Containment measures to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have led to continued transmission of certain disease-causing bacteria such as meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia, according to a new study published in The Lancet Digital Health by the Invasive Respiratory Institute Infection Reduction Surveillance Alliance (IRIS).
The study analyzed the incidence of invasive bacterial diseases caused by: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus agalactiae Two years before the COVID-19 pandemic (2018-2019) and during it (2020-2021).
The researchers analyzed Disease cases by patient age and serotype or serogroup (variation within bacterial species that correlates with disease severity and targets vaccine-mediated protection) to assess changes that may have implications for disease management and vaccination programmes.
The stringency of each country’s covid-19 containment measures was quantified using the Oxford Blavatnik covid-19 government response tracker.This strict index combines nine indicators Items monitored daily: closure of schools, workplaces, and public transport; cancellation of public events; gathering restrictions; stay-at-home requirements; internal movement restrictions; international travel restrictions; and public information campaigns.
Conclusions from bacterial infection cases before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
Overall, the study analyzed 116,842 cases of invasive bacterial disease: 76,481 before the COVID-19 pandemic (2018-2019) and 40,360 during the pandemic (2020-2021).
- number of cases Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis During 2020 and 2021 about half of the expected amount Each year compared to pre-pandemic totals.
- During the epidemic there was a Significantly reduces the risk of invasive disease caused Streptococcus pneumoniae (relative risk: 0.47; 95% CI: 0.40–0.55), Haemophilus influenzae (0.51; 0.40–0.66) and Neisseria meningitidis (0.26; 0.21–0.31).There was no significant change in the risk of invasive disease due to Streptococcus agalactiae (1.02; 0.75–1.40).
- no major changes General disease patterns by patient age or bacterial serotype/serogroup.
- Invasive Disease Cases Infection rates start to rise in some countries as restrictions are lifted epidemic.
- Over 36,000 estimated cases of invasive bacterial disease averted The 30 countries participating in the study were during the first two years of the pandemic.
doctor David Shaw, Lead author, PhD student at the Oxford Center for Population Health, said: “Our study shows that Covid-19 containment measures had a significant impact on reducing the spread of COVID-19. Bacteria spread through respiratory droplets. Despite the existence of effective vaccines and therapeutics, these organisms still pose a major public health challenge and cause an enormous burden of disease worldwide.
The IRIS Alliance includes 30 countries with different income levels Thus, providing a unique and unprecedented opportunity to understand the effects of the containment measures taken to contain the pandemic, to compare these effects across regions, and to track changes in the incidence and distribution of the disease in real time.International collaboration among national reference laboratories with high population coverage is an important strength of our research because it Provides a large, robust and reliable data set for analysis.
“As the IRIS consortium matures, we will be able to address important questions related to the pandemic, and we hope our findings will help improve future diagnostics, prevention and treatments.”
Protecting Vulnerable Populations Through Vaccines
Angela Brugman, The lead author of the paper, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Oxford Center for Population Health and Director of the Unit for Infectious Disease Epidemiology, added: “Incidence of invasive bacterial diseases is expected to increase in the post-pandemic and What type of key questions for the future (specifically which serotypes/serogroups and genetic lineage) bacteria can cause disease. Bacterial populations have been disrupted by the pandemic, which may lead to different patterns of bacterial disease in the future. “
Brugman added: “Certain populations, such as children and the elderly, are inherently at higher risk of invasive infections caused by these bacteria, but many countries around the world already use safe and effective vaccines to prevent infection Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis. Any disruption to these bacterial vaccination programs must be addressed urgently, to protect the most vulnerable segments of our population. These IRIS data improve understanding of transmission dynamics, can be used to inform vaccine programs, and aid in healthcare service planning and policy design. “
Strict containment measures have stopped the spread of the outbreak
The coalition previously reported that early in the pandemic, there was a significant incidence of illnesses caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis, all of which spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. decline, which indicates These reductions are related to the timing and stringency of containment measures pandemic.
Also includes Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus, not respiratory) Assess whether routine disease surveillance has been affected by the pandemic; no significant change in number of reported cases Streptococcus agalactiae, Demonstrate that accurate comparisons can be made between data before and during the pandemic.
Reference article: Trends in invasive bacterial disease two years before the COVID-19 pandemic: an analysis of prospective surveillance data from 30 countries and territories of the IRIS consortium