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1.
Dtsch Med Wochenschr ; 2021 Dec 29.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1590671

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: With more than 1400 COVID-19 inpatients, the university hospital of Essen is the main regional caregiver during COVID-19 pandemic. We present outcome data of our inpatients during the first 12 months of pandemic and our derived clinical care concepts. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of all 1396 COVID-19 inpatients presenting between March, 1st of 2020 and February, 28th of 2021 for comorbidities, survival and complications. Group comparison between patients receiving standard care and those requiring intermediate/ intensive care. RESULTS: Mortality rate of all inpatients was 19,8 % (277/ 1396), whereas 10.6 % (93/877) of the patients with standard care and 35.5 % (184/519) of those with intermediate/intensive care died during hospital stay. Age above 60 years, obesity, need for mechanical ventilation, nitric oxide therapy, ECMO and acute renal failure as well as stroke during the clinical course were independent predictors of mortality. CONCLUSIONS: The mortality of both patient groups ranges within the numbers published by other international groups. The vast impact of usual comorbidities could be observed as well as the high rate of complications in serious ill COVID-19 patients. The mean age of both patient groups was lower than expected (60 years standard care versus 63 years intermediate/ intensive care). A maximum of patient and staff protection measures, a fast and efficient testing strategy during primary triage, standardized concepts from emergency department to intensive care units and dynamic adjustment of resources to daily changing needs can ensure a high quality of care even during peak of pandemic.

2.
iScience ; 24(10): 103194, 2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446743

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic poses enormous challenges to global healthcare sectors. To prevent the overburden of medical systems, it is crucial to distinguish individuals approaching the most infectious early phase from those in the declining non-infectious phase. However, a large fraction of transmission events occur during pre- or asymptomatic phases. Especially in the absence of symptoms, it is difficult to distinguish prodromal from late phases of infection just by RT-PCR since both phases are characterized by low viral loads and corresponding high Ct values (>30). We evaluated a new rapid test detecting IgG antibodies recognizing SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein using two commercial antibody assays and an in-house neutralization test before determining suitability for testing clinical swab material. Our analyses revealed the combination of the well-known RT-PCR and the new rapid antibody test using one single clinical nasopharyngeal swab specimen as a fast, cost-effective, and reliable way to discriminate prodromal from subsiding phases of COVID-19.

3.
Anal Chem ; 93(36): 12391-12399, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380888

ABSTRACT

As an immune response to COVID-19 infection, patients develop SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM/IgG antibodies. Here, we compare the performance of a conventional lateral flow assay (LFA) with a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based LFA test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM/IgG in sera of COVID-19 patients. Sensitive detection of IgM might enable early serological diagnosis of acute infections. Rapid detection in serum using a custom-built SERS reader is at least an order of magnitude more sensitive than the conventional LFAs with naked-eye detection. For absolute quantification and the determination of the limit of detection (LOD), a set of reference measurements using purified (total) IgM in buffer was performed. In this purified system, the sensitivity of SERS detection is even 7 orders of magnitude higher: the LOD for SERS was ca. 100 fg/mL compared to ca. 1 µg/mL for the naked-eye detection. This outlines the high potential of SERS-based LFAs in point-of-care testing once the interference of serum components with the gold conjugates and the nitrocellulose membrane is minimized.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(7)2021 Jul 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295953

ABSTRACT

Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 infection is currently approved and shows favorable outcomes, but little known about antibody responses in solid organ transplant recipients, since these patients are known to have an impaired immune response upon vaccination and have not been included in admission studies. We therefore analyzed immunogenicity in 43 liver transplant (LT) recipients in a median of 15 days (IQR, 12-24) after receiving two doses of the mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2 following the standard protocol, and compared these results to a control group consisting of 20 healthcare workers (HCWs). Thirty-four of the 43 (79%) LT recipients developed antibodies, compared to 20 out of 20 (100%) in the control group (p = 0.047). The median SARS-CoV-2 IgG titer was significantly lower in the LT recipients compared to the control group (216 vs. >2080 BAU/mL, p = 0.0001). Age and sex distribution was similar in the LT patients that developed antibodies after vaccination compared to those who did not. Interestingly, the patients who received mycophenolate mofetil exhibited a reduced vaccination response compared to the other LT patients (5 of 11 (45.5%) vs. 29 of 32 (90.6%), p = 0.004). In conclusion, our data reveal lower immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BNT162b2 in LT patients compared to the control group, but still show superior results compared to other solid organ transplant recipients reported so far.

5.
Pathogens ; 10(6)2021 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244093

ABSTRACT

We aimed to evaluate the LIAISON® SARS-CoV-2 antigen assay (DiaSorin), comparing its performance to real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. 182 (110 PCR-positive and 72 PCR-negative) nasopharyngeal swab samples were taken for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. RT-PCR and antigen assay were performed using the same material. The sensitivity and specificity of the antigen assay were calculated for different cut-offs, with RT-PCR serving as the reference method. Stored clinical samples that were positive for other respiratory viruses were tested to evaluate cross-reactivity. One third (33/110, 30%) were falsely classified as negative, while no false positives were found using the 200 TCID50/mL cut-off for the SARS-CoV-2 antigen as proposed by the manufacturer. This corresponded to a sensitivity of 70% (60-78%) and a specificity of 100% (94-100%). Lowering the cut-off for positivity of the antigen assay to 22.79 or 57.68 TCID50/mL increased the sensitivity of the method, reaching a sensitivity of 92% (85-96%) vs. 79% (70-86%) and a specificity of 81% (69-89%) vs. 99% (91-100%), respectively. The antigen assay reliably detected samples with high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads (≥106 copies SARS-CoV-2/mL), while it cannot differentiate between negative and low positive samples. Cross-reactivity toward other respiratory viruses was not detected.

6.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217117

ABSTRACT

The availability of simple SARS-CoV-2 detection methods is crucial to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined whether a commercial LAMP assay can reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 genomes directly in respiratory samples without having to extract nucleic acids (NA) beforehand. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS, n = 220) were tested by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and with the LAMP assay. For RT-PCR, NA were investigated. For LAMP, NA from 26 NPS in viral transport medium (VTM) were tested. The other 194 NPS were analyzed directly without prior NA extraction (140 samples in VTM; 54 dry swab samples stirred in phosphate buffered saline). Ten NPS were tested directly by LAMP using a sous-vide cooking unit. The isothermal assay demonstrated excellent specificity (100%) but moderate sensitivity (68.8%), with a positive predictive value of 1 and a negative predictive value of 0.65 for direct testing of NPS in VTM. The use of dry swabs, even without NA extraction, improved the analytical sensitivity; up to 6% of samples showed signs of inhibition. LAMP could be performed successfully with a sous-vide cooking unit. This technique is very fast, requires little laboratory resources, and can replace rapid antigen tests or verify reactive rapid tests on-site.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA, Viral/analysis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nasopharynx/virology , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
7.
Pathogens ; 10(2)2021 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1107397

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Seasonality is a characteristic of some respiratory viruses. The aim of our study was to evaluate the seasonality and the potential effects of different meteorological factors on the detection rate of the non-SARS coronavirus detection by PCR. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 12,763 respiratory tract sample results (288 positive and 12,475 negative) for non-SARS, non-MERS coronaviruses (NL63, 229E, OC43, HKU1). The effect of seven single weather factors on the coronavirus detection rate was fitted in a logistic regression model with and without adjusting for other weather factors. RESULTS: Coronavirus infections followed a seasonal pattern peaking from December to March and plunged from July to September. The seasonal effect was less pronounced in immunosuppressed patients compared to immunocompetent patients. Different automatic variable selection processes agreed on selecting the predictors temperature, relative humidity, cloud cover and precipitation as remaining predictors in the multivariable logistic regression model, including all weather factors, with low ambient temperature, low relative humidity, high cloud cover and high precipitation being linked to increased coronavirus detection rates. CONCLUSIONS: Coronavirus infections followed a seasonal pattern, which was more pronounced in immunocompetent patients compared to immunosuppressed patients. Several meteorological factors were associated with the coronavirus detection rate. However, when mutually adjusting for all weather factors, only temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and cloud cover contributed independently to predicting the coronavirus detection rate.

8.
Pathogens ; 10(2):187, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1074228

ABSTRACT

Background: Seasonality is a characteristic of some respiratory viruses. The aim of our study was to evaluate the seasonality and the potential effects of different meteorological factors on the detection rate of the non-SARS coronavirus detection by PCR. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 12,763 respiratory tract sample results (288 positive and 12,475 negative) for non-SARS, non-MERS coronaviruses (NL63, 229E, OC43, HKU1). The effect of seven single weather factors on the coronavirus detection rate was fitted in a logistic regression model with and without adjusting for other weather factors. Results: Coronavirus infections followed a seasonal pattern peaking from December to March and plunged from July to September. The seasonal effect was less pronounced in immunosuppressed patients compared to immunocompetent patients. Different automatic variable selection processes agreed on selecting the predictors temperature, relative humidity, cloud cover and precipitation as remaining predictors in the multivariable logistic regression model, including all weather factors, with low ambient temperature, low relative humidity, high cloud cover and high precipitation being linked to increased coronavirus detection rates. Conclusions: Coronavirus infections followed a seasonal pattern, which was more pronounced in immunocompetent patients compared to immunosuppressed patients. Several meteorological factors were associated with the coronavirus detection rate. However, when mutually adjusting for all weather factors, only temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and cloud cover contributed independently to predicting the coronavirus detection rate.

9.
Dig Dis ; 39(1): 52-57, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039935

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Abnormal liver function has been reported in patients with COVID-19 infection. The aim of our study was to report on the prevalence of liver injury in our cohort, to evaluate the association of mild versus severe liver injury with mortality in COVID-19 patients and to scrutinize the temporal pattern of viral detection and liver injury. METHODS: We present data from a German cohort of 147 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. The patients were divided into 3 groups according to their liver status during treatment. The first group included patients without elevated alanine aminotransferase or bilirubin, the third group patients meeting the biochemical criteria of acute liver failure (ALF), and the second group all other patients. RESULTS: Liver injury was detected in 75 (50.7%) and 93 (63%) patients by admission and during treatment, respectively. ALF was associated with the male sex, younger age, and higher BMI. Mortality was associated with the presence of ALF (OR = 9.423, 95% CI: 2.410-36.858) in contrast to milder liver injury (OR 1.101, 95% CI: 0.435-2.791). In 30% of patients with mild liver injury and in 50% of ALF patients, peak liver injury was observed at a time point when the virus was no longer detectable in the respiratory tract. CONCLUSION: Mild liver injury was not associated with worse outcome in our cohort, and the pattern of liver injury did not fit well to the theory of SARS-CoV-2 directly causing liver impairment. Instead, severe liver injury in our cohort was associated multiple-organ failure and acute vascular events.


Subject(s)
Alanine Transaminase/blood , Bilirubin/blood , COVID-19 , Liver Failure, Acute , Liver Function Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , Correlation of Data , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Liver Failure, Acute/blood , Liver Failure, Acute/epidemiology , Liver Failure, Acute/etiology , Liver Failure, Acute/virology , Liver Function Tests/methods , Liver Function Tests/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Severity of Illness Index
10.
J Med Virol ; 93(5): 2848-2856, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-954063

ABSTRACT

During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), reliable diagnostics are absolutely indispensable. Molecular SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics based on nucleic acids (NA) derived from oro- or nasopharyngeal swabs constitute the current gold standard. Given the importance of test results, it is crucial to assess the quality of the underlying swab samples and NA extraction procedures. We determined NA concentrations in clinical samples used for SARS-CoV-2 testing applying an NA-specific dye. In comparison to cut-offs defined by SARS-CoV-2-positive samples, internal positive controls, and references from a federal laboratory, 90.85% (923 of 1016) of swabs contained NA concentrations enabling SARS-CoV-2 recognition. Swabs collected by local health authorities and the central emergency department either had significantly higher NA concentrations or were less likely to exhibit insufficient quality, arguing in favor of sampling centers with routined personnel. Interestingly, samples taken from females had significantly higher NA concentrations than those from males. Among eight longitudinal patient sample sets with intermitting negative quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction results, two showed reduced NA concentrations in negative specimens. The herein described fluorescence-based NA quantification approach is immediately applicable to evaluate swab qualities, optimize sampling strategies, identify patient-specific differences, and explain some peculiar test results including intermittent negative samples with low NA concentrations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Specimen Handling/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Child , Child, Preschool , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Quality Control , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Young Adult
11.
Front Immunol ; 11: 573526, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-902401

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently the most pressing medical and socioeconomic challenge. Constituting important correlates of protection, the determination of virus-neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) is indispensable for convalescent plasma selection, vaccine candidate evaluation, and immunity certificates. In contrast to standard serological ELISAs, plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNTs) are laborious, time-consuming, expensive, and restricted to specialized laboratories. To replace microscopic counting-based SARS-CoV-2 PRNTs by a novel assay exempt from genetically modified viruses, which are inapplicable in most diagnostics departments, we established a simple, rapid, and automated SARS-CoV-2 neutralization assay employing an in-cell ELISA (icELISA) approach. After optimization of various parameters such as virus-specific antibodies, cell lines, virus doses, and duration of infection, SARS-CoV-2-infected cells became amenable as direct antigen source for quantitative icELISA. Antiviral agents such as human sera containing NAbs or antiviral interferons dose dependently reduced the SARS-CoV-2-specific signal. Applying increased infectious doses, the icELISA-based neutralization test (icNT) was superior to PRNT in discriminating convalescent sera with high from those with intermediate neutralizing capacities. In addition, the icNT was found to be specific, discriminating between SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs and those raised against other coronaviruses. Altogether, the SARS-CoV-2 icELISA test allows rapid (<48 h in total, read-out in seconds) and automated quantification of virus infection in cell culture to evaluate the efficacy of NAbs and antiviral drugs using reagents and equipment present in most routine diagnostics departments.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/immunology
13.
J Med Virol ; 93(6): 3955-3959, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-812706

ABSTRACT

Data about the diagnostic efficiency of bilateral bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples and endotracheal aspirates (EA) testing for common viral respiratory infections are scarce. We analyzed data from 167 cases, where bilateral BAL samples were tested, and from 101 cases, where BAL samples and EA were tested. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed with the fast track diagnostics viral respiratory panel, producing data on the adenovirus, coronavirus, enterovirus, human metapneumovirus, bocavirus, influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, rhinovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus status of patients with respiratory disease symptoms. In the bilateral BAL cohort, 46 (27.5%) cases were positive for at least one of the viruses mentioned above in both samples. Discrepant results (virus not detected on one side) were seen in six (3.6%) cases. In the BAL versus EA cohort, 12 (11.9%) cases were positive in both materials, discrepant results (only one material being positive) were observed in 11 (10.9%) cases, with seven (63.6%) BAL samples, and four (36.4%) EA being positive. Bilateral sampling does not significantly improve the diagnostic efficiency of BAL for the detection of common respiratory viral pathogens via PCR. The diagnostic quality of EA and BAL samples for the detection of common viral respiratory pathogens is comparable.


Subject(s)
Bronchoalveolar Lavage/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Virus Diseases/diagnosis , Virus Diseases/virology , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods
14.
J Clin Virol ; 128: 104437, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245530

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a severe respiratory manifestation, COVID-19, and presents a challenge for healthcare systems worldwide. Healthcare workers are a vulnerable cohort for SARS-CoV-2 infection due to frequent and close contact to patients with COVID-19. STUDY DESIGN: Serum samples from 316 healthcare workers of the University Hospital Essen, Germany were tested for SARS-CoV-2-IgG antibodies. A questionnaire was used to collect demographic and clinical data. Healthcare workers were grouped depending on the frequency of contact to COVID-19 patients in high-risk-group (n = 244) with daily contact to known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, intermediated-risk-group (n = 37) with daily contact to patients without known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection at admission and low-risk-group (n = 35) without patient contact. RESULTS: In 5 of 316 (1.6 %) healthcare workers SARS-CoV-2-IgG antibodies could be detected. The seroprevalence was higher in the intermediate-risk-group vs. high-risk-group (2/37 (5.4 %) vs. 3/244 (1.2 %), p = 0.13). Four of the five subject were tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 via PCR. One (20 %) subject was not tested via PCR since he was asymptomatic. CONCLUSION: The overall seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers of a tertiary hospital in Germany is low (1.6 %). The data indicate that the local hygiene standard might be effective.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Tertiary Care Centers
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