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1.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1939013

ABSTRACT

The increased incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Spain in March 2020 led to the declaration by the Spanish government of a state of emergency imposing strict confinement measures on the population. The objective of this study was to characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiota of children and adults and its relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity during the pandemic lockdown in Spain. This cross-sectional study included family households located in metropolitan Barcelona, Spain, with one adult with a previous confirmed COVID-19 episode and one or more exposed co-habiting child contacts. Nasopharyngeal swabs were used to determine SARS-CoV-2 infection status, characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiota and determine common respiratory DNA/RNA viral co-infections. A total of 173 adult cases and 470 exposed children were included. Overall, a predominance of Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum and a limited abundance of common pathobionts including Haemophilus and Streptococcus were found both among adults and children. Children with current SARS-CoV-2 infection presented higher bacterial richness and increased Fusobacterium, Streptococcus and Prevotella abundance than non-infected children. Among adults, persistent SARS-CoV-2 RNA was associated with an increased abundance of an unclassified member of the Actinomycetales order. COVID-19 severity was associated with increased Staphylococcus and reduced Dolosigranulum abundance. The stringent COVID-19 lockdown in Spain had a significant impact on the nasopharyngeal microbiota of children, reflected in the limited abundance of common respiratory pathobionts and the predominance of Corynebacterium, regardless of SARS-CoV-2 detection. COVID-19 severity in adults was associated with decreased nasopharynx levels of healthy commensal bacteria.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Microbiota , Viruses , Adult , Bacteria/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Microbiota/genetics , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Streptococcus , Viruses/genetics
2.
Med Sci Educ ; 32(2): 337-347, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712385

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a decreed confinement in Spain from March until the end of term in June 2020, forcing an abrupt transition to exclusive distance learning in universities. We aimed to describe and analyze the perceptions and experiences of undergraduate medical students and faculty members as a consequence of this educational shift so as to identify the key elements for successful online medical learning. Methods: A convergent mixed methods design was employed, using both quantitative and qualitative data collected successively through Phase 1: Online teaching follow-up program; Phase 2: Discussion groups (two focus groups and a nominal group with students and faculty, respectively) and a survey of students from first to fifth year; and Phase 3: Triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data. Results: Thirteen strongly interconnected categories were identified. Four of them played an organizational role: course planning, coordination, communication, and pedagogical coherence. The remaining nine categories were learning outcomes, teaching methodology, online resources, evaluation, time management, workload, student motivation, participation, and teacher-student relationship. Among the key aspects of learning were those that promoted rapport between faculty and students, such as synchronous sessions, especially those based on clinical cases. Conclusions: Promoting student motivation and participation at all levels were the main lessons learned for enhancing online learning and teaching experiences in undergraduate medical education. Key elements to reach this goal are, among others, planning, coordination, communication, and pedagogical coherence. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s40670-022-01518-9.

3.
Medical science educator ; : 1-11, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1695189

ABSTRACT

Introduction The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a decreed confinement in Spain from March until the end of term in June 2020, forcing an abrupt transition to exclusive distance learning in universities. We aimed to describe and analyze the perceptions and experiences of undergraduate medical students and faculty members as a consequence of this educational shift so as to identify the key elements for successful online medical learning. Methods A convergent mixed methods design was employed, using both quantitative and qualitative data collected successively through Phase 1: Online teaching follow-up program;Phase 2: Discussion groups (two focus groups and a nominal group with students and faculty, respectively) and a survey of students from first to fifth year;and Phase 3: Triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data. Results Thirteen strongly interconnected categories were identified. Four of them played an organizational role: course planning, coordination, communication, and pedagogical coherence. The remaining nine categories were learning outcomes, teaching methodology, online resources, evaluation, time management, workload, student motivation, participation, and teacher-student relationship. Among the key aspects of learning were those that promoted rapport between faculty and students, such as synchronous sessions, especially those based on clinical cases. Conclusions Promoting student motivation and participation at all levels were the main lessons learned for enhancing online learning and teaching experiences in undergraduate medical education. Key elements to reach this goal are, among others, planning, coordination, communication, and pedagogical coherence. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s40670-022-01518-9.

4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(1): 66-73, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the role of children in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is critical to guide decision-making for schools in the pandemic. We aimed to describe the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children and adult staff in summer schools. METHODS: During July 2020, we prospectively recruited children and adult staff attending summer schools in Barcelona who had SARS-CoV-2 infection. Primary SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified through (1) a surveillance program in 22 summer schools of 1905 participants, involving weekly saliva sampling for SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) during 2-5 weeks; and (2) cases identified through the Catalonian Health Surveillance System of children diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. All centers followed prevention protocols: bubble groups, handwashing, face masks, and conducting activities mostly outdoors. Contacts of a primary case within the same bubble were evaluated by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. Secondary attack rates and the effective reproduction number in summer schools (Re*) were calculated. RESULTS: Among the >2000 repeatedly screened participants, 30 children and 9 adults were identified as primary cases. A total of 253 close contacts of these primary cases were studied (median, 9 [interquartile range, 5-10] for each primary case), among which 12 new cases (4.7%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The Re* was 0.3, whereas the contemporary rate in the general population from the same areas in Barcelona was 1.9. CONCLUSIONS: The transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children attending school-like facilities under strict prevention measures was lower than that reported for the general population. This suggests that under preventive measures schools are unlikely amplifiers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, supporting current recommendations for school opening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Spain/epidemiology
5.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0259318, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496537

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiota of infants with possible and confirmed pertussis compared to healthy controls. METHODS: This prospective study included all infants <1 year with microbiologically confirmed diagnosis of pertussis attended at a University Hospital over a 12-month period. For each confirmed case, up to 2 consecutive patients within the same age range and meeting the clinical case definition of pertussis but testing PCR-negative were included as possible cases. A third group of asymptomatic infants (healthy controls) were also included. Nasopharyngeal microbiota was characterized by sequencing the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Common respiratory DNA/RNA viral co-infection was tested by multiplex PCR. RESULTS: Twelve confirmed cases, 21 possible cases and 9 healthy controls were included. Confirmed whooping cough was primarily driven by detection of Bordetella with no other major changes on nasopharyngeal microbiota. Possible cases had limited abundance or absence of Bordetella and a distinctive microbiota with lower bacterial richness and diversity and higher rates of viral co-infection than both confirmed cases and healthy controls. Bordetella reads determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing were found in all 12 confirmed cases (100%), 3 out of the 21 possible cases (14.3%) but in any healthy control. CONCLUSION: This study supports the usefulness of 16S rRNA gene sequencing for improved sensitivity on pertussis diagnosis compared to real-time PCR and to understand other microbial changes occurring in the nasopharynx in children <1 year old with suspected whooping cough compared to healthy controls.


Subject(s)
Microbiota , Whooping Cough/microbiology , Bordetella/genetics , Bordetella/isolation & purification , Bordetella/pathogenicity , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Nasal Cavity/microbiology , Pharynx/microbiology , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , Whooping Cough/diagnosis
6.
J Infect ; 82(3): 414-451, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386002

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study describes the characteristics of children requiring admission with an acute lower-respiratory disease (ALRD) during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemics. METHODS: Epidemiological, clinical, and microbiological data from patients with ALRD (pneumonia, bronchiolitis, bronchospasm) admitted to a reference paediatric hospital in Spain during the pandemic peak (week 11-20/2020) were prospectively analysed. RESULTS: 110 patients were included. 7 were SARS-CoV-2(+) and they were older in comparison to SARS-CoV-2(-). Among SARS-CoV-2(+) patients, pneumonia was the main clinical diagnosis (6/7) and bronchospasm was absent. Only 1 of 29 infants diagnosed with bronchiolitis was SARS-CoV-2(+). Lower values of leucocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and platelets and higher values of creatinine were found in SARS-CoV-2(+). Human-rhinovirus/enterovirus was the main detection (11/32). There were not differences in PICU admission rates between SARS-CoV-2(+) and (-). CONCLUSIONS: Most of the ALRD episodes identified during the pandemics were not related to SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 was mainly found causing pneumonia in older children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Spain/epidemiology
7.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355050

ABSTRACT

We aimed to assess the duration of nasopharyngeal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA persistence in adults self-confined at home after acute infection; and to identify the associations of SARS-CoV-2 persistence with respiratory virus co-detection and infection transmission. A cross-sectional intra-household study was conducted in metropolitan Barcelona (Spain) during the time period of April to June 2020. Every adult who was the first family member reported as SARS-CoV-2-positive by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) as well as their household child contacts had nasopharyngeal swabs tested by a targeted SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and a multiplex viral respiratory panel after a 15 day minimum time lag. Four-hundred and four households (404 adults and 708 children) were enrolled. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 137 (33.9%) adults and 84 (11.9%) children. Rhinovirus/Enterovirus (RV/EV) was commonly found (83.3%) in co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 in adults. The mean duration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA presence in adults' nasopharynx was 52 days (range 26-83 days). The persistence of SARS-CoV-2 was significantly associated with RV/EV co-infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 9.31; 95% CI 2.57-33.80) and SARS-CoV-2 detection in child contacts (aOR 2.08; 95% CI 1.24-3.51). Prolonged nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RNA persistence beyond the acute infection phase was frequent in adults quarantined at home during the first epidemic wave; which was associated with RV/EV co-infection and could enhance intra-household infection transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection , Enterovirus Infections/complications , Picornaviridae Infections/complications , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enterovirus/genetics , Enterovirus/isolation & purification , Family Health , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Quarantine , RNA, Viral/analysis , Rhinovirus/genetics , Rhinovirus/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Time Factors , Young Adult
8.
Int J Infect Dis ; 110: 363-370, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328748

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To validate and implement an optimized screening method for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA combining use of self-collected raw saliva samples, single-step heat-treated virus inactivation and RNA extraction, and direct RT-qPCR. METHODS: This was a three-phase study conducted in Barcelona (Spain) during June to October, 2020. The three phases were (1) analytical validation against standard RT-qPCR in saliva samples; (2) diagnostic validation against standard RT-qPCR using paired saliva-nasopharyngeal samples obtained from asymptomatic teenagers and adults in a sports academy; and (3) pilot screening of asymptomatic health workers in a tertiary hospital. RESULTS: In phase 1, the detection yield of the new method was comparable to that of standard RT-qPCR. In phase 2, the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity values in 303 self-collected saliva samples were 95.7% (95% confidence interval 79.0-99.2%) and 100.0% (95% confidence interval 98.6-100.0%), respectively. In phase 3, only 17 (0.6%) of the saliva samples self-collected by 2709 participants without supervision were invalid. The rapid analytical workflow with the new method (up to 384 batched samples could be processed in less than 2 hours) yielded 24 (0.9%) positive results in the remaining 2692 saliva samples. Paired nasopharyngeal specimens were all positive by standard RT-qPCR. CONCLUSIONS: Direct RT-qPCR on self-collected raw saliva is a simple, rapid, and accurate method with potential to be scaled up for enhanced SARS-CoV-2 community-wide screening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Saliva , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(12): e970-e977, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269552

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Susceptibility of children and adults to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and persistence of antibody response to the virus after infection resolution remain poorly understood, despite their significant public health implications. METHODS: A prospective cross-sectional seroprevalence study with volunteer families that included at least 1 first-reported adult case positive by SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and at least 1 child aged <15 years living in the same household under strict home confinement was conducted in the metropolitan Barcelona Health Region, Spain, during the pandemic period 28 April 2020-3 June 2020. All household members were tested at home using a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antibody assay with finger prick-obtained capillary blood. RESULTS: A total of 381 family households including 381 first-reported PCR-positive adult cases and 1084 contacts (672 children, 412 adults) were enrolled. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates were 17.6% (118 of 672) in children and 18.7% (77 of 335) in adult contacts (P = .64). Among first-reported cases, seropositivity rates varied from 84.0% in adults previously hospitalized and tested within 6 weeks since the first positive PCR result to 31.5% in those not hospitalized and tested after that lag time (P < .001). Nearly all (99.9%) positive children were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Children appear to have similar probability as adults to become infected by SARS-CoV-2 in quarantined family households but remain largely asymptomatic. Adult antibody protection against SARS-CoV-2 seems to be weak beyond 6 weeks post-infection confirmation, especially in cases that have experienced mild disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Prospective Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain/epidemiology
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