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Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Jan 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650679


BACKGROUND: From the beginning of 2020, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) quickly spread worldwide, becoming the main problem for the healthcare systems. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at higher risk of infection and can be a dangerous vehicle for the spread of the virus. Furthermore, cancer patients (CPs) are a vulnerable population, with an increased risk of developing severe and lethal forms of Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). Therefore, at the National Cancer Institute of Naples, where only cancer patients are treated, a surveillance program aimed to prevent the hospital access of SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects (HCWs and CPs) was implemented. The study aims to describe the results of the monitoring activity for the SARS-CoV-2 spread among HCWs and CPs, from March 2020 to March 2021. METHODS: This surveillance program included a periodic sampling through nasopharyngeal molecular swabs for SARS-CoV-2 (Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, RT-PCR). CPs were submitted to the molecular test at least 48 h before hospital admission. Survival analysis and multiple logistic regression models were performed among HCWs and CPs to assess the main SARS-CoV-2 risk factors. RESULTS: The percentages of HCWs tested with RT-PCR for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, according to the first and the second wave, were 79.7% and 91.7%, respectively, while the percentages for the CPs were 24.6% and 39.6%. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 20 (1.7%) HCWs of the 1204 subjects tested during the first wave, and in 127 (9.2%) of 1385 subjects tested in the second wave (p < 0.001); among CPs, the prevalence of patients tested varied from 100 (4.6%) during the first wave to 168 (4.9%) during the second wave (p = 0.8). The multivariate logistic analysis provided a significant OR for nurses (OR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.23-4.08, p < 0.001) compared to research, administrative staff, and other job titles. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that the positivity rate between the two waves in the HCWs increased over time but not in the CPs; therefore, the importance of adopting stringent measures to contain the shock wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the hospital setting was essential. Among HCWs, nurses are more exposed to contagion and patients who needed continuity in oncological care for diseases other than COVID-19, such as suspected cancer.

Front Immunol ; 12: 734689, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354868


The response to anti-SARS-Cov-2 preventive vaccine shows high interpersonal variability at short and medium term. One of the explanations might be the individual HLA allelic variants. Indeed, B cell response is stimulated and sustained by CD4+ T helper cells activated by antigens presented by HLA-class II alleles on antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The impact of the number of antigens binding to HLA class-II alleles on the antibody response to the COVID vaccine has been assessed in a cohort of 56 healthcare workers who received the full schedule of the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine. Such vaccine is based on the entire spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2. Ab titers have been evaluated 2 weeks after the first dose as well as 2 weeks and 4 months after the boosting dose. HLA-DRB1 and DBQ1 for each of the vaccinees have been assessed, and strong binders have been predicted. The analysis showed no significant correlation between the short-medium-term Ab titers and the number of strong binders (SB) for each individual. These results indicate that levels of Ab response to the spike glycoprotein is not dependent on HLA class II allele, suggesting an equivalent efficacy at global level of the currently used vaccines. Furthermore, the pattern of persistence in Ab titer does not correlate with specific alleles or with the number of SBs.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , HLA-D Antigens/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology