Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in people living with and without HIV in South Africa: an interim analysis of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1B/2A trial.
The lancet. HIV. 2021;(9):e568-e580
BACKGROUND People living with HIV are at an increased risk of fatal outcome when admitted to hospital for severe COVID-19 compared with HIV-negative individuals. We aimed to assess safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccine in people with HIV and HIV-negative individuals in South Africa. METHODS In this ongoing, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 1B/2A trial (COV005), people with HIV and HIV-negative participants aged 18-65 years were enrolled at seven South African locations and were randomly allocated (1:1) with full allocation concealment to receive a prime-boost regimen of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, with two doses given 28 days apart. Eligibility criteria for people with HIV included being on antiretroviral therapy for at least 3 months, with a plasma HIV viral load of less than 1000 copies per mL. In this interim analysis, safety and reactogenicity was assessed in all individuals who received at least one dose of ChAdOx1 nCov 19 between enrolment and Jan 15, 2021. Primary immunogenicity analyses included participants who received two doses of trial intervention and were SARS-CoV-2 seronegative at baseline. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04444674, and the Pan African Clinicals Trials Registry, PACTR202006922165132. FINDINGS Between June 24 and Nov 12, 2020, 104 people with HIV and 70 HIV-negative individuals were enrolled. 102 people with HIV (52 vaccine; 50 placebo) and 56 HIV-negative participants (28 vaccine; 28 placebo) received the priming dose, 100 people with HIV (51 vaccine; 49 placebo) and 46 HIV-negative participants (24 vaccine; 22 placebo) received two doses (priming and booster). In participants seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 at baseline, there were 164 adverse events in those with HIV (86 vaccine; 78 placebo) and 237 in HIV-negative participants (95 vaccine; 142 placebo). Of seven serious adverse events, one severe fever in a HIV-negative participant was definitely related to trial intervention and one severely elevated alanine aminotranferase in a participant with HIV was unlikely related; five others were deemed unrelated. One person with HIV died (unlikely related). People with HIV and HIV-negative participants showed vaccine-induced serum IgG responses against wild-type Wuhan-1 Asp614Gly (also known as D614G). For participants seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 antigens at baseline, full-length spike geometric mean concentration (GMC) at day 28 was 163·7 binding antibody units (BAU)/mL (95% CI 89·9-298·1) for people with HIV (n=36) and 112·3 BAU/mL (61·7-204·4) for HIV-negative participants (n=23), with a rising day 42 GMC booster response in both groups. Baseline SARS-CoV-2 seropositive people with HIV demonstrated higher antibody responses after each vaccine dose than did people with HIV who were seronegative at baseline. High-level binding antibody cross-reactivity for the full-length spike and receptor-binding domain of the beta variant (B.1.351) was seen regardless of HIV status. In people with HIV who developed high titre responses, predominantly those who were receptor-binding domain seropositive at enrolment, neutralising activity against beta was retained. INTERPRETATION ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was well tolerated, showing favourable safety and immunogenicity in people with HIV, including heightened immunogenicity in SARS-CoV-2 baseline-seropositive participants. People with HIV showed cross-reactive binding antibodies to the beta variant and Asp614Gly wild-type, and high responders retained neutralisation against beta. FUNDING The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, South African Medical Research Council, UK Research and Innovation, UK National Institute for Health Research, and the South African Medical Research Council.
Alcohol Use and the Risk of Communicable Diseases.
The body of knowledge on alcohol use and communicable diseases has been growing in recent years. Using a narrative review approach, this paper discusses alcohol's role in the acquisition of and treatment outcomes from four different communicable diseases: these include three conditions included in comparative risk assessments to date-Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and lower respiratory infections/pneumonia-as well as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) because of its recent and rapid ascension as a global health concern. Alcohol-attributable TB, HIV, and pneumonia combined were responsible for approximately 360,000 deaths and 13 million disability-adjusted life years lost (DALYs) in 2016, with alcohol-attributable TB deaths and DALYs predominating. There is strong evidence that alcohol is associated with increased incidence of and poorer treatment outcomes from HIV, TB, and pneumonia, via both behavioral and biological mechanisms. Preliminary studies suggest that heavy drinkers and those with alcohol use disorders are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and severe illness. Aside from HIV research, limited research exists that can guide interventions for addressing alcohol-attributable TB and pneumonia or COVID-19. Implementation of effective individual-level interventions and alcohol control policies as a means of reducing the burden of communicable diseases is recommended.