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Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 12: 100270, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549971


Background: Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a severe adverse event of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We describe the characteristics of patients reported in Germany based on the Brighton Collaboration (BC) case definition criteria for Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and focus on patients with complete anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4)-antibody laboratory work up. Methods: The adverse drug reaction database of the Paul-Ehrlich Institute was queried for TTS cases following ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination from February 1, until May 21, 2021. Cases with reports from the Greifswald laboratory were analysed in detail. Findings: PF4 antibody tests were available for 69 suspected TTS cases reported to the Paul-Ehrlich Institute, of whom 52 patients fulfilled the BC case definition; 37 (71%) women, 15 (29%) men, median age 46·0 years (interquartile range 31·0-60·3 years). Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was confirmed in 37 (71%), (additional) multiple thromboses in 19 (37%) patients. Twelve patients died. Non-survivors showed lower platelet counts compared to survivors (median nadir 15,000/µL vs 49,000/µL; p<0·0001). Combined anti-PF4/heparin IgG ELISA and PF4-dependent platelet activation testing yielded sensitivity of 96% (95% confidence interval 87-100%) and specificity of 77% (50-93%) for TTS. Four patients with thrombocytopenia but without thrombosis presented with severe headache or cerebral bleeding, explaining the lower specificity. Interpretation: VITT has high mortality and can present with isolated thrombocytopenia, severe headache, and bleeding. Demonstration of platelet activating anti-PF4 IgG has high sensitivity for TTS and captures a wider spectrum of clinically relevant VITT than the current BC case definition. Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft: 374031971-TRR240; Domagk-Programm Universitätsmedizin Greifswald.

Transfusion ; 60(6): 1119-1122, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388414


Oral swabs, sputum, and blood samples from 18 asymptomatic and symptomatic patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were examined using RT-PCR testing in order to assess the risk of transfusion-related transmission. In asymptomatic patients as well as patients with flu-like symptoms and fever, no SARS-CoV-2 RNA could be detected in the blood or serum despite a clearly positive result in all throat swabs. As patients with symptoms of infectious disease will not be admitted to blood donation, the risk for transfusion transmission of SARS-CoV-2 seems to be negligible.

Asymptomatic Infections , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Donors , Blood Safety , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Donor Selection , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Transfusion Reaction/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Transfusion Reaction/virology , Young Adult
Transfus Med Hemother ; 48(3): 154-160, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247451


BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has challenged many of our current routine practices in the treatment and care of patients. Given the critical importance of blood donation and transfusion we analyzed 92 blood samples of individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 stratified by symptoms. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We therefore tested blood samples for SARS-CoV-2 via RT-PCR targeting the E gene. In addition, we tested each blood sample for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies via ELISA and performed plaque reduction neutralization tests. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was absent in the blood of mild to asymptomatic patients (57 individuals) and only detectable in individuals with severe COVID-19 who were admitted to the intensive care unit (35 individuals) (n = 6/92 [6.5%]; p = 0.023 Fisher's exact test). Interestingly, anti-spike IgG antibodies were not significantly higher in intensive care unit patients compared to mild patients, but we found that their neutralizing capacity was disproportionately increased (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Our observations support the hypothesis that there are no potential hazards from blood or plasma transfusion of SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals with mild flu-like symptoms and more importantly of asymptomatic individuals.