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1.
Clinical Nutrition ESPEN ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1936181

ABSTRACT

Summary Background & aims Obesity has been described as a predisposing risk factor to severe forms of COVID-19, but conflicting results are emerging on its real impact on the mortality of COVID-19. We aimed to compare clinical outcomes and mortality among COVID-19 patients according to obesity, metabolic syndrome and adiposity distribution. Methods We conducted a prospective observational study of all consecutive adult patients with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Udine Hospital, Italy, from January 2021 to February 2021. At admission, the study population was submitted to specific anthropometric, laboratory and bioimpedance analysis (BIA) measurements and divided into five groups according to: 1) BMI < or > 30 kg/m2;2) waist circumference (WC) < or > 98 cm for women, < or > 102 cm for men;3) presence or absence of metabolic syndrome (MS);4) visceral adipose tissue (VAT) distribution;and 5) presence or absence of sarcopenia (SP) both based on BIA. We then compared clinical outcomes (ventilatory support, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, ICU length of stay, total hospital length of stay and mortality), immune and inflammatory makers and infectious and non-infectious acute complications within the five groups. Results A total of 195 patients were enrolled in the study. The mean age of patients was 71 years (IQR 61-80) and 64.6% (126) were male. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (55.9%) and MS (55.4%). Overall mortality was 19.5%. Abdominal adiposity, measured both with WC and with BIA, and SP were significantly associated with need for increased ventilator support (p = 0.013 for WC;p = 0.037, 0.027 and 0.009 for VAT;p = 0.004 and 0.036 for FMI;and p = 0.051 for SP), but not with ICU admission (WC p = 0.627, VAT p = 0.153, FMI p = 0.519 and SP p = 0.938), length of stay (WC p =0.345, VAT p = 0.650, FMI p = 0.159 and SP p = 0.992) and mortality (WC p = 0.277, VAT p = 0.533, FMI p = 0.957 and SP p = 0.211). Obesity and MS did not discriminate for the intensity of ventilatory outcome (p = 0.142 and p = 0.198, respectively), ICU admission (p = 0.802 and p = 0.947, respectively), length of stay (p = 0.471 and p = 0.768, respectively) and mortality (p = 0.495 and p = 0.268, respectively). We did not find significant differences in inflammatory markers and secondary complications within the five groups. Conclusions In patients admitted with COVID-19, increased WC, visceral abdominal fat and SP are associated with higher need for ventilatory support. However, obesity, MS, SP and abdominal adiposity are not sensitive predictive factors for mortality.

2.
Indian J Gastroenterol ; 2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906551

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with liver disease may be at increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection due to immune dysfunction. However, the risk of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection in these patients remains unknown. This study aimed to determine whether patients with liver disease are at an increased risk of nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection upon admission to the hospital for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. METHODS: The study prospectively enrolled 143 patients who were admitted at least once to the hepatology unit at our hospital; 95 patients (66%) were admitted at least twice during the study period. History of past symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 exposure was assessed on the day before hospital admission via an interview. Patients were evaluated for active SARS-CoV-2 infection via real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) performed on nasopharyngeal swabs and tests for serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. RESULTS: None of the patients enrolled tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by RT-PCR at the first or the second clinical evaluation. One patient who had previously received a liver transplant and who had a history of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection that occurred 4 months before hospital admission tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG but not IgM antibodies at each of the two hospital admissions. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study suggest that patients with liver disease are at no increased risk of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data support the policy of maintaining clinical hospital checks that will be necessary until or possibly even after the completion of the current SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign.

3.
Thromb J ; 20(1): 34, 2022 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896353

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary embolism (PE) without overt deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was common in hospitalized coronavirus-induced disease (COVID)-19 patients and represented a diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic challenge. The aim of this study was to analyze the prognostic role of PE on mortality and the preventive effect of heparin on PE and mortality in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients without overt DVT. METHODS: Data from 401 unvaccinated patients (age 68 ± 13 years, 33% females) consecutively admitted to the intensive care unit or the medical ward were included in a retrospective longitudinal study. PE was documented by computed tomography scan and DVT by compressive venous ultrasound. The effect of PE diagnosis and any heparin use on in-hospital death (primary outcome) was analyzed by a classical survival model. The preventive effect of heparin on either PE diagnosis or in-hospital death (secondary outcome) was analyzed by a multi-state model after having reclassified patients who started heparin after PE diagnosis as not treated. RESULTS: Median follow-up time was 8 days (range 1-40 days). PE cumulative incidence and in-hospital mortality were 27% and 20%, respectively. PE was predicted by increased D-dimer levels and COVID-19 severity. Independent predictors of in-hospital death were age (hazards ratio (HR) 1.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.08, p < 0.001), body mass index (HR 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.98, p = 0.004), COVID-19 severity (severe versus mild/moderate HR 3.67, 95% CI 1.30-10.4, p = 0.014, critical versus mild/moderate HR 12.1, 95% CI 4.57-32.2, p < 0.001), active neoplasia (HR 2.58, 95% CI 1.48-4.50, p < 0.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR 2.47; 95% CI 1.15-5.27, p = 0.020), respiratory rate (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.11, p = 0.008), heart rate (HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.04, p < 0.001), and any heparin treatment (HR 0.35, 95% CI 0.18-0.67, p = 0.001). In the multi-state model, preventive heparin at prophylactic or intermediate/therapeutic dose, compared with no treatment, reduced PE risk and in-hospital death, but it did not influence mortality of patients with a PE diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: PE was common during the first waves pandemic in unvaccinated patients, but it was not a negative prognostic factor for in-hospital death. Heparin treatment at any dose prevented mortality independently of PE diagnosis, D-dimer levels, and disease severity.

4.
Liver Int ; 2022 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879083

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: A strategy to improve the low rate of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine-induced immunogenicity in liver transplant recipients (LTs) is urgently needed. METHODS: We analyzed the rate of positive (≥0.8 U/ml) anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor domain binding protein (RBD) antibody response two months after a third dose of the BNT16b2 vaccine in 107 LTs who completed the second vaccine dose seven months earlier. RESULTS: A positive anti-SARS-CoV-2-s-RBD antibody response after the third vaccine dose was detected in 98 (91.6%) LTs compared to 82 (76.6%) after the second vaccine dose (p=0.003). The median of anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibody titers increased from 22.9 U/ml six months after the second to 3500 U/ml two months after the third vaccine dose (p<0.001). Fourteen (14.3%) responder patients presented antibody titers <100 U/ml, 57 (58.2%) between 100 and 9999 U/ml and 27 (27.6%) ≥10000 U/ml. Seropositivity after the second dose was maintained after the third dose. Independent predictors of antibody response failure after the third vaccine dose were taking a higher daily dose of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF, p<0.001) and had a lower (<60 ml/min/1.73m2 ) estimated glomerular filtration rate (p=0.007). Nine (9.1%) LTs experienced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection after the third vaccine dose. Median antibody titers were not statistically different between infected and not infected LTs (1325 vs 3515 U/ml, p=0.678). CONCLUSIONS: The third dose of the BNT16b2 vaccine increased the number of LTs who developed a positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 s-RBD antibody response. A proportion of patients remained unresponsive, mainly for modifiable factors, such the use of MMF or multiple immunosuppressants.

5.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(8): 1140-1148, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1859444

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the impact of vaccination and the role of humoral responses on post-COVID-19 syndrome 1 year after the onset of SARS coronavirus type 2 (CoV-2). METHODS: This prospective study was conducted through interviews to investigate post-COVID-19 syndrome 6 and 12 months after disease onset in all adult in- and outpatients with COVID-19 at Udine Hospital (March-May 2020). Vaccination status and two different serological assays to distinguish between response to vaccination (receptor-binding domain (RBD) SARS-CoV-2 IgG) and/or natural infection (non-RBD-SARS-CoV-2 IgG) were also assessed. RESULTS: A total of 479 patients (52.6% female; mean age: 53 years) were interviewed 13.5 months (standard deviation: 0.6 months) after acute infection. Post-COVID-19 syndrome was observed in 47.2% of patients (n = 226) after 1 year. There were no significant differences in the worsening of post-COVID-19 symptoms (22.7% vs. 15.8%; p = 0.209) among vaccinated (n = 132) and unvaccinated (n = 347) patients. The presence of non-RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG induced by natural infection showed a significant association with post-COVID-19 syndrome (OR: 1.35; 95% CI, 1.11-1.64; p = 0.003), and median non-RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres were significantly higher in long haulers than in patients without symptoms (22 kAU/L (interquartile range, 9.7-37.2 kAU/L) vs. 14.1 kAU/L (interquartile range, 5.4-31.3 kAU/L); p = 0.009) after 1 year. In contrast, the presence of RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG was not associated with the occurrence of post-COVID-19 syndrome (>2500 U/mL vs. 0.9-2500 U/mL; OR: 1.36; 95% CI, 0.62-3.00; p = 0.441), and RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres were similar in long haulers as in patients without symptoms (50% values > 2500 U/mL vs. 55.6% values > 2500 U/mL; p = 0.451). DISCUSSION: The SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is not associated with the emergence of post-COVID-19 symptoms more than 1 year after acute infection. The persistence of high serological titre response induced by natural infection, but not vaccination, may play a role in long-haul COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(9)2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809944

ABSTRACT

The main aim of this study was to identify the most relevant cytokines which, when assessed in the earliest stages from hospital admission, may help to select COVID-19 patients with worse prognosis. A retrospective observational study was conducted in 415 COVID-19 patients (272 males; mean age 68 ± 14 years) hospitalized between May 2020 and March 2021. Within the first 72 h from hospital admission, patients were tested for a large panel of biomarkers, including C-reactive protein (CRP), Mid-regional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM), Interferon-γ, interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-1ß, IL-8, IL-10, soluble IL2-receptor-α (sIL2Rα), IP10 and TNFα. Extensive statistical analyses were performed (correlations, t-tests, ranking tests and tree modeling). The mortality rate was 65/415 (15.7%) and a negative outcome (death and/or orotracheal intubation) affected 98/415 (23.6%) of cases. Univariate tests showed the majority of biomarkers increased in severe patients, but ranking tests helped to select the best variables to put on decisional tree modeling which identified IL-6 as the first dichotomic marker with a cut-off of 114 pg/mL. Then, a good synergy was found between IL-10, MR-proADM, sIL2Rα, IP10 and CRP in increasing the predictive value in classifying patients at risk or not for a negative outcome. In conclusion, beside IL-6, a panel of other cytokines representing the degree of immunoparalysis and the anti-inflammatory response (IP10, sIL2Rα and IL-10) showed synergic role when combined to biomarkers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (CRP, MR-proADM) and may also better explain disease pathogenesis and suggests targeted intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adrenomedullin , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chemokine CXCL10 , Cytokines , Humans , Interleukin-10 , Interleukin-6 , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
7.
J Autoimmun ; 129: 102827, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783457

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate B-cell- and T-cell-mediated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination in patients with complex or rare systemic autoimmune diseases previously been treated with or under continuous treatment with B-cell-targeted therapies including rituximab (RTX) and belimumab (BEL). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight consecutive patients receiving RTX (n = 11) or BEL (n = 17) treatment and 13 age-/sex-matched controls (non-rheumatic healthcare personnel) were recruited. None of the patients had detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies caused by prior exposure to the virus. All the patients and controls received mRNA vaccines and were tested three to four weeks after completion of vaccination. In all the RTX patients, vaccination was started within 5 months from the last infusion, and B-cell depletion was confirmed in all but one of them. Total anti-SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies were analyzed using a diagnostic assay, while T-cell response was evaluated using the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). Further, SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses were employed to verify the strain-specific neutralizing capacity of the antibodies. RESULTS: Detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were documented in 1 out of the 11 RTX patients and 16 of the 17 BEL patients. The median concentration in the RTX and BEL patients was significantly lower than that in the controls (39.6 AU/ml vs. 1133 AU/ml, p = 0.002). The result of IGRA was positive in 8 of the 11 (72.7%) RTX patients and 16 of the 17 (94.1%) BEL patients, and interferon release in both the RTX and BEL patients was comparable to that in the control participants. CONCLUSION: B-cell-targeted therapies do not preclude SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, since virus-specific cellular immunity can be induced even in the absence of circulating B cells. An important finding was that lupus patients treated with BEL developed immune responses to SARS-CoV-2; this indicates retention of the immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Rituximab/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination
8.
Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1755981

ABSTRACT

Objectives To describe the impact of vaccination and the role of humoral responses on post-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) syndrome one year after the onset of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Methods A prospective study. Interviews investigated post-COVID-19 syndrome 6 and 12 months after the disease onset of all adult in- and outpatients with COVID-19 attending Udine Hospital (March–May 2020). Vaccination status and two different serological assays to distinguish between response to vaccination (receptor-binding domain –RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG) and/or natural infection (non-RBD- SARS-CoV-2 IgG) were also assessed. Results 479 individuals (52.6% female, mean age 53 years) were interviewed 13.5 months (0.6 SD) after acute infection. Post-COVID-19 syndrome was observed in 47.2% (226/479) of patients after one year. There were no significant differences in the worsening of post-COVID 19 symptoms (22.7% vs 15.8%, p = 0.209) among vaccinated (n=132) and unvaccinated (n=347) patients. The presence of non-RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG induced by natural infection showed a significant association with post-COVID-19 syndrome (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.11–1.64, p = 0.003), and median non-RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres were significantly higher in long-haulers than in patients without symptoms 22 (IQR 9.7–37.2) vs 14.1 (IQR 5.4–31.3) kAU/L, p = 0.009) after one year. In contrast, the presence of RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG was not associated with the occurrence of post-COVID-19 syndrome (>2500 U/mL vs 0.9–2500 U/mL, OR 1.36, 95% CI 0.62–3.00, p = 0.441) and RBD SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres were similar in long-haulers than in patients without symptoms (50% values > 2500 U/mL vs 55.6% values > 2500 U/mL, p = 0.451) Conclusions The SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is not associated with the emergence of post-COVID-19 symptoms over one year after acute infection. The persistence of high serological titres response induced by natural infection but not by vaccination, may play a role in long-COVID-19. Graphical Image 1

9.
Aging Clin Exp Res ; 34(4): 939-944, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748378

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The study assesses the reliability of fr-AGILE, a validated rapid tool used for the evaluation of multidimensional frailty in older adults hospitalized with COVID-19. METHODS: Two different staff members independently assessed the presence of frailty in 144 patients aged ≥ 65 years affected by COVID-19 using the fr-AGILE tool. The internal consistency of fr-AGILE was evaluated by examining the item-total correlations and the Kuder-Richardson (KR) formula. The inter-rater reliability was evaluated using linear weighted kappa. RESULTS: Multidimensional frailty severity increases with age and is associated to higher use of non-invasive ventilation (p = 0.025), total severity score on chest tomography (p = 0.001) and in-hospital mortality (p = 0.032). Fr-AGILE showed good internal consistency (KR-20 = 0.742) and excellent inter-rater reliability (weighted kappa = 0.752 and 0.878 for frailty score and frailty degree, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: fr-AGILE tool can quickly identify and quantify multidimensional frailty in hospital settings for older patient affected by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Aged , Frail Elderly , Frailty/diagnosis , Geriatric Assessment/methods , Hospitals , Humans , Reproducibility of Results
10.
J Hepatol ; 77(1): 152-162, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734733

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The long-term immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in liver transplant (LT) recipients is unknown. We aimed to assess the long-term antibody response of the Pfizer-BioNTech® BNT162b2 vaccine in LT recipients compared to controls. METHODS: LT recipients underwent anti-SARS-CoV-2 anti-receptor-binding domain protein IgG (anti-RBD) and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG antibody (anti-N) measurements at the first and 1, 4 and 6 months after the second vaccination dose. RESULTS: One hundred forty-three LT recipients and 58 controls were enrolled. At baseline, 131/143 (91.6%) LT recipients tested anti-N negative (COVID-19 naïve), and 12/143 (8.4%) tested positive (COVID-19 recovered) compared to negative controls. Among COVID-19 naïve, 22.1% were anti-RBD positives 1 month after the first vaccine dose, while 66.4%, 77%, and 78.8% were 1, 4 and 6 months following the second vaccine dose. In contrast, 100% of controls were positive at 4 months (p <0.001). The median anti-RBD titer 4 months after the second vaccine dose was significantly lower (32 U/ml) in COVID-19 naïve than in controls (852 U/ml, p <0.0001). A higher daily dose of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) (p <0.001), higher frequency of ascites (p = 0.012), and lower serum leukocyte count (p = 0.016) were independent predictors of anti-RBD negativity at 6 months. All COVID-19 recovered patients tested positive for anti-RBD at each time point. The median antibody titer was similar in those taking MMF (9,400 U/ml, 11,925 U/ml, 13,305 U/ml, and 10,095 U/ml) or not taking MMF (13,950 U/ml, 9,575 U/ml, 3,500 U/ml, 2,835 U/ml, p = NS) 3 weeks after the first and 1, 4 and 6 months after the second vaccine dose, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-19-naïve LT recipients, the immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination was significantly lower than that in controls. MMF was the main determinant of vaccination failure in SARS-CoV-2-naïve patients. LAY SUMMARY: The immunogenicity of anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in liver transplant recipients is currently unknown. Herein, we show that liver transplant recipients who have not previously had COVID-19 are less likely to mount effective antibody responses to vaccination than a control population. The main determinant of vaccination failure was the use of the immunosuppressive drug mycophenolate mofetil.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Liver Transplantation , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Mycophenolic Acid/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients , Vaccination
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690219

ABSTRACT

The development of prophylactic agents against the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a public health priority in the search for new surrogate markers of active virus replication. Early detection markers are needed to follow disease progression and foresee patient negativization. Subgenomic RNA transcripts (with a focus on sgN) were evaluated in oro/nasopharyngeal swabs from COVID-19-affected patients with an analysis of 315 positive samples using qPCR technology. Cut-off Cq values for sgN (Cq < 33.15) and sgE (Cq < 34.06) showed correlations to high viral loads. The specific loss of sgN in home-isolated and hospitalized COVID-19-positive patients indicated negativization of patient condition, 3-7 days from the first swab, respectively. A new detection kit for sgN, gene E, gene ORF1ab, and gene RNAse P was developed recently. In addition, in vitro studies have shown that 2'-O-methyl antisense RNA (related to the sgN sequence) can impair SARS-CoV-2 N protein synthesis, viral replication, and syncytia formation in human cells (i.e., HEK-293T cells overexpressing ACE2) upon infection with VOC Alpha (B.1.1.7)-SARS-CoV-2 variant, defining the use that this procedure might have for future therapeutic actions against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/physiology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Giant Cells/drug effects , Giant Cells/virology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Antisense/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Ribonuclease P/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Social Isolation , Viral Load , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
12.
Dis Markers ; 2022: 6478434, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622116

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the beginning of the pandemic, clinicians and researchers have been searching for alternative tests to improve the screening and diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Currently, the gold standard for virus identification is the nasopharyngeal (NP) swab. Saliva samples, however, offer clear, practical, and logistical advantages but due to a lack of collection, transport, and storage solutions, high-throughput saliva-based laboratory tests are difficult to scale up as a screening or diagnostic tool. With this study, we aimed to validate an intralaboratory molecular detection method for SARS-CoV-2 on saliva samples collected in a new storage saline solution, comparing the results to NP swabs to determine the difference in sensitivity between the two tests. METHODS: In this study, 156 patients (cases) and 1005 asymptomatic subjects (controls) were enrolled and tested simultaneously for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome by RT-PCR on both NP swab and saliva samples. Saliva samples were collected in a preservative and inhibiting saline solution (Biofarma Srl). Internal method validation was performed to standardize the entire workflow for saliva samples. RESULTS: The identification of SARS-CoV-2 conducted on saliva samples showed a clinical sensitivity of 95.1% and specificity of 97.8% compared to NP swabs. The positive predictive value (PPV) was 81% while the negative predictive value (NPV) was 99.5%. Test concordance was 97.6% (Cohen's Kappa = 0.86; 95% CI 0.81-0.91). The LoD of the test was 5 viral copies for both samples. CONCLUSIONS: RT-PCR assays conducted on a stored saliva sample achieved similar performance to those on NP swabs, and this may provide a very effective tool for population screening and diagnosis. Collection of saliva in a stabilizing solution makes the test more convenient and widely available; furthermore, the denaturing properties of the solution reduce the infective risks belonging to sample manipulation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Saliva/virology , Adult , Aged , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Predictive Value of Tests , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods
14.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261229, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571989

ABSTRACT

In-depth study of the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome has uncovered many mutations, which have replaced the lineage that characterized the first wave of infections all around the world. In December 2020, the outbreak of variant of concern (VOC) 202012/01 (lineage B.1.1.7) in the United Kingdom defined a turning point during the pandemic, immediately posing a worldwide threat on the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Here, we reported the evolution of B.1.1.7 lineage-related infections, analyzing samples collected from January 1st 2021, until April 15th 2021, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, a northeastern region of Italy. A cohort of 1508 nasopharyngeal swabs was analyzed by High Resolution Melting (HRM) and 479 randomly selected samples underwent Next Generation Sequencing analysis (NGS), uncovering a steady and continuous accumulation of B.1.1.7 lineage-related specimens, joined by sporadic cases of other known lineages (i.e. harboring the Spike glycoprotein p.E484K mutation). All the SARS-CoV-2 genome has been analyzed in order to highlight all the rare mutations that may eventually result in a new variant of interest. This work suggests that a thorough monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 genome by NGS is essential to contain any new variant that could jeopardize all the efforts that have been made so far to resolve the emergence of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United Kingdom/epidemiology
15.
Infect Dis Clin Pract (Baltim Md) ; 29(6): e356-e360, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An assessment of viral load in biologic specimens of subjects with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may have important implications for public health planning. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of high viral load in upper respiratory specimens of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first Italian wave (spring) and at the beginning of the second wave (summer) of the COVID-19 epidemic, through the measurement of cycle threshold (Ct) values from real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests conducted at the University Hospital of Udine, Italy, serving 530,000 inhabitants. METHODS: We compared the prevalence of high viral load, defined as Ct ≤ 20 at the first positive test result, in 262 subjects from the spring and 453 from the summer period. Logistic regression was used to account for potential confounding due to sex, age, and severity of infection. RESULTS: In the spring, 9.2% of subjects had Ct ≤ 20 versus 21.4% in the summer. After adjusting for confounders, the likelihood of having high viral load was 2.9 times higher in the summer than in the spring (95% confidence interval, 1.7-5.0). CONCLUSIONS: In this Italian area, more COVID-19 patients had high viral load in the spring epidemic wave than at the beginning of the second, during the summer. Cycle threshold values may represent useful information to monitor viral load at a population level in subjects with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

16.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(11): e0113821, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480237

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to assess the long-term dynamics and factors associated with the serological response against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 after primary infection. A prospective longitudinal study was conducted with monthly serological follow-up during the first 4 months, and then at 6, 8, and 10 months after the disease onset of all recovered adult in- and outpatients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) attending Udine Hospital (Italy) during the first wave (from March to May 2020). A total of 546 individuals were included (289 female, mean age 53.1 years), mostly with mild COVID-19 (370, 68.3%). Patients were followed for a median of 302 days (interquartile range, 186 to 311). The overall seroconversion rate within 2 months was 32% for IgM and 90% for IgG. Seroreversion was observed in 90% of patients for IgM at 4 months and in 47% for IgG at 10 months. Older age, number of symptoms at acute onset, and severity of acute COVID-19 were all independent predictors of long-term immunity both for IgM (ß, linear regression coefficient, 1.10, P = 0.001; ß 5.15 P = 0.014; ß 43.84 P = 0.021, respectively) and for IgG (ß 1.43 P < 0.001; ß 10.46 P < 0.001; ß 46.79 P < 0.001, respectively), whereas the initial IgG peak was associated only with IgG duration (ß 1.12, P < 0.001). IgM antibodies disappeared at 4 months, and IgG antibodies declined in about half of patients 10 months after acute COVID-19. These effects varied depending on the intensity of the initial antibody response, age, and burden of acute COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies
17.
Biomedicines ; 9(10)2021 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444097

ABSTRACT

Understanding immune reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 is essential for coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we discuss experiences and open questions about the complex immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. Some people react excellently without experiencing any clinical symptoms, they do not get sick, and they do not pass the virus on to anyone else ("sterilizing" immunity). Others produce antibodies and do not get COVID-19 but transmit the virus to others ("protective" immunity). Some people get sick but recover. A varying percentage develops respiratory failure, systemic symptoms, clotting disorders, cytokine storms, or multi-organ failure; they subsequently decease. Some develop long COVID, a new pathologic entity similar to fatigue syndrome or autoimmunity. In reality, COVID-19 is considered more of a systemic immune-vascular disease than a pulmonic disease, involving many tissues and the central nervous system. To fully comprehend the complex clinical manifestations, a profound understanding of the immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 is a good way to improve clinical management of COVID-19. Although neutralizing antibodies are an established approach to recognize an immune status, cellular immunity plays at least an equivalent or an even more important role. However, reliable methods to estimate the SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell capacity are not available for clinical routines. This deficit is important because an unknown percentage of people may exist with good memory T cell responsibility but a low number of or completely lacking peripheral antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Apart from natural immune responses, vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 turned out to be very effective and much safer than naturally acquired immunity. Nevertheless, besides unwanted side effects of the currently available vector and mRNA preparations, concerns remain whether these vaccines will be strong enough to defeat the pandemic. Altogether, herein we discuss important questions, and try to give answers based on the current knowledge and preliminary data from our laboratories.

18.
Inflammation ; 45(1): 1-5, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415062

ABSTRACT

Novel Coronavirus Disease in most cases produces mild symptoms which resolve after a few days. Some authors hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 infection could trigger excessive cytokine production leading to a severe multi-organ disease requiring intensive care admission. Respiratory and neurological symptoms are the most frequently reported manifestation of the disease. Indeed, cardiac involvement is reported mostly as a part of a systemic disease. Few isolated cardiac manifestations of COVID-19 infection have been described. We report herein a case of SARS-CoV-2 related severe isolated pericardial involvement requiring ICU admission due to cardiac tamponade needing urgent drainage. Analysis of pericardial fluid from drainage demonstrated a higher cytokine concentration than blood values. Other causes of pericardial disease, such as autoimmunity, bacterial or other than COVID-19 infection, neoplasms or acute myocardial infarction were also evaluated, but all tests confirmed negative results. The suspicion of isolated involvement of the pericardium was therefore demonstrated by the analysis of cytokines which strongly support our hypothesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cardiac Tamponade/pathology , Cytokines/analysis , Pericardial Effusion/surgery , Pericardial Fluid/chemistry , Pericardium/pathology , Aged , Cardiac Tamponade/surgery , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Humans , Male , Pericardial Effusion/pathology , Pericardium/virology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis ; 40(12): 2597-2604, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351309

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study was to assess reinfection rates in relation to long-term antibody dynamics against SARS-CoV-2 after the first wave. A prospective longitudinal study with monthly serological follow-up during the first 4 months, and then at 6, 8, and 10 months after the disease onset of all recovered adult in- and outpatients with COVID-19 attending Udine Hospital (Italy) from March to May 2020. During the follow-up, reinfections were collected. A total of 546 unselected individuals with COVID-19 acquired from March to May 2020 were included (292 female, mean age 53 years). After a median follow-up of 10 months (IQR 6.2-10.4), reinfection occurred in 6 (1.1%) patients, median age of 44.5 years (IQR 33‒49). All had a previous history of mild COVID-19 (all were healthcare workers) and reinfection occurred a median of 9 months (IQR 8.2‒10.2) after the onset of the first episode. Patients with reinfection were either seronegative (2/56, n = 3.6%), seroreverted (2/137, 1.5%), or seropositive (2/353, 0.6%) (p = 0.085). All reinfections were mild (n = 5) or asymptomatic (n = 1). After reinfection, none of patients developed IgM response and only two had a transitory boosted IgG immunization response. In an unselected population after the first wave of COVID-19, after a prolonged observation period (mean 10 months), reinfection was very uncommon; occurred in patients with a previous history of mild infection, mostly with weak or absent serological response; and manifested with mild or asymptomatic clinical presentation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Reinfection/virology , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Reinfection/blood , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
20.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg ; 208: 106839, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322036

ABSTRACT

Several central and peripheral nervous system complications associated with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been recently described. An effective mass vaccination program is necessary to effectively reduce infection spread and, consequently, limit long-term sequelae, including those affecting the nervous system. Nevertheless, as more patients gain access to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines, it is important to report potential adverse events. Herein, we report a patient with previous history of post-infectious rhombencephalitis who developed an acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) two weeks after being vaccinated for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Myelitis, Transverse/etiology , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
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