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EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307853


Diagnosing persons infected by COVID-19 is key to the control of the pandemic. It has, however, become increasingly important to identify those who have had the infection by measurement of circulating antibodies against Sars-COV-2 of the IgM and IgG type. In this report we show the development of a rapid and sensitive point-of-care assay for the measurement of IgG antibodies against the two spike proteins, S1 and S2, of the Sars-COV-2 virus.MethodThe AgPlus electrochemical technology was applied and the S1 and S2 proteins were biotinylated and immobilized onto streptavidin coated magnetic particles as the capture component of the assay. The IgG antibodies bound to the particles were detected by anti-human IgG and the signal expressed as nC (nano Coulomb). Assay time was <10 min.ResultsPlasma (n=211) from 117 SARS-Cov-2 PCR positive patients and from 78 persons with samples taken before the COVID-19 pandemic were analysed. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were 91.9% and 100%, respectively. The assay was highly correlated to a predicate and FDA-approved IgG antibody ELISA (r=0.81). The IgG response was significantly lower in patients who died during their ICU stay.ConclusionsA poor IgG response after a COVID-19 infection is a serious risk factor as to death. A sensitive, rapid and accurate IgG antibody POC assay should be useful in the daily management and evaluation of COVID-19 infected patients.

BMC Geriatr ; 21(1): 102, 2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067189


BACKGROUND: From late February 2020, English care homes rapidly adapted their practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to accommodating new guidelines and policies, staff had to adjust to rapid reconfiguration of services external to the home that they would normally depend upon for support. This study examined the complex interdependencies of support as staff responded to COVID-19. The aim was to inform more effective responses to the ongoing pandemic, and to improve understanding of how to work with care home staff and organisations after the pandemic has passed. METHODS: Ten managers of registered care homes in the East Midlands of England were interviewed by videoconference or phone about their experiences of the crisis from a structured organisational perspective. Analysis used an adapted organisational framework analysis approach with a focus on social ties and interdependencies between organisations and individuals. RESULTS: Three key groups of interdependencies were identified: care processes and practice; resources; and governance. Care home staff had to deliver care in innovative ways, making high stakes decisions in circumstances defined by: fluid ties to organisations outside the care home; multiple, sometimes conflicting, sources of expertise and information; and a sense of deprioritisation by authorities. Organisational responses to the pandemic by central government resulted in resource constraints and additional work, and sometimes impaired the ability of staff and managers to make decisions. Local communities, including businesses, third-sector organisations and individuals, were key in helping care homes overcome challenges. Care homes, rather than competing, were found to work together to provide mutual support. Resilience in the system was a consequence of dedicated and resourceful staff using existing local networks, or forging new ones, to overcome barriers to care. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified how interdependency between care home organisations, the surrounding community, and key statutory and non-statutory organisations beyond their locality, shaped decision making and care delivery during the pandemic. Recognising these interdependencies, and the expertise shown by care home managers and staff as they navigate them, is key to providing effective healthcare in care homes as the pandemic progresses, and as the sector recovers afterwards.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , England/epidemiology , Humans , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
Age Ageing ; 50(2): 335-340, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-766513


The care and support of older people residing in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic has created new and unanticipated uncertainties for staff. In this short report, we present our analyses of the uncertainties of care home managers and staff expressed in a self-formed closed WhatsApp™ discussion group during the first stages of the pandemic in the UK. We categorised their wide-ranging questions to understand what information would address these uncertainties and provide support. We have been able to demonstrate that almost one-third of these uncertainties could have been tackled immediately through timely, responsive and unambiguous fact-based guidance. The other uncertainties require appraisal, synthesis and summary of existing evidence, commissioning or provision of a sector- informed research agenda for medium to long term. The questions represent wider internationally relevant care home pandemic-related uncertainties.

Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Long-Term Care , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Uncertainty , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/ethics , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Focus Groups , Health Personnel/economics , Health Personnel/ethics , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Long-Term Care/ethics , Long-Term Care/methods , Long-Term Care/psychology , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology