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1.
J Clin Immunol ; 2022 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820957

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Six to 19% of critically ill COVID-19 patients display circulating auto-antibodies against type I interferons (IFN-AABs). Here, we establish a clinically applicable strategy for early identification of IFN-AAB-positive patients for potential subsequent clinical interventions. METHODS: We analyzed sera of 430 COVID-19 patients from four hospitals for presence of IFN-AABs by ELISA. Binding specificity and neutralizing activity were evaluated via competition assay and virus-infection-based neutralization assay. We defined clinical parameters associated with IFN-AAB positivity. In a subgroup of critically ill patients, we analyzed effects of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) on the levels of IFN-AABs, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and clinical outcome. RESULTS: The prevalence of neutralizing AABs to IFN-α and IFN-ω in COVID-19 patients from all cohorts was 4.2% (18/430), while being undetectable in an uninfected control cohort. Neutralizing IFN-AABs were detectable exclusively in critically affected (max. WHO score 6-8), predominantly male (83%) patients (7.6%, 18/237 for IFN-α-AABs and 4.6%, 11/237 for IFN-ω-AABs in 237 patients with critical COVID-19). IFN-AABs were present early post-symptom onset and at the peak of disease. Fever and oxygen requirement at hospital admission co-presented with neutralizing IFN-AAB positivity. IFN-AABs were associated with lower probability of survival (7.7% versus 80.9% in patients without IFN-AABs). TPE reduced levels of IFN-AABs in three of five patients and may increase survival of IFN-AAB-positive patients compared to those not undergoing TPE. CONCLUSION: IFN-AABs may serve as early biomarker for the development of severe COVID-19. We propose to implement routine screening of hospitalized COVID-19 patients for rapid identification of patients with IFN-AABs who most likely benefit from specific therapies.

2.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604414, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789437

ABSTRACT

Objective: It is unclear whether and to what extent COVID-19 infection poses health risks and a chronic impairment of performance in athletes. Identification of individual health risk is an important decision-making basis for managing the pandemic risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in sports and return to play (RTP). Methods: This study aims 1) to analyze the longitudinal rate of seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in German athletes, 2) to assess health-related consequences in athletes infected with SARS-CoV-2, and 3) to reveal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in general and of a cleared SARS-CoV-2 infection on exercise performance. CoSmo-S is a prospective observational multicenter study establishing two cohorts: 1) athletes diagnosed positive for COVID-19 (cohort 1) and 2) federal squad athletes who perform their annual sports medical preparticipation screening (cohort 2). Comprehensive diagnostics including physical examination, laboratory blood analyses and blood biobanking, resting and exercise electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, spirometry and exercise testing added by questionnaires are conducted at baseline and follow-up. Results and Conclusion: We expect that the results obtained, will allow us to formulate recommendations regarding RTP on a more evidence-based level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biological Specimen Banks , Cohort Studies , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
4.
Front Immunol ; 13: 840126, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775673

ABSTRACT

Morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 is increased in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI). Age and comorbidities and also impaired type I interferon immunity were identified as relevant risk factors. In patients with primary antibody deficiency (PAD) and lack of specific humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2, clinical disease outcome is very heterogeneous. Despite extensive clinical reports, underlying immunological mechanisms are poorly characterized and levels of T cellular and innate immunity in severe cases remain to be determined. In the present study, we report clinical and immunological findings of 5 PAD patients with severe and fatal COVID-19 and undetectable specific humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Reactive T cells to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (NCAP) peptide pools were analyzed comparatively by flow cytometry in PAD patients, convalescents and naïve healthy individuals. All examined PAD patients developed a robust T cell response. The presence of polyfunctional cytokine producing activated CD4+ T cells indicates a memory-like phenotype. An analysis of innate immune response revealed elevated CD169 (SIGLEC1) expression on monocytes, a surrogate marker for type I interferon response, and presence of type I interferon autoantibodies was excluded. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detectable in peripheral blood in three severe COVID-19 patients with PAD. Viral clearance in blood was observed after treatment with COVID-19 convalescent plasma/monoclonal antibody administration. However, prolonged mucosal viral shedding was observed in all patients (median 67 days) with maximum duration of 127 days. PAD patients without specific humoral SARS-CoV-2 immunity may suffer from severe or fatal COVID-19 despite robust T cell and normal innate immune response. Intensified monitoring for long persistence of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding and (prophylactic) convalescent plasma/specific IgG as beneficial treatment option in severe cases with RNAemia should be considered in seronegative PAD patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Passive , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes
5.
Sports Med ; 52(3): 655-668, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729435

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Higher neck strength has been postulated to reduce head impact magnitude during purposeful heading in football. OBJECTIVES: This pilot trial explored the effect of a neck exercise programme on (1) neck strength and (2) head impact magnitude during heading in male and female adolescent football players. METHODS: Boys and girls (aged 12-17 years) were randomised by team to the intervention (5 weeks of supervised neuromuscular neck exercises integrated into part 2 of the FIFA 11 + , completed three times per week) or the control group (usual part 2 of the FIFA 11 + , no neck exercises). Outcomes included isometric neck strength and head impact magnitude (peak linear acceleration and peak angular velocity) during standardised heading from a throw-in (at baseline and 6 weeks) plus completion of an evaluation survey by intervention players and coaches. RESULTS: In total, 52 players (n = 31 intervention; n = 21 control) completed the study. Mixed-model analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant differences in neck strength variables (p < 0.001), peak linear acceleration (p = 0.04) and peak angular velocity (p = 0.04) between the intervention and control groups over time. Intervention players demonstrated increases in mean composite neck strength (53.8% intervention vs 15.6% control) as well as decreases in mean peak linear head acceleration during heading (- 11.8% vs - 5.0%) from baseline to follow-up. Reduction in peak angular velocity was more pronounced in girls (- 27.7%) than boys (- 11.5%) in the intervention group. The addition of neck exercises into part 2 of the FIFA 11 + was feasible and accepted by players and coaches. CONCLUSION: On average, players who completed neck exercises demonstrated an increase in isometric neck strength and a decrease in head impact magnitude during heading. These exercises were easily incorporated into usual training. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (no: ACTRN12619001375145).


Subject(s)
Exercise Therapy , Soccer , Adolescent , Australia , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Neck , Pilot Projects
6.
Scientific reports ; 12(1), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1698067

ABSTRACT

We aimed to analyze the number and type of contacts involving the risk of respiratory disease transmission during football match play. We analysed 50 matches from different playing levels. Two reviewers evaluated the contacts of all players in each match. We focused on between-player contacts, crowding, actions with potentially increased aerosol and droplet production and within-player hand-to-head contacts. We categorized the duels with direct contact into frontal and other ones and measured contact duration. The number of between-player contacts were similar between playing levels (median 28.3 [IQR 22.6, 33] contacts per player-hour). Frontal contacts summed up to 8% of all contacts. Contacts involving the head occurred less than once per player and match with none lasting longer than 3 s. Crowding included between two and six players and the duration was mostly less than 10 s. Aerosol and droplet producing activities were three to four times more frequent in adult compared to youth players. Our results suggest that the risk of respiratory pathogen transmission is low during football matches. This conclusion is based on the finding that most close contact situations are of short duration and on the fact that it is an outdoor sport.

7.
International journal of public health ; 67, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1695608

ABSTRACT

Objective: It is unclear whether and to what extent COVID-19 infection poses health risks and a chronic impairment of performance in athletes. Identification of individual health risk is an important decision-making basis for managing the pandemic risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in sports and return to play (RTP). Methods: This study aims 1) to analyze the longitudinal rate of seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in German athletes, 2) to assess health-related consequences in athletes infected with SARS-CoV-2, and 3) to reveal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in general and of a cleared SARS-CoV-2 infection on exercise performance. CoSmo-S is a prospective observational multicenter study establishing two cohorts: 1) athletes diagnosed positive for COVID-19 (cohort 1) and 2) federal squad athletes who perform their annual sports medical preparticipation screening (cohort 2). Comprehensive diagnostics including physical examination, laboratory blood analyses and blood biobanking, resting and exercise electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiography, spirometry and exercise testing added by questionnaires are conducted at baseline and follow-up. Results and Conclusion: We expect that the results obtained, will allow us to formulate recommendations regarding RTP on a more evidence-based level.

8.
Eur J Sport Sci ; : 1-8, 2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648692

ABSTRACT

The global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic led to a lockdown in team sports in March 2020. Because the risk of virus transmission seems to correlate with the duration of close contacts, data on contact times are necessary to assess the risk of virus transmission in sports. In this study, an optical tracking system was used to determine contact times between players of the two highest men's professional football leagues in Germany in the 2019-20 season and in the first half of the 2020-21 season. Contacts between players were defined as being within a two-metre radius during matches and were differentiated as either match-specific or non-match-specific. In total, 918 matches with 197,087 contacts were analysed. The mean overall contact time of one-to-one situations of 36 s (SD: ± 66) before the lockdown was reduced to 30 s after the lockdown (SD: ± 60) (p < 0.0001). In professional football, contacts between two players infrequently occur within a two-metre radius, averaging less than 35 s. Only 36 player pair contacts lasted for more than 15 min (0.00018%). The mean accumulated contact time per player with all others was 10.6 ± 6.9 min per match, with a decrease from 11.6 ± 7.0 min before the lockdown to 10.0 ± 6.6 min (p < 0.0001) after lockdown in the season 2019-20. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in a reduction in match-specific contacts of 25%. It seems questionable if such short contacts in open-air sports may lead to considerable virus transmission.Highlights After the SARS-CoV-2 lockdown, the contact times of a football player with one other player as well as with all other players were significantly reduced in the 2019-20 season and in the first half of the 2020-21 season.Only 3.7-4.7% of all contacts between two players lasted longer than 2 min, and only 0.9% of contacts lasted longer than 5 min.Non-match-specific situations, such as goal celebrations, are an important part of football and constitute up to 33% of the player pairs' contact time; limiting such situations may further reduce contacts between players.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292822

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Six-19% of critically ill COVID-19 patients display circulating auto-antibodies against type I interferons (IFN-AABs). Here, we establish a clinically applicable strategy for early identification of IFN-AAB-positive patients for potential subsequent clinical interventions. Methods We analysed sera of 430 COVID-19 patients with severe and critical disease from four hospitals for presence of IFN-AABs by ELISA. Binding specificity and neutralizing activity were evaluated via competition assay and virus-infection-based neutralization assay. We defined clinical parameters associated with IFN-AAB positivity. In a subgroup of critically ill patients, we analyzed effects of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) on the levels of IFN-AABs, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and clinical outcome. Results The prevalence of neutralizing AABs to IFN-α and IFN-ω in COVID-19 patients was 4.2% (18/430), while being undetectable in an uninfected control cohort. Neutralizing IFN-AABs were detectable exclusively in critically affected, predominantly male (83%) patients (7.6% IFN-α and 4.6% IFN-ω in 207 patients with critical COVID-19). IFN-AABs were present early post-symptom onset and at the peak of disease. Fever and oxygen requirement at hospital admission co-presented with neutralizing IFN-AAB positivity. IFN-AABs were associated with higher mortality (92.3% versus 19.1 % in patients without IFN-AABs). TPE reduced levels of IFN-AABs in three of five patients and may increase survival of IFN-AAB-positive patients compared to those not undergoing TPE. Conclusion IFN-AABs may serve as early biomarker for development of severe COVID-19. We propose to implement routine screening of hospitalized COVID-19 patients according to our algorithm for rapid identification of patients with IFN-AABs who most likely benefit from specific therapies.

10.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292408

ABSTRACT

Given increased rates of breakthrough infection, German and other national authorities recommend heterologous booster vaccinations for Ad26.COV.2 vaccinated individuals, although data on immunogenicity and reactogenicity are lacking. We therefore recruited fifteen individuals who received the Ad26.COV.2 vaccination followed by a heterologous booster vaccination using the mRNA-vaccine BNT162b2. Immune response included SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific IgG, neutralizing activity as well as Spike-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells. Reactogenicity was self-reported using a questionnaire. We show that induction of specific immunity was poor after one dose of Ad26.COV.2. Heterologous boosting with BNT162b2 led to a significant increase in spike-specific IgG, neutralizing antibodies and CD4 and CD8 T cells. Heterologous boosting was well tolerated with more frequent systemic adverse events after the first dose. Thus, our data support current recommendations for heterologous booster-vaccination to optimize specific immunity and protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in Ad26.COV.2-vaccinated individuals.

11.
Br J Sports Med ; 56(3): 158-164, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476416

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of transmission among potentially infectious SARS-CoV-2-positive football players while participating in training or matches at amateur, youth and professional levels. METHODS: Between August 2020 and March 2021, football players who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and participated in matches or training during the period of potential contagiousness were identified through media search (professional level) and a nationwide registry in Germany (amateur and youth level) to determine symptoms, source of infection and hygiene measures adopted. The definition of potentially infectious players was based on the time of a positive PCR testing and symptom onset. Transmission-relevant contacts on the pitch were evaluated through doubly reviewed video analysis. RESULTS: Out of 1247 identified football matches and training sessions (1071 amateur and youth level, 176 professional level), 104 cases (38 training sessions, 66 matches) with 165 potentially infectious players were detected. Follow-up PCR testing at the professional level (44 cases) revealed no transmission. At the amateur and youth level, the combination of partial PCR testing (31 of 60 cases) and symptom monitoring within 14 days post-exposure (46 of 60 cases) identified 2 of 60 matches in which follow-up infections occurred that were attributed to non-football activities. This is consistent with the video analysis of 21 matches demonstrating frontal contacts were <1 per player-hour (88%, 30 of 34 players), each lasting no longer than 3 s. CONCLUSION: On-field transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 in football is very low. Sources of infections in football players are most likely not related to activities on the pitch.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Football , Soccer , Adolescent , Athletes , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Arch Orthop Trauma Surg ; 2021 Jul 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318753

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus lockdown in 2020 resulted in a worldwide suspension of professional sports. The first major professional football league to restart after the lockdown was the German Bundesliga. This study investigates whether the injury incidence increased after the restart of the season with only 9 days of regular preparation time and without any friendly matches in comparison to three control periods. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a prospective cohort study, injury analysis (at least 1 day of absence from official football matches or training sessions) of the German Bundesliga registry was standardised according to Hägglund et al. (Br J Sports Med 39:340-346, 2005) and Fuller et al. (Clin J Sports Med 16:97-106, 2006) for data collection and to previous publications for the validated use of media sources for injury registration. The study period after the lockdown in May and June of the 2019-2020 season was compared to three control periods: the period directly before the lockdown, the beginning of the 2019-2020 season and the 2018-2019 season final. RESULTS: The nine match days after the restart of the 2019-2020 season showed an overall injury incidence of 4.9 per 1000 h football. This rate was significantly lower than that of the previous season final (9 last match days, overall injury incidence: 6.9 per 1000 h football; p < 0.001) and not increased compared to the rates after the summer break (9 match days; incidence: 5.5/1000 h, p > 0.05) or the winter break (8 match days; incidence: 5.6/1000 h, p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: The period after the unexpected break in the 2019-2020 season due to the coronavirus lockdown and the rapid return to competition showed no increase in the injury rate compared to the pre-lockdown period and a lower injury rate than in the previous season final. The unintentional mid-season rest with its potential for physical recovery and individual fitness training seems to have had a positive effect on injury occurrence.

13.
J Clin Invest ; 131(14)2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311204

ABSTRACT

Autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω (type I IFNs) were recently reported as causative for severe COVID-19 in the general population. Autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω are present in almost all patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS-1) caused by biallelic deleterious or heterozygous dominant mutations in AIRE. We therefore hypothesized that autoantibodies against type I IFNs also predispose patients with APS-1 to severe COVID-19. We prospectively studied 6 patients with APS-1 between April 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021. Biobanked pre-COVID-19 sera of APS-1 subjects were tested for neutralizing autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω. The ability of the patients' sera to block recombinant human IFN-α and IFN-ω was assessed by assays quantifying phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) as well as infection-based IFN-neutralization assays. We describe 4 patients with APS-1 and preexisting high titers of neutralizing autoantibodies against IFN-α and IFN-ω who contracted SARS-CoV-2, yet developed only mild symptoms of COVID-19. None of the patients developed dyspnea, oxygen requirement, or high temperature. All infected patients with APS-1 were females and younger than 26 years of age. Clinical penetrance of neutralizing autoantibodies against type I IFNs for severe COVID-19 is not complete.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon Type I/immunology , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/complications , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , Female , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Interferon-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Male , Polyendocrinopathies, Autoimmune/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Transcription Factors/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology , Young Adult
14.
Clin Res Cardiol ; 111(3): 264-271, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258198

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, compulsory masks became an integral part of outdoor sports such as jogging in crowded areas (e.g. city parks) as well as indoor sports in gyms and sports centers. This study, therefore, aimed to investigate the effects of medical face masks on performance and cardiorespiratory parameters in athletes. METHODS: In a randomized, cross-over design, 16 well-trained athletes (age 27 ± 7 years, peak oxygen consumption 56.2 ± 5.6 ml kg-1 min-1, maximum performance 5.1 ± 0.5 Watt kg-1) underwent three stepwise incremental exercise tests to exhaustion without mask (NM), with surgical mask (SM) and FFP2 mask (FFP2). Cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses were monitored by spiroergometry and blood lactate (BLa) testing throughout the tests. RESULTS: There was a large effect of masks on performance with a significant reduction of maximum performance with SM (355 ± 41 Watt) and FFP2 (364 ± 43 Watt) compared to NM (377 ± 40 Watt), respectively (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.50). A large interaction effect with a reduction of both oxygen consumption (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.34) and minute ventilation (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.39) was observed. At the termination of the test with SM 11 of 16 subjects reported acute dyspnea from the suction of the wet and deformed mask. No difference in performance was observed at the individual anaerobic threshold (p = 0.90). CONCLUSION: Both SM and to a lesser extent FFP2 were associated with reduced maximum performance, minute ventilation, and oxygen consumption. For strenuous anaerobic exercise, an FFP2 mask may be preferred over an SM.


Subject(s)
Athletes , Athletic Performance/physiology , Bicycling/physiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks/adverse effects , Adult , Blood Pressure , Cross-Over Studies , Exercise Test , Heart Rate , Humans , Male , Oxygen Consumption , SARS-CoV-2
15.
J Sports Med Phys Fitness ; 2021 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192239

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has affected worldwide sports competitions and training in both amateur and professional leagues. We thus aimed to investigate changes in different training modalities in elite and amateur football players following COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study we applied a Likert scale-based questionnaire with 20 items to quantify and classify time spent at standard training methods in 47 professional and 54 amateur football players from 12 Austrian clubs before and during lockdown. Additionally, McLean score was calculated to assess perceived training fatigue. RESULTS: Weekly amount of training time at endurance exercises (cycling) increased in both professional (37.5 [IQR 46.5] min/week vs. 187.5 [IQR 127.5] min/week, p<0.001), and amateur players (0.0 [IQR 45.0] min/week vs. 37.5 [IQR 112.5] min/week, p=0.015) during COVID-19 lockdown. Time on diverse muscle strengthening workouts was significantly elevated in both cohorts. Total training time at ball declined for professionals (from 472.5 [IQR 150] min/week to 15.0 [IQR 112.5] min/week, p<0.001) and amateurs (from 337.5 [IQR 285] min/week to 0.0 [IQR 37.5] min/week, p<0.001). Videoguided training was intensified in both groups (p<0.001 each). Location shifted from football fields and gyms to home and outdoors. Overall McLean score remained unchanged in amateurs (p=0.42) while elite players showed a trend towards an increase (p=0.056). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 lockdown compromised football training, especially training concepts with ball. Consequently, resulting changes in exercise loads and muscular burden might impact susceptibility for injuries and impair performances especially in amateur players, especially as they lacked training supervision and professional training plans. Minimum effective dose of training workload in order to maintain endurance- and neuromuscular-related performance parameters should be prescribed.

16.
Sci Med Footb ; 5(sup1): 2-7, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1109134

ABSTRACT

The risk of viral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 associated with football (soccer) training and match play is unknown. Therefore, studies on infection-relevant contacts in football are of utmost importance.A retrospective video-based analysis was performed over 3 matches with 18 SARS-CoV-2 positive players (age: 17.6 ± 3.1 years; 2 professional, 2 semi-professional and 14 youth academy players) during the pre-season in August and September 2020 in Germany. Repeated RT-PCR tests were performed in 5 of 6 teams and pre-match RT-PCR tests in 4 of 6 teams. The last RT-PCR test ranged between 5 - 14 days post-match. The most important result was that no case of virus transmission was found as documented by RT-PCR tests (and symptom monitoring up to 14 days post-match). Physical contact between contagious and non-infected players never lasted longer than 3 seconds each and the position of players during duels was almost exclusively laterally or behind each other.In conclusion, very low risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during football match play has been documented. Nevertheless, due to the observational retrospective design of the study, which was based on ethical reasons, inconsistent RT-PCR testing should be regarded as limitation and larger studies are needed to confirm a low probability of virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Football , Soccer , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
17.
JHEP Rep ; 3(3): 100260, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096063

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems and it may have heavily impacted patients with liver cancer (LC). Herein, we evaluated whether the schedule of LC screening or procedures has been interrupted or delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: An international survey evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical practice and clinical trials from March 2020 to June 2020, as the first phase of a multicentre, international, and observational project. The focus was on patients with hepatocellular carcinoma or intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, cared for around the world during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave. RESULTS: Ninety-one centres expressed interest to participate and 76 were included in the analysis, from Europe, South America, North America, Asia, and Africa (73.7%, 17.1%, 5.3%, 2.6%, and 1.3% per continent, respectively). Eighty-seven percent of the centres modified their clinical practice: 40.8% the diagnostic procedures, 80.9% the screening programme, 50% cancelled curative and/or palliative treatments for LC, and 41.7% modified the liver transplantation programme. Forty-five out of 69 (65.2%) centres in which clinical trials were running modified their treatments in that setting, but 58.1% were able to recruit new patients. The phone call service was modified in 51.4% of centres which had this service before the COVID-19 pandemic (n = 19/37). CONCLUSIONS: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on the routine care of patients with liver cancer. Modifications in screening, diagnostic, and treatment algorithms may have significantly impaired the outcome of patients. Ongoing data collection and future analyses will report the benefits and disadvantages of the strategies implemented, aiding future decision-making. LAY SUMMARY: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems globally. Herein, we assessed the impact of the first wave pandemic on patients with liver cancer and found that routine care for these patients has been majorly disrupted, which could have a significant impact on outcomes.

18.
Br J Sports Med ; 55(1): 62-66, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060118

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the restart of the German Bundesliga (football (soccer)) during the COVID-19 pandemic from a medical perspective. METHODS: Participants were male professional football players from the two highest German leagues and the officials working closely with them. Our report covers nine match days spread over 9 weeks (May to July 2020). Daily symptom monitoring, PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA twice weekly, and antibody tests (on two occasions-early during the phase in May 2020 and in the week of the last match) were conducted. Target variables were: (1) onset of typical COVID-19 symptoms, (2) positive PCR results, and (3) IgG seroconversion against SARS-CoV-2. All detected seroconversions were controlled by neutralisation tests. FINDINGS: Suspicious symptoms were reported for one player; an immediate additional PCR test as well as all subsequent diagnostic and antibody tests proved negative for coronavirus. Of 1702 regularly tested individuals (1079 players, 623 officials members), 8 players and 4 officials tested positive during one of the first rounds of PCR testing prior to the onset of team training, 2 players during the third round. No further positive results occurred during the remainder of the season. 694 players and 291 officials provided two serum samples for antibody testing. Nine players converted from negative/borderline to positive (without symptoms); two players who initially tested positive tested negative at the end of the season. 22 players remained seropositive throughout the season. None of the seroconversions was confirmed in the neutralisation test. CONCLUSION: Professional football training and matches can be carried out safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This requires strict hygiene measures including regular PCR testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Return to Sport , SARS-CoV-2 , Soccer/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Cohort Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Neutralization Tests , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Safety , Symptom Assessment/methods
19.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(3): 473.e1-473.e4, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-956996

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Elite professional football players and staff are a unique group that might give insight into the epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in Germany and thus can serve as a model for geographical distribution and an estimation of undetected infections. METHODS: In this prospective cohort study seroprevalence was determined twice in May and June 2020 in players and staff from the German Bundesliga. As screening assays, a commercial ELISA (Euroimmun) and a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) (Roche) were used, and an in-house neutralization assay (NT) was used as reference standard. Participants were tested twice weekly using PCR from nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swabs. RESULTS: Seroprevalence (NT used as confirmation) in 2164 samples from 1184 players and staff was rather similar in May (23/1157, 1.99%) and June (21/1007, 2.09%). All participants were PCR-negative during the study period. Significant regional differences in seroprevalence were not observed. When comparing seroprevalence with the cumulative incidence of infections derived from the German notification system (subgroup matching to cohort; men, age 20-69 years), IgG was found eight to ten times more frequently, pointing to a high rate of undetected infection. ELISA and CLIA correlated only moderately (κ 0.52). CONCLUSIONS: Seroprevalence with a high-quality diagnostic in Germany seemed to be around 2%. The number of undetected infections seems to be eight to ten times higher than in notification data. The quality of antibody assays is rather variable, thus results should ideally be confirmed at least by a second assay to prove IgG positivity.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Football/statistics & numerical data , Immunoglobulin G/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
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