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1.
COVID ; 2(6):752-758, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1884035

ABSTRACT

Background: Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 testing are rapid and inexpensive but usually have lower sensitivity than RT-qPCR and are only validated for nasopharyngeal/throat swabs;the latter are considered the gold standard in terms of material collection but are not tolerated by patients with frequent sampling. The present study, therefore, investigates the extent to which SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing is comparable to RT-qPCR from an easily obtained gargle solution compared to nasopharyngeal swabs. Methods: The performance of a high-quality POC fluorescence immune antigen test in single nasal swab samples and gargle samples compared to RT-qPCR was investigated (total n = 620 samples (gargle samples = 309, and nasal swabs = 311)). Findings: In our setting, the detection of SARS-CoV2 with an antigen test was reliable up to a Ct value of 30 for single nasal swab samples and was reduced to Ct:20 for single gargle samples. The overall antigen-test sensitivity is 83.92% (swab samples) and 75.72% (gargle samples). Interpretation: Antigen tests showed reliable results up to a detection limit of Ct: 30 with only nasal swab samples but not gargle samples. If the use of gargle samples is preferred due to their advantages, such as painless testing, easy handling, and the lack of a need to involve trained personnel for sample taking, reliable results can only be achieved with RT-qPCR.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314910

ABSTRACT

Background: Children are affected rather mildly by the acute phase of COVID-19, but predominantly in children and youths, the potentially severe and life threatening pediatric multiorgan immune syndrome (PMIS) occurs later on. To identify children at risk early on, we searched for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and searched for early and mild symptoms of PMIS in those with high levels of antibodies. Methods: In a cross-sectional design, children aged 1-17 were recruited through primary care pediatricians for the study (a), if they had an appointment for a regular health check-up or (b), or if parents and children volunteered to participate in the study. Two antibody tests were performed in parallel and children with antibody levels >97th percentile (in the commercially available test) were screened for signs and symptoms of PMIS and SARS-CoV-2 neutralization tests were performed. Results: We identified antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in 162 of 2832 eligible children (5.7%) between June and July 2020 in three, in part strongly affected regions of Bavaria. Approximately 60% of antibody positive children showed high levels of antibodies. In those who participated in the follow up screening, 30% showed some mild and minor symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and in three children, cardiac and neuropsychological symptoms were identified. Symptoms correlated with high levels of non-neutralizing and concomitantly low levels of neutralizing antibodies and lower neutralizing capacity. Conclusions: Children exposed to SARS-CoV-2 should be screened for antibodies and those children with positive antibody responses should undergo a stepwise assessment for late COVID-19 effects.

3.
COVID ; 1(4):717-727, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1542442

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: With vaccination and new variants of SARS-CoV-2 on the horizon, efficient testing in schools may enable prevention of mass infection outbreaks, keeping schools safe places and buying time until decisions on feasibility and the necessity of vaccination in children and youth are made. We established, in the course of the WICOVIR (Where Is the COrona VIRus) study, that gargle-based pool-PCR testing offers a feasible, efficient, and safe testing system for schools in Germany when applied by central university laboratories. (2) Objectives: We evaluated whether this approach can be implemented in different rural and urban settings. (3) Methods: We assessed the arrangements required for successful implementation of the WICOVIR approach in a variety of settings in terms of transport logistics, data transfer and pre-existing laboratory set-up, as well as the time required to establish the set-up. (4) Results: We found that once regulatory issues have been overcome, all challenges pertaining to logistics, data transfer, and laboratory testing on different platforms can be solved within one month. Pooling and depooling of samples down to the individual test result were achievable within one working day in all settings. Local involvement of the community and decentralized set-ups were keys for success. (5) Conclusion: The WICOVIR gargle-based pool-PCR system is so robust and simple that it can be implemented within one month in all settings now or in future pandemics.

4.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 721518, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518517

ABSTRACT

Background: Opening schools and keeping children safe from SARS-CoV-2 infections at the same time is urgently needed to protect children from direct and indirect consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve this goal, a safe, efficient, and cost-effective SARS-CoV-2 testing system for schools in addition to standard hygiene measures is necessary. Methods: We implemented the screening WICOVIR concept for schools in the southeast of Germany, which is based on gargling at home, pooling of samples in schools, and assessment of SARS-CoV-2 by pool rRT-PCR, performed decentralized in numerous participating laboratories. Depooling was performed if pools were positive, and results were transmitted with software specifically developed for the project within a day. Here, we report the results after the first 13 weeks in the project. Findings: We developed and implemented the proof-of-concept test system within a pilot phase of 7 weeks based on almost 17,000 participants. After 6 weeks in the main phase of the project, we performed >100,000 tests in total, analyzed in 7,896 pools, identifying 19 cases in >100 participating schools. On average, positive children showed an individual CT value of 31 when identified in the pools. Up to 30 samples were pooled (mean 13) in general, based on school classes and attached school staff. All three participating laboratories detected positive samples reliably with their previously established rRT-PCR standard protocols. When self-administered antigen tests were performed concomitantly in positive cases, only one of these eight tests was positive, and when antigen tests performed after positive pool rRT-PCR results were already known were included, 3 out of 11 truly positive tests were also identified by antigen testing. After 3 weeks of repetitive WICOVIR testing twice weekly, the detection rate of positive children in that cohort decreased significantly from 0.042 to 0.012 (p = 0.008). Interpretation: Repeated gargle pool rRT-PCR testing can be implemented quickly in schools. It is an effective, valid, and well-received test system for schools, superior to antigen tests in sensitivity, acceptance, and costs.

5.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 678937, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477849

ABSTRACT

Background: Children and youth are affected rather mildly in the acute phase of COVID-19 and thus, SARS-CoV-2 infection infection may easily be overlooked. In the light of current discussions on the vaccinations of children it seems necessary to better identify children who are immune against SARS-CoV-2 due to a previous infection and to better understand COVID-19 related immune reactions in children. Methods: In a cross-sectional design, children aged 1-17 were recruited through primary care pediatricians for the study (a) randomly, if they had an appointment for a regular health check-up or (b) if parents and children volunteered and actively wanted to participate in the study. Symptoms were recorded and two antibody tests were performed in parallel directed against S (in house test) and N (Roche Elecsys) viral proteins. In children with antibody response in either test, neutralization activity was determined. Results: We identified antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in 162 of 2,832 eligible children (5.7%) between end of May and end of July 2020 in three, in part strongly affected regions of Bavaria in the first wave of the pandemic. Approximately 60% of antibody positive children (n = 97) showed high levels (>97th percentile) of antibodies against N-protein, and for the S-protein, similar results were found. Sufficient neutralizing activity was detected for only 135 antibody positive children (86%), irrespective of age and sex. Initial COVID-19 symptoms were unspecific in children except for the loss of smell and taste and unrelated to antibody responses or neutralization capacity. Approximately 30% of PCR positive children did not show seroconversion in our small subsample in which PCR tests were performed. Conclusions: Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infections are unspecific in children and antibody responses show a dichotomous structure with strong responses in many and no detectable antibodies in PCR positive children and missing neutralization activity in a relevant proportion of the young population.

6.
J Virol Methods ; 297: 114271, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373176

ABSTRACT

The Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay (Roche Diagnostics International Ltd, Rotkreuz, Switzerland) has been developed for the detection of antibodies to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein. We evaluated the assay performance using samples from seven sites in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. For specificity and sensitivity analyses, 7880 presumed negative pre-pandemic samples and 827 SARS-CoV-2 PCR-confirmed single or sequential samples from 272 different patients were tested, respectively. The overall specificity and sensitivity (≥14 days post-PCR) for the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay were 99.95% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 99.87-99.99; 7876/7880) and 97.92% (95% CI: 95.21-99.32; 235/240), respectively. The Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay had significantly higher specificity compared with the LIAISON® SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG (99.95% [2032/2033] vs 98.82% [2009/2033]), ADVIA Centaur® SARS-CoV-2 Total (100% [928/928] vs 86.96% [807/928]), ARCHITECT SARS-CoV-2 IgG (99.97% [2931/2932] vs 99.69% [2923/2932]), iFlash-SARS-CoV-2 IgM (100.00% [928/928] vs 99.57% [924/928]), and EUROIMMUN Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (100.00% [903/903] vs 97.45% [880/903]) and IgA (100.00% [895/895] vs 95.75% [857/895]) assays. The Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay had significantly higher sensitivity (≥14 days post-PCR) compared with the ARCHITECT SARS-CoV-2 IgG (98.70% [76/77] vs 87.01% [67/77]), iFlash-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (100.00% [76/76] vs 93.42% [71/76]) and IgM (100.00% [76/76] vs 35.53% [27/76]), and EUROIMMUN Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (98.26% [113/115] vs 93.91% [108/115]) assays. Therefore, the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S assay demonstrated a reliable performance across various sample populations for the detection of anti-S antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoassay , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
J Perinat Med ; 49(6): 702-708, 2021 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327989

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: In the current Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic there is still great uncertainty about the effects of an infection in pregnancy especially regarding a possible fetal transmission of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and the longevity of this immunity. METHODS: Sixteen women who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy and their offspring were included. The antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 was measured in mother and umbilical cord blood peripartum and in a follow-up examination 6-11 weeks after birth. Medical history, symptoms regarding SARS-CoV-2, obstetric and neonatal information were queried following recommendations by the WHO. RESULTS: A total of 73% of the women and one third of the infants developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein receptor binding domain (RBD), with a long interval between infection and birth proving favorable for a transplacentar transfer of antibodies to the neonates. All infants showed declining or vanishing antibody-titers in the follow-up examination, while the titers of their mothers were stable or even increased. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that transplacental transfer of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies is possible, but also indicate that the immunity that may be gained as a result might decrease in newborns postpartum. This provides important evidence that could be useful for further studies covering vaccination during pregnancy.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , Infant, Newborn/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
J Perinat Med ; 49(6): 709-716, 2021 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327988

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic poses special challenges for the society and especially the medical staff. Even if a rather mild course is assumed among pregnant women the measures to prevent transmission of the infection are of outstanding importance. METHODS: To screen asymptomatic pregnant women during admission to our university maternal hospital we focused on anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgA antibody responses. Hundred and fifty one women admitted to the hospital for childbirth or caesarean delivery were included. In case of suspicious anti-SARS-CoV-2-antibody levels an RT-PCR was performed to confirm an ongoing infection with SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: A total of 89% showed negative results for anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgA antibodies, whereas 3% were borderline and 7% positive (both labeled as suspicious). In only one patient with suspicious serology we detected SARS-CoV-2-RNA in the following RT-PCR. 2% presented anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgG antibodies, all being positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgA. The observed positive rate of our study collective of 10.6% seemed much higher than the expected one (1.3%) based on the reports of the Robert Koch Institute and the specifications given by the test's manufacturer. The expected positive predictive value (PPV) was 4.3-6.7 times higher than the observed one. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge this is the first report of anti-SARS-CoV-2-antibody levels in the peripartum period of asymptomatic women. As the positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology poorly correlated with the confirmatory RT-PCR and the fact that mainly the detection of the virus by PCR correlates with the patient's infectiousness we suggest to rather perform a SARS-CoV-2-PCR-based admission screening in perinatal centers to prevent the spread of the disease.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
9.
J Perinat Med ; 49(6): 709-716, 2021 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102408

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic poses special challenges for the society and especially the medical staff. Even if a rather mild course is assumed among pregnant women the measures to prevent transmission of the infection are of outstanding importance. METHODS: To screen asymptomatic pregnant women during admission to our university maternal hospital we focused on anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgA antibody responses. Hundred and fifty one women admitted to the hospital for childbirth or caesarean delivery were included. In case of suspicious anti-SARS-CoV-2-antibody levels an RT-PCR was performed to confirm an ongoing infection with SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: A total of 89% showed negative results for anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgA antibodies, whereas 3% were borderline and 7% positive (both labeled as suspicious). In only one patient with suspicious serology we detected SARS-CoV-2-RNA in the following RT-PCR. 2% presented anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgG antibodies, all being positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2-IgA. The observed positive rate of our study collective of 10.6% seemed much higher than the expected one (1.3%) based on the reports of the Robert Koch Institute and the specifications given by the test's manufacturer. The expected positive predictive value (PPV) was 4.3-6.7 times higher than the observed one. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge this is the first report of anti-SARS-CoV-2-antibody levels in the peripartum period of asymptomatic women. As the positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology poorly correlated with the confirmatory RT-PCR and the fact that mainly the detection of the virus by PCR correlates with the patient's infectiousness we suggest to rather perform a SARS-CoV-2-PCR-based admission screening in perinatal centers to prevent the spread of the disease.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
11.
J Infect Public Health ; 13(12): 1862-1867, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023650

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic it is crucial for hospitals to implement infection prevention strategies to reduce nosocomial transmission to the lowest possible number. This is all the more important because molecular tests for identifying SARS-CoV-2 infected patients are uncertain, and the resources available for them are limited. In this view, a monocentric, retrospective study with an interventional character was conducted to investigate the extent to which the introduction of a strict hygiene bundle including a general mask requirement and daily screening for suspicious patients has an impact on the SARS-CoV-2 nosocomial rate in the pandemic environment. METHODS: All inpatients from a maximum care hospital in Regensburg (Bavaria) between March 1st and June 10th 2020 were included. Patient with respiratory symptoms were tested for SARS-CoV-2 at admission, patients were managed according to a standard hygiene protocol. At the end of March a strict hygiene bundle was introduced including a general mask obligation and a daily clinical screening of inpatients for respiratory symptoms. Nosocomial infection rate for COVID-19 and the risk for infection transmission estimated by the nosocomial incidence density before and after introduction the hygiene bundle were compared. The infection pressure for the hospital during the entire observational period was characterized by the infection reports in the region in relation to the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and the number of infected employees. RESULTS: In fact, after the introduction of a strict hygiene bundle including a general mouth and nose protection obligation and a daily clinical screening of suspicious patients, a significant reduction of the nosocomial rate from 0.28 to 0.06 (p = 0.026) was observed. Furthermore, the risk of spreading hospital-acquired infections also decreased dramatically from 0.0007 to 0.00018 (p = 0.031; rate ratio after/before 0.25 (95%CI 0.06, 1.07) despite a slow decrease of the hospital COVID 19-prevalence and an increase of infected employees. CONCLUSION: The available data underline that a strict hygiene bundle seem to be associated with a decrease of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the pandemic situation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Hygiene , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/transmission , Germany , Humans , Infection Control
12.
J Clin Virol ; 130: 104575, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694356

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Currently, little is known about the progression of an immune response against SARSCoV- 2 upon infection or sub-infection-exposure over time. We examined the serologic response in healthcare workers up to 12 weeks after a well-documented and contained outbreak and compared results with findings from earlier serologic testing in the same population. METHODS: This study followed 166 health care workers of the University Perinatal Care Center, Regensburg, Germany, for up to 12 weeks. 27 of the subjects had previously tested positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 by PCR testing and developed COVID-19. Serologic responses were tested with two independent commercially available test kits. RESULTS: 77.8 % of COVID-19 study subjects developed a specific IgG-response over the course of the 12-week study, while none of the COVID-19 contact groups had a detectable IgG response. Amongst most COVID-19 patients the values of detectable IgG-responses significantly increased over time as confirmed with both tests, while that of positive IgA responses decreased. Between the number of reported symptoms and antibody responses in COVID-19 patients no correlation was found and no new cases of seroconversion were identified in asymptomatic coworkers with negative PCR during the outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: Immune response after COVID-19 increases significantly over time but still approximately 22 % of COVID-19 patients did not mount a measurable serologic immune response within 60 days. Exposed co-workers did not develop any relevant antibody levels at all. We conclude that immunity after infection increases over time, but the antibody response does not develop reliably in all infected people.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Germany , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion , Young Adult
14.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 146(1): 35-43, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-436447

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and development of coronavirus disease 2019 presents a major health care challenge of global dimensions. Laboratory diagnostics of infected patients, and the assessment of immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, presents a major cornerstone in handling the pandemic. Currently, there is an increase in demand for antibody testing and a large number of tests are already marketed or are in the late stage of development. However, the interpretation of test results depends on many variables and factors, including sensitivity, specificity, potential cross-reactivity and cross-protectivity, the diagnostic value of antibodies of different isotypes, and the use of antibody testing in identification of acutely ill patients or in epidemiological settings. In this article, the recently established COVID-19 Task Force of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL) addresses these issues on the basis of currently available data sets in this rapidly moving field.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Immunologic Tests/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 31(7): 841-847, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-273163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections is increasing. Serological immunoglobulin tests may help to better understand the development of immune mechanisms against SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 cases and exposed but asymptomatic individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate exposure to SARS-CoV-2, symptoms, and antibody responses in a large sample of healthcare workers following a COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: A COVID-19 outbreak among staff members of a major German children's and women's hospital was followed by massive RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 tests and provided the opportunity to study symptoms, chains of infection, and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses (IgG and IgA) by ELISA. Study participants were classified as COVID-19 cases, and persons with close, moderate, or no exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the clinical setting, respectively. RESULTS: Out of 201 study participants, 31 were COVID-19 cases. While most study participants experienced many symptoms indicative for SARS-CoV-2 infection, anosmia and coughing were remarkably more frequent in COVID-19 cases. Approximately 80% of COVID-19 cases developed some specific antibody response (IgA and IgG) approximately 3 weeks after onset of symptoms. Subjects in the non-COVID-19 groups had also elevated IgG (1.8%) and IgA values (7.6%) irrespective of contact history with cases. CONCLUSION: We found that a significant number of diseased did not develop relevant antibody responses three weeks after symptom onset. Our data also suggest that exposure to COVID-19 positive co-workers in a hospital setting is not leading to the development of measurable immune responses in a significant proportion of asymptomatic contact persons.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Outbreaks , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Asymptomatic Diseases , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Diseases/diagnosis , Occupational Diseases/epidemiology , Occupational Diseases/immunology , Occupational Diseases/virology , Occupational Exposure , Young Adult
16.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 31(5): 560-564, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102331

ABSTRACT

With increasing number of SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 patients to be taken care of by the health system, more and more health workers become affected by the disease. It has been reported that right from the beginning of the outbreak in Lombardy up to 20% of the doctors and nurses became infected. Under these circumstances, the regular operation of health institutions already suffering from a shortage of staff becomes difficult. This has led to complete or partial shutdowns of hospitals, either due to a lack of uninfected personnel or because of uncontrollable chains of infection endangering patients. In one of the largest university perinatal center in Bavaria with more than 3000 births per year, an outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in March 2020, affecting 36 staff members, including doctors, nurses, and midwives. Here, we describe the outbreak and present the measures contributing to the successful containment of the outbreak within three weeks. At the same time, clinical services could be maintained, however, not without deployment of personnel exposed to employees infected with SARS-CoV-2. Apart from massive testing of personnel in pre-defined phases and increased hygiene measures, including a general obligation to wear surgical face masks, we identified the need to monitor cases of illness across all groups of employees, to ensure social distancing within personnel and to evaluate contacts of clinical personnel outside of the hospital environment, in order to be able to interpret chains of infections and to disrupt them. Overall, only a bundle of measures is needed to contain such an outbreak.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perinatal Care/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Female , Germany , Hand Hygiene , Hospitals, Maternity , Humans , Masks , Pregnancy , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation
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