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1.
Am J Forensic Med Pathol ; 2022 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931961

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic involved several changes and difficulties in the work of forensic pathologists. Postmortem nasopharyngeal swabs for the diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection are recommended before an autopsy examination by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Autopsy examinations must not be performed for SARS-CoV-2 infection cases when airborne infection isolation rooms or other suitable spaces are unavailable. However, it has not yet been reported whether the presence of SARS-CoV-2 at a low viral load may be enough to infect and disseminate the contagion.Here, we report the case of a 67-year-old man found dead at home on November 9, 2020, and transferred immediately after to the Genova District Mortuary. As the first postmortem molecular nasopharyngeal swab resulted positive, a weekly sampling was carried until February 4, 2021. All the molecular tests were positive for SARS-CoV-2, including the last swab performed 87 days after the arrival of the corpse at the morgue. Virus isolation conducted on VERO E6 cells revealed no cytopathic effect indicating no viral replication as early as 18 days after the corpse's arrival at the morgue and until January 2021.Our findings suggest that the presence of the genome of SARS-CoV-2 at low viral load should not be considered a sign of an active infection but a trace of a remaining viral genome from a previous infection. Then, if the virus shows no replication activity, its molecular detection should not constitute a threat to public health. Further studies are required to establish the infection's potential and its correlation with viral load.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337875

ABSTRACT

Patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection have an overwhelming inflammatory response characterized by remarkable organs monocyte infiltration. We performed an immunophenotypic analysis on circulating monocytes in 19 COVID-19 patients in comparison with 11 naïve HIV-1 patients and 10 healthy subjects. Reduced frequency of classical monocytes and increased frequency of intermediate monocytes characterized COVID-19 patients with respect to both HIV naïve patients and healthy subjects. Intensity of C-C motif chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) monocyte expression highly correlated with parameters of kidney dysfunction. Our data indicate that highly activated monocytes of COVID-19 patients may be pathogenically associated to the development of renal disease.

3.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855815

ABSTRACT

Sentinox (STX) is an acid-oxidizing solution containing hypochlorous acid in spray whose virucidal activity against SARS-CoV-2 has been demonstrated. In this paper, results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on the efficacy of STX in reducing viral load in mild COVID-19 patients (NCT04909996) and a complementary in vitro study on its activity against different respiratory viruses are reported. In the RCT, 57 patients were randomized (1:1:1) to receive STX three (STX-3) or five (STX-5) times/day plus standard therapy or standard therapy only (controls). Compared with controls, the log10 load reduction in groups STX-3 and STX-5 was 1.02 (p = 0.14) and 0.18 (p = 0.80), respectively. These results were likely driven by outliers with extreme baseline viral loads. When considering subjects with baseline cycle threshold values of 20-30, STX-3 showed a significant (p = 0.016) 2.01 log10 reduction. The proportion of subjects that turned negative by the end of treatment (day 5) was significantly higher in the STX-3 group than in controls, suggesting a shorter virus clearance time. STX was safe and well-tolerated. In the in vitro study, ≥99.9% reduction in titers against common respiratory viruses was observed. STX is a safe device with large virucidal spectrum and may reduce viral loads in mild COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viruses , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests , Viral Load
4.
J Clin Med ; 11(9)2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809974

ABSTRACT

Accurate and rapid molecular diagnosis of COVID-19 is a crucial step to tackle the ongoing pandemic. The primary objective of this study was to estimate the real-world performance of the novel RT-PCR STANDARD M10 SARS-CoV-2 assay in a large number of nasopharyngeal (NP) specimens eluted in universal transport medium. The secondary objective was to evaluate the compatibility of this kit in testing NP samples eluted in an inactivated transport medium (essential for point-of-care testing) and lower respiratory tract (LRT) specimens, which are commonly collected in critical care. A total of 591 samples were analyzed. Compared with the standard extraction-based RT-PCR Allplex 2019-nCoV (time-to-result of 270 min), the sensitivities of the STANDARD M10 were 100% (95% CI: 98.1-100%), 95.5% (95% CI: 91.7-97.6%), and 99.5% (95% CI: 97.2-99.9%) for ≥1 gene, the ORF1ab gene, and the E gene, respectively, while the specificity was 100% (95% CI: 98.7-100%). The diagnostic accuracy was 100% in testing both NP samples eluted in an inactivated transport medium and LRT specimens. STANDARD M10 reliably detects SARS-CoV-2 in 60 min, may be used as a POC tool, and is suitable for testing LRT specimens in the critical care setting.

5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 5736, 2022 04 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778634

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including < 80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 (20B) most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 (20D) developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, within the limitations of phylogeographical reconstruction, the estimated ancestral scenario suggests an important role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314810

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was the reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary dynamics in time and space in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed that pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 entered Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

7.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314809

ABSTRACT

The aims of this study were to characterize new SARS-CoV-2 genomes sampled all over Italy and to reconstruct the origin and the evolutionary dynamics in Italy and Europe between February and June 2020. The cluster analysis showed only small clusters including <80 Italian isolates, while most of the Italian strains were intermixed in the whole tree. Pure Italian clusters were observed mainly after the lockdown and distancing measures were adopted. Lineage B and B.1 spread between late January and early February 2020, from China to Veneto and Lombardy, respectively. Lineage B.1.1 most probably evolved within Italy and spread from central to south Italian regions, and to European countries. The lineage B.1.1.1 developed most probably in other European countries entering Italy only in the second half of March and remained localized in Piedmont until June 2020. In conclusion, the reconstructed ancestral scenario suggests a central role of China and Italy in the widespread diffusion of the D614G variant in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic and more dispersed exchanges involving several European countries from the second half of March 2020.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314808

ABSTRACT

A growing number of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants is being identified worldwide, potentially impacting the effectiveness of current vaccines. We report the data obtained in several Italian regions involved in the SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring from the beginning of the epidemic and spanning the period from October 2020 to March 2021.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309621

ABSTRACT

The extraction-based real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is currently the “gold standard” for the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics. However, some extraction-free RT-PCR techniques have been recently developed. In this study we compared the performance of heated and unheated extraction-free methods with the traditional extraction-based SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. The unheated extraction-free showed a perfect agreement with the standard extraction-based RT-PCR. By contrast, the heat-treated technique was associated with an 8.2% false negativity rate. The unheated extraction-free RT-PCR for the SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostics is a valuable alternative to the traditional extraction-based methods and may accelerate turnaround times by about two hours.

10.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309368

ABSTRACT

Background: To describe the cellular characteristics of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of critically ill COVID-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation;the secondary outcome is to describe BALF findings between survivors vs non-survivors. Materials and Methods Patients positive for SARS-CoV-2 RT PCR, admitted to ICU between March and April 2020 were enrolled. At ICU admission, BALF were analyzed by flow cytometry. Univariate, multivariate and Spearman correlation analyses were performed. Results Sixty-four patients were enrolled, median age of 64 years (IQR 58–69). The majority cells in the BALF were neutrophils (70%, IQR 37.5–90.5) and macrophages (27%, IQR 7–49) while a minority were lymphocytes, 1%, TCD3 + 92% (IQR 82–95). The ICU mortality was 32.8%. Non-survivors had a significantly older age (p = 0.033) and peripheral lymphocytes (p = 0.012) were lower compared to the survivors. At multivariate analysis the percentage of macrophages in the BALF correlated with poor outcome (OR 1.336, CI95% 1.014–1.759, p = 0.039). Conclusions In critically ill patients, BALF cellularity is mainly composed of neutrophils and macrophages. The macrophages percentage in the BALF at ICU admittance correlated with higher ICU mortality. The lack of lymphocytes in BALF could partly explain a reduced anti-viral response.

11.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309246

ABSTRACT

Background: The ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 requires the availability of accurate and rapid diagnostic tests, especially in some clinical settings like emergency and intensive care units. The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performances of rapid PCR kit Vivalytic SARS-CoV-2 in lower respiratory tract (LRT) specimens. Methods: : A consecutive sample of LRT specimens (bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchoaspirates) was collected from Intensive Care Units of San Martino Hospital (Genoa, Italy) between November 2020 and January 2021. All samples were tested in RT-PCR by using Allplex™ SARS-CoV-2 assay (Seegene Inc., South Korea). Based on RT-PCR results, specimens were categorized into negative, positive with high viral load [cycle threshold (Ct) ≤30] and positive with low viral load (Ct of 31–35). A quota 1:1:1 sampling was used to achieve a sample size of 75. Then, all specimens were tested in the rapid PCR assay Vivalytic SARS-CoV-2 (Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH, Germany). The diagnostic performance of the rapid PCR against RT-PCR was assessed through calculation of accuracy, Cohen’s κ , sensitivity, specificity and expected positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values. Results: : The overall diagnostic accuracy of the Vivalytic SARS-CoV-2 was 97.3% (95% CI: 90.9–99.3%) with an excellent Cohen’s κ of 0.94 (95% CI: 0.72–1). The sensitivity and specificity were 96% (95% CI: 86.5–98.9%) and 100% (95% CI: 86.7–100%), respectively. Samples with high viral loads had a sensitivity of 100% (Table 1). The distributions of E gene Ct values were similar (Wilcoxon’s test: P =0.070) with medians of 35 (IQR: 25–36) and 35 (IQR: 25–35), respectively (Figure 1). NPV and PPV was 92.6% and 100%, respectively. Conclusions: : This study shows Vivalytic SARS-CoV-2 can be used following the sample liquefaction on LRT specimens. It’s a feasible and highly accurate molecular procedure especially in high viral load samples. This assay allows having a result in about 40 min and therefore may accelerate the clinical decision making in urgent/emergency situations.

12.
Microorganisms ; 10(2)2022 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674731

ABSTRACT

Reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) has been described in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia. In the present two-center retrospective experience, we primarily aimed to assess the cumulative risk of HSV-1 reactivation detected on bronchoalveolar fluid (BALF) samples in invasively ventilated COVID-19 patients with worsening respiratory function. The secondary objectives were the identification of predictors for HSV-1 reactivation and the assessment of its possible prognostic impact. Overall, 41 patients met the study inclusion criteria, and 12/41 patients developed HSV-1 reactivation (29%). No independent predictors of HSV-1 reactivation were identified in the present study. No association was found between HSV-1 reactivation and mortality. Eleven out of 12 patients with HSV-1 reactivation received antiviral therapy with intravenous acyclovir. In conclusion, HSV-1 reactivation is frequently detected in intubated patients with COVID-19. An antiviral treatment in COVID-19 patients with HSV-1 reactivation and worsening respiratory function might be considered.

13.
Vaccine ; 40(12): 1755-1760, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671283

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are a priority group for seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV). The 2020/21 SIV campaign was conducted during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines, including SIV, may exert non-specific protective effects on other infectious diseases which may be ascribable to the concept of trained immunity. The aim of this study was to explore the association between 2020/21 SIV and SARS-CoV-2 positivity in a cohort of Italian HCWs. METHODS: In this observational study, a cohort of HCWs employed by a large (ca 5000 employees) referral tertiary acute-care university hospital was followed up retrospectively until the start of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The independent variable of interest was the 2020/21 SIV uptake. Both egg-based and cell culture-derived quadrivalent SIVs were available. The study outcome was the incidence of new SARS-CoV-2 infections, as determined by RT-PCR. Multivariable Cox regression was applied in order to discern the association of interest. RESULTS: The final cohort consisted of 2561 HCWs who underwent ≥1 RT-PCR test and accounted for a total of 94,445 person-days of observation. SIV uptake was 35.6%. During the study period, a total of 290 new SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred. The incidence of new SARS-CoV-2 was 1.62 (95% CI: 1.22-2.10) and 3.91 (95% CI: 3.43-4.45) per 1000 person-days in vaccinated and non-vaccinated HCWs, respectively, with an adjusted non-proportional hazard ratio of 0.37 (95% CI: 0.22-0.62). E-values suggested that unmeasured confounding was unlikely to explain the association. CONCLUSIONS: A lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection was observed among SIV recipients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons
14.
Microorganisms ; 10(2)2022 Jan 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662700

ABSTRACT

The rapid and presumptive detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants may be performed using multiplex RT-PCR assays. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of five qualitative RT-PCR tests as compared with next-generation sequencing (NGS). We retrospectively examined a multi-variant panel (n = 72) of SARS-CoV-2-positive nasopharyngeal swabs categorized as variants of concern (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta), variants under monitoring (Iota and Kappa) and wild-type strains circulating in Liguria (Italy) from January to August 2021. First, NGS libraries of study samples were prepared and mapped to the reference genome. Then, specimens were screened for the detection of L452R, W152C, K417T, K417N, E484Q, E484K and N501Y mutations using the SARS-CoV-2 Variants II Assay Allplex, UltraGene Assay SARS-CoV-2 452R & 484K & 484Q Mutations V1, COVID-19 Ultra Variant Catcher, SARS-CoV-2 Extended ELITe MGB and Simplexa SARS-CoV-2 Variants Direct. The overall accuracy of these assays ranged from 96.9% to 100%. Specificity and sensitivity were 100% and 96-100%, respectively. We highly recommend the use of these assays as second-level tests in the routine workflow of SARS-CoV-2 laboratory diagnostics, as they are accurate, user friendly, low cost, may identify specific mutations in about 2-3 h and, therefore, optimize the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

15.
J Pers Med ; 12(2)2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648208

ABSTRACT

Co-administration of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and seasonal influenza vaccines has several advantages, has been advocated by various public health authorities and should be seen as an opportunity to increase the uptake of both vaccines. The objective of this survey was to quantify the acceptance of concomitant COVID-19/influenza vaccination and to identify its correlates in a representative sample of Italian adults. Of 2463 participants, a total of 22.9% were favorable to vaccine co-administration, while 16.6% declared their firm unwillingness to receive both vaccines simultaneously. The remaining 60.5% of subjects could be dubbed hesitant to some degree. Compliance with the primary COVID-19 vaccination schedule (adjusted proportional odds ratio (aOR) = 7.78), previous influenza vaccination (aOR = 1.89) and trust in public health institutions (aOR = 1.22) were the main determinants of positive attitudes toward vaccine co-administration. Other significant correlates included age, sex, perceived disease severity and vaccination risk-benefit, being offered a more personalized influenza vaccine and recent seeking for influenza-related information. In Italy, hesitancy toward COVID-19/influenza vaccine co-administration is common and appears to be higher than hesitancy toward either vaccine administered alone. This pattern is multifaceted and requires specific and tailored strategies, with public health institutions playing the central role.

16.
Med Lav ; 112(6): 429-435, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596134

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission among co-workers at the University of Genoa, Italy, during the second COVID-19 pandemic wave. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in October 2020 - March 2021: RT-PCR confirmed cases of COVID-19 notified to the Occupational Health Service were included in the analysis. RESULTS: Among the n = 201 notified cases, contact tracing of n = 53 individuals identified n = 346 close contacts. The household setting (IRR = 36.8; 95% CI: 4.9-276.8; p < 0.001) and sharing eating areas (IRR = 19.5; 95% CI: 2.5-153.9; p = 0.005) showed the highest Secondary Attack Rates (SARs) compared to the office setting. Fatigue (IRR= 17.1; 95% CI: 5.2-55.8; p < 0.001), gastrointestinal symptoms (IRR= 6.6; 95% CI: 2.9-15.2; p< 0.001) and cough (IRR= 8.2; 95% CI: 3.7-18.2; p= p< 0.001) were associated with transmission of infection. Polysymptomatic cases (IRR= 23.1; 95% CI: 3.1-169.2; p = 0.02) were more likely to transmit the infection. Among COVID-19 index cases aged >60 years (OR = 7.7; 95% CI: 1.9-31.9; p = 0.0046) SARs were higher than in other age groups. Wearing respiratory protections by both the case and the close contact resulted an effective measure compared with no use (IRR = 0.08; 95% CI: 0.03-0.2; p = < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Accurate infection monitoring and contact tracing was useful to identify the main situations Conclusions: Accurate infection monitoring and contact tracing was useful to identify the main situations of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the workplace, and hence for risk assessment and prevention programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Pathogens ; 10(12)2021 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572584

ABSTRACT

Although the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is considered a standard-of-care assay for the laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, several limitations of this method have been described. Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) is an alternative molecular assay and is potentially able to overcome some intrinsic shortcomings of RT-PCR. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic performance of the novel HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP assay. In this retrospective analysis, a total of 400 routinely collected leftover nasopharyngeal samples with a known RT-PCR result were tested by means of the HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP assay. The overall sensitivity and specificity values of HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP versus RT-PCR were 97.0% (95% CI: 93.6-98.9%) and 98.5% (95% CI: 95.7-99.7%), respectively. Inter-assay agreement was almost perfect (κ = 0.96). Concordance was perfect in samples with high viral loads (cycle threshold < 30). The average time to a positive result on RT-LAMP was 17 min. HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP is a reliable molecular diagnostic kit for detecting SARS-CoV-2, and its performance is comparable to that of RT-PCR. Shorter turnaround times and the possibility of performing molecular diagnostics in the point-of-care setting make it a valuable option for facilities without sophisticated laboratory equipment.

18.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294611

ABSTRACT

Although the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is considered a standard-of-care assay for the laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, several limitations of this method have been described. Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) is an alternative molecular assay and is potentially able to overcome some intrinsic shortcomings of RT-PCR. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic performance of the novel HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP assay. In this retrospective analysis, a total of 400 routinely collected leftover nasopharyngeal samples with a known RT-PCR result were tested by means of the HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP assay. The overall sensitivity and specificity values of HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP versus RT-PCR were 97.0% (95% CI: 93.6–98.9%) and 98.5% (95% CI: 95.7–99.7%), respectively. Inter-assay agreement was almost perfect ( κ  = 0.96). Concordance was perfect in samples with high viral loads (cycle threshold <30). The average time to a positive result on RT-LAMP was 17 min. HG COVID-19 RT-LAMP is a reliable molecular diagnostic kit for detecting SARS-CoV-2, and its performance is comparable to that of RT-PCR. Shorter turnaround times and the possibility of performing molecular diagnostics in the point-of-care setting make it a valuable option for facilities without sophisticated laboratory equipment.

19.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260947, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556896

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 9th January 2020, China CDC reported a novel coronavirus (later named SARS-CoV-2) as the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Identifying the first appearance of virus is of epidemiological importance to tracking and mapping the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a country. We therefore conducted a retrospective observational study to detect SARS-CoV-2 in oropharyngeal samples collected from hospitalized patients with a Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) enrolled in the DRIVE (Development of Robust and Innovative Vaccine Effectiveness) study in five Italian hospitals (CIRI-IT BIVE hospitals network) (1st November 2019 - 29th February 2020). OBJECTIVES: To acquire new information on the real trend in SARS-CoV-2 infection during pandemic phase I and to determine the possible early appearance of the virus in Italy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Samples were tested for influenza [RT-PCR assay (A/H1N1, A/H3N2, B/Yam, B/Vic)] in accordance with the DRIVE study protocol. Subsequently, swabs underwent molecular testing for SARS-COV-2. [one-step real-time multiplex retro-transcription (RT) PCR]. RESULTS: In the 1683 samples collected, no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 was found. Moreover, 28.3% (477/1683) of swabs were positive for influenza viruses, the majority being type A (358 vs 119 type B). A/H3N2 was predominant among influenza A viruses (55%); among influenza B viruses, B/Victoria was prevalent. The highest influenza incidence rate was reported in patients aged 0-17 years (40.3%) followed by those aged 18-64 years (24.4%) and ≥65 years (14.8%). CONCLUSIONS: In Italy, some studies have shown the early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in northern regions, those most severely affected during phase I of the pandemic. In central and southern regions, by contrast no early circulation of the virus was registered. These results are in line with ours. These findings highlight the need to continue to carry out retrospective studies, in order to understand the epidemiology of the novel coronavirus, to better identify the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in comparison with other acute respiratory illnesses (ARI), and to evaluate the real burden of COVID-19 on the healthcare system.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/isolation & purification , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/isolation & purification , Influenza B virus/genetics , Influenza B virus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/pathology , Influenza, Human/virology , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Young Adult
20.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(11): ofab217, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526175

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunocompromised patients show prolonged shedding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in nasopharyngeal swabs. We report a case of prolonged persistence of viable SARS-CoV-2 associated with clinical relapses of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a patient with mantle cell lymphoma who underwent treatment with rituximab, bendamustine, cytarabine with consequent lymphopenia and hypogammaglobulinemia. METHODS: Nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). On 5 positive nasopharyngeal swabs, we performed viral culture and next-generation sequencing. We analyzed the patient's adaptive and innate immunity to characterize T- and NK-cell subsets. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR on nasopharyngeal swabs samples remained positive for 268 days. All 5 performed viral cultures were positive, and genomic analysis confirmed a persistent infection with the same strain. Viremia resulted positive in 3 out of 4 COVID-19 clinical relapses and cleared each time after remdesivir treatment. The T- and NK-cell dynamic was different in aviremic and viremic samples, and no SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies were detected throughout the disease course. CONCLUSIONS: In our patient, SARS-CoV-2 persisted with proven infectivity for >8 months. Viremia was associated with COVID-19 relapses, and remdesivir treatment was effective in viremia clearance and symptom remission, although it was unable to clear the virus from the upper respiratory airways. During the viremic phase, we observed a low frequency of terminal effector CD8+ T lymphocytes in peripheral blood; these are probably recruited in inflammatory tissue for viral eradication. In addition, we found a high level of NK-cell repertoire perturbation with relevant involvement during SARS-CoV-2 viremia.

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