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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307897

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting disease, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have spread to millions of people globally, requiring the development of billions of different vaccine doses. The SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine (named BNT162b2/Pfizer), authorized by the FDA, has shown high efficacy in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection after administration of two doses in individuals 16 years of age and older. In the present study, we retrospectively evaluated the differences in the SARS-CoV-2 humoral immune response after vaccine administration in the two different cohorts of workers at the INT - IRCCS “Fondazione Pascale” Cancer Center (Naples, Italy): previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2 subjects and not exposed to SARS-CoV-2 subjects. Methods: We determined specific anti-RBD (receptor-binding domain) titers against trimeric spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 by Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay in serum samples of 35 healthcare workers with a previous documented history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 158 healthcare workers without, after 1 and 2 doses of vaccine, respectively. Moreover, geometric mean titers and relative fold changes (FC) were calculated. Results: : Both previously exposed and not exposed to SARS-CoV-2 subjects developed significant immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 after the administration of 1 and 2 doses of vaccine, respectively. Anti-S antibody responses to the first dose of vaccine were significantly higher in previously SARS-CoV-2-exposed subjects in comparison to titers of not exposed subjects after the first as well as the second dose of vaccine. Fold changes for subjects previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2 was very modest, given the high basal antibody titer, as well as the upper limit of 2500.0 BAU/mL imposed by the Roche methods. Conversely, for naïve subjects, mean fold change following the first dose was low ( =1.6), reaching 3.8 FC in 72 subjects (45.6%) following the second dose. Conclusions: : The results showed that, as early as the first dose, SARS-CoV-2-exposed individuals developed a remarkable and statistically significant immune response in comparison to those who did not contract the virus previously, suggesting the possibility of administering only one dose in previously SARS-CoV-2-exposed subjects. FC for previously exposed subjects should not be taken into account for the generally high pre-vaccination values. Conversely, FC for not exposed subjects, after the second dose, were = 3.8 in >45.0% of vaccinees, and ≤3.1 in 19.0%, the latter showing a potential susceptibility to further SARS-CoV-2 infection.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307473

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic following the outbreak in China and Western Europe, where it finally lost the momentum, is now devastating North and South America. It has not been identified the reason and the molecular mechanisms of the two different patterns of the pulmonary host responses to virus from a minimal disease in young subjects to a severe distress syndrome (ARDS) in older subjects, particularly those with previous chronic diseases (including diabetes) and Cancer. The Management of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS “Fondazione Pascale” in Naples [INT-Pascale], along with all Health professionals decided not to interrupt the treatment of those hospitalized and to continue, even if after a careful triage in order not to allow SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects to access, to take care of cancer patients with serious conditions. Although very few (n=3) patients developed a symptomatic COVID-19 and required the transfer to a COVID-19 area of the Institute, no patients died during the Hospitalization and completed their oncology treatment. Besides monitoring of the patients, all employees of the Institute (physicians, nurses, researchers, lawyers, accountants, gatekeepers, guardians, janitors) have been tested for a possible exposure. Personnel identified as positive, has been promptly subjected to home quarantine and subdued to health surveillance. One severe case of respiratory distress has been reported in a positive employees and one death of a family member. Further steps to home monitoring of COVID-19 clinical course have been taken with the development of remote Wi-Fi connected digital devices for the detection of early signs of respiratory distress, including heart rate and oxygen saturation.In conclusion cancer care has been performed and continued safely also during COVID-19 pandemic and further remote home strategies are in progress to ensure the appropriate monitoring of cancer patients.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328774

ABSTRACT

Background: Both SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccines [BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) and mRNA-1273 (Moderna)] have shown high efficacy, with very modest side effects in limiting transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and in preventing the severe COVID-19 disease, characterized by a worrying high occupation of intensive care units (ICU), high frequency of intubation and ultimately high mortality rate. At the INT, in Naples, only the BNT162b2 / Pfizer vaccine has been administered to cancer patients and healthcare professionals aged 16 and over.In the present study, the antibody response levels and their decline were monitored in an interval of 6-9 months after vaccine administration in the two different cohorts of workers of the INT - IRCCS "Fondazione Pascale" Cancer Center (Naples, Italy): the group of individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and vaccinated with a single dose;and that of individuals negative for previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 vaccinated with two doses 21 days apart. Methods: : Specific anti-RBD (receptor-binding domain) titers against trimeric spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 by Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S ECLIA immunoassay were determined in serum samples of 27 healthcare workers with a previously documented history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 123 healthcare workers without, during antibody titers’ monitoring. Moreover, geometric mean titers (GMT) and relative fold changes (FC) were calculated. Results: : Bimodal titer decline was observed in both previously infected and uninfected SARS-CoV-2 subjects. A first rapid decline was followed by a progressive slow decline in the 6/9 month-period before the further vaccine boost. The trend was explained by 2 different mathematical models, exponential and power function, the latter revealing as predictive of antibody titer decline either in infected or in not previously infected ones. The value of the prolonged lower vaccine titer was about 1 log below in the 6/9-month interval after the single dose for previously infected individuals with SARS-CoV-2 and the two doses for those not previously infected. The titer change, after the boost dose administration, on the other hand, was ≥ 1.5 FC higher than the titers at the 6/9-month time-points in both cohorts. A similar quantitative immune titer was observed in both cohorts 8 days after the last boost dose. The subsequent immunoresponse trend remains to be verified. Discussion: The results show that a very rapid first decline, from the highest antibody peak, was followed by a very slow decline which ensured immune protection lasting more than six months. The apparent absence of adverse effects of the rapid decline on the vaccine's immune protective role has been related to a large majority of low avidity antibodies induced by current vaccines. High avidity antibodies with prolonged anti-transmission efficacy show a longer half-life and are lost over a longer interval period. The cellular immunity, capable of preventing severe clinical diseases, lasts much longer. The unbalanced dual activity (cellular vs humoral) while effective in limiting ICU pressure and overall mortality, does not protect against transmission of SARS-CoV-2, resulting in high circulation of the virus among unvaccinated subjects, including the younger population, and the continuous production of variants characterized by changes in transmissibility and pathogenicity. The high mutation rate, peculiar to the RNA virus, can however lead to a dual opposite results: selection of defective and less efficient viruses up to extinction;risk of more efficiently transmitted variants as the current omicron pandemic. Conclusions: : In conclusion the current bimodal antibody-titer decline, following BNT162b2 mRNA anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, needs a further extended analysis to verify the protective borderline levels of immunity and the optimal administration schedule of vaccine boosters. Our current results can contribute to such goal, besides a direct comparison of other FDA-approved and candidate vacci es.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317113

ABSTRACT

Background: The easy access to a quick diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a key point to improve the management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to contain its spread. Up to now, laboratory real-time PCR is the standard of care, but requires a fully equipped laboratory and significant infrastructure. Consequently, new diagnostic tools are required. Methods: : In the present work, the diagnostic accuracy of the point-of-care rapid test "bKIT Virus Finder COVID-19" (Hyris Ltd ) is evaluated by a retrospective and a prospective analysis on SARS CoV-2 samples previously assessed with an FDA “authorized for the emergency use - EUA” reference method. Descriptive statistics were used for the present study. Results: : Results obtained with the Hyris Kit are the same as that of standard laboratory-based real time PCR methods for all the analyzed samples. In addition, the Hyris Kit provides the test results in less than 2 hours, a significantly shorter time compared to the reference methods, without the need of a fully equipped laboratory. Conclusions: : To conclude, the Hyris kit represents a promising tool to improve the health surveillance and to increase the capacity of SARS-CoV-2 testing.

5.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650679

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: From the beginning of 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spread worldwide, becoming the main problem for the healthcare systems. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of infection and can be a dangerous vehicle for the spread of the virus. Furthermore, cancer patients (CPs) are a vulnerable population, with an increased risk of developing severe and lethal forms of Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). Therefore, at the National Cancer Institute of Naples, where only cancer patients are treated, a surveillance program aimed to prevent the hospital access of SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects (HCWs and CPs) was implemented. The study aims to describe the results of the monitoring activity for the SARS-CoV-2 spread among HCWs and CPs, from March 2020 to March 2021. METHODS: This surveillance program included a periodic sampling through nasopharyngeal molecular swabs for SARS-CoV-2 (Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, RT-PCR). CPs were submitted to the molecular test at least 48 h before hospital admission. Survival analysis and multiple logistic regression models were performed among HCWs and CPs to assess the main SARS-CoV-2 risk factors. RESULTS: The percentages of HCWs tested with RT-PCR for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, according to the first and the second wave, were 79.7% and 91.7%, respectively, while the percentages for the CPs were 24.6% and 39.6%. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 20 (1.7%) HCWs of the 1204 subjects tested during the first wave, and in 127 (9.2%) of 1385 subjects tested in the second wave (p < 0.001); among CPs, the prevalence of patients tested varied from 100 (4.6%) during the first wave to 168 (4.9%) during the second wave (p = 0.8). The multivariate logistic analysis provided a significant OR for nurses (OR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.23-4.08, p < 0.001) compared to research, administrative staff, and other job titles. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that the positivity rate between the two waves in the HCWs increased over time but not in the CPs; therefore, the importance of adopting stringent measures to contain the shock wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the hospital setting was essential. Among HCWs, nurses are more exposed to contagion and patients who needed continuity in oncological care for diseases other than COVID-19, such as suspected cancer.

6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 734689, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354868

ABSTRACT

The response to anti-SARS-Cov-2 preventive vaccine shows high interpersonal variability at short and medium term. One of the explanations might be the individual HLA allelic variants. Indeed, B cell response is stimulated and sustained by CD4+ T helper cells activated by antigens presented by HLA-class II alleles on antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The impact of the number of antigens binding to HLA class-II alleles on the antibody response to the COVID vaccine has been assessed in a cohort of 56 healthcare workers who received the full schedule of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine. Such vaccine is based on the entire spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. Ab titers have been evaluated 2 weeks after the first dose as well as 2 weeks and 4 months after the boosting dose. HLA-DRB1 and DBQ1 for each of the vaccinees have been assessed, and strong binders have been predicted. The analysis showed no significant correlation between the short-medium-term Ab titers and the number of strong binders (SB) for each individual. These results indicate that levels of Ab response to the spike glycoprotein is not dependent on HLA class II allele, suggesting an equivalent efficacy at global level of the currently used vaccines. Furthermore, the pattern of persistence in Ab titer does not correlate with specific alleles or with the number of SBs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , HLA-D Antigens/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
J Transl Med ; 19(1): 246, 2021 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the first complete genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019, more than 550,000 genomes have been submitted into the GISAID database. Sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome might allow identification of variants with increased contagiousness, different clinical patterns and/or different response to vaccines. A highly automated next generation sequencing (NGS)-based method might facilitate an active genomic surveillance of the virus. METHODS: RNA was extracted from 27 nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from citizens of the Italian Campania region in March-April 2020 who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Following viral RNA quantification, sequencing was performed using the Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel on the Genexus Integrated Sequencer, an automated technology for library preparation and sequencing. The SARS-CoV-2 complete genomes were built using the pipeline SARS-CoV-2 RECoVERY (REconstruction of COronaVirus gEnomes & Rapid analYsis) and analysed by IQ-TREE software. RESULTS: The complete genome (100%) of SARS-CoV-2 was successfully obtained for 21/27 samples. In particular, the complete genome was fully sequenced for all 15 samples with high viral titer (> 200 copies/µl), for the two samples with a viral genome copy number < 200 but greater than 20, and for 4/10 samples with a viral load < 20 viral copies. The complete genome sequences classified into the B.1 and B.1.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineages. In comparison to the reference strain Wuhan-Hu-1, 48 total nucleotide variants were observed with 26 non-synonymous substitutions, 18 synonymous and 4 reported in untranslated regions (UTRs). Ten of the 26 non-synonymous variants were observed in ORF1ab, 7 in S, 1 in ORF3a, 2 in M and 6 in N genes. CONCLUSIONS: The Genexus system resulted successful for SARS-CoV-2 complete genome sequencing, also in cases with low viral copies. The use of this highly automated system might facilitate the standardization of SARS-CoV-2 sequencing protocols and make faster the identification of novel variants during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Italy , Whole Genome Sequencing
8.
Infect Agent Cancer ; 16(1): 32, 2021 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225779

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting disease, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have spread to millions of people globally, requiring the development of billions of different vaccine doses. The SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine (named BNT162b2/Pfizer), authorized by the FDA, has shown high efficacy in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection after administration of two doses in individuals 16 years of age and older. In the present study, we retrospectively evaluated the differences in the SARS-CoV-2 humoral immune response after vaccine administration in the two different cohorts of workers at the INT - IRCCS "Fondazione Pascale" Cancer Center (Naples, Italy): previously infected to SARS-CoV-2 subjects and not infected to SARS-CoV-2 subjects. METHODS: We determined specific anti-RBD (receptor-binding domain) titers against trimeric spike glycoprotein (S) of SARS-CoV-2 by Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S immunoassay in serum samples of 35 healthcare workers with a previous documented history of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 158 healthcare workers without, after 1 and 2 doses of vaccine, respectively. Moreover, geometric mean titers and relative fold changes (FC) were calculated. RESULTS: Both previously infected and not infected to SARS-CoV-2 subjects developed significant immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 after the administration of 1 and 2 doses of vaccine, respectively. Anti-S antibody responses to the first dose of vaccine were significantly higher in previously SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects in comparison to titers of not infected subjects after the first as well as the second dose of vaccine. Fold changes for subjects previously infected to SARS-CoV-2 was very modest, given the high basal antibody titer, as well as the upper limit of 2500.0 BAU/mL imposed by the Roche methods. Conversely, for naïve subjects, mean fold change following the first dose was low ([Formula: see text] =1.6), reaching 3.8 FC in 72 subjects (45.6%) following the second dose. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that, as early as the first dose, SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals developed a remarkable and statistically significant immune response in comparison to those who did not contract the virus previously, suggesting the possibility of administering only one dose in previously SARS-CoV-2-infected subjects. FC for previously infected subjects should not be taken into account for the generally high pre-vaccination values. Conversely, FC for not infected subjects, after the second dose, were = 3.8 in > 45.0% of vaccinees, and ≤ 3.1 in 19.0%, the latter showing a potential susceptibility to further SARS-CoV-2 infection.

9.
J Transl Med ; 19(1): 132, 2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166915

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has created unique challenges to healthcare systems throughout the world. Ensuring subjects' safety is mandatory especially in oncology, in consideration of cancer patients' particular frailty. We examined the proportion of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgM and/or IgG positive subjects in three different groups from Istituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS "Fondazione G. Pascale" in Naples (Campania region, Italy): cancer patients treated with Innovative Immunotherapy (Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors, ICIs), cancer patients undergoing standard Chemotherapies (CHTs) and healthcare providers. 9 out of 287 (3.1%) ICIs patients resulted positive, with a significant lower percentage in respect to CHTs patients (39 positive subjects out of 598, 6.5%) (p = 0.04). There was no statistically significant difference between ICIs cohort and healthcare providers, 48 out of 1050 resulting positive (4.6%). Performing a Propensity Score Matching based on gender and tumor stage, the effect of treatment on seropositivity was analyzed through a regression logistic model and the ICIs treatment resulted to be the only protective factor significantly (p = 0.03) associated with positivity (odds ratio-OR: 0.41; 95% confidence interval-CI 0.18-0.91). According to these preliminary data, ICIs would appear to be a protective factor against the onset of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Immunotherapy , Neoplasms/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/immunology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
10.
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 488, 2020 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992499

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The easy access to a quick diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a key point to improve the management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to contain its spread. Up to now, laboratory real-time PCR is the standard of care, but requires a fully equipped laboratory and significant infrastructure. Consequently, new diagnostic tools are required. METHODS: In the present work, the diagnostic accuracy of the point-of-care rapid test "bKIT Virus Finder COVID-19" (Hyris Ltd) is evaluated by a retrospective and a prospective analysis on SARS CoV-2 samples previously assessed with an FDA "authorized for the emergency use-EUA" reference method. Descriptive statistics were used for the present study. RESULTS: Results obtained with the Hyris Kit are the same as that of standard laboratory-based real time PCR methods for all the analyzed samples. In addition, the Hyris Kit provides the test results in less than 2 h, a significantly shorter time compared to the reference methods, without the need of a fully equipped laboratory. CONCLUSIONS: To conclude, the Hyris kit represents a promising tool to improve the health surveillance and to increase the capacity of SARS-CoV-2 testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Systems , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Early Diagnosis , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , Point-of-Care Systems/standards , Point-of-Care Systems/statistics & numerical data , Prospective Studies , Reference Standards , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
11.
Infect Agent Cancer ; 15(1): 69, 2020 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965787

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic following the outbreak in China and Western Europe, where it finally lost the momentum, is now devastating North and South America. It has not been identified the reason and the molecular mechanisms of the two different patterns of the pulmonary host responses to the virus from a minimal disease in young subjects to a severe distress syndrome (ARDS) in older subjects, particularly those with previous chronic diseases (including diabetes) and cancer. The Management of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori - IRCCS "Fondazione Pascale" in Naples (INT-Pascale), along with all Health professionals decided not to interrupt the treatment of those hospitalized and to continue, even if after a careful triage in order not to allow SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects to access, to take care of cancer patients with serious conditions. Although very few (n = 3) patients developed a symptomatic COVID-19 and required the transfer to a COVID-19 area of the Institute, no patients died during the hospitalization and completed their oncology treatment. Besides monitoring of the patients, all employees of the Institute (physicians, nurses, researchers, lawyers, accountants, gatekeepers, guardians, janitors) have been tested for a possible exposure. Personnel identified as positive, has been promptly subjected to home quarantine and subdued to health surveillance. One severe case of respiratory distress has been reported in a positive employees and one death of a family member. Further steps to home monitoring of COVID-19 clinical course have been taken with the development of remote Wi-Fi connected digital devices for the detection of early signs of respiratory distress, including heart rate and oxygen saturation.In conclusion cancer care has been performed and continued safely also during COVID-19 pandemic and further remote home strategies are in progress to ensure the appropriate monitoring of cancer patients.

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