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Clin Infect Dis ; 2021 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216637


BACKGROUND: The determinants of COVID-19 disease severity and extrapulmonary complications (EPCs) are poorly understood. We characterized relationships between SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia and disease severity, clinical deterioration, and specific EPCs. METHODS: We used quantitative (qPCR) and digital (dPCR) PCR to quantify SARS-CoV-2 RNA from plasma in 191 patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with COVID-19. We recorded patient symptoms, laboratory markers, and clinical outcomes, with a focus on oxygen requirements over time. We collected longitudinal plasma samples from a subset of patients. We characterized the role of RNAemia in predicting clinical severity and EPCs using elastic net regression. RESULTS: 23.0% (44/191) of SARS-CoV-2 positive patients had viral RNA detected in plasma by dPCR, compared to 1.4% (2/147) by qPCR. Most patients with serial measurements had undetectable RNAemia within 10 days of symptom onset, reached maximum clinical severity within 16 days, and symptom resolution within 33 days. Initially RNAaemic patients were more likely to manifest severe disease (OR 6.72 [95% CI, 2.45 - 19.79]), worsening of disease severity (OR 2.43 [95% CI, 1.07 - 5.38]), and EPCs (OR 2.81 [95% CI, 1.26 - 6.36]). RNA load correlated with maximum severity (r = 0.47 [95% CI, 0.20 - 0.67]). CONCLUSIONS: dPCR is more sensitive than qPCR for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia, which is a robust predictor of eventual COVID-19 severity and oxygen requirements, as well as EPCs. Since many COVID-19 therapies are initiated on the basis of oxygen requirements, RNAemia on presentation might serve to direct early initiation of appropriate therapies for the patients most likely to deteriorate.

Prehosp Emerg Care ; : 1-10, 2021 May 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165151


Objective: Firefighter first responders and other emergency medical services (EMS) personnel have been among the highest risk healthcare workers for illness during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We sought to determine the rate of seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies and of acute asymptomatic infection among firefighter first responders in a single county with early exposure in the pandemic. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of clinically active firefighters cross-trained as paramedics or EMTs in the fire departments of Santa Clara County, California. Firefighters without current symptoms were tested between June and August 2020. Our primary outcomes were rates of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody seropositivity and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR swab positivity for acute infection. We report cumulative incidence, participant characteristics with frequencies and proportions, and proportion positive and associated relative risk (with 95% confidence intervals). Results: We enrolled 983 out of 1339 eligible participants (response rate: 73.4%). Twenty-five participants (2.54%, 95% CI 1.65-3.73) tested positive for IgG antibodies and 9 (0.92%, 95% CI 0.42-1.73) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR. Our cumulative incidence, inclusive of self-reported prior positive PCR tests, was 34 (3.46%, 95% CI 2.41-4.80). Conclusion: In a county with one of the earliest outbreaks in the United States, the seroprevalence among firefighter first responders was lower than that reported by other studies of frontline health care workers, while the cumulative incidence remained higher than that seen in the surrounding community.

Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1967, 2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159789


Type III interferons have been touted as promising therapeutics in outpatients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We conducted a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial (NCT04331899) in 120 outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 to determine whether a single, 180 mcg subcutaneous dose of Peginterferon Lambda-1a (Lambda) within 72 hours of diagnosis could shorten the duration of viral shedding (primary endpoint) or symptoms (secondary endpoint). In both the 60 patients receiving Lambda and 60 receiving placebo, the median time to cessation of viral shedding was 7 days (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56 to 1.19). Symptoms resolved in 8 and 9 days in Lambda and placebo, respectively, and symptom duration did not differ significantly between groups (HR 0.94; 95% CI 0.64 to 1.39). Both Lambda and placebo were well-tolerated, though liver transaminase elevations were more common in the Lambda vs. placebo arm (15/60 vs 5/60; p = 0.027). In this study, a single dose of subcutaneous Peginterferon Lambda-1a neither shortened the duration of SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding nor improved symptoms in outpatients with uncomplicated COVID-19.

Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interleukins/administration & dosage , Polyethylene Glycols/administration & dosage , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Injections, Subcutaneous , Male , Middle Aged , Outpatients , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Single-Blind Method , Treatment Failure , Virus Shedding/drug effects , Young Adult