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Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 651484, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430688


This study aimed to determine the specific cytokine profile in peripheral blood during the early onset of COVID-19 infection. This was a cross-sectional exploratory, single center study. A total of 55 plasma samples were studied. Serum samples of adults showing symptoms of COVID-19 infection who were tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection (CoV+, n=18) at the COVID-19 outpatient clinic of the Medical University of Vienna were screened for immune activation markers by Luminex technology. Additionally, age and gender-matched serum samples of patients displaying COVID-19 associated symptoms, but tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-, n=16) as well as healthy controls (HC, n=21) were analyzed. COVID-19 positive (CoV+) patients showed a specific upregulation of BLC (141; 74-189 pg/mL), SCD30 (273; 207-576 pg/mL), MCP-2 (18; 12-30 pg/mL) and IP-10 (37; 23-96 pg/mL), compared to patients with COVID19-like symptoms but negative PCR test (CoV-), BLC (61; 22-100 pg/mL), sCD30L (161; 120-210 pg/mL), MCP-2 (8; 5-12 pg/mL) and IP-10 (9; 6-12 pg/mL) and healthy controls (HC) (BLC 22; 11-36 pg/mL, sCD30 74; 39-108 pg/mL, MCP-2 6; 3-9. pg/mL, IP-10 = 8; 5-13). The markers APRIL, sIL-2R, IL7, MIF, MIP-1b, SCF, SDF-1a, sTNF-RII were elevated in both CoV+ and CoV- patient groups compared to healthy controls. HGF, MDC and VEGF-A were elevated in CoV- but not CoV+ compared to healthy controls. BLC, sCD30, MCP-2 and IP-10 are specifically induced during early stages of COVID-19 infection and might constitute attractive targets for early diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

COVID-19 , Biomarkers , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Aging Dis ; 12(3): 710-717, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315005


In December 2019, the People's Republic of China and the World Health Organization first reported on a cluster of pneumonia with an unknown cause. Nine months later more than 1.4 million people have died from COVID 19. In this work, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on five nursing homes in Austria, which cared for 889 residents in the first half of 2020, were examined. The research question was whether the measures taken were appropriate to prevent an outbreak within the individual facilities. To detect previously unrecognized infections, the present study evaluated the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in residents and employees of the nursing homes. Following the analysis of blood samples, the prospectively collected data was connected to data from screening examinations and data from contact tracing. The present study demonstrated an overall prevalence of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nursing homes of 3.7%. Whereas the prevalence in those facilities that have never been hit by an outbreak is 0%, the prevalence in those facilities with an outbreak is up to 4.9%. Neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 35 persons. A retrospective analysis of all 5 included nursing homes demonstrated that upon regular clinical screening in combination with PCRs an infection with SARS-COV-2 was detected in 66 residents and 24 employees from different professional groups. In only 25 of the 35 persons with neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 an infection was proven in advance. This study suggests that specific measures can prevent transmission within a health care facility. Nevertheless, the results also show that a risk reduction to 0% cannot be achieved. In preparation for further pandemic waves there is still the need to reduce the probability of a transmission in nursing homes with specific test strategies.