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1.
Infect Dis (Lond) ; : 1-6, 2021 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517764

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Italy experienced SARS-CoV-2 spread during the second wave and the southern regions were severely affected. In this prospective study, we assessed the changes in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates in non-vaccinated blood donors to evaluate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among healthy individuals in our geographical area. METHODS: 8,183 healthy blood donors visiting the Transfusion Centre at the University Hospital "Riuniti" of Foggia (Italy) to donate blood from May 2020 to March 2021 were tested twice for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by Ortho Clinical Diagnostics VITROS® 3600 through anti-SARS-CoV-2 Total and IgG reagent kit. None of the subjects had diagnosed symptomatic COVID-19 infection, and none had received vaccination. RESULTS: Overall, 516 out of 8,183 had antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (total and IgG antibodies) (6.3%, 95% CI: 0.03-0.15%), 387 were male and 129 female. There was a significant increase of seropositive donors from May 2020 to March 2021 (p < .001). The difference in seroprevalence was significantly associated with age but not sex (2-sided p < .05 for age; 2-sided p ≥ .05 for sex) in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed a significant increase in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in blood donors and suggests that asymptomatic individuals might contribute to the spread of SARS-CoV-2. These results may contribute to revised containment measures, priorities in vaccine campaigns and monitoring of seroprevalence in public places like Transfusion Centres. Serologic testing of blood donors may be relevant to monitor SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the general population.

3.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1739-1742, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206811

ABSTRACT

Here we present results from a survey on anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence in healthy blood donors from a low incidence coronavirus disease 2019 area (Apulia region, South Eastern Italy). Among 904 subjects tested, only in nine cases (0.99%) antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were demonstrated. All the nine seropositive patients were negative for the research of viral RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in nasopharyngeal swabs. These data, along with those recently reported from other countries, clearly show that we are very far from herd immunity and that the containment measures are at the moment the only realistic instrument we have to slow the spread of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Herd/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Blood Donors , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/immunology , Young Adult
4.
Acta Haematol ; 144(5): 580-584, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194384

ABSTRACT

Recently, a significant cluster of pneumonia caused by a novel betacoronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2) was described initially in China and then spread throughout the world. Like other coronaviridae, the viral transmission occurs mainly through droplets. In addition, the virus has been detected in different clinical specimens, suggesting a potential transmission by other routes, including blood transfusion. However, the potential risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via blood products is still unclear. The aim of our study was to investigate the prevalence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 among blood donors from South-Eastern Italy. Moreover, in the seropositive donors, we searched for the presence of the virus in nasopharyngeal swabs and in plasma samples. Overall, 1,797 blood donors from the Apulia region were tested for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, using a commercially available assay. Only 18/1,797 donors (1.0%) tested positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; in none of them SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA was detected in nasopharyngeal swabs and in plasma samples. Our results indicate that most of the blood donors in Apulia remained uninfected during this wave of the pandemic; further, none had detectable virus both in nasopharyngeal swabs and in blood samples. The risk to carry and transmit the virus by healthy and asymptomatic blood donors is probably very low.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Donors , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Young Adult
5.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 52(3): 772-778, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1176387

ABSTRACT

It is still debated whether prophylactic doses of low-molecular- weight heparin (LMWH) are always effective in preventing Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) and mortality in COVID-19. Furthermore, there is paucity of data for those patients not requiring ventilation. We explored mortality and the safety/efficacy profile of LMWH in a cohort of Italian patients with COVID-19 who did not undergo ventilation. From the initial cohort of 422 patients, 264 were enrolled. Most (n = 156, 87.7%) received standard LMWH prophylaxis during hospitalization, with no significant difference between medical wards and Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Major or not major but clinically relevant hemorrhages were recorded in 13 (4.9%) patients: twelve in those taking prophylactic LMWH and one in a patient taking oral anticoagulants (p: n.s.). Thirty-nine patients (14.8%) with median age 75 years. were transfused. Hemoglobin (Hb) at admission was significantly lower in transfused patients and Hb at admission inversely correlated with the number of red blood cells units transfused (p < 0.001). In-hospital mortality occurred in 76 (28.8%) patients, 46 (24.3%) of whom admitted to medical wards. Furthermore, Hb levels at admittance were significantly lower in fatalities (g/dl 12.3; IQR 2.4 vs. 13.3; IQR 2.8; Mann-Whitney U-test; p = 0.001). After the exclusion of patients treated by LMWH intermediate or therapeutic doses (n = 32), the logistic regression showed that prophylaxis significantly and independently reduced mortality (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.13-0.85). Present data show that COVID-19 patients who do not require ventilation benefit from prophylactic doses of LMWH.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Blood Transfusion , COVID-19/therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Thromboembolism/prevention & control , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , Blood Transfusion/mortality , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Clinical Decision-Making , Female , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/adverse effects , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Protective Factors , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Thromboembolism/blood , Thromboembolism/diagnosis , Thromboembolism/mortality , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(3)2021 Jan 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1055068

ABSTRACT

Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an excess in morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Containment strategies rely firstly on rapid and sensitive laboratory diagnosis, with molecular detection of the viral genome in respiratory samples being the gold standard. The reliability of diagnostic protocols could be affected by SARS-CoV-2 genetic variability. In fact, mutations occurring during SARS-CoV-2 genomic evolution can involve the regions targeted by the diagnostic probes. Following a review of the literature and an in silico analysis of the most recently described virus variants (including the UK B 1.1.7 and the South Africa 501Y.V2 variants), we conclude that the described genetic variability should have minimal or no effect on the sensitivity of existing diagnostic protocols for SARS-CoV-2 genome detection. However, given the continuous emergence of new variants, the situation should be monitored in the future, and protocols including multiple targets should be preferred.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
7.
J Clin Med ; 10(2)2021 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021981

ABSTRACT

There is paucity of data on the transfusion need and its impact on the overall mortality in patients with COVID-19. We explored mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who required transfusions. Information on clinical variables and in-hospital mortality were obtained from medical records of 422 patients admitted to medical wards or the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). In-hospital mortality occurred in 147 (34.8%) patients, 94 (63.9%) of whom were admitted to the ICU. The median fatalities age was 77 years (IQR 14). Overall, 100 patients (60 males) received transfusion during hospitalization. The overall mortality was significantly and independently associated with age, ICU admission, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and the number of transfused Red Blood Cell (RBC) units. Specifically, CKD was associated with mortality in patients admitted to medical wards, whereas the number of transfused RBC units predicted mortality in those admitted to the ICU. Transfusion strongly interacted with the admission to ICU (OR: 9.9; 95% CI: 2.5-40.0). In patients with COVID-19, age is one of the strongest risk factors in predicting mortality independently of the disease's severity. CKD confers a higher risk of mortality in patients admitted to medical wards. In those admitted to the ICU, the more RBC units are transfused, the more mortality increases.

8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(24)2020 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970982

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the first coronavirus that has caused a pandemic. Assessing the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare worker groups offers a unique opportunity to study the correlation between seroconversion and immunization because of their occupational exposure and a higher risk of contagion. The study enrolled 3242 asymptomatic employees of "Policlinico Riuniti", Foggia. After the first screening, we collected sequential serum samples for up to 23 weeks from the same subjects. In order to perform a longitudinal follow-up study and get information about the titration of IgG levels, we analyzed data from subjects (33) with at least two consecutive serological IgG-positive tests; 62 (1.9%; 95% CI: 1.4-2.3) tested positive for at least one anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody. The seroprevalence was lower in the high-risk group 1.4% (6/428; 95% CI: 0.5-2.6) vs. the intermediate-risk group 2.0% (55/2736; 95% CI: 1.5-2.5). Overall, within eight weeks, we detected a mean reduction of -17% in IgG levels. Our data suggest a reduction of about 9.27 AU/mL every week (R2 = 0.35, p = 0.0003). This study revealed the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among Foggia's hospital healthcare staff (1.9%). Moreover, the IgG level reduction suggests that the serological response fades fast in asymptomatic infections.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Adult , COVID-19/blood , Delivery of Health Care , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged
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