Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 15 de 15
Filter
1.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(11): 1258-1265, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096345

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of severe respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-laden aerosols in the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains uncertain. Discordant findings of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples were noted in early reports. METHODS: Sampling of air close to 6 asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with and without surgical masks was performed with sampling devices using sterile gelatin filters. Frequently touched environmental surfaces near 21 patients were swabbed before daily environmental disinfection. The correlation between the viral loads of patients' clinical samples and environmental samples was analyzed. RESULTS: All air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the 6 patients singly isolated inside airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) with 12 air changes per hour. Of 377 environmental samples near 21 patients, 19 (5.0%) were positive by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, with a median viral load of 9.2 × 102 copies/mL (range, 1.1 × 102 to 9.4 × 104 copies/mL). The contamination rate was highest on patients' mobile phones (6 of 77, 7.8%), followed by bed rails (4 of 74, 5.4%) and toilet door handles (4 of 76, 5.3%). We detected a significant correlation between viral load ranges in clinical samples and positivity rate of environmental samples (P < .001). CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable by air samplers, which suggests that the airborne route is not the predominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing a surgical mask, appropriate hand hygiene, and thorough environmental disinfection are sufficient infection control measures for COVID-19 patients isolated singly in AIIRs. However, this conclusion may not apply during aerosol-generating procedures or in cohort wards with large numbers of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Air Microbiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Fomites/virology , Infection Control/methods , Patients' Rooms , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Aerosols , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
2.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-4, 2022 Oct 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087056

ABSTRACT

We obtained 24 air samples in 8 general wards temporarily converted into negative-pressure wards admitting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) omicron variant BA.2.2 in Hong Kong. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 19 (79.2%) of 24 samples despite enhanced indoor air dilution. It is difficult to prevent airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals.

3.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-6, 2022 Jul 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977949

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Air dispersal of respiratory viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 has not been systematically reported. The incidence and factors associated with air dispersal of respiratory viruses are largely unknown. METHODS: We performed air sampling by collecting 72,000 L of air over 6 hours for pediatric and adolescent patients infected with parainfluenza virus 3 (PIF3), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, and adenovirus. The patients were singly or 2-patient cohort isolated in airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) from December 3, 2021, to January 26, 2022. The viral load in nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) and air samples were measured. Factors associated with air dispersal were investigated and analyzed. RESULTS: Of 20 singly isolated patients with median age of 30 months (range, 3 months-15 years), 7 (35%) had air dispersal of the viruses compatible with their NPA results. These included 4 (40%) of 10 PIF3-infected patients, 2 (66%) of 3 RSV-infected patients, and 1 (50%) of 2 adenovirus-infected patients. The mean viral load in their room air sample was 1.58×103 copies/mL. Compared with 13 patients (65%) without air dispersal, these 7 patients had a significantly higher mean viral load in their NPA specimens (6.15×107 copies/mL vs 1.61×105 copies/mL; P < .001). Another 14 patients were placed in cohorts as 7 pairs infected with the same virus (PIF3, 2 pairs; RSV, 3 pairs; rhinovirus, 1 pair; and adenovirus, 1 pair) in double-bed AIIRs, all of which had air dispersal. The mean room air viral load in 2-patient cohorts was significantly higher than in rooms of singly isolated patients (1.02×104 copies/mL vs 1.58×103 copies/mL; P = .020). CONCLUSION: Air dispersal of common respiratory viruses may have infection prevention and public health implications.

4.
Vaccine ; 40(33): 4905-4910, 2022 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907856

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Without the implementation of mandatory vaccination, it was difficult to increase the influenza vaccination rate among healthcare workers. We described the strategy of personal coaching and assess its impact in increasing the influenza vaccination rate among healthcare workers in Hong Kong. METHODS: Personal coaching of individual staff led by the infection control officer (ICO) and senior nursing officer (SNO) from infection control team could overcome barriers and promote on-site vaccination. The influenza vaccination rates among different categories of staff in 2016/2017 (year 1, baseline), 2017/2018 (year 2, promotion using social media), and 2018/2019 to 2020/2021 (year 3-5, promotion using personal coaching) were analysed in a healthcare region with 8490 ± 206 staff during the study period. RESULTS: With the implementation of personal coaching, the influenza vaccination rates increased significantly among medical (65.0% vs 57.0%, p = 0.048), nursing (30.6% vs 21.1%, p < 0.001), allied health (37.0% vs 27.4%, p < 0.001), care-related supporting staff (37.7% vs 27.3%, p < 0.001), and non-professional staff (27.3% vs 22.3%, p < 0.001) in year 3 compared with year 2, and also significantly increased among all staff in year 4 (38.0% vs 34.7%, p < 0.001) and year 5 (45.2% vs 38.0%, p < 0.001) when compared with the preceding year. The increase in vaccination rate was not apparent with social media promotion alone (26.4%, year 2 vs 25.6%, year 1, p = 0.305). CONCLUSION: Personal coaching led by ICO and SNO significantly increased the vaccination rates among healthcare workers in 3 consecutive years. This model could be promulgated to unit heads to establish a hospital culture conducive to vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Mentoring , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Vaccination
5.
Build Environ ; 221: 109323, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906829

ABSTRACT

The phenomenon of vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in high-rise residential buildings (HRRBs) is unique in our densely populated cosmopolitan city. The compulsory testing of a whole building under the scheme of restriction-testing declaration (RTD) during the fourth wave (non-Omicron variant) and fifth wave (mostly Omicron variant) of COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong allowed us to study the prevalence of this phenomenon, which may represent a form of airborne transmission. From 23 January 2021 to 24 March 2022, 25,450 (5.8%) of 436,397 residents from 223 (63.0%) of 354 HRRBs under RTD were test-positive for SARS-CoV-2. Using the clustering of cases among vertically aligned flats with shared drainage stack and lightwell as a surrogate marker of vertical transmission, the number of vertically aligned flats with positive COVID-19 cases was significantly higher in the fifth wave compared with the fourth wave (14.2%, 6471/45,531 vs 0.24%, 3/1272; p < 0.001; or 2212 vs 1 per-million-flats; p < 0.001). Excluding 22,801 residents from 38 HRRBs who were tested negative outside the 12-week periods selected in fourth and fifth waves, the positive rate among residents was significantly higher among residents during the fifth wave than the fourth wave (6.5%, 25,434/389,700 vs 0.07%, 16/23,896; p < 0.001). Within the flats with COVID-19 cases, the proportion of vertically aligned flats was also significantly higher in the fifth wave than in the fourth wave (95.6%, 6471/6766 vs 30.0%, 3/10, p < 0.001). The proportion of HRRBs with COVID-19 cases was significantly higher during the corresponding 12-week period chosen for comparison (78.2%, 219/280 vs 11.1%, 4/36; p < 0.001). Whole-genome phylogenetic analysis of 332 viral genomes showed that Omicron BA.2 was the predominant strain, supporting the high transmissibility of BA.2 by airborne excreta-aerosol route in HRRBs of Hong Kong.

6.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 11(6)2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869451

ABSTRACT

Nonpharmaceutical interventions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2021) have provided a unique opportunity to understand their impact on the wholesale supply of antibiotics and incidences of infections represented by bacteremia due to common bacterial species in Hong Kong. The wholesale antibiotic supply data (surrogate indicator of antibiotic consumption) and notifications of scarlet fever, chickenpox, and tuberculosis collected by the Centre for Health Protection, and the data of blood cultures of patients admitted to public hospitals in Hong Kong collected by the Hospital Authority for the last 10 years, were tabulated and analyzed. A reduction in the wholesale supply of antibiotics was observed. This decrease coincided with a significant reduction in the incidence of community-onset bacteremia due to Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis, which are encapsulated bacteria with respiratory transmission potential. This reduction was sustained during two pandemic years (period 2: 2020-2021), compared with eight pre-pandemic years (period 1: 2012-2019). Although the mean number of patient admissions per year (1,704,079 vs. 1,702,484, p = 0.985) and blood culture requests per 1000 patient admissions (149.0 vs. 158.3, p = 0.132) were not significantly different between periods 1 and 2, a significant reduction in community-onset bacteremia due to encapsulated bacteria was observed in terms of the mean number of episodes per year (257 vs. 58, p < 0.001), episodes per 100,000 admissions (15.1 vs. 3.4, p < 0.001), and per 10,000 blood culture requests (10.1 vs. 2.1, p < 0.001), out of 17,037,598 episodes of patient admissions with 2,570,164 blood culture requests. Consistent with the findings of bacteremia, a reduction in case notification of scarlet fever and airborne infections, including tuberculosis and chickenpox, was also observed; however, there was no reduction in the incidence of hospital-onset bacteremia due to Staphylococcus aureus or Escherichia coli. Sustained implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions against respiratory microbes may reduce the overall consumption of antibiotics, which may have a consequential impact on antimicrobial resistance. Rebound of conventional respiratory microbial infections is likely with the relaxation of these interventions.

8.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 43(3): 334-343, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189150

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nosocomial outbreaks leading to healthcare worker (HCW) infection and death have been increasingly reported during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. OBJECTIVE: We implemented a strategy to reduce nosocomial acquisition. METHODS: We summarized our experience in implementing a multipronged infection control strategy in the first 300 days (December 31, 2019, to October 25, 2020) of the COVID-19 pandemic under the governance of Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. RESULTS: Of 5,296 COVID-19 patients, 4,808 (90.8%) were diagnosed in the first pandemic wave (142 cases), second wave (896 cases), and third wave (3,770 cases) in Hong Kong. With the exception of 1 patient who died before admission, all COVID-19 patients were admitted to the public healthcare system for a total of 78,834 COVID-19 patient days. The median length of stay was 13 days (range, 1-128). Of 81,955 HCWs, 38 HCWs (0.05%; 2 doctors and 11 nurses and 25 nonprofessional staff) acquired COVID-19. With the exception of 5 of 38 HCWs (13.2%) infected by HCW-to-HCW transmission in the nonclinical settings, no HCW had documented transmission from COVID-19 patients in the hospitals. The incidence of COVID-19 among HCWs was significantly lower than that of our general population (0.46 per 1,000 HCWs vs 0.71 per 1,000 population; P = .008). The incidence of COVID-19 among professional staff was significantly lower than that of nonprofessional staff (0.30 vs 0.66 per 1,000 full-time equivalent; P = .022). CONCLUSIONS: A hospital-based approach spared our healthcare service from being overloaded. With our multipronged infection control strategy, no nosocomial COVID-19 in was identified among HCWs in the first 300 days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control , Pandemics/prevention & control
9.
J Clin Microbiol ; 58(8)2020 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999203

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in the Hubei province of China and later spread all over the world. There was an urgent need of a high-throughput molecular test for screening the COVID-19 patients in the community. The Luminex NxTAG CoV extended panel is a high-throughput FDA emergency use-authorized molecular diagnostic assay for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This system targets three genes (ORF1ab, N, and E genes) of SARS-CoV-2, the ORF1ab region of SARS-CoV, and the ORF5 region of MERS-CoV. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic performance of this system with nasopharyngeal swab specimens of 214 suspected COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong. The results were compared with our routine COVID-19 reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) protocol with a LightMix SarbecoV E-gene kit and an in-house RdRp/Hel RT-PCR assay. The NxTAG CoV extended panel demonstrated 97.8% sensitivity and 100% specificity to SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal specimens. On low-viral load specimens, the sensitivity of the NxTAG panel could still maintain at 85.71%. Strong agreement was observed between the NxTAG panel and the routine COVID-19 RT-PCR protocol (kappa value = 0.98). Overall, the E gene target of the NxTAG panel demonstrated the highest sensitivity among the three SARS-CoV-2 targets, while the N gene targets demonstrated the least. In conclusion, the NxTAG CoV extended panel is simple to use, and it has high diagnostic sensitivity and specificity to SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal specimens. We recommend this diagnostic system for high-throughput COVID-19 screening in the community.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
10.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(9): 1037-1045, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962228

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Extensive environmental contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been reported in hospitals during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We report our experience with the practice of directly observed environmental disinfection (DOED) in a community isolation facility (CIF) and a community treatment facility (CTF) in Hong Kong. METHODS: The CIF, with 250 single-room bungalows in a holiday camp, opened on July 24, 2020, to receive step-down patients from hospitals. The CTF, with 500 beds in open cubicles inside a convention hall, was activated on August 1, 2020, to admit newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients from the community. Healthcare workers (HCWs) and cleaning staff received infection control training to reinforce donning and doffing of personal protective equipment and to understand the practice of DOED, in which the cleaning staff observed patient and staff activities and then performed environmental disinfection immediately thereafter. Supervisors also observed cleaning staff to ensure the quality of work. In the CTF, air and environmental samples were collected on days 7, 14, 21, and 28 for SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-PCR. Patient compliance with mask wearing was also recorded. RESULTS: Of 291 HCWs and 54 cleaning staff who managed 243 patients in the CIF and 674 patients in the CTF from July 24 to August 29, 2020, no one acquired COVID-19. All 24 air samples and 520 environmental samples collected in the patient area of the CTF were negative for SARS-CoV-2. Patient compliance with mask wearing was 100%. CONCLUSION: With appropriate infection control measures, zero environmental contamination and nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs and cleaning staff was achieved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disinfection , Health Personnel , Humans , Infection Control , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(2): 218-221, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-720801

ABSTRACT

Universal masking for healthcare workers and patients in hospitals was adopted to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with compliance rates of 100% and 75.9%, respectively. Zero rates of nosocomial influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus infection were achieved from February to April 2020, which was significantly lower than the corresponding months in 2017-2019.


Subject(s)
Cross Infection/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Masks , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Virus Shedding , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Hong Kong , Hospitals , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/transmission , Patients , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/transmission
12.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(9): 1051-1060, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597077

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A cruise ship is a closed-off environment that simulates the basic functioning of a city in terms of living conditions and interpersonal interactions. Thus, the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined because of an onboard outbreak of COVID-19 in February, 2020, provides an opportunity to define the shedding pattern of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and patient antibody responses before and after the onset of symptoms. METHODS: We recruited adult (≥18 years) passengers from Hong Kong who had been on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan in February, 2020. All participants had been found to be negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR 4 days before disembarking and were transferred to further quarantine in a public estate in Hong Kong, where they were recruited. Participants were prospectively screened by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) of nasopharyngeal and throat swabs, and serum IgG and IgM against internal nucleoprotein and the surface spike receptor-binding protein (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 at baseline (upon entering quarantine) and on days 4, 8, and 12 of quarantine. FINDINGS: On Feb 22, 2020, 215 adults were recruited, of whom nine (4%; 95% CI 2-8) were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPCR or serology and were hospitalised. Of these nine patients, nasopharyngeal swab RT-qPCR was positive in eight patients (89%; 57-99) at baseline. All nine patients were positive for anti-RBD IgG by day 8. Eight (89%; 57-99) were simultaneously positive for nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR and anti-RBD IgG. One patient who was positive for anti-RBD IgG and had a negative viral load had multifocal peripheral ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT that were typical of COVID-19. Five patients (56%; 27-81) with ground-glass changes on high-resolution CT were found to have higher anti-nucleoprotein-IgG OD values on day 8 and 12 and anti-RBD IgG OD value on day 12 than patients without ground-glass changes. Six (67%; 35-88) patients remained asymptomatic throughout the 14-day quarantine period. INTERPRETATION: Patients with COVID-19 can develop asymptomatic lung infection with viral shedding and those with evidence of pneumonia on imaging tend to have an increased antibody response. Positive IgG or IgM confirmed infection of COVID-19 in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. A combination of RT-PCR and serology should be implemented for case finding and contact tracing to facilitate early diagnosis, prompt isolation, and treatment. FUNDING: Shaw Foundation Hong Kong; Sanming-Project of Medicine (Shenzhen); High Level-Hospital Program (Guangdong Health Commission).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Seroconversion , Virus Shedding , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Ships , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Viral Load , Young Adult
13.
J Clin Virol ; 129: 104476, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401826

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Rapid and sensitive diagnostic assays for SARS-CoV-2 detection are required for prompt patient management and infection control. The analytical and clinical performances of LightMix® Modular SARS and Wuhan CoV E-gene kit, a widely used commercial assay for SARS-CoV-2 detection, have not been well studied. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance characteristics of the LightMix® E-gene kit in comparison with well-validated in-house developed COVID-19 RT-PCR assays. STUDY DESIGN: Serial dilutions of SARS-CoV-2 culture isolate extracts were used for analytical sensitivity evaluation. A total of 289 clinical specimens from 186 patients with suspected COVID-19 and 8 proficiency testing (PT) samples were used to evaluate the diagnostic performance of the LightMix® E-gene kit against in-house developed COVID-19-RdRp/Hel and COVID-19-N RT-PCR assays. RESULTS: The LightMix® E-gene kit had a limit of detection of 1.8 × 10-1 TCID50/mL, which was one log10 lower than those of the two in-house RT-PCR assays. The LightMix® E-gene kit (149/289 [51.6%]) had similar sensitivity as the in-house assays (144/289 [49.8%] for RdRp/Hel and 146/289 [50.5%] for N). All three assays gave correct results for all the PT samples. Cycle threshold (Cp) values of the LightMix® E-gene kit and in-house assays showed excellent correlation. Reproducibility of the Cp values was satisfactory with intra- and inter-assay coefficient of variation values <5%. Importantly, the LightMix® E-gene kit, when used as a stand-alone assay, was equally sensitive as testing algorithms using multiple COVID-19 RT-PCR assays. CONCLUSIONS: The LightMix® E-gene kit is a rapid and sensitive assay for SARS-CoV-2 detection. It has fewer verification requirements compared to laboratory-developed tests.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/analysis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Limit of Detection , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reference Standards , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Time Factors , Young Adult
14.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1356-1359, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381795

ABSTRACT

During the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, logistic problems associated with specimen collection limited the SARS-CoV-2 testing, especially in the community. In this study, we assessed the use of posterior oropharyngeal saliva as specimens for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in an automated point-of-care molecular assay. Archived nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and posterior oropharyngeal saliva specimens of 58 COVID-19 patients were tested with the Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 assay. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in either NPS or saliva specimens of all patients. Among them, 84.5% (49/58) tested positive in both NPS and saliva, 10.3% (6/58) tested positive in NPS only, and 5.2% (3/58) tested positive in saliva only. No significant difference in the detection rate was observed between NPS and saliva (McNemar's test p = 0.5078). The detection rate was slightly higher for N2 (NPS 94.8% and Saliva 93.1%) than that of the E gene target (Saliva: 89.7% vs 82.8%) on both specimen types. Significantly earlier median Ct value was observed for NPS comparing to that of saliva on both E (26.8 vs 29.7, p = 0.0002) and N2 gene target (29.3 vs 32.3, p = 0.0002). The median Ct value of E gene target was significantly earlier than that of the N2 gene target for both NPS (26.8 vs 29.3, p < 0.0001) and saliva (29.7 vs 32.3, p < 0.0001). In conclusion, posterior oropharyngeal saliva and NPS were found to have similar detection rates in the point-of-care test for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Since posterior oropharyngeal saliva can be collected easily, the use of saliva as an alternative specimen type for SARS-CoV-2 detection is recommended.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biological Assay , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Systems/standards , Viral Envelope Proteins/isolation & purification , Adult , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/instrumentation , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Oropharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva/virology , Specimen Handling/methods , Viroporin Proteins
15.
J Infect ; 81(1): 107-114, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-108681

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Face mask usage by the healthy population in the community to reduce risk of transmission of respiratory viruses remains controversial. We assessed the effect of community-wide mask usage to control coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). METHODS: Patients presenting with respiratory symptoms at outpatient clinics or hospital wards were screened for COVID-19 per protocol. Epidemiological analysis was performed for confirmed cases, especially persons acquiring COVID-19 during mask-off and mask-on settings. The incidence of COVID-19 per million population in HKSAR with community-wide masking was compared to that of non-mask-wearing countries which are comparable with HKSAR in terms of population density, healthcare system, BCG vaccination and social distancing measures but not community-wide masking. Compliance of face mask usage in the HKSAR community was monitored. FINDINGS: Within first 100 days (31 December 2019 to 8 April 2020), 961 COVID-19 patients were diagnosed in HKSAR. The COVID-19 incidence in HKSAR (129.0 per million population) was significantly lower (p<0.001) than that of Spain (2983.2), Italy (2250.8), Germany (1241.5), France (1151.6), U.S. (1102.8), U.K. (831.5), Singapore (259.8), and South Korea (200.5). The compliance of face mask usage by HKSAR general public was 96.6% (range: 95.7% to 97.2%). We observed 11 COVID-19 clusters in recreational 'mask-off' settings compared to only 3 in workplace 'mask-on' settings (p = 0.036 by Chi square test of goodness-of-fit). CONCLUSION: Community-wide mask wearing may contribute to the control of COVID-19 by reducing the amount of emission of infected saliva and respiratory droplets from individuals with subclinical or mild COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Protective Clothing , Public Health , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL