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1.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(10)2022 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066598

ABSTRACT

The active immunization of health care workers (HCWs) is a crucial measure to avoid nosocomial infection; nevertheless, vaccine coverage (VC) among health personnel in Italy is unsatisfactory. To improve VC in the healthcare set, the Hygiene and Occupational Medicine departments of Bari Policlinico General University Hospital applied a specific program. The operative procedure demands that in the context of the occupational medical examination, all workers are evaluated for susceptibility to vaccine-preventable diseases (VDPs), with immunization prophylaxis offered to those determined to be susceptible. This study analyzed data from workers who attended the biological risk assessment protocol from December 2017 to October 2021 (n = 1477), who were evaluated for the immune status for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. Among the enrolled subjects, non-protective antibody titers were higher for measles and mumps (13%), followed by rubella (11%) and varicella (8%). Appropriate vaccinations were offered to all susceptible HCWs, and HCWs were re-tested one month after immunization. The seroconversion rate after the administration of one or more booster dose(s) was over 80%. Overall, 2.5% of the subjects refused the offered vaccine(s); the main determinant of immunization compliance was younger age (aOR = 0.86; 95%CI = 0.80-0.92). Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, VPDs may still present a hazard in nosocomial environment. Our experience suggests that, despite hospital procedures and dedicated human assets, satisfactory VC cannot be reached without the provision of federal regulations. Nevertheless, public health policymakers have to improve the promotion of vaccine prophylaxis and education to reach higher VC.

2.
Biomedicines ; 10(10)2022 Sep 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043577

ABSTRACT

The secretion of IgG SARS-CoV-2 antispike antibodies after vaccination with BNT162b2 and the protection represent the response of the human organism to the viral vector symptomatic infections. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the immune reaction in health workers of the Polyclinic of Bari to identify the relationship of antispike titers with blood type, sex, age, and comorbidities. This prospective observational study (RENAISSANCE) had as its primary endpoint the assessment of serologic response to BNT162b2 at three blood titers: the first at 60 days after the second dose (3 February 2021); the second titer at 75 days after the first titer; and the third titer at 130 days after the second titer. Out of 230 enrolled staff members, all responded excellently to the mRna Pfizer (BNT162b) vaccine. Only one patient, 40 days after the second dose (3 February 2021), was positive on the swab control performed on 15 March 2021, although completely asymptomatic, and was negative on the subsequent molecular swab performed on 30 March 2021. All the patients responded to the mRNA Pfizer (BNT162b) vaccine with an antispike IgG level above 500 BAU/mL at the first antispike protein essay (60 days after the second dose on 3 April 2021); at the second titer (75 days after the first titer on 20 June 2021), 4 (1.7% of 230 enrolled) patients showed an antispike IgG level under 500 BAU/mL; at the third titer (130 days after the second titer on 30 June 2021, which means 9 months after the second dose), 37 (16.1% of 230 enrolled) patients showed an antispike IgG level under 500 BAU/mL. The data analysis demonstrated that patients belonging to blood group 0, regardless of their rhesus factor, showed the strongest level of antibodies compared to the other groups. No dependency was found between low antibodies level and sex or age. Molecular swab controls were performed every 15th of the month continuously. However, the enrolled patients' activity was at high risk because they carried out medical activities such as dental and surgical as well with droplets of water vaporized by the effect of turbines, piezosurgery. The vaccination campaign among health workers of the Policlinico of the University of Bari "Aldo Moro" led to an excellent serological response and the complete absence of COVID-19 incident cases, so the antibody response was excellent. The COVID-19 vaccine booster shot should be administered after 9 months and not without prompt antispike titer detection to assess if any sign of waning immunity is present in that specific patient.

3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(15)2022 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969296

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The recent COVID-19 pandemic produced a significant increase in cases and an emergency state was induced worldwide. The current knowledge about the COVID-19 disease concerning diagnoses, patient tracking, the treatment protocol, and vaccines provides a consistent contribution for the primary prevention of the viral infection and decreasing the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 disease. The aim of the present investigation was to produce a general overview about the current findings for the COVID-19 disease, SARS-CoV-2 interaction mechanisms with the host, therapies and vaccines' immunization findings. METHODS: A literature overview was produced in order to evaluate the state-of-art in SARS-CoV-2 diagnoses, prognoses, therapies, and prevention. RESULTS: Concerning to the interaction mechanisms with the host, the virus binds to target with its Spike proteins on its surface and uses it as an anchor. The Spike protein targets the ACE2 cell receptor and enters into the cells by using a special enzyme (TMPRSS2). Once the virion is quietly accommodated, it releases its RNA. Proteins and RNA are used in the Golgi apparatus to produce more viruses that are released. Concerning the therapies, different protocols have been developed in observance of the disease severity and comorbidity with a consistent reduction in the mortality rate. Currently, different vaccines are currently in phase IV but a remarkable difference in efficiency has been detected concerning the more recent SARS-CoV-2 variants. CONCLUSIONS: Among the many questions in this pandemic state, the one that recurs most is knowing why some people become more seriously ill than others who instead contract the infection as if it was a trivial flu. More studies are necessary to investigate the efficiency of the treatment protocols and vaccines for the more recent detected SARS-CoV-2 variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
J Med Virol ; 94(5): 2230-2236, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777592

ABSTRACT

In March, people living with HIV infection (PLWH) were included in the risk category of fragile people for severe COVID-19 receiving priority access to vaccination with BNT162b2 vaccine. The aim of the study was to evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of the two doses regimen. The antibodies titer for severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was evaluated after 21 days since the first administration (Time 1), 1 (Time 2), and 3 (Time 3) months post-vaccination. Information regarding virological and immunological conditions at baseline, previous SARS-CoV-2 state of infection, other immunodeficiencies, current antiretroviral therapy (ART), comorbidities, and severe adverse events (SAE) to vaccination was collected. Six hundred and ninety-seven patients were tested for quantitative anti-spike antibodies at Time 1, 577 patients had a second detection at Time 2, and 491 patients had the third detection. Baseline characteristics of the study population are reported in Table 1. At the time of vaccine administration, all patients were on ART (except one long-term nonprogressor); 632 (90.7%) patients had undetectable HIV-RNA; 12 (1.7%) patients were immunosuppressed due to chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive drugs; 345 (49.5%) patients had at least one COVID-19 related comorbidity and 155 (22.2%) had two or more comorbidities. No SAEs were reported. Final serological results are available for 694 patients after the first dose, 577 and 491 after the second and third ones, respectively; positive titer (values ≥ 50 AU/ml) was demonstrated in 653 (94.1%), 576 (99.8%), 484 (98.6%) patients, respectively. Only one patient was a nonresponder after completing vaccination, who was a newly diagnosed one for HIV infection. All vaccinations were well tolerated, with no SAEs. BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine was immunogenic and safe in PLWH.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
7.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(3)2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742742

ABSTRACT

To deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, a mass vaccination campaign was started in European countries on 27 December 2020. The first vaccine available to immunize healthcare workers (HCWs) was the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. While many studies have shown a high antibody response after the second vaccine dose, antibody persistence over the medium-to-long term has yet to be evaluated. The medium-to-long-term persistence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was determined in a sample of fully vaccinated HCWs at Bari Policlinico General Hospital, Italy. This is a observational cohort study. HCWs who completed the immunization basal cycle were screened for anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG on days 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 after the second vaccine dose. At each time point, >99% of the screened HCWs were seroprotected. While the geometric mean titer initially declined over time, by 60 days the titer had stabilized. Older subjects seem to lose IgG faster than younger ones. The immunogenicity conferred by the vaccine provides further evidence that it is an essential weapon in efforts to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Accordingly, strict measures should be implemented, ranging from the mandatory vaccination of HCWs to strong incentives aimed at achieving vaccination of the large majority of the overall population.

8.
Eur J Intern Med ; 98: 77-82, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739692

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has generated a million deaths worldwide. The efficiency of the immune system can modulate individual vulnerability with variable outcomes. However, the relationships between disease severity and the titer of antibodies produced against SARS-CoV-2 in non-vaccinated, recently infected subjects need to be fully elucidated. METHODS: A total of 99 patients admitted to a COVID-unit underwent clinical assessment and measurement of serum levels of anti-spike protein (S1) IgM, and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG. Patients were stratified according to the clinical outcome (i.e., discharged at home or in-hospital death). RESULTS: Following hospitalization, 18 died during the hospital stay. They were older, had lymphopenia, a higher co-morbidity rate, and longer hospital stay than 81 patients who were discharged after healing. Patients in this latter group had, at hospital admittance, 7.9-fold higher serum concentration of IgM, and 2.4-fold higher IgG levels. Multivariate Cox regression models indicated age and anti-nucleocapsid protein IgG concentration at admission as independently associated with the risk of in-hospital death. CONCLUSIONS: An efficient immunological response during the early phase of COVID-19 protects from mortality, irrespective of age. Advanced age is a critical risk factor for poor outcome in infected subjects. Further studies must explore potential therapeutic strategies able to restore a valid functional humoral immunity in elderly patients with poor antibody response during the early stage of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Vaccine ; 40(12): 1805-1809, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683652

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A mass vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 was initiated in European countries on December 27, 2020. This study compared the antibody response in a sample of healthcare workers (HCWs) who, after the first dose of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, were infected with SARS-CoV-2 (infection group) with the response in a control group of HCWs immunized with two doses (vaccine group). METHODS: This two-arm observational cohort study was carried out using routine health surveillance data obtained from HCWs at Bari Policlinico General Hospital (Italy). The antibody response was determined infection group and vaccine group. RESULTS: Among the 100 HCWs, 25 (25.0%) were in the infection group and 75 (75.0%) in the full-vaccine group. At the serological evaluation, all of the HCWs tested positive, with a geometric mean titer (GMT) of 7106.8 (95 %CI = 5628.5-8973.4) and a statistically significant difference (p < 0.0001) between the infection group (GMT = 2139.7; 95 %CI = 1310.4-3493.6) and the vaccine group (GMT = 10603.6; 95 %CI = 8698.0-12926.8). DISCUSSION: Our results shed light on the vaccine response of individuals in different risk categories. It also emphasizes the need for the continued use by HCWs of PPE and good practices during the window between the first and second anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Personnel , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
11.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(6)2021 May 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256436

ABSTRACT

Health-care workers (HCW) are at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and, if asymptomatic, for transmitting the virus to fragile cancer patients. We monitored all asymptomatic HCWs of a cancer institute (94% of all employees agreed to enter the study) with the rapid serological test, VivaDiagTM, identifying SARS-CoV-2 associated-IgM/IgG. The tests were performed at time 0 (n = 606) and after 14 days (n = 393). Overall, the VivaDiagTM results of nine HCWs (1.5%) were positive, with one confirmed to be SARS-CoV-2-positive after oropharyngeal swab testing by RT-PCR. At time 0, all nine cases showed IgM expression while IgG was detected in only one. After 14 days, IgM persisted in all the cases, while IgG became evident in four. A chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA) confirmed IgM positivity in 5/13 VivaDiagTM positive cases and IgG positivity in 4/5 VivaDiagTM positive cases. Our study suggests that the VivaDiagTM test can be of help in identifying SARS-CoV-2 infected people in cohorts of subjects with a high prevalence.

12.
Environ Res ; 195: 110793, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are highly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection given their specific tasks. The IgG-IgM serological assay has demonstrated good accuracy in early detection in symptomatic patients, but its role in the diagnosis of asymptomatic patients is uncertain. The aim of our study was to assess IgM and IgG prevalence in sera in a large cohort of HCWs previously subjected to Nasopharyngeal swab test (NST) after accurate risk assessment due to positive COVID-19 patient exposure during an observation period of 90 days. METHODS: 2407 asymptomatic HCWs that had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the period between April 8th and June 7th were screened with NST based on the RT-PCR method. In parallel, they underwent large-scale chemiluminescence immunoassays involving IgM-IgG serological screening to determine actual viral spread in the same cohort. RESULTS: During the 90-day observation period, 18 workers (0.75%) resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection at the NST, whereas the positivity rates for IgM and IgG were 11.51% and 2.37%, respectively (277 workers). Despite high specificity, serological tests were inadequate for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with previous positive NST results (IgM and IgG sensitivities of 27.78% and 50.00%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate a widespread low viral load of SARS-CoV-2 among hospital workers. However, serological screening showed very low sensitivity with respect to NST in identifying infected workers, and negative IgG and IgM results should not exclude the diagnosis of COVID-19. IgG-IgM chemiluminescence immunoassays could increase the diagnosis of COVID-19 only in association with NST, and this association is considered helpful for decision-making regarding returning to work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Italy/epidemiology , Prevalence , Public Health , Sensitivity and Specificity
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