Clinical and laboratory features of COVID-19 illness and outcomes in immunocompromised individuals during the first pandemic wave in Sydney, Australia

PLoS One. 2023 Nov 1;18(11):e0289907. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0289907. eCollection 2023.


People with immunocompromising conditions are at increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and mortality, however early in the pandemic it was challenging to collate data on this heterogenous population. We conducted a registry study of immunocompromised individuals with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection from March-October 2020 in Sydney, Australia to understand clinical and laboratory outcomes in this population prior to the emergence of the Delta variant. 27 participants were enrolled into the study including people with a haematologic oncologic conditions (n = 12), secondary immunosuppression (N = 8) and those with primary or acquired immunodeficiency (i.e. HIV; N = 7). All participants had symptomatic COVID-19 with the most common features being cough (64%), fever (52%) and headache (40%). Five patients demonstrated delayed SARS-CoV-2 clearance lasting three weeks to three months. The mortality rate in this study was 7% compared to 1.3% in the state of New South Wales Australia during the same period. This study provides data from the first eight months of the pandemic on COVID-19 outcomes in at-risk patient groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants

Grants and funding

We confirm that this work is not under active consideration for publication, has not been accepted for publication, nor has it been published, in full or in part. It has not had any prior interactions with PLOS. I confirm that the study has been approved by the St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee, an institutional ethics committee, and was granted a waiver of the need for individual consent for data collection as per the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. The study was registered at (NCT04354818). This work was funded by an unrestricted scientific grant from Gilead Sciences. This work was funded by an unrestricted scientific grant from Gilead Sciences. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.”.