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1.
Euro Surveill ; 25(23)2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313322

ABSTRACT

We reviewed the diagnostic accuracy of SARS-CoV-2 serological tests. Random-effects models yielded a summary sensitivity of 82% for IgM, and 85% for IgG and total antibodies. For specificity, the pooled estimate were 98% for IgM and 99% for IgG and total antibodies. In populations with ≤ 5% of seroconverted individuals, unless the assays have perfect (i.e. 100%) specificity, the positive predictive value would be ≤ 88%. Serological tests should be used for prevalence surveys only in hard-hit areas.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronaviridae Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/standards , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests/methods , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/blood
2.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 17(5): e13140, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2319523

ABSTRACT

Background: National Influenza Centers (NICs) have played a crucial role in the surveillance of SARS-CoV-2. The FluCov project, covering 22 countries, was initiated to monitor the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on influenza activity. Methods: This project consisted of an epidemiological bulletin and NIC survey. The survey, designed to assess the impact of the pandemic on the influenza surveillance system, was shared with 36 NICs located across 22 countries. NICs were invited to reply between November 2021 and March 2022. Results: We received 18 responses from NICs in 14 countries. Most NICs (76%) indicated that the number of samples tested for influenza decreased. Yet, many NICs (60%) were able to increase their laboratory testing capacity and the "robustness" (e.g., number of sentinel sites) (59%) of their surveillance systems. In addition, sample sources (e.g., hospital or outpatient setting) shifted. All NICs reported a higher burden of work following the onset of the pandemic, with some NICs hiring additional staff or partial outsourcing to other institutes or departments. Many NICs anticipate the future integration of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance into the existing respiratory surveillance system. Discussion: The survey shows the profound impact of SARS-CoV-2 on national influenza surveillance in the first 27 months of the pandemic. Surveillance activities were temporarily disrupted, whilst priority was given to SARS-CoV-2. However, most NICs have shown rapid adaptive capacity underlining the importance of strong national influenza surveillance systems. These developments have the potential to benefit global respiratory surveillance in the years to come; however, questions about sustainability remain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
J Glob Health ; 13: 04007, 2023 Feb 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2228613

ABSTRACT

Background: The emergence of COVID-19 triggered the massive implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) which impacted the circulation of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) during the 2020/2021 season. Methods: A time-series susceptible-infected-recovered (TSIR) model was used early September 2021 to forecast the implications of this disruption on the future 2021/2022 RSV epidemic in Lyon urban population. Results: When compared to observed hospital-confirmed cases, the model successfully captured the early start, peak timing, and end of the 2021/2022 RSV epidemic. These simulations, added to other streams of surveillance data, shared and discussed among the local field experts were of great value to mitigate the consequences of this atypical RSV outbreak on our hospital paediatric department. Conclusions: TSIR model, fitted to local hospital data covering large urban areas, can produce plausible post-COVID-19 RSV simulations. Collaborations between modellers and hospital management (who are both model users and data providers) should be encouraged in order to validate the use of dynamical models to timely allocate hospital resources to the future RSV epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Child , Humans , Infant , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Seasons , COVID-19/epidemiology , France/epidemiology
5.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 17(1): e13091, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2228292

ABSTRACT

We analysed the influenza epidemic that occurred in Australia during the 2022 winter using an age-structured dynamic transmission model, which accounts for past epidemics to estimate the population susceptibility to an influenza infection. We applied the same model to five European countries. Our analysis suggests Europe might experience an early and moderately large influenza epidemic. Also, differences may arise between countries, with Germany and Spain experiencing larger epidemics, than France, Italy and the United Kingdom, especially in children.


Subject(s)
Influenza, Human , Child , Humans , Spain , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Seasons , Europe/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , France , Italy , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology
6.
Euro Surveill ; 27(39)2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2054869

ABSTRACT

While two influenza B virus lineages have co-circulated, B/Yamagata-lineage circulation has not been confirmed since March 2020. The WHO FluNet database indicates that B/Yamagata-lineage detections were reported in 2021 and 2022. However, detections can result from use of quadrivalent live-attenuated vaccines. Of the type B viruses detected post-March 2020, all ascribed to a lineage have been B/Victoria-lineage. There is need for a global effort to detect and lineage-ascribe type B influenza viruses, to assess if B/Yamagata-lineage viruses have become extinct.


Subject(s)
Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza B virus , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Vaccines, Attenuated , Vaccines, Combined
7.
J Infect Dis ; 226(Suppl 1): S29-S37, 2022 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017954

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Knowledge on age-specific hospitalizations associated with RSV infection is limited due to limited testing, especially in older children and adults in whom RSV infections are not expected to be severe. Burden estimates based on RSV coding of hospital admissions are known to underestimate the burden of RSV. We aimed to provide robust and reliable age-specific burden estimates of RSV-associated hospital admissions based on data on respiratory infections from national health registers and laboratory-confirmed cases of RSV. METHODS: We conducted multiseason regression analysis of weekly hospitalizations with respiratory infection and weekly laboratory-confirmed cases of RSV and influenza as covariates, based on national health registers and laboratory databases across 6 European countries. The burden of RSV-associated hospitalizations was estimated by age group, clinical diagnosis, and presence of underlying medical conditions. RESULTS: Across the 6 European countries, hospitalizations of children with respiratory infections were clearly associated with RSV, with associated proportions ranging from 28% to 60% in children younger than 3 months and we found substantial proportions of admissions to hospital with respiratory infections associated with RSV in children younger than 3 years. Associated proportions were highest among hospitalizations with ICD-10 codes of "bronchitis and bronchiolitis." In all 6 countries, annual incidence of RSV-associated hospitalizations was >40 per 1000 persons in the age group 0-2 months. In age group 1-2 years the incidence rate ranged from 1.3 to 10.5 hospitalizations per 1000. Adults older than 85 years had hospitalizations with respiratory infection associated to RSV in all 6 countries although incidence rates were low. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the substantial proportion of RSV infections among hospital admissions across different ages and may help public health professionals and policy makers when planning prevention and control strategies. In addition, our findings provide valuable insights for health care professionals attending to both children and adults presenting with symptoms of viral respiratory infections.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adult , Age Factors , Child , Child, Preschool , Hospitalization , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Time Factors
8.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(4): 696-706, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714198

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Seasonal influenza viruses undergo unpredictable changes, which may lead to antigenic mismatch between circulating and vaccine strains and to a reduced vaccine effectiveness. A continuously updated knowledge of influenza strain circulation and seasonality is essential to optimize the effectiveness of influenza vaccination campaigns. We described the global epidemiology of influenza between the 2009 A(H1N1)p and the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Influenza virological surveillance data were obtained from the WHO-FluNet database. We determined the median proportion of influenza cases caused by the different influenza virus types, subtypes, and lineages; the typical timing of the epidemic peak; and the median duration of influenza epidemics (applying the annual average percentage method with a 75% threshold). RESULTS: We included over 4.6 million influenza cases from 149 countries. The median proportion of influenza cases caused by type A viruses was 75.5%, highest in the Southern hemisphere (81.6%) and lowest in the intertropical belt (73.0%), and ranged across seasons between 60.9% in 2017 and 88.7% in 2018. Epidemic peaks typically occurred during winter months in Northern and Southern hemisphere countries, while much more variability emerged in tropical countries. Influenza epidemics lasted a median of 25 weeks (range 8-42) in countries lying between 30°N and 26°S, and a median of 9 weeks (range 5-25) in countries outside this latitude range. CONCLUSIONS: This work will establish an important baseline to better understand factors that influence seasonal influenza dynamics and how COVID-19 may have affected seasonal activity and influenza virus types, subtypes, and lineages circulation patterns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza A virus , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics , Seasons
10.
Euro Surveill ; 26(29)2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350236

ABSTRACT

Since the introduction of non-pharmacological interventions to control COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity in Europe has been limited. Surveillance data for 17 countries showed delayed RSV epidemics in France (≥ 12 w) and Iceland (≥ 4 w) during the 2020/21 season. RSV cases (predominantly small children) in France and Iceland were older compared with previous seasons. We hypothesise that future RSV epidemic(s) could start outside the usual autumn/winter season and be larger than expected. Year-round surveillance of RSV is of critical importance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , Child , Europe/epidemiology , France/epidemiology , Humans , Iceland/epidemiology , Infant , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Seasons
11.
Soc Sci Med ; 284: 114246, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1321472

ABSTRACT

The global response to infectious diseases has seen a renewed interest in the use of community engagement to support research and relief efforts. From a perspective rooted in the social sciences, the concept of vulnerability offers an especially useful analytical frame for pursuing community engagement in a variety of contexts. However, few have closely examined the concept of vulnerability in community engagement efforts, leading to a need to better understand the various theories that underline the connections between the two. This literature review searched four databases (covering a total of 537 papers), resulting in 15 studies that analyze community engagement using a framing of vulnerability, broadly defined, in the context of an infectious disease, prioritizing historical and structural context and the many ways of constituting communities. The review identified historical and structural factors such as trust in the health system, history of political marginalization, various forms of racism and discrimination, and other aspects of vulnerability that are part and parcel of the main challenges faced by communities. The review found that studies using vulnerability within community engagement share some important characteristics (e.g., focus on local history and structural factors) and identified a few theoretical avenues from the social sciences which integrate a vulnerability-informed approach in community engagement. Finally, the review proposes an approach that brings together the concepts of vulnerability and community engagement, prioritizing participation, empowerment, and intersectoral collaboration.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases , Racism , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Community Participation , Government Programs , Humans , Medical Assistance , Trust
12.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(5): 1537-1540, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269964

ABSTRACT

Temporal variation of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) epidemics was recently reported to be determined by the dominant RSV subtype. However, when we repeated the analysis for 4 countries in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the dominant subtype did not seem to affect temporal variation of RSV epidemics.


Subject(s)
Epidemics , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human , DNA Viruses , Humans , Infant , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology
13.
Front Pediatr ; 9: 620598, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247886

ABSTRACT

Background: In December 2019, a novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 started circulating in China and this led to a major epidemic in Northern Italy between February and May 2020. Young children (aged <5 years) seem to be less affected by this coronavirus disease (COVID-19) compared to adults, although there is very little information on the circulation of this new virus among children in Italy. We retrospectively tested nasopharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 in samples collected in young children between November, 2019 and March, 2020 in the context of the RSV ComNet study. Methods: Two networks of primary care pediatricians in Lazio (Central Italy) and Puglia (Southern Italy) collected nasopharyngeal swabs from children, aged <5 years, presenting with symptoms for an acute respiratory infection (ARI). The RSV ComNet study is a multicenter study implemented to estimate the burden of RSV in young children (aged <5 years) in the community. Swabs were sent to a central reference laboratory and tested for 14 respiratory viruses through RT-PCR. All collected samples were retrospectively tested for SARS-CoV-2 using RT-PCR (Istituto Superiore di Sanità protocol). Results: A total of 293 children with ARI were identified in the two participating networks. The highest number of cases were recruited in weeks 51/2019 and 3/2020. The majority of patients (57%) came from the Lazio region. All of the 293 samples tested negative for SARS-Cov2. Rhinovirus was the most frequently detected virus (44%), followed by RSV (41%) and influenza viruses (14%). Conclusions: Our study shows that in Lazio (a region of intermediate SARS-COV-2 incidence) and Puglia (a region of low incidence), the SARS-Cov2 virus did not circulate in a sample of ARI pediatric cases consulting primary care pediatricians between November 2019 and March 2020.

15.
J Glob Health ; 10(2): 021102, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1106364

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Influenza vaccination prevents people from influenza-related diseases and thereby mitigates the burden on national health systems when COVID-19 circulates and public health measures controlling respiratory viral infections are relaxed. However, it is challenging to maintain influenza vaccine services as the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to disrupt vaccination programmes in many countries during the 2020/21 winter. We summarise available recommendations and strategies on influenza vaccination, specifically the changes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We searched websites and databases of national and international public health agencies (focusing on Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa). We also contacted key influenza immunization focal points and experts in respective countries and organizations including WHO and ECDC. RESULTS: Available global and regional guidance emphasises the control of COVID-19 infection in immunisation settings by implementing multiple measures, such as physical distancing, hand hygiene practice, appropriate use of personal protective equipment by health care workers and establishing separate vaccination sessions for medically vulnerable people. The guidance also emphasises using alternative models or settings (eg, outdoor areas and pharmacies) for vaccine delivery, communication strategies and developing registry and catch-up programmes to achieve high coverage. Several novel national strategies have been adopted, such as combining influenza vaccination with other medical visits and setting up outdoor and drive through vaccination clinics. Several Southern Hemisphere countries have increased influenza vaccine coverage substantially for the 2020 influenza season. Most of the countries included in our review have planned a universal or near universal influenza vaccination for health care workers, or have made influenza vaccination for health care workers mandatory. Australia has requested that all workers and visitors in long term care facilities receive influenza vaccine. The UK has planned to expand the influenza programme to provide free influenza vaccine for the first time to all adults 50-64 years of age, people on the shielded patient list and their household members and children in the first year of secondary school. South Africa has additionally prioritised people with hypertension for influenza vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: This review of influenza vaccination guidance and strategies should support strategy development on influenza vaccination in the context of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Global Health , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Int J Infect Dis ; 102: 115-117, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060148

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Understanding the proportion of pandemic deaths captured as 'laboratory-confirmed' deaths is crucial. We assessed the ability of laboratory-confirmed deaths to capture mortality in the EU during the 2009 pandemic, and examined the likelihood that these findings are applicable to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. METHODS: We present unpublished results from the Global Pandemic Mortality (GLaMOR) project, in which country-specific mortality estimates were made for the 2009 influenza H1N1p pandemic. These estimates were compared with laboratory-confirmed deaths during the 2009 pandemic to estimate the ability of surveillance systems to capture pandemic mortality. RESULTS: For the 2009 influenza H1N1p pandemic, we estimated that the proportion of true pandemic deaths captured by laboratory-confirmed deaths was approximately 67%. Several differences between the two pandemics (e.g. age groups affected) make it unlikely that this capture rate will be equally high for SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSION: The surveillance of laboratory-confirmed deaths in the EU during the 2009 pandemic was more accurate than previously assumed. We hypothesize that this method is less reliable for SARS-CoV-2. Near-real-time excess all-cause mortality estimates, routinely compiled by EuroMOMO, probably offer a better indicator of pandemic mortality. We urge more countries to join this project and that national-level absolute mortality numbers are presented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Time Factors
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(21)2020 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895364

ABSTRACT

We reviewed the association between seasonal influenza vaccination and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection or complicated illness or poor outcome (e.g., severe disease, need for hospitalization or ventilatory support, or death) among COVID-19 patients. None of the studies that were reviewed (n = 12) found a significant increase in the risk of infection or in the illness severity or lethality, and some reported significantly inverse associations. Our findings support measures aimed at raising influenza vaccination coverage in the coming months.


Subject(s)
Coinfection/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral , Vaccination/adverse effects , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coinfection/diagnosis , Coinfection/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epidemics/prevention & control , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/adverse effects , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data
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