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1.
J Neurol Sci ; 430: 120023, 2021 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446884

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Little is known about CSF profiles in patients with acute COVID-19 infection and neurological symptoms. Here, CSF was tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and compared to controls and patients with known neurotropic pathogens. METHODS: CSF from twenty-seven consecutive patients with COVID-19 and neurological symptoms was assayed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) and unbiased metagenomic sequencing. Assays for blood brain barrier (BBB) breakdown (CSF:serum albumin ratio (Q-Alb)), and proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, IL-16, monocyte chemoattractant protein -1 (MCP-1) and monocyte inhibitory protein - 1ß (MIP-1ß)) were performed in 23 patients and compared to CSF from patients with HIV-1 (16 virally suppressed, 5 unsuppressed), West Nile virus (WNV) (n = 4) and 16 healthy controls (HC). RESULTS: Median CSF cell count for COVID-19 patients was 1 white blood cell/µL; two patients were infected with a second pathogen (Neisseria, Cryptococcus neoformans). No CSF samples had detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA by either detection method. In patients with COVID-19 only, CSF IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, and MIP-1ß levels were higher than HC and suppressed HIV (corrected-p < 0.05). MCP-1 and MIP-1ß levels were higher, while IL-6, IL-8, IL-15 were similar in COVID-19 compared to WNV patients. Q-Alb correlated with all proinflammatory markers, with IL-6, IL-8, and MIP-1ß (r ≥ 0.6, p < 0.01) demonstrating the strongest associations. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in CSF is consistent with pre-existing literature. Evidence of intrathecal proinflammatory markers in a subset of COVID-19 patients with BBB breakdown despite minimal CSF pleocytosis is atypical for neurotropic pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammation/virology , RNA, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Blood-Brain Barrier , COVID-19/physiopathology , Case-Control Studies , Chemokines , Cytokines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Science ; 371(6529)2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388436

ABSTRACT

Analysis of 772 complete severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes from early in the Boston-area epidemic revealed numerous introductions of the virus, a small number of which led to most cases. The data revealed two superspreading events. One, in a skilled nursing facility, led to rapid transmission and significant mortality in this vulnerable population but little broader spread, whereas other introductions into the facility had little effect. The second, at an international business conference, produced sustained community transmission and was exported, resulting in extensive regional, national, and international spread. The two events also differed substantially in the genetic variation they generated, suggesting varying transmission dynamics in superspreading events. Our results show how genomic epidemiology can help to understand the link between individual clusters and wider community spread.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Boston/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks , Epidemiological Monitoring , Humans
4.
J Clin Pathol ; 74(8): 496-503, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247388

ABSTRACT

Developing and deploying new diagnostic tests are difficult, but the need to do so in response to a rapidly emerging pandemic such as COVID-19 is crucially important. During a pandemic, laboratories play a key role in helping healthcare providers and public health authorities detect active infection, a task most commonly achieved using nucleic acid-based assays. While the landscape of diagnostics is rapidly evolving, PCR remains the gold-standard of nucleic acid-based diagnostic assays, in part due to its reliability, flexibility and wide deployment. To address a critical local shortage of testing capacity persisting during the COVID-19 outbreak, our hospital set up a molecular-based laboratory developed test (LDT) to accurately and safely diagnose SARS-CoV-2. We describe here the process of developing an emergency-use LDT, in the hope that our experience will be useful to other laboratories in future outbreaks and will help to lower barriers to establishing fast and accurate diagnostic testing in crisis conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergency Service, Hospital , Laboratories, Hospital , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , Reproducibility of Results
5.
Front Neurol ; 12: 642912, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202073

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Patients with comorbidities are at increased risk for poor outcomes in COVID-19, yet data on patients with prior neurological disease remains limited. Our objective was to determine the odds of critical illness and duration of mechanical ventilation in patients with prior cerebrovascular disease and COVID-19. Methods: A observational study of 1,128 consecutive adult patients admitted to an academic center in Boston, Massachusetts, and diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. We tested the association between prior cerebrovascular disease and critical illness, defined as mechanical ventilation (MV) or death by day 28, using logistic regression with inverse probability weighting of the propensity score. Among intubated patients, we estimated the cumulative incidence of successful extubation without death over 45 days using competing risk analysis. Results: Of the 1,128 adults with COVID-19, 350 (36%) were critically ill by day 28. The median age of patients was 59 years (SD: 18 years) and 640 (57%) were men. As of June 2nd, 2020, 127 (11%) patients had died. A total of 177 patients (16%) had a prior cerebrovascular disease. Prior cerebrovascular disease was significantly associated with critical illness (OR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.14-2.07), lower rate of successful extubation (cause-specific HR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.33-0.98), and increased duration of intubation (restricted mean time difference = 4.02 days, 95% CI = 0.34-10.92) compared to patients without cerebrovascular disease. Interpretation: Prior cerebrovascular disease adversely affects COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients. Further study is required to determine if this subpopulation requires closer monitoring for disease progression during COVID-19.

6.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(3): 344-347, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1131957

ABSTRACT

We describe an approach to the evaluation and isolation of hospitalized persons under investigation (PUIs) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at a large US academic medical center. Only a small proportion (2.9%) of PUIs with 1 or more repeated severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) after a negative NAAT were diagnosed with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , Patient Isolation/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Academic Medical Centers , Boston , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Hospitalization , Humans , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/organization & administration , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(1): ofaa559, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081406

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Concerns about false-negative (FN) severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) have prompted recommendations for repeat testing if suspicion for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection is moderate to high. However, the frequency of FNs and patient characteristics associated with FNs are poorly understood. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed test results from 15 011 adults who underwent ≥1 SARS-CoV-2 NAATs; 2699 had an initial negative NAAT and repeat testing. We defined FNs as ≥1 negative NAATs followed by a positive NAAT within 14 days during the same episode of illness. We stratified subjects with FNs by duration of symptoms before the initial FN test (≤5 days versus >5 days) and examined their clinical, radiologic, and laboratory characteristics. RESULTS: Sixty of 2699 subjects (2.2%) had a FN result during the study period. The weekly frequency of FNs among subjects with repeat testing peaked at 4.4%, coinciding with peak NAAT positivity (38%). Most subjects with FNs had symptoms (52 of 60; 87%) and chest radiography (19 of 32; 59%) consistent with COVID-19. Of the FN NAATs, 18 of 60 (30%) were performed early (ie, ≤1 day of symptom onset), and 18 of 60 (30%) were performed late (ie, >7 days after symptom onset) in disease. Among 17 subjects with 2 consecutive FNs on NP NAATs, 9 (53%) provided lower respiratory tract (LRT) specimens for testing, all of which were positive. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support repeated NAATs among symptomatic patients, particularly during periods of higher COVID-19 incidence. The LRT testing should be prioritized to increase yield among patients with high clinical suspicion for COVID-19.

8.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(2): ofaa631, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990785

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Amid the enduring pandemic, there is an urgent need for expanded access to rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing worldwide without specialized equipment. We developed a simple test that uses colorimetric reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) to detect severe acute resrpiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 40 minutes from sample collection to result. METHODS: We tested 135 nasopharyngeal specimens from patients evaluated for COVID-19 infection at Massachusetts General Hospital. Specimens were either added directly to RT-LAMP reactions, inactivated by a combined chemical and heat treatment step, or inactivated then purified with a silica particle-based concentration method. Amplification was performed with 2 SARS-CoV-2-specific primer sets and an internal specimen control; the resulting color change was visually interpreted. RESULTS: Direct RT-LAMP testing of unprocessed specimens could only reliably detect samples with abundant SARS-CoV-2 (>3 000 000 copies/mL), with sensitivities of 50% (95% CI, 28%-72%) and 59% (95% CI, 43%-73%) in samples collected in universal transport medium and saline, respectively, compared with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Adding an upfront RNase inactivation step markedly improved the limit of detection to at least 25 000 copies/mL, with 87.5% (95% CI, 72%-95%) sensitivity and 100% specificity (95% CI, 87%-100%). Using both inactivation and purification increased the assay sensitivity by 10-fold, achieving a limit of detection comparable to commercial real-time PCR-based diagnostics. CONCLUSIONS: By incorporating a fast and inexpensive sample preparation step, RT-LAMP accurately detects SARS-CoV-2 with limited equipment for about US$6 per sample, making this a potentially ideal assay to increase testing capacity, especially in resource-limited settings.

9.
FASEB J ; 34(10): 13877-13884, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733355

ABSTRACT

The diagnosis of COVID-19 requires integration of clinical and laboratory data. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) diagnostic assays play a central role in diagnosis and have fixed technical performance metrics. Interpretation becomes challenging because the clinical sensitivity changes as the virus clears and the immune response emerges. Our goal was to examine the clinical sensitivity of two most common SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test modalities, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology, over the disease course to provide insight into their clinical interpretation in patients presenting to the hospital. We conducted a single-center, retrospective study. To derive clinical sensitivity of PCR, we identified 209 PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 patients with multiple PCR test results (624 total PCR tests) and calculated daily sensitivity from date of symptom onset or first positive test. Clinical sensitivity of PCR decreased with days post symptom onset with >90% clinical sensitivity during the first 5 days after symptom onset, 70%-71% from Days 9 to 11, and 30% at Day 21. To calculate daily clinical sensitivity by serology, we utilized 157 PCR-positive patients with a total of 197 specimens tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for IgM, IgG, and IgA anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. In contrast to PCR, serological sensitivity increased with days post symptom onset with >50% of patients seropositive by at least one antibody isotype after Day 7, >80% after Day 12, and 100% by Day 21. Taken together, PCR and serology are complimentary modalities that require time-dependent interpretation. Superimposition of sensitivities over time indicate that serology can function as a reliable diagnostic aid indicating recent or prior infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity
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