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1.
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 7(5): 485-494, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783874

ABSTRACT

GASTROSWOT is a strategic analysis of the current and projected states of the different subspecialties in gastroenterology that aims to provide guidance for research, clinical, and financial planning in gastroenterology. We executed a consensus-based international strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. Four general coordinators, six field coordinators, and 12 experts participated in the study. SWOTs were provided for the following fields: neurogastroenterology, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and upper gastrointestinal diseases; inflammatory bowel disease; pancreatology and biliary diseases; endoscopy; gastrointestinal oncology; and hepatology. The GASTROSWOT analysis highlights the following in the current state of the field of gastroenterology: the incidence and complexity of several gastrointestinal diseases, including malignancies, are increasing; the COVID-19 pandemic has affected patient care on several levels; and with the advent of technical innovations in gastroenterology, a well trained workforce and strategic planning are required to optimise health-care utilisation. The analysis calls attention to the following in the future of gastroenterology: artificial intelligence and the use of big data will speed up discovery and smarter health-care provision in the field; the growth and diversification of gastroenterological specialties will improve specialised care for patients, but could promote fragmentation of care and health system inefficiencies; and furthermore, thoughtful planning is needed to reach an effective balance between the need for subspecialists and the value of general gastroenterology services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastroenterology , Gastrointestinal Diseases , Artificial Intelligence , Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal , Gastrointestinal Diseases/diagnosis , Gastrointestinal Diseases/therapy , Humans , Pandemics
2.
J Clin Invest ; 132(2)2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633624

ABSTRACT

Memory B cells (MBCs) can provide a recall response able to supplement waning antibodies (Abs) with an affinity-matured response better able to neutralize variant viruses. We studied a cohort of elderly care home residents and younger staff (median age of 87 years and 56 years, respectively), who had survived COVID-19 outbreaks with only mild or asymptomatic infection. The cohort was selected because of its high proportion of individuals who had lost neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), thus allowing us to specifically investigate the reserve immunity from SARS-CoV-2-specific MBCs in this setting. Class-switched spike and receptor-binding domain (RBD) tetramer-binding MBCs persisted 5 months after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, irrespective of age. The majority of spike- and RBD-specific MBCs had a classical phenotype, but we found that activated MBCs, indicating possible ongoing antigenic stimulation or inflammation, were expanded in the elderly group. Spike- and RBD-specific MBCs remained detectable in the majority of individuals who had lost nAbs, although at lower frequencies and with a reduced IgG/IgA isotype ratio. Functional spike-, S1 subunit of the spike protein- (S1-), and RBD-specific recall was also detectable by enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in some individuals who had lost nAbs, but was significantly impaired in the elderly. Our findings demonstrate that a reserve of SARS-CoV-2-specific MBCs persists beyond the loss of nAbs but highlight the need for careful monitoring of functional defects in spike- and RBD-specific B cell immunity in the elderly.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin Class Switching , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
3.
J Clin Invest ; 132(2)2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541976

ABSTRACT

Memory B cells (MBCs) can provide a recall response able to supplement waning antibodies (Abs) with an affinity-matured response better able to neutralize variant viruses. We studied a cohort of elderly care home residents and younger staff (median age of 87 years and 56 years, respectively), who had survived COVID-19 outbreaks with only mild or asymptomatic infection. The cohort was selected because of its high proportion of individuals who had lost neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), thus allowing us to specifically investigate the reserve immunity from SARS-CoV-2-specific MBCs in this setting. Class-switched spike and receptor-binding domain (RBD) tetramer-binding MBCs persisted 5 months after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, irrespective of age. The majority of spike- and RBD-specific MBCs had a classical phenotype, but we found that activated MBCs, indicating possible ongoing antigenic stimulation or inflammation, were expanded in the elderly group. Spike- and RBD-specific MBCs remained detectable in the majority of individuals who had lost nAbs, although at lower frequencies and with a reduced IgG/IgA isotype ratio. Functional spike-, S1 subunit of the spike protein- (S1-), and RBD-specific recall was also detectable by enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in some individuals who had lost nAbs, but was significantly impaired in the elderly. Our findings demonstrate that a reserve of SARS-CoV-2-specific MBCs persists beyond the loss of nAbs but highlight the need for careful monitoring of functional defects in spike- and RBD-specific B cell immunity in the elderly.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin Class Switching , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
4.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17063, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373449

ABSTRACT

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major public health threat for migrant populations in Spain and efforts to scale up testing are needed to reach the WHO elimination targets. The Hepatitis B Virus Community Screening and Vaccination in Africans (HBV-COMSAVA) study aims to use point-of-care testing and simplified diagnostic tools to identify, link to care, or vaccinate African migrants in Barcelona during the COVID-19 pandemic. From 21/11/20 to 03/07/2021, 314 study participants were offered HBV screening in a community clinic. Rapid tests for HBsAg screening were used and blood samples were collected with plasma separation cards. Patients received results and were offered: linkage to specialist care; post-test counselling; or HBV vaccination in situ. Sociodemographic and clinical history were collected and descriptive statistics were utilized. 274 patients were included and 210 (76.6%) returned to receive results. The HBsAg prevalence was 9.9% and 33.2% of people had evidence of past resolved infection. Overall, 133 required vaccination, followed by post-test counselling (n = 114), and linkage to a specialist (n = 27). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, by employing a community-based model of care utilizing novel simplified diagnostic tools, HBV-COMSAVA demonstrated that it was possible to diagnose, link to care, and vaccinate African migrants in community-based settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hepatitis B, Chronic/diagnosis , Mass Screening/methods , Pandemics , Emigrants and Immigrants , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Point-of-Care Testing , Prevalence , Spain/epidemiology
5.
J Viral Hepat ; 28(1): 89-94, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-793304

ABSTRACT

A significant proportion of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop severe respiratory symptoms due to an excessive immune response. Treatment of this condition may include immunosuppressive therapies, such as IL-6 receptor antagonists and corticosteroids, which pose a risk for patients with active or past hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. In this prospective cohort study, we analysed the risk of HBV reactivation in patients with severe COVID-19 and resolved HBV infection undergoing immunosuppressive therapy. From 15th March to 30th April 2020, 600 patients with severe COVID-19 were admitted to our hospital and treated with immune modulators. Data regarding HBV infection were available in 484, of whom 69 (14%) were HBsAg negative/anti-HBc positive. For these patients, HBV reactivation prophylaxis with entecavir was strongly recommended. Complete follow-up was available in 61 patients: 72% were male, median age was 67 years, and anti-HBs was >10 IU/mL in 72%. The immunosuppressive drug most used was tocilizumab (72%). Despite HBV prophylaxis recommendation, 38 (62%) patients received entecavir and 23 (38%) did not. Baseline features of both groups were similar. At follow-up, we found no cases of HBsAg seroreversion and only 2 (3%) patients (no prophylaxis group) had detectable serum HBV-DNA (<15 IU/mL). Both were anti-HBs negative and had normal aminotransferase levels. Our data show that the risk of HBV reactivation in patients with severe COVID-19 and resolved HBV infection undergoing immunosuppressive treatment is low. However, if a systematic follow-up after hospital discharge is unfeasible in patients without anti-HBs, a short course of antiviral prophylaxis may be a safe option.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Hepatitis B/virology , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Virus Activation/drug effects , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , DNA, Viral/blood , Female , Hepatitis B/complications , Hepatitis B/prevention & control , Hepatitis B Antibodies/blood , Hepatitis B Core Antigens/immunology , Hepatitis B Surface Antigens/blood , Hepatitis B virus/immunology , Hepatitis B virus/physiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk , SARS-CoV-2
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