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1.
Biomedicines ; 12(3)2024 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38540153

ABSTRACT

Rift Valley fever is a vector-borne zoonotic disease caused by the Rift Valley fever virus (Phlebovirus genus) listed among the eight pathogens included in the Bluepoint list by the WHO. The transmission is mainly vehicled by Aedes and Culex mosquito species. Symptoms of the disease are varied and non-specific, making clinical diagnosis often challenging, especially in the early stages. Due to the difficulty in distinguishing Rift Valley fever from other viral hemorrhagic fevers, as well as many other diseases that cause fever, an early diagnosis of the infection is important to limit its spread and to provide appropriate care to patients. To date, there is no validated point-of-care diagnostic tool. The virus can only be detected in the blood for a brief period, suggesting that molecular methods alone are not sufficient for case determination. For this, it is preferable to combine both molecular and serological tests. The wide distribution of competent vectors in non-endemic areas, together with global climate change, elicit the spread of RVFV to continents other than Africa, making surveillance activities vital to prevent or to limit the impact of human outbreaks and for a rapid identification of positive cases, making diagnosis a key factor for this achievement.

2.
Viruses ; 16(3)2024 Mar 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38543777

ABSTRACT

We investigated the frequency and serological correlates of occult hepatitis B virus infection (OBI) and the potential impact of a highly sensitive assay for HBsAg in subjects infected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), who are also at risk for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, often in an occult form. Samples from 499 patients with HIV, all HBsAg negative and anti-HBc positive, and 137 patients with HCV were tested for HBV-DNA, anti-HBc, anti-HBs, and HBsAg by a conventional and highly sensitive assay. HBV biomarkers were detected in 71.5% of HCV-RNA-positive, with a higher prevalence of cases positive only for anti-HBc in patients with HCV than in those with HIV. HBV-DNA was detectable in 0.6% of HIV-positive and 7.3% of HCV-RNA-positive patients. Among patients with HCV, four were positive for HBsAg and negative for HBV-DNA, bringing the rate of HBV-active infection in this group to 10.2%. Active HBV infection was not related to gender or specific patterns of HBV biomarkers but was higher in HCV patients coinfected by HIV compared to those infected only by HCV. Monitoring patients at high risk for HBV infection and reactivation may require testing for both HBV-DNA and HBsAg.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Hepatitis B, Chronic , Hepatitis B , Hepatitis C , Humans , Hepatitis B virus/genetics , Hepacivirus/genetics , Hepatitis B Surface Antigens , DNA, Viral , HIV/genetics , Hepatitis B/diagnosis , Hepatitis B/epidemiology , Hepatitis C/diagnosis , Hepatitis C/epidemiology , Hepatitis B Antibodies , Prevalence , Biomarkers , RNA
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(24)2023 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38139051

ABSTRACT

In recent decades, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of gene expression, and the identification of viral miRNAs (v-miRNAs) within some viruses, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), has attracted significant attention. HBV infections often progress to chronic states (CHB) and may induce fibrosis/cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The presence of HBV can dysregulate host miRNA expression, influencing several biological pathways, such as apoptosis, innate and immune response, viral replication, and pathogenesis. Consequently, miRNAs are considered a promising biomarker for diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment response. The dynamics of miRNAs during HBV infection are multifaceted, influenced by host variability and miRNA interactions. Given the ability of miRNAs to target multiple messenger RNA (mRNA), understanding the viral-host (human) interplay is complex but essential to develop novel clinical applications. Therefore, bioinformatics can help to analyze, identify, and interpret a vast amount of miRNA data. This review explores the bioinformatics tools available for viral and host miRNA research. Moreover, we introduce a brief overview focusing on the role of miRNAs during HBV infection. In this way, this review aims to help the selection of the most appropriate bioinformatics tools based on requirements and research goals.


Subject(s)
Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Hepatitis B, Chronic , Hepatitis B , Liver Neoplasms , MicroRNAs , Humans , Hepatitis B virus , MicroRNAs/genetics , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/metabolism , Liver Neoplasms/metabolism , Hepatitis B/genetics , Computational Biology
4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(11)2023 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38005988

ABSTRACT

Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic, mass vaccination campaigns have largely controlled the disease burden but have not prevented virus circulation. Unfortunately, many immunocompromised patients have failed to mount protective immune responses after repeated vaccinations, and liver transplant recipients are no exception. Across different solid organ transplant populations, the plasma levels of Torquetenovirus (TTV), an orphan and ubiquitous human virus under control of the immune system, have been shown to predict the antibody response after COVID-19 vaccinations. We show here a single-institution experience with TTV viremia in 134 liver transplant recipients at their first or third dose. We found that TTV viremia before the first and third vaccine doses predicts serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) IgG levels measured 2-4 weeks after the second or third dose. Pre-vaccine TTV loads were also associated with peripheral blood anti-SARS-CoV-2 cell-mediated immunity but not with serum SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers.

5.
J Infect Public Health ; 17(1): 130-136, 2024 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38000313

ABSTRACT

During the 2022-outbreak, peculiar clinical presentations of Mpox have been described, some of which can make the diagnosis of the disease extremely challenging. Here we report a case series of fourteen patients with Mpox pharynogotonsillar involvement (PTI) seen at National Institute for Infectious Diseases, "Lazzaro Spallanzani", in Rome, Italy from May to September 2022. All included patients were men who have sex with men (median age 38 years) reporting unprotected sex within three weeks from symptoms onset. Seven out of fourteen patients needed hospitalization due to uncontrolled pain, reduced airspace and difficulty swallowing, of whom five were effectively treated with tecovirimat or cidofovir. The remaining two patients were treated with symptomatic drugs. The typical Mpox muco-cutaneous manifestations were not observed simultaneously with PTI in three patients, two of whom developed the lesions after several days, while one never manifested them. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for Mpox virus was positive in oropharyngeal swab, saliva and serum. Although PTI occurs in only a small percentage of Mpox cases, its diagnosis is of utmost importance. In fact, this localization, if not identified, could lead to serious complications in the absence of early antiviral treatment and to missed diagnosis with an increased risk of disease transmission.


Subject(s)
Sexual and Gender Minorities , Male , Humans , Adult , Female , Missed Diagnosis , Homosexuality, Male , Pharynx
6.
Viruses ; 15(10)2023 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37896839

ABSTRACT

Nipah virus (NiV) is a paramyxovirus responsible for a high mortality rate zoonosis. As a result, it has been included in the list of Blueprint priority pathogens. Bats are the main reservoirs of the virus, and different clinical courses have been described in humans. The Bangladesh strain (NiV-B) is often associated with severe respiratory disease, whereas the Malaysian strain (NiV-M) is often associated with severe encephalitis. An early diagnosis of NiV infection is crucial to limit the outbreak and to provide appropriate care to the patient. Due to high specificity and sensitivity, qRT-PCR is currently considered to be the optimum method in acute NiV infection assessment. Nasal swabs, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and blood are used for RT-PCR testing. N gene represents the main target used in molecular assays. Different sensitivities have been observed depending on the platform used: real-time PCR showed a sensitivity of about 103 equivalent copies/reaction, SYBRGREEN technology's sensitivity was about 20 equivalent copies/reaction, and in multiple pathogen card arrays, the lowest limit of detection (LOD) was estimated to be 54 equivalent copies/reaction. An international standard for NiV is yet to be established, making it difficult to compare the sensitivity of the different methods. Serological assays are for the most part used in seroprevalence studies owing to their lower sensitivity in acute infection. Due to the high epidemic and pandemic potential of this virus, the diagnosis of NiV should be included in a more global One Health approach to improve surveillance and preparedness for the benefit of public health. Some steps need to be conducted in the diagnostic field in order to become more efficient in epidemic management, such as development of point-of-care (PoC) assays for the rapid diagnosis of NiV.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera , Henipavirus Infections , Nipah Virus , Animals , Humans , Nipah Virus/genetics , Henipavirus Infections/diagnosis , Henipavirus Infections/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Zoonoses , Chiroptera/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
7.
Viruses ; 15(9)2023 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37766200

ABSTRACT

The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) exhibits high genetic and evolutionary variability and is classified into eight genotypes (HDV-1 to -8). HDV-1 is the most widespread genotype worldwide and includes several subtypes. It predominates mainly in Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Northern Africa, and is associated with both severe and mild forms of liver disease. In this study, we performed phylogenetic and phylodynamic analyses of HDV strains circulating in Regione Lazio, Italy, to understand when these strains were introduced into the Lazio region and to define their genetic variability in Italy. Fifty HDV RNA positive patient samples were amplified using a nested RT-PCR approach targeting the HDV R0 region and sequenced. A phylogenetic tree of patient-derived sequences and reference sequences representing HDV-1 to -8 was constructed using the GTRGAMMA model in RAxML v8. The results indicated that HDV-1 was the predominant genotype with HDV-1d being the most frequently inferred subtype. HDV-1 sequences clustering with subtypes 1b and 1e were also identified. A phylodynamic analysis of HDV-1 sequences employing a Bayesian birth-death model inferred a clock rate of 3.04 × 10-4 substitutions per site per million years, with a 95% Highest Posterior Density (HPD) interval of 3.45 × 10-5 to 5.72 × 10-4. A Bayesian birth-death analysis with tree calibration based on a sample dating approach indicated multiple original sources of infection (from the late 1950s to late 1980s). Overall, these results suggest that HDV sequences from the native Italian and non-Italian patients analyzed in this study represent multiple lineages introduced across a wide period. A common ancestral origin should be excluded.


Subject(s)
Biological Evolution , Hepatitis Delta Virus , Humans , Phylogeny , Bayes Theorem , Italy/epidemiology , Europe , Hepatitis Delta Virus/genetics
8.
Microorganisms ; 11(8)2023 Aug 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37630641

ABSTRACT

The definitive diagnosis of the Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) requires a form of testing that is available only in reference laboratories. It includes indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), the serum neutralization assay (NA), and real-time PCR. Therefore, often, no attempts are made to detect it, even among travelers from endemic areas. In this study, the presence of anti-RVFV IgG and IgM was retrospectively screened in stored serum samples from people who were admitted with arbovirus symptoms at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (INMI) L. Spallanzani, Rome, Italy. Overall, 80 residual serum samples were anonymized, and sub-aliquots were prepared and tested for anti-RVFV IgG and IgM. A serum neutralization assay was used as a confirmatory test. There was a positive result in eight out of 80 samples (10%) for anti-RVFV IgG, with titers ranging from 1:40 up to 1:1280. Three of eight (2.6%) samples were confirmed as seropositive through an in-house serum neutralization assay, with antibody titers ranging from 1:10 to 1:160. All samples resulted negative for anti-RVFV IgM and RVFV RNA when tested by IFA and real-time RT-PCR, respectively. Our data highlight that several RVFV infections can possibly escape routine virological diagnosis, which suggests RVFV testing should be set up in order to monitor virus prevalence.

9.
HIV Med ; 24(10): 1075-1082, 2023 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37287427

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We describe the preliminary results of bulevirtide compassionate use in patients with hepatitis B and delta virus (HBV/HDV)-related cirrhosis and clinically significant portal hypertension, including those living with HIV. METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational study of consecutive patients. Clinical evaluation, liver function tests, bile acid levels, HDV-RNA, HBV-DNA, hepatitis B surface antigen, and liver and spleen stiffness were assessed at baseline and after treatment months 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 12. HIV-RNA and CD4+/CD8+ count were assessed in people living with HIV. The first drug injection was administered under nurse supervision, and counselling was provided and adherence reviewed at each visit. RESULTS: In total, 13 patients (61.5% migrants) were enrolled. The median treatment duration was 11 months. At month 6, mean alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels fell by 64.5% and mean liver and spleen stiffness decreased by 8.6 and 0.9 kPa, respectively. The mean baseline HDV-RNA was 3.34 log IU/mL and 5.10 log IU/mL in people without and with HIV (n = 5) (p = 0.28), respectively. A similar mean decline was observed in both groups: -2.06 log IU/mL and -1.93 log IU/mL, respectively (p = 0.87). A combined response (undetectable HDV RNA or ≥ -2 log IU/mL decline vs. baseline, with ALT normalization) was achieved in 66% of subjects without and in 60% of patients with HIV. Patients with HIV showed persistently undetectable HIV-RNA and a progressive increase in CD4+/CD8+ cells during treatment. No patient discontinued bulevirtide because of adverse effects. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results suggest that bulevirtide is feasible and well-tolerated in populations with difficult-to-treat conditions, such as those with HIV/HBV/HDV co-infection and migrants, when special attention is given to patient education. HDV-RNA decline during treatment was similar in people living with and without HIV.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Hepatitis B virus , Humans , Compassionate Use Trials , Hepatitis B virus/genetics , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Italy , Liver Cirrhosis/drug therapy , RNA , Rome
10.
Infect Agent Cancer ; 18(1): 36, 2023 Jun 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37269015

ABSTRACT

This report covers the case of 7 women affected by pathologies related to genital Herpesvirus and Papillomavirus. They were referred to the gynaecology outpatient clinic for colposcopic examination, and received pharmacological antiviral treatment. The patients presented clinical signs of genital Herpesvirus infections in the cervix and vulva. Cervical lesions and condylomatosis, which are characteristic of Papillomavirus infections were also detected, and patients underwent cervical cancer screening. Patients received oral and topical treatment with Acyclovir or oral treatment with Valacyclovir. During weekly or biweekly gynaecological follow-up visits, patients showed different times of remission of genital Herpesvirus. During the antiviral treatments, the vulvar and cervical Papillomavirus lesions also showed complete resolution with restitutio ad integrum of the tissues, and no recurrence at follow-up visits. Herpesvirus and Papillomavirus infections are often associated in genital infections and, as sexual transmitted infections, share the same risk factors. In the cases presented, the observed remission of HPV-related pathologies during Acyclovir and Valaciclovir treatments may suggest that antivirals are also effective in the treatment of HPV lesions. The cases described could pave the way for further investigations and clinical studies.

11.
J Med Virol ; 95(6): e28831, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37246793

ABSTRACT

Despite the higher transmissibility of Omicron Variant of Concern (VOC), several reports have suggested lower risk for hospitalization and severe outcomes compared to previous variants of SARS-CoV-2. This study, enrolling all COVID-19 adults admitted to a reference hospital who underwent both the S-gene-target-failure test and VOC identification by Sanger sequencing, aimed to describe the evolving prevalence of Delta and Omicron variants and to compare the main in-hospital outcomes of severity, during a trimester (December 2021 to March 2022) of VOCs' cocirculation. Factors associated with clinical progression to noninvasive ventilation (NIV)/mechanical ventilation (MV)/death within 10 days and to MV/admission to intensive care unit (ICU)/death within 28 days, were investigated through multivariable logistic regressions. Overall, VOCs were: Delta n = 130/428, Omicron n = 298/428 (sublineages BA.1 n = 275 and BA.2 n = 23). Until mid-February, Delta predominance shifted to BA.1, which was gradually displaced by BA.2 until mid-March. Participants with Omicron VOC were more likely to be older, fully vaccinated, with multiple comorbidities and to have a shorter time from symptoms' onset, and less likely to have systemic symptoms and respiratory complications. Although the need of NIV within 10 days and MV within 28 days from hospitalization and the admission to ICU were less frequent for patients with Omicron compared to those with Delta infections, mortality was similar between the two VOCs. In the adjusted analysis, multiple comorbidities and a longer time from symptoms' onset predicted 10-day clinical progression, while complete vaccination halved the risk. Multimorbidity was the only risk factor associated with 28-day clinical progression. In our population, in the first trimester of 2022, Omicron rapidly displaced Delta in COVID-19 hospitalized adults. Clinical profile and presentation differed between the two VOCs and, although Omicron infections showed a less severe clinical picture, no substantial differences for clinical progression were found. This finding suggests that any hospitalization, especially in more vulnerable individuals, may be at risk for severe progression, which is more related to the underlying frailty of patients than to the intrinsic severity of the viral variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals , Disease Progression
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(10)2023 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37239872

ABSTRACT

This study characterizes antibody and T-cell immune responses over time until the booster dose of COronaVIrus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines in patients with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) undergoing different disease-modifying treatments (DMTs). We prospectively enrolled 134 PwMS and 99 health care workers (HCWs) having completed the two-dose schedule of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine within the last 2-4 weeks (T0) and followed them 24 weeks after the first dose (T1) and 4-6 weeks after the booster (T2). PwMS presented a significant reduction in the seroconversion rate and anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD)-Immunoglobulin (IgG) titers from T0 to T1 (p < 0.0001) and a significant increase from T1 to T2 (p < 0.0001). The booster dose in PwMS showed a good improvement in the serologic response, even greater than HCWs, as it promoted a significant five-fold increase of anti-RBD-IgG titers compared with T0 (p < 0.0001). Similarly, the T-cell response showed a significant 1.5- and 3.8-fold increase in PwMS at T2 compared with T0 (p = 0.013) and T1 (p < 0.0001), respectively, without significant modulation in the number of responders. Regardless of the time elapsed since vaccination, most ocrelizumab- (77.3%) and fingolimod-treated patients (93.3%) showed only a T-cell-specific or humoral-specific response, respectively. The booster dose reinforces humoral- and cell-mediated-specific immune responses and highlights specific DMT-induced immune frailties, suggesting the need for specifically tailored strategies for immune-compromised patients to provide primary prophylaxis, early SARS-CoV-2 detection and the timely management of COVID-19 antiviral treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/prevention & control , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , RNA, Messenger , Immunity , mRNA Vaccines , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Viral , Vaccination
13.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 13(9)2023 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37174964

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is characterized by fast evolution with the appearance of several variants. Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology is considered the gold standard for monitoring known and new SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, the complexity of this technology renders this approach impracticable in laboratories located in areas with limited resources. We analyzed the capability of the ThermoFisher TaqPath COVID-19 RT-PCR (TaqPath) and the Seegene Novaplex SARS-CoV-2 Variant assay (Novaplex) to detect Omicron variants; the Allplex VariantII (Allplex) was also evaluated for Delta variants. Sanger sequencing (SaS) was the reference method. The results obtained with n = 355 nasopharyngeal samples were: negative with TaqPath, although positive with other qualitative molecular assays (n = 35); undetermined (n = 40) with both the assays; negative for the ∆69/70 mutation and confirmed as the Delta variant via SaS (n = 100); positive for ∆69/70 and confirmed as Omicron BA.1 via SaS (n = 80); negative for ∆69/70 and typed as Omicron BA.2 via SaS (n = 80). Novaplex typed 27.5% of samples as undetermined with TaqPath, 11.4% of samples as negative with TaqPath, and confirmed 100% of samples were Omicron subtypes. In total, 99/100 samples were confirmed as the Delta variant with Allplex with a positive per cent agreement (PPA) of 98% compared to SaS. As undermined samples with Novaplex showed RdRp median Ct values (Ct = 35.4) statistically higher than those of typed samples (median Ct value = 22.0; p < 0.0001, Mann-Whitney test), the inability to establish SARS-CoV-2 variants was probably linked to the low viral load. No amplification was obtained with SaS among all 35 negative TaqPath samples. Overall, 20% of samples which were typed as negative or undetermined with TaqPath, and among them, twelve were not typed even by SaS, but they were instead correctly identified with Novaplex. Although full-genome sequencing remains the elected method to characterize new strains, our data show the high ability of a SNP-based assay to identify VOCs, also resolving samples typed as undetermined with TaqPath.

14.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1123024, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36908455

ABSTRACT

Ebola is a highly pathogenic virus, which in humans reaches a mortality rate above 50%. Due to a lack of laboratories in territories where Ebola viruses are endemic and the limited number of surveillance programmes, tests for the confirmation of suspected cases of Ebola are often performed in Reference Laboratories. While this provides guarantees regarding the accuracy of results, the shipment of samples to a centralized facility where the diagnostic test can be performed and the time required to achieve the results takes several days, which increases costs and entails delays in the isolation of positive subjects and therapeutic intervention with negative consequences both for patients and the community. Molecular tests have been the most frequently used tool in Ebola diagnosis in recent outbreaks. One of the most commonly used molecular tests is the Real-Star Altona, which targets a conserved area of the L gene. This assay showed different sensitivities depending on the Ebola virus: 471 copies/mL (EBOV) and 2871 copies/ml (SUDAN virus). The Cepheid system also showed good sensitivity (232 copies/mL). The LAMP platform is very promising because, being an isothermal reaction, it does not require high-precision instrumentation and can be considered a Point of Care (PoC) tool. Its analytical sensitivity is 1 copy/reaction. However, since data from real life studies are not yet available, it is premature to give any indications on its feasibility. Moreover, in November 2014, the WHO recommended the development of rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) according to ASSURED criteria. Several RDT assays have since been produced, most of which are rapid tests based on the search for antibody anti-Ebola viral proteins with immunochromatographic methods. Several viral antigens are used for this purpose: VP40, NP and GP. These assays show different sensitivities according to the protein used: VP40 57.4-93.1%, GP 53-88.9% and 85% for NP compared to reference molecular assays. From these results, it can be deduced that no RDT reaches the 99% sensitivity recommended by the WHO and therefore any RDT negative results in suspected cases should be confirmed with a molecular test.


Subject(s)
Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Humans , Ebolavirus/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Point-of-Care Systems , Disease Outbreaks
15.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(5)2023 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36902277

ABSTRACT

To compare the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in nasopharyngeal-swab (NPS) and oral saliva samples. 255 samples were obtained from 85 Omicron-infected patients. SARS-CoV-2 load was measured in the NPS and saliva samples by using Simplexa™ COVID-19 direct and Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 AMP assays. Results obtained with the two diagnostic platforms showed very good inter-assay concordance (91.4 and 82.4% for saliva and NPS samples, respectively) and a significant correlation among cycle threshold (Ct) values. Both platforms revealed a highly significant correlation among Ct obtained in the two matrices. Although the median Ct value was lower in NPS than in saliva samples, the Ct drop was comparable in size for both types of samples after 7 days of antiviral treatment of the Omicron-infected patients. Our result demonstrates that the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is not influenced by the type of sample used for PCR analysis, and that saliva can be used as an alternative specimen for detection and follow-up of Omicron-infected patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , Saliva , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Specimen Handling/methods , Nasopharynx
16.
Int J Infect Dis ; 130: 48-51, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36858309

ABSTRACT

In the recent 2022 monkeypox (Mpox) global outbreak, cases have been mostly documented among men who have sex with men. Proctitis was reported in almost 14% of cases. In this study, four Mpox-confirmed cases requiring hospitalizations for severe proctitis were characterized by clinical, virological, microbiological, endoscopic, and histological aspects. The study showed the presence of lymphofollicular lesions associated with Mpox virus rectal infection for the first time.


Subject(s)
Proctitis , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Male , Humans , Monkeypox virus , Homosexuality, Male , Proctitis/drug therapy
17.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry ; 94(4): 290-299, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36522154

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The decline of humoral response to COVID-19 vaccine led to authorise a booster dose. Here, we characterised the kinetics of B-cell and T-cell immune responses in patients with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) after the booster dose. METHODS: We enrolled 22 PwMS and 40 healthcare workers (HCWs) after 4-6 weeks from the booster dose (T3). Thirty HCWs and 19 PwMS were also recruited 6 months (T2) after the first dose. Antibody response was measured by anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD)-IgG detection, cell-mediated response by an interferon (IFN)-γ release assay (IGRA), Th1 cytokines and T-cell memory profile by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Booster dose increased anti-RBD-IgG titers in fingolimod-treated, cladribine-treated and IFN-ß-treated patients, but not in ocrelizumab-treated patients, although antibody titres were lower than HCWs. A higher number of fingolimod-treated patients seroconverted at T3. Differently, T-cell response evaluated by IGRA remained stable in PwMS independently of therapy. Spike-specific Th1-cytokine response was mainly CD4+ T-cell-mediated, and in PwMS was significantly reduced (p<0.0001) with impaired IL-2 production compared with HCWs at T3. In PwMS, total Th1 and IFN-γ CD4+ T-cell responders to spike protein were increased from T2 to T3.Compared with HCWs, PwMS presented a higher frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ terminally differentiated effector memory cells and of CD4+ effector memory (TEM) cells, independently of the stimulus suggesting the association of this phenotype with MS status. CD4+ and CD8+ TEM cell frequency was further increased at T3 compared with T2. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 vaccine booster strengthens humoral and Th1-cell responses and increases TEM cells in PwMS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , T-Lymphocytes , Fingolimod Hydrochloride/therapeutic use , Cytokines , RNA, Messenger , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Viral
18.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 1052082, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36325464
19.
Int J Infect Dis ; 125: 195-208, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36328289

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To characterize the kinetics of humoral and T-cell responses in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-patients followed up to 4-6 weeks (T3) after the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine booster dose. METHODS: Health care workers (HCWs, n = 38) and patients with RA (n = 52) completing the messenger RNA vaccination schedule were enrolled at T3. In each cohort, 25 subjects were sampled after 5 weeks (T1) and 6 months (T2) from the first vaccine dose. The humoral response was assessed by measuring anti-receptor-binding domain (RBD) and neutralizing antibodies, the T-cell response by interferon-γ-release assay (IGRA), T cell cytokine production, and B cell phenotype at T3 by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Patients with RA showed a significant reduction of antibody titers from T1 to T2 and a significant increase at T3. T-cell response by IGRA persisted over time in patients with RA, whereas it increased in HCWs. Most patients with RA scored positive for anti-RBD, neutralizing antibody and T-cell responses, although the magnitude was lower than HCWs. The spike-specific-cytokine response was mainly clusters of differentiation (CD)4+ T cells restricted in both cohorts and significantly lower with reduced interleukin-2 response and CD4-antigen-responding naïve T cells in patients with RA. Unswitched memory B cells were reduced in patients with RA compared with HCWs independently of vaccination. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 vaccine booster strengthens the humoral immunity in patients with RA even with a reduced cytokine response.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , RNA, Messenger , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Longitudinal Studies , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Cytokines , Immunity, Cellular , Vaccination , mRNA Vaccines , Antibodies, Viral
20.
J Clin Virol ; 157: 105299, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36183546

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 has evolved, leading to the emergence of new Variants Of Concern (VOCs) with significant impact on transmissibility. Although the transmission process is complex, higher nasopharyngeal viral load (NP-VL) can be considered as a proxy for greater transmissibility. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this analysis was to compare NP-VL across a set of representative VOCs observed in mildly symptomatic patients. STUDY DESIGN: Observational single-center comparative analysis of patients with early mild-to-moderate COVID-19, enrolled within the early treatment access program of Lazzaro Spallanzani Institute (March 2021-March 2022). NP-VL before drug administration was estimated through RT-PCR, based on cycle threshold values (CTs); VOCs were identified by Sanger sequencing. VOCs' average treatment effect (ATE) was estimated on the CTs fitted in the log2 scale, controlling for potential confounders. RESULTS: A total of 707 patients were included. VOCs were: 10% Alpha, 3% Gamma, 34% Delta, 34% BA.1, 19% BA.2. Mean CTs for BA.1 and BA.2 were lower than Delta and BA.1, respectively. After adjusting for calendar time, age, immunodeficiency and vaccination, CTs for Gamma were lower than those seen for Alpha and higher than Delta, for Delta were similar to BA.1, for BA.2 were lower than Delta and BA.1. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis shows higher NP-VL of BA.2 compared to previously circulating VOCs, even after controlling for factors potentially contributing to the amount of nasopharyngeal viral RNA, included vaccination, supporting the increased transmissibility of BA.2. Further studies are necessary to clarify this mechanism and to provide guidance for public health measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Viral Load , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis
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