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1.
Dtsch Med Wochenschr ; 147(8): 485-491, 2022 04.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805706

ABSTRACT

Hundreds of thousands of individuals who experience lasting sequelae after sepsis and infections in Germany do not receive optimal care. In this White Paper we present measures for improvement, which were developed by a multidisciplinary expect panel as part of the SEPFROK project. Improved care rests on four pillars: 1. cross-sectoral assessment of sequelae and a structured discharge and transition management, 2. interdisciplinary rehabilitation and aftercare with structural support, 3. strengthening the specific health literacy of patients and families, and 4. increased research into causes, prevention and treatment of sequelae. To achieve this, appropriate cross-sectoral care structures and legal frameworks must be created.


Subject(s)
Aftercare , Sepsis , Germany , Humans , Patient Discharge , Sepsis/diagnosis , Sepsis/therapy
2.
Transpl Infect Dis ; 24(1): e13725, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794555

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in lung transplant (LTx) recipients. Timely and precise pathogen detection is vital to successful treatment. Multiplex PCR kits with short turnover times like the BioFire Pneumonia Plus (BFPPp) (manufactured by bioMérieux) may be a valuable addition to conventional tests. METHODS: We performed a prospective observational cohort study in 60 LTx recipients with suspected LRTI. All patients received BFPPp testing of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in addition to conventional tests including microbiological cultures and conventional diagnostics for respiratory viruses. Primary outcome was time-to-test-result; secondary outcomes included time-to-clinical-decision and BFPPp test accuracy compared to conventional tests. RESULTS: BFPPp provided results faster than conventional tests (2.3 h [2-2.8] vs. 23.4 h [21-62], p < 0.001), allowing for faster clinical decisions (2.8 [2.2-44] vs. virology 28.1 h [23.1-70.6] and microbiology 32.6 h [4.6-70.9], both p < 0.001). Based on all available diagnostic modalities, 26 (43%) patients were diagnosed with viral LRTI, nine (15 %) with non-viral LRTI, and five (8 %) with combined viral and non-viral LRTI. These diagnoses were established by BFPPp in 92%, 78%, and 100%, respectively. The remaining 20 patients (33 %) received a diagnosis other than LRTI. Preliminary therapies based on BFPPp results were upheld in 90% of cases. There were six treatment modifications based on pathogen-isolation by conventional testing missed by BFPPp, including three due to fungal pathogens not covered by the BFPPp. CONCLUSION: BFPPp offered faster test results compared to conventional tests with good concordance. The absence of fungal pathogens from the panel is a potential weakness in a severely immunosuppressed population.


Subject(s)
Lung Transplantation , Pneumonia , Respiratory Tract Infections , Clinical Decision-Making , Humans , Lung Transplantation/adverse effects , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis
3.
Der Pneumologe ; : 1-7, 2022.
Article in German | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1696531

ABSTRACT

Die Pandemie und die Ausbreitung multiresistenter Erreger zeigen eindrucksvoll, dass trotz aller medizinischer und technischer Fortschritte Infektionskrankheiten weiterhin eine globale Bedrohung darstellen. Das Auftreten neuer oder aufgrund von Resistenzen schwer zu behandelnder Infektionen wird durch die dynamische Evolution von Pathogenen bestimmt, die oft sprunghaft verlaufen kann und nicht gut vorhersagbar ist. COVID-19 hat das Verständnis von Atemwegsinfektionen verbessert und neben gegen den Erreger gerichteten Strategien den Stellenwert der Immunmodulation neu aufgezeigt. Zu den innovativen Techniken, die das Management von Atemwegsinfektionen in den nächsten Jahren verbessern werden, gehören u. a. die Erregersequenzierung, Point-of-Care-Tests und auf künstlicher Intelligenz basierende Entscheidungshilfen. Neben den viralen Atemwegsinfektionen stellen bakterielle Carbapenem-resistente Erreger (CRE) zunehmend eine therapeutische Hürde bei der nosokomialen Pneumonie dar. In den letzten Jahren wurden bei CRE wirkende Beta-Laktame zugelassen, deren Effektivität allerdings vom zugrunde liegenden Mechanismus der Carbapenem-Resistenz abhängt. Gegen Pneumokokken wird 2022 ein erweiterter 20-valenter Konjugatimpfstoff für Erwachsene zur Verfügung stehen. Gegen Influenza ist seit 2021 eine Hochdosisvakzine für ältere Erwachsene im Einsatz. Der folgende Beitrag gibt einen schlaglichtartigen Überblick über ausgewählte, maßgebliche Innovationen der letzten Jahre auf dem Gebiet der Atemwegsinfektionen.

4.
Pneumologe (Berl) ; 19(2): 63-73, 2022.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1694491

ABSTRACT

The pandemic and the spread of multidrug-resistant pathogens impressively demonstrate that despite all medical and technical progress, infectious diseases still represent a global threat. The occurrence of new or difficult to treat infections due to resistance is determined by the dynamic evolution of pathogens, which can often have an erratic course and is not easily predictable. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has improved the understanding of airway infections and in addition to strategies targeted against the pathogen, has again demonstrated the importance of immunomodulation. Pathogen sequencing, point of care testing and decision aids based on artificial intelligence are some of the innovative techniques which will improve the management of airway infections in the coming years. In addition to viral airway infections, bacterial carbapenem-resistant pathogens (CRE) increasingly represent a therapeutic barrier in cases of nosocomial pneumonia. In recent years approval was given to beta lactams that are effective against CRE; however, their effectiveness is dependent on the underlying mechanism of resistance to carbapenem. An extended 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine will become available in 2022 for adults. A high-dose vaccine against influenza has been in use since 2021 for older adults. This article provides a highlighted overview of selected significant innovations in recent years in the field of airway infections.

5.
Pneumologe (Berl) ; 18(5): 327-338, 2021.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1681008

ABSTRACT

The key priority in patients with chronic lung diseases is currently immunization against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); all vaccines approved for this showed high effectiveness against severe infections. For patients with chronic pulmonary diseases the recommendations by the Standing Committee on Vaccination include not only the standard vaccinations in adulthood but also the so-called indication vaccinations. These include vaccinations against pneumococci and influenza. Advances include the recent development of new pneumococcal conjugate vaccines containing additional serotypes and the recommendation of a more effective high-dose vaccine against influenza for persons over 60 years old. With the next scheduled booster vaccination against tetanus and diphtheria a combination vaccine with pertussis antigen should be used. For patients with chronic lung disease the herpes zoster vaccine is recommended over the age of 50 years.

6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(1)2022 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1624954

ABSTRACT

We present here a 64-year-old male participant of the CoNAN study who experienced a PCR-confirmed mild SARS-CoV-2 infection but did not develop any measurable antibody response. Additionally, after vaccination with ChAdOx1 (AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK) 11 months later, no antibodies were detected in six serological tests three weeks after the vaccination. When we assessed T-helper (Th) cell immunity, SARS-CoV-2-specific Th cells produced detectable amounts of IFNγ and TNF six weeks after the infection. A robust T-cell immunity remained detectable at least until six months after the infection and was boosted by the vaccination thereafter. This case report points out that an assessment of a prior infection or a vaccine response based solely on antibody detection might have limitations in individual patients.

7.
Infection ; 50(3): 661-669, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611526

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sequelae of COVID-19 can be severe and longlasting. We compared frequencies of fatigue, depression and cognitive dysfunction in survivors of SARS-CoV-2-infection and sepsis. METHODS: We performed a prospective cohort study of 355 symptomatic post-COVID patients who visited our out-patient clinic for post-COVID-19 care. We compared them with 272 symptomatic patients from the Mid-German Sepsis Cohort, which investigates the long-term courses of sepsis survivors. Possible predictors for frequent clinical findings (fatigue, signs of depression, cognitive dysfunction) in post-COVID were investigated with multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Median age of the post-COVID patients was 51 years (range 17-86), 60.0% were female, and 31.8% required hospitalization during acute COVID-19. In the post-COVID patients (median follow-up time: 163 days) and the post-sepsis patients (180 days), fatigue was found in 93.2% and 67.8%, signs of depression were found in 81.3% and 10.9%, and cognitive dysfunction was found in 23.5% and 21.3%, respectively. In post-COVID, we did not observe an association between fatigue or depression and the severity of acute COVID-19. In contrast, cognitive dysfunction was associated with hospitalization (out-patient versus in-patient) and more frequent in post-COVID patients treated on an ICU compared to the MSC patients. CONCLUSION: In post-COVID patients, fatigue and signs of depression are more common than in sepsis survivors, independent from the acute SARS-CoV-2-infection. In contrast, cognitive dysfunction is associated with hospitalization. Despite the differences in frequencies, owing to the similarity of post-COVID and post-sepsis sequelae, this knowledge may help in implementing follow-up approaches after SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cognitive Dysfunction , Sepsis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/epidemiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/etiology , Disease Progression , Fatigue/diagnosis , Fatigue/epidemiology , Fatigue/etiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sepsis/complications , Sepsis/epidemiology , Young Adult
8.
HNO ; 70(3): 224-231, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588820

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The prevalence of long-term olfactory and gustatory dysfunction in participants suffering from sudden chemosensory loss due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unknown. Furthermore, evaluations of the reliability of participants' self-reporting of olfactory function (SOF) and gustatory function (SGF) using extended objective psychophysical testing are missing. METHODS: In this population-based cohort study in a PCR-tested community in Thuringia, Germany, olfactory function was extensively examined 4 months after a COVID-19 outbreak using the "Sniffin Sticks" test battery to determine the TDIa score, i.e., the sum of results obtained for threshold, discrimination, and identification scores averaged for both nasal sides. Gustatory function was assessed using the three-drop test resulting in the gustatory composite score (CSg). The data were compared with SOF and SGF. RESULTS: Of 43 adult convalescents (median age: 68 years; 58% female) after SARS-CoV­2 infection, 18 participants (42%) had olfactory complaints due to SOF, one participant (2%) complained of taste disturbance due to SGF. The TDIa was 22.0 ± 5.9. Normosmia, hyposmia, and anosmia were seen in 17, 18, and eight participants, respectively. TDIa correlated with SOF (rs = -0.434, p = 0.004); CSg was 23.5 ± 2.7. Normogeusia and hypogeusia were objectified in 39 and four participants, respectively. The prevalence of long-term olfactory dysfunction and gustatory dysfunction in the study group was 60.5 and 9.3%, respectively. CONCLUSION: The SOF was reliable, especially for participants who felt a sudden chemosensory dysfunction during the outbreak. At 4 months after SARS-CoV­2 infection, a high proportion of participants were dysosmic, whereas nearly all of them had normal taste function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Adult , Aged , Cohort Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Male , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Prevalence , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell
9.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(12)2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554960

ABSTRACT

Rapid vaccination may be of benefit in long-term care facilities (LTCF) that are affected by an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. However, there are concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of such an approach, particularly regarding the vaccination of pre-symptomatic patients. Here, we report the effectiveness of vaccination in a German LTCF hit by an outbreak that was detected 5 days after the first vaccine doses were administered. In detail, 66.7% of the unvaccinated patients experienced an unfavorable course; this proportion was much lower (33.3%) among the vaccinated patients. Even though this study is limited by a small number of patients, the observation and the comparison with related published data shows that vaccination (i) is safe and (ii) may still be of benefit when given shortly before an infection or even in pre-symptomatic LTCF-patients.

10.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524221

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Vaccine induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) may occur after COVID-19 vaccination with recombinant adenoviral vector-based vaccines. VITT can present as cerebral sinus and venous thrombosis (CSVT), often complicated by intracranial hemorrhage. Today it is unclear, how long symptomatic VITT can persist. Here, we report the complicated long-term course of a VITT patient with extremely high titers of pathogenic anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4)-IgG antibodies. METHODS: Clinical and laboratory findings are presented, including the course of platelet counts, D-Dimer levels, clinical presentation, imaging, SARS-CoV-2-serological and immunological, platelet activating anti-PF4-IgG, as well as autopsy findings. RESULTS: The patient presented with extended superior sagittal sinus thrombosis with accompanying bifrontal intracerebral hemorrhage. Repeated treatment with intravenous immune globuline (IVIG) resolved recurrent episodes of thrombocytopenia. Moreover, the patient's serum remained strongly positive for platelet-activating anti-PF4-IgG over three months. After a period of clinical stabilization, the patient suffered a recurrent and fatal intracranial hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS: Complicated VITT with extremely high anti-PF4-IgG titers over three months can induce recurrent thrombocytopenia despite treatment with IVIG and anticoagulation. Plasma exchange, immunoadsorption, and /or immunosuppressive treatment may be considered in complicated VITT to reduce extraordinarily high levels of anti-PF4-IgG. Long-term therapy in such cases must take the individual bleeding risk and CSVT risk into account.

11.
Crit Care Med ; 49(12): 2042-2057, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522362

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 is a heterogeneous disease most frequently causing respiratory tract infection, which can induce respiratory failure and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in its severe forms. The prevalence of coronavirus disease 2019-related sepsis is still unclear; we aimed to describe this in a systematic review. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE (PubMed), Cochrane, and Google Scholar databases were searched based on a prespecified protocol (International Prospective Register for Systematic Reviews: CRD42020202018). STUDY SELECTION: Studies reporting on patients with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 diagnosed with sepsis according to sepsis-3 or according to the presence of infection-related organ dysfunctions necessitating organ support/replacement were included in the analysis. The primary end point was prevalence of coronavirus disease 2019-related sepsis among adults hospitalized in the ICU and the general ward. Among secondary end points were the need for ICU admission among patients initially hospitalized in the general ward and the prevalence of new onset of organ dysfunction in the ICU. Outcomes were expressed as proportions with respective 95% CI. DATA EXTRACTION: Two reviewers independently screened and reviewed existing literature and assessed study quality with the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the Methodological index for nonrandomized studies. DATA SYNTHESIS: Of 3,825 articles, 151 were analyzed, only five of which directly reported sepsis prevalence. Noting the high heterogeneity observed, coronavirus disease 2019-related sepsis prevalence was 77.9% (95% CI, 75.9-79.8; I2 = 91%; 57 studies) in the ICU, and 33.3% (95% CI, 30.3-36.4; I2 = 99%; 86 studies) in the general ward. ICU admission was required for 17.7% (95% CI, 12.9-23.6; I2 = 100%) of ward patients. Acute respiratory distress syndrome was the most common organ dysfunction in the ICU (87.5%; 95% CI, 83.3-90.7; I2 = 98%). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of coronavirus disease 2019 patients hospitalized in the ICU meet Sepsis-3 criteria and present infection-associated organ dysfunction. The medical and scientific community should be aware and systematically report viral sepsis for prognostic and treatment implications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Sepsis/etiology , Sepsis/virology , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Multiple Organ Failure/etiology , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Sepsis/mortality , Severity of Illness Index
12.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(3): e74-e87, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510480

ABSTRACT

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, health-care workers and uninfected patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are at risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 as a result of transmission from infected patients and health-care workers. In the absence of high-quality evidence on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, clinical practice of infection control and prevention in ICUs varies widely. Using a Delphi process, international experts in intensive care, infectious diseases, and infection control developed consensus statements on infection control for SARS-CoV-2 in an ICU. Consensus was achieved for 31 (94%) of 33 statements, from which 25 clinical practice statements were issued. These statements include guidance on ICU design and engineering, health-care worker safety, visiting policy, personal protective equipment, patients and procedures, disinfection, and sterilisation. Consensus was not reached on optimal return to work criteria for health-care workers who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 or the acceptable disinfection strategy for heat-sensitive instruments used for airway management of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Well designed studies are needed to assess the effects of these practice statements and address the remaining uncertainties.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consensus , Infection Control/standards , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Intensive Care Units/standards , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Delphi Technique , Health Personnel/standards , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment/standards
13.
Infection ; 49(6): 1299-1306, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482322

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Thorough knowledge of the nature and frequency of co-infections is essential to optimize treatment strategies and risk assessment in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to evaluate the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening approach for community-acquired bacterial pathogens (CABPs) at hospital admission, which could facilitate identification of bacterial co-infections in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Clinical data and biomaterials from 200 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from the observational cohort of the Competence Network for community-acquired pneumonia (CAPNETZ) prospectively recruited between March 17, 2020, and March 12, 2021 in 12 centers in Germany and Switzerland, were included in this study. Nasopharyngeal swab samples were analyzed on hospital admission using multiplex real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR for a broad range of CABPs. RESULTS: In total of 200 patients Staphylococcus aureus (27.0%), Haemophilus influenzae (13.5%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (5.5%), Moraxella catarrhalis (2.5%), and Legionella pneumophila (1.5%) were the most frequently detected bacterial pathogens. PCR detection of bacterial pathogens correlated with purulent sputum, and showed no correlation with ICU admission, mortality, and inflammation markers. Although patients who received antimicrobial treatment were more often admitted to the ICU and had a higher mortality rate, PCR pathogen detection was not significantly related to antimicrobial treatment. CONCLUSION: General CABP screening using multiplex PCR with nasopharyngeal swabs may not facilitate prediction or identification of bacterial co-infections in the early phase of COVID-19-related hospitalization. Most patients with positive PCR results appear to be colonized rather than infected at that time, questioning the value of routine antibiotic treatment on admission in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Community-Acquired Infections , Legionella pneumophila , Pneumonia , Cohort Studies , Coinfection/diagnosis , Coinfection/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463831

ABSTRACT

Humoral immunity after infection or after vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been attributed a key part in mitigating the further transmission of the virus. In this study, we used a commercial anti-Spike immunoglobulin G (S-IgG) assay and developed a cell culture-based neutralization assay to understand the longitudinal course of neutralizing antibodies in both SARS-CoV2 infected or vaccinated individuals. We show that even more than one year after infection, about 78% of observed study participants remained seropositive concerning S-IgG antibodies. In addition, the serum of the individuals had stable neutralization capacity in a neutralization assay against a SARS-CoV-2 patient isolate from March 2020. We also examined volunteers after either homologous BNT162b2 prime-boost vaccination or heterologous AZD1222 prime/mRNA-based booster vaccination. Both the heterologous and the homologous vaccination regimens induced higher levels of neutralizing antibodies in healthy subjects when compared to subjects after a mild infection, showing the high effectiveness of available vaccines. In addition, we could demonstrate the reliability of S-IgG levels in predicting neutralization capacity, with 94.8% of seropositive samples showing a neutralization titer of ≥10, making it a viable yet cheap and easy-to-determine surrogate parameter for neutralization capacity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunization, Secondary , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Vero Cells
15.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1515-1518, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1313723

ABSTRACT

We show a shift in the prevalence of respiratory viral pathogens in community-acquired pneumonia patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our data support the efficiency of non-pharmaceutical interventions on virus circulation except for rhinoviruses. The consequences of an altered circulation on subsequent winter seasons remain unclear and support the importance of systematic virological surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , COVID-19/virology , Community-Acquired Infections/microbiology , Community-Acquired Infections/virology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia/microbiology , Pneumonia/virology , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viruses/classification , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/isolation & purification , Young Adult
16.
Pneumologe (Berl) ; 18(5): 327-338, 2021.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1312818

ABSTRACT

The key priority in patients with chronic lung diseases is currently immunization against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); all vaccines approved for this showed high effectiveness against severe infections. For patients with chronic pulmonary diseases the recommendations by the Standing Committee on Vaccination include not only the standard vaccinations in adulthood but also the so-called indication vaccinations. These include vaccinations against pneumococci and influenza. Advances include the recent development of new pneumococcal conjugate vaccines containing additional serotypes and the recommendation of a more effective high-dose vaccine against influenza for persons over 60 years old. With the next scheduled booster vaccination against tetanus and diphtheria a combination vaccine with pertussis antigen should be used. For patients with chronic lung disease the herpes zoster vaccine is recommended over the age of 50 years.

17.
J Virol ; 2021 Feb 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216778

ABSTRACT

Infections with SARS-CoV-2 can be asymptomatic, but they can also be accompanied by a variety of symptoms that result in mild to severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and are sometimes associated with systemic symptoms. Although the viral infection originates in the respiratory system, it is unclear how the virus can overcome the alveolar barrier, which is observed in severe COVID-19 disease courses. To elucidate the viral effects on the barrier integrity and immune reactions, we used mono-cell culture systems and a complex human chip model composed of epithelial, endothelial, and mononuclear cells. Our data show that SARS-CoV-2 efficiently infected epithelial cells with high viral loads and inflammatory response, including interferon expression. By contrast, the adjacent endothelial layer was neither infected nor did it show productive virus replication or interferon release. With prolonged infection, both cell types were damaged, and the barrier function was deteriorated, allowing the viral particles to overbear. In our study, we demonstrate that although SARS-CoV-2 is dependent on the epithelium for efficient replication, the neighboring endothelial cells are affected, e.g., by the epithelial cytokines or components induced during infection, which further results in the damage of the epithelial/endothelial barrier function and viral dissemination.IMPORTANCESARS-CoV-2 challenges healthcare systems and societies worldwide in unprecedented ways. Although numerous new studies have been conducted, research to better understand the molecular pathogen-host interactions are urgently needed. For this, experimental models have to be developed and adapted. In the present study we used mono cell-culture systems and we established a complex chip model, where epithelial and endothelial cells are cultured in close proximity. We demonstrate that epithelial cells can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, while the endothelium did not show any infection signs. Since SARS-CoV-2 is able to establish viremia, the link to thromboembolic events in severe COVID-19 courses is evident. However, whether the endothelial layer is damaged by the viral pathogens or whether other endothelial-independent homeostatic factors are induced by the virus is essential for understanding the disease development. Therefore, our study is important as it demonstrates that the endothelial layer could not be infected by SARS-CoV-2 in our in vitro experiments, but we were able to show the destruction of the epithelial-endothelial barrier in our chip model. From our experiments we can assume that virus-induced host factors disturbed the epithelial-endothelial barrier function and thereby promote viral spread.

19.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 69(2): 720-730, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091008

ABSTRACT

The Co-HCW study is a prospective cohort study among hospital staff, including healthcare workers (HCWs) and administration staff, at the Jena University Hospital (JUH), Germany. The objectives of this study were to assess SARS-CoV-2 IgG seroprevalence, individual exposure risk factors and compliance of HCWs to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). After the first nosocomial COVID-19 outbreak at JUH, mandatory masking was implemented on 20th March 2020. We evaluated point seroprevalence using two IgG detecting immunoassays and issued a questionnaire to assess COVID-19 exposure, clinical symptoms and compliance to wear PPE. Antibody retesting was offered to participants with a divergent result of both immunoassays 5-10 weeks after the first test. Between 19th May and 19th June 2020, we analysed 660 participants [out of 3,228; 20.4%]. Among them, 212 participants (32.1%) had received a previous COVID-19 test. Four of them (1.9%) reported a positive test result. After recruitment, 18 participants (2.7%) had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in at least one immunoassay. Overall, 21 participants (3.2%) had any evidence of a past or current SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among them, 13 (61.9%) were not aware of direct COVID-19 exposure and 9 (42.9%) did not report any clinical symptoms. COVID-19 exposure at home (adjusted OR (aOR) with 95% CI: 47.82 (5.49, 416.62)) was associated with SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence. We observed no evidence for an association between seroprevalence and exposure at work (aOR 0.48 (0.13, 1.70)) or with COVID-19 risk area according to the working place (aOR for intermediate-risk vs. high-risk: 1.97 (0.42, 9.22), aOR for low-risk versus high-risk: 2.10 (0.40, 11.06); p = .655). Reported compliance of HCWs to wear PPE differed (p < .001) between working in high-risk (98.3%) and in intermediate-risk areas (69.8%). In conclusion, compared to administration staff, we observed no additional risk to acquire SARS-CoV-2 infections by patient care, probably due to high compliance to wear PPE.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Personnel, Hospital , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
20.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 27(3): 470.e1-470.e9, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-996795

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Due to a substantial proportion of asymptomatic and mild courses, many severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections remain unreported. Therefore, assessment of seroprevalence may detect the real burden of disease. We aimed to determine and characterize the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections and the resulting seroprevalence in a defined population. The primary objective of the study was to assess SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence using six different IgG-detecting immunoassays. Secondary objectives of the study were: (a) to determine potential risk factors for symptomatic versus asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 courses, and (b) to investigate the rate of virus RNA-persistence. METHODS: CoNAN is a population-based cohort study performed in the community Neustadt am Rennsteig, Germany, which was quarantined from 22 March to 5 April after six SARS-CoV-2 cases were detected in the village's population. The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak comprised 51 cases and 3 deaths. The CoNAN study was performed from 13 May to 22 May 2020, 6 weeks after a SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. RESULTS: We enrolled a total of 626 participants (71% of the community population) for PCR and antibody testing in the study. All actual SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests were negative. Fifty-two out of 620 (8.4%) participants had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in at least two different assays. There were 38 participants with previously PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of those, only 19 (50%) displayed anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We also show that antibody-positive participants with symptoms compatible with a respiratory tract infection had significantly higher antibody levels then asymptomatic participants (EU-assay: median 2.9 versus 7.2 IgG-index, p 0.002; DS-assay: median 45.2 versus 143 AU/mL, p 0.002). Persisting viral replication was not detected. CONCLUSIONS: Our data question the relevance and reliability of IgG antibody testing to detect past SARS-CoV-2 infections 6 weeks after an outbreak. We conclude that assessing immunity for SARS-CoV-2 infection should not rely on antibody tests alone.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Young Adult
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