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1.
Euro Surveill ; 25(13)2020 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389098

ABSTRACT

Whole genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 obtained from two patients, a Chinese tourist visiting Rome and an Italian, were compared with sequences from Europe and elsewhere. In a phylogenetic tree, the Italian patient's sequence clustered with sequences from Germany while the tourist's sequence clustered with other European sequences. Some additional European sequences in the tree segregated outside the two clusters containing the patients' sequences. This suggests multiple SARS-CoV-2 introductions in Europe or virus evolution during circulation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/diagnosis , Travel , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , China , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Germany , Humans , Italy , Molecular Epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Point Mutation , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology
2.
J Infect Dis ; 223(5): 765-774, 2021 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117036

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease represents a challenge for healthcare structures. The molecular confirmation of samples from infected individuals is crucial and therefore guides public health decision making. Clusters and possibly increased diffuse transmission could occur in the context of the next influenza season. For this reason, a diagnostic test able to discriminate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from influenza viruses is urgently needed. METHODS: A multiplex real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was assessed using 1 laboratory protocol with different real-time PCR instruments. Overall, 1000 clinical samples (600 from samples SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, 200 samples from influenza-infected patients, and 200 negative samples) were analyzed. RESULTS: The assay developed was able to detect and discriminate each virus target and to intercept coinfections. The limit of quantification of each assay ranged between 5 and 10 genomic copy numbers, with a cutoff value of 37.7 and 37.8 for influenza and SARS-CoV-2 viruses, respectively. Only 2 influenza coinfections were detected in COVID-19 samples. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that multiplex assay is a rapid, valid, and accurate method for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses in clinical samples. The test may be an important diagnostic tool for both diagnostic and surveillance purposes during the seasonal influenza activity period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Orthomyxoviridae/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Area Under Curve , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diagnosis, Differential , Humans , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Orthomyxoviridae/genetics , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , ROC Curve , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seasons , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 70-80, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068126

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to describe the integrated surveillance system of COVID-19 in Italy, to illustrate the outputs used to return epidemiological information on the spread of the epidemic to the competent public health bodies and to the Italian population, and to describe how the surveillance data contributes to the ongoing weekly regional monitoring and risk assessment system. METHODS: the COVID-19 integrated surveillance system is the result of a close and continuous collaboration between the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), the Italian Ministry of Health, and the regional and local health authorities. Through a web platform, it collects individual data of laboratory confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and gathers information on their residence, laboratory diagnosis, hospitalisation, clinical status, risk factors, and outcome. Results, for different levels of aggregation and risk categories, are published daily and weekly on the ISS website, and made available to national and regional public health authorities; these results contribute one of the information sources of the regional monitoring and risk assessment system. RESULTS: the COVID-19 integrated surveillance system monitors the space-time distribution of cases and their characteristics. Indicators used in the weekly regional monitoring and risk assessment system include process indicators on completeness and results indicators on weekly trends of newly diagnosed cases per Region. CONCLUSIONS: the outputs of the integrated surveillance system for COVID-19 provide timely information to health authorities and to the general population on the evolution of the epidemic in Italy. They also contribute to the continuous re-assessment of risk related to transmission and impact of the epidemic thus contributing to the management of COVID-19 in Italy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Population Surveillance , SARS-CoV-2 , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Information Dissemination , Italy/epidemiology , Population Surveillance/methods , Research Report , Risk
4.
Euro Surveill ; 25(49)2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972067

ABSTRACT

BackgroundOn 20 February 2020, a locally acquired coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case was detected in Lombardy, Italy. This was the first signal of ongoing transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the country. The number of cases in Italy increased rapidly and the country became the first in Europe to experience a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.AimOur aim was to describe the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of the first COVID-19 cases in Italy amid ongoing control measures.MethodsWe analysed all RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to the national integrated surveillance system until 31 March 2020. We provide a descriptive epidemiological summary and estimate the basic and net reproductive numbers by region.ResultsOf the 98,716 cases of COVID-19 analysed, 9,512 were healthcare workers. Of the 10,943 reported COVID-19-associated deaths (crude case fatality ratio: 11.1%) 49.5% occurred in cases older than 80 years. Male sex and age were independent risk factors for COVID-19 death. Estimates of R0 varied between 2.50 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.18-2.83) in Tuscany and 3.00 (95% CI: 2.68-3.33) in Lazio. The net reproduction number Rt in northern regions started decreasing immediately after the first detection.ConclusionThe COVID-19 outbreak in Italy showed a clustering onset similar to the one in Wuhan, China. R0 at 2.96 in Lombardy combined with delayed detection explains the high case load and rapid geographical spread. Overall, Rt in Italian regions showed early signs of decrease, with large diversity in incidence, supporting the importance of combined non-pharmacological control measures.


Subject(s)
Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , SARS-CoV-2
5.
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