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J Clin Med ; 12(2)2023 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2200417


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics, clinical course and outcomes of COVID-19 breakthrough infections (BIs) among healthcare workers (HCWs) of an Italian University Hospital. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted on 6111 HCWs, from January 2021 to February 2022. The study population was offered the full vaccination with BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. To allow return to work after BI, the protocol required one negative nasopharyngeal RT-PCR swab followed by a medical examination to assess the HCW's health status. Laboratory tests, instrumental tests and specialist evaluations were carried out if necessary. RESULTS: The cases of BIs observed numbered 582 (9.7%). The frequency of BIs was significantly higher in females than in males (67% vs. 33%; p = 0.03), and in nurses than in all other professional categories (p = 0.001). A total of 88% of the HCWs affected by BI were still symptomatic after the negative swab. None of the instrumental tests carried out showed any new findings of pathological significance. All cases showed progressive disappearance of symptoms, such that no cases of long COVID and no hospitalization or deaths were recorded. CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm that SARS-CoV-2 infections occur even after a full vaccination course; however, the clinical course is favorable and severe outcomes are reduced.

J Clin Med ; 11(11)2022 May 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869667


BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 has infected many healthcare workers and (HCWs) worldwide. The aim of this study was to determine, analyze, and compare the frequency and characteristics of COVID-19 cases among HCWs of the University Hospital of Bari. METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted after preventive protocol implementation. The SARS-CoV-2 infection frequency was determined by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on nasopharyngeal samples. RESULTS: Overall, 519 HCWs (9%) tested positive among a total of 6030 HCWs during the three waves. The highest frequency of COVID-19 cases (n = 326; 63%) was observed during the 2nd wave, from September 2020 to December 2020, and the lowest (n = 34; 7%) was observed during the 1st wave, from March 2020 to August 2020 (p < 0.001). Working in a designated COVID-19 department was not a risk factor for infection. CONCLUSIONS: The correct use of personal protective equipment and the early identification of symptomatic workers are still essential factors to avoid nosocomial clusters, even in this current phase of vaccine availability.

Front Neurol ; 13: 774953, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785380


The clinical outcome of the disease provoked by the SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19, is largely due to the development of interstitial pneumonia accompanied by an Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), often requiring ventilatory support therapy in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Current epidemiologic evidence is demonstrating that the COVID-19 prognosis is significantly influenced by its acute complications. Among these, delirium figures as one of the most frequent and severe, especially in the emergency setting, where it shows a significantly negative prognostic impact. In this regard, the aim of our study is to identify clinical severity factors of delirium complicating COVID-19 related-ARDS. We performed a comparative and correlation analysis using demographics, comorbidities, multisystemic and delirium severity scores and anti-delirium therapy in two cohorts of ARDS patients with delirium, respectively, due to COVID-19 (n = 40) or other medical conditions (n = 39). Our results indicate that delirium in COVID-19-related ARDS is more severe since its onset despite a relatively less severe systemic condition at the point of ICU admission and required higher dosages of antipsychotic and non-benzodiazepinic sedative therapy respect to non-COVID patients. Finally, the correlation analysis showed a direct association between the male gender and maximum dosage of anti-delirium medications needed within the COVID-19 group, which was taken as a surrogate of delirium severity. Overall, our results seem to indicate that pathogenetic factors specifically associated to severe COVID-19 are responsible for the high severity of delirium, paving the way for future research focused on the mechanisms of the cognitive alterations associated with COVID-19.

Adv Nutr ; 13(1): 66-79, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462267


The outbreak of the pandemic associated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) led researchers to find new potential treatments, including nonpharmacological molecules such as zinc (Zn2+). Specifically, the use of Zn2+ as a therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection is based on several findings: 1) the possible role of the anti-inflammatory activity of Zn2+ on the aberrant inflammatory response triggered by COronaVIrus Disease 19 (COVID-19), 2) properties of Zn2+ in modulating the competitive balance between the host and the invading pathogens, and 3) the antiviral activity of Zn2+ on a number of pathogens, including coronaviruses. Furthermore, Zn2+ has been found to play a central role in regulating brain functioning and many disorders have been associated with Zn2+ deficiency, including neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders, and brain injuries. Within this context, we carried out a narrative review to provide an overview of the evidence relating to the effects of Zn2+ on the immune and nervous systems, and the therapeutic use of such micronutrients in both neurological and infective disorders, with the final goal of elucidating the possible use of Zn2+ as a preventive or therapeutic intervention in COVID-19. Overall, the results from the available evidence showed that, owing to its neuroprotective properties, Zn2+ supplementation could be effective not only on COVID-19-related symptoms but also on virus replication, as well as on COVID-19-related inflammation and neurological damage. However, further clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of Zn2+ as a nonpharmacological treatment of COVID-19 are required to achieve an overall improvement in outcome and prognosis.

COVID-19 , Humans , Micronutrients , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Zinc