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1.
Curr Opin HIV AIDS ; 15(6): 336-340, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315501

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious and potentially lethal pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). No specific antiviral treatment is currently available. The purpose of this review is to highlight the main repurposed drug treatments with in-vitro or in-vivo efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent clinical trials suggested remdesivir, IFN-ß-1b and favipiravir have potential clinical and/or virological benefits on patients with COVID-19. Short course of stress dose of corticosteroids might be used as adjunctive treatment to patients who are late presenters with cytokine storm. Convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients with high neutralizing antibody might also be beneficial in the treatment of severe disease. SUMMARY: Early effective antiviral therapy in COVID-19 patients will suppress the SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Adjunctive therapy with corticosteroid and convalescent plasma might further ameliorate the cytokine response. Further randomized clinical trials of combination therapy are needed.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Interferon-beta/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 Serotherapy
2.
J Am Coll Cardiol ; 81(18): 1747-1762, 2023 05 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prior studies of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19 have reported conflicting results. OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the safety and effectiveness of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation in noncritically ill patients with COVID-19. METHODS: Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 not requiring intensive care unit treatment were randomized to prophylactic-dose enoxaparin, therapeutic-dose enoxaparin, or therapeutic-dose apixaban. The primary outcome was the 30-day composite of all-cause mortality, requirement for intensive care unit-level of care, systemic thromboembolism, or ischemic stroke assessed in the combined therapeutic-dose groups compared with the prophylactic-dose group. RESULTS: Between August 26, 2020, and September 19, 2022, 3,398 noncritically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were randomized to prophylactic-dose enoxaparin (n = 1,141), therapeutic-dose enoxaparin (n = 1,136), or therapeutic-dose apixaban (n = 1,121) at 76 centers in 10 countries. The 30-day primary outcome occurred in 13.2% of patients in the prophylactic-dose group and 11.3% of patients in the combined therapeutic-dose groups (HR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.69-1.04; P = 0.11). All-cause mortality occurred in 7.0% of patients treated with prophylactic-dose enoxaparin and 4.9% of patients treated with therapeutic-dose anticoagulation (HR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.52-0.93; P = 0.01), and intubation was required in 8.4% vs 6.4% of patients, respectively (HR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.58-0.98; P = 0.03). Results were similar in the 2 therapeutic-dose groups, and major bleeding in all 3 groups was infrequent. CONCLUSIONS: Among noncritically ill patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the 30-day primary composite outcome was not significantly reduced with therapeutic-dose anticoagulation compared with prophylactic-dose anticoagulation. However, fewer patients who were treated with therapeutic-dose anticoagulation required intubation and fewer died (FREEDOM COVID [FREEDOM COVID Anticoagulation Strategy]; NCT04512079).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thromboembolism , Humans , Enoxaparin/therapeutic use , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Blood Coagulation , Thromboembolism/prevention & control , Thromboembolism/chemically induced
3.
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother ; 2023 Mar 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2287768

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) have a higher risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism with a greater risk for female patients. This study aims to evaluate the risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism and bleeding following COVID-19 vaccination in patients with AF and the sex differences. METHODS AND RESULTS: Self-controlled case series (SCCS) analysis was conducted to evaluate the risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism and bleeding following BNT162b2 or CoronaVac in patients with AF, using the territory-wide electronic medical records from the Hospital Authority and vaccination records from the Department of Health in Hong Kong. Patients with a primary diagnosis of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism or bleeding in the inpatient setting between February 23, 2021 and March 31, 2022 were included. A nested case-control analysis was also conducted with each case randomly matched with ten controls according to sex, age, Charlson comorbidity index and date of hospital admission. Conditional Poisson regression was used in the SCCS analysis and conditional logistic regression was used in nested case-control analysis to assess the risks and all analyses were stratified by sex and type of vaccines. Among 51 158 patients with AF, we identified an increased risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism after the first dose of BNT162b2 in SCCS analysis during 0-13 days (incidence rate ratio 6.60[95% CI 1.51-28.77]) and 14-27 days (6.53[95% CI 1.31-32.51]), and nested case-control analysis during 0-13 days (adjusted odds ratio 6.21 [95% CI 1.14-33.91]) and 14-27 days (5.52 [95% CI 1.12-27.26]) only in female patients. The increased risk in female patients following the first dose of CoronaVac was only detected during 0-13 days (3.88 [95% CI 1.67-9.03]) in the nested case-control analysis. No increased risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism was identified in male patients and no increased risk of bleeding was detected in all patients with AF for both vaccines. An increased risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism after COVID-19 was also observed in both females (17.42 [95% CI 5.08-59.73]) and males (6.63 [95% CI 2.02-21.79]). CONCLUSIONS: The risk of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism after COVID-19 vaccination was only increased in female patients with AF. However, as the risk after COVID-19 was even higher, proactive uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is recommended to prevent the potential severe outcomes after infection.

4.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 11(3)2023 Feb 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2254798

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to investigate the effect of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) on BNT162b2 immunogenicity against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and variants and infection outcome, as data are lacking. METHODS: Recipients of two doses of BNT162b2 were prospectively recruited. Outcomes of interest were seroconversion of neutralizing antibody by live virus microneutralization (vMN) to SARS-CoV-2 strains (wild-type, delta and omicron variants) at day 21, 56 and 180 after first dose. Exposure of interest was moderate-to-severe NAFLD (controlled attenuation parameter ≥ 268 dB/M on transient elastography). We calculated adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of infection with NAFLD by adjusting for age, sex, overweight/obesity, diabetes and antibiotic use. RESULTS: Of 259 BNT162b2 recipients (90 (34.7%) male; median age: 50.8 years (IQR: 43.6-57.8)), 68 (26.3%) had NAFLD. For wild type, there was no difference in seroconversion rate between NAFLD and control groups at day 21 (72.1% vs. 77.0%; p = 0.42), day 56 (100% vs. 100%) and day 180 (100% and 97.2%; p = 0.22), respectively. For the delta variant, there was no difference also at day 21 (25.0% vs. 29.5%; p = 0.70), day 56 (100% vs. 98.4%; p = 0.57) and day 180 (89.5% vs. 93.3%; p = 0.58), respectively. For the omicron variant, none achieved seroconversion at day 21 and 180. At day 56, there was no difference in seroconversion rate (15.0% vs. 18.0%; p = 0.76). NAFLD was not an independent risk factor of infection (aOR: 1.50; 95% CI: 0.68-3.24). CONCLUSIONS: NAFLD patients receiving two doses of BNT162b2 had good immunogenicity to wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and the delta variant but not the omicron variant, and they were not at higher risk of infection compared with controls.

5.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 2023 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2246376

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Viral rebound after nirmatrelvir-ritonavir treatment has implications for the clinical management and isolation of patients with COVID-19. We evaluated an unselected, population-wide cohort to identify the incidence of viral burden rebound and associated risk factors and clinical outcomes. METHODS: We did a retrospective cohort study of hospitalised patients with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, China, for an observation period from Feb 26 to July 3, 2022 (during the omicron BA.2.2 variant wave). Adult patients (age ≥18 years) admitted 3 days before or after a positive COVID-19 test were selected from medical records held by the Hospital Authority of Hong Kong. We included patients with non-oxygen-dependent COVID-19 at baseline receiving either molnupiravir (800 mg twice a day for 5 days), nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (nirmatrelvir 300 mg with ritonavir 100 mg twice a day for 5 days), or no oral antiviral treatment (control group). Viral burden rebound was defined as a reduction in cycle threshold (Ct) value (≥3) on quantitative RT-PCR test between two consecutive measurements, with such decrease sustained in an immediately subsequent Ct measurement (for those patients with ≥3 Ct measurements). Logistic regression models were used to identify prognostic factors for viral burden rebound, and to assess associations between viral burden rebound and a composite clinical outcome of mortality, intensive care unit admission, and invasive mechanical ventilation initiation, stratified by treatment group. FINDINGS: We included 4592 hospitalised patients with non-oxygen-dependent COVID-19 (1998 [43·5%] women and 2594 [56·5%] men). During the omicron BA.2.2 wave, viral burden rebound occurred in 16 of 242 patients (6·6% [95% CI 4·1-10·5]) receiving nirmatrelvir-ritonavir, 27 of 563 (4·8% [3·3-6·9]) receiving molnupiravir, and 170 of 3787 (4·5% [3·9-5·2]) in the control group. The incidence of viral burden rebound did not differ significantly across the three groups. Immunocompromised status was associated with increased odds of viral burden rebound, regardless of antiviral treatment (nirmatrelvir-ritonavir: odds ratio [OR] 7·37 [95% CI 2·56-21·26], p=0·0002; molnupiravir: 3·05 [1·28-7·25], p=0·012; control: 2·21 [1·50-3·27], p<0·0001). Among patients receiving nirmatrelvir-ritonavir, the odds of viral burden rebound were higher in those aged 18-65 years (vs >65 years; 3·09 [1·00-9·53], p=0·050), those with high comorbidity burden (score >6 on the Charlson Comorbidity Index; 6·02 [2·09-17·38], p=0·0009), and those concomitantly taking corticosteroids (7·51 [1·67-33·82], p=0·0086); whereas the odds were lower in those who were not fully vaccinated (0·16 [0·04-0·67], p=0·012). In patients receiving molnupiravir, those aged 18-65 years (2·68 [1·09-6·58], p=0·032) or on concomitant corticosteroids (3·11 [1·23-7·82], p=0·016) had increased odds of viral burden rebound. We found no association between viral burden rebound and occurrence of the composite clinical outcome from day 5 of follow-up (nirmatrelvir-ritonavir: adjusted OR 1·90 [0·48-7·59], p=0·36; molnupiravir: 1·05 [0·39-2·84], p=0·92; control: 1·27 [0·89-1·80], p=0·18). INTERPRETATION: Viral burden rebound rates are similar between patients with antiviral treatment and those without. Importantly, viral burden rebound was not associated with adverse clinical outcomes. FUNDING: Health and Medical Research Fund, Health Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. TRANSLATION: For the Chinese translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.

7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1928706

ABSTRACT

Background: Gut microbiota can be associated with COVID-19 vaccine immunogenicity. We investigated whether recent antibiotic use influences BNT162b2 vaccine immunogenicity. Methods: BNT162b2 recipients from three centers were prospectively recruited. Outcomes of interest were seroconversion of neutralising antibody (NAb) at day 21, 56 and 180 after first dose. We calculated the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of seroconversion with antibiotic usage (defined as ever use of any antibiotics within six months before first dose of vaccine) by adjusting for covariates including age, sex, smoking, alcohol, and comorbidities. Results: Of 316 BNT162b2 recipients (100 [31.6%] male; median age: 50.1 [IQR: 40.0-57.0] years) recruited, 29 (9.2%) were antibiotic users. There was a trend of lower seroconversion rates in antibiotic users than non-users at day 21 (82.8% vs. 91.3%; p = 0.14) and day 56 (96.6% vs. 99.3%; p = 0.15), but not at day 180 (93.3% vs. 94.1%). A multivariate analysis showed that recent antibiotic usage was associated with a lower seroconversion rate at day 21 (aOR 0.26;95% CI: 0.08-0.96). Other factors associated with a lower seroconversion rate after first dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine included age ≥ 60 years (aOR: 0.34;95% CI: 0.13-0.95) and male sex (aOR: 0.14, 95% CI: 0.05-0.34). There were no significant factors associated with seroconversion after two doses of BNT16b2, including antibiotic use (aOR: 0.03;95% CI: 0.001-1.15). Conclusions: Recent antibiotic use may be associated with a lower seroconversion rate at day 21 (but not day 56 or 180) among BNT162b2 recipients. Further long-term follow-up data with a larger sample size is needed to reach a definite conclusion on how antibiotics influence immunogenicity and the durability of the vaccine response.

8.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(2): e0099321, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731261

ABSTRACT

Detection and tracking of antibodies play an increasingly prominent role in population surveillance and implementation of public health measures to combat the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with much attention placed on developing commercial serological assays as point-of-care diagnostic tools. While many rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) IgG and IgM antibodies have been evaluated, there is currently limited insight into detection of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) by such modalities. Here, we evaluate performance characteristics of an RDT that detects SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies and, importantly, nAbs based on both infection- and vaccine-immunized cohorts by direct comparison to known antibody titers obtained from live virus microneutralization (VMN) assays. We further contextualize interpretations of band intensity of the RDT with reference to the World Health Organization (WHO) International Standard. We report a sensitivity of 94.37% and specificity of 92.50% for SARS-CoV-2 IgG detection and a sensitivity of 94.37% and specificity of 92.68% for nAbs. A limit of detection was determined as 3.125 IU/mL and 25.00 IU/mL, respectively, with reference to the WHO International Standard. We confirm that indication of nAb concentration, as elucidated by band intensity on the RDT, correlated with nAb titers defined by VMN assays and surrogate nAb assays. We additionally observe no cross-reactivity of the nAb test line to SARS-CoV-1 but report display of weak seropositivity for one sample on the SARS-CoV-2 IgG test line. Our study reveals promising performance characteristics of the assessed RDT, which implicates its usefulness in a wide range of diagnostic and epidemiological settings. IMPORTANCE In the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, antibody tests play an increasingly important role in detecting previous infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and monitoring of response to vaccinations. In particular, neutralizing antibodies have recently been demonstrated to be highly predictive of immune protection against symptomatic infection. Our study is the first to evaluate a rapid diagnostic test based on samples acquired from both recovered COVID-19 patients and individuals vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2, which detects neutralizing antibodies in addition to SARS-CoV-2 IgG. We report promising sensitivity, specificity, and cross-reactivity profiles, which implicate its usefulness in a wide range of settings as a diagnostic point-of-care tool to aid in curbing transmission and reducing mortality caused by COVID-19 symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Point-of-Care Systems , Point-of-Care Testing
9.
Expert Rev Mol Diagn ; 21(7): 741-747, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236167

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Sensitive molecular diagnostic assays are essential for COVID-19 diagnosis. We evaluated the Hecin Scientific SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test kit, a dual-target real-time RT-PCR assay targeting the SARS-CoV-2 N and ORF1ab genes. METHODS: The Hecin test kit's diagnostic performance in detecting SARS-CoV-2 RNA was compared to the LightMix Modular SARS and Wuhan CoV E-gene kit (TIB Molbiol) and an in-house single-tube nested real-time RT-PCR using 296 clinical specimens, 11 proficiency testing samples, and 30 low-positive deep throat saliva and nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) samples pooled into negative samples in ratios of 1:5, 1:10, and 1:30. RESULTS: The limit-of-detection of the Hecin test kit was around 500 dC/mL for the N and ORF1ab targets. Sensitivity and specificity of the Hecin test kit were 98.1% (95% CI: 93.4-99.8%) and 100% (98.1-100%), respectively, when measured against the reference method. The Hecin test kit showed fair sensitivity (80%) in low-positive NPS samples pooled in ratios of 1:5 and 1:10. Its performance in pooled samples could be dramatically improved by adjusting the assay Ct cutoff. CONCLUSION: The Hecin test kit enables sensitive and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples and pooled samples.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19 , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics
10.
Microorganisms ; 9(5)2021 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224073

ABSTRACT

In addition to human cases, cases of COVID-19 in captive animals and pets are increasingly reported. This raises the concern for two-way COVID-19 transmission between humans and animals. Here, we developed a SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein-based competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) for serodiagnosis of COVID-19 which can theoretically be used in virtually all kinds of animals. We used 187 serum samples from patients with/without COVID-19, laboratory animals immunized with inactive SARS-CoV-2 virions, COVID-19-negative animals, and animals seropositive to other betacoronaviruses. A cut-off percent inhibition value of 22.345% was determined and the analytical sensitivity and specificity were found to be 1:64-1:256 and 93.9%, respectively. Evaluation on its diagnostic performance using 155 serum samples from COVID-19-negative animals and COVID-19 human patients showed a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 80.8% and 100%, respectively. The cELISA can be incorporated into routine blood testing of farmed/captive animals for COVID-19 surveillance.

12.
13.
Clin Pharmacol Ther ; 110(2): 321-333, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103289

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral loads change rapidly following symptom onset, so to assess antivirals it is important to understand the natural history and patient factors influencing this. We undertook an individual patient-level meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2 viral dynamics in humans to describe viral dynamics and estimate the effects of antivirals used to date. This systematic review identified case reports, case series, and clinical trial data from publications between January 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. A multivariable Cox proportional hazards (Cox-PH) regression model of time to viral clearance was fitted to respiratory and stool samples. A simplified four parameter nonlinear mixed-effects (NLME) model was fitted to viral load trajectories in all sampling sites and covariate modeling of respiratory viral dynamics was performed to quantify time-dependent drug effects. Patient-level data from 645 individuals (age 1 month to 100 years) with 6,316 viral loads were extracted. Model-based simulations of viral load trajectories in samples from the upper and lower respiratory tract, stool, blood, urine, ocular secretions, and breast milk were generated. Cox-PH modeling showed longer time to viral clearance in older patients, men, and those with more severe disease. Remdesivir was associated with faster viral clearance (adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) = 9.19, P < 0.001), as well as interferon, particularly when combined with ribavirin (AHR = 2.2, P = 0.015; AHR = 6.04, P = 0.006). Combination therapy should be further investigated. A viral dynamic dataset and NLME model for designing and analyzing antiviral trials has been established.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19/virology , Viral Load/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adult , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Humans , Interferons/pharmacology , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Shedding/drug effects
15.
Am J Infect Control ; 48(8): 890-896, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-629078

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To describe the infection control strategy to achieve zero nosocomial transmission of symptomatic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) due to SARS-CoV-2 during the prepandemic phase (the first 72 days after announcement of pneumonia cases in Wuhan) in Hong Kong. METHODS: Administrative support with the aim of zero nosocomial transmission by reducing elective clinical services, decanting wards, mobilizing isolation facilities, providing adequate personal protective equipment, coordinating laboratory network for rapid molecular diagnosis under 4-tier active surveillance for hospitalized patients and outpatients, and organizing staff forum and training was implemented under the framework of preparedness plan in Hospital Authority. The trend of SARS-CoV-2 in the first 72 days was compared with that of SARS-CoV 2003. RESULTS: Up to day 72 of the epidemic, 130 (0.40%) of 32,443 patients being screened confirmed to have SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Compared with SARS outbreak in 2003, the SARS-CoV-2 case load constituted 8.9% (130 SARS-CoV-2/1458 SARS-CoV) of SARS-CoV infected cases at day 72 of the outbreak. The incidences of nosocomial acquisition of SARS-CoV per 1,000 SARS-patient-day and per 100 SARS-patient-admission were 7.9 and 16.9, respectively, which were significantly higher than the corresponding incidences of SARS-CoV-2 (zero infection, P <.001). CONCLUSIONS: Administrative support to infection control could minimize the risk of nosocomial transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Cross Infection/transmission , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
17.
Gastroenterology ; 159(1): 81-95, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-40729

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has been characterized by fever, respiratory, and gastrointestinal symptoms as well as shedding of virus RNA into feces. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published gastrointestinal symptoms and detection of virus in stool and also summarized data from a cohort of patients with COVID-19 in Hong Kong. METHODS: We collected data from the cohort of patients with COVID-19 in Hong Kong (N = 59; diagnosis from February 2 through February 29, 2020),and searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, and 3 Chinese databases through March 11, 2020, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We analyzed pooled data on the prevalence of overall and individual gastrointestinal symptoms (loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain or discomfort) using a random effects model. RESULTS: Among the 59 patients with COVID-19 in Hong Kong, 15 patients (25.4%) had gastrointestinal symptoms, and 9 patients (15.3%) had stool that tested positive for virus RNA. Stool viral RNA was detected in 38.5% and 8.7% among those with and without diarrhea, respectively (P = .02). The median fecal viral load was 5.1 log10 copies per milliliter in patients with diarrhea vs 3.9 log10 copies per milliliter in patients without diarrhea (P = .06). In a meta-analysis of 60 studies comprising 4243 patients, the pooled prevalence of all gastrointestinal symptoms was 17.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 12.3-24.5); 11.8% of patients with nonsevere COVID-19 had gastrointestinal symptoms (95% CI, 4.1-29.1), and 17.1% of patients with severe COVID-19 had gastrointestinal symptoms (95% CI, 6.9-36.7). In the meta-analysis, the pooled prevalence of stool samples that were positive for virus RNA was 48.1% (95% CI, 38.3-57.9); of these samples, 70.3% of those collected after loss of virus from respiratory specimens tested positive for the virus (95% CI, 49.6-85.1). CONCLUSIONS: In an analysis of data from the Hong Kong cohort of patients with COVID-19 and a meta-analysis of findings from publications, we found that 17.6% of patients with COVID-19 had gastrointestinal symptoms. Virus RNA was detected in stool samples from 48.1% patients, even in stool collected after respiratory samples had negative test results. Health care workers should therefore exercise caution in collecting fecal samples or performing endoscopic procedures in patients with COVID-19, even during patient recovery.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Diarrhea/virology , Feces/virology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Viral Load , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Diarrhea/diagnosis , Diarrhea/epidemiology , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal/standards , Gastrointestinal Tract/diagnostic imaging , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Prevalence , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2
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