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1.
Euro Surveill ; 26(43)2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547185

ABSTRACT

BackgroundIn the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, viral genomes are available at unprecedented speed, but spatio-temporal bias in genome sequence sampling precludes phylogeographical inference without additional contextual data.AimWe applied genomic epidemiology to trace SARS-CoV-2 spread on an international, national and local level, to illustrate how transmission chains can be resolved to the level of a single event and single person using integrated sequence data and spatio-temporal metadata.MethodsWe investigated 289 COVID-19 cases at a university hospital in Munich, Germany, between 29 February and 27 May 2020. Using the ARTIC protocol, we obtained near full-length viral genomes from 174 SARS-CoV-2-positive respiratory samples. Phylogenetic analyses using the Auspice software were employed in combination with anamnestic reporting of travel history, interpersonal interactions and perceived high-risk exposures among patients and healthcare workers to characterise cluster outbreaks and establish likely scenarios and timelines of transmission.ResultsWe identified multiple independent introductions in the Munich Metropolitan Region during the first weeks of the first pandemic wave, mainly by travellers returning from popular skiing areas in the Alps. In these early weeks, the rate of presumable hospital-acquired infections among patients and in particular healthcare workers was high (9.6% and 54%, respectively) and we illustrated how transmission chains can be dissected at high resolution combining virus sequences and spatio-temporal networks of human interactions.ConclusionsEarly spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe was catalysed by superspreading events and regional hotspots during the winter holiday season. Genomic epidemiology can be employed to trace viral spread and inform effective containment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Infection ; 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491465

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To investigate the expression of the receptor protein ACE-2 alongside the urinary tract, urinary shedding and urinary stability of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining was performed on tissue from urological surgery of 10 patients. Further, patients treated for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at specialized care-units of a university hospital were assessed for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urinary samples via PCR, disease severity (WHO score), inflammatory response of patients. Finally, the stability of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine was analyzed. RESULTS: High ACE-2 expression (3/3) was observed in the tubules of the kidney and prostate glands, moderate expression in urothelial cells of the bladder (0-2/3) and no expression in kidney glomeruli, muscularis of the bladder and stroma of the prostate (0/3). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 5/199 urine samples from 64 patients. Viral RNA was detected in the first urinary sample of sequential samples. Viral RNA load from other specimen as nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) or endotracheal aspirates revealed higher levels than from urine. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in urine was not associated with impaired WHO score (median 5, range 3-8 vs median 4, range 1-8, p = 0.314), peak white blood cell count (median 24.1 × 1000/ml, range 5.19-48.1 versus median 11.9 × 1000/ml, range 2.9-60.3, p = 0.307), peak CRP (median 20.7 mg/dl, 4.2-40.2 versus median 11.9 mg/dl, range 0.1-51.9, p = 0.316) or peak IL-6 levels (median: 1442 ng/ml, range 26.7-3918 versus median 140 ng/ml, range 3.0-11,041, p = 0.099). SARS-CoV-2 RNA was stable under different storage conditions and after freeze-thaw cycles. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the urine of COVID-19 patients occurs infrequently. The viral RNA load and dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 RNA shedding suggest no relevant route of transmission through the urinary tract.

3.
Infection ; 2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330430

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Evaluation of pulmonary function impairment after COVID-19 in persistently symptomatic and asymptomatic patients of all disease severities and characterisation of risk factors. METHODS: Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent prospective follow-up with pulmonary function testing and blood gas analysis during steady-state cycle exercise 4 months after acute illness. Pulmonary function impairment (PFI) was defined as reduction below 80% predicted of DLCOcSB, TLC, FVC, or FEV1. Clinical data were analyzed to identify risk factors for impaired pulmonary function. RESULTS: 76 patients were included, hereof 35 outpatients with mild disease and 41 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. Sixteen patients had critical disease requiring mechanical ventilation, 25 patients had moderate-severe disease. After 4 months, 44 patients reported persisting respiratory symptoms. Significant PFI was prevalent in 40 patients (52.6%) occurring among all disease severities. The most common cause for PFI was reduced DLCOcSB (n = 39, 51.3%), followed by reduced TLC and FVC. The severity of PFI was significantly associated with mechanical ventilation (p < 0.001). Further risk factors for DLCO impairment were COPD (p < 0.001), SARS-CoV-2 antibody-Titer (p = 0.014) and in hospitalized patients CT score. A decrease of paO2 > 3 mmHg during cycle exercise occurred in 1/5 of patients after mild disease course. CONCLUSION: We characterized pulmonary function impairment in asymptomatic and persistently symptomatic patients of different severity groups of COVID-19 and identified further risk factors associated with persistently decreased pulmonary function. Remarkably, gas exchange abnormalities were revealed upon cycle exercise in some patients with mild disease courses and no preexisting pulmonary condition.

4.
Eur Respir J ; 58(1)2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1105685

ABSTRACT

A fraction of COVID-19 patients progress to a severe disease manifestation with respiratory failure and the necessity of mechanical ventilation. Identifying patients at risk is critical for optimised care and early therapeutic interventions. We investigated the dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) shedding relative to disease severity.We analysed nasopharyngeal and tracheal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 in 92 patients with diagnosed COVID-19. Upon admission, standardised nasopharyngeal swab or sputum samples were collected. If patients were mechanically ventilated, endotracheal aspirate samples were additionally obtained. Viral shedding was quantified by real-time PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.45% (41 out of 92) of COVID-19 patients had a severe disease course with the need for mechanical ventilation (severe group). At week 1, the initial viral shedding determined from nasopharyngeal swabs showed no significant difference between nonsevere and severe cases. At week 2, a difference could be observed as the viral shedding remained elevated in severely ill patients. A time-course of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and procalcitonin revealed an even more protracted inflammatory response following the delayed drop of virus shedding load in severely ill patients. A significant proportion (47.8%) of patients showed evidence of prolonged viral shedding (>17 days), which was associated with severe disease courses (73.2%).We report that viral shedding does not differ significantly between severe and nonsevere COVID-19 cases upon admission to the hospital. Elevated SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the second week of hospitalisation, a systemic inflammatory reaction peaking between the second and third week, and prolonged viral shedding are associated with a more severe disease course.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral , Respiratory System , Severity of Illness Index , Virus Shedding
5.
Eur Urol ; 78(4): 624-628, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-306004

ABSTRACT

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a challenge for physicians in triaging patients in emergency rooms. We found a potentially dangerous overlap of classical urinary symptoms and the as yet not fully described symptoms of COVID-19. After a patient was primarily triaged as a urosepsis case and then subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, we focused on an increase in urinary frequency as a symptom of COVID-19 and identified this in seven males out of 57 patients currently being treated in our COVID-19 wards. In the absence of any other causes, urinary frequency may be secondary to viral cystitis due to underlying COVID-19 disease. We propose consideration of urinary frequency as an anamnestic tool in patients with infective symptoms to increase awareness among urologists during the current COVID-19 pandemic to prevent fatal implications of misinterpreting urological symptoms.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cystitis/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Urinary Incontinence, Urge/virology , Urinary Tract Infections/virology , Urination , Urodynamics , Aged , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cystitis/diagnosis , Cystitis/physiopathology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Urinary Incontinence, Urge/diagnosis , Urinary Incontinence, Urge/physiopathology , Urinary Tract Infections/diagnosis , Urinary Tract Infections/physiopathology
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