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Oral Dis ; 2023 Feb 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2242728


OBJECTIVES: Growing evidence exists about post-COVID condition/syndrome as sequelae of Sars-CoV-2 infection in healed patients, possibly involving the lungs, brain, kidney, cardiovascular and neuromuscular system, as well the persistency of taste dysfunction. Such symptoms develop during or after infection and continue for more than 12 weeks with pathogenesis related to virus persistency but variable by organs or systems. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We recently observed six patients recovered from COVID-19 and with negative RT-PCR testing, showing oral mucosa lesions (mainly ulcers) overlapping those occurring in the acute phase, persisting up to 20 days and thus needing a biopsy with histological investigation and spike protein evaluation by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: We found epithelial ulceration, inflammatory infiltrate, vessels with increased diameter and flattened endothelium but no thrombi formation; also, we found a weak epithelial SARS-CoV-2 positivity limited to the basal/spinosum layers, progressively decreasing toward the periphery, and the intraepithelial lymphomonocytes, endothelium, and perivascular pericytes too. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can persist, as for other organs/systems, also in the oral epithelium/mucosa after the acute phase and can be responsible for lesions, although by a pathogenetic mechanism that should be better defined but certainly referable as the oral mucosa counterpart of post-COVID syndrome.

Oral Dis ; 2023 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2213788


OBJECTIVE: Oral lesions received increased attention as likely new signs or secondary manifestations of COVID-19. Therefore, we clinically examined oral cavity of patients with COVID-19 and investigated oral lesions and patient comorbidities as possible risk factors of COVID-19 disease outcome. METHODS: From January to March 2022, a prospective study was conducted by recruiting all COVID-19 patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and Respiratory Intensive Care Unit of Maxi-Emergencies Hospital in Bari, Italy. RESULTS: From the enrolled 103 COVID-19 patients, 46.6% were females and 53.4% were males. Findings show that risk of presenting with severe COVID-19 disease was higher in patients who developed oral lesions related to COVID-19 than those with no oral lesions (RR = 7.998, p = .002). Next, patients with concomitant autoimmune diseases were at higher risk of a negative COVID-19 disease outcome than those without comorbidities (OR = 8.838, p = .026). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19-related lesions of oral mucosa should not be ignored as they can be early and easily detectable signs of severe COVID-19 disease condition, thus, serving as a prevention measure for any potential unfortunate event. Findings of this study, without implying causation, offer a direction for future investigations that aim to confirm the presence of specific oral lesions in COVID-19 patients as signs of severe disease progression.

Pathogens ; 11(11)2022 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116076


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly become a significant threat to public health. However, among the Coronaviridae family members, there are other viruses that can also cause infections in humans. Among these, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) have posed significant threats to human health in the past. Other human pathogenic coronaviruses have been identified, and they are known to cause respiratory diseases with manifestations ranging from mild to severe. In this study, we evaluated the performance of a multiplex RT-rPCR specific to seven human pathogenic coronaviruses in mainly detecting SARS-CoV-2 directly from nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from suspected COVID-19 infected patients, while simultaneously detecting different human pathogenic coronaviruses in case these were also present. We tested 1195 clinical samples suspected of COVID-19 infection. The assay identified that 69% of the samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (1195), which was confirmed using another SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR kit available in our laboratory. None of these clinical samples were positive for SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV or HCoV. This means that during the endemic phase of COVID-19, infection with other human pathogenic coronaviruses, even the common cold coronavirus (HCoV), is very uncommon. Our study also confirmed that the multiplex RT-rPCR is a sensitive assay for detecting SARS-CoV-2 regardless of differences among the variants. This multiplex RT-rPCR is also time- and cost-saving and very easy to apply in the diagnostic laboratory due to its simple procedure and its stability in storage after preparation. These features make the assay a valuable approach in screening procedures for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other human pathogenic coronaviruses that could affect public health.

Biomedicines ; 10(10)2022 Sep 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043577


The secretion of IgG SARS-CoV-2 antispike antibodies after vaccination with BNT162b2 and the protection represent the response of the human organism to the viral vector symptomatic infections. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the immune reaction in health workers of the Polyclinic of Bari to identify the relationship of antispike titers with blood type, sex, age, and comorbidities. This prospective observational study (RENAISSANCE) had as its primary endpoint the assessment of serologic response to BNT162b2 at three blood titers: the first at 60 days after the second dose (3 February 2021); the second titer at 75 days after the first titer; and the third titer at 130 days after the second titer. Out of 230 enrolled staff members, all responded excellently to the mRna Pfizer (BNT162b) vaccine. Only one patient, 40 days after the second dose (3 February 2021), was positive on the swab control performed on 15 March 2021, although completely asymptomatic, and was negative on the subsequent molecular swab performed on 30 March 2021. All the patients responded to the mRNA Pfizer (BNT162b) vaccine with an antispike IgG level above 500 BAU/mL at the first antispike protein essay (60 days after the second dose on 3 April 2021); at the second titer (75 days after the first titer on 20 June 2021), 4 (1.7% of 230 enrolled) patients showed an antispike IgG level under 500 BAU/mL; at the third titer (130 days after the second titer on 30 June 2021, which means 9 months after the second dose), 37 (16.1% of 230 enrolled) patients showed an antispike IgG level under 500 BAU/mL. The data analysis demonstrated that patients belonging to blood group 0, regardless of their rhesus factor, showed the strongest level of antibodies compared to the other groups. No dependency was found between low antibodies level and sex or age. Molecular swab controls were performed every 15th of the month continuously. However, the enrolled patients' activity was at high risk because they carried out medical activities such as dental and surgical as well with droplets of water vaporized by the effect of turbines, piezosurgery. The vaccination campaign among health workers of the Policlinico of the University of Bari "Aldo Moro" led to an excellent serological response and the complete absence of COVID-19 incident cases, so the antibody response was excellent. The COVID-19 vaccine booster shot should be administered after 9 months and not without prompt antispike titer detection to assess if any sign of waning immunity is present in that specific patient.

Int J Mol Sci ; 23(15)2022 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969296


BACKGROUND: The recent COVID-19 pandemic produced a significant increase in cases and an emergency state was induced worldwide. The current knowledge about the COVID-19 disease concerning diagnoses, patient tracking, the treatment protocol, and vaccines provides a consistent contribution for the primary prevention of the viral infection and decreasing the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 disease. The aim of the present investigation was to produce a general overview about the current findings for the COVID-19 disease, SARS-CoV-2 interaction mechanisms with the host, therapies and vaccines' immunization findings. METHODS: A literature overview was produced in order to evaluate the state-of-art in SARS-CoV-2 diagnoses, prognoses, therapies, and prevention. RESULTS: Concerning to the interaction mechanisms with the host, the virus binds to target with its Spike proteins on its surface and uses it as an anchor. The Spike protein targets the ACE2 cell receptor and enters into the cells by using a special enzyme (TMPRSS2). Once the virion is quietly accommodated, it releases its RNA. Proteins and RNA are used in the Golgi apparatus to produce more viruses that are released. Concerning the therapies, different protocols have been developed in observance of the disease severity and comorbidity with a consistent reduction in the mortality rate. Currently, different vaccines are currently in phase IV but a remarkable difference in efficiency has been detected concerning the more recent SARS-CoV-2 variants. CONCLUSIONS: Among the many questions in this pandemic state, the one that recurs most is knowing why some people become more seriously ill than others who instead contract the infection as if it was a trivial flu. More studies are necessary to investigate the efficiency of the treatment protocols and vaccines for the more recent detected SARS-CoV-2 variant.

COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
J Clin Med ; 10(4)2021 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085068


The aim of this study is to report on the oral lesions detected in 123 patients diagnosed at the University Hospital of Bari from October 2020 to December 2020, focusing on the correlation of clinical and pathological features in order to purpose a new classification. METHODS: General and specialistic anamnesis were achieved and oral examination was performed. The following data were collected: age/gender, general symptoms and form of Covid-19, presence and features of taste disorders, day of appearance of the oral lesions, type and features of oral lesions and day of beginning of therapies. If ulcerative lesions did not heal, biopsy was performed. RESULTS: Many types of oral lesions were found and classified into four groups considering the timing of appearance and the start of the therapies. Early lesions in the initial stages of Covid-19 before the start of therapies was observed in 65.9% of the patients. In the histopathological analysis of four early lesions, thrombosis of small and middle size vessels was always noticed with necrosis of superficial tissues. CONCLUSION: The presence of oral lesions in early stages of Covid-19 could represent an initial sign of peripheral thrombosis, a warning sign of possible evolution to severe illness. This suggests that anticoagulant therapies should start as soon as possible.