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1.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450556

ABSTRACT

We developed a COVID-19 pandemic severity assessment (PSA) monitoring system in Ireland, in order to inform and improve public health preparedness, response and recovery. The system based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Influenza Severity Assessment (PISA) project included a panel of surveillance parameters for the following indicators: transmissibility, impact and disease severity. Age-specific thresholds were established for each parameter and data visualised using heat maps. The findings from the first pandemic wave in Ireland have shown that the WHO PISA system can be adapted for COVID-19, providing a standardised tool for early warning and monitoring pandemic severity.

2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0039121, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443360

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies are an excellent indicator of past COVID-19 infection. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, retained sensitivity over time is an important quality in an antibody assay that is to be used for the purpose of population seroprevalence studies. We compared 5,788 health care worker (HCW) serum samples by using two serological assays (Abbott SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Roche anti-SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid total antibody) and a subset of samples (all Abbott assay positive or grayzone, n = 485) on Wantai SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). For 367 samples from HCW with a previous PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, we correlated the timing of infection with assay results. Overall, seroprevalence was 4.2% on Abbott and 9.5% on Roche. Of those with previously confirmed infection, 41% (150/367) and 95% (348/367) tested positive on Abbott and Roche, respectively. At 21 weeks (150 days) after confirmed infection, positivity on Abbott started to decline. Roche positivity was retained for the entire study period (33 weeks). Factors associated (P ≤ 0.050) with Abbott seronegativity in those with previous PCR-confirmed infection included sex (odds ratio [OR], 0.30 male ; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.15 to 0.60), symptom severity (OR 0.19 severe symptoms; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.61), ethnicity (OR, 0.28 Asian ethnicity; 95% CI, 0.12 to 0.60), and time since PCR diagnosis (OR, 2.06 for infection 6 months previously; 95% CI, 1.01 to 4.30). Wantai detected all previously confirmed infections. In our population, Roche detected antibodies up to at least 7 months after natural infection with SARS-CoV-2. This finding indicates that the Roche total antibody assay is better suited than Abbott IgG assay to population-based studies. Wantai demonstrated high sensitivity, but sample selection was biased. The relationship between serological response and functional immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection needs to be delineated. IMPORTANCE As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, retained sensitivity over time is an important quality in an antibody assay that is to be used for the purpose of population seroprevalence studies. There is a relative paucity of published literature in this field to help guide public health specialists when planning seroprevalence studies. In this study, we compared results of 5,788 health care worker blood samples tested by using two assays (Roche and Elecsys, anti-nucleocapsid antibody) and by testing a subset on a third assay (Wantai enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA] anti-spike antibody). We found significant differences in the performance of these assays, especially with distance in time from PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection, and we feel these results may significantly impact the choice of assay for others conducting similar studies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
4.
Euro Surveill ; 26(29)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323061

ABSTRACT

We measured COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection at primary care/outpatient level among adults ≥ 65 years old using a multicentre test-negative design in eight European countries. We included 592 SARS-CoV-2 cases and 4,372 test-negative controls in the main analysis. The VE was 62% (95% CI: 45-74) for one dose only and 89% (95% CI: 79-94) for complete vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines provide good protection against COVID-19 presentation at primary care/outpatient level, particularly among fully vaccinated individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Europe , Humans , Primary Health Care
5.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e157, 2021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203374

ABSTRACT

Hospital healthcare workers (HCWs) are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 infection. We aimed to determine the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in HCWs in Ireland. Two tertiary referral hospitals in Irish cities with diverging community incidence and seroprevalence were identified; COVID-19 had been diagnosed in 10.2% and 1.8% of staff respectively by the time of the study (October 2020). All staff of both hospitals (N = 9038) were invited to participate in an online questionnaire and blood sampling for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing. Frequencies and percentages for positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody were calculated and adjusted relative risks (aRR) for participant characteristics were calculated using multivariable regression analysis. In total, 5788 HCWs participated (64% response rate). Seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 was 15% and 4.1% in hospitals 1 and 2, respectively. Thirty-nine percent of infections were previously undiagnosed. Risk for seropositivity was higher for healthcare assistants (aRR 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4-3.0), nurses (aRR: 1.6, 95% CI 1.1-2.2), daily exposure to patients with COVID-19 (aRR: 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.1), age 18-29 years (aRR: 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.9), living with other HCWs (aRR: 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.5), Asian background (aRR: 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.6) and male sex (aRR: 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.4). The HCW seroprevalence was six times higher than community seroprevalence. Risk was higher for those with close patient contact. The proportion of undiagnosed infections call for robust infection control guidance, easy access to testing and consideration of screening in asymptomatic HCWs. With emerging evidence of reduction in transmission from vaccinated individuals, the authors strongly endorse rapid vaccination of all HCWs.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 , Personnel, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
6.
Euro Surveill ; 26(2)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067623

ABSTRACT

The European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action (EuroMOMO) network monitors weekly excess all-cause mortality in 27 European countries or subnational areas. During the first wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Europe in spring 2020, several countries experienced extraordinarily high levels of excess mortality. Europe is currently seeing another upsurge in COVID-19 cases, and EuroMOMO is again witnessing a substantial excess all-cause mortality attributable to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Mortality/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cause of Death , Child , Child, Preschool , Computer Systems , Epidemiological Monitoring , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
7.
Euro Surveill ; 25(26)2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639161

ABSTRACT

A remarkable excess mortality has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. We present preliminary pooled estimates of all-cause mortality for 24 European countries/federal states participating in the European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action (EuroMOMO) network, for the period March-April 2020. Excess mortality particularly affected ≥ 65 year olds (91% of all excess deaths), but also 45-64 (8%) and 15-44 year olds (1%). No excess mortality was observed in 0-14 year olds.


Subject(s)
Cause of Death/trends , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Disease Outbreaks , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality/trends , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Population Surveillance , Preliminary Data , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
8.
Euro Surveill ; 25(22)2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636986

ABSTRACT

Residents in long-term care facilities (LTCF) are a vulnerable population group. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related deaths in LTCF residents represent 30-60% of all COVID-19 deaths in many European countries. This situation demands that countries implement local and national testing, infection prevention and control, and monitoring programmes for COVID-19 in LTCF in order to identify clusters early, decrease the spread within and between facilities and reduce the size and severity of outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Disease Outbreaks , Long-Term Care , Nursing Homes , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vulnerable Populations
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