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1.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 11(1): 9, 2022 01 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1629444

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Factors contributing to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 outside the acute care hospital setting have been described in detail. However, data concerning risk factors for nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections in hospitalized patients remain scarce. To close this research gap and inform targeted measures for the prevention of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections, we analyzed nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 cases in our hospital during a defined time period. METHODS: Data on nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections in hospitalized patients that occurred between May 2020 and January 2021 at Charité university hospital in Berlin, Germany, were retrospectively gathered. A SARS-CoV-2 infection was considered nosocomial if the patient was admitted with a negative SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test and subsequently tested positive on day five or later. As the incubation period of SARS-CoV-2 can be longer than five days, we defined a subgroup of "definite" nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 cases, with a negative test on admission and a positive test after day 10, for which we conducted a matched case-control study with a one to one ratio of cases and controls. We employed a multivariable logistic regression model to identify factors significantly increasing the likelihood of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections. RESULTS: A total of 170 patients with a nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified. The majority of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 patients (n = 157, 92%) had been treated at wards that reported an outbreak of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 cases during their stay or up to 14 days later. For 76 patients with definite nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections, controls for the case-control study were matched. For this subgroup, the multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed documented contact to SARS-CoV-2 cases (odds ratio: 23.4 (95% confidence interval: 4.6-117.7)) and presence at a ward that experienced a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak (odds ratio: 15.9 (95% confidence interval: 2.5-100.8)) to be the principal risk factors for nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection. CONCLUSIONS: With known contact to SARS-CoV-2 cases and outbreak association revealed as the primary risk factors, our findings confirm known causes of SARS-CoV-2 infections and demonstrate that these also apply to the acute care hospital setting. This underscores the importance of rapidly identifying exposed patients and taking adequate preventive measures.

2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 Dec 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580817

ABSTRACT

There is uncertainty about the viral loads of infectious individuals required to transmit COVID-19 via aerosol. In addition, there is a lack of both quantification of the influencing parameters on airborne transmission and simple-to-use models for assessing the risk of infection in practice, which furthermore quantify the influence of non-medical preventive measures. In this study, a dose-response model was adopted to analyze 25 documented outbreaks at infection rates of 4-100%. We show that infection was only possible if the viral load was higher than 108 viral copies/mL. Based on mathematical simplifications of our approach to predict the probable situational attack rate (PARs) of a group of persons in a room, and valid assumptions, we provide simplified equations to calculate, among others, the maximum possible number of persons and the person-related virus-free air supply flow necessary to keep the number of newly infected persons to less than one. A comparison of different preventive measures revealed that testing contributes the most to the joint protective effect, besides wearing masks and increasing ventilation. In addition, we conclude that absolute volume flow rate or person-related volume flow rate are more intuitive parameters for evaluating ventilation for infection prevention than air exchange rate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , Humans , Masks , Viral Load
4.
Infection ; 2021 Jul 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296979

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This executive summary of a national living guideline aims to provide rapid evidence based recommendations on the role of drug interventions in the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. METHODS: The guideline makes use of a systematic assessment and decision process using an evidence to decision framework (GRADE) as recommended standard WHO (2021). Recommendations are consented by an interdisciplinary panel. Evidence analysis and interpretation is supported by the CEOsys project providing extensive literature searches and living (meta-) analyses. For this executive summary, selected key recommendations on drug therapy are presented including the quality of the evidence and rationale for the level of recommendation. RESULTS: The guideline contains 11 key recommendations for COVID-19 drug therapy, eight of which are based on systematic review and/or meta-analysis, while three recommendations represent consensus expert opinion. Based on current evidence, the panel makes strong recommendations for corticosteroids (WHO scale 5-9) and prophylactic anticoagulation (all hospitalized patients with COVID-19) as standard of care. Intensified anticoagulation may be considered for patients with additional risk factors for venous thromboembolisms (VTE) and a low bleeding risk. The IL-6 antagonist tocilizumab may be added in case of high supplemental oxygen requirement and progressive disease (WHO scale 5-6). Treatment with nMABs may be considered for selected inpatients with an early SARS-CoV-2 infection that are not hospitalized for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma, azithromycin, ivermectin or vitamin D3 should not be used in COVID-19 routine care. CONCLUSION: For COVID-19 drug therapy, there are several options that are sufficiently supported by evidence. The living guidance will be updated as new evidence emerges.

5.
Biomarkers ; 26(3): 213-220, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1030957

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the emergency department (ED) setting, rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2 is likely associated with advantages to patients and healthcare workers, for example, enabling early but rationale use of limited isolation resources. Most recently, several SARS-CoV-2 rapid point-of-care antigen tests (AGTEST) became available. There is a growing need for data regarding their clinical utility and performance in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the real life setting EDs. METHODS: We implemented AGTEST (here: Roche/SD Biosensor) in all four adult and the one paediatric EDs at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin in our diagnostic testing strategy. Test indication was limited to symptomatic suspected COVID-19 patients. Detailed written instructions on who to test were distributed and testing personnel were trained in proper specimen collection and handling. In each suspected COVID-19 patient, two sequential deep oro-nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained for viral tests. The first swab was collected for nucleic acid testing through SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcriptase (rt)-PCR diagnostic panel (PCRTEST) in the central laboratory. The second swab was collected to perform the AGTEST. Analysis of routine data was prospectively planned and data were retrieved from the medical records after the inclusion period in the adult or paediatric ED. Diagnostic performance was calculated using the PCRTEST as reference standard. False negative and false positive AGTEST results were analysed individually and compared with viral concentrations derived from the calibrated PCRTEST. RESULTS: We included n = 483 patients including n = 202 from the paediatric ED. N = 10 patients had to be excluded due to missing data and finally n = 473 patients were analysed. In the adult cohort, the sensitivity of the AGTEST was 75.3 (95%CI: 65.8/83.4)% and the specificity was 100 (95%CI: 98.4/100)% with a SARS-CoV-2 prevalence of 32.8%; the positive predictive value was 100 (95%CI: 95.7/100)% and the negative predictive value 89.2 (95%CI: 84.5/93.9)%. In the paediatric cohort, the sensitivity was 72.0 (95%CI: 53.3/86.7)%, the specificity was 99.4 (95%CI:97.3/99.9)% with a prevalence of 12.4%; the positive predictive value was 94.7 (95%CI: 78.3/99.7)% and the negative predictive value was 96.2 (95%CI:92.7/98.3)%. Thus, n = 22 adult and n = 7 paediatric patients showed false negative AGTEST results and only one false positive AGTEST occurred, in the paediatric cohort. Calculated viral concentrations from the rt-PCR lay between 3.16 and 9.51 log10 RNA copies/mL buffer. All false negative patients in the adult ED cohort, who had confirmed symptom onset at least seven days earlier had less than 5 × 105 RNA copies/mL buffer. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the use of AGTEST among symptomatic patients in the emergency setting is useful for the early identification of COVID-19, but patients who test negative require confirmation by PCRTEST and must stay isolated until this result becomes available. Adult patients with a false negative AGTEST and symptom onset at least one week earlier have typically a low SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentration and are likely no longer infectious.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Emergency Service, Hospital , Immunoassay/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
6.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 9(1): 192, 2020 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962748

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents an unprecedented healthcare challenge. Various SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in healthcare facilities have been reported. Healthcare workers (HCWs) may play a critical role in the spread of the virus, particularly when asymptomatic. We examined four healthcare-associated outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 infections that occurred at a university hospital in Berlin, Germany. We aimed to describe and analyze the spread of the virus in order to draw conclusions for effective containment of SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare facilities. METHODS: Healthcare-associated outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 infections were defined as two or more laboratory confirmed infections with SARS-CoV-2 where an epidemiological link within the healthcare setting appeared likely. We focused our analysis on one of three sites of the Charité-University Medicine hospital within a 2 month period (March and April 2020). RESULTS: We observed four healthcare-associated outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 infections, with a total of 24 infected persons (23 HCWs and one patient). The outbreaks were detected in the departments of nephrology and dialysis (n = 9), anesthesiology (n = 8), surgical pediatrics (n = 4), and neurology (n = 3). Each outbreak showed multiple unprotected contacts between infected HCWs. A combination of contact tracing, testing, physical distancing and mandatory continuous wearing of face masks by all HCWs was able to contain all four outbreaks. CONCLUSIONS: HCW to HCW transmission represented the likely source of the four outbreaks. Ensuring proper physical distancing measures and wearing of protective equipment, also when interacting with colleagues, must be a key aspect of fighting COVID-19 in healthcare facilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Health Personnel , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals, University , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment
7.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 26(12): 1685.e7-1685.e12, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-722869

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In Berlin, the first public severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing site started 1 day after the first case in the city occurred. We describe epidemiological and clinical characteristics and aim at identifying risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 detection during the first 6 weeks of operation. METHODS: Testing followed national recommendations, but was also based on the physician's discretion. We related patient characteristics to SARS-CoV-2 test positivity for exploratory analyses using a cross-sectional, observational study design. RESULTS: Between 3 March and 13 April 2020, 5179 individuals attended the site (median age 34 years; interquartile range 26-47 years). The median time since disease onset was 4 days (interquartile range 2-7 days). Among 4333 persons tested, 333 (7.7%) were positive. Test positivity increased up to 10.3% (96/929) during the first 3 weeks and then declined, paralleling Germany's lock-down and the course of the epidemic in Berlin. Strict adherence to testing guidelines resulted in 10.4% (262/2530) test positivity, compared with 3.9% (71/1803) among individuals tested for other indications. A nightclub was a transmission hotspot; 27.7% (26/94) of one night's visitors were found positive. Smell and/or taste dysfunction indicated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with 85.6% specificity (95% CI 82.1%-88.1%). Four per cent (14/333) of those infected were asymptomatic. Risk factors for detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection were recent contact with a positive case (second week after contact, OR 3.42; 95% CI 2.48-4.71), travel to regions of high pandemic activity (e.g. Austria, OR 4.16; 95% CI 2.48-6.99), recent onset of symptoms (second week, OR 3.61; 95% CI 1.87-6.98) and an impaired sense of smell/taste (4.08; 95% CI 2.36-7.03). CONCLUSIONS: In this young population, early-onset presentation of COVID-19 resembled flu-like symptoms, except for smell and/or taste dysfunction. Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 detection were return from regions with high incidence and contact with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases, particularly when tests were administered within the first 2 weeks after contact and/or onset of symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Adult , Berlin/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Carrier State/diagnosis , Carrier State/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Sensitivity and Specificity , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/virology
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