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1.
BMC Pediatr ; 22(1): 130, 2022 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736356

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patient-level predictors of enrollment in pediatric biorepositories are poorly described. Especially in pandemic settings, understanding who is likely to enroll in a biorepository is critical to interpreting analyses conducted on biospecimens. We describe predictors of pediatric COVID-19 biorepository enrollment and biospecimen donation to identify gaps in COVID-19 research on pediatric biospecimens. METHODS: We compared data from enrollees and non-enrollees aged 0-25 years with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection who were approached for enrollment in the Massachusetts General Hospital pediatric COVID-19 biorepository between April 12, 2020, and May 28, 2020, from community or academic outpatient or inpatient settings. Demographic and clinical data at presentation to care were from automatic and manual chart extractions. Predictors of enrollment and biospecimen donation were assessed with Poisson regression models. RESULTS: Among 457 individuals approached, 214 (47%) enrolled in the biorepository. A COVID-19 epidemiologic risk factor was recorded for 53%, and 15% lived in a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-defined COVID-19 hotspot. Individuals living in a COVID-19 hotspot (relative risk (RR) 2.4 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.8-3.2]), with symptoms at presentation (RR 1.8 [95% CI: 1.2-2.7]), or admitted to hospital (RR 1.8 [95% CI: 1.2-2.8]) were more likely to enroll. Seventy-nine percent of enrollees donated any biospecimen, including 97 nasopharyngeal swabs, 119 oropharyngeal swabs, and 105 blood, 16 urine, and 16 stool specimens, respectively. Age, sex, race, ethnicity, and neighborhood-level socioeconomic status based on zip code did not predict enrollment or biospecimen donation. CONCLUSIONS: While fewer than half of individuals approached consented to participate in the pediatric biorepository, enrollment appeared to be representative of children affected by the pandemic. Living in a COVID-19 hotspot, symptoms at presentation to care and hospital admission predicted biorepository enrollment. Once enrolled, most individuals donated a biospecimen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Massachusetts , Pandemics , Young Adult
2.
J Infect Dis ; 224(11): 1821-1829, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545975

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Data on pediatric coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has lagged behind adults throughout the pandemic. An understanding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral dynamics in children would enable data-driven public health guidance. METHODS: Respiratory swabs were collected from children with COVID-19. Viral load was quantified by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR); viral culture was assessed by direct observation of cytopathic effects and semiquantitative viral titers. Correlations with age, symptom duration, and disease severity were analyzed. SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences were compared with contemporaneous sequences. RESULTS: One hundred ten children with COVID-19 (median age, 10 years [range, 2 weeks-21 years]) were included in this study. Age did not impact SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Children were most infectious within the first 5 days of illness, and severe disease did not correlate with increased viral loads. Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 sequences were representative of those in the community and novel variants were identified. CONCLUSIONS: Symptomatic and asymptomatic children can carry high quantities of live, replicating SARS-CoV-2, creating a potential reservoir for transmission and evolution of genetic variants. As guidance around social distancing and masking evolves following vaccine uptake in older populations, a clear understanding of SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics in children is critical for rational development of public health policies and vaccination strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Load , Adolescent , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
3.
Non-conventional in English | MEDLINE, Grey literature | ID: grc-750467

ABSTRACT

Background Healthcare resource constraints in low and middle-income countries necessitate selection of cost-effective public health interventions to address COVID-19. Methods We developed a dynamic COVID-19 microsimulation model to evaluate clinical and economic outcomes and cost-effectiveness of epidemic control strategies in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Interventions assessed were Healthcare Testing (HT), where diagnostic testing is performed only for those presenting to healthcare centres;Contact Tracing (CT) in households of cases;Isolation Centres (IC), for cases not requiring hospitalisation;community health worker-led Mass Symptom Screening and diagnostic testing for symptomatic individuals (MS);and Quarantine Centres (QC), for contacts who test negative. Given uncertainties about epidemic dynamics in South Africa, we evaluated two main epidemic scenarios over 360 days, with effective reproduction numbers (R e ) of 1.5 and 1.2. We compared HT, HT+CT, HT+CT+IC, HT+CT+IC+MS, HT+CT+IC+QC, and HT+CT+IC+MS+QC, considering strategies with incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) <US$1,290/year-of-life saved (YLS) to be cost-effective. Findings With R e 1.5, HT resulted in the most COVID-19 deaths and lowest costs over 360 days. Compared with HT, HT+CT+IC+MS reduced mortality by 76%, increased costs by 16%, and was cost-effective (ICER $350/YLS). HT+CT+IC+MS+QC provided the greatest reduction in mortality, but increased costs by 95% compared with HT+CT+IC+MS and was not cost-effective (ICER $8,000/YLS). With R e 1.2, HT+CT+IC+MS was the least costly strategy, and HT+CT+IC+MS+QC was not cost-effective (ICER $294,320/YLS). Interpretation In South Africa, a strategy of household contact tracing, isolation, and mass symptom screening would substantially reduce COVID-19 mortality and be cost-effective. Adding quarantine centres for COVID-19 contacts is not cost-effective.

4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e2908-e2917, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501002

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We projected the clinical and economic impact of alternative testing strategies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) incidence and mortality in Massachusetts using a microsimulation model. METHODS: We compared 4 testing strategies: (1) hospitalized: polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing only for patients with severe/critical symptoms warranting hospitalization; (2) symptomatic: PCR for any COVID-19-consistent symptoms, with self-isolation if positive; (3) symptomatic + asymptomatic once: symptomatic and 1-time PCR for the entire population; and (4) symptomatic + asymptomatic monthly: symptomatic with monthly retesting for the entire population. We examined effective reproduction numbers (Re = 0.9-2.0) at which policy conclusions would change. We assumed homogeneous mixing among the Massachusetts population (excluding those residing in long-term care facilities). We used published data on disease progression and mortality, transmission, PCR sensitivity/specificity (70%/100%), and costs. Model-projected outcomes included infections, deaths, tests performed, hospital-days, and costs over 180 days, as well as incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs, $/quality-adjusted life-year [QALY]). RESULTS: At Re = 0.9, symptomatic + asymptomatic monthly vs hospitalized resulted in a 64% reduction in infections and a 46% reduction in deaths, but required >66-fold more tests/day with 5-fold higher costs. Symptomatic + asymptomatic monthly had an ICER <$100 000/QALY only when Re ≥1.6; when test cost was ≤$3, every 14-day testing was cost-effective at all Re examined. CONCLUSIONS: Testing people with any COVID-19-consistent symptoms would be cost-saving compared to testing only those whose symptoms warrant hospital care. Expanding PCR testing to asymptomatic people would decrease infections, deaths, and hospitalizations. Despite modest sensitivity, low-cost, repeat screening of the entire population could be cost-effective in all epidemic settings.

5.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(4): 472-483, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201212

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Colleges in the United States are determining how to operate safely amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To examine the clinical outcomes, cost, and cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 mitigation strategies on college campuses. DESIGN: The Clinical and Economic Analysis of COVID-19 interventions (CEACOV) model, a dynamic microsimulation model, was used to examine alternative mitigation strategies. The CEACOV model tracks infections accrued by students and faculty, accounting for community transmissions. DATA SOURCES: Data from published literature were used to obtain parameters related to COVID-19 and contact-hours. TARGET POPULATION: Undergraduate students and faculty at U.S. colleges. TIME HORIZON: One semester (105 days). PERSPECTIVE: Modified societal. INTERVENTION: COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including social distancing, masks, and routine laboratory screening. OUTCOME MEASURES: Infections among students and faculty per 5000 students and per 1000 faculty, isolation days, tests, costs, cost per infection prevented, and cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY). RESULTS OF BASE-CASE ANALYSIS: Among students, mitigation strategies reduced COVID-19 cases from 3746 with no mitigation to 493 with extensive social distancing and masks, and further to 151 when laboratory testing was added among asymptomatic persons every 3 days. Among faculty, these values were 164, 28, and 25 cases, respectively. Costs ranged from about $0.4 million for minimal social distancing to about $0.9 million to $2.1 million for strategies involving laboratory testing ($10 per test), depending on testing frequency. Extensive social distancing with masks cost $170 per infection prevented ($49 200 per QALY) compared with masks alone. Adding routine laboratory testing increased cost per infection prevented to between $2010 and $17 210 (cost per QALY gained, $811 400 to $2 804 600). RESULTS OF SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS: Results were most sensitive to test costs. LIMITATION: Data are from multiple sources. CONCLUSION: Extensive social distancing with a mandatory mask-wearing policy can prevent most COVID-19 cases on college campuses and is very cost-effective. Routine laboratory testing would prevent 96% of infections and require low-cost tests to be economically attractive. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: National Institutes of Health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Universities , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Communicable Disease Control/economics , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Female , Humans , Male , Masks , Mass Screening/economics , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
8.
Lancet Glob Health ; 9(2): e120-e129, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922185

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health-care resource constraints in low-income and middle-income countries necessitate the identification of cost-effective public health interventions to address COVID-19. We aimed to develop a dynamic COVID-19 microsimulation model to assess clinical and economic outcomes and cost-effectiveness of epidemic control strategies in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. METHODS: We compared different combinations of five public health interventions: health-care testing alone, where diagnostic testing is done only for individuals presenting to health-care centres; contact tracing in households of cases; isolation centres, for cases not requiring hospital admission; mass symptom screening and molecular testing for symptomatic individuals by community health-care workers; and quarantine centres, for household contacts who test negative. We calibrated infection transmission rates to match effective reproduction number (Re) estimates reported in South Africa. We assessed two main epidemic scenarios for a period of 360 days, with an Re of 1·5 and 1·2. Strategies with incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of less than US$3250 per year of life saved were considered cost-effective. We also did sensitivity analyses by varying key parameters (Re values, molecular testing sensitivity, and efficacies and costs of interventions) to determine the effect on clinical and cost projections. FINDINGS: When Re was 1·5, health-care testing alone resulted in the highest number of COVID-19 deaths during the 360-day period. Compared with health-care testing alone, a combination of health-care testing, contact tracing, use of isolation centres, mass symptom screening, and use of quarantine centres reduced mortality by 94%, increased health-care costs by 33%, and was cost-effective (ICER $340 per year of life saved). In settings where quarantine centres were not feasible, a combination of health-care testing, contact tracing, use of isolation centres, and mass symptom screening was cost-effective compared with health-care testing alone (ICER $590 per year of life saved). When Re was 1·2, health-care testing, contact tracing, use of isolation centres, and use of quarantine centres was the least costly strategy, and no other strategies were cost-effective. In sensitivity analyses, a combination of health-care testing, contact tracing, use of isolation centres, mass symptom screening, and use of quarantine centres was generally cost-effective, with the exception of scenarios in which Re was 2·6 and when efficacies of isolation centres and quarantine centres for transmission reduction were reduced. INTERPRETATION: In South Africa, strategies involving household contact tracing, isolation, mass symptom screening, and quarantining household contacts who test negative would substantially reduce COVID-19 mortality and would be cost-effective. The optimal combination of interventions depends on epidemic growth characteristics and practical implementation considerations. FUNDING: US National Institutes of Health, Royal Society, Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Epidemics/prevention & control , Public Health/economics , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Computer Simulation , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , Public Health/methods , South Africa/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
J Pediatr ; 227: 45-52.e5, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-872293

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: As schools plan for re-opening, understanding the potential role children play in the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the factors that drive severe illness in children is critical. STUDY DESIGN: Children ages 0-22 years with suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection presenting to urgent care clinics or being hospitalized for confirmed/suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) at Massachusetts General Hospital were offered enrollment in the Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric COVID-19 Biorepository. Enrolled children provided nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, and/or blood specimens. SARS-CoV-2 viral load, ACE2 RNA levels, and serology for SARS-CoV-2 were quantified. RESULTS: A total of 192 children (mean age, 10.2 ± 7.0 years) were enrolled. Forty-nine children (26%) were diagnosed with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection; an additional 18 children (9%) met the criteria for MIS-C. Only 25 children (51%) with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection presented with fever; symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, if present, were nonspecific. Nasopharyngeal viral load was highest in children in the first 2 days of symptoms, significantly higher than hospitalized adults with severe disease (P = .002). Age did not impact viral load, but younger children had lower angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression (P = .004). Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) to the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein were increased in severe MIS-C (P < .001), with dysregulated humoral responses observed. CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals that children may be a potential source of contagion in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic despite having milder disease or a lack of symptoms; immune dysregulation is implicated in severe postinfectious MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Age Factors , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Pandemics , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load , Young Adult
10.
BMC Med Res Methodol ; 20(1): 228, 2020 09 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-751240

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the disease caused by the highly infectious and transmissible coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has quickly become a morbid global pandemic. Although the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is less clinically apparent, collecting high-quality biospecimens from infants, children, and adolescents in a standardized manner during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential to establish a biologic understanding of the disease in the pediatric population. This biorepository enables pediatric centers world-wide to collect samples uniformly to drive forward our understanding of COVID-19 by addressing specific pediatric and neonatal COVID-19-related questions. METHODS: A COVID-19 biospecimen collection study was implemented with strategic enrollment guidelines to include patients seen in urgent care clinics and hospital settings, neonates born to SARS-CoV-2 infected mothers, and asymptomatic children. The methodology described here, details the importance of establishing collaborations between the clinical and research teams to harmonize protocols for patient recruitment and sample collection, processing and storage. It also details modifications required for biobanking during a surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Considerations and challenges facing enrollment of neonatal and pediatric cohorts are described. A roadmap is laid out for successful collection, processing, storage and database management of multiple pediatric samples such as blood, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, saliva, tracheal aspirates, stool, and urine. Using this methodology, we enrolled 327 participants, who provided a total of 972 biospecimens. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric biospecimens will be key in answering questions relating to viral transmission by children, differences between pediatric and adult viral susceptibility and immune responses, the impact of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection on fetal development, and factors driving the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. The specimens in this biorepository will allow necessary comparative studies between children and adults, help determine the accuracy of current pediatric viral testing techniques, in addition to, understanding neonatal exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease abnormalities. The successful establishment of a pediatric biorepository is critical to provide insight into disease pathogenesis, and subsequently, develop future treatment and vaccination strategies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Specimen Handling/methods , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Female , Fetal Development , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
11.
medRxiv ; 2020 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636369

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare resource constraints in low and middle-income countries necessitate selection of cost-effective public health interventions to address COVID-19. METHODS: We developed a dynamic COVID-19 microsimulation model to evaluate clinical and economic outcomes and cost-effectiveness of epidemic control strategies in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Interventions assessed were Healthcare Testing (HT), where diagnostic testing is performed only for those presenting to healthcare centres; Contact Tracing (CT) in households of cases; Isolation Centres (IC), for cases not requiring hospitalisation; community health worker-led Mass Symptom Screening and molecular testing for symptomatic individuals (MS); and Quarantine Centres (QC), for household contacts who test negative. Given uncertainties about epidemic dynamics in South Africa, we evaluated two main epidemic scenarios over 360 days, with effective reproduction numbers (Re) of 1·5 and 1·2. We compared HT, HT+CT, HT+CT+IC, HT+CT+IC+MS, HT+CT+IC+QC, and HT+CT+IC+MS+QC, considering strategies with incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER)

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