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1.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277754, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119349

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Family clusters offer a good opportunity to study viral transmission in a stable setting. We aimed to analyze the specific role of children in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within households. METHODS: A prospective, longitudinal, observational study, including children with documented acute SARS-CoV-2 infection attending 22 summer-schools in Barcelona, Spain, was performed. Moreover, other patients and families coming from other school-like environments that voluntarily accessed the study were also studied. A longitudinal follow-up (5 weeks) of the family clusters was conducted to determine whether the children considered to be primary cases were able to transmit the virus to other family members. The household reproduction number (Re*) and the secondary attack rate (SAR) were calculated. RESULTS: 1905 children from the summer schools were screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection and 22 (1.15%) tested positive. Moreover, 32 additional children accessed the study voluntarily. Of these, 37 children and their 26 households were studied completely. In half of the cases (13/26), the primary case was considered to be a child and secondary transmission to other members of the household was observed in 3/13, with a SAR of 14.2% and a Re* of 0.46. Conversely, the SAR of adult primary cases was 72.2% including the kids that gave rise to the contact tracing study, and 61.5% without them, and the estimated Re* was 2.6. In 4/13 of the paediatric primary cases (30.0%), nasopharyngeal PCR was persistently positive > 1 week after diagnosis, and 3/4 of these children infected another family member (p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Children may not be the main drivers of the infection in household transmission clusters in the study population. A prolonged positive PCR could be associated with higher transmissibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Humans , Child , Spain/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Family Characteristics
2.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 Jul 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1939013

ABSTRACT

The increased incidence of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Spain in March 2020 led to the declaration by the Spanish government of a state of emergency imposing strict confinement measures on the population. The objective of this study was to characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiota of children and adults and its relation to SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity during the pandemic lockdown in Spain. This cross-sectional study included family households located in metropolitan Barcelona, Spain, with one adult with a previous confirmed COVID-19 episode and one or more exposed co-habiting child contacts. Nasopharyngeal swabs were used to determine SARS-CoV-2 infection status, characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiota and determine common respiratory DNA/RNA viral co-infections. A total of 173 adult cases and 470 exposed children were included. Overall, a predominance of Corynebacterium and Dolosigranulum and a limited abundance of common pathobionts including Haemophilus and Streptococcus were found both among adults and children. Children with current SARS-CoV-2 infection presented higher bacterial richness and increased Fusobacterium, Streptococcus and Prevotella abundance than non-infected children. Among adults, persistent SARS-CoV-2 RNA was associated with an increased abundance of an unclassified member of the Actinomycetales order. COVID-19 severity was associated with increased Staphylococcus and reduced Dolosigranulum abundance. The stringent COVID-19 lockdown in Spain had a significant impact on the nasopharyngeal microbiota of children, reflected in the limited abundance of common respiratory pathobionts and the predominance of Corynebacterium, regardless of SARS-CoV-2 detection. COVID-19 severity in adults was associated with decreased nasopharynx levels of healthy commensal bacteria.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Microbiota , Viruses , Adult , Bacteria/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Microbiota/genetics , Nasopharynx , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Streptococcus , Viruses/genetics
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2583, 2022 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839524

ABSTRACT

Data on convalescent plasma (CP) treatment in COVID-19 outpatients are scarce. We aimed to assess whether CP administered during the first week of symptoms reduced the disease progression or risk of hospitalization of outpatients. Two multicenter, double-blind randomized trials (NCT04621123, NCT04589949) were merged with data pooling starting when <20% of recruitment target was achieved. A Bayesian-adaptive individual patient data meta-analysis was implemented. Outpatients aged ≥50 years and symptomatic for ≤7days were included. The intervention consisted of 200-300mL of CP with a predefined minimum level of antibodies. Primary endpoints were a 5-point disease severity scale and a composite of hospitalization or death by 28 days. Amongst the 797 patients included, 390 received CP and 392 placebo; they had a median age of 58 years, 1 comorbidity, 5 days symptoms and 93% had negative IgG antibody-test. Seventy-four patients were hospitalized, 6 required mechanical ventilation and 3 died. The odds ratio (OR) of CP for improved disease severity scale was 0.936 (credible interval (CI) 0.667-1.311); OR for hospitalization or death was 0.919 (CI 0.592-1.416). CP effect on hospital admission or death was largest in patients with ≤5 days of symptoms (OR 0.658, 95%CI 0.394-1.085). CP did not decrease the time to full symptom resolution. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT04621123 and NCT04589949. REGISTRATION: NCT04621123 and NCT04589949 on https://www. CLINICALTRIALS: gov.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Middle Aged , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Outpatients , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
4.
Front Immunol ; 13: 751705, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686480

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 affects children to a lesser extent than adults but they can still get infected and transmit SARS-CoV-2 to their contacts. Field deployable non-invasive sensitive diagnostic techniques are needed to evaluate the infectivity dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in pediatric populations and guide public health interventions, particularly if this population is not fully vaccinated. We evaluated the utility of high-throughput Luminex assays to quantify saliva IgM, IgA and IgG antibodies against five SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) and nucleocapsid (N) antigens in a contacts and infectivity longitudinal study in 122 individuals (52 children and 70 adults). We compared saliva versus serum/plasma samples in infected children and adults diagnosed by weekly RT-PCR over 35 days (n=62), and those who consistently tested negative over the same follow up period (n=60), in the Summer of 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Saliva antibody levels in SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positive individuals were significantly higher than in negative individuals and correlated with those measured in sera/plasmas. Asymptomatic infected individuals had higher levels of anti-S IgG than symptomatic individuals, suggesting a protective anti-disease role for antibodies. Higher anti-S IgG and IgM levels in serum/plasma and saliva, respectively, in infected children compared to infected adults could also be related to stronger clinical immunity in them. Among infected children, males had higher levels of saliva IgG to N and RBD than females. Despite overall correlation, individual clustering analysis suggested that responses that may not be detected in blood could be patent in saliva, and vice versa. In conclusion, measurement of SARS-CoV-2-specific saliva antibodies should be considered as a complementary non-invasive assay to serum/plasma to determine COVID-19 prevalence and transmission in pediatric populations before and after vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Immunoassay/methods , Saliva , Adult , Child , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/analysis , Immunoglobulin G/analysis , Immunoglobulin M/analysis , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Spain
5.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(3): 278-288, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671366

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma has been proposed as an early treatment to interrupt the progression of early COVID-19 to severe disease, but there is little definitive evidence. We aimed to assess whether early treatment with convalescent plasma reduces the risk of hospitalisation and reduces SARS-CoV-2 viral load among outpatients with COVID-19. METHODS: We did a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in four health-care centres in Catalonia, Spain. Adult outpatients aged 50 years or older with the onset of mild COVID-19 symptoms 7 days or less before randomisation were eligible for enrolment. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive one intravenous infusion of either 250-300 mL of ABO-compatible high anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG titres (EUROIMMUN ratio ≥6) methylene blue-treated convalescent plasma (experimental group) or 250 mL of sterile 0·9% saline solution (control). Randomisation was done with the use of a central web-based system with concealment of the trial group assignment and no stratification. To preserve masking, we used opaque tubular bags that covered the investigational product and the infusion catheter. The coprimary endpoints were the incidence of hospitalisation within 28 days from baseline and the mean change in viral load (in log10 copies per mL) in nasopharyngeal swabs from baseline to day 7. The trial was stopped early following a data safety monitoring board recommendation because more than 85% of the target population had received a COVID-19 vaccine. Primary efficacy analyses were done in the intention-to-treat population, safety was assessed in all patients who received the investigational product. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04621123. FINDINGS: Between Nov 10, 2020, and July 28, 2021, we assessed 909 patients with confirmed COVID-19 for inclusion in the trial, 376 of whom were eligible and were randomly assigned to treatment (convalescent plasma n=188 [serum antibody-negative n=160]; placebo n=188 [serum antibody-negative n=166]). Median age was 56 years (IQR 52-62) and the mean symptom duration was 4·4 days (SD 1·4) before random assignment. In the intention-to-treat population, hospitalisation within 28 days from baseline occurred in 22 (12%) participants who received convalescent plasma versus 21 (11%) who received placebo (relative risk 1·05 [95% CI 0·78 to 1·41]). The mean change in viral load from baseline to day 7 was -2·41 log10 copies per mL (SD 1·32) with convalescent plasma and -2·32 log10 copies per mL (1·43) with placebo (crude difference -0·10 log10 copies per mL [95% CI -0·35 to 0·15]). One participant with mild COVID-19 developed a thromboembolic event 7 days after convalescent plasma infusion, which was reported as a serious adverse event possibly related to COVID-19 or to the experimental intervention. INTERPRETATION: Methylene blue-treated convalescent plasma did not prevent progression from mild to severe illness and did not reduce viral load in outpatients with COVID-19. Therefore, formal recommendations to support the use of convalescent plasma in outpatients with COVID-19 cannot be concluded. FUNDING: Grifols, Crowdfunding campaign YoMeCorono.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Methylene Blue , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Middle Aged , Outpatients , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(1): 66-73, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the role of children in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission is critical to guide decision-making for schools in the pandemic. We aimed to describe the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among children and adult staff in summer schools. METHODS: During July 2020, we prospectively recruited children and adult staff attending summer schools in Barcelona who had SARS-CoV-2 infection. Primary SARS-CoV-2 infections were identified through (1) a surveillance program in 22 summer schools of 1905 participants, involving weekly saliva sampling for SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) during 2-5 weeks; and (2) cases identified through the Catalonian Health Surveillance System of children diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. All centers followed prevention protocols: bubble groups, handwashing, face masks, and conducting activities mostly outdoors. Contacts of a primary case within the same bubble were evaluated by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. Secondary attack rates and the effective reproduction number in summer schools (Re*) were calculated. RESULTS: Among the >2000 repeatedly screened participants, 30 children and 9 adults were identified as primary cases. A total of 253 close contacts of these primary cases were studied (median, 9 [interquartile range, 5-10] for each primary case), among which 12 new cases (4.7%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2. The Re* was 0.3, whereas the contemporary rate in the general population from the same areas in Barcelona was 1.9. CONCLUSIONS: The transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection among children attending school-like facilities under strict prevention measures was lower than that reported for the general population. This suggests that under preventive measures schools are unlikely amplifiers of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, supporting current recommendations for school opening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Spain/epidemiology
7.
Frontiers in public health ; 9, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1563781

ABSTRACT

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown strategies have been widely used to contain SARS-CoV-2 virus spread. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to suffering psychological effects as result of such measures. In Spain, children were enforced to a strict home lockdown for 42 days during the first wave. Here, we studied the effects of lockdown in children and adolescents through an online questionnaire. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain using an open online survey from July (after the lockdown resulting from the first pandemic wave) to November 2020 (second wave). We included families with children under 16 years-old living in Spain. Parents answered a survey regarding the lockdown effects on their children and were instructed to invite their children from 7 to 16 years-old (mandatory scholar age in Spain) to respond a specific set of questions. Answers were collected through an application programming interface system, and data analysis was performed using R. Results: We included 1,957 families who completed the questionnaires, covering a total of 3,347 children. The specific children's questionnaire was completed by 167 kids (7–11 years-old), and 100 adolescents (12–16 years-old). Children, in general, showed high resilience and capability to adapt to new situations. Sleeping problems were reported in more than half of the children (54%) and adolescents (59%), and these were strongly associated with less time doing sports and spending more than 5 h per day using electronic devices. Parents perceived their children to gain weight (41%), be more irritable and anxious (63%) and sadder (46%). Parents and children differed significantly when evaluating children's sleeping disturbances. Conclusions: Enforced lockdown measures and isolation can have a negative impact on children and adolescent's mental health and well-being. In future waves of the current pandemic, or in the light of potential epidemics of new emerging infections, lockdown measures targeting children, and adolescents should be reconsidered taking into account their infectiousness potential and their age-specific needs, especially to facilitate physical activity and to limit time spent on electronic devices.

8.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(5): 629-636, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510471

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Scarce data are available on what variables affect the risk of transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the development of symptomatic COVID-19, and, particularly, the relationship with viral load. We aimed to analyse data from linked index cases of COVID-19 and their contacts to explore factors associated with transmission of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: In this cohort study, patients were recruited as part of a randomised controlled trial done between March 17 and April 28, 2020, that aimed to assess if hydroxychloroquine reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Patients with COVID-19 and their contacts were identified by use of the electronic registry of the Epidemiological Surveillance Emergency Service of Catalonia (Spain). Patients with COVID-19 included in our analysis were aged 18 years or older, not hospitalised, had quantitative PCR results available at baseline, had mild symptom onset within 5 days before enrolment, and had no reported symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infections in their accommodation or workplace within the 14 days before enrolment. Contacts included were adults with a recent history of exposure and absence of COVID-19-like symptoms within the 7 days preceding enrolment. Viral load of contacts, measured by quantitative PCR from a nasopharyngeal swab, was assessed at enrolment, at day 14, and whenever the participant reported COVID-19-like symptoms. We assessed risk of transmission and developing symptomatic disease and incubation dynamics using regression analysis. We assessed the relationship of viral load and characteristics of cases (age, sex, number of days from reported symptom onset, and presence or absence of fever, cough, dyspnoea, rhinitis, and anosmia) and associations between risk of transmission and characteristics of the index case and contacts. FINDINGS: We identified 314 patients with COVID-19, with 282 (90%) having at least one contact (753 contacts in total), resulting in 282 clusters. 90 (32%) of 282 clusters had at least one transmission event. The secondary attack rate was 17% (125 of 753 contacts), with a variation from 12% when the index case had a viral load lower than 1 × 106 copies per mL to 24% when the index case had a viral load of 1 × 1010 copies per mL or higher (adjusted odds ratio per log10 increase in viral load 1·3, 95% CI 1·1-1·5). Increased risk of transmission was also associated with household contact (3·0, 1·59-5·65) and age of the contact (per year: 1·02, 1·01-1·04). 449 contacts had a positive PCR result at baseline. 28 (6%) of 449 contacts had symptoms at the first visit. Of 421 contacts who were asymptomatic at the first visit, 181 (43%) developed symptomatic COVID-19, with a variation from approximately 38% in contacts with an initial viral load lower than 1 × 107 copies per mL to greater than 66% for those with an initial viral load of 1 × 1010 copies per mL or higher (hazard ratio per log10 increase in viral load 1·12, 95% CI 1·05-1·20; p=0·0006). Time to onset of symptomatic disease decreased from a median of 7 days (IQR 5-10) for individuals with an initial viral load lower than 1 × 107 copies per mL to 6 days (4-8) for those with an initial viral load between 1 × 107 and 1 × 109 copies per mL, and 5 days (3-8) for those with an initial viral load higher than 1 × 109 copies per mL. INTERPRETATION: In our study, the viral load of index cases was a leading driver of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The risk of symptomatic COVID-19 was strongly associated with the viral load of contacts at baseline and shortened the incubation time of COVID-19 in a dose-dependent manner. FUNDING: YoMeCorono, Generalitat de Catalunya. TRANSLATIONS: For the Catalan translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Spain/epidemiology , Viral Load
10.
J Infect ; 82(6): 269-275, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188792

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mass testing for early identification and isolation of infectious COVID-19 individuals is efficacious for reducing disease spread. Antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDT) may be suitable for testing strategies; however, benchmark comparisons are scarce. METHODS: We used 286 nasopharyngeal specimens from unexposed asymptomatic individuals collected between December 2020 and January 2021 to assess five Ag-RDTs marketed by Abbott, Siemens, Roche Diagnostics, Lepu Medical, and Surescreen. RESULTS: For the overall sample, the performance parameters of Ag-RDTs were as follows: Abbott assay, sensitivity 38.6% (95%CI 29.1-48.8) and specificity 99.5% (97-100%); Siemens, sensitivity 51.5% (41.3-61.6) and specificity 98.4% (95.3-99.6); Roche, sensitivity 43.6% (33.7-53.8) and specificity 96.2% (92.4-98.5); Lepu, sensitivity 45.5% (35.6-55.8) and specificity 89.2% (83.8-93.3%); Surescreen, sensitivity 28.8% (20.2-38.6) and specificity 97.8% (94.5-99.4%). For specimens with cycle threshold (Ct) <30 in RT-qPCR, all Ag-RDT achieved a sensitivity ≥70%. The modelled negative- and positive-predictive value for 1% prevalence were >99% and <50%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: When screening unexposed asymptomatic individuals, two Ag-RDTs achieved sensitivity ≥80% for specimens with Ct<30 and specificity ≥96%. The estimated negative predictive value suggests the suitability of Ag-RDTs for mass screenings of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral , Asymptomatic Infections , Benchmarking , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity , Silver
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