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Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(2)2021 Feb 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121478


Mortality in critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients is high and pharmacological treatment strategies remain limited. Early-stage predictive biomarkers are needed to identify patients with a high risk of severe clinical courses and to stratify treatment strategies. Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) was previously described as a potential predictor for the outcome of critically ill patients and for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a hallmark of severe COVID-19 disease. This prospective observational study evaluates the predictive potential of MIF for the clinical outcome after severe COVID-19 infection. Plasma MIF concentrations were measured in 36 mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients over three days after intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Increased compared to decreased MIF was significantly associated with aggravated organ function and a significantly lower 28-day survival (sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score; 8.2 ± 4.5 to 14.3 ± 3, p = 0.009 vs. 8.9 ± 1.9 to 12 ± 2, p = 0.296; survival: 56% vs. 93%; p = 0.003). Arterial hypertension was the predominant comorbidity in 85% of patients with increasing MIF concentrations (vs. decreasing MIF: 39%; p = 0.015). Without reaching significance, more patients with decreasing MIF were able to improve their ARDS status (p = 0.142). The identified association between an early MIF response, aggravation of organ function and 28-day survival may open future perspectives for biomarker-based diagnostic approaches for ICU management of COVID-19 patients.

BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 12, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007169


BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of people have to change their behaviours to slow down the spreading of the virus. Protective measures include self-isolation, social (physical) distancing and compliance with personal hygiene rules, particularly regular and thorough hand washing. Prevalence estimates for the compliance with the COVID-19 measures are often based on direct self-reports. However, during a health crisis there is strong public pressure to comply with health and safety regulations so that people's responding in direct self-reports may be seriously compromised by social desirability. METHODS: In an online survey, an indirect questioning technique was used to test whether the prevalence of hygiene practices may be lower than in conventional surveys when confidentiality of responding is guaranteed. The Extended Crosswise Model is an indirect questioning technique that guarantees the confidentiality of responding. To the degree that direct self-reports are biased by social desirability, prevalence estimates of hygiene practices such as thorough hand washing based on the Extended Crosswise Model should be lower than those based on direct self-reports. RESULTS: We analysed data of 1434 participants. In the direct questioning group 94.5% of the participants claimed to practice proper hand hygiene; in the indirect questioning group a significantly lower estimate of only 78.1% was observed. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that estimates of the degree of commitment to measures designed to counter the spread of the disease may be significantly inflated by social desirability in direct self-reports. Indirect questioning techniques with higher levels of confidentiality seem helpful in obtaining more realistic estimates of the degree to which people follow the recommended personal hygiene measures. More realistic estimates of compliance can help to inform and to adjust public information campaigns on COVID-19 hygiene recommendations.

COVID-19 , Hand Disinfection/standards , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult