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1.
J Neurol ; 269(8): 4000-4012, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1941616

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Assessing the safety of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines and the effect of immunotherapies on the seroconversion rate in patients with autoimmune neurological conditions (ANC) is relevant to clinical practice. Our aim was to assess the antibody response to and safety of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in ANC. METHODS: This longitudinal study included ANC patients vaccinated with two doses of BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 between March and August 2021. Side effects were assessed 2-10 days after each dose. Neurological status and anti-spike receptor binding domain antibody levels were evaluated before vaccination and 4 weeks after the second dose. Healthcare-workers served as controls for antibody levels. RESULTS: We included 300 ANC patients (median age 52, IQR 40-65), and 347 healthcare-workers (median age 45, IQR 34-54). mRNA-1273 vaccine was associated with an increased risk of both local (OR 2.52 95% CI 1.45-4.39, p = 0.001) and systemic reactions (OR 2.51% CI 1.49-4.23, p = 0.001). The incidence of relapse was not different before and after vaccine (Incidence rate ratio 0.72, 95% CI 0.29-1.83). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG were detected in 268 (89.9%) patients and in all controls (p < 0.0001). BNT162b2 vaccine (OR 8.84 95% CI 2.32-33.65, p = 0.001), anti-CD20 mAb (OR 0.004 95% CI 0.0007-0.026, p < 0.0001) and fingolimod (OR 0.036 95% CI 0.002-0.628, p = 0·023) were associated with an increased risk of not developing anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines were safe in a large group of ANC patients. Anti-CD20 and fingolimod treatment, as well as vaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine, led to a reduced humoral response. These findings could inform vaccine policies in ANC patients undergoing immunotherapy.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunity, Humoral , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Fingolimod Hydrochloride , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 117: 233-240, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907151

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified interest in how the infection affects the lung microbiome of critically ill patients and how it contributes to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We aimed to characterize the lower respiratory tract mycobiome of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in comparison to patients without COVID-19. METHODS: We performed an internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) profiling with the Illumina MiSeq platform on 26 respiratory specimens from patients with COVID-19 as well as from 26 patients with non-COVID-19 pneumonia. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 were more likely to be colonized with Candida spp. ARDS was associated with lung dysbiosis characterized by a shift to Candida species colonization and a decrease of fungal diversity. We also observed higher bacterial phylogenetic distance among taxa in colonized patients with COVID-19. In patients with COVID-19 not colonized with Candida spp., ITS2 amplicon sequencing revealed an increase of Ascomycota unassigned spp. and 1 Aspergillus spp.-positive specimen. In addition, we found that corticosteroid therapy was frequently associated with positive Galactomannan cell wall component of Aspergillus spp. among patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Our study underpins that ARDS in patients with COVID-19 is associated with lung dysbiosis and that an increased density of Ascomycota unassigned spp. is present in patients not colonized with Candida spp.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/complications , Candida/genetics , Critical Illness , Dysbiosis/complications , Dysbiosis/microbiology , Humans , Lung/microbiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny
3.
Microorganisms ; 10(5)2022 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855707

ABSTRACT

Previous studies assessing the antibody response (AbR) to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients are limited by short follow-up, hampering the analysis of AbR kinetics. We present the ORCHESTRA SOT recipients cohort assessed for AbR at first dose (t0), second dose (t1), and within 3 ± 1 month (t2) after the first dose. We analyzed 1062 SOT patients (kidney, 63.7%; liver, 17.4%; heart, 16.7%; and lung, 2.5%) and 5045 health care workers (HCWs). The AbR rates in the SOTs and HCWs were 52.3% and 99.4%. The antibody levels were significantly higher in the HCWs than in the SOTs (p < 0.001). The kinetics showed an increase (p < 0.001) in antibody levels up to 76 days and a non-significant decrease after 118 days in the SOT recipients versus a decrease up to 76 days (p = 0.02) and a less pronounced decrease between 76 and 118 days (p = 0.04) in the HCWs. Upon multivariable analysis, liver transplant, ≥3 years from SOT, mRNA-1273, azathioprine, and longer time from t0 were associated with a positive AbR at t2. Older age, other comorbidities, mycophenolate, steroids, and impaired graft function were associated with lower AbR probability. Our results may be useful to optimize strategies of immune monitoring after COVID-19 vaccination and indications regarding timing for booster dosages calibrated on SOT patients' characteristics.

4.
Biomolecules ; 12(5)2022 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809689

ABSTRACT

Neurological symptoms are increasingly recognized in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. However, the neuropathogenesis remains unclear and it is not possible to define a specific damage pattern due to brain virus infection. In the present study, 33 cases of brain autopsies performed during the first (February-April 2020) and the second/third (November 2020-April 2021) pandemic waves are described. In all the cases, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was searched. Pathological findings are described and compared with those presently published.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Autopsy , Brain , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Med Virol ; 94(4): 1701-1706, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527447

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), may manifest as a life-threatening respiratory infection with systemic complications. Clinical manifestations among children are generally less severe than those seen in adults, but critical cases have increasingly been reported in infants less than 1 year of age. We report a severe case of neonatal COVID-19 requiring intensive care and mechanical ventilation, further complicated by a multidrug-resistant Enterobacter asburiae super-infection. Chest X-rays, lung ultrasound, and chest computed tomography revealed extensive interstitial pneumonia with multiple consolidations, associated with persistent increased work of breathing and feeding difficulties. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in respiratory specimens and stools, but not in other biological samples, with a rapid clearance in stools. Serological tests demonstrated a specific SARS-CoV-2 antibody response mounted by the neonate and sustained over time. The therapeutic approach included the use of enoxaparin and steroids which may have contributed to the bacterial complication, underlying the challenges in managing neonatal COVID-19, where the balance between viral replication and immunomodulation maybe even more challenging than in older ages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Neonatal Sepsis/therapy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Critical Care , Enterobacter/isolation & purification , Enterobacteriaceae Infections/complications , Enterobacteriaceae Infections/diagnosis , Enterobacteriaceae Infections/pathology , Enterobacteriaceae Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/pathology , Neonatal Sepsis/complications , Neonatal Sepsis/diagnosis , Neonatal Sepsis/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Superinfection/complications , Superinfection/diagnosis , Superinfection/pathology , Superinfection/therapy , Treatment Outcome
8.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470995

ABSTRACT

The gold standard for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). However, rapid antigen detection kits (Ag-RDTs), may offer advantages over NAAT in mass screening, generating results in minutes, both as laboratory-based test or point-of-care (POC) use for clinicians, at a lower cost. We assessed two different POC Ag-RDTs in mass screening versus NAAT for SARS-CoV-2 in a cohort of pediatric patients admitted to the Pediatric Emergency Unit of IRCCS-Polyclinic of Sant'Orsola, Bologna (from November 2020 to April 2021). All patients were screened with nasopharyngeal swabs for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-RNA and for antigen tests. Results were obtained from 1146 patients. The COVID-19 Ag FIA kit showed a baseline sensitivity of 53.8% (CI 35.4-71.4%), baseline specificity 99.7% (CI 98.4-100%) and overall accuracy of 80% (95% CI 0.68-0.91); the AFIAS COVID-19 Ag kit, baseline sensitivity of 86.4% (CI 75.0-93.9%), baseline specificity 98.3% (CI 97.1-99.1%) and overall accuracy of 95.3% (95% CI 0.92-0.99). In both tests, some samples showed very low viral load and negative Ag-RDT. This disagreement may reflect the positive inability of Ag-RDTs of detecting antigen in late phase of infection. Among all cases with positive molecular test and negative antigen test, none showed viral loads > 106 copies/mL. Finally, we found one false Ag-RDTs negative result (low cycle thresholds; 9 × 105 copies/mL). Our results suggest that both Ag-RDTs showed good performances in detection of high viral load samples, making it a feasible and effective tool for mass screening in actively infected children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Viral Load/methods , Antigens, Viral/analysis , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/methods , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity
9.
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc ; 10(6): 714-721, 2021 Aug 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358467

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Children with coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) have a milder clinical course than adults. We describe the spectrum of cardiovascular manifestations during a COVID-19 outbreak in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. METHODS: A cross-sectional multicenter study was performed, including all patients diagnosed with Kawasaki disease (KD), myocarditis, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) from February to April 2020. KD patients were compared with those diagnosed before the epidemic. RESULTS: KD: 8 patients (6/8 boys, all negative for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 [SARS-CoV-2]): complete presentation in 5/8, 7/8 immunoglobulin (IVIG) responders, and 3/8 showed transient coronary lesions (CALs). Myocarditis: one 5-year-old girl negative for SARS-CoV-2 and positive for parvovirus B19. She responded to IVIG. MIS-C: 4 SARS-CoV-2-positive boys (3 patients with positive swab and serology and 1 patient with negative swab and positive serology): 3 presented myocardial dysfunction and pericardial effusion, and 1 developed multicoronary aneurysms and hyperinflammation; all responded to treatment. The fourth boy had mitral and aortic regurgitation that rapidly regressed after steroids. CONCLUSIONS: KD, myocarditis, and MIS-C were distinguishable cardiovascular manifestations. KD did not show a more aggressive form compared with previous years: coronary involvement was frequent but always transient. MIS-C and myocarditis rapidly responded to treatment without cardiac sequelae despite high markers of myocardial injury at the onset, suggesting a myocardial depression due to systemic inflammation rather than focal necrosis. Evidence of actual or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was documented only in patients with MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Adolescent , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
10.
J Microbiol Methods ; 186: 106259, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249029

ABSTRACT

The prevalence and microbiology of concomitant respiratory bacterial infections in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection are not yet fully understood. In this retrospective study, we assessed respiratory bacterial co-infections in lower respiratory tract samples taken from intensive care unit-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, by comparing the conventional culture approach to an innovative molecular diagnostic technology. A total of 230 lower respiratory tract samples (i.e., bronchial aspirates or bronchoalveolar lavages) were taken from 178 critically ill COVID-19 patients. Each sample was processed by a semi-quantitative culture and by a multiplex PCR panel (FilmArray Pneumonia Plus panel), allowing rapid detection of a wide range of clinically relevant pathogens and a limited number of antimicrobial resistance markers. More than 30% of samples showed a positive bacterial culture, with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus the most detected pathogens. FilmArray showed an overall sensitivity and specificity of 89.6% and 98.3%, respectively, with a negative predictive value of 99.7%. The molecular test significantly reduced the turn-around-time (TAT) and increased the rates of microbial detection. Most cases missed by culture were characterized by low bacterial loads (104-105 copies/mL). FilmArray missed a list of pathogens not included in the molecular panel, especially Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (8 cases). FilmArray can be useful to detect bacterial pathogens in lower respiratory tract specimens of COVID-19 patients, with a significant decrease of TAT. The test is particularly useful to rule out bacterial co-infections and avoid the inappropriate prescription of antibiotics.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacterial Typing Techniques , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/microbiology , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Adult , Bacteria/classification , Coinfection/microbiology , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Respiratory Tract Infections/etiology , Retrospective Studies , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
Front Public Health ; 8: 620222, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121963

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Few data on the diagnostic performance of serological tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are currently available. We evaluated sensitivity and specificity of five different widely used commercial serological assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies using reverse transcriptase-PCR assay in nasopharyngeal swab as reference standard test. Methods: A total of 337 plasma samples collected in the period April-June 2020 from SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive (n = 207) and negative (n = 130) subjects were investigated by one point-of-care lateral flow immunochromatographic assay (LFIA IgG and IgM, Technogenetics) and four fully automated assays: two chemiluminescence immunoassays (CLIA-iFlash IgG and IgM, Shenzhen YHLO Biotech and CLIA-LIAISON® XL IgG, DiaSorin), one electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA-Elecsys® total predominant IgG, Roche), and one enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA IgA, Euroimmune). Results: The overall sensitivity of all IgG serological assays was >80% and the specificity was >97%. The sensitivity of IgG assays was lower within 2 weeks from the onset of symptoms ranging from 70.8 to 80%. The LFIA and CLIA-iFlash IgM showed an overall low sensitivity of 47.6 and 54.6%, while the specificity was 98.5 and 96.2%, respectively. The ELISA IgA yielded a sensitivity of 84.3% and specificity of 81.7%. However, the ELISA IgA result was indeterminate in 11.7% of cases. Conclusions: IgG serological assays seem to be a reliable tool for the retrospective diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IgM assays seem to have a low sensitivity and IgA assay is limited by a substantial rate of indeterminate results.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
13.
Acta Biomed ; 91(4): e2020144, 2020 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058719

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Testing represents one of the main pillars of public health response to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic. This paper shows how accuracy and utility of testing programs depend not just on the type of tests, but on the context as well. METHODS: We describe the testing methods that have been developed and the possible testing strategies; then, we focus on two possible methods of population-wide testing, i.e., pooled testing and testing with rapid antigen tests. We show the accuracy of split-pooling method and how, in different pre-test probability scenarios, the positive and negative predictive values vary using rapid antigen tests. RESULTS: Split-pooling, followed by retesting of negative results, shows a higher sensitivity than individual testing and requires fewer tests. In case of low pre-test probability, a negative result with antigen test could allow to rule out the infection, while, in case of a positive result, a confirmatory molecular test would be necessary. CONCLUSIONS: Test performance alone is not enough to properly choose which test to use; goals and context of the testing program are essential. We advocate the use of pooled strategies when planning population-wide screening, and the weekly use of rapid tests for close periodic monitoring in low-prevalence populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , ROC Curve , Reproducibility of Results
15.
Int J Colorectal Dis ; 36(3): 437-444, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-871462

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The objective was to collect the data available regarding the presence of laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in gastrointestinal system and to evaluate whether the digestive system could contribute to viral transmission. METHODS: Bibliographic databases were searched to identify all studies documenting, in adult patients with a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): (1) the presence of SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid in the feces; (2) the presence of SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid in the intestinal cells; (3) live SARS-CoV-2 in the feces. RESULTS: Twenty seven met the inclusion criteria. In 26 studies, the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid in the feces of COVID-19 patients had been reported. Out of the 671 patients, 312 (46.5%) had a positive stool sample for viral nucleic acid. Of these patients, 63.9% remained positive for viral nucleic acid in the feces after pharyngeal swabs became negative; Three studies also evaluated the viral ribonucleic acid in the gastrointestinal tissues and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid was found in samples of 3 patients out of 8 examined (37.5%). The presence of the live virus in stool samples was confirmed in two studies but no in in a recent study from Germany. These results suggested that SARS-CoV-2 could infect gastrointestinal epithelial cells and it may be transmitted through the digestive tract. CONCLUSION: In order to control the pandemic, every effort should be made to understand all the possible routes of transmission of the infections, even the less important ones.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Feces/virology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Humans , Mouth , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
17.
J Pathol ; 253(1): 31-40, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-757847

ABSTRACT

Italy was the first European nation to be massively infected by SARS-CoV-2. Up to the end of May 2020, more than 33,000 deaths had been recorded in Italy, with a large prevalence among males, those over 75 years of age, and in association with co-morbidities. We describe the lung pathological and immunohistochemical post-mortem findings at the autopsy of nine patients who died of SARS-CoV-2-associated disease. We found in the lung tissues of all patients histological changes consistent with diffuse alveolar damage in various evolution phases ranging from acute exudative to acute proliferative to fibrotic phase. Alveolar damage was associated with prominent involvement of the vascular component in both the interstitial capillaries and the mid-size vessels, with capillary fibrin micro-thrombi, as well as organized thrombi even in medium-sized arteries, in most cases not related to sources of embolism. Eosinophilic infiltrate was also seen, probably reactive to pharmacological treatment. Viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 was detected from the lung tissues of all the nine patients. Immunohistochemistry for the receptor of the SARS-CoV-2, ACE2, and its priming activator TMPRSS2 revealed that both proteins co-localize in airway cells. In particular, the ACE2 protein was expressed in both endothelial cells and alveolar type I and II pneumocytes in the areas of histological diffuse alveolar damage (DAD). Pneumocytes, but not endothelial cells, also expressed TMPRSS2. There are no distinctive histological features of SARS-CoV-2 infection with respect to SARS-CoV-1 and other DAD with different aetiology. The identification of the cause of death in the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection is more likely multi-factorial. © 2020 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Lung/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics
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