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2.
Children (Basel) ; 9(2)2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715141

ABSTRACT

Hand hygiene is a cornerstone of infection prevention. However, few data are available for school children on their knowledge of infectious diseases and their prevention. The aim of the study was to develop and apply a standardized questionnaire for children when visiting primary schools to survey their knowledge about infectious diseases, pathogen transmission and prevention measures. Enrolling thirteen German primary schools, 493 questionnaires for grade three primary school children were included for further analyses, comprising 257 (52.1%) girls and 236 (47.9%) boys with an age range of 8-11 years. Out of 489 children, 91.2% participants indicated that they knew about human-to-human transmissible diseases. Of these, 445 children responded in detail, most frequently mentioning respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, followed by childhood diseases. Addressing putative hygiene awareness-influencing factors, it was worrisome that more than 40.0% of the children avoided visiting the sanitary facilities at school. Most of the children (82.9%) noted that they did not like to use the sanitary facilities at school because of their uncleanliness and the poor hygienic behavior of their classmates. In conclusion, basic infection awareness exists already in primary school age children. Ideas about the origin and prevention of infections are retrievable, however, this knowledge is not always accurate and adequately contextualized. Since the condition of sanitary facilities has a strong influence on usage behavior, the child's perspective should be given more consideration in the design and maintenance of sanitary facilities.

3.
Clin Oral Investig ; 26(5): 3965-3974, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616158

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: During the corona pandemic, dental practices temporarily closed their doors to patients except for emergency treatments. Due to the daily occupational exposure, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among dentists and their team is presumed to be higher than that in the general population. This study examined this issue among dental teams across Germany. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In total, 2784 participants provided usable questionnaires and dry blood samples. Dry blood samples were used to detect IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. The questionnaires were analyzed to investigate demographic data and working conditions during the pandemic. Multivariable logistic mixed-effects models were applied. RESULTS: We observed 146 participants with positive SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies (5.2%) and 30 subjects with a borderline finding (1.1%). Seventy-four out of the 146 participants with SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies did not report a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test (50.7%), while 27 participants without SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies reported a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test (1.1%). Combining the laboratory and self-reported information, the number of participants with a SARS-CoV-2 infection was 179 (6.5%). Though after adjustment for region, mixed-effects models indicated associations of use of rubber dams (OR 1.65; 95% CI: 1.01-2.72) and the number of protective measures (OR 1.16; 95% CI: 1.01-1.34) with increased risk for positive SARS-CoV-2 status, none of those variables was significantly associated with a SARS-CoV-2 status in fully adjusted models. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission was not higher among the dental team compared to the general population. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Following hygienic regulations and infection control measures ensures the safety of the dental team and their patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Prevalence
4.
Blood ; 138(4): 299-303, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228983

ABSTRACT

Vaccination using the adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) has been associated with rare vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT). Affected patients test strongly positive in platelet factor 4 (PF4)/polyanion enzyme immunoassays (EIAs), and serum-induced platelet activation is maximal in the presence of PF4. We determined the frequency of anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies in healthy vaccinees and assessed whether PF4/polyanion EIA+ sera exhibit platelet-activating properties after vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (n = 138) or BNT162b2 (BioNTech/Pfizer; n = 143). In total, 19 of 281 participants tested positive for anti-PF4/polyanion antibodies postvaccination (All: 6.8% [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.4-10.3]; BNT162b2: 5.6% [95% CI, 2.9-10.7]; ChAdOx1 nCoV-19: 8.0% [95% CI, 4.5% to 13.7%]). Optical densities were mostly low (between 0.5 and 1.0 units; reference range, <0.50), and none of the PF4/polyanion EIA+ samples induced platelet activation in the presence of PF4. We conclude that positive PF4/polyanion EIAs can occur after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 vaccination with both messenger RNA- and adenoviral vector-based vaccines, but many of these antibodies likely have minor (if any) clinical relevance. Accordingly, low-titer positive PF4/polyanion EIA results should be interpreted with caution when screening asymptomatic individuals after vaccination against COVID-19. Pathogenic platelet-activating antibodies that cause VITT do not occur commonly following vaccination.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Polyelectrolytes , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/etiology , Vaccination/adverse effects , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , Autoantibodies/blood , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Activation , Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic/immunology , Seroconversion , Thrombophilia/etiology
5.
Blood ; 137(26): 3656-3659, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1215090

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is crucial in combatting the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic. The rare complication of thrombocytopenia and thrombotic complications at unusual sites after ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccination is caused by platelet-activating antibodies directed against platelet factor 4 (PF4). We present a widely applicable whole-blood standard flow cytometric assay to identify the pathogenic antibodies associated with vaccine-induced immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccination. This assay will enable rapid diagnosis by many laboratories. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT04370119.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Flow Cytometry/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Platelet Activation/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/diagnosis , Receptors, IgG/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/adverse effects , Antibody Specificity , Autoantibodies/biosynthesis , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Heparin/adverse effects , Heparin/immunology , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , P-Selectin/analysis , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology
6.
Genome Med ; 12(1): 113, 2020 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-964565

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae are a major cause of hospital- and community-acquired infections, including sepsis, liver abscess, and pneumonia, driven mainly by the emergence of successful high-risk clonal lineages. The K. pneumoniae sequence type (ST) 307 lineage has appeared in several different parts of the world after first being described in Europe in 2008. From June to October 2019, we recorded an outbreak of an extensively drug-resistant ST307 lineage in four medical facilities in north-eastern Germany. METHODS: Here, we investigated these isolates and those from subsequent cases in the same facilities. We performed whole-genome sequencing to study phylogenetics, microevolution, and plasmid transmission, as well as phenotypic experiments including growth curves, hypermucoviscosity, siderophore secretion, biofilm formation, desiccation resilience, serum survival, and heavy metal resistance for an in-depth characterization of this outbreak clone. RESULTS: Phylogenetics suggest a homogenous phylogram with several sub-clades containing either isolates from only one patient or isolates originating from different patients, suggesting inter-patient transmission. We identified three large resistance plasmids, carrying either NDM-1, CTX-M-15, or OXA-48, which K. pneumoniae ST307 likely donated to other K. pneumoniae isolates of different STs and even other bacterial species (e.g., Enterobacter cloacae) within the clinical settings. Several chromosomally and plasmid-encoded, hypervirulence-associated virulence factors (e.g., yersiniabactin, metabolite transporter, aerobactin, and heavy metal resistance genes) were identified in addition. While growth, biofilm formation, desiccation resilience, serum survival, and heavy metal resistance were comparable to several control strains, results from siderophore secretion and hypermucoviscosity experiments revealed superiority of the ST307 clone, similar to an archetypical, hypervirulent K. pneumoniae strain (hvKP1). CONCLUSIONS: The combination of extensive drug resistance and virulence, partly conferred through a "mosaic" plasmid carrying both antibiotic resistance and hypervirulence-associated features, demonstrates serious public health implications.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Drug Resistance, Bacterial/genetics , Iron/metabolism , Klebsiella Infections/microbiology , Klebsiella pneumoniae/drug effects , Klebsiella pneumoniae/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Biofilms/growth & development , Disease Outbreaks , Genes, Bacterial/genetics , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Klebsiella Infections/epidemiology , Klebsiella pneumoniae/classification , Klebsiella pneumoniae/growth & development , Phylogeny , Plasmids , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Virulence/drug effects , Virulence/genetics , Virulence Factors/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing
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