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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 11152, 2022 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915288

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic has exerted an unprecedented psychological impact on the world population, and its effects on mental health are a growing concern. The present study aims to evaluate psychological well-being (PWB) during the COVID-19 crisis in university workers with one or more diseases likely to increase the risk of severe outcomes in the event of SARS-CoV-2 infection, defined as susceptible. 210 susceptible employees of an Italian University (aged 25-71 years) were recruited during the COVID-19 second wave (October-December 2020). A group comprising 90 healthy university employees (aged 26-69 years) was also recruited. The self-report Psychological General Well Being Index (PGWBI) was used to assess global PWB and the influence on six sub-domains: anxiety, depressed mood, positive well-being, self-control, general health, and vitality. We applied non-linear dimension-reduction techniques and regression methods to 45 variables in order to assess the main demographic, occupational, and general-health-related factors predicting PWB during the COVID-19 crisis. PGWBI score was higher in susceptible than in healthy workers, both as total score (mean 77.8 vs 71.3) and across almost all subscales. Age and jobs involving high social interaction before the pandemic were inversely associated with the PWB total score, general health, and self-control subscores. The current data suggest no decline in PWB during the second wave of COVID-19 health emergency in susceptible individuals of working age. Critically, higher risk for mental-health issues appears to be inversely related to age, particularly among individuals deprived of their previous level of social interaction at work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 7249, 2022 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1890245

ABSTRACT

We analyzed symptoms and comorbidities as predictors of hospitalization in 710 outpatients in North-East Germany with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. During the first 3 days of infection, commonly reported symptoms were fatigue (71.8%), arthralgia/myalgia (56.8%), headache (55.1%), and dry cough (51.8%). Loss of smell (anosmia), loss of taste (ageusia), dyspnea, and productive cough were reported with an onset of 4 days. Anosmia or ageusia were reported by only 18% of the participants at day one, but up to 49% between days 7 and 9. Not all participants who reported ageusia also reported anosmia. Individuals suffering from ageusia without anosmia were at highest risk of hospitalization (OR 6.8, 95% CI 2.5-18.1). They also experienced more commonly dyspnea and nausea (OR of 3.0, 2.9, respectively) suggesting pathophysiological connections between these symptoms. Other symptoms significantly associated with increased risk of hospitalization were dyspnea, vomiting, and fever. Among basic parameters and comorbidities, age > 60 years, COPD, prior stroke, diabetes, kidney and cardiac diseases were also associated with increased risk of hospitalization. In conclusion, due to the delayed onset, ageusia and anosmia may be of limited use in differential diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. However, differentiation between ageusia and anosmia may be useful for evaluating risk for hospitalization.


Subject(s)
Ageusia , COVID-19 , Ageusia/epidemiology , Ageusia/etiology , Anosmia/epidemiology , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cough/diagnosis , Dyspnea/etiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Middle Aged , Outpatients , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-322140

ABSTRACT

Background: Short-term exposure to air pollution, as well as to climate variables could be linked to a higher incidence of respiratory viral diseases. The objective of the study is to assess the short-term impact of air pollution and climate on COVID19 incidence in Lombardy (Italy), during the initial outbreak.Methods: The daily number of COVID19 cases in Lombardy from February 25th to March 10th 2020, and the daily average concentrations of particulate matter (PM10, PM2·5), O3, SO2, and NO2 together with climate variables (temperature, relative humidity – RH%, wind speed, precipitation), were analyzed. A mixed model with a logarithm transformation as link function was applied to evaluate the relationship between all the variables. Additionally, change points (Break Points;BP) in the relationship between incident cases and air pollution or climatic factors were estimated.Findings: The analysis showed a two-phase effect of PM10 on COVID19 incidence, with a negative association at the beginning of the examined period and a positive one later on, while a positive relationship was observed for O3. The COVID19 spread in Lombardy showed to be influenced positively by RH%, and negatively by wind speed. A BP at 40 µg/m3 was observed for PM10 at lag8, and for O3 at lags 3-8 and 10.Interpretation: PM10, O3, RH% and wind speed showed a short-term association with the COVID19 incidence. Air pollution and climate conditions should be considered as part of an integrated approach when containment measures against SARS-CoV-2 are adopted.Funding: The study did not receive any fund.Declaration of Interests: The Authors declare no conflict of interest.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311512

ABSTRACT

Background: Some recipients of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca develop antibody-mediated vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), associated with cerebral venous and other unusual thrombosis resembling autoimmune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. A prothrombotic predisposition is also observed in Covid-19. We explored whether antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein induced by Covid-19 cross-react with platelet factor 4 (PF4/CXLC4), the protein targeted in both VITT and autoimmune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Methods: Immunogenic epitopes of PF4 and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were compared via prediction tools and 3D modelling software (IMED, SIM, MacMYPOL). Sera from 222 PCR-confirmed Covid-19 patients from five European centers were tested by PF4/heparin ELISA, heparin-dependent and PF4-dependent platelet activation assays. Immunogenic reactivity of purified anti-PF4 and anti-PF4/heparin antibodies from patients with VITT were tested against recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Results: Three motifs within the spike protein sequence share a potential immunogenic epitope with PF4. Nineteen of 222 (8.6%) Covid-19 patient sera tested positive in the IgG-specific PF4/heparin ELISA, none of which showed platelet activation in the heparin-dependent activation assay, including 10 (4.5%) of the 222 Covid-19 patients who developed thromboembolic complications. Purified anti-PF4 and anti-PF4/heparin antibodies from two VITT patients did not show cross-reactivity to recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Conclusions: The antibody responses to PF4 in SARS-CoV-2 infection and after vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca differ. Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein do not cross-react with PF4 or PF4/heparin complexes through molecular mimicry. These findings make it very unlikely that the intended vaccine-induced immune response against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein would itself induce VITT.

5.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 18(10): 2460, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412982
7.
Brain ; 144(5): e43, 2021 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387731
8.
Blood ; 138(14): 1269-1277, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317119

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a severe adverse effect of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 COVID-19 vaccine (Vaxzevria) and Janssen Ad26.COV2.S COVID-19 vaccine, and it is associated with unusual thrombosis. VITT is caused by anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies activating platelets through their FcγRIIa receptors. Antibodies that activate platelets through FcγRIIa receptors have also been identified in patients with COVID-19. These findings raise concern that vaccination-induced antibodies against anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein cause thrombosis by cross-reacting with PF4. Immunogenic epitopes of PF4 and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were compared using in silico prediction tools and 3D modeling. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and PF4 share at least 1 similar epitope. Reactivity of purified anti-PF4 antibodies from patients with VITT was tested against recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. However, none of the affinity-purified anti-PF4 antibodies from 14 patients with VITT cross-reacted with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Sera from 222 polymerase chain reaction-confirmed patients with COVID-19 from 5 European centers were tested by PF4-heparin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and PF4-dependent platelet activation assays. We found anti-PF4 antibodies in sera from 19 (8.6%) of 222 patients with COVID-19. However, only 4 showed weak to moderate platelet activation in the presence of PF4, and none of those patients developed thrombotic complications. Among 10 (4.5%) of 222 patients who had COVID-19 with thrombosis, none showed PF4-dependent platelet-activating antibodies. In conclusion, antibodies against PF4 induced by vaccination do not cross-react with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, indicating that the intended vaccine-induced immune response against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is not the trigger of VITT. PF4-reactive antibodies found in patients with COVID-19 in this study were not associated with thrombotic complications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Cross Reactions/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/immunology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/etiology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Epitopes/immunology , Female , Heparin/metabolism , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Young Adult
9.
Environ Res ; 198: 111197, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208840

ABSTRACT

Short-term exposure to air pollution, as well as to climate variables have been linked to a higher incidence of respiratory viral diseases. The study aims to assess the short-term influence of air pollution and climate on COVID19 incidence in Lombardy (Italy), during the early stage of the outbreak, before the implementation of the lockdown measures. The daily number of COVID19 cases in Lombardy from February 25th to March 10th, 2020, and the daily average concentrations up to 15 days before the study period of particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5), O3, SO2, and NO2 together with climate variables (temperature, relative humidity - RH%, wind speed, precipitation), were analyzed. A univariable mixed model with a logarithm transformation as link function was applied for each day, from 15 days (lag15) to one day (lag1) before the day of detected cases, to evaluate the effect of each variable. Additionally, change points (Break Points-BP) in the relationship between incident cases and air pollution or climatic factors were estimated. The results did not show a univocal relationship between air quality or climate factors and COVID19 incidence. PM10, PM2.5 and O3 concentrations in the last lags seem to be related to an increased COVID19 incidence, probably due to an increased susceptibility of the host. In addition, low temperature and low wind speed in some lags resulted associated with increased daily COVID19 incidence. The findings observed suggest that these factors, in particular conditions and lags, may increase individual susceptibility to the development of viral infections such as SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollutants/toxicity , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Communicable Disease Control , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Particulate Matter/analysis , Particulate Matter/toxicity , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Brain ; 144(5): e43, 2021 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169656
11.
Lancet Microbe ; 1(6): e242, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-851019
12.
Cell Stress Chaperones ; 25(5): 731-735, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-784851

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 infection has been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome. We investigated here the potential mechanism underlying the virus-induced damage of the peripheral nervous systems by searching the viral amino acid sequence for peptides common to human autoantigens associated with immune-mediated polyneuropathies. Our results show molecular mimicry between the virus and human heat shock proteins 90 and 60, which are associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome and other autoimmune diseases. Crucially, the shared peptides are embedded in immunoreactive epitopes that have been experimentally validated in the human host.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Chaperonin 60 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/metabolism , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins , Mitochondrial Proteins , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Viral Proteins , Amino Acid Sequence , Autoantigens , COVID-19 , Chaperonin 60/chemistry , Chaperonin 60/immunology , Databases, Protein , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/chemistry , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes , Mitochondrial Proteins/chemistry , Mitochondrial Proteins/immunology , Molecular Mimicry , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/immunology
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