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Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(5): 937-941, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973654


INTRODUCTION: The use of rapid molecular testing for influenza diagnosis is becoming increasingly popular. Used at the point of care or in a clinical laboratory, these tests detect influenza A and B viruses, though many do not distinguish between influenza A subtypes. The UK Severe Influenza Surveillance System (USISS) collects surveillance data on laboratory-confirmed influenza admissions to secondary care in England. This study set out to understand how rapid influenza molecular testing was being used and how it might influence the availability of subtyping data collected on influenza cases admitted to secondary care in England. METHODS: At the end of the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 influenza seasons, a questionnaire was sent to all National Health Service Hospital Trusts in England to evaluate the use of rapid influenza testing. Surveillance data collected through USISS was analysed from 2011/2012 to 2020/2021. RESULTS: Of responding trusts, 42% (13/31) in 2017/2018 and 55% (9/17) in 2018/2019 used rapid influenza molecular tests, either alone or in combination with other testing. The majority of rapid tests used did not subtype the influenza A result, and limited follow-up testing occurred. Surveillance data showed significant proportions of influenza A hospital and intensive care unit/high dependency unit admissions without subtyping information, increasing by approximately 35% between 2012/2013 and 2020/2021. CONCLUSIONS: The use of rapid influenza molecular tests is a likely contributing factor to the large proportion of influenza A hospitalisations in England that were unsubtyped. Given their clear clinical advantages, further work must be done to reinforce these data for public health through integrated genomic surveillance.

Influenza, Human , England/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Seasons , Secondary Care , State Medicine
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314757


Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the risk of infection transmission in long-term care facilities (LTCF) and the vulnerability of resident populations. It is essential to understand the environmental spread of the virus and risk of indirect transmission to inform Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in these settings. Methods: Upon notification of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, LTCF within a local authority in the South West of England were approached to take part in this pilot study. Investigators visited to swab common touch-points and elevated ‘non-touch’ surfaces and samples were analysed for presence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material (RNA). Data were collected regarding LTCF infrastructure, staff behaviours, clinical and epidemiological risk factors for infection (staff and residents), and IPC measures. Criteria for success were: recruitment of three LTCF;detection of SARS-COV-2 RNA;variation in proportion of SARS-CoV-2 positive surfaces by sampling zone;potential to assess infection risk from SARS-CoV-2 positive surfaces. Results: Three LTCFs were recruited, ranging in size and resident demographics. Outbreaks lasted 63, 50 and 30 days with resident attack rates of 53%, 40% and 8%, respectively. The proportion of sample sites on which SARS-CoV-2 was detected was highest in rooms occupied by infected residents and varied elsewhere in the LTCF, with low levels in a facility implementing enhanced IPC measures. The heterogeneity of settings and difficulty obtaining data made it difficult to assess association between environmental contamination and infection. Elevated surfaces were more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA than common touch-points. Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in a variety of LTCF outbreak settings. We identified variation in environmental spread which could be associated with implementation of IPC measures, though we were unable to assess the impact on infection risk. Sampling elevated surfaces could add to ongoing public health surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and other airborne pathogens in LTCF.

Front Immunol ; 12: 731643, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412494


In the era of COVID-19, understanding how our immune system responds to viral infections is more pertinent than ever. Immunodeficiencies with very low or absent B cells offer a valuable model to study the role of humoral immunity against these types of infection. This review looks at the available evidence on viral infections in patients with B cell alymphocytosis, in particular those with X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA), Good's syndrome, post monoclonal-antibody therapy and certain patients with Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID). Viral infections are not as infrequent as previously thought in these conditions and individuals with very low circulating B cells seem to be predisposed to an adverse outcome. Particularly in the case of SARS-CoV2 infection, mounting evidence suggests that peripheral B cell alymphocytosis is linked to a poor prognosis.

Agammaglobulinemia/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Common Variable Immunodeficiency/immunology , Genetic Diseases, X-Linked/immunology , Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/immunology , Thymoma/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Thymoma/therapy