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Euro Surveill ; 26(43)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547185


BackgroundIn the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, viral genomes are available at unprecedented speed, but spatio-temporal bias in genome sequence sampling precludes phylogeographical inference without additional contextual data.AimWe applied genomic epidemiology to trace SARS-CoV-2 spread on an international, national and local level, to illustrate how transmission chains can be resolved to the level of a single event and single person using integrated sequence data and spatio-temporal metadata.MethodsWe investigated 289 COVID-19 cases at a university hospital in Munich, Germany, between 29 February and 27 May 2020. Using the ARTIC protocol, we obtained near full-length viral genomes from 174 SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory samples. Phylogenetic analyses using the Auspice software were employed in combination with anamnestic reporting of travel history, interpersonal interactions and perceived high-risk exposures among patients and healthcare workers to characterise cluster outbreaks and establish likely scenarios and timelines of transmission.ResultsWe identified multiple independent introductions in the Munich Metropolitan Region during the first weeks of the first pandemic wave, mainly by travellers returning from popular skiing areas in the Alps. In these early weeks, the rate of presumable hospital-acquired infections among patients and in particular healthcare workers was high (9.6% and 54%, respectively) and we illustrated how transmission chains can be dissected at high resolution combining virus sequences and spatio-temporal networks of human interactions.ConclusionsEarly spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe was catalysed by superspreading events and regional hotspots during the winter holiday season. Genomic epidemiology can be employed to trace viral spread and inform effective containment strategies.

COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
Obes Med ; 25: 100358, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294094


AIMS: This study aimed to determine whether anthropometric markers of thoracic skeletal muscle and abdominal visceral fat tissue correlate with outcome parameters in critically ill COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We retrospectively analysed thoracic CT-scans of 67 patients in four ICUs at a university hospital. Thoracic skeletal muscle (total cross-sectional area (CSA); pectoralis muscle area (PMA)) and abdominal visceral fat tissue (VAT) were quantified using a semi-automated method. Point-biserial-correlation-coefficient, Spearman-correlation-coefficient, Wilcoxon rank-sum test and logistic regression were used to assess the correlation and test for differences between anthropometric parameters and death, ventilator- and ICU-free days and initial inflammatory laboratory values. RESULTS: Deceased patients had lower CSA and PMA values, but higher VAT values (p < 0.001). Male patients with higher CSA values had more ventilator-free days (p = 0.047) and ICU-free days (p = 0.017). Higher VAT/CSA and VAT/PMA values were associated with higher mortality (p < 0.001), but were negatively correlated with ICU length of stay in female patients only (p < 0.016). There was no association between anthropometric parameters and initial inflammatory biomarker levels. Logistic regression revealed no significant independent predictor for death. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that pathologic body composition assessed by planimetric measurements using thoracic CT-scans is associated with worse outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients.