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1.
Am J Transplant ; 2022 Jan 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626883

ABSTRACT

Kidney transplant recipients (KTR) have been considered as patients at higher risk of SARS-CoV-2-related disease severity, thus COVID-19 vaccination was highly recommended. However possible interferences of different immunosuppression with development of both humoral and T-cell-mediated immune response to COVID-19 vaccination has not been determined. Here we evaluated the association between mTOR-inhibitors (mTOR-I) and immune response to mRNA BNT162b2 (Pfizer-Biontech) vaccine in KTR. To this aim 132 consecutive KTR vaccinated against COVID-19 in the early 2021 were enrolled, and humoral and T-cell-mediated immune response were assessed after 4-5 weeks. Patients treated with mTOR-I showed significantly higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG titer (p=0.003) and higher percentages of anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1/RBD Ig (p=0.024), than those without. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell-derived IFNγ release was significantly increased in patients treated with mTOR-I (p<0.001), than in those without. Multivariate analysis confirmed that therapy with mTOR-I gained better humoral (p=0.005) and T-cell-mediated immune response (p=0.005) in KTR. The presence of mTOR-I is associated to a better immune response to COVID-19 vaccine in KTR compared to therapy without mTOR-I, not only by increasing vaccine-induced antibodies but also stimulating anti-SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response. These finding are consistent with a potential beneficial role of mTOR-I as modulators of immune response to COVID-19 vaccine in KTR.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-294800

ABSTRACT

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are vulnerable to different degrees of stress disorders as well as depression, anxiety and fear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of introducing Music therapy (MT) on site with Covid-19 patients and investigating the immediate effects a single session has on anxiety, heart rate (HR), oxygen saturation (O2Sat) and satisfaction compared to standard care. A randomized controlled trial of 40 patients was conducted. Participants were assigned to control group (CG) or the MT group (MG). MG received an individual single session of music therapy in presence. CG received standard care. MG and CG were subjected to identical measurements (pre-during-post) of the parameters STAI-Y, HR and O2Sat. Participants in MG were asked to fill in an optional open-ended question concerning their experience with MT. Significant difference in anxiety levels between scores in MG and CG (34.50 (23.25 - 40.00) vs 45.00(38, 25 - 54.00);p = 0.000) was observed. MG compared to CG had statistically significantly higher values of O2Sat (97.50 (96.25 - 99.00) versus 96.00 (96.00- 98.00);p = 0.026). Results show the feasibility of introducing MT as a supporting complementary/non-pharmacological intervention on site in Covid-19 patients. A single session of MT improves O2Sat and can significantly reduce anxiety.

4.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 2021 Feb 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496670

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is a common, familial genitourinary disorder, and a major cause of pediatric urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney failure. The genetic basis of VUR is not well understood. METHODS: A diagnostic analysis sought rare, pathogenic copy number variant (CNV) disorders among 1737 patients with VUR. A GWAS was performed in 1395 patients and 5366 controls, of European ancestry. RESULTS: Altogether, 3% of VUR patients harbored an undiagnosed rare CNV disorder, such as the 1q21.1, 16p11.2, 22q11.21, and triple X syndromes ((OR, 3.12; 95% CI, 2.10 to 4.54; P=6.35×10-8) The GWAS identified three study-wide significant and five suggestive loci with large effects (ORs, 1.41-6.9), containing canonical developmental genes expressed in the developing urinary tract (WDPCP, OTX1, BMP5, VANGL1, and WNT5A). In particular, 3.3% of VUR patients were homozygous for an intronic variant in WDPCP (rs13013890; OR, 3.65; 95% CI, 2.39 to 5.56; P=1.86×10-9). This locus was associated with multiple genitourinary phenotypes in the UK Biobank and eMERGE studies. Analysis of Wnt5a mutant mice confirmed the role of Wnt5a signaling in bladder and ureteric morphogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate the genetic heterogeneity of VUR. Altogether, 6% of patients with VUR harbored a rare CNV or a common variant genotype conferring an OR >3. Identification of these genetic risk factors has multiple implications for clinical care and for analysis of outcomes in VUR.

5.
J Clin Med ; 10(18)2021 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409883

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long COVID is a syndrome characterized by the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms. Among HCWs, prolonged COVID symptoms could lead to the inability to perform work tasks. The aim of this study is to investigate 35-day long-COVID (35-LC) characteristics and risk factors in a one-year period. METHODS: We carried out a retrospective cohort study during the COVID-19 pandemic at University Hospital of Bari. A total of 5750 HCWs were tested for close contact with a confirmed case, in the absence of personal protective equipment, or for symptom development. RESULTS: Each positive HCW was investigated for cardiovascular risk factors or respiratory diseases. An amount of 352 HCWs (6.1%) were infected by SARS-CoV-2, and 168 cases evolved to long COVID. The 35-LC group showed mean BMI values higher than the non-35-LC group (25.9 kg/m2 vs. 24.8 kg/m2, respectively), and this difference was significant (p-value: 0.020). Moreover, HCWs who suffered from pulmonary disease (OR = 3.7, CL 95%: 1.35-10.53; p-value = 0.007) or overweight (OR = 1.6 CL 95%: 1.05-2.56; p-value = 0.029) had an increased risk of developing 35-LC. CONCLUSIONS: Long COVID is an emerging problem for hospital managers as it may reduce the number of HCWs deployed in the fight against COVID-19. High BMI and previous pulmonary disease could be risk factors for 35-LC development in exposed HCWs.

6.
Microorganisms ; 9(9)2021 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403852

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Based on recent findings, we speculated the existence of the lung, heart, and kidney axis as the main pathway for the COVID-19 disease progression. METHODS: This paper reports on an observational study conducted by a team of researchers and doctors of the 118-Pre-Hospital and Emergency Department of SG Moscati of Taranto City in Italy. The study was conducted on a totality of 185 participants that were divided into three groups. The study group included COVID-19 affected patients (PP n = 80), the first control group included patients with different pathologies (non-COVID-19 NNp n = 62) of the SG Moscati Hospital, and the second control group included healthy individuals (NNh n = 43). The core of the current trial was focused on assessing the level of the vitamin D (serum 25(OH) D concentration), IL-6, and the renal glomerular filtrate (eGFR) in COVID-19 disease and non-COVID-19 patients in both groups. RESULTS: It was observed that the majority of COVID-19-infected patients showed a progressive multi-organ involvement, especially in regard to the lung, kidney, and heart. The majority of the COVID-19 patients exhibited preexisting comorbidities which include cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal disorders accompanied by a severely low level of vitamin D, extremely high level of IL-6, and low glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The significant overall damages exerted by the immune-mediated responses under the hyper-expression of proinflammatory cytokines and interleukins, such as IL-6, may be facilitated by either a decreased level of vitamin D or the ageing process. The reduced presence of vitamin D was often found together with a reduced functionality of renal activity, as revealed by the low eGFR, and both were seen to be concomitant with an increased mortality risk in patients with lung disorders and heart failure (HF), whether it is showed at baseline or it develops during manifestation of COVID-19. Therefore, the documentation of the modifiable risk factors related to SARS-CoV-2 and lung impairment in older patients with kidney and heart disease may help the clinician to better manage the situation. CONCLUSIONS: This paper addresses how a low level of vitamin D and older age may be indicative of systemic worsening in patients with COVID-19, with a goal of providing a broader context in which to view a better therapeutic approach.

7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(8)2021 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325805

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Solid-organ transplant (SOT) recipients are at a high risk of severe COVID-19, and are priority for vaccination. Here, we describe three cases of severe COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage in vaccinated SOT recipients. METHODS: Three SOT patients were hospitalized in the Policlinico Hospital of Bari (southern Italy) and underwent nasopharyngeal swabs for molecular detection of SARS-CoV-2 genes and spike protein mutations by real-time PCR. One sample was subjected to whole-genome sequencing. RESULTS: One patient was a heart transplant recipient and two were kidney transplant recipients. All were hospitalized with severe COVID-19 between March and May 2021. Two patients were fully vaccinated and one had received only one dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. All the patients showed a high viral load at diagnosis, and molecular typing revealed the presence of B.1.1.7 lineage SARS-CoV-2. In all three cases, prolonged viral shedding was reported. CONCLUSIONS: The three cases pose concern about the role of the B.1.1.7 lineage in severe COVID-19 and about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised patients. Protecting immunocompromised patients from COVID-19 is a challenge. SOT recipients show a suboptimal response to standard vaccination, and thus, an additive booster or a combined vaccination strategy with mRNA, protein/subunit, and vector-based vaccines may be necessary. This population should continue to practice strict COVID-19 precautions post-vaccination, until new strategies for protection are available.

8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(11)2021 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256567

ABSTRACT

High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) are a class of blood particles, principally involved in mediating reverse cholesterol transport from peripheral tissue to liver. Omics approaches have identified crucial mediators in the HDL proteomic and lipidomic profile, which are involved in distinct pleiotropic functions. Besides their role as cholesterol transporter, HDLs display anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, anti-thrombotic, and anti-infection properties. Experimental and clinical studies have unveiled significant changes in both HDL serum amount and composition that lead to dysregulated host immune response and endothelial dysfunction in the course of sepsis. Most SARS-Coronavirus-2-infected patients admitted to the intensive care unit showed common features of sepsis disease, such as the overwhelmed systemic inflammatory response and the alterations in serum lipid profile. Despite relevant advances, episodes of mild to moderate acute kidney injury (AKI), occurring during systemic inflammatory diseases, are associated with long-term complications, and high risk of mortality. The multi-faceted relationship of kidney dysfunction with dyslipidemia and inflammation encourages to deepen the clarification of the mechanisms connecting these elements. This review analyzes the multifaced roles of HDL in inflammatory diseases, the renal involvement in lipid metabolism, and the novel potential HDL-based therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Lipoproteins, HDL/metabolism , Sepsis/pathology , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cholesterol/metabolism , Complement System Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Lipid Metabolism , Lipoproteins, HDL/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sepsis/complications , Sepsis/metabolism , Virus Internalization
9.
Environ Res ; 195: 110793, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are highly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection given their specific tasks. The IgG-IgM serological assay has demonstrated good accuracy in early detection in symptomatic patients, but its role in the diagnosis of asymptomatic patients is uncertain. The aim of our study was to assess IgM and IgG prevalence in sera in a large cohort of HCWs previously subjected to Nasopharyngeal swab test (NST) after accurate risk assessment due to positive COVID-19 patient exposure during an observation period of 90 days. METHODS: 2407 asymptomatic HCWs that had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the period between April 8th and June 7th were screened with NST based on the RT-PCR method. In parallel, they underwent large-scale chemiluminescence immunoassays involving IgM-IgG serological screening to determine actual viral spread in the same cohort. RESULTS: During the 90-day observation period, 18 workers (0.75%) resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection at the NST, whereas the positivity rates for IgM and IgG were 11.51% and 2.37%, respectively (277 workers). Despite high specificity, serological tests were inadequate for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with previous positive NST results (IgM and IgG sensitivities of 27.78% and 50.00%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate a widespread low viral load of SARS-CoV-2 among hospital workers. However, serological screening showed very low sensitivity with respect to NST in identifying infected workers, and negative IgG and IgM results should not exclude the diagnosis of COVID-19. IgG-IgM chemiluminescence immunoassays could increase the diagnosis of COVID-19 only in association with NST, and this association is considered helpful for decision-making regarding returning to work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Italy/epidemiology , Prevalence , Public Health , Sensitivity and Specificity
10.
J Clin Monit Comput ; 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002124

ABSTRACT

Mechanically ventilated patients with ARDS due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) seem particularly susceptible to AKI. Our hypothesis was that the renal blood flow could be more compromised in SARS-CoV-2 patients than in patients with "classical" ARDS. We compared the renal resistivity index (RRI) and the renal venous flow (RVF) in ARDS patients with SARS-CoV-2 and in ARDS patients due to other etiologies. Prospective, observational pilot study performed on 30 mechanically ventilated patients (15 with SARS-COV-2 ARDS and 15 with ARDS). Mechanical ventilation settings included constant-flow controlled ventilation, a tidal volume of 6 ml/kg of ideal body weight and the PEEP level titrated to the lowest driving pressure. Ultrasound Doppler measurements of RRI and RVF pattern were performed in each patient. Patients with SARS-COV-2 ARDS had higher RRI than patients with ARDS (0.71[0.67-0.78] vs 0.64[0.60-0.74], p = 0.04). RVF was not-continuous in 9/15 patients (71%) in the SARS-COV-2 ARDS group and in and 5/15 (33%) in the ARDS group (p = 0.27). A linear correlation was found between PEEP and RRI in patients with SARS-COV-2 ARDS (r2 = 0.31; p = 0.03) but not in patients with ARDS. Occurrence of AKI was 53% in patients with SARS-COV-2 ARDS and 33% in patients with ARDS (p = 0.46). We found a more pronounced impairment in renal blood flow in mechanically ventilated patients with SARS-COV-2 ARDS, compared with patients with "classical" ARDS.

11.
J Clin Med ; 9(12)2020 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977758

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), first emerged in Wuhan, China. The clinical manifestations of patients infected with COVID-19 include fever, cough, and dyspnea, up to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and acute cardiac injury. Thus, a lot of severe patients had to be admitted to intensive care units (ICU). The pathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection are mediated by the binding of SARS-CoV-2 spikes to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor. The overexpression of human ACE-2 is associated with the disease severity in SARS-CoV-2 infection, demonstrating that viral entry into cells is a pivotal step. Although the lung is the organ that is most commonly affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection, acute kidney injury (AKI), heart dysfunction and abdominal pain are the most commonly reported co-morbidities of COVID-19. The occurrence of AKI in COVID-19 patients might be explained by several mechanisms that include viral cytopathic effects in renal cells and the host hyperinflammatory response. In addition, kidney dysfunction could exacerbate the inflammatory response started in the lungs and might cause further renal impairment and multi-organ failure. Mounting recent evidence supports the involvement of cardiovascular complications and endothelial dysfunction in COVID-19 syndrome, in addition to respiratory disease. To date, there is no vaccine, and no specific antiviral medicine has been shown to be effective in preventing or treating COVID-19. The removal of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the shutdown of the cytokine storm could ameliorate the clinical outcome in severe COVID-19 cases. Therefore, several interventions that inhibit viral replication and the systemic inflammatory response could modulate the severity of the renal dysfunction and increase the probability of a favorable outcome.

12.
Int J Infect Dis ; 102: 532-537, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907182

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among exposed healthcare workers (HCWs) after preventive protocol implementation. METHODS: A total of 5750 HCWs were included in the study. Those in contact with COVID-19 patients were allocated into a high-risk or a low-risk group based on contact type (PPE- or non-PPE-protected); high-risk workers underwent nasopharyngeal swab tests, while among low-risk workers, swab tests were carried out only for symptomatic workers (active surveillance). The prevalence was determined by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on nasopharyngeal samples. RESULTS: 3570 HCWs had contact with 1065 COVID-19 patients. Among them, 3494 were subjected to active surveillance (low-risk group); 2886 (82.60%) were subjected to a swab test; and 15 were positive (0.52%). Seventy-six HCWs (2.13% of exposed) were included in the high-risk group, and a swab test was mandatory for each participant. Overall, 66 (86.84% of high-risk) were negative, and 10 were positive (13.16%), resulting in a higher risk of infection than in the low-risk group [OR = 29.00; 95% CI:12.56-66.94; p < 0.0001]. CONCLUSION: To date, the SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence is 0.70% among exposed HCWs and 0.435% among all HCWs working at the examined university hospital. The correct use of PPE and the early identification of symptomatic workers are essential factors to avoiding nosocomial clusters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Cross Infection/transmission , Cross Infection/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Frail Elderly/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
13.
Environ Res ; 191: 110231, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-785565

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic started in China in early December 2019, and quickly spread around the world. The epidemic gradually started in Italy at the end of February 2020, and by May 31, 2020, 232,664 cases and 33,340 deaths were confirmed. As a result of this pandemic, the Italian Ministerial Decree issued on March 11, 2020, enforced lockdown; therefore, many social, recreational, and cultural centers remained closed for months. In Apulia (southern Italy), all non-urgent hospital activities were suspended, and some wards were closed, with a consequent reduction in the use of the water network and the formation of stagnant water. This situation could enhance the risk of exposure of people to waterborne diseases, including legionellosis. The purpose of this study was to monitor the microbiological quality of the water network (coliforms, E. coli, Enterococci, P. aeruginosa, and Legionella) in three wards (A, B and C) of a large COVID-19 regional hospital, closed for three months due to the COVID-19 emergency. Our study revealed that all three wards' water network showed higher contamination by Legionella pneumophila sg 1 and sg 6 at T1 (after lockdown) compared to the period before the lockdown (T0). In particular, ward A at T1 showed a median value = 5600 CFU/L (range 0-91,000 CFU/L) vs T0, median value = 75 CFU/L (range 0-5000 CFU/L) (p-value = 0.014); ward B at T1 showed a median value = 200 CFU/L (range 0-4200 CFU/L) vs T0, median value = 0 CFU/L (range 0-300 CFU/L) (p-value = 0.016) and ward C at T1 showed a median value = 175 CFU/L (range 0-22,000 CFU/L) vs T0, median value = 0 CFU/L (range 0-340 CFU/L) (p-value < 0.001). In addition, a statistically significant difference was detected in ward B between the number of positive water samples at T0 vs T1 for L. pneumophila sg 1 and sg 6 (24% vs 80% p-value < 0.001) and for coliforms (0% vs 64% p-value < 0.001). Moreover, a median value of coliform load resulted 3 CFU/100 ml (range 0-14 CFU/100 ml) at T1, showing a statistically significant increase versus T0 (0 CFU/100 ml) (p-value < 0.001). Our results highlight the need to implement a water safety plan that includes staff training and a more rigorous environmental microbiological surveillance in all hospitals before occupying a closed ward for a longer than one week, according to national and international guidelines.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Legionella pneumophila , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Escherichia coli , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Water , Water Microbiology , Water Supply
14.
Arts Psychother ; 70: 101688, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-645615

ABSTRACT

The influence of music therapy (MT) as a support intervention to reduce stress and improve wellbeing in Clinical Staff (CS) working with COVID-19 patients was evaluated. Participants were enrolled as a result of spontaneous agreement (n = 34) and were given remote receptive MT intervention over a 5-week period. Their levels of tiredness, sadness, fear and worry were measured with MTC-Q1 before and after MT intervention. An immediate significant variation in the CS emotional status was observed. The results seem to confirm that in an emergency situation, it is possible to put in place a remote MT support intervention for CS exposed to highly stressful situations.

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