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1.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 58(7): 2009-2016, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296913

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Although impaired lung function after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been described in adults, it is unclear whether lung function might be altered in children, especially among asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients. In this study, we report the results of lung function testing performed after SARS-CoV-2 infection in a large pediatric population. METHODS: The study included 589 patients with previous confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection aged 0-18 years. Both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients during acute infection were enrolled in the study. A spirometry was performed in all cooperating patients. RESULTS: The mean age of enrolled patients was 9.6 years and the mean time from infection to enrollment was 171 days. Spirometry was performed and deemed evaluable in 433 patients. No patient had reduced forced vital capacity (FVC) and only 14 patients (3.2%) had a forced expiratory volume in the First second (FEV1) < 80%. The mean spirometry values recorded were in the normal range. There were no statistically significant differences in spirometry values between patients with respiratory symptoms during infection and those without. Similarly, there were no differences in spirometry parameters according to the time elapsed between infection and enrollment. CONCLUSION: Lung function, according to spirometry values, does not appear to be impaired long after infection in the pediatric population. The presence of respiratory symptoms during SARS-CoV-2 infection would not represent a risk factor for impaired lung function in this cohort of patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Child , Humans , Prospective Studies , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Vital Capacity , Forced Expiratory Volume , Spirometry/methods , Lung
2.
Pathogens ; 12(4)2023 Apr 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304049

ABSTRACT

Respiratory diseases caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human rhinovirus (HRV) are frequent causes of the hospitalization of children; nonetheless, RSV is responsible for the most severe and life-threatening illnesses. Viral infection triggers an inflammatory response, activating interferon (IFN)-mediated responses, including IFN-stimulated genes (ISG) expression with antiviral and immunomodulatory activities. In parallel, the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production activates nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), whose antioxidant activity can reduce inflammation by interacting with the NF-kB pathway and the IFN response. To clarify how the interplay of IFN and NRF2 may impact on clinical severity, we enrolled children hospitalized for bronchiolitis and pneumonia, and measured gene expression of type-I and III IFNs, of several ISGs, of NRF2 and antioxidant-related genes, i.e., glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), heme oxygenase 1 (HO1), and NAD(P)H dehydrogenase [Quinone] 1 (NQO1) in RSV- (RSV-A N = 33 and RSV-B N = 30) and HRV (N = 22)-positive respiratory samples. NRF2 and HO1 expression is significantly elevated in children with HRV infection compared to RSV (p = 0.012 and p = 0.007, respectively), whereas ISG15 and ISG56 expression is higher in RSV-infected children (p = 0.016 and p = 0.049, respectively). Children admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) had reduced NRF2 expression (p = 0.002). These data suggest, for the first time, that lower activation of the NRF2 antioxidant response in RSV-infected infants may contribute to bronchiolitis severity.

3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 873232, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141855

ABSTRACT

Children generally develop a mild disease after SARS-CoV-2 infection whereas older adults are at risk of developing severe COVID-19. Recent transcriptomic analysis showed pre-activated innate immunity in children, resulting in a more effective anti-SARS-CoV-2 response upon infection. To further characterize age-related differences, we studied type I and III interferon (IFN) response in SARS-CoV-2 infected and non-infected individuals of different ages. Specifically, levels of expression of type I (IFN-α, -ß, -ε and -ω), type III (IFN-λ1, -λ2 and -λ3) IFNs and of the IFN-stimulated genes, ISG15 and ISG56 were quantified in nasopharyngeal cells from diagnostic swabs. Basal transcription of type I/III IFN genes was highest among children and decreased with age. Among SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals, only IFN-ε and -ω levels were significantly higher in children and young adults whereas ISGs were overexpressed in infected adults. The occurrence of symptoms in children and the need for hospitalization in adults were associated to higher transcription of several IFN genes. Starting from a pre-activated transcription level, the expression of type I and III IFNs was not highly up-regulated in children upon SARS-CoV-2 infection; young adults activated IFNs' transcription at intermediate levels whereas older adults were characterized by higher ISGs and lower IFN-ε and -ω relative expression levels. Overall, our findings contribute to recognize components of a protective IFN response as a function of age, in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Aged , Antiviral Agents , Cell Line , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Front Pediatr ; 10: 930281, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109818

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of 2020, a remarkably low incidence of respiratory virus hospitalizations has been reported worldwide. We prospectively evaluated 587 children, aged <12 years, admitted for respiratory tract infections from 1 September 2021 to 15 March 2022 in four Italian pediatric hospitals to assess the burden of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. At admission, a Clinical Respiratory Score was assigned and nasopharyngeal or nasal washing samples were collected and tested for respiratory viruses. Total admissions increased from the second half of October 2021 to the first half of December 2021 with a peak in early November 2021. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) incidence curve coincided with the total hospitalizations curve, occurred earlier than in the pre-pandemic years, and showed an opposite trend with respect to the incidence rate of SARS-CoV-2. Our results demonstrated an early peak in pediatric hospitalizations for RSV. SARS-CoV-2 may exhibit a competitive pressure on other respiratory viruses, most notably RSV.

5.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(9)2022 Sep 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2032876

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, lung ultrasound (LUS) was widely used to assess SARS-CoV-2 infection. To date, there are patients with persistence of symptoms after acute infection. Therefore, it may be useful to have an objective tool to follow these patients. The aim of our study was to evaluate the presence of LUS artifacts after SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and to analyze the associations between time elapsed since infection and symptomatology during acute infection. We conducted an observational study, enrolling 607 children infected with SARS-CoV-2 in the previous twelve months. All patients performed a LUS and medical history of demographic and clinical data. We observed irregular pleural lines in 27.5%, B-lines in 16.9%, and subpleural consolidations in 8.6% of the cases. These artifacts were more frequently observed in the lower lobe projections. We have observed that the frequency of artifacts decreases with increasing time since infection. In symptomatic patients during COVID infection, B-lines (p = 0.02) were more frequently found. In our sample, some children, even after months of acute infection, have ultrasound artifacts and showed an improvement with the passage of time from the acute episode. Our study provides additional evidence about LUS in children with previous COVID-19 as a support to follow these patients in the months following the infection.

6.
Front Neurol ; 13: 925144, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022804

ABSTRACT

Aim: We evaluated the long-term clinical status of pediatric patients after testing positive for COVID-19. We hypothesized that there are similar symptoms to those that have been described in adults and children and that pediatric patients with neurophysiologic symptoms still present 3-5 months after infection have psychological consequences that interfere with their adaptive functioning. Method: We recruited 322 COVID-19-positive pediatric patients, between 1.5 and 17 years old, from the outpatient clinic for COVID-19 follow-up. Neurological symptoms were analyzed at onset, after 1 month, and after 3-5 months. A psychological assessment with standardized questionnaires was also conducted to determine the impact of the disease. Results: At the onset of COVID-19, 60% of the total sample exhibited symptoms; this decreased after 1 month (20%) but stabilized 3-5 months after disease onset (22%). Prevailing long-COVID neurological symptoms were headache, fatigue, and anosmia. In the 1.5-5-year-old subgroup, internalizing problems emerged in 12% of patients. In the 6-18-year-old subgroup, anxiety and post-traumatic stress showed significant associations with neurological symptoms of long COVID. Conclusions: These data demonstrate that long COVID presents various broad-spectrum symptoms, including psychological and long-lasting cognitive issues. If not treated, these symptoms could significantly compromise the quality of life of children and adolescents.

7.
Cytokine ; 158: 155997, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1982909

ABSTRACT

The recently discovered truncated, non-functional, ACE2 transcript (dACE2), but not the full-length ACE2 (f-lACE2), is induced by IFNs in differentiated airway cells. We measured expression of both ACE2 isoforms in SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative subjects, in relation to Interferon-stimulated genes. A significant activation of dACE2 transcript was found, in SARS-CoV-2 positive adults either hospitalized or not, showing a positive correlation with ISG15; f-lACE2 expression was weakly activated and not ISG-related. We confirmed a specific activation of dACE2 transcript in nasopharyngeal cells, related to the mucosal IFN response.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Isoforms/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Frontiers in pediatrics ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1970728

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of 2020, a remarkably low incidence of respiratory virus hospitalizations has been reported worldwide. We prospectively evaluated 587 children, aged <12 years, admitted for respiratory tract infections from 1 September 2021 to 15 March 2022 in four Italian pediatric hospitals to assess the burden of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. At admission, a Clinical Respiratory Score was assigned and nasopharyngeal or nasal washing samples were collected and tested for respiratory viruses. Total admissions increased from the second half of October 2021 to the first half of December 2021 with a peak in early November 2021. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) incidence curve coincided with the total hospitalizations curve, occurred earlier than in the pre-pandemic years, and showed an opposite trend with respect to the incidence rate of SARS-CoV-2. Our results demonstrated an early peak in pediatric hospitalizations for RSV. SARS-CoV-2 may exhibit a competitive pressure on other respiratory viruses, most notably RSV.

9.
Front Biosci (Landmark Ed) ; 27(6): 178, 2022 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1912654

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus pandemic has influenced our society with social distancing and management of chronic disease such as cystic fibrosis (CF). During the Italian lockdown from March to May 2020, CF patients reduced the number of outpatient visits, limited social interactions and spent more time at home. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of the lockdown on body mass index (BMI) and lung function tests on CF patients. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed clinical data about 111 CF patients followed in our Regional Cystic Fibrosis Reference Centre (Policlinico Umberto I, Rome) according to two periods: pre-lockdown (from October 2019-March 2020) and post-lockdown (from May 2020-October 2020). We collected data on nutritional (BMI and body weight) and lung function status; we chose the best values of the 'pre-lockdown' and 'post-lockdown' period for each patient. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to FEV1 value (Forced Expiratory Volume in the 1st second): group 1 (FEV1 <40%), group 2 (FEV1 40-70%), group 3 (FEV1 >70%). All patients received a telephone interview asking for the number of hours per week devoted to physical activity, number of pulmonary acute exacerbations and subjective evaluation of adherence to medical therapy, respiratory physiotherapy and diet, during the two periods. RESULTS: Comparing weight, BMI and respiratory function between pre and post lockdown periods, we noticed an increase in weight during among overall patients. Male patients improved weight, BMI, FEF 25-75% (Forced Expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of vital capacity) and Tiffenau index more than female patients. The most severely compromised patients (group 1), showed a significant loss of both weight and BMI. Instead, patients with moderate respiratory function (group 2) showed a significant increase of both weight and BMI and a slightly reduced CVF (Forced Vital capacity). We found no differences among patients with good respiratory function (group 3). Comparing each clinical sub-groups, we noticed a significative improvement of weight (p = 0.018) and BMI (p = 0.030) among patients with moderate respiratory function compared to patients with compromised respiratory function. During lockdown, patients reported less physical activity, no variation in food amount and composition, more adherence to therapy (43%) and more consistent daily respiratory physiotherapy (47.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Lockdown period had benefit among CF patients in terms of weight in particular in male patient. The greatest benefit on nutritional state was observed in patients with moderate reduction of respiratory function. In addition, we noted a stabilization and sometimes a slight improvement of lung function, instead of a continuous and steady decline that is normally observed in CF patients. These beneficial effects are slight but significative, bearing in mind the general worsening that CF patients experience annually.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cystic Fibrosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator , Female , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies
10.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 12(5)2022 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862746

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 19) is an infectious disease also known as an acute respiratory syndrome caused by the SARS-CoV-2. Although in children and adolescents SARS-CoV-2 infection produces mostly mild or moderate symptoms, in a certain percentage of recovered young people a condition of malaise, defined as long-COVID-19, remains. To date, the risk factors for the development of long-COVID-19 are not completely elucidated. Neurotrophins such as NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) and BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) are known to regulate not only neuronal growth, survival and plasticity, but also to influence cardiovascular, immune, and endocrine systems in physiological and/or pathological conditions; to date only a few papers have discussed their potential role in COVID-19. In the present pilot study, we aimed to identify NGF and BDNF changes in the serum of a small cohort of male and female adolescents that contracted the infection during the second wave of the pandemic (between September and October 2020), notably in the absence of available vaccines. Blood withdrawal was carried out when the recruited adolescents tested negative for the SARS-CoV-2 ("post-infected COVID-19"), 30 to 35 days after the last molecular test. According to their COVID-19 related outcomes, the recruited individuals were divided into three groups: asymptomatics, acute symptomatics and symptomatics that over time developed long-COVID-19 symptoms ("future long-COVID-19"). As a control group, we analyzed the serum of age-matched healthy controls that did not contract the infection. Inflammatory biomarkers (TNF-α, TGF-ß), MCP-1, IL-1α, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12) were also analyzed with the free oxygen radicals' presence as an oxidative stress index. We showed that NGF serum content was lower in post-infected-COVID-19 individuals when compared to healthy controls; BDNF levels were found to be higher compared to healthy individuals only in post-infected-COVID-19 symptomatic and future long-COVID-19 girls, leaving the BDNF levels unchanged in asymptomatic individuals if compared to controls. Oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers were unchanged in male and female adolescents, except for TGF-ß that, similarly to BDNF, was higher in post-infected-COVID-19 symptomatic and future long-COVID-19 girls. We predicted that NGF and/or BDNF could be used as early biomarkers of COVID-19 morbidity in adolescents.

11.
Frontiers in pediatrics ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1837677

ABSTRACT

Objective Since the beginning of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a novel syndrome known as a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) was reported in previously healthy children. A possible pro-inflammatory molecule, high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), may be assumed to play an important role in the pathogenesis and clinical presentation of MIS-C. We described the clinical picture of patients with MIS-C and we also aimed to test and compare HMGB1 serum levels of MIS-C patients with those of patients with previous SARS-CoV2 infection and healthy children. Study design We determined HMGB1 levels by Western blot in 46 patients and divided them into three groups, namely, five patients with MIS-C (median age: 8.36 years), 20 children with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection (median age: 10.45 years), and 21 healthy children (controls) (median age: 4.84 years), without evidence of respiratory infection in the last 3 months. Results The median level of HMGB1 in the serum of five patients with MIS-C was found to be significantly higher compared with both patients with a recent history of COVID-19 (1,151.38 vs. 545.90 densitometric units (DU), p = 0.001) and control (1,151.38 vs. 320.33 DU, p = 0.001) groups. The HMGB1 level in MIS-C patients with coronary involvement had a slightly higher value with respect to patients without coronary dilatation (1,225.36 vs. 1,030.49 DU, p = 0.248). In two of the five children with MIS-C that performed a follow-up, the HMGB1 value decreased to levels that were superimposable to the ones of the control group. Conclusion The significantly high level of HMGB1 protein found in the serum of COVID-19 and patients with MIS-C supports its involvement in inflammatory manifestations, suggesting HMGB1 as a potential biomarker and therapeutic target in patients with severe illness.

12.
Ital J Pediatr ; 48(1): 42, 2022 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736431

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Two sequelae of pediatric COVID-19 have been identified, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and the long COVID. Long COVID is much less precisely defined and includes all the persistent or new clinical manifestations evidenced in subjects previously infected by SARS-CoV-2 beyond the period of the acute infection and that cannot be explained by an alternative diagnosis. In this Intersociety Consensus, present knowledge on pediatric long COVID as well as how to identify and manage children with long COVID are discussed. MAIN FINDINGS: Although the true prevalence of long COVID in pediatrics is not exactly determined, it seems appropriate to recommend evaluating the presence of symptoms suggestive of long COVID near the end of the acute phase of the disease, between 4 and 12 weeks from this. Long COVID in children and adolescents should be suspected in presence of persistent headache and fatigue, sleep disturbance, difficulty in concentrating, abdominal pain, myalgia or arthralgia. Persistent chest pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, heart palpitations, and skin lesions should be considered as possible symptoms of long COVID. It is recommended that the primary care pediatrician visits all subjects with a suspected or a proven diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection after 4 weeks to check for the presence of symptoms of previously unknown disease. In any case, a further check-up by the primary care pediatrician should be scheduled 3 months after the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection to confirm normality or to address emerging problems. The subjects who present symptoms of any organic problem must undergo a thorough evaluation of the same, with a possible request for clinical, laboratory and / or radiological in-depth analysis in case of need. Children and adolescents with clear symptoms of mental stress will need to be followed up by existing local services for problems of this type. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric long COVID is a relevant problem that involve a considerable proportion of children and adolescents. Prognosis of these cases is generally good as in most of them symptoms disappear spontaneously. The few children with significant medical problems should be early identified after the acute phase of the infection and adequately managed to assure complete resolution. A relevant psychological support for all the children during COVID-19 pandemic must be organized by health authorities and government that have to treat this as a public health issue.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , COVID-19/complications , Child , Consensus , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/diagnosis , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/therapy , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
13.
Acta Paediatr ; 111(7): 1399-1403, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735870

ABSTRACT

AIM: Emergency room admissions have decreased globally during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for respiratory diseases. We evaluated hospital admissions for respiratory diseases in the first year of the Italian pandemic and compared them with the corresponding period in 2016-2017. METHODS: The study was carried out at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, and covered 9 March to 28 February 2020-2021 and 2016-2017. We tested 85 hospitalised children who were negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 in 2020-2021 and compared them with 476 hospitalised children from 2016-2017, as we had also tested nasal washing samples for 14 respiratory viruses during that period. RESULTS: Hospitalisations for acute respiratory tract infections were 82.2% lower in 2020-2021 than 2016-2017. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and several other viruses were detected less frequently during the pandemic. An extraordinary finding was that rhinoviruses remained seasonal. In 2020-2021, we detected a virus in 54.1% of the hospitalised children: rhinoviruses in 41, RSV in 4 and other viruses in 1. This was significantly lower than the 71.6% in 2016-2017: RSV in 130, rhinoviruses in 128 and other viruses in 83. CONCLUSION: Pandemic measures dramatically reduced childhood respiratory infections, particularly RSV, but were less effective at reducing rhinoviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Viruses , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Hospitalized , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Rhinovirus
14.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 57(9): 1982-1989, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565225

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In the era of data-driven decision-making, unacceptable haziness, and inconsistency surrounds the yearlong scientific and public debate on the school closure policy in the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic mitigation efforts. AIM: The present literature review stems out of the need for a clear scaffold collecting in one place all current evidence, as well as helping to organize incoming future evidence, concerning both the role of schools in driving the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) community spread and the cost-effectiveness of school closure in containing such spread. METHODS: References for this review were initially identified through searches of PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane Library for articles published from March 2020 to March 2021 by the use of key terms "Schools," "COVID-19," "pandemic," "clusters," "outbreak," and "seroprevalence," selecting all articles from 2020 to 2021 with full-text availability. A further search was undertaken by screening citations of articles found in the original search and through Google Scholar and ResearchGate. RESULTS: Overall, evidence shows that opening schools and keeping them open in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is possible, although behaviorally challenging and unfeasible if educational facilities or testing services are inadequate. Contrary to other respiratory viruses, children are not chief targets of SARS-CoV-2 infection, transmission, and disease. It also appears that the second wave of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread in the WHO European region has been unrelated to school re-opening. CONCLUSIONS: A fact-based understanding of what is currently known on such a consequential policy is required to provide a basis of evidence for advocacy of either school closure or school opening at times of high-intensity community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Seroepidemiologic Studies
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409573

ABSTRACT

Previously, we demonstrated an 81% reduction in pediatric Emergency Room (ER) visits in Italy during the strict lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Since May 2020, lockdown measures were relaxed until 6 November 2020, when a strict lockdown was patchily reintroduced. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of the relaxed lockdown on pediatric ER visits in Italy. We performed a retrospective multicenter study involving 14 Italian pediatric ERs. We compared total ER visits from 24 September 2020 to 6 November 2020 with those during the corresponding timeframe in 2019. We evaluated 17 ER specific diagnoses grouped in air communicable and non-air communicable diseases. We recognized four different triage categories: white, green, yellow and red. In 2020 total ER visits were reduced by 51% compared to 2019 (16,088 vs. 32,568, respectively). The decrease in air communicable diseases was significantly higher if compared to non-air communicable diseases (-64% vs. -42%, respectively). ER visits in each triage category decreased in 2020 compared to 2019, but in percentage, white and red codes remained stable, while yellow codes slightly increased and green codes slightly decreased. Our results suggest that preventive measures drastically reduced the circulation of air communicable diseases even during the reopening of social activities but to a lesser extent with regard to the strict lockdown period (March-May 2020).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
16.
Cytokine ; 140: 155430, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385381

ABSTRACT

In vitro interferon (IFN)α treatment of primary human upper airway basal cells has been shown to drive ACE2 expression, the receptor of SARS-CoV-2. The protease furin is also involved in mediating SARS-CoV-2 and other viral infections, although its association with early IFN response has not been evaluated yet. In order to assess the in vivo relationship between ACE2 and furin expression and the IFN response in nasopharyngeal cells, we first examined ACE2 and furin levels and their correlation with the well-known marker of IFNs' activation, ISG15, in children (n = 59) and adults (n = 48), during respiratory diseases not caused by SARS-CoV-2. A strong positive correlation was found between ACE2 expression, but not of furin, and ISG15 in all patients analyzed. In addition, type I and III IFN stimulation experiments were performed to examine the IFN-mediated activation of ACE2 isoforms (full-length and truncated) and furin in epithelial cell lines. Following all the IFNs treatments, only the truncated ACE2 levels, were upregulated significantly in the A549 and Calu3 cells, in particular by type I IFNs. If confirmed in vivo following IFNs' activation, the induction of the truncated ACE2 isoform only would not enhance the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the respiratory tract.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Gene Expression/drug effects , Interferons/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Adult , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Child , Cytokines/genetics , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Lung/cytology , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Ubiquitins/genetics
17.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 56(10): 3106-3109, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1312761

ABSTRACT

The diffusion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the implementation of restrictive measures led to a drastic reduction of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) diffusion. Few RSV cases have been detected worldwide, even after the removal of the restrictions. We review the current literature and present possible explanations on why there has been a significant reduction of RSV detection during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also hypothesize what may happen when RSV begins to circulate again. The increase of an immunologically naïve population, with infants born from mothers who have not reinforced their immunity to RSV, could lead to greater RSV epidemics in the coming seasons. It is crucial to prepare the scientific community and to keep RSV surveillance active to avoid dramatic consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons
18.
Pediatr Pulmonol ; 56(7): 1957-1966, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137066

ABSTRACT

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the pandemic because of a novel coronavirus, called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In January 2020, the first transmission to healthcare workers (HCWs) was described. SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted between people because of contact, droplets, and airborne. Airborne transmission is caused by aerosols that remain infectious when suspended in air over long distances and time. In the clinical setting, airborne transmission may occur during aerosol generating procedures like flexible bronchoscopy. To date, although the role of children in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is not clear the execution of bronchoscopy is associated with a considerably increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to HCWs. The aim of this overview is to summarize available recommendations and to apply them to pediatric bronchoscopy. We performed systematic literature searches using the MEDLINE (accessed via PubMed) and Scopus databases. We reviewed major recommendations and position statements published at the moment by the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology, WHO, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and expert groups on the management of patients with COVID-19 to limit transmission among HCWs. To date there is a lack of recommendations for safe bronchoscopy during the pandemic period. The main indications concern adults and little has been said about children. We have summarized available recommendations and we have applied them to pediatric bronchoscopy.


Subject(s)
Bronchoscopy/methods , COVID-19/therapy , Aerosols , Bronchoscopy/instrumentation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Pulmonary Medicine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(23)2020 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-945819

ABSTRACT

From 9 March to 3 May 2020, lockdown was declared in Italy due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Our aim was to evaluate how the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and related preventive strategies affected pediatric emergency rooms (ERs) during this period. We performed a retrospective cohort multicenter study, comparing the lockdown period to the corresponding period in 2019. We examined 15 Italian pediatric ERs in terms of visit rates, specific diagnoses (grouped as air communicable diseases and non-air communicable diseases), and triage categories. During the lockdown period, ER admissions decreased by 81% compared to 2019 (52,364 vs. 10,112). All ER specific diagnoses decreased in 2020 and this reduction was significantly higher for air communicable diseases (25,462 vs. 2934, p < 0.001). Considering the triage category, red codes remained similar (1% vs. 1%), yellow codes increased (11.2% vs. 22.3%), and green codes decreased (80.3% vs. 69.5%). We can speculate that social distancing and simple hygiene measures drastically reduced the spread of air communicable diseases. The increase in yellow codes may have been related to a delay in primary care and, consequently, in ER admissions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Triage/statistics & numerical data , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
20.
World J Pediatr ; 16(3): 293-298, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-617249

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of human bocavirus (HBoV) as a respiratory pathogen has not been fulfilled yet. We aimed to describe clinical and serological characteristics of children with HBoV hospitalized for acute respiratory tract infection and to evaluate whether differences occur between HBoV alone and in co-infection. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed data from 60 children (median age of 6.2 months, range 0.6-70.9) hospitalized for acute respiratory symptoms, with HBoV detected from a respiratory sample, using a reverse transcriptase-PCR for 14 respiratory viruses (including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza virus A and B, human coronavirus OC43, 229E, NL-63 and HUK1, adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza virus1-3, and human metapneumovirus). RESULTS: HBoV was detected alone in 29 (48.3%) patients, while in co-infection with other viruses in 31 patients (51.7%), with a peak between December and January. Among the 60 patients, 34 were bronchiolitis, 19 wheezing, 3 pneumonia, 2 upper respiratory tract infection, and 2 whooping cough. Seven children (11.6%) required admission to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for respiratory failure. No differences was observed in age, family history for atopy and/or asthma, clinical presentations, chest X-ray, or laboratory findings in children with HBoV alone vs. multiple viral detection. RSV was the most frequently co-detected virus (61.3%). When compared with HBoV detection alone, the co-detection of RSV and HBoV was associated with male sex (P = 0.013), younger age (P = 0.01), and lower blood neutrophil count (P = 0.032). CONCLUSIONS: HBoV can be detected alone and in co-infection respiratory samples of children with an acute respiratory tract infection. A cause-effect relationship between HBoV and respiratory infection is not clear, so further studies are needed to clarify this point.


Subject(s)
Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Human bocavirus/isolation & purification , Parvoviridae Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Acute Disease , Age Distribution , Child , Child, Preschool , Coinfection/epidemiology , Coinfection/virology , Databases, Factual , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Hospitals, University , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric , Italy , Male , Parvoviridae Infections/epidemiology , Prognosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Rome , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Distribution
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