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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(11)2023 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238279

ABSTRACT

Conducting violence and mental health research during the COVID-19 pandemic with vulnerable groups such as female sex workers (FSWs) required care to ensure that participants and the research team were not harmed. Potential risks and harm avoidance needed to be considered as well as ensuring data reliability. In March 2020, COVID-19 restrictions were imposed in Kenya during follow-up data collection for the Maisha Fiti study (n = 1003); hence data collection was paused. In June 2020, the study clinic was re-opened after consultations with violence and mental health experts and the FSW community. Between June 2020 and January 2021, data were collected in person and remotely following ethical procedures. A total of 885/1003 (88.2%) FSWs participated in the follow-up behavioural-biological survey and 47/47 (100%) participated in the qualitative in-depth interviews. A total of 26/885 (2.9%) quantitative surveys and 3/47 (6.4%) qualitative interviews were conducted remotely. Researching sensitive topics like sex work, violence, and mental health must guarantee study participants' safety and privacy. Collecting data at the height of COVID-19 was crucial in understanding the relationships between the COVID-19 pandemic, violence against women, and mental health. Relationships established with study participants during the baseline survey-before the pandemic-enabled us to complete data collection. In this paper, we discuss key issues involved in undertaking violence and mental health research with a vulnerable population such as FSWs during a pandemic. Lessons learned could be useful to others researching sensitive topics such as violence and mental health with vulnerable populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sex Workers , Female , Humans , Sex Workers/psychology , Mental Health , Pandemics , Kenya/epidemiology , Reproducibility of Results , COVID-19/epidemiology , Violence
3.
Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthesie ; : 1-10, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2251710

ABSTRACT

Purpose To compare the incidence and nature of secondary infections (SI) between critically ill patients with viral pneumonia due to COVID-19 and seasonal influenza and explore the association between SI and clinical outcomes. Methods We conducted a historical cohort study of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at two tertiary care centers during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and patients admitted with influenza during the 2018–2019 season. The primary outcome was the rate of SI. Secondary outcomes included rates of ICU and in-hospital mortality, organ-support-dependent disease, and length of ICU and hospital stay. Results Secondary infections developed in 55% of 95 COVID-19 patients and 51% of 47 influenza patients (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.16;95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 2.33). After adjusting for baseline differences between cohorts, there were no significant differences between the COVID-19 cohort and the influenza cohort (adjusted OR, 1.00;95% CI, 0.41 to 2.44). COVID-19 patients with SI had longer ICU and hospital stays and duration of mechanical ventilation. The SI incidence was higher in COVID-19 patients treated with steroids than in those not treated with steroids (15/20, 75% vs 37/75, 49%). Conclusion Secondary infections were common among critically ill patients with viral pneumonia including COVID-19. We found no difference in the incidence of SI between COVID-19 and influenza in our cohort study, but SI in patients with COVID-19 were associated with worse clinical outcomes and increased healthcare resource use. The small cohort size precludes any causal inferences but may provide a basis for future research. Supplementary Information The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12630-022-02376-0.

4.
Can J Anaesth ; 70(3): 374-383, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2251711

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To compare the incidence and nature of secondary infections (SI) between critically ill patients with viral pneumonia due to COVID-19 and seasonal influenza and explore the association between SI and clinical outcomes. METHODS: We conducted a historical cohort study of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at two tertiary care centers during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and patients admitted with influenza during the 2018-2019 season. The primary outcome was the rate of SI. Secondary outcomes included rates of ICU and in-hospital mortality, organ-support-dependent disease, and length of ICU and hospital stay. RESULTS: Secondary infections developed in 55% of 95 COVID-19 patients and 51% of 47 influenza patients (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57 to 2.33). After adjusting for baseline differences between cohorts, there were no significant differences between the COVID-19 cohort and the influenza cohort (adjusted OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.41 to 2.44). COVID-19 patients with SI had longer ICU and hospital stays and duration of mechanical ventilation. The SI incidence was higher in COVID-19 patients treated with steroids than in those not treated with steroids (15/20, 75% vs 37/75, 49%). CONCLUSION: Secondary infections were common among critically ill patients with viral pneumonia including COVID-19. We found no difference in the incidence of SI between COVID-19 and influenza in our cohort study, but SI in patients with COVID-19 were associated with worse clinical outcomes and increased healthcare resource use. The small cohort size precludes any causal inferences but may provide a basis for future research.


RéSUMé: OBJECTIF: Comparer l'incidence et la nature des infections secondaires entre les patients gravement malades atteints de pneumonie virale due à la COVID-19 et ceux atteints de la grippe saisonnière et explorer l'association entre les infections secondaires et les issues cliniques. MéTHODE: Nous avons réalisé une étude de cohorte historique de patients admis à l'unité de soins intensifs (USI) dans deux centres de soins tertiaires pendant la première vague de la pandémie de COVID-19 et de patients admis pour la grippe au cours de la saison 2018-2019. Le critère d'évaluation principal était le taux d'infections secondaires. Les critères d'évaluation secondaires comprenaient les taux de mortalité à l'USI et à l'hôpital, les maladies nécessitant un support d'organes et la durée du séjour à l'USI et à l'hôpital. RéSULTATS: Des infections secondaires se sont développées chez 55 % des 95 patients atteints de COVID-19 et 51 % des 47 patients grippaux (rapport des cotes [RC] non ajusté, 1,16; intervalle de confiance [IC] à 95 %, 0,57 à 2,33). Après ajustement pour tenir compte des différences initiales entre les cohortes, aucune différence significative n'a été observée entre la cohorte de COVID-19 et la cohorte de grippe (RC ajusté, 1,00; IC 95 %, 0,41 à 2,44). Les patients atteints de COVID-19 atteints d'infections secondaires ont séjourné plus longtemps aux soins intensifs et à l'hôpital et la durée de la ventilation mécanique était plus longue pour ces patients. L'incidence d'infections secondaires était plus élevée chez les patients atteints de COVID-19 traités par stéroïdes que chez ceux non traités par stéroïdes (15/20, 75 % vs 37/75, 49 %). CONCLUSION: Les infections secondaires étaient fréquentes chez les patients gravement malades atteints de pneumonie virale, y compris de COVID-19. Nous n'avons observé aucune différence dans l'incidence d'infections secondaires entre les patients atteints de COVID-19 et ceux atteints de grippe dans notre étude de cohorte, mais les infections secondaires chez les patients atteints de COVID-19 étaient associées à de moins bonnes issues cliniques et à une utilisation accrue des ressources de soins de santé. La petite taille de la cohorte exclut toute inférence causale, mais peut fournir une base pour les recherches futures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Influenza, Human , Pneumonia, Viral , Humans , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Critical Illness , Influenza, Human/complications , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Coinfection/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Intensive Care Units , Retrospective Studies
5.
Ann Fam Med ; (20 Suppl 1)2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224405

ABSTRACT

Context The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care service and delivery has been profound. In addition to shifting and expanding clinical responsibilities, rapidly evolving information and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for healthcare workers (HCWs) to synthesize and translate COVID-19 information into practice. Objective The objectives of this study are 1) to examine the impact of a telemedicine education program on HCW's self-efficacy and satisfaction and 2) to explore HCWs' experience in the program and context of practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Study Design We conducted a prospective mixed methods parallel-design study among ECHO COVID participants using pre-post questionnaires and focus group discussions (FGDs). We examined questionnaire results for changes in HCWs' self-efficacy and satisfaction. We analyzed FGD data to explore HCWs' experience in ECHO and the context of their practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Setting Project Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model is a virtual, telemedicine education model that provides longitudinal support and addresses the emerging needs of HCWs. "ECHO Ontario: Managing COVID-19 Patients in the Community" (ECHO) was launched in July 2020. The goal of the program was to disseminate best practices regarding COVID-19 as they emerged and to increase HCW confidence and knowledge of COVID-19. Population Studied The study population were practicing HCWs in the province of Ontario, Canada. 1) HCW self-efficacy 2) HCW satisfaction Results Of 299 HCWs registered in ECHO COVID, 114 (38.1%) participated in this analysis. Median self-efficacy scores increased from 5 (IQR 4 - 6) to 6 (IQR 6 - 6) (p < 0.0001), independent of profession, years in practice, age group, or type of practice environment. Participants were highly satisfied with the ECHO sessions with a median score of 4 (IQR 4 - 5). FGD data indicated that HCWs gained knowledge through ECHO, established the context of their practice, and revealed facilitators for ECHO program success, including the transition to virtual care, the practicability of knowledge provided, and a "perspective from the trenches." Conclusions This study demonstrated that a telemedicine education program aimed to support HCWs in managing patients with COVID-19 had a positive impact on self-efficacy and satisfaction, and that this impact was specifically mediated through the ECHO program.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ontario , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Health Personnel
6.
Viruses ; 14(6)2022 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911611

ABSTRACT

Globally, most Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV) transmission occurs through vaginal-penile sex (heterosexual transmission). The local immune environment at the site of HIV exposure is an important determinant of whether exposure during sex will lead to productive infection, and the vaginal and penile immune milieus are each critically shaped by the local microbiome. However, there are key differences in the microbial drivers of inflammation and immune quiescence at these tissue sites. In both, a high abundance of anaerobic taxa (e.g., Prevotella) is associated with an increased local density of HIV target cells and an increased risk of acquiring HIV through sex. However, the taxa that have been associated to date with increased risk in the vagina and penis are not identical. Just as importantly, the microbiota associated with comparatively less inflammation and HIV risk-i.e., the optimal microbiota-are very different at the two sites. In the vagina, Lactobacillus spp. are immunoregulatory and may protect against HIV acquisition, whereas on the penis, "skin type" flora such as Corynebacterium are associated with reduced inflammation. Compared to its vaginal counterpart, much less is known about the dynamics of the penile microbiome, the ability of clinical interventions to alter the penile microbiome, or the impact of natural/induced microbiome alterations on penile immunology and HIV risk.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , HIV-1 , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Male , Penis , Vagina/microbiology
7.
J Virol ; 96(13): e0050922, 2022 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891737

ABSTRACT

Cell-mediated immunity is critical for long-term protection against most viral infections, including coronaviruses. We studied 23 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected survivors over a 1-year post-symptom onset (PSO) interval by ex vivo cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot) assay. All subjects demonstrated SARS-CoV-2-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin 2 (IL-2), and granzyme B (GzmB) T cell responses at presentation, with greater frequencies in severe disease. Cytokines, mainly produced by CD4+ T cells, targeted all structural proteins (nucleocapsid, membrane, and spike) except envelope, with GzmB and IL-2 greater than IFN-γ. Mathematical modeling predicted that (i) cytokine responses peaked at 6 days for IFN-γ, 36 days for IL-2, and 7 days for GzmB, (ii) severe illness was associated with reduced IFN-γ and GzmB but increased IL-2 production rates, and (iii) males displayed greater production of IFN-γ, whereas females produced more GzmB. Ex vivo responses declined over time, with persistence of IL-2 in 86% and of IFN-γ and GzmB in 70% of subjects at a median of 336 days PSO. The average half-life of SARS-CoV-2-specific cytokine-producing cells was modeled to be 139 days (~4.6 months). Potent T cell proliferative responses persisted throughout observation, were CD4 dominant, and were capable of producing all 3 cytokines. Several immunodominant CD4 and CD8 epitopes identified in this study were shared by seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1 in the nucleocapsid and membrane regions. Both SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell clones were able to kill target cells, though CD8 tended to be more potent. IMPORTANCE Our findings highlight the relative importance of SARS-CoV-2-specific GzmB-producing T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 control and shared CD4 and CD8 immunodominant epitopes in seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1, and they indicate robust persistence of T cell memory at least 1 year after infection. Our findings should inform future strategies to induce T cell vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
8.
J Telemed Telecare ; : 1357633X211059688, 2021 Dec 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582817

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In addition to shifting and expanding clinical responsibilities, rapidly evolving information and guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for health care workers (HCW) to synthesise and translate COVID-19 information into practice. This study evaluated whether a COVID-19-specific telemedicine education program (ECHO COVID) would impact health care workers' self-efficacy and satisfaction in the management of patients with COVID-19. METHODS: A prospective mixed methods parallel-design study was conducted among ECHO COVID participants using pre-post questionnaires and a focus group discussion. Questionnaire results were examined for changes in health care workers' self-efficacy and satisfaction. Focus group discussion data were analysed to explore health care workers' experience in ECHO COVID and the context of their practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: 239 health care workers registered in ECHO COVID and 114 (47.7%) completed questionnaires and attended at least one ECHO COVID session. Median self-efficacy scores increased from 5 (IQR 4-6) to 6 (IQR 6-6) (p < 0.0001), independent of profession, years in practice, age group, or practice environment. Participants were highly satisfied with ECHO COVID sessions with a median score of 4 (IQR 4-5). Focus group discussion data indicated that health care workers gained knowledge through ECHO COVID and revealed facilitators for ECHO COVID program success, including the transition to virtual care, the practicability of knowledge provided, and a 'perspective from the trenches.' DISCUSSION: This study demonstrated that a telemedicine education program aimed to support health care workers in managing patients with COVID-19 had a positive impact on health care workers' self-efficacy and satisfaction. This impact was specifically mediated by the ECHO COVID program.

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