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1.
Front Oncol ; 13: 1089944, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2276602

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Cancer patients are at risk for serious complications in case of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In these patients SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is strongly recommended, with the preferential use of mRNA vaccines. The antibody response in cancer patients is variable, depending on the type of cancer and antitumoral treatment. In solid tumor patients an antibody response similar to healthy subjects has been confirmed after the second dose. Only few studies explored the duration of immunization after the two doses and the effect of the third dose. Methods: In our study we explored a cohort of 273 solid tumor patients at different stages and treated with different anticancer therapies. Results and Discussion: Our analysis demonstrated that the persistence of the neutralizing antibody and the humoral response after the booster dose of vaccine was not dependent on either the tumor type, the stage or type of anticancer treatment.

2.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 12(3): e1434, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2280635

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The very rapidly approved mRNA-based vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, including Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2, are effective in protecting from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in immunocompetent population. However, establishing the duration and identifying correlates of vaccine-induced protection will be crucial to optimise future immunisation strategies. Here, we studied in healthy vaccine recipients and people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS), undergoing different therapies, the regulation of innate immune response by mRNA vaccination in order to correlate it with the magnitude of vaccine-induced protective humoral responses. Methods: Healthy subjects (n = 20) and matched pwMS (n = 22) were longitudinally sampled before and after mRNA vaccination. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-associated type I and II interferon (IFN)-inducible gene expression, serum innate cytokine/chemokine profile as well as binding and neutralising anti-SARS-COV-2 antibodies (Abs) were measured. Results: We identified an early immune module composed of the IFN-inducible genes Mx1, OAS1 and IRF1, the serum cytokines IL-15, IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ and the chemokines IP-10, MCP-1 and MIG, induced 1 day post second and third BNT162b2 vaccine doses, strongly correlating with magnitude of humoral response to vaccination in healthy and MS vaccinees. Moreover, induction of the early immune module was dramatically affected in pwMS treated with fingolimod and ocrelizumab, both groups unable to induce a protective humoral response to COVID-19 vaccine. Conclusion: Overall, this study suggests that the vaccine-induced early regulation of innate immunity is mediated by IFN signalling, impacts on the magnitude of adaptive responses and it might be indicative of vaccine-induced humoral protection.

3.
Frontiers in oncology ; 13, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2276601

ABSTRACT

Introduction Cancer patients are at risk for serious complications in case of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In these patients SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is strongly recommended, with the preferential use of mRNA vaccines. The antibody response in cancer patients is variable, depending on the type of cancer and antitumoral treatment. In solid tumor patients an antibody response similar to healthy subjects has been confirmed after the second dose. Only few studies explored the duration of immunization after the two doses and the effect of the third dose. Methods In our study we explored a cohort of 273 solid tumor patients at different stages and treated with different anticancer therapies. Results and Discussion Our analysis demonstrated that the persistence of the neutralizing antibody and the humoral response after the booster dose of vaccine was not dependent on either the tumor type, the stage or type of anticancer treatment.

4.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 29(4): 822-825, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252306

ABSTRACT

We performed a follow-up of a previously reported SARS-CoV-2 prevalence study (April‒May 2020) in Verona, Italy. Through May 2022, only <1.1% of the city population had never been infected or vaccinated; 8.8% was the officially reported percentage. Limiting protection measures and vaccination boosters to elderly and frail persons seems justified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Italy/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies
5.
EBioMedicine ; 89: 104471, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2244267

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We have previously shown that eliciting SARS-CoV-2-specific IgM after vaccination is associated with higher levels of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing IgG. This study aims to assess whether IgM development is also associated with longer-lasting immunity. METHODS: We analysed anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein IgG and IgM (IgG-S, IgM-S), and anti-nucleocapsid IgG (IgG-N) in 1872 vaccinees at different time points: before the first dose (D1; w0), before the second dose (D2; w3) at three (w6) and 23 weeks (w29) after D2; moreover, 109 subjects were further tested at the booster dose (D3, w44), at 3 weeks (w47) and 6 months (w70) after D3. Two-level linear regression models were used to evaluate the differences in IgG-S levels. FINDINGS: In subjects who had no evidence of a previous infection at D1 (non-infected, NI), IgM-S development after D1 and D2 was associated with higher IgG-S levels at short (w6, p < 0.0001) and long (w29, p < 0.001) follow-up. Similar IgG-S levels were observed after D3. The majority (28/33, 85%) of the NI subjects who had developed IgM-S in response to vaccination did not experience infection. INTERPRETATION: The development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgM-S following D1 and D2 is associated with higher IgG-S levels. Most individuals who developed IgM-S never became infected, suggesting that IgM elicitation may be associated with a lower risk of infection. FUNDING: "Fondi Ricerca Corrente" and "Progetto Ricerca Finalizzata" COVID-2020 (Italian Ministry of Health); FUR 2020 Department of Excellence 2018-2022 (MIUR, Italy); the Brain Research Foundation Verona.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunity, Humoral , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Immunoglobulin M , Vaccination , Immunoglobulin G
6.
Int J Microbiol ; 2022: 4915678, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2138238

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus spread in the Northern Hemisphere during the 2019/2020 influenza seasons and it persisted in the 2021/2022 season. A cocirculation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses was expected in Italy during the winter seasons. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses observed in a hospital in Verona Province, Italy hospital during these past three winter seasons and to compare our data with national and global surveillance reports on the transmission of respiratory viruses in the preceding decade. Our findings clearly demonstrated the extremely low prevalence of influenza virus among hospitalized patients and outpatients during the first two COVID-19 winter seasons, with a reemergence of respiratory syncytial virus in the late 2021. Containment measures may have played an important role in temporarily stopping the circulation of respiratory viruses, but after relaxation, in 2021, we experienced an unusual increase of respiratory syncytial viruses at the beginning of the winter season.

7.
Ann Clin Lab Sci ; 52(4): 677-683, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2045026

ABSTRACT

The devastating COVID-19 outbreak posed serious challenges for the diagnostics laboratories, facing global shortage of reagents and equipment. This study aimed at evaluating an additional RNA extraction method respect to those already recommended by WHO and CDC. A new protocol for RNA extraction from nasopharyngeal swab was set up, adapting a Qiagen kit, and validated on a set of 96 clinical samples. The analysis showed a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 97%, but considering samples with Ct<36.5, the sensitivity and the specificity increased to 100%. The adapted method was also able to detect samples with very low viral load (Ct>38), indicating that the two approaches can be considered equivalent for the SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics. This extraction method can help in increasing the throughput for SARS-CoV-2 molecular test, even in a low automation setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
Front Immunol ; 13: 968991, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022753

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 induces a spectrum of clinical conditions ranging from asymptomatic infection to life threatening severe disease. Host microRNAs have been involved in the cytokine storm driven by SARS-CoV-2 infection and proposed as candidate biomarkers for COVID-19. Methods: To discover signatures of circulating miRNAs associated with COVID-19, disease severity and mortality, small RNA-sequencing was performed on serum samples collected from 89 COVID-19 patients (34 severe, 29 moderate, 26 mild) at hospital admission and from 45 healthy controls (HC). To search for possible sources of miRNAs, investigation of differentially expressed (DE) miRNAs in relevant human cell types in vitro. Results: COVID-19 patients showed upregulation of miRNAs associated with lung disease, vascular damage and inflammation and downregulation of miRNAs that inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, angiogenesis, and stress response. Compared with mild/moderate disease, patients with severe COVID-19 had a miRNA signature indicating a profound impairment of innate and adaptive immune responses, inflammation, lung fibrosis and heart failure. A subset of the DE miRNAs predicted mortality. In particular, a combination of high serum miR-22-3p and miR-21-5p, which target antiviral response genes, and low miR-224-5p and miR-155-5p, targeting pro-inflammatory factors, discriminated severe from mild/moderate COVID-19 (AUROC 0.88, 95% CI 0.80-0.95, p<0.0001), while high leukocyte count and low levels of miR-1-3p, miR-23b-3p, miR-141-3p, miR-155-5p and miR-4433b-5p predicted mortality with high sensitivity and specificity (AUROC 0.95, 95% CI 0.89-1.00, p<0.0001). In vitro experiments showed that some of the DE miRNAs were modulated directly by SARS-CoV-2 infection in permissive lung epithelial cells. Conclusions: We discovered circulating miRNAs associated with COVID-19 severity and mortality. The identified DE miRNAs provided clues on COVID-19 pathogenesis, highlighting signatures of impaired interferon and antiviral responses, inflammation, organ damage and cardiovascular failure as associated with severe disease and death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Circulating MicroRNA , MicroRNAs , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Inflammation , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Biol Methods Protoc ; 7(1): bpac020, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2017736

ABSTRACT

Diagnostic tests based on reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) are the gold standard approach to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection from clinical specimens. However, unless specifically optimized, this method is usually unable to recognize the specific viral strain responsible of coronavirus disease 2019, a crucial information that is proving increasingly important in relation to virus spread and treatment effectiveness. Even if some RT-qPCR commercial assays are currently being developed for the detection of viral strains, they focus only on single/few genetic variants that may not be sufficient to uniquely identify a specific strain. Therefore, genome sequencing approaches remain the most comprehensive solution for virus genotyping and to recognize viral strains, but their application is much less widespread due to higher costs. Starting from the well-established ARTIC protocol coupled to nanopore sequencing, in this work, we developed STArS (STrain-Amplicon-Seq), a cost/time-effective sequencing-based workflow for both SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and genotyping. A set of 10 amplicons was initially selected from the ARTIC tiling panel, to cover: (i) all the main biologically relevant genetic variants located on the Spike gene; (ii) a minimal set of variants to uniquely identify the currently circulating strains; (iii) genomic sites usually amplified by RT-qPCR method to identify SARS-CoV-2 presence. PCR-amplified clinical samples (both positive and negative for SARS-CoV-2 presence) were pooled together with a serially diluted exogenous amplicon at known concentration and sequenced on a MinION device. Thanks to a scoring rule, STArS had the capability to accurately classify positive samples in agreement with RT-qPCR results, both at the qualitative and quantitative level. Moreover, the method allowed to effectively genotype strain-specific variants and thus also return the phylogenetic classification of SARS-CoV-2-postive samples. Thanks to the reduced turnaround time and costs, the proposed approach represents a step towards simplifying the clinical application of sequencing for viral genotyping, hopefully aiding in combatting the global pandemic.

10.
Commun Med (Lond) ; 1: 38, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860417

ABSTRACT

Background: The antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines in individuals with waning immunity generated by a previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the patterns of IgA and IgM responses in previously infected and in naïve individuals are still poorly understood. Methods: We performed a serology study in a cohort of BTN162b2 mRNA vaccine recipients who were immunologically naïve (N, n = 50) or had been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 (P.I., n = 51) during the first (n = 25) or second (n = 26) pandemic waves in Italy, respectively. We measured IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) and IgG against the nucleocapsid (N) proteins, as well as the neutralizing activity of sera collected before vaccination, after the first and second dose of vaccine. Results: Most P.I. individuals from the first pandemic wave who showed declining antibody titres responded to the first vaccine dose with IgG-S and pseudovirus neutralization titres that were significantly higher than those observed in N individuals after the second vaccine dose. In all recipients, a single dose of vaccine was sufficient to induce a potent IgA response that was not associated with serum neutralization titres. We observed an unconventional pattern of IgM responses that were elicited in only half of immunologically naïve subjects even after the second vaccine dose. Conclusions: The response to a single dose of vaccine in P.I. individuals is more potent than that observed in N individuals after two doses. Vaccine-induced IgA are not associated with serum neutralization.

11.
EBioMedicine ; 77: 103888, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701663

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Currently, evaluation of the IgG antibodies specific for the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein following vaccination is used worldwide to estimate vaccine response. Limited data are available on vaccine-elicited IgM antibodies and their potential implication in immunity to SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: We performed a longitudinal study to quantify anti-S SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM (IgG-S and IgM-S) in health care worker (HCW) recipients of the BNT162b2 vaccine. Samples were collected before administration (T0), at the second dose (T1) and three weeks after T1 (T2). The cohort included 1584 immunologically naïve to SARS-CoV-2 (IN) and 289 with history of previous infection (PI). FINDINGS: IN showed three patterns of responses: (a) IgG positive/IgM negative (36.1%), (b) coordinated IgM-S/IgG-S responses appearing at T1 (37.4%) and (c) IgM appearing after IgG (26.3%). Coordinated IgM-S/IgG-S responses were associated with higher IgG titres. In IgM-S positive PI, 64.5% were IgM-S positive before vaccination, whereas 32% and 3.5% developed IgM-S after the first and second vaccine dose, respectively. IgM-S positive sera had higher pseudovirus neutralization titres compared to the IgM-S negative. INTERPRETATION: Coordinated expression of IgG-S and IgM-S after vaccination was associated with a significantly more efficient response in both antibody levels and virus-neutralizing activity. The unconventional IgG-S positive/IgM-S negative responses may suggest a recruitment of cross coronaviruses immunity by vaccination, warranting further investigation. FUNDING: Italian Ministry of Health under "Fondi Ricerca Corrente"- L1P5 and "Progetto Ricerca Finalizzata COVID-2020-12371675"; FUR 2020 Department of Excellence 2018-2022, MIUR, Italy; The Brain Research Foundation Verona.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunoglobulin M , Longitudinal Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Vaccination
12.
Front Immunol ; 13: 834851, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686489

ABSTRACT

Understanding the cause of sex disparities in COVID-19 outcomes is a major challenge. We investigate sex hormone levels and their association with outcomes in COVID-19 patients, stratified by sex and age. This observational, retrospective, cohort study included 138 patients aged 18 years or older with COVID-19, hospitalized in Italy between February 1 and May 30, 2020. The association between sex hormones (testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, dehydroepiandrosterone) and outcomes (ARDS, severe COVID-19, in-hospital mortality) was explored in 120 patients aged 50 years and over. STROBE checklist was followed. The median age was 73.5 years [IQR 61, 82]; 55.8% were male. In older males, testosterone was lower if ARDS and severe COVID-19 were reported than if not (3.6 vs. 5.3 nmol/L, p =0.0378 and 3.7 vs. 8.5 nmol/L, p =0.0011, respectively). Deceased males had lower testosterone (2.4 vs. 4.8 nmol/L, p =0.0536) and higher estradiol than survivors (40 vs. 24 pg/mL, p = 0.0006). Testosterone was negatively associated with ARDS (OR 0.849 [95% CI 0.734, 0.982]), severe COVID-19 (OR 0.691 [95% CI 0.546, 0.874]), and in-hospital mortality (OR 0.742 [95% CI 0.566, 0.972]), regardless of potential confounders, though confirmed only in the regression model on males. Higher estradiol was associated with a higher probability of death (OR 1.051 [95% CI 1.018, 1.084]), confirmed in both sex models. In males, higher testosterone seems to be protective against any considered outcome. Higher estradiol was associated with a higher probability of death in both sexes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Gonadal Steroid Hormones/blood , Sex Characteristics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
13.
J Transl Med ; 20(1): 22, 2022 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637829

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing SARS-CoV-2 mild and severe outcomes. In vaccinated subjects with SARS-CoV-2 history, RBD-specific IgG and pseudovirus neutralization titers were rapidly recalled by a single BTN162b2 vaccine dose to higher levels than those in naïve recipients after the second dose, irrespective of waning immunity. In this study, we inspected the long-term kinetic and neutralizing responses of S-specific IgG induced by two administrations of BTN162b2 vaccine in infection-naïve subjects and in subjects previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Twenty-six naïve and 9 previously SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects during the second wave of the pandemic in Italy were enrolled for this study. The two groups had comparable demographic and clinical characteristics. By means of ELISA and pseudotyped-neutralization assays, we investigated the kinetics of developed IgG-RBD and their neutralizing activity against both the ancestral D614G and the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern emerged later, respectively. The Wilcoxon matched pair signed rank test and the Kruskal-Wallis test with Dunn's correction for multiple comparison were applied when needed. RESULTS: Although after 15 weeks from vaccination IgG-RBD dropped in all participants, naïve subjects experienced a more dramatic decline than those with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Neutralizing antibodies remained higher in subjects with SARS-CoV-2 history and conferred broad-spectrum protection. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that hybrid immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has a relevant impact on the development of IgG-RBD upon vaccination. However, the rapid decay of vaccination-elicited antibodies highlights that the administration of a third dose is expected to boost the response and acquire high levels of cross-neutralizing antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
15.
Front Immunol ; 12: 789735, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581322

ABSTRACT

Background: The host immune response has a prominent role in the progression and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Lymphopenia has been described as an important feature of SARS-CoV-2 infection and has been associated with severe disease manifestation. Lymphocyte dysregulation and hyper-inflammation have been shown to be associated with a more severe clinical course; however, a T cell subpopulation whose dysfunction correlate with disease progression has yet to be identify. Methods: We performed an immuno-phenotypic analysis of T cell sub-populations in peripheral blood from patients affected by different severity of COVID-19 (n=60) and undergoing a different clinical evolution. Clinical severity was established based on a modified WHO score considering both ventilation support and respiratory capacity (PaO2/FiO2 ratio). The ability of circulating cells at baseline to predict the probability of clinical aggravation was explored through multivariate regression analyses. Results: The immuno-phenotypic analysis performed by multi-colour flow cytometry confirmed that patients suffering from severe COVID-19 harboured significantly reduced circulating T cell subsets, especially for CD4+ T, Th1, and regulatory T cells. Peripheral T cells also correlated with parameters associated with disease severity, i.e., PaO2/FiO2 ratio and inflammation markers. CD4+ T cell subsets showed an important significant association with clinical evolution, with patients presenting markedly decreased regulatory T cells at baseline having a significantly higher risk of aggravation. Importantly, the combination of gender and regulatory T cells allowed distinguishing between improved and worsened patients with an area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 82%. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates the association between CD4+ T cell dysregulation and COVID-19 severity and progression. Our results support the importance of analysing baseline regulatory T cell levels, since they were revealed able to predict the clinical worsening during hospitalization. Regulatory T cells assessment soon after hospital admission could thus allow a better clinical stratification and patient management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Hospitalization , Lymphocyte Count , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Progression , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Prognosis , Public Health Surveillance , ROC Curve , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/metabolism
16.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 8: 745665, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497091

ABSTRACT

Following the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, several clinical trials have been approved for the investigation of the possible use of mAbs, supporting the potential of this technology as a therapeutic approach for infectious diseases. The first monoclonal antibody (mAb), Muromonab CD3, was introduced for the prevention of kidney transplant rejection more than 30 years ago; since then more than 100 mAbs have been approved for therapeutic purposes. Nonetheless, only four mAbs are currently employed for infectious diseases: Palivizumab, for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections, Raxibacumab and Obiltoxaximab, for the prophylaxis and treatment against anthrax toxin and Bezlotoxumab, for the prevention of Clostridium difficile recurrence. Protozoan infections are often neglected diseases for which effective and safe chemotherapies are generally missing. In this context, drug resistance and drug toxicity are two crucial problems. The recent advances in bioinformatics, parasite genomics, and biochemistry methodologies are contributing to better understand parasite biology, which is essential to guide the development of new therapies. In this review, we present the efforts that are being made in the evaluation of mAbs for the prevention or treatment of leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, malaria, and toxoplasmosis. Particular emphasis will be placed on the potential strengths and weaknesses of biological treatments in the control of these protozoan diseases that are still affecting hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

17.
J Med Virol ; 94(3): 1190-1195, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453611

ABSTRACT

We assessed the performance of the Panbio rapid antigen detection (RAD) test for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and we compared it with the routine reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based molecular test in a population of 4167 unselected patients admitted to IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital. Analysis stratified by cycling threshold (Ct ) value of SARS-CoV-2 gene targets indicated that antigen (Ag)-positive Ct values were significantly lower compared to Ag-negative values (p < 0.0001). Overall, we found discordance in 140, tested negative by RAD and positive by RT-PCR, and in 4 resulted positive by RAD and negative by RT-PCR. RAD test achieved a sensitivity and specificity of 66.82% and 99.89%, respectively. The positive predictive value was shown to be 97.87% while the negative predictive value was shown to be 97.62%. In our context, the RAD test showed a reliable diagnostic response in subjects that displayed high Ct values, corresponding to high viral load, while low ability was displayed to identify positive cases with medium-low Ct values, thus presenting low viral load and where confirmatory RT-PCR was needed. Our finding supports the use of the RAD test in real-life settings where a high volume of swabs is being processed but with caution when interpreting a positive test result in a low prevalence setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Hospitals , Humans , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Serologic Tests
18.
Genomics ; 113(4): 1628-1638, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386752

ABSTRACT

Sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 genome from clinical samples can be challenging, especially in specimens with low viral titer. Here we report Accurate SARS-CoV-2 genome Reconstruction (ACoRE), an amplicon-based viral genome sequencing workflow for the complete and accurate reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 sequences from clinical samples, including suboptimal ones that would usually be excluded even if unique and irreplaceable. The protocol was optimized to improve flexibility and the combination of technical replicates was established as the central strategy to achieve accurate analysis of low-titer/suboptimal samples. We demonstrated the utility of the approach by achieving complete genome reconstruction and the identification of false-positive variants in >170 clinical samples, thus avoiding the generation of inaccurate and/or incomplete sequences. Most importantly, ACoRE was crucial to identify the correct viral strain responsible of a relapse case, that would be otherwise mis-classified as a re-infection due to missing or incorrect variant identification by a standard workflow.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Reinfection/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Genetic Variation/genetics , Humans , Reinfection/pathology , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Whole Genome Sequencing
19.
Microorganisms ; 9(8)2021 Aug 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355014

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection was monitored in 1898 health care workers (HCWs) after receiving full vaccination with BNT162b2. Untill 30 June 2021, 10 HCWs tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 using real time RT-PCR, resulting in a 4-month cumulative incidence of 0.005%. The infection was mildly symptomatic in six (60%) and asymptomatic in four (40%) individuals. Among the infected HCWs, eight consenting individuals provided paired NPS and saliva during the course of infection, for the purpose of the analysis performed in the present study. Genomic and subgenomic viral RNAs were investigated using real-time RT-PCR in both biological specimens. The temporal profile of viral load was measured using ddPCR. Viral mutations were also analysed. Subgenomic viral RNA was detected in 8/8 (100%) NPS and in 6/8 (75%) saliva specimens at the baseline. The expression of subgenomic RNA was observed for up to 7 days in 3/8 (38%) symptomatic cases. Moreover, concordance was observed between NPS and saliva in the detection of viral mutations, and both N501Y and 69/70del (associated with the B.1.1.7 variant) were detected in the majority 6/8 (75%) of subjects, while the K417T mutation (associated with the P.1-type variants) was detected in 2/8 (25%) individuals. Overall, our findings report a low frequency of infected HCWs after full vaccination. It is, therefore, important to monitor the vaccinees in order to identify asymptomatic infected individuals. Saliva can be a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance, particularly in social settings such as hospitals.

20.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(12): 1845-1850, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330709

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess the antibody response to BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in a cohort of health-care workers (HCW), comparing individuals with previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals. METHODS: HCW were tested at T0 (day of first dose), T1 (day of second dose) and T2 (2-3 weeks after second dose) for IgG anti-nucleocapsid protein, IgM anti-spike protein and IgG anti-receptor binding domain (IgG-RBD-S). The antibody response was compared between four main groups: group A, individuals with previous infection and positive antibodies at baseline; group B, individuals with the same history but negative antibodies; group C, individuals with no infection history but positive antibodies; group D, naive individuals. Repeated measures analysis was used to compare results over time-points. RESULTS: A total of 1935 HCW were included. Median IgG-RBD-S titre was significantly higher for group A (232 individuals) than for group B (56 individuals) both at T1 (A: 22 763 AU/mL, interquartile range (IQR) 14 222-37 204 AU/mL; B: 1373 AU/mL, IQR 783-3078 AU/mL, p 0.0003) and T2 (A: 30 765 AU/mL, IQR 19 841-42 813 AU/mL; B: 13 171 AU/mL, IQR 2324-22 688 AU/mL, p 0.0038) and for group D (1563 individuals; 796 AU/mL, IQR 379-1510 AU/mL at T1; 15 494 AU/mL, IQR 9122-23 916 AU/mL at T2, p < 0.0001 for both time-points). T1 values of group A were also significantly higher than T2 values of group D (p < 0.0001). Presence of symptoms, younger age and being female were associated with stronger antibody response. HCW infected in March showed a significantly stronger response (T1: 35 324 AU/mL, IQR 22 003-44 531 AU/mL; T2: 37 648 AU/mL, IQR 27 088-50 451 AU/mL) than those infected in November (T1: 18 499 AU/mL, IQR 11 492-27 283 AU/mL; T2: 23 210 AU/mL, IQR 18 074-36 086 AU/mL, p < 0.0001 for both time-points. CONCLUSIONS: Individuals with past SARS-CoV-2 infection had a strong antibody response after one single vaccine shot. A single dose might be sufficient for this group, regardless of the time elapsed since infection; however, the clinical correlation with antibody response needs to be studied.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Formation , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger
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