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1.
PLoS Med ; 18(11): e1003823, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) and ethnic minority groups are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and adverse outcomes. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination is now available for frontline UK HCWs; however, demographic/occupational associations with vaccine uptake in this cohort are unknown. We sought to establish these associations in a large UK hospital workforce. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted cross-sectional surveillance examining vaccine uptake amongst all staff at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. We examined proportions of vaccinated staff stratified by demographic factors, occupation, and previous COVID-19 test results (serology/PCR) and used logistic regression to identify predictors of vaccination status after adjustment for confounders. We included 19,044 HCWs; 12,278 (64.5%) had received SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Compared to White HCWs (70.9% vaccinated), a significantly smaller proportion of ethnic minority HCWs were vaccinated (South Asian, 58.5%; Black, 36.8%; p < 0.001 for both). After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, occupation, SARS-CoV-2 serology/PCR results, and COVID-19-related work absences, factors found to be negatively associated with vaccine uptake were younger age, female sex, increased deprivation, pregnancy, and belonging to any non-White ethnic group (Black: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.30, 95% CI 0.26-0.34, p < 0.001; South Asian: aOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.62-0.72, p < 0.001). Those who had previously had confirmed COVID-19 (by PCR) were less likely to be vaccinated than those who had tested negative. Limitations include data being from a single centre, lack of data on staff vaccinated outside the hospital system, and that staff may have taken up vaccination following data extraction. CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic minority HCWs and those from more deprived areas as well as younger staff and female staff are less likely to take up SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. These findings have major implications for the delivery of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination programmes, in HCWs and the wider population, and should inform the national vaccination programme to prevent the disparities of the pandemic from widening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Minority Groups , United Kingdom/epidemiology
2.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(8): 100369, 2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322391

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to identify which COVID-19 patients will develop life-threatening illness so that medical resources can be optimally allocated and rapid treatment can be administered early in the disease course, when clinical management is most effective. To aid in the prognostic classification of disease severity, we perform untargeted metabolomics on plasma from 339 patients, with samples collected at six longitudinal time points. Using the temporal metabolic profiles and machine learning, we build a predictive model of disease severity. We discover that a panel of metabolites measured at the time of study entry successfully determines disease severity. Through analysis of longitudinal samples, we confirm that most of these markers are directly related to disease progression and that their levels return to baseline upon disease recovery. Finally, we validate that these metabolites are also altered in a hamster model of COVID-19.

3.
Transfusion ; 61(9): 2658-2667, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295147

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by the largest mobilization of therapeutic convalescent plasma (CCP) in over a century. Initial identification of high titer units was based on dose-response data using the Ortho VITROS IgG assay. The proliferation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 serological assays and non-uniform application has led to uncertainty about their interrelationships. The purpose of this study was to establish correlations and analogous cutoffs between multiple serological assays. METHODS: We compared the Ortho, Abbott, Roche, an anti-spike (S) ELISA, and a virus neutralization assay. Relationships relative to FDA-approved cutoffs under the CCP emergency use authorization were identified in convalescent plasma from a cohort of 79 donors from April 2020. RESULTS: Relative to the neutralization assay, the spearman r value of the Ortho Clinical, Abbott, Roche, anti-S ELISA assays was 0.65, 0.59, 0.45, and 0.76, respectively. The best correlative index for establishing high-titer units was 3.87 signal-to-cutoff (S/C) for the Abbott, 13.82 cutoff index for the Roche, 1:1412 for the anti-S ELISA, 1:219 by the neutralization assay, and 15.9 S/C by the Ortho Clinical assay. The overall agreement using derived cutoffs compared to a neutralizing titer of 1:250 was 78.5% for Abbott, 74.7% for Roche, 83.5% for the anti-S ELISA, and 78.5% for Ortho Clinical. DISCUSSION: Assays based on antibodies against the nucleoprotein were positively associated with neutralizing titers and the Ortho assay, although their ability to distinguish FDA high-titer specimens was imperfect. The resulting relationships help reconcile results from the large body of serological data generated during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Comorbidity , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , ROC Curve , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
4.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 2021 Jun 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285448

ABSTRACT

Antibody tests can be tools for detecting current or past severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 [coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)]) infections. Independent test evaluations are needed to document the performance with different sample sets. We evaluated six lateral flow assays (LFAs) and two laboratory-based tests (EUROIMMUN-SARS-CoV-2 ELISA and Abbott-Architect-SARS-CoV-2-IgG). We tested 210 plasma samples from 89 patients diagnosed with acute COVID-19. These samples were collected at different time points after the onset of symptoms. In addition, 80 convalescent plasma samples, and 168 pre-pandemic samples collected from adults in the United States and in Africa were tested. LFA performance varied widely, and some tests with high sensitivity had low specificity. LFA sensitivities were low (18.8-40.6%) for samples collected 0 to 3 days after symptom onset, and were greater (80.3-96.4%) for samples collected > 14 days after symptom onset. These results are similar to those obtained by ELISA (15.6% and 89.1%) and chemiluminescent microparticle assay (21.4% and 93.1%). The range of test specificity was between 82.7% and 97%. The combined use of two LFAs can increase specificity to more than 99% without a major loss of sensitivity. Because of suboptimal sensitivity with early COVID-19 samples and background reactivity with some pre-pandemic samples, none of the evaluated tests alone is reliable enough for definitive diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. However, antibody testing may be useful for assessing the status of the epidemic or vaccination campaign. Some of the LFAs had sensitivities and specificities that were comparable to those of more expensive laboratory tests, and these may be useful for seroprevalence surveys in resource-limited settings.

5.
Appl Clin Inform ; 12(3): 507-517, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254109

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This article investigates the association between changes in electronic health record (EHR) use during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the rate of burnout, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety among physician trainees (residents and fellows). METHODS: A total of 222 (of 1,375, 16.2%) physician trainees from an academic medical center responded to a Web-based survey. We compared the physician trainees who reported that their EHR use increased versus those whose EHR use stayed the same or decreased on outcomes related to depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD, and burnout using univariable and multivariable models. We examined whether self-reported exposure to COVID-19 patients moderated these relationships. RESULTS: Physician trainees who reported increased use of EHR had higher burnout (adjusted mean, 1.48 [95% confidence interval [CI] 1.24, 1.71] vs. 1.05 [95% CI 0.93, 1.17]; p = 0.001) and were more likely to exhibit symptoms of PTSD (adjusted mean = 15.09 [95% CI 9.12, 21.05] vs. 9.36 [95% CI 7.38, 11.28]; p = 0.035). Physician trainees reporting increased EHR use outside of work were more likely to experience depression (adjusted mean, 8.37 [95% CI 5.68, 11.05] vs. 5.50 [95% CI 4.28, 6.72]; p = 0.035). Among physician trainees with increased EHR use, those exposed to COVID-19 patients had significantly higher burnout (2.04, p < 0.001) and depression scores (14.13, p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: Increased EHR use was associated with higher burnout, depression, and PTSD outcomes among physician trainees. Although preliminary, these findings have implications for creating systemic changes to manage the wellness and well-being of trainees.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Education, Medical , Electronic Health Records/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
6.
Nature ; 595(7867): 421-425, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240773

ABSTRACT

Long-lived bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) are a persistent and essential source of protective antibodies1-7. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 have a substantially lower risk of reinfection with SARS-CoV-28-10. Nonetheless, it has been reported that levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies decrease rapidly in the first few months after infection, raising concerns that long-lived BMPCs may not be generated and humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 may be short-lived11-13. Here we show that in convalescent individuals who had experienced mild SARS-CoV-2 infections (n = 77), levels of serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) antibodies declined rapidly in the first 4 months after infection and then more gradually over the following 7 months, remaining detectable at least 11 months after infection. Anti-S antibody titres correlated with the frequency of S-specific plasma cells in bone marrow aspirates from 18 individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 at 7 to 8 months after infection. S-specific BMPCs were not detected in aspirates from 11 healthy individuals with no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We show that S-binding BMPCs are quiescent, which suggests that they are part of a stable compartment. Consistently, circulating resting memory B cells directed against SARS-CoV-2 S were detected in the convalescent individuals. Overall, our results indicate that mild infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces robust antigen-specific, long-lived humoral immune memory in humans.


Subject(s)
Bone Marrow Cells/cytology , Bone Marrow Cells/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Plasma Cells/cytology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , Cell Survival , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
7.
BMC Med Educ ; 21(1): 216, 2021 Apr 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190071

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a transformation of clinical care practices to protect both patients and providers. These changes led to a decrease in patient volume, impacting physician trainee education due to lost clinical and didactic opportunities. We measured the prevalence of trainee concern over missed educational opportunities and investigated the risk factors leading to such concerns. METHODS: All residents and fellows at a large academic medical center were invited to participate in a web-based survey in May of 2020. Participants responded to questions regarding demographic characteristics, specialty, primary assigned responsibility during the previous 2 weeks (clinical, education, or research), perceived concern over missed educational opportunities, and burnout. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between missed educational opportunities and the measured variables. RESULTS: 22% (301 of 1375) of the trainees completed the survey. 47% of the participants were concerned about missed educational opportunities. Trainees assigned to education at home had 2.85 [95%CI 1.33-6.45] greater odds of being concerned over missed educational opportunities as compared with trainees performing clinical work. Trainees performing research were not similarly affected [aOR = 0.96, 95%CI (0.47-1.93)]. Trainees in pathology or radiology had 2.51 [95%CI 1.16-5.68] greater odds of concern for missed educational opportunities as compared with medicine. Trainees with greater concern over missed opportunities were more likely to be experiencing burnout (p = 0.038). CONCLUSIONS: Trainees in radiology or pathology and those assigned to education at home were more likely to be concerned about their missed educational opportunities. Residency programs should consider providing trainees with research or at home clinical opportunities as an alternative to self-study should future need for reduced clinical hours arise.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Medical, Graduate/trends , Internship and Residency , Physicians , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol ; 126(5): 535-541.e2, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155396

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with asthma are comparatively susceptible to respiratory viral infections and more likely to develop severe symptoms than people without asthma. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is necessary to adequately evaluate the characteristics and outcomes of the population with asthma in the population tested for and diagnosed as having COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To perform a study to assess the impact of asthma on COVID-19 diagnosis, presenting symptoms, disease severity, and cytokine profiles. METHODS: This was an analysis of a prospectively collected cohort of patients suspected of having COVID-19 who presented for COVID-19 testing at a tertiary medical center in Missouri between March 2020 and September 2020. We classified and analyzed patients according to their pre-existing asthma diagnosis and subsequent COVID-19 testing results. RESULTS: Patients suspected of having COVID-19 (N = 435) were enrolled in this study. The proportions of patients testing positive for COVID-19 were 69.2% and 81.9% in the groups with asthma and without asthma, respectively. The frequencies of relevant symptoms were similar between the groups with asthma with positive and negative COVID-19 test results. In the population diagnosed as having COVID-19 (n = 343), asthma was not associated with several indicators of COVID-19 severity, including hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, death due to COVID-19, and in-hospital mortality after multivariate adjustment. Patients with COVID-19 with asthma exhibited significantly lower levels of plasma interleukin-8 than patients without asthma (adjusted P = .02). CONCLUSION: The population with asthma is facing a challenge in preliminary COVID-19 evaluation owing to an overlap in the symptoms of COVID-19 and asthma. However, asthma does not increase the risk of COVID-19 severity if infected.


Subject(s)
Asthma/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/pathology , Coinfection/diagnosis , Coinfection/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Disease Susceptibility/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
9.
JCI Insight ; 6(4)2021 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150281

ABSTRACT

BackgroundMitochondrial DNA (MT-DNA) are intrinsically inflammatory nucleic acids released by damaged solid organs. Whether circulating cell-free MT-DNA quantitation could be used to predict the risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes remains undetermined.MethodsWe measured circulating MT-DNA levels in prospectively collected, cell-free plasma samples from 97 subjects with COVID-19 at hospital presentation. Our primary outcome was mortality. Intensive care unit (ICU) admission, intubation, vasopressor, and renal replacement therapy requirements were secondary outcomes. Multivariate regression analysis determined whether MT-DNA levels were independent of other reported COVID-19 risk factors. Receiver operating characteristic and area under the curve assessments were used to compare MT-DNA levels with established and emerging inflammatory markers of COVID-19.ResultsCirculating MT-DNA levels were highly elevated in patients who eventually died or required ICU admission, intubation, vasopressor use, or renal replacement therapy. Multivariate regression revealed that high circulating MT-DNA was an independent risk factor for these outcomes after adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidities. We also found that circulating MT-DNA levels had a similar or superior area under the curve when compared against clinically established measures of inflammation and emerging markers currently of interest as investigational targets for COVID-19 therapy.ConclusionThese results show that high circulating MT-DNA levels are a potential early indicator for poor COVID-19 outcomes.FundingWashington University Institute of Clinical Translational Sciences COVID-19 Research Program and Washington University Institute of Clinical Translational Sciences (ICTS) NIH grant UL1TR002345.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , DNA, Mitochondrial/blood , Severity of Illness Index , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , ROC Curve , Renal Replacement Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vasoconstrictor Agents/therapeutic use
10.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 2020 Dec 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990793

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Leicester was the first city in the UK to have 'local lockdown' measures imposed in response to high community rates of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. As part of this response, a directive was issued by NHS England to offer testing of asymptomatic healthcare workers (HCWs) at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) for SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: Between 20 July and 14 August 2020, we invited all HCWs at UHL to attend for SARS-CoV-2 testing by nucleic acid amplification (NAAT). We combined the result of this assay with demographic information from the electronic staff record. RESULTS: A total of 1150 staff (~8% of the workforce) volunteered. The median age was 46 years (IQR 34-55), 972 (84.5%) were female; 234 (20.4%) were of South Asian and 58 (5.0%) of Black ethnicity; 564 (49.0%) were nurses/healthcare assistants. We found no cases of asymptomatic infection. In comparison, average community test positivity rate in Leicester city was 2.6%. CONCLUSIONS: Within the context of local lockdowns due to high community transmission rates, voluntary testing of asymptomatic staff has low uptake and low yield and thus its premise and cost-effectiveness should be re-considered.

11.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 2020 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-926296

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although evidence suggests that demographic characteristics including minority ethnicity increase the risk of infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), it is unclear whether these characteristics, together with occupational factors, influence anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroprevalence in hospital staff. METHODS: We conducted cross-sectional surveillance examining seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG amongst staff at University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust. We quantified seroprevalence stratified by ethnicity, occupation and seniority of practitioner and used logistic regression to examine demographic and occupational factors associated with seropositivity. RESULTS: A total of 1148/10662 (10.8%) hospital staff members were seropositive. Compared to White staff (seroprevalence 9.1%), seroprevalence was higher in South Asian (12.3%) and Black (21.2%) staff. The occupations and department with the highest seroprevalence were nurses/healthcare assistants (13.7%) and the Emergency Department (ED)/Acute Medicine (17.5%), respectively. Seroprevalence decreased with seniority in medical/nursing practitioners. Minority ethnicity was associated with seropositivity on an adjusted analysis (South Asian: aOR 1.26; 95%CI: 1.07-1.49 and Black: 2.42; 1.90-3.09). Anaesthetics/ICU staff members were less likely to be seropositive than ED/Acute medicine staff (0.41; 0.27-0.61). CONCLUSIONS: Ethnicity and occupational factors, including specialty and seniority, are associated with seropositivity for anti-SARS-Cov-2 IgG. These findings could be used to inform occupational risk assessments for front-line healthcare workers.

12.
PLoS One ; 15(8): e0237301, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695948

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has put considerable physical and emotional strain on frontline healthcare workers. Among frontline healthcare workers, physician trainees represent a unique group-functioning simultaneously as both learners and caregivers and experiencing considerable challenges during the pandemic. However, we have a limited understanding regarding the emotional effects and vulnerability experienced by trainees during the pandemic. We investigated the effects of trainee exposure to patients being tested for COVID-19 on their depression, anxiety, stress, burnout and professional fulfillment. All physician trainees at an academic medical center (n = 1375) were invited to participate in an online survey. We compared the measures of depression, anxiety, stress, burnout and professional fulfillment among trainees who were exposed to patients being tested for COVID-19 and those that were not, using univariable and multivariable models. We also evaluated perceived life stressors such as childcare, home schooling, personal finances and work-family balance among both groups. 393 trainees completed the survey (29% response rate). Compared to the non-exposed group, the exposed group had a higher prevalence of stress (29.4% vs. 18.9%), and burnout (46.3% vs. 33.7%). The exposed group also experienced moderate to extremely high perceived stress regarding childcare and had a lower work-family balance. Multivariable models indicated that trainees who were exposed to COVID-19 patients reported significantly higher stress (10.96 [95% CI, 9.65 to 12.46] vs 8.44 [95% CI, 7.3 to 9.76]; P = 0.043) and were more likely to be burned out (1.31 [95% CI, 1.21 to1.41] vs 1.07 [95% CI, 0.96 to 1.19]; P = 0.002]. We also found that female trainees were more likely to be stressed (P = 0.043); while unmarried trainees were more likely to be depressed (P = 0.009), and marginally more likely to have anxiety (P = 0.051). To address these challenges, wellness programs should focus on sustaining current programs, develop new and targeted mental health resources that are widely accessible and devise strategies for creating awareness regarding these resources.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Health Personnel/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Stress, Psychological , Adult , Anxiety/pathology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Depression/pathology , Female , Humans , Internet , Linear Models , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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