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1.
J Formos Med Assoc ; 2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739928

ABSTRACT

Psychiatric and neurological complications of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are common. Psychiatric symptoms are so common that they are easily misinterpreted as an affective disorder induced by SARSCoV-2 infection. However, psychiatric symptoms, such as acute delirium, though rarely seen, can be the initial manifestations of acute ischemic stroke (AIS). These psychiatric symptoms may confuse the diagnosis of acute stroke, which needs correct and timely management. We report two hospitalized cases with SARS-CoV-2 infection and elevated serum D-dimer levels having acute delirium as the initial manifestation of AIS. The diagnostic processes were challenging and time-consuming, so reperfusion therapy could not be given in the therapeutic time window. The diagnoses of AIS were finally made by brain magnetic resonance imaging which showed diffusion restriction at the right middle cerebral artery territory in both cases. Features of psychiatric complications and stroke in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are reviewed. For the hospitalized COVID-19 patients with elevated levels of serum Ddimer and acute delirium, acute stroke with neuropsychiatric manifestations should beconsidered.

2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 807454, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686483

ABSTRACT

Background: Innate immunity, armed with pattern recognition receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLR), is critical for immune cell activation and the connection to anti-microbial adaptive immunity. However, information regarding the impact of age on the innate immunity in response to SARS-CoV2 adenovirus vector vaccines and its association with specific immune responses remains scarce. Methods: Fifteen subjects between 25-35 years (the young group) and five subjects between 60-70 years (the older adult group) were enrolled before ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccination. We determined activation markers and cytokine production of monocyte, natural killer (NK) cells and B cells ex vivo stimulated with TLR agonist (poly (I:C) for TLR3; LPS for TLR4; imiquimod for TLR7; CpG for TLR9) before vaccination and 3-5 days after each jab with flow cytometry. Anti-SARS-CoV2 neutralization antibody titers (surrogate virus neutralization tests, sVNTs) were measured using serum collected 2 months after the first jab and one month after full vaccination. Results: The older adult vaccinees had weaker vaccine-induced sVNTs than young vaccinees after 1st jab (47.2±19.3% vs. 21.2±22.2%, p value<0.05), but this difference became insignificant after the 2nd jab. Imiquimod, LPS and CpG strongly induced CD86 expression in IgD+CD27- naïve and IgD-CD27+ memory B cells in the young group. In contrast, only the IgD+ CD27- naïve B cells responded to these TLR agonists in the older adult group. Imiquimode strongly induced the CD86 expression in CD14+ monocytes in the young group but not in the older adult group. After vaccination, the young group had significantly higher IFN-γ expression in CD3- CD56dim NK cells after the 1st jab, whilst the older adult group had significantly higher IFN-γ and granzyme B expression in CD56bright NK cells after the 2nd jab (all p value <0.05). The IFN-γ expression in CD56dim and CD56bright NK cells after the first vaccination and CD86 expression in CD14+ monocyte and IgD-CD27-double-negative B cells after LPS and imiquimod stimulation correlated with vaccine-induced antibody responses. Conclusions: The innate immune responses after the first vaccination correlated with the neutralizing antibody production. Older people may have defective innate immune responses by TLR stimulation and weak or delayed innate immune activation profile after vaccination compared with young people.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Imiquimod/pharmacology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunosenescence/immunology , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Poly I-C/administration & dosage , Poly I-C/immunology , Toll-Like Receptors/immunology , Vaccination
4.
Transplant Proc ; 2021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487992

ABSTRACT

We report a case of a heart transplant recipient who presented with a rapidly growing Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 7 days after receiving the first dose of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. Because of the atypical radiologic presentation, the initial tentative diagnosis was a mediastinal abscess. This observation indicates a potential risk of EBV reactivation after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination, which might lead to or aggravate the presentation of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder in transplantation patients. Transplant surgeons should be aware of the potential immunomodulatory effects of the COVID-19 vaccination.

7.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 705657, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332146

ABSTRACT

The adverse effect of COVID-19 pandemic among individuals has been very disturbing especially among healthcare workers. This study aims to examine the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, sleep problems, and psychological distress among COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers in Taiwan. Hence, a total of 500 frontline healthcare workers were recruited to participate in this cross-sectional study. They responded to measures on fear of COVID-19, depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, PTSD, perceived stigma, and self-stigma. The results indicated a prevalence rate of 15.4% for PTSD symptoms, 44.6% for insomnia, 25.6% for depressive symptoms, 30.6% for anxiety symptoms, and 23.4% for stress among the participants. There were significantly positive interrelationships between all these variables. Anxiety symptoms and fear of COVID-19 predicted PTSD whereas symptoms of anxiety, fear of COVID-19, and stress predicted insomnia. The prevalence rates of the psychological problems reveal a worrying view of mental health challenges among Taiwanese frontline healthcare workers. Anxiety symptoms and fear of COVID-19 are the common predictive factors of PTSD and sleep problems suggesting that mental healthcare services for them may help prevent future occurrence of psychological problems by allaying fears of healthcare workers. Therefore, there should be mental healthcare services for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

9.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(3)2021 Mar 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170475

ABSTRACT

To control the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), COVID-19 vaccination has been quickly developed. However, the COVID-19 pandemic will not be controlled if the COVID-19 vaccination uptake willingness is low. Therefore, the study aim was to explore the COVID-19 vaccination uptake willingness among the outpatient population and healthcare workers in Taiwan during the worldwide pandemic period without community outbreaks. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among healthcare workers (HCWs; n = 500; mean age = 32.96 years) of National Cheng Kung University Hospital (NCKUH) and outpatients (n = 238; mean age = 34.43 years) arriving at NCKUH. We used an online survey conducted between September 24 and 21 November 2020, for healthcare workers, and between 27 October and 31 December 2020, for the outpatient sample. Information regarding willingness to receive vaccination, willingness to rapid test, fear of COVID-19, risk perception, and preventive behaviors was collected in both samples; information regarding willingness to care for patients was collected in healthcare workers. Willingness to receive vaccination was the main variable in the present study; willingness to rapid test, willingness to care for patients, fear of COVID-19, risk perception, and preventive behaviors were the secondary variables in the study. The factors associated with vaccination willingness were identified through logistic regression analysis. The participants' willingness to receive vaccination was low for both healthcare workers (23.4%) and the outpatient sample (30.7%). Similarly, their willingness to take rapid tests was low (23.6% for healthcare workers and 28.6% for outpatient sample). Risk perception (crude odds ratio (COR) = 1.29; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03, 1.63), willingness to take rapid test (COR = 9.24; 95% CI = 5.76, 14.83), and preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors (COR = 2.32; 95% CI = 1.52, 3.56) were significant factors explaining the healthcare workers' willingness to receive vaccination. Willingness to take a rapid test (COR = 8.91; 95% CI = 4.71, 16.87) and preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors (COR = 1.69; 95% CI = 1.09, 2.60) were significant factors explaining the outpatient sample's willingness to receive vaccination. Willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 among HCWs and outpatients is low due to the relatively safe status of COVID-19 infection in Taiwan. These findings can help policymakers advocate for the effectiveness of and provide transparent information on COVID-19 vaccination uptake in a country/region with a relatively safe COVID-19 outbreak status.

10.
Vaccines ; 9(3):246, 2021.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1126022

ABSTRACT

To control the spread of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), COVID-19 vaccination has been quickly developed. However, the COVID-19 pandemic will not be controlled if the COVID-19 vaccination uptake willingness is low. Therefore, the study aim was to explore the COVID-19 vaccination uptake willingness among the outpatient population and healthcare workers in Taiwan during the worldwide pandemic period without community outbreaks. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among healthcare workers (HCWs;n = 500;mean age = 32.96 years) of National Cheng Kung University Hospital (NCKUH) and outpatients (n = 238;mean age = 34.43 years) arriving at NCKUH. We used an online survey conducted between September 24 and 21 November 2020, for healthcare workers, and between 27 October and 31 December 2020, for the outpatient sample. Information regarding willingness to receive vaccination, willingness to rapid test, fear of COVID-19, risk perception, and preventive behaviors was collected in both samples;information regarding willingness to care for patients was collected in healthcare workers. Willingness to receive vaccination was the main variable in the present study;willingness to rapid test, willingness to care for patients, fear of COVID-19, risk perception, and preventive behaviors were the secondary variables in the study. The factors associated with vaccination willingness were identified through logistic regression analysis. The participants’ willingness to receive vaccination was low for both healthcare workers (23.4%) and the outpatient sample (30.7%). Similarly, their willingness to take rapid tests was low (23.6% for healthcare workers and 28.6% for outpatient sample). Risk perception (crude odds ratio (COR) = 1.29;95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03, 1.63), willingness to take rapid test (COR = 9.24;95% CI = 5.76, 14.83), and preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors (COR = 2.32;95% CI = 1.52, 3.56) were significant factors explaining the healthcare workers’ willingness to receive vaccination. Willingness to take a rapid test (COR = 8.91;95% CI = 4.71, 16.87) and preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors (COR = 1.69;95% CI = 1.09, 2.60) were significant factors explaining the outpatient sample’s willingness to receive vaccination. Willingness to vaccinate against COVID-19 among HCWs and outpatients is low due to the relatively safe status of COVID-19 infection in Taiwan. These findings can help policymakers advocate for the effectiveness of and provide transparent information on COVID-19 vaccination uptake in a country/region with a relatively safe COVID-19 outbreak status.

11.
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 584956, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-963117

ABSTRACT

For the initial phase of pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), repurposing drugs that in vitro inhibit severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been attempted with overlooked or overestimated efficacy owing to limited clinical evidence. Most early clinical trials have the defects of study design, small sample size, non-randomized design, or different timings of treatment initiation. However, well-designed studies on asymptomatic or mild, or pediatric cases of COVID-19 are scarce and desperately needed to meet the clinical need. However, a trend could be observed based on current clinical evidence. Remdesivir and favipiravir may shorten the recovery time; lopinavir/ritonavir does not demonstrate treatment efficacy in severe patients. Triple therapy of ribavirin, lopinavir, and interferon ß-1b showed early viral negative conversion, and the major effect may be related to interferon. Some small sample-size studies showed that interleukin-6 inhibitors may demonstrate clinical improvement; non-critical patients may benefit from convalescent plasma infusion in small sample-size studies; and the role of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in the treatment and prophylaxis of COVID-19 remains unclear. Combination therapy of traditional Chinese medicine with antiviral agents (ex. interferon, lopinavir, or arbidol) may alleviate inflammation in severe COVID-19 patients based on small sample-sized observational studies and experts' opinion. Most of the published studies included severe or critical patients with COVID-19. Combination therapy of antiviral agents and immune-modulating drugs is reasonable especially for those critical COVID-19 patients with cytokine release syndrome. Drugs to blunt cytokine release might not benefit for patients in the early stage with mild disease or the late stage with critical illness. Traditional Chinese medicine with antiviral effects on SARS-CoV-2 and immune-modulation is widely used for COVID-19 patients in China, and is worthy of further studies. In this review, we aim to highlight the available therapeutic options for COVID-19 based on current clinical evidence and encourage clinical trials specific for children and for patients with mild disease or at the early stage of COVID-19.

13.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(10): e19878, 2020 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-862647

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 epidemic increases in severity, the burden of quarantine stations outside emergency departments (EDs) at hospitals is increasing daily. To address the high screening workload at quarantine stations, all staff members with medical licenses are required to work shifts in these stations. Therefore, it is necessary to simplify the workflow and decision-making process for physicians and surgeons from all subspecialties. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the National Cheng Kung University Hospital artificial intelligence (AI) trilogy of diversion to a smart quarantine station, AI-assisted image interpretation, and a built-in clinical decision-making algorithm improves medical care and reduces quarantine processing times. METHODS: This observational study on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic included 643 patients. An "AI trilogy" of diversion to a smart quarantine station, AI-assisted image interpretation, and a built-in clinical decision-making algorithm on a tablet computer was applied to shorten the quarantine survey process and reduce processing time during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: The use of the AI trilogy facilitated the processing of suspected cases of COVID-19 with or without symptoms; also, travel, occupation, contact, and clustering histories were obtained with the tablet computer device. A separate AI-mode function that could quickly recognize pulmonary infiltrates on chest x-rays was merged into the smart clinical assisting system (SCAS), and this model was subsequently trained with COVID-19 pneumonia cases from the GitHub open source data set. The detection rates for posteroanterior and anteroposterior chest x-rays were 55/59 (93%) and 5/11 (45%), respectively. The SCAS algorithm was continuously adjusted based on updates to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control public safety guidelines for faster clinical decision making. Our ex vivo study demonstrated the efficiency of disinfecting the tablet computer surface by wiping it twice with 75% alcohol sanitizer. To further analyze the impact of the AI application in the quarantine station, we subdivided the station group into groups with or without AI. Compared with the conventional ED (n=281), the survey time at the quarantine station (n=1520) was significantly shortened; the median survey time at the ED was 153 minutes (95% CI 108.5-205.0), vs 35 minutes at the quarantine station (95% CI 24-56; P<.001). Furthermore, the use of the AI application in the quarantine station reduced the survey time in the quarantine station; the median survey time without AI was 101 minutes (95% CI 40-153), vs 34 minutes (95% CI 24-53) with AI in the quarantine station (P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: The AI trilogy improved our medical care workflow by shortening the quarantine survey process and reducing the processing time, which is especially important during an emerging infectious disease epidemic.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , Betacoronavirus , Quarantine , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Female , Hospitals, Isolation , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Quarantine/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Taiwan/epidemiology
14.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect ; 54(1): 93-96, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-609097

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) has been in a global pandemic currently and relating symptoms were reported variously around the world. We reported a previously healthy man of COVID-19 presenting with anosmia as the obvious symptom with relevant radiological findings on brain magnetic resonance imaging.


Subject(s)
Anosmia/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Olfactory Bulb/diagnostic imaging , Anosmia/blood , Anosmia/diagnostic imaging , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
16.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect ; 53(3): 485-487, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-6180

ABSTRACT

A 46-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with 2-day fever and cough at seven days after returning from Macau. COVID-19 and pneumonia was diagnosed based on the positive real-time RT-PCR tests for oropharyngeal swab samples and the presence of anti-SARS-COV-2 IgG starting from the illness day 11 and post-exposure 18-21 days.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Macau , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Taiwan , Thorax/diagnostic imaging
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