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1.
COVID ; 2(6):752-758, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1884035

ABSTRACT

Background: Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 testing are rapid and inexpensive but usually have lower sensitivity than RT-qPCR and are only validated for nasopharyngeal/throat swabs;the latter are considered the gold standard in terms of material collection but are not tolerated by patients with frequent sampling. The present study, therefore, investigates the extent to which SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing is comparable to RT-qPCR from an easily obtained gargle solution compared to nasopharyngeal swabs. Methods: The performance of a high-quality POC fluorescence immune antigen test in single nasal swab samples and gargle samples compared to RT-qPCR was investigated (total n = 620 samples (gargle samples = 309, and nasal swabs = 311)). Findings: In our setting, the detection of SARS-CoV2 with an antigen test was reliable up to a Ct value of 30 for single nasal swab samples and was reduced to Ct:20 for single gargle samples. The overall antigen-test sensitivity is 83.92% (swab samples) and 75.72% (gargle samples). Interpretation: Antigen tests showed reliable results up to a detection limit of Ct: 30 with only nasal swab samples but not gargle samples. If the use of gargle samples is preferred due to their advantages, such as painless testing, easy handling, and the lack of a need to involve trained personnel for sample taking, reliable results can only be achieved with RT-qPCR.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314910

ABSTRACT

Background: Children are affected rather mildly by the acute phase of COVID-19, but predominantly in children and youths, the potentially severe and life threatening pediatric multiorgan immune syndrome (PMIS) occurs later on. To identify children at risk early on, we searched for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and searched for early and mild symptoms of PMIS in those with high levels of antibodies. Methods: In a cross-sectional design, children aged 1-17 were recruited through primary care pediatricians for the study (a), if they had an appointment for a regular health check-up or (b), or if parents and children volunteered to participate in the study. Two antibody tests were performed in parallel and children with antibody levels >97th percentile (in the commercially available test) were screened for signs and symptoms of PMIS and SARS-CoV-2 neutralization tests were performed. Results: We identified antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in 162 of 2832 eligible children (5.7%) between June and July 2020 in three, in part strongly affected regions of Bavaria. Approximately 60% of antibody positive children showed high levels of antibodies. In those who participated in the follow up screening, 30% showed some mild and minor symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and in three children, cardiac and neuropsychological symptoms were identified. Symptoms correlated with high levels of non-neutralizing and concomitantly low levels of neutralizing antibodies and lower neutralizing capacity. Conclusions: Children exposed to SARS-CoV-2 should be screened for antibodies and those children with positive antibody responses should undergo a stepwise assessment for late COVID-19 effects.

3.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 678937, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477849

ABSTRACT

Background: Children and youth are affected rather mildly in the acute phase of COVID-19 and thus, SARS-CoV-2 infection infection may easily be overlooked. In the light of current discussions on the vaccinations of children it seems necessary to better identify children who are immune against SARS-CoV-2 due to a previous infection and to better understand COVID-19 related immune reactions in children. Methods: In a cross-sectional design, children aged 1-17 were recruited through primary care pediatricians for the study (a) randomly, if they had an appointment for a regular health check-up or (b) if parents and children volunteered and actively wanted to participate in the study. Symptoms were recorded and two antibody tests were performed in parallel directed against S (in house test) and N (Roche Elecsys) viral proteins. In children with antibody response in either test, neutralization activity was determined. Results: We identified antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in 162 of 2,832 eligible children (5.7%) between end of May and end of July 2020 in three, in part strongly affected regions of Bavaria in the first wave of the pandemic. Approximately 60% of antibody positive children (n = 97) showed high levels (>97th percentile) of antibodies against N-protein, and for the S-protein, similar results were found. Sufficient neutralizing activity was detected for only 135 antibody positive children (86%), irrespective of age and sex. Initial COVID-19 symptoms were unspecific in children except for the loss of smell and taste and unrelated to antibody responses or neutralization capacity. Approximately 30% of PCR positive children did not show seroconversion in our small subsample in which PCR tests were performed. Conclusions: Symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infections are unspecific in children and antibody responses show a dichotomous structure with strong responses in many and no detectable antibodies in PCR positive children and missing neutralization activity in a relevant proportion of the young population.

4.
J Clin Virol ; 130: 104575, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694356

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Currently, little is known about the progression of an immune response against SARSCoV- 2 upon infection or sub-infection-exposure over time. We examined the serologic response in healthcare workers up to 12 weeks after a well-documented and contained outbreak and compared results with findings from earlier serologic testing in the same population. METHODS: This study followed 166 health care workers of the University Perinatal Care Center, Regensburg, Germany, for up to 12 weeks. 27 of the subjects had previously tested positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 by PCR testing and developed COVID-19. Serologic responses were tested with two independent commercially available test kits. RESULTS: 77.8 % of COVID-19 study subjects developed a specific IgG-response over the course of the 12-week study, while none of the COVID-19 contact groups had a detectable IgG response. Amongst most COVID-19 patients the values of detectable IgG-responses significantly increased over time as confirmed with both tests, while that of positive IgA responses decreased. Between the number of reported symptoms and antibody responses in COVID-19 patients no correlation was found and no new cases of seroconversion were identified in asymptomatic coworkers with negative PCR during the outbreak. CONCLUSIONS: Immune response after COVID-19 increases significantly over time but still approximately 22 % of COVID-19 patients did not mount a measurable serologic immune response within 60 days. Exposed co-workers did not develop any relevant antibody levels at all. We conclude that immunity after infection increases over time, but the antibody response does not develop reliably in all infected people.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Germany , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion , Young Adult
5.
Pediatr Allergy Immunol ; 31(7): 841-847, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-273163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Worldwide, the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections is increasing. Serological immunoglobulin tests may help to better understand the development of immune mechanisms against SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 cases and exposed but asymptomatic individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate exposure to SARS-CoV-2, symptoms, and antibody responses in a large sample of healthcare workers following a COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: A COVID-19 outbreak among staff members of a major German children's and women's hospital was followed by massive RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 tests and provided the opportunity to study symptoms, chains of infection, and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses (IgG and IgA) by ELISA. Study participants were classified as COVID-19 cases, and persons with close, moderate, or no exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the clinical setting, respectively. RESULTS: Out of 201 study participants, 31 were COVID-19 cases. While most study participants experienced many symptoms indicative for SARS-CoV-2 infection, anosmia and coughing were remarkably more frequent in COVID-19 cases. Approximately 80% of COVID-19 cases developed some specific antibody response (IgA and IgG) approximately 3 weeks after onset of symptoms. Subjects in the non-COVID-19 groups had also elevated IgG (1.8%) and IgA values (7.6%) irrespective of contact history with cases. CONCLUSION: We found that a significant number of diseased did not develop relevant antibody responses three weeks after symptom onset. Our data also suggest that exposure to COVID-19 positive co-workers in a hospital setting is not leading to the development of measurable immune responses in a significant proportion of asymptomatic contact persons.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Outbreaks , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Asymptomatic Diseases , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Diseases/diagnosis , Occupational Diseases/epidemiology , Occupational Diseases/immunology , Occupational Diseases/virology , Occupational Exposure , Young Adult
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