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1.
BMJ Open Qual ; 11(3)2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029509

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 management guidelines are constantly evolving, making them difficult to implement practically. Ronapreve was a neutralising monoclonal antibody introduced into UK COVID-19 guidelines in 2021. It reduces mortality in seronegative patients infected with non-omicron variants. Antibody testing on admission is therefore vital in ensuring patients could be considered for Ronapreve as inpatients. LOCAL PROBLEM: We found that on our COVID-19 ward, 31.4% of patients were not having anti-S tests despite fulfilling the other criteria to be eligible for Ronapreve. This was identified as an important target to improve; by not requesting anti-S tests, we were forgoing the opportunity to use an intervention that could improve outcomes. METHODS: We analysed patient records for patients with COVID-19 admitted to our ward over 4 months to observe if awareness of the need to request anti-S increased through conducting plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles. INTERVENTIONS: Our first intervention was an multidisciplinary team (MDT) discussion at our departmental audit meeting highlighting our baseline findings and the importance of anti-S requesting. Our second intervention was to hang printed posters in both the doctors' room and the ward as a visual reminder to staff. Our final intervention was trust-wide communications of updated local COVID-19 guidance that included instructions for anti-S requesting on admission. RESULTS: Our baseline data showed that only 68.6% of patients with symptomatic COVID-19 were having anti-S antibody tests requested. This increased to 95.0% following our three interventions. There was also a reduction in the amount of anti-S requests being 'added on', from 57.1% to 15.8%. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 guidelines are constantly evolving and require interventions that can be quickly and easily implemented to improve adherence. Sustained reminders through different approaches allowed a continued increase in requesting. This agrees with research that suggests a mixture of educational sessions and visual reminders of guidelines increase their application in clinical practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quality Improvement , Humans , Inpatients
2.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(8): 1153-1162, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972395

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cases of human monkeypox are rarely seen outside of west and central Africa. There are few data regarding viral kinetics or the duration of viral shedding and no licensed treatments. Two oral drugs, brincidofovir and tecovirimat, have been approved for treatment of smallpox and have demonstrated efficacy against monkeypox in animals. Our aim was to describe the longitudinal clinical course of monkeypox in a high-income setting, coupled with viral dynamics, and any adverse events related to novel antiviral therapies. METHODS: In this retrospective observational study, we report the clinical features, longitudinal virological findings, and response to off-label antivirals in seven patients with monkeypox who were diagnosed in the UK between 2018 and 2021, identified through retrospective case-note review. This study included all patients who were managed in dedicated high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) centres in Liverpool, London, and Newcastle, coordinated via a national HCID network. FINDINGS: We reviewed all cases since the inception of the HCID (airborne) network between Aug 15, 2018, and Sept 10, 2021, identifying seven patients. Of the seven patients, four were men and three were women. Three acquired monkeypox in the UK: one patient was a health-care worker who acquired the virus nosocomially, and one patient who acquired the virus abroad transmitted it to an adult and child within their household cluster. Notable disease features included viraemia, prolonged monkeypox virus DNA detection in upper respiratory tract swabs, reactive low mood, and one patient had a monkeypox virus PCR-positive deep tissue abscess. Five patients spent more than 3 weeks (range 22-39 days) in isolation due to prolonged PCR positivity. Three patients were treated with brincidofovir (200 mg once a week orally), all of whom developed elevated liver enzymes resulting in cessation of therapy. One patient was treated with tecovirimat (600 mg twice daily for 2 weeks orally), experienced no adverse effects, and had a shorter duration of viral shedding and illness (10 days hospitalisation) compared with the other six patients. One patient experienced a mild relapse 6 weeks after hospital discharge. INTERPRETATION: Human monkeypox poses unique challenges, even to well resourced health-care systems with HCID networks. Prolonged upper respiratory tract viral DNA shedding after skin lesion resolution challenged current infection prevention and control guidance. There is an urgent need for prospective studies of antivirals for this disease. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
Monkeypox , Adult , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Monkeypox/diagnosis , Monkeypox/drug therapy , Monkeypox/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
3.
J Clin Invest ; 132(7)2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775054

ABSTRACT

BackgroundAlthough recent epidemiological data suggest that pneumococci may contribute to the risk of SARS-CoV-2 disease, cases of coinfection with Streptococcus pneumoniae in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during hospitalization have been reported infrequently. This apparent contradiction may be explained by interactions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and pneumococci in the upper airway, resulting in the escape of SARS-CoV-2 from protective host immune responses.MethodsHere, we investigated the relationship of these 2 respiratory pathogens in 2 distinct cohorts of health care workers with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection identified by systematic screening and patients with moderate to severe disease who presented to the hospital. We assessed the effect of coinfection on host antibody, cellular, and inflammatory responses to the virus.ResultsIn both cohorts, pneumococcal colonization was associated with diminished antiviral immune responses, which primarily affected mucosal IgA levels among individuals with mild or asymptomatic infection and cellular memory responses in infected patients.ConclusionOur findings suggest that S. pneumoniae impair host immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and raise the question of whether pneumococcal carriage also enables immune escape of other respiratory viruses and facilitates reinfection.Trial registrationISRCTN89159899 (FASTER study) and ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03502291 (LAIV study).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunity , Streptococcus pneumoniae
4.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1416, 2022 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655626

ABSTRACT

The control of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK has necessitated restrictions on amateur and professional sports due to the perceived infection risk to competitors, via direct person to person transmission, or possibly via the surfaces of sports equipment. The sharing of sports equipment such as tennis balls was therefore banned by some sport's governing bodies. We sought to investigate the potential of sporting equipment as transmission vectors of SARS-CoV-2. Ten different types of sporting equipment, including balls from common sports, were inoculated with 40 µl droplets containing clinically relevant concentrations of live SARS-CoV-2 virus. Materials were then swabbed at time points relevant to sports (1, 5, 15, 30, 90 min). The amount of live SARS-CoV-2 recovered at each time point was enumerated using viral plaque assays, and viral decay and half-life was estimated through fitting linear models to log transformed data from each material. At one minute, SARS-CoV-2 virus was recovered in only seven of the ten types of equipment with the low dose inoculum, one at five minutes and none at 15 min. Retrievable virus dropped significantly for all materials tested using the high dose inoculum with mean recovery of virus falling to 0.74% at 1 min, 0.39% at 15 min and 0.003% at 90 min. Viral recovery, predicted decay, and half-life varied between materials with porous surfaces limiting virus transmission. This study shows that there is an exponential reduction in SARS-CoV-2 recoverable from a range of sports equipment after a short time period, and virus is less transferrable from materials such as a tennis ball, red cricket ball and cricket glove. Given this rapid loss of viral load and the fact that transmission requires a significant inoculum to be transferred from equipment to the mucous membranes of another individual it seems unlikely that sports equipment is a major cause for transmission of SARS-CoV-2. These findings have important policy implications in the context of the pandemic and may promote other infection control measures in sports to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and urge sports equipment manufacturers to identify surfaces that may or may not be likely to retain transferable virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , COVID-19/virology , Half-Life , Humans , Linear Models , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sports Equipment , Surface Properties
5.
Clin Infect Pract ; 7: 100052, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893696

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Syndromes of iron overload have been shown to increase the risk of severe clinical disease in viral infections. Immune dysfunction is similarly described in hereditary haemochromatosis (HH). We present here the case of a 51-year-old man who developed severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complicated by suspected haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). He was found to have HH post-mortem and we propose a link between his iron overload and the development of severe COVID-19. CASE REPORT: The initial clinical presentation consisted of cough, shortness of breath and fever. Pancytopenia, markedly elevated ferritin and d-dimer were present. Computed tomography (CT) showed bilateral ground glass changes consistent with COVID-19, widespread lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. A subsequent combined nose and throat swab was positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). HLH was suspected based upon the H-score and Anakinra, an IL-1 receptor antagonist, was commenced. Liver function acutely worsened and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) revealed hepatic haemosiderosis. Intense splenic and cervical lymph node uptake were seen on a positron emission tomography (PET) scan and high doses of intravenous steroids were administered due to concerns over haematological malignancy. RESULTS: Day fourteen of admission heralded the start of progressive clinical deterioration with rapid increase in oxygen demands. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) was trialled without success and the patient unfortunately died seventeen days into admission. Results returned after his death showed homozygous C282Y mutation of the HFE gene consistent with a diagnosis of HH. Post-mortem examination revealed widespread haemosiderin deposition in the liver along with lung pathology in keeping with severe COVID-19 and widespread splenic infarctions. CONCLUSION: An association between HH and COVID-19 is not currently described in the literature. What does exist, however, is an evidence base for the detrimental impacts iron overload has on viral infections in general and the negative effects of HH on the immune system. We therefore postulate that the underlying metabolic and immune disturbances seen in HH should be considered a potential risk factor for the development of severe COVID-19. This case also adds to the evidence that hyperinflammation appears to be a unique and interesting characteristic of this novel viral disease.

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