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Brief Report
Replication kinetics and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant sublineages recovered in the Republic of Korea
Jeong-Min Kim, Dongju Kim, Jee Eun Rhee, Cheon Kwon Yoo, Eun-Jin Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(3):260-264.   Published online June 27, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0216
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
We analyzed the correlation between the infectivity and transmissibility of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Omicron sublineages BA.1, BA. 2, BA.4, and BA.5. Methods: We assessed viral replication kinetics and infectivity at the cellular level. Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens were obtained from patients with coronavirus disease 2019, confirmed using whole-genome sequencing to be caused by the Omicron sublineages BA.1, BA.2, BA.4, or BA.5. These specimens were used to infect Vero E6 cells, derived from monkey kidneys, for the purpose of viral isolation. Viral stocks were then passaged in Vero E6 cells at a multiplicity of infection of 0.01, and culture supernatants were harvested at 12-hour intervals for 72 hours. To evaluate viral replication kinetics, we determined the cycle threshold values of the supernatants using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and converted these values to genome copy numbers. Results: The viral load was comparable between BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5, whereas BA.1 exhibited a lower value. The peak infectious load of BA.4 was approximately 3 times lower than that of BA.2 and BA.5, while the peak load of BA.2 and BA.5 was about 7 times higher than that of BA.1. Notably, BA.1 demonstrated the lowest infectivity over the entire study period. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the global BA.5 wave may have been amplified by the higher viral replication and infectivity of BA.5 compared to other Omicron sublineages. These analyses could support the rapid assessment of the impact of novel variants on case incidence.
Original Articles
Prevalence and patterns of post-COVID-19 symptoms in recovered patients of Delhi, India: a population-based study
Nidhi Bhatnagar, Mongjam Meghachandra Singh, Hitakshi Sharma, Suruchi Mishra, Gurmeet Singh, Shivani Rao, Amod Borle, Tanu Anand, Naresh Kumar, Binita Goswami, Sarika Singh, Mahima Kapoor, Sumeet Singla, Bembem Khuraijam, Nita Khurana, Urvi Sharma, Suneela Garg
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(3):229-237.   Published online May 17, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0251
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Post-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms were widely reported. However, data on post-COVID-19 conditions following infection with the Omicron variant remained scarce. This prospective study was conducted to understand the prevalence, patterns, and duration of symptoms in patients who had recovered from COVID-19. Methods: A prospective study was conducted across 11 districts of Delhi, India, among individuals who had recovered from COVID-19. Study participants were enrolled, and then returned for post-recovery follow-up at 3 months and 6 months interval. Results: The mean age of study participants was 42.07 years, with a standard deviation of 14.89 years. The majority of the participants (79.7%) reported experiencing post-COVID-19 symptoms. The most common symptoms included joint pain (36.0%), persistent dry cough (35.7%), anxiety (28.4%), and shortness of breath (27.1%). Other symptoms were persistent fatigue (21.6%), persistent headache (20.0%), forgetfulness (19.7%), and limb weakness (18.6%). The longest duration of symptom was observed to be anxiety (138.75±54.14 days), followed by fatigue (137.57±48.33 days), shortness of breath (131.89±60.21 days), and joint pain/swelling (131.59±58.76 days). At the first follow-up visit, 2.2% of participants presented with abnormal electrocardiogram readings, but no abnormalities were noticed during the second follow-up. Additionally, 4.06% of participants exhibited abnormal chest X-ray findings at the first followup, which decreased to 2.16% by the second visit. Conclusion: The most frequently reported post-COVID-19 symptoms were joint pain, dry cough, anxiety and shortness of breath. These clinical symptoms persisted for up to 6 months, with evidence of multi-system involvement. Consequently, findings highlighted the need for long-term follow-up during the post-COVID-19 period.
Effect of Paxlovid in COVID-19 treatment during the periods of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.5 and BN.1 subvariant dominance in the Republic of Korea: a retrospective cohort study
Dong-Hwi Kim, Min-Gyu Yoo, Na-Young Kim, So Young Choi, Minjeong Jang, Misuk An, Se-Jin Jeong, Jungyeon Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(2):137-149.   Published online March 28, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0230
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study was conducted to assess the efficacy of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir treatment in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), particularly those aged 60 years and older. Using real-world data, the period during which the BN.1 Omicron variant was dominant was compared to the period dominated by the BA.5 variant. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, data were collected regarding 2,665,281 patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 between July 24, 2022, and March 31, 2023. Propensity score matching was utilized to match patients who received nirmatrelvir/ ritonavir in a 1:4 ratio between BN.1 and BA.5 variant groups. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was employed to assess the effects of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir within these groups. Results: Compared to the prior period, the efficacy of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir did not significantly differ during the interval of Omicron BN.1 variant dominance in the Republic of Korea. Among patients treated with nirmatrelvir/ritonavir, a significantly lower risk of mortality was observed in the BN.1 group (odds ratio [OR], 0.698; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.557–0.875) compared to the BA.5 group. However, this treatment did not significantly reduce the risk of severe or critical illness, including death, for those in the BN.1 group (OR, 0.856; 95% CI, 0.728–1.007). Conclusion: Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir has maintained its effectiveness against COVID-19, even with the emergence of the BN.1 Omicron subvariant. Consequently, we strongly recommend the administration of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir to patients exhibiting COVID-19-related symptoms, irrespective of the dominant Omicron variant or their vaccination status, to mitigate disease severity and decrease the risk of mortality.
COVID-19 infection among people with disabilities in 2021 prior to the Omicron-dominant period in the Republic of Korea: a cross-sectional study
Seul-Ki Kang, Bryan Inho Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(2):150-158.   Published online March 28, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0194
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study investigated the characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among individuals with disabilities on a nationwide scale in the Republic of Korea, as limited research has examined this population. Methods: Between January 1 and November 30, 2021, a total of 5,687 confirmed COVID-19 cases among individuals with disabilities were reported through the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s COVID-19 web reporting system. Follow-up continued until December 24, and demographic, epidemiological, and clinical characteristics were analyzed. Results: Individuals with disabilities represented approximately 1.5% of confirmed cases, with a mean age of 58.1 years. Most resided in or near metropolitan areas (86.6%) and were male (60.6%). Frequent sources of infection included home (33.4%) and contact with confirmed cases (40.7%). Many individuals (75.9%) had underlying conditions, and 7.7% of cases were severe. People with disabilities showed significantly elevated risk of severe infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47–1.81) and mortality (aOR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.43–1.91). Vaccination against COVID-19 was associated with significantly lower risk of severe infection (aORs for the first, second, and third doses: 0.60 [95% CI, 0.42–0.85], 0.28 [95% CI, 0.22–0.35], and 0.16 [95% CI, 0.05–0.51], respectively) and death (adjusted hazard ratios for the first and second doses: 0.57 [95% CI, 0.35–0.93] and 0.30 [95% CI, 0.23–0.40], respectively). Conclusion: Individuals with disabilities showed higher risk of severe infection and mortality from COVID-19. Consequently, it is critical to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination initiatives and provide socioeconomic assistance for this vulnerable population.
Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 transmission during a movie theater outbreak in Incheon in the Republic of Korea, November 2021: a retrospective study
Hye Young Lee, Young-Joon Park, Sang-Eun Lee, Han-Na Yoo, Il-Hwan Kim, Jin Sun No, Eun-Jin Kim, Jungyeon Yu, Sanghwan Bae, Mi Yu
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2024;15(1):45-55.   Published online January 31, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0269
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We examined factors contributing to the transmission of an acute respiratory virus within multi-use facilities, focusing on an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in a movie theater in the Republic of Korea. Methods: This retrospective cohort study involved a descriptive analysis of 48 confirmed cases. Logistic regression was applied to a cohort of 80 theater attendees to identify risk factors for infection. The infection source and transmission route were determined through gene sequencing data analysis. Results: Of the 48 confirmed cases, 35 were theater attendees (72.9%), 10 were family members of attendees (20.8%), 2 were friends (4.2%), and 1 was an employee (2.1%). Among the 80 individuals who attended the 3rd to 5th screenings of the day, 35 became infected, representing a 43.8% attack rate. Specifically, 28 of the 33 third-screening attendees developed confirmed SARSCoV-2, constituting an 84.8% attack rate. Furthermore, 11 of the 12 cases epidemiologically linked to the theater outbreak were clustered monophyletically within the AY.69 lineage. At the time of the screening, 35 individuals (72.9%) had received 2 vaccine doses. However, vaccination status did not significantly influence infection risk. Multivariate analysis revealed that close contacts had a 15.9-fold higher risk of infection (95% confidence interval, 4.37–78.39) than casual contacts. Conclusion: SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurred within the theater, and extended into the community, via a moviegoer who attended the 3rd screening during the viral incubation period after contracting the virus from a family member. This study emphasizes the importance of adequate ventilation in theaters.
Genetic diversity and evolutionary patterns of SARS-CoV-2 among the Bhutanese population during the pandemic
Tshering Dorji, Kunzang Dorji, Tandin Wangchuk, Tshering Pelki, Sonam Gyeltshen
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(6):494-507.   Published online December 14, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0209
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by a dynamic virus, has had a profound global impact. Despite declining global COVID-19 cases and mortality rates, the emergence of new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants remains a major concern. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 within the Bhutanese population during the pandemic. The primary aim was to elucidate the molecular epidemiology and evolutionary patterns of SARS-CoV-2 in Bhutan, with a particular focus on genetic variations and lineage dynamics. Methods: Whole-genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 collected from Bhutan between May 2020 and February 2023 (n=135) were retrieved from the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Database. Results: The SARS-CoV-2 variants in Bhutan were predominantly classified within the Nextstrain clade 20A (31.1%), followed by clade 21L (20%) and clade 22D (15.6%). We identified 26 Pangolin lineages with variations in their spatial and temporal distribution. Bayesian time-scaled phylogenetic analysis estimated the time to the most recent common ancestor as February 15, 2020, with a substitution rate of 0.97×10–3 substitutions per site per year. Notably, the spike glycoprotein displayed the highest mutation frequency among major viral proteins, with 116 distinct mutations, including D614G. The Bhutanese isolates also featured mutations such as E484K, K417N, and S477N in the spike protein, which have implications for altered viral properties. Conclusion: This is the first study to describe the genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Bhutan during the pandemic, and this data can inform public health policies and strategies for preventing future outbreaks in Bhutan.
Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in different high-risk facility types during a period of Delta variant dominance in the Republic of Korea: a cross-sectional study
Min Jei Lee, Myung-Jae Hwang, Dong Seob Kim, Seon Kyeong Park, Jihyun Choi, Ji Joo Lee, Jong Mu Kim, Young-Man Kim, Young-Joon Park, Jin Gwack, Sang-Eun Lee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(5):418-426.   Published online October 19, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0188
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We evaluated the effectiveness of coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination in high-risk facilities in the Republic of Korea during the period when the highly transmissible Delta variant was prevalent. Additionally, we aimed to explore any disparities in vaccine effectiveness (VE) across various types of institutions, specifically distinguishing between non-medical and medical establishments. Methods: We examined 8 outbreak clusters covering 243 cases and 895 contacts from 8 high-risk facilities divided into 2 groups: group A (4 non-medical institutions) and group B (4 medical institutions). These clusters were observed from July 27, 2021 to October 16, 2021 for the attack rate (AR) and VE with respect to disease severity. A generalized linear model with a binomial distribution was used to determine the odds ratio (OR) for disease severity and death. Results: AR was notably lower in group B (medical institutions). Furthermore, VE analysis revealed that group A exhibited higher effectivity for disease severity and death than group B. The OR for disease severity was 0.24 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.03–2.16) for group A and 0.27 (95% CI, 0.12–0.64) for group B, with the OR for death at 0.12 (95% CI, 0.01–1.32) in group A and 0.34 (95% CI, 0.14–0.87) in group B. Conclusion: Although VE may vary across institutions, our findings underscore the importance of implementing vaccinations in high-risk facilities. Customized vaccination programs, tailored response plans, and competent management personnel are essential for effectively addressing and mitigating public health challenges.
Estimating the prevalence of oral manifestations in COVID-19 patients: a systematic review
Ankita Gupta, Kriti Shrivastav, Amit Agrawal, Abhishek Purohit, Roshan Chanchlani
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(5):388-417.   Published online September 19, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0033
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present with a variety of oral manifestations. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review to estimate the prevalence of oral lesions among COVID-19 patients. Methods: An extensive literature search of several electronic bibliographic databases (PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Litcovid) was conducted to retrieve all articles published in the English language from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2023 that reported the prevalence of oral manifestations among COVID-19 patients. A meta-analysis of pooled prevalence was performed using Jamovi ver. 2.3 (2022). The I2 and Q statistics were used to assess heterogeneity between studies, and p-values <0.01 were considered statistically significant. Results: In total, 79 studies with data from 13,252 patients were included. The articles were predominantly published in 2020 (n=33), and Italy was the most common country (n=14). Most of the affected patients more than 50 years old and women (56.6%). The most common sites of involvement were the tongue (n=65), followed by the oral mucosa (n=37) and lips (n=19). High heterogeneity was found between studies. The most common oral manifestation was taste alteration, followed by xerostomia and ulceration, showing pooled prevalence rates of 48%, 35%, and 21%, respectively. Conclusion: COVID-19 patients show various oral manifestations that may help clinicians identify the disease promptly. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is critical for an early diagnosis and better prognosis.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pathology and cell tropism in tongue tissues of COVID-19 autopsies
    Longda Ma, Qian Liu, Manli Wang, Liang Liu, Zhihong Hu, Yiwu Zhou, Jia Liu
    Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
Increased viral load in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Omicron variant in the Republic of Korea
Jeong-Min Kim, Dongju Kim, Nam-Joo Lee, Sang Hee Woo, Jaehee Lee, Hyeokjin Lee, Ae Kyung Park, Jeong-Ah Kim, Chae Young Lee, Il-Hwan Kim, Cheon Kwon Yoo, Eun-Jin Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(4):272-278.   Published online July 27, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0024
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  • 1 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been declared a global pandemic owing to the rapid spread of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Its Delta and Omicron variants are more transmissible and pathogenic than other variants. Some debates have emerged on the mechanism of variants of concern. In the COVID-19 wave that began in December 2021, the Omicron variant, first reported in South Africa, became identifiable in most cases globally. The aim of this study was to provide data to inform effective responses to the transmission of the Omicron variant.
Methods
The Delta variant and the spike protein D614G mutant were compared with the Omicron variant. Viral loads from 5 days after symptom onset were compared using epidemiological data collected at the time of diagnosis.
Results
The Omicron variant exhibited a higher viral load than other variants, resulting in greater transmissibility within 5 days of symptom onset.
Conclusion
Future research should focus on vaccine efficacy against the Omicron variant and compare trends in disease severity associated with its high viral load.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Replication kinetics and infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant sublineages recovered in the Republic of Korea
    Jeong-Min Kim, Dongju Kim, Jee Eun Rhee, Cheon Kwon Yoo, Eun-Jin Kim
    Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives.2024; 15(3): 260.     CrossRef
Estimating the number of severe COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths averted by a nationwide vaccination campaign in Republic of Korea
Ji Hae Hwang, Ju Hee Lee, Eun Jung Jang, Ryu Kyung Kim, Kil Hun Lee, Seon Kyeong Park, Sang Eun Lee, Chungman Chae, Sangwon Lee, Young Joon Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(3):164-172.   Published online June 22, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0096
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency promotes vaccination by regularly providing information on its benefits for reducing the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to analyze the number of averted severe COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths by age group and quantify the impact of Republic of Korea’s nationwide vaccination campaign.
Methods
We analyzed an integrated database from the beginning of the vaccination campaign on February 26, 2021 to October 15, 2022. We estimated the cumulative number of severe cases and COVID-19-related deaths over time by comparing observed and estimated cases among unvaccinated and vaccinated groups using statistical modeling. We compared daily age-adjusted rates of severe cases and deaths in the unvaccinated group to those in the vaccinated group and calculated the susceptible population and proportion of vaccinated people by age.
Results
There were 23,793 severe cases and 25,441 deaths related to COVID-19. We estimated that 119,579 (95% confidence interval [CI], 118,901–120,257) severe COVID-19 cases and 137,636 (95% CI, 136,909–138,363) COVID-19-related deaths would have occurred if vaccination had not been performed. Therefore, 95,786 (95% CI, 94,659–96,913) severe cases and 112,195 (95% CI, 110,870–113,520) deaths were prevented as a result of the vaccination campaign.
Conclusion
We found that, if the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign had not been implemented, the number of severe cases and deaths would have been at least 4 times higher. These findings suggest that Republic of Korea’s nationwide vaccination campaign reduced the number of severe cases and COVID-19 deaths.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Assessing the determinants of influenza and COVID-19 vaccine co-administration decisions in the elderly
    Seunghyun Lewis Kwon, So-Yeon Kim, Minju Song, Hyung-Min Lee, Seon-Hwa Ban, Mi-Soon Lee, Hyesun Jeong
    Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Comparative Effectiveness of COVID-19 Bivalent Versus Monovalent mRNA Vaccines in the Early Stage of Bivalent Vaccination in Korea: October 2022 to January 2023
    Ryu Kyung Kim, Young June Choe, Eun Jung Jang, Chungman Chae, Ji Hae Hwang, Kil Hun Lee, Ji Ae Shim, Geun-Yong Kwon, Jae Young Lee, Young-Joon Park, Sang Won Lee, Donghyok Kwon
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Brief Report
Temporal association between the age-specific incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in Republic of Korea: a nationwide time-series correlation study
Hyunju Lee, Donghyok Kwon, Seoncheol Park, Seung Ri Park, Darda Chung, Jongmok Ha
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(3):224-231.   Published online June 22, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0050
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) changed significantly during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Emerging reports suggest that viral vector-based vaccines may be associated with an elevated risk of GBS.
Methods
In this nationwide time-series correlation study, we examined the age-specific incidence of GBS from January 2011 to August 2022, as well as data on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccinations and infections from February 2021 to August 2022. We compared the forecasted estimates of age-specific GBS incidence, using the pre-SARS-CoV-2 period as a benchmark, with the actual incidence observed during the post-vaccination period of the pandemic. Furthermore, we assessed the temporal association between GBS, SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations, and COVID-19 for different age groups.
Results
In the age group of 60 and older, the rate ratio was significantly elevated during June-August and November 2021. A significant, strong positive association was observed between viral vector-based vaccines and GBS incidence trends in this age group (r=0.52, p=0.022). For the 30 to 59 years age group, the rate ratio was notably high in September 2021. A statistically significant, strong positive association was found between mRNA-based vaccines and GBS incidence in this age group (r=0.61, p=0.006).
Conclusion
Viral vector-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were found to be temporally associated with an increased risk of GBS, particularly in older adults. To minimize age-specific and biological mechanism-specific adverse events, future vaccination campaigns should adopt a more personalized approach, such as recommending homologous mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for older adults to reduce the heightened risk of GBS.

Citations

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  • mRNA-LNP COVID-19 Vaccine Lipids Induce Complement Activation and Production of Proinflammatory Cytokines: Mechanisms, Effects of Complement Inhibitors, and Relevance to Adverse Reactions
    Tamás Bakos, Tamás Mészáros, Gergely Tibor Kozma, Petra Berényi, Réka Facskó, Henriette Farkas, László Dézsi, Carlo Heirman, Stefaan de Koker, Raymond Schiffelers, Kathryn Anne Glatter, Tamás Radovits, Gábor Szénási, János Szebeni
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences.2024; 25(7): 3595.     CrossRef
  • Guillain–Barre syndrome following COVID-19 vaccination: a study of 70 case reports
    Biki Kumar Sah, Zahra Fatima, Rajan Kumar Sah, Bushra Syed, Tulika Garg, Selia Chowdhury, Bikona Ghosh, Binita Kunwar, Anagha Shree, Vivek Kumar Sah, Anisha Raut
    Annals of Medicine & Surgery.2024; 86(4): 2067.     CrossRef
Original Article
Analysis of pregnant women with critically severe COVID-19 in Republic of Korea from February 2020 and December 2021
Ji Joo Lee, Sang-Eun Lee, Yeonjung Kim, Young-Joon Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2023;14(2):129-137.   Published online April 5, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2023.0025
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Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study aimed to describe the characteristics and risk factors for severe disease in pregnant women infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the early days of the COVID-19 epidemic in Korea to the predominant period of the Delta variant.
Methods
A retrospective cohort study was conducted among pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 between February 2020 and December 2021. Logistic regression analysis was performed to compare severe and mild cases after adjusting for pregnant women’s age, nationality, infection route, outbreak area, infection period, symptoms, underlying disease, smoking status, trimester, and COVID-19 vaccination status.
Results
In total, 2,233 pregnant women were diagnosed with COVID-19 by December 2021. Among these, 96.7% had mild symptoms, 3.3% had severe symptoms, and 0.04% died. The risk factors for severe disease in pregnant women with confirmed COVID-19 were being in the age group of 35 to 45 years, having hyperlipidemia, being in the second or third trimester of pregnancy at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis, being infected during the Delta-predominant period, and having a fever (≥38 °C) at diagnosis. Furthermore, 47.1% of patients in the mild group and 84.9% of patients in the severe group had 3 or more risk factors.
Conclusion
Pregnant women with COVID-19 mainly experienced mild symptoms, but those with risk factors were at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms. Therefore, treatment and follow-up management should be thoroughly implemented.
Review Article
SARS-CoV-2 in brief: from virus to prevention
Hassan Karami, Zeinab Karimi, Negin Karami
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(6):394-406.   Published online November 28, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0155
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AbstractAbstract PDF
The recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), ahighly transmissible virus with a likely animal origin, has posed major and unprecedentedchallenges to millions of lives across the affected nations of the world. This outbreak firstoccurred in China, and despite massive regional and global attempts shortly thereafter, itspread to other countries and caused millions of deaths worldwide. This review presents keyinformation about the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease (namely,coronavirus disease 2019) and briefly discusses the origin of the virus. Herein, we also brieflysummarize the strategies used against viral spread and transmission.

Citations

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  • Polysaccharides and Lectins: A Natural Complementary Approach against the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic
    Radu Lefter, Prairna Balyan, Ioana-Miruna Balmus, Abdellah Ech-Chahad, Ahmad Ali, Alin Ciobica, Antoneta Dacia Petroaie, Gabriela Halitchi, Bogdan Novac, Catalina Ionescu, Fatima Zahra Kamal
    Microbiology Research.2024; 15(2): 525.     CrossRef
  • Surveillance of endemic coronaviruses during the COVID‐19 pandemic in Iran, 2021–2022
    Hassan Karami, Kaveh Sadeghi, Sevrin Zadheidar, Fatemeh Saadatmand, Negar Mirsalehi, Nima Hoveidi Ardestani, Shirin Kalantari, Mohammad Farahmand, Jila Yavarian, Talat Mokhtari‐Azad
    Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Brief Report
Presumed population immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in South Korea, April 2022
Eun Jung Jang, Young June Choe, Seung Ah Choe, Yoo-Yeon Kim, Ryu Kyung Kim, Jia Kim, Do Sang Lim, Ju Hee Lee, Seonju Yi, Sangwon Lee, Young-Joon Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(5):377-381.   Published online October 14, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0209
  • 2,631 View
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  • 3 Web of Science
  • 4 Crossref
Graphical AbstractGraphical Abstract AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
We estimated the overall and age-specific percentages of the Korean population with presumed immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2) as of April 2022 using the national registry.
Methods
We used the national coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and vaccination registry from South Korea, as described to define individuals with a previous history of COVID-19 infection, vaccination, or both, as persons with presumed immunity.
Results
Of a total of 53,304,627 observed persons, 24.4% had vaccination and infection, 58.1% had vaccination and no infection, 7.6% had infection and no vaccination, and 9.9% had no immunity. The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant emerged at a time when the presumed population immunity ranged from 80% to 85%; however, nearly half of the children were presumed to have no immunity.
Conclusion
We report a gap in population immunity, with lower presumed protection in children than in adults. The approach presented in this work can provide valuable informed tools to assist vaccine policy-making at a national level.

Citations

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  • Realistic Estimation of COVID-19 Infection by Seroprevalence Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies: An Experience From Korea Metropolitan Area From January to May 2022
    In Hwa Jeong, Jong-Hun Kim, Min-Jung Kwon, Jayoung Kim, Hee Jin Huh, Byoungguk Kim, Junewoo Lee, Jeong-hyun Nam, Eun-Suk Kang
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
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Original Article
Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 lineages and mutations circulating in a university-affiliated hospital in South Korea analyzed using Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencing
Hyaekang Kim, Sung Hee Chung, Hyun Soo Kim, Han-Sung Kim, Wonkeun Song, Ki Ho Hong, Jae-Seok Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(5):360-369.   Published online October 11, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2022.0183
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
Despite the introduction of vaccines, treatments, and massive diagnostic testing, the evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has continued to overcome barriers that had slowed its previous spread. As the virus evolves towards increasing fitness, it is critical to continue monitoring the occurrence of new mutations that could evade human efforts to control them. Methods: We performed whole-genome sequencing using Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencing on 58 SARS-CoV-2 isolates collected during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic at a tertiary hospital in South Korea and tracked the emergence of mutations responsible for massive spikes in South Korea. Results: The differences among lineages were more pronounced in the spike gene, especially in the receptor-binding domain (RBD), than in other genes. Those RBD mutations could compromise neutralization by antibodies elicited by vaccination or previous infections. We also reported multiple incidences of Omicron variants carrying mutations that could impair the diagnostic sensitivity of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction-based testing. Conclusion: These results provide an understanding of the temporal changes of variants and mutations that have been circulating in South Korea and their potential impacts on antigenicity, therapeutics, and diagnostic escape of the virus. We also showed that the utilization of the nanopore sequencing platform and the ARTIC workf low can provide convenient and accurate SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance even at a single hospital.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
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    Immunity, Inflammation and Disease.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives