Canadian Blood Services data suggest 73.3% of donors had infection-acquired antibodies by mid-December 2022 – slightly higher than the 71% Canadian Blood Services estimated at the end of November.
A comprehensive and up-to-date pathogen surveillance system is needed, where blood donor surveillance would be essential
In a letter published in CMAJ, CITF-funded researchers Drs. Sheila O’Brien and Stephen Drews (Canadian Blood Services) argue that blood donor surveillance would make a valuable contribution to public health efforts to monitor emerging pathogens.
Pulmonary embolisms can be prevented by screening patients who go to the emergency department with COVID-19 symptoms for blood clots
A CITF-funded study published in the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine by Dr. Corinne Hohl (University of British Columbia), found that performing a D-dimer screening test on patients exhibiting characteristic COVID-19 symptoms upon admission to hospital emergency departments (ED) was very effective in ruling out the risk of pulmonary embolism (PE) within 30 days.
A study published in PLOS Medicine, carried out by CITF-funded SeroTracker, in partnership with the World Health Organization Unity Studies Team, found global SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence (due to infection and vaccination) was 59.2% by September 2021.
A study relying on data from CITF-funded SeroTracker, published in Epidemics by Dr. Rahul Arora (University of Calgary), showed that peer-reviewed scientific papers and preprints of COVID-19 seroprevalence studies are published more slowly than those published via other means, thereby diminishing their usefulness to public health decision-makers during a time-sensitive health emergency response.
In a paper published in Microbiology Spectrum, CITF-funded researchers, including at Canadian Blood Services, showed that infection-acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 varied, in 2021, by age, region, racial group, the neighbourhoods in which people lived and whether they were materially or socially deprived (had fewer contacts). Interestingly, these factors were not consistent throughout all provinces and regions.
Among Canadian Blood donors, the infection-acquired seroprevalence continued to rise in the month of November 2022, to 71%, up from 67.4%, at the end of October.
Research carried out at the CITF-funded Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19), published in PLOS Genetics by Drs. Guillaume Butler-Laporte, Brent Richards, and Vincent Mooser (McGill University), showed that those with a rare deleterious variant (disease causing variant) in the SARS-CoV-2 sensor toll-like receptor TLR7 gene (on chromosome X in the host) were associated with a 5.3-fold increase in severe disease.
A preprint, not yet peer-reviewed, from CITF-funded researchers Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, Ms. Huiting Ma, Dr. Sharon Straus (University of Toronto) and their Wellness Hub team, indicated that public health interventions implemented since the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic did not sufficiently address income-related health disparities.
According to Canadian Blood Services data published in Viruses, infection-related seroprevalence increased with the emergence of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant from September 2021 to June 2022.