuals who reported testing optimistic for Covid-19 and logged their signs into the COVID Symptom Study app between September 28 and December 27.

The app — designed by medical doctors and scientists at King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals and Zoe Global Limited, a well being expertise firm — helps observe the unfold of Covid-19 and the vary of signs skilled.

The research’s authors, primarily based within the United Kingdom and the United States, analyzed the information reported within the app together with Covid-19 surveillance knowledge for the UK.

The evaluation confirmed that the prevalence of the B.1.1.7 variant in sure areas and over time was not related to modifications in Covid-19 signs reported within the app or the length of signs.

“The proportion of users with asymptomatic disease did not significantly change as the B.1.1.7 variant increased in prevalence, in agreement with other studies on the subject,” the researchers wrote within the research. “We also found no changes in admissions to hospital; however, other reports have shown that the B.1.1.7 variant increases rates of admission to hospital.”

Covid-19 reinfections are rare, but more common in people 65 and older, study finds

The researchers discovered that the speed of coronavirus reinfections was low — with 0.7% of app customers who reported a optimistic Covid-19 check testing optimistic once more after 90 days — and there was no proof of elevated reinfection charges related to the B.1.1.7 variant.

The researchers did not have knowledge on danger of dying from Covid-19 and many of the app customers get examined solely after they have signs, so there have been comparatively few asymptomatic infections within the knowledge.

Yet the researchers discovered a “multiplicative increase” within the copy variety of the B.1.1.7 variant, suggesting it might unfold more simply.

“This study adds to the consensus that B.1.1.7 has increased transmissibility, which has contributed in large part to the sharp rise in cases in the UK over the study period and beyond, as well as ongoing third waves in European countries with growing burdens of B.1.1.7 cases,” Britta Jewell, of Imperial College London, wrote in an editorial that accompanied the new research within the journal The Lancet Public Health. Jewell was not concerned within the new research.

“Although B.1.1.7 might have similar symptomatology to that of other lineages, the emergence of new variants is inevitable as long as SARS-CoV-2 transmission continues at scale,” Jewell wrote. “In other regions—especially in low-income and middle-income countries that could face longer waits to control their epidemics through vaccination—methods of real-time monitoring of symptoms and disease characteristics, similar to the COVID Symptom Study, could help to identify potentially important changes in symptomatology, transmissibility, mortality, or vaccine avoidance as early as possible.”

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