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Multiple Sclerosis Journal ; 28(3 Supplement):173, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2138874


Background: Whether vaccines play a role triggering or reactivating inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has been long debated. There are few reports suggesting that Sars-Cov2 vaccines, as well as COVID-19 infection, may exacerbate relapses in MS. Studies on large cohorts are needed to establish the safety of Sars-Cov2 vaccines in the MS population. Aim(s): To assess the risk of clinical and radiological reactivation following Sars-Cov2 vaccines in patients with MS. Method(s): Patients with MS with known date of SarsCov2 vaccination were identified among those followed up at the Multiple Sclerosis Center of the Tor Vergata University Hospital. Data on clinical relapses and radiological activity (Gadolinium enhancing and new T2 lesions) in the 12 months before and after vaccination were extracted from clinical charts. Result(s): We enrolled 751 patients (64,7% female, mean age 45.9 +/- 11.63 years, 89.9% relapsing-remitting, 5.5% secondary progressive and 4.7% primary progressive, disease duration 11.2 +/- 8.11 years, median EDSS 2.0 [1.0 - 4.0], 12.1% untreated, 41.1% treated with first line immunomodulators and 46.7% with second line high efficacy treatments). Among them, 96.7% received mRNABNT162b2 (Pfizer), 2% mRNA-1273 (Moderna) and 1.3% other COVID-19 vaccines. In the whole cohort we did not find a significant increase of the rate of patients with relapse in the 12 months after vaccines (2.3%) compared to the 12 months before (2,9%, McNemar test, p=0.5), as well as of the rate of patients with radiological activity (both 11.5%, McNemar test, p=0.13). Similar findings were obtained separately analysing untreated patients, patients treated with first line and treated with second line drugs at the time of vaccination. Conclusion(s): Our preliminary results in a large monocentric cohort of MS patients suggest that vaccination with Sars-Cov2 vaccines does not induce disease reactivation. Further analyses are needed to confirm these findings.

International Journal of Web Based Communities ; 18(2):150-172, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2022024


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a corresponding infodemic, emphasised by the use of social media as the primary communication channel during lockdowns. This study was aimed at finding the accounts that spread information in Italian on COVID-19, and how such information was propagated in the first Western country to face a lockdown. The presented analysis shows that, besides authoritative news media and institutional accounts, a relevant role was played by actors from the 'civil society', which included a popular virologist as well as a far-right activist and an unfamiliar account supporting anti-government and anti-immigration ideas. Quite surprisingly, this latter account achieved the highest number of retweets despite a relatively low number of followers. Also, it showed information propagation paths similar to health experts and institutions. © 2022 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Multiple Sclerosis Journal ; 27(2 SUPPL):641, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1496007


Introduction: Extending natalizumab (NTZ) dosing in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) may increase the risk of disease reactivation. Nevertheless, evidence is lacking on the safety of reinfusion during active Sars-Cov-2 infection in patients needing retreatment. Aims and Objective: To describe the clinical outcome of patients with MS (PwMS) receiving NTZ redosing during active Sars- Cov-2 infection. Methods: 14 NTZ treated PwMS (mean age 39 years, females 11, median number of NTZ infusions 47) from 6 Italian MS centers with diagnosis of Sars-Cov2 infection confirmed by positive RT-PCR nasopharyngeal swab were retrospectively included.The main variables analyzed were baseline characteristics, outcome of infection after reinfusion, hospitalization, time to negative swab and occurrence of neurological complications. Results: All patients had symptomatic COVID-19 (13 mild, 1 moderate). None required respiratory support or hospitalization. At the time of NTZ reinfusion (median interval 52 days from the previous infusion), 14/14 had a positive molecular test performed within a median time of 3 days (0-11) and 4/14 were symptomatic. After infusion, none complained of worsening of COVID-19 symptoms or reported neurological complications. Median time to negative swab was 14,5 days (2-36) from infusion and 34,5 days (12-62) from first positive swab. Conclusions: In response to primary concerns about potential worsening of COVID-19 symptoms, due to the neuro and gastrointestinal tropism of Sars-Cov-2, our data support the safety of NTZ redosing in patients with active infection;therefore, in this condition, NTZ should not be interrupted/delayed, in order to minimize the risk of relapses.