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1.
Acta Paediatr ; 2022 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901582

ABSTRACT

AIM: Myopericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination were the most serious adverse events reported in children over 5 years of age. We want to summarise these cases, describing their incidence, clinical features, diagnostic pathways, therapeutic strategies and outcome. METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was conducted until 20 March 2022 by bibliographic electronic databases. We included all reports of post-vaccination myopericarditis in children aged between 5 and 18 years. RESULTS: All reported cases had elevated serum Troponin levels, associated with electrocardiogram changes, but often with normal echocardiogram. Cardiac magnetic resonance images always showed typical alterations. The pathogenetic mechanism is still unknown. Myocarditis following post-COVID vaccination is more frequent in boys with an average age of about 15 years. Treatment involves the usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and the average hospitalisation is about 3 days. The long-term consequences are not yet known, so these patients should be studied in a cardiological follow-up and abstention from physical activity should be recommended. CONCLUSION: The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination in children and adolescents appear to outweigh the risk of developing post-vaccination myopericarditis. We can also speculate a possible approval of vaccination in children under 5 years for the coming winter.

2.
Children (Basel) ; 9(5)2022 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875510

ABSTRACT

While the clinical impact of COVID-19 on adults has been massive, the majority of children develop pauci-symptomatic or even asymptomatic infection and only a minority of the latter develop a fatal outcome. The reasons of such differences are not yet established. We examined cytokines in sera and Th and B cell subpopulations in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 40 children (<18 years old), evaluating the impact of COVID-19 infection during the pandemic's first waves. We correlated our results with clinical symptoms and compared them to samples obtained from 16 infected adults and 7 healthy controls. While IL6 levels were lower in SARS-CoV-2+ children as compared to adult patients, the expression of other pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IFNγ and TNFα directly correlated with early age infection and symptoms. Th and B cell subsets were modified during pediatric infection differently with respect to adult patients and controls and within the pediatric group based on age. Low levels of IgD- CD27+ memory B cells correlated with absent/mild symptoms. On the contrary, high levels of FoxP3+/CD25high T-Regs associated with a moderate-severe clinical course in the childhood. These T and B cells subsets did not associate with severity in infected adults, with children showing a predominant expansion of immature B lymphocytes and natural regulatory T cells. This study shows differences in immunopathology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children compared with adults. Moreover, these data could provide information that can drive vaccination endpoints for children.

4.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 57(5): 1167-1172, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1694659

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Acute wheezing is a common clinical presentation of viral respiratory infections in children, which can also be caused by exposure to allergens and, rarely, by foreign body inhalation. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak, several public health interventions have been adopted to reduce viral spread. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures on Pediatric Emergency Department (ED) admission for acute wheezing. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We compared demographics and clinical data of patients admitted to the ED for acute wheezing during the COVID-19 outbreak and in the 5 previous years through a retrospective cross-sectional study. RESULTS: During the COVID-19 outbreak we observed an average drop of 83% in pediatric ED admission for acute wheezing, compared to the 5 previous years. In this period, 121 (80.7%) children presented with wheezing and 29 (19.3%) with bronchiolitis. The mean age of the sample was higher compared to the 5 previous years. We also noted an increased number of children presenting with higher acuity color codes during the COVID-19 period, while no differences emerged as for the hospitalizations. During the pandemic we recorded a decrease in the number of viral infections detected. Only two cases of wheezing associated with SARS-CoV-2 were identified. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 outbreak and the national lockdown led to a drop of the number of admission to the ED for wheezing in children. This could be due to a reduction in the circulation of common respiratory viruses and partially to a reduced exposure to aeroallergens during the COVID-19 period. Future epidemiological surveillance studies will be needed to support these prelimianry findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Respiratory Sounds/etiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316949

ABSTRACT

Background: : Suspending ordinary care activities during the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary to find alternative routes to comply with care recommendations not only for acute health needs but also for patients requiring follow-up and multidisciplinary visits. We present the ‘Contactless’ model, a comprehensive operational tool including a plurality of services delivered remotely, structured according to a complexity gradient, aimed to cover diagnostic procedures and monitor disease progression in chronic pediatric patients. Methods: : A multidisciplinary and multiprofessional project team was recruited, in collaboration with patients’ associations, to map a panel of available Evidence-Based solutions and address individual needs in full respect of the concept of personalized medicine. The solutions include a number of services from videoconsultations to more structure videotraining sessions. Results: : A modular framework made up of four three Macro-levels of complexity - Contactless Basic, Intermediate and Advanced - was displayed as an incremental set of services and operational planning establishing each phase, from factors influencing eligibility to the delivery of the most accurate and complex levels of care. Conclusion: : The multimodal, multidisciplinary ‘Contactless’ model allowed the inclusion of all Units of our Pediatric Department and families with children with disability or complex chronic conditions. The strengths of this project rely on its replicability outside of pediatrics and in the limited resources needed to practically impact patients, caregivers and professionals involved in the process of care. Its implementation in the future may contribute to reduce the duration of hospital admissions, money and parental absence from work.

6.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 651457, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497111

ABSTRACT

Kawasaki disease (KD) is a childhood vasculitis of unknown etiology. The present study describes a case of KD shock syndrome that occurred in an infant (age, 16 months) following 7 days of high fever and persistent rash characterized by target-like and purpuric skin lesions. The child developed neurological manifestations such as altered consciousness and irritability. Consequently, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed, revealing an inflammatory involvement of the anterior perforated substance and the hypothalamus. Cerebral involvement on brain MRI is rarely described in KD but when reported is characterized mostly by cerebral vasculitis. We illustrate for the first time in KD an inflammation in the brain not related to vasculitis, reporting peculiar neuroradiological findings. This last aspect has fascinated us in light of recent evidence about the immunological spectrum of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and Kawasaki-like syndrome in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak.

7.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430977

ABSTRACT

The causal connection between serum biomarkers and COVID-19 severity or pathogenicity in children is unclear. The aim of this study was to describe clinical and immunological features of children affected by COVID-19. The secondary aim was to evaluate whether these cytokines could predict severity of COVID-19. All children (aged 0-18) admitted to the Pediatric Emergency Department and tested with nasopharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 were recruited and assigned to three groups: COVID-19, other infections, control group. Clinical and laboratory data of these patients, including circulating cytokine levels, were analyzed in three groups. Fever was the most frequent symptom in COVID-19 (67.3%). Neutropenia was found in the COVID-19 group (p < 0.05); no difference was observed for lymphocyte counts in the three groups. Higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were found in the COVID-19 group compared to other infections and control groups (p = 0.014 and p = 0.001, respectively). Whereas, in the COVID-19 group, no difference was observed as for the same cytokines among sub-groups of different disease severity (p = 0.7 and p = 0.8). Serum levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were higher in COVID-19 children than in children with other infectious diseases, but those levels did not correlate with disease severity. Clinical studies in a large pediatric population are necessary to better define the role of the immune-mediated response in SARS-CoV-2 infections in children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Age Factors , Biomarkers , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Comorbidity , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Male , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Anaerobe ; 70: 102389, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242868

ABSTRACT

Botulism is a neuroparalytic syndrome caused by a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. We describe a patient with neurological symptoms associated with intoxication by Clostridium botulinum and infection by SARSCoV2. This report underlines that it is mandatory, even in case of SARS-CoV-2 positivity, to investigate all the causes of a clinical pattern.


Subject(s)
Botulism/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adolescent , Botulism/microbiology , COVID-19/virology , Clostridium botulinum/genetics , Clostridium botulinum/isolation & purification , Diagnosis, Differential , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
10.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 56(8): 2484-2488, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219130

ABSTRACT

AIM: To assess the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak on pediatric emergency department (ED) visits for acute bronchiolitis during the epidemic season. METHODS: A retrospective analytical cross-sectional study was performed in our hospital, analyzing medical charts of all children under 2 years of age with a diagnosis of acute bronchiolitis admitted to our ED in the last years. Demographics and clinical data of patients affected with acute bronchiolitis during the 2020-2021 season-COVID-19 outbreak-were compared to those of the 5 previous years. RESULTS: We observed an average drop of 84% of the rate of acute bronchiolitis managed by pediatricians in ED in 2020-2021 compared with bronchiolitis seasons of 5 previous years. We also reported, during the COVID-19 outbreak, a higher number of children affected by acute bronchiolitis referred to ED as Emergency Consultations who required hospitalization. Regarding etiological agents, no differences in respiratory virus circulation, especially RSV, were observed in the two groups. The multivariate analysis showed no correlation between the diagnosis of RSV bronchiolitis and COVID-19 period or prematurity; lower age was associated with an increased likelihood of exhibiting RSV bronchiolitis (odds ratio 0.9; 95% confidence interval 0.86-0.95 p < .01). CONCLUSION: Our data emphasize the reduction in the rate of admission to pediatric ED for acute bronchiolitis during the COVID-19 outbreak, regardless of changes in circulating respiratory viruses. Therefore we want to highlight the importance of nonpharmacological preventive hygiene measures that should be maintained even at the end of the COVID-19 outbreak.


Subject(s)
Bronchiolitis , COVID-19 , Bronchiolitis/epidemiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Italy/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Euro Surveill ; 26(14)2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175519

ABSTRACT

BackgroundVery few studies describe factors associated with COVID-19 diagnosis in children.AimWe here describe characteristics and risk factors for COVID-19 diagnosis in children tested in 20 paediatric centres across Italy.MethodsWe included cases aged 0-18 years tested between 23 February and 24 May 2020. Our primary analysis focused on children tested because of symptoms/signs suggestive of COVID-19.ResultsAmong 2,494 children tested, 2,148 (86.1%) had symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Clinical presentation of confirmed COVID-19 cases included besides fever (82.4%) and respiratory signs or symptoms (60.4%) also gastrointestinal (18.2%), neurological (18.9%), cutaneous (3.8%) and other unspecific influenza-like presentations (17.8%). In multivariate analysis, factors significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 positivity were: exposure history (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 39.83; 95% confidence interval (CI): 17.52-90.55; p < 0.0001), cardiac disease (AOR: 3.10; 95% CI: 1.19-5.02; p < 0.0001), fever (AOR: 3.05%; 95% CI: 1.67-5.58; p = 0.0003) and anosmia/ageusia (AOR: 4.08; 95% CI: 1.69-9.84; p = 0.002). Among 190 (7.6%) children positive for SARS-CoV-2, only four (2.1%) required respiratory support and two (1.1%) were admitted to intensive care; all recovered.ConclusionRecommendations for SARS-CoV-2 testing in children should consider the evidence of broader clinical features. Exposure history, fever and anosmia/ageusia are strong risk factors in children for positive SARS-CoV-2 testing, while other symptoms did not help discriminate positive from negative individuals. This study confirms that COVID-19 was a mild disease in the general paediatric population in Italy. Further studies are needed to understand risk, clinical spectrum and outcomes of COVID-19 in children with pre-existing conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Risk Factors
12.
Ital J Pediatr ; 47(1): 29, 2021 Feb 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082904

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Suspending ordinary care activities during the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary to find alternative routes to comply with care recommendations not only for acute health needs but also for patients requiring follow-up and multidisciplinary visits. We present the 'Contactless' model, a comprehensive operational tool including a plurality of services delivered remotely, structured according to a complexity gradient, aimed to cover diagnostic procedures and monitor disease progression in chronic pediatric patients. METHODS: A multidisciplinary and multiprofessional project team was recruited, in collaboration with patients' associations, to map a panel of available Evidence-Based solutions and address individual needs in full respect of the concept of personalized medicine. The solutions include a number of services from videoconsultations to more structure videotraining sessions. RESULTS: A modular framework made up of four three Macro-levels of complexity - Contactless Basic, Intermediate and Advanced - was displayed as an incremental set of services and operational planning establishing each phase, from factors influencing eligibility to the delivery of the most accurate and complex levels of care. CONCLUSION: The multimodal, multidisciplinary 'Contactless' model allowed the inclusion of all Units of our Pediatric Department and families with children with disability or complex chronic conditions. The strengths of this project rely on its replicability outside of pediatrics and in the limited resources needed to practically impact patients, caregivers and professionals involved in the process of care. Its implementation in the future may contribute to reduce the duration of hospital admissions, money and parental absence from work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Disabled Children , Models, Organizational , Pediatrics/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Child , Chronic Disease , Humans , Pandemics , Program Development
14.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 39(7): e137-e140, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-930114

ABSTRACT

The unexpected outbreak of Corona Virus Disease 19 had several consequences worldwide and on the Italian Health System. We report our experience in the reorganization of our Pediatric Department to prevent the risk of infection for both children and staff. We strongly believe that the need to face an unpredictable emergency situation should not affect the quality of the assistance to the non-Corona Virus Disease patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Public Health/standards , Child , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric , Italy/epidemiology , Pediatric Emergency Medicine , Public Health/statistics & numerical data
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