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Lancet Digital Health ; 4(8):E573-E583, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2092794


Background Real-time prediction is key to prevention and control of infections associated with health-care settings. Contacts enable spread of many infections, yet most risk prediction frameworks fail to account for their dynamics. We developed, tested, and internationally validated a real-time machine-learning framework, incorporating dynamic patient-contact networks to predict hospital-onset COVID-19 infections (HOCIs) at the individual level. Methods We report an international retrospective cohort study of our framework, which extracted patient-contact networks from routine hospital data and combined network-derived variables with clinical and contextual information to predict individual infection risk. We trained and tested the framework on HOCIs using the data from 51 157 hospital inpatients admitted to a UK National Health Service hospital group (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) between April 1, 2020, and April 1, 2021, intersecting the first two COVID-19 surges. We validated the framework using data from a Swiss hospital group (Department of Rehabilitation, Geneva University Hospitals) during a COVID-19 surge (from March 1 to May 31, 2020;40 057 inpatients) and from the same UK group after COVID-19 surges (from April 2 to Aug 13, 2021;43 375 inpatients). All inpatients with a bed allocation during the study periods were included in the computation of network-derived and contextual variables. In predicting patient-level HOCI risk, only inpatients spending 3 or more days in hospital during the study period were examined for HOCI acquisition risk. Findings The framework was highly predictive across test data with all variable types (area under the curve [AUC]-receiver operating characteristic curve [ROC] 0.89 [95% CI 0.88-0.90]) and similarly predictive using only contact-network variables (0.88 [0.86-0.90]). Prediction was reduced when using only hospital contextual (AUC-ROC 0.82 [95% CI 0.80-0.84]) or patient clinical (0.64 [0.62-0.66]) variables. A model with only three variables (ie, network closeness, direct contacts with infectious patients [network derived], and hospital COVID-19 prevalence [hospital contextual]) achieved AUC-ROC 0.85 (95% CI 0.82-0.88). Incorporating contact-network variables improved performance across both validation datasets (AUC-ROC in the Geneva dataset increased from 0.84 [95% CI 0.82-0.86] to 0.88 [0.86-0.90];AUC-ROC in the UK post-surge dataset increased from 0.49 [0.46-0.52] to 0.68 [0.64-0.70]). Interpretation Dynamic contact networks are robust predictors of individual patient risk of HOCIs. Their integration in clinical care could enhance individualised infection prevention and early diagnosis of COVID-19 and other nosocomial infections. Copyright (C) 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Materials Today Advances ; 11, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1294072


In addition to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019, many pathogenic bacteria have also been posing a devastating threat to human health. The overuse of antibiotics leads to the emergence of ‘superbugs’;therefore, it is urgent to develop effective strategies to fight bacteria. Herein, a superparamagnetic nickel (Ni) colloidal nanocrystal clusters (SNCNCs) that can kill and capture bacteria without any camouflage is reported. It binds to amino groups on the surface of bacteria, imparts magnetism to them, and orients them in response to magnetic fields. SNCNCs kill and capture bacteria to avoid inflammation, infection, and organ damage caused by lipopolysaccharide and exotoxin released by bacterial rupture in the remaining bacterial remains in comparison with other antibacterial agents. In this study, in the treatment of traumatic oral ulcers, we found that SNCNCs could kill and capture and remove bacteria from the ulcers to reduce inflammation at the site of the wound. Furthermore, the fibrin gel sprayed on the ulcer was used as a substrate, and the bacteria captured by the SNCNCs moved to the surface of the fibrin gel after a magnetic field was applied. Therefore, the bacteria in the ulcer could be removed with the SNCNCs and fibrin gel magnet, alleviating inflammation caused by bacteria and promoting ulcer healing. This magnetically controlled method of directional movement of bacteria may provide an applicative perspective for the therapy of bacterial infections. © 2021 The Author(s)