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3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(10)2021 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463852

ABSTRACT

To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a mass vaccination campaign was initiated in Italy on 27 December 2020. The vaccine available to immunize Italian healthcare workers (HCWs) was the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty). This study evaluated the effectiveness of the vaccine against documented SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptomatic diseases in the medium- to long-term. HCWs at Bari Policlinico University-Hospital (Italy) who completed the vaccination schedule were matched with HCWs who had refused vaccination; the two groups were followed-up for 5 months (January-May 2021). Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against infection was 97.7% (95.4-99.0%) at 14-34 days after the first dose, and 94.8% (87.0-97.8%), 83.0% (65.0-92.0%), and 81.0% (42.0-94.0%) at 14-41, 42-69, and >69 days, respectively, after the second dose. The estimated VE for documented symptomatic disease was 99.2% (96.4-99.8%) at 14-34 days after the first dose and 97.2% (90.3-99.2%), 85.0% (63.0-94.2%), and 88.0% (42.0-97.6%) at 14-41, 42-69, and >69 days, respectively, after the second dose. Efforts to increase vaccination rates should be strengthened, including mandatory vaccination for HCWs and greater incentives to increase vaccine acceptance by the general population.

4.
J Clin Med ; 10(18)2021 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409883

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long COVID is a syndrome characterized by the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms. Among HCWs, prolonged COVID symptoms could lead to the inability to perform work tasks. The aim of this study is to investigate 35-day long-COVID (35-LC) characteristics and risk factors in a one-year period. METHODS: We carried out a retrospective cohort study during the COVID-19 pandemic at University Hospital of Bari. A total of 5750 HCWs were tested for close contact with a confirmed case, in the absence of personal protective equipment, or for symptom development. RESULTS: Each positive HCW was investigated for cardiovascular risk factors or respiratory diseases. An amount of 352 HCWs (6.1%) were infected by SARS-CoV-2, and 168 cases evolved to long COVID. The 35-LC group showed mean BMI values higher than the non-35-LC group (25.9 kg/m2 vs. 24.8 kg/m2, respectively), and this difference was significant (p-value: 0.020). Moreover, HCWs who suffered from pulmonary disease (OR = 3.7, CL 95%: 1.35-10.53; p-value = 0.007) or overweight (OR = 1.6 CL 95%: 1.05-2.56; p-value = 0.029) had an increased risk of developing 35-LC. CONCLUSIONS: Long COVID is an emerging problem for hospital managers as it may reduce the number of HCWs deployed in the fight against COVID-19. High BMI and previous pulmonary disease could be risk factors for 35-LC development in exposed HCWs.

5.
Microorganisms ; 9(9)2021 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403852

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Based on recent findings, we speculated the existence of the lung, heart, and kidney axis as the main pathway for the COVID-19 disease progression. METHODS: This paper reports on an observational study conducted by a team of researchers and doctors of the 118-Pre-Hospital and Emergency Department of SG Moscati of Taranto City in Italy. The study was conducted on a totality of 185 participants that were divided into three groups. The study group included COVID-19 affected patients (PP n = 80), the first control group included patients with different pathologies (non-COVID-19 NNp n = 62) of the SG Moscati Hospital, and the second control group included healthy individuals (NNh n = 43). The core of the current trial was focused on assessing the level of the vitamin D (serum 25(OH) D concentration), IL-6, and the renal glomerular filtrate (eGFR) in COVID-19 disease and non-COVID-19 patients in both groups. RESULTS: It was observed that the majority of COVID-19-infected patients showed a progressive multi-organ involvement, especially in regard to the lung, kidney, and heart. The majority of the COVID-19 patients exhibited preexisting comorbidities which include cardiovascular, respiratory, and renal disorders accompanied by a severely low level of vitamin D, extremely high level of IL-6, and low glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The significant overall damages exerted by the immune-mediated responses under the hyper-expression of proinflammatory cytokines and interleukins, such as IL-6, may be facilitated by either a decreased level of vitamin D or the ageing process. The reduced presence of vitamin D was often found together with a reduced functionality of renal activity, as revealed by the low eGFR, and both were seen to be concomitant with an increased mortality risk in patients with lung disorders and heart failure (HF), whether it is showed at baseline or it develops during manifestation of COVID-19. Therefore, the documentation of the modifiable risk factors related to SARS-CoV-2 and lung impairment in older patients with kidney and heart disease may help the clinician to better manage the situation. CONCLUSIONS: This paper addresses how a low level of vitamin D and older age may be indicative of systemic worsening in patients with COVID-19, with a goal of providing a broader context in which to view a better therapeutic approach.

6.
Microorganisms ; 9(8)2021 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335156

ABSTRACT

To date, several cases of thrombosis have been confirmed to be related to Sars-CoV-2 infection. Multiple attempts detected the prolonged occurrence of Sars-CoV-2 viral RNA (long COVID) in whole blood suggesting that virus byproducts may remain within cells and tissues well over the disease has finished. Patients may develop severe thrombocytopenia, acute anemia of inflammation and, systemic thrombosis with the fatal course of disease, which is suggestive of further interferences of Sars-CoV-2 on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) within the differentiation process towards erythroid and megakaryocytic cells. Therefore, we speculated whether Sars-CoV-2 propagates in or compartmentalizes with hematopoietic progenitor, erythroid, and megakaryocytic cells as the main cause of thrombotic events in either COVID-19 patients or vaccinated individuals. Results: The Sars-CoV-2 RNA replication, protein translation and infectious particle formation as the spike proteins in hematopoietic cell lines take place via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) entry pathway within primary CD34+ HSCs inducing, ex vivo, the formation of defected erythroid and megakaryocytic cells that eventually become targets of humoral and adaptive immune cells. Conclusions: Viral particles from affected CD34+ HSCs or the cellular component of RBC units and eventually platelets, present the greatest risk for sever thrombosis-transmitted Sars-CoV-2 infections.

7.
J Infect Dis ; 224(3): 431-434, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233856

ABSTRACT

In the preregistration trial, data on efficacy of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infection were not collected. This study aimed to evaluate vaccine effectiveness (VE) against documented infection. Bari Policlinico University Hospital health care workers (HCWs) who completed the vaccination schedule were matched with HCWs who had refused vaccination. VE for documented infection was 61.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.2%-82.0%) 14-20 days after first dose, 87.9% (95% CI, 51.7%-97.0%) 21-27 days after first dose, and 96.0% (95% CI, 82.2%-99.1%) 7 or more days after second dose. Unvaccinated HCWs remain a concern in the context of the pandemic emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
8.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 625176, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069728

ABSTRACT

Background: Timely assessment of COVID-19 severity is crucial for the rapid provision of appropriate treatments. Definitive criteria for the early identification of severe COVID-19 cases that require intensive care unit admission are lacking. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective case-control study of 95 consecutive adults admitted to the intensive care unit (cases) or a medical ward (controls) for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Clinical data were collected and changes in laboratory test results were calculated between presentation at the emergency department and admission. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression was performed to calculate odds ratios for intensive care unit admission according to changes in laboratory variables. Results: Of the 95 adults with COVID-19, 25 were admitted to intensive care and 70 to a medical ward after a median 6 h stay in the emergency department. During this interval, neutrophil counts increased in cases and decreased in controls (median, 934 vs. -295 × 106/L; P = 0.006), while lymphocyte counts decreased in cases and increased in controls (median, -184 vs. 109 × 106/L; P < 0.001). In cases, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio increased 6-fold and the urea-to-creatinine ratio increased 20-fold during the emergency department stay, but these ratios did not change in controls (P < 0.001 for both comparisons). By multivariable logistic regression, short-term increases in the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (OR = 1.43; 95% CI, 1.16-1.76) and urea-to-creatinine ratio (OR = 1.72; 95% CI, 1.20-2.66) were independent predictors of intensive care unit admission. Conclusion: Short-time changes in neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and urea-to-creatinine ratio emerged as stand-alone parameters able to identify patients with aggressive disease at an early stage.

9.
Respir Res ; 22(1): 16, 2021 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067233

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Some studies investigated epidemiological and clinical features of laboratory-confirmed patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) the virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but limited attention has been paid to the follow-up of hospitalized patients on the basis of clinical setting and the expertise of clinical management. METHODS: In the present single-centered, retrospective, observational study, we reported findings from 87 consecutive laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients with moderate-to-severe acute respiratory syndrome hospitalized in an intermediate Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (RICU), subdividing the patients in two groups according to the admission date (before and after March 29, 2020). RESULTS: With improved skills in the clinical management of COVID-19, we observed a significant lower mortality in the T2 group compared with the T1 group and a significantly difference in terms of mortality among the patients transferred in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from our intermediate RICU (100% in T1 group vs. 33.3% in T2 group). The average length of stay in intermediate RICU of ICU-transferred patients who survived in T1 and T2 was significantly longer than those who died (who died 3.3 ± 2.8 days vs. who survived 6.4 ± 3.3 days). T CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggested that an intermediate level of hospital care may have the potential to modify survival in COVID-19 patients, particularly in the present phase of a more skilled clinical management of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Clinical Competence , Critical Care , Intensive Care Units , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Italy , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
10.
Environ Res ; 195: 110793, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are highly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection given their specific tasks. The IgG-IgM serological assay has demonstrated good accuracy in early detection in symptomatic patients, but its role in the diagnosis of asymptomatic patients is uncertain. The aim of our study was to assess IgM and IgG prevalence in sera in a large cohort of HCWs previously subjected to Nasopharyngeal swab test (NST) after accurate risk assessment due to positive COVID-19 patient exposure during an observation period of 90 days. METHODS: 2407 asymptomatic HCWs that had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the period between April 8th and June 7th were screened with NST based on the RT-PCR method. In parallel, they underwent large-scale chemiluminescence immunoassays involving IgM-IgG serological screening to determine actual viral spread in the same cohort. RESULTS: During the 90-day observation period, 18 workers (0.75%) resulted positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection at the NST, whereas the positivity rates for IgM and IgG were 11.51% and 2.37%, respectively (277 workers). Despite high specificity, serological tests were inadequate for detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with previous positive NST results (IgM and IgG sensitivities of 27.78% and 50.00%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate a widespread low viral load of SARS-CoV-2 among hospital workers. However, serological screening showed very low sensitivity with respect to NST in identifying infected workers, and negative IgG and IgM results should not exclude the diagnosis of COVID-19. IgG-IgM chemiluminescence immunoassays could increase the diagnosis of COVID-19 only in association with NST, and this association is considered helpful for decision-making regarding returning to work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M , Italy/epidemiology , Prevalence , Public Health , Sensitivity and Specificity
11.
Expert Rev Respir Med ; 15(6): 853-857, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990448

ABSTRACT

Objectives: In the present single-centered, retrospective, observational study, we reported findings from 78 consecutive laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients with moderate-to-severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) hospitalized in an intermediate Respiratory Intensive Care Unit, subdividing the patients into two groups according to their clinical outcome, dead patients and discharged patients.Methods: We further subdivided patients depending on the noninvasive respiratory support used during hospitalization.Results: In those patients who died, we found significant older age and higher multimorbidity and higher values of serum lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, and D-dimer. Among patients who were submitted to bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP), those who died had a significant shorter number of days in overall length of stay and lower values of arterial oxygen partial pressure to fractional inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2/FiO2 ratio) compared to those who survived. No difference in all-cause mortality was observed between the two different noninvasive respiratory support groups [48% for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and 52% for BPAP].Conclusion: In COVID-19 patients with moderate-to-severe ARDS using BPAP in an intermediate level of hospital care had more factors associated to all-cause mortality (shorter length of stay and lower baseline PaO2/FiO2 ratio) compared to those who underwent CPAP.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure/methods , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/pathology , Cause of Death , Comorbidity , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Oxygen/therapeutic use , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/mortality , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
12.
Intern Emerg Med ; 16(5): 1191-1196, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-968287

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 pandemic affected large part of Italy since February 2020; we, therefore, aimed to assess the impact of 2020 SARS-CoV-2 outbreak on telemedicine management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Italy. We analyzed data from three telemedicine dispatch centers, one located in Genoa, serving private clients (pharmacies, general practitioners), one in Brescia, serving pharmacies, and one in Bari, serving regional public STEMI network and emergency medical service in Apulia (4 million inhabitants). Demographic data and principal electrocardiogram diagnosis were collected and analyzed. Records from the time interval March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2020 were compared with the corresponding period in 2019. The comparative analysis of data shows a 54% reduction of telemedicine electrocardiogram transmission in Genoa telemedicine center (from 364 to 166), 68% in Brescia (from 5.745 to 1.905), 24% in Bari (from 15.825 to 11.716); relative reduction according to electrocardiogram diagnosis was 38% for acute coronary syndrome, 40% for other acute CVD in Genoa center, 24% for acute coronary syndrome, and 38% for other acute CVD in Bari. Male/female ratio remained substantially unchanged. A dramatic reduction of telemedicine access for CVD was observed during Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 in Italy. The reduction was substantially consistent for all electrocardiogram findings, ACS, other acute CVD and normal.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Cardiovascular Diseases/psychology , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Professional-Patient Relations , Telemedicine/standards , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data
13.
Int J Infect Dis ; 102: 532-537, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907182

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among exposed healthcare workers (HCWs) after preventive protocol implementation. METHODS: A total of 5750 HCWs were included in the study. Those in contact with COVID-19 patients were allocated into a high-risk or a low-risk group based on contact type (PPE- or non-PPE-protected); high-risk workers underwent nasopharyngeal swab tests, while among low-risk workers, swab tests were carried out only for symptomatic workers (active surveillance). The prevalence was determined by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on nasopharyngeal samples. RESULTS: 3570 HCWs had contact with 1065 COVID-19 patients. Among them, 3494 were subjected to active surveillance (low-risk group); 2886 (82.60%) were subjected to a swab test; and 15 were positive (0.52%). Seventy-six HCWs (2.13% of exposed) were included in the high-risk group, and a swab test was mandatory for each participant. Overall, 66 (86.84% of high-risk) were negative, and 10 were positive (13.16%), resulting in a higher risk of infection than in the low-risk group [OR = 29.00; 95% CI:12.56-66.94; p < 0.0001]. CONCLUSION: To date, the SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence is 0.70% among exposed HCWs and 0.435% among all HCWs working at the examined university hospital. The correct use of PPE and the early identification of symptomatic workers are essential factors to avoiding nosocomial clusters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Cross Infection/transmission , Cross Infection/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Frail Elderly/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
15.
Acta Biomed ; 91(2): 71-74, 2020 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-296294

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the complex health emergency situation of our country, the application of Information Technology tools has a decisive role in supporting health insurance, creating a highly performing and technologically advanced system that reduce distances, suffering of disease and the weight of necessary isolation. The theme of the humanization of care, understood as attention to the person as a whole, is a highly topical issue today. The humanization in the healthcare is intended as the ability to make the places of care and the same medical care practices more open, safer and painless, reconciling hospitality, information and comfort with care paths as much as possible in sharing with the patient and his family. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pursuing the purposes inherent in the concept of humanization of care and assistance, with the aim of offering Apulian citizens a complementary, but also fundamental, service in clinical-therapeutic assistance to the patient affected by COVID-19, in the hope of improving the quality of care, also in relation to the perception of the user, the Strategic Management of the AOU Policlinico of Bari has launched an experimental project that fits into the context of care quality, a crucial and not negligible issue, despite the extreme difficulties dictated by the ongoing medical emergency. RESULTS: The experimental project proposes an innovative clinical-organizational model which, through Information and Communications Technology (ICT), intends to make the management of COVID-19 patients optimal, safe and better, in all the spheres that jointly define the concept of Health.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , COVID-19 , Communication , Family , Female , Humans , Internet , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Software
16.
Acta Biomed ; 91(2): 68-70, 2020 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-296293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global context we are experiencing, characterized by the pandemic spread of SARS-CoV2, imposes strict containment, isolation and physical distance measures, necessary to control and contain the risk of contagion. Despite social distances and isolation in this context of threat to Global Health, the sharing of experiences, professionalism, scientific research and Public Health strategies is fundamental. Never before has telemedicine played a decisive role in supporting the healthcare organization, The University Hospital Consortium Policlinico of Bari has launched an experimental partnership project with West China Hospital of Sichuan University through periodic and scheduled video conferences. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The Company Strategic Management, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Bari, Medical Executives of the Health Department, of the U.O of Infectious Diseases, Anesthesia and Resuscitation, Pulmonology, Emergency, Hygiene, Occupational Medicine, Psychiatry and Doctors Resident operating in the COVID Area. are involved in the Experimental Project., all adequately trained and instructed on the operating protocol. RESULTS: From the preliminary data of this study, it appears that the Bari Polyclinic has adopted the same therapeutic strategies started in China in the previous months, believing early diagnosis and treatment to be a strength in the battle against COVID-19. The project makes it possible to make the management of COVID-19 patients optimal, safe and better, using the experience acquired in the field by Chinese doctors who, first caught by this health emergency, have obtained positive results.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , China , Communication , Global Health , Hospitals, University , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Technology
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