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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): 2065-2072, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560424

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has led to the development of various vaccines. Real-life data on immune responses elicited in the most vulnerable group of vaccinees older than age 80 years old are still underrepresented despite the prioritization of the elderly in vaccination campaigns. METHODS: We conducted a cohort study with 2 age groups, young vaccinees below the age of 60 years and elderly vaccinees over the age of 80 years, to compare their antibody responses to the first and second dose of the BNT162b2 coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination. RESULTS: Although the majority of participants in both groups produced specific immunoglobulin G antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, titers were significantly lower in elderly participants. Although the increment of antibody levels after the second immunization was higher in elderly participants, the absolute mean titer of this group remained lower than the <60 years of age group. After the second vaccination, 31.3% of the elderly had no detectable neutralizing antibodies in contrast to the younger group, in which only 2.2% had no detectable neutralizing antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed differences between the antibody responses raised after the first and second BNT162b2 vaccination, in particular lower frequencies of neutralizing antibodies in the elderly group. This suggests that this population needs to be closely monitored and may require earlier revaccination and/or an increased vaccine dose to ensure stronger long-lasting immunity and protection against infection.

2.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 746644, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497092

ABSTRACT

Prophylactic vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 is one of the most important measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, break-through infections following vaccination against this virus have been reported. Here, we describe the humoral immune response of break-through infections in fully vaccinated individuals of old age from an outbreak in a nursing home. In cooperation with the local health authority, blood samples from fully vaccinated and infected as well as fully vaccinated and uninfected residents of the nursing home were collected 4 weeks after the onset of the outbreak. The humoral immune response was determined in a neutralisation assay with replication-competent virus isolates and by a quantitative ELISA. In this outbreak a total of 23 residents and four health care workers were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Four residents were unvaccinated, including one with a severe course of disease who later severe disease course who later succumbed to infection. Despite their old age, all vaccinated residents showed no or only mild disease. Comparison of the humoral immune response revealed significantly higher antibody levels in fully vaccinated infected individuals compared to fully vaccinated uninfected individuals (p < 0.001). Notably, although only a minority of the vaccinated uninfected group showed neutralisation capacity against SARS-CoV-2, all vaccinated and infected individuals showed high-titre neutralisation of SARS-CoV-2 including the alpha and beta variant. Large SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks can occur in fully vaccinated populations, but seem to associate with mild disease. SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated individuals is a strong booster of the humoral immune response providing enhanced neutralisation capacity against immune evasion variants.

3.
J Med Virol ; 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487504

ABSTRACT

We used enzyme-linked immunoassay methods to measure the prevalence and the levels of antibody responses to the nucleocapsid (N) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and four seasonal human coronaviruses (HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV 229E, and HCoV-NL63) in a cohort of 115 convalescent plasma donors infected with SARS-CoV-2 (1-61 days after symptom onset) compared to antibody levels in 114 individuals with no evidence of a recent infection with SARS-CoV-2. In the humoral response to the four seasonal coronaviruses, only HCoV-HKU1- and HCoV-229E-assays showed slightly elevated antibody levels in the COVID group compared to the control group. While in the COVID-group the levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies correlated significantly with disease severity, no association was found in the levels of antibodies against the seasonal coronaviruses. The most striking result in both groups was that the levels of antibodies against all tested coronaviruses, including the new SARS-CoV-2 showed a highly significant correlation with each other. There seems to be an individual predisposition to a weaker or stronger humoral immune response against all known seasonal human coronaviruses including the new SARS-CoV-2, which could lead to a definition of low and high responders against human coronaviruses with potential impact on the assessment of postinfection antibody levels and protection.

4.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009928, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484868

ABSTRACT

Non-specific protective effects of certain vaccines have been reported, and long-term boosting of innate immunity, termed trained immunity, has been proposed as one of the mechanisms mediating these effects. Several epidemiological studies suggested cross-protection between influenza vaccination and COVID-19. In a large academic Dutch hospital, we found that SARS-CoV-2 infection was less common among employees who had received a previous influenza vaccination: relative risk reductions of 37% and 49% were observed following influenza vaccination during the first and second COVID-19 waves, respectively. The quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine induced a trained immunity program that boosted innate immune responses against various viral stimuli and fine-tuned the anti-SARS-CoV-2 response, which may result in better protection against COVID-19. Influenza vaccination led to transcriptional reprogramming of monocytes and reduced systemic inflammation. These epidemiological and immunological data argue for potential benefits of influenza vaccination against COVID-19, and future randomized trials are warranted to test this possibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cross Protection/physiology , Immunity, Innate/physiology , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Down-Regulation , Imidazoles/immunology , Incidence , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Netherlands/epidemiology , Personnel, Hospital , Poly I-C/immunology , Proteomics , Risk Factors , Sequence Analysis, RNA
5.
Am J Transplant ; 2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434623

ABSTRACT

Kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) are extremely vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection and show an impaired immune response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We analyzed factors related to vaccination efficiency in KTRs. In a multicenter prospective observational study (NCT04743947), IgG antibodies levels against SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 subunit and their neutralization capacity after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination were analyzed in 225 KTRs and compared to 176 controls. After the vaccination, 56 (24.9%) KTRs became seropositive of whom 68% had neutralizing antibodies. This immune response was significantly lower compared to controls (239 [78-519] BAU/ml versus 1826 [560-3180] BAU/ml for KTRs and controls, p < .0001). The strongest predictor for an impaired response was mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) treatment. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that MMF-free regimen was highly associated with seroconversion (OR 13.25, 95% CI 3.22-54.6; p < .001). In contrast, other immunosuppressive drugs had no significant influence. 187 out of 225 KTRs were treated with MMF of whom 26 (13.9%) developed antibodies. 23 of these seropositive KTRs had a daily MMF dose ≤1 g. Furthermore, higher trough MMF concentrations correlated with lower antibody titers (R -0.354, p < .001) supporting a dose-dependent unfavorable effect of MMF. Our data indicate that MMF dose modification could lead to an improved immune response.

6.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 107, 2021 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412355

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the pandemic disease caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2, may take highly variable clinical courses, ranging from symptom-free and pauci-symptomatic to fatal disease. The goal of the current study was to assess the association of COVID-19 clinical courses controlled by patients' adaptive immune responses without progression to severe disease with patients' Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genetics, AB0 blood group antigens, and the presence or absence of near-loss-of-function delta 32 deletion mutant of the C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5). PATIENT AND METHODS: An exploratory observational study including 157 adult COVID-19 convalescent patients was performed with a median follow-up of 250 days. The impact of different HLA genotypes, AB0 blood group antigens, and the CCR5 mutant CD195 were investigated for their role in the clinical course of COVID-19. In addition, this study addressed levels of severity and morbidity of COVID-19. The association of the immunogenetic background parameters were further related to patients' humoral antiviral immune response patterns by longitudinal observation. RESULTS: Univariate HLA analyses identified putatively protective HLA alleles (HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01, with a trend for DRB1*03:01). They were associated with reduced durations of disease instead decreased (rather than increased) total anti-S IgG levels. They had a higher virus neutralizing capacity compared to non-carriers. Conversely, analyses also identified HLA alleles (HLA class II DQB1*03:02 und HLA class I B*15:01) not associated with such benefit in the patient cohort of this study. Hierarchical testing by Cox regression analyses confirmed the significance of the protective effect of the HLA alleles identified (when assessed in composite) in terms of disease duration, whereas AB0 blood group antigen heterozygosity was found to be significantly associated with disease severity (rather than duration) in our cohort. A suggestive association of a heterozygous CCR5 delta 32 mutation status with prolonged disease duration was implied by univariate analyses but could not be confirmed by hierarchical multivariate testing. CONCLUSION: The current study shows that the presence of HLA class II DRB1*01:01 and HLA class I B*35:01 is of even stronger association with reduced disease duration in mild and moderate COVID-19 than age or any other potential risk factor assessed. Prospective studies in larger patient populations also including novel SARS-CoV-2 variants will be required to assess the impact of HLA genetics on the capacity of mounting protective vaccination responses in the future.


Subject(s)
ABO Blood-Group System/genetics , COVID-19/etiology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Receptors, CCR5/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genotype , HLA-DRB1 Chains/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Morbidity , Mutation , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 645989, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389177

ABSTRACT

We describe the unique disease course and cure of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a patient with SCID and graft failure. In absence of a humoral immune response, viral clearance was only achieved after transfusion of convalescent plasma. This observation underscores the necessity of the humoral immune response for SARS-CoV-2 clearance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/complications , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Graft Rejection/complications , Graft Rejection/immunology , Graft Rejection/virology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/immunology , Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/virology , Sustained Virologic Response , Viral Load , Virus Replication
8.
Transfusion ; 60(6): 1119-1122, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388414

ABSTRACT

Oral swabs, sputum, and blood samples from 18 asymptomatic and symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were examined using RT-PCR testing in order to assess the risk of transfusion-related transmission. In asymptomatic patients as well as patients with flu-like symptoms and fever, no SARS-CoV-2 RNA could be detected in the blood or serum despite a clearly positive result in all throat swabs. As patients with symptoms of infectious disease will not be admitted to blood donation, the risk for transfusion transmission of SARS-CoV-2 seems to be negligible.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Donors , Blood Safety , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Donor Selection , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Transfusion Reaction/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Transfusion Reaction/virology , Young Adult
9.
Eur J Pediatr ; 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380429

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the frequency and clinical course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in pediatric patients with severe comorbidities. In this prospective cross-sectional trial, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2-IgG in patients with life-limiting conditions being treated by a large specialized pediatric palliative home-care team was determined. In order to gain insight into the infection chain, close contacts of seropositive patients were also included in the study. We analyzed the sera of 39 patients and found a 25.6% seroprevalence for SARS-CoV-2. No SARS-CoV-2 infections were known prior to the study. No significant difference was found in the symptom load between seropositive and seronegative patients during the risk period for SARS-CoV-2 infections. Of the 20 close contacts tested, only one was seropositive for SARS-CoV-2.Conclusions: Our results indicate a substantially high prevalence of silent SARS-CoV-2 infections in pediatric palliative care patients. Surprisingly, no severe outcomes were seen in this fragile patient collective with severe comorbidities. The chain of infection and thus the reason for the high frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infections in pediatric palliative care patients remain unclear. What is Known: •Even though severe disease courses of COVID-19 have been reported in children, there are yet no established risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 in pediatric patients. What is New: •In this cross-sectional seroprevalence study of palliative pediatric patients with severe life-limiting conditions, a high rate of seropositive patients (25.6%) was found. •Surprisingly, all seropositive patients were previously unrecognized, despite the severe comorbidities of our collective.

10.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 8: 100164, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309324

ABSTRACT

Background: Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have been introduced as a promising new therapeutic approach against SARS-CoV-2. At present, there is little experience regarding their clinical effects in patient populations underrepresented in clinical trials, e.g. immunocompromised patients. Additionally, it is not well known to what extent SARS-CoV-2 treatment with monoclonal antibodies could trigger the selection of immune escape viral variants. Methods: After identifying immunocompromised patients with viral rebound under treatment with bamlanivimab, we characterized the SARS-CoV-2-isolates by whole genome sequencing. Viral load measurements and sequence analysis were performed consecutively before and after bamlanivimab administration. Findings: After initial decrease of viral load, viral clearance was not achieved in five of six immunocompromised patients treated with bamlanivimab. Instead, viral replication increased again over the course of the following one to two weeks. In these five patients, the E484K substitution - known to confer immune escape - was detected at the time of viral rebound but not before bamlanivimab treatment. Interpretation: Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 with bamlanivimab in immunocompromised patients results in the rapid development of immune escape variants in a significant proportion of cases. Given that the E484K mutation can hamper natural immunity, the effectiveness of vaccination as well as antibody-based therapies, these findings may have important implications not only for individual treatment decisions but may also pose a risk to general prevention and treatment strategies. Funding: All authors are employed and all expenses covered by governmental, federal state, or other publicly funded institutions.

11.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1178, 2021 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1277928

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Non-pharmaceutical measures to control the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) should be carefully tuned as they can impose a heavy social and economic burden. To quantify and possibly tune the efficacy of these anti-SARS-CoV-2 measures, we have devised indicators based on the abundant historic and current prevalence data from other respiratory viruses. METHODS: We obtained incidence data of 17 respiratory viruses from hospitalized patients and outpatients collected by 37 clinics and laboratories between 2010-2020 in Germany. With a probabilistic model for Bayes inference we quantified prevalence changes of the different viruses between months in the pre-pandemic period 2010-2019 and the corresponding months in 2020, the year of the pandemic with noninvasive measures of various degrees of stringency. RESULTS: We discovered remarkable reductions δ in rhinovirus (RV) prevalence by about 25% (95% highest density interval (HDI) [-0.35,-0.15]) in the months after the measures against SARS-CoV-2 were introduced in Germany. In the months after the measures began to ease, RV prevalence increased to low pre-pandemic levels, e.g. in August 2020 δ=-0.14 (95% HDI [-0.28,0.12]). CONCLUSIONS: RV prevalence is negatively correlated with the stringency of anti-SARS-CoV-2 measures with only a short time delay. This result suggests that RV prevalence could possibly be an indicator for the efficiency for these measures. As RV is ubiquitous at higher prevalence than SARS-CoV-2 or other emerging respiratory viruses, it could reflect the efficacy of noninvasive measures better than such emerging viruses themselves with their unevenly spreading clusters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rhinovirus , Bayes Theorem , Germany , Humans , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis ; 40(5): 1063-1071, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061091

ABSTRACT

Evaluation and power of seroprevalence studies depend on the performed serological assays. The aim of this study was to assess four commercial serological tests from EUROIMMUN, DiaSorin, Abbott, and Roche as well as an in-house immunofluorescence and neutralization test for their capability to identify SARS-CoV-2 seropositive individuals in a high-prevalence setting. Therefore, 42 social and working contacts of a German super-spreader were tested. Consistent with a high-prevalence setting, 26 of 42 were SARS-CoV-2 seropositive by neutralization test (NT), and immunofluorescence test (IFT) confirmed 23 of these 26 positive test results (NT 61.9% and IFT 54.8% seroprevalence). Four commercial assays detected anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 33.3-40.5% individuals. Besides an overall discrepancy between the NT and the commercial assays regarding their sensitivity, this study revealed that commercial SARS-CoV-2 spike-based assays are better to predict the neutralization titer than nucleoprotein-based assays are.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Contact Tracing , Female , Humans , Immunoassay , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
13.
EMBO J ; 39(20): e106230, 2020 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740598

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection is a public health emergency. COVID-19 typically exhibits respiratory illness. Unexpectedly, emerging clinical reports indicate that neurological symptoms continue to rise, suggesting detrimental effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that a Düsseldorf isolate of SARS-CoV-2 enters 3D human brain organoids within 2 days of exposure. We identified that SARS-CoV-2 preferably targets neurons of brain organoids. Imaging neurons of organoids reveal that SARS-CoV-2 exposure is associated with altered distribution of Tau from axons to soma, hyperphosphorylation, and apparent neuronal death. Our studies, therefore, provide initial insights into the potential neurotoxic effect of SARS-CoV-2 and emphasize that brain organoids could model CNS pathologies of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Brain/virology , Neurons/virology , Animals , Cell Death , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Organoids , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , tau Proteins/metabolism
14.
J Clin Virol ; 130: 104579, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694331

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Fast and reliable detection of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for efficient control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the high demand for SARS-CoV-2 testing there is a worldwide shortage of RNA extraction reagents. Therefore, extraction-free RT-qPCR protocols are urgently needed. OBJECTIVES: To establish a rapid RT-qPCR protocol for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 without the need of RNA extraction suitable for all respiratory materials. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Different SARS-CoV-2 positive respiratory materials from our routine laboratory were used as crude material after heat inactivation in direct RT-qPCR with the PrimeDirect™ Probe RT-qPCR Mix (TaKaRa). SARS-CoV-2 was detected using novel primers targeted to the E-gene. RESULTS: The protocol for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in crude material used a prepared frozen-PCR mix with optimized primers and 5 µl of fresh, undiluted and pre-analytically heat inactivated respiratory material. For validation, 91 respiratory samples were analyzed in direct comparison to classical RNA-based RT-qPCR. Overall 81.3 % of the samples were detected in both assays with a strong correlation between both Ct values (r = 0.8492, p < 0.0001). The SARS-CoV-2 detection rate by direct RT-qPCR was 95.8 % for Ct values <35. All negative samples were characterized by low viral loads (Ct >35) and/or long storage times before sample processing. CONCLUSION: Direct RT-qPCR is a suitable alternative to classical RNA RT-qPCR, provided that only fresh samples (storage <1 week) are used. RNA extraction should be considered if samples have longer storage times or if PCR inhibition is observed. In summary, this protocol is fast, inexpensive and suitable for all respiratory materials.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Respiratory System/virology , Specimen Handling/methods , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/virology , DNA Primers/genetics , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors
15.
Euro Surveill ; 25(22)2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-525969

ABSTRACT

We whole-genome sequenced 55 SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Germany to investigate SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in 2020 in the Heinsberg district and Düsseldorf. While the genetic structure of the Heinsberg outbreak indicates a clonal origin, reflecting superspreading dynamics from mid-February during the carnival season, distinct viral strains were circulating in Düsseldorf in March, reflecting the city's international links. Limited detection of Heinsberg strains in the Düsseldorf area despite geographical proximity may reflect efficient containment and contact-tracing efforts.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Genome, Viral/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Fertil Steril ; 114(2): 233-238, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-436473

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the presence of viral RNA in human semen of patients with severe acute-respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to evaluate its presence and relevance in semen parameters. DESIGN: Pilot cohort study. SETTING: University hospital. PATIENT(S): Thirty-four men were distributed as: 1) patients in convalescence (patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in pharyngeal swab according to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR] or antibodies); 2) negative control group (no antibodies); and 3) patients with an acute infection (detection of SARS-CoV-2 in pharyngeal swab). INTERVENTION: Semen and a blood sample were collected from each individual. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Analysis of semen quality according to the World Health Organization standards. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR in the native semen sample and after density gradient preparation. Confirmation of immunoglobulin (Ig) A und IgG antibodies in the blood. RESULT(S): Eighteen semen samples from recovered men were obtained 8-54 days after absence of symptoms, 14 from control subjects, and 2 from patients with an active COVID-19 infection. No RNA was detected by means of RT-PCR in the semen, including semen samples from two patients with an acute COVID-19 infection. Subjects with a moderate infection showed an impairment of sperm quality. CONCLUSION(S): A mild COVID-19 infection is not likely to affect testis and epididymis function, whereas semen parameters did seem impaired after a moderate infection. SARS-CoV-2 RNA could not be detected in semen of recovered and acute COVID-19-positive men. This suggests no viral transmission during sexual contact and assisted reproductive techniques, although further data need to be obtained.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , RNA, Viral/blood , Semen/metabolism , Semen/virology , Adult , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Infertility, Male/blood , Infertility, Male/diagnosis , Infertility, Male/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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