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Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0078621, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605388


Seroepidemiological studies to monitor antibody kinetics are important for assessing the extent and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in a population. Noninvasive sampling methods are advantageous for reducing the need for venipuncture, which may be a barrier to investigations, particularly in pediatric populations. Oral fluids are obtained by gingiva-crevicular sampling from children and adults and are very well accepted. Enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) based on these samples have acceptable sensitivity and specificity compared to conventional serum-based antibody EIAs and are suitable for population-based surveillance. We describe the development and evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 IgG EIAs using SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleoprotein (NP) and spike (S) proteins in IgG isotype capture format and an indirect receptor-binding-domain (RBD) IgG EIA, intended for use in children as a primary endpoint. All three assays were assessed using a panel of 1,999 paired serum and oral fluids from children and adults participating in school SARS-CoV-2 surveillance studies during and after the first and second pandemic wave in the United Kingdom. The anti-NP IgG capture assay was the best candidate, with an overall sensitivity of 75% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 71 to 79%) and specificity of 99% (95% CI: 78 to 99%) compared with paired serum antibodies. Sensitivity observed in children (80%, 95% CI: 71 to 88%) was higher than that in adults (67%, CI: 60% to 74%). Oral fluid assays (OF) using spike protein and RBD antigens were also 99% specific and achieved reasonable but lower sensitivity in the target population (78%, 95% CI [68% to 86%] and 53%, 95% CI [43% to 64%], respectively). IMPORTANCE We report on the first large-scale assessment of the suitability of oral fluids for detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibody obtained from healthy children attending school. The sample type (gingiva-crevicular fluid, which is a transudate of blood but is not saliva) can be self collected. Although detection of antibodies in oral fluids is less sensitive than that in blood, our study suggests an optimal format for operational use. The laboratory methods we have developed can reliably measure antibodies in children, who are able to take their own samples. Our findings are of immediate practical relevance for use in large-scale seroprevalence studies designed to measure exposure to infection, as they typically require venipuncture. Overall, our data indicate that OF assays based on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are a tool suitable for population-based seroepidemiology studies in children and highly acceptable in children and adults, as venipuncture is no longer necessary.

Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Gingival Crevicular Fluid/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Infant , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies
Dig Dis Sci ; 66(8): 2545-2554, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-758086


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted the practice of endoscopy, but characteristics of COVID patients undergoing endoscopy have not been adequately described. AIMS: To compare findings, clinical outcomes, and patient characteristics of endoscopies performed during the pandemic in patients with and without COVID-19. METHODS: This was a retrospective multicenter study of adult endoscopies at six academic hospitals in New York between March 16 and April 30, 2020. Patient and procedure characteristics including age, sex, indication, findings, interventions, and outcomes were compared in patients testing positive, negative, or untested for COVID-19. RESULTS: Six hundred and five endoscopies were performed on 545 patients during the study period. There were 84 (13.9%), 255 (42.2%), and 266 (44.0%) procedures on COVID-positive, negative, and untested patients, respectively. COVID patients were more likely to undergo endoscopy for gastrointestinal bleeding or gastrostomy tube placement, and COVID patients with gastrointestinal bleeding more often required hemostatic interventions on multivariable logistic regression. COVID patients had increased length of stay, intensive care unit admission, and intubation rate. Twenty-seven of 521 patients (5.2%) with no or negative COVID testing prior to endoscopy later tested positive, a median of 13.5 days post-procedure. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopies in COVID patients were more likely to require interventions, due either to more severe illness or a higher threshold to perform endoscopy. A significant number of patients endoscoped without testing were subsequently found to be COVID-positive. Gastroenterologists in areas affected by the pandemic must adapt to changing patterns of endoscopy practice and ensure pre-endoscopy COVID testing.

COVID-19 Testing/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Endoscopy/trends , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/standards , Endoscopy/standards , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Treatment Outcome
Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 18(8): 1673-1681, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102150


The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly is peaking now in New York City and has triggered significant changes to the standard management of gastrointestinal diseases. Priorities such as minimizing viral transmission, preserving personal protective equipment, and freeing hospital beds have driven unconventional approaches to managing gastroenterology (GI) patients. Conversion of endoscopy units to COVID units and redeployment of GI fellows and faculty has profoundly changed the profile of most GI services. Meanwhile, consult and procedural volumes have been reduced drastically. In this review, we share our collective experiences regarding how we have changed our practice of medicine in response to the COVID surge. Although we review our management of specific consults and conditions, the overarching theme focuses primarily on noninvasive measures and maximizing medical therapies. Endoscopic procedures have been reserved for those timely interventions that are most likely to be therapeutic. The role of multidisciplinary discussion, although always important, now has become critical. The support of our faculty and trainees remains essential. Local leadership can encourage well-being by frequent team check-ins and by fostering trainee development through remote learning. Advancing a clear vision and a transparent process for how to organize and triage care in the recovery phase will allow for a smooth transition to our new normal.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disease Management , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Gastroenterology/methods , Gastroenterology/organization & administration , Infection Control/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics