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JAMA Netw Open ; 4(10): e2128615, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453504


Importance: The number of clinics marketing stem cell products for joint diseases, chronic pain, and most recently, COVID-19, has increased despite warnings from the US Food and Drug Administration that stem cell products for these and other indications have not been proven safe or effective. Objective: To examine bacterial infections in 20 patients who received umbilical cord blood-derived products marketed as stem cell treatment. Design, Setting, and Participants: This case series is a national public health investigation including case-finding, medical record review and abstraction, and laboratory investigation, including sterility testing of products and whole-genome sequencing of patient and product isolates. Participants included patients who developed bacterial infections following administration of umbilical cord blood-derived products marketed as stem cell treatment during August 2017 to September 2018. Data analysis was performed from March 2019 to September 2021. Exposures: Umbilical cord blood-derived products marketed as stem cell treatment. Main Outcomes and Measures: Data were collected on patient infections and exposures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention performed sterility testing on undistributed and distributed vials of product marketed as stem cell treatment and performed whole-genome sequencing to compare patient and product bacterial isolates. Results: Culture-confirmed bacterial infections were identified in 20 patients (median [range] age, 63 [2-89] years; 13 male patients [65%]) from 8 US states who sought stem cell treatment for conditions including pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and injury; all but 1 required hospitalization. The most frequently isolated bacteria from patients with infections were common enteric species, including Escherichia coli (14 patients) and Enterobacter cloacae (7 patients). Of unopened, undistributed products sampled for testing, 65% (22 of 34 vials) were contaminated with at least 1 of 16 bacterial species, mostly enteric. A patient isolate from Arizona matched isolates obtained from products administered to patients in Florida, and patient isolates from Texas matched undistributed product sent from the company in California. Conclusions and Relevance: Unapproved stem cell products can expose patients to serious risks without proven benefit. Sequencing results suggest a common source of extensive contamination, likely occurring during the processing of cord blood into product. Patients and health care practitioners who are considering the use of unapproved products marketed as stem cell treatment should be aware of their unproven benefits and potential risks, including serious infections.

Bacterial Infections/etiology , Blood Safety/statistics & numerical data , Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Disease Outbreaks , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , Bacterial Infections/prevention & control , Blood Safety/standards , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Child , Child, Preschool , Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation/standards , Female , Humans , Male , Marketing , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Public Health Surveillance , United States/epidemiology , United States Food and Drug Administration , Young Adult
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(3): ofab048, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135878


BACKGROUND: To estimate the infectious period of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in older adults with underlying conditions, we assessed duration of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) positivity, and culture positivity among nursing home residents. METHODS: We enrolled residents within 15 days of their first positive SARS-CoV-2 test (diagnosis) at an Arkansas facility from July 7 to 15, 2020 and instead them for 42 days. Every 3 days for 21 days and then weekly, we assessed COVID-19 symptoms, collected specimens (oropharyngeal, anterior nares, and saliva), and reviewed medical charts. Blood for serology was collected on days 0, 6, 12, 21, and 42. Infectivity was defined by positive culture. Duration of culture positivity was compared with duration of COVID-19 symptoms and RT-PCR positivity. Data were summarized using measures of central tendency, frequencies, and proportions. RESULTS: We enrolled 17 of 39 (44%) eligible residents. Median participant age was 82 years (range, 58-97 years). All had ≥3 underlying conditions. Median duration of RT-PCR positivity was 22 days (interquartile range [IQR], 8-31 days) from diagnosis; median duration of symptoms was 42 days (IQR, 28-49 days). Of 9 (53%) participants with any culture-positive specimens, 1 (11%) severely immunocompromised participant remained culture-positive 19 days from diagnosis; 8 of 9 (89%) were culture-positive ≤8 days from diagnosis. Seroconversion occurred in 12 of 12 (100%) surviving participants with ≥1 blood specimen; all participants were culture-negative before seroconversion. CONCLUSIONS: Duration of infectivity was considerably shorter than duration of symptoms and RT-PCR positivity. Severe immunocompromise may prolong SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Seroconversion indicated noninfectivity in this cohort.