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1.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(5): 2052701, 2022 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1806173

ABSTRACT

The Victorian Specialist Immunization Services (VicSIS) was established in Victoria, Australia, in February 2021, aiming to enhance vaccine safety services for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines. VicSIS supports practitioners and patients with complex vaccine safety questions, including those who experience adverse events following immunization (AEFI) after COVID-19 vaccines. VicSIS provides individual vaccination recommendations, allergy testing, vaccine challenges, and vaccination under supervision. VicSIS initially comprised of eight adult COVID-19 specialist vaccination clinics, subsequently, expanding to better support pediatric patients as the Australian vaccine roll-out extended to adolescents and children. Since their establishment to September 2021, the inaugural VicSIS clinics received a total of 26,401 referrals and reviewed 6,079 patients. Consults were initially predominantly for pre-vaccination reviews, later predominantly becoming post-vaccination AEFI reviews as the program progressed. Regardless of the type of consult, the most common consult outcome was a recommendation for routine vaccination (73% and 55% of consult outcomes respectively). VicSIS is an integral component of the COVID-19 vaccination program and supports confidence in COVID-19 vaccine safety by providing consistent advice across the state. VicSIS aims to strengthen the health system through the pandemic, bolstering specialist immunization services beyond COVID-19 vaccines, including training the next generation of vaccinology experts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Child , Humans , Immunization/adverse effects , Population Surveillance , Vaccination/adverse effects , Vaccines/adverse effects , Victoria
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1881-e1884, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455263

ABSTRACT

Healthcare workers are at increased risk of occupational transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We report 2 instances of healthcare workers contracting SARS-CoV-2 despite no known breach of personal protective equipment. Additional specific equipment cleaning was initiated. Viral genomic sequencing supported this transmission hypothesis and our subsequent response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Genomics , Humans , Infection Control , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Am J Med ; 134(3): e220-e221, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095814
5.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 65(3)2021 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088187
7.
Intern Med J ; 51(1): 42-51, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-944728

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization recognised clusters of pneumonia-like cases due to a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 became a pandemic 71 days later. AIM: To report the clinical and epidemiological features, laboratory data and outcomes of the first group of 11 returned travellers with COVID-19 in Australia. METHODS: This is a retrospective, multi-centre case series. All patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection were admitted to tertiary referral hospitals in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. RESULTS: The median age of the patient cohort was 42 years (interquartile range (IQR), 24-53 years) with six men and five women. Eight (72.7%) patients had returned from Wuhan, one from Shenzhen, one from Japan and one from Europe. Possible human-to-human transmission from close family contacts in gatherings overseas occurred in two cases. Symptoms on admission were fever, cough and sore throat (n = 9, 81.8%). Co-morbidities included hypertension (n = 3, 27.3%) and hypercholesterolaemia (n = 2, 18.2%). No patients developed severe acute respiratory distress nor required intensive care unit admission or mechanical ventilation. After a median hospital stay of 14.5 days (IQR, 6.75-21), all patients were discharged. CONCLUSIONS: This is a historical record of the first COVID-19 cases in Australia during the early biocontainment phase of the national response. These findings were invaluable for establishing early inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 models of care and informing the management of COVID-19 over time as the outbreak evolved. Future research should extend this Australian case series to examine global epidemiological variation of this novel infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Retrospective Studies , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
8.
Women Birth ; 34(5): 473-476, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-817023

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Universal screening has been proposed as a strategy to identify asymptomatic individuals infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and mitigate transmission. AIM: To investigate the rate of positive tests among pregnant women in Melbourne, Australia. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional prevalence study at three maternity hospitals (one tertiary referral hospital and two secondary maternities) in Melbourne, Australia. SARS-CoV-2 testing was offered to all pregnant women attending face-to-face antenatal visits and to those attending the hospital with symptoms of possible coronavirus disease, between 6th and 19th of May 2020. Testing was performed by multiplex-tandem polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on combined oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs. The primary outcome was the proportion of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed in 350 women, of whom 19 had symptoms of possible COVID-19. The median maternal age was 32 years (IQR 28-35 years), and the median gestational age at testing was 33 weeks and four days (IQR 28 weeks to 36 weeks and two days). All 350 tests returned negative results (p̂=0%, 95% CI 0-1.0%). CONCLUSION: In a two-week period of low disease prevalence, the rate of asymptomatic coronavirus infection among pregnant women in Australia during the study period was negligible, reflecting low levels of community transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Infant , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Prenatal Care , SARS-CoV-2
9.
ACS Sens ; 5(8): 2596-2603, 2020 08 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-650062

ABSTRACT

High-throughput and rapid serology assays to detect the antibody response specific to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human blood samples are urgently required to improve our understanding of the effects of COVID-19 across the world. Short-term applications include rapid case identification and contact tracing to limit viral spread, while population screening to determine the extent of viral infection across communities is a longer-term need. Assays developed to address these needs should match the ASSURED criteria. We have identified agglutination tests based on the commonly employed blood typing methods as a viable option. These blood typing tests are employed in hospitals worldwide, are high-throughput, fast (10-30 min), and automated in most cases. Herein, we describe the application of agglutination assays to SARS-CoV-2 serology testing by combining column agglutination testing with peptide-antibody bioconjugates, which facilitate red cell cross-linking only in the presence of plasma containing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. This simple, rapid, and easily scalable approach has immediate application in SARS-CoV-2 serological testing and is a useful platform for assay development beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Agglutination Tests/methods , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
10.
J Clin Virol ; 128: 104448, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-306323

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the context of the pandemic, the rapid emergency use authorisation of diagnostic assays for SARS-CoV-2 has meant there are few peer-reviewed published studies of clinical performance of commercial assays. AIMS: To evaluate the clinical performance of AusDiagnostics respiratory multiplex tandem PCR assay including SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We reviewed the results following implementation of AusDiagnostics respiratory multiplex tandem PCR assay including SARS-CoV-2, and compared with an in-house RT-PCR assay at our State Reference Laboratory. RESULTS: Initial validation using AusDiagnostics coronavirus multiplex tandem PCR assay including SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated good concordance with the State Reference Laboratory. After implementing the AusDiagnostics respiratory multiplex tandem PCR assay including SARS-CoV-2, we tested 7839 samples. 127 samples in which SARS-CoV-2 was detected using the AusDiagnostics assay were referred for testing at the State Reference Laboratory, with concordant results in 118/127 (92.9%) of samples. After resolution of discrepancies, 125/127 (98.4%) of AusDiagnostics results were determined to be true positive results. Out of 7839 samples tested for SARS-CoV-2 during this period, only 2 tests (0.02%) were indeterminate results. CONCLUSION: The AusDiagnostics respiratory MT-PCR assay is a reliable assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
11.
Med J Aust ; 212(10): 459-462, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-39583

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the first isolation and sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 in Australia and rapid sharing of the isolate. SETTING: SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from a 58-year-old man from Wuhan, China who arrived in Melbourne on 19 January 2020 and was admitted to the Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne from the emergency department on 24 January 2020 with fever, cough, and progressive dyspnoea. MAJOR OUTCOMES: Clinical course and laboratory features of the first reported case of COVID-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) in Australia; isolation, whole genome sequencing, imaging, and rapid sharing of virus from the patient. RESULTS: A nasopharyngeal swab and sputum collected when the patient presented to hospital were each positive for SARS-CoV-2 (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction). Inoculation of Vero/hSLAM cells with material from the nasopharyngeal swab led to the isolation of SARS-CoV-2 virus in culture. Electron microscopy of the supernatant confirmed the presence of virus particles with morphology characteristic of viruses of the family Coronaviridae. Whole genome sequencing of the viral isolate and phylogenetic analysis indicated the isolate exhibited greater than 99.99% sequence identity with other publicly available SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Within 24 hours of isolation, the first Australian SARS-CoV-2 isolate was shared with local and overseas reference laboratories and major North American and European culture collections. CONCLUSIONS: The ability to rapidly identify, propagate, and internationally share our SARS-CoV-2 isolate is an important step in collaborative scientific efforts to deal effectively with this international public health emergency by developing better diagnostic procedures, vaccine candidates, and antiviral agents.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Information Dissemination/methods , Patient Isolation/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Australia , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Whole Genome Sequencing
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