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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35475889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We evaluated effectiveness of mRNA-based vaccines following emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. METHODS: Recipients of a third dose of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 ≥ 180 days after the primary series were matched to primary series recipients and unvaccinated persons. Participants were followed from December 1, 2021 to March 12, 2022. Outcomes were documented SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 hospitalization, and COVID-19 death. Effectiveness was calculated from 100-day risks estimated with the Kaplan-Meier estimator. RESULTS: BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 groups respectively included 221,267 and 187,507 third dose recipients matched to equal numbers of primary series recipients and unvaccinated persons. Compared to no vaccination, effectiveness of a third dose of BNT162b2 was 47.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 45.2-50.3), 81.8% (95% CI 79.2-84.2), and 89.6% (95% CI 85.0-93.6) against documented infection, hospitalization, and death, respectively. Effectiveness of a third dose of BNT162b2 compared to the primary series was 30.1% (95% CI 26.2-33.7), 61.4% (95% CI 55.0-67.1), and 78.8% (95% CI 67.9-87.5) against documented infection, hospitalization, and death, respectively.Effectiveness of a third dose of mRNA-1273 compared to no vaccination was 61.9% (95% CI 59.4-64.4), 87.9% (95% CI 85.3-90.2), and 91.4% (95% CI 86.4-95.6) against documented infection, hospitalization, and death, respectively. Effectiveness of a third dose of mRNA-1273 compared to the primary series was 37.1% (95% CI 32.2-41.7), 63.5% (95% CI 53.7-71.6), and 75.0% (95% CI 55.4-88.0) against documented infection, hospitalization, and death, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 were effective against COVID-19 following emergence of Omicron variant. A third dose provided additional protection over the primary series.

2.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(5): ofac125, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35434176

ABSTRACT

Norovirus infection causing acute gastroenteritis could lead to adverse effects on the gut microbiome. We assessed the association of microbiome diversity with norovirus infection and secretor status in patients from Veterans Affairs medical centers. Alpha diversity metrics were lower among patients with acute gastroenteritis but were similar for other comparisons.

3.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 272, 2022 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35144575

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early threat detection and situational awareness are vital to achieving a comprehensive and accurate view of health-related events for federal, state, and local health agencies. Key to this are public health and syndromic surveillance systems that can analyze large data sets to discover patterns, trends, and correlations of public health significance. In 2020, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) evaluated its public health surveillance system and identified areas for improvement. METHODS: Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems, we assessed the ability of the Praedico Surveillance System to perform public health surveillance for a variety of health issues and evaluated its performance compared to an enterprise data solution (VA Corporate Data Warehouse), legacy surveillance system (VA ESSENCE) and a national, collaborative syndromic surveillance platform (CDC NSSP BioSense). RESULTS: Review of system attributes found that the system was simple, flexible, and stable. Representativeness, timeliness, sensitivity, and Predictive Value Positive were acceptable but could be further improved. Data quality issues and acceptability present challenges that potentially affect the overall usefulness of the system. CONCLUSIONS: Praedico is a customizable surveillance and data analytics platform built on big data technologies. Functionality is straightforward, with rapid query generation and runtimes. Data can be graphed, mapped, analyzed, and shared with key decision makers and stakeholders. Evaluation findings suggest that future development and system enhancements should focus on addressing Praedico data quality issues and improving user acceptability. Because Praedico is designed to handle big data queries and work with data from a variety of sources, it could be enlisted as a tool for interdepartmental and interagency collaboration and public health data sharing. We suggest that future system evaluations include measurements of value and effectiveness along with additional organizations and functional assessments.


Subject(s)
Public Health Surveillance , Veterans , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. , Humans , Population Surveillance , Public Health Informatics , Sentinel Surveillance , United States
4.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 102(3): 115617, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35007825

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) presented numerous operational challenges to healthcare delivery networks responsible for implementing large scale detection of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2. We describe testing performance, review data quality metrics, and summarize experiences during the scale up of laboratory-based detection of COVID-19 in the Veterans Health Administration, the largest healthcare system in the United States. During March 2020 to February 2021, we observed rapid increase in testing volume, decreases in test turnaround time, improvements in testing of hospitalized persons, changes in test positivity, and varying utilization of different tests. Though performance metrics improved over time, surges challenged testing capacity and data quality remained suboptimal. Future planning efforts should focus on fortifying supply chains for consumables and equipment repair, optimizing distribution of testing workload across laboratories, and improving informatics to accurately monitor operations and intent for testing during a public health emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Laboratories , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Veterans Health
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(49): 1700-1705, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34882654

ABSTRACT

The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) provide strong protection against severe COVID-19, including hospitalization, for at least several months after receipt of the second dose (1,2). However, studies examining immune responses and differences in protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization in real-world settings, including by vaccine product, are limited. To understand how vaccine effectiveness (VE) might change with time, CDC and collaborators assessed the comparative effectiveness of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization at two periods (14-119 days and ≥120 days) after receipt of the second vaccine dose among 1,896 U.S. veterans at five Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs) during February 1-September 30, 2021. Among 234 U.S. veterans fully vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and without evidence of current or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, serum antibody levels (anti-spike immunoglobulin G [IgG] and anti-receptor binding domain [RBD] IgG) to SARS-CoV-2 were also compared. Adjusted VE 14-119 days following second Moderna vaccine dose was 89.6% (95% CI = 80.1%-94.5%) and after the second Pfizer-BioNTech dose was 86.0% (95% CI = 77.6%-91.3%); at ≥120 days VE was 86.1% (95% CI = 77.7%-91.3%) for Moderna and 75.1% (95% CI = 64.6%-82.4%) for Pfizer-BioNTech. Antibody levels were significantly higher among Moderna recipients than Pfizer-BioNTech recipients across all age groups and periods since vaccination; however, antibody levels among recipients of both products declined between 14-119 days and ≥120 days. These findings from a cohort of older, hospitalized veterans with high prevalences of underlying conditions suggest the importance of booster doses to help maintain long-term protection against severe COVID-19.†.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /statistics & numerical data , /administration & dosage , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunization Schedule , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Time Factors , United States/epidemiology , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Veterans Health Services
6.
Front Public Health ; 9: 739076, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34778173

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rapidly initiated COVID-19 surveillance by leveraging existing hospital networks to assess disease burden among hospitalized inpatients and inform prevention efforts. Materials and Methods: The Surveillance Platform for Enteric and Respiratory Infectious Organisms at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (SUPERNOVA) is a network of five United States Veterans Affairs Medical Centers which serves nearly 400,000 Veterans annually and conducts laboratory-based passive and active monitoring for pathogens associated with acute gastroenteritis and acute respiratory illness among hospitalized Veterans. This paper presents surveillance methods for adapting the SUPERNOVA surveillance platform to prospectively evaluate COVID-19 epidemiology during a public health emergency, including detecting, characterizing, and monitoring patients with and without COVID-19 beginning in March 2020. To allow for case-control analyses, patients with COVID-19 and patients with non-COVID-19 acute respiratory illness were included. Results: SUPERNOVA included 1,235 participants with COVID-19 and 707 participants with other acute respiratory illnesses hospitalized during February through December 2020. Most participants were male (93.1%), with a median age of 70 years, and 45.8% non-Hispanic Black and 32.6% non-Hispanic White. Among those with COVID-19, 28.2% were transferred to an intensive care unit, 9.4% received invasive mechanical ventilation, and 13.9% died. Compared with controls, after adjusting for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, COVID-19 case-patients had significantly higher risk of mortality, respiratory failure, and invasive mechanical ventilation, and longer hospital stays. Discussion: Strengths of the SUPERNOVA platform for COVID-19 surveillance include the ability to collect and integrate multiple types of data, including clinical and illness outcome information, and SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test results from respiratory and serum specimens. Analysis of data from this platform also enables formal comparisons of participants with and without COVID-19. Surveillance data collected during a public health emergency from this key U.S. population of Veterans will be useful for epidemiologic investigations of COVID-19 spectrum of disease, underlying medical conditions, virus variants, and vaccine effectiveness, according to public health priorities and needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Adult , Aged , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
7.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(37): 1294-1299, 2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34529636

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have been shown to be highly protective against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations (1-3). Data are limited on the level of protection against hospitalization among disproportionately affected populations in the United States, particularly during periods in which the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, predominates (2). U.S. veterans are older, more racially diverse, and have higher prevalences of underlying medical conditions than persons in the general U.S. population (2,4). CDC assessed the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19-associated hospitalization among 1,175 U.S. veterans aged ≥18 years hospitalized at five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) during February 1-August 6, 2021. Among these hospitalized persons, 1,093 (93.0%) were men, the median age was 68 years, 574 (48.9%) were non-Hispanic Black (Black), 475 were non-Hispanic White (White), and 522 (44.4%) had a Charlson comorbidity index score of ≥3 (5). Overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-associated hospitalization was 86.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 80.4%-91.1%) and was similar before (February 1-June 30) and during (July 1-August 6) SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant predominance (84.1% versus 89.3%, respectively). Vaccine effectiveness was 79.8% (95% CI = 67.7%-87.4%) among adults aged ≥65 years and 95.1% (95% CI = 89.1%-97.8%) among those aged 18-64 years. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization in this older, racially diverse population of predominately male U.S. veterans. Additional evaluations of vaccine effectiveness among various age groups are warranted. To prevent COVID-19-related hospitalizations, all eligible persons should receive COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospitals, Veterans , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , United States Department of Veterans Affairs , Vaccines, Synthetic , Young Adult
8.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(7): ofab336, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34307731

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a surge in clinical trials evaluating investigational and approved drugs. Retrospective analysis of drugs taken by COVID-19 inpatients provides key information on drugs associated with better or worse outcomes. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 10 741 patients testing positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection within 3 days of admission to compare risk of 30-day all-cause mortality in patients receiving ondansetron using multivariate Cox proportional hazard models. All-cause mortality, length of hospital stay, adverse events such as ischemic cerebral infarction, and subsequent positive COVID-19 tests were measured. RESULTS: Administration of ≥8 mg of ondansetron within 48 hours of admission was correlated with an adjusted hazard ratio for 30-day all-cause mortality of 0.55 (95% CI, 0.42-0.70; P < .001) and 0.52 (95% CI, 0.31-0.87; P = .012) for all and intensive care unit-admitted patients, respectively. Decreased lengths of stay (9.2 vs 11.6; P < .001), frequencies of subsequent positive SARS-CoV-2 tests (53.6% vs 75.0%; P = .01), and long-term risks of ischemic cerebral ischemia (3.2% vs 6.1%; P < .001) were also noted. CONCLUSIONS: If confirmed by prospective clinical trials, our results suggest that ondansetron, a safe, widely available drug, could be used to decrease morbidity and mortality in at-risk populations.

9.
Healthc (Amst) ; 8 Suppl 1: 100496, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34175102

ABSTRACT

In 2008, the Veterans Health Administration published a groundbreaking policy on disclosing large-scale adverse events to patients in order to promote transparent communication in cases where harm may not be obvious or even certain. Without embedded research, the evidence on whether or not implementation of this policy was generating more harm than good among Veteran patients was unknown. Through an embedded research-operations partnership, we conducted four research projects that led to the development of an evidence-based large-scale disclosure toolkit and disclosure support program, and its implementation across VA healthcare. Guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, we identified specific activities corresponding to planning, engaging, executing, reflecting and evaluating phases in the process of implementation. These activities included planning with operational leaders to establish a shared research agenda; engaging with stakeholders to discuss early results, establishing buy-in of our efforts and receiving feedback; joining existing operational teams to execute the toolkit implementation; partnering with clinical operations to evaluate the toolkit during real-time disclosures; and redesigning the toolkit to meet stakeholders' needs. Critical lessons learned for implementation success included a need for stakeholder collaboration and engagement, an organizational culture involving a strong belief in evidence, a willingness to embed researchers in clinical operation activities, allowing for testing and evaluation of innovative practices, and researchers open to constructive feedback. At the conclusion of the research, VA operations worked with the researchers to continue to support efforts to spread, scale-up and sustain toolkit use across the VA healthcare system, with the final goal to establish long-term sustainability.


Subject(s)
United States Department of Veterans Affairs , Veterans , Delivery of Health Care , Disclosure , Humans , United States , Veterans Health
10.
Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis ; 100(1): 115312, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33561606

ABSTRACT

Reporting of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) co-infections with other respiratory pathogens has varied. We evaluated 825,280 molecular and/or viral culture respiratory assays within the Veterans Health Administration from September 29, 2019 to May 31, 2020. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detected in 10,222 of 174,746 (5.8%) individuals. 30,063 (17.2%) of 174,746 individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 had additional respiratory pathogen testing; co-infection was identified in 56 of 3757 (1.5%) individuals positive for SARS-CoV-2. Among those negative for SARS-CoV-2, 1022 of 26,306 (3.9%) were positive for at least 1 respiratory pathogen. Compared to COVID-19 mono-infection, individuals with COVID-19 co-infection had lower odds of being female. Compared to non-COVID-19 respiratory pathogen infection, individuals with COVID-19 co-infection had lower odds of being female, were hospitalized more frequently, had higher odds of death, and were younger at death. Our findings suggest COVID-19 co-infections were rare; however, not all COVID-19 patients were concurrently tested for other respiratory pathogens and seasonal decreases in other respiratory pathogens were occurring as COVID-19 emerged.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Veterans Health/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Coinfection/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , United States/epidemiology , United States Department of Veterans Affairs , Veterans Health Services , Young Adult
11.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(1): e24502, 2021 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33338028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has disproportionately affected older adults and certain racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Data quantifying the disease burden, as well as describing clinical outcomes during hospitalization among these groups, are needed. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to describe interim COVID-19 hospitalization rates and severe clinical outcomes by age group and race and ethnicity among US veterans by using a multisite surveillance network. METHODS: We implemented a multisite COVID-19 surveillance platform in 5 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers located in Atlanta, Bronx, Houston, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles, collectively serving more than 396,000 patients annually. From February 27 to July 17, 2020, we actively identified inpatient cases with COVID-19 by screening admitted patients and reviewing their laboratory test results. We then manually abstracted the patients' medical charts for demographics, underlying medical conditions, and clinical outcomes. Furthermore, we calculated hospitalization incidence and incidence rate ratios, as well as relative risk for invasive mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit admission, and case fatality rate after adjusting for age, race and ethnicity, and underlying medical conditions. RESULTS: We identified 621 laboratory-confirmed, hospitalized COVID-19 cases. The median age of the patients was 70 years, with 65.7% (408/621) aged ≥65 years and 94% (584/621) male. Most COVID-19 diagnoses were among non-Hispanic Black (325/621, 52.3%) veterans, followed by non-Hispanic White (153/621, 24.6%) and Hispanic or Latino (112/621, 18%) veterans. Hospitalization rates were the highest among veterans who were ≥85 years old, Hispanic or Latino, and non-Hispanic Black (430, 317, and 298 per 100,000, respectively). Veterans aged ≥85 years had a 14-fold increased rate of hospitalization compared with those aged 18-29 years (95% CI: 5.7-34.6), whereas Hispanic or Latino and Black veterans had a 4.6- and 4.2-fold increased rate of hospitalization, respectively, compared with non-Hispanic White veterans (95% CI: 3.6-5.9). Overall, 11.6% (72/621) of the patients required invasive mechanical ventilation, 26.6% (165/621) were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 16.9% (105/621) died in the hospital. The adjusted relative risk for invasive mechanical ventilation and admission to the intensive care unit did not differ by age group or race and ethnicity, but veterans aged ≥65 years had a 4.5-fold increased risk of death while hospitalized with COVID-19 compared with those aged <65 years (95% CI: 2.4-8.6). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 surveillance at the 5 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers across the United States demonstrated higher hospitalization rates and severe outcomes among older veterans, as well as higher hospitalization rates among Hispanic or Latino and non-Hispanic Black veterans than among non-Hispanic White veterans. These findings highlight the need for targeted prevention and timely treatment for veterans, with special attention to older aged, Hispanic or Latino, and non-Hispanic Black veterans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, Veterans , Population Surveillance/methods , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Male , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology , /statistics & numerical data
12.
J Occup Environ Med ; 63(4): 291-295, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33315723

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We investigated COVID-19 infection and death among healthcare personnel (HCP) in the United States Veterans Health Administration. METHODS: HCP with positive Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests between March 1 and August 31, 2020 were included. Risk ratios were calculated for sex, age, race/ethnicity, Veteran status, occupation category, facility of employment by inpatient COVID-19 test percent positivity and death. RESULTS: Five thousand nine hundred twenty five HCP were COVID-19-infected out of 131,606 tested (4.5% positivity). Highest risk for COVID-19 infection included: HCP working in hospitals with more than 15% inpatient COVID-19 test positivity, nursing staff, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic or Latino HCP and HCP who were Veterans. Among 18 HCP who died after COVID-19 infection, male sex, age more than or equal to 65 years, and Veteran status were significant risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: Robust national surveillance testing methods are needed to accurately monitor HCP COVID-19 infections and deaths to improve HCP safety.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , United States Department of Veterans Affairs/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Health , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
13.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(42): 1528-1534, 2020 Oct 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33090987

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is primarily a respiratory illness, although increasing evidence indicates that infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can affect multiple organ systems (1). Data that examine all in-hospital complications of COVID-19 and that compare these complications with those associated with other viral respiratory pathogens, such as influenza, are lacking. To assess complications of COVID-19 and influenza, electronic health records (EHRs) from 3,948 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (March 1-May 31, 2020) and 5,453 hospitalized patients with influenza (October 1, 2018-February 1, 2020) from the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest integrated health care system in the United States,* were analyzed. Using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) codes, complications in patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were compared with those in patients with influenza. Risk ratios were calculated and adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and underlying medical conditions; proportions of complications were stratified among patients with COVID-19 by race/ethnicity. Patients with COVID-19 had almost 19 times the risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) than did patients with influenza, (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = 18.60; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 12.40-28.00), and more than twice the risk for myocarditis (2.56; 1.17-5.59), deep vein thrombosis (2.81; 2.04-3.87), pulmonary embolism (2.10; 1.53-2.89), intracranial hemorrhage (2.85; 1.35-6.03), acute hepatitis/liver failure (3.13; 1.92-5.10), bacteremia (2.46; 1.91-3.18), and pressure ulcers (2.65; 2.14-3.27). The risks for exacerbations of asthma (0.27; 0.16-0.44) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (0.37; 0.32-0.42) were lower among patients with COVID-19 than among those with influenza. The percentage of COVID-19 patients who died while hospitalized (21.0%) was more than five times that of influenza patients (3.8%), and the duration of hospitalization was almost three times longer for COVID-19 patients. Among patients with COVID-19, the risk for respiratory, neurologic, and renal complications, and sepsis was higher among non-Hispanic Black or African American (Black) patients, patients of other races, and Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic) patients compared with those in non-Hispanic White (White) patients, even after adjusting for age and underlying medical conditions. These findings highlight the higher risk for most complications associated with COVID-19 compared with influenza and might aid clinicians and researchers in recognizing, monitoring, and managing the spectrum of COVID-19 manifestations. The higher risk for certain complications among racial and ethnic minority patients provides further evidence that certain racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionally affected by COVID-19 and that this disparity is not solely accounted for by age and underlying medical conditions.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Hospitalization , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Female , Health Status Disparities , Hospital Mortality/trends , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Respiratory Tract Diseases/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Diseases/virology , Risk Assessment , United States/epidemiology , United States Department of Veterans Affairs
14.
PLoS Med ; 17(9): e1003379, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32960880

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is growing concern that racial and ethnic minority communities around the world are experiencing a disproportionate burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We investigated racial and ethnic disparities in patterns of COVID-19 testing (i.e., who received testing and who tested positive) and subsequent mortality in the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This retrospective cohort study included 5,834,543 individuals receiving care in the US Department of Veterans Affairs; most (91%) were men, 74% were non-Hispanic White (White), 19% were non-Hispanic Black (Black), and 7% were Hispanic. We evaluated associations between race/ethnicity and receipt of COVID-19 testing, a positive test result, and 30-day mortality, with multivariable adjustment for a wide range of demographic and clinical characteristics including comorbid conditions, health behaviors, medication history, site of care, and urban versus rural residence. Between February 8 and July 22, 2020, 254,595 individuals were tested for COVID-19, of whom 16,317 tested positive and 1,057 died. Black individuals were more likely to be tested (rate per 1,000 individuals: 60.0, 95% CI 59.6-60.5) than Hispanic (52.7, 95% CI 52.1-53.4) and White individuals (38.6, 95% CI 38.4-38.7). While individuals from minority backgrounds were more likely to test positive (Black versus White: odds ratio [OR] 1.93, 95% CI 1.85-2.01, p < 0.001; Hispanic versus White: OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.74-1.94, p < 0.001), 30-day mortality did not differ by race/ethnicity (Black versus White: OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.80-1.17, p = 0.74; Hispanic versus White: OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.73-1.34, p = 0.94). The disparity between Black and White individuals in testing positive for COVID-19 was stronger in the Midwest (OR 2.66, 95% CI 2.41-2.95, p < 0.001) than the West (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11-1.39, p < 0.001). The disparity in testing positive for COVID-19 between Hispanic and White individuals was consistent across region, calendar time, and outbreak pattern. Study limitations include underrepresentation of women and a lack of detailed information on social determinants of health. CONCLUSIONS: In this nationwide study, we found that Black and Hispanic individuals are experiencing an excess burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection not entirely explained by underlying medical conditions or where they live or receive care. There is an urgent need to proactively tailor strategies to contain and prevent further outbreaks in racial and ethnic minority communities.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Adult , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
15.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2901-e2907, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32785701

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the limited availability of testing for the presence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus and concerns surrounding the accuracy of existing methods, other means of identifying patients are urgently needed. Previous studies showing a correlation between certain laboratory tests and diagnosis suggest an alternative method based on an ensemble of tests. METHODS: We have trained a machine learning model to analyze the correlation between SARS-CoV-2 test results and 20 routine laboratory tests collected within a 2-day period around the SARS-CoV-2 test date. We used the model to compare SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients. RESULTS: In a cohort of 75 991 veteran inpatients and outpatients who tested for SARS-CoV-2 in the months of March through July 2020, 7335 of whom were positive by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or antigen testing, and who had at least 15 of 20 lab results within the window period, our model predicted the results of the SARS-CoV-2 test with a specificity of 86.8%, a sensitivity of 82.4%, and an overall accuracy of 86.4% (with a 95% confidence interval of [86.0%, 86.9%]). CONCLUSIONS: Although molecular-based and antibody tests remain the reference standard method for confirming a SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, their clinical sensitivity is not well known. The model described herein may provide a complementary method of determining SARS-CoV-2 infection status, based on a fully independent set of indicators, that can help confirm results from other tests as well as identify positive cases missed by molecular testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
16.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2729-e2738, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32584956

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) burden, etiology, and severity in adults is not well characterized. We implemented a multisite AGE surveillance platform in 4 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (Atlanta, Georgia; Bronx, New York; Houston, Texas; and Los Angeles, California), collectively serving >320 000 patients annually. METHODS: From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018, we actively identified inpatient AGE case patients and non-AGE inpatient controls through prospective screening of admitted patients and passively identified outpatients with AGE through stool samples submitted for clinical diagnostics. We abstracted medical charts and tested stool samples for 22 pathogens by means of multiplex gastrointestinal polymerase chain reaction panel followed by genotyping of norovirus- and rotavirus-positive samples. We determined pathogen-specific prevalence, incidence, and modified Vesikari severity scores. RESULTS: We enrolled 724 inpatients with AGE, 394 non-AGE inpatient controls, and 506 outpatients with AGE. Clostridioides difficile and norovirus were most frequently detected among inpatients (for AGE case patients vs controls: C. difficile, 18.8% vs 8.4%; norovirus, 5.1% vs 1.5%; P < .01 for both) and outpatients (norovirus, 10.7%; C. difficile, 10.5%). The incidence per 100 000 population was highest among outpatients (AGE, 2715; C. difficile, 285; norovirus, 291) and inpatients ≥65 years old (AGE, 459; C. difficile, 91; norovirus, 26). Clinical severity scores were highest for inpatient norovirus, rotavirus, and Shigella/enteroinvasive Escherichia coli cases. Overall, 12% of inpatients with AGE had intensive care unit stays, and 2% died; 3 deaths were associated with C. difficile and 1 with norovirus. C. difficile and norovirus were detected year-round with a fall/winter predominance. CONCLUSIONS: C. difficile and norovirus were leading AGE pathogens in outpatient and hospitalized US veterans, resulting in severe disease. Clinicians should remain vigilant for bacterial and viral causes of AGE year-round.


Subject(s)
Caliciviridae Infections , Clostridioides difficile , Gastroenteritis , Rotavirus , Veterans , Adult , Aged , Caliciviridae Infections/epidemiology , Feces , Gastroenteritis/epidemiology , Hospitals, Veterans , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Outpatients , Prospective Studies , United States/epidemiology
17.
medRxiv ; 2020 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32511524

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is growing concern that racial and ethnic minority communities around the world are experiencing a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality from symptomatic SARS-Cov-2 infection or coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Most studies investigating racial and ethnic disparities to date have focused on hospitalized patients or have not characterized who received testing or those who tested positive for Covid-19. OBJECTIVE: To compare patterns of testing and test results for coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) and subsequent mortality by race and ethnicity in the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). PARTICIPANTS: 5,834,543 individuals in care, among whom 62,098 were tested and 5,630 tested positive for Covid-19 between February 8 and May 4, 2020. Exposures: Self-reported race/ethnicity. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We evaluated associations between race/ethnicity and receipt of Covid-19 testing, a positive test result, and 30-day mortality, accounting for a wide range of demographic and clinical risk factors including comorbid conditions, site of care, and urban versus rural residence. RESULTS: Among all individuals in care, 74% were non-Hispanic white (white), 19% non-Hispanic black (black), and 7% Hispanic. Compared with white individuals, black and Hispanic individuals were more likely to be tested for Covid-19 (tests per 1000: white=9.0, [95% CI 8.9 to 9.1]; black=16.4, [16.2 to 16.7]; and Hispanic=12.2, [11.9 to 12.5]). While individuals from minority backgrounds were more likely to test positive (black vs white: OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.81 to 2.12; Hispanic vs white: OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.53 to 1.96), 30-day mortality did not differ by race/ethnicity (black vs white: OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.33; Hispanic vs white: OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.87). CONCLUSIONS: Black and Hispanic individuals are experiencing an excess burden of Covid-19 not entirely explained by underlying medical conditions or where they live or receive care. While there was no observed difference in mortality by race or ethnicity, our findings may underestimate risk in the broader US population as health disparities tend to be reduced in VA.

18.
medRxiv ; 2020 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32511595

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), an evolving pandemic. Limited data are available characterizing SARS-Cov-2 infection in the United States. OBJECTIVE: To determine associations between demographic and clinical factors and testing positive for coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19+), and among Covid-19+ subsequent hospitalization and intensive care. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective cohort study including all patients tested for Covid-19 between February 8 and March 30, 2020, inclusive. We extracted electronic health record data from the national Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States, on 2,026,227 patients born between 1945 and 1965 and active in care. Exposures: Demographic data, comorbidities, medication history, substance use, vital signs, and laboratory measures. Laboratory tests were analyzed first individually and then grouped into a validated summary measure of physiologic injury (VACS Index). Main Outcomes and Measures: We evaluated which factors were associated with Covid-19+ among all who tested. Among Covid-19+ we identified factors associated with hospitalization or intensive care. We identified independent associations using multivariable and conditional multivariable logistic regression with multiple imputation of missing values. RESULTS: Among Veterans aged 54-75 years, 585/3,789 (15.4%) tested Covid-19+. In adjusted analysis (C-statistic=0.806) black race was associated with Covid-19+ (OR 4.68, 95% CI 3.79-5.78) and the association remained in analyses conditional on site (OR 2.56, 95% CI 1.89-3.46). In adjusted models, laboratory abnormalities (especially fibrosis-4 score [FIB-4] >3.25 OR 8.73, 95% CI 4.11-18.56), and VACS Index (per 5-point increase OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.43-1.84) were strongly associated with hospitalization. Associations were similar for intensive care. Although significant in unadjusted analyses, associations with comorbid conditions and medications were substantially reduced and, in most cases, no longer significant after adjustment. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Black race was strongly associated with Covid-19+, but not with hospitalization or intensive care. Among Covid-19+, risk of hospitalization and intensive care may be better characterized by laboratory measures and vital signs than by comorbid conditions or prior medication exposure.

19.
Expert Rev Mol Diagn ; 20(6): 619-636, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32031431

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Companion diagnostics (CDx) are important in oncology therapeutic decision-making, but specific regulatory-approved CDx for infectious disease treatment are officially lacking. While not approved as CDx, several ID diagnostics are used as CDx. The diagnostics community, manufacturers, and regulatory agencies have made major efforts to ensure that diagnostics for new antimicrobials are available at or near release of new agents. AREAS COVERED: This review highlights the status of Complementary and companion diagnostic (c/CDx) in the infectious disease literature, with a focus on genotypic antimicrobial resistance testing against pathogens as a class of diagnostic tests. EXPERT OPINION: CRISPR, sepsis markers, and narrow spectrum antimicrobials, in addition to current and emerging technologies, present opportunities for infectious disease c/CDx. Challenges include slow guideline revision, high costs for regulatory approval, lengthy buy in by agencies, discordant pharmaceutical/diagnostic partnerships, and higher treatment costs. The number of patients and available medications used to treat different infectious diseases is well suited to support competing diagnostic tests. However, newer approaches to treatment (for example, narrow spectrum antibiotics), may be well suited for a small number of patients, i.e. a niche market in support of a CDx. The current emphasis is rapid and point-of-care (POC) diagnostic platforms as well as changes in treatment.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , Communicable Diseases/drug therapy , Drug Resistance, Microbial/genetics , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Point-of-Care Testing , Precision Medicine/methods , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Communicable Diseases/microbiology , Communicable Diseases/virology , Device Approval , Drug Approval , Drug Development , Genotyping Techniques , Humans , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration
20.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 41(3): 320-330, 2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31822316

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To characterize nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) associated with case clusters at 3 medical facilities. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using molecular typing of patient and water isolates. SETTING: Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs). METHODS: Isolation and identification of NTM from clinical and water samples using culture, MALDI-TOF, and gene population sequencing to determine species and genetic relatedness. Clinical data were abstracted from electronic health records. RESULTS: An identical strain of Mycobacterium conceptionense was isolated from 41 patients at VA Medical Centers (VAMCs A, B, and D), and from VAMC A's ICU ice machine. Isolates were initially identified as other NTM species within the M. fortuitum clade. Sequencing analyses revealed that they were identical M. conceptionense strains. Overall, 7 patients (17%) met the criteria for pulmonary or nonpulmonary infection with NTM, and 13 of 41 (32%) were treated with effective antimicrobials regardless of infection or colonization status. Separately, a M. mucogenicum patient strain from VAMC A matched a strain isolated from a VAMC B ICU ice machine. VAMC C, in a different state, had a 4-patient cluster with Mycobacterium porcinum. Strains were identical to those isolated from sink-water samples at this facility. CONCLUSION: NTM from hospital water systems are found in hospitalized patients, often during workup for other infections, making attribution of NTM infection problematic. Variable NTM identification methods and changing taxonomy create challenges for epidemiologic investigation and linkage to environmental sources.


Subject(s)
Mycobacteriaceae/isolation & purification , Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous/epidemiology , Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous/microbiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Hospitals, Veterans , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mycobacteriaceae/genetics , Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous/diagnosis , Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous/prevention & control , Nontuberculous Mycobacteria/genetics , Nontuberculous Mycobacteria/isolation & purification , Sputum/microbiology , United States/epidemiology , United States Department of Veterans Affairs
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