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1.
J Health Monit ; 6(Suppl 1): 2-16, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1856609

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has spread rapidly across Germany. Infections are likely to be under-recorded in the notification data from local health authorities on laboratory-confirmed cases since SARS-CoV-2 infections can proceed with few symptoms and then often remain undetected. Seroepidemiological studies allow the estimation of the proportion in the population that has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (seroprevalence) as well as the extent of undetected infections. The 'CORONA-MONITORING bundesweit' study (RKI-SOEP study) collects biospecimens and interview data in a nationwide population sample drawn from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Participants are sent materials to self-collect a dry blood sample of capillary blood from their finger and a swab sample from their mouth and nose, as well as a questionnaire. The samples returned are tested for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies and SARS-CoV-2 RNA to identify past or present infections. The methods applied enable the identification of SARS-CoV-2 infections, including those that previously went undetected. In addition, by linking the data collected with available SOEP data, the study has the potential to investigate social and health-related differences in infection status. Thus, the study contributes to an improved understanding of the extent of the epidemic in Germany, as well as identification of target groups for infection protection.

2.
J Health Monit ; 5(Suppl 10): 2-27, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687802

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing major challenges to the health care sector. This scoping review compiles evidence concerning changes to health care service availability and utilisation as well as possible impacts on health for selected groups of chronically ill people in Germany. The focus is on cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and mental disorders. Most empirical data available concerned inpatient care and showed a clear decline in the utilisation of inpatient treatments in March and April 2020 in the areas of oncology and cardiology as well as in mental health. For cardiovascular emergencies such as heart attack and stroke, a decline was observed especially regarding less serious cases. Although there were indications of treatment delays, there was no evidence thus far that emergency care had been generally compromised due to adjustments to inpatient care capacities. In the outpatient setting, extensive adjustments to health care services availability were observed for all disease groups considered. Overall, very limited empirical data were available. In particular, hardly any data were available on how changes in care impacted population health. There is an urgent need for continuous surveillance and evaluation based on health care and epidemiological data.

3.
J Health Monit ; 5(Suppl 5): 2-16, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687796

ABSTRACT

At a regional and local level, the COVID-19 pandemic has not spread out uniformly and some German municipalities have been particularly affected. The seroepidemiological data from these areas helps estimate the proportion of the population that has been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (seroprevalence), as well as the number of undetected infections and asymptomatic cases. In four municipalities which were especially affected, 2,000 participants will be tested for an active SARS-CoV-2 infection (oropharyngeal swab) or a past infection (blood specimen IgG antibody test). Participants will also be asked to fill out a short written questionnaire at study centres and complete a follow-up questionnaire either online or by telephone, including information on issues such as possible exposure, susceptability, symptoms and medical history. The CORONA-MONITORING lokal study will allow to determine the proportion of the population with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in four particularly affected locations. This study will increase the accuracy of estimates regarding the scope of the epidemic, help determine risk and protective factors for an infection and therefore also identify especially exposed groups and, as such, it will be crucial towards planning of prevention measures.

4.
J Neuroinflammation ; 19(1): 19, 2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643162

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Comprehensive data on the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) profile in patients with COVID-19 and neurological involvement from large-scale multicenter studies are missing so far. OBJECTIVE: To analyze systematically the CSF profile in COVID-19. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of 150 lumbar punctures in 127 patients with PCR-proven COVID-19 and neurological symptoms seen at 17 European university centers RESULTS: The most frequent pathological finding was blood-CSF barrier (BCB) dysfunction (median QAlb 11.4 [6.72-50.8]), which was present in 58/116 (50%) samples from patients without pre-/coexisting CNS diseases (group I). QAlb remained elevated > 14d (47.6%) and even > 30d (55.6%) after neurological onset. CSF total protein was elevated in 54/118 (45.8%) samples (median 65.35 mg/dl [45.3-240.4]) and strongly correlated with QAlb. The CSF white cell count (WCC) was increased in 14/128 (11%) samples (mostly lympho-monocytic; median 10 cells/µl, > 100 in only 4). An albuminocytological dissociation (ACD) was found in 43/115 (37.4%) samples. CSF L-lactate was increased in 26/109 (24%; median 3.04 mmol/l [2.2-4]). CSF-IgG was elevated in 50/100 (50%), but was of peripheral origin, since QIgG was normal in almost all cases, as were QIgA and QIgM. In 58/103 samples (56%) pattern 4 oligoclonal bands (OCB) compatible with systemic inflammation were present, while CSF-restricted OCB were found in only 2/103 (1.9%). SARS-CoV-2-CSF-PCR was negative in 76/76 samples. Routine CSF findings were normal in 35%. Cytokine levels were frequently elevated in the CSF (often associated with BCB dysfunction) and serum, partly remaining positive at high levels for weeks/months (939 tests). Of note, a positive SARS-CoV-2-IgG-antibody index (AI) was found in 2/19 (10.5%) patients which was associated with unusually high WCC in both of them and a strongly increased interleukin-6 (IL-6) index in one (not tested in the other). Anti-neuronal/anti-glial autoantibodies were mostly absent in the CSF and serum (1509 tests). In samples from patients with pre-/coexisting CNS disorders (group II [N = 19]; including multiple sclerosis, JC-virus-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, HSV/VZV encephalitis/meningitis, CNS lymphoma, anti-Yo syndrome, subarachnoid hemorrhage), CSF findings were mostly representative of the respective disease. CONCLUSIONS: The CSF profile in COVID-19 with neurological symptoms is mainly characterized by BCB disruption in the absence of intrathecal inflammation, compatible with cerebrospinal endotheliopathy. Persistent BCB dysfunction and elevated cytokine levels may contribute to both acute symptoms and 'long COVID'. Direct infection of the CNS with SARS-CoV-2, if occurring at all, seems to be rare. Broad differential diagnostic considerations are recommended to avoid misinterpretation of treatable coexisting neurological disorders as complications of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , Adult , Blood-Brain Barrier , COVID-19/complications , Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid , Cytokines/cerebrospinal fluid , Europe , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoglobulin G/cerebrospinal fluid , Lactic Acid/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/cerebrospinal fluid , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Oligoclonal Bands/cerebrospinal fluid , Retrospective Studies , Spinal Puncture
5.
Front Public Health ; 9: 773850, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607729

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Until today, the role of children in the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and the development of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be dynamic and is not finally resolved. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in child day care centers and connected households as well as transmission-related indicators and clinical symptoms among children and adults. Methods and Analysis: COALA ("Corona outbreak-related examinations in day care centers") is a day care center- and household-based study with a case-ascertained study design. Based on day care centers with at least one reported case of SARS-CoV-2, we include one- to six-year-old children and staff of the affected group in the day care center as well as their respective households. We visit each child's and adult's household. During the home visit we take from each household member a combined mouth and nose swab as well as a saliva sample for analysis of SARS-CoV-2-RNA by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) and a capillary blood sample for a retrospective assessment of an earlier SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, information on health status, socio-demographics and COVID-19 protective measures are collected via a short telephone interview in the subsequent days. In the following 12 days, household members (or parents for their children) self-collect the same respiratory samples as described above every 3 days and a stool sample for children once. COVID-19 symptoms are documented daily in a symptom diary. Approximately 35 days after testing the index case, every participant who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 during the study is re-visited at home for another capillary blood sample and a standardized interview. The analysis includes secondary attack rates, by age of primary case, both in the day care center and in households, as well as viral shedding dynamics, including the beginning of shedding relative to symptom onset and viral clearance. Discussion: The results contribute to a better understanding of the epidemiological and virological transmission-related indicators of SARS-CoV-2 among young children, as compared to adults and the interplay between day care and households.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Day Care, Medical , Disease Outbreaks , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
6.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 613951, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177998

ABSTRACT

Objective: To analyze continuous 1- or 2-channel electroencephalograms (EEGs) of mechanically ventilated patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with regard to occurrence of epileptiform potentials. Design: Single-center retrospective analysis. Setting: Intensive care unit of Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. Patients: Critically ill COVID-19 patients who underwent continuous routine EEG monitoring (EEG monitor: Narcotrend-Compact M) during sedation. Measurements and Main Results: Data from 15 COVID-19 patients (11 men, four women; age: 19-75 years) were evaluated. Epileptiform potentials occurred in 10 of 15 patients (66.7%). Conclusions: The results of the evaluation regarding the occurrence of epileptiform potentials show that there is an unusually high percentage of cerebral involvement in patients with severe COVID-19. EEG monitoring can be used in COVID-19 patients to detect epileptiform potentials.

7.
Euro Surveill ; 25(47)2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-976160

ABSTRACT

Three months after a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Kupferzell, Germany, a population-based study (n = 2,203) found no RT-PCR-positives. IgG-ELISA seropositivity with positive virus neutralisation tests was 7.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 6.5-9.1) and 4.3% with negative neutralisation tests. We estimate 12.0% (95% CI: 10.4-14.0%) infected adults (24.5% asymptomatic), six times more than notified. Full hotspot containment confirms the effectiveness of prompt protection measures. However, 88% naïve adults are still at high COVID-19 risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Serologic Tests
8.
EBioMedicine ; 57: 102885, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-633885

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Elucidating the role of T cell responses in COVID-19 is of utmost importance to understand the clearance of SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: 30 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 60 age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HC) participated in this study. We used two comprehensive 11-colour flow cytometric panels conforming to Good Laboratory Practice and approved for clinical diagnostics. FINDINGS: Absolute numbers of lymphocyte subsets were differentially decreased in COVID-19 patients according to clinical severity. In severe disease (SD) patients, all lymphocyte subsets were reduced, whilst in mild disease (MD) NK, NKT and γδ T cells were at the level of HC. Additionally, we provide evidence of T cell activation in MD but not SD, when compared to HC. Follow up samples revealed a marked increase in effector T cells and memory subsets in convalescing but not in non-convalescing patients. INTERPRETATION: Our data suggest that activation and expansion of innate and adaptive lymphocytes play a major role in COVID-19. Additionally, recovery is associated with formation of T cell memory as suggested by the missing formation of effector and central memory T cells in SD but not in MD. Understanding T cell-responses in the context of clinical severity might serve as foundation to overcome the lack of effective anti-viral immune response in severely affected COVID-19 patients and can offer prognostic value as biomarker for disease outcome and control. FUNDING: Funded by State of Lower Saxony grant 14-76,103-184CORONA-11/20 and German Research Foundation, Excellence Strategy - EXC2155"RESIST"-Project ID39087428, and DFG-SFB900/3-Project ID158989968, grants SFB900-B3, SFB900-B8.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
9.
Mol Med ; 26(1): 58, 2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599124

ABSTRACT

In light of the present therapeutic situation in COVID-19, any measure to improve course and outcome of seriously affected individuals is of utmost importance. We recap here evidence that supports the use of human recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) for ameliorating course and outcome of seriously ill COVID-19 patients. This brief expert review grounds on available subject-relevant literature searched until May 14, 2020, including Medline, Google Scholar, and preprint servers. We delineate in brief sections, each introduced by a summary of respective COVID-19 references, how EPO may target a number of the gravest sequelae of these patients. EPO is expected to: (1) improve respiration at several levels including lung, brainstem, spinal cord and respiratory muscles; (2) counteract overshooting inflammation caused by cytokine storm/ inflammasome; (3) act neuroprotective and neuroregenerative in brain and peripheral nervous system. Based on this accumulating experimental and clinical evidence, we finally provide the research design for a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial including severely affected patients, which is planned to start shortly.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Erythropoietin/therapeutic use , Neuroprotective Agents/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Respiratory System Agents/therapeutic use , Brain Stem/drug effects , Brain Stem/immunology , Brain Stem/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Pandemics , Phrenic Nerve/drug effects , Phrenic Nerve/immunology , Phrenic Nerve/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Proof of Concept Study , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Recombinant Proteins/therapeutic use , Respiratory Muscles/drug effects , Respiratory Muscles/immunology , Respiratory Muscles/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Spinal Cord/drug effects , Spinal Cord/immunology , Spinal Cord/virology
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