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1.
Epidemiol Prev ; 46(4): 250-258, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2091260

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to evaluate immunogenicity and effectiveness of BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of healthcare workers (HCWs). DESIGN: cohort study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: in a hospital in Milan (Lombardy Region, Northern Italy) HCWs without ("negative cohort") and with ("positive cohort") history of SARS-CoV-2 infection or elevated serum antibody before the vaccination campaign (27.12.2020) were included. Data collection and follow-up covered the period 27.12.2020-13.05.2022. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: 1. serum anti-spike-1 (anti-S1) antibody levels after vaccination; 2. vaccine effectiveness (VE) against SARS-CoV-2 infections (either symptomatic or not) in the negative cohort. Data on infections were extracted from multiple sources (laboratory, accident reports, questionnaires). Vaccination was treated as a time-dependent variable. Using unvaccinated person-time as reference, hazard ratios (HR) of infections and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated with a Cox regression model adjusted for gender, age, and occupation. VE was calculated as (1 - HR)×100. RESULTS: 5,596 HCWs were included, 4,771 in the negative and 825 in the positive cohort. In both cohorts, serum anti-S1 antibodies were high one months after the second dose, halved after six months, and returned to high levels after the third dose. In the negative cohort, 1,401 SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified. VE was 70% (95%CI 54-80; 46 infected) in the first four months after the second dose and later declined to 16% (95%CI 0-43; 97 infected). After the third dose, VE increased to 57% (95%CI 35-71; 61 infected) in the first month but rapidly declined over time, particularly after three months (24% in the fourth month and 1% afterwards). The number of infections avoided by vaccination was estimated to be 643 (95%CI 236-1,237). CONCLUSIONS: in spite of rapidly declining effectiveness, vaccination helped to avoid several hundred infections in the considered hospital.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Humans , Cohort Studies , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel
2.
Am J Hematol ; 97(11): 1404-1412, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1976682

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) can be considered as a human pathological model of inflammation combined with hypoxia. In this setting, both erythropoiesis and iron metabolism appear to be profoundly affected by inflammatory and hypoxic stimuli, which act in the opposite direction on hepcidin regulation. The impact of low blood oxygen levels on erythropoiesis and iron metabolism in the context of human hypoxic disease (e.g., pneumonia) has not been fully elucidated. This multicentric observational study was aimed at investigating the prevalence of anemia, the alterations of iron homeostasis, and the relationship between inflammation, hypoxia, and erythropoietic parameters in a cohort of 481 COVID-19 patients admitted both to medical wards and intensive care units (ICU). Data were collected on admission and after 7 days of hospitalization. On admission, nearly half of the patients were anemic, displaying mild-to-moderate anemia. We found that hepcidin levels were increased during the whole period of observation. The patients with a higher burden of disease (i.e., those who needed intensive care treatment or had a more severe degree of hypoxia) showed lower hepcidin levels, despite having a more marked inflammatory pattern. Erythropoietin (EPO) levels were also lower in the ICU group on admission. After 7 days, EPO levels rose in the ICU group while they remained stable in the non-ICU group, reflecting that the initial hypoxic stimulus was stronger in the first group. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that, at least in the early phases, hypoxia-driven stimuli prevail over inflammation in the regulation of hepcidin and, finally, of erythropoiesis.


Subject(s)
Anemia , COVID-19 , Erythropoietin , Erythropoiesis/physiology , Hepcidins , Humans , Hypoxia , Inflammation , Iron
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7743, 2022 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947429

ABSTRACT

Data concerning the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in patients with non-oncological hematologic conditions are lacking. These include autoimmune cytopenias (autoimmune hemolytic anemia AIHA, immune thrombocytopenia ITP, and autoimmune neutropenia), and bone marrow failure syndromes (aplastic anemia, low risk myelodysplastic syndromes, and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria). These conditions may relapse/reactivate after COVID-19 infection and vaccine. Moreover, they are mainly handled with immunosuppressive drugs that may hamper the response to vaccine. In this study, we prospectively evaluated the rate of seroconversion after mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in patients with autoimmune cytopenias or bone marrow failure syndrome after 2 ± 1 months from the last vaccine dose. Overall, 149 patients were tested and 135 (91%) seroconverted. The highest proportion of non-responders was observed in Evans syndrome (association of ITP and AIHA) and warm AIHA patients (p = 0.001), in those with lower levels of baseline serum IgG (p = 0.008), and in patients on active therapy with steroids (p = 0.03) who also had lower anti-Spike titers. The latter were inversely related with age, and a positively with lymphocyte counts. Additionally, patients who had received rituximab within 12 months from vaccination showed higher rates of non-response (p = 0.03) as compared to those treated before. Contrarily, cyclosporine alone, complement inhibitors, and bone marrow stimulating agents had no detrimental effect on seroconversion. These data suggest maintaining high vigilance and adherence to preventive/protective measures in this population since a proportion of cases may not respond or exhibit low anti-Spike titers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pancytopenia , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic , Vaccines , Bone Marrow Failure Disorders , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion
5.
Front Immunol ; 13: 852158, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924088

ABSTRACT

Hematologic patients show lower responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, but predictors of seroconversion are lacking. In this prospective cohort study, hematologic patients undergoing SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination at a single center in Milan, Italy, were sampled for anti-Spike and anti-Nucleocapsid IgG titer at 5 ± 1 weeks and at 3 months from the second vaccine dose. Patients (N = 393) received either BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech, 48%) or MRNA-1273 (Moderna, 52%), and 284 (72%) seroconverted and 100% persisted at 3 months. Non-response was higher in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and lymphoma patients, and in those treated with small molecules and monoclonal antibodies. In myeloid neoplasms, lower responses were detected in patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with venetoclax plus hypomethylating agents and in patients with myelofibrosis receiving ruxolitinib. Multivariable analysis showed that seroconversion was favorably associated with a diagnosis other than indolent lymphoma/CLL [OR 8.5 (95% CI 4.1-17.6)], lack of B-cell-depleting therapy [OR 3.15 (1.7-5.9)], and IgG levels within the normal range [OR 2.2 (1.2-4.2)]. We developed a simple algorithm according to these 3 risk factors [(A) diagnosis of indolent lymphoma/CLL, (B) B-cell-depleting treatment, and (C) low IgG] to predict non-response. IgG levels and treatment may be modifiable risk factors and should be considered for timing of vaccine administration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell/drug therapy , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroconversion
6.
Microorganisms ; 10(6)2022 Jun 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884281

ABSTRACT

The severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be influenced by pre-existing immune responses against endemic coronaviruses, but conflicting data have been reported. We studied 148 patients who were hospitalised because of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, classified mild in 58, moderate in 44, and severe in 46. The controls were 27 healthy subjects. At admission, blood samples were collected for the measurement of biomarkers of disease severity and levels of the IgG against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and pre-existing coronaviruses OC43, HKU1, NL63 and 229E. Higher levels of IgG antibodies against the RBD of pre-existing coronavirus (with the highest significance for anti-HKU1 IgG, p = 0.01) were found in patients with mild disease, compared with those with moderate or severe disease. Multivariable logistic regression confirmed the association of high levels of antibodies to pre-existing coronavirus with mild disease and showed their associations with low levels of the complement activation marker SC5b-9 (p range = 0.007-0.05). High levels of anti-NL63 antibodies were associated with low levels of the coagulation activation marker D-dimer (p = 0.04), while high levels of IgG against 229E were associated with low levels of the endothelial activation marker von Willebrand factor (p = 0.05). Anti-SARS-CoV-2-neutralising activity of plasma positively correlated with anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG (r = 0.53, p = 0.04) and with anti-HKU1 IgG (r = 0.51, p = 0.05). In hospitalised patients with COVID-19, high levels of antibodies to pre-existing coronaviruses are associated with mild disease, suggesting that their measurement could be useful in predicting the severity of the disease.

7.
Expert Rev Vaccines ; 21(8): 1147-1157, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852791

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The waning of the protective effect of COVID-19 vaccines and timing of booster doses are debated. METHODS: Population-based cohort study in the largest Health-Authority of Lazio region, Italy, on 946,156 residents aged 12+ (study period: 1 January 2021-10 January 2022). Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against any SARS-CoV-2 infection (symptomatic or asymptomatic) was estimated through multivariable negative-binomial models using unvaccinated person-time as a reference. RESULTS: The primary vaccination cycle was completed by 81% of residents; of these, 45% received a booster dose. Vaccine coverages were lower for foreigners, and people living in deprived areas, families with children aged 0-11, and households size 1 or 6+. Overall, VE waned from 71% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 70-73%) 1 month after the second dose to 43% (CI 41-45%) after 4 months and 24% (CI 21-27%) after 6 months, especially in the elderly aged 70+. We observed a prompt restore of VE 15-19 days after the booster dose (69%, CI 67-70%). CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the recommendation of a booster dose 4 months after completion of the primary cycle, giving priority to elderly and fragile individuals. The lower vaccine coverage among social disadvantaged subgroups suggests the need of targeted communication and interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Cohort Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Med Lav ; 112(6): 477-485, 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667925

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Italy, healthcare workers (HCWs) were among the first to receive COVID-19 vaccination. Aim of the present study is to evaluate frequency and severity of adverse events (AEs) following the second dose of BNT162b2 vaccine among HCWs of a large university hospital in Milan, Italy. METHODS: One month after having received the second dose of vaccine, HCWs filled-in a form about type, severity, and duration of post-vaccination local and systemic symptoms. We calculated the overall frequency of AEs and used multivariable Poisson regression models (adjusted for sex, age, BMI, smoking, allergy history, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, anti-hypertensive therapy, and occupation) to calculate risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of AEs according to selected variables. RESULTS: We included 3659 HCWs. Overall, 2801 (76.6%) experienced at least one local event, with pain at injection site being the most frequent (2788, 76.2%). Systemic events were reported by 2080 (56.8%) HCWs, with fatigue (52.3%), muscle pain (42.2%), headache (37.7%), joint pain (31.9%), and fever (26.2%) being the most frequent. Risks of systemic events were associated with female gender (RR=1.14, CI: 1.06-1.23), age (strong decrease with increasing age, p-trend<0.001), allergy history (RR=1.13, CI: 1.05-1.20), and current smoking (RR=0.90, CI: 0.84-0.97). HCWs with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection (even if symptomatic) were not at increased risk. CONCLUSIONS: Both local and systemic acute effects after second dose of BNT162b2 vaccine were frequently reported. However, symptoms were mostly light/mild and of short duration. Thus, our findings support the safety of COVID-19 vaccination in adults in relatively good health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Female , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Intern Emerg Med ; 17(5): 1343-1353, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661728

ABSTRACT

The relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and dizziness is still unclear. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence and characteristics of dizziness and vertigo among patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. Patients discharged from the emergency rooms with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis were assisted by daily telephone calls until nasopharyngeal swab negativization, and specific symptoms concerning balance disorders were investigated through targeted questions posed by experienced physicians. The study included 1512 subjects (765 females, 747 males), with a median age of 51 ± 18.4 years. New-onset dizziness was reported by 251 (16.6%) patients, among whom 110 (43.8%) complained of lightheadedness, 70 (27.9%) of disequilibrium, 41 (16.3%) of presyncope, and 30 (12%) of vertigo. This study analyzed in detail the prevalence and pathophysiological mechanisms of the different types of balance disorders in a large sample, and the results suggest that dizziness should be included among the main symptoms of COVID-19 because one-sixth of patients reported this symptom, with females being significantly more affected than males (20.3 vs 12.9%, P < 0.001). Most cases of dizziness were attributable to lightheadedness, which was probably exacerbated by psychophysical stress following acute infection and mandatory quarantine. Vertigo should not be underestimated because it might underlie serious vestibular disorders, and disequilibrium in elderly individuals should be monitored due to the possible risk of falls.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dizziness , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Dizziness/epidemiology , Dizziness/etiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Vertigo/complications , Vertigo/etiology
11.
J Clin Med ; 11(1)2021 Dec 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the activities and daily clinical scenarios, subverting organizational requirements of our Gastroenterology Units. AIM: to evaluate the clinical needs and outcomes of the gastroenterological ward metamorphosis during the COVID-19 outbreaks in a high incidence scenario. METHODS: we compared the pertinence of gastroenterological hospitalization, modality of access, mortality rate, days of hospitalization, diagnostic and interventional procedures, age, Charlson comorbidity index, and frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infections in patients and healthcare personnel across the first and the second COVID-19 outbreaks in a COVID-free gastroenterological ward in the metropolitan area of Milan, that was hit first and hardest during the first COVID-19 outbreak since March 2020. RESULTS: pertinence of gastroenterological hospitalization decreased both during the first and, to a lesser degree, the second SARS-CoV2 waves as compared to the pre-COVID era (43.6, 85.4, and 96.2%, respectively), as occurred to the admissions from domicile, while age, comorbidities, length of stay and mortality increased. Endoscopic and interventional radiology procedures declined only during the first wave. Hospitalized patients resulted positive to a SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab in 10.2% of cases during the first COVID-19 outbreak after a median of 7 days since admission (range 1-15 days) and only 1 out of 318 patients during the second wave (6 days after admission). During the first wave, 19.5% of healthcare workers tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: a sudden metamorphosis of the gastroenterological ward was observed during the first COVID-19 outbreak with a marked reduction in the gastroenterological pertinence at the admission, together with an increase in patients' age and multidisciplinary complexity, hospital stays, and mortality, and a substantial risk of developing a SARS-CoV-2 test positivity. This lesson paved the way for the efficiency of hospital safety protocols and admission management, which contributed to the improved outcomes recorded during the second COVID-19 wave.

12.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 13: 100287, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587069

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccines against COVID-19 are a powerful tool to control the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A thorough description of their immunogenicity among people living with HIV (PLWHIV) is necessary. We aimed to assess the immunogenicity of the mRNA-1273 vaccine among PLWHIV. METHODS: In this prospective cohort, adult PLWHIV outpatients were enrolled during the Italian vaccination campaign. Enrolment was allowed irrespective of ongoing combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), plasma HIV viral load and CD4+ T cell count. A two-dose regimen of mRNA-1273, with administrations performed 28 days apart, was employed. The primary outcomes were anti-spike (anti-S) antibody titres and neutralising antibody activity, assessed 28 days after completing the vaccination schedule. A convenient sample of individuals not affected by HIV was also collected to serve as control (referred as healthy-donors, HDs). FINDINGS: We enrolled 71 PLWHIV, mostly male (84·5%), with a mean age of 47 years, a median CD4+ T cell count of 747·0 cells per µL and a median HIV viral load <50 copies/mL. COVID-19-experienced PLWHIV displayed higher anti-S antibody titres (p=0·0007) and neutralising antibody activity in sera (p=0·0007) than COVID-19-naïve PLWHIV. When stratified according to CD4+ T cell count (<350 cells/µL, 350-500 cells/µL, >500 cells/µL), anti-S antibody titres (6/71, median 2173 U/mL [IQR 987-4109]; 7/71, 5763 IU/mL [IQR 4801->12500]; 58/71, 2449 U/mL [IQR 1524-5704]) were not lower to those observed among HDs (10, median 1425 U/mL [IQR 599-6131]). In addition, neutralising antibody activity, stratified according to the CD4+ T cell count (6/71, median 1314 [IQR 606-2477]; 7/71, 3329 IU/mL [IQR 1905-10508]; 58/71, 1227 U/mL [IQR 761-3032]), was like those displayed by HDs (10, median 2112 U/mL [IQR 719-8889]). INTERPRETATION: In our cohort of PLWHIV with well-controlled ART, stable viral suppression and robust CD4+ T cell count, inoculation with mRNA-1273 vaccine given 4 weeks apart produced detectable humoral immune response, similar to individuals without HIV infection, supporting vaccination in PLWHIV. FUNDING: This study was partially supported by Italian Ministry of Health Ricerca Corrente 2021, by Intesa San Paolo COVID-19 emergency 2020 funds, and by Fondazione Cariplo Grant (INNATE-CoV).

14.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine ; 78(Suppl 1):A127, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1480279

ABSTRACT

IntroductionWith COVID-19 world dissemination, WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Relevance on March, 11th, 2020. In the face of absent effective treatment or vaccine for all, workers unable to comply with social distance were subjected to company health and security management policies. This study explored the knowledge on workspace safety measures.Methods2002 workers had accessed to self-reporting forms from December/2020 through March/2021. From these, over a thousand answered some of the questions, while 687 had filled most of the forms on the RedCap platform.ResultsFrom 687 workers distributed in 22 Units of Federation, the greater representation were SP (33%), RJ (30%) RS (19%) states. The majority belonging to health (22%), post office (11,3%), services (9,5%), education (9%) and extractive industry (9%). Participants were 54% women and 59% white. Among them, 24% were confirmed as positive for COVID-19. More than half (53%) believed contamination occurred at or during commute to work and 18% were undetermined. Regarding capacitation promoted by employers, 63% reported it as non-present or insufficient. The majority (70%) considered the collective space to address preventive measures as absent and/or insufficient, as well sanitary barriers use in employee and costumer distancing (2 m). 55% stated individual protection equipment were not supplied regularly and sufficiently since the beginning of pandemic.ConclusionThe findings in this study revealed deficiencies in contingency plans adopted by companies and workplace safety measures policy as well. Furthermore, inadequate protection equipment supply during COVID-19 pandemic was also reported. This situation increased insecurity and exposure risk to SARS-CoV-2 in workers, reducing preventive measures effectiveness to mitigate pandemic, turning workplace in an important locus for virus spread. Financial support: Vice-Presidency of Environment, Attention and Health Promotion of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and Public Ministry of Labor - 4th Region.

15.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(9)2021 Sep 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1411056

ABSTRACT

Urticarial eruptions and angioedema are the most common cutaneous reactions in patients undergoing mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations. The vasoactive peptide bradykinin has long been known to be involved in angioedema and recently also in urticaria. Bradykinin is mainly catabolized by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which is inhibited by ACE inhibitors, a commonly employed class of antihypertensive drugs. We evaluated the risk of developing urticaria/angioedema after inoculation with the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in a population of 3586 health care workers. The influences of ACE inhibitors and selected potential confounding variables (sex, age, previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, and allergy history) were evaluated by fitting univariate and multivariable Poisson regression models. The overall cumulative incidence of urticaria/angioedema was 1.8% (65 out of 3586; 95% CI: 1.4-2.3%). Symptoms were mild, and no subject consulted a physician. Subjects taking ACE inhibitors had an adjusted three-fold increased risk of urticaria/angioedema (RR 2.98, 95% CI: 1.12-7.96). When we restricted the analysis to those aged 50 years or more, the adjusted RR was 3.98 (95% CI: 1.44-11.0). In conclusion, our data indicate that subjects taking ACE inhibitors have an increased risk of urticaria/angioedema after vaccination with the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Symptoms are mild and self-limited; however, they should be considered to adequately advise subjects undergoing vaccination.

17.
Neurogastroenterol Motil ; 34(2): e14187, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388363

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal infections represent a risk factor for functional gastrointestinal and somatoform extraintestinal disorders. We investigated the prevalence and relative risk (RR) of gastrointestinal and somatoform symptoms 5 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with a control cohort. METHODS: One hundred and sixty-four SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and 183 controls responded to an online questionnaire about symptoms and signs during the acute phase of the infection and after 4.8 ± 0.3 months. Presence and severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, somatization, anxiety, and depression were recorded with standardized questionnaires. Stool form and presence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were also recorded. Any association between exposure to infection and symptoms was evaluated by calculating crude and adjusted RR values and score differences with 95% confidence intervals (CI). KEY RESULTS: Fever, dyspnea, loss of smell/taste/weight, diarrhea, myalgia, arthralgia, and asthenia were reported by more than 40% of patients during the acute phase. Compared with controls, adjusted RRs for loose stools, chronic fatigue, and somatization were increased after infection: 1.88 (95% CI 0.99-3.54), 2.24 (95% CI 1.48-3.37), and 3.62 (95% CI 1.01-6.23), respectively. Gastrointestinal sequelae were greater in patients with diarrhea during the acute phase. CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES: Mild gastroenterological symptoms persist 5 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection, in particular in patients reporting diarrhea in the acute phase. Infected patients are at increased risk of chronic fatigue and somatoform disorders, thus supporting the hypothesis that both functional gastrointestinal and somatoform disorders may have a common biological origin.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Gastrointestinal Diseases/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/virology , Somatoform Disorders/epidemiology , Somatoform Disorders/virology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(16)2021 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367823

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: since October 2020, a second SARS-CoV-2 epidemic wave has hit Italy. We investigate the frequency of positive nasopharyngeal swabs among HCWs during the two waves and the association with occupation and demographic characteristics. METHODS: this is a retrospective, observational study conducted in a large university hospital in Milan, Northern Italy. We defined two epidemic waves: 1st (February 2020-July 2020) and 2nd (August 2020-January 2021). Occupational and demographic characteristics of HCWs who underwent nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 were collected. RESULTS: in the 1st wave, 242 positive subjects (7.2%) were found among 3378 HCWs, whereas in the 2nd wave, the positive subjects were 545 out of 4465 (12.2%). In both epidemic waves positive NPSs were more frequent among HCWs with health-related tasks and lower among students (p < 0.001). However, in the 2nd wave, workers engaged in non-health-related tasks had a peak of 20.7% positivity. Among 160 positive HCWs in the 1st wave who were tested again in the 2nd wave, the rate of reinfection based on SARS-CoV2 RNA cycle quantification value was 0.6%. CONCLUSIONS: during the 2nd epidemic wave, we confirmed a significant impact of COVID-19 among HCWs. The rise of infection rate among HCWs seems to reflect the increasing spread of SARS-CoV-2 among the overall population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Health Personnel , Hospitals, University , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
19.
J Infect Public Health ; 14(8): 1120-1122, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364261

ABSTRACT

Great expectations are placed in vaccines against COVID-19 to control the pandemic. We reviewed the antibody titres in a cohort of healthcare workers (HCWs) vaccinated with BNT162b2 to assess the influence of a previous infection on them. We stratified the results according to the individual history of nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and symptoms. Among 3475 HCWs the highest titres were recorded among those infected more than 6 months before vaccination, independently of symptoms, followed by those infected less than 6 months before vaccination, especially in those with symptoms, and by uninfected HCWs. Vaccination with BNT162b2 can boost immunity acquired through infection, particularly in those infected more than 6 months before vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Vaccination
20.
J Voice ; 2021 Mar 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129098

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Dysphonia has been described in patients affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of dysphonia, and its severity and extent, of voice fatigue and of dysphagia in non hospitalized patients affected by COVID-19 in Lombardy, the Italian region most hit by the first explosive outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe. METHODS: Demographic and clinical data of 160 consecutive patients, with COVID-19 diagnosis confirmed by nasal swabs processed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, were gathered by means of telephone interviews performed by physicians in charge of daily follow-up. General and specific symptoms concerning voice and swallowing impairment were investigated. Dysphonia grade and duration were graded on 4-point scales, while voice fatigue was graded on a 5-point scale. RESULTS: Dysphonia was reported by 70 (43.7%) patients and was positively associated with voice fatigue (P < 0.001), cough (P = 0.005), rhinitis (P = 0.01), and dyspnea (P = 0.06); it was mild and/or moderate in 69 patients, but its duration was > 2 weeks in 33/70 (47.1%) patients and >1 month in 11/70 (15.7%). Grade and duration of dysphonia were positively associated with cough and rhinitis (all P values < 0.01). Voice fatigue was reported by 43/160 patients (26.8%) and its severity was correlated with dysphonia (P < 0.0001), cough (P = 0.02), rhinitis (P = 0.02), dyspnea (P < 0.001), and loss of appetite (P = 0.01). Dysphagia was encountered in 27/160 patients (16.9%) and was associated with dysgeusia, cough, arthralgia, myalgia and loss of appetite but not with dysphonia. CONCLUSIONS: Dysphonia was a highly prevalent and long-lasting symptom in this series; it has been underestimated to date. Further studies might shed light on the pathophysiology of voice disorders in COVID-19 patients.

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