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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322658

ABSTRACT

Background: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. Little is known about the impact their increased infectivity has on transmission within hospitals.Methods: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences.Findings: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages.Interpretation: Notwithstanding evidence from community studies that the Alpha variant is more transmissible, we find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.Funding Information: COG-UK HOCI funded by COG-UK consortium. The COG-UK consortium is supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Genome Research Limited, operating as the Wellcome Sanger Institute.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: Ethical approval for the HOCI study was provided by REC 20/EE/0118.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-304964

ABSTRACT

Background: Variation in the approaches taken to contain the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic at country level has been shaped by economic and political considerations, technical capacity, and assumptions about public behaviours. To address the limited application of learning from previous pandemics, this study aimed to analyse perceived facilitators and inhibitors during the pandemic and to inform the development of an assessment tool for pandemic response planning.Methods: A cross-sectional electronic survey of health and non-healthcare professionals (5 May - 5 June 2020) in six languages, with respondents recruited via email, social media and website posting. Participants were asked to score inhibitors (-10 to 0) or facilitators (0 to +10) impacting country response to COVID-19 from the following domains – Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Ecological, Legislative, and wider Industry (the PESTELI framework). Participants were then asked to explain their responses using free text. Descriptive and thematic analysis was followed by triangulation with the literature and expert validation to develop the assessment tool, which was then compared with four existing pandemic planning frameworks.Findings: 928 respondents from 66 countries (57% healthcare professionals) participated. Political and economic influences were consistently perceived as powerful negative forces and technology as a facilitator across high- and low-income countries. The 103-item tool developed for guiding rapid situational assessment for pandemic planning is comprehensive when compared to existing tools and highlights the interconnectedness of the 7 domains.Interpretation: The tool developed and proposed addresses the problems associated with decision making in disciplinary silos and offers a means to refine future use of epidemic modelling.Funding Statement: This study did not receive any external funding.Declaration of Interests: None to declare. Ethics Approval Statement: The study was approved by the Joint Research Compliance Office, Imperial College London (ICREC reference: 20IC5947).

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327612

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Viral sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 has been used for outbreak investigation, but there is limited evidence supporting routine use for infection prevention and control (IPC) within hospital settings. Methods We conducted a prospective non-randomised trial of sequencing at 14 acute UK hospital trusts. Sites each had a 4-week baseline data-collection period, followed by intervention periods comprising 8 weeks of 'rapid' (<48h) and 4 weeks of 'longer-turnaround' (5-10 day) sequencing using a sequence reporting tool (SRT). Data were collected on all hospital onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs;detected ≥48h from admission). The impact of the sequencing intervention on IPC knowledge and actions, and on incidence of probable/definite hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) was evaluated. Results A total of 2170 HOCI cases were recorded from October 2020-April 2021, with sequence reports returned for 650/1320 (49.2%) during intervention phases. We did not detect a statistically significant change in weekly incidence of HAIs in longer-turnaround (IRR 1.60, 95%CI 0.85-3.01;P=0.14) or rapid (0.85, 0.48-1.50;P=0.54) intervention phases compared to baseline phase. However, IPC practice was changed in 7.8% and 7.4% of all HOCI cases in rapid and longer-turnaround phases, respectively, and 17.2% and 11.6% of cases where the report was returned. In a per-protocol sensitivity analysis there was an impact on IPC actions in 20.7% of HOCI cases when the SRT report was returned within 5 days. Conclusion While we did not demonstrate a direct impact of sequencing on the incidence of nosocomial transmission, our results suggest that sequencing can inform IPC response to HOCIs, particularly when returned within 5 days.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325419

ABSTRACT

Introduction: We examined the epidemiology of community- and hospital-acquired bloodstream infections (BSIs) in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients across two epidemic waves. Methods: We analysed blood cultures, SARS-CoV-2 tests, and hospital episodes of patients presenting and admitted to a London hospital group between January 2020 and February 2021. We reported BSI incidence, as well as changes in sampling, case mix, bed and staff capacity, and COVID-19 variants. Results: 34,044 blood cultures were taken. We identified 1,047 BSIs;653 (62.4%) defined epidemiologically as community-acquired and 394 (37.6%) as hospital-acquired. BSI rates and community / hospital ratio were similar to those pre-pandemic. However, important changes in patterns were seen. Among community-acquired BSIs, Escherichia coli BSIs remained lower than pre-pandemic level during the two COVID-19 waves, however peaked following lockdown easing in May 2020, deviating from the historical trend of peaking in August. The hospital-acquired BSI rate was 100.4 per 100,000 patient-days across the pandemic, increasing to 132.3 during the first COVID-19 wave and 190.9 during the second, with significant increase seen in elective non-COVID-19 inpatients. Patients who developed a hospital-acquired BSI, including those without COVID-19, experienced 20.2 excess days of hospital stay and 26.7% higher mortality, higher than reported in pre-pandemic literature. In intensive care units (ICUs), the overall BSI rate was 311.8 per 100,000 patient-ICU days, increasing to 421.0 during the second wave, compared to 101.3 pre-COVID. The BSI incidence in those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant was similar to that seen with earlier variants. Conclusion: The pandemic and national responses have had an impact on patterns of community- and hospital-acquired BSIs, in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Factors driving the observed BSI patterns are complex, including changed patient mix, deferred access to health care, and sub-optimal practice. Infection surveillance needs to consider key aspects of pandemic response and changes in healthcare access and practice.

5.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263299, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686099

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Decision-makers for public policy are increasingly utilising systems approaches such as system dynamics (SD) modelling, which test alternative interventions or policies for their potential impact while accounting for complexity. These approaches, however, have not consistently included an economic efficiency analysis dimension. This systematic review aims to examine how, and in what ways, system dynamics modelling approaches incorporate economic efficiency analyses to inform decision-making on innovations (improvements in products, services, or processes) in the public sector, with a particular interest in health. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Relevant studies (n = 29) were identified through a systematic search and screening of four electronic databases and backward citation search, and analysed for key characteristics and themes related to the analytical methods applied. Economic efficiency analysis approaches within SD broadly fell into two categories: as embedded sub-models or as cost calculations based on the outputs of the SD model. Embdedded sub-models within a dynamic SD framework can reveal a clear allocation of costs and benefits to periods of time, whereas cost calculations based on the SD model outputs can be useful for high-level resource allocation decisions. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review reveals that SD modelling is not currently used to its full potential to evaluate the technical or allocative efficiency of public sector innovations, particularly in health. The limited reporting on the experience or methodological challenges of applying allocated efficiency analyses with SD, particularly with dynamic embedded models, hampers common learning lessons to draw from and build on. Further application and comprehensive reporting of this approach would be welcome to develop the methodology further.


Subject(s)
Health Policy
6.
Int J Infect Dis ; 117: 174-178, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1670584

ABSTRACT

This article summarizes the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, on an international project to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The research leadership and process, the access to data, and stakeholders were deeply disrupted by the national and international response to the pandemic, including the interruption of healthcare delivery, lockdowns, and quarantines. The key principles to deliver the research through the pandemic were mainly the high degree of interdisciplinary engagement with integrated teams, and equitable partnership across sites with capacity building and leadership training. The level of preexisting collaboration and partnership were also keys to sustaining connections and involvements throughout the pandemic. The pandemic offered opportunities for realigning research priorities. Flexibility in funding timelines and projects inputs are required to accommodate variance introduced by external factors. The current models for research collaboration and funding need to be critically evaluated and redesigned to retain the innovation that was shown to be successful through this pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Communicable Disease Control , Developing Countries , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Humans , Pandemics , Research
7.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 10(12)2021 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572351

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the delivery of primary care services. We aimed to identify general practitioners' (GPs') perceptions and experiences of how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in general practice in England. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 GPs at two time-points: autumn 2020 (14 interviews) and spring 2021 (10 interviews). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically, taking a longitudinal approach. Participants reported a lower threshold for antibiotic prescribing (and fewer consultations) for respiratory infections and COVID-19 symptoms early in the pandemic, then returning to more usual (pre-pandemic) prescribing. They perceived the pandemic as having had less impact on antibiotic prescribing for urinary and skin infections. Participants perceived the changing ways of working and consulting (e.g., proportions of remote and in-person consultations) in addition to changing patient presentations and GP workloads as influencing the fluctuations in antibiotic prescribing. This was compounded by decreased engagement with, and priority of, AMS due to COVID-19-related urgent priorities. Re-engagement with AMS is needed, e.g., through reviving antibiotic prescribing feedback and targets/incentives. The pandemic disrupted, and required adaptations in, the usual ways of working and AMS. It is now important to identify opportunities, e.g., for re-organising ways of managing infections and AMS in the future.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292861

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the delivery of primary care services. We aimed to identify general practitioners (GPs) perceptions and experiences of how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in general practice in England. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 GPs at two time-points: autumn 2020 (14 interviews) and spring 2021 (10 interviews). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically, taking a longitudinal approach. Participants reported a lower threshold for antibiotic prescribing (and fewer consultations) for respiratory infections and COVID-19 symptoms early in the pandemic, then returning to more usual (pre-pandemic) prescribing. They perceived less impact on antibiotic prescribing for urinary and skin infections. Participants perceived the changing ways of working and consulting (e.g., proportions of remote and in-person consultations), and the changing patient presentations and GP workload as influencing the fluctuations in antibiotic prescribing. This was compounded by decreased engagement with, and priority of, AMS due to COVID-19-related urgent priorities. Re-engagement with AMS is needed, e.g., through reviving antibiotic prescribing feedback and targets/incentives. While the pandemic disrupted the usual ways of working, it also produced opportunities, e.g., for re-organising ways of managing infections and AMS in the future.

9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1870-e1877, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455249

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We evaluated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) surface and air contamination during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in London. METHODS: Prospective, cross-sectional, observational study in a multisite London hospital. Air and surface samples were collected from 7 clinical areas occupied by patients with COVID-19 and a public area of the hospital. Three or four 1.0-m3 air samples were collected in each area using an active air sampler. Surface samples were collected by swabbing items in the immediate vicinity of each air sample. SARS-CoV-2 was detected using reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and viral culture; the limit of detection for culturing SARS-CoV-2 from surfaces was determined. RESULTS: Viral RNA was detected on 114 of 218 (52.3%) surfaces and in 14 of 31 (38.7%) air samples, but no virus was cultured. Viral RNA was more likely to be found in areas immediately occupied by COVID-19 patients than in other areas (67 of 105 [63.8%] vs 29 of 64 [45.3%]; odds ratio, 0.5; 95% confidence interval, 0.2-0.9; P = .025, χ2 test). The high PCR cycle threshold value for all samples (>30) indicated that the virus would not be culturable. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings of extensive viral RNA contamination of surfaces and air across a range of acute healthcare settings in the absence of cultured virus underlines the potential risk from environmental contamination in managing COVID-19 and the need for effective use of personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and hand/surface hygiene.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , London/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prospective Studies
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We examined the epidemiology of community- and hospital-acquired bloodstream infections (BSIs) in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients across two epidemic waves. METHODS: We analysed blood cultures of patients presenting and admitted to a London hospital group between January 2020 and February 2021. We reported BSI incidence, as well as changes in sampling, case mix, healthcare capacity, and COVID-19 variants. RESULTS: 34,044 blood cultures were taken. We identified 1,047 BSIs; 653 (62.4%) community-acquired and 394 (37.6%) hospital-acquired. Important changes in patterns were seen. Among community-acquired BSIs, Escherichia coli BSIs remained lower than pre-pandemic level during COVID-19 waves, however peaked following lockdown easing in May 2020, deviating from the historical trend of peaking in August. The hospital-acquired BSI rate was 100.4 per 100,000 patient-days across the pandemic, increasing to 132.3 during the first wave and 190.9 during the second, with significant increase seen in elective inpatients. Patients who developed a hospital-acquired BSI, including those without COVID-19, experienced 20.2 excess days of hospital stay and 26.7% higher mortality, higher than reported in pre-pandemic literature. In intensive care, the BSI rate was 421.0 per 100,000 patient-ICU days during the second wave, compared to 101.3 pre-COVID. The BSI incidence in those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant was similar to that seen with earlier variants. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic and national responses have impacted the patterns of community- and hospital-acquired BSIs, in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Factors driving the observed patterns are complex. Infection surveillance needs to consider key aspects of pandemic response and changes in healthcare access and practice.

11.
J Infect ; 83(6): 693-700, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants have been associated with an increased rate of transmission within the community. We sought to determine whether this also resulted in increased transmission within hospitals. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and epidemiological data of patients with community and healthcare associated SARS-CoV-2 infections, sampled from 16th November 2020 to 10th January 2021, from nine hospitals participating in the COG-UK HOCI study. Outbreaks were identified using ward information, lineage and pairwise genetic differences between viral sequences. RESULTS: Mixed effects logistic regression analysis of 4184 sequences showed healthcare-acquired infections were no more likely to be identified as the Alpha variant than community acquired infections. Nosocomial outbreaks were investigated based on overlapping ward stay and SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence similarity. There was no significant difference in the number of patients involved in outbreaks caused by the Alpha variant compared to outbreaks caused by other lineages. CONCLUSIONS: We find no evidence to support it causing more nosocomial transmission than previous lineages. This suggests that the stringent infection prevention measures already in place in UK hospitals contained the spread of the Alpha variant as effectively as other less transmissible lineages, providing reassurance of their efficacy against emerging variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
13.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 8(1)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7 has been associated with an increased rate of transmission and disease severity among subjects testing positive in the community. Its impact on hospitalised patients is less well documented. METHODS: We collected viral sequences and clinical data of patients admitted with SARS-CoV-2 and hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs), sampled 16 November 2020 to 10 January 2021, from eight hospitals participating in the COG-UK-HOCI study. Associations between the variant and the outcomes of all-cause mortality and intensive therapy unit (ITU) admission were evaluated using mixed effects Cox models adjusted by age, sex, comorbidities, care home residence, pregnancy and ethnicity. FINDINGS: Sequences were obtained from 2341 inpatients (HOCI cases=786) and analysis of clinical outcomes was carried out in 2147 inpatients with all data available. The HR for mortality of B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages was 1.01 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.28, p=0.94) and for ITU admission was 1.01 (95% CI 0.75 to 1.37, p=0.96). Analysis of sex-specific effects of B.1.1.7 identified increased risk of mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.78, p=0.096) and ITU admission (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.15 to 2.90, p=0.011) in females infected with the variant but not males (mortality HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.10, p=0.177; ITU HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.52 to 1.04, p=0.086). INTERPRETATION: In common with smaller studies of patients hospitalised with SARS-CoV-2, we did not find an overall increase in mortality or ITU admission associated with B.1.1.7 compared with other lineages. However, women with B.1.1.7 may be at an increased risk of admission to intensive care and at modestly increased risk of mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , United Kingdom , Young Adult
14.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 932, 2021 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403225

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To characterise the longitudinal dynamics of C-reactive protein (CRP) and Procalcitonin (PCT) in a cohort of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 and support antimicrobial decision-making. METHODS: Longitudinal CRP and PCT concentrations and trajectories of 237 hospitalised patients with COVID-19 were modelled. The dataset comprised of 2,021 data points for CRP and 284 points for PCT. Pairwise comparisons were performed between: (i) those with or without significant bacterial growth from cultures, and (ii) those who survived or died in hospital. RESULTS: CRP concentrations were higher over time in COVID-19 patients with positive microbiology (day 9: 236 vs 123 mg/L, p < 0.0001) and in those who died (day 8: 226 vs 152 mg/L, p < 0.0001) but only after day 7 of COVID-related symptom onset. Failure for CRP to reduce in the first week of hospital admission was associated with significantly higher odds of death. PCT concentrations were higher in patients with COVID-19 and positive microbiology or in those who died, although these differences were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Both the absolute CRP concentration and the trajectory during the first week of hospital admission are important factors predicting microbiology culture positivity and outcome in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Further work is needed to describe the role of PCT for co-infection. Understanding relationships of these biomarkers can support development of risk models and inform optimal antimicrobial strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Procalcitonin , Anti-Bacterial Agents , C-Reactive Protein , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Glob Health ; 11: 05012, 2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296177

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Strategic planning is critical for successful pandemic management. This study aimed to identify and review the scope and analytic depth of situation analyses conducted to understand their utility, and capture the documented macro-level factors impacting pandemic management. METHODS: To synthesise this disparate body of literature, we adopted a two-step search and review process. A systematic search of the literature was conducted to identify all studies since 2000, that have 1) employed a situation analysis; and 2) examined contextual factors influencing pandemic management. The included studies are analysed using a seven-domain systems approach from the discipline of strategic management. RESULTS: Nineteen studies were included in the final review ranging from single country (6) to regional, multi-country studies (13). Fourteen studies had a single disease focus, with 5 studies evaluating responses to one or more of COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Influenza A (H1N1), Ebola virus disease, and Zika virus disease pandemics. Six studies examined a single domain from political, economic, sociological, technological, ecological or wider industry (PESTELI), 5 studies examined two to four domains, and 8 studies examined five or more domains. Methods employed were predominantly literature reviews. The recommendations focus predominantly on addressing inhibitors in the sociological and technological domains with few recommendations articulated in the political domain. Overall, the legislative domain is least represented. CONCLUSIONS: Ex-post analysis using the seven-domain strategic management framework provides further opportunities for a planned systematic response to pandemics which remains critical as the current COVID-19 pandemic evolves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Influenza, Human , Pandemics/prevention & control , Zika Virus Infection , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Zika Virus , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology , Zika Virus Infection/prevention & control
16.
J Glob Health ; 11: 05011, 2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296176

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Variation in the approaches taken to contain the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic at country level has been shaped by economic and political considerations, technical capacity, and assumptions about public behaviours. To address the limited application of learning from previous pandemics, this study aimed to analyse perceived facilitators and inhibitors during the pandemic and to inform the development of an assessment tool for pandemic response planning. METHODS: A cross-sectional electronic survey of health and non-health care professionals (5 May - 5 June 2020) in six languages, with respondents recruited via email, social media and website posting. Participants were asked to score inhibitors (-10 to 0) or facilitators (0 to +10) impacting country response to COVID-19 from the following domains - Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Ecological, Legislative, and wider Industry (the PESTELI framework). Participants were then asked to explain their responses using free text. Descriptive and thematic analysis was followed by triangulation with the literature and expert validation to develop the assessment tool, which was then compared with four existing pandemic planning frameworks. RESULTS: 928 respondents from 66 countries (57% health care professionals) participated. Political and economic influences were consistently perceived as powerful negative forces and technology as a facilitator across high- and low-income countries. The 103-item tool developed for guiding rapid situational assessment for pandemic planning is comprehensive when compared to existing tools and highlights the interconnectedness of the 7 domains. CONCLUSIONS: The tool developed and proposed addresses the problems associated with decision making in disciplinary silos and offers a means to refine future use of epidemic modelling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
18.
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(10): 1122-1129, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153250

ABSTRACT

Antibiotic use in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has exceeded the incidence of bacterial coinfections and secondary infections, suggesting inappropriate and excessive prescribing. Even in settings with established antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes, there were weaknesses exposed regarding appropriate antibiotic use in the context of the pandemic. Moreover, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance and AMS have been deprioritised with diversion of health system resources to the pandemic response. This experience highlights deficiencies in AMR containment and mitigation strategies that require urgent attention from clinical and scientific communities. These include the need to implement diagnostic stewardship to assess the global incidence of coinfections and secondary infections in COVID-19 patients, including those by multidrug-resistant pathogens, to identify patients most likely to benefit from antibiotic treatment and identify when antibiotics can be safely withheld, de-escalated or discontinued. Long-term global surveillance of clinical and societal antibiotic use and resistance trends is required to prepare for subsequent changes in AMR epidemiology, while ensuring uninterrupted supply chains and preventing drug shortages and stock outs. These interventions present implementation challenges in resource-constrained settings, making a case for implementation research on AMR. Knowledge and support for these practices will come from internationally coordinated, targeted research on AMR, supporting the preparation for future challenges from emerging AMR in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic or future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
19.
J Glob Antimicrob Resist ; 25: 5-7, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146079

ABSTRACT

Antimicrobial resistance must be recognised as a global societal priority - even in the face of the worldwide challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has illustrated the vulnerability of our healthcare systems in co-managing multiple infectious disease threats as resources for monitoring and detecting, and conducting research on antimicrobial resistance have been compromised during the pandemic. The increased awareness of the importance of infectious diseases, clinical microbiology and infection control and lessons learnt during the COVID-19 pandemic should be exploited to ensure that emergence of future infectious disease threats, including those related to AMR, are minimised. Harnessing the public understanding of the relevance of infectious diseases towards the long-term pandemic of AMR could have major implications for promoting good practices about the control of AMR transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
20.
JAC Antimicrob Resist ; 3(1): dlab002, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069268

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Bacterial infection has been challenging to diagnose in patients with COVID-19. We developed and evaluated supervised machine learning algorithms to support the diagnosis of secondary bacterial infection in hospitalized patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Inpatient data at three London hospitals for the first COVD-19 wave in March and April 2020 were extracted. Demographic, blood test and microbiology data for individuals with and without SARS-CoV-2-positive PCR were obtained. A Gaussian Naive Bayes, Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Artificial Neural Network were trained and compared using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUCROC). The best performing algorithm (SVM with 21 blood test variables) was prospectively piloted in July 2020. AUCROC was calculated for the prediction of a positive microbiological sample within 48 h of admission. RESULTS: A total of 15 599 daily blood profiles for 1186 individual patients were identified to train the algorithms; 771/1186 (65%) individuals were SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive. Clinically significant microbiology results were present for 166/1186 (14%) patients during admission. An SVM algorithm trained with 21 routine blood test variables and over 8000 individual profiles had the best performance. AUCROC was 0.913, sensitivity 0.801 and specificity 0.890. Prospective testing on 54 patients on admission (28/54, 52% SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive) demonstrated an AUCROC of 0.960 (95% CI: 0.90-1.00). CONCLUSIONS: An SVM using 21 routine blood test variables had excellent performance at inferring the likelihood of positive microbiology. Further prospective evaluation of the algorithms ability to support decision making for the diagnosis of bacterial infection in COVID-19 cohorts is underway.

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